Friday, January 30, 2009

Play and Write and Play and Write

I always take about a week off of writing when I finish a major project. Then I hit it again hard. This week, I've played a lot, but I have also done a bit of work on the new course. Now I am itching to have my routine going so I can get going on the course and be ready for BIAW. But it's good to have time off, too. It lets my mind rest. And it starts my brain pumping in an organic way toward the next writing adventure.

Today I went to Nashville to shop at Trader Joe's with a new friend. She is writing, but not sure if that is for her. I think she could be a writer--and published--but I'm always encouraging people to try new things. And I am so organized, that the work of writing is easier in some ways because I always have a plan. Not all writers have a plan. And they don't need it. I do.

I'm anxious to get rolling on my writing schedule again. I want to produce. I am itchy to produce. But taking time off to play, shop, eat lunch, go for a ladies' night, hang with my family, and clean house is important to me. It readies me. It steadies me. And it feeds my mind.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Index Cards and Indignities

First of all, indignities:

1) I have written for 5 years now -- and during a move. Someone asked me after a ladies' night, "have you written a book" when I said I was a writer. I reply: yes, 3 of them. She replies with a "why aren't you published? What are you doing to get published??" Hello? What a rude bunch of questions!  How does one even answer those questions to non-writers?  I just say, I will publish one day.

2) I hunt down all my rejections over the past 5 years, call RWA Offices to ask which rejection is best to include in my PRO Pin applicaton. Now think about that? Which rejection? And to top it off, in my blabbering, I say, "I can't believe I lost the really good one I had from Silhouette Publishing in the move!" A personal indignity the day before little Miss PhD who is stuck at home with three kids and miserable had the audacity to deal me out the first indignity listed.

Second: Index Cards

1) I like them--I like toting them around with me. I like writing down my scenes and characters on tiny pieces of paper.

2) I also like post its-- I have them in my bathroom now for when I am inspired during the shower. Now I don't run half naked through the house to find a postit and pen to write an idea down if I am in the middle of getting ready for my day (another strange indignity).

3) I need more.

4) I think I should color code them.

5) I think I am in love with index cards and what they mean to me: they mean I am busy getting ready to write my FOURTH book. Let's see what miss PhD has to say about that one!

Ah, I feel better now. And even better than that, maybe I believe I will get published. I don't have control over the industry, but I do have control over my index cards!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Letting Ideas Percolate and Cook

Well I am excited about the new course because it's giving me time to float with my new ideas, come up with random thoughts, and just mess around with the theme. I am curious if I will be able to muster up a 50,000 word story in a week... probably but it won't be grammatically correct! I worry about grammar after the story is written down.

Last night I heard about another course I might want to take, Story Magicians. I believe it might take me to the next level of my writing. And yesterday I learned that I am, if not published, definitely a writer. I have finished 3 books! And I am actively pursuing writing my fourth book idea. I have the qualities necessary to write and finish a book. Now I just need to get it published, and I am not there yet. But that no longer matters to me. I don't have control over the whims of the publishing industry or contest judges. I only have control over what I do.

April Kihlstrom's course is really good for me in determining that I will always write. And one day, given the right circumstances, I will publish a book. Then the rest will fall into place.

Today I have written down random thoughts floating in my head regarding book 4. I have read blogs I follow, and I have blogged. Now I await my course work. Meanwhile, working out and cleaning are the order for the day.

I am proud that I blog almost every day. No one reads it, but I feel good about writing it. Gets me in the mood to keep up the real writing I do every day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Free Day

Well this is so much fun! I actually had time to hunt down my info for the PRO pin so I got that taken care of today. I registered from the RWA Conference today as well. I am so very excited. It'll be July 15-18... can't wait to soak in the atmosphere!!

Best of all -- it is FOR ME. What a wonderful reward to give myself for all my hard work these past few months. And I know I will be working super hard in the months that lay ahead of me.

For now, I am rather enjoying the easy assignments, letting my brain rest and be organic with the BIAW course I am taking. I haven't got a lot to write about other than my heroine and a seedling of an idea, but I feel I will be more ready to write about her and him and the story in 3 weeks.

Today we did an assignment where we listed strengths, successes, and 20-30 things that make us smile.

I realized I am persistent, focused, and organized--self-discipline is my middle name. I believe I have what it takes to write and finish a book after writing and finishing three of them. Now I have to believe, based on the success of my hard work in the past, that I will sell one. It's a matter of WHEN, not if, for me.

