Monday, June 25, 2007

The Journey

On one of the boards I visit, there was a discussion about the journey. Not ours as a writer, or mother. Or even a wife, sister...whatever. But the Hero's and heroine's journey. What is it that they face or go through to get their HEA? Boy meets girl or gets reacquainted, fall in love...then BAM! Boy loses girl.

Not literally though? they get lost in Walmart parking lot? about boy/girl does something really stupid or something from the past slithers up and bites them in the butt. We were also talking about popular trends in the methods we use to cause the conflict.

What's popular today with romance readers? I'm interested in what is popular with editors but in a way...I'm an avid reader. What do I like? A pretty eclectic mix. But it pretty much boils down to the roller coaster. Is it believable? Is it something I can relate to?

Well...some days I can relate better than others. Say...when I've had a REALLY bad day...not as bad as Jennifer's dh had recently. But, when the kids are wearing me out and I haven't been able to vent for a couple of days with friends or my own dh. I don't want to hear about how a heroine's child is an angel and she is just going through a small problem at work and the perfect neighbor is giving her come hither stares.

The journey can make or break an author. It's gotta be interesting but believable. We've heard time and again it can't be something that can be resolved over a cup of coffee. Well...what about if the heroine just found out Hero boy has a child from the past he "forgot" to tell her about and...say...she throws the coffee in his face. Maybe he is rushed to the hospital with 3rd degree burns and falls off the gurney and needs a blood transfusion. What about if the son offers to give blood but they find out the DNA doesn't match? What about the makeup sex while he's strapped to the gurney and heavily medicated so he can't feel the burns? Whatever.

What pushes the envelope?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

I've thought all week about getting our life in Chaoticville back to normal. What better way than to do my long lost Thursday Thirteen list...What to do? You got me. But I was having flashbacks of our vacation while sending hubby pics online and came across a picture of my favorite uncle. Uncle Joe. My immediate thoughts were of an innocent, genuine happy time in an uncertain, scary transition through puberty.

What sweet, loving memories I have of childhood summer vacations and going to his farm while my single, hard-working mother took a much needed vacation. Of course as we all do...I grew up and lost interest. But I have alot of heart-warming thoughts I can share...

1... The rides on his truck tail-gate while looking for the cows in the back pasture, waiting for their squares bales of hay. I about broke my tail-bone once which ended the fun. I bounced out when he hit a huge crevice and went flying high and came down hard on a rock. Once I got my breath back into my body I turned around only to realize he had kept going. I still don't know if he did it on purpose but the smile on his face as he asked if I was ok made me think he was probably taking his time stopping because he was laughing so hard at my long skinny limbs flying through the air like trampoline acrobats.

2... Rides with my aunt on the old, rusty but running tractor to the pond. I outgrew fishing in the pond for the elusive granddaddy blue catfish my uncle swore was bigger than his beloved tackle box.

3... In the transition to a snarky, know-it-all teen, I forgot about how I always anticipated the walk across fifty acres to the weathered, collapsing two-story farmhouse next to the pond where my imagination ran wild about the families that had lived, loved and carried on as life happened.

4... A house built by hand without the luxury of a power drill or night-lights to guide the way to the outhouse. No matter how many times I visited, I could always construct a family-tree and history for the story exploding in my head.

5... I don't miss the black snake that fell out of the bedroom light fixture as I sat playing in the floor with my cousin's baby. As she panicked and ran from the room, I calmly picked up the baby and watched my step as I closed the store. I handed her the baby and began stacking books along the bottom crack between the door and carpet so Uncle Joe could have a better chance at finding and removing the slick invader.

6... I don't miss finding the scorpions in the kitchen sink as I was preparing the dishes to wash. It didn't matter that I was visiting or on vacation. I was a part of the family and helped with chores.

7... I remember the Oklahoma hot air blowing the red dirt in my face as I walked down the long dirt drive to check the mailbox for my Nanny. She lived in a house next-door to my aunt and uncle.

8... I remember cracking my chin on her coffee table as my cousin and I ran from my Nanny. I still have a dent. She was chasing us with a wooden yardstick she used for her sewing because we were fighting and pinching each other and refused to quit when she threatened to take action.

