Thursday, September 30, 2010

Characters and Coffee

Image courtesy of glitter-graphics.com
I'm the last one standing. W00t! The guys have all gone to bed, so it's just me and the lap gremlin. Ms. Sass has made a dog nest out of a bath towel at the foot of my desk and is snoozing comfortably. Her mommy, the Divadog, is in the laundry basket, aka the converted doggy bed in the hallway. So I'm settling in with books, assignments, and the internets.

Earlier today I took a look at the main villain in my WIP to see if I could find any secret nuggets of information about him. I did this because I was going through my notes and discovered he seemed kind of one dimensional and flat. Okay, he needed an overhaul. Or maybe I should call it a fiction intervention. At any rate, I was determined to find out what it was that made him so interesting in my mind. What made him a worthy villain.

To get to the bottom of this mystery, I invited him out for virtual coffee - on me, of course.

It's true that looks make the first impression. At least it works that way for me. I took a good long look at what my villain was wearing, his hair and eyes, his demeanor, and the way he held himself during our conversation. I wanted to case study the entire package. He looks like such a handsome, well-to-do guy on the surface, but at the same time, just sitting across from him, it's clear this is someone with a lot of secrets. Someone who doesn't like to talk about himself. Someone who isn't going to willingly let you in. There is danger lurking under that calm surface, and at times, you can see it in his eyes, the way he looks at you as he bends his head to sip his coffee. Interesting.

I asked him about his upbringing, and after getting around his quiet reluctance to divulge anything that might be used against him, he gradually began to talk. I learned that despite his comfortable status and astonishing good looks, he has a brutal past. He doesn't share the same view of brutality that I do, but the nugget of it is ingrained in him, and that makes him twice as dangerous as when I first imagined him.

Our chat went on for a few hours, and I ended up amassing a whole page of startling new information about my villain. His reasons for being the way he is, his point of view about the key situations in the book, and more. He told me many secrets while I created note cards to pin to my cloud board. Without a doubt, some of these things will make it into my final draft. While I'm sure he didn't tell me everything, he gave me enough to transform him from a cardboard cut-out villain, to a worthy adversary for my protagonists. It's amazing the things you can learn just by sitting down and allowing your characters to talk to you. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Office Updates - now with Clouds

I got into the thick of revisions yesterday and was ready to pull my hair out because I couldn't lay out a framework for the story. I didn't have paper large enough. Of all things, right? So, around 1pm I slipped on some flip flops, put my terribly messy hair into a ponytail and went to the store for a dry erase board. I came home with that, and a cork board for pinning up note cards. I tell ya, I am going hardcore with this stuff.

While at the Wally World (the only store with office supplies in my "four" horse town), I noticed filing cabinets are marked down to $30.00. This weekend, I'm hauling Oldest with me, and I'm dragging one of those home to the writing cave.

Right now, my WIP is cut in half - literally. I'm focusing on the book in quarters rather than the whole thing all at one time. I'm doing this because I plan to revise this book once. That's it. No more than that. So, I have the first forth torn off the front of the book and arranged in linear format - 11 scenes, one optional scene that I'm not sure if I will keep. If I get through the rest of the book and find something that I can use to refer back, I'll add in a new scene there. Until then...that section is mapped, completed, and pinned to the wall.

I'm currently working on the second section (2/4), which ends at the mid point of the book. I'm breaking the story's bones at this point, rearranging scenes, further developing characters, taking stock of any subplots carried over from the first section, noting the ones that don't continue from the first section, and filling in all the scenes (that I have, and ones I need) on a cloud sheet.

I've created and printed up cloud sheets for the four parts of my book, each sheet has the correct number of "clouds" so I can write in the main action of each scene on a cloud. When I've filled out a sheet, I know I have exactly enough scenes to not only carry my action over to the next segment, I know I'm going to hit my target word count. For example, I need roughly 72 scenes to complete a 90k book. There are 60 scenes in my rough draft. I know before I've even started revising, that I'm missing 12 scenes. I can also see I'm missing these scenes from the 2nd and 3rd segments of my book.

When I get these sheets filled out, I will have a complete map of my book from start to finish. Then I will go through and do individual scene revisions - ONCE, and only once. Since I already know what is going on in every scene, this will be much easier to do.

When the book is finally reworked and ready to go, I can then use the cloud sheet to write my synopsis. Since each cloud holds roughly one sentence that describes the scene, each sentence added back to back is a totals up to a rough synopsis. I just have to clean up what's already there. No more busting my brain over the synopsis. Handy dandy, no?

