Friday, September 30, 2005

It's Nice to Know...

... the angst that even professional writers go through. Jenny Crusie (may I call you Jenny?) is writing a novella, and has been posting her progress over the past eleven days at Argh Ink. It's illuminating, especially her Day 11 entry.

Thanks, Jenny, for helping me realize that what I'm going through is normal and that it will never go away - whether I'm on my first novel or my twenty-first.


Always a downside.

On the up side, I added a little Camilla daydream / fantasy into the first part of my story and increased my word count a bit. And it was a lot of fun to write...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Comments... grrr...

So yesterday, I got my comments spammed - really, I don't believe you when you say I can sit on my keister at home and do nothing and make billions of dollars. At the very least, I would have to become some bottom feeding spammer who annoys everyone on the planet.

I have my standards.

So, it a fit of pique, I disabled my comments. Then decided that wouldn't be any fun and thought I'd reenabled them. Guess not, since my last post doesn't allow comments.

I think I have the problem fixed now, so if you want to comment on my Serenity post, you can do it here... and, please, don't leave me stuff about working from home (I already do), enlarging my penis (Uh, don't have one) or any other BS. Kay? I am so not interested.


I'm "The Preacher" and What is Serenity Anyway?

I took this at quiz farm. Found it at Charity's blog who found it at Terry's blog. It's all about what Serenity Character are you??? What's Serenity? What's Firefly? I've seen them alluded to at Mary's blog, but I have no idea... and am starting to think I blog hop w-a-a-a-y too much.

Anyway, here are my quiz results (and, I'm telling you, I don't feel like a preacher, and I wax my mustache, so I look nothing like him. Charity's came out much cooler - I'm going to retake the quiz and see if I can be The Soldier instead, because she was a close second):

You scored as Shepherd Derrial Book. The Preacher. Out here, folks need a minister, if only to remind them that God hasn't forgotten them. It isn't about making them worship, it is teaching them to do right by themselves and other people. Why is that so hard for some to understand?

Shepherd Derrial Book


Zoe Alleyne Washburne


Simon Tam


The Operative


Inara Serra


River Tam


Capt. Mal Reynolds


Jayne Cobb


Hoban 'Wash' Washburne


Kaylee Frye


Which Serenity character are you?
created with

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Elephant in the Room

I'm trying hard not to focus too much on the story I have planned for NaNoWriMo, but my brain doesn't seem to get the message. It's the old Elephant in the Room problem.

I worked on Camilla this morning. Gained 2% in my word count meter -- accomplished this by fixing the Problem of the Disappearing Dog. I was rereading the beginning, and found that Camilla had a dog on leash in one paragraph, and then *poof* he was gone and she jumped into the shower. How did that happen? Which way did he go, George, which way did he go?

I got a couple thousand words out of him. Thank you Roly.

Still, I'm unable to stop thinking about Darling Liv and her unbeknownst-to-her love interest, Mike. So I ran their names through good ole Boston UK. Looks good!


Balanced and fairminded you possess the ability to use sound reason and judgement when determined and decisive action is required. Persuasive and logical you tend to be an influential figure in your circle of friends and associates. You are extremely adaptable and this is necessary as you seem to be continually being presented with decisions of a life altering nature.

For Liv, I ran all of her names and nicknames, and interestingly "LIV" came out closest to her character... since this is how I think of her (Not as Olivia or LeeLee - her families pet name for her), I thought that was kind of cool:


You are a charismatic individual with a dynamic and attractive personality. Probably not known for your caution or patience you are a risk taker who hates to be restricted in any way. Freedom is very important to you. Your thinking and intuition is strong and you have a talent for communication. You enjoy the sensual and material pleasures of life and with the application of care and wisdom you can achieve wonderful worldly success.

Then, of course, I had to run Liv's ex-fiance, Geoff (Mike calls him "Gee-Off"). I had to laugh about this one. Geoffrey didn't work. Geoff didn't do it, either. But "Geeoff"? Perfect (Mike must know him better than I do):


You have enormous vitality and originality making you a dynamic individual with great charm and sex appeal. You believe in putting one hundred per cent into all your activities of which there are many. You have potential to achieve great success in business or public affairs where your friendship and consideration of others wins you many allies. Your innate strength and determined effort is able to overcome any obstacles. Freedom is important to you.

