Friday, February 29, 2008

Distraction

Yesterday I was exhausted when I got up. I'm not sure why, but I was just not in the mood to write much. I got 800 words written, but that was after I dozed off on the couch once I saw hubby off to work and son off to school. I couldn't keep my eyes open, just totally wiped out.

Then I talked to my mom for a while on the phone and finally sat down and wrote some, but even then my mind kept wandering. I wanted to be IN my novel, but my brain wasn't cooperating.

I had a lot on my mind I suppose and knew I was fixing a "big" meal for dinner. Baked BBQ chicken, homemade mashed potatoes and homemade mac n' cheese.

I shut down the computer when I went to fix supper and afterward I never turned it back on at all. Instead I indulged myself in reading one of my TBR books. As if I don't have enough of them on my bookshelf! LOL I just got four new ones the other day along with one of the books I ordered to research rodeo life. I've still got a few others coming as soon as they're shipped. LOL

I have always loved books and rediscovered that little fact when I started taking a more serious interest in my own writing. Right now I probably have somewhere in the vicinity of 40 books I plan to read. That doesn't include all the other books I have in my bookcase in the bedroom, some of which I've read, but a lot I haven't. I'll get around to it one of these days. :o)

Today I've got to make up the grocery list and menu, but I'm hoping to find a quiet peaceful place where I can write till my fingers ache.

To a great writing day! Hope everyone has a wonderful FRIDAY!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Onward We Go....With Snow!

I crossed the 10K mark yesterday...20K here I come!

I've got two kids with me today and worried about hubby driving on the snowy/icy roads. We got some snow last night that closed school today and I had to go out and start the car for hubby. NOT FUN! I was slipping and sliding and our driveway has a downward slope, so it was an adventure just to get to the car...Getting back out after I started it was even more nervewracking because there's a layer of ice under the snow. I wasn't sure I'd be able to get out of the car.

When hubby went to get in the car I couldn't watch. He's still wearing his hard boot and walking with a cane. I was scared to death he was going to take a fall on his rear.
I love looking at snow, I like to play in it depending on how cold it is. Right now in Bowling Green it's around 21ΒΊ BRRRRR...
What I love most about it though is being able to see it out the window, where it's warm and cozy. Throw in a blanket, coffee or tea in a cup and some warm cookies and I'm a happy snowbounder whether I'm watching movies, reading or writing. LOL
I think today is going to be a good day, though I don't want to speak too soon. {knock on wood} I found out this morning that one of my favorites shows is coming back with new episodes starting tonight. The show?
Men In Trees!
And there are 11 episodes that will air that had been on hold since the writers' strike. Now whether my show will be renewed come fall is yet to be seen, but I sure hope it does. I love love love that show because Anne Heche's character Marin Frist is a writer. And what does she write about? Love. She's not a romance novelist, but a relationship advice guru and she does write about love and relationships while having trouble with her own.
I love the premise of the show. It's one of those feel-good ones for me, myself as a writer.
Anyway...I've got more words to write today, so I better use them in my novel.
Have a great SNOW Day!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Closing in on 10K

I'm so close to 10K, I can almost taste it.

It's the first leg of the march through the pages of a new story, but this time it seems I'm coming up on it quicker than I thought I was. When I checked my word count last night as I finished up and saw I was only a couple hundred away from 8K, I was actually pleasantly surprised.

I also did brainstorming to get ideas jotted for ways the story could go. I was pantsing from the start, though I had general idea. Over the past week I've been working on this novel though, the characters have continued to come forward and tell me a little something, most times when my mind is racing at bedtime, when I'm too exhausted to stay up and write even though I want to, knowing I have to be up early to get hubby up for work and son off to school, but they will come and present a new idea or direction for the story to go.

The night before last, my heroine's best friend, a flamboyant gay actor, came to me and told me a little "funny ha-ha" so that found it's way into the story yesterday.

There's a lot of sadness in the background of this one though, the emptiness of having lost love or let it go on both main characters parts- so I'm hoping humor finds it's way into the pages and interweaves itself in to strengthen the happiness and joy that will come at the end of the book.

