Friday, August 31, 2007

Time and Again

I've had people ask how you find the time to write. More often, it's I don't have time to write, I don't even have time to read. If I had time, I'd write a book. Guess what? You have time, you just have to make it, which involves sacrifice. There will never be a perfect time to write a book because you live a real life. Real life butts-in.
It really doesn't matter if you do or do not have children, a job, a husband or partner. If you want to write, you do it. You can't wait for the time, quiet, more money, less stress, it never happens. Writing through the chaos is what happens. Write in a notebook at the doctor's office, in line at the supermarket, on that airplane, in the emergency room, at night when everyone else is in bed, in the morning before anyone else is up.
I used to envy those who had no kids, no job, just time to write. Hell, I still do. But if I have unlimited time, I procrastinate. Busy works better for me. Now that I don't have a husband to care for, it's a little easier, but then I have a disabled daughter at home. Right now I have a person come in to clean house every couple of weeks, so that helps.
It boils down to: How badly do you want to be published? If you really want it, you find time, even if it's only one page a day. In a year, you will have a book. Persistence counts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Hypocrisy drives me nuts. And yes, I've been listening to the news. Admit it, you have too so you know what I'm talking about. If you're a politician, and you do something stupid, don't think you can cover it up because when someone finds out, no one is particularly forgiving. If you're a politician and admit up front that you screwed up, people will accept it. Never go into politics thinking that your private life is private. Whatever is in your past is now public. Is that right, maybe not, but it's a fact of life. And, if you come out publicly against a particularly volatile issue, shall we say same sex marriage, if there's even a hint of that same leaning in your own life, there will be someone willing to make certain that hint becomes public. OK, not on topic. We're talking about writing here not stupid politicians. I know, they're all stupid, but you know what I meant.

I'm doing final edits on my book. Do you know how many repeated words and other stupid stuff I'm still finding, even with multiple edits by multiple people? Is there such a thing as a perfect manuscript? If so, it most certainly isn't mine. But, it will get better. I'm on a deadline with the edits so I'd better get with the program.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Quiz Time or Let your personality shine through.

I stole this from my friend Yasmine and put in my answers. It's called "FIRST REACTIONS QUIZ". You have to type the 1ST thing that comes to mind whenever you hear these 40 words. You can't think and go back and change your answers.
Here we go:
1. Beer: Ice cold only.
2. Anorexic: Everyone in LA
3. Super Hero: Wonder Woman
4. Your Last Ex: : Never had an ex.
5. Power Rangers: Kids love them.
6. Plastic Surgery: Too chicken
7. Steroids: Scary
8. Cartoons: Disney everything, including HS Musical 1 and 2
9. The President: An idiot
10. Tupperware: Plastic everything.
11. Florida: Swamps
12. Santa Claus: Love him
13. Halloween: cooler weather, football, picking up pecans and scary movies
14. Bon Jovi: cool beans
15. Grammar: Not always my strongest suit.
16. Myspace: Pop-ups.
17. Worst fear: Stroke
18. Marriage: Miss it, 39 years, don't want to start over.
19. Paris Hilton: Worse idiot
20. Brunettes: Love the look
21. Redheads: Want to be one.
22 Blondes: Everyone in Hollywood
23. Pass the time: what's that?
24. One night stands: Not in my day.
25. Donald Trump: So last century.
26. Neverland: Loved the movie
27. Pixie Stix: My kid's loved them, so do I, Seriously.
28. Vanilla ice cream: with bananas and chocolate
29. Port-a-Potties: "Privy to Murder"
30. High school: I was the quiet, mousy one, go figure.
31. Pajamas: Gowns are more comfortable
32. Wood: Burn, if I had a fireplace but love the smell of mesquite in my chimenea.
33. Wet Sock: Yuck.
34. Alcohol: Oh Yeah.
35. Love: How I feel about babies, kids in general, family.
36. The Bible: read it.
37. Heartache: My husband's death.
38. Time: speeding up all the time.
39. Life: hanging on to it
40. Blood: closing a magic circle

Monday, August 27, 2007

Newest Edits

I have final edits, last chance to change anything and the book will be ready to PDF. I have postcards, new business cards and am working on a poster for book signings and conference for later. I started the first chapter of Bloody Murder. Moving right along here.

