Thursday, May 31, 2007


I heard back from D.A. today. Once again, I'm a little overwhelmed. (g) He says it's improved, but he wants me to push myself more... so, back to the drawing board I go. (Hi ho, Hi ho)

At this point, I feel like everything is laid out on the table -- it's now up to me to decide whether I want to go there -- whether or not it's the right direction for my book and characters. I have a lot of thinking to do. :)

Please send all chocolate and ice cream my way. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Read, Jen! Read!

With everything that's been going on in my life -- school, writing, personal stuff... it gets seriously hard to manage my day to day. The first thing that always gets pushed to the back back back burner? Reading. After all--I tell myself--I need to write if I'm ever going to get published. When it comes down to the two, I always choose writing first. I tend to forget how reading has such a positive effect on my writing... the level of creativity I reach... my inspiration, my motivation.. gah, it's all tied to sitting down once in a while and reading a good book. Even the bad ones help to a certain extent.

At any rate, I wanted to step away from my wips -- remember the whole critting idea? I had planned to tear through this woman's wip--I think she has 36 chapters in her book. I got through chapter 5 and realized she'd taken down chapters 6-20-something. There went that plan. lol So, I picked up NEW MOON instead -- see the review below. I can't tell you the number of ideas that were sparked for BTPM's revisions while I read this book. No, not copying, and not trying to pass myself off as a "Stephenie Meyer--wannabe." Just good ol' inspiration from reading a book that works.

I've come up with quite a few changes I want to make -- nothing that will really alter the current order or anything -- just changes that will beef up what I have with some new scenes here and there. Extra oomph and conflict... all easy fixes because the foundation of the story is already strong. I'm so excited to begin, which I probably will tonight.

Anyway, what's my point? The old adage is true -- in order to write, you NEED to read. Maybe not all the time, and hopefully not books too similar to your own... but enough to keep the creative juices flowing. Consider reading the gas that keeps your writing engine going... without it, you're gonna sputter out. That is exactly what happened to me. But dang it, my tank is full again. :) Yay.

NEW MOON by Stephenie Meyer

It's been a while since I've done a book review. Gah, I'm ashamed to say that I've started many, but finished only a select few. What can you do? I'm still trying to make my way through CANDY APPLE RED by Nancy Bush... and several others that I've picked up along the way. The shelf over my bed is brimming with books I've purchased, read a couple pages of and tossed down.. Lack of time, mostly.. some lack of interest. But then, I started NEW MOON shortly after purchasing it, and couldn't get into it. This time, I couldn't put it down. Sometimes you gotta be in the right mood. we go. If you want to see my review of TWILIGHT (the first book in the series), it's in the archives. Just a reminder -- this is a YA paranormal.

Brief Synopsis: Isabella (Bella) Swan (human) and Edward Cullen (vampire) are happily finishing their senior year of high school -- Bella's first of course, Edwards umpteenth. Under a conviction that he is no good for her and putting her in too much danger, Edward breaks things off with Bella. He and his family of vampires take off to parts unknown. Bella is a wreck when he leaves, and slowly starts to come out of her funk--with the help of her new best friend, Jacob Black. Jacob's got a secret of his own, though. Mayhem and hormones once again ensue as Jacob tries to win Bella's broken heart.

I just have to start by saying that this sophomore effort is leaps and bounds better than the first book. I honestly think there's something to be said for the amount of skill and technique you pick up along the way. All of the revisions to please your agent, your editors, etc. etc. have got to be a HUGE step in your writing education. This just goes to prove that. I look at some of my favorite series and you can definitely tell a difference between the early and later books.

I felt that it was well plotted out -- extremely well-written. It had a great depth of emotion, not to mention it was much darker than the first book. When Bella was in trouble, man... I was on the edge of my seat.

Now, don't get me wrong -- there were flaws. (g) One of the things that drives me nuts is when I can figure out the big secret long before it's revealed in the book and the MC is still fanning about, completely clueless. I figured out the "big surprise" very early on. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but for me, I like mystery. I don't mind the surprise twist that I didn't see coming. Oh well -- it was still very enjoyable.

One great thing about this book -- although Bella was a mess in the beginning and tended to whine a lot about these weird imagined holes in her chest (post Edward leaving), she was the old Bella I liked. Granted, she still gets into more trouble than any 10 characters combined. Let's just say the girl doesn't think her actions through very well. However, I thought she was far less annoying -- her pain was real and I felt for her.

Jacob is a great character. He was funny and kind... and well, he's like 6'5" and a hottie.. NOTHING wrong with that. (g)

Edward was a bit more restrained in this book as well. All of his annoying mood swings were pretty much gone. Of course, he wasn't present in the book much... that could account for it. LOL.

