Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Back in the Saddle


Well. Here I am. A cube dweller once more.

Am I happy about that?

Well, let's see. On the one hand, me being at work means I'm actually feeling halfway decent. On the other hand, I work in a cube.

Enough said.

I'm still congested, have a wicked cough upon occasion, but I actually managed to drag myself out of bed this morning.

Thanks so much for all your great get well wishes. I read and appreciated each and every one.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Waiting for the Inspiration

I'm still at home. The flu has dug its claws in and refuses to leave without a fight. Heavy artillery fire of Vitamin C should hopefully weaken its defenses, but it has counterattacked with a splintering round of chest congestion and stuffy nose. I sent in a squadron of sleep agents this morning, sleeping until almost noon. But then...then the evil empire struck the stepson with a horrendous sneeze attack, runny nose, and congestion.

But I shall not give up the good fight! As Walter Matthau says to Sophia Lauren on Grumpier Old Men, "Ristorante? Never!!!"

I fully intend to go to work tomorrow. Three days off work is long enough. When you combine that with the two days of the weekend, well, this being sick has got to stop. Will try to get to your blogs today...I'm so tired of sitting on the couch watching movies that I want to scream.

But while I've been sick, I've also been mulling over my next project. I have a lot of ideas, but none has really grabbed me yet. In a sense, you could say I'm waiting for inspiration as to which idea to do. It could be that my brain is just not excited about anything other than sleep and staring mindlessly at the t.v. right now, but it could also be that the right idea has not yet presented itself.

Did anyone watch the Hallmark Channel presentation on Sunday night, The Valley of Light with Chris Klein? I did. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. A very simple story, yet full of human emotion. And I got to thinking...a story doesn't have to be "woman and man try to save the world" to be powerful. Of course I knew that, but since I tend to write WW2 stuff, that sort of scenario naturally presents itself a lot of times. But after watching that movie, that's when I decided to dig a little deeper, look to the human face of war, the very small, miniscule parts that people played in that war. And there are millions of these types of stories that have nothing to do with the major battles of the day. That's what I want to focus on - little-known stories of true heroes that never earned a medal or got their picture in the local paper.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Still Under the Weather

Apologies if I haven't been by your blog yet. I am still very much under the weather. I'm pretty sure I'm a victim of the nasty influenza virus. I feel a bit stronger today, but routine activities yesterday (like taking a shower) wore me out so completely that I had to take a nap.

But even though the body is sick, the mind is searching for ways to cope with being on the couch 24-7. I've watched Where Eagles Dare, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Indiana Jonesa and the Last Crusade, Notting Hill, Grumpier Old Men, the Star Trek movie with the whales (forget the name), and on tap for today is Out to Sea and whatever else I can stomach (I love Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon). Last night I couldn't take it anymore and had hubby give me my laptop. No matter that it was agony to even move my hands and fingers over the keyboard, my mind screamed for something to do besides watch movies and read Nora Roberts (I'm on the last of the Jewels Trilogy and enjoying it, but still...). I changed a few words here and there before hubby literally told me that I'd worked long enough and took it away from me. I let him (after I saved it, of course) and surrendered to his better judgment.

Today the flu bug has moved into my lungs and head. My chest has been hurting ever since this started which makes me worry that I might have pneumonia, but I only cough occasionally, so perhaps I am ok. Right now I'm full of snot (sorry for the visual) and have probably used an entire box of Kleenex in the past 48 hours. Work doesn't look good tomorrow, but a trip to the doctor does. With a $10 co-pay, I can afford to make sure that it's NOT pneumonia or something equally as dire. Energy level still low, strength improving, and the constant urge to sleep improving somewhat. Hubby just took the kids to the store and will be making me his homemade chicken noodle soup which, ironically, was what he made me the first week we met when I came down with a nasty cold.

