Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Saturday- March 30, 2012

Though I normally don't post on Saturday, I'm working (so of course I'm looking for an excuse to procrastinate!).  I worked my behind off yesterday and got to Chapter 16 on my editing.  The word count was at 80,459 by the end of the day Friday.  Then exhausted, I went grocery shopping and out to eat tacos. 

Today I'm going to go see the Hunger Games later (yay!).  So I'm working on the book.  It will be edited an done by the end of the business day on Monday (or actually before) and once I email it off, I'm taking a day or two before diving into the final edits for my September book The Cop's Missing Child. 

I'm going to go visit my Mom on Tuesday.  Picking up my middle brother and making the trip out there.  Planning to spend the morning and then taking my brother to lunch after.  Should be a nice day.

Ah well, gotta get back to work, 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Again? March 30, 2012

It's Friday (yay!).  So yesterday I edited and I got through Chapters 1-6.  Today I will do more.  It's been interesting, how I initially viewed the characters and how I view them now, as I've gotten to know them better.  So I've been fixing and adding and deleting.  The book will be fine and on time on Monday. 

Lately I've been reading all these travel blogs - not big corporate ones - but apparently there is an entire group of people (mostly young and single) who worked at corporate jobs making tons of money and saving, saving, saving.  Then they quit and set out solo to travel the world.  It's fascinating.  And their blogs are interesting.  This gives me an idea because next year (fingers crossed), Lonnie and I are going to either hook up our camper or buy a motorhome and spend a large chunck of time traveling the country, including Canada and Alaska.  I will definitely set up a blog about it - or continue it here on this blog. 

I love this idea! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Finally, The End (sort of) Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yesterday, I finally wrote the ending to my book.  21 Chapters.  I'm happy with the ending, but now I have four days before deadline to re-read everything, make sure it's all tied together and makes sense, fix problems, and oh - add 3,000 words.  It ended up at 77,055.  It needs to be between 80,000 and 85,000 words.  No biggie, as I know I'll be adding stuff while I edit.  Deleting stuff too.  It's a big task, no - a HUGE task - to do in four days.

And my mom is sick again.  Edema (swelling, water retention), fever, chills, coughing.  She goes back to the doctor today.  Being my mom, she says she thinks she has a cold.  Last time, it was pneumonia.  She doesn't tolerate the surgery thing very well at all. 

After the surgery in October, and the Chemo/Radiation in January, she was finally - this month, feeling better.  She drove her car for the first time on the 12th.  We went to lunch on the 13th.  She went to church with my youngest brother, out to eat Pho with Gloria.  And then the surgery that couldn't help her at all, and she's down again.  Sucks. 

To lighten the gloomy/sad/depressed turn this post has taken, here are my two Boxers last night while I was watching American Idol.  They wanted to play.

Aren't they cute?  Thank God for dogs.  They can always bring happiness and calm to my life. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nearing the End

Of the book, that is.  I have less than 8,000 words left to write to hit the 80,000 needed, and that's before I go back and start cleaning it up.  I hope to get as close as I can to the ending today/tomorrow, and then have the rest of the time to go back and clean up.  And fix.  And add stuff and subtract stuff.  If you're a writer, then you know the drill.

It doesn't help that it's been beautiful outside.  Like gorgeous.  Like the kind of gorgeous that says I should be down at the lake, fishing.  Camping.  Enjoying nature.

Ah well.  A living must be earned, right?  At least, that's what I tell myself. 

Yesterday Romance Writers of American announced the finalists for its prestigous Rita Awards.  My good friend Stephanie Doyle got the nod for her book Dr's Deadly Affair.  (clap, clap, clap!)  I'm so happy for her.  And proud.  I so wish I could go to the national conference (where they decide the winner and have a huge, formal award ceremony) to support (and drink with) her.  Ahh well. 

Guess I'd better get back to it. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Let There Be Water

This morning - Saturday, no less - we got up at 6am.  Lonnie went down to the lake lot to de-winterize it and get it ready for us to start camping there.  I, on the other hand, had to stay home because my book is due 4-1 and I had to work on it.  Hmmph. 

After last year's drought - and lack of water in our cove - it was exciting to see that yes, we do have water.  (He sent me these cell phone pics)

Oh, joy!  We also have weeds.  Lots of weeds.  He's not only going to get everything ready - de-winterize, turn the fridge on, etc., but he's going to mow and get rid of weeds.  Not so much fun for him.

Ah, but the water.

Ever since we bought this lake lot and developed it, we've been talking about the day when when can camp there for longer than a weekend.  Like a week.  Or even two.  Tying our pontoon boat up to our boat dock and going out whenever we want. 

Looks like we can now.  Or at least soon.  Maybe after I turn in this book.

