Monday, April 30, 2007


I've been zapped. Why is it that family can drain you like nothing else? Anyone have a 'quiet' room where I can go and sit in a corner and stare off into space for a few hours until my head can decompress?

It's not just getting ready for company, although that too can be tiring. It is being on guard for hours and hours. Watching every word. Having people under foot. Deflecting attempts to interfere. Ignoring idiotic comments. Listening to the same damn stories for the 100th time. Watching adults still trying to resolve child/parent issues that should have been either forgiven or forgotten decades ago. Watching siblings work out insecurity and jealousy issues.

I feel like I've run a freaking marathon. The majority of the company left yesterday. The only one I was sad to see leave was my best bud who flew in from Chicago for the weekend. Thank God she came. I don't think I'd be capable of any higher thought if she hadn't stayed with us.

The last guest leaves tomorrow. I can't wait to have my house and my life back. A brain would be nice also.

Friday, April 27, 2007

friday recap

Was driving to the dentist yesterday with the two oldest kids and we all agreed, this week flew by us. I can't believe today is Friday. I usually try and recap what I did over the last week in my Friday blog. It is a blur. It went that damn fast.

I do remember....
the doctor's office
the grocery store a couple of times
soccer practice and games
answering email and visiting my regular sites
getting my garage door repaired
no reading
no writing
meeting at the library for our new Friends website
cleaning house
doing laundry

It was a disjointed, unorganized and weird week. I need my routine back. I miss it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I'm starting to get a bit antsy. I didn't write last week and I won't be working on the WIP this week either. After several days off, I begin to yearn for my writing time. I want my routine back. I want those hours from 10:00 to 2:00 to be filled with words. Waaaaaaa.

Our company doesn't depart until Tuesday. Look for an updated word count that afternoon. I can hardly wait. Here's to butt in chair and strong endings.....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Enjoyed a bit of a lull yesterday. Today won't be so laid back. I'm off to a 10:00 meeting at the library about the Friends' new website then home to finish up cleaning before my mother in law arrives.

Tried to do some reading yesterday, but I just couldn't get into the book. I hate not finishing a book once I've started it. This story just isn't capturing me. I want more Tanya Huff. I want Vicki and Henry. Guess I need to head out to B&N and buy the next two in the series. Once I get into a series, I'm reluctant to read anything else. I'm also eagerly awaiting the next Charlaine Harris story. I'm a huge Sookie fan. Looking forward to the HBO version, True Blood. Just can't picture Anna Paquin as Sookie though. Good actress, but I just don't see her as a southern girl.

Tinkered with my hook a bit. I think I've corrected the errors the judge mentioned. Still thinking about the YA story. Still thinking about the WIP's ending. Next week it is time to stop thinking and start doing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


My routine for the week has been tossed out the window. Even the non routine week I planned on Sunday has been ditched. Amazing how one event can disrupt the following five days. The oldest child visited the doctor yesterday. That single event changed the course of the day and in many ways the remainder of the week.

Single events can change the direction of your plot as well. Those pivotal moments, the hinge, can swing the story. After I finish the first draft, as part of the editing process, I need to identify those hinge moments. I think of them as a "choose the path" incident in the story . We all know stories need conflict. Indeed, conflict moves the plot along. How the characters respond to the conflict, the choices they make, those are the hinge moments and they steer the story's direction.

Just random thoughts as I drink my third cup of coffee and get ready to head out for the big grocery shop.

Monday, April 23, 2007

still learning

I entered the hook for my WIP into the fangs, fur, fey contest. This was a huge step for me and I'm happy to report a very positive one. While I didn't move to the next round, I received very positive feedback. I also was reminded not to miss the forest for the trees. I was so concerned about what the hook said, I forgot to focus on how it was said. In other words, I made some stupid grammar and punctuation mistakes. Things that shouldn't happen at this stage of the game. While those types of errors are easy to correct, the judge's comments were a swift reminder about the necessity of proofreading. Lesson learned.

This week will be devoted to preparing for our guests to arrive. I won't be writing. I'm okay with that. My crit buddy reminded me that I want to finish this WIP on a strong note. Don't rush through, savor and focus. Thanks for the advice, K.

Have a good Monday.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

YA list

I mentioned I'd post a list of what I read while working as a YA librarian for the past two are the titles, I'd give a thumbs up to any of them.

