Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Golden Heart has been Mailed!!

I feel like I have crawled out of a cave today!! I mailed the whole kit and kaboodle out this morning. Now I won 't hear anything at all till the New Year. I might hear about finaling (haha as if) by March. But I do have 55 pages of the best writing possible to use for other contests and that is amazing. And, I have a great synopsis that I can work from for the completion of the revisions. I am SO HAPPY.

I learned a lot about myself as a writer and about my family, too. They've been so supportive of me while I've slogged away at the crazy work of revising miniscule details AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. I couldn't ask for better support.

Now I get to play for a bit--actually clean house for company--but I am planning to send the first 25 pages via email to the Linda Howard Award of Excellence this afternoon after I clean house and shower.

Tomorrow I plan a 100 words and I begin moving forward.

Thursday--I am OFF.

Friday-100 words

Saturday-100 words

Sunday-100 words

And then a new week begins and I will be ready to get moving forward on the MS.

And now to the cleaning....

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Final Push


*enter line edits for Golden Heart "gold" pages
*finish tweaking rest of the MS
*line edit GH synopsis
*call RWA to confirm all formatting questions
*format entry for disk and pages
*print out all pages
*copy entry 6 times
*mail to GH with tracking ability

Then I get to reward myself by cleaning house for the guests arriving tomorrow.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Line Edits--Nothing More

I have 45 pages of manuscript to read through as well as a snyopsis. The synopsis is my least favorite thing to write and read because it's not even the original storyline (although close enough). The 45 pages are DONE except for missing words, occasional echoes, and slight changes. No more major revisions. I simply don't have time.

And speaking of time, I also have to shop for my entire Thanksgiving week--food for guests arriving Tuesday-- life supplies. I'm heading to the grocery store today, reading through my POS/Synopsis afteward, and then I am taking my daughter to see Twilight. Somehow a week's worth of laundry will mysteriously become clean today as well.

Tomorrow, cleaning house, finalizing the disk for the rest of the MS and copying/mailing it in are on my task lists. Ah!!!

And I am entering another contest, just for the heck of it. A Harlequin editor is juding the entries for that one so I've decided, why not?

Holidays and visitors are a major, but very welcome, distraction to my writing madness.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Day to Regroup

I need to let the work I completed sit for a day before I tackle the final edits. It's a chopped up day--a show in the afternoon, catching up on laundry, and dinner out this evening. We're getting ready to host a family of four and another friend for 4 days, so I must start wrapping my brain around that visit.

However, today I will make a list of the work I need to do tomorrow and print out my synopsis so I am ready to start without delay. That's my half an hour commitment.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Well I worked my tushie off today. I wrote, amidst crawlspace workers banging and their music playing, from 8:30-5:30 with only an hour break. Don't feel ready to send the GH in yet, but feel very close... a moment of guilt hit, but a friend, non-writer, encouraged me. And then my hubby did and my daughter and other friends. So I will press on.

One thing I've learned: I have tenacity!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Big Day!

The write-in was successful for me. I worked on my Golden Heart entry diligently, with no email or internet breaks, the entire day. 9 hours! I accomplished the following:

*wrote the missing scene--had to turn off the internal editor several times
*finished the rest of the "gold" pages
*printed the "gold"
*read aloud the "gold" and discovered much brass in editing
*formlated a plan for transforming the brass into gold.

I had planned to continue editing tonight, but I am fried. Instead I am harvesting reactions and figuring out where to insert them in the next revision.

Mini-write in tomorrow continues.

My Personal Write-In

The Writing Playground Blog discussed having write-ins with other writers. I LOVE the idea, but I don't know anyone to invite to a session. And I am so new here, I am out of the loop for invites to these kind of events.

I am bogged down and need to finish the "golden" part of my GH entry. I decided to clear the decks today and tomorrow. I am having a Personal Write-In for myself. I will follow all the time rules for the entire day and work diligently from 8AM-4PM. I also asked my family to leave me alone afterward. I will throw a sandwich out or heat up leftovers, but I am NOT cooking a fancy foo foo meal or driving anyone to dance, stores, or hair appointments.

I plan to post my results tomorrow morning and again tomorrow night.

I am posting my day's results tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Noise, Cold & an Uncooperative Scene

Today was rough. I am 2 days away from my personal deadline. I want to finish my Golden Heart Entry by Friday afternoon because I have company coming on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Everything was going along fine until my critique partner pointed out a problem in a scene. I got stuck -- big time. I spent 4.5 hours on the same scene!! And I need to work so much more to get my entry polished.

