Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Confessions of a Mass Murderer

I confess.

I’m a book murderer.

I should be ashamed, but I swear, officer librarian, I have no control.

When I’m finished reading for the night, i dog ear the corner of the page I’m on. Yes, yes, I’ve tried bookmarks, but I lose them, the cats use them for playtoys and it’s just not the same….

I crack the spine with a nice ear-pleasing crrrrreeeeeeeeeak when the book is brand new and won’t lie easily in my hand.

I eat while reading.

I’m every librarian’s worst nightmare.

And yet, the books most used, most tattered, most abused are my favorite. I own 5 copies of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna. I own two copies of Nora Robert’s Chesapeake Bay series. 4 copies of Jude Deveraux’s a Knight in Shining Armor.

All tattered, all earmarked.

But that’s what *I* do to *my* books. I cried when I loaned out Nora Roberts and she came back with tea stains and teeth marks. And when someone once gave me back a Kristan Higgins book they’d spilled a bloody mary on? Shit hit the fan.

After I became a writer (so to speak) I got worse. I marked pages that might have a good sex scene that I wanted to deconstruct. I marked a good laugh scene, a good fight scene. One Harlequin novel had over 50 bent pages of things I wanted to re-read, to see how it was done.

And yes, I bend over the pages in library books. But as atonement for my sins, I donate a ton of books to the library every year, and always pay my copious fines on time.

So I do have a little bit of a conscience when it comes to murder.

A very little. =)

How about you? Are you a book murderer?




So, I got my first ever official rejection.

But, I’m okay. Frankly, because I don’t exactly know how to handle it…=) Do I now send a thank you for looking card? Do I curse and rant and rave? Do I print it out and throw darts at it? The options are limitless…

Probably it was just the impersonal touch to the rejection that made it not only bearable, but non-shocking. Kind of like a cut and paste rejection with no pointing fingers, no sad tears, no lingering bitter taste in my mouth.

And that kind of takes the fun out of it all. I’d expected to tear part of my hair out, sink into a depression and hole up like a hermit for days. Live on chocolate, scratch at fleas and rent my clothing. Instead I had microwave popcorn and read Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Even today, when I’m supposedly over the shock, I’m not ….depressed.


Instead, my first thought was actually – now I belong to part of the club! Margaritas for everyone!

Yeah, I’m weird that way.

I’m just moving on. Plodding along with my writing. One step after another. There’ll be more rejections, highs and lows, possible renting of clothing. Bur for now, I’m just saying –




Writing writing writing

Yup, I’m up to my neck in it.

Finished three, count ’em three! chapter ones this weekend. Mostly revising, some inventing, some chopping.

The trick is to keep your mind coordinated as to which one you’re working with.

We don’t want the middle grade genius boy getting the hots for the Jane Hathaway look-alike, nor do we want our fabulously chic screenwriter suddenly dressing in polyester! The men….well, one is impeccably dressed, one is wearing the worlds ugliest Hawaiian shirt, and one is 90 years old, so keeping them straight isn’t as hard. =)

Luckily, just as eating sorbet between main courses clears the palette, so does eating a Hershey’s in between each chapter clear the brain.

But mostly, it’s all about progress.

I received an email from an editor in the past week, she’d like to see the first three chapters of one of my works, AND A SYNOPSIS as well as a little tightening up in another piece as well as the ever elusive emotional conflict being upped.

I’ve gotten really good comments on my MG as well, both from a published author and an agent, so will be revising those chapters to try to bring a finish to that book.

And I still have a request for a full that I meant to have done in March. Oops. Well, it’s mostly forward progress.

Sound like I’m bragging? Well, maybe just a little.



Contests Schmontests Part Deux

I have no idea what my fascination is with writing contests. About once every six months my brain does some kind of hormonal release (somewhat like a hot flash I presume) and I MUST enter writing contests. Doesn’t matter whether I win or not (okay, I’m lying) I just HAVE to enter.

So this year, for my 49th birthday, I entered four. Three for the romance novel and one for the middle grade. And I did pretty darn well really. No wins (okay, fourth place on the MG), but some great comments, even some compliments. Easy reading style. Fun to read, great voice. Sweet.

And some things to work on. Needs more conflict. Too coincidental. Quite using parenthesis, they’re distracting. (do you think they’re distracting?) (I really like parenthesis) (darnit)

So, I’m back to the drawing board. Mostly. A little. Okay, technically not much. I’m ramping up conflict, I’m un-coincidentalizing things (yes, it’s a real word) and I’m taking out some of my parenthesis (two).

Contests can be a valuable learning experience, even though they can also be unqualified disaster. I had to delete one of my comment sheets, it was giving my anxiety attacks. I immediately infused myself with chocolate and while recovery has been a bit slow, I hope to get back to writing sometime this summer. (sarcasm)(maybe)

(see how handy those darn little parenthesis are?)

Seriously though, I have some major work to do. I have a couple editor requests, an agent request and a work schedule that doesn’t allow me more than a few free hours a week.

But for now, contest season is over – for at least another 6 months. Time to get back to work!

Hi ho hi ho!



Digging a deeper hole

This past few months has brought about multiple life changes. Nothing dramatic like being bitten by a tse-tse fly or having all my hair turn gray (no, wait, that already happened) but major and overwhelming stress. Work, weather, and life in general have all combined into one massive roiling ball of….stress.

Which brought out a lovely thing called writer’s block. Technically, I don’t believe much in writer’s block, I believe however, a person can become so stressed that they can’t “imagine” anymore. Can’t go to their happy place and invent stories.

And it’s not a fun place.

So, I’m on the attack. How? By watching Disney and Pixar movies. By reading my absolute favorite authors (Kristan Higgins, Janet Evanovich and Susan Elizabeth Phillips)(Hurry up with your new release Nora!) and diving into their characters. My writing craft books have been set aside while I read Vanity Fair. I make sure I pet each cat every day. (Ok, except for last night when Bear brought a live mouse in the house)

I’m trying to beat stress back with humor.

Will I win the battle?

You bet. Rawr.



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