Tuesday, December 23, 2008
How are you doing, big guy? Mrs. Claus well? The reindeer okay? Biltzen recovering from that cold? Did Cupid get through that nasty divorce? Yeah, well, you shouldn’t have mediated that. You know better. I tried to tell you…
Anyway, I’m writing about business this time. My business. Yes, it’s that time of year again when I drop you a note to let you know what I’d like for Christmas.
Erm, I realize it’s the 24th. Sorry about that. Time sort of slipped from me this year. Mother Nature decided to gift us with lots and lots of colds and flu's in the last few weeks. I have no idea what I did to piss her off. If you see her, you tell that b****
You tell her, that I am so sorry for whatever I did. I promise not to squish any huge brown Okinawa spiders when I see them in my house. Heck, I even give the geckos free room and board! I will be a better partner with nature, I swear. Just tell her to lay off the sickness.
Oh, right. This was about my Christmas list. I forgot.
Santa, I ask for the same gift every year. You know the one I’m talking about.
DON’T ROLL YOUR EYES AT ME! You might think you answered me last year, but that didn’t work out. It’s not my fault. Sometimes two people aren’t compatible – and we weren’t.
Can I have another chance? Please? Yes, I want a Christmas miracle.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Suz and I came up with a writing pact. I'm blogging it because I need it public to keep me honest and living up to my part. Every week we must turn in a new chapter (due on her Sunday). Ugh -- actual work. What will I do?
I've told her that I might switch between books. At least that gives me a little leeway if I need to write something else and take a break for a while.
My writing discipline is sadly lacking at the moment. I will get my mojo back. I'm going to rock this hard.
That means that I have to stop reading so much (or not - ha! How could I give that up?). This month I've read 16 books so far (and it's the 21st). Sheesh, I'm behind. That's not even one a day! ;)
So only (maybe) five more books this month and the rest of the time I really do need to write. Really. I do. I need to stop reading, already. And talking about writing, and do it.
Off to work.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Not much going on around here besides that. Although, now I have a really messy house because I've been down for the last few days. SIGH. I may (or may not) clean it today.
I started writing a new book. This one is not a YA. Actually, it's as far from a YA as you can get. I've started a Historical Romance. HAHAHA. I'm having so much fun with it too. I don't know if I'm going to finish it at this point (it only has a very loose plot) because I'm only writing it to get my mojo flowing. I need to write something (the compulsion is too great) and YA -- yeah, I needed a break. So why not?
I haven't, up till this point, tried to write a Romance. When I started writing years ago, my mom was very specific with her request: NO SEX. That left out Romance. ;)
I let her have her way...
Then I realized, whatever, I'm 32. What's she going to do? Spank me? So I called her and told her I was writing a Historical Romance and it was going to have HOT SEX. AND... she should really read some published ones (I'd recommend a few if she wanted) so that she could help me see if I was on track.
Her response? "Email me the titles."
YES! I've successfully corrupted my mom. Or she just loves me that much.
(It's probably the latter.)
Although, once again, I may not finish it. We'll see. Right now I'm having fun, and that's all that matters.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I've got half my research done. It seems like every time I research something – There is another thing that pops up!
I printed off the fifty-five single-spaced pages (of seemingly useless info) I have so far. Then I sat down, hole punched them and attacked it with three different sized sticky notes -- all to make some sense out of what I'm doing.
I’m still not there.
This is the biggest project I've ever taken on. Can I do it?
Historical accuracy? Do I really need that? Can't I just make stuff up? Wouldn't it be just as good?
There’s a reason I’m doing this for NaNo:
(1) I can push through without thinking about it.
(2) At 50 thousand words, I’ll know whether or not I can pull it off.
(3) If I can’t, I’ve only wasted a month.
So… we’ll see.
And to all my fellow Okinawa peeps… I’d really like to do NaNo with someone. I know, you’re all laughing… I’m just saying, I’m going to be lonely sitting in a coffee shop every night by myself. Don’t you feel sorry for me? Isn’t there one person who wants to at least try? I can bribe you… I’ll buy you a coffee!
