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.

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Burn Me Once
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I Couldn't Look Away


It's all Kate's fault.

That Damn Synopsis

Not only is today the last day of May, it's also the last day of the month-long course I was taking with Mary Buckham, Mastering the 1-2 Page Synopsis. It's been a wonderful workshop--Mary's an awesome (and very patient!) instructor--and if you have the opportunity to take this workshop in the future, I highly recommend it.

Unfortunately, I fell way behind in the course (along with everything else pertaining to my writing life), so I didn't get my synopsis done. BUT I have all the lectures and templates saved, and as soon as I finish this crit (it's coming, Eve, I promise!) I'm seriously going to tackle this thing.

It's frustrating to look down at my plate and see that it's not just full, the contents are spilling over off the plate and onto the table. I'm reminded of a line from the movie "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead" (I'm paraphrasing because I don't remember the exact line): Try not to feel overwhelmed. Just do one thing at a time. That line's about to become my new mantra.

Hope everybody's having a wonderful "day after the holiday"!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Overworked and Undervalued

Progress: Finished 1-1/2 crits last night


I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday. It's been a typical Georgia holiday, meaning rainy and blah. We didn't do anything special...my husband wanted to retrieve something he'd left at the studio, so we drove down and ended up staying for hours. That's okay--I ended up winning an online Bingo game while playing a rousing round of Hide-n-Seek with the kids, so I'll chalk it up as a good day.

Finally got one of those crits finished that I owed, and sent it on to that CP. The same person had also asked for some brainstorming help, so I sent along a couple ideas off the top of my head. She hasn't responded with an Are you kidding? This is crap! e-mail yet, but then again, it's Memorial Day. I'm kidding. I know she won't respond that way. She's too nice. She might think it, but she'd never come out and say it. *g*

Another of my CPs received a rejection letter today, so she's online shopping to help heal the wound. I'll be meeting up with her Friday night to help smother that new battle scar with alcohol. If you get a chance, pop by and give Sheri a hug. She can use it.

I received an e-mail from my Romance Divas Bootcamp mentor this evening that really made me feel good. She called me a very talented writer, and said she thought I undervalued myself when I rated my work for the program. Talk about an ego boost! I'm now publicly thanking Diva Lisa for her wonderful comments. She may not realize it, but her words gave me a much needed kick in the butt.

So now I'm home and the kids are upstairs, which means I have time to work. I'm going to work on another crit and hopefully finish it by tomorrow (it's three chapters), then revisit that old grindstone on BMO.

Here's to making good progress!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Just When I Wasn't Paying Attention...

Gina and Kristen tagged me, and I didn't even realize it! Sorry it took so long for me to get to this. (BTW--Love the new blog look, Gina!)

Anyway, here goes:

Total number of books I own: Good question. Unfortunately, I don't have a good answer. I have lots and lots and lots of books...so many, my husband says we'll have to buy a separate house just for my books.

Last book I bought: I bought four books on my last book-buying trip. I went into the store to buy one book--really!--and came out with four. Losing the Moon and Where the River Runs by Patti Callahan Henry, Master of the Moon by Angela Knight, and Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton.

Last book I read: Does this mean in its entirety? That would be Losing the Moon by Patti Callahan Henry. Right now, I'm reading Fire Me Up by Katie MacAlister.

Five books that mean a lot to me: Only five? Hm. I'm trying to think of five books on my shelf, under my bed, in my black hole, and in the millions of other places I've stashed them, that mean something or have made some kind of impact. These probably aren't the same choices I'd make on another day, but here they are off the top of my head:

Night Embrace by Sherrilyn Kenyon - The first book I ever read in the Dark Hunter series, which has spurned many late-night lust-filled reading jags. I'm still waiting impatiently for Talon to tire of Sunshine. (Gawd, I so want to be Sherrilyn Kenyon when I grow up.)

Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice - My introduction to vampire romance, even though it's not really a romance. But it sure did whet my appetite for vampires. I can't write 'em, but I love to read 'em.

Legend by Jude Deveraux - One of those books most readers either love or hate. I fall in the category of the former, rather than the latter. I love to reread this one (and her A Knight in Shining Armor) and always cry when Kady "reunites" with the very young Cole.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - And not just for the wonderful story that immediately captured me and made me want to read on and on and on (and crave a burly red-headed Scot of my very own). I love the story of how this book was published. I love the rules it breaks. But hey, the story's great, too.

First Love, Wild Love by Janelle Taylor - This is the first romance novel I really remember falling in love with, and one of the few older books I truly enjoy returning to and rereading. I'd like to say that this book inspired me to try my hand at writing romance, but I'd be lying. However, I did find my Paula character in IH frequently morphing into a carbon copy of the Selena character from this book, and it took quite a bit for me to make her different. I suppose that says something about the way Ms. Taylor's characters stuck with me.

I know I'm supposed to tag somebody else, but that's going to take some research to find people who haven't yet been tagged. As soon as I can, I'll edit this post and tag somebody!

You Believe Me, Don't You?

