Monday, January 29, 2007

Blog Break

I can't seem to keep up just now so I'm taking a break. Back to the blog on Friday!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Time Chiming

We have a lovely new clock--not new, but new to us. My brother-in-law brought us a clock that belonged to my mother-in-law. I love hearing it. It reminds me of her and makes me feel all warm.

Still revising the book for August. I'm wishing I could find a way to work in this clock. Maybe next book!

I've managed to work family names and places into books in the past, as well as my cat and my daughter's favorite doll, and my best-friend-from-high-school's renegade kitty. How many of you put real life into your books? I would never do anything hurtful, but I like to think that certain names or places or dear pets will live on as long as the pages do.

Clearly in a musing mood tonight!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday Already?

I'm doing revisions on my August release, THE MAN FROM HER PAST. I'm always so thankful for the process that allows for time between readings on a ms. The things I'm catching that I didn't see before! :-)

I suddenly realize I'm out of touch with television. I watch a lot of classic movies--I'm nuts for noir! And I keep up with Medium and Crossing Jordan when I remember they're on, and the beloved and I watch poker together. (Not sure how that happened!) But all of a sudden, I don't recognize many of the television programs that are advertised. I miss the Barones, and even they've been gone a long while. Sad.

Shouldn't writers be more in touch with commercial entertainment?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday Again

Back to work. I've been reading a lot--with mixed results. One book was extremely disappointing--I'm always a little depressed when that happens because my time for reading is so limited these days. I need a good book fast!

I'm adding a link to the HEA Cafe sponsored by RWA's online chapter. I've belonged to this group for about two years and the friendship and support is great there. Hope you'll drop by and read--and comment.

Off to do some proposal work. I suddenly have another idea though I'd planned to propose only two stories. What to do? What to do? Am fending off ideas like lovely little lightning bugs! (All right--not so much fending off as adding to a Notes document.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Talking Writing with Other Writers

Today was my local RWA chapter meeting. Patricia Sprinkle spoke to us on "The Mystery of Why We Write." I was definitely in the mood for a boost, and she gave us an amazing talk. Funny thing was--some friends and I were discussing our process early in the meeting. Another writer and I bemoaned the fact that it takes us several attempts to get the first 100 pages right. (And that is always where I have the greatest edits in revisions.)

During the program, Patricia Sprinkle gave us a few quotes that are important to her. This one really clicked for me, because I find getting those first 100 pages down increasingly frustrating. This is what she said. "We write it wrong until we get something we recognize." And that's exactly what it is for me. I feel less angsty about it because clearly I'm not alone in my suffering! :-)

Hope the weekend's lovely!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Learning Too Much from Reality

I love to watch how-to home improvement shows. With a writer's curiosity, I'm shameless about snooping into the stories behind why families are selling or renovating or just tidying up three rooms.

But tonight I'm watching one where the couple who own the house are getting divorced after thirty years of marriage and their grown children are estranged, some from the mother, some from the father. The house is incredibly cluttered and the improvements the family has made have not been done with an eye toward resale. Their anger made me sad. So did the garbage and the clutter they didn't clean.

My daughter always makes fun of me because I have to turn the station when scary movies get too tense. Half the time I don't see the scariest parts of a movie--which is what's happened with tonight's reality show. Too much real life got too scary for me. This is characterization I don't need to see. Very sad.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Writing Tricks

Today, I'm tricking myself. I'm having some problems getting inside my characters so I'm doing what Karen, my BCP (Beloved Critique Partner) always suggests--writing in first person.

I kind of like it. So far, so fun! But when will I reach the point where I can get "a-hold" of these folks without a trick? Isn't it funny that people and events that live only in my own head can be elusive? Not funny ha-ha, for sure. Just funny-extremely odd.

I need to make some progress so I can get caught up reading. I'm looking most slackerish in the 10,000 book challenge. Three books started--none finished.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday is Critique-Day

I've finished that first proposal I've been working on. I have some critique to do for my beloved CP, Karen Whiddon (see links to the side. She has an amazing paranormal out right now--Cry of the Wolf), and then it's on to the next proposal.

Hoping this first one still looks fun and satisfying after a few days not touching it.

Looking at clouds today. They're beautiful over our hill, gray and fecund. We lived in Texas until about five months ago, and the sky there was too beautiful to believe, but days like this, well, I just love looking outside. And in a little while, it'll be warm enough to work on the deck.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday, Monday

I just love that song.

Today, my girl and my beloved are watching a marathon of the program, Dirty Jobs. It's so revolting as a rule that I can't make myself watch it. So I have the headphones on and I'm listening to music at a decibel level that's going to leave me deaf. MIke Rowe, the host, is more than lovely and oh, his undeniable charms--but you'd have to put him through an autoclave before you could let him in the house! The things one must do for "family time." Apparently, breathing the same air in the same room counts!

I'm also working on pages for the first chapter of a new book. It's funny--as I've mentioned before, I love this stage, and yet, the more I'm at it, the less confidence I have and so the more I doubt the pages are right. Here's hoping! I'm interested in writing more--that's always a good sign. The best sign, really.

