Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Is it any wonder?

I just finished reading "The Prey" by Allison Brennan. Great book but dark and violent. My own writing tends to be violent and dark. I have no problem forcing my characters into horrible, deadly situations. Because I've been through worse and I'm guessing Allison has too.

I've gone shopping with my kids.

Saturday dh and I packed up the tribe and went to Costco. "How much longer are we going to be here?", "Can I have this?" "Are we going to be here much longer?", "Can I have that?" "I'm sooooo tired."

Is it any wonder I had a minimum 20 body count in my last story?

Last night I took the two oldest to Target. Son had a gift card and he wanted to get a Nintendo game. That was easy. Except, right after he paid for it, he was ready to go. His sister had some allowance money she wanted to spend. She spent 40 minutes in the freakin' toy department. She found these ugly dolls, Groovy Girls which are really expensive. The accessories are outrageous. She couldn't just pick out a Barbie. Heck, they had tons of those and they were reasonable. She ended up getting a ball. Yeah, a ball. So they were ready to go, except I had my own shopping to do. "Can we go now?" "Can we go to Starbucks" "I'm tired."

Yeah, is it any wonder I feel violent at times?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends....

Thanks for everyone's comments about my WIP problems. I had a chat with my friend Becky and I figured out the problem. It is an old one that I've struggle with before. I have a problem with motivation for my heroes. My heroines are easy, so are my villians, but heroes are tough. If I look at reality, the men around me have far less interesting motivations. Heroes in fiction are angst-ridden. Angst for my dh is when the Lakers are losing. Romance heroes have elaborate plans to defeat the villian and claim their birthright. My dh weeds the yard early in the morning so he can watch football for the rest of the day. Heroes in romance novels use complicated plots and flowery language to seduce their women. My dh takes a shower. So I have a tougher time with men.

So I chatted with Becky and figured out what was driving my hero and what his motivations were. I feel much better about my WIP and know where I need to go.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Banging My Head on the Keyboard

I'm taking a great online class about paranormal writing. Currently, I'm not working on a paranormal but I had an idea for one I wanted to try. So I've been using that as my "homework" for this class. Of course the more I think about it, the more solid it becomes. But I have committed myself to the historical I'm working on. I like my historical and the plot is moving the way I want it, except I don't the big black moment for the hero and heroine.

It is driving me crazy. I have a couple of black moments for the hero and heroine individually, but I need something that will tear my couple apart, making them miserable. I really like to see my people suffer, so this is driving me crazy. I see them starting to get together and I see them falling apart, but I haven't figured out why. My usual way of writing is figuring out the black moments first then writing around them, but this is a different kind of book. Setting is a bigger part than it usually is for me.

Sigh...I hope it comes to me soon or I'm likely to have my own black moment.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

If Money Were No Object....

When I was in Vegas (actually Henderson) we went into a cute kids' clothing store. The stuff was adorable but the prices.... Most of the outfits were priced over $100. I'm not kidding. I looked at the outfits and I wondered, if I were wealthy beyond reason, could I spend that kind of money on an outfit for a 6 month old? I can't see me doing it. I think I would still cut coupons and shop at Target and Wal Mart, looking for a deal. I suppose I would be more willing to spend money on other things, but at the core, I can't imagine spending obscene amounts on stupid things.

How about you? Say you woke up Bill Gates-wealthy tomorrow. Would it change your core spending habits? This goes beyond "If I had a million dollars" question. Once the novelty wore off, would you be able to spend without thought or would those bourgeois values kick in?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Settings and Inspiration

I really enjoy the drive to Vegas. There is something about the desert landscape I find inspiring. I love all the little roads that trail off into the hills and I wonder where they lead. So of course my mind follows them and before I know it, I have the makings of a story. When I pass a little cafe or garage in the middle of nowhere, I wonder what circumstances led these people to this place. And being a writer I make up something, probably far more interesting than the truth, but that is part of the fun.

