Talk about a crazy, hectic July 4th weekend! We had company, which included three dogs. My cats survived the onslaught, however. Needless to say, no writing was done the entire weekend. Despite the hellatious storms we've had, I wrote 1000 words last night and a 1000 words tonight, so I'm trying to get back into the groove again.  I'm also almost 300 pages into Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. I really love the Harry Potter books.  Wish I could write even a quarter as well as J. K. Rowling. :)

    A 32-day rejection from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine today. That's #23 for the year.  That's more submissions than I had last year, so maybe something will eventually shake loose for me.  Still trying to pull it all together. Haven't managed it yet, but maybe some day I will.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing:  The Celts by Enya


    Sucked it up and wrote 750 words on DiD tonight. Did some research at lunch today and found some good bits of information that helped me deepen my plot a bit. Some research on twins has been particularly helpful, too.  Got me moving again.  I've got some good scenes in my brain now for Rigel (one of my POV characters), too and I'm really looking forward to writing them.  I also have a better perspective on an antagonist that I didn't know until tonight. So that should tighten the plot up, too.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing :  A Few Small Repairs by Shawn Colvin


    I spent most of my free time today (which wasn't much) brainstorming a bit on Drawn in DNA. I've been really having trouble with the book over the past week or so.  I'm at the 15K mark, but something has just felt wrong. So, between running errands, cutting my Dad's hair, and clipping surly kitty's claws (Sevilli's a.k.a. Her Majesty), I just started typing out information. Mainly, I looked at the major problems facing the main characters and realized that I really didn't have enough plot threads (much less plot) to propel the story forward.  So, I've been re-analyzing things and I've come up with some good stuff (I think). I found a way to tie two of the plot threads together, so I need to work through a few others. When I've got these sorted out, I'll be able to write more of the story.

    Got a 1-day rejection from an anthology today. Bleh.  I tell you, I couldn't pay to sell a story. I'm feeling a little discouraged about the writing tonight.  The drought continues.

    I'm about a quarter of the way through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Need to finish it before I start Order of the Phoenix. I have to say that J. K. Rowling is the most incredible writer of plot I've encountered in a looong time.  I'm a late comer to Harry Potter. Read the first one in March.  In the past week, I've read 2 and 3 and started 4 yesterday.  As a writer, I'm blown away by her skill at plotting. After finishing The Prisoner of Azkaban, I was completely and utterly humbled.  To even have a quarter of her plotting skills!  I've been analyzing these books in my head, tracing back the pieces and how they all fit so perfectly in place. I wonder if I'll ever learn enough to be a good writer.  That road seems to have stretched out a lot longer.

    Back to work....

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing :  Faire Celts by various


    I've been having a little trouble getting back into the novel. I wrote about a page and a half tonight then tinkered with a new short story.  This story is really more of a feeling than a story yet, if that makes sense.  Most of the time, I have an idea or a scene in my head and that pokes at me until I write the story.  But this one is kind of weird.  I find that it's a feeling I want to capture. At this point, I'm not sure if it's the feeling I want to capture within the story, or one I want to feel by writing the story. I don't know if that makes any sense or not, but there it is nonetheless. I guess this makes me think a bit about Steve Leigh's journal when he talked about who he writes for. 

    After I'd gotten a page or two into the story and looked over what I'd written, Steve's journal entry came back to me. For me, it's entirely dependent on the story.  Some stories I write for myself and want to share with others.  Some stories I write for my imagined audience in the hopes of making them feel something. And some stories I just write because I have to write them.  Maybe to exorcise a demon or make some sort of commentary or just take a risk?  I don't really have a specific audience in mind and I don't feel that I'm writing them to satisfy something for myself.  But maybe in a way, I am. Those kinds of stories, for me, are my attempts at understanding something senseless or putting myself into the shoes of someone I could never relate to. And those stories are also my attempt to connect with other people who might be striving to understand the same things.  Not that I have any answers, but in those kinds of stories, I want to understand why or how?

    Okay, I'm babbling now.  I'll stop. :) Time to crash.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing :  A Day Without Rain by Enya


    I've been mildly out of commission this week.  Tuesday morning, I woke up with a flu that thankfully only lasted two days, but it was kind of like being hit in the crosswalk by a minivan. Really put me flat on my back. Then Wednesday night, we had a kitty scare.  Murphy was lost for several hours, so I walked at least 5 miles through the surrounding neighborhoods searching for him in the rain. Sprained my ankle walking in the dark on uneven terrain.  We found him around 11 pm, but by that point was emotionally and physically exhausted and every muscle in my body was in shock from too much exertion.  I've been hobbling around for the last two days and getting ready to crash (thank God for sleep!)  Needless to say, I was very glad to see Friday evening.   It's amazing how much an oaky glass of merlot can soothe. :)  I didn't manage to get much if any writing done this week.  Guess I'll try again tomorrow.

    Got a 67-day rejection from Weird Tales today with some very helpful comments on the story's shortcomings.  I was very grateful to get the feedback, so I plan to revise the story a bit before it goes back out.

    It's midnight! The new Harry Potter book is now available.  I'll probably venture out tomorrow and pick up a copy. I'm too danged tired to even think about getting in the car. I love the Harry Potter books; they're terrific!

