Monday, January 29, 2007


Some of my writer friends seem to going through a transition period in their work. I thought I would take a minute to talk about editing. Critique partners are very instrumental in tightening and tweaking manuscripts before they are sent on to an editor or agent.

Once you can find a perfect group you feel comfortable with, the different voices among the group can help in various ways. Someone may be a grammar whiz while another will catch pov or repetitive words. Another may see, as a reader might, an awkward sentence or phrase.

I am very lucky to have found a group of talented and creative writers who are newly pubbed or ready to cross the line. They are constructive without being destructive to my voice and ego!

One of the issues I want to bring up today is creative methods that encourage or motivate you to write. What does it for you? Well...I tried Nano writing in the month of November because I needed a kick in the butt to push away from my internal editor and finish the story. Did it help?

Yes ~ I finished the story. YEAH!!

No ~ I am almost having to completely rewrite the dang thang!

But I think the positive outweights the negative. At least I have a base to work from. But some of my friends are struggling and having their own issues. Does it help to walk away and come back...or trudge through and push on? One the girls is dealing with her synopsis!?! Ugghhh! I have tried to get mine done but...aarrgghhh. There are a few good articles out there and I ran across one recently on a RWA website:

They have some good articles to browse through that I found interesting. I always like to look around at different sites for tips. Anytime and author or group offers advice...never hurts to take a peek see.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Okay, thanks to my friend Jennifer Shirk, I've been tagged. Thanks Jen! Yes, normally I would want to flog you, but I NEED the distraction. So the tag, of course, will be cheerfully passed on. Maybe you...or you...

"They're friends. You're worried about what you overheard on the phone, and I don't know what they discussed, but I think you're wrong. Skylar took care of her, was kind and compassionate and you can't take that away from them or me," she snapped, unable to suppress her anger any longer.

Montana Skies by Kay Stockham

Kay is one of the new authors with Harlequin Superromances (who took a little while to sell but when she got The Call...sold quite a few manuscripts in a short period of time!) and she has quickly become a favorite of mine.

Your turn.

The rules...

1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open to page 123, look down to the 5th sentence.
3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Include the title and the author’s name.
5. Tag 3 people

Hmmmm...who to choose...Bella is a lucky dawg cause she's pretty swamped with revisions...

Erin Patrick, Angela Jefferson and...Aasiyah Qamar

Good luck goober girls!! Have fun and I hope all of you are having a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Clouds Clearing

Leave it to my buddies...nothing like a little pov debate to get the fog to lift. Talk about a mood lifter. Then, one of the girls gave me back a critique on the last chapter I had submitted which gave me a big boost of motivation. I actually sat down last night while watching American Idol (another Okie made it to the next round) and made changes to several chapters. Watch out I come!

Okay...watching the morning news before I get oldest up for school...they have come out with a beer for...dogs. Which I'm sure will make my hubby happy. He has to fight off one of our Boston Terrier pups when he is having a beer cause she is a drunk. We haven't been fortunate enough to find AA for doggies yet...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Back in Black

I feel almost as if I should be wearing my mourning dress. Things are starting to get back into some sort of schedule...but I seem a little lost. Hubby has been gone several days now and the boys are dealing. But it seems so strange trying to go on as if nothing has changed. It's not like he has left us permanently, or that I'm having to deal with custody arrangements. I've talked with him several times throughout the day while he is training but starting this weekend we may only be able to talk once a day if the phone lines are open.

I have tried to go back to my writing but my heart just isn't into it. I thought I'd be able to use the emotion but I guess my heart still hurts too much to use it yet. Friends and family have been so supportive and encouraging and I can't thank everyone enough!!! I'll make it...we'll make it. I'm almost there. Maybe I'll do better once I know he's on a base somewhere and safe. Not that they are ever safe in a war zone but at least he'll have our courageous military men/women watching his back. And hopefully something that he welds will protect their lives in return.

