Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Goals for Writing

I am usually not one to make goals. Only because I work on them for a week or two, and Ppphhhhbbtttttt. I'm done.
I'm not lazy, I just don't like to be "structured" sometimes. So, without further ado, here is a modest set of goals I have set for myself, for 2011:

1) Sell a five-book series and become as famous as Stephenie Meyer
2) Have said books made into movies that will garner record attendance, putting me on Forbes Top 100 Bazillionaires List
3) Meet the Queen

Okay, I know, I know. I'm being silly. Here are the REAL goals:

1) Write every day.
2) Submit to agents/Hope for the best
3) Write Unnamed Book #1
4) Finish edits on/finish sequel to EMMA series.

Voila! There you go! Like I said, modest. I'm moving AGAIN this year, so, I need to keep it real. (Moving from our rental to our new house.)

Happy New Year, all!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm Confused.

They say the first novel you ever write, you need to stick in a drawer and forget about.

So, why won't this novel DIE already?

It was the first full novel I wrote, at age 18, as a freshman in college. It's had many names over the years. "Clara's Secret." "In the Garden." Now, twenty years later, I've retitled it once again and I've completely reworked it.

I think it's kinda good. Granted, I may need a reader or two to CONFIRM whether or not it's any good, but I will say I've already shopped this novel around--to eleven editors at publishing houses.

We got ten rejections, then an "almost" which led to a rejection. That was six years ago. SIX. None of the editors we submitted to are still around, the story has been retooled--I don't know...something keeps telling me to submit it again! Of course, I need an agent for this--my last agent and I parted ways (amicably) because I like to write stories with Fantasy elements and he does NOT rep Fantasy, so we weren't a good fit...but I just don't know what to do.

I'm so confused. It's the NOVEL THAT WON'T GO AWAY. Hubby says it's the best writing I've ever done. (Only because I've been editing the durn thing for 20 years!) He's solidly behind me "getting it out there" again, but I just don't know.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Appearances Can Be Deceiving...

Yes, folks, I have been writing. Well, EDITING. I haven't heard a peep back from my latest batch of queries, but I happened to query agents who have a lot on their plates, AND this time of year I won't expect to hear back from them until after the holidays.

So, I've been editing. Quietly. Every day, a little more and a little more. Yesterday, I had some fun pulling pics off the internet and creating my "dream cast." And I've figured that since this is the second time in a row I've included Tom Welling as my hero, I must really REALLY like the way he looks.

What's not to like?

:-) Happy Writing!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Let the Roller Coaster Begin...

I did it. I sent my query/ms off to two agents! I will find out relatively quick from one of them (within a week I imagine) and in about 4-6 weeks from the other one.

I feel really good about this draft. I've changed the name, changed the voice, and this time, I have an end game. Four books, and the series will end. Because it's middle grade fiction and at the end of the fourth book, my heroine will be 15 years old, and getting into the "YA" range. So, I need to end before she gets too old. ;-)

Let the nerves and obsessive email checking begin!! WOO! Gotta love it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Had an amazing experience. I got crits back from my readers on my EMMA story, and both of them didn't like my "info dump" chapter. Now, any writer or avid reader knows when they're getting info dumped. I don't like writing info dumps. But in this story, I was kind of "married" to the info dump chapter, because it was necessary for the reader to know what was going on before the action started happening.

So, using their notes, I actually did away with the info dump, and wove the information into an opening scene. It flows SO much better! There's action, and information, and they go together with an audible "click." At least to me. I hope prospective agents feel the same way!

I am 60% through with my edits from critique notes, and by next week, I'll have query letters out. Gotta beat the NaNo manuscript onslaught in December!

I am thisclose...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

That's Why I'm a Writer.

Nearly finished with my sequel edits. MAN, it is super hard to "sound" like a fourteen-year old! Granted, she's borderline genius, so she uses bigger words (makes it easier on me) but she wouldn't say things like "quite" or "rose up," (she would say "stood up") and I need to be careful.

SUPER careful. And I am hating it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Editland. And a Deadline.

