Saturday, August 31, 2013

Did You Ever Have One of Those Days?

I think I'm having one. One of those days when no matter what you do, it's always wrong. You know how I was excited to have #2 daughter come home for a visit? Yeah, well, it's not even noon and I've already pissed her off. I'm pretty sure she's ready to drive back to school. And #1 daughter too, come to think of it. They don't seem to realize the value of money. When you live paycheck to paycheck, it's hard to see the kids think nothing of wasting their parents' money. So, neither girl enjoyed the lecture about money. And, I just sent an email with unsolicited advice to #1 son on problems he's having. You know when you see your children making the same mistakes that lead them to failure's frustrating. So, 3 out 4 children surveyed in this house would probably be happy if I just was quiet today. Which I might just do. I probably should just write today since I'm batting .750 with pissing the kids off today.

On Writing: So, I have two options to look at this as my August writing goal comes to a close.

#1 I didn't meet my goal to finish the rough draft. I started with 9.5k and my overall goal was to write 50k. I ended up with a grand total of 30,597 words written during August (not including today, and I do plan on writing today!) A little disappointing.

#2 Wow, I wrote over 30k words during the month of August! I only have 15k to go to finish my WIP. (That averages to over 1k/day.) Considering how long I had set this m/s to the side while editing Delaney, pretty exciting!

Considering, I'm having "one of those days"...I'm going to go with option #2.

AWG: DWC: 708 TWC: 40, 118

Friday, August 30, 2013

It's Friday!

...and #2 daughter is coming home from college for the weekend. Yay! It's always fun to baby them a little when they're home.

Remember a few posts ago when I said I was moving into my new writing space in the basement? Yeah, I never did because my husband is still hammering down there. Hoping it wraps up very soon so I can make the move down there.

On Writing: Okay, not a lot of writing, but I think I accomplished what I needed to with the scene I wrote yesterday. I'll reread it this morning and see. I need it to be a little emotional, yet believable and not slipping into sappy. Should cross the 40k mark today (finally!)

AWG: DWC: 899 TWC: 39,410

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Puppy-Brother has an Accident

...a potty accident at the vet, that is. I took Bella (aka the puppy-brother) to the vet yesterday in an attempt to get a "sterile" urine sample hoping to find the best antibiotic for her UTI. By sterile sample, I mean they will take it straight from her bladder with a needle. Ouch. My job was to get Bella there with a full bladder. Of course, the vet called to talk to me just after I had taken Bella outside where she had peed. So, we waited around the house for a few hours where I pushed water like I was the "ShamWow" guy. But wait. There's more. So, we arrive at the vet and I have to race Bella in the front door so she can't stop and smell and pee in the grass out front (like all dogs normally do.) So, to review: my job: get Bella to vet @ 4:30 with a full bladder. Check. Guess what happens to a dog with a full bladder when the vet is running behind schedule? Yes. She. Did. Right on their tile floor. I tried to cut her off as soon as I saw her squat. So, they ended up doing a quick ultrasound to see if there was anything else in her bladder, because why stick her for nothing, right? Apparently, there was enough. Test done. Now we wait until next week for results. Thankfully they were able to start her on a standard antibiotic so she's not in pain anymore. Here is photo of Bella after she treed a squirrel.

On writing: No writing yesterday as I was taking care of our puppy. Today, I got a little writing done. I'm still ending up rather short on my August Writing Goal. If I write 1,000 words for the last 3 days in August, I'm still about 13.5k short of my goal. Grrr. Not a huge deal, but I am thinking of using this manuscript for SYTYCW13, so I need to finish it. And need time for editing. Yikes. The contest opens on the 9/23 so I'm already cutting it close. Although, you only need the first chapter and the 100 word pitch to start. I wonder if you make the cut and get asked to send in your ms, do you need a synopsis also? Oooh, that will take time to write, too. I wish I wrote/created faster. I read an interview with an author this week (name escapes me. Sorry.) who said she usually writes 20-25 pages/ day. Wow. That's between 5k-over 6k/ day. Every day. Must. Be. Nice.

