Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Night Writing Team

The kippy cat is sitting in my writing room with me tonight. He's really not fond of my sticky notes pad for some reason, and every time I try to write on it, he nips at it. If I don't watch him closely, he'll throw it off my desk. Le sigh. I need my sticky pad. I'm ironing out my basic plot points tonight, and I've been using the stickies to cluster ideas. When I finally pick out the six major plot points, I'll jot them down on note cards and pin them to my cork board so I can start clustering scenes around them.

I'm going to try to have the rough outline and all character sketches completed by Saturday. I'm only lacking one character sketch, I think. Oh, and I decided to interview one of my characters that seems stand offish. One I can't seem to know very well, although he's necessary to the story. So that's another item for the to-do list.

A short post, this one. I know. Mostly I've been cleaning out closets today, and bagging clothes to take to my mom. She's doing a neighborhood drive and will be hauling everything over to the Rolling Hills charity shop this weekend, so today I spent a good chunk of the day away from the computer, sorting, etc. And then Oldest's recruiter came over with paperwork to go through - not for me, though. It's all on Oldest now.

If I'm going to be in bed by midnight, I better get this plotting stuff wrapped up. Ho hum. Tomorrow's a new day. Until then, happy dreams!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, Memories, and Writing Opportunities

Happy birthday to my Oldest, who turns 20 today. We had a joint birthday party on Saturday, then I took him shopping at the mall. So today, it was a birthday lunch of guacamole burgers instead of another party. Overall, I think he had a very good birthday. I know I did.

Today paid bills and cleared out my dresser and closets, and my growing shoe collection. Everything is bagged and in my car to take to mom, who is going to drive all this stuff to the Rolling Hills charity shop this weekend. I also cleaned out Mini's room, and now just need to tackle hubby's dresser. Oy, that's the one I'm dreading. That man has a ridiculous amount of shabby old T shirts that he loves and bemoans if I mention throwing some of them away. Or in this case, donating them. And honestly, he needs the dresser space. I can barely close the top drawer as it is.

Tonight I'm gonna do a few timed writings and see what I come up with. My writing binder now has quite a few pages of notes. I have my plot points now, and I know the direction of my story. I just need to address a few specific issues - setting namely. And how it affects the pacing.

Speaking of writerly things, there are a lot of good opportunities around the corner for established and unpublished writers.

Passionate Reads is hosting a Got Pitch? contest. Interested in pitching your story to Grace Bradley at Ellora's Cave?  The link is here: http://passionatereads.com/2011/08/29/got-pitch/

Also, there is a Harlequin Special Edition Happy Holidays contest coming up. Have you ever wanted to submit to write for Special Edition?  This is worth a look! http://community.eharlequin.com/forums/write-stuff/harlequin-special-edition-happy-holidays-contest

The Harlequin Mills & Boon New Voices contest starts September 13th. Go here for details:  http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/

That's it for now. I'm off to walk the Sassie pup before the rain starts. Happy Monday, everyone!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Birthday Weekend & Writerly Links

Tomorrow is my birthday, and Oldest's is Monday. Every year it's a back to back cake and ice cream bonanza! Okay, not really. I'm just kidding. We've done that before but now that Oldest is, well, older, we've simplified things. We share our birthdays now, and to celebrate this go around, we're heading to my mom's to have cake and ice cream and just visit for a while.

Hubby asked what I want for my birthday, and well...I have everything I could possibly want. A card is fine. Or scented candles. I'm not picky. Just show up for the cake.

He asked what to pick up for Oldest, also, and I told him I have no idea what the get the boy. His taste in stuff is pretty far out there in comparison to what our little town has to offer, so I'll probably take him to the mall tonight and let him pick out what he wants. A birthday shopping trip. Hey, that sounds kind of exciting, now that I think about it. Heh. If it's not too late when I leave Mom's, we'll probably do that this afternoon.

Oh, I came across some interesting links I'll post at the bottom of this...post. Okay, a lousy sentence, but you'll have to forgive me. My brain stopped function when I typed the word "cake" a few paragraphs up.

