Monday, October 3, 2011

The Post-Novel Completion Void.

I'm experiencing a loss. I've been living in this world of mine, and the lives of my characters, for the last month solid, as I completed my YA urban fantasy and edited it. Edits are complete, I'm now shipping it off to my CP and Beta reader, and I feel a sort of...void. It feels weird to not sit down at the computer and pull up the story. It feels weird to not submerse myself in my heroine's world any more.

Time to write the sequel! ;-)

I suppose I should start it, since it's fresh in my mind, and the story will continue linearly, but I think I need to take a small break. For about a week. Then I will sharpen the pencils, dust off the keyboard, and pick up again. For now, I'll just have to occupy my spare time with other things.

It's funny, I get attached to my characters like they're real people sometimes. I care about them. They are, after all, my kids. I have to help them along the way, help them grow. Some of them are malleable, some of them are broken, and I can't fix them, so I don't try. I just let them be. But I like them all the same. And I miss them when our time together is over.

I wonder if I'll last the week?

Friday, September 16, 2011

In Defense of Pantsing. (Yes, Really!)

Let me start by saying I have never been a fan of Pantsing, or "seat-of-your-pants" writing. It makes no sense to me. Not only that, but the likelihood of running into the dreaded Writer’s Block multiplies when you Pants write. Granted, most novels I begin I write in “Pants mode,” and once I’ve written the first chapter or so, out comes the trusty pen and paper and I outline the rest. Because I'm a Plotter. From start to finish, and I make notes along the way on all the characters. So, by the time I write it out, I am sure of the What, Why, When, Where and How.

I surprised myself this weekend. As in, I made a startling realization. I’m sure all other writers know this, but I am somewhat new to the “Ah-ha Moment” party, so forgive me if this is old news.

Pantsing might actually be better than Plotting. At least, for ME.

Why do I make this claim? Because with any novel I’ve ever written, I’ve always plotted it out, and I stay with that plot, and there it is. Because I’m sort of a control freak when it comes to my writing. I am The Boss.

I’m currently writing a novel, and I will be honest, I have no idea how it’s going to turn out. It’s simply coming out of my brain, one sentence at a time, and I don’t have a plot. I’m simply watching it unfold as I go. I already have 52K on it, and I’m enjoying the process immensely, to my surprise.

BUT, since I’m monstrously insecure about having no firm plot, I gave what I had so far to a friend, for her honest opinion. And she liked it. A lot. And one of her comments was that it didn’t have the usual “info dumps” in it that a lot of books have.

And I realized, to my joy, there wouldn’t be. Because the backstory and motivations for everything are coming out as I write, and being revealed slowly, because even I don’t know what they are.

So, when I “Pants” write—does that mean I’m a better writer? Because I’m relinquishing control and essentially letting the characters dictate how things unfold—I info-dump less and the story is actually superior to what I usually write? I will admit, I’ve been surprised by some of the twists and turns my characters have taken. And if the end result is entertaining, even better, right?

So, there you have it. An argument for Pantsing! I wonder if other writers feel this way...

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Wrote.

Yesterday was a fluke. I won't lie. I promised myself writing would be a "treat" for me, once I got this whole house unpacked.

Then, yesterday happened. Got Hubby off to NYC for the week. Went to church. Came back home, assessed all the stuff I need to do this week, and told myself:

"You deserve the day off from unpacking."

And I did just that. I did exactly what I wanted to do, which was NOT unpack. I took a Sunday nap, (love those!) and when I woke up, I came down to the office and sat in front of my computer. Pulled up the story I was working on before we moved. Read some. Got lost in it. Started typing. And typing. And when I looked up a few hours later, it was dinnertime, and I'd written all the words out that had been locked up in my head for so many weeks.

I was reluctant to make dinner. But my boys (bless them for giving me space so I could write) were hungry. We had dinner. We hung out. They went to bed. I sat back at the computer.

I edited the scene I just wrote, until it felt right. It was midnight before I was ready for bed.

