Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Tonight as many people across the world wrap one last gift, and children hang stockings and place plates of cookies and milk out for Santa Claus with hopes that every thing on their Christmas wish list will be under the tree in the morning. As you travel to see family or friends, stay safe and remember those who cannot make it home this year and those who will never come home again.

Please remember there are families out there whose only wish is to have their loved one home for Christmas. It doesn't matter whether you agree with the war or not. Remember the soldiers, their honor, their dignity. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, something else or nothing else, remember the soldiers who voluntarily sacrifice their lives and their holidays so that you can celebrate them however you wish.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Revisions and Mayhem

Earlier this year - about the end of summer - I finished Bound By Love and had hoped to get it revised and out to a publisher before school hit - that didn't happen.

Now that school is done for the semester and brain has decompressed and is ready to work on stuff again - after several days of nothing but reading and sewing - so much fun - so many good books - so little time. Anyway, I pulled it back out and re-read it. I wanted to read it one time without making a lot of corrections or adding and subtracting bits and pieces. I made it two pages. So I read it, marked it up and revised it. But it feels slow at the beginning. I had felt this way before, but my critique group assured me it was a good first chapter so I kept it. But really, I can veto the critique group and I am.

So, I am thinking that the new first chapter will be the middle of the old chapter 3 with the other stuff woven in as backstory. I have to alternate openings. And whichever one I go with, it's their story. But, the question is then, whose story is it? The one who doesn't believe in love or the one who doesn't trust?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On Writing ....

When I picked this picture, I consciously picked it because it was one I took or at least it looked like it at the time - with three photographers around and the number of people that were at this particular event - its hard to tell who's is who's. But it does go with what I want to say today. I was searching the archives at Oh Get A Grip earlier, because they had done a segment on Heroes at one point and wanted to refresh it in my brain, hoping they had said in a different way than I had in order to explain to someone I know about characters and there flaws - specifically the hero. Her (the friend) stance is that the hero is perfect and doesn't need to grow and the heroine is not perfect and has to do all of the compromising and growing - *eyebrow raised* - the reason because it was done in the 70's and 80's. Huh? The only thing I could tell her at the time was to read contemporary novels because that is what is being accepted as far as characterization goes. She was going to research - and research is good and necessary - some business term which didn't seem to play a large role in the story. We didn't argue over it - there was no reason - I did tell her that as far what she described to me - it was a descent beginning, but it didn't seem like there was an actual plot there. Why was there no reason to argue - I know this person, consider her a friend and sister by another mother - part of my friend-family - and there are things that people must learn themselves. As far as she was concerned a perfect hero was acceptable - I cringe at any perfect - flawless character as there are no flawless people. There are other things that I cringed at to, but that is part of my history - I don't see the necessity of the heroine - any one character really - making all of the compromises and growth.

Oops, getting sidetracked - what I did find at the Grip site (among others) was a segment on Responsibility - the responsibilities we as writers have to - others, our editors, our readers, and ourselves. We could through in - helping other writers who are newer in the craft than we are ourselves. It would fit.

I will get her a list of books that might help her - she thinks very linearly, and doesn't wander far from her comfort zone, with a thing for self-help books and life-coaching - so the books will help her. I found it hard to out into words what I have always been able to do - not always well - but always nonetheless - and that is to tell a story. To know that even the simplest story (unless its the beginning reader books with one sentence per page - and even then) is complex and multilayered. The greatest stories - have layers upon layers some of which can only be seen after re-reading them or looking for them - This can be taught, by the right teacher for the right student - but it only works if the student is willing to acknowledge that they don't know everything and is willing to learn. I am not her teacher. I don't want to be.

I don't know if its because she is my friend or because I don't want to teach. Its a topic that I have never come across with writers - how do you deal with the person who decides to become a writer - after you - they went to school for something else, have pursued something else, and then they decide they also want to be writers - maybe because it must be easy after all you do it. I find it odd that I can be supportive of one friend who wants to be a writer - and I met her through Civil Air Patrol (CAP) eons ago but not of others - the ones that casually mention they were thinking of participating NaNoWriMo or they are working on the story. Maybe its because the one friend from CAP and I have bounced ideas off from each other and offered advice on a sticky part of the book we were working on. Maybe because the friend who writes and has written for a while has the battle scars from writing even though she doesn't pursue publication at this time. She's good enough, and has a good voice and great potential - she'll get there when she's ready - if she wants to. My other friend - this is the first time she's mentioned it. And I admit that there was spike of jealousy - probably because among the 10 friends that we have in common I was the only writer - I am a student going for a med degree - while they are professionals - and mostly all married, but I am the only writer. Following patterns and coming up with new needlepoint designs requires some creativity, but it is not the kind that develops new worlds and culitvates it and peoples it and then tosses the world upside down like a snow globe in order to put people together to over come some almost insurmountable obstacle.

