a jolt of reality
coffee cup
reality: n. something to be tampered with only after several cups of coffee.

Road to Writing
When I first started, I thought all you had to do is write a book. Can you say *naive*, boys and girls? Join me on my journey as a pre- published writer looking to see my name on the cover of a book. I'll talk about all the bumps, bruises, joys and frustrations I encounter along the way.

current mood

recent posts


Burn Me Once
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
49,500 / 100,000

Shifting Rhythms

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
24,000 / 100,000

Powered by Blogger

Listed on BlogShares

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Image Hosting

Template Design by Miz Graphics

Sunday, October 31, 2004

I guess I'm a joiner!

I'm talking about RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapters.

At the M&M Conference, I was reacqainted with a GRW (Georgia Romance Writers) member I had met at one of the previous GRW meetings. We talked a bit about online resources for writers, and I ended up giving her a contact card so she could e-mail me. She did, and asked about the online RWA chapters we'd discussed briefly. So, being the strange type of person I am, I did one better than tell her the names. I did a little research and came up with links.

Then, I went even further. My curiosity about these online chapters rose, and I visited those links, and read about the chapters. And yes, I ended up joining.

So now, I write to you as a proud member of RWA, GRW, From the Heart, and the RWA Online Chapter.

These two online chapters have the added benefit of 24/7 accessibility -- I don't have to make myself presentable to attend meetings. I like that. From the Heart (FTH) uses a mailing list for their communications, so the information from other chapter members comes straight to my e-mailbox. RWA Online, on the other hand, uses a message board.

I've found tremendous amounts of information through both chapters, not to mention networks of kind, helpful and supportive people.

Another added benefit of both chapters is the online workshops. So many!

Can you tell I'm excited about the new chapters I've joined?

I often manage to plunge myself into the TMI Pit of Despair, but in this case, I'll take anything I can learn.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Halloween and Stuff

My weekend so far . . .

Just found out that our county Sherrif is recommending trick-or-treating tonight instead of tomorrow, so sometime in the next hour I'm going to have to walk up and down the street, yelling my children's names, and drag them home to change into costumes.

Had a friend over last night. We spent the evening drinking Kahlua & milk while I introduced her to some new bands. OK, shhhhhh!, I actually tied her to a chair and forced her to listen to my music. Good thing she liked it! So then I got that question everybody seems to ask when they hear me listening to good bands they've never heard of.

"Where do you find these bands?"

All I can say is thank goodnes for the Internet!

Off to throw the ravioli on the stove . . .

(No, haven't got any writing done. But I am going to start editing what I wrote last week for BIAW, and submitting chapters to my CPs.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Holy Guacamole!

Was just looking back over my entries. Can you say "long-winded"?


Note to self: Learn to blog shorter entries.

Having A Female Moment . . .

Not that kind of female moment! Sheesh! This will be a music/video related post. Yup. I'm referring to a drooly, omg-I'm-dying-here female moment.

Popped over to one of my favorite melodic rock websites yesterday, MelodicRock.com, to find out the latest news on some of my favorite bands. Big, big melodic rock fan here. When I saw a news bit about Final Frontier finally updating their website, I immediately slid on over to see what was going on. New album in 2005! WOO HOO! Being a big fan of their second album, "The Second Wave" (I do like their first -- "The First Wave" -- too, but not as much), I'm really looking forward to the new release.

But the thing that got me all drooly (is that even a word? Guess it is now!) was the video they'd put up on the site for "Lydia", from "The Second Wave". I've seen pictures of Rob Moratti, I've listened to him sing over and over, but I'd never seen him move. Wow. Still having that female moment.

If you've been following my blog, you also know that lately I've been obsessed with the voice of Danny Vaughn of Vaughn/Tyketto fame. (Matter of fact, he's helped me immensely with writing the love scenes in my current story. He doesn't know it, though. *wink*) Not wanting him to feel left out (*snort*), I pulled out and watched his video for "Nothing At All". Both the song and video are included on his most recent project, From the Inside/From the Inside.

Hence, my total female moment.

Yes, I'm too old to be drooling over rock stars. So, to borrow from "Almost Famous," it's the music. It's all about the music. And the voices. Definitely the voices.


(In case you're curious, all the albums I mentioned in this entry are available at great prices from NEH Records. I've spent a fortune on CDs with these guys, and I highly recommend them. They also have sound clips available for the albums, so you can preview before you buy. And no, I don't work for them. I'm just very very very happy with their service.)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Just thought I'd bore you with a photo from a recent hike. I took this one at Duke's Creek in North Georgia. Posted by Hello


BIAW ended yesterday, and I met my goal! I wrote 42.5 pages for a 40 page goal. So the good news is I met the goal I'd set for myself. The bad news is, in order to keep challenging myself, I'll have to up it next time I participate.

