Friday, August 31, 2007


Sorry for the quiet blog the past couple of days. School kicked my butt, as predicted. (g) After several evenings of seeing the sunrise before calling it a night, my body just gave out on me. I slept and slept and slept on Wednesday -- and vowed to get more sleep on a regular basis from here on out. At the rate I was going, I'd be primed for the looney bin by mid-September. (g)

Anyway--no new words, but I did get about 4300 total this week, which was more than I thought I'd get (deep down where I apply reality). I'm hoping to add to that significantly over the three day weekend. The good thing is that I'm exceedingly pleased with the words I've accomplished, and look forward to seeing where these new scenes will take me and affect the book overall.

I've got some friends who are a little worried about where they're taking a certain character, but I _promise_ things will work out for the best. LOL. No naysaying and character-hating, folks! Not yet, at any rate -- let it all play out. :) IOW, TRUST me. (g)

Anywho -- I'm SO glad it's Friday. I seriously didn't know if I'd survive school yesterday. It's my long day -- from 1030 to 630... not the worst schedule out there, but I definitely have some HARD hitting classes in there. I'm not really sure why I took Corporations of all bloody things -- I'm the least business minded person I know...and well, it's going to be nightmarish.

So yeah, that's my life in a nutshell over the past couple of days. Hasn't been a lot of fun and I'm REALLY looking forward to getting some face time with FI. TGIF.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I actually got 810 words tonight. I finished homework rather late -- around 230, but I still managed a good chunk.. Of course, I have to be up for class in about five hours. (g) Oh well. It's a worthy cause. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I didn't have a great night, and I don't see that last 12K happening by Friday. (g) After a long day hitting the books, I only managed 715 words tonight. But still, I'm happy for that. I'll be lucky to get half that tomorrow. BUSY day ahead of me. (g)

HOWEVER -- The good news is that Monday's a holiday. That equates to a nice three day weekend for me to write. Hey, I'll take what I can get. I forgot we had a day off that soon...YAY Labor Day. :)

Oh, and I'm down to 150 pages of reading for tomorrow... I can do that, I think. LOL. Whether I'll survive Wednesday to do the reading for Thursday is another thing entirely. And then the readings for Friday. Gah, my schedule SUCKS. And I wanted to get a job on top of this?? Heh, good luck, Jen.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Quick Note

Well, it was bound to happen, and now it has. I've faced the reality of school starting tomorrow. With that extra week, you'd think I would've taken the opportunity to get a head start on my assignments.

NAY, I say!

I saved 'em until today. And of course I had a family celebration to attend this evening. In other words, I didn't start reading for class until close to midnight. (g) With sixty pages for my ONE class tomorrow, not to mention my snail pace and penchant for distraction, I only finished about an hour ago.

So, no writing tonight... I'm gonna scribble down some notes, though.. Hopefully I can squeeze some time in tomorrow. I just ran down my reading list for Wednesday, and it ain't pretty, folks. (g) Therefore, I need to start on it the first opportunity I have.

Why oh why am I taking 17 hours??? Yeah, I know -- I'm crazy. But a heavy semester in the fall means a LIGHT one in the spring. That is SUCH a motivation. (g)

So, the bad news? Erm, remember how I estimated I would need 15K to finish the next 100 pages? Ummm, I'm only at 3K...that means I need to squeeze in 12K on top of my monstrous class load--by Friday. Heh. (VBG) I _could_ do it...we'll see. LOL. Well, to be honest... I _could_ finish the 15K, but I'm not sure I'll be able to pull all the chunks together in that time. Plus I still need to edit/revise those three chapters from the previous draft... ugh, that takes me forever.

Oh...and I made a new goal of getting BTPM to D.A. by the end of September. *sigh* Much longer than I had hoped to take, but what can you do? After all, I've got his attention with FI -- that's the more important of the two at this point. Despite that, I'm super excited to get it to him... I really hope he loves it as much as I do.

Okay, off to try and fall asleep. Egads. My schedule is SO out of whack.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I wasn't going to do a book review for these--mostly because they were published back in the early nineties. But then I thought -- well heck, _I_ didn't read them until now. Perhaps others are curious, too. (g)

Brief Synopsis of the series: Vicki Nelson is an ex-cop, forced to quit her job when her eyesight begins to fail her, limiting her peripheral vision, and reducing her to near blindness in the dark. She becomes a private investigator. During one of her cases, she stumbles across Henry Fitzroy, a 450-year old vampire and son of Henry VIII. Long story short, they partner up -- Vicki covering days, Henry covering nights. They're highly attracted to one another, but their relationship is complicated by Vicki's ex-partner, Det. Mike Celluci. It's a love-triangle made in the twilight zone. (g)

Blood Price -- the original book that brought Henry and Vicki together. A demon is stalking people, and they team up to track down the human summoning it.

Blood Trail -- Vicki lends Henry a hand with tracking down a sniper that's taking out a family of werewolves, one by one.'s the skinny.

These books They're not the most well-written or even well-plotted fiction I've ever read. I can't decide whether I've managed to get through two of the books because of the TV series or because they're actually interesting in their own right.. I suspect the former, though. LOL.

