Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Revision

Ah, the holiday season is upon us and we are gearing up for our Christmas season with our usual traditions. Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, we begin getting ready for the holidays. First on the list, we tear down Thanksgiving decor. All the splendor of autumn colors is removed from mantles and doors to make room for our Christmas decor.

We clean (I do actually--while DD and DH go shopping for my Christmas presents on Black Friday). We perform the annual dance of the moving furniture to make space for our artificial tree (we are allergic to pine). This usually involves heated discussions about where one's beloved chair (DH) must go. One year we managed to convince him to move it into the attic. But this year he got a new chair and he refused to let it go. Sigh. But we managed to make the new living area work and were well on our way to the fun part of getting ready for Christmas.

Decorating the tree and house.

On Saturday, we haul down the boxes and the tree. We unfurl the branches, open up the ornaments, hang them up, decorate the dining room, bring out old decor and buy a bit of new. We play Christmas music and by late afternoon, the inside of the house is ready for another Christmas season. On Sunday, we head outside and we put up our outdoor decor. And voila! Christmas has sprung.

But it never springs quite the same way. Every year, tough decisions are made about old bits of decor. Toss or keep? How do we reuse it? Do we keep it and use it later or not at all? The tree? Every year, a new set of ornaments (3, 1 for each of us) arrives. Thus, the other ornaments must make room for the new ones. They are never hung in the same way. The mantle. Over the years I've had tons of space to put decorative items and candles. Last year we moved, a huge flat screen TV prevents the candles from being lit, and I had to rethink the entire mantle decorations. And the DR? Last year we moved. What worked in our old house no longer fit the new color scheme. Back to the store I went to get different decorative items for the new DR.

Are you seeing what I'm seeing? Christmas Revision!

In a way, the process we go through as a family getting ready for the holidays is much like the process of revising a manuscript. First I go through all the old writing. What do I toss, keep, move, shift, change, rediscover? What must I reinvent? How will I hang it all together? There's usually a heated discussion with my CPs about the direction of the book and the characters' GMC. Huge bits of work are set aside for future evaluation. Other bits are saved, but really, they'll probably never be in the final draft (is there such a thing?). New ideas are generated and written. Now the MS takes on a different veneer. It's the same story, the same people, but the way they hang on my manuscript tree is different.

This is writing. First draft is fun--no rules--get the core of the story down. First revision is PAINFUL. Much like moving the furniture in our home to accommodate the huge tree, the pain of the shifting is difficult to bear because it all looked so pretty beforehand. But now the house looks great. Different, but it holds all the new items and looks similarly pretty.

Second revision can be even more painful--especially for new writers. We struggle with the deeper aspects of our writing: we've got POV, but what about DEEP POV? And we know how to write well, but does the scene move our story forward? Is it necessary? Just like the old cranberry beads that really looked beautiful on the tree 5 years ago, our scenes looked pretty darned good to us, too. But now, we must examine them for flaws. Are they just there to be there? Or do they serve a purpose? Are they well-crafted with a hook? Or do they just fill space? Tough decisions to be made at the computer. Sometimes we keep our scenes, hoping to use them later or to improve upon them. I know I keep those stupid cranberries JUST IN CASE I might find a way to use them. I do the same thing with old scenes. They just go into a different document so I can make room for the new scenes I plan to write (and they must be better!).

Now, as I was decorating my house for Christmas, I read through two revised MS's. One is almost there. Looks like what I read before, but it's tighter, better, the story moves quicker. The other MS I am reading I've read 3 times. I know for a fact my CP has torn into this story, part of a series, and ripped it apart to mine it for what it needs to give the reader. As I read this story, I think to myself, I remember this, but it's so much better and it flows so much easier, it's different. And it's different in a great way. BUT, I'm still finding little typos, and some small polishing items such as indents are wrong or extra spaces and doubled words. Despite all her hard work, these tiny details can be missed. It seems no matter how many times we write the stories and revise them, they are never perfect. This is the final polishing work.

I know, at the end of the day, when my CPs do send off their work, they'll move onto different stories and ideas, but they will, either based on editor or agent suggestions, be revisiting them to tweak the final product again and again.

Our stories are never finished until they are sitting on the shelves, real and virtual.

