Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Good Swift Kick Is Needed Again!

I am dragging my feet AND my fingers at the computer with Finding Papa's Shining Star. It's plotted out, and big chunks are already done--just need to be copied and pasted into the new document--so WHY am I not getting more done?

Maybe what I need is a goal of X number of words a day like I did with NaNo. The problem is, while I got those words down, they were awful! When I'm working seriously on something like this, I do take more time to edit as I go. That's a good thing, however. I don't want to end up with 65K worth of total garbage that takes twice as long to edit and revise!

The sun is shining through the windows in the study. We're all in here soaking it up--Hanna in her play yard and I in my recliner with Lady at my feet. A peaceful setting. Drowsy. Doesn't lend itself to productivity.

Le sigh. Le yawn. Okay--I will finish another 2000 words before I go to bed tonight! Or it's the wooden spoon! Goodness knows, there are enough of them out there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NaNo 2008--I Did It!

Okay, folks, I just had to add my "winner's" logo to this blog! I actually did it--and in 17 days, too! Though it is BAD, the story idea has possibililties, and I like the characters. It just needs some major revising--but the word count is there!

This one was for you, Clair! All right, I see you rolling your eyes at me, but I know that you'd say, "Well, good!" I always planned for you to be there at the first book signing, too, you know. I have a feeling you'll be the "angel on my shoulder". Love you and miss you!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Link to a Must-Read and Other Ramblings

I subscribe to WriterBewareBlogs and find it extremely informative. Today's blog is a must-read, so I'm including the link in the body of the text even though it's in the list on the right.

Today's blog covers a wide range of subjects, including what's going on at major publishing houses in these lean economic times (slashed pensions, for example), as well as links to writing synopses and query letters, surely the bane of every budding author's existence!

There is also information on a new software calle Greenprint which is ecologically-friendly in that it allows you to print only what you need from a page, saving ink and paper in the process. There is a free download, although an advertisement-free download may be purchased for around $30.

For laughs, there's a "bad sex scene" link--but I only got so far as to find the few I looked at just plain silly and totally without redemptive humor--in my opinion, of course. Give me "fade to black" any day and let me imagine gentleness, tenderness, respect, joy--you know, all those things that accompany true love!

I highly recommend this blog, folks! There's also a site called Preditors and Editors that I always check out before entering a contest or submitting. It's worth a look, too.

I am still editing! Even though the editor made relatively few suggestions for change, the ones she made were on the mark--and outstanding in that they helped me focus on other areas that needed to be looked at with a critical eye. She said that she loves what she does---thank goodness for that! It is grueling work. Still, I press on because I want Where Is Papa's Shining Star? to reflect well on me as an author (fledgling though I might be) and on the publisher who is taking a chance on same.

So--back to work. Groan. And this is only the first round, and then there are the dreaded galleys. . .where are the halycon days of writing my little fan-fic tales and posting with only a quick edit?

Seriously, this opportunity is high on my list of blessings for which I am grateful this Thanksgiving season--and I am determined to give it my best.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Editing Business

Well, today I received the novel ms back for editing. It is a tedious procedure, but it helps that the editor did such a thoroughly terrific job on it to begin with. I'm not trying for brownie points when I say there was not a single comment I didn't find right on the money! She made other suggestions, too, like hunt out every use of "then" and "anyway" and see what could be done with those words. I was appalled--yea, horrified!--at how many times they appeared--mostly unnecessarily. You can bet they got yanked and/or replaced.

I did some tightening up, too, and am rewriting the very end, which I think is rather trite. If the editor prefers the original, we'll go back to it, but hopefully the new paragraphs will be better. I suppose I am my own worst critic, but the thing needs to be done right--and nothing is ever so "perfect" that it can't be made better.

It's a learning experience, and I always feel good about learning something new.

I've worked all day until I'm ready to run amok down Bath House Row singing, "My bucket's got a hole in it. . ." or "Yes! We Have No Bananas!" or. . .well, you get the point.

Tomorrow I will read the entire ms from beginning to end to see if it makes sense since I've slashed and burned my way through it today. If so, off it goes. If it comes back, I'll go at it again until it's right.

I'm about 2600+ words into the sequel.

This is hard work.

I'm off to the shower.

Monday, November 17, 2008

No More NaNoWriMo!

