Friday, December 30, 2011

Handmaiden of Creativity

Found a nice, topical quote. From T.S. Eliot: 'Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity.'

I would venture to add: 'Illness is the destroyer of creativity.'

You'd think the two would go hand in hand. When I'm ill or hurt, I cannot, for love nor money, consider writing. Well, that's not quite true, I rue the fact that I can't write. I sit and stew about not writing. I wither in disgust at the idea that I'm not writing. Yet, illness sucks me dry.

When I'm ill, I guess I'm too tired to be anxious and therein lies the problem. I'm very good at anxiety. If I could publish anxiety, I would have at least ten thousand books on libraries across the land.

Somehow I must figure out how to be anxious and ill at the same time. No. The best would be -- stop being ill. Oh. a Christmas wish. A New Year's wish.

One for you too. A new year filled with joy and peace, but with touch of anxiety sans illness.

Life is hope-filled.

PS - The Droid will NOT allow me to post here. Believe me, I've tried.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Still Battling

Droid! Honestly, you'd think it was the enemy. Sometimes I get a keyboard on the thing and sometimes I don't. I'm all ready tonight to post and there's no keyboard. I'm sitting here on my trusty rusty PC. Thankfully.

The Droid isn't the only thing I'm battling. I've been a bit up and down with the season and such. I swear - I'm going to write some 'Blue' tomorrow. I've got the day off and the bills are sitting on the table. And 'Blue' definitely gets me procrastinating away from the bills. Bless its little heart.

I will have to do the  bills sometime tomorrow, but I will pretend I'll start first thing, then my heart will say, 'Blue' needs some work, and I'll gladly put the bills away and write the rest of Chapter Thirty-one? I think.

Hope everyone had a great holiday season - though we still have one more before the great winter chill - and then off to writing.

Got a big fun thing to look forward to. My one writing group is going to spend two full days together in a retreat-like setting - just to write. Should be great.

Life is a blessing.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Oh! Oh! Had To Post This Link

Really fun lesson from Mark Twain on how to compile a critique group.

Will try to post later today, too!

'Cause life is fun!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wasn't Meant To Be

A hiatus, but it turned into one, didn't it?

The season is not the excuse. Been still battling health issues. But I think they might be on the mend. I pray they are. I went to a doctor of naturopathic medicine. She chided me for waiting so long to take care of myself. 

*g* How do I explain that I've got these insane characters who DEMAND time and energy and thought and my very life's breath????

Got on a truckload of vitamins and such. I've had two good days. Today is one of them. Two out of the last six months is a huge improvement. 

I feel like I can think about writing again. Before this, honestly, the brain wept. 

We need strength to write. We do. We need stamina and courage and all those other wondrous things and being sick or not taking care of ourselves is not the way to cultivate creativity.

Cultivate creativity. That's got a nice ring to it. Hoping we all spend the next few days, before the New Year, cultivating a little creativity so that we can ring in the New Year with a truckload of bells and enthusiasm and such!

Life is hope.

PS - A reader helped me get back on the straight and narrow by saying she missed reading this blog while at work. *blushes* Felt good. Bless all my readers - now and forever.

PSS - Maybe the hiatus gave some of you a chance to catch up. *Tag - you're it!* 

PSSS - Merry happy holidays!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I've been thinking all day about incidentals. Characters, places, settings, things. Nothing I write should be inconsequential, not even the incidentals.

So I'm still researching the scenery for Chapter Thirty-two. It's going well. Getting very near the crisis so this part must be perfect. I think.

Of course, the Muse has introduced a new character, but if she keeps to just one, I should be ok. LOL. Of course she won't keep to one. Specifically, we've got Bryan returning. I haven't written of Bryan since the first chapter. There must be a wizard or two or three who are going to be fighting against Kathleen. Should be interesting.

But for now, I'm making sure the scenery is a character in and of itself.

Life is incidentally insane.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Hmm - quandary. Do I write it as magic or magik. It's little things like this that can drive me mad.
Met with my editor today for chapters sixteen and seventeen. She loved them. Made four comments. Easy fixes, too, thankfully. She said keep writing - she can't wait to read more. I told her I was finishing up with chapter thirty-one and she was delighted. Bless her heart!

As for magic - she said I've got to pump up the one section that had a bit of magic. As I've said before, I was told this is definitely a part of the book that is wanting. I vowed to go back and make changes once the book is complete, however, I think I best keep this is mind as I do the rewrites before sending Laurie my chapters. Sustain the magic.

I had to laugh tonight because I thought of a part of the third book. Honestly, I thought I was only going to write two, but Gozon has informed me that he will be needing help. Thus, a third book will be needed. Now, please keep this hushed, for I don't want to give away the fact that Gozon might still be around for the second and third book. *g*
As I've said before, characters can be quite pushy! I suggest imprisonment or a muzzle.

Life is fun.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Own Web Page

I've been talking with folks lately and the consensus seems to be that - when you become a published author - it is best to have a web page.

Now - you all know I'm in love with my blog. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to write a bit down and keep track of my progress. Also, keep track of what's happening in the industry.

It's not enough. So I'm into investigating webpages. I've got a friend who is a webmaster. She's been getting more and more business as she creates more. That means I will be able to get a webpage up and running as Sharron Walsh within a very short time. Good news.

I hope to keep up with this blog at the same time. This is my history. 

Life is exciting.

PS - That's four things down now, for when I am published. A blog, a webpage, a system for tracking, and a trailer maker. (Yes, we spoke of trailers before. I'm going to be ready for one, once 'Blue' is complete. Oh, I'd love to have one for 'Sorrysorrysorry,' too. We'll see.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cupcake Wars

I watched an interview with Anne Burrell, author of 'Cook Like A Rock Star.' She had been a contestant on The Iron Chef and was sent packing. That's not what the book was about... but it's relevant to some more musings on life as an author.

Anne said she was heartbroken when she was voted off. Or whatever they do on that show. And it set me to thinking. (You might have noticed that lots of odd things set me to thinking.)

How come it is that a contestant on a cooking show like The Iron Chef or Cupcake Wars or whatever -- that deals in creativity along with talent and knowledge -- can feel heartbroken when she/he/they do not win?

And we as authors cannot? 

'They' tell us that we should send out our MS and then wipe the dust from our hands (like Macbeth's wife and the blood) and go on to our next piece of work.

Why can't we suffer for a bit? Why can't we feel sadness over a rejection?

Just a thought. I think I'll give myself permission, next time I get a rejection, to mourn for a little bit. Then, I'll go on to the next piece. 

Life is freedom.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I find it bizarre, as of late, folks’ use of the English language.

