Saturday, September 30, 2006

Where's the Joy?

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - Calvin Coolidge

Do you ever have days when you just don't have another word in you? The past couple of days, I've tried to write. I even managed a few hundred words on my short story and when I didn't have new words in me, I worked on editing Liv.

But there was no spark. No joy. No excitement in the task.

I think that part of my problem is attributable to NaNo - I have a new WIP in my head, and I'm not allowed to work on it. One of the ways I get to know my characters is to write sample scenes -- usually silly things that will never find there way into an actual novel. You know, scenes of them getting dressed or cleaning the house, because those boring kind of scenes show me the kind of people my characters are. I'm wondering if writing those violate the NaNo rules.

It's just frustrating when I don't enjoy writing, because usually it's a voyage of discovery. It's almost as good as reading a book and seeing what's going to happen. Sometimes it's even better - one of those "choose your adventure" books from when we were kids.

I miss that.

I want my joy back.

Anyone out there ever feel the same way? What do you do to get your joy back?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday Feast 113

Go here to join in on the Friday Feast 113

What is your favorite herb or spice?

Garlic... oh yeah. You can never have too much garlic (I'm betting y'all aren't looking forward to meeting me in person, now, huh?)

Name a song you like but haven't heard in a long time.

There's an inherent problem for me with this question... If there was a song I liked, I would have downloaded it and then I would hear it. If I haven't downloaded it, then I can't remember it, and therefore can't include it on this meme. Let me contemplate...

Okay, returning to this question. I thought of one: "Nobody" by Sylvia

If you were to take just one minute to write down as many things as you can think of that you need (not want) to do, approximately how many things would there be?

Need? Really, really need? Aside from breathing, nothing. Seriously. I mean, would the world come to an end if I didn't wake up my husband or go to the library to get those two books they have for me? Or clean the house? Or drop off my customers Avon orders?

I have TONS on my To-Do list, but nothing that I absolutely need to do.

Main Course
Tell something interesting about one of your family members (nothing scandalous, please, just something unique).

My sister broke the fingers on one hand when she tried to grab the clothes out of a washer during the spin cycle.

What's the latest you've ever stayed awake?

There were a few times I managed to stay away for more than 24 hours (nowadays I can't stay awake for much more than sixteen!). Does that count?


In other news, a good time was had at the fair by the daughter, not so much by the adults. Our job was lots of walking and spending money.

And having a run-in with a llama with an attitude:

Still DD loved the cotton candy and the rides. This was one of her favorites:

Me? I went to bed at 7:45 last night and I'm still tired. Man, I want to be seven again!

Happy Friday :-)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

To the Bitter End

"People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it." - Harlan Ellison

Yesterday I worked om a short story I wanted to have ready for submission by mid-October. I very nearly finished it, which is pretty amazing since I'd been stuck for a couple weeks on where to go. Still, as I continue writing, now that I've found the direction to take, I find that I don't love the story.

But I will finish it.

Can the story be salvaged? Maybe. Maybe not. But the fact is, I hate to leave anything unfinished, so I will get to the HEA if it kills me. Then I will go back over it and decide whether it can be saved with a little writing CPR.

I like the idea. I think I'm going to like the ending (I love what I have in mind, so if it translates well to paper, it'll be stellar) and the characters are pretty cool, so hopefully it can be saved. The biggest problem is that there's a time limit for me to do this thing because it's a Christmas story. So it either gets submitted in the next few weeks, or it waits a year.

What do you do when you're writing something that you're not in love with? Do you take what you can from it (characters, setting, plot) and move on? Or do you finish it and see what happens?


I'm taking my daughter to the fair today. One of the strange things I found about New Hampshire when I moved here is that they don't have a state fair. Just a bunch of little fairs all over the place. Today we're going to Deerfield, which is probably the biggest of the little fairs.

Growing up in California, I loved to go to the state fair. It was huge and exciting and there was tons to do and see. You could spend all day there and not take in everything. Here, we go early in the morning and are usually finished by afternoon. It's a shame.

But the daughter loves it. She loves the rides and the animals and the junk food. And she is excited to go all year. So, I suppose to her it's the same as the California State Fair was to me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Post 500!

“I hate vacations. There's nothing to do.” - David Mamet

I can't believe this is my 500th post... it feels like I've alternatively either just started blogging, or have been blogging my entire life. More the former, really, so I was surprised to see the number of times I've posted. Yay. Now onto more important stuff...

Recently I've read other authors talking about taking time off of writing -- anywhere from a week to a month. They've finished whatever project they're working on and just want a break before they either begin a new project or edit the one they've just finished.

I got to thinking about that and wondered if, since I began writing seriously back in mid-2002, I'd taken any time off on purpose.

I don't think I did.

Here's the problem for me. Writing, much like anything in life, needs to be a habit. If I take time away from it for any length of time, it's no longer a habit and it gets easier to say, "It's been a week, what's one more day?" which of course becomes another day, then another.

There's always something to do to fill the time. I never have enough energy or hours in the day to accomplish all I'd like to every day. So, it's simple enough to find something to replace the writing. And then, when it's time to return from my writing vacation, I have to give up that thing.

What if I don't want to?

If I stop writing, even for short spurts -- a day or a weekend -- I find it very difficult to get my butt back into the seat.

So I don't stop. The last two times we went on a family vacation up to my BIL's lake camp, I brought a bunch of notebooks and some "how-to" books and worked through exercises pertaining to my WIP every morning (because I'm up WAY earlier than everyone else). I did it everyday.

What about you? Can you take time off of writing and still return easily? Can you jump right back in to your regular routine and not feel like it's difficult? Do you even have a regular writing routine? Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Take Some Paper in My Hand...

"All writers are discontented. That's because they're aware of a potential and believe they're not reaching it." - William Saroyan

I finally (FINALLY) figured out how to get my heroine where I need her to be in a long short story I'm writing. She's really, really mad at the hero so I needed him to do something amazing for her to get her out of her funk. And, for two weeks, I haven't been able to think of what that could be.

Yesterday I thought of it -- with a little help (thanks, Mom).

Now I can't wait to write it.

I had a friend yesterday imply that she only has one good book in her (and if I missed the mark on this, friend, forgive me). As a writer, I can't imagine that any writer only has one good book in them. Talk to anyone who writes: they see possibility everywhere. Ideas shoot out of the woodwork and bonk them in the head: "Write me!!".

Now, the question remains: Do you write the book?

I have a pile of binders on my bookcase with ideas that I've thought of. I jot down as much as I can think of: plot, characters, scene ideas, whatever. And then I file them and go back to what I'm currently working on. But there are always other books or stories to be written.

Most writers I know don't know which story to work on. It's seldom a problem of "I don't have any more ideas... I'm empty." but instead "I have so many ideas bouncing around in my brain, which one do I write first?"

