Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gearing Up For Gustav

Today was the big birthday blitz day. Instead of Japanese cuisine, Babylon AD (Vin Diesel!!!), and shopping, I spent it on the couch with an ice pack and a stack of horror movies. :S Hubby and Oldest went and had a great time. It's good they had a little papa-son bonding time on their own, and the smile on Oldest's face when he got home...

Mom and Dad watched Mini for the day, so I had the house all to myself. How QUIET this place is with no one else here? *_* Disturbing!! I spent about an hour working on a manuscript, but that was about all I could manage to before pain had me hobbling off to sack across the couch again. I stayed there for a while, then decided to try a hot bath. I read for a while, watched Gravedancers, and then watched a string of episodes from Forensic Files on the TRU channel. Needless to say I was thrilled when everyone made it home! Unable to work, unable to do anything but lay there, what a boring afternoon! ^_^

Tonight I had the phone cord stretched through the dining room to the couch, so I can get my Net fix. :P I'm also following the weather closely. Although we live pretty high up in the state, we're not immune to damage, and we're expecting to get storms, rain, and tornadoes from Hurricane Gustav.

Hubby and Oldest dropped by Lowe's earlier and bought extra flashlights, batteries, and tried to get us a generator - they were sold out. He's going to check a few other places tomorrow. If even moderate winds/rain reach us, we can expect power outages, and we're hoping to get something that will at least run our freezer and a fan.

We have bottled water in the deep freezer now, and we're stocked up on easy meals that won't require refrigeration. Being stuck to the couch is hardly the way I would like to spend these next few days, particularly if the power does go down, but there's not a lot I can do about it. I have an appointment coming up with the doctor and we'll be discussing surgery options. But I'll post more about that as I know something.


::CONTEST NEWS::


I wanted to run my book giveaway contest over the course of the next week, but with the prospect of power outages, I'm going to have to amend the plans. I'm going to bundle all five books and a bookmark pack into a single grand prize and extend the entry time. So here goes...


::THE Official Clearing Out The Bookshelf RULES ::

Starting Monday (Sept. 1st), drop by here at the Cora Zane blog and post in the comments, OR, if you are unable to post to blogger, you may send me an email at Cora Zane @ aol.com (with no spaces) and Win Books! in the subject line. Either way, you'll be entered to win a set of five books and a motherload of author bookmarks, author cards, and other goodies.

Previous contest winners are always welcome. And if enough people show interest, I will throw in a 2nd and 3rd prize - a book of my choosing and a promo pack.

Please do NOT post under multiple usernames in order to win.

The winner(s) will be announced on Saturday, Sept. 6th here on my blog. (Or if there's a blackout, as soon as power is restored!)

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend. I'll be here on the couch, reading and keeping an eye on The Weather Channel. ^_^





Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, Oldest!

big rocks in front of cedar falls


My baby is 17 today. Waaah!! Happy birthday, Oldest! *sniffles*

I feel much better, but I'm still not 100%. I spent the day on the couch again yesterday, and my mom came over to set up a party for me. Today we do the same. Mom's picking up Oldest's cake because I still can't ride in the car, and unless some massive recovery takes place, I won't be able to go with him on the birthday rounds: Japanese restaurant, mall/shopping, and movie :with him and hubby.

Sick + Baby growing up too fast = emotional crying jags



Next week, I have to pick a health insurance that takes pre-existing conditions and make an appointment with a specialist. My bank account is groaning already. But I can't go around with backaches and unbearable leg pain. The not able to get around part is the worst. The time has definitely come to face the doctor! ~_~'

..::Help Me Clear Out My Bookshelf Contest::..



Starting Monday, September 1st, I'm clearing out my bookshelf! I've read a string of books over the week while resigned to the couch, and with the stack now transferring from bookshelf to the top of my dresser I have to find new homes for these books!

There are five books in all, paperbacks, previously (gently!) read. All you have to do is come by next week and post in the comments here on my blog for your chance to win a book. Easy peasy! Each day I'll post the book cover and blurb, so you'll know exactly what book is for the daily prize. There will be a prize winner chosen and posted here at the CZ blog daily around 10pm CST. Along with each book I'll include a neat prize pack filled with author bookmarks, magnets, cards, and other goodies. Don't miss it!

***


So I'm about to hobble back to the couch and read with Mini. I wonder if there is a physical record, like, the number of times you can read Danny and the Dinosaur to a child before your brain goes into meltdown and you curl up into a smoking husk?

(BTW, no, Danny and the Dinosaur isn't included in next week's contest. Mini would never forgive me. It's his favorite book!)

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! ^_^





Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Checking In

Sorry I haven't been around much these past few days. I'm very, very, very sick. My birthday is this coming Thursday, and Oldest's is Friday, so I've been taking meds and sleeping, trying my best to get well before the big day blitz.

I promise I'll be back as soon as possible. I have some books I've just knocked off my TBR list that I'll be giving away here on the blog.

