Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Feeling a bit antsy as I have a %^&*load to do today and not much time to do it. I've already reconciled myself to the fact I won't be writing until next Monday. With my folks arriving and all the other stuff going on between now and then, it is just not going to happen. Argh.

Oldest child complained that it doesn't feel like summer. We've been too busy. I agree. Summer should be kicked back, laid back, easy breezy and low key. It shouldn't be figuring out how to get from point A to point B in order to cart children around to their scheduled appointments in a timely manner. It shouldn't be using half a tank of gas in less than two days. It shouldn't be spending more time in the car than in the lounge chair.

Here's hoping next week brings more lounge chair time and less minivan time. Finding time to write would be nice too.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

short week

I've got a weird and short week ahead of me and I'm not quite sure if I will be able to work on the current wip. We have company arriving tomorrow, so if I don't write today or tomorrow before they arrive, it will be a lost cause.

Holiday weekend went great, although we all ate way too much. Parties will do that to you. The people we know just cook too well.

The highlight, non food that is, was seeing Pirates 3. It was a very fun movie. Not a disappointing or unfulfilled moment in the entire 3 hours. Well done.

Off to get a few household things done, then out to swimming lessons, music lessons etc.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Avoiding conflict may be a good thing in the real world, but in writing it makes for boring prose indeed. Just read Lili Saintcrow's post about conflict. She's a big believer in the 'send in the man with the gun' writing philosophy.

For me, increasing the conflict in my stories isn't easy. It goes against what I am. I wouldn't say I'm a pleaser, but I am always looking for ways to mediate and negotiate. It takes monumental effort to not write that way.

I need to send in more men with guns. Or in the case of my Lani story, I need to let those arrows fly. Writers need to inflict all sorts of mayhem and mischief upon their characters. Life isn't smooth. It is bumpy, rutted, dirty and nasty. Keeping that in mind when we write will make for a more action packed and conflict filled story.

Although our characters do have internal conflicts, the external ones are the engines that move our plot along. So, invite those gun toting men into your character's lives. They will be better for it, really.

Friday, May 25, 2007

friday recap

First, where did the week go? Hell, where did the school year go?

Here's the week in review.

Churned out some words for the new wip.
Kept my typing fingers away from the old wip, it is still resting, like a piece of meat.
Survived the last week of school with the associated awards ceremonies and parties.
Coped with the FLU, round two and round three. Yes, I'm the only one who didn't totally fall prey to it.
Made a yummy new dinner dish.
Took a 12 mile bike ride yesterday.
Went out to lunch twice and managed not to put on any weight.
Didn't lose any more weight.
Finished the Blood Books...and dreamed of Henry Fitzroy last night:)
Attended one more bookstore meeting.

That's it for me. Off to enjoy my Friday.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


My summer will officially start in less than ten hours. My offspring are bouncing off the walls, good thing they can still go to school for this one last day and let their poor mother have a few more hours of sanity. Lunching with the neighbor today, she too is set on enjoying a few last hours of sanity. It is good to find someone who can also relish the moment.

I'm hoping to work on Lani this morning before we head out for lunch. I'm debating on what is going to happen next. I've set up two possibilities and have been weighing which one will provide more conflict for the story. I'm really on the fence with this one. Maybe inspiration will strike sometime before I return to this chair.

Finished the third omnibus of Tanya Huff's Blood Books...she had several short stories as the last 'book.' I think she may have inspired me to write a short story based on the characters in Maddy Blue. I've got a few possibilities running in my head....inspired by the cooking of hamburgers last night for dinner. Weird, and don't ask.

Let the countdown to summer begin:)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

finding the time

I really need to stop being an all or nothing writer. I've never been a good one for taking the view that getting a little bit done is better than nothing. I need enough time to get my word count in or I don't write. I know I can't push out 1500 words in an hour. I need at least two.

With school ending, my routine of writing Monday to Friday from 10-2 will most likely come to a crashing halt. I'm going to have to adjust my hours and my expectations.

It isn't that I couldn't train the little darlings to leave me alone for those four hours. I could. They would. It is more that I won't want to. I mean, come on, who wants to be cooped up in the attic typing away when I could be lounging on the patio watching them swim?! Of course, I'd have book in hand and diet coke on table.

Now, I can be flexible when it comes to fitting in my meetings and lunch dates. I do adjust for that. Will do that today, as a matter of fact.

So either I need to adjust my word count expectations or I need to set up a new schedule for myself. Either way, school ends in just two days. Summer looms in front of me. Three kids underfoot will be my new daily routine.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

the return of the flu

Yes, the dreaded flu bug has struck again. This time the other two kids have fallen prey to the dreaded virus. No school for them today. Which means I'll be home all day as well.

