Friday, December 31, 2010

Dec. 31

Happy New Year, my dear friends!

May your hearts be light, your smiles wide and your homes warm and dry. Wishing you all the best. Cheers~

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dec. 30

Happy, happy birthday to my Dad, Ted. Thanks for writing book reviews for my craft blog. I hope your day is happy and that your next year is full of joy and good fishing. :D

I'm off today to take my daughter to the mall, hoping beyond hope that there will be fewer people shopping during the week. Cheers~

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dec. 29

I plan on seeing a movie today. They always have such great films out this time of year. I think in part to qualify for the Oscars, etc. and in part because many people are home looking for something to do and go to movies. The thing about going to a movie theater is that you are unlikely to be interrupted. You get to get out of the house, and you have the wonderful smell of popcorn and snacks. The downside is it costs a fortune to go. Seriously 8 to 10 dollars for a matinee, I never go full price. We won't even talk about the ridiculous price of popcorn. The really weird part is that if you only wait a few months you can rent the movie for as little as a dollar or even free if you check it out from the library. Still, watching it at home on your TV is not nearly as much fun as going out into the theater.
Do you like movies? If so do you prefer to watch at home or go out? Writers, do you think movies help with your writing?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dec. 28

Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law, Sherry~ May this be your best year ever. Hug your new grand baby for me.

For me, Tuesdays are dusting days. I get out a rag and oil and spray and I dust the whole house. It's a mad cloud of sparkles in the sunbeams followed by lots of sneezing and then resettling on surfaces. I know, it's crazy. But for one brief moment once a week, the surfaces shine, the cob weds are gone and I can congratulate myself on a twenty minute job well done. (Well, I didn't say I cleaned the entire house, just the dust. LOL) I learned long ago it was the small efforts that make life feel more accomplished. And isn't it all about how we feel about things? What small things do you do that help you feel accomplished?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Dec. 27

This is the funny week between holidays. Some people have vacation and others go to work but not much gets done as many companies shut down. It would be great if we could all afford to holiday somewhere-go skiing or to the beach. But then I heard it snowed in Florida yesterday, so I'm glad I didn't plan a winter beach vacation. :D
Others are looking at all they accomplished for the year and what they want to accomplish the next year. I've heard some great advice recently: Don't ask when is my life going to get better? Ask how can I make things a little bit better today?
One of my favorite proverbs is: Those who move mountains begin with small stones.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Dec. 24

Merry, merry Christmas to all who celebrate. May this time of year find you surrounded by family, friends and good cheer. Thank you all for being a part of making my life a "wonderful" one.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dec. 23

I buy a dated ornament every year for the Christmas tree. It's fun to look at them and see how rich or poor we were that year. Whether I managed to get it early and get a cool one or late and get stuck with leftovers. I almost collected an entire decade of one design-but missed a year. Which makes it funny. This year I got a lovely dated seashell with a pearl. It has a sweet saying about the beauty left behind after a life well lived- and I know I'm sappy but I lost my dear big dog George this year. He was the first dog that was mine. I picked him from a no kill shelter and brought him home because my son had been begging for a dog for years. George changed our entire family. He taught me that I wasn't as afraid of dogs as I thought. He taught my kids not to be afraid of dogs at all. He gave us all companionship and lots of licks. He taught me about a life well lived from beginning to end. He also taught me to have a sense of humor about messes in the house and that a loaf of banana bread left sitting on the counter was an opportunity well taken. He changed everything about our family making us all less self involved, more generous, and loyal to each other, and for that I'm thankful. Cheers~

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dec. 22

Rereading yesterday's blog I see I needed an editor. Sigh. (It should have been strangely not strangle.) Some people are so good at editing. I admire them and sometimes envy their ability. I know from years of experience that no matter how many times I check, double check, and triple check there will always be copy edits needed in my work. But I don't over worry the matter. I've been copy edited by professionals only to have other people come behind and find things they missed. We are human beings and mistakes happen. So, I try not to sweat the small stuff.

It should be the same for the holidays. The best holidays are not when all the presents are perfect and perfectly wrapped, the food perfect, the parties perfect, etc. The best holidays are simply times for families to get together to play board games or watch movies and spend time together.

(To me the best sugar cookies are a little too crisp around the edges.) So, don't sweat the small stuff, no one remembers that anyway. Cheers~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dec. 21

It is the first day of winter. I missed the lunar eclipse last night due to a snow storm, which is fitting I guess for the first day of winter. We only got between three and four inches of snow but then Mother Nature thought it would be fun to top that off with freezing drizzle. I pray for everyone out of the roads today. Thank goodness for salt truck guys. Be safe my friends!
Winter is the heart of darkness and despair can creep in, but it is also the miracle of returning light. Every day from now until summer we will get one more sliver of light in our day. Mother Nature is a miracle of hope, isn't she? And I am strangle sentimental today. :D
Cheers, my friends~
Let me know if you were able to see the eclipse.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dec. 20

It's Monday of a holiday week. I can imagine that some people are already on vacation. The stores were packed all weekend. It does make me sad to watch people push and shove and curse each other out when the whole reason for the season is to show some love and to feel peace and know that we are connected to every human being out there.
My daughter works in retail and said she had some guy curse at her because she told him that they could help him at the cashier's counter and there was a long line. I told her I would have said, Merry Christmas to you too, pointing out how sad it was to see him act like a toddler. But she simply called her manager over to deal with the grown man and his temper tantrum. My Grandma worked with special needs kids. If she heard any of us curse, she would reprimand us and tell us that we were more intelligent than that. That those were the first words special needs kids learned.
I know I sound old fashioned but they used to teach us in Kindergarten to wait our turn in line and to treat each other with kindness. If a 5-year-old can exert that kind of self control, so can an adult. Just saying. I hope your week is filled with random acts of kindness. Cheers~

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dec. 17

It is the last weekend before the Christmas holiday. I think I'm done there.
Someone on Facebook said they got a vicious virus from Systems 2011- and she said she got it even though she had Norton-sigh-Norton is my new antivirus on my new laptop. So I am ensuring I have good back up and restore disks. I'm afraid to try new virus protection after last year's fiasco- what do the people who write the codes for these viruses gain? I secretly suspect they work for anti-virus protection companies. It keeps us shelling out $ and them in business. Sigh- but then I do like a good conspiracy theory story. :D
Hope your weekend is bright. Cheers~

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dec. 16

I'm knocking out a cozy mystery for the fun of it. Yesterday I got pages and pages of info and schedules and stories for my MA Residency in January-less than a month away. There's a lot of work in my inbox including a book to read. It is cold and dark. We are averaging 9 degrees F for high temperatures. (I don't know how to do the conversion to C for those of you who are metric. But it is cold!) Even with four to six inches of snow on the ground, little dog managed to find someplace to rub dirt on the very top of her head last night. So she had a late night bath and blow dry and shivered until bed time. Today she is soft and smells of coconut creme rinse and is sitting in her chair beside me with her nose tucked under her arm. I'm negotiating last minute Christmas bits: forgotten cards to be mailed, packages to be tracked, thank yous to write. Our live Christmas tree is already starting to droop. We could buy it later but they are all cut at the same time so I doubt buying it later would make it last longer. I water it and talk to it and tell it it can make another nine days.
How are things with you?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dec. 15

A special thank you to Rosalind Adam for awarding me with the Laid Back Literary Ladies blog award. Thank you! If you get a chance check out her blog.

I am thinking about agents as gatekeepers and stories that don't sell. I belong to NINC-a multi-published author association. Many of the old timers who have twenty, thirty or more books under their belts and who wrote in the 80's and 90's heyday grumble that agents should not be gate keepers. They should not be able to deem a book unworthy of their attention and tell the writer they won't rep it, or simply ignore it and let it sit on their desks. In my heart I agree with these authors. The agent's job, after all, is to sell your work. But here's a clue, an agent won't work to sell a book if they think a higher paying publisher won't snap it up. Agents want commission not $50 a year. Fifteen percent of $50 is not worth the work that goes into selling. But this leaves authors watching books-good books- sit. Some come back with great news that they found a new agent who took on the book and sold it-poof! Others sell it themselves to small press and e-press. I don't know what the solution is- finding a new agent who will sell old books is more difficult than people let on. Selling to small press and e-press means books are not available in bookstores, and most books will struggle to find their audience. There is no simple answer in this changing publishing world. No simple answer in these hard economic times. Perhaps the real answer is to keep writing so when opportunity appears you will be ready. What are you thoughts on agents?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dec. 14

I sent off Christmas Cards yesterday and then realized I forgot one or two. I am not good at Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries. My poor family puts up with me and my haphazard memory. It's not that I don't love them and want to celebrate. It's that I buy cards early and then think, it's too early to mail it and set it down...only to be forgotten until the day of the event when I search frantically for the card and run out after the mailman waving furiously for him to wait and take the darn card. By then it's too late.
It doesn't help that I've lived more than twenty years with my brain in another world-the world of books and stories. I have to be able to go there to find the characters and work with them on their stories. Time is different there. The longer I work in that place the harder it is to be grounded in reality. (Now see, that sentence brings on a whole new story idea...and I just lost another twenty minutes of time exploring it.)
Question: Are you organized with Christmas, birthday's etc.?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dec. 13

Happy belated birthday to my nieces Alisha, and Jessica, and my nephew Patrick. I hope your day, yesterday, was grand. May this be your best year ever.

