Friday, June 30, 2006

The Flirts...

Group blogs seem to be all the rage anymore... So, I am joining the craze along with a couple of other blog buddies.

Starting Wednesday, July 5th, I'll be posting here and at Word Flirts. See, Cole, it's not a secret :-).

I'll be joining Cole, Emma, Karen, Julie S, Sarah and Stacy in the venture. The current template is temporary, while another is in development. So check us out when you get a chance.

I will still be here full time and I promise to keep posting my... colorful pictures :-).

For now, I'm getting back to the revisions! See, Cole... I'm being good. Hubby is heading out of town to camp with his parent for the weekend, but he'll be back Sunday night. Just enough time for me to get some real work done. Hopefully. Then we're heading to my mom's house for the 4th. Her birthday is the 3rd, so we're going to cook out and eat birthday cake!

What are your plans for the holiday weekend?


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Getting Back On Track...

On our trip back through the mountains of Tennessee, we stopped to watch the white water rafters take off on the Ocoee River, the site of the 1996 Olympic river games. It's a great run of white water and since it was the weekend, it was of course packed.

There were all types of people there. Families... school groups... sexy outdoorsmen... :-) After watching for a while, we got back in the car to finish out trek.

Only problem, for me at least, was that the car had filled up with some very sexy characters and exciting stories. A group of brothers in particular. And it seems that they are ganging up against the hero who's not-so-patiently waiting for his suspense story to get written.

They're claim is that their stories will be so exciting that they'll get written fast, so he won't have to wait long.

He's not buying it, so I'm letting them duke it out for who's next.

In the mean time, I thought I'd share a picture of my inspiration for the brother whose story will go first. Whether it's before or after the suspense remains to be seen.

At least their arguing is getting me back in the writing frame of mind. So today I will tackle my revisions again. I think I'll up my goal to 2 chapters a day. Maybe...

How's you're writing going?


Monday, June 26, 2006

Who Wants To Be My Relative?...

Thanks for all the well wishes for my grandmother! I'm happy to report she's home now and recovering. She had a scare with some chest pains this morning, but refused to allow the EMTs to take her to the hospital. I don't know if she's just so scared that any pain makes her jump or if it's something to really be concerned about. So, we're all keeping a close eye on the situation.

When I got home last night, my father-in-law had just been admitted into the hospital here. He had stroke like symptoms and he has had a stroke and a heart attack before, so that was the first concern. But we just heard that he is apparently suffering withdrawal from where they changed his diabetes medicine two weeks ago. Who knew... So now he's resting comfortably too and hopefully will be able to come home by tomorrow.

In the meantime, Hubby's grandfather in VA has been rushed into emergency surgery. He had two disks removed from his neck around father's day. And an infection has settled in where they did the surgery. So now he's back in surgery.

Did I mention my hubby's great aunt died last Thursday.

I'm afraid family members are going to start excommunicating themselves from the family to save themselves!

But we're all doing okay and holding down the fort. At least for right now, it looks as though everyone is going to pull through their illnesses.

So, here's my question for today: Who's brave enough to want to be my relative?


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Changing formats...

I think it was Dee who recently gave this bit of advice and I decided to try it. Edited after original post: It was actually Karen who had blogged about learning it in a class she's taking. Which you'd think I would have recalled since I then asked her for a butt load of info on the class and instructor because I'm hoping to get her to teach a class for my chapter online. Anyway, Thanks, Karen!

She recommended changing the format of your ms while revising. For example, I compose in courier new 12 pt font, with double spaced lines. So I'm revising it single spaced, in times new roman.

The idea is that the new format will make the story look new to you and things will jump out easier.

I decided to do this for the first time with my second chapter of revisions and I was astonished at the difference it made! I saw so much more. And even better, it dropped the page count from 15 to 9 or 10, so it seemed shorter :-).

So I thought I'd pass along the idea to anyone who hadn't heard it.

It's so easy to miss things when you not only wrote the page, but have been staring at it for what seems like an eternity. Do you have any "tricks" to picking up things in revisions?


Also added after original post:
PS I'm leaving town this afternoon. My grandmother is sick and we're going to see her. So I won't be around this weekend and I didn't want anyone to wonder if my revisions had swallowed me whole :-)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Setting Things Up...

Recently there was some conversation on the Harlequin Blaze Boards about setting. Since I'm currently mulling over my next idea, setting is something that has been on my mind.

Just like in the movies, a book's setting should be an integral part of the story. In my humble opinion at least.

But setting intimidates me because I wouldn't call myself well traveled. I've been to all of the conventional places on the east coast. But since I live in the Southeast, I am most familiar with locations in that region. So I've been debating with myself whether or not I should stick to that area. But then I think... Would that be boring? I find that I often feel like I need to pick settings "away" from me.