That's not to say that they are all "good" books or stories, but with the sheer volume of the ideas, there must be at least one that could be good, doncha think?

As good a writer as this friend is (and, IMHO, she's stupendous), I imagine that anything she applied herself to would be good. Including all the other ideas she's got bouncing around in her brain.

What about you? Do you have dozens of things that demand to be worked on? Do you complete one thing at a time and then move on, or do you work on several things simultaneously? Do you ever have a problem with getting an idea for your next story?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Start at the Beginning

“Every novel should have a beginning, a muddle, and an end.” - Peter De Vries

I hate beginnings. Hate. Them. I work it and work it and work it and I still can't get it right. They (you know, the great omniscient "they") say that the beginning is the most important part of your book. To get an agent/editor/contract/contest win your beginning needs to shine. If your beginning stinks, no one will look any further.

No pressure or anything.

The story I had accepted at Wild Rose Press is a good story (if I do say so myself). Thankfully the editor saw that -- even though she didn't like the beginning. You know, the beginning that I worked, reworked, dreamed about and worked again? Yeah... that beginning.

Apparently, I got it right the last time I subbed it thanks to some good friends (especially D, who has the best writing eyes ever).

I'm struggling with the beginning of last years NaNo novel. I've changed that puppy about ten times. I have them all saved, so I could give you an exact count, but that would be embarrassing. I posted the most recent one (well...okay, the most recent THREE) in one of my writing groups. I'm still not in love with it, but I do like it best. So far.

I love writing endings. Love. Them. I could write endings all day and night. I love, Love, LOVE the ending of the Wild Rose Story. It gives me goose bumps. I felt a little like Joan Wilder as I wrote it (That's from Romancing the Stone for all you young pups out there. Get it on DVD if you haven't seen it. It's good.), tissues at the ready.

I love the ending of Playing House.

I like the ending of Liv, but I don't have my ring-dinger last sentence for that one yet.

Ending are fun. Because I write romance, the endings must be satisfying and hopefully make the reader want more, tug at the readers heart a bit, and make the reader sigh.

Endings are the best.

What about you? What part of the story do you enjoy writing most?

Sunday, September 24, 2006


It is a most mortifying reflection for a man to consider what he has done, compared to what he might have done. ~ Samuel Johnson, in Boswell's Life of Johnson, 1770

Yesterday I was looking for the copy of Lisa Gardener's Conquering the Dreaded Synopsis from her Tricks of the Trade page on her site. Buried between that pile of papers and some feedback I'd printed off, I found my list of goals.

Typed December 9, 2004. For 2005.

It was eye opening, to be sure, and it reminded me of how fast the time goes by.

So, how did I do? Let's take a look:

  • Edit Playing House and ready it for submission by June (2005)

  • Failed this one miserably. I had just finished my first draft of this novel in Decemeber of 2004 and was high on the feeling. I put it aside, and there it has been ever since. I was tripped up on how to set up the story and finally just gave up. I imagine I'll revisit it again, maybe even fairly soon because I think I have an idea of how to work the set up.

  • Market Playing House beginning in July

  • See above.

  • Work on another novel

  • Did this. In fact, not only did I finish Camilla in 2005, I also finished a novel for NaNoWriMo.

  • Write a short story every month and have them in continual submission.

  • I did this for a while, but got more caught up in my novels. I did have one short accepted for online publication in November of 2005.

  • Join RWA

  • Did this.

  • Write 2500 new words a week.

  • Don't know for sure if I did this, but considering I finished two first drafts of novels, I'm guessing I must have

I started out this year with monthly goals stapled to my calendar, as well as weekly goals, trying to break things down in to easy to manage bites. Somewhere along the line, that stopped. That's sad. Because I think that you can get where you're going if you don't know where that is.

I realize that it's only September (almost October), but for me it's goal setting time again.

How about you? Do you set goals for yourself? If so, are they annual, monthly, weekly or daily? Do you love or hate goal-setting?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

This, That, and Another Thing

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. ~ Mark Twain, Following the Equator

I spent a good part of the day thinking about Dirk Benedict because of my blog from yesterday. I also thought about how fast time passes and how quickly we grow older.

First off, I think that Mr. Benedict is looking really fine for being sixty (yes, I Googled for current photos):

I only hope I look so good in twenty years.

I watched an episode of the A-Team in his honor (I would have watched Battlestar Galactica, but it apparently isn't on the sci-fi channel anymore) and remembered why I bought Tiger Beat and cut out his pictures for my wall. Mmmm....

I got to thinking about age late last night while I lay in bed wishing I could sleep because I was so tired. I thought about the fact that I have a seven-year-old daughter and I only feel about twenty. Some days I look in the mirror and am shocked to see me -- I have a picture in my head of what I looked like twenty years ago, and in my head, that's how I look.

My NaNo project is about a woman who is forty, and is forced by circumstances to rethink her entire life. It'll be the first time I've written about someone close to my age (I won't be forty for a few more months) though my heroines have gotten a little bit older as time has gone by.

When I was little, I always wanted to be nineteen. It was the perfect age. Then I hit nineteen and thought, "Nope, not the perfect age." and I wanted to be twenty-one. Oddly, the world didn't change that year either. I went into a tail-spin at twenty-five ("I'm a quarter of a century old ! I'm old !") No other age has made me do that. Yet.

In having my niece here over the summer -- she is nineteen, almost twenty -- I realized how unbelievably immature most folks are at the age. When you're going through it, you don't feel that way of course, but I wonder about all the old romances with twenty-year-old heroines. I suppose there are exceptions, but still...

It's good to see that most romances feature ladies who are a little bit older -- at least in the later twenties. But maybe I'm just biased.

I have an old fantasy novel that I completed when I was in high school. I still love the characters, and plan on revisiting it someday (in fact, I thought about using it for NaNo but that's against the rules). My "perfect" heroine is nineteen. And the mystery I submitted to the Avon Teen Writing Contest when I was seventeen? I have twin heroines who were... nineteen. I think I was stuck in a rut.

Now I write about late twenties heroines. I wonder ... when I'm fifty, will I write about even older folks? I mean, some of the most famous authors aged while they wrote, but their heroines haven't.

What age are the ladies you write about? Why? What age of ladies do you like to read about? Why?

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday Feast One Hundred & Twelve

Wanna play? Click here: Friday Feast One Hundred & Twelve

Measured in minutes or hours, how much exercise have you had in the last week?

I don't much do regulated exercise, so I'm gonna have to make a guess. I walk the dog a couple times a day and I vacuumed and shampooed the carpets in every room of the house, and I run up and down the stairs about fifty times a day, DD and I ran around the house several times yesterday... hmm... I dunno: 3 hours?

