Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Thanks, Nita.

1. Grab the book closest to you.

2. Go to page 123. Look down to the 5th sentence.

3. Post the text of the next three sentences in your blog.
"I'll catch you at the Cinq, Mag." And he disconnected, damn it. I unclenched my jaw, reminding myself that if I had the right to run around Scotland on my own without him complaining, he had the right to choose when to eat.

4. Include the title and the author’s name.
This is from Seventh Key (The Madonna Key) by Evelyn Vaughn. Oh! I just bought this tonight and realized that at least page 123 happens in Scotland! How cool. I can't wait to read it. But I digress...

5. Tag three people.
If you've read this far and you haven't done this yet, consider yourself tagged.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Still A Slacker

Yep, that's me. Nothing's been done. Well, I did write about 2 pages last night so that counts for something. BUT I'm nowhere near the output I'd hoped for at this point in the year and I can't seem to get out of this rut I'm in. I keep reminding myself that when I get published I'll still have to write even when I don't feel like it and I better get used to the feeling now. Still nothing is happening. I don't know why. I'm in such the early stage of the book that my creativity should be free to run wild. Yet, nothing sparks my interest. It's all very disheartening, especially when I know how much I love to delve into my characters and my fictional village.

I suppose I could suck it up, pull myself together and get to work. I'm not the only writer to face this and this is definitely not the last time I'll deal with it. Maybe I just have to show my muscle here and wrestle my creativity back into submission. Whatcha think?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Contest Update

Woohoo! My manuscripts took up 2 of the 6 top spots for the Hudson Valley RWA Hook, Line & Sinker Contest. RESISTING RYAN, my latest romantic suspense took 3rd place. FRACTURED PARADISE, my Scottish contemporary, took 5th place. This is quite an accomplishment since there were 76 entries! I'm off to have a celebratory drink. Or chocolate. Or chocolate drink. Well, you get the idea.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Drought May Be Over!

The gates of heaven opened up and a chorus of angels began to sing Hallelujah!

I managed to work through the GMC issues I was having wth my current heroine. She is clear to me now and I cannot wait to see how she and the hero mix it up!

Aren't these moments worth all the heartache of a temporary block?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Back To Basics

Still no writing. Lots of reading--of really bad middle school essays.

My CP suggested I NOT send my query out just yet. She says this because I've been asking for critiques of it and although it is good (several people have said so, it's not just me), I still feel like something is missing. My CP agrees.

As I e-mailed my CP back, it occurred to me that my original query was written before the current draft of my book. You know, before it got good. Since finishing the book, I've been trying to fit my newer thoughts into the already written query. Obviously this won't work and I just realized it today.

So I've decided to actually reread FP from the beginning as a reader, remind myself why it's spectacular, and then rewrite the query from scratch. Oh, and I promise to only jot notes in the places along the way that I need to add/delete/fix something. It's been almost 2 months since I've read it all the way through. Maybe I'll fall in love with it all over again! Then that magic could follow my fingers along the keyboard and find its way into my query.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Shhh. Don't Tell...

...but I'm procrastinating. I'm sure I could make it an Olympic sport and yours truly would win the gold. After all those wonderful ideas floating through my head on Friday, I haven't written anything.

So, then I moved on and overhauled the blog. I love it, but when it was done I still didn't write anything.

Then last night, I decided to register my domain names for that website I keep promising myself. (I registered my pen name and my real name just in case.) As for the actual website, there's no immediate plan for getting that up and running.

After registering the names, I couldn't fall asleep and so I thought of another plan of action. When I become published, I know I'll have deadlines and I'll HAVE to write even when I don't feel like it. So, my brilliant idea from the wee hours of the morning is this. Write on all three books at once!

Okay, don't yell at me. I don't mean to actually try to write 3 books at once. I'm crazy, not stupid! I think I'm just overwhelmed because I have FP (which is finished and should be sent out in queries by now, so it doesn't even count in the writing aspect!), 2 more Scottish contemps (really rough drafts for both are halfway written) and then there's the poor, lonely suspense, RR sitting on the sidelines just waiting for a chance.

So the brilliant plan is to spend about a week writing on each one for half an hour each day. (FP will get a 1/2 hour of query letters or "final reading" time.) 30 minutes isn't too long to work on a story. Then I figure one of the stories will grab me and will move to the head of the pack. Great plan, huh?

So, why am I not writing yet?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Welcome To My New World!

No, nothing drastic has happened to my writing career. I've just been doing some serious soul searching about my writing career and it felt like the right time to make some changes.

Taking my cue from Bailey Stewart, I decided to switch to the name I hope to use when I start getting published. The name is special to me because it represents characters I love that first introduced me to the Scotland I know and love today.

In the coming months I'll be focusing more on my day job. Because I want to build a "presence" within that community as well, I decided I want my writing life and my private life to be separated a little. (Don't worry. If you know me as Chris, I'll still answer you!)

I expect good things for my writing career in 2007 and this change feels like a step in the right direction.

Now, though, I really should get back to the writing otherwise nothing will happen!

Friday, January 19, 2007


Back to work. Back to writing.

