Saturday, December 30, 2006

We pause for a commercial message

The Cerridwen Chat group is having a "Free For All" all day January 1st. Cerridwen Press authors will be posting excerpts, offerering free downloads, holding contests, answering questions. If you'd like to drop by, join the yahoo group at

I'll be there talking about Finding Sarah

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

On Unexpected Changes

What I'm reading: Improper Alliance by Jane Toombs; More GH entries; more Crapometer posts

What I'm wrting: Chapter 18.

Just when I thought I was getting the hang of posting, Blogger goes all Google on me. This is more of a test to see if I have to unlearn anything, so it'll be short.

I thought I had a handle on Dalton, but he went all gentleman on me in chapter 17, so everything got pushed up about 10 pages. I guess he can wait; it was his idea, after all. I just go where he takes me.

Had a nice meeting with my CP this morning--it feels good to have some live brainstorm time. And fresh eyes to say, "I got this, enough already" or "Huh? What are you talking about?" shows me where I'm over explaining or assuming the ESP thing is going.

I've borrowed my husband's PDA to see what it's like to read a book on the small screen. It takes a bit of getting used to, but the backlight is great for reading in bed, and for some reason, probably the unfamiliar format, my internal editor stays turned off. I'm waiting for the universal e-book formatting to take effect (I should live that long).

And last--we saw Casino Royale on Monday (our own Christmas tradition--a movie and Chinese food). After countless explosions, chases, gunfights, near-death escapes, and plenty of decolletage, all requirements of my husband's, after the movie he says, "too much mush."

I'll be making his New Year's Resolutions pretty soon.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

On Murphy's Law

What I'm reading: Lady of the Two Lands by Elizabeth Delisi; Golden Heart entries; More of the Crapometer

What I'm writing: End of chapter 17. Buildup to "The Scene"

After figuring out my postcards, I ran into three glitches. 1. The printer generated too much heat, apparently, and after about 2 sheets, the ink glommed up the rollers. 2. The card stock had defective perforations, so the cards didn't separate neatly. 3. The printer ran out of a color cartridge or two. My background green faded away to nothing.

I returned the stock, although they did let me keep the ones I'd already printed on the back. I bought some matte ones, but they're 4 to a page, not 2. Figured it would be cheaper for trials, but they're smaller, so back to the formatting board.

Starting Over hit Cerridwen's spreadsheet Friday, so I've been working on my cover request form. I know I want the bald eagle and the nests on the cover. I hope the cover department can come up with something that looks like the undeveloped Florida terrain. If you say Florida, everyone envisions airboats zipping through the sawgrass, but that's not where the scene takes place.

I also think I'm going to start a scoresheet for writers who have their character 'thumb the safety off their Glocks.' I don't know a whole lot about handguns, but I do know that Glocks don't have that kind of safety.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

More waiting; more promotion

What I'm reading: Dust to Dust by Tami Hoag; Miss Snark's Crapometer; Golden Heart entries; Sophie Metropolis by Tori Carrington

What I'm writing: Chapter 17

Now that I've finished scoring a RWA chapter contest, it's time to dig into the Golden Heart entries. I received 7 to judge. Although I've judged lots of local chapter contests, this is my first go at the 'biggie'.

Both my publishers are in holiday mode, so the waiting continues. I did get my advance copies of Finding Sarah, and on a scary note, that means that the publisher is sending out ARCs for reviews. Considering what my heart rate jumped to when I scrolled down to find out what Miss Snark had to say about my hook, I'm not sure I'll survive dealing with reviews.

I've been fighting with Word and Avery templates, but I emerged victorious and have my first promotional piece for Finding Sarah laid out, tested, and ready to print. Until I see some financial returns, I'm going low-budget and DIY whenever possible. I've got a postcard sized flat—cover image on the front and blurb copy on the back. Now I'll have something to put out on the 'goodie tables' at conferences. I don't know what the return is in terms of sales, but I know I'll get a charge out of seeing my cover. I also had a turn at a Writerspace chat the other night to promo Sarah, and that was fun.

Meanwhile, I've finally (I think—nothing's ever permanent) figured out how to weave a couple of threads together in Dalton's story. Minor characters have a way of demanding more page time, and I have to give them a good reason to be there. It's also time to start brainstorming meetings again. I'm meeting my CP next week, and looking forward to some recharging.

Friday, December 15, 2006

On Waiting

What I'm reading: Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag; contest entries

What I'm writing: Chapter 16

With everything done on "my end", the reality of relative helplessness sets in. According to my delivery confirmations, Rescued Hearts reached the editor on Wednesday. I sent polite follow-up emails to two agents who have had requested submissions for months. "Romancing the Geek" has been received and is sitting in the editor's inbox, waiting its turn. I guess the 'control freak' in me hasn't gone away.

I'm learning about the promotional end of e-books by participating in 'author' or 'publisher' days at several on-line groups. Not quite as chaotic as live chats, but time consuming nevertheless. And until Sarah is released, there's no effective way to judge the return on the effort.

Time to re-read what I wrote last night and get back to work.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

On Getting Back to Routines

A quick entry tonight.

Finally, after what seems like an eternity of being four steps behind in everything, I have finished my Valentine's Day story, tentatively titled "Romancing the Geek," and I plan to submit it to the Champagne Rose line editor tomorrow. When I started, I planned a short-short, under 5,000 words, but (and not totally unexpectedly) the characters demanded more of their stories be told. It ended up at a shade over 11,000 words.

Rescued Hearts is on its way to the publisher, so I'm back in 'wait' mode. But my holiday company is gone, my work responsibilities have gone from bonfires and chaos to something I can keep up with. I've even found time for my middle-of-the-day reading routine, although today it was reading contest entries.

And I got my "author copy" of Finding Sarah. It's getting more and more real.

Tomorrow--Back to Dalton and Miri, for sure.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

On Happy News

What I'm reading: Inside Delta Force by Eric L. Haney ; contest entries
What I'm writing: My Valentine's Day short (still). Also a promo prologue piece for Finding Sarah.

I got a couple of nice surprises while I was away at a 2 day meeting. First, an editor had offered to critique my first three chapters of Rescued Hearts as a pure favor. Instead of feedback, I got a request for the full manuscript. And, she said she'd offer some advice before I sent the final version in. How kind of her.

My Cerridwen editor approved my long-ago-written prologue for Finding Sarah, one that I wrote more for me than the book, but she said I could use it as a promotional giveaway.

AND -- she offered a contract on Starting Over, the sequel to Finding Sarah. The one I'd waited so long to finish the final draft because I wanted to get the local sheriff's department building operations. (You know, like how to you get a fax? Where's the lab?)