I hope you're all doing great, and I promise to come pay you all a visit once I'll well enough to sit at the computer for any length of time. Best wishes!

xoxo

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good News Saturday

100_2747 - Bellagio Cover


Hubby is working today, and Oldest is out mowing the lawn for some extra cash. I plan to take the boys grocery shopping with me a little later in the day. I also need to do some birthday scouting. My birthday is coming up on the 28th, and Oldest's is on the 29th. I know for sure we're taking him out to a Japanese restaurant, and we're going to go see Babylon AD at the theater. Vin Diesel... *daydreams*

Anyway! :*>

I'm not sure yet, but I may just bake a cake this year instead of ordering one. Then again I also thought about possibly ordering one of those big chocolate chip cookies frosted with happy birthday on it. If I could get a cake with some anime girl giving the V sign I'd do it, because that's really his thing. :P

For some exciting news...I got a phone call this morning from the category chair in the NW Houston Lone Star Writing Competition. My manuscript "Love Fool" has finalled in the short contemporary category! Yay!

*confetti* *chicken dance* *booty wiggle* *moonwalk*


For today's agenda, I plan to celebrate by grocery shopping, putting away laundry, and running the dishwasher - possibly twice. ^_^ Then, hopefully there will be time to sit down and crochet for a few minutes to get started on that scarf for the mommyperson.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday LOLs

cat


I finished a novella last night, and I'm letting it settle over the weekend before I begin a print and cleanup. *thumbs up* I have no idea where I'm going to submit this thing when it's ready. I'd thought possibly Red Sage, but it may not be hot enough. It's too long for Nocturne Bites. I'm thinking maybe Samhain or Cobblestone. I'll have a better grasp on it once the clean up is done. Maybe once my crit partner gets ahold of it, she'll give me her two-bits on where she'd sub it. To me, it seems like it's more paranormal with erotic romance elements, rather than a straight up erotic romance. Hmmm....

Anyway, I'm taking out one of my other unfinished wips over the weekend and giving it the index card treatment. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to work on L/F - which is straight contemporary, or to tug out the old demon wip and dust it off. I'm thinking the whole plot cards thing might do a world of good on the demons, but it might take a few days to get all the plot cards written out and arranged. We will see.

If nothing else, I finished two more stories this year - the Bite story, and now this wip - in addition to the two anthologies this year. Whether the new stories sell or not remains to be seen, but the important thing is that I've at least done something. I've felt like such a slacker lately, like I'm long overdue another release. It's got to be a mental hangup. :P

Today I plan to read a bit more of Desert King, Pregnant Mistress by Susan Stephens. I was telling a friend the other day I've been kinda in the mood to read a good old fashioned Greek-Sheikh-shipping.magnate-wealthy.corporate.god-prince-playboy with a secret baby romance. What's not to love, ya know? Damn, but I miss Charlotte Lamb. She wrote some awesome grumpy playboys. Anyway, I've seasoned my TBR stack with some tasty sounding Harlequins. I plan to glut on them over the weekend. *evil handwringing*

cat


At some point I need to do something with these two balls of yarn that keep staring at me. It's a purply blue mixed with pink - sort of a fun fur kind of yarn I picked up from the store the last time I was forced to made an errand run. I thought it would make a nifty scarf for the mommyperson. She is queen of the pixie cut, and I don't know how she does it. I'd freeze my ears off going that short. Oh, oh!!!! Speaking of ears!! Tasteless joke ahead. Here's your two minute warning.

1...2...OK, don't want to read a bad joke? Look away! Look away now!

This little gem is from my hubster. What can I say? Construction worker humor.
:*>

LITTLE JOHNNY STRIKES AGAIN

Little Johnny's next door neighbors had a baby. Unfortunately, the baby was born without ears. When mother and new baby came home from the hospital, Johnny's family was invited over to see the baby.

Before they left their house, Little Johnny's dad had a talk with him, and explained that the baby had no ears. His dad also told him that if he so much as mentioned anything about the baby's missing ears or even said the word ears, he would get the whipping of his life when they came back home.

Little Johnny assured his dad he understood completely.

When they got to the house and went upstairs to see the baby, Johnny looked in the crib and said, 'What a beautiful baby.'

The mother said, 'Why, thank you, Little Johnny.'

Johnny said, 'He has beautiful little feet and beautiful little hands, a cute little nose and really beautiful eyes. Can he see?'

'Yes,' the mother replied, 'We are so thankful; the Doctor said he will have 20/20 vision.'

'That's great,' said Little Johnny, 'Cuz he'd be screwed if he needed glasses!'


Alrighty then! I'm going to go check my karma and do a few good deeds to burn that one off. I hope you all have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quickie 1AM Post

A Peaceful Resting Spot, Fairchild Botanical Garden. Features in autdoors, 8-18-08


It's about 1:20AM, but I'm still awake - barely. Brain function optional, but I'm sitting upright.

I had a fairly peaceful Wednesday, and tried to make up for missing so much writing on Tuesday. I also paid a few bills and sent them off, and spent a bit of time reading with Mini.

I stopped by the Harlequin Nocturne chat earlier tonight and popped in and out of there for about thirty minutes - of course, I go to chat and this is when Mini wants to go to bed. You never deny a toddler that request. ^_^ Ready for nite nite? Why sure Mimi will take you! He hasn't had a nap in two days, so when it's time for "nap nap" as he calls it, he means business.

