10:44 pm -- 73,000 words!! THIS BABY'S DONE!!!!!!

    The last few chapters just careened ahead after I got started and wrote nearly 5K tonight. But I wrapped all my loose ends and the book cycled through its last sequences on overdrive. Man, I just couldn't type fast enough to get it all down.  I love those moments when you're fingers are literally flying across the keyboard, your fingertips barely touching and the flurrying of clacking rising above Evanescence's Going Under...When I looked up, I was in the denouement and wrapping it all up.  Wow.  What an awesome feeling!  I'm gonna go celebrate with a Diet Coke. Damned if I didn't earn it tonight.  I don't care if it 11 PM and I have to be to work by 9 AM. I'm having my Diet Coke, holding my Persian, and reading my book.

    It's been a good evening.  Hope yours is too.

    Now playing: Fallen by Evanescence
    Now reading: Another Man's Son by Katherine Stone


    10:39 pm -- 67,250 words

    Held my own tonight, despite a bad day at work and another late start. I was starting to block a little (which is crazy since this is the most dramatic part of the whole book), a minor crisis of confidence, but I just pushed it to the back of my brain and pounded on through it.  Glad I did.  Didn't think I'd make my 3K+ tonight, but damned if I didn't get 3250 words.  I think another 3 or 4 k will put this book to bed.  The last surprise is about to be let out of the bag as Tristan connects two of the players together, identifies the killer and an address. He and his partner, with Persephone in tow, get to the house on the edge of a Seattle park and find hundreds of wind chimes to drown out sound. Backed against the park, they find three women buried alive.  As St. James and Persephone dig the women out, Tristan runs into the woods after the killer and Kip. They come full circle and Tristan steps between Kip and a knife blade. Kip finds the shovel and faces off with the killer.  The wound's bad, might even be fatal. She's got to get to Tristan fast, but first she's gotta take this guy out....

    The query's done, in an envelope, and going out in tomorrow's mail. 

    Big fun tomorrow night as the finish line approaches.  It's in sight.  It's within my reach.

    Now playing: Fallen by Evanescence
    Now reading: new book TBA (a short one though 'coz Harry Potter comes out soon!)


    10:38 pm -- 64,000 words!!! 

    An even better night at the keyboard.  I got a slightly later start than I'd hoped (hey, every minute counts this week) tonight, but I ended up writing 3750 words. That DEFINITELY helps! Kip is now in the hands of the killer after a slight misstep on her part.  It's up to her now, to save herself and her sister -- and the other two women the killer has buried alive.  Yeah, this is a very dark book.  That's probably why it's taken me so long to finish.  I'm not used to writing things this dark, especially at novel length.

    I'm in the story's final sequences...I think I'm going to make my deadline.  :)

    Now playing: Fallen by Evanescence
    Now reading: Divine Evil by Nora Roberts


    10:12 pm -- 60,250 words, bay-bee!!!

    Yeah!  Wrote 3250 words tonight. Gotta keep it up, too. The book is sooo close now.  It was really cool this morning.  I was in the shower, thinking about the book, when boom -- the final twist hit me.  Hadn't realized it until this morning that someone else was involved. I hope that piece works. we'll see. I start Chapter 18 tomorrow where Kip goes to check out the club owner and be seen.  She finds out that someone else is involved and sees them drug her drink.  She pretends to be out of it and finds herself in the presence of the killer, riding to somewhere...and it becomes Kip against the killer. That's going to be an intense chapter.

    It's all coming together...yesssss!

    Now playing: Fallen by Evanescence
    Now reading: Divine Evil by Nora Roberts


    10:20 pm -- 57,000 words.  Damn.  Only got 2500 more words written. Fell short of the 60K I was hoping to hit by weekend's close.  The snag was a little more tangled than I'd hoped. Had to work a lot harder to untangle it than I realized. I'm going to need 3K a night until Thursday to finish this thing by the deadline. Kick some serious butt.  Fortunately, this part of the book is gonna fly at breakneck pace. With three major story threads to tie together.  Two of them are easy, but the third's gotta be tied up before the book goes into the final action sequence. Gotta get my query letter ready, too.  Shit...never enough time is there? I'm so close.  I won't miss another deadline this year.