Next came Nikki (with an "i" and don't you forget it... *giggle*). She didn't work out at all, and so will be going through a renaming:


You are fairminded, wise (NOT) and peaceloving and are always willing to help others. Your mental capabilities (WHAT MENTAL CAPACITIES? NIKKI IS NOT A MENTAL GIANT) and creativity are well marked with wonderful and original ideas (HARDLY) which you need to bring to tangible fruition. Perceptive and understanding (NO WAY) of others your positive (WELL, OKAY, SHE IS POSITIVE)approach to life and influential nature means that you have leadership qualities (ROFLOL). There is great potential for success both financially and spiritually.

So, there you have it. My elephant. I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready.... I am so ready.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Yay! Jayne Ann Krentz has a blog....

Just found out that JAK has a weblog... check it out here: Krentz Quick & Castle Blog


Warning: Ramblings Of Sleep Deprived Woman Ahead

So... I woke up at 2:30 this morning. Had to pee (comment from family: "You always have to pee!" to which I would reply, head hanging, "Yeah. I know.") I am going to be the poster child for Depends when I get older -- but that's probably more than you need to know.

Anyway, after I visited the potty and was getting ready to crawl back into bed, I heard a tremulous voice from outside my room, "All done, Mommy." Ah, the dear daughter. She's been potty trained since she was two, but still can't put herself back to bed in the middle of the night when she visits the water closet.


So I traipse into the other bathroom, pick up Filo (her stuffed cat) and walk her back into her room, tuck her in ("Huganakiss?") and stumble back into my room. Slither under the covers, adjust feet around cat sleeping at the bottom of my side of the bed, accidentally whack hubby who promptly rolls over with a snort and then I lay there.

Wide awake.

Brain's just-a thinking. Plotting. Contemplating. It Won't. Shut. Up.

I'm not getting up. Huh-uh. I roll over, away from the clock. Close my eyes. I will fall back asleep.

As if.

I gave up at 4:02 a.m., kicked the cat to wake her up - after all, why should I suffer alone? She woke up purring, though, in anticipation of her Pounce treat. Like she's upset? She can sleep all day if she wants. In my next life I want to come back as my cat.

To-Do List:

1. Sleep
2. Eat
3. Sleep
4. Lay in sun
5. Chase moth around the living room, eat it
6. Annoy dog
7. Sleep
8. Eat
9. Climb up into bed
10. Sleep

She's got it made.

The good thing about getting up early was that I managed to get nearly caught up on my WVU message boards, got to putter around on all the other blogs I read, chuckled at Jenny Crusie, and had coffee.

Didn't do any writing. Did do some plotting.

I decided, after reading "No Plot? No Problem" by Chris Baty, that I'm doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. I work well under pressure.

I even know what I'm going to write about. I kicked a character out of Camilla: Liv, Jed's psycho ex-fiancee. But I liked her. So, I decided that she deserves her own novel. I have a plot, I have a set of characters. I even have some scene ideas. I'm ready for November to begin. Hey - only 2000 words a day. It'll be a breeze, right? I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I suppose I should do at least a little work on my existing WIP.

Wonder if I'll crash and burn at lunchtime? I'm really, really, grouchy when I don't get enough sleep. I need to keep that in mind while I'm homeschooling DD this morning.

Hey... I just read back over this, and it's pretty coherent. I'm impressed. Maybe I should not sleep well more often!

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Eyes Have It

I'm getting old...

I've been putting off thinking about the big 4-0 that is looming not too far in the distance, but recently, my body has been poking at me, reminding me that I'm not a teenager any more.

I have way more aches than I used to. In fact, I can't stay in bed for more than 7-8 hours even if I wanted to because my hips ache. My mom has rheumatoid arthritis, and I'm hoping that's not genetic. Huh. Note to self: Check to find out if RA is genetic.

I'm not skinny. Not that I ever was, at least not for long periods of time, but now -- I can't drop the weight as easily as I used to be able to. I'm a food addict (okay, so technically, every is - but you get my point) and I'm allergic to real exercise, so that could be part of the problem. Still, I used to be able to get it off without too much effort on my part. No longer.

By far the worst thing that has happened, though, is that I'm having trouble with my eyes. EEEK! Aside from the fact that I write, and so am on the computer for hours each day, but my reading is being affected. I can't focus on anything up close. I have to close one eye to see clearly. Doesn't matter which eye, so I guess they just aren't on speaking terms anymore (I was 20/15 which is "better than perfect" eyesight, so I'm thinking that the 20 is jealous of the better than perfect 15 and is now taking it out on it).

