Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Xochicalco Y Mas

Okay, as promised here are more pics of Xochicalco, the archeological site about 50 minutes from where I am. For more details on the actual site, visit my examiner page. In short, it was hot and exhausting but I loved it.

This week, my body is still rebelling some against the diet, but not so much. (BUT I LOVE the food!) It comes and goes. I'm trying to drink more water to be healthier. I now have 2 more students in my class, a woman with 2 kids who all happen to be staying in the same house with me, and a man from New York. Luckily, we all have that deer in the headlights look at times and it's actually been kind of fun. Although I do miss having las maestras all to myself. I'm starting to feel more comfortable here and I'm speaking more. I'm also understanding more. Even the older girl in my Mexicana familia says I'm talking more in Spanish this week.

As for my writing life, I've started my first editing job and plan to get a whole bunch today and I've been reading a new book. I had to send in picture of myself for the Daphne awards party at RWA Nationals. I HATE pictures of me, but I did find one other people like and I sent it in. I was going to make it my profile pic here, but unfortunately, I can't get it uploaded. What do you think?

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Saturday I went to a place called Xochicalco. AWESOME! More details & pics to come soon. Today I did go to town for part of the Mexico game, I got there on my own and met up with a friend from school for a museum visit and shopping. And the ugh part? My body's rebelling against the change in diet. Apparently this is normal after the first week. I just hope my body gets over it FAST.

Friday, June 25, 2010


....I'm seriously considering going into the center of town on Sunday to watch the Mexico World Cup game on the big screen they have set up. I'm worried I don't have enough Spanish to get around and to get me home, but how can I be here and NOT join in the celebration or heartache of my host country? Thoughts?

Friday (Viernes)

I survived my first week of classes here in Mexico! To celebrate I am reading for pleasure and it's WONDERFUL!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Book and Mexico

The book: Not happening. I decided last night that I just can't focus to finish the book right now. The ending is written, but it needs a lot of revising to make it awesome and with me here in Mexico, I'm not in the frame of mind to write new material and revise. So, I sent the first 12 chapters to my CPs and they'll get the last 2 chapters after I finish them between Mexico and RWA Nationals.

Mexico: The orphanage was a great experience even if I could barely speak to anyone. I played bingo with the kids, calling out Spanish words. One person from the school started talking to me. When I gave him the blank stare, he slowed his speech and used hand signals to have a conversation with me about music and the World Cup. It was so sad to see the kids here, 37 of them, and the few toys they share. I wanted to hug them all. Luckily, my escuela will return to the orphanage during the last week I'm here so hopefully I'll be able to speak more.

Today, during my conversation class, my maestra and I walked to the center of town. We visited Palacio de Cortez, which was a museum that told a lot about Mexican history. I was able to read very little in Spanish, but my maestra explained a lot to me. On our way there, I was amazed with how much Spanish I was able to speak already, after only 5 days in Mexico. Of course, I have A LONG way to go!

In the center of town was a shopping area. I didn't have time to shop, but I figure I've got 3 more weeks here. I'll get there. There was also a HUGE TV screen and a World Cup game. Of course I was fascinated and in my mind I thought about coming down here on Sunday to watch the England game and then the Mexico game. How cool will that be? Hopefully I can go with someone else. I'm not quite ready to brave it on my own!

Anyway, here are the first set of pictures for you:
Palacio de Cortes

The center of Cuernavaca as seen from Palacio de Cortes

My home away from home while in Mexico

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oh, Yeah

And the book? I've been working on it a bit the last couple of nights, but I get exhausted and decide to go to sleep. I'm SOOOOO close to being ready enough to send it to my CPs (notice I didn't say done) and I HAVE to get it to them! I can't have it hanging over my head because I want to be able to focus on Mexico and writing my blog posts and examiner articles. Oh, and what else? I got my first editing job and I've got 2 weeks to do it. So, here's my goal for all to read: I WILL finish my manuscript enough so I can send it to my CPs by the time I go to bed on Thursday. That way I'll have 11 nights (after my homework, extra studies and fun time with the familia Mexicana) to do my 1st official editing job. Hmmm, when will I ever get to READ for pleasure again????

A Whirlwind Of Emotions

Yesterday, during my first day of Spanish classes, I felt like an idiot. Today, I felt like I was on top of the world. I expect my emotions will see-saw like this throughout the whole month.