Another of life's little ironies - I am still keeping track of what I eat. I broke down and wanted pizza the other night and didn't care about the calories. My appetite has not suffered during this entire thing with the exception of the first day. I'm now on day four and haven't been out of the house. I told hubby I want to take a drive this Sunday afternoon if for nothing more than to get out of the house. The length of this post (and the wandering thoughts) should be some indication of just how starved I am for something to do. I continue to try and think of ideas for future books - I have tons of ideas, but they are like great lumps of clay that need to be shaped. So instead of worrying about my aching head or my sniveling, watery eyes and nose, I toss around ideas, reject them, then calmly grab another Kleenex. And to add insult to injury, I cannot indulge in orange juice because it's full of sugar and thus, not a good idea for my diabetes. But I instructed hubby to get me some light cranberry juice at the store and some apples. Hopefully I can get some nutrients out of that instead of orange juice.

Even when sick, I still think about writing. I don't know whether to smile or shake my head in complete befuddlement over that statement.

Must return to the couch...

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Sitting Duck


Yesterday at about 4:15 p.m., I felt it. Chills. Body aches. Horrible headache. And I thought, here it comes.

I haven't been sick since last February. I kid you not. Yes, I've been sidelined by my tension headaches which sometimes inevitably affect my stomach. But as far as colds or anything of that sort, I've been blessed to stay healthy. I credit that to my lifestyle change - eating good and exercising. But I knew it wouldn't last forever.

Last night I barely made it home. I trudged into the house, made myself some soup, ate it, and promptly crawled under a blanket on the couch. I can't believe how fast this stuff hit me.

So today, I'm at home. I've already taken a long nap which wasn't very restful seeing as how I had very weird dreams and felt like I was awake the entire time. Very strange. I also watched Captain Correlli's Mandolin, which I'd never seen before, and really enjoyed it. Hubby brought me lunch and my dog has been keeping me company.

But I tell ya - I still feel like I've been hit by a truck. My body aches, my throat hurts, I'm sneezing, and my stomach isn't all that interested in settling down. I'm also feeling quite week. A trip downstairs is a major effort.

Anyway, no editing done last night. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Progress



After yesterday's moaning about the lack of writing time, I made a point to dive into the manuscript last night.

Thankfully, hubby had the day off yesterday and so I didn't have any household chores to do. That helped tremendously! (yes, I have an awesome hubby - he does laundry, dishes, and even vacuums.)

I had a good two hours of editing time and it was sheer bliss. And let's hope I have the same opportunity tonight. :-)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Family Time vs. Writing

Around 9 p.m. last night, I finally had time to open my laptop and get to work editing the novel. Don't ask me why it took me so long - I'm still trying to figure out where my time went last evening. Hubby decided to play a game of UNO with the kids and asked me if I wanted to play.

"No," I said, "I've got to work on this."

"Aw, take a break," he replied.

"But I just started!"

And here is where the guilt set in. Hubby did not mean to make me feel guilty, but as I watched the game from the corner of my eye (I was still sitting at the table with them, working) I thought, "Family or writing?"

It's a classic question of all writers. Sacrificing time with the family is inevitable. But since my family is usually so scattered - hubby works odd hours, my stepson is a teenager (enough said!) and it's rare that we're all in the house at the same time - I decided that I would sacrifice the writing to play a few rounds of UNO. Did I regret it? No. My kids are only going to be kids for so long and games of UNO gathered around the dining room table should be precious moments spent together.

Does that mean I'm not dedicated enough to my writing? Absolutely not. There has to be a balance. I plan to enjoy time with my kids. Lord willing, I will have enough time to work on my writing when they're off to college. But I won't neglect it now - I just have to squeeze time out wherever and whenever I can without sacrificing family time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mondays Are Not for Writing

I tried to write yesterday. Tried is the operative word.

I've come to the conclusion that in future, Mondays are to be avoided in terms of writing. If I could avoid them altogether, well, that would be great, too, but I've got to be somewhat realistic.

Even work was a struggle. The words didn't flow. They were stuck somewhere on a turnpike next to a jackknifed semi. And they weren't arriving anytime soon.

When I tried to work on my novel last evening, I had more of the same. Finally, after forcing myself time and time again to look at the computer screen and do something, I had to just shut the laptop and surrender to the inevitable: Mondays are not for writing.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Importance of a Clean Desk



Hubby finally got tired of looking at my stacks of stuff. Since we were putting a ceiling up over my office in the basement, I had to take everything off my desk and put it wherever I could. Well, the ceiling has been done for almost two weeks now, and I had yet to put my office back to the way it was.