If you had to change your blog title to something else, what would it be?

Marianne Arkins: Award Winning Novelist of more than One Hundred Best-Selling Books! (Would that fit?)

Name one television show you watched when you were 9-12 years old.

"Battlestar Galactica" (the original one... the best one... I HATE the new one... grrr...) On a side note, my mom asked me "Whatever happened to that guy who played Face on the A-Team?" and since I'd had such a crush on Dirk Benedict from his Starbuck (yeah... you know... when "buck" actually meant "male") days. It made me feel OLD. Did you know he was born in 1946??? He's SIXTY. How did that happen?

Main Course
If someone gave you $50 to spend with the one condition that it had to be educational, what would you purchase?

I'd wait to get another $79 and spend it on this really cool talking globe at the Discovery Store (I've been coveting it for a couple years now)

Or, I'd apply it toward the $400+ I spend on my DD's curriculum every year.

Or... hey -- you're talking to a homeschooling mom. I could think of a hundred educational ways to spend $50!

Do you tend to prefer dark colors, neutral shades, or lighter/pastel hues?

Dark or gem colors for clothes mostly. Seldom neutral shades, they wash me out. Sometimes lighter/pastel hues, but that's usually only what I like in my environment (the walls of the room, etc) not in cloting. Not that the question specified clothing, but that's where my brain took it.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Never Done?

"There are days when the result is so bad that no fewer than five revisions are required. In contrast, when I'm greatly inspired, only four revisions are needed." - John Kenneth Galbraith

Yesterday was a discouraging day for me. Still working through the Maass workbook, I realized that, according to his requirements for a "breakout novel", I was sorely lacking.

It was "craft day" at Grandma's for my DD, so I had several hours in which to work. I started on exercise fourteen... got frustrated. Moved to fifteen... got more frustrated. Tossed the workbook on the floor and jumped up and down on it. Decided I should just thrown my entire novel out the window since it would never meet The Donald's requirements. Stared at the computer for about an hour without writing a word. Made coffee. Came back and decided that my "career" as a writer was over.

My husband says I have mood swings. I suppose he's right.

The conclusion I came to (the conclusion to which I came) was this: I'm done. My fellow Maass workers will most likely be frustrated because I swore I would make it through all the exercises this time. To be honest, I read through them all and made notes of things I want to look for and correct. I got some good ideas on plot changes from the first thirteen exercises that I think will make the story stronger. I'm hoping that the information from exercises twenty-two and twenty-three (Low Tension and Backstory) have permeated my very cellular structure. By far my favorite exercise was the fifth (Adjusting the Volume) followed closely by the sixth (reversing motives).

I printed off the first third of the story and began to tear it apart in order to put it back together again. There is a contest with a deadline in a couple of weeks that I may enter this in, just to test the waters a bit.

This process has made me think about when a project is done. I wonder, much of the time, when does an author know it's the "final" revision? Especially, when does an unpublished author know this? I believe that something can always be improved. I wonder if published author's look at their bestseller and think, "Shoot, that third line in chapter eighteen is weak."

Completely off topic -- WOO HOO -- Charity finaled in the Golden Rose Contest in the YA category. Yay, C!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Got My Cover!

I got the cover for my story at Wild Rose Press. It's so adorable! I love it:

The dinosaur as Christmas tree is perfect. I'm thrilled and had to share.

From His Mouth to God's Ears...

I figure that the degree of difficulty in combining two lives ranks somewhere between rerouting a hurricane and finding a parking place in downtown Manhattan. ~ Claire Cloninger, "When the Glass Slipper Doesn't Fit and the Silver Spoon is in Someone Else's Mouth"

My husband comes from a family who can be pretty fixated about money. They were fairly poor growing up with a blue collar dad and a stay-at-home-mom, but they never went without the things they really needed. Still, it became a bit of a fixation. Three of the kids are in the computer industry, and one is a SAHM married to a person in it. One is a teacher, but she's always been a bit of an anomoly...

A typical conversation with them always includes the great price they got on something (despite the fact that they're well off, financially). For instance:

"Cute pants!"

"Thanks! I found them at Goodwill on the sale rack for fifty cents!"

My husband mentioned to his father that we're thinking of moving to Missouri -- and his father asked where he would work to make enough money. Hubby responded that he doesn't plan on working in the computer industry forever, that we don't need to be rich and he doesn't enjoy his work. His father didn't understand. At. All.

When Hubby recounted this interaction to me, I reminded him that, once DD is old enough I can go back to work (I homeschool, so it'll be a while... but still...) and Hubby said the nicest thing:

"I know that. You're going to be a world famous author."

He doesn't talk much about my writing, and he doesn't read any of it, but it was interesting to see that he still has faith that I can accomplish my dreams.

That was nice.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reading: Necessity or Luxury?

The time to read is any time: no apparatus, no appointment of time and place, is necessary. It is the only art which can be practiced at any hour of the day or night, whenever the time and inclination comes, that is your time for reading; in joy or sorrow, health or illness. ~ Holbrook Jackson

Yesterday, Judy wrote in her blog about a news article she read that poses the question: Will it matter if people can’t read in the future?.

A few quotes from the article (and let me mention now, that I am horrified by his hypothesis):

Today’s young people are not able to read and understand long stretches of text simply because in most cases they won’t ever need to do so.

...most Americans don’t need to understand more than a hundred or so words at a time, and certainly will never read anything approaching the length of an old-fashioned book.

Young people today, however, have plenty of literacy for everyday activities such as reading signs and package labels, and writing brief e-mails and text messages that don’t require accurate spelling or grammar.


As I mentioned in my comment to Judy, I've always believed (and have passed this on to my daughter) -- if you can read, you can learn anything. I encourage her to read books on things that interest her. If she asks, "Mommy, do flies have ears?" I check out a book about flies. I DON'T grab a video about flies.

I imagine that reading, in the future, will not be a necessity "thanks" to technology, but it's a pleasure. And that makes me a little sad for the people who will never know that. Reading is so much richer than a movie and so much more mind expanding. It develops our imaginations -- we learn to picture the faces of people we've never met who live in places we've never visited.

And don't get me started on the last comment he quoted. I am a freak about the whole text messaging menu of misspelling: CU, etc. Of course, I'm not a big fan of text messaging to begin with, but that's probably because I'm a dinosaur.

Read Judy's post. She has a great rebuttal posted from a man who agrees that reading skills are in the decline, but isn't so sure it's a good thing.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting here. Horrified.

Monday, September 18, 2006


It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. -- Herman Melville

The quote has nothing to do with the post. I just really liked it :-]

Didn't work on writing as much as I would have liked this weekend. I printed off the holiday story I was working on to edit it away from the computer. I had posted the first 1500 words or so to my writing group. After I printed it and reread it, I was horrified that I'd shared it with anyone. If you dug through all the really bad writing there was a decent story in there, but man did I make some mistakes. Why is it that everything looks different on paper?