The first book was rather weak, plot-wise. To me, the ending was cheese to the extreme -- cringe-worthy, actually. The second took a HUGE step up, but still had a certain "OMG-factor" to it. The one thing that kept me going was the "will they or won't they" thing going on between Vicki and Henry... As well as the "will he or won't he kill Henry" thing Celluci has going.. You see, he and Vicki were lovers when the book began. Now he's been relegated to ex-partner and he's not happy about it. Y'all know I'm a sucker for triangles, so perhaps that's why I'm considering buying the next two-book volume. (g)

At any rate, I'm not sure why, but when I envision what a vampire book will be like, I always sort of assume there's going to be a fair amount of sexual urges fluttering about... and yeah, there are in this book. But man, she blacks out when the deed is going down! Okay, where's the fun in that? All right, so I do the same thing with my books (mostly) -- but STILL... this is a VAMPIRE book. The last time I read one (suggested by my sister), it was so full of sex scenes that I forgot it was an actual novel. (g) If you're interested, it was called THE DARK PRINCE by Christine Feehan. I haven't read a second one. (g) Call me crazy, but I like story, too. LOL. Anyway, if that's the type of book you're looking for, this ain't it. Of course, the tension of whether anything will happen is pretty good.

All in all -- these books are pretty fluff. But hell, two books in one for about seven bucks... That ain't bad. Oh -- and fair warning. She's a head-hopper to boot.

Buy or Rent? Flip a coin.

P.S. No matter what, definitely check out the TV series! (g)

A Way In -- Finally

First of all, I have to quote one of my favorite lines of all time.

"You're gonna need a bigger boat, right?"

--Roy Schieder, Jaws

LOL -- I love this movie. I can't say it enough. His expression when the shark pops out of the water is soooo classic, and I crack up every time he repeats a variation of the above line. So Good. It was on tonight while I was writing -- hard to pay attention to work, but I somehow managed. (g)

Okay -- on to other topics.

I didn't get a single word written last night. Not a one. I was so stressed out about this whole writing from an outline thing, I think I let it get to me. What if I can't do this? What if...what if...what if. I kept thinking 'I'm going to let D.A. down. I can't do this.'

Now, I can't say I've completely convinced myself otherwise, but I am feeling better tonight. LOL. I finally just said, 'Jen, you can only do your best. If for some reason it doesn't work out, you'll live. BUT, you must remember that your little freak out moments are normal for you -- get over it and move on!'

That little pep talk, as well as some encouraging words from a beta today, got me moving. Yes, I have an outline -- yes, I need to stick to it, but it's not written in STONE. There's room for me to change some things up -- and I need to let the story bend when it needs to. Must remember that!

So, I sat down tonight with this in mind and managed to get my 1700 words. I may still continue after this post -- for some reason, things are very clear for me tonight. LOL. I also worked out another thread of the book--making it better than what I had planned in the outline. And, I must say, I think I wrote a pretty kick-ass scene tonight. With this progress, I actually feel I CAN do this. I just needed to find my way back into the book -- I think I have. Granted, that doesn't mean there won't be bumps in the road, but it did wonders for my confidence.

Oh, and I'm definitely back to chunking. I don't know why it works for me, but when I chunk write, later scenes in the book help bring earlier ones into focus. I'm able to see where I need to bring the book -- and ideas begin to sprout. "If this happens at this point, I'll have to do this earlier," and so on. Hey, it works for me -- and that's just the way it is. I'll try to stick to the same area of the book for now, but if something hits me from the ending, that's what I'll write. It may take me longer to get the next set of pages finished, but I can't argue with a process that works and that which will make the final book better.

Ahhh, I feel so much better. (g)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Those Wonderful Moments

Do you ever write something and it brings you to tears? I'm not talking about poetic prose that is beautiful and heart-wrenching -- I'm not talking a deeply emotional scene that makes you want to weep. I'm talking something so silly that you laugh until you cry. Do you?

Could be the late hour, but the scene I just wrote had me laughing out loud and wiping away tears. Oh man, it's classic. Up until the ending moment, I actually thought it was some of the best prose I've ever written. Not great, certainly not poetry...but good for me. Then {{{BAM!!!!}}} -- Maddy happened. (g) Need I say more? I really hope it's not just me. (g)

Today was a little rough. Last night I sat down with pen and paper and outline and tried to make a list of the scenes I thought I'd need to get through the next section of FI. With a list I figured I could pick and choose and write whatever is barking at that time. It worked -- sort of. I had a hard time getting into a groove, but I did manage about 1250 words tonight. Not great, not terrible -- just a solid effort. I wanted to hit that 1700 mark, but I think I have to call it a night. Hopefully this will springboard into getting going a little quicker next time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Spinning My Tires

I didn't get a lot accomplished today -- I'll be honest. There was a lot of family drama going on, and readjustments to the family/pups being home again. It left me a little grumpy. (g) I didn't get started until late this evening, and I never really got into any kind of groove. I suspect it has to do with the lack of sleep I got last night. The dogs decided to plant themselves in my bed -- one across my lap, and the other snuggled against my side. I was freezing and stiff when I woke up. LOL. Which was often. (g) Plus they snore! (VBG) It's too cute.

At any rate, I started organizing my stuff for FI. To get the next 100 pages finished, I estimate I'll need to write about 15K...roughly (1670 words a day). Don't know if that can happen in the next nine days or not, but I suppose there's an outside chance. LOL. I need to remember that school is seriously going to hinder my efforts. Of course, I'm hoping that the added pressure of schoolwork will get my butt in gear. I do work well when I'm in school for some reason -- better organized, I guess -- plus I know I can't screw around as much.

