Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Getting back into a book

Do you ever have a hard time reading a book you've set down for a few days? Imagine trying to write it. I forget character names and things like hair color, eye color, etc. But worse than that, I forget what brilliant plot points may have come upon me unawares.

As I've been re-reading/acquainting myself with Forbidden (w.t.), I find I was also lucky enough to forget some lousy and terrifyingly pointless writing, but this is a chance to tighten that up! So, I'm back on track with Sven and getting back on track with Forbidden.

Trying to decide whether I want to work at home or go see what's going on at the Starbucks at B&N. The question is, will I work at the Starbucks or will I cruise the books all day? I fear I know the answer so I'm trying to settle in here.

Oh, I need to check in with Sven today.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday without Family

My brother-in-law went home yesterday. Now, you may not have known he was with us, but we're missing him. He was supposed to be downstairs when I woke up. He's supposed to be whistling constantly and working crossword puzzles and making crazy jokes. And he probably is, at his place. I miss him whistling his way around ours!

So, I've taken three days off writing at a whack. We ended up visiting stuff with the bil after I sent in my revision. Yesterday, I started reading the WIP (Forbidden, w.t.) again, but really didn't get a full 750 new words, so can't claim I did. Ding dang it.

However, I'm also re-reading Harry Potter because I've still not read the 7th and I'm trying with mixed success not to find out anything I don't want to know! That kind of cut into work time, cause I'm at a good spot!

So--gotta get those 750 words today!

Oh, and about the Red Sox? I'm glad they won, but I wish the Rockies had put up a better fight.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Uh-oh, it's Friday!

Not sure how that happened. Today is my first non-writing day since I started sweating with Sven. That revision got tough at the end so I've been slaving away, trying to get it right. It's with my editor now. I'm suffering post-turn-in-panic. Not a pretty picture.

Too tired to write more tonight. I'm going to read instead.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Have I thanked Rick Astley?

Cause he's singing me through this revision with "Cry for Help." I've always loved his voice and this song, but I'm finding the passion in the combo of Rick, headphones, and heads-down working--except when family stuff gets in the way. Today, family is going out. I try not to be overly grateful for a day of quiet because I love having the family around, but I need the work time!

12 pages Sunday and yesterday. Let's see how many for today!

Is it bad when you wake up with "Cry for Help" already playing in your head? I'm kind of seduced in by "Sleeping" as well.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sven's Check-In Day

I don't really have time for blogging. I'm finishing my revision, massaging--and still adding. What's up with that? 5 more pages yesterday, which means I'm going to have to find some to cut. I'm close to the word count, but these last days are all about getting it right, not making it more wordy. ;-) Sometimes I like to wield an anvil in getting my point across. ;-)

Anyway, I'd have skipped blogging today, except it's check-in day over at Sven's. Now, I have to get my head down and finish this because my experience is that the world starts to bubble and strange things happen during the last couple of days before I have to turn something in!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Rains Finally Came

And they were soft. Not enough rain to make us feel watered, but you know, enough to make lying on the grass, getting wet a reasonable recreation. ;-)

I added 5 pages yesterday. I keep thinking I'm just tidying up here at the end, but I want this book to be emotional, and it still needs some help. I'm layering and knitting--with words.

Off to the coffee shop today. My girl has the usual insurmountable stack of homework, and I'm always happy to share a workday with her!

Happy Saturday to those who get to play today!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Working Weekend Begins

Last weekend was my family's reunion. One of my brothers even made it up there, but I didn't, so I've been thinking about the folks all week, kind of leafing through the old pics.

So--up there is one of my cousin and me. She's eleven months older, but already I was outgrowing her. (I never thought that was fair, as I longed to be a delicate flower!) In one version of this picture I'm clutching a "pocket-purse" the size of a small car. Wish I could find that one! ;-)

I'm closing in on my Monday deadline. Yesterday, I managed to add only 5 pages, but I had plenty to cut. Normally, it would be hard to see all those pages disappear, but they needed to go. They make room for the new stuff I've been adding, and the new stuff is more passionate--more fun for me to write, a whole lot more to the point in a romance!

This is like kneading bread.

I love to make bread, but I'm never sure it's going to work. There comes a time in each batch where I know I've got pure gluten stinking to my fingers, or I'm stunned to find I've actually managed something delicious. (The recipe's amazing and only fails due to operator error.)

I hope I'm finding bread in my laptop mixing bowl. ;-)

And--wonder of wonders in a place where the drought is truly horrific, it's raining!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I'm reporting progress for Wednesday, for my commitment to Sven. (He's becoming real for me. Can that be good?) I added 8 pages yesterday, but I have many more to perfect. All right, perhaps "perfect" is the wrong word. And come to think of it, I'm not looking to make my characters perfect. I want them flawed, but so empathetic a reader has to know what happens next. I want readers to do what I most want to do when I pick up a book. Keep on reading.

My blog on RWAonline yesterday was picked up by another blog that apparently just scoops up anything to do with mental health and publishes on its own blog. At least they added a link back to RWAonline. Still, I'd heard of such blogs, but never seen one. Strange. Surely trawling for that many articles takes as much time as writing new ones?

Anyway, gotta get back to work!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday? Already?

That means Monday (due date for revision) will show up as well, in the way the days do roll around. This week is flying! And yesterday, the pages did as well. I got 12 new ones. 12--count 'em! So far, I've been more culling than counting today, but it's all progress. Is this book shaping up?

I'm also blogging at Romance Writers of America's online chapter blog today. It's called the HEA Cafe (Happily Ever After, for those of you who don't know romance author lingo.) Come try it out!

