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Showing posts from December, 2006

Holiday Hangover Part 2

My holiday hangover evolved into a vacation week cold/flu/virus thing. I've been dealing with body aches and a runny nose since Tuesday night. So I'm putting off any attempt to write something entertaining until next week. With any luck, I'll have a new post up on Monday. Until then, have a safe and very Happy New Year!

Holiday Hangover

I imagine a lot of folks are suffering from holiday hangover today and the amount of eggnog imbibed has nothing to do with it. We spent months shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, mailing Christmas cards, and now it’s over.

Thank goodness!

The last few years I haven’t gone overboard with Christmas. I used to do the Martha Stewart thing, bringing in fresh pine, making potpourri, baking dozens of cookies, and making handmade gifts. But the stress of getting everything ready for Christmas resulted in me not enjoying the day. One year, after all the gifts were opened my niece commented “Only 364 days until next Christmas.” I became homicidal. But I was too exhausted to act on it. Lucky for her.

For the last two years, I haven’t even decorated the house. The dust on the decorations stored in the basement make my eyes water and my nose run. I haven’t baked because my mid-forties metabolism (okay, LATE forties metabolism) has suddenly made me gain weight by simply looking at the pictures in …

What's Hot and What's Not

I learned a valuable lesson this week. If you really want to enjoy the holidays, don’t contact your agent a week before Christmas and ask how things are going with the manuscript.

She didn’t want to tell me until after the holidays, but, darn it, I asked.

In a nutshell, things are not going well. Here’s the problem: no one is buying original amateur sleuth mysteries right now. The current hot item that New York is hungering for are hard boiled, hard edged police procedurals. (Joyce, are you out there??? Perfect timing for you…not so good for me.)

Sigh.

Murder She Wrote is out. Bones, CSI, House, Shark, and Dexter are all in. So where does that leave me and my race track veterinarian? I have no idea. Having already received more information than I really wanted to know before the holidays, I’m waiting until after the New Year to delve into my options. To finish the current work in progress or not to finish, that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler to suffer through to the bloody end of bo…

Peace, Love and Mall Traffic

Writers tend to make use of all our life experiences, especially the bad ones, to make our stories and our characters more authentic, more believable. That being the case, I should be able to write about terror quite effectively after yesterday.

I took my mom Christmas shopping.

Inside the stores wasn’t too bad. I was surprised. But then again, we chose the prime time of the week to go shopping in our area…during the Steelers game. (We won even without me jumping up and down and screaming at the television.)

No, the terror was not in the stores. I found it in the parking lots.

People lose their minds this time of year. I’ve always found this to be true. A few years back, a little old lady ran a red light outside the mall and smashed into my husband’s pick up truck as he came home from his annual hunting trip. The lady never saw the light. She was in a post-shopping coma.

I’ve seen this over and over. I recently watched a girl run a stop sign (left-hand turn in front of an oncoming vehicle)…

The Big Move

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Yes, I am now moved into what is officially my office. I love it. I haven’t had to close the door yet, but it’s there. Just having that wall separating me and my computer from the rest of the house insulates me and keeps me focused on the task at hand. Which is writing.

It would have happened anyway, but yesterday I reached the milestone of 200 pages written of my shitty first draft of Death Bet. I’ve been in a writing slump for the last few weeks. Not writer’s block, but a slump. I wasn’t entirely sure where the next few scenes were going. So I allowed myself to get distracted by an assortment of events. All of them were legitimate. Doctor’s appointments, emergency trips to the vet, holiday preparations and parties, blog posts… And of course, getting ready for the big move. If you want to see what this corner looked like before the big move, click here.

Okay, I’m never done with doctor’s appointments it seems. I have my annual check up today. I’m due to see the eye doctor before the en…

Moving Day

I’ve been dropping hints to my husband lately regarding my intention to move my work space into the spare room. If you’ve missed the earlier stages of this plan, click here to catch up. I feel that I’m getting close. You can now wander around in the spare room without tripping over anything. It wouldn’t take much to clear out the one corner that remains cluttered. So I wondered out-loud to Hubby, how in the world are we going to move my computer desk around the corner into the new office?

I built my computer desk from one of those kits from K-Mart. It weighs a ton. I have visions of hernias and emergency trips to the emergency room with blown disks and smashed toes. I’d really like to avoid that scenario.

Hubby comments, you’ve got a long way to go in that room yet. I gave him a very eloquent “nuh-uh!” He went on to say that this wasn’t something we would be getting to this winter anyhow. I assured him, we most certainly would get to it this winter. And soon. One afternoon, I boasted, i…

Procrastination and the Blog

Procrastination is a wonderful thing. I’ve been doing a bit of it myself this morning, mainly because I don’t know what to write about in this post. So I’ve been trawling the waters of the Internet for inspiration.

For those of us writers who do our writing on a computer as opposed to on paper with pen, the Internet is all too enticing. And since I went wireless a year ago, it’s entirely too easy. It’s always on, so just click and there’s my email. Another click and I can check on the latest news and weather (although I tend to try to avoid that…too depressing). Click again and I can browse all my favorite blogs.

Ah, blogs. The bane of anyone trying to get any work done. They are so much fun and there are so many of them. I could spent a full day just reading all my favorites and never get around to adding to the word count of my novel. But this morning, as my goal is to come up with a new post for my own contribution to writerly distraction everywhere, searching other blogs has offered…

Published!

I am now a published author.

Yippee!

My short story “A Signature in Blood” is now online in the Winter issue of Mysterical-e Magazine. So how does it feel to have a story you’ve written “out there” for everyone to read, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Pretty darned good.

When I first opened the page and saw the title with my name in the byline, I jumped up and down and nearly broke my desk chair. Then I saw the artwork which perfectly reflect the story and I jumped some more. The artist obviously read the story. And when I took a look at the contents page and saw the company I was in, I felt humbled and honored.

I hope you’ll pop over and read it. I wrote it quite a while ago and it’s been fun seeing it in print. I’ve also enjoyed hearing my reader’s comments on it. Feel free to post a comment. Unless you really hated it. Then I would request that you lie.

Just kidding. Sort of.

It Takes a Village to Write a Novel

I spent yesterday morning with my critique buddies working on our stories. I’ve heard of writers who don’t use a critique group. Personally, I can’t imagine NOT having one.

Actually, I belong to two. My face-to-face group that I met with yesterday and an online group. There are pros and cons to each. But then, there are pros and cons to each individual critique group, too. They’re kind of like shoes. You have to try them on and walk around in them a while before you know if it’s a good fit. If you join a group that belittles you and slashes your work to bits, get out. If the other members try to re-write your work so that it sounds like their work, get out. There are good groups out there. You just have to shop around.

My face-to-face group meets every three weeks. We are four women writing different genres. One writes sci-fi and some inspirational, another writes women’s fiction with mystery undertones, one writes children’s fiction and historical memoirs. I write murder mysteries. I’v…