Mood: lazy, lazy, lazy

It's been a dreary day here on the homefront, which of course means lazing about the house and thinking about how I really should get to work on the various writing projects I've been steadfastly avoiding. I do it so well, but then, I've had a lot of practice.

Right now my son is angry with me because I won't let him ride his bicycle outside in the rain. I'm such a mean mom. Again, practice makes perfect!

But now, I'm honestly going to start getting caught up. As soon as I close this post, I'm off to catch up on blog-hopping then I'll attack those crits I've been hiding from. Really. I swear.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Good News / Bad News

The good news is I'm home.

The bad news is I'm still feeling a bit lazy.

The good news is Rocky's open and in my lap.

The bad news is he's been closed for so long, I think he's mad at me. He's taking forever to do anything.

The good news is I've finally downloaded the hoardes of e-mail I've been ignoring.

The bad news is it seemed to take an hour to do it and it'll take me forever to get through it.

The good news is I actually thought about BMO last night, and decided to drop the outline into my story file and try "filling in the blanks"--I'm hoping that will get me jump started again.

The bad news is...still no writing.

The good news is the day's not over yet!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Habits Are Important

this is an audio post - click to play

Edited to add: This audio file may not play properly in Mozilla.

Friday, May 20, 2005

A Diminishing Spot in My Rearview Mirror

What I'm Reading:
Losing the Moon by Patti Callahan Henry

Today was the last day of school for both my kids. We spent this morning first attending an awards ceremony for my daughter, then an end-of-the-year pizza party for my son. Now we're all home, and my freedom is behind me, at least for the next three months. I'm so reluctant to let it go that I'm turning in my seat and reaching for it, stretching as far as I possibly can. Unfortunately, my foot's duct taped to the accelerator and weighed down with a brick, making me move so fast I can do little more than whimper and watch sweet freedom fade into the distance behind me.

Let's not forget my kids are in the back seat, laughing uproariously and shooting straw paper at my head.

I remember last August--the beginning of the school year. I was so excited both my kids were finally in school. I'd finally have time to do all the things I needed to do during the day: laundry, housework, writing...can you say naïve, boys and girls?

I did manage to get things done, including quite a bit of writing even though I've since discovered I write much better at night, when the household is snoring.

But now it's summer vacation, both my kids will be home every day, and I think my daughter said it best: "Now we'll be able to torture you every day!" I look forward to torturing them, too. Besides, it's summer. They'll be outside most of the time (I hope). For now, I've banished them upstairs so I can take care of e-mail and get those crits done.

I'll sign off now, search for my sense of humor, ever grateful to Kristen for finally returning my motivation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Freak? Or Geek?

Got my first report card from my RD Bootcamp mentor. She pointed out some shortcomings I knew I had but didn't know how to articulate, but overall, it was good, so I'm not freaked out. She wants me to send her more, which reminds me, I need to respond to her e-mail.

Worked out this morning with my friend, and I think I did something do my back. It's killing me! My daughter walked on it for a little while, and that helped, but damn, did I really need this reminder that I'm getting old?

After the workout, my friend and I met up with one of my CPs, Teresa, for lunch. We laughed a lot, ate a lot, and had a great conversation. We decided the food probably negated our workout, but then again, at least we had a workout to negate, right?

The past couple of days, I've been watching my DVDs of the old television show Freaks and Geeks. I'd forgotten how great this show was! It was one of those shows that died an early death, never receiving the recognition it truly deserved, despite the Emmy nominations.

If you never saw it (and most people probably haven't), it's about a group of high school students in 1980 Michigan. One of my favorite things about this show is the music. I mean, how many shows do you know have used Ted Nugent, Van Halen, Cream, BTO, Madness, Journey, Styx, The Allman Brothers, Supertramp, and a bunch of others in the soundtrack, all reflective of the time period? Even if the other components of this show sucked (which they don't), I'd be watching just for the tunes.

Does that make me a freak? Or a geek?

I'm hoping to get some work done on BMO tonight, since it's my husband's late night at work. One problem. Has anybody seen my motivation hanging around anywhere?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sunday in the Mountains

Yesterday was a decent writing day...met my husband at the studio again, and I managed about 10 handwritten pages. Got the sore spot on my pinky to prove it. *g* Today I'll work on getting those pages into the computer and do some work on the crits.

How about some pictures? Here are some of the things we saw during our drive in the mountains Sunday (captions are below each picture):

We were driving on one of those dirt roads up the side of a mountain. I saw this and made my husband stop.

My husband stopped for this one without me having to yell. We all climbed up the side, and we're not going to talk about me losing my balance and nearly sliding all the way down on my tail when a big fat raindrop hit me in the center of my forehead.

When we stopped to eat, another couple pulled up and left this parked outside. How could I not take a picture?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Was It Good For You?

I hope you enjoyed my Audioblog this morning. I'm still undecided about doing it again. Any opinions?