Monday, October 20, 2008
This first picture is what I see from my desk. It's pretty much an everyday occurrence (click picture to make larger).
Who else has a husband who uses three computers? Hum? Speak up! I swear, all I've been hearing about for the last month (or more!) is WoW and the Wrath of the Lich King. I'm waiting anxiously for the release just so it will stop!
And from the kids: Wii!!! Wii!!! Wii!!!!
I bought Bekah (and Seth, but not pictured) gel stick things for the window:
Um, okay, that's about it for my news. :D
I need to do some more research for my NaNo book. I'm getting excited about it. New project! Woo Hoo!!!!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Anyhow... Let's talk about my son who is driving me bananas.
Yesterday, I wrote a scene that I realized I needed. My music was up, I was tuned out to the world, my keyboard was pumping out words, and I hear, "Hey! Can you turn that down? I'm trying to watch TV over here!"
I looked over to my son who was clearly frustrated with my apparent disregard of his zen. After blinking twice, all while trying to figure out why I now have a 5-year-old yelling at me, my finger clicked on the volume down button.
When I got to a level that he felt acceptable, he said, "Thanks. That will do it."
Thanks? At least he's polite.
And then several hours later he told me with complete seriousness, "This is the worst day of my life. Ever."
I was unfazed. "Why's that?"
"Because you've made me clean and clean and clean today. Like I have nothing else to do!"
"You mean, pick up after yourself."
Do you know where I think I went wrong as a parent? I taught him how to speak.
Later, I was working on my laptop in bed when Seth and Bekah decided to harass me. It was the first time they'd realized that the keyboard has letters and that if you press the corresponding letter, it would come up on the screen.
Seth wanted to type his name. It took him a long time to find all the letters he needed. When he was done, I said, "You know, I can type your name without looking."
"Sure." I looked at him, put my hands on my keyboard and typed his name.
His eyes got HUGE. "That is the most AMAZING thing I've EVER SEEN!!! WOW!!! I can't believe you did that! YOU ARE SO COOL!"
You would think I had a super power!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I received some notes from my sister too, so that makes four betas with four very unique perspectives on what needed tweaking. Every single one of them had valid points (dang it! That’s a lot of work!!!).
I had already spent countless hours stewing over the notes I’d received last week. Working out in my mind how I could correct the problems – what sorts of things I wanted to interject into the manuscript. I had also gone through all the inline notes and either fixed the minor issues or made notes of the major issues within my working copy (that in itself is a ton of work).
So by the time I opened everything today, I was ready to solidify my plan. I made a list of everything I needed to add. Basically taking a look at each issue that was raised, and then noting the item (or usually numerous items) that needed to be added to correct it. That “To Do List” clocked in at two single-spaced pages. Gag.
Then I spent the remainder of the day inserting each one into the text as a note. Because knowing you need to add something is one thing, figuring out where to put it, that’s quite another! At one point I was making a list of one particular character, when she entered and exited scenes, and what the scenes covered, just so that I could figure out where the most logical place was to put one item (that will probably only boil down to three sentences at most).
That’s all done. I’m left with a mess. I mean, it’s pretty daunting to look at all the notes when they’re put together and dissected.
Now all I have to do is go through the entire book and fill in/ fix everything noted … AND rewrite chapter 18 (of course, I knew that last week). Once that’s done, I’ll reread and it will be finished.
I know this wasn’t a very enlightening post and you’re probably bored. Sorry. LOL
It’s now midnight and I’m exhausted. I think I’ll crawl into bed. 'Night all.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Short answer: stressed
Long answer: I've got issues. Of course, I always have issues. heh.
Most of them I don't want to talk about. I'll just say, I do take care of my own. So really evil woman with the three spawns of darkness, I will make sure your kids are banned. That's all I'm saying.
*clearing my head and adding some sunshine*
I got three of my five beta reads back. The stuff they pointed out -- amazing. I didn't disagree with anything. Which means that there's going to be some more revisions. I wanted to send this to my agent by Monday (my birthday) but now I'm hoping just to be done by the end of the month so that I can put my full effort in to NaNo.