The television news report tonight stated: ‘The search winded down.’ Now – it’s supposed to be wound. The search wound down. You don’t say: ‘He finded the gun.’ You say: ‘He found the gun.’ Why would you think it’s ok to butcher the English language in this fashion?

In reading folks’ tales, I’ve found the same thing. Or finded, depending upon your perspective. I drived to the store. How on earth? It’s I drove to the store. I catched the ball. Instead of I caught the ball.

I see it everywhere and I’m beginning to get a little frightened. Intelligent people are using these incorrect words. I’ve seen it in books by famous authors. As I said, by newscasters. By politicians.

How on earth are our children ever going to survive a world so askew? I’m supposing it is only going to get worse (or worst) with the popularity of Twitter. And texting.

Now there’s a made-up word, texting, but it’s being incorporated into the dictionary because it is part of new technology.  (MS Word says it’s not spelt correctly here. Ah – that’s another one – spelt vs. spelled.)

But these found/finded, wound/winded, catched/caught words are not.

Just a small rant.

Life is peculiar.

PS - I am not busy ranting all the time. I did write 'Blue' today. Almost finished with Chapter Thirty-one! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Killing Characters

I've got a character that I like. To a degree. He's seemed a friend, but turns out to be an enemy. For some reason, I don't want to leave him like that. I think I've become fond of the lad. 

I've had to kill off characters in other stories and find it most distasteful. One time, I had to kill of a sweet wife and mother. It took me three days and I cried through it all. I've learned not to become as attached as that!

Yet characters can take over. I've had some baldly tell me, 'No,' when I've thought they should die or do something they don't like. Eventually, we come to some sort of agreement and the story moves forward.

Beware your characters, my Friends, They can be quite stubborn. And wilful.

Life is strange.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Giraffes Again

Sometimes, I know the Muse is in control. I was going to start sending out the giraffes story about a week ago, but was held back - by who knows what. Well, I presented it today, for the very first time, to my writers' group. One of the dear souls, the youngest one (I think she's 17) and writes so incredibly well, hoorayed when she read it. I got the nicest comments from her - BUT - she discovered what has been bothering me with the last chapter.... The hippos are in the wrong place! I feel so relieved. She hit the nail on the head, so to speak. So I'm changing it from hippos to the giraffes. The two species will meet and become friends, but it really is ALL ABOUT THE GIRAFFES. To have usurped them so. What was I thinking! *g*

Another thing that came to light, one that I had thought might be, is that the folks in my group only read the submitted MSs once. They ooh'd and aah'd over my critiques of the two presented today. I spent a lot of time on them. I always do.

And I do read them at least twice. Once, just to get the feel of the story and how it flows. The second time, to make suggestions. I don't like to mark up a page until I've read the whole thing. Questions can be answered later in the story. Puzzles can be presented early and figured out towards the end. All sorts of things happen, if you let the story progress, and then go back.They all thought reading twice might be a good idea. Go figure. Hopefully, the folk in the group will do that from now on.

A good day all around.

Life is fine.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Feeding Time

Spent most of the day reading others' works. One of my writers' groups meets tomorrow and there was a plethora of submissions. Long too.

I am amazed at the temerity of people. Sometimes I wish I had some. They submit long pieces, one was 32 mgs! AND with only five days to read. That along with others' submissions.

So I toiled away, as best I could. I know I'm getting better at this critiquing. Not doing editing anymore - you know the kind, grammar and punctuation and such. No - this is what I consider real editing. Making sure the characters' voices stay true, that the timeline is not flawed, that the events are plausible within the genre. 

I got to think about 'Blue' a few times and have reread what I wrote yesterday. But I also did a wee bit of fluff and posted that where friends can read it. That was fun. 

Reading away also as there is a contest going on that I usually vote in.

I think the best way to keep 'sane' is to write other things too, fun things, and to read more. That way, the Muse is fed, and then she feeds me! LOL

Life is hunger.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I'm pretty sure to you it doesn't seem like a long time since my last posting. But to me, it feels like forever. I'm so used to posting daily that more than one day away feels like a lifetime.

Pain is difficult to write through. Or even think, creatively. I suppose I should be like Hemingway - just drink through it. I love his one quote -- write drunk, edit sober. 

But pain or no -- the Muse is fed up with this lack of writing and has kicked me in the butt. I'm wondering though, if it's because I've used this pain-filled time in reading. Voraciously. I love to read. I had to give it up for awhile. I find I am not disciplined when it comes to reading. If the book is good, I can't put it down. Sometimes, even if it's mediocre, I can't put it down. That means no sleeping, no eating, no nothing. Difficult to function the next day!

The Muse sent some great thoughts and feelings to me as I sat in the car waiting for the little one to get out of school. Great stuff, IMHO. Enough to make me crave the paper and pen. Pulled it out and began writing and found I have stuff I have to go back and add. Such fun.

It feels good to be alive again. Even if the pain is close to mind-numbing.

Life is good.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Keeping The Faith

I've got a friend who writes with such power and imagination, it blows my mind. Yet, she has not finished one book.

I have another friend who writes characters that you just love to pieces and weep when they weep and laugh when they laugh. It takes her years to finish one story. Even with gentle prodding from more folk than just me.

I belong to a writers' group where not one of them has finished a book or a story. They keep plugging along, but never finish.

I was watching a program the other night (Stephen Sondheim on Stephen Colbert). Sondheim talks about how you get completely lost in your work, the world disappears, and you often sacrifice aspects of your life, and you forget everything except finishing your story. In his case, his lyrics. It's all about concentration. The art never ends.

We discussed this kind of writing at Saturday's meeting. Some thought it wasn't good to give so much. I disagree. If you've been given a gift, you should use it. I haven't written with deep passion in a long time. Not since the little one gave up her naps. Also, I've been battling an illness for the last two years. BUT - I promise myself --

I will write with passion again. I will write with concentration. I will keep the faith. 

Life is forging forward.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Manna From Heaven

My editor called today and we met via phone for about an hour. Her enthusiasm for ‘Sorrysorrysorry’ was most encouraging.

She had three areas of concern.

The first was easily fixed. She said ‘with lolling tongues’ tripped the reader’s tongue. After saying the offending statement three times, I knew she was right. It is now changed to ‘with rolling tongues.’ It was my daughter’s suggestion and t works.

The second was quotation marks. Again, she was right. I took out one pair, making the dialogue flow better.

The third was with the hippos. Now, this one is going to be a bit more difficult to fix. If you’re a poet, you know changing a word can be difficult. Changing an entire line is near catastrophic. But it can be done. The only thing is *g* I already had changed the offending line once. Back to the drawing board.

