Monday, March 31, 2008


HA HA!!!! Donety-donety-done-done. DONE!

Finished the first draft of Ghost Girl at just over 52,000 words.

I've got a lot of work to do on the second draft, and the ending is too rushed I know, but that's usual. The word count will grow when I revise. But it's a complete first draft, with an ENDING and everything, and Done!

And I totally made myself blubber this morning while writing it. That's always a good sign.


P.S. I finished it on March 31st, not April. You know what this means? Yep, I made the first draft in 6 months, exactly, again! Woot woot!

Now what shall I do to celebrate??

Friday, March 28, 2008

I love it!

Quote from my planner today:

To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work. --Mary Lauretta

Amen, sister.

Off to class today, and to bury my head in writing GG every single second I can spare.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wow. Um...yeah, wow.

So the text twisted under me again today, and suddenly I'm smack up against the climax, a little shell-shocked and wondering how THAT happened.

Which is fine, since that's how Nat feels too. But not quite what I expected.

I changed the goal for my first-draft wordcount to 53000, but I'm not even sure I'm going to make that. This is probably a cruel universe response to my hubris, when my husband asked me this weekend how you know a book is just going to be 60k and write to that, and I said airily, "Oh, I just aim for that and make sure all the arcs fit for that length, blah blah blah."


I think if I wrote straight through I could finish this draft by the end of March. I can't, so we'll just see how early in April I'm done.


Otherwise known as AITC*

I found myself describing the latest plot twists and turns of GG to a trusted writer friend yesterday--she's the ONLY one who hears all this stuff but me, and only when I'm soexcitedIjustcan'thelpbutshare!--and I realized I sound absolutely insane. Maybe that's because it's so late in the book, so it's complicated, or maybe it's because it's paranormal, so what's going on is just so off-the-wall. Or maybe I'm truly insane. Hey, at least it'll be a good, crazy story. Y'all can remember this post when you're reading the almost-end bits, and nod your heads in collective agreement.

But I AM excited, because I love the difficulties poor Nat is in. Mind, I have no idea how she or anyone else is going to get out of them yet, but I have that sense of excitement that comes from *knowing* she will, that it will all come together and work out. Probably not how anyone expects, but somehow.

And to think the day I came up with this bit, Tuesday, I did not want to write. All you writers know what I mean--I was dragging. I kept doing everything else but putting down new words. I'd stare at the page with dislike, then go off and look at Facebook for a while. Then I'd come back and write 100 words, scowl, and go get myself another cup of coffee. 50 words. Solitaire. 100 words. I announced to Trusted Friend that 450 words was all I was bloody going to get today, so let's chat instead. Trusted Friend, bless 'er, said go away and write another 100. I sulked, but I did...and THEN I got the idea. And wrote another 300. If lunch wasn't up, I could've easily done more, and wanted to. I knew where I was going.

The point? Two, actually.

1) The words, the solutions, and the revelations don't come if you don't make yourself sit down and squeeze out words, even past the draggy parts. Even when you don't want to. You have to go through the slog to get to the fun stuff.

2) Get yourself some kick-ass Trusted Friends.

*Ass In The Chair

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dreaming of books...

This is a tumultuous couple of weeks for me. I don't know if that means that I'll be here less or more as I try to distract myself from various things--I guess we shall see!

Today I'm thinking of all the books I get to read soon (the ones I already bought) and all the books that are coming out soon that I'm looking forward to! Let's see, we have:

--Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr, coming out April 29th. It's Melissa's second book, and I loved Wicked Lovely so much it turned me into a fan girl. I can't wait! Plus she's such a nice person!
--One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, also April 29th (hmm--I see my book budget spiking). Yummy, more Bones!
--The Touch of Twilight by Vicki Pettersson, the 3rd in the zodiac series, coming out May 27. Check out that gorgeous cover, and see if you don't squee. (Okay, if you're the squeeing type. Clearly I am.)
--My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne, coming out July 1. The sequel to The Spymaster's Lady! Woo-hoo!

I know there are more. What am I forgetting?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Thinking ahead (with optimism blazing), I created a new Facebook profile for just my author life. If I haven't already tagged you and you have a Facebook profile, friend me here:

MySpace coming eventually. Right after the website. :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Bunny Saves the Day

I almost didn't buy Child an Easter basket.

