Monday, March 31, 2008


I am stunned. My heart hurts. And I am relieved.

There was this boy I once knew and loved. He was precious and always getting in trouble, making my son's life miserable because it meant the dreaded grounding. Actually, I believe my son spent most of his young life grounded for something this other little boy did. It was my stand that "if you were there, then you were guilty."

As this little boy grew into a teenager, he changed. Matured. His wild streak was a mile wide. He was two years older than my son and hormones sent this boy off into the maturity my little man lacked. Their friendship weakened but never waned. There were still occasional overnights here and there, the last one two Friday's ago.

There will be no more overnights. This boy has taken another's life.

Yes, it was an accident; but nonetheless he is charged with felony murder.

My heart is breaking for a life well-wasted. For a spirit soon to be broken. For those summer days where sliding down a muddy hill was enough adventure. For my son.

And I sit here thanking God that it was not my son who lost his life. And I feel helpless.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Staining Hardwood Floors

Who you do not want helping you with this project:

Every time we turn around, she's there. As are her little itty bitty foot prints. My husband yells at me. I yell at the kids. The kids yell at the cat. None of us can figure out how she keeps ending up downstairs.

Will this project never end?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Writing Is Hard Work!

Yesterday I wrote and wrote and wrote. It felt as if I was pulling every word from the very depths of the dictionary and placing them carefully in each sentence. I struggled with each paragraph and every page. After three hours, I walked away from the computer. Watched a very bizarre movie. Came back. Deleted the same twelve pages I'd sweated over all morning and began again. This time, the words were there. And even though I only had time to splash about a thousand of them onto the screen, I felt satisfied. And this morning they read well.

What did I learn? I write like crap when I force myself. Go with the flow, baby.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weather and Work

Storms blasted my little corner of the world yesterday. Tornadoes set off sirens, and I wasn't allowed to take a break and relish the activity. I love storms, especially when I'm not stuck in traffic on the interstate. But I'd bought a new toy yesterday morning, and my husband insisted I use it -- all day. It's called a palm sander. I purchased this little thinger-majigger to aid in the do-it-yourself project which is consuming my life. We are finishing our hardwood floors. As my husband pushed the sanding machine, I crawled from edge to edge and belt sanded the areas he couldn't reach. Then I had to use my little toy to palm sand the areas the belt sander couldn't reach.

I hate this thing.

With a passion.

My arms ache. My back aches. My body wants to collapse and never awaken. AND to add insult to injury -- I couldn't watch the skies turn all sorts of interesting colors nor enjoy the display of lightening that slashed through the clouds.

What I could do is turn my thoughts inward and contemplate my wips. I like to write invisibly. It allows me to discard and rearrange my plot and opens my mind to things I might not consider as I plunge along at the keyboard. I made headway on both the projects I'm working on. It's a shame I have to spend my day with that little toy and not my computer. Did I mention that I hate that thing?

Friday, March 14, 2008

How Do I Get Published?

I'm afraid I can't answer that question, my friends. Why? Because the road to publication is different for every writer. There is no hidden key, magic word or secret spell. How did I get published? Here's a tongue-in-cheek version:

1-- I spent months writing this book then years getting it just right.
In the interim, I moved on to other projects.
2 -- I proofed it for decades to make sure everything was correct.
Then proofed again.
3 -- I researched for 18 weeks, 2 days and 6 hours, to find an
agent who would handle the type of book I wrote. That agent rejected
it. So then, I began again...
4 -- I repeated step three 89 times more and waited
and waited and waited and waited some more
6 -- I researched for 13 weeks, 4 days and 10 hours, to find a
publisher who would handle the type of book I wrote. That publisher
rejected it. So then, I began again...
7. -- I sold my book.

Perseverance will be your best friend, self-doubt your worst. Know that you are not alone. Do your research, scour the links I have provided. I posted a new link today. Redlines and Deadlines. I figured, heck, why reinvent the wheel? Go read their blog. Great great great information.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I love this time of year when the sunset brings peeps and squeaks of mating frogs. Needless to say our pool cover always has about two to four inches of water on top and the froggies love to lay their eggs until the green plastic becomes nothing more than a swarming pond of tadpoles. Each year, I scoop several cup fulls of taddies and dump them in my Koi pond. Why? Well, first and foremost, my fishies are hungry. But second, I love the surprise. A few always survive, and I never know whether I've hatched a bull frog, tree frog or toad. By June, it's pretty apparent. I either have the incessant chirping of a tree frog waking me up at the crack of dawn, deep horn of the bull frog frightening the bejesus out of me in the middle of the night, or a small parade of tiny toads entertaining me while I sit on the front porch.

I liken this surprise to my plots. If it's too predictable, the reader will be bored. Move it forward. Change it out. Keep your voice fresh. All of these are daily struggles. As the tadpoles sprout legs and begin morphing into a higher life form so do my manuscripts. I admit I get a complete rush when my ideas pull together and become a full-blown finished book. There's nothing like it -- well, perhaps the Rockin' Roller Coast at Disney is pretty darn close.

My latest query from my Dragon Dancer series is receiving partial requests. Perhaps I've finally figured out what it is to write a decent query letter. If that's the case, I'll share. I'm nervous. Very very nervous. One particular agent who requested a partial is my dream agent. Top of the list. And I pray I haven't made some idiotic snafu in the partial.

I'm multi-tasking. I've split my day into three parts. I'm moving forward on Angel Falls and the second book of the Dragon Dancer series plus I've decide to scour my first Dragon Dancer book (the one I'm querying) to make certain I've eliminated all overused words. I seem rather attached to the word "that." But that's for another post. :) In addition, I'm working on a novella as an exercising in tightening my writing. It's a real chore, because I'm not a naturally "tight" writer. I like to, um, express myself.