Thursday, September 30, 2004

Lost rawks. Love it, love it, love it.

Take a plane full of strangers, shake well, dump on mysterious island, and then plop unsuspecting viewers in the middle of it. Yes, yes, yes. I love having to peice together who everyone is, what their story is, where did they come from, where are they going, and what are all those tantalising clues scattered hither and yon?

Though the dog had better be okay, that's all I'm saying. Yep, they can rip the pilot out of the plane, and apparently eviscerate or otherwise maul him, run a heartbreaking distress call that's been unanswered for sixteen years, but if they don't make sure the dog is all right, I'm outta there.

Though I had noticed the handcuffs on the ground in the premeire episode, I did not see it coming as to who the prisoner was. Should be verrry interesting. Love the washed-up rock star and the middle-eastern gent, Sayid, who seems to be the one who knows the most about how airplanes work. The doctor hero is pretty nifty, too, but the other guys are grabbing my interest more. Also the Korean couple. And the pregnant woman. And Hurley.Actually I'm hoping for a true ensemble show, though I'm not holding my breath.

I may have been wrong, but did they say in a promo that not everyone will survive the show? Kewl, kewl, kewl. Me, slavering fangirl?

Yeah, probably.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Ah, sweet freedom. No non-feline lifeforms sucking my air today, which makes me stop and ask myself why then the thought of writing the first scene in my outline (scene from the outline; the outline is already written) is scary. I know what has to happen, I know where it's going. I wanted to be in my hero's head for this, and I am, and...if I were a horse, I'd be balking. No idea why.

The actual business of the scene isn't much, and I debated skipping it, but when I went to write what I thought was the next logical step, my brain and characters dragged me back to that one. Feh. Flailing fists and kicking feet. Hero assures me it's needed, though to my mind, it's not much. Character X has to give hero an item he has to go sell to get funds for Noble Cause(tm) relay a highly romanticised version of way said item was smuggled out of its original country, and hero is on his way. Then hero takes item where it's supposed to go and we have a "well, I didn't know *that*" moment. His, not mine.

So yeah, it is needed. Still...if I write it, do I get gummi bears? (likely not, as there are none in the house, but I can play a half hour of the Sims -- I have one family of mom, dad, daughter, granddad, living in a one bedroom house. Too funny trying to get them all to bed, when there is only one double bed (mom and dad) one couch (daughter) and one outdoor recliner on the front lawn (grandpa, but he deserves it; he okayed daughter's adoption when mom and dad were both off at work. Maybe I'll be nice and move them to a bigger house, but poor grandpa did so much work on the garden that I hate to leave it.)

Umm, really, I am not a professional Sims player. I do write real books, really I do.

I am also miffed that Spike TV took away my Highlander break.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Hopefully you will see a bear trying to chat up a bear statue. One of the many fun things Claire the Bear does in the Sims. The Sims2 is out, but my puter is too puny, and I have Sims1 expansion packs yet to try.

Still relatively early for a Sunday morning. I don't have to light out of here until nine-thirtyish, and it's far before that now, so reading a few blogs, killing time. Told myself I wasn't going to Sim this AM, but probably will. Thanks to those who have posted on my name question. Names have fascinated me since I was a little, little kid, so I always want to know what everyone else thinks about them.

Often when naming a character (or a house; must name two of them for the current WIP, Orphans in the Storm, and am drawing a blank, so it's things like This House and That House until I figure it out) I'll come up with a quality of sound, or a letter that must or cannot be in there (yes, I'm anal about names, thank you for noticing, and please use a coaster.) There are not a lot of suitable English names for females usable in the 18th century (the names, not the females -- oh bother, I need more tea) starting with "T." Taffy and Trixie and Tiffany will not do. I did settle on one, which is actually a Spanish word rather than an English name, but with an explanation for why the heroine has an unusal name, I think I'll be okay.

Phew. Have also outlined the middle middle (or at least the start thereof) for Orphans in the Storm and am very pleased with how that's going. Wondered how I was going to get my h/h married, and yep, there it is right plain. My heroine told me how it was going to go, and I said that was fine with me, and viola. It's lovely when characters want to cooperate.

Friday, September 24, 2004

A whole week? As my friend Kat would say (Kat being short for Kathleen, who is a person, not an actual cat) "ragga fragga." Feh.

Nothing earth-shattering, though a friend did get laid off, which has resulted in me having people on top of me (as in sucking my air, not literally...oh, nevermind; it's close to lunchtime and I need protien. Or protein? Meat.)

But anyhoo. Reading the April Moon anthology from Harlequin Historicals, and while I have enjoyed the Merline Lovelace entry and the Susan King one (my first by her so far) I'm still not a Regency girl. Love Miranda Jarrett, but her entry is next, and like the other three, it's Regency, and the heroine's name is Sophie (did I mention my "thing" about Sophie before? No disrespect to any Sophies or mothers/daughters/sisters/friends of same who may be reading.) I miss Jarrett's colonials, one of my favourite periods. I do like how all three stories happen over the course of one evening in this anthology, though.