Anyway, long story not as long, I took a break from the computer this weekend. And, miraculously, my headaches went away.

Time for an eye doc appointment -- but I really, really, don't want to concede to age. I'm going to try to some eye strengthening exercises first. Two reasons: 1. I don't want to rely on glasses - I'm spoiled, I like seeing without them; and 2. I'm cheap. My insurance, such as it is, doesn't cover eye exams or lenses. And I don't wanna put out the money for something I don't want anyway.

It stinks getting old.

P.S. This may mean that the blog won't be updated daily, since I need to ration my computer time and my poor critique partners got the raw end of the deal the past few days. Oh yeah. And my WIP, too. Please be patient :-)

Friday, September 23, 2005

I am Medium Sea Green

It isn't easy being green.

Thanks to Charity for this illuminating quiz:

you are medium sea green

Your dominant hues are cyan and green. Although you definately strive to be logical you care about people and know there's a time and place for thinking emotionally. Your head rules most things but your heart rules others, and getting them to meet in the middle takes a lot of your energy some days.

Your saturation level is medium - You're not the most decisive go-getter, but you can get a job done when it's required of you. You probably don't think the world can change for you and don't want to spend too much effort trying to force it.

Your outlook on life is brighter than most people's. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You're not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.
the html color quiz

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

It's A Splat Kinda Day

About a million years ago -- back when I was twenty or so, I had a good friend who gave me the perfect description of one of those days when you're not up, you're not down, you're not anything: SPLAT.

Thanks to Tom "Odie" O'Dell, if you're reading this.

Today is one of those days.

In one of my writing groups, an assignment was posted as a way to remember why we write.

For this Thursday's prompt and pondering day, find one scene in your work in progress that you really feel good about, one you feel is really well written, one that makes you feel like a fiction writer.

Post a message reminding us what that scene is about, and tell us what you like about it, why you feel it is a good scene, why you feel good about having written it.

The purpose of this exercise is to counter the negative feelings we have from time to time that we are writing crap or that we are wasting our time writing. If we can write a wonderful scene, then we can do this. We can bring the other scenes up to that level. If we can write a really good scene, then we are doing exactly what we should be doing every time we sit down and work on our novels.

Extra credit if you want: What do you love about your protagonist.

I can't think of one scene to use for this assignment. And, right now, I hate my protagonist.


I'm pretty sure it's not because I'm a lousy writer. I've had enough pats on the back from people I respect to realize that I'm not writing all crap. Today it just seems that way.

What do you do when you're splat? What's your no fail way of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps? I can use all the help I can get.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It Simply Isn't Fair

I'm editing through Camilla. A major plot change and the decision to eliminate a character has forced me to go back to the beginning and clean some things up before I can progress to the end.

What's frustrating me to no end is this: I've lost almost 1,000 words.

I fight for every blasted word I write and count it victory when I pass certain goals. I was right on the edge of 40,000 words... just needed a nudge to push me over.


I'm at 38,477.

And every scene I edit loses more words. Just watch the meter over the next few days and see it shrink. Shouldn't it be going to other way?

My mom has recently been dieting and exercising, and has lost 13 pounds so far (YAY for Mom!). It was falling off at just over 2 pounds a week, but is now slowing down. She commented that she wouldn't complain if she only lost a pound each week, but she'd prefer to keep losing two.

I said, at least she was headed in the right direction.

Unlike my writing.

I'm spending hours going through and taking out any reference to Jed's new job in North Carolina and to his ex-fiancee who no longer exists. But there's new stuff going in, too. Apparently, though, the old far outnumbers the new. And down, down, down goes the word count.

This is simply not fair.


Back to work.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


I finally found a book that held my attention from beginning to end -- it's been a chore, let me tell you, and I've gone through hundreds of books this past month or so. None others have made the cut.

Let me preface this by saying that this book has prequels -- and, luckily, I'd read them all at some point in time in the past. And it did happen to be in my favorite romance genre: Romantic Comedy.

The book?

Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Thank you from the bottom of my tippy toes, SEP. I owe you a big one. This book was enough to make me forget about the time last night (I am so not a night owl) and I only had three more chapters to read this morning. You bet I read them instead of writing. Shame on me.

The sign of a really good book.

