The “Write” Way… for you!

•September 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Just finished reading a great blog by Laurell K. Hamilton about finding a pace that works for you and not trying to live up to someone else’s expectations.  Of course, this thinking all goes out the window if you’re a published writer and up against a deadline.  I know plenty of authors who get nudged by this and end up writing several thousand words in a day, literally living in front of their computer and locking the office door to make their deadlines.  That’s just a different animal altogether.  I find myself in the writing mode of being a stay-at-home mom with a kid in school and one on the way.  Most any stay-at-home mom I know with a kid or kids in school and none at home find that the weekdays while their kids are at school is the only time to get writing done, or at the very least, the best time.  I relate to this 100%.  I don’t have a home office space and there’s absolutely no room to escape to if I want to get writing done while everyone’s home.  My laptop typically resides on the dining room table or on a tray in the living room where I tend to be more relaxed.  Best writing from me is done at the table.  I’ve also found that my brain is more able to make sense earlier in the day because it hasn’t bee up for hours, bombarded by worries and stresses of daily life.  I know that sounds perfectly fine, but for me, it’s a bit of a conundrum.  Since I write paranormal, I’d rather write at night when things are known to go “bump” because it puts me in the mood.  I suppose it’s why I love rainy, dreary, cold days for writing.  As such, just imagine how much I’m looking forward to what we funnily call winter here in Texas.  Snow is the stuff of myth and legend in this part of the state.  We might get ice, but usually not much and if it lasts more than a day, we all go into this state of shock where we must stay home and stare out our windows in awe.  But I digress.  Anyway, that’s why I write when I write.  Number of words?  I feel accomplished at the rate of over a thousand a day.  Now, of course this isn’t feasible on the weekends, and I’ve joined ARWA’s writing challenge in order to strive to write at least 100 words on Saturdays and Sundays.  I used to not bother with writing on the weekends, but I’ve found that the little refreshing boost each day helps keep me from wondering where the heck I was come Monday.  It also helps keep me focused and motivated.  Having lost focus with “Awakening Bloodlines” over the summer and even growing somewhat bored with it, I’ve now seen how important it is to keep on task.  And with my current work, I’m seeing changes I need to make to “AB” in order to make it work.  I’m forcing myself to stay focused on this current work, though, despite the weak call of “AB”.  I’m making small side notes whenever the mood strikes about “AB” so I can easily go back and more or less rewrite what’s there, but the current (obviously still untitled) work needs to get out of me first.  It’s far too personal and concepts from it have already tried to force their way into my other WIPs where they have no place being.  In a sense, I need to put my current work “to rest” and let go of it so I can move on and write without being restricted.  Restricted isn’t even the right word, but with it being so personal, I refuse to do it a disservice and move on.  Just can’t do it.  Already got my thousand in for today (woot!) and may even do more (double-woot!) if I get some housework done and the mood strikes.

Today’s agenda also includes writing a small book review for the ARWA newsletter.  I’ve chosen to do it on J. R. Ward’s “Dark Lover,” by far my favorite vampire romance of all time.  Not sure why, but maybe in the course of working on this review, I’ll figure that out.  I may post it here once I have the finished product.

When It Rains, It Pours

•September 14, 2009 • 1 Comment

What is that old saying?  Bad things happen in threes?  Well, if that’s true, I hope that means that nothing else is gonna hit me from out of left field for a while.  I have a new hard drive, so near as I can tell, problem number one is fixed.  My second problem isn’t so much a problem as it is an unsolvable worry.  I called my mom on Thursday to just to say hi and she informed me that she was once again back in the hospital.  Great.  She had been running a high fever and this mystery infection she’d had before seemed to be back based on an MRI they’d done.  They were planning on doing a CT scan for the purpose of inserting a scope and pulling out some of the infection so they could culture it, but then on Friday, she stopped running a fever, so they sent her home.  I called her today, and she started running a fever again on Saturday.  So now she goes to the doctor today at 2pm and we’ll know more then.  My poor mom.  Problem number three?  I hopped in my car this morning to take my son to school, started backing up and thought my car was acting strange.  When my front tires hit the edge of the driveway, I heard scraping and pulled back in.  I got out to find my front, driver’s side tire sitting flat against the pavement.  Lovely.  The tires are past old, though, and we’ve been holding off purchasing new ones because we can’t afford it.  Well, now we’re being forced to afford it.  We have no other choice.  We’ll just buy two for now, costing around $228 and hold off on the others for a month or so.  Thankfully, my neighbor whose daughter attends the same school as my son was able to give us a ride up there this morning and then drop me back off.  I’m hoping my other neighbor, who has Mondays off, can give me a ride up there to pick him up this afternoon.  And then once my husband gets home, he’ll throw on the spare and off we’ll go to Discount Tire.  What fun!  Not.