I'll be adding these cloud sheets (blank, for users to print and fill up) as a free download on Scribd sometime this week. In case I forget to blog that I've added them, if you're wanting updates about if or whether the sheets have been uploaded yet, you can subscribe to me at Scribd. I think they message you when new documents are uploaded. Anyway, it's just a suggestion, subscription is not required to download.

I have a meeting tonight at the library. Apparently I'm still on the board at Headstart. It will give me a few minutes away from the house, away from writing, so I'm gonna go. After that, I'm hiding out in the writing cave for the rest of the week. I'm in the middle of the High Concept workshop, and I'm still preparing for boot camp. What can I say?  There's never a nothing-to-do moment. ~_^

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wish For Your Dream

I've had a fabulous, relaxing weekend. I've gone to zero pains to exert myself, and I like that just fine. Hubby got a bit growly on Saturday - he's been without a cigarette for quite a few days now - so instead of walking around on eggshells I hauled the boys over to my mom's and while they did their own thing, I worked on my giveaway sheet for boot camp.

My giveaway sheet is finished now, save for the resource paragraph at the bottom. Oh, and I think I'm supposed to add a short bio at the end. Eek! Am I the only one that hates to write a bio?

Tomorrow I have to go buy a bag of candy to donate to the Fall Festival, and I need to pick up snacks for Mini's class. We're the snack ho's on Tuesday this week. I think I'm going to buy those Chex mix trail packs or something. We'll see. Oh, and I need to try and reach my stylist and see if I can get in this week. I'm getting razored again, and lots of new color. I have a picture printed of the style I want and everything.

Speaking of haircuts, I gave Mini monster a snip tonight. I trimmed the sides of his hair and thinned the back. I also trimmed his fringe. He has class pictures on Tuesday and I want him to look sharp. ~_^

Earlier today I started cleaning up the vamp novel. I ended up cutting off the first three scenes and reworking them from scratch. Overall, roughly 3400 words. Once I have these scenes all cleaned up, I'll move on to the next three. Rinse and repeat.

It's shaping up to be a busy week, so I'm trying to prepare myself for it. If I'm scarce around here over the next few days, there will be no wondering why. Plot bunnies!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Weekend Skinny

Saturday, how I <3 you. There are no set plans for this weekend, only family together time. I'll be doing a bit of writing and revising, of course, but it's not so hectic right now that I can't stop and watch movies with the guys, or take a trip to my mom's.

I'm caught up on my workshops for now, and the only thing I really have to do is iron out the details on my giveaway sheet for the October Boot Camp. I need to finish it so I have to proof it and have copies made. This afternoon, I'm taking boot camp posters to tack up at the post office. Sort of a double duty thing, since I need to check the Midnight Moon Cafe mailbox anyway.

I took part in FF&P's Kensington pitch session yesterday. It was hosted on the FF&P website for members of the chapter. I wish I'd had more time to prepare, but I heard about it last minute. Nevertheless, I decided to go in and practice my pitch skills on two completed drafts that I have in my desk. My first book was a pass, but the second - my 92k fantasy/paranormal romance - got a full request from editor Megan Records. J.A.Z.Z.Y.

So, for the next few months I'll likely be scarce, and frazzled, and talking about books and writing in my sleep while I get the vampire book and the fantasy romance ready to send out. No complaints from me there. I'm happiest when I'm busy.

That's all I've got for now. I'm going to pull back the curtains over my office windows and enjoy some of this autumn sunshine. Still too hot to open windows, though. The summer heat hasn't left us yet. Soon, I hope. Soon. Happy weekend, everyone. ~_^

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Radars Tuning Out

funny pictures of cats with captions
Of course I'm not tuning you out. What would make you think that?

It's been an eventful week so far. Stuff has been happening out of the blue. Yesterday, right after I put Mini on the bus to school, I came back to my desk and opened up Twitter to send hubby a direct message that I was going back to bed. The minute I moved my cursor across the screen to click on my direct messages, my Twitter status auto updated. Yes, yes, that stupid Twitter hack thing totally nailed me. So much for going back to bed, right?