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing :  the goodnight lullabye by get yourself in bed


    I saw a tornado yesterday! A funnel cloud hanging over my neighbor's house. It looked like an indigo scarf dancing and swirling in the wind.  There was no debris, nothing disturbed. All around me the sky was deep indigo and there was this profound stillness like the entire world had stopped turning, except for this wraith-like thing in a wild dance in the air. Minutes later, a torrent of rain broke through the stillness.  Above the rainfall finally rose the siren's wail, a sound that cuts to the bone and vibrates in the ribs.  But I know everything's okay because the tornado is spinning lazily away, still in the air. No tornado touched down here yesterday and nothing was damaged, but even now, I can still see that indigo thing turning circles in the air.  It was amazing and I still can't believe I saw it.

    Brought in 1000 words on DiD tonight.  I'm still getting to know these characters, so things aren't moving quite as fast (plot-wise) as I'd like. But they are moving forward and that's all that matters.  I confess though, I'm still missing Isabel's Tears. :)  Getting a new book started is always hard for me after coming off a previous book (because I miss my other characters), but Ben Fletcher is growing on me and actually surprised me in these 1000 words tonight. I think he's going to surprise me a lot in this book.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing :  City of Angels soundtrack


    I slugged out this weekend and tried to get over this stupid sinus thing.  It's almost gone now, but I didn't write much at all this weekend. There's another reason for that though.  I just got Bloodmoon, the Morrowind Expansion and have been playing it. I played a little tonight and then went back to Drawn in DNA.  Yes, I was a slacker; I admit it. :)

    So far, I've gotten 3 rejections this week:  two from Glimmer Train and one from The Third Alternative. I'm still trying to figure out the next markets for these stories, so none of them has gone back out yet. I did get Flesh and Bone into the mail on Saturday though.

    Gotta get back in the groove and get crackin' on DiD.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing :  A Few Small Repairs by Shawn Colvin


    I feel pretty wiped today. I woke up with a sinus infection on Monday and it's been kicking my butt all week.  I managed about 750 words tonight, 500 last night.  I've been sick a lot this year with sinus crap. Not sure why.  It's been a banner year for sinus problems. At any rate, I started my first chapter from Ben's POV. When I finish that chapter, I'll probably move into Rigel's POV and then back into Ben's again for a few chapters. A lot has to happen before Ben and Rigel meet for the first time.  Need to work on the other major story thread with Rigel and get that working through the story.

    Mailbox has been quiet the past few days.  I still need to clean up Flesh and Bone and mail it.  I'm hoping to do that Friday night and get it into Saturday's mail.

    Time to crash. I'm beat.

    Now playing :  Painted Pictures by Grey Eye Glances (The Lost Coast


    Argh!! I can't seem to make up my mind on which book to work on!  Just when I get myself settled into the OSG sequel, Drawn in DNA starts luring me back. And it's all Lisa Collins' fault! :)  On Sunday, I had the pleasure of eating dinner with Ron, Lisa and Brigid Collins. They were on their way home and were passing near me, so we met for dinner.  It was really great seeing them again (it's been several months).  We laughed a lot, talked about writing and novels, etc..  Then Lisa had to go and ask me about the novels I was working on and when I started describing Drawn in DNA, my writer's brain kicked in and opened the throttle.  When I left the restaurant, my brain was latched onto that story again. After a quick review of my synopsis and chapters, the story's opening scene finally came to me.  That was one of my initial problems with the book, trying to get it started in the right place. I started it too late, felt it in my gut, but didn't know where it began until last night. Big thanks to the Collins clan for helping me find it.  I did a couple of pages last night, but had to crash early to attend an 8-hour OSHA class (gasp!)

    Tonight, after surviving the OSHA class and collecting my continuing education credits, I managed about 3 pages tonight. I created a prologue for DiD and setup quite a few troubling story aspects in just 5 or 6 pages (makes it A LOT easier than dropping boatloads of back story into the book and slow down the opening).  Now, I need to setup one of the protagonists (Rigel) and establish another big piece of the plot through her. Then I can begin drawing Ben's story closer to Rigel's story until they meet. It's kind of Flashdance meets Gattaca meets Boys of Brazil. 

    My brain hurts from being OSHA'ed, so I'm crashing early tonight.  Have a good evening!

    Now playing :  Painted Pictures by Grey Eye Glances


    7:05 pm -- Wrote 2000 words to complete my short story, Flesh and Bone.  The story came in at 4000 words and like a lot of things I've written lately, is a bit controversial. It deals with fundamentalist religion (a difficult subject for me), so it was hard to write.  After I'd written the first act of the story (last week, I think), I got stuck because I knew the story was moving into painful territory for me -- so I did what any self-respecting writer would do: I set it aside and wimped out, moving to safer ground. :)  Today, when faced with the next 2K on the sequel, I decided I had to finish this story first. So I pushed myself through it this afternoon and finished it. It's yet another cloning story that I've written, too. I seem to write a lot about this subject.  Not sure why it fascinates me so much, but it does, so I keep writing about it.  Amazingly enough, this story is equal parts crime and SF (gee, it couldn't be all those Robicheaux books I've been reading, could it? :>). This will be my second crime/mystery story I've submitted.  Flesh and Bone is stronger than my first, the religion slant may be a deal breaker on it. Won't know 'til I submit it, right?  The thought of publishing in multiple genres appeals greatly to me. Let's see if I can pull it off.

