Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hello All~
Tuesday has arrived much too soon for me. I don't know where Monday got off too. HA!
Didn't do much writing yesterday, but did do some pondering. Looks like that is what I may be doing for a while yet. I have company coming in today..about any minute. I'll try to hop on here, but if I can't, I'll write as soon as company leaves.
The daughter is doing better I think. At least, she is eating. Still in pain, but has meds for that. I spoke to my mother who is with her and she reported there is no fever, so....
For those of you looking to work on a fiction book idea, check out my friend's website. The URL is www.gazeboenterprises.com. This is Evan Marshall's website. He is an agent and author. You'll have fun there.
Til Tomorrow~

Monday, June 26, 2006

Wow! What a weekend I have had. Didn't get any work done because of the absolute horror I have been living through. My daughter was sick last week and finally wound up in the Emergency Room. They did two emergency surgeries on her yesterday. I was prepared to fly back home, but timing was such my husband told me by the time I got there, the surgery would be over. Then too, the doctors said they could handle it and she would be fine. Ahhmmm. We all know those are some famous last words.
Anyway, I did stay here and by the phone. The surgeries (both of them) were successful and I'm happy to say the daughter is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. Doctors "prognose" a full recovery. She just has to take it easy. As my mother is only 3 hours away from her, she is down there with her.
I have decided through all this the phone and the cell phone are wonderful inventions and someone should be given the peace prize for them.
As I said, I have done absolutely no work. I haven't been able to concentrate AT ALL. Hopefully, I'll get back on track, figure out what I'm supposed to be doing and get on it.
Life. Isn't it an adventure?
Til Tomorrow~

Friday, June 23, 2006

Today is a new day. I feel better today than yesterday although situations haven't changed at all. I still may have to make a flying trip back to Oklahoma. The daughter is supposed to have an ultra-sound on Wednesday. I guess after that we'll know what has to be done. From all indications she and my husband are still going to try to come up. Instead of Tuesday now it looks like it will be Wednesday. One never knows though, things change hourly. Anyhoo, enough personal stuff.
I've been reading da Vinci still. This morning, I was relieved to read that he took breaks--long breaks--when he was working. He said (my interpretation) every artist needs to recharge their batteries. I guess that is what I'm going through currently, but geez, I have things I need and should be writing. Oh the guilt. Isn't is funny how we can make our own selves crazy by heaping on loads of guilt. No one else may know I've had an unproductive day at the keyboard, but me and I feel as if it's written across my forehead--"didn't work today". If I could relax I'm sure I could write. Today and tomorrow will be better. Today I am going to forge ahead and write regardless. It may be worth absolutely nothing, but then again.... Tomorrow--I'll face tomorrow when it arrives.
Til Then~

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Okay, they say honesty is the best policy, so here goes. I have not worked on either of my books today. I've wanted to. I've thought about them, but mostly I've thought about having to return to Oklahoma. For those of you who don't know, I'm currently in Colorado. Had planned to spend not only the summer here, but most of the rest of my life.... Then life intrudes.
Monday my daughter suddenly became ill. Today, she went to the doctor and he thinks she may have to have her gall bladder taken out. Now, that in itself is not a big deal (I've had mine out), but she doesn't have anyone to take care of her, soooooo......looks like I'll be heading back. The big decision now is when to go. This Sunday? Next Sunday? Wait until they schedule the operation?
The whole deal is I need to work regardless of what's going on and currently I'm too depressed to ponder thinking. Oh well, there's always tomorrow. I'll keep you posted...well, if I don't write, know I'm in transition...traveling to and from states.
Til Later~

