Monday, April 30, 2007

Poetry Train

Control Freak

Not enough?
Are you afraid
You see yourself in me?
You made me into this.
You pushed,
hit me into this.
You told me what to be,
how to be,
who to be.
Be like you?
Can’t you see I’m free?
You can’t keep controlling me.
I’d die first.
That’s what I would do.
Everyone would blame you.

I've been writing bad poetry for years. To do it weekly should be a trip. This weekend was beautiful, weather-wise, killed my joints walking the art fest (the only truly original thing I saw was an exhibit of wood-cuts-block prints that were lovely.) But I got the two Adirondack chairs I wanted, on sale.

Friday, April 27, 2007

New Places

I went to a new place yesterday, at least new to me. I'd seen it last February, a courtyard at the Bird Library, right in the middle. It's lovely, wooden tables and benches in alcoves. A low fountain in an alcove. Ivied columns, fern ground cover, wrens calling, water tinkling and sparkling in the sun. Small rocks and stepping stones, chinese maples and weeping willows. Just beautiful. Dappled shadows on the stones as the sun fought with the trees for space. I sketched the fountain, wrote a little in the journal I carry. Would love to take the Alpha Smart there one day and just write a chapter. Still a little cool for all that shade, will have to try it in a month or two, or else go to Martin Park or Will Rogers. Something about the outdoors that pulls me right in, keeps the words coming.

Just finished reading Changeling, by Yasmine Galenorn. It come out in June. Don't miss it, a definite page turner.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Beginnings and Ends

I began plotting Party to Murder and I'm staying away from Privy to Murder until the end of May. I have an appointment with an agent at the writer's conference, we'll see if that goes anywhere. Both beginnings and endings can be a little scary and it's tempting to retreat to comfortable territory, that middle-grade manuscript I haven't edited yet, then I wouldn't be faced with finding out if Privy is really going to have legs long enough to walk or run. However, I won't let myself get distracted. The new manuscript questions are the usual suspects like: can I really plot another one, think up a whole story, make any sense, have the characters grow?

OK enough angst. I hate angst. Anyone remember when the entire cast of Buffy went off to college and whined their way through scripts for a whole season, the first year of college. I don't know what went on in Josh Whelan's life at that time, but he almost lost me as a watcher. *grins* Pun intended, (once I realized I made one.) So I will march on with the plot and work on a killer agent pitch.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Arrrgh or something of the sort.

Today I am a pirate. No, really. We are doing a "Pirates of the Carribean" theme at work for our part of the progressive luncheon. Too fun. No. I will not post a picture of me as a pirate. It would haunt us all. But it reminds me of pirated movies, books, articles and etc. ARC's sold on e-bay, articles lifted off the internet, title changed and used on another site, or even lifted and offered for sale without changing a thing. Does the writer get any money from it? No Not right, thieves I say. Walk the plank me hearty. If you are published, google your name and see if your writing is on unauthorized sites. Sometimes you can be astonished by who has lifted it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Branching Out

I've decided to submit a creepy story to a site, so if it's accepted, I'll link to the site, just for fun. They may not like it, but it was fun to write. I've always liked spooky stuff, since I read horror comics as a kid. I think that's how I got so seriously warped. Ever since, anything without murder, ghost, witch, demon, vampire, were-people of one kind or another, just a little too white-bread boring. Not that I hate white bread, but let's add a little cinnamon or something. I like weird on TV, serious Buffy, Dresden Files, Blood Ties fan here, movies, everything from The Ghost and Mrs. Muir to American Haunting. But they have to have suspense. Slashers just don't do it for me, there has to be an actual plot beyond "The babysitter is in the house alone and will she go upstairs where the murderer is, like an idiot, or run like hell. Of course she'll go upstairs, hence by problem with stupid women heroines. Blood and gore for the sake of, boring. Books, Dean Koontz, Stephen King among others, but they have to be decently written.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Strange Feeling