Still need to finish plotting Bloody Murder but have a good start since I know who did it, why they did it, how they did it. Now have to figure out the rest. Also, visit and see my author page plus much more. Don't forget the eternal press readers group chat September 7, join the group with the button on the left side of this page.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Invitation and contest

Here's my personal invitation to everyone for the Eternal Press grand opening chat at on Friday September 7. Join us for fun, conversation, prizes and contests. All the authors will be there and readers too. It should be a lot of fun and you could win a free book.

Also, go to my website (see link on the Lt. side) and read the exerpt from PRIVY TO MURDER. I'll have a drawing for a copy of the e-book in October but right now, if you post a comment on this blog and tell me what Tali found in the woods, you'll be entered in a drawing for an autographed copy of my cover postcard. If you win, I'll have you send me your snail mail address (not to be used for spam) and I'll send it to you. The deadline is September 1.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I just sold a story to "Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul:2nd Dose" It's called "Chimes in the Snow" The book will be released in November. Reserve your copy now. I'm excited. It's a story I wanted to sell and began to think I never would.

I finished the 1st go-round of edits and we'll see if I did everything she wanted. Dang if those pesky repeated words, passive voice didn't crop up, plus a couple of extraneous characters and some timing inconsistancies. Stuff I thought I'd caught but didn't. My wonderful editor at Eternal Press, Deborah Nemeth, is a wonder woman with the red pen. Thank God for good editors.

Now, time to do a chapter outline for "Bloody Murder" (necessary for me to avoid the saggy middle(not mine--to late for me--the book's.) Then start working toward my goal. I'd like a first draft in less than six months but I'll have to boogy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Privy to Murder edits.

Got them, did not have a heart attack at the sight. Actually they weren't terrible. Some passive voice and repeated phrases and the same information given more than once did sneak in. Also, I managed somehow to spell my character's names in more than one way. Go Figure. She likes my voice, humor, description, Mumsie's spirits (me too) and the "Skunk scene." which I'll post just for fun. It's so exciting when someone likes your work.

The rest of the changes involved continuity and timing, not really difficult to fix.

Eternal Press is having a launch party on it's Yahoo Reader's Group September 7th. I'll be there to talk about "Privy to Murder" and other authors will be there also. There will be contests for book covers, post cards, books and other things. If you're not a member, see the button and join, then join us in the Reader's Group.

Monday, August 20, 2007


No line editing letter yet but I know I'll get it soon. It should be a learning experience to get another person's take on the entire book. Can't wait. Right now I'm working on the synopsis for the sequel to Privy. Almost done with that.

I'm sure the tightening thing will be a biggy for my edits but I'm so looking forward to whipping the book into shape and starting the next one.

Words of wisdom from K. Celeste Bryan at Eternal Press:
I've seen an awful lot overuse of the word "had been" and the word "that." When you use these words, most of the time you have lapsed into passive voice. We want out books in active voice. Must be another Australian/English idiosyncracy. Most often, the word "that" can deleted entirely. Read the sentence aloud. If it means the same by taking "that" out -- you're good to go. You should be able to recognize this. If it doesn't make sense without the word, put it back in. This may not seem like a big thing to you, but if the word "that" shows up 500 times in a manuscript . . . it is a BIG thing.BAD Example: He wished that he could take a walk. GOOD example: He wished he could take a walk.And ... the words "had" and "had been". PLEASE be aware this is a very formal version in the English languge. We seldom talk this way or use all these "had beens."

Once in a while it is necessary to show past tense. She had walked to the river. She had been thinking about her boyfriend. He had been wishing he could buy ice cream. She had been crossing the room.(Bad)Just say it in the active voice in the best possible short version you can.SHE WALKED TO THE RIVER. SHE WAS THINKING OF HER BOYFRIEND, or SHE THOUGHT ABOUT HER BOYFRIEND. HE WISHED HE COULD BUY ICE CREAM. SHE CROSSED THE ROOM.I'd really like to get rid of all these "fluff" words and not see them over and over. Again, read it aloud. See which sounds better. If it MUST be in there occasionally, we'll let it slide.Again, no one really talks like this in America, perhaps in England, like members of the royal court or something, and writers here generally do not overuse these words. I don't want to start a barrage of what's proper here and what isn't. That's not my point. It's being overused and is redundant over and over in a lot of the manuscripts.