Vegas itself inspires me. I think it is because of the sheer amount of people it takes to run the city. I pass a cocktail waitress in a second rate casino and I wonder how she ended up working here. Or the guys running the black jack tables, why here and why this? It is city where a person could lose themselves.

I even find inspiration in the monotonous housing tracts that surround the city. Henderson is one giant housing tract with all of the houses looking the same. The houses are all new and the yards are well-manicured. I wonder what has brought these people here. Another story idea pops into my head.

Do you have a place that inspires you? Have you been anywhere that seemed the perfect setting?

Monday, January 23, 2006


Just a quick post because I have so many blogs to catch up on. You ladies have been busy! Had a nice time. I was actually in Henderson for the entire trip. It really is a great place to live if you don't mind the heat and the wind. The city has everything. We got home to severe winds but we seem to be surviving. My last house I was guaranteed to lose power, but so far so good. I'd hate to be without my Internet.

Kelly has a fiction blog and my story is featured. Stop by and take a gander. There are some great stories to be found, most with a twist. Here's the link:
Fictional Musings. I'm also leading a BIAW at Mages Pages. It's a busy Monday and I do need to write 3 pages today.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Greetings from Sin City

Yes, it has been a non-stop whirl of thrills here. We went to a buffet yesterday for lunch then visited relatives then came home. That was it. We watched t.v. My son is fighting a cold, so he really didn't want to go out. Today we have an exciting trek to Chuck E. Cheese planned.

I did go into my first Wal Mart Supercenter yesterday. Oh, I am in love. The prices! The aisles! The selection! We only have regular Wal Marts where I live and they are horrible. Ugh!

You know you are pathetic when the highlight of your trip is a tour of the local Wal Mart. No, Michelle, I didn't get to go to Cirque, that was a joke. I've never been to a Vegas show in my life, and I was born here!

I will be glad to get home tomorrow.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Greetings from Vegas

So after a night of prowling the casinos slurping down watered down rum and cokes, I picked up a hunk from the "Cirque du Soleil" (boy are they flexible!) . I woke up in a fleebag hotel and here I am.

Well...not really. I'm here at my aunt's house, hijacking her computer while the monsters are watching t.v. We will be spending the day visiting relatives with a stop at Wal Mart because my dipstick daughter didn't pack a sweater. She packed sundresses. I told her it would be cold and she needed to pack warmly. She never listens to me...sigh.

I'll be back on Sunday and can regale you with stories of my adventures. That should take a sentence. BTW, I can't get the spellcheck to work, so please forgive me for my errors.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Brick Wall Part Two

Brick Wall Part Two

I'm twenty-six pages into my WIP and I've hit a brick wall. And it's a biggie. I don't like it. There is no spark to it.

Nienke (Hi, thanks for stopping by) made a great point about the wall. She suggested that perhaps I was more "in tune or in love" with my earlier stuff. Yes, I was. I wrote my paranormal and followed it with a sequel. They flowed so well, the characters were so great. I wanted everything I wrote to be as easy. But nothing is ever the same.

Four or five months ago I would be swearing in frustration. Well, I am swearing in frustration but mostly because my kids are doing their damnedest to drive me insane. They are doing a good job. Anyway, I feel more able to see what it is that is missing in my WIP. Unfortunately, it isn't something that can be fixed. So back to the old drawing board. I'm infamous for this. I want my WIP exactly a certain way from the outset. While I am forgiving of the typical errors in a WIP, I want my story set and the flow in motion right out of the box. (Pardon me while I yell at my kids, did I mention they are driving me insane?)

In this particular WIP, I needed a sense of danger and I'm not feeling it. I need that feeling from page one. And I really want it to come from the heroine. So I need to re-think my beginning and start again. But I see it as a minor frustration. I remember a time last year when this particular wall would look too daunting. I feel like I'm moving furniture around the room trying to find what feels right. This is about a sofa-size problem, I'm going to have to strain, but I can do it. Not like an oak entertainment center which requires help.

So I feel like I know what I need to do, what I intended to do all along. Hopefully it won't be too painful.

Wanted to say "hi" to Stephanie, thanks for stopping by and offering your encouragement.

