Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010--This is gonna be a year to remember

I can feel it in my bones. This is going to be a good year because I’m going to make it a good year. Not saying nothing bad won’t happen--but I’d like to keep my spirits up. Me. Optimistic. Scary, isn’t it?

Also, I’m not putting anything too crazy on my goals list this year. I won’t make goals that depend on other people. At least I don’t. To me those goals are doomed. I’m just saying. Others have another take on it. Some will argue that I’m being negative, and you need to be positive to get what you want out of life. But you know...depending on others to make your goals work can lead to disappointment and heartache. I know this advice has been posted elsewhere on the web and by writers who put it much more eloquently than me. But I have a good reason. I haven’t reached my coffee quota yet.

ANYWAY...Goals:

Brooklyn: I have the critiques back, and I will be start off the year revising. This will be slow and tedious because I’m not sure if I’ll have another set of critters for this. Synopsis and query letter will be revised, and I will query. Shooting for July at the latest. And I mean the latest. Early is much better.

Daniel: He will be revised and out for critiques this year. Depending on Brooklyn and major problems and/or changes, I will try to query him out as well by December. (I sound like such a pimp, don’t I?)

Critiques: I would love to critique more YA books this year. And I do mean full stories. I’m more of a fan of doing novel critiques because I like to get a feel for the story, and to do that I need the complete manuscript. Not everyone likes that. I get it. But if you have a full MS you need a critique on, send me a message. We can work out a trade for first chapters and this way we get a feel for how we might gel. This is important. Most folks really do overlook the compatibility factor.

Travel: Time for me to get out more.  I’m going to conference this year in January. This one is more workshops. No pitches. That’s what I prefer anyway and it works out fine for me. I am so excited. I’m playing it down to my teens because I’m taking off for a few days and leaving them behind. That seems sort of cruel to be happy while my girl has finals and the boy is working and has to babysit his sister. Secretly, I’m jazzed. Shhhh...we’ll keep it between us.

I’m also planning a surprise trip with my girl after school lets out. As soon as things get finalized, I’ll share.

Health: I need to lose weight again. More important I need to get into shape. These last few months I haven’t done much except sit and type. I could whine and complain and blame it on the pneumonia, broken rib--but truth is I didn’t bounce back quick enough. My bad. So my pc time has to be broken up throughout the day. Exercise is also great for my mental and emotional state. Don’t underestimate the value of a good walk.

There are more things on my goals list, but they’d probably (most likely, most definitely) bore you all. By now I might’ve lost some of you in my long rambling anyway, but I thought I’d share. And seeing my list written out makes it feel more important. More real.

Have you all made goals for 2010?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Saying Good-bye to 2009

I’ve been struggling with my resolutions for a good week or two, and I’ve come to the realization I need to say good-by to 2009 first. Yes, I am thick at times.

2009 wasn’t that bad of a year for me.

I completed Brooklyn’s story at the end of February. Cleaned her up some and sent her to critters. Hey I even have rough drafts of the synopsis and query letter completed. Go, me.

Daniel was plotted, world built up and written this year as well. Two novels in one year. Not too shabby.

I critiqued a couple of novels and shorter works. A huge cut from 2008. I still don’t think I found my happy place with the number of crits I’d like to be doing.

Wrote a couple of guest blog posts. Those were interesting to do.

I got around to seeing Val in real life, and we had a good time.

The movie Avatar was finally released. Simply fantastic eye candy. See it on IMAX 3D if you can. The impression I was left with is that this was a work of love for the director.

Out of all the movies I saw this year, Sherlock Holmes is another one that stands out to me. Maybe because I just saw it the other day. I did enjoy how the characters all played off each other and how their back-stories came into play. The movie also inspired my muse to revisit a story I put on the back burner. Yeah, I didn’t need my muse to latch onto something shiny.

Most surprising movie I enjoyed, Star Trek. Really truly thought I’d hate it. Turned out to be a favorite.

My son graduated high school this year and signed up for the Navy. Simply...wow. I knew these days would come but you know...it’s just when the first one leaves home it’s sort of mind numbing.

Lots of heartache and turmoil for my kids this year as they learned about first loves. They were hard lessons to learn but necessary ones.

Health wise for me it was a trying year again. My knee did heal but it took a lot to get there. I put miles on the bike and the treadmill. Of course, I had to crack a rib. You know...what’s the year without a problem?

Two books that still haunt me: Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater. James was hilarious in the first book, and he proved just as entertaining in this one. Funny and tearful.

And the second book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. It’s a creepy little zombie adventure with a sad love story entwined in it.

Oh yes, and the Kindle. I had a Sony two years before this, but I gotta say I love my Kindle.

How was your 2009?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Where is my brain this morning?