I added a new link to my sidebar on the right side of the page - in the section for writers. Be sure to check out The Write Lawyer. He's doing a column at Pitch University where he takes publishing contracts and explains them. The first contract he's analyzing for contract illiterates like myself: Sourcebooks. This is a must read column, folks. There's no registration required to read the articles, so be sure to drop by and check it out.

Another great article is up over at Fantasy Faction about beefing up the middle of your book. Good stuff!

That's all for now. It's after 11, so I better find something to wear to Mom's. Why, yes, I am still in my pajamas. How did you guess? ^_^ Happy Saturday, everyone!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Thursday Skinny

Mini had a pretty good day today, so that means I had a good day. The bus arrived 15 minutes early, so I told Mini not to rush. Instead, I got dressed and drove him to school myself, which was a good thing, really. The teacher hadn't arrived yet, and the classroom was locked.

The kids were sitting in the hallway with their backpacks, and I noticed the bully was there - with his mom. She was dressed for work and looked stressed, and I actually felt sorry for her. However, that doesn't mean I want that kid anywhere near mine. She came to talk to the teacher, I guess. Her boy was sitting politely at his desk when she left.

The minute I walked into the room, a little boy with glasses came up to me and began to tell me all about what had happened between Mini and the bully yesterday. During PE, the bully had apparently slammed Mini with a ball of some kind. The bully got a time out for that, but later was allowed to rejoin the group, but he soon started in with another kid. Within minutes he threatened to shoot their mom, or some such thing. The little boy was so sweet and concerned about, and I was relieved someone had witnessed Mini being tormented.

At any rate, the bully didn't mess with anyone today. I don't know if what all transpired, but I'm all up for a day of peace. So is Mini, I think. He's been bouncy and happy since he got home. Right now he's making a "project" out of a box. Basically, he's putting tape all over it.I gave him a roll of scotch tape and let him have at it. Home sweet home.

Tonight I'm supposed to call Mom and tell her what our plans are for the weekend. My birthday is on Sunday, and Oldest's is on Monday. We had plans to drive down to Grand Isle, but now I don't know. Hubby may have to work this weekend, and who knows what the weather will be like with that hurricane over on the east coast. Boo hoo. So for now, all I can do is promise there'll be cake. We'd wanted to do something special since this will be Oldest's last birthday with us before he ships out for the Navy. I'm hoping we'll still be able to.

On to writerly things...I started a binder for the current writing project this afternoon. I still need to round up the rest of the scattered notes lying around my office, but I'm hoping this will help me keep all the twists and turns organized. Once I get finished with this project, I'll photograph the layout of the binder to share on the blog. So far the binder contains: character sketches for the hero and heroine, a rough plot skeleton with all the major plot points in place, part of a setting sheet, and the first and last chapters of the book written out. Not much, but it's something. At least now I have a general target to shoot for.

I'll be using First Draft in 30 Days to keep me on track, which is what I used when while writing Wicked Obsession. There's no way I would've finished that book on time if I hadn't had some kind of system going. Thankfully I'm not on a crushing deadline this time, so hopefully that means I'll be able to do the same kind of writing I did on the last book, but without the panic attacks.

Also, here's an interesting link worth reading: A look at indie author John Locke's new distribution deal with Simon & Schuster...(link below)


That's all I've got for now. I better go get supper on before poor Oldest and Mini Beast starvapate. ;o) Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mini and more Writerly Things

The internet connection kept playing out on me this morning, so I went back to bed and napped for a few hours. It's hard to rest well with all this crap going on with Mini, so I'm catching cat naps whenever I can. I'm glad I did early on because, since I've got to leave in a little bit to go pick him up. That will at least get him home an hour early, and that's an extra hour of peace for all of us.

After Mini's snack and homework I need to hit a one hour timed writing, and get some more words in for the day. Ideally, I'd like to be at 10k by the end of the week. Today, I've mostly been playing around with the key scenes in this book, seeing what I have and seeing what I need. Doing that keeps me from having to go back and beef up scenes later, or end up having to discard something entirely.

Anyway, gotta cut this post short because there's a storm creeping up outside. Yowzers, the wind is getting fierce, and those clouds are dark! I found some cool writerly things online for those who might be interested...