AWG: DWC: 1,191 TWC: 38,511

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Our "Puppy-Brother"

#1 daughter loves that AT&T commercial with the "puppy-brother." So, she has taken to calling our dog Bella (yes, she's a girl) her puppy-brother.
Bella was a pound puppy. Probably part Golden and part Chow. The absolute sweetest dog. She developed Addison's disease about 6 years ago, and while it was scary when it first happened (almost lost her) she has been stable for years now. Except that now we are having some issues. She either has her 3rd UTI in just a few months or needs her meds adjusted. Addison's in dogs is like Addison's in humans-- the adrenal gland stops producing enough cortisol or aldosterone. So, a monthly injection of Percorten (mineralocorticoid hormone normally produced by dog's adrenal glands) and then daily/every other day of prednisone. Anywhoodles, the basic gist is I will be talking with Bella's vet today. I hate when she isn't feeling good.

On Writing: Not a bad day writing yesterday. Today I have to attempt an emotional scene that has my h digging into some of the painful emotions from her past. It's a fine line, I think, of making it enough to be poignant and visceral, but not too much so as to be too over-the-top that it doesn't feel real.

AWG: DWC: 1.998 TWC: 37,320

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Hint of Fall in the Air

When I wake up in the mornings, around 6:30-7 a.m. I let our dog Bella out on the front porch and go make coffee. Then I take my coffee out to our front porch swing and sit while Bella does her stuff and then sits outside on the lookout for squirrels. (Bella. Not me.) This morning it was chilly! Just like on a fall morning. I love fall. I love the cooler air. The wind in the trees. Sleeping with the windows open. So looking forward to it, and so happy it is just around the corner!

On Writing: Okay, I got a little busy for a few days. Basement project, an old friend of ours came to visit for 4 days, college kid stuff (mama, I need a book. mama, I need a black watch. mama, I need stamps...yeah, like that.) I spent one day trying to catch back up in my on-line Scrivener class, and by catch up, I mean download all the lectures for use in the future. Plus my CP and I have edited chapters for each other. I have written something everyday, but obviously, I have not kept up with my daily word count goal. So, I will keep on until the end of August and see where I am then. I have four definite scenes in my head, but I might need to weave another storyline in. It's not so much that I am suffering from a ms with a 'sagging middle' as this ms has less going on than my previous one.

AWG: DWC: 2,527 TWC: 35,322

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Life Lesson: Have a Trusted Car Mechanic

Car story: So, my car was swallowed by a pot hole almost a year ago, and turns out it created A LOT of damage to the undercarriage. A few thousand dollars which our car insurance covered (hello higher rates!) But, the dealio was that we had to go get it fixed at a specific place. Fine. We did. Got the car back and it started making a funny clunking noise. My husband thought, well weird timing, but maybe the car needs new engine mounts (we bought the car used with 30k miles on it a few years ago.) He thought he'd get around to it in the fall, but the more we drove the car...the worse the clunking noise became. Every time you start or stop the car. Clunk. We put 5k miles on the car since the shop our insurance company sent us to did the work. Heck, our twins drove it to Biloxi, MS to help deliver #1 son's car to him at AF Tech School.

Anyway, finally the noise got so bad it was worrisome. So, we took it back to the insurance's mechanic and he said, "Yeah, probably need new engine mounts." But he didn't look underneath the car in case it was something they did. So, we took it to our trusted mechanic. (Daryl @ Frantz Automotive is the Bomb!) Apparently, the engine mounts are fine. What they did find is that every nut and bolt the insurance's mechanic touched for the repair was loose. Some were even missing. If we had kept driving it, eventually the undercarriage would have fallen off and the engine fallen out. Niiice. That is my scary car story of the day.

On Writing: I have got to pick up the pace! Dude, maybe I need to finish August with a 'book in a week' kind of marathon to meet my goal. Or pull and all-nighter like in college. Maybe I should stop this post and go write!

AWG: DWC:981 TWC: 32,795

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gut Check

On Writing: So, yesterday I gathered myself together and I am moving forward. I just did the math and in order to meet my August writing goal of finishing the rough draft of this WIP I need to write another 25k. Or roughly, 2,273k words/day for the next 11 days.

Not a lot of writing today, as still a little regrouping from yesterday, but I think I did some plotting and have 3-4 solid scenes figured out. By figured out, I mean I have a 1-2 sentence notecard of what the scene is about. Although I have other things to do tomorrow, I am hoping I can at least get one scene knocked out.

