Category Archives: contest

Still plugging away

I’m plugging along–at life, as well as the writing. I’m very tired today. Had trouble sleeping last night after my local RWA chapter meeting. (I love getting to see everyone and talk writing at least once a month.) I think I drank too many Cokes with caffeine too late at night. Anyway, after tossing and turning, I got up and read Jeri Smith-Ready’s THE REAWAKENED.

It was one of the two books I got at Borders’ “Buy One Get One Half-Price” coupon thingie (My other book was AN INFAMOUS ARMY by Georgette Heyer. I have broad tastes.) and was really NOT the book to be reading in the middle of the night when one needs to go to sleep. I read the whole thing.

But I still got 3 pages written today. I was going to be happy with two. I got up late, didn’t have much time to get writing in before heading off to work, and just didn’t think I’d get much done. But hey! THREE pages. And I got 5 pages Monday and 6 pages Tuesday. I’ve been having so much trouble getting Anything written, for a while there I was happy to have a mere half-page done. Maybe it’s because I’m able to be a little more consistent with getting to the desk, or maybe…I don’t know. But I am pleased with my progress.

The workshop last night had me thinking a lot about my process. The author presenting the workshop claims to be a “pantser,” someone to whom plotting does not come naturally. But dang, she plots her books WAY more than I do, and–while I Cannot write as a pure “fly into the mist” type, I can’t write down what scenes go in what chapters either. If she is a pure organic writer, she’s probably using this plotting-by-chapter method to keep herself on track, but my books don’t have that much structure that early.

They have structure, but they don’t have chapters. I don’t know where my chapter breaks fall until I put the book into the computer on my 2nd draft. I know my turning points, and I write from one to the next, but if I tried to decide ahead of time what scenes will go into what chapter–I never know just how long a scene is going to be before I write it. It might expand way beyond what I think it will be once I get into it–and then have to be shortened. Or maybe not. I was thinking in an earlier place that I would get some action into the story by having a riot–but something else happened instead. And my heroine had to be rescued. Hmm. The scene I’m working on now will have a riot-ish occurrence–so this would probably be a good place to show her competence, and that she can rescue the hero as well… Okay, good. Thanks for helping me with that.

In other news, there is a brand new stoplight–not a post-hurricane repaired one, but a brand, spanking new one–on my way to work. I haven’t decided yet if I like it. I seldom go through it during rush hour–and yes, we do have one. So the stop sign really worked better for me when I was using it. But everyone else is probably glad of not getting run over by rush hour. 😉 On the rest of the island, we’re still dealing with “sometimes the stoplights work, and sometimes they don’t.” Oh well.

I’m going to draw names for the ARC giveaway for my newsletter subscribers after Thanksgiving. The Texas grandboys, and our boys, will be home for the holiday, so I’m not going to think about promo stuff till then. I’ll try to blog next week. Who knows. Maybe I’ll make it back here before then.

High Tide

First things first, here. I’m donating the prize to be given away at the 2 B Read blog this week. This is the blog of the published authors chapter of RWA, and I’m blogging over there on Thursday. (I’ll remind you again on Thursday. ) If you comment at the blog, you will be eligible to win the contest. So go read the blog posts, and comment!

High tide was at 7:12 a.m. today. I went out to walk on the beach at 7:50 (approximately). So the sea was very, very close to the seawall when I climbed down the stairs. I drove past the seawall parks (wide areas with benches and picnic tables and big piles of pink granite boulders extending way out into the water) to a place where I could walk more than two jetties without having to walk waist-deep in the water to get around the big piles of rocks–and the water came right up to the bottom of the stairway. I stepped of the concrete step into water.

I tried at first to walk around the rocks–because the sand did not cover those right at the base of the seawall. But the water was just too deep. Up to my knees. And I couldn’t see the sand, so I couldn’t see the places where the water had washed it away. It wasn’t safe walking there. But I could carefully work my way up right next to the seawall and walk through the maze of rocks pushing up through the sand. High tide was really high…

But after I got through the rocks and to a section of beach where the waves didn’t wash quite so close to the wall, I was able to notice all the giant rows of giant pelicans flying down the island, ten and twelve in line one behind the other, and the sanderlings and another type of sandpiper-like bird picking at the seaweed. I thought the other birds were kildeer, but I just looked up images of kildeer, and what I saw was different, so I’m going to have to go home and hit the bird book to figure out what they are. I think the birds were probably selecting little bits of the crinkly seaweed to use for nest building, but I’m not sure.

Had a busy weekend. I had hoped to stay home, but ended up not getting to. Wound up having three softball games to watch on Saturday, since the college team — well, they lost their very first game, but won the second Friday game, which meant they got/had to play Saturday morning at 11:30. They won that one, which meant they had/got to play at 2:00. Then they won that one, which meant they had to play again at 4:30… We didn’t stay for the third game. By that time, the team was so exhausted, they didn’t win again. But they had a good run in the regional championship tournament. I enjoyed watching the two games we did watch.

And somehow, even though I stayed under the awnings and shade all morning and afternoon, I somehow managed to get enough sun to burn. My face and neck turned bright red, enough to show through the makeup, which at least toned it down a little. I wasn’t in the sun! Okay, maybe 10 or 15 minutes, because it was cool enough that the sharp wind made it downright cold. And I burned in that 10 or 15 minutes. Good grief. Okay, so no more going anywhere without sunscreen. Especially at midday.

I’ve been able to get back into the writing this week. Except I had to get into my file cabinet to dig out some research. (I am pretty sure I have some more somewhere, but couldn’t find it yesterday.) Which meant I had to get down on the floor to look through that bottom file cabinet drawer. Which meant I had to get back up. Which is a huge production, given the state of my knees and the rest of myself. And since the file cabinet is behind my desk, creating the walkway between desk and closet, I brushed against the lampshade of the lamp on the desk and sent it slowly crashing over to dangle from its electrical cord in front of the desk chair. The lamp knocked over the Coke Zero I’d been drinking, which dampened the page I’d been writing on, which fluttered to the floor. The Coke dribbled across the desk and onto the floor… Big mess.

So today, I re-copied the page that got all wet, because the ink ran on it, and I revised it, and I went on with the scene…and then I couldn’t decide where to go next.

I kind of think I need to summarize a bunch of stuff here and move back to the main mystery, but I keep getting bogged down in logistics. My heroine has no girl clothes. She needs girl clothes before she can really do many of the things she needs to do. She’s rooming with the girl wizard. Do I need a scene to set up how that’s working? How would that contribute to the furthering of the story? Maybe if later the heroine stops showing up at the rooms…? Bleah. Hopefully I can figure all this out by the time I need to start working in the morning.

And I need to come up with a profound–or at least profound-ish–topic for a blog on Thursday, at 2 B Read. I want lots of comments, so I can give away a book. To YOU, perchance–