Once Mini's head touched the pillow he was out. I came back to the chat about fifteen minutes before it was over, but at least I had a chance to chit a chat and find out what books would soon be coming out. Afterward, I cleaned the kitchen, put on a load of laundry and sat with Oldest for a while. He wanted me to show him how I've been organizing my index cards.

Everyone was gone to bed around 10:30, so I took my index cards and Old Silver (aka the laptop) to the living room, set up a quiet movie in the DVD player and did a bit of writing. I am now down 3 index cards. I'm now five (5!!!) cards away from finishing the rough draft for my novella. *chicken dance* I gotta hand it to the Holly Lisle index card method for plotting. Seriously.

It's after 1:30 now, so I better hit the sack. Hubby has to be up at 3 to leave for work. There truly aren't enough hours in the day... I better get some sleep while I can.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Entergy and Piddling Rain

Roaring Fork 2006


Yesterday morning Mini got up at the crack of dawn and we migrated to the den. We curled up on the couch, and I put on Ni Hao Kai-lan and tried to snooze. About five minutes into the show, the lights began to flicker. And flicker. Geez. I got up and checked the bedroom to make sure the AC came back on in there, but the minute I hit the power button on it, the lights flickered again.

Thinking we were having breaker box issues, I left the AC off in there and went about my day. I made breakfast, straightened the house, and sat down at the computer. The lights go out. *_* Ok, so apparently it's not a breaker box issue.

The lights come on pretty quickly, so I turn everything back on - AC and check to make sure the freezer is still running in the laundry room. Everything is ok, but the lights keep flickering and flickering. Mini and I get dressed and go to the store for a few things.

We get home, and everything is still running - there've been no more outages. I put everything away, get Mini settled and, re-sweep and re-swiffer the floors. I'm just sitting down the computer, and once again, the lights go out. It's around 1pm. I wait, and nothing happens. 20 minutes, 30...still no lights. I finally call Entergy. They won't accept my phone number to allow me to report the outage or to find out the estimated time the power will be back on. I call from the house phone to the same effect and realize Hubby must have added his cell as the primary home number. I call him at work and have him call Entergy. They tell him it will be 4 pm before the lights are back. Well, good grief!

During all this, my parents call me about 4 times. They want me and the baby to come over to wait it out, but I can't make them understand I would have to drive over there for just a few hours, then drive back home, pick up Oldest when he gets off the bus, then drive all the way back over there again. I have maybe a quarter of a tank of gas in the Jeep right now. I tell them I'm staying until Oldest gets home, and if we feel it's too uncomfortable to stay, we'll come over.

Off the phone with them, I get back to trying to keep Mini pacified. I read to him, we played cars, colored with markers, looked at toys online until my battery power ran down, etc. etc. Oldest comes home from school and by that time it's hot inside, so I opened the door to catch a breeze...only there is NO wind!! Not even a slight breeze. :S Oldest comes in and goes straight for the stove to heat up the potluck I have sitting there.

Mom and dad call back and are trying to get us to come over. There's only 10 minutes left til four, I tell them we're going to wait it out a little longer. By now, I'm so exhausted from entertaining Mini (who has had no nap!!!) that I have no intention of going anywhere.

I get off the phone with them and hubby calls. (I'm seriously thinking about turning OFF my phone at this point.) He wants to know what's for supper. My phone starts beeping in and it's dad again - mom told him that we're having issues with our water heater. *sigh* There is like a 20 minute flurry of phone calls that I can barely keep up with AND keep the kids from arguing and whining at each other.

I finally get it all straightened out, the lights come back on (much rejoicing!!!), so I put on the laundry, pick up Mini's toys, then pick up a book to go sit down to read - a real book, a romance (with no damn dancing animals in it!!)

Guess what? The phone rings yet again.

I'm ready to cry at this point. It's hot and I have a headache, and when I pick up the phone it's mom - surprise! "Hi, hon, it's me and your dad again. We are up at the hardware store and we're going to pick up a part for your hot water heater to see if dad can fix it." I appreciate the gesture, I really do, but it's been a long, painful day....

"Mom, can't it wait until tomorrow?" It's late, I'm tired, and it's raining its ass off outside.

She hesitates. "Well, I think your daddy wants to come over and..."

I sigh. No matter what I say, I know they're coming over. I hang up, and call hubby to give him the heads up. I then toss my book on my desk. No point in attempting to relax.

The parents arrive and they are all bubbly and smiley, wanting to play with Mini. He goes from calm to uber hyper in five seconds flat. Gee, thanks, ya'll.

Dad goes to fiddle with the waterheater - I've told him a dozen times it's just plain going out, but I know how it is when you need to see first hand. I tell him, "Knock yourself out."

While he's doing that, and mom is getting Mini uber excited - I know he's going to cry and scream when they leave, and I am seriously thinking of packing him a bag and tossing it in their truck - the very idea of getting him riled up after the day I've had... Instead, I wash dishes, and clear the stuff off the counters, and fold laundry. If I have to entertain, I'm going to do it while doing the effing chores.

They stay for about an hour, then say their goodbyes. I'm just sitting down to relax again when hubby gets home. He ran into my parents at the store down the road, and says mom warned him, "Cora's kind of in a bad mood."