I finished my NaNo novel, Blue Velvet, with 43 words to spare! It is unarguably the worst thing I've ever written! Oh, the story idea is good, and I like my characters, although they need a lot of developing. But the whole idea was to get the words down, and down they are! When I revise and rewrite, I'll add the historical facts that will make it more interesting, too.

NOW I need to get on with Finding Papa's Shining Star, the sequel to the first unreleased novel with TWRP. I want to get it written and submitted so that, if it is accepted, it can be a "coming soon" part of marketing Where Is Papa's Shining Star?

I have bits and pieces of it written. Well, actually, there are huge chunks of it mouldering away in computer folders. That's why it couldn't be used for NaNo. It was all one book, actually, until I realized how unwieldy that was and decided to split it up.

So, that's the next project. Hmmm. Writing is a full-time activity--and darned hard work!

If you haven't checked in on WOW! Women on Writing Blog: The Muffin, follow the link on the right of this page. It's crawling with information and ideas, and you can e-subscribe to it. I enjoy reading it when it pops up regularly in my email.

Now I must go pat myself on the back for finishing 50,043 words in 17 days. If, of course, I can get my weary hands off the keyboard!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Book Cover!

Last night I received the book cover designed by artist Rae Monet for Where Is Papa's Shining Star? which will be released by The Wild Rose Press sometime next year. From what I provided on the ms information sheet, she chose images which contrast with the title in such a way to make readers want to find the connection. I think she did an outstanding job! If you want to visit her website, here it is:

Wealthy Alan Ashley, blinded in World War I, returns home to face a challenge to his ability to run the family business. As the case goes to court, he finds himself drawn to the cheerful, ever-optimistic Lenore Seldon, his defense attorney’s secretary. When he wins his case, he offers her employment, but she declines and disappears from his life.
Ten years later, frail and in desperate need of work, Lenore answers his ad for a personal assistant. He hires her with the agreement that she will live in, chaperoned by his housekeeper, so that she can drive for him, and he can teach her to use the Braille writer. She is the perfect employee, but he senses that she is frightened of something—or someone.
When he finds himself falling in love with her, he must uncover her secrets in order to save their relationship--
-and to save her from herself.

I am excited and, at the same time, rather overwhelmed by the reality and the knowledge that I must be part of the marketing process. The book isn't going to sell itself! Not being one to enjoy being in the "spotlight", so to speak, it's not going to be easy. I suppose worthwhile things are never easy. Still, it's a daunting prospect.

Meanwhile, as soon as I finish NaNo, I want to start on the sequel, Finding Papa's Shining Star, and hope that it, too, will find a home with The Wild Rose Press.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The New Word Place

It was time to delete the "old" Word Place and re-create it as a reflection of what is going on in my new/old writing life. First of all, I've added the original links to the blogs of good writing friends, and I've also added links to writing blogs that I receive by email and which provide excellent writing information.

So now is the time to explain the other links and try to do so without sounding like I'm tooting my own horn--which, honestly, I'm not--just sharing some good news with good friends.

First of all, please check LongStoryShort around the seventh of November since they accepted a short-short story from me for publication. Take a few minutes to read "You'll Know Someday" based on a picture I found of my grandmother's first love.

The Storyteller is a print quarterly published in Arkansas. My story, "Looking Over the Edge", another story with a genealogical flavor, will appear in the April-May-June issue. As far as I know, it isn't on the newsstands, but a yearly subscription is $20 for the four issues.

Finally, a novel, Where Is Papa's Shining Star? has been contracted by the Vintage Line of The Wild Rose Press, a print and e-book romance publisher. The ebooks can be purchased at their site, and print books can be ordered through such mainline stores as, Barnes and Noble, and Borders. I don't have a release date yet, of course, but watch this blog for updates. Hopefully, the sequel, Finding Papa's Shining Star, will also earn a contract in the future.

Meanwhile, I have more submissions "percolating" here and there and hope to see them in print also. I'm also working on a website, but it is slow going.

One last link to mention is my author's page on the National Novel Writing Month site. Thousands of people all over the world are working on producing 50,000 words between November 1-30. This is my second attempt with the wartime romance called Blue Velvet. See a cover designed by KatieBee and read the blurb.

I'll be adding more links and more information, so stay tuned!