I dumped my twitter page, downloaded tweetdeck, did a complete computer scan, cleaned my registry, and went through a whole kettle of computer things to make sure I was okay. Then this morning, I had such a hard time getting out of bed. After hubby left for work, Mini piled up in the bed with me, but he didn't sleep. He hummed. And whispered. And chitter-chattered until I threatened to thwap him with a pillow if he didn't roll over and go to sleep. It was only, oh, 5 in the morning! *faint*

The alarm went off at 6:30 and it took me five minutes just to put myself into an upright position. No kidding. It's not that I didn't get enough sleep - I went to bed around 11:30, which is way early for me. I'm just so darn tired lately. I think I need my numbers run again to find out if my thyroid meds are working okay. Anyway, I got out of bed, and first thing through the door Mini says he wants his breakfast (of course), Sassie and Diva are dancing underfoot and roo-rooing for my attention. I made it to the kitchen and got the coffee going, and by the time I basically shuffled from one end of the house to the other and made everyone happy, it was 6:58. It felt like I'd had my eyes open for mere seconds, I swear. 

I called Mini into the bedroom, got him in his uniform, buckled his belt for him, helped him with his shoes, and all that. Then I bustled him off to the bathroom for the ritual face wash/hair brush/teeth brush thing. I had just got him out of the bathroom and we were reaching for his backpack when the bus arrived. Ten minutes early.

Pretty much, I shoved the poor beast out the front door and he made a dash for it. Oh man, that's the first morning I haven't gone out to the stop with him. Watching him run from the house, he seemed so darn small. I think we parents tend to forget just how little our kids are at Kindergarten age. Wowzers.

So back in the house, I drank two cups of coffee, got all my emails taken care of and dropped by Savvy Authors to check up on the workshop I'm taking (Lori Wilde's High Concept workshop - which is worth it's weight in gold. Well worth the admission cost!). Around 9 o'clock I woke up Oldest, and we drove to Ruston so I could pick up my new glasses.

No make-up, sorry!
I'd hoped we'd be able to take care of both our glasses in one day, but when we got to the optometrist, mine were the only pair that had arrived. So, sometime in the next few days, we'll have to make another trip, to go pick up Oldest's new specs.

Poor beast, he's still wearing broken glasses. It's taking ages to get the kid sorted out, bless him. He's been to the eye doctor twice, and still I ended up with new glasses before him. *_*

I do love the new glasses though. They're dark brown with an almost maroon undertone, and the side that touches the face is a cream yellow. There are two little stripes on the arms of the glasses, and the little dot
you see at my temple is actually the Baby Phat cat. It's on both temples.

They're really cute, secretary style glasses. Quite different from the gold frames I was wearing before this. Even though my prescription has changed slightly, I saved the old pair of glasses to use as a spare.

On a completely different subject... I've mentioned a couple of times I've been working on a single title vampire book, right? A full length one. I finished the draft a few months ago, and I've been sitting on it to let it "settle" before picking it up again to do the final shot. I used it as a pitch practice book, and I got a surprise nod today from an interested editor. They've requested the full, and I'm on Cloud 9. I love this book, and it would thrill me to pieces to find a happy home for it. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Ramblings

I have not yet had my coffeh.  You haz been warned.


I have a few minutes to blog, so I'm going to jump on it while I can. I have the rough draft finished for my freebie sheet that I'll be giving away at the October Bootcamp. My topic is going to be digital publishing. I've also printed up flyers to tack up at the post office, and to give hubby so he can pin them up in Coushatta and Mansfield. 

Over the weekend, I learned all about amping up the stakes (in fiction) from the talented Kathy Jacobson . Several weeks ago I bought her 200+ page guide called A Novel Approach, and it's been worth every penny. Right now I'm sorting out subplots and working on the very broken timeline of my futuristic romance. It's taking shape, slowly but surely. It will likely be another few weeks before I'm ready to start on write-ins. 

I'm starting a new workshop today. I'm taking Lori Wilde's High Concept workshop over at Savvy Authors. I'm also registered for her theme workshop that starts in October, although that's still a ways off. 

I tell ya, it's been a LOT of work sticking to it, but I feel like my New Year's resolution to tackle the elements I've been struggling with is paying off. While mapping all the subplots in one particular "thread" [at least, that's what I call it] of the story, I realized how much easier it was to identify pieces of my work, and to figure out what belongs and what doesn't.

That's the main thing, I think. Being able to work with what I've actually written. No first draft is perfect, but it makes it easier on me when I can go back, look at it, and diagnose what the problems are before I start trying to repair it. 

