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.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 27

I know I've been working at the computer when the little dog, Gracie Boo-boo, starts sighing and moving about the room, flopping down and sighing some more. lol. Don't I know I live to serve her, not to sit at a desk and work?
I have hit my first deadline for this semester of the MA- 35 pages to my mentor, 25 to my work group sent out today. Three more deadlines to go and I will be 3/4 of the way done with my degree. Crazy!
How is your week going? Anything new? Anything fun? I know my blogger friend Linda Kage wrote about a website that will tell you what famous writer, you write like. Pop over and check out the link. cheers~

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26

We have lovely weather today. The heat has cleared and the blue skies bring soft winds. I have my first deadline for school tomorrow. Yikes! So I will be working on polishing the pages for my new mentor and the pages for my critique partners. Funny how things sneak up on you. How is your summer going?

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 23

This week flew by, I am trying to decide what happened to it. Did I get things done that I wanted to get done? Are my writing goals where I want them to be? In four days I have pages due for my Master's thesis. In three days I have books due at the library. Tomorrow it's time to do yard work again, that is if the rain stops.
I like to look at my goals on Mondays and Fridays. It might seem excessive, but it keeps me on track. My thoughts and actions sometimes can be like little chicks around a mother hen, scrambling here and there. I don't like them to stray too far from my purpose or they will get lost.
As for my writing, I am waiting on a publish date for the next Avalon. Awesome agent has sent me a handful of rejections for the thriller. I'm on point to finish Master's thesis this fall. I have three new books in outline stage and four finished books waiting for someone to take an interest in them. Writing is like the military, there is a lot of hurry up and wait. The wait is usually three times as long as the hurry up.
How are you doing? Any plans for the weekend? Vacations? Back to school shopping? I would love to know. Cheers~

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 22

It is raining today. Hopefully it will rain all day and really soak the poor dry ground. As I look out my window, I see that it may have stopped already. It was a good morning for cooking so I made blueberry muffins. Now the room is filled with the scent of warm cinnamon and blueberries. I freeze the leftovers and take them out one at a time and warm them up in the microwave for breakfast.
I read a wonderful blog by L. Diane this week on tips for blogging. She wrote that the blog should be about and for the reader and not so much all about you. She is very right in that. Which is why I have a craft blog separate from this blog. It is to help my readers who are writers.
This blog on the other hand is simply my way to say hello and to share the view from my writing office-both inside and out. I'm so glad to see so many of you here and am thankful for your comments. Cheers~

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 21

I went to see the movie Inception. I thought it was interesting and very well done, a story in a story in a story, like those Russian dolls. But the true question is; did we end in reality or just another story? Fun stuff to think about. Hot here and we did what people have done for nearly 100 years- escaped into the cool darkness of a movie house. Gotta love the popcorn, don't you?

If you see this movie, let me know what you think. Cheers~

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20

The sky is a gray white with no blue in sight. It's dark and promises rain but nothing comes of the promise. The air smells of rain and the lake, sitting low in it's banks, has become green with algae and lethargic. The trees are thick with dark green shadows where no light comes through the clouds. The last two weeks of drought have brought pops of yellow where the trees, bushes and grass are stressed and shedding unnecessary thickness. The ground is patchy with brown and yellow grass, cracks under the surface. The geese and ducks and water birds have been replaced by crows. It is the dead of summer where the heat is intense and nature holds it's breath waiting for rain, cooler temps and the full fruits yet to come.

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19

Happy birthday to my nephew, Ethan. Fourteen is a fun age. May you have your best year yet.

Happy birthday to Papa, Tom Parra. Seventy-one is fun age, too! :D May your year be bright and full of fun.