    Yesterday, I couldn't write for various reasons that I won't go into here. It was a very painful day and I had no heart for fiction.  I'm doing better today. After supper, I plan to move in a different direction on the sequel, shoving my first chapter back to like 4 or 5 and start with Kier's POV first then the bad guys. I think the story will work better that way. At any rate, I hope I get 2K or so done tonight.  Thank God for fiction!  I'd be lost without it.

    Last night and this morning, I got two manuscripts ready to mail, so they went out this afternoon. Flesh and Bone will go out sometime next week along with the other mystery story I haven't resubbed yet.  Still trying to find a market for novelettes.

    Wow, last day of May.  Starting to bite my nails on the Dorchester contest that closes on 6/16.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing :  Crimson Collection Vol 1 & 2, Singh Kaur and Kim Robertson


    Wrote 1000 words on book two of my fantasy trilogy.  I started the book in the antagonist's POV, so the first chapter won't be huge. Erlek's next chapters will be longer, but I'm really anxious to get into Kier's POV.  Haven't been in his POV for almost four years, so I'm really looking forward to riding around in his head again.  Kier is a very special character to me, one who's been with me since I was 15 scribbling the first pages of his story into my Social Studies notebook.  There are relationships that sparked in book one that I look forward to exploring.  I'm having guests tomorrow night and Saturday though, so I may not get much written this weekend. Hoping I can at least get 1000 words/day written.  And maybe I'll even have book one sold by the time I finish book two. :) Hey, I can hope, can't I?

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing :  Land of Forever by 2002


    Another sleepless night. blech.  Came home to some problems (gee, imagine that). I've been fairly incoherent today, venturing out only to get the mail. I did some editing on my new short story redraft (working title Flesh and Bone) and figuring out the story's next scenes. I made good progress on that even though I didn't write any actual words.  The rest of the day, I spent reading through synopsi and old drafts for book two in my fantasy trilogy. I think I've gotten the first three or four chapters figured out and I hope to start writing Chapter 1 tomorrow -- when I'm not so fogged.  Boy do I dread going to work tomorrow.  Things there are going to suck for a very long time.  At this point in my life, I'm not sure I'm up to one more massive staff turnover. I think I handle change okay, but enough is enough.

    I'm also feeling that post partum novel blues after finishing Isabel's Tears.  I think it's one of my best works to date.  At BayCon, I had the short story to work on, but tonight . . . I'm kind of between worlds.  So, I hope to get started on a new book tomorrow and re-absorb myself in other characters.  The working title on the new book is Through Tangled Veils. It's a sequel, so these characters are old friends. Writing about them again will be a real pleasure.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing :  October Project by October Project


    Back from BayCon and boy am I exhausted. Long day on no sleep.  I'll post a trip report tomorrow, perhaps. Had a great time!

    Wrote 2000 words on a short story and read Black Cherry Blues by James Lee Burke. Read the first 100 pages of A Morning for Flamingos by James Lee Burke. I'm so hooked on Burke and his Dave Robicheaux novels! I started BCB on the plane and finished Saturday night. On Sunday, I was totally jonesing for more Burke, so I asked Vera to drive me to Barnes and Noble where I bought A Morning for Flamingos and A Stained White Radiance. :) Burke is the most incredible writer. A true master. I admire his prose and storytelling so much.  Never thought I'd be reading mysteries, but I'm hooked on Burke. :)

    More details tomorrow. Tonight, I'm wiped but had a great time.

    Now playing:  nada


    10:57 PM, 105,800 words, Isabel's Tears is done. WOOOO!!!! I totally underestimated the word count, too. If, in the event that this novel is a contest finalist, I'm going to have to lose 5800 words. Shouldn't be too tough. There's probably some bloat in the middle I can clean up. I can't tell you how good I feel finishing this book. I really love this story. It took me a lot longer to finish it than I'd hoped, but such is life.

    I'm flying out tomorrow morning for San Jose and dammit, I'm going to celebrate! In fact, on the plane, I'll probably dive right into book 2 of On Shattered Ground. I love writing novels. This book has been a real pleasure, but I need to immerse myself in a new story or go bonkers!

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing : Victorialand by Cocteau Twins


      Wow, I'm only 1 or 2K from the end!  I just topped 99K, so this book's going to go slightly past the 100K mark. This number is only a problem if Isabel's Tears is one of the three manuscripts chosen in the Dorchester contest.  I hope I have to worry about it. :)

      Have a good evening!


      Now playing :  October Project by October Project


      Wrote almost 3K over the past couple of days.  The book is almost at 97K now.  I'm already thinking about rearranging some chapters, too. I left Cassidy and Griff in a pretty awful situation when I ended Chapter 23 just now. This one is with 3-4K of being complete.  I imagine I'll be typing "the end" by Tuesday night.  I really love this book and I'll sure miss it when it's finished.

