Monday, August 30, 2010

All that fresh air!! They'll write good tonight!

A few days away was exactly what I needed. Maybe a little longer would have been nice, but it was still soooo wonderful.

Time away with my family.
Time away from the computer.
Time away to think.

The drive home was perfect for figuring out what I was going to do next in the new book and how to fix a section in the old one.

Yep, I said fix.

Here's what happened...
I was reading submission guidelines on a few e-publisher sites last week. One of them said that any 'relations' between characters had to be when they were 18 years of age or older.

This has been mentioned to me before and here is why...

Without going into too much detail about the story, my characters have 'relations' with each other prior to being 18 years old. (The story actually takes place while they are in their twenties.)

Please, are we really going to kid ourselves and believe for even a second that teens in high school aren't 'doing it'? Really?

I see. We can agree that they are 'doing it' but I just can't write about it without seeming creepy.

So, if that is one of the 500 reasons that someone wouldn't publish my book, well for darn sure I can make that change.

But hold the phone! That is one of the hugey importanty pivoty points in the book! How do I change this event without changing the whole story?

Well, I'll tell you!
Thanks to kibitzing with one of my trusty 'editors' we figured it out!

Originally Colin is older than Riley; senior (18) to her sophomore (16).
Riley is best friends with Colin's sister, Kerry (16).
If I make Colin and Kerry twins then they can all be the same age, 18 in their senior year, and I won't seem like some sort of FREAK for writing about teens having sex.

There. One issue solved.

As for the new book, I have some really good ideas where to go with the characters next. I'm going to have to be 'creative' when it comes to some of the FBI/Police issues and hope I am not writing out of my ass until I find a way to verify my ideas but I can't stop writing while I wait for confirmation.

So. I think that catches everyone up on my writing trials and tribulations.

Now I just have to actually write!

Damn. If only there was an app for that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sometimes when a door closes you have to use a Halligan

Words are certainly not flowing but the dam has a leak!

I was able to write almost 4 pages yesterday.

It's not amazing stuff. Mostly just getting the characters from point A to point B but it was important.

I left off on a surprise kiss!

On limited notice I am going on a short trip. I may get to write but I would have to do it with ...duh duh duh... paper and pen.

My laptop hasn't been mobile in a while so it's not worth packing up to take anywhere.

I promised myself a new one when I published my first book. You know how that is working out? Yeah. So do I.

Paper and pen wouldn't be so bad except that my hand gets cramped up pretty quickly these days. Lots of damage from years of typing and cracking my knuckles. The hands are extra fun in the winter months!

Hopefully I will get some more writing in soon and be able to report all of my forward progress!

A girl can dream.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Christine Bell - Author: The Me Romancin' Y'all Contest!!!

Christine Bell - Author: The Me Romancin' Y'all Contest!!!: "Happy Humpday everyone! Because we all need a little romance, between today and September 3rd, I will be trying to romance you all with a fu..."

My break is turning to broke!


I have nothing to write!!!

I haven't written in days!!!


I was reading all the Rainy Day Blogfest entries...
...and I was so inspired and captivated and JEALOUS!

All those great ideas and stories and images.

It was even raining here today and I've got nothing.

I feel like I need someone to come smack me in the face.

No, I'm not actually inviting anyone to do that. But I feel like I am wandering around in a fog and I need a wake up call.

I need something.

These poor characters are just sitting around in limbo waiting for something to happen!

This better clear up soon or I'm not sure what I will do!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Blank spot, like a blind spot, but different.

I have a blank spot where I used to keep my words and thoughts for my books.
Granted, I've got some things on my mind lately.
Non-book/writer/author related stuff.
That real life 'crap' that I don't really want to deal with.
It's why I started writing in the first place, to get away from all that.
I started writing stories in high school. I don't recall writing any thing significant any earlier than that. I wrote romantic stories because I wasn't romantic.
I was a little heavy, a little geeky, a little rough.
A lot of my friends were guys, but not interested in me for anything more than hanging out, drinking and smoking.
Sometimes I would share writing with a friend. I would write a few pages in a notebook and then give it to her and she would write a few.
It was always more fun to write and read than it was to do homework or now ... housework.
It's a phase. I know. It will come back.
I just have to let it rest.
Or fester.
Whichever sounds better.

In the first book, my main female character spoke to me a lot. She had the story to tell.
But this one, it's all my main male character. He has the floor most of the my head.