Out of time! I need to wrangle Oldest One into the car and take a drive into town for a few things - this before I have to go pick up Mini from school. That's all for now. I hope your Monday is a happy one!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

no regrets, just love

funny pictures-Eyeliner go like dis  right? I good makeup artist
Oh, kitteh, you are sooo cute! You can play in my makeup bag anytime!

Finally the day is done and the kids are in bed. My house is a wreck, and I have to do a load of laundry before I can go to bed, but all isn't lost. I managed to accomplish quite a bit on the WIP earlier today. I ironed out all the kinks with my overall story theme, and charted the theme of my main three characters. I also pinpointed my main conflicts, noted all the promises I made when writing the story, and made a sketchy flow chart for two subplots.

I'm now determining which scenes stay, which ones go, and which ones need to be rewritten. Ho hum. This isn't the fun part, for sure. But once I'm done with this, I can plan out the scenes and start the write ins. One step at time...

On Saturday, we're doing our yearly house "bug bombing" (this is the country, yo, and I'm paranoid) before the temperature drops and critters start looking for a place to come in out of the cold. While the house is fumigating, I'm taking Oldest to the eye doctor - AGAIN. This time dude better be there. For reals. I have an appointment directly after his, so it's a two for one glasses bonanza. My credit card is silently weeping.

I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday. I have to go on the weekly errand sprint, but not only that, there's no school on the weekend. He is in no way the roaring Kindergarten Tasmanian devil his brother way, spinning circles around teachers and chewing down any kid in his path. But there is apparently some kind of problem, and I'm determined to break it before it becomes anything worse than what it is. I know Mini. He's chatty, and has selective hearing. The class has this green/yellow/red stop light made out of laminated paper. It's got a smiley face on green, a straight face on yellow, and a sad face on red, and each kid has a clothes pin with his name on it. They start out on green, and as the day moves on if they get called down for anything, the clothes pin gets moved to yellow. If it's serious, it goes to red.

Nearly everyday since Mini started school, his pin comes home on yellow. On the sheet we're given, there's a check mark that says what the kid did wrong - if it fits in a specific category. His is always "not following directions". What directions?  I can't figure out what he's NOT doing so I can tell him to shape up. I mean, I don't want the teacher turning tattle tale. You ask them once, and you get a blow by blow daily report of how evil your child is and how ashamed you must be to be the parent. I shit you not. Been there, done that.

Today Mini came home on yellow after I had a good long talk with him this morning. When I found out he was on yellow this afternoon, I swatted his ornery behind. Apparently he pitched a fit with one of the teachers because she had brought a Hawaiian Punch to school, and he saw it and wanted some. Totally out of line. But what kinda pisses me off about this - the kids aren't allowed to bring anything to school with labels on it. No colas. No chip packages. No containers with print food labels.

Okay, if that's how it is, the teachers should be held to that rule as well. Come on...drink a Hawaiian punch in front of a bunch of kids who've had nothing but water all day and a chocolate milk at lunch. I wouldn't do that. I'm a mother. I know better. Even so, that's not an excuse. I was thoroughly upset with Mini for showing his rump, and he knows it.

Of course, I don't expect him to be perfect, but he has to get it in his head that the rules apply to him as well. This week has run 1 smiley to 3 straight faces. That tells me he's not doing what he's supposed to - daily. And what can I do?  I'm not there to hold his hand.

At any rate, tomorrow is Friday. Once that's over, I get a much needed reprieve. I'm counting the minutes, and make no doubt.

That's it for now. I need to wrap everything up so I can get to be a little earlier than usual. I've been so tired I barely have the energy to make it through the day. Gotta do something about that. Night, night, everyone!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scheduled and Dreaming

funny pictures-target ackwired
Good luck, Pvt. Kitteh. That squirrel tail is on high alert.
It's almost time to go pick up the little man. After I put him on the bus, I went back to bed, so the day has pretty much swept by. I still can't believe I slept until almost 11. That is so out of character for me. I'm usually up around 6:30-7ish and I stay up until well after everyone is in bed.

I slept hard too. And dreamed very vivid dreams about my grandpa, who died roughly 19 years ago. In the dream it was nighttime, everyone was in bed asleep, and the only light on other than my office was the one going to the bathroom - which is the next door down the hall. I was standing in my office, doing something, I can't remember what, when I heard someone call my name. I turned around and there he was, standing in the doorway to my office, looking just the way I remembered him - wearing yellow-brown coveralls, and a white t-shirt beneath. He wasn't wearing his glasses, and while he still looked "his age", he seemed healthy and in good shape. I saw him and said, "Well, I didn't know you were up and about." And I went over to him and hugged him. Once we hugged, I woke up. It was a very vivid dream. Very realistic.