I'm trying to salvage any bits I can from the original MS, but I'm heading into all new stuff soon. There's about three old chapters that will need some tweaking, and then it's off the map. That's fine with me, honestly, but I am a little concerned about trying to write linearly. I would much rather jump around. But if DA is going to expect increments sent periodically (don't know yet), I'll have to at least stay in the general area of the next section so that I can send in order. I suppose 100 random pages won't do. LOL. DRAT. I've been spoiled -- all of my friends accept my out of order methods. (g)

Anywho -- prolly gonna call it a night. I'm itching to work on BTPM a bit, so I may try that out and see how I do. Most likely I'll read and crash. (g)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Oh Happy Days

Well, I wrote out a very long post earlier today and promptly lost it when some blogger snafu ganked it. GRRR. I can't remember what I was talking about at the time, but I'm sure it was of the utmost importance. (g) Oh wait, now I remember!

Well, the original title was "Emerging from the Abyss" -- which pretty much describes my slow descent into the world of Bloodties and subsequently, my clawing my way back out of it. LOL. I was in a "horror" kind of mood on Sunday. I decided to pull the first Tanya Huff Blood Book off my shelf -- it's about a female investigator who joins up with a vampire to investigate a bunch of paranormal cases. I've gotten a ways in -- it's not the most well-written book in the world, but it's entertaining. I basically have to keep from grinding my teeth every time she headhops.... but I'm managing. I figure if I can get past my past tense snobbery, I can manage one book written in such ad hoc fashion.

Then I remembered it was a TV series! Hmmm, wonder if I can find them on the net somewhere... After many failed attempts, my friend discovers all the eps are available on the station's website. Hello. We should've looked there first... anyway, if you're interested, it aired on lifetime -- so go to their website, and you can find the entire first season.

Anywho, thus began my marathon of Bloodties eps. There are only 12, thank I didn't lose all sense of reality -- no matter how close I came. (g) LOL.

The end result? I got nada accomplished on my books. *sigh* Oh well, with this extra week, I gained a little wiggle room to take a break. I was averaging a bedtime hovering right around 6 every night, and I was seriously hurting. Not that it's really getting any better -- I just spent my time watching the show. LOL.

But the important thing -- it's over! I've finished them all and it's time to get back to work.

My aunt and uncle returned from CO today -- with the pups. I was super excited to see them -- even more so because they practically mauled me in their happiness to see ME. Hey, I worried -- three weeks is a long separation. LOL. I had some back up bones handy JUST in case the outside was more interesting to them... I ended up giving them anyway -- when they wouldn't leave me alone. (g)

Other news... Oh! When I was vacuuming tonight, I had an epiphany about FI. I have one plot point that's never made me very happy -- then I remembered the old conflict maker again (a la Donald Maass): What one thing can't your character survive without? Take it away... or something to that effect. Then it occurred to me that this certain plot point could be fixed by taking a certain something away from my character... it also allows me to utilize a periphery character who is seen only once in this book, and then disappears (he returns in book 2, so I left him...). But NOW I can use him, and oh man, he's a goodie and will drive Madison NUTS. NOT in a good way. PLUS, it strengthens another bit of the story... PLUS, it takes care of some of the concerns DA had about my outline... oh man, I'm stoked about this change. (g) And thankfully, it's an easy one to make because the front end of the book won't be affected in the slightest. So -- YAY!! I love it when a plan comes together. Okay, so I didn't plan it, but even so. (g)

I'll be honest -- this is the first time in a while I've been _really_ excited to work on FI. Revisions are so tedious and honestly, not all that enjoyable for me. Granted, once I start writing the new stuff, I'm sure I'll like them a lot more. New words _always_ get me excited. (g) So, I'm thinking I begin work on it again tomorrow... I made a goal of completing another hundred pages by the end of the month. HEH. We'll see. Of course, that means another shift away from BTPM. *cries* DO NOT get yourself in this situation, people. LOL. But yanno, I wouldn't trade it for the world -- the only thing better would be working on their sequels at the same time. (g)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Too Cool

Apparently my review of ECLIPSE by Stephenie Meyer has been linked at -- here.

I have no idea what that is, but it's cool to be at the top of their list. (g) I'll have to check it out more thoroughly... anyone have any info on it?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Stay of Execution


This doesn't happen to me often, and when it does, it usually doesn't work out in my favor... BUT.....

I screwed up the date of when classes begin. Classes don't start tomorrow like I thought --- they start NEXT Monday!!!!!!

*Happy Dance!!!!*

OMG, I feel like I just won the lottery.


Okay, it's 630 again for me. LOL. Oh well, I know as soon as classes begin that this will have to end. Of course, the first few days are going to be _rough_. One more year!

I've closed up one major gap in this new section. Only one more to go. WOOHOO. I have no idea if this new stuff will work -- as I said yesterday, action scenes with lots of players are the bane of my existence. Plus, I'm writing a lot of dialogue between a group of guys. Writing males is just harder for me--guess I'm not alpha enough. (g) Half the time I worry they're going to come off as extremely girly. Funny because I don't seem to have a problem writing Caleb -- and he's even fairly butch. Surprising when tackling Ty seems impossible some days. Go figure. (g)

Anyway, I'm off to bed at this horrible hour. I'll see if I can scrape up a line of the day. lol.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


It's 430. (g) I'm getting better. Today I got my laptop back, so I've been basking in its glory all day -- and it helped me get started a _bit_ earlier tonight.

