My Journal

This is a journal of sorts. It won't necessarily be daily. It won't necessarily give you gems of important insight or the how-to-guide to writing. What it will give you is a taste of what it's like to be me, a simple writer, living in a very busy world, yet still finding time to type out a few words. Some posts may be short with simply "I wrote X number of words today." Some will be longer. This is a test for me, another work-in-progress. The first post you see below is always the newest post. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for stopping by. ;-)


So I've been working on the sequel to Fever Hitch. Whew. This process means I've reread FH, taken copious notes, printed out the story I have written so far, and made a loose outline of what I've written, what I want, and how to fill the gaps. Believe it or not, it's taken me most all week to accomplish just this! 

Writing this particular sequel has proven a special challenge because I did so much world building in the first one. If you haven't read FH, it's sci-fi and centers around a convention. This second story is set at the same convention (three years forward), involving many of the same characters/species, and introducting a few new ones. So it's not like I can come up from scratch everything. No, I have to USE, accurately, much of what I've already built. Thus the pages upon pages of detailed notes. 

But it'll be worth it. The sequel, I'll go ahead and tell you, will be M/F, as opposed to the M/F/M relationship in the first one. It'll be heavy on the voyeurism aspect (and let me tell you, that was so fun to write!). 

I've also started the rewrites/edits/add ins to the story. Yesterday I spent most of the day working on the prologue itself. Again I say, whew! 

My goal to finish this one is this week. Hahahaha! No, seriously. If I get too stressed, I'll give myself to the end of the month, but I'm hoping I can at least hammer out the rough draft--completely--by this time next week. Wish me luck!!    

First of all, I can't believe it's been over a week since I've jotted notes here. Sorry. In the midst of everything else, I had two kiddos to shop and pack and get ready for summer camp. But beyond that, I have some great news: 
Whoo-hoo! I did it. Finally! I completely finished and submitted a story. It's been almost two years and the relief and happiness inside me is amazing. More details will be forthcoming as the contract is signed and the wheels turn toward its publication. 

So, now what? Yes, I do have a follow through plan. I've pulled out my WIP of the sequel to Fever Hitch. I've been about three quarters of the way through the story for forever it seems. There's something that just hasn't clicked right in the events. I'm hoping since it's been quite a long time, I'll be able to see what I've written with fresh eyes and allow myself to rewrite/write new whatever my muse tells me to, to get through the glitch that's been holding the story back.  I've set my word count goal loosely at 30K. I really want the story to be at least that long. If I had my s&*t together, I could easily finish it by the end of the week. But I don't. My completion goal for the story is by the end of this month. I've added it as one of my Camp Nano projects to spur me on.  

Good morning. I have my pup lying at my feet, one of my kitty's on the arm of my chair (tapping me with her paw for rubs), the kids still summer sleeping in and DH off to work. And, my current WIP at my right elbow in print and minimized onscreen. I'm not an A.M. writer. I've always harbored a faint jealousy of those who state they wake up at 4 or 5 A.M. and write furiously until the family wakes. Huh. Not me. I've tried it. But I've never been and probably will never be a morning person. I do not like early bird worms. Sorry. That said, I have been up a good hour or two already and, as it's Independence Day, have family plans for most of the day. But not this morning. 

As bad luck sometimes has it, the vehicle I've been using lost its water pump last night. So no traveling anywhere. Eh, that's good and bad. I'm trying not to stress over the repairs today. I'll save that until tomorrow when I have to get on the phone and call around, begging mechanics to give me a round about price quote to get the sucker fixed. Normally DH would take care of this, but in this particular vehicle, it's difficult to get to and frankly (and I don't blame him), he doesn't have the time to spare to fix it. Yes, it'll mean more $$ which we don't have to have someone else do the work, but (sigh) I digress.

All this to say, I'm editing with plans to have the Paranormal story polished and ready to go to the publisher next week. Goal setting is important. And, next week two of my kids will be off to summer camp (another worry for another day), so I'll have tons and tons of undisturbed time to write. Again, that's the PLAN. A plan I do indeed intend to make happen. 

Have a happy and safe one today! I'm turning now to edits. Even if it's only a page or two until someone comes in with, "can you fix me a sandwich?" it's a page or two complete! 
Whew. It feels great to write once more. It's helped that DH has also been in the "you go to write now" attitude. He's taken me by surprise a couple times and doesn't understand that writing is not quite as quick and easy as flipping on and off a lightswitch. But it's okay. It takes me a little bit to get back into the flow, but I get there. 

