Monday, June 30, 2008

All Is Well

My flights went so smoothly it was scary. I even got in 20minutes early! So far it's hot and humid. But I'm relaxing and I've already read one book, started another and have been working steadily on Danger.

Oh! Celebrate with me! Danger took 3rd place in the Golden Acorn Contest! The editor's main comments were: "Nice chemistry between the hero and the heroine" and "Some excellent suspenseful moments." She made some constructive criticism too that makes sense and I thought I'd explained it well enough, but obviously not. I'mTHRILLED with the chemistry comment because that's always been a difficult point for me in my writing, me being the suspense/ plot driven writer that I am. So I'm making progress.

I hope all is well with you and I'll catch up with you when I can.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Vacation Of Sorts

Today I leave for my vacation with the family in RI. I'll be able to post here and there, but not nearly as much as I have been. So if you leave a comment on any of the posts I've got scheduled to appear (which I encourage!), it may be quite a while before I respond. There's more family drama (isn't there always?) as I gear up to go, but hopefully it won't be too stressful. I'm taking a bunch of books, all my unfinished Danger pages and a notebook to work on the next story. I'm looking forward to taking some pictures I can share when I get back. The Golden Acorn Contest announces winners between now and June 30th. I'll let you know how Danger and I do as soon as I find out. (Or you can leave a comment if you hear before I do!) Until next time, take care and pray that my flights don't get delayed/re-routed/ canceled! If you were here in January, you know my traveling history! If not, here's the story of a lovely lady....

Friday, June 27, 2008

So Much To Do, So Little Time

Well I didn't write as much yesterday as I hoped I would on Danger's awesome new scene, but I have good reasons. I had a bunch of errands to run in preparation for my vacation. Today too I have a list of things to do a mile long, but I'm really hoping to get some writing in too. I should be able to because I'm pulling an all-nighter tonight! That's right, I'm reaching back to my college days. Why, you ask? When I'm not in school, my normal bedtime is roughly around 2 AM. The shuttle that's taking me to the airport in the morning is picking me up at 4:30. You do the math. Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!

Two nights ago, I begged Cat to brainstorm with me because something wasn't working in the manuscript. We talked and came up with a good plan. I was psyched to get back to work on it yesterday and go from there...but I did absolutely nothing on the story. I thought maybe I was just burned out, but as the day turned into night and still the hours passed without me writing a word, I figured out why. The "correct" version of the scene FINALLY came to mind! And it's so perfect too because it gives the heroine more info on the hero and it gives them a chance to "revisit and expand" on their internal conflicts. PLUS it sets up the next few scenes beautifully AND ramps up the suspense element again!

I know myself as a writer well enough to know that if I can walk away or I can't get back to work, then the scene I'm working on isn't right. Thankfully I've learned to listen to and trust my muse and it usually doesn't take me that long to figure out how to fix it!

So, after surviving the trauma of a dental visit this morning, I'm really excited about writing this new scene while I watch the other Euro 2008 semi-final game this afternoon!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Six Random Things About Me

The most awesome Catherine tagged me. So here are 6 random things about me that I'm sure you're DYING to know!

1. I'm obsessed with The Bourne trilogy. I have the soundtracks from the movies and I've watched one movie every single day for the last 2 1/2 weeks. (Hey, research, remember???) I'm even thinking of buying the books.

2. The very first time I went to Scotland I hated it. (I know! Hard to believe, huh???) In my own defense, I was only 11 and it was a day-trip from Sunderland, England to Edinburgh. We were running behind the whole day at all of our stops so when we got to drizzly Edinburgh, we only had time to grab a quick bite to eat in a fast food place. (I had a hamburger.) I vowed then and there to never go back. Sure enough, when the family went back to England for a cousin's wedding 8 years later, I refused to take a day trip to Scotland. So everyone else went and I stayed home. It wasn't until after I saw Highlander (the original movie) that I became obsessed and decided to actually give Scotland another try.

3. I can't stand using the phone. I don't mind answering it, but if I have to make calls it drives me batty. I have to psych myself up to make some calls and that can sometimes take days.