Over at the other blog

I have a couple of new recipes up over at Search for the Good Life.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Brick Walls

Brick Walls

I have always been fairly arrogant about my writing ability. Not so much the quality of my work but my motivation and ability to pour out the pages with little stress. Over the last year or so, this has changed. I completed nothing in 2005, a bitter blow for my ego. And while I do not care for humbling experiences, I did learn about the difficulties of writing that I hadn't had before.

Hitting a brick wall hurts. Continuing to hit a brick wall hurts even more. Finding away over the wall is the trick. Today I finally feel like I've crested the top of this brick wall. I finished chapter one of my new WIP and am looking forward to chapter two. I think all writers hit brick walls. Sometimes they are simple retaining walls that require a minimum of effort to surmount. Other times, they are monsters and there is no way of climbing over them. Doesn't mean they are impossible, just means the writer needs to find another way around them. I've hit the gamut over the last year. Some I've managed to climb, others, I've given up on and chose a different path. Many of them have been daunting and I can't tell you how many times I merely wanted to hang it up and forget about writing altogether.

And I think I would have if it hadn't been for the blogging community. Every day I read posts from writers hitting and overcoming brick walls. I see their triumphs and their despairs and it gives me impetus to go on. I'm not the only one going through an obstacle course to getting a book published. As they say, misery loves company…. None of us likes to feel like we are alone and I think the blogsospere really hammers home how much we all have in common as writers.

Anyway, I see a correlation between my new outlook on writing and the cyber-community I have joined in the last year. So, those of you who are scaling your brick walls, look to bloggers to help and those who have gotten to the other side, know your triumph is helping others. I'd give you each a pound of Godiva chocolate if I were rich, but since I'm not, pretend I did.

Other stuff

I'm posting low fat recipes this week over at Search for the Good Life. Today is Overnight Oatmeal.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Rings of Saturn

The Rings of Saturn

My son got a telescope for Christmas. The other night, the sky was clear and the moon was full, a perfect time to use it. So we got it out and focused on the moon. Yes, it was spectacular and all of us were able to see it. We all saw the same details, appreciated the same moonscape features. My husband went on to focus on a star. He zoomed in on it and said there wasn't much to see, just a bright white dot. I looked in, focused it for my vision and saw the rings of Saturn. My husband and my son neither one could see it. I tried to explain what they were looking at, but still they couldn't see it. Our vision is too different.

I knew there was a lesson in there somewhere. As writers, we are trying so hard to present our view, we want our readers to be on the same wave length as us, to see the story we are trying to tell. I thought of this when I read a few posts regarding when a cp reads your chapters and sends it back with tons of correction and ideas. It is disappointing because we obviously failed in our quest to provide a vision of our story. But it is important to accept the fact our sight is different than others. You have a choice: try again to convey your story or accept the fact that no one is going to see what you see. That's okay. In the telescope I focused differently and found a blanket of stars invisible to the naked eye. My husband was able to see it and it was a vision we both enjoyed. I feel certain we will both see the rings of Saturn. Right now it is rising at 5 in the morning in our sky, so by the time we see it, the planet is not in a good spot for viewing. But for now, I will focus the telescope on objects we can both enjoy.

Friday, January 13, 2006

New Look

As you can see, I have a new look for my blog. I'm still working on it. There are a couple of bugs. Some of the punctuation from my old posts which I wrote in Word are coming out funny. I've corrected most of the last post, but I missed a few. Please indulge me and pretend the older posts look fine *g*

I'm still playing around with it. I think the bright colors reflect my sunny personality. Or maybe the yellow harkens to the sallow color of my skin after a night of too much merlot (boy, was it tasty).

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Number Crunch

When I was in high school and was given an essay assignment, I remember cringing when there was a word count. Five hundred words might as well have been five thousand. I had the hardest time making those limits. I still do...in the opposite direction.

I'm trying to write a short story that is 700 words. Whew! My first draft was 926 words. Now I'm at 817. Doesn't seem like it should be hard to pare down, but wow, it is tough. But I'll get there.

