Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strike One

Okay, I didn't mention it on the blog but a few weeks ago, after I had given up all hope of ever finding a home for MASQUERADE I got 3 more partial requests. I recieved the first rejection yesterday.

HOWEVER, it was a personal rejection letter and although she said it wasn't the right home for her, she did say I had a lot of talent and if I found the right niche, she thought I could be very successful. Now, I don't know how much of this was bullcrap and how much of this was truth, but she did address the letter to me personally and it was not the standard words used in a form rejection.

So, what I've come away with is...someone (an agent) thinks I have talent. That's good. What I don't have is a good enough story. Not so good.

I've done a lot of thinking about this the last few days...I had a revelation Monday morning about MASQUERADE which is making me rethink the whole opening. I could rework it to make it stronger, I do know now what the problem is. Another HOWEVER, I don't think I want to. I would be "writing for the market", not for myself. I would have to make the characters something they're not and I don't want to do that. I spewed a whole post writing about the integrity of my writing so if I "write for the market" then I call myself a hypocrit.

I have decided that when the other rejections come in (and I know they will) I'm going to put it on the shelf. I had so hoped that I would be able to make my platform on Regency romance but that's not to be the case.

So, I've decided that when I get back from Rhode Island, I'm going to go full steam ahead with REMEMBERING YOU the Genna & Tony story. I'm going to finish it over the summer and revise as soon as the baby goes to school. I'm shooting to query by the end of September.

Hopefully I'll come back from RI with a whole different attitude about this situation. I'm kind of sad that William and Penny aren't going to get the place in the bookstores that they deserve. I've been stuck in MASQUERADE mode for so long I feel like someone has died.

Tell me ~ How do you feel when you know the story you've slaved over just isn't what you thought it was going to be? Do you rework it or do you just stick it under the bed with the dust bunnies?

**** I know with the summer months a lot of us, myself included, have gone to a M-W-F posting schedule. Due to my upcoming vacation, I decided to post my 'SOMETHING-SOMETHING' post (the Genna & Tony sex scene) yesterday. For those of you who missed it, or thought I was posting it today, please feel free to scroll down and take a look. And please don't be scared that there's sex in it. There's not.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Something - Something

Well, here it is. Genna & Tony's "sex" scene. For those of you who remember, Genna went to see Nana Rocco the second day she arrived home. This scene is out of context for those of you who've been following the story (and many thanks to those of you who are) but I thought it was important that Genna have some more angst to deal with. And as Les says, if you don't have an inciting incident right from the get-go, well, what's the point. So here it is. It's kind of long, but I wanted you to also see the set-up. So you can see that I do write something other than dialogue.

Rating -- PG 13 Language

And remember, this will only be up for two days, or until I leave for vacation. And it's a first draft.


Sorry this post has been removed by the author.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My First Interview

Good Morning gentle readers. Today I will be doing my very first interview with a lovely lady with the greatest name EVER -- February Grace. Her blog, Pitch Slapped, although fairly recent, is very inspiring and as a writer of romance, right up my alley. I hope you all stop by. You can find me here.

And by the way, due to my leaving for vacation, I'm posting the sex scene between Genna and Tony tomorrow. Hope you'll take a look-see.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday's at the Piedmont Grille

Good morning everyone. As you can see, my internet/modem/power outage/stupid thingy messes are gone. Yay! I can blog and comment again without having to worry if I'm going to crash.

I want to say as well, that I haven't gotten around to following all my new 'friends' back yet because of my dastardly internet but I'm hoping to rectify that situation this weekend.

For those of you who may have missed it, I guested an article at the Guide to Literary Agents blog on Tuesday. Which you can find here.. Chuck Sambuchino did a great job editing it for word count. If you'd like to see the whole article as it appearred on my blog awhile back, I've made a pages link on my side bar. Click on the title and wah-la, there it is.

I've also posted a short story which gained me an honorable mention and pub credits in the Genre Wars Anthology hosted by the Literary Lab last year. High Tide. Don't know where it came from. Have tried to write another but it just seems I can't do it.

I've also decided I'm going to put some other "pages" up -- namely the pages that aren't going in my books. I've some from Genna & Tony, some from MASQUERADE, some from Richard's book. I know I've had one agent take a peek over here recently and I don't want her thinking I'm just a blogger, but that I should be taken seriously as a writer, and how would she know that if she can't read my writing. Pretty smaht of me eh?