4. I don't have a cell phone. I've thought about it off and on over the years, but still haven't done anything about it. (Same thing with a tattoo.)

5. I take a stress ball with me whenever I go to the dentist, even for a basic cleaning. (Which is tomorrow's first order of business.)

6. I collect Christmas tree ornaments and refrigerator magnets from any state or country I visit. Amazingly, I can remember the stories behind most of them too!

Wanna play along???
The rules:
• Link to the person who tagged you — me!
• Post the rules on your blog
• Write six random things about yourself
• Tag six random bloggers by linking to their blogs******
• Leave comments on their sites to let them know they’ve been tagged
• Let your tagger know when your entry is up

******Now, I'm not usually one for tagging other people, but if you're so inclined to share 6 random things about yourself on your blog, please let us know so I and whoever visits my blog can come and visit you too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We Have A Winner!

Danger's hero and I would like to announce his nickname....

Hammer, which was suggested by Nita! Shoot me an e-mail with your snail mail addy and I'll send you your prize.

Thanks again to everyone who gave suggestions.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lessons From My BIAW

My Kiss of Death Book-in-a-Week ended today. In all, I wrote 62 pages, 60 on Borrowed Time and 2 on Danger. This is what I learned:

1. I can't write two stories at once. I can jot down notes for one and immerse myself in the other. I can edit one and write the other. But I cannot write fresh scenes for 2 stories at the same time. When I tried I found I couldn't immerse myself in either world enough to love either one. (That's how I read too. I have to finish a book before even thinking of starting another.)

2. When I get started on a manuscript and I don't know what to write, I write dialogue. This was interesting for me. Yes, I wrote plenty of descriptive paragraphs and action paragraphs, but every time I said, "What now?" I always started with dialogue.

3. I think I write romantic thrillers. I've been saying for some time now that Danger has loads of action and the stakes just keep getting hotter for the hero and heroine. There are plenty of twists and turns. There are moments of tenderness sprinkled throughout, but the danger and suspense are front and center.

4. (Which ties it with #3) Although I wrote 60 pages on the new manuscript, I don't anticipate keeping much of that story. The ideas I had for it were all well and good, but at the end of the day, they weren't "thriller" enough for me and I got bored. There are elements that I will use for the next manuscript, but the plot line I thought would be Borrowed Time is quickly morphing into my current obsession...a thriller.

So tomorrow I'll go back to Dance Away, Danger. I'm looking forward to immersing myself back into that world and moving that progress meter again. The hero will pick his nickname too and I'll announce the winning suggestion.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nickname Contest

Hi! I've got 5 different nicknames to choose from for Danger's hero. Thanks to those of you who made suggestions. I've got today and tomorrow to go on the BIAW. Once this is over and I get back into the swing of Danger, I'll "talk" to my hero and see which name he likes best. Then I'll announce the winning suggestion! Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Still Rolling Along

Borrowed Time's hero and heroine are really working with me right now. I'm loving the ride, but I'm already exhausted!

Only a few more hours on my character nickname contest. I've got some great ideas for Danger's hero!

Question for you. What's your definition of a thriller? Some of the Harlequin Intrigues are advertised as thrillers. What do you think makes them different from "regular suspense"?

During this Book-In-A-Week, I've learned quite a bit about myself as a writer. I'm looking forward to sharing all my epiphanies with you soon. For now, I'm going back to Borrowed Time (which is due for a title change hopefully soon!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Time's Running Out!

While I'm hard at work cranking out pages for my BIAW, remember to help me give Danger's hero a nickname! The contest runs through Friday at midnight. Click here for the details. Come on, now. You're all creative people. Give me some more suggestions! Catch you later sometime Friday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What Happened Wednesday

I'm stuck. No, really. I have two awesome stories to play with, several awesome scenes floating in my head, but I can't write anything. I've been surfing the net for an hour. I keep thinking about my stories and about how I have another 2 hours scheduled for writing. Yet no decent words are coming to mind. I think I'm going to pull up a blank page and just start writing anything that comes to mind. I'll force myself. Usually when I do that I end up with some pivotal scenes. May the magic touch me today! (Pretty please with sugar on top...)