1. A Certain Slant of Light 2. A Great & Terrible Beauty3. Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging4. At the Sign of the Sugared Plum 5. Avalon High 6. Away Laughing on a Fast Camel 7. Blood and Chocolate 8. Blood Fever 9. Blood, Red Horse 10. Blue Bloods 11. By These Ten Bones12. Dancing in my Nuddy Pants 13. Double Helix 14. Dreamhunter 15. Eldest 16. Elsewhere17. Enthusiasm18. Eragon 19. Evil Star20. Faerie Wars21. Finding Lubchenko 22. Green Jasper 23. How I Live Now24. I, Coriander25. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You 26. Just Jane 27. Knocked Out of My Nunga Nungas 28. Lady Ilena, Way of the Warrior 29. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Murder 30. Lulu Dark and the Summer of the Fox 31. Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls 32. Mates, Dates and Designer Divas 33. Montmorency on the Rocks 34. Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman 35. New Moon 36. Not the End of the World 37. On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God 38. Or Give me Death 39. Orphan of the Sun40. Pagan's Crusade 41. Pay the Piper 42. Petals in the Ashes43. Poison44. Prince William, Maximilian Minsky and Me 45. Raven's Gate 46. Rebel Angels47. Shaman's Crossing 48. Silverfin 49. Sophie Pitt-Turnbull Discovers America 50. Spirit Walker 51. Startled by his Furry Shorts 52. Stormbraker53. Swan Town 54. The Arthur Trilogy 55. The Blood Stone 56. The Dream Maker's Magic 57. The Garden58. The Perilous Gard59. The Purple Emporer60. The Queen's Soprano61. The Safekeeper's Secret62. The Summer King 63. The Truthteller's Tale64. The Warrior Heir 65. The Year of Secret Assignments66. Then He Ate my Boy Entrancers 67. They Wear What Under Their Kilts?68. Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes 69. Tithe70. Trickster's Choice 71. Twilight 72. Valiant 73. Viking Warrior: Strongbow Saga 74. Wolf Brother 75. Glass Houses 76. Powder Monday77. Life as We Knew It 78. Ruler of the Realm 79. Fall of a Kingdom 80. Wind Rider

nothing better

After I got home from my day of beauty...yes the haircut and a pedi qualify yesterday as just such a day...I started the second Tanya Huff book. I freaking loved it. I swear, there is nothing better than finding a writer and a series to sink your teeth into, no pun intended.
I'm so enamored with Vicki and Henry, I stayed up and finished the whole book. Very fun indeed. It put the icing on the cake of my day. Huff does an amazing job of balancing narrative with dialogue. I also like the way she incorporates such wonderful quirks into her characters. The books are sexy, even though she doesn't have graphic sex scenes....I always have a tough time writing sex scenes, she manages to split the difference. The combination of detective work and the paranormal is perfectly blended and keeps the pace flowing. She handles Henry's back stories in a deft way...Yep, I'm hooked and ready to go buy the second omnibus edition.
I'm pretty sure I won't be writing today. Have several errands to run as well as a few other 'mom' things to do. Looking forward to dinner tonight with my crit buddy. On the menu, gourmet burgers, yummy side dishes and lots of chatting.

Friday, April 20, 2007


This week flew by, I can't believe it is Friday. I didn't do any new writing this week on the WIP. I painted my house instead. Today I am off for a haircut, a pedicure and lunch. Yes, you've got that right, I'm treating my self to a bit of decadence. At least in my life, those three things rate as decadent. I figure if we saved thousands by doing the painting ourselves, I can splurge and have someone else paint my toenails!

Not sure if the paint fumes got to my head, but I've pretty well plotted out my next book. I'm trying my hand at a YA novel. Hell, after reading over 90 of them in the last two years, I figure I'd try to write one. I may post my reading list next week. Fairly well rounded collection of titles as I tried to read something in every genre. I really tried to be a well read YA librarian.

So here is what I did this past week: paint, paint, paint, laundry, cook, paint, paint, laundry, cook.

Let's hope next week bring a bit more variety.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


My arms and legs are killing me. If you don't think painting is a strenuous activity, I have a few choice words for you. Try it.