She is right in all instances and I thank God I have an editor who ‘knows’ the market.

She finished her critique by saying, fix these and then send it. It is perfect. Words like manna from heaven.

Tomorrow, I will research publishing houses and prepare to send it.

Life is gratifying.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taking A Breath

Literally and figuratively. Not a break, per se, just a quick breath.

When critiques are done at one of my writers' group, we each give a hard copy of the MS and the notes - hopefully scribbled all over the thing. I usually read those as soon as I get home and then sulk. LOL Not really. Most times, there is great feedback. Sometimes, I wonder if the person even read the thing. Especially when they write, when did this happen, and you know you just wrote it in the previous chapter. Comments like this, though, are to be taken literally. Does it mean I didn't make it clear enough? Does it mean I need to 'add' more detail or more tension or more whipped cream? *g* 

As said previously, I've been going through paperwork. I found last month's notes. Had about six people give me their feedback. I re-read them. 

The comments were even better now than when first read. I try to read the comments immediately as I'm afraid I'll forget what was said during the meeting, but I think this is a good idea. From now on, I'll read them right after -- but then I'll wait a few weeks or even a month, and then re-read them.

I find I can assimilate better what is being said when I've had time to 'cool off.' There were good suggestions and I will use them.

Life is sharing.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Thoughts In The Middle Of The Night

I finished the paperwork, so tomorrow I'll work on 'Blue.' My editor wrote and said she'll have the giraffe tale back to me by the end of the week.Whoo hoo!

We're going to talk tomorrow about the 'Blue' critique that I received a couple weeks ago. I've been hesitant to share it. There is so much that was suggested change-wise. I am looking forward to her input on this.

I slept terribly last night - but a whole truckload of thoughts came to me whilst I tossed and turned. Kaspar has some sort of power emanating from his hands, but he hasn't told me what yet. Driving me mad. Once he tells me, I need to go to somewhere around Chapter Three and incorporate that power into the book. Should be interesting.

I have discovered that I am now treating my writing the way I treat my paperwork. Procrastinating! That is not a good thing.
I'm going to run off now and write a wee bit of fun and fluff. That should put the spring/zing/thing back into my writing.

Life is forging onward.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Couple of Thoughts

I watch the SCBWI blog and found a link there. There are eleven interviews on the page with editors, publishers, writers -- all telling of their part of the process. It's pretty interesting.

I had hoped to spend today writing 'Blue,' but that didn't happen. It wasn't because of the lovely weather (bestest day of November EVER). It was because I woke up sick. I don't write well when I'm sick. In fact, the thought of writing makes me sicker. Which really stinks.
Instead, I did bills. I hate doing bills. I think paperwork is the bain of society. My dining room table sometimes looks like a paper recycling bin. I had to clean it off so we could eat Thanksgiving dinner on it. Which meant that the papers were all shoved into one pile and dropped on the bed in my computer room. 

The end of the year is coming... which means I should be getting things ready for tax season and such. So - since everything was in a nice pile, I decided to work on that today, knowing full well I wouldn't go anywhere near 'Blue.' Nor the giraffes, for that matter. *Though I did email the latest revision to my editor for 'Sorrysorrysorry.'*

I feel better. I worked all day on it. I've got a spreadsheet that I take into the tax preparer. Unfortunately, I hadn't updated it since February!!! I still have a good four hours or so more work, but it will be done, now that it's been started.

I look at this as another part of the discipline I'll need when I become published. I'll have to really keep the spreadsheet up-to-date. Make sure I put all receipts in an envelope (I'll been doing that for awhile now.) And filing everything! 

My mind boggles at the things that will be impacted once I'm published. I try not to think about it too often!

I do have a contract lawyer, when the time comes. So that's one thing down. Got the spreadsheet ready. That's two. Hmm - probably should start a list. These will be important, but much more important is finishing the book!!! *giggles* It will be done!

Life is mind-boggling.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Blue Giraffes

Maybe I should combine the stories? Naw! Made me laugh though, and I needed that. Blue Giraffes -- does have a ring to it. :)

I worked on 'Blue's' Chapter Thirty-one the last couple of days. I've got parts of 32 and 33 done, too. The muse threw in another dragon - of which I was extremely pleased. Cute little critter. But not too cute. She'll be needed when Kathleen tries to rescue Bryan. I hope. Never can tell with the Muse. She could wipe out the whole scene in one fell swoop of her ... What does she use? Fairy dust? Magic pen? Maybe there's a Pensive nearby that she dips into? Or a Palantir? I haven't a clue. Glad she's on my side, though.

I also went back to the giraffe story. I'm so close I can taste it. I'm going to send it off this evening to my editor. She is VERY particular, which, on this, is a very good thing. 

I made a commitment to send giraffes out to four more publishers by the end of this month. That time is drawing near. I will do it!!!

BTW - I still see giraffes every day. I am astounded. The Toys 'R Us giraffe in particular. He's on tv daily what with the Christmas season. But he's not the only one I see. (I hope I don't sound like the kid in the Shyamalan movie... 'I see dead people!')

Life is commitment.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


One of the reasons I'm hoping to get 'Blue' published is because I like my main character. That's always helpful, isn't it? 

Characters can be really daunting to write. I know people who do full biographies of their main characters. What is their favorite color? What is their favorite food? Where do they go to have fun? Etc., etc., etc. I don't quite go into that depth, but I can 'see' her/him. 

There's a character in a favorite movie of mine that exemplifies, to me, the depth that a character can have. The movie is "Howl's Moving Castle" and it comes from a book of the same title.

In the book, we are introduced to a scarecrow who plays a very insignificant role.

In the movie, however, the scarecrow is, IMHO, a major character. 

The oddity of this movie character is this: he has no lines, doesn't speak at all, is a stick figure (really) with a turnip for a head, he has no facial movements, no arm movements (his arms stick out to the sides like a good scarecrow's should). 

In the movie - I became entranced by the scarecrow and by the end, I was rooting for it. Always afraid when some calamity was happening to the group and hoping that the scarecrow would also survive the travails.

It was in the little things that my heart became enchanted. How he finds a walking stick for the old lady, how he holds an umbrella above her as rain pounds down, how he fetches her coat when it goes flying off as she tries to enter the moving castle. Many subtle actions that endeared him to me.

Now - this gives me such impetus to try to imbue my characters with the same 'character.' A challenge, but well worth it. I want my hero/heroine loved as much as I loved the scarecrow. (BTW - he survives!)