Mostly it's just that I kind of forgot. I do that with holidays, sometimes--I'm so busy with everything else that they sneak up on me, and I think "Oh, is it Easter tomorrow? What should we do about that?" on Saturday night. Besides, though we always color eggs and do the Easter egg hunt, we've never made a big deal about the Easter Bunny. Unlike Santa, I have a little trouble trying to pretend that the people in the obvious bunny suits at the mall are real manifestations of an actual creature. I really didn't think she believed in him at all. However, on Saturday night after Child was in bed I was feeling a bit bad, wishing I'd put together a surprise for her. So Wise Hubby said, "go to the store and DO it already."

I did. I trekked to WalMart. I bought a pink-and-purple velvet basket labeled "Princess" in big loopy letters. I stuffed it with pink plastic grass, a new Barbie video, a "surprise inside" Backyardigans egg, stickers of butterflies and flowers, a deliciously soft brown velveteen bunny, and a chocolate Peter Rabbit bunny. I set it out on the rug, where she'd see it in the morning. I had no idea what she'd think, but I figured she'd like it.

I was surprised in the morning that she didn't come in and wake us up, like usual. So around 8 o'clock I headed to her room, figuring I'd tell her there was something out there for her.

She greeted me with a big smile. "Mommy," she said, in all six-year-old seriousness, "Come with me. I have to show you something." She took my hand and led me back out to the basket. "Look!" Her voice shook now, a little, with excitement, as she pointed. "There's a basket, with a chocolate bunny in it! Do you know what this means?"

I shook my head, wondering what it DID mean to her.

"The Easter Bunny must have come! He left me a basket! The chocolate bunny is proof. The Easter Bunny always leaves chocolate bunnies."

I beamed. Good choice, Mom, I thought to myself. Followed shortly by You just passed that test by the skin of your teeth.

A little while later, after opening everything on our bed so Daddy could see, she looked at me thoughtfully. "The Easter Bunny must have peeked in my room," she said. "How else would he have known that I am a Princess?"

Hope you all had as happy of an Easter as I did. It'd be hard to top that, though.

The quote from my planner today: "I dream, therefore I become." -- Cheryl Renee Grossman

Friday, March 21, 2008


It's awfully quiet out there today...both at the office (I think there are 3 of us here) and in blogland. It's Friday, it's the first day of Spring (pauses to look out window at blowing snow), and it's Good Friday.

As a consequence of all this annoying quiet, I'm being very productive. Work is flowing under my fingertips, and I made it over my weekly writing goal, and am sitting at 75%! (and psst! I think it's going to come in at a first draft final count of 55000 instead of 60, so that's 81%! I know, I am SUCH a statistics nerd for an English major.) I am definitely planning to finish this puppy next month.

Pandora's cranked up to the "My alternative" station, I've got a mocha in hand, and I've got fun work to do for the afternoon. Happy moments. Gotta appreciate them when they flash by!

Happy Easter to those who celebrate! We've got a date with a carton of eggs and a PAAS kit...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

YouTube - Music and Life - Alan Watts

YouTube - Music and Life - Alan Watts

More inspiration! I guess I'm just a sponge today. :)

Link Frenzy!

I'm finding so much stuff out there that's inspirational, interesting, and/or enlightening today that I'm going to share!

Enjoy! I'm keeping my head down, as I seem to be on the downward race to the end with GG. At least I hope so!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

111 Shirtless Men

I was feeling a little down this morning--hopefully not coming down with the scourge that hubby's had for 3 days now--so I found this to cheer myself up. Consider me cheered. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008



I just had lunch with #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Patricia Briggs, who happens to live in my town. Da-yam, she is fun. She's very kindly agreed to speak at my university's annual Author's Reception, so I had the treat of a pre-lunch with Patricia and the library director. Most of the lunch was spent chatting nonstop about writing, books, and movies.

And she loves two of my girl's books, Vicki and Jo Bourne, so how could I not like her?

Ahhhh. {happy author state}

Dreaming of electric sleep

I'm so tired my head feels spinny. Do you ever get like that?