And that's why this writer will continue revising her own WIP during the holiday season.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas & Writing through the Holidays

Up until last year, I used to take time away from my writing from Thanksgiving until the New Year. And, especially after the pushing out of GH babies, goodness knows I'm over all the long hours of writing and ready to play. But the problem with staying away from my writing that long was the problems I had getting back into the characters' heads in the new year. Valuable time necessary for pushing ahead was spent in relearning my peeps.

Not good. The solution? Easy. Last year someone posted on another blog about a great way to keep one's head in the game without losing the holiday spirit of fun and laughter. Give a little, not a lot, each day to the writing until the tinsel is torn down and another holiday is put up for the year. For some that means word count. If you write a minimum of 250-500 words a day (except on very special days), then you'll have a 1000 word scene every 4 days (or 2 scenes if you're ambitious).

I'm usually in the midst of revisions during this time, so word count doesn't really help me. For those of us not in first draft, the best idea is to put in time. Tell yourself you'll commit to writing for 1/2 an hour or an hour a day. Sometimes you'll not write at all, but other times you'll write for more than an hour. I managed to keep going through my GH final pages in this manner, and by the time the time the new year hit, I was totally on my game. I finished the revision by January 23rd. Now I also set a goal to be finished before I started an awesome course, Book in a Week, (which lasts a month in prep work and actual writing work), at the end of the month. By working a bit every day, sometimes a lot more (hey, everyone's asleep around here but me), I managed to reach my goal.

This year I am even more motivated to get this MS finished and revised before February. My DH needs a hip replacement. He's getting it February 4th, 2010. My poor knight is in serious need of new armor!! Now I can write first draft with interruptions because I learned not to go back at all during the Book in a Week Course. If I stop, I know exactly where I need to start again. With revisions, no way. I am cutting and pasting and reconnecting pieces and chunks of MS into a whole new world order. If people interrupt my thought processes during revision, they had better be bleeding or have broken bones (ask my DD).

DH will be in pretty major hospital and post surgery ickiness. Constant interruptions will abound. And I must put him first. However, there's no reason I can't hide in my first draft as I anxiously await his surgery to be completed, and afterward as I wait for him to get his therapy. And, as he is noted to be the world's worst patient, I KNOW this will be a time of *ahem* great jumping around and earning my wifie golden points.

Regardless, I must be working on something even if it is sporadic, to keep to my goal of writing 3 category lengths a year (or 2 STs and 1 category). I'll need my fictional peeps to keep sane. And I can write first draft anywhere.

There are people who say they'd love to write (or draw or do ... whatever), but they simply don't have the time. I say boo on that excuse. I learned that a girl can accomplish a lot in a half an hour. Seriously a lot. Set the timer, don't dilly dally on the Internet or play Farmville (why do people do this??), and you'll be surprised by how much you can accomplish.

So my goal is simple: keep writing through the holiday season. Devote a minimum of an hour a day during the weekends and at least 3 hours during the week. That way I've got time to be a friend, a wife and a mom who is pleasant to hang around with and who enjoys her holiday season.

Do it. Have a goal. Finish it. Be firm and committed. Take care of your characters during this holiday season.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Part 3

I've often wondered why I tackled becoming a writer. Honestly, I haven't got the fabulous educational background of many of the writers I admire. Nope. I didn't go to Yale or Harvard. In my life before I became I writer, I didn't hold a job as a lawyer, doctor, anthropologist, television anchor or other some such type of illustrious career. Nope. I was lucky to get my degree in elementary education by the time I was 27. I worked a few years in radio and television and private education, but I never built a career.

I learned only two things about myself during the few years I dealt with corporate America: I hate office politics and I hate wearing pantyhose to work.

Any rate, after a few years of trying to climb the corporate ladder and bumping my head on a very low ceiling, I had a baby and I decided busting my stockings to get a promotion wasn't as eternal as raising a beautiful child. I've never regretted the decision.

When she entered the 4th grade, I rediscovered my earlier passion for writing. And that's what I've been mucking around doing ever since I dusted off my first attempts at writing a novel. I've learned a lot about writing and craft from my writing comrades, RWA, my writing chapters, more books than I care to admit I own and on-line workshops.

But the doubts and the questioning never leave me. Who am I to take on this task when I have such a muddled background? Do the words "I'm not worthy" ever cross your mind? They cross mine. They jump around my brain whenever I learn about that writer's degree in literature, or her illustrious career in technology and the writer who once wrote speeches for the President. Okay? Now that's a big scary deal for me.

