Saturday, October 17, 2009

I want my minutes back

Is there anything more frustrating than trying to deal with your cell phone company???

My current phone is one of the oldie-but-goodies, with no Qwerty keyboard. So it's a pain to text anything on. I'm supposedly eligible for a FREE upgraded phone. Supposedly -- but I have tried and failed.

I have spent all morning trying to fix my upgrade order (an order which also ate the better part of a morning). The first phone I ordered was back-ordered — I figure since it was free, it is a bait and switch deal. So I decided that I would swallow the bait and order another one that I actually had to pay for. Only, since The Dear Husband is the primary account owner, he had to call and give permission to change my phone order.

Then I carefully researched phones, chose one and called and waited and waited for “the next available representative,” only to be told that the phone I wanted required a stripped down data plan. So then she suggested I order another phone, for $49, but I’d have to change my plan, as it would not work. She assured me the plan was the same price.

Only, when I went to do it, it totaled an extra $10 a month — for no more benefit. Aaargh.

So then I called BACK and waited and waited and waited, only to have another guy try to explain how the new plan really WASN’T ten bucks a month extra, but you had to order it a different way. Riiiiighht. Color me cynical, but I’m still trying to apply new math, old math, any sort of math to make it work out.

Finally I got frustrated beyond belief at the amount of time I’d wasted on this, asked if the other phone I’d ordered (and was apparently in eternal backorder) would work on my current plan. "Yes," he said, sounding disappointed. I figured that if he sounded disappointed, it must mean I was choosing wisely for my pocketbook.

"OK," I said. "Let’s just go back to that one." I may never get the phone, but if I do, it’s free, and it will work with my current plan.

One thing I won’t ever get back is the time I could have spent writing this morning. Wonder if I could send the wireless company a bill for Premium Weekend Writing Minutes consumed ...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ben Franklin Rests In Peace Again

Well, I say he is. I'd been following on various blogs and websites the travesty of Philadelphia's libraries being threatened with closure. The day of doom was to have been Oct. 2.

Public libraries closing? In Philadelphia? Where Ben Franklin, the first person to open a lending library, lived?

I'd thought it was bad enough that my own library had begun closing at 2 p.m. on Saturdays. But to not have a library at all? Yikes.

I credit public and school libraries for helping feed my voracious reading habit. As a relatively poor kid, I found my reading pace outstripping my wallet's ability to pay for books. The library is where I find new authors and try them out before I put them on my auto-buy list. When I need to research something, I go to my library. It's where I find the audio-books that I must have if I'm going to drive any distance at all.

The best part about public libraries is their egalitarian spirit. Anyone with a library card can check out a book -- any book they like. And mid-list authors' books cozy up to the volumes of best-sellers with no threat of returns to publishers.

Libraries aren't just another line item in a budget, to be slashed in hard economic times, even if some elected officials seem to think so. I'm glad to know that Philadelphia's bibliophiles fought back and won -- and the libraries in the city continue to be open to the public.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wood On The Fire

Michael Jordan can teach a girl a lot about writing.

Well, not writing per se, but the pursuit of dreams and goals. That's what writing is all about.

Last night I sat down with my husband, a die-hard Michael Jordan fan (he followed him when Michael had hair and played for North Carolina), to listen to Jordan's acceptance speech at the Hall of Fame ceremony.

I've always considered Jordan to be a class act, so at first, his neener-neener speech was kind of ... off-putting. He talked about how he got his competitive spirit. That spirit had its roots in proving other people wrong. He talked about how, when he got cut from the varsity high school basketball team, he wanted to prove that his coach had made a big mistake.

Other naysayers along his path had been, as he put it, "wood on the fire." Basically, his acceptance speech, except for one very kind comment about teammate Scotty Pippen, was one how-do-you-like-me-now remark after another.

Or it was at first blush.

About halfway through it, I realized his speech wasn't just a "neener-neener." He really was thanking them. He was admitting that, if they hadn't told him what he was after was impossible, that he wasn't good enough, he wouldn't have become Michael Jordan.

Huh. Now that was enlightening for a girl like me. It occurred to me that some of the biggest moves I'd made in life were in response to people who said, "Ennnh. Can't be done."

People told me only rich kids went to college. I won a full honors scholarship and graduated magna cum laude.

An editor told me that I shouldn't enter the Georgia Press Association's competition for Best Humorous Column. "It'd be like dropping a rose petal in the Grand Canyon," he said. I did, and I won first place the very first year I entered.