Okay, I think I've bought/rented enough college textbooks in the last few weeks for my children to fund a third world country. Good grief college textbooks seem like overpriced scam. Like a very big expensive shell game. Things just don't change that often in say, music or history, that there needs to be new editions of $157 textbooks put out each year thus making it difficult for kids to resell/ or get used books.

AWG: DWC: 717 TWC: 31,814

Sunday, August 18, 2013

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program...

I believe I've reached a crisis of confidence. I might need to take a break from writing and just read for fun. I sent the first 4 pages to my Beta Readers, and it was not pretty. And that was only 4 of the 99 pages I have written in this WIP. My CP had some concerns also, although I think hers are workable/fixable. But, it is possible what amuses me--does not amuse others/ or enough people to make publishing possible. I must rethink and regroup.

AWG: DWC: 1,562 TWC: 31,097

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Yes, we had rain pretty much all day yesterday. Luckily it was only a light rain on the almost 2 hour drive to daughter #2's college. Then there was a window of no rain while we got all of her boxes in the dorm, so we had that going for us. Heavier rain on the drive home and then pouring rain once home. Looks like another rainy day today if the sky is anything to go by. It's just been a very rainy summer here in NC. It sure beats the drought we've had the last few summers though, so I'll try not to complain too much. Silver lining: Hope the wet summer means prettier fall foliage.

Today, the plan is to  move around a little furniture. Our basement project is almost finished, so I get to move into my writing room! I've got boxes of books, spirals, notebooks, files, and index cards to move down there. We're also going to set up a place for #2 son to study on the first floor (aka not up in his bedroom where he can watch TV or play computer games) So, we'll move a couch out of the family room down to the basement, and move the desk from daughter #2's room down into family room and set up his computer. So, lots of moving and shuffling of things today.

We bought some peaches at the farmer's market in Raleigh on the way home from the college move yesterday. So, there is the possibility of making a peach cobbler, too...

On writing: I didn't think I'd get any writing done yesterday with the move, but I did sneak in a very little at the end of the day. I am behind on my August writing goal. I really need to step it up this week. I am totally behind on my on-line Scrivener class, so at this point will probably just have to download and save all of the lectures to watch once my WIP is complete.

AWG: DWC: 364 TWC: 29,535

Friday, August 16, 2013

Negative Word Count!

Almost. I hate cutting out big chunks of writing. Especially when some of it is really good. But it had to be done. The wrong direction is the wrong direction--no matter how sweet a vehicle you're driving.

On Writing: Posting tonight since tomorrow will be a busy non-writing day. (Moving daughter #2 into her college dorm.) I did write today, but part of the way through I realized I had to go in a different direction. My characters had taken the path of least resistance, but since I'm not even 1/2 way through the book-- I need more conflict!! So, I had to rip out the over 1,000 words I had written (saved and hope to use later!) and rewrite.

AWG: DWC: 355 TWC: 29,171

#Life and Editing

On life: #1 son passed his *important* test yesterday, so he gets to continue training as an Air Traffic Controller and move on to the next block of training. To celebrate, his crew took him out for wings. He got to be the DD. #newguy.

#2 son just drove off for his first day of classes. He was away at college last year, but let a few things spiral out of control. So, we've brought him closer to the nest this semester to help him refocus. Hopefully, he'll be back to his college in the spring refocused and ready to attack his education. #mistakesarelifelessonstoo

#1 daughter finally has a day off today before her classes start next week. Yesterday she had an interview for volunteering at the hospital. She's finishing up her summer internship at a low-cost health clinic and works part time as a lifeguard. She's majoring in human biology/minor in Spanish hoping to get into a PA school. The volunteer hours hopefully help toward that, although she was told to look into getting her EMT instead. #busygirl

#2 daughter was packing up last night; we move her in to her college tomorrow. I am afraid to see the amount of stuff she has since she keeps asking for more boxes. Yikes. Her sister is helping her paint a few canvasses for her dorm room. Hopefully they will be dry by tomorrow morning. She worked a lot as a lifeguard/manager this summer. She is anxious to leave and be back with her friends, I think. #readytofly