So why do I even attempt this crazy adventure? I haven't got a Masters degree in anything, I haven't worked in a real job since 1994, and I didn't grow up in a family that bothered to nurture my talents. Nope. I had to fight for every success I had and that's where the chutzpah to write lives. My scrappiness.

I learned a lot about life in a different college: the college of hard knocks and streetwise living. I've been on my own since I was 16 years old. I fought to get my GED and, after my DH married me, I taught myself the SAT with a big book of tests. I entered university, got scholarships and busted my buns to finish my degree in less than 4 years (my DH had married me for my, uh, cooking ability, not my education as I had none to speak of other than the GED).

I may not have any experience tackling corporate giants or winning cases in the courtroom, but I know how to flip a burger, pump gas, make beds, clean hotel rooms, assist the elderly and nurture children. I can type faster than most secretaries. I've knocked back beer in an Ice Shack in Houston, and I've hobnobbed with Nobel Prize winners while sipping Kir Royale. I've played pool with biker chicks, and I've hosted dinner parties for distinguished scientists. I've sat in a bar outside of Phoenix and chatted with the locals about the humidity. I've canoed down the Dordogne and toured castles. I've slept in a pup tent next to the Redwoods. I've flown first class to Europe.

I've had nothing. I've experienced everything.

When I was eighteen, if you opened my fridge, you'd find a large 7-11 Slushy and a potato. I've dated guys because they paid for my dinner and I was hungry. I've eaten 8 course meals in Sarlat, France. I've known extreme loneliness, the kind where I've considered rushing off a balcony of a twentieth floor high rise because who would care if I was gone? I've known extreme joy, the kind where I've wanted to bottle the bubbling happiness and cork it so I can pop it open, and let it stream over me when I am sad again.

Today I am thankful for my life. For all of it. For the ugly chunks of my childhood, for the brief glimmers of joy even then. I mine the coals of hurt, pain, frustration, anger and bitterness for my stories. I  open the shell surrounding my heart and draw out pearls of ecstasy to endow my characters with abiding joy.

I'm grateful for the natural talents and intelligence given to me, but I am actually more thankful for being forced to live in circumstances that brought me to my knees, humbled. I am grateful because I believe my street education, and my ability to transcend that background, have given me an opportunity to give back the greatest gift I've received: HOPE.

My stories are about two people finding each other and discovering home. Today I'm grateful I found my hero. Today I'm grateful we created our own safe place to fall.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Part 1

Today I am thankful for the following:

1) my family; their health and their love and their support
2) my friends, near and far for the same
3) sunshine and blue skies in NOVEMBER Hallellujah!
4) music
5) Facebook-for helping me keep in touch with my friends who live in other countries and my friends here in good ol' AL
6) my cats-Mischief is just a funny girl, always a bit quirky. And Clancy is my lovebug--
7) comfy chairs and a roof over my head--how incredibly blessed am I? I am blessed!
8) my health--you don't know how important it is till it is threatened
9) the people talking in my head and telling me their stories-honor to be picked
10) God-for loving me and giving me a purpose in my life and for knowing me before I knew myself and sending me out to the world to be a friend, a mom , a wife, a writer, a person of worth because He loves me and I know Him.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Golden Heart-2nd Entry is Finished and Mailed

Taking a timely break and readying for the holidays today.
So happy to have this off my chest and in the mail... woohoo!!
And now, time to relax before I do turkey triage.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Boyfriend is My Reward for Slogging at the Computer.... sigh...

I am unabashedly madly in love with Hugh Jackman. God, he's beautiful. Inside and out.
Sigh Sigh Sigh--after a long day of revising/editing/reading/hunting for words--- sigh sigh sigh--click on the link and be rewarded. But remember, HE'S MINE.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

For All the Writers, Agents & Editors Reeling Over HQN's New Venture

For writers and agents this past week has been interesting. We've all had our say about HQN's latest venture, pro/con--angry/sad/unsure--disbelief. Yet we've continued to forge ahead with pursuing our goals, one and all. I love my professional organization, RWA, and I love my writing comrades. Whether I know you in person or only via the wonderful world of the Internet, I am connected to host of strong people.

By far, writing has become more than a dream to be published. It's become a place I call home with a lot of talented individuals who care about this industry and nurturing each other toward reaching the goals we've sent. Regardless of where one is in their writing career, published or  not, we all share a common bond: we have people in our heads and we are compelled to tell their stories.

