Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Other Goals and Dreams for '09

Well, as promised, I'm going to blog today about other goals/dreams for 2009, besides my writing.

One thing off the top is to get back to doing my exercise on my Tony Little Gazelle. I did it for 3 or 4 months midway through the year, but after that, I slacked off. I'm disappointed in myself that I quit, but it seemed I lost sight of that when the kids started school and things got busy and hectic.

So exercise- big on the list of priorities for this coming year.

Taking care of my health is another thing. Dental work would probably be high on the list, too. My teeth are in bad shape and I know that can lead to severe health problems if I don't get it taken care of, so I'm going to look into having them taken care of sometime this year.

Decluttering my home- The place is a mess and needs a good overhaul on clearing the junk and only keeping the things that are necessary or wanted. My spare bedroom is jam packed with stuff- some of it old and wore out, like my old stereo. I'm sure the speakers would still work on another stereo component, but the radio/cassette and cd player is kapoot- there's old shelves and clothes the kids have outgrown, which I'm planning to give away anyhow. My stepson's clothes will go to my step-FIL's neice for her boys. My daughter's clothes will have to wait till I can make a trip up to Lawrenceburg to give them to one of my friends for her youngest daughter.

The bedroom and my closet could also use a good decluttering. I need to go through my clothes and pack away any blouses I don't wear or haven't worn in a while. No need for it to be taking up space if I haven't and probably won't wear it this next year. Besides, if I clear that out I might be able to make room in my closet for the boxes of stuff that's scattered around the bedroom! LOL
Truth is, like I said, the entire house needs a good cleaning and as soon as I take down my holiday decorations I'll probably give it all a good straightening up.

Of course, my family is also a priority and so that's another goal for the year- Spending quality time with my family. That includes going back to my hometown for a visit during spring break when the kids are out from school. I've got a big girl who'll be graduating kindergarten this spring and my boy will be moving on up from 4th grade.

I'm thankful that my aunt who has brain cancer is coming up on her 5th anniversary- a survivor. My other aunt had lung cancer, but with chemo and radiation, she's gotten a clean bill of health. My uncle, who has rectal cancer is still hanging in there and doing better since he got a colostomy bag, which has improved his eating habits so he doesn't get sick and makes he feel a little bit better.

My hubby had a close call this year and almost wound up with pneumonia again, but is doing much better and we've all been sick, so I'm hoping for a healthier year to come as well, for all of us.

I guess there's not much else to say though. I have a full plate of things I'm hoping for in 2009 as I'm sure everyone else here's hoping the "dish" ends up being enjoyable for all.

Happy New Year Everyone! See you in '09!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Don't Need No Stinking Resolutions LOL

"In 2008 I hope to write more novels, edit more, and get a few stories polished enough to send out and keep my fingers crossed that one (or more) find homes."

That was the remark I made on my blog last year about what I expected out of this year as far as my writing was concerned. It wasn't necessarily resolutions, cause they just fill me with disappointment in myself if I don't do exactly what I plotted and planned out. No, instead, I will call them my hopes and desires- those hazy, misty dreams that I'm determined to fulfill.

As I had said in my blog last year...I used to do resolutions, but I never kept any of them, so I don't technically "set" resolutions for myself, but prefer to just keep the list "at the heart of the matter" so to speak.

And so- did I accomplish the things I hoped in this past year? Well, I've written 4 novels this year alone and I'm working a 5th one. I did do a lot of edits and revisions on all my stories, but the polishing enough to send any out? No- not this time around.

I researched publishers and agents midway through the year after I finished the fourth novel I had written this year (8th in total) and discovered something I should have known/thought about a bit sooner than before I wrote 8, going on 9 novels. I need to lengthen them a bit more than 50-55K or so. There's only a fair few that accept manuscripts with that kind of word count and I need to make sure I've got enough of a story to leave my options open to submit to other places when I get my first rejections.

So what do I hope to do in 2009?

Finish this 9th novel I started and won with during NaNo and then start doing more revisions, additions of scenes, editing and polishing of all my novels to start this year off. At this point, writing the next novel can be put on hold, even though it's part of my new four book series of which my 9th novel is the first. Perhaps I will give myself the first half of the year to work the revisions and get up my courage to start submitting. After that I could possibly write 2-3 more of the novels I intend to- if I get 3 written, that would finish out the 2nd four book series I plan to write at this time.

Of course, I will also give myself the freedom that, IF one of my unwritten characters starts to talk to me or beg for their story to be told, I will go on and write that novel, when it's ready to be written. It's how I've written most of my novels so far- I am at their beck and call and when the pull is strong enough and the call comes, I have to answer it. I am a slave to the written word.

Of course, I better enjoy this "freedom" to write at will while I can. I don't have any real deadlines, other than those self-imposed, but I know that if and when I do get published, there will be times when I have to multi-task between edits of a soon to be released as well as the current WIP and so on and so forth.

So I'm ready- ready to work through my novels and prep not just my novels, but myself, for the next road in my journey to publication.

Tomorrow I'll post about my other hopes for the year to come, but for now, I think I've rambled on enough. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Trying to Settle At The End of 2008

Christmas has come and gone, and though I'm tired, it still seems as though there's a hustle and bustle going on around and within me. Perhaps it's because that sense of "normalcy" I'm used to hasn't been retrieved yet amongst the busy-ness of the holidays.

Maybe it's because I have a fridge full of 4 day old leftovers I need to dump in the trash, decorations I won't be taking down until the day after January 1st-after my best friend and her husband come visit us to start of the New Year. Maybe it's because our regular routine is scattered at the moment with my husband and daughter still home with me all day. Well, hubby does go to work tomorrow, but then he'll be off the rest of the week again like last week. My stepson is gone to his mother's for the week, but I think it's one of those cases of "I can't get things done around the house when I have a houseful."

It's wonderful to have them home with me, but also a distraction from my routine. I'm used to quiet in the house during the week while everyone's either at work or school and therefore, these weekdays haven't felt the same to me.

My daughter's watching television in her room, but hubby's playing a race car game here in the living room, so I'm surrounded by noise, when I'm used to most the time turning off the television until my soap opera comes on or having the volume turned down on the TV and listening to my music on the computer while I write.

I need to finish working on Novel Number 9- my NaNo novel, but not sure I can wrap my mind around it with all this extra noise I'm not use to. I have this nervous energy sparking inside me begging I find something to use it for- I can't seem to "settle" myself down, but at the same time I'm finding it hard to get motivated to do anything.

This year is quickly coming to a close- 3 more days and 2008 will be long gone as we welcome in 2009. Doesn't that seem strange? Seems just yesterday we were starting a new year and yet here we are, heading into the next.

I guess I'll save my waxing poetic about the things I did and didn't accomplish this year and what I would like to accomplish next year for another blog- either tomorrow or Wednesday when I can think a bit more clearly than today.

Hope everyone is relaxing and enjoying some down time before we get the new year under way!

More From the Authors of Ladies of Legend

Just found out on Amazon that two of Janet Eaves' other stories from the Ladies of Legend Series- Beauty and the Beast and Harvest Moon, have been released in print as a 2-in-1 book! These two stories, if I'm not mistaken, come right after the Finding Home Anthology, but before the Christmas Anthology. The only one not yet in print is Maddie James' Murder on the Mountain, which I'm also eager to get and comes after Janet's two, but also before the Christmas one-

Though not part of the Ladies of Legend series, but by one of its authors, The Blank Book by Magdalena Scott is also available in print through Amazon as well.

So as not to jam this blog up with links, I would also recommend doing a search on Amazon for Maddie James and Jan Scarbrough's releases, too- Four wonderful writers and lots of stories to choose from!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Night Huntress by Yasmine Galenorn Released January 6th!

Night Huntress, the 5th book in the Sisters of the Moon Series by Yasmine Galenorn is coming out January 6th!

I've been keeping up with this series since the beginning and absolutely love all three D'Artigo sisters- Camille, Delilah and Menolly as well as all their friends, family and aquaintances.

Yasmine weaves such a wonderful world that it's as if you have been woven into the sisters' world as well and you are right there- going along on the wild ride as the sisters fight to protect two worlds that mean so much to them from the evil lurking beneath the surface- the things of fairytales and nightmares.

I'm especially looking forward to Night Huntress- Delilah's second book in the series. I've been eagerly anticipating this books release since I finished Dragon Wytch months ago. So much is going on in the story and I just HAVE to know what happens next.

If you love fantasy and adventure, you should definitely check out Night Huntress- Heck- check out the entire series!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! May your blessings be many and your worries few- Enjoy good company and good food and safe travels.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dinner Anyone?

I know I haven't posted much recently..... just too much going on between stepson's 10th birthday, daughter's 6th one, me being sick- AGAIN- It's a neverending cycle, I do believe. And recently, very little time for writing, I'm afraid. Just can't seem to get back in the right mind frame for writing.

But I wanted to "cyber" invite you to dine with us this evening...Homemade Beef Stew and Cloverleaf Yeast Rolls on the menu. See, I already fixed you a bowl. :D

If anyone would like my recipes for this "comfort" meal- please feel free to let me know and I'll be happy to share.