Overall, a very enjoyable read -- enough twists and turns to keep the momentum going. I picked it up last night and seriously, I couldn't put it down. And the ending... MAN. I need the next book to come out..NOW. (g)

Buy or Rent? BUY, people! :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

I Know I Must Be Crazy

So, I've decided to step away from both of my wips for the evening...possibly for the next couple of days, to do some critting. I think I need to sort of clear my head and come back with a fresh outlook... I hate revisions, have I mentioned that? (g) I'm sure it's just an attempt to postpone the inevitable, but critting means I can post my chapters.. Posting my chapters means most of my typos will be found... my awkward sentences pointed out... It's all good. I don't really plan on reposting FI at this point, but you never know.

At any rate, I spent the past 4-5 hours critting. I'm beat and my eyes are blurry. (g)

OHH! (Change of subject coming!) I LOVED POTC3, btw. Great movie -- well worth the outrageous duckets they're charging to get into the theatre these days. (g) (Gah, I sound like my 85 year old grandfather. *warbly voice* "I remember back in the day when it cost $5.00 to go to the picture show.") Can you tell it's late? Anyway, I've never really been an Orlando Bloom fan (other than as Legolas in LOTR), but MAN was he HOT in this movie. *fans herself* Yeah, he alone is worth my eight bucks. (g)

Anyway, I thought the movie was much better than the second one. I'm torn on which I like more between the first and the third...hmmm. Yeah, can't decide. Anyway, it was great -- very funny, but not in that, we're-going-to-cash-in-on-every-laugh-we-got-in-the-original-movie kind of way. It wasn't forced...just well-earned laughter. :) IF you haven't seen it... GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Oh, and ration your liquids. That puppy is three hours long... take it from the girl who had to dash to the restroom during the big finale. (g) I hate it when that happens.

Okay, clearly I need to get some sleep.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I read through BTPM finally. I started the other day, but thought it was reading crappy. Usually that means I'm too tired or irritable to be objective, so I put it down and walked away. Today I picked it up again and FLEW through it. I loved it. :) Granted, there are some rough patches, but overall it read really well.

The ironic thing is that I think I have the same problem with BTPM that I had with FI... prolly to a lesser extent, but it's still there. I tend to drop small clues about the ending, and then have this BIG finale that sort of...sneaks up on ya. LOL. With both, I need to go back in and amp up the tension in the early chapters.

Maybe it's me...but I think it can be better. Of course, the thought of revisions...*gag gag gurgle die* LOL. I hate 'em SOOOO much. Oh well, maybe someday, with enough practice, I'll grow to love them. (right!)

I'm itching to start WALKING IN SHADOW... bad. I'm already picturing the opening scene... oh man, in my mind, it's pretty intense. We'll see if I can translate it to the page. Yanno, I think I need to split my time between revisions and new work. Revisions just depress me...and I need to feel that I'm moving forward with _something_. We'll see. (g)

Tonight I'm going to see POTC3. Let me tell you, after the big disappointment of Spiderman 3, I really hope it's good. S3 sucked in my opinion. LOL. They tried WAY too hard to get a laugh, and parts of it reminded me of The Mask.... which I hated. Yeah, huge letdown. At any rate, I'm trying to watch POTC2 before I go... a little refresher course of sorts. (g)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Help Needed!

I need everyone to help me give a big ole' internet kick in the butt to my friend Jenna. (g) Jenna is a great writer, but she never seems to sit down and actually...yanno...write. LOL. I want to read her completed GIRL....GET A MOVE ON!!!

Anywho...I thought it might be fun to list our top ways of procrastinating... maybe if enough of them ring a bell with her, she'll put it into gear. :)

1. Solitaire!! OMG...I use it to avoid listening in class, to "prepare" myself for writing... Gah. And Jenna, I KNOW you do that Pogo stuff! :)

2. TV -- I'm the first to admit that I love trash TV. Okay, I'm not going to name off all of the shows I will distract myself with...but some are on VH1 and have a lot of flavor. (g)

3. Catching up on TV shows I miss by watching them on the computer. LOL. Yeah, I'm pathetic.

4. Naps -- girl, you know your butt takes a nap every day. If you fail to take one, you know it's out of the norm. (g)

5. Reading blogs/threads on the forum/surfing the net. Yeah, don't get me started. Although, as of late I haven't had nearly as much time to peruse the web. Heck, I haven't been on most of my haunts in over a month. I consider your YouTubing to fall under this, btw. (g) Not to mention your fanfic reading.

6. Writing on my blog/LJ. Yeah, 'nuff said.

7. Critting -- oh man, critting can take up SOOO much time. I know you learn a lot from doing it, but man, MY writing _should_ come first.

8. Checking my email. LOL. Okay, this has been amped up since I've been dealing with D.A.... well, with the query process as a whole.

9. Checking the mail -- see above re: query process. Man, I'm a nervous wreck waiting for responses. :)

10. Reading -- yeah, I need to do it, but not ALL the time and not to the detriment of my writing time.

Okay, I'll stop at ten...though I'm sure I could go on for quite a while. (g) It's actually pretty amazing that I get anything done.... If I could harness all of my time spent doing useless things, I'd seriously be rockin' the books. lol

YOUR turn. Help me deliver that boot to her ass. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Newbie Mistakes

On Sunday, I had a couple of friends over for cocktails and hottubbing in order to celebrate my having finished BTPM. Yeah, I needed some relaxation after the outline...then pounding out the new ending to BTPM, etc. Anyway, I got into this long conversation with one of my girls about writing. I worked with her a couple of years back, and we both independently (and secretively) started writing books. Mine was COTM of course...and hers was a children's book.