Unfortunately for me, I woke up this morning in the world of my characters. I am no longer estranged with them. I want to tell their story. They WANT me to tell their story. But I have to unpack. I gave myself a day, and now, it's back to business. But next week, when my self-imposed deadline expires and the house is unpacked, I WILL write more. I will get back on the computer and keep the story going.

It's good to be back.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm Moving!!

No, not the blog, but my family is moving to a new house about ten minutes away. This blog will be on hiatus until the 3rd week of July, because until then, I will be packing instead of writing!

And I might have an announcement for you all when I return! ;-)

Stay Tuned!

Monday, June 6, 2011

And It Begins...

Is this movie going to be a bit "much" for my 13-year old? Hmmmm....

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Trouble with Pantsing.

I have made no bones about the fact I'm TOTALLY pantsing this latest novel. I had a "bug in my bonnet" and I started writing. To date, after a few weeks, I'm about to break 40K on this novel. I've been writing it every day, mostly stolen moments, some planned, and never knowing where one scene will lead. I have ZERO synopsis, ZERO outline.

Total by-the-seat-of-my-pants writing.

And now? I find I've run out of Zip. Or at least, I have no earthly idea what to do next. Some people call it Writer's Block. I call it "Pantsing Peril." As in, I've written myself out. I officially have run out of creative steam, and the only way to get back on track (since the Muse has temporarily deserted me) is to WRITE A FREAKING SYNOPSIS. Figure out where I want to go, and get there.

Otherwise I will stop working on it, find other things to do, and eventually I will leave the world the characters have been so alive in, and I will become estranged to them. And I don't want that to happen, because I've been having too much fun with this.

Now I just need to sit myself down and plot it out. UGH. I'd rather drop a fork on my toe, tines-down.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

And I'm Back...

I wrote 5K today. I have a pretty bad cold, so it kept me home bound. I haven't worked on my story for three days, so I figured I'd start up again.

And How.

Maybe I'll stick to that June 1st deadline, after all! Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Being Sneaky About It.

I think my friend Brenda has already mastered the art of "sneaky" writing--as in, wherever you go (sports practice, etc.) you whip out that keyboard and start hammering away. My Alphasmart has become my buddy--I take him with me everywhere. I like the Alphasmart vs a Mini, because I'm not tempted to surf the Web. I just WRITE.

So, when I live in my car, I can turn it into Writing Time. While I'm grabbing lunch, I'll park myself in front of the computer and get some words in. Waiting for a load of wash or dishes? That's worth 30 minutes at least!

I guess I really REALLY want to get this story out, so I'm being creative about it. Usually I can't fit the writing in, but this time, I am compelled to at least get 1K in a day, preferably 2K.

I WILL make the June 1st deadline! I WILL! I'm almost halfway there!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Can you say "On Fire?"

This book has seemed effortless, so far. I still don't have a plot, or even a linear synopsis (totally crazy and capricious of me) but I wrote 4300 words yesterday. I think all the words and scenes I thought about during Spring Break (and I wasn't able to write) came pouring out, literally.

I'm trying my hand at Urban Fantasy, I've abandoned my medieval-era folk tale, and I'm blasting full steam ahead on this novel. I just want to get it OUT. Before I lose the flow of it. I haven't, yet, which I find strange. Usually when I have a burst of words, I leave it for a few days, which turn into weeks, and I abandon it. Not this time. I hope to have it finished by the end of May. Then it will go to trusty readers, and then one more round of edits and off it will go! I am NOT going to let another year go by and not have new material.
We are moving into a new house in late July, and since I have a BAZILLION things to do as far as the move is concerned (I am packing myself this time!) I have given myself until noon, every day, to write. Then, after that, the writing gets put away and it's MOVE PREP time. It will be the only way I can keep sane, because I really really really want to get this story written and out there.

Let's hope the momentum stays "momenting!" ;-) Yes, I know that's not a word.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh, !#$&**!!: Cussing in YA.

