Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's Saturday, the last day in April.  I have been up since 7am (it's nearly 11 now) and had coffee, scrambled eggs and toast, and am hunkered down in front of my computer.  I am writing the end of the book.

The end of books for me are the most difficult (ok,the middle vies for that spot!).  But the end - I've got to tie up all the loose ends, resolve the mystery/suspense aspect, and settle the romance.  I've got to especially make the romance satisfying to the reader, to make sure they agree that there could never be anyone else for this particular couple than each other.  It's tough.

But I will finish today.  Then I'll hopefully have enough time to go get groceries and cook a nice dinner (or order pizza).  My husband made the two hour drive down to the lake and he's spending the day there, checking on things, taking care of the grass,etc.  He'll be back today though because we don't like spending the day apart.  We're sappy romantics that way.

Back to it.  Will post when I finish. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Almost there.  I've got less than ten pages to go to finish the last chapter.  And the book, unless I have to do an epilogue.  This has been a wild writing week - every single day I've written well over 2,000 words. 

Today I went into the day job at 7:30 and worked until 1:30.  Caught everything up, except for closing out the month, which I normally do on the first day of the next month, so I'm good there.

I came home and have been writing more.  Hoping I can wrap all this up without having to either do that durn epilogue or write another chapter.  Or another option is to cut stuff and rearrange so I can fit it all in this last chapter. 

Who knows?

Though we'd originally planned to go to the lake this weekend, I'm staying home and plan to finish this book on Saturday, do one more quick read through and spell check etc on Sunday,  and email to NYC on Monday.  Then go in to the day job, close out the month, and be all set for my big 50th birthday on Tuesday.

Yikes!  Scary thought, that!  I wish 50 didn't sound so.... OLD.  ;0

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday April 28, 2011

So day three of butt in chair, fingers on keyboard.  I am happy to report that I revised the entire book.  I cut a couple thousand words, wrote a couple thousand more and have ten pages left to write to wrap it all up.  I'm right at 69,500 words and the book can be between 70,000 to 75,000 words.

I'm really happy with the story and now I've got to close out the romance and the suspense.

All in all, a productive day!  Tired but happy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm home again today, still working on my book.  Even though I haven't written the ending, I'm taking a second pass through it, something I'm not always able to do due to time constraints.  My husband is a little irritated with me - he actually had me come in for an hour at the end of the day yesterday and send out a renewal - but I'm trying not to mind.  The book - this book - has to come first.  And I'm really liking the changes I'm making in this second draft!

Sorry for the short post, but I really have to keep slogging away.  I've got to go back to the day job tomorrow (though I'm seriously considering not - must weigh value versus negative consequences from spouse).

Take care!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The centerpiece I bought for my Easter table - isn't it gorgeous?

My book is due in less than a week (May 2nd) and my big, ginormous birthday is a week from today.  Yikes!  So I took the day off to work on the book and am planning on hopefully taking tomorrow off too. 

I've been reading a fabulous Harlequin Romantic Suspense by Justine Davis.  It's her latest one (the title escapes me, it's in my Kindle downstairs) and is part of the Redstone series that I've been half-way following.  This book is freakin' amazing!  I mean as I'm reading it, I'm in awe of her skill as a storyteller.  Tortured hero to the max and true love amazing.  Fresh love scenes and as I read it, I'm trying to figure out how she resolves everything as that is my weak point as a writer - trying to figure out the resolution.  So I'm reading last night and aching and thinking how I want to write like this, damn it and bam - I see something that makes me realize I need to do more characterization in my book that's due May 1st.

So I'm spending the day going through the thing and tomorrow too and then, hopefully then, I can write the ending and send it off to my editor.

Funny how after 33 books (this is my 34th!), I'm still learning.

Ok, and cuz I can't resist - here's one more picture of my lovely centerpiece!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday April 23, 2011

I did it.  I found a tattoo design that meant something to me.  A baby dragon in a field of flowers.  Since I'm in a major turning point in my life, giving up the nice paycheck from the day job to become a full time writer, the dragon represents whimsy, my muse, and possibilities.  It reminds me that there is magic waiting out there for me to tap into it!