So, rain.  Wow, lots of it!  It’s one of the good things I have to comment on at this point.  There’s another saying for you: Texas droughts always end in floods.  Well, yeah, Jarrell got 14″ in one day?  Something like that, and they’re just a short drive up the road, where I heard they had to shut down part of I-35 on Friday due to water over the road.  I have no idea how much rain we’ve gotten at this point, but it’s enough that I have little baby mushrooms growing up around a wood divider between my sidewalk and my driveway.  Cute.  Actually, this dreary weather is so perfect for writing that it’s a shame I got off to such a foul start this morning.  Writing this blog has seemed to settle me a bit, though.  And that’s good.  Especially given that the only possible chore in the house that could really keep me from making writing progress is laundry.  And even then, I think there’s only enough to do one load.  I spent all weekend getting my hard drive up and running as well as making sure this house was in perfect condition for me to have zero distractions this morning.  Hah!

Alright, enough bitterness from me.  I’m thankful to have had the time to blog because as always, writing is a good catharsis, even the kind where all I do is sit and bitch.  I think I may go read for a bit, and then sit down and write.  I’m expecting my husband to call me during his first break this morning in a few moments where I’ll expect to discuss my idea as well as discuss the possibility of growing the world’s first real money tree.  Well, one can dream.

Yea Monday!! …Well, sorta.

•August 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I was under the impression that my son’s first week at school would mean life might slow down a little for me, be a little less stressful, and give me time to write.  Boy was I wrong.  So much happened last week that when I sat down and stared at last week’s blog title, I was in disbelief.  Had it really only been one week since my son’s first day of school?  Sadly, yes.  So, what all happened to make me so nuts?  Far too much.

Firstly, I couldn’t be more pleased with my son’s school, with one huge exception.  Everyone there is so incredibly nice and helpful… with one exception.  This “exception” has caused me to contact the school district’s superintendent with my concerns.  We played a little phone tag last week and I’ll be trying to get in touch with her again sometime this morning.  This has become such a huge issue for me, last night instead of being excited and happy about the prospect of taking my son to school today, I was anxious and nervous.  There’s nothing like sitting in your car and telling your child to wait just a moment while you wait for someone else to disappear behind doors of the school you won’t be going through just so you can avoid them.  I probably shouldn’t even be talking about this on here, and I’m leaving out many, many details, but it was such a huge part of stress in my life last week that I couldn’t not talk about it to some degree.

My hard drive was probably the next biggest issue that came up last week.  It’s been acting flaky for a while now, and a couple days last week it took 3-4 hours to get it to boot up properly, and then on… I think it was Wednesday, it started up several times in such a way that I could only describe it as getting a flat-line.  After running the recovery disk and realizing that the only real and huge important thing I didn’t backup was my iTunes, I managed to get my computer back.  Against my better judgment, I allowed my husband to take the hard drive out of my laptop.  We noticed what looked like possible evidence of overheating.  I do admit that I often keep my laptop (my main computer for doing just about anything) on all day long and have sometimes only put it to sleep overnight.  I’ll no longer do this, but at the same time I recognize that my laptop was originally a store model and the damage could’ve been done long before I brought it home… which is quite possible because I recall having to run the recovery disk not long after I brought it home.  After spending some time on Tiger Direct’s website, my husband discovered that a replacement will only cost around $50-$80.  That’s a huge relief and I’ll likely only upload very few things to this computer until we purchase a new hard drive.  It’s still acting up a little and I don’t trust it.  Also, rather than upload all sorts of stuff only to lose it, I’d rather just wait.