I guess I was just tired. Or I'm coming down with something. I'm paranoid about that since I saw a friend waiting in line at the pharmacy yesterday. She looked like someone had run her down with a truck then sprayed her with a water hose. Poor thing.

Her kids have some kind of ick, and oh gosh, if it's going around Mini is sure to end up with it. And after Mini, I'm usually the next to fall. Meh.

Anyway, I've been working hard on getting this WIP pulled apart so I can do a thorough write-in. I'm going slow with it because I only want to do this thing once. I have the full thing note carded now, and I've broken down the theme of all my characters. One of them surprised me a bit, too. The heroine's father, who the heroine isn't close to in the book. I love the dynamic going on with the, as brief as it is. I'm going to do a full theme sheet for the heroine since she is the most complex. Once I have her all spruced up, I'll be moving on. Next up, noting all the things missing from the book (according to my note cards) and writing the quickie, fill in scenes.

Onto other writerly things... I've about go all the info I need for my October Bootcamp worksheet. I've got to narrow it all down so I can print it up on one, double sided page. Then I have to go make copies. I also have to print up a handful of Bootcamp fliers to post around town and to pass off to hubby. He's going to post them in the little towns he has to travel through on his way to work. The guy is all aces, I tell you what.

It's looking like October is going to be nuts with all the stuff to do. I'm taking a workshop on High Concept over at Savvy Authors on starting Sept. 20th, and that will run all the way to October 3rd. Once that wraps up, I'm staring Lori Wilde's Plotting From Theme workshop, which will run from October 4th, through the 29th. During all this, the Midnight Moon Cafe has it's annual October bash, the Bootcamp is on the 9th, Connection is coming out on October 25th, and my hubby and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary on October 27th. Never mind Halloween, who has the time? Whew!

A woman on Second Life asked me to do a book reading at her Sim around the end of October, but I'm thinking that will have to wait until early November. I don't think I'll have time to plan for anything until then. If I give it a small breather, I won't feel as harried to pull together excerpts and virtual note cards to give out. Maybe I can take the time to make a gift shirt or something else for the event, too.

That's all for now. I gotta get changed into some jeans before I go pick up Minibeast. Once we're back, we'll prolly play a game of CandyLand before I tackle the laundry. So much to do, so little time...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two Tears In A Bucket

funny pictures of cats with captions
Splish, splish, splish...
Stage one complete! I've note carded all the scenes in my manuscript. Now I can see where my book is broken, and where the loop is in the center of it.

Today I'm straightening out my character's themes. It's all good with the hero, but the heroine needs work. She's a drifter type, now to pin point the real reason behind it. Once I have character arcs for all my characters, I'll be working on nailing down the story theme, and ensuring all my scenes work in that direction. Bit by bit, it will start to come together.

I signed up for a High Concept workshop over at Savvy Authors. It's being held by Lori Wilde and is set to begin on the 20th. I stopped dealing with high concept months ago, because I didn't seem to be getting anything out of it. So, I'm going to assume I'm doing it wrong, and diving in head first. I've learned so much this year by applying myself and buckling down to learn the things I struggle with. So High Concept is up next. Before the year is out, I'd like to find a good theme workshop, and one on hooks.

In about an hour I have to go pick up Minibeast. I am not anticipating the best day ever. They had the Grandparent's Day breakfast up at school this morning. It took some maneuvering to get my parents too go. They are agoraphobic at best. Well, the breakfast went fine, but when they went to leave, Mini didn't want them to go. There was drama and crying. The kids were supposed to go on a field trip directly after the breakfast, and no where in the letter home was it mentioned that the grandparents could go on the field trip too. When Mini saw some grandparents going, he wanted his to go, but my mom has to work, and my dad isn't going anywhere by himself, so that was out. At any rate, this should be interesting. I can't imagine things suddenly got better once they left the school, so I'm prepared for it.

Once I pick him up, I'm coming home to do laundry. It doesn't do me much good to try getting any writing stuff done in the after school hours. It's best to wait until everyone has gone to bed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cyber Vampires...and Handbags

My very first cover for Ellora's Cave has arrived, and if it were a tangible physical object I would carry it everywhere and give it kisses. *mwah, mwah*

About CONNECTION:

Gage is a cyber vamp, an AI being who feeds off energy, sexual and otherwise. Kiri loves that they can feel each other’s pleasure during sex…during those electric moments when Gage slips his fangs into her neck ports.