Anyway, she just had a baby... and well, for one reason or another, she's never moved much further than the "idea" stage.

We started talking about writing and then she said, "I just can't grasp how you do it." (?) She was referring to everything that it takes to write a book...knowing how to write dialogue...coming up with descriptions of to plot it out and make the characters interact. She just doesn't get it.

So, here we have two wannabe writers -- starting out at the same time. One never gets past the concept stage and some scribbled notes... The other is a writing maniac. I would guess I've written about 300-325K in the past two years. So...what happened there? What made my experience so different from hers? That's one for the heavens, cuz I just don't know.

Anyway, I started talking about how I've been on a complete learning curve since I began. I told them both about all of the HORRIBLE mistakes I made and misconceptions I was under when I first began. So... thought I would list some of 'em. (g)

1. Punctuating dialogue. LOL. I couldn't do it to save my life. I have examples where my dialogue looks something like this: "I don't want to go! she said angrily" or "I don't want to go". She said angrily. I don't know what happened, but I swear I was sober and drug-free. (g)

2. Show/Tell. I remember the first time someone said that to me. *blink blink blink wha?* I had no clue. This is probably the hardest thing to kick, so I'm not gonna fault myself too much... but man, what a concept to try to grasp when you're first starting out.

3. Passive writing. Okay, I'm not FULLY at fault for this one. I blame this on some of the writing that's allowed to hit the shelves. (g) After all, if I read that stuff, naturally I'm going to write that way. Right? Now when I read stuff like this, I want to throw the books at the wall.

4. Gerunds... yeah, don't get me started. I still don't fully grasp why they're so bad. (g)

5. Headhopping/POV slips. Yanno, I don't think I was ever a headhopper (thank God). I did have occasional POV slips, but nothing too major. I simply had to learn that a character can't see their own face turn red. (g)

6. White space. OH LORDY. I look at my original pages of COTM and wonder if I knew where the return key was back then. LOL. I have paragraphs in that MS that run over a page long... yeah, return, Jen...return!

7. Writing is easy. LMAO. Cha, right! Okay, so at times it is... but usually, the first few sentences in any writing session are unbelievably hard to get out. There are times when words come at the rate of about 10 every half hour... a sentence here...a word there... it's like pulling teeth. The biggest lesson I've learned to date is that writing is hard work, and that you have to push yourself to sit down during the non-creative moments. If I only wrote when the mood strikes me, I'd never get anything accomplished. The great thing is that usually when I force myself to write, my mood catches up. :)

8. Publication will be a piece of cake! *snrk* I remember thinking to myself that I had decent writing chops (post learning how to punctuate dialogue, that is) and that I shouldn't have a problem hitting the shelves. Oh Lordy. Yeah... 'nuff said.

9. Finding an agent would be quick and easy. ROFL. When I heard about people querying their book for close to two years, I thought...NO WAY is that gonna be me. I can't wait that long! lol. Yeah, I ate those words. (g) Granted, I'm only at about 7 or 8 months... but still! I thought I'd have it all wrapped up by New Year (g). (Hey, 3 months is enough, right?)

10. I will write historicals. HA! Yeah, I'm not sure historicals are my thing. I think that's pretty clear, actually. My only question is _what_ genre will I end up in? I love them all so. (g) My goal is to be housed in the fiction section...simply because they won't be able to nail down _what_ I am. (g) Count 'em off... historical (IF I finish it), suspense/mystery, YA, fantasy, and one that might turn into a romance. LOL. Heavens. And I'm only a couple of years into my writing career. Someday, a western could bubble up for all I know. Egads. (g) those are some of my huge mistakes/misconceptions. Please tell me I'm not alone. (g)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tee-Hee! *rubbing her hands together*

I've printed out BTPM for my first official read through. Heck, so far I don't think I've read more than a couple of chapters together in one sitting. fun fun. :) I feel like a kid on her way to Disneyland. (g) Hope I'm still grinning like a fool when I step off the ride.

Hmmm, nothing else to report. No word from D.A. I've decided I'm going to start executing the revisions... Either I do that or I begin another book. I can't imagine trying to juggle three down the road. LOL. Even I have my limits. (g) Although...I must admit I'm itchin' to get started on WALKING IN SHADOW...or continue working on THE BRAEDEN. Gah, and then there's that short story...and NARC 2. Blah!! Too many books -- must focus. Right now that means reading BTPM. Wish me luck. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007


At 7am this morning, I finished the very last scene of BY THE PALE MOONLIGHT. WOOWOO! (g) It felt great to type that last sentence. I'm going to let it sit for a little while and then go back for a final polish. Right now, it's looking really good because I've already sent over half of it through a crit forum and the whole MS out to a handful of betas.