Here's a pic taken right after the tattoo artist finished.

I was slightly scared, worried about how badly it would hurt.  After work, my husband and I stopped by the tattoo parlor and talked to the artist.  I told him what I wanted, showed him picture, and he said that we should go eat and come back.  He said not to get drunk, but I could have a couple of drinks if I wanted.  So we went to Applebees, ate, and I had two margaritas.  Then we went back.

I was pleasantly surprised.  It hurt, yes.  But not the level of pain I expected.  All in all, it took about two hours.  We chatted the entire time (and I held my husband's hand).  after we left, my shoulder began throbbing and it hurt off and on all night.  I've been washing it and putting the lotion on and I took Aleve, but it still aches.  Ah well, at least the swelling has gone down.  In a few days I'm hoping I won't even feel it.

But I did it!  And I love the design and the colors. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday, April 22, 2011

It is FINALLY Friday!  Yay!  This morning I have grocery shopping to do for the Easter dinner, plus the day job, and of course my writing.

I'm on the last chapter of the book though.  It's been a very interesting ride with these to shape-shifters and I'm enjoying it.

Oh, and I have decided on my tat.  I'm going to visit another tattoo place hopefully this afternoon and check them out - I've seen the artist's work online and like what I see. 

Well, I'd better quit playing on the internet and get ready to go.

I'll be back!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yesterday was full of the awesome!  Yes, I hit my 2000 words, did some revising and moving around and am in position to write the black moment, the resolution, and the END of the book!

And I did take myself for a pedicure and a manicure.  Very nice hour relaxing.  And then.... and then....  I gathered up my weenie courage and went to a local tattoo parlor.

A bit of an explanation.  I turn 50 in less than 2 weeks.  A friend of mine and I have said since 2007 that we would both get tattoos when we turned 50.  Her birthday is on Easter Sunday this year.  (She's OLDER than me! LOL!)

Then on top of that, my wonderful and amazing agent who turns 40 next week, went and got a tattoo, her first.  I had no idea we were so much alike! (LOL!)

Anyway, I went in and talked to the guy and looked at his art.  I asked about cost and time.  Oh, and level of pain.  Then I left.  My problem is that I still haven't chosen exactly WHAT I want to wear on my body for the rest of my life.  It needs to mean something, you know.  And also, I don't know WHERE I want to place my body art.  I'm thinking right shoulder.  (I was thinking tail bone, but my daughter flipped out and said I was "too old for a tramp stamp")  I still might do tail  bone .  Don't know.

So I am perusing tattoo art on line.  And I've gotten two other recommendations for tattoo artist by people who are pleased with the results.  Both are in Ft Worth.  But first, I need to decide on the tattoo itself.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Wow, so it's mid-week and the weekend has long worn off for me.  The sale of our business is progressing quite nicely and my husband is dealing with all that.  Me, I'm dealing with end-of-book-must-meet-deadline jitters.  11 days, 10 if you subtract Easter (which I must as I have family coming over and am cooking).  Doable, considering that I'll hit 60,000 words today and need 70,000.  But I need to have at least one day (preferably two) to read it, make sure it makes sense, correct any repetitions (like my overuse of certain words), before I email it to my editor in NYC.

I'm thinking about taking today off.  Thinking about taking next Wednesday off.   Arrrrgh! 

Plus I need to plan what I'm cooking for the holiday (ordered ham, just now printed off some recipes from, clean the house, grocery shop, get a (much needed) pedicure, and maintain at the day job.  Have I mentioned how much I'm looking forward to the day job going away?  Have I?  No?  Are you sure?

Anyway, if I'm a bit sketchy in my posts for the next couple of days, you'll know why.  Back to shapeshifters and romance!


I took today off.  By noon I had 1000 words and did some much needed revising/adding elements that I only decided on as I neared the end.   I'm going to try for 2000 words and more revising and then I'm going to take myself off to get a much-deserved pedicure. 

The end is in sight!  I can actually see it!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

What a fabulous weekend I had!  We opened up the lake place and camped for the first time this year.
Because my book is due May 1st, I had to write.  Miraculously, I got 2000 words AND still had time to enjoy myself.  Here's my writing space inside the camper (kitchen table).

