Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

The day was merry, the food was delicious- all except for the pumpkin pie that my mother forgot to put the sugar in- and the company was delightful. I haven't been able to get much writing done, but the fact that my parents drove 500 miles to spend the holiday with me more than makes up for it.

I've been watching people, too- watching reactions, taking note of facial expressions, behaviors in certain situations so that if I ever need to write about something similar, I can recall these last few days and come up with something realistic and heartfelt.

I find myself, more and more, drawing on real life situations when I'm trying to describe something in my writing and I find that the result is much more life like and real as opposed to trying to come up with something cold.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Why is it?

Why is it that this holiday time that is supposed to be so meaningful and blessed ends up being so stressful and exhausting?

Is it because we make it that way with our shopping frenzies and wanting everything to be perfect so that anyone watching us will be amazed by how well we do things? Or is it because this time of year is just naturally more stressful than the rest?

I'm beginning to think it's the latter. My shopping has been done since October- for the most part- so it hasn't been stressful around here because of that, in fact, I try really hard to stay away from retail venues this time of year so shopping isn't a problem. But I'm still stressed and at my wits end.

My dear Aunt had open heart surgery on Tuesday the 12th and it was much more serious than the average open heart surgery so her recovery has been difficult. I had to pick up another aunt from the airport last Sunday, take my grandmother to the airport yesterday and have to take the other aunt back to the airport on Tuesday- which also happens to be my birthday. The aunt that had surgery is being released from the hospital tomorrow into my care so she'll be staying with me until she's ready to take care of herself but in the meantime, not only am I taking care of her but I also have to go to her home and take care of her pets and keep her home clean so that she won't have to worry about it when she can go home. Then to top it off we had a terrible wind storm here a few days ago and were without electricity for nearly four days- it just came back on this afternoon.

I know it sounds like I'm complaining but I'm really not. I love my aunt with all my heart and would do anything for her, it just seems like there's so much going on right now that it's hard to keep my head above water.

My parents are coming here for Christmas and staying with us for a few days so that will be a nice break from the stress because I know that my mom will be more than willing to take up some of the slack and give me a break- she's good that way.

Anyway, my writing- needless to say- hasn't progressed very far in the passed few days, in fact, it hasn't progressed at all. I'm hoping to get some done tonight.

Stressful or not, Merry Christmas to all of you!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A foot in the door

I got an awesome email today from Harlequin. I entered their Ultimate Reunion contest a few weeks ago and I was chosen as one of three winners. I'm so excited. I won a years subscription to the Harlequin reader's service- a years worth of books. It can't get much better than that.

I feel like by winning this, I now have a foot in the door with them and that's what really makes me happy. I can put this on my writing resume and it will mean something.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm DONE!!

My NaNoWriMo entry is complete...well the required 50,000 words is complete but the story still needs to be finished and polished and edited and revised and..... you get the picture. But I did it! I'm so excited that I actually finished it.

It snowed here all day yesterday and part of the day before. We ended up with right at about a foot of snow and currently it's 21 degrees outside so the snow is not going anywhere and neither am I. It's a slick icy nightmare out there so my snow covered minivan is staying parked!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself

I opened my email this morning and found an email from one of the editors of Wild Rose Press. She read my synopsis and requested a partial of my manuscript!! Even if she ends up not liking it, at least I've reached the next level in my writing career.

Can I do it?

The end of NaNoWriMo is just around the bend and my word count is just over 38,000. That leaves 12,000 words left to write and 5 days in which to do it. Can I do it? I think so but life does tend to jump up and bite me on the rump when I least expect it and when I least need it. I'm a little behind so I'm a little worried about catching up but if I try and stay focused, I believe that I can meet this challenge head on and succeed.


Because I happen to be a very stubborn woman. I am hard headed and when I see something I want, I go for it and fight for it until I come out victorious. Ask my family, they'll tell you. Maybe that's a cultivated trait that came from being painfully shy when I was younger and rarely getting what I wanted; now that I'm older and don't have to be a wall flower, I can stand up and shout about what I want and have the means to go after my goals.