(The stew is a crockpot recipe I made up that's nearly from scratch-0ther than the pre-packaged gravy mixes I use). The yeast rolls are my great-aunt's.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Greetings (A Poem by, you guessed it- me)

Christmas Greetings

Twinkle bright and have good cheer
Christmastime is drawing near
Mailing cards to Family, Friends
Happy holidays now begins
Top the tree with a beaming star
Greet your loved ones, near and far
Sparkling garland~ silver, gold
Take me back to days of old
Stringing lights up in the tree
Pretty ornaments for all to see
Shiny paper, ribbons, bow
A kiss beneath the mistletoe
Glistening snow, through windowpane
Sweet peppermint~ shaped like a cane
Warm spiced cider, piping hot
Perhaps cocoa would hit the spot
Cookies, treats and candies, too
Remember Christmas, old and new
Best of all, Love fills the air
As we show how much we care
It’s not the gifts bought at the store
No, it comes from something more
It’s not the lights, the tree, the toys
That fills our hearts with Christmas joys
It’s kindness sent along the way
That makes us smile on Christmas Day
To you and yours, from me and mine
Best wishes at this Christmastime.

(December 11, 2008)

Cupcakes With A Sprinklin' of Nostalgia

I'm letting the cherry chip cupcakes cool right now for my children's birthdays before I put the frosting on them. Chris is 10 today and Koty will be 6 Saturday.

Every year I reiterate that I just can't believe where the time has gone. Seems only yesterday Chris was just a little itty bitty thing when I first entered his life. Seems only yesterday we brought Miss Ko home from the hospital.

I don't know which hurts the heart of a mother more- dealing with the stress of day to day life, or the moments that remind you just how quickly they are growing up.

I think I'll take the latter. The kids can drive me bonkers and the closer we get to the holidays the worse they seem to be acting out- so much so I've threatened to go on strike! LOL

But, I look at the kids now and I see Chris growing into a young man. I'll take a moment to talk about the birthday boy today-

He's still got that chubbiness of childhood in his face, still has that tiny bit of twinkle that suspends disbelief most of the time, but I know one of these days I'm going to look at him and realize he's growing facial hair, taking girls on dates and worrying about getting a car and going to prom and graduation.

He's already on his way toward adulthood, losing bits and pieces of childhood, shedding them like an extra layer of skin he no longer needs. Already this year, he lost his belief in Santa. He questioned it because of kids at school telling him it's the parents who buy the gifts. My heart broke because it's hard to fathom he's at "that age" already.

And yet he still seems to believe in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. I'm sure once Easter rolls around, he'll question us about that as well and slowly his childlike beliefs will unravel...Innocence slips away, only to remain in sparkling particles of remembrance and nostalgia.

We are including him in the illusion and allowing him to feel like he's a part of it now. He will help us fill the stockings, though he won't be allowed to see what the presents are and if he's home early enough from his day with his mom, we might allow him to eat a cookie or two and have some milk before he brushes his teeth and goes to bed.

He has been sworn to secrecy about Santa though, so he doesn't ruin it for either of his sisters. They still have a few years to go before the magic of Santa leaves them, but I hope that we're able to help the kids see that he still lives on in our hearts and that it's truly not just about Santa, but about loving one another and being kind and caring.

I still believe, even though I know I am the one playing the part. It's a cherished memory of mine from my childhood and I want my kids to cherish it and carry it on when they have children of their own.

We watched Prancer the other night and I keep hearing the words of Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus which was originally written as an editorial by Francis P. Church for The New York Sun in 1897, in response to a young girl's letter- over a hundred years ago.

I won't reprint any of it here, but you can easily look it up if you wish to read it. It brings me to tears, though this is not something I grew up with, it touches my heart in a way the reminds me that no matter how old I get, and no matter how old my children get, I can only hope I have instilled in them the magic of Santa- the magic of imagination and childhood dreams and the ability to suspend disbelief and have hope.

It's always wise to keep a bit a childhood for yourself, even once you're grown. It's that youthful belief that keeps you young at heart, no matter your age. It keeps you dreaming, wishing, hoping and believing. May we all be so lucky.

Friday, December 5, 2008

74% of the Way There and Friendship

Just a short blog today. Feeling pretty good about where I'm at in this novel now. I'm 74% of the way done. That feels REALLY good!

My writing has been really sporatic since I hit 50K a few weeks ago, but I'm getting there, slowly but surely. Seems there's always something around here that needs my attention and draws me away from it.

Today it was laundry. Three baskets in all, but it seems to be smothering me...LOL.

I still have dishes taunting me though like children who need a bath. I have also had friendships on my mind today and thinking of those I've lost contact with over the years. This time of year generally conjures them up.

It's funny how friendship means so much when we're children and we grow up and lose track of so many good friends. This year I've been lucky enough to get back in touch with a few old friends and still keeping track of the ones I'm still in touch with or just getting to know.

They all represents parts of who I once was, who I became and who I am. Childhood friends that I've known as far back as I can recall. Friends from adolescence, young adulthood and even now.
I don't like to ponder what my life would be like without even just one of them because they've touched my life in so many wonderful ways.

Do the holidays get you thinking about your friends, old and new? Does it fill you with wispy memories and the desire to hunt them down and wish them a healthy happy holiday season filled with love and joy?

I guess that's why I enjoy sending out Christmas cards so much. I generally send out 70+ cards each year to family and friends. I'm able to reach old friends I don't normally get to talk to or see all that often and at least I'm able to let them know, once a year, that I still think about them and wish them well.

I can only hope that the ones I can't find or don't have addresses for know that I do still think of them and wish them all the best.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jingle Bells and Ho Ho Ho and Christmas Lights All Aglow

It's nearing Christmas and I've been in the spirit since the beginning of November.
My tree is up....

The Christmas village is set....

And outside my house is all aglow in the evenings and early morning, too, as the children head off to school.

The Christmas cards have been mailed, other than the cards meant to be given to the bus driver and the children's teachers. All the presents are wrapped, other than those last few from Santa on Christmas Eve and the one I'm waiting on for my husband that should arrive some time next week.
Time is flying by. The children's birthdays are coming up next week. Got that covered, too. And so I have settled in. It's warm and cozy here at home on this blustery December morning. The tree sparkles and twinkles next to my desk and all is quiet besides GMA on television.
I think I'm going to fix myself a cup of French Vanilla Cafe and work on my novel this morning while I can enjoy the quiet. The tv is going off.
Have a wonderful one.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Entering the Homestretch...

Of 2008.

This year is nearly over. did that happen? LOL

Seems it wasn't that long ago this year had just begun, stretching and squawling it's way into life. Now it is settling, yawning- ready to take it's rest.

Of course, I see this past year through writerly eyes...four novels completed and another almost finished. When it's done, I have a lot of work to do on all my novels. Revisions, rewrites, additions to the stories and then again and again and again until I polish those babies till they shine.

I have family and friends who keep telling me, begging me, to just go on and send something out- ANYTHING...but I know my writing is not up to par just yet. Several of my stories are not nearly long enough or polished enough to submit. Sometimes it would be easier if I kept my writing to myself around family and friends. Some don't quite get that it takes time and you can't just throw a 1st draft out there to agents and publishers. That would ensure rejection without doubt.

Rejection on the first manuscripts I send out is something I'm prepared for, but to send something that isn't good to begin with would just doom me to failure the rest of my writing life. Friends and family don't get that, especially if they haven't read anything I've written and base it solely on their opinions and good faith in me.

There's so much more to it than that and I know I'm just getting started. I don't expect that two years after I started taking writing seriously I'd be completely utterly ready to submit. Sure, that would be amazing, but I'm not fooling myself into thinking that two years qualifies me to become a professional writer. Yeah, I've written a lot, but I also know I have to put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into my work. I have to know I'm ready but, at the same time, not kid myself about the quality or quantity of my work. I have to be prepared, do the work to the best of my ability and then see where it goes from there.

Am I dooming myself to failure with this attitude about it? Possibly..... but I'd like to think not.

I like to believe that being prepared for what lies ahead for me is the best foundation I could create for myself. I may not know exactly where I'm headed, though I have a nice little destination in mind, but I hope I'm getting myself off on solid ground with sure footing and as much as my family and friends would like to toss me over the cliff toward that destination, I'm still not quite ready to make that leap.

Maybe it's fear lurking inside me of taking that first step, but I'm starting to feel that it's not just that...It's my good common sense telling me that I need to take the time to look things over, get my priorities straight and follow the path that leads me where I plan to go. There's no real road map to get to the place all writers dream of. The path is different for everyone, for some can get there in short order, with little trouble, few road blocks or traffic jams, while for others the journey simply takes a more scenic route that twists and turns, carrying them along on a long rollercoaster ride- but they all still get there nonetheless.

So, truthfully, my journey has just begun. I'm only a few "hours" into the drive, but I'm enjoying it and relishing it and looking forward to what awaits me around the next bend.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Love Your Blog Awards!

I got an "I Love Your Blog" award from my dear writing friend, Maddie James, so now what I have to do is present this to 7 blogs I love.

Like Maddie, all I can think is "Only 7?"