An hour later: Ah, never fear. A good almost-love scene combined with another threat and I'm back in the game!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Terrific Tuesday!

Lots going on over here. More errands to run, visit to the day job, chat with the boss, gym visit, and of course writing. Don't forget to help me out with my hero's nickname. I'm taking suggestions until midnight Friday. If your suggestion wins or leads me to my hero's nickname, you'll win a prize. Click here for the details. I'm off to work some more on Borrowed Time.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Borrowed Time

Yippee! I got my errands done (and added a couple) and then I came home to write. I've only written 3 pages so far, but these new characters for this new story are in the mood to talk! So Danger's on hold while Caitlin and I work on Borrowed Time. I'll update later with how many pages I managed to get finished on this first BIAW day. Wish me luck!

UPDATE at 10:50: Well, I'm up to 7 pages so far on Borrowed Time and guess what? I'm missing the hero of Danger! I intend to work for another hour and see what I can come up with for BT, but I think tomorrow I'll go back to Danger revisions for a while. Hhhmmm, it should be interesting trying to work on both at the same time!


Yippee! Today starts the Kiss of Death's Book-in-a-Week challenge! I've signed up to write 50 pages by midnight Saturday. I also expect to continue working on Danger's revisions. I'm averaging a chapter every day, day and a half.

All day Sunday I wrestled with chapter 4. (Well, I did watch a little TV, a baseball game and part of a soccer game. Oh yeah, and I watched The Bourne Supremacy too.) I finished 4 in a most excellent spot, but I wasn't sure where to take my characters after that! Didn't matter though. By then I needed a break. All the action in this book is making me exhausted! Oh, I also managed to revise my report for school. However, I didn't finish all the cleaning I wanted to get done before the BIAW started. Oh well. I'll just have to break it into smaller jobs and do one a day.

So Monday....which is technically today, I still have a bunch of errands to run. But I'm not going to let that stop me from doing a most excellent job for the first day of my BIAW! So I think I better go to bed so I can get up in about 6 hours and start my tremendously busy day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Dad's Day!

I lost my own father 11 years ago, but I'm fortunate enough to have a wonderful stepfather. Also, I'm lucky enough to still have one of my grandfathers!

If you are a dad, I hope your family treats you well today. I hope everyone remembers the sacrifices dads go through for their children. Make sure to give praise today to the men in your life who have made a difference, be they dad, granddad, stepdad or someone like a dad.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lexi's Wild Wacky World

I've decided to extend my contest for a nickname for my hero. So the end date will now be Friday, June 20th at midnight. Click here for the details.

Revisions are going well. I had to stop Friday night because my brain just decided to quit working. I think my muse was tired. Today I didn't wake up until 11! I haven't slept that late in YEARS. I managed to get to the gym, get some groceries and get some cleaning done. Oh, and I worked on my report for the day job. As you may or may not be able to tell from the progress meter, I managed to get through revising about 1/2 of chapter 4 today too. YAY!

On Sunday, I'm going to finish revising chapter 4 and start on 5 if I have the time. I'm also planning another gym visit and to clean up the rest of the house. I want to get it all done so that I have none to do during this week. My Book-In-A-Week starts on Monday! I've been so engrossed in Danger, it'll be weird to focus on a new couple! Hopefully Caitlin and I will be productive with that manuscript as well. I have quite a few errands to run on Monday, but I'm confident I'll get everything done AND still get my pages for the BIAW done. Quite honestly, right now I'm feeling kind of invincible! (I hope it lasts!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Manuscript Tidbits

I'm taking a break from my revisions to share something with you and to ask for your assistance.

First, the info. My heroine's mother was from the Connemara area of Ireland. For her birthday, the heroine receives a replica of a castle in Ireland that actually serves as a hotel. I went fishing for a place and I found Abbyglen Castle. It looks beautiful and fits perfectly into my story! Check it out and let me know what you think. My heroine's dream is to save her money and go on vacation here.

