Thursday, June 19, 2008

So much for...

My intention to blog more regularly. And they were the best of intentions. Really. I have (excuses) reasons, good reasons. OK. Maybe not. I could promise to be better, but seriously, who would I be kidding?

I have been writing. Mostly descriptions for fireplace accessories. In case you ever wondered, there are thousands of styles and finishes. No, I didn't think you have wondered. Neither had I.

But, I've also been writing on the next book int he Skye Donovan Photographic Mysteries series. This is the first book I've sold on proposal, so I was a little worried about it. Could I duplicate the same humor? Could I write it at all? Evidently, I can. It's rolling along, and I have another four months to turn it in, so I'm not terribly worried.

And the Paranormal Suspense is still simmering on the back burner.

And then there's more fireplace accessories to write about.

I better get busy.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

We should all be giving a big THANK YOU to the men and women who died defending our country.

Memorial was a big thing when I was a little girl. Back then, it was celebrated on May 30 rather than the last Monday in May. And we didn't call it Memorial Day, but Decoration Day. We would all put on our Sunday best and pile into the car for a trip to the cemetery. Each family would decorate the graves of their ancestors and loved ones with fresh and artificial flowers. As I recall, it was mostly artificial flowers. And they weren't the silk flowers we have now.

These flowers were made by the women of the community. I remember 'carnations' made of facial tissue. They were easy to make and kept the kids occupied. One of our neighbors made beautiful flowers from various colors of crepe paper and then waxed them.

At the cemetery, the women would place the flowers on the graves while the kids played around the tombstones and the men stood in the shade talking. After the decorating part, the men set up tables from sawhorses and planks and the women brought out bowls and platters of food. Fried chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, beans, watermelon, fruit salad, pies, cakes and cobblers--all of it homemade and delicious.

We'd spend most of the day at the cemetery celebrating the freedom these men and women had given their lives to protect.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Miss Snark Tribute

It's been a year since Miss Snark's last post and Patricia Atwood is hosting a tribute. Words really fail me when I think of Miss Snark. I have no idea how she had any kind of life when she was blogging so much. She gave us advice that we couldn't get anywhere else, and if we paid attention, we became better writers and better authors. So, go read the comments. Maybe leave one of your own.

And, if you somehow missed the Miss Snark blog when it was alive and kicking. Go check it out.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's been a busy weekend...

Busy, busy, busy. The husband dragged me all over looking at properties he wants to flip. It's fun but also time consuming. The fun part is that I get to choose the appliances, flooring, paint colors -- stuff like that. We also give the properties names. This weekend we were looking at The Septic House and The Toxic House. He decided to forego The Toxic House. (Big sigh of relief from me). I also met a woman who does staging for houses that are up for sale. We hit it off immediately. I was thrilled to find another woman who has cards of paint colors in her purse.
The time consuming part was that I'm still working on this huge copywriting project. Back when I was a full-time, staff copywriter at ad agencies, I'd get asked what I did for a living and when I answered "I'm a copywriter", some people would ask if I worked at the copyright office...LOL. Now that I tell people I'm an author -- well, you don't need to hear the questions I get.
I just read Erica Orloff's blog and she poses an interesting question about what her character HATES. I love Erica's blog because she makes me think. And now I'm thinking about what my character hates instead of finishing this project.
Oh, and I got everything done for the RT Author Spotlight. I thought writing back cover blurbs was hard until I had to write a 50-words-or-less book description! But it's done, and so am I. At least for the weekend.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Yikes! It's been a MONTH?
Where did the time go? Oh, right. I was writing copy. Writing copy isn't as much fun as writing a book. No imaginary friends to play with.
But I have good news!
I just found out today that I'm going to be in the Author Spotlight on the RT website in July. Yay, me! The Author Spotlight is a special section of the website that is available to subscribers of RT. I'm excited. And I need to write a 300 word article. 300 words isn't much (unless I'm having a really, really bad writing day -- then it's perfectly fine!). And I have to choose a 500 word excerpt.
This is definitely fun stuff. Especially compared to writing about fireplace tool sets and screens. Hundred of them. Seriously. Hundreds.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beginnings and Endings
Erica Orloff blogged about beginnings on Friday. That got me to thinking about my current WIP. I usually write a chapter or three when I start a wip and then throw it out later because I realize that I'm just writing back story. But with the current WIP, I'm actually happy with the beginning. But thinking about beginnings just pointed out to me that I really suck at endings. It seems like I get to the point where the mystery is solved, the murder is caught, the disaster is avoided--then what? There needs to be something to tie everything together and it throws me for a loop almost every time. Then spyscribbler blogged about how John Irving said he writes his books backwards. All that made me realize that I don't really know how the current WIP ends. I mean, I know the basics of what happens, but I don't have that final climactic scene in my head yet. I need that scene so I know where I'm going. I think that's why this WIP has been so difficult in such strange ways. So, tomorrow, I'm NOT going to write on the WIP (much). I'll open my Notes file and write about writing it. I'll write about how I don't have that scene in my head and maybe that will kick something loose. Maybe.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I don't get Daylight Saving Time