Hubby gently suggested that I work on it Sunday and even though I wasn't in the mood, I did it anyway. He's been pretty darn patient, so the least I could do was get rid of all my stacks of stuff. It took me most of the afternoon, but I have to say that I'm very glad I did it. Things look much better now and I feel like I have my cozy spot back. I have my own little corner of the house that is all mine - and even though I don't have a door to shut out the world, this will do just fine.

We had more snow over the weekend - six inches of the white stuff. Hubby and I also went on a date Saturday night - went to a local blues club and listened to some great jazz. Fun to get out once in awhile. I did edit some on Saturday, but not nearly as much as I wanted to. But now that the desk is clean and organized, that is one less thing I need to worry about.

Do you need to have a clean desk to focus?

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's Friday!


Friday, Friday, Friday!

I love Fridays. I love the lure of two days of relaxation. I'm sure I'll get in a bit of relaxation, but for the most part, I'm going to be sitting on my couch, laptop in my, well, lap, and editing the novel. I think I need to pick up the pace a little bit.

Last night I finished up my two page synopsis. Yes - it is entirely possible to write a two-page synopsis of a 100,000 word novel. It's not easy, but it is possible. And writing it helped me to really dive back into the story. I edited a bit more last night before bedtime and I also got a submission packet ready to go to an agent.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Words from a Master


I'm reading the latest issue of The Writer magazine. They have been in the business for 120 years - which is amazing in itself - and to celebrate that anniversary, they are digging into their archives for some of their best writing advice.

This month's advice is from Phyllis A. Whitney who, at 103 years old, is one of the world's most beloved authors. She has been writing for more than 80 years. Stop and read that again. 80 years. I'm quite willing to listen to any advice she has to give.
And here's some from a letter she wrote to a young writer that appeared in the November 1961 issue:

"I am faced now with writing a book about Istanbul, and I haven't the faintest notion of how to go about it. The idea scares me to pieces. The one advantage I have over you is that I have been through this so many times before that I know I can do it. You can, too, but you won't know that until you buckle down and write a book. Believe me, you have what it takes. You are a writer..."

Now if a multi-published, bestselling author still gets nervous about attempting to write a book, then it's certainly ok if we do. But learning how to get past that nervousness is the key - it's what separates the writer from the wannabe.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Pitfalls (And Perks) of Writing All Day


Monday was a writing day. All day. Not just for a few hours here and there, but all day.

Part of me loved it. The part of me that didn't love it so much was my back. I guess that's my own fault for sitting in a chair all day. I did get up quite a few times to check on the kids, make lunch, and feed myself, but there were pretty long stretches when I just sat. And sat.

After the normal work day ended, I had to finish writing my article for the eycylopedia which, incidently, is on American espionage. The article did is on MI5 and its relationship to the United States. An interesting subject, but a complicated one.

I have a rather weird writing style when I write nonfiction and I'm not sure it's the best. I like to research as I write. This probably takes me longer than it should instead of me sitting down and taking lots of notes, and then transposing it onto the page. To me, I get everything done at once - research and writing. It's a system that has worked so far.

After yesterday, though, I think I need to change my style. At the end of the day, my back was kiling me (mostly from me sitting in my computer chair cross-legged with a book on my lap) and I was exhausted. I know better than this. I know the proper posture needed to sit at a computer, I have an ergonomic keyboard to keep my carpal tunnel at bay, and I even had my dog laying at my feet to keep me warm (since my office is in the basement, it's COLD).

On the positive side, I wrote all day. I finished up the article around 10 p.m. (nope, not kidding) . And boy, was I relieved. While I enjoy doing these articles, I find that I'd much rather work on my novel. :-) And that's on tap for tonight. I can't wait to get back to it.

