Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday and Tuesday

These are the last days of my revision, and I'm heads down, hunkered over the pages. Probably won't be back until Wednesday.

Every time I have to shut up and submit, I reach this moment of how-do-I-know-if-it's-right? The pieces seem to fit and I have a sense of peace with them--unless I begin to over-think. I have one last element to shape and reshape before I can send the revision, but the ending seems to fit the rest of the story as if it has grown organically to be this way. (Thanks to my editor, who was willing to chat with me as I brainstormed at her on this very important plot point.)

So--enough chitchat here--gotta embrace the homestretch! :-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Normal Service Suspended

That should be tattooed on my forehead. I can't think about what we need in the fridge. I can't remember if we have potting soil in the garage. I can't remember to buy laundry detergent when I run into the store to buy grapes because that ice cream sandwich fixation needed to stop....

I can remember that Jake's conversation with Tom needs to bring him insight about Maria's method of treating... You get the picture. Right now that conversation is hanging out there, sort of alluding to what the story needs, but not bringing home the plot bacon.

Mmmmmm. I love bacon.

The thing I like about this story is that the hero and heroine are together a lot, and their reasons for being together are as honest as their reasons for being apart. Writing a romance is writing the dance of internal conflict. Why they should... why they shouldn't... why wanting is enough... why it can't ever be enough.

Oh, an example--today, Still of the Night is going to be on TMC. (It's frustratingly unavailable on DVD.) Roy Scheider and Meryl Streep. A thriller with an undercurrent of romance. When they meet, the attraction is instant and intense. But there's a murder and suspicion, and they still keep coming together. Even as he wants to prove she's not guilty, he's stacking up evidence against her. Even as she turns to him, she sees he's turning her into a murderess, and is she trying to kill him? All of that is just an external echo of their real conflict--how to trust each other enough to let love happen.

The sense of need between these characters. Need, walled-up behind emotional barriers. Did I mention a movie-holic can't get it on DVD?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Big Day for Romance

Yesterday was a huge day for writers who belong to the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Visit the website to see a list of nominees for the Golden Heart (unpublished) and Rita (published) awards. Even if you don't know some of the writers, you'll find an amazing reading list!

Deepest congratulations to all the nominees! I hope all the Golden Heart nominees sell those well-written mss. And I wish all the Rita noms could win. You all need golden ladies!

Gotta be brief today. That deadline is screaming down the tunnel like a train!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Random Ramblings

Why do we make sure there's more light at night when children have to go to school at deep-dark-o'thirty in the a.m.? I don't really care if the guy down the street has the opportunity to mow his lawn (or in our neighborhood, whip up a dust storm) at seven at night, but I'm uncomfortable thinking of children standing in the dark, waiting for a bus.

Why isn't Willie Geist (wish I could open another window with my Internet access to make sure of the spelling) hosting Morning Joe full-time? He's the best part of that program.

When you're on deadline, why doesn't the house clean itself and produce healthy meals? (Subsisting on ice cream sandwiches here.)

Why do I sound so cranky? (Hope it's not to do with those ice cream sandwiches!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Work, Work, Work

I fell asleep over the laptop last night. That's a strange feeling. I'm just glad I didn't add all the crazy letters that can happen on such unfortunate occasions. All the crazy letters that are there--I meant to add! (Grammar is suffering. Sad.)

However, I'm looking forward to some other work. In April I'm taking a class from RWA's Kiss of Death Chapter. They offer a couple of workshops every month, one on craft and one more focused on writing mystery and suspense. The workshops are seriously affordable. I'm doing Discovering Story Magic, and excited about it. I've heard only great things from others who've taken it--and I'm planning to discover as much magic as I possibly can!

Happy Tuesday! Back to them revisions!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Lost Weekend

Not the movie. I'm talking work again. Though I did get some done this weekend, we just had other stuff going on around here. I always tell my girl that she has to focus on the important stuff, not let distressing things get the better of her. Well, I should have managed to take my own advice. My problem was sheer distraction.