Okay...enough whining. The 4 yr old has decided he wants to give dogs a bath (he says they're stinky) so I need to catch a wet rat and mop the floor!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Enough is enough!

Okay...we had our little blizzard and 4-5" of snow that shocked everyone last month..last weekend we got blasted with 3" of ice. Many residents in the Southeastern 1/3 of the state are still without power and we haven't had school ALL WEEK. (I hoo. At least I have heat and food.) Now the forecast is saying we are going to get 5-10" of snow Saturday...waaaaaaaa.

It wasn't supposed to come in until Saturday afternoon but we are under a Winter Weather Watch today...duhhh. Come on guys. We are in Oklahoma. I can understand an inch or two. Maybe even twice in one winter...but, man...

At least we have power and heat...and food.

So much for my diet.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

To do or not?

Have you ever had a story bustin' to get out and you knew where and how you wanted to get to the HEA? I'm at that point and got it kinda down in a semi-finished manuscript. There is a ton of editing to finish so it feels almost as if I am completely rewriting it (thanks NaNo). I am reading through a favorite blog of an author who writes for the line I am targeting...she happens to mention that Harlequin does not generally buy storylines with love triangles.


Now what? The triangle is part of the conflict but my heroine is not in love with the friend...she is in love with hero. The dialogue, internal and external, makes this clear by the 4th chapter when she realizes her friend has feelings for her. Do I continue editing/rewriting and submit, trying my luck? Or do I target another publisher? Or do I change direction and rework plot? Do I.....?


Keep on truckin' baby...this story is running all over me. I can't stop it. I guess I will try to submit and if rejected I can either rework or submit to another publisher...Oh well. I have so many other storylines ready to be put down on paper, maybe one of those will be the magic fairytale for Harlequin.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Group Hug

Okay girls in RAH...brace yourselves! Arms out and open wide...closer...closer and big bear *HUG*. I thought maybe the holidays had me all mushy, but now I'm thinking (yes, Jen ~ it's a dangerous action here, too! My boys run for the nearest tree to climb to escape the fallout) it's the place I am in my life. My home life is the normal roller coaster ride, but I am very blessed. I have dedicated and committed my brain to follow a dream I have wanted for a really long be a writer. Last year I was fortunate to find a creative, intelligent group of ladies who share the need for quality, constructive partners in our quest in publishing our hard work. We understand the sweat, tears and fears we each put into our writing.

My first attempt in a crit group was very destructive to my self-esteem when they made me feel, as a new writer, I didn't belong in their circle because several had been published. Then I was invited to try RAH and was welcomed immediately. Several members are published and others are so close, it's just a matter of time. They are honest without being hurtful or destructive with their critiques. They are intelligent and actually offer constructive advice without insisting they are all knowing or I am an idiot if I don't change my plot to fit their voice. Tash has envisioned a dream to expand our hospitality to others and let our group grow in 2007. So girls...let us go forth and widen our horizons so we can make Ms. Tasha proud!

(Uhmmm...Can I be excused until our ice skating rink has melted a little??? I promise to go all out online as long as my laptop has power.)

Friday, January 12, 2007


When I went through school, I had several good friends that I have unfortunately lost contact with. We parted ways when family and long distance moves got in the way. I had recently thought about how lucky I was to have my hubby, my best-friend, but it made me think about my lack of female friends. My mom and cousin are about it when it comes to having a girlfriend I can call and chat with.

Lately though, with hubby leaving for Iraq, I have found great support and friendship through my critique partners. Not only do we share a common creative love of writing, we also share life. Our thoughts and fears about our abilities have bonded us. Despite our distance, several of our talented members live in various countries, we share our triumphs and disappointments.

I am blessed in so many ways and sometimes forget to give thanks to God. But it is so much easier to remember when I have friends as special as these ladies have become to me.

