Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Eyes of March are Tired

One day left before March begins and I’m in a mad dash to get my house clean one more time before I hibernate in the office with both computers.

My poor blog will suffer a little neglect this month, but never fear Garden Parties are near.

Starting in April I will host weekly Garden Parties, pictures to follow with fellow authors. There will be food, spirits and plenty of warm sunshine and info for all.

Check back in for a weekly update on Nano progress this month and get your gardening gloves ready for the first week in April!



Saturday, February 20, 2010

Busy Month Ahead

March is almost upon us again and for me that can mean only one thing…the busiest time of the year!

My kids, the one’s I teach, not the one I gave birth to, have end of grade testing coming up, so I’m sure I’ll be on my feet from now until May, testing, retesting, and tutoring.

Away from the daily drudge, March is the official, unofficial Novel in a Month, month at the romance house. Fifty-thousand words mixed with family and work― my head might start spinning. Really, NaNos are great fun and I recommend them to anyone interested in writing. Check out for more info.

So, speaking of NaNo, I have two almost completed outlines to choose from and I can’t make up my mind. Outline one is a humorous addition to my normally dramatic rantings about a woman trying to find love in small town Tennessee despite the fact her meddling aunt put a personal ad in the classifieds between the farm equipment and house painters. It’s a laugh a minute ride until hearts are put on the line.

Choice two started as a dream last week and has pretty much written itself over the past several days. Ava’s a woman on the run from a mysterious man and Ethan’s an ex-Navy sailor turned fisherman struggling to keep his sport fishing business afloat on a small island in Maine. It takes a while for sparks to fly between these two but when they do… make sure you’re standing near water.

Oh March, please be kind to me! Summer vacation feels like its right around the corner, yet it still so far away.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In My Dreams

I love when I can come up with an entire story concept while catching some zzz’s! I feel very Stephanie Meyerish today.
Actually, the act of dreaming up a story and then being able to write the whole thing down has never happened to me. Sure, I’ve dreamed up bits and pieces, but the whole thing…never!

This morning I woke at the ungodly hour of 5am. The alarm buzzer pierced right through a vivid dream about a sailor and a woman running from an abusive husband. This might not be the stuff your dreams are made of, but if it means a story line and finished novel, I’m game. By the time I pulled into work I had outlined the whole story in my head and most of it on paper.

Cloud nine has beckoned to me all day and, as if things couldn’t get much sweeter, the mail lady delivered my “freshly made” copy of Jennie Marsland’s “McShannon’s Chance”. I love everything about it and I haven’t even cracked the spine yet.
So much to do, so little time.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dear Me

Now that we are safely out of January and the dreaded New Years resolution ritual, I can publish my goals for 2010. This is my “Dear Me” letter which has become my tradition as a member of The list is ambitious, but I do plan to finish everything on it―or give it my best shot anyway!
Happy Writing

Dear Me,
2009 was a year to remember for you. Two written novels, one contracted, one very close, three short stories entered into paying contests, a webpage, a BlogSpot, and 165 Facebook friends. For someone with mediocre computer skills, you did well. 2009 was a year of firsts. 2010 will be the year of great accomplishments.

You’ve proven yourself a writer. No more hiding in the closet and only writing when everything in your busy life is complete. This year writing moves to the front seat of your life. This will be the year you prepare to make the leap from hobby to career.

Don’t worry, I know how you are. If the goals aren’t clear and a timeline in place, you’ll never stick to it. I’ve taken the initiative to do a little planning for you. All your goals are reachable, and your timeline flexible, but you still have quite a bit of work on your hands.

January will be a month for cleansing and preparation. You will finish the edits to Guarded Hearts and you will revise your query and synopsis. Oh, and just your luck Romance Writers of America meets in your city. I’ve signed you up to be a guest at the first meeting of the year. I’ve also started a blog to keep you on task. Your daily blog at should help. Just remember to post goals daily.

February will bring a new challenge, actually outlining a story before you write it. Hey, you’re the one who said you wanted to add depth to your stories. You will also research agents and get Guarded Hearts ready to send. I’m pulling for Harlequin Super Romance for this one, so get your tushie in gear.

March is the unofficial, official March NaNo in the Novel Workshop. That great outline you just finished in February will help you reach those fifty thousand words in no time. And don’t think those sixteen hundred odd words get you out of submitting. WOW (Women on Writing) is expecting a short story from you by the end of the month. I was thinking something about being the parent of an autistic child. It’s about time you started writing about him.

April is going to be wild. Besides filing away those letters from agents, I’ve signed you up to teach a workshop at the Novel Workshop’s Workshop. Don’t worry too much. You’re teaching the Rough Draft in Thirty Days and using You NaNo novel as an example.

May is usually a crazy month for you, and I’m thinking this will be the month you hear from your editor about Awenasa Island, so I’m leaving things pretty open. However, this is not the time to get lazy. Make sure you are writing morning pages, reviewing at the romance house, writing short stories, (a few entries to the Writer’s Cramp wouldn’t hurt), and of course there’s always editing to be done. Your NaNo novel has been marinating on the shelf for a month now so feel free to pick it up and start edits.

Ah, now we get to June. I know it’s your favorite month. Enjoy your time at the beach house but don’t forget to rest, relax, review and edit. Oh, and don’t neglect those agent letters. If you don’t have one by now, might be time to starting making some changes to Guarded Hearts.

July will be mostly the same except I’m thinking this would be a great time to finish up old projects, like your March NaNo book, and plan some new ones. Short stories are always in order, and then there is the outline for your personal NaNo book in August. By now you should be an old pro at outlines.

August is the month of your personal NaNo. Thirty-one days to write fifty-thousand words. Don’t even think about telling me you’re too tired at this point unless you DON’T plan to be a professional writer. Let’s just put things into perspective. Bigger house, showing horses again, not worrying about bills… all the motivation you need to enjoy those sleepless nights.

September should be easy going. You will submit your March NaNo book to your new agent and he/she will love it. Celebrate this movement! Enjoy your success then get back to work. You will be thankful you put in a little effort now when November NaNo rolls around.

October will be NaNo outlining and August NaNo book editing. This would also be a great time to catch up on blogs, webpage posts, ect.

November NaNo is finally here again. Despite what you might think you do still have fifty-thousand words left in you. Just think, after this month you will have five novels completed. Think where five novels could get you. Remember to spend a little time giving thanks to all the people who have gotten you here;, the girls and guy and the Romance House, Bluewood Publishing, The Novel Workshop’s Workshop, Your new agent, family, friends, and most of all, YOU!

December is always a month of joy. Hopefully you will be working with your agent on edits this month. Don’t forget this is also the year you spend the holidays with your family. Take some time off to enjoy them. Reflect back on how far you’ve come in twelve months. Pat yourself on the back for your efforts, commit to learning from your mistakes, and above all, be proud. You are one year closer to becoming a professional writer!

Love and God Bless,