It's an odd feeling to have the first draft done after all this time and kind of intimidating to know I now have to plot book # 2 and rewrite #1. Heretofore known as PTM and PTOM. Can I get PTM in good enough shape to go to an agent/editor? Can I get started on PTOM? Should I do a rewrite of "Agatha Ann and the Spider Wizard" (AASW) and get it out there too? Decisions, decisions. It was a little easier to struggle through the first draft without the other issues. Then there is the plotting and synopsis for PTOM. Do I sound angsty? Maybe it's Monday. I don't really mind having these problems, what I will mind is when I start getting rejections after the hard work. The I will whine, but keep on submitting. I'm stubborn that way. Of course, the other best thing to do, "button", "Butt on chair-in front of computer.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

DONE, DONE, DONE. Yes, I'm shouting but the first draft of "Privy to Murder" is done. That gale force wind is my sigh of relief. It's taken me almost three and a half years over-all. But, I did it. Yay for me and snoopy dances. OK I'll shut up. It will rest while I begin brain-storming and plotting for Party to Murder.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Plan

I have a plan. Finish "Privy to Murder" this month. Let it rest.
In May, work on the plot points and synopsis for "Party to Murder" and do a chapter outline.
June, work on revisions for "Privy to Murder" and make list of places to send it.
In July send out PTM proposals to editors and agents.
August, organize notebook for new book. Begin new manuscript with a goal of 700 words a day, 5 days a week, which will give me approx 80,000 words in 6 months.
By February 2008 I should have a completed first draft for the second book and some responses to the first one.
In my spare time work on edits for "Agatha Ann and the Spider Wizard" middle-grade fantasy. Send it out.
So, now that it's all in writing, I have to do it, right?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I'm on the last scene of the climax chapter in my book. The last chapter will be the wrap-it-up chapter. My angst is that it's not fast enough, has enough action, etc. But, I still can fix all that so I will push on because I will then be on the last chapter and done in time for writer's conference. I will be under the goal word count of 80,000 words but that also is fixable. I will be at almost 70,000 words. Once I finish rewrites I can pitch, send to editors and agents and start on the second book. Have ideas but not firm yet. It's nice to see progress, even if I don't make word count every day, I did yesterday. Now for a killer 2nd book.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Shooting 32 people for no discernable reason makes no sense.
Failing, for two hours, to let someone know a possible shootist was on campus, makes no sense.
I realize asking for anything in life to be rational borders on the irrational.
But I want life and logic to fit together.
Then I think about the shooter's parents.
The parents of the dead kids and teachers, spouses, children.
Help, I'm falling and I can't stop.

Monday, April 16, 2007


How do you organize your writing? Yasmine has detailed binders, with everything there is to know about a book, dividers with pockets and she has sections for characters, bad guys, synopsis, setting notes, time lines, and since she writes fantasy she has sections on magic, tarot, creatures, worlds, research etc.

Rachel has a white board with color-coded post-its to keep her plot going, fill in holes and generally keep track of the direction the book is going. Anyone else have tried and true methods.

I have a detailed synopsis which has kept me on track with the first draft. Now I need to go back and update my notebook on timelines, characters and etc. in order to keep track and then when I'm writing the next book in the series, I won't forget that Tali has brown eyes, auburn hair and a blue Mazda pickup. Anyone else have organizational tricks out there?

Last week the writing was sporadic but I started the next to last chapter. Would really like to finish this week and let everything rest while conference takes over my life. Then I will attack the first draft with scissors, details, desciption and everything that might be missing. Can't wait.

On the knee front, better so far, "better living with steroids." We'll see what happens long term. The sun is out, had a beautiful day yesterday and spend time outside.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Flower Power

I'm just two chapters away from finishing the first draft of "Privy to Murder." I'm printing so I can sit and read through and then start a new edit. I'm going to let it rest until after contest at least, once I get the chapters finished.