Well, this scene has officially hit 5200 words. I still have two gaps to fill, and then probably some basic fleshing out. I get pretty wrapped up in certain things, and a lot of times forget to include enough sensory detail. So, I'll have to make a pass for those things when I finish.

Anyway, I'm hopeful that I'll complete this scene before school begins on Monday. This was probably the biggest hurdle in my revisions of BTPM, so once it's finished, goodness, hopefully the rest will be easy peasy... HEH, doubt it. I keep underestimating how much work I have to do, so I'm going to stop saying, "after this, things will go smoothly" -- cuz they never do. Time I face that. (g)

The last sections I have to write are the major choreography bits -- probably why I've avoided them so far. I suck at scenes with lots of players and action. In fact, I nearly pulled out all of my hair when I wrote the last major one -- which was in COTM. Gah, that thing almost hit the trash bin several times. LOL. Now I consider it one of my best scenes ever. (g) Go figure. Anyway, hopefully I can pound 'em out and come up with something interesting.

Tomorrow's Saturday -- yay. :)

Friday, August 17, 2007


Well, at least it's not _seven_. (g) I got my 1K in, finally managing to get to the end of this scene. Of course, I still have several gaps to fill in. I'm getting closer, though. Maybe with my early to bed methods (heh), I'll have a little more energy tomorrow.

Hey, by time school starts, I _could_ be back on a normal schedule of going to bed at a decent hour. Riiiight.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Late Night!

Okay, seriously... I don't know what my problem is. LOL. I'm not in school right now, but for some reason I meander around all day and never really start working until 7 or 8 at night -- often times I'm too busy IM'ing my friends that I don't actually start _writing_ until midnight or after. Last night took the cake, though. I started playing this stupid addictive, OCD-inducing computer game, trying to collect my thoughts for writing. I played for HOURS. When I finally finished, I said NO, you are not allowed to go to bed until you get 1K of BTPM. You are officially forbidden to say you're too tired, because you brought this on yourself! Guys, I didn't start writing until _5 am_. Heavens.

The good news is that the words came pretty fast -- especially considering the low wattage I was working on at that point. In a little over an hour, I managed about 1100 words, and finally gave up when I found it too difficult to describe the little 10 by 10 room my MC found herself in. LOL. Yeah, when you can't find a way to describe something so simple -- you need to go to bed. So, off I went. Today I am VOWING to work on this dang thing until I get the loose ends tied up.

Another problem I'm having is this character I decided to introduce. He's important in book 2, but not really until then. Anyway, I wanted to introduce him for a little more depth in the book, and so that he doesn't come out of nowhere in book 2. He was supposed to only make casual appearances here and there -- no biggie, right?? WRONG. The boy is turning out to have one HELLUVA presence, and he wants stage time. This scene is turning out to be about 2 chapters worth of words. Yeah... not helping that spiraling out of control word count of mine. LOL. What's worse -- I wanted to strengthen the presence of the already existing characters. He's slowly taking over, though. LOL. Go figure.

I'm thinking I need to take some time and pound out a rough outline. Just so I can give this guy some kind of arc in this book. Right now, I'm not sure how to do that in the present storyline -- which means even MORE words. *bangs head on desk* But you know, I'm not going to get too upset -- I like what he's adding to the book. Now if only I could get the other characters on the stage, LOL.

I wonder how D.A. would take a 80K YA...maybe 90K.....heh...ahem.

What ever happened to my nice little idea for a SHORT YA???? First it turned into two books because I estimated it would take 120K to tell the story... now the first book could come close to reaching that -- and trust me, there HAS to be more than one book. Maybe I need to stop reading books by Meyer and Bray. LOL. They're both extremely long, but not the the norm by any means.

Oh well -- que sera.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Major bummer -- I just wrote a post and it went POOF when I tried to publish it. (BTW--it was the most interesting, well-written, and witty post ever! (g))

As I was saying, the new scene of BTPM has topped 2K now, and I still have a significant portion of it to write. I'm not sure what my end word count was when I finished the SFD, but it's definitely going up -- by a lot. I keep telling myself bigger YA's are making it into print these days, but they are the exception. I can always hope. (g)

Anyway, I'm loving this scene so far. I'm still basically writing from two different areas of the chapter, but the gap is slowly closing between them. You should see my file -- it's a riot. I have a long section... then a sentence or two...then a paragraph....then another long section... It's the epitome of chunk writing once again. LOL. Oh well -- I'm happy for whatever I can get down. It will come together eventually.

Oh, btw -- I'm going to try and continue the "line of the day" thing, but with BTPM, there really aren't any one-liners. As Carol told me the other day, Mac really isn't all that funny. LOL. So, I'll most likely post short excerpts instead. I've got one for today, and I'm hoping the intensity of it comes through. Writing action and tension is definitely something I'm working on -- not sure I'm quite there yet, though. (g)

Okay -- off to bed.

Random Fact

My good pal Jenna was surfing the net tonight and decided to check out one of Stephenie Meyer's sites. She discovered something very interesting...

