Thursday, June 23, 2005

Mornings Suck & Blog Guilt

It's 7am. In the summer, with no school to get the kids ready for, that should be illegal. Period. No questions asked.

So why am I up, you ask? Because I'm apparently a masochist. This chick up at the salon wanted someone to practice arcrylics on...for free. So I'm like, "Cool! Free nails!" And apparently I'm the only person that fell for this.

~insert gullible face here~

Now, my nails grow fast, and get pretty long. But then they start to split and stuff, so I basically ignore them, just occasionally filing them. She was going to do (and did) just a top arcylic layer to help with the splitting. Uh huh. Right. So after soaking off the "mess ups" for the fourth time now, my nails are shot to hell and as fragile as gossamer. Not kidding. Breaking off like crazy, so she (and the "teacher") are putting on tips today. Since I'm leaving for DFW today, she said, "Come in at 8am and we'll get you fixed up before you go."

And like the moron I am, I said, "OKAY!"

Since I don't wake up on my own...ever...I had to have B wake me up before he went back on his 72 hour shift. Which meant 6:30am. I don't wake up that early DURING school hours. I've lost my freakin' mind. It's all that acetone I've been soaking in. I swear.

So yeah, I'm leaving today for DFW and I won't be home until the 3rd. Therefore, no more blog updates until then. My parents have a computer, but it's six years old. Add a dial-up connection to it, and I'd rather gargle with razorblades than get online while at their house. Call me spoiled, but I LOVE my cable connection. I should have a crapload of stories to regale you all with when I get back though.

And I'm dealing with blog guilt. I tend to visit other blogs and spend 2-3 hours doing that and nothing else, blog hopping around and reading and posting, or visit none at all, and with the writing I've been doing lately, that means I haven't been visiting. I hope to get in an hour or so today before I go, because frankly, I miss it. I love to read what all you other guys are doing. In the meantime, I deal with guilt.

That, btw, is NOT from the acetone.

And mornings still suck.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Outlining ~cringe~

Any of you out there do this? I don't. I'm a write-as-I-go kinda chick. It got me through a 100K word count story, figured that's just the way I was wired. However...

(there's like, ALWAYS a "however"...~sigh~)

I have SO many projects either started or brewing in my dark little brain that I decided to use one of the books my friend Shari gifted to me, FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS. Thankfully, what I'm finding is what I'd planned. I knew the story I wanted to write, but I want a character driven book, not plot driven, so I needed to get to know my characters better. I was going to do a character sketch anyway, and wouldn't ya know it, that's what I find in step 1 of FIRST DRAFT. Ironic? How about Fate.

That sounds SO much nicer, doesn't it?

And it works, at least so far. I'm getting to know my heroine even better. I knew her "profession" when I started, but now that I know HER, I know exactly why she's a teacher. (I can't tell you, you'll have to wait to buy the book.)

Since I'm planning on writing fulltime in August, with the goal of a first draft in 8 weeks, this style is right up my alley for my individual goals. Should be interesting to see if it works. If I can make it work over this hectic summer schedule, I know it'll work perfectly for when I'm focusing fulltime, writing fulltime.

And all you wonderful people were 100% right. My insecurities of my last post were crap. The writing, thankfully, was good.

See that forest? Yeah, me neither. Too many trees.

So lay on your back and see the endless sky with me instead.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

It finally happened - I can't write

So I pick up one of my current seven works in progress (well, two are working in my head, five on computer.) I thought I didn't really feel like writing, but figured once I started, I'd kick right into it like usual and I'd knock out another chapter or so.


For the first time EVER, it's like pulling teeth. And what I'm writing SUCKS. I realize I can go back and delete it all (thank God for computers, eh?) but the entire SENSATION is just......weird!!! I've HEARD of writers having this problem. Heck, my idol Stephen King wrote about it, I read his thoughts on it, but of course, it's Stephen King, so you don't really think it's that hard for him and he's placating the rest of us peons, right? I'm not so sure anymore.

I'm going to keep going. I can always ditch the scene, right? Right. And really, this is my own fault. I got out of the writing "process" and just like anything, it takes daily work on it to keep the muscles working well. I'm sitting here like one giant brain cramp.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Slow Down Long Enough

* to hear your inner voice

* to rediscover yourself

* to listen and be heard

* to empower one another

I heard this last night at our monthly ARWA meeting. I found it incredibly fitting for myself right now and where I'm at. Most importantly, I loved the last one - empowering each other. I can think of no other profession than writing where support and understanding for another are so important.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Happiness is going a good book

One of my all time favorite author's, Janet Chapman, has her new book out, THE DANGEROUS PROTECTOR. I originally met Janet at Nationals in Dallas last year, and I just love her to death. She was so sweet to me, meeting up outside the hotel in the non-official smoking area and giving this unpubbed great advice and listening to my whining. And she signed THE SEDUCTIVE IMPOSTER, her new release, for me. And it's one of my all time favorite books (I think I mentioned it on the blog post where I listed my fav books and WHY they're my favs). She gives you blinding gorgeous, cavemen men, totally alpha and you want to punch them AND kiss them, and you're not sure in what order. The girls are ones that could be your best friend. And the disciples...omg...well, you're just going to have to read to understand. So, her new one is out, which follows the story of the other sister, and I finished this honker book in just one day. I can only beg Janet to write Jason and Jane's story...or the ever lovely Molly. Please please please...let me keep visiting Puffin Habor!! She makes me want to visit Maine soooooooo badly. The settings are gorgeous, and two of my all time favorite authors live there: Janet and S. King. What could be more perfect?