9... Even though she was Irish, dainty and fragile...she could pop a good knot with that stupid yardstick.

10... I loved it when the whole family descended on a hot, summer day and we got all the kids together to play tag football and horseshoes until the mosquitoes drove us inside.

11... But not before we had a bonfire and roasted marshmallows. With sticky fingers and mouths we chased fireflies and caught them in old Mason canning jars. Uncle Joe punched holes in the top so they could have fresh-air. I always wondered how they escaped the holes and the jar was empty in the morning. Uncle Joe went to work before first light...

12... The stars were humongous out in the wide-open farm fields and seemed close enough to touch.

13... And last, only because I've run out of space, the quiet chorus of crickets and locusts when we sat out on the big front porch. The only other sound echoing against the dark was the squeak from the chain on the old wooden porch swing.

THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE THURSDAY THIRTEEN:The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. What do you do? Write Thirteen things about yourself, summarize your week in one entry, make it easy for other bloggers to get to know you on a weekly basis. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


We've had this discussion before and it's widely debated ~ to enter contests...or not. I recently broke down and tried my luck. I didn't win...or even place. But I was pleasantly surprised at the critiques. But I guess the main thing I got was validation that I'm not wasting my time.

Don't get me wrong...I belong to a valuable critique group full of creative and intelligent women who are very talented. Several of them are published and many others on the verge. But I began writing my first manuscript with their guidance and it's kind of like my mom telling me that I'm pretty...

It felt good for someone outside of my group to tell me I'm not a complete idiot. It also makes me very proud to be in the Romantic at Heart Critique Groups. Will I enter another contest? Don't know. Not right now. Is it worth it? It's an expensive critique when I feel very confident in my group. Will I get the same response from another set of judges? Probably not.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Our vacation

Well I'm back. I've got the laundry to prove it and massive emails...366. Alot of spam but I have to go through and weed them out so I won't miss the important stuff. Like my horoscope. jk. But dh is safe and back hard at work.

Our vacation was short and sweet and we chose to go to the lake with family instead of spending a boat load (hah) of we really wanted to! I don't want dh in a war zone any longer than what it will take to accomplish future family goals, so we decided not to splurge on exotic vacations. But we love going to the lake and the boys enjoyed wallowing in dirt/sand for 3 days. We came home a day early cause of sunburn and the unpredictable Oklahoma weather. Winds were so bad the last day we were there that we felt like we were at Galveston and surfing the ocean waves.

I usually won't allow the boys to take pictures of me but Kris caught me with my hair in a headband after cleaning my face. Anyways...the trip was fun except for me being a bad mommy...baaaaad momma used two bottles of sunscreen on the boys but my little 4 yo fish wouldn't stay out of the sun and got sun poisoning. His little face was swollen and blistered for several days and we ended up taking him to the hospital on Saturday because he had a rash and high fever.

But we also signed the papers on the 51 acres we bought and started to pick out house plans. So now begins the fun. Picking out contractors and building as the money comes in.

The picture in the middle is where we decided to put the house. It'll back up into a grove of trees but the front porch will look out into the meadow. The first picture is of the entrance into the property.
Well ladies...even with all of our excitement, I surely missed my buddies. I hope all is well and you guys are ready to crack the whip. I'm back to reality...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Back to work...

Hey! *hugs* Missed yous guys! Not enough to do Thursday Thirteen though. LOL. But as much as I love and miss hubby...I'm glad to get things back to normal.

Hope all is well with everyone and you're looking forward to a great weekend! Are you all writing and being productive? I'm hoping to finally get back on track. At least for another 4 months anyways.

I've gotten stuck on editing my Nano and noticed some of my other crit partners are backing off as well. Must be summer that real? Darn tootin' it is. motivating words from me though...I'm slacking but hopefully I can get back to putting the words on paper again. I was listening to the radio the other day and had a storyline whiz by...kinda scary for a blonde driving...distraction not good. Maybe I'll work on it to see if I can get the juices flowing again.

Female Gangster Mad Scientist Pool Boy Biker

My imagination is my freedom.