Wonder why.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Uncertainty raises its ugly head.

I hate feeling like this.
I hate not knowing what to do.
I want to continue my story. I even have the new direction that I was looking for.
But then that little nagging voice in my head says:
Why bother spending all that time writing if no one is ever going to read it? (except for a select few)
Why bother writing it if no one will ever publish it?
Why invest the energy knowing I won't ever make a dime?
Why waste valuable time, I should be spending with my family, on some dumb story?
Then I talk to one of the select few, who I have let read the first 100 pages or so, and he says: Where's the rest?
It's so frustrating?
I'm so tired.
I'm hoping this is just hormonal.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You will RUE the DAY!

I just heard that on a television show and desperately needed to use it myself.
You will RUE the DAY!
Chances are I will never write that in any of my stories.

So, we have been discussing Pantsing and Plotting (or as L.A.W. called it: 'Plodding').
I mentioned to her that there has to be a happy medium somewhere between the two.

I am sure I was not the first to come up with these two:

Plottypants or Pantyplots?

I suppose most writers do this unconsciously anyway.

As for me I haven't written a word since Monday morning. I am really stuck. I have a serious annoying feeling that I have to cut back a few pages and start anew but I'm still not sure where to go after that even if I do.

I have certainly stuck my big ol' foot in it this time.

I want the book to be exciting but I don't want the main female character to be constantly in 'mortal' peril. Sometimes that can get annoying.

What mess did she get into now?

I don't want her to appear to be the dumb damsel in distress either. Couldn't avoid danger cause she was so busy looking at the hunky guy.


She is the one the plot revolves around so I need to do something to make sure she stays that way and keep it interesting.




Maybe not that bad.

It will come to me. Probably in the middle of the night. I'll be making a list of groceries items I need in my sleep and suddenly the answer will be there. Hopefully it will still be there when I wake up!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wrote myself into a corner.

Darn, darn, darn.

I got up early this morning, while the house still slept, and wrote a few pages. It was very nice.

I was unable to write Friday or Saturday so it felt good to do it this morning.

Then I read what I wrote.

Damn if I didn't write myself right into a corner.

And what I mean by that is I have boxed myself in and in order to get out - something drastic would have to happen, or a character will have to break and say something they don't want to say (and I think it is entirely too early to do that) or I will have to backtrack and re-write some.


I didn't have a clear direction this morning. Not that I always do. But today I was just winging it.

I know they have a term for writing the way I do. I think its pantsing. Writing by the seat of ones pants. Something like that. They have a term for the opposite as well, to write with an outline. Can't quite recall what it is.

I could never write that way. They tried to teach me that in school too, beginning/middle/end. Crap. Can't do it. I'm defective. So, I just write and hope that my brain will make it all make sense at some point.

It works pretty well, until you write yourself into a corner. I suppose that isn't so bad either. It wouldn't be the first time I did a major re-write of this story.

Maybe it is time for something drastic to happen. There has been a few close calls. But nothing like hanging on for dear life to make the heart sing, right?

Well, only time will tell I guess. I'll have to make something work. But not until tomorrow. Hopefully I can work it out while I sleep!

On Tuesday it will be two months since I sent my stuff off to Harlequin. Not a word.
8 out of 15 never responded.
Oh well.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Skip ahead...skip ahead...skip ahead...

My reading preferences are a lot like my music preferences. I'll listen to anything that has a good beat. I'm not terribly picky.

So, when it comes to books, I try to be open-minded. Although I prefer books with action and suspense as opposed to the ones that just make you think a lot.

I use books to escape thinking not to think more.

For the longest time I really thought I was going to write vampire/werewolf/shifter novels.
I still hope to write at least one.
Before the market was completely saturated I read every vampire/werewolf/shifter story I could get my hands on, romance or not.

I really like the Anita Blake series.
I just recently read another blog, Tessa's Blurb, that summed up some of what I was thinking about Laurell K. Hamilton's current books.
Warning: contains spoilers.

Thank you, Tessa!