Meyers is a chunk writer!!! *WOOHOO!!*

Chunksters unite!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ECLIPSE by Stephenie Meyer

Okay, let me just say first -- There BETTER be another book in this series. (g) I'm sure there probably is, but I'm not one of those people who's ever up on this stuff. LOL. Regardless, it's going to be a killer wait to see what happens next.

On we go...BTW, if you haven't read these books, you might want to skip this review. Unfortunately, I can't write it without giving away a few spoilers from the first two books.


Brief Synopsis: Bella (human) is torn between the two most important people in her world: Edward (bloodsucker) who is the love of her life. She's determined to become a vampire so she can spend eternity with him. And Jacob (dog). Their friendship endangers the volatile truce between vampires and werewolves. But yet, she can't seem to stay away. Add in a female vamp determined to destroy Bella in order to met out revenge against Edward, and a mysterious pack of vampires who are hunting the streets of Seattle and, YEEK!, are headed their way... and you got one helluva book. (g) (Oh, and don't forget the Volturi -- the ruling vampire family who insist Bella becomes a vamp because she's aware of their existence. The alternative? Eh, not so pretty. (g)) The vamps and wolfies join together to protect Bella, but will even that be enough? MUHAHAHAHA. (g)

Okay, LOVED this book. I picked it up on Saturday, having read the first three chapters, and couldn't put it down until I finished at 230 in the morning. LOL. The funny thing about her writing, is that it seems to go at this really leisurely pace, yet there's always this underlying tension that pulls you forward. A lot of her chapters are really long, and her conversations go on for two years, it seems. LOL. Yet, it all just builds and builds until you're whipping through the pages, on the edge of your seat, worried/scared/excited to see what will happen next.

As their relationship has matured, the challenges between Edward and Bella have become greater. There's now this serious sexual tension going on and it's a constant will they or won't they. Personally, I think this is good in YA, because it's something all teenagers cope with on some level. Showing them it's natural to have those urges while presenting the pros and cons (even greater when it's between a vampire and a human) is very _educational_, IMHO. The thing I love about their relationship is that Bella is the aggressor. You don't see that too much these days --and I love that Bella refers to Edward as the prude of the vampire world.

And of course Bella is dealing with the issue of becoming a vampire. She's hesitant to leave her family behind, but is unwilling to let Edward go. Her desire to be changed is completely frustrated by Edward, who wants her to experience life as a human for a while. (But the Volturi have set a deadline -- talk about complicated!)And then there's Jacob -- who is _mostly_ human as he says, and can provide her a relatively normal life. Choosing one means becoming the enemy of the other. And you thought you had problems. (g)

Not too much to complain about in this book -- just the fact that it ended and now the wait begins for the fourth book.

One thing I loved about this book (without giving anything away) is that Bella really seems to grow up in a lot of ways. She's forced to make some tough decisions, but yet she does, even when she knows how heartbreaking her decisions will be... and even when part of her is practically destroyed by making them. Wow -- some very powerful moments in this book.

And man, WHAT an ending! I was soooo scared! LOL. Great read -- go out and buy this series right now!

Buy or Rent? BUY!


Well, just so everyone knows the current status of things, I've sent my first set of revisions off to D.A. It took me a little longer than expected, and you won't believe the reason. LOL. I had this small little scene tacked on the VERY end of the pages, and I wanted to amp up the tension there. I couldn't come up with anything that seemed to make sense. Finally, it hit me and I got something I think is pretty good. Maybe not perfect, but there's something there, and it could always be changed later. Anyway -- that held me up.

I also had to cut about a thousand words in the form of a phone call to a newbie agent. I liked a lot of the information being conveyed to the reader, but after a lot of thought, I decided all of it would come out in the book at one point or another. I'll admit, that scene was a concession to early readers who complained about various aspects of the book, claiming they didn't understand, etc. The thing is, while I appreciate that, I think there are enough clues/hints/dialogue/actions to explain it all already. All I can hope is that people will give my book long enough to figure those things out. People say you shouldn't spoon feed the reader with backstory upfront, and that was what this scene was -- pure and simple, so it had to go. Don't worry, I salvaged the best lines from it. The music montage thing HAD to stay... lol.

Other than that, I spent Sunday night working on that new scene in BTPM. I have two different sections of the chapter/scene written -- but a HUGE gap right in the middle and no big finale. It actually took a turn I hadn't expected, but it's just going to make it that much better. It's a bit violent, but hopefully not too bad for YA. Just gives me more cause to make one of the characters go crunch at some point... gah, makes me mad thinking about it. (g) I guess that's a good thing. (g)

What else? Oh. God. I bought my school books yesterday. How depressing. One of my classes has roughly 500 pages of reading for the first day. That's SO wrong. Is it too late to go to dental college? Hair College, perhaps? Okay, one more year -- keep reminding me of that when I start whining about a week from now. (g)

Oh, and I miss my pups! :( They'll be home in a week -- I can't wait! Okay, I promised a review of ECLIPSE, so that's next on the agenda. After that, I'm gonna spend the day working on BTPM. WOOHOO.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Out For The Day

It's nothing major. I'm going to a movie in Omaha with a couple of friends -- Becoming Jane. Much to our horror, it isn't playing in Lincoln, so we've decided to make a mini-daytrip of the event. The movie, the Cheesecake Factory, maybe some shopping if I can talk them into it. We'll see. (g)

Anyway -- I've sort of given myself the weekend off -- being as it's my last official weekend without any homework. School starts a week from Monday and well, I just needed some down time. I spent a good portion of yesterday waiting for _something_ to hit me regarding either FI or BTPM, and there was just nothing. By mid-afternoon, I gave up and said to heck with it. Read a book, Jen. So that's exactly what I did.

