Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Release Day!!

Lots of good books are hitting the shelves today. And these are just the ones that I care about!

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward - Paranormal Romance - This is Rehvenge's story. Can't wait. Must know what's happening with John, Quinn, Blay and especially Tohr. 

Burning Wild by Christine Feehan - Paranormal Romance - The latest in her Leopard series. Can't wait.

Always a Scoundrel by Suzanne Enoch - Regency Romance + great author = Can't wait. And when's her next Samantha Jellicoe story coming out? I need more Sam and Rick.

Did you notice a trend with these releases? Yeah - Can't. Wait.

What's coming out soon that you're looking forward to? Besides the next Sookie book by Charlaine Harris - next week!! Woohoo!

As far as writing is concerned, I weighed in at 1100 words yesterday. Woot. Grats to me!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekly Roundup

Well, another work/school week draws to a close. I've done fair on the writing front this week - I think I averaged in my quota overall. It was definitely a slow-going thing though. Much tougher than some previous weeks, just like any job.

My big accomplishment for the week though? Making progress on cleaning out my crafting room. I went through tons of rubber stamping and scrapbooking stuff. My husband almost had a heart attack when he was able to see table-top on my crafting table.

What did you guys accomplish this week? Anything exciting?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Like Pulling Teeth

Writing is like that some days. I've spent most of the morning at the pc, and admittedly, a chunck of that time was spent on the intarwebs, but I devoted a good bit of time to my writing. The setup was perfect. I had the next scene all plottted out in my head, even some of the dialog nailed down. It should have been a simple write and destroy mission where my word quota for the day is what falls down and pleads for mercy as I power my way past it. And then, on to housework (that's just in here for my husband's benefit). 

Yeah. So, guess what didn't happen...

And I have no idea why. I wrote what I set out to write, minus the lead-in to the next scene that I really thought would just emerge with the flow of things. But the words weren't coming. The descriptors weren't there, ready to flow from my fingers to the keyboard. The emotions weren't quite right. The whimsical humor this main is supposed to have was utterly lacking. I don't know if she was PMSing on me today or what, but ugh! At 670 words, I haven't come within shouting distance of my word quota of 750 - 1000 words per day. And it took me at least an hour longer than it should have. 

Do you know how many dishes I could have done, how many surfaces I could have dusted in that amount of time? I weep for that lost cleaning time. NOT. I do regret the lost time, but let's be serious. I could have done dishes, dusted, submitted a few resumes and still gotten in about a half hour of reading time. ;)

So I'm gonna take a break and see if I can come back later with a better writing frame of mind. Dishes, here I come.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And The Parents/Writers Rejoiced!!!!

So, I don’t want to jinx ourselves, but I think we’re finally on the road to success with potty training E3.0. How did we accomplish this miracle of refuse disposal? We did exactly what the experts say not to do. Yep. Worked like a charm… sort of. We tried everything they suggested first, of course. Now, you might think that we should have already known what to do, given that E3.0 has an older sister. But J5.9 was cake. She wanted to be potty trained. With her it was a no-brainer – just basically letting her go. Not so with E3.0. Gah!!!!

Finally, we put her in time-out every time she didn’t go on the potty. She spent more of some days in time-out than out of it. Or at least it seemed that way. She sat in a chair, in the hallway, facing away from all of us and we made J5.9 have lots of loud fun while she was stuck in time-out. It took 2 weeks, but we seem to be on track.

 What does this have to do with writing? The experts have lots of advice for new writers. But you can’t follow all of it all the time. Lynn Viehl has these Writing Crash Test Dummies (John and Marcia) that she uses to illustrate certain lessons. She had a great excerpt using these two to address this very issue. At first it might be a bit confusing, but keep reading and it’ll make sense. Check it out here.

 When it looked like E3.0 might actually be getting potty trained after we rebelled against The Man, this was the first thing I thought of. If you spend all your writing time making sure that you’re not using passive voice or too many adverbs, you could very well be moving out of that mind-space that nurtures your most creative work. JUST WRITE and worry about that nit-picky stuff while you’re editing. After a while, you’ll notice your trends (via editing), and you can modify your writing to deal with a few issues at a time that make the most sense for you.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Not So New Release - Demon Bound

Okay, so this paranormal romance came out back in November, and I waited anxiously for its arrival. Then it got lost on my TBR (To Be Read) stack, and I just stumbled across it again earlier this week. 

Meljean Brook amazes me. She writes these incredibly witty and intelligent characters, full of honor and discipline and purpose. She puts them in untenable situations where there's no good choice they can make, only a series of bad ones that they'll have to live with. And yet, they retain their humanity and are really likable. There aren't dozens of pages of "Woe is me to have been put in this situation! My life is so horrible! No one understands my suffering!" They simply do what needs to be done to the best of their abilities, and they still laugh at themselves and look for a silver lining. They're inspirational in a sense, even though it's not like YOU are ever going to have to get out of a soul-bargain with a demon. Not exactly real-life scenarios, but these books give me that optimistic feeling when I'm done reading them. I don't feel like humanity is a cesspit of evil and that the world is doomed because of man's baser nature. There are good people out there.