*sigh*

Monday night I worked through 2 more index cards on my wip, but last night I didn't even attempt to write. I answered a few emails and shut it down. After everyone went to bed, I fixed a cup of cocoa and curled up with a book on the couch. Finally! I read the final ten pages of Donna Alward's Falling for Mr. Dark and Dangerous.

Today I have errands to run and things to mail. Plastic report cover! Yikes! I almost forgot to add that to my list. I think Oldest might rail on me if I don't pick that up. Gotta run. Mini just spilled his juice in the living room.

Is it Friday yet?

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Can Has Monday

cat


Ah, Monday... Hubby is at work and I sent Oldest off to school today. Oldest informed me last night around 10 pm that he wants to pack lunches this year, and I guess that's fine with me, but it might've been nice to know yesterday - when we actually went grocery shopping. It looks like I'm going to have to go back to the store today - again - for something like the eighth day in a row. Sheesh!

I happy to report I met my weekend writing quota. I'm down another two index cards with my wip. Woot! I hope to be worked through most of them by the end of this week, but if not, I guess I'll survive. It will just mean another week before I can start plotting my freebie for October.

Speaking of writing, yesterday I wrote a whopping 20 pages! I haven't had a writing stretch like that in at least 10 years. No kidding. I usually hit the 5 page mark and I can't think of a single thing to continue writing about. I have to put things away and read for a while, or go on about chores or something. Too bad the progress wasn't on anything pressing. All the same, it's a project I love and it felt like I'd accomplished something when I shutdown my laptop for the night - er, early morning. Here's hoping I have more writing stretches like that again soon - no ten year gaps between.

The gang and I received another review for In the Gloaming this morning. This one was really good, much better than the last.

Absolutely Magical! This book is made for those of us who still believe. These enchanting stories are filled with evil, good, fairies, elves and even trolls. All the tales are different but compliment each other well. These authors did an amazing job to keep the stories fresh and unique and no story is the same. These fabulous stories will stay with you for a long time. A phenomenal read.
~~ Wateena, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance


Coffee Time Romance has broken the book down story by story and reviewed each. So there is a review for At the Edge of Twilight HERE: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/Inthegloaming.html

That's it for me today. It's nearly 9am, and I gotta get the laundry started. Also, the dog doesn't know it, but he's getting a BATH today. I'm sure that will result in significant drama. *sigh* Another Monday...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back To School!!

Castle Hooge Vuursche


Yesterday dragged on and on...a total rollercoaster. I went to the store looking for one of the new 25th Anniversary CPKs, and to see if they had gotten in any more of the men's uniform pants in Oldest's size. Of course, the week school is starting, they only have one small rack of mens plain khaki pants - all of the straggling pairs in sizes 46+. *sigh*

I got fed up when they still didn't have the dolls either. They were released for sale on August 1st, for goodness sake. I went around to the magazines and found Oldest and told him "Let's go. We're going to Ruston." So, I got both kids back in the Jeep, dropped by the Circle K for some gas, then off to Ruston.

Ruston is a little college town that is on a criss-cross grid of oneway streets. So, if you miss one street, or misjudge where a store is on Trenton Street, you have to get on the right oneway street and make the block.

Across the interstate on the north side of town, there is more street layout genious in effect. They have all these strip mall type stores and car dealerships, and two little piddling service roads to get to ALL of them. The traffic is insane. To try and ease conjestion, they've been working on the service roads for ... oh, YEARS. They finally made a bridge across the interstate a little further down so you don't have to drive the full length and make the loop between what amounts to two interstate exits. Still, they have the service roads tore to hell and back, and so the traffic bottlenecks over there. I HATE driving on that side of town. Really, I do. I'd rather drive through New Orleans than N. Ruston.

Anyway, I'm drifting into the turning lane to go on the north service road, and Oldest is arguing with Mini, a woman is driving in front of me like Grandma Moses and if she'd just go a little faster we could make the turn before a mile long grouping of traffic comes through the green light. I go to turn in, and I realize the entire right lane of the service road has been barrelled off. So, I creep at a sludge pace up the road to Walmart behind Ms. Moses, and by this time I'm ready to swat the kids with a rolled up newspaper to shut them up.

"Oldest, do you realize you're arguing with a three year old?"

He pauses a second, but is otherwise unphased. Sheesh.

I get in there, and I see why our store has NO uniform pants. This store has them all! And on sale too! ^_^ I grabbed every pair in Oldests size and tossed them in the cart. Then over to the toy section, and OMG - it's torn to smithereens. They're doing a complete restock, and so most of the shelves are completely bare. This is amazing - we are talking about a LARGE store, no four piddling shelves of toys.

I am so bummed. I just know I'm not going to find one of the 25th Anni CPKs. Well, I turn this corner and what do I see...Kids!!! Two, and only two, on a shelf along side play tents and Batman wings. I take down a girl with brown hair and blue eyes and toss her in the cart. She has the prettiest complexion, too. I'm on cloud nine!

