Tuesday, June 30, 2009

She Swings and Hits--Thanks My Pitching Friend

I pitched my two stories to a writing buddy today and got the thumbs up! Yah! Thanks Mary! I am feeling a little better about the entire session.

Now, I am a bit overwhelmed as I have had an emotional chat with my dearest, oldest friend (no we aren't old, but it sure as heck feels that way after 34 plus years). I believe we are doing fine... back to the old status quo' as you will.

Now back to reality for me: friend coming tomorrow, tons to prep for the conference, and I am itching to see my DD again. Truly the light of my life! Friday is but a few sleeps away!

I am ever so grateful to my DH, DD and my writing buddies for all their support... I hope le pitch impresses the editor/agent as much as it did my friends!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Panic Sets In

After the packing days and general shock of getting ready for my DD's religious camp, my family joined me as I went to Birmingham for the Southern Magic pitching workshop led by our own Kelly St. John. The drive down was uneventful. And I was ever so pleased with my "free" hotel stay garnered through American Express reward points. But when we arrived in Birmingham, with time to spare, we were unable to locate the Holiday Inn we'd booked. And when we finally did find it, I had about 2 minutes to spare before the lunch portion of the workshop began.

Panic! But ever optimistic we hauled our luggage to the front desk only to be greeted by an overworked, disgruntled front desk employee who bluntly informed us early check-in was impossible and "no" there wasn't a place to store luggage. Never mind. We left, the family took me through McDonald's drive through to grab a Happy Meal, and then they hauled me to the Homewood Library for my meeting.

Yay! Freedom! I joined the SM members and guests in the Homewood Library basement and we celebrated Christy Reece's next trilogy's book covers and release dates as well as Naima Bryant (now Niama Simone) and her first publication in Ellora's Cave. We had cake!! And took pictures.

Then Kelly St. John led us through a very detailed pitch workshop that sent my head reeling. My pitch needed updating, work, an overhaul. Can we say panic again? But it is a good panic. If anyone knows what to do to get published, it's Kelly. She's so honest and real about her own experiences as she tried to reach that pinnacle. I appreciate it so much! And I learned so much!

And when it was all over, and we said I goodbyes, I met my family at the library's entrance with my inspiration tucked in my computer bag. Oh, after I returned home, the work would begin again.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Wednesday I devoted all my time and energy to chasing down health insurance issues and helping my daughter pack for her five day overnight camp. I managed to get through my entire in-box without going insane. And I only had to make one run to the compounding pharmacy to get a second set of claim forms for the drug company's needs. The best part about all of my effort was the good news I received from the billing department for my emergency cyst removal--I only owe $70 instead of $384! Yeah!

This year has been a banner year for health costs--a first for us. Moving out of our company's network is costing us. I'm used to a copay and this 20% of fees is daunting. However, I also feel I am receiving better care and better testing because the insurance PPO's can't dictate what tests I need to have and now I am so much better than I was up north when I didn't have to pay as much. It's truly a Catch-22 situation. Sure, I'd rather spend $285 on clothes for the RWA National Conference, but reality meant spending it on 20% toward my labs which led to my diagnosis.


Packing up DD for her camp was very painful. First we had to pack a framed backpack for the first night at the camp for older girls. Our family doesn't camp. At all. I was forced into it as a child (blech blech blech) in Canada. I've used wood seated toilets, washed my hair in cold lakes, and slept on top of barely concealed tree roots in pup tents.

I don't need to experience the delights of camping again.

Darling Husband camped with Boy Scouts. Once. In Texas. A scorpion crawled into his sleeping bag. His only advice to DD was "bang your sleeping bag hard with a heavy stick to make sure snakes and bugs are dead before you slip inside it."

His idea of camping is staying at the Holiday Inn.