I finished ECLIPSE by Stephenie Meyer. Oh boy do I have a review coming for you! (g) I couldn't sleep last night as I descended into mini-meltdown, self-doubt mode. How are you EVER going to compete with THAT?? I only allowed myself to stay under for about 10-15 minutes and then I pulled myself up by the boot straps. (g) Then I sat there (er, lay there as it was about 3am at this point) telling myself that MY book had a lot to offer that hers didn't... that I had a good story to tell, too. That our styles are different...that there is enough room for both of us -- and that I may even fill some gaps between her and other authors. Yeah, okay, I was stretching, but I really needed to pull myself up.

Then an amazing thing happened. Ideas for revisions started springing up. Nothing too major -- minor tweaks that were actually suggested to me by a critter, but weren't really hitting home with me for some reason. Then it all started to fall into place -- random bits in different scenes, things that will amp up the tension. Then I started seeing bits and pieces of this scene I've been wanting to write, but wasn't sure how to tackle yet. I kinda put it off, thinking I'd deal with it once I got there. Now it's slowly developing.

Let me tell you -- I was scribbling away in the dark (well the tv was on, but I didn't wear my glasses) -- got about 5 pages of free hand notes... not bad, folks. :) Some bits are more concrete than others -- I've got some bits of dialogue--some just random ideas for possible changes. But that scene -- too cool -- I have a lot of bits over the course of it -- now it's just time to walk through it and fill in the blanks. Hopefully I can do that tonight and won't be dead from zero sleep. Yeah, the last time I looked at the clock last night/morning, it was at least 530 and I just rolled out of bed at 830. ACK!

Oh well -- Jane is waiting... Have I mentioned I'm a super-fan of Austen's? Yeah, were she alive I'd probably campout on the poor dear's doorstep. (g) Okay, maybe not -- but I'd definitely be stalking from afar. (g)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Acute Sequelitis

Nathan Bransford had a very interesting post today -- here. It started out as a post on self-publishing and turned into a very interesting commentary about sequels. Granted, he was talking about them in the context of self-publishing the first and HOPING a major publishing house will pick up the second, and reprint the first..blah blah blah. He noted the one case of this that _I'm_ aware of.. ERAGON by Christopher Paolini, which -- let's face it -- was a huge exception to the general rule. Lucky duck! :) Maybe there are more, but that taps out my knowledge on the subject.

Anyway, this post got me to thinking about all of us aspiring writers who hope to have series someday. And, really, who can blame us? A series means that we can remain with our characters in the world we've created -- it means people are reading and enjoying the stories we're weaving -- it means (let's hope) a steady writing gig and income. Nothing wrong with that.

I think his advice applies to people going the traditional route as well as those who self-publish. In fact, I found myself in this situation last year. I finished FAKING IT and _immediately_ began book 2. Then, when those pesky rejections started pouring in, I suffered a HUGE jolt to my self-confidence. What was I doing writing book 2, if I couldn't get book 1 picked up? On top of that, what was I doing thinking about books 3...and 4...and 5...etc?

At that point, I said... okay, I need to work on _something_ else. That brought about BY THE PALE MOONLIGHT, which is guess what? TADA -- another series. Not in a, book 1 stands on its own and answers every question kind of way, but in a...there NEEDS to be a second book to finish this story...maybe even a third.

(Sidenote: Boy am I glad to see this is actually done in today's market! In fact, A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY by Libba Bray employed a similar concept -- rock on. (g))

Am I crazy?? Wait! Don't answer that! lol.

I don't know if there's a question that needs to be answered here -- I'm mostly just thinking aloud. (g) It's just that I've seen a lot of people (myself included) who have such BIG dreams when it comes to series -- we've worked out individual plots for each book -- we've weaved a plot arc that spans over the books, tying them all together, making the series contingent upon such and such in book 2... or this character needs to be introduced in book 1 because they'll be back in book 4... so on and so forth. LOL.

Are we setting ourselves up for a huge letdown? I mean, how many series really get picked up? What are the odds?

This topic really sprang to mind tonight because I had a little epiphany about a pivotal scene in _book 4_ of the Narc series. I've got it all planned out, folks. (g) I think if I wrote down all the possible ideas I have, I would have enough for at least 8 books AND a prequel. That's a whole lotta ideas hinging on my selling book 1.

One thing I refuse to do, though... While I have a lot of ideas and can probably even describe the antags in each book -- I'm NOT going there yet. I won't be plotting out the stories in full and I won't be giving them titles. If I'm graced with the opportunity to write a series, there will be plenty of time to think about those books. For now, I'm gonna write whatever strikes me -- because (hopefully) one of them will pan out.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


In a rush to get to ECLIPSE, I decided I simply had to finish this book tonight. Let me tell you, it is a FABULOUS book. I'm happy I finally dusted it off and cracked it open -- granted, I did once, but *heh* couldn't make it past the first page or two. Okay...confession time...