I have way more than 7 favorites and if you're curious about others, you can check out my favorite links further down my page here.

Here goes- In no particular order-
Maddie James's Life Unedited-

Petticoats and Pistols-

Witchy Chicks-

Michelle Willingham-

Magdalena Scott's Magdalenaville-

Cheryl St. John's From the Heart-

Yasmine Galenorn's Life On The Fringe Myspace Blog-

Love You All! Pass it on to 7 more when you get the opportunity!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Noveling, Sick Kid, Surprise Contact and a Birthday

Well, after I crossed the 50K mark, I slowed down- didn't write the day after cause I wasn't feeling well. Yesterday I wrote about 500 words, but that was it. I'm feeling sluggish, have a sick kid at home with me today (daughter has slight case of bronchitis and doctor excused her to stay home today to recoop after hubby had to go get her from school yesterday with a 102.7º temp and complaints of a sore throat).

This morning though, a surprising message awaited me in my email. A friend request for Facebook from a dear old friend. I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw it! I haven't heard from him in years, but apparently he found me, so it's a good thing I left my facebook up even though I rarely even bother with it.

I had been thinking about him, knowing I didn't have his new address to send him a Christmas card this year (or for the past few) hopefully he and I will be able to keep in touch now. I've sure missed him. He's my bud and once upon a time he was my very best guy friend.

Today is also my best friend's birthday- so Happy Birthday, Arlene!! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Well, I'm going to tend to my sick child and maybe get her to rest some more (5 y/o's don't get the whole "get some rest" stuff..LOL) Then I'm planning to work on my novel some more.

Have a good Hump Day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Let's Have a Legendary Christmas!

Well, I did sleep well last night, though I woke up with pain in my chest, ribs and back. Not sure what was up with almost felt like when I used to have my gallbladder attacks. I took an Alka-Seltzer and feel a lot better now. Perhaps it was something I ate last night- we had tacos and burritos, so I don't know- maybe the tomatoes I ate? I'm still leary of them, even though they've been deemed "safe" now...

Got a load of sheets in the washer and plan to also change the sheets on the kids' beds today. I haven't started writing yet this morning, but I've been surfing around the net and found out a little while ago that a book I've been eagerly anticipating in print was put up on Amazon this morning-

So of course, I had to jump right in there and get it ordered.

A Legendary Christmas Anthology by Maddie James, Janet Eaves, Magdalena Scott and Jan Scarbrough.

I already have The Ladies of Legend: Finding Home Anthology and I just love the little fictional town of Legend, Tennessee. These ladies know how to drop you in the midst of the small town and make you feel at home, make you feel like you've known the townfolk all your life and you feel welcome to pull up a chair and get the scoop on what's going on with each character.

I haven't even finished it, but I highly recommend it! LOL In fact, I got my nerve up to attempt making cloverleaf yeast rolls from a scene in Magdalena Scott's Midnight in Legend and I have to say- not only were they good (I use my great aunt's yeast roll recipe all the time) but they were really cute! Thanks Magdalena for the inspiration that made my ho-hum round rolls into something to talk about at the dinner table! Hehe!

So today I guess I'm doing a little promoting for a few ladies who inspire me. If you love romance, small town atmosphere and happy endings, I highly recommend The Ladies of Legend stories. You can find out more about them via the site.

There are also other stories in e-book format set in Legend I've yet to get to read (My hope, as a print book lover, is to eventually see each story based out of Legend in my hands) or you can purchase the anthologies via links on their site or by searching for them, by titles, on

Can't wait to have my own "legendary" Christmas!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Unofficial Winner of NaNo '08

I crossed the 50K line earlier this afternoon. I was thrilled, did a little dance, almost wet myself....

No, I jest- about wetting myself anyway.

Of course now that I've updated my word count goal, I can see that I'm 58% of the way to the finish of my novel, so I must keep trucking on. Still, it's exciting to know I've won my 3rd NaNo in a row. The thrill of self-imposed accomplishment never gets old, I don't think. I challenged myself all year with each novel I started and completed.

I finished 4 this year, though I know they all still need beefing up. When I finish this one, that will make 5 I've completed in a year's time, 9 in total in the past two years.

This is not a feat I take lightly. I'm really proud of myself. For years and years I let my story ideas sit and collect dust and at least now I'm producing more than dust bunnies and a continuing sense of disappointment that I started stories but never finished them. I used to beat myself up over the fact that I wanted to write but didn't have the determination or confidence to do so.

Writing is a boost to my ego- which isn't a bad thing. It gives me hope for my journey as a writer. It gives me fulfillment and self-confidence to know I'm doing what I love, even when I stress over story lines and plot hurdles and research- which gives me headaches. I hope to someday enjoy research. LOL

Among all the things that stress me though, there are those clear shiny moments when I find my groove, when my characters tell me more about themselves and their stories. When a new character pops in to chew my ear off and when the writing flows like magic from my fingertips, painting beauty across the screen in philosophical artistry. That's the thing I hunger for, the reason I continue to write like a mad woman, putting pen to paper, fingers to keys and pouring out all the words that circle my head and release all those extra personalities that live within me.

I think I'll sleep like a baby tonight now that one goal is down and I only have a short journey to The End.

Have a wonderful Sunday evening everyone.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Great Christmas Tree Tour '08

I interrupt my regular blogging to encourage anyone who happens by here to check out Cheryl St. John's From the Heart blog each day through the holidays if you would like to enjoy the tour of Christmas trees. Mine is already up there, along with several others.

I'll be checking back in to see all the lovely Christmas trees. Feel free to join me!

NaNo Day 14

I haven't much to say for myself as far as yesterday's writing went. I barely wrote over 1K, just so I could cross the 40K mark.

I'm ashamed...but yesterday my thoughts just didn't want to sit still or concentrate on writing. I emailed back and forth with my best friend, checked amazon for gift ideas to tell my MIL about for my hubby- who doesn't really want much of anything and what he does want, I've already ordered for him.

I talked to my mom on the phone and then put out my wooden snowman decoration in the yard, in the rain...along with my solar snowflakes, though they are having to charge before I can turn them on. Hopefully tonight.

It's raining today, so I doubt I'll be putting the rest of the decorations out like I had planned. So, instead, I'm going to try- really try- to get my head back in my novel and get at least 3-4K written today. Hubby is cooking today- cavatini, so I don't have to worry about cooking, so I should be able to get something done.

I've got less than 10K to go now. It would be lovely if I could get in the groove and get to 50K today. Wouldn't that be something?

I do have some laundry that I need to take care of, but I can balance laundry with writing.

Well, I hope everyone has a nice Saturday- if you're getting rain or snow flurries- I hope you're enjoying the day indoors, relaxing and staying warm.


Friday, November 14, 2008

NaNo Days 9-14- Rollercoaster Riding

I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted about NaNo'ing. It's been sporadic bursts and lulls this week.

9th- 2,517
10th- 4,000
11th- 3,227
12th- 1,804
13th- 2,003

Of course today is the 14th and it's still really early, so I don't have a word count yet. My current total is 39,336, so I'm going to be bouncing over the 40K mark today in no time. I've got just over 10K to make it to the 50K goal. Yay me! My 3rd NaNo win!

Once I'm over the goal, I'll be changing my word count goal to 85K on my progress meter, so I can continue toward the other main goal- finishing my 9th novel in 2 years.

This past week has been up and down for me. I feel like I'm getting somewhere, but at the same time, I feel like my wheels are spinning and spinning and I'm not getting anywhere. Anyway...not much else going on besides writing and taking care of stuff around the house. Hope everyone has a great Friday!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

NaNo Days 7 & 8

NaNo Day 7- Slightly less productive- 3,182 words. Got the grocery shopping done in the evening and relaxed.

NaNo Day 8- an off day- I wrote 1,954 in the morning before lunch. After that, hubby was online watching stuff on YouTube for a while, so I didn't complain cause I'm ALWAYS on the computer writing or checking email, etc. Later in the afternoon, after talking to my sister I got a wild hair and decided to take down the fall stuff and clean the shelves where the Christmas Village goes.

Next thing I know, I've dusted the shelves, rearranged the shelves to clear off the bottom two and hung clean curtains along with the pale blue with white snowflakes panel my mom found for the backdrop to the village. Next thing I know, hubby is cutting the "snow" sheets to fit the shelves and I'm hunting village pieces.

I'm about a week ahead of my normal decorating, but I felt like I "needed" the warmth of decorations- that little "umph" that lets me know I'll get to enjoy my decorations instead of throwing them up and pulling them down in no time flat. I'll be able to get back to writing once I've gotten things "squared" away.

After I put my daughter to bed, I put the Christmas tree together while we watched Sweeney Todd. I tried to get it to fit in the corner a little farther back because this year my stepson is in the room past the tree. Normally the tree nearly blocked the doorway when it was just the spare bedroom, but now that it's his room, I gotta make sure the path is clear for him to get in and out of there so I bent the limbs upward a little to tighten the tree up a bit.

I also put the treetopper and lights on it last night. Today will be to tackle the garland, bows, ornanments and other decorations. I'll probably wait to do the outside lights and decorations till next weekend, but for now the spirit of the season has gotten hold of me. Going to try to get some writing done this morning and then work on decorating some more.

