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~