The windows are done...thank the lord. Now, I have to scrape the over spray/paint and make them look all clean and shiny. I also get to change colors and ditch the white for a nice chocolate brown....the front door, back door and shutter and porch chairs.

Then I'm on to finding a new wreath for the front door as well as getting my planters filled. It will all look so purty:)

The writing still isn't happening. Oh well. My crit buddy is coming over this weekend for a brainstorming session. We may plot my YA story or work on the wrap up of the current WIP. I do know we will be eating well and laughing often.

The dog is barking, the kids are hollering and the hubby is still underfoot....later!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Doesn't it all really come down to timing? I'm not writing this week because I have a lot of painting to do before the end of the month. I need to be writing because I've set this 'deadline' in my head and want to meet it. Two important things in my life are on a collision course it seems right now. Not like a smack down type of event, but still, I just don't have enough time right now to get everything I want done, done.

Usually I can determine the 'something' that needs to give. It always seems to be the writing. Maybe that is just the stage of life I'm in right now. I wish it were different.

The house won't need painting forever, this is a project with a definite end in sight. But my hard earned momentum may be sacrificed on the altar of home improvement.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Won't be writing today, which doesn't make me very happy. I've been recruited to assist in my hubby's home improvement project and will spend the day painting windows. Yes, I will benefit from the joy of a freshly painted house, but my muse is having a hissy fit right now. Guess she needs to put her big girl panties on an just deal with it.

On a different note....started and finished Carrie Vaughn's latest Kitty Norville book, "Kitty Takes a Holiday", yesterday. Good lord, that lady can write a fun story. Really good stuff. Really good. I loved it. Can't wait for the next one. Off to get instructions from the painting master......

Monday, April 16, 2007

ice cream cold?

I hauled myself out in the misery that was Saturday to our local Barnes and Noble. Was able to venture forth with only one child in tow. Now, that was a treat. Anywho, I picked up three books while there. The one I'm reading now is Karen Chance's, "Claimed by Shadow."

Purchasing this book was the reason behind my trip to the store. I'd read the first one in this series and enjoyed it. I also picked up an omnibus edition of Tanya Huff's Blood books. The novels have inspired a Lifetime channel series. Pretty fun TV, especially as my girls think Henry is 'fine'..their words and I have no reason to disagree with their assessment. The third book was the latest Carrie Vaughn, "Kitty" to love a story with a werewolf named after a cat.

Back to the Karen Chance I was telling my friend Leary yesterday, I almost feel like a complaint about the book's pace is similar to bitching about your ice cream being cold. The action is nonstop from page one. No time to breathe for either the reader or any of the characters. Think roller coaster ride without an end.

I'm not sure such a frantic story pace, style or whatever you'd want to call it, works for me. I'm all for action, but after every few life threatening situations you need a chance to stop and say, "Wow, like I almost died back there."

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I took a baby step in my writing journey. I've entered my first attempt at a hook for the current WIP into the 'fangs, fur and fey' contest. I'm hook #199. Scary thing for me in a very exciting way.

Looks like a very rainy weekend for us. Rained all night and I didn't sleep well. Very loud storm system rolled through.

Off to make coffee and read the paper. Enjoy the weekend, damp or dry.

Friday, April 13, 2007

friday recap

Weird week. Guess we all have one on occasion. So, keep that in mind.

Wrote three days and racked up over 4,000 new words.
Entered my hook into a contest.
Got the house shaped up.
Chatted on the phone quite a bit.
Had my first used book store meeting.
Wrote my column for next week.
Took a nap.
Read a couple books by Nora Roberts, second and third of the Circle trilogy.
Still trying to read The Courtesan...slow going for some reason.
Soccer, soccer and more soccer.
Flower beds looking amazing.
Dealt with my 'funk' without eating too much chocolate.
Didn't walk or bad.

That's it....

Thursday, April 12, 2007

filling the well

I'm always one for dishing out advice on how to fill the creative well. Now, taking that advice is not one of my strong suites. Although I feel pretty full right now, I know that the month is flying by and some of the fun things I had planned are already being pushed off my mental calendar.

Finding time is never easy, I don't care if you have kids or not. Something rushes in to fill the void. Nature doesn't like empty space. The cosmos always has some tidbit to throw in our path.