Did I already say "Thank You"?

The only bad part is, now I have to start looking again.

P.S. If you haven't already, read Jennifer Crusie's blog about Susan Elizabeth Phillips. It's a hoot!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

All About Me

Or at least about my new identity:


You are idealistic and have a keen intellect and imagination. Philosophical with a gentle, romantic and giving nature your desire is to help others and benefit mankind. You attract many friends and are loved by all for your nurturing and understanding ways. Once a project has been started your determination and focus always ensures that it is completed. You exude peace and contentment and bring this into your environment and associations.

Great! I especially like the part that says "Once a project has been started your determination and focus always ensures that it is completed".

I'm passing that information on to my muse.

Thanks to Boston UK for this name analysis.

Friday, September 16, 2005

If you haven't... Jennifer Crusie's blog about Patricia Gaffney, you MUST.

Click here right this minute -- hurry, don't waste any time...

Oh, and the rest is pretty good, too.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Seven Things

Interesting quiz I found at Jenn's blog (this took a lot of deep thought, and I didn't think it would):

Seven Things I Plan to Do Before I Die:
1. Find my own space.
2. Get a novel published.
3. Travel overseas - preferably the British Isles or Australia.
4. Open an animal refuge for unadoptable companion animals.
5. Move back out west.
6. See more of the USA.
7. Own a laptop computer so I can write in the sunshine and get out of the mushroom patch.

Seven Things I Can Do
1. Wiggle my ears.
2. Memorize anything.
3. Give blood.
4. Talk to anyone.
5. Pick up bugs and snakes and other things that freak most people out.
6. Weed the garden, the lawn, the neighbors garden....
7. Write

Seven Things I Cannot Do
1. Watch anymore videos on the PETA website.
2. Foster pets for the animal shelter (hubby says "no").
3. Tolerate bratty children.
4. Squash a spider, moth or other bug in my house
5. Tolerate animal or child abuse in any form
6. Dress my daughter in trendy clothing ("Hottie" across her 6-year-old butt? Puh-leez)
7. Sew

Seven Things that Attract Me to the Opposite Sex
1. Smile
2. Smarts
3. Humor
4. Height (I'm tall and always refused to date someone shorter than me!)
5. Kindness
6. Trim (Don't have to be slim, just concerned about staying in shape)
7. Mutual interests

Seven Things I Say Most Often
1. Whatever
2. Bother
3. Sarah!
4. Bailey!
5. I'm downstairs!
6. What?
7. For crying out loud

Seven Celebrity Crushes (After reviewing my answers, I have to say - I'm kind of weird)
1. Bill Pullman (was he CUTE in "While You Were Sleeping" or what?)
2. Sean Connery (He's forty years older than me and still sexy)
3. Viggo Mortensen (But only as Aragorn)
4. Dougray Scott (Sigh... "Ever After"...)
5. Val Kilmer (I fell madly in love with him in "The Saint")
6. David Duchovny
7. Freddie Prinze Jr. (I don't know why, but I could watch "She's All That" a hundred times because of him)

Seven People I Want to Do This

Whoever wants to... it's interesting to think about.

A Rose By Any Other Name....

I'm thinking of changing my name.

My writing name, that is.

Hubby has requested that I write under a pseudonym, and I had chosen the one posted here (my middle name is Allaina - spelled differently, but pronounced the same, and the last name is an anagram of my legal last name), but am thinking I'd like something different... And Marianne Arkins has my vote right now. Mostly because, when you say it fast enough, it sounds a bit like ME! I bet I'd even answer to it... and signing all those autographs would be easier...

See how forward thinking I am?

So, I'm going to wear the new name for a while and see how it fits. Tell me what you think!

I Love Writing Prompts!

There's just something about them that really get my brain working and my juices flowing.

I've been in a bit of a slump lately - attributable to having to rewrite the beginning of Camilla for the ten billionth time in order to have a plausible reason for my H/H to live together for awhile.

Last week, in one of my writing groups, a prompt was posted. You wouldn't think it would be one that would get me writing - it was a list of 50 astronomical terms. Use as many as you can/want in your 500 word prompt. But I have a daughter who's crazy about dinosaurs... and her fanaticism got me to thinking. The little girl in my new 4,200 word short story is based loosely upon her. Some of the terms I used? asteroid, atmosphere, chaos, canyon, comet, dinosaur, disaster, fireball, fissure, Jupiter, labyrinth (though this was later edited out), Mars, meteor, orbit, speed of light, white dwarf, and young.