The Writer's Craft has a page with some very nice character and scene sheets. I like these a lot. http://www.the-writers-craft.com/creative-writing-worksheets.html

Also, Joanna Penn has an awesome post up on how to write a scene. (video and text) http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2011/08/17/how-i-write-a-scene/ By the way, if you're not following Joanna, you're missing out! She posts wonderful craft information. She's also on twitter and facebook.

That's it for now. The power's flickering. Happy wishes to all!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Land Where They May

It's been a looooong day. Thankfully it worked itself out, and for the most part ended up a pleasant day. It definitely didn't start out that way, though.

First thing this morning, Mini had a melt down over breakfast. He didn't want to go to school, and started crying. All because of the bully in his class - grrrrr! The same effing kid from last year.

When my kid starts crying and doesn't want to ride the bus - my kid, who is a car/vehicle/wheels fanatic and loves to ride  - I know something is wrong. I told him to forget about the bus, I'd give him a ride to school. Instantly he beamed and asked - you'll pick me up too? You betcha I will. Every freaking day if I have to.

He didn't want to ride the bus because that little brat that torments him all the time also rides his bus. So, from morning til afternoon this kid is a pain in Mini's ass. He never gets a break from him.

I went to school with him, and asked his teacher outright if I needed to move him to another class. She said, "Oh, no...I think this is what happened." (And her version was not what Mini said.) Of course, she only "thought" that must've been what happened, because of course, she wasn't watching. She was there when Mini told her there was an issue, but she could only piece 2 and 4 together. So what does her version of the events mean to me?  Absolutely squat. Because she saw about as much of the incident as I did - which is another way to say she didn't see a damn thing.

I told her I wanted the kids separated, period. If I hear one more story of that kid tormenting my kid, I'm going to the principal to have him pulled from that class. My kid shouldn't have to worry about being harassed by that little dip, and honestly, I'm not going to put up with it.

Earlier this afternoon, when I picked Mini up from school, he was jazzed and smiley. Great grades on his papers, no homework, and a star on his behavior chart. Once we were in the car, he admitted to me that the bully hadn't been in class today. He was sick or something. Anyway, Mini's happiness was very noticeable. Something I'll be keeping in mind as the week goes on.

The rest of the afternoon was peaceful and relaxing - something much needed at that point. I'm one step away from a prescription for Paxil. I wish I was joking about that. Hubby arrived home, and family stuff commenced: dinner, TV, chat time, etc.  and I ended up making a dash to the store for a few things.

Now the house is quiet, and everyone is in bed but me, Oldest, and the kippy cat. Okay, truth told kippy cat is sacked out on the couch, but it still counts. ;*) I'm doing laundry, and listening to my hair metal and grunge playlist. For the first time all day, I can sit back and taking a few minutes to enjoy the good news from earlier today: I wrote close to 3k today on my latest wip. And, one of my horror stories was accepted for an upcoming anthology. Woot! I don't have the green light to post about the antho or show off the cover yet, but as soon as I'm able to, I will.

On another note, I have a good chunk of my new erotic romance novel mapped out as of this afternoon. I have the beginning and ending scenes roughly sketched out, and an entire plot skeleton to work with. After I finish blogging tonight, I'm going to hit one more writing sprint to bring up my word count for the day, and then work on pulling my fast draft sheets together for a bit. Makes it much easier to hammer out that first draft if I'm prepared. I'm really in love with the idea of this story, and hope I can tackle all the angles and do it justice.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I See Vampires

Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent
What a great day! I slept in late for the first time in weeks! I got up around 9:30ish and wrote roughly 500 words on my wip. Around noon, mom and dad came over for a few minutes to get something out of hubby's work truck, and by then I was getting dressed to go to the movies. I dragged Oldest to Ruston to watch the new Fright Night remake, which I've been itching to see ever since I saw the trailer banner on youtube.