We did "camp" in Europe when DD was 6 years old. Camping in France means staying in a house with a small kitchen, sleeping on real beds, and having amenities like hot croissants, fresh baked bread, swimming pools, discos and more. This like staying at a cool Holiday Inn where people are stunned and amazed by discovering the only Americans at their campground.

I could do that again.

Any rate, as a girl scout leader, I did try the camping thing again when DD was a second grader. She wanted to stay in the cabin till the bugs crawled out and prevented her from shining her flashlight onto her book.

Thankfully, I had plenty of backup. We went home at midnight. I was ever so happy to drink my big glass of red wine when we arrived home.

No more GS camping for us. We arranged for things like staying at themed places for our troop.

But now that we've moved south, my rising 10th Grader decided to revisit the idea of staying in cabins, sleeping on the ground, not being able to bath easily because her friends invited her to go to camp. Well, that's fine. We spent almost $200 on camp supplies, modest clothing (cause it's a religious camp--can't even wrap my brain around that one), and bins to protect all her stuff.

But we borrowed the framed backpack.

And we had to pack it for one night.

Who knew the sleeping bag and the bedroll were to go OUTSIDE the pack? *Sigh* Four hours later, we had the bin packed with 4 days of clothing, two squashed towels, two squashed washcloths, a bikini to wear UNDER the clothes, a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of water shoes, a pair of flip flops, a tarp, an air mattress, a cooling water fan, batteries, a small sewing kit, a bible (the only reading material allowed--at what point will she cave??), a journal, a bin filled with snacks (supposed to last five days--might last two), and an air mattress with a pump!

The pack, with sleeping bag on outside in waterproof bag, bedroll, set of clothes, pajamas, mess kit, first aid kit (she might need it), snacks, camp manual (let's train now!), and a pair of socks tucked in when remembered after the pack was well, packed.

Wednesday was a bust for practicing pitching.

Thursday I worked on my pitch a bit, then went to the mall to meet a friend. I had to shop for little things to put into a shoebox for my DD to receive when she is at camp. I brought my pitch with me, and after we finished shopping, I pitched my first book pitch to my friend. She liked it. And her eyes lit up when I asked the final question. Whew. At least SHE wants to read my book.

After we parted, I went to the women's center to get a mammogram. Blah.

Returned home, got call from DH telling me he was bringing over a person to see our house--AACK--quickly cleaned. Then grabbed DD and went to a cool subdivision to check out their houses, and then to two car dealerships to check out cars. Eventually, she'll need one. Why not check them out now?

Somehow, in-between all this running round, I looked up some information about my agent and editor, added what I found to my index cards, and reread my pitch.

I practiced my pitches this morning, checked my favorite blog sites out, made a grocery list, checked online for coupons, gave up on trying to be a smart coupon shopper, and now I am preparing to head to the grocery store. Meanwhile, DD has walked into my office, informed me she needs to shop for secret sister items for her camp experience, and she wants to go to the outdoor mall to shop for a bit.

Now, what to do about clothes for the conference? At some point, I will have to cull through my closet and figure out what I really need to buy with my meager budget. After all, most of my moola goes to camping supplies and secret sister shopping.

I've managed to blog, dig up info for the pitch, write the pitches, but I haven't managed to do more than move my 4th MS over to the Scrivener program to ready it for revision.

Doubt much will happen with it until after the conference.

Summertime is not an easy time to prepare for anything. But I muddle along.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So Gotta Get Real for Now

I finished my two pitches for the conference, am continuing to immerse myself in learning about publishing, and must practice, practice, and practice... but for now... gotta get real. I've got to get ready for my trip to Bham, my DD's camp (augh), and a visitor.

It will all come together... right?

Monday, June 22, 2009


I finished transcribing my primary pitch onto my index cards and I feel a bit more prepared, or at least ready to practice my pitch. Then I cleaned house, did laundry, polyurethaned the table I've been redecorating, visited a friend, made dinner, and worked on the second pitch.