Yesterday, it was unbelievable to be the only person who didn't speak a word of Spanish in a school with 25-30 people. Many times I stared at people with a big, goofy grin and shook my head. Either that or I had the "deer in the headlinghts" look that I am perfecting down here. This is a good experience for many reasons, but the one that comes to mind first is that now I can truly understand what my Spanish speaking students go through. For that alone, this trip is priceless.

Today, I woke up ready and excited to go back to la escuela. I tried speaking a bit more and the whole school took time out of classes to watch the first half of the Mexico World Cup game. I also bought my first item in Mexico, a Pepsi! Tomorrow I go to an orphanage with my school to play with, cook for and eat with los ninos. I'm sure it will be a rewarding experience. As for now, I think I'll do mi tarea, my homework. Adios!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

First Impressions Of Mexico

I'm here, safe and sound! I pulled an all-nighter last night because I was so excited. Plus, the airport shuttle picked me up just after 4 a.m. I had the deer in the headlights look for quite I while as I navigated my way through customs and immigration on the Mexican side of the journey. But my driver was there and we, along with one other school passenger, had a wonderfully beautiful ride to Cuernavaca.

Once here, I met my "landlord" for the next 4 weeks, a nice woman with 2 young girls. The home is lovely, although a lot smaller than we Americans are used to. Still, it's clean, comfortable and inviting. Plus, I can sit outside in the garden to enjoy my days or struggle with the language! The lady and one of her daughters does speak some Enlish too, so I'm not COMPLETELY lost like I was at the airport.

Tomorrow starts my day at the school, bright and early at 8. Luckily, the school is only a five minute walk from here although I do have to walk up one humongo hill!

I promise pictures just as soon as I get my bearings (sp?) straight. For now, I'm off to bed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shifting Focus

Well, tomorrow I hop a plane to Mexico for my month-long Spanish immersion experience. I will be writing about it here in detail as well as on my Examiner page. In fact, I've published my 1st Mexico article already: A Texan Set Loose in Mexico. Click here to go and read it! I finally broke down and bought a digital camera so I can share pics with you in a timely fashion instead of 6 months later! The school I'm attending has wifi and I'm taking my laptop so I'll be in touch. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 18, 2010

More Soccer

Well, the US soccer team is letting us all down. It's like they didn't even arrive at the stadium until a half hour into the game. Then they just didn't seem to know what they were doing. No teamwork here. Ugh. I'll see what they can do during the 2nd half against Slovenia.

At least I still have hope for my other team to win today! England plays Algeria this afternoon. England guys, please, please, please play better than USA!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Gig

I signed a contract with an e-publisher to be a free-lance editor! It's not full-time and it won't get me health benefits, but it's something I love and it's in the right direction! Plus, I figure helping others will help me become a better writer. A win-win, if you ask me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Work News!

It looks like I have a part-time gig doing something I love. (No, it's not a book contract!) More details soon. I promise.

D-O-N-E...For Now

I hit 49,600 words at about 3:45 a.m. It's good enough. I figured out how the story ends, thanks to my wonderful hero, heroine and villain. I've done a skeleton outline of the last 2, 2 1/2 scenes so I'm pretty much done with this draft.

Now I'm taking Wednesday (or the rest of it, anyway!) and Thursday off from writing because I need a break. I'll focus on my "Must Do Before Mexico" list and then I can reread the whole book again and expand on it between Friday and Saturday. (But mostly Saturday because Friday England and the USA play soccer, but not against each other this time.)

As for right this minute? I'm going to bed!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

May I Introduce You

To the book that WILL NOT END????

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One Week To Go!

Next week this time I'll be in Mexico!!! TONS of stuff to do before then, of course! Yesterday was pretty much my day off. I worked on the book in the morning, then watched the England vs. USA soccer game and then I went to see The A-Team movie because that was my favorite show as a kid and that show was why I became a writer.

Today should've been more productive, but I'm really having trouble with Chapter 10. SO I procrastinated, of course! I watched 2 soccer games today, went grocery shopping, wrote out some bills, made my "MUST DO BEFORE MEXICO" list and have been working hard on my Celtic Hearts Gathering plans for RWA Nationals.

But now? Time to eat dinner!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

England VS USA

I love them both. I just hope it's an AWESOME game!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Let The Games Begin!

