Friday, November 30, 2007


I made my November goal for Ghost Girl! 15,000 words, 25%. Woo-hoo.

The story's taken off in a different direction than I expected, but that's always a good sign. I maybe get to do a little research this weekend, and then we get to the next exciting bit. {rubbing hands together, twirling mustache} I also unexpectedly came up with the beginning of another book last night. This is not the way I usually work, one book at a time, but I'm paying attention to it. It's a good beginning.

It's supposed to be -9 F tonight, which is damned cold. We haven't decided what to do yet, but I can promise you it won't be outside.

Speech done, check. Photography portfolio almost done. Work progressing apace.

Queries...still waiting. Wait wait wait wait wait. This appears to be a normal part of the process, so I shall continue...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Two quick notes about my girls!

--An AMAZING review of Joanna Bourne's upcoming book The Spymaster's Lady over at Smart Bitches Trashy Books. YAY Jo! We all knew it rocked. Now everyone else is starting to know it too!

--Vicki's over at the Romance Novel TV message board today only with her 3 co-authors to talk about Holidays Are Hell. Go say hi!

I'm not blogging because I'm:

--preparing for another speech
--putting together my final project
--studying for finals
--Christmas shopping
--writing Ghost Girl
--querying Jenna

pretty much all at the same time. Later, gators!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shows and blog posts and writing, oh my

It's show season in Montana. We saw the national tour (as hubby says, probably "a national tour" not "the") of THE PRODUCERS last night. Amazing. I actually hurt from laughing so much, and the performers were spot-on.

Yay! I love being able to see super-class productions in small-town Montana! 5 minutes from my house, with no waiting!

In reading back over my old blog posts just now, I'm embarrassed by the contrast to now. Now mostly I do random updates on my writing progress and occasional notes, with little else. I used to be much more verbose. Hum. Maybe I said everything already?

Or maybe not. I think rather I'm choosing other outlets for those thoughts, and that's okay. At least partly. You always have archives. {g}

Speaking of writing progress {cough}, I've been struggling with the writing on Ghost Girl over the past week or so, and I realized this morning why. Somehow, I'm holding back again. I'm not dumping everything into it and just having fun. I'm worrying. I think it's reflective of the rigorous query process I'm going through right now with JENNA, with all the emotional ups and downs and simply high-strung waiting that involves. There's so much guessing, second-guessing, market-consciousness etc. in that process that it's dribbling over into my current work. I'm LETTING it dribble over.

I. Must. Stop. This.

Starting today. I'll revise the first bits later if I have to, but I'm freeing it up today. Moving on deeper, but with less stress. Letting my character be whoever the heck she is, even a swearer or a little bit of a bitch, if that's what she is. For now. Remembering that this is a SFD, not a perfect first draft. That I shouldn't start second-guessing my premise at this stage. (if it sells, it sells. If not...I'm writing a story here. It's the story that matters, not whether the premise is popular.)

So there.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A moment

On Sunday night all three of us went to a wonderful show, with a pianist and a baritone, Leon Williams.


Leon is a powerful singer, with a great stage presence and expression. He managed to connect with the audience and bring us along with him for a wide range of songs, from negro spirituals to Moon River to a kid's song Child has the book for, "Fiddle-I-Fee". His last song was the heady "Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha.

Tears sprang to my eyes. I looked over at this 5-year-old, beautiful, well-spoken, reading Child sitting next to me, watching with eyes wide, feet bouncing on the chair, and I flashed back in an instant to the first concert we ever took her to. She was 3 weeks old, still a red-faced wrinkled tiny person I still didn't have a handle on. Hubby's brother-in-law was singing the lead role in a community production of Man of La Mancha, and they convinced us to bring her. She'll be fine, they said. You need to see this. So we bundled her up and took her along, and as soon as the first notes started, she cried.

You thought I was going to say she loved it all, didn't you? But she bawled. SIL and I high-tailed it out into the hallway, where we could still faintly hear the songs through the walls. We took turns walking and rocking her for the rest of the show. And when "Impossible Dream" started at the end, I looked down at this perfect little new being in my arms, and I thought "There's my impossible dream, right there."

And here we are now, at a place I couldn't even imagine then. She's still perfect (to me), but she's BIG. She's her own individual, marvelous person. And she can sit with us, holding my hand and enjoying the song in her own way.

Life rocks, doesn't it?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Jen tagged me. I don't know if this is good or bad...but here you go.

A) Four jobs I have had in my lifetime:
1. Scientific editor
2. Bookstore manager
3. Pet caretaker, when people go on vacation
4. Telemarketer (for 4 days before I quit…awful job)

B) Four movies I would watch over & over:
1. White Christmas
2. Lion, Witch, & Wardrobe (newest version)
3. Emma
4. Sound of Music

C) 4 places I have lived:
1. Butte, Montana
2. San Diego
3. Brighton, Sussex, England
4. Penryn, California

D) Four TV Shows that I watch:
1. ER
2. Saturday Night Live (sometimes)
3. Baseball
4. Um. That's all, really.

E) Four places I have been:
1. Florence, Italy
2. Dublin
3. The Bahamas
4. Winnipeg

F) Four people who e-mail me (regularly):
1. Julie
2. Vic
3. Husband
4. Dad

G) Four of my favorite foods:
1. Mexican
2. Thai
3. Salt (popcorn, chips, nuts, lime dipped in, you name it)
4. Chocolate

H) Four places I would rather be right now:
Maybe home writing/reading, but otherwise I’m good.