Why is the unrevised first draft of my fourth book easier to think about than the multi-revised 3rd book? Argh. Any rate, now I have all my 2nd pitch on the computer and need to transcribe it to index cards so I can practice it as well.

I think I have learned something from this experience. Write the first draft--prepare taglines and pitches for it--queries--synopsis submissions--then start full revisions. I think the core of the story is the pitch.

At least it is for me.

Dilemma: what story do I pitch first? The one I know is ready to submit? Or the one I am passionate about now?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Creative Avoidance 101

Well the conference is less than a month away and I have to get prepared to pitch to my agent/editor. Whew, that means making cute little index cards with boatloads of prompts about my stories and being able to talk about them effortlessly.

My first foray into this endeavor meant distilling info given at my local chapter meeting. Then I fritzed around and started a home DIY project. Can we say I am not focused? Then I had a bit more time on the computer. I researched my editor's authors and my agent's background. Post Its on the wall--need to transfer to the index cards.

Oh, did I mention that I now have multi-colored cards? Yeah~after my dr. appointment, I went to Staples and bought all kinds of conference items (get ready to pitch and more). Now I have purple, pink, yellow, green, and blue 4X6 index cards, a cool clear index card holder, and a black box holder.

Shopping is good creative avoidance.

And I managed to work on the DIY project some more, cook a cool appetizer, go out for dinner, shop for a Father's Day gift with my daughter whilst signing up for Publishers Marketplace and researching my agent/editor a bit more. Oh, and I got onto Amazon and ordered two writing books.

But my pitch is still embryonic at best.

I did order business cards. And I bought Avery labels to plaster on the back of some of them--with my one liner hook on them.

Goal: tomorrow is Father's Day--no rest for the weary.
Goal for Monday: clean house and work on pitch-
Goal for week: prep two pitches so I have them ready to try out at the workshop on the 27th....

I also have to get my DD ready for her camp (starts on the 29th), clean house (really needs it), get a mammogram (oh joy), connect with a writing friend on Wednesday, figure out my wardrobe for the conference (I have NO clothes), oh, and I HAVE TO WRITE AND PREP MY PITCHES AND PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

No problem... really ....

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pitch Panic

Well it's all in. I have my pitching appointments and now I must sit down and prepare my two pitches, my elevator pitches, and my head-to-head pitches.

Yikes. When? This is the weirdest writing time of year for me. Summertime is usually a time of year when I notch down my writing. This year I have a child underfoot, company coming in about two weeks, and I have travel myself (part of it is the National Conference). I can WRITE the pitches, but when can I practice them?

Yesterday I drove to Chattanooga with Darling Daughter and we practiced the first part of my pitch at a restaurant. The GMC of my characters as well as the high concept/hook. I'll start filling in the gaps today. I want to have a pitch ready to practice by Monday at the latest. I want to have both pitches ready by Friday. 

On Saturday I go to the Southern Magic Meeting. Kelly St. John is leading a pitching workshop. I want to be prepared with my two main pitches and a catchy elevator pitch for each one as well. Hopefully, I'll be able to refine the pitches at the workshop and have more to practice the week of the 29th

My DD goes to camp on the 29th. My company arrives on July 1st and stays a week. I am glad to see my friend, but I hope she doesn't mind it if I practice my pitches on her!! I pick up my DD from camp on the 3rd. We drive my friend to Birmingham on the 8th. I may spend the night. 

We leave for DC on the 11th! I can practice my pitch in the car, in the hotel, and on my writing friends. 

Today I have a doctor's appointment. I hope it doesn't throw me off my game. I am going to Staples after I'm done. I'll pick up my index card box and different colored index cards for my pitches. I'll buy Avery labels as well to print out my one liner hooks. Must order business cards and postcards for the conference and for querying. Will do that tomorrow. They usually arrive in about a week.

I hope I can focus on this task--it's so important. And when I am afraid I will fail, well then it's easier to fail if I didn't prepare properly. I can blame the lack of prep rather than the quality of my work.