Another hot, humid day ahead. Summertime is fun. Have you had the chance to go on a picnic, hit a pool or beach? Have you gone to the library? I've been checking out movies from the library. Their selection is huge and the rental is free. It's doesn't get any better than that. I hope you enjoy some ice cream and the lazy summer sun. Cheers~

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 16

I'm reading James M. Cain's, Mildred Pierce. It is a story of a woman who married at age 16- had two small children and felt successful until the great depression hit. By the age of 28, she kicked her husband out for philandering combined with the fact that he refused to look for work. Now she is a single mom who- as she was told by the employment agency-has wasted half her life and is now unemployable. Half her life and she's only 28. *shakes head* Times were different then and yet times are not so different now. Good employment is difficult to find and there is a long line of highly qualified people looking for a job. They say one in every ten people are unemployed. Publishers are feeling the economic times right along with everyone else and buying less books for even less money. Everyone is looking for the next sure-fire, best seller. But no one knows who or what that is, so they would rather turn someone down than give them a chance. Still, people are selling. But from what I can see the new author or debut author is being picked up by publishers faster than an established author. New voices are good, but so are established voices. Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Some well-established authors have turned to publishing their own stories online. I think of this as selling apples on the street for a dime. In Mildred Pierce, her pride has to bend to survive. Perhaps the same must be said for authors today. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 15

My new mentor at school has a list of crime/suspense movies. I asked him to send it to me and have been working my way down the list by renting the movies from the library. Last night I watched, THE BIRDS. It was not what I thought it was. It was a strange and unexplained little story where people died of being pecked to death. Is that possible? Perhaps if you lose enough blood. I think the idea of being covered by pecking birds is scary enough-as if you are being smothered.
I found the way the heroine dressed interesting. She was always perfectly groomed from her stiff shiny blonde hair to her coral tipped nails. Even though she wore the same outfit for three days, she looked perfectly pulled together. People don't dress like that any more- there is no finish or polish to our every day look. Of course, I'm thankful not to have to wear a girdle or corset all the time and being a writer spend a great deal of time in slumpy sweats and pajama pants. After all only the dog sees me.
Still I wonder if we all started dressing again, would we take better care of ourselves? Or did they smoke and drink so much back then because they felt restricted in their clothes?
What do you think? cheers~

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14

This morning started of with fog that coated my windows. The sky is a glaring white/blue and the sound of the waves rippling and robins singing fills the air. I hear cicadas- their sound is weak and small here, unlike Kansas where they rise annually to sing in great waves. Yesterday I went downstairs for coffee and noticed the great blue heron standing on my neighbor's roof. It made me smile and think of the old myth of storks who bring babies. By the time I got my camera he was gone.Someone said it was a good omen. I certainly hope so.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 13

So changing my craft blog from Sunday to Tuesday still means I have one day a week where I write two blogs. Sometimes I make my brain hurt. Why can't I think simply and move the Sunday craft blog back to Sunday when I don't write a daily blog? hmm? What is up with that? lol.
I have written a blog on the hero's journey today. I was surprised to discover that some of my readers had never heard of it and others had heard of it but didn't know how to use it in their work. I have to admit when I first listened to a workshop on the hero's journey my brain hurt. They used terms like inmost cave, outmost cave, threshold guardians...what? What has that to do with my romance novel. So I did what I usually do when confronted with nonsense. I ignored it. lol. But it turns out is is a cool tool to use when plotting a story- if you take the time to figure it out. Hopefully my craft blog will break it down and make it more assessable for my reader. It certainly got me thinking about my next wip. Cheers~

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12

A quick happy birthday to my sister, Mary. I hope you have your best year ever!
Monday morning-did you know there was an eclipse yesterday? I had no idea. I spent the day with a group of writers, talking, laughing and brain-storming about marketing a debut hard cover mystery that comes out the end of September- not mine. But we all learn when we help each other out with marketing. So, I was inside and missed whatever glimpse I might have had. I think it was better viewed south of here.
Did you see it? Do you think that eclipses have any impact on human behavior? Did you notice anything odd in behavior yesterday? Inquiring minds want to know. Cheers~

Friday, July 9, 2010

July 9

Another bright, hot and humid day and I am going with it. What I mean by that is I am allowing myself to float and work on whatever I bump into instead of focusing on a goal and putting my all into it. I hate to float. I'd rather be constantly working but recent events have taught me that sometimes its best to float a day or two away. All work and no play will kill a creative soul. You have to stare out the window. You have to have time to let the subconscious connect with the other world where the characters live and grow or the writing is flat and one dimensional.
It all boils down to balance. Even the seasons don't have the same perfect day. No, the weather goes with the moment mixing things up, changing from hot to cold, adding rain and drought and storms and yet it always moves from summer to fall to winter to spring.
So, don't feel guilty, feel balance. What do you do for balance?


Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 8

I am always amazed at how things pile up in my desk drawers and office table tops. I feel as if I'm constantly filing things away and yet, piles, piles everywhere. I can always tell when I'm under deadline because the piles grow chaotic. I often wonder how long you are supposed to hang on to some of this stuff- bills, receipts, account statements. Not only does the paper pile up but the e-mail piles up. I file away my e-mails in folders in my web browser. You never know when you may need to refer to one or more of them. Maybe all this saving and filing comes from being in the military where things are always done with redundancy and back up purposes for CYA (cover your a@@).
So, how do you handle all the information that comes your way? Are you a hoarder or a regular shredder? Do you save e-mails or delete, delete, delete? Do you regularly back up your computer files? Have extra storage on-line or on an external drive?
Why do we cling to all this information, anyway? And the most important question of all--is there a better way to handle all this?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 7

We had a prolonged power outage yesterday due to the heat and humidity. The battery on my little lap top is iffy so I spent a good portion of the day with the blinds drawn from the sun and reading books. I would have rather been reading blogs and doing things on my computer- no not games, lol, remember my solitaire win percentage is 11%. Games and I don't get along.
It is hot again today. I should not complain as winter is just a couple months away. So I make ice tea and have my fan blowing. Hopefully I'll do some blog reading and catch up on writing work.
I hope you are somewhere cool. Don't forget to look around you and record the small details of July in your scene setting notebook for the next time you find yourself in the middle of January writing a scene set in July. Cheers~

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 6

It is so muggy outside, as someone said, you can't fall down because the air is so thick it holds you up. I'm out painting my fence in the shaded area which means mosquitoes so thick they can carry you off. I should be writing and plotting but with six books done; one sold, one being shopped by an agent, another being read by agent, it is easy to rest my creative brain. What I fear is that it will become rusty. I've considered writing a few short stories but I've never been good at that. Even as a kid my stories would soon become chapters and full fledged novels. I wanted to keep going, to know more about the heroine's story, to find out what happens next.
I do have a couple of books to revise, but find myself unmotivated. Perhaps it is the sweltering heat. Perhaps the unfinished fence with 12 sections done and 14 more to go, or grief for my dog or exhaustion still from the intense residency. All excuses. *grin* Writers are good with making up stuff and excuses are first sometimes.
How about you? Are you finding motivation? Or have you, like me slowed down in the mid summer heat.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5

The view from my window is green, green, green. We seem to live in the trees during the summer as we live on a slight hill and so all the windows are eye level with the tree tops. A pair of robins is building a late nest in the ash tree. It is a sturdy place and much safer than under my deck. The lake is dark green and muddy from recent rains. The waves hide the wild life underneath. The sky is white, covered in haze and clouds that are neither puffy nor wispy. The yard is filled with tiny toads that hop away when you mow. This week I saw a toad the size of my fist. Big sucker. I understand they eat mosquitoes and so I'm happy to have them. I do want them to stay away from the mower, though as one traumatic experience with a headless toad was enough for me this year.
There are festivals and concerts everywhere as people do their best to get out and enjoy the weather while they can.
How was your weekend? Cheers~

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2

Am out of the house today, enjoying coffee and a new view as I write. The sky is blue and the wind gentle and cool. It conjures up memories of summers past- watermelon, hotdogs, and bugle snacks. (Little corn chips in bugle shapes that fit perfectly on kid's fingertips like fake nails. Salty fun!)
Happy 4th of July weekend everyone. I hope you have family to play with and memories to make on beaches and parks. Cheers~

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1

Most of you know, but for those who don't my big old dog George Bernard died last night- of old age- he was 84 in dog years and had weak lungs for the last 5 years. Today is more quiet than usual in the house and little dog Gracie is moping and doesn't seem to understand what exactly happened-even though he died at home.
We adopted him in July and lost him in July 12 years later. He was big and fluffy and soft and patient and smart and saw my kids through their middle grade and teen years. He did his job well.