Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Four Days Off

Whoo-hoo! A four-day weekend looms ahead.

At first I pictured four days of writing, but then reality checked in.

I might get some writing done on Thursday; I just don’t know when. The husband and I have some errands that will take up the morning and we plan on attending a movie (“Up in the Air”) in the afternoon. By 4 or 5pm, we’re on our way to Columbus to spend New Year’s Eve with our friend.

Friday is hopeful. OSU plays at 4:15 (The Rose Bowl) and I like watching the Rose Parade in the morning. Those are the only two things for the day that I have scheduled. But if it’s quiet, I should edit Book 1. I entered it into another contest and will need to submit it by Jan 23. Those first 25 pages need to be PERFECT. Know what I mean?

The rest of the weekend will be normal (hair appt, laundry, football, & stuff). I will find time to write, though. I must. Ideas for the ending are starting to form in my head. I should at least add them to my summary or I’m sure to forget. Yes – I have found that plotting is a whole lot better than pantsing. If I had plotted out Book 1 to begin with, I probably would have had an easier time editing it. But what did I know? It was my first (and you always learn from your first of ANYTHING).

I finished the Dexter book yesterday and started "Under the Dome" by Stephen King today.  Maybe I'll find time to read this weekend (ha ha ha ha).

If I don't get back here before Friday - Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Where I Write (Sometimes)

Sometimes I amaze myself at where I can write. I apparently don’t need it to be quiet when I write something new (editing is something entirely different, though).

Yesterday the Steelers played at 1pm. The same time as the Bengals. Therefore, it wasn’t on our TV at home. That meant going to Buffalo Wild Wings (a favorite place of ours) to watch the game (since we didn’t sign up for the NFL package). On these days, the place is packed with Steelers fans and it gets noisy. Now, I enjoy the game, but I don’t have to actually watch everything. Most of the time I’m bored (too much talking – which you can’t hear – and too many commercials). So I brought my laptop to write.

That’s right – I wrote at B-Dubs. And I wrote over 1,000 words. This wasn’t the first time I’ve done it, either. I’m discovering that white noise can be a great thing. Now I don’t mind spending 4-5 hours there when I know I can sit back and write (and not feel guilty, either).

By the way – the Steelers won (yea). Play-off hopes are still alive (barely).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Movies Galore

It almost seemed like I spent the weekend at the movies.  That's the one part of the holidays I love, though.  Movies take to you another place and time and I love being entertained, too.

On Christmas Eve, the family went to see "Avatar".  I had absolutely no idea what the movie was about, but the kids wanted to see it, and it got good reviews, so we went.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It was a great movie - a "keeper" as we call it here (meaning we'll buy it when it comes on DVD).  The special effects were pretty spectacular, too.

On Christmas, the family went to see "Sherlock Holmes".  It was one we were anticipating to see.  What a disappointment.  My daughter and I both nodded off a couple of times in the movie.  None of us cared for it and I felt like I wasted money watching that.  Oh well, it wasn't the first movie that bombed in our holiday movie viewing, and it probably won't be the last.

On the day after Christmas, we (being the family minus the son and adding a friend) went and saw "It's Complicated".  As I was looking up the movie times, I noticed the film was based in Santa Barbara.  I was delighted and hoped to see lots of scenes of the city I grew up in.  There weren't lots of scenes, but enough to make me homesick.  Anyway, we enjoyed the film.  I haven't laughed like that in a long time.  Thoroughly entertained!  I think it's a "keeper".

Now, maybe my idea of a good movie is different from reviewers, but I think the movie is good if I'm entertained and want to see it again.  That's how I view my reading, too.  I like to be entertained.  I like to be taken for a ride.  When the story starts getting bogged down with a lot of description, I lose interest.  It's how I write, too.  Maybe I don't have enough discription, and it's something I keep asking my readers about, but I try not to bog the story down with useless information.  The reader should have an active imagination (or else they don't read, do they?) and be able to picture the scene in their head without me detailing it to death.  Or am I wrong about that?