Thanks Casey, Suz and mom! Poor things, they've all read this book 3... 4... 5... more(?) times.
Other than that, I'm frustrated, stressed and tired. I need to sleep.
Oh, and is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that Obama is getting greyer and greyer every day? It's kinda like when Steven went on recruiting duty with hair and by the time the tour ended, he was bald.
Friday, October 3, 2008
It's a good thing that I did reread -- Man, I caught three HUGE issues. HUGE. Oops.
And... As I typed this MASSIVE spider just ran across my room. This thing is 3 inches in diameter. I was SCREAMING. Steven ran upstairs.
Then laughed at me when he found out it was a spider. He's trying to calm me down by saying, "Don't freak out, it's just a spider."
DON'T FREAK OUT IT'S JUST A SPIDER?!?!
A spider that is MASSIVE and IN MY ROOM! And he tells me NOT TO FREAK OUT?!
So he's chasing this thing around the room. Of course he doesn't catch it because it's fast. Then he finds a HUGE gecko hanging out IN MY PURSES. Steven says, "See, this gecko will eat the spider, no worries."
People, I have to sleep in here!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
What is it? Thousands of writers get together in November of every year with the goal of writing 50,000 words (that's each, peeps!).
Who can play? EVERYONE! If you've ever said, "I would love to write a novel... someday." This is it! Your someday has arrived!
How do I participate? Go to the NaNo website and sign up. It's that easy. On the website, you can track your progress, get encouragement from other writers, and chit-chat on the messageboards if you're stuck.
Reaching 50K in a month is doable (or so I've been told *snort*). It breaks down to 1667 words a day. But don't look at it as a failure if you can't make 50K in a month (I haven't yet! hahahaha), because if you only write 30K -- that's 30K you didn't have before. And wouldn't you rather have that than nothing?
I participated in '06 (I realize I have no tags for that on my blog -- I'm creating a tag for this time). Last year I was too busy doing "things." This year I have nothing going on so I'm looking forward to getting back on the horse. Of course, I have no idea what I'm going to work on at this point. Heh. But I'm sure I'll work it out.
I had to change my "home area" from SD to Japan -- that was wild. When I signed up two years ago, who would have ever thought?
This is me -- If you join, make sure to friend me! (Anne, you're already friended *grin*)
Tonight it took me four tries to come close enough to spelling "gnarly" so that my computer could spellcheck it for me.
I feel dumb.
By the way, I did know it started with a "G." Could you imagine how long it would have taken if I didn't?
Still reading. I'm on page 50 /217 (I needed to backtrack a little in order to work through some stuff. Remember, "progress" sucks).
Yes, I'm kvetching. Let's all hope I finish this soon so that I can return to my regular sunny disposition (I can hear my husband laughing...).
And... If you want to be a writer, you should read this. It's an awesome rant. :D
Monday, September 29, 2008
I'm currently on pg 48 of 217. Why does it take forever to read my own work when I can read one or two books in a day?! Can anyone share with me?
Oh that's right, it's because I'm so flipping critical of myself. I hate it all. It's amazing how fast I can swing from "freaking awesome" to "it's a huge pile of cow dung."
I want this to be perfect. Letter... word... sentence... plot... PERFECT. ARG!
The trick is to not overthink it. Guess what? I'm thinking. ;)
Seth has a half day today and is off tomorrow. GREAT. That means very little (at all!) is going to be accomplished. I'm just thankful that my husband did super cleaning last night. *big kisses* My house sure needed the sprucing up. When I'm near the end like this, I let everything slide. And I do mean EVERYTHING. I can only concentrate on so many things.
I laugh when people ask, "How do you do it?" Like it's hard, or something. Well, I don't watch TV and if I get engrossed on a project, I let my husband take care of day-to-day life. :D It works for me! I still pay the bills, though, or we'd go without food, water, electricity -- you know, the essentials. Heh.
Blah. Back to the grind.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
What? Oh no!!! Oh no!!!! OH NO!!!!! I'm going to be sick!!!!
*repeat three times becoming more anxious*
*download copy of file that I save to Google every night "just in case"*
OH THANK GOD!!!!
