Friday, April 28, 2006

Eight Weeks to Freedom

No, that's not the title of a new manuscript. Although it could be!

No, that's how much time is left for me to get rid of a bunch of commitments.

In two weeks, our big school fundraiser will be done. Two weeks after that I'm done School Council. Forever. Or at least for a few years. One year has been enough, thank you very much.

Five weeks from now is my last Choir practice at church. June 11th is the end of Sunday School for the year and therefore also the end of Junior Choir. I'm the pianist. But I'm not doing that next year either. Alternate plans are in the works for keeping the girls singing and musical. :-)

June 27th is the end of the school year, and the end of my job. Since my position is only there if there's funding and/or lunch supervision enrollment numbers, I won't have a job come August when school goes back, either.

You get what all this means, right? I have the summer to work, and play with my kids (and want to smack their heads together on occasion). When school goes back in the middle of August, I have the whole day, whole day! to work. No school run in the middle of the day. No working elsewhere. Fewer external commitments.

It is seducing me, big time. Just the thought of it is bliss. And it's all only 8 weeks away.

Only eight weeks....

I'm coming back and editing in a P.S.

I e-mailed a friend yesterday with my news. This is a woman who, when we get together, does nothing but make me laugh. I LOVE her. Her husband works with mine and we just have a blast.

So this morning the phone rings and I see it's her number. What did I do?

I answered the phone "Donna Alward, famous author!"

I think she might just have peed her pants. I love being silly!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sophomore Success!!!!!!!

I'm doing a giddy happy dance right now.

I heard from my editor at Samhain, and they want a second story that I subbed a few weeks ago. Not only that, but I had suggested the possibility of a linked story as my new project and she said she's "so excited" I'm writing Kim's story!

I'm happy but I'm even more relieved. I was getting scared they'd say no. That this year I'd do the one step forward, two back thing. But it's looking good, guys. Really good.

So today I'm printing out contracts again. Holy crap!

I think it's about time to bring out the *good* chocolate and pop some bubbly, don't you????? Maybe once I come back down from the ceiling....

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hysterical

This is just hysterical. I don't think I've weighed this since 8th grade!


You Should Weigh 126

If you weigh less than this, you either have a fast metabolism or are about to gain weight.
If you weigh more than this, you may be losing a few pounds soon!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My Very First Promo Op

Samhain authors are being featured over at yahoo's Novelspotters today. I've posted an unedited excerpt of THE GIRL MOST LIKELY there and the mod has encouraged those of us without our release yet to say "coming soon" a lot! I knew there was a reason I liked her!

Anyway I'll be popping in and out of there all day, so if you're in a surfing kind of mood, the addy is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Novelspotters/.

In other news my neck is killing me. I think I pounded the old heavy bag a bit too much. LOL

And a funny thing happened today. I was visiting Trish's Pink Heart Society page and when I looked at the membership, thought, OMG, all the other members are published authors! Then I realized, HEY! I'm a published author! (Or will be when my book actually comes out, but I have the contracts to say that it will). LOL What a duh moment but thrilling at the same time!

Monday, April 24, 2006

*taps mic* is this thing on?

Had a whole other post that refused to publish this morning. SO I'm saving it for tomorrow.

It's just one of a list of frustrations for me over the last 2 days. Personal "issues", scheduling conflicts and a meeting put me over the edge. I came home at 2 p.m., had a protein shake and beat the living hell out of my heavy bag for a half hour. Really. I busted a seam in the gloves.

But now I'm behind with "chores" so I'm off to see what I can get accomplished in 15 minutes. And then it's 45 min of weight training. I'll feel it tomorrow but it sure works to release tension.

if this doesn't post my head shall explode posthaste.

P.S I just noticed that my post from this morning made it. Go figure.

A Little Bit of Crumpet....

Recently I've taken some good natured, silly teasing about loving men for their "brains". As in making a comment about how a man is hot but how I really like him for his intelligence and sense of humour.

This is also the problem of my current hero, btw. Not so much the brains but he's a "nice guy", or so the heroine thinks. He's also a bad boy with a bit of a tortured past. Her whole argument is that women would notice him more if he changed the package. Then they'd be more willing to see the nice guy underneath. It's making the wrapping attractive, know what I mean?

In all seriousness, I think a lot of women ARE attracted to smarts. When I made the comment mentioned above it was in reference to George Clooney. Sexy as the day is looooong in my opinion. But I absolutely love watching him do an interview. And it's not that he's a rocket scientist or anything...he's curious. He says that he doesn't know if he's smart or not but he asks questions. Yeah you bet he does. And he's got a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humour.

Trish has started a hero database over at her blog and finally got around to putting Jamie Bamber up. Years ago someone put in an article that he was a "nice bit of crumpet". And yes, I think he's hot and built. He's also a great actor in my opinion, and the clincher?