    Now playing: Fallen by Evanescence
    Now reading: Divine Evil by Nora Roberts

    8:12 pm -- 55,500 words!  I just ran into a snag, that's making my critical brain kick in, so I'm going to take a quick break, grab a sandwich, and hit the keyboard again.  I'm still shooting for 60K by the end of the night, but I think I'll fall a little short tonight. That's okay. The book's right on track. I had 4 threads that had to come back into the story.  Just tied one down and have three more to go.  And I know where they go.

    Hopefully more later...

    Now playing: Auracle by Lesiem
    Now reading: Divine Evil by Nora Roberts


    11:56 PM -- 50,750 words!  Woohoo! Man, I've put down a lot of words today. Well over 6K.  And I'm feeling spent about now. Still so much left to write... Tomorrow.  I'm done for the night.


    Past the 45K mark and setting my sights on 50K and beyond. Things are going to really speed up now.  But there's so much left to write.  I thought 60K would wrap this puppy up, but I think she's going to be longer than that.  My original goal had been 90K, but after I got into the first five chapters, I didn't think the story would last to 90K (and I certainly won't pad it out to that length).  So I expected it to come in around 60-62K...but now, I'm not so sure.  A lot has to happen before the book concludes.

    Man, I can really hear the clock above my computer mercilessly ticking away the minutes. Things didn't go according to plan today.  I'd hoped to get an early start on the book this morning, but stayed up too damned late reading the Nora Roberts book.  So, naturally, I got up late. Then my mom's car battery decided to go belly up, so I had to pull out the bad one, go buy a new one, and install the new one. Had some trouble (okay, lots) with rusted bolts that took me forever to get moving again, but the battery's in and the car works.  Still need to better secure the battery though. I couldn't get it bolted down as tightly as it should be.  Will work on that one tomorrow.  Needless to say, I got a REALLY late start on writing today (about 3:45 pm). With this my last weekend before deadline, I was hoping to get more time in than that.  So, what am I doing wasting time by posting here? Procrastinating, of course.  Sometimes, I hate scene changes and this is one I hate.  Not sure why, but here I am, avoiding it. Writers are weird.

    Okay, back to work...

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing: Fallen by Evanescence (this CD just really fits this book, for some reason)
    Now reading: Divine Evil by Nora Roberts


    Okay, so it's technically the 25th when I'm posting this, but I wrote the entry before midnight, so it's going on the 24th.

    The book's careening toward 45K. If all goes well, I should hit 60K and the story's conclusion by the end of next week.  Man, I hate cutting a deadline so close, but that's just the way things worked out this quarter with two workshops and my collection manuscript due. Still need to squeeze some stuff in for that this weekend. I missed last quarter's deadline and I'll be damned if I miss this one, too. This book will be done by Thursday night. Kip's just about to go "undercover" on her own to try and lure the killer to her.

    And Persephone's husband, Hades, is soon-to-appear, trying to get his wife to come home and let the world rest.  But she's torn, knowing Kip needs her help. She consults Hecate and decides to confront her husband. Kip decides to follow her onto the ferry and . . . with the hope of speaking to Carolee, one of the killer's victims.  Seph is torn when her husband hints that her continued presence was agitating the mortals, but she tells him she won't return until she's finished helping Kip. She knows there is very little she can do for Kip, but perhaps keep her safe. What she doesn't expect is Kip's heroic action of setting herself out as bait for the killer.  Kip gets a temporary tattoo and bleaches her hair blonde to draw out the killer.

    So much to write...so little time. :)

    I got my pictures back from the photographer today.  Now, I just need to choose an image for my collection and that part will be done.  I've got one with the lighthouse behind me and I think I'm going to go with that one. We'll see. I've gotta get the collection's intro sent along with the final manuscript.  That may have to wait until next weekend though.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing: Every Morning by Sugar Ray
    Now reading: Divine Evil by Nora Roberts


    Forgot to mention yesterday that I had a very nice rejection from Ellery Queen waiting for me when I got home.  It was my first submission there and the editor said some nice things about my story.  I'm definitely going to keep this one. :) Wow, a personal on my first sub. I'm stoked.  The story went out in today's mail. Back to work...


    It went by so fast...  Hardly seems possible that I've been there and back, but here I am at the keyboard and it all seems like a dream. This morning, I was driving around Seattle and down I-5 and now I'm 2000 miles away.    Here's a picture of the lighthouse in all its glory. I love this place so much.

