Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Please take time out of your day to honor the men and women who fight for our country and for those who have sacrificed their lives. We could not be free and safe without them.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I'm Stuck

I've been procrastinating all morning because I'm at a part in the story where I need a transition scene. Ggggrrr. I was thinking to just skip it and work on the next scenes I do have. At least then I can close in on my ending and my deadline. Plus, maybe something will trigger an excellent idea for the missing scene!

Okay, enough blogging. Time to sit down and get to work. Hope you're having a great weekend whatever you're doing!

LATER: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Friday, May 28, 2010

A BIG Thank You

Thanks to everyone who offered words of advice, encouragement or a swift kick. It worked! Last night I wrote more than I had in the last week. With the 3-day weekend (AND NO SCHOOL WORK TO DO!!!!), I intend to sit on the couch, nurse myself back to health (allergies/cold) and get the 2nd draft done! I'm sure I'll keep you updated, although I know many (all?) of you will be celebrating Memorial Day. And if you're reading this and you haven't commented yet, there's still time to get in on the contest for Tracy Wolff's books. See my previous entry for details!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shameless Plea and a Contest!

My own deadline for the 2nd draft of HIS RELUCTANT WITNESS is Tuesday, June 2nd. I chose that day because I wanted the draft to be done before school got out and school's out June 3rd. And well, I'll be out celebrating on June 3rd, so it HAS to be done before then.

HOWEVER, I am a master procrastinator and I haven't really worked on it much since Saturday. Yet, I still have 50-70 pages to write and revise. So, I'm buckling down now. No, seriously. I need to be able to do a 3rd draft before I go to Mexico and that is coming up fast. (June 20th!)

So, I'm asking and offering here. I'm asking for positive vibes, comments, thoughts (or even a serious virtual ass-kicking) for the next week. If you comment with some kind of encouragement, prodding or question about my progress, you will be in a drawing that ends Tuesday, June 2nd at 11:59 pm! And what is the prize you ask?

Two books by my friend and awesome writer, Tracy Wolff! I have her latest erotic suspense, Tease Me, and her last Harlequin Super Romance, From Friend to Father. If you visit her blog and comment there, let me know and you'll get a bonus entry into the contest for the books!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Busy, Busy

So yesterday I spent a chunk of time rearranging my scenes in my book because I'm pretty sure I had a breakthrough and know the right way to organize the scenes.

Unfortunately, I'd forgotten how painful that would be.

I'm still in the thick of it, still absolutely convinced I'm making the right decision, but struggling because I don't want to cut any of the awesome work I did last week. My goal is to finish rearranging tonight and start adding transition sentences and paragraphs so that I can be all ready to move forward during my writing afternoon (last bit of personal time from work!) tomorrow. Wish me luck!

(And don't worry. I saved a copy of the manuscript BEFORE I started making sweeping changes just in case I'm wrong with my breakthrough!)

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I went to a a bookstore today that had a panel of mystery writers talking about writing. One of the authors is one of my favorite suspense authors, Laura Griffin. (She happens to be up for a RITA and she's also a member of Austin RWA.) We chatted for a while and then she asked if I wanted to review her new book coming out June 29th! Uh, YEAH! Can't wait!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


So, I'd like to increase the traffic to my blog. I also noticed that a fellow writer who had me listed on her blog no longer has that link. What suggestions do you have to make my blog more interesting, to get people to follow me and to keep me linked on their blogs?

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Happy Teacher Day!

On the state tests:

My 7th graders all passed their Writing test (for the 3rd year in a row!)
14 of my 19 7th graders passed the Reading test
15 of my 19 6th graders passed the Reading test

They did a GREAT job!

Then one off my colleagues gave me an envelope with goodbye cards and letters to me from all my students. I only read a few before I started getting teary-eyed. I'll save the rest until I get home and can cry like a baby from their sweet words!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Writing Afternoon

Well, my writing afternoon turned into running a few errands after I left work then an hour long nap when I got home (thanks to this allergy attack or cold). I was stuck with the manuscript but decided to plug away at the book anyway, because we all know a book won't write itself! Now I'm halfway through the next chapter, blindly following my characters wherever they intend to take me. And so far? It's working! I LOVE MY MUSE!

LATER: Yay! I hit 50% on the book's word count! I've got some great ideas to continue with this chapter, but I'm kind of wiped out from whatever this sickness is. So I'm going to bed early (for me) and hope I can start knocking this out of my system so I can totally focus on my book!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


2 weeks of school left! YAY!

Happy Hour today with Austin RWA! YAY!

I'm into chapter 8 FINALLY! YAY!

I LIKE chapter 8! YAY!

Tomorrow afternoon is a writing afternoon! YAY!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Future

I officially resigned today. I just hit "send" on my resignation e-mail to my boss and the school board.

There are a thousand emotions racing through me right now: happiness- because the school has become a toxic environment for me and I no longer have to work in that. sadness- because I've been here for nine years and I've had A LOT of good moments and met A LOT of great people. nervousness- because I'm pretty much unemployed as of June 3rd. hope- because I believe new doors will soon be opening for me. excitement- because I think I'm prepared (been plotting and planning for this since December) and I want to enjoy my freedom. (I still get paid until the end of July.) I have been applying for school/teaching jobs for a while and I will continue to do so until I go to Mexico (which is only 5 weeks away! Yikes!!) amazement that I really took the plunge for a writing career that is still in infancy. I have no contract, no promise of one anytime soon, but I believe in myself and want to chase that dream with everything I have.