I should, however, be able to write. Middle child is over the worst of it and oldest child doesn't seem to have it quite so bad.

On other fronts, I'm really enjoying working on the YA story I've started. I toyed with outlining the plot, but decided to go with the 'pants' method again. I've got quite a bit of the action rattling around in my head, so if the muse doesn't throw me any curve balls, I should be okay.

Still reading the last full length Blood Book by Tanya Huff. Just love her characters.

Monday, May 21, 2007

wind it up

No, I haven't been listening to the oldest kid's iPod, but I do know she has the "Wind it Up" song on there with Gwen yodeling and all....great music to paint windows by! And the perfect theme for my week.

Okay, the weekend was fabulous. Got to have a nice chat with my crit buddy. I think I have a good idea on how to fix the stuff that was bugging me in the YA wip. Picked up the third omnibus of the Blood Books by Tanya Huff. Drank mangolassies with the neighbors and watched our passel of kids play. Watched a great soccer game, my oldest two just rock! Didn't fall off the diet wagon too much. Those last ten pounds are a killer.

Now it is time to wind it up for the week. Between errands, chores and all the extra stuff that comes with school ending, the next four days are going to be a wild ride. Plus, I'm really jazzed about this YA story. Look for the word counts to really move in the next few days.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Wonder if Miss Snark is having any regrets about her decision to stop blogging? A boatload of folks have been posting to wish her well, beg her to reconsider, shower her with praise and basically make it tough for her to move on to new things.

I'm not good at goodbyes. I second guess my decisions all the time. I linger. I hold on and let go real slow.

I'm still have regrets about the library and it has been almost 6 months now. And that is even after I have done so much good finish my WIP. I know I wouldn't have done that if I'd kept working. Heck, I know I sure wouldn't have started the YA book I'm toying with now. Leaving the library has done wonders for my writing, as in I have time to do it now.

Perhaps it stems from my need to 'fix' things. I see what is being done and what isn't being done and want to fix it. Heck, I even emailed my old boss with a list of new YA books that are just coming out. Sequels, to books the library owns...I just hate it when book one is on the shelf and book two or three is no where to be found!

Maybe someday, when I grow up, I can let go and not look back. Maybe I just care too much.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Miss Snark, say it isn't so

Arghhhhh, just read that Miss Snark is retiring. Crap! I really enjoy reading her blog. It is such a treat when you can learn and be entertained at the same time. At least she will keep the blog 'up' so we can check in and read old posts to confirm when we are being nitwits about the writing life.

Here's to you Miss Snark, may your retirement lack nitwitery and clue guns, but be filled with plenty of gin and George Clooney encounters.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Quick health update, the flu is on hiatus for today. Youngest child is much better, but I'm keeping him home today for the full recuperation effect. No one else has fallen prey to the dreaded tummy bug. For now.

The week's recap....

Read a lot. I finished four books this week, two Tanya Huff, one Charlaine Harris, one Adriana Trigiani.

Worked on the new WIP. I wrote just shy of 3000 words in the YA story.

Did my normal motherly stuff.

Not much else to report. Lots of minutiae, but those are the main highlights.

I hope to write today:)

Thursday, May 17, 2007


My brain is fuzzy from lack of sleep. Youngest child was up at 2:30 this morning, yes, the tummy bug has struck our house. I'm housebound today. If I wasn't so darn tired, it would be a good day to write. It may still be as I could attempt to translate this lack of sleep feeling into a nice sensory piece for the current WIP.

I'm not making much sense to myself today, so this will be very short. I did start to read the next "Blood" book by Tanya Huff. Gosh, I really like this gal's writing. Of course, I love the TV show on Lifetime....

That's it for me to check on the queasy factor.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Okay, so after I finished my motherly duties yesterday I high tailed it to B&N to get the latest Charlaine Harris book. I came home, finished the latest Adriana Trigiani book I was reading and dove into Sookie's world.

I spent the rest of the day reading and finished the book around 9:30 last night. I did have to stop for a few things, like feeding the kids and going to a band concert.

I really enjoyed the book, but I also realized that I read it with a much more critical eye than I usually do. I guess with the edits on my WIP looming on the horizon, I'm paying close attention to continuity, pacing and conflict. I love the Sookie books, but this was not my favorite. I felt the ending was rushed and the 'mysteries' or conflicts were tied up in a big hurry in the last 40 pages.