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Okay, the great "plot debate" continues. Ha! Went out to the park today. Decided to work out amungst (yes, I wrote amungst) the animals, trees, and wind. I like going out there because it's quiet and there is nothing to distract me. Anywho...I am plotting this new book and at one point was arguing with myself about whether a certain element should be in there or not. I decided to add it, figured it would always be easier to take out if it didn't work out.
Also, worked on the medieval while I was out there. It's true. I am rewriting it. I was talking to one of my friends a few days. She said you sure are determined about this one. Yes, because i like the characters and I like the story. When it was rejected, I decided to dig in a little deeper, soooo. The good thing about all this isssssss I really know what's wrong with the blasted thing. I've just got to work on it until I learn how to fix it. I will. If it's the last thing I do. I WILL NOT KICK THE BUCKET until this book is published. Ahhhmmm.
Then I can move on to another one. Ha!
Must run. I'm off to do a little weaving tonight. Bought the neatest Navajo Loom. Projects are dancing through my head. :-)
Til Tomorrow~

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Whew! Where in the world does the time go? I have been working on the medieval and the new book today. Seems like I just sat down here and it is already passed 5. Good grief.
I walked around the lake this morning and made it in an hour and 45 minutes. Quite a record. it usual takes me 1 hour and fifty minutes, but there was a storm coming, soooo.
I continue to read DaVinci's book and am amazed at the things I already do/have done for years. I keep a journal, draw, like music, etc. Lately, I've been running across a lot of references to Hildegard of Bingen. This book mentions her as well. I first ran across her when I was researching essential oils. I started gathering her books and have been fascinated by all she did. She was such a free thinker back then. She would be considered a feminist today. Back in medieval time, I bet they didn't know what to make of her. I'm going to have my daughter bring up my books on Hildegard when she comes up in a few days.
I've also been doing some art projects and am posting on some artist trading card forums. For those of you who may not know what ATCs are, they are small works of art, traded not sold, by artists. I am fascinated by the whole process. I've made some artist cards and can't wait to trade. I'll keep you posted on how this is going.
For those of you who know me, you know I advocate getting involved in other art disciplines. ATCs are one way I do that. They are small enough to not be overwhelming, but I learn so much because of what I'm learning about oils, stamps, charcoal, watercolor, etc. Even DaVinci advocated getting involved in different arts. It's amazing.
Must run. Have had a headache for days. Will write more tomorrow.
Til Then~

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hmmm. Curiosity. I think all writers must be curious. I think we have to be, to a certain extent, to be writers. Isn't our need to know what drives us?
For instance, when a scenario or characters pop into our heads, we begin to write about them because we have to know about who they are, what happens to them, or simply what happens. I write non-fiction pieces because I like to investigate, find out how this works or what such and such is.
In the book I'm reading, the author talks about curiosity and how one must always be asking questions. As writers that what we do.
Think today about the questions you ask. What new thing, problem, situation do you need an answer to?
Til Tomorrow~

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Good grief! I just erased my entire post. I was writing about how I was reading "How-to Think Like Da Vinci". It is a very interesting book. I have sort of skipped ahead and saw a section about making mistakes. Its premise is to make mistakes and learn from them. Well, I've made mistakes, but typically I just get frustrated.
When I was growing up, my mother would say, "if you can't do it right the first time, then don't do it." That is a death knoll for any creative person. Mistakes have to be made. One has to ruin a few things to ge to the truly incredible, however when that happened when I was young, I was accused of wasting material. I know my mother lived out of the depression era and things were in such sort supply that everything was precious and one couldn't afford to make mistakes. But I think what that way of thinking did was make all of us afraid to do anything, afraid to try anything new...at least it did me.
I have sooooo many issues I am trying to work through. All I really want to do is write and do my art--mistakes and all. I hope DaVinci will help me become brave, make mistakes and press on.
Til Tomorrow~