Someone pointed out that a lot of Linda Howard's books are set in Alabama. I think that's where she resides. And they said it didn't disturb them that they were mainly set in that area.

The problem with setting my stories "away" is that I'm not as familiar with the places. The internet has a bunch of info, but you know it's not all correct and if you get a detail like that way wrong because of poor information, you stand to piss off some people pretty badly.

Which brings me back to setting my stories where "I know". Thankfully I've been to NY, DC, Miami, & Atlanta in addition to nearly all the areas between, so I do have SOME choices.

Still, I worry over the decision of where to set a story.

So my question is this: How do you decide where to set a story? And is it always somewhere you have been before?


Monday, June 19, 2006

New Beginnings...

Thank you everyone for your sweet sentiments on my previous post. We didn't make it to the park, but we have plans to go this upcoming weekend!

Since I have finished the first draft of my wip, I am sitting myself back in the writer's seat. I plan to focus on doing revisions. However, I am also doing preliminary work on my next project.

A few weeks ago I posted about a workshop I'd been to, given by my RWA chapter. The speaker, Alicia Rasley spoke about Acts, and plot and scene structure. Her teaching has been bouncing around in my head for quite a while. And as a result, I think I'm going to take a different approach with this next story.

I've tried setting everything out before writing. With my first story, I did it all, the characterizations, the blurb, the synopsis, the detailed plotting, everything, before I wrote it. And I found it difficult to stick to the original plan.

With my last story, I did very little preliminary work. I wrote from the seat of pants pretty much completely. And it was a fun experience, but at times, I felt very weighed down by the fact that I wasn't sure what came next or if I was really headed where I wanted to be.

So, with this one, I plan to find a happy medium. Alicia spoke about plot points and specific ones. And I decided I would use this to outline my story and plot it out without filling in all of the "details". I think this might prove to an effective way for me to plot.

But in the mean time, I'm going to work on my revisions before my cp beats me :-)

Is there a plotting technique you've found that works for you?

Edited to add: GO Hurricanes! Who would have thought the Stanley Cup would ever venture so far South?


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Daddy's Day...

When I was just a day old, my dad could look down at me in his arms, and make me smile wide enough to show the two front teeth I was born with.

I can remember thinking as a little girl that my dad was the most handsome man ever. I can remember playing games and going camping and fishing. I don't have any brothers, so my dad often enjoyed my tomboy inclinations. He'd take me fishing, toss my line into the water in just the right spot. And after telling me NOT to touch the pole a half billion times, I'm not known for my patience you know, he'd coach me on how to watch for a bite and then hook a fish and reel it in. Without fail, I'd catch something bigger than him.

We lived on the edge of a forest that was part of a state park when I was young. He would take me on walks and tell me all about the plants and animals we saw along the way. A native Tennessean, he was a true outdoorsman. On one of those walks, he taught me about acorns, and how when planted, they'd take root and grow into a tree. We planted one and sure enough, not long after, a small sapling broke ground. That was nearly 25 years ago.

Fourteen years later, I graduated from high school. Despite my parents divorcing when I was three, they'd maintained an amicable relationship so that I could have them both in my life. And they were both there in the audience to cheer me on as I walked across the stage. That evening we all went to dinner and my dad got his first crack at the new man in my life (who is now my hubby). I asked if he approved. He said that he always wanted me to remember how special I am and that as long as I'm being treated with the love and care I deserve, he would approve.

My dad was always a healthy guy. At just under six feet tall, he weighed an athletic 160 pounds. He played basketball and baseball with my sister and me and our little cousins. It was a shock to us when a month after I graduated from high school, he had a massive heart attack. Thankfully, he miraculously pulled through after spending months in the hospital.

He'd suffered some damage to his short term memory ability due to lack of oxygen. Thanks to some cruel and thoughtless kids, the street sign to my grandparents house (where he was at the time) was missing. As a result the ambulance got lost. He was "normal" when he came home. But sometimes, he would think it was six years prior and I was twelve. But he'd see me and the most wonderful smile would spread across his face and he'd say, "Wow, you've grown and you're beautiful..." He complained that sometimes he felt foggy, as though he had all the memories, but couldn't always put his mental fingers on them.

I'm so thankful for the two and a half years I was graced with him after his heart attack. It had served as a warning that loved ones wouldn't be here forever and I got to do and say all of those things many people don't get to do and say to and with a loved one before loosing them. I spent most weekends traveling fourteen hours back and forth between school here and his home in Tennessee. During the summers when I didn't have classes, I could stay for longer periods.

He passed away two years and five months to the day from the time he had his heart attack. He was suffering from rapidly developing pneumonia, which was in part related to the ARDS he'd developed while in the hospital two years prior. He was comfortable, cared for and surrounded by loved ones when it happened.