Two people have read my ending so far, well, as far as I know. I've received positive responses, so maybe I didn't push it with my cliffhanger. (g) I'll hopefully hear back from the last few soon.

For now, I'm basking in the glow of having finished my second novel. Yanno, when I finished FAKING IT and considered what book to tackle next, etc., it felt like I would _never_ be able to do it again. It seems like an insurmountable task when you're sitting there with a blank page and 65-85K ahead of you. But man, I _can_ do it. YAY. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Moment Of Silence Is In Order

Last night I received word that Miss Snark is closing up shop on her blog. Oh man, this is a sad day for writers 'round the world. I can't tell you how much I've learned from that blog.

Heck, back in December I got to experience her snarkiness when she crit my hook. I can't tell you how good it felt to hear her say that my voice was wonderfully compelling and funny as hell... yanno (see--I picked up that word from her!), it totally overrode her other comments about never reading it because she thought drugs/lightweight romance shouldn't mix. LOL. All I heard was how great my voice was. (g)

At any rate, thank you Miss Snark for all that you did for me! I shall miss you zapping people with your cluegun...your lusting after George Clooney...hearing about Killer Yapp's ingenius schemes to wipe out the squirrel population...and of course your gin drinking and setting your hair ablaze..

The world will not be the same without your daily doses of snarkiness.

Friday, May 18, 2007

In A Pinch

One of the things I find extremely crazy about being a writer is the way my stories stay with me at all times. I can be super busy with schoolwork (heck, once I was even in a final) and an image or a bit of dialogue will hit me. Something so perfect that I MUST write it down out of fear of losing it. Has that ever happened to you?

For this post, I thought it might be fun to relate some of the crazier moments and my urgent need to "get it down."

One of my favorites is when I first started BTPM. I remember I was sort of down at the time because I had a partial rejected from this really great agent... and well, you know how that goes. Anyway, for some reason inspiration hit me particularly hard and I came up with the idea for BTPM. I can't remember what was going on that night, but I remember I had _very little_ time to clean the house. As I'm the official maid (I clean in exchange for room/board), I couldn't exactly say I needed to take a 3 hour break to get the beginning scenes out of my head. Instead, I grabbed a notepad and wrote down as much as I could get out in about five minutes. My notes were crazy -- I think I may even still have them. I basically recorded the bits I could see/feel... emotion...another line of dialogue...etc. It was chicken scratch at best, but you know what? When I came back to it later that night, I was able to pound out the scene with very little effort. It was fantastic.

Another is that I wrote quite a bit of CHILD OF THE MIST and FAKING IT while at work. I was working at an office and waitressing at the time. I'd be sitting there doing mindless data entry and a scene would start to play out in my mind. My tool of choice to get it down? The pink "While You Were Out" slips. (g) I'd scribble down whatever had bubbled up and tuck that sheet away in my purse... rinse, repeat, many times. Then I'd go off to my waitressing job. At that job, I used SO much of their register paper to get my ideas down. Actually, I wrote entire scenes between tables. LOL. Some of my favorites. (g) My co-workers loved to tease me and would constantly try to guess what kind of scene I was writing. A bodice ripper seemed to be the guess of choice. AS IF. (g)

I've also excused myself from a movie (in a theatre) so I could run to the restroom to jot things down. Let me tell you, never do you question your sanity more than when you're hiding in a bathroom stall writing out images on the back of a fast food receipt. LOL. Hey, at least I didn't use toilet paper. (g)

At home, I'm a bit more organized. I keep a journal by my bed -- that way, I can jot things that come to me in dreams or in that not asleep but not awake state. It's saved me many a times. I also keep a small notebook in my purse now. Not to mention one in my car for those times I'm stuck somewhere trying to kill time.

So, now that we've established I'm insane. What do you do? (g)

Jen Passes Muster

Dang it. I passed all of my classes. Guess that means I have to go back next year to finish. (g) Oh well -- one more year. If I could pass this semester, I can do anything. LOL. Seriously, I person couldn't do more NOT to pass. (VBG)


Well, the bad news is that I still haven't heard from D.A. (g) The good news is that tonight I finally got some writing accomplished -- over 1500 words, actually. It feels great. I'm just hoping that in the morning I won't discover they're total crap. (g) Oh well, you can only try your best. I'm just happy to have finally broken my mini-block that's been haunting me these past few days. Anyway, I vowed to get a scene of BTPM out of the way tonight, and I did. I'm now gonna allow myself to go to bed -- as it's _verra_ late. (g)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Writing Process

As I'm waiting for word from D.A., I'm finding myself extremely bored and anxious. I perused my posts on this blog and realized I've never really done what I had hoped to do with this journal -- talk about my writing process and how _I_ write. Mostly you've been getting updates on my progress and an occasional rambling post about my schoolwork and/or dogs and family. (g) So, I plan to rectify that _right now_.

