Thursday, December 16, 2010

Break Time

I learned so much from participating in NaNo over on Savvy Authors. The first valuable lesson was focus. I, like a lot of people, procrastinate. You know, the 'oh, I can write that last paragraph later tonight'. And then, later tonight comes and *poof*-nothing. But, in NaNo, you can't do that. Well, you could, but what would be the sense in participating? I was able to complete Secrets of Jenkins Bridge (the last 8500 words) in a very short amount of time. So short, in fact, that I was able to spend the rest of the month editing it.

Which brings me to Lesson two: Do Not Edit Right Away. At first, it was fine. I slashed my first chapter apart and it so needed it. Unloaded lots of unneeded words and scenes and got rid of the prologue. It made for a much tighter beginning. But, I had to stop myself after that. I was starting to find myself slashing things that would change the course of my story. So, when it is said to set the story aside for at least two weeks before beginning the editing process, it's a wise decision.

So, I have given myself permission (Yes, this actually does have to be done at times) to walk away from it and move on to my next project, Boneknapper. I've managed in the last couple of weeks to plot out my scenes for the first two chapters. This is something new I'm trying. With Secrets of Jenkins Bridge, I just wrote by the seat of my pants. This time I'm trying to loosely plot. Boneknapper is about a doctor, who along with a judge, a DA, and a taxi driver, has been vexed by the father of a young boy who tragically died by a freak car accident. The doctor couldn't save the boy, and the judge and DA both agreed it was an accident-not charging the taxi driver with any crime. This lays the groundwork for curses on all of them-using deceased human bones. Yeah, I know. Voodoo doesn't use human bones. But, I came across a couple of stories (out of Africa) where it was suspected a couple of people were kidnapping and killing children for use of their bones in sacrifices, curses, and so forth. This is what made me choose my story. But I certainly didn't want to write about some crazy going around killing kids. Not my cup of tea.

I'm basically finding myself to be more of a plotter than a panster. What are you? And do you set aside your manuscript for a couple of weeks before editing or do you do it right away??

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I feel the need to write about everything I am thankful for this year and since it's Thanksgiving, now is the perfect time.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my husband and my kids who put up with my insane obsession at times concerning my writing. Especially at times when I'm suppose to be paying attention to whatever cartoon or show they are watching and I have my laptop with me :) Or while cooking supper. Not to mention my papers lying all over the house. And, at times, all over my desk at the motorcycle shop. Without their support and complete understanding, I wouldn't be writing right now. For example, I asked my daughter to straighten my hair today. While she is doing this not-so-easy chore (I have thick hair), I am sitting here blogging this. I'm sure she's enjoying yanking my head all over the place. Yup, she has a smile on her face. You don't get too many chances to torture Mom. I'm also thankful to all my extended family and friends who put up with my whining when things become unbearable at times of great upheaval. I'm sorry we don't get to talk as often as we should (without the whining:) of course).

Secondly, I'm incredibly thankful for my critique partners. They have taught me a lot in the short time we've been together. They've helped with my confidence in myself and pushed me to become a better writer. They are very talented writers and I couldn't ask for any better. They are my cheerleaders and my friends. Thanks Twinkies :)

I am thankful to Melinda, in particular, for showing me the way to Savvy Authors. The members there are wonderful and encouraging. The wealth of information here has helped make me a better writer. The workshops are sensational and informative. I've begun modding some of the workshops and am meeting some incredible and talented authors along the way. Thank you Melinda.

I'm thankful to God for all things, even when I don't understand why whether it's good or bad. It's good enough for me to know that everything happens for a reason and it's leading to wherever I'm suppose to be going in this crazy world.

There are plenty more reasons I'm thankful. Just too many to list here.

So, tell me, what are you thankful for?

For free clip art: "Free Gifs & Animations"

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Thankful For The Heroic Firefighter

The firefighter. Dangerously hot with a smoking body. Add in the picture of him standing only in his helmet and boots. Whew! Did I say HOT?? Now, add in the hose, and….well….you get the drift. Fanning myself J

We writers at CBC would like to present our blog fest Heroes We Are Thankful For in time for Thanksgiving!