Last night I started jotting ideas and now I have a page covered with scribbles of inklings to work with. Twists in the story or the set up of certain scenes I would like to see play out. I'm letting my characters lead the way and they're making me proud.

A lot of writers I know, who are asked who their favorite character(s) are that they've written say it's the ones they are or have recently been working on. I'm teared up right now because I think that is so true. I still love all my characters, but the current ones are the ones nearest and dearest to my heart because I'm invested in their lives at the moment. It doesn't hurt that they speak up and talk to me though. They rely on me to tell their story and I'm glad they point me in the right direction.

After all, in some ways, it's not my story to tell. It's theirs.

Here's hoping for breaking through the 10K gate today!

Have a great day!

May the words flow smoothly from heart to page, may it bring tears to the eyes and laughter to the lips. Write on!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Little Women

Yesterday I took a break away from writing and researching to watch my DVD of Little Women with June Allyson that hubby got me for Valentine's Day. I'll admit, I cried throughout most of it, the old sentimental thing that I am.

That movie is always a good reminder to write what's in your heart~ write what you love.

For a writer, pouring out the stories that live in your heart and seeing them come to life on the page is one of the best feelings in the world. There's a rumbling sensation, a nervous anticipation of something more. Something deep. It carries the writer's soul along with it. I wake up thinking about writing and I go to sleep thinking about writing. It eats away at me when I have other things that occupy my time or when I want to write, but just don't have the energy to write another word.

When life gets busy it's easy to forget what's in my heart and it makes it darn near impossible to work on my novels. That's when I have to remind myself to take some "quiet" time for me. Last week was stressful having not just one, but both kids home with me, fussing and arguing almost constantly. Though I did get a little bit written and did some research, I still find myself with an unsettled feeling coursing through me because I haven't had time to decompress.

That's why I took a break with a favorite movie, to calm my soul and remind myself to write what's in my heart~ so I can get back to writing what I love.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Research~ Women's Health and Rodeo

The two things are unrelated, except in my book- LOL But first-

Thursday I got about 1500 wds. written. Friday I only got 330...but I was doing research, which is also part of the job. I used to think of it as procrastination, but not anymore.

My hero is a widower with a broken heart...his 1st wife died and I needed to find a cause of death, female related. Since this novel is contemporary, I knew it would be better to be more specific about what she died of, the symptoms and so forth, so I searched and searched female forms of cancer online and though I know I need to do some more research on it, I decided she had been diagnosed, too late, with ovarian cancer that had metastasized and spread to other organs, meaning even treatment and chemo would have some, but not enough effect on the outcome.

From my research, it is more common in women over 50, but it can affect younger women as well. According to NOCC- National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, it is the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women 35-74. It's most often hard to detect early on because it can't be found through a typical Pap Smear. Other tests/examinations are available that can possibly detect it.

Something about the description touched me because they say it's not silent...it whispers, so listen.

A lot of the symptoms can be associated with other things- examples-

Pelvic or abdominal pain or discomfort
Vague but persistent gastrointestinal upsets such as gas, nausea, and indigestion
Frequency and/or urgency of urination in the absence of an infection
Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
Pelvic and/or abdominal swelling, bloating and/or feeling of fullness
Ongoing unusual fatigue
Unexplained changes in bowel habits

I'm sure most women experience these symptoms from time to time anyway, and that doesn't mean they have OC because some of these things could simply be associated with other things like bad eating habits or diet and you should consult a doctor if you have symptoms like these, but as a woman, it's given me cause to think about it a bit more and the next time I have my annual, I'm going to ask my doctor about it, especially since one of my great-grandmothers died of something related to her female organs, though what is a mystery because back in the day, it wasn't "talked" about, so none of us women in the family know exactly what we might possibly be predisposed to.

I'm not a spokesperson for NOCC, but here is a link to their website if anyone is interested in learning more- http://www.ovarian.org/
****
Another thing that kept me from writing much yesterday was my research to find information for the hero's background of being a rodeo rider as well. He'd been off the circuit for a while, but as a last ditch effort to make money to save his wife and their farm, he goes back, but gets injured, almost losing his own life. I think I will be ordering a couple of reference books from amazon about rodeo life that I found yesterday.