This morning's workout went well--worked up a sweat, guzzled some water, and headed home for microwave popcorn. I haven't started my crits yet, but I have been writing steadily. Started out working on Rocky, struggled, then remembered I seem to work better with pen and paper. And so far, since picking my son up from school, I've scored four handwritten pages. I'm not done yet, though. Just taking a quick break to keep my promise and post a "regular" blog entry.

Now my break's over, entry's done, and it's time to pick my green pen back up and get back to work.

Hope everybody's enjoying their days!

My First Audio Post!

this is an audio post - click to play

(I've just discovered it doesn't work well in Mozilla Firefox)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

How Bizarre is This?

Have y'all heard about Blogshares? From their homepage:

BlogShares is a fantasy stock market for weblogs. Players get to invest a fictional $500, and blogs are valued by incoming links.

What's really bizarre is my blog is represented! According to this, my blog is presently valued at $4,361.47 in the fantasy trading world, and valuations are updated every time the blog is re-indexed. Pretty cool, huh?

What's your blog's valuation?

(Thanks to Deidre Knight for turning me on to this.)

Good News

Yahoo was quick to react to my cry for help and has deemed me worth of receiving e-mail again. My e-mail address has been reset to normal, and I got all my groups back. That meant a little clean-up on my end this morning, since I'd resubscribed to a number of the groups under a different addy, thinking it would take the busy people at Yahoo longer to respond.

A lesson learned...if you send 50 or more messages to the same group in a 20 minute period, Yahoo assumes you have a vacation auto-responder enabled and disables your account. Guess I need to slow down in the future. *g*

I'm still grinning evilly, though. The other two members of my crit group are out of town this weekend, and will both be coming home to full inboxes. So, even with the trouble I went through, it's still mission accomplished.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Wasn't Friday the 13th *Yesterday*?

I'm so mad I could scream.

Earlier today, I was forwarding a bunch of messages through to my little crit group on Yahoo Groups, when suddenly I started getting "undeliverable" messages. I opened one up.

Your Yahoo! Groups account has been disabled because you had an auto-responder set up.

What the hell happened? There's no auto-responder set up on that e-mail addy! Yet, Yahoo decided there was and disabled it, consequently unsubscribing me from all the groups I belonged to. Including my crit group.

I've spent this evening e-mailing the owners of all my groups, asking if I could resubscribe under an alternative address, and I think I've finally finished. One big problem, though. I can't resubscribe to my crit group.

You see, I'm the owner of that group, and I set it up so that all new subscriptions had to be approved. By me. So now my crit group has no owner, and I can't get back on.

I've e-mailed Yahoo, but there's no telling how long it'll take. I hate Yahoo. Did I say hate? Hate is such a strong word. I don't hate them, but I am extremely torqued.

Anybody have any suggestions?

Running on Football Time

...or I Really Need to Carry a Baseball Bat

The kids and I were on the way home from my daughter's Tae Kwon Do lesson yesterday when my husband called me. He told me he had to mix a couple of tracks, so I should bring the kids down to the studio. Said he was going to call "O" and have him bring his kids too.

Because all five of the kids love to play together and keep each other occupied, him telling me "O" is going to bring his kids is actually husband-code for "it's going to be a long night." So after I got home and took care of a couple things, I loaded the kids in the truck, packed Rocky up, and made the forty-five minute drive to meet him, with visions of all the work I'd get done dancing in my head.

When we got there, my husband and "M" were in the shop portion of the building, discussing a giant, scary saw. My kids ran off to their "hang-out" portion of the building, and since I'm not very interested in power tools, I went to the track room and booted Rocky up while I munched my dinner.

As I was going through e-mail, my husband came in and told me the plan for the night had changed. We weren't going to be staying long--O's wife had come home with NHRA tickets, so they were off to the races. Literally.

With this in mind, I nixed the idea of working on BMO--no point and starting on a big project since I'd probably have to stop mid-thought--and instead concentrated on e-mail and the bulletin boards.

About 7:00-ish, while my husband was giving me a walking tour of the planned build-out for the building, a local sound company owner showed up ("R"). Since these sound guys have their own language (my husband included), the conversation became more technical, leaving me lost and bored. I headed back to the track room and got back to what I was working on.

My husband popped his head in the room and told me we'd be leaving in just a few minutes, so I packed Rocky up and, using the desktop computer in the room, continued what I was doing.

Three hours later, my husband and R came in to look something up on the computer. As I sat there tapping my fingernails on the tabletop, my husband asked why I didn't have Rocky out.

"I packed him up three hours ago when you told me we were getting ready to leave. I didn't realize we were back on Football Time," I said.

R looked at me a little oddly, asked what Football Time was. I told him it was like a football game, where ten minutes could take an hour or more. He found that very funny.

We did finally leave after 11. I could have finished up my BMO edits for my RD Bootcamp mentor. I could have done a lot more writing. I could have got so much done.

If only I'd realized we were on Football Time.

Friday, May 13, 2005

It's Friday the 13th. How's Your Luck Been?

Friday the 13th. A day of general weirdness and bad luck.

Met up with a friend this morning, and we signed up at Curves together. We're both hoping that doing this with a buddy will shame us into going and working out even when we don't feel like it. They took our weight and measurements, and although I'm clearly not 25 anymore, my results weren't as bad as I thought they'd be.