I lost my train of thought along the way about what I was going to mention about responsibility. I'm sure there was a tie-in somewhere - maybe it goes with our responsibility to ourselves or to those that follow - I'll remember and write it right later.

Friday, December 5, 2008

In Lieu of --

Any actual writing that I may have gotten done, the school semester is almost done. Today is the last day of classes. Next week is finals. Everyone scream! So, that being said, this week sucked. I had 5 tests and 2 research papers (30 pages of scientific, non-fiction writing) and two lab reports (each a mere 18 pages). Really, you wouldn't think it'd be a problem, but there had to be cited sources from peer reviewed sources. My brain still hurts and sleep is a fond but distant memory.

However, in the spirit of writing - because I will be back to it, just as soon as those pesky tests are done.... I have pictures. Again. What can I say, I'm a visual person. A few weeks ago over at Oh Get A Grip they were talking about offices - this week its stereotypes and not stereotyping secondary characters and such... Always something new there - I did avoid the Thanksgiving week posts, but then I prefer the alternate view of history of that time period - Thanksgiving is still important, however. And I managed to snag leftover turkey as well as the requisite multiple helpings. Anyway, on the topics of offices -- Me, I'm ALWAYS curious about other writer's caves

This is NOT the view from my office window.

I wish.

This has been the view from my office.

And this has been the view from my window.

And the office view I would like ....

I'm in school, so my real office is where I study subjects like chemistry, biology, and legal issues pertaining to healthcare. I don't write there. I used to. I think. A long time ago, before I needed to study and do homework. I do, however, always have my laptop with me, with it's now dying battery, and a notebook or pad of paper of some sort and a pen, pencils are still for math and science, and I write whenever and where ever I happen to be or inspiration strikes.

It's a lot less rigid, and I'm sure someone somewhere is cringing at the thought that some one some where detests rigidity. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Crayon Drawings

So I started working on this MMF - the idea has been brewing for a while, but I wasn't sure about the relationship between the characters until recently. Because of my school schedule I opted to turn my attention to it because of time - well, lack of time. I did put some dots and a few scribbles in the picture that will be a manuscript. I'm thinking it may top out somewhere between 120 and 150 pages. But I could be wrong. It's been known to happen. LOL. A lot. :) I know more of the back story of the heroine and a secondary character. The government and the role it plays it still a little fuzzy. I don't know if I want to use the typical empire-rebel situation because while it works well, it's done a lot. At least in my experience. Could use the NATO/UN vs. bad guys example, but I don't want to run into a Star Trek world - which is great to watch and all, but way to clean and sterile for me - I'm duty bound to muck it up. :) The semester break is almost here, and it'll be a battle for which book consumes my time - the skeletal tropical adventure, or the new MMF.... hmmmm could be fun.... oh, and then I could...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

It's Veteran's Day - make a point to say thank you to every vet you know.

Freedom has never been free.

Thank you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Missing Muses, Politics, and Religion

I try to stay away from politics and religion on my blog because I accept that my views - which are supported by my beliefs, values, and morals - are different than those belonging my readers. My assumption, whether correct or not, is that 90% of viewers and people I meet are Christians - either culturally or religiously/spiritually. The reason I am broaching that topic now - One to many religious and political arguments that can never be won? Maybe. Maybe not. I did, however, read an article that reminded me of a book that has been stewing and is now pummeling me. The article? It was one that was in the school paper - about a Pharmacist in Virginia, who following his personal, religious beliefs, decided not to sell pop (Coke, Pepsi type things), candy, or birth control. Now some people want the government to order in mandatory that he and others like him sell all prescriptions, not just the ones they choose. Now, I demand respect for my spiritual beliefs and that they may not be yours, and in return I must respect others personal spiritual beliefs. This Pharmacist - I don't think he should be forced to sell things against his beliefs, but there should be a big sign before you walk in the door that due to religious preferences this pharmacy is not fully stocked and does not carry and will not order birth control - that is his right - but the problem with that argument is that if too many people start deciding what they should and shouldn't sell, and they get their church leaders involved, then that gives unqualified people a say in some one else's medical care, and it gives towns a way to force the beliefs of the majority on everyone and then there goes that whole religious freedom thing. It's a catch 22 - he shouldn't be forced to sell against his beliefs, but at the same time it's a dangerous prescedent that could be set and that could endanger the lives of a lot of people and force the beliefs of one or few onto many. It's a lot of coulds, ifs, and maybes, and it might be avoided by saying that a pharmacy may decide against selling birth control only if another pharmacy within the same city/town/village limits does sell birth control. And it should be limited to birth control. Pop and candy aren't necessities of life and should never fall under any jurisdicition accept the store owner. And I have strayed from the original reason I went here ---