Friday, June 16, 2006

An early morning blog. Ha! I have been up working on the edits already this morning. haven't gone for my walk yet because it is raining here. It was a nice "sleep in" morning. Now I'm up and determined to get these finished today.
I want to get on with my other projects. I have to get the synopsis for the mainstream typed up so I can send to my critique partner and I want to start running off the medieval. It is going to require a major rewrite. Got to see if I have another ink cartridge. I'm low. Yikes!
I have been reading some short stories. I'm continue to be amazed at things that get published and what people consider 'literary'. Hmmmm. I read a story about a guy who was 'obviously' insane. He thought he was swimming across the country by jumping in everyone's backyard pool. Hmmm. It is definitely a stick with you kind of story. So, I'm thinking that's the key-write something weird. I had to laugh when I was thinking about this last night at 2 A.M. If you or I would write something that weird, they wouldn't call it literary. Where do they come up with these quantifiers?
Well, I'll let you chew on that today. Catch you tomorrow.
Til Then~

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Okay, I have been working on edits all day and my brain is fried. Out of the ten pages, which swelled to 15, I only have 8 questions left. That's out of probably 80. And those questions are left only because I couldn't get in touch with the people I needed to get the issue resolved. Whew! There were a few times today when I wanted to bang my head on the desk, but I perservered.
Of course, in true writer fashion, I got nothing else done either. I did think about my other books though as I walked around the lake.
Oh, oh, I saw a baby elk this morning. He was so cute with his spots.
Going to get on a decent schedule once I get these edits done. Ha! She says optimistically. Is there any such thing as a decent writing schedule? That's like saying people are in 'normal' families. There's no such thing.
Okay, it's getting weird here. I'm going to go now. I'll write more tomorrow.
Til Then~

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Today I am feeling better. I have recovered from my malaise and the incredible feeling of worthlessness after having my medieval rejected. While taking my long walk around the lake, it occurred to me what was wrong with my hero. It also occurred to me how to fix the situation, so....
I finished up my kids' grades and got half of the tour guide book edits done. I've got four more days to do six pages. However, two of those days I am going to be mega busy. Thank goodness I can mark a few things off my list though.
I've got to pop over and update my website. That may have to wait until this weekend.
So much to do, so little time and so few of me. :-) Must run. Will write more tomorrow.
Til Then~

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

This will probably be short. I am in a very artistic mood today--i.e. depressed. There really is no rhyme or reason for it. I'm sure tomorrow I will be fine. I've often thought of Sylvia Plath, Jack London, and others on days like this. I've heard is said to be a great writer you have to 1) be insane; 2) have some far-out addiction; 3) suffer from some mental illness like depression (I guess that could fit in to the insane catgeory); or 4) be a street person. Sometimes I feel so close to two of these categories it's frightening. When I was at the OWFI Conference in May, I told one of my editors I was pushing category 1. He laughed, looked at me as if I was joking. I was serious. :-)
I figure if it will get me on the Bestseller's List, what the hey.
I've thought about the whole addiction thing. I wonder if obsessions count. However, with that said the only obsessions I have are writing, books, artist supplies. Now you may not think that's weird, however for my husband who doesn't understand anything about artistic temperments, he's just disgusted over everything. Hmmmm.
Okay, enough of this. I've got to struggle through work today. Then tonight I'm sure I'll get back to general malaise and feeling sorry for myself. If I do it right by the time I wake up in the morning, I should be good to go.
Til Tomorrow~

Monday, June 12, 2006

I have spent most all day pondering exactly how I wanted to start this new book. After wrestling with all the facts for an hour and a half, I decided to start at the beginning. Several things had me baffled. I KNOW one is supposed to start in the action, when there is an incident that changes a character's life and starts him down a road of no return. I had problems deciding where that was, then as I was pondering where Evan said to start a book, it came to me.
I was also trifling around with how readers would percieve the book. It is a combination of incidents that have really happened to me and those I've made up. I've heard the old addage, 'write what you know' for years. That was really a problem for me because I felt so many people know my life, how would I protect those characters I was writing about. Then this morning on the trail, I thought about Jack London's book, Martin Eden. It is a fiction story about his life. Those who knew him can pick out the parts that really happened, but those who didn't, just think it's a good story...which it is.
With that, I am forging ahead. I've still got to work on the medieval today, but later I'm going to get the new book underway. Am working on grades, edits for Off The Beaten Path, and the short story course, but I have my timer and it is going to come in handy today. Will keep you posted.
Til Tomorrow~