Fright Night 2 is still my favorite of all the movies, but the remake of the first Fright Night is pretty good. The plot was similar to the original, but with some pacing changes and updating. I have to admit I missed seeing Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent, but at the same time, David Tennant is awesomely awesome in his own right, so I have no complains seeing him as Peter. Even so, Colin Farrell won the day in my mind. He turned out to be everything you'd imagine an evil vampire to be: sexy, twisted, and scary. And as an added bonus, Toni Colette as Charley's mom! (I adored her in The Sixth Sense and Emma.) They did a great job with the casting on this one. The new Fright Night is definitely worth watching, and I'll be looking to buy a copy when it comes out on Blu-Ray/DVD.

We ate a ton of popcorn while at the theater, but that didn't stop us from going on a pizza run. On our way home from Ruston, Oldest and I stopped by the store for bake-at-home pizzas and extra trash bags. Quite the combo, right? Heh.

Anyway, Hubby and Mini were watching a repo-man show on TV, and while I told hubby about the movie, I put the first pizza in the oven. The minute I had that pizza out on the counter top, it was gone. It lasted less than 20 minutes. No kidding. The locusts swarmed on it, and before I could get the 2nd pizza out of the oven, there was nothing but crumbs left of the first. Guys and their stomachs, right? No one went hungry, but I can't help but marvel at how fast everyone wolfed down that pizza.

In a few minutes I have to put Mini in the bath and wash his hair for school. Ho hum. I miss having the little stink bug home during the day, but at the same time, I have more "me time" which is kind of good too. Although tomorrow, I imagine that "me time" will equate to a thorough house cleaning. This place is a mess. Another thing to marvel over: how does the house get so incredibly messy over just two days?

If I'm not too tired, I'll probably try for another 500 words tonight once Mini is in bed. I had an idea early on in the morning, but I had to dog it off and take care of breakfast.

So there it is, my Sunday in a nutshell. Hopefully tomorrow will be...peaceful and productive. Either or both. I'm not too picky. ~_^

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mushrooms, Strawberries, and Dandelions

I woke up with a severe migraine this morning which is kind of lousy, but I'm not going to let it stop me from having a good day. Mini asked me to hang out with him in the den this morning and watch Beyblade with him, so as soon as the two songs I bought off Amazon had finished downloading, I shut down the comp, took my pen and notepad to the living room and watched TV with him.

By the time hubby made it home from work at noon, I had both Sassie pup and Mini snuggled in the fuzzy Harley Davidson blanket on the couch. The living room gets pretty cold now thanks to the new air conditioner. Hey, I'm not complaining. Better snuggled in a blanket than roasting alive in this heat. Just a few days ago, the thermometer out at hubby's job site read 108 in the shade. This heatwave is serious business.

I need to take new pictures of my Second Life skybox. It's been a while since I switched the scene to something new, but recently changed it to the fairy - fantasy setting. I bought these red cap mushrooms, and giant strawberries that are actually chairs. Very cute. I also bought a hollow log that emits little yellow fireflies. On the night time setting, it's absolutely beautiful.

Strawberry and Mushroom seats!
You can click the pictures to make them larger.

Hmm. I couldn't seem to get a good picture of the firefly emitting log. I'll try again later. I don't spend as much time exploring in Second Life as I used to. I mainly go in to check on my book booth rentals, and pay any rent fees. Occasionally Cassie and I go in to chat and do free tarot readings for fun. We don't spend nearly as much time inworld as we did that first year. Still, it's fun to go in now and again to play in some of the heavily decorated sims when I have the time. 

On to writerly things...I wrote about 500 words this morning. I need to transfer all of that from my paper notebook to my word file, and will do that shortly. Tonight I'll do another writing sprint. No title for this one yet, but I've jotted down a few ideas. It's the fantasy/sci-fi erotic romance short I'm working on for EC - at least I hope turns out relatively short. We'll see. It's just something fun and sexy to work on while I'm sorting out the Shivers story. 

Anyway, I better close for now and find out what the guys plan to do today. I know what I plan to do today - go see Fright Night! Maybe I can talk the guys into going with me?  (Oldest, for sure.) Happy Saturday, everyone!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Gibblets: Life, Horror Movies, and Stuff

Hurray for Friday! I just got back from talking the Sassie Lass for a walk, and noticed the internet is finally back up. One of these days we'll get a proper technician out here to fix the problem. I looked up some information about the router the net service installed for us, and the brand is known to have issues. Somehow I'm surprised, and yet not surprised about this. Sort of a double ended deal. They sell you the router, then you spend money with them to get it fixed. Boo. Hiss. Voodoo doll.