The book. The one that won't leave me alone, despite the fact that my muse is no where to be found. It's an M/M/F set in another world - that is hounding me. One that alternately ignore and respond to.

Why a new book, when I was set to go back to the tropics? Partially because it is fresh, new, and therefore really more of a crayon drawing than the outline of a fine artistic masterpiece. And partially, because designing the structural complexities of a world that must coexist in today's complex world deserves more time and effort than I have to spare this semester (it'll be great when I finally stop thinking in terms of semesters) and a new book that adding random brightly colored scribbles is preferred for this semester of heavily laden lab sciences. And next semester when my classes are easy and I am in need of more use of the logic side of my brain, I can go back to the complexities of world building a believable world for my characters to inhabit.

And where is my muse -- I don't know, but she sent photos.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

All About Heroes

Last week at the Grip, they were talking about heroes – alpha, beta, omega – whatever your pleasure. The concentration was on abstract flaws as part of their character while assuming physical perfection. Even Disney™ does it, and the women in Disney’s “The Princess Diaries 2) agreed that a flawless male – physically and in character was wanted.

But what I am noticing in romance, at least, is a lack of the physically flawed hero. There are more and more stories/books being written where the hero is a military vet (usually Army or Marines) who served in Iraq or Afghanistan as the war stretches into it’s 8th year and more and more people are serving over there. Some repeatedly.

While Billy Ray Cyrus’ song “Some Gave All” is apt, and accurate, we as writers want to acknowledge the service and sacrifice without delving to deep or losing the romantic essence of our books, so we have a tendency to stay away from the physically flawed hero. We understand the demons that even those who return physically unscathed must carry and deal with can be monumental, adding a physical complication and that set of demons would further complicate the matter, pushing our characters into unknown waters and setting up a possible failure in a complicated relationship.

I’m wondering why shy away from the physically imperfect hero. Is it because our heroine can’t handle it, or because we can’t?

A good portion of that answer we must shoulder ourselves – it’s scary and sad and potentially terrifying to look away from the safety of the world we know to the one they have dwelled in. But, at the same time, we can not ask a soldier to reveal and relive their time giving such details about their feelings for the good of a story. The qualities we love in our heroes are the same ones that can prevent them from seeking the help needed. PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – can show itself in many varied and lasting forms, which could be another deterrent.

So while writing about the characters with fixable flaws or smaller ones that can be overlooked or accepted is infinitely easier, maybe we should reconsider our stance on physically perfect. The physically imperfect hero wants to be loved and accepted just as much as the physically perfect.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Where in the Universe... my muse?

The note I got says she's "on an extended vacation, the view is fantastic, and she'll try and keep me apprised of her whereabouts and adventures. Of course she took her staff with her, so lets hope she e-mails, because writing is imperative. Yes, so are a lot of other things, but I'm a writer and writing is as necessary to me as breathing -- No, I don't consider it an over-exaggeration because I know it's missing and it feels like I'm walking around in a fog because I know I should be writing or doing something pertaining to writing and since I'm not, I'm lost in the fog bank - you know the one they love to show in movies - with fog so thick you can't see through it and that amazingly enough goes up to the top of the Redwoods.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

License Plates, Books, and Alpha Males

Today in the parking ramp I saw one of the coolest bumper stickers ever (gotta love college kids -- they voice their opinion all over their cars - probably because 1) they're passionate about their opinions and 2) the cars are nearly as old as they are so it doesn't hurt anything) and it ties in with a blog by Brynn Paulin over at Oh Get A Grip:

"Freedom means having a choice"

(cool part is the car was parked next to a car with a "DAV - Vet's Vote" bumper sticker)