Life is little accomplishments.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wish I Could Afford

I have always been a firm proponent of investing in myself. Especially with writing. You know, going to conferences and workshops and such. However, there is just so much money in the moth-ridden change purse. 

There are two things I'd really love to do. The first is the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York at the end of January. Gosh, the speakers look great and the workshops are mouth-watering. But I can't. Such is life. Suck it up, Sharron.     

The other is the six-week Odyssey Writing Workshop at St. Anselm's in July, 2012. The cost is high, but not if this is to be my life's work. However, the workshop AND the room and board are beyond my ability to swing. Also, six weeks? What would I do with the little one?

Thankfully, there is the internet. Lots of good blogs sharing good tips and such. There is the library. Awesome resource. And then there are the writing groups that I'm a member of. Last, but not least, are my friends (those who write and those who don't.) They sustain me. 

I will learn this craft. Hmm - there's a local community college nearby. I think I'll look into what they have to offer during the hours the little one is in school.

Life is fun. Complicated, but fun.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I'm not sure if surprises are a good thing, when it comes to writing. Though I do relish the feel of the Muse as she swirls inside my brain. The joy of her ideas is such fun.

Yet - I'm in the midst of all this and wondering -- do I really know my characters the way I should know them - at least by this time in the tale? 

I 'm in the midst of reading a book on writing. It's good. You know, there must be tens of thousands of books written on how to write. *g*

Well, this book suggests the following: 1) write a one sentence synopsis of the story. 2) write a one paragraph synopsis (probably like an elevator pitch). 3) write a one page synopsis of the story.

I think this is a great idea. I have been confident in knowing where I am going with 'Blue,' but I'm also wondering, for the zing effect, if it's time to delve deeper into my characters. Into the plot. Into the theme. I am going to start on that tomorrow. I've already got my one sentence synopsis and my elevator pitch. Now, onto the one page synopsis. Wish me luck!

Not going to go back for editing, just yet, though. Gonna finish the tale and then start a fresh edit.

Life is order. And discipline.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I was reading another blogger's posting and had to laugh. She wrote that downtime is creative time. I've usually found the opposite to be true.

When I broke my back in two places a couple years ago, I was sure I would write prolifically. Didn't happen. I spent the time in a chair watching endless junk. Finally, my daughter got me the Sharpe series of books by Bernard Cornwell. They filled my soul. Lots of battles with swords and such. So I spent my time in recuperation with a British soldier. Fun. But no writing done. 

Now I'm in the midst of this battle and finding that again, I have no compunction to write. I discovered that this can be overcome with will and the Muse breathing down my throat. It's not pleasant, but it's doable. 

Last night was the first night I have slept more than three hours. For weeks now, I've been battling pain and it usually hits right around the time I slip under my bed covers. Cute!

I woke up this morning around 9ish, took my granddaughter to ballet, then came home and fell asleep. Never woke till around 6ish. Must have needed it.

I'm hoping the meds will kick in soon and my metabolism will kick back up -- and I'll be able to write. Until then, of course, the story and the characters fill my mind. Whisphering, ever whispering. Thankfully!

Life is recovering.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Word of Warning

I know this blog is about writing - but this has affected my writing. 

Take care of yourself and listen to your body.

For more than three months I have felt ill in numerous ways and saw a doctor. Lots of things happening, but the doc would look at one 'problem' at a time, try to fix it, and then go on to the next. Most times, I got the impression that he was  humoring me. I felt such guilt. That perhaps I had let myself fall apart. Didn't take care of myself. Etc., etc., etc. Taking care of a five-year old was too much.

The doc finally ordered blood work. Discovered I had a major, life-threatening problem, and prescribed some easy meds to fix it. However -- and don't you just love it -- the doc never told me about it. His office called me the next day and said he'd ordered meds. No discussion. 

I went to another doctor. This one told me that the diagnosis impacted my life in every way possible. From my eyesight - to my extreme fatigue - to my 9 out of a scale of 10 back pain - to my deep sorrow. He said all will slowly be corrected with the medication.

I can't tell you the weight that was lifted from me. Especially the weight of guilt. Incredible feeling.

Had to share this with you all. If you have recurring problems with your health, in any way, seek a doctor. And if you don't get answers, go to another, and another until someone finally takes the time to tell you what's going on. 

Life is too precious.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Something's Wrong With Time

I swear it's Wednesday - but my calendar says it's Tuesday.

Exhaustion can do bad things to you. To me. I'm discovering that the stresses of life have been a bit too much and my body has rebelled. 

So I'm giving myself an excuse for the doldrums that descended upon me of late. Not that you, dear friends, need an excuse. You know I can be such fun. 

I tried to write today, but I read instead. I've been trying to do that more lately. The book I chose was good. I finished it this afternoon. 

That means, I can write tomorrow night. Daytime writing just isn't possible with my little one. Though she is sweet beyond measure, she likes to play with her Ammie. That means Barbies, princesses, coloring, cooking.... lots of things. The day is full of joy and fatigue. 

Kathleen is still in full command of 'Blue.' I hope she lets Kaspar come out and play sometime soon.

Life is full of deep breathing.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Should Whine More Often

You know, this seems to happen a lot. When I get discouraged and start to feel sorry for myself, the Muse kicks in (and kicks me) and off I go.

Wrote a truckload last night. I wrote some fluff, too. But 'Blue' insisted that I spend some time on her. Did research, too. The terrain has changed, where they're now heading, and I had to get a firm idea of what it looked like. There are places all around the world that are like where I'm sending them. New Zealand, the US, Turkey, lots of places. That's great for me because it means it will seem familiar and yet seem unfamiliar to my readers. Not a fun place to send my poor hero/heroine -- but that's where Bryan's at. 

Only a couple more chapters to go before the next 'incident' and then I'll be writing the climax. Seems incredible. Especially since I was so low yesterday! I have to thank friends, especially Minnie, for hitting me upside the head!

I'll go back, after the whole story is written, and incorporate Bob's thoughts (see Nov. 12th posting). They are all feasible and most should really put zing into the work.

Life is being flexible.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Bit of Whine

I went through the critiques I received on Saturday. I like to give myself a day or two to breathe after the morning session. 

There were five members present in my group Saturday. Two others had to bow out due to life issues. There were six in the second group. 

I received three critiques from my group. Thankfully, two of the folk in the second group gave me critiques they had done. So I had a total of five critiques. 

I was very careful to submit only two chapters with the total word count around 2,000. That way, I figured the members wouldn't be overwhelmed.

One of my private peeves about the group. Not everyone critiques. And yet, that is part of the agreement when you join the group. 