I took the weekend off from writing and watched a bunch of Christmas movies on ABC Family. It was awful weather, first rain, then snow and blizzard conditions, and afterward bitter cold. Time to stay inside and shop on line for Christmas presents. I am nearly done.

A lot of agents have closed for the Holiday season. There is not much work they can do, but read submissions, and I am certain they have a lot of those to go through.

Writers, what are you doing? Are you editing your NaNoWriMo book? Are you plotting out your contests and conferences for 2011? Or are you also taking a break for the holidays? Readers, don't forget that books make wonderful holiday gifts. Cheers~

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dec. 10

The view from my window is cold. How can a view be cold? The sky is ice blue. There are long shadows falling from bare trees. The branches hold white snow, bits of ice and sway dropping snow and ice onto the ground. The lake is frozen over. The ice covered with snow that is more blue than white as shadows draw long lines across its stillness. The absence of life is striking. No birds, no bird song, no insects, no movement, there is only the echoes of animals. Echoes seen in coyote tracks, and deer trails in the snow. There is no sparkle as the top of the thick blanket is frozen only small flat flakes swirl and blow across the top like sand across a desert. There is a sense that nature has her back turned to the wind, huddled in corners, waiting for the season to change.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dec. 9

I have a question for writers, when you start in on a book do you plan a self deadline? Am I nuts or well...maybe highly controlling, lol, but I plan a deadline date. Then I work a word count schedule to meet that date. I include things like days off, time taken for visitors, picking up and dropping off kids to school, etc. But I keep a schedule and if I don't meet the goal on one day then I do the extra the next couple of days to get back on track.
Funny, how I am not a plotter- I don't have an outline or any well thought out plot preset when I begin, but I have deadlines. I do like structure when it comes to the day by day, but if I pre-plot there is no surprise in the book and it becomes a bore to write and a bore to read. Trust me, I've tried.
So, question, do you set deadlines or do you wonder around in the number of pages or words you write and not worry about when the book gets done?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dec. 8

I'm a third of the way through my latest manuscripts first draft. I like first drafts. I enjoy pounding them out and seeing what happens and fighting with the characters over what they should and shouldn't do. I also like revising and making scenes smarter, faster, more relevant. What I hate is the nitty gritty comma checks, style issues, and copy edits. Blah. By then I know I'm ready to let someone else look at the book.
How is your writing going? What part of the process is your favorite?
Readers, what bits do you like best? Action scenes, dialog?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dec. 7

It's Pearl Harbor day. A day to remember all the fine service men and women who died in the attack that day. To remember those who went to war in the Pacific because of the attack. And those who lost their lives in the years following. There are, I hope, things to be learned from that event. Stories to be told. Lives to be remembered. God bless and keep all WWII vets and their families.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dec. 6

The internet is acting up today. It is funny how electronics are as moody as people. Is it because we created them or is it that everything in creation is moody even electricity? Hmmm.

We have snow- over five inches and more coming down now. There are coyote tracks running behind the house and opossum and raccoon tracks in the front of the house. All the night critters get found out when it snows. It does look pretty at night when all the Christmas lights get turned on and glitter against the white.

Happy Monday, my friends. Stay warm. Cheers~

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dec. 3

This morning I read an article on yahoo about cancer caused by common tech device radiation. When they say cell phones are safe, they are talking about studies done in the 1990's when far fewer people had cell phones, and men certainly didn't wear cell phones on their hips like they do now. People didn't place laptops on their pelvis for hours. In truth, cell phones held for hours near the head cause ginoma's- brain tumors. Too much exposure to wireless and dirty electricity can cause heart arrhythmia, diabetes, leukemia, etc. We are in essence killing ourselves with technology.
Here's some tips: Don't let children under the age of 6 use a cell phone or a wireless landline. (Those cordless phones in your home have a base that acts like a personal cell tower shooting off radiation than a cell phone.) Little children's brains soak up more radiation. Get a landline with a corded phone. You can use long cords if you want to walk around. Turn off your home's wireless modem at night. Your wifi modem is constantly giving off signal. Turn off the wifi feature on your laptop if you are not online. If you are like my dd and sleep with your phone, turn off the wifi feature when using the phone as an alarm clock, a game system, a movie player or music player.
Also, you know those wonderful environmentally sound curled florescent light bulbs- recycle them immediately and replace with LED bulbs or regular bulbs. Those florescent bulbs give off dirty electricity that is known to aggravate diabetes, heart arrhythmia's, and cause paranoia and other behavior issues. True scientific fact.
My mother always said this when I was growing up. She worked with developmentally disabled kids and she said the fluorescent lights in schools were bad for those kids. Turns out they are bad for us all.
Never in human history have we been bombarded with so much electricity and radiation over a lifetime. These are small simple steps you can take to lower your exposure. Cheers~

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dec. 2

Cold and clear today. The geese have all left for warmer areas. The giant flocks of birds have swarmed off with the most recent cold front. The weather guys are talking temps in the single digits. If I were a bird, I'd leave, too. Winter has come, although the solar winter doesn't start for another 19 days.
I have a new craft project. I have decided to attempt to knit little dog some leggings. Yes, you can laugh. But when she goes out in the snow she gets stubborn snowballs that cling to her legs. If I can knit her leggings and put them on her before she goes out, then when she comes in the snow balls will get pulled off with the leggings. Wish me luck~ :D

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dec. 1

Welcome to December, my friends. We have snow, right on cue. Big fat flakes that blow around. I hope they don't add up to anything. They aren't supposed to add up to anything. I'm not ready to shovel. I hope where ever you are, you are safe and warm.
I managed to get the work for hire piece sent off yesterday. Now it's back to the cozy mystery I am writing while I wait for my agent to okay the new thriller.
We got our first Christmas card in the mail yesterday. I guess I need to start writing notes and addressing mine. :D
How is your work going? Cheers~

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nov. 30

How is your creative work going? Did you do NaNoWriMo? Did you accomplish a lot? Was it fun? What did you learn?
I did not do NaNo- but this month I wrote three partials. One went to my agent and, today. I plan on sending the second one out. The third I plan on writing a full before sending it out.
For next semester of school, I need to read a book and critique pages for the workshops in January. There is a lot of creative work going on here. Most of it is fun. Some is work, but that is the way it goes with any job.
What are you planning for December? Are you taking time off or charging full speed ahead?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nov. 29

It's late Monday. What a holiday week. My parents came and went. My kids were here. The men left for their annual hunting trip. This morning I took my darling daughter back to her school. I am left with a deadline and school work and a bunch of leftovers in the fridge. But that is the best kind of holiday, isn't it? We had a lot of fun, talking, laughing, playing board games, and eating too much. My only complaint is the rental car I rented for the weekend reeked so badly of cigarettes. I put in four vent odor eliminators- only to get that weird fresh cigarette scent you used to find in hotel rooms. Bleh. I complained. Got a free upgrade on my next rental. I can still smell it in my hair and on my coat. (Yes, I'm one of those complainers. lol)
Please tell me how your holiday went, inquiring minds want to know. Cheers~

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another recipe-Black Forest Brownie Pecan Pie

Oh My Goodness- this one is good and not hard to make- and I made a coconut crust so it is gluten free, for those who have wheat/gluten sensitives.
2 cups shredded coconut
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup light or dark corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate chopped into pieces
3 tablespoon butter
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 21 ounce can of cherry pie filling
Whipped cream

Heat over to 350 degrees F. Toss 3 tablespoons of melted butter with coconut until well blended. Pat in a round 8 inch cake pan. Place in oven and bake crust for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly browned.
Combine corn syrup, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add chocolate pieces and butter to syrup mixture, stirring until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.
Pour chocolate mixture slowly over eggs, stirring constantly. Add vanilla and pecans;mix well. Place pan with crust on a baking sheet or pizza pan for stability. Pour mixture into crust.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 50 minutes, until the center of the pie is slightly puffed; cool at least one hour.
To serve, top each slice of pie with about 1/4 cup of cheery pie filling and a dollop of whipped cream.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pistachio cookies

In honor of the holiday I thought I'd post the recipe for chocolate chip, pistachio cookies. They are easy to make and look fancy.