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Any takers on the lottery ticket? Okay, okay. My mom informed me one could daydream about winning the lottery without buying a ticket. She said last time it was up to $175 million, she and daddy drove 500 miles discussing what they would do with all that loot. I stand corrected.
Today, I have been working on a collage for my new book. I keep wondering if I'm just killing time, but then I look at the pictures and remember details so maybe it isn't a waste of time after all. A published friend suggested I do a collage for the details. I was restistant at first, but who knows when the book becomes a best seller, I can give away my collage in a contest. :-)
I have my schedule all set. I'm trying to see how much work I can get done today. Tomorrow I have to get back on figuring grades for my kids. Once I get those sent I will be finished with last year's class.
Lots to do, but am feeling better, so it's time to batten down the hatches and get to work.
Til Tomorrow~
P.S. Yes, I did work on the medieval yesterday. Only seven pages, but seven pages is seven pages.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Good Afternoon!
Got out for a while today. Walked around the lake and daydreamed. It's fun to do that, but I have to be careful lest I find myself getting depressed. You know how it is. You dream about things you would like to have and do, put yourself in a multi-million dollar home, have it decorated, have enough money to take care of your kids, help friends, etc., then suddenly your hat flies off and you can't believe an hour has passed.
That's the depth we have to get to in our writing. We have to become so lost, we forget about everything. And we can do it.
Think for a minute about how your imagination takes flight when you worry about your children or husband. I remember once having my husband dead and buried, then suddenly he walks in the door. I also day dreamed about winning the lottery, what I would do..after everything was paid off.
I'd like to throw out an exercise. Go buy a lottery ticket. Maybe you've never bought one before. It may be against some of your morals, but consider it a science experience. Go buy a ticket, head out the door for a walk and I want you to ponder what you would do if you won.
I know there is this show on television now about those people who won--a group--but to me that's kind of unrealistic. Think about 'you' by yourself winning the lottery. What would you do? Think about it.
After an hour is up, I want you to write about how you felt while thinking about your winnings. Were your thoughts consumed? Did anything else get into your mind? Did you try to keep bringing back reality because you knew winning the lottery was 'unreality'?
Now I want you to think about when you write. Do you get just as lost? Does your make believe world take over?
It better. It better become so real to you, you forget about where you're at, whose around you, and what you're doing. Until it does, you'll have trouble grabbing the imagery and insight you need to write your story.
Okay, enough preaching. Ha! I'm off to jump back in time to 1160. I'll write more tomorrow. (If you do the exercise and have thoughts, share them.)
Til Then~

Friday, June 09, 2006

Didn't get to write yesterday. The Blogger system was down. I have been steadily working however. Am up to page 79 with the medieval, have the plot figured out for the new book and am working on my short story course through Barnes and Noble University.
Getting ready to run to the post office and mail my kids' manuscripts. I finally have them graded.
Finished a book last night. I'm trying to figure out how I feel about this book. Currently, I'm ambivalent. It was supposed to be about Gutenberg--at least that's what the title and blurb said it was about. I read through 292 pages and when finished I think I know about everyone in and around Mainz EXCEPT Gutenberg.
After about page 100 and the author's telling me "this is worth a side trip", I kept reading hoping he would somehow get around to G, then by page 210, felt I was close to finishing the book I might as well. Hmmmm.
All the while I kept thinking, "what was the editor of this thing thinking?" How in the world could this get published? It was without rhyme and reason and the author took sooooooo many sidetrips after a while I lost track of what he was talking about.
I guess I should be encouraged. You should be too. If your book makes even half sense you shouldn't have any trouble at all getting published. :-)
Take a look at the books on the shelf. I'm thinking over half shouldn't be there. Think about it. You'll see I'm right.
Must run.
Til Tomorrow~