I have a new perspective on what I need to do with MB. I'm not sure if I like all the conflicts tied up in one fell swoop. I think I'd rather dole out the resolutions a bit slower. Savor them, give them attention, make the solutions last a bit.

It may just be a matter of taste when it comes to endings. The rest of the book rocked. I loved the change of setting and I'm still torn as Sookie is over Eric and Bill and Quinn.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I just read one of the blogs I visit daily and her topic was the difference between conflict and complications in a plot. The blog gave me pause as I'm noodling over edits for MB. Now that I've been away from that manuscript for all of four days, I know this may be an issue. Actually, I've known it might be an issue for a while. The story has lots of complications and it even has a big underlying conflict. The trick is to make the conflict stronger and more defined. I worry that all the little stuff is burying the big stuff.

On a different note, I wrote a few thousand words in the YA WIP yesterday and will probably do some heavy edits to those pages before I move on. The vision I had in my head for the scene is not what ended up on the screen. I hope to spend some time with that story today. Of course, that is after I go to field day at the school and make a quick run to the store.

Tomorrow I'm heading over to B&N to buy the latest Sookie book....yes, I'm treating myself.

Monday, May 14, 2007

no crisis?

Today may actually buck the trend and not serve up a mini crisis for me to deal with first thing. No trips to the doctor, no waiting for the repairman, no last minute change of plans. Amazing.

On the agenda for today is to clean the house and get the laundry going. I'd also really like to spend a few hours working on the new WIP. I have an idea for the second chapter and am eager to see how it translates from my head to the screen.

Scenes play out in my mind like mini movies. When the words are flowing, this seems to work to my advantage. The rate at which I can write/type and the pace of the action don't exactly match up, but the intensity works for me. Some days it feels like my mini movie is on pause. The words just don't come and the characters are frozen. They stare at me and I can hear them thinking, okay, what comes next? I usually get up and go downstairs and get something to eat or drink. Often just stepping away for a few minutes is enough to get the 'movie' going again.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Every so often I'll read a book outside of my favorite genres. I rarely read literary fiction, but I'd bought "Prep" at a book sale six months ago and when I finished the WIP, I needed something to read. I dug it out of my nightstand and set off on quite an adventure. When you're haunted by the story twelve hours after you finish it, you've found something special.

I'd picked up the book because the main character, Lee, was from my old home town. It gave me an immediate connection. After I finished the book last night, I realized I connected with Lee in other ways. "Prep" is more than a story about a Midwestern girl who goes off to an elite east coast boarding school. It is more than a story about being the fish out of water. It really is an examination of how we think, perceive ourselves and function in our worlds. It is a story about relationships and their often very transitory nature. It is a story about choices and the power we have to define ourselves and the struggle we face in using that power.

The writing was wonderful, borderline beautiful in some scenes. Sittenfeld knew when to lay it on and when to be sparse. I guess going to the Iowa Writer's Workshop will teach you a thing or two.

This isn't a light and fun ready, but it is a really good book and a really well told story. Maybe I need to step outside my reading zone more often.

Friday, May 11, 2007

the finish line

Not going to do my weekly recap today because the biggest thing that happened was finishing the WIP.

I crossed the 85 thou word mark yesterday and have now officially finished my first draft. I'm eager to set the piece aside and start a new story. It was rough going yesterday. The words didn't flow and I'm not sure if I'm thrilled with the ending the muse provided. It works for now, but I have a gut feeling some major things might change in those last twenty pages. Some time away from it will help.

I've been jotting down plot threads that will need attention once I return to the piece. I should compile them into something less haphazard. Right now some are written down on the back of grocery store receipts. I really need to put a notebook in the van for those moments I'm waiting to pick up a child.

Busy soccer weekend ahead for us as the seasons wind down. The only other thing of note is that I wrote my last Herald column yesterday. I am taking the summer off and may not return in the fall. I have new challenges at the old library and doing free publicity for them may not figure into my volunteer efforts.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

stops and starts

I'm about 1700 words away from finishing the current WIP's first draft. I wrote for over two hours yesterday and ended up with over 2,000 new words. I'm very excited to be near the end of this first phase. Starting a new story is exciting, but I think that finishing that same story is just as thrilling.

After I wrap it up, I hope today, I will set the piece aside for a few weeks and begin work on a YA story. I have twenty or so pages written in that one and hope to really make headway over the next few weeks. I need to because school is out soon. Not sure how my writing will go once the kids are all underfoot.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

mid week

I survived the field trip and am pleased to report that I even enjoyed myself. The nature center crew wisely split up the large group into small groups, so we traipsed through the meadows and forests with only 30 kids and adults. Not too bad. I was back home by 1:00, my child in tow, after stopping for lunch and ice cream.

