Archive for January, 2009

Monday, January 19th, 2009
Video Coming…Dh Still Editing.

Dh figured out it would be easier to put video up on my site than to pull pictures from the videos he shot. So he’s in the process of putting the videos together. It won’t be long. I know I keep saying that, but it’s true.

Today is my niece’s 15th birthday. Man, do I remember that year vividly. So much drama. *g* Happy Birthday, B.

I received my first/last pass pages for Scarlet today. I’m not really sure what they mean by first pass, when it actually means it’s the last time you can look at them to see if you catch any mistakes. 🙄 The book looks so much shorter now that it’s been formatted. It’s not a super long book at (84K), but it looks even shorter than that. Sigh. Oh well. There’s a LOT of stuff that goes down in Scarlet. One very big surprise at the beginning that I hope readers don’t see coming. *wg* I have until Feb. 2nd to get it done. I’ll begin reading tomorrow. Hopefully it won’t take me too long…says the turtle reader.

I was talking with a dear friend today about proposals. She always does proposals in the middle of fulfilling her contracts. I’ve really never done that. I have always been so focused on getting the books done and not overworking myself that I let that aspect of writing slip away. But the truth is putting out proposals regularly is vital to maintaining a writing career, especially when you’re at the beginning stages like I am. It doesn’t matter that RED was my thirteenth published novel and that SCARLET will be number fourteen and CRIMSON will be number fifteen. That’s baby steps in this business. Haven’t even taken the training wheels off yet. I’ve let my fear of being overwhelmed by work get in the way of moving steadily forward. This year might be a good time to break that bad habit. *g*

If you’re a writer, what habit is holding your career back? If you’re a reader, time to tell me your reading peeves. What will bring you out of a story in an instant? What presses your buttons? I want to know so that I can press them. 😈

Friday, January 16th, 2009
So Close, But Victory Was Snatched Away

So last night dh started reading the UF. He didn’t finish it because he got home late from work. Anyhow, he said there are a few places I can ‘tighten’ the manuscript up, so the UF won’t be heading to my agent’s office today. Sigh. Given the chaotic nature of the business at present writers (including me) cannot afford to send in work that’s anything less than stellar. Not that they could before, but the wiggle room is definitely gone. If you’re wondering why I’m giving my dh’s opinion so much credence, it’s because he’s a FANTASTIC writer. He’s written several scripts and books. One of his scripts was picked up by BBC twice, but they eventually let the project drop because it was too edgy for TV at the time. He approaches writing from a very different direction than I do, so he catches a lot of things I don’t see. So, I’ll be paying attention to what he has to say. This means I’ll be working on the partial over the weekend and submitting it on Monday. Yes, I know that most of N.Y. is off for MLK’s holiday, but it’ll be there when they return.

No big plans for the weekend. Hope to get some of my RITA entries read and maybe see a movie. Anyone have big plans?

Thursday, January 15th, 2009
One Down–Hope and Good Intentions

I finished going through my UF last night. Dh is set to read it when he gets home tonight. If that goes well, it’ll be sent to my agent tomorrow. Hopefully she’ll like it. It’ll be nice to have it off my plate. Today I’m typing in the scenes I wrote for the vampire novella and charting out the rest of the story. It became very clear last night as I finished my fifty page 10,050 word UF proposal that I won’t have a lot of wiggle room on the vamp story. I’ll have to make it tight. REALLY TIGHT to hit the 12K cutoff. The good thing is I’ll write the story until it’s finished, then edit it down. There’s a lot of action in the story due to the nature of the set up. I’ve created a very emotionally wounded heroine. She’s not a tough chick in the Buffy sense. She’s more hardened than anything thanks to her job. Anyway, I plan to workout, then work on it. I’m currently sitting with my nose pressed to the window, waiting for the postman. I have books to mail to Chey and they won’t fit in the outbox slot. Grr…

Plan to get some of the photos downloaded this weekend, so I can continue the write up about Munich and move onto Salzburg. The pictures will help frame my stories. 🙂 Sorry it’s taking so long.

Last night I received my RITA books. Very exciting. A few are books I’d planned to pick up so that was a nice surprise. I have until March 9th to get them read and the score sheets returned. After the winners have been announced, I’ll run a giveaway of the copies I received.

Other than that, just trying to figure out why my recorder has stopped taping the Mentalist. I’ve managed to miss two episodes so far and I’m not happy about it. They looked like important links to the story ARC. I’ll have to find them somewhere… They say you can watch full episodes on the site, but it’s a lie. Sigh.

Over at the Whatever blog, Scalzi got some awesome news. He’s been asked to be a creative consultant on the new Stargate Universe show. How cool is that?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
Still Working–Drive By

I’m slowly but surely getting back into working. It’s amazing how motivating a deadline can be. *g* So I’ll be keeping this short.

I was fortunate that I received several CD’s and books lately. (ie Christmas and B-day gifts) I now have three of Pink’s CD’s. Quite enjoying ‘So What’. Perfect attitude adjustment. That’s what I love about Pink’s music in general. It’s full of attitude. (wg) I also received Dark Possession by Christine Feehan, A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whilcomb (This was recommended by my critique partner and dear friend, Julia Templeton. She said it was a really creepy ghost YA. Can’t wait to read it.), Mean Streets anthology by Simon Green et al., Every Last Drop by Charlie Huston (one of my favorite hardboiled authors–his vamps rock, but you know it’s not going to end well for the love story), and finally Evil Ways by Justin Gustainis. Read his first book, Black Magic Woman and loved it a lot. Can’t wait to dig into this one. Unfortunately, it’ll have to wait until I finish reading Midnight’s Daughter by Karen Chance (loving it) and Storm Born by Richelle Mead.

