Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I have recently (like, yesterday), revised my query - the letter I plan on sending out to more agents. I’m thinking about posting it on my blog and getting your opinion (and maybe spreading the news to the RWA chapters I belong to, to also check it out). Good idea? Bad? I’d like to know what you think about that.

Not that I blog everyday (I’m lucky to hit twice a week!), but next week I’ll be on vacation. We’re taking what I call a “car cruise”. Hitting cities we’ve never visited before. If I have access to the internet at night (and the odds are pretty much in our favor), I may post more often. That’s if I have any decent pictures or funny stories to share. Heck, I’m with my husband. I’m sure I’ll have at least one funny story to share. I’ll just have to remember to write it down when it happens or else I’ll forget.

Do you own an e-book reader? Do you want to? I’m still in the NO category on those things. Why mess with something that works? I just foresee problems with electronic gadgets in the future. AND the changes in formats (you know it’ll happen). I’ll stick with bound books.

In case I've never thanked you - I thank you for following my blog (or reading, if you’re here and don’t follow). It’s almost like writing a letter to a friend. That’s what I try to do here, anyway.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Went and saw “Inception” this past weekend. I enjoyed the movie. My kids enjoyed the movie. My husband said “It was okay.” He thought it was strange.

While the kids wanting to see the movie kind of pushed him into going, he also told me he figured I’d go see “Salt” with him now since he saw “Inception” with me. If the kids wanted to see “Salt”, I’d tell him to go without me. The problem is, they don’t want to see it and he won’t go by himself.

And do I need to mention the reason why I don’t want to see "Salt"?  Yes, I’m petty, but I don’t like Angelina Jolie and I hate filling her pockets. I feel the same toward Sarah Jessica Parker.

I will normally dismiss a film if I see they are in it (and I rejoice when I see they got bad reviews). I don’t know what it is about them, but they just rub me the wrong way. Are there actors out there that you refuse to watch on film (or stage)? Or am I just strange that way?

I mean, I wouldn’t buy a book from an author I disliked. Why would I pay to see a movie that stars someone I disliked?  I guess I'm just picky as to who I give my money to.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I’ve been thinking about goals lately and I realized if I want to be published, I better get used to setting them. Someday I might have deadlines!

So, first I set a goal to have my current WIP finished by October. That’s doable, right? I thought that would be a good goal. But how do I go about making sure I'm on my way to making that goal?

Robert Gregory Browne asked on Facebook how you judge your writing goals. By time, pages, or words. I thought I judged my goal by time, but realized that wouldn’t get my book done by then. Some days I write a lot in the time I have, other days not so much.

Pages are nice, but some pages are full, others only contain two lines. Very deceiving. Since I’m judging my WIP in words, then I need to have a word goal.

So how MUCH would I have to write PER DAY to reach my October goal? And do I want the first draft done by then, or the first draft with one edit? That makes a difference in the number of words I need done by October.

I chose first draft. It’s been recommended to let your book “simmer” for a few weeks before you even think about editing (and I’ve found it does help – I’ll just use those weeks to start on the next book).

My finished word count goal is 100,000 words (or thereabouts). Knowing ME, the first draft should only be about 80,000 words (since I tend to leave out a lot of description and stuff like that – I add that during the edit). I’m currently at 50,000 words. That leaves 30,000 words until October.

To meet that October goal, that means I have to average roughly 500 words per day. Okay – I finally have a goal I can wrap my mind around. A daily goal that is reachable.

There was a time I thought 1000 words a day was doable. Yeah – if I didn’t work full time, that is. But 500 words a day is more realistic (and sometimes the weekends will make up that average on those week days I just can’t write). I’m currently averaging 666 words per day. Not bad. Maybe I'll get done sooner.  That would be even better.

Do you have writing goals? What kind? Do they help you? I find my goal has helped tremendously. If I’ve written at least 500 words in the day, I find I can relax a little more (and maybe even watch TV with my hubby).

Now the question - how do you make an EDITING goal?  I really want to know!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Promise

I hate it when I come up with a good idea for a blog, don’t write it down, and then STRUGGLE to find the topic in my brain!

And it was a good topic, at least a good topic to rant about. That much I know.

James Taylor said in an interview (I think on CBS Sunday Morning – not sure, I don’t normally watch the show, but I was looking for the weather and stopped to see what James Taylor had to say), that his ideas come floating down from the sky. If he doesn’t catch them, they will drop to the ground and be forgotten.

How true is that? It’s apparently true for me!

And it’s not like I don’t have a pad of paper with a pen in every room of the house. There’s no excuse. I should know better by now. I’ve let too many ideas fall to the ground.

So, today, on my birthday (yep, another year older, that’s me), I’m making a promise to myself to WRITE down all my ideas as they occur. Regardless of what time it is (even if it’s 3:00 a.m.). I don’t want to lose another one to the ground.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why Is it?

Why is it I yearn to write my story every minute of every day, but when I’m asked (told) to prepare a business letter I cringe?

And it’s not that I can’t do it. I can. Sort of. But my first reaction is “UGH!”

I’ve written personal letters since I was 11. That’s when we moved from Wilmington (in Los Angeles County) to Santa Barbara (more than two hours north). That’s when I started writing to the friend I left behind.

I liked writing so much, I started responding to requests for pen pals (my parents belonged to the Independent Order of Foresters – an insurance agency that sent out a quarterly magazine, including a section to request pen pals). I didn’t have much luck there, so I put in my own ad (and then I found out why I didn’t have much luck – I got more responses than I knew what to do with!).

But I loved writing personal letters (loved receiving them more), even though I didn’t really have all that much to write about.

When I joined the Army, my pen pals dwindled. When I married, they practically disappeared. Then I found another form of writing I enjoyed – Procedures.

