Sunday, February 21, 2010

I have a goal


I have nowhere to go today so, of course, the weather is perfectly clear outside. Isn't that the way of things? I mean, you make plans for weeks in advance, and the day of the event you can't go because 'Mother Nature' decides to play a trick on you and muck up the weather.

It's not just the weather outside I have to contend with, however. It's the weather inside. Inside my house, inside my head. Unfortunately, I can't blame Mother Nature for these 'natural disasters' because more often, than not, they are of my own making. I am speaking of self discipline and writing, of course. My dad had a plaque once that read "I love work. I can sit and look at it for hours"...that's me on a bad discipline writing day. I can read anything and everything in the house and not get tired of reading. But when it comes to writing I just stare at the previously written words, read them over and over, for hours without adding a single word more. It's downright irritating when this happens because I can't very well call myself a writer if I don't write!

I am proud to report that, though I didn't exactly shut off the Internet yesterday, I finished chapter four (and, though its words not written as yet, I have a beginning for chapter five planned)! That adds up to 1639 words- or just under 7 pages- of hard earned progress. Not my best work for one day, granted, but it equals 5 1/2 days worth of writing at 300 words per day! Okay- now to confess- I am NOT a mathmatician by any stretch of the word (obviously, since I can't even spell it), so my numbers may not be exact in words per day, pages, or all those factors. I wrote that
many words consecutively, but my over all word count for the day was actually 1897, which includes a few additions and changes here, and there throughout; minor edits to what I've already had critted.

So- I'm off to try to beat yesterday's word count and get to chapter six today, maybe even chapter seven if all goes well. I need to finish this book before the contest ends! (Remember I entered my first contest with the first 10 pages of this story.) That gives me a little over 6 weeks to write and begin edits before the third week of April to reach my goal. To help me, I'm working on getting a word meter put in here so you can all kick me when I start to slack again.

In the mean time, feel free to check out some of the web sites, and blogs I have listed in the sidebar. Or, if you have any favorites you'd like to share- I'm always looking and adding, so I'll check them out.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weather or not


It's a gloomy day out, foggy- alll day- dreary and misty, cold and I want to sleep. Rather than write I washed dishes! Missed my rwa meeting because I was supposed to have granddaughter all weekend and then she went to her daddy's at the last minute. This morning I thought I might make at least part of the days' events with the other Outlaws, and then I looked out the window. Fog. Thick, soupy and still rolling in. So I still missed the meeting because I live way out of the city and didn't feel safe driving in without knowing how bad the fog may be everywhere else. If it was half as bad as we got it here, I'd have been in trouble. So I opted not to go. I'd write!

I have been honing my critiquing craft this week. Today I decided it is 'write or get off the pot' day. So, I opened the wip, read a couple of crits for chapter 2, agreed with those opinions for the most part (thanks Twinkies), and haven't looked at the wip since... So- I have decided to tell on myself, and then come back tomorrow to let you know how much better I did after getting off the Internet.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sweet things in subtle packaging


My sister once deemed me "World's Greatest Procrastinator". I thought I'd outlived that name, but since I began writing in earnest- I know differently. If there's an excuse, I'll find it.

That used to be the way I thought.

I love Chocolate Cupcakes, Star Crunch, Marshmallow Balls- all those goodies wrapped in attractive packaging. But I have discovered that it is the ones in the subtle wrappings that are the most good for me and that I love the most.
I know this seems totally off topic but it isn't. Not really.

I have a wonderful group of women who keep me on task these days. We laugh, cry, complain, and most importantly, we write- and suffer the pains of writing- together. No I haven't written a whole book while working with these ladies, but I have seen some of the errors in my writing, as well as the good of it, through their various talented eyes. The Romance Critique Group, as we have deemed ourselves, is just what the name says. We all write various genres of romance and pull/push/drag one another along, lift each other up as we all struggle toward that all-time, craved-for title of 'PUBLISHED AUTHOR'. We are, as one of them dubbed us, Twinkies. We seem to know what the others need from us, what they can offer us in return, and how to reach those goals. I don't think I've ever worked with anyone who seems to know what I am trying to say in my writing
before I met these women (except for Brenda of course :-D).