From The Daily Humorscope:

Capricorn (December 22 - January 20) - Good day to count your blessings. Both of them.

Blessing one: Wrangler Jeans has a one year warantee on their products! Woo! DH had a pair of jeans he'd worn two or three times when the zipper lost a tooth, so on a whim, I contacted the company. They'll even send you a post-paid envelope to mail the product back to them and then they'll replace it for free. Now that's my kind of company. If I hadn't loved them before I would now.

Blessing two: My writing friends. I know I bemoaned the loss of one of my groups, but I didn't tell you about the great group of folks that I'm still involved with. They are all good, intelligent, savvy writers who still manage to be both honest AND kind and supportive. So: to all the ladies in Timeless Tales and to Charity, Darcy and Ceri... ((hugs))

I vow that this will be a great week. I'm going to work on my Maass workbook (even though he stymies me on a regular basis), I'm going to write more on my holiday story and I'm going to smile a lot.

How about you?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Heart Trouble

If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~Bob Hope

I'm a little sad.

Yesterday, I resigned from one of my writing groups. I haven't been active in there lately because there is one member with whom I can't seem to get along. I've spoken about her before on this blog. She writes literary fiction, and she's actually quite good. She's intelligent, she's savvy about the business of writing and she's dead serious about it.

She's also (and this is my opinion only) unnecessarily harsh and cruel. Recently one member of the group had a difficult time with a very ill mother. She posted a little about a recent trip and how difficult it was for her. And, recently, there have been other posts of a personal nature.

Apparently this person has forgotten about the half dozen posts she made about the badly injured dog she took under her wing. Because yesterday she said that she believes that the "tell-all" personal dramas have no place on the group message board. I think the wording she used was uncalled for.

Then, she was very harsh and unkind in her responses to the responses to her post, as well. I didn't respond because I was very angry, and was afraid I'd say something I would later regret. Additionally, I didn't want to start a war with someone over something like that. I heartily disagree with her position. This particular group has members who are dead serious about their writing. But they are also friends.

Or so I thought.

Apparently this person will continue to make snide or hurtful comments to the members of this group as long as she is a member. In my resignation email I said: When we are published, there will be nasty, hateful and cruel people out there who say bad things about us and about our writing. I expect that. I do not expect to receive that kind of treatment from the people in my writing group -- people I would like to call friends. (This group) is becoming a hostile environment and is not conducive to creativity (at least for me).

How sad. I agonized over my choice because, with one exception I absolutely love the members of this group. But one bad apple and all that.

Still, I'm very upset.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


An ordinary man can... surround himself with two thousand books... and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy. ~ Augustine Birrell

While working on an exercise in "Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook" last night, I got to wondering about the premise of my story.

Is it really believable?

It's a little strange. My heroine does some odd things and meets some even odder people. Will a reader be willing to suspend their belief in reality enough to read through to the end?

With some books, you know from the beginning that your sense of reality needs to be suspended immediately: vampires or time travel or whatever. But with a mainstream contemporary romance without any paranormal elements...?

Would you, could you in a box? Could you, would you with a fox?

I was discouraged and disheartened enough to be ready to chuck the whole thing. No one other than my poor writing group would want to read this story -- and they have to.

Then... I settled down to watch Eureka (because TiVo didn't record it on Tuesday... grr...) and WOW! Talk about a silly, unbelievable premise that's supported entirely by characters that I love. It's, by far, my favorite show of the season.

So, maybe there is hope after all.

Or maybe I'm just weird (always a distinct possibility).

Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday Feast

Time once again for the Friday Feast:

What was the very last song you listened to?

The Night Before (Life Goes On) by Carrie Underwood

What is one company/store/corporation you would recommend that people stay away from?

Right now? COMCAST. Hate. Them. They have messed up pretty much anything and everything that they can mess up. My internet service is up and down, my billing is incorrect half the time, and then -- after fighting with them for three or four months -- they fix it, but crash my service again. My one year contract with them is up THIS MONTH!!! WOO HOO!!! I'm switching so fast I hope their heads spin.

Did I mention that I. Hate. Comcast. ??

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy having your picture made?

5, I suppose. I don't hate it, and I'll smile for it if you ask me to, but I really don't love it. My DD, OTOH, is a ham! And DH will dive for cover the moment the camera comes out. We are a family who balances each other.

Main Course
Besides a bookmark, what is something you've used to keep your place in a book?

Another book, scraps of paper, pens, silverware.... pretty much anything I have lying around. However, one thing I never EVER do is dog ear the pages (and shame on you folks who do... shame, shame, shame)

Name a food that you like that most people don't.

Urgh... I haven't a clue, because everyone should love what I love. I have great taste. Of course, I like very nearly everything except bananas and lima beans. And I don't eat meat... so, maybe tofu? or TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)?

My Love/Hate Relationship

Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog. ~ Doug Larson

I love my computer -- or maybe just computers in general. They allow me to edit without retyping entire pages. The keep all of my writing in a tiny space. The internet has introduced me to people who are some of my best friends.

I hate my computer -- I have been fighting with it the past three mornings when it locks up out of the blue. Thankfully, I've never lost data. What I have lost, and what is almost as precious, is TIME.

This morning alone, I've been struggling to do anything with the blasted thing for forty-five minutes. FORTY-FIVE minutes. It's working now, thus far, though my typing lags behind a little ... you know -- I type a word and the curser takes a couple seconds to move. It's a little disconcerting.

I was supposed to do the Friday Feast today but I can't get into the website for some reason. If I manage to get in the next time I have a moment, I'll do it. Until then, I need to type up the Maass lesson I did last night as well as start my query letter for Liv because I came up with what I think is a cool first sentence -- thought of it as I was dozing off, argued with myself for a minute about whether I should turn the light on and write it down (the devil on my should assured me I'd remember it in the morning -- but I can remember what I did five minutes ago, let along seven hours).

I considered blogging about Poisoned pigeons fall from sky in Texarkana

The exterminator company said that the birds dying was "an unfortunate side effect" of putting out poisoned corn. Uh. O--k-a-a-a-y. I can see it now:

"But, your honor, her death was an unfortunate side effect of my putting cyanide in her coffe."


It's one of the reasons I won't let my husband bait deer in our backyard during hunting season -- it seems more than a little bit rude to invite someone to dinner and then kill them. I told him that, if he must hunt, he has to do it the old fashioned way. He hasn't gotten a deer in three years (although his uncle has, and gave them to us. Oh. Yay. But that's another story).

Hopefully this post will post and not lock up the computer. I hate this blasted thing that I can't live without.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Time For Fun

Just for fun:

You Are a Rainbow

Breathtaking and rare, you are totally enchanting and intriguing but you usually don't stick around long!