*breathe huge sigh of relief*
*wipe away tear of anxiety*
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Even better -- THE BOOK IS FREAKING AWESOME.
I broke down today and went to Starbucks because it's the only place that I seem to crank out pages. And I wanted to be done.
Let me tell you, I HATE paying close to 5 bucks for a drip coffee. It kills me. I will never complain about the price of Starbucks in the States again. Although 5 bucks / finished manuscript = TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Of course, I'm not really done.
Tomorrow I have to read through the whole thing to see if it all works from start to finish. Then I have to ship it off to my betas so that they can give me their opinions before I send it on to agent extraordinaire, who I hope (god help me) will love it as much as I do.
I'll keep you posted.
ETA: My sister wants me to make it clear that she is Alpha, not Beta. ;)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I see the end. It is SO FREAKING CLOSE.
I made progress today. Huge progress. I worked my tail off.
It’s now 10:47pm and I just realized that the sequence of events leading up to the end does not work. I moved a key scene up to the chapter I’m working on. It still does not work. It needs to go back…
I just had this conversation in my head:
It doesn’t go here… it needs to go there.
But I’ve just finished that part.
It NEEDS to go there.
But… but… that means redoing EVERYTHING! I can make it work. I can work around this problem! I don’t have to tear it apart again.
*Sigh* This is what you say EVERY TIME. When are you going to learn? Isn’t it best to fix it now than have to redo the ending – AGAIN?
You’re right, you’re right. *SOB!!!*
And thus goes all the work I completed today.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
(1) I have yet to see one baby gecko this weekend. The one that's in my room is hiding out (smart boy!) so he has yet to be evicted. I will get him! Or, rather, my husband will while I stay far away and point.
ETA 9/14 @ 8:35pm: There's another baby living under Steven's desk (AKA "Command Center"). These little suckers are just teasing me now! And this one is FAST!
(2) I have not found any eggs. :(
(3) My rewrite is not finished. Of course, you knew that since I cleverly avoided mentioning it. I feel like I'm in the two steps forward, three steps back stage.
I have 13 of 21 chapters done. Yeeeeeah. This is by far not my fastest work. However, I am very happy with how it's coming along. At first, with this particular revision I was resistant. Now, I think it's going to be extraordinary.
How much longer will it take? Sheesh. Your guess is as good as mine. This thing is never ending. I need encouragement. And chocolate. And caffeine.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Actually, um, I haven’t written anything, per say. I know, I know (!!!) it’s been two weeks, what’s wrong with me?
While I’m trying to work out the twists and turns of how I need to redirect this novel, I realize just how not in to intrigue I am. Why I even wrote a novel with intrigue is beyond me. I certainly didn’t mean to do it. And I knew I needed some help. BAD.
In these past two weeks I’ve read 10 mysteries. Mystery is not a genre that I’m drawn to. It’s okay and everything – but I like my books with super hot guys and lots of kissing. And Mysteries tend to have dead bodies. Hum.
I’ve enjoyed them, yes. But they were more for research than anything else. I found myself picking apart the “clues” as I read, figuring out “who-done-it” and discarding the red herrings. And now I feel more confident to work out my intrigue.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
2. My monitor was damaged in the move. It now has a big black spot right in the center of the screen.
I am SO NOT HAPPY. If anyone knows where I can take this in Okinawa to get this fixed, I would be grateful if you can pass along the info.
3. Got notes back from agent... It looks like I have some plot work to do. This is very unhappy news, but I can fix it.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Make note how I put the importance of the internet before the phone and cable. hahahaha
Steven called TMO (the moving peeps) yesterday to see if our express shipment had arrived. It hadn’t and the projected date was the 21st of July. I was resigning myself to that when they called back and said that 2 of the 3 express boxes had just got in and did we want them? DID WE WANT THEM? Heck yeah, we want them. Two boxes are better than nothing.
Steven said, “You know, they’ll be the two boxes full of everything you don’t need.” Yeah, I know. Heh. But I don’t care. Plus, my horseshoe is back, remember? LOL So I can hope.