What’s everyone reading? Are you listening to anything…inspirational?

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
Promise of Progress

I’m still wiped out from the trip. Jetlag isn’t quite as bad, but come 8 o’clock I can barely keep my eyes open. Sigh.

Found out RED is up for a Fantasm Award. Pretty cool that. I do expect to have my ass handed to me by Gina Showalter. *ggg* But it’s definitely nice to be nominated. 🙂

I promised myself that I would make progress (ie get the UF finished and submitted) by the end of this week, so I’m going to be a little scarce until it’s done. While I was in Germany, I was asked to participate in the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romances 2. I’ve linked to the first book in case you missed it. I met with the editor for MBVR 2 when I landed in London to hand over the contracts. As far as I know, it’s still going forward, which means I have to finish a vampire novella by Mar. 1st. It was a nice surprise sale and the first one I’ve ever been approached directly on. I’m having fun charting the story. Since it’s so short (ie 12k max), I have to make sure everything is charted out. (Not too much plot, but not too little. You get the picture.) Plus, I’d like to write it a little differently than what I’ve produced thus far. It would help if I made it a straightforward vampire story…instead of say a Phantom Warriors book, a genetically engineered Dead World vampire, or a historical continuation of Gothic Passions. *ggg* I can write a non-genre crossing book. I CAN! Stop looking at me like that. 😳

I’ll still be writing more about my travels in the coming weeks and hopefully putting up pictures. We haven’t downloaded them. I’m not the only one who’s tired in our household. *g* Thanks for your patience.

Monday, January 12th, 2009
Munich and The Polar Bears

I saw a thing about how the polar bears are on the verge of being endangered because the ice is melting where it’s usually frozen and safe for them to cross. And after I stopped crying, I started to think about Geoffrey Pyke’s ice he created for Project Habakkuk. I’m not a scientist or a conservationist, but I’m wondering if it (or something like it) could help. Perhaps there would be a way of anchoring it in place to create a ‘floating bridge’. It’s a thought.

Anyway, onto Munich. I’d never been to Germany, despite having a brother-in-law and siblings who’ve lived there on and off over the years. It’s a very pretty place, even the taggers couldn’t diminish its beauty. We went out the first night to catch the Christmas market. These happen all over Germany and the rest of Europe for that matter. They’re cute little markets where sellers set up booths to sell their wares. We ended up buying gluwein and dampfnudle with spiced vanilla sauce poured over it. So YUMMY. There was a choir singing and a horn band strolling around playing Christmas songs. Lots of twinkle lights. A big tree. Couldn’t ask for a more perfect night. It started snowing on Christmas Eve and we ended up with a white Christmas. All that was missing was Bing Crosby singing. (more about Munich (the beer houses, Hitler, and bookstores) to come)

Friday, January 9th, 2009
Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Scotland

Our plane left on time. Dh and I were lucky enough to be upgraded to first class on British Airways. We’d always wanted to fly first class on that airline, so it was a nice surprise. I’d planned to work on the flight. I had some changes to make to my urban fantasy, but that didn’t happen. The crew took good care of us. I got a nice pair of pj’s out of it. The food was superb. Is it wrong of me to prefer business class? Yeah, that’s what I thought. 😳 I’ll get my coat.

We landed in London in the afternoon. Our flight to Glasgow was scheduled to depart a few hours later…unfortunately, it had been cancelled. Thus began our eight hours of airport appreciation. On the plus side, we did get to spend it in British Airways first class lounge. They giveaway a lot of free stuff there (ie massages, facials, food, wine, reading material, etc.), but take my word for it after eight hours you REALLY don’t want anything. I had a massage. Dh had a shower. We ate, then stared at the ceiling and the flight information board for the next six hours. One odd spotting–Yoko Ono and Desmond Tutu standing thirty feet apart. I blinked to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. *g* We eventually caught a flight and ended up in Scotland at 11:00pm. Dh’s dad had waited for us. The ferries had stopped running so we had to drive around the long way past Loch Lomond and Loch Eck. Couldn’t see a lot until the moon slipped past the clouds. It was beautiful. Snow dusted the foothills of the Highlands. The water was mirror flat. If we hadn’t been so exhausted, I would’ve asked him to pull over so we could get out and breathe in the fresh winter air.

The visit with the folks was a whirlwind. We were so jetlagged and exhausted from work I doubt we were very good company, but it was wonderful to see them. We went out to dinner in Dunoon and had fish and chips another night. (Can’t go to the UK without getting fish and chips. It’s the law. *g*) Went to the botanical gardens and to Loch Eck. (Pictures to come.) All too soon, we found ourselves back at the airport and ready to board our flight to Munich. It doesn’t matter how short or long I stay, I’m never ready to leave Scotland. I feel very at peace there. Like a part of me has come home. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. There’s something about the land that gets into your bones, fires your blood, and makes you ache to return. I can’t get back soon enough.