Everything else that happened last week seems incredibly minor compared to those two biggies.  We signed up the kiddo for soccer and he starts practicing for the first time this week.  I attended a writing workshop led by Sherry Thomas in conjunction with a critique session that was full of all sorts of things I could mention, but none of which would be appropriate.  The workshop was informative, but the critique session… Let’s just say that I left feeling not-so-confident about my work.  After I returned home, I received an email from one of the critiquers (probably the most qualified of the small group) telling me not to believe everything I hear.  I guess what I need to do is put my fears aside and enter my first chapter into a contest.  What’s the worst that could happen?  I’d be out the entry fee and some contest judge would tell me that my writing sucks?  Well, yeah.  It seems like such an easy thing to put aside, but my work is a close part of me.  I’ll admit that it’s not as close a part of me as it once as, but we’re working on becoming reacquainted.

On that note, happy Monday and hopefully I’ll have a better week than the last one.  I wish the best for all of you, too.

First Day of Pre-K

•August 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The quiet stillness of my house is almost unnerving.  It’s also so incredibly mesmerizing that I can’t even bring myself to disturb it yet with music, just the clicking of my fingers, and fingernails in desperate need of clipping, on my keyboard.  I have coffee in my favorite purple travel mug mere inches from my laptop and a content, purring cat at my feet.  Short one cat.  Well, the other likes to be on top of the table, and since my husband’s not around to kick her off, I’m sure she’ll make herself known soon.  Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I generally keep my laptop at my dining room table with a lovely view outside of these maize colored walls through three windows that bay out over the front yard and the now quiet street that earlier had cars, buses, kids, and parents bustling just at the barest hint of the sunrise.  The sun is now well on its way towards the top of the sky to bring yet another scorching, rainless day to central Texas.  Thank God for air conditioning.

It was difficult to leave my son this morning on his first day of school at “the big kids” school, as we’ve come to call his elementary school.  I think when I was just about to leave that he was beginning to pick up on my vibe of almost crying.  Almost.  I honestly didn’t, which given the pregnancy hormones is just a complete miracle.  I’m glad we had gotten there as early as we did.  I got a parking space and walked him inside and all the way to the cafeteria at the back of the school.  His teacher met us there and he was the first of her class to arrive.  After a brief stop at the nurse’s office to give them an updated shot record, I headed back outside to find a mess.  Cars were parked everywhere, including places they shouldn’t have been, despite the police cruiser and its lights.  Based on what the news said last night, my guess was that each school had at least one police officer there this morning, maybe more at the middle schools and high school.  Surprisingly enough, I managed to make it out of there, driving well below the speed limit to make sure that I had at least three inches between me and the cars on either side of me.  I just prayed that the parked ones didn’t open their doors as I was passing.  I got lucky.

So, here I am, back home and ready to get back into my writing groove.  Mondays will be my blogging days with writing getting started soon after this.  I’ve noticed that some of the links to writers I read here are wrong or dead, so I’ll be gradually fixing things like that as well as adding new writers and authors as I get their info and/or as I pick up their books.  I’m not entirely sure how much writing I’ll get done this week as I need to prepare for a critique session this Saturday by reading around ten pages of three other people’s manuscripts as well as reading mine in its entirety as I begin what will likely be the  daunting task of writing out a synopsis and filling out a few character sheets.  “Real” writing may not actually begin for me until next week, which might just be a good thing as I slowly slide back into this groove.

Hmm… out of coffee.  I suppose it’s time to get at least some work done. 😉

Playing Around…

•August 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’m currently nursing what is quite likely my first-ever migraine.  I’ve had it for well over a day now and since I’m pregnant, the strongest thing I can take is Tylenol.  Yeah, not having a fun time of it.  I really should get off of the computer, but I’ve been inspired by my friend’s website/blog to do something with mine.  Hers makes mine look like child’s play.  I’m also merely overlooking the fact that I haven’t blogged in… hmmm… well, look down, it’ll appear obvious by the date.  Yes, I’m too lazy to look as I type this.

