Monday, August 30, 2010

I Bought One

On Friday night, as I was writing Book 2, I realized I needed to know how far an Xterra can drive on a tank of gas (so I knew which city my characters were stopping in). So, I hopped on over to Nissan’s website to find out how much gas an Xterra held.

What caught my attention as the website came into view, was the 0% financing that was being offered by Nissan. Another click, and wha-la, Xterras were included!

Well, well, well. My husband told me about a week or so ago that if I found 0% financing, that I could buy one. And that’s what we did on Saturday.

I am now a proud owner of a Night Armor Xterra Off Road. It’s not yellow (darn!). It’s not even white (double-darn!), but it’s mine. I love it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Writing Fiction

For you fiction writers out there – what part of writing is the hardest? Is it the research? Description? Dialogue? Is there anything “easy” about writing for you?

I don’t write historicals because of the research involved. Some history is interesting, but I’m not writing a history book and I don’t want to write a history book. However, sometimes I have to research a part of history, because when you write about vampires that were born in the 1600’s, you might want to make sure you got their “lingo” correct. I don’t seem to have any problem with this kind of research (Google is my friend).

I also might have to do research on a city I’ve never been to. With fiction, it doesn’t have to be completely accurate, but I am trying to write about vampires in a real world, so I try my best to make most of it factual. I don’t mind this research, either.

Descriptions are a pain. They take me out of the story. I know I need to give some description so the reader isn’t totally lost – and I have to rely on my first readers to tell me if I haven’t given enough description. But when I’m in the midst of writing my first draft, I’ll put “[ADD DESCRIPTION]” in the area that I know needs some. Adding description (and doing research) is a whole lot easier to do during the edit stage. I’ll have to give J.D. Rhoades credit (from for that idea.

I like dialogue. My first drafts are mostly dialogue. Which is funny, since I’m not a talkative person. I thought that this would be my stumbling block, but it’s not. I always have better conversations in my head than I do for real (and lucky for me, I can write them down).

So how about you? Even if you’re not a writer, what parts of a book do you like the best? The least? Yes, this is a trick to get you to comment on my blog. So sue me!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Meme Time

Got the following from a blog I follow, Tales from the Writing Front, which she got from another blog. Go ahead and copy the questions and post your answers on your own blog (or in the comments of this blog if you don't have your own). It’s allowed!

Writers Meme

What’s your favorite genre of writing? Paranormal Romance

How often do you get writer’s block? I don’t believe I’ve had it, yet. Hope I never do, either.

How do you fix it? I guess if I had it, I’d read to inspire me. That’s how I got to writing in the first place.

Do you type or write by hand? Type. I tried by hand, which is great if you don’t have a computer. But then I have to decipher what I wrote, and that’s not always easy!

Do you save everything you write? Yes.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? I write all my ideas down. I’ll never know when I’ll want them.

Do you have a constructive critic? Yes, I think I finally found one and she’s great!

Did you ever write a novel? Yes. My first attempt, too.

What genre would you love to write but haven’t? Suspense and Horror/Thriller (not the gross kind, but scary). Maybe with practice I can get there.

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will? Epic Fantasy. Can’t stand to read it, either.

How many writing projects are you working on right now? One. I do have the beginnings of a third, and the fourth plotted (sort of) – and I may switch them depending on whether or not my first book sells.

Do you write for a living? No.

Do you want to? Sure! But I’ll settle for supplemental income.

Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper? Nope.

Have you ever won an award for your writing? Nope (or should I say – NOT YET?).

Do you ever write based on your dreams? Not really, but I do play the scenes in my head when I’m in bed – does that count? I have to get up and write them down, though, or I’ll forget them.

Do you favor happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers? Definitely happy endings. I don’t care for cliff-hangers, even though I’ve read books with them. I felt it was a cheap way for the author to get me to buy the next book. And I like to be happy when I read – not sad.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I’m a bit frazzled.

I used to have a lot of free time on my hands. And I spent most of it watching TV. It was easy – and I could eat at the same time (and get fat doing it) – but it could be boring, too. I read, but I was in such a hole I only delegated reading to a couple of authors.