I find I am frustrated beyond measure when I present a couple chapters and receive only five critiques when there are eleven members present.

Perhaps I don't want to receive more. Perhaps it's just as well that I carry on blindly.

Today was one of those days when I considered quitting writing for publishing. I am going back to writing a bit of fluff until after Thanksgiving. I think I need the break. 

Yet, who will tell the Muse? *g*

Life is not a bowl of cherries. Or perhaps the cherries have pits.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Went to my writers' group today and presented chapters sixteen and seventeen. They were well received. One of the best things about these critiques is that no one finds grammatical errors with my writing. Nor POV - which is a hoot! I am very glad that after all these years of writing, I usually abide by the 'rules' of writing. The problem with these critiques is that they are superficial. Good story and that's about it.

I spent a lengthy amount of time with the sci-fi author after the meeting. I believe he finally understands that I am not a 'hobby' writer -- that I want to write well enough to be published. He was most forthright. After three years of being with the group, I finally got what I wanted. The truth.

1) He said the story, though good, has no zing. I agree. 

2) He said the story needs to have more magic -- more unusual magic. I agree. (I know why I have kept it to a minimum so far - but I think I must change that.)

3) He said the changes wrought by the wizards did not seem impactful enough to cause my heroine to need to save her world. (A point the author who did my critique on Thursday also espoused.) He said there was not enough pain (and consequences) surfacing from the changes in the environment.

4) He said there was a lack of urgency to set things right. The necromancer told my heroine she had a year to prepare -- they all had a year to prepare to fight the wizards -- and that, I know, has given my heroine a false sense of time. But that destroys the sense of urgency -- which can be fixed by taking care of point #3.

5) He said the conflict between Kaspar and Kathleen is primary. The story will only be better if I spend more time on that.

As you can see, some great points. I owe the man!!! 

Life is an adventure.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Got To Have Friends

The main problem - in my mind's eye - is that my editor wants my chapters to be as neat and clean as possible - she says it's the best way to deal with tension and stuff - keeps it moving. But when I read books like Harry Potter and such - there is a plethora of description so I almost feel like I can't trust my editor which makes me writhe.

So that's why I asked the guy at Skyline to meet with me - he writes science fiction - which is close. I want to ask his opinion. I'm not going to have it edited anymore - not till it's done. Just critiqued by the group at Skyline. They'll find the little things that need correcting.

The author gave some good input - but it goes against what my editor is saying. In some fiction, authors tend to put in a lot of description. I like that. I like the way it flows - doing it my editor’s way doesn’t have that poetic quality to it. I know she's right about cutting redundant stuff. But ... to get the feel of the landscape and the majesty of the dragon - she doesn't think a lot of description is necessary or good.

A friend wrote to me:  “You have to have such things if you are going to really feel it as a reader. I think editors these days are thinking too much of the generation that has a short attention span or something.”

I think that's it entirely and this author told me that she was very surprised to find that most of her audience is middle-aged women who are used to reading things like Pride and Prejudice and such.

Now that my friend and I discussed this -- I'm wondering - God forbid - if my editor might be right - that the kids who are the targeted audience would better read the quick short descriptions. Hmmmm.

I hope this makes sense. It does to me.

I wrote and thanked my friend - as always, after talking with her, I feel so much better.

Life is friend-full.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

THE Critique

Remember? I won a raffle for a 20 minute critique of the first ten pages of 'Blue.' The critique was this morning.

I'm still reeling. The author gave me two and half pages of notes. All very good. All constructive. But at the end of the process, as so normally happens with me, I couldn't tell if she thought 'Blue' was publishable or not. I got the impression, and I could very well be wrong, that she thought I had potential. But where does that leave 'Blue.'

I'm in the doldrums tonight. Again, this is the norm for me. This author gave me totally different advise than what I'm receiving from my editor. Remember this - my editor is paid by me. She is not affiliated with any publishing house. She teaches classes all over the area. She has been published a gazillion times and has TWO books coming out in 2012. 

The crux of the matter, in my mind's eye, is that my editor is a children's book writer. My book is geared to upper middle grade or lower YA. When I read other books that I consider near my own, the format is definitely different. I am confused. Bewildered. I've asked a writer whom I respect  to meet with me after Saturday's critique session. I've got to have a third opinion of what is 'normal' for fantasy.

I'm putting everything aside until Saturday and then I'll go back and reread her notes. 

BTW - she could not have been kinder. She spent an hour with me! An hour. Perhaps I should take that as an affirmative for my writing. Would she have spent an hour with me if there wasn't something of worth?

I think I will continue to write 'Blue' and not consider any outside critiquing (just Skyline's). When it's all done, I'm going to get an agent. See what happens then.

Life is whirling, at the moment.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Versus Entitlement.

As I've written before, in my mind there is a fine line between expecting to get a reply when you send an MS to a publishing house or an agent -- and being worth a reply.

I was reading the latest SCBWI bulletin tonight. There was an open letter in it from the President and also from the Executive Director of SCBWI deploring the fact that the houses and agents are gravitating to not sending out replies. That no response constitutes a rejection.

It's a rather rude thing, not to reply to someone's correspondence. The thing here is -- if the correspondence was unsolicited, does that still make it rude? 

In the marketplace, if a company sends you a 'gift' of knives or labels or some such in hopes that you will buy them... the law states you don't have to. They are unsolicited. And therefore, can be deemed gifts. You can keep them if you so desire.

Seems to me to be the same thing with an unsolicited MS. If I've sent one off, and believe me - I HAVE - I really can't expect an answer. I WANT ONE -- but I can't expect one. I am not entitled to have the publishing houses and agents reply.

In today's market, with cost-cutting and staff-cutting, the load is great on these businesses. But that doesn't mean that they have to do the expedient thing. They can hold themselves above that and respond. 

I would.

Blessings for this awesome life.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another Day....

Another meeting. Things went well Saturday. But sometimes, the 'free' time after the meetings is more fun and productive than the meeting itself. We're going to discuss marketing issues - like the book trailers - at our next meeting. 

I'm following more and more blogs and trying to keep up, at the same time, with writing. I didn't get any done today, but I did get some editing done on Chapter Thirty yesterday.

The weather has been incredible here. We've had no sun for almost the entire summer and now it blazes down. Well, not quite blazes as the temps are falling. But seeing the sun gives me such a sense of well-being. As does a nicely written chapter.

I spent two and half hours, the other night, critiquing an MS for Saturday's meeting. The writer has previously chided me for sending in too many chapters and too many words. I took his admonishment to heart and only send two chapters (around ten to twelve pages, double-spaced).