First of all, I want to begin by saying that nothing makes me laugh harder than a writer who posts about craft and declares themselves a master of a certain technique... For one, it's basically a dare for you to read their stuff and point out the things they're doing wrong... Secondly, when you've declared yourself a master of something, how do you know you're right? (g) Granted, there are some writers who have earned the "right" to talk about how things are done. However, they're pretty few and far between. That said, I in _no way_ think that the way I do things is the right way, or that you should listen to anything I say. (g) I'm simply going to throw out some things that work for me and hope that anything I say will be the smallest bit of help, or at the very least, a teensy bit interesting to you. I hope. (g)

Secondly, I'm not a person who studies craft. I'm not able to ramble on about terminology and techniques... I write by instinct. Whether or not I pull it off is another thing, but I'm not going to bog anyone down with semantics. The last writing class I took was composition in undergrad....goodness, that has to have been a good 10 years ago. (g) So, if you want technicals, I ain't your girl. ;) If you want a hands on approach, hopefully I can help. I'm admittedly a horrible teacher, so I will try my best.

If there are any topics you'd like covered, please, let me know. I'm going to post my email address in the sidebar...or you can simply reply to this post. I'm still trying to decide what to discuss first, but I hope to be back tonight with _something_.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


For those of you waiting for word, there hasn't been any yet. LOL. I'm trying not to think about it, but catch myself checking my email much too often. I've promised myself that I will work on BTPM and try not to think about it. (No such luck as of yet). Now that I've finished a few things I needed to get done, hopefully I can get on that goal. :)

I miss writing -- so I'm all for it. I just don't remember HOW to write at the moment. Gah, I hate school imposed writing breaks. Okay, I'm off -- will post as soon as I hear anything.

Monday, May 14, 2007

If There's One Truth in Life...'s that family get-togethers are great fodder for fiction. If ever in need of some classic lines or jokes, all I need to do is to go to a dinner with my extended family. I'd like to take a moment to share some particular jewels that have occurred over the past couple of weekends. Okay, all of these things center around my cousin's six year old son. He has such a way with words. (g)

Once upon a time, he used to be rather shy. It's only in the past few months that I've noticed him opening his mouth to initiate conversations with people, etc. Too bad for the boy -- with all of us adults roaring with laughter every time he speaks, he's probably going to go back to his silent ways. (g)

Okay -- here are some good ones. LOL. My cousin has three kids -- and we're sitting down to dinner last weekend and they all come roaring inside. "One of the dogs went to the bathroom!" Lovely. (g) My aunt, who's recently become a mama when she adopted Bailey, quietly asks said 6 year old whether the dog went number one or number two. He stared at her for the longest time, the little gears in his head spinning round and round, and then confidently says, "Three." *giggle* Being part of "poo patrol", I went out to deal with the matter. At which time, all three kids stood over the spot, fingers pointed at the little heap. Then the 9 year old girl proudly declares, "There are four pieces!"

Okay... then there's yesterday. My uncle grilled burgers and we were all in line to get our food, etc. Then, I hear this high little voice (the 6 year old) asking, "Who made these hamburgers?" Someone tells him it was this uncle... and everyone goes about their business. Out of nowhere, and apparently no one heard it but me, I hear, "They're horrible!" ROFL. The same kid then turns to my aunt, who by all accounts is a big woman, and says, "Wow! You've got _everything_ on your plate!" LMAO.

Oh man, kids. I love them. (g)

Outline Received

Well, he has the outline. He sent me a quick note to let me know he received it and that he'll take a look asap. Now the waiting begins. (g) That was at 8 this morning, so who knows if I'll hear back today. That's okay, though... My brain is feeling a little heavy right now. It needs a few hours to recharge before I'm potentially asked to revise my revisions. LOL. Or better -- begin the actual revisions. It's going to be a lot of work.

I started with 83 scenes... and I think I hacked out about 25 scenes. That's a lot of rewrites. (g) I will be busy. And that 85K word count...gonna go up. (g) I'd say I probably have a good 30-50K to write. Yeah, that'll take a while. LOL.

Oh kills me. (g)

Fly Baby, Fly!

I sent off the outline/synopsis. I simply couldn't wait any longer. It's winging its way as I type. Here's hoping D.A. likes it...*eeeeeee*

Oh...and YAY!!!!!!! It's finished. :)

Sunday, May 13, 2007


I've put my entire outline together. I cut my original MS to shreds, but man, I LOVE THIS NEW OUTLINE. LOL. I can't say enough how excited I am about these changes. This new version has more excitement, more layers, more's great. (g) Granted, who knows if it'll be the final version, but it's a HUGE step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned.

And can I just give a BIG thank-you to Carol?! Girl, you kept pointing out that the ending bothered you. I just didn't get what the problem was. I was about to call it good when I decided to take one last look. I started typing a question to Jenna when *ding! Lightbulb moment* hit me. I completely changed what I had. The new ending is FABULOUS and I'm so glad you kept going back to it with me. In my mind, everything was fine... but now it's GREAT. Gah. I'm so excited. :)

I'm going to clean up these pages and send off to D.A. in the morning. EEEE. I'm nervous but very excited. I feel like I'm sending off my full again. LOL. Here's hoping he likes it and doesn't say _this_ is what I waited all this time for?? (g)

Very Close!