I know, EVERYONE cusses. But that doesn't mean it's okay. I'm pretty devout in my religion, and I grew up knowing cuss words were NOT acceptable. But we all slip from time to time...

My dad used to say "Saying bad words shows lack of intelligence, because people can't think of anything better to say." My mom doesn't cuss. She doesn't even do "Bible Swears." My dad doesn't really cuss, either. Not the big ones, anyway.

So, why did I turn out this way? I LOVE to cuss! Well, Bible swears, and I don't care if it shows a lack of intelligence on my part, but sometimes, situations call for a good old "SH*T" bomb. Granted, I draw the line at the F-word. I just don't say it.

Here's my dilemma. Kids these days swear. And they don't just use polite, bible swears. They drop F-bombs like they're nothing. Especially when they get emotional. That's just the way they talk.

So, I'm writing a YA urban fantasy, and my heroine has grown up with a very religious mother, who doesn't like her to cuss, but she kind of does anyway. So far, she's said "bull***" and "d***" and "b***."
And I actually cringe, when she says these words. But in staying true to the character, she HAS to say these words. I mean, when she gets sucked out of an airplane and is plummeting to her death, "OH, GOLLY DARN GEE WHIZ, I'M ABOUT TO DIE" doesn't exactly cut it, you know?

I've already told her she can't say the F-word. Because I'm the Boss. But I just don't want to cut the swears. Because it sounds...weird when she doesn't cuss. NORMAL PEOPLE CUSS. Even Stephenie Meyer cussed in her books. (Well, in her defense, I think all she had in there were Bible Swears, a.k.a "H***" and "D***.") But she recognized that in order to be plausible, her characters had to cuss--even if it was just a little. But people weren't happy with it. Because people in my church don't cuss. They just DON'T.

So, do I stay true to the character, and let her rip? Or do I stay true to my guilty conscience and censor her language??? Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jumping Up and Down and Screaming.

Since I like to write Historical fiction, or sometimes, fiction where my characters need to "know their history," I tend to do a lot of research. It's a thing I have. I know, since I frequent History forums, that there are some academics (and some amateur historians, like myself) who literally jump up and down and scream over some writers' inattention to details, or historical inaccuracies.  I always chalk it up to laziness. Some writers just want to WRITE, and not be bogged down with the details. Unfortunately, if you're writing HISTORICAL fiction, you need to know your stuff.

Case in point, I'm having a devil of a time finding a continuously occupied castle in France, built around 13th century, that survived the French Revolution, invasions, occupations, all the wars, etc. and has remained intact, privately owned, and NOT BEEN COMMERCIALIZED. I've found several very small Chateaux, but not anything on a grand scale. The only alternative seems to be a FICTITIOUS castle. I thought I'd found the perfect place to build one, but unfortunately, the land would have been under English control (due to Eleanor of Aquitaine's marriage to Henry II) during that century. So, the French king certainly wouldn't have built a French fortress on English-controlled soil. ARGH. Back to the drawing board. See? Historians know crap like this. They would wrinkle up their little foreheads in disdain and say "Well, that's not historically accurate, or plausible."

So? I am going to take one of the smaller chateaus I found and make it "bigger." I am going to MAKE ONE UP. It will be a fortress that has withstood the test of Time and no one really bothers with. Highly unlikely in this day and age, and I don't want any jumping/screaming/protesting, so I'm trying to be as faithful to the landscape as possible. Very tricky, seeing as I've never stepped even one toe in France.

Enter Google Earth, and Google, ad nauseum. Love it. My castle lies in the heavily wooded hills of Perche, near the Loire Valley. Very private. Easy to have an 800-year old medieval fortress with lots of underground tunnels and vaults.

I even love my castle name: Chateaux Rocher Noir: a.k.a. The Black Rock! oooohhhhh.....writing is SO FUN!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

What I Think of Amanda Hocking.

