Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sloppy Writing

Sloppy writing detracts from the story. That's a given. I have a real problem with four little words. Just. Had. That. Get.
"Just" and "that" are essentially useless. If you read back through the story, most times these two words can simply be deleted.
"Had" will sometimes add to the story. But seldom. This is another word which is a red flag for me.
When I self-edit, these are the things I've noticed more and more.
I try to tighten up my story piece by piece.
"Get" is a real pain in the rear.
"I don't get you!" Use instead: "I don't understand you!"
"Get your rear in gear" Use "Put your rear in gear."
"I need to get some groceries" Use "I need to buy some groceries."

The word "get" simply irritates me. It's lazy and sloppy. You can use so many other words instead. But when I'm in a hurry, and writing the first draft, "get" is my bud. Second read yields me banging my head on the keyboard in frustration and using my handy dandy dictionary and thesaurus.

Another problem...ADVERBS. *insert "Psycho" shower theme music*

"I don't care," he said slowly. ARGH! How's about--"I don't care," he drawled.
"No!" she said angrily. ----- "No!" she spat.
I'm bad about this one, too. I want so badly to convey mood and emotion in conversation, but there are better ways.
I'm going to do an exercise this weekend and list some conversation indicators. *snickering* I love when I make up terms.
Instead of ADVERB world, I will list verbs which retain the smooth flow of conversation. I will post these above my computer. And I will use them.

"I had to just type that, didn't I?" I suddenly grinned.

I have my work cut out for me. :)~~


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Just Curious

Music. I love it. All of it.

Which is your favorite? What music can you absolutely NOT stand, and why?

I've got everything from Johnny Cash to the Black Eyed Peas on my media player. Big 'n' Rich. Bowling for Soup. Ozzy Osbourne. Disney Soundtracks. Celtic Songs. Warrant. Otis Redding. Everclear. Heart. Fat Joe. Jethro Tull. Harry Connick Jr. The Outfield. Del Shannon. Toby Keith. Def Leppard.


Bloggers Anonymous

I attempted to log onto Blogger this morning to no avail. A lovely screen came up and said, "We're sorry. We have contacted engineers to fix this problem."
I started to twitch. MUST. BLOG.
(I'm hoping this doesn't stem from my "Blogger Sucketh" post.)
I didn't think I would get into blogging this much. But I enjoy it. It's a lovely outlet for whatever I'm thinking about at the time. It's a good record of where my manuscripts are progressing. Rather a timeline of my life and thoughts. There are times I have to STOP myself from blogging.
Wonder if there's a BA? Bloggers Anonymous. Sign me up. I'll post about it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

400 words

400 words to go before I hit the big 3000. WOO! I probably would already have them except I'm having this odd French toast craving. Therefore, some things must be sacrificed. I guess the pork raman didn't do the trick.
Listening to Toby Keith right now. Wow...worked my way right down the media menu. Cool.
I'm considering staying up tomorrow and having a little repeat of writing. I HOPE.

Coming up for air to scream

I've had enough of it. "What?" you ask.
Division of the Romance genre.
Am I the Rodney King of the genre? Mebbe.
Am I going to say those words? NO
But you know what they are. Don't you? DON'T YOU?!?!?
There are half a dozen places right now that I visit where Romance Authors are up in arms. Over sex. Or lack thereof. Or whatever.
Pick. Pick. Pick.
What in the blazes is WRONG with us? Is denigrating another subgenre going to make anything better? Are you kidding me?
There's talk of PC categories for romance contests. I am saddened by the whole affair. This makes absolutely no sense. Don't we get enough flack without picking EACH OTHER apart. I would think so.
I'll summarize what I put on the comment section of a post.
If judges cannot objectively JUDGE, then recuse themselves. (On a sidebar, I watch WAY too much Law & Order. ALL of them)
Stick together, authors. Stick together.

Update #2 11:49 AM

I've reached 37,500 words. Of course, there has been a price to pay. I just now brushed my hair. *snickering*
Folks, I don't need a Glamour Shot. I need the whole damn cartridge. I'm on my um... nth glass of Diet Pepsi. I've just sucked down a bowl of pork raman so as to not interfere with my purpose right now. I was going to go for Easter candy but thought better of it.
I only have 1,000 more words to write and roughly 3 hours before the chickens arrive.
Most excellent.
I probably won't have the chance to write or blog Friday. It really depends. I'm going to be BUSY! Thank GOD there are three paychecks in April.
I'm on Meatloaf on my Media Player. I think I started with Destiny's Child this morning. I vaguely remember Dolly Parton and Heart. WOOHOO!
Rock on!
On a snarky sidenote: Those blogs I usually leave comments on, I'VE TRIED! Blogger is having ISSUES today. I'll try again later. MUST COMMENT! Kel, Bloggy, Swampy, I'm coming!

Update #1 9:17 AM

I've written 1300 words in about an hour. From 35500 to 36800. I'm feeling pretty sassy. That may fade when I've come out of my caffeine coma, but one can always hope for the best.


It's early, and I'm hopped-up on Diet Pepsi. That's my disclaimer.

My cover artist, Jinger Heaston, is in the hospital with pneumonia. Let's keep her in our thoughts.

I have insomnia. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated. Those involving liquor will be tried before the others. *grinning*

I don't feel half bad for four hours sleep. This, in itself, scares the bejeezus out of me.

Instead of going back to sleep for a couple of hours, I decided to be productive. Jury is still out.