I've signed up for Camp NaNo for this month as addition motivation. It's odd in that my goal is editing--not writing fresh, so my word count on NaNo will be wonky, but that's okay. As long as I write/edit daily, that's all that matters to me.  

On the out of the home writing front, I've researched for different apps I can use. Evernote, as great as that little app is, truly sucks. Sorry Evernote, but it does. If it didn't crash so often and leave me with pages of story lost, I'd give it another go, but after two fails, its history for me. I did find an app (sorry, I cannot remember the name right now and my tablet is in the other room) but I haven't tried it out much yet. A downside, as I explained to DH, is that I don't think I can move files from my computer to the app. As a result, my edits I've been working on this past week are pen and paper edits. But don't be sad, that works really well for me. I do my hand edits, then when I sit down at the computer to enter these edits, I find even more detail I can add/delete. 

So..for my paranormal story, all the hand edits are complete. It's around 46 printed pages and about 20K. Today I entered my edits for about 6 pages and the word count increased by almost a thousand words. 

Hmm. It has been awhile. I have tons of excuses. Kids got sick. My father became VERY sick, lots of doctor appointments. My writing apps crashed. The kids' schooling had to take priority. Business had to take priority. LIFE had to take priority. All that to say, at the end of the day, it's all excuses. In truth, I fell off the writing wagon. Hard. And it's hurt. Hurt as in, I've missed it terribly. I become irritable when I don't write for long stretches of time and it becomes a vicious cycle. I don't write for whatever reason, I get cranky, I want to write but there are fifty million other things that seemingly NEED to be taken care of right then so I do them first, but then I'm too tired to dedicate time to write. So I get cranky and want to write. But something else comes up, and it goes on and on. Does this sound familiar? I'm sure, to many of you out there it is. But do not give up hope. Or the desire to write. It'll come again. 

In the past few days I reached out to one my best writing friends (found out she reached out first, but hey, I did some reaching, too). I found out one of my publishers has re-released my fairy tale story. I love that tale so I'm excited it's getting a new shake out there. This has spurred me. I've updated my website, worked on some promo, updated my blog. Trying to get back into the writing world swing of things. 

I've also turned my thoughts back to my stories. The ones that are half finished or nearly finished or not even started yet. DH has even mentioned that I need to get back to writing time again. It's a-coming. I'm excited! 

When I think about what's brought me back to this's silly, really. I may not have been writing much lately, but I've been reading a lot. I recently finished a book by an up-and-coming author. This person only has a couple books out (historical romance), and her books have received accolades from other well known authors I read, so I took a gamble and forked out the $7.99 for her book. I'll add that this book was published by a top NY publisher. 

I won't give out details, sorry (because everyone's opinion is relative and I won't sully another author directly), but it was an absolute struggle for me to finish the book. I stand corrected, it wasn't a struggle to finish, but to make sense of everything! The heroine's fears led the reader to believe her childhood trauma was something completely devastating. When it's finally revealed, well, yeah, it's bad, but nowhere to the point of the heroine's reactions some ten or fifteen years later. On the flip side of the coin, the hero is wishy-washy when it comes right down to it. He hooks up with the heroine under less than honest reasons, then through the story you actually see them falling in love. As it should be. Toward the end, he does a complete about face and carries on about his dishonest meeting of her as if what they've shared since then hasn't meant anything. And when she's hurt and decides to leave him--he professes his love and begs to stay. WTH? And other top name authors are endorsing this book? I don't see it.

All that to say, reading this book kept a thought pinging in my mind: I may not be a NY Times best selling author (yet), but I can write a damn good story. I kept thinking through (the previously mentioned) book, "where's the flow of the story?" "That comment contradicts an earlier thought." "That character is out of sorts," etc. I kept thinking, "If I were writing this, I'd do this and that." 

My rambling here tonight/this morning, is to say that yes, I'm returning to my writing. You may not see any changes to my word count meters quite yet, but my muse is stirred and I'll soon put the proverbial pen to paper once more.

I'm slipping this in as I've not updated in a few days. As you'll see from my regular blog post, there's been sickness in this house, so writing has been on a standstill. But on Monday, I made progress. 

I have the name, job, motivations and issues with the heroine for my contemporary. I have the name, job and motivations for the hero. I have his issues, too, but they're not as "juicy" as I'd like them to be. I know his problems will reveal themselves to me as I keep writing (guys can be so closed off sometimes, you know?). At any rate, I wrote the opening scene of the story and I am making plans to (in real life) revisit the setting (it'll be outside of Savannah, GA) so I can perfect some locations. 