All I know is that I wrote something I like to read.  I just hope to find an agent who likes it, too.  Here's hoping that happens in 2010, because I am going to make a real effort at finding that agent.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm Ready & Free to Write

It’s cold outside. Hovering around 30 degrees. And the wind is blowing. I think I hate winter.

This morning it snowed, but we won’t be having a white Christmas. Apparently the temps will rise into the forties on Thursday and Friday, and rain is forecasted. So it will be a wet Christmas.

The only time I like snow is when I don’t have to drive in it. I had to drive in it this morning and let me tell you, I freaked out all during the 20-some miles from home to work. I drive mostly interstate, but still. Ice is ice. If it weren’t for the fact I hated my last job, I’d still be driving only six miles to work. Short commutes are worth something, but not enough to stay in that job.

So now I must drive long distances in weather that can be questionable during this time of year. Wish I were published already. Then I could quit. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening for a few years, yet (but I do see it happening – so that’s good, right?).

Came up with a better query yesterday. Refining it some more today. Need feedback from the daughter. I’m just happy I found the angle I was looking for. Why it took me so long is another matter.

I got to write last night (happy happy joy joy). The shopping is done (except for the groceries – that will happen tomorrow morning) and the wrapping is finished.  I’m READY (yea!). The husband had some things he wanted to take care of last night, so I jumped all over the free time that was handed to me and wrote. Got two new pages, too (almost up to 26,000 words). I think it helped that I figured out how my query should be for Book 1 (since I’m writing the sequel in Book 2). For a while there, I thought I was going to have to re-think Book 1 and re-write a majority of it. All because I was going at the query the wrong way. UGH! It’s amazing how such a little thing can bring such dire thoughts.

Oh well, enough rambling. Merry Christmas! Keep warm.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Even during the holidays and writing, I do read.  Every day at work, during lunch, I read.  I usually have a book in my purse, because there comes a time when I'm sitting around waiting - so I read.  So in the process of all that reading, I decided to start documenting it, because frankly, I forget.  How many books did I read this year?  I can't remember, but I know it's a lot!  So, maybe I can use this to track my reading.  And if you want to tell me what you've read, help yourself.  Maybe I'll find a new author (as if my TBR pile isn't big enough).

Anyway, the current book in process (started last Thursday) is "Dexter by Design" by Jeff Lindsay.  I read the first three Dexter books and enjoyed them.  Got my husband to read them, too (well, he's currently reading book 3).  We got hooked on the series, and when I saw they were based on books, well... That's how I came to find the Sookie books by Charlaine Harris (by watching "True Blood") - and I've read all of them already.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

My new query isn't working, but I'm not giving up.  I'll make it work eventually.  I just need to think about it some more. 

I'm now going through the passes in my manuscript for editing.  I went through it yesterday to make sure the endings of the chapters left the reader with a hook (and if it didn't a note to fix it) and transitioned into the next chapter smoothly.  I have some chapters that need fixing, but not a lot.  That's good.

Today or tomorrow I'll go through it and look for something else more specific (i.e. characters or dialog).  I'm not reading the book, only glancing through it to make sure each scene or chapter moves the story along.  In yesterday's process, I found four pages that could probably be eliminated (but would like my daughter's opinion on them, first).

According to a workshop I took, there are seven revision passes.  I don't know if I'll be able to figure out all seven, but I'm trying.  Once I'm finished, then it's back to the computer and fixing the areas that need fixing.  Maybe in all that I'll figure out how to make my query unique.

Good news anyway - I got my shopping finished yesterday.  Woke up to some snow, but nothing compared to what the eastern coast got (thank God!).  After I saw the news this morning, I decided not to show the picture of our snow, since it really was insignificant to what was dumped in NY & NJ!

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Query

I've posted the query below on a query blog and hope to get some feedback on it.  Then I thought I might as well post it here, too, just in case there's anyone out there that wants to know what my book is all about.  So here it is:

Like all vampires, John Pennington can slip into the minds of mortals and control their thoughts and actions. Touch their skin and he can read their thoughts or bring the ones he wants to the surface, and his saliva can heal the marks his teeth leave behind after he feeds on them. But unlike most vampires, when John sees a mortal in trouble, he will step in and help any way he can as long as it doesn’t reveal his true identity.