I never liked math, but I’m very number-oriented when I write. When I write in Courier, my chapters are 20 pages long and I write 20 chapters. In TNR, my chapters are 16 pages long, 20 chapters. I don't edit to meet those limits, its how I write.

Do numbers pressure you or do you worry about it when you finish and start editing? Do you keep in mind while your writing how many words you need to shoot for?

Other Stuff...

Wanted to say "Hi" to Tanya and Laura. Thanks for stopping by. Also, there are a couple of new posts on Search for the Good Life about shopping lists and stocking the pantry.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Poppit Killed My Good Intentions

I would have posted earlier but I was too busy playing Poppit to think of anything to say.  

Yes, I had time to write today and no, I did not because I had to keep popping balloons.  Why?  Was I going to win a car? No.  Would it bring world peace?  Nope.  Is it a total waste of valuable time?  Yep.

So why do I do it?  Wish I had an answer.   If it weren’t for the intermissions, I wouldn’t have gotten anything done.  I’m not sure why I find the game so addictive.  I know I’m not the only one.  Do any of you have an Internet time waster you find yourself hooked on?  

Oh, the intermission is over.  Got to get back to popping balloons.  

Monday, January 09, 2006

There Was Much Rejoicing Through The Land....

The kids went back to school today.  Oh, the peace.  Of course, because I had them home so much, I hadn’t gone to the grocery store so we had no food.  I refuse to go shopping with all three of them.  It is a nightmare.  They spend the time fighting or asking for stuff.  It is distracting and annoying.  

DH asked me how I thought summer was going to go.  I felt my face pale and I wondered if I should go get a job.  Would you like fries with that?

My kids aren’t bad.  They are difficult with strong personalities (that is a nice way of saying they are spoiled brats).  But having them home all the time is like being plunged into a three ring circus.  The level of activity and the volume is enough to drive me nuts.  Mostly because I am used the relative quiet of being home with just one child.  And while Thing is a total pain, I can deal with her okay one on one.  BTW, she was “congested” last night so I had to give her some Benadryl.  We all slept well last night.

Last summer I had all sorts of plans, but none of them panned out.  But it does make me think I need to put some thought into the summer now before it arrives and I don’t have a chance to get organized.  I’d like to put them in summer daycamp, but with three kids, the price is pretty steep.  If I could only sell a book.

My writing isn’t going as well as I’d hoped.  My schedules haven’t gone as planned and I’m not as flexible as I should be.  Stuff happens.  Mentally, I know that but another part is unforgiving.  Then I get frustrated.  Frustration leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering and next thing you know, I’ll be working for the Dark Side.  Well, probably not.  Master Yoda can’t help me here.

If I sit for fifteen minutes and mull over what needs to be done and how I can fit some writing time in, I am back to my happy go lucky self.

This week over at Search for the Good Life I’m talking about meal planning and shopping.  Today the topic is creating a weekly menu.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Thing in my House

I’ve been really good about blogging on writing and reading topics.  Noticed there haven’t been any rants about my family?

Sorry, that period is over.

My three year old, now called “Thing” has turned into a demon from hell.  First, Thing refuses to use the potty at home.  But go out in public and she insists on using the bathroom.  The dirtier and more disgusting the toilet, the better.  And she touches everything.  Still refuses to use it at home.

Say no to her and she bawls, say yes to her and she bawls, put the wrong clothes on her and she bawls, look at her funny and she bawls.  This kid could dehydrate with the amount of bawling she is doing.  And she has a shrill, loud voice that makes ear drums bleed.

She gets into stuff constantly.  I have to be on my toes at all times to make sure she is not destroying something.  The worst situation, however, is her sleeping.  This is a phase I have gone through with my other kids as well.  My son was the worst.  He still doesn’t sleep well but he stays in bed and reads now.  Thing seems to be following in her brother’s footsteps.  It’s bad enough she won’t go to bed, but she insists on being loud and talking the whole time so we can’t watch TV.  The night before last I put her in her bed and stayed with her until she fell asleep.  Five minutes after I went back to my own bed, she came into my bed.  This wouldn’t be so annoying if she would just sleep.  But she tosses and turns, kicking us and making sleep impossible.  Last night she wouldn’t go to sleep so I ended up on the couch with her.  She watched cartoons while I dozed.  