Last night I was tossing and turning in bed with a kazillion thoughts in my head. Maybe my current hero and heroine (for ABR) aren't right for each other. Maybe the conflicts are just too insurmountable. Maybe I don't have what it takes to tell this story. Whatever it was, I just couldn't seem to keep writing. I'd gotten to a point and then stalled. I had my critique group help and my CP gave me some AWESOME ideas. Still, I didn't feel the love.

Until midnight. That's when I found the love of another kind.

I decided that couple needs a little more time to mature as individuals. I need time to prepare myself for the emotional upheaval the heroine will go through. So instead, I decided that I'm very excited for an old flame, the treasure of my heart.

My 2nd manuscript was my 1st attempt at a romantic suspense. It was my 1st story ever set in Scotland and it was when my fictional village came into play. When the manuscript was finished way back in 1999, I had very little idea of what I was doing. Yet to this day I still think about the settings, certain scenes and the heroes. Yes, you read that right. I had 2 heroes in there and only one heroine. (Hey, I already told you I didn't know what I was doing back then!) So, when I got a clue about how to write, I promised my heroes that I would get back to them with a story they deserve when I knew what I was doing.

Fast forward 8 years and the time has come. I bolted out of bed at midnight and started jotting down notes about what I already know. A contemporary storyline popped into my head and wrapped around the excited Scotsman who will now get his happy ending. He should. He deserves it.

As for the other hero of that ill-fated 1st suspense? He'll get his story at some point in the future. I promised him that 8 years ago and I made the same promise last night.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What's Up?

1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! Apparently she reached a certain age and started counting backward.

2. I haven't been out of the house since Saturday. It's Wednesday, people. There's ice everywhere and even snow in some spots. The city is shut down. Still.

3. I'm going to Ireland! I'm booked on a 9 day tour in June. I've wanted to go for so long and now it's going to happen! After Ireland, I'll be heading to Scotland as well. I haven't booked that part yet since I'm not sure where I want to spend my time-in Edinburgh or in Glenfinnan, the inspiration for my fictional village. Or both.

4. I've added a few new links on the sidebar. Some illustrator friends who are amazing, some Celtic Hearts writers who rock. Also, here's a plug. Go to Michelle Willingham's blog and check out the cover of her first Harlequin Historical coming out in May.

Well, I suppose I could make good use of this bad weather day and actually get some writing related activities done. Maybe.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Texans and Winter Weather

We're due for some ice over the next couple of days. I'm not going anywhere. Since they don't put up with this weather on a regular basis, Texans have no idea how to behave with ice, sleet and snow. The best place for any of us is in front of the fire with a good book.

I've done nothing on my own manuscript (ABR) since my cold/flu/allergy attack. I've worked a little on stuff for my CP and I've been reading Julie Garwood's Mercy. Other things should be happening-like me cleaning my office, bedroom, bathroom, or actually taking down the Christmas tree-but I can't seem to put the book down long enough to get anything else done. I do plan to enter another contest in the next week and then maybe I'll start those agent queries I keep meaning to send. Eventually I'll get back to writing ABR. If things go the way the weather guys keep saying, I may have Tuesday off to work on that.

Wherever you are I hope you stay warm and dry. And if you live in Texas, STAY INSIDE! Do not attempt to drive around tomorrow (or Tuesday, it seems). Icy roads are dangerous!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

No, I Haven't Disappeared

My mom had a cold before I left RI last week. I got it when I got home. Been sick since and then the allergies attacked.

Work started again with staff development on Monday and the kids came back Tuesday. 85 school days until summer break.

Got a rejection from an editor who'd requested UCOD from a contest. She says good things about my writing, BUT she believes my story is 100% a category RS.

Why did I agree to judge GH? I find myself so badly wanting to comment, to offer my opinion and advice. Then there's the whole "how do I assign a number for this" question. What was I thinking when I agreed to do this?

100 words a day challenge stopped when I got sick. I managed 2 weeks. No time or energy to continue right now. I'm focusing on GH entries and the spring duties of the day job.

More at the weekend. I hope all is well in your world, writing and otherwise!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy 2007!

Welcome to a brand new year of fun and excitement, of deadlines and fresh new manuscripts, of queries and synopses. I hope you have a productive year no matter what that looks like to you!

For me, I intend to take my approach to my writing up another notch. I've already been considering myself a professional for a few years now, but 2007 brings a much more intense approach. I've got several things "in the fire" as we speak. Next week I intend to add 11-13 more. Now, these can be contest entries, WIP, agent/ editor queries, requests, etc. I hope to finish BR and get started on the next book as well. I will probably have a website by the end of this year. I'm going to Nationals, creating my business cards, putting a business plan together. This summer I'm heading to the village that inspired my current stories, Glenfinnan, Scotland, to do more research. I started another 100 words a day challenge without my local RWA group. So far I'm on day 10 and I'm rockin'! I've plotted and plotted my new book and I'm reading to help me reseach the markets AND to improve my skills. I intend to venture out on more blogs and websites and mingle with more people.

And I thank you for coming along on the ride with me! So raise your glass (okay, so it's a few days late!) and join me in toasting the year that will bring us good fortune, good friends and good fun!