Fright Night opens at the theater today, and I hope to head over to Tinsel Town on Saturday to see it. Hehehe! Colin Ferrell as a vampire. Nice. I'm not sure why they decided to remake Fright Night, though. I loved the original...and I loved Fright Night 2 also. Actually, I liked Fright Night 2 better than the first one. I guess it only makes sense to remake the movie because the series wouldn't be the same without Roddy McDowall. He passed away a few years back, didn't he?  I think he did, though I could be wrong about that. Anyway, I can't imagine the series going forward without vampire slayer Peter Vincent.

At any rate, rather than Fright Night, I wish they'd remake 976-Evil. I tried really hard to like that movie but something was...off. I think maybe a bad script?  Turning the victim into the bad guy? Maybe because the true source of the evil was poorly established? At any rate, something wasn't kosher. They need to redo that one. They could get Giovanni Ribisi to play Hoax. *thumbs up*

Okay, enough horror movie waffling... I hope to get a few thousand words written today. Toward the late afternoon, I have a few bills to pay, and around 4 Mini will be home. I'm waiting to hear how his first spelling test goes. He looked kinda confused about the whole concept this morning before he left the house. They want me to spell this...why? Poor beast. He'll get the hang of it. ^_^

Now for some interesting links:

That's all for now. I hope you all have a happy Friday! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Feeling Sniffly and Free E-Books

Adding a late post, for what it's worth. I haven't felt good for much of the day - allergies are seriously kicking my tail, but I wanted to come in and mention that Writer's Digest is giving away several free books from Aug. 16th to the 22nd.

One of those books is The Portable MFA in Creative Writing, which is the first book out of the lot that I downloaded. To look at all the titles that are available go here: http://www.writersdigest.com/back-to-school-sale

By the way, these downloads are hosted through Amazon, and Barnes and Noble - so the downloading is pretty much worry and trouble free.

Today I mostly lounged around the house and napped. It is amazing the amount of questionable gunk the human head can hold. I have blown my nose until it is raw and red, and still I'm sniffly and runny nosed. I sneezed so many times in a row when I first got out of bed I nearly fainted. Sparkly dots in front of the eyes and everything. I couldn't catch my breath. Then 3,2,1...I was off and sneezing again.

I bundled up in Mini's Snoopy blanket and lounged around watching the National Geographic Channel until about noon, then I took an allergy pill which left me completely snockered. Mini came home around 3:30 and wanted to play Tiki Topple, but I had to confess I wasn't feeling well enough to sit at the dining room table to play. He hung out with me, taking care of me as it were, until his daddy made it home. The rest of the evening has been a total blur. Right now, I'm hyped up on Diet Dr. Pepper and Afrin, and doing laundry.

That said, I'm going to try to get a few words written before bed time. I've been turning in early since school started - around 11pm/12am. This is really early for me, but now I'm getting up at 6 and cooking breakfast and getting Mini on the bus, so I need my extra Z's. Too, I don't think I'm accomplishing any more or less than usual, turning in early, so I guess that's telling in and of itself. I'm going to stick with this schedule for a while and see what happens. That's all for now!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tiki Topple and Bare Knuckle Boxing

I survived Mini's first day of school yesterday. Mini did okay too. Except for the bully from last year. I'd hate to cause a ruckus, but this year if that kid doesn't leave him alone, I'm going to have to talk to the principal about that kid's behavior, and have Mini moved to another class. Mini doesn't have any problems with anyone else, and seems to have quite a few friends. Every time we're in the store, there is always some little kid giving him a shout out. So I have no idea what that kid's effing problem is.

Once Mini came home, I had about fifty papers to sign, then we went to the dining room and had some potato chips while playing a few rounds of Tiki Topple. Later we put together some Legos and watched some junk collecting show on TV with hubby. Probably the first "normal" evening we've had since July.