I'm a past tense snob. LOL. I bought THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE a LONG time ago -- and well, I never made it past the first page when I realized it was written in present tense. *TEE* It just sounds so weird to me -- and it's like I have to struggle to process every sentence. Plus (VBG), it reminds me of Silence of the Lambs -- you know the line, "It rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again?" Yeah, that always sprang to mind when trying to read a book written in present tense.

Anywho -- I gutted my way through the first chapter or two -- and although it probably didn't feel "right" for a couple of hundred pages (if at all), I made it through. Big moment. Feel like I'm expanding my horizons. Maybe my present tense muscle just needed some exercise. (g)

Okay, on to the review.

Brief Synopsis: Gemma Doyle grew up in India, but has always longed to see England. One day, she sees a vision of her mother being attacked and then killing herself. The vision comes true. Her father is an addict, and her brother can't be bothered with her, resulting in them sending her to an elite finishing school in England. Once there, she's confronted by a young man--the brother of the man who died alongside her mother--who warns her away from giving into her visions.

At the school, she befriends an outcast and the two most popular girls in school. Together, they try to unravel the mystery of <>. It's set in the year 1895.

Eh...I guess that's okay. LOL. Maybe with enough practice, I'll get better. (g)

Okay, LOVED this book. Bray is a GREAT writer -- she really knows how to set the mood, keep the pace going, and develop great characters that come alive on the page. This book had a lot of depth to it, and tackled many issues -- sexuality, cutting, peer pressure, etc. etc. The list goes on. The tension slowly built until I was whipping through the pages in order to find out what would happen next. The ending... WOW...can't wait to read the sequel, which thankfully I have in my grubby little hands already! (picked it up today (g))

One of the great things about this book is the circle of friends surrounding Gemma. Bray really captured the essence of a teenage friendship -- the ups and downs -- the ability of girls to go from mortal enemies to bosom buddies, almost overnight...and then back again. Over and over, each cycle bonding you even closer together. Takes me back, I tell ya. (g)

The mystery was slowly revealed until the BIG moment in the end. And you're left wanting to know what happens next. In addition, she weaved historical details in without making me feel like I was being bashed over the head with them. I really respected that. (g)

To be fair, there were a few flaws. One of the things that really stood out to me was the young boy who was warning her away from the visions. His name was Kartik, and he was part of this, I guess you would call it a secret society of gypsies called the Rakshana. Supposedly, their sole purpose is to guard the secret of <>. The thing I found strange about this whole thread of the book is that they never really did anything. Sure, their mission was clear, but they never seemed to have a clue or be around to actually, yanno, protect the big secret. It was a real weak spot in the novel.

Also, to be honest, the romantic relationship in this book was a bit underdeveloped -- and I think the reader is expected to feel more than is actually warranted.

I also found some of the girls' thoughts, words, and actions a tad modern. Eh, I'm not a history nazi, but their "tone" even jerked me out of the book every now and then.

At any rate, it was a great read, and I can't wait until I get to the sequel. (ECLIPSE comes first, tho! (g))

Buy or Rent? BUY!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


With everything going on with Faking It, I completely lost track of the date. As I was dropping off a book at the library, it hit me. DUDE, it's August 8th! LOL. Guess what came out yesterday?? ECLIPSE by Stephenie Meyer! (g) Woohoo -- had to make a pitstop at B&N to pick it up. Super excited. I also picked up REBEL ANGELS by Libba Bray. I'm almost finished with A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY, which is the first in that series. Totally loving it.

Now I'm at a loss. I wanna start ECLIPSE but I'm also dying to know what happens at the end of AGATB. LOL. Oh well. Tough place to be in -- too many good books, impossible to read them all at once. (g)

In other good news, I have some really kickass friends! I sent out the first 100 pages to a big group and holy cow, they all got back to me already! Girls, you rock! Thanks to Tricia, Carol, Claire, Rachel, and Carrie!! And thanks to the rest of you reading -- Deniz, Jenny, Sheila, and Kat! Look forward to hearing what you think -- but NO hurry. :)

I'm getting a few last minute things cleaned up and will be sending probably either late tonight or tomorrow morning. I appreciate all of the comments and suggestions! Dude, you need something read, I'm your girl. (g)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


I hit the magic number -- 108, to be exact. I'm sooo relieved. That little bridging scene? Uh, yeah... it turned out to be 1700 words worth of bridge. LOL. But I'm very happy with it -- intense, I hope. (g)

As you can see from the timestamp, I'm finishing _very late_. So, no read through tonight. I'm gonna print it out so I can get started right away tomorrow. I'd really like to have it cleaned up in the next day or two -- possibly pass it off to a couple of readers before sending. Right now, I'm thinking it's pretty good, tho.. HEH. That could be the late hour talking. (g) Most likely. lol.

Anyway -- off to bed I go. This takes a HUGE load off. *happy dance*

Monday, August 6, 2007


After wrestling with a scene last night, I finally got it tied up to my temporary satisfaction. (g) That leaves me on page 92, with just a short bridging scene to add. YAY. Right now the current chapter runs until pg 100, so I will make my goal and then some -- hopefully today.

I've given this a lot of thought. I think my problem is stemming from the fact I'm not a linear writer. LOL. I'm getting the job done, but very slowly. If I'd run into this situation using my usual methods, I would've simply jumped to a new scene until a path through the current one became clear.

