Thursday, September 29, 2005

Too Much To Do, Not Enough Time

Hello out there! I know it's been a while since I last blogged. I just hadn't realized how long it had been! I've been busy with the relatives and school stuff. Absolutely no time to work on any writing, which makes me sad, but I'm going to try and do a little today. The boys are all out at a hardware store. Mom's downstairs ironing. I'm sending and answering e-mails. I just got confirmation that my Texas teaching certificate will be available online in a couple of days and my paper copy will be in the mail. I'm a home-owner! Yay! I bought a condo and signed the paperwork last Friday. Some other relatives have been displaced due to Hurricane Rita, so I offered to let them stay in the condo until they're allowed/ able to go home. Oh, and on Thursday, 9/23, I checked my mail before I picked up the first cousin. In the mail was a letter from the original editor who worked with me and kept encouraging me (even as she rejected everything). I'd asked her if she'd still be interested in reading Under Cover of Darkness and she said YES! So, not only am I scrambling to get the school book fair over with, to make sure the relatives are enjoying themselves, to gather lessons for my French class and revising chapters with the help of my CP Deb, now I need to focus on completing the entire book for the editor! I'm going to try and get it in the mail to her within the month. We shall see if that's possible!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Wohoo! Skating Again!

No worries. I asked one of my BRILLIANT CPs and now I'm not stuck anymore! Only thing is, I've got some serious rearranging to do before I can get through chapter 8. But, this should be fairly smoothe sailing after this chapter since a bulk of the rest of the novel is written and will only need to be tweaked. Still don't think I'll make my self-imposed deadline for Thursday. Oh well. It'll end when it's supposed to end.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Curses! Foiled Again!

I'm stumped. In the start of chapter 8, I'm stuck. I like where chapter 7 ended and I love where chapter 8 is going, but the simple, one scene that connects them is escaping me at the moment! I've demanded that my characters talk to me and share their wisdom with me, but I think they're content with making me suffer. Maybe because I've been listening and jotting ideas down from the 3rd and 4th heroes. Maybe because I've been so productive and everything has been flowing for a while now. But Grace and Ethan really aren't that vindictive, at least not with me. So, what the hell is messing me up? And I can feel it in my bones that it's a simple solution. One that I'll go, "Oh, duh! Why didn't I think of that first thing?" But with the entire manuscript riding on this one scene...the pressure is on. Although, I'm not frantic about it. I know it'll come. It just means that I won't make my quota of finishing chapters 6-11 this weekend. Oh, well. Who really suffers in the end? As long as I love the story that emerges, not me. I'm off to watch a comedy and maybe make another plea to my hero and heroine.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Here I Am!

I feel like I haven't blogged for ages! In truth, I've just been busy with that pesky little thing called "the day job." It's been a full week, that's for sure, full of ups and downs and me questioning my sanity. But the thing that kept me sane (Well, as sane as I can be) was knowing that I could spend the weekend working on my wonderful, prize winning manuscript!

I've got a ton of things to do this weekend, including sleeping in, but I have writing goals. I have every intention of meeting them. I expect to revise 6 chapters between now and Sunday evening. I'm also going to clean the house, run some errands, go to Julie Ortolon's party for the release of her latest trilogy. Oh, and let's not forget the papers I have to grade. And the progress reports I didn't get to do during this last week. And some book fair stuff. (Thankfully my French class doesn't start for a few more weeks!)

See, I've got relatives coming into town starting next Thursday. A couple that live here and were just on vacation and a couple who live in different countries. The relatives from other countries I haven't seen for 2 years and 4 years. I'm so excited! BUT, I must have the first draft of my manuscript before they arrive so that I can concentrate on visiting with them. So, no more talking! I must get back to work!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Voices...

Okay. In my head, right at this very moment, I've got ten people talking to me! But you know what? I wouldn't want it any other way! Most of these characters play some part in this current manuscript, but others don't even make an appearance until the next book. So, here's the rundown...

Book 1- I've got the hero and heroine of this one, who are extremely patient with me. They're just happy I'm finally back to work on their story. I've also got the villain, who wants me to add more face time for him. Greedy SOB.

Book 2- Then there's the heroine of the next story, who doesn't really believe in love. Oh, and her partner is in here too. And of course her hero is camped out upstairs too, but he's the most patient man I've ever met. Both of them are in book 1, but they know nothing about each other...yet.

Book 3- THEN, there's the obnoxious playboy who keeps hounding me. I've tried to tell him to just go have another affair or two until I can get to his story, but he's not listening! And of course we have his lovely, unsuspecting heroine who plays a supporting role in book 1. I've kind of hinted that she's going to end up with the playboy, but she balks at that everytime. She reminds me her brother (the hero of book 1) would kill her if she gets involved with his obnoxious buddy. Poor girl! She has no idea what she's in for when I get to book three!