On writing: I didn't actually write-write today. I am sending the 1st 25 pages off of current WIP to a contest so I had some editing to do. The way I write I always have to edit for two major items. #1POV. I am fast and loose with POV. I don't consider it "head-hopping" per say, as in I think it is very clear whose POV it is, but it is not the standard 1 POV/scene. So, I always have to go back and fix it. (My poor CP!) Maybe one day when I'm an "established" pubbed writer I can get away with it. But not now. #2 narrative details, scene setting and action tagging. I usually see/write my scene as conversations between characters. I do not love lots of narrative details, so I must go back and layer in details to set the scene and add in better action tags. I am not the author you want to read if you like the books that describe every one's outfits or the rolling hills they are travelling through. So, anyway, the 237 words from today are probably all scene setting and rewriting of POV. #recoveringPOVslut

AWG: DWC: 237 TWC: 28,816

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Magic in the Air

Did you feel it yesterday? Wow, a cold front arrived and it was beautiful! Nice breeze, cooler temps (70's!) No way did it feel like the middle of a NC August. It felt so fall-like my husband and I started discussing what needs to be done in the garden this fall. #1 Only add deer resistant plants. #2 Move the wisteria #3 Get a dogwood tree to anchor the front garden near the house. #4 Mulch around big existing trees. I love fall. I love the sound of wind in the trees. I think it's because it reminds me of my childhood. We had woods behind our house growing up, and we used to go off and run and play in the woods all day long. Happy memories.

My husband is home from work today, and hopefully between him and our cabinet guys we can try to wrap up the basement project. I am excited to move my writing down to a room with a door. Crossing my fingers I can write in quiet after years of writing in the heart of a loud, large family.

On writing: Good day. Hoping for more like yesterday.
AWG: DWC: 2,813 TWC: 28,546

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Think. I Solved. My. Plot Problem.

That title should be read like Vinny Gambini from My Cousin Vinny when the judge is telling him not to argue, just state his clients' plea and Vinny tells the judge, "I think. I get. The point." Love that movie! But, back to writing and plot problems...

On writing: Okay, so lots of brainstorming/thinking yesterday. And, like I said, I think I have solved my plot problem. If I didn't, then I did come up with one idea that gets my h/H together in a "necessary" way for the plot to work. Part of the problem, I think, is my 1st turning point is pretty emotional for my heroine. Maybe it should be the final turning point/black moment near the end? So, I might have to move scenes around, which I don't normally do, as I like to write linearly (is that a word?) from beginning to end. So, not a big word count yesterday, but hopefully big problem solved. I'll definitely need a few more 2k+ days to get back on wc track.

Crossing my fingers because it's a hectic time of year. Moving daughter #2 back to college on Saturday. Pretty sure #2 son starts his classes on Friday. Number #1 daughter starts a week from today. My husband has decided to go back and get his 2nd Masters (so he'll be more current/relevant should anything happen with his current job) so he starts classes soon, too. And #1 son has his first test today which his trainer says he will fail and failure means he's out of the Air Traffic Control program, so no pressure...

And all of that, reminds me of this quote from My Cousin Vinny:
“Lisa, I don't need this. I swear to God, I do not need this right now, okay? I've got a judge that's just aching to throw me in jail. An idiot who wants to fight me for two hundred dollars. Slaughtered pigs. Giant loud whistles. I ain't slept in five days. I got no money, a dress code problem, AND a little murder case which, in the balance, holds the lives of two innocent kids. Not to mention your… (taps his foot) BIOLOGICAL CLOCK - my career, your life, our marriage, and let me see, what else can we pile on? Is there any more **** we can pile on to the top of the outcome of this case? Is it possible?”

AWG: DWC:305 TWC: 25,733

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I Was Afraid of That...

     I kinda wrote myself into a corner two days ago, so not much writing yesterday (or today) as I try to figure out where this WIP is going next. I have a few options, but it's a matter of sifting through them and deciding which one is the worst thing that could happen? And which one keeps rubbing on my heroine's vulnerable spot until she finally takes action to stop it.

     In the ms I submitted to an editor, Bringing Delaney Home, the heroine thinks the worst thing has already happened when the story opens. But as the story unfolds, she discovers there are worse things, and she finds the strength to fight for what she wants/needs. But Delaney is a fighter, forged from growing up with abusive parents.

     My heroine in this WIP is different. I wouldn't call her feisty or a fighter. She did not win the life lottery by any means: parents died when she was 3, foster family takes her in, adopts her, asked to leave family at 16 so the family has more $ to spend on the biological kids they had after her. She heads to Hollywood to try acting, although she is "discovered" and wins high acclaim for her acting over the next 5 years, her innocence and naiveté led to more abuse and abandonment. With the help of a friend, she leaves acting and Hollywood to start a new life that won't eat away at her soul.

