Sunday, April 30, 2006

And the winner is...

Rachel Vincent! My very firstest blog visiter ever (to admit it)! Now I'm no longer talking to myself! Okay, in recognition of this momentus event, everyone else go visit Rachel's blog because she's a kickass author who has a kickass book I can't wait to read (and a great story towards publication). Plus she keeps up an entertaining blog.

Thanks for visiting and commenting Rachel - you're the bestest!

Bren gets a very special mention for also commenting, oh! I feel so special!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A roof over our head, Part Deux

OK, second verse same as the first.

[big intake of breath] The Boy and I put ANOTHER offer on a house yesterday. We heard from a friend that her friend had sold her house but that it had fallen through. It was in our primo neighborhood, we had no idea of the price, but it looked cute. We call, we ask price (high, but within range) and we ask to see it. She says maybe on Monday. We say, "but please?!" and she says yes. We see it. We meet with agent. I alternate between wanting to cry and throw up while drawing up offer (I can't explain it, I was freaked out). Our agent says she'll drop it by.

Sneaky us, we put an expiration on the offer - they must accept or reject before they even show the house on Monday. Feeling happy, we go home, drink a toast to our possibly new house and fall into happy debt-looming sleep.

Today, we drive by the house. Many times. We talk as if it is already ours. We make plans. We imagine ourselves strolling through the lovely park that's three houses down.

Then we get a call from the owner. She says, "Uh, that offer you said you were gonna drop off... where is it?"

We call our agent - she dropped the offer off on Friday evening. We finally figure out that the mailman takes the offer out of the mailbox. We promise a copy of the offer delivered by noon tomorrow.

And we find out there's another offer on the table.

Nooooo! Gnashing of teeth, weeping, wailing!

Apparently someone else talked their way in on Thursday evening. The house doesn't technically begin showing on Monday. There's still a chance for us... we must wait and see.

You should know this already, but I am NOT a patient person.


Friday, April 28, 2006

No, you don't use it to shave...

World, meet my new toy:


(I won't tell you about how I carried the old silver one around in bubble wrap so I could exchange it for this pink one...)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Working chat

This is the first time I've ever belonged to an online RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter so I don't know if this is the norm or not. But the Chick Lit chapter of RWA hosts something called a working chat on every Weds night. Tonight was only my second and it turns out that there's generally a fairly small turnout (maybe 3-5 people through the course of the night including the moderator).

Last week I ran into a friend that I used to know back in my first RWA days (that would be 2000-2001). What a small world! I just can't believe she remembered me - curse me and my terrible memory!

This week was awesome. A fairly good turnout (in my two week's knowlege worth of estimation) and some good chatting (and yes, I did get SOME work done).

See, for the past few days I've been struggling with a very important, heart-of-the-book question. I have two different parallel plot lines going and was afraid that one was really just an afterthought. Because I like the plot line, I was wondering if I should save it for another story and make it more front and center.

But then again, I like the contrast of the two plots. So for the past week I've been going back and forth: keep it, lose it, keep it, lost it... on and on and on.

Finally I had the chance to float my thoughts past some RWA folk, people who understand where I'm coming from. And I got some awesome advice. I mean, so excited to get back to writing advice. I'm still always amazed at the generosity of the RWA folks - how everyone is willing to help everyone else out, no matter what their publishing status is.

So thanks to everyone who turned out and chatted tonight. Thanks for the encouragement, the advice, and for telling me it's a good story idea. I just hope I can do the idea justice!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

That was hot!

You gotta love it. I just wrote a scen in my WIP that's supposed to really up the sexual tension. I'm still not sure what the future holds for these two characters but I DO know that a lot of their initial relationship is all about tension. They're always surrounded by people and it's not really appropriate for them to be dating (not that it's inappropriate by any means, but just unlikely that it would happen in their situation - neither is likely to ask the other one out).