I’m finally emerging from the holiday rush. We didn’t do much. Not like we made a cross-country trip or anything, but we had a pleasant time at home. As holidays go it was very nice.

Today I’m trying to wake up and actually consider about what needs to be done next year. Thinking feels incredibly hard this morning. Maybe I have a secret life I don’t know about at night and I’m sleep walking my way through it. Forget the coffee. Plug me up to a caffeine drip.

Hope you all had a good weekend.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Decisions, decisions

Make cookies or clean the bathrooms? Hmmmm.

Which one do you think I ended up doing?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Meme

Plundered from Val’s blog. I don’t play along very often, but I could have fun with this. If you want to join in and leave a link in comments so I can see your answers.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

In my house gift bags are a joke. Has to be wrapping paper. Two levels of wrapping paper. And you all can forget scotch tape. Must be packing tape in some spots. Yes, I need to do all this to keep out prying and devious kids.

2. Real tree or Artificial?

Artificial. Less likely to catch fire in my house.

3. When do you put up the tree?

Most years I put it up on Thanksgiving. This year it just went up on Saturday. I could blame procrastination...but really it was my foul mood.

4. When do you take the tree down?

Right after New Years. Mostly because if I have to spend all that time putting it up, it will stay up for more than a week.


5. Do you like eggnog?

YES. Southern Comfort makes the best eggnog. Non-alcoholic. I'm not kidding.

6.  Favorite gift received as a child?

You know, I had to think hard on this one. Easy Bake Oven and Baby Alive. Yes, I am digging all the way back to my childhood here.

7. Hardest person to buy for?

No one. I’m good at finding the right present.

8. Easiest person to buy for?

Hm...the girl. Basically she wants everything in Hot Topic.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?

Of course. Porcelain. So far I’ve only had to glue the sheep back to together.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

I like snail mailing these. But...for the second year in a row I haven’t sent any. Sigh. Where is my energy going these days?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

Pleading the fifth. Let’s just say they were right up there with pink flamingo lawn ornaments.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

I’m drawn to It’s a Wonderful Life. Drummer Boy is another good one.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

January. Seriously. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect gift.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Never. Really. Not even the pink flamingo type gift.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Dessert count? I love holiday food. I like it more when my hubby cooks it.

16. Lights on the tree?

White. No blinking ones either. My ornaments are also color coordinated. If you think that’s bad, the wrapping paper has to match too. I’m sure someone is wondering if I have OCD.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

Silent Night (I bet someone out there thought I was going to say Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer.)

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Here’s the thing, when we travel at Christmas it turns into a fiasco. Every time. So now we stay home and people can visit us. Interestingly, no one wants to visit us.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Yeah...give me a couple of glasses of wine and maybe I can sing the song. Or make up a few names.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Had an angel until it sort of...um...caught fire. Not bad. Just melting and smoke and little flame. Anyway...now we have a star.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Most of the gifts are opened Christmas morning. The girl has this plan to wake me up at 12:01 AM this year. Doubt I’m moving that late at night. But I do pick out one gift for each child to open on Christmas Eve.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

I’m with Val on this one. Just say Merry Christmas. You know you want to.

23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color?

Silver, white, gold (sometimes I allow a little brown or red.) I love unusual ornaments.

24. Favorite for Christmas Dinner?

When my husband is home, turkey.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

My husband to be safe and my kids happy.



Saturday, December 19, 2009

Found it

Off in the corner of the basement I found my Christmas tree. That part was easy. Finding the ornaments....not so much. Finally I discovered them. Buried. Under several boxes of books. Hardcover, text books. Can you guess what happened to the tree ornaments?

A road trip to Target was in order with my son. The boy hates shopping, but daring holiday stores the week before Christmas builds character. Tolerance. Patience. Even if it doesn’t do any of that I still needed a ride.

Hope you all had a good Saturday

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On the Hunt for the Elusive Christmas Tree

I know it’s down in the basement somewhere. Just don’t know where. I also need to figure out where my ornaments are at. Lights. Lights would be good, too. Nativity scene is a must.

Yes, these are the things that go missing when I let other folks put up my decorations. I was in a leg brace last year. Lots of stairs. Need I say more?

So today I shall dare the dark and dismal corners.

What are you doing?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And...DONE

Yesterday I got to write THE END on Daniel’s story. I love this warm and bouncy feeling. It is an awesome ride to create characters, give them a life and let them fulfill their storylines. This particular story was inspired by a dream that woke me up and left me in tears.

You got to love the muse when it sends you an idea.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Humor for a Monday

I discovered The Last Word blog via twitter. Man, she's funny. Anyway, there's a great post about raising boys.