My grand daughter almost had a stroke the other day when her mother was mowing the back yard. When my daughter saw the six-year-old sobbing, she stopped mowing to see what was wrong. "It's a tradegy" the little girl said. You're killing the flowers, one by one. Pretty soon there won't be any flowers left in the whole world."

It turns out the problem was mowing down the wildflowers in the field that is their back yard. Without telling the child that she was a dork, her mother helped her pick all the flowers and save them in cups all over the kitchen. Then it was OK to mow. Another ""outside the box solution." We all have small tragedies in our lives and only hope they can be solved or at least improved by a little OTB thinking

Friday, April 13, 2007


My first clue that it is Friday the 13th was when the sky opened up and dumped out a waterfall on my head just as the wind turned my umbrella inside out and I arrived at work dripping like I'd just had a shower. My jeans are still wet. Then my business card holder with cards dumped on the floor for me to pick up.

Had my knee injected with steroids yesterday so I hope the thing will resolve with out any going into my knee and anesthesia etc. My writing is sporatic this week, hope to at least meet the daily goal today. Just a note, I have writer friends who have web sites, a blog site on blogger and one on MySpace. They all seem to be having major issues with MySpace. I'm glad I stuck with this site and don't think I need a web site until I have an actual product (BOOK) to sell. Notice I said "until" not "if." Positive thinking, visualize, visualize.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I received a call the other day from a very nice lady with a medical background who was trying to figure out how to use her medical knowledge to get paid for writing. The problem was, the only places she had approached to write for were professional trade journals (kind of notorious for wanting you to write for free) and associations (similar problem.)

She wasn't thinking "outside her own box." I told her that everything she'd been writing for free had the potential for a larger life if expanded and marketed to non medical audiences, just change the focus. Plus, there are medical publishers out there who will pay, you just have to find them. Plus, any marketing and business info you are an expert about can be turned around and marketed to businesses that have nothing to do with medical.

I think we all fall into the trap of turning our own boxes into prisons instead of expanding what we try for. I started writing thinking I had to stick to fiction. Then I realized nonfiction pays. Then I realized the medical knowledge could expand to non medical audiences and all that did not mean I had to give up on fiction. The medical textbooks look great on a resume. I'm two chapters away from finishing my mystery and I have experience in so many fields now.

Jump into new things and enjoy all the choices out there. BTW, exceeded the word goal yesterday, makes me happy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Good Life

Life is good. A Cinnamon Dolce Latte, sunshine, MY TAXES ARE DONE (sorry, didn't mean to shout.) OK, OK, so I didn't make my word count yesterday, I'll double up. But I have to say, I hate taxes and finances. I made my poor husband deal with all that when he was alive and now I whine because I have to do it. Other than that, my knee is a little better, go figure-I made a Dr. appt. so of course its better.

Conference and contest are coming along. Manuscripts are getting filed, slowly. Some contest chairs missed or skipped the part that said "Please put in alpha order." Such is life. Writing is fitting in but may get a little scarce closer to the big weekend. I'm not trying as much for good as for finished since I will have the re-write phase to finish everything and pretty it up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Yay Me

Well, I made my word count yesterday, Yay. Now,
look at that view next door. Don't' you want to be there? I do. I think hang gliding would be so much fun. I don't think I have the arm strength but how freeing it would be to float like that? I used to have dreams of flying and as a kid wanted to be a pilot. Found out my eye sight was way past the limit you need to have to be a pilot.
In my next book I need to let my main character learn to fly, that could be a good way to fly myself, or have her learn to hang glide, even better for the story, especially if a fellow student is sabotaged and falls and Tali has to figure it out. Hmmm. Beginnings and ideas, what we all live for. OK one thing at a time. Finish Privy first. Then start a synopsis for book two.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter and Etc.

