Monday, July 31, 2006

Can I Move To My Fictional Village?

I just love spending time there! I started drawing a map of my fictional village and I've even labeled all the buildings and landmarks I've already named. I finished the 3rd draft of FP yesterday at 2:06 p.m. after pulling an all-nighter. I hadn't planned to stay up, but when I stopped to check the clock it was 4 a.m. I thought I only had a little bit left, so I kept going. Then it was 6 a.m. At 8, I just decided to stay on the computer until the manuscript was done. Except for potty breaks and caffeine.

Today was supposed to be a relaxing day with me checking in at school. Didn't happen. I ended up working on my map. And then the voices returned. 3 couples are now vying for my attention. 2 contemporary ones who live in my fictional Scottish Highland village and 1 suspense one from RI. I pretty much know which book will be next, but I really don't have the time to start on it. The day job's about to kick into high gear.

But, I don't want to leave my village. It's so calm and peaceful there, and beautiful despite all the rain. And the people are so friendly. Well, most of them. And I'm so calm and peaceful when I'm there. Well, most of the time. There's just so much to explore, so many people to understand. For a while today, I started asking myself if I wasn't worn out from all the Scottish influences and the time I spend "in my village". But I can see this series as plain as day. I can envision the lives, loves, pain and cruelty associated with all the characters I already know. So, the bottom line is this. It's a place and a people that I adore spending time with. I want this town to live in other people's minds. I want people to read these books and count down the days until the next one comes out.

I want it bad.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hormonal Brain Fart

I think that's what I was suffering from yesterday because today I absolutely LOVE my story again. I've done some repair work to the beginning, but it still needs some work. That's what super CPs are for! It's got so much potential and the series has so much potential.

Yes, I'm thinking in series terms again. But this time I'm not limiting myself like I have in the past. Book 2 doesn't rely on events of book 1. Each manuscript can stand alone with tiny inconsequential threads flowing through them all. I'm so excited about it, I've even thought of making a model of my little fictional village! I spent about 45 minutes tonight figuring out the work schedule of my hero and his employees. The specifics of who is working which days doesn't really come into play, but I really felt I had to have it nailed down in my mind in order to write the story correctly. I think that's one of the biggest differences with this manuscript. I'm investing a lot of time and energy into the fictional world surrounding my hero and heroine. I never realized just how important it is to know EVERYTHING about my characters and their world.

I will be so bold as to say I will finish this 3rd draft a day early! I'll be mailing it to my super CP tomorrow night. Sunday I plan to spend the entire day on the great agent hunt and on a query to my "dream line" for FP.

And dreaming of Nationals next year when I can attend again.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Revision Hell

Jeez, now I know why this current WIP didn't final in its first contest. As much as I love the story, the beginning is a drag! There's no chemistry between the hero and heroine. AND I'm stuck. I've spent the better part of the day working on revisions and I don't feel like I've gotten much done. I'm seriously considering trashing a good chunk of my first chapter. It feels like I haven't started the story in the right place even though I love parts of the beginning. Then I think maybe I should just send it to my CP as is and get her feedback. Maybe that's it. It's like the beginning isn't worthy of the ending I have. Oh hell. Round and round I go...

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Party Continues

UCOD, my romantic suspense from last year, just placed 2nd in the Ignite The Flame Contest! Woohoo! It will soon join the 1st place winner and the 3rd place winner on a journey to a lovely woman at an equally lovely publishing house who will hopefully love the entry enough to request more!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lonely. I'm So Lonely.

With so many people off to Nationals, it's soooooo quiet on the loops! Very eerie!

Oh! Woohoo me! I'm finished the 2nd draft of my WIP! It's been so much fun writing this book and I can't wait to explore the next story for my fictional town. But first, I have to finish the 3rd and 4th drafts of FP, send out some queries on it, and figure out which character's story comes next. The two I'm thinking of are siblings so they're used to fighting for what they want. I'll just have to sit back and referee for a while, I guess.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Almost There

My "shitty" second draft is almost done. I can feel it. I've got about 30 pages left to revise and/or rewrite. I also boldly e-mailed my CP and promised to have the completed manuscript (which will go through yet another draft, the "not-so-shitty" one)to her on July 30. I just hope I can meet this deadline! (You know, practice for the real thing!)

I'm jealous of all you people who are gearing up for Nationals. I decided not to go this year because I want to save money for a wild and rockin' trip next summer. That was a great idea months ago, but as people keep posting blog posts and loop notes about Atlanta and all their grand plans, I'm starting to kick myself. I feel like an 8th grader who can't participate in graduation because she's not moving on to 9th grade.

I'm proud to announce another first sale for a chaptermate! Sherry Thomas of the Austin RWA chapter sold! Yay, Sherry! She writes historicals and has a really cool website, but I don't have the addy handy. I'll post it when I find it! If you're in Atlanta, look for Sherry. She'll be one of those fabulous people with the "First Sale" ribbons.