Read.
Laugh.
Enjoy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yikes--

Late start to the day. You all see what happens when I can't sleep?

Most Sundays I take the day off from writing. I kinda think of it as my recovery time. I do character chats. Make goals for the week. Clean the house. Give the dogs a bath. (That is quite the chore, by the way.)

Today I'm writing because I left my characters in a particularly bad spot yesterday. Hey, I believe in giving them challenges to overcome.

I'm off to spin some drama. Whatever you guys do today, have fun with it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Musings before I got to sleep

I know it’s late. Okay--for me this is late. See, I normally wake up anywhere between 4 to 7 AM. Normally. There have been exceptions.

Tonight I can’t sleep. This is sooo not a good thing if I’m planning to be up early again, but my mind is whirling. Things like goals that I didn’t meet this year. Brooklyn is my big miss this year. I had hopes to get her out to agents by now. Many things got in the way of that. While some of it was out of my control, the parts I could’ve organized better are what irk me the most. Note to self: I shall stay on task next year. No feeling sorry for myself.

Anyway...now that I’ve written, rewritten and erased about a thousand words for this post, I’m thinking it is time for me to try and get back to bed. Night, night.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wishing for sleep...

Dogs have it made. They can just plop down and sleep anywhere. Plus they get the occasional belly rub.


Or maybe she's depressed because she heard about Kirkus. I mean, Kirkus closing...mind boggling to hear about them and sad because they are an icon in the publishing world.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Writing update

The other day I wrote a bittersweet love scene. Makes you laugh one moment, but there's an undertone of sadness. It was touching. So naturally I have to counter with trouble because no character should be that happy. Not acceptable in my world.

Yesterday I had planned to write two scenes--they morphed into four on me. It is nice that I catch common sense problems with the plot now instead of waiting for like revisions, but I would really like to get this draft done. I think I have 14 scenes left to write. I have been wrong in my count in the past soooooo...I might be wrong again.

Go forth and hurt some characters today. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

-16?

Have I mentioned I don't like the cold? I don't. My kids hate it more. My son works outside, and my girl's braves the elements to take the bus to school. Since I don't drive with my eye problem, making that bus on time is extremely important if she doesn't want to walk it. This morning's dialogue went like this:

Me: Love you. And try not to make anyone cry today.

Girl: You're no fun.

She walks toward the door and stops.

Girl: Do you mean the teachers, too?

Me: Especially the teachers.

Girl: (grumbles and leaves)

She is such a cranky kid when it gets cold.

Happy writing and have a good day! Or at least warmer.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Freezing

Newest wave of snow isn't the problem. The cold is horrible, though. ARG.

On the publishing front, have you met the NEW ADULT? I'm sure you have. These books just didn't have a new category to hang out in before.

For years now I've heard of such a category being looked at. Some refer to it as an appeal to older YA's. But this is the first time I've seen it get a new name. ST. Martin's Press New Adult is doing its hardest to get noticed.

Here's a link to one of the the interviews: http://jmeadows.livejournal.com/725113.html


Yes, I can see having college level characters since a lot a readers like to read up. In truth I've already seen many YA books published in more adult like situations. Uglies trilogy comes to mind. Forest of Hands and Teeth. Will these be put under NEW ADULT? My biggest concern for this is how will this impact the libraries. Are books put in this group going to be considered too controversial for public libraries to buy? Libraries are huge for helping to spread word of mouth on great stories.

Many things to ponder. For me I have to a lot more writing to do this morning. Later folks.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Interrupting this blog for a kitty rant

Go ahead. Take my chew toy and see what happens to your furry slippers.


I triple dawg dare you.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mmm...

There is nothing like raspberry-milk chocolate cocoa when the weather outside is freezing and snowing. Just saying. Everyone needs to keep a box of this on hand.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sparkly moments

Friday I had an incredible writing day. It was just one scene. Just one. Not the most amazing one or the most crucial, but it sets up the tension for things to come.

You know why I liked it? Because it was a simple set up that came to life. During a time of truce, two old enemies meet in the rain...and things still manage to go wrong. I mean the friction between these two is massive. And the betrayal that Daniel experiences is painful to watch. I swear I didn’t plan for that to happen either.

When the characters just take over--that folks is a rush when it occurs. It is amazing and scary because you’re writing on blind faith that your muse knows what’s going on. Sadly, you can’t plan for these moments. At least I can’t. Days like this are good reminders of what I love about writing.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday musings

I am actually busy today working. I know that comes as a shock for some of you. Here's a...um...interesting link to check out. I never knew this site existed but everyone else seems to know about it. I am always the last to know.

http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's colder today...

Miss Kitty showing off her winter fashion look.