Now, while I was dealing with my modem crisis, Sarah Jayne wanted to know what kind of sex Genna & Tony had -- Angry? Make-up? Reflective? Great question. My answer, sort of all of the above. I know I needed them to have sex at some point in the story, otherwise the story wouldn't have made any sense. I mean really, what's the point of all the angst if Genna doesn't realize why she has the angst. Which is also why, I decided to put the sex in the first act, right away, so she can carry that guilt with her when she meets Pete. Pretty genius huh? I'm hoping to post the sex scene next week. (Okay okay, for those of you who are horrified at the thought I would actually post a sex scene on my blog, don't be. I don't write sex. I write sex through a closed door. For those of you who are disappointed, sorry, I write stories, not erotica.)

My other Sarah wanted to know what 'writing' books I've been reading because when I don't write I read. Hooked by Les Edgerton. Very insightful for what makes a great first chapter, first paragraph, first line. Let me tell you, if you haven't read it, find it. Great stuff in there.

I also read The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Romance Published by Julie Beard. Okay, done laughing now? It's an interesting book, helpful in it's own way. The parts on writing didn't shed any light on anything I didn't already know, but the chapters on the publishing aspect were wonderful. She discusses the various lines in the industry (altho written 10 years ago and lines have come a long way) she was very informative and helpful from the money, to the contracts.

Just for fun I also picked up Merriam-Webster's Concise Handbook for Writers. I only browsed through this because it was dryer than crackers in an oven. Kind of like Strunk & White (and if you don't have Strunk & White, you better get one).

Now late next week, I'm leaving to go back to Rhode Island for the 4th of July family reunion. I won't be blogging until I come back, sometime around the 7th. I've already promised to post the scene from Genna & Tony so...stay tuned.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Get some writing done!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Something - Something

Well, besides having problems with the modem, the power went out yesterday for almost 8 hours -- all day as a matter of fact. Thank you so much for the kind words on my guest appearance over at Guide to Literary Agents. A big shout-out to Chuck Sambuchino who is the best!!! I didn't even know about it otherwise I would have told you all that that was the big surprise I was keeping a few weeks ago. Anyway, if you haven't read it, it's there, if you have, yes, it was cut somewhat due to word limitations. I also can't link, (stupid computer) and don't have the address but I'm sure you all know where to find it.

I'm on my mother's lap top (shh, don't tell) to post this as the new modem hasn't arrived and I can't stand it. My fingers don't want to work.

Because of this whole funky internet/power outage/modem stupid thingy craziness I've been going through, I'm praying to whatever God hasn't left for Antarctica (because here in the south it's been hell) that I will be able to correspond with you all on Friday. There were some questions asked, thoughts given, ideas presumed, you know how it goes. And I can't not respond.

Okay, so here we go with more of Genna & Tony...This is the the follow-up to last week when Pete stops at the diner for coffee. Sorry for those of you who thought I was going to post the Genna & Tony having sex scene, nope, sorry not this week.

Please note this will only be posted for two days (due to the paranoia of the author). And remember this is a first draft.

Rating -- PG 13 *******

Sorry this post has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Internet Woes

I don't know what's happening, something to do with my modem, so I can't seem to comment without my internet crashing. They're going to send me a new modem. I will try to post Genna & Tony tomorrow, with any luck it'll happen, but I don't think I'll be able to comment on any blogs for awhile. Just thought I'd let you know, I'm not being a snob, I just can't comment. And woe is me, because you know I love to talk.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Writing Challenge

Good Monday morning gentle readers. I've decided that something needs to be done about the state of affairs of my lawn. I've decided I hate cutting my grass. I've also decided that weed wacking is a 'boy' chore, like taking out the garbage. Sorry for those of you I've offended but it's true. I do it because I have to and by gum if I ever get rich enough I will be hiring a man to take over the task.

Now I'd like to introduce you to all the new 'friends' I've made over the last few weeks. Welcome and Thank You for taking the time out of your busy blogging lives to follow me in my little sphere of craziness here -- Suzy, Tahereh, Anne, Les, Christine, Julie, Vatche, Becky, Suzi, (another) Christine, Hawk, Nicole, Justine, Emma, Mac, Kim, Kathie, Cruella, Patricia and Melanie. I always have a pot of coffee on and something to eat in the dining room. The pool is open but suits are required.

Guinevere at This is not my Day Job issued a summer writing challenge a few weeks ago, kind of like a NaNo but not. We're trying to see just how much we can get done on our current W'sIP over the summer, until Labor Day. If you'd like to try it, go on over and join up.

