Monday, April 30, 2007

Hello All! I did not write yesterday because I was trying to get my temper under control You would not have wanted to be near me or hear from me yesterday. Unfortunately, writers do have lives outside of their writing spheres and it just so happened reality struck. Besides I couldn't write yesterday anyway because I spent two hours washing dishes. Yes, I do have a dishwasher, which brings me back to reality.
I wasn't going to write about this situation, but since I am a writer and writing is what we do, here goes---
Back in March, I received a letter from Whirlpool telling me that they were recalling Maytag and Kenmore dishwashers because of a fire hazard. Mine, of course, was one of the ones being recalled. Even though my dishwasher was working FINE, for five years, no problem, I called, scheduled a part to be sent, followed all the rules, unplugged--because heaven forbid, a fire break out in my dishwasher.
Received the part AFTER two weeks, then called and scheduled a Maytag/Whirlpool tech to come and fix the thing, which took another week. The day finally arrived and so did the tech. I was watching my grandbaby, so I didn't go in and watch as I normally do, figured he knew what he was doing. I was wrong.
When he finished, he tested the dishwasher. I heard water runnning and breathed a sigh of relief thinking okay, now it won't catch fire. However, before he left, he told me it was a little difficult to close, just push it closed real good and hard. That it would settle after four or five times of use and things would be fine.
Later that afternoon, after my son came after the baby, I went in and attempted to load the dishwasher. The reason I say tempted is because the door would not open all the way and the bottom rack would keep rolling back in to the dishwasher. Upon further inspection, I realized the door was CROOKED. No wonder it wouldn't shut. It couldn't shut because it was literally on there CROOKED. I called not only the service place, but Whirlpool. Got run arounds at the service center. I'm not sure the Whirlpool Service Line took me too seriously as he told me to call the guy at the service center back on Monday and to just use the dishwasher sparingly because since the door wasn't closing properly, there could be more damage.
Thinking okay, it's just the door, I went on through the weekend putting dishes in there, thinking it was working, I'll stand and watch it just to make sure water isn't pouring from it, etc...
Put soap in the thingy, turned it on and guess what? Nothing happened. Yep, you guessed it. NOW IT DOESN'T WORK AT ALL!!!!!!!!! That is what I have been telling the people at Whirlpool. IT WAS WORKING FINE, BEAUTIFULLY IN FACT, UNTIL THEIR RECALL AND THEIR TECHS CAME OUT TO FIX IT!!!!!!!!! NOW IT DOESN'T WORK! What is wrong with this picture??????
Okay, I am calm.
As a writer, I feel it is my responsibility to alert other consumers, so I will be sending out "Letters to the Editor", will contact the BBB, and any other group I can find to let others know of this debacle. Like I told the customer service rep, if I wanted to wash dishes I wouldn't have a dishwasher.
Off now, to continue the crusade. Tomorrow, I will write about some disturbing news I received from another writer.
Til Then~


Friday, April 27, 2007

Today is another stormy day. I am forging ahead, even though I probably shouldn't be on the 'puter with it storming. I'm holding my breath, but determined too to get some work done regardless.
I finally got my website updated yesterday. I need to do some market research and work on my book more today. Also, need to get on the book my writing partner and I are working on. We have deadlines set and are supposed to have the whole thing finished by the end of July.
She was down visiting the first part of the month. We've been talking about this project for over a year and decided if we didn't set deadlines...well, you know.
Procrastination is not a writer's friend. One just has to do it. What have you been putting off? Get started working on it today. Do something. Even if it's just jotting down some notes.
Til Tomorrow~

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I am preparing for the Oklahoma Writers' Federation Annual Conference. It is to be held next weekend in Oklahoma City. I'm not on the program, buuuutttt I do hope to meet agents and editors. For those meetings I am working on my one sentence pitch.
A one sentence pitch is one sentence you use as a 'pitch' line to see if editors or agents are interested in your writing project. Salesmen use something similar. I once heard this tool described as an elevator pitch, where it is only long enough for someone to go from the first floor to the third. Your information has to be to the point and interesting enough another person would want to know more.
And as I learned early on, it is important to know how to write and use a one sentence pitch, most especially when pitching a book. Wait, you might say. I can't tell my entire's book's plot in one sentence. Then head back to the drawing board and start over. You don't want to be excused like I was years ago.
I had an appointment with an agent. I knew for months about this and heard about the importance of a one sentence pitch, but I felt the plot for my book was too complicated for only ONE sentence.
I went into the appointment, sat down, and the agent (who shall remain nameless in this blog) asked me what I had. I started telling him about the book. He stopped me, told me to tell him about it in one sentence. Nervously, I tried, but still more than 'one sentence' was used.
After a few ramblings, he looked at me and said, "Until you can get your book's plot down to one sentence, you're not focused enough and this meeting is over." I got up and left. There was nothing else to do.
That was 15 years ago. Today, when I go in to appointments, I'm ready. You need to be too.
Work on those pitches.
Til Tomorrow~