Will work on "The Portrait" today. Anything else will be above and beyond the call of duty. I'd like to bang out 3,000 words or so. Then, God willing, I'll move to an outline on one of two manuscripts.

More later.

Monday, March 28, 2005

It happened one night

Okay. I give. It happened last night. Another story idea. SIGH
I didn't fall asleep until two o'clock, give or take. But I have a question.
My hero is not really an Alpha male. This translates into the cock of the walk, rich, he-man type individual. My guy is mellower. He sees the world through different eyes. Here be the dilemma. I don't want him to be a weiner. Pretty simple, huh?
I think a man can be strong without flooding the room with testosterone. I think he can be supportive without being a wimp. Am I wrong? I don't think so. But there is a technique to this. Too far one way, and he is construed as an ass. Too far the other, and he is simp.
Balance. I need balance. He and I must talk some more. Because Claire just doesn't realize what a catch he'll be. Yet.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Ya think?

ROMANCE! - Love, sweet and tender, aggressive and
compelling. You have a story of romance burning
in your heart. Happily Ever After is a given,
but you will tear their hearts asunder before
your Hero and Heroine gain True Love's embrace.
Nora Roberts and Jane Austin are your guides.

What Kind of Novel Should I Write?
brought to you by Quizilla

Cover art--new book

My wonderful cover artist, Jinger Heaston, has already come up with two designs for my book due out in February 2006. She's also changed her site to the following address: if you would like to check out her covers or art work. She is amazing!
I'm so excited! Now is the hard part. Choosing what works and what doesn't. I asked Pumpkin, my psychotic orange tabby who is a subcharacter, but all I received in return was a blank stare. She's unimpressed. I'm sure she'll want her share of the profits in tuna, but she's not having anything to do with it until then. Mercenary feline.
I'll keep you posted!

Where is the love?

Well. A fine "how do you do." I woke up this morning not to cheery children and happy campers. I woke up to a test. A HAND WRITING analysis. Seems the chickens wanted the Easter Bunny's autograph. And his "Y" looks a hell of a lot like mine.
So, I had to bring out a piece of paper and sign the Easter Bunny's name. And the children once again accept. Our "E" doesn't look anything alike. *grinning*
But here's the deal...can you believe this? Talk about analytical. I must have been the most naive child known to man. Easter Bunny? Sure. Tooth Fairy? Rock on. Santa Claus? Hohoho.
Oh. And speaking of the Tooth Fairy...she had to make a trip here last night for TWO of the chickens. Are you getting a good idea of the night I had?
There were creatures all OVER the house. And of course, they couldn't visit until the chickens were fast asleep. *yawning*
I'm torn on the writing ideal today. Should I chance it? Should I start? Invest my time? Don't know. I want to. But then again, the chickens still have one egg to find and they're loaded with chocolate and sugar. Apparently, they have no self-control either. The baskets have been pillaged and torn asunder. Easter grass litters the living room table. Tomorrow's Monday, right?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

She shoots, she scores!

"I love it when a plan comes together." Apologies to Hannibal off the A-Team, but this is so fitting.
I wrote over 2,000 words today. And I feel gooooooooood. Yes. All those O's. Believe me.
Maybe I should book it down to Wal-Mart and buy some more eggs and kits. *snickering* Hey! Whatever it takes.
I'm not looking forward to tomorrow. I'm sure the Easter Bunny will be bringing loads of sugar and chocolate. He's always good for that. The chickens will be hyped. But then it will be MONDAY! WOOHOO! I can make it. I can make it. Oh God, please let me make it.
Happy Easter to all!

A diabolical plot

Since yesterday was a washout with writing...I've come up with a stellar idea of how to avoid that cluster today.
I have eggs, my friends.
There are 150 eggs in my refrigerator as I type this. This is NOT a typo. One hundred and fifty eggs. These are the little oval keys to my literary freedom.
I will fill the cups with dye and set the eggs on the table. And then I will rush back to my computer and type incessantly.
*cackling madly and rubbing hands together*
They cannot stop until their hands are coated with dye from fingertip to elbow. I will wave a dipper around and threaten them with the Easter Bunny. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA
They will color until their hands cramp, and their eyes blur. *blinking*
Um...okay. First I have to boil them. And then, let the games begin.
Operation Freedom has started.

Friday, March 25, 2005

A poem--born in frustration

Oh yes I tried to write today
the words caressed my brain
I sat in front of my computer
and then heard this refrain

mama mama mama mama
my eyes began to water
I need your help I need this now
says the first, second, and third daughter

what? I asked wearily
I've done everything I'm able
come fix this come fix that
we need a cleaned-off table

I stumbled to the living room
and tried to help them all
I made it back to the computer
and then another call

there's nothing to do I'm bored I'm bored
find us something to do
we can't play outside there's nothing inside
everything's old we need something new

children! I plead I'm losing my patience
you're old enough to look for some games
THAT didn't all goes downhill
and then I hear calling of names

forget about writing
that's just a dream today
I typed out four words
and then lost track of what to say

there was yelling and frustration and tears, oh yes a few
I'm not talking about the children, my friend, I'm referring
to you-know-who

