Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sometimes I Just Don't Know...

...where these things come from. Or whether or not I should keep them.

From FAKING IT (c) 2008

I admit it. I’ve had Dirty Harry fantasies since I could first spell g-u-n, and those fantasies only intensified every time my brothers refused to let me tag along on one of their hunting trips. The thought of a gun in my hands was a very enticing image.

Pow, pow, pow. Bad guys go BOOM.

I made Gabe pull over twice—once to dump the bullets in a dumpster, the next to dump the gun down a street drain. I had to cover my eyes when he did the latter. It was such a waste.

~

Any thoughts? LOL.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day One

Well, M:A is in action, starting today! I've made a goal of 3K this week. I know that's not much, but I really have a full schedule. Not only is work hectic (more so than I thought it would be originally because some dipsh*t at work got in trouble and I'm helping to cover his shifts), but I'm also heading out of town this weekend for a family...thing. To be honest, we're going to go through my grandmother's things...not a fun prospect, but not something I would want to miss.

On to happier subjects...

I managed 700 words tonight, even though I didn't start writing until well after midnight. I know it isn't much, but it's a lot more than I thought I would get this late at night. lol. It's also a good start to a new chapter that has been giving me all kinds o' trouble.

AND, I've been having all kinds of ideas bubbling up for several different WIP's. Some that I'm "actively" working on, and some that I only have vague ideas about. For example, I had an idea bubble up for Narc 4 tonight. LOL. No, I don't really plan that far in advance. I have a notion of what it will be about, but nothing is concrete yet. Mostly I just know where certain books will be set and a general idea of the plot. Book 2, for instance, has Maddy back at her home office. Book 3 has her back out on an assignment, with a rather quirky "sidekick/informant." Book 4...well, you'll have to wait on that. (g) As Jenna reminded me tonight, there's no way I can let this series go. LOL. Sometimes I'm slow on the uptake.

I've also had some ideas bubble up for BTPM and STOLEN. And TP is still simmering. Occasionally I get an image for a scene while I'm driving around town. There's definitely a few perks to setting a story in your hometown. :)

The best thing is that I have my "mojo" back finally. I actually feel that I can finish FI again. I haven't felt THAT way in a long time. It feels good. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ummmm..

So, the M:A site isn't working -- at all. There seems to be a huge error that has crashed everything. I've sent a message to the administrators. If it's not working by Monday, we'll set our goals, etc. here. As soon as it's back up, we'll head on over. Hopefully that will be soon!

Sorry... I think I did it when I tried to add the music feature. :P

ETA: So, it looks like a system-wide error. I don't think even I could cause that. But...

ETA: It's back up. NEVERMIND!! LOL.

Test

Too cool. I can post to my blog from Word. I swear, computers are creepy these days. I didn't even put my blogger account address anywhere. CREEPY.

*looks over shoulder*

Wowsa

October is almost over. I can't believe it. This is my favorite month of the year, and it just FLEW past! Ack. (g)

I'm a little bummed that I wasn't able to hold my annual wine tasting -- I always hold one near Halloween. It just wasn't in the cards, tho. I'm far too busy, and honestly, I promised myself I wouldn't get distracted by such things until I finished FI. *looks at manuscript, looks at calendar, looks at manuscript again* Umm, yeah, ain't gonna happen this month. Maybe later THIS year, tho. :) I can always keep that goal in mind at any rate!

Work is slowing down after this next week!!!! *YAY* Instead of my 60-70 hours a week, I'll be down to maybe 45-50. Oh man, what a difference that will make in my writing schedule! I'll have more energy and time...and yeah, it's just going to Be Better. Coupled with the new accountability circle, I should be able to whip my butt into gear and get this dang book finished and off to DA. FINALLY. I'm craving, big time, to get back to work on BTPM. I've had a few ideas rattling around and I can't wait to implement the changes. Again, nothing major. *crosses fingers* It's sad to say, but I haven't even looked at BTPM since last...gah, October, maybe? That's insane, and by far the longest break I've taken with any book. Perhaps that will be beneficial. So many people say you need that time away. Umm, I've never listened to that advice. (VBG) Maybe they'll be right. Maybe I'll be right. Gah, I don't care either way. I miss Ty and Mac.

I really need to clone myself to get this all done. (g)

Today there's a football game on -- my Huskers. But man, I have to admit I don't want to watch it. I want to write. So yeah, let everyone say I'm crazy. I'm gonna do what I want to do. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Invites Are Out!