I had a blast. And it's the first thing I've written in a really long time that I like. It's running the rounds of one of my groups, and getting good feedback *phew*. Then it'll be polished a bit and submitted to an online romance magazine.

It feels good to enjoy writing again!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Better Lock Your Doors at Night...

This is me (and I always thought I was a morning person... go figure):

Artificial Lifelike Lifeform Assembled for Infiltration and Nocturnal Assassination

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

2005 Goals

I was just reviewing the goals I set for this year and had a minor panic attack.

Did you know it's September already? Where did the time go? Anyway, here's what I planned to do this year:

1. Work on Playing House and Camilla’s Critters to ready then for submission.
Playing House hasn't been touched much at all this year -- the focus has been on completing the first draft of Camilla. I'm about 2/3 done with Camilla and still think I can finish my first draft this year.
2. Write one short story each month.
I managed to keep up with this admirably until this past two months. I'm starting again, though to try to meet the next goal.
3. Have short stories and flash fiction in continual submission.
I have two items out right now, but did have a 2 or 3 month lull over the summer. Shame on me. I was quite determined to get something published this year, and considering the 2-3 month turnaround time for most publishers, I'm cutting things a little close.
4. Participate fully in my study groups at WVU.
I’ve actually managed to this pretty well. I am very active in two (one of which - the Romance Writing group - I moderate), and pop in now and then to a third.
5. Write 2500 new words each week.
Used to be a breeze to meet this goal every week -- but the last few have lagged behind.

Still, I plan on having something - whether it's Camilla or PH - ready to query by the first of the year. I will probably try to get an agent first, but if that doesn't pan out after a few months, will submit directly to some of the houses.

Man, my stomach flutters just thinking about it.

What about you? Anyone looking back on their goals for the year? How'd you do?

Couldn't Resist This!

An oldie, but a goodie:

Monday, September 12, 2005

Spidey Part Deux

Not long ago, I wrote about our Pet Spider. Sadly, shortly after that post, this lovely mama spidey did what she was born to do: laid her eggs and died (ala Charlotte's Web). The good news is that, like Wilbur, we have Charolotte's eggs to take care of:

And even better than that, we have a new "pet spidey", named by my daughter - "Spidey, too". She's not quite as flashy, but we do get to see her spin a new web every day (seems like a whole lot of effort for very little return IMHO):

In my former life I was a biologist.

Or a horror story author.

I'm not sure which...

And now, I've spent enough time away from my writing (though this is writing, isn't it?).

Time for some butt glue and inspiration.

Operation Pet Lift

Wish I could give this guy a big smooch:

New Orleans dogs go west

It's sad that it takes a tragedy to bring out the best in people...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I've Created a Monster

My daughter.

Yesterday, we did chores together. Waxed the truck, raked the grass clippings off of our really big lawn (the grass was so long, it was ready for baling). She loves to help and is really quite cheerful about it -- in fact, one of her favorite chores is scrubbing the toilets.

"Please, Mommy, can I clean the potties?"

"I don't know, honey, have you been good today?"


Lately all she wants to do is tell stories. She'll usually start off with something real:

While waxing the truck -

Daddy told me about a man who never cleaned his truck. He never washed it or waxed it and there were mice living inside.

Okay - so far, so good. This is non-fiction. Then the fun begins -

The man took one of the mice and trained it! He taught it to fetch and to bite and to come when he called.

And the story went on from there - The New Adventures of Messy Man and his Attack Mouse.

Maybe she'll be the published author in our family instead of me. I can't complain. She reads and writes stories whenever she's bored. She doesn't own a Game Boy, and we don't own any sort of gaming system (I'm pretty sure that we're the only people on our street that don't, if not the only ones in our state!). She's only allowed one hour of T.V. each day (usually broken up into two half hours -- unless we watch Crocodile Hunter or Jeff Corwin). So, she doesn't have anything that interrupts her imagining.

I'm going to start paying closer attention to the stories she tells me. Maybe the plot for the next NY Times Bestseller is in there somewhere.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A New Look

Yup... same blog, new look. I was sick of the pink and this green soothed me. Hope you like it.

I've only found one other blogskin that I like very well, but Charity is already using it.

If you find a cool blogskin site, let me know... in the meantime, I hope you like the change!