But it just emphasized to me what it's like to have deadlines. I had to get this article done yesterday, no excuses. And someday, that will be what it's like when I have a deadline for an editor. My body will undoubtedly go through the same sorry routine of aches and pains. I guess that's why I have a reminder on my email program at work that tells me when to take stretching breaks. I need to put that on my email program at home.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Snow and Writing

We've had lots of snow in the past few days. I don't mind it too much, especially when I can stay inside my nice, cozy warm house. The thing I don't like in particular is the below zero temps. With the wind chill as a factor, we're looking to dip quite a few degrees below zero.

The kids don't have school today. And to my thinking, that's just fine with me - we can all stay home where it's nice and warm. I have no desire to drive on those roads to work. That is why it is such a blessing to have the job that I do - I can work from home if I have to.

I spent most of the weekend working on my articles for an upcoming encylopedia. Since the word count is very strict, I had to make sure each and every word counted. No superfluous stuff! But I enjoy the challenge of going through the manuscript and cutting out words. It really shows you what you need and what you don't need.

I also pounded out a synopsis for my novel. I already have a seven-page synopsis, but I need one that's only one or two pages. That's quite a dramatic difference. Instead of moping around about it, I figured I'd just sit down and start typing. And I was amazed that I actually managed to finish the whole synopsis without stopping to take a break. It needs quite a bit of tweaking, of course, but I'll get to that hopefully this week.

So what was the highlight of your weekend?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ireland

When I was in undergrad school, I worked for the head of the theater department for my work-study job. We were putting on a modern-day production of Romeo and Juliet with the setting in Northern Ireland. It was my job to research the conflict and come up with a lobby display for the production so that when people came to the play, they could get a sense of the conflict by lingering in the lobby before the play and during intermission. That was when I first started to become interested in the Northern Ireland conflict and Ireland in general. (And the lobby display turned out awesome.)

My senior year of college, my best friend and I went to go see The Devil's Own with Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford. Even though the movie is less than stellar (Pitt plays a member of the IRA who comes to America and lives with a cop played by Ford), it sparked an idea in my head for a novel. I again started researching the Northern Ireland conflict and religiously followed the news everyday. When I started working at a newspaper out of college, I had access to the AP news, so I could keep in touch with all the peace talks going on at Stormont Castle. I loved the plot of my novel and went deeper and deeper into the history of Northern Ireland. I even applied to go to graduate school at Trinity College in Ireland. Alas, I was rejected, but I did try. ;-)

In the end, I had to abandon the story because I didn't feel that I was emotionally ready to write it. While researching the conflict for the Romeo and Juliet play, I focused on the children and how they were affected by it all. And it's a very gritty, emotional subject. In fact, I became so immersed in my research that I had to back away from it for awhile - it was literally leaving me depressed.

I'm reading Nora Roberts' Jewels of the Sun - and it takes place in Ireland. She has successfully managed to transport me to Ireland. Her setting, her description, and her language immerse you in the story and in the land itself.

And while reading last night, I had the urge to dig out my old notes and manuscript. Unfortunately, since my office is undergoing a renovation, I have no idea where they're at. But I'm wondering if I could now be ready to undertake this story. It's been ten years since I started it and lots of things have changed in my life, perhaps enabling me to have the emotional maturity to write it. I think I have a strong plot - but perhaps I just wasn't ready to write it at the time.

And now, I have all sorts of ideas to write novels set in Ireland or Northern Ireland during World War II. The IRA was involved with the Germans since, naturally, they were fighting England. I'm anxious to dive into more research on this subject, as well.

I'm also thinking that I need to take a long overdue trip to Ireland. I went to England back in the early 90's, but we only visited England and didn't get a chance to go to Scotland or Ireland. Something to look forward to.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Perfect Beginning


There's something about the beginning of a novel that has to be perfect. If your opening scene doesn't grab the reader/editor/agent, then you're SOL.
I've looked at my opening scene too many times to count now. But last night, it finally clicked with me. I knew all about hooking the reader and I thought my scene accomplished that goal. But when I looked at it again, I realized that no, it didn't.

A little chopping, a little slicing, and wallah, I had it. What had once been a rather ordinary scene was now transformed into (hopefully) a scene guaranteed to make the reader/editor/agent keep reading.

What did I do?