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 package (3 1/2 oz) of instant pistachio pudding
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 teaspoons shortening

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. In large bowl beat the cookie ingredients until well blended. If necessary refrigerate dough for up to 45 minute for easier handling.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. With thumb make imprint in the center of each cookie. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes until edges are light golden brown. Cool.
In small bowl, combine all filling ingredients until smooth. Spoon teaspoonful into center of each cookie.
In small saucepan over low heat melt glaze ingredients, stirring constantly. Drizzle over each filled cookie.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nov. 23

Here in the states we do have dramatic weather and yesterday was no exception. Oddly enough the warning sirens went off here around eleven am., telling everyone to "take cover now!" But according to the radar there was very little weather in the area. Only the gray dripping warmth of a front that had passed through. By 4:30 p.m., we had tornadoes to our west, to our south and to our north, but of course, no sirens. The lack of sirens was because the severe weather missed us by ten or twenty miles. What we got was darkness, wind, and rain. As I was watching the weather unfold-two towns were badly damaged and a school bus overturned-(six kids inside were banged up but safe), I saw that there were blizzard warnings in the Rocky Mountains and across the northern plains. It was almost as if Spring had come. But no, we are decidedly into the winter season. It is cold and clear here today. The sun shines, mocking yesterday's weather performance.
If you are keeping a season/weather notebook for your writing, please note that no matter the season, you can have any weather you want. You simply have to make it believable. Oh, and keep weather notes nearby in case your copy editor wants to quibble.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nov. 22

It rained last night and now the bare trees all look like they are covered in diamonds because the fat drops are clinging to them and sparkling in the morning light. It is a pretty sight for Monday morning. This week is a holiday week here in the US. Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. I have family coming in starting tomorrow night and I can't wait. Do you have big holiday plans? Are you traveling? If so, stay safe. The most important thing, though, is to know that something will go wrong- it always does. But I think it helps make the holiday more human. Okay, off to write- then my favorite-start baking. Cheers~

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nov. 19

I admit that I have issues with Amazon - I call it the evil empire. But then Google wants to upload all books for free reads without regard to copyright. So they are all evil. LOL. But today I went to check out a friend's wonderful new book cover and I saw her Amazon author page. It made me sigh and think, fine, I should get one of those. Perhaps link a blog to Amazon. Get with the program. Keep up with the technology. Make sure I can be found everywhere on-line. Except-here's the deal. Everyone can be found every where on line... The more places I add to my on-line presence. The fewer numbers of hits each page gets. In other words. There are only so many readers looking for me on-line. When I first joined Facebook and Twitter my web site hits tripled, but the longer I'm on these social networks, the lower my hits go. People go there and not here. Internet marketing is a very wild animal. I know a debut writer who used twitter to get to know booksellers and set up a book tour. But my books are found on-line and in libraries-so that is a wash for me. Facebook is fun and creates a "family" feeling-but of the 2,500 "friends" only 102 "fan" me. Where do you go to visit your favorite authors? Authors, where do you find the most buyers?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nov. 18

My father, Ted, used to raise show rabbits when I was a kid. He was a judge and kind of a big deal in the community. He read my blog on e-books. The one where I explained the realities of everyone who writes a book self publishing and mid list authors putting up back lists. The one where I mentioned the only way to make money on e-books is to stand out in the crowd-such as already being a best seller or somehow managing to get the best seller word of mouth going. My father e-mailed me after reading that blog and said that FYI "Kindle" means a litter of rabbits. Which is kind of apropos, don't you think? Imagine a litter of rabbits each having a litter every thirty days. Which ones do you buy? And why?
What I find most interesting is, if you pay attention, the non bestsellers claiming to make money on e-books are making money by convincing people they too can make money in e-books. "Read my books and see..." is their slogan.
It would be nice if every book sold. It would be great if everyone's hard work paid off. But there are real market reasons for editors, publishers and marketing departments. I don't think they are going anywhere. Keep writing my friends, for you, for your muse and for those who enjoy the story. Cheers~

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nov. 17

I'm not big on tabloids or following celebrity gossip. I don't know who the latest reality stars are or why I should care, but --you knew there was a but coming, didn't you? --I find it kind of creepy that Prince William gave his newly minted fiance his mother's engagement ring. Consider all it stands for. The hype of a fairy tale that a 19-year-old woman fell for, marrying a prince who was far from a prince and as is tradition in royalty didn't really want to marry her but did it for God and Country. The disaster that played out across the world stage. Her untimely's all too creepy. William is playing it up as representing his mother and the good works she did. But to me it's sad.
My advice to anyone who dreams of marrying a prince, read your history. It's not pretty. At least this girl appears to be going into this thing with her eyes wide open. I wish the press would do the same, but that's not what readers want. Is it?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nov. 16

We have reached the time of year in the great white north when its dark even when the sun is out. The shadows are long like a late summer's evening even though it's nearly noon. The biggest flocks of birds have already passed through. The morning frosts have pushed the insects into hibernation. There are a few stragglers, of course, there always are, but they huddle in the spots where the sun hits the house. The wind blows cold and smells of the snow that it has already deposited west of us. We, humans, fill the darkness with holiday lights and meals that cook all day, lending warmth and comforting scents to drive away the darkness. Happily in only six weeks the darkness will have its day and the light will slowly return to bring us hope and warmth and new birth. Cheers~

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nov. 15

We've hit the midpoint of yet another month. I have discovered that time is not going faster, I am the one who has slowed an older computer it takes me longer to get going. I remember ten years ago I went to a conference with friends who were ten years older than me. I could not believe how slow they were. Being with them was like entering a time bubble where everything moved in slow motion. Now I find time goes by faster than it should. I think that means I have entered my own time bubble. But then, perhaps, it's not age but the fact that I live and work in my head where the stories are. When I stop and pop back to real life, I blink and think- "wow, what happened to the time?"
Or so, I tell myself anyway. LOL. Does time effect your writing?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nov. 12

The word is that Google is signing agreements with publishers to offer e-books for sale. They will have a format readable on everything but the Kindle (Amazon's proprietary reader.) The New York Times announced they would start listing an e-book best seller list. Some authors are evangelizing that the e-book revolution is here! Authors can self publish and make money hand over fist. Except- um... no. Reality check, millions want to be writers. If 10 percent finish a book that's what 100,000? So 100,000 books go up for sale on the web. How do you get buyers to buy your book-to pick your story out of 100,000? Imagine the library. (Most libraries don't have even close to 100,000 books in their four walls.) What books do people check out the most? Authors they know. Authors that make the hard cover NYT bestseller list. So, guess which authors are selling 20 or 30 percent e-books? Yep the big names splashed across Oprah and the Times. Guess which authors will make the NYT e-book list? hmmm.
In truth the sad state of affairs is that bookstores are disappearing. Shelf space is diminishing and many good, solid authors, who never made the Bestseller list, but have a following are being let go. That shelf space is only for the big sellers. Many mid-list authors are pushed into e-books-so, yay, for a venue for these wonderful artists. But e-books don't pay advances. In fact they pay in approximately $.70 increments. So, how does a midlist author make a living? By e-publishing every book they've ever written...To put this in prospective I've written 50 complete manuscripts and published ten. So let's say every author who has published ten now puts 50 up for sale. What happens to the 100,000? It goes up exponentially. The sad truth is that you have to e-publish a lot to make money, but the more you e-publish the more competition there is and you spread the buyers' dollars thinner. Thus there will be less money to make. Can anyone say vicious circle?
Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that there is a new place to sell wonderful books that publishers' marketing departments rejected because it didn't fit the statistical model of a strong seller. I think it's great to hear so many new and old wonderful voices. But don't let anyone drag you down the fairy path that there is fame and fortune to be had in e-books.
A friend said that writing is like a gold rush. A lucky few stumble onto a solid vein and get rich quick. But the only people really making the money are the people who sell the tools and groceries. I'm not saying don't live your dream. I'm simply asking that you live it with your eyes wide open. (It breaks my heart to see writers on Facebook and Twitter write: "Please buy my book. I need the money.")

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nov. 11

Happy Veteran's Day to all who are serving and all who serve their country. War or no war you put your life on the line for people you don't even know. That's a big thing. I know you didn't do it for the pay. LOL


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nov. 10

Do you judge a book by its cover? I think we all do. We can't help it. Certain colors attract us. Certain images attract us. There are people who buy books based on author name whether they like the topic or not. Then there are the back blurb readers, the front inside flap readers and those dreaded end of the book readers. As authors we have control of the blurbs, usually. But no control over the covers. We have to trust the art department and the judgement of editors. Book sales are not usually about the book but the way it is presented. Knowing this, I've changed book titles and changed sales pitches and tried again when a book gets rejected. Sometimes it works. The unfortunate truth is, it isn't always the book that's rejected, but the cover or the way its sold.
Readers, how do you pick a book? Writers, have you ever changed the way you pitched a story and started again?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nov. 9

The view from my window certainly looks cold. All the trees are bare. The sky is that painfully bright blue of cold air. The angle of the sun is such that long shadows stay the entire day. The lake dark blue and covered with geese. But the windows are open. Its balmy out~ well for the great, white, north in November it's balmy. LOL Just another point that looks can be deceiving and when taking notes for your scene setting-the weather isn't always "average."

How's the writing going? Cheers~

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nov. 8

For those of you who experience the time change, does it work for you or does it mess you up? It plays havoc with the poor animals who don't understand having to wait longer for dinner. It messes with the amount of light in my life and makes me sad. It gets dark here at 4:45 pm. It will continue to get dark earlier and earlier until the end of next month. Studies have shown that more heart attacks happen when time change occurs. So, why do we do it? Supposedly it's good for business. Daylight savings time means longer evening hours and therefore more time to shop. If that's the case, why do we switch back to standard time at all? Why not make DST the standard time and be done with it? Thoughts?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Nov. 5

I manage to write yesterday. I have no idea if it's even in English, lol, but I put words down on paper. I had hoped to nap but the nose spray has steroids in it and so, I'm awake. I see on facebook and twitter writers putting up massive numbers of words-up to 7,000 for the contest. Good for them. I wonder if, at the end of November, they ever edit, revise and send the book out? That's the next step. It's a step many writers are scared to take. As long as the book is done and in your computer, you can say-huzzah! I am the greatest. :D But then sending it out and getting rejected and perhaps a revision letter-what a let down-still that is an important step to getting published. So, if your goal is to be published-then don't forget to send it out. If your goal is simply to write books, then enjoy doing that.
Have a happy weekend my friends. Cheers~

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nov. 4

I've been whining about being sick for two days now-twitter, facebook, maybe even here. I can't remember. I don't know what day it is. Stupid, stupid head cold. I'm still attempting to write 1,000 words a day. Should be piece of cake, right? But no, am fighting through the pain of feeling as if I'm punched in the face, the nausea of the room spinning. I woke up dreaming the room was spinning. Bleh. I saw the doctor yesterday. He did not think it was funny when I told him I was hoping to cancel the appointment due to sickness but the family wouldn't let me. Sigh. He says, we'll try to manage the symptoms-so decongestant, nose spray, lots of fluids and time. Time, that's the killer. I have an end of the month deadline. I don't have time for headaches and spinning rooms.
Okay, enough whining. I promise to stop as it really changes nothing. :D It's just the spinning room thing is new to me. If this is how other people feel when they get sick, then I've not been nice enough to them. Cheers my friends and may whatever this is, skip you and your household.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nov. 3

It's one of those perfect November days~ cold and rainy and dark. I expect to smell turkey roasting and to hear football on TV. Today is enrollment day for the Spring semester for my MA. It is my last full semester and I am ready. Someone teased me and said I have senior-it-est. Perhaps. When you know you are this close to the end of a big project, you simply want to be done. It's that way with writing a novel sometimes. Although others slow down toward the end because they aren't ready to give their characters up.