I'm editing my sequel. I'm giving myself a deadline of two weeks. That will put me almost mid-november--and I'll be able to take a break from it and work on the feedback edits from my readers. THEN I'll ship my EMMA story out to the five top dream agents on my list, and see what the feedback is. One of them I'm sure won't get back to me for MONTHS. But who cares. It's not like I'm in some major hurry. I've been doing this for a while. I get the whole "you gotta have patience" thing. The only "teensy" problem is, once my baby goes out there, I'm just not very patient. :-)

Currently on page 20 of 208. Two weeks. You think I can do it?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

And Now, the Sequel...

Okay. EMMA book is finished!! Woo hoo! Finished and shipped off to Crit Partner and Beta Reader. I have another dear friend who I'd love to be a Beta reader, but her life is sort of chaotic and I feel like I can't ask her. So, two will have to do.

I did print a copy out for my daughter, who read past her bedtime and this morning before school, and told me she really couldn't put it down, which gives me GREAT hope because she's 13, which is smack dab in the middle of my target age of 13-16. Woo!

So, now, I have to edit the Sequel. I might as well work on it, just in case. I've devoted many hours to these characters, might as well keep plugging along. It's also written in 3rd Person, so I need to make the conversion to First. It just seems funnier and more relatable, when my 14-year old heroine is narrating.

I just hope my daughter likes it. Because, frankly, she's the one I want to impress the most. :-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I DID IT!!! (Update)

I finished my edits on my EMMA novel! Done! Finito! Well, this round, anyway. I'm thisclose to submissions! I am getting there! Eeek!

Time Machine Question

So, the question was posed to me yesterday: "If you could go back in time ten years, and take only one thing with you, what would it be?"

Good question. I mean, I could do what Biff did in Back To The Future, and get a sports almanac, and get wealthy betting on sports I already know the outcome on...or I could get a printout of the biggest lottery payout numbers...

I mean, there's a lot of endless possibilities. Then I finally decided (and clearly, taking something back with me involves less than integrity-driven motives) I would take the Twilight series back with me. And I'd put it out before Stephenie Meyer ever had her dream (heh heh!). You have to admit, the girl had good timing. There wasn't a whole lot of vampire "stuff" out there, and now, that's ALL you can find at the local bookstores.

Isn't it all about timing? I wrote a fairy story last year, and I was excited to submit it, and suddenly, all the books on the shelves were about Fairies! (I guess vampires had their run, and agents were actually saying "no vampire books please" on their websites!). So, naturally, no one wanted to read my Fairy story.
So, now, I'm working on something different. It doesn't have Vampires in it. It doesn't have Fairies. It has a regular girl, no mystical creatures whatsoever, but it does have a fantasy element--Time Travel. I'm not seeing a whole lot of those types of books out right now.

So, maybe by the time I finish these edits, and start submitting, someone will have come out with a GREAT story where a Fairy and a Vampire Fall in love whilst TIME TRAVELING together. And everyone will be freaking out and getting inspired to write about Time Travel.

I sound jaded, don't I?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree...

"Hey Mom?"


"What's that thing called, you know-- that they wore on their backs and put arrows in before they shot them?"

"A quiver?"

"Yeah, that's it! Thanks, Mom!"

My son is writing a story. He's finished keyboarding at school, and got an "A" in the class, so, clearly he learned something. And now he's motivated to write more, because he doesn't have to "hunt and peck," and can actually type as he thinks. I love that about computers. I've loaned him my Alphasmart Neo so he can be mobile, and we just download his work onto his computer at the end of the day. I love it! My daughter loves to write. My 11-year old son loves to write. My nine-year old loves to write. Three down, one to go! I think it's such a great outlet for creativity. Even if the stories aren't read by anyone but family.

My three-year old still prefers books to toys. There is hope, yet! Plus, he's my son, right? He HAS to love reading and writing! ;-)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Write A Novel Like an Oreo

I have figured out that around page 200 or so in a manuscript, is where my writing can get a little...un-spectacular. Not that I usually write spectacularly, but I like to have a strong beginning, and a strong end. Therefore, sometimes, the "middle" suffers.

I need to write a novel like an Oreo. Strong, yummy front and back, and the BEST part in the middle! I need to make the middle somewhat...scrumptious.

A challenge! And now, I feel the sudden need to go have some oreos and milk...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vroom Vroom

All revved up, and what is happening???

Ppphhhhbbbtttttt. As in, ZERO. Maybe because I wrote 5500K on the wip last week, and it took a lot out of me? Now I am doing zilch.

Bad Lara! BAD!!!