Last week I went through a terrible time, a writers bane. I'm not blocked, I'm not stuck, I just didn't have it in me. It's so hot here in the Piedmont and we can't use our a/c, Monster Baby has sinus problems and somehow has the tendency to get an infection if she's in a/c any longer than the time it takes to go grocery shopping.

So it's hot, and I'm miserable and just didn't have it in me to write. But I forced myself. I had an inspiration while weed wacking (so I guess it's good for something) and I wrote 3500 words between Saturday night and Sunday morning. I did two more scenes with Pete and Genna, one with Robby (her cousin for those of you who are following) and Genna had sex with Tony.

Yes, you heard me. Genna had sex with Tony.

I've been reading all kinds of writing books because I haven't been able to write and I needed to amp up Genna's response to Tony. She was ambivalent about her feelings, or rather, I was amibivalent about her feelings so I decided she needed some more angst. I thought I would be able to put the scene in the first week when Genna came home. Then I thought I could put it in the second week before she meets Pete. I now know I need to write a few more scenes to fill in some gaps because the sex just isn't going to fit where I put it or want to put it. And I definitely know the sex has got to stay. I sorta' kinda' think I know what I can do but the whole first act would have to be semi-rewritten.
Or something.

So that's where I am with that. I have another idea ruminating for a fight scene between Tony and Pete (hey, wouldn't that be something) but I'm not sure. I guess I should go finish the weed wacking and see what I can come up with.

And what did you do over the weekend?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday's at the Piedmont Grille

So far I've written three posts for today but they're not especially happy so let me leave you with this...

If you will
being fictional for a while,

you will understand
that fictional characters
are sometimes more real
than people with
bodies and heartbeats.

Richard Bach ~ Illusions The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Something - Something

I realize this Wednesday stuff should be titled, Work in Progess Wednesdays, or some such, but I like Something-Something because that's all it is, just a little bit of it and you never really know what it's going to be.

Okay so for those of you who don't know what's going on in the story -- Genna's aunt Fortuna has had an episode and called the cops on Genna. Pete DiCampo is a guy she went to school with (and didn't like by the way) who is now a cop and the one who came to the house. (I know you can't really get a sense of the whole story but it would take 10 pages to fill you in.)

And remember the scene between Genna and Angie when Angie tells Genna what Tony did to her...I changed it. Oh boy did I change it (because as you know I'm brilliant like that) and I think it's so much better now. Maybe we'll find out in a couple of weeks.

Disclaimer -- Rating PG- 13 And also remember this is a first draft.

We're sorry this post has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Life is Good

Julie Dao has presented me with the Life is Good Award. I was going to hang onto it but then I figured I'd pass it on right now because if I don't, well it could be months. So here goes.

1) What's your favorite genre to read? Why?

Of course it's Regency romance. I grew up on the stuff and it's only gotten better. I like the time period and I have a soft spot for the Regent. He was so lonely.

2) If you couldn't write in the genre you do, what genre would you write in?

Hmmm, that's an interesting question. I think I would have to say mystery, or perhaps cozy mystery. The books I write all have that mystery element in them.

3) Pepsi or Coke?

Coke. Regular, no diet, no non-caffeine.

4) How do you spend Sundays?

Cleaning the house, laundry, kitchen, and then reading on the couch. Sunday is the only day I don't write.

5) Penguin or Giraffe?

Have you seen the Madagascar movies? Melman is endearing as a hypochondriac, The Skipper is hysterical, Rico is just too smart, Private is sweet, and Kowalski is, well Kowalski is my favorite.

6) What type of vehicle do you drive?

My mother's old Hyundai. What type of vehicle do I WANT to drive? 1997 Chevy regular cab, long bed, manual transmission truck.

7) Would you lick a battery if your life depended on it?

I guess if I were doing MacGiverish kind of things then yes I would. For fun, no.

8) When do you write -- morning, afternoon, evening?

Right now with this last partial requested I can't write a bloody thing. I hate querying. But normally, I write in the morning. My creative flow tends to dissipate around noon.

9) Which do you like more -- FaceBook or Twitter?

I don't do either so I have no opinion.

10) If you get hurt, (like a scraped knee or arm) do you ask for a band-aid?

Depends on the boo-boo, but I always ask for a kiss from Monster Baby.

I would like to pass this on to:






I hope you'll go check out these incredible ladies. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Three Games Behind

Good Monday Morning gentle readers. You may ask why last week and now today I have been using baseball jargon for my post titles. Well, you see, it's easy, my beloved Red Sox are three games behind first place. Now as some of you may know, or not, the Red Sox have this crazy way of starting out slow at the beginning of the season and then after the All-Star Game they usually rally to get into the play offs. Well, most of the time anyway.

