Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bad, Lexi!

Sorry it's taken me so long to blog. I fully intended to get BETTER about blogging. I promise to try again.

Updates- Monday I walked in the door from work to a message that I had to make an appointment for a renal ultrasound. Um, no one told me why so naturally, brilliant woman that I am, I decided to research on the Internet. BAD IDEA! Within five minutes I was sure I had kidney disease and would need a kidney transplant EVEN THOUGH I HAD NO PAIN OR PRESSURE OR ANY SYMPTOMS. So, I had that test Tuesday and had to wait all week to find out the results because the doctor who ordered it couldn't return my calls or tell me over the phone that it was routine. Friday I went back to the doctor's. Turns out my kidneys are fine, my heart's fine and my blood pressure is coming down. I'm almost cleared for my surgery. I'm in a good place now. I'm calm, happy and stress-free. Surgery is most likely going to be in the beginning of May and I'll miss the last 3 weeks of school, but I should be able to still go on my trips to Ireland and Scotland.

Work- In addition to all the medical stress, I had my busiest week with my ESL job. I loved it, but it did become a bit overwhelming for a day or two. Luckily we have another week before the deadline for all the paperwork, so I should be all set.

Merritt- With all the other crap going on around me, I completely forgot that I had to print my Merritt entry for the final round of judging. It's due to the coordinator by Tuesday. I sucked it up and sent it out today by Express mail. Man, that hurt. I'll be sure to stay on top of things so that doesn't happen again. That extra $10 could have been spent on a book or two for me to read instead of getting my own to the coordinator!

Plus side of doctors' visits- Over the last 6 weeks I've lost about 10 pounds, mostly from being terrified that something life-threatening would be wrong with one or more of my tests. I might actually make my goal weight by Nationals!

After the last doc's visit, I treated myself to a visit to the bookstore. I'm accumulating books that I know I'll enjoy during my recovery. I'm so psyched! I bought Lisa Gardner's Alone and Smart & Sexy by Jill Shalvis. Jill got the call last Sunday that she is a RITA finalist this year! I love her style of writing and pretty much everything I've read by her. She recently changed her website. Go check it out!

Okay, I'm off to relax a bit and have a cup of tea. Or do my 100 words. Yes, I'm still plugging away at my 100 words a day for 100 days. Today makes 9 weeks. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

GH & RITA Finalists

Jill Shalvis and Julie Kenner, congratulations on your RITA nominations! Elisabeth Naughton, congratulations on your Golden Heart nomination! Celebrate, ladies, and I'll be cheering for you in Dallas!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Woohoo! I just got word that I finaled in the Merritt contest with my series contemporary manuscript! The judges had really great things to say about it. Now it goes to an editor for final placement. Maybe I should check when the winners are announced.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Keepin' busy? I am. Kinda. Or maybe the days are just speeding up.

I went to the doctor's yesterday. I'm still not cleared for surgery. I'm staying in limbo while we try some other tricks to get my blood pressure stabilized enough for my slicing and dicing. I'll let you know.

In the mail yesterday I got scores back from a contest that I thought would announce finalists in April. There were 2 judges. One was a published author who said some really great things about my writing and gave me good scores. The other was an unpublished person who also had good things to say (seriously), but she gave me crap scores. Um...what happened? Ah well. So goes the world of subjectivity. Moving on.

We've got the GH calls going out this weekend to the finalists. Good luck to everyone who entered. The Merritt contest (part of the San Antonio Romance Authors Chapter) also announces finalists this weekend. Wish me luck!!

After the doctor's visit yesterday, I rushed home, ate dinner and got ready to go see The Lion King on Broadway Across America. I've been talking about seeing this for years (although I'd planned to see it in NYC) and I finally got there. FANTASTIC SHOW!! If you ever get the chance to see it, it is definitely worth it. It brought tears to my eyes. The colors, the music, the costumes were all beautiful, and of course the storyline is timeless.

I fell off the proverbial writing wagon yesterday! My 100 words a day for 100 days reached Day 54 before I missed. Not bad. I thought about stopping at this point and just being proud of my accomplishment, but I really like the idea of disciplining myself to write every single day no matter what goes on in the "real world".