I swear, it happens every time I set a deadline. Why is that?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I think sometimes one can hit a point, usually during or after massive edits, where it is possible for one to LOATHE their own book.

It is currently happening to me. I am SO SICK of my EMMA story right now. I've finished my third-to-first person edits. I've added 6K words. I've cut about 3K. I've reworked the first five pages about 7959375 times. Because, you know, agents rarely read past the first five pages. Heck, I've heard, recently, that most agents don't read past the first two pages. Unless you hook them, reel them in, and make them happy they continued reading.

Yeah, that's a lot of pressure. The first two pages have to be perfect. Well, the first TEN, because that's usually what they ask for in a query.

I hate my story. I want to never look at it again, for like, months, but since NaNo is coming up, if I don't get it out there before December, it will sit in the growing slush piles with all the NaNo projects. And then the Holidays will happen. And then the New Year, and then, nothing will happen in the month of January, and it will be February before things start rolling again.

Unless I have a KILLER first two pages. Which I'm currently SICK of.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On a Roll...

My current WIP is 49K, now that I've edited/chopped it. Now I need to add 10-15K back in, but it has to be a new storyline I'm incorporating. Tricky.

I've got the outline, and I've done the research, now it's a matter of interjecting these three chapters into the middle of the story, and making it seamless.

Fingers crossed! If it works, it will be great! Well, at least *I* think it will be. After that, it will be for my beta readers to decide.

But at least I'm writing! I'm being proactive! Go me!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

I am trying to figure out which weather makes for the best for writing. For me, anyway. Some writers like sunlight streaming in the windows, some like to hunker down by candlelight while a storm rages outside, some like a cup of steaming coffee and a 5am morning (NOT me!) and some just like to write when the mood hits them, and they block out everything but the computer in front of them.

I think that might be me. I have a gift (curse?) of blocking things out. It's not very good sometimes, because if I'm on the phone, or reading a book, I don't hear anyone around me. I shut them out, and focus on what I'm doing. It really does drive my hubby nuts. And my kids.

I think morning might be the best for me, now that I think about it. Especially after the kids have left for school and the house is quiet. Except for my three-year old. Can't exactly block him out. ;-)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Golden Touch

Jealousy. It's a tricky thing. I'm not going to lie. When fellow writers gush about their latest seventeen-book series sale to me (okay I'm exaggerating but indulge me) I am always happy for them. ALWAYS. Genuinely and truly. No sarcasm at all.

But there's always that little nagging feeling, where the little green monster sometimes peeks his head above the water, just for a minute. I think--"Hmmmm, why do some people seem to have "the Golden Touch?" There are a few of them out there. You know. The ones who "have a dream" write it down, and suddenly they are a household name. People who have people LINE UP AT MIDNIGHT at bookstores to buy their books.

Yeah, sometimes I get a little jealous of those "golden touch" people. But you know what? It doesn't happen to everyone. In fact, more people are likely to fail at this business than succeed.

You only get out of Life what you put into it, right? Generally speaking.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Itch I Can't Scratch.

I have the writing Itch. And the only way to scratch it, is to spend at least several uninterrupted hours in my office, typing away and lost in my own world.

NOT. Happening. Not unless I want to hog-tie my kids and tranquilizer-dart-gun them and put them in a closet and shut the door and put on earplugs. Even when my oldest three are in school, I have a three year old who is VERY freaked out about the prospect of not being within ten feet of me and asking me 9385847586 questions every hour.

Naptime. Naptime is my salvation, and SOMEONE (a very little someone), is starting to think naptime is unnecessary. BIG PROBLEM. Mommy will stick a very sharp object in her eye if she doesn't get naptime. (Not mommy, the three-year old!) Because Mommy needs naptime to write and edit and get some sanity back!

Hmmm, I wonder if you can buy tranquilizer dart guns online...

Friday, September 3, 2010

What's your Inspiration?

Inspiration for writing comes in many forms. People watching at the airport, conversations overheard on cell phones (why is it that people speak so LOUDLY once they answer a call?) a good movie, a good book, or even a trip to the supermarket.

Music is probably my biggest inspiration. If I know I'm going to write a historical fantasy, I put on the Enya/Celtic harp. Historical? The music of the time period.

