Monthly Archives: June 2007

Gigi tries to keep up

It’s interesting, the things a three-year-old boy finds hilarious. Or an almost-six year old. The simple mention of the word “fart” or even “toot.” “Tee-tee,” will send them into gales of laughter–falling-down-on-the-floor laughter. Which itself is also cause for more hilarity. In two and a half days (they aren’t awake yet today, which is the only reason I’m here writing this…), I have learned alot about preschooler potty-mouth. Yeah. I’ve got the grandboys. They’ll be here for another week.

I did get the entire ms. of New Blood gone through, but haven’t got it all into the computer yet. Need to get busy with that, maybe at night after they’ve gone to bed. They don’t go to sleep once they go to bed, understand. I have to stay up to send them back when they pop back up again. It’s a little like whack-a-mole, except without the whacking. And to carry the little one to “Wunka Bob’s bed ” when he falls asleep in mine. (He tends to annoy his big brother, who really would rather sleep, and likes Granddaddy better anyway.)

We’ve been going to the library. Summer Reading program is this week, so we go listen to someone read stories, and make things, and sing songs and eat cookies, then we check out ONE video each. (The first day we went, they had a pile of about 15 videos they wanted to check out.) And ONE book each. (Police Cat is a pretty cool book. Not so wild about The King Who Sneezed.)

I have four packed-up boxes of books in the middle of my office floor…the box of totebags is in the garage already. I’ve cleaned out the TBR books I don’t think I’ll ever read–most of them, anyway, and have packed a box of hardback contemporaries to thin out the bookshelves in the living room. Took three boxes of cookbooks, a box of paperback fiction, plus three totebags stuffed full on Monday–and there are more yet to go. And of course, more books coming in. I’ve got to have something to read, you know. Even if I’m moving… 😉

Better go get the boys up, if we’re going to make it to the library on time…

Once More, Into the Breach!

The title I stuck on this blog refers to war. It’s from a poem, or story, or something. Anyway, I feel a little like I’m at war. At war with all the stuff in my office.

See, we’re moving. Which means we need to sell the house. Which means I need to clean up my office which is packed to the rafters with totebags and magazines and books, both read and to-be-read. I am currently in the middle of revising New Blood, trying to cut 643 pages down to the vicinity of 500 or so…not doing too badly, but probably not doing quite well enough at that. And I need to proof a few things on the ARC of The Eternal Rose. And the grandboys are coming to visit on Sunday, so next week will be impossible to work. Well, until their daddy comes for a few days.

Anyway, I need to go tape a box together and stick some stuff in it. (Totebags probably.) And I don’t want to. (whine, whine) My neck is sore (from bending over those revisions, probably) and I’m tired and I’m lazy and whiney and–well, you’ve probably given up on me.

Still, the story is verra cool… I was trying to pitch it to a romance editor a while back, and my pitch was totally amorphous and awful–and I realized it really fits the epic fantasy structure better than it fits the romance novel structure. It IS a romance–the romance plot is the last one resolved–but resolving the romance also resolves the fantasy conflict… And it has a fantasy structure. Heroine learns she has magic talent and meets the hero who acts as a mentor. They defeat early bad guys and go on a quest for learning, and encounter a new, more evil bad guy. They escape him, keep going on quest, while new bad guy chases them. They think they reach safety, discover there’s an even greater evil which they team up with allies to defeat–but the evil bad guy brings the first bad guy to cause new trouble and… Well, in the end, love conquers all. Literally. Sort of. Still, it’s more a fantasy structure than a romance structure. We will see how it does.

I’d better go tape up that box…

Shaking head sadly

So tonight I got a phone call from the boy. The one in college (who still doesn’t have a summer job–GRRRR). And he wants to know about insurance on his vehicle. With one of those queasy feelings growing in my gut, I ask–not-so-nonchalantly–Why do you want to know???

Seems a tree fell on his car. A whole freakin’ tree.

Well, actually, it was more like half a tree. The tree broke in half and fell on his car. And the car of one of his roommates. But mostly on his car.

He said the damage was mostly paint, and dents–it didn’t break any windows…yet. So I told him to take pictures, and then get the freakin’ tree off the freakin’ car. Actually, I didn’t say freakin’. I didn’t use any other bad words either. I was a good mom and didn’t shock the boy. What is the deal with trees in Waco? Not that many years ago, a tree at Cameron Park dropped a giant branch on a little girl and killed her. And the wind wasn’t even blowing, either time. You expect trees to break in high wind. And Waco gets a lot of high winds. I guess it weakened the trees, and then when you’re not looking…wham!

Anyway. Tree. Car. Smush.

Oh, The Eternal Rose got a nice mention at this website. Thanks, krisstarr! I do appreciate it.

I will be posting the first chapter of the book very soon. Like, as soon as I can manage to get the website altered and get the excerpt on the site and make links to attach it to everything. Of course, people who subscribe to my newsletter get a special “newsletter only” excerpt too. :)

But first I need to write 10.5 more pages of the WWII book so I can earn my charm for this month. North Texas RWA chapter is having a “Book In A Year” challenge for its members–of whom I am one (see, I can do grammar). If we write 25 pages a month, we get a charm bracelet over the space of a year. I’ve done 2 months. But I need my 10.5 more pages to get this month’s bracelet. And it’s a good break to let New Blood ferment before I plunge into revisions.