The one he sent for this month's was only one chapter, but twenty-five single-spaced pages and the word count was over twelve thousand words. I had to giggle. Such is life. I critiqued it anyhow. It was good. He's a darn good sci-fi writer. I got a very nice email back from him thanking me for the thoroughness of it. That was unexpected, but nice. You see, this group has been split into two and so I am not actually in his group. My own group can't seem to get their act together to send in their MS's. I'm not sure why. I send mine the day I'm allowed! *giggles*

Life is interesting!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Trailers

I know nothing about them, but that will change. *evil laugh* If you go onto YouTube or some such, you can find book trailers.

I'm wondering if this is a new trend. I've not seen them before but happened upon one by Cinda William Chimas for her latest book, 'The Gray Wolf Throne.'

Not sure who makes them, either.

Her's seem to be done by DisneyHyperion. There are a truckload of them at that site.  Especially the Percy Jackson books.

I get the impression that some authors make their own vids. Interesting.

I'll research this and bring it up with my other writers' groups. Hopefully, we'll get the scoop. I'll get back to you. 

(As if I don't have enough to do what with the story, the map, the synopsis, the cover letter.....)

Life is complicated.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hard To Write

When the family is all sick. I spent the day making tea and finding kleenex and making soup. 

I had hoped to get to the library and print out the last couple of chapters... from the Midpoint on. But such is life. I will hope the Muse had a pleasant day and will be ready for a lot of work this week-end.

Tomorrow afternoon, I have my writers' sharing meeting. Should be fun. It seems like much more than a month since we've been together. But I'm sure that's because we usually meet 'in-between' meetings. That didn't happen this month. Lots of things to share!

At the meeting last night, one of the members said she had written a chapter of her latest book and then reread it to find a place where she could add zing. 

So today - I'm doing things for the sickies and thinking about the dragon scene in 'Blue,' when I knew that it could be MORE.... So I've decided to have one of the dragonlings be Sir Giddly's. Should add some fun and some pathos to the book.

Life is fun!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Investing In Myself

I learned a long time ago that to succeed I must invest in myself. Classes and workshops and conferences and such. Both time AND money. 

Today I joined my third writers' group. They are all different. Each group meets once a month. Thankfully, on different days!

My first is a critique group. That's about all we do. It can be difficult 'cause getting my own stuff critiqued sometimes can take too many months. But the people are good-hearted and their writing is good, too. Most critiques are really valuable.

My second is what I lovingly call my 'AA writers group.' We sit and complain and laugh and cry and really share what this writing experience is like. From horror tales of hideous critiques to creating cover letters that zing (yeah right!) to sharing rejection letters. Great group!

The third one I just joined tonight. It's dedicated to childrens' writers. Nice group. They choose a 'craft' book at the end of the year and then spend the next year going through it. Learning from it and sharing what their take on it is. The craft of writing. I think it will be good for me.

Life is a learning experience.

PS - Finished Chapter Thirty! Whoo hoo!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Editing Again

My mind, it seems of late, is always attuned to writing. The outside world revolves around that concept. Today I watched a well-known movie. I  felt sorrow for the director. There were parts that just didn't flow and I wondered if it was because those parts lay on the cutting room floor.

I'm wondering if it might be best to let someone come in with a scissors and cut 'Blue' with no input from me. The way an editor does in a film. Off in a silent room, away from the director. That way, I could go screaming into the night, pulling my hair out. Instead of doing it quietly over coffee at the nearby Panera's. 

That being said, I edited 'Blue' again -- the last six chapters. And finished writing Chapter Twenty-nine. 

I am now on the downswing from the Midpoint. I have the last 'obstacle to overcome' and then the Climax, and the Denoument. *g* Feels good.

Life is satisfying.

Sorry for 2 postings for the same day

Whooo hoooo!  

Reached 3,000 hits in a little less than one year!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Life is exhilarating.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Giraffes Update

On the 16th of July, I sent 'Sorrysorrysorry' to four publishing houses. Almost immediately, I received three rejections. 

I am told it is rare, in today's market, to receive a personalized letter. I received one. I also received a form letter with a personal note at the bottom. The last one was just a form letter. But --- I did get a letter. The fourth house did not respond.

The personal letter carried wonderful advise for making the giraffe tale better, more marketable. The changes were agreeable. Which is very important to me. I have been working on the suggestions, off and on, for the last three months. I'm happy to say that I plan on sending out another four submissions this month. And - this coincides with the goal I set in July. If the book was not accepted, or if I didn't have responses by November - I would send out four more in November.

Nice to meet a goal. *g*

On the other hand, I have now received ten rejections. I am on my way to meeting the number of authors like Dr. Seuss. I think his was ninety-nine rejections before being published. It would be nice if I didn't have to have 99 - but '99 Red Balloons' is a favorite song of mine, so it's ok. Also, I think I shared with you that another author that I just met recently had a total of over two hundred rejections before she was published. 

Now - these seem to be odd statistics. To flaunt the number of rejections one receives. A badge of courage, perhaps, to show the world that nothing will stop us? I hope so.

Life is to be lived.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

My mom's favorite holiday. My favorite holiday. My daughter's favorite holiday. AND my granddaughter's favorite holiday.

I wish you the best frights, the biggest candy-eating bellyache, and the most fun ever.

Life is frightening!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Great Link

A little newsletter-type thing that I've been getting via emails for the last few years. I'm embarrassed to say that I've often NOT had the time to read them. There is a truckload of info in this little newsletter. It comes out of  the University of Wisconsin.

A couple things I'd like to share that really impacted me in the latest #25 letter. There was a cute little story about a magic pen and if you bought and used that magic pen, you would be a writer. I got a kick out of it. I know better. It's me and my Muse that write. :)

One of the best things in this issue is:  "Oft-overlooked rules of English." Page 3. Quite fun! My favorite, being as I'm from Ohio and I think we are born to do this, is Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. In Ohio - they are! Another favorite is: One should never generalize.  In a sentence, the nouns has to match the verbs. You get the idea.

I liked Perry "Paw Joe" Stone's column. He does what I do, which definitely makes me his fan. He writes and then immediately edits. Sometimes he only writes a paragraph or a sentence and then edits. Made me feel better about myself.

Norma Sundberg wrote: A friend listened to me going on and on
about my publishing success and said, "Oh! we all know you like to brag!" “NO, I told her. It's called MARKETING! And we all know that marketing is a whole 'nuther world' altogether??!!

I very much like this thought - mostly because I feel a bit self-aggrandizing when I'm telling folks about 'Blue.' But now I understand. I'm just MARKETING!  :)

Life is such fun.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Closing Libraries

I'm getting a little nervous here. As a writer. But more than that...