I liken this to my own writing. I started off slow, and then, after many, many practices and games, I rallied and ended up in the All-Star games. I queried and had some partials requested. Now, I'm trying to head for the play offs. Trying to get published. It's a lot of hard work, a lot of practice but without practice how can you get good? (LOL don't hate me for my word choices.)

Anyway, last week, Ed said something in my comments that struck a chord deep, deep down inside me, and I took it as a sign. He said:

"rejections suck. have a space in your home to feel the rejections, preferably over the waste basket, and then release that crap."

Now I have had all the queries and all the rejections sitting in my inbox because with Monster Baby, well, I tend to lose my mind and I like to keep track of these things. After Ed's response I went directly to said inbox and dumped them all in the trash and deleted them from the mailbox completely.

You know why, because all that questioning, negative energy was blocking all the good, factual energy that was trying to get into the inbox. Hence, the question from the new agent about what kind of work I was doing. She was confused at what I wrote. And I don't blame her. My inbox was sending mixed messages. So now with all that negative, questioning energy released, I hope I've given some new ju-ju into the universe. And I think it worked because at 8:46pm Saturday night she requested the first 50 pages. (Okay, let me just say this again-- 8:46pm Saturday night. I think I'm in love with this woman that she'll work on a Saturday night.)

So thank you Ed for your sage advice. I should have known it myself as I know about Karma and the Universal Mind and believe in things too weird to mention here. You have the heart of a poet and the wisdom of the ages in your soul.

Now, to you my dear, fellow queriers, take Ed's advice, dump the rejections in your inbox out. Release the negativity. Of course you may need to write down the names of the agents who have rejected you so you don't re-query them, but keep that list away from your computer. You don't want to fool around with negative energy. The farther away it is, the better off you'll be.

I would also like to take this time to say a formal apology to Roland Yeomans from Writing in the Crosshairs. Now if you don't know Roland, please go and give him some love. If you do know him, you know that he's been in the query trenches for awhile now, with his book French Quarter Nocturne. (If you haven't read his excerpts yet, go NOW) In my haste to get the awards blog out Saturday morning (before my computer shut down for the day) I added several names to the Sure Fire Winner Award -- and I forgot Roland. I cannot believe I did it, I feel terrible, like the biggest jerk-face in the universe. Is a complete brain implosion a good enough excuse? So Roland, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to leave you off the list and I'm glad Christi remembered you.

Wednesday I will be posting the latest excerpt from REMEMBERING YOU, my little saga of Genna & Tony. I hope you'll come back for it.

Have a great week, get some work done, and release the negative!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Good Saturday Morning everyone! As promised, here are the awards I promised to bestow upon you all. These are such an honor to receive and I appreciate each and every one of them. Here we go.

First up is the Journey Support Award given from the lovely Summer And Christine.

There are so many of you that have given me support on my journey, I would like to bestow this award to all of you. I know this is the cheesy way to get out of all the link love but it's true that whenever I'm down and out, you all come rallying around to lift me up. (Don't worry I won't break into song.) So I want you all to take this one.

Next is the Blogger Buddy Award which for the life of me, I searched my Google Reader for close to an half hour and could not find the giver. So whoever gave me this, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I totally love the hummingbirds. This award goes to...

I tried, I really did try to bestow this on a few deserving souls who are my buddies but you know what, I couldn't do it. I couldn't pick any 5 names off my list because you guys are totally awesomesauce and I love each and every one of you, so I want each and every one of you to take this one as well.

Next is the One Lovely Blog Award and I also don't remember who gave this to me. I'm praying it wasn't so long ago, but I went all the way back to March to try and see who it was.

This I would like to bestow upon T.H. Mafi, otherwise known to us as Tahereh because she's zany and funny and has these incredible blogsposts that just make tears fall from your eyes. She's also smart, witty and incredibly gracious, kind, and supportive. Underneath all that craziness lies a true lady worth more than her weight in gold. Love you bestie!

And lastly we have the Sure Fire Winner Award given to me by the lovely E.Elle who has demonstrated her love and affection to me when the world was just caving in.

Now this award comes with rules, and the first one is you can only bestow it upon one other person. I'm sorry E. my darling, but with so many others in the query trenches with me, I have to break that rule.