    The days were spent beachcombing, watching the orcas, and trying out all the wonderful restaurants on the island. There's a new place called Steps that's a wine bar, but it also has the most wonderful food.  The menu is different every night and the wine list is four pages long of wines by the glass.  I had the oakiest merlot -- Barnard Griffin, 2002. Wonderful. So was Basil's on the corner of Nichols and A. Wonderful, wonderful salmon. And this time, I grilled salmon on a charcoal grill, something I hadn't done before.  I definitely learned something about the cut and the time, etc., but the salmon turned out fine and was really good with the mixed greens salad and rosemary bread.

    We saw the orcas from shore and then twice by boat.  My beloved J-Pod as well as some K's and L-12s. One morning, I was down in a little cove hunting for sea glass when I heard the blow. If you've ever heard it, it's an unmistakable sound.

    I looked up and there they were: some of L-Pod at the edge of the cove moving south.  It was remarkable!  Just my mom and I and the orcas for a few precious moments.  I was blown away. Later that afternoon, (and for the first time), I saw transient orcas. The resident pods are fish eaters, but transients eat seals and other mammals. Despite that grim fact, they were so beautiful...just took my breath away. 

    To the left is a photo of a baby transient orca near the west side of Pendar Island in Canada. Both trips this time were into Canada. On the second trip, we spent lots of time with J-Pod in Canada, too.

    It was so hard getting on the ferry to leave this time.  Hardest time I've ever had. My whole being choked up as I watched Friday Harbor disappear in the distance.  God, I didn't want to leave. It felt more intensely personal than it's ever felt before.  Just ripped me up to leave this time.

    I had my author photo taken out by the lighthouse. I think I've got a couple of good ones for the collection.  I also brought home about 4 pounds of sea glass.  That was fun to carry around in my backpack. ;)  It was hard work, but a lot of fun, too.  Mom and I enjoyed the hunt.  Can't wait to create some jewelry out of the pieces we found!

    And surprisingly, I got a fair amount of work done on the novel while I was out there. I wrote every evening after sunset for a couple of hours.  Even managed about 1500 words on the flight home.  Haven't managed much output tonight though (okay, none), so I need to get back to it. My photos kind of sucked this year, so not very many good shots. I'll probably post a few more over the next week or so. My kitties were so happy to see us when we got home.  All of them have been extra sweet and none of them ate each other while we were away.  Seville is lying beside me on my desk (on her blanket) while Bailey, the kittens, and even Murphy come in for frequent visits.  I'm so dreading the Wednesday return to work.  I'm so ready to do something else.  Something where I feel like I'm contributing something, where my talents are being utilized.

    And it's all over for another year.  I miss the orcas already. I bought a small stuffed one at the Whale Museum.  When you squeeze his tail, he gives off an authentic orca call. Like hearing the calls through the hydraphone.  Such a beautiful, crystalline sound.  Orca dreaming for another year.

    Gonna be a tough week.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing: Champagne Cove by Gary Jess
    Now reading: Divine Evil by Nora Roberts


    wow, THREE posts in a week....it's the Apocalypse!

    The book is going well.  I'm very confident that I'll hit my 60K goal by the end of the month. Things are really starting to heat up now that I *FINALLY* got through the chapter from hell.  I didn't think I'd ever get that one complete. Now, I've got Kip and Tristan poised to fall into each other's arms after a very dark scene that ended with a more positive note.  (Kip had to go down and identify her sister's body, but it turned out not to be her.)  But Sarah's still missing, so her search goes on.  She doesn't realize it yet, but she has actually spoken to someone very close to the killer.  To the guy who has her sister.

    Tristan doesn't know it yet, but he has a prime clue at his fingertips, one that will lead him to the killer's home grounds.  Right now, all he knows is that he's very attracted to Kelly (Kip).

    And something's up with Persephone and Kip will soon find out more than she dared imagine about Persephone's world.  Is she a crazy woman or Queen of the Underworld?  That question will soon be one Kip's asking.