The hero I’m thankful for: the firefighter. He risks his life everyday, every single time the alarm goes off in the station or a call comes over the scanner, regardless of the time-day or night. He drops everything and races to save a building, a forest, and/or lives. A small part of him is afraid, but he pushes the fear down and moves forward with determination, regardless of his own life. He will put others ahead of himself. And he will have his fellow firefighter’s backs. They are a family and treat each other as such.

For example, Joaquin Phoenix plays firefighter Jack Morrison in Ladder 49. The movie does end badly (sorry for the spoil for those who haven’t seen it yet), which ripped my heart out, but Jack’s the epitome of your everyday firefighter who risks his life to save another. His fellow buddies work to rescue him, but Jack knows it’s hopeless. He doesn’t want any others to die, telling them to get out of the warehouse, and he accepts his fate. Talk about a powerful punch, and that’s only a movie.

There are the firefighters from the 9/11 tragedies, who went in to help anyone they could, and some didn’t make it back out. All of them, the ones who died and the ones who lived, are heroes I’m thankful for.

The local firefighters in your own backyard are as much heroes as any others, carrying the burden of risk at whatever cost, including death. HEROES!

And, let’s not leave out the fact-they’re HOT in their uniforms. A nice perk.

Who couldn’t fall in love with a man who takes risks, puts his life on the line everyday for everyone else? This type of man would move heaven and earth to keep you safe, would put you first (outside of his responsibilities with firefighting), and hell, the added bonus? Donning only the helmet and the boots for your own private showing! YUM!

Now, go on and check out my fellow CBC writers’ blogs as they talk about the heroes they are thankful for.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's done!

Yay me!! My manuscript is done! Now for the title, lol. And some major editing. Arg. Such is life.

A well deserved thank you to my fellow Twinkies over at CBC. Y'all have taught me so much and have helped me grow as a writer. Each one of you are truly the world's best critique partners a girl could ask for!

I'm just glad to finally be done with the first draft. (Actually, I felt like I've edited a few times, but learned through wise ones that it definitely needs an overhaul.) I'm figuring that maybe I could accomplish this by the end of NaNo (November). Maybe.

Then I can move on to the next one screaming out to me-even while I sleep. Crazy you say? Not for us writers. It seems our characters speak to us, wanting us to write their stories-some quietly, others rather loud. Some even kicking and screaming. I know, it does sound pretty nutty. Hell, I thought so too-until it happened to me. It's all good. And unless you're a writer, you'll never know.

Don't miss out on Monday's blog as my fellow Twinkies and I blog about The Heroes We are Thankful For. Yummy heroes!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's been quite awhile

Way too long in fact. I've been working and playing catch up.

I've been modding and taking some workshops over at Savvy Authors. Some great workshops and awesome people over there. I'm learning so much, and it's definitely helping to improve my writing.

My current WIP's first rough draft is almost done, thanks to NaNo. I've never tried it before, but it works for me. It's pushing me along, but it is hard not to go back and edit anything. As a matter of fact, it's driving me crazy, but that's how NaNo works.

Someone had given me an awesome idea on how to shut up my editing side (trust me, it needs to). I just need to buy some headphones. While working on my current WIP, I need to put on some music, "crank that sh*t up", and let my brain's right side take control. I'll let you all know how that goes.

After NaNo, I'm putting away my current WIP for a month and will begin my next one-Boneknapper. This one is going to be lots of fun to write with some black magic going on and one HOT stingy doctor who needs the love of one equally HOT female detective. They will have to travel to Jamaica to get to the bottom of the crimes and to reverse the doctor's curse that was placed upon him. Stay tuned....(Yup, I'm going on vacation in December to Jamaica! Yay!) It's been at least 5 years since the last time we went.

