Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year

The new year is coming. Right now, most of the people I follow are slowing down, taking time to have fun. Especially since the publishing world seems to grind to a near stand still at this time of year. I say near because they do still push new releases and stuff.

So, what do you do for the New Year? Party wise and goal wise. The last few years, I've made it a point to get old projects finished. And I've succeeded :) I'm thinking, that I will have to do so again. I've found more projects and started others. Some I can't finish until I replace my glasses.

However, I'm going to add a new one. I'm going to have a book scheduled for publication. There. I've stated my goals. Now, if only I could see to edit...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Just in case

So, as many know, my computer had a meltdown a short time ago. Well, when trying to get on again tonight, I was "blue screened" again. That was what happened last time. So, if you don't hear from me for a while, that may be the problem.

I went to Best Buy to check on my warranty. I have a 3 year warranty that covers just about anything to do with my hard drive. I'm supposed to take it in so they can check... UGH

But if it's not the hard drive, it isn't covered. PSBBBSBBSBS is what I say to that!!! Since it won't load the drivers, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's the hard drive.

Keep your fingers crossed. It's my only connection to the outside world...

Christmas was pretty good here. My 9 you says it was best Christmas presents EVER. He also said I shouldn't have gotten them because the kids had been bad all year. He was REALLY GOOD helping clean house for today's company lol

Hope your holidays went well. I hooked up with old friend and his wife and will probably be stamping with her later. Showed her a trick, but not sure if I did it right cuz of my glasses situation...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Thanks to everyone who showed their concern and niceness regarding my daughter's well being :) Some on twitter and some here (and a couple both ways!) And to those who helped me through a rough patch yesterday. Thanks for being the bestest. Now, back to business, so to speak.

So, I'm editing, very, very, very, very, slowly. I mean, sllllllooooooooowwwwww. but it is good. Here's a quick excerpt from my paranormal, the Damian series that I am currently calling Ghost of Kristen's Past.

Before she responded, the detective's eyes glowed strangely and he turned toward the door. "Kenny is here."

Kristen could not remember the last time she had been in such a nervous state. Her mind fumbled for coherence and her body was in fight or flight mode. She mutely turned back to the door and opened it.

She was so not surprised to see Kenny coming up the walk. She let Kenny in and turned back to Detective Damian.

Kenny strode purposefully into the living room. "I'm here, obviously. What did you want?" he said abruptly as soon as he saw the detective.

"I need you to tell me everything you know. Half of Hell is after you and the other half will be once they find out that the two of you are Soulmates."

You like? That's the end of a chapter :D I really like that last line. One of my favorites. I know a book is good when I have favorites...

Happy Winter!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

She's alive!

Now, usually, I use that to mean I only fell off the ends of the earth, or had a really hard time I've recently come back from.

Nope, not this time. This time, it's literal. My daughter is alive. Why is that a big deal? Here's the story...

Out of the blue, I get a real live phone call from my text loving, zillion words a second, daughter. I already know something is up. So, then, in that voice that means she knows I'm not going to like what she says, she says, "How are you mom? How's everyone?"

If you're a parent, or close to a child, that voice combined with that non-sequitor is bad. Very bad. But, I play along. Sort of.

"We're all fine. What's up?" I ask her. Then she starts with the hemming and hawing. "I'm fine, we're fine, um, yes, but I'm fine."

Now my mother's heart is going OH SH**. I'm trying to let her tell me her way, but it is hard.

"When we left the roads were fine," she finally gets out. Silence on my end. I knew it wasn't good.

"We were going to his (bf) mom's house for holiday things, you know. And, well, um..." I decide to help her when she stalls again.

"Where does his mom live again?"

"Spokane. So we, like, um,"

Okay, I have to tell you, she uses um to usually mean I'm being an idiot, or to stall giving me really bad news. Notice the ums? And I'm editing for clarity...

"We, um, the roads looked fine. But, um, we hit black ice. We went off the left side into the ditch. And um,"

Now, I'm ready to burst in with questions, but she had to go add the 'and, um' to her story. I'm positively speechless. There's more?