(sighs happily)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Tragic Hero

As usual, I have to preface this post: I am not a Star Wars fan. BUT, it was playing at the drive-in movies tonight, so we loaded up the van for 6 of us to see a new release for $10. Can't beat it.

And I LOVE this movie. Loved it, loved it, will absolutely buy it. Anakin is beyond a tragic hero. He's moved by a pure love, a love so complete and unmoving. He'd do anything to save her, including betraying himself. And when he finds out she dies, it's absolutely heart-wrenching. The decisions he makes is to save her, and in the end, it did him not an ounce of good. He is the definition of a tragic hero and my heart completely broke for him.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Neat link I found...

I was going to write to Elizabeth Bevarly to tell her how I loved her book, and in googling, I found this really neat site. She is listed on there, but the link doesn't work. However, check it out! A SLEW of romance writers are listed!

Rana's World

I finally did the "duh" thing and just tried and whatdaknow? *eye twitch* It's now added on the left under FAVORITE AUTHORS.


I just finished Elizabeth Bevarly's HE COULD BE THE ONE, Avon books. I really enjoyed this, and it's one of the few books that is NOT what I'd really call a suspense (there's a small element near the end) that has kept me turning the pages. At one point in the story, my husband actually woke up to ask me what was making me laugh so much. There's this scene about crashing a 20th high school reunion of a school they did not attend, and the results of wearing someone else's name badge and the reputations those names carried. What a RIOT!!!

THIS is exactly what makes me want to write romantic comedy. She has two plots of two couples throughout the story, keeping it fresh and moving the entire time. (Plots are linked through sisters and getting to their OWN reunion.)

This gets a good, solid A from me. Well done. A cute and clever read that makes us remember who we were and where we are now, and the path that we traveled on the journey to get here. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Save Me From Myself!!!

So, I'm losing weight (it's slowed down a lot, but really, I'm trying not to complain) and I'm workin' out and I just started tanning again (only 10 minutes at a time..don't wanna look fake or get sun damage, after all...but when you go without hose, PLEASE have tanned legs!) Anyway, I keep looking for "cute" things for Reno. And I'm SO broke! ~laughs~ But it's fun to dream: New SMALLER size, cute styles, fabulous costume jewelry. ~sigh~ I did get the new haircut (refers to pic..which I need to change..) so I'm feelin' pretty good. But dang, I'm on eBay!

Don't tell B!

And Reno is such a FABULOUS excuse, right? Right.

~whew~ Thanks for calming me down and giving me that confirmation I was needing! I love you!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Sex vs. Romance

Although really hot on the RWA chatlines, this isn't about romance vs. erotica or what covers are presented on books from the art department or if it's fair to ban certain books from the RWA booksigning, even if their publisher is RWA recognized. There are a crapload of blogs out there covering that, but this isn't one of those blogs.

What's on my mind is more of body vs. mind. Although they say that the brain is the largest sexual organ, it's no secret that sex and emotions can and often are separate issues. And not just in the realm of prostitution. In our homes as well. But ideally, what would we want? What is it we crave?

We want to writhe around in slick sweat, panting and wanting and clawing and needing anything, everything, right there in that immediate moment. But it's what got us to that moment that's the most important, I think. We want romance. We want to know the other person wants us, in their mind, in their soul, in their hearts, as much as we want them. We want them to want us just as desperately, to want to feel our mouths, our hands, and our bodies under theirs. It's the mental connection between people that is what's powerful, that's what makes the brain the largest sexual organ. That all-encompassing feeling, your heart and your mind so full of emotion you think you may simply explode with the pressure of it, that no mere mortal body can contain that sensation without bursting. And that's what leads to the writhing and the sweating and the ultimate release.

Some can separate it. And some do so willingly. A girl's mouth is merely for deep-throating, her crotch just for him to have something warm to hump against. And how shallow is that? Who wants that? I know I don't. I want that estatic RIGHT NOW moment, and then that moment afterward, the free falling into arms that want to hold me, the voice that whispers in the dark to me, the one that slays my inner demons and dares me to dream higher and higher.

It's the passion. The romance. And ultimately, the love.

That's what I want, that's what I need, and I don't think I'll ever settle for less again.

Feeling JUMPY?