So this afternoon when daydreaming plot points I thought of this scene and thought of how hot it would be. Even though my WIP is a romance (ish - I'm still having a hard time placing it but am not worrying about that) I doubt there will be any sex. First of all, I might veer YA with it (trust me, I know there are PLENTY of college women having lots of sex). Second, and more importantly, I don't think the story needs it. Plus, sometimes I think that sexual tension can go so much farther - it can really throw a girl for a loop!

Anyways, the point of the post is that I was writing this scene as The Boy was playing a game on TV. I was totally revelling in it all, imagining the feel of the tension, totally getting into it. I felt bad for The Boy at times cause he would say something to me and I could only shoo him off, not wanting to lose that heat.

Then I did what I always do and read it out loud to The Boy and his first response was "That was hot!"

Just exactly what I was aiming for :)

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Explain to me how Microsoft Word doesn't recognize the word "pleather." Now, just like any other chick I heartily enjoy seeing the whimsy of Word's options for words it does not recognize. But it had nothing for pleather (other than leather and that just doesn't count).

I'm running on Word 2006 here, kids. This Word went through the eighties (didn't it?). It should be frighteningly familiar with 'pleather.'

(and yes, I'm using 'pleather' in the book. Even better: I'm using the term 'pink pleather.' Can it get any better?)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A roof over my head

Hello all (or... er... whoever happens by...)

I had many great thoughts for blog topics while I was falling asleep last night. And we all know what happens to those thoughts from the edge of sleep.

So, since I can't remember my brilliant topic, I thought I would share something from my real life. Not that the rest of this blog isn't real life, but you know what I mean. While I understand how caution is always in order when discussing life details over the internet, nevertheless I feel the need to share.

The Boy and I lost a house on Thursday (yes, we've decided to take the plunge into (non student loan) debt and property ownership). For some of you losing a house might sound strange - it feels strange to us. You see, we're now living in a very robust sellers market. Robust might be the wrong word to use because it connotes that something is happening which is not the case. The case is that NOTHING is coming on the market in our price range in the neighborhoods we're looking at.

Thursday we scrambled to look at a house in primo neighborhood #1 and the agent said "hey, let's check out house in neighborhood B." Sure, we thought. So we head over. Standing in the mud room, peering into the back-yard, The Boy and I get nervously excited. This might be the one!

So we decide to make an offer. This house has been on the market all of a few hours at this point. Our agent calls their agent - they have an offer in hand and two on the way. After work we make an offer - the fourth and last of the day. We offer $5k over asking price, no contingencies.

And. We. Lose.

This is the third house we've put an offer on. The first one was a back up offer; we'd just started looking and just missed the ball. The second was a for sale by owner that sold same day at auction and again we were the backup offer.

But this one... we thought this one was ours. Turns out someone else thought it was theirs and they were correct. They were at least $10k over asking.

I know the right one will come along for us, yadda yadda. Right now The Boy and I console ourselves with thoughts of the chimney collapsing on the new owners. And I like to think of the couple that just sold their house for not just asking price, but for $10k over asking price. Now that deserves some celebration on their part. I'd buy them champagne, but, well, I didn't win their house...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Tell me why I care...

Let me preface this with the fact that I luuuurve my book idea. Love it love it love it.

But here's the question I keep coming back to: why will someone care? What will cause them to turn the page? Other than falling in love with the protagonist and wondering how things turn out, why will they push forward?

My first instinct, when faced with this question, is to kill off a character and turn it into a mystery. But that's not the tone of this book. This one is about a junior in college, she's figuring sh*t out. There's enough of a journey there already and it's supposed to be light and fun - while there's plenty of death, I don't want it to be a murder mystery (I know, that doesn't make sense but it would if you knew the premise... I'm just... supersicious about posting it.)

So my question for all of you out there who aren't reading my blog - how do you make people turn pages? And more than that, if you're a reader, what makes you turn the page?

For me it isn't always about finding out who-dun-it, it's about making sure the protagonist makes it through ok. But even then, what makes us care in the first part?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Best Email Ever:

From The Boy (see post below for context):
You're only the person who doesn't get there if you don't keep writing. You're good enough; you will make it. Right now you're feeling bad about it because it isn't coming out the way you want, and that makes you feel like a crappy writer. Fortunately, you have someone who lives in the constant cycle of loving and hating their own writing to help you through. And I have three things to say to you about your writing quality.