Need a Good Book about eBay?

Try this one:

EBAY: The Missing Manual by Nancy Connor ISBN#0596006446

Hey, as writers, we could stay home and write while running a store on eBay. It's a great idea!

Check it out.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Katrina's Four Footed Victims - still on my heart

More info on the pets affected by Katrina:

Pet rescuers race against time: On the flooded streets of New Orleans you can hear the dogs barking for miles. They are trapped -- in houses, on roofs, tied to porches. They are frightened and hungry.

The SPCA of Texas is doing a fantastic job: Rescue Effort Update:
Today, SPCA of Texas McKinney Shelter Clinic Manager, Nicole Powell, SPCA of Texas Animal Cruelty Investigator, Art Munoz, and SPCA of Texas McKinney Shelter Animal Service Officer, Colin Chilson, are trekking through New Orleans, going door-to-door in business and residential areas searching for animals left stranded by the evacuation of the city. As many have already seen, a countless number of animals are stranded in tree tops, on top of cars, on porches and in houses. has a great and very complete listing of shelters in the area, whether they are up and running and whether they are accepting animals. Also, they have message boards in place for folks trying to locate lost pets. From their site: This is a collaborative database linking information from the public and emergency response organizations and making it available to rescuers, victims, and volunteers. During the next few days, groups like the organizations listed below plus Maddie's Fund,, and more will be utilizing this massive, life saving search engine.

I know we've donated millions of dollars to help the victims of Katrina, but if you can find it in your heart and in your wallet, please reach out these poor pets. The Louisiana SPCA and the Texas SPCA are running out of supplies and need our help.

A HUGE thank you goes out to Texas for their help in sheltering both the people and pets of this disaster. They have truly gone above and beyond the call. Wonderful.

Where Does the Time Go?

Oh my... has it really been three days since I last posted? Bad writer, no cookie.

I've been busy. I homeschool my daughter, so that takes time. I seem to have errands to run every day, despite trying to plan to do them one day a week (this is partly the fault of the library employees who wait until I visit them to get in a book I have ordered. Then they call - immediately upon my return home from there - to advise me I have a book ready for pickup. I'm not joking.)

Now and then, I clean my house. Sometimes I even cook dinner. Water the gardens.

Oh yeah, and I've been known to write a few lines now and then in my WIP.

Actually, I finally, Finally, FINALLY finished completely revamping the beginning of my novel, in which the way the hero is introduced to the heroine was changed dramatically. I needed to fix it before I could move one.

Now, I can move on. Phew.

I'm also working on some short romances for submission various places. I want to bulk up my writing resume. I plan on starting to query after the first of the year. Camilla should be done by then, and possibly even Playing House. Wouldn't that be great?

In the meantime, now that I've blogged, can I have a cookie? Peanut butter chocolate chip, if you don't mind.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bumblebees have the right idea...

The last few days, I've been fasinated by the habits of bumblebees. I grow seedum in the front of my house and it's HUGE. The bees love it, which mystifies me because the flowers are tiny - but there are hundreds of bees swarming the plants every day. Why don't they prefer the gallardia? Or the cosmos? Or the zinnias? I guess the nectar is sweeter.

In any case, I've noticed something interesting. At night, as the sun goes down and the air cools, the bees don't leave. Bees can't fly if they're cold and you usually don't see them in the evening - they hie their little bee bottoms back to the hive. Just not now, and I wonder why (I also find it interesting that they crawl underneathe the flowers, but that's something for me to figure out another day). Here are some pictures I took this morning:

Here's a bee on my sedum:

And one on a Cosmo:

Last night, I woke up in the wee hours, and couldn't get back to sleep - a typical occurance for me. I started pondering the bees habits and then wondering if I could relate it to my writing (other than the fact that the bees are strange, and so are writers -- that was just too easy).

This is what I came up with.

When our stories are hot, we are busy little bees, writing until our fingers bleed and unwilling to stop because that might end our hot streak. But eventually, all good things must come to an end. Night falls. Inspiration cools. Our fingers slow. But we're unwilling to fly away from our story because we remember its sweetness.

So we crawl nearby and keep it close. And we sleep. We wait for inspiration to dawn and warm us again, and because we've kept it close to our hearts, we can dive easily back into its sweetness once again.