I'll post pictures later, once I've gotten it done.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, November 7, 2008

NaNo Day 6 Recap (crosspost)

Yesterday ended up being more productive than I had hoped for. I finished out the day with 4,617 words added to the story bringing me up to 20,649 words.

I got to enjoy Ugly Betty and Supernatural and got a lot pumped out on the novel front. What a wonderful thing to feel like I got something accomplished.

Today I've been writing already and have almost written 1K. It's coming along which is always a good thing.

Another good thing- I feel a little better today than I did yesterday. I don't want to speak too soon, but hopefully (fingers crossed) I'm starting to get over this cold or whatever it was.

Well, back to the grind. Hope to reach 25,000 before this day is out.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

NaNo Day 5 a Bust, NaNo Day 6 a Struggle (crosspost)

Yesterday was a major bust on th writing front- after cleaning my daughter's room for about 6 hours, and having hubby home not feeling well and fixing supper and watching Bones and Ghost Hunters, I just wasn't up to writing much at all. My head was in a fog. I wrote 628 words before I had to shut it down and go on to bed feeling groggy and sluggish.

I woke up this morning feeling no better- I could barely wake up and was dozing off as I helped my daughter get dressed this morning. Usually the sleepyhead- she kept clapping her hands and making me laugh to keep me awake. She's my little sweetie.

Today has been a little more productive, but the words are coming as slow and as sluggish as I feel right now. I've got vapor rub on my neck and chest and sipping tea and sucking on a cough drop. It's not very conducive to writing, that's for sure.

Just why I had to get sick the week before NaNo started I will never understand. It's doing a number on my ability to get any writing done even though I am ahead on my word count. Every word, sentence and paragraph comes like I'm bleeding them out, slowly, agonizingly.

Frankly I'll be glad when I get to feeling better, but just when I thought I was feeling better yesterday evening, I turn around and feel worse today. I napped earlier today, but that didn't help, just left me feeling more exhausted than before.

Hope everyone else is having a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NaNo Days 3 & 4

Monday I got 4,720 words and yesterday I got 4,008 words written, bringing my total to 15,404.

I wasn't sure I would get much written yesterday because I was feeling drained and I still had both the kids home with me. They drove me up the wall.

But I still managed.

Today though...I haven't written anything yet (besides this blog.) Instead I tackled my daughter's mess of a room and got it pretty well straightened, decluttered and organized. We'll see how long that lasts.

Now I need to get some writing done though, so I'll report back later with Day 5's word count.

Have a great one!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day Two: NaNo

Yesterday- Day Two of NaNo was a splendid day- coughing my head off, sore throat, body aches and pains. Yeah...I'm NaNo'ing sick. I started getting sick last week and it seems to have escalated as the days went on. Seems to me I was sick last year when NaNo began. Lovely...just lovely.

But...the bright and shiny moment came last night when I jotted down my word count for the day. 4,914 words- Grand total so far- 6,676 words. Already into Chapter 3. I'm actually 2 days ahead- even though I felt like crud yesterday and was writing in between laundry and cooking. Dave did the dishes for me though, which was just so sweet.

Have the kids home today. They're watching Bee Movie on HBO. I've got some more laundry to do- but I'm going to get my hiney in this chair and type away!

Have a wonderful day! I'm off to NaNo....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2 Days and Counting

NaNoWriMo is almost upon us.

I keep thinking- How can I still be this excited about NaNo?

This is the 3rd year I'll be participating and I'm still just as antsy and eager and nervous and thrilled as I was the first year I attempted it- thinking I wanted it so badly, but didn't think I could possibly accomplish it in just a month.

And then I did.

And then I did last year, too.

It blows my mind to think that 2 years ago, before NaNo started, I had barely finished my first novel. Since my participation in NaNo, I've written 7 more novels and this will be number 9 I'll be working on during November.

Of course, Halloween is the night before and we're taking the kids trick or treating. My baby girl is going as a cheerleader and stepson is going as Darth Vader. Hubby's going as a zombie and I'm going 80's retro- big hair, bright make-up, funky clothes.

It's sure to be "interesting" to say the least. Much as I don't want to take time away from the start of NaNo- we've got to go grocery shopping Saturday (since our normal grocery day is Friday night, but that's the night of trick or treat) and we're going to drop the kids off with hubby's mom in the afternoon so we can get what little is left of the Christmas shopping done.

Yes- we're ahead on the shopping this year. I've got a lot of stuff ordered on the net, so I'll be having to keep an eye out for all the items arriving over the next few weeks.

I've also gotta straighten my daughter's room and get it organized. My cousin is giving us a twin size bed for her that is in storage at the moment. I've already ordered a brand new Tinkerbell bedset for it and I'm hoping we'll get it before the holidays.

I also have to go through my closet and pull some stuff out that needs to be put in the basement because it's just taking up space in my closet and plus I need to make room to hide presents this year. Last year I used the spare bedroom to hide all the presents- This year my stepson was moved into the spare room and daughter was moved to his old room, so the spare room is right out in the open in the middle of the house. Kinda hard to hide stuff in plain sight.

So, amidst all the stuff I need to get done this weekend, I've also got to fit in time to write. Can I do it? Oh, I'll find a way...No doubt.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Well, I did it- got both the kids' pumpkins done- Aren't they purty? Chris's is the one with wolves, Koty's the cat and pumpkin.

Koty didn't really want to use a different design, but I think it turned out pretty good.
Now I need to rest my wrists for NaNo!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Carving Mayhem!

Well, I set out this morning to carve both the kids pumpkins. I got Chris's done, but Koty's pumpkin was being a rotten little booger. She wanted this cat design and unfortunately it had such intricate designs that after I got the small details done and started to cut out the rest of the larger portions, the cat's head and then body fell out- so the only thing there was a big empty hole.

So aggravated- mostly with myself. I just can't believe I messed it up.

Dave's going to pick up another pumpkin for Koty that I'll work on tomorrow, unless I get the notion to work on it tonight. I'm developing a sore throat and my head feels like it's going to explode. Hopefully she'll pick an easier design and I'm going to take extra care to get the stencil just right, too.

Considering I botched one today, I'm going to wait to post the pictures I intended to post until I have both pumpkins fixed up. But I will- Promise.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Working a Playlist

I'm trying to build a novel writing playlist for my NaNovel. I've does this before when writing other novels and am trying to find songs- albeit I have a rather large collection of older CDs- it's hard to find "just the right" songs. You make do with what you have though, right?

For the variety I'm going to my NOW and Totally Hits CDs. There are a lot of songs I've got on cassette that would work, but well- can't rip them to the computer the way I can CDs.

I've also been searching online for pumpkin carving stencils because Chris's mom bought him and Koty both a pumpkin and rather than let them sit on the porch and rot- I told the kids they could pick a design and while they're at school I'll carve them so we can put a candle in them and they'll get to enjoy them for a little while.

Got homemade beef stew going in the crockpot this chilly morning and plan to make some yeast rolls after while. Might attempt making clover rolls, but not sure yet. They would be cute.

After I get the song playlist laid out, I'm going to spend more time working on the bare bones of my novel and get more ideas on the page so I have plenty to go on. Of course, you can't start writing even the first page until November 1st, but the more ideas and plot lines I can think of, even if they don't make it into the novel, the better. I'm shooting for the 50K for my 3rd win, but I'm aiming for the novel to actually come out somewhere around 80-85K total on word count.

A continuation of my prior four book series about the sisters- this novel will pick up the beginning of the stories about the four brothers of the hero in the 4th in the first series. Did that make sense? LOL It sure was a mouthful!

Hope you have a great Monday! Stay warm!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

So Many Thoughts...So Little Time

My head is abuzz with so many things right now. Autumn has truly settled upon us. It was 44º this morning- Brrr... I feel the surge of energy, the need to nest and prepare for warm, cozy hibernation in the coming winter months.

My thoughts are turning to NaNoWriMo, holiday decorating, gift shopping, mailing cards, the kids' birthdays, days spent with loved ones with good food and conversation- everyone talking over everyone else. Can we say I've got the end of year jitters? LOL

That's not a bad thing- I'm just full of an energy- ebb and flow of the excitement that always greets me this time of year.

I've already made my donation to NaNo and ordered my shirt for this year. Can't wait to get it!

I've been trying to sort through ideas for the kids and hubby for gifts for Christmas. Hubby isn't so hard- it's dividing the kids lists among the grandparents. My mom doesn't really care if I make a list and doesn't really follow it if I do. Hubby's mom tends to follow the list and then add more that WASN'T on the list. Hubby's dad- they sometimes get the suggested items and sometimes they get what they find. It's tough to get through to all the grandparents that they don't have to go overboard- especially with big items. We prefer smaller ones- CDs, DVDs, books, etc. Stuff that's not going to take up what little space the kids have left in their rooms.

We'll see how that goes. My daughter's room is a disaster zone as it is and she's not willing to give up any of the toys she has. And this year she's really hoping to get my old Barbie RV for her dolls from me as part of her birthday present. Now just a matter of me figuring out what she can do without in her room in order to make room for that thing! Haha!