And during all the frustration, to add to my angst, I am dealing with:

*idiotic ADT service people. Waiting 5 hours for a service call regarding a sensor only to have the service dude show up unable to find a problem and incapable of replacing the sensor... rescheduled to Friday AM. Meanwhile, sensor keeps buggering up and ADT calls to report the problem sensor. I am delaying calling to complain till AFTER the sensor is fixed and my GH is completed.

*service dudes for my new home's crawl space... seriously noisy banging underneath the house and oddly weird to shower knowing they are beneath my floor.

*more service dudes due through Sunday... stay tuned

*cold cold cold... it's so cold in my office, that my fingers turn to ice at the keyboard. I removed myself and went to the masterbedroom... the cats were already there basking in the only warmth the house offered.

So now my butt is in the fire, but I am freezing cold, and whenever I get into the "groove," the doorbell rings or the phone rings or my brain stops functioning.

I want to finish. I want to move on. I am freaked... but in the midst of taking a shower (mainly to warm up), I decided, if the damn thing isn't perfect now, I'll resend it next year. It's only $50 out of my pocket.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Writing through Moods

Well I'll be the first to admit that when I am tired, cranky, frustrated, angry, or all the above, I find it difficult to focus. Today is one of those days.

But, I have a deadline. I cannot let this situation overtake my motivation and derail my focus.

So how do I push through the inner distraction demons?

Some ways I will cope today are:

*venting to get it out of my system
*coffee coffee coffee
*use the timer religiously
*avoid other websites till I am finished writing for the day
*take advil
*work out to clear out the cobwebs in my brain
*remind myself that whatever someone else's problem is, it is just that... someone else's problem

Moods are a part of life. I can't let a mood stand in the way of my goals.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Remembering Why I Started

Today is my dad's birthday. He would have turned 81 today had he not passed away 6 years ago. Losing dad was tough as he was the only parent I had who truly loved me. And he influenced me tremendously. From him I developed a love of reading--he was my library connection. When I exhausted all the books at our small town's library, I raided his bookshelves and found The Hobbit (4th grade), John Steinback and more. From him I learned to be curious and creative and focused on the task at hand.

When I was a child I wanted to be many things: a vet, a movie star (what self respecting girl wouldn't want fame???), and a journalist. I always wrote. Journals, poems, fantasy stories and more. I was fated to write. Yet, due to the "other parent" my life took many strange turns. As one fellow writer said to me, "life hijacked me."

Big time.

I was on my own at 16, working as a waitress, and a highschool drop out. Writing for a living was not an option although I never stopped dreaming.

Fast forward to 2002. Married, college educated, a mother, a friend, and still a dreamer. Dad was very ill. My husband, daughter and I traveled North to see him one more time. During that visit, he needed closure. A way to say goodbye and a way to say he was sorry. Part of that regret was due to his failure to protect me from an abusive parent. A parent who didn't want me to succeed, who wanted me to lose my zest for life, who wanted to derail every dream I had as impossible.

I'll never forget when he turned to me, regret in his eyes, and said it was "too late for me to be a writer." At the time, I believed him. I had laid my dream to rest and was pursuing the idea of becoming a personal life coach. Heck, I am an enthusiastic person and I've encouraged so many people in achieving their dreams, I figured why not get paid for it? I absolved him of his own guilt and said it was okay. I was okay. And I really was doing great.

But the dream that had lain dormant resurrected on that day. And a few months later, I trotted out an old half started manuscript, and I finished it! I sent it off in a query and fantastically, got a request. No. The story doesn't end with a published novel. No. The first book I wrote is not that great and will never be published. However, it will never be forgotten. It is the first book I wrote. I proved to myself it was not too late for me to write. And since that first book churned out of me, I have written two other books.

On Dad's birthday, I wish I could say to him that it's not too late. That I am a writer. And I will, with a lot of luck and hard work, be published one day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Form of Distraction

Today I started a new blog, one to distract, yet motivate me to write more--focus consistently. Lessons I've learned from other writers in the past week include.

*100 words a day, every day.
*set a timer (this really works... no play until timer chimes) I set the microwave to 60 minutes and write till it beeps, take a break, and then reset to 60 minutes.
*writing goals: weekly/daily
*enter contests to set artificial deadlines

So if you're stuck, want to get unstuck, set the timer, promise yourself a page, and move foreward. It's hard to write in a vacuum of no pay, no recognition. Self-discipline is the key.