Friday, October 29, 2010

NaNoWriMo Lift off

This Sunday night at midnight-01, will begin another NaNoWriMo marathon for the month of November! Yeah, I know, last year went miserably--BUT there's always hope on the horizon. This year, I'm prepared! Coffee, cool dogs, cool weather, and hot cocoa; my tools for a happy NaNo (I have such simple needs-LOL)

With the slate cleared, the office thoroughly dusted, and my CD's lined up, I have no excuses for making it all the way through this year. In 2008, I won--I can do it again! Now the only thing left to do is tie my internal editor up in pink duct tape. ^oo^ 

For anyone who isn't familiar with NaNoWri (National Novel Writing Month), it's all about literacy. Getting kids and adults both involved in writing a 50,000 word novel in a single month. There are all kinds of forums to be joined, for the social adept, or not. For the Houston area here, there are quite a few writing kick-off parties and gatherings...something to consider for those who wish to not go it alone. It's great fun and no matter what, we're ALL winners! 

Yay me, for being a participant for FOUR years straight!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Discombobulated Muse!

Nate (D. Nathan Hilliard) and I had a really good session for our Writers' Night Out. Much was discussed currently about our works in progress. Funny how we found out that we both literally write by the seat of our britches, stringing one scene together after another. Sort of like watching a movie streaming in your mind (with all the characters talking right-out-loud and all-lol).  

Nate told me about a scene he's working on about his "dog people" and what their emblem is--can you feel my hands tightening around your throat, Nate?????? It got to me! 

My muse has been whispering about story lines for future books constantly lately and is doing a pretty good job of distracting my train of thought on the novel I'm currently in the middle of. (the first half has already been edited--just needs another set of eyes to find the logic bombs) She keeps shooting these fantastic ideas at me for future work and, I've gotta tell you, they're pretty dang good. Now, if only I could hush her till I've finished this one! Sweet little thing is quite discombobulated--just like me! 

This flu crud has sucked just about all the energy from my body for this day, so I'm going to say good night and wish everyone --

Happy Writing,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Baby Owl

Last night a baby owl captured my heart. He looked to be about 3-4 inches tall and his tiny wings weren't quite feathered yet. 

When I write, I do a lot of pacing...all night long. At 1:30 this morning I glanced out the window in the game room, which faces what I call, "the woods". We had a full moon last night and the entire yard was bathed in its marvelous silver sheen. Lo and behold this little creature blinked at me, perched on one of the slats of our fence, facing the window. He was only about 20 feet away. I opened the window, not believing my eyes. Where did he come from? Had his mom put him in time-out for misbehaving in the nest? And for pete's sake, where was its nest? I know nothing of owls, their habitats, or the different breeds (if they even come in breeds?). But he was a cutie! 

Without a second thought, I ran and woke my husband--he just had to see this precious wee owl. We both stared in awe and ooo'd and ahhhh'd till Steve finally went back to bed, leaving me cooing at the little fella from the window inside our house. Then worry filled my heart and I didn't quite know what to do with him. A predator could eat him for an appetizer or worse, just maim him.  Wasn't sure if I touched him would his mom reject him? 

Then out of nowhere, and I do mean nowhere, I heard the soft flap of wings--his mother returned and scooped him up with her talons so smooth, I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. She carried him away into the woods and all I saw was their silhouette shrouded in a silver sheen. I love nature. Yeah, I cried. 

Guess Junior's "time-out" was over and I'm betting he doesn't misbehave for quite some time to come. (of course I know it was more like a teaching excursion)

I feel privileged to have been witness to one of nature's delights. Small things tickle me to no end, and today I'm skipping on air!


Monday, October 18, 2010

The Kleenex Box is My Friend

After spending this week in bed with the flu, I've adventured out to get on the computer for a few minutes. Wow, lots has been going on around me while I've sneezed, coughed, puked, and ran a heck of a fever. 

Still foggy and coughing but feeling a bit more human. What all this means is that my two-week writing treat turned into only one. BUT, I'm most grateful for that one week. Missed out on Writers' Night Out with D. Nathan Hilliard due to this mess, and hopefully by next weekend I won't be contagious to everyone I come in contact with. We'll see. 

NaNoWriMo is just on the horizon--and even though I failed miserably last year, I'm planning on trying again. Getting that WINNER'S award in 2008 was the best! That was the year I ground my butt to the chair and wrote IMPACT FOR MURDER. Which is available in print and ebook on Amazon. That was also the year Hurricane Ike blew through, which prompted the ideas for IMPACT FOR MURDER! Gotta tell ya--if ever there's going to be a favorite book of mine, it'll probably be that really slammed into our house in September 2008 when a big honking tree landed on our roof with its big honking limb pushing through the French Doors and spreading itself out for 21 feet in the game room. Shewwww! Yeppers, memories were made that night! 

So if you'd like to know what it's like to live through a hurricane, buy my book! Of course, murder, mystery, and dogs carry the theme as well.

Back to bed I go (with fists full of tissues)--
Tomorrow the writing will commence. No matter what!


Monday, October 11, 2010

A few hours of sanity

This evening, D. Nathan Hilliard (Nate) and I stole a few hours at Denny's. For me, this was a godsend. I've been couped up too long in this house and getting out, being around people re-newed the ol' muse, giving her just the right amount of umph she needed. 