Must overcome that tendency. Must do it now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Staging a Room, Staging a Life

I woke up this morning and dressed quickly. I had builder reps coming to check out the insulation levels in the attic and restore them to peak level at 8AM. 

They arrived on time. I was dressed, ready and already reading my fourth MS first draft. Whew.

The new insulation was installed. Darling Daughter awakened, hung about in jammies, and I continued reading draft 1 of 4th MS.

Then off to my friend's house to help her reorganize a room in her house. I had a great time moving around her bits and pieces and telling her get rid of this, or asking "why is THIS here?" Oh, fun! We took a cluttered room and restructured it into a nice, habitable space.

Isn't that amazing? She was so happy with the results. Sometimes it takes a fresh eye to see what needs to be done with the crap we have in our houses.

Then off I drove... home to work on the reading and note taking for the revision of my 4th book. And it hit me. Sometimes it takes a fresh eye to see how to fix the crap in our stories. 

I am so glad I waited so long to fix this mess. I am so glad I have a fresh eye. I already have a better idea about where I am going to take this MS. And I am excited about it. It'll take cutting out unnecessary words, repositioning the other words, and refining the details with bits of description and prose. 

Oh my!

My friend's husband arrived home from work, looked at the room, and said to her, "Christine's hired."

I hope one day an editor reads my pages and says the same thing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer is Here--

Well, I was very spoiled by Summer School--my DD's required elective class allowed me to work while she endured a very redundant computer applications class (easiest A she ever got--well... summer school is that way for College so .... good lesson learned). 

But NOW.... yikes... I have pitches to prepare, writing to do, guests arriving during the next month and I feel like WHOOPS... how in the heck will all this happen while Missy Wonderful Who I LOVE and Want to Spend Time With is Home? 

Oh, well... I will not stress... 

I asked her to hear my pitch while I practice... and she will... she's so supportive of my writing. And if writing doesn't happen, reading about it will. And if all I do is prep the pitch, so be it. 

I only have 3 more years with her... I refuse to compromise that time with her. I am first and foremost, a mother. And I love it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Princesses with Attitude

Yesterday I spent the day playing tourist in my own city. My friends and I went to the Space and Rocket Center with my GF's daughters (5 & 3). The three year old loves space, astronauts, rockets and will probably go to Space Camp when she is older. I asked the five year old if she wanted to go to Space Camp. She said she'd rather go to Princess Camp. Me, too. Sure, space and rockets are interesting and fun. But the idea of hurtling into space on top of a missile (it is a missile even if we call it a rocket) taller than a lot of building and carrying a payload of fuel capable of creating a crater if it blows up on land doesn't thrill me one bit. 

But Princess Camp? Oh yeah. My five year old friend and I talked about creating our own Princess Camp. Presently, due to the word camp, she wants to pitch a tent in my backyard. I asked her if Princesses should live in a tent. She promptly informed me that OUR tent would have carpeting. While at Camp Princess, we receive manicures-pedicures and our hair is styled. Plus, we get our faces glamorized. But I was informed, we'd make our own meals. When I questioned the idea of Princesses cooking, my tiny friend waved the objection away, saying, "We'll be the kind of Princesses who can do our own stuff." 

I loved the response. Princesses who are pretty, pampered, but capable of looking after themselves are women who aren't afraid to ask for more and they aren't afraid to go after what they want. 

My young friend's Princess model is very familiar to me. I've read about these kind of women in romance novels. These pretty, capable, strong, gorgeous, educated, intelligent women are princesses because they won't settle for just any man. Sure, these heroines might be wearing stilettos while they overcome their conflicts to succeed, but they expect their heroes to honor their dreams and cheer them on toward their goals. 

Anyone can impress a bimbo, but a real man will work very hard for my kind of heroine, a Princess with Attitude!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Friends Bring Memories

I am on hiatus. Today I ran errands, went to the grocery store, and readied the house for my friends to arrive for a visit.