While I'm still here, an informal poll. My first. Showed some of my notes for The Wild Rover (working title for story in the idea stage; will likely change) to a cp, and while she said she likes the story a lot, the hero's name doesn't work for her. As in really really dislikes it. The name in question? Declan.

I like it, but poking around, found it's listed as Irish, and my hero is Scottish (18th century) Grumblesigh. Naming can be an ordeal, but I do like it. I did like Declan, too. CP wants me to call him Dougal or Dugal -- I do like Dougal, but that isn't this character's name. A book "mama" knows these things.

So -- working off the cp's comments, I'm curious; what does a hero's name "look like" to you all? Any particular names or elements of names or anything about names that would be an absolute dealbreaker?

Friday, September 17, 2004

It's a good day. Found out early in the morning, after finding evidence of non-domestic rodentia, that we really don't have to worry about the provider of said evidence. Olivia kitty had already dispatched it. Not eaten, just killed. Good kitty.

Also worked on getting my furry mess of scenes trimmed down and into order, in the body of the ms. I have more than I thought I had, plus it gives me a good indication of where to go next. Yay. One of my CPs, Vicki, who is a talker, like me, called my villain creepy and insisted he have a horrible horrible death before the end of the book. ::salutes:: Can do. Piecing these out of order scenes together actually brings kind of a rush. Points in the right direction and keeps up the momentum.

AOL music is still part of the process. I may have to break down and CDs. Forgot I like Matchbox Twenty; better support them.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Road to Writing: Me? Avoid? Never!

Testing the "blog this" feature by adding the link above. In short, found Lynn's blog, and will add to links. It's still early, only one cup of tea in me, and my brain does not arrive until the bottom of the second cup.

I can very much relate to one of Lynn's rants on working at home. It's far too easy to allow things to take up writing time. Sleep being a big one. I don't get enough sleep, and boy is it tempting to grab some during the day.

Or more likely knowing me, to force myself through the day without a desperately needed nap because I can do it. Of course that usually leaves me staring at the screen and making a sound somewhere in the neighborhood of "urrrrgh." Hopefully today will be better.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

You know what I'd like? Some really good historicals. A whole batch of them. My reading lately has been pathetic. Mostly that I haven't had time, with the family schedule getting tossed in a Cuisinart. It's not a slump, really. I've been stealing passages from Valerie Sherwood's Bold Breathless Love, a favorite reread, and man oh man. I can see Wey Gat, the grand plantation on the Hudson River, where her heroine, Imogen fights circumstances she herself had a hand in creating. It's like jumping into the 1650s reading this for the umpteenth time, and knowing --while the character doesn't-- what's happening to the boy she thought she was in love with and the privateer who would hold her if he could...must lock self in bathroom with the faboo handouts from Susan Meier's talk on Saturday and analyze.

I'm almost at the point where Imogene makes her escape from Wey Gat (high on my list of fictional places I wanna to go to now) --though not quite in the way she thought-- and man, how I love the way this one act has consequences and repercussions in the three books that follow it. I really miss the big thick bug-squasher historical romances where one couple's story could take two books. Then there might be a story for one or two of the kids. ::take moment for contact high from pile of Jennifer Roberson's Sword Dancer series -- six books, one couple; yeah, I know, sold as fantasy, not romance, but it's a love story, darmitall! I do have a couple of her historical romances around here somewhere::

I did pick up a Harlequin Historical anthology at Sunday's library sale (I'm still mad at Harlequin for taking historicals out of retail distribution, but then again I don't have their sales figures or marketing experience) -- April Moon. Regency era, I know, but Miranda Jarrett (loved her colonials, want more of those) and Merline Lovelace (super nice person, and gets to write in all sorts of historical settings) and this Susan King person will be new to me, but she's in good company. Though one of the stories has a heroine named Sophie, a name that flat out doesn't work for me; conjures the image of a particular Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at a particular moment. Also sounds like "soapy," which makes me think of what soap tastes like (yes, that's how I know; I was five, I think) so will probably call heroine something else as I read. Am I the only one who does that?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Thank God for AOL Music. Amazing what a few dozen (okay, it only seemed like that) repititions of the right songs can do to give creativity a kick-start in the tuckus. Which is another good thing about being the only human in my work environment. If Olivia kitty doesn't like the music I'm playing, she goes off to sleep in the closet. Really doesn't work for non-fur people, so it's just as well.

I know I don't listen to music like "normal" people. Put in CD, listen to song one, then song two, then song three, etc. Nuh-uh. Case in point, one of the best creative gifts I ever recieved was a cassette tape consisting entirely on one side of Meat Loaf's "Objects in the Rearview Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are." I'm the type to listen to one song on a loop over and over and over and over again until I get the story from it. Then a few more times for good measure. This can drive non-creative people certifiably insane.

For me, it works. Every time the song plays, it's like peeling back a layer of onion. New meanings show up and I try to write fast enough to get them down. Either that, or assume near-fetal position, shutting out other stimