Monday, February 28, 2011

Feb 28

Thank goodness this isn't a leap year. This February needs to be over. According to the weathermen we have hit the all time recorded record for snow for the area in February. I am quite done with cold and snow and ice. Of course winter will still be here in the form of snow off and on until the middle of April here, but I can pretend that when the calendar says it's Spring in March that it actually will be Spring. Which means there are 22 days until Spring. YAY~ okay, celebration over. I'm back to working on revisions and I have some goals set.
I hope that where ever you are, you are enjoying your last day of February. Cheers~

Friday, February 25, 2011

Feb. 25

I learned yesterday that my next book, The Counterfeit Bride, from Avalon Books has a release date of June 3rd, 2011. Yay for release dates.
I'm still waiting for cover art. I'm hoping it will be eye catching. Meanwhile I'm working on the cozy mystery proof read and pages for school.
I hope you have a great weekend. We were expecting a bad snow storm, but so far there is sunshine. The longer the sunshine lasts the less snow there will be. Oh, I went out to look for the snowdrops. They have not come up yet. Perhaps the four foot of blizzard snow we had earlier discouraged them. I'll keep my eyes open and will report when I see them. Cheers~

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Feb. 24

This blog has won a blog award from Authors Promoting Authors blog. It is called the seven facts award. You are supposed to share seven facts about yourself and then pass the award on to seven other great bloggers. So, first of all Thank You! Your kind words about my blog made my day. I've linked to you here so my readers can find you.
Blog awards are a fun way to highlight some of the blogs I read daily. But some bloggers are tired of the awards and coming up with people to award them to, they feel it is more like spam. (Note I say they not me.) And I've heard from people I've linked to that they don't appreciate the link. So, I'm a little leery of linking or awarding blog awards. So, I will give you the seven fun facts and then I'll mention some of the great blogs out there with links. But I won't pass on the award so that I don't cause trouble with other bloggers. I hope you understand.
Seven Fun Facts:
1) I spent four years in the US Air Force as a satellite downlink tech.
2) I have an Associates degree in Electronic Engineering and worked as an electronics tech for seven years repairing modems, heart monitors, computers and testers.
3) I don't have a favorite color- I guess that's a bit odd, but I love all colors of the rainbow. My favorite depends on my mood for the day.
4) My favorite season is Fall. I love the first cool breeze. The whiff of straw and falling leaves. The bright blue skies and the colors of the plants.
5) I was on the debate team in high school.
6) I played clarinet and was in the marching band, orchestra, pep band and concert band-usually as first chair. (Yes I was a nerd/geek.)
7) Someday I'd love to learn to play piano.
So there you have it.
Some of my favorite bloggers are: Linda Kage, Anita Laydon Miller, Talli Roland, Marilyn Brant, Maureen Lang, The Happy Whisk, Judy Croome Please pop over and see what great things they are blogging about.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feb. 23

Life interrupts the best of plans. Don't you think? The thing to do there is to learn to flow with what happens without getting lost in the current. I keep my goals handy but I also allow for things to interrupt. We all have sick kids, unexpected phone calls and errands to run. In other words, life. The key to proper flow is to identify when it's life in the way vs when we put ourselves in the way. There is a difference between caring for a sick child and spending an hour on facebook. Going to an appointment vs. spending an hour watching a show on TV. There is a time and place for both, but when life gets in the way, we must stay focused on the task at hand and and find our way in the flow. I hope you find the time to care for yourself today. Cheers~

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Feb. 22

I have to make this short as I am working on a quick turnaround of revisions for my agent. One of the more fun parts of writing is having a story done and brainstorming the addition of sparkle. You know-this is great, let's make it better with these small touches. Sparkle. Sparkle is hard to define but you know it when you feel it. It's an adrenalin rush in your veins. An, oh, cool, yes! Add that kind of thing to the story to bring out this point or that point.
This morning the radio was on and the singer asked if you had ever thrown a handful of glitter in the air. That is sparkle.
Hope your day glitters. cheers~

Monday, February 21, 2011

Feb. 21

I am brain storming new ideas. The cozy mystery seems to be in good hands. My agent asked what else I was working on and when I told her a thriller, she told me selling a thriller was like winning the lottery. Publishers only buy one maybe two new authors a year. Instead they fill the shelves with the "big" names. What they see as a sure bet.
My goal is to write stories that you can read. Therefore it's important to write stories that I not only love but ones that publishers will put on shelves. Sure, we could talk e-publishing, etc. But until there is a way for readers to find you without the backing of a big publisher, I'll wait. Besides, for me it's a fun puzzle to figure out what I like to write that my agent can sell. I'm not talking about trend chasing but finding the niche/genre that is both fun and rewarding.
So what shall it be? An organic nursery cozy? A cozy set in the 1890's with a female psychologist? A cozy with a female auctioneer? Or a steampunk detective series? Thoughts?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feb. 18