Must keep eye firmly on the ball this week. The girl has some study today so she and I are eventually heading to the coffee shop where the noise level is perfect background.

Normally, after struggling, I whine to myself about oh, my problems. Well, the truth is, I don't have any. After seeing the girl come home from precepting, with the weekend on her face, I don't know what she's encountered in her hospital hours, but I realize I just need to buckle down in my rather rosy life and be grateful that whatever has happened to people she's been helping to treat, is not happening around our safe and cozy abode.

So, I'm hunkering down, and I am going to be grateful, rather than whinging. How lucky am I to have a job I love and to live with people who love me as much as I love them? We're all safe and perky, and distraction is nothing compared to actual troubles.

Wishing you a contented Monday.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday--Revising my own blah, blah, blah

I was having such a good time with this revision. Then I came to my own wordiness. Culling the "what the ?*&% was I thinking" moments is never the best part of revising. Sometimes it's a moment I wanted so badly to get perfect that I wrote all around it instead. You know--that horrible crisis of confidence thing where you know you can't get it out the way it sounds and feels in your head? Uh-huh. I've been working since about six this morning and I've cut about two pages of that.

Forty-seven minutes after starting this expedition through numbing blah, blah, blah, I'm wondering what the ?*&% was I thinking? And also, I'm so grateful we get to revise.

No one will ever see that stuff. What a relief! Don't you wish you could revise certain moments in real life, too?

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Revising. I'm trying to make every word count, trying to choose the details that emphasize emotion. It's difficult to choose the words that find the fine balance between wrenching and mawkish. Sometimes, I'm not sure which side of the line I'm falling on, but I've decided that maybe my editor will know when she's doing the line edit. :-) I want to make the ms. as perfect as possible so that mistakes are less prevalent in the line edit--when someone else types changes into the pages. But truthfully, that's another stage of shaping the story. So, instead of doubting myself, I'm leaving in moments I might have edited out before because this book is about letting the reader share in the hero and heroine's delight.

(I heard Richard Harris saying "Delight" in Camelot in my head as I wrote that. He understood emphasis!)

Gotta go!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday--Almost Spring

How the days and the months fly past. We're in serious spring mode around here. Allergy migraines and crocuses. The pool cover falling to tatters.

But this year, we've had rain. We can plant stuff. When I was younger, spring popped into our neighborhood with my aunt's purple and yellow and orange crocuses. I could plant some of those--although I think they're bulbs and they're supposed to be planted in the fall. Wonder why gardens fare badly under my thumb o'death?

We have another problem in our flowerbeds. The kids in our neighborhood apparently consider them second base in the kickball games they've been playing since the weather began to warm. We've had neighbor issues before. One neighbor posted our land so that apparently only he can hunt on it. Kids breaking into the pool, making ATV paths through our woods, starting a bonfire in our yard during a burn ban and the worst drought in our state's history. The smallest lot in the neighborhood is two acres. It's not as if we actually do have the only grass available for burning or churning into dust.

We had a new survey done and put locks on the pool gates and had serious words with the parents, but I still kind of dread the summer building plan. And I'd love it if the teens stopped running out of the cul-de-sac into our flowerbeds.

It's tempting fate, but I'm going to plant as soon as I finish this revision. I may have to sit out there like my own garden gnome and protect the beds, but oh, for some color! For lovely flowers painting the summer outside my office windows. And I love planting some edibles amongst the pretty stuff. Nothing on earth is as tasty as a tomato fresh out of the sun, nestling in lettuce just cut from the bed.

And, should they all be ground beneath teenage boy's feet, I guess I could learn how to pick up the pieces and make pot pourri!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday at the Blog

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I come from a place where it's a big old celebration, but I tend to forget it's happening now until suddenly everything's green, and shamrock-laden. We have two pubs on the square, but one of them is just a bit out of commission right now because an 86-year-old woman drove through the windows. I won't be mocking, though, cause one day that could be me. And the dh and the children already drive that badly. It's a bad driving gene. I stopped letting my beloved mother-in-law drive with our baby son in the car when her performance terrified me--and I blamed it on her age. Many years later, I realize she was only 59. It was the Adams driving gene, hard at work!