For me, this was the only sound decision and with each passing moment I believe it a bit more in my heart. Good things will come because the time is right and I am ready.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Playing With Numbers

I've got 1 hour left to add words to my total for the day, which is what I keep track of for my Austin RWA monthly writing challenge. I'm shooting for 2500 words. I'm just over 2100.
Made it.

I've got 1,312 words to go to crack 25,000 on the counter to the right. I'll make 24,000 before midnight, but the other 1000 words will have to come tomorrow.
At 24,434, my eyes are crossing. I'll hit 25,000 during Sunday for sure.

I really, really want to finish drafting chapter 7 before I go to sleep tonight. We'll see.
Not happening. I'm oh so close, but I know my limits. I'm better off starting in this place tomorrow.

I watched Bourne #3 earlier, The Bourne Ultimatum. It was a pleasant surprise to find it on TV and wow, I can pretty much recite most of the dialogue!

I've had 2 cups of tea tonight.

12 days left of teaching.

2 more afternoons to take off for writing.

Roughly 4-5 chapters left to write for the 2nd draft of His Reluctant Witness.

No time left to chat! Gotta go work!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If You Have Time....

Please visit my Examiner page here. My latest article is about a hotel in my absolute favorite place in all the world- Glenfinnan, Scotland. Not only is this village important to me for that reason, but my Scottish short contemporaries are set in a fictional version of the magical hotel and village. This picture is the view from the front steps of the hotel. (For a picture of the actual hotel, visit the Examiner page!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In The Thick Of It

I got home from work about 2:15 and I started writing about 2:30. At first it was slow-going, with me rearranging and trying to fit the scenes in the right order. THEN the floodgates opened and I'm writing new stuff and charging ahead from my rearranged scenes! I'm sooooo excited and really, really wish I didn't have to stop to have dinner. But food is good. It'll give me energy and keep me from munching all night.

10:36: I finished Chapter 6 and LOVE it! I've still got a scene to write for Chapter 5, but I should be able to get that done tomorrow, then I can chat with my muse and my characters to see what happens in Chapter 7! Oh, and I broke the 100-page mark!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chapter 6

Yep, a week later and I'm still on it. I was pretty sure I hit "the sagging middle" and last night I was just so desperate to get chapter 6 done and get into 7, I wrote anything. BUT then as I got into bed, the light bulb flashed in my brain and I figured a way through the chapter (that includes deleting most of what I wrote over the last few days). It's funny because here I am trying to wedge the scenes into the manuscript that I want, scenes I think showcase the characters really well, but they're my scenes not the characters scenes. I, as the author, am intruding and trying to do it my way when I know PERFECTLY well I have to follow my characters. At least it didn't take me as long to remember that as in earlier manuscripts.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Catch Up

Wow! The days are flying by! I can't believe I haven't posted since Wednesday and the Daphne announcement. So here's a quick rundown of what I've been doing:

Celebrated my Daphne final with dinner and a few margaritas
LOTS of school work. UGH.
cooked 3 dozen eggs for a field day activity
field day Friday, which was 3 1/2 hours out in the almost 100 degree heat
sickness from...heat??
watched The Blind Side, Angels & Demons and Monster-in-Law with brother and sis-in-law
wrote a little
Sent off my entry for the final round of the Daphne
wrote my Edinburgh Tattoo article
applied for more jobs

AND here's what is coming up:
3 Examiner articles this week
1 afternoon off to work on my suspense manuscript
apply for more jobs
Austin RWA meeting
go to the gym at least 3 times
seriously consider cleaning the house

I'm off to get started working on my manuscript for tonight!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

It's Official!!


His Reluctant Witness by Lexi Connor

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


We interrupt your regular blogging pleasure for this important announcement. I have writing news I want to share. NO IT IS NOT A CONTRACT. More details to follow as soon as I can.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.....

Monday, May 03, 2010


I've got a lot of little news, so here ya go:

Day job- Our staff development was focused on next year, so the boss told those of us who gave notice already we didn't have to go in. I slept in, did a bit of writing, a bit of grading, a bit of job hunting and a bit of laundry.

Suspense manuscript- It's coming. I'm almost through chapter 6. Did a bit of work on it today.

Short Contemp manuscript-Yeah, this one is mostly still in my head, but I entered it in a 1st line contest today for free. I love the first line of the book and I'm dying to get to the actual writing and revising of that manuscript.

Flooding in TN- Our RWA National conference was supposed to be in Nashville in July. With all the flooding, the hotel has been closed and our conference is up in the air My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this disaster.

Summer- I just booked my plane ticket to Mexico for my month-long Spanish immersion program! I can't believe I'm really going to do it!

Hope all is well with you!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

For My Dad- 13 Years Gone

In memory of Robert John Keach, Jr.
November 16, 1942-May 1, 1997

Remembering You
Your time on earth seemed all too brief
because I wanted you in my life forever.
And although I really miss you,
in my heart I know that you are at peace.
Still, countless times throughout the day
I find myself remembering you.
Although I cannot see or hear you,
I know that you are with me.
I'll feel you in the warmth of the summer sun.
I'll see you in the brilliance of autumn leaves.
You'll be beside me in the peacefulness of a gentle snowfall
and rejoice with me at the emergence
of the first flowers of spring.
I'm thankful for the times we shared
and the priceless memories too;
for those memories are a comfort now when I lovingly -
Remember You.