It's Friday. The sun is out. The snow is melting away at a nice pace that isn't leaving people with flooded basements. The wind is blowing to help dry up the mess. It really can't get much better than that. Right? My goal is to put on my mud boots and go out and see if the snowdrops are poking out from under the drifts and perhaps budding. The grocery store is selling daffodils ten for a dollar. We won't see ours for at least six more weeks. Maybe longer because we are so far north. As you know I'm in a writing lull. I will be setting goals today of what to do next. Revise the middle grade book. Start a new one for Avalon. I do need to work on the thesis novel which gets turned in in April. Plus continue plugging along on my second thriller. Those ate the pages which go to my cp's for school this semester. Mostly I am resting and in search of motivation and concrete goal setting. It's sort of like staring out the window trying to put together a scene or a book. You know what you want to do, you simply have to wait for it to coalesce.
Hope you have a happy weekend. Cheers~

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feb. 17

I'm working "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. I come back to this book about every two years and work it through again. Last week was reading deprivation. The idea was that we tend to use reading to numb the mind-like we use junk food to numb the senses. And if you take away reading you can do all those things you've meant to do and have been putting off (like re-potting plants and painting the basement)-until you get bored. Then you learn how to play. I never quite get to the play part. This week, I'm reading about how we use virtue to kill ourselves. Think of it as not listening to the airlines and putting everyone else's oxygen mask on first until we run out of air and pass out. Why would we do this? Because it "feels" virtuous. Putting our own mask on first feels "selfish." It's not. You can't really help your children or your spouse if you are not taking care of yourself. I have a friend who says you can't properly serve God, unless you are as healthy as you can be. There is truth in that.
Never taking a day off, never finding quiet time to oneself kills the soul and that soullessness shows in our work, in our relationships and our life. Still we struggle because we've been taught not to be selfish. But you can't help a drowning man if you drown with him. So, take some time to take care of you today, so that you will be better tomorrow. Cheers~

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feb. 16

What motivates you to write? Do you write daily motivated or not? What if you are between projects and nothing new pops to mind, do you rest? Do you still write? Do you think you have to still write?
About once every eight to nine months I face the question of what now? When I first started out some twenty years ago, There was never a what now. There was always new and exciting things to write popping up like tissues from a box. But it's true if you don't fill the well it can go dry. When I see my completed projects pile up and not going anywhere I know I need to take a mental health day. Thinking I need to write more or try something new is the way to sure insanity. It's not like I don't already have piles of books written looking for a home. It's not like I'm not seeking homes for them. So, you've done all you can-that is you've provided the quantity. Now it's up to God to do what he will with it or give you something new to play with. Maybe when faced with this, it's okay to paint the basement, clean out the garage, mop the floor or catch up on reading. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feb. 15

Late night for the blog. I want to say Happy Birthday to my nephew Brandon. I hope you have a great birthday!

I was up early today to take the little dog to a new groomer then off to have lunch with a writer friend. She lives two hours away and we both drive an hour to meet in the middle. By the time I got home it was time to pick up the dog, then make supper. As a working day, it was lost. But what a fun way to spend it~visiting with another writer talking about the business and life in general.

Hope your day was great! Cheers~

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feb. 14

Happy Valentine's Day my dear friends. I want to tell you how much I appreciate having you in my life. Consider this a love note as I love my friends and family. Your support and comments keep me going when I'm feeling lost or blue. Your interest in my books and career keep me going on those days when it seems that I'm alone in a room spinning castles in the air. For me the best part of writing is sharing and I couldn't share if you weren't here. Thank you. Happy Valentine!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Feb. 11

Since I don't blog on the weekends, I want to wish my older brother a happy birthday! His birthday is Sunday. Someone said once we were Irish twins- because I was born before his first birthday and so for 18 days every year we are the same age. But he is quick to remind me-he is older! LOL I hope your day is happy and that this is your best year ever.

The first assignment of the semester is due tomorrow. So, I must be polishing pages and send them off. My hope is to start revising the middle grade book for boys next week. From my rejection letters I have learned it has good bones but needs some work. Sad that no one is specific, so I have to guess on what will make it better. Here's hoping I find the right direction.

Have a great weekend my friends. Let me know what you're working on and how it's going for you. cheers~

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feb. 10

It is so bitter cold outside today that there is no sign of life. Any critters out there are huddled up and trying to stay as warm as possible. The good news is there is sunshine. Sunshine makes the snow sparkle and paints long blue shadows. Sunshine can lift the mood and give you hope. Plus nothing beats the brilliant blue of the sky when it is really, really cold. the sky becomes like a polished gem that is almost to bright to look at. In hard times there is always small gifts of hope.
A rabbit tried to cross the drifts in my back yard. It plopped from one spot to another. When I say plop, I mean there are no rabbit tracks only full body marks. I like to tease that Big Foot walked through the yard. Because that's what it looks like.
How's the weather where you are?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Feb. 9