I told hubby I used to feel bad during the times I did research because I felt it took away from my writing time, but I want to present my novels in an intelligible, knowledgeable way, even about things I may have no experienced with or not know much about. No matter the genre, there are still things that need research.

I did a lot of research about Virginia and life during the late 1700's and early 1800's when I was writing my historical/paranormal romance last year. I'm learning more and more from research, even though it was an annoyance at first because I've never been much of a research gal. The more I write and do research now though, I'm finding interests I never thought about in my younger days. I'm keeping my brain open and actually learning about things I never would have otherwise, if it weren't for research.

Have a wonderful Saturday!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thrown From The Horse...

The past couple of days have been filled with bickering kids(my own- because school was cancelled the rest of the week because of the flu), but it's also been filled with writing as well.

Tuesday I finished the first book in my four book series and I started the second book. I'm not sure how much I actually wrote on it because I started out with one beginning that I had already jotted down. I had typed it up before supper that night, but while I was cooking, it kept crossing my mind that the beginning wasn't all that exciting. It wasn't going to work and I don't know what I'd been thinking when I jotted it down.

So while I stood there, stirring Manwich, I contemplated how I could make the meeting of the hero and heroine more intriguing and it came to me. A damsel in distress angle rather than my utterly simpleminded original idea which was just the two of them being introduced to each other.

Nay Nay! I couldn't do that.

So after supper that night, even though my allergies were giving me fits and I could barely look at the screen without my eyes watering...I got part of the first chapter rewritten. Now mind you, there were a few paragraphs I wanted to save from the first one...lines I liked and thought were good description, so I copied and pasted them into another document until I was ready for them. I think after I started over with the new angle, I had 570 words written before I gave up on my blurry vision and a headache and went to bed.

I will say this,...my eyes were watering but there was one part that actually brought genuine tears, so I'm much happier with this 2nd version of the first chapter than I was with the original. The title of this post has a bit to do with the scene, but that's all I'm saying...LOL.

Yesterday I wrote 2,675 words on it and got into Chapter 2...another reason to be tickled- the first chapter sets the stage and once I get it down, I feel like I'm actually starting to get somewhere.

Juniper has been in my head so long, being bossy and trying to tell me what to do, that it's been sort of easy to go from her sister Jasmine's POV to hers. She was in the previous book, so I already have an inkling of who she is, how she feels and behaves. She's Miss Independent (which is ironic...I was flipping through the XM stations on the satellite and Kelly Clarkson's Miss Independent song came on! LOL--a sign maybe..Juni's theme song! LOL)

So...here's to another day which will hopefully be filled with LESS bickering(of the kids) and MORE writing!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Support and Encouragement

I've said before that I started writing short little high school sweetheart HEA's when I was probably about 10 or so. Silly rubbish, really...

By 15, I simply wrote everything out in Lisa Frank spiral notebooks. You know the ones that had the bright colors of psychodelic puppies and flowers and teddy bears that looked like bright water color paintings. I kept them in a shoe box close by.

I can remember one night sitting up till almost 5 a.m. just writing my heart out on this one young adult one. Someday I will pull that one back out and hopefully rework it and finish it because I loved the twists and turns in the story, but writing about teenagers at this point isn't in the cards. I'm 33 years old now and too far from thinking the way a teenager does that I'm not sure I could accomplish it and give it the dedication and devotion it deserves.

Now, writing in notebooks, on post-its and scraps of paper still works for me, but I use it more for jotting my ideas now. The computer is my main place for the actual writing. But before the computer I did once have a typewriter/word-processor.

My parents knew my love of reading and writing. I think my first interest in writing came from being a member of the "Just for Girls" Book Club that my dad signed me up for. I received a couple of books a month and I devoured them within a few days of getting them and then wished I had more of them to read. It was shortly after that I started delving into my mom's grown up romance novels.

I can remember lying on my bed, the window open on spring evenings and the cool breeze wafting in, carrying with it the smell of the lilacs in bloom while I read romance novel after romance novel. I've heard other writers say that romance novels are the grown-up versions of the fairytales we were raised on and I believe it.

They inspired me and the good old writing bug took a bite. A big bite.