Kiri knew from the start Gage wanted a no-strings relationship. But she hadn’t realized his bite would grant him full access to her heart. Didn’t count on being so lost to pleasure that she lets loose her innermost desire. Now Gage knows her secret, and Kiri can’t bring herself to face him.

But Gage has a secret of his own. He’s found more than sexual satisfaction with Kiri. He’s discovered the ultimate connection—and he’ll prove it the second he’s back in her bed.

The book is schedule to be released on October 25th. Expect some fun contests coming soon, both here and at the Midnight Moon Cafe, to celebrate my first futuristic romance. 


Books aside, I hope you had a fun weekend. I took Oldest to the optometrist on Saturday, only to find out the doctor wasn't able to be there. We even called in advance. Cripes. So, after a quick jaunt around the mall, I drove us all the way back to Ruston and we went to an optometrist there. 

I was kind of worried they wouldn't even talk to us since he didn't have an appointment there, but they looked at Oldest's glasses and determined they couldn't take the lenses and put them into a new pair of frames. I think that's kinda BS, since I've had an optometrist do that for me before at the same center. Maybe they got rid of the equipment. Who knows?  And really, why offer to replace frames when they can nail you for $80 a lens, the $60 exam, and a $100 for pair of frames. Let me just say, business sense sucks sometimes. 

At any rate, Oldest and I had a good time just hanging out. He's not one of those kids embarrassed by his parents thankfully. He found a pair of bondage pants he wanted from Hot Topic. He needed a few bucks to have enough, so he found me and we went in together. He's dragging me through the store - "You gotta see these, mom." It's okay, because ten minutes later, I was dragging him through Dillards - "Ooh, handbags!"  Lemme just say, he's a really good sport when it comes to girl-stuff shopping. 

He has another appointment for this coming Saturday. I went ahead and scheduled an appointment for me too. Two in one fell swoop. I haven't had an eye exam or my glasses changed since 2000. Um, yeah. It's time. The frames are holding up, but they're getting a little rickety. I'm going to replace my gold frames this pair from Baby Phat.  I love tortoise shell. I have gold now, but the pair I had before this was amber tortoise shell. I'm reverting, I guess. ;0)

Oh, and I did get a handbag over at Dillards. A cute Fossil Kenya zip top bag in mustard yellow. It was on sale. I picked up a new credit card wallet, too. The one I had, I've been carrying it since 1994. Hahahaha! Ripped seams, cracked fake leather, cracked picture windows.Yep, it was pretty beat up [cough, cough]. But man did it last! I was kinda sad to retire it. They just don't make 'em like that anymore. *waggles cane* 

That's pretty much the story of my weekend. That, and Hubby is trying to quit smoking again. I have no idea how this week is going to go. I quit smoking 10 years ago and never looked back. He has really struggled with it. He quit twice for about six months, but then he'd go on a stress rampage and run for the cigarettes. He's done the Chantrix thing, which gave him freaky nightmares. This time he's trying the lozenges. He said they taste like wet snails, but what can you do?  It's not going to be easy for the poor guy, but he has my support 100%. 

I suppose I should get going on my manuscript. I've gotten it chopped in half right now. I've mended the broken bones in the first half, now to tackle part two. Once I get all this straightened out, I can start writing in the missing bits. What a chore this is shaping up to be!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Release date for Connection

How exciting is this! The book blurb page is now up on the Ellora's Cave website for my upcoming story Connectionand I've been assigned a release date for 10/25/10!  I'm snoopy dancing all over the place.

Oh, and I have a thumbnail on the Coming Soon page at EC, too. I had to get a screen capture of that. ;0) Yeah, I print and save all that stuff. I'm sentimental, what can I say?

This afternoon I have to run to the store and buy groceries. Ugh. I hate grocery shopping but we're down to a 1/2 gallon of milk and a few eggs. We are out of everything. The pantry and the freezer is bare. It's been a long time since the stockpile got this low. Must fix that or we won't be having supper tonight. Once I pick Mini up from school, we'll run straight to the store. It makes for a hectic evening, but at least we won't be hungry. I'm just crossing my fingers we don't get to the store and have to do crazy cart maneuvers to get around the people who use the store as a social site. You know what I'm talking about?  Like the family of 8 people standing around chatting in front of the freezer case where the milk is because they can't be assed to call their family during the week?  Right. So they have a family reunion in the middle of the store, and won't move for the people who are actually shopping. Gotta love it! (Or not really.)