He's not just another pretty face. He has a first class honours degree in Modern Languages from Cambridge. Then he went to LAMDA before getting his Hornblower gig. When he does interviews, he has thoughtful, educated answers.

You know, I think my heroine might just be right after all. If he were ugly as a post I probably would never have cared enough to find out anything more. ;-) And I'm not entirely sure what that says about us as a species either.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Hermits R Us

I have discovered I could very cheerfully become a hermit.

I find lately I resent time I have to spend away from home...meaning meetings, rehearsals, work, running here and there...

My ideal life I would see very few people. People annoy me. Which surprises me because I'm actually quite extroverted. I love getting together with friends and doing something fun. I am comfortable with social situations and am rarely at a loss for something to talk about with someone.

But lately I find I lack the desire to make the effort. I think this is partly due to being very focused recently. I am working harder at this whole writing gig than I've ever worked before. In talking to one of my cp's the other day, I realized that I've critted 5 whole manuscripts and written nearly 4 in the last 11 months - not to mention going back to work part time, having a husband and family and volunteering etc....I resent having to take time away from my work. I don't care about mindless social chatter or inefficient meetings when I could be home either working or spending time with my kids.

I miss having my own space...as in a lot bigger than a postage stamp. My dream is to have a simple, nice house on a few acres of land. Something big enough I can look outside my window and not see the neighbour's garbage bin. Where my kids actually have a yard big enough to PLAY in. Where I could have a garden and some peace and quiet and maybe even a small deck where I could drink coffee and work on a laptop with only the sounds of the birds to keep me company.

See? Hermit.

I crave peace and quiet. And again, I'm pretty sure that's because I'm focused enough now that I do not want distractions.

If I play my cards right, we might be able to manage it in about 10 years. In which case one of my children will be graduating and the other in high school. Oi.

BTW I have hit 20k on my WIP which is where I wanted to be at the end of this week. And the weather has been so gorgeous here that I'm fighting the urge to put it aside and do my spring cleaning and get it out of the way. The house is at a point now where it's driving me crazy. It really needs a thorough scrubbing from top to bottom.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Holy Testosterone, Batman

Last night I was late getting home from my meeting, and still had to work out so I hit the weights while my husband flipped through channels on the tv in the basement.

What did he settle on? PINKS.

I'll assume that my readership here is not quite the same demographic as PINKS, so I'll explain a little for those of you who don't know what it is. Basically, 2 teams agree to a drag race. (Actually, a best out of 5). You lose the race, you lose your ride.

Now for the first episode, two things kept me watching. One was the host. Rich Christensen's picture below does not do him justice. He's intense, he's fair, he's in incredible shape. And I discovered while googling pictures, he's got a gorgeous tat on his back.




The second reason I was glued was THIS.




This is the bike that my hero currently is driving. Hot, sleek, powerful, sexy. OMG. I get excited just thinking about cruising around with that much power between my legs. The fact that both contestants drove this particular model (albeit souped up for racing to the tune of a $40k machine) sold me. Neither of these contestants wanted to lose their ride, so the deal was they'd put $5500 into a pot, and buy a base model Hyabusa. The winner got to take the new bike home.

We did watch the drag racing of the next episode, but the bikes were still my favorite. And I'd watch it again just to see Rich handle the hot tempers and frustration of some pretty big, ugly men!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Confession is good for the soul

I just did something stupid and feel like a total craphead.

One of the little guys from school was running home and went by me screeching at the top of his lungs. My 5 yr old said "________ screamed like a girl." Of course I agreed with her but stupidly for me he was still in earshot and I think it hurt his feelings.

Not only that but his big sister was there and when I would have apologized she took his hand and took off.

I may have an overactive guilt complex, but I feel horrible. I wish, when I'd asked, they had stopped so I could have told him I was sorry. I will see him tomorrow at school but have horrific thoughts of his big sister going home and telling their mother about the awful lady at the playground.

Dumb, dumb dumb me and my big mouth. I hate it when I do something thoughtless like speaking without thinking. And I don't like knowing I've been responsible for hurting someone's feelings since 99.9% of the time I try to be a compassionate person.

And for a confession, I really don't feel any better.

A Funny Thing Happened...

A funny thing happened as I started my 5k run last night.

I wore the wrong underwear.

I know that sounds bizarre, but I walked to the corner, started the stopwatch and started the run....only to have my pants fall down.

Not embarrassingly down, mind you. But my yoga pants sit just below the waist...and the particular panties I was wearning (the seamless kind) went down and took the pants with it. Extremely uncomfortable and constantly making me wonder if my gut and ass were going to be hanging out for all and sundry to see.

I had to turn around and walk home. LOL At this point I didn't realize it was my underwear at fault so I changed into shorts after dinner and went to do my run on the treadmill. At which point my shorts stayed up but my undies went south during all my running intervals.