Perhaps expectations need to change. Maybe my view of what I need to keep up the pace should be adjusted. I guess I need some new rose colored glasses.

Yesterday I had a good time at my meeting. I think we have a good dynamic, although we didn't focus on the nuts and bolts as much as I wanted to. It will come. I got the column written, a picture for it downloaded and the caption written. Two more of those 'babies' to go and I can close the door on that chapter of my life. I need to let whoever is acting as editor know my intentions. The editor who'd been working with me left the paper a few months back and a replacement hasn't been hired.

Also, for the first time while I was there at the library, I felt out of place. A distance is growing, and it is a bit uncomfortable. I guess now that I know I won't be returning, I'm separating from my attachment to the people. I do that, good or bad. I'm not one to put energy into relationships my gut tells me aren't going to be mutually beneficial. Sounds a bit cold, doesn't it? I just don't have the time or energy for it. Both are precious and I'd rather devote them to other people in my life.

So, I have some voids right now. The well is being emptied. Something will rush in to fill that space. It always does. Call it nature, cosmic balance or whatever.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I've got a 10:00 meeting today for the new book store at the library. The two folks I'm working with on this project are about twice my age. Should prove an interesting dynamic. I have an innate need to respect my elders, often to the point that my usually opinionated self remains oddly quiet. On an endeavor this important, I need to make sure I don't keep that lip too zipped.

I was able to put down over 2,000 words yesterday. Not sure if I'll have the chance to write today, other than the column for the paper. I have to get that done and sent over to the editor by Thursday. I'm only writing two more columns after this one. I've decided that since the library will not be creating the PR position for me, I'm going to truly step away from that aspect of my volunteering. With this new bookstore project, I 'll have plenty of opportunities to promote that entity as well as the Friends as a whole.

It's hard to keep the energy up for something when you know in many ways it is under appreciated. The dynamic is gone. Perhaps someone else can pick up where I left off and carry that torch. In a way it is like an old romance. The shine is gone. The excitement is gone. Now it is best to place those memories and dreams in an old shoebox deep in the closet.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

clean slate

I finished everything I needed to yesterday, but by the time I was done, I was too damn tired to sit and try to write. Today, however, is a clean slate. I don't have a thing on my agenda to do other than write. I'm hoping for a bit word count.

I really need to put out some big numbers today as tomorrow I now have a meeting about the library used book store. I've already started to write down ideas, questions, thoughts for this new project.

As reluctant as I am to admit it, not having the chance to return to 'work' in that PR job may be a blessing. This book store project will offer opportunities to learn new things. I like challenges.

Monday, April 9, 2007


Mondays are odd days for me. I usually have boatloads of energy, which comes in handy as I often try to get some major household stuff done. Today I hope to get the laundry caught up, the grocery shopping done and the house cleaned. Then, if all goes well, I may be able to write for a few hours this afternoon before the kids come home from school.

I'm very schedule oriented and even though I've tried to become better at making transitions, I don't do it well. I don't like anything to mess with my schedule. I get cranky when I have to put out unexpected 'fires' during the day.

With the school year coming to a close, I'm going to need to find a way to make those daily routines work with having three additional people underfoot. I'll need to flex, transition and adapt if I want a shot at editing the WIP during June and July. August is a lost month as it will be consumed with back to school shopping and those first few weeks of getting everyone settled.

Everything gets done or handled or dispatched. I don't shrug stuff off, just not in my nature. I just need to keep working on moving from one task to the next with a bit more grace.

Saturday, April 7, 2007


I never found the time yesterday to sit long enough to write my Friday recap. Should tell you what sort of day I had. Anyway, here goes.....

Wrote over 3,000 new words in the WIP.
Decided how I'm ending the sucker.
Worked on my query.
Was asked to be on the steering committee for the new used book store at the library.
Learned that despite the director's best efforts, my part time library PR job isn't going to happen. Discovered 'budget' is a four letter word.
Spread 3 yards of mulch in my flower beds.
Celebrated my 16th wedding anniversary.
Watched my girls play superior soccer.
Had to stand up for my youngest...assert those parental rights, if I don't advocate for him, the system won't.
Continued to lose weight and work out.
Mom came through her first cataracts surgery in good shape.

Quite the assortment of stuff....nice variety and was a good week albeit a busy one.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

off kilter

Today will be one of those days that flies by and when you climb in bed you wonder what actually was accomplished over the last fourteen or so hours.