 I've heard all the hype. I've heard she's wildly successful because she churns 'em out ('em being 60,000+ word novels) faster than a Hyundai factory churns out cars. I've also heard, since she's released them onto Amazon herself, without the benefits of professional editing and packaging behind them, that they have serious grammatical errors and plot holes, and they're "kinda" rough. So I've heard. Yet people buy them anyway. She's made herself into a millionaire, with all the series she has out there. And now that she's signed with St. Martin's Press, she's a millionaire a few times over. Then I read somewhere she can write a novel in 2 weeks (rough first draft, but STILL, WOW). Because she starts writing at nine at night, and doesn't stop until about 8 or 9 in the morning. And she does this EVERY night until it's done. (Yes, when I read this I wondered what does this girl do other than sleep and write???) I mean, how does someone turn novels out so quickly? They HAVE to be crap!

I decided to see for myself. I downloaded Book One of the MY BLOOD APPROVES series. Sure, there are grammatical errors. Sure, the writing is rough. But you know what? She did it. She sucked me in (pardon the pun) and frankly, I got caught up in the story. My daughter would love these stories, if they didn't have sex and swearing in them (she's 13 and yes, I still watch what she reads).  I found myself actually enjoying the books so much, I forgave the grammar and stinted (in some parts) writing. Amanda Hocking is a darn good storyteller. I am finishing up Book 4 in the series, and will probably download another series, if the content appeals to me.

Now that Ms. Hocking has a big ol' publisher behind her upcoming series, I can only imagine, with the help of an editor and publicist, how big a name she will become. Because, yes, she's that good.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Out of the Comfort Zone.

I'm a "safe" writer. I write stories about generally "good" people who have sometimes stressful and bad things happen to them, but they usually overcome them, grow in the process, and live happily ever after.


I guess you could say my writing is pretty formulaic. So, since the first stage is recognizing the "issue," I have decided to try my hand at...different writing. I'm writing a YA Urban Fantasy. My heroine in this story is flawed. She's annoying. She lives in an imperfect world. She makes mistakes and goofs up.

I kind of can't stand her right now. But she is who she is, and her journey has begun. Oh, and that's another thing. I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen to her, yet. I'm totally pantsing this one right now. ANOTHER thing I never do.

Here's to writing outside the comfort zone!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Giving Some Love the writing blog, because sometimes I'm a little "sporadic." I've been writing, I have 14K at this point, but I am also bouncing back and forth between writing and editing an existing story.

 The only real thing holding me back, is ME. I have the story plotted out, I just need to sit down and get it out of my head. Not worry about making it fabulous, just GET IT DOWN on paper, so I can then start editing and changing and giving it what it needs.

That's my M.O.: Plot it out, Get the bare bones written, then go back and add the meat. And Spices. And gravy. ;-)

Now I'm hungry.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Soccer Practice is Good for Writing

I've been getting some serious writing in lately--because of waiting in the car! I On Mondays and Thursdays I spend an average of 1 1/2 to 2 hours in my car, waiting to pick up kids! It's a writer's dream, let me tell you. I just listen to my classical music station and plunk away in the car, and when the day is over, I download about 1-2K into my manuscript.

So, there IS an upside to living in one's car! Nice to know!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Doin' It Old School.

If you're like me, you're easily distracted. You get on the computer to write, and you look up something on Google to research, then you find yourself checking email, surfing, etc, and 30 minutes pass and you realize you got on the computer to WRITE, not SURF.

I am not so bueno at disciplining myself to stay offline. I think it's a common problem. One writer friend of mine wrote the bulk of her novel in a small closet, with no Internet! ;-)

So, I've gone back to my Alphasmart Neo. It's a 2-pound, lightweight keyboard, and it's sole function is word processing. No Internet, no frills, no games. Just WRITING. I take it in the car to soccer practice, or when I wait in the super long line to pick up my kids from school, I have it in bed, on the sofa with me when Hubby and I watch TV, you name it. And then I just hook up to my Mac and it downloads everything I typed, into the document.