Because there is water.  Water, water, water, water.  And fish.  Oh hell yeah!

In addition to our pontoon, we have two kayaks.  That's also fun when the water is up.  And we fish from our dock too.  We've caught a lot of catfish that way in years past.

Can you tell I REALLY want to be there right now?  Really. 

But then I remember the weeds.

And I'm glad he's getting the place cleaned up so I don't have to help.   But soon.... it'll be camping time. 

Lookout fish - here I come!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I adore Fridays.  Even though I no longer commute to an office for my job, Friday is freeday, the last day of the work week, the day my hubby and I eat dinner out.  Last Friday we had Mexican and I had this Margarita.  (Looks delicious, doesn't it?  It was!)

Yesterday I wrote and wrote and wrote and got 2700 words.  I'm getting there.  I'm hoping to have a writing spurt and get there quicker, so I have time to edit this thing before I turn it in.  The sad part is that this particular book won't even be out until late 2013 or early 2014. 

After I turn this book in, of course I'll be starting the next one.  I also plan to design covers for the five Precious Gem novels I wrote back in the late 90's and had scanned, so that I can put them up as Ebooks.   I have to proof-read the scans to make sure there are no problems, so that will be time consuming.

But it's Friday, it's Friday.   Gotta love me sum Friday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012 Music To Write By

Sometimes I like to write in silence, totally lost in my world with my people.  Other times, I make each book a soundtrack and obsessively play it every single time I sit down to write.  Other times, I play random songs on my ITunes, sorting by Genre or Artist.  Today, though I haven't seen the move yet (but will, I promise you!), I bought the Soundtrack to The Hunger Games.  Lots of new (to me) artists and exactly the kind of dramatic music I love to write to.  Sometimes.  It varies.

Anyway, I'm still holding to my 2000 word a day thing, but I still would like to increase that output so I have time to edit at the end before turning the book in.  I cannot WAIT to finish this book.  Cannot wait.

Then it's back to exercising and weight lifting and burning calories and toning muscle.  Though I miss having a personal trainer to direct me, I miss working out more than I would ever have thought possible.  Also, this summer I'm going to buy some googles and try swimming more in my pool.  Like Liz at one of my favorite blogs

Anyway, I'm a bit behind this morning due to oversleeping my non-alarm and being groggy for some reason.  Gotta get with it and get to work.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday March 21, 2012

Yesterday was the first day of Spring.   To prove it, my flowers and flowering shrubs are blooming

And of course, the pollen is everywhere.  For those of us with allergies, this is torture. 

Then yesterday and the night before, the storms came.  We started with a clean slate. 

Spring has sprung.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today is the first day of Spring!   We got storms last night and this morning and got over 4 inches of rain!  Yay!  I'm hoping some of it made it to our lake. 

I'm chugging away on the book that's due 4-1 and have written out what scenes I have left to write.  I got 2100 words yesterday, though I wanted 3k.  I try, but I am easily distracted.  Also, I haven't worked out all of last week and I'm feeling that loss.  The problem is, I can't go to the gym unless I do my words and it took me way too long to do them yesterday.  I'm hoping to speed up the process today.  Wish me luck.

My mom is still in the hospital, though they're saying she should be able to go home Thursday.  I've been doing some research on alternative treatments.  Why not?  She has nothing left to lose and a lot to gain (time) by trying them.

Ah well, I'd better finish up on the internet so I can get back to writing.  Thanks for sticking with me!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Monday and supposed to be stormy.  I love stormy.  Bring on the rain and the thunder and lightning.  Tornados, not so much. 

Friday I got up at 4am and left the house at 5:30.  My brother and I rode together and we reached the hospital by 6:30.  My other brother arrive a little after 7 am.  We got to visit with my mom and the doctor came in and, along with the two OR nurses, we all linked hands while he prayed.  He prayed for God to guide his hands in the surgery and also for God's will to be done. 

Then they took my mom off (around 8am) and we all went to the surgical waiting room.  It's a large room and at the time we were the only ones there.  I got out my laptop and started writing.  My two brothers went to the cafeteria to eat.  My mom's partner did crossword puzzles. 

Around 11:15 the doctor came out and said he could not remove the tumor.  It was inside the main artery that goes to the liver, which he knew and had planned to reconstruct using a vein from her leg.  But it had also invaded many other veins and he just couldn't get it all out.  There was also infection and blockage on her liver stint.  He cleaned that up and closed her back up.

My mom's partner collapsed in grief.  We all got shepherded to a smaller room and again the doctor talked to us - he said once she heals up we can try more chemo to hopefully prolong her life. 

I visited my mom again that night and also on Saturday and Sunday.  I decided against the hotel room idea due to two things - no decent hotels in the immediate area and the cost of the decent ones, which are in downtown Dallas near Reunion.  For those familiar with Dallas, the hospital is in Oak Cliff (Methodist Hospital).  I did tell my mom if I finished my word count early, I'd come up there. 