    This afternoon, I finally put together a more modern version of Watermarks through the WordPress software.  Eventually, I'm going to port all of this site over to the new format, but for now, it'll be in two places. If you're interested in checking it out (it's still under construction, so excuse the mess), go to http://www.cerulea.com/watermarks. There's only 1 post from me (which will be the state of affairs until I come home), but you get the idea. :)

    I leave Monday morning for the San Juan Islands (woohoo!!!), so most likely this will be my last post for a week or so.  Hopefully when I come back, I'll have tons of new orca photos and a huge chunk of my novel written.  Wish me luck!

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing: Fallen by Evanescence
    Now reading: The Anatomy of Motive by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker


    (wow, two posts in four days....now that's scary :>)

    Yesterday was a really good day at the keyboard. An almost 3K night on the novel, but the best part was that I got past a pain in the butt chapter that had stopped me dead in my tracks for weeks.  Not even sure why.  I just couldn't give the book any forward movement, enough to get it to the next big scenes. It was just really weird.  Last night, I put the damned chapter to bed. I *FINALLY* feel like I can finish this damned book.

    Tonight, I was all set to hit the next chapter when I realized I didn't have a single clue what Seattle's morgue might be like, where it was, etc., etc..  Sometimes writing in the real world stinks. ;) I can't just make that up....so I didn't get anything written tonight because I had to do research. I got what I needed, so I think I'm ready to hit the next chapter full force tomorrow night.  I WILL FINISH THIS BOOK.  I was going to post my word counts for this book, but they've been so erratic, I decided not to. After I finish this book, I'm going to write a few short stories before tackling my next novel project. I just wish work would settle down. Of course, it hasn't been steady for the last 5 years, so why should I expect any stability now. I'm so ready to do something else. I'd love that to be writing full-time, but that's still down the road.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing: Fallen by Evanescence
    Now reading: The Anatomy of Motive by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker


    Jumped back aboard the novel train when I got back from the workshop, the one that derailed last quarter. I will finish this book by June 30th.  I've just been really stuck in this one place for quite a while and I've *almost* written myself out.  As soon as I get through the current chapter I'm in, things will start careening toward the end.  It's going to be shorter than I'd hoped, but I'll worry about length and market later.  I'd originally wanted to sub this one to the Silhouette Bombshell line, but I don't think I'm going to make the word requirement. And that's cool. I think this book will sell if I can just finish the damn thing.

    I really need to get my butt in gear and start hunting for agents. Although, I may try this manuscript on the agent that turned down Isabel's Tears. Honestly, she seemed much more interested in this book than the other one. I'm not exactly sure how I'll handle that one yet. Just visualizing the end of the road for this book.  And then I have this other book I want to write. Based on one of the short stories I wrote at the workshop. I barely touched the surface of the story in that manuscript. It would be fantasy romance and a hell of a lot of fun to write. Can't wait to play in that universe.

    But I'm strangely attracted to mysteries at the moment.  I don't know a damn thing about them, but I wrote two mysteries at the workshop. I think I'd like to go back to that safe place where the words just flowed, where nothing mattered except the pounding of the keys and the story in my brain.  God, it was a great place to be.  I hadn't been there for so long.  But when I came home and I picked up where I left off with the novel, I found little pockets of safety in the manuscript and the more I worked on this book, the more safe places I found.  It's been a month since I've heard that grating horror of critical voice slashing every word, every sentence. It's been just me and my writing in my office, a feeling I simply can't remember.

    And I'm starting anew in two other genres. I feel like I'm starting over with my SF/F fiction, too. Before this workshop, my short story collection felt like the end of the line. This represents the best I'd ever do in the field.  It's all done.  That was the peak, however small it is. But not now. I found that underground river again, the one that wound away from me so many years ago and I've struggled so hard to find ever since. I see it now, stretching far into the distance, with all its forks and eddies, coves and currents.  I was in a row boat then a canoe. Now, I'm in a kayak. And I trust myself again.  I don't know exactly how it happened, I don't even know why it happened, but something broke free in me. And I'm loving every minute of it. Hell, forty-one was much better than forty.  I could get used to this. :)

    Back to the novel...

    Now playing: Auracle by Lesiem
    Now reading: The Anatomy of Motive by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker


    Another month has just totally slipped away...and things are still crazy busy. Just blows my mind.