So he doesn’t do anything different on the night he finds an unconscious woman being tossed into a trunk by a serial killer. It’s not until he places the still unconscious woman in her car that he discovers a scent so enticing it draws him closer to her and when he touches her skin, he feels a rush of warmth he never thought possible. He’s intrigued, but vampires don’t involve themselves with humans and he leaves her, without any knowledge of him or his deed.

Sarah Daugherty has survived an abusive ex-husband and is on her own for the first time. When she wakes in her car with vague memories of being abducted, she’s terrified, and the following night takes up an offer to go out after work. Only looking for company, what she finds instead is a sexy bartender named John. So what if he’s allergic to the sun. So what if he’s on a special liquid diet. His touch causes her heart to race and sets her body on fire. She convinces him to give dating a chance.

John finds himself falling in love with Sarah and it’s with all his inner strength to keep their relationship platonic, for he made a promise to himself that he wouldn’t make love to her until she knew the truth. But the fear of losing her forever becomes too much of a risk for him to take and he keeps putting off what he knows in his heart he must do.

THE UNCOMMON ONE is a paranormal romance of 109,000 words.

I'd be interested in hearing what anyone here thinks about it.  Writing this was a pain, and I'm still not sure it's working.  Does this make you want to read more?  That's what I need to sell.  I need to make an agent interested in asking for more.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's Almost Here and I'm Not Ready

I don’t necessarily think Christmas starts early. If I had paid any attention to the signs, I would be ready for the big day. But no, the darn Holiday has snuck up on me – again.

When it was October and the catalogs poured into the mail box, I thought, “I have plenty of time, no need to rush.” Then when Halloween and Thanksgiving came and went, I still thought I had plenty of time. Boy, was I fooling myself or what?

I finally got the tree decorated yesterday. YESTERDAY! Normally, it’s done the first weekend of December. Now granted, I was on vacation and away from home then, so I probably should have done it Thanksgiving weekend, but I didn’t. I thought I’d be able to do it when I got home. HA! I really did fool myself!

At least I’m closer to being ready for Christmas. I got the California package shipped yesterday (and luckily will arrive BEFORE the 25th). I also got the Christmas Cards out around the same time I did last year, so I didn’t get any worse in that respect. But this Christmas is starting to look a lot like the one in 2004.

That was the year we went to Hawaii & Santa Barbara and was gone for nearly two weeks – the first two weeks of December. Hey – we got married in December, so that’s when we celebrate our anniversary & 2004 was our 25th. Anyway, we got back home from that vacation to SNOW, and lots of it. So much so, roads and businesses (the mall – shock!) were closed. I had nightmares that Christmas came and the tree was bare – no presents. I did most of my shopping in one day at WalMart (about the only thing I could easily get to and was open), vowing never to go through that again. While it’s not that bad this year (I have some presents purchased already, whew, and it hasn’t snowed - yet), it’s close. Why do I do this to myself? Maybe I better go re-read my post on Procrastination.

My goal is to be finished with my shopping by this weekend. Will it happen? I sure hope so, because next I’ll have to find the time to wrap (and I must leave myself plenty of time to procrastinate – ha ha). I guess it’s a good thing I have the 24th off.

I can see how hard it is to write this time of year. I’m getting withdrawals – I haven’t been able to write much since we got back home. I have been working on my query for Book 1, but that doesn’t really count. I want to write Book 2. It’s itching to come out. I keep telling myself if I get everything done before the 24th, I can spend that day writing. I sure hope I listen.

And before I go, I just want to say WELCOME to my two followers. I think it’s so cool that people are interested in ME.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Step Closer

I finally got Book #1 (The Uncommon One) back from my daughter after she reviewed and “edited” it. Frankly, I was a little surprised. I thought she would tear it to pieces. The mistakes she found were valid (I apparently like semi-colons too much!) and most of her suggestions warrant changes (where as one big suggestion warrants a discussion with her). Anyway, I was encouraged and not bummed as I expected to be.