Chunk writing, in a way, lends itself to "big moments" without a lot of the filler crap that can come when you're trying to get from one scene to the next. I prefer it because I can write the big scenes and move on. When it's time to piece everything together, I can just add short bridging sentences to get them to fit. Granted, it can be a bit frustrating, but overall, I gotta say I prefer it. (g)

Of course, with some practice, I might be able to edit myself as I write linearly. I can't say for sure. Right now I find myself anxious to get on to the the next big thing and some of the stuff I'm writing to GET me to those points seems a little dry and boring. Hopefully that isn't true. lol.

Anywho -- my goal is to finish up this last scene and then do a preliminary read through tonight. We'll see how it goes. (g) *eee*

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Not Quite!

For whatever reason (okay, I can think of a few), my mind and body DID NOT want to cooperate with my writing schedule today. I didn't get started until late this evening, and then that scene I thought I'd figured out decided to be tempramental with me. I did manage to complete it, roughly, but not early enough to get much else accomplished. I'm heading to bed, in other words. (g)

It was my first day off without homework to worry about -- or family to entertain, or a house to clean, etc. So, I guess it was needed and deserved.

Anyway, that leaves me at page 84. _Tomorrow!_ (g) Of course, I have plans to see The Bourne Ultimatium. But I will NOT quit tomorrow until I finish the first 100. Simple as that.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I've Hit a Snag

I got into my revisions today and when I hit page 77, I discovered a glitch. The scene simply didn't make sense in the new plotline. Can't believe I missed it while writing my outline, but I guess it's good I discovered it now. Better late than never.

Anyway, it was probably one of the single most frustrating moments in this process because I couldn't see any other way to fix the situation than to delete the entire scene. That in turn, would leave a HUGE hole. Blah! I sat here for well over an hour trying to figure out a solution -- okay, maybe if this happens I can make it work, sending all sorts of ripples that would destroy my other plot points in the MS. *major banging of head on desk*

Then, just when I was about to hit the ol' delete key, it hit me. If I simply reversed the roles of the characters in the scene, I'd be fine. The answer was staring me in the face the entire time, so blatantly obvious that I completely missed it. LOL. So, that's the good news. I think sometimes a scene is so ingrained in our minds that any other course of action seems wrong. I'm trying to step away from that mentality -- but this scene really threw me for a loop.

I'm in the middle of tweaking the scene now -- leaving me on page 78 for the night. I had hoped to make it to the new scene on page 90 or so, but such is life. Tomorrow I should be able to make it -- if not all the way to 100. *HEE*

So, long day -- not a lot of forward momentum, but still progress.

Oh...and my class is finished!! My two weeks begin NOW. *happy dance* I'm sleeping in late tomorrow -- no alarm for this girl. If someone wakes me...well, it won't be pretty. LOL.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Page 63

That's where I'm at in the first 100. Granted, I read through the last chapter and didn't change very much. Don't know if it's because it's okay the way it is or if I'm simply too tired to notice any problems. LOL. Oh well, I'll look at it again in the morning. The important thing is that there aren't any major restructuring things involved with it -- edits only.

I'm kind of worried that the tones might be a _little_ uneven -- between the new stuff and the old, that is. I may need to go back in and make sure they match. Not nearly as big a deal as writing new scenes or seriously revising others, so it's all good.

Ohhh...and I scanned the next couple of chapters... same thing there. No restructuring. I think I'll catch a new scene _right_ at the end...around page 90. But it will be a short one, I think. Then I'll be looking to send these pages out to willing readers. After a spit-shine, of course. (g)

Tomorrow is my last class!! WOOHOO. Can't wait to sleep in and work non-stop on my books. But I still do have class tomorrow -- off to bed I go.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I didn't get much accomplished today -- too busy. Instead of reading earlier, I should've worked on FI. lol. Oh well, things happen.

I spent the evening with the pups. They're leaving with my aunt and uncle tomorrow -- for three weeks -- and I had to have some alone time with them. I took them out to this really cool dog run we have. It's about 25 acres with lots of trees and a stream for them to jump around in. The water is disgusting (it's really just standing water, lol), but they don't seem to mind. Of course, they drink it and come out hacking a few minutes later... but hey, whatever. (g)

Taking two dogs out there is _a lot_ of work. Their favorite thing to do is to jump in the water and then proceed to roll around in whatever loose dirt they can find. Filthy little mudballs. lol. So, of course, they both needed baths. What an endeavor. After more than an hour tromping around with them--and then struggling with their aversion for fu-fu smelling shampoo--I was pooped myself. Then I had to help pack them up and the evening just dwindled away.

I didn't start working on the ole' MS until about 1130, but I was determined to get _something_ accomplished. It took a while to decide how to start this new scene, but I finally got it rolling. I'm ending with only 200 words, but it should be a good springboard for tomorrow. The beginning is always the hardest for me, because well, I'm determined to start out every scene with a killer line. LOL -- I'm probably failing miserably, but at this hour, anything would sound good.

You know, in order to stay motivated, I think I'm going to try posting my "Line of the day." Of course, I may be the only person laughing, but oh well. (g) If you pop in and out without commenting, I'll never know if you thought it was totally stupid. Ignorance is bliss. (g)

I'm off to bed now...must be up in five hours.