That was eight and a half years ago. In the years since, Father's Day has of course not been the same. My dad's words and memory are a constant companion to me. And it isn't something that I've set aside a special day to think about. Maybe in part because I wasn't sure I could handle putting that sort of focus on it.

This year I'll be celebrating Father's Day with my hubby's family. He had to remind me tonight that it is tomorrow. And I'll admit that celebrating Father's Day for the first time in eight or so years will be awkward and maybe even a bit painful. But his dad is a wonderful man. And I couldn't be happier to celebrate with him tomorrow.

I think after we leave there though, I might ask hubby if we can visit the state park and take a nature walk. I'm sure the little sapling we planted is no longer so little and probably mixed in with hundreds of others. But it would be a way of remembering a special time I spent with my dad and I think he'd like that...

For those of you who are still Blessed to have your father here, I hope your time with him is as special and magical as the time I spent with mine and for those whose father has passed on, I hope you also have special memories to cherish on Father's Day.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Changing It Up...

So now that I finished writing, I took a moment to really look closely at my website. And you know what, it looked way too bubble gum for me. I thought... I look like I'm a fourteen year-old Bubble Yum fan!

So, hubby helped me out by making me some swirls. I'm a swirlie sort of girl. And I spent a few hours tonight messing with the site and made some changes! So take a look and tell me what you think. Just click here!

I'm off to our chapter meeting tomorrow for a talk about "The Male Perspective" by... a man. Should be interesting.

What are you up to this weekend?


Thursday, June 15, 2006

The End.

Aren't those wonderful words? I think so. I wrote them late last night! Finally, I am at the end of my wip! WOO HOO!

I think I'm gonna party like it's 1999. Oh, wait... 1999 went by a long time ago. You get my point.

In honor of my hero and heroine's blissful happiness and my euphoric glee over not having to sort out their "issues" anymore, I figured I'd do some fun research and share a few pics. Come on, you were all expecting it. Admit it...

And here's another just because I feel like a reward :-)


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hop, Skip, & Jump...

Edited to add: Hop over and congratulate Karen on her sell!

Back to your regularly scheduled blog post:

I'm so close! Only 3000 words away...

Despite going to bed last night much earlier than usual for me, I got 1000 words done.

My poor heroine and hero are in a terrible mess. They're both upset with each other. Poor girl thinks he's just like every other creep she's ever met and poor guy has too much pride to realize he could make it all better if he'd just explain himself. But like most men, he doesn't think he should have to do that. She should trust him explicitly even if she's been given good, yet deceiving evidence to think otherwise.

I'm not sure I'll get their mess straightened out if 4000 words, but going a little over never hurt anyone. Right? :-)

That means I'm just a hop, skip & jump away.

It's been nice, because as with my last ms, I'm finding that I write more per day once I'm near the end. But apparently that's not the same for everyone. I've heard other writers say that they write slower towards the end because they're sad to see it end.

So, my question is this: do you find you write faster, slower, or just the same as you near the end of a story?


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


It's late and I decided to blog despite not having an idea of what to blog about. Which is probably a good indication that 1. I shouldn't be blogging and 2. There will probably be a picture at the end. I just can't help myself.

I forced... I mean coerced... I mean persuaded my cp to enter a writing contest. It's Romance junkies 2006 writing contest. She was reluctant, but I didn't want to do it alone and I got her to see the light of day. Plus, it's good for her. She hasn't entered a contest before. Thanks, Cole!

Anyway, I encourage everyone to take a look. They've had a small technical snafu so the first batch of entries aren't up yet. But if you're at all interested, you should enter. You're supposed to change the name of the work and your name, to protect the names of the innocent... I mean so that it won't be a popularity contest. Which is probably good. Because I don't know that I would hold much ground in one :-).

But if you don't want to enter, you should check out the entries and vote. Each Monday (once they start posting them) a new batch of entries will go up. Readers vote on their favorite. The first round runs through September. When the readers have picked their favorites, those go on to be judged by a panel and the top three from there go on to be judged by Kara Cesare of Penguin (Signet/NAL).

Last year's winning entry was co-authored by Michelle Styles and Kate Allen. And it sold!

So take a look and vote vote vote!

Ok, that post had a small semblance of reasoning. And since I don't want to overload you all with yet another picture. I have been sharing quite a bit lately and I don't want anyone to become faint of heart, I'll skip the picture. This time.

So, anyone enter the Romance Junkies contest before? Anyone going to enter this year?


Sunday, June 11, 2006


I guess the past two or so days has been a bit of a back slide for me. And that really stinks since I'm so close to THE END!

But work took over my life on Friday and then some of my hubby's relatives decided to make an impromptu visit Saturday night, which led to a rage of cleaning after I finished catching up on my left over work from Friday. Sadly, his relatives were not able to make it into town early enough, so they ended up passing up the visit. But hey, at least the house is clean.