Enough about me. How are you?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Contests, Queries, Rejections...Oh My!

Contests--Just got word today that FP took 4th place in the Duel on the Delta Contest. The final judge apparently said this was the toughest contest she has judged in a long time. Minor points made the difference in the rankings. YAY! To keep you up to date, FP has won 1st in one contest, 4th in this one and 5th in another. I still have it out in a few more contests.

Queries--Haven't sent anymore out since last Tuesday, but I'm thinking I might in the next day or two. I've got 12 things still "out there" on 3 different manuscripts. One of these days...

Rejections--Um, got 2 e-mail rejections yesterday, but they were very positive. At least, I took them to be positive. It's just a matter of time. I can feel it in my bones.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Back to the Grind

Hello! I tried to post yesterday and wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day but blogger and AOL REFUSED to let me say anything. I hope everyone had a great day yesterday. I partied at my step-brother's. A good time was had by all.

My retreat was wonderful. The first day I wrote A LOT. The second day I plotted the book and even learned a thing or two about my hero and heroine. I also met a new character who is only 16 in this story, but she's already made it clear to me that she intends to stick around my head, pop up in other stories and eventually get her own story when she's older. She plays a very important role in this current book. A 16-year-old who is pushy and thinks the world revolves around her? Gee, I've never met anyone like that before. :)~ Anyway, she's proving to be very interesting. Oh, the rest of the retreat was relaxing. I shopped, I ate, I drank, I read, I ate some more and then ate some more! I almost didn't want to come home.

When I got home, I found an e-mail from one of the agents I had queried on Monday and Tuesday. She wants to read the 1st part of the book (FP)! I was thrilled, of course, and mailed it yesterday before the St. Patrick's Day party.

Today I ventured back into my classroom to prepare for this upcoming week. I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO do not want to be back here, but it's only 10 weeks of school before summer and with my surgery I'll only have 7. Still no date set for that slicing and dicing, but I'm confident that I'll know something for sure this week.

Well, I better get back to my grading so I can go home soon. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring Break Continued

It's officially Wednesday. I haven't set foot in my classroom like I'd planned. Oh well. There's always Sunday before I go back.

I managed to send out 2 more queries on FP on Monday afternoon. Yay!

Later this morning I'm mailing my latest contest entry. This will be my first time to send out the latest story, TCAFS. I'm still writing it, but by the time the finalists are announced (June) I'll be in the revision stage. (That's only relevant if it finals, of course!)

Around noontime I leave for my unofficial writing retreat! Big yay! I say unofficial because it's not sponsored by any writing group. It's just me and my mom, sort of like a girls' only trip. My poor stepdad will just have to find some way to survive! My mom writes poetry and non-fiction but isn't published yet either. She could be. She's just got a lot of other priorities in her life right now.

Anyway, this retreat was her idea and we're both so excited! We're driving to a little town a couple hours away and we'll be gone until Friday. I just hope I can get lots of work done. Oh, who am I kidding? My muse has decided spring break is the perfect time to play! The creative juices are bound to continue in a place where I have NOTHING else to do. I'll let you know how it goes!


Monday, March 12, 2007


Woohoo! I love vacations! A friend and I had lunch yesterday and spent over 3 hours playing games at Dave & Busters. It was awesome. Oh, and my friend also offered to help me make my business cards for Nationals AND put up a website. How cool is that? Today I slept later, got up to go to the doctors and then mailed 3 agent queries and another contest entry for FP. I'm working on a contest entry for TCAFS, but I don't know if it'll be good enough yet. Off to play some more and actually do a bit of cleaning. Yeah, I should get something done to the house.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Gimme a V! Gimme an A! Gimme a C!

Ah, that'll take too long. I'm on VACATION! (Maybe now my blood pressure will come down and I'll be cleared for my surgery.)

My 6th grade did a play for the PTO meeting on Thursday. It went extremely well considering 4 of the 9 actors didn't show up. So we rearranged parts and recruited some responsible 7th graders to read parts. Yesterday several of the staff members went out for lunch after we got rid of the kids. I tell you, I work with some amazing people and I'm so fortunate to have them around me.