Yes, I'm a woman who likes to dress up and torment small animals and my children. Live with it.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It’s cold outside...

When I woke up in the wee hours this morning it was 20 F. My poor little pc widget is reading 16 now. Going down to 9 overnight. Chhhilllbbbrrrr

I felt the weather changing when I was out yesterday finishing up my Christmas shopping. It cost me. The freezing wind took my breath away. Literally. And of course, I forgot my inhaler at home. Silly me.

Daniel update: I ended up going back re-reading, tweaking three scenes, and I didn’t revise just one scene. I ended up with two new chapters outlined. Total six scenes.

It was a good day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

3 hours of sleep is not enough

I'm so tired. But December calls and so does Daniel's story. First up I have to re-read what I wrote yesterday because my mind is not letting it be put to rest. This is what I'd like to call my muse or characters trying to get my attention. So before I can move forward, I have to take a step back and see what my muse is seeing.

Yawn. More coffee, please.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tales from the muse


Miss Kitty versus her muse. Some days it does feel like that.
                P.S. Last Day of NaNo 2009!
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's that time again!

Sunday is that time to catch up with those wayward characters. Most people choose to chat with their main good guys...but when was the last time you invited the antagonist to breakfast? Never? Oh time to change that up. Give them a hug and some coffee.

Have fun!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Leftovers?


          Mmmm....tasty. (I hope you all are spending time with your loved ones this holiday weekend.)
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving



                               From my family to all of you....
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Middle of the week...

Happy Wednesday! For some of us it starts the long holiday weekend. My girl is off from school until Monday, but today I think I'll put her to work on baking. She owes me big time for her hair coloring supplies. It adds up.

Yesterday's roundup: two scenes written. I tried for a third but it just didn't happen when all the kids came home. Plus I had to make an emergency run back down to the post office again. Grrrr...

For a cool surprise my son took me out to dinner last night. At like a REAL restaurant. And he paid. I'm still in awe.

Hope your middle of the week goes great.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Off to write

I'm a bit behind where I'd like to be in the novel. Sooo...I'm off to write. Like marathon style. I'm hoping for two scenes. More would be nice...less I'm in trouble. Self-imposed trouble.


If you don't see me around online, you know why.


Good luck to everyone as we approach the end!
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Mascot

But I don't want to leave the warm bed.


Yes, I can soooo relate. Mondays suck.


Worse one ever? I had three rejections show up in my e-mail within hours of each other. Someone coordinated it. I'm sure of it.


Kidding.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday...

That means character chat day.


(this is my T-shirt that I sleep in. I found it at Kohl's in case anyone is looking to own one.)
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday musings

I was sitting in a full house of moviegoers for New Moon last night, and I was more caught up with the audience’s reactions than the movie. When Jacob yanked off his shirt to help Bella…you could barely hear the actors over the squeals and nervous giggles. (BTW…I don’t think he wore a shirt in the last half of the movie to the joy of most of the girls. Heh.)

The viewers’ excitement was contagious. You could sense the range of emotions when there was a romantic scene between Bella and Edward or Jacob. It sort of reminded me of Paranormal Experience the way the spectators was responding.

It hit me, this was why the fans are so into the Twilight Saga. The author captured the rollercoaster of feelings played out among the three characters and set them to the page in a way that made her readers care. That’s a lesson we all should remember. Beautiful prose is not enough some days. You have to give the characters a soul.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Intermission

I spend my mornings unplugged from the net to write. I find this a desperate need to satisfy my muse. I'm getting at least a scene a day. Some days more.

In case there's anybody left in the world that doesn't know, tonight is the opening to New Moon. Part of the Twilight Saga. Bella...shiny vampires. Heh...okay maybe not everyone knows. But if you have a teenage girl you've probably heard the arguments about team Edward and team Jacob.

So I'm leaving early again this afternoon to clear my housework. Because with two teens, three dogs and birds...the work is never done.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some days it's hard

There are days I get up, boot the laptop, sit down to write...And...

Nothing.

Nada.

Zip.

Sure we all love when the story flies. When the words are coming to us faster than we can type. I have lost track of time when I get into the zone.

But there are the...other days. Days like today are the real challenges because I'm fighting myself to get back into the story and the characters. It's not easy overcome. For me I had to cut myself off the internet. A lot of false starts but in the end, I finally found the groove and had fun with Claire. Well...okay...fun might not be the right word because I left her in real danger. Earlier it was fun. I'll stop now before you all think I've gone nuts.

Anyway...

How do you all fight the battle with the missing in action muse?
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Wednesday

You never know what surprises might await you today. Or...er...land on your head.


Happy middle of the week day!
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Running...

Here we are on the 17th already. This month is just flying, folks.