Well, maybe not the entire house. Our office still looks like a tornado hit it. Which may be appropriate since hurricane season has started and we already have a tropical system in the gulf. We've been working on "cleaning out" the old office area and then we're going to move it around a bit. It's been a slow process.

So I decided to get back into the groove and get some writing done today. Which of course means that I need some inspiration. I loved the comments on the questionable picture in the previous post, by the way. I'm still on the fence about that pic.

Here's one that I hope will inspire us all...

How was your weekend? Anything productive done?


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Not All Pictures Are Equal...

For the first time in months, words are streaming on the wip. Which is fantastic because I'm nearly to home base. I promise to blog more about all the "act" stuff I learned weekend before last soon.

In the mean time, Karen's recent blog post about body parts made me think of a picture I have that I can't decide if I like or not. Anyone who visits with any frequency knows I like to share pictures :-). Her post was about favorite body parts and she has a HOT picture of a guy's back. You simply must check it out.

And I recalled that I have a picture of a guy's... back too. He's a rugby player. With great, muscular legs. And we all know what those muscles are good for... But I digress. I've considered sharing it before, but there's a particular "issue" I have with it. Maybe it's the fifth grader coming out in me. But after I get through oggling the legs and my eyes move up on his body, I always snicker. So I thought I'd share it today and see what you all think.

Drool, snicker, or gag? You decide...


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Aw, Shucks...

Thanks everyone for your sweet words of comfort and encouragement.

You know, something I have enjoyed over my last year or so of blogging is how great the writing community is. Writing is such a solitary activity. But the internet has permitted writers to build a fantastic network of support and interaction. There are so many benefits to this community. I can't list all that I have learned from my fellow writers, I can't be thankful enough for their support. And without that interaction, I may be sitting on my couch eating this:

Instead, I'm back up and writing today, and I even seem to actually be more motivated to work. Maybe it's because I no longer feel like I'm "on hold." So instead of the cake, I'm sitting at my desk, writing and looking at this:

Ok, I can't write and look at the same time. So I'm trying to do more writing than looking :-)

What's your favorite thing about being part of the online writing community?


Monday, June 05, 2006

Don't Open The Mail...

For the past week, I have been hovering over my in-box, awaiting a reply from the editorial assistant I emailed inquiring as to the status of my submission that had been in their office for six months.

And every day for the last week I've gotten nothing. Until today...

Today I received a very nice email apologizing for my not having gotten the letter they mailed out on February 7, 2006, explaining that they were passing on my ms. I'm actually not too upset. Which surprised me a lot. Maybe it's because my cp got some good news yesterday and I'm still flying high over that. I don't know.

What I most regret is that I don't know if their letter they sent in Feb had any feedback or input at all. Which would be most helpful. My guess is that in ten years, the package will arrive and I'll have no idea what it is. It's just the mail way.

So, I am taking a brief break tonight and jumping right back in tomorrow!


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Blurbs and Cheese...

As some of you may remember, I, like many others am in the midst of having a nervous break down over going to nationals :-)

Last week, during a particularly gripping panic, I was dwelling on "blurbs" and trying to figure out what in the world they are. It hit me that it sounds sort of like something a two year old does after eating mac and cheese. And while that may sound particularly disgusting, I realized that feeling is exactly what I get when I think of blurbs, so it's also fitting.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I finally delved in and wrote a blurb. Well, that's what I'm calling it anyhow. Maybe once I've run it through the grind mill a few thousand times, I'll even share it publicly.

The point here is that I'm celebrating having written one. Note that I didn't say a good one. Just that it was one. And I didn't have to eat any mac and cheese to do it.

And as always, I am rewarding everyone for my achievement. Here:

(It's another pic of Mr. Silent. He's still not sharing any info. Just brooding. But hey, I can't complain. Not much anyhow.)

What about you, do you like writing blurbs? Do you have a good example of one to share?


Friday, June 02, 2006


I used to have a website. Some of you who have been visiting for a while may even recall it. I liked it, but it never really felt right. Then a problem came up with the coding and I took it down.

I had done it in all html using Notepad. All self-taught html. So, most of it was done the long handed way and I was really limited as to what I could do.

I'm happy to announce that I am finally back on the web. It may not be perfect, but it's a presence. Take a look at my new website! I found a nifty web page maker program thanks to Fiona!

It's pretty simplistic and I'm sure my graphic designer hubby will have plenty to say about that! But it's a start.

So let me know what you think. Too much pink and purple? Anything wrong standing out at you?


update: hubby came home and took a look at the site. And of course, he felt overwhelmed by the pink and purple. He recommended some changes with the header to make it black and white and in his opinion better. Ok, it does stop the tooth ache of the bubble gum look a little. So I guess I owe him a thanks ;-) And I've implemented the changes!