I'm basically finished with my "outline" now. I have one last scene that I need to add in. I know what I want to happen, but I'm still trying to work out the sequencing and trying to decide where to place it in the MS. At any rate...YAY. Tomorrow I'll clean the whole thing up and get it ready to go.

I'm heading to my grandparents again for Mother's Day. Just a day trip this time, but I've vowed to utilize the driving time better. (g) If that means putting on my headphones to tune out the fam...that's what I'll have to do. Of course, the dogs may have other ideas. lol

Oh man, this is such a load off... I'm very happy with where I'm standing right now. Hopefully, D.A. will love what I've done.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Let's hear it once again for epiphanies just when you think you're too exhausted to think. I had a wonderful one tonight (right after my last post) and put off bedtime so I could pound it out (with steaming eyes and all). This particular idea clears up an issue I've had for a very long time. I'm so excited about this one -- it's _great_. A friend showed up on IM and I ran it past her. She let loose a good ole' Holy Sh*t when I told her. Good...very good. (g) WHY didn't I see this before? Oh well, better late than never. Yanno, I think I learned a lot in that phone call with D.A. I really hope he's pleased with what I've come up with -- I know I am. :)

Baby Steps...But Steps Nonetheless

I didn't make a lot of progress today. When spring finally gets into full swing, I usually start getting terrible headaches. I have no idea what causes them, but I'm sure it has to do with pollen/allergies. It's only been the past 3 years or so that I've had them. Think it's coincidental that I moved back to NE at that time? (g) At any rate, I wake up with them and it takes a few hours and lotsa Advil to make them go away. At this rate, I'm not getting to start work until late afternoon. Today was no exception.

Of course, as soon as I start working this poor woman drove her car into the fire hydrant outside our house. *blinks* (Is my life all kinds of drama lately, or what?) The poor girl -- she dozed off after a really long shift at work. Thankfully, her little boy, who was also in the car, was tucked away in the back seat on the _opposite_ side of the car. Anyway, she was completely shaken and I sat outside with her while she waited for the police and tow truck. Thankfully, no one was hurt and they walked away unscathed. Her car door was toast, though. The hydrant won that battle, completely ripping off the outer casing of her door, popping her tire, and jamming her back passenger door shut. Could've been a _whole_ lot worse.

Anyway, the outline is coming along slowly. I'm coping with the fact that it doesn't seem I can have two productive days in a row. lol. Oh well. With any luck, I should be able to finish it tomorrow. That will give me Sunday to let it marinate and make any changes I deem appropriate. It will also give me some time to decide whether or not this is the proper format I want to send D.A. Maybe I'll condense the plot and send this as a second attachment -- give him a variety. (g) Oh, I'm all about the variety buffet. If anyone has experience with this, please speak up. (g) I need a shot with the clue cannon at this point.

The good news is that I showed what I have so far to a friend last night -- she was extremely excited about the changes and said she would love to read the book, yanno if she hadn't already. LOL. Oh well, I'll take it as a very positive thing. A second friend thought it was a bit wordy -- but where's the surprise there? (g) Oh well, I'll clean it up after I get it all down.

Okay -- think I'm calling it a night. Now my eyes are burning. Wonder why... Yeah, I'm in allergy denial. Hard to cope when you've lived your entire life without them. LOL.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Another Scene Bites The Dust

I've lost quite a few scenes tonight. But it's all looking _really_ good right now. I'm super excited. For those of you in the know, I managed to save the video game scene after sending it to the chopping block. I'm very happy about that. LOL. Score one for Jen! (g)

I feel like a surgeon -- slicing and dicing my baby. I'm pulling scenes from different areas of the book and melding them together like Frankenstein. But, hey...the more scenes I can utilize, the less rewrites I'll need to do. So, it's all good. I have one section where I took scenes from about 4 different chapters...and they're all going to flow together in the end. Crazy.

I've also started to write my outline, which is really more like a synopsis. I've never been very good at the bulleted things -- for me, it's easier to write in paragraph form. So, I'm going with it. If D.A. wants it in another format, I'll change it. But I really can't see why he'd argue with this -- it gives him a pretty good view of the entire book in an easily readable format. Okay, so I'm justifying, so sue me. (g) It's already close to four full pages... and I have probably about a third of the book to go through still. I would break it into chapters, but I have no clue how large some of the scenes will be and/or how the flow of the book will be affected by the new stuff.

At any rate, if I'm extremely lucky, I _may_ be able to send it out tomorrow. I'm not holding my breath. Monday is sounding more doable...but you never know. At any rate, I've been working for about 10 hours (yanno, with the occasional solitaire/IM/puppy break thrown I'm off to bed.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's Coming Together

I have quite a few new bits worked out for my revisions. I'm actually going to change a big chunk of my ending, which I didn't see coming until I was showering this morning. LOL. Here's to shower epiphanies. (g) One of my friends said I come up with the best ideas when I'm either asleep or showering. Go figure. (g) Of course, I don't know what that says for my fully alert, trying to think it out, creativity. (g) Oh well -- I'll take what I can get. I actually have the best ideas when I'm not even thinking about the book -- yeah, weird.