Lately, it's been movies. My kids decided to watch a Harry Potter movie every Friday, and currently we're on Goblet of Fire. I tell you, it amazes me, the depth of Jo Rowling's imagination. People say she's too fond of adverbs, etc. etc. etc., but she is an amazing storyteller and frankly, if you get so lost in a story you don't notice the imperfections, THAT is what I call success.

Great storytelling inspires me. Now on to what I've been attempting to do!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Settling In

I still can't believe it was September first yesterday! That means NINE freaking months have gone by, without any submissions from me! This move has sucked the life out of everything I hold dear--writingwise. Now I am done unpacking, and just shoving the durn boxes in storage, I am happy to be back in the writing sphere. Writing, editing, SUBMITTING. My sticky note on my Mac says the following:

"A Diamond is a piece of coal that stuck to the job."

I know, BEYOND cheesey, but inspiring all the same. And so I, like that little lump of coal, will be diligent, and keep editing...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Time Suckage

I've blogged about this before, but it never ceases to amaze me.

Yesterday, I sat down to the computer. The baby was down, and I had two hours of UNINTERRUPTED writing/editing time. I was so excited. I pulled up my wip, and got going.

15 minutes later, my son was coming in through the front door, home from school. I was like, HUH? Where did the time go? I was so immersed in the work two hours flew by like nothing.

I felt cheated. I really did! Granted, I got a good chunk of stuff done, but I still felt cheated. Like I only got the 15 minutes it FELT like I got.

Go figure.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Call it a shaky start, or what you will, but I am BACK and I am WRITING. Well, more like editing. I have started editing my EMMA story, and boy, do I have my work cut out for me. As in, convert from omniscient Third to First person, and make it FUNNIER and less boring.

Talk about a challenge!

I've blocked off two hours a day, just for me, when my son goes down for his nap. That's my sacred writing time. Come heck or high water, or anything else. I'm not budging on this one!

I'm so glad to be back!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I had resigned myself to the fact that I had two novels to edit, and I've been working on EMMA very diligently.

So, now I have a new idea forming in my mind, something very different, and it is BUGGING me. I've already thought of His name. I've already pictured him in my mind's eye. I've already decided what he is. (No, he's not a vampire, werewolf, zombie or immortal Highlander!) He's a creature of my own making.

And he has issues. Serious issues.

I haven't thought of HER name yet, but she certainly isn't a shrinking violet. And she's very much taken. An adoring boyfriend. And she's Happy. And Well-rounded.

Until he comes along.

Why do I do this? I want to EDIT, not WRITE!!! Why is this story refusing to retreat back to where it came from for a while and BEHAVE like a good little story idea?


Monday, March 29, 2010


I set a goal for myself. Just a little one, but a worthy one. I've been converting my EMMA story from Third person POV to First. I know. VERY tedious. But I've been working my way through it these past couple of weeks. Saturday night I realized I was halfway through, and I decided to just GET IT DONE, by last night. I set a goal.

And guess what I did, at exactly 11:52 pm last night? I finished the transition! It's done! WOO!

Now it's time for another goal. I need to go page by page, paragraph by paragraph, and make it SOUND like we're in the head of a 14-year old. A precocious, brainiac 14-year old, mind you, but still, she isn't perfect. She talks like a 14-year old sometimes. She acts like a 14-year old. And she definitely whines like one. ;-)

But she's funny. And spunky. And things happen to her, that make her grow. Isn't that always how the character goes? Flawed character+opposition=growth. I know, I'm being very formulaic, but I'm writing for KIDS. They're a little more forgiving. Just a little.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dark and Dreary. YEAH! (NOT.)

From reading my "free version" of Lunch Weekly yesterday, I noticed a pattern. All the YA sales were about "dystopian" societies and settings. Is Dystopia going to be the new Vampires next year? I wonder. It's a logical step. Vampires are dark and depressing. Dystopia is dark and depressing.

Well, I'm a "light" girl! Give me happiness and romance and Brady Bunch endings anytime! I have maintained this point before, but the life of a teen is depressing enough, why READ about gloom and doom as an escape?

It makes zero sense to me. THEN AGAIN (being devil's advocate, here) I was a happy teen. An anomaly, if you will. I was never an "affected" teen, or a depressed teen, just your garden variety self-confidence/self consciousness issues.

