Friday, September 29, 2006

And How Was Your Week?

Sunday- Worked on UCOD, read a little, watched football.
Monday-Worked late. Still not caught up. Worked on UCOD ending.
Tuesday- Didn't work late. Watched 2 of my favorite shows. Revised UCOD chapters 1-4
Wednesday- Didn't work late. Read. Revised chapters 5-8.
Thursday- Open House for parents. Got the chance to get 7th grader in trouble. I gave progress reports a couple of weeks ago. His mom never got it, so I whipped out my copy for her to read. Got home late, worked on contest entries to mail after work on Friday.
Friday- Never made it to the post office. Got into my first car accident. 3 cars involved, but all the drivers walked away. I sat in traffic, watched the car try to make a tricky left turn and knew the oncoming traffic would get him. I had no escape, nowhere to go. I could only sit there and wait for it to happen. Scariest moment of my life in a LOOOOONG time. The other 2 cars had to be towed. I drove to school thinking the damage wasn't that bad. Turns out it is. It's still in the parking lot.
Saturday- Going to get back behind the wheel (of family member's car) and mail off my contest entries. Hey, the writing business must go on! Then it's off to tailgate and watch the Longhorns kick butt tomorrow night!

I leave you with the homework I gave to my students today: Have a good weekend and hug the people you love.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Nothin' Much New

I just felt like posting.

Six weeks of school have gone by. We're all a little stressed already. I think I'm the least stressed and I'm sure that has a lot to do with my love for my new duties as ESL Coordinator as well as my writing.

Mailed off 2 more contest entries today for FP. I'd planned to start right in on my revisions to UCOD so that I can get the requested full out the door ASAP, but it hasn't happened yet. Instead I watched a football game (Go Longhorns!) until the power went out. Luckily it only stayed off for a few minutes.

I'll do a little plotting and planning tonight for the suspense, UCOD, and then tomorrow I'll jump into the revisions with both feet. My goal is to have it on its way to the editor within two weeks. Then it'll be back to FP.

Speaking of my first attempt at a contemporary, I registered FP for the Golden Heart this morning and paid my fee. I guess there's no turning back now. Once UCOD is on its way, I'll throw myself back into my fictional Scottish village and see what other greatness I can discover before the 12/4 deadline!

Hope it's a good weekend wherever you are.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I admit it. I call myself a writer, but until this last few days I've never EVER read Deb Dixon's book on Goal, Motivation & Conflict. When I checked it out of my RWA library last week, one woman told me it would change my life. I hope it does help me to understand the GMC's of my characters. I believe in my gut I know what the goals and motivations are of my characters, but I think my problem is articulating them. Maybe I'll be able to do that and actually move up another rung or two on my ladder to publication. Stay tuned to find out....


I don't know what it is, but I have this amazing fascination with Skeet Ulrich. After seeing him in The Magic of Ordinary Days (which is a romance and I loved it!), I just raved about him. Then the movie was over, real life returned and Skeet disappeared.

Unil tonight.

I just finished watching Jericho. I LOVED it. Now, I don't know if I loved it because Skeet is in it and plays a great part or if the story is actually good. I tend to think it's a combination of both.

The premise of the show is a nuclear explosion has taken place and this little town doesn't know if it's the only surviving town. The idea of a disaster happening is not a new story, but the way the show is presented is new. We see the mushroom cloud in the distance and then we see how people react. We also get sucked in and empathize with the characters. Or at least I did. To the point I almost started crying in parts.

Then again, for me it could all be Skeet.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dear cable company,

Thank you for ruining the one season premiere I've been looking forward to watching. Anxious months I have spent thinking about the characters and what would happen to them during the start of the new season. Tonight, you made sure to deprive me of that information.

I would have liked to have seen the WHOLE hour. Cutting out at 8:30 and giving me a blue screen for TWENTY minutes was not very customer friendly. But, you were able to restart my service and I thank you for that. I just wish it had been sooner. Watching a main character get airlifted out of what I will presume was hostile territory and watching another main couple decide to stay on base would have meant so much more if I had seen all the obstacles they'd gone through to get to that point in the show.

You were able to come through for me in one way. Thank you so much for giving me back service in time to see the preview for next week's show, but may I offer some advice? Whatever the problem was, please make sure it is fixed before next Tuesday. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN.

One ticked off fan of "The Unit"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Good News All Around

First and foremost--- CONGRATULATIONS to Michelle Willingham, who just sold to Mills & Boon Historical!!! I've been reading her blog for some time and following her progress. May it be the first of many, lady!

Now, on to me...

I finally called tech support and I'm able to get online from home again!!!

Got my first ever check for writing-- $15 for UCOD's 2nd place in Ignite the Flame. I'm so tickled I actually thought of framing the check instead of cashing it. My grandfather even offered to give me the money if I decide to frame it!

Got a FULL requested from the editor who placed UCOD 2nd in that contest.

Sent off 2 more contest entries today, with 2 more planned at the weekend and 2 more the week after that.