     What has kept Avery going is that she was born an eternal optimist. No matter what life throws her way, she always sees the potential- not the downfall. But the optimism means Avery is a little gullible, since she's always wanting to believe in the goodness of people around her. And it cuts like a knife when she finally must admit that people she trusted have lied to her. And when she finally decides to trust a man again (after her painful experiences in Hollywood years ago) that blows up in her face too.

     Avery's abandonment issues come full circle when both her adopted sister and the hero let her down. So, that's where I've left Avery and our hero. They need to be forced into a situation where they can get to know each other better (they jumped into bed together too soon) and he can show her he can be trusted.She begins to question what it is about her that no one can love her. This is the sticky plot point, I think. I really need her to come up with her own solution. The hero can't come in to "save" her. She's got to figure this out and then the hero becomes the last missing piece of the puzzle to a happy life. It's a thinking cap kind of writing day.

AWG: DWC: 287 TWC: 25,428

Monday, August 12, 2013

My Mom's Wisteria

My mom had a wisteria plant that she grew in our back yard growing up. My dad put in two decorative 3 board fence pieces with an arch between for the wisteria to grow up and over. It was gorgeous. So, after my mom passed away, my sister Annie was able to go dig up some of the pieces of the plant before my dad sold the house. She brought it to me in NC. I planted it at the base of a pine tree and then eventually we also built a wooden structure for it to grow up and over. Wow, the wisteria took off and eventually went all the way up the pine tree and across the board. Then last year we sold that house and moved. My husband grabbed a few pieces of the plant and stuck them at the base of a few trees while our house was being built. Out of the 3-4 pieces he planted, one is doing great! Except, if you know anything about wisteria, you'll know it is a very, very hardy and strong plant. It can be destructive, so you have to choose where you plant it carefully.

The problem is that when we threw the plant in the ground (just to keep it alive during the building process) our septic field was slated to go in the back yard. Well, that changed at the last minute. You can see where this is going, right? So, now this beautiful, beginning-to-thrive wisteria plant is right on the edge of the septic field. Wisteria + pipes from septic field= not good. So, it must be moved this fall. We'll probably move it to the other side of the driveway, and put in a few decorative 3 board fence pieces to grow on, plus use the fence to place a few solar lights for driveway lighting at night. (Our driveway is very dark at night. Country living.)
 I also need to find more deer-resistant plants. Did I already complain about the clematis they stripped? And my hydrangea bush? And the daisies? Well, no more plants until we research this. I don't mind feeding the deer when it's a drought or tough winter, but come on deer, it's a lush rainy summer. There is plenty to eat without acting like locusts in our garden.

On Writing: I posted this yesterday, but meant for it to show up under today's post. Anywhoodles, Good writing day yesterday. I need a few more 2k + days to get back on track.
AWG: DWC: 2,238 TWC: 25,141

Family Game Night!

Family Game Night: We played Mexican Train. (It's a type of dominos game if you haven't heard of it.) The game I love to hate. At least I did not lose tonight! But I didn't win either. We just like to hang out together especially before we move daughter #2 off to school.

On writing: A good day of writing today. Love when the writing just flows. Wrote a fun scene, but will have to make sure it needs to be there and isn't just fun for fun's sake, you know? Hoping I didn't write myself into a corner, though. I'll have to reread it and see where I am.

AWG: DWC: 2,238 TWC: 25,141

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Our House in the Woods

Just realizing that it was one year ago today that we moved into our new house. We used to live in town in the next county over. In a neighborhood with sidewalks and a swim team. Our house was on a main thoroughfare in the neighborhood, so we'd hear people/cars heading off to work pretty early in the a.m. I like sleeping with our windows open when the air is cool outside. But we couldn't do that because of the cars (light sleeper. hello.) So, now we live in the woods. And it's peacefully quiet of traffic. And I am looking forward to fall, and opening the windows to let the cool air in while we sleep. Our builder couldn't understand why we'd want window screens, as apparently lots of people never open their windows anymore. What?! Sure, it's a little messier living out in the woods. But I'm an open the windows kind of girl. I love, love, love opening the windows on a breezy day.