Best of all, when they did, the house filled with a buzzing warmth and activity. We have two adorable young girls, their mom, and their aunt here for a few days. Out come the Littlest Pet Shop bins filled with all my darling daughter's collection. Out come the kid snacks, the mayhem, the crazy clutter of fun. 

Out comes the chatter. The chatter of young sisters playing, fussing, ordering, and repeating all the above. The chatter of friends sharing goals and memories, making a meal together, and visiting on the veranda.

Out comes the happiness. The joy of seeing dear friends, their children, sharing hopes and dreams, visions and lives. Out comes my mini moment of oh, can I bottle this time? Can I keep it please? But I can't.

After a few days, this wonderful hurricane of happy life and energy will whirl out of my house and head north to Virginia. And my new house will become silent. Empty. Ghosts of fun tripping in my halls bringing wistful moments. 

Moments where I wonder why we moved, moments of loneliness and isolation as I miss the ease of being in their company, and moments of optimism in nurturing new relationships to their full bloom. 

For having accomplished this amazing sense of connection time and time again, I know it is possible.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Break or Bust?

I've been busy catching up on chores and friends this week. First the chores: house cleaned top to bottom--highly necessary tho' hardly a reward for hard work on my book. Hence, part deux of my break is getting to chat for a long time on the phone with my friends without worrying about it taking away writing time. And today I am going to meet one of them for lunch--that's a nice reward. Tomorrow, my friends from VA are arriving and they stay for 3 days. I'm looking forward to seeing them again. And over the weekend, I get to see my HEART OF DIXIE writing pals, learn to pitch, and that evening I am attending a surprise birthday party. Woot!

I also managed to do little odds and ends. Like hooking up with DonorsChoose
--an organization that donates money to help schools directly linked with military families. What a lovely way to support our troops! And to promote education is a positive thing as well.
And I wrote and emailed my letter asking an editor to judge our LINDA HOWARD AWARD of EXCELLENCE contest for SOUTHERN MAGIC.

I'm holding back from starting my 4th MS read through and first revision until next Monday. It's hard, but I want to give my brain a break, and I want to work on some business stuff. I want to order my business cards for the conference with my pseudonym and I want to start building my web page. Then I can stream my blog into it, and my FaceBook for my writing name. Woot!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

In Between Projects...

I finished--for now. So I took a break over the weekend. Well, a writing break. Not a real break. I installed a new fan in my daughter's room. Woot

Then I reorganized my office. Highly necessary. There's something cool about throwing away clutter and creating space for the next project--and one awaits!

Meanwhile, I take in emails about how to send an email to a judge for a contest. NEW TERRITORY. Oh dear, please let me do this right. I want to help.

And I am preparing to pitch. Woot! Two Chapter meetings coming up. Meanwhile, I made a fake me FaceBook page. Wow. Now I need business cards and a website... can this happen now?

I am catching up on old lessons and reading about my craft. Woot! So much to learn, so much to fret about, so much to forget.

And I am mentally restructuring my writing day to match my darling daughter's summer break.  Fun! And I am organizing trips, people visiting, camps, teens, and thoughts. Mmmmm .... summer is here... can we say an :hour per day: is good?

I need to check on my editor/agent appointments. I must say, a few of the unhappy posts after BLACK TUESDAY, well, I am concerned... being anal... this is natural.

And it is great to catch up with old friends, clean the house top to bottom, prepare an amazing meal (if I do say so myself LOL), and just BE.  I am ready to move forward, but I am glad for a bit of a slow down after the frantic pace I've put in....

Gosh, I LOVE summer break. I am happy because in a few sleeps, my DD and I will be free to explore and be Mom/daughter for awhile. Of course, others will JOIN US.

So on to the next project, but slowly... steadily... and, perhaps, a bit warily.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hurrah! Yeah! Amen!