No Friday the 13th stuff there.

When we returned to the parking lot, I noticed my right front tire was low on air. Very low. My husband is supposed to take care of the vehicles, and I'd been complaining that my truck has been pulling hard to the right. He said it was probably tire wear (I need new tires). It was a tire, all right, just not the wear he thought it was.

The tire's not low anymore, and the truck's not pulling anymore. Imagine that!

That was kind of Friday the 13th-ish.

We did a little shopping afterward, and I finally picked up "Freaks and Geeks" on DVD. WOO HOO! Can't wait to watch it. When I got home, I realized the fabric softener I bought was leaking. Not pouring out, but enough to get the shorts I bought wet. Transferred the fabric softener into the container in my laundry room. Made a big mess.

Definitely Friday the 13th-ish. And the day ain't over yet.

Last night, after After School Activity Hell, I got a little writing stuff done...posted my Antagonist Template in the workshop. Although I didn't get the "good job" I would have liked to receive, I do feel somewhat vindicated. She now understands why I've been having so much trouble with the templates, and it has nothing to do with being template-challenged.

Although IH is most definitely commercial by definition, it mostly deals with emotions: love, jealousy, self-esteem, among others. So she suggested I give the Literary Template a shot. Today I'll finish that up, post it, and I'm hoping that'll get me in the ball park.

Fingers crossed the Friday the 13th stuff is done.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

On Old Ladies and Bouncing Quarters

Millie's not angry with me anymore!

Last night, I was able to write a seven-page scene between her and Dakota. No more petulant Millie, refusing to talk to me and staring up at the clouds, calling out the shapes she sees (although I admit, some of the shapes she called out were rather humerous). Nope. Millie talked. Dakota talked. And I, more or less, took dictation.

Millie's usually pretty easy to write, though. Her scenes are fun. And she really enjoyed this one. I mean, why not? She got to talk about bouncing quarters off somebody's butt. Or her desire to do so, anyway. Millie Jericho and her skewed games of heads or tails.

Yup, I'm pretty damn happy, and even indulging in a happy butt wiggle or two.

But now I have to prepare for an appointment with a friend, and later this afternoon I return to After School Activity Hell. The good news is two of the activities are an end-of-season soccer party and the final soccer game of the season. That means no more praying for rain until Fall.

Writing time (or hair-pulling time, depending on how you look at it) will be reduced today as a result, but I'll find a way to get some more work in on BMO and that synopsis workshop. Can't stop now, I'm on a roll!


MOOD: Excited
MUSIC: None at the moment. Gotta go get dressed for the day.
PROGRESS: 7 pages of quarter-bouncing fun
WHAT I'M READING: Return of the Warrior by Kinley MacGregor

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Baseball bats and gum

I'm sitting on the couch last night, Rocky in my lap, when my husband comes into the room and stretches his arm toward me.

"Try this," he says. "It's Altoids gum."

My brain immediately makes a correlation: Altoids=breath mint, Altoids gum=breath-freshening gum. Hm. Okay. I take the gum from his hand and pop it into my mouth. After the first few chews, I literally feel my entire face puckering as my eyes bug out and squinch up at the same time.

"Holy crap!" I choke out. "What the hell is this?"

He shows me the little tin. Altoids Sour Chewing Gum. My wonderful, considerate, loving husband (in case you can't tell, my tongue is firmly in my cheek at this moment) conveniently left the word sour out so he could watch my reaction to the gum. And laugh his ass off.

Where's a nice heavy baseball bat when you need one?

He needs to be very afraid. I will get him back.

A Different Plan of Attack

Sorry I didn't get online to blog yesterday, but in my absence from the Internet, I did get some things done.

After getting my 5-year-old registered for kindergarten (an adventure in itself), I took some time to catch up on TiVo and do some reading (LOVED Marianne Mancusi's A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court! I highly recommend this book.) . Later that evening, we met my husband at the studio, and I took a look at my writing projects.

First, the synopsis workshop. I'd planned to get my Antagonist Template filled in, and I must have stared at the stupid thing until my eyes crossed. After quite a bit of shifting in my seat, loud sighing, and playing with my hair, I went ahead and opened the Literary Template our instructor uploaded for those of us writing literary novels. Just for giggles, of course.

Okay, I was actually doing a bit more procrastinating. But I was having serious trouble, and I really hoped this template would jump start my snoozing brain. So it really wasn't procrastinating, right?

Now, according to the definitions Mary Buckham gave in an earlier lecture, IH is not a literary novel by any stretch of the imagination--it's most decidedly commercial fiction. The building of the plot toward the Black Moment, the character arcs...all signs of commercial fiction. However, I opened that Literary Template, read through it once, and proceeded to fill it in without any problem whatsoever.

What does that mean? Talk about confusion! Looks like I'll be raising my virtual hand in the virtual classroom, and hoping our workshop instructor can explain what's going on, because I sure don't have any idea.

But at least I got somewhere.