      I saw The Matrix Reloaded on Saturday and loved it!  Can't wait for the third one now!

      Have a good evening!


      Now playing :  Crimson Collection Vol 1 and 2


      Tough week.  Lots of unpleasantness and stress.  I'm trying so hard not to let the bad stuff affect me, but it's really hard. My attitude was sorely tested and I'm feeling very bitter toward my workplace and saddened by a string of illnesses among my friends and family.  At any rate, lots of stress.  But I didn't let it affect my writing like I have been these past couple of years.  My writing was been such a refuge and comfort this week.  I didn't get a lot written, but I still wrote every day. Except tonight, I haven't written anything in Isabel's Tears yet.  But I plan to after I finish this entry.

      A very nice rejection from Leviathan 4 today.

      Despite all the crap, I have a personal milestone to report. As of tomorrow, I will have five (!!) of my novel manuscripts submitted to publishers. That leaves two sequels at home (okay, I have two other novels -- one I wrote in 6th grade and a supernatural kind of love story historical thing I wrote in high school). Wait a minute...maybe I should take a look at that one?  It might make a terrific YA submission to Dorchester's new YA imprint....hmmmm....No! Must finish Isabel's Tears first.  I actually took part of that 6th grade novel (the story, not the manuscript) and wrote it into a short story (that I sold). See, no writing is ever wasted.

      Gonna  grab a diet coke and get back to Cassidy and Griff.

      Have a good evening!


      Now playing :  River of Stars by 2002 
      (A birthday present -- I have so many 2002 CDs -- It's some of the most peaceful, calming, ethereal music you'll ever hear.)


      Isabel's Tears is nearing the 93K mark, but the scene's end is approaching very rapidly. I ran out of time to finish it tonight.  I may try to write a bit more after I post this entry. Wow, this book is gonna easily hit the 100K mark . . . I'm surprised.  I just keep finding interesting things to write about Cassidy and Griff. I thought I'd be at the final 2K, but the back in time scene really expanded on me.

      Yesterday, I received an 11-day rejection from Alchemy.  Story's back out though.  Hoping that tomorrow is a rejection-free day.  it's my birthday. :)

      Have a good evening!


      Now playing :  Chrysalis by 2002


      Didn't get much written this weekend that went way too fast. Had to run a bazillion errands, dodge storms, and run more errands. I also spent quite a bit of time working on my website redesign and finally got a look that works for me. That's only the home page though. Now, I have to design a template and start the rest of the work (which will take quite a long time).  But I did hit the 90K mark on Isabel's Tears! Woo! We lost power for nearly three hours this afternoon.  I pulled out the notebook computer and got three pages written. Only managed another page after that.  I'm going to try write one more page tonight (that's only 250 words), to get my word count to 1000 words today.

      Friday brought a 47-day rejection from scifiction.com. Managed to get that story back out by Saturday.

      My merlot and cabernet grape vines are finally starting to sprout leaves.  Yay!  I was beginning to think I'd just planted a couple of sticks in the yard.

      Yesterday, my baby Sevilli turned 13....hoping she lives a long time to come.

      Have a good evening!


      Now playing :  October Project by October Project


      Put down about 1300 words tonight. I'm about 500 words from the 90K mark. I'm about halfway through Chapter 21 and definitely have 2 more chapters to write. I hope this book doesn't go over 100K.  That's the upper word limit for the Dorchester New Voice in Romance contest (where I entered this novel -- 1st three chapters and a synopsis.  I don't think it'll go over 100K though.

      A 13-day rejection arrived today from Absolute Magnitude.  I'll have to do some investigating now for markets for this story.  It's a novelette (tough sell for a published small fry like me, but I think it's a very good story), so gotta find another market.

      A pre-Happy Birthday to Ron Collins (his birthday's tomorrow)!  Hope it's a good one!

      And it's time to crash.  Have a good evening!


      Now playing :  Crimson Collection Vol 1 & 2 by Singh Kaur and Kim Robertson


      Isabel's Tears just broke the 88K mark. It's coming down to the wire. I just started Chapter 21 where Cassidy has gone to 1909 to investigate some facts that just don't add up. In Chapter 22, the culmination of the book begins. I'm fairly certain there will be one more chapter after 22 (possibly, too). Soooo...that will easily put this book over the 90K mark and probably closer to 95K.

      Got a 237-day rejection from Black Gate today. An almost. I've had two of these close but no's in the past week or so. Guess I can only get better.

      And oddly enough, it looks like I'm going to BayCon. My pal, Vera Nazarian talked me into going. So, if you're in the San Jose neighborhood, stop and say hi. I'm not doing any panels or whatnot, just chillin' and doing some writing while I'm out there. Wow, my second trip to the West Coast in two months. I really want to go North though. I won't get to go to my beloved San Jan Islands this year. <sniff><sniff> But I'm already thinking about 2004. :)

      Now playing : Land of Forever by 2002


      Another good writing day!  I put down almost 2400 words today, bringing Isabel's Tears over the 85K mark. Woooo!!! I'll probably finish out Chapter 20 tonight and gear up for the last 2 chapters. This is the book's culmination.  The journey into the eye of the storm.