Yesterday my characters pulled a fast one on me. I mean, one moment they're running along, following the plan when suddenly--BAM. One character took it upon herself to change the plot outline. Hello? I work hard on that thing. But I can be easy going, and I'm willing to let this ride. See what happens. The information that should be here can easily be used down the road.

So now instead of a nice touching moment between characters, I get girls gone wild. With weapons.

Why can't my characters play nice?
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Mondays

I swear I think some people live just to mess with me on Mondays. It's like their lives aren't fulfilled unless they get me mad. What gets me is that they wait until Monday to bother me. Argh.

Sorry. Lost my mind there. I'm sure you all don't want hear me rant because we all get these days from time to time.

Anyway...if you hadn't noticed we are now halfway though the month. Do I hear an excited cheer? Yayyy, NaNo writers!

Good luck folks!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's Sunday....

And that means character chat day! Phobias of spiders getting in the way? Is your female lead suddenly ignoring her faery love interest to flirt with the werewolf? Has your bad guy suddenly announced he wants to leave to join the Peace Corp? It is time to get to the bottom of these midbehaving drama queens by sitting down and chatting with them.

Have fun!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NaNo Lesson

We find our idea. It feels like magic. You all know that burning need to tell that story because if we don't it'll drive us nuts. The characters haunt us. The plot is dark and complicated and humorous and heartbreaking--man, it is everything it needs to be. Here comes midnight and it's November 1st. We take off running down that beautiful path. We're typing away and this feeling of joy will never stop until we type the very last two words--The End.

Fast forward to November 14th.

That pretty path we set out on has turned to mud, sucking us down into depression. The characters are making silly demands for plot changes that make no sense. Yeah, let's talk about that ridiculous plot. It's unraveling faster than that obsurd pink crochet dress your mother made you wear when you were seven. Instead of hitting close to 24K, you've only broken 5,000. And by now you're thinking...who wants to write a stupid novel?

Answer: You do.

Right now you're having your doubts. That's okay. It happens to all of us who love to write. Published, unpublished. It makes no difference to the fear monster who thrives on drowning us in despair and self doubt. The thing is you don' t give up. No matter what, you keep on writing. Maybe you need a free writing session. Or a character chat. So what if the words don't sound so pretty? There's this little thing called revising that handles those messy sentences. You're not going to hit 50k by the end of the month? Big deal. The NaNo police won't show up on your doorstep. You're still ahead of your wordcount because you started at zero on November 1st.

Don't give up. Don't GIVE up. Keep on writing. Keep on trying. Because I promise you when you get to that last page, when you write or type THE END...it's a really cool feeling. I promise.




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Friday, November 13, 2009

How's everyone doing so far?

Hey all, another day to run around. My oldest dog is limping and I'm going to need to take him to the vet this morning. Crossing my fingers that Friday the 13th doesn't curse me.

I'm wishing you all a great writing day. I hope the words flow and the characters whimper.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

For those that need a moment...

I'm off to create a care package today to send to my husband in Iraq. Sooo...I'm not sure I'll have time to write today. When I shop for something like this, I'm talking I have to hit like four or five stores to get everything I need. Dried fruits, hookah tobacco and little things to share. This also might be the last shipment to reach him before the holidays.


I did finish a chapter yesterday--second one for the week. So that's always good for my goals. Daniel and Claire have just met their stalker. From this point on nothing is safe or what they expected. Best of all I damaged them both emotionally. Huh...I really do sound evil here, don't I? Yes, I left that chapter on a cliffhanger.


Anyway, just so you all know I'm thinking of you guys, I wanted to leave a nice picture I took while rambling along the countryside last summer. I'm noticing some stress from folks participating in NaNo. Relax. Take a deep breath. Have some tea or whatever soothes your nerves. And imagine being by this rambling stream.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remember

Sometimes I feel the need to walk through a cemetery like some people have the urge to eat chocolate. Yeah, I know some of you are creeped out by the thought. To me it's a reminder of how brief life can be. Or how loving and full others have spent their days. These glimpses of an existence celebrated into their deaths, always amaze me the most. They are not always the most prominent statue or the grandest mausoleum. The ones I'm talking about are the ones maintained well after the person has been buried. That someone takes the time out of their days to leave fresh flowers or ornaments to share in the holidays with their lost loved one.


I pause at these sites and wonder, who were they? How did they touch someone so deeply? Were they defined by one moment, or a lifetime of moments? Who did they love? More important, who still loved them?
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I’m so tired

I stayed up way too late. 1 AM and woke up at 4...my bad.


To keep you all entertained here, and I’m trying not to pick on Deb for today, here are a few stories to check out from my “too strange” file.


A young girl who fell asleep for nine years.