As you can see, my word count has not changed since Wednesday. Family stuff distracting me, what with fractures, seizures, holiday and etc. No real excuse but that's the way it is. Back to the grindstone this week, both with writing and filing contest manuscripts.

Easter we spent with my son and watched the three-year-old hunt for Easter eggs, had a fire in the fire pit (turned cold last week, had snow on Good Friday. Ate too much, watched a good movie "The Pursuit of Happiness" Also went to see "The Reaping" where Hilary Swank did a great acting job but I felt the writers fell down on the job with a totally predictable ending. It will be interesting to see if King falls into the same trap for the end of "Lisey's Story" because he's done it before. Got to come up with something new, guys.
PS The picture to the right, where I want to be in Florida right now.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Kids-fractures and etc.

I needed a soothing color this morning. I did make my word count yesterday. It's coming along. I will have a finished project, maybe by conference.

The down side of things, my grandson fractured his hand and had to have surgery with pins this winter in order to repairit. He was playing basketball at school and even tried to get the coach to let him finish the practice.

Now my 6yr old grand daughter managed to fall off a trampoline and fracture her arm, just above the elbow, requiring a trip to Dallas for a pediatric ortho specialist, surgery with pins once again. They have insurance coverage through CHIP, beginning in May. The pits. That baby shouldn't have to go through this.

Also, Easter is going to be cold with the possibility of snow. What's up with that? but happy easter anyway. So there.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Time for a rant. What are writers thinking? We have a publishing industry that is not writer friendly now. It takes years to be published, especially when it comes to fiction. But we have a writer using a vanity press to publish a short story collection, and then fraudulently, under a fictitious name, ordering copies through bookstores? (See this weeks Publisher's Weekly).Not to mention the nonfiction books that have turned out to be fiction, the authorized biographies that weren't and well known fiction writers stealing each others words.

If it's difficult to get published now, what will this kind of lack of ethics do to our chances in the future? What happened to honesty, truth in journalism? And our words are all we have. That is what we are selling. We can't steal them from each other. The Internet, for all its good points, has made it possible for anyone to copy, cut and paste from anyone, anything else and promote it as there own. If humans can, they will, ethics be damned if profits be involved.

WAKE UP WRITERS. Don't shoot yourself in the foot and the rest of us too.
Word count-no. Too busy whining about my knee. It's better so I'll get with it today.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Wants and Wishes

This is who I want to be when I grow up. Someone who can do anything, doesn't have knees that do nasty things out-of-the-blue and looks great all the time. I would even wear that outfit if I could have her figure. Not sure how to keep the top on when you are fighting, but I could learn. Yes, I'm whining about pain today and praying it goes away after the cold front comes in and doesn't mean anything that requires any Dr. action.

I did get my words done yesterday, miracles happen. We'll see how things go today. We're scheduled for cold weather through Easter and beyond. Guess I'll wait on the pansies.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Sunshine on my Shoulders

Yes, sun yesterday. I spent as much time outside as I good, just enjoying the warm sun on my face, reading and writing and watching birds and squirrels chase each other. Birds were actively nesting. Too cool. I'm a sucker for kittens, baby birds, flowers and all things spring. I especially like to sit on the patio, with the Sunday paper, my journal, a cup of good coffee topped with whipped cream. Heaven. Alls at peace with the world. And don't remind me that in a month or so I'll be whining about being too hot, because I reserve the right to whine and have cheese with it if I wish.

I made the word goal this weekend, in spite of missing a couple of days. I always wonder, when I'm writing a passage that I have to pull out like an impacted tooth, is it going to be any good, and then have to remind myself that its a first draft. Whether or not it flows like a river or slogs along like mud, its a first draft and will have to be revised anyway.

I'm watching a friend of mine take off with her fiction. It's been a long haul for her but her new, Otherworld Series is taking off like gangbusters. If you haven't read "Witchling" by Yasmine Galenorn, do so now. Her new book, "Changeling" comes out in June. Treat yourself to a good read.

Blog Archive