(My 5-year-old son just came running down the stairs, flailing his arms in the air. He reached the bottom, ran accross the living room, and fell face-first on the floor. Apparently, he was imitating Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. Whatever it was, it was hilarious!)

OK, so where was I? BIAW.

So, I wrote just over 42 pages, got my characters to the bar, but still haven't managed to have them mooned by that giant hairy toothless drummer!

Funny thing about this scene. I got stuck. Horribly, horribly stuck (I hate saying blocked.). The scene is very loosely based on an experience I had (although nobody was mooned), and I had notes on the things I wanted to happen. It seemed my problem was figuring out how to incorporate my characters into the events. So on Friday, my husband had the day off from work, which meant my son could stay home with him during my daughter's Tae Kwon Do class. That was good news for me. I brought Rocky along, dropped my daughter off at class, and sat in the parking lot with Rocky.

If I ever have the opportunity to meet Danny Vaughn (Tyketto/Vaughn) in person, he's gonna get a huge hug of thanks from me. Why? Because while he was singing to me from my truck's stereo, I managed to pour out eight pages for my bar scene in thirty minutes! I'm not sure if it was Danny, or the fact my kids weren't screaming in my ears, or both, but I was happy dancing with joy.

Funny thing with this story, I've found that if I've got Danny Vaughn playing in my headphones, certain scenes tend to flow more easily. Actually, it's really not so funny, but more a testament to my personality. A testament to the importance of music in my life. With BMO, it's Danny Vaughn. With my first story, Irresistible Harmony, it was Journey's album, "Arrival", and the Damn Yankees' song, "Where You Goin' Now". Wonder who it will be with my next story?

One of my CPs is thinking about joining NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), in which the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel between midnight November 1st and midnight on November 30th. With standard manuscript formatting, that works out to be about a 200 page novel.

I don't think I'm quite ready for NaNoWriMo. I'm excited about reaching a 40 page goal in a week. NoNoWriMo would be like doing four back-to-back BIAWs with 50 page goals each. I think I'd burn out. As it is, I'm going to let BMO sit a couple of days and ferment a little before I go back, start editing, and begin the process of submitting chapters to my CPs so they can rip them apart.


There were a couple of comments to my last entry that I should respond to.

First, Sharon said:

I get inspired by you and others to just keep on going with the writing. Keep us posted!

Thanks, Sharon! The idea that I've inspired somebody gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

And Yankeebob's comments included:

Is this something you are planning to publish? I'd love to read it when it's done.

This is something I plan to submit for publication, provided I can get it "up to snuff" when it's done. I think this ms will be an easier sell than my first one, although I have a certain affection for my first story, and its characters, that will never go away. However, BMO has been a blast to write, with characters popping up out of nowhere (i.e. my thong-wearing old lady, who has turned into a real scene-stealer). Of course, I will keep you all updated with my progress, and you'll be among the first to know when I submit, and when I get "the call"!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

I'm stuck!

BIAW starts today. I opened my WIP (work in progress) file, and I'm stuck. I know where my characters have to get to in the immediate future -- they have a lunch date with one of the town characters (an old lady in thong underwear) and later to that bar I mentioned in an earlier post. But how do I get them there?

Maybe "Dead Like Me" isn't the right show to have on the television when I'm trying to write.

Oh! Just had an idea.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Erotic Romance

This may come out sounding like a rant. If it does, I apologize. It's not my intent.

OK. With that disclaimer out of the way . . .

Erotic Romance. Erotica with an HEA (happily ever after). Romance with very explicit sex. With the growing popularity of e-books, Erotic Romance seems to be making a bigger impact on the romance market.

I'm a subscriber to the Romantic Times Book Club Magazine , a monthly magazine that, among other things, rates and reviews new romance releases. And I've noticed that over the past few months the number of reviewed Erotic Romance novels, and e-books in general, has increased.

I know I've purchased both e-books and Erotic Romance novels. I could say that I've purchased these novels as research -- my CPs are trying to break into this market, and how can I critique a manuscript effectively if I'm not familiar with the genre? -- but that's not entirely true. I admit I enjoy some of these novels.

Some of them.

And here comes the rant part. I just purchased and read a highly rated Erotic Romance e-book. The book wasn't bad, but I thought it received a better rating than it should have. And I'm wondering what that means.

As a writer, am I harder to please? Have my intense studies of GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) and character development -- among other subjects in the craft of writing -- made it more difficult for me to enjoy a book? Are the books that I say are "not bad", books that I might have enjoyed immensely, say, ten years ago?

Or are the standards slightly lower for this type novel?

Tough choice -- but I'm inclined to believe it's the former, rather than the latter.

There are certain authors I still read with great enjoyment. Authors who weave a story so engaging I forget all about the things I've learned and just enjoy. Sherrilyn Kenyon , the author I made a fool of myself (a charming fool, of course) with at the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference is one. Add to that list Karen Marie Moning, Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie, and Stella Cameron, just to name a few. The actual list would extend for miles.

But I listed authors to point out that I really and truly do read for enjoyment. That, despite everything I've learned over the past couple years (and the amount I've learned is immeasurable), I can still read a book and not pick it apart.

So why have I really not been able to find an Erotic Romance that does this for me? Don't they exist? They must. I probably have just not yet stumbled upon them.

(Ooh. Just thought of two that came darn close, both by the same author: Jacqueline Meadows.)

And admittedly, there are a large number of Erotic Romance authors I've not yet read.

Honestly, I don't remember what my original purpose was when I started this post. Could be because of the fact that my kids are arguing not three feet away. Anyway, what I have managed to do with this post is talk myself into trying more Erotic Romance authors.

(BTW - BIAW starts Sunday. Wish me luck!)

Saturday, October 09, 2004

BIAW approaches

Book in a Week (BIAW) time is quickly approaching again. The name is misleading -- you don't actually write a book in a week. Instead, it's about setting goals, and hopefully, meeting them.

The BIAW group that I'm with claims to magically disconnect your computer's backspace and delete keys, so there's no editing allowed. Just straight writing.

Great idea -- really helps to motivate you to just bang those pages out. But that internal editor is really difficult to turn off. Really. Really, really.

The first BIAW I participated in, I was sure everything I wrote was total crap. But I stayed true to the guidelines, and not only did I not edit, I didn't even go back and read what I'd written. Oh, from day to day I might have read the last couple of sentences I'd written the day before, but that was only to get myself back on track. And that was it.

When I went back afterward, I saw that although I hadn't written literary gold, it wasn't half bad!

That first BIAW, I'd done over 300% of my goal of 10 pages. The second one, I upped my goal by 300%. And met it. Did 110%.

I've only just now gone back to read and edit what I wrote in last month's BIAW. And I was pleasantly surprised. Matter of fact, a couple of times I thought, "Wow! I wrote that?"

And of course, this links to my last entry in that my writing is getting better as I go.

So BIAW approaches again, and I'll up my goal again. Think I'll shoot for 40 pages this time. That's 40 pages in 12pt Courier New, double-spaced with one-inch margins. I can do it. And it'll be good.

Another good thing about BIAW is that I know I have to write those pages. When I participated last month, my ms was stalled. I was baffled about which way to go. But when I had to write, suddenly, I was unstalled.

Can't wait till the next one. I have to get my characters to a bar in Albany, Georgia so they can be mooned by a giant, hairy toothless drummer.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Writing Evolution

My original intention had been to post additional entries this week about things I learned at the conference, but the subject of writing evolution came to me earlier today.

I've mentioned that I have a full manuscript written, and others in various stages of completion. My neighbor expressed her desire to read my book. She'd read parts of it in the past, and said she's anxious to read the whole thing. I told her I just had a couple of edits to make to the end, but after that I'd be glad to print her out a copy.

Last night I decided to start rereading the whole story. I could say that I wanted to double-check for pacing, loose threads, etc. I could say that, but I won't. I won't, because the real reason is I was reading . . . "just because".

And that's what brings me to my subject. It amazed, and somewhat horrified, me to see how much my writing has evolved since the beginning of my book. Not that the beginning is bad -- not by any stretch of the imagination. (And for me to say that about my own writing really means something.)

But in reading my first couple of chapters, I saw things that I want to change. Rewrite.

It's somewhat depressing because I'd just been bopping along thinking the thing was ready for my first attempts at submission. Now I'm thinking it's not good enough and needs more work.

Most writers will tell me that there's a time you just need to let go and send your baby out there, and I agree. But it's not time for this one yet.

So, I'll be spending a couple of weeks utilizing what I've learned over my journey so far, including the wealth of information I picked up at the conference, and polishing my baby until it sparkles.