Meanwhile, it's nice to call friends long-distance and catch up on much needed household chores.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wow, An Open Vast Space of Time--Sort of...

I am waiting to get my first BIAW lessons. While I wait, I have time to fritz around the house, get some chores done that I put off until this week due to the writing push of the past month, and to visit in the days ahead with new friends. Kind of nice. But at the same time, blah. Need my assignment.

I've been putting off PRO Application and RWA Conference registration, so I am doing that this week. Today! I promise myself to get my rear in gear and do those two things if nothing else.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Free Day Again

Wow, it was so much fun just piddling in the stores yesterday and not feeling like I had to put an hour in for the book. I also took time to pamper myself, doing my roots and giving myself a manicure. And I bought 3 new books to read. All rewards for a job well-done.

Today I am filling in my PRO Application, getting it ready to mail it out tomorrow, and I am registering for the RWA conference tomorrow afternoon. I can't wait to go in July. And I'll be doing something I want to do with MY writing friends. Wahoo.

Today is also a day filled with teens, homework, and a dinner at a friend's house. I am looking forward to kicking back and relaxing.

Tomorrow, BIAW starts!!! Starting to get anxious.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Free Day

So I have a break from writing--for the weekend. I guess. I found myself pondering how to add about 10,000 words to the third draft. A scene here and there as well as stretching some out. I guess I'll never be "finished" at all. But I do need to let this book simmer a bit on the backburner so I can come back to it with a fresh eye.

Meanwhile, I am also mulling over my next book idea. I'm wondering if it's strong enough, funny enough and compelling enough a story. But I won't know till I start fleshing it out.

I am filling out the PRO application and signing up for RWA Conference this weekend. And I am also doing stuff around the house that I've let slide for weeks now. I just need to play a little.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm Finished!!

I finished I finished I finished!!!!!! I am so happy to have the third draft done. I can't stand it--I already popped champagne and I am celebrating. I know I'll have to keep tweaking it and do a read through, but I am NOT looking at it again until I am done BIAW.

Actually, that's not true. I'm entering it in a few more contests--Between the Sheets etc., but for the most part, I am not glancing at these pages and the people living in them for a LONG TIME--till March!!!!

At least I have something decent to edit again should I final (hahahahah ROFLH) in the GH.

Oh, god, it is for moments like this that I write. To have the job done!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nearing the Finish Line

Today I read through the MS with all the XXX's and fixed those -- sort of...
I read the last 50 pages and edited them in hard copy.
Tomorrow I enter the edits/print/read/ edit/ re-enter.

Whatever is left to do will be done once a week on Fridays when I am done my BIAW classes.

I am almost finished... for now... an writer's lament... we are never "finished."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday Accomplishments

Yesterday I worked for four hours and managed to lay down the flesh of the newly constructed framework of the story leading all the way to the end. It still needs editing, but I have actual scenes to edit. Wahoo!! I printed out the last 50 pages and am reading through them this afternoon. My morning is a little shot otherwise I'd do it now, but my darling daughter arrived home at 3:30PM so I lost some sleep, and after going back to bed, I slept in till 7:30--now her piles of laundry and mine are in the washer and I am finally able to catch up.

I'm getting my pencil out for this read through... making changes and going through the entire novel with my find tool with the XXX parts to work on as well as words I use a lot LOL. Then I will print out the final 50 again tomorrow, and do a highlighter edit. Then back into it again. Whatever is accomplished between now and Friday afternoon, is it. I am FINISHED. I need to move on to a fresh story and a new idea.

Not that this one doesn't need tweaking. But at least it is tweakable.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


My daughter's student group arrived in DC after 24 hours in a bus trip from hell. They missed a lot of fun stuff, but ended up going to a great Italian restaurant, and then to the WW2 Memorial. Yesterday they were able to tour the city and see more memorials, and they got to visit their congressman's office. I had emailed the office about their plight on Sunday and they responded yesterday. The staffer followed up with calling the group and the chaperones. They were invited to see the congressman's office and get pictures made with him. I was pleased for them and very impressed with the man for following up. I told my husband I'd vote for him again because he did this one thing right for me. I know it will have an impact on the students' memories and my daughter called to say thanks as well.

I managed to write about one hour on Sunday, and three hours on Monday, MLK Bday. Also my actual birthday so lots of well-wishers calling. Then my DH took me out for a grown up treat: movies with wine and appies in the adult section of the theater. Very nice atmosphere. And the movie had Clint Eastwood in it--amazing actor and story.