Added into that my legs are SO painful because I overworked them last weight day, and my run was quite comical. I still managed to beat my previous record.

Also, I have since realized that the BSG dvd I ordered is only the first HALF of season 2 and therefore have to cancel my order and wait for the WHOLE season to be released.

I should probably post something writerly. We have been talking about editing on my author loop at Samhain. I am already making notes to do a search and destroy on the words "so", "just", "that" and "feel". I also now know the difference between an en dash and an em dash. The good news...I'm SO not alone.

Onward with the WIP today...by the end of this week I'll have close to 100 pages which isn't a bad place to be...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Go me - a non-writerly post

I've preordered my copy of Battlestar Season 2 from Amazon. It releases next week. :-) How happy am I? SO happy. Now if I could just get my hands on Ultimate Force and Peak Practice...but the Brits are hogging those and I don't have a multi-region dvd player....I also ordered the season one soundtrack. I intend to play it over and over as I beat the tar out of my heavy bag.

The husband and I have renewed our promise to finally drop the last 20 lbs. We lost a bunch three years ago and have since pretty much stayed the same. Since christmas though we've put on a few and then tried several times to get them back off.

Since nothing was making us happy, we went back to the original program we used: Bill Phillips' Body for Life. I tailor the program a bit for our own needs - for example for good old Bill, yogurt is a carb. For me it's a protein. Add some berries and I have a carb and a protein meal. But for the most part, we follow it pretty close.

The workouts really kick your ass. The Cardio is only 20 min which does NOT seem like a lot - but at the end of my intervals I am dripping which is how it should be (it's based on RPE, or rate of personal exertion). And the weight training is not for weenies. You push yourself. Just ask my hamstrings today. I eat and eat and eat and was sure I'd see no difference when I stepped on the scale on Sunday.

I was down 4 lbs.

I love this program because I'm a physical person and enjoy weight training, etc. I threw in 10 min on the heavy bag yesterday just cuz I was frustrated and it felt great. I also love it because I eat every few hours and do not feel deprived. If I get hungry I just look at my watch and know I can eat in an hour or 30 min or whatever....definitely a much more manageable block of time.

Speaking of it's time for my power bar and lots of water....

Monday, April 17, 2006

Speedbag sales on the rise....

Look at these and tell me YOU don't want to go out and buy a speedbag just because.....





Hands down, this was the best part of Galactica on Saturday night. Although the shirtless parts and the alpha side of Lee coming out were definite bonuses.

It's back to writing today. Although the kidlets have the day off for a PD day, I still have to go to work. So someone is coming to watch them while I put in my time. Grrr. Which means no words added to ms until this afternoon. I didn't get any writing done on the weekend...it was just so damned busy!

I will admit to feeling really isolated writing wise right now. I don't know exactly why but can honestly say that I've never felt more ALONE writing a book. I know I just have to write the damn thing but I'm so unsure of where I'm going or what I'm doing and never in the last 4 1/2 years have I felt so much like writing really is a solitary pursuit. I feel almost like I'm winging it - like I'm throwing darts at a dartboard while blindfolded. Or like I'm merely doing an imitation of being a writer.

I'm confuddled. And I bet after reading this, you are too! LOL

Thursday, April 13, 2006

On the Upswing

I'm on the upswing. I didn't write the fanfic. I instead jumped ahead in my book. I know it's not usually a good thing to do, but actually by doing it new ideas started popping up about how to revitalize the "in-between" time. So ultimately it'll be a good thing. I can always layer in stuff afterwards so it all flows together right. Yesterday my hero sucked on my heroine's big toe. Among other things.

In other news I got my copy of my contract back in the mail yesterday, so that's one thing I don't have to haunt the box for. Now if I could just get a nice, big fat request for a full from Richmond, I wouldn't care if I got the mail or not! LOL

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

From Hero to Zero, Just like That

Yes, folks, here I am again. Suffering from "Everything I write is shit-itis."

Like most shit, it'll pass.

I blame this on various bits of confusion and un-accountability which will make no sense to you but makes tons to me. Right now I just feel like crawling in a cave and writing whatever the hell pleases me.

Methinks it might be a good time to write that fanfic. Writing needs to feel fun again, rather than feeling like I'm beating my head bloody on a brick wall.

Y'all have a nice day, K?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Blah-ger



Yes, that's me today. Have revisted partial AGAIN, only adding a little over 1000 words to the WIP so far in 2 days. YUCK.

I need help.

Think this guy can help? And Kris - he's LUCKY from General Hospital in answer to your question. Yesterday he got the tar beat out of him by a tattooed psychopath.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Now maybe this'll work

Perhaps he was simply rebelling against being put at the bottom of a writerly post, I don't know. But here's a pic of the next hero that's whispering in my ear, dammit. I still have 50k on the other book. I hope he's like his tv character and very, very patient....