I document EVERYTHING. I write out how do to each job step by step so someone else can follow. And once the procedure is written, I fix it every time I find a mistake (or the procedure changes).

So, why is it I can’t write a simple business letter? What is it about them that make my skin crawl? Just what is the difference? I really want to know!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I’m thinking about my first book too much again. The form rejections I received from the few agents I’ve queried haven’t helped any, either.

Should I change the beginning? Should I change the end? Should I change this scene or that? The questions never stop.

I keep telling myself to WAIT. Wait until I hear back from the last contest I entered. Wait until I have a chance to talk to my beta reader. Waiting is hard, though. I won’t get the results from the contest until October. Dang – can I really wait THAT long? At least I’m talking to my beta reader on Saturday (I hope, anyway!).

I’m afraid to send out more queries. If my book isn’t ready as it is, I don’t want to blow anymore chances. I want a good agent.

I’m hoping it’s all in my head, that I’m over-analyzing the whole thing. It’s what I do (and I’ve gotten very good at it).

So I will wait until I hear back from the contest. I owe my book that much. If I don’t final (and that is what my goal is, although winning would be SWEET), then it’s back to the drawing board (or the critique group). Because I will NOT give up on my book. It deserves its chance to be read.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

I’ve been awarded THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD. It’s my first award.

The rules:
1. Thank those who loved me enough to bestow this gift.
2. Share seven things about myself.
3. Bestow this honor onto 15 newly discovered or followed bloggers–in no particular order–who are fantastic in some way.
4. Drop by and let my fifteen new friends know I love them.

I’m afraid I won’t be able to follow all the rules, though. I don’t think I follow 15 blogs who don’t already have this award.

So, thank you Danica Avet! If you don’t follow her blog, you should. Especially on Fridays! I’ll let you figure that out for yourself.
Seven things about myself:

1. I was in the Army for nearly six years. Held the rank of Specialist5 – SP5 (E5). Since I was a clerk-typist, I couldn’t be a Sergeant. Bummer!

2. I went to high school with Meg Gardiner. We weren't exactly acquaintences since she was sort of popular and I wasn't, but I remember her (and her sister & my sister were friends).  Does that make me a name dropper? Probably. She won’t mind if I tell everyone to go read her books. They’re AWESOME!

3. I am a direct descendant of Susannah Martin (actually from two of her daughters – cousins married later down the line). Who’s she? She was executed during the Salem Witch Trials as a WITCH.

4. I collected stamps when I was in high school. I thought they were cool. Still have the collection somewhere in the house.

5. When I was 13, I placed my name in an ad to get pen pals. It stated my age. Of course, the ad didn’t run until I was three months shy of 15. Mostly everyone who responded (and I had LOTS of responses) was a year or two younger than me. I gave some of the rejects to my sister (who is a year younger than me), since there was no way I could afford to write to them all. I still correspond with some of them (even if it is only during Christmas!).

6. I played the clarinet in my high school band. I don’t think I could play one now if my life depended on it. But I can still sort of play the piano.

7. I was never much of a reader until I read “Gone With the Wind”. And the only reason I read that book was that it counted for three books in my ninth-grade English class. I read it in ten days (a record for me at the time). Since then, I’ve been hooked on reading.

I bestow this honor to only one blogger, since most of the blogs I have followed the longest either already have this award or of the type I’m not comfortable sending (agents, publishers, or multi-authored). Stacie Carver’s blog “One Writer’s Journey” hasn’t been around long. I met her at the RT Convention and we became friends. I’m hoping this award will get her to blog more often!

I really haven’t been following blogs all that long. Heck, I’ve only been writing this one since November. And the reason I started this blog was to make it easier on ME to find the blogs I follow. Crazy, huh?

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me.  I kind of had fun trying to think of seven interesting things.  Hopefully I succeeded.

Monday, July 5, 2010

40,000 and Counting

I reached 40,000 words on my WIP today and it feels GREAT!

I woke up with a conversation in my head and just had to come down and write.  I love when that happens.  I love it even more when it happens and I can take action.  Since today was a holiday for me, I was able to take action.

I got the scene written (first draft quality, of course - I can fill in the details later) and now I need to think about the next one.  If I wake up with a conversation tomorrow, I'm in trouble.  Gotta be back at work in the morning (groan).

I was awared a blog award today (that sounds funny when I say it out loud).  I'm not really sure how to go about doing everything I need to do, so it will take me a while to get that blog ready.  I still struggle with links! 

Until then - ta ta!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Buffy & Other Stuff

Has anyone here seen the series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”? My daughter is working her way at converting me to a “Buffy” fan.

Saw the first two episodes last night. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy, but I’m curious now. Guess I want to know what all the fuss is about. And since I write vampire romance, maybe I should know what someone means when they tell me to “Buffy up my character”.

I was able to sort of fix my query during our wait to see “Eclipse” (which, by the way, is the best of the three). My daughter & I got to the theatre around 6:30 and were no where near the beginning of the line. Yes, we had tickets. We just wanted to make sure we had a good seat when they let us in (and we got lucky this year – they let us in at 8:45).

She helped point out what might be wrong with my query. I haven’t submitted the new one, yet. I like to give my changes a chance to “simmer”. And I haven’t even been able to write since Monday (I think I’m going through withdrawals). I’m hoping I can concentrate on writing during this long weekend. It’s not like we’re going anywhere (except Saturday night – a Dragons game and fireworks after). I’m looking forward to quiet.

As for my Exposed blog: I do have to say, my husband came through. While I was at the theatre on Tuesday night, he went out and purchased some new blinds for the bathroom – and installed them. I’m no longer an exhibitionist and I’m happy about it. I made sure to let him know I noticed, too.

Have a save and happy Fourth!