My son starts school on the 24th, and I’m looking forward to having more writing time as well as forcing myself to blog weekly.  This isn’t an unreal expectation and I want to start keeping up with this better as I work more this school year at pursing my goal of being published.  Ideally, I’d like to have one manuscript finished by the time the next RWA conference rolls around.  I believe next year’s will be in Nashville, but I’m not certain on that yet.  I’ll also have a six-month-old by then so there’s no telling if I’ll even be able to attend.  However, I’m already starting to save for the occasion in hopes that my planning works out.

With more time to write and blog, I may start making some changes to this site and the way it’s layed out.  Be on the lookout for those and don’t freak out if something suddenly isn’t there anymore.  I’m really not so good when it comes to web script and the like, so we’ll see how all of this goes.  Wish me luck!  For now, I’m off to put my head down and see about relieving this damned headache.  I need to be better in time for True Blood!

Odds and Ends

•April 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’m really getting the hang of this Twitter thing.  I downloaded TwitterFox and now I can’t seem to stop.  I tweeted back and forth with Colleen Gleason, author of The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, on Saturday and thought that was the coolest thing ever.  She also told me that if she had to write, then so did I.  So I knocked out around 1,000 words.

My mom is currently in the hospital with three bacterial infections that caused her to run as high as a 105.5.  They aren’t sure of the underlying cause of these infections, but she’s receiving treatment and they’ve been running tests.  Her blood sugar is also all outta whack, and we’re not sure if that’s from the infections or what, but they’re monitoring it closely now.  She’s currently in the rehab section of the hospital where she’s undergoing physical therapy for the febrile neuropathy (I think?) which basically caused her body to react poorly after running so high a temperature.  It’s made her weak to the point of barely being able to move.  I really don’t know all the details since she lives out of state.  She’s also the medical professional of the family, so getting info out of my dad on her status is not entirely helpful.  I’m thinking of planning a trip up there towards the end of May.  We’ll have to see if that pans out or not.

Speaking of May, I have a court date about the ticket I received for running a red light.  It was raining out and I thought I used my best judgement in terms of not slamming my breaks on and causing another accident.  The light was indeed yellow when I started through it, and I wasn’t about to slam on the breaks of my minivan with my son in the back seat.  Anyway, it’s a long story and I’m just hopong to fight it because I do recall them teaching you in driver’s ed to do exactly what I did.  It should be an interesting experience, to say the least.

My husband and I (well, mostly just I because it’s my sanity in question) have decided not to send Ethan to summer camp this year in an effort to lower costs.  Instead, my best friend and I have decided to plan out the summer for our four kids by doing as many cheap and free things as possible.  It should make for some interesting fun, and hopefully I won’t pull all my hair out over the course of the summer.  It may not bode well for my writing time, but I’ll have to work around it.  Time will tell.

Marching on Out

•March 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I can’t believe we’re already at the end of March.  2009 is going to be one of those years that people ask about and I’ll have to apologize for having blinked.

Got some work done on LitW today, but now I’m feeling stuck.  I’m not really sure why, but it’s like the characters aren’t telling me what’s up anymore.  And as weird as that may sound to someone who doesn’t write, it scares the shit out of me.  God, what I wouldn’t do for a little inspiration.  Tomorrow might see me picking up Awakening Bloodlines again.  But I may not get any real writing done on it.  More like heavy editing and reworking of things.  I also need to be more diligent about taking notes on it as I go, so I’m not backtracking later trying to remember someone’s hair color or eye color.

I’m back in the library this week for the writing after trying to be more of a stickler in my own home about it last week and watching myself fail miserably.  I have to be in a no-fail environment, I guess.  Perhaps one day if the home office thing ever pans out, I should put a little mini-fridge in there and fill it with only what I’ll eat for lunch that day.  That’ll also keep me from snacking and blowing my hips out beyond where they already are.

Oh well, back to the writing for another 45 minutes or so.