      AND . . . the coolest thing happened this morning: I woke up with the opening third of the sequel to On Shattered Ground. Last year or so (my concept of time is so bad), I chucked the draft I had of this book two because it just wasn't even close to doing the job. The plot was weak and stuff just didn't work, so I scrapped it.  This morning it came to me, so clear and exciting. I took the ideas into the shower with me (my favorite place to think) and refined a bit.  After dressing quickly, I blasted downstairs to the computer to type them. Two single-spaced pages later, I had the whole first act written down.  There are a couple of threads I can pull out of the previous draft, but the whole thing is -there-.  Wow!  I was blown away. And now, I'm dying to get started on it.  Looks like Drawn in DNA may be a little further down the road. :) I haven't touched the OSG universe since mailing out book one in 1999 (still waiting for a decision, too :( ). So working with these characters again will be great.


      Now playing :  Chrysalis by 2002


      Had a fair run at the keyboard last night and tonight. Not as much as I'd hoped though, about 1300 words for yesterday and 1300 words for today. I'm going to write some more this evening, but I don't think I'll be finishing the novel this weekend. Oh well, gives me a few more days with my characters. :)  I did, however, blatantly goof off today by going to see the 11 am showing of X-Men: United . . . I loved it! And man was Hugh Jackman hot as Wolverine!!  Watching him on the screen for two hours is great motivation to keep writing this romance novel. I may have to go to Australia soon (THAT'S where all the hot guys are :>)

      Anyway...I'd better get back to work.  Have a good evening!

      Now playing :  A Day Without Rain - Tempus Vernum - Enya


      Happy Birthday to Milo!  He's one year old today. :)

      A disappointing 45-day rejection from Realms of Fantasy today. I *really* thought I had a chance with this story.  The story goes back out tomorrow. I'm also sending out the synopsis and first three chapters of Isabel's Tears tomorrow, to the Dorchester Contest. Not quite 1K tonight, but I officially cracked the 80K mark. Three more chapters and this book is finished.  I plan to finish it by Sunday evening.  Wish me luck! I'm really gonna miss this book when I'm done. Good think I've got the other manuscript to go back to. :)

      Have a good evening!

      Now playing :  Victorialand by the Cocteau Twins


      I finished about 1100 words tonight. The book is soooo close to the 80K mark. I think I'm down to the last 2 or 3 chapters after I finish my current chapter (Chapter 19). I have a little more to write in this chapter. I brought my notebook into work today and wrote while I ate lunch.

      In the Coolness Department, I found out today that my story, Safe as the Dark (Switch.Blade anthology) got a good review in Strange Horizons.  I was really pleased by the reviewer's response to my story. Making that connection with even one reader was what I was hoping for. Writing that story was a big risk for me, so having someone get it makes me feel great!

      Have a good evening!

      Now playing :  Hollow by Grey Eye Glances


      Another good day at the keyboard.  I put down another 3K today in addition to working with my dad to remove a humongous tree-root from the yard. It wasn't exactly a tree, but it was some strange plant that grew deep roots and a huge trunk. Then I planted a merlot and a cabernet grapevine. I'm beat!  But Isabel's Tears is moving along well.  I'm almost at the 80K mark.  If all goes well, I'll finish this book by next weekend.  Then I'll let it set for a week while I work on Drawn in DNA.  Then the final pass.  I've got a good feeling about this book. :)

      Have a good evening!

      Now playingLand of Forever by 2002


      Today was a good day at the keyboard, bad day at the mailbox.  A 10-day rejection from F&SF and a 114-day rejection from Paradox.  The story at Paradox came really, really close, so at least I have that small consolation. Both stories are back out in the mail today.  Dropped them off at the post office on my way to get cat food.  I wrote over 3K today, so I'm very pleased with that. The book is over 75K now.  It's definitely going to be 90K or very close. I wanted to finish this book by the end of April, but I don't think I'm going to make that.  Maybe I'll be able to get another 3K done tomorrow?  We'll see.

      Have a good evening!

      Now playing :  A Day Without Rain by Enya


      I have to say that this has been a very stressful week, at work and at home. Earlier in the week, my mom was diagnosed with pre-melanoma.  This Thursday, she's having the place surgically removed, which will cause deep scarring on her face.  I'm just thankful they found it before it metastasized. Work continues to be crazy, too. My group starts another big project on Monday.  Looks like two other big projects will begin this summer, too.  We've been swamped with work since November, so I'm feeling pretty fatigued by it all. (Probably wasn't the best idea to spend two weeks at boot camp as my vacation. ;>)

      The end result is that my word count for the week has really sucked. But I've managed to write at least a page every day, so it's not a total loss.  I'm really going to miss these characters when I'm finished with Isabel's Tears.  I've got a few more pages to write before the whole plot blows wide open and careens at full throttle to the end. I'm actually really glad I didn't get there this week. Don't think I could have handled that pace. :)

      In today's mail, a 38-day rejection from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.  My first mystery story comes home.  I felt proud of myself though, because I made the attempt and I sent it out. Fail Spectacularly! I really want to get some new short fiction written, too.  Maybe this weekend will let that happen?  We'll see.  Otherwise, I'll keep plugging away at Isabel's Tears.