Since then, other than being a wife and mother, writing has been the one thing I think about, dream about, more than anything else. Even when I didn't work on novels, I wrote poetry and read more books. And when I wasn't writing, I felt like a part of me was missing.

The Christmas I was 17, my parents got me the typewriter/word-processor. I think I wore it out. It had a disk save and it had a screen when in WP mode, but it got to where it messed up and the printouts would come out looking like some alien language that couldn't be decipered. That was also the same year they got me typewriting paper, extra correction tape, disks and The Romance Writer's Pink Pages.

My mom encouraged and supported me, telling me she had no doubt I'd make it. My dad, who is the level-headed one, of course, insisted on giving me a "talk" about how hard the publishing business is and that I needed to study up, read everything I could about writing and, without a doubt, told me that if writing is what I really wanted to do, I needed to expect disappointment, rejection and to always remember that it's not an easy business to get into and even harder to stay in it. It would take hard work and determination.

In some ways I think both my parents balanced things out in that respect. My mom was giving me my wings to soar while my dad was teaching me to steer and beware of the way the winds blow.

Of course, the techinical stuff is still overwhelming, but so is the desire to write, write, write. I can't help it. My parents gave me a great foundation- a good jumping off point. Their support and encouragement early on means the world to me. Add to that the encouragement from others- friends, relatives, other writers- What more could an aspiring writer ask for? ;o)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It Is The End....

Or at least it is for my 5th novel. I put a finish on it a few hours ago! Yay!!!

Of course, it did take me two weeks longer than I had anticipated and even with all the editing I've been doing, in the process of writing it, I'm sure I've got a few more revisions to go through.

Still it's exciting. I've written 5 manuscripts! Wow! Since Summer 2006, I've finished 5...I almost can't swallow the idea.

Now, I'm not saying they're great, but I love them. The characters are my babies. I created them and gave them life...though sometimes I think they came to life on their own and simply channeled me to get their story written(a la The Ghost and Mrs. Muir). Maybe they just tell me I made them up to make me feel better. LOL

As I've probably mentioned in prior blogs, Juni...my previous heroine's older sister has been buzzing in my ear now for weeks-

"Tell MY story. Let ME talk. When's it going to be MY turn?"

Well, now it's her turn. So she better be ready to speak up and start talking. She isn't setting out to catch love, but she is going to have to figure out how to rope a cowboy with a broken heart.

Have a good one!

Not Too Shabby...

Well, the novel isn't done, but I did get almost 1,500 written yesterday, so that's not too bad. As determined as I was, it just seemed I had so many other things going on all day yesterday. I forgot to get tea at the store Friday so we had to run to town so I could grab that in the morning.

When we got back, I had dishes that needed washing and laundry to do. I had to put on the chicken, potatoes, celery and carrots to start my chicken pot pie for supper. I had to make pie crust too. Hubby got on the computer just when I had found time to fit writing in, so I found other things that needed doing until he was done, like cut up the chicken and add peas, cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soup to my other ingredients and get it on to simmer.

When I finally did get to the computer my 5 year old kept begging me to let her watch old episodes of Jem on YouTube...mind you I didn't pull it up, but she wouldn't be quiet about it. LOL My soap came on, which isn't a good excuse, but I love my show and always fit it in.

After it went off I had to roll out the pie crust, which is a massive muscle workout for sure with my old wooden rolling pin, standing in the back of the kitchen with sweat rolling down my spine. Got the pie in the oven and went back to my writing after supper and putting up laundry and folding more laundry.

Even then, I didn't really get much written until after the kids were in bed and after I listened to Romantic Dialogue on nowlive.com. By that point I was getting a busting headache and was ready for bed.

But I did get some written, so I can't complain. Hopefully today with my stepson in school and my hubby back to work, I might actually get something written. Here's hoping!

Have a great day!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Determined Woman

Okay. I've been REALLY lax with my writing for almost a week. Today I'm determined to get my behind back in gear and finish this puppy. I went to bed last night "arguing" with the characters and it went a little something like this-

"Shut up, I need to go to sleep."
"No, I have to tell you this. Blah Blah Blah should happen."
"Is that really what you want?"
"Yes it is."
"Okay Okay. Now will you be quiet so I can go to sleep."