Which is it for you? Ready to finish or not wanting to let go? Cheers~

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nov. 2

We had thick frost this morning. The entire world was painted white. The lake steamed in the early morning light. Geese formed pairs of dark outlines floating in and out of the mist on the water's horizon. A train whistle echoed in the heavy quiet. Then the sun rose high enough to melt the frost and more birds came out adding their song to the morning. Fall is preparing Winter's bed. I'm not ready! :D


Monday, November 1, 2010

Nov. 1

We had a great turnout of kids this year~ close to 100. We gave away 5 bags f candy totally 80-95 pieces each. I like to give at least two pieces. Some of the kids had more candy in their bags than we had in the house. Crazy! Sugar is not cheap in today's market, but, with a down economy, it is fun to give little costumed children a couple of pieces of candy each and feel as though you have a million bucks. :D

This month many writer friends are attempting NaNo~ a race to see if you can write 50,000 words in 30 days. I've never done the contest, but I have written that much in two weeks when an editor surprised me and asked for a full. So, I know what it's like and I'm cheering you all on.

I was surprised to get a rejection letter in the mail on Saturday. No, there were no sad feelings. I had sent in this query and partial in July 2007--yes, 2007-- and so had long ago written it off as a rejection. It was a well written rejection-not a form rejection. She really liked the chapters and my writing, but her list was full. (Funny but she was desperate for this type of story 3 years ago...) Such is the fickle finger of fate in the publishing world. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. If she had bought that book, I would not be writing what I'm writing today. I may have not gone for my MA. So, there you have it. Life in all it's wonderful interesting curves.
How was your weekend?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Oct. 29

This is my last post in October. This weekend is Halloween. Do you have a costume? Do you dress up for the kids when you hand out candy? Last year I went as a 1960's housewife. Perhaps this year I'll put rollers in my hair, a big fat bathrobe and fuzzy slippers... cold cream on my face. Now that would be comfortable and scary. LOL

Do you like to tell scary stories? I do. I have to admit I love an audience and when I can make that audience's eyes grow wide and give them a shiver it makes me happy. Hmmm, maybe it's a good thing I'm moving toward the mystery thriller genre.

Happy Halloween, my friends! cheers~

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oct. 28

Happy, happy birthday to my sister, Kathi. May this be your best day and best year ever!!

For the last two days there was something I thought would be good to talk about on this blog, but then I'd forget until I posted and I'd think, well, okay, I'll write about it tomorrow. Then forget again. Today I remembered there was something--but can't remember what. Sigh. Does this happen to you? It's CRS disease- can't remember stuff- (I say it nicely.)

I want to take a moment and say congrats to all the Wild Rose Press Authors who are Eppie finalists (Linda Kage is one of them. Yay!). I am not a member of EPIC and I forget about this contest. Although I think that contests can be a great use of PR cash, (They get books in readers hands and if you final or win you can post it on your site and on your books.) I forget about them. Did I mention CRS? LOL. Mostly I'm too busy writing the next novel. Maybe one of my new year goals should be to set up a contest/PR calendar that beeps me when deadlines come up. What do you think. Do you have this kind of thing? Cheers~

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oct. 27

If you were part of the giant storm that literally tore through the Midwest yesterday, I hope you are safe and your power restored. All is safe here, except for my porch mums, which got tossed about and rolled around. Poor flowers have had a tough year.
Still windy today although we have sunshine. The huge flocks of song birds seem to have moved on south, but there is a handful of geese on the lake this morning. Nearly all the leaves are gone. Only one or two tough ones are still clinging so this year's Fall colors lasted a glorious two weeks before mother nature decided she'd had enough.
How's the weather where you are? How's the writing going? Inquiring minds want to know. Cheers~

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oct. 26

We are blowing away in the wind today. I've been lucky with only wind and rain. So far we still have power and no tornado warnings, although many others in the Midwest are feeling this giant storm. Thank goodness it's not cold enough to be snow or it would be crazy blizzard conditions.
I have managed to turn in all my homework for the semester. I still await pages from my group to critique and may need to do an end-of-term eval, but the hard part is mostly over. I'm working on a thriller partial for my agent. I have an idea for a cozy mystery I want to partial and send her and yesterday I received an opportunity to audition to write for a co-op. So, I have three fifty page partials to write in the next two months and if all goes well, three full manuscripts to write this Spring. Wouldn't that be fun? :D


Monday, October 25, 2010

Oct. 25

Happy, happy birthday to my nephew, Jared. Hope you have a great day and the best year ever. (Lots of birthdays this week in my family.) October and July seem to be favorite birthday months.

I'm working away on the MA deadline stuff. So far have turned in five papers on books I read-including one research book on the genre. Plus two 20 page critiques I did for my school partners. Now I have 20 pages of story to send out to the school partners and the end of the story to work on and send out to my mentor along with a self eval for the semester. Taking a deep breath in and blowing out calmly. :D

Hope your day is grand. Tell me how your weekend was~because procrastinating on the internet is good for my mental health. Cheers~

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oct. 22

Since it's Friday and I don't blog on weekends, I would like to wish my Grandma a happy birthday. She turns 91 on Sunday. She likes to say, "Who knew people lived this long?" LOL

What are your weekend plans? I'll be working on homework, since the end of semester is next Weds. I have all the rough drafts done. Now I'm editing and editing, and editing. There's a lot to edit. Cheers~

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oct. 21

The new lap top arrived. I love the fact that all I had to do was plug my printer in and it was installed. Wow- before I had to go online, find the drivers, download them, and install the thing-several times. Seriously, all I did was plug it in and it was ready to print. I did a test print because I could not believe it was that easy. Another cool thing is the lap top has a finger print reader instead of a password to open it. I simply swipe my finger over it and it starts. No more reading books while I wait for the thing to boot.
The only downside is that the key board is different. There is a column to the left of tab, caps lock, shift, control. So that I tend to hit caps lock instead of "a" - and when I go for "control c" I get a calculator. LOL. must retrain my fingers to not reach so far.
So far Windows 7 is intuitive- although I'm still trying to figure out how to do the cool snappy thing that lets you see two documents side by side. If you work in Mac, you've been able to do this a long time. Anyway- that's my experience so far. Cheers~

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oct. 20

I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new lap top. Yes, I did cave and buy new. This one is impossibly slow and when I discovered there is more memory in the little memory sticks than in my current lap top, I knew it was time. The trouble with buying new is that I will have to learn windows 7, plus download drivers to install my current printer, plus download my browsers since I hate IE. Reload all my files for my books and pictures. In the end it will be worth it not to have to wait 45 minutes for my computer to decide it will let me get on line. And when I type in Word to actually see the words as I type and not wait for the pause and hiccup that sometimes scrambles sentences. Change is good. Right? (Wish me luck.) Cheers~

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oct. 19

I write a lot of everything. Whatever kind of story tickles my fancy. Some people hate this. They shake their heads and say- no, you can't develop a loyal brand that way. Your readers will want only one thing out of you. Fine. If readers are indeed so fickle as to expect only romance from me, I'll write with a pen name. Why not? Branding is a funny thing for writers. James Patterson took his name and created a brand that now works in every genre from childrens' books to romance to thrillers. He started slow-sure. He uses other writers to write the books-sure. But hey, if your work isn't taking off in one genre and you can write another- I say try it. What do you have to lose? If Stephen King hadn't changed genres he'd have never gotten to be so well known. Sometimes prevailing wisdom doesn't work for an individual. If it's not working for you- try doing your own thing and see what happens. After all, we never know where life and the market will take us next. Cheers~

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oct. 18

It is amazing to me how quickly the weeks go by. Tomorrow it will be time again to write the weekly craft blog. I've been doing it for years and I'm no longer certain I have 52 craft subjects in me a year. I do some reviews of books and movies, but with my MA homework taking up most of the time I don't get a lot of good reading or movie watching done. Perhaps I'll close that blog down at the first of the year. I know other bloggers have authors and friends blog on certain dates-it helps the authors to get the word out on their books (blog tours) and keeps the blogger from figuring out what the heck a reader wants for 52 or more times out of the year. Magazines have calendars for what their monthly subjects are to keep their readers engaged. But then again they are monthly features with 12 ideas a year. Still they tend to recycle the information with a new face in front of it. How many times have you seen some celebrity give fitness or diet tips? How many times are their also pictures of gorgeous desserts and recipes included? :D
Blogger friends- what do you think? How do you come up with topics to keep readers coming back?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oct. 15

I want to thank the wonderful L. Diane for presenting me with the "Go away I'm writing" blog award. And in turn I'd like to pass it on to Linda Kage, Judy Croome, and Rosalind Adam.