Mini seemed in a good mood last night, and I didn't find any bruises on him when I bathed him. The bruises search made me think of a friend who put her bullied son in karate, but if I put Mini in anything like that, how about punch bag boxing?  Or bare knuckle boxing? That way he could learn to pop the shit out of that little brat if he had to, all without hurting his fist. But then, that would kinda be like a grade school version of Fight Club. Hmm... I'm horrible, yes, I know. It's different, though, when it's your kid getting messed with. Moving along, moving along...

I got about 1500 words written yesterday, and I'm going to try for 1k again today. I'd like to have a short story finished and ready for submission by the end of this month. Something to submit while I'm still working on the Shivers story. Anyway, that's the plan.

[Fast Forward 3 hours] Wow! In the middle of writing my post, our internet service cut out, and so did our phone service. Crazy! If not for the air conditioning, you'd swear we'd gone back to the Dark Ages. Anyway, I've almost made my 1k - I've been back and forth, doing laundry too. Now my can of Diet Dr. Pepper is almost empty, so I'm off for a new drink before I get back to writing. Have a sparkly day, y'all. Cheers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hope and Fairies

Ever since we got back from Washington D.C., the house has seemed unbearably hot to me. Saturday morning, I told hubby I couldn't stand it anymore. I went through the house wrapping every draft I could find, foiling windows...I didn't and don't care how redneck it looks.

The night before, I slept on the couch instead of the bed. Mini still falls asleep in our room, and before I go to bed, I pick him up and move him to his own room. (Usually he's sacked out and plenty heavy - soon I won't be able to lift him, but I digress...) Friday night I didn't move him, though. Our bedroom is the coolest room in the house, and since the house was so hot, upwards of 90 degrees in the den, I worried he would get sick.

Sleeping on the couch was a night of pure, sweaty misery. It was literally cooler outside than in the house. So on Saturday morning, I sent hubby on a mission to replace our air conditioner. The house was blazing with heat and humidity by the time hubby text'd me to say the local store was sold out. The heatwave - over a month of 100+ temperatures in our little corner of Louisiana - has been wiping out ACs right and left. Hubby came home with box fans, and within thirty minutes of turning our house into a wind tunnel, I could tell box fans was not going to be enough.

There hasn't been a day away from the car since I left for FIL's memorial, and I'm damn tired of driving, but facing the prospect of another long, hot night (and not in a good way), I put on my flip flops, shoved Oldest out the door with me, and hit the road. First, we went to Ruston. Yanno, like, on Trueblood?  Yeah, that Ruston. And guess what?  They were sold out of air conditioners, too. While there, I bought three $18.00 ceiling fans, then text'd hubby, letting him know we were hitting the Interstate, and heading to Sears in Monroe.

I picked out two air conditioners: one for my office, and one for the main part of the house. I knew I'd been saving that particular card for something special. Well, turns out it's to keep us all from sweating to death in this house. At the moment, I don't care what our electric bill turns out looking like. For the first time in days, I'm not roasting alive. I'm happy to report the house is a comfortable 78 degrees inside.

Although I'm happy now, this has been an exhausting process. First there was the driving and getting on the AC's, and then once we got them back home, we had to rearrange both my office and the den to put the AC's in the windows. That's a lot of furniture to move. Yep.

I'm glad it's finished. The house is still a little messy. I still need to clear the boxes off the dining table, but that can wait. I'm also doing laundry. Well, washing our quilt. Sassie Bea ran into the room and rolled all over the bed...so, there was all these little white doggy hairs all over everything. Tres Chic. I took the sheets, quilt, everything and tossed it off in the wash. It's not her fault, though. She hasn't had a bath since before we left for D.C., so she's definitely due for a shampoo and brushing.

Tomorrow, Mini starts 1st grade. So, I have to drive him up there, pay up his lunches, get his bus number (should be the same), and find out where his class will be. I seriously hope that little kid he doesn't get along with - the shockingly bossy kid - isn't in his class this year. Please, little baby Jesus, give us this one tiny thing to make life easier?  To have the bossy kid in a different class? We've been through enough this month already. *_*

Anyway, that's been the focal issues here at Chez Zane for the past few days: school starting, and beating the heat. I did write 2k on Friday - stuff for the Shivers story. I wrote nothing yesterday - I was too wiped out by the time I got home. I plan to get in 1k this evening before heading off to bed.

