Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jogging Along....

Having had to abandon my first draft sprint due to too much stuff going on in my life, I've settled for a steady jog. My new plan is to have the first draft done by the end of March. That still leaves me plenty of time for revising and editing before it's due. And in case you haven't realized it, THE CLOCKS GO AHEAD IN MARCH. Whoo hooooo!!! I love that!

Obviously, I've changed the background of the blog. I was finding the blue-on-blue a bit much. I may play around with the colors some more, once Blogger lets me see the previews again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cat Wars

One reason I haven't been blogging is that I've been trying to establish peace between our feuding cats. What we have here is a classic case of redirected aggression. One of our indoor cats (Luis) get really aggressive when he sees the neighbor's cat sauntering under our front window and takes it out on his brother, The Count. Usually, one fight, and peace is restored.

Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case this week. The Neighbor Cat was seen on Monday morning. Monday afternoon, there was another pitched battle (and let me tell you, if you haven't experienced a full-on cat fight in your own home? Consider yourself lucky.) I think part of the problem was that Luis cornered the Count in a small space in the afternoon and he had a hard time getting away.

I did my research (because hey, that's what us historical writer types do) and separated them over night, shutting Luis in the laundry room with water and a litter box.

Alas, when I let him out yesterday, another fight ensued, so I kept the cats separated all day and again at night, alternating where they were, so that they would get used to the other's scent.

Unfortunately, the aggressive behavior is continuing. This morning The Count was in our bedroom with the door closed. Luis was at the door, so I opened it just a little. Hissing and howling from both began, so I closed the door.

According to sources on the web, this could go on for...months. I really hope not!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What about the dogs?

That's a question that's been dogging me (ha!) for several writing sessions now. It refers to something that happens in the first scene of this story. But the dogs haven't appeared since.

That's the kind of thing that can hang around on the edge of my imagination, driving me to distraction, until I deal with it.

Fortunately, the dogs are due to return soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More Changes

I recently learned that Tracy Farrell has resigned from Harlequin.

It was Tracy who phoned me on April 2, 1991 to say she wanted to buy my first book. I tried to sound professional, but I'm sure the volume was cranked up to 11.

Happily, that wasn't the end of our relationship. She was my editor for many years afterward.

I am very grateful I had the opportunity to know and work with her. She has a very special place in my heart, and I wish her all the best, always.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


I wrote five pages on Sunday - five pages that may all get thrown out, because I'm pretty sure some of it is repeating what I'd written the last time I sat at the computer. This is what happens when I lose momentum. I'm not sure I've said everything I should, so add it just in case.

But I'm not worrying about it, because I also know that's how I rev up again.

Despite taking the car in for repairs and various other tasks yesterday, I managed my ten pages, and by the end, felt I was back on track, momentum-wise. Whew!

This morning, I've done some administrative tasks, and have errands to run, then I'll get to my writing. I think it's better if the writing is done first, but sometimes that's not possible. I just have to go with the flow on those days, and as long as I've got my momentum mo-jo back, all will be well.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

And the sprint...splutters.

So, who here has spent thirteen hours cleaning, decluttering, folding and packing, sitting down for literally five minutes the whole time, even eating standing up, with no heat except for one space heater because a new furnace is being installed and then you have to wait to Pilot Light Guy to come and do the final inspection and turn it on?

That was my day yesterday and by the end of it, every bone in my body ached.

Today, we worked for a "mere" 8 hours, after going to the charity donation place with a load, and visiting two hardware stores for supplies. My jobs were sanding and painting the front and back doors and scraping off (or trying two) several layers of caulk around the bathtub and by the sink of the main bathroom, as well as scrubbing the floor. Fun? Wow! (To quote an old TV commercial - only ..not.) I am so stiff, getting up from the sofa is an experience.

Perhaps needless to say, no writing was done yesterday. No writing will be done today. I hope to get back to it tomorrow. Maybe not ten pages, though. Maybe five.

I did make up for the slack of last week by writing sixteen pages on Thursday and I knew my time was going to be "off and on" last week and next, so I'm not feeling guilty. Even better, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel of Prepping a Relative's House For Sale!

(That's Luis on the chair. He missed us while we were working.)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

First Draft Sprint - check in

So, as expected, things are cropping up to disrupt my first draft sprint. The main one is preparing a relative's house for painters.

And I should get proofreading next week.

I'm also trying to keep up with exercising, and finish two knitting projects. I think I forgot to mention I'm also sanding a chair and a table in preparation for refinishing (when the weather is warmer and I can do it outside).

On Monday, I easily made my writing goal, and went on a long walk, also stopping at the hardware store for more sandpaper and pricing things for the relative's house, where I lost my hat. (Sigh) But then I finished the white hat I was knitting and joy of joys! It fits. Since I was basically winging it (not adherring to the pattern), this was a big relief.

Tuesday was spent at the relative's house and I'd taken my laptop to work at a library afterward. The laptop didn't work (battery problems, I think), so - oh, woe is me, she cried in mock despair - I could only sit and read. Then it was run errands. If I wasn't doing this First Draft Sprint, I probably wouldn't have started writing at 5:45 p.m., but since I am, I did, and wrote eleven pages. Afterward I made three mistakes on the second hat I was making, the one I was getting fairly sure wasn't going to fit, so I gave up and tore it out. That's one way to get rid of a project! However, I started another, using the pattern. And I've made more than half the squares I need for the afghan.

Wednesday saw me writing five pages in the morning, then exercising, then doing other things until the evening. When I simply didn't write. I'd been up since 5 a.m., so I decided to take the night off. However, I'm planning to write 15 pages today to make up for it. So far, I've done ten, and five more after lunch should be doable.

I doubt I'll be writing tomorrow or Sat, though, as there is still much to be done at the relative's house. I doubt I'll be on the treadmill those days, either.

Which brings me to the frustrations of the weight loss. Has my body decided 142-143 is the optimal weight? Is it because it's winter and my body thinks it needs the fat? Was it the chocolate bar and Cola I finally gave in to on Tuesday? (My friend also noted she tends to eat junk on Biggest Loser day. Her explanation? We're subconsciously thinking, "Hey, I'm thinner than those guys, so..." I think she's on to something.) Anyhoodle, for whatever reason, I have not been able to get below 141, and have crept back up to 143 today. It's discouraging and I absolutely get why people give up; nevertheless, I shall get back to the exercise ASAP for this reason if none other: I sleep much better after exercisng.

So, that's my week in a (big) nutshell. I've been busy, but not stressed.

Monday, February 01, 2010

First Draft Sprint - Day One

It was the first day of my First Draft Sprint Month (aka FeNaWriMo), and I easily managed the ten pages this morning. And already my characters are morphing. That's not unexpected, because once my characters start talking, they start changing. (By talking, I'm referring to dialogue.)

So far, the heroine is a lot more "bubbly" then I expected, and whoo Nelly, where did that bit of backstory come from???? The hero has become tougher than I thought he'd be, although I understand why. After all, I gave him his issues.

This is what makes writing both exciting and challenging for me.

Tomorrow, something unexpected in real life came up, but I'm taking my laptop along, so hopefully I'll be able to do ten more pages.