Tuesday, June 30, 2009

North of England

Hi there! I had an AWESOME time in and around London and can't wait to share the details with you later. I went to Hampton Court Palace, the London Eye, Shakespeare's Globe, the British Museum, and along the Thames on a river cruise.

Now I'm in Northern England visiting the relatives. I'm here for 2 weeks and we rented a flat by the water. The weather's cooler, but still great. I'm eating too much, drinking too much and having a great time all around! I'll share more details when I can. Oh and the writing is coming along too! While I'm away, remember to stay out of trouble...or at least remember enough details to share with me later!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hi From London!

Week in Berlin was FABULOUS! Lots of food, lots of walking, lots of drinks! It was hard to leave the cousin and her husband that live there, but it was wonderful to be with them.

Reading and writing is going well too!

Arrived in London yesterday and checked my e-mails. First time I've been able to get online. Weather is wonderful, visiting family is great and tomorrow I'll be visiting some of London's great places.

Gotta go! Only a bit more time on the internet on my £1! Hope you're doing well without me. Catch you when I can!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Dream Comes True...No, Not THAT One Yet

When I began graduate school in 1998, my goals were to work with people (kids or adults or both) learning English for my day job and to spend my summers in Europe working on my books. In the past when I've gone to the UK, I've taken notebooks to write if and when the ideas came at me, but I was first and foremost a tourist.

This time, I feel like my dream is coming true. Despite the fact that I'm not yet getting paid to write books, I still consider myself a professional and I treat my writing as my 2nd job. As I've been preparing for this trip, I've realized I'm getting a chance to do just what I wanted when I started "teacher training." No, it may not be EXACTLY as I'd planned eleven years ago, but this summer I am living my dream! I have this laptop and I have two manuscripts to revise. I've thought about sitting in a cafe, a pub, or the flat and working, and the idea of doing that makes me giddy. Of course I won't work every single day, but the idea that I can take a day off from playing tourist and pretend to be a local with a job is something that makes my heart sing. And that, boys and girls, is the greatest gift I could ever receive!

Take care while I'm gone. Remember to check on me every once in a while because I'll post when I can. Those of you going to Nationals, look for me in DC!

Friday, June 12, 2009

And So It Goes...

Still packin'. Finishing up laundry. Found my passport. Running a thousand errands today (including getting the plugs to use the laptop in Europe) because I'm the world's WORST procrastinator! Oh yeah, and I only slept for 1 hour last night. I was too excited! I'll check in with you later.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I've Started Packing

Has anyone seen my passport?????

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hurray For Friends!!!

I am SOOOOO lucky! Thank you to those of you who left comments here and to those who e-mailed me. I had a lot of good suggestions for my digital age dilemma.

In the end, I have a good friend (Hi, Monika!) who happens to have an extra laptop so she's loaning that to me for 2 months. I'll buy the converter so I can plug it in across the pond, but that's all I'll have to shell out. That's good since I'm not comfortable buying something without adequate time to research. This way too I can see if I like it and if a laptop is something I want to invest in. So thanks to Monika I won't lose my momentum on my revisions and I won't have to retype pages and pages of handwritten material. Oooh, I can already see this is going to be AWESOME!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Can I Pick Your Brain?

Methinks me need a laptop or, at the very least, some contraption that will allow me to work on my manuscripts during my 8 week vacation (a month in Europe visiting relatives, a month in the States visiting relatives). I spent some quality time with Google trying to find a place in Sunderland, England where I could work on a computer. While I'd love to have internet access on my European leg of the trip, I can live without it. But as I've worked on Danger today, I've realized that too much needs to be changed and I won't be able to do it all in 3 days and I REALLY don't want to wait until July to get back to it. Of course, I'd have to buy something in the next 3 days and jumping into a big purchase on a whim has never been "my thing." And then there's the Scottish contemporary, Fractured Paradise. I have to work on revisions for that too for when (see? when, not if) the editor requests that GLORIOUS story! Of course, I could always chuck them both for a month and work on a completely new story! What do you think? Guide me, people!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Getting Back On The Right Path

I've been working the last couple of days feverishly trying to get my Danger revisions done before my vacation. Yesterday I got a lot accomplished, although it may not seem like it with the updated word count. But then today, with the bright eyes of a fresh morning, I started cutting left and right again. A few of my new precious scenes, while wonderful in their own right, just don't fit my story. I had momentarily slipped back into author intrusion last night because it was easier than solving my writing dilemma and that NEVER works. So, tonight I'm revising chapters 7 & 8. Hopefully I'll make them both fit the characters and do the story justice.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Hi, Hi!

Just checking in with you! Nothing much to report here. I've been in staff development for the last 2 days, celebrating the end of school with meals out and a few margaritas. I FINALLY finished reading Lisa Scottoline's Daddy's Girl. Loved it, but I took way too long reading it. Tomorrow I'm going to a family reunion...for my brother's wife & in-laws. He and I are going to sit in the back of the patio, sipping our drinks and watching the family drama take place. (Hhhmmm, maybe I'll get some good stories!) I'm running out of time for my Danger revisions. One week to go before I send it to my CPs! Chapter 7 started giving me as much trouble as chapter 3 was a few weeks ago. So I skipped it and started working on chapter 8 earlier this week. I'm making slow progress with 7 now and hopefully this weekend (well, Sunday, really) I'll be able to work through a rough idea of 7 AND finish 8. I figure if I'm still not happy with chapter 7 it's not a big deal. I know my CPs will be able to brainstorm me through the rough patch!

What's on tap for your weekend?

A LITTLE LATER: Chapter 7's working!!! I LOVE this story...again.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

In The Words Of Alice Cooper

As of 12:30 today,

Whoo-hoo! My fellow teachers and I will be celebrating with a luncheon happy hour of our own!

Monday, June 01, 2009

I'm A Winner!!!

So during the Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction, I managed to bid on several things until they got out of my price range. BUT there were two items that I won!

First is a lunch at RWA Nationals with suspense author Dianne Emley! I admit I haven't read her books yet, but before I bid on the lunch I checked out her website. She seems to be a really neat person and her excerpts are fantastic!

The second item I won is extra special to me. I'm getting an autographed ARC from my idol,

This man single-handedly set me on a course to become a writer. He is responsible for my love of suspense and justice. As a 7th grader, I wrote my first 100+ page story, which turned out to be A-Team fan fiction. The years that followed had me writing fan fiction for many of his other shows (Hardcastle & McCormick, Wiseguy, Riptide, 21 Jumpstreet, Hunter, Silk Stalkings, just to name a few). These shows sparked creative stories of my own, with characters I always hoped would be worthy of Mr. Cannell. To a sick child who couldn't always do what the other kids did, his TV shows offered me a world to which I could belong, a world I could help create. I still get giddy talking about his influence on my life. And now, to be getting this autographed ARC, I'm twelve again, star-struck and emotional. So thank you to Brenda Novak for having this auction, letting me help the community with my donation, and for connecting one girl to her idol even in a small way!