From there I take Mini over to the smaller kid toys, and we are looking at a Wow, Wow, Wubzy plush when what do I see? More white boxes. More cabbages! So this is where all the dolls are being sent - to Ruston! I picked through what they had and decided to keep the girl I'd found a few aisles over. My inner shopping beast appeased, I go to the books and round up Oldest, and take the guys over to the donut case. I pick out a variety of specialty and filled gems, and we check out.

Out in the Jeep again, I go through the donuts and take one of the creme filled ones I'd picked out for Mini. The donuts are iced with yellow glaze, and have chocolate smiley faces on them. I wrap it in one of the tissues, and hand it back to him. OMG, the drama that ensues. We are leaving Ruston, and the boys argue the entire way. Oldest INHALED his donut in seconds flat, and Mini doesn't want to eat his. He wants to "keep it".

"It's happy," he says. "I can't eat it!"

Why, yes, my kids are mental. Apparently. :P

I glance back at Mini, and he's got the darn donut sitting on the edge of his carseat, baking in the sun. I can just imagine cream filling (like what's in a twinkie) melting down and oozing all over the seat. This whole time Oldest is trying to "convince" him to eat it. Basically, threatening, "If you don't eat it, Mini, I'm going to!" *sigh*

I pull over at a gas station at the edge of town and look for a newspaper to roll up and smack both kids with. No, I'm just kidding. I get one of the tissues and wrap the donut again - to much wailing and gnashing of teeth - and put it back in the box.

Needless to say, I am darn glad today is the first day of school for Oldest. The house is so QUIET!! ^_^ Even so, it's a bit wierd around here with him gone.

That's about it for me today. I'm off to go write for a while. Oh! One last thing...today is the last day for the freebie poll on my sidebar. There's still time to vote! Tonight I'll be closing down this poll and the one over at the CZ Newsletter group and tabulating the results. I'll be writing my October freebie based on the theme with the most votes, so be sure to vote for your favorite!

Have a great Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Floppy Disks and Marinara Chicken

Portland Head Lighthouse


Two days til school starts. OMG, I am so ready. Let the school system take care of the teen heathen for the day. :P Yesterday we picked up uniforms, and all I have to do is write a check for Oldest's lunches and everything will be taken care of...for a start. He just informed me ten minutes ago he doesn't have pens, so I guess I better do a last minute supply check to be safe.

I'm baking marinara chicken while writing, and Mini is watching The Last Unicorn in the den. "Hurry, Mini! Watch the unicorn movie with me!" I promised him as soon as I finish this post I'll do just that, even though the end of that movie combined with PMS = sobbing, tissue-hoarding breakdown everytime I watch it.

I got my external floppy drive today. Woot! I've been meaning to get one for, oh, somewhere around six years now? I have a writing collection stored from back when we had our first computer - Windows 3.1, anyone? Yeah, that was back when computers were built like tanks. I swear it's true. We've had a number of desktops since then, and they've all gone belly up. But if you hook up a monitor to the 3.1, it still works right as rain. And yes, we did take that ancient beast onto the net. It has a lightning fast 14k bps speed modem. Hahahaha!

So I went on a mad disk check earlier in the day and only 1 of my old floppies wouldn't open. Everything scanned clean (how freaking amazing is that?!) and I've now converted all my old Microsoft Works files to Word. I'm happy I was able to save them. I plan to burn them all onto CD. None of it is salable as is, but I'd like to keep it. With that in mind, I'll say this...if anything can remind you how far you've come with your writing, look at something you wrote 14 years ago. It's an eye opener.

Today while picking up a few groceries, I picked up one of those 97 cent washable water color paint kits for Mini. He about drove me bonkers with it all through the store, and I came very close to putting it back, but in the end I brought it home for him to play with. The kid had a blast. He made some interesting water color art while I worked on my wip. Oh, and I showed him how to make fanned out tie-dye circles, fire cracker designs, and flying ravens with the awful paintbrush that came with it. It was messy, but fun.

That's about it for me today. Mini is going to have kittens if I don't hurry and join him in the den. Oh, darn, and there's the timer for the chicken. :P I better run. Happy hump day, everyone!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Counting Backward From Eleven

YES!! It rained and rained .....


So I dreamed last night that I was waiting in line to show a manuscript to someone really important. It looked like I was at one of those free-for-all multi-author book signings where they set up card tables everywhere and drape table clothes over everything so that it's this great, jumbled maze of authors.

I'm waiting in this mile long line to see someone - I have no idea who, editor or agent - but my heart is pounding, and I'm holding my manuscript in a deathgrip against my chest. Everything is kind of a blur because I'm really nervous.

In real life I'm a tad shy, and I don't like to stand alone, so it's like an auto function for me to start searching out familiar faces. Yet all the people around me look kind of generic - I can't tell one person apart from another - so I can't even look at the folks and say, "Oh, hey! I saw her over there ten minutes ago and she did fine!"

The line moves forward, and after a minute or so I realize I'm three people away from reaching the table. I see the woman at the head of the line sit down with the important person and place her work on the table. This prompts me to look down at my own manuscript. I take it down and look at it and...lo and behold, it's empty. Nothing but blank sheets! Page after page of nothing...not a single word.