One more little thing that's bugging me and I see it over and over. SHOW don't TELL. If anyone doesn't know what this is, please do some research and find out. We don't want to TELL the reader how Johnny felt, we want to show them by Johnny's actions.Johnny was mad at Claire. (bad)Johnny waved his fist under Claire's nose and narrowed his eyes.(Good)This shows the reader that Johnny is mad. We must give the reader a little more credit. They don't need to be told all the time what the character is thinking, rather show them what he's thinking by his body language.

And finally . . . Point of View. Again, there are numerous articles on this. Read up on it if you're not sure. Major publishing houses frown on changing POV in the middle of a paragraph or even sometimes in the middle of a scene (unless it's a sex scene). It takes the reader out of the story and is distracting when in one sentence you are telling us Claire's thoughts and the very next sentence you are telling us Johnny's thoughts. This is called head-hopping. After a while, I don't know whose head we're in . . . and neither will the reader. When you decide to write a scene, stick to either Johnny's POV or Claire's. Show the reader what is happening through his or her eyes only. If you MUST let us know what Johnny is thinking, let us know later or in a separate scene at the end of a chapter.

This is from the mouth of an editor, so if you want to be published, remember these tips. If you want to hear more from this editor or other authors from Eternal Press, click the yahoo groups button and joint the reader's group. We will be having contests and chats on September 7 for the grand opening.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Good Advice

My friend Yas says organize, don't panic. She is the most organized writer I know, next to maybe Rachel, who has a killer white board plotting system. I'm not always that organized. It seems I'd better bring my daytimer home or make better use of my appointment book for deadlines and lists. Yas keeps notebooks with detailed info in each binder regarding the series and the book itself. I won't steal her ideas here but if you go the her blog , see "My Cats Made Me Do It below, she might share.

When I was making a character list for my editor I realized I'd better be more obsessive about keeping a notebook updated for my series, each book. It's like I was playing and now I'd better take it seriously. If only that day job didn't interfere, but I'm stuck with it a bit longer.

In another post we'll talk about getting published, which way to go and what works for you.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I don't even have the line edits for Privy yet and I'm already thinking of ideas for "Bloody Murder," the sequel, "Faerie Dust," urban fantasy and I'm thinking PR for "Privy to Murder." Lots going on.

I really need a synopsis for BM-unfortunate initials, hope that's not significant. I know elements I want in it but need to put things into a logical sequence since I work better with some kind of road map. I'm looking forward to the new direction I'm going with it, should be fun. I know some people can just do the stream of consciousness, let it pull me along, kind of writing. I can't. I need to have a plan or it falls apart in the middle. That doesn't mean I don't add or subtract or change the plan, I can do side-trips. But I work better if I have some idea of where I want to end up and an initial route to get there. What I haven't done, good or bad, or really detailed, pages long, character studies and synopsis as long as a novella. I'd rather write the book itself, learn about the characters as they grow and take over. My plotting synopsis is a sentence or two about each chapter. My official synopsis is only two to three pages.

Off the subject, another author, writes about the effect of a Victoria's Secret lunch bag on her male co-workers. Read it, too funny. Also visit Rinda Elliot, listed under blogs, for good music info. My music is often very dull classical but it soothes me and doesn't distract. If I have rock or bouncy country, my favorite, I'm singing along and not concentrating at all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


If you want published and don't have a problem with e-publishing and POD, make sure you go look at the opportunities at Eternal Press. Good royalties, great editors, extremely fast turn-around time for responses all make it worth a try. If you send them a manuscript, save yourself time and use these guidelines. The individual attention and desire for a quality product make them an excellent company. They also have a couple of anthologies that want stories.

Word-12 point font
1 inch margins all around
1 space not 2 after the end of a sentence
o.3 indents, no tabs
* * * after each scene
page break after each chapter, space down 8 before next chapter.

Did anyone hear that OJ's tell-all fiction/nonfiction will be published after all? Can we tell how much trouble publishing is in?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cover Art

I have a cover. The editor and I gave the art director a couple of suggestions, she ran with it and now I have a cover. It's great. I'm happy. I will post it for everyone to see. Now I have to write the sequel proposal and start writing the book itself. What a bummer, now I have to actually treat fiction writing as if it were a career.

Monday, August 13, 2007

More News

Eternal has asked for a proposal for the Privy sequel so they can contract for my second book also. Even better. Writing "Bloody Murder" under contract. Wow. Now I have to come up with a plot and get the book written. I also want to start "Faerie Dust," my urban fantasy. Also on my plate, once I have an editor and cover art, I will work on a web site and myspace and start all the promotional kind of work, which will be a learning project. I'll keep you all posted as I do everything.

