Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oct. 31

Happy Halloween everyone! I have my pumpkins out, my lighted jack-o-lantern and my candy. I'm ready. Tricks or treats start here at 4 pm. Which is early, but safer for the little kids. I love to watch them show off their costumes and run from house to house in glee. It's a celebration of neighbors and the possibility of being- a super hero, a princess, or simply magic. Cheers~

Friday, October 30, 2009

Oct. 30

I updated my Sunday blog by adding a button for an RSS feed. This means readers can stream updates to their web browser or Google reader. Then my daughter said she loves to read the twitter comments on the edge of her favorite blogs. Since I tweet and re-tweet many good links for writers, I added the twitter stream to the side of that blog. There are other things I need to do with my on-line presence- but I'm getting there. :)
Here's my question to readers of my daily blog-would you like an RSS button for this blog? Twitter stream here as well? Cheers~

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oct. 29

Deadline day for the MA semester end. Da da daaaaaa. :) I have everything done so I have no idea why I'm stressing... except I want it all to be perfect and wonderful and A++ material- which realistically can never happen. It is like a book deadline in the same way...Hard to let go of the baby-sending it off into the mist so to speak. Out of your hands, out of your control, off to be judged by others. Yikes!
Classic author behavior to struggle with the sending off part. I know a NYT Bestseller who writes three endings for each book- her way of letting go. Me, I have to walk and pace and force myself to send it off into the great unknown. Sort of like a parent letting go of a child. You do it in stages, but you do it. Or you would never learn, grow and sell.
So, off to send my deadline things in... Tell me, do you struggle with letting go?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oct. 28

Happy birthday to my sister, Kathi. May all your birthday wishes come true!

It is lovely eerie here today. The lake is smooth as glass. There is a fog in the air, dimming the sun. Most of the trees are bare, their jewel-colored leaves in wet heaps on the ground. A chorus of birds can be blackbird, robin, finch, starling, chickadee, woodpecker. What sounds like huge flocks have moved in to invade the woods around the lake like some sort of convention. They pop from tree to tree chatting up a storm while the now bare, damp branches offer up last minute insects and fruits. It is a sound that won't be heard again until Spring, when the flocks migrate through on their way north. The storm before the calm.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oct. 27

We're moving into the darkest part of the year and I've been reading about the effects of seasons on the human brain. Studies have shown that writers and artists are effected by light and darkness, heat and cold. I smiled when I read that writers in the study were at their most creative in the Spring and Fall. The heart of winter being too dark and the heart of summer being too nice. I look at my productive times and find that I write more books in the Spring and Fall. I had never thought about the why of it. I know that I am sensitive to the seasons and the view from my window. I prefer the light to darkness and must take special care of myself during the darkest days. What about you? Are you affected by the seasons?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oct. 26

Happy Birthday to my nephew, Jared, who turns 10 today. Celebrate until the cows come home. :)

This is a busy week- I have the semester deadline, and I'm judging the Emily contest, and then there is the all important Halloween decorating and prep work. :) I have queries out on three books. I want to send out a few more this week. Then there are revisions and additions to three other books to consider before I send them out as well. I haven't decided which to work on first. One step at a time. I truly believe that things reveal themselves when it is there time. Happy writing!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oct. 25

My favorite quote from this week:

"Perseverance: the courage to continue despite the obvious wisdom of quitting." :)

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oct. 24

Happy 90th birthday to my Grandma Mary! I've been blessed to have long-lived grandparents. Their warmth, caring and love have brightened my life. I love their stories as well and hope to pass them on to my grandchildren.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Oct 23

There is some loop talk going on about websites and blogs and on-line marketing. I think I'm doing all right in this area. I might not be as great as some but I'm holding my own. Since I started school I have not been able to read and comment on as many blogs as I would like. There are on-line opportunities I have to pass over-but it goes back to the idea of balance in all you do. My favorite way of thinking about it is this: The grocery store is full of wonderful foods, but it's not good for you to eat them all...

Still I admire those who are able to do so much more-many of you follow my blog and comment daily. You are my inspiration and I thank you! Cheers~

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oct. 22

I am under deadline for the MA program so that is keeping me busy. I've got most of the work completed, but now I'm simply going over everything with a fine tooth comb-editing and revising and checking facts. The actual deadline is a week from today but life tends to get in the way if you don't have things under control. Enrollment starts soon for the next semester. I forgot how crazy busy school can be and also how rewarding... it's nice to hear "good job!" instead of "not right for us at this time." LOL Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oct. 21

I had an adventure this morning. I took the train into town, walked among the crowds and sky scrapers, went to the 18th floor and interviewed with a nice temporary service. Took the train back. It is so unlikely that a small town Kansas girl like me could be so cosmopolitan. But there I was with the commuters...walking the gray streets between the canyons of skyscrapers as if I belonged there. Glad to be back home among the sounds of geese and coyotes and robins and crows. With the scent of baled hay and cut corn. Where there is so much life and color and country air.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oct. 20