Yes! I went outside to mail my request for graduation form. It is 9 degrees F with a wind chill of
-25 degrees F. But there in the cherry tree were three puffed up robins (American red-breasted threshes). Robins returning are the first sign of Spring here. Poor guys were probably wishing they had waited a few days. But they were there. I was so excited to see them. This week the first assignment pages for school are due. So I must get on them. I am also working on Julie Cameron's The Artist Way. I know I talk about this a lot, but I need to go over some stuff multiple times to get what I need from it. Anyway, as of today I have to spend a week without reading. Tough to do when you write for a living. The point of the exercise is that most of us numb ourselves with reading and TV watching. Facebook anyone? So, I am going to do my best to cut down time spent reading. I will skim e-mails, I will not read and comment on status updates. I will not mindlessly watch TV every night. What will I do? Oh, yes, write. LOL. Could you go a week without reading?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Feb. 8

Yesterday I was sent the official Request to Graduate form. Yes, that's right, I will be graduating in June with my MA. YAY! I say yay because whew- I am so ready to be done. A sweet friend of mine said I have Senioritis. I'd forgotten what that was like. (I won't tell you how many years it's been since I was in school.) Still it's nice to have the end of a big goal in sight. On the one hand it's a bit terrifying. Thoughts creep in like: what if I don't make it? What if after I make it nothing changes? Ah, life. It's a funny thing, isn't it? The problem with reaching a goal's end is that there are more goals on the other side of it. So enjoy the goal in front of you right now. Whether it is to write a page or a paragraph. Or to lose a pound. Or to send out a resume. Celebrate each goal big and small and your life will be filled with celebrations. Now that is a happy thought. Isn't it? Cheers~

Monday, February 7, 2011

Feb. 7

For those of you in the United States, did you watch the super bowl or did you spend the time writing? I did neither. I spent the time reading. I've been working really hard lately and my poor little child artist demanded some time off. So I sat with those watching the game and I read, pausing to take in the funny commercials. The official snow count was 26 inches last week. We received another three inches of snow yesterday. It's snowing right now but thankfully only big fat flakes. I have begun to feel a little house bound. The problem is that getting out doesn't help with the claustrophobic feeling. There is so much snow- the snow banks are so high you can't see around corners and the lanes on the road are not all cleared so two lanes becomes one and a half and people try to squeeze by-creating, yes, a claustrophobic feeling even outside. Crazy right? Perhaps I need to put on my boots and go climb the snow mountain in front of my house (It is over ten feet tall. They have to put the snow somewhere.) and get above the snow. Perhaps it will help with that closed in feeling. Anyone else feeling cabin fever? If so, how do you deal with it? Cheers~

Friday, February 4, 2011

Feb. 4

The plow came today and tried to dig out the cul de sac. The trouble is there is no place to put the snow. He did his best and I think most of the mail boxes can be seen now. Hopefully we will get mail, since we haven't had any delivery in two days. Some days I feel as if writing bunches up like the snow and suddenly there is so much work to do there is no place to put it. That is when I start organizing and prioritizing. There are only so many hours in the day and only one me. The worst part is when someone tells me that there is no rush to something- oh, boy- I put it aside and it disappears under a mound of work. Red flag it. Sort through the e-mails. Let go of some you've been hanging onto in case you have time to do it. Stuff like the friendly blogger to help out. The PR you should be doing. Instead it has to be about the homework deadline. The book coming out this year deadline. The requested partial to an editor deadline. The rest, like the snow must go in a big pile to be eventually carted off in the dump truck. Let someone else have it. No regrets about opportunities lost. There is only one you and no one can do it all. I hope you take some time to play this weekend. Cheers~

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feb. 3

Spent hours yesterday digging out the drifts in the driveway. They were upwards of four feet deep. Which means five shovels before you reached the bottom. The hardest part was figuring out where the heck to put the snow. Once the pile reached my shoulder, I couldn't toss it that high any more and had to find a new spot. I wish I had a wheelbarrow. I did manage to get some revision work done on my cozy. But it is difficult to sit work when your body would rather be dunked in a hot tub of aspercream. (A pain killing ointment.) Ah, the adventures of winter.
Be safe my friends. Cheers~

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feb. 2

Ground Hog day and the stupid guy says early Spring. Ha!
This is my back yard. My five foot fence and this is the part of the yard with the lowest drift. It's over the fence on the other side. I simply can't get over there to take a picture. Stay safe everyone. Cheers~

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Feb. 1

Another new month and it is thankfully the shortest month of the year. We have snow storm warnings, blizzard warnings and are expecting upwards of two feet of snow. We measured little dog last night. She is only 15 inches high. She will drown in that much snow. Everyone is excited, expectant and either happy or worried over the weather. It does narrow our focus from the disasters of the world, for example the possible change of government in Egypt and the massive storms and flooding in Australia to what is happening outside our own doorstep. It's a great metaphor for looking at your writing. To focus from the overall story and plot line to the scene you are currently working on. I wrote about this in my Tuesday craft blog. Hop over if you are interested in reviewing basic scene structure. I've been writing a long time and I still find a good review of basic structure important to improving my work. In the meantime, if you have to be out and about, please stay safe. Cheers~