My dream is to write, to be a published writer. That's the only real dream I have left and it's the one I want to see come true more than any other that I've ever I'm going to continue to work at it until that dream is realized.

Go ahead and call me stubborn, tenacious, bull headed...I'll be the first one to agree with you :o)

So I suppose the question is not, Can I do's more, How close to the deadline will I come skidding in with my completed 50,000 words?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I'm officially a writer...

I recieved my first big REJECTION letter from Harlequin today for His Daughter's Keeper. What did I do? Well, when I first saw the envelope, I wanted to jump up and down with joy...until I read it's contents, then I wanted to cry. However, I didn't not give into my desire to cry. I simply worked on my synopsis to clearify a few things then sent it off to another publisher in hopes of a better result. I pride myself on my stubbornness and I will prevail...eventually.

This rejection letter taught me one thing, though...that I can survive it. I can survive having someone not like my work. It's not the best feeling in the world, but it didn't kill me; it made me more determined to keep going.

Friday, November 17, 2006

NaNo and more

My NaNoWriMo word count is right at the halfway mark- 25,000-ish and the story is coming along nicely. However, a new story has sprung up in my head and is demanding that I get started on it but I can't, I have to finish Logan's Song first before I can start something new.

I did go ahead and write up the outline for it so that I don't forget anything, but that's as far as I'm going with it.

My aunt is having open heart surgery the end of this month and will be staying with me while she recovers. I'm praying that all will go well and that the doctor's prognosis will be the reality. He's hoping for a more comfortable life for my aunt when he repairs some damage she sustained during a heart attack when she was only 30 years old.

We all woke up late on Wednesday because the power was out and our alarms didn't go off. Electricity was out in 9 counties and was out for just over 24 hours. That was an adventure and boy was I ever glad when the power was restored. Hubby has a line on a generator so next time, we'll be able to have lights and water when the power's out. YAY!!

Thanksgiving promises to be a quiet affair. We'll just stay home and have a nice quiet dinner with my aunt before her surgery. I'm looking forward to it.

Happy Thanksgiving to You!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Song Writing?

I had to write a song to put in my current WIP because the title of the story is Logan's Song and because he's a famous singer. At the ened of the story, to convince the love of his life to come back to him, he writes her a song. Well, since he lives in my head, it's really me that had to write the song.

Well, I got it done but it took me quite awhile to do and, while the effort was decent, it's definately not something that Toby Keith or Trace Adkins would record. But what can I say; I'm not a professional musician.

I just hope I can get it polished up enough to put in the story and make it express what I was trying to express.

NaNo is going really well. I have just over 15,000 words so far and the story is coming along nicely. I'm enjoying the challenge and watching the word counts rise for other participants as well. It's definitely a learning experience.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I'm off to a wonderful start for NaNoWriMo and I couldn't be more thrilled. My total word count for the first two days is 8930. That's already 17.8 % of the total and considering the speed at which I'm writing, the story is turning out surprisingly well. I think I'm going to send it to my CP to read over and see what she thinks.

I went to work with hubby today and got stuck cleaning a couple of RV's that they'd just gotten from the auction. All I'm going to say is that it was really gross work and I'm worn out. But I got home earlier than I thought I would so I was able to get a lot of writing in between then and now. Being able to think up some stuff for the story I'm writing helped the work go by more quickly.