I'm working on revisions- small brush strokes on a big book to add color and flavor to it. The hard part is knowing when you've added enough- and not to do too much and lose the joy in the story. There really is a fine line between well done and over done--like cooking a roast. For that reason, I've decided I'm done messing with this book after today. Time to move on to another book- another query- another set of revisions. Cheers!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oct. 19

We have a flock of robins hanging around. Probably due to the two ornamental cherry trees in my yard that are loaded with fruit that is not suitable for humans but is lovely for birds. Big flocks of geese fly in for a mid morning break. Then fly out in the afternoon on their way south. The sun is out. The lake rippling in the wind. Only a few trees have their leaves now, some dully red. The lawn grass has been cut for the last time. People have pumpkins sitting on their door stoops. Some have ghosts and goblins and scarecrows out...bales of hay, stalks of corn. I'm hording bags of candy for trick or treaters. Its the only time we have candy in the house-usually I bake if we want sweets. I have no costume in mind this year...any ideas?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oct. 18th

I'm off to have brunch with a couple of wonderful writers this morning. So my Sunday blog will be late. But as I wrote in my blog about Finding Balance, sometimes it's good to take a short time off and go live life. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday~look for the Sunday blog later this afternoon. Cheers!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Oct. 17

I woke up at the crack of dawn today by the sound of gun fire. We live out in the country and I think it's hunting season...perhaps bird or bunny. Still it is unsettling to hear first thing in the morning. I'm not against hunting when done properly. I think it helps to feed hungry families and cuts down on the over population of animals. Since we have gotten rid of most of the large natural predators, deer, rabbit and game bird populations have boomed. There is nothing worse than having these lovely animals die of starvation and disease...or worse. It's a hard choice but I think a wise one.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oct 16

I'm immersing myself in police procedural information. It has been pointed out that it is a weakness in my thriller. Well, I do know why. The book originally revolved around the investigation of a random murder suicide by an on-line reporter. The cop characters were added as a way to color the story and fill in detail. But, they have become an integral part of the story and now I need to really flesh them out-give their world color. I am studying details that will never go in the book- but by learning these details and building their world in my head I hope to create rounded more realistic characters for the book. cheers~ *she says over the stacks of research books on her desktop.*

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oct. 15

Wow- October is half over... (I know, I know, I blog a lot about the whooshing of time.) When searching my desk for an important document, I came across a paper with my 2009 goals written on it. Huh, I forgot I had 2009 goals...and written down one at that! lol
I looked it over with some small dread, but then found that I had indeed met all those goals and more. Whew. So, all the whooshing of time has not left me un-accomplished. That's a nice feeling. Maybe whooshing isn't a bad thing after all. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oct. 14

I like to watch the television show Ghost Hunters. when I first started watching I enjoyed the two main characters who were so certain that there was an explanation for people's "hauntings" - wind, squeaky floor, bad plumbing, etc. Then there was the occasional surprise when something was caught on tape that was unexplainable. Soon, I enjoyed the side characters who scared themselves and kept saying "dude, what was that?!" over spiders and stuff.
But it's been a few years now and the show has gotten commercial. They "find" more stuff now than ever-and mostly they two main guys find it which I find creates a "staged" feel in this supposed reality show. I mean if there were actual haunts wouldn't they act up for more than the two head guys?
The spark of the show is waning-but I still watch when I can. I'm intrigued by the possibility knowing full well that camera tricks are easy to do but still enjoying the ghost story feel. It's the time of year for ghost stories and the unexplained...and isn't it fun to imagine? Cheers~

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oct 13

Last night I had a small book signing with a great writer's group. The ladies were fabulous and so supportive. I sold out- and still had two people who wanted books. I wish I had it in me to do more signings and to push harder-asking people to buy my books. I admire the people who spend so much time and money and really work at the marketing and selling side of this business. It's a weakness for me. I know. I work at it as much as I can. Life is a series of constant improvements. It's how we stretch and grow. Last night was a good stretch for me. Thank you to all who gathered around and bought my book and helped me feel like a real celeb. Cheers!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oct 12

Tonight is the bi-monthly meeting of the local RWA chapter. (Romance Writer's of America) I'll be taking in some copies of Mr. Charming to sign between the program and the critique.