With BMO, I've made a decision. For a while now, I've been telling myself that I really need to get on the stick and get those FDi30D worksheets completed. I know I need to do this. I'm determined to finish this book, and SR after that. But the moment I open a worksheet, I find something else that needs to be done. The other day, I even cleaned out my refrigerator, for crying out loud! So last night, as the result of a recent e-mail I received, I pondered the situation. I don't have the opportunity to ponder very often, so it was actually quite enjoyable. Anyway, I've decided it's time to attack this book from a different angle. I'm going to set aside the worksheets and just try some straight writing for a while. I've got a basic outline for the story done, I know where I want it to go, so today I'm going to start working on getting it there.

I'll turn on my soundtrack for this particular book (all Danny Vaughn, all the time), pop on the headphones, and let my fingers fly over the keyboard.

So now I need to quit blogging (and no, this is not more procrastination) and get writing!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Of Rural Towns and Tying it Down...

I hope all you moms had a lovely Mother's Day!

My husband came home from his four-day business trip late Saturday night, and since he didn't go to work yesterday, he let me sleep in. Then he and the kids woke me with gifts of jewelry! A gorgeous drop necklace and matching earrings with my birthstone. I praised my husband for managing to hold the gifts until yesterday morning, since I knew they'd probably been burning a hole in his briefcase the night before when he got home. He's never been good at keeping gifts from me--he usually gives the me things he buys for me as soon as he brings them home.

Later in the afternoon, we took the kids to buy new bikes. Since my daughter's been riding a hand-me-down bike from her half-sister that's so not her and my son just learned to ride without his training wheels, we figured it was time. As we were leaving the toy store, I said, "Funny. It's Mother's Day and the kids are getting gifts." My husband replied, "These bikes are for you too. It'll keep the kids out of your hair." He was right. After he got the bikes assembled, we didn't see the kids until it was time to drag them in off the street, kicking and screaming, for dinner and their baths.

Yup, it turned out to be a nice day.

On the writing front...I took the day off yesterday. But I did find out that my RD Bootcamp Mentor would like me to send her a copy of my edited chapter once I'm done. I've almost finished--just a couple more edits to make. I'm hoping to finish those today.

A couple observations I made yesterday...

Why is it whenever there are just two cars out there, me and the person waiting to turn onto the road I'm traveling, they always choose to turn directly ahead of me at the very last second? I would say it's because the other driver is in a hurry, but that can't be it because they get on the road and always seem to go ten to fifteen miles under the speed limit. So there I am, jamming on the brakes to avoid rear-ending them, and swearing up a storm. And this happens with frightening regularity. Are they blind? Can they not see my giant black SUV barreling toward them? Or is everybody just that inconsiderate these days? Must be one of the dangers of living in a rural area.

Sometimes you've just gotta wonder how people's minds work. After we bought the kids' bikes yesterday, we were waiting for the toy store folks to bring the bikes out to us. There was a car ahead of us, a Volvo wagon, whose owners had just purchased a large item. They had the back seats down in their vehicle, the large box slid inside, and the husband was trying to secure the rear hatch door with a ratchet strap. He got it hooked to the door, and was searching for a place to secure the strap at the bottom.

My husband was highly amused as the guy crawled all over the ground, searching for something under the bumper to hook the strap to. This must have gone on for a good ten minutes, the guy going this way and that, searching with his eyes, feeling with his hands, and getting nowhere. His wife came out of the store, stood and watched him a few moments, then went up to the front of the vehicle and started moving stuff around. Next thing we knew, they were putting the front passenger seat down and sliding the box all the way up.

"Is he going to strap his wife to the roof?" my husband asked.

"They probably don't have an extra ratchet strap," I told him. "I'll bet she's going to lay down in the back next to the box."

It was then the husband finally spotted the other tie-down spot my husband had smugly mentioned to me before the wife came out--the hook the hatch door latches to when it closes. The man in front of us latched the strap to that hook, and after his wife climbed in next to the box (I was right!), he tied the hatch down.

Both my husband and I wondered why, once the guy had found the hook, he didn't pull the box back out, pull the front seat up so his wife had a place to sit, and tie the door down as he'd originally planned. Instead, he left his wife laying in the back (not completely laying down, she was up on her elbows) with a couple of small boxes piled on top of her body. Must have been very uncomfortable.

My husband kept wondering aloud why that guy had made an easy job so difficult, and I reminded him that not everybody is mechanically inclined, and that poor guy had probably never had to move something so large in that little car. My husband agreed, saying, "I guess he hasn't toted as much stuff as I have."

My response? "From the looks of that guy, he's probably never used the word 'toted'."

We didn't stay to see how the whole ordeal ended. Our bikes came out, my husband quickly loaded them in the back of my SUV, and we took off. As we left, my husband assured me he would have never left me laying in the back of our vehicle like that. At least, not alone.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


...to all the moms, soon-to-be moms, and want-to-be moms out there! I hope everybody's children are behaving better than mine are today. *g*


MOOD: Got some new jewelry today, feeling pretty good
MUSIC: "Thank You for the Love" by Mother's Finest

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Someday, I'll Look Back And Laugh...