Oh yeah, I am FINISHED!! So bloody happy. Worked my behind off, made 9/11 calls to my CPs re: a scene I new I had to rehash. And one of them called back, we brainstormed, and I believe we came to a good result. 

Now, some of the scenes are short, but they are there... and I like it so much better now. I sent off Ch. 14-17 to my CP Karen in Fairfax to ask if she liked the direction of the S/L. I will need to revise the synopsis, minor details, and then it's mmmm, better? Well, I like the emotional content better. It is MY VOICE. 

Off to celebrate with a movie!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Very Long Long Long Day

Chapter 16--I knew it would be rough, very rough. And I was oh so very right. I spent a good portion of 8 hours working on one scene. Then I fried and had to finish the second scene. Painful!

But the good news is I had an epiphany about where the story needed to go next--the bad news is it means completely reworking the NEXT SCENE! Argh!! But I think it will be okay. Then I'll incorporate some of the second to last scene into the last scene and hopefully I won't lose too many of my words (though some of them need snipping). 

Oh lord, I like the direction this is going, but I am so tired of it as well. When I am done, I am going to read through the last 5 chapters and rework them one more time based on where these two people are telling me to go now. God, will the next book be any easier?????? Probably not. But I do hope it is faster. 


Now it's time to decompress, relax, look at other postings--and I realized I'll have to rework my synopsis for querying based on the revised ending. Blah again. But isn't that the truth for all books out there?


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chapter 15 Kicked My Butt--Dreading Chapter 16

Well I worked for at least 5 hours on Chapter 15. It's an emotional, intense, sexual, culmination of much for my hero and heroine.

And oh, it was so very painful and difficult to write. Cause I had to rethink the premise of their reunion. A lot. I wanted to keep the intensity high, but not make her weak. It was HARD. And I think I succeeded, but I lost some words (hate that cause I will have to go in an add some I am sure). But the words I cut were not right for the story.

Oh I hope I get this ending better written--I hope I find the real reason they reconnect by the final pages. OH how many times have I written this story??????? Will they find home with each other? Will my readers WANT them to reconnect? I don't know. I know I need them to want to be together for ALL the right reasons. 

And I am sure a few months from now I'll be tightening it all up again. 

Now, moving on. Chapter 16 looms. Oh, it looms in a bad way. I am dreading it. Another major rewrite and revision. Hours? Probably. And I must FINISH by end of day. Or else. I must as I must be finished this mad mess by Friday evening. 

Company's coming and I need gotta clean house! Not that I won't tweak the mess! I will. I will print out the last 5 chapters, read through them, add and subtract descriptive elements, look for cliches and more. The joy of writing... fixing ... doing it all ... but it will be worth it if, when it finally happens, I can make a difference in  a small way in some reader's life. 

My goal is to sell that belief that romance is where lost souls find home when they find each other. Oh, the glory of it. The wonder of it. That is the goal.

Meanwhile, after the HEA, there's my life to consider. Like do I enter the Dorchester competition just posted on the PRO loop? I might. Why not? I have nothing to lose other than my dignity. And I lose that on a regular basis. So why not indeed? I'll review it this weekend.

And, after the HEA, I need to get my house ready for company, and spend time with friends I've not seen in person for weeks (they might give up on me if I don't), and I need to plan for my trip to DC. Which leads to preparing to pitch for the big event.

Yikes. But I have old material from my April Kihlstrom class to review, and a BOOTCAMP through the PRO Class loop to take starting the 15th (perfect timing), and my query/synopsis will help with formulating the plan. Oh, and I have the Southern Magic Pitching Workshop on the 27th with Kelly St. John, the amazing Kelly St. John!! I am tres excited about it.

Now, another break... back to my deck and that reality with DH... he is yearning for his former lost soul to fly home and roost with him on the veranda.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Work and Work and Work...