I guess I should end those six hour naps.  Oh wait, she doesn’t take any of those.  It is rare that she takes naps.  Yesterday she slept for about an hour.  The kid averages about 7 hours of sleep a day.  How can she do this?  Her father is the same way.  My son, husband and Thing are bad sleepers, always have been.  My other daughter and I could sleep through an earthquake (and have done so).  We’ll get through this phase, I know, but boy is it ever difficult.  

Other posts…

I update Villa in Tuscany and Age of Enlightenment today.  

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Yet Another Meme Tag


Kelly SOLD!  She has a two book deal with Silhouette Bombshell.  Awesome news, Kelly.  Good job.

Another Meme tag (courtesy Lory):

What were you doing ten years ago?
Let’s see, I’d just had my son right before Christmas.  Since hubby was self-employed and I was his secretary, my maternity leave lasted a whole two weeks, so I was back to work and very sleep deprived.  My son spent most of the first year of his life coming to work with me.  We were broke although hubby had one a big case earlier in the year and the worst of our debts had been paid, so we were okay.  My stepson was being a total pain in the butt.  And I wasn’t writing.  It was not something I was interested in.  That is about all I can remember.  Mostly getting used to being married and having a child.

What were you doing one year ago?
Ummm…..waiting.  I had three fulls out with agents and I was waiting.  Golly, that sounds a lot like what I’m doing now.  I know after a very productive writing year in 2004 I was really looking forward to a super writing year.

Five Snacks You Enjoy:

  1. Bleu cheese pecan dip from Trader Joes

  2. Cheese Straws from Archer Farms (Target)

  3. Cookies…any kind

  4. Mini-quiches from the frozen food section

  5. Did I mention cookies?

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:

  1. “409” by the Beach Boys

  2. Countless Madonna songs

  3. “Love Song to a Stranger” by Joan Baez

  4. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns & Roses

  5. “Tell Yourself” by Natalie Merchant

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
A million doesn’t really go very far these days….
  1. Donate money to my college for the history department.

  2. Donate money to my kids’ school district

  3. Buy my hubby another car

  4. Send my parents on a round the world cruise.  

  5. Pay off my inlaws debts and give them an allowance every month.

Five Bad Habits:

  1. Chew my nails

  2. Swear too much

  3. Quick temper

  4. Forget to floss

  5. Twist my hair

Five Things You Like Doing:

  1. Reading

  2. Writing

  3. Watching tv

  4. Eating

  5. Driving

Five Things You Would Never Wear or Buy Again:

  1. Acid Wash jeans

  2. Mini skirt

  3. Anything with big shoulder pads

  4. double knit polyester

  5. white pants

Five Favorite Toys:

  1. My PC

  2. My Laptop

  3. My iPod

  4. My Mustang convertible

  5. My Kitchen Aid mixer

Five People I’m Tagging:

  1. Melissa

  2. Eve

  3. Dana

  4. Teresa

  5. Chrys*

Friday, January 06, 2006

Readers: Born or Made?

After yesterday’s post, I got to thinking, why am I a reader? Was I born that way? Or were there influences which created me?

I thought about this also after reading Michelle’s blog entry about the triumph she felt with her son’s reading progress. As a parent, I think this skill concerned me more than any other. What if my children didn’t like to read? The thought truly terrified me.

I know, you are probably thinking I’m paranoid. I’m a reader. My husband is a reader, how could we not produce anything but a reader? My stepson is not a reader. I was shocked when I married dh to find my stepson didn’t read. He could read, but never for pleasure. So I instituted an hour a couple of times a week where we all sat down to read together. He could choose what he read. At age twelve, he delved into his bookshelf and pulled out Dr. Seuss books. I was not amused. I knew his reading level was at least his age. I realized then that you lead a horse to water but you couldn’t make him drink. He doesn’t enjoy reading. He also didn’t graduate from high school and has no ambitions beyond working on his car. So you can see there is a basis for my paranoia.