1) Cut out all backstory.
2) Revealed characterization through dialogue and actions
3) Started with action

In short, I did all the things that the Mighty Powers of Fiction Writing tell you to do. Why it took me so long to figure out, I'm not sure.

Here's one thing I've learned about fiction writing - you will never stop learning. You will never completely perfect the craft. Why? Because it's impossible. Or is it? What do you think?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Combining My Two Loves


I'm deep in research mode for a few articles I'm writing. And that also means that I'm coming up with ideas for my future novels left and right. Some people would think I'm exceedingly odd to spend my evenings with my nose in a history book (actually, several!), but that's exactly what I did. And oh, the information I found! I have book ideas aplenty, now! I'm not sure what it is with espionage, but I've always loved a good spy book. And World War II had plenty of espionage to go around. My two articles will focus on different aspects of espionage for an upcoming encylopedia project. When I saw the announcement for it, I jumped at the chance.

This is where I can combine my two loves - history and writing. Writing history articles is great - but finding ideas for my next novel while researching the articles is even better!

Maintaining...

I made it to Curves last night and am happy to say that I maintained my weight through the holidays. Big sigh of relief on that one! I feel much more balanced and focused now, too. Amazing what a good work-out can do. But writing it down on my blog also helped, too - as well as all your comments (which I always and forever appreciate!).

Updates...

Missy the dog is healing. I won't tell you what the ol' "hot spot" looks like and feels like, but suffice to say, it is healing. And she takes her antibiotics just fine as long as they're wrapped up in a piece of bread.

Hubby's foot is on the mend -I'm just glad he's able to walk again. He was going crazy sitting in the house all day long. :-)

Plans for today and tonight include working out again, doing more research and hopefully writing the rought draft of my article, and maybe, just maybe, a bit of editing on the novel.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Joy of a Good Library and Other Thoughts


I'm working on a few articles for an upcoming historical encylopedia and I had to pay a visit to my university library on Sunday. I'd forgotten how wonderful it can be. It's shelves hold so many wonderful books and other resources that I could literally wander the aisles for hours upon end. But since I'm under deadline (and hubby was with me), I had to just get the books I needed and go. Of course, I ended up getting a few more than I planned and I was quite grateful for hubby's strong arms. :-) Thankfully, I was able to get a library card so I could take my stash home. There's something about carrying an armload full of books to your car that is a happiness in itself. No wonder I became a writer! I can't remember a time when I haven't had stacks of books around me. I know my mother read to me before I could read and when I could finally do that job myself, I was involved in our library's summer reading program every year. Going to the library filled me with a sense of purpose and excitement - there were so many books to be read! And I still have that same love today. :-)

On Writing, Disarray, and Focus

Didn't do much this weekend, but I did manage to watch The Lake House with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves - loved it. Watch it if you get a chance. Also took down a few more Christmas decorations. Strange. It took me forever to put them up and it's taking me forever to take them down.

Edited a bit of the novel, but I'm finding that having my office in a complete state of disarray is really affecting my creativity. Since we have a small construction project going on right where my office is, you can imagine what it looks like. In fact, I just might have to take a picture to show you just how bad it looks. And I think that's why I've been rather grouchy and gritchy lately. My writing place isn't functional right now. Can I write in other places? Of course. But my desk is my main area. I've got boxes everywhere and I'm not even sure what's in each one. More than that, though, is that I haven't worked on my novel for several days now. And that is probably the main reason I've been in a mood. If I don't write, watch out.

Compounding this is my lack of exercise. I didn't make it to Curves once last week and I'm really feeling it. I'm lethargic, want to sleep more, and just generally do not feel emotionally or physically very good. So I'm off to exercise after work today. I also allowed myself to indulge a little too much over the holidays. This last week wasn't too bad, but I definitely have been a bit too liberal with the sweets. That must stop. And it will. I just have to regain focus. It got a little blurry there over the holidays, but I'm sure that's happened to a lot of us. And it seems that if I get my health in focus, the rest falls into place.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Good Cause

If you're looking to donate some of your old books - textbooks, hardcover fiction and nonfiction, etc. - you might want to check out this place: Better World Books. You can also help fund their mission to spread literacy around the world by buying a few books from their online bookstore. I just bought a few - free shipping and handling! - and they are eco-friendly on their shipping methods which I know Toni will appreciate. :-)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thank the Good Lord It's Friday

What a week. Not necessarily a bad week, but an interesting one.