That book is currently entered in three contests of which I hope to get critique back in January and February. After that, I will start looking for an agent, as soon as I can figure out how to write a query that doesn’t sound like Twilight. Apparently you have a book with a vampire and a human and people assume Twilight. The query has been tough to write and I’m still looking for some help with my daughter (gotta find that angle that separates it from the rest of the vampire novels).

By the way, she is studying to be an editor – so I’m really giving her practice here!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vacation Pictures

Here are some pictures from our vacation. The one on the bottom is me in front of Paris Las Vegas (Eiffel Tower). The one on the top is at the Grand Canyon. I'm still new at this and I can't seem to get them lined up correctly. Maybe I'll get good at this one day!
Vacation was great though. Our last full day in Las Vegas was spent walking on the strip. We tried to "lose" five dollars each at each of the casinos. We pretty much succeeded, too. I did win at one of them, enough to buy lunch, so that was nice. We stuck to the penny slots, trying to make our five bucks last. Sometimes it didn't last long. One thing - those casinos are huge. We were in Caesars Palace and found the Cheesecake Factory. Later (on our trip back), we decided we wanted dessert there, and thought we'd be able to find it again. We got lost and had to get directions (had to have that cheesecake, you know?).
Now our vacation is over and it's back to everyday work (ugh).

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Went and saw Cirque du Soleil's KA at the MGM Grand tonight. It was the first time I've ever seen anything from them and I wasn't sure what to expect. All I can say is "WOW". It was quite a show. Very talented people (not to mention brave being hung by wires and flying across the theatre).

Said goodbye to my parents tonight since they drive back to Santa Barbara tomorrow morning. We're here until Friday and then it's back to Dayton. We really thought we were coming to a warmer place. It wasn't 43 when we left (although I hear it's been colder since). I hope it's warmer tomorrow, though. We're back to walking. I had to buy gloves and a scarf (stuff I had at home and didn't think I needed!).

Writing's been going well here, too. I'm up to 24,300 words (and I don't think I had hit 20,000 when we got here on the 4th). I'm trying to just get the words down on the page and worry about how good or bad they are later. So far it seems to be working.

Oh - and just because it says I posted this at 2 in the morning, that's EST and I'm currently in PST.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Grand Canyon

I'd like to post some pictures, but the wireless network we're on is shakey, at best, and I keep getting timed out. So, they will have to wait until I'm back home.

Yesterday we went to the Grand Canyon and it was freezing! The wind chill was 1 degree - and it was WINDY! We were not dressed for that. I wish I had a scarf, it would have come in handy.

But the canyon looks just as gorgeous as I remember it from 1977 (the last time I saw it). I just wish it were sunnier and warmer. It was 2:00pm before we actually got our first view, and with the sun setting at 4:30, there were lots of shadows. I haven't had a chance to view our pictures, yet. I hope they came out okay.

A long drive for two hours of viewing, but I think it was worth it. Shivering burns calories, right?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Las Vegas

My feet hurt!

We walked south to MGM Grand and back to our place yesterday (after stopping at Hard Rock Cafe for lunch). Loved MGM Grand and found that's the place where John & Sarah will get married! We'll be back there on Wednesday to see Cirque du Soleil "KA". Then today we walked the north side from our place. I think we made it as far as Wynn & Encore, but we did walk all through the The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. That place never ends (and probably changed names a couple of times).

We did gamble a little, but only the penny slots. We're not big risk takers, but it was fun to play for a while. Also, the cigarette smoke got to me after awhile, so it was a good thing we never stayed in the casinos for any length of time. At least smoking isn't allowed in the restaurants.

But all that walking has taken a toll on my poor body. I'm not used to it anymore (my fault there-I've slacked off on the gym recently) and I hurt. Tomorrow we take a long bus ride to the Grand Canyon, so I guess my butt will hurt tomorrow (ha ha).

At least I was able to get some writing done this morning. That was nice. Tomorrow I won't get anything done. We have to meet our bus at 6:40am and won't be back until around 9:30pm. I doubt I'll feel like writing! I'll just have to plot, instead.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I’m such a procrastinator.