    The short story workshop I attended was AMAZING...just no other way to describe it.  It was just what I needed.  Everything I learned comes down to one word:  Voice.  This has been a problem for me since 2000, mainly the stifling of my voice.  All these years, I've struggled to understand what was wrong with my fiction, what about the craft didn't I understand, what was I doing wrong. And all that time, I wasn't doing anything wrong.  Let me repeat that because it feels really good to say it:  I wasn't doing anything wrong.  I was writing perfectly competent stories -- BLAND -- devoid of my own writer's voice. Sanitized and polished and sanded to a dull sheen.  All the bad workshop experiences I'd had and that horrible, ubiquitous critical voice had effectively silenced my own unique voice.  We all have one, you know.  Each one of us, a clear, strong voice that makes us different from everyone else. It's like the soloist's voice lost in that generic choir sound.  Good choirs don't blend all the vocals into one bland voice. They have texture and depth built through each individual voice that gives that group a unique sound, unique because of the individual voices present. One note many voices, not one note one voice.

    Voice: the intonations, inflections, word choices, pitch, sentence lengths, beliefs, values, fears, hopes, dreams that make each person unique. Think Norah Jones, Sarah Brightman, Frank Sinatra, Rob Thomas, Pavarotti, Enya, Rod Stewart, Rob Thomas, etc., etc..

    These are voices that stand out; they aren't necessarily the best voices in the world, but when you hear them, you know them instantly. Imagine all our short fiction in the slush at some magazine or a publisher.  Every manuscript having a sameness about them:  same paragraph chunks, same sentence lengths, similar plots, similar characters, similar settings -- nothing wrong with any of them.  Competent but unmemorable.  Most of us never climb out of the competent trap. There are hundred bazillion reasons why, but I suspect the biggest reason is fear. 

    Yep, good ol' fear.

    I got to a point where I was afraid, afraid to put myself in my own fiction, let myself come through at any level in those words even though every one of those words was coming from me. I'd slide into safe ground, familiar places, familiar structures because I'd sold a story like that once, so maybe if I stay in that area, I'll be able to do it again.  I was so afraid to be different that I settled for competent, safe.  Dull.

    You've gotta put yourself out there, in every word, every sentence, every character. Be strange, be weird, be different, take risks, be afraid, be angry, be mesmerized, just BE SOMETHING -- EXCEPT SAFE.  Try new things, write about people you don't like, people that scare you, things you don't know a damned thing about.

    Challenge yourself, risk yourself.

    Sure, there are tons of people ready to tell you you're full of shit, you don't know a damn thing about rocket science or making cheesecakes.  You may fail spectacularly, but without the risks, your fiction can't break new ground or even break up old ground.  Success or failure isn't the sale of a specific story.  Stories are experiments -- gambles -- and with each manuscript we write, we learn something about ourselves and this crazy world we inhabit. You only fail when you quit trying, when you quit learning. 

    There is no final destination for a writer, it's this hilly journey called a writer's career and every time we point to a spot and say, "That's when I know I'm a real writer," we find ourselves moving again, over another hill, down into another valley. Don't look at your feet. They know how to walk like our subconscious knows how to tell stories. It's a skill we've all learned from birth.  Look instead at your heart, your mind -- at the things that keep you awake at night, that make you burn with anger or tremble with ecstasy because these are the things that are the heart of all stories. 

    Don't think. Write from the heart.  And when you do that, let your true voice onto the page, your stories will get noticed. They'll stand out. That one voice rising above the sea of competent voices.  Like the birth of Venus.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing: Auracle by Lesiem
    Now reading: Northern Lights by Nora Roberts


    Wow, how did April just completely slip away like that?  I've been so busy with work and preparing for a short story workshop...well, you get the idea. Work has just been insane for me lately. Had to travel to a 2-day meeting at the beginning of April and then I had all this other stuff to do (like being on a banquet committee).

    But on the bright side, I got some writing done and lots of short story reading, too.  Tomorrow I leave for a short story workshop being given by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Gardner Dozois.  I'm totally psyched and ready to learn! Heck, I even wrote a brand new story for the workshop instead of turning in something I wrote a few months ago. Might as well learn from my most recent story, y'know?

    I'm so hoping that work slows down this summer.  I *really* need to get 100% focus back on my writing and I haven't been able to do that at all this year.