      Have a good evening!

      Now playing :  Land of Forever by 2002 (if you like soothing music, you have to hear this group!)


      It's been a very stressful, busy work week.  One that has really impacted my writing.  I thought things would calm down after my group finished its last major project. Unfortunately, we had to gear up for a brand new system-wide upgrade.  Needless to say, my anxiety factor has been rather high. Not looking forward to work tomorrow.  So much to plan and put together by next week. Ugh! Makes my stomach hurt thinking about it.

      I had better luck getting some writing done this weekend, about 2K, nothing spectacular. I want to pick up my pace a bit. I feel like I'm starting to slide back to some old habits and I really don't want to do that.  The antagonist in Isabel's Tears revealed some interesting information that I hadn't known, an odd plot twist.  But it's a cool one, so I'll run with it. :)  The book is over the 70K mark, so that's a good thing.  I think it'll weigh in kind of light though, at 80K. I won't worry about that right now.  I'll just concentrate on getting it finished. I'm getting so close.  There are 2-3 more scenes to write before the story moves into its final sequences.

      In other writing news, got a 31-day rejection from Analog today. A stinger, too.  I really thought the story had a good shot. Also, a 14-day rejection from The Third Alternative. Both stories are already back in the mail.

      Have a good evening!

      Now playing :  A Day Without Rain by Enya


      Put down another 1000 words tonight. A scene where Griff and Cassidy's relationship deepens. The situation becomes difficult when Griff shows her some of his grandfather's things, things that carry images of Isabel and what the man did to her.  From these possessions and some photographs, Cassidy learns more about Henry Perry, Isabel's fiance and his character.  She also learns that she is deeply in love with Griff Perry.

      In other writing news, got an 8-day rejection from F&SF today. Back in the mail for this story.

      Have a good evening

      Now playing :  This Piece of Earth by Jenny Schaub (Only A Woman's Heart CD)


      Not much of a weekend unfortunately. Still sick and I had to work on Saturday.  Then there were the unavoidable errands to run. I managed a few words yesterday. I feel better today and managed my 1K.  My mom, dad, and I planted two dwarf apple trees this afternoon:  a Winesap and a Fuji apple tree.  I want to try my hand at making apple cider in a couple of years.  Slowly, summer by summer, I'm turning my backyard into an orchard. :) It's kinda cool though.  Here's what I have in the backyard: a blackberry bush, strawberries, a dwarf peach tree, Concord grapes, and a dwarf cherry tree. Along with the dwarf apple trees, I'm going to try out a potted blueberry plant, a cranberry plant, cabernet, and merlot grapes.

      And the weekend's over too soon like it alway is these days.

      Have a good evening

      Now playing :  Crimson Collection, vol 1 & 2 by Singh Kaur and Kim Robertson


      Sigh.  I just can't seem to shake this bronchial crap. :P  I've been sick with it ever since I came home from Oregon.

      On a cheerier note, I put down over 2000 words today on Isabel's Tears.  The book's final act is officially in motion. The book is just shy of 70K. I'm hoping that it will finish at 85K, even though I was shooting for 90K.  I'll worry about that later though, after I've finished this draft.  If I can get Isabel's Tears out the door by the end of the month, I'll be a happy camper.

      Have a good evening!

      Now playing :  In This Place by Grey Eye Glances


      My sinus problems have managed to worsen over the past few days, so I'm betting I've got a virus rather than a sinus infection. Unfortunately, though, I've been pretty miserable and haven't gotten much writing done.  I've managed some writing every day, but not nearly enough.  Haven't written yet this evening, but I should manage some progress before the night's over.

      Put down about 500 words on Isabel's Tears, a tough scene for my main character Griff, but Cassidy got him through it. I'm going to transfer to the notebook and eek out a few more words before I have to crash.

      Have a good evening!

      Now playing :  Angel by Sarah McLachlan


      Broke down and went to the doctor today for a two-week long earache. Turns out that the ear was fine, but the sinuses are the problem. The whole right side of my head to my neck was throbbing agony most of the day. I've got antibiotics now (was trying to avoid taking them) and Advil the wonder drug.  I should be feeling better in a couple of days.  Needless to say, today was another writing bust.  Only managed about 250 words on the novel.  So, I'll just shoot for more words tomorrow. :)

      Got a 92-day rejection from Realms of Fantasy today. Y'know, when I opened the envelope and saw the yellow form, my first thought was "Hmmm, guess that story wasn't a good fit. I'll try another market."  Six weeks ago, my first thought would have been "This story sucks because ALL my stories suck because I can't write." Today, I shrugged it off, printed out the story again, and dropped it in an envelope. Rejections happen.  Onward. Then I sat down and worked on my novel.  I know there are tons of slots out there for my work (short fiction and novels).  I'm confident of my abilities and when I rise above writing the competent story, I'm gonna write some damn good stories. :)  I've just gotta keep practicing and submitting. The WAM principle: Write And Mail.

      I am also thinking about switching over to the other novel that's almost finished. Seems silly not to finish a story already sitting at 65k and get it out to the editor who asked to see it.  I think that I will shift gears and finish Isabel's Tears.  Then I can get that book out the door and space cleared for Drawn in DNA. Having so many projects I can shift back and forth with is fun! :)

      Have a good evening!