My husband told me it would take me three years to finish a book for the first time. I finished it in three months.

My husband rolled his eyes when I pointed to the First Sale Column in the Romance Writers Report and told him my name was going to be in there one day. "Right," he said. "Keep dreaming." Two months later, my name was in black and white.

Unlike Michael Jordan, I didn't realize that what goosed me was proving naysayers wrong. I'd thought all this time I needed warm and fuzzy affirmations from those around me. I thought negativity was bad for you, that it would tear you down and kill your spirit.

And maybe it would. But something else happened this very month that tells me maybe MJ is onto something.

My daughter, bless her heart, came home with a fundraiser for school, three-pound tubs of refrigerated cookie dough at fourteen bucks a pop. The brochure came with incentive prizes: sell twelve items and you get to go to a Mega Party. Sell thirty items and you get a chance to spin the money wheel. Sell an impossible amount and you get to take a lunch-time ride in a limo.

That's a lot of dough. BOTH kinds of dough.

We live in a small town, and having a product that you can't sell easily to out-of-town friends and family makes it dang hard. It's even harder when every kid in the elementary school is selling the same thing. I told the Kiddo, "Sweetie, don't get your hopes up. People can't really afford to buy cookie dough at $14 a pop. I just don't think you'll make the Mega Party."

She cried. I cried. I admit I did the dumb thing and called the superintendent and fussed at him for ever allowing such a fundraiser go forward.

But she didn't give up hope. Every afternoon, she got her dad to take her around to peddle her cookie dough. Yeah, she got some "no's." But so far she's gotten fourteen yeses. And she's made that Mega Party I didn't think she could attain. I guess I put wood on her fire.

I think, in light of Michael Jordan's speech and my daughter's success, I owe the school superintendent an apology ... and I need to rethink how I look at naysayers. I need to look at them as if they're wood on my fire.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Speechless, just speechless

I am speechless.

Well, voiceless to be more accurate. I am on day 3 of laryngitis so bad that I can emit nothing more than a whisper. I had NO idea that a person needed to talk as much as I apparently do. Now I know why two-year-olds throw temper tantrums – they get so tired of not being able to be understood!

It's the little things that will get you: say for instance, calling out the Kiddo's spelling words and going over her science study guide and her reading vocabulary. Last night I remembered that there were computer programs to “read” text, so I looked on my computer, and thank goodness, it was there. I typed in all of the Kiddo's science study guide for this week (on fossils) and her reading vocabulary words and her spelling words, and then I let the computer call it all out for her. I wish I had a portable computer to do my talking for me today.

And then there's negotiating dinner-table conversation. Last night I had to try to explain profit to the Kiddo. Can you imagine trying to explain profit to an 8-year-old using sign language and a notepad? Lovely.

This morning, the Kiddo wanted to take her lunch. Only we had lost her insulated lunch bag, and I couldn’t fit all the stuff she wanted into my old one, because I needed to put a dry ice pack into it (ham and mayo sandwich). If I’d had another Ziploc bag to put her grapes in, it would have all gone in, easy-peasy, but I was fresh out of bags save one. So finally after much tears (hers) and much frustration (mine) and a few more tears (mine, because I couldn’t talk and it was exhausting to carry on an argument with an 8-year-old in gestures), I wrapped the grapes in aluminum foil, the sandwich in aluminum foil and stuck her chips into the only Ziploc bag I had. (Can you tell I didn’t go grocery shopping this weekend??? And that nobody ELSE went grocery shopping for me, either???)

Monday, August 24, 2009

When You're A Celebrity ...

Cue the Brad Paisley song Celebrity.

In addition to my dayjob, in addition to my writing job, I've been writing a slice-of-life column for a small group of newspapers since about 1992. My picture (admittedly one of me that has a pretty good haircut and substantially less wrinkles and gray hair) is with it.

The column has given me some weird moments in my life. Complete strangers will come up to me and talk to me as if they know me -- and they reference details about my life, so they must know me, right?

But then they say something about my column, and I think, "Ah-ha!"

I'm flattered, believe you me. I'm not complaining. But it does create awkwardness.

For instance, yesterday I went to my mom's -- sans make-up, in need of a haircut like you wouldn't believe. Hey, at least I did change out of my yoga pants and into my jeans. Usually, I wouldn't, as my mom loves me for me, so I don't worry about what I look like.