When I finished my writing, I got to read for fun.  I read Kristin Higgins new book MY ONE AND ONLY.
I actually read the entire book in two days.  Very good, enjoyable read.  It made me see ways I need to push my own writing.

We also cooked out, hung out, drank beer, and just relaxed.  We slept in both days and came home refreshed and energized.  Have I mentioned how much I love that place?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Office - Thursday April 14, 2011

Yesterday I stayed home and wrote.  Not all day, as I would have liked, but from about 12:30 on.  I did some editing and wrote 1600 new words.  Not bad and I really enjoyed the day.

But, I've discovered that I don't like the room that I've designated as my "office" here at the house.  It's the smallest bedroom with a little, single window.  10 years ago I painted the walls a salmon color, but since then my husband moved his desk in here and took up half of the room, so my workspace is a tiny cube.  There is no natural light and the room is cluttered.  Granted, it's my stuff, but I need to do a major purge.  Either way, being in this room does not make me feel creative.

So....  one of the first things I will do once I am a full time writer, is change rooms.  I'm either going to move into my daughter's old bedroom or into the unused room downstairs that is a "formal living room".  It's furnished, but no one uses it and right now we have our bicycles in there.  The only downfall is that it's right by the den and if my husband is there watching TV, I won't be able to drown out the noise!  So that's why the other room upstairs is looking better.

Tonight is workout night and I'm looking forward to that.  I also have to go pick out new eyeglasses at some point.

Well, gotta get back to the book!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sitting down to write on what promises to be a beautiful Wednesday.  It'll sure be nice to be able to focus on my book without ringing phones and constant interruptions.  I mean constant.  Like I could maybe get a paragraph done and then BEEP "Line 3 is Mrs Smith with a question about her policy."  Frustrating, to say the least!

So aside from a hopefully brief foray to visit the eye doctor for my annual exam, I'll be working on the book, incorporating some of the changes that my friend suggested and a few that I thought of as well.

I'm really looking forward to it.  Imagine - this is what my 'day job' will be all the time soon!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Since writing is, by nature, a solitary profession, one thing we miss out on is having writing friends to either critique with, brainstorm with, or simply talk writing.  My best writing buddy moved to another state and I sure miss meeting with her at Starbucks or The Cotton Patch and hashing out our works in progress.

But she still does miracles by email.
On the book I'm working on (due May 1st), I was puzzling over the black moment and the suspense resolution.  I emailed her for brainstorming help, she responded with several suggestions, and after mulling them over, I think she talked me right out of my writing hole!  Very cool.  Yes, I will have to go back and insert a few more clues and change some minor details, but it's doable and workable and actually enhances the romantic climax as well (pun intended!)

So back to work I go.  Aside from an eye doctor exam tomorrow, I'm taking the day off from the day job and dedicating my day to working on this book.  I'm so close to the end!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal - Monday, April 11, 2011

Finally, it feels like spring in North Texas.  Severe thunderstorms rumbled through our area last night, along with tornado watches and warnings.  It was enough to keep the weather radio going off every thirty minutes, which resulted in me and my husband not getting enough sleep.


But yesterday, despite having absolutely no success the last four years, we planted tomato plants.  Again.  (Note the standing water from the nearly 2 inches of rain we got in the storms!)

A nice pretty row of them.  Four or five different varieties, including cherry tomatoes.  Maybe this year, right?

I also planted a few begonias, in a token attempt to plant some flowers.  Normally, I plant a lot of flowers in both the front and the back, but this year, I just planted seven tiny plants around the water fountain.

This weekend I made my word goals, writing-wise.  I saw The Lincoln Lawyer which was very good (and had great eye-candy!).  I ate at Joe's Crab Shack (coconut shrimp, my fav!), got a massage, bought groceries, and bathed my Boxer.  Now he smells like Spring too!

All in all, a wonderful weekend.  Too bad it has to end.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday April 9, 2011

You know, people often have an incorrect vision of what a writer's life is like.  Let me tell you a little about what my life is like right now.