One of my twitter friends, Kori Rockwell, asked for my chocolate chip pumpkin muffin recipe. So, for you, Kori, and all my dear blogging friends:

Choco Chip Pumpkin Muffins:

3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
Mix together and make a well. Then add:
1 cup of veggie oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups pumpkin
2/3 cup cold water
4 beaten eggs
Mix well. then add:
6 oz. chocolate chips and, if desired, 1 cup chopped nuts, 1/2 cup flaked coconut

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Place in 350 oven for 20 min. Makes between 18 and 24 muffins depending on size.
Can also make 2 large loaves, and or 8 small loaves if you desire. I make muffins and loaves.
Once baked, these can be frozen to enjoy later.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oct. 14

I'm reading a research text on the mystery genre for my Masters program. I am pleased and surprised to see that I included components in my book that are in all the "best" mysteries. I did it without knowing I was doing it. I tend to do that a lot in my writing. I stumble upon stories as I write. Only after they are finished do I find that yes, there were actually gypsies in that part of England at that time. Or two dead bodies are better than one in a mystery. Some people are able to understand these elements and strategically place them in stories. Meanwhile, I'm winging it and discover only later I managed to do something the "right" way.
I don't try to change this. Why? Because I have no talent for strategy. The perfect example of this is scrabble. The words, well, I know I can come up with those, but seeing the placement on the board where I'll get double and triple points- lost on me. sigh. It's one of those things you must accept and move on. But it is cool to discover when you do something right.
Do you write strategically?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oct. 13

I have the most spectacular view today. The sky is bright blue at the dome, then tapers down to white and then dark gray as this morning's rain disappears to the east. The sun over head illuminates the yellows and reds of the fall. The dampness darkens the branches so they are black against the light filled leaves in shapes of oak and maple and elm. The lake is dark gray and softly rippling. Leaves float on the surface like boats for crickets and tiny frogs. The grass is buried beneath the color of leaves that met their end in the wind and rain of the passing storm. The air smells fresh of rain and loam warmed by the sun. A few geese nap on the lake. Late robins call and pluck at the seeds and ornamental cherries. Fat brown squirrels leap from branch to branch playing in the sunlight and long shadows. We are all aware of what will come soon enough. So for now, we enjoy the crystal sunlight of today. Cheers~

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oct. 12

Do you ever feel as if you don't remember if you're coming or going? :D That is me. The trip to visit my sister and son was a blast. I got home late yesterday and have an afternoon appointment today that will take up most of the day. Where does writing fit into this? No where. Sigh. My hope is that tomorrow I will get back on track.
How are you doing? Do you have things interrupting your flow?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oct. 11

I am home safe after a long trip that included planes, trains, trams and automobiles. Plus walking 1.5 miles dragging my suitcase. But it was worth it to see my son and my sister and nephews. It will be good to sleep in my own bed tonight, though. How was your weekend? Did you do anything grand?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oct. 8

I'm off on a weekend trip to visit my son, my sister and many lovely friends. The plane ride in was clear and smooth. I hope that your weekend is clear and smooth and full of fun. Cheers~

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oct. 7

There is a group of bloggers who are pledging to write a blog a day for the entire month of October. They hope to hone their blogging skills and prepare them for next month's nanowrimo - another contest in which participating writers work to write as many words as possible on their current work-in-progress in the month of November.
I applaud them all. Since the advent of blogging and social networking, writers from all across the world have come together in groups such as these to encourage each other in the pursuit of their dreams. Back in the "dark ages" when I started writing, it was simply me and my typewriter which became a word processor (So cool) and finally a personal computer. Now there is so much information and encouragement out there that writers can learn faster and get farther sooner. I think this is a very good thing.
That said, it is not any easier to write. But the good news is the realization that you are not alone. Cheers~

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oct. 6

Since it is officially Fall, I updated my website and changed the design of the blog to match. I hope you like it. I'm fleshing out two new story ideas. I will begin to write one in earnest once the agent gives the okay. My other goal for this week is to get through the two books left to read and report on for the semester. Due on the 27th. So making time for that is really important as well. Next semester is all about editing the thesis. On my desk right now are the following books: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, The Chicago Manual of Style, The AP Stylebook and The MLA Handbook. If nothing else, I'm prepared.
Writers, do you have a favorite editing book? Cheers~

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oct. 5

Happy birthday to my brother-in-law, Roger. Hope your day is great.
We have sunshine here and a warm up. This morning I saw my breath when I went out to water my tomato plant. It has one small green tomato on it and I hope it makes it before the frost gets everything. I can't say if my hanging planter was a success or not. It was an odd summer with first too much rain and then too little. The plant gave me five tomatoes-six if this little green one makes it. The tomatoes were wonderful-flavorful, fresh and ripe. I think it's worth trying again next year.
Did you garden? Did you try anything new that worked for you?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Oct. 4

Welcome to Monday and a whole new month. I am hoping to put out the Halloween decorations in the next week or so. There are some fun displays in the neighborhood. I have walkway lights with orange pumpkin heads to help the kiddos see their way to the door and I have two lighted outlines of ghosts for the windows. That is the extent of my display. :)
I usually buy pumpkins for the stoop and then in Nov-cook them down and make pie. But this year I am having a battle with a chipmunk who decided under my front stairs was a good place to live and that my potted mums on the front were great for digging. Since the critter would eat the pumpkins, I thought it best not to put any out and entice him further.
What is your Halloween ritual?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oct. 1

Well, I guess this is late. hmm. Very busy day. It was a lovely day with clear blue sky and leaves turning red and yellow. Cool and bright and perfect for Fall. This weekend, though, is supposed to be cold and dark and rainy. The rain has already started. But I'm baking cookies and so all is well.
I hope you all have a safe and happy weekend. Cheers~

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sept. 30

GAH! I typed September 30- my goodness the months fly around here. A dear friend on Facebook wrote about buying all her Christmas presents. What?! I think she was visiting family soon and didn't want to ship them- okay- whew. Thinking of Christmas presents now is only good if you are hand crafting them-then yes, you need to get started. lol. Otherwise, let's leave the season for the season.
While she is thinking Christmas I am reading "The Perfect Murder" by David Lehman. It's an academic study of the "Best Mysteries Ever Written." Next semester I have to write a paper on where my thesis story fits in the genre. I'm a bit nervous about that paper as I'm so thick when it comes to figuring out things like theme and genre. But I'm learning. People can learn, right? lol. Cheers~

Oh- tomorrow's blog will be late as I have an appointment in the morning. N

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sept. 29

I have a confession to make. I am not the best promo person when it comes to promoting my books. I discovered today-a week too late- that the five heart review DREAM MAN got at The Romance Studio qualified it to be in the running for book of the week. Had I known this I would have asked you all to go vote-because readers vote on the website. And then, if it had won, I would have been featured on the front page for a week. Sigh. This is not the first time I missed something like this. When MR. CHARMING received a Top Pick award from The Long and The Short of It Reviewers- they also put it in the list to be voted on for book of the week. Again it got no votes because I didn't know and run out and tell all my readers to vote.
*slaps hand on forehead* duh!
Lol- Writer friends do you think these kinds of votes and promotions sell books? Or are the people voting the ones who have already bought books?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sept 28

The sun is shining. The sky is that clear honest blue of cold weather. The tree leaves are turning brown and yellow and red. It smells of burnt wood from a neighbor's fireplace and fallen leaves. Squash beetles are climbing in droves along the back of the house seeking out cracks to get through the winter. (I have to spray.) The geese are here. They came in on the first day of Fall, honking and whirring wings and splashes onto the lake at precisely 10 a.m. This is the fourth year in a row they have arrived. They come. The talk. They eat. They rest and within an hour they fly off. Until tomorrow when they come back at ten a.m.
Do you think they are the same geese returning every day or are we on the flight path and seeing new geese every day? Hmm, I wonder.
Hope your day is lovely! Cheers~

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sept 27

Today is this month's deadline day for my Master's program. I got things sent off- whew. I still have two books to read and write a report on before next month's deadline. Both books are sitting nearby. I read them when I have five minutes here and there. For some reason this time I am looking forward to the end of the semester. Perhaps it is because I will be 3/4 done with the program. I'm at that point in a marathon when you simply grow tired. The end is near but not near enough. It becomes a matter of mind over matter.
This happens with every novel I write as well. As much as I love it, by the time I'm on my 14th check for commas and hyphens, etc. I am done. LOL Writer friends, do you have the same problem? Cheers~

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sept. 24

I need to thank the lovely Marilyn Brant, author, with a book out next week~ Friday Mornings at Nine. She blogged about Blake Snyder and his "Save the Cat" series for screenwriters. I was intrigued and went to my handy dandy public library and reserved a copy of "Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies." It is the second book in the series. I opened it up began to read and thought- yes! This is good. This is great! I wish I had read this twenty years ago when I first started writing. Why? Because he talks about something I harp on a lot- Story. He says it's story that makes a great movie. When he first started out screenwriting he'd have a great idea and a couple of scenes in his head but couldn't sell them because he had no story. This is me. I usually get a character and a couple of scenes and launch into story as I go. This works most of the time for me but not always. Blake's book tells step by step how he takes an idea and creates a story around it. How those stories work in movie genres (which translate easily to book genres). He uses examples of well known movies such as Alien and Saving Private Ryan.
If you've never read this book, Go, get your hands on a copy. It just could change your life. Okay so that's a bit dramatic...but trust me it will serve you far better than "Self Editing for Writers." Why? Because you can always get help with commas but no one can fix a bad story.
Have you read it? Let me know what you think. Cheers~