As I was leaving, my mom asked me to take off her trash. No problem, I told her, there's a trash bin on my way.

Only, the powers that be had removed said trash bin. I went on home, resigned to dumping the trash at a bin near my house.

When I drove up, some folks were dumping THEIR trash. I knew I looked rather grim, but I girded my loins and popped the trunk latch. People didn't expect you to get all gussied up for a trip to the dumpster, right?

Just as I tossed the bags into the bin, one of the guys dumping HIS trash said, "Hey, you write that column, don't you?"

Guilty. I stood there while the very nice gentleman said wonderful things about my column. I don't think anybody prayed harder for the ground of a garbage dump to open up and swallow her than I did.

The ground did not open up. Instead, I got back in my car, looked in the rear view mirror and groaned. That guy was going to go home, tell his wife about meeting me and for sure say, "She doesn't look as nice as her picture in the paper."

Yikes. What are the odds?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Riding the rollercoaster

The last thing beaten out of most writers is the idea of turns and fairness. That usually happens just before they either quit writing or get The Call.

Writers, at least those of us in it for the long haul, view the craft of writing as an apprenticeship. You get in there, you write, you send it out to critique partners, you send it out to contests, you pitch it to agents, you read books on craft, you write some more. And somewhere along the way, if you're lucky, if you're good and working on getting better, you get your shot.

If you're part of a critique group whose members are intent on improving, the idea of "turns" takes hold when the first of you gets a partial request, and then a full, and then, praise heaven, an agent. And then it's swoon time when your bud gets The Call. You're happy! You're excited! Because soon it will be Your Turn.

And then comes another member's good luck and good writing and she gets The Call. You're still happy. You're still excited, maybe even more so, because surely, surely, Your Turn is next.

I have two friends, both who write so well it would blow your socks off. They've had so many close calls, it's not even funny. One writes women's fiction as well as any Marian Keyes book on the shelf. The other is the next Evanovich.

If they could only find the right editor.

Yesterday, my critique partner who writes funny, quirky, off-beat stories got the worst news. The editor at a big-time house who loved her voice ... passed.

It's happened before. They say the most amazing things about her. They compliment everything about her. She's funny, she's unique, she's got VOICE. Someone's going to be publishing her, and maybe it SHOULD be them, but ... it won't be them.

And I don't get it. Surely if it's anybody's turn, it's hers. She had a book deal, before I did even. She had a big-time agent that many in the biz would kill to get.

But the publishing house where she had her book deal closed the line -- JUST before her book was due out. And the Big Time Agent? Well, Big Time Agent did squat for her.

She fired Big Time Agent, went through the agony of getting another agent, which is harder, I think, than getting the FIRST agent. Her second agent is a wonderful woman who works her butt off for my friend. Things were looking up.

And then they WEREN'T. And then they WERE. And now they aren't again. And it's just no fair.

I don't know what to say to her. I just want her to be able to get off this rollercoaster from hell and someone hand her a publishing contract. Because I know, when she finally does sell, it's going to be HUGE. All those editors who passed now are then going to be scrambling, trying to find some wannabe writer who can write with HER voice, the voice THEY turned down.

Until then, well, it sucks to be her.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Now I know how editors feel

Karma is a witch. Well, that's the PG version, anyway.

Last night I wound up working with The Kiddo on an assignment for her class that drove me nuts. It seemed simple enough on the face of it: write a movie script about a boomtown (they're reading Boom Town in their class). But then I had to explain what a script looked like, and get her to write a story about it.

When she wrote it, I saw she had no clue about why a boomtown became a boomtown. I'm a writer, right? So I tried to help her by asking questions to focus on the holes in her story ... and she cried and said she had to start all over.

I felt like a heel.

After supper, I realized that my attempts to define a script had failed. I pulled out a copy of My Fair Lady (very dog-chewed because my now-in-doggie-heaven Lab had devoured it). The Kiddo and I read over it, with her taking Eliza's part and me doing my best Higgins impersonation. She laughed a lot and wants me to finish it up for her.

So then we went back to the script idea, and The Kiddo scrapped what she had and began acting out the play. I wrote down the lines she came up with -- it was pretty funny, and a little more polished than a teacher would believe came from an 8-year-old. She had to incorporate her vocabulary words in it, and that took some doing.

We got done about 9:30 (after doing a focus group presentation on the DH and a friend of the family). At that point, she wanted us to do a performance for my sister. So I called her up and put us on speaker phone and we did a radio broadcast. It was a lot of work, but The Kiddo had fun, and she learned more than she would have using the traditional approach.

