Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happy Days

Yay! I'm getting stronger every single day.

Yay! I e-mailed the requested full on Tuesday and I LOVE the changes my CP suggested! The story is that much stronger. Usually I don't go back after a few months and revise anything. I'm too excited about the next story. But this time I reread the manuscript after being away from it for about 6 months and I was able to pick out quite a few more things that needed to be changed, things that I'd learned in the process of writing the current WIP.

Yay! I ordered my business cards for Nationals. I LOVE the ones I ordered. I went with Vista Print because it was easy, cheap and I've heard good things about them. The ones I got were listed under Premium business cards, but they seem to be having a sale right now. If you need cards, check Vista Print out! I'm hoping to get them before I leave on my trip, which reminds me...

Yay! One week from today I'll be boarding a plane to Ireland! I've got a kazillion things still to do before then, but I'm making lists and crossing things off as I get them done.

Yay! I'm sending off entries for two June contests. FP is pretty much retired from the contest loop now. It's done amazingly well and I may still enter it in a contest or two in the future, but I'm going to turn most of my attention on TCAFS. I love FP and believe in that wholeheartedly, but I really feel TCAFS kicks ass! I was rereading the opening pages for the contests I'm entering and it got me all fired up again to work on that story.

Yay! I'm on my 3rd Golden Claddagh entry. I'm hoping to return all 4 entries to the contest coordinator tonight or definitely by tomorrow. I read one entry that I absolutely LOVED. I got so caught up in the story I forgot I was supposed to be judging! I'll tell you which one it is once the finalists are announced because I'm SURE this one will final.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Let me start by saying I'm forever thankful for my quick recovery. Today (yes, for me it's still Monday) marks 3 weeks since my surgery. I'm doing so well that I often forget I'm still recovering.

My CP and I have been rereading FP to send to the agent who requested the full. I contacted the woman last week saying it would be along soon. I'm hoping and praying that it will be ready to go tomorrow. It would have been sooner if not for this recovery. My mind is sharp, but my body can't handle sitting at the computer for long periods of time yet without cramping and aching. So, I revise a chapter on the computer, then I print out the next one to critique on the couch. Then I get back on the computer to make the changes and print the next one to critique. It's a very long process. My only consolation is the agent is probably used to waiting for submissions to some degree and the revisions are making it an even more well-rounded story. (Well, at least in my mind and my CP's mind!)

Other than that, I have to force myself to remember I'm recovering. My groceries are bagged light so I can carry them one bag at a time into the house. I take the garbage out every single day. My neighbor's offered to do whatever I need done. Oh! And I got on the scale today. Since this whole fibroid scare started, I've lost about 14lbs too! Another 5-10lbs and I'll be at my goal weight, a number I haven't seen in years! I feel so good and so like myself, it's a struggle to slow down and ask for help when I need it. Still, I also get tired and a bit weak (yet, not so weak anymore) pretty easily.

In the end, I'm thrilled with how my body and mind are dealing with the recovery. Even if I sometimes get frustrated that my body isn't able to keep up with my mind yet. That'll come. I just have to remember that, believe it. My doctor I visited today said the muscles of the stomach are still adjusting even after 6 weeks. I've got plenty of time to be all that I can be.

Okay, so that thing about being at the computer too long? It's now. So I think I'll go to bed.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hee Hee Hee

My passport's coming! I only had to wait about 30 minutes to get a human being today. She said the address correction went through on Monday when I called and they shipped it out on Tuesday! I'm really going to Ireland and back to Scotland!!!!

Now I have to find a room in Edinburgh.

UPDATE: Guess what I'm holding in my hot little hands? Heeheehee! I can't wait to get on that plane!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Could EASILY Get Used To This!

So, here I am alone. Mom went home yesterday. I've spent the last 2 days working on my writing and I have to tell you I love being home and working. This is something I could handle! Of course, I'd have to sell a few billion book copies before I could actually give up my day job. Either that or marry rich. Since there aren't any prospects, I'm left to my day job and my writing on the side...for now.

So, Sunday, as you know, I found out about the Merritt win. Monday, I got a full request from an agent I queried back in March. I'd sent a batch of agent queries around that time. When I didn't seem to get many bites, I decided to submit FP to Harlequin directly just before my surgery-only 2 weeks ago. So yesterday and today I've been rereading the manuscript (and crying in all the right places). I'm making sure all my i's are dotted and all my t's are crossed and my GMC's are lined up. It's a long process because I can't sit at the computer for too long yet without getting sore. But I'll take this over still being in the hospital or confined to the couch! I expect to mail this full tomorrow sometime. I'm psyched because this is the first time I've gotten a request for a full just off a query letter! Yay! I'll keep you updated.