      Now playing :  silence for this sinus headache


      Wednesday night was a writing bust.  Didn't get home in time to write anything.  Tonight, I got home normal time, but managed only about 800 words. It's all good though.  I'll just keep moving forward with the story. Ben Fletcher, one of the protagonists in my novel, is an interesting character and I'm really enjoying his point of view.  I'm looking forward to putting him onstage with my other character Rigel. I think they'll make a good team.

      This weekend, I hope to redraft my last remaining workshop story and get that in the mail.  Then get more work done on the novel. Hopefully, I'll make very good progress on the book this weekend.  Looking forward to trying, at any rate. :)

      Have a good evening!

      Now playingCeltic Mystique by lots of artists


      Wild Feed went out in today's mail. Moved ahead on Drawn in DNA, getting 1000 words done tonight.  Y'know, I feel a strange sense of freedom with my work right now. I feel courageous and willing to take more risks.  So many of my friends and colleagues have told me how different I seem since coming back from the workshop. It's weird to see some of the fiction I wrote before the workshop, mostly how sterile and safe it was. I was trying to please everyone, trying to repeat safe stories and safe styles.  Safe meant that I had a chance at selling the story because I'd sold them before. A bad, bad, bad recipe for fiction.  I'm really trying to push myself to take risks and challenge discomfort, writing things that I used to be too afraid to try.  From a craft or content perspective.

      Taking risks.  That was one of the big things that I learned.  And don't be afraid to fail or fear critical reactions to my work. I'm not afraid of that anymore.  It feels really good to be free of all the weights that were dragging down my fiction and my creativity. I'm going to really try and put myself out there in my work, not shying away from tough subjects when they come up in my work, not shying away from the characters in the most pain. I'm going to please myself and I'm going to write my butt off. I've finally rediscovered that new writer from 10 years ago who was eager and excited about writing, who settled in for the long haul with the attitude, "Yeah, I'll get there." The writer who was excited and energized by the act of writing.  And satisfied with just that.  I'm finally able to move forward. :)

      Have a good evening!

      Now playingNo Angel by Dido


      Wild Feed is finished at 3900 words.  I feel very good about this one.  I'm glad I wrote it.  I've had a couple of nightmares about the war, so this was kind of an exorcise rather than an exercise.  It was a tough one to write, not from a craft standpoint, but from a story standpoint.  Tough subject and some risk taking. So I feel a little calmer now.

      I didn't get back to the novel though. And another weekend is gone and the last day of March is tomorrow. Oddly enough though, this story gave me a bit of perspective on the novel. Mostly in the area of raising the stakes.  That's what needs to happen in DiD and I also need to build one of the main conflicts by coming on stronger with it in the beginning. So writing this story sort of helped me with that, too.  Time to crash.

      Have a good evening.

      Still playingA Day Without Rain by Enya


      Wrote 2K more on the novel in the last two days. Work has really been stressful this week and I just haven't managed to get everything done there that needs to be done.  Too many projects and not enough personnel/time. Gee, what an unusual problem.  That never happens anywhere else, does it? ;)

      Today, I started a new short story, something I wanted to tell.  I'm about 2K into this one. I don't anticipate that it'll be much more than 4K.  It's an alternate future (not sure that's even a category, but that's what I'm calling it :>) that might fall into the fantasy category.  The story is called Wild Feed and I'm quite pleased with what I've already written. It's probably a story that will piss people off, but so be it. It's a story from the heart and that's the best thing I can write.

      I took some break time for dinner, but now, I'm headed back into the fray. I would really like to finish this story tonight.  It could happen and hopefully I will. If not, I'll finish it tomorrow before I head back into the novel.

      Have a good evening!

      Now playingA Day Without Rain by Enya


      I didn't quite hit my minimum word count tonight, but I came close.  DiD is a whopping 4000 words now. :) But it's moving forward and that's the goal. This week, I put some short story ideas down for future development. I've got three in the queue to be worked on now. Still feeling sickly this week.  The bronchitis is much better, but some of the infection has moved into my right ear.  If the ear is still hurting tomorrow, I'll probably have to get meds for it.  I was trying to avoid all antibiotics, but I don't want to risk popping my eardrum.

      My prayers go out to our troops and I pray for their safe return.

      Have a good evening.

      Now playing:  Hard Drive Spin by IBM  (no music tonight -- maybe that's why I didn't hit 1K -- hmmmm.).


      Put down about 1200 words tonight on the novel.  It's only about the size of a short story right now (3250 to be exact :>). I ended up switching chapters around and I think that's going to be a good move.  I've set a moderate pace for myself, ease back into things a bit. I'm writing at least 1K per day, so that's about 4 pages a day.  I hope to get my production level back up to 2-3K (8-12 pages) a night and maybe more on the weekends.  I think I'm going to finish this manuscript before I tackle the end of Isabel's Tears. Not sure I can handle switching back and forth on the two books. I think my start date on Isabel's Tears will just depend on when I finish DiD.  But DiD is drastically different from Isabel's Tears, so maybe it could be done.  We'll see.  :)

      Have a good evening!