Everything old is new again

I logged-on today, and what did I see? An ad for Nicole Kidman playing "Samantha" on "Bewitched". How did that make me feel? Slightly ill, honestly.
I'm sick of the unoriginality (is that a word?) of it. I can't think of anything new, so let me recycle a classic and make some money. *shuddering*
What is WRONG with you people? Unless you have Elizabeth Montgomery twitching her can forget me as a viewer.
Many classics have been redone, remade, revamped, regurgitated. "Cheaper by the Dozen." Better the first time. "An Affair to Remember." Warren Beatty...Cary Grant, you're NOT! The only highlight of that movie was seeing Kate Hepburn. God bless her.
Sure, we pine for the "good ol' days." Who doesn't?
I saw a snippet of an interview with Ashton Kutcher. He's Demi Moore's boytoy. I'm not knocking her a bit. I'm actually thinking "Rock on!" Anyway...he told the interview that he loved to watch Kirk Cameron when he was very young.
OMG (jaw hitting the floor) "Growing Pains." I loved that show. Has it been that long? Couldn't be. (checking calendar...using calculator...passing out)

Don't mess with a classic. Nickolodeon had the brilliant idea of showing the old television shows the way they were intended to be viewed. My kids can enjoy shows from the seventies and eighties I watched. That, to me, is cool. Jacking with a classic, ain't.
If I ever turn on the television and see Hillary Duff on a revamped version of "Eight is Enough," I'm going to need medical attention.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

South Park makes a funny

South Park is one of my guilty pleasures. The rest will keep me in posts for years, I suspect.
When I first heard about South Park, I was appalled. These four foul-mouthed little children made Bart Simpson look like a choir boy. They shot out racial epithets and curse words like an obscene oral machine gun. The only thing going for it was that it was an equal-opportunity insulter. The show doesn't care who or what you are, they'll make fun of you. I wanted nothing to do with it or them.
That was then.
I tuned into South Park about two months ago. Luckily, I caught an episode that was entertaining. I'm batting about .500 here. Half the time I don't want the episode to end, and the other half leaves me looking at my clock, knowing that I've spent thirty minutes of my life I'll never get back.
Last night there were two episodes. One was okay. It was from 1999. It involved two men in a hot tub. Enough said.
The NEW episode involved agents. A boy at school won the chance to sing at a pagent for $200 bucks. This made all the other children jealous. Our four anti-heroes decided to get a piece of that. Thus, they became agents. Let the good times began.
They were entitled to ten percent. Insert dollar signs in their eyes. All the boy had to do was "Work the job, find new work, make money" and the rest was up to the agents.
I laughed. Long and hard.
They lost the boy to a "real" agent, who in the end, left the boy waiting tables working his way back home.
Our four anti-heroes were down on their luck when another client came to them. She was a Chinese woman named Wing. (She didn't speak English, but she could sing ABBA. ABBA is a band from the seventies. Think "Dancing Queen." Man, that stuff is classic.) Anyway...the boys weren't going to take her until her husband assured them she already had a gig and it paid ten thousand dollars. More dollar signs for the boys.
The only problem was that the Chinese Mafia was after her also. They kidnapped her, and the following five minutes of the show were hilarious.
The boys thought NEVER AGAIN would they lose a client to another agent (Chinese Mafia). Gunfire ensued. Then came the moral and music part. You know, when action stops and a character realizes the error of their ways with the piano playing in the background.
They shouldn't treat this woman like a commodity. She has feelings. She's not just a piece of property. Being an agent made them feel dirty. They utterly lost sight of their humanity and hers.
I was grinning.

Now. Before undies are in knots, know this. I realize there are good agents out there. I'm envious of the writers who have them. But I also have seen P & E listings. Writer Beware. Websites of the like. These bottom feeder agents see dollar signs, NOT the person. This South Park was clever and cutting. Who else could draw a parallel between agents and the Chinese Mafia? I suppose I could find a few writers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Back to the business of writing


I love being in the groove. I fell asleep to the lovely thoughts of my manuscripts. "The Portrait" is finished in my mind. I had an epiphany (bear with me. I love this word and hardly ever have a chance to use it. hehehe) with "Unfinished Business." Something that will give Lucky more conflict. *rubbing hands together*
I have let myself slip into the mode of writing when the mood strikes. I've, unfortunately, gotten out of the habit of working eight hours a day on it. That is my resolution from now on. I will work on the writing at least six hours a day. That will yield satisfactory results. Or I will go mad. *shrug* Either way.

And guess what? The chickens informed me that from now until the end of school...they will only go FOUR days a week. Can you feel my blood pressure rise through the screen? Because I'm pretty sure it is. Four days a week. *shaking head* I'm going to need to color my hair again.

Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful here. Seventy-six degrees. Sunny. I'm going to mow the massive lawn and cast a line. I'll type on the manuscripts this weekend when the skies are cloudy all day and the children are sucked up into their gameboys.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Quite an honor

The first tornado of the year in this state was ten miles away from my house. I refuse to share this with the baby chicken as I'm sure she would have the realtor on speed-dial. I can hear the digusted tone now. It was threatening to rain last night, and she slept with the flashlight. She was mad at the principal of the school for ushering them to the safe room under false pretenses.
"She told us we were going to look at the room. THEN...when we got there...she said we were under a tornado warning." I kept my snickering to myself.
The baby chicken is a forty-year old in a nine year-old's body. Skip the frills and silliness. That girl is all business.
She tore a hole in her favorite pants the other day at the school gym. I received the phone call around noon. This is how it went.
B: Mama. I ripped my pants in the gym on something. I need new pants.
M: Okay. What happened?
B: I don't know. But I am not happy. These were my favorite pants.
M: Sorry, sugar. Okay. I'm in your room. Where are the pants you want?
B: In the closet. We've all been doing our jobs and hanging up our clothes.
M: Ummm...what are these clothes on the floor for?
B: I don't have enough hangers.
M: I'm not seeing anything here.
B: Check the blue laundry basket. That's where the clothes are waiting to be hung up.
M: Ok. I found some. Good thing you called now. I'll just throw on a bra and a top and bring these to you.
B: You're naked?
At this point in time, I didn't want to know where she was calling from, or who was in the room with her.
M: Um...half.
B: (Giggling) I'll be waiting for you.
M: Ok.
When baby chicken is unhappy, she is "not pleased." When she thinks someone is clueless, they "don't have a concept." She's easily bored. She's ambidextrous. And she's lots of fun. I pity the fool that tangles with her.

School Shootings

This is the stuff of parent's nightmares.

Minnesota is a state in mourning after a teenage boy killed his grandparents and opened fire on his school. This boy killed nine people and then himself.

I don't care who you are or where you live. This affects you. You have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He blew past the guard, whom he killed, and the metal detectors. And then he made his way to students who didn't know it was the last minutes of their life. A student overheard him ask another student if he believed in God, right before he shot him. This resonates of Columbine. The same question was asked of a female victim before she was shot point-blank.

How do we insulate our children from these acts of violence?
We can't.

I pulled my children out of school 9/11. I was at work and had their Grandmother pick them up. The fear I felt was palpable. I didn't care if I died, but I would protect my children at all costs. But I can't go to school with them everyday.
I tell my children to be nice to others. They don't bully. They're pleasant. They will actually go out of their way to help somebody. All of them will. The middle chicken found a wallet with money in it a couple of years ago. She turned it in. That is all too rare nowadays. They will hold the door open for an elderly person or someone who has their hands full. My baby has an "adopt a child" program going on at McDonald's. She'll find a small child and play with them the entire time so the parent won't have to chase them around or climb into the tubes.

It's the age of children raising themselves and having blurred vision about what's right and wrong.
They stumble onto a website that promises purpose and acceptance. And hate. Violence. And venom spewed from every word. These are the gangs of the Cyber Age.
These are still children. Seventeen years-old is still a child. Their minds are malleable, and if their heads are filled with hate, then hate will come forth. And so will violence and bullets.
Have you ever seen children left to their own devices? Some will do as they are told. Others will deviate and see how far they can push. If there is no boundary, EVER, then they will push until they snap.

I know that parents cannot be with their children 24/7. I realize that in today's world of split homes and rising costs, parent's must work their ass off to even make a home for a child. Single parents are putting in more hours for their children to have things. But I absolutely think that time is the most precious commodity we give our children.

A child, repeatedly left to his/her own devices, will push. No boundary for a child will mean destruction. Their emptiness will be filled with violence and hate. And a weapon will find its way into their hands. It's the only control they think they have.

Nine people and a seventeen year-old boy dead.

This is the stuff of parent's nightmares.


Monday, March 21, 2005

Moving right along

I received an e-mail from my cover artist about ten minutes ago. Jinger Heaston did the cover art for my first book, and now will also be doing the second. I cannot wait!
She's excited. I'm excited. It's hilarious. Her e-mail subject line had exclamation points all the way across. *grinning*
Check out her works. The link is Her work is excellent, and I'm very proud she will be doing more of my cover art.
I know that some e-pub authors are not pleased with their covers, but I'm certainly not one of them.
I worked on "The Portrait" today. And I've outlined several plot points on my next Suspense/Thriller. Not a bad day at all.

Storm Story 2

I love watching a storm, and here, I have plenty of chances.
Last Spring it was tearing it up outside. It usually moseys in from the west and two-steps to the east. *snickering at self. I live in a hayfield, remember?)
Chickens came home from school. And you could tell it was going to be a good one. So we get all of our stuff done and wait. We hear a rumble of thunder. I do the whole counting seconds between thunder and lightning. Quite a ways away. More thunder and perhaps half an hour later, I still think the storm is more towards the city.
We step out on the porch. The wind is whipping, and I am reveling in it. If I were an element, it would be wind. I don't need quizzila to tell me that. *laughing* We're watching the storm to the south. It's lightning and thundering. We're all chatting and enjoying the show.
BAM! Lightning strikes a pole up on the hill (less than two miles from where we're standing) It's followed by a roll of thunder that literally shook the foundation of my house. If someone were to take those electric paddles to my chest and give this ol' ticker a zot...I'm convinced that it would feel the same.
We were lucky to keep our shoes on. Kids shriek. I scream. And then complete chaos broke loose. I'm thankful the screen door opened, or we would have had to replace it. I'm certain they would have gone THROUGH it.
And I (heart racing 140 mph) calmly say, "I think we'll watch the rest of the storm from inside."
And my oldest looks at me and says, "You think?"