Today I am writing the black moment--not feeling very good about the prior scene, but at this point, I am rewriting the entire thing, so I just need to get the story down--again-- for the zillionth time. I am so sick of this book. I can't wait to see the last page on my computer. I've cut 20,000 words!!!!!!!!! Argh -- I move forward, cut, move forward, cut again. I have approximately 53,000 words. The length of the BLAZE catergory is about 60,000. I easily have that many words with the cut ones LOLM, but I have to write new words. I WANT THIS BOOK OUT OF MY HAIR.

I gave myself a deadline: Friday the 23rd. I will finish it by then--late or early--and then weekend OFF. And then I start a new challenge--Book In A Week. I am looking forward to writing something completely NEW. I feel ready to start a new story, a new idea, anything but this swill I am serving up.

Now, off to read other blogs, pop back into bed and read for a bit, and then sleep again--I HOPE.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Oh My How Worry Distracts

My daughter is on a bus going to DC for the Inauguration. They left last night at 5:30PM. They were supposed to arrive in the DC area this morning. They are still on the road due to ice, bad roads, a 6 hour pull over and a major wreck.

They will be lucky to get there by 6pm tonight. The day is in tatters for these middle school/high school students. They had a tour of the capital planned... gone... tour of Union Station... gone... tour of the WW2 Memorial... gone... and they are still stuck on a bus for at least 6 more or longer hours...

Meanwhile, the juice on her phone is gone... so we have no way of keeping up with her. As of 10:30 we have operated in the dark. I just pray she gets there with her group safe and sound.

Tomorrow I hope they have a great day. I could care less if they see the inauguration at this point. They should tour what they missed seeing today and skip being cold. But they will probably go to the inauguration.

I feel so bad for them. And it is hard to write when I am worrying about all those chicks and how rotten they must be feeling right now!

But maybe, if I get some energy up, I will start the next scene and tackle it. My goal is to finish by Friday afternoon -- at the latest.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cold Snap

Yesterday I had another major distraction: cold snap from an Alberta Clipper. Here I am in the Southeast, and it is 6 degrees outside! Argh. And the heater wasn't working properly. So once again, I awaited a technician to come and fix it. At first I worried I'd not get any writing done at all. But I discovered heat upstairs in the bonus room, so I carried my laptop, notes, and MS up there and worked until I got the pesky scene I'd been fighting into submission properly beaten down.

Now I have about seven thousand words to write -- about 40 pages. That's ten a day, but that sounds easier than it is because I have to rip out my outline notes, rewrite poorly written stuff/cut and move it to me autosave if I deem it completely unworthy, and then write from scratch. Revising is a process not for the weak of heart.

It's not journalism, or blogging about it, or writing about writing in random free flow form where grammar and plot and characterization don't matter.

It's hard work. But I am almost there. The stack of papers next to the laptop is signifcantly smaller than the stack of papers I've turned over during the revision. Forty pages instead of 240 pages. And for me, that's like seeing the goal post or the finish line in a race. I want to sprint to the end, but I know I need to jog. Jog well. Jog smart. Jog and take it one step at a time.

Today I probably won't write. My daughter is heading to DC and we're gearing up for that goodbye and see you later moment. Today I will read the next scene and make more notes toward getting it revised properly (or as properly as I can).

Tomorrow I will need to write. I know it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

ARGH!! Day Two

Well I had plans but they went to heck in a handbasket when I discovered issues with water in my water meter wells. Darn it!! Phone call interuptus and constant long distance nagging re: issue interfered all afternoon with my writing. Argh!

Today I read through my daughter's DC itinerary and found it to be rather ambitious considering the masses of humanity they will have to battle to get into each venue. The chaperones and tour company have NO CLUE what they are getting ready to drive into. I do, and I am worried. After long discussions about it with a friend in Vienna, VA, I wrote an email to the coach in charge and asked if they could scale back some of their plans to maximize the experience.

Another time buster ARGH!!

Now I still have to work out and get dressed and then I get to write.... and then I get to pick DH up from the airport and go to the school to drop of medication information. And then do I get to write again?

I hope so!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cold Distractions

Well I am psyched to write the rest of the week and put a big push in. Two major distractions:
1)getting ready for a major cold snap unheard of in the south means winterizing my sprinkler system and house because DH is out of town. Time waster
2)shopping for daughter's inauguration trip this afternoon and then taking care of other logistics--also a time buster

Blah!!! Now I want to write and LIFE keeps interfering.