As for the paranormal short story, I'm still waiting to hear back from the publisher, but I have uploaded the entire story to my kindle so I can begin edits-on-the-go. 

Because of family and of being sick, I haven't been able to "go to work" as I'd been. Tomorrow I won't either because the day is filled with various doctor appointments. Thursday afternoon looks to be it for me. The only other option will be if I can get out tomorrow night. IF no one else gets sick, I'll be able to do this. Fingers crossed!  

I submitted a proposal to one my publishers for the paranormal story. It is being considered and I should know news shortly as to its acceptance (then I can share the title and a little more info about it) *grin*. The story is still in its rough draft. I'm doing as promised and letting it sit to the side for a few more days, then I'll return my focus to the tale to rewrite what needs to be rewritten, edit and polish the heck out of it. 

In the meantime, I'm working on developing a contemporary m/f romance. I don't know yet if it'll be "erotic," in the sense of heavy language and graphic description and contorted positions (haha), but it will definitely be longer. The 50K I threw up is only a guesstimate. I may move it more toward full novel length, but we'll see how the story unfolds. Depends on how deep I want to delve. Today I almost finished fleshing out the heroine (her background, work, age, motivations, etc) and started to work on the hero. I know the setting and the premise and I'm super excited to get going on this. It may be a little while yet before you see anything move on the progress bar to the right, but I have it there for motivation. Posting to this journal may be more spotty as I work in this transition period, but I will keep you updated. 
I did not update last night because I came home and CRASHED. Hard. But I finished the rough draft of my story!! I'm so happy!! I know, in a way, big deal, right? But it's been over a year since I've been able to finish any story. I'm grinning and dancing today. 
I put in the word count bar an even 20K, but technically it's a little over. Of course, this is rough. I'm going to let it sit for several days, then I'll start the rewrites, edits and polishing of the book. I figure it'll take another two weeks. My final word count could go up or down another several thousand. 
Even though the word count will stay the same in the progress bar, I'll let you know the book's progress as I work it into better shape. I'll also let you know the title when (and if) it gets contracted. I'm a little superstitious that way. I don't like to reveal a title until I've signed on the dotted line.  

Sorry it's been a few days. Very good and busy days. AND I have been doing some more writing. You'll notice I'm over 17K. In my rough draft, I do believe I'm going to hit my estimate of 20K. I'm in the home stretch. Today will see me working a little at the library. I won't have tons of time (unless I can sneak off tonight, too), which means I may not be able to completely finish this afternoon, but as it is the 31st, I'm determined come hell or high water that I'll finish the rough before I crash tonight. Oh, have I told you, I don't consider the day over until I crawl my ass into bed? Be it 10 PM or 3 AM. I like that kind of day-timing. Another busy day today ~ more later!

A little over 1K today. Doesn't seem like much, especially since I do know where I want the story to go. But it's been a hell of a day. Both good and bad. 
Good = I was able to write! and middle son almost landed a double back flip at the gym. Yes, I'm proud of him (even though it scares the fool out of me sometimes). 
Bad = not enough time to write and I found a HUGE money mistake that I'm now trying to backtrack to see if I can in any way fix. Yikes. 
It's late, my brain is fried, and I'm going to call it a day. Tomorrow will be spent with the larger family at one of our frequent and awesome gatherings, but maybe I'll squeeze in a few words tomorrow night. Rest easy. I'm going to try.

I wrote quite a bit today. A good day. I also pulled some bits from the original story and dotted them in. Now I'm at a stuck point. A good place to end the day. I'll crawl in bed and work out where to have the story go next.  Tomorrow's a packed day, as is Sunday. I (hope) to get in some writing in the next two days. I'll have to carve out a few minutes somewhere.