"See, Justin (bf name) told me to get out of the car. I know the cops usually say to stay in your car, but I got out." her words are rushing now. And she's still using this tone of voice that I haven't heard from her in years.

"And all of the sudden a truck is heading towards us. It smashed into the passenger side of the car, right where I was sitting!"

OMG let me tell you, my heart is no longer beating a staccato, it is frozen in my throat.

"You're lucky you weren't hit anyway," I finally choke out.

"We started running as fast as we could in the snow. So, yeah. I've had my holiday excitement for the year."

"I guess so! I'm glad you're okay. Where are you?"

"Spokane, we were just past..." names an exit close to Spokane.

"I'm glad you're okay," I say.

And as she starts to speak, her phone dies.

My daughter, she should go to law school. She loves to argue semantics. I don't know how much arguing she actually did with him. But the point is, she got out first. Probably saved her life. For sure saved her body from grievous injury.

Whatever happens from this point on, she's had her Christmas Miracle.

I was so relieved that she was okay that I spent the night editing little bits, and playing twitter big bits :D I'm back to editing, and already tired :( Need sleep, and caffeine. But I'm happy with how the editing is going. Still have over 100 pages to go on current page count. Probably be closer to another 150 before I'm finished. Sigh.

Funny thing is, before I broke my glasses, I liked editing. Now it's harder than it used to be. :) Well, back to the editing process and trying to be a good mom and alpha female...

Friday, December 17, 2010


So, how many of you eavesdrop? Come on, be honest. Your mom isn't looking. Yep, if you're a writer, I can almost gaurantee you eavesdrop, even when you don't mean to. Take me the other day.

Finally, I get out. The aforementioned Christmas bonus. Yeah, that day. I'm determined to enjoy my time out with my husband. First derailment? Migraine. okay, i have meds. Oops. left them in car. We are at Costco. I sit down at Costco's little white tables and hold my head in my hands while hubby checks out with our two items and goes to the car for me.

I am trying not to listen, honestly. It makes my head hurt to listen. But, I hear them. Everywhere. Women who are lovers that are pretending to just be friends. Old men married to their wives forever and showing that love in every look, touch, and word. Young kids ramped up about Christmas. So much there.

My husband brings in the meds that I have (not prescription. Just some "headache medicine" that I found with aspirin, tylenol, and caffeine. Lots of caffeine. my migraines are not hurt by caffeine. Thank. You. God. I've heard rumors...) and brought me food to go with it.

I finally start feeling better. and then the caffeine kicks in. Hubby leaves to get us pop or something and I tune in (again, NOT ON PURPOSE, I SWEAR) to the couple next to us. She is probably 55ish, died (pun intended) auburn hair (I WISH I could dye my hair that color though!) with a blue tooth sticking out her ear.

She is animatedly telling her older husband about her trip through the snack bar.

Ginger: There was one reeeeaaalllly long line but they had more than one cashier open.
Gingerman: Really. His tone of voice said fascinating. He is a good man.
Ginger: No one is moving to the open cashier. The cashier person is standing there twiddling her thumbs. Yet, they all stayed in the long line.
Gingerman: Huh. More of a grunt while eating.
Ginger: So I move and go to the front of the line.
Nosy Writer: Laughing in delight. Good for you!
Ginger: Looks over to see if nosy parker was talking to you. Yep, she was. Oh.
Nosy Writer: Seriously. Good for you. If people are going to give you dirty looks because they were too stupid to do it, then you derserve a thumbs up.
Gingerman: Blinks. Stares at this woman who has now said more words to your wife than you have in three days.
Ginger: Beams, but looks uncertain of the person next to them. Thank you.
Nosy Writer: I'm sorry. I'm a writer. I'm terrible about eavesdropping even when I'm trying not to. Winning smile. Just had to say that.
Ginger and Gingerman: Nod appreciatively. Thanks. Smiles.

Seriously, as soon as they heard I was a writer, I was no longer the crazy person interrupting their talk. I was somebody. A somebody that it was okay to listen and give approval. LOL

Have you ever done that? Not give dirty looks. I won't ask you to fess up to that. Not here, anyway. You can do that to yourself and fix it later. I mean, have you ever heard something and felt the urge to cut in?