You are best known for: your beauty

Your dominant state: seducing

Okay, I'll accept "echanting and intriguing", but I have great sticking power. Just ask my hubby...

You Are From Mercury

You are talkative, clever, and knowledgeable - and it shows.

You probably never leave home without your cell phone!

You're witty, expressive, and aware of everything going on around you.

You love learning, playing, and taking in all of what life has to offer.

Be careful not to talk your friends' ears off, and temper your need to know everything.

Oh man... I have to laugh, cuz this one is right on. LOL... except maybe about the cell phone, which I seldom use. But the rest? Oh yeah.

And last, but certainly not least...

Your Lucky Underwear is Purple

Dreamy and idealistic, you envision great things for your life. Your lucky purple underwear can make those dreams come true!

You're a busy little butterfly. You have the most projects, interests, and friends of anyone you know.

You also have a flair for the dramatic. Sometimes too much drama comes in to your life and brings things to a stop.

If you want to focus more, and flutter less, put on your purple underpants. They'll help you get the important things done.

Your lucky purple underwear can make those dreams come true!

From now on, I'm only wearing purple undies... :-]

Let's Talk About Sex...

No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens. ~ Abraham Lincoln

A group of writing friends and I got into an interesting discussion about sex in romance novels. Not all of us write romance, but all of us have read it at one time or another.

I don't read erotica because it doesn't make sense to me, anymore than a porn movie does (and, I know, there were dozens of gasps of horror because I *sort of* just called erotica "porn"... But, really, IMHO erotica is porn with a plot. But that's just my opinion). I don't think I'm a prude, but I am reading for a ROMANCE. I want to watch two characters fall in love, not in bed (at least not immediately).

I don't have a problem with the H/H in my books having sex. I do have a problem when it doesn't make sense, when it seems inappropriate to the situation or thrown in because there needs to be a sex scene every so many pages.

I recently read the first couple of chapters of a Sillhouette Intimate Moments that opened with the heroine being tortured, and finding out that these same bad guys had beaten her father to death. She trapped, shes terrified, she knows she's going to die. The hero swoops in (a man she'd never before laid eyes one), beats up the bad guys and chucks the heroine into a truck, driving away.

She looks to see who her savior is, and is immediately (and dramatically) turned on by his looks. She's hot, and if they hadn't been running away from the bad guys, probably would have leaped on him in the front seat of that truck.

Sorry. Didn't work for me.

In one of my comments to the group, I said: With the popularity of Erotica and Harlequin's Brava stuff, I think most writers feel obligated to throw in wild monkey sex every so many pages. And if the characters aren't having sex, then they must be thinking about it, even if they're running barefoot through the rain forest, pursued by a horde of killer racoons.

Give me sexual tension. Give me long looks, and soft touches, and teasing kisses. Give me the need, but not the act. Make me want the hero as badly as the heroine does, but don't give him to me (or her) right away.

Nora Roberts does this in many of her books -- most notably her "Three Sisters" trilogy. It was fantastic.

It's how I want to write. What about you? How do you feel about how books are being written nowadays? This is a hot button for a lot of people, and I'm wondering how much hate mail I'm going to get...

The floor is now open.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

People... People Who Love People...

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~ Paul Sweeney

There are books so alive that you're always afraid that while you weren't reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away. ~ Marina Tsvetaeva

Yesterday on Romancing the Blog, the blog author brought up the topic of character-driven plots vs. plot-driven. She said:

What does matter to me is plot. I have to enjoy the story being told so I’ve learned to look for the types of plots I truly enjoy, first, and check out others at my leisure. However, it seems like every time I say this someone will come forward with the comment that they don’t pick stories for plot but character. That character is what makes a story stick in their minds more than plot does.


What does that mean exactly?

It’s not that I don’t believe other readers when they say this. It’s that I really don’t understand what they mean even after all these years of thinking about it.

The responses she received early on were very much in her court - It's all about the plot. So I had to chime in. I said this (which she later quoted):

If I love the characters enough, if they’re real enough that I would recognize them when I passed them on the street, then I would be happy to read about them hanging wallpaper. Seriously. Because it’s like hanging out with friends.

And honestly, that's the truth.

I picked up all the books in a series from an author I admire from a blog I read (but hadn't read his books). The plot sounded fantastic: exciting, edge of your seat, mind bending... I couldn't wait to dive in. What a premise! Whoo!!

But, the books were all about the plot, and virtually nothing about the characters. Oh, there were people in the book, but they were tools to move the plot forward and I didn't know them. So I didn't care if we were being invaded by aliens or whatever. So, the world's coming to an end... blah, blah, blah. I skimmed the book and never picked up another one.

It's not about the plot.

It's about voice. It's about characters. It's about making me care whether they're hanging the wallpaper straight or not. It doesn't matter what they do as much as it matters who they are.

The blog author brought up a point that the characters are always "doing" something, even if they're simply sitting on a train, talking. That's plot. Well, of course they're always doing something... that's not exactly plot, IMHO.

But the point is that, I'll happily read about characters I love doing boring things before I'll read about characters I don't doing exciting things. I'm far more forgiving of a bad or dull plot if the author has fully fleshed characters.

When I write, I think of the characters FIRST, plot second. Who are these people? What are they like? Where could I put them that there would be some interesting stuff going on?

But, I suspect that the argument will be enternal. There was a huge outpouring of comments on this blog, so she clearly hit a nerve for many folks. And the good thing is -- people are different. The come in all shapes, sizes, colors and reading preferences. It's what make the world go round.

Still... my way is better. Of course.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006


"This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don't consider it rejected. Consider that you've addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘Not at this address’. Just keep looking for the right address." - Barbara Kingsolver

I received two manilla envelopes in the mail yesterday. When my daughter brought them in, my heart went to my throat.

One was from Womans World.

One was from Wild Rose press.

WW was a rejection (they'd had my story for just under six months). The worst part is that I actually got my hopes up because they'd had it for so long (I'd shopped for a laptop in my dreams...), the best part is that I made it all the way to the Most High Muckety-Muck and received a nice note back from her, which softened the fact that is was still a no.

I'm clearly getting closer to what they want. The last couple rejections from them came with personalized notes and a bit of feedback from some of the lower Muckety-Mucks and now this. So I'll keep trying. Just not for the next couple of months.

The one from Wild Rose Press was my contract, signed, sealed and delivered. That helped soften the blow a bit, too. Someone likes me...LOL... of course it helps that I don't have an 1100 word limit to try to squeeze a logical love story into (I know, that should be "into which I must try to squeeze a..." but, hey, it's early, things dangle).