Off to workout and clean and write as much as I can before I "winterize" the house.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

Well I had intended to write at the airport, but I was so tired from all the running around and visiting that I just read. Then on Monday I didn't write at all because the toilets called me to clean them in great desperation. That lead to my cleaning the rest of the bathrooms and driving my hubby to the airport.

Sometimes a step forward ends up leading to a step backwards.

I am starting to panic. I need to get this revision off my plate by the 23rd. I am anxious to get rid of this book, put it to bed and move on to my next book. And what is holding me back? The stupid climax. I know I have to major league rewrite it and I don't want to face it. So I am dragging my feet and my heels into the book this week.

Big stick, hit self. Must write.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Brought the Computer with Me and I am Happy I Did!

Well I decided to bring my computer with me at the last minute. Boy am I ever glad I did! I wrote a bit at the airport while waiting for my plane to fly me off to D.C. Then I wrote this morning at the orthodontist's office and managed to finish a scene and start the transition onto the next scene. I was supposed to go out tonight, but that got canceled and I have my friend's house entirely to myself (not totally--a dog and 3 cats will be joining me), so I am free to fritz on the computer to my heart's content. Yay!! I am so happy I brought it with me.

I have one scene to work on and brought the hard copy with me so I could work on it. I will be finished it (I hope) by the time I return to my home on Sunday afternoon. Then I will be ready to move forward to the next scene by Monday.

Now, I am cautiously edging toward the climax of the book. And I am trying not to freak out as I have to rewrite it and make it tighter and less dark. I also have to write at least two additional scenes or rewrite some scenes in the later half of the book. Technically, I have 10,000 words to write. But it's probably more. I have cut that many from the draft and saved them in another document. They're probably useless, but one never knows. Some of them are scene skeleton stuff so not really ever intended for the "draft." But the story is coming together.

I am so anxious to get it done! And I just read another article by an author who writes 3 - 4 books a year. This is where I want to be. I don't want to be tinkering with the old books forever! I have new ideas and fun stuff to try as a writer. Plus I have grown in my craft so I need to utilize that knowledge and move forward. The ultimate for me would be to have 4th book done, revise 2nd book, sit on 3rd book and market it as well as enter it into contests. I'd like to start my 5th book as well this year. It would be so AWESOME to have 6 under my belt by 2010. But I have to be realistic. 5 might happen.

How? Book in a Week. I am taking the course for the first time and I hope to knock out a first draft by end of fourth week. I hope it works out for me. If the technique works, then I will utilize it for the series I plan to work on for the Young Adult market. Man, if I can tap into that market and hook a bunch of teen girls, I am SET!

Now to reading about writing... oh, I am so glad I brought this with me.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I am Dreading Leaving My Computer

I know I am only leaving town for two nights, but I wish I could bring my computer with me! I am dreading leaving it behind. I want to write and keep up with my writing blogs. But it's simply too complicated to bring the mess with me.

I hate flying. I am dreading that as well. Stupid security, the endless lines, the possibility of stuff going wrong. Blah.

But I will go. And I will read my RWA Reports, and I will have a good time when I get there... really....

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Busy Day and Busy Weekend

I am going to lose 3 days of writing this weekend and it's making me crazy. Today I may squeeze out an hour to two hours at most because I am getting ready for a trip to Fairfax and I am refinancing my house. Argh. Stupid house and stupid packing!!

I am meeting a writing person at 10 which I am looking forward to doing -- Starbucks! I haven't been to this one yet. It's not on my "path" but it'll be nice to revisit a familiar haunt.

I am on page 142 of my MS. I have a lot of writing left to do. Approximately 10,000 words to go and a difficult rewrite of the climax. The first climax is WAY TO DARK. That's what I get for having a Romantic Suspense author critiquing my original draft. She's an excellent writer, but way to dark for Blaze books. Any rate, I am DREADING the climax. Hopefully I will be close to that next week and I'll make it through okay.

I have 2 weeks after this to write 10,000 words. I have to do it. I want to do it. I cannot fool around on this. On January 26 I start BIAW and that is an intensive class that I want to focus my sole attention on for the month of February. I hope to get the fourth book done by then (at least the first draft).

Well off to clean house and get a little exercise before the day really starts.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

You Know You're a Writer When...