Anyway, I'm off to bed because I'm whooped!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Okay, Julie, here's my response to your challenge. Is this what you had in mind or did I miss the point entirely?
Chapter One

“Logan…. Logan….. Hello LOGAN!” Mike practically shouted as he waved his hand in front of his client’s face.
“Wha… oh, sorry… Guess I spaced out some.” Logan Ashford said, sitting up straight in his chair and trying to focus on the proceedings going on around the large polished oak table. “What’d I miss?” Logan hates the mundane, would much rather be out doing something active, being a part of life instead of contracting it.
Mike chuckled and said, “Sorry we’re so dull that you can’t stay awake, we’re almost finished up here. You need to sign these papers, same stuff as always; you’re agreeing to produce 2 new albums in the next forty-two months for the specified amount… yada, yada, yada… legal mumbo jumbo.”

Logan perused the legal document in front of him and signed on the dotted line. He replaced the cap on the pen and stood up, taking his copy of the contract and leaving the room as quickly as possible; leaving his manager and the lawyers behind before they could bring up some other bit of business that he just had to take care of. He just wanted to write music and sing… that’s what he got into this business to do, not paperwork and sitting around in meetings that were dull enough to turn his brain to mush.
The elevator doors slid open with a soft hiss and Logan stepped inside, glad the cubicle was empty… even more glad that the doors slid closed just as Mike and the lawyers for New Wave Studios came walking toward the elevators. He saw their steps quicken but the doors connected and the elevator started moving 15 floors down to the parking garage. Logan sighed with relief as his car was brought up. He eased behind the wheel and tipped the Valet before maneuvering the car into traffic and pointing it toward home.
Home and peace and quiet. Logan let out a cynical laugh. Peace and quiet were something he hadn’t had in ages it seemed. Everywhere he went he was pursued by tabloid photographers and fans. The fans he didn’t mind so much… well, except for the overzealous ones that tried to pull him apart. It was like they wanted an arm or chunk of his hair to take home as a souvenir. Singing, the one thing he loved in the entire world, was becoming a chore and he hated that. The love of his life- music- is becoming a job and he's struggling with that. He wants it to be fun again.
Logan’s car sped toward the hills where his house was nestled back away from the street and nosey people were kept out by high fences and higher trees… It was his million dollar prison, as he jokingly called it… but it wasn’t a joke; not really. He was a prisoner in his own home because people couldn’t keep their noses in their own business and insisted on minding his. Fame and fortune isn't all it's cracked up to be. His life isn't his own anymore and no matter how glamorous his prison, it's still a prison.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


I'm officially entered in the National Novel Writers Month contest. I, and many other writers, have to write a 50,000 word novel between November first and November thirtieth. I'm excited to start because I have a great idea for a story. It's a story idea that came to me when I was listening to Toby Keith's song "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This." I hope it comes out as good as it is in my head.

no word yet from Harlequin on my first MS. I keep checking the mail everyday anxiously hoping for a letter at least acknowledging that they received my Q&S.

Anyway, I'll post something here as soon as I hear anything.

Today is my daughter's eleventh birthday party. It has a 50's theme so she and her friends are wearing poodle skirts and listening to Elvis Presley music. Loads of fun.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


I finished my book yesterday and mailed off the submission request letter to the publisher. It's been an amazing journey and I hope it gets even more amazing. I discovered a few things about myself during the process of writing this book. Such things as, I am capable of finishing something :D I am very good at blocking out external irritations while I write :) I feel more at peace with my life when I'm able to write as much as I want to.

It's a beautiful thing, self discovery. And now I'm writing up the outline for my second book :o)

There's no such thing as too much of a good thing.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cruizing Rite Along

I reached chapter 12 in my book today and have just over 50,000 words written. The storyline is really coming along and I'm hoping that it'll be a published work by this time next year. I have several ideas already for other books so as soon as this one is done and the MS is sent off to the publishing house of my choice, I'll start on another work and be just as excited to see that once come alive on my computer screen and in my heart.

Some people say that writing is a work of art but to me, it's a work of heart. By the time I've finished this book, the characters will be a part of who I am, that- in my opinion- goes beyond art.

Friday is my oldest child's 15th birthday. I have two teenagers in the house! Yikes. Birthday season is almost over. Only one birthday after this one on Friday. In two weeks my second daughter will be 11 and the baby just turned 9, wow, it's busy around here. I love school- when the kids are in it :D

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Don't inhale cleanser!!