Quiet....finally....

Then I had weird dreams off and on all night and had to get up to use the bathroom more times than I care to count.

A few times I was more than tempted to come in here and boot up the computer in the middle of the night and get back to work, but I knew my stepson would have to get up and get ready for school today and I needed to get my rest so I'd be up when he got up. Yes, on President's Day...a day that we thought he was going to be out of school.

They had decided at the beginning of the school year to have school today because they missed a few on account of postponing the start of it in August. The woman my husband spoke to at the school said, "Well, we announced it on the local radio station." My husband told her they still should've sent a note home for the parents because not everyone listens to that radio station. Just insane.

So here I am...and now I'm going to throw myself back into the read-through editing and hope to get my baby finished today. I'm so close I can taste it.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Boy Was I Surprised...

Hubby came in with the following stuff...I wasn't expecting anything else...
The card has the Empire State Building like in Sleepless in Seattle and it plays Kiss To Build A Dream On. So cute!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yesterday I tried to upload some pictures of the snow, but that is bygone now(blogger was acting ugly)...

Today is Valentine's Day!!

What better day to talk about romance than Valentine's Day?

When you think about Valentine's Day, what are some of the most common things that come to mind?

Roses? Candy in heart-shaped boxes? Jewelry? Cards?

I hate to say it but I'm not a roses, candy or jewelry type girl. Cards I love. My husband got me a musical one that played Barry White's My First, My Last, My Everything last year. That brought me more joy than anything because he knew that was one of my all-time favorite songs and it was a total suprise to open that card and hear that song. He truly is a man after my heart.

This year he asked what I wanted and I didn't really know. He has a broken foot so he can't really hobble around the store in search of something for me. So I looked on amazon and found the movie Little Women with June Allyson on DVD and the soundtrack to Music and Lyrics. So he told me to order them.

I got him a small bag of Dove milk chocolates and a card last Friday at the grocery store(I waited too late to order him something online and he acted like he didn't want anything..) The card has a golden retriever on it and a white cat with blue eyes. It says something to the effect that "they might've been an odd pair..Max tended to leave the toilet seat up after he got a drink and Tabby left furballs everywhere" and inside it said, "Doggone it! I have the purr-fect husband." I thought my husband would get a kick out of that because he has a bad habit of leaving the lid up and I have long thick hair and I "shed" sometimes. LOL

So in honor of Valentine's Day- I'm going to list a few of mine and Dave's songs- most are from when we first met. We used to send each other ecards that played songs-

Amazed- Lonestar
Angel- Sarah MacLachlin
I Knew I Loved You (Before I Met You)- Savage Garden
Hanging By A Moment- Lifehouse
Iris- The Goo-Goo Dolls
Valentine- Martina McBride
You Just Get Better All The Time- Tim McGraw
Bless The Broken Road- Rascal Flatts
The Day Before You- Rascal Flatts
Don't Want To Miss A Thing- Aerosmith
She's Everything- Brad Paisley
Making Memories of Us- Keith Urban

Oh, there's plenty more...just too much to take in all at once. It all makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Hope everyone has a WONDERFULLY romantic Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Into The Home Stretch...

I'm coming into the home stretch on my novel, I do believe. Yesterday I wrote just under 7,000 words. I haven't written that much since early in January when I almost wrote 10K in one day.

I don't know what got into me yesterday. I just couldn't stop typing and well, I can't help but say it felt AMAZING to write like that again. Even after I closed the file and shut off the computer last night and crawled into bed with that feeling of accomplishment, my characters kept chattering away...telling me where I'm supposed to go today.

Now, the idea they threw at me last night was a love scene on the beach, and I thought that was the direction I was supposed to go, but now I'm thinking there may be more to it than a beach scene...we'll see. I generally try my best to let my characters lead the way unless I think they're going to do something totally out of character. Unexpected doesn't bother me....totally unlike them, does.

I'm thinking I'm close to the end...another chapter or two- maybe three...but after that the novel should be done. Of course my couple from this one won't be disappearing completely. The heroine's older sister's story is next, where she'll take center stage and they'll show up off and on. Every sister's story will overlap in some form or fashion.