I went to bed thinking that this must be how it is for editors and the agents who edit for their clients (not all do, from what I understand.) How do you tactfully say, "Um, this needs work," without crushing the dreams and aspirations of the writer? It doesn't help that we writers tend to be thin-skinned -- I have grown tougher skin over my writing career, but it still hurts when a VIR (very important reader) doesn't get what you're trying to accomplish.

My poor editor. I think she deserves a hug and a drink, and not necessarily in that order!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Toothaches, Wrecks and Movies

My poor Kiddo wound up with a toothache over the weekend (we had a LOT of soup), and it was a tooth that had a filling already in it.

The dentist worked her in this morning and found that a permanent tooth was coming in and dislodging the baby tooth and the filling -- so the simplest solution was to just go ahead and yank out the baby tooth. Ai-yi-yi, but it hurts to see your baby scared in a dentist chair. And then to have to send her back to school?

Other than that and not much writing getting done over the weekend, the only exciting thing that happened was how we (me and the Kiddo) narrowly escaped getting killed or badly injured -- literally. We were returning from shopping, coming home down the interstate in horrendous rain. An extended cab pick-up in the oncoming lanes lost it and went spinning over the median -- I thought the truck was going to cross into my lane. Thank goodness that the vehicle came to a rest right at the edge of the median.

The DH brought home two movies to watch (the reason I didn't get much writing done), New In Town and Gran Torino. I liked both very much, but was completely blown away by Gran Torino. Talk about "show, don't tell!" I haven't had a chance to look at the deleted scenes from Gran Torino, but I can't wait to see what Clint Eastwood decided wasn't necessary to tell his story. I always look at the deleted scenes, though. For me, it's a great way to learn the art of revision. (Or so I tell myself as I try to justify watching movies instead of writing.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Editing a Southerner takes twice the effort

I love the South, don't get me wrong. But I feel for my editor when she has to take a sharp knife to my writing. She once pointed out that one of my favorite "repeat" words was "little." I will not embarrass myself by confessing how many times I found the word littering up my last novel -- suffice it to say it was more than a little bit. :-)

"Little" is one of those words that we southerners use to take the sting out of whatever we say. It is as reflexive as a "bless 'er heart" after a veiled insult. Since we pride ourselves on manners, we use the word a lot. "It's just a little trouble," we'll tell someone. "Or I got a little upset." To lengthen it out still longer, we will insert another word: "bit."

"It's not but a little bit of trouble," we'll tell someone who is asking us to move the world at the last second, without the benefit of a place to stand or so much as a crowbar to pry it into its new orbit. Later of course, we'll grumble, "I'm just a little bit upset about it."

I once watched a PBS special called, "Do You Speak American?" Fascinating stuff, for a writer. It left me curious to hear more regional idioms, like how New York's residents stand ON a line, not in it, or how in Philadelphia, if I'm remembering correctly, all red spaghetti sauce is referred to by natives as "gravy."

What idioms does your part of the world use?

Friday, August 14, 2009

26% done!

BeBe has got to be the slowest book I've ever written -- well, I take that back. There are a few that I started way back when, before I finished my first novel, that still aren't done. Not finishing a book really irks me. I have one that is not finished, mainly because I've been told it straddles genres, and I am still trying to figure out its identity crisis.

Back to BeBe. Regardless of how slow I'm writing -- about a thousand words a day, at half my usual pace, I'm still 26% done. That's the first draft. There are things wrong with this draft, but as Nora Roberts has been oft-quoted, you can't fix a blank page. I keep hoping I can fix a full page.

On the personal side, as I face a weekend of laundry and grocery shopping, the Kiddo is finishing up her first week of third grade. Third grade is hard already. We are learning how to study, and we are not having fun. I'd forgotten, after all my years in formal education, that "studying" doesn't come naturally. It has to be taught. Here I am, a mother with a degree in education, and I still find myself pulling my hair out, trying to figure out what works for the Kiddo.

The plus side is that the science textbook that we have tussled with so far has pictures of dinosaurs at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. The Kiddo was delighted that she recognized the big dino skeletons. She's already planning on taking our vacation pix to show to her class -- that is, IF I can figure out how to get them off the digital camera.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This is just too dang funny!

My thanks to Janet Reid's blog ... not sure where it originated, and I'm hoping I can make the link work.

We're writing, we're writing, we're writing ...