And we have a group of people, Agents and Editors, who love to bring these stories into the world. The right stories. The ones that hit their nerves. Our first readers and our greatest champions when we strike a chord in their hearts.

We're on a journey. Occasionally, we hit bumps and potholes. HQN's announcement was a HUGE POTHOLE/BUMP/OH SH** THE SKY IS FALLING MOMENT. But it has passed. We're still writing. We're still moving toward our goals. And we're safe in the knowledge that we have an amazing umbrella of protection.

RWA and the Chapters to which we belong.

Meanwhile, whenever you're worried or feeling blue or you get an R with INTEGRITY, then this song's for you... play it, gaze at the beautiful man in it, and then move on to your destiny....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Synopsis to Go

I have the best CPs in the world. Seriously, between all of them (well there are only a few... but they feel like many), I am very happy with my current synopsis due to their input. 

(insert here: why pay for this service when we can help each other for free?)

I am getting very close to the end of my second GH ride. Whew. I have 50 pages -- again.......... was going to read aloud. Probably will, but want my synopsis sharp and I want to add 3000 words to the overall MS.... and I want to be finished and have this sent off by Monday afternoon. 

Oh, I do have grand expectations.

But I have a trip to TX on Wed. and I can't revisit this again. I won't -- it's erotic so I'm not holding my breath! BUT I do have a partial ready... woohoo!!!! I am ready to submit!

Now, I am on the home stretch. TG. I am ready!!

Meanwhile, I owe my wonderful CPs my time. And my contests my time. Tomorrow I read an outline, and starting Wed. I read a bunch of contest entries, and two fulls. Woooooottttt! I can't wait to read my CPs stuff cause I am sick of reading mine!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cures for Sore Writer's Bummed Out Bottom

I've been plastered to a chair for days now. Not just one chair, but four different chairs as I work toward finishing my second GH entry and synopsis. Let me tell you, aching derriere is not a strong enough description for how my tush feels right now. I feel like there is sandpaper on the inside of my skin, burning thousands of holes into my poor little bum.

Yes, bum. That's Canadian for bottom or butt. I like the word Bum better than bottom or butt, but ... haha ... when in Rome and all that... No... I love the word bum. It is short for BUMMED OUT. Which sounds so much better than Bottomed Out.

Okay, so a few days ago HQN's latest news BUMMED me out. My world and future career as a category writer felt like it had BOTTOMED out.

BUT it hasn't.

Here's why. I have many cures for a sad bummed out bottom. They are, in no particular order, the following:

*understand and learn that getting up and looking for a new perspective eases the pain
*eat chocolate... it is a cure all
*drink wine (see above)
*creatively avoid all email and loop discussion about negative news via hard a**ed work at the computer
*write something that's not a POS (ever notice how Sh** comes from the same area as where one sits?)
*call a dear friend who doesn't write or know one bit about publishing
*discuss kids, food, trips, cats, darling husbands who aren't always heroes but are always there
*touch your vacuum (Christina Dodd does this to remind herself to get her BUTT back in the chair)
*daydream about getting a call on March 25th saying YOU FINALED in the GOLDEN HEART
*laugh your a** off at the above, reset positive button (ever notice how BUTT is in BUTTON?)
*sit down again and write

The only thing I have control over is my writing. BUT if anyone has a cure for my sore bum, please feel free to comment.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The New Golden Heart Rules--for Writing

I am in GH revisions and I have less than a week to get this puppy out the door. There is an official submission guideline for the contest, but I have my rules for submitting that have very little to do with formatting. Here they are:

*Stouffer's products are healthy ... they are your friend
*yes, dear, you may have a colleague over for dinner provided he/she understands that Stouffer's is the chef de jour
*yes, dear, you may have a colleague over provided he/she understands that dust bunnies only reside here during GH prep month (haha)
*baths? what are those?
*hair? makeup? Oh. My. God! I really am... pushing... won't even utter the age number
*paper and ink... keep a steady supply and don't share with anyone
*lint... learn to love it
*dust... take allergy meds
*toilet bowl cleaner can stay in the toilet for days
*synonyms? we don't need no stinkin' synonyms...
*it really is okay to have clutter for now
*living on leftovers ... from Stouffer's.... it's okay
*wine... chocolate... tea.... Dr. Pepper... all allowed in great quantities
*I have a family? Oh yeah...
*clean clothes? oh yeah... did the timer beep on the dryer? Why get up and check?
*suddenly plucking chin hairs becomes an obsession and beautiful diversion from the keyboard
*who knew there were so many ways to say "buried?"
*love me now, scold me later.... (title for a new book I am sure!)