I) Things I am looking forward to this and next year:
1. Signing a publishing contract!! (positive visualization)
2. Attending Child's Kindergarten graduation
3. Christmas
4. Finishing Ghost Girl, starting the next one

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

weather report

November has finally hit. There's a scattering of snow and ice on the ground. There's a strong west wind, bending the trees and brightening our cheeks. And it's COLD. It was 9 degrees this morning.

I've completely forgotten how to deal with this. I gave in and brought my red winter coat out of the closet. Child's snowpants, hat, and gloves are dutifully crammed into her backpack, though she won't deign to wear them yet. But I must remember the Rules of Winter:

--when it's super-cold (or when you're getting used to it) don't go outside unless you have to.
--wear a COAT! Even if you're running to the next building and it looks oh-so-sunny from the windows.
--shuffle across the ice. yes, you look like an old woman, but it's better than falling and having to shuffle because you have a broken leg.
--bring a scarf to wrap around your ears. ears get cold in wind.
--boots work better for shuffling across ice than super-cute Skecher shoes.

And that is all. I think...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mosaic Hen

I got up over 10,000 words on Ghost Girl, with a burst of "what if this happened". I love those. I almost always follow them, and they rarely let me down. Onward! At least 16,000 by the end of November, maybe more. I'm starting to really enjoy this book. I remember this giddiness when writing Jenna...and it's like drugs. Once you've experienced it, you have to go back for another taste.
(Or so I hear on the drugs. No, Dad, I don't know from personal experience.)

Longer-term goal: I want the rough draft of GG done by March. Revisions slated for April.

Writing hard is the best distraction I can think of for the query process, which is just a weird thing. In spite of myself I jump when an e-mail comes in. I run for the phone to check messages. My superstitious side is surfacing in surprising ways. But I'm also optimistic, and excited.

Good news today, baby!

Lately I've been filled with an overall thankfulness and appreciation for ALL the good stuff in my life. Husband, Child, family, friends, writing, job. I love them all; I revel in them. Opportunities for creativity. The time and space to play around with words and the people who talk in my head. {g} Food. Wine. Chocolate. (Yes, it is food, but it deserves a separate category, I think.) Other people's stories, that involve me and touch me deeply. Gargoyles. Photos. The colorful mosaic hen Child made for me this weekend.

Okay, I think I'm going to share the hen. {s} And wish you all good news for today!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Yay! Another 900 words today, almost all tonight.

{tired but happy}

Keep it going

Huzzah! I got more good news yesterday, some for me, and some for Vicki...

HOLIDAYS ARE HELL just hit #21 on the NYT Bestseller List! Wa-hoodle!

And for good reason, too. I already raved about Vic's story, and now I'm reading Kim Harrison's, which also rocks.

I'm taking my co-workers out to lunch today, to thank them for all their tremendous hard work lately keeping up with our map orders. Whew. I deserve it too. {s} Hopefully I will be hungry again by then, as I've just downed a whole bag of microwave popcorn and two handfuls of M&Ms. What? I love food.

And tomorrow is parent-teacher conference day! Fortunately I already got the progress report to review before then, and it's all good. Thank God.

And last but NOT least, I got 900 new words on Ghost Girl yesterday, and am very pleased with how it's going. Should be at 16,000 words by the end of November, which is well into the plot.

Good news, people. May you have good news today too!

Monday, November 05, 2007

More on colors

This may sound obvious based on the way I keep changing my blog colors, but I've just had an "Aha!" moment that each of my books does have its own color scheme, and I'd been subconsciously changing the blog to match.

The Murderess's Tale was green and gold, like the embroidered skirt of a noblewoman's gown.

The Weirdest Thing about Jenna was blue (Jenna's color) and black and white, which echoed the theme of balance, as well as a few other related themes. {s}

Ghost Girl is all fall colors: warm oranges and reds and browns. I think that's all coming from Natalie.

Somehow this realization makes me very happy.

New colors

A new fall look for the blog. As I've said before, colors are very important to me...and my new WIP is fall-based. I'm going to be living in October for a few months at least. {s}

I had a wonderful weekend, and am still riding high on some good news and hoping for more (because I'm greedy that way). Good news today! Good news for everybody!

And speaking of good, GO GET HOLIDAYS ARE HELL. Sorry to yell, but I read Vicki's story The Harvest on Friday, and am still completely rocked. It is soooooo yummily good.

This week I'm pondering what it is to be an artist in various forms. More on this later...

Friday, November 02, 2007



Hope you all had a fun Halloween. Today is the second day of the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead. I was in Tecate for Dia de los Muertos once (we tried to go to the beer factory and it was closed, sigh), and it is a prominent holiday in San Diego and Los Angeles. I miss seeing all the skeletons.

I haven't been blogging just because I didn't feel like it. {s} Lots going on, though...I have a bunch of targeted queries out, and am waiting for responses (good news today, good news today is my mantra). Working on Book 3, now with the working title Ghost Girl. Note the floating ghostie in my avatar. Very busy personally, with all sorts of events going on...this is when the social and concert season picks up in Montana. I'm afraid we went a little crazy (again) on a silent auction last to find out what we "won"...

I have not yet made it to the bookstore to buy Vic's new anthology, HOLIDAYS ARE HELL, or Jeaniene Frost's book HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE, but I'm gonna. Today or tomorrow, hooray!

And we finally got tired of the horrible OnDemand movies, and gave in and signed up for NetFlix. Should start receiving movies today.

And you see why I haven't been blogging, because I am just a rambler. {g}