Seriously. First of all we aren't "saving" daylight. That's not really possible. If we want less daylight hour in the beginning of the day and more at the end of the day, then why don't we just adjust our work schedules?

One of the biggest reasons for DST is that we will supposedly save electricity.

Huh? We do this during the summer when we already have more daylight hours. And that would only be true for lights, right? I mean are we really going to give up our favorite television shows just because the shows come on when it's still daylight? Besides doesn't everyone use TiVO or their cable or satellite provider's DVR?

We certainly don't save electricity in office buildings because they turn the lights on at a certain time and off at another certain time. Because most modern office buildings are huge and unless you're an Executive Vice President, you probably don't have an office with a window.

I'm sure most Moms have had the experience I've had during late June and early July. Trying to convince your child that it really IS bedtime although the sun is still up. A lot of Moms work outside the home which means the little ones go to daycare which means they have to get up early. So, Mom doesn't have the option of letting the kids stay up until it's dark, then letting them sleep in. Frankly, if I'd been a stay at home Mom, my daughter would probably have had an even earlier bedtime -- say around the cocktail hour, which would also have come earlier.

And now it's coming earlier each year and ending later. Pretty soon, it will ALL be DST.

Even if it saves energy, can't we come up with something else? Say, maybe a different energy source that doesn't depend on how many dinosaurs died?

OK. Rant over. I'm a little cranky cause The Husband chose to share a really nasty head cold with me. I should have stayed in Arizona a little longer and let him get over it. Besides, Arizona doesn't have DST.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Where did that month go?

I got back to the lovely Pacific Northwest on Saturday. Time flew by while I was in Tucson. I got the final edits on IF IT'S NOT ONE THING, IT'S A MURDER while I was there. They were pretty easy. My editor didn't find any gaping plot holes or loose threads, and she had a lot of really good points to make.
I tried to do some copywriting while I was there, but it was just too difficult so most of that waited until I got back. I finished that project and I'm almost finished with another copywriting project. Then I can write for fun again.
And hopefully blog more often.

Friday, February 08, 2008

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

I'm headed to Tucson for three weeks of warm weather and sunshine. I love living in the Pacific Northwest. I love the rain. But around February, I need a break. And my family lives in Tucson. Well, except my brother who lives in North Dakota and that's not the kind of break I'm after.

Spyscribbler posted today (or was it yesterday) about what kind of experience writers are aiming to give their readers. I'd never really thought about it before, but I immediately knew I'm the Entertainment writer. I never know what theme my book might of might not have. I don't write with character growth in mind. I like to create a character and give her lots of interesting situations. I like to write a story that keeps the reader wondering what's going to happen next and how the hell is the character going to get out of the situation. When I think about the emotion, the themes, the morals--I just get depressed and lose interest in writing.