50K missing Persian soldiers have finally been found.


And the embarrassing cautionary tale of noisy sex.


Happy writing all!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hmmm...

I was trying to use a different program to post from-and it failed. I'm not sure why. Most tragic of all, my witty Monday rant is gone. Sniff.

Anyway, it's Monday. I did get 2400 words yesterday and I'm hoping I can repeat it today. Or close to it. It was Claire's turn to be stalked. Give her some drama with her stepmom. Bring back horrible memories that she tried to bury. Oh yeah...and naturally I had to give her some issues with the lowlife she dates.

Overall I feel good about the scene. Do I sound evil? Well, probably NOT as evil as Deb.

How's everyone's day going?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Do you know where your characters are?

Sundays to me are character chat days. A handy tool to try and understand why your uncooperative misfits are hotwiring cars, planning to leave you in the dust. So tell me ladies and gents, what are your characters up to?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Shhh...

I have my laptop now. I'm probably hiding offline for the day to work on Daniel.

On another note, you know you've made it when inkygirl writes a comic on you. You go, zette!

http://zette.blogspot.com/2009/11/enough-said.html

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bed Rest

I leaned over to remove a memory card from my pc. I knew I shouldn't be straining but it was only going to be for a minute. Then I sneezed...

So my stubbornness has left me relaxing yesterday and probably today. I need to ask my son nicely if he'll move my laptop closer to me.

Good luck with the writing!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crossing Bridges

You're going along just fine when out of nowhere comes this surprise....


My first thought, who in their right mind would put a bridge like this out on my path?


I mean, sure...it does have a certain rustic charm. Very rustic. And yes, I'm sure some ranger comes out this way to check the trails. Right?


And though I saw a man turn around instead of crossing it, I couldn't just head back. I was sort of invested at this point. Yes, it was old. The bridge was not exactly in the most travled area of the park either. Did I mention it creaked a lot? The planks gave out some as I walked out on it. Sadly, a good bit of the park itself felt neglected and uncared for.


Maybe because of all those things, I felt I had to cross it to see what was on the other side. To see what critter, real or imaginary, lived among gloom of the tree branches and sang that sorrowful song. To walk a little further in the shadows to maybe find only darkness...or maybe a beautiful field right past the foiloage.


Would you cross the bridge with me? Would you walk into the shadows?
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

testing

This could take a little getting use to.

Wednesday already?

No, I don’t have anything against Wednesdays. Mondays though...shudders. Some Mondays need to be like deleted, burned, ripped from the calendar. I wouldn't even say do over because you never know if it could get worse.

Since this week is just flying past, let's see how things are going. How are the words coming along so far? Anyone wanna share...?

Me? I kept deleting a lot, but in the end Daniel flirted with Claire, and he realizes someone or something is stalking him.

Good day for me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wrong turns can lead to great finds

During the summer I thought I'd pester my friend,Val, in Canada. Because I've never been to Canada so why not go and visit?


One afternoon we were driving around, trying to kill time. I forget where we were headed to, but we ended up on a wrong road. We had time so we decided to see where it went, and we spotted a sign for picking fruits. Cool...


Next to chocolate on my ultimate list of cravings is fresh fruit. Chocolate AND fresh fruit...?


Mercy...
Following the road we came to this garden and found...


Rows and rows of strawberries in these tier canisters. I mean, wow...I'm in heaven. Just give me the baskets and let me fill them all. Oh yeah, and in the back of this area were blueberries...


Blueberries...happy giggle.


You all just know they had to have a gift house that sells smoothies and desserts. Oh man, I had one of the best blueberry smoothies in my life.

 
Anyway...by now you're probably wondering why am I babbling about fruit.
When we veer off course, or our plot outline, it can be a good thing.

Really.

Sometimes it's our muse trying to get our attention to say, "Dumbo, you're going at this all wrong!"

 
Okay, most of you all have well mannered muses. Mine is not.

 Point is, sometimes it's all right if you slip off the plot cards. To take that side street and see where it leads. Because sometimes, that bright and shiny plot twist can lead to something totally sweet.


Happy writing!
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Dancing with purple hair

Some days you have to step off from your safety zone. Walk away from the normal and embrace the wild in order to find out who you really are. Sure it might turn out to be a disaster. I have had plenty of catastrophes and some near tragedy, but life needs to be about chances. Anything that's too easy with no fear involved isn't really much of a reward.


Remember that as your typing away on your manuscripts. There will be some people that feel threatened or uncomfortable by what you're trying to do. They probably don't mean to sound callous or disparaging, but it sometimes comes across like that. Don't get upset with them. They're just in awe by your courage.


