Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don't mind me, I'm just thinking.

I was wondering the other day what I would sound like as a writer if I wrote in first person.

I currently do not. I write in third person. I have two characters and I switch back and forth in their heads. Sometimes there are secondary characters that I hear from, but not often.

I think when I used to write stories in high school I did write them in first person. I can't prove it cause I don't have them any longer. I threw them all out a gazillion years ago.

But most of the time my female character was me so it would make sense if I wrote it that way. 

It was always me chasing after some guy (just like real life).

But of course the guys in the stories were completely unobtainable and I just happened upon them and they fell madly in love with me.


I don't know why, when I started my first book, that I immediately gravitated to the third person. I guess it didn't really occur to me to say 'I' at all.

I wouldn't change the current story that I am working on but maybe the next thing I could try would be in first person. 

I suppose this blog is actually me writing in first person, but it's really about me and all my bullshit so that doesn't count.

I wonder what kind of woman I would write about. Strong, broken, witty, sarcastic. Maybe she would be the woman I always wanted to be. It would certainly be interesting.

I still haven't heard a word from HQN. It's so hard to wait for a reply. I have never claimed to be a patient person.

It's 2010 and I'm waiting months for a yes or no response from one of the largest publishers on the planet.

I wonder if they ever work in 'real time' or if they are always this far behind.

I really want to send my book to Carina Press and say 'damn the consequences' but I know I should play by the rules or it will bite me in the ass later. 

So, I wait.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No discipline!

I'm pretty confident that I won't get any writing accomplished this morning.

No discipline!

If I sit down at the computer and don't go directly to my story, I'm pretty much screwed. 

I get caught up on Facebook and Twitter and all the blogs that I like to read. I send emails and check the news and before you know it, time is up and I have to do 'real world' stuff.

I did get some good writing in yesterday. I may have been able to do more but I found myself on the internet doing research for some crime scene supplies and that just takes up a lot of time. I bookmarked the sites so when I need them again it won't take as long but the damage was done for yesterday.

I do need to do a little research today too. It's probably what I should be doing instead of writing on the blog.

No discipline!

Maybe I could hire someone to stand over me and yell at me if I stray from my writing.

Maybe you only get that option if you publish!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I SO call bullshit!

This is where I have trouble pretending to be a 'writer'.

I don't agree with all these freaking rules.

Excuse me while I rant!

I'm sort of old but not completely old yet.
I have been reading romance novels since I was an early teen. (Back then they were the kind with the heaving bosoms and the throbbing members.)

But this, as my husband would say, chaps my ass.

I keep reading these statements: Don't add a sex scene to your book unless it changes things or moves things along in the story. There must be a reason for the sex.

So, here is my take...sometimes people, especially when they are getting to know each other or falling in love, have sex.


Certainly not just to move the plot along!

Sometimes they just can't keep their hands off each other.

Sometimes they can say more with sex than they can with words.

Sometimes they just want to have sex!
Gratuitous sex scenes wouldn't cause me to stop reading someone's story.

I can't imagine saying to myself, "Sex again? Really? Why would that be in a romance novel?"

Maybe, it's me.

So, I re-wired it!!

I've read a lot about character names.
I have spent many laborious hours on websites searching for just the right name for my characters.
The male character name that sounds great if the female character has to shout it out to save his life.
The female character name that sounds great when the male character whispers it in the dark.

In my opinion, great names can equal great characters.
It's very important.

When I think about my characters I think about them by name.
When I think about my next scenes and what the characters might do I think of them by name. 

Well, I was getting pretty sick of Devin.

I really did like this name.
It's Irish, which I 'm fond of.
It's a strong name. 
It's kind of exotic sounding.

But, it wasn't working. It didn't fit her. She is fun and flirty and this name was hard and uninteresting.
And, if I said it to people in conversation, they thought she was a boy. 
No good.

So, I changed her name.
25,000 or so words into the story and I used Find/Replace and changed her name.
To what? 
I'm so glad you asked!
Maggie. Maggie for Margaret.
But, Heather, didn't you use Margaret in your last book?
Again, I'm glad you asked.
Yes, I did. Margaret was the mother of my last main female character.
So, I changed her name too!
You're just all kinds of crazy!
Yep, I surely am.
Now Margaret is Claire and Devin is Margaret. Well, Maggie.

I can hear him in my head. Do you know who I am talking about?
Gabriel Byrne.
Point of no return. 
Maggie for Margaret.
I loved when he said that.

Moving on. 

So, I fixed my name problem. I re-wrote some of the criminal elements and I'm right back where I started the other day. 
I should have a clearer direction of where I need to go next.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

HOLY CRAP! When did it get to be Wednesday?

What the hell?
When did that happen?

I had to spend a few days doing work that actually makes money so I have not been able to write or blog or write!


I will have to make up for it in the next few days.

It's also that time of year when the magic box in the living room starts showing all of my favorite TV shows again! YEAH!!! It's very distracting but I try to remind myself that TV holds an important place in our lives.