1) It's good. It really is. You're writing is plenty good enough, even at its worst, that it doesn't impair the story (and by that, I mean that the highest goal of all writing is to convey the story without impairing it; to be a smooth conduit to transfer the reader to another world). So the only factor is, are you telling a good story? I think you've got a ton of awesome creative ideas; it's only a matter of time until you find one, be it this one or the next, that a publisher likes. So long as you keep writing, you will sell.

2) You're only looking at your first draft right now. It never comes out perfect the first time; you have to go back and polish it. That's the way it works. Your writing is great right now, but as I am learning, even the best first-draft writing is insufficient-- you have to go back and polish to get it perfect. So you can't expect perfection off the bat. In the first draft, you throw stuff out. Some hits, some misses, usually more of the latter. You have a pretty damn good hit ratio (if I knew baseball, that would have been a metaphor) from what you read me; you should be excited, not depressed.

3) You haven't written anything substantial in like 3 or 4 years. You do get rusty. I have learned, despite kicking and screaming unwillingness to accept it, that you really do have to write to get better. And the more you write, the better you'll get. just look at the Carribean novel versus this one-- I can honestly say that you're writing has greatly improved already. Keep working at it, and you'll get better.

That last one is the real key. I honestly think you're a good enough writer to sell a book right now. But the more you write, the better you'll get. You have awesome ideas, and your writing is chock-full of the potential to bring them out. Keep developing it, and you'll be famous one day. And I will live off of you. Now would I plan my future mooching if I didn't think you could make it?
Isn't he just wonderful?!? I'm so in love...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Worry and fear

So as my last post mentioned I had some issues last week. In brief, here's a recap in the form of an email I sent to The Boy:
Dunno... I guess before it didn't occur to me that I couldn't do it - write and publish a novel. Now it occurs to me that I might not be able to. That maybe I'm one of those people who constantly dreams about it and thinks about it but never gets there...
As an explanation (and one that garners nor expects any sympathy) I must inform you that I've never not succeeded where I've put my mind to it. I got into my first choice college early admission (and I didn't even have a back-up in mind...). I also got into my #1 choice for law school - actually have never received a rejection from a school unless you count Georgia Tech's Masters in Information and Design Technology (yeah, what was I thinking??) I even got into med school with a program that didn't require MCATS or Organic Chemistry. I've never really had a hard time finding a job, although finding the man of my dreams did take QUITE a while (he was worth the wait!).

So it has never really occured to me until recently that I might not be able to make a living - a good living - being a published author. But then I remember the day I looked at my mother's life not as a child, but as a friend. She's been divorced twice, and is now on her third husband (an absolutely wonderful and loving man that we are all lucky to have in our lives). I'm sure this isn't the life she expected and dreamed about as a child.

What right do I have to expect that my dreams will come true? That I'm any different from the hundreds and thousands of other writers out there who are diligently writing, polishing, editing, sumbitting and getting rejected? Or even selling but not enough to quit their day jobs, to not constantly worry about money?

That's the question I wrote to The Boy last week. In the next post you'll read his response. It's why I'm not worrying quite as much, though I still get the odd "will this work?" pangs.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I had a bit of a crisis the other day. I was at work, diligently working my way through some document review which left a good chunk of my mind free to think about other things. And the thing most in the forefront of my mind was writing. After all, I've got this new project I'm really excited about.

And, well, I had a lot more said about that and blogger lost it. Not "I wrote it and it didn't save" lost it but "I wrote it, it was posted, I edited one workd and it was no longer there" lost it.

Sigh... we'll just have to cover that crisis in more detail later, I guess.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Where was I?

I'm not gonna lie - I was away from this blog for a long time and sort of hopped back into it in a fit of fear. You see, I answered a trivia question on Agent Kristin's blog and before realizing it I'd linked my blogname in her comment section. Up till now I've been VERY diligent in not linking my blog with any comments on blogs. I can't really explain why but it's become habit... until that slip with Agent Kristin (visit her awesome and uber useful blog - Pub Rants). And of all things, her Pubrants blog entry that day was about being carefuly what you say about others because you always have to be aware of how public your online persona can be.