I've sent an email to everyone I had an addy for. There are a couple of you I haven't heard from, I think -- Cindy and Helen, off the top of my head. If you haven't sent an email, shoot one on over to jnhendren @ hotmail dot com OR head on over and give us a knock at: http://missionaccountability.ning.com/

Precie: I never did get your email, but I had a yahoo addy for you. Hope it works! :)

I'll see ya'll over there!!

P.S. You can put the main blogger on google reader!!

Almost Ready!

I've created a site for us to play in. :) Now I just need everyone's email addy to do invites. :) Please leave it in the comments or email me at jnhendren @ hotmail dot com.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hey All!

Just a quick note from work. I'm having some issues with my home computer, as in it went completely blotto on me last night. I'm getting a new one today. (yippee!) Anyway, nope...not too late for anyone to join up. I'll probably end up setting something up where we all have access, and we can all post there. (Nope, Carrie -- you don't need to have your own blog to join in! :))

Anyway, give me a couple of days to figure out the best place, etc. -- and keep the suggestions coming if you have any.

Mission: Accountable is in effect! (or is it Affect? See, I need you guys!! LOL)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Whoo-hoo!

Wow, lotsa takers on the accountability circle. (We ssoooooo need a better name than that!!)

Jenna had a brilliant idea of starting a new blog/community or whatever. Where we all have access to posting, etc. What do you guys think?

If you like that idea, it will probably take a couple of days to get everything set up and ready to roll. So, I'm thinking we could make our first set of goals next week -- looks like Monday is in the lead right now. Sound good?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's A Fine Start

Mission-Get-Back-On-Track aka "Stop being a total schmuck, Jen, and FTDB" has begun.

Between last night and tonight, I managed 1600 new words for FI. I've expanded that scene I mentioned the other night--given it more oomph and meaning to the story overall. It's probably a bit more intense in the front half than I intended, but I'll see how readers react. I can always lighten it up. I will say that the ending of it is probably one of the funniest visuals I've ever written. (VBG)

*giggles*

I love it.

Tomorrow I plan to get through the next section. It doesn't need that much work -- just some basic floofing to emcompass some of the changes that were made to the first quarter of the book. Then I think I need a short bridging scene to sew the next couple of sections together. I may work a little on it before I go to bed.

Man, I'm feeling much better -- determined, even, today. Thanks, guys!

Come One, Come All!

Jenna and I have decided to start an "accountability circle." What is an accountability cirlce, you ask? Well, the basic idea is to pull together a group of writers who will cheer each other on, try to keep each other on task, and well, hold each other accountable for slacking off. (Not that we would ever do that, mind. Okay, yes, yes, we would.)

So, here's what I'm thinking. Each week we set a few goals for ourselves--and we publish them for everyone to see. And well, if we meet those goals at the end of the week, GREAT. That's the goal. Now, if we don't...there will be a reckoning of some sort. (VBG)

Now, I'm not talking a hundred lashes at dawn. I'm talking little tasks or things we must do to vindicate our clear lack of effort. (I'm taking this straight from Brotherood 2.0, btw -- not that I think waxing any part of our bodies should be a viable option. Nor that Strawberry Hill nonsense. That's just Medieval.)

No...a couple of ideas, off the top of my head:

1. An ode to...well, ME, should I be the one choosing...

2. Or my personal favorite pick for Jenna -- make her write AND mail a fan letter to Johnny Depp.

Writing punishments are ideal, but they certainly do not encompass all the possibilities.

We could even do a snip circle to see and read what each of has accomplished in any given week.

So, what say you? Do we have any takers?

We'd definitely need a cool name, too....*thinking*

Friday, October 17, 2008

*Sniff Sniff*

I had a new scene bubble up for STOLEN today -- two actually. I worked on one for a while tonight. It isn't perfect yet, but it's going to be great. I feel it. It totally made me bawl. I'm talking big fat tears that just poured out.

This book rocks. (g)

I feel so blessed to write it.

On a complete sidenote (random to the umpth degree!): I have CMT on right now. Just when in the heck did Hootie go country?? (Remember Hootie and The Blowfish??) I love this song and never knew he sang it. That's full of all kinds of awesome. (g) Darius Rucker: Don't Think I Don't Think About It. Go forth and listen.