Between now and then (as in the next two days) I have to do paperwork for my car, get me and the kids relocated in DEERS (the dependant list) and Tricare (insurance), get Seth signed up for school and on the bus list and find a Pre-K for Bekah. That’s not too much. ;)
And why does it have to be done this week? Because I need to get back to writing. I’m going nuts. Getting in this house means that I can start spending time reading and writing again. I realize it’s been only three weeks since I sent JR my revision, but I haven’t really done much since then and I’m starting to tick, as in eye twitches and neck spasms (okay, it's not that bad. But close). I have been carrying around a notebook in my purse and jotting stuff down, but it’s not the same.
Friday and Saturday are unpacking – and Sunday it’s me and my computer for some much needed one-on-one time. I CAN'T WAIT.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
THREE more days in this house for the Kids and I.
FIVE days until TMO packs us.
THIRTEEN days until we're on a plane. GULP!
Today's moving activities included going through Bekah's toys. This was torture. Meanwhile, Bekah refused to help saying, "Frow it all away. Nana and Papa will buy me new ones." And they would. So that leads me to say there was a lot of cursing from Steven and I about spoiled children, indulgent grandparents and too many toys.
Amazingly, I'm on pg 151 of my revision. Almost done. If I don't have that thing finished by the time I get on the airplane I am going to cry -- big tears of frustration.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I'm well enough to work on my rewrite. THANK GOD. Of course, I'm TWO WEEKS BEHIND thanks to that lovely sickness. Now all I need to do is find some time to focus on it!
My parents came up this last weekend with a huge truck to haul away a lot of our furniture. Basically, we can't take it with us and I couldn't justify sticking it in storage for three years when I have a sister who needs it. Plus, I'll probably buy new furniture in Okinawa anyway, so I didn't want to come back to an extra set.
While they were here, we went out to lunch. At lunch, Seth drew a self-portrait -- he's a potato head and pooping. He's fascinated with drawing poop. I wish I could say I was proud.
My sister is inheriting (among other things) our kitchen table and my bedroom TV. Um, try to live without that when you have two little kids.
But it does make lots of extra room to play!
Yesterday I let Seth and Bekah stamp on the kitchen floor. Heck, it was washable ink and I needed to take a shower. Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do.
And then later that night, they were desperate for a movie. Steven set them up with their iPods. Yes, they both have iPods -- we have three fifteen hour plane trips coming up, they've got to have something to do. Can you blame us? LOL
It was two hours of blissful silence. PRICELESS.
Back to re-writing. Catch ya later.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
And to make it a full circle thing, my son is just as neurotic as the rest of my family. When Seth asks if we’ve locked the doors seventeen times as he fears robbers, or he won’t go near water because he doesn’t want to be eaten by a shark, or the fact that he refuses to go camping – because there are coyotes! And wolves! And bears! – I completely understand and sympathize.
One thing my dad does, is constantly live in a state of stress. It’s what gets him through his daily life. Unfortunately, I’ve inherited this nasty trait. And let me tell you, it is awful.
I turned my revision in last week, and since that moment, I’ve sort of been afloat. What happens when the main focus of my stress is gone? Complete breakdown, people, that’s what.
Several things are going on in my life, too (nothing to do with writing). None of which I can control and they are all wait-and-see types of things. What have I been doing? Focusing on them – and stressing. It’s pretty bad.
So bad that my husband told me, “You need to go to Starbucks and start your new book.”
“Because you need something to focus on.”
I raised my eyebrow. “Are you saying that when I’m stressing over a book I’m tolerable to live with, but when I’m not working on something you can’t stand to be around me?”
I get this. At least with a book I have something tangible, something that I can control. And the end product is directly related to how much I work on it.
So here I sit, at Starbucks, focusing my stress. I’ve got to say, I feel better already. Is it the atmosphere (crowded today!), the skinny vanilla (extra hot!), or the fact that I’m feeling productive for the first time in a week? Who’s to say? It may even be the James Blunt blasting on my iPod.
What I do know is, I’m happy. And if I get bored, I can always take picture with my phone.