Busy, busy, busy...I need a nap! LOL

Friday, October 17, 2008

Where'd I Put My Groove? (crosspost from myspace)

Since I've been back home I did hang that wallpaper- but all the hard work done me in. LOL

I haven't opened any writing files or worked on anything as far as brainstorming or outlines or anything. I think my brain shut down cause it KNOWS NaNo is coming up- taking a "hibernation" of sorts until then..Here's hoping the noggin wakes up before the 1st of November! LOL

I do still need to work some outlines for the novel I'm planning to write. I have a little, but not enough to suit/prepare me for starting on it- bare bones.

This Sunday is also my hubby's birthday- so I've gotta make him a pineapple upside down cake- his favorite. Saturday we are going to his mom's for a cookout- hopefully it doesn't rain. But before we go over there we're going to go up to town so he can take care of getting his driver's license and registration and tags taken care of and then off to Wally World so he can pick out what he wants for his birthday. Knowing him, I have a feeling he's going to end up with a couple of new movies- Indy and Ironman (most likely).

While we're there- I've got to look for a few things for my Halloween costume and get some stockings for Koty's cheerleader costume so her little legs don't freeze while trick-or-treating.

Where has October gone? It's just flying by. Before we know it '08 will be over- and in all honesty- I'll be glad. It's been a rough year, not just for my little family, but for family and friends around me. We've had to replace the stove, the washer, have the roof fixed. Work has gotten busier for Dave and he's doing all right, but I hope he's not working himself into bad health again. Two years ago when he had pneumonia and was hospitalized, it was devastating and here's hoping we don't have a repeat of that- not so soon after the last bout of it.

One of my uncles was diagnosed with rectal cancer and he's doing all right, though his is too far gone for treatment to help. One of my aunts was diagnosed with lung cancer- her chemo and treatment helped a LOT and she's doing good. My aunt who has brain cancer is still doing very well- coming up on 5 years of surviving next year. An ex of mine's father has cancer and my friends' mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Relatives of friends have died. My old landlord from back in the day when I lived in my apartment passed away. And then last night my sister called to tell me a classmate of mine from back in school died in a terrible work-related accident in my hometown. He was only 34 years old (barely older than me, cause I'll be 34 in Feb).

This has been a year full of scares, sadness and trouble and I'll be glad to get into 2009 with hopes that things start to get better. We need a break from tragedy and disappointment.
A few good things that have happened this year though- To shine the spotlight on the brighter side-

I'm back in touch with my best friend. A very good thing. My daughter started kindergarten and is doing really well. My friend who's been in Japan with her husband in the Air Force for quite a few years found out they're being transfered out to England at the beginning of the year. She's really excited about that. Another friend is pregnant with her first child.

I've written 4 novels (so far) this year. Mind you, they need more added to them to get a decent word count, but I did "finish" four- now it's just a matter of plumping them up into big healthy novels and I'm hoping to complete number 5 in November. Marriage is good. Kids are good.

Maybe there's at least a little balance in the good and bad. Now if I could just find my groove and get it back! I know it's around here somewhere! LOL

Have a wonderful Friday everybody!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Journey as a Writer

I've probably been writing as long as I can remember, but I think the moment I realized I wanted to be a writer was around the time I was 10 years old. I had been writing and illustrating little teenage HEAs and letting my friends read them while we sat on a blanket under a tall tree in our yard. Of course, those little stories are long gone. I tossed them in my "I'm an adult now and that's so immature and stupid" phase. In some ways I wish I still had them, just for a good laugh.

I don't remember how old I was at the time my mom told me she had a book she wanted me to read she thought I would enjoy. It was a Harlequin novel called The Guarded Heart by Robyn Donald. I laughed and cried and after that I couldn't get enough of reading romance novels, so I would forage through my mom's collection and read what I could. The stories inspired me and I knew I wanted to write like that.

My family knew I wanted to be a writer- I was always jotting something, staying up late on weekends and during summer vacation to write in notebooks. I took spiral notebooks and pencils and pens with me everywhere I went, in case I wanted to work on something or got an idea. My parents got me a Smith Corona typewriter/word processor and several books about writing and the business for Christmas the year I was 17.

My dad sat me down and warned me that it wasn't an easy business to get into and that I might still have to work a day job if writing didn't "pan out." He told me the writing world could be harsh and critical and I better prepare myself for rejections and disappointments. It wasn't that he didn't believe in me, and he wasn't trying to be mean, he just wanted to make sure that if I dreamed big, I wouldn't see things through rose-colored glasses.

My mom on the other hand encouraged me and told me she knew I had it in me and she believed in me, even though she'd never read anything I'd written other than papers for school. I started writing a lot more in my late teens and early twenties, but somewhere along the line, my fear of failure or success got in the way along with working and just taking care of myself.

I had started writing a novel that was near and dear to my heart because of something personal I had gone through and I needed to get it out, but eventually I got to a part in the story that, emotionally, I wasn't prepared to write. Life again got in the way as well and I stopped working on it and any other writing other than poetry and song lyrics.

That was around the time I was probably about 20 or 21. I didn't pick the story back up until I was 31- a ten-eleven year span of feeling like something important was missing in my life because I wasn't writing.

Throughout those years, I changed jobs, moved away from home and back again, had different relationships it seemed my life had little room for anything else. Then I moved here, got married, became a step mom and then a mommy myself. There wasn't time for writing, no matter how much the desire taunted me constantly that I should be writing something, anything, everything.

In the late summer of 06' a friend's encouragement nudged me into digging out all my old writing papers and ideas. If nothing else, I had to prove I could finish that novel I had been so determined to write all those years before. And I did. I'm not gonna lie though...when I went back and reread it- it was awful...stunk...wasn't fit for anything. I've since done a few rounds of revisions on it and it's beginning to shape up, fingers crossed.

But once I finished it, therein lay the next step- what else could I write and finish and how long would it take me. I was convinced another 10 years. LOL But I discovered National Novel Writing Month shortly after. I took the chance and came away with a 82+K first draft- in a month.

The first person to read something I'd written? I kept my writing to myself for the most part for years. No one read it but me. Fear and insecurity washed over me and there still aren't many who I'll allow to read my writing- at least not at this time....

My husband offered to read it, but never has. My friend offered too but never did...but my biggest supporter? My mother? She said-

"Print that story out and let me borrow it. My daughter wrote a novel and I want to read it because I'm proud of you."

She liked it, bragged on it and told me she knew I could do it- now when was I going to start submitting it to get it published? LOL She says she wants to see me published before she dies, cause it would be a shame if she never go to see me accomplish it. :D

It's still going to be a little while though. I have work to do and lots more to add to a few of my novels that fall short on word count. Given just a little time and hard work and determination, I think it's manageable.

Since then, I've let my sister read my four book series. She liked them, loved them even, though she did have some critiques for me, but with good intentions that helped me clear my head to see what mistakes I had made.

Now to get these others shaped up and extended to a decent word count and polished and I'll see where it goes from there.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Had One of Those Days

I did a lot of cyber surfing yesterday checking out agent and publisher sites and blogs. Did I learn anything?


I'm about 20K off on word count for the majority of my manuscripts for what most publishers want in novels.

What does that mean for me?

I need to go back through and figure out how to "extend" the stories. A few I know needed a little more to them anyway, but with a few of them, the story was pretty tight from start to finish, meaning there's little room for big changes, unless I also do a LOT of editing of other parts.

And that also means I'm not nearly as ready to start submitting as I thought I was. At least, not until I get this under control and take care of it. So it looks like I'm back to work on each different novel, plotting extra scenes and adding more depth and description, etc.

I'm going to work on that this month (October YIKES- where did this year go?) and then I'm going to work on my NaNovel next month and get it finished, and work toward a higher word count on it as well. Then I'll take a break from that one to come back to the others and cover my bases.

I'll get it eventually. It was a bit disconcerting and did give me a few moments of "what am I even thinking?" yesteday. Those moments of self-doubt and self-loathing reared their ugly heads, but now that I know what I need to do- that's what I will do.

First and foremost today, I need to get my current word counts and see where I go from there. Wish me luck!

Have a great first day of October!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Do you like Western Historical Romance?

Today I'm blogging more for the wonderful ladies at Petticoats and Pistols, so if like reading western historical romance, please go check out the Fillies.

This group of wonderful western historical romance writers will get you hooked on history and make you smile.

All this week they will be doing double blogs each day, so if you read their wonderful blogs and leave a comment, you could be entered in the running for all the different prizes they are giving away this week to celebrate their 1 year anniversary.

So saddle up your horse and put on your boots and cowboy hat and ride on over to visit for a while at Wildflower Junction-

Monday, September 22, 2008

Still Revising

Well, since finishing revisions on the 7th...I've been working on the other, though I've had less time to do so. I'm 150 pages in though of about 338 pages I think.

Need to get this one done before NaNo starts. I need to start plotting and getting my outline ready for the one I plan to write during NaNo. No writing, but some planning will help get me started.

Hope everyone has a great week...back to the grind...

Happy 1st Day of Autumn!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Revisions on 7th done--

Finished the revisions on the 7th novel I was working on and started revisions on my 8th yesterday. Only got 20 pages in though and my wrist started giving me grieve and the tension in my shoulders were killer.

