Saturday, October 30, 2010


2200 words written tonight.

Yes, I have a big, silly grin on my face.

How I love this writing gig...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm Still Here!

Ooof! It's been a week since I blogged? I promise I have a good excuse. :-) I went home to visit my family and had a great time! Unfortunately, I also picked up a bit of a bug going around in that part of the state and was out of commission yesterday.

I actually got some writing done over the weekend, and I wasn't even planning on it. I woke up early Saturday morning at my mom's house before everyone else was up. It was a gray, rainy morning (my favorite!) and since my mom lives in the country, it was incredibly peaceful. So I thought, "Why not do some writing?" And I did.

Unfortunately when I came back, I had two rejections waiting for me in the post. Ah well. Must keep going!

Now I'm off to see what you've all been up to!

Have a great Wednesday. :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blog Carnival: Where I Write

Welcome to the 2010 edition of Where I Write! We're featuring the writing spaces of some of the blogosphere's most awesome writers, published and unpublished alike!

Whether it's on the couch with the laptop or a cozy nook of the living room, writers have a special place to call their own. So without further ado, here's some links to a terrific collection of creativity portals!

I'll start things off. This is where I write most of the time: my living room. Since I sit at a desk all day at work, I like to take my laptop (which doesn't have an internet connection) and lounge on the couch. Besides, I love this room! It's so relaxing and peaceful.

But I  do most of my "business" writing - sending queries and emails, internet research, and printing out manuscript pages here:

On to the rest!

Lawyer, economist, and finance, food, books, and travel writer (whew! This is one busy gal!), Jasmina Boulanger of the blog East of Paris has an amazing writing spot. Oh, I am envious! I need a comfortable, easy chair like Jasmine's that I can put close to my desk so I can nap, er, write. 

Christine Fletcher, published author of two wonderful young adult novels, lives in the Pacific Northwest. A veterinarian, She shares her various writing spaces  with her fellow furry writing companions over at her blog, Piccallili. How could you not be creative with such loveable creatures helping out?

Historical novelist and soon-to-be full-fledged librarian, Tess Eckford, lives in a Canadian log cabin with her husband and two adorable kitties. Tess and I have been blog buddies since I started blogging over 5 years ago, and you couldn't find a more wonderful, thoughtful person! Check out her cozy writing spot.

Soon-to-be published Carina Press author Kelly Boyce recently revamped her writing spot. She has a rambunctious (and adorable) Golden Retriever pup who helps out around the place. Too cute!

Another published novelist, Cathie Dunn, lives in the U.K. and writes historical romantic mysteries. Sounds intriguing! She also shares her writing spot with a few furry friends (am I sensing a pattern?) and also has lots of books to keep her company.

Published author LoRee Peery has a cozy office which I have personally seen! Since she doesn't have a blog yet, she generously shared this "Where I Write" post and gave me the perfect description of her writing space:

Where I Write

Where haven’t I written is the greater question. And I kind of miss those places I frequented before I had a room of my own. My room came about after son Clark moved away from home—the third time. He’s an adult and needed his own place. I had outgrown my corner of the master bedroom. I needed a room of my own. So I made an upstairs bedroom into my study. Before I think about what clutters my room (until I need it ), I want to remember the places I used to write.

The first place I remember writing is a century-old, scarred wooden desk, including ink well, at District 56. That one-room country school with the oil heater in the middle of the room is where the world opened up to me. After that, I wrote in my diary on my twin-size bed on the Neligh farm.

Fast forward through all the classrooms to keeping a journal, where I took notes at the kitchen table or curled up in the corner of a couch. When the desire to write-for-real hit, I started at the kitchen table, progressed to a desk with one narrow, antique bookcase in the corner of our bedroom, where my first purchased-in-1990 computer sat.

I’ve written most nature-related nonfiction outside. What places I’ve settled into! I have camped in the ash grove on my family farm (no longer ours; a cornfield now). I’ve sat on fallen logs, leaned against tree trunks, even rested a tablet on a fence post. An iron bench, table, and chairs wait for me on my front porch. In my gardens are an iron patio chair, a glider, and a bench.

When I begin a new project, or ideas come 24/7, I take notes wherever I am. I’ve dripped out of the shower for pen and paper. Toothpaste has escaped my mouth while I jot down something I would forget otherwise. I’ve scribbled phrases on the church bulletin instead of taking notes from the pulpit (and said, “Sorry, Lord,” as I wrote). Aside from that craziness, I need pen and pad to outline, brainstorm, create.

Once I know where I’m going with a novel or essay, I go to my room. My room houses eight oak bookcases. My husband built two, and six came from Contemporary Woods. They hold mostly hardcovers, well over 1,000. On top are special collections of books and Gone with the Wind collectibles. Sprinkled throughout the shelves are other special items from former coworkers, family, friends, and writing events.

File cabinets are tucked in the closet, along with crates of filled journals and paperback “keepers.” My TBR stack and a tote I’ll pass on to my daughter, wait on the floor. Novels are stored in decorative rectangle boxes in the center of the room.

My desk is an antique I refinished. It features a drawer almost as big as the desktop, with deep secrets going back to 1990. The stained glass Tiffany lamp is a retirement gift from coworkers in Modern Languages at UNL. I hadn’t realized I needed a lamp until they gave it to me.

I edit and revise with paper and pen in hand, anywhere: In the car, in motels, on retreat, coffee shops and/or book stores; at the kitchen table, outside, or in my recliner. Then I take the scribbled pages to my computer, where it waits for me, in a room of my own.

Hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into these writers' creative spaces. Thanks to everyone who participated!

P.S. I think we need to do another blog carnival on writers' pets. What do you think?