And I'm not wasting my time surfing. Old School is looking pretty COOL.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I finished reading this weekend, and pulled up a WIP I've been working on. Started reading. Suddenly, I was in my heroine's world, again. Wrote 2K on Sunday. I will write more today. I had to read my synopsis to get reacquainted with the plot (thank goodness I wrote it all down!) and I'm moving forward with it.

It's something different, and I'm not even sure how I feel about it yet. I figure I should purge it out (most of my novels are the results of "itches" I can' scratch) and get it to a few trusted readers, to get their opinions.

Nothing ventured, right?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm Not Getting Any Action.

Okay, out of context that could sound bad! ;-)

I mean, I'm not writing lately. I've been critting a ms for my cp, and I've been editing, but the well has dried, temporarily. I need to restock it. I think reading a great book will do the trick. I downloaded A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES a few days ago, and it looks like today I finally get to start reading! After I clean the kitchen and do laundry, of course, heh heh. :-)

Here's to creative recharging!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Living Vicariously Through Google

I've lamented this before--as a stay-home mom to four kids and a husband who goes on business trips, I don't travel a whole lot. And a bunch of my stories are set in lands NOT the U.S. (I just submitted a full request to an editor about finding a lost city in South America). So, how do I write about these locales?

Google. I love it.

There's Google Earth, and the street view feature. You can walk around any mapped street, and get a feel for the terrain. There's Flickr, people post their great shots of places and people and you can see what they see. There are countless websites (some personal, some professional) where you can glean almost every fact you want. I've found that the more SPECIFIC you are with your Google search, the better your chances at finding what you need. I've rarely been disappointed.

My favorite feature? Whenever I make up a word or term, I Google it. If it doesn't get any hits, I know I've invented something original. THAT is the best.

It's such a wonderful tool. I've written one novel set in the U.K. and Egypt, One in the U.K., one in Mexico, and I've been able to accomplish this through Google. I don't care what people say about it, I LURVE it! Google Rocks.

Monday, February 28, 2011

February Wrap-Up

Seeing as today is the last day of February, here are my stats:
Pages Edited:177
Words Written: 7K
Rejections racked up: None. As in, I have three subs out and I haven't heard from anyone! Is that good, or bad?

Goals for March:

Pages Edited: 200+
Words Written: 20K
Rejections racked up: NONE

Gotta keep steaming along!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's In the Blood.

I was walking by Thing One last night, who was finishing up her paper on DNA for school. She was sitting still, staring at the computer screen.

"I can't think of a good way to end it," she told me. That was code for "can you help me write an ending for my paper?"

Since I was in the middle of something, I didn't go there. I said to her. "You'll think of something. You're a writer."

She did, a few minutes later. And it was great. Because she is a writer. Just like her mom is a writer. And just like her great great great Grandpa, Nephi Anderson, was a well-known writer. 

She's got the genes. She just needs to USE them! How's that for DNA??

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Visual Writer

One of my friends asked me once how I write. I wasn't sure what she meant, so I told her "I have a movie in my head, and I write what the movie shows." She said "Oh, you're a VISUAL writer, then!"

She's right. Once I've outlined a novel, I go and peruse the internet for photos of actors who come close to how I envision my characters will look. Then I print them out, and have a little "posterboard" of characters close by. It helps me see them side by side and visualize how they'll interact. (Usually, they just tell me what is going to happen, but that's not something I like to tell non-writing people. Because it makes me Schizophrenic.  ;-) Which I'm not.

Some writers write by the seat of their pants, and go with it. No linear plot, just bits and pieces. Not me. I have to have a "vision." I have to have that "movie" in my head. Sometimes it's there without any effort. Sometimes I have to work for it. Sometimes Life gets in the way and I have to set the popcorn down and press "pause" until I can get back to it.

But I always come back. ;-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Three In, Three Out.