Then my daughter introduced me to “Twilight”. After devouring all those books (numerous times), I went searching for more authors to read (while I still love Stephen King and Dean Koontz, they just don’t write fast enough for me). I found Meg Gardiner, who led me to Tess Gerritsen, who led me to, which led me to a slew of other authors I’ve come to enjoy. My daughter has even introduced me to several more.

Then a funny thought entered my brain. Could I write? I really loved the love story in “Twilight”. I wanted to read more stories like that. Why couldn’t I write one?

Enter the world of writing (timestamp: April 2009).

Since then, I don’t want to watch so much TV. Why? Because it keeps me from writing.

I have more books to read, but now less time to read. Why? Because it keeps me from writing.

I used to enjoy being BUSY at work. A boring day was a long day. But once I started to fill up my idle-time with writing, I hated being busy at work. You know why!

Now, life is getting in the way and it shouldn’t. I wish I knew how to balance my time better. When I get behind the “wheel” of my laptop, time flies by. At least I am aware of this and know when NOT to write (like before I leave for work – if I did that, I’d be late everyday). I’m also learning to keep an eye on the clock better (especially when I have to, like I am as I write this blog).

All I want to do is write or read or take classes for writing. Unfortunately, I have to take time to work, eat and sleep, too. I do set aside some time for my family. But I keep hearing the laptop call my name when I’m not on it writing (or doing writing activities). How can I get it to shut up? And should I bother?

Maybe frazzled is a good thing. It sure beats boring.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Query - Posted Here

First off, let me say - my job is not in jeopardy.  Apparently I expected the worst and only got bad (but I can live with bad - I might not be happy, but that's another thing).

Now on with the title of my post.  I've decided to post my query here.  For you few people who follow, I would really appreciate your opinion (and for those of you who read and don't follow - you can e-mail me separately if you want.  I won't mind).  I was told I finally "nailed it".  This, from a person who has read (and loves) my book.  I'd like to think I really did nail it, but I won't know until I start to use it.  I'm just not sure WHEN I want to use it.  Should I wait until I hear back from the contest in October or just GO FOR IT?  Decisions, decisions.  Anyway, here is the query for my book, THE UNCOMMON ONE, a paranormal romance.

When a newly undead vampire cautiously re-enters society, he falls in love with the one human who can expose him for what he is.

John Pennington is focused on becoming the perfect ordinary mortal. He moves into the city, buys a sports bar, and works as the bartender. Dating is out of the question – he is a vampire after all. Then he meets Sarah Daugherty.

He’s uncommonly drawn to her and touching her generates a warmth he never thought he would experience again. But keeping his identity a secret from her is tougher than he expected. Unlike other mortals, he can’t read her thoughts or enter her mind. If she should discover his identity he’d have no way to wipe her memory – standard practice for repairing vampire slip-ups.

Even with his fears, life is amazing with her in it. He feels more human around her and is unwilling to give that up. In love for the first time, he knows she’s a risk worth taking.

After surviving an abusive ex-husband, Sarah is wary of any man’s interest. But John is different. He seems to care what she thinks and values her opinion. Then she finds out what he is and runs. Unable to forget the loving and kind way he treated her, she realizes she cares for him and goes back to face the challenges of dating a vampire.

While they begin their relationship, someone else is determined to end it. Sarah’s life is in danger and John must find the person responsible before she’s lost to him forever.

Okay - so give me your best shot.  Does this intrigue you to want to read more (even if you're not into romance)?  I appreciate all comments.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Two years ago I was working as a cost accountant. While I wasn’t thrilled with my duties (I absolutely hated doing inventory), I enjoyed the people I worked with. When my first boss quit a few years prior and I didn’t get the open position, I almost quit. But the person they hired in her place was competent and I realized she was the better choice. I came to like working for her.

Two years ago my boss was promoted. I waited for the job announcement so I could apply for the position again (since it was inferred before that the job could be mine).  Now, I didn't really want to be a manager, but in order to make more money, it was the next step for me.  I was willing to change (and I psyched myself up for it, too). Instead, it was announced the position would not be filled.

Not long after that, during a department meeting, it was announced that someone from another part of the company was going to fill that position. Someone who had no background in cost accounting. Someone who didn’t even know what cost accounting was. She was my new boss.