We all do it on twitter. Not only that, we retweet and invite the whole world to do it with us lol

I have had people give me dirty looks for being the smart one, going to the head of the line, rather than be cattle and wait in the line "everybody" is in.

This episode made me think of JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyers. Or is it Meyer. I have a book here somewhere I could look at, but that's not the point. How many times have I heard either one of them eschewed for something? Really, what did they do? Something different.

Whether or not you like sparkly vamp in the rainforest as a concept, a huge chunk of the world did. Whether or not you like the witch stuff about Harry Potter, a really huge chunk of the world did. (BTW I'm huge fan of one and not the other. *Shrugs* I couldn't tell you why. I suspect its the POV issue for me, however.)

I do not complain about other books getting popular. I wish I were that popular. I don't care if you personally appreciate the writing. Why be a schmuck to those that like it? You never know, it might be the same schmuck of people that likes your stuff. I mean, take me for example. I'm not a huge YA fan. Yet, I do like some things.

But I'm also the same person who loves hard hitting thrillers and romantic comedies. If I see you belittling an author (I do not mean disliking a book for personal tastes. I mean the rude s***) and I remember your name, I am not going to buy your book. I. will. not. buy. your. book. Period. Okay, rant over. For now.

Still, don't be like all those standing in line because that's where everyone else is. Follow your heart. Write what you love. Go to the head of the line when the opportunity knocks.

And for pete's sake, don't give others dirty looks for getting there first. Applaud them and follow suit. Be a leader. Be different. Be yourself.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm baaack

Today, I went Christmas shopping. My husband got his Christmas Bonus in the shape of a gift card. I'm not going to say the amount he got, but it wasn't large. I was happy it was anything. This is first job either one of us has had that has given any bonus. So we went shopping.

I hate shopping. We ended up saying we will get x or x if there are still any. The next payday is the Friday before Christmas. We ended up getting a stool. (I am short!) garbage bags and a miter tool for making frames, etc.

My husband is making shelves so that I can get my canvases put up, so they will hopefully quit getting destroyed. Also, it will give me more organizational room in the craft/sewing/art room. Hopefully, when this round is done, I will quit losing large $$ amounts in things to mice (number 1 culprit) dogs, kids, and the cat. I will also hopefully quit losing large amounts of time to having to clean/organize the new mess! That is what I am hoping for. I need that time, either for writing or for relaxing. I am so far behind on cleaning and relaxing :)

Catching up, though, catching up. :)

Last night, while baby took nap, I was able to get at least 12 pages of post-beta reader edits done. In doing so, I ended up 200 words ahead! And that's with erasing some things. Like had. Too, too many hads... I love having a beta reader who can explain. It's like having a doctor who can explain. It's awesome. It is the first real progress I've made on my writing since the computer crashed, and let me tell you, IT. FELT. GOOD. :D so good. I love writing. It's in my blood. I think, being creative is in my blood. Anytime being creative is withheld from me, I feel imprisoned.

Now, I have the scent. I have some really good ideas and know where I'm needing to go. I can't wait for it to be finished. My wish now, that I had glasses...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

new day

Well, it is a new day. Now, while reading the following, please keep in mind that my spirit is in a better frame of mind then yesterday. Also, writing does come in somewhere... *G*

My 2 yo fights sleep like some people fight each other in boxing rings. He will actually scratch/slap himself to wake himself up. Some nights are worst than others. Last night was a bad one.

Well, okay, I wanted to do some more baking. I had made chocolate cake and cupcakse and frosting earlier and wanted to make more frosting and cookies. One, small problem. A single solitary beater has gone missing between the kids lick the frosting off and the dishwasher stage.

I have looked everywhere. I'm afraid the 2 you may have gotten it and thrown it away. I'm afraid to look. But I ended up making frosting with my bread beater attachments. Worked okay. It was more work. No way am I going to be able to make any sort of whipped things like meringue etc.

Now, this morning, after being up until close on 6, I got up at 5 to 7 and woke up 6 and 9 yo and got them moving. Told them they had better make it to bus stop or else...