1.26.17 (Part Two)
Today didn't rock. My writing crashed. Rather, my Evernote crashed. Lousy excuse, I know. But in my defense, I've not felt well today. I carried myself to the library anyway. I didn't like where I ended up sitting. I was cold, and when I pulled up my story, my mind was blank. I pulled up my panties anyway and started to type away...only to get fifteen minutes into it and the app locked up. Closed down. Wouldn't open. WTH?? I searched what may have happened and received the same advice--uninstall and reinstall. Well hell. I deleted the app. I hadn't written much so I wasn't complete bummed about losing the little that wasn't saved (because the app died...or something), but I didn't have my passwords with me so I couldn't reinstall the app there. Great. I get home to the kids bombarding me with petty fights and a dinner that had to be made. Then I had to carry middle son to gym. Huh. Had a few other issues to deal with this evening and now, I'm wiped. Not letting a bummer day get me totally down, though. I did get Evernote back up on my kindle and even paid for a monthly thing that'll continually sync (so hopefully if it dies again, at least I won't lose what I've written at that moment). I plan to take some meds, soak in a hot bath, and get some much desired sleep. Tomorrow's a new day, with a fresh page to fill! 

Yesterday rocked! My short stint (at the library this time) netted me over 2K on the story as well as a better inner motivation/direction for the hero. Can't wait to hit the keyboard again today! :)

It's been a few days and I'm thrilled with my word count. DH and I sat down and had a pretty deep chat several days ago. You see, we're in a very tight spot financially (just because I write does NOT mean I make money, unfortunately. Especially when I don't put any new stories out for more than a year), and I was mulling over getting a part-time job. We both know this is ridiculous, but I was trying to come up with more ways to increase our income. DH looks me in the eye and tells me, "if you're wanting to go out to put in several hours a week at some part time job, where you can't pick and choose your days/times to work, why not do that with your writing instead?" He took me aback and at first I laughed because I'm thinking of instant income, not months-down-the-road income. But I took his words to heart and decided that yes, I needed to treat my writing as the job I mean it to be. Which means I need to dedicate absolute time to write instead of writing-when-I-can, because it's so not happening right now. 
The past few days I've started to do just that. We've worked out days/times when it's more convenient for me to be away from the house for two to three hours. Trust me, it's much easier to remove myself than to have everyone else leave. I have two or three different spots I've found I can plop myself down and write. And man, have I been writing! I am a much happier person and I. am. writing. After over a year of staring at the screen, I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this feels!
Wait, what about the 10K I wrote a few weeks ago? What about the spurts of writing I've done here and there but never went anywhere with it? 
Here's the difference: Those words were going nowhere. I'd write them but I might as well have been typing blah-blah-blah for the way I was feeling when I was writing. Now, I'm actually excited about my words again. I look forward to these few hours to go to "my job," and only write. I can look at the same words on my desktop and I'm at a complete blank as to where to go next. When I set myself "at my job" to write, however, the ideas and words flow like a never ending stream. I'm on cloud 9!
My word count may show I'm only about 1/4 through the story, but the tale may end up being shorter than 20K. We'll see. I'm a total pantser, by the way, so the story will tell me the way and it will let me know when to end. 
Here's to happy writing! 

Yay! It's been a hell of a day, but I took a selfish couple of hours this afternoon to write! I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull it off, but I did. 
Last night I think I might have slept around 2 hours. About 3:30 AM I wake up to a noise in the dining room. I'm listening and I'm thinking it's one of the kids trying to get their electronics. I lay there and wait. Still, little noises. Something fell off the table. Hmm. Still I wait. I really don't want to get up. Then I hear a very strange kind of "shush--shush--shush--shush" noise. I'm thinking it's my mother up and cleaning floors. I finally get up to scold her, only to see my father shuffling along, holding the walls in the hallway, trying to make his way back to bed! Whoa! He's lucky to move the fifteen or so feet between bathroom, bed and deck on a good day, much less traverse the house. So I helped him back to bed where he told me he'd thought he'd go to the store, but got tired and decided to go back to his room. It's both sad and tragic. I'm grateful he can't move that well and I don't have to worry about him actually leaving the house in the middle of the night, but I am worried about the very strong possibility of his falling down (he has recently--twice). 
After that, I couldn't go back to sleep. I could have written, but my mind was mushy, so I did crafts instead. I made a tumbleweed for a scout event in a couple months. Halfway done, but cool so far. 
When the sun started to rise, I got dressed and did a little grocery shopping. Home to tackle school with the boys and book business with DH. After lunch I took oldest son to get his drivers permit (he passed, easily!!). Wow-- I'm not sure I'm ready for this. 
Anyway, I had DH meet us to pick son up, then I hied off to write. I transferred my handwritten words to Evernote and added more--you see my word count is now double. 
The day progressed busy as ever, but I'm happy I put in some words today. Not as much as I'd like, but it's progress! 
Right now, it's still a little early (about 10:30), but I'm going to pamper myself with a hot bath, glass of wine, and deep sleep.