The funny thing is that I'd already started to flesh out the WW story for submission to WRP or elsewhere. It's a good story (I'm so humble) and I don't want it to get lost somewhere. I think it needs to be shared.

One of my other WW rejects is now the basis of what I'm going to write for NaNo... so something good is coming out of the bad.

What do you do with your rejections? Do you, like Stephen King, hang them proudly from a hook on your wall? Or do you hide them away, not wanting to see them ever again?

Monday, September 11, 2006

My Self-Challenge

"Rewriting is like scrubbing the basement floor with a toothbrush." - Pete Murphy

Charity mentioned yesterday about editing her latest WIP (this feels a little incestuous, because she links to me in that entry... ) and how she did it and the fact that she *gasp* enjoyed the journey!

I have three completed drafts (well... two, really, cuz I trash-canned the end of one and am now short about 20,000 words. Yes, it was that bad.) and I like them all. They're a little wacky and odd, but then again -- so am I, and they say to write what you know. Right?

What they really need (aside from the one that needs a decent ending) is good editing. In a recent contest, the feedback I received on my entry included the comment that many of my sentences are structured the same -- to the point where, if you were clapping out a beat, it would be identical. She was right. And no one else had ever pointed it out to me before! I also got some other wonderful feedback from that contest, and despite the fact that I didn't final, I may enter it again. It was worth every penny.

Charity commented that she used "The Donald's" Writing the Breakout Novel workbook and did every exercise whilst editing, even when they got hard.

I agree with her that this workbook is really fantastic for digging deep and pulling out the heart of your story (Oh man, I just got this visual from that Indiana Jones movie... you know - the one where he's on a cliff and the bad guy climbs to him and starts to magically remove his heart from his chest? Ewwww....) and I also agree that it's tough. This may be why I haven't gotten past exercise 21 with any of my WIPs. There are thirty-four exercises.

I have fifty days until NaNo starts. I'm challenging myself to choose one of my WIPs (you out there who've read bits of them, do you have a preference? Camilla? Liv? Tish? Here's your chance to vote!) and work through the Breakout Novel workbook and do EVERY exercise. If I choose Camilla or Liv's story, I'll have a head start because I've started it with them. My editing ideas need to be completed by October 31st, if not the actual edits.

My goal is to have something marketable by the end of the year. I want to send out queries in January. In the midst of all this, I plan on writing at least 50,000 words for NaNo and another couple short stories. Oh yeah... and take care of hubby and DD, and homeschool my DD and clean the house and, and, and...

What is that saying? If you want something done, give it to a busy person?

Five Years Later

Here is my advice ... guard the freedom of ideas at all costs. Be alert that dictators have always played on the natural human tendency to blame others and to oversimplify. And don't regard yourself as a guardian of freedom unless you respect and preserve the rights of people you disagree with to free, public, unhampered expression. ~ Gerard K. O'Neill, 2081

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. ~William Faulkner

We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights. ~Felix Frankfurter

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ahh.... Imagination

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! ~Ted Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

I loved that book, didn't you? One of Suess's all time greats.

In a story I'm currently working on, my heroine is fired from her job. The way it happens is kind of boring, although I didn't think about it until I stumbled across this article on It's entitled "Worst ways to get fired". Man, oh man, are there some great ideas for a story in there.

My plots tend to be a little off center. I like for strange things (or strange people) to happen to my relatively normal H/H. Some of my favorite places to look for odd things that have really happened are CNN's Offbeat news or here USA Today's Offbeat news or any of a dozen other places.

The problem is that when I use something like what I find, no one believes it could happen. I've had some strange things happen to me and occasionally I throw one in to a story (I did that with the one I referenced, above). And, almost every time, I'll get comments about something like that being hard to believe or that it couldn't happen... but, Um, it happened to ME.

So, what do you do when you've written in something highly improbable but that has actually happened and folks don't believe that something like that could ever happen? If they say it makes your story unbelievable? Or it takes them out of the story... or whatever.

And, as a reader, what do you do when you're asked to suspend reality just a little further than usual? Can you?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Written in the Stars

The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who tries to look into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old and worried face. ~ Jim Bishop

From Astrology for Writers, Editors and Filmmakers

Capricorn: Take some time off if possible. This month is rather uneventful for most Caps. Checks arrive, offers may be made, but you don't have to sign anything until October. Refuse to do so anyway.

Ah yes, take some time off. I see this advice on ALL the writing sites. Not, "write every day" or "butt in chair, hands on keyboard", nope it's always: Take some time off. That is, indeed, wonderful writing advice.

And that contract from Wild Rose? Not signing it. And if WW comes knocking on my door? I'm saying no. After all, my horoscope tells me to right here: ...offers may be made, but you don't have to sign anything until October. Refuse to do so anyway. More sound writing advice for a novice writer -- make those publishers BEG. Put them off for a month or more.


Hey all, here's a nifty contest for you: Life Is Not a Fairy Tale Essay Contest. Write an essay of 250 words or less describing your dream and you could win a trip for two to Los Angeles in May 2007 to see the American Idol® season series finale.

But you have to take me with you.

Show of hands on this one please: How many of you reading this, after finishing your novel doubt the plausibility of the premise? Anyone, anyone? Because I have THREE completed drafts that I'm thinking are utterly ridiculous. I mean, I like them, but that doesn't mean anyone else will. Especially editors. I'm reading through one last night and making notes and thinking "there is no way anyone else is going to think this could really ever happen, I should just chuck the entire thing and start over".

I'm not alone, am I?

Gosh, I could ramble some more, but I'll save it for tomorrow. Have a good day!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday Feast

I almost forgot that today was Friday! Time for the Friday Feast

Name 3 things that you are wearing today.

Um... I'm still in my jammies. So I'm wearing my jammies, a hair scrunchie and toenail polish.

Who was the last person you hugged?

My daughter, last night when she woke up (again) and told me she was afraid of the dark (again -- how many nightlights does she need?)

What do you like to order from your favorite fast food place?

Wendys: A spicy chicken sandwich (no mayo, extra tomato, add onion), fries (unless I'm feeling guilty and then I'll order a side salad) and a large diet pepsi (cuz having "diet" means that all the other calories don't count - right?)

Main Course
What time of day do you usually feel most energized?

Mornings, oh yeah. By about 2 p.m., I'm down for the count, but mornings are delightful!

Using the letters in your first name, write a sentence. (Example: Sweet unusual spaniels are nice.)

Marianne: Many artistic rats iceskate along nutty needles endlessly.

URGH... the Dreaded Synopsis

"The best writers make the fewest words go the longest way." - Anonymous

Yesterday I worked some more on a story that I'm pretty happy with -- though some of my writing friends may not agree with me.

While I sat there editing I decided to write the synopsis at the same time. Seemed like a good idea, since the story is right there, until I hadn't even gotten the first chapter done and the synopsis was two pages long! Uh... Oops.