This time she will only have to stay in the hospital this week instead of two weeks, which she would if she'd had The Whipple Procedure.  She seems in fairly good spirits, considering.

Thank everyone who was so kind on Facebook.  I really appreciate the prayers and healing thoughts.

And now I have to go work.  This book won't write itself.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday March 15, 2012

Yesterday, my best friend Anna Adams ( saved my life.  Oh, not just because she came up with the admittedly brilliant idea of getting a hotel near the hospital, but because today I had a synopsis due for my next Harlequin Romantic Suspense book.  As of yesterday morning, I had the character's names and some of their backstory and that was it. 

Yesterday I wrote 3000 (give or take) words - an entire synopsis.  When I was a little more than halfway done, I emailed it to Anna to take a look and help brainstorm.  When she and I get together and brainstorm, we are damn near brilliant, I tell you!  She read it, sent it back with questions and corrections and then ensued a flurry of emails.  I wrote, rewrote, changed the hero's name and situation, and then late in the day I sent it to her.  I then powered off my computer and went to meet my brother and his wife for beer and food.  (that was fun too - but I drank too much beer and now have a nagging headache) 

This morning when I opened my email, she'd emailed the final version back to me (at 1:08 am or something!).  I went through it yet again, made corrections and changes, and emailed it off to my editor, who has already sent me a note letting me know she's received it.  Yay!

One more task tackled.  And honestly, I could not have done it without Anna's help.  So Anna, this is a BIG thank you.  Because you went way above and beyond.  I sure miss our brainstorming sessions at the local Starbucks!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday March 14, 2012

I spent yesterday visiting my mom.  We had lunch - her choice - and she chose coconut shrimp at Joe's Crab Shack.  She's lost weight and a lot of her hair (from the Chemo).  She wanted to talk about the past and the future - she'd visited a funeral home and cemetary and was still trying to decide whether she wants to be cremated or buried.  It was very sad and difficult.

Her potassium level is very low and the doctor has given her medicine to try and raise it.  She gets bloodwork done on Thursday and if the potassium level is up, she's scheduled for surgery on Friday.  Apparently, her surgeon wasn't very optimistic.  If the cancerous tumor is still wrapped around her blood vessels, he won't be able to do the Whipple surgery, which would give her a fighting chance.  He'll close her up and basically told her she has a few months to live. 

My mother is, of course, struggling with this.  She's 76, still relatively young in the grand scheme of things.  It was a shock to her - no one in our family has ever dealt with Pancreatic Cancer. 

I'm struggling with this too.  It's frightening to think about losing my mom.  Also, having a terminally ill parent sort of makes one face their own mortality.  I have a book due in two weeks, a synopsis (unwritten!) due tomorrow, and a mother who is very, very ill. 

Despite my earlier post, I'm not sure what I'll do.  I'm going to consider getting a hotel room near the hospital (thanks Anna Adams for the idea!) and writing and visiting her from closer - that is probably the best option.

Right now I'm depressed and struggling. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2011

I'm a writer.  Its my job and pretty much one of the absolute best jobs in the world.  What I find interesting is how many friends and family members think that because I'm self-employed and thus, don't have to report to an office and a boss, that I don't really have a JOB.  But I do.  I promise you I do. 

When I have a deadline fast approaching, I go into panic mode.  Working on weekends if I can, not taking phone calls and, I'm nearly at this phase now, occasionally hiding out somewhere away from all distractions.  Because I have 3 weeks to write almost 30,000 words.  Plus I have to do a synopsis for another book by Thursday. 

Yep, it's going to be crazy.  Add into the mix that my mom is having major surgery on Friday and it just got even crazier.  I tried to explain to her yesterday that I wouldn't be visiting every day like I did last time, in fact it'll just be on the weekends (you know, like my brother who has a day job), but I'm not sure she understood why.  In fact, she said something to the effect that I could work at the hospital because she sees people on their laptops all the time.

And yes, if I was just typing a report or even doing insurance quoting, maybe I could do this.  And yes, maybe if it wasn't an hour drive each way to the hospital, I could pop in every day when I'd finished my daily word count.  But write there?  What would be the point of visiting?  I'd have to put on headphones to drown out the other people, couldn't converse or actually visit, and I wouldn't get half as much done. 

So no, I'm going to have to suck it up and write at home.  And yes, I feel terrible about that, but I don't actually have a choice.  I've already asked for one extension.  I can't ask for another.

So.....  despite feeling incredibly guilty, I know if I were still working at the insurance agency, I wouldn't be able to take off work every day.  And if I don't turn in the book and the synopsis, I don't get paid and I actually need this income to live off of.  So I'll mostly be here, hunched over the keyboard. 