We brought our laptops and set up at our usual table. The waitresses, Lauren and Sarah were there to take special care of us. They're the best. Then we got down to business...real business. The side of writing writers dislike with a passion. The "business side" that drains inspiration right out and deposits it on the floor. BUT! We're both doing fairly well. Especially Nate--he's climbing the ranks and making good on his word that all of this is for FUN! And from his totals, he's having quite the good time! Way to go, Nate!!!! 

We brought to the table our thoughts on ebook pricing, the way print is disappearing without a trace, and how we're able to keep up with other authors we've met along the way in various avenues and are remaining friends. (NOT on fb--I personally feel FB is a social cesspool. {{{shivers}}} ) 

Tomorrow will be an exceptionally busy day for me, so I'm putting on my gown and headed to bed. I'll have my Kindle with me for the day tomorrow, then Tuesday it'll back to the grind. Looking forward to this coming week as rain is in the forecast. Please, let it bring in some more cool weather! 

Sending a big wave from Houston,

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Striving For Balance

Since my husband's been away in L.A., I set some goals. Split between writing like crazy and catching up on the always climbing TBR stack. Well, I've succeeded in both, making sure that the writing has priority. But the outcome on the reading front has been pretty impressive also! 

Just finished Vicki Tyley's "Sleight Malice" and must say it captivated my attention from the first sentence to the end. WAY TO GO VICKI!! Good story, really good! The ending surprised me -- which didn't follow the standard rules of formula, but did, if you think really hard about it. I loved the twists, the characters (Desley's quirks and good hearted reasoning will endear this woman to your very core)--so strong, and the elements of plot. 

D. Nathan Hilliard has done it again and recently (very recent) uploaded "Shades: Wind and Dark Waters" which I wanted to put the pic up, but for some strange reason won't let me copy it. The cover is dynamite though! I'll talk to Nate later today and find out why it won't let me grab the cover and once we figure it out, I'll post it on my blog.

In the meantime, I'm rolling in Becky McAllen's world. She's exciting, filled with life, and is going to make some really tough decisions -- especially when she finds a young woman hanging upside-down from a tree, bled out, just like fresh-shot deer. 

May your day be bright and cheery,


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Changes In A Writing Career

If anyone had ever told me back in 2006, that by 2010, the publishing industry would be turned on its axis, I wouldn't have believed them. 

As a writer, I held onto my beliefs that going through a traditional publisher was the only way to go. No exceptions. Then in January 2010, I began to notice a trickle of changes outside my small world, cracking those inhibited beliefs wide open. I stood back and listened...and watched. Time swirled around me as I paid close attention, and read everything I could regarding the swift tides crashing in the publishing world, changing right along with it. And no one persuaded me, I'm quite capable of forming my own opinions, which I did.

My goals now are different than when I started out in 2006. Matter of fact, I'm embracing the knowledge that there isn't any restraints over me anymore. What I'm alluding to is that now I can write anything I want, and have it up on Kindle as soon as I feel it's ready for publication. And I get to have the final say.

It isn't a matter of disrespecting any publisher, small or large, for that choice is up to the individual all has to do with the fact that I've changed. I changed in a good way and for the first time in my life, I understand what it feels like to walk without unwarranted guilt. No one will make me feel guilty for the choices I make in my writing career ever again. 

Growing older and added wisdom might have something to do with going Indie. But, for sure, I know my writing will be stronger. 

For the heart of a writer can't not write!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Two-week writing treat

Actually, my husband's in L.A. for two weeks, which will allow me to buckle down without too many interruptions to do nothing but write. (except for the fur-kids, but they're angels. lol) 

To kick-off this fortnight, I've ground 3lbs of Houstonian Blend coffee beans, pulled out my favorite CD's, picked up a case of printer paper, and have dipped my muse's wings in creative juice. Now, we'll just have to wait and see where these characters take me. They have been evolving in my head (or more like screaming) for about a month--it's time to let them loose! 

I think most of my readers are going to fall in love with Penny. She walks through this life with a definite style all her own. And wait till you meet her German shepherd. This gorgeous GSD is gonna steal your heart (and the murderer's also). 

Recently, an acquaintance approached me with some questions. Here's the answers: 
1) Have you always wanted to be a writer.
     Ans: No, and yes. Obstacles kept throwing themselves in front of my life, detouring my goals--until I reached forty. Then I didn't give a rat's right ear and decided it was time to fulfill the void my heart ached for. I now have. :) 

2) Do you write anything other than mysteries? 
     Ans: No,...and yes. Recently I wrote the sweetest short story I've ever written, Halo and Holly. It isn't a mystery. It's a sweet canine Christmas short story about two Great Pyrenees. Also, I have a different kind of romance short story I'll be publishing on Kindle soon. But other than those two, all the rest of my novels and short works are mysteries. The Scent of Money, and Impact For Murder--both are novels and are on Kindle. 

3)Do you always write with dogs in your stories. 
     Ans: Yes. Always.

Thank you Shawna for your questions! 

With a huge mug of hot coffee and my writing partners curled up near my feet, it's time for me to two-week writing treat!