Querying is the hardest thing there is to do in this writing business. So many times the rejections come pouring in like water into a bathtub and it's overwhelming that you may not be able to find a home for your baby. Rejections make you want to give up the good fight and just go back to being 'normal' but we know, deep in our deepest heart of hearts we can't do that. Writing is just too important to us. So to that I say, "Pox on you, agents of the universe, we are talented, creative people who have given our sweat, blood and tears to this almighty thing called publishing. You will not break us from our quest. We WILL be published in some way shape or form."

So to that end I bestow this award to:

Christi Goddard

Terry Towery

Donna Hole

Ted Cross

Elaine Smith


Matthew Rush

Here are the rules for this award, which I've just broken the first. But I would appreciate if the recipients followed them as E. has written them.

1) You can only bestow this honor on one fellow writer at a time.

2) You can only pass it on to someone who has shown signs of recent struggle.

3) You do not have to have received it to pass it on.

4) When you pass it on, you must provide a word or two of encouragement to the receiver.

5) As awesome as this award is, you can't write a post with the intention or hope of getting this award. I mean, we struggle, yes, but we aren't needy.

6) When you receive this award, you have to state one positive thing about your writing ability. After all, the best kind of encouragement is the kind that comes from within ourselves.

Rule Number 4 -- To all my fellow queriers -- We are all in this boat together and the one thing I've learned in this crazy writing life is -- NEVER GIVE UP! No matter how many rejections, no matter what happens, never give up. Keep writing, keep querying, keep chasing your dream because as we've all seen, dreams really do come true.

Rule Number 6 -- The one positive thing about my writing ability is -- I have come a LONG way. My query has garnered partials, my beta thinks my book is spotless, my attitude about writing has evolved. I'm no longer a hack but a true writer who can stand with her head held high and say, "I'm proud of what I've written."

Okay, so there we are. Happy Weekend everyone. Keep writing and I'll see you all on Monday.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday's at the Piedmont Grille

Well, slowly but surely I'm making progress. I don't have a meter but I have updated the word counts on my side bar. 4K to THE CAPTAIN'S HOUSE and wonder of wonder another 3K to REMEMBERING YOU.

Yes, I had a breakthrough the other night as I was trying to sleep. I couldn't get Genna out of my mind. She refused to talk to me so I decided to talk to Uncle Sally instead and find out what was up. And boy howdy did Uncle Sally talk. He wouldn't shut up! I finally figured out a way to segue through the rest of the week before the 4th of July party. And O.M.G. am I a brilliant writer or what? (I know everyone, it's coming back, it's coming back.)

I was having such a hard time with Tony and what to do about him. I'm sorry but I think I'm really going to make him the villain. Okay, maybe not so much a villain but a real jerk-face. Only we won't find out about it until the last chapter. See, that's what makes me brilliant. I also have to tweak the night of his conversation in the car with Genna and that will set up the whole third act. TA DA!

And I've decided I'm in love with Pete, Genna's new hottie. He's so nice, and cute, and sexy in his Pearl Jam t-shirt and Celtics jogging shorts. But wait, there's intrigue and disaster brewing at Billy's Beach Bar the night of the 4th and well, wow, Pete's not going to be happy. We'll see what happens won't we. And yes, next week I will be posting excerpts again so stay tuned. I'm changing the day from Thursday to Wednesday just so you know.

In other news, I had a post written for Wednesday about all the crappy crap I'm going through with the query out on MASQUERADE and Bad Blogger posted it while it was in draft mode. Crazy thing that Blogger. Only one person read it and she emailed me with a lovely note saying how I shouldn't give up. And I'm not. And I'm not posting any more blogs filled with 'poor me' either. I just don't want to. I'm so sick and tired of getting rejected, and you guys probably are too so, no more. (Although I just have to tell you, I did send out 6 more queries Tuesday afternoon and I received a rejection in 14 minutes. That's a new record for me.)

I also received feedback from my first beta on MASQUERADE and there was nothing wrong with it. She said it was totally fantastic and I really didn't have to do anything to it. I'm waiting to hear from the other two beta's and see what they say. (And just so you know, I worked my a$$ off on the revisions for MASQUERADE to make sure it was perfect. This first beta knows Regency so I'm not bragging when she said there was nothing wrong with it. And let me tell you how warm and fuzzy I am right now. It's not the book, it's the agents. I'll blame it on them.)

And here's a piece of interesting news...I found another agent who sounds just wonderful and I sent her my query yesterday afternoon. Last night after supper I received an email from her wondering if my book was strictly Regency (are you ready for this) or did it have sex in it? I gave her the rundown of make-out sessions and told her more or less the story was more a mystery surrounding Penny's father and how Penny and William are trying to find true love amid all the mistaken identities. Tune in sports fans to see if she rejects it.