First, I am a child of the 70's/80's and there is no doubt that I grew up in front of the box and continue to be its slave.

And like reading, we use TV to escape our daily stresses, to use our imaginations and to be entertained.

I love being entertained!
I may not have been writing but I have been thinking about my book's criminal element.

I was talking about the plot with my 'editor' SUZ and she was trying to figure out why my 'bad guy' did bad things.

I reminded her that some people were just bad or evil or worse.
Maybe there wasn't an explanation.
Maybe there were too many explanations.

But her unease at the reasons behind the crimes I have already written about have stayed with me.

I will have to come up with some juicier tidbits then to make us all happy.

Guess it will be time to stalk the FBI website again!

Read through a lot of blogs this morning trying to catch up. So much good information out there. I'm bad with leaving comments though. I really need to do that more often.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

One of many blog contests

There are just so many contests and blogfests going on! It's really great that everyone is trying to get to know each other and their work this way.

I'm not so great with the blogfests yet but this contest seemed fairly easy...

1000 Followers Contest & Mentorship Opportunity!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why I don't ask my husband to help me write!

I love him.
I really do, but sometimes I just shouldn't ask him about my writing.

It's like asking my cat not to hold a grudge.
I can ask but chances are I'm getting the fuzzy cat butt end in my face for days.

Here's what happened...
Me: "Honey, I'm having some trouble with my plot."
Him: "What seems to be the trouble?"
Me: "Well, I've got my characters over here but they need to be over there. If I don't get them over there then this will never happen and if this never happens then the story won't work."
Him: "This show sucks. I'm changing the channel."
Me: "But I need some help!"
Him: "You need something."

So, although he did sort of help me by letting me know that my story sucked, he didn't help me come up with an idea to fix it.

That came yesterday morning. And I re-wrote the entire section.

Then this morning at 4:00 am I came up with a whole new idea. A better idea.

Drastic edits occurred again today but I think they were for the best. Now I will just have to tie it all back together. But I think I got the characters finally where they need to be.

Almost in bed!

In other news:
I received my thanks but no thanks email back from the agent that requested my synopsis and first 50 pages.
'Not right for us at this time.'
'Don't give up!'

What's that line...It's great just to be nominated!

I was glad they gave me a chance. Hopefully it will catch on.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Not to be taken lightly.

To be honest, I had completely given up on the query letters/emails that I had sent to the original 15 agents/publishers on my first book.

I figured that if they hadn't replied since May/June that I wouldn't be hearing from them...well...ever.

To my surprise, I did get an email a few days ago. It was from an agent that I had sent an email query to.

I mentioned this in my last blog but it was a short but sweet note because I was blogging from my phone and unable to type very much at one time.

I had written that none of us should get too excited. Yes, someone asked for more to read, but it could easily end just there.

I am certainly not trying to diminish the importance of being asked for more. 

As I wrote in response to a fellow blogger, I am just 'cautiously optimistic'.

I want to jump up and down, but I know me, I know my luck.
I don't have any.

Best not to jinx myself any further.

It was excellent timing though. I had just finished up 'fixing' my story and going through each and every page. I mean...just...finished. So that was handy.
I had to go to a family wedding this past weekend. Only one person asked me what I had been doing with my life but I was able to say that I was submitting my manuscript to agents and publishers and working on my second book.
It was pretty cool.
I still didn't use the word 'writer'.

What's that Colonel Sanders? Chicken? 

So, to sum up. I am very grateful that someone wants to read more of my work. I hope they want to read the whole thing eventually. But I will understand if I don't hear from them. 

I won't like it, but I will understand.

Meanwhile...I am working on book two. Since working on the first one I felt it was necessary to go through everything I had already written. It still flows pretty good. I like how things ended. I got a bit of writing in after that but not too much. Perhaps more tomorrow.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weddings=free story material

Got a great story idea from a family wedding. Didn't have paper and pen in my tiny purse. Must come up with solution. Luckily I was able to remember it and write it down on a tiny piece of hotel paper.

More writing tomorrow. Unable to get anything done this weekend.

So, don't get excited but one of the fifteen people I sent a query to asked for my synopsis and first fifty pages. It took three months but that's okay. Trying to keep calm and move ahead. Could mean nothing.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.9

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wishful thinking Casting Couch

My good friend, ANONYMOUS, asked me who I would cast as my two lead characters from my book.

I have to say, it was so much easier to pick some good looking guys for Colin's character than it was to pick a female that I would like to see in Riley's part.

Check it out below...

Colin has black hair and black eyes but I might make an exception for Mr. Matt Bomer...

Mr. Orlando Bloom has certainly got potential...

Blue eyes again, but not bad Mr. Bradley Cooper...

And I suppose staring at Mr. Ryan Reynolds for a while wouldn't hurt...

And don't forget Mr. Chris Pine...

Riley has red hair with green eyes.