Tonight I have to start working on a print sheet to giveaway at my local RWA chapter boot camp in October. It's going to be e-publishing basics - what e-publishing is, and what it isn't. Also, what to expect from the process, etc. It's a bit nerve wracking to write up print sheets. I do so much better with fiction. I know, I know... I ken do eet! 

Oh, gosh, and I almost forgot...speaking of RWA, I have a chapter meeting this weekend. Sheesh, I've had people ask me about it dozens of times this week if I can go. I'm still trying to whittle down all my stuff. If I made a list, I'd probably cry. I know it pisses people off when they want to ride with you and you don't know right then and there if you're going, but I honestly won't know until last minute if I'll be able to make this one. There's just too much going on with home, family, writing, promo, business...It's unreal. But I'm working at it bit by bit.

That's all for now. I need to rush off and get a few errands cared for now so I can work on my book tonight. I hope you all have a happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Zombie Day PSA


Zombie PSA courtesy of glitter-graphics.com

It's international zombie day! Be sure to report any zombie attacks on twitter today, along with the hashtag #omgzombies so everyone can follow your posts. There is a big write up about this over at the Midnight Moon Cafe, be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Work Your Plan

I'm so very tired, so this blog post probably won't be very long. I've been staying up quite late to keep up with things, and I'm starting to feel run down for it. Anyway...

Tuesday was a bit of a nightmare starting out. It took two and a half hours on the phone to realize I was going to have to figure out a way to pay for car insurance that I can't really afford. Basically, I ended up spending $200.00 that I didn't have. (Yep, I should be feeling that one when the bill comes in next month.) I did manage to "pay"the insurance though, and keep it another month. It's ridiculous I have to budget down our essentials like food, water, and electricity so I can have insurance on my fucking car.

Once I got that situated it was almost noon, so I dragged all my writing stuff to the bedroom so I could spread the pages out Willy-nilly on the bed. There simply isn't enough desk space to do that in my office. I ended up note carding 10 scenes, and I wrote out a plot sheet - trying to figure out where my book stands and where I want it to be. Tomorrow I'll compare the beginning to the ending. I have to make sure everything is balanced, for example: if my heroine has admitted she's afraid of water at the beginning of the story, she must somewhere face her fear by the end of the book. That also counts as checking for extraneous information. If it doesn't lead anywhere or follow up later in the story, I need to cut it.

Yes, all this sounds like weirdness, but it's part of the way I work. I won't start charting missing scenes until everything is balanced, but it will make things a lot easier if it's all note carded first. I'll also be able to play around with the timeline, something I'm definitely going to have to do. I've never had this trouble before, but what with all the space travel involved, I've landed myself in timeline hell. I'll post more about that later, in specifics. At this point it's looking like I'll probably save that chunk of misery for the weekend. I haven't decided yet.

One thing for sure, though, the sexual tension in this book is through the roof. My hero makes my stomach all aflutter. *sigh* Every time I read through one of the romancey parts, it reminds me why I shouldn't give up on these characters. Right now it's a hard climb, but in the end, I think the struggle will be worth it.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Preparing to Dissect my Manuscript

image courtesy of glitter-graphics.com
And so it begins. Over the past nine months, I have taken probably seven or eight workshops related to subplots, revisions, plotting, and theme. Everything I've struggled with in the past, I've made it a point to learn it or die trying.

I still haven't learned to write a decent elevator pitch, but I'll face that when I have something ready to send, I guess. For now, I have what I need to prepare my book for major surgery.

My sexy futuristic - which currently has no set title -  has been chronicled scene by scene. I finished the last of this about two hours ago.

It has taken me three days to read through and list all the scenes on colored labels. In case you might have just stumbled on the post and are wondering on the length of the book - it's 89k, roughly 370 pages. Next, I'll be transferring all the info from the labels note cards so I can rearrange them on the floor of my office. In going through the scenes, I noticed I have a huge loop in my book. Toward the middle, the chapters repeat - slightly different from the version before - but are nonetheless the same spiel. The heroine has left the planet four times, and is still there. *_* Then miraculously the loop ends, and the heroine is back where she started. Apparently, she never left the planet after all.