And while I'm just another anonymous blogger now I do hope that some time down the road I'll be a little better known, at least amongst my blogger family :)

While a ton has happened in the past two months I feel like focusing on my writing life right now so other things will have to wait...

This morning (or rather afternoon) I started writing again. I know this might sound strange but I've found myself in a bit of a writer's slump recently. Not writer's block - I've had a ton of ideas and have spent plenty of time daydreaming scenes and characters and GMC... but I've had trouble actually sitting down and writing.

Every time I get a new fantastic idea I take it to The Boy (I suck at keeping secrets) and while he might love it, hate it, or like it, he always rolls his eyes and says, "Yes, but you need to WRITE it - no more ideas until you start writing!"

And he's right.

But I still wasn't writing. It was a matter of deciding which story to write - I don't want to spend 6-8 months writing a book that won't sell if I have a book that will sell in my mind. But the problem with that is I don't know what will and won't sell!!! I know what is selling (Publisher's Marketplace) and I know what sold a while ago and is on the best-selling lists... but what will sell in 8 months when I'm ready to shop around?

Now, I know you're supposed to be writing what you know, what you love, book of your heart, etc etc etc, but if you want to sell a book you need to at least be marginally aware of the market. And that has been what is paralyzing me recently.

Until I won that contest on Agent Kristin's blog. I have a chance to send in a partial NOW (or up to a year from now) which means I have to have a partial to send. What's funny is that not 2 hours before winning that little contest I'd gone to The Boy with another new hot idea - I was in love with this idea but, he reminded me, I'm always in love with my new ideas.

But then I told my sister about my idea and then my mom and they were so excited (and boy are they readers!) If I do say so myself, it IS a good idea and I couldn't be more excited.

And so I sat down and wrote this morning (afternoon) and am now 3,000 words in. I want to get to around 30,000 before starting to edit a partial and then I want to be able to send the partial out at 50,000 words when I know all the plot points will be working out (my goal is 80,000 for the first draft knowing that I'll add about 10-20,000 words of fleshing out).

I have a good feeling about this one...

And while we're on the subject of Agent Kristin - go out and read Bachelorette #1 by one of Kristin's authors, Jennifer O'Connell. It really is a great book - I was surprised by the depth of the main character and some of the metaphors and descriptions have really stuck with me (remembering any detail about a book is about the best compliment I can give because I have the memory span of a .... uh.... what was I talking about again?)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Oh! Hello again!

Two months isn't really that much time away, is it? In my defense I billed the hell outta last month (I had a lot of 6 minute increments) and now I'm tired. I'm working on a pro bono project right now - trying to reunite a victim of Hurricane Katrina with his dog. While it's raised some interesting challenges it's been a ton of fun. The attorney on the other side (well, one of them) is a real...uh... let's just say that I've learned a lot about what NOT to do from her! Of course in between all that fun has been the other stuff - you know, the stuff clients pay ridiculous sums for.

But enough about that. As one can imagine all those 6 minute increments began to eat into my long luxurious weekend writing sprees. It's my own fault - I'm not prioritizing well and I need to refocus.

Focus focus focus.

I really do think that one of the big keys to this whole thing is persistance. Keep writing books, keep learning as you go, and you're bound to make it. That sounds too easy but I honestly think it's at least a good game plan to follow.

Take, for instance, The Boy. He's a spec fic writer and a damn good one at that. He's recently (in the past half year) begun to really buckle down and churn out short stories. He'd editing, he's submitting and I couldn't be prouder.

He's also getting rejections. But I look at his work and I look at his writing and I just *know* he'll make it. If not with this one then with the next. And if not that one, with the one after.

Anyways, I know it's a short return to the blogosphere but I must get myself to bed. I promise to do better... a preview of what to look forward to... buying a house! grading contest entries! a review of V-day (truly the stuff of romance novels :)