Remember that scene in Dave, where the White House tour guide is walking backwards and leads the group by saying, "We're walking, we're walking, we're walking?" If you haven't watched Dave (and who hasn't?? Only one of my favorite movies!), then you can also see the Progressive Girl in action on one of those addictive tv commercials that are better than some of the sitcoms.

Well, I'm writing. Thank you, God. It's a scary thing when you know something is wrong with your efforts. For non-writers, the closest sensation is that feeling you get when you've left for a 17-day/8-European-countries tour ... and you can SWEAR you forgot to do something really, really important ... like turn the stove or the iron off or drop Fido off at the pet-sitter's.

I will not be done with my first draft by August 18 unless someone gets hold of God's remote control and presses PAUSE for me. But I did write a thousand or so words last night.

Of course, sensitive Princess-and-the-Pea writer that I am, I may be completely de-railed by a wonderful audio book I'm "reading": THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett.

Some books irritate you. They are poorly written. You weep for the trees these books caused to be sacrificed in vain. Their characters are thin. Their plots are so filled with holes that they resemble a mouse-nibbled piece of Swiss cheese. Books like that motivate me. I think to myself, "Self, if XYZ can write this tripe and actually get paid for it, heck, even get on a best-seller list, there's hope." (I try not to think that maybe my readers read my books and get similarly juiced, but hey, I'm sure it happens.)

THE HELP is NOT one of those books. THE HELP is the sort of book that is so good, I say to myself, "Self, back away from the keyboard. Back slowly, slowly away from the keyboard, and you won't get hurt."

If books that irritate me are all "tell," then THE HELP is all show. And what a wonderful, marvelous show it is. I'm only on Chapter Three, but oh, my Lord, this book is better than Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino. I am praying, "Please, please, please, Kathryn Stockett, don't let me down. Keep all this good writing coming." The last time I felt like this was when I read GODS IN ALABAMA by Joshilyn Jackson.

My book is nothing like Kathryn Stockett's (or Jackson's, btw), even though it is Southern, even though it is women's fiction. I hope that "nothing like" counts only toward plot. But in my deeper, darker moments, I find myself wondering if I'm ever going to be that good.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Writing in the Gaps

People who know me always ask, "When do you find time to write?" The honest answer lately is, "Whenever I can."

I'm like so many writers -- heck, so many PEOPLE -- these days, with way too much stuff to cram in the scant few hours between putting my feet on the floor and laying my head on the pillow at night. There's the kiddo, who needed school supplies and back-to-school clothes. There's the dayjob, with two crisis-mode, "I need 'em yesterday" back-to-back projects. There's the poor neglected hubby, who would love for me to actually converse with him rather than simply grunt, "Writing. Can't talk now." There's the fact that a family can't survive on anything less than actual food, and budgets don't really stretch to eating out a lot, even if I liked that sort of thing. And laundry. OMG, don't get me started on laundry.

And then there's the kiddo again, with insomnia brought to us by Wizards of Waverly Place's flirtation with Zombies and Vampires. (Yes, we should have exercised our parental authority and switched off the tube, but how were we supposed to know that the kiddo who was laughing while she watched it would turn into a blithering, "Mommy, the Zombie's LEG fell off while he was DANCING! His leg was GONE!!!!")

You hear writers talk all the time about writing at their children's practices or in the car pool lane or dictating chapters into a tape recorder. I admire them, but I can't do it. I have to have a block of time and quiet to write. I have to listen to my characters, and dadgummit, they whisper.

But a writer writes. If she doesn't, well, she's not a writer.

So last night, in desperation, cranky from being stretched in so many different directions with no writing time, I found a gap for writing. After she'd interrupted me with pleas about insomnia remedies (this is Day 2 after Wizards and Vampires and Zombies, and still she can't sleep) I grabbed my laptop and went into the kiddo's bedroom.

"You gonna work in here, Mommy?" she asked as I snuggled in beside her.

I started typing away. "I will as long as you go to sleep."

"Okay." She curled up beside me and started reading over my shoulder.

"Go to sleep."

"I will."


But by then, the only sounds were her little baby snores and my fingers, finally, blissfully, clicking away on my keyboard.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The pesky internal editor

Ms. I. Editor has made her presence well and truly known this week. Just as soon as I'd rounded my 13K mark, she wouldn't be quiet. So I did the sensible thing. I stepped away from the keyboard and listened to her.