Obviously this is a habit of mine, since the synopsis on my 5000 word short that's being released in November at Wild Rose was a page long. So, if I'm condensing a novel that's 60,000 words, then -- if I've done my math correctly -- the synopsis would be twelve pages long.

I've read all the articles on writing synopsisisisisisis (what is the plural of synopsis anyway, "synopsi"?) and they basically say the same thing. I understand, in theory, how to do it. But man, oh man, in practice it's much harder.

I'm going to keep going the way I'm going, with the thought in my brain that I really need to condense things even more. After all, this is only for my eyes until I perfect it, so the rough draft of the synopsis can be just as sh***y as the first draft of the novel. Right?

Still, I'm telling you what, synopsis writing is enough to make a person rethink publication. Someone, somewhere, could make very serious money with a synopsis writing business (send me your book and I'll write your synopsis, only $200!).

Yesterday, Allie sent out a cry for help regarding elusive endings and the end of the writing honeymoon. If you've got any advice for her (see this post) send some her way.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sleep, Blessed Sleep

If people were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all sleep in toasters. ~Author unknown, attributed to Jim Davis

I'm a morning person, always have been. But lately, I've been dopey pretty much all day long, so I figured I wasn't getting enough sleep.

This morning I woke up, as usual, at about 4:30 a.m. (yes, without an alarm clock -- is that weird?) and decided I was going to sleep some more. However, at that point I'm awake enough that I need to get away from anything that will distract me at all: snoring husbands, snoring dogs, and bathing cats.

I went downstairs, curled up on the couch, wondered if I'd be able to get back to sleep and then crashed (yahoo!) for a whole 'nother hour. Yay for me. That said, I really won't have any writing time this morning, at least not on the computer. But I'm feeling better than I have in weeks - just because I got one more hours sleep.

Not writing this morning is okay. I have a niggling little idea for NaNo that I want to pick at and "what if" to death to see if it can go anywhere and I can do that in longhand.

But, hey, I feel good (you know that I should, now)....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Revving up for NaNo

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." Ray Bradbury

Though I realize that it's only September, thoughts of NaNoWriMo are dancing through my head. I had a blast last year, finished a novel that I love (that is now in the editing stages) and I'm raring to go this year. The problem?

I don't have a clue, not even one, about what to write this year. Last year I'd figured out a basic plot and characters and several scene ideas. This year? Nada.

Interestingly, the story that I started as a holiday short story (possibly for Wild Rose) is turning into something much deeper -- and longer. And I'd love to use it for NaNo, but that's against the rules.

I had another short story idea that I'm wondering about: can it be expanded? I think, maybe it can and it's a fun one, with the potential of being goofy -- something I need for NaNo because it keeps me enjoying what I write AND allows me to incorporate many of The Dares that they post on the message board for use when you're stuck. Those dares added an entire character and many thousand words to last years NaNo novel.

I have two months. I can do it. I don't like to fail, so I want to make sure I've set myself up for at least a chance of success!

In the meantime... I. Can't. Wait. Woo Hoo! Who needs bungee cords? NaNo is an adrenaline rush for writers.

Edited to add:

My writing friend, Allie, made a good point on her blog today about the subjectiveness of the writing world. After my post yesterday, it was a worthwhile read. Pop on over there and take a look (and tell her "howdy" while you're there).

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


"Critics are like eunuchs in a harem: they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves." - Brendan Francis Behan

A writing friend who had her first book released in April let me know about a series of bad news she'd recently received. Some of it was regarding rejections, and - yunno - those happen to everyone all the time. You just gotta keep writing and working and putting your best foot forward. How many of you have been writing for five or ten or more years, submitting stuff and are STILL not published?

The other bad news she got was a poor review from a fairly well respected romance site. Now, that one had to hurt. Someone just called your baby ugly and stupid.

"Pay no attention to what the critics say; there has never been set up a statue in honor of a critic." - Jean Sibelius

I'm a picky reader. I like what I like. Period. As a reading writer, I have little time to waste on stuff I don't like. I read other blogs and sites to get recommendations for books, so I'm not shopping blind. Typically, I'll order the ones that get rave reviews from regular folks (NOT the review sites) from the library first. If I enjoy them, then I'll buy them and pop them onto my keeper shelf. The books I buy without doing this are usually published by people I know.

That said...

Only about one in ten books that get rave reviews from the folks I trust online are books that I enjoy. Recently, I stumbled across several reviews for a romantic suspense writer's series -- everyone was talking about them: Great! Edge of your seat! HEA! Strong characters!

I thought, WOO! Can't wait to read these, and (of course) ordered them from the library. I didn't get past the third chapter in the first book before being absolutely fed up -- weak story line, graphic (unemotional) sex (complete with toys!) between the hero and some lady he picked up in a bar on the first ten pages or so (before even giving us a clue about the plot), and a bitter, angry heroine that I couldn't identify with. BAM!! Wall banger.

The frustrating thing is that reviews can make or break a novel in terms of financial success. And IMHO, I seldom agree with them.

What weight do you give to reviews? Do you have some that you respect more than others? Have you found that you typically agree or disagree with the reviews you read on the books out there?

Monday, September 04, 2006


So, after I finished writing my blog, I did my daily blog hopping and headed over to the news sites to see what had happened while I was sleeping.

This is so sad:

Stingray kills 'Crocodile Hunter'

My daughter LOVED Steve Irwin. So did I. I can't imagine how his wife must be feeling right now. And his babies. I'm very sad...


Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious. ~Bill Meyer

No, the quote has nothing to do with this post. It's just a quote.

Moving on...

Part of me is enjoying Miss Snark's crapometer A LOT, and part of me aches for the participants. Some of their errors are so basic (like mis-addressing her), but some are not and these folks have obviously sent her what they think is their best work, the top of their game. And some of it is really, really bad.

Interestingly, a few of the "I would definitely request a partial on this" posts are things that bored me to tears, with one exception that was so funny I almost peed my pants. No, I'm not telling which one, you'll have to read all 60+ posts to find out.

Still, it's made two things abundantly clear to me.

1. In light of the 349 submissions she received to her crapometer, it's obvious that there are TONS of novice writers out there desperate for publication. I know, I know, I realized that somewhere in the back of my brain but the fact that she rec'd that many in one day is incredible.

2. There are some really, really bad writers out there in need of critique groups (hey, folks, there are a gazillion groups out there -- Google 'em and find one -- you won't be sorry). This fact made me want to kiss the feet of the folks who've helped me over the past few years. I'm nowhere near perfect, but I'm a million times better than I used to be. I cringe to think of the stuff I posted in the beginning. They were very kind. Thanks you guys, yooz is the bestest.