I'll be so glad when I finally get through revisions and am satisfied with the results. Revisions are tiresome. I spent the better part of August working on them and then a few days this month, so far. Plus, it won't be long until NaNoWriMo starts up...golly...where did this year go?

Not a lot else to say so I'm going to hop to work and see how much I can get done today.

Have a great one!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wow! It's Been a While...

It's been a while since I posted a blog on here. I'm slacking...can you tell? LOL

In the past week or more, I've been busy with housework- laundry, dishes, etc. Over Labor Day weekend we stayed busy running to and fro and reorganizing our living room entertainment stuff. Had to replace our old wobbly entertainment center with a television stand and a bookcase for videos because the other was about to fall in the floor.

Last weekend my fur baby was hurt. Not sure what she did considering she's an indoor cat, but she was limping around and I babied her all weekend till she got back to being fully mobile. She's doing much better.

As for revisions, I had really slacked off on them until yesterday and I got about 14 pages done, so that's what I'm going to be up to today. I want to get the last two, 1st-round revisions done before November when NaNo starts.

It's baffling to imagine that November is only 2 months away now. Wow! This year is almost over. My kids are doing great in school with a few minor issues here and there, but that's to be expected because you can't expect them to be good all the time.

Today had a very odd feeling to it. While we waited for the bus to arrive, the sky began to lighten, but it seemed the sun was shining through the clouds directly above us, though it should've been coming from the east. The only thing I can figure is that the gray cloud coverage was thicker in the east than overhead, so it just appeared that way. But it did feel like it was midday at 6:40 in the morning. A strange feeling washed over was bizarre to say the least.

Well, I'm off and gone...Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Autumn Closing In

I'm beginning to feel Autumn closing in.

The winds of change foretell the fall of leaves, the damp, lazy days and shifting time. Daylight and darkness argue amongst themselves for stage time. Sliding in beneath the heated days of Summer, Autumn whispers on the breeze- to tell of times when the ground will be blanketed by the russet and gold and flame quilt of sleep.

Sleep, sweet Mother Earth, for you have blistered too long in the Sun's smoldering gaze. Take your rest, as we do and enjoy the harvest. Ruby apples and amber pumpkins grace the orchards and fields, glistening in the early morning dew.

Jack Frost will lay his icy fingers to the land before too long. He shall shroud the world in sparkling frozen crystals, spirals and transparent star bursts on the windowpanes, etching out his artwork upon the last remaining leaves and dressing the blades of grass in their Cinderella gowns that shimmer and welcome the approach of Winter, for it is the time of the Autumn Ball.

The sky, powder blue, shall brighten most days, but will also be cast in steely gray from time to time, as the rains pit-pat out a rhythm of solitude and calm. Go indoors and huddle, stay warm and dry! Leaves scatter on the winds as they whip round to haunt and dance their final waltz. Surround yourselves with the comforts of hearth and home, while the chilled breath of Autumn stirs the leaves upon the ground~ rustling, hurrying, swirling them into Winter's cold embrace.

An ethereal sense of quiet washes over me as days change with the passing weeks. No longer will the sun's warm caress wake me. Instead I will be greeted by the cold fingertips of the morning light, a distant pale beam that neither warms nor shines as brightly as before.

We turn inward to wax poetic about days gone by and reminisce of youthful times and activities. How quickly time does fly as the knowledge that another year is journeying toward its end. Time tells the tales of days of old, and I am wrapped in the melancholy, to ponder on the past, to savor old beloved memories and reminded of the changes in my life thus far.

Autumn is upon us~ I feel it closing in...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

That's Just Ugly

I got through the first round of revisions on my four book series...not too shabby, but these are, after all my most recent endeavors and therefore written quite a bit differently than the ones prior. I decided to move on to a different story than those so I can come back and go through them again later.

So I went through my historical paranormal romance...a bit tougher, but I made it through with only a few minor abrasions. (mind you this was the 3rd novel I completed so the writing wasn't as tight as the four book series, which I finished this year) I mean sure, I had tension in my shoulders from staring at the pages for hours with little breaks in between, but it wasn't too hard to alter it and fix this and that....So I moved on again-

This one I'm doing now? It's a train wreck- more tension in my shoulders and neck, headaches and eye strain. I feel like this story has chewed me up and spit me out.

Yesterday I went through about 30 pages, then backtracked to the beginning again and only got through 13 pages before I shut it down for the evening. I had a busting headache when I went to bed. This was the 2nd book I finished, my first NaNovel, and my writing was/is CRAP. The sentence structure, the tense, the grammar...when I started going through it again I realized just how much my writing has changed in the past two years that I've been hard at work on these.

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday evening as well as today, scrutinizing over the same sentence until I had it written in a way that made sense and fit the tense. I've reworked so many sentences it's not even a laughing matter.

I've been told by so many authors that writing's the easy part, its the revisions that are hard and I can absolutely agree. As I go through these revisions, I see the striking changes in my form, my voice, the manner with which I handle getting the thoughts out into written word.

I'm actually dreading the moment I go back and start working on the revisions of my very first novel. Mind you, I have revised it before. I had written it in 1st person to begin with, so I went back and changed that. Changing POV is pretty difficult in and of itself, because you can't just change I, me, my, mine, we to he, she, it, them, etc. You also have to take into account your verbs and tense yet again to make sure the sentences flow.

Let it be known I'm not discouraged...just exhausted. I want to make sure these are all polished to the best of my ability before I start sending them in for submissions. Of course, it's amazing just how much a writer's vision and style changes as they go along. I have 8 completed, and the first four, in my opinion are not nearly as good as the last four. I don't mean the stories. I love the stories.

It's my writing that's changed and in a way, perhaps I have changed a bit as well. I know I've grown a lot with each story and that makes a huge difference in how I perceive myself as a writer. That's a really good thing.

I'm not disappointed in my previous misconceptions about "how" I write. In fact, I'm even more determined to improve them, polish them, wrap them in pretty paper and a bow. They'll shine eventually and it will be well worth the painstaking revisions and hours of stress and devotion to them.

I'm getting a late start at this, but I think I'm catching on quick. Now won't that be pretty?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

8th Finished, Revisions and Busyness

So much has been going on since I last posted and I had almost forgotten to update.

I finished #8 on the 1st of just 2 weeks and 3 days time. After that we had to start getting the kids prepared for school. Orientation and Open House, papers to fill out and even us parents got a crash course in the way things are done at the school.

The first day was August 6th, so we've made it through the first week and a half of school and so far so good, the kids are doing good. My daughter started kindergarten, so it was bittersweet to put her on the bus that first day. She had always been home with me all day, so it was a change for the both of us...a milestone. I cried the first day, but I've done good every day since.

She had a rough ride home on the bus the first day because it was extremely hot and she almost got sick, but the weather has cooled off some since then, so she's had good days since then. She's loving school, but coming home and letting all her pent up behavior and talkativeness out on us until bedtime. LOL It's still great to see her so excited about it and enjoying herself, though she comes home clingy and missing me.

My stepson is doing pretty well in the 4th grade, in a different school, but he's enjoying it, too and comes home happy and chatty as well. Hard to hear them both jabbering away though, talking over each other to tell me about all the cool and exciting things they've done.

The time sure has flown by since my stepson was starting kindergarten and my girl was just a little infant. Where does it all go?

In the meantime, I've been concentrating on revisions on my novels. I've done a first run through the four book series, checking mostly for grammar and typos and such. Right now I'm working on one of my other ones. I've noticed major mistakes in this one as compared to the four book series I wrote this year.

I have a feeling I've grown some in my writing style and voice with the last four...the first four will be the boogers when it comes to editing, as I've already discovered. The one I'm working on right now is in a lot worse shape grammar and typo-wise. I'm digging in deep to fix sentences and punctuation and sentences that just don't really make a lot of sense now that I read through them again.

Tightening them up and making headway into polishing it. Revisions are a real pain- in the back. When I'm writing a novel, I don't suffer nearly as much- but doing these revisions, scrolling and changing this and that builds tension in my shoulders and elbows. Not sure what the difference is there, but I'm thinking it's because when I'm writing, my fingers are simply flying over the I've slowed down and reading and my fingers aren't doing the brain is, and therefore, in a way, the rest of my body...LOL

But, I'm working through it...working on it mostly during the day while I have silence in the house while hubby's at work and the kids are at school and resting in the evenings after supper.

I can feel myself moving closer and closer to completed, polished novels and the impeding task of writing query letters, synopsis and sticking my foot in the waters.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend. I'm off to work on revisions. Have a great one~

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Novel Number 8

I definitely made progress yesterday...I didn't realize I had written so much until halfway through the day and I decided I wasn't stopping until I made a major breakthrough. 10K at least. I wrote 10,058, bringing me up to 36,930- more than 1/2 way to my goal.

After I finally get this one done, I'm going to take a break from actual writing until November when I do NaNo- Instead I'm going to start doing revisions on my completed first drafts.