After several days of rain, the sun has returned, meaning a good walk could be had. A couple of weeks ago, I strained my back, and I actually loathe feeling bad so I think I pushed myself to feel better too soon. My back is now busy wreaking vengeance. I intend to treat it with more respect for a week or so. I'm already dreading my return to walking. No stamina left. No willpower to grind out those exciting miles. :-)

Because I'm still buried in the end of revision--knitting everything back together--I'm a bit distracted, so I fear my posts are going to be somewhat scattershot in content for the next little while.

St. Patrick's Day, bad driving, rain, sun, walking, hate to walk.

I guess you get the picture.

Friday, March 13, 2009


One of my offspring has a birthday soon, and we've found the perfect gift. I cannot wait. The hardest thing about giving a gift is waiting!

What are you doing this Friday? I'm longing for a visit home to see my aunts and uncle and cousins. And the old homeplace. :-)

However, my revisions have been fighting back. We're in a grip now where they're pulling and I'm tugging, and the balance is fragile. One of us gains a little strength, and the whole works could collapse. So I guess I'd better hang on here and get this stuff done.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Friday, especially my baby who never reads this blog, but is taking a vital exam today. She'll be brilliant, but I'm still gnawing the nails on her behalf.

Oh--in case any of you look forward to Suzanne McMinn's blog every day the way I do, visit Chickens in the Road to see info on her newest release. I'd do a link, but our Internet access is so slow today that I can't bring up two pages at a time to get the address. There's a link to the blog in my favorite blog list, and you can page back to see her gorgeous new cover with a link to buy. If you pause to read today's post on her goat, Clover's return to the farm, you'll have a happy weep, too.

Which starts anyone off with a great Friday! :-)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Random Ramblings

Only someone rather full of herself would publish her ramblings.

Our Internet access is so bad, the blog page took three minutes to load. I gave up three times before I let it go.

Happiness=Soft Scrub Scrubby pads. My sinks have rarely been so shiny and pretty. (How do you spell procrastinate?)

A woman on television just said she asked the Ghost Hunters in to prove her beau was not possessed. I don't mean to mock, but that seems like a question that wouldn't come up too often in a relationship. That said, I wonder if the beloved...

The Kitty and I are in love with a new concealer. I love it because it's actually concealing without creating wrinkles in the Grand Canyon motif. Kitty professes his love for any object that comes into the house covered in hard plastic wrapping. That's a twofer!

Time to go. Meeting buddies for lunch at the pizza place I mentioned in the almost-movie post below. I'm going to possess a monster slice of pepperoni and a salad. Wish you could all partake, too! Much more enjoyable than random ramblings! :-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Flyby Wednesday

Errands yesterday took longer than I expected so I didn't have the wallowing time I love best at this stage of writing. Everything else in the world has to go hang, and I paddle around in the words. (You'd be surprised how little my non-writing family understands this part of the process.)

This time I'm trying to keep one other thing in control. I've been walking for nearly five months. I'm at three miles a day, and even in the recent heat, I don't want to break the habit. Last night, in an attempt to beat the effect of those climbing temps, my friend and I started out at 7, which was fine, but I usually do a couple of laps around the neighborhood after my buddy stops. Last night we stood chatting at her mailbox (did I mention I have an unfortunate gift for gab?), too long. Midway through my second lap, a bat started circling my head. Now I don't live in Transylvania, and I didn't look for Dracula to suddenly flutter to the ground in front of me, but you know--rabies.

So, as the bat seemed to be cutting his circles with every lap around my head, I covered my neck. I know, I know, but it was some crazy instinct I couldn't control. And I hustled home to put a house between me and the rat with wings.