Maybe that's why I can't appreciate "dark" YA. Then again, I was an avid Stephen King fan, as a teen. I read everything of his I could get my hands on. His raw, gritty view of life made sense to me. So, I guess, in a way, I can see the appeal of "dark."


Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Edited!!!

Stayed up late last night editing my EMMA story again. This makes two days in a row. Woo!

I have to say, I am LOVING my mac. I have no desire to go on the PC again! I am amazed at this sudden change in me. I was a TOTAL "PC" before, and now, I'd never go back! I love the ease of use, and the applications are AWESOME. It is truly a computer for an artist/writer!

Okay, Mac commercial over. But I organized all my writing files and I've been hard at work at the 3rd-to First Person conversion. I figure I'll just change it all over, and then go back and make it Emma's voice. Luckily she's a precocious 13-year old, and I have a precocious 12-year old, so I can sort of get her voice right, because I "hear" it 24/7. Literally! But my daughter is my best beta reader. SHE'S my audience. And she's honest. If she really likes something, she tells me. And if she doesn't, she tells me. I got lucky with her!

Chronic Tension Headache #5 this week is now flaring up, so I'd better take something, or I won't be any good at anything today. I fully intend to get a bunch of pages knocked out! Woo!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Needless to say, I laughed my aspergums off!

And The Winner Is....

EMMA! Well, the story I decided was worth editing, anyway. I stayed up until midnight last night, editing and tweaking the first couple of chapters. I am really liking her voice in First person, so I guess I will keep it. Lucky for me she's a genius, and she can describe things vividly and get the message across. She's a spunky thing. Kinda reminds me of me, when I was her age. Minus the genius level IQ, of course.

I'm looking forward to more editing today! It's so fun to get lost in Emma's world! Oh, and did I mention she Time travels regularly??


Monday, March 8, 2010


My house is clean and organized and up for sale, and now that has freed up my time so I can get on with the EDITING I've been wanting to do!

Can I just say, when it was literally impossible to do anything writing related (other than a quick blog post in the mornings) THAT'S when my writing itch started flaring up, wanting to be scratched. My characters were talking to me. I found myself thinking about them, and their worlds. And yes, I'm still stuck on how to get EMMA in third person while making it sound as dynamic as it does in First...that is a dilemma I need to figure out.

But now I have the TIME!!! A few hours a day, at least! I am so excited!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010


Due to unforseen circumstances, the writing has been put on hold.


Sorry about the caps. I'm just not super happy that my life is cutting into the writing/editing time. I had wanted to be super busy editing EMMA right now. And submitting my fairy story.

*sigh* Wouldn't it be nice to have my cake and eat it too?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I was up until 1am this morning, cleaning out my office. I dumped out boxes, I sorted, I filed, I threw stuff away. And I got all my writing files condensed into two drawers. It was quite an interesting moment. I stood there, looking at those two drawers, and thought to myself :
"This represents my Life's Work."

Two drawers. Years of accumulated research, first drafts, notes, it's all there. Basically the last 15 years. Granted, they're the big huge file folder drawers and I've filled them, but it's interesting to see it all in one place, instead of stowed in separate tubs, for once.

Amazing to see all my work and sweat and stress and tears condensed into such a small space.

Yeah, I'm having a pensive day.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I Did it!!

I grabbed my mini before bed last night and edited! My EMMA story has been pulling at me...a LOT lately, and I sat down and read. I love the beginning. I am TOTALLY in LOVE with it. But after the beginning, it sinks like a sad souffle.

So, I started editing, and found myself taking a whole new direction. Now that I'm telling the whole thing from Emma's POV, it's difficult. She's only thirteen, so I have to sound like a thirteen-year old. I can't be all "clever" and "observant" because most teens just aren't like that. Well, Emma is a genius-level kid, so I guess I can get away with a few things, but for the most part, she says "kinda" and "pretty" and "I guess" a lot. I mean, she's a TEEN. They have their own language and vocal patterns. It's CRAZY.

But I'm proud I did it. Now I'm itching to do more. And I will. Tonight!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm BACK!!!

...and rearing to edit!!! It will get me through these cold winter months, no doubt! This week is focused solely on getting my Christmas decorations down and getting the house ORGANIZED, especially the creation of a warm, inviting writing space (ambience is everything for me, when I'm writing and editing) and as soon as I have that done I am back to business! I have two novels to edit, a novel to write and an agent to find! 2010 here I come!!!