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Well good grief! What a mess of things I have. Today I received TEN pages of rewrites due the 19th. Then, I discovered, actually remembered two more things I am behind on. All this while still trying to grade papers and stuff.
To top all this off I have been ill. Lying around in bed thinking, "I really should be doing this or that" while moaning and groaning.
Worked on more of the medieval yesterday. Have started scenes for my new book and working on the subplots. It seems to be a slow process, but I'm getting there.
Getting ready to work on the medieval again, plus some other things. I'm going to try to get those papers finished grading tonight so I can mark that off my list. I really enjoyed teaching those kids, but it will be nice to be able to move on.
Frightening too I might add. I've had moments since not teaching that I've walked around feeling sorry for myself because I was unemployed, buuuuutttt I know all I have to do is get on my keyboard to be employed again. Ha!
Speaking on employment, guess I better run. I'll write more tomorrow.
Til Then~

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Well, I am a little late today. I've been out at the park, plotting. I was going to come home and do it, but the painters were here today painting the outside of the condo. After they put up visqueene and covered all my windows, I knew I couldn't stay in the coccoon and work, so I drove out to my spot in the park. It was beautiful. A little warm, but not bad. Four elk were grazing in the meadow below me, so all in all.
Okay, so I got the plot all worked out for the new book. Now, I've got to start writing scene cards. I'll probably go back and type up those character sketches too. Still trying to decide where exactly to start the book. I know it's supposed to be the point where everything is different for the character. I guess in this case it's where the character decides to take action. Hmmmm. Evan might be proud. :-)
Worked on the medieval yesterday. Got through 16 pages. Going to work some more on it here in a bit.
Need to find that short story. I think..well I know it's still in the basement. Need to bring it up. Dig it out, see what I can do with it.
Still grading papers. I'm determined to get those finished this week.
Walked my 2 hours around the lake today. Trying to lose weight too. It's salad tonight. Yum! What I was wanting was a big old hamburger with fries, but I'm trying to be good. A bottle of water sits beside this keyboard. I'm working on it. :-)
Must run. Will check in tomorrow.
Til Then~

Monday, June 05, 2006

Hello All!
Well, I did make some progress on the 'new' book last night. I was having trouble with my villian. Figured out he needed to be in a social class slightly above my heroine to make the whole thing work. Once I shifted that it was easier for me to think about the plot again. Did another several pages last night. Today, I'm going to be working on fine tuning the plot. Now, that may take me several days. I'm on to Chapter 3 of Evan's book and he's talking about plotting. I'm anxious to see what tips he gives there.
I Have picked up a few things in the other chapters. First chapter helped me come up with my one sentence pitch and chapter 2, gave me some good ideas for characters. He says there should be a main character (of course), a villian, confidant (something I'd not really given much thought to before), and a love interest, if appropriate. I can definitely see how these things can make the story stronger.
So, it's onward from here.
I need to go in and update my webpage. Going to try to get to it this week. It's amazing. Even though I'm here by myself, answerable only to myself, I still run out of time in the day. What in the world is up with that? I walked around the lake this morning, and then went to town. Here it already is mid-afternoon and I still have tons to do. Good grief.
A word about up here. Like I said went for a walk this morning. The elk are calving and everybody seems to be in grumpy moods. The geese too are not very pleasant. One guy was just walking on the golf course and a goose got after him. While he was running, I was trying to walk past a group that had taken up residence on the sidewalk. The elk were lying so close to the sidewalk I could have reached out and petted one. I didn't. Just kept walking because they were all staring at me as I past. Yesterday a lady said one got after her. I saw the incident. To me, he looked like he was just trying to get from one side of the sidewalk to the other. Hmmm. It all ended okay. That's all that matters. Will have to stay away from grumpy gusses for a while is all.
Must run. Going to work on medieval for a while before I get back to the new book.
Til Tomorrow~