Monday, October 04, 2004


Well, I'm back after a wonderful weekend at the Moonlight and Magnolias Writers' Conference, hosted by the Georgia Romance Writers chapter of the Romance Writers of America.

I admit I was absolutely terrified before going, having never attended any kind of conference before, but soon learned I had no cause for terror. Everybody there was extremely friendly, and even if one of my critique partners hadn't been there, I would never have lacked for people to converse with. All the authors in attendance were extremely approachable, and people often spent time walking up to total strangers and striking up conversation. There were also other writers there I had met at previous GRW meetings.

For three days I attended workshops, networked with other writers, and even did a little dreaming. I became a sponge, absorbing everything. I also had the opportunity to speak with (and in some cases, make a fool of myself in front of) some authors whose work I've read and enjoyed, and one author who I often joke I want to be when I grow up.

The workshops I attended were give by Haywood Smith, Stephanie Bond, Tanya Michaels, Jennifer Crusie, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Nancy Knight. I'm happy to say I learned quite a bit about the business of writing, plotting and characterization, writers' block, worldbuilding, and scene structure.

On Sunday, there was also a very interesting panel where authors were invited to send in two pages of their manuscript, a 2 page synopsis, or a query letter. During the first hour of the panel, Susan Litman, editor at Harlequin/Silouette, and Jennifer Enderlin, editor for St. Martin's Press read the submissions aloud and shared what was both good and bad about each one. During the second hour, the panelists were agent Jenny Bent of the Trident Media Group and Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency. I found both panels to be exceedingly informative while being entertaining as well.

And the two pages my critique partner submitted anonymously received favorable remarks by Susan Litman. I couldn't stop my grin. Especially since the day before, she'd had a meeting with this same editor to pitch a different book, and the editor requested a full copy of the manuscript! Passersby probably thought Teresa and I were nuts -- when she gave me the news were were hugging, screaming and jumping with joy.

On Saturday night we attended the banquet to announce the winners of the Maggie Awards, a writing contest sponsored by the GRW. It's a dress-up affair, and I had bought a new outfit just for the banquet. Lovely outfit, but I didn't anticipate the glitter showers.

Yes, I said glitter showers. Sounds weird, huh?

Well just like the kids with the bread crumbs in the fairy tale, I would never lose my way that night. I could always follow the line of glitter I left behind.

The glitter on my shirt became comical to me. If I shook the shirt, glitter literally showered to the floor at my feet. You could always tell where I was sitting because the seat would be covered in silver glitter. I left glitter in Teresa's vehicle and workplace (where we'd gone to change) and even on my sofa after I got back home. By the end of the night, glitter had even found its way to my face.

The conference culminated in a book signing on Sunday afternoon. I was pretty proud of myself -- I spent less than half of the money I'd expected to, while still getting most of the books I'd wanted. I also had the opportunity to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon, whose Dark Hunters I lust after, and the author I mentioned earlier that I want to be when I grow up.

I'm happy to report Sherri was extremely gracious, a little quirky, and overall, tremendous fun to talk with.

I also won a lovely pair of earrings from author Sari Robins , who very graciously signed a copy of her book "One Wicked Night" for me.

In future entries, I'll try to go into a little more detail about the conference, but since this one has already run so long, I'll go ahead and end it now to give your eyes a break.

about me
My Photo
Location: Atlanta-ish, Georgia, United States

I'm a wife, a mom, an operating room nurse, a writer, a hobby photographer, and a music lover who knits and crochets. And I'm fairly certain I've lost my mind.

daily visits
Adro's Mumbling & Bumbling
Cece's Big Mouth
Conversations About Famous People
Cynthia Justlin
Diana's Diversions
A Diva's Journey
Eve Jameson
Four Kids and a Blog
Gina's Ramblings
Jax's Artistic Journey
Jerri's Journey to Publication
Jordan Summers
Kate Rothwell
Larissa's Soapbox
Lori Devoti
Laura Bacchi's Bits
Marie's Blog
Marty Kindall
Road to Publication & Beyond
Sasha White
Sheri Haynes
Silma Pagan
The Soapbox
Southern Gal Goes North
Stephanie Tyler
Sylvia Day
Teresa Harrison
Undefinable Qualities
Yankeebob's Blog

places to visit
Lynn Daniels, Author
Romance Divas
My Webshots Site
Charlotte's Resources for Romance Writers
Romance Writers of America
From the Heart Online Chapter
RWA Online Chapter

music sites
Melodic Rock.com
NEH Records
Final Frontier
Harem Scarem

current read
Fire Me Up

shuffling in the cd changer

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com