I'm hoping to finish up the last bits tonight -- then I'll write it all out and send to D.A. I really hope he likes this. It's going to take a while to do the revisions, but hopefully they'll be worth it. I think they will be. With each new idea, I'm becoming more and more excited.

In other news -- my poor lil' Chloe sprained her shoulder. We haven't a clue how she did it, but she started limping a couple of days ago. We figured she just thwapped her paw against something and she'd be okay. Yesterday, she stepped down into the garage (one step) and cried out as it sort of twisted beneath her. We whisked her off to the vet -- and she's now on doggie drugs. LOL. It's sad though -- cuz she wants to play, but she can't. Then today, she chased after the UPS man (who delivered my power cord!!! YAY!!!) and is _really_ limping now. They should've put some valium in her daily meds.. keeping that dog down is a challenge.

That put a bit of a cramp in my revisions time, but family comes first. :)

Oh, on a sidenote... I'm hoping to attend the Surrey Writer's Conference this October. They run a few writing contests, one being a 5K short story contest judged by none other than Diana Gabaldon and Jack Whyte. I think I read the prize is a thousand dollars. *big eyes* LOL. Anyway, I think if I can swing the conference, I'm going to give it a go. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had a new idea spring up -- I'm going to shoot to condense it into a short story that can later be expanded into a full-sized novel. I _think_ I can do it, and I'm super excited to give a short story a try. As you all know, I'm rather wordy. (g) It'll be a huge challenge and I really look forward to it. So, that's percolating in the back of my mind... but revisions come first.

I'll admit, I'm itching to write something new. Granted, once I nail down my ideas for FI, I'm going to have plenty of writing to do. LOL. I've cut some big chunks and will have to add quite a bit. In a way, it's just as exciting as the first draft -- even more so on some levels. I mean, I know these characters really well now, so I can play with them a little more and rework things to make them even better. Or if there are parts that bugged me, I can just snip them right out and start fresh. I'm allowed that opportunity now -- because so much is changing and I don't have to freak out about ripple effects, etc.

At any rate -- back to work.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Snip! Snip! Snip!

Okay, I did it. I cut some scenes today -- some really great ones, in fact. *sigh* For those of you who have read my wip... the drunk boys/spooning/shower/locked out of the house stuff has said adios. Yeah, it wasn't easy, but I had to be truthful with myself. It wasn't pushing the main plot forward and lord knows it was taking up a BIG chunk of my words.... so, snip snip snip. The great thing is that I _can_ put those scenes in another book -- they don't have to be in this one. So, it will be okay. *nods firmly to convince herself* Of course, if I can somehow sneak them back in, you know I will! LOL.

The main thing -- I want/NEED to save the dance. For one, I can't think of any other place I could put it -- it's very book specific and wouldn't work elsewhere. So, pick your battles, I guess. Surely I'll be allowed one ridiculous scene in this book. (g)

Anyway, I made some really great progress with my brainstorming/rearrangement/reworking of my scenes. Right now, I'm not actually writing anything new -- just trying to think the whole thing out so I can send an outline to D.A. I've got some changes that I absolutely love, and once I figure out one or two last plot points, I should be able to pull together the rest fairly quickly. I'm just stuck on a few logistics. So, good progress. I'll sleep on the rest and maybe an answer will pop up in my dreams. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Revision Mania

I wasn't feeling well yesterday -- bad temple headache. So, I didn't really get much accomplished on the revision front. After some rest and advil, I managed a few notes, but that's about it.

Today, I am hellbent on getting a good chunk of an outline at least plotted out so I can send off to D.A. _this week_. Yes, this week. I've taken far too long the way it is.

At present, I have notecards laid out across my dining room table -- 83 scenes. Yowsa. They're a bit daunting laid out like that. LOL. Now it's time to rearrange and cut. *cries* I can do it, though. I already figure if some of my scenes can't make it into this book, they're going elsewhere. Somehow I will squeeze them into another book. I simply can't give up on the spooning scene...or the senior center dance...or the threesome...yeah. LOL. That sounds totally random, but trust me, these are some FUNNY scenes. :) I'll try to keep them until someone rips them from my kungfu death grip. (g) Okay, maybe it's not that desperate, but dang close!

Anyhow -- I think I'm psyched up to get some work done. I'll check back in later to let you know how it's going.

Monday, May 7, 2007

I'm Baaack!

Goodness -- it feels like I've been gone forever even though it was only overnite. LOL. At any rate, just a quick note before I crash. I didn't get a lot accomplished -- I always go with the best of intentions, but 15 adults, 3 children ranging in age from 2-9 and two crazy dogs in an itty bitty house makes life a bit nuts. When I finally got some time alone, I gave writing my best shot but unfortunately didn't get far. My actual word count is pretty embarrassing -- less than 150 last night, and nothing today. But considering how tired I was, I'm glad I got that much. And as a friend pointed out tonight -- at least the words I did manage are quite powerful. So, I guess that's something. :)

Oh, and I meant to write during the car ride.. Yeah, didn't quite work out. Chloe insisted on sitting on my lap the entire time, and between her and Bailey squawking about who would sit there... not to mention the whining every time we passed a field of cows (Chloe's obsessed with them), it was impossible to work. LOL. Oh well.