The schools in my state are just dying - one by one. They've cut sports, transportation, music, art. Today I learned some schools in my area are going to close their libraries.

As an author, this sounds like a death-knell for any hope for future readers. Yet, putting myself aside, I weep for our children. 

With the resurgence in reading after the Harry Potter series started, I had hoped that children would feel the love for a book that I did and still do. 

Parents are out of work and food is hard to come by. What priority do books have when the basics of life are tenuous? When children live out of cars? When a federally-subsidized breakfast is the only meal a child will have in a day?

We must change. We must remember that art is worth the cost. That a society without poets is doomed. Somehow, children must be nourished, physically first, and then mentally, spiritually, and morally.

Life is learned.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Center Of Gravity

When a child is growing, their center of gravity changes. Truly! When you're one height and one weight and then change in a matter of days/months, as little ones do, then the center of gravity changes. It takes awhile to get used to a new center of gravity. The body has to learn to walk differently. To bend lower. To squeeze through. That’s probably why toddlers stumble a lot. Clumsy kids are probably not clumsy, just dealing with a new center of gravity.

When I hurt myself or have a debilitating illness, my center of gravity changes because I do things differently to compensate. I KNOW I had a different center of gravity when I was pregnant!

So – does this mean that I, as an author, have a center of gravity, too? Perhaps there is an emotional center of gravity. Perhaps there is a spiritual center of gravity. When I struggle with a story I’m working on? When the character seems to have twisted herself into something totally NOT what I’d thought? Are these the results of center of gravity changes?

I think I’ll accept this and not be so hard on myself when I’m struggling. When the Muse seems to have flown to New Zealand for the year!

Life is challenging.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

*Crossing Fingers*

As you know, at a recent SCBWI conference, I won a critique by a well-known fantasy author. My editor and I poured over the first ten pages (the subject of the critique) for 'Blue.' I finally sent it to the author on Sunday. With my heart in my throat. 

I got an email back from her stating that she was excited that it was me who won the raffle. I've corresponded with her on her blog and via emails. It was nice to know she 'recognized' me from that correspondence. 

Now - I sit and wait. It's only Tuesday night. How fast do I want her to call with the critique? Don't I want her to spend some quality time on it? My heart races every time I think on it. This critique will be the first that I have EVER received from a fantasy writer. 

I checked her schedule and discovered she's off and running on the never-ending speaker/autograph/reading run. She's going to be in California tomorrow. It looks like a heavy schedule. 

So - I can hope she's reading it on the plane, even as I write? Or something like that. 

Life is waiting.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I really don't believe in them...

Sister/friends Skype'd me yesterday morning from Ireland. We had a glorious chat. It's been too long since I've seen them. And the five-six hour difference is maddening. I'm awake when they're asleep and vice-versa!

They were so excited. They have three B&B's and just recently they had an author from the US stay with them. They chatted and chatted about writing. They told me how wonderful it was to talk with her - and they told her a bit about me, too. The one sister is a writer, too. It must have been such a delight to spend quality time speaking of the craft.

These dear sisters thought it was a sign to me to keep writing. The author, Rhonda Greene, told them about all the rejection letters she had (over 200) and finally got her break. She's got a truckload of stories published now.

So - no coincidences. The girls called because I needed to be refreshed with news that I must keep plugging.

I wrote two and half chapters yesterday. It was great. And the transition that I thought was going to give me such trouble just took care of itself. Flowed perfectly into the final phase of the Midpoint.

Midpoint is now complete. Phew! That is so awesome to announce. Now onto the last half of the book. I know where I'm going, thank goodness, and I've got the scenery in my mind. A battle or two to be won and then the end.... 

Life is good.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In A State Of Flux

Met with my editor Saturday night. We went over the first ten pages of 'Blue.' I'm sending it out for a 'special' critique. She was kind enough to spend a good few hours going over it with me. We cut a lot of little things. Things that were redundant. Things that really didn't need to be in those pages. That's what I like best about having an editor. She sees into the very heart of the story - not at the overall picture.

However, when it was done, I felt drained. The joy of writing seems to have fled from me. I ponder it. Is it because I am so focused on getting published? Have I abrogated my soul for this one purpose? I really have to spend some time thinking about this. Should I just chuck the whole 'need' for being published and go back to just the need to write?

It could be the weather. We broke a record this year (and the year isn't even over yet!). We've had the wettest year in all recorded history for my city. I used to love rain. I really did. I had a 'white noise' machine that would play rain. Mornings and nights I would lie in bed listening to the rain on my roof and soak it in. That has changed. I hate rain. I hate the sound of it. It feels like little hammers hitting at my brain as if it were some anvil.

It could be the lack of a 'separate' place to write. I have no trouble with my blog. Thankfully. But I find I am only writing at home. I used to go out to different restaurants with my handy-dandy yellow pad and have a blast writing. The creative juices flowed at these places. BUT - every time I go, as of late, the places have been full and I deem it rude to hold a table to write when the waiter/waitress can get more tips if I eat and leave.

I wonder if these are just excuses since publishing is such a hard road. Probably. I plan on going back and doing some 'light' writing for a bit. Try to get back the joy. Will also focus on why I want to be published. So that others can meet the characters that I have fallen in love with. So that others can shiver at the danger, laugh at the growing pains of the hero/heroine, rejoice at the growth, and simmer in the warmth of love and friendship.

Life is perplexing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cold Play and Entitlement

Watched the Cold Play interview on the Today Show. Matt asked if the pressure for their next album was as great as prior albums, now that they are such a successful rock group. Chris Martin responded that their fans have the choice of where to put their money. So they never 'expect' people to buy their music. The band feels they have to work hard to give the fans a good product.  Paraphrased, of course. 

That brought to mind publishers, being as I am now actively in the process of sending out my MS. I suppose, once in awhile, I expect the publishers to read my stuff. It's what they did in the past. Yet, in today's economy, I am realizing that this is no longer true. To a degree. They talk about slush piles (the place where they pile unsolicited works). I have found they do read those slush piles. It takes them a long time as they have reduced their staffs. 

Am I entitled to be read? I suppose not. Am I entitled to be published? Only if the publisher thinks they can make money on my work. Is that wrong? No.

It's in my corner. Which is really where it should be. I must continue to hone my craft, to learn as much as I can, and to write as well as I can. That's my part of the process.

When I send it off, I can hope it will be read. I can hope that the Muse is correct in what she has bid me to write. And I can hope that I'll be published. I must do everything I can - on my end of this process - to make sure what I write is worthwhile. 