On the FI front -- I'm easing back in, honest. Can't say I got a lot of writing done tonight, but I'm working on it. A lot of brainstormng on how to change one of my old scenes to better fit the new book. I think it's going to rock when I finish. Oh yeah. (g) I'm also thinking about ways to change the front end of the story...rearrange and possibly insert some new scenes to get things moving along a little faster. I love the opening, but yeah, it needs _something_ and I know I can make it better.

Okay, I'm out -- I'm going to write until I conk out. Shouldn't be long. lol

Night!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Go Big Or Go Home, Jen!

I needed a much needed kick in the ass tonight, and thank God, Jenna was there to give it to me. So, okay...when I started this blog, I promised myself to always be honest. We all love to hear when another writer is having a terrific streak of great writing sessions...when their stories are just flowing onto the page. But lets be honest, is that all there is to being a writer?

Ummm, I have to say, NEGATIVE. There are many bad days in the life of a writer. Today was one of those for me. And I'm here to share.

So, FI... yeah, I think it's pretty obvious that I'm struggling. I'm frustrated with myself to no end. I mean, why haven't I finished it yet?? I have this great agent waiting for it--a great agent who BELIEVES in me--and I'm dragging my feet big time. Why can't I just suck it up and push through to the end?

Answer: I have no idea.

So yeah, I had to have a little talk with myself today. Why is it that I'm struggling so much with FI while my other stories are chomping at the bit to be written?? Why are they coming so easily when getting an hour of facetime with FI is so HARD?

To be honest, I think it's a combination of things.

1. I don't want to fail. Lord knows it would kill me to turn in my revisions and have D.A. say it's not right for him after all. So, yeah...pretty easy to make excuses, drag my feet, and generally avoid finishing the blasted thing.

2. This one is hard to say without sounding full of myself -- but I've changed as a writer. Grown in a lot of ways--gotten better. I want to challenge myself -- break out in all kinds of directions -- explore new ideas. I don't want to tie myself down too early. Perhaps I have. I mean, how many people get a shot with their first book? Gah, I feel like such a heel to complain about such a thing, but maybe I needed more time to really figure out what it is I want to write.

3. In that same vein, I love YA. Love it. If I had to make a choice between YA and adult, I know YA would win hands down. Is moving forward with an adult series going to ruin my chances with it? Could I even juggle both if given the opportunity?

4. Life really has sucked the past few months. But again, I've let those excuses ride for too long.

So yeah, I asked myself a really tough question tonight. Would it be better for me--both personally and professionally--to give up on FI and focus on my other projects? I have to be honest...yeah, in some ways it would be.

Jenna took issue with this -- Thank God.

One of her comments really hit home -- could I really leave my characters: Drew, Gabe, and especially Maddy, hanging like that? Beneath it all, the underlying question: Can I live without them?

Answer: NO. HELL no.

So, yeah...it's a matter of going big or going home at this point. I have to finish. If nothing comes of it--if it never hits the shelves--at least I'll know I gave it my best shot. Even if it took me a LONG time to finish.

I vowed to start small and just keep working... if it takes me six weeks or six months or six years...it has to end at some point, right? (g)

I pulled up one of the scenes that needed work and made a wonderful discovery. I've had all of these ideas on how I would revise it and lo and behold, the changes were already there!! Does that tell you a lot about how checked out I've been over the past few months, or what? Gah, case in point. It even had a wonderful laugh out loud moment in there. (g) I so don't remember making these changes, but that's okay.

Other good news: I finally located that handwritten scene that I lost a while back. That too has a great line that made me giggle non-stop. AND I discovered a new scene I had forgotten all about. Good grief. Put all of this stuff together and I pretty much have the 2nd quarter finished. I just need to stitch it all together. Guess what that means? A few more scenes in the 3rd quarter and I'm done. (Granted, it still needs some major revisions throughout the entire thing, but I'm not nearly as far away as I thought at the beginning of the night.) Okay, this sounds all sunshine and happiness, but honestly, I just needed a little boost to the ole' self-confidence.

I can do this. I CAN do this.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Still Pinging Over Here

Pounded out a quick 400 word start to a scene...and man, I really love it. STOLEN is seriously coming to me quickly. Scary quick. But I love it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Squee!!

Twilight HD Exclusive Trailer


Thanks to Nina for the link!!