Oh! I do have more writerly news... I have the cover images picked out for the new erotic magic/fantasy collection I'm working on. The current plan for the book is to see it go straight to Kindle, Smashwords, etc. once I have it complete and formatted. It will contain At the Edge Twilight (appeared in the anthology In The Gloaming, which is out of print), The Butterfly Prince, Heart Spell (which I'm throwing in there as a kind of bonus story after the final page), a currently untitled magical short story, and two additional fae/magic geared stories. Only two stories (Heart Spell and At the Edge of Twilight) are previously released. All the others are brand new material. I'm aiming for a release this fall. If the volume turns out to be long enough, I may also make it available in a print edition. We'll see. I'll post more about the book - currently untitled - as it develops.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Post Friday Night Gab Fest

RIP Jani Lane! :*(

I had to pay a cringe worthy stack of bills today, and thankfully, that's now out of the way. It's so blazing hot out, I hate to leave the house and stand in corporate air conditioning for even two minutes. I bask in it while I'm there, then get back home and can't seem to keep cool. It doesn't help that I'm prone to hot flashes. If I could soak myself in a tub of ice I'd do it. Instead, I bought an extra box fan for the dining room, and I'm seriously thinking about buying a standing  air conditioner for my office. 

I have plans to put up new curtains in the hallway and bedroom this weekend to help beat the heat, and I'm going to buy two new ceiling fans for back there too. I figure if I buy them and set the boxes on the bed, hubby will have no choice but to install them.

I'll be working on the wip this weekend. If anyone wants to share word counts to stay motivated, feel free to add them in the comments. Yesterday my total was a little over 2k. Now that the house is settling down for the evening, I'm going to hit a few writing sprints. My goal is to get back on track writing 1k daily. That seems to work for me, without going overboard and burning out.

Speaking of writerly things...someone on twitter posted this link to an awesome article: Dummies guide to publishing an ebook on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.  Cool beans. I hope to have a few new stories to add to Kindle this fall. *thumbs up*

That's it for now. Mini has gone quiet in the den, so I better go check on him. Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Writing Toward October

Sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The gazing pool is
undergoing construction - boo hoo. Aug.4.2011
Ack. Just slowed an avalanche in order to blog. Yes, my desk is cluttered. It wasn't like that when I left for the voyage north. I thoroughly cleaned my office the night before we took off. I dusted, swept, mopped. Everything. I've been home only a few days and it's all messy again. I'm not going to look at the reason behind that too closely, thank you very much. But I do have to clean in here today. No doubt about it. There's barely a square inch of desk space to work on, and every time move the mouse Windows goes transparent. So annoying. Some days I really miss my old, ratty laptop - small, and no mouse necessary.

Anyway, I'm back to writing today. I have to get back in the daily habit. Starting next week I'll hopefully have more time to focus on this project and get it kicked out the door. It's been lingering around far too long, and even though these characters won't leave me alone, I'm already itching to work on something else.

I'm making a rough goal of October 30th to get this thing out of here. Anyone else starting/working on a project who would like to share word counts for accountability between now and October 30th, leave a comment. We'll keep each other motivated.

Now for the interesting links of the day...

NPR has posted a printable list of Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy books. I don't agree with quite a few of these, but it is what it is. A list.

Tonight at 9pm EST on Twitter, there's going to be a #bookcountry chat about the chemistry between characters. Special guests will be @TheKarenHawkins and @SmartBitches  To follow all the posts, which tend to move very fast, type #bookcountry (with the hashtag) into the search box on twitter. I've also linked to the search result page which will magically update itself.

Publisher's Weekly posted an article about digital textbooks. With iterations. It would really excite me if digital text books means lowering the cost of books for students.

Books-A-Million is hiring, and encouraging former Borders employees to apply. For what it's worth, I ♥ Books-A-Million.

Ooh! One more...this one is very cool. Isobel Carr has a how-to article for making book pins over at History Hoydens.