When I met resistance with my son at age 4 & 5, I could feel the panic kick in. What if he followed in his brother’s footsteps? I bribed him, begged him, threatened him. You name it. Then one day, when he was about 8, he started reading the first Harry Potter book (I told him he had to clean his room, he thought reading would get him out of it) and I lost him to books. He reads all the time. He sneaks books in class to read when the teacher is boring him. Whenever we go someplace, he has a book in his hands. Sometimes he even does some creative writing on his own.

So what is the difference between these two kids? Is it genetic? I don’t know. I’m not so paranoid with my girls. They already show a great interest in books. I do not know what my stepson’s formative years were like. I’m not sure if his mother reads or not. I think she does. My husband’s family reads and I know he spent a lot of time with them. My FIL barely graduated from high school and yet he is one of the most well-read people I know. I don’t think education means much when it comes to reading. You don’t have to be educated to enjoy reading. I sometimes think school can make us not enjoy reading. I know all those years of high school English took the joy out of Shakespeare for me. But I still loved books.

What do you think? Are readers born or made?


There are a couple of new posts over at Search for the Good Life

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Compulsive Book Buying

Melissa and I were talking about our compulsion to buy books.  I buy more books than I can possible read in a year.  Why do I do this?  Looking through my TBR, I think I can categorize my book buying and the logic behind each category.

Books I gotta have:  These are books I honestly want to read.  They are favorite authors or series.  Charlaine Harris and Kim Harrison fall into this category.  Angela Knight too.

The Buzz: Books I’ve heard great things about so I need to read it.  These can either be a boon (it was how I found Kim Harrison) or a bite (Elizabeth Kostova’s “The Historian” comes to mind).

My Friends’ and Chapter Mates’ Books:  Every year this number increases as more people I know get published.  My pride and excitement in their accomplishments means a trip to Border’s or Barnes & Noble on Tuesdays.

Eclectic:  Something about a book strikes my fancy.  Maybe it’s the cover, maybe the author spoke at a meeting I went to.  Could be I liked the writer’s website.  Who knows?  Sometimes I’ve one a book in a contest and feel the need to go out and buy the rest of the series.

Book Signings: I’m a sucker for a book signing.

Book Signings, Part 2:  This is truly my worse book buying category.  If I go to a signing and see an author all by themselves without anyone coming up to their table, I will buy a book from them.  Not smart on my part but I try and think of myself in that position.

I think the biggest reason I have so many books is because I like to shop.  When I was a cute young thing, I spent money on clothes.  I don’t buy clothes anymore unless I have to.  I like to buy shoes but that gets really expensive fast.  Books fit.  And they don’t cost as much as shoes.

Is your TBR like Mt. Everest?  Is there a 12-step program for people like us?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Another Blog

I started another blog. It was going to be a weight-loss blog but I decided there was more to making life good than losing weight. It isn’t a deep or heavy blog, mainly a place to talk about things that make life easier. I’ll post any tips or links I find useful. I will also post recipes of the slimming variety as I come across them. Search for the Good Life is meant to be fun and helpful, another way of feeding my blogger addiction *g*. Plus, I loved the template.

Thanks, Kacey

Kacey pointed out my bad setting on the other blog and it has now been fixed. Welcome back to the blogosphere, Kacey.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Research, Planning & Stuff

Do you use a thesaurus when you are writing?  I always forget or get lazy and rely on the Word thesaurus.  I have a wonderful thesaurus called “The Synonym Finder” that I love then kick myself for not using.  I also have a book called the “Word Menu” which is also very useful.  When I write, I want to be dead-on the first time around.  I will stop my writing to research a point or find the word I need.  What about you?  Is your first draft more of a skeleton of your final book?  Do you work out the details in the revision?  I can’t do that myself.  It is killing me right now because in my new WIP, I don’t have a name for my hero, at least a last name and title.  His cousin is nameless too.  So I put in some brackets and will have to go back and replace them.  But that really isn’t a big deal.  I don’t like it but I can live with it.  I’m sure I will figure out my names quite soon.