On the "downside" (if you can call it that) I now have to work even harder to finish FP by GH time AND do the revisions to the suspense (UCOD) that I vowed to do if I ever got a full request!

Guess I better stop typing and get to work!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Researchus Interruptus

You'd think that since I can't get online at home that I'd be able to get a LOT more writing done, right? Not happening. Don't know why, but my brain isn't falling for that.

Don't know what's wrong with AOL at home, don't know how to fix it and don't know when I'll be able to get online while I'm writing again. All I do know is that coming into work on my days off to answer E-mails, blog hop, and do some research is NOT FUN.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Taking A Page From....

an author who has many unbelievable things happen to her.

I went to bed the other night. I shut the light off and checked the alarm before drifting back across the room to my bed. I sat on the edge of the bed and felt something puffy underneath me. Hhmm, I must be sitting on the pillow. So I moved down toward the foot of the bed...and fell right off. Ouch. I threw out my arms so I wouldn't knock out my front teeth, banged my knee and then my head hit something. My first thought was, "Damn! Now I can't go to sleep because if I hit my head I might never wake up!" My next thought was, "Oh hell, I'm too tired to worry about it!"

Obviously I survived.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Got the letter today from one of my top agents. Although she enjoyed reading UCOD, she didn't feel passionate enough about it. You want to know what my first thought was when I saw the envelope? Cool! Now I can send her FP as soon as the partial is ready (which should only be a week or two)!

I'm amazed by my thick skin lately. I'm imagining it's all because the manuscript getting the rejections was finished almost a year ago and I'm so far removed from it. But, then again, FP got crappy contest scores and that didn't seem to bother me. Of course, the contest judges weren't in a position to buy and sell my manuscript.

Ah, well. Time to file away the slip of paper and get back to the drawing board with FP. I really think this one could be big. Someone somewhere will want it. Just wait and see.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Usually on Friday afternoons, the staff at my school has the weekly staff meeting where we discuss any and all things related to our little charter school community. Today we had no meeting. Instead, several of us went to a funeral.

One of the families that has been part of our school community since day one had a tragic loss last weekend. The father of four of our children (and the ex-husband of one of our colleagues) was gunned down early Sunday morning. He was 46. My heart goes out to those kids and I even cried at the service. I only taught 2 of the 4 kids, but they quickly became by far my favorite students. I know teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but I couldn't help it. They touched my heart. Now I wish I could give it to them to help heal their own.

Wherever you are, take a moment to tell the people that make a difference in your life how much you love them, because as the pastor said at the service, we only have one life to live.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Scoop Of Ice Cream With My Humble Pie

Today I got my scoresheets from the last contest I entered with UCOD and FP. Now UCOD has won or finaled in 4 contests, so I know it's pretty good. I thought I was going to final again in this one, but I didn't. That was good because it keeps me humble and reminds me just how subjective this business is.

The good news was that FP isn't as bad as I thought it was. It actually did better point-wise than UCOD! The judges were very kind in their comments and suggestions. I wasn't sure all my ideas worked because I'm still always starting a story in a suspense frame of mind, but the judges assured me I can write contemporary!

This was just what I needed because I'm still struggling with FP as a whole novel (even though the first, second and third drafts have been done!). I desperately want this book to play out on paper as it does in my head, and now I think I'll have the courage to make it happen.

So to all of you out there who judge contests and give constructive criticism and encouraging words, thank you. You (along with my awesome CP) have helped me realize that I'm able to write in 2 genres and with persistence my contemporaries will be as awesome as my suspenses!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I Ain't Runnin' Scared

I think I'm facing my own Big Black Moment in my Prepub career. This current manuscript, FP, is my make or break manuscript. I say that because I started it to work on a weakness, to exercise my writing brain to create believable characters and character motivations. I know my writing ability is solid-another agent has said so (more on that later), so if I can make it through this manuscript to where I'm happy with it and the characters shine and their motivations ring true, then I'm heading in the right direction. The question is, am I ready to face the truth, to tackle my own weaknesses and start turning them into strengths of their own?

Damn straight I am.

Got another rejection today on UCOD. The agent said my writing was solid and the premise was interesting but the characterization is problematic. She also reminded me this is her opinion and others might not agree. (Yeah, they do, but that's okay.) Then, she said, "Please keep me in mind with future projects." This was the first time an agent has said that to me and it makes me feel so much closer to my own "Call".

I believe my "call" will come because I'm at my own critical point in my writing. At this point, I know I've got talent, I know I can pull a story together and I can even make it interesting enough for people to want to keep reading. The challenge is do I quit now and accept that I won't make it? Or do I answer the call to adventure and overcome my biggest writing challenge? Facing my weaknesses makes me want to poke myself in the eye while pulling out my hair one strand at a time. I often feel stupid and frustrated. So, do I have what it takes to do what must be done?

I am a warrior. I choose to fight and I will come out on top. Or at least over this hurdle and onto the next. Writing is part of me. It's in my blood and I refuse to run.