Tomorrow I'll get my head together and pass out the awards I've been hoarding. As you know I haven't been in a celebratory mood these last few weeks but with the breakthrough with Genna and feedback on the Regency, my world is bright and shiny again.

Have I told you how much I love you all? You guys totally rock my world with your uplifting comments and blog love. I hope I'm living up to my end of the bargain. And if not, smack me.

Oh, and I've been toying with the idea of doing another picture post -- who would be Genna & Tony in the movie version. I've got to find some people but I have an idea of who they might be. Hmmmm....

So, that's all for now my lovelies. Have a wonderful weekend, eat some great food and try and get some more on those word counts.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


*** This is a re-post from last year, one of my very first posts actually. The reason -- My horoscope said that I needed to have my integrity intact for the rest of the week. Let me tell you what, I really need it. I wrote a long post last night but I was whining again about how unfair agents were and my latest rejection news, and all that other crap. Damn it, I'm sick to death of me right now. And I'll bet you are too. So I decided I would find something else. And this is what I found.

I have tweaked it a little bit here and there but mostly it's the same. I stand by my words.

Integrity -- Something I've been thinking about a lot lately. If I didn't believe in the integrity of my story, my own words, then I wouldn't write it. And you say to me, well, you write romance. Historical romance. Regency romance. It's all just fluff. It's all just a formula anyway.

And I sneer, mockingly, "YES, there is some formula but I BELIEVE in the story. It has integrity. It's not vapid and stupid, and a same old same old portrayal of vain and ridiculous women parading about looking for a husband and having wild screaming monkey sex." My book has character, as well as great characters that are funny and sad and scared and human, I have sub-plots and intrigue and mystery, I have great horses and great houses and great clothing. I love my book.

And I see you shaking your head and saying, yeah but does it have sex because that's what sells. And my answer is, NO, it does not. That's not why I write Regency romance. It's not about the sex, it's about the romance, it's about FINDING the love, finding the one other person in the world who makes you feel like no one else ever has. It's about the Happily Ever After that we all long for. It's about the journey. The journey to find it.

And that's what I try and create on the page. Two people looking, searching, for the only other person in the world who will love them back, who will make their lives complete. C'mon, who doesn't love a good love story? Even the biggest bad ass macho testosterone driven man, loves love. They might not admit it, but I bet they cry too when they hear a great love story.

And tell me, who doesn't want to fall in love? Who doesn't love a happily ever after? Wouldn't it be great if we all could find that one special someone that would only belong to us?

For some of us, we haven't found it yet. And that's why we read about it. To keep that hope alive. That's what those books represent to me...finding love. There's nothing like that feeling in the whole world. It drowns out the sound of the rain, makes you lose ten pounds without even trying, even brightens your smile. The searching, the longing, the sharing, the first look, the first kiss. Do you remember your first kiss? Do you remember the first time you fell in love?

Love conquers all.

Love has integrity.

That's why I write about it.

What's not to like about love?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Swing and a Miss

Good Monday morning everyone. I hope you were fruitful and multiplied your word counts this weekend.

I hit a snag Friday lunchtime when I opened the mailbox and found to my horror the last partial requested, returned. I went to the kitchen with shaking hands, hoping, praying and I only found a form rejection. I was pissed, I was hurt, but I had to shake it off because Monster Baby was having a play date and I was looking forward to the 'Mommy Talk' time. It was a great afternoon because they stayed until six pm and I didn't have to THINK about the rejection. I discussed it with her but as she's not a writer, she only said she was sorry and we moved on to other conversation.

Later that night when I checked the comments from my blog post I found a friend whom I've neglected these last few weeks. Not intentional, but she's writing and doing some great stuff so I haven't wanted to bother her, but with the rejection I knew she was the person who I needed to tell. So I wrote her a long letter and she responded with the most wonderful letter back and put it all into perspective for me. Agents don't usually give feedback on partials. I kinda' sorta' knew that, but not, you know. I mean, I'm sure some of them do, but not any that I've been sending to. And that's what's been eating at my craw. How do I know what I'm doing wrong with my book? And my lovely dear sweet friend said, "There's nothing wrong with your book. You're a strong writer, you know the rules for grammar and composition, your plot and dialogue are fully developed. It's just the market right now." She then told me about a friend of hers who's been writing for ten years and finally got picked up this last spring.

That's really scary to me that I might have to keep doing this for the next decade without a bite but I know I can't give up. As you saw in Friday's post, there's nothing like writing in the whole world. So, onward.