I'm off and gone...maybe I'll get my WIP done today and be able to start #2 today or tomorrow.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Crossed over 50...

I finally made it over 50K in my current WIP. It still has a way to go though. A couple more chapters at least.

After I got over being sick back there for about a week, the story elements started falling into place with my novel. Again, there were a few surprise elements I hadn't originially anticipated and that just really made me happy because it gave me a conflict to resolve, emotions and feelings on the part of both the hero and heroine about the fear that they might not get to have their HEA.

It's funny how I can't stand drama in real life, but for my characters...I'll let them have it. Blast them with it, riddle their lives with confusion and almost insurmountable obstacles. Mwahahaha! Aren't I evil?

Hey, it's my job, right? ;o)

So, having said that, I'm off to wreak havoc in my characters' lives this morning. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rumbling Like A Freight Train...

Last night's storm was insane. We had gusting winds that sounded a lot like a train, lots of lightning and loud thunder and because we're so close to the Kentucky/Tennessee border, we were able to see the sky illuminated from the fire that broke out down in Macon County, TN at a natural gas pumping station, from our front door. I tried to take a picture but this was all I was able to catch, and even then I had to alter it some for it to be visible-
It was so dark I tried to take a picture with and without the flash. With the flash all it took was a picture of the tree in our front yard and caught NONE of the "glow" to the south, but the photo above is one I took without the flash. Its barely visible, but I hope you're able to make out the reddish tints near the center of the picture. That was the sky, but the picture doesn't do it justice.

I had never seen a sky like that in all my born days. It was actually a pinkish orange overlaying the gray stormy sky and it flickered, like a huge candle flame, throbbing and pulsating in the distance. Last night I thought maybe lightning had struck a house or a tree and set it on fire, but then I heard about it on the news this morning. I checked our distance from the place. Only about 18-19 miles from here and according to the news reports, the flames were shooting 400-500 feet in the air.

It isn't any wonder we could see it. Even people closer to Nashville, but further away than us, could see it. I stood in awe of it but at the same time I was actually a little scared that it might a fire that would spread to our part of the country. At least I thought so last night, when I wasn't sure what it was or where it was coming from.

In my writing world, I wrote over 3,000 words yesterday. That's quite the accomplishment since I had felt sluggish lately and thought my inspiration was dropping off. I also got a great idea for a western historical this morning. To my recollection, it's the first western historical romance idea I've had thus far.

Of course, I'm not sure when I'll get to start working on it since I'm still working on my girls in my series at the moment, but the idea will still be there when I'm ready for it, just like so many of my others.

It's always nice when a new idea presents itself when you're least expecting it. A shame it came when I have other stuff to work on, but a pleasure to know that the inspiration train pulled into the station once more and dropped off a nice little package for me to contemplate for later. :o)

Well, as the winds doth continue to blow and I keep having to go out and set my trashcan back up(over and over and over again) I'll sign off for now.

Please know that my thoughts are with all who were in the path of last night's storms. My thoughts are most especially with those who lost their lives or the loved ones left behind from this awful disaster that has ravaged not only land, but lives.

Monday, February 4, 2008

39K and Editing

I'm feeling better now than I did the last time I posted. I'm still coughing and have the sniffles, but I believe that's mostly my sinuses and that's just something I deal with on a daily basis anyway.

I'm sitting on 39K, but I've been doing a lot of editing to make sure I "get the was out" and convert my passive voice to an active one. I also added some extra passages that I felt were needed and have been checking for bad sentence structure and clutter.

I don't really count my drafts so I have no idea how many times I've done editing. I generally do rework as I go along. I go back a chapter or a scene before I start writing for the day, so there's probably been a few redrafts along the way already. I figure that helps refresh my memory of where I am and where the story is going, but it also helps me clear the way too.

I've been contemplating setting up my own website through a free one I know of. I'm just not sure I'm computer savvy enough to figure it out, so I'm backing off until I feel a bit more confident about doing so. I'm sure I will do it before too long, and when I do I will post about it and include the link to it.

But for now, I'm going to check a few more emails and then get my brain in gear for writing today. Hope everyone has a wonderful one.