Second, the assistance needed. I need a nickname for my hero. He's from Rhode Island and spent time in the Army. While in the military, his buddy (the heroine's brother) was nicknamed Yank. I need something that fits the hero. He's a carpenter/contractor, a Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins fan. Any ideas? Think about it and post your suggestions to the comment section. If you need more info, let me know and I'll share what I can about him. If I choose your nickname for him, you'll win a prize. Um, don't ask me what the prize is yet, but I promise it'll be cool. I'll pick a winner from any suggestions I get between now and midnight Sunday.


Oh yeah. And Chapter 3 is done!

LATER...In rearranging my scenes, I gutted another 25 pages that no longer make sense based on what I now have in the story. I'm not worried, though. I flipped through several notebooks used for my 2 100/100 challenges and I found some AWESOME scenes to add!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hi There

I figured I'd give you an update. Chapter 2 went off to one CP yesterday and I started on chapter 3. I'm working on a writing schedule now and I love it! I'm managing 8-10 hours a day on writing! If you check out the blog from time to time, you'll start to see my progress meter movin' on up. I can't believe how happy and relaxed I am!

In other news:
Teri Brown has a couple more days on her launch party for her first YA, Read My Lips. Good music, good company, good times!
Tracy Wolff just got her first cover and it's HOT!
For a good time, go to The Good, the Bad and the Unread. So much information! You could spend HOURS on that website. I did the other night. 2 hours to be exact. When I should've been sleeping. So consider yourself warned.
I've added Avery Beck to my Addictions list. Avery used to come to our Austin RWA meetings and that's where I first met her. I haven't physically seen her since last year at Nationals, but I'm now addicted to her blog. She's working toward publishing with Harlequin Blaze.
I've also added Cindy Procter-King. (Procter with an E, notice!) I met Cindy last year at Nationals...where else? In the bar. She's published through Amber Quill Press, but just got PAN status as of last month. (PAN is Published Authors Network, a group within RWA.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Think I Won The Lottery!

The manuscript lottery, that is! The new and improved Chapter 2 is AWESOME! It's taken me 3 weeks of struggling with this (in between school assignments), but I'VE GOT IT! I'll finally be able to move on! I fully expect now to have my partial done and sent to my CPs by tomorrow night, Thursday at the latest. Then I can work on my query & synopsis Friday, and over the weekend I can focus on the next quarter of my book! THEN I can do the BIAW for the new book next week! Okay, yes, I have to finish revising Danger too, but that'll come in late June. I would still love to have Danger revised by the time I go on vacation, but if it's not done, that's okay. I'd rather have it done right than done fast. Okay, enough chatting. I'm going back to work!

By George, I Think I've Got It!

Not totally sure if my chapter 2 problems are over, but as soon as I rearranged some stuff, the light bulb went on in my head. Yay! I'll be working on it when I get up (cuz remember, I'm off work for the summer!), so I'll update you closer to noon.

Monday, June 09, 2008

And Then Came The Great Gutting

It's done. I've taken all of chapter 2 out of the manuscript and pasted it into its own document. I'm rebuilding the chapter with the few pieces I like and taking it in a different direction. I figure it can't hurt to experiment. It can't get any worse than it already is. I'll let you know how it goes...


That's what I'm writing. Chapter 2 is killing me. I know it's not right and yet I can't seem to fix it. So I did as much as I could and sent it off to my critique partners. Then I thought, hey! I'll start revising chapter 3! Uh, nope. Crap is still the writing word of the day. Then I thought, hhhmmmm, maybe I need to watch a Bourne movie to re-inspire me. Just sayin....

In other news, I signed up for a Book-in-a-Week with my RWA Kiss of Death chapter for next week. With school out, I figured it's the perfect time. I've already got the characters to play with so that should be fun. (Plus, if the next school year is going to be anything like this last one, I'll need a good portion of the new book drafted so I can concentrate on revisions once classes start again.)