...at the hair-pulling, top-of-my-lungs screaming, want-to-throw-Rocky-out-the-window difficulties I'm having with synopses. I'll think, "Wow. I was such a newbie. I can't believe I thought it was so tough." I'll pull out early synopsis efforts and giggle uncontrollably. Then I'll whip a new one off in a few short days and send it out.

That's my fantasy. Well, one of them. I do have some much more interesting fantasies than that, but that's the one that applies here.

What brought this on, you ask?

Most of you know I've been battling with a synopsis for IH for months. Writing. Re-writing. Changing the focus. Writing again. All of that intermingled with a tremendous amount of healthy bashing my head against the wall.

Okay. Maybe not so healthy.

Anyway, I've studied and learned all I could about The Dreaded Synopsis. I've poured over article after article on the Internet. I've purchased books about the subject. I've taken workshops. Yet still, the ability to effectively summarize my 115,000 word book in just 3-5 pages evades me. And does so gleefully, thumbing its nose at me as it skips and dances just beyond my reach.

So I'm taking another workshop: Mastering the 1-2 Page Synopsis with Mary Buckham. I'm hoping that during the course of this month-long workshop the proverbial light bulb will flash somewhere in the vicinity of my head and I'll yell, "Oh my god! That's it! That's the secret!"

And if my sudden yelling startles my husband and children, well, that'll be a bonus.

The first worksheet was a short one about our protagonist. I agonized over this thing. Wrote, re-wrote, and wrote again. Finally finished and sent it in. The bad news is, based on Mary's comments, that ol' light bulb isn't just burned out. Somebody's stolen the little sucker and tossed it in the trash. The good news is she gave me some wonderful advice on how to fix it. So I've edited and resubmitted. No word yet on if I'm still off in La La Land.

I'm determined. I will learn this. I will finally get this synopsis done and sent out. As far as I'm concerned, there's still hope.

They say that which does not kill us makes us stronger. Hell, I'm He-Man now. Anybody have any idea what they say about that which makes us bald and adds extra lines to our faces?


PROGRESS: I did manage to get a bunch of edits done yesterday on BMO chapter 1 for my RD mentor!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Tell Me About Me

Yes, I'm procrastinating when I should be working on those worksheets and torturing my characters. Got this one from Diana:

Your #1 Match: ESFP

The Performer

You are a natural performer and happiest when you're entertaining others.
A great friend, you are generous, fun-loving and optimistic.
You love to laugh - and you like almost all people equally.
You accept life as it is, and you do your best to make each day fantastic.

You would make a good actor, designer, or counselor.

Your #2 Match: ISFP

The Artist

You are a gifted artist or musician (though your talents may be dormant right now).
You enjoy spending your free time in nature, and you are good with animals and children.
Simply put, you enjoy bueaty in all its forms and live for the simple pleasures in life.
Gentle, sensitive, and compassionate - you are good at recognizing people's unspoken needs.

You would make a good veterinarian, pediatrician, or composer.

Your #3 Match: ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

What's Your Personality Type?

Hm. Doesn't look too far off, actually. One question, though. Does You use lots of colorful language mean I swear too much? *g*

Rats. No sex.

I had a pretty darn decent writing day yesterday. The crit is done. Finito. Out the door. Got some work done on BMO--a substantial portion of my FDi30D Fact Worksheet, and started on the timelines at the same time. Yup, felt like I accomplished something.

Unfortunately, my characters don't agree. All my fellow fiction writers know these characters we create don't just live on the page, but in our heads as well. Such is the life of a writer: one ear trained on the characters duking it out inside your head, the other ear to the ground, listening to make sure the men in white coats aren't coming for you after being called by a kind-hearted passerby who's heard you having a conversation with yourself. Sometimes using different voices.

I'll never forget the look on my husband's face on one particular day. We were walking through Lowe's Home Improvement store and he was talking about copper piping or table saws or something like that. I made sure to agree in all the right places, but I wasn't really listening. You see, I had recently added a new character to my story--not a very nice one--and I was trying to figure out how to end his plot thread. And when I had intended to interject another uh-huh in the conversation with my husband, what I actually blurted out was, "That's perfect! I'll just kill him!"

At least I finally learned not to argue with my characters out loud when my husband was nearby. He took too much delight in giving me hell about talking to myself. Looks like I taught him too well. *g*

Anyway, back to the subject. My characters are not pleased I'm filling out worksheets. Chad, the hero, thinks it's wonderful that I've finally got the rest of the story plotted, but he says it's time I stop screwing around with worksheets and write the rest of the story. As he paced back and forth, more stalking than walking, he threw his hands in the air and yelled that all my plotting wasn't getting him laid. But he didn't put it quite so nicely.

In the meantime, Dakota, my heroine, is a little torqued I just left her sitting on a footbridge with Millie Jericho. Not that she doesn't like Millie, but Dakota thinks there are better things she could be doing with her time than watch dragonflies divebomb the lake.