Next Monday, my fellow Twinkies and I will be blogging about Heroes We Are Thankful For, and I promise these are going to be some HOT heroes! Yum Yum!

As far as keeping up with my blog, I make no promises. Every time I do, something crazy happens. It's called LIFE, lol.

See y'all next week for our blogfest!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm Getting Better

I really am getting better about this blog, lol. I'm just real slow on the uptake. So, it's been like 6 or 7 weeks. I've just been scrambling. The motorcycle shop is up and running. I just have to learn to manage my time better. Like have cut off times.

So, here are my thoughts on that. Once I am done at the shop for the day, that's where the work needs to stay. No more work from home for me. It was really dragging me down, both physically and emotionally. Then I need to carve out 'me' time for what I want to do, which is write. I really meant it when I said that writing was my therapy. It drags me away from my stress and into a whole new wonderful world. Just like picking up a book and reading. It's better than Calgon, lol.

If I had to give some wise advice, that would be it. To find your own far away place and go even if it's only for 5 minutes. It really works if you can tune out that part of your brain that wants to keep on drumming about bills, appointments, no money, how to pay for whatever, etc. You get the point. I can actually relax at night. It's a great feeling.

I will try not to be a stranger. If I can manage my time, I will be back regularly.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I know! Been almost 3 months!

I am so slacking off. Well, not really slacking. So overwhelmed and finally it's starting to calm down some. My last day at the hotel was yesterday. That has freed my body and mind up some.

My husband and I are opening a motorcycle shop-Yay!! Bad side? not sure what is going to happen between us. Let's just say I have my own stupid soap opera drama going on- it's truly heartbreaking. But, I just have to move on, keep my chin up, and chug along. I have my writing, which I have been ignoring (so hard sometimes to write romance when your world is falling apart). But after working on it tonight, I realized it's my therapy and I really love writing.

My critique girls (Hey Twinkies!!) have been so amazingly understanding and have been in my corner cheering me on. They are truly wonderful.

But this is enough for tonight. I need to go to bed and reenergize. I will try not to be a stranger here from now on. Onward and upward!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cutting it close!!

I know I'm cutting it close! But, I did make it back here (finally) in one week.

Life has been a tad crazy. I just started full time at a local motel as manager. And let me tell you, there are some very interesting people staying there that would make interesting characters! I'm sure I will be able to use them in a couple of the manuscripts that I am working on.

I'm also trying hard to keep up with my critique group. That's challenging but I always have loved a challenge. Keeping myself busy keeps me out of trouble, lol.

This week I haven't had a chance to work on my current manuscript, but since I have today and tomorrow off, it's time to play catch up. No rest for the wicked.

As for everything else in my life, well let's just say it's blah. Hubby and I can't seem to see eye to eye on anything, but hopefully this will pass. Another good reason to keep myself busy!

Going back to work on my critiques and my manuscript. Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yup, just like the title implies-My real world on writing. Some may have this thought that writers just kick out a story and next thing they know, the story is sitting on bookshelves everywhere. I wish it were that way lol. But, it's not that easy.

I've created my own blog for several reasons. One, it's my own space to write down my thoughts and feelings on writing. Two, maybe some can learn from my experiences as I stumble my way through writing. Three, I believe this could be a stress reliever when needed. Four, if I post some goals on here, I'm held more accountable for them.

With all of that said, I am currently working on a manuscript targeted for Harlequin Intrigue. And with my new critique partners, I think I have a chance to succeed. So, the first thing to learn from me: if you're currently or about to begin working on any type of writing, find a critique partner(s). This was the best thing I could have done. The input is great. The little things that are being pointed out about my manuscript I didn't notice. I'm glad these were pointed out to me.

I'm going to start off by making my goals simple. 1) Work on my current manuscript and get it submitted this year. 2) Attempt to enter as many of the writing challenges on Harlequin that I can. 3) At least try to enter with Date with Destiny one time to see how it goes. (yeah some of these are a little intimidating to me). 4) To blog here at least once a week.

Now, off to start keeping up with my goals.