*you print out a document or list and it has old MS on the back--stuff you wouldn't want your grandma to read.
*your house is comfortable, but not clean
*cats seek your lap out and discover it in front of a computer
*your favorite word is BICHOK
*your least favorite word is BICHOK
*you hear a phrase and you use it in a book
*you live at Starbucks
*your keyboard has worn out letters
*you resent any time taken away from the computer
*the microwave is your writing buddy/timer
*no one really gets what you do except other writers

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Today is the Beginning of "The End"

Today I start pushing forward through the rest of the MS. I thought I'd start yesterday, but with two teens and tons of getting ready for school and baking to do, it just didn't happen.

Teens and baking are distracting.

So today is the start of "the end" and the journey to the last page of the book. I should be writing on it now, but I always have a hard time easing into the work week. Somehow it is easier to squeeze in an hour here and there than it is to write consistently for a longer stretch.

I think I tend to get distracted by the quiet, the solitude and the vast empty spaces in my house after everyone heads back to work and school. That's why I distracted myself with grocery shopping, cleaning the kitchen, making the bed, catching up on paperwork, and bumming around on FaceBook.

That's okay. I will start today. I am giving myself permission to fritz around until after I workout and take a good long, hot shower. Then it is BICHOK--Butt in Chair, Hands on Keys for me.

Microwave timer will be my accountability boss.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday and a Fresh Week

Well it's almost here: The beginning of a new school year and the beginning of new writing challenges for me. Already I am feeling anxious to get rolling on the revision. I know there will be interuptions, but I plan to get it done by the middle of January. Then I can play on the new book!!

Today my only focus is writing because I still have a teen at home. Tomorrow I will try to get my head wrapped around a couple of courses, and I will clear out the office. It's not a perfect start, but the move has taught me to be more flexible with myself and my days. I manage to get a lot done just the same without being uber strict.

I had a critique buddie who got so bogged down in the process of writing that she forgot to have fun! And writing is about both aspects. Without flexibility there is no time to grow and learn from oneself. I find the time off of writing, for whatever reason, leads to better writing. It's as if the forced time away brings one back to the computer more refreshed and ready to tackle the work.

Today my goal is 1-3 hours. That's it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Goals for a New Year

Christmas is stripped away and the house is empty of all holiday distractions. School starts in two sleeps and life will become more routine and regulated in the days ahead. The new family calendar is hung on the fridge and is brimming with activities for me, my daughter and more. Travel arrangements are made for two weekends and one full week before we even reach the month of April.

And fresh writing and time to do it is opening up like a well of opportunity for me to drop in my ideas.

Today I will reset my goals on paper, print them out and post them somewhere where I can torture myself with the desire to achieve them. This process helps me regain my focus. And, at the end of the year, I will have the satisfaction of reviewing how many of my personal and career goals I've achieved.

I've always been a list maker, so setting down my goals in concrete terms helps me because I can check each accomplishment off one-by-one, day-by-day, month-by-month.

The biggest goal I have is to actively market my books. That will take courage and conviction and a tough skin.

But I've got all three. They've been hard-won and I don't take them for granted.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Getting the House in Order so I can Write

Well it is January 2, and I haven't written anything for a few days. I have relaxed. I have blogged. I have read other blogs. I have touched my MS and stared at the post it notes on the wall above it. I have goals fleshed out for the new year, but I haven't written.

I don't feel guilty about it. I feel I have accomplished more this holiday than in past years because I gave myself permission to write or not write at least one hour a day. Some days that happened, but on busy days with family and friends, it did not.

I have started my family 2009 calendar... already looks too full. I have to make my spread sheet of goals for writing, but that will happen after Christmas stuff is put away. And that will happen TODAY.

After breakfast and shopping and Wii fitting.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I am so excited for this year to begin and to roll forward. There is so much I wish to accomplish and do as a writer, mom, and wife. Life is golden. We are so blessed. Today I am still cleaning up from the party last night, but I am eager to get my calendar going and my life organized for a full and productive 2009.

I have so many goals and resolutions. Some are personal and some are about writing. But here are a few:

*get PRO status and pin
*finish revision
*start book 4
*continue taking classes to improve my writing
*market book 3
*revise book 2
*enter more contests
*enter Golden Heart
*go to RWA National Conference in DC this July
*go to more monthly writing meetings
*sell a book, this book, by end of 2009


*workout more
*eat more healthily
*start a ladies night here once a month
*explore more
*hang out with edifying people
*make my marriage stronger
*let my daughter fly, while I provide safe haven on the ground
*get the triple passports
*find a dentist I trust
*find a female doctor I trust

HAPPY 2009!!