Showing posts from November, 2009

Draft Two: Day One

While I had intended on letting the first draft sit and simmer for a bit, I hadn’t planned on the simmering stage to last so long. But life has been happening and I decided it was easier to go with the flow than struggle against it. Therefore, I haven’t touched my manuscript in what seems like ages. However, today—barring more unforeseen circumstances—that shall change. Hubby is away with his uncle and cousins at their hunting camp. He left yesterday. I promptly spent the day cleaning house in the hopes that it might stay relatively clutter-free for a few days. Today, with a clean house and a fairly blank appointment book, I plan to snuggle in with the printed version of my manuscript. I’ll have a notepad, several different colored pens, and sticky notes at hand. I will read the entire thing straight through, making notes as I go about things that need to be changed, added, or deleted. I can’t wait to begin. I’ve been pushing “the voices” to the back of my head for weeks now. But th

Photo Friday: Krepps Bridge

We went for a drive along the local country roads last week and stopped to grab some shots of this covered bridge about a mile from my home. Once again, I love the contrast of brilliant blue sky and vivid red paint against the drab, November backdrop.

Working Stiffs Wednesday

Twas the day before Thanksgiving and gratitude is in the air. We're compiling our annual gratitude list over at Working Stiffs today. Come on over and prepare your own list.

Monday Musings

I thought I’d be well into my revisions by now. The first draft is printed and sitting on the table in my office, waiting. And waiting. Unfortunately, life sometimes throws monkey wrenches into our plans and such has been the case. I’ll blog about what’s been going on in a future post, but suffice it to say certain things have required my time and energy that otherwise would have been funneled into my writing. Here we are. The week leading up to Thanksgiving. Where the heck did the year go? The holidays always seem to sneak up on me and slap me upside the head. I think it could be because I tend to plug my fingers in my ears and sing “La-la-la-la-la” when the topic comes up. Actually, I like Thanksgiving. A lot. And it has little to do with the food. Being a vegetarian, I don’t eat turkey. I’m not crazy about pumpkin. But I like getting together with my family. And I love the whole gratitude thing. Then comes Friday. Call it Black Friday, if you will. I promise you I will NOT be in

Photo Friday: Quit hogging the feeder!

Taken from my front porch. It took a while for the birds to forget I was there, but once they did, I was able to catch this shot of an impatient chickadee waiting its turn at the seed.

Remodeling the Cave: Conclusion

I've posted before and after photos of my office remodel and reorganization over at Working Stiffs . I'm not sure it qualifies as a true remodel since all we did was lay down new floor. But it feels new and fresh to me. A lot of the reorganization can't be seen, as it happened within the closets and drawers. I'm still not sure where everything is (it used to be in that pile of papers, but now where did it go???), but I'll get used to it. Now, it's time to get back to work.


I've been getting hit with spammers! As a result, I've been tinkering with the comments section. I tried using the word verification and still received anonymous comments with links to who-knows-what. So I've removed the word verification (which I hate anyhow), but I've also removed the ability to leave anonymous comments. For my legit commenters who use that feature, I'm truly sorry.

Remodeling the Cave: Part Two

In case you’re wondering, I survived the weekend. Barely. It took all blessed day Saturday to pack up all my “stuff” from my office and to find places to put it in the rest of the house. Boxes filled the living room. Assorted items edged the periphery of the bedroom. And still does. I left some things for Sunday simply because I didn’t want to block the side door. Somewhere in the back of my overactive brain, I kept hearing a nagging voice saying, “What if there’s a fire.” So I saved that space. Until yesterday. I’d disconnected the computer, but left it in the office until the last minute. Sunday morning, the computer, the cabinet drawers, and any office furniture that was light enough to move out or that was on wheels, headed out into what little space remained elsewhere in the house. The bed was covered as were most of the couch and all the chairs. My office may be the smallest room in the house (except for the bathroom), but inch-for-inch, it contained the most stuff. It didn

Photo Friday: Backlit Berries

Once the blaze of autumn orange passes, southwestern Pennsylvania tends to spend the next six months clothed in monochromatic shades of gray and brown. These backlit leaves from what I gather is a wild raspberry bush provided a rare splash of color on my walk around the old farm this week.