Stormy Weather

I live in Tornado Alley. It's Spring. What did it do last night?
Well. Let's see.
It rearranged my yard. I just THOUGHT I wanted the kid's bikes in the back. It knocked out the electricity. This woke-up the baby who, God bless her, was NOT pleased. I was just waiting, of course.
Me: Hearing tiny taps of tootsies across the kitchen floor.
Baby: Mama?
Me (wearily): Yes?
B: The electricity is out.
M: I know, hon.
B: I can't sleep.
M: I know hon.
Silence for two minutes
B: What do you want me to do?
I hear the oldest chicken up also.
Oldest: Mom. Electricity's out.
M: Yes. What would you like me to do? (pause) Go grab the flashlight.
(Shuffling of children in darkness. Squeak of hall drawer. Giggles.
I stumble out of bed and to the front door so I can take a look. Two chickens hot on my heels. I check on other chickens. All is well. I look at my two stormwatchers and grin.)
M: Ok. Baby. What do you want to do?
B: I'll be fine if I take the flashlight.
M: Rock on.
(I turn to oldest) And you?
O: I'm fine. (shrugging) I just don't want to miss my alarm.
M: Don't worry about it. I'll make sure you get to school. Everybody in bed.
More shuffling and giggling.
M: Goodnight babies.
O & B: Goodnight Mama.
Last night was the first real storm of the season. I need more batteries.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Don't give numbers to a person with OCD

OCD=Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder
Think "Monk" on USA network.

I have OCD. Not to the point of letting it run my life, such as Adrian Monk. But I have OCD with several things. I lock and relock doors. I constantly check my alarm clock to see if it's set. I like to touch things. If I'm shopping in Wal-Mart, I have to touch almost everything I see. Not so much the food. But everything else. The fabrics. I just want to touch.
Labels must be facing out. I like things even. And if not even, then symmetrical. This is not with everything though. Let me pop a little disclaimer on here. *grins* There are just SOME things that must be the way I put them. And I like things grouped together. *humming "One of these things is not like the other" from Sesame Street*
And numbers? Oh GOD! I love numbers. But... it can be a little out-of-control. I used to have to do something FOUR times before I was convinced I was done. It was my magic number. I also like 7.
I hate math, so this is all ironic.
Numbers. I have a site meter on this blog. And I love it. It lets me see that people have dropped by to visit and whatnot. I like it. But I constantly want to jack with it. I am waiting expectantly for the day my book will come out. And then there will REALLY be numbers. *shuddering in anticipation* I might need medication. *laughing*
I've gotten better. Or so I thought. If I really look at a locked door, I mean STUDY it, I won't go back three times and check it. I'm trying to imprint it on my brain. I mentally tell myself it's locked. And I won't go back.
But this constant changing of numbers? Oh man... the agony and the ecstasy.


I'm manic. I told you that, right?
Right now I'm wound tight and stretched thin. Almost see-through. I have approximately 35 things on my mind right now. And they are all high-stress. I have worries about my books which are contracted. I have worries about my manuscripts in progress. Not enough paycheck at the end of the week. The chickens are driving me stupid. Why are they always louder INSIDE than outside? I have yet to figure that one out. When I wake up in the morning, it's not with that rested "I just slept" feeling. Nope. I wake up tireder than when I went to bed. This seems rather twisted.
Do you ever just PRAY for a padded cell? You know...a quiet place. Soundproof. Comfy. Sans the straitjacket.
I read a blog entry about Mama guilt. And I couldn't agree more. We let the guilt run our lives because we can't be everywhere, doing everything, for everyone.
I think this is part of my problem. I've become one huge ball of taking care of others. I haven't truly relaxed in I don't know how long.
I'm working non-stop on the internet to find avenues for revenue for my books. I try to keep up with my e-mails. I'm searching for Agents and Publishers and whatnot. And I've become lost. Not the good kind. Not the "I'm enjoying the sunshine" lost. Nope. The other kind. I think I just let myself slip through the cracks.
I need to refocus. I've been making myself stick to a certain schedule as far as what I'm writing. I believe I'll just go with the flow and check that out for awhile. If another story comes easier, then I believe I'll just type on that one. I'll go WITH THE GRAIN. I've been going against it, and I'm nothing but bruised. I'm a big believer in knowing myself and what I'm capable of accomplishing. Different strokes. Now I just need to find my rhythm again.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

It's the small things

I am a dork. I'm just putting that out there first for obvious reasons. Those will become apparent in a minute.

My blog link is on Let me tell you I almost came out of my chair when I saw my name on the left-hand side under author blogs. I'm still excited. Do you see the columnists on the left? I read their work. I love their work. I am ON THE SAME PAGE as these people.
Told you I was a dork.
One of my favorite things to do is to meet new writers and trade links and such. To me, it's reaching out and connecting with people like myself. Having been alone in my little literary world for SO long has obviously left its mark. No one around here writes. My only outlet is through the computer. And now I have LINKS! *snickering at myself*
Small things.
There is a camaraderie that I receive on-line that had been previously missing from my life. I'm meeting the most fascinating people. I have an outlet for my work. I have people reading my words. And I'm loving every minute of it.


Let me just assure everyone that when I can shuffle the chickens back to school, I will resume posts about writing and such. The voices in my head are screaming (Gee, isn't it amazing that writers can get away with saying that?), and I'm ready to let them have at. But until then...
I embarrass my children. And I enjoy it. I was shopping at Wal-Mart the other day with the middle chicken. And I'm humming. And I'm doing a little dance. Because there is a neverending soundtrack of music in my head. I saw her shoot me a quick glance. But she didn't say a word. I went back to jamming. Two aisles later she sidles up to me and whispers: "Mom. You're embarrassing me."
I looked at her and replied: "Honey. It's only going to get worse."
I'm in my early thirties. And there are times I still act like I'm a teenager. When the kids rode to the pizza place in a limo for their reading prize, I went too. I flashed the peace sign. (I dont' know WHERE this came from, but it's a habit now) And one of the fifth-graders looked at me and said, "Were you alive when they were doing that?"
I rolled.
I remember being in fifth grade. Heck, I remember kindergarten. I can name every teacher I had in elementary school and most of them in my later years. Considering I had at least six a year, I think that's excellent.
My point being...I still feel young. When an eighties song comes on in the van, Heaven help the chickens. Because I rock out. The head bangs, and I act like an utter fool. For a minute I'm swept back in time to a place that was carefree and less complicated. And I love it.
So if you see a crazy woman, singing her own tune, doing a little shuffle, SMILE. She's exactly where she wants to be.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Finally Friday