I panic. Where the hell is my manuscript? I remember I dropped it on the way to the post office and scattered the pages hither and thither - which happened months ago in real life, waking life one evening when I was racing against the clock to send off a contest entry. While thinking about that, I'm unsure of what I should do. I thought maybe the pages were just scrambled a bit. That, I can explain. But blank pages?

I stand there wondering if I should step out of line to save myself from looking like a total idiot, or go through to the end and tell this important person that I'm holding what amounts to a stack of computer paper. *_*

So there's my dream. It's some kind of writer's anxiety, I'm sure. I don't know if it's PMS or what, but I've been feeling the yearly crunch this past few weeks. Maybe that's got something to do with it. I've put out only 2 books this year, and they were more for artistic reasons than anything else.

I'd hoped to contract at least one other story by the end of the year, and I realized just yesterday that there are only 4 months left of 2008. (I read that fact on someone's blog today, and OMG. A total dousing of ice water on an otherwise calm morning. Is it really that close to the end of the year?) It's times like this I do a forehead smack and wonder what the hell I'm doing out there on the writer's field. Honestly, half the time, I really don't know. In retrospect, I think of the dream and it reminds me of something Nora Roberts said recently. "You can't edit a blank page." Who knows? Maybe my inner Nora Roberts is telling my subconscience to shut up and write.

On another note, there's a wip I'm working on right now that I have plotted to its ending with index cards. I numbered all the index cards, and discovered there are 11 in all. So far I'm down three cards. I should have this story finished by the end of next week. *fingers crossed*

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, August 11, 2008

If I could be anywhere this morning...

Bangor Area Lake 7 Enhanced


It's rainy and gray out this morning, and I thought for sure hubby would be rained out today at work. I text'd him a little earlier, and he wrote back saying that they hadn't gotten even a sprinkle out there. Ho hum. So, I made a pot of coffee, wrapped up in MiniBeast's Lightning McQueen fuzzy blanket, and sat down at the computer to work a bit.

Yesterday, I tackled a heap of laundry and somehow managed to get all my notecards written up and lined out the way I want them. I wrote 2k words, and now know the direction of this story from beginning to end. All I have to do now is write in the bits that aren't finished. I closed 3 gaps yesterday, then set out and worked on the new sections and got in that 2k.

Today it should be interesting to see how I'll keep the kids occupied. I'd planned to write this morning, and by the afternoon, take the kids to my mom's so I can move all the furniture out of the 3rd bedroom.

I'm doing this so I can switch rooms with Mini. He'll have my office for a bedroom, and I'll be taking the haunted room that I couldn't get either kid to sleep or play in. *sigh*

Anyway, if I'm going through all the trouble of taking the furniture out, I plan to paint and redo the tile while I'm at it. I've picked out a bright white paint, and plan to put up John Deere trim for Mini to make it more fun looking for him. We aren't really farm folks, but Mini has this thing for tractors and cars and trucks and - oh, boy stuff. Wheels and engines, and vroom vroom. That sort of thing :P

Hubby mentioned putting up Lightning McQueen (cars) border, but I told him I'd do it if he would be the one to change it out in 2 years when Mini outgrows it and something else comes up that he likes. Eh, that changed Hubby's mind. I figure the John Deere will stand the Mini Beast growth test. It works for a little tyke, and works for an older child. At about 8 or so, I imagine he'll come to me and ask for what he wants on the walls, and at that point I'll haul him up to Lowe's and we'll pick out something special.

Whew, some tangent, huh? ^_^ I can hardly wait to get all my writing stuff back into an office again. A place I can take my writing in there and shut the door. LOL! It will make good for those deadline weekends where I'm really in a crunch to finish.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Saturday Writing Break

SWITZERLAND LANDSCAPES - P.O.T. D 8/9/2008


It's almost 1pm, so I'm taking a short writing break. Whew! Mini is playing with legos and watching Sunny Patch Friends on Noggin. Hubby had to work, and Oldest took off to Shreveport with his buddy in the convertible. Sooo...I'm writing and sorting through wips and old papers.

I'm still getting things together to make the computer shift. I found several old disks full of old manuscripts, some I'd been looking for but could never find the papers for. So I was relieved to find the disk copies. I have an external floppy drive on the way to me, so I can access them. Two of these archived mss could very well be tweaked and sent off to the Harlequin Undone line. I'm going to take a peek at them and see what's worth saving and what isn't.

Last night I got the OMGICBIGTFAQ wip up to about 54k words, then found a huge slush pocket in the center of it and had to delete it back down to 52k. Good grief! One step forward, two steps back? Still, I think the story is worth saving. I'm sure if I get it all together I can find a home for it somewhere.

So, in the process of moving this all over, I'm finding so many potential wips in various states of completion. I think I need to make a list of the ones worth finishing and check them off as I go. Maybe knock them out one at a time and retire the ones that aren't workable. I hate seeing so many story ideas go to waste. Then again, you can only work on one at a time. Prioritize, Cora. Prioritize.

My copier printer arrived yesterday, and I moved the box into my office. I don't plan to open it or test it until the laptop arrives. I don't want to go through setting it up twice. It's far larger than I thought it would be. *_* And here I was thinking all the hardware/tech stuff was getting smaller!