Didn't get to the writing last night, but instead ate a great meal that hubby had prepared, vacuumed, did laundry, helped my daughter with her reading homework, took down the Christmas tree, and then read for awhile. I crawled into bed pretty darn tired, then woke up this morning at about 4:30 a.m. with a roaring headache (due to that nice fall and neck injury), popped three aspirin, rubbed the neck down with icy hot, and went back to sleep. I felt better when I woke up, but I'm still making a trip to the chiropractor today. Hubby is scheduled to go to the doc as his foot is actually worse than yesterday. Missy is doing better - she takes her medicine just fine as long as it's hidden in food, and the cat seems to have suffered no ill effects from the impromptu bath.

Since it's Friday, I'll keep it short - but wanted to show you some pics of the recent ice storm we had in Nebraska. This storm happened about 100 miles west of where I live, but it really caused havoc. Lots of people are still without power. Makes you very thankful for what you have.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

It's Called Life



This is Missy. Let me tell you what happened to Missy yesterday.

But first, we have to start at the beginning.

7:30 a.m., to be exact. Hubby wakes up unable to walk, having apparently sprained his foot in a fall the day before. I'm elected to take the kids to school and I decide to work at home so I can take care of hubby. Off to school we go. Over slick roads. And roads that are like the original Oregon Trail. Yes, they were that bad. I dropped stepson off at his school, then had to get around two accidents in the long line of cars, and proceeded to crawl to my daughter's school. We got there ten minutes late and my daughter hates to be late. It didn't make things better when we walked down the hallway to her class and there was a classmate of hers passing us who said, "Molly, you're late" in one of those "I'm-better-than-you-'cuz-I-was-on-time" voices.

On my way back to the car, after having dried a few of my daughter's tears, I slipped and fell, wrenching my neck. Ah, bliss! Another thing to deal with!

I finally get home, take care of hubby, then settle at my desk to start working. About 10:30 a.m., I hear one of the dogs whining at the backdoor. When I go to investigate, Missy, the St. Bernard, is sitting there looking quite pitiful. The back of her neck is all matted and there's a deep sense of foreboding running through me. This isn't going to be good.

And it isn't. After an icky investigatation, she has what I later learn is a "hot spot" on the back of her neck - a bacterial infection right under the skin. It's pretty much an open, oozing wound (sorry for that very gross visual, but at least you didn't have to see it in person!) and it completely covers the back of her neck.

Off to the vet we go, (sans hubby, who is reclining on the couch watching American Choppers) and there's another hour gone from work. While waiting for the vet, Missy decides to be very friendly, and jumps up in my lap, drools all over my jeans and shirt, and wants to be cuddled. I wonder if she'll be so cuddly when they shave her neck, but thankfully, she just sits there and lets them do their job. Now she has all of her hair shaved and some on the top of her head, making her look like she just survived a war. Loaded up with medicine, cleaning solution, and a $140 bill, we make it home.

Now, I think, I can finally get back to work. But wait, think again!

While telling hubby all about the vet visit, Missy is downstairs and obviously getting into trouble from the noises we hear. When I go down to investigate, I find (to my absolute horror), that Missy has decided to scratch her itchy, painful head on my bed sheets, leaving a bloody (literally!) mess in her wake. ARGH! Now I have to wash my bedding!

So now I'm fighting a raging headache caused by my fall, I have a pile of laundry to do, a wounded dog, a crippled husband, and tons of work to do. And it's time to go pick up the kids.

By the time I get home (on roads that have mostly melted, thank goodness), I just want to curl up into a ball and take a nap, but that's just not possible, especially when stepson decides he wants to give the cat a bath because she "smells funny." I have no energy to argue, so I let him. Lots of loud howls emit from the bathroom and pretty soon, stepson emerges with a soaking wet cat in his arms. And boy, she doesn't look happy.