I get to go for my annual over 40 boob squeeze test today. Four yards of black mulch is being delivered for my flower beds. My oldest two have a soccer game to play and at some point I need to write my 1500 words and make dinner and do a load of dark laundry.

Geez, and I wonder why there are days when the writing just doesn't happen. Not sure if I will get any new words added to the WIP, but I'm going to try. If not, I have tomorrow, as long as the kids leave me alone. Not easy for them to do when they have the day off from school.

On a totally different front, I was asked yesterday by the president of our library Friends group to be on the steering committee for our new used bookstore. I'm thrilled and looking forward to the opportunity to be in on the ground floor of this endeavor. Especially since my chance of returning to the library as their paid publicity person seems to have evaporated. I'm still working on accepting that turn of events. This new project will give me plenty of things to do, because you know, I'm a sucker for a hectic schedule.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


One of the agent blogs I read offered up some thoughts on the importance of unique ideas versus stellar writing. The two are not mutually exclusive, but need to work hand in hand. After all, if you have a neat story idea, you have to be able to put the damn thing down on paper.

I truly feel stories are universal and repeat themselves over and over. The settings and characters change, but the universal themes are constant. The trick is to find the unique angle. For me this comes down to the baggage the characters carry with them into the story. Then if you throw a bunch of conflict at them, they have to use that baggage to solve their problems. Makes for fun and usually good reading, if the writing can effectively communicate the ideas.

I've never really had a problem finding ideas or making the idea fresh. I like to look at the mundane and spice it up. To me, that is part of the creative process.

Because when you get down to it, isn't most fiction recycled? The human condition just doesn't change that much...our technology does, our stuff does, but what motivates us is eternal. Love, greed, corruption, power, compassion, understanding, strife etc can be found in books written and published today as well as in Shakespeare.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


I actually sat down to write yesterday and was able to churn out over 1500 new shiny words. Well, they were shiny to me as I wrote them, not sure how they will look this morning. I also read a chapter for a friend and hopefully helped her with my insightful comments. LOL.

She's having a spot of trouble with a scene and is going to step away from the story for a bit to see if that will shed some new light. Perspective isn't always easy to find.

I fully intend after I type in the two words, "the end," to set my WIP aside for a spell before I begin edits. I will need the distance to give me the correct perspective on the story. I know the story has character and plot threads that will be snipped and some that will be expanded. But, I have to be able to see them first. I need a pair of refreshed eyes.

Sometimes the inspiration comes to us so fast and furious it is hard to see how that scene or character will impact the entire story. We frantically write it all down and in the afterglow forget that it might not work in the grand scheme of things. You fall in love with the idea, but maybe the rest of your book won't support the concept. That is where distance and perspective help.

Sort of like the line from Risky Business..."Joel, step away from the babysitter." This time, "Writer, step away from the WIP."

Monday, April 2, 2007


Feeling a bit scattered this morning, so don't look for a theme today. We had a busy weekend filled with soccer, rain, yard work, church, theater and poetry. Not necessarily in that order. I also read a Nora R. book I picked up at the book sale. It was the first in the Morrigan's Cross trilogy, and have to tell ya, it was just okay. I'll read the rest of them, but I wasn't blown away.

I do need to pull my thoughts together as today starts the big push to the end for the WIP. I am determined to get this project completed and ready for editing. It needs to happen sooner rather than later, I hope life will cooperate.

The hubby and I are focused on home improvement projects of late. This includes the mother of all projects, painting the house. Not my cup of tea, but paint I will. Looks like I may spend a portion of Easter Sunday with paint brush/roller in hand. Oh boy!

I am much more a dig in the dirt kind of girl. I enjoy gardening and we did make some big strides in that department yesterday. Home Depot loves us and now my front yard sports two new planting rings. Yeah!

Took the girls to see their buddies make their theater debut in a children's production of the King and I. I still loathe musicals, but the production was decent.

Our family topic for Sunday was poetry. Had fun listening and reading poems during dinner.

Only one of the two scheduled soccer games happened....bummer. We had some major rain Saturday afternoon.

Wish me luck as I start the final trek with the WIP. A few rainy days would help....easier to have BIC when it is pouring outside.