Life is gratitude.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I love historical fiction. And Bernard Cornwell is one of my fav such writers. I just finished 'Agincourt.' It was awesome. 'Course I am blown away by the Shakespeare play, Henry V. And the movie with Kenneth Branagh makes me weep.

As I read, I just marveled, as I always do, at the never-ending tension that is Bernard's style. Once started, I can't put his books down. The hero is always the kind that you want to help, that is easy to love, and that is slightly flawed. Still a hero.

I hope that "Blue' has some of those elements. That's what I'm striving for. Not a repeat or a mirror-image of Bernard's writing. No. A creating a world that is worth saving, a hero/heroine who is worth loving, and a sense that, if it were me, I might be able to survive and save my world, too. 

Ah -- isn't writing exciting?

Life is exciting.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

At The Library

I do love libraries. Have loved them all my life. My first real job was as a clerk at the main library in town. It was great being with all those books. I read things I never would have, if not for the easy access.

I think another great thing is, when you find a great librarian. I've found a couple who are just awesome. They help me keep my courage up. They look for stats for me when I'm floundering. 

Another thing I've found... JK Rowlings publishers really know what they're doing. I've tried to find the first book of the HP series at two libraries now. Big ones. And all the copies are out. Now - this might not seem unusual - except for the fact that her books are all over the library. They're in children's and young adults and adults. It's incredible. That - numerous places to find a book - would be the ultimate, I think, in marketing.

I also tried to find Cinda Chima's newest book, book three of the Gray Wolf series. But that one's out at both libraries. It gives me such a glow to know and hope that something of mine will not be found at the library because it's so popular.

May your endeavors end up with similar results. Keep writing. Keep hoping. Most of all - keep the passion.

Life is passion.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I've spent the last two days writing - constantly. I can't believe that I've now got three and half chapters done. I can't seem to stop. Thankfully! I've got this personal deadline and am hoping to meet it. At this rate, however, I'll need a long vacation when I'm done.

Talk about burning the candle on both ends. I've got a short story I've been working on that I really want to get back to. Probably not publishable, but I've got friends who are waiting for the next chapter. It's been months. 

My son read 'Sorrysorrysorry' and suggested I delete the two problem lines in the fourth part and start over again. It's a very good idea. Trying to jerryrig the lines hasn't worked. Deleting them entirely makes good sense.

I haven't worked on the Dentist story for awhile. I plan on getting back to it, but the Muse is hot for 'Blue' so I've got to use what she gives me before she gets upset and leaves! That would be horrifying.

Life is shoulder-tightening.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Strange Days

Been an extremely odd few days. My life has changed drastically, but it will change back as of Tuesday.

I thought sure I'd be posting every day, but that hasn't happened. Did you notice? Shees!

I have, however, spent a good portion of time on 'Blue.' I've got a friend who's asked to read it and I've agreed. I'm taking it to her tomorrow. We'll see what happens.

I had the oddest thing happen. When she asked if she could read it, I got embarrassed. As if it's not good enough. I was extremely surprised by my reaction. I know I think 'Sword' is the better book - no matter what my editor says. But I do think 'Blue' is very good. Very good.

I've finished the next chapter. It's a rather controversial chapter. We'll see what happens. The next chapter, 27, is going to be the ending of my hero/heroine's life as she/he knows it. Definitely sending her off on a different tangent. Got my fingers crossed.

Life is full of tangents.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nose To The Grindstone

I didn't get to do much today with any writing. I lay in bed last night thinking about 'Blue.' It was quite productive. I've taken to keeping a notepad on the nightstand. Nine times out of ten, I'm finding myself up and writing down some thoughts. Did that last night. 

I printed out the story so far. I've got thirty-two thousand plus words written. Most of this is already edited a number of times. 

I've heard some folks say that it's best to just write, push on, keep your nose to the grindstone, and don't look back. 

I can't seem to do that. BUT - When I am writing, I write and don't edit. It's when I'm not sure where I'm going, or if it's been a couple days since I last wrote, that I re-read. During that time, I edit. Can't help myself. 

So I'm pretty far along in the process, though the book is only half written. I know what's going to happen in the next couple of chapters of the Midpoint section. After that, my hero/heroine is off and running on the next part of her story. Poor thing. Never gets any rest. I'm a nasty taskmaster!

I know what's going to happen in the following chapters, but I always leave room for the Muse. She has quite a few ideas of her own. I also know the ending. So - I feel I'm in good shape. I'm hoping that I might have the book done by the first of the year. That's the goal. 

I've got no big commitments for the next five days, none but seeing the last Harry Potter film. So I plan on keeping my nose to the grindstone.

Life is full.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Broadening My Scope

I know I shouldn't feel this way, but some days I feel the lack of a broader scope in my life. I spend so much time writing that I know I am not going out into the world as much as I used to.

A friend sent me this link of a flashmob in NZ. Opera flashmob.

Can you imagine knowing the words to a piece of opera well enough to go out in public and sing it? I must remember, I can join a group and sing The Hallelujah Chorus (if I can sneak the music in my sleeve).

I've loved opera forever and was blessed many years ago with a friend who shared her season tickets when she couldn't make it. My youngest son would accompany me and we had such a glorious time. He remembers it to this day - fondly. 

There is too much out there - in the wide world. I would have it all.

Life is abundant.

PS - I did get to write more of the Midpoint chapters. I've got two and a half done. Drat - I swore this part would only be three chapters long and I've only gotten the hero/heroine to the first of three balls!

Monday, October 10, 2011


Tonight I re-read the entire book, 'Blue,' so far. Thirty-two thousand words, give or take a dozen.

I think it's because I don't use an outline (you remember that failed attempt?). Reading the entire thing gives me continuity. I find little mistakes that would prove embarrassing. Like the one character is a grandfather and I had his granddaughter call him Father.... Fixed it. Things like, is it lunch time? And if it is, why is the sun going down? *giggles*
I think some would think it a waste of time, but I love it. 

First, it makes me realize that I am a good writer. I am astounded, as I read, that the thing flows well. That the little puzzle that is the story wends its way forward.

Second, I see the mistakes and can correct them. I know some authors trust others to catch their mistakes, but I like finding them. Usually, there's a reason for the mistake and I get to correct the mistake and thrust the story forward.

Third, I find things that are hints of things to come. Somehow, I remember them, when the time comes, and put them in. I don't know how this happens. It must be the Muse. It almost makes me cry in surprised joy. I don't 'naturally' plan things, but they happen anyhow and they are good and they move the story forward and they help develop the characters and they make the story fun and exciting.

I am amazed. 

Life is good.