I sort of have an "unspoken rule" about queries. I only do three at a time. Three is doable, for me. I noticed last night I'd received responses from my last batch of queries, so, I sent out three more this morning. Well, early this morning, because I couldn't sleep. (Yes. That is the VERY LAST time I take Excedrin before bed. I keep forgetting the copious amounts of caffeine it contains!!)

Some people are comfortable with sending out mass-queries. A sort of "shotgun approach" if you will. Some prefer to query one agent at a time, and wait until they've received the rejection before querying another. I can't do that. I'm not hard-wired to be THAT patient. ;-) So, three is my magic number. Because sometimes good (not all bad) things happen in threes. Where else did the saying "Third Time's the Charm" come from?


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Anne Boleyn Portrait Needs Conservation Work

This is a little OT but close to my heart--as anything Tudor related (Especially Anne Boleyn!) usually is. ;-) As you can see, this portrait needs some help:

From the National Portrait Gallery:

This important portrait of Anne Boleyn is in urgent need of conservation treatment. It is in a particularly vulnerable and unstable condition as a result of structural problems with the wooden panel. Vertical cracking has occurred across the picture causing minor paint loss where the wood has split (see the photograph taken in raking light above). We need to act now as the damage is being caused by the long term effects of an unsuitable cradle (an applied wooden panel support) which must be removed. Therefore this important and much loved painting needs urgent conservation treatment to ensure it can be put back on public display.
The Gallery hopes to raise £4,000 for conservation work on this picture, and with your help we very much hope to be able to undertake this work in early 2011.
You can donate to the effort here. There is also a portrait of the poet John Donne in need of work that you can support as well.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January Stats

Well, THAT was a "Blink-and-miss-it" month! So, drumroll please:

Pages Edited: 213
Words Written: 9K
Rejections racked up (including one that eeked in on the 31st, yesterday!): 4

January was a productive month for me! Goals for February:

Pages Edited: 200+
Words Written: 20K
Rejections racked up: NONE (Hey, I can hope!)

Onward and upward...

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I've written a story about them. Well, it has Fairies IN it, but the main creatures are of my own invention. I sent it around a lot last year, but I think I might resurrect it once more, and dust it off. I haven't looked at the manuscript in about 8 months, so I'll definitely have fresh eyes to see the major flaws.

Let the edits begin!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Music is Essential.

Mood. Ambience. Tone. Atmosphere. I am one of those writers who writes best with music. Not BLARING, mind you, but in the background, softly playing as well...a background. Or backdrop, rather, to my writing. I'm currently writing a story set in a medieval-type society, so my "Medieval and Renaissance" music I downloaded in iTunes is perfect. Or my Celtic Harp music, which frankly, never gets old.

I love the power music has, to inspire creativity, mood, anything. I mean, how many times have I listened to Aaron Copland's "Rodeo" music and not wanted a nice juicy, well-marbled bone-in Ribeye? (For those of you who are wondering it's the "Beef: It's What's For Dinner" music.) Or when I listen to John Williams play the Rodrigo Fantasia, I'm transported to the sunny Spanish Countryside. Or Enya. When I'm writing fantasy, Enya is always my #1 choice.

Just one of the things I'm grateful for. Music is AWESOME.


I finished SHADOWFEVER yesterday. WHEW. I won't post any spoilers. Not even my thoughts. Because if I say I loved it, you'll know it ended happily, and if I say I hated it, you'll know it ended bad, or on a cliffhanger, or not the way I'd have liked.

So, I'm saying nothing! But my friend is officially mad at me for loaning her my Fever series books, because she wasted the whole day yesterday, reading Darkfever.

Heh heh, she still has four to go. Those dishes are going to pile up! ;-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Well, not for ME, not yet. Shadowfever is out today, and if I wanted to, I could stroll down to the nearest store and just BUY a copy, but no, I pre-ordered it through Amazon. And like every book I've ever ordered from Amazon, I selected "regular" shipping. Because I've always gotten the book on release day, no matter WHAT shipping I selected. I guess Amazon caught on to this, because NOW, I have to wait an extra day. My book isn't coming today, it's coming TOMORROW. I have to wait a whole 24 hours longer than everyone else.