As I'm working online today, I get an e-mail about another contest, the Black Diamonds Contest, and of course I now want to enter that one too. (I've been good. I've only got 2 planned for June!) But this one is cheaper, electronic and it's only the first paragraph of the book. Basically it's a chance to see if you can hook the reader with the first 150 words. Of course, my question is not whether to enter or not, but how many entries do I send? I'm definitely sending TCAFS. I LOVE that beginning! I'm thinking of RR too, my suspense.

Oh, and one more thing. As I've been rereading and strengthening FP, wouldn't you know I met 2 NEW CHARACTERS who expect to have their own stories? As of right now, I've got characters/ story lines for 10 manuscripts. You figure I can write 2 books a year, so we're talking 5 years of books! I really hope I get a contract soon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

God Bless the USA

After 45 minutes of trying to reach a human being on the National Passport phone number, I spoke to a lovely lady (truly) who told me that my passport was moving along smoothly. Then she realized they'd messed up my address.

I am the eternal optimist. I can find a silver lining in almost ANY black cloud. I still have faith in my government. I still expect to be on that plane to Ireland in 16 days.

I just may not have any fingernails left.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

San Antonio Merritt

Woohoo! Fractured Paradise took FIRST PLACE in the Series Contemporary category! Come on, everybody! Do the "Happy Dance" with me!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to my big brother! Today is his 42nd birthday. (Whew, I just made it in time!) Where he is it rained all day and it was cool. Where I am it was absolutely perfect weather. Mom & I went out to eat and had a drink for him.

Tomorrow (which is only minutes away) is the San Antonio Workshop day. I believe this is the day they'll announce the Merritt winners. If I wasn't recovering from surgery I'd probably be there. I'll let you know how FP & I did as soon as I hear.

Recovery has hit a snag. I'm feeling so good that I forget I'm still recovering and that I still need to take it easy. I think I've been overdoing it these last couple of days. Time to rein myself in so I'm well-prepared for my vacation in just under 3 weeks.

That's IF I get my passport in time. It's been almost 11 weeks now. It's a renewal, not a brand new one. I'm not a criminal, so why is it taking so long???? Of course, they already cashed the check. (Isn't that always the way?)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

All Is Well

Hi there. Everything turned out fine. The surgery went well, the mass was not cancerous and I came home Wednesday. I'm up and walking a lot already. I've almost weaned myself off the heavy-duty pain killers. The surgeon checked in on me and showed me pictures of the mass. That sucker was 2lbs and UGLY! But he said everything was looking good and I don't have to go for a follow-up visit for 6 weeks.

I'm not quite up to spending large chunks of time at the computer yet, but I'll check in when I can. Thanks for all the well-wishes sent my way. I hope you're all working hard and keeping up with your writing.

Friday, May 04, 2007

One Day At A Time, One Page At A Time

My teaching year is over. I'm relieved, yet disappointed. I no longer have to stand in front of a class. I'll still grade papers, converse with the substitute and conduct a meeting, but the most difficult part of my job is over for the 2006-2007 school year.

Now there's nothing to stop me from thinking about my surgery.

Writing, I've realized, is the single most important thing for me right now. As this week has passed, I've found myself spending more and more time on writing related activities. At times, it feels like the only part of my life I can control. Churning out new pages, revising my business plan and preparing partials consumes the minutes of the days that I might otherwise spend dwelling on my health and the outcome of my surgery. Sometimes I want to scream. Sometimes I want to cry. Most of the time I shove the visions of hospital scrubs, OR lights, and IVs out of my brain to make room for the new scenes of Scottish contemporary #3.

Many of my current emotions will fit nicely with the plot I couldn't quite nail down four months ago. I'd set that manuscript aside so the story and characters could mature a little. Perhaps I just wasn't ready to handle the job. Now, it feels like the characters are begging me to pick up the pen and let them have as much free reign over my emotions as my own scars do...and will in the coming days and weeks. Maybe I should listen to them. Together we just might touch the minds and hearts of others with our tale of courage, strength, and love.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I got a very lovely call from a lady with the Inland Valley Put Your Best Hook Forward contest. I double finaled with my two Scottish contemporaries! Fractured Paradise (the one I'm shopping around) and To Catch a Falling Star (the one I intend to finish during my recovery time). She told me too that she thinks she remembers seeing a couple of perfect scores. I'm so psyched, especially because this is To Catch a Falling Star's very first contest. So now the two entries will be judged by an editor from Harlequin and we should hear placements sometime in June. I'm off to plan how I'm going to celebrate. Oh wait. I already had a few cookies. Well, it WAS a double final. I think I can still plan another celebration. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Life Remembered

Ten years ago today I lost my father. Sometimes I still think to call him to share some tidbit of news, or I think about seeing him when I go home for vacations. Then my heart breaks all over again.

Robert John Keach, Junior
November 16, 1942-May 1, 1997
I'm sorry for all you've missed. I'm sorry for all you'll never see.
I'll love you forever.