Today let loose, dance--and let your creative spirit go crazy.
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo Kickoff



Officially I've only done this once. The story was a mess. It needed lots and lots of revising. But I did finish it. So, reason number one to join up for NaNo: Learn to finish what you start. Sometimes this is the hardest lesson for new writers to learn. Don't knock them. We all end up in this predicament from time to time.


This year I won't be officially doing NaNo because I'm continuing on Daniel's story, and I don't know if I have another 50K to write. It's Daniel though so I probably will have that many words if not more. He's not happy to be ignored. In order to regain some sanity in my life--and keep the cranky dead guy from whining--I'm hoping to get a big push in my writing this month. I can hope, right?


For all you NaNo writers, I salute you! Go forth to create chaos and ruin characters' lives!
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Links to chill you.

Normally I would’ve been posting these links all week long but you know...didn’t work out the way I had planned. So...for your entertainment tonight:

Supernatural Existence is cool site with forums, pics and you can even hear podcasts. http://www.globide.com/

Phantoms and Monsters blog home for all sorts of stories.
http://naturalplane.blogspot.com/

For you ghost hunting entrepreneurs you might find Hallow Hill a great site to check out. http://hollowhill.com/#86643 

For those that like a little adventure read up on the possible cave complex under the Giza Pyramids. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32417238/ns/technology_and_science-science/

Creepy stories about the Black Eyed Children. http://www.unexplainable.net/artman/publish/article_13966.shtml

But maybe you’d all like something more real life...something that hunts great whites perhaps? http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2009/10/26/2009-10-26_10foot_great_white_shark_bitten_nearly_in_half_by_20foot_monster_shark_near_aust.html


And here’s one on Asteroid Exploding over Indonesia. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/6444895/Asteroid-explosion-over-Indonesia-raises-fears-about-Earths-defences.html 

Enjoy and have fun.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Snow


We broke a new record for snow this year. For October anyway. They say this is the worst autumn storm in ten years. Looking out the back window, seeing all that white stuff is quite pretty--until you realize it ain't stopping for a few days.


I'm lucky because I don't have to shovel this year. Yes, this is what my kids are for. But the boy kept himself entertained. And in case you all are wondering we have to shovel a path in the backyard for Miss Kitty.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

I’m just saying

Cracked rib with pneumonia...bad combination.


But you all need an update. Daniel’s first three chapters are DONE. I’m suspecting I might need to do another split in chapters but I won’t worry about it until the end. And you all should know, it was great weekend with the kids. Worked on Val’s emergency novel critique and I finished late last night.

Sunday night is when it all fell apart and my chest really started hurting. Now, I’m off to take meds and slip into a deep medicated slumber. You all play nice while I’m gone.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Simple Lessons

Last night the kids and I went to see Paranormal Activity. For me there was one major drawback, the movement of the camera made me nauseas. I had a serious, “oh my gawd, don’t let me throw up here in the movie theatre,” moment.

I did like the movie though. I mean, I wasn’t as swept up in it as some moviegoers. The taste of dinner burning in the back of my throat sort of killed some of the fun.

I won’t spoil the movie for anyone, but it was a simple storyline. Think the original Blair Witch project. No complex reasoning as to why this woman was haunted. And that’s okay. Horror doesn’t need all that closure, and I think that’s what adds to the thrill of watching movies like that. Sometimes you just want to see if they survive, and if not, how they died. I think these characters also struck a nerve with folks. How many of us have woken up in the middle of the night and sat up trying to figure out what pulled us from sleep. Or that creepy feeling you sometimes get when you’re alone in the house.

I’m not so sure if this movie will appeal to adults as much as it does to teens and college age. (I’m a horror/thriller fan. Always have been.) What does amaze me is how this movie blew up, going from a few theatres in college towns to a nationwide opening. They gave a fan base what they wanted. More importantly, we can’t ignore the power of word of mouth that spread like fire with the help of the internet and Twitter. I hope we all have books that get this much coverage.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two things...

Um, yes, I should be writing but I was so taken with this story about a little movie, called Paranormal Activity, that broke out big just from word of mouth. Folks seem to be forgetting, if it’s good, they will talk about you. Especially on twitter.


And one other thing, for those that are planning to submit to Vision E-zine, Margaret is asking for you all to send the subs to her at:


margaretfisk AT fmwriters DOT com


okay...back to work.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

trying out the software

Since it's turning into a lazy Sunday morning--technically it's still morning by me--I thought I'd try out the newer software for Picasa.
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Nasty, nasty cold

I am feeling better. Finally. It’s not completely gone, the joy of having asthma means sinus colds tend to head to my lungs. Sooooo...I sound like I have TB now. I tell you, this cold is like in-laws coming to visit and not wanting to leave.