About 10 am I heard someone messing with our electronics and thought we were being ripped off (wouldn't be first time!) so I was startled awake. I turn over and jump up. One small, teensy, itty bitty problem? There was no more bed to turn over to. Yep. That's right. I fell off the bed. I hurt my whole left side, my back and neck.

Well, turns out to be my boys. I went out to the living room seeking blood. Well, turns out, my 9 yo turned wrong on his bad ankle (He hurts the same one over and over again. Yes, he is most definitely NOT adopted. #co-ruler of Klutzville here.), twisted it, fell, and 6 yo tripped on him and fell on the ankle. I.kid.you.not. All on their way out the door to bus.

I tell him find the brace and I turn around and go back to sleep. Around noon, I here my teen. I'm thinking, wow, I slept til 3? Sweet! Why don't I feel any better. Oh yeah. fell off bed. I get up check my thousand tweets on my phone and go. Um it's not three. I go out there and he's couging to beat the band again. We've got some sort of bronchitis going through the house and it can take months to go away. I may be stuck home schooling my kids for rest of year. Which really sucks as my teen only needs 5.5 credits to graduate!

When I started this, I still had not found the beater. My 6 yo finally understands WTH we are talking about, runs to his room, and comes back with it. LOL

Someone said I live on the edge of the Chaos Vortex. I'm starting to think my family is the epicenter and inner winds! We have our moments of ultimate togetherness then all hell breaks loose :D The calm and the winds, yep, that would be us. Although, maybe I should buy stock in Duct tape... and ace bandages!

So, after hearing this story, why would anyone in their right mind think that I could possibly be in better spirits then I was yesterday?

For one thing, I have an EXCELLENT Beta Reader, @Techsurgeons on twitter. Who gave me excellent advice. I feel freer now due to his advice. I am one of those people who read everything and try to do it by the book. One of those fallacies is not using contractions in good literature. I have spent so much time going through manuscripts and it has turned out to be good as I have occassionally been lazy and used it's inappropriately. I do know the grammar, just would type like people speak.

However, I went too far to the extreme. What has this baking time done for me? Even with all the setbacks? I can sit back and think of plots and my brain can work on it without the pressure of ME and all the damned rules floating around in my head. I know how to tell a good story. I have a natural instinct for plot and clues etc. It's all the stinking rules that trip me up.

So, yeah, despite all the stuff, things are starting to look up again. My beater is found, my tree has beautiful ornaments that my husband bought me as a gift to help me feel better from my loss. (that is a whole other story that would make the most hard hearted person cry, so I am not going to tell it until I have some objectivity back) My kids are enjoying the whole baking process, I made really, really good cake for first time in my life, and we are making gingerbread houses tonight.

And I'm going to sing happy things whenever I want to get down. Everyone laughs at my singing... Even the dog.

In the meantime, I'm going to plot away, enjoy my kids, and be thankful for friends and family that have all helped me get through this.

PS my online friends have been there. It is you I am thankful for, right now.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back up

Recently, I have had a rash of bad juju regarding my files and things getting lost/stolen. So, I have endeavored to make sure I have back ups. Well, it was not enough. I had some sort of virus that would not let me access restore points or anti-virus.

I also found that my anti-virus was off. I don't know if that was me with a download that I forgot to turn back on, or if that was the virus. But any time I tried to access any of that, I was blue screened. It kept telling me to uninstall last thing I installed. I had not installed anything. I had TRIED to update my adobe last. But it had not started yet.

I spent HOURS yesterday, trying to make it recover somehow. It did not. Long and short of it is that I lost all my pictures and my research.

I had started moving files to dropbox so I have my 3 complete novels still saved. I also have some of my research in email boxes that I will have to track down now. (I send to my alternate email and myhusbands email, so between them, i hopefully have SOMETHING. I have a joint venture book published which I had on my computer. The sequel is gone. Unless I managed to send it a while back.

At one point, my back up files on this OS went blank. My whole back up drive just wiped out. I had already had plans for buying a seperate harddrive for back ups. My husband and I have even priced some. However, we have not had the money. This last check my husband only had five days of work because of the weather.