When I write, I'm seeing a movie in my head and then putting it on paper. When I read, I read the words and that creates a movie in my head.

I remember a time when some co-workers and I were talking about movies. One of the co-workers and I both remembered a funny scene from a movie. We talked about it at length, trying to remember what movie it was from. We both remembered the scene in the same way. After a lot of discussion we both realized that the scene was from a book.

I want to write scenes like that.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Fear of Deadlines

Writers live with deadlines. Constantly. Deadlines for proposals. Deadlines for manuscripts. Deadlines for edits. Deadlines for cover art sheets. Deadlines for blurbs. I need to be completing a cover art sheet right now, I think. Although there was no hard and fast deadline attached to it. But there was a gentle reminder that they need it.
Usually I deal with deadlines by jumping on the project so I'm sure to complete it before the deadline. Well before the deadline.
I should be getting the edits soon on my next book. It's the first in a series and the second manuscript is due in November. So, right after the edits, I'll finish writing the second book. I'll probably finish the manuscript and have it to the publisher way before November. Because if I don't, I'll worry about it to the point that I won't get anything else done.
But first, I need to finish that cover art sheet.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Patry Francis' novel debuts today! Patry is battling cancer and unable to get out and promote her book, so several hundred writers are doing it for her. You can click on the book to buy it at amazon.
You can check out her blog and her website to learn more about the book. Or take a look at this trailer:

So, do yourself a favor. Go get this book.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Working Under Pressure

I've had so much going on that I've really slacked off with the writing. Part of it is that I don't have anything really pressing. I still have nine months to write the next contracted book and it's already started so I'm not worried about that. I just heard that I'll be getting another contract in a few weeks and that book will be due in about a year.
Then I realized that I have edits coming in February for the August release. And I really want to get the current WIP finished by June so I can finish the next contracted book by August, because that will only leave me 5 months to write the book that I'm getting the contract for in a few weeks. Plus July and August will be busy with promoting the August release.
I better get busy.
In order to jump start the writing I signed up for Mary Castillo's Book In A Week challenge. Of course none of us will really write a whole book in a week, but we've all committed to a certain amount of pages or words. I'm lagging a little behind. OK, a LOT behind. But it's got me writing again. I'm a little worried that it's all crap. But, hey, I can edit crap.
I've always been the kind that works well under pressure. When I was doing production art (the old-fashioned way with an X-acto knife and a waxer), I was the one who always had to paste up the huge sale liner page while the delivery person was cooling his jets in the lobby. In high school, I usually spent the winter break in the library writing the paper that was due on January 2nd. Of course, I couldn't think of a better place to spend two weeks than in a huge building full of books.
I've tried to establish a more consistent schedule. I've made plans to write a little each day and clean a little each day so that it all gets done. But, it never happens. I'll write all day for several days, then spend an entire day cleaning the house. There must be something to that saying that leopards don't change their spots.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Book Cover

I tried to post the cover on the sidebar, but for some reason Blogger stretched it out. I'll have to work on it later. But for now, I'll put it here. I think it evokes the feel of the story really well, and it fits with the other covers in the series.
Getting a new book cover is always fun. Of course getting the box of books from the publisher is even better!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Back to the drawing board

Yesterday, Erica Orloff blogged about POV and it got me to thinking about my current WIP. I've started it in third person. But I keep thinking that maybe I need to do first person. But there's information that needs to come from another person's POV, so then I'd have to do first and third. I don't really have a problem with that. James Patterson and other authors do it, so why not me? But most of the books in this genre are written in first person.

So, I've been stuck. Added to that -- I don't have a complete outline yet. And I LIKE outlines. So, as I was thinking about her post and about my WIP, I realized that I just don't know enough about where I'm going with this. It's a new genre for me. Well, a new sub-genre.

I love the premise and the story line so far. So much so, that I've been trying to skip some necessary steps in developing the story. So, I think I need to stop writing the WIP and do some thinking, write some notes, figure it out. Actually it's a relief to have an idea of where I've gone wrong.