All the characters living in my head are extremely demanding (I'm not even going to mention Jackson pouting and Rebecca's reaction to his pouting), and apparently, pretty darn horny. And at this moment, none of them are getting any.

I'm considering torturing them with celibacy for a while longer. See their reactions. It's fun. Besides, I really need to finish these worksheets.


MOOD: Can you hear my evil laugh?
MUSIC: "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'" by Vaughn
PROGRESS: Made some headway with the worksheets yesterday
WHAT I'M READING: The Trouble With Harry by Katie MacAlister

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Laughing My Ass Off

I really wish it wasn't just a phrase. Wouldn't it be great if you could lose tonnage just by laughing? Shoot, I'd already be back down to my pre-husband weight if I really could laugh my ass off. But after a really good laugh, I've checked. It's all still there. Rats.

I officially declare today Writing Day. I only have two small errands to run, so I'll just leave early to pick my son up from school and get them done on the way. The rest of the day is for writing--at least, while my kids are in school. I'll finish that crit. I'll get more done on BMO.

My copy of FDi30D seems to have sprouted legs...I'm afraid my husband might have "put it away" last time he helped clean house, and goodness only knows where it's ended up. Darn good thing I'd already done up all the worksheet templates and stored them on my JumpDrive.

I started to work on stuff last night, but another idea I've had brewing for a while got in the way. Demanded to be let out. So instead of working on BMO or the IH synopsis I jotted down a four-page beginning for this other idea and went to bed.

So today will be all about that crit, and Chad and Dakota. I'll turn on some tunes and get hopping. Of course, I'll have to get it all done before the kids get home, because afterward, it'll be After School Activity Hell Day. My daughter's got her Tae Kwon Do lesson AND a soccer game.

Wonder if I'll be able to convince the kids to go to bed early so I can get more done tonight?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

My Birthday

Stole this one from Lady Tess. Scary how accurate it actually is!

Your Birthdate: February 11

Your birth on the 11th day of the month makes you something of a dreamer and an idealist.

You work well with people because you know how to use persuasion rather than force.

There is a strong spiritual side to your nature, and you may have intuitive qualities inherent in your make up, too.

You are very aware and sensitive, though often temperamental.

Although you have a good mind and you are very analytical, you may not be comfortable in the business world.

You are definitely creative and this influence tends to make you more of a dreamer than a doer.

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Yet Another Female Moment

Late post today. Sorry about that. Anyway, first, let me respond to Yankeebob's comment on my previous entry:

Who is Danny Vaughn BTW? (No offense intended.)

*g* None taken, Bob. Danny Vaughn has become one of my favorite artists, and his music has been my soundtrack for BMO (remember the bar scene and Millie Jericho?). He has song clips posted at the Vaughn website under "Media"—you should pop over there and give a listen. Based on what you've posted in the past about your musical tastes, I think you'll like him and his band.

Now, on to my entry.

I have many types of female moments. There's the drooly female moment. The oh-my-god-I'm-dying-here female moment. The *insert happy butt wiggle here* female moment. And that's just a small sampling. This morning's moment could easily fit in either of those last two categories.

Have you ever had one of those moments when something so exciting yet unexpected happens and suddenly you realize if breathing weren't an automatic function you'd be laying dead on the ground?

That was me this morning.

It started out pretty normal — I got up, took my kids to school, then came home and watched a couple of TiVo'd episodes of Revelations. Preparing to hop into the shower, I made a cup of coffee, booted Rocky up, downloaded e-mail, and futzed around downstairs for a bit. I grabbed Rocky on my way to the stairs and started reading as I headed up to the bedroom. I hit that first stair and nearly tripped and fell as my gaze zeroed in on one particular subject line:

From Danny Vaughn

Nothing worked properly, and my mind was a jumble of scattered, incoherent thoughts. If I'd tried to speak, it probably would have sounded like buh buh buh buh buh or something equally as intelligent. I took a deep breath, realized I should probably be sitting down.

As I raced up to my bedroom, my initial thought was, "Huh. Probably just somebody having a good laugh." That idea pretty much disappeared as I read the e-mail. My heart started pounding. My hands started shaking. I read the e-mail again. And again. I picked up the phone and called Teresa. Very calmly (stop laughing, Teresa), I told her what I was looking at. Read the e-mail again. After leaving a voice mail, I finally got in touch with my other CP, Eve. I'm not going to detail those conversations—that would only serve to embarrass myself more than I already have here. Suffice it to say there was definitely a happy butt wiggle or two involved. *g*

So now, with a reminder from Danny Vaughn that I'm not alone in my battle against fear (and a few other inspirational, goofy smile-inducing comments), it's time for me to quit being a slug, get up off my ass, and finish those mss!

But before I sign off this rambling, probably nearly incoherent post, let me first publicly say thank you to Danny Vaughn for bringing a little extra excitement into my day. For pointing out things I already know but don't always remember. For reinforcing the wonderful things I've heard about you. But mostly, thank you for your music.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

More Music

We all know I'm music obsessed...I've taken more than a little ribbing about the boombox thing. That's okay. It's just the way I am and I know it.