And that is it in a nutshell.... go forth, be bold, bathe occasionally, and stock up on frozen dinners.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Just In...

Okay... I am working my tush off on my second GH entry. And working hard on improving my craft because Hey, I want to be a category romance writer... that's what I do well.


Welcome self-publishing from HQN-Horizon publishing. Not too thrilled.

Time to reinvent the wheel ...  after I submit my GH entries and finish all my other PRO duties.

The disappointment never ends. Why do we do this? Why Why Why.... because the people in my head can't be ignored. And I will NEVER SELL THEM OUT.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Back to Reality--Back to Banging the Keyboard

I had a lovely weekend with my friend in Asheville. Came home invigorated and ready to write.

Today I added a few more words, read through the first 56 pages, edited them (not as crappy as I thought they would be when I left on Friday), and have inputted 32 pages of the hard copy edits into the computer.

I'm a little stressed about the synopsis, but this too shall pass.

Back hurts. Bottom hurts. Time to quit for the day...

Tomorrow? Finish hard copy input into the computer MS. Begin passing through the MS and go through the frequently used words to edit them OUT of the MS (blah). Print out the first 50-55 pages for read aloud pass through the MS.

That shouldn't take too long, should it?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lady-Styx-Ah Brings Back Memories

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Come Visit Me at Romance Magicians Today--And Read about the New E-Qutie

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Onward Ho! Goals for the Next Two Days

I am heading out of town on Friday to see a friend in Asheville. While I mourn the loss of my writing time, I am eager to see my friend. Now I need to get my ducks in a row and super focus whenever I have writing time.

Yesterday I cobbled together the entire MS into one document. I have 47,000 words. This means adding at least 8,000 to get it to a decent category length (argh--I had 53,000 before I changed the S/L). I worked out where some scenes had to go in the overall doc, and I started my new synopsis. I did some light editing of the document (hunt, search, find and destroy words like "that" etc.).

Today's goals are:

*continue light edit
*work on layering synopsis details into the synopsis
*add scene ideas to the overall document
*layer in two new scene ideas

I know the overall document doesn't have to be pretty, but I do need to add chapter headings (I took them all out until I figure out the flow again). I'll do that NEXT WEEK. I have 7 days to write, 3 days to read and maybe one more weekend to let the doc sit before I edit again.

I want to send this puppy out the door before we head to TX for Thanksgiving. Ideally, by next week Friday, but if not, Monday/Tuesday the 24th will be close enough.

Don't know when I'll pack for either trip, but I do know I'll be writing!

Monday, November 9, 2009

To E or Not to E

Today great excitement on the PRO loops, the CHAPTER loops and amongst many writers when HQN announced its DRM/Carina Press launch.

For those of us who are just not quite a fit, it might be a great idea. It's a Digital E Pub launch. No print. But a sister of HQN and wow, what a great big sister to have in your publishing corner.

But this raises so many questions for unpub'd authors. Agents? Do you like E or not? What if you've got requests out there and you're waiting for answers (like me and countless others with fulls at Agencies)? And how are they paid?

And what about the contracts? The royalty amounts? PAN status? So many questions....

But yet, so many possibilities. I checked the blog and it intrigued me. As a writer to read an editor saying she's excited about not having to "fit" a book into a category genre is very exciting. Heck, I have a CR with a heroine who's a shock jock, writer testing vibrators and reviewing them online... and by the way, it does have a plot, too!

Where the heck do I put that? Yes. I entered this in the GH. Funny. But it has all the story elements--really!

So to E or not to E... that is the question.... for now, it remains... unanswered.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Southern Magic Readers Luncheon

Yesterday I drove down to Birmingham with a friend, and writing partner, to attend the Southern Magic Readers Luncheon. The chapter did an amazing job of providing great food, hosting a wonderful program with Anne Stuart as the keynote speaker, giving us lots of cool author goodie baskets to try to win, and offering plenty of opportunities for readers to meet the authors. Afterward, we were able to buy books and get them autographed as well.