But bathing a cat also means that you're going to have cat hair in the tub. Now why didn't I think of that when I said yes to the bath? Blame it on a debilitated brain.

So I get out the cleaner and start scrubbing. Now I'm really tired. I trudge downstairs to get some work done and find that there's no way I can do it. Will have to put in a long day the next day, is all, so I trudge upstairs and watch more American Chopper with hubby. But I still have to give the dog her second dose of antibiotic and clean her neck. Can we all say "ewwww"?

And then I decide enough is enough. It's time for a hot bath, a good book, and a long soak, and then off to bed.

I'm back at work today. Hubby is still hobbling about, I gave Missy her medicine this morning, got the kids to school on time, and now have my Diet Pepsi in hand.

The strangest thing about yesterday? I longed to escape my world and enter my fictional world. Maybe I can do that tonight...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Wait



There's one thing about the writing business that I don't particularly like - the wait. The obsessive email checking. The trips to the mailbox.

I've got several queries out to agents right now and I'm trying to be patient. But it's hard. I recognize that it's part of the business, and I believe that I've really developed more patience over the years. To my thinking, when God wants it to happen, it will. That tends to calm me down.

In the meantime, I just focus on my writing. In the end, that's what it's all about anyway, right?

It's a lesson that I learned the hard way. (Are there any lessons learned the easy way?) If I worry about that email from the agent or the SASE appearing in my mailbox, I jeopardize the whole reason I'm in this business in the first place - because I love to write.

Do you find youself playing the waiting game?

On Writing Groups

Thanks for all the great advice on the writing groups. I actually believe I'm moving away from romance writing and want to write more mainstream books, thus the decision not to renew with RWA. My friend and I were talking the other day about starting a local writing group that would just get together to talk about writing, to share what we're working on - no pressure, no meeting agenda, no presentation to worry about preparing, etc. I find that's what I really want. But still, I love my local chapter. But I think, in the end, it won't be a problem to stay in touch with all the members because we're not only writers, we're also friends.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

It's 2007


The long holiday vacation is over and part of me is glad. It's always nice to get back into a routine. But the other part of me, the part that doesn't like getting up in the morning and plunging into that routine, isn't happy at all. :-)

I spent New Year's Day editing my novel, hanging out with my daughter and husband, and reading. The roads were a mess all day and I had little desire to get out. This morning the roads weren't much better. But I'm at work and trying to adjust my mind to the "dayjob" schedule.

Yesterday, as I was letting my dog out, I watched a car drive by our house. It was a young guy - probably in his early 20's, and apparently he wanted to show off to his girlfriend how savy his driving was on the icy roads. Well, he ended up losing control and smacking into a parked Lexus SUV, then getting stuck on the opposite side of the road. Something made me continue watching this little event and sure enough, when he finally got his car unstuck, he took off. He didn't bother to leave a note on the SUV, didn't bother to walk up to the owner's house and tell them that he'd hit their car. So my dog and I decided to go investigate. Sure enough, there was a nice, big dent in the SUV and it looked like the wheel was knocked loose. I marched up to the neighbor's door and told them what happened. Whether or not they pursue the "criminal" is another matter, but I felt better having done it. It just never fails to amaze me the audacity of some people. The whole incident was caused by this young kid messing around and when the consequences of his actions weren't to his liking, he just took off. I hope they catch him.

The edits are going well on the novel. But I'm struggling with ideas for my next book. It's not that I'm out of ideas - quite the contrary! I have so many churning around in my brain that I'm not sure which one to focus on. I'd really like to write a book about the German resistance in Nazi Germany, but that one is going to require quite a bit of research. Not that I mind, but I'm not sure that's the one I want to focus on. I guess I'll listen to whichever characters decide to speak the loudest before I decide.

I'm also looking to join another writing group. While I have belonged to RWA for a number of years now, I feel like my writing is moving in a new direction. The only drawback is my local group. Since they are a part of RWA, I have to belong to the national group if I want to stay with them. So I'm conflicted. It could be that I'm just burned out, though, after serving as my chapter's president and vice-president for two years. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Monday, January 01, 2007