Today I have to make a quick run to Target for Mother's Day cards. Then I am home to write. Countdown to butt in chair....three hours and ten minutes. Tick Tock.

I did spend some time yesterday jotting down various plot threads that will need to be snipped and pulled or expanded. My brain is already starting to switch into edit-mode.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

in the field

Quick update, the a/c is fixed and working. I was able to get to the local store, a Sam's trip is again postponed. I moved the plants I needed to relocate. I didn't work on the WIP, but I did begin writing the bookstore's policy manual. I did all the laundry. So, while yesterday did not go as planned, I managed to get quite a bit done. And, I didn't read. It is about killing me, but if I start a new book now, I won't get my writing done. I'm an all or nothing kind of gal.

I'm in the field today, as in going with a few busloads of school kids to a nature center. I'm not a hovering mom, but when you have hundreds of kids and wide open spaces, I get a bit nervous. So, I'm along for the day.

The goal is to finish the first draft by Friday. Barring any other crisis, I should be able to do that. Keeping fingers and toes crossed.

Monday, May 7, 2007

manic monday

Okay, the universe must really like screwing with my world. Here is another Monday and another weekly plan shot to hell. Yesterday after we arrived home from a late soccer game, we discovered the air conditioning is not properly cooling. The fan is going, the air is moving, but it is far from cool. It needs freon. I'm sure the coils have a leak. Oh joy!

So, I'm home until the repair guy can arrive. Nice guy, even called me on Sunday after I spoke with his service. But, I can't go to Sam's until he is here and gone. Who knows when that will be?

We managed to get the house cleaned yesterday. I guess I will either write or do some gardening until I know a repair time table.

Why is just one event messing with the next four days? Because between field trips, end of school concerts, practices and games, my week is planned down to the last hour. Once again, one unexpected issue will throw the whole thing off kilter.

I used to not mind Mondays. Of late, they've been nothing but trouble. I either need to stop planning anything for Monday or start learning to have not only plan B, but plan C and D.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

no reading

I will not go to B&N and get the new Charlaine Harris book until I finish my WIP's first draft, clean my house, restock the pantry and move those four cone flower plants in my garden. I also will not read anything sitting by my bed until those goals are achieved. I'll dust those books and move on....

I finished the last Dark Materials book yesterday. WOW, what a story concept...quite challenging stuff for YA. Living in the buckle of the bible belt, I'm amazed the books haven't been challenged more.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


I usually can't find time on Fridays to write. I did yesterday. Although I didn't make my daily word count goal, I did write over 1,000 new words and stopped in a really good spot. I'm less than 4,000 words from my 'it is time to edit now' goal of 85,000.

I also had time to watch a movie with my neighbor. We had pot stickers for lunch and watched The Holiday. What a nice movie. I just love Kate Winslet. She is just so darn 'real'...and of course, Jude Law is perfect movie eye candy.

Today is soccer, then we are off to our town's fair. I've been craving fried pie for a year now. I didn't get to the fried pie booth in time last year and Miss Ruby was already sold out. I'm planning on being there by 10:30 at the latest this morning. I may buy a few and save some in the freezer for those comfort food moments.

It is all about time.

Friday, May 4, 2007

friday recap

My week in review...topping the list is the fact that I wrote this week. Yeah me.

Wrote approx. 2800 new words in the WIP.
Spent the majority of Wednesday at the library. Did a presentation on the new Friends website, which was approved by the membership. Yeah.
Also, I was asked to consider managing the new used book store. I'm noodling this one over, but am leaning towards accepting the job.
Didn't clean house, just picked up a bit.
Did get some laundry done.
Read the first two Dark Materials book. Started the third last night. Very good stuff.
Celebrated one offspring's birthday....but the soccer game was rained out.

That's all folks...a rather quiet week, but a satisfying one.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


Probability of writing today is high.....I do have to run one errand after 10:00, but other than a load of wash, nothing else on the radar:)

I've been reading The Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. Wow, really good YA. I'm on book two and already have book three waiting for attention.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

butt in chair

Managed to pour out 1,100 new words yesterday. It was less than I'd hoped for, but I was so exhausted by the time I reached that number I quit. Today won't be a writing day. I have meetings at the library from 11:30 until 2:00. Plus, I have errands to run before that. Tomorrow, I'm back at it, butt in chair.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


As of ten minutes ago my house is again my own. Yeah! Let the countdown to 10:00 begin...that is the butt in chair witching hour. I'm writing today:)