He was unable to get into work the day before Thanksgiving (turned out to be good thing since mypipes were frozen!) so he lost his two days of holiday pay as well. One twelve hour shift and two 8 hour paid days down the tubes. Sigh.

My dropbox used to have more on it, but I cleared it out to help my son back up his itunes before reinstalling. Something was not working right with quick time or something, so he gave up. I took out the music and started refilling my dropbox, starting with my MS.

Mostly, I'm bummed at loss of my pics. The ironic thing is that most of my pics that I don't yet have on disc/jump drive are on FB which was the culprit in the first place. One of my friends was hacked and her site used to send infected messages to the lot of us :(

I probably would have been fine, but like I said, my defenses were down. I am really bummed. This week, I've lost my pics, and discovered the loss of my and my children's childhood ornaments. Trying hard to not be a downer to everyone I talk to, but it gets harder with each thing that happens.

HOWEVER, I do have my completed manuscripts. With all the interest I have in my romance thrillers and paranormal romance, I think I'm going to relegate my sci-fi and fantasy series to smashwords for my small cult following. I will put them cheaply available like $1-2 dollars and will link the sites here for you.

I have to go back through and fix dialogue. I went and took out contractions, but on the reread, it does not sound good. I had this confirmed with a beta reader (without pointing it out), so I am going to fix it before I release it to the stratosphere :)

I have my thriller out with an editor. Keep those fingers/toes/hair/eyes, whatever you have crossed for me:)

And keep the happy juju thoughts coming so I can go back to being my cheerful self! I really am an optimist at heart...

Friday, December 10, 2010

From mush to plush

Yeah, that was pushing it :P

As I think I stated here before, I had a very hard time turning off the inner editor in this year's go around of NaNoWriMo. This story has been in the works for sometime. As I had already written more than NaNo's requirement and thrown it out, I suppose I already had my mush pile.

Realistically, I have a great story. I'm working on pulling all the POVs together. I have an umbrella story (think Acheron from Sherilynn Kenyon) and the lovers story, and the demons in the back ground. There will be one big bad ass demon that is there for a few novels before I do something about her. Yes, the biggest bad ass demon is a female.

I believe women are as capable of men at things and vice-versa. I know there is some physical differences, but as I have a 5'8", or maybe she is up to 5'9" now, daughter as sturdy and strong as you could ask for, I do not see those limitations as much as others. Of course, I'm only 5'3", but I'm tough as nails. Or, I used to be before I got old :P

I was a firefighter, EMT, Search and Rescue Worker. My husband, who was also a firefighter, EMT (it's how we met!) is also a great sewer and cook. I never like to limit my characters.

How about you? Do you find yourself, in your writing or real life, limiting people unconsciously because of their sex? Take a close look, and let's be honest, this if for posterity's sake, how does it feel? Okay, that went off on a Princess Bride tangent :D What I was starting to say before my brain so pleasantly interrupted, is take a close look at your MS and your life views. How are you limiting yourself or the people around you? Or are you? You may be surprised at your answers.

For me, I forget to toughen my men up in my WIP. I forget some of the things that need to be said "out loud" so to speak. In my books, it is assumed (by me, the author) that men have a strength of character or a strong woman would not like them in the first place.

I forget to show that strength. What does that mean? It means I need to go about showing those characteristics in a positive way. What is it you do, or don't do, as the case may be?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

She Can Be Taught!

As it turns out, the whole site was redesigned. That's right, folks, SHE CAN BE TAUGHT!

LOL I have been trying since last summer to post pics off of my computer on to my site. Ask @tamiklockau as she "showed" me where the picture button is. Now that I have added one as gadget, next will be on on the blog post itself. :)

I just read an interesting post by @jamigold about regular blogging. She pointed out that maybe I could do posts ahead of time. Now, I have tried it more than once. The last time it worked. I like the idea. I'm thinking about Wednesday as it seems to be slower blog day for a lot of people I follow, as well as Sunday.

Now, if I'm doing this ahead of time, I could easily do three a week. I think. I have noticed I either have plenty of time, or no time to give to my blogging on any given day.