Over the weekend I received an award, I've also been hoarding two or three more from week's past. I'm getting bad with these things. They are so appreciated and I am so honored to get them. I promise this weekend, I'll post them all.

I also got a letter in my in-box on Saturday morning that completely took me by HUGE surprise. It was completely unexpected and really kind of funny -- you know how you just put stuff out there and forget about it and then when you least expect it, it reappears. Kind of like a query but not. Anyway, in a few days/weeks I'll be able to share it with you. I'm still kind of overwhelmed by it, because quite honestly I keep thinking, "Little old me? You want my little old piece of writing?" So that's something good to take the sting out of the rejection. And maybe, just maybe, one of these agents will take me seriously after they see it. (I know, I bet you're just dying to know what it is. I honestly can't tell you yet. But when I can, you'll be the first to hear.)

I also got down and dirty with my funky old manuscript. I started writing and ended up with another 2500 words. It's not as much as I'd like, and it's really really bad writing but I don't care. I wrote three new scenes but not. I just kind of fleshed out the dialogue, wrote out a love scene, and another scene with the dog. (Yes, there is a dog, and no he doesn't die.) I don't even know what to call that kind of writing. It's not a first draft, there's so much missing, but it's more than an outline. Notes? But more than that.

Also, I finally got to go to B&N. I received two gift cards at Christmas and finally had enough free time to get there (half hour drive) so Monster Baby and I left first thing Friday morning before it got too hot. I haven't been in B&N in so long. It's just like church. (Haven't been there in a long time either.) All those book cases, the smell of brand new books, 50% off stickers. I was in heaven. I bought Stephen King's ON WRITING, a horse book for MB and Writer's Digest magazine. I forgot how expensive new books are. I wanted to get Donald Maass' book too but didn't have enough.

We then traversed across more of the city to the used book store (don't hate me) and I found -- you'll never believe because I really can't believe it either -- the book I have been wanting to buy for 10 years, which I did buy before we moved but then I lost it in the move. Well, as I was brushing my teeth that morning, I said to myself, "If by any half a shot, they have that book for $5- I'm going to buy it." (Because they never have that book. Nobody ever has that book.) I went to the section and almost peed in my pants when I saw it. I squeed in the store and MB came running over. She thought I hurt myself. It was $5.10. I checked my pocket and found $17-. Movies for her, more books for me, and McD's for lunch. Yay!

So that was my exciting weekend. I'm thinking my Wednesday posts will be excerpts --WiP Wednesday's -- or something like that. And Friday's will be the Grille as usual. (Thanks Davin, that made my day!) I hope your weekend was productive and your week will be even more. Write on everyone!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday's at the Piedmont Grille

You know, everytime I look at that title I feel like I should be gearing up at the restaurant for lunch. So I think on today's menu, I want Mexican, but hold the guacamole for me.

I want to say Thank You and Welcome to all my new friends. Ready -- Jackee, Am-swan, Elisa, John, Valerie, L'Aussie, Jaydee, Angela, Doris, Ed, Laughing Wolf, Alex, Linda, Kelley, Sandy, Cheree, Stay-at-home-mom, Wendy, Annie B., Francine and Les! Whew! Okay, I've always got a pot of coffee on, and there's a buffet set up in the dining room if you're hungry. The pool is now open but bathing suits are required. Monster Baby is only five and I don't want to have to explain to her what 'jiggly parts' are, if you know what I mean. (And if I've forgotten anyone, please let me know, I have new glasses and are still getting used to them -- bifocals argh!)

And hey, I hit 151 followers! That's an accomplishment! I'm thrilled and delighted beyond words to have so many people wanting to stop by to hear what I have to say. I wish I could have a contest but alas, the monetary fund is running low right now. But someday I will have the bestest, hugest, fabuloustest contest ever in the whole of blogdom. Pinkie swear!

Okay, so let's get down to business...I've been working on THE CAPTAIN'S HOUSE. First I had to remove the ugly and put in some pretty. Then I had to rewrite a couple of scenes. I've put in about 2500 new words in the last few days. Not a whole lot but not bad either, considering it's only been two actual days I've had to write. (If Monster Baby would stay in bed until at least eight a.m. I would get a whole lot more done.) I dug out my handwritten manuscript yesterday and spent last night going over it. I also found my outline.