Oh Good Lord! I thought this day would never come. Kids go back to school in TWO DAYS. The first half of Spring Break was fine. People were getting along. Manners were used. Life was good.
Then came Wednesday. Let's see. There were barbie-tossing issues. Throwing toys. Yelling. Rudeness. And so on and so forth. And it was UGLY outside, so I kept the kids inside. That turned ugly, too. *grins*
And work on "The Portrait"? Not bloody likely. I did type out my turning point, which I am pleased with. I think I'm right around 30,000 words. I've been mentally working on "Virtually Impossible" and "In Pieces." "Virtually Impossible" is the sequel to my first book coming out. "In Pieces" is the second in a series for which I'm agent searching. It's the Suspense/Thriller.
Last night, as I was drifting into subconsciousness, I came up with the motivation for my murderer in "In Pieces." Too bad I can't type in my sleep. *laughing*
I went fishing today. Drowned some worms and tortured some minnows. I caught a bass about the size of an inchworm. LMAO

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Writing with distractions

I love my children.

I love my writing.

But for some perverse reason, these two can never mix. NEVER. At least not yet. The chickens are fairly self-sufficient. I say "make a sandwich," and lo and behold, a sandwich is made. I say "clean your room," and lo and behold, a room is cleaned. Relatively.
But my writing calls for my complete attention. I can't just look at the blank screen and say, "Write a novel. A brilliant novel. A novel that will capture readers with its wit and warmth." Nope. Tried that. *grinning*
I must baby my writing. Coddle it. I draw the line at cooing, but you get my drift.
At times, it is rather like another sibling in my house. A sibling which is demanding and egocentric. ME ME ME
And the chickens resent this. Who is this unseen force which drives their Mother stupid without half-trying and consumes almost her every waking moment?
They don't think I have a job. Seriously. They think I sit and chat on the computer and probably think I would do my nails here if I could get away with it. I can't explain to them yet that my writing IS consuming because it is the thing I wish most to do.
I don't neglect my chickens, don't get me wrong. Anyone who has read my blog realizes I volunteer at the school and such. We do homework. We chat. I know what's going on in their lives. I know who they like. I know their grades.
But they don't realize yet what I do. The mature content of my books (romance) is not suitable for their pre-teen selves. My 10 year-old asked when she could read my work. "Sixteen," I said. "At least."
I have no doubt the day will come when they will realize I've done more than sit on my butt and type e-mails.
They will look at the other works of art I've had a part in making and smile. And they'll realize that even though I spent time creating a book, I take the most pride in part of their creation. My living masterpieces. My mouthy masterpieces, sometimes. But I digress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Getting lost

I'm going to get lost for a day. I don't mean my normal lost. You know, the lost I was for half an hour earlier when I tried to download Yahoo Messenger. I mean the good kind of lost.
I don't get lost nearly enough. I'm on the road. On the track. Deadlines in my mind. That mental list I have that's three miles long. Call this person. E-mail that person. Type on manuscript(s). Check e-mail. Set-up interviews and reviews. Write blog. That's the business side of my day.
Then there's dishes, dinner, animals to feed, laundry, bed-making, cleaning, and whatnot. Whatnot being the four million things we do each day that need to be done.

I need to get lost. I need to take the road that ventures into the unknown. I think I'll take I-40 East for about an hour or so. Honestly, I haven't the faintest where that leads. I refuse to look at the map. I'll meander around town. See what's going on with the locals. Perhaps grab a bite to eat. Check out a flea market or garage sale. And I will breathe. I'm pretty sure I always breathe. Here I am, coherent (mostly) at my computer typing this. But I mean BREATHE. Not the shallow "I need to get my butt in gear and make dinner" breathing. The deep kind. The breath that fills your lungs and takes an eon to exhale.
I'll take the chickens, of course. They need to breathe, too. And we'll wander at will and take in the sunshine. I don't know where I'll end up, and honestly, it doesn't really matter. Just the fact that I'm lost will be satisfaction enough.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Snobbery amongst authors

I'm livid. A problem has cropped up on one of the few lists I'm on. A snobbery problem, if you will. An author has repeatedly bashed another author for writing "erotica." Author A (the opinionated, small-minded witch) took Author B (the erotica writer) to task in front of the whole list. E-mails were pushed back and forth on the list. The Moderator (God Bless Her) has put out three warnings now. The final one was tonight.
I could not BELIEVE the audacity of Author A. She said that "erotica" is not art. It's nowhere near the class of literature she supposedly writes. "Erotica" is porn. She claims that authors can use whatever euphemism they want. She was denigrating an entire sub-genre. I don't write erotica, but I refuse to treat another author with such disrespect.
I read the e-mails back and forth, but when she posted an e-mail this evening telling this Author B that her efforts were trash, I was done. I fired off an e-mail to her (off-list) explaining that people like her have no place in the writing industry. She is small-minded, petty, and vicious. I let her have it with both barrels. And then I blocked her e-mail. LMAO
Tolerance, people. Tolerance.