Both Brynn and Anny Cook talked about Alpha heroes and women's roles and heroines. I am not the woman who wants to be led or have decisions made for me (not even by someone I trust almost implicitly - not even if the decision they made is the one I would've made) , I don't want to be rescued but if I need help I'll ask -- but, and this is big -- but, several of my closest friends are those women, or want to be if they hadn't had to step into the role of being the rescuer - the decision maker - some have accepted it others fight it constantly. The world cannot function - grow and change - if everyone is the same. If all women were submissive or all men were submissive - things would get very boring, very fast - and you wouldn't have that really special couple that finally learns that yeilding to the other person(s) doesn't make you weak or incapable of living.

Friday, October 3, 2008

OOps --

Now I update my blog. I didn't make any of my goals, and my goals from now until the end of the semester all revolve around school, staying sane, and trying to pass, along with getting my applications for grad school in. That being said, I am going to a writer's retreat next weekend and have begun to dust off the manuscript I finished over the summer along with several business cards to finish my logistical research before beginning the new round of edits. I was hoping to participate in NANOWRIMO again this year, but since the two lab reports (25 pages a piece, they should count :( ) I write week probably won't count I'm not banking on it. Hopefully for Halloween, my website will be up.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Log - 15.E.9.252

#$%^&*()_ ncjiea $%^&*((
Signal Error
Signal Rerouted
--- Transmission Begins ---
--- Begin Encryption ---


A new med doc has been requested by the administrators. The Emperor's Magistrate has approved the request, and volunteers are being sought. The candidates will be few, and we should research each one ourselves and position ourselves accordingly. At no point should any candidate be considered trustworthy and allowed into the inner sanctum of our people.

Hale Landon

--- Transmission Ends ---
--- End Encryption ---
Signal Rerouted
Com Unit Internal Error Fixed
Transmission Log Erased

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Goals - Revamped

OKay -- so, I like goals - I like making them - but lately, I've been horrid at actually keeping them. The idealism that always, always catches me when I make them, turns tail and runs when it's time to buckle down and really work.

Writing is work - when you sit and stare at the screen until your eyes bleed and your tempted to tear your hair out or throw the computer through the wall because the characters and the plot aren't going along how YOU wanted them to, and the only cure is to plant your arse in the chair, put your hands on the keyboard - trying to not to bash your head in on it, the monitor, or the desk - and write.... pull teeth, use a pick-ax, or tweezers but get it done.

That being said, I did NOT finish my edits. I was busy, and every time I started to pick my computer up - I was interrupted - I'm not complaining - well, not loudly or a lot anyway, because I could have said "I'm busy, leave me alone." Which, I didn't. There was no concentrating and even less writing and now there is unwinding and procrastinating - which is dumb, because it needs to be done and soon.

So, optimistic as ever, I'm going to reset my goals. Revise and submit BBL by Sept. 1 and add 7 pages to TB-TT. School starts on the 2nd, so it's a good cut-off point. :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Celebratory Dinner

My best friends took me out to dinner to celebrate my finishing Bound By Love - the fact that I was doing the happy dance all over the campsite wasn't enough. So, they took me to one of my all time favorite restaurants, Hearthstone. I absolutely love their soups. I ordered one of their Magical Soups - Orange Ginger Chicken, but they ran out just before she was going to serve us, so I chose Indonesian Carrot Soup. The Indonesian Carrot Soup tasted like curry and ginger. There was a subtle kick to it that started in the back of your mouth and whooshed forward. Oh My God! It was exquisite. I'm not sure how they do it, but magical is a great description. All of their soups are made from scratch. I also had Manicotti, which was fantastic, and bread, but really the soups are great. I also sampled their Cheddar Cheese, which was great.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bi-Weekly Goals

Goals are one of those things that help some people achieve their dream or get through the to-do list. I like goals - I don't always make them, life occasionally intervenes, and then there is work, and they want you to do their work and not write! But, I like them and I make them. So, in the next two weeks - I have a couple of photo things coming up, so, I get more time - I want to revise BBL and get the time line and details all straightened out and then submit it. And then I want to get 5 pages done on TB-TT. My reward -- hmm -- ooh - homemade chocolate chip - raspberry cookies.

(photograph - National Geographic - Adirondack Sunrise )

Monday, July 7, 2008


IT'S DONE!!!!!!!!!!!
BBL is done!!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Happy Joy Joy! I'm thrilled.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

20 Pages

I'm 20 pages from the end of BBL!!!! Woo Hoo!!!