If you haven't been reading the queen of Snark's blog, you should. I've made a list of things not to do in my query. First and foremost (and this should be a given, but considering about 10 people messed this up, clearly it ISN'T): Address the agent or editor by their CORRECT NAME.


And this one: fiction novel (as in, "My 70,000 word fiction novel).

Oh, and this: A query and a synopsis are two very different documents. Treat them as such.

Okay... off to write, so that I can submit a query and a synopsis somewhere soon.

Have a happy Labor Day!


One of my writing friends, Allie Boniface is the guest blogger at Romancing the Blog. Check it out!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I Hate Making Up Blog Titles

Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences... They are the ones who keep writing. ~ Bonnie Friedman

I'm going to start titling my blogs randomly, I swear. There are some days when the hardest part of writing, any writing, is deciding on a title for the blog. This morning, I simply wasn't up to it. Sorry...

So, I'm at about 3,000 words on my story and am stuck, Stuck, STUCK. The really weird thing about my stuck-ness is that I know exactly what I want to happen (the big events, anyhow, that lead up to HEA). It's the small things that are keeping me from writing: Did she limp out of the car? How did she get the call for the new job - on her cell phone? Silly things.

AND THEN, as I was dozing off last night (isn't it amazing how well your brain works when you're half asleep?), I realized that I was missing all kinds of stuff in the first part: absolutely NO physical descriptions of anyone but "pasty faced man", lots of dialogue with no narration (what the heck are they doing?) and no internal emotional reactions AT ALL from my POV character.

What the h-e-double toothpicks was I thinking?

I'm planning on banging through the ending today -- and at least getting the big stuff penciled in. After I have the skeleton, I should be able to add the rest slowly, layer by layer. I hope.

I really do like this story, so I don't know why it isn't flowing. I like the characters, I love the idea, and I really like "pasty faced man" even though he's only in it for a little while (though I may have to bring him back for a cameo at the end).

Ah... writing. You gotta love it. Or you'd hate it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Miscellanea Online

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~Author Unknown

I got about 2000 words written over the past two days on my latest story. I need to get this finished and out the door before the end of next week and I still need another 4 - 5000 words (I'm guessing - that's probably about how many it'll take to get my characters out of this jam, into another and then back together again).

I've been puttering around on the Wild Rose Press website, and have discovered lots of cool stuff.

Did you know that they have a weblog?

Or forums?

And the editors write some great articles called In The Greenhouse?

And there are interviews with various editors In The Garden?

I know, maybe I should spend less time scoping out their website, and more time writing, but it's been fun. And I can't seem to stop.

For instance, Miss Snark is having fun with the crapometer this weekend! Woo! I think that one of my writing friends sumbitted to this, but am not sure since she didn't get back to me to say so (Yo. D. Didja?), but regardless it's going to be both educational and humorous.

And, over at The Wet Noodle Posse they're interviewing one of my favorite folks: Charity. And, as if that isn't enough, check out their Top Ten list, Living Well and Stuff to Make links. It's a lot of fun over there!

All right, enough is enough. I got words to write (and yes, Judy, that was indeed more bad grammar, just for you). Oh... hey, speaking of Judy, go to her blog and congratulate her.

Have a great day!

Friday, September 01, 2006

I am my own Nemesis...

From Charity -- I hadn't planned on doing another post today, especially another meme, but I couldn't resist. I mean, who could resist The Greek Mythology Personality Test ? No, I.


33% Extroversion, 66% Intuition,
100% Emotiveness, 14% Perceptiveness

You are a normally quiet person with very strong convictions and a marked activist streak. You have a clearly defined sense of right and wrong, and you like seeing people punished for their transgressions. You are Nemesis, goddess of punishment. You are a champion for the defenseless, you love poetic justice and, if karmic retribution doesn't have its say, then you'll have yours. You are astute, rarely fooled, and idealistic.

Famous People like you: Goethe, Voltaire, Susan B. Anthony, Robert Burns

Ooooh... I am NEMESIS - Goddess of Punishment! Are you scared yet? You should be... (insert evil laughter here)

I do have to admit to being a strong believer in karma, though the fact that I let EVERYONE in (or out, depending) in traffic hasn't seemed to help me one bit.

Yunno, I really, really like the definition of ME. I think it seriously fits. But I don't know who Robert Burns is... does that make me less than a genious? Hang on, running over to Wikipedia.

Aha! Robert Burns (January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796) was a poet and songwriter. I'm good with that.


I'm Nemesis.

Friday Feast

Time once again for the Friday Feast:

What are some lyrics you have misheard (such as, instead of "Gettin' Jiggy With It" you heard "Kick a chicken with it")?

From the Beatles "Come Together": One thing that I know is that you got to have fleas!

And pretty much everything by Bob Dylan and Dwight Yoakum (these guys really need to take that class from "Singing in the Rain" - Moses supposes his noses is roses, but Moses supposes erroneously... Geez, enunciate people)

What is the worst movie you have ever seen?

The only movie I can remember absolutely hating every minute of, but sat through it anyway because it was so highly acclaimed and I figured I must be missing something was, "The Gods Must Be Crazy".

That said, I can't STAND any that Adam Sandler has done with the exception of "The Wedding Singer". My husband loves Mr. Sandler's movies (I saw bits of "Happy Gilmore" just the other day on my trips through the living room). I don't get it. At. All. But I must be in the minority, because he's still making movies and making money.

Using the letters from your favorite number, write a sentence. Example: Tomorrow has really easy experiences.

Hey, three was MY number. Actually, I do this with my letter verification phrases on the blogs. They seldom make sense, but it's fun to stretch the brain a bit. Okay. Um...

Truly, he retrieves easy eels.

Main Course
What was the most interesting news story you have heard this week?

Interesting? The news is so depressing, I can't stand it, but it's seldom interesting unless you dig deeper than the front page.

How about this one (and isn't she lucky this isn't MUCH worse). From Out There:

And Now This From the Huge-Embarrassing-Whoopsie Dept.:

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN is apologizing for upstaging a presidential speech with a conversation live from the ladies' room.

Anchor Kyra Phillips of the cable network's "Live From..." program unwittingly talked over the president's speech when her wireless microphone was left on during a bathroom break.

Her off-the-cuff remarks about her husband and her brother's marriage went on the air along with one of President George W. Bush's speeches on Hurricane Katrina, until another voice told her to turn off her mike.

In her conversation she dismissed most men with a vulgar term, but called herself "very lucky" to have a "handsome" and "great, great human being" for a husband.

She also called her brother's wife a "control freak."

Phillips later apologized to viewers for "an issue" with the mikes. A CNN statement about the "audio difficulties" came with an apology for viewers, the president and the White House.

Which word(s) would you choose to describe your wardrobe?

Casual. And shrinking... why do my clothes keep getting smaller??