    In other good news, I won an excellence in service award at work (which really floored me!)  I've never won any kind of award, so I was totally shocked.  And the other cool news is that the award will pay my balance on this workshop.  Yes!  With property tax to pay this month, I was going to have to put it on Visa, but not now.  *relief*  And...I sold my short story, Permanent Ink to the Strange Pleasures 5 anthology! I'm really excited about the sale of this story because it's a story I believed in and wanted so much to sell. Plus the main character of this short story is in the novel I'm writing. :)  Man, I'm just thrilled to sell another story. One last month and one this month -- wow!  I'm totally stoked!

    That's all the news here.  Except that my 8-month old kitten, Denali weighs 10.5 pounds!!  *gasp* Trinity barely weighs 6 pounds.  Denali's gonna be a big guy. :)

    A week on the Oregon coast . . . ahhhhh . . . I can't wait.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing: CPU fan
    Now reading: Moonshadows by Nora Roberts


    This journal is turning into a monthly entry.  Not by choice unfortunately.  The day after I got back from a fantastic workshop, I came down with a nasty case of bronchitis. *sigh*  Another week of work missed. Took me three weeks to finally get well. Needless to say, my grand plan of completing a novel this quarter went completely out the window.  I've been sick 5 weeks out of three months. In addition to that, I got saddled with a bunch of new responsibilities at work that have made work very difficult and very tiring. And on top of that, I just called for jury duty. *SIGH*  Most likely in May or June, both months where I've already paid for plane tickets and hotels and workshops...I'm so afraid that I won't be able to go to a short story workshop in May.  It's the very last time it's offered, too, so if I miss, I miss it.

    Ever since 2005 started, I've had tons of unexpected obstacles thrown in my path, stuff that's really made writing difficult to impossible at times. It's very frustrating and I'm tired of having to fight so hard for it.  So, I'm going to suck it up and try to finish this novel for the next quarter.  Maybe if things go well and I get it done early, I'll be able to complete another book before the quarter ends.  Crazy?  Of course, nobody ever confused me with someone sane.  But I want this career so badly and if I don't produce work, I don't send it out. And if I don't send it out, I don't get it published.  The best results I've ever had in completing a novel is in a 30-day Dare.  So, on April 1, I'm going to declare this book a Dare book and finish it by April 30th.  Then I'll start working on the other book gnawing on my brain. And maybe by the end of June, I'll have two books done and ready to go.

    In the good news department: I'm totally stoked to report that I sold a story to Denise Little for a DAW anthology entitled Harpies, Sirens, Hags, and Sorceresses. The book will appear sometime in 2006.  YAY!!!!!! My last professional sale (hell, the last sale I made) was in 2002, so this sale means SO MUCH to me.  It ends a THREE YEAR drought of no sales. I didn't think I'd ever sell another story and was as surprised as hell when Denise bought it.  I also got a rewrite request on a story I submitted to another of her anthologies.  An editor actually liked my stuff.  Even now, I'm still amazed. This anthology isn't sold yet, so I won't know until August or September whether she buys this one, too.  I love writing for anthologies, so being in another DAW anthology is a thrill for me.

    I'm told that the cover art for my short story collection has been selected and they're working on the cover design now (!!).  I absolutely love the artwork.  This artist is very talented and I'm thrilled it will be my cover. I promise to post the cover as soon as I get it. Still waiting on responses about the introduction.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing: silence
    Now reading: The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gavin Grant


    Okay, I've been a major slacker, not updating my pages and such. Nothing major to report on the writing front, just lots of rejections and lots of reading. In the good news department, my cat Sevilli had another mouth tumor removed (last one was 9 months ago) and I got the word today that it was benign! Not a lot of writing has gotten done the past two weeks. Work has been draining my resources. No cover yet for my short story collection. :(

    I leave tomorrow morning (5 am - gasp!) for the airport and Lincoln City for another Oregon Coast writer's workshop. I'm really looking forward to it.  I'm hoping it will recharge my batteries enough to push this novel to completion by the end of the month.

    I'll post a workshop report sometime next week.

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing: Impossible Dream by Patty Griffin
    Now reading: between books


    Time flies . . . wow, hadn't realized it'd been so long since my last entry. Things have just been crazy busy at work. I definitely walked into a mess when I went back to work.  Things are mostly mopped up now.  Sigh.