It's time. I know. My mom keeps telling me I need to get stuff out there since I've gotten so much done in the past two years. She wants to see me published before she's gone from this world. Not that she's at death's door, but she believes in me and my writing and said it would be a shame if she never gets to see me in print. LOL Gotta love her for that!

So, once this current WIP is finished, I'm going to use the 3 months between now and NaNoWriMo to work through them and get them polished. Not even sure what novel I'll work on for NaNo this year, yet. Possibly the first novel of the next 4 book set, based on the 4 brothers of the hero in my current. I've lined out their names, occupations, the ideas for the heroines for each of I might get started on them with NaNo...which would pick up shortly after the end of the one I'm working on at the moment. Readers would get to see the hero and heroine in this one again in the first book, at least, of the new series. I still have a lot of other ideas, but they aren't begging to be written just yet, though I might do the sequel to my paranormal historical, based on the cousin of the heroine in the first book.

Not sure yet. Anyway...I need to get some writing done today..Not even 2 weeks into writing this one and more than 1/2 there, so I best get my booty in gear.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day #3 Writing

I got 3,832 words written yesterday, even with roofers overhead! Yay Me! I'm almost done with Chapter 3 and feel like I'm getting to know my characters better and better, just moving right along.

In fact, I've got another 2500 to go and I'll reach the first "milestone" word count- 10K. That's pretty cool.

Well, I'm off to write and make my milestone today!

Happy Writing!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Novel Number 8- On Its Way

Last night I finally got started on #8. I had started it a day or two before, but last night I finished chapter 1 and I'm about 1/2 way through chapter two. I went from a 508 starting word count to 3,667 when I finished up last night.

That gave me a great start, though today the roofers showed up, so here's hoping I get something done while they're overhead banging on the ceiling! LOL

Off to "try" to get some writing done. Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July Already

I can't hardly fathom that we're more than half way through this year. In less than a month my stepson will be starting 4th grade and my daughter will be starting kindergarten. It's surreal. A love/hate relationship for me. I'm eager for quiet days spent writing and getting things straightened up around the house without children underfoot, but at the same time, I dread the idea of sending my daughter out into the big big world without me.

I spent a week up in my hometown with my family and spending time with friends. It was a nice break in routine, but sad when I had to come back home. Still miss my hometown and being close to my family and friends.

To take my mind off of it, the past day or so I've been brainstorming ideas for novel #8, figuring out a bit of back story as well as thinking through scenes I'd like to see play out once I get started. Though the back story plays a minimal role, it's still stuff I need to know while I'm writing.

So right now I'm in the "fleshing" mode. Fleshing out my story, digging up the bones, getting to know my characters and getting in their heads and knowing what's in their hearts. I'm molding and shaping, modeling them. It feels really good, especially having a week's break between the last one and this one. I feel ready to start this one and these characters haven't been screaming in my ear, but they have been lurking on the edges of my mind a lot the past few days, whispering things I didn't know about them and their story.

So, that's where I'm at now. Working and delving into this new one and it makes me happy to know this one is stepping up to the plate, ready to be written soon.

Have a great day and happy writing!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tired but Accomplished

Yesterday I wrote just over 9K and I "put a finish on it." The novel is done.

I said I was going to finish the first rough draft of it before the 28th or the end of this month at least. Well, I did just what I set out to do, even though I struggled through a few days of absolute silence as the story fell away from me and refused to come back, but when it did, it was with a rejuvenated determination to see it through to the end.

I went to bed last night talking my hubby's ear off. I couldn't stop talking. Not just about the story and my characters, but just anything and everything that came to mind. The cricket I had to rescue from inside the washing machine- Don't know HOW he got in there...the silly things our daughter had said the other day, etc. I was awash in the rush of finishing another first draft manuscript.

Of course, after I finally shut up, my mind kept racing through the story, trying to make sure that I hadn't forgotten something I should have put in it. This morning I'm doing laundry and have to pack a suitcase each for me and my daughter before hubby takes us up to my parents tomorrow for a week. I have to get the dishes washed up and figure out what I'm going to do about the menu for next week when I'm not going to be here as well as possibly making the following week's menu, too, so I don't have to worry about it before I get back home.

My body and mind are still buzzing from the accomplishment. My next goal is to write the 4th and most likely final installment to the series about the sisters. After that one, I'm not sure what I'll work on next. So far this year I've finished 3. My plan was to write at least 4 this year, but if I start working on the last one in this series after I get back from my visit with my family and friends in my hometown, I will still have the next 6 months of this year to work on more, including one I will write during my 3rd NaNoWriMo.

Depending on what I decide to write, I may attempt a few more, or I may start polishing the four book series so I can ship it out in hopes of finding it a home. We'll see.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and I'll try to post while I'm up for my visit. Have a great weekend and if I don't post before then- Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So Much For Not Procrastinating...

For a week I dawdled some more...I know I know...I said I was done with dawdling and procrastinating...and then I let it rule over my thoughts and I shut down my desire to write.

I hit 21K and stalled out...And then this week got off to an okay start. I wrote 1,639 words on Monday...followed by a very poor word count on Tuesday (barely over 400). Yesterday was my saving grace. I wrote 4,891 words! I went to bed thinking about the story, playing out scenes in my head and thinking about what will happen next. That makes it hard to go to sleep, but filled me with a wonderful sense of accomplishment and the desire to keep pushing forward.

After allowing myself a week of procrastination...having no desire to write...I realized that in order to finish this book by the end of the month I was going to have to buckle down...I figured it up and realized that I need to write AT LEAST 4K a day or better to accomplish the goal I've set before me.

Last night I pushed through and got a lot written. The good, the bad and the ugly of it. The story does seem to be coming to life more in my mind's eye, so, THAT MUCH I have going for me. I can see the setting- the cabin near the lake, the high open beamed ceilings, the large living room and kitchen area, the bedrooms, the layout of the house. I can see the snow falling outside, and the lake from the kitchen windows where a private stretch of beach rolls out to meet the water. I can see the tall pines, the blanket of snow...The wilderness and the white capped mountains in the distance. I'd LOVE to go to this place...the feeling of serenity and peace.....even though its all in my head..Well, Lake Tahoe exists, as does Zephyr Cove, NV, but the actually cabin/chalet/chateau/lodge, or what-have-you, is all up here (points to temple) in the good old noggin.

My characters are coming to life and struggling with their apparent attraction though they shouldn't really act on it. They're snowed in together, the only two people there, getting to know each other with all the time in the world on their hands, and yet they have to fight their growing desires for one another. Tension builds as the game of cat and mouse plays out. They're just seems an unlikelihood at the moment...considering he's the physical therapist and she's the patient. It'll all come out in the wash though....It has's meant to be.

And it's meant to be that I need to get my rear in gear and start writing some more today. Laterz!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Amazing What a Little Determination Can Do..

A few days ago I would never have guessed how much writing I'd have done by now. On June 1st I decided that dawdling and procrastinating would no longer work for me. I had written 5,640 words on my current WIP. That was over the previous month or so...Not a great start to getting this novel written.

I don't know if I was burnt out or had writer's block or if I just lost my desire to write for a while. But June 1st rolled around and that was enough for me. Since then, I've written everyday. Yesterday was a fine day..and wrote 5,801 words. My new total is just over 20K. Makes me feel good...renewed, redefined as a writer.

The hardest thing for me as a writer is to find that life itself overpowers my desire to write sometimes. Things get too busy or emotionally I find myself in a place that doesn't inspire writing. Now's the time for me to find a way to balance life and writing. A new lesson to learn, a new path to take to make it work for me and not against me.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hit a Milestone

I crossed over the 10K mark yesterday and ended up writing just over 3K, even though the day seemed to drag out and I rather doubted I'd get much written at all.

I heard of a death of someone I knew, my old landlord from when I lived on my own a little over a decade ago, and I heard about a friend who's had a breakdown and has been hospitalized. I had been thinking and worrying about this friend for several months now...just that gut instinct, my extra sensory perception, kicking in. I KNEW it, I FELT it, but I only now found out.

So needless to say, yesterday started off on pretty sad footing and it followed me the rest of the day. I hadn't hoped to even write as much as I did yesterday, but there it was. I didn't really want to stop writing when I did last night, but I knew bedtime was rolling around.

I know it's summer vacation now, so its not like I have to get up and make sure everyone's ready to get going, but I'm so used to going to bed with hubby that I just don't want to change the routine. I would stay up later, but hubby wouldn't know what to make of me staying up at odd hours to write. I've never done that before, even though there are times I just can't sleep that it's crossed my mind.

I can write during the day, even with all the noise around me. I just plop on my headphones and go to town, but writing in the peace and quiet would be nice, too. I'm contemplating staying up a couple of extra hours, or until my eyes can't stay open any longer and my wrists tell me to stop.

Who knows...old habits are hard to break, so I may just stick with what I'm doing now.

Well, I'm off. Going to write some and then doing my exercise and see what else happens today.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Less than 2k from 10k

Well, here's hoping that my determination will see me through writing this current WIP. Yesterday I wrote just a little over 2K and it put me just under 2K away from hitting the first milestone- 10K. Yay!