One problem I have is I get involved researching and loose track of what I’m supposed to be doing.  I might be researching textiles used for 18th century draperies then move onto something completely unrelated and useless to my current needs.  I’m not so bad with contemporaries unless I need to research a car, gun or shoes.  I have wasted hours looking at shoes.  But I like shoes.  Historical topics are tougher for me because I’m such a history geek.  

I’m a panster so I don’t plan ahead.  I can’t look at an outline and figure out what needs to be researched.  I’m also pretty knowledgeable about the big stuff.  But heaven forbid I need to research an architectural detail.  I spent almost an entire day looking for the proper name of a chandelier in the 18th century.  And that was for one sentence.  It is never a wasted effort, I generally can use the research for something else.

I’ve yet to write a story that didn’t require at least a minimum of research.  How about you?  Is research a bane of your existence or do you immerse yourself with alacrity?  I’ve heard writers say they prefer to write contemporaries because it doesn’t require research.  But is that true?  What do you think?

Monday, January 02, 2006

"Been-Done" List

Too often I end my day on a negative note.  I look back and think of all the wasted hours.  I harp on all that I did not accomplish for the day with promises of doing better the next.  Not a very pleasant way to put myself to sleep.  Such a habit does nothing constructive and really makes me feel bad.  Self-flagellation may have been good for the soul of medieval saints, but it does nothing for a woman of today.  

Why do we tend to focus on what we didn’t do rather than what we did accomplish?  I think it is because we hold ourselves to a far higher standard than we should.  We are not perfect, we are human.  By putting ourselves down, we are holding ourselves back from achieving our goals.

So, here is my challenge to all.  Every night, before you go to bed, sit down for five minutes and scribble out all that you did that day.  You will be amazed at all that you did accomplish without thinking about it.  

Yeah, maybe you didn’t write 1000 words today.  But maybe you did get the litter box changed.  Maybe you washed the mountain of clothes overwhelming your hamper.  Perhaps you thought out a pesky conflict problem in your WIP.  Perhaps you managed to floss your teeth and help the kids with their homework.  Be proud of what you did rather than despondent over what you did not achieve.  When you look at your list, two things will happen.  You will be uplifted by your productivity and you will be motivated to accomplish more the next day.  Good Luck with your “Been –Done” list.  

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year...Please pass the carrot sticks

So looking back through the week, I decided my best course of action was a simple resolution.  I will write every day on my WIP.  Well, actually, I will write five days a week as a minimum.  Once I get that habit established, I can firm up my goals, make them tougher.  No rewards for such a simple plan.  I’ll save those for when I make specific goals.  I need to figure out when I’m going to write during the day.  I really don’t have a time that is best, I can pretty much write any time of day.  

I’d also like to get other facets of my life organized.  I have to confess, I hired a housekeeper to help out.  She is going to clean the kitchen and three of the bathrooms every other week (I have a 4200 sq. ft. house w/4 bathrooms).  It helps a lot knowing I don’t have that to do every week.  I can use the time for other things.  Unfortunately, not writing but rather the chores I find hard to get to like dusting.

The truly ugly part of my day came when I got on the scale this morning.  Oh. My. Goodness.  What have I been doing?  Or rather eating?  I’m not super-uptight about my weight, heck, I’m nearing forty and I’ve had three kids, I’m not model material.  But my weight gain reflects a lack of care for my health.  I feel the weight in my joints and back.  So I’m really going to work on watching what I eat and kick into the exercise.  I know Melissa had a weight loss blog, I might start one myself to keep me accountable.

Hope everyone had a nice New Year.  We are expecting a heavy storm tonight through tomorrow, meaning the Rose Parade is going to get drenched.  I always hope for this every year, not sure why, just my twisted sense of humor I suppose.