I am getting closer and closer to publishing. I have many agents who have passed on something I sent them, only to ask me to please send me other work. I mean, outside of the form rejection. It's time to up the notch a bit on my blogging.

So, to all my faithful blogger followers, new and long term, what days would you like to see me do this? And would 3 days be a good number? As this is about my road to publishing while being a full time mom, I'm thinking two about how writing is going and one about family life. Or one of each and one being whatever has a point to me that week. I am open to suggestions!

New design-sort of :D

There, I managed to pretty-fy my blog. This is a pic, digitally remastered *snicker* to undo the "white spot" from the camera's flash lol.

It is pretty close to the actual painting, which is huge. i have to get out my measuring tape and measure it next time I go visit my daughter who has claimed it :D

I write. I have made it my career. But I also paint. It is my stress release. It is how I meditate. How I center myself. Speaking of, it is WAY past time for a painting binge. *G*

I will be adding bits and pieces of artwork to blog over next couple of weeks, trying to make my blog a little more visually interesting.

Feel free to comment on any artwork you see. Or on any excerpt from my writing that I put up. I put it out there, that makes it fair game, from my POV.

What do you do to help you relax?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's alive!

LOL I am still here :D I have been madly editing for contest that I entered. Sorry to say I did not make final cut, but Deidre Knight, agent for The Knight Agency, sent me a twitter letting me know I was in good company, that the choice had been a hard one. And, here's the part that made me favorite the tweet, to please send her future work:) Can't ask for more than that from losing a contest!

Plus, in the midst of the contest, I saw that a specific house wanted thrillers (One of which I just happen to have) so I did the boring edits this past weekend. During the editing period, I sent twits out as story time from bits and pieces of my story. Well, Monday morning I woke up to an editor's request (through twitter) to please send to her :)

In this business, one never knows. However, I have had many requests from agents that I have submitted to, to send in future work to them. I am "this" close guys! I keep writing new stories in the hopes that one will make it. I learn something with every tale.

Plus, by following my favorite blog--edittorrent--I keep my brain refreshed on plotting ideas, pacing, and most importantly for my befuddled brain, grammar. I'm on a major roller coaster ride. For me, it is a high to be asked for my work!

How has your week been? Any highs and lows to go with mine :) I love to hear from others, whether by twitter or on comments, so don't be a stranger!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The last days of Nano

I DID IT!!! I made it through the hellish month, sans thyroid meds, which affects my energy and memory, and still wrote 50k!

I wrote at least 4k on other projects as well! I finished on the second to last day. Last year, I finished a while before, but kept writing until I had 64k and more on other projects.

But this year, I had to struggle to write. It has been the paranormal that has been really sticking it to me. Turning off the inner editor completely ended up being impossible, which slowed me down. And, I'm trying to write it for a specific house/editor that really liked the premis of a short story I wrote last year (one of the projects I was working on during Nano last year!) and I have really struggled with many issues, from boredom because I outlined too much detail and wasn't happy with the main character's state of being. It is a series so I felt he needed a better hook.

I finally found it, but my laptop was stolen :( I had about 100 words in seperate file on my computer from the original writing of the scene, so was able to save that. Plus, I knew how I wanted the first scene to go, so I was able to do it. I have more words that will be copied in, now that Nano is over. That way, I can work it into the scenes better.

Otherwise, I have previously thrown out like 60k words on this particular project making it hard to write with abandon as I had done the past year.

However, I did it :D

In other news, one of my twitter friends posted about a contest the Knight Agency was sponsering, It was held on the last day of Nano. I still made myself be up and commented. I was one of the first 125 so I got in. And I made the first cut. They ended up taking 175 entrants and I made the cut down to 30 finalists! I will find out sometime on the 8th if I made the next cut :D

I'm thrilled to have made this first cut. It is the fantasy story that I entered. One I have futzed with. The one I wrote my voice out of. Well, in putting my voice back in, I had an epiphany. After writing in the changes, I ignored those few weeks of Nano. When I re-read it, I really like my revisions! Not only did I put a voice back into my MS, I rearranged a couple of scenes and I like the impact.

So did The Knight Agency. Here's to hoping they keep liking it!