Busy as bees has taken on new meaning.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My Soft Spot: Pets and Katrina

I read, with horror, the fact that pets were not allowed on the buses used to evacuate refugees in New Orleans. Unless my daughter's life was in imminent danger, I wouldn't go anywhere without my dog. Period. I'd walk to Texas first.

In an exerpt from At the back end of the line, people jammed against police barricades in the rain. Refugees passed out and had to be lifted hand-over-hand overhead to medics. Pets were not allowed on the bus, and when a police officer confiscated a little boy's dog, the child cried until he vomited. "Snowball, snowball," he cried.

I can't imagine this poor child going through everything he'd gone through, and then to be stripped of one thing that gave him comfort. This breaks my heart.

Or here on As Valerie Bennett was evacuated from a New Orleans hospital, rescuers told her there was no room in the boat for her dogs.

She pleaded. "I offered him my wedding ring and my mom's wedding ring," the 34-year-old nurse recalled Saturday.

They wouldn't budge. She and her husband could bring only one item, and they already had a plastic tub containing the medicines her husband, a liver transplant recipient, needed to survive.

I've already made a donation to the Salvation Army for the people, but I wanted to find somewhere I could donate to help the animals. I found it: Noah's Wish.

From their About Us Page: Noah's Wish is a not-for-profit, animal welfare organization, with a straightforward mission. We exist to keep animals alive during disasters. That's it.

Perfect. I'm heading off to their "How You Can Help" page right now.

Ammendment: I discovered that has information regarding rescue efforts that have recently gotten underway, and also information regarding found pets and their location. If you are from the area, and had to leave your pets behind - check here.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Sick of it!

I'm so sick of my current WIP.

The characters aren't cooperating, scenes aren't working out right, and writing anything right now is like pulling watermelons through my nostrils.

So, I'm giving them a break for a few days. I'm pulling off some writing books from my shelf - maybe Donald Maas, maybe James Frey, maybe Robert Ray ... and I'm going to try to remember why I write. I'm going to do some exercises to prove that I still can write.

Then I'll go back to Camilla and Jed. My goal is to have this first draft done in a month. This is a very doable goal, if I could just write.


So, tell me. Do you ever get sick of what you're writing? Do you ever want to just chuck it out the window or into the shredder? If so, what do you do to get over it?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Writers Helping Katrina Victims

On Romancing the Blog yesterday, there was a laundry list of folks who are helping others affected by Katrina. There's on writer who lost everything, a RWA chapter getting donations together and more. If you're looking for a way to help, go to RTB.

Other ways to help:

All About Romance is organizing a book and ARC eBay auction, with all proceeds to be donated to the Disaster Relief Fund of the American Red Cross.

Remember you can also send donations via pay pal to the Red Cross HERE.

The Salvation Army also accepts online donations HERE.

Thanks for helping those in need.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Cat Lovers - Look Here for a Smile

Cats In Sinks - This is exactly what it says. What is it with cats and sinks? My kitty loves, Loves, LOVES the bathroom sink. Weird.

If that didn't do it, go here: Stuff On My Cat

Really - how do people think up these websites?

I was glad for the grin and the occasional chuckle.


Sad and Truly Blessed

I can't watch the news anymore. It's unbearably sad. People: the elderly, the newborn, the ill and handicapped - and the well and whole - dying horrible deaths. I can't imagine holding my baby and watching it die and being unable to do anything.

And then there are the terminally stupid - who the heck is shooting at the rescue and supply helicopters? How can you possibly think that's a good idea? How many more people have died unnecessarily because YOU wouldn't let the pilots land? Where is your brain?

Those of us who are outside the area are burdened with a need to do something, and unable to feel like we're doing anything. We give blood, we give money, but nothing is helping this happen fast enough.

The only positive thing to come from this is a recognition of the blessings we have - those of us who are outside of this tragedy. We have homes, healthy children, loving pets, food, water, toilets. Life for us is normal. Except for the steadily increasing gas prices, for us life goes on like always.

I am blessed. I look outside of my lovely home at my flowers, my garden, my trees. I see my daughter and my dog run and play, untouched by tragedy that would scar them forever.

How do you forget? How will these people, the children especially, ever forget. I know that we humans as a race are terrifically resilient. Thank God for that.

I hope I never take the abundance in my life for granted. It's easy to forget the things we accept as our right until they're gone.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Katrina. I hope and pray that the worst problems - those of rescuing the living - are resolved soon.