My ears are ringing.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday is Fun-day

Sort of. What a busy day. I visited a friend and then updated my website through a convoluted and most frustrating process. But it's done! Yay.

Also, I'll be blogging about the books I read for the next year on I'll add a link because there are a lot of people taking part in this experience--it's called the 2007 10,000 Book Challenge!--and you might find suggestions you'll enjoy in the different blogs. I'll eventually be part of the Harlequin Author Team, but a lot of the bloggers are reading and reporting separately. Hope you find something intriguing!

Well, it's late and I'm going to go watch Lucy reruns with my girlo!

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Not much to say. It's Saturday, unbelievably warm in our little corner of the world. I like when the seasons seem like themselves. Although frankly, if summer seemed more like winter, I'd like that, too. I like the comfort of warm duds and a cozy blanket in cold weather.

I am reading an unbelievable book, THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Coincidentally, it's translated by Lucia Graves, daughter of Robert Graves, author of another favorite, I, CLAUDIUS. Anyway, this is one of those books where I'm meting out pages because otherwise, I'll finish it. I wish everyone such a good read!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Company's Coming!

One of my favorite writer friends, Amy Frazier, is coming for a visit tomorrow! She was the first writer I met when I became serious about writing--and we met through a writer's group that met an hour away from where we both lived--two doors apart. We critiqued together, walking and swimming and thinking and tearing plots apart, dreaming of the future, joying in the relationship stories we were both writing, though we also both came from an academic tradition that disparaged romance novels.

Even now--and I think I just turned in my 15th novel for Superromance--people still ask me when I'll be writing a "real" novel. I imagine I always look like a fish that just jumped onto the bank, mouth open for the hook that didn't even have to set. Because I love writing about relationships--and the way that a new love echoes throughout a man and woman's community--a stone tossed into a still pool, gathering and pushing and creating a new life for he and she who fall in love, and for everyone who loves them.

Was this a soapbox? Truth is, I just meant to say--I can't wait to see Amy!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Fear, the Dentist and Creativity

I'm terrified of dentists. I'm not talking a little anxious or even palms sweating. I'm talking the kind of panic only steel will can tame. I literally drag myself into that office because I like having teeth. She's a lovely person, a gentle dentist, and so patient. Nevertheless, I've come from there now, and I'm grateful for her skill, but I'm not going to lie (as my daughter often says). I need a restorative nap.

Writing can be almost as frightening. Today, I seem to have no objectivity. I have friends who positively crow with delight over a new story, and goodness knows, I was feeling pretty cocky. Plot flowing, characters growing. It all seemed to come together. Not so much as I read over this new snopes. It appears to be a mishmash of stuff that may be scenes collected in a document--or a story that needs to be tidied up.

Better skip that nap and find out what I've got!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Weekend Time Off

Turns out I'm better at taking time off than I thought. The girl and I have been talking and watching movies and crocheting afghans.

I like to think the proposal stories are percolating away in the back of my mind, and they'll just pour out when she goes back to school. If not, it'll be time to mine, but the time off is worth it.

(Must remember the midnight trip to a superstore to buy contact fluid and a case because she forgot to bring hers home. Scary. First, I parked at the wrong end of the two-football-length store. Who knew they close the doors at one end after midnight? The girl accompanied me, in jammies, for the ride. We brawled a bit about whether it was safer to go in or wait in the car, and for some reason, she believes as an over-18, she knows best. I came out and she and the car were gone. She didn't care for activities going on in the car that parked next to her. I didn't care for the near heart attack. Book fodder!)

Friday, January 5, 2007


I wonder how many writers are good at taking weekends off. Right now, I'm building proposals--pages of story and a synopsis to explain the rest of the book. (And I'm enjoying it so much I know I won't be able to resist coming back over the weekend.)

The way it works for me--I start the story with a scene that has generally popped into my head--or with a beginning that looks like taking me to that scene. Then, after a few pages--this time, 7--I feel the need to flesh out the story. So I start the synopsis--lovingly called a snopes around my laptop--after that handsome Faulkner family. (Who can love writing a snopes?)

I start with characters and a few plot points, and then I realize what I've left out and why something needs emotional motivation--and that I've got a hole that only time and writing the book will fill. Eventually, I mail the whole mess to my editor, who reads it all with much clearer vision than I, and she suggests ways to fix my problems, as well as pointing out the stuff I've left in that I don't need.

Then comes the hard part--writing the book!

Gotta go. I'm working from a coffee shop again, and my girl just drove up! This is a "best" day--the writing's flowing and my daughter's come home from school!

I hope the new year is treating everyone kindly!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

To resolve or not to resolve?

Already the 3rd. I can't believe it.

How many people make resolutions--and keep them?

I don't make them as a rule because I believe we should make a concerted effort every day to do the right things. However, one of the right things for me this year is to get a handle on compartmentalizing my life. Work has drifted into family time, and seems to be sucking the family time away. I haven't been working that efficiently either.

So that's my resolution for this year. Make sure I'm working at work and playing at playing.

What about you?