      Now playingMore Than You Think You Are by Matchbox Twenty


      Drawn in DNA is off to a good start at 2,000 words.  This will be an interesting story to tell.  It will be a dual viewpoint novel.  I'm still debating on the inciting incident for this story. Each of the character's has an inciting incident of course, but those points are widely divergent on the story's timeline.  With the version I'm writing, a lot of one of the main character's POV will be told in flashbacks, so I'll need to reach into my toolbox in order to handle that part of the story. If I start the story from the flashback character's POV, then the other character doesn't come on stage for quite a few chapters.  Neither way is wrong though, so I'll just move forward and write a few chapters in Rigel's POV first. Now that I think about it, maybe starting the story from Ben's POV would be best. Because then the reader would know a lot about Ben when Rigel's story takes off. Hmmm, I'll have to think about that a bit. An intriguing challenge. But the beauty about writing chapters is that their order can be shifted around.  God, I love writing!

      I also did a redraft of the ending on an older story that I love and packaged her up for mailing on Monday. Hopefully next week, I can redraft my last workshop story and get it out the door. I'm really looking forward to trying another run at this story.  The POV is one that I feel at odds with and it will be difficult to write, but I'm up for the challenge. It's a story about cloning -- a cool idea, but told from the wrong POV.

      That's it for tonight. Have a good evening!

      Now playingChasing Daylight by Sister Hazel


      Well, I've done a little more work on the new novel, but not nearly as much as I'd like. I've been fighting bronchitis all week, so I've been having trouble getting much done. Tomorrow will be a productive writing day.  I don't want to lose any momentum, not when I'm feeling so good about my writing.   I still plan to do some more writing before passing out for the evening. I must confess, I was so spoiled by being in Oregon for two weeks. Every night, I slept with my window open, listening to the waves crash against the beach. From my little room, I had an awesome view of the ocean. So, I guess I'm suffering from a little ocean deprivation. Being near the ocean, I think that's my secret to success.  It's always an inspiration and it stirs my soul.  And I really miss it. :(  Returning to the reality of Real Life(tm) is hard. I've been wandering around in a fog all week, feeling out of sorts (of course, coughing up a lung kind of does that to you). Time to suck it up, accept the fact that I live in a land-locked state and kick it up a notch.  Because the sooner I'm successful at writing, the better my chance of moving near the ocean. :)

      Have a good evening!


      I've got three of the four stories I wrote at the workshop in the mail now and about 500 words on the new novel.  The fourth story I told from the wrong POV, so I need to redraft that one.  It will have to wait though because I want to make some headway on the new SF novel titled Drawn in DNA.  My paranormal romance (that has about 20-25K left to finish) has been retitled to Isabel's Tears.  I plan to get a good start on Drawn in DNA before I tackle the "third act" of Isabel's Tears.  And I'm seriously considering redrafting IT. I feel like I've made a quantum leap in craft from where I stood a month ago. Last night, I re-read the opening of the novelette I wrote (called Sign of Life) and honestly couldn't believe that I had written it. It got very favorable comments from my instructors and the editor who saw it (and told me to send it out).

      I still feel pretty exhausted from the 3-hour time difference and the sinus infection I picked up on my way home.  Today was my first day back at work, too (more big fun :P)  But I've got more than enough writing to keep me busy and out of trouble for a while. I have some deadlines that I'd like to set into motion:  mainly to get IT and DiD out the door by the end of May to publisher. I know I can do it.  And I will. :)

      And then there's all that reading I still want to do.  I'm debating on J. K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, or James Lee Burke (now, there's a range of writers for you :>)

      Have a good evening!


      Well, I'm officially back from hiatus.

      I just got home from spending two weeks at the Oregon Coast Professional Writers Workshop, affectionately known as writer's boot camp( and *believe me*, it is a boot camp). I learned more than I can ever put into words. Perhaps the single most important thing that I learned was that what I've been going through as a writer is a normal part of the career path.  My crossroads were well-trodden by many other writers before me. It was a huge relief to know that it wasn't just me.

      I also learned that my instincts as a writer are very good and all the things I was worried about were and are true. I learned what was stopping me as a writer and what to do about it.  I spent two weeks with 12 enormously talented, supportive, and honest writers. There were no egos, just writers who wanted to get better at their craft and work hard. I'm so grateful to have been a part of this wonderful, wonderful group.

      It was a tough workshop though.  At the end of the first week, I wasn't sure I was going to get through week 2. This workshop took me back to the basics, back through all the layers of crap I've let weigh me down. I've been broken down and rebuilt as a writer. :)  I wrote about 25K while I was there: three short stories, a novelette, two book proposals and the start of a new novel.  A meeting with an editor went amazingly well, too (with some exciting prospects).  So now, I've got quite a few stories to send out and two novels to finish.  Let me tell you, that feels REALLY good. :)

      Right now, everything has a very surreal quality to it (which will feel all too real when I go back to work tomorrow :P).  For the first time in three years, I feel good about my fiction again. And I feel like I have what it takes to move forward.

      And speaking of moving forward, I've got to get some writing done. I'm off to do some pages and get three new stories in the mail.

      It feels good to be back. :)