Okay, so now it's 24 hours since I last checked in here, and life is about the same. Ridiculous enough to laugh. My day today went about the same way as yesterday, only with variations on the activities/appointments. My evening, btw, was filled with laundry. Why is this a separate item? See, our dryer doesn't work, we can't afford a new one yet, and no, I do not like hanging clothes outside (mine always dry stiff as a board). So I wash and wash then carry everything to the laundromat and dry a week's worth of clothes for only a few bucks. 
And I thought it would be an easier day. Figures. Soooo, tomorrow I have no appointments. The children do not have to go anywhere (especially since middle son lost his gym class this week), and all I have "planned" is some grocery shopping. Wait, I do have to be careful there. I'm a weird one--I love to grocery shop. Anyway, I've already told DH that I want to steal away for a few hours tomorrow afternoon to write. I think instead of pen and paper, I'll carry my kindle and wireless keyboard. I used to use that a lot (with Evernote), and it works well. Yeah, I should be able to get down some serious words tomorrow! 

Technically it's now the 18th, but only about half an hour into it, so to me, it's still Tuesday. My word count has not moved, sad to say. Not for lack of desire, but lack of time. 
Yesterday we spent the day at a nearby state park for some hiking and survival classes for the boys. Last night was middle son's scout meeting. I hit the pillows at 9:30 pm and didn't wake until this morning.
Today I had to:
take eldest to the doctor (bad back sprain), 
school the three boys
work on DH book business (I do "the books"), 
help with my father's needs (have I mentioned that he has Alzheimer's and is rapidly becoming muscle weak as well?),  
deal with middle son's outrageous verbal outburst when I told him he still had work to do outside he'd neglected (he did lose his iPod and he won't be going to his Parkour class this week...and he had to do additional work outside. Jeesh, teenagers!),
take youngest son to scouts (where I'm also the den leader. Yikes!), not to mention do prep work before-hand,
work on DH book business some more,
copy and paste almost 50 posts--a blog site I've posted at the past couple of years is moving and not keeping anything. I put a heck of a lot of time into those posts with excerpts and way could I lose this stuff.
Oh, and feed everyone several times a day. Yeah, that too. 
And finally, I'm here. And tired. lol.     
Tomorrow is another busy day, but a promising night off of running (so far). I plan to put in some time and add to the word count!    

Okay, you'll notice the word count has dropped dramatically. Instead of the impressive 10K (half through), I'm now down to 1K. Here's what I did: 
After spending the past two days trying to figure out how to take what I've already written and work in the new story, I decided to scrap it and truly begin over. The 10K I have already written is in a file called "deleted scenes (story name)," and I'll no doubt pull out bits and pieces to put into my new writing. Each time I write a story, I have a deleted scenes file. I'm a word hoarder, I guess you could say. I almost never, ever, truly DELETE anything. I file it away. lol. 
Anyway, today I sat down at my local Waffle House with some hot tea (straight up) and ice water, and started to hand write from page one. Yeah, I'd have much preferred to take my laptop, but since it doesn't have a battery and I couldn't see an outlet at WH, I did the old-fashioned pen and paper. 
I wrote almost an hour non stop and really started to get into it, but my poor hand started to cramp. Not only that, but as you know, if you write often, typing is soooo much faster. 
I haven't put those written words into my computer yet (I have to do that tomorrow night as the day will be a field trip day!), but I'm pretty sure I knocked out somewhere between 1 and 2K. I went ahead and logged into the bar 1K to be on the safe side. 
Now that I'm back on track, keep looking because I know that the count will go up every night now. Feels great to have direction again!

If you've kept any kind of tabs on my pages here, you'd  have noticed my WIP word count bar to the right hasn't moved in the past few days. Yes, I'm still working on it, but the story has moved into a new angle and I've had to regroup. See, I completely rewrote the plot. Same characters, same overall pitch, but now the hero and heroine have new motivations and direction. Sooo, I've been doing a lot of head-work. Meaning, a lot of trying to figure out what these "new" things mean to me and to the characters, and how I'm going to rewrite the entire story--as well as figure out what parts I've already written that I want to keep. On top of all this, all the holidays are over so life has turned hectic once more and has left me t-i-r-e-d. Despite all this, I have set a deadline of Jan. 31 to complete the rough draft. As the story will only be around 20k, it won't be too difficult to accomplish this task. Here's to good rest and productive writing! 

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