I still haven't come up with an actress for her. She would have to be pretty tough, funny and sexy.
Maybe a little Scarlett J., a little Jessica B., a little Sandra B. and a little Julia R. all mixed together?
I did find her hair though...

Well, that was fun. Too bad I can't even get the damn thing out the door at the moment!

UPDATE: I heard from Carina Press. They emailed me saying that I can not submit the 'same' manuscript to HQN and Carina at the same time. So even though I am only waiting to hear back from  HQN about my query letter and short synopsis, I can not send the same manuscript info to Carina. 
Fair enough. 
I will wait to hear from HQN before I move on is all. It's only been like 12 weeks or so.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Round 300 -- Done!

Bring it, BABY!

I have finished editing Setting the Record Straight...yet again.

I fixed the whole 'age inappropriate' thang (still think that's a load of crap) and made everyone 'legal' to have 'relations'.
(Even though it's a flashback!)

I also went through all 55,000-ish words and spruced, waxed, fluffed, trimmed, polished, affixed and some of it I even chromed!

But don't tell my husband. He thinks I hate chrome. (I do, actually.)

Now, if I only had someone to send it to!

Come on HQN! Send me that big 'R' for Rejection letter so I can have a good cry and then send this puppy on to some e-publishers!

Back to book two, Maguire's Corner, tomorrow. Gotz to get those two kids together soon or it's gonna start reading like a YA book!
And we can't have that.

Time for some excitement and danger and some really good kissing!

The kind that makes you wish you were drinking iced coffee!

The kind that makes you hot under the collar even if you aren't wearing one!

The kind that makes you go stick your head in the freezer for a few moments (and take out something to make for dinner at the same time!).

Sheesh! I think we get the point. Move along.

What's in a kiss? Everything. Absolutely everything. Sometimes it's hard to write without it sounding like a science project but when it's done'o'man'o'man! 

Describing good kisses is like a Forest Gump moment.

Soft kiss. Hard kiss. Closed kiss. Open kiss. Wet kiss. Dry kiss. Lemon kiss. Kiss on the lips. Kiss on the neck. Kiss kiss.

They are all really good and all really hot. 

I've got to go.
Where's my husband? 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Brain don't fail me now!!

It's been a long couple of days, holiday weekend and all, and I haven't been able to do too much of anything concrete.


At a party on Saturday I had an idea for some dialogue for a paranormal story. I had to ask my host for some paper and a pencil to write it down before I forgot it.

Late last night I did some editing on the first book. It's about 2/3 complete.

This morning I had a few ideas for scenes for the new book, which I would really like to get back to soon. There is so much unfinished business in that story it's starting to bug me. I suppose that is a good thing.

So, it seems that my brain is starting to throw some junk out and perhaps there will finally be a clear path to follow for a while.

I sent an email direct to Carina Press, since I didn't see a response to my question on their blog page for a few days, asking them if I should continue to wait to hear from HQN before I submit anything to them. I'll let you know what they have to say.

Heading back to edit-land while I still have some time to myself.

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's the little things....

Thanks to Christine Bell! I won a contest!

AND, last but not least, the winner of the Awesome Mystery Prize of Doom is.....
Heather M. Gardner, for the line: "Don't try and make me hate you now because I already fell in love with you and that hurts far worse"

I really like that line.
It's a little twisted but so is love.

Another contest winner said: Ms Gardner I love that line, I can just imagine the hero leaning his 4head against the heroine's as he says it.

I really liked her imagery but I had actually pictured a woman saying that to a man. I kept hearing her yelling it at him as he is walking away from her, breaking up with her, leaving her. Maybe he was trying to protect her from something or someone. But she wouldn't let him go without the truth.

Both are good.

It will fit somewhere.

Thanks again Christine for the opportunity. It was fun!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Edit...edit...edit... DING!


I've been working on my manuscript...all the live long day!

Not really. Not the whole day.

I'm about half way through my gazillionth edit of Setting the Record Straight.

(That's the first book I wrote, in case you are new or behind on my bitch & moan sessions.)

I am pleased with the way it's shaping up.

I was reading all about Carina Press that I found out about through reading Christine Bell's Blog.

They have very interesting and dare I say welcoming submission guidelines for all types and lengths of manuscripts but for e-publishing only.

I may in fact be able to submit to them except for one little problem.

They won't allow you to submit to them and Harlequin at the same time since they are in fact an 'arm' of Harlequin.

I sent an actual paper submission to Harlequin back on June 17, 2010 with a SASE and have yet to hear back from them.

I sent Carina Press a note on their blog page asking if I should continue to wait for a response before I send a submission to them. I hope they respond.

They do say if you get rejected from HQN that you can indeed send your book to them. In fact they encourage it.

It all sounds exciting but I've been down this road before so I am not going to let the horse get ahead of the carrot or count the chickens in case they don't hatch or poke at the turtle while it's still in it's shell.

Yeah, I made that last one up.