Am I excited? yes. Do I feel a smidge of pressure that I put on myself?, yes. Happy, you bet. Always wanted the experience of being already under contract as I was writing a novel. I'm reaching goals here. Next, the New York Times Bestseller List and a six-figure advance. OK So I'm not always realistic. But I have fun.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I received a contract from Eternal Press yesterday. All excited and can't wait to start the process. Should be exciting. Now I have to set up a real website, join MySpace and etc. Fun and good games. Now if I'd hear back on Agatha Ann.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


My new character in search of a plot, has a name. She is Boudicca Andraste Fowler(Ande). Half faerie, half human, dubbed a changeling, she is having great difficulty controlling the unwanted shedding of sparkly faerie dust any time she's stressed or nervous. Her hair is red, hangs to her waist and does the "floaty thing" no matter what. She doesn't want to leave me alone but hasn't told me exactly what she wants yet.

Edits almost done. Can't wait to get Privy sent.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


The sound in my head as I try to keep down a character who is trying to escape while I'm editing, fast as I can, Privy to Murder. But this gal keeps sneaking around, and she doesn't even have a name yet. What do you have with characters that insistent? Sounds crazy but then, I'm a writer, drawn to murder, mayhem, paranormal and horror. What can I say?

I honestly hope more characters join her along with their world. I've always used reality and so world building could be a rather sticky wicket. Could be fun. Must be urban but probably southern urban. After all, Saving Grace takes place in OKC and she has a scruffy angel running around.

How does anyone else go about world building? I need blueprints or something I think. Well, back to juggling full time work, editing and taming this character, or at least meeting her formally.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Docs and Patients

Danger, Danger Will Robinson-Rant Warning.

Saw a neurologist with my daughter, regarding multiple grand mal seizures. The good thing: he evaluated her meds, decided the Dilantin may cause more harm than good, is being metabolized too quickly in the liver and possibly interfering with the other meds. Also the Lyrica was only at a pain control level, not seizure control level. He's titrating her off Dilantin and onto a larger dose of Lyrica.
The bad thing: He talked about non-epileptic seizures and the need to psychiatric care before he'd been in the room for five minutes on the first visit.
The Ugly thing, he doesn't listen. He treats the patient as if she is 3-yr-old going on one. Rarely answers questions. Talks down. In short, one of the most supercilious pricks I've had the displeasure to meet. If he had his nose any farther in the air, he'd drown in the rain. Luckily, we usually have a summer drought.
It would be good if a physician could actually listen to the patient and pretend to be interested. The uncontrolled seizures are stealing her life. If things don't settle, I will have to go hunting for a center specializing in seizure treatment, no matter where we have to look.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Panic Time

I'm in the middle of a final read-through/edit of Privy to Murder before I send it to Eternal Press. Now it seems to be time for all those doubts. That editor that sits on my shoulder says "What are you thinking. This isn't good enough. Give up before you make a fool of yourself." What if it isn't good? What if it is and you give up before getting started? Risks and gambles, two things I'm not good at. Two things that scare me. But, I will jump in the icy water and pray my swimming is good enough. I keep seeing my cover art on this site along with my friend's books and how cool that would be. Onward and upward.

Friday, August 3, 2007


I sent the first three chapters of Privy to Murder to Eternal Press yesterday and they requested the complete manuscript this morning. Can't quite grasp that quick a response time. Now I have to do a final edit and see what happens. Also, Samhain publishing is a source I might try if I'm really going with e publishing. Still waiting for a response to Agatha Ann from Bloomingtree. Being a small print press, their response time may be slower. Things could get busy around here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

E Pub

Ther is a brand new e publishing company out there called Eternal Press. They seem to be taking a lot of new writers on. But should we go with E publishing? Should we take a risk on a new company that's only a month old? I'm tempted to try just to see if they like the book, Privy to Murder. But, what if they do and I have to decide whether to go with it or not? All this angst may be about nothing if they look at the first three chapters and decide not only no but heck no, they don't want the book.

Also, I'm more and more tempted to attempt an urban fantasy after I finish the next AA book. All of this will be tempered by work and my daughter's problems which sometimes slows down my writing by simple stress and fatigue.

Right now I just want to go back to CO and write fiction, forget everything else.

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