On writing: It is appearing that maybe the daily goal I set was too high. After meeting it the 1st three days, I have yet to meet it. But, this is just 10 days in. In one more week, the three college kids will be back in classes (although two are living at home and commuting this semester) so maybe there will be less chaos and craziness around the house. Although it's good chaos and craziness. Last night everyone gathered in the kitchen/family room (aka my writing space) laughing and talking. Happy girl (daughter #1) told us her version of #2 son trying to make a can of soup the other day. Pretty funny. ("How do I drain it?") But, I will remind myself that in 10 days I have written over 13k and press on.
AWG: DWC: 1,330 TWC: 22,903

Saturday, August 10, 2013

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program...

...In order to clean the house. Yes, we have reached critical mass. When tumbleweeds of my dog Bella's hair begin to roll is time. I have been cheating a little this week. In order to grab more time writing, I've skipped some of the normal house chores...dusting (let's be honest, I don't dust "regularly" anyway), vacuuming, laundry. You get the idea. My husband was away on business for the week, so "I had the shot, there was no danger, so I took it." But now I look around and ugh. So, a little time cleaning is in order. But I will wait until everyone is awake so I can blast music and have help cleaning too.

On writing: I predict at the pace I'm going I won't meet my goal of 50k unless I start having a few 2k days. Soon.
AWG: DWC: 1,221 TWC: 21,564

Friday, August 9, 2013

Tomorrow Is Another Day...

Yesterday did shopping for #2 daughter's college dorm. This year she is living "suite" style with friends. Do you know how much 4 girls "need" to live for four months??? I do not think these girls would make it on Survivor. (Is that even a show anymore?)

I also got caught up in my on-line Scrivener class yesterday. I tried Scrivener's tutorial first, but it was a little intimidating, so moved on to the lecture from the class. Then we had a live Q&A session last night. I think I have the basics, but as one commenter here mentioned, I probably won't import my WIP, which means I'll have to start planning/pre-writing my next book in order to practice with the program this weekend.

The other 5 day on-line class I'm taking through RWA wraps up today. Lots of great info, but that was just a matter of wading through lots of emails/posts.

On writing: Not a good day. I just didn't have enough time for writing yesterday. On a positive note, it wasn't a zero wc-- just awful close. Other than take our dog Bella to the vet, I'm hoping to have a big chunk of writing time today. Onward. Tomorrow Today is another day.

AWG: DWC: 251 TWC: 20,343

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Halfway Dialed In

On writing: Okay, not too shabby of a wc day considering I didn't even get to start writing until after 5 pm, and had to stop to make chicken Caesar salad for dinner. But, in order to come close to my writing goal, I didn't have time to do the on-line Scrivener video/assignment, so I am behind in that. Tomorrow (today, actually as it's just past midnight est) I need to go shopping for #2 daughter's college dorm, then to the dr's office to pick up her x-ray for the AF. Then, home to write. And work on my Scrivener class. This is not yet going according to my Reese's Plan. Instead of my daily writing goal mixing smoothly with my on-line Scrivener class like the glorious way a Reese's combines chocolate and peanut butter...I feel like the chocolate and peanut butter are sitting on opposite sides of the table and I'm only eating out of the peanut butter jar, so far. I'm halfway dialed in.

Today's scene was a turning point/black moment for my heroine. I'll have to reread it tomorrow to see if I've overdone it. But I don't think so.

AWG: DWC: 1,516 TWC: 20,092

 Edited: Sorry for any confusion, but when I posted after midnight last night I thought it would be dated for today's post. Looking this morning, this post was dated yesterday, so I deleted it and reposted it under today's date. That is all. Carry on.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Once Upon a Time...

The girls in our family have been watching the show Once Upon A Time on Netflix. Some very good episodes. Some bad. But we like it. It's about a fictional town Storybrook where the town folk are all fairytale characters stuck there because of a spell back when the Evil Queen got pissed at Snow White. And the modern day people don't know they are actually fairy tale characters except a little boy named Henry (adopted by Evil Queen), the Evil Queen and Rumplestiltskin. We have decided the heroine is often the dumbest blonde on TV. She got elected town sheriff and she's ridiculously bad and falls for or unknowingly goes along with every plot the Evil Queen comes up with. Anyhow, in the episode last night (not one of the better ones) we had the hardest time figuring out which fairy tale characters were highlighted, because as it turns out....they weren't fairy tale characters. What?! They were the Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland. And they gave the Mad Hatter horrible motivation for why he made a deal with the Evil Queen. Horrible. You know what horrible motivation did for me, the audience? Made me not care what happened to him. Or more of a, well, you brought it on yourself, buddy, attitude. It was actually a good lesson on GMC.