That is the first major fix I have to face. Toward the end, my timeline is broken, the pacing is wrong, and the settings shift far too often to be realistic. Now that I've listed everything in the manuscript, I have to sort through it again to see what's worth keeping, what isn't, and make a list of what's broken and missing. It's like putting together a big jigsaw puzzle made out of broken passages. Not a total nightmare, but pretty damn close.

Anyway, tonight I start carding everything, and taking account of what is inside each scene. I can't stay up too long though. Mini has school tomorrow, and once he's on the bus, I have to take off to Ruston. I have to straighten out my car insurance, which totally sucks. I think I'd rather go to the dentist. For real. At least there they give you a shot for pain. :P

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Pass the Wine, Plz


The Little Mermaid image courtesy of glitter-graphics.com

The house is back to normal chaos. Mini and my parents made a day trip to Texas to see my grandmother. (Mini's great grandmother.) She has gone through 36 treatments of chemo for cancer, bless her. What started as breast cancer spread to her lymph nodes. She has been in and out of surgery and treatments for the past two years. Mini hasn't seen her since he was crawling. I think the last time we drove all the way to Texas he was maybe 9 months old. It's been a long, long time.

Gram called my mother not too long ago and said specifically she wanted to see him. And oh, did she ever. Mini is a complete ham. He loves attention, and mom said while they were over there, he was the center of it. He fits right in with the family over there. He likes outdoorsy stuff, and they are farmers and hunters. He chased chickens, petted the cows and dogs and cats, drove their Mule all over the place, and chattered through the entire visit. When it came time to leave, he bawled that he didn't want to go back to Louisiana. Which kinda made me snicker, because usually this is what he does to me when he doesn't want to leave Mom's. He bawls on me, and they look at him with such sad, sympathetic eyes. Well, they had to peel him away from his Great Gram's house and go through all the weepy bawling that I usually have to. I know it's evil, but I can't help but giggle thinking about it. ;o)

I'm almost through with the edits for Connection. So very close! Everything has come together well, and I'm excited to see how smooth everything reads. It's a very sexy book, in my opinion. Androids with fangs. Vampires in space. [romantic sigh]

I'm in the process of polishing an 89k novel right now - another futuristic. This thing is so hot I just about need fireplace mitts to handle it. I'm shooting for a mid-December finish for this one. Wish me luck!

That's it for now. As much as I hate it, I gotta load the dishwasher. :P Happy Sunday, everyone!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Milestones: 1st time Snagglepuss

Beastie Bear lost his first tooth! You can already see the permanent tooth behind the gap. :} It was a bloody mess, and we were in the middle of eating dinner, but once the drama passed and the tooth actually came out, he was thrilled. Go Mini! ^_^

We followed up the snaggle-tooth fun with a photo shoot of the gap. I'm going to print up a couple snapshots to take to my dad. He'll love it. lol Mini is such a camera ham. I'm taking full advantage of it while it lasts.

Today I took out my 89k futuristic erotic romance and I started going through the scenes. Basically, I'm getting it ready for revisions/rewrites. I am so creatively blocked right now, I can barely string two sentences together, so instead I'm going to work on one of the manuscripts I finished but never went back to clean up. I have three of those sitting in my desk drawer right now. One is a short, and the other two are full novels. I have so much to do in September, I'm going to take a break from writing new material. Maybe by the end of the year I'll have this futuristic polished enough for EC. It's certainly sexy enough.

This weekend, I have to go over a few entries for an RWA chapter contest I agreed to help judge. I'm published in the particular genre they needed more for, so I felt comfortable taking it on. On top of that,  a day or so ago, I agreed to be part of the business panel for the Nola Stars October Bootcamp. I'm going to be on tap of digital publishing questions, so I need to start planning for that as well.

It seems like the end of the year is going to be far, far busier than the beginning. Hubby and I have our anniversary coming up next month, and hubby has already put in for a week off. I think we agreed to take a trip to Oklahoma. And if I'm not mistaken, Mom is coming over to pick up Mini tomorrow after school. My parents are going to Texas and taking the Mini Mite with them. My grandma has been asking to see him. She's seen him once since he was born, and that was back when he was crawling. Mom and I planned to take the boys over there last year, but Gram's been too sick to weather much company. So, the parentals are taking him there while she's feeling strong enough to visit.

That's all for now. I have chapters to sort. Joy, right?  Happy Thursday, everyone.