As a writer there is nothing better than meeting with other writers to talk about craft, business and creativity. If you don't belong to a writer's group, find one. They are worth the time. Check out your local library, bookstores and on-line.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oct. 11

Happy Sunday, everyone. I put a picture of a cute puppy up on my Sunday I'm setting today aside to read, read, read. Sometimes it's easy to forget that reading helps to make your writing better. So, if you find yourself not reading-my advice is to take the time to read a book a month. It will help you write better. Cheers!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oct. 10

We had frost last night after a dark and rainy day. The surprising part was I listened to robins (North American Thrush) in the woods behind the house. They have been missing for about a month because they migrate early. So these must have been birds passing through from places farther north. It made it feel like spring. Today is chore day- errands, groceries, budgets, bills and planning. By creating a scheduled day for these things, I'm able to free my mind for writing. It all goes to the balance thing I spoke of last Sunday. I hope you have a good and happy Saturday! Cheers~

Friday, October 9, 2009

Oct. 9

I'm working on revisions this week. It's always a good sign when you get a third of the way into the book and you really are enjoying yourself. You know, in the end, that is what really matters. That you had fun writing it and that when you reread a book for the 1000th time, you still have fun. The work itself might not fit in the current publisher's marketing trend. It might never get read by more than a handful of people. But it was worth all the time spent because you had fun. That's why I got into writing in the first place, to have fun and to share that fun with others.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oct. 8

Last night I attended a fun talk by debut author Marilyn Brant (According to Jane). She spoke about how each of us has the spark and the talent to pursue our dreams-whatever that may be. There was coffee and tea, apple cidar and so many cookies and goodies and chocolates.
Marilyn claims she is no public speaker but her talk was warm and funny and heartfelt. There were 35 to 40 people there. And even when she was hit with a question about the ethos of Jane Austen...(someone was trying to sound smart), she answered it with dignity and honesty and a bit of humor.
I don't get out much, but I'm glad I went. It was a great time. If you get a chance, read her book.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oct 7

Had the last chat of the semester last night for my MA program. I went to the chat run by NYT bestselling author Maria Snyder on author websites...and I probably talked way too much. lol. Most of the time I can control the thoughts but last night I simply couldn't stop "adding" to the conversation. Sheesh. Can you slink off from a chat?
My daughter says it's good to talk a lot in a discussion. Still, I don't care for people who hog a conversation and yet- I am I'm extra careful-most of the time.
Any way- this semester was my first real experience with chat rooms and on-line chats/discussions as classroom/workshops. It has been interesting- a bit nerve wrecking-and yes, I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried it. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oct. 6

I am revising. To me, no book is ever perfect-until it's published and there is nothing I can do to change the words on the page. That said, I do send out queries and let people read the work before it's perfect-because I've found that everyone has an opinion on how it should go. By working the opinions of your agent and editor into the book you can make it better. Still it's a fine line between over editing and not editing enough- and that line changes with the person reading the work. All you can do is your best on any given day and then let go and learn from the rest.
Happy writing!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oct. 5

Happy birthday to my brother-in-law, Roger. Age is nothing but a thing. :)

As I sit here, the view from my window grows darker and darker. There is a thick wall of black clouds moving across the sky. No rain on the radar so it is odd and fits the spooky October mood. The lake is empty as the migrating Canada geese have not stopped yet on their coffee break. The red maple trees are all red on top and green on bottom as if they were dipped in red sauce. The rest are still green, but it is an old green, a faded green. They are calling for a hard frost this weekend. After that the colors will turn or the leaves will simply die. If you sit still enough and pay attention, you can see time actually passing you by.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oct. 4

I wrote my Sunday blog on balance and yet here I sit, writing a second blog, thinking about checking in on myspace, facebook, twitter and I just joined book blogs ning network. But people have friended me. There are birthdays and announcements, interviews etc. etc. etc.

HA! I am insane. Am going out today to see if I can live life a little bit. I hope you do the same. Cheers!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oct. 3

There have been messages on the loops lately about updating websites to better protect them. I guess there has been a lot of what is called "spoofing" where they have bots that crawl around and collect e-mail addresses off websites and then use them to send spam messages and porn sites and such to people. So, I went in yesterday and changed my e-mail address to written out- although I suspect that's not much of a deterrent. I think if they can create a bot to look for @ signs they can create one to look for the words at and dot. *shrug*

Well, at the very least I can imagine that I am proactive in protecting myself. It might be a good time to change all your passwords. Sort of like checking your smoke detector batteries in the spring and fall. :) Cheers!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oct. 2

I am setting aside time today to troll blogs, check out websites and snag something from my TBR pile. I have several friends with books out now and everyone was so nice to follow my blog tour it's time I did the same. The thing about the writing community is that we love books and stories. So it's not a hardship to purchase books and share stories. Some stories can only be found on blogs as the publishing world is an extremely tight squeeze these days. I hate to miss out on fabulous characters and wonderful writer's voices. So am going to forget my worries and bury myself in a good book. Cheers!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oct. 1

I love October. I love hay rack rides, and pumpkin farms and cool days with warm sun. I love the smell of falling leaves and burning piles of leaves. The spiders and other funny bugs that come out of no where. I love the spooky Halloween decorations, the hay bales and scarecrows, the giant harvest moon in the dark night sky. The way the geese fly south and stop at ten every morning to rest at the lake before moving on. Oh, apples, and apple cider and cinnamon donuts to dunk them in...sigh. Yay for October.