Hierarchy of Publishing

I've thought a lot about this for the past week. Any author worth their salt needs an agent. Only the elite authors will be published in New York. You can't have an agent unless you've published. You won't publish unless you have an agent. The "Big" houses won't accept unagented anything.
This is all ridiculous.
An author who writes for prestige and money is not a true author. A true author will write because of the joy of the words. A true author will seek out ways for their work to be seen by the readers. A true author will spend his/her own money, time, and resources to give their story a fighting chance. A true author never quits in the face of adversity. And for those of you who KNOW what I'm saying.
A true author will file those hundred or so rejection letters away and type out another query. A true author has a strong backbone and nerves of steel. And if we don't, we don't ever let it show. A true author's motto is "Never Say Die."
I have more respect for the struggling author than for the one who throws up his/her hands and says "screw it."
An author's joy is palpable. He/she holds it in her hands with an acceptance letter. He/she coddles the book with his/her name on it. Our words to the world.
There is ink in our veins and insanity in the air.
Don't EVER place yourself between an author on a bender and their writing utensils. *grinning*
So keep on writing. Write from your heart and soul. Write what you want to write. And don't ever let them get you down. Every manuscript has a home. Your job is being the realtor.

My Goals

I made this list out 10/7/03.

1. Sell first novel
2. Sell novels as occupation
3. Save money
4. Build new home, save for college educations
5. Be on Oprah
6. Meet Nora Roberts
7. Be inducted into the Romance Writers Hall of Fame
8. Be in a position to help others
9. Vacation in Ireland
10. Enjoy my life to the fullest

Pretty lofty, eh? That's why they're called goals. *grinning* I've accomplished the first. The second is a constant work in progress. I would advise everyone to make a list of goals. I have mine hung right above my computer where I work. It's the constant reminder of what I'm striving towards. I'm toying with the idea of adding an eleven because I've accomplished #1. How about landing on the NYT Bestseller list? Works for me.

Monday, March 14, 2005


The brain is a great and wondrous thing. I give it a puzzle, and it will work on it non-stop until the answer is found. Or I have a migraine. One way or the other.
I am one of those people who has the best ideas right before they go to sleep. I kid you not. I'm horizontal. Just fading into slumber. And my brain is like, "HEY! She's captive now. I've got her full attention. Here's what I've been doing all day."
I have the best story ideas. The best ideas. Period. I've taken to putting a notepad on the table beside the bed.
"The Portrait" is a Paranormal Romance. Another twist came to me last night. No kidding. And it's absolutely perfect. So, while I jam to my media player (right now Big 'n' Rich are on), I will hammer out more of "The Portrait." I believe I'm right around mid-point. I'm about to hit a major turning point.
While on the subject of writing, I'm formulating the plot to "Virtually Impossible", the second book in my "Virtual" series. There are just two of them. "Virtually Yours" comes out this October.
The chickens are behaving. My brain is motating. And Diet Pepsi is abound. Write on.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Spring Day

Busy day here in the hayfield. I mowed the lawn and the liberated pasture where we took down the fence. We had to purchase more wood for the woodstove since it is supposed to turn a little colder this week. Did a little fishing at the pond(they weren't biting much). Baked myself a tad bit. Let the chickens play in the sprinkler.
I've added several new links to my website page. The URL is
Please feel free to stop by if you haven't already.
I stayed up the other night and listened to Artist First radio. I'm booked for an interview with Jewel in October (the month of my first release). It was great fun to listen to the authors chat, and it gives me an idea of how I would like my interview to sound.
Tomorrow is cleaning day. And, judging by the rooms, probably Monday, too. *laughing* But when it's done, it's done. I'm more of a "get it done" type person anyway.
I'll be working on "The Portrait" the week of the kid's Spring Break (when I can). Part of me is wanting to jump into the next book of my Suspense series. I have the plot and title. But I believe I will stick with finishing my Paranormal romance and make notes on my Suspense.
Enjoy the weekend. And if you hear the loud groans of four children...ignore them.

More "otica" issues

tototica--literature for the toddler set
hickotica--literature for us rednecks
anglerotica--literature for the fisherperson
chickotica--literature a man avoids at all costs
menageotica--literature to share with three or more people
oscarotica--literature that is filmworthy
potterotica--literature for wizards
chocolatotica--literature that makes a girl feel good
vibratica--ditto :)~~

© 2005 Crystal Inman

Friday, March 11, 2005

I've lost a day

Yesterday was a blur. I was up early, helped out at the school, cleaned up, went back to the school, and attended Parent/Teacher conferences. By the way, the kids are highly intelligent. *grins*
I vaguely remember stumbling into bed. Likewise with getting up this morning. Today we had to run way out to my Mom's to feed the chickens (REAL ONES) and her dog. Then we rushed back home and tore down a fence. A large fence. Took down the barbed wire so the kids have a bigger yard. So on and so forth. Of course, the required trip to Wally World. I'm dog-tired. And tomorrow is MORE running around. Oh...and mowing the lawn. First mowing of the Spring. And so it begins...
We had a panic today when the weatherman referred today as a "Good Friday." OMG! Did we miss Easter? Was it one week from now? That's the fastest I've moved all day. HUSTLED to a calendar and breathed a sigh of relief. OH THANK GOD! Another paycheck between now and then. *laughing*
Kids are out for Spring Break. I'm waiting until Sunday or Monday to beat them with the cleaning stick. Serious child room cleaning is required. Believe me.
On a writing note...I've discovered several things I would like to put in my giftbasket for giveaways for my first book. "Virtually Yours" comes out this October with
I'm thinking about giving away a massage as part of the gift basket. Um...from a professional *grinning*. Gift certificates. And I want to make a basket for the kid's next bookfair. BUSY BUSY BUSY!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Third time's a charm