A little disappointed I couldn't find a shirtless one. Cuz this guy is BUILT.

First drafts are garbage

Did that get your attention? Hope so.

There was a bit of a mention on Harlequin's subcare about how perhaps quickly written manuscripts need to be examined more deeply. This particular person is prolific and obviously talented as is shown by the vast number of requests she receives. But she was a bit down because she keeps getting asked and asked to revise.

I've actually fallen a little bit in love with the whole edit/revise process. Now if someone had told me even a year ago that I'd say that, I'd have laughed my big round ass off. But over the course of the last 3 books...and endless edits, I actually ENJOY it.

I used to write a whole book, then go through and "edit". And send it off.

Then I got a cp. I wrote, changed the big things that she sent back in the chapters, wrote the whole book, and then I'd "edit". "Edit" means basically what I'd consider a polish now.

Then I got editorial feedback. And I got a second cp. And for the last 3+ projects, I write a first draft. Then I revise based on CP suggestions. And we're talking inserting scenes, deleting scenes, changing POV, brainstorming, layering in STUFF. Subtantial edits. I get to the end with a fairly complete book. Then I go through and edit some more. More layering. More cutting for pace. More making sure motivations are clear. THEN I go through again and polish - things like word repetitions, etc. I read it out loud. I change places where I break paragraphs.

All told, I probably write the first draft in less time than I spend editing.

The good news? By the time I get to the polish stage, I'm reading along and going WOW. This isn't half bad. LOL Happened while I was struggling with adding words to AAF last week. That book was like pulling teeth trying to write it and I just wanted it DONE but revisiting it...I read it and realized all the agony and editing paid off. It's a decent piece of work.

The longer I go on the more I realize that strong editing is CRUCIAL to the success of the book. And revisions happen to every writer. Some books require more than others, but everyone has an editor who wants things changed. So embrace editing! Your characters, plot, and editor will thank you.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Another one...

Darn that Trish. This one was too intriguing to pass up.

Your Brain's Pattern

Your brain is always looking for the connections in life.
You always amaze your friends by figuring out things first.
You're also good at connecting people - and often play match maker.
You see the world in fluid, flexible terms. Nothing is black or white.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

And Off it Goes....

I have finished Almost A Family to within 1000 words of 50k. Which is close enough for me....because that number will change during any revisions, IF I'm lucky enough to sell it.

This morning I e-mailed it to my editor....and now am taking the rest of the week off!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Lovely Dream and Congrats are Due

I had a lovely dream last night - that I got revisions on TBB. Twenty-three highly detailed pages of revisions, but revisions just the same. And a handful of compliments slips thrown in for future submissions.

There are 2 problems with my dream however. One is that right now it's only the partial that's at M&B. And the second is that the editor's name on the slips and letter was Diana D. Of course that's a complete fabrication of my warped mind. But still, the feeling of it was nice however short and delusional.

Ok, now time for the party portion of the post! (Say that five times fast, I dare ya!) Trish Wylie just received word that she won the Romantic Times Award for Best First Series Romance!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO TRISH!!!!!!

Today I am putting aside all petty hate and jealousy that not only did she SELL her first submission, but it went on to win an AWARD. Instead I'm feeling all sorts of warm and fuzzy thoughts. Why? Because this chick turns herself inside out every time she writes a novel. She works damned hard and like everyone else, the words don't always come out all nice and pretty and perfect on the page.

So Trish, Congrats. Take your award and then take a well-deserved vacation. Just as soon as you send my ms back to me. ;-) Love ya, babes.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ha ha to Kris

Well, I might not be worth as much as Kris, but I've got her beat in this department:


I am going to die at 87. When are you? Click here to find out!

Blah, blah, blah

No, that isn't just nattering away. Although I probably will do that today, and eyes will glaze over with boredom...

Blah blah is actually how I feel today.

There are several reasons for this I suppose, number one being the fact that my inconsiderate, *#@holes for neighbours woke me up the last 2 nights in a row. Go ahead and fight. INSIDE. Have a few drinks and a good time. Just do it INSIDE! It's 3 a.m. MOST SANE PEOPLE ARE SLEEPING.

I also am procrastinating from working on the WIP and don't have the energy to figure out why.

Also looked at listings for houses, either nearby or in communities actually outside city limits. Somehow, in the last 6 months house prices have skyrocketed. Last time we checked, we could find a nice house for just over 200k. Right now there is nothing in that particular neighbourhood for under 275. Choke, choke!

Makes me wonder how the average joe can actually afford to live, drive a car, and actually eat. Because my husband has a good salary and we can't afford that. Not even close.

A good bit of news is that I got delivery confirmation on my contracts. At least they aren't stuck in customs any more. And I should have another ms to sub by Wednesday.

Blah, blah. Told ya.