See, the problem is that Child has had insomnia, for the past few nights. She goes to sleep fine, then wakes up in the middle of the night and can't go back to she comes in our room to tell us she can't sleep. We tell her what to try, she does...then she comes back in half an hour later to tell us it didn't work. For hours.

It's got to the point now where she's so worried about not being able to go back to sleep that she can't go back to sleep! I relate, since I go through periods of this myself every once in a while. But at 6, it's freaking her out. And we're ALL starting to get seriously sleep-deprived.

I've given her the following "tools" to try:

-go back to bed, relax, close your eyes.
-turn on your music again, close your eyes and listen
-make up a story in your head (this is what I do after all!)
-if all else fails, turn on the light and read.

She swears every night that she's going to do these things and handle it herself, and then she starts the routine of coming in. Again.


Anyone have any other ideas?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Removing the negativity

A couple of not-original, but very true thoughts:

--Mean people suck.

--Negativity drags everyone down.

Because of the surfeit of negativity and people dealing meanly with each other, I've had to leave one of my previously favorite online communities. This makes me sad, but it's been getting more and more negative there for a couple of years, so I guess it's not going to change real soon. I just don't need that kind of thing pulling me down.

I shall strive to keep those places I have a responsibility for positive and supportive. Sarcastic and silly, you bet! Mean, no.

Top o' the week to ya

There! I added a drop of "the green" to the blog because I am, not Irish.

Oh well. Green is also a color of Spring, and here in Montana it's--

Gah. White and muddy.

Okay, I added it because I like green.

My books are scheduled to come today, but right now it doesn't matter, because I was able to pick up my friend Linda's mss again. Woo-hoo! Vikings and man-thongs. You're so gonna want this book.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yay yay, and a ghost


I met my word count goal for the week (+3200 words), turned in my crazy-making midterm project, and now it's Spring Break!

I celebrated with an Amaretto latte. And now, as promised, a ghost story.

The poll showed a pretty even split, didn't it? 5 people had encountered a ghost, 6 hadn't, and 6 weren't sure. And I LOVED hearing your own ghost stories!! Thank you! I think a lot of people would like to run across a ghost, as long as it wasn't threatening...hence the fascination with ghost stories. I've always loved them. But then, ghosts were a part of my life before I was even born.

My paternal aunt, Susan, died of ovarian cancer in the 50s, when she was 19, before her life had even properly begun. Before she died, she promised my father--then a teenager--that she would contact him from the other side, if she could. She never did, as far as he knows.

But she did contact my mother.

When my mother was pregnant with me, she had a vivid dream. My aunt came to visit her in the dream, and gave her a clear message: "name her Susan, after me."

Of course they did. I even looked like my aunt when I was little. And she's shown up in my life several times since then, in other ways. But more on THAT another time...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Random note, to people who are in Intercultural Communication and/or film classes:

Look, I know you're studying the film CRASH for class. It's clear from your IPs. Yes, you at Northeastern and Connecticut State and NYU. I know you've probably been assigned a paper or something. But just because I wrote one post on CRASH when I was studying it in 2006? Does not make me an authority. Seriously. Just be careful using random blog posts as research, k?

(Note triggered by the fact that more than 30% of my hits in the last two weeks are results from searching for "movie crash analysis" or somesuch combination. Oddly, if you search on Google, that post is the 3rd result. Search engines are weird.)

More later. In the meantime, does anybody else listen to Matt Nathanson? Poppy, I know, but I love some of his songs. Downloaded one of his older ones, Beneath These Fireworks, from ITunes yesterday...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Watch this!

Thanks for answering the poll, and sharing your stories!! I'll discuss the results and share one of my own when I'm less hammered. :)

In the meantime, watch this. I stole it from La Gringa, and like her, I challenge you not to smile if you watch it all the way through!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I added a Ghost Girl-related poll, above. Please answer, and give me your story in the comments section here!!

Maybe not today--because I'm absolutely crushed for time--but in the next couple of weeks, I'll share some ghost stories of my own. I have some good ones. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Busy little beav...uh, bees.