Friday, March 28, 2008
I’m running away this weekend to the cabin in order to finish reading my rewrite. I’m on pg 80-something of 220 and I’m catching sentences here and there that don’t belong anymore. I need concentration time, which is sorely lacking between wipe-patrol and food fights.
At the moment I’m packing. Here is part of my list:
I found the phone and the earpiece cords but I couldn’t find the iPod cord anywhere. I was frustrated so I gave up and took a shower. Hot water always helps me think – and that’s when I realized…. I have an iPhone… um, yeah, that’s the same cord as the iPod. DUH!!!!
This is why I need to get away.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I'm done. I finished my rewrite. I'm done.
Okay, fine, it's not done, then. Sheesh. Can't a girl dream?
It will be soon.
Very, very soon.
Monday, March 10, 2008
From the way he said it, I hoped his answer was going to be something worthy of that excitement -- promotion, pay raise, uh, wanting to send me on a vacation alone -- except being the informed military spouse that I am, I knew it was none of these things. That left me stumped about what the wonderful "thing" was.
And for a moment I thought it may have something to do with WoW (actually, it's sort of surprising that it wasn't, but anyway...).
"I have no idea," I said, waiting for enlightenment. Three... two... one...
"Desert cammies and rolled sleeves!"
Yeah, what you're feeling is the same excitement I felt at that announcement. But let's all be supportive and say, I'm so happy for you, Steven!
All joking aside, it must be crappy to be forced to wear long sleeves when it's eighty degrees, so I understand.
Um, in other news, I kicked butt this weekend in my rewriting. I wrote (from scratch!) three chapters. Woo Hoo!
My husband saw me writing just above the words "the end" and got excited for me. I said, "Oh, no. I've finished chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 15, 16, and 19. So I still have more than half the book to go."
He looked at me like I'd grown another head.
"I sort of skip," I explained, lamely.
"I got that part."
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I started a rewrite a week an a half ago. It took me about three days to outline my revision. So, in actuality, I started exactly a week ago.
At this point I’m not even to the midway point. I’m only about a quarter done.
I was becoming discouraged because it’s taking me forever. I mean, I’m usually much faster than this. Until I realized something…
When I started, I cut about 10K words straight off the top. Then another 20K I rearranged into different areas of the novel. Just now when I looked, I’m up to my original word count.
Which means I’ve written 10K in a week. I feel better now.
I’m celebrating by going to sleep.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
(B) Understand what he’s saying
(C) Have any part of my brain invested in the conversation
I just smile and nod, occasionally saying, “That’s great, honey!” Just like he does with me and my writing.
It’s all good. That’s what we like to call “being a supportive married couple.”
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I keep a book list. Not to track my reading per say, it's more to keep a list of the books I've read so that I don't rebuy them. I have a tendency to do that, and it’s irritating when the book wasn't that great to begin with.
Plus, I have a rating system so that I know if I've enjoyed that particular author. When I see a book I'm interested in buying I check to see if that author has disappointed me in the past. It's also interesting (but not surprising) to note that certain lines of books please me more than others and they tend to score similarly if coming for the same publishing house/line.
This last month has been a slow reading month for me. I've been pretty busy. There was quite a bit of time this month that I didn't pick up a book (or read it on my Palm as the case may be - I'm super into ebooks). So I was shocked when I realized I'd read 15 books last month. Wow, I thought I'd read half that. LOL.
The highlight this month was the Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs (Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron kissed) - they were awesome. When I finished the first one I found myself downloading the second at midnight and continued reading until five am. I never do that. I ended up reading all three in less than two days. In the end I was exhausted but, man, was it worth it! Briggs has made it to my auto buy list. I'm making a point to check out her earlier work.
Today I'm cracking down on the hot mess that is my current manuscript. Somewhere, somehow, I got off-track with it. I printed up the sixtyish pages I have and I'm working through them with a pen... making notes... cleaning up... slashing... rewriting. It's going pretty good. Except, of course, I'm only on page EIGHT, so what do I know at this point? I need to finish this book by the end of the month. It's time to move on.