Anyway, that's my day. Writing, pacing, playing with Mini, and waiting for hubby. He gets off work at 3 this afternoon, then there's the whole hour drive to get home. Lots I can do between now and then, so I guess I better get on it.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Let me count the ways

07 2008 - 12


I give so much love to Blogger, and I swear they hate me. They erased ALL the comments from Wednesday, and Tuesday, too, I think. Darn outages! Grr... So if you posted a comment here and it's now missing, I'm terribly sorry. *points finger at Blogger tech people*

I printed up Chapter 9 of the OMGICBIGTFAQ wip so I could tweak it on paper. It's the only thing that works for me with those really messy chapters. I started red penning notes on it earlier, and I've got my post-its out to mark passages, but it's hard to concentrate with Mini singing to Diego and alternately climbing in my lap and tugging at my T shirt. I decided to put it aside for now and pull it out again in a few hours. Basically, I'm gonna massacre this chapter once the kids go to bed tonight. *evil hand wringing*

Until then, I'm working on plot cards for a second piece. It's another one of those I can't believe I quit pieces, and it's sitting at around 40-50k because I have no idea where to go with this story beyond the first few coherent chapters. (Hm. I'm seeing a trend in my own writing...) This story a contemporary romance, and I absolutely love the beginning of this book - but after about 7 chapters it fizzles to nothing. *sigh* I'm hoping note cards will help me find the right direction to take the book so I can see it through to the end. I'd really hate to waste a beginning like that.

Oh, yeah, note to self: Idiot creature, never, never, ever attempt more than one project at a time again!!! It's definitely more trouble than it's worth. :S Honestly, I don't know how so many authors do it.

It's rumbling thunder outside and the wind is blowing pretty strong, so I guess I'll find a stopping point for today. I hope you've all had a great day, and if not, take heart - tomorrow's Friday! *dance, dance*

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Plotting Mayhem

peggy's cove day2-7


It's been a long day, but a pretty good one. This is the first chance I've had to really sit down and blog, so I'm going to go with it while the opportunity presents itself... *thumbs up*

The day before yesterday I reached a stumped part on that 50k+ novel, which I guess I should give a blogging name since I've been talking about it on and off since completing the Bites story. Anyway, the OMG-I-Can't-Believe-I-Got-That-Far-And-Quit story is an erotic futuristic romance, and it's currently sitting at 53k.

So last night, I was working on the ending and realized I didn't remember enough of the middle to keep pushing onward. Sooo, I ditched writing on it, flipped back to the beginning and started reading it. The next time I look up, I'm 100 pages into the book, it's almost midnight. The beginning isn't bad. But I also discovered that Chapter 9 is where the book started to unravel - and that's where I stopped reading.

Well, it didn't really unravel, as the book isn't even finished, but I saw that's where I started to write in patchy sections interspersed with notes to myself on plot possibilities. :P

So, I have found my start zone: Chapter Nine. Today I reread through critical parts of Holly Lisle's Plot Clinic - darn it, but I need to buy the print version so I can thumb through it even when I'm off the comp! - and this afternoon I set about writing plot cards to repair and redirect my manuscript. I have a good thing going, I think, but I could make it so much hotter and coherent by changing the arc just a bit.

That's been my thing today, working with the plot cards. I'm sure tomorrow will be more of the same. At least I'm getting somewhere with it, and reading through the rough draft doesn't make me want to cry. *_*

That's it for me. I need to get off the net and spend some time with the family before bedtime.

Happy hump day, everyone!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A New Precious This Way Comes



After three reboots this morning before I was actually able to stay on the net, I gave in and called Dell. I ordered a Studio notebook with a 15 inch screen, 4 GB hard drive, Microsoft Office for small business, backlit keyboard, built-in broadband card, GPS tracking if stolen, finger print security scan, and a 3 year virus/firewall and warranty. No kidding. It is also scald your retinas flamingo pink. Thusly, I say, ze laptop vill match mine cell phonen. :P

If I can't write a book on that, nothing can help me. At the price I paid, they should have included an onboard pixie to sprinkle rainbow dust across the screen at my command, and edit my rough drafts for me. Instead, I got an additional discount on a copier/printer so I won't have to run to the post office anymore for copies.



Overall I'm relieved to have it on the way. Now to just wait for them to build and send it. Last time I think it took around 3 weeks? The lady gave me a tentative date of September 7th. My copier/printer should be sent out sometime this week.

At least now I won't be computerless should My Precious (Silver version) bite the dust.

On to other things... This week at the Midnight Moon Cafe, Deborah Cook will be joining us for a Midnight Brew to tell us about the awesome dragon warrior shifters in her new Dragonfire series. Her latest release, Kiss of Fury, (Book 2 in the Dragonfire series) comes out today. It's a must read!

Also, a big round of YAY!! to all my fellow Weirdly 2 authors for another great review. This time it's 4.5 Tombstones over at Bitten by Books!

Happy Tuesday, everyone. :)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Trudging On Through

Chickadee Dreams ~1ST place cc Birds - Thank you so much!~


Sunday morning very early, a thunderstorm rolled in. Mini climbed up in bed with me and the hubster, and for a few minutes we watched the lightning before the power flickered then went out.