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sept. 23

Yesterday was officially Fall. Also a full moon with Jupiter directly underneath. Someone said this wouldn't happen again for 50 years. I got to wondering if I'd be around in fifty years. What the world will be like and whether any of the troubles of today would matter then. Remember high school? All the troubles that happened then, the mistakes and humiliations, the successes. Does any of it matter now? (Unless you are still in high school, I certainly hope that none of it matters. If you are in high school keep in mind that it does end and things move on.) Its all part of living in the moment. This moment. Learning from it and doing our best to be happy.
Last night I got to see Jupiter directly underneath a full moon. That's something I have never seen before because it last happened before I was alive. How cool is that moment?
What cool moments have you had lately?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sept. 22

I logged on today to discover that my book "Dream Man" was reviewed by The Romance Studio and received a 5 heart review. The reviewer wrote, "The book grabbed my interest and held it to the very last page." I bet you can see my smile from there, can't you?
It's always wonderful to know that hard work and something I loved was appreciated by another. To read the whole review, click on the Romance Studio above.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sept. 21

I've been thinking about self sabotage. As writers we fear self sabotage as much as we fear the words you-will-never-be published. We get caught up in making decisions that our hearts don't really mean or aren't our true path because we fear that thought. The thought that if we had only done x,y,z, then we would be the next James Patterson or as successful as Nora Roberts. When we take on projects that aren't connected to our true path-our soul-then we become slave to our creativity. I knew a writer who sold four to six books a year. No, she never made the NYT list and she's not a household name. Yet, she would laugh and say she is a writing whore. She'd write anything for money. It's a business. We sit down. We write. We get paid. If that makes you happy, then go for it.
But if you find yourself miserable, chasing dreams that never come, beating yourself up constantly because you didn't use the right comma or had to many repetitive words. Then I recommend you take a step back. When other people's sales make you feel little inside and less. Take a step back. Because living miserable for years because you "should never quit or change if you want to be Nora" is a form of self sabotage. Isn't it?
Life is too short and too unpredictable to do something that makes you miserable for more than a year. So, go, today and do something that makes you happy. And know that if you are happy then you aren't sabotaging anything. Cheers~

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sept. 20

It's been rainy here and the leaves are starting to turn. It's the premiere of the Fall television season. I'm looking forward to viewing my favorite shows. The thing I don't understand is why they are all on at that same time- on the same night? I'm grateful I have a dvr which can record two shows at once while I watch a third. It's just plain silly- spread out the love people! I remember when I was a kid they would start the fall premieres with a sneak preview night of the coming Saturday morning cartoons. We'd wait up in anticipation in our jammies watching bits of what excitement was in store when the new Saturday shows started. Now with the Disney channel, Nickelodeon and the Cartoon network cartoons are on day and night. Saturday mornings are full of news shows. The anticipation is gone and perhaps a little bit of the fun of it all. What are your favorite shows and do they start this week?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sept. 17

I got my quarterly statement from my publisher yesterday. I am fascinated by the writers who say they make money hand over fist on their e-books. My last two books were offered in both electronic format and in print on demand. With the explosion in electronic book readers, the authors cry- this is where the market is. Why? Books are an impulse buy and electronic books are cheaper and instantaneous.
Now for the interesting part...I only sold one book in e-format last quarter. The majority of my books were bought in paperback. This has been true since I published in e-format. So, my data does not support claims of magic money in electronic books.
Why am I telling you this? I believe this is important information for new authors when making decisions on publishers. And yes, things are changing in the market every day, but this is the information I have right now. I thought I'd share.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sept. 16

I see that there is now a service where you can turn your blog into a book. With some cash and a few simple clicks my blog can become an e-book and be put up for sale. Oh...kay... um, why would anyone pay when they can read my blog for free? *scratches head* All The posts are here and on my craft site. Posts don't disappear you might have to search for them, but they don't disappear. So, why pay?
I was told my craft blog would sell like hotcakes-people are always looking for good write craft info. Um...but...they can read it for free.
Any other bloggers out there publishing their blog as a book? Are there actual sales involved in this? Does creating a book widen your audience? If so-how?

Inquiring minds want to know. Cheers~

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sept. 15

Having lunch today with fellow writer and debut author Joelle Charbonneau. Her fun and quirky mystery, Skating Around the Law, releases on Sept. 28th. Joelle is a singer and voice teacher and was surprised to discover she had a quirky mystery story in her. If you like small towns and roller skating rinks, you'll enjoy this mystery. (It has a hat-wearing camel in it.)
I'm looking forward to getting out of my cut off sweat pants and taking the drive down to lunch. I hope your day is just as fabulous.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sept. 14

I washed my second story windows with one of those products where you attach your hose, wet, spray and rinse. Now my window has suds marks. I swear I rinsed longer than the recommended time. Sigh. The office windows do not tilt in to be cleaned so I will have to get a ladder if I want to be rid of the suds. I think, though, that if I wait the angle of the sun will change and the suds won't be so apparent. (The lazy woman's way out.) The view from my window-once you look through the smear- is one of late Summer, early Fall. Shadows are long and the light hits the leaves in a way that makes them look like diamonds among the dark green. The only bird sounds are the crows and the doves. The migrating geese are not here yet. Perhaps in another week or two they will be landing on the lake for their ten o'clock coffee break. For the last two Falls I've been able to set my watch by their arrival and departure. It's a cool 51 degrees F and I have the windows open. The squirrels have been busy hiding food in my back yard. One of the neighbors is using their fireplace. The scent floats through the window. In the distance someone is mowing. In the suburbs someone is always mowing from the time the snow melts until it comes back.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sept. 13

Don't you think that Monday the 13th should be scarier than Friday the 13th? To me it has more logic to it- after all Friday is the start of the weekend while Monday is the start of the week. I find, though, that I have pretty good luck on a Friday the 13th, but then I'm not a Templar knight. (As I've mentioned before, they all died that day or were run off.)
I am thinking of superstitions. Writers are prone to them- just as athletes are. Why? Because no matter how good you are at your craft, how good your agent is, a lot of publishing is sheer timing and luck. Try as you might you cannot see reason or logic in our business. As a commenter on another blog said-"everyone knows if the Marketing Director is wearing a green tie, he'll say no to all... (books editors bring to the table.)"
I think this lack of logic can make you crazy. So, in my opinion, the best way to live this life is to think of yourself as water. It flows around the rock, finds the crevices and cracks and slowly shapes the world around it. More simply put- go with the flow and don't take anything too personal. And, if all else fails, be sure to wear your lucky socks. Cheers~

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sept. 10

As much as we love three day weekends I think that short weeks are confusing. It's Friday already and I still have to do my Thursday work. It makes me feel behind and scrambling to catch up. The thing about writing and working at home is that there are no boundaries. Work is always sitting right here waiting for you. There is no nine to five and no feeling of accomplishment. Kind of like housework... I think men do yard work because when you cut the grass and trim the bushes, they stay cut and trimmed for a couple of days. Job done! Let's go watch TV. While housework, dishes, cooking-never done. Thirty minutes after dinner people are looking for snacks. Someone walks in with muddy shoes and the floor is a mess. Magical dust bunnies never go away. So, there is something to be said for leaving home and going to work. At the end of the day you get to come home-job done at least for a few hours.
I wrote a blog for my Seton Hill University friend Irene Pynn on a day in the life of a published author. She said she would post it today sometime. Click on her name and see if it's up. Then you'll see what I mean. :) Have a great weekend everyone. Cheers~

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sept. 9

Oh, boy, I'm procrastinating-again. Well, at least it feels like it. I have two writing projects done and in, I have my on-going Master's thesis and I have friends bugging me to work on two, no make that three other projects I'm playing with. "Have you done it yet? Are you going to do it? How far are you?" they ask. Hmmm. I am "thinking" about it. lol Not even sure I want to do any of the projects. So am I procrastinating or have I decided to drop the projects? Just when I think I've decided to drop one a well meaning friend will tell me-"Are you sure you want to drop it? It's such a good idea..." And I'm back to wavering. Meanwhile, nothing else gets done. Maybe it's not procrastinating as much as simply a lack of commitment. "I can't commit to anything else at this time." LOL That will free me up from worrying about procrastination...wait-or is that procrastinating? I'm so lost. Does this happen to you? Any ideas how to move on? Cheers~

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sept 8

This weekend I got a 2009 movie from the library called, "A Serious Man," directed by the same guys who did "Fargo" and "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" Set in the 1967 suburbs, it is the story of a man searching for the answer to the question, "Why me, Lord?"
I laughed and laughed and cried and laughed. If you want to know what kind of dark and twisted sense of humor I have, watch this flick. For it is dark and twisted and yet absurdly real. The fact that it "feels" so real is what gives it humor and style.
To be honest, many of you may watch it and say, "I don't get it." That's okay, really. It just means your life is saner than mine. :)
I think the movie and my life are proof that God has a wonderful sense of humor. And it's a little ironic that I write this on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. Shalome my friends.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sept 7