Maybe I've had one too many glasses of wine and therefore, shouldn't post, but this is irritating me more than cat shyt on the sizzling sidewalks of Texas in August.

(Let's that visual sit for a moment.)

And before I speak what's on my tipsy mind, let me say this: My blog was not started, nor do I tend for it to be, a harpy place for me to bitch. I don't want to spew negativity all the time, but dayum, what's UP with the people in my life?

So first I'm told I'm arrogant. Hold a moment while I laugh hysterically. I know I can be viewed as very confident, and most times, I am. But to be called arrogant was a first. THEN to be told that I hate myself...wait, doesn't that directly contradict the so-called arrogance? Is it just me? Have I had one glass too much or do those two statement TOTALLY and completely contradict each other?

I have no idea what the entire conversation was about, really, but finally I asked, "Do you read my blog? Because if you do, then you know me, the real me." This was the answer:

"I try to but you jump around all over the place."

I do?! I mean, DO I?! I realize I ramble, but this isn't exactly a place to write my freakin' high school essays, is it? This is the SECOND person that told me my thoughts "jump around". The first was an agent who read my work and whom I ended up killing off in my novel. This second time was by a new friend that I've spoken to several times, and I recommend here on MY site that you're reading right now. Makes one think of that little phrase about burning bridges, doesn't it?

Do I? Am I THAT horrible to read? Should I delete this entire freakin' thing or believe that some actually LIKE what I have to say? Is it arrogance to ignore the statements, or pure wisdom? And more importantly, do I even care?

No, not really.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Is 13 a lucky number?

Do I CARE? Nope! As much as I've complained to you guys about my weight, guess what? One month down - and 13 lbs!!! Remember that black sausage dress? Five more pounds and it'll look like I was born for it. My dresses are fitting and I'm in a GREAT mood about it. And, I'm getting my haircut today, which is going to make me feel all the more fabulous. Thought I'd share the joys and not just the bitchin'.

The Writing Arsenal

If for some ungodly reason I decide I can't write professionally (not gonna happen by my free will, btw), I realized that my books on craft create quite the little arsenal. If you're a writer, you already know that if you buy everything that everyone says is a MUST READ, 1) you'll go broke, and 2) You'll never get them read. So, I try to get stuff that either is recommended by someone I admire (like S. King) or if I see it referred to repeatedly. So, along those guidelines, here's my list. Let me know if you have it, and what you think of it. If you have one you swear by and I don't have it, be sure to let me know!

(You will see that GMC by Deb Dixon is NOT listed. Someone that's very similar to me said not to get it, as our writing styles don't really mesh with it. From what I've heard about GMC, I'll agree, although I can see why others simply love it.)

1) On Writing, by Stephen King - As you know, I've read this and LOVED it, not only as a writer, but as one of his fans. This is one of the best books I've read. Ever.
2) The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White - I haven't read it yet, but S. King recommended it, so I'm all over it. 4th edition.
3) The Pen Commandments, by Steven Frank.
4) Heros & Heroines, by Cowden, LaFever & Viders (I scanned this and thought it was really neat.)
5) First Draft in 30 Days, by Wiesner
6) No More Rejections, by Orr (Nice concept, isn't it?)
7) Writing the Romantic Comedy, by Billy Mernit (I don't remember where I read the recommendation on this one, but it looks good.)
8) The Writer's Journey, by Vogler
9) Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maass (I think EVERYone recommends this!)
10) Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, which I'm currently reading.
11) The First Five Pages, by Noah Lukeman, which is as freakin' dry as grass in Texas for the month of August. I finally put it down and moved to Self-Editing.

I think I may have one or two more around here, but can't remember off the top of my head. So whatcha think? Good list? See anything missing? Any comments on what I have? And still, after absorbing all of that into this little Texas brain, it all comes down to only one thing: Do I have the talent and persistence to pull it off?

Creative Clutter

Not too bad sounding like that.

"Crapload of junk on my desk."

Yeah, that sounds way worse.

My desk is Control Central. Birthday party invitations, school notes (even with school out!), bills, post-it notes from the very bowels of hell, a timer (no idea), tons of soda cans (blink), nail polish remover (I'm an at-home diva kinda chick), my arsenal of medications, folders, print-outs of things I think I'll need, jewelry (don't ask)...the occasional candle. Yeah, that pretty much covers the first layer on the desk. And don't even get me started on what's UNDER the desk.

In all fairness to myself, I do totally clear it off every week or so, usually in a mad quest for a missing bill or party invitation (which, btw, I gotta look for one today!) Am I the only one that lives with such creative clutter on the desk? Please say no.

Really, *please* say no.

On a brighter point: I'm getting my haircut today. Trying out yet another new cut, so I need to do it this far out from Nationals so that if it looks like vomit, I can grow it out in time and do something else (hair grows super fast!)

On writing news: I somehow managed to end up with TWO copies of THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE. Let me know if you're in the market for one.