I really want to read more about these two characters. Loved them! Jake was in a previous book and seemed far too immature (he was 60 years old) to possibly warrant his own book. But Meljean handled that well. There's a plausible reason for why he's suddenly worthy of his own story. Plus, he's hilarious. He admits that he has no filter on his mouth when he's around women. His mentor has him paying $5 for every crass, unthinking or vulgar thing he says when he's around chicks. At one point in the book, he pays ahead about $50 because he knows he's about to let loose. Some of his sayings were beyond rude, but you can't help but laugh. He doesn't mean to say them. They just blurt out. When he tells the main chick that "A spitter is a quitter," and immediately holds out $5, I just about fell out of my chair laughing while still trying to be offended for all female-kind. The main chick, Alice, is called the Black Widow and has several spider-like mannerisms. I didn't want to like her because, c'mon - she sold her soul to a demon, so it had to be self-serving, right? Wrong. I love her. She's great.

Something else that made this book memorable? The sex. No, it wasn't especially steamy. Actually, it was almost tragic. Alice has been around since Victorian times, I think. As a human, her husband had her diagnosed with "feminine hysteria" when she couldn't seem to settle down in England (her parents raised her in Egypt at archaeology sites and England was extremely constricting for her). Feminie hysteria was thought to be a detrimental build-up of hormones or whatever that could only be released through orgasm. So the doctors would actually show/force women to masturbate as a treatment. For 100+ years, that's all this chick has been able to do. It's clinical and not about pleasure at all, but simply release. So when Jake comes along, she literally can't orgasm. Her body and mind can't figure out how to go about it when a real guy is in the picture. It was painfully poignant watching these two characters try to learn what to do (because none of Jake's usual stuff is working) and unlearn other things that have become part of their nature.

Anyways, the book was super and Meljean is a tricksey, tricksey woman. I have no idea how she keeps coming up with all these crazy twists and turns for her books, while still having them make sense in the overall series arc. She's an incredible author. You can read an excerpt of Demon Bound here.

Now, I'm off to run errands.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Under Surveillance

I don't have much time. I'm being watched all the time now. The only way I got some time to write yesterday was that a fellow inmate distracted the guard for me. So I've gotten a whopping 400 words written for the week so far. Woohoo! Good news though - the guard and guard-in-training are heading over to another facility later today and through to some of tomorrow. I'll be frantically writing (and submitting resumes) while they're gone.

In case this isn't making sense to you, J5.9 is out of school on Spring Break for the week, and will not let me have ANY time to myself. I have to bargain for 5 minutes to go to the bathroom, and then she's waiting outside the door to escort me to our next forced activity.

Ironically, guess what the guard is doing right now that is giving me this time to post? She's... wait for it... WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING A STORY!!! No kidding! She's getting to write and I'm NOT (this is writing, yes, but it's not Writing)! But it's cool to see my genes apparently at work. So, to my daughter and the rest of you out there working on stories that inspire you, 'Keep on Writing!' And get me out of this jail!!!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Moving Right Along

This is going to be a generic post. (I was tempted to end it right there)

I've been doing well on the writing front lately. Last week I had one 3,000 word day and yesterday was around 2,000. Of course, that means less housework gets done, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make... Really, I try to set a couple of housework projects for myself each day so I know I'm not letting the family down in that regard. Then I do them as quickly as I possibly can. :) Between that, job-hunting, errand-running and stuff, I don't actually have all that much time for writing, and my reading time is virtually non-existant. :( But this might be my only chance to concentrate on my writing, since once I go back to a full-time job I'll be restricted to working on it during lunch and at night if I have any energy left (insert hysterical laughter). I'm making the most of this time to write, and that's all there is to it.

On the family front, E2.11 is now officially E3.0 and spent most of her birthday in timeout. Yay! Grrrrrrr. This potty-training thing is soooo  frustrating with a little one that is more stubborn that her parents.

What else? Oooh! The latest Harry Dresden book, Turn Coat, by Jim Butcher came out in hardcover yesterday. Picked it up from the B&N and it's on my dresser taunting me now. I can't read any of it until I get some of my own writing done, and my fingers are getting twitchy so I'm going to get working on that.

What's going on with you guys? Anything interesting?

Happy hump-day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Kids - Things To Make You Go 'Hmmm'

On Friday, we were eating dinner, specifically a frozen 4 cheese pizza of a brand we'd never tried before. After we'd all had a few bites, my husband asked our oldest daughter - we'll call her J5.9, because she's 5 years, 9 months old - what she thought of the pizza. Here's how that conversation went:

Husband: "So, what do you think of the pizza? Do you like it?"
J5.9: "Yeah, it's good. Smells like fart."
My husband and I stare at her, trying to connect the two sentences in our heads to have them make any kind of sense together. If something I'm about to eat smells like fart, that's where the attempt to eat ends.
J5.9 looks between the two of us and says, "What? I just farted."

I kid you not. And yes, that will be going into a story of mine at some point.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Fun Link

So, I've noticed that time goes by much more quickly when you're NOT working a full-time job. I've got so much stuff I want to/need to/should do, and it seems like I don't have time for any of it. And yet, I'm home almost all day. It's really weird. When I was working, many days seemed to crawl. Now, not so much.

So anyways, here's a timewaster if you're stuck at a full-time job today. I first found this site when Nalini Singh embedded a link in her blog to a jigsaw puzzle of her upcoming book cover. Love puzzles. Love books. Ergo, this is a GREAT invention! I thought it was super cool, and if this website is still around when I eventually get a book published, you had better believe I'll be slapping a link to a puzzle of my first book cover up on this blog! You can upload your own digi pics or just make random puzzles on the website. They time you so you can see how you rate against the average bored person. Spiffy! Without further ado, here is JigZone!!!

Also... note that I've actually started putting links and stuff up on the sidebar. Tedium, thy name is copy & paste...