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~