On writing: I thought the day was going to be another bust. It was slow going in the beginning, but then one character said something, just one thing that propelled the scene forward. Don't you love when that happens?

AWG:  DWC:1,537 TWC: 18,576

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

If Excuses were Reese's Peanut Butter Cups...

I'd be a happy camper. Sadly, they are not. Yesterday, was the 2nd day in a row I didn't meet my daily writing goal. BUT, I refuse to let this become a trend. Now, it wasn't a no-writing day, or even necessarily a bad writing day. Writing was accomplished. It flowed (when it wasn't interrupted) and wc wasn't too shabby. Just not my daily goal. For the 2nd day in a row. Now, here is the part of the post where I roll out my excuses explanation.

I thought my morning was clear for writing. But Sunday night my husband tossed me #2 daughter's AF physical issue that arose. #2 daughter is in AFROTC at her college. She had her physical this summer and it came back mentioning a mild case of scoliosis (which the doctor said she saw and we knew about, but she said it was so minor she wouldn't even mention it in her write-up. Guess she did, anyway.) So, the AF wanted a brand new X-Ray with a board-certified radiologist's report written up by her doctor. So, that's what I ended up doing for a few hours yesterday morning. Phone calls to doctor, faxes, pick up X-Ray orders at doctor's office, go to Radiology office for X-rays. Then home. Could #2 daughter have done this by herself? Normally, but yesterday she was still sleep-deprived with a bad cold, so I helped my baby out.

Yesterday was also the 1st day of the on-line Scrivener class (remember my Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Plan for the month of August?) Okay, so this is a little lame for an excuse since it was really just lots of email and introductions and a intro video. Lame, I know, BUT....

...apparently I also signed up for a short 5 day on-line class through RWA that started yesterday too, so all those emails started showing up. This also is not a "good" excuse but a distraction. Although, it should be a class I can learn a lot from. I'm so glad 2-months-ago-me was smart enough to sign up for it!

So there it is...all my lame excuses tied up in a pretty pink bow. And now for yesterday's wc...

AWG: DWC: 1,203  TWC: 17,039

And, I'm sure this debatable, but the best way to eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? Frozen.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Location, Location, Location

My writing fell a little short of my daily goal yesterday. Rats. Part of the problem is location, location, location. Until our basement project is finished (where I will have a small office with a door!) I write on the couch in the living room. The living room is connected to the kitchen, so whenever anyone is getting a meal (aka all the time) they just start talking to me, even if I am typing away. So while I was working I had to keep stopping to talk, answer questions, ask questions, commiserate with two sick kids, laugh at the silly eternally happy child (everyone should have one of these) and discuss schedules with my husband who was prepping for a few days away on business.

Even the dog, Bella, was talking to me. I am her caregiver (even though my husband is her favorite human) so she turns to me for her daily medicine, food, water, and when she needs to go outside. The way she lets me know she has to go outside is to come in the room I am in and stare at me. If I miss that sign (which is hard because she has a powerful stare) then she will nudge me with her nose or bite at the air in front of her while dancing her two front paws. (That means she's reached critical stage and she must go outside NOW.)

Anyhow, all of that went on yesterday and impacted my writing. I also must confess, I had trouble getting started when it was quiet in the morning before everyone woke up. So, I'm hoping for better today. In fact, I should get to writing right now before the sick teenagers wake up. But first, I need my second cup of coffee. Uh, oh. Bella's heading my way...

AWG: DWC: 1,333 TWC:15,836

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Chicks are Back in the Nest

Everyone had an over-the-top fun week and arrived home safely. The two conference-goers are a little grumpy from the colds they picked up and lack of sleep (averaged 4 hrs sleep/night...oh to be young again.) Hopefully a few nights of good sleep will fix the grumpiness.

On writing...I met my wc goal yesterday, but I'm not digging how the chapter is turning out. It feels a little choppy. And it's short. So, I may have to revisit it. This book is actually a sequel to the book I just submitted after the on-line pitch. The submitted manuscript, Bringing Delaney Home, is the story of Delaney Lyons and Quinn Cates. Quinn has four brothers (you knew he would!) The current WIP, working title Why Can't This Be Love?, is about another brother.