I love this luncheon because I see how much the readers love the romance genre. The spirit in the room is sparkling with energy. To know that one day my books might bring readers joy and give them the HEA they deserve to discover is a great and heady feeling. I know some people may pooh pooh the romance genre, but it deserves more respect than it receives. These books give women HOPE. And I love the idea of giving my readers that gift.

As a writer, the luncheon is immensely important to me. I get to reconnect with my fellow writers, published and unpublished. I get to celebrate my friends' most recent successes. Whether it is the first book sold (go Naima!) or the 10th sold, each milestone is recognized. And I get talk about writing with my CP, published authors and my writing partner on the way down and back again to Madison.

We need this time to reflect and connect with the people in our field. The writing world is one where we're usually boxed up in our offices battling revisions, or where we're sitting in a coffee shop downing too much java, or driving down demons of doubt when we receive yet another rejection. Being able to sit with other writers and published authors and just talk about it is a gift to me.

I was privileged this year to sit at Lynn Rae Harris's table. She's a HARLEQUIN PRESENTS author, newly published, and on her way to great success. When I first met Lynn, she was a Golden Heart finalist and had won a yearlong book editor through the Mills and Boon contest in London. In the year that has followed, she has received her call. Her contract! And I am so pleased for her.

She's a gracious and generous person who answered all our questions and shared a wealth of information with those of us who still stand on the unpublished side of writing.

That's the other thing about being a romance writer. Romance writers want to see other romance writers succeed. And the southern chapters I belong to make it their mission to help us all. Both Heart of Dixie and Southern Magic, along with my newest chapter, Georgia Romance Writers of America, give me professional support. In the year I have lived here, I have learned more about how to pitch, compile a synopsis, and SFO Green Berets than ever before.

These chapters and the people who make them run smoothly get a high five from me!!

Now I am energized and ready to hit the next round of revisions for the GH.

Onward ho!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Break Time

I wish the title of this blog meant a brain break.
Today I had set aside 6 hours to hash out the WIP for the GH. Oh, the words were a flowin', and the story was unfoldin' nicely. I was in my workout clothes, taking only 10 min breaks and humming along. Oh. Life. Was. Good.
Then the phone rang. ****Public Schools. DD on the phone. "I'm okay."
Now in our house, that means she doesn't have a broken neck and she's not in the hospital. Yet.
She is not "okay."
I wish I could say I was a wonderful, understanding and loving mom in this moment.
I wasn't.
Nope. I have a GH POS WIP to whip into shape. I have less time to finish it due to planned and unplanned travels.
I say, "Can you walk?"
"I think so"
I answer, "Good, cause I am still smelly and haven't brushed my teeth (it is noon). Will you last till Monday if necessary?"
"I'll call you back," she replies.
I return to writing (I am a POS mom, right?).
She calls back, "Mom, I think you should get me at 12:45."
"OK," say I. This gives me time to shower and brush my teeth (did I mention how one of the perks of editing a GH entry is not wearing makeup?).
I hang up. I glance at my computer. I wonder, make up or computer bag and pages ready to roll. I choose door number 2. Who cares if I am ugly? Not I! I have a POS to makeover.
I call Dr. and beg for a fit in appt. I shower. I dress. I pack computer bag. I drive to HS. I fetch daughter. I drive to dr. I throw in three other problems we've put off due to GH so we can maximize our time. DD gets to ride in wheelchair (they know her well). I type on laptop while waiting with her (am approaching a sex scene--weird to type in dr. lab room). We xray, we set up lab work, we do lab work, we go get script, we drive home.
I write again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let Hacking Begin

Today I worked my tush off and put in a lot of time on the story. I reread the first pages, made a ton of notes about the S/L and where to switch things over. I have a lot of "move to A/B/C etc." notes all over the place. Entire scenes are being cut, dissected and moved. Bits and pieces are diced and sliced and reinserted.

First after all that reading got accomplished? I worked on my new opening. It took A LONG TIME. Pretty much worked for 2 hours on 5 pages. But I have a much better start. It's not perfect, but it is faster, more interesting, and the writing is decent. 

You know what I mean by decent? Yeah. Quotation marks in the proper places, nice body tags, and a balance between white and dark space.