Sometimes the old gal knows of what she nags. This time was one of them. I went back, listened to my characters, analyzed what I'd written, bug the stew out of my critique partners, my beta readers and any unsuspecting person walking down the street that I could accost and ask, "So if you were reading a book about a woman who is ..." (Survey results: canvassing Unsuspecting People Walking Down The Street nets a 100% response rate of "uh, are you crazy or what?")

I figured out what was wrong. Now the question is, can I figure out how to fix it and make up all my lost ground in my challenge with Kate the BritChickLit writer? I'll bet she's fired her Internal Editor and just sailing along.

On a more personal note, my little angel caught her first fish today -- an oversized minnow. She's already told her dad that she wants to go fishing tomorrow. She asked, since the fish she caught was not quite frying size, if we could put it in our fish aquarium. Somehow I think that would have required A LOT of explaining to our goldfish.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Isn't she lovely?

My blog, that is! My lovely and wonderful friend Bosey has removed the tentacles of HTML from around my neck and helped me update the template. Bosey calls me a technophobe, but that's not true. I'm more of a technifumbler -- sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I don't.

Writing ... is ... not ... going well. There, I said it. Another writer that I know, Michelle Styles talked about table-dusting, where two actresses in the role of maids dance around a table with feather dusters while their dialogue sets up the play. My internal editor, confound her, is now convinced that all 13K plus words of BeBe are the sum and product of table-dusting. Meh.

Still, all the more reason to write quickly and not let Ms. Internal Editor get her evil clutches into me. Why can't that woman ever go on vacation?? She could take the jaunt to Rome I want to take!

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: Word count is 13,416. Still lots of writing ahead of me today.

WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING INSTEAD OF BLOGGING: Folding clothes, working on that writing challenge, visiting my mom.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Well, pride goeth ...

Okay, okay, so much for my big, fat mouth. In the past 24 hours, I've managed to write only a thousand or so words. However, in the spirit of my challenge, I've decided to post the good, bad and ugly.

Current word count: 11,195. (Do all the words your Internal Editor zapped count? Because that witch scrapped a bunch!)

WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING INSTEAD OF BLOGGING: Making good on that challenge, and feeding the kiddo and the hubby.

TO DO LIST: Figure out how to edit this blasted sidebar ... HELP! ANYBODY! I'm being strangled by HTML!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A challenge in the spirit of NaNoWriMo!

As I was researching how to replace my old non-working word meter, I came across a fellow (and better disciplined) blogger across the Pond, Chicklit Work in Progress (And wouldn't you know, I'm so technologically challenged, I can't even get the hyperlink to work. Blast.)

Kate, who writes British Chicklit (some of my absolute favorite writing, btw, though I can't write it to save my life!) recently cranked out an amazing amount of words in one sitting. She was wondering if perhaps she could finish her rough draft of her YA in two weeks if she kept up the present rate.

By sheer coincidence, I, too, had cranked out a similar number of words on Sunday (just over 3500) on my latest women's fiction project. I'd figured that I could be done with the rough draft by August 18 if I continued to write another 2500 words each day.

So what's a writer like myself to do except to challenge her? As one of my CPs just posted on my Facebook wall, "Um, insane much? :)"

The details are still being worked out -- Kate needs to finish her rough draft in two weeks, whereas I have the luxury of waiting until August 18. But I figure, hmmm, whoever gets to 50K words first wins ... bragging rights? A one-way ticket to the nuthouse? Or at least just the chance to type THE END.

We'll see. To keep me honest, I'll post word counts on this blog and on Facebook and perhaps eHarlequin.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Been MIA for awhile

Uh, from the looks of it, about a three books-long while. Yep. In the interim, I've written and sold three more books. The last one was For The Sake of The Children (Harlequin Superromance Dec. 08.)

My lovely editor, Victoria Curran, has another proposal from me ... hopefully it will be a go as well. That's one thing they don't tell you (or maybe can't convince you about) before you sell a book for the first time: that squirrelly, nervous feeling about a project's prospects? It never goes away ... or it hasn't yet.

I'm tweaking another proposal for Victoria, and I'm also working away at two totally different projects, just for fun. One is a women's fiction MS, and the other is a cozy mystery.

WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING INSTEAD OF BLOGGING: uh ... grocery shopping? GROAN. I hate grocery shopping!
NEXT THING ON THE TO-DO LIST: Figure out how to get the word count calculator off my sidebar ... it never worked that well anyway!