I pawned my tutor-ees off on other summer school teachers and I got out of teaching summer school. Granted it was only going to be 3 weeks and I only had 2 kids to teach, but I got to the school this morning and I about cried. I didn't want to be there, didn't have any materials to work with (because no one told me I had to find my own), and my heart wasn't in it. So I asked the other teachers if they wanted the extra tutoring time and they both said sure. Yes, it would've been more money for me, but it's not worth it. My sanity is more important to me. Plus, quite honestly, I've worked hard this school year, harder than some previous years, and I deserve the time to devote to my other career. Now if Caitlin and I could get on the same page, I'd be all set!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Things To Do Instead of Writing

1. Surf the net (blogs, websites, online shopping, you name it)
2. Surf the net even for all those blogs and websites you hardly ever visit
3. Watch the same TV show over and over
4. Think about how much of a slacker you've become
5. Make a zillion cups of tea to drink while watching TV
6. Watch shows you've taped
7. Watch DVD of old shows you loved (hey, the DVD needs to be returned soon)
8. Decide you can't go to the gym because of some strained muscle in your leg
9. Think about how awesome chapters 1 & 3 are of your manuscript
10. Eat (but only stuff with few Weight Watcher points)
11. Finish that report for the day job that was due last week
12. Read someone else's awesome work
13. Watch back-to-back soccer games

Friday, June 06, 2008

You Are Invited...

To check out Teri Brown's Launch for her YA book! Yay, Teri!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


School's out for Summer! Woohoo! I celebrated with a lunch with some other teachers, a trip to the bookstore and a drop at the post office. The teachers and I talked about summer school (where no one really knows for sure what we're doing) and our schedules for 2008-2009. At the bookstore I picked up Strangers in the Night by Kerry Connor. I also looked for Teri Brown's book Read My Lips, but the store didn't have it. At the post office, I mailed 2 contest entries for Danger. Now for the rest of the night I'll read, write and enjoy the fact that I can sleep in tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tuesday's Better!

All is well. I got some kids to clean my classroom, I've had some free time to finish some ESL reports, I'm set to go buy my 7th graders McDonald's (as a reward for passing the state writing test). Don't worry. There are only nine of them so I won't go broke! This afternoon I get to have a party with my writing challenge kids, you know, all the nice, cooperative kids. Sadly there are only 8 of them. Then tonight is the Kinder graduation. I'm not going home before the graduation at 6:30, so from the time school gets out until the graduation, I'm going to work on Danger's chapter 2. I'm psyched for a good day! Hope your day's going well too!

Monday, June 02, 2008

OMG! Why Are We Still In School????

No one wants to be at school anymore. We packed, cleaned, counted books. Kids are talking back, being lazy and just irritating me!!! I thought it was me this morning, but at lunch time some of the other teachers complained of the same things. Then again at dismissal other teachers made similar comments. All this and I volunteered to tutor every day for 3 weeks starting next week??? Okay, yes, I'm getting paid for that, but still...what was I thinking????

By the time I got home tonight after having a meeting at school, doing some shopping for my party with the kids who wrote for the 50 words a day for 50 days challenge, and mailing a priority package, it was 6:30. I took a phone call, had some dinner and then read a chapter. I could go to bed now. So there's been NOTHING done on Danger today. And I don't know what I'll get accomplished tomorrow since I promised to go to the Kindergarten graduation. I've been 6 out of the 7 years I've been at this school. I skipped last year because I was recovering from surgery.

Man, I hope tomorrow is better...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

And So It Goes....

Danger and I are getting reacquainted. Have I told you lately how much I LOVE this story? Well, I do. I worked on a couple contest entries today and chapter 2. It's been a rough chapter to revise and I'm still not done. I'm happy with my progress though. Tomorrow night I can tackle it again since I won't have ANY school work to bring home! (Today I had some reports to fill out, but I did it all within an hour and a half.) I'll check in with you Monday night and report on my progress. Happy Monday to you all!


Caitlin returned this afternoon and she and I have been hard at work since. We worked for a while on a new contest entry and then decided to tackle Danger. Come to find out part of my reason for not writing was I didn't want to change something Caitlin knew I had to change. In order for the book to work, I had to listen to my muse. When I refused, that's when she went AWOL. Today, I finally understood and accepted the reasons why I had to change that scene and now the chapter is better! So even though it's 12:30 on Saturday night, I'm going to continue playing with my manuscript. I'm hoping to get chapter 2 revised enough to send to my critique partner by Sunday night.