Tomorrow the real work begins. I'm putting myself on a schedule from here on out. (g)

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A Quick Hello And Goodbye!

I'm heading out of town in about an hour -- will be gone until tomorrow night. Anyway, I really don't have anything to report. Yesterday was completely chaotic, and I didn't have a single minute to work on writing/revisions. However, I plan to utilize my pen and paper on the ride to my grandparents. :) It's definitely time to commit my ideas about FI to paper and maybe -- work on BTPM and that new ending. I'm actually itching to write that, so that might be the easier choice given my limited medium during the ride. (g)

The good news is that the whole powercord/lack of receipt/statements worked itself out. I went in and gave them my phone number -- no, no, he doesn't need to see my ID or credit card. WTF? Gah, how frustrating. At any rate -- the missing statements/receipts still haven't shown up. I'm hopeful I'll run across them as I clear out my room (I'm boxing up some books and stuff to move down to the basement). At any rate, they gave me a new warranty receipt, etc. That sucker will be well-guarded. (g)

Anyway -- like I said, nothing to report. (g) I'll be back Sunday night -- having made some progress, I hope. That would be weird, eh? :) Have a good weekend!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Aaargh! (g)

Well, I think I'm finally coming out of my post-finals exhaustion. Wow. Talk about wiped out. I've barely been able to get moving and have spent a good part of the past couple of days watching the LOTR trilogy. Sad...truly.

At any rate, my brain seems to be coming out of the fog -- tonight I spent a good amount of time thinking about revisions to FI and BTPM. First, BTPM. I think I've slowly realized that I still have a lot of story to tell with this one. I don't know that it will end at two books -- it's more likely there's _at least_ a third. That's what I'm going with at any rate. And with the brainstorming, I had a little lightbulb moment that will somewhat change the ending I have in place for book 1. It's all good -- just setting up the second book anticipation a little more. (g) Oh man, I hope I don't get crucified for my ending. LOL.

As for FI -- I'm getting there. I've got notecards all made up -- I plan on hitting the revisions hardcore in the next week or so. I've finally come to the conclusion that I can cut stuff. Yeah, I can do it. My big plan is to pull out everything that isn't 100% necessary...which will hurt...and work forward. If I can work some of it in, great... If I can't... maybe I can use the stuff in another book. The main thing is that I need to pull that stuff out for now. Trying to work around it will be too frustrating and I think it would be that much harder to let the scenes go if I'm constantly tripping over them. Does that make sense?

At any rate, I have big plans for what I'm going to do. It's really going to change a lot of things...but it WILL retain the same tone and Maddy style. (g) Can't lose that...WON'T lose that. Hopefully, I can put together an outline to send off to D.A. I'm going to shoot for it at any rate.

And of course (with my luck), tomorrow I'm super busy and won't have a single minute to write. Then I'm going out of town Saturday and Sunday. Oh yay -- finally in the mood and I won't have any time. Oh well, I'll take pen and paper and try to work during the drive. My biggest problem will be surviving without the internet. LOL. When I start getting the shakes, I might have to find a coffee house with wireless. :) The worst part -- my grandparents (I'm going for my grandmother's 80th birthday party) don't even have electric plugs in their guest rooms. No laptop!! *cries*

Speaking of which! I'm having a laptop nightmare. My power cord has gone kaput -- actually, it went blotto about a week and a half ago. It freaked me the heck out because I _needed_ my laptop for finals. At any rate, I've been sharing my uncle's power cord. Two of us trying to use it is slowly becoming a nightmare, though. He's not feeling nearly as generous with it now that finals are over -- which is understandable but a big problem. (g)

At any rate, I have a warranty on my computer...but guess what? Yep, can't find the receipt, which is CRAZY. So, I call the store tonight and they said if I brought in my credit card statement with my ID, that would be fine. Guess what? credit card statement. *pulls hair out* An entire year's worth of statements is GONE. I have no clue where they are. It's truly the weirdest thing because I'm really careful with such things. My biggest fear is that I accidentally shredded the wrong pile or something. *bangs head on desk*

So, I narrowed down my purchasing card to two possibilities. I phoned the CC company tonight and they're sending my missing statements. 7-10 working days. Gah. The other is my bank, which is actually the more likely candidate. I'm going to phone them in the morning. Cross your fingers that I bought it with my debit card -- or that I find the missing year of statements somewhere. LOL. Gah, I can't believe this. At any rate -- it will work out in the end. I just don't know how long it will take to get there. (g)

Wow -- this is a long post. Guess I'll stop rambling. (g)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


I'm finished!!! YAY. Okay, time for a nap. (g)