I realized after reading her blog that I was a few books behind in the series. Mostly because I don't get to read as much as I used to.
[And when I do it's all about research and defacing books! (Bad Heather!)]
I went to the library and checked out two of them yesterday and started to read.
Don't get me wrong, I still like LKH's writing. I do. But sometimes she is really long winded for me.
A lot like Anne Rice was getting in her vampire series.
And what bugs me a little is the repetitiveness. She will write about something that is going on in Anita's head and then re-hash it all in dialogue.
I get it.
I guess it's just my attention span these days but I can't take it. I'm too used to instant gratification. Sue me.
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Skip ahead, skip ahead, skip ahead.
So, that's what I did. I skipped ahead.
Bad reader, no cookie!

I know some people are turned off by her other-worldly abilities and having sex with multiple monsters, sometimes at the same time, but it doesn't bother me.
I don't think I would be able to write scenes like that myself. I'm too white bread.
But, I like to read them.
I like that LKH makes it critical.
There is no other choice but to have really kinky sex with this stranger in front of a whole group of other strangers and some of my current lovers who will hate me even more now or like me even more now or everyone I know will die. And a puppy.
Well, hell. And he's gorgeous and has a big package? Damn.

Okay, so I exaggerate a little bit. Actually, not that much.

Thank goodness for fiction.

It was an editing kind of day. I wrote a bunch for the last few days and wanted to make sure it all sounded good. Then I sent it off to my peeps to see if they will like it.

Skip ahead....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Don't rush me!

115 pages into the new book and just one kiss. It's like 22,000 words already. I don't have a word count quota or anything but this could be 1/4 of the book and no nookie.


Let me check something...


I'm back.
First book, page 90 starts their first love scene. But they had some serious kissing going on before that.

Hey me! Don't rush me!

I like the pace of this new book. I'm not going to rush it just to let them get their groove on. They aren't ready yet anyway. I like the building trust between them. The tension. The interest.

My challenge will be to make it sizzle and not sound like anything I have written before.

Hopefully different characters will want to have different sex.

I hope its not abnormal to talk about characters like that. Like they have a mind of their own. I hope that doesn't mean I've gone partly psycho. Cause I have conversations with them all the time.

For instance, I'm about to switch chapters back to Jack. I've been listening to him all day. He's trying to figure out the mystery. He's trying to figure out the girl. He's trying to figure out his feelings. So, he's talking and I'm listening.

Hopefully I will be able to write down everything he said tomorrow.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I defaced ... a book.

I wasn't going to tell anyone this.
I was going to keep this to myself.
Because of the shame.
I have a special relationship with books.
Most of you know what I mean.
I also have a special relationship with libraries.
I now have a lot of guilt and I keep thinking the next time I go they will take away my library card.
I'm sure, somehow, I will pay for this 'sin' down the road.

Why did I commit such a horrible deed?

Well...In my head I can still hear the comments/suggestions from the person that I let read the first few chapters of my book. I wanted to see how far off the mark I really was with just a few of the problems that they noted.

I went to the library the other day and bought a used Nora Roberts paperback.

And I wrote in it with a pen and I used a highlighter.

I have to live with it, I know.

But I took notes and calculated word counts and checked point of view and highlighted adjectives....stuff like that.

Now, let me say this...I am not comparing myself or my writing to Nora Roberts. Please. I would never insult her in such a manner.

What I am saying is that - technically - teeny tiny bit similar. Considering she is probably the author that I have read the most works from, I wouldn't be surprised that my writing is similar.

I just wanted to get the facts. I like facts. They're factual.

Now I can let it go.

Wrote a few pages this morning. Not too much but I got the ball rolling. I will have to go back and smooth out right after the kiss scene. It was a little awkward for them and me!

I remember reading a blog a while ago and the author talked about trying to write 5 pages a day. Someone else recently mentioned trying to write 1000 to 1500 words a day. I suppose if I tried to average it out I could come up with a number but I don't think I write consistently enough to bother.

Some days I write a lot, some days I edit, some days I write a little, some days I delete.

Some days I spend too long on my blog or too much time reading other blogs and I should be folding laundry and doing dishes.

Bad Heather!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Took the words right out of my mouth

Holy crap on a cracker! I wish I was this centered.

I did quite a bit of writing recently. Woke up early this morning (thank you small child) and couldn't go back to sleep so I left my comfy bed and hit the couch and the laptop.

Finally finished kiss scene.

It shouldn't have been so hard but I think I was just insecure and I had to push through it and get it down on paper. I want the words to reflect what is in my head but I don't always have those words handy. I had to go look for inspiration which of course should have been time spent writing.

If I call it 'research' does it still count?