Apologies to all who love bats.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our Walking Buddy

Sometime today I have to pack up the girlo's suit and my laptop and head out into the world. The girl needs said suit for practice interviews and I need to get out of this house. I love the abode, but if I don't depart once in a while, I turn into a homebody who's perfectly happy never to venture anywhere else.

I also tend to hide out when I'm sad. When we moved here, we managed to find friends whom clearly we have been waiting to find all our lives. In fact, it feels as if we have known each other forever. Let's be honest. My beloved husband has found the clone from whom he was somehow separated, and I have too much fun talking waaaayyyyyy too much to the wife in the couple as we walk our neighborhood, seeking health. (She may actually be trying to outrun me as I yammer and yammer and yes, gab--just a bit more!)

But we had another walking buddy. Her name was Missy, and Missy was the sweetest little doggie in the world. She left her family on Saturday. So, her person and I are walking alone in a neighborhood that feels pretty empty. I miss you, Missy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Title for November

I mentioned it below, but I have a new title for the book that's coming in November. A Conflict of Interest really suits the story--a judge and a psychologist who've been fighting their attraction suddenly find themselves at true odds over her testimony in a case he's hearing.

(Why was that so easy? You wouldn't believe how I wrestled the one-page synopsis for the Art Facts Sheet.)

I'm still enjoying the revisions on this book, and I'd better update the sidebar with the new title and get back to making this story right.

But first--I finished my Rita books; found some excellent new authors--that's the best thing about Rita judging. Gotta report the scores.

And--thank goodness for DVRs. I have a deep and abiding love for "vintage," or is that retrospective, movies? Today is Dr. Kildare day on TCM. I also have white-jacket syndrome. I panic when I hear the word, doctor. My daughter can't tell me much about her workdays, but I love Dr. Kildare. For one thing, sometimes the medicine is bewildering. (I can never spell medicine correctly first try--is there a syndrome for that, too?) But I think I'm mesmerized by the stories. Either way, the DVR will be busy till about 7 tonight so I'd better get some good page count.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Just a random photo of my shadow on the beach.

My head is so full of revisions, anything extra feels sort of haphazard. Like--wow, when did the house get so mussed? Oh, look at the pretty clouds. It isn't sunny today? And--did anyone know we were going from snow to summer in the space of seven days? Have I been buried in back spasms and A Conflict of Interest for longer than I think?

Enough stream of semi-consciousness.

But I do have advice for any aspiring romance author today. Hie thee to Kate Walker's blog, where you'll find an excellent post on writing emotion into your story. One day I'd love to attend one of Kate's courses in person!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Brush with Movie Stardom

All right, not really anything as close as a brush! :-) The girl and I went to dinner on the square last night only to find a movie company setting up inside the best pizza spot in our little town. (The girl immediately called a person she knows who's looking for work as a camera operator. Ya gotta feel for a person looking for creative work in this economy!)

Then, off to queso and chips and other yummy dinner goodies for us. When we came out, a guy was wandering the square in a headset. As we were trying to decide whether it's rude to buttonhole a movie guy doing his work and interrogate him re: what's goin' on, he came up and asked us if we wanted to be extras. I must admit I wanted to see how a movie scene is filmed. The girl is in the middle of tests and precepting, and she didn't care to spend those hours in service of her mother's curiosity, so we moseyed home.

I hope we're suddenly becoming a movie mecca! ;-)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Broke the Habit

Of blogging.

I have a plethora of excuses: the usual Internet going down in weather--rain, thunder, lightening, hail, tornadoes--and eventually four inches of snow! The above is the view from my office window just after the snow started sticking. I love snow. Did I mention that? Love snow.

I've also been working on Art Fact Sheets, the suggestions authors make for cover art. The nightmare of the one-page synopsis.

And, finally, my dorky reason for not being at the blog, I managed to pull every muscle in my back--by sitting in a recliner we've had for six years. I'm so proud.

So, today, I'm propped on every pillow we own on my bed, working revisions! Back to those cranky pages! Resistance is, as they say, futile. :-)