Which really stinks. So, don't say anything! No spoilers! I'm going to stay offline and read read read read once I get it, and only THEN will I feel safe to go online again.

I should have just paid the extra $$. I want that book now!!! ;-)

Monday, January 17, 2011


I am literally foaming at the mouth, hands itching and major ANTS IN THE PANTS to get SHADOWFEVER in my hands!!!

I haven't felt this way about a book release, since DEATHLY HALLOWS. Seriously. I loaned all my FEVER books to a friend last night, and knowing her, she'll read them all in a week, and guess what? She'll be able to just GET the last and final book--which was not a luxury I had. I had to wait a whole year! UGH! As did my dear friend, Mik, who got me into the books in the first place. :-)

So, all my questions will finally be answered! Who did Mac kill at the end of Book Four? Who was the "Fourth" who kept himself hidden? What the HECK was the LM's role in her sister's death/life, etc.???
Where in the hell is V'Lane??? And my yummy Christian MacKeltar (who I actually like BETTER for Mac than Jericho Barrons, SACRILEGE, I KNOW!)--where the heck is HE stuck?

Itchy Itchy.

Friday, January 14, 2011


My mind, lately, has been in my story. Rather, my character's world. She lives in a medieval-type era, in a village that is covered in January snow, and lots of STUFF is happening. I know what the inside of her hut looks like. I know what her special herb garden looks like. I know how she feels and thinks, and the amazing things that await her. And the not-so-amazing things.

I can see her entire world in my head, and I write what I see. Would people call that daydreaming? All I need to do is sit in front of my computer, put on some medieval music, and I'm THERE. And I literally have to be pulled from that place kicking and screaming (usually to a "Mommy, I need to go potty" request...) because I'm so deeply into it, I am not aware of anything else around me. And when I go to sleep at night, I've got the Alphasmart by the bed, because I'm still lingering in Her world.

Daydreaming? Or overly generous Muse? I'd like to think it's the latter.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Long and Short of It.

Got my first rejection the other day. After NINE weeks. Wow, that was a wait! It was a very nice rejection. But still...

So, I immediately queried the next agent on my list. I was hoping SHE wouldn't take nine weeks!

She didn't. She rejected me with a "sorry not for me" in under THREE MINUTES.

Which is fine, because hey, I'd rather not wait so long, right? But, then again, she clearly didn't even read my ten pages I'd pasted into the body of the email, like she'd requested.

Again, at least it was quick. It was just VERY quick.

I guess rejections are better somewhere in the middle? Don't take too long in getting back to me, but at least mull it over a while, right?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Wrote!

4100 words yesterday. I would have written more, but I was editing them, too. The beginning of a story is so...tricky sometimes, and I like to get the flavor right.

I've outlined the whole thing, I know what happens. It's not a series, it's one, stand-alone book. It's totally not something I would usually write, but when TUB INSPIRATION happens, (see former post) I have to listen to it!

Today is another snow day--maybe another 2K for me???

I'm going to get lost in the story and see where it takes me!

Monday, January 10, 2011

OOooooooh.... Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh...

Guess what I did last night? I couldn't sleep, so I made my first-ever PDF on my iPad! I have Pages on my iPad, and I made a recipe page, complete with a picture of the dish scanned by my iPhone! I am VERY happy with the end result!

Here is where I'm feeling dumb--when we first bought our Mac, I was so aggressively ANTI-Mac, I insisted Hubby buy the Microsoft Word package for Mac. So, we have Word, Excel, Powerpoint, all the stuff that we are "used" to from a PC, on the Mac. It did make the transition easier. But, now that I've gotten a taste of Pages, I am thinking I like it MUCH better. Interesting.