The writing is probably crap, but I decided to try to push down my internal editor and just get this one pumped out and get it finished. It's taken long enough to get into it and if I'm going to get it done, at least the first rough draft, I have to ignore what's awful and just get into the flow again.

I feel good though. I've actually WRITTEN more! LOL I feel like I'm getting back to "me," especially since I haven't really felt like me for a while now. Not since I ran out of writing fuel. I'm filling back up though and rearing to go.

Have a great day, writing or otherwise!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Setting Goals and Accomplishing Them

My blog today is inspired by Maggie Shayne of the Witchy Chicks.

Her blog about goal setting yesterday reminded me that I can do all the talking I want in regard to writing my novel, but if I don't believe I'm going to finish it soon, I won't. It gets me no where to talk about it if I'm resisting or procrastinating on it.

I need to dream, believe and WRITE, not just hope its going to happen. It won't happen if I don't actually do something about it and believe with all my heart that I will and HAVE accomplished it. Like she said, you have to pre-celebrate your inevitable triumph. So that's what I'm going to do, in regard to my writing, and all other aspects of my life.

I decided this yesterday after I read her blog. And I ended up writing 600 words on my WIP last night. That might not seem like a lot, but it is considering I haven't been continuously invested in my new novel for a while now.

So here's what my goals are for the beginning of summer-

I'm going to continue doing my Gazelle exercise, as I have been doing since April because it energizes me, makes me feel better and I'm seeing small, but significant changes in my body and health.

I'm going to buckle down and stop procrastinating on my next WIP. I've taken a month or so off from really writing after I finished my 6th and yes, the break has been nice, but I don't feel like "me" when I'm not writing.

Spend time cleaning house and decluttering, but more importantly, spending time with my kids and hubby now that summer vacation has started.

My thanks goes to Maggie and her blog. It was short and sweet, but to the point and it gave me a swift little kick to remind me that you have to set goals and believe in them in order to accomplish the things you desire and set out to do. I've been floating along in limbo for a bit too long and I don't like it.

I've also decided that my main goal, in regard to writing, is to have the rough draft of this novel finished by June 28th,(or the end of June at the latest) just in time for me to take a break and enjoy myself the week I'll be up visiting in my hometown.

Do you have any goals you'd like to share? Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me what your goals for this first month of summer are.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Floating Adrift on the Writer's Block Sea....

I'm frustrated.

The seas of writing have calmed
Have been calm for quite some time
I'm left~ floating adrift
As words and inspiration swim away
Gone is the exhilaration of surfing the writing wave
I'm stranded on my board
In the middle of the open waters
The sharks of self-doubt circling around me

The sun beats down
Warming me
But inside I feel an emptiness
Frigid and stinging
A longing mixed with trepidation
When shall the waves rise again
And carry me away on another wild ride?

I lay back
Close my eyes
And slumber
Desperate to capture
Just a fragment of creativity
It sloshes over me
But quick as a flash
The droplets bead off
Or evaporate in the heat
Before I can reel them in

No islands in sight
~No safe harbor~
I cannot even wash ashore
So I continue to float out to sea
Waiting for the next tidal swell
To hoist me from the doldrums
And carry me through
The suffocation of my voice

~taryn raye

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Something I Found...

Not sure what this was from or what I was working on when I wrote it, but it was from June 6, 2000- almost like a journal entry of some sort....or maybe from a self-help workbook or something. Mind you, this was from almost 8 years ago...GEEZ!!


When I write, I picture what my life could be like if I could have the things I feel expressed so poetically that they touch the hearts of all who may read it. When I write, I feel hope in my heart that I have a talent worth sharing with others and touching on a part of their lives the way other writers have touched mine. I want to give back, in a sense, what I have gained and share my feelings and emotions and viewpoints to prove to myself that what I feel is not just that of a SINGLE PERSON, but the feelings and heart of many other people.

I write to escape that sadness and loneliness I sometimes feel, to put into words that I can see, in my own writing, so that I don't feel like a huge ball of confusion. I write to express the pain and agony I don't know how to say with my lips, tongue and vocal cords.

On paper, I can rant and rave and tell people how I really feel without having to look them in the eye or see into their hearts and not see a reflection of my weakness staring back at me. When I write, I feel more concrete and realistic in the way I view the world.

When I write, I feel more and more little pieces of myself (surfacing) I didn't know were there. When I write, I find ME.
Funny how I don't think I would express myself exactly that way nowadays, but the general idea is there, so I suppose my feelings about writing have always been strong in the foundation of it being what makes me, well...Me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Milkweed on the Wind...

So much for the "newfound" inspiration. I wrote that little bit the other day and not a syllable since. Things have been hectic though.

Friday I just couldn't get into it, knowing we had things to do. Saturday hubby mowed the yard and I planted seeds outside. Sunday the in-laws came to visit, moreso because hubby needed help putting up a basketball goal. Monday my stepson had an appointment with a dermatologist for a rash, so everyone was home and after the Dr. appt. we went to Walmart, Chuck E. Cheese (for the kids) and Shoe Carnival cause "Momma" needed new shoes and yesterday I had both kids home since there was no school because of Election Day.

The weekend seemed to drag on and the first part of the week I was totally out of routine. This morning my daughter thought it was Monday because this was the first day her brother went back to school! LOL

Yesterday I made homemade beef stew in the crock pot, homemade yeast rolls (my great aunt's recipe) and homemade baked apple turnovers. My feet are still throbbing from being on my feet for so long. LOL

Since inspiration is lacking this morning- I'll share my Beef Stew Recipe-

1 package stew beef- cut into smaller bite-size pieces and trim fat off, if necessary or desired
3 Packages of Pioneer Brown Gravy
2 small packets beef bouillon seasoning
1 large onion, cut into bite-size pieces
2 sticks of celery, washed and sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled, sliced in circles
3-5 medium to large potatoes, peeled and cubed in bite-sizes
Water, salt and pepper

Cut up all the vegetables and put in a dutch oven in water enough to cover. Add salt and pepper to suit. Bring to boil, covered for approximately 5 minutes to prep veggies.

In meantime, cut stew beef and sprinkle and toss with beef bouillon seasoning. (In a bowl or on the cutting board)

With a slotted serving spoon, place 1 layer of hot veggies in bottom of crock pot, then a layer of stew beef. Repeat until all meat and veggies are used. Mix all 3 packages of brown gravy into the hot veggie water and pour over everything in the crockpot. Set on low- cover and cook for 8-9 hours, stirring occasionally throughout the day. Gravy will thicken. Stir before serving and add more salt or pepper to taste or if needed. Serves well with rolls (though my great aunt's rolls are the bomb..LOL)

If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll share the yeast rolls and the apple turnovers recipes as well.

Have a great Hump Day!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Step in the Right Direction

I've said it before- Blossom's story has been slow to "bloom" for me. Yesterday I made a good stride toward getting into it though. I wrote 2,273 words. I was surprised to find myself delving into her personality and POV.

Perhaps my batteries have been recharged because I've been finding myself rolling ideas over and over in my head, knowing the story is beginning to mesh in my mind and come to the forefront. Yay!

I've also got an idea for another series, though not sure I'll dive into that one anytime soon. It's simply emerging in bits and pieces.

It's a gloomy, chilly morning here. Going to hit the Gazelle and get that done and then get my menu and grocery list made up and see what else I can get written today.

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tripping the Light Fantastic

Well, I feel like dancing.

I may have finally come to a breakthrough for my novel. Today I've done a little bit of POV profiling for my heroine, trying to line out the plot and figure out what should happen when.

I tell you what...that's good cause for dancing right there!! LOL

I feel like the light is beginning to shine at the end of the tunnel again, leading me toward that elusive storyline. I don't even remember when I finish the last book and tried to start the next, but I know it's been over 3 weeks since I've really contemplated it and now that I sense it coming to the surface, I can feel it. Almost taste it. It's a wonderful, blissful feeling to realize my writing inspiration is coming back to me.

Hopefully the writing will begin very soon and I can throw myself into the story, heart and soul. It feels like it's been forever.

And for some inspiration otherwise...A thing of beauty--

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Blossoming Into Spring

They are slow to bloom, but when they do, my irises flourish- big and bright and full of life.

Right now I simply have my purple ones in bloom, though the yellow ones are close on their heels.

I'm hoping that Blossom is like my irises...maybe slow to bloom, but when she does, she'll blow me away with her strength and beauty and life.

I hope that her story takes shape, with exquisite curves and twists and motion, allowing me to enjoy writing it and immersing myself in her life and her journey to finding real happiness.

Today got away from me. It rained almost all day(as you can tell from the droplets of water
gracing the petals of my irises) and my hubby was home from work, so my routine was somewhat off and every time I thought I should sit and work on getting my ideas melded, I got distracted from it.
A busy weekend is coming as well. We have plans on Saturday to spend it at my husband's mom's and Sunday we're mostly going to be hanging around home, other than going to town to get take-out Chinese- my Mother's Day treat so I don't have to cook (although I do love cooking with my new stove. LOL)
The only thing I'm missing is getting to spend time with my mom for Mother's Day. I'll call her and talk to her sometime over the weekend though.
If I don't post anything new before Sunday, I wish ALL moms the most wonderful Mother's Day you could hope for.