This is my third blog of the day! OMG! Hmm. That's me. Jonesing for my blog. *grinning*

I'm going to be busy tomorrow. The school called today and would like some help at one of the school stores. And yes, I volunteered. Good grief! You think I'd get enough of the chickens at home. Volunteering all day and parent/teacher conferences tomorrow evening. May as well put up a cot. I WILL be inhaling ibuprofen at a rapid rate of speed.

This is all making sense now. I'm blog stockpiling. Ahhhhhhh. It's all good.

The "otica" craze--My twisted take

psychotica--literature for the imbalanced
slumberotica--literature to fall asleep to
agoraotica--literature not allowed outside the house
crapotica--literature not even suitable for the bottom of the birdcage
eternotica--literature that just goes on and on and on and on
nocturnotica--literature only to be read at night
animotica--literature for the animal in your life
paranotica--literature outside the normal conventions and everyday wisdoms
publicotica--literature for everyday consumption
werotica--literature for creatures
mythotica--literature you just can't quite believe
musicotica--literature you can jam to
computerotica--literature in html
aromotica--literature that smells good
comfortotica--literature you can wallow in

More to come
©Crystal Inman 2005

My middle chicken--the bookworm

I love my chickens. My middle one reminds me of myself. Her head is always stuck in a book. She's content to submerge herself in literature. Go, baby, go! She brought me a bookmark which I absolutely love.

"For Books Are More Than Books, They Are the Life, the Very Heart and Core of Ages Past, the Reason Why Men Lived and Worked and Died, the Essence and Quintessence of Their Lives."
Amy Lowell Untitled Poem: The Boston Athenaeum


Monday, March 07, 2005


Once again, there's too much week at the end of the paycheck. Why is this? Perhaps car insurance? Life insurance? AOL insurance? Somebody is making some money here. And I mean "here" figuratively. Over $200 of this check went to some type of insurance or other. When have I had an accident? Never. When is the last time I used AAA? Months ago. But lo and behold, if I cease to pay my fee, you can bet your sweet bippy it'll happen.
I love my van. I do. It's priceless. Too bad the gas going into it is the same. It's risen over ten cents here this weekend. It's almost $2.00 a gallon! I wonder if someone would be willing to car pool. You don't have to take me to the exact building, mind you. Just get close, slow down, and I'll jump out the door.
And why do we always get nailed right before summer? *snapping fingers* Oh yes. People will be driving to their favorite vacation locales and attempting to relax. That may be difficult when we're paying more in gas than we are on the hotel room. I wonder how the kids will feel about a field trip to the local market? I think I might be able to scrounge up enough change to get us there. Maybe.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Working on the weekend

Traditionally, weekends are for rest. Relaxtion. Yada yada yada. Not this weekend. I've used several days last week to help out with the school and go on a field trip.
This weekend is for writing the complete synopsis on "A Life Unraveled." It is for working on "The Portrait." It is for digging in and not coming up for air until I've accomplished what I need to accomplish. *grinning* I love it when I get like this. LMAO
This means I will work my heiney off until I'm utterly satisfied with my writing and how it looks. I have loads of energy. Purpose. Diet Pepsi. What more could a woman want?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Early to rise

I'm awake. I've been awake since approximately 4:45 a.m. this morning. Unbelievable. I usually catch a couple of hours sleep after the chickens go to school. Not so this morning. I think it's because this is the only day I've had for over a week to myself. No running. No buying. Nothing. It's rather pleasant.
My plans for the day include: Working on "The Portrait." Sending in the art and author info for "Perfect Timing" from Whiskey Creek Press. Doing a few dishes. Hanging up some clothes. Researching more agents. I am also seriously considering submitting "A Life Unraveled" to a publisher. Just one. The rest of the submissions will still be going to agents.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Lunch at Chili's--Happy Birthday Amber!!!

Yesterday was an unexpected type of day. I rolled out of bed to find a message from my sister inviting me to lunch. We always have lunch with mom on our birthdays.
I thought that was very nice to be included, so I accepted.
First...the service was lackluster. Okay...non-existent. The food was great. Amber, being the Manager she is, let them know right away that their service left a lot to be desired. I was laughing. Watching my younger sister on a roll like that was wonderful. I just shook my head and tried to hide the snorting.
She also gifted me with a gift certificate to be rubbed down for forty-five minutes from a salon in town. WOOHOO!!! I cannot wait. I'm scheduling this fairly soon.
I immediately left our lovely luncheon and proceeded to shop a bit. Then the kids came home. Needed to shop a more. Washed the car. Came home. Then the problem hit. I became ill. It was an all-of-a-sudden type thing. One minute I'm putting up groceries, the next I'm outside because our bathroom is occupied. Dry heaves. Man. I hurt. Don't know exactly what got into me, but I retired early and slept late this morning. Still feel not quite up to par, but better.
Tomorrow, I'm writing on "The Portrait." Left my Sophie in a very interesting place. She and Dylan have issues. LMAO