We have cool windy weather. The kind where the sky is winter blue and the sun is bright but the shadows are long. The curtains at my window are pushed out then violently pulled back against the screen in a rhythm that makes the house appear to be breathing in great gusty breathes. The wind chimes are dancing and swaying with joy. They sit silent all summer when it's so hot the AC is on and no breeze blows, and all winter when we are stuck inside with only furnace air. But in the Spring and Fall when the windows are open and the wind blows through joyously they dance and shimmer and play their own music. It makes me smile.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sept. 6

It is Labor Day. I hope your weekend was fun filled. I spent the weekend picking grapes, then washing and sorting and cooking them down to juice. I got twenty cups of juice from our one grape vine. Then I made two batches of grape jelly and froze the last ten cups of juice. Lucky for me it was cool enough this weekend to stand over boiling pots of sugar and juice and stir without melting completely away. I've made thirty jars of jam so far this year just from our little back yard bunch of strawberries and one grape vine.
When I was growing up we didn't waste good fruit. To this day I can't do it. So when bananas get old, I make banana bread. When the strawberries and grapes come in, I make jam. I like to think of it as a way to celebrate the abundance around me.
What did you do this weekend?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sept. 3

Here in the States this is the Friday of a holiday weekend-three days to celebrate those who labor, or three days to celebrate the end of summer. I think retailers see it as three days to get you to shop, shop, shop. You have to love consumerism-not-unless you want to buy my books. (Tongue in cheek-no really, they would be good to read over a three day weekend.)
I saw Halloween candy in the stores already. Oh, and they are stocking extra isles of toys for Christmas. It isn't even officially Fall until the 23rd-that's 20 days from now. Hmmm.
I'm off to go get dd from school and bring her and her laundry home for the long weekend.
Have a great day, everyone, and a super holiday! Cheers~

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sept 2

I can't help it. I am a clean freak. I like clean spaces with minimal clutter. So, why then is my office the only room in the house that is allowed to have piles of who knows what in it? It says a lot about me, I suppose that my working mind is cluttered when I won't let the rest of my life be cluttered. Seriously, I'm constantly picking at the rest of the house to the point where I think my family believes I'm OCD. But the office is another story. My desk has a pull out drawer for typing. My laptop sits in a space on that drawer and to my left is a pile of papers topped with a book I'm reading for class and an orange stick for cuticles. The top of the desk has an empty space where I put my computer when I want to stand up. Moving clockwise left to right there is an Oprah Magazine (a gift from a friend) covered by copies of a PowerPoint presentation on characters from school, covered by a dirty dust cloth. (I mean to dust my desk top. Right.) Next to that moving up is a small bottle of children's chewable vitamins. I checked-they have the same ingredients as Stresstabs-go figure. And a nearly empty bag of peanut m&m's lying half on top of an offer for a credit card. On the corner of the desk is a self help guidebook under a book of quotes called, "Quotationary," a trade paperback novel on magicians, two hard covers of JD Robb's In Death series and yesterday's junk mail. To the left is a glass candy dish full of different colored sticky notes, a quartz crystal, a magic knot made out of red ribbon and a tiny laughing Buddha. Beside the candy dish are three paperweights- all gifts from good friends- a silver crown, a red glass heart and a glass dome with a bird inside. Moving clockwise, we get a box of tissues and a friendship angel. Then there is the battery for the laptop which I yanked out when said laptop needed to be hard started more than once. Three framed photos of my kids and a porcelain plaque in a metal holder with a flower and a butterfly and the words "nurture yourself with kindness"-also a gift from a friend. Then there is my big blotter calendar that I write everything on, a picture postcard of my favorite sculpture- entitled "The things I have to do to maintain myself" by artist Roxanne Swentzell. On top of that is a piece of scrap paper with notes written on it and two pens. A giant super bright SAD light to combast my grief at the loss of light. Finally to my right is a second drawer half open and filled with pens, markers, papers, receipts to file, fingernail clippers , glass cleaner squares, CD's and business cards.
My desk is just the beginning of the chaos that is my office. drawers hang open, tops of furniture are filled with random stacks of stuff- mostly books and papers and gifts from friends. It all begs the question, if I so love a clean uncluttered house-why then is my office such a cozy mess? Perhaps because here is where I allow myself to be creative. And creativity of all kinds is messy by nature. Or maybe by the time I get to the office I no longer care about cleaning. :D What do you think?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sept. 1

It's dark today. Little dog thinks we should go for a walk but I look out my window and see rain. It's not torrential driving rain. It is simply water falling from the sky. We need it. It has been so dry that many of the trees are dropping leaves. The banks of the lake are covered with brown leaves. It should help with the parched ground.
Maybe I'll put on my raincoat and go for that walk anyway. I bet the walk will be peaceful and the dog will shake off the wet. Then its off to the library. Rainy days are great times to pick up books and movies and enjoy the moment. What is your favorite rainy day thing to do?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31

Another month down, and the wheel of life keeps turning. There is an on-line chat tonight for the SHU MFA program that I must attend. After that the Fall semester is half over-already-but keep in mind we start in June. It's kind of nice to do most of the Fall semester in the summer when the television shows are sparse and the sunlight is longer. We get November and December off and then start up again in early January. Smart thinking on the part of the administrators who set up the program. Don't you think? cheers~

Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30

Do you do Spring cleaning? What about Fall cleaning? Why is it that all the Spring cleaning is gone by Fall? :) I usually do both. I'm looking out my window right now and the sun's rays are such that the glass looks smeary and opaque. So, time to wash the windows and the blinds so that my view out onto the world is clean and clear. It's such a pretty view I can't let it slide.
then there's the basement storage room to tackle. There is always something to keep us busy. the question becomes- what makes you happy and healthy? That is what you do to live a good life. For me, my view makes me happy-so, I'm willing to spend time ensuring that it's clear.
Is there Fall cleaning in your future? Cheers~

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27

Today's to-do list consists of four things that are due for school. Plus my daily marketing work and writing goals. Since I've started the Master's program, I've let some things slip, like my visiting other blogs and leaving comments. Blogging is a very closed community-if you don't stop in and say hi people tend to forget you. (Not you all, of course, you are such wonderful supportive loyal friends you put up with me sliding on my visits.)
I write some on my craft blog about drawing lines in the to-do list, setting boundaries, and taking care of yourself. In this business there is always someone ready to tell you that you will never be successful if you aren't doing XYZ. I think this moves along the same lines as you can never be too rich or too thin. In other words only rich, thin people are successful-only writers who do what corporations hire whole teams to do are successful.
Yeah, right. I know a lot of slightly chubby, definitely not wealthy people who are happy and I think that being happy is a true sign of success.
Am I digressing? My point being that I'm ignoring the perfectionist devil who jumps up and down at ear level berating me for what I don't do and instead create a to-do list based on the priorities for my happiness and well-being. Sometimes that means other things go by the wayside. And that's okay. So, here's to happiness and to-do lists that help you find it. Have a great weekend, everyone! cheers~

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26

I got my Masters deadline in for this month. I still have to critique my school chums work. Critiquing is part of the program. You need to learn how to look at a work critically and leave important comments in an encouraging manner. Where I struggle is that one never knows what the editor and publisher is going to think. You can say, oh, they never allow this kind of writing or point of view and, wham! a book will be published with just such a thing in it. It's a subjective business. For example Stephen King has come out publicly saying Stephanie Meyers writing is not up to par-and yet, she is multi-published and making money hand over fist... So I struggle with critiquing. I'm not the kind of copy editor who can find all the missing comas so that's out. Which leaves me with one thing, what I feel as a reader. Whether that is helpful or not is hit and miss. It's an interesting dilemma, isn't it? Cheers~

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 25

This month's school deadline is two days away and staring me down. I usually make the changes from the month before-based on comments from my mentor and critique partners. Then double and triple check my month's entry and send it on it's way. I realized that I'm behind on my reading all ready. So I am feeling a little pressure. I'm not taking the extra classes that the MFA students take. So I can't complain. Still I wish I knew what happen to time. It used to move so slowly-now, I can barely keep up. :) Cheers~

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24

The view from my window is the soft slow birth of Fall. We have 78 degree F temps so I have the windows open. The curtains move in and out as the house breathes the air. It is still warm enough to make the bugs lethargic and yet cool enough that the pounding whine of the air conditioners have stopped briefly. Cicadas keep up a constant chorus rising and falling while small birds flit and call. The geese are flocking, flying overhead in the classic V shape which means they are heading south before the weather turns. Some of the tree leaves are turning yellow and red- not enough to call it Fall- but enough to notice the stress of summer and the change in the light of the sky. The sky is still the hazy blue of summer with soft puffy clouds reflected on the rippling water of the lake. But it is dark now in the early morning and the sun sets sooner. The angle of its rays growing longer. We have moved from fresh strawberries to blueberries and now to melons. Soon it will be crisp apples, pumpkins and other Fall fruits. In my opinion the seasons are one of God's gifts to us mere mortals. To remind us that in the darkest Winter comes the Spring and the hottest Summer comes the Fall. Enjoy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23

First off- a very big Happy Birthday to my Mom. Her birthday was yesterday but I don't blog on Sunday. So am sending my wishes here today. I hope that you ate lots of cake and that this year coming up is your best year ever! Love you~
If you have been following me, you know that I have been painting our fence. I started over Memorial Day weekend when the kids were still in school. Now the kids are back in school and I was still painting last week. But Huzzah!! I finished painting yesterday. I am doing a happy snoopy dance- as best I can all bruised and battered with painter's elbow that won't let me lift a drinking glass without pain and many itchy bug bites. But I did it! In a way it was like writing a book-long, and hard and painful. I battled rain and blistering heat. Mosquitoes and spiders and toads also made themselves known. Then there were the birds and the squirrels and whatever else that was threatening me with harm from their hidden vantage point in the woods. (I could hear them chattering) Still I did it! Here are the pictures to prove it. Now for a nice cold drink and a long slow swing. Cheers~