Oh, and by the way, I got up at 4am (couldn't sleep this morning) and wrote my first chapter of the story that's been really really really really REALLY wanting to get written. 1800 words. Done. I had my 13-year old daughter test-read the pages for me, and she liked them. And this girl is brutally honest with me, which is good!

Guess I'd better keep writing! ;-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The FUN Part...

The cool thing about making up a whole world? YOU are the creator. You don't have to research, you just need to come up with cool names for everything. (and then Google them, to make sure someone hasn't beaten you to the punch--a handy little trick I use!)

I have writer friends who HATE research. They truly loathe it. Research is actually FUN for me. Since I write some historical fiction, the research happens way before the writing. During the writing. After the writing. I like my stuff to be accurate. Some people hate research so much, they choose to just "make stuff up."

Careful, I say. Because there is a hitch to creating your own world. You have to REMEMBER all the stuff you make up. Keep lists and time lines and glossaries. Because you run the risk of A) not making sense and alienating your readers and B) going against your own canon and alienating your readers.

So, I am making lists, and writing down everything I "make up." Because I don't want to fall into that trap.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tubs and Showers Rock.

Why the cryptic title, you ask?

Because every story idea in my life, except ONE (my first) has hit me while I was either A) in the shower or B) in the tub, soaking away all my worries.

Last night, it was the tub. I was bone-cold and achy because I finally caught my daughter's lovely virus, and I was just sitting in the tub when the idea literally fell out of the sky and splashed right in the water.

Okay, it didn't happen THAT dramatically, but I've spent this morning outlining the story (as dictated by my sweet-as-sugar yet feisty heroine) and I'm typing out my thoughts while making a batch of my cranberry cake muffins.

I have something to keep me busy between submissions! Woo hoo!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


So, I dusted off the manuscript I've been talking about (see previous post titled "I'm Confused.") and I realized I changed the name and the character's names, but not much else. Then, on a whim, I decided to look up some of the editors who rejected it in 2004.

Okay, seriously, and I'm not kidding--THREE of the first five editors I looked up are STILL THERE. The same editors who read my story six years ago and gave me feedback, are still in their same positions! I guess the Children's market is not a high one for turnover? Who knows, but I am thinking after six years, would they even remember it?


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Mini Rant About (Some) Literary Agents.

Don't misunderstand me, I like Lit agents. They know what they're doing, and I don't. But there is one thing some agents do, that drives me completely BONKERS/NUTS/BERSERK/FLIPPING CRAZY.

Some of you may feel the same way. You find an agent who looks like they would totally "get" you, so you look at their submission guidelines. And, Lo and Behold, the dreaded "Opt Out" sentence:

"I usually reply to queries within X amount of time. I will only reply to queries that interest me, so if you do not hear from me, you can assume I am not interested."

**Cue Gutteral Scream**

I mean, really? I would SO much rather have an impersonal standardized template FORM REJECTION, than nothing at all! Because then, I hope, and hope, and hope...

Case in point: I sent a query to an agent a couple years ago. Waited. Waited. After eight weeks, it was safe to assume said agent wasn't interested. I moved on. Forgot I queried him. THEN, SIX months later, I get a request for a full. Honest-to-gosh, and I had completely written him off my list.

See? SEE??? Confusion!!! So, take this as a plea to all agents out there (probably none of which will ever see this blog) a simple "no" is better than nothing at all. Why? Because it gives us CLOSURE. So, we won't wonder if you're really just taking your time digging yourself out from under that slush pile of queries.

Call it a kindness, if you will.

Monday, January 3, 2011


One of my uber-dream agents, who has always requested SNAIL mail submissions since like, FOREVER, is finally joining the 21st century! She now accepts e-queries! She requested additional material the last time I queried her (only the entire process took five months before the rejection) but I have a new story and I just EMAILED my query! Rock on!

Since it is the New Year, and NaNo just happened, I'm sure her assistant is BURIED in QUERIES (ha ha that rhymed!) but maybe it will only take a couple of months to hear back, instead of five?

One can hope.