Off to write.  And I probably won't get to blog as much as I'd like, though we'll see.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Winter has come briefly back to north Texas.  Or what passed for winter this La Nina year.  It was 41 when I got up this morning and blustery and is supposed to rain off and on all weekend.  Of course tomorrow I'm having a cookout with bratwurst and potato salad and baked beans.  Sigh.

Recently another writer friend sent me a link to someone's blog (another writer also) who had figured out a way to up her word count production.  She went up from 2k a day (where I'm at now and only if it's a really good day) to 10k.  My friend Loreth tried it and she got up to 4,500. 

Basically, the other author said she figured out what she has to write before hand.  Each day when she sits down to write, she jots down on a pad of paper the scenes she will be writing and what she hopes to accomplish.    Here's the link to her blog post if you're interested.

I am so going to try this.  I'll let you know how it works.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's drizzling rain here again today and we're supposed to get severe storms this afternoon.  Yesterday I made a healthy lunch of salad for both of us

It was delicious

I also went to the gym for half an hour and did cardio and read on my Kindle.  I love that - exercising my body and my mind - a win-win.

And today I'm back to working on the Nocturne that's due 4-1.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wow, Wednesday already.  This morning, I'm loving life!  It's a rainy, drizzly, blustery kind of day, the kind of day you think of as typical March weather.  I made a significant amount of progress on my book yesterday, despite the doctor's appointment in the a.m.  My husband's scratchy throat and sniffles were only allergies, not a cold. 

Last night (or one night this week), Lonnie snapped this pic with his camera phone of all three of our (not spoiled) dogs enjoying the evening.  It's a dog's life around here!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Today is overcast and windy - we're supposed to get rain starting tonight and through the weekend.  I had a Podiatrist appointment this morning to pick up my custom brace and now I have to go buy a pair of shoes that will be way too large - wonder how that's going to work with my non-brace foot?  Guess I'll head up to Famous Footwear or DSW and see. 

I sat in my outside office again yesterday and wrote.  I made my 1700 words and then headed to the gym for thirty minutes of just cardio.  Today I'll do weights and machines etc.

My little Libby is nearly 8 months old.  Look how big she's gotten.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5, 2012 Monday

This Monday morning dawned sunny and - dare I say it - cheerful.  I used to hate Mondays because that meant I had to go back to work at the day job.  Now, I love Mondays because I go to work at my writing job in my comfy office upstairs in the room that used to be my daughter's.  A long time ago.

Friday was a wonderful day.  I got my word count in early, had lunch (healthy baked fish and veggies), and met my daughter at a place called Massage Envy.  We each got a hour long massage, which was heaven.  After that was over, we drove to a Nail Spa and we both got the tropical.  The description - cut and pasted from their website = Tropical Pedicure (40 min.) Sip a Malibu pineapple cocktail.  This includes a tropical exfoliation for the tired feet and legs, a tangerine mud mask that leaves a cool tingle that soothes the aches of the feet followed by a hot towel wrap, and ending with warm scented lotion leaving you with an island vacation for your feet.

And it was heavenly! 

We got back home and then my husband and I gave her the Nook Tablet we'd gotten for her.  After that, we went to one of her favorite restaurants - PF Chang's to eat.  Even though I *really* wanted the Chicken Fried Rice, I got Garlic Shrimp - 470 calories to the Fried Rice 1520.  I ate half of my dinner and took the other half home.  Very pleased with myself.  Of course, the two agave margaritas I had probably negated the calorie savings.  Sigh. 

But now it's Monday and back to work on the book and back to the gym for the body.  Oh, and when I get done I have 30 bags of pine bark mulch waiting to be spread in the back yard flower beds!  Maybe that will be my workout for today!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

So yesterday I wrote outside in my outdoor office.  I had this view

Pretty and inspiring.  I also had this view:

 I made my word count early and went and got my hair done for 2 and a half hours (Highlight, Lowlight, and cut).  By the time I got home it was dinner time. 

Today is my only daughter's birthday.  I've made massage appointments for us and after that, we're going to go get pedicures.  It's pampering day (ok, two pampering days for me!)

So I've got to hit my word count early again.  And I'm off and running, starting.... right..... now!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Yesterday, Leap Year Day, was heralded by beautiful, spring-like weather.  Temps in the mid-seventies, soft blue skies, and glowing sun.

Of course after lunch, I took my Alphasmart and headed outside to write.  Here's my view.

I was so happy - I wrote and wrote and wrote and got nearly 1000 words in less than an hour!

Here's my writing office for the day.

Talk about relaxing.  Inspiring.  Filling the well (for me, nature always helps!)

And my dogs seemed to enjoy it also.

I think I might go back there today!