It's Saturday.  I slept in until 8 am, drank some coffee, showered and dressed and ate breakfast.  It's beautiful, gorgeous, fabulous outside.  Sunny, breezy, warm (I think temps are supposed to be in the 80's today).  I still work the day job, so I have a bunch of stuff to do today like buy groceries, housework, bathe the dogs, etc.  I'd also like to go out and enjoy the weather and hitting the gym wouldn't hurt either.

Instead, I'm sitting at my desk in front of my computer, writing.  Why?  Because I'm under deadline and my book is due May 1st. 

Thought I'd whine here on my blog.  Because where else can I do it, right?

Back to it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Those of you who know me, are aware that I'm not much of a plotter.  I'm more of a "eh, let's see where this takes us" type of writer.  And while I do go to contract on "blind" books, I still have to send in a synopsis of what the story will be about.

Shhh - don't tell anyone - but my synopsis is bulls**t.  (Of course, after over 20 books with them, I'm sure the publisher has figured this out by now!).  I write a synopsis, turn it in, get it approved, get paid, and then tuck it away and forget about it.  The only thing that stays the same are the two characters, the location, the time of the year, and the basic set up. 

After that, it's all to the wind...

So the book I'm working on now is due May 1st.  Right before my BIG birthday.  I've got like three chapters left to write.  I'm having to figure out how to resolve everything, including the suspense angle, and most especially the romance angle.  Yesterday, I was writing away and my hero got into a room and a place and a dog appeared (that I didn't know about) and then... the coolist thing ever happened.  My character knew why he was there and it was a plot point to move the story forward and I had no freakin' idea!  And I'm the author!  Gotta love these characters.

And this guy is so hot.  He's Pat Monahans, who is the lead singer in the band Train.  Yummy!

Back to it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


As you know if you read this blog with any sort of frequency, I am on the verge of quitting the day job and becoming a full time writer.  While it is exciting, it's also scary.  I'm used to a pretty decent paycheck and not having to hesitate if I want (not need, just want) a new pair of shoes. 

However, I know someone else who is taking an even bigger leap of faith to follow his dream.  His name is Kit Martin and he is the General Manager of the gym I go to.  He has a passion - hang gliding - and has harbored a long time dream of becoming an instructor.  Like me, he is used to having a steady and pretty good paycheck.   So when he went to upstate NY to get certified as an instructor and the hang gliding school offered him a job, he faced his own decision. 

He gave notice to the gym on April 1st and his last day is the 15th.    And, while he is younger than I am and single and childless, it still can't have been easy for him to decide to give up the good money and pack all his belongings in a pickup and move clear across the country to a place he's only been to one time.   A place where he has no family or friends, just because he had the opportunity to do the kind of work he's always wanted to do.

Yet he choose to go and follow his dream.  For this, I will always remember him.  Especially when I get frightened at the prospect of trying to make a living off my own dream, which is writing.  It *is* scary to give up that regular and cushy paycheck, but I can only imagine how fulfilling it will be to finally be able to do what I regard as my life's work. 

I hope it is equally fulfilling for my friend.  Fly high, Kit.  I wish you well in pursuit of your dreams.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I had a wonderful time at the Dreamin' in Dallas Conference.

I saw lots of writing friends, attended some great workshops, and hung out in the bar.

But most important, I got to see my agent, the wonderful Lucienne Diver

It was great to see her.

I had a wonderful Saturday night eating Mexican food with her and her clients. Many of them I've known for a long time.  Others were new friends, but they're all fun!

Good food, fabulous conversation, and lots of laughs! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day one of the Dreamin' in Dallas Writer's Conference.  So far, I'm having a great time.  I saw lots of old freinds, have had drinks with a few new friends, talked to some unpublished authors about writing (always fun!), talked to a man in the bar whose wife read romance but was scared to go into the book signing, so he sent me in with $25.00 to get her some books.  I've eaten dinner at a place called Potbelly's, had a few beers, made my 1000 word writing count, and saw my agent and agreed to meet her for coffee in the morning. 

Ten years ago at this very same conference, I met her for the first time.  I signed with her shortly thereafter and we've had a wonderful, 28 book partnership since.  Hats off to my wonderful agent Lucienne Diver!  I truly adore her!

And tomorrow my plans make it also a full day.  I can't wait!