Book 4- And last, but certainly not least, is the hero of the 4th book. He says nothing. He just stares at me from the darkest corner of my brain. It's like he's challenging me to write a story for him. If I didn't already know and love him, I might actually find him and his actions kinda creepy! As for his heroine, she's in here somewhere...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Military Additions

Since I'm writing stories about military men (and maybe women, in the future), I decided to add a section of links on my blog to miscellaneous military "stuff". I'm including some authors who write about military heroes and a few websites that show support for the troops. As I discover more authors and websites, I'll keep adding to the list.

I've been interested in soldiers and their experiences ever since high school. For my junior and senior year, every book I read outside of required school reading had to do with Vietnam soldiers. I've never been very interested in politics, so the political aspects of wars never appealed to me. I was much more interested in hearing the common soldier's perspective and how his life changed. (I think this interest stemmed from my love of The A-Team and just grew from there!) When I was trying to decide what I wanted to be, I thought about becoming a psychologist to help soldiers deal with PTSD. When I was in college, I spent a few Veterans' Days in Washington D.C. at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (What an awe-inspiring experience!) During my senior year in college, I did an internship with the Vietnam Veterans of America. (Another wonderful experience!)

As far as I'm concerned, whether I agree or disagree with the government's decisions concerning the military isn't relevant. The point is, these are our soldiers, fighting for our country and I believe they deserve our support. I intend to do what I can.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Is It The Beer, The Music or The Voices In My Head?

Another 18 pages today. Okay, some of them were written for the old, crappy version and I just cut and pasted, but the end result is the same. Each scene I added opened more doors for future scenes either in this book or one of the following books. I know I've written at least 10 of those pages today. In addition to grading some papers, picking up books for my classes at Barnes & Noble (I didn't buy a book for me, but I did buy a CD!), grocery shopping and visiting the lovely local post office. I mailed a letter to an editor who requested this manuscript a while ago asking her if she still wanted to read it. I stressed that I've been honing my craft since our last correspondence and that this one also won the Merritt RS category this year. Hey, the worst she can say is no, right?

It feels like everything is falling into place in the manuscript. FINALLY!!! After a year and a half. The story emerging is definitely the story of the hero and heroine and not what I wanted. As for my enthusiasm, I can honestly say I haven't been this excited in over 2 1/2 years, since I was last targeting single title. I finally believe in my abilities again. I believe in my characters. I've fallen in love with my hero. And my heroine is someone I'd definitely like to have as a friend. I'm even being so bold as to say I expect to have a rough draft of this new version done by the end of next weekend. I've alerted my critique partners that I expect to pull them into active duty between September 12 and October 9. My birthday is October 9, so my present to myself will be the completed version of this manuscript. Then I can take a week or so off before diving into the next project. (You know, the one I handwrote 200 pages for over the summer.)

Okay, I know some of you are curious about the title. I've had a few drinks while I've been working since dinner. The music? The CD I bought this afternoon, Celtic Woman, a PBS special they've been playing whenver they have a telethon. I don't give money during the telethon (I don't make enough to give to charities), but I loved the music so I bought the CD. I'm finding that Celtic music is my most inspirational music. Strange since I don't write Celtic stories. The voices in my head? Well, I expect that's self-explanatory, especially to any writer!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Why Do I Want To Do This?

Simply, because I can. I've spent the entire day writing. I've added at least 14 pages to my newly revised manuscript. I absolutely LOVE my characters, even with their quirks and strange personality traits. Part of me wants to continue on during the night, but the sane part of me states that sleep is essential. I still have over 100 pages to add, but I'm not worried. I've got a great idea of what to add and where. I still have the final showdown scene to write (according to these characters in this particular setting) and I have a bunch of other minor areas to tweak. I LOVE my manuscript again! I can't believe I'm saying that after so long, but it's true. This couple is extremely special and this has been my first attempt to examine the characters' inner feelings and emotions in a story. I've delved into the characters' backstory before, but never have I played around so much with their emotions. It's truly a unique experience and it adds so much more to the story. I think I'm still a plot driven writer, but with practice I think I'll be able to weave in character evolution as well while the mystery/suspense unfolds.

I write because I have to. The stories build within me. The words demand to be written. I have no choice but to listen to the voices in my head. Most days I get crap for listening, but some days (like today) it makes all the other aggravation worthwhile. And as I type out the conversation my hero has with the heroine as he walks away from her in his stupid attempt to protect her, I think maybe, just maybe, this manuscript is "the one."

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Glorious Day!

It's been a glorious day and all I've done is read. I started Sandra Brown's Honor Bound early this morning (about 1 a.m.) and I just finished it. Yes, I did actually sleep in that time too. And eat. That was my 3rd book in the last week. I get into these...I don't even know what to call them. I read like crazy for a week or two and then I go back to writing. I guess they're like sessions of inspiration??? I did consider picking up another book and continuing my lazy afternoon, but I really do want to get back to my own manuscript. So, after a quick dinner, I plan finish up my interview with my hero and begin my heroine's interview (and finish it before I go to bed). Then tomorrow and Monday I can focus on my writing. Okay, I do have to put in a few hours correcting some papers...maybe.