I finished putting my partial together for the agent who requested it from the Romancing the Tome contest. I'm off to mail it in a few minutes. I also started my agent hunt again. I intend to put together a bunch of queries and partials to mail out on Monday. It's been a good year I think since I've done this (since UCOD was in the running), but this time just feels right. This time around I'm confident that I will get an offer of representation from someone.

This weekend I plan to also type up all my handwritten notes on TCAFS (from my 100 words a day) so that I can print the story and take it with me on my 2 night/ 3day writing retreat later in the week. I'm so psyched for this! I did so well during my last retreat. I'm confident that this one will be just as productive.

Of course, I'm going to drag my butt into work this week too to start planning the last 10 weeks of school and to start preparing for my sub. But I don't intend to go in early or to stay late.

And then there is the gym. I went 3 days this week and LOVED it. Unfortunately I did something to my ankle because it was swollen and sore yesterday, so I won't be in the gym today. Then again, I could go swimming instead.

Ah well. It's wonderful just knowing I have all these options and no commitments! Have a great weekend and I PROMISE to blog a bit more this coming week.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Feelin' Pretty Good

I finished reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor tonight. LOVED IT! Such a sobering way to explore the differences and the similarities between difference races. My only 2 regrets are that I don't have more time to teach this book as it should be taught and that I didn't read it sooner.

My 100 words a day challenge is now back to the short contemporary (TCAFS) and I absolutely LOVE the opening scenes that are flowing and coming together for me. I can already see and feel the conflicts this hero and heroine will have. I love them both, but they're going to drive me nuts. (And of course I will enjoy the ride!)

Just 3 more days before spring break! I can't tell you how excited I will be just to be out of the classroom for a week! Still, with my upcoming surgery, I think I'll miss the kids and being in the classroom too.

Oh, and speaking of health...I went to the gym today. Man, do I feel good! And just think. This is with the fibroid. Imagine how wonderful I'll feel when it's out and I've recovered enough to go back to the gym! I'll be a whole new woman!

How're you feeling?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Here I Am!

Hello, hello! No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I just got knocked upside of the head with a big rock.

Crisis-I went for a physical for the first time in about 14-15 years (Yeah, I know, not good) and within a week and a half I saw 2 other doctors, had lots of other tests and found out that I need to have surgery sometime next month. Yeah. That'll teach me. They found a mass in my abdomen. The tests and doctors all say that it seems likely that it's just a really big fibroid, but the word cancer came up and it scared the HELL out of me. Anyway, overall I'm pretty healthy so I'm not stressing so much anymore. The docs also said that I'll feel a lot better when it's out. Oh, and then my blood pressure was high. Gee, could it be from me thinking I was going to die???? Anyway, I'll keep you updated.

Work-One week until spring break. YAY! I'm pushing to get grading and grades done this weekend. I'm studying all the stuff I have to do for my ESL part of my job. Part of spring break will be spent on a writing retreat out of town with a friend. The other part will be spending time in my classroom planning for the last quarter and my 3 week sub. (Yeah, I'll be out of work with the surgery for 3 weeks--gee, all I'll be able to do is read and write. There's a positive in having surgery.)

Writing-Five weeks I've written at least 100 words a day. YAY! So far I've written 9,000 words. The interesting thing? I'm playing around with 3 stories. The main one I'm writing during the 100 words a day challenge is TCAFS, my next Scottish contemporary. Since the heroine of my other Scottish contemporary, ABR, has medical issues, I've started writing a bit more on that during the last 2 weeks. NOW I've got a craving for a good romantic suspense. PASSAGES (working title) is the suspense and the muse is drawing me to this one more and more. So I'm going with it. Whatever works, whatever keeps me writing. The thing is all 3 of these stories have about 100 pages of the rough draft so I could conceivably work on any one of them. BUT I think PASSAGES is the one with the most structured plot and character arcs.

Okay, I think I've given you enough to read for now. Thanks for sticking with me even when I'm not around!