What was the inspiration? A couple of things. I went to and typed in best kiss scenes. SHAAA! HOT!

Wow that was fun.

Then I looked at a few paperbacks I had here in the house and I even checked a few fanfics online.

I don't want you to think that I'm stealing anything. I don't pilfer. I just want to hear or see what I'm feeling and try to capture it myself, with my own words.

The videos were great cause I got to watch the men. When being kissed, normally with eyes closed, you don't always see what the men are doing or what they look like.

This particular video just about knocked me on my ass:

Who is that guy and where can I get one for Christmas?
(Kidding, I know who he is but I don't watch the show. Maybe I should start)

Read a few blogs lately that mentioned editing. They were talking about how they felt about it. So many of them dislike it.

I am not one of them.

I enjoy editing. I spend a lot of time going back and reading and fixing and reading and fixing and ... yeah, it's bad.

But I do like it. I just need to learn when to stop fixing and keep writing.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Name three guys...

Do you remember those questionnaires from friends we used to get at school that asked you to fill in a bunch of answers and then they would give you the reasons at the end?

IE: Name three guys... the 1st name is the guy you like, the 2nd name is the guy you hate and the 3rd name is the guy you love!

I think we all have a list of guy and girl names in our heads that we like or absolutely love.
Okay, maybe it's just me.

Recently it seems that all the guy names that I want to use are all ready being used heavily in writing. I leafed through a book yesterday and there was the name 'Jack'... my current lead character. 'Colin' I saw on a newly discovered blog page and I used that in my first book.
Since they are great names, I think its okay that I still use them but its gettin' kinda weird.
I'm also fond of Jake but of course until the whole Twilight thing calms down Jake/Jacob is out of the question.
I'm more of a nickname kind of girl even though I think there is a trend to use full names of guys and girls lately.
I like to shorten.
Hell, my own son's name is down to just one letter!

I did just read on someone's blog that they felt that character names weren't important while you are writing, only when you would be submitting.
Couldn't disagree more. A character name helps me to develop the character. Do I use a title with their name, do I use Mr./Mrs., do I use a shortened version or a nickname.
I think this all helps to round out a character; give them substance. This is what works for me.

I have some new followers, thanks to the blog hop I joined yesterday.
So, welcome and I hope I don't bore you too quickly.

To give you a quick rundown on ... well, me ... I am older (ish) than I would like to be, I have one child and one husband. I work part-time and need to expand that.
I write contemporary romance and I may or may not be good at it.
I submitted my first story earlier this year to agents and publishers and all I heard was...*cricket*.
I sent some of my work to a critique partner that I found and they were pretty vocal about how much like a writer I am not. I took it pretty hard and then dusted my self off and have finally begun to write again.
I'm not saying that they were right or wrong but I enjoy writing too much to stop now.
But I don't believe that my work will hold up to today's industry standards and I'm not sure I have the *insert funny phrase here* to start learning how to be an 'author' now.

So, I will keep writing.
I will keep reading.
And I will continue to find and read other like-minded blogs and hopefully that will be enough to sustain me.

I appreciate the visit.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gearing up for an argument

My two lead characters are about to have a huge blowout.

I've spent like 2 weeks trying to get out of my funk and get back in a good mood.

Now I'm having trouble getting angry enough to fight...I mean to have them fight...I mean...well, you know what I mean.

I actually thought it was very funny. Here I was poised at the beginning of the paragraph and I had nothing! Even my husband can tell you that I am always ready for a fight. I love to fight. I love when my characters fight. I love the banter. I usually can't wait for the fighting but .... feh!

Maybe tomorrow morning.

I'm just going to keep writing this one and see where it takes me. I had a first kiss scene all worked out but now I don't think it can happen the way I wanted it too. I hate to get rid of it, cause I like it, so I guess I will have to save it for another book.

I love that first kiss.

What a difference from the first book too. Those characters were kissing on like the third page in that book. I'm already at page 90 something and these guys haven't kissed in this book, hell not even close!

I don't know if that's good or bad to be honest.

There is something to be said for suspense but sheesh!

I usually hate books that make me wait a long time.

Uh oh.

No news from anyone. I have heard that HQN will eventually send a 'no thank you' letter. I did send the SASE for their convenience. I would have liked to have answers from all of them but I guess that wasn't meant to be. Guess I shouldn't be so CDO. (That's OCD for most people.)