    On the writing front, I'm busily pounded the keys as I try to finish my first novel of the year. I'm only 20K into the book and wish I were farther along, but it's going well I'm happy to say. On other fronts, I'm fiercely pounding away at a short story for my March workshop.  It has to arrive by 2/19, no later. Currently, I'm almost halfway through the story -- about 1500 words. First draft. I hope to finish the draft by tomorrow night then let it set for a few days and then polish it over the weekend. My goal is to mail it out next Saturday. Then I have one more anthology to read.  Not to mention the six novels I have to read for the April workshop.  I've already read one of the books (Thank God!), so I've got five more books to read.  And a novel to finish by April 1st.

    I'm getting a new monitor! A flat panel!  I can hardly wait.  It's supposed to arrive this week.  I'm so tired of this old CRT monitor.  It's the absolute lowest-end 17" CRT that I can't put any higher than 800 x 600 res or I can't see the screen. I got an excellent deal on a Dell Ultrasharp 20" flat panel that's the wide screen model.  I have one of their 19" flat panels at work and I just love it! My monitor should arrive on Monday or Tuesday -- can't wait!!

    Lots of writing going on here . . . always a good sign. :)

    Have a good evening!

    Now playing: October Project by October Project
    Now reading: Men Writing Science Fiction As Women edited by Mike Resnick (2 stories left)


    So much for my novel a quarter . . . These past 10 days have been a total washout -- zero word count.  I actually started off okay, too. And the thought of going back to the day job after missing so much work makes my stomach twist into knots.  Everything will be so screwed up and of course, it'll be my fault because I'm in charge. Not to mention that I look like a freak with chicken pox at my age. I just want to cry.  This is not the life I'd imagined for myself.  I feel like such a failure and the routine/responsibility of my job are just killing me.  I keep looking for other jobs, doing something other than what I do now.  Why do I feel so stuck? I just know everything went to hell while I was gone.  Every time I'm gone, something terrible happens that I have handle when I return. Somebody pissed off about something, something that didn't get fixed or handled properly.  I can't go back to work until Thursday, but I don't feel like cleaning up messes and putting out fires.  Just feeling well, I guess, and damned tired of all the responsibility.

    Now playing: nada
    Now reading: Men Writing Science Fiction As Women edited by Mike Resnick


    Did you hear the one about the 40-year-old who got chicken pox?  ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I've been sick in bed since Sunday with damned chicken pox. I slammed some Advil to drop down the fever, but honestly I've never encountered anything so annoying in my entire life!! I knew there was a reason I opted out of these things as a kid ... 'coz they suck!

    Sigh.  Anyway...got 1 nice rejection this week, but haven't gotten the story back out yet. Didn't want to infect anyone with mail order chicken pox.  Sheesh! Did you know you can get chicken pox in your mouth? I didn't until this week.  Ick...I guess I can look at it this way: the rest of the year's gotta be great by comparison.

    Now playing: nada
    Now reading: Men Writing Science Fiction As Women edited by Mike Resnick


    It's a new year . . . I hope that some good things happen this turn. Unfortunately, I've taken another %$&*# cold.  I sure hope this one doesn't last a month like the one I had in November.  I've started work on my novel-a-quarter project, but this week has been very slow movement. I've had to take on a bunch of new responsibilities at work and combined with the major upgrade project we're working on . . . well, I'm feeling a lot more stressed than I'd like to feel. When I come home at night, I'm having trouble getting into writing gear and now this damned cold. I've got a lot of material to read for my upcoming workshops, too.  I just wish I had more time to pursue the things that I love. I've just felt so tired these past six or eight months.  I plan to devote a good chunk of my weekend to writing (I hope).

    I bought a converter box that lets you copy videotape to your computer.  From there, I can burn to  a DVD or CD.  So I've been copying over some of my favorite TV shows from very old tapes. Unfortunately, it's very time-consuming, but I can let one run while I write which is cool.

    We're in the midst of an ice storm.  I'm so hoping the power doesn't go out tonight. All day the temperature has vacillated around 32 degrees, holding onto the 33-degree mark and the rain.  But on the occasions that it fell to 32, it coated the trees and brush in ice.  Now, the temp is 30 degrees, so it's all gonna freeze.  Not sure what the streets will be like tomorrow morning either.

    Now playing: Celtic Mystique by Howard Baer
    Now reading: Northern Lights by Nora Roberts