You know, the ribbon I plan to be wearing next year in Dallas.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

No End In Sight, But Side Trips Are Welcome

Thought I'd have this manuscript done during summer vacation. Not happening. The more I revise, the more I see I still have to write and rewrite. Not worried, though. I'm having way too much fun with these characters and this story.

Side Trip #1- A few thoughts for the next book are springing to mind. As well as ideas for a new suspense. Well, actually, the suspense ideas are for a manuscript that's about 100 pages written. I had just put it aside in January when I did my 100 words/100 days challenge.

Side Trip #2- Way back when my last romantic suspense, UCOD, won the GOTCHA contest. As a result, the top 4 entries were sent to an editor. Said editor just sent back the feedback and requested a proposal of my manuscript! Yay!

So, now I have a lot of work ahead of me in the next few weeks. Sending a query to my dream "line" for FP, putting the UCOD proposal together, finishing the manuscript of FP, learning new duties for my day job, which will start again waaaaaaaaay too soon.

But for now I think I'll have a beer, relax and go enjoy the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Flashing Back To Sixteen

So, I'm visiting with my mom and stepdad. It's supposed to be wicked hot so I'm wearing my beautiful one-piece swimsuit and my jean shorts.

Mom- Chris, are you coming with me to the grocery store?
Me- Yeah. (I go get my purse and put my sneakers on.)
Mom- Are you going like that?
Me- Yeah.
Mom- Go put a shirt on.
Me-(staring at her.)
Mom- You're not coming with me if you go like that.
Me- Fine. I don't need to go to the grocery store. (I walked back to the room I'm staying in and put my purse back down. Um, how old am I?)
Mom- No, come on. I don't care. Come with me."
I went. But without the shirt.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I Think I Can, I Think I Can

Pluggin' away on the WIP. Lovin' the progress. Lovin' how it's comin' together. Hatin' that there aren't more hours in a day for me to work on it. Family comin' to visit over the weekend and possibly into next week, so I don't know how much I'll get done or how often I'll blog. Tryin' to get back into once a day. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Slicing & Dicing

Took 20 pages out of my manuscript yesterday. Then I put back 12 pages I'd taken out last week.

I'm in a rut. I know what I want to happen, but I just don't know the correct order. You've gotta remember, I can't write from page one. I just write scenes as they happen in my head and then I thread them together. Yes, this is the spot where the threading together is supposed to happen. Yes, I go through this aggravation with EVERY single manuscript, but I cannot write chronologically. It bores me to tears. Once I tried and I ready to pull my hair out by page 20!

So, here's my plan. I've just printed off 24 pages to play with at the kitchen table. I'm going to try and string it together and throw out what doesn't fit. EVEN if I love it. I can use it later or in another manuscript if I still think it's that good. If I attack one section at a time, finishing the book will be easier to do.

Oh, yeah. My romantic suspense mind is stirring up again. I think I need to write another violent scene. For somebody. Man, it's like a sickness! Kinda scary, too.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Tagged by Elisabeth

1. A song by the first band you liked: I’m ashamed to admit it- YMCA by The Village People.

2. A song that makes you think of your best friend: Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffett. I stayed with her one summer while I was in college. She’s a morning person. I’m not. To get me up, she’d play this song. EVERY MORNING.

3. A song by the first band you saw in concert: Loverboy was the band, but for the life of me I can’t think of any of their hit songs. OH, except Heaven in Your Eyes I think? It was on the Top Gun soundtrack.

4. A song that reminds you of college/school: High school- Papa Don’t Preach by Madonna. My friend did a lip sync and dance to this for our senior talent show. College- Welcome to the Jungle by Guns ‘N’ Roses. I played GNR all the time and I made up my college room door with vines and other jungle symbols.

5. A song that makes you think of a boyfriend/girl (love) past or present: The Dance by Garth Brooks.

Next! I tag Brenda, Michelle, and Nancy.

Friday, July 07, 2006



I've been in mourning over England's loss to Portugal last week, Beckham's injury, Rooney's temper and not seeing the other cuties on the team until the next World Cup. (I was redeemed a bit when Portugal lost to France, but I still hope Germany kicks ass against Portugal tomorrow!)

I've been visiting with my best friend, having an awesome time catching up and having fun.

I've been reading and buying book after book. I've read: Closer by Jo Leigh, Taming the Highlander by Terri Brisbin, and Chasing Dreams by Cara Colter. I'm currently reading Her Sexiest Mistake by Jill Shalvis. I have waiting for me Don't Tell by Karen Rose, Lost Calling by Evelyn Vaughn, and Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.

I've been trying to work on my WIP. A bit of progress. Sorting scenes, adding scenes, saving scenes for the next hero. I've been so busy I can't seem to get any chunks o' time to work on the manuscript. Maybe next week?

I'm preparing to watch my last 2 soccer games this weekend until the next World Cup.

And family. All I'll say is I love them dearly but sometimes I just want to run away and hide.