Can you hear me laughing from your house? I am so glad I am not a newbie anymore. And please please please I meant no disrespect to any of my friends or lurkers who are newbies. It's just me. I hate to be new at anything. The thought of trying something, just once, sends me into a panic. Hence the no guacamole. I am so thankful I have written a book and am querying. I am so grateful I have received more than 68 rejections on queries and paritals. I am tickled pink I can look at an old ms. and say, "Wow, what the hell was I thinking?" I am an old hat at this game now.

I like learning how to do new things, I really do, but the thought of doing them and getting it wrong scares me. I get butterflies like it's prom night. What if I'm no good, what if it doesn't work right, what if I screw it up?

Yeah, it's called practice. Practice makes perfect. And I think I've had lots of practice with this whole writing thing now. I can edit without flinching. I can query without trembling. I can kill my darlings without batting an eye. It's great. It's hard, and it's frustrating, and time consuming and if I ever got a request for a full I'll probably have a heart attack right there on the spot, but see, now that would be a first for me. And I am scared to death! But that's just me.

So newbie's, if you're out there, don't be afraid. Grab that pen, that keyboard, that big bottle of water and peanut butter crackers and go to it. Write that book, finish it, don't be scared. Write that query, look up those agents, get your ms. spit polished til it shines -- you know why, writing is the best job anyone can ever have. Sure it sucks at times, sure you're crazy scared, sure you probably have to live on love for awhile and put off getting that new car, but you know what, there's nothing better. Nothing at all like it in the whole world!

Even when you look back someday at your very first manuscript and you say to yourself, "What the hell was I thinking?" It's a great feeling.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Clean House Clean Office Clean Slate

Well good morning gentle readers. I hope you had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend filled with fun and frolic. I'm sorry to say mine was filled with buckets of hot soapy water and rags, brooms, dust pans, vacuum cleaners and laundry baskets. It rained off and on most of the weekend and was pretty much miserable so I decided to clean the house.

I don't know if it works for you, but I can NOT sit down to a new ms. without having my house completely clean. I also straightened out the mind boggling mess on my desk and cleaned the office. Oh there's nothing to put me in a good frame of mind when everything is shiny clean.

So, I started working on the old ms. THE CAPTAIN'S HOUSE. OH. MY. GOD. I hate to toot my own horn, but I have come a L-O-N-G way since starting that four years ago. It's not bad, but boy howdy, it's not good either. The writing I mean. The plot is good, simple enough for category, the 'formula' is there, the characters are real, even the secondary ones, but the writing is weak. SO weak. I found 17 'was' in the first paragraph alone. Yikes.

Anyway, I read through the first 40k over the weekend (in between cleaning) and decided I couldn't do anything further with it until I cleaned it up considerably. It was just too ugly to even look at. I've also made notes on the chapters to take out a few scenes that just don't move the story forward -- middle sag. (I can't believe how immature this book is.)

My inner editor is raging at my stupidness. But then again, that's how we learn isn't it?

So that's that for that. I've also been blogging around and I'm finding more and more of us are cutting back to M-W-F posts. Which I think is pretty good. Most of you have been around for as long as I have and we're all pretty much connected to the same "friends", we've all read the same posts, now I think, it's just a matter of getting back to work. We know we're not going anywhere, even if we take a break, we know we're just an e-mail away if need be. Besides, it's summer. I know my schedule is taking on a whole new reality. Up at 5 so I can get a little quiet time before Monster Baby gets up. I used to use that time to blog, but now I think I'm taking that time to write. I'll follow my blogs at night after supper now.

And speaking of which, I just want you all to know that even though I might not comment, I read you all. I adjusted my Google Reader and made folders and compiled my list so I can take up less time. Following the blogroll is just a huge time suck. Google Reader is just so much easier. So please don't feel as if I've abandoned you. I just can't do everything I want to anymore. Time is of the essence these days.

So there we are. I'm also trying Gwen's Summer Challenge. I've got to go back and put the little emblem on my blog (if Blogger will let me this time. Oh, such a bad Blogger these last few days.) I might even break down and get one of those widget things to mark my progress. I KNOW, that's so daring for me!

And for those of you who are wondering about Genna & Tony -- it's still there, just not on the front burner anymore. If I can get as much done on THE CAPTAIN'S HOUSE as I'd like, I might be persuaded to work on G&T again. There's a big scene coming up the night of the 4th of July party but I have to let it stew for awhile. I've got two options for Genna that night -- Pete or Tony -- I'm just not sure what she wants to do yet. She hasn't told me.

So, that's it from my little corner of the blogosphere. I hope you are all having productive weeks and writing your little fingers to the bone. I'll see you Friday at the Piedmont Grille.