That was when I made the decision to leave. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I was tired of being taken advantage. I had been at that job for over 14 years. I felt I deserved better. I felt they should at least have talked to me first.

I’ve been at my new job (in sales, not accounting) for 15 months. It wasn’t my dream job, but it paid more than my previous job (and at the time, we thought my husband was going to be fired, so I was looking for more money) and I was told I wouldn’t have to work in sales. I was support. I was to work on the databases and help with processes. Heck, I don’t really have a “dream job” anymore. Writing would fill that position. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay right now!

Anyway, the job is becoming less and less what I was told it would be. A lot of changes have come about because the person who hired me is no longer there. I’ve come to another point in my life where I need to make a decision. Luckily for me, my husband was not fired (now his job is more secure than ever – go figure), and he’s supporting my decision. I’m glad. I think I would be really miserable if he hadn’t.

I’ve decided to fight back. I don’t know which way it will go (they’ll either bend to keep me or let me go). But I realize that in order to be happy, I must stick to my guns. I am what I am and they can’t make me be someone else. I’ll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


When you think of the term “multi-tasking”, you probably think it means doing more than one thing at a time. Like reading a book and watching the Olympics (done that – couldn’t put “Twilight” down!). But I also think it can apply to things, too. Unfortunately, my son did not.

He mentioned making enchiladas (yes, the boy cooks – and more than I do. It’s amazing what moving out can do), but the pan he had was too large and they didn’t turn out right. He then went on to say he would buy a smaller pan.

“Why don’t you use the lasagna pan?” I asked. That’s the pan his “Aunt” gave him as a house warming present because she loves to make his favorite dish; thus the name.

His response? “That pan is for lasagna.”

“So?” I said. “You don’t think a pan can multi-task?”

Seems he never even thought about it. He figured a pan had one use and one use only. The next week when he came over, he sheepishly admitted the lasagna pan had worked out nicely for his enchiladas.

It’s nice that he is learning to multi-task his cookware. It’ll be cheaper for him in the long run. It’s not like he has a large apartment.

It’s even nicer that he cooks. I really never thought I’d see the day (since his idea of cooking before was heating frozen pizza or pizza rolls). So, if there are any women out there looking for a man who can cook, I can introduce you to my son. Just kidding! Maybe.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Church Signs and My Crazy Mind

On my commute to and from work, I pass several churches on the way. They all have a sign out front, inviting people to come and visit. I always read the signs (I think I read everything!) because sometimes they are funny (intentionally or unintentionally).

However, the sign out front of one particular church today made me wonder what exactly they were inferring. It said “We Welcome Sinners. Especially Pilots”.

What do you suppose they meant by that remark? That if the pilot was a sinner, the plane would crash? Forget about all the non-sinning persons on board!

What about the passengers? If a sinful pilot could cause the plane to crash, couldn’t a sinful passenger? Then what difference would it make whether the pilot was a sinner or not?

Or were they saying a sinful pilot would WANT the plane to crash? I find that hard to believe. What sinner WANTS to die?

That’s the kind of stupid stuff that goes through my head when I read signs like that.  How about you?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New England - Beautiful

Yesterday we managed to make it back to the States without any incident. It even stayed dry.

I think the best part of our trip was driving through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Very beautiful. Lots of mountains and trees. Lots of greenery. We actually made it to Bangor and took a picture of the Paul Bunyan statue. Whenever I get around to downloading my camera, I’ll have to see about posting some pictures (or at least put them on Facebook). I’m terrible when it comes to taking pictures and worse when it comes to downloading them.

After Bangor, we drove to Belfast (on the coast) and had ourselves lobster for dinner. We sat outside and had a nice view of the ocean. Very pretty. Weather was perfect. Couldn’t ask for anything better!

Today, we drove down the coast of Maine (starting point Augusta). We took US-1 (instead of the interstate), hoping to see the ocean. Didn’t happen. Guess I was spoiled living in California. When you drive the coast of California, you actually see the ocean!