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Hello. I missed writing yesterday. Took a class on how to make altered books. It was fun, but in the meantime, I have been trying to head off a writing crisis. I know I am not unique to this feeling, but last night I spent a lot of time contemplating if I have the emotional fortitude to write the book I'm wanting to write. I know it would be a good one, but the more I get in to the synopsis, I keep asking myself can I write it. Do I have the ability to write it? My girlfriend told me this is no doubt the book I need and should write. To which I responded,"yeah, I know."
Why do we as writers second guess ourselves? I should say why do I? I guess I'm afraid. Afraid of spending a lot of time writing this book and then it not being published. Now remember, editors have not even seen this book yet, much less know of its existence. They have not been queried about it or anything and here I am wondering if it will be worthy. I know this is all silly. Fretting over what I write is really what I do best. I'm always worried what I put down on paper is "not good enough."
Okay, time to just bite the bullet. As I told someone (can't remember who) last week, sometimes you've just got to feel the fear and do it anyway. I'll never know how this book will turn out if I don't write it. So I'll just do it. See where all this goes. I'll try not to gripe or whine too much here, but I'm sure you'll hear about my angst.
Progress? you ask. Ha! Still have the three pages of my synopsis, buuuuuuttttt as soon as I close up here I'm going right over to work on it. I promise. Tomorrow, I will HAVE something to report.
Til Then~

Friday, June 02, 2006

Surprise! Two days in a row. You didn't think I was going to make it, did you? It is still taking me some time to get into a schedule because I am still unpackingk, but I'm getting there.
Yesterday, I did work on my newest novel. I am reading Evan Marshall's "The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing" and working my way through his 16 steps. I am through Chapter One and must say it has helped me define my story idea--get that one sentence. Those of you who have been in my classes know of what I speak. I did three pages last night on the synopsis. I plan to top it off tonight and make my list of scenes. I'm still struggling with a place to begin, but I hope by continuing to work my way through Evan's book that will become clearer. I definitely know my main character's goal. I can't tell you anything about the story yet except it's not romance, it's women's fiction.
Before I left Oklahoma to come up here, I thought a lot about being a poet. When I was at the State Conference, I had the opportunity to hob knob with three-Robert Ferrier, Harvey Stanbrough, and Judyth Hill. I have always been amazed by poets' view of the world. I've often thought I'd like to be a poet myself. The view they have of the world and the way they bring that view to the world is something special. I am studying poetry hoping some of process will rub off on me.
I also signed up for a free Barnes and Noble Short Story Class. I've studied the genre before, but I'm hoping I'll learn one little new thing that will take me to the next level. Sure, I've had a few short stories published, but one can always improve. I have a ss roughed, but would like for this to be more than just another story.
Must run. Need to unpack some more. :-) Will keep you posted on my synopsis journey. Oooohh, I found my medieval, so tomorrow I get to start rewriting that. Tomorrow I am also taking an art class. Such fun happenings.
I'll fill you in tomorrow.
Til Then~

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hello! Well a new day has dawned and it has already been a full one. I went for a walk this morning-2 hours and 7 miles later. Ha!
I went to an art store early afternoon and visited with the lady who owned the place. She's very nice and said she came to Colorado to write, then wound up back in art. I told her I always went back to writing no matter what else I tried to do. Writing has always made me happy. I must confess I do feel insecure not having any classes to teach anymore, but once I get settled and stuff, I know this will work out for the best.
Hold on. There are two deer getting up on my neighbor's porch...Okay back. They were after her bird seed. We moved it. Now they are standing at the side of the house. I'll keep an eye to watch what they are doing. Oh, here they come. One looks like it has a goiter on the side of its face. She has moved so close to Fran, she could pet her. Hmmmm. Wonder what that's all about. Oh, there they go, over the fence.
Okay, now back to what I was talking about.
I'm going to start working on a new book tonight. I'm going to rewrite the medieval while I'm up here, get it finished, but I'm also going to be working on this new one. I thought it might be fun for me to post how my writing days go. How many pages I get written, etc. Tonight I'm going to work on the synopsis. Tomorrow I'll post how that went.
For now, I'm going to head down to the basement and see if I can find my medieval disk. Got to get some of those boxes unpacked.
Til Tomorrow~