I'm ridiculously excited to see this. In fact, I may knock over a few teenagers in order to get my ticket first. (g)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Some Reviews

It feels like forever since I lasted reviewed any books -- heck, it's been a long time since I've taken any time to read at all. I've been listening to a lot of audio books, but I've read all of them before, so nothing new there. I will say that Jim Dale does _an excellent job_ with the Harry Potter books. They're so much fun and I always walk away with a huge smile. I highly recommend them! Other than that, I've been listening to the Outlander books (a HUGE endeavor), the Janet Evanovich books, and I have the Twilight books in the queue. So yeah, I guess I'm getting my fix. That said, I have squeezed in a couple of books here and there.


GIRL AT SEA by Maureen Johnson
Young Adult

This book...well, to put it bluntly: I LOVED IT. It's an adventure story, having to do with the search for a bit of lost treasure. Clio, who is somewhat estranged from her father, is forced to spend her summer on a sailing expedition with him and his motley crew of assistants. It's got it all: Action, adventure, romance, and a totally witty voice that had me cracking up. I don't know how Johnson does it, but she really captures what it's like to be a teenager. Two big thumbs up on this one. It's light, fun, and really just a lovely read.

Buy or Rent? Buy.

LIVING DEAD GIRL by Elizabeth Scott
Young Adult

This book is powerful. Did I love it? Well, I liked it, was moved by it, but I wasn't IN love with it. It's the story of "Alice" who was kidnapped by Ray when she was ten. Guess I don't need to spell out what he does to her--the book does a good job of that for me. I bought this book because of my ideas concerning STOLEN. Figured I would see what's out there, and really just wanted to get a feel for what was being done/could be done within an abuse story.

I think this book had so much potential, but there was something that just didn't click for me. I've thought long and hard about it and I've finally decided it's because the entire book lacked one essential thing I wanted...Hope. I don't need a HEA, but I wanted at least one moment of hopt, to believe that things might be okay, and frankly, it wasn't there. Granted, it's a tough subject matter, and perhaps it's a naive outlook. But yeah, that's what bothered me about it overall.

That said, it's very powerful, disturbing, and definitely something well worth reading.

Buy or Rent? At the very least, you should rent it.

A CHILD CALLED IT by Dave Pelzer
Autobiography

Further research, here. This book has been around for quite some time, but I honestly had never heard of it. I was talking to a friend at work about LIVING DEAD GIRL and my ideas regarding STOLEN, and she recommended it.

It's truly horrifying, the things done to this young boy. I almost became numb to it, and it honestly scares me to think there are people out there who would do these things to his/her child. Egads, it's sick. And it's definitely not a light read that will leave you with a satisfied feeling afterward. But, I honestly think it's an important book to read. It's a good reminder to us all -- we need to trust our instincts. If we think a child is being abused, we all have a responsibility to speak out. If not, something like this can/will happen.

Buy or Rent? Buy.

I also read this random "my house was haunted" book that I wasn't all that happy with. It was poorly written, and so fantastic that I can't believe I paid good money for it. LOL. I've also started and stopped reading two different YA authors. One was new to me...and well, there was just something about the cadence of her writing that kept putting me off. Plus, the story just wasn't gripping me. I tried for about three weeks, but well, if I can't get into a book after the first 30-50 pages, I know I should just give up. The second was the second book by an author I tried out a while ago. I didn't particularly love her first book, but well, she's gotten HUGE reviews/sales for her books and I thought maybe it was just me. Well, apparently it is. LOL. I can't get into it, and I'm really glad I rented this second one. Seriously, I need a guidebook to understand her world building. This one I'm leaving to the heavens... Cuz. I. Just. Don't. Get. It. Guess I'm gonna have to live with that.

I've got some exciting picks in my TBR pile, but well, time is limited right now. The next set of reviews might be a while. (g) Happy reading to all of you!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ping! ping! PING! Ping!

My synapses are firing like crazy right now--and those pings are all about the new wip. On the way to work, I had so many ideas pop up, it was ridiculous. I took copious notes when I arrived, and I'm super charged to make these new scenes come to life. But first...first...FI.

Okay, I may sneak a scene in here and there. (g)

I've even come up with a general concept for the book...dare I say, an organizational concept. (g) Yikes. I have this strange feeling that I could finish this book very very quickly. That's how well-formed it is in my head right now.

EEEE.

Love it.

For those of you who have asked what the book's focus is, etc... I have to hold this one close to the vest for now. Not trying to be a tease, but I'm just really...excited and nervous. I'll share as soon as I can. Promise!