Today I did the usual mundane crapola. Drove DD to inane *required elective* necessary to graduate summer school class, walked for an hour with my PW buddy, and wrote. I reworked chapter 14 and started on chapter 15. Got 3 scenes worked out. But will they ever be finished? Probably not.

Got to speak to my BF in Canada for an hour. We had arranged it prior to today and I was glad for the break. I wish I could be into her world: kids, decorating, painting, family, traveling. But no, I must flog myself continually for no pay because I am driven to write. 

We writers are strange creatures.

Am on the loop for chapter contest coordinator. They might not like how I do, but I am free labor and I want to help. Very good credentials.

Am worrying about DD who is presently at a *camp rehearsal* and dealing with the rain, lots of other more chaste young ladies (it is a Mormon camp... don't ask... we're not Mormon). 

Now I am finished for the day and eager to get the next chapter PUT TO BED... literally. Hehe.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Writing and Reading and Writing and Judging

The weekend zoomed by for me. First I had to get DD off to the lake with her friend. Then DH wanted to go to a movie and dinner with me (I was reluctant, but went, and glad I did). TERMINATOR/SALVATION... oh so yummy in so many ways are the males in that movie. Hugh Jackman has competition now!

I also judged my contest entries. I think in my zeal to keep one writer encouraged, I gave too high a score, but I did my best. I'd rather err on the side of too much than too little. The second entry I judged was fantastic. I was impressed with the story, the writing, and the professional synopsis. I finished the last contest entry today. Interesting story, very lyrical, and lots of potential. But I couldn't score the hero as I didn't know who he was. Too bad!!! But she is a talented writer and will do well once she gets her hero placed in the first few chapters.

I also read through my CP's children's MS after she sent out a 9/11 for input. It's due back to the editor/publisher tomorrow and might be picked up for a series. It was so well-written. Very few errors, and she is such a talented and humorous writer. I hope it works out for her! Woot to my friend. Crossing fingers, toes and knees for her.

I started to day with a long walk/talk with my two neighbors. Exercise is essential! When I returned, I sat down and knocked out the 13th chapter! Finally!! Chapter 14 is started and I hope to knock it out and push out the beginning of Chapter 15 as well. The plan, barring an unforeseen stupid major interruption, is to finish the MS by Friday afternoon. Then I park it till I have solid requests. 

I want to move on. I also want to get ready for my friends to visit, and I want to enjoy some of my summer with the family (though the way things are right now--worrying about money and buying a car for a teen and college for same teen--maybe I might be better off just staying in my hole and writing--or getting a "paying job"). I do wonder why I do this as I am NOT paid and I do have a kid to get through college (tho' DH has a fabulous job and career, it always seems like we can't have it all--and part of the deal for me to move to a small town in the south was to be able to TRAVEL AWAY from it--don't see that happening if we're buying cars and so forth). 

Oh well. In 3 years I'll be an empty nester and that will be worse as far as how much I will miss DD. And writing doesn't cost me much: just contest entries, paper, ink, time, and brain sweat. This too shall pass.

The RWA Conference is in 6 weeks. I have editor/agent appointments (I HOPE STILL ON THE BOOKS) lined up and I am nervous. Of course, this isn't a make or break deal. I plan to query and submit as soon as I get back home from the conference (well as soon as school starts, most likely).  I am excited about going. It makes me feel legitimate. Real. Well, real except for the whole no money bit... did I mention buying a car and college tuition??? 

I am in a bit of a funk. I want to support my DD and make it all perfect for her. But I don't want to lose sight of my hopes and dreams either. I hope it all works out. College didn't seem so daunting 3 years ago. Now it is looming. That and the car, well, it's hard to justify not using my time and talents (and I use the word "talents" loosely) for a career that guarantees money.

But I WANT to write. It's what I am supposed to do. It's who I am. It's all I ever wanted. I don't think I was meant to do anything different. Life just happened and delayed the inevitable. 

Darn it. Why is all so complicated?