Granted, I've been there for a week or so, but in my defense, there are pressing issues besides my muse vacating the premises unannounced. I do have an out of town guest visiting, and there were a couple of details that needed to be sorted through before I could finish. Now, the details are taken care of, it will change things slightly, but not drastically. My friend is still here, but that's okay, it's a neat change and they have to leave tomorrow. It makes me more appreciative of my writing time. And it makes me wonder how others write with company in their house or always over.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Why Is It?

Why is it that just before the tornado sirens blare, we send our children inside for safety and then we as adults stand outside with cameras and video cameras taking pictures and talking about the possible tornado forming right before our eyes with nasty high winds that did finally at least cool everything down for a while? The sirens wailed and we moseyed in and out again. Watching, waiting, and looking. Now whether this was the tornado we were seeing or just part of the storm - there were at least three layers of clouds moving at varying speeds and directions and the clouds did drop down and kiss the earth. It was beautiful to see.

Friday, May 23, 2008


R.A.K - Random Acts of Kindness - and this morning I was it's victim. :) My daughter,9, surprised me with breakfast in bed - two waffles fresh from the toaster and a mug of coke. And we sat eating and giggling until responsibility made me take her to school. (pic- computer art by my daughter)

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I'm so excited! I'm pages away from finishing Bound, a short erotica. Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's set in a small coastal town on Lake Michigan.

I know it's a been a while - and there has been time but it has a tendency to get filled up when I'm not looking. There was the week off for an inflamed Achilles tendon and I did get quite a bit of writing done, just not on Bound or Tropical Temptation. My daughter was in a fashion show and in the paper and loved it and has decided that she most definitely wants to be an actress and a model.

HOpefully Bound will be finished today, tomorrow at the latest.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Spring Fling Update!

Spring Fling was last weekend - a very busy, informative, fun weekend. It was a lot of fun, but I'm glad to be home. The food was great - Chicago Style Pizza, Chocolate Reception, Baked Praline French Toast Casserole, - and the room was huge. Sadly, there was no sight-seeing, except the construction workers as we traveled through the city first to get to the hotel and second to get home. So another trip is in order. We did go by the general vicinity of where one of the grad-schools I'm applying to is. I did find out about RT, although I'm sure some of the details were lost, but there was much said about the models.

There were scads of workshops, Q & A Panels, book signings, and opportunities to meet people - and just enjoy the energy that fills a place when so many writers congregate in one space. It was invigorating. Different than the winter retreat , it was excess energy from an external source that spills out from others and into you, when you learn about the craft and the business of writing, and the draw and necessity of writing. It was a Romance Writer's Conference, so just about everyone there wrote either romance or women's fiction, but there were so many sub-genres that it made things extremely interesting. Literacy Chicago was the beneficiary of the silent auction which raised something like 5k or 10k! The Conference closed with a Mardi Gras Gala and Sunday brought a seemingly much longer trip home.

Now excuse me while I make a dent in my too read pile, not that school is out alternating with pushing out as many of my own pages as possible. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This coming weekend is the Spring Fling Writer's Conference hosted by Chicago North RWA and I'll be there! Yeah! I"m excited and can't wait to go. I'll be traveling with members of my critique group, so I'll get to catch up on all the news from RT which was last week (schools + finals = no fun at RT for me).

I'm hoping to do a bit of site-seeing while we're there, but I'm not sure, which is fine, since I have a cousin who lives there, that offered us a place to crash and take us site-seeing this summer.

But I'm extremely excited about the conference.
This will be my first time at Spring Fling, which is on the north side of Chicago. School is almost done and my worries will be fewer. I will finish something this summer!!!

(photo by Richard Seaman)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sad News

Heath Ledger -- Too young.

The first thing I ever saw him in was as Conor in ROAR and I hated it when the show was canceled.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Photo of The Week

Okay, so it was probably more like a National Geographic Photo of the Day (lurve their photos) or a Webshots photo-- but I'm so going to use this as a setting someday -- just not sure of the where, when, or characters. (Silver Caves in China)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 2008 be better than 2007.

First, sorry for the lapse -- college student - end of semester was really tough.

That being said, schools about to start again and I'm still looking forward to it. I have goals marked for this year and a couple of books I hope to have finished by the end of the year, one by July. And submitted. I started the year writing and am anxious to get back to it.