What I keep forgetting in this book is that even though I know what all the characters and small town is like, it must be laid out each time in each book. In case 1) a reader hasn't read the first book 2) a reader doesn't read the books in order 3) the first book never gets published. But the trick also, I think, is to do it with a light hand so as not to annoy a reader who has been following along.

Another thing with writing a series is keeping track of all the characters descriptions. I have a chart, but need to update it. Especially because one of the brothers changed eye color on me from the first to the second book. He had to, so I forgive him. As his personality developed over the course of both books, it kind of demanded it, but now I will have to go back to the submitted manuscript and change it there.

So, it's Sunday. For some reason, with the kids gone all week, my days are off and yesterday felt like a Sunday. Today I will write, vacuum (you can only put this job off for so long with a Golden in the house), spend time with the family, maybe even squeeze in a family dinner before they start to scatter off to work and their friends. Enjoy the second half of the weekend!

Friday, August 2, 2013

News, the Good Kind

Good news. #1 son who drove off Sunday night for his first AF base and assignment in MS is doing well. Always what a mama wants to hear. Now, he's not a shy guy, but he was a little scared and lonely heading out to a place where he knows no one. But, after only 3 days, he is meeting the people he'll be working with and fitting in nicely. He usually calls at the end of his work day with some funny stories to tell. So, yay. He is still in training, and his job at this stage still has a high washout rate, so it especially helps if the people training him like him at the start.

The other three kiddos should be home tomorrow. The twins are taking the train home which was 3 hours late getting them there, so crossing my fingers for no problems on this return trip.

On the writing front, today I write the first scene where my heroine's sister shows up. I'm pretty sure I know what she's like. I know her motivation, and her goal, and her conflict...but sometimes when these characters show up in a scene their personalities are surprising. So, I'm looking forward to that. It should definitely be easier than yesterday's love scene. (which I still have to reread to see if I have any wandering body parts.)

Off to work. I hope everyone has a great day! It feels full of promise, doesn't it?

August Writing Goal (AWG): DailyWC: 1,694  TotalWC: 12,874

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Writing Day 1

I don't think I'll check in on my August writing goal every day, but thought since today was Day #1 I would. I wrote 1,659 words today, so just above my goal. Yay me. And, I had to start with a love scene, since that is where I left off a few months ago when I paused my WIP to edit/submit Delaney.

I do not find love scenes particularly easy to write, but what I've learned is they don't get any easier if I put them off until later, so I wrote it. Hopefully that will make tomorrow's writing feel easier. I know some people like or can jump around when writing their books, but not me. I like to write my scenes in the order I envision them in the story. I've heard authors say to write the last chapter to help guide you through the middle, but that wouldn't work for me, since characters pop up out of nowhere and they make new scenes happen that sometimes change everything. So, I have found I really need to write scenes in order. Occasionally, I'll get an idea that isn't in order, and that's where I pull out my notebook and write it by hand where it can sit until I'm ready for it.

Oh, and I made homemade meatballs, homemade sugar free spaghetti sauce with roasted spaghetti squash in place of pasta noodles. One of my husband's favorite dinners. Very yummy. I was able to freeze half the meatballs for another meal next week, saving me work. Score! Okay, back to your regularly scheduled program.

August Writing Goal (AWG): DailyWC: 1,659  TotalWC: 11,180

"Summertime, And the livin' is easy..."

Come on in, August! I love the month of August. It might have a little to do with my birthday being in August, but I think it has more to do with growing up being a nerd. Yup, I was a nerd. I loved school. Elementary and middle school. I grew out of it in high school ;) All my brothers and sisters were nerds. (Well, maybe not my baby bro, but the other 5? Definitely) Loved school. Loved homework. Yup, I was a skinny little nerd. And the reason nerds love August, is August means school is almost here and we get to go buy school supplies. Yes, nerd bling! The cool kids might be proud of their clothes, but we nerdy kids loved our notebooks, folders, pencil sets and pencil pouches. And new crayon sets every year? Sweet!

So, I welcome August with wide open arms today. August, I've got big plans for you. (See previous post.) Let's get to work.

AWG: Beginning TWC: 9,521k