For what is probably the first time in I don't know how many years, I didn't have a spare candle anywhere. Oldest managed to dig out an ancient box of emergency stubs and I lit two and put them on a tray in the kitchen. Oldest took one to his room. It was hot and muggy, so I opened the front door to let in the air, but couldn't leave it long because the wind was so blustery. It toppled our iron rocking chair out front, whipped the lid off Mini's turtle sandbox, and dumped over our bin we have for recycling cans.

Hubby slept through most of it, and I had Oldest call into Entergy to find out when the power would be restored. At around 2 in the morning, they said it would be 8 am. However, by the time 8 am rolled around, they were saying it would be midnight before everything was up and running again.

We can't stay without A/C for very long. It's been getting into the hundreds on a daily basis. Far too hot to safely go without any kind of cooling. Too, with the humidity, it makes the heat feel like it's pressed against your skin. Sort of a hot, damp compress all over your body. That is what the humidity is like this time of year. Unbearable. I've been to other states and was amazed at how cool it felt even when the temperature was in the upper 90s. Nothing like here at home. Anyway, we packed up the kids and went to stay at my parent's house.

Hubby was find at first, but as the day wore on I could tell he was ready to be back home. Mom and dad bought fried catfish take out, and we ate that for lunch. Good stuff. After that, we piled up in front of the tv and watched Finding Nemo with the kids. Really, it was very comfortable, but sometimes it's hard to rest or be easy when you're away from home and things are out of sorts.

Mini played until he was walking around whining he was so tired, and hubby kept calling in to Entergy for updates. Mini wouldn't take a nap because he was too restless. If Oldest was affected in any way, I couldn't tell. I was in a constant state of distress because Mini and hubby were distressed.

Around 5 pm we got a call from Entergy that the lights had been restored, and hubby packed up and went back to the house to check. He called me from there to give me the thumbs up, and I wrangled the kids into the Jeep, hugged the parents good bye, thanked them for the hospitality, and we came home.

Home, sweet, home. I love it, dustbunnies and all. :P

Today started the back to school shopping. I think the kids are scheduled to go back on the 12th; that's the date I've heard anyway. Whatever it is, I'm ready. I am soooo ready.

I picked up a planner for Oldest since usually that's the first thing that they run out of. Every year, it's somewhere around October before I can actually get my hands on one. Hubby picked up his gym uniforms and this coming Friday I need to get a few sets of polos and khakis. It will come together, little by little. *watching dollars fly out of my hands*

So that's my Monday - catching up from the weekend. My computer is coughing and sputtering to the point it's disrupting things now. It's shut down on me three times while trying to post this. :S Looks like I'm going to have to put in a call to Dell this week. Foo, and I wanted more time to shop between brands.

Oh! One more thing! I have an interview out today. :) Ann Lory has been so kind to add me as a featured author for her August newsletter. It's available now for download on her website at www.annlory.com Lots of cool, writer related questions in there, as well as cool excerpts from her latest books. Don't miss it!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Weathering the Caffeine Free Plains

38.Travel landscapes Bolivia laguna Colorada


So I switched to decaf. *twitch* Not coffee, but cola. Mini is a little sneak, and every chance he gets he'll nab one of my cans of Diet Dr. Pepper and run off with it to glut in a corner on drinkable gasoline for children. Egads. So, I decided to try and stop the carnage accidental injestion of caffeine by a toddler and started buying Caffeine Free Diet Dr. Pepper.

OMFG the headaches.... :P Yesterday I woke up with a screaming migraine and the world was determined to race along full steam. Mini hit the floor running, the dog saw me and went bananas because he wanted out. I finally got things settled enough to pour a cup of coffee to try and kill the headache - oh, yes, even then I knew what it was from - but by the time I sat at my computer, I found The Note from hubby with a mile long list of things he needed me to do.

*sigh*

So, instead of waiting until I'm awake and my headache is gone, I started balancing the checkbook to get ready for what looked like a full day of errands. The whole time I'm trying to situate the bills Mini keeps taking the calculator, setting things on my desk and crawling into my lap. I'm about to take care of a particular cr.card bill, one that has all those advanced checks in it, that you have to shred before you can throw anything away? Well, I'm in the midst of shredding the toss in checks when Mini tells me he wants juice. "Ok, Mini, I'll get it..." "Juice, Mimi, juice! I need juice!" I'm thinking so do I, at this point. :P

I get up to pour his juice and get back to the computer to find the cr.card bill has disappeared. I spend 10 minutes looking for it, before I figure out during all the chaos, climbing, and whining, I have shredded the bill along with the advance checks. @#$&!!!

That was just the starting point of the day. My horoscope - the one that comes to my inbox everyday - was literally "Don't touch anything! It will break!" OMG, they were dead on. I could've weathered it better I'm sure if only I'd had caffeine! How sad for me, really, but there it is.

I'm on day 2 of caffeine free cola. I feel a bit like a zombie this morning, but the crazed look in my eyes has apparently clued in the kids to leave me alone. They are in their rooms doing their thing - toys for Mini, bigger toys (laptop) for Oldest. Ah, quiet Saturday. Let it last!