We’re leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow morning (flight leaves at 6:30am, we should be at the airport by 4:30-5:00am), and I haven’t done any packing. Well, that’s not totally true. I’ve gathered SOME stuff together, and I started a list. I guess that’s better than nothing.

I also haven’t bought my Christmas Cards, which I had hoped to have mailed by now. Got the letter written (but unprinted – meant to do that last night!) and the addresses all ready, but I’m missing the cards!

I used to be better than this. I used to have everything organized and ready to go. What happened?

I’d like to say writing happened, and in a way it has – this year. But this has been going on the last few years. I told Jim (my husband) last night that we are such procrastinators. And we are. One of us shouldn’t be. But I don’t want that one to be me!

One thing I have noticed about myself and procrastination. I always started a lot of projects that never got finished. Sewing, crocheting, and organizing photos, to name a few, leaving piles of crap laying about waiting to be completed. But writing isn’t one of those things. I not only started to write a book, I finished it. And I not only finished it, I edited it (and I’m still editing it). And I’m not only editing that book, I started writing another. There’s no sign of procrastination when it comes to my writing. I found something I enjoy all the steps of.

With my other projects, I just wanted the end result. I never really cared for the process to get there. It was a chore. I enjoy the whole process of writing. Thus, it gets done, where my other projects sit in various corners waiting to be completed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

30 Years Ago Today

30 years ago today I married my best friend and we've been together ever since. Wouldn't want it any other way, either!

Happy Anniversary Sweetie!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Writing's Good

After writing a summary out for Book 2 (currently untitled), I've finally got back to the book I started back in September. Since it's a sequel to The Uncommon One, I had to fix some things in that book before I could go on to Book 2. I found writing out the summary first to be so much more productive, too (wish I had thought about that before writing Book 1, but I was a newby and didn't know any better).

Anyway, I feel like I'm going somewhere with this book and actually added another 1,000 words. Not much, I know, but better than what I had done the past week! Any progress is good progress. And my ideas are playing in my head, so that's good, too. The book is talking to me and I want to write. So why am I here? I just finished writing out my Christmas letter and thought I would jot a note here (since I mention this blog in the letter). As soon as this is posted, I'll be back to John & Sarah.

I love writing! Even the Christmas letter went faster this year. I was dreading writing it, but once I got going, it went pretty well. I impressed myself. Now all I have to do is go out and buy Christmas Cards (uh oh!).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday?

Black Friday isn't for me. Been there, done that.

After going to the movies, we actually got some work done around the house. Between wanting to write and finishing the book I was reading (Lynsay Sands' "The Renegade Hunter"), I don't get much in the mood to clean. But, then again, I'm NEVER in the mood to clean. There are always more important things to do.

This weekend will be quiet, though. OSU football is finished until the Rose Bowl and the Steelers don't play until Sunday night (And who looks forward to the night before they have to go to work? Not me!). So, I'm hoping to get some writing done, which I plan on doing as soon as I post this.

If anything, this blog will be like the diaries I used to keep as a teenager. Except anyone can read these and no one tried to read my diaries. It's a nice place to keep a record of what I do. Which is usually nothing. Oh well!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.

I've been thinking about doing this blog thing for a while now. We'll see how well I do. It will probably take me some practice to just get ideas!

I ate too much today and I actually only ate one meal (although who knows if I snack any more before heading for bed).

Tomorrow is family movie day, a tradition that started in the late 80's, when the kids were small. That first movie was the forgettable "Ghost Dad". Yeah, it was bad. This year our movie is "New Moon", even though my daughter & I saw the midnight showing last Thursday night. We're big fans of the books, and were very pleased with how "New Moon" was filmed. My husband & son don't seem to mind. They sat through "Twilight" for last year's day after Thanksgiving movie. Our other family movie day is Christmas. So far, "Sherlock Holmes" is in the running (unless something else catches our eye).

Well, that's all for my first blog. If someone reads this, I'll be shocked!