Now I have to manage that throughout the next 45 pages. And I better up my pace LOL or I will be writing this dang book till, oh, let's see, 2011 give or take a year. No. It'll get better. I'll get the flow going on again. 

It's all in the where I write--for now it's at the kitchen table with all my pages spread out and all the notes all over the place. It's like seek, find, redo, and redo. I also find I must go from Scrivener to Word to work more efficiently. But this all requires lots of space for me to spread out.

But all this will be worth it when I finally finish. And I will finish.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


If I were EMPRESS OF THE WRITING UNIVERSE (okay... just mine)... I would do the following:

*stop time long enough to finish all my work
*clone myself so I could be in two places at the same time
*eliminate all errands
*showers would be optional but cleanliness would still occur
*all writing conundrums ... oh, excuse me? what writing conundrums?
*future problems would be anticipated and ELIMINATED before they happened
*all people would understand the people I have in my head take precedence
*the phone would only ring AFTER my ideas were typed on the computer and resolved
*beds would make themselves and dinner would always be nutritious and ready on time

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Saved the Fun in my Story Today

All right, here is my disclaimer about the spell check--for some reason, when I upgraded my blogger editor, the spell check went to la la land and I have no idea where to find that elusive button. All bizarre words and errors are BLOGSPOT's fault.

Now, to go onto my day.

I am making headway. I am also CUTTING A LOT OF MY PRECIOUS WORDS and it is killing me. And some of them were pretty dang funny. I loved my ARMADILLO line, but for now, it is for my and my CPs' eyes only. Any rate, I have a lot of better stuff, and some not so great stuff, and I am seriously thinking about adding the villain's perspective... ha ha... but I want to establish my dear hero/heroine's relationship and conflict first.

So, the most funny idea came to me today--cause this story was getting way too dark. And I had an epiphany in the shower (a classic Aha Moment place for me), and now my poor hero is really going to be challenged. Seriously challenged. And I am cackling over here... it's too funny.

Best of all, it ups the conflict on all kinds of levels. For both of them. My celibacy advocate has met her dream man and is ready for action, but he's her PI/and professionally it's a big no no. And he has wanted her since high school. Can you imagine how he's going to react when he catches her in her toy reviews? hehe... I am very cruel.

But is the writing any good? Heck no. I have to layer in all the silly senses, the tension, the time and place and setting markers. At least the POV is right and my Inciting incident is correct.

At least if I am supposed to be in Revision Hell, I am going to enjoy the burn.

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Goals, My Motivations, My Conflicts from the Writer POV

Name of Novel: Christine's Trek toward the Golden Heart
Tagline: if you don't write the words, you'll never get published

Goal: get 50 beautiful pages written for the Golden Heart and a synopsis by the deadline, self-imposed of November 20, 2009
Motivation: because I want to have a partial ready for submission
Conflict: the story line has changed a lot since the first word were put on the page and now it's like starting from scratch making the deadline look impossible given other planned and unplanned time stealers.

Goal: finishing this MS partial will bring me closer to the elusive goal of publication and I desire affirmation for all my hard work.
Motivation: I like the feeling of accomplishment and the recognition gives me hope for my future.
Conflict: I'm worried I am not good enough and the story won't work and I'll fail at reaching my goal thereby disappointing myself. What if I am a fraud? Perhaps I should throw in the towel and blame it on time problems so I don't have to face my inadequacy.

CORE: If I don't do something I'm afraid of failing, then I didn't really fail, but if I don't try my best and give it my all, I'll never know the taste of success and part of success is laying down at night knowing I gave it my all, regardless of the outcome.

So there you have it.
Now back o the drawing board.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Writing Fun

Today was a good day. I brainstormed more on the current POS with B... and had a blast going over her new story idea. A trilogy which I believe will be her breakout books... Seriously cool writing ideas and has this Romance Writer's heart pitty pattying hard!

I worked more on my Hero/Heroine's story goals and plotted their most pivotal scenes... hello synopsis.

Critiqued a CP's query--so excited for her to get her stuff out there!

And enjoyed watching ANGEL on DVD with my DD where I could clearly see the archetypes of the characters. Again, reinforcing the truths in the books I just read. Of course, dear ANGEL is an Avenger Warrior, the Professor is Wesley, Gun is a Swashbuckler, and Cori is a Spunky Kid. Oh had I had the knowledge then that I have now... but good to move on.

Next book I write I am so seriously taking all that info into account.