That is not to say I haven't had other wonderful CPs. I have, and I thank and appreciate each one of them whole-heartedly. It's just that I seem to have found others who, like me, needed something and until now wasn't sure what that 'something' was. On top of their great writing qualities, when my friend Donnell left this world last week, they were there with words of comfort, understanding, and patience. We really do fit like sardines in a can (of course we keep the top peeled open).
You'll find their blogs and/or websites in a list to the left. Please give them a pop in and say hello.

To my Twinkies- Thank you.
(Now if they could make me keep up with my blog!)


Farewell to my friend


I have not blogged this last week because I lost a friend and OKRWA writing sister, Donnell Epperson. What a wonderful woman she was with her bright, cheerful spirit, and happy-about-life attitude, even though she's been battling breast cancer for the past several years. She finally lost her war last Sunday after a brave fight. We will miss you Donnell, more than that- the world will miss her, and not even know what a great person it's lost as Heaven parties gaily with it's gain.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pictures speak louder than words


I've been thinking about inspiration in my writing this weekend. I can sit with my eyes closed for hours and imagine my characters. What they sound like, what their hair looks/feels like, how their eyes look when they laugh, what they feel like, and most of all- what they look like.
My heroes seem to always-always- have a deep southern accent. Sometimes they might have a gravelly voice, deep and rough, or just an average tone (I think of Chase Bishop with this), a voice that drawls slow and deepens in passion or anger- but on the average he sounds like the boy next door we all grew up with. I love dark haired men vs blond or red. Most of my heroes will have dark, or very dark, brown or black hair. Sometimes its longer than acceptable in society these days (I grew up in the 70's-80's when long hair on men was IT) but not tacky long. I think of Chase with a hair style similar to (from my favorite band!) Gary LeVox; Rascal Flatts lead vocalist, only darker. I'm still looking for a picture that captures Chase and the image I have in my head. But I have one that is very close.
Real estate mogul living an ordinary small town life. He doesn't flaunt his wealth because he doesn't need to. People know who he is, they know what he does and his successes.

Meet real estate agent- 5' 11 1/2", 207# of brawn and brain, Chase Bishop, 29 years old, single, wealthy, sexy.
(I had pictures of both h/H but it wouldn't load my blog with them in.)

Now that I've covered the man of my current dream, let's see who he has his violet gray gaze pinned on and his heart lost to.

When I think of the ladies, I think typical girl next door lovelies. Usually darker hair, though not always (one sub character has blue streaks, or red, orange, green- whatever her mood), because the heroine in this love story has magnificent dark auburn hair in curly ringlets of disarray. She's got Irish heritage and it shows in her light complexion and big green eyes. I imagine my heroines as around 5.2-5.6 tall and (usually) around 110-130#. She isn't perfect, though the hero always thinks she is. Like you and I they both have faults and blemishes (inside and/or out). But they are respectable, honest, people. Always. Even if they don't seem so at times. Hey- we all slip now and again. Don't judge.

I haven't found the perfect representation for Kelly yet. After all, it's not easy finding someone with her description-and pregnant. But I came close with a toss up between two.
The first I picked is Model, Kate Dobo.
Then, there's Model Aviva. Young, fresh-faced, and (I think) just what I'm looking for in a 'girl next door' presentation. Except she's not pregnant.(I actually imagine Kelly with a little more meat on her bones, but this is a great likeness.)
So...Let me introduce you all to clothing entrepreneur and cat sitter- 5'5", 138#, 5-month-pregnant, Kelly King. 26 years old, single, surrogate baby receptacle who steals the real estate mogul's heart.

Now I just need to get to their HEA and get their story in front of an editor!
Of course, sitting with my eyes closed doesn't get any words to paper- so I don't sit day dreaming for hours. But I think inspiration is key to any good book and whether it's pictures to gaze upon, or music to write by, we need that key to unlock the doors of creativity.

Today it's pictures, images of the heroine and hero.

Tomorrow? Maybe I'll listen to some tunes and see what feels like Kelly's song. After all, what gal doesn't like to have 'her' song?