Today marks the beginning of one of my FAVORITE sporting events! The FIFA World Cup! I'll be watching Mexico vs. South Africa this morning, but the BIG game is tomorrow. My favorite team, England, plays against my country team, USA. I don't know which team I want to win! While I watch Mexico and try to figure out which team I'll root for tomorrow, have a look at some of the World Cup stars.

Seriously, what's not to love about this sport?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lexi Is...

...counting down the hours until the first World Cup game!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

About Murphy's Law....

You know that whole scene is going into the book where that delivery guy is the hero. I've already got it planned. Except my heroine will probably be in pajamas. And ratty slippers. Yep, she'll probably look a lot more like that picture below than I did.

But my heroine will have all her teeth.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Murphy's Law

Today I had to wait at my parents' house for a furniture delivery. Since I was planning to go to the gym afterward, I didn't take a shower. I pulled my hair in a ponytail without brushing it. (I did brush my teeth, at least.) I threw on my gym clothes and didn't bother to even wash my face. With my laptop on the kitchen table, I got busy while I waited.

Who comes to the door with the delivery? A hot, dark-haired, friendly guy, the kind I could easily write as the hero of my next book. {{Sigh}}

Monday, June 07, 2010

Other People's Good News!

Since I'm hard at work with my revisions and classes at the gym, I thought I'd share other writers' good news:

First, Marie Force. I picked up her book Line of Scrimmage at a book signing at RWA Nationals. I admit I picked it up because I was curious about a romance with a football hero and well, I loved the guy on the cover.
Since then I've been following Marie on Facebook and her blog. She just announced that another one of her books, Love at First Flight, took first place in the Single Title category of the Lories Best Published Contest! Congratulations, Marie!

Second, Joan Swan. I don't know Joan except as the CP of one of my online friends, Elisabeth Naughton. I've followed Joan's unpublished career through her website and through Elisabeth's updates. Today, Joan announced she got "THE CALL" for her paranormal romantic suspense stories! She has a 2-book deal with Kensington Brava. Congratulations, Joan! May this be the beginning of an exciting adventure for you!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Chapter 1

Revised! Lookin' good! Making me remember why I love this story.

Goal is to finish chapter 2 definitely tonight and possibly part or all of chapter 3.

What made me get busy? Well, I didn't want to clean anymore. That and I figured when I have a contract I won't be able to blow it off. So, I jumped in.

1:00 Monday morning: SQUEE! I got through chapters 1, 2 AND 3!


You know it can't be good when I'd rather clean the house than get busy with my 3rd draft.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

And The Winner Is....

Thanks again to everyone who gave me encouragement last week to finish my 2nd draft. I'm happy to say I'll start the 3rd draft tomorrow!

The winner of the Tracy Wolff books is.....

Jackie H! Congratulations, Jackie. I'll get those books to you ASAP.

Happy Writing to all!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A Wee Bit Of The Scottish!

My 2nd draft of His Reluctant Witness is D-O-N-E!!! I've still got quite a bit of work to do on it, but I'm taking Wednesday (and probably Thursday) off from the suspense because I NEED A BREAK!

I'm still in a writing challenge with my Austin RWA, so I can't take today completely off from writing. My solution? I'm going to play around with the next Scottish contemporary, Her Highland Champion. It will be a nice change of pace and it'll give me my needed words for the writing challenge.

Other than this milestone, I will officially be unemployed as of 12:30pm. Kids leave then and the teachers go out to lunch together. I'm looking forward to that, although I'm sure I'll be emotional too since it may be the last time I see some of these people. But, like I've been saying, in my heart I believe this is the best decision for me.

So, onward and upward....

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


In working on the Big Black Moment and the ending to my suspense, I've learned A LOT more about my characters and their motivations. I'm SOOOO excited because this stuff has always been difficult for me and this time it's clicking at lot earlier than the last manuscript!

I've also been introduced to at least one new character who's telling me that his story better be on my writing plan at some point.

I don't expect to have the complete 55,000 words done tonight, but I do expect to have all the pieces put together so that I can take tomorrow off and then I can focus on expanding and enriching my characters' stories when I work on the 3rd draft.

Don't forget my contest! If you haven't already left a comment encouraging my work on the ending of this draft, send me something by 11:59 tonight to be entered in the drawing for Tracy Wolff books!