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Waiting Room Diary

At the doctor's office the other day, I was tired of waiting, so I whipped out my notebook and started writing. This is what I wrote:

At one point in the waiting room, you think you might have to wait forever. The ticking clock further solidifies this feeling, and the nerves you felt upon first entering the room begin to abate. Noises outside in the hall confirm the presence of life. But you are insulated from it, stuck.

The sense of anticipation of the welcoming knock on the door becomes almost unbearable until you're sure it won't come at all. And still the clock moves. First ten minutes. Now fifteen. Latest count, 21 minutes. You realize you wouldn't last an hour in solitary confinement except that in solitary confinement, you have the small comfort of knowing relief is at bay for a day, a week. You can relax somehow. Here, you can't.

So the tension builds. You've looked at the picture on the calendar hanging across the room 17 times now but you don't take the time to study it. You only give it a quick glance because the knock might interrupt your artistic perusal of the piece. Yet, that knock hasn't come for 27 minutes.

Maybe they really did forget about you. Maybe you should open the door a crack and see if anyone would notice. But no, that wouldn't be proper or at all the thing to do. After all, you were raised to be polite and respectful and rushing said doctor might result in a less than desirable outcome to your appointment.

So you sit. And wait. Thirty minutes. Really? A half hour? This would not be tolerated at a fast food chain. Of course, the doctor doesn't have 'fast' in her title --


To be fair, the doctor more than made up for her running late by spending lots of time with me to listen to my concerns about my health. I still haven't made a decision on said health yet, but I'm getting a second opinion this week.

What will that waiting room diary look like, I wonder?

Reminder: Where I Write

I've had a few submissions for the "Where I Write" post that I'm going to feature on Wednesday. It's not too late for you to get yours in! I'll accept submissions until Tuesday at 5 p.m. Oh, ok. 6 p.m.

Info on the project here: Where I Write.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Are You Ready?

If you're an unpublished writer, are you ready to be published?

And if you are a published writer, were you ready to be published when the call came?

I've done a lot of soul searching over the past few months over whether or not I'm "ready" for this to happen. Honestly, I don't know how anyone can be completely, 100% ready for everything that is thrown their way when the publishing contract finally arrives. There are edits to make, marketing decisions to pour over, angst over reviews, publicity rounds, and of course, the whole writing the next book.

For me, I know at one point I wasn't ready. At all.

But now I think I am.

 Let me modify that.

I am as ready as I'll ever be.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dreaming of...

While stuck in my office cubicle yesterday, I dreamed about having the entire month of November off from work (paid time off, of course). What, exactly, would I do during that month?

On my list were three very important things:

1) Write
2) Read
3) Visit my family

It all sounds quite utterly blissful.

If you had a month off from the daily grind, what would you do?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Paying Attention

Squirrel munching on an acorn - he let me take his picture!

Since I've started making it a point to live a quieter life (i.e. no cable t.v., no endless activities, etc.), I have noticed a dramatic change in how I look at the world. Time moves slower. I listen to my daughter more and spend more time with her. I take naps. I read my Bible. I light candles and sit and write.

I've really noticed this new quietness when I take my walks. I go on a trail that passes two lakes full of ducks and geese (and I've noticed a Blue Heron hanging around, too), and gorgeous trees and bushes with squirrels scampering around and bunnies hopping amidst the low branches.

The best part about this time of the year, though, is that I have literally looked at the trees every day and watched their somewhat astoundingly fast progress from summer to fall. The leaves really don't take their time in turning gorgeous colors. Blink and you might miss it. Within the space of a week, I've seen green leaves turn to dark golds, reds, and even peach. If you take the time to pick up one of the fallen leaves and study it, you will see a pattern of color that no man or computer could ever reproduce.

Whenever my quietness slips away and worry starts to nag at my brain (mostly over recent health issues), I go out for a walk to reconnect to God and to quiet my mind again. I pay attention to to the beauty around me: the changing leaves; the cool breeze rustling through the trees; clusters of bright red berries on the bush; acorns smashed on the sidewalk; fluffy-tailed squirrels darting up trees; fallen leaves crunching underfoot; and the scent of pine trees and sun-baked leaves.

This has all contributed enormously to my writing. I "see" things differently - character motivations, descriptive passages, dialogue, themes, etc. I feel like I have a vast amount of material to mine just from opening my mind to the simpler, smaller things in life.

Because in the end, that's what it's really all about.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Where I Write

While browsing through an old issue of The Writer magazine, I happened upon a very cool link that shows the offices/writing places of science fiction/fantasy writers. You can visit the link here:

So I thought, wouldn't it be fun to ask all my blogging buddies where they write? And even better, wouldn't it be great to actually see where they write? And best of all, wouldn't it be awesome to showcase them all in one blog post and have a Blog Carnival?

Let's do it then! If you'd like to participate, here's the rules (such as they are): simply choose a day before or on October 18 to blog about where you write - and include a photo. Then send me an email with your link and I'll write a post on October 20 about all of our creative spaces and include every link I receive.

Send emails to melissaamateis at earthlink dot net.

Spread the word and join in the fun!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Weekend Update

Glorious weekend! Went shopping and found some incredible deals, enjoyed the cool weather, did some writing, slept in (glorious!) and also did some reading. I just started C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" right now -  finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and am now on Prince Caspian. I love both the movies and the third one is coming out in December.

On the writing front, I ran into a bit of a snag, and by last evening, I was in a funk because of it. It's a rather pivotal point in the novel, and I couldn't settle for just any solution. So I decided to just say a quick prayer, leave it alone, and see what happened.

Just before I fell asleep, a possible, very workable solution hit me, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. That means more writing tonight!

How was your weekend?

New Digs

I've got a new home on the web - stop by if you get a chance!