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Up and at 'em today. Have already done a lot, trying to catch up on things I've been putting off for a while. Went and picked up my grandbaby, only after getting stuck at railroad tracks for ten minutes. Good grief.
Later today I will be updating my website. I did it once, but guess I forgot to push the save button, so all my hard work was for naught. ARGH!
Am going to get back on the book, try to catch up on my words from yesterday and make up my today's count. I'll have to see how good punkin is.
Off to work.
Til Tomorrow~

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Just when you think you have it all figured out, things happen and mess up your plans. I had planned to get my words in this morning. Started out fine, was over 300 words in, when suddenly a storm blew up. ARGH! I grabbed my grandbaby and headed to my son's house. They have a storm shelter.
When all was said and done, here we are, in the evening and I was never able to get back to my words. Tomorrow.
Thank goodness there are tomorrows.
Til Then~

Monday, April 23, 2007

I went and picked up my grandbaby this morning. He is currently sleeping in his swing. Grandma is getting some work done. Back to working on the book. I've been doing bits and pieces here and there, but this week I intend to lay down some tracks. Of course, it is supposed to storm later today and tomorrow, so we'll see.
I know the bits and pieces count. Many moms have written while their babies take naps. Also, while bouncing them on their knees, etc. I raised two children myself as I worked on my career at the beginning, so I know it can be done. It's just getting back in to the groove of things. I will. It may just take a few days. Until then, have grandbaby, will write. :-)
Til Tomorrow~

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's amazing how quickly things change in our life. This time last year my daughter was in college. Wasn't exactly sure what my son was doing. Neither one had a job. I was trying to figure out when I was going to Colorado and finishing up a writing class.
Now, my son has settled down and I have a precious grandbaby. My daughter has a boy friend and an excellent job. I just finished teaching a writing class. In a year, things have changed and is going in a totally different direction.
Then some things never change. I'm still trying to figure out when to go to Colorado. I am still working on a project I started five years ago, one I started over the summer, and have written down several more.
Some of my life is a constant, some parts of it change consistently. Such is part of a writer's life and grist for the writing mill.
Til Tomorrow~

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Today has been interesting. Still following the whole Virginia Tech horror. It puts things in to perspective. I try to put myself in the socks of those victims' families and for the life of me can't even begin to imagine what they are going through. Even as a bystander, when I think of the events of the past few days, my heart aches. Those kids were so young. I can't help from thinking what potential was snuffed out in a matter of minutes. I also wonder where, how, why, and when a person goes from being a part of society (okay, from all accounts he didn't want to be sociable) to a selfish, egotistical killer. It doesn't make sense to me. None of it makes sense. Then to see those pictures of him and hear what he had to say. What an angry young man! I really DO NOT understand it at all. So many young lives and minds lost.
Then there is the media and all the coverage.
As a writer it is inherent to be curious to want to know what's going on. I understand the media wanting and trying to get 'the big story'. As a parent, I can't imagine how the victims' families must feel seeing the stuff over and over again. I don't know that the media is doing the right thing. I'm torn.
I don't know. It all seems crazy. I'll keep following this and try to learn more about human nature, but I really can't understand this whole thing. I've always said I could never write crime novels, I can't think like a criminal. I just can't fathom what would make a person plan and then kill people.
Okay, off my soap box.
Til Tomorrow~

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What a lovely morning it has been! My daughter-in-law is watching the baby today, so I can have a day for myself. I have spent this morning working on my book. It has been lovely not to have to write 'in a rush'. I took my time plodding through some things, catching up, making notes, thinking about new things I want to add to increase the depth of the project. It was wonderful..and yes I am already finished for the day.
I've got to answer some email now, do some filing, gather research for another little project, but then I'm going to go do some artsy things.
Yes, it takes so little to make me happy.
Til Tomorrow~

Monday, April 16, 2007

I wasn't going to write. I have been glued to the television watching the coverage of the Virginia Tech Massacre. My heart goes out to those families who are affected. I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through. The whole situation is sad and quite maddening.
After hearing the news and watching everything, I can't help but think the tragedy could have been avoided. I'm somewhat surprised the police didn't swarm that campus after the first two deaths..especially since the killer was still on the loose and they had no idea where he was. Why didn't they send in cops to be in every building on campus? I just think someone blew it...again.
Speaking about alerts, why don't they have a special siren for "bad people" on campus? They have sirens for fire, storms, why not make a different kind of siren for when there is a 'person threat'? They could keep this alarm siren going until the bad people are in custody. I just don't understand why they didn't do more to secure the campus.
Getting off my soap box. Back to the tube.
Til Tomorrow~

