Monday, July 26, 2010

Making Up for Taking the Wrong Fork in the Road

The summer is moving right along and the temperature is hot. Even with air conditioning my energy has been zapped. Luckily, I make myself work in the morning for no less than an hour so I've been making steady progress.  Last week I was in the middle of writing a scene and it just didn't feel right. Not in a craft sense but more in a "you took the wrong fork in the road" kind of thing way back in an earlier chapter. I wasn't sure I wanted to delete everything from that point but it was either that or forget the whole thing. How many of us have unfinished novels lying around that we just can't seem to save and can't bring ourselves to toss out?

I ran to the grocery store. I can get a lot of thinking done pushing the cart up and down the aisles, but it took more thinking time than that. On Saturday I sat down and went back to where I had taken that fork and started all over again. But not before I cut and pasted the "old" part to a separate document. (No sense in tossing it out completely in case...) The whole thing fell into place and the words came easily. I felt my energy level rise. Maybe working on something that just wasn't right was more energy zapping than the heat. I'm happy to say I'm looking forward to my writing time tomorrow.

Makes me want dust off one of those earlier efforts and find where it really went wrong.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Slushpile Success Story

Over at Holly Schindler's blog there is a wonderful interview with Stephanie Blake about her success in rising to the top of the slushpile. Everyone needs to read it. Wishful thinking by every writer who sends out a submission does come true sometimes. What a nice story!

I also want to add that Stephanie worked very hard to reach this point, so this is more than just being lucky. She deserves this success. From a fellow blueboarder who is thrilled for you: Congratulations, Stephanie!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Hawk Comes to Visit

This morning I was having my usual cup of coffee on the patio when a hawk landed on my fence near my bird feeder. I ran inside and grabbed the camera. My telephoto isn't that great but I was able to snap these before he flew off.
While he perched on the fence looking around, squirrels set up a racket in a tree nearby. I guess they were sending out warnings. A couple of other birds were also making loud noises, but none of the little critters could be seen. After he flew up into the trees across the way, I couldn't see him, but everything remained still. About five minutes later the doves came out of hiding, the chattering of the squirrels stopped, and things went back to normal.
My cat weighs sixteen pounds but I don't think he's going out the rest of the day. I didn't realize just how large some hawks are until I saw the wing span and body on this one.

(8 hours later: what I called "telephoto" is just a regular zoom lens...duh)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Working on WIP or Goofing Off

It's only early July but the lazy days of summer have settled over me. I wrote a lot this weekend but when I sat down at the computer this morning and pulled up my WIP, I closed it again. I thought about writing something new to get the energy flowing, but all I did was sigh out loud. I didn't want to goof off. My goal is to finish this first draft by the end of August. The cicadas are humming in the trees and it's so hot even the cat doesn't want to go outside. Then I remembered that Verla Kay pointed out in a recent post that even if you are only thinking about your project, you are still working on it.

So, I thought about it while I prepared a small pork roast, potatoes, and carrots. I'll think a little more about when I finish writing this, pick up a dust cloth, and give the house a "lick and a promise" as my mother used to say. Later, when the good smells from the oven emanate through the house, I'll be in my favorite recliner. Once in awhile I'll sip on a tall glass of iced tea while totally immeresed in a great book. The best thing is I'll be guilt free because I "worked" on my WIP.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Detailed Outline Didn't Work For Me

My first YA mystery/suspense begun from a detailed outline, ground to a halt.The excitement for the story had waned. I wasn't enjoying writing it, not because the scenes were hard, I just didn't like them as much as I thought I would.

Too many good scenes, twists and turns, sparked my imagination but I  pushed them away to stick to the outline.  Eight thousand words in, I quit.  Maybe I wasn't cut out to write YA and should stick with MG.

After taking a couple of days off I decided I should give it one last attempt by paying attention to one of those sparks.  This weekend I pulled up my document and started writing the scene where Shelby meets Matt for the first time. Within seconds I knew it wasn't going to be anything like the outline. Matt changed everything...he let me know he was the son of someone else--Oh, my gosh, it really changed the dynamics of the whole story. My pulse quickened, my fingers flew over the keyboard, and I fell in love with the story all over again. Yesterday, I crossed the 11,000 word mark and can't wait to work on it today.

So, I know for sure. I'm not a "seat of the pants" writer or a detailed planner. I do better with a rough outline that let's me know where I'm going but gives me the wiggle room I need to follow those sparks.

It feels good finally knowing that about myself!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award came to me with the following rules:

1. Thank those who loved me enough to bestow this gift.
2. Share seven things about myself.
3. Bestow this honour onto 15 newly discovered or followed bloggers – in no particular order – who are fantastic in some way.
4. Drop by and let my fifteen new friends know I love them.

I've decided to add one more rule:

5. Any rule may be modified by any recipient for any reason. (I'm tired from the activities all day, please forgive my lazy bones)

First, I really want to thank Alexandra again for thinking of me. I love getting awards and posting them.

Next, the four things about me I would like to share are:

1. I'm not exercising like I should so when I see my doctor in October I'll just tell him there must be a lot of humidity in my closet because my clothes are shrinking. I'll look up at him so innocently he won't be able to get too upset.
2. I love, love, love Janet Evanovich's novels about Stephanie Plum. I wait every year for the next installment and I don't know what I'll do if she ever stops writing the series. I've got Sizzling Sixteen on my night stand and it took a lot of effort not to start it yesterday. I want to savor the experience.  Fireworks will be going off in the neighborhood and I won't be able to sleep anyway. I'm so looking forward to reading late into the night laughing hysterically. (I'm also secretly in love with Ranger--I think he is scrumptious.)
3. I just found out my seven year old cat could be diabetic. I won't know for sure until Monday. The latest blood test will show the level of glucose for the last two weeks. My problem? My mother was a nurse but I don't think the ability to give painless shots is genetic. I'm chewing my nails to the quick worrying about it.
4. This arm chair adventurer wishes she led a life like TerryLynn Johnson. She amazes me. Her latest exploit with the kayak literally took my breath away. I can't wait to read her debut novel.

I want to pass the Versatile Blogger award on to the five following bloggers:
1. Terresa Wellborn for her beautiful poetry.
2. Charmaine Clancy for all her wonderful posts on her classroom experiences blog and her writing blog Wagging Tales.
3. Eric W. Trant for being so interesting and insightful.
4. Sofia Sandoval for sharing her life with us.
5. Paul C because I learn a lot of history from his blog.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sharing Some Good News

My mystery story, The Investment Club, written for grown-ups, was accepted for inclusion in an e-book Mystery Anthology by L&L Dreamspell Publishing. My author's page went up this afternoon.

I also want to thank Alexandra Crocodile , blogging from Norway, for awarding me the Versatile Blogger award. There are some rules to accepting and I will get to them in a few days. Thank you, Alexandra!