We drove through lots of little towns packed full of people. Don’t know what the draw is, since we never really saw much water. I guess people just like to shop (of which I am not one). The day was overcast and by the time we decided to head on up to the Interstate, the sky decided to open up and saw fit to drop gallons of water all at once (thankfully, we had put the top up on the car by then!). And of course it happened on the part of the road that was newly paved and not painted. Very tough driving when you can’t see the lanes.

Guess we should consider ourselves lucky that it's only rained on two of our vacation days (and toward the end of them, at that).  Most of the time the weather has been perfect for our convertible.

While I’m enjoying my vacation, I’m not getting much writing done.  No writing yesterday or today, although I am getting ideas for future scenes jotted down, so there’s that (meaning: writing will come easier once I have time to actually sit and write). Vacation only reinforces why I don’t want to work anymore! But it pays for the bills and the vacations. Must keep telling myself that.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Canada -or- What Were We Thinking?

On our first day of our “car cruise”, we drove from Dayton, OH to Buffalo, NY. That was so we could spend the second day in Niagara Falls. We took a tour there, just so we could see everything in one day without the hassle of driving or parking. It cost a bit, but was well worth the money.

Our third day was between Buffalo, NY and Albany, NY, with a stop at Cooperstown. I’ve always wanted to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. Now I can say I’ve been there. Quaint little town, too.

Today’s leg of our vacation was between Albany, NY and Montreal, QC. We traveled through the Adirondack Mountains by way of Lake Placid (just so we can say we’ve been there!). It rained a little during our scenic drive, but not steady, so we were able to put the top down on the car through most of that side trip.

So, a trip that should have only taken a few hours, became several because of our side trip. But we didn’t care. We weren’t sure what to find in Montreal. We only picked it because we’d never been. After being in Niagara Falls and going over to the Canada side, we were kind of prepared when it came to traveling to Montreal.

What we weren’t prepared for, besides the pouring down rain, was the fact our Garmin did not work in Canada. We couldn’t plug in the address to our hotel.

Thank GOD we had maps. I’ll never wonder if I’ve gone overboard again. Still, driving into the city, with the rain pouring down, not sure WHERE we were supposed to go and then finding everything written in FRENCH, it’s no wonder we got lost – and boy did we ever.

Did I mention it was pouring down rain? And that I was the lucky one driving at the time?

We managed to find a tourist information place (how my husband managed to KNOW the blue “?” signs were for information is a miracle unto itself) and they helped us get on our way. Then the trick was to find our hotel. It’s not like it was tiny, and it’s right near the airport (but then I did get lost trying to find the stupid airport, now didn’t I?). But the first two times I followed the sign pointing to our hotel, I got on the wrong road. Turns out you can’t get to the road the way you THINK. On the third try we ended up going through the parking lot of the hotel across the street!

We did not site-see in Montreal. Once we got to the hotel, that was it for me. Besides, it’s still raining. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were under a flash flood advisory (Dayton would be with this amount of rain).

Needless to say, I’m worried about getting out of the country. We can program our next stop (Bangor, ME) on the Garmin, but we’re not sure if it will list the roads we have to drive on in Canada. At least we have our maps. I’ll never go on another trip without them!

Oh, and I didn't get my 500 words written, but I was close.  Better than I thought I'd do after the day we had.

Comfort and Writing

I’m finding something out about me during our vacation. If I’m not comfortable, writing is difficult.

I hate sitting on the bed to work or read. I can’t do it. When I’m on a bed, I want to lie down, not sit up.

I’ve tried using the chair, but there’s no place for my mouse (and I’m apparently a mouse oriented person – I can’t use that stupid square box on my computer properly, it’s just too sensitive). And I, being the nice person that I am, give the desk to my husband. But then, he’s usually checking in on work, hoping there isn’t an emergency he has to fix.

The last vacation we took, we were in a timeshare and there was a kitchen & table. I had no problems in there. We could both sit at the table and use our laptops (yes, we had a kitchen, but who cooks during vacation? – oh wait – that would be our friend!).

Maybe I’m looking for excuses. It’s highly possible.

Regardless of my comfort, I am TRYING to get my 500 words done a day. If I weren’t stuck on my story, it probably wouldn’t matter. The words would flow. But I’m at a point where I have to think. And sitting uncomfortably and thinking don’t go along.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and the dam will break today. Then tonight I will write like a demon. I can only hope!