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I've worked all day. Caught up some, but not all the way. Isn't that the way it goes?
The writer's life is either high or low. Like so many other professions, there is no in-between. I learned that a long time ago. Either there are assignments that keep you up at night or you are sending out query letters hoping an editor calls. Either way, I love it.
I was thinking the other day. One of the reasons why I like writing and the publishing business so much is it is so versatile. An author can write books or articles, fiction or non-fiction. After one project is complete, you can move on to another. Writing is always fun and challenging.
Til Tomorrow~

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's back to work time. I spent last week spoiling my grandson, but every good thing must come to an end. I thought a lot about my projects. I also thought about my career and where it is headed. You know writing is the only career I know of where one or two books can totally change your entire life.
I was watching the Biography Channel the other morning. Tom Clancy was the subject. He was 36 when his first book was published. Ten years later, his life was so drastically different from the insurance salesman he started out as, it is incredible. In ten years, his life totally changed around.
I've thought about how kewl it would be to win the lottery, but I think it would be even cooler to write a book, have it hit the bestseller list and live off those proceeds. When I interviews Cheryl Holt, she said every book she sells, it feels like she hit the lottery. I know what she means.
People who are not in publishing, don't realize how difficult it is to get a book published. When you do, it is like hitting the lottery.
Off to work. Til Later~

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I did a little work today while I was watching my grandson today. I should have done more, but I was playing with him while he was awake. He is so cute and smart. I know he is just over a month old, but he is inquisitive. He looks at and notices everything. And as I may have already said, he loves fans.
He is in a learning curve and as I was watching him today, I thought about how writers need to be like babies. Writers need to be alert, look and learn about everything around them. They need to soak up their surroundings like babies and have an innocence about what they learn like them too. Babies see with new eyes, so things are exciting to them, their hands, their ears, even their voices.
As an exercise, pretend you are seeing your surroundings for the first time. Study everything around you, and then write down your observations. See what you can learn from a baby.
Til Tomorrow~

Monday, April 09, 2007

Wow! The weekend was a busy one and now the week promises to be just as hectic. Woke up and couldn't go back to sleep so I thought I would get up and get a little work done. Had the family dinner Saturday. Sunday, I got to spend time with my friend from Billings, MT. We went to lunch, and then went to see my little grandson. He is so very cute.
Since she is my writing partner, we did get some work done. We decided on a writing schedule for a book we've talked about doing for about a year now. Duh! Neither one of us have been too disciplined in working on the thing. We've talked about it, sent emails back and forth about it, but yesterday after apologies were exchanged, we decided now was the time to break down and do something about it. Our goal is to have the book finished by the end of July. I'm pretty sure we can do it now that our minds are set. I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, it's back to work on my other writing project. I've got to go back in and update my website again. I updated it last week, but for some reason only part of it took. I added my newest published book and updated my resume, but the changes on my resume didn't change. ARGH! And I know I pressed the update button. Oh well, I'll do it again. The practice won't hurt me a bit.
I am going to pick up my grandson this morning and watch him. Actually will be doing that all week. It's a little grandma bonding time. :-)
I'll catch you tomorrow.
Til Then~

Friday, April 06, 2007

Ever have one of those days when things are so bizarre they are filled with writing ideas, but you know no one would believe you if you wrote about them? Today was such a day.
First, I got up and it was snowing. This was after it was in the 80's a few days ago.
Second, I went shopping. I was checking out, writing a check and the electricity went out. They couldn't finish my transaction, but they wrote things down and I was able to take my purchases with me. Other shoppers weren't so lucky.
I then went to another store in the same area, but they wouldn't let anyone in because their electricity was off too. Didn't get what I needed there.
I've jotted these occurences down in my journal and some day I'll use these things in something. It's little incidents like these that writers take and use. It's all fodder for the writing world.
What happened to you today?
Til Tomorrow~

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ever feel like the world is flooding in on you and you haven't a clue where to stop the deluge? That's how today has been. I am determined to catch up on everything, but the morning was full and this afternoon looks to be just as frantic.
Over the years I have learned to take one bite of the elephant at a time, so I've made my list and am slowly eating away at it. One of my goals is to get my website updated and figure out what all this paper is on my desk. I'm losing things in the piles.
Sooo, with that said, off to work.
Til Tomorrow~

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Today has been an interesting day. I didn't get any work done because I went over to see my grandson and spent all afternoon holding and playing with him.
I do like this about my career. I can set my own time schedule. Now tomorrow will be a full work day. I will not only be working on my writing, but catching up on a lot of other stuff.
Will write more later.
Til Then~

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Where does the time go? Getting back to work. My two week company just left and of course I have been spending some time with my new grandbaby. This week will be somewhat strange because my good friend and critique partner is coming down Thursday. Several of us are getting together and going out for supper.
In the meantime, there are bills to be paid, yet more papers to be filed, and a schedule to work on.
Til Tomorrow~