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 20

Try, try again--I started this blog and was typing away when I moved my lap top to a more comfortable position, forgetting of course, that I took the battery out and had it on power cord only. Wham. Cord popped out and all was lost. Perhaps what I was saying wasn't so important after all. :)
Sorry about missing yesterday's blog. I thought I had written one, but it either didn't post or didn't get written. Most likely it was the didn't get written part. Thanks to my Dad who pointed out the blog was missing. Thanks to everyone for the positive thoughts on sending my last child off on their own. You know, I don't feel old enough. Yet my younger cousins remind me all the time that they are grandparents many times over. sigh.
In my head I'm still 29 struggling with writing, reading and raising my kids. As my Grandma keeps telling me, it goes by fast.
Have a great weekend everyone! Cheers~

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18

Tomorrow I won't post a blog because I'll be taking my darling daughter (dd) to college. Very exciting, big day complete with an in total five hour drive. The last thing I'll want to do when I get home is to sit down at the computer. :D
I know many people who are taking their kids to school this week. Some are seeing them off to preschool or kindergarten for the first time, some to college. All big steps for both the parent and the children. Emotions run high for both parents and kids as any kind of change no matter how welcome and fun is stressful. Know that I'm thinking of you and you are not alone.
For those readers lucky enough not to notice that anything is different in the next few weeks, I hope your weather is cooler and you slow down when driving through school zones.
I'll try not to be too melancholy when I post on Friday about how awesome it is to live in a house with no kids...
;) Cheers~

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 17

Some days I'm here and on the ball, other days things get away from me. Today got away from me. So this post is late. That's what happens when you are driving people from here to there and back. Part of the job of being a member of a family. Families make great subjects for books from romance to mystery to fantasy and YA. They are the foundation of human story. So when you are stumped for inspiration or conflict, take a peek at the family surrounding you. You'll be surprised what pops up. :) Cheers~

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16

Once again the month is half over. School starts for many college and younger kids this week. Wow- summer flew by. How has it been for you so far? Are you reaching any of your goals?
One of my goals was to read more. *cough, cough* I have read three books this summer. sigh. I used to read six books a week. I wanted to see more movies. It started off well with five or six a week from the library but that sort of stopped as well. They say it takes six weeks to form a new habit. Maybe if I start this week, I'll have better habits by October. What do you think?

Friday, August 13, 2010

August 13

Oh, Friday the 13th, dun, dun, daaaa. :) As long as you're not a Templar Knight I think you're all right. I believe the bad luck of Friday the 13th came because that was the day the Catholic Church destroyed the Templar Knights. Now the curse sort of has a life of its own as billions of people around the world know or have heard that it is a "bad" luck day.
I have always found it to be a good luck day. A writer friend of mine got married on the 13th because she felt like the number 13 is good luck for her. She celebrated 25 years this year.
So, I wish for you all the best of luck today and always. Do you have any Friday the 13th stories?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 12

Yesterday's trip went well and a good time was had by all. Sometimes getting out and about and interacting with others can help a writer become more focused and creative. While I love the quiet of my house and garden, it is not good to remain here without any outside world connections. For instance if I didn't meet author Marin Thomas for lunch at the mall, I would never remember that people are mall walkers. They wear sturdy shoes, tie ID pouches around their waists and walk laps with fierce determination as quickly as possible. There's a story there. If I didn't drive along the highway I wouldn't see that some of the trees are already turning red while others are being killed by fungus or bugs and have brown curling leaves. I wouldn't notice the signs that say "next three miles cleaned by..." all things that can spark a story or a character.
I hope that you have the chance to get out a bit and take in the character of the season and the people in it. Cheers~

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10

I'm out running around today, being a lady who lunches. LOL I am meeting author Marin Thomas for lunch and a gab fest. It is good to get out of the house.
I hope your day is filled with moments of happiness.
Oh, tomorrow, there will be no blog as I will be traveling to have lunch with my Grandmother. It's a busy week which is fine since most of publishing shuts down in the month of August.


Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9

So this weekend one of the major New York publishing houses (that has been used by certain authors to prove they are "better" writers than small press authors) announced it would no longer sell mass market paper back books and instead would sell electronic books and print on demand trade size paperback (just like The Wild Rose Press.) Wow- what a hit to those writer's collective egos. Now they are no different than many small press authors. The world is changing and I think to define a book as "better" then another by who the publisher is isn't valid any more. Very soon defining a "better" book by the New York Times or USA Today best seller lists will also go away as more and more books will be bought on-line and/or downloaded electronically. The best seller lists do not take into account books sold on-line, or electronically or even books sold at Walmart or book clubs or grocery stores. Right now someone can sell 800 copies and hit the NYT best seller list while another person sells 42,000 copies and doesn't. Crazy right? That will eventually go away as the market place changes and someone develops a new way of calculating which books sell best.
Anyway, I think it will be interesting to see what happens next. Cheers~

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6

Oh, my, I have become cranky these days. lol. There were four chats available at SHU-one of the chats was on writing fast so I popped over. It was full of people complaining about finding time to write, getting writing done at all, the teacher gave a perfect example of how to increase your writing day by day-and they complained. "Yes, but what if I can't?" "What if I don't find the time..." yadda, yadda. I actually became impatient and checked out of the chat. Writing is hard work. It's a tough business. Yes, we all procrastinate and sometimes hit walls of indifference-but my cranky brain said-you either write or you don't. It's too hard to make it if you do write. If you can't even motivate yourself to write a page a day-then get out. Stop whining. The only way to be a writer is to write and even then there is never any guarantee you'll be published and even published there is not guarantee you'll sell through. If you can't get started then move on to something you want to do. There is no sense in wasting your time and the time of those who are in the business.
Huh- cranky rant done. LOL. I do think that sometimes we as writers are too nice. There is only so much help you can give a person. After that-they have to actually do the work.
Do you agree? Have a great weekend. Cheers~

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 5

Was out running around this morning so my post is late. How are you? We have hot, cloudy and stormy weather here. I saw three giant cranes/herons flying in formation today. It is not yet close enough to Fall to have the other birds flocking up for the trip south. We've had some flooding so that might be why the cranes are sticking together. If you pay attention you can tell the light is changing-the days growing shorter. The grapes are turning dusky purple and some of the tree leaves are showing signs of color change. As writers we pay attention to the first signs of trends-in seasons and in markets. I make note of all. You never know when you might need to describe an August day or the sound of cicadas in the trees. Cheers~

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4

I spent an hour on-line last night at a SHU chat for the MFA program. There were four chat rooms to go into and I picked the chat on Steampunk. Steampunk is a new trend that is crossing genres in popular fiction. It is typically set in the Victorian age-1841 to 1910. There are many twists to the history-for instance, Charles Darwin's son could be Prime Minister of England. Or wars could have been won by those who lost. The idea being to take the wonder of the industrial revolution, the inventor spirit, and create new stories inside this world. Think of the 1960's TV series, Wild, Wild West, or the movie the Presidio, or the latest Sherlock Holmes and anything Jules Vern.
Clockworks and steam run this world. Characters are inventors and scientists as well as Zeppelin pilots and dashing adventurers like Indiana Jones. Steampunk has a big following of fans who meet for conventions and create their own versions of technology and wear modified Victorian costumes. There are Steampunk romances, Steampunk detective novels, Steampunk YA, Steampunk Paranormal, and more.
It is a fun and interesting world to explore and write about. Definitely a fantastic chat to attend. Cheers~

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 3

It's August the last official month of summer here. The stores are full of back-to-school items. Half way through the month college students return to school. The end of the month most kids are in school and summer pools close down. The amusement parks close during the week remaining open only on weekends until the weather gets too cold for the rides. In the publishing world, not a lot gets done in August.There are too many vacations, and conferences and general slowness. It is advised that writers wait and query after labor day. This way editorial boards are back and have no missing members so that purchases can be approved quickly. Fall work gears up and things churn out full speed ahead as publishers rush to fill next year's slots and prepare for Christmas sales.
August is a good month to finish a project or polish a project and to research agents. It is a good month to do all the prep work writers need to do so that after labor day, they can take advantage of the uptick in publishing.
What are you doing this month?

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2

Hello, my friends. After an awesome weekend of fun with my guests, I got on line and up popped a computer virus. SIGH. I ran an antivirus check-and it said I didn't have one, but I clearly did as I could not get on line or control my computer. So I went into safe mode and ran a malware check (looking for ugly worms and trojan viruses.) It, too came up clean. Huh. So I ran a line by line scan with my antivirus program. Nothing found... Still could not come up safely in regular windows. So I went back and tried a system restore. So, far, that seems to have done the trick.
My point being, if you don't hear from me, please assume I'm having computer troubles. I'll do my best to keep you all in my life. As my on-line work is so much fun and you all are very important to me.

Hope you have a great week! Cheers~

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 28

This will be my last post this week as I have family coming for a visit. I am excited to see them. We are hoping to hit the beach and the mall and the movies. I'll report back on Monday. Until then, have a fabulous weekend and get outside if you can. Next week is August and winter will be here before you know it. (That's how people in the great white north think-lol. If you live south you worry about being stuck inside during the summer because it's just to hot and August is the hottest month of all.)