Thanks SO much for a wonderful discussion on Friday. I meant to come back and comment individually on your responses, but instead I just went with the flow and lived my busy weekend Life. {s} This weekend that included: stuffing plastic eggs at Child's school for next week's Egg Hunt (I must've done at least 300), attending the local kid's theater production of The Sound of Music (they did great!), escorting Child to a bowling birthday party, yelling my lungs out at a local pro basketball game, stripping our bathroom and cleaning the walls (!) in prep for painting, and mounds of laundry.

I love weekends, but sometimes weekdays are more relaxing! Though today, being Monday, maybe not....

Must go continue on the layout and editing of a report on water supplies, and finish that chapter on organizational ethics. Oh, and more coffee.


Edited to add: I meant to say that I haven't come to a "final" decision either on whether or not posting negative reviews is a good idea. For me personally, I still think positivity might be best. But y'all had some excellent points...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Discussion Friday

Yesterday I followed Vicki's dubious lead and lost a writing session's worth of work when a catastrophic failure fried my thumb drive before I'd saved it off elsewhere. Darn PCs. Grrr. Fortunately it was a short session yesterday, and I think I can recreate it fairly well. I also lost an hour's worth of work on a Photoshop file for class, though. {sigh}

I burned off the last of that frustration last night finishing BREATHE MY NAME by R.A. Nelson. I highly recommend it. The writing is tense and vivid, with a strong, unique voice. There were times I had to put it down because the subject matter was so difficult, but I always went back to it, and I'm glad I did. Check it out.

My "review" brings us to our topic for Discussion Friday.

I liked the book very much, and so I recommended it here. But what if I hadn't liked it?

--Many, many (many) authors post reviews of books on their blogs, good and bad reviews. Writers are often readers, and one hopes they have a critical eye. So these reviews could be valuable to other readers. But...

--I've gotten some advice that says as an aspiring writer, I should never post bad reviews on my blog, and "trash" other writers. This writing/publishing business is a very small, closely knit community, and negative words get around. By saying critical or harsh things about another writer's work, you could (a) hurt or upset the writer herself (I know for a fact writers do google themselves and their books) or (b) even damage your own career and potential networks.

I dunno. I'm fairly cautious about what I say online, so I lean toward the second view. My mother's words still echo in my brain ("If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"). But I can see how peer reviews are important as well.

What do you think?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Yay, books!

Oooh!!! YAY!

I found another way to while away winter. I went shopping with my Amazon gift card from my birthday. I bought:

Repossessed [Hardcover]
By: A. M. Jenkins (Author), Amanda Jenkins (Author)

A Field of Darkness [Paperback]
By: Cornelia Read (Author)

Princess Academy [Paperback]
By: Shannon Hale (Author)

A Curse Dark as Gold [Hardcover]
By: Elizabeth C. Bunce (Author)

Killing Floor [Mass Market Paperback]
By: Lee Child (Author)

No, I have never read a Jack Reacher novel before. I hear I'm in for a good ride. As to the others, Elizabeth Bunce is a fellow BlueBoarder, and this book sounds amazing. Princess Academy, though a middle-grade book, has passed the bookstore test: twice I've picked it up and been entirely sucked in. Must keep reading. The other two are recommendations by a certain agent I know. Yes, I'm eclectic, and I love it!


Okay, it's 16 degrees right now, and I'm tired of cold. Who's with me?

Child, sniffling from Yet Another Cold, came up to me yesterday with her serious face on. "You know what, Mommy?"


"I've been thinking. I don't think this is a cold. I think I'm allergic to winter."

Amen, Child, amen.

On the bright side, I have coffee, chocolate, and macadamia nut supplies near to hand. I can outlast it, and dream about June...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Thanks for the lively discussion on Friday, guys!

I was away for the weekend, enjoying a much-needed break. Am back, but I'm going to try to lay low for a while, internet-wise, and focus on Other Stuff.

However, I do want to publicly post a couple of goals:
  • Write 11,000 new words on Ghost Girl in March. This will allow me to (hopefully)
  • Finish the first draft of GG by the end of April.
Then I can let Melody come play in my head for a while. She's still persistent. :)

Hope everyone is well. Have an excellent week!