Since I had a delay in starting Daniel’s story, I had plenty of time to ponder my first chapter. Between my fits of coughing, sneezing and napping--it hit me to cut the opening to another point in time. Just a little later. But I think it works better. In my cold meds stupor, it sounds like a good idea. Suppose I’ll see when I start writing. And I probably won’t start until Sunday or Monday. I have a certain ritual I have to do before I can start a new story. I know...sounds lame. But it works for me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I’m sick still...

I hate being sick. I especially hate this cold that won’t quit. Even thinking is hard to do right now. Sorry, I’m ending my rant.


For a more interesting blog post, check out Maggie Stiefvater - Dammit, Skywalker, Look Inside Yourself. Really go read it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ah...crap

Through the haze of sleeplessness yesterday, I ended up having to scour the internet looking for drag racing links and Jones Beach back in 1955. I had them. I had a bunch of cool links that I’d found late last year for Daniel’s story.


But late December I smelled smoke while I was working on my computer. Who knew they could catch fire?

Yes, I lost all my cool links so that’s what I did yesterday.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Post Monday Sleepiness

Some folks just don’t want me to sleep at night. Let’s stay up all night. Let’s chat.


NO. I like to sleep. Really I do.

Yesterday I cleaned my desk. It was an all day event, but I did find Daniel’s notes and a twenty-dollar bill. I’m rich.

And I discovered Valerie called me a Slave Driver Extraordinaire. I can see why though. Hope everyone is more awake and productive than I am.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

The hardest lesson...

I think the hardest lesson about love is that sometimes you have to let go. You can’t save someone when they don’t want to be saved. You can’t hold them to the point of smothering. Sometimes...good-bye is all that’s left to say.


Sorry rather pensive today between Daniel’s story coming up and an ongoing family problem.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Snow??? Really?

So for the past two days the weather forecasters have been threatening snow. In fact, I did see some fall the other day. But I keep thinking...September, it’s only September....


This week I wrote up rough drafts for my query and synopsis. I really hate writing a synopsis. Not even a slight dislike, pure, hate when it comes to writing it. But I’d rather do the query and the synopsis now while I can remember the core of the story.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I feel all warm and fuzzy inside...

Thank you all for the emails and comments. You all have no idea how comforting it was to read them. I feel sort of guilty because I didn’t intend to sound so needy.


Though, maybe you all do understand about feeling cut off. And funny as writers, you’d think we want to be out there to see people. Interact with others to help us understand human nature at the very least. But I know a lot of writers who feel uncomfortable in large crowds.


Yes, I know we must spend time alone to write. Even if we’re in Word Wars using chat or any other IM program, in the end it’s us--alone at our keyboards with just our words and characters to keep us sane. I suppose it’s actually easy for us to get lost in our imaginations. And I wonder if that’s why we’re also prone to depression.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I’ve turned into a hermit-HELP

Over the weekend, a friend of mine went to a conference and after speaking with agents, she has requests for a full and a partial on different books. And that is fantastic news. I’m absolutely thrilled for her because I’ve exchanged critiques on everything from novels to queries over the years. That also means a lot of work for her. Getting the requests ready, working with her crit group, giving a class on Forward Motion--plus she volunteered to crit Brooklyn for me. Now, I’m the type of person that hates to overburden a friend, especially when they have something important to do. My first thought was to pull Brooklyn from her list of to-do things.


Then it hit me, who else do I have to exchange critiques with? Somewhere over the last year, I seem to have misplaced my friends online. Even worse, my real life friends seem to have slipped off my friend train somewhere. And I feel awful about this. Can you tell I’m rattled by this discovery?


Yes, I do realize there have been reasons why I’ve been insulating myself. Real life worries. And writing seems to be my best and only comfort. This doesn’t say much about me that my best friend is an imaginary one.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Is it Sunday...?

One should not try to type coherent messages before a first cup of coffee. Or third. Oh hell, just give me the pot and walk away.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Changes

Sometimes you just need a change. And since I’m much too lazy to runoff and live on a deserted island, I suppose starting a new blog will have to suffice. Yesterday I finally finished revisions to Brooklyn’s story and happily handed off the manuscript to my critters to read over. I believe in terrorizing my friends with bad prose. If I didn’t they’d think I didn’t like ‘em.

Brooklyn was a beast to overcome. No, not because I had heavy revisions to wrestle with. So far she’s been easy to clean up. I’m probably speaking too soon since my friends love to red mark a story. But I haven’t put anything out really for others to read in a while. Yes, I wrote Reggie’s story, but I didn’t share it with anyone. (Much to Val’s annoyance.) And no, it wasn’t because I have issues with letting folks read my work. I just didn’t feel like sharing.

Hm, I guess that’s all for now.