Second Draft – Complete!

I’m trying to make a list of things I’d like to blog about sometime, so that when I think of something that would make a good blog, I won’t forget what they are before I get round to blogging them. Mostly I just wait and see what I can come up with on the spur of the very last moment possible. Which is what you’re getting today.

I finished typing New Blood into the computer today. (Yayyyyyyyy!!!!!!! – again, picture Kermit the Frog running around in circles, waving his little spindly arms in the air, going Yayyy) As a second draft, it’s pretty minor. I don’t make a whole lot of changes during the typing of the manuscript. But I do make some, and once it’s all in the computer, I can print it out, and go at it with the weedwacker. And it’s IN THERE!!

It does need a weedwacker. And some makeup and disguises. Maybe some wholesale demo and rebuilding. I have made notes–mostly mental, but today I did write some stuff down on the back of an earlier revision paragraph page. And it’s mostly, sorta readable. And I need to do the vast majority of this fixing next week.

Because the Dallas grandboys are coming to visit (I hope) the week after that. And half-a-week after that, I’m heading off to the parents to visit the sister and b-i-l coming to visit from the mountains, and after a week at the parents, I’ll head up to Dallas for RWA–and then…well, it’s going to be time to go home and clean up my office to sell the Panhandle house, so we can see about getting our Beach house. I might have about a week for that. Maybe two. Yeah. It’s getting busy.

But the book is in the computer.

A new project

Okay, so I have this new project. Has nothing to do with writing (still working on getting New Blood ready to revise), but since we need to get the house ready to sell, I decided to finally get started on this project.

Our front bathroom looks out over the front porch through a round window. It’s set pretty high, so it probably doesn’t necessarily have to have a curtain, but it had a sheer gathered thing on a metal ring with silk flowers pinned to the “button” in the center. Hadn’t been touched in at least 20 years, so the flowers were faded to icky dun brown, and because the curtain was nailed to the wall, it obviously hadn’t ever been washed, so it was really dusty and spider-webby and stuff. I bought fabric several months ago but just stuck it in my sewing cabinet and let it sit.

Until last week. I got the fella to pull the tacks/staples/nails out of the wall and take the thing down, and I disassembled the curtain, cut it apart to use for a pattern to make a new curtain. My fabric is sheer, with a faint tan pattern on it, so I’ll leave the original cream-colored stuff on the button things and just cover them with the new fabric. (Have to clean them off first, I guess.) I’m just taking things a tiny step at a time. It took me two days to sew the hem all the way around the whole thing. Now I need to sew in the channel for the metal ring. Then zig-zag the inside edges so they won’t ravel when I gather them, then–well, I’m sure you get the idea.

Between the sewing and the typing, my back is killing me. More so from the sewing, because you kinda have to hunch over to see what the machine is doing.

I have a lot of other on-going projects too. I’ll probably have to stick them in totebags and take them with me though. Doubt they’ll get done before the move. The book. The book will get done and revised and printed out and all that. We’ll be lucky if the office gets cleaned up too. :) Y’all have a good weekend. I’m going to go get Laurell K. Hamilton’s new book this evening and stay up late to read it.

On Moving to the Beach, and Souls

The contract is signed, the commitment is made and I can officially talk about it now. The fella and I are moving to the beach–from the rolling plains of the Texas Panhandle 600 miles or so to the Texas Gulf Coast.

I’m really excited about it, even though it means leaving my wonderful office with its two big windows, and having to go through all my books–including way too many that I haven’t read yet. (Ugh.)

But we have always loved the coast–everything about it, from the salt water, and the sand and the seafood and boats–all of it. Okay, maybe not the hurricanes, but we’ve been living in Tornado Alley for 30 years. At least with a hurricane, you get more warning than you do with a tornado. I don’t think there’s any place that is 100% safe. It just depends on what kind of weather/nature hazard you’re willing to put up with. I’ll be happy living on my barrier island, and writing is one of those jobs that can be done anywhere.

A while back, I sent the daughter a book I thought she’d enjoy, because it was about math, and the mind and other strange things. I didn’t read it, because I didn’t think I’d be able to follow it. Instead, she was outraged when, not far into the book, the author stated that “‘mentally retarded, brain-damaged, and senile humans’ have less consciousness and therefore less of a soul than other human beings. But don’t worry, they still rate higher than dogs and bunnies.” (I’m quoting the daughter, mostly.) The idea that someone would actually think that her son had less of a soul than they did rightfully pushed all her buttons.

This guy appears to equate intellectual capacity with soul, which in my not-so-humble opinion is utterly false. How much soul would the merely stupid possess? How can you account for the apparent soullessness of many intellectually-gifted persons? Frankly, I believe that all humans are issued souls of equal value–and then we mess them up as we go through life. Innocence, which is found in the young, and in those whose mental functions differ from the norm, provides a purity of soul not often found in “normal” people.

Soul is not a property of the intellect. It is a property of existence. Of the human condition–whatever condition it might take.

I could probably go on, but I think I’ve been metaphysical enough for today. And I have stuff to go through before I start packing. Wish me luck.