Because of this, I know it'll come as no surprise to anybody that I was bouncing-off-the-walls excited when I found out Danny Vaughn was putting up rarities for free download at the Vaughn website. Just got to "News" then click on "Rarities". Right now he has five tracks up there with a little explanation of each. Very cool!

(See? I promised happy posts! I'm delivering. WOO HOO! But I've just realized I've been going overboard with exclamation points in my titles. Gonna have to work on that.)

I've been TAGGED!

Oooh! I’ve been tagged by Sheri. Here goes! (This is supposed to be idealistic, right?)

If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a backup dancer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be a midget stripper...
If I could be a proctologist...
If I could be a TV-Chat Show host...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be a judge...
If I could be a Jedi...
If I could be a mob boss...
If I could be a backup singer...
If I could be a CEO...
If I could be a movie reviewer....

If I could be a musician I’d travel the world, making people happy with my music. The age of screamers and growlers in music would end as everybody sat back and said, "Huh. Imagine that. A melody." I’d put together a daylong music festival with all my favorite bands, and it would sell out completely. Then all those wonderful melodic bands who struggle in the US but do well elsewhere in the world would have the American record labels banging on their doors, begging them to sign and promising them artistic control of their work. And I'd be able to listen to American radio again without only hitting the classic rock stations.

If I could be a farmer I'd have fields and fields of beautiful, healthy crops. And since fresh veggies always taste better than processed ones, my kids would finally beg to eat vegetables, and my whole family would be much healthier. Of course, I'd have to share excess, not only with my friends and neighbors, but also with those who couldn't afford to buy them. Especially families.

If I could be a painter I'd paint all the beautiful landscapes I love to photograph, and I'd travel the world to find more. I'd experiment with different painting mediums, and enjoy the impact each has in its own way on my work.

If I could be a doctor, I'd want to be a pediatrician with unlimited resources so that I could help the millions of children out there who don't have access to healthcare. I'd be able to ignore the word of the HMOs and dispense the care I think is necessary.

If I could be a scientist I'd come up with a smart magic pill. One that you could take and it would sense and solve all medical problems, yet it couldn't be fooled into solving problems that don't exist. It would help the blind see, eradicate cancer, bring you to healthy weight and cholesterol levels, cure chronic sinus problems, end migraines...you get the idea.

This was kind of fun! And of course, I'll spread the fun. I'm tagging Larissa, Steph T, and Yankeebob. Ladies and Bob, choose five, have fun, then tag somebody else!

Monday, May 02, 2005


I just looked over my last few posts, and UGH! Could I possibly whine any more? Next post will be happy. I promise.

Attack of the IDONWANNAS

It was a weird weekend. It started out well enough...Friday afternoon I went with my husband to pay for a mixing console he purchased for the studio. A monster of a thing—throw a sheet and pillows on it and it’d look like the bed I had when I single. The owner of the studio introduced himself, shook my hand, and asked if I was a “recordist”. I was very flattered.

That afternoon, my 5-year-old finally rode his bike without training wheels. After my daughter pushed him around the front lawn a couple times and he took a couple bad spills, he was off and running. Now he rides like an old pro.

That night I met up with one of my CPs for a few drinks and some loud rock n’ roll. I had just picked up my new blue contact lenses (kind of fun to change my eye color!), and I actually received a compliment. Plus I had a great time with Teresa, as I always do.

Saturday it was back to the studio to drop some things off and meet up with one of the artists who’s been recording there. Ended up hanging out and chatting all afternoon.

But Sunday’s when it got weird. My husband took my truck to work, and he had to work late, so it was just the kids and me at home. But the kids took off to terrorize the neighborhood (in other words, play with their friends), so it was just me. Prime writing time, right?

That’s when the IDONWANNAS slammed me. BAM! Like a stone thrown at the center of my forehead. I did read one of the forums at Romance Divas...only because I’m required to as a moderator. But I didn’t read e-mail, didn’t post anything. Got the forum out of the way, closed Rocky, and put him aside.

Why was I suddenly struck by the IDONWANNAS? I’m not sure. Could be that female monthly curse. Could be that my husband’s preparing for a business trip. Could be my kids driving me nuts. Or it could just be that I needed a break from the internet and writing world. I did read a couple books, then immersed myself in the 4th season of The West Wing, watching every episode back-to-back-to-back. And as I listened to the commentary, how they used this lens or that effect or blocked the scene this way, I wanted to pull out my cameras.

But I didn’t. Damned IDONWANNAS.

Today, though, I have to get back to business. It’s a HAFTA. I HAFTA finish my crits. A month-long synopsis workshop started yesterday, and I HAFTA read those posts. I HAFTA reaffirm my presence at RD. I HAFTA get caught up with my RWA chapters. And I HAFTA do something with BMO and IH.

Luckily, writing this blog entry has helped me get back in the mood to connect with my online friends and interests. And maybe the IDONWANNAS have finally gotten bored and left for greener pastures.

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

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