Back to work!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I've Begun to Sweat

With Sven, that is! Yesterday was the first day. I committed to 750 words, and I actually did a bunch more than that. I'm enjoying the accountability. I actually have a deadline on 10/22, which makes me most accountable, but I'm going to glory in reporting to Sven after that. ;-) That seductive holiday time sometimes cuts into my work hours. And sometimes my natural inclination to laze about cuts into my work hours, too!

And on a different note, I updated my browser yesterday and suddenly, I have all the lovely tools other users have. I can add quotes and a link, make something bold, or italicize. And this dotted red line appears beneath "italicize" when I try to spell it with an s. I once had a professor in American Lit. who told me I should get out of all the British Lit. classes because they had tainted my spelling. ;-)

Gotta get back to work!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Facebook--It's an Addiction!

I used to watch my daughter, roaming around Facebook for hours at a time. She and her friends would commiserate on not being able to climb out of its seductive pages, and I thought--"Huh, good thing that's not for grown ups!" But it is now--and I am addicted. I admit it.

This is me. Come visit and be my friend! ;-)

Just in case you do, I'm gonna go work on revisions so I'll have time to Facebook later!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Writing Challenge--Sven Says

I discovered this challenge on Alison Kent's blog, and I'm going to be doing it to finish revisions for this book, now called Her Reason to Stay, and then to complete the book due in January.

Check it out, fellow writers, and readers might like to follow along with what their favorite writers are doing.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hey, you! Shut up in my head! (Clutter)

I'm not a big fan of clutter. Having sold a lot of houses, I'm used to pretending no one lives in them, and I guess I like them to look lived in, but relatively free of stackage. You know? Does anyone else's beloved come home and dump everything on the kitchen table? Mine does.

Well, I'm working away on revisions, but my mind is like the kitchen table. I'm thinking of a movie that's on right now. Now, Voyager, with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid. Because I'm fascinated with the 30s/40s, I read a lot of books about that time and the films they made--and also any books I can find written during that time. I'm astounded that some fiction barely survives. Anyway, a lot of people say that Paul Henreid was not lovable, but in both this film and Casablanca, I love him. In this one, where adultery is accepted (without anyone being killed), both characters vow never to give in to their feelings in order that they can share his child. His wife is painted as a self-centered harridan. This movie really makes me think. It could so easily have gone wrong. Even with the harridan--but at one point, PH says that he's "even kinder to Isabella" because of his love for Bette. And they try to stop loving each other. Anyway... the deft characterization just gets me.

Also, I'm reading a couple of books right now. One, Innocent Blood, by P.D. James, has me thinking about the 18 yr. old protagonist, who freely admits she doesn't love her adoptive parents, and they don't love her, but she doesn't mind because she's not particularly lovable. That's some self-awareness for a woman who's really still an adolescent. And yet, she's searching for her "real" parents, and she's made up this huge fantasy for herself, concerning maids and aristocratic visitors to "the family." She clearly needs to be loved and valued and she's measuring herself by some surface goods that are clearly about to slide away from her. I'm already feeling for this girl who isn't lovable.

Thinking is good. But really--I need think about my revisions. I need to clear the clutter--enjoyable, challenging clutter--from my mind and get to my own work. So--if the thinking could just seek low tones (a tip of the cluttered mind to the coneheads--and oh, yeah to the Rolling Stones for the title of this post--as if I didn't have enough going on in my brain pan)--so I can focus on my own stuff...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Percolating History and a Story!

I have a huge family. Part of it came over land through Richmond into the Tennessee Valley. Oddly, those older fellas weren't so different from many of our rowdier ranks today. I found church minutes that began in the late 1700s and I have a feeling I could have chosen my great-great-almost ad infinitum-grandfather right off that page. But their rowdiness endears them to me and makes me think about who we are now.

They also made my cousin, Bill, think. He's suggested a story to me, and while I love the idea, there were reasons I felt I couldn't do it justice. However, it's been lolling about the back of my mind and it began to percolate. It's fairly leaping about now, but I think I've found a way I can work with it. Now, if only I can do justice to the contracted work first! ;-) Thanks, Bill!

Never ignore your sub-conscious, or your cousin Bill. That's my lesson for today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Great Conference--New Blog to Read

I used to go to more conferences. Not sure why I've become more of a homebody over time, and I'm always sorry I don't get out more after I've had such a good time. :-)

Anyway, I learned stuff. The editors at SuperRomance already caution us not to lean on cliche, but Kathleen Scheibling said something during the cold reads (editors and agents read short submissions and give their impressions as well as saying whether or not they'd ask for more) that I'm posting over my desk. Either cut and paste this, my writerly friends, or write it down. "The story is beyond the cliche."

Every writer--every reader--knows cliche is a nice thing, a collective memory, a shortcut into an emotion or a visual, but it can also be a crutch. Why not twist it or avoid it--go for the distinctive, specific visual or emotion that makes this story special?

In a coincidence, the X-Files episode "Bad Blood" is on right now, working vampire cliches to perfection. It's my favorite episode--because it twists cliche like a strand of melted licorice and improves on them all! And yet, you feel like you're in on a private joke. (Plus, this episode moves the Mulder/Scully relationship along without ever shouting Mulder can be jealous, and they've reached the stage where their conflicts endear them to each other even while annoying--important to note for us romance writers!) And who doesn't love Luke Wilson in those big teeth?

Gotta name drop for a second. At the conference, I met several other SuperRomance authors--Kathleen O'Brien, Ann Evans, Cythia Thomason, and Elaine Grant! They were brilliant and funny and full of good stories. Wish you could have been at our lunch/dinner tables! ;-)

Now, about that blog... I hate to send anyone away from here, but this one's amazing. Barbara Vey was at the conference and she's published all the scoop--with pictures! I'm adding her to my faves!

Gotta get back to those revisions. Don't you love coming back from a conference, dying to write?