Wish you guys were here (in Oklahoma) today to share. We are expected to get up to 3" of ICE. When we get rain, honey, the highways become lethal. Us Okies aren't used to the wet precipitation, especially not in the freezin form! This picture is me trying to get down the driveway to the truck. Thank goodness we have a Suburban so it is long and heavy. We have to go pick up 13 yr old cause they are closing schools at 1 pm. In 2002 we had a storm similar to this and lost power for almost 2 weeks. Some lost it for a month. We are fortunate to have enough money to stock up on groceries and firewood. So we will build a fire and play games with boys.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

He's outta here

We were standing in line at WalMart behind my mom (yes, it's a small town ~ my aunt was there too) stocking up on groceries because we are about to get slammed with another ice storm. My hubby gets a phone call. It was a job site in Houston telling him his plane leaves on the 20th. After a weeks worth of training and paperwork...he's gone to Iraq.

We have been expecting this for several months, but of course now that the plane ticket is on the way, I'm not so sure about this anymore. Two of his friends are over there and my uncle wants to go as well. My cousin was there in the Marine Corp. and I've talked with several of my crit group girls and they have family members in the military. My hubby will be there as a contractor supporting the military, welding armor on their tanks and Humvees and whatever else they may need. I've looked at support groups online and thought I was prepared.

But, last night as he helped with dinner and kids, I realized how close we are. Not that I hadn't noticed before. I had a gutter-rat ex and this marriage came when I least wanted or expected it. Now, in 1 yr, my 13 yr old's grades have dropped from A-B's to 2 D's and low B's. My 3 yr old screeched when Daddy left for a quick trip to corner store and kept saying..."He's not coming back!" We haven't talked much about this in front of them so where is this coming from? Am I just paranoid? We can do this...I can do this. I'm not fragile. Just ask my family. I was totally independent and raised oldest by myself for 6 yrs before I remarried. But for some reason, I'm scared. I am strong in my faith but bad things happen to believers all the time.

Maybe I can do some of my best writing now. It'll give me an outlet for all this emotion. But I don't want to smother my Hero's either...balance will be the struggle. Several of my crit partners have found wonderful workshops and many of the RWA groups will be having contests. I need to join my local writers group so I can go on brainstorming retreats.

My question to you...How far would you go to help your family succeed? I know what the money can do for us, how much better we will be financially. But the boys are at critical stages. Our marriage is good and strong...but what if something happens to him? Is the risk worth it? He argues that he could have a car wreck driving with the nuts on the commute into Oklahoma City. At least doing this, he'll make more money in a year than he would 3 years here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jumping off the ledge...

Okay...remember when we were kids and all our friends were doing something that we wanted to do cause it looked like it was fun? But we knew, somehow...some way, it could get us in trouble?

I have been putting off becoming a blogger cause I don't have time to pick my nose, much less chat about it. But dang it...all my friends are doing it! I want to, too!! So here goes. It may suck until I get the hang of it and figure out the tricks of the trade. But I can't stand it anymore.

Being a writer I am intrigued by thoughts and plots. I can be walking with family in the mall, or anywhere for that fact, and see someone/people and create a history, or even interpret a moment to fit my own twisted mind. My husband will threaten to increase my meds unless I quit making him laugh. Not that I am a funny person...I just enjoy the what if's. While my mom was undergoing a heroic battle with cancer we would use our dry, southern humor to forget the pain. Her physical mental (pain of course) at watching her deal with whatever was thrown wickedly her way. Sometimes the nurses couldn't quite understand what we had to laugh about, but it was better than crying. Giving up was not an option. Even when they gave her two years..she is now cancer free by God's own grace.

Think Steel Magnolia's...when all the divas were walking after burying Julia Robert's character. They had us crying, laughing and wiping snot off our face with the back of our hand cause we stupidly forgot our hankies. I want to do that - not wipe snot - but I want my work to have as much of that incredible emotional charge.

So welcome to my attempt at blogging. I hope to share my writers journey without shaking too many heads along the way.