That's all I've got for now. I'm about to turn off the net and get back to writing. I hope your day is a good one, and if it turns out it isn't - keep your chin up - tomorrow's Friday! 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Never Ending To Do List

Taken with my cell phone, Aug.4.2011

Whew! I had to check the calendar this morning to see if Monday had somehow rolled around again. It's been crazy since we made it back home. Yesterday we took Mini to Chuck E. Cheese in Monroe, I bought the last of his school uniforms at Gymboree in Pecanland Mall, and hubby made arrangements to go to Lafayette on Thursday to take the mandatory drug test for his new job, which he's starting on Friday. The drug test itself is a non-issue, but that's about a three hour drive, so the poor guy is gonna be right back in the car and hitting the road before the week is out. 

Also, this morning...a barrage of calls. Sometimes we'd have more than one phone ringing at a time. We're trying to take care of FIL's final business, but they are giving us issue with the death certificate. We can't get FIL's services cut off until we have it though, and these companies will continue to bill the man as if he's still a living, paying customer. 

During all this, we got a call from my dad. He was on his way home from work and his truck broke down west of Shreveport. I asked hubby if I should go pick him up, but dad decided he can fix the truck right there...if he has the proper part for the job. So, hubby had to make a dash to Autozone then hit the interstate to go take the part to him. 

We still haven't even unpacked our bags yet here at home. We have boxes of FIL's things to sort through, and I haven't had a chance to sort through the bills from last week and go pay them yet. Oh, and I have one blood pressure pill left, so I have to get to the pharmacy this afternoon. With the insanity going on here at the moment, I'd probably keel over from stress if I didn't have them, so that's at the top of my list right now. 

I had hope to settle in and go over the Shivers story I was working on before we up and left for D.C., but I probably won't be able to get back to that until next week. There's simply too much going on right now, and my current fear is that we might have to make a drive down south to get a copy of hubby's birth certificate. Do. Not. Want. For the love of all that is holy, I'm not ready to be back in the car again.

Oh, and the cherry on the cake...school starts next week. Ugh. Parent meetings. I'd rather go to the dentist than sit through all that. But, of course, I will because it's not about me, it's about Mini. 

Tomorrow I'll start trying to catch up on industry stuff I missed while away. Until then...the laundry awaits. 

Monday, August 08, 2011

Home Again

Taken with my cell phone August 4th, 2011, while walking the National Mall in
Washington, D.C.

I'm so glad to be back home! Hubby and I pulled into the driveway around 6:30 Sunday evening. I think we left Virginia, where we spent the night, around 5:30 in the morning. Yep, that was quite a little haul across the country. Today we're returning the rental car, and taking Mini and Oldest to Chuck E. Cheese. I've also got to buy Mini's uniform pants while we're near the mall. When I drove past the sign at the school, I noticed it starts either the 10th or the 15th. If we're back home in time, I need to call around and find out which day is for Mini.

Anyway, the memorial for father-in-law went well. It was simple, but nice. Friends and family were present, and we had no trouble booking the chapel. We were told that for a lot of the people living at the AFRH, no family comes at all. Usually, instead of memorial services, they simply mention those who have passed away during Sunday services. I think hubby took some comfort from being there to say goodbye.

Now to wrap up all the loose ends, and get the house settled again. School is coming up, hubby is starting a new job on Thursday, and I'm so far behind on everything I might as well say I'm starting over. It will probably take another two weeks to get our heads together.

Monday, August 01, 2011

A Leave of Absence

Hubby's dad passed away this morning. I can only imagine how hubby must be feeling. I don't think it's sunk in yet. Right now, I'm numb and anxious. We're all jumping and bustling, trying to figure out the next step. Hubby's on his way home from work, and once he's here, we'll probably go over the finer details and book our flights out to D.C.. All things considered, it's safe to say I'll be away from the computer for a few days. 

To keep you busy (like you really need that, right?), and to hold down the fort while I'm away, I'm linking to a couple of interesting articles about writing you might want to check out. (Some of these may require free registration.)

Light and love,

  • Writers Helping Writers, by Meg Leder This is a list of writing craft books recommended by a Penguin editor. Hm. I see one or two in there I may need to add to my growing collection.