Okay, I'm sure that inhaling cleanser is probably not something that many people would want to do, and I didn't want to do it either, but I was scrubbing down our three bathrooms yesterday and I always use comet cleanser in the tubs and toilets. All that dust in the air got into my lungs and today I'm barking like a seal and sound like I've been a smoker since birth. Yeah, it's beautiful--not!

But on the upside, the kids are in school and it's quiet here so I can work on my writing and the only chores I have today are going to the bank and laundry so it should be a pretty easy day. That makes me happy.

We got the last ding on our credit paid off yesterday so that will be coming off and then we can buy a house!! I'm so excited. Our landlords are coming over tonight to talk about us buying the house we're in, and really, I hope it works out that way so we don't have to move again. This house is perfect for us and we've already lived here for almost two years so it would be nice to not have to move.

And now that I've checked in here, I must be off. The bank is calling.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A discovery!

Ever since I had an ancient computer that all I could use for writing was note pad, when I got my newer computer, I had Microsoft Works and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread and have been a faithful user of Works...until today when I discovered Microsoft Word. I like it so much better and have now transferred all of my important writing from Works to Word.

I know, I'm so easily amused, but that's just the way I am. Simple minded, I suppose. :o)

As for my current Work In Progress- AKA WIP- I'm up to 38,000 words and have found a great critique partner to help me through the process. I'm thrilled to have someone who can look in from the outside and point out things that could be better. So, Johanna, if you're reading this, Thanks a ton :o)

My kids just got home from school so I'm gonna scoot. Homework and all that.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I've done it!

I reached the 30,000 word mark in my book today. I'm quite excited because I've never gotten this far in anything I've written so it's like reaching a new level in my writing. Anyway, I wanted to share that and now that I have, I'm back to work.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another day,

Yep, it's simply another day. What have I done today? Got the kids off to school, washed, dried, folded and put away four loads of laundry, cleaned the breakfast dishes and got down to work on my book.... or so I hoped. But no, the cats decided that today would be their day to fight constantly and, me, I can't concentrate on my writing when the cats are hissing and howling behind me. So I had to put one cat downstairs and close the door and now the other cat is gloating... yes, gloating. She's walking around like she's queen of the world while the other cat sits at the top of the stairs behind the door and issues forth a pitiful sounding meow every few minutes. I do wish they'd learn to get along.

Anyway, here I am, writing here when I should be working on my book. I've just started chapter 8, so I'm getting there, it's progressing, and really much more quickly than I would've thought.

Okay, now I'm just procrastinating. I must leave this place of blogging and get down to work... I must! And so I say, farewell, aufweidersein, adieu!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm one step closer.... right?

So I have a BLOG, that makes me a real writer....right? ;) Just kidding, I know I have to actually write to be a writer so here I am.... writing.

I completely tore apart chapter one of my Work In Progress today, started totally over and I have to say, I'm liking it better now. It has more emotion and feeling this time around so that's a good thing. I'm waiting on word from my critique partner to see what she says about it, then I'll continue with chapter 2.

I guess I never really realized just how hard it would be at times to "Tell a story" but once you get started there are so many things to consider; it's so much more than simply telling a story. It's also about making the readers love your characters and feel the emotions that you're trying to portray. I, personally, have enjoyed many a good book, felt what the characters were feeling, without really paying all that much attention to how the author accomplished that. Now that I'm trying to write a book myself, I find that when I'm reading someone else's work, I'm reading it from a writer's perspective, figuring out how this author is projecting the emotions of these characters outside of the book and into my heart. This is a good thing, right?

Sometimes, yes, however, I also find that I lose a little of the feelings when I'm being so analytical about what I'm reading so I have to find the balance. "Sigh* It's so much more complicated than I would ever have imagined.