Remodeling the Cave

One can only hide in one’s cave, living in denial, for so long. It’s time. I’m being rousted from my quiet, extremely cluttered office in order to replace the last bit of carpeting in our house with the new wood flooring. I’ve been dreading this. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I love my new floor in the rest of the house and I know I’ll love it in here, too. But it’s the process. My office/cave is small, yet it contains some of the biggest furniture in the entire house. Namely my computer desk, a set of bookshelves, and two sets of cabinets, courtesy of IKEA. There’s also a table that’s supposed to be my writing desk, although I can never find space on it. I started de-cluttering it yesterday and still don’t have enough clear surface to so much as write a check. There’s a small metal file cabinet and a stand that hold sentimental knickknacks and photographs, too. And there are a LOT of books. How to write books. Writing market books. Crime writers’ reference books. Grammar and style books.

Veteran's Day

It's my day to post over at Working Stiffs and I've gone all sentimental on Veteran's Day, remembering all heroes, especially my dad.

The Definition of Tinkering

Lately, I’ve been using the word “tinkering” a lot. Tinkering with chapter 18. Tinkering with the article I’m working on. This morning, I started wondering about the word. I remember my grandfather used it a lot. He tinkered with his tractors. He tinkered with the farm equipment. He’d go out to his workshop and tinker around a bit. My dad was a great tinkerer, too. He tinkered with his car, his truck, and his lawn mower. So I feel like I inherited the term and the practice. But what exactly IS tinkering anyway? I looked it up. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary on my desk, to tinker is to repair or adjust something in an unskillful or experimental manner. A tinkerer is an itinerant mender of household utensils or an unskillful mender. Or a bungler. Hmm. I was good with the repair and adjust part. The mender part, too. But I don’t much care for that unskilled bungler thing. Grandpap kept his tractor and other farm equipment in pristine condition. So did my dad. I would ne

Photo Friday: Tiny Hunter

Within the last few days a family of stray cats including this kitten have moved into our barn. I've been trying to capture some photos of them and yesterday afternoon, I found this little tuxedo baby hiding under the Farmall tractor with a mole. It gave a tiny little growl to warn me off, as if I might want to steal it's prize. No thank you.

Kreativ Blogger!

I owe a big thank you to my fellow Guppy and critique buddy VR Barkowski (I know what the "V" stands for, but I'm not allowed to tell) for honoring me with a nomination for the Kreativ Blogger award. VR's blog chronicles her journey toward publication, from the manuscript onward and entertains its readers in the process. VR is also participating in Nanowrimo this month. You go, girl! Now comes the fun part. I get to nominate seven other worthy bloggers (who must nominate seven other... and so on and so forth). Here are the rules: 1) Copy the pretty picture and post it on your blog. 2) Thank the person that gave it to you and link to their blog. 3) Write 7 things about yourself we don't know. 4) Choose 7 other bloggers to pass the award to. 5) Link to those 7 other bloggers. 6) Notify your 7 bloggers. Let's see... Number one done. Number two done (thanks again, VR!). On to number three. Seven things about me that you don't know. And probably don't ca

Working Stiffs Wednesday

I'm at Working Stiffs today talking about bringing back the dead. Not really. But I do included my grandparents' old house and bring a few of my deceased pets back to life in my fiction. Come over and join in the discussion of Sentimental Settings .

My First Editors

My “finished” first draft has been sitting quietly in its computer folder. I’ve been told to leave it alone for a couple of weeks. Of course, I’m itching to get back into it, and I really haven’t completely kept my hands off it. I’m not sure what your definition of a first draft is. I think we all have different ideas on the topic. For me, just because it’s a first draft doesn’t mean it hasn’t been retouched a bit. I tinker with chapters as I go. And that’s why I put “finished” first draft in quotes. It isn’t. Finished, that is. I’ve typed “The End” but I’m not satisfied with it, even as a “shitty first draft.” Right now, it has a total of twenty-nine chapters. My tinkering is taking place back in chapters 17, 18, and 19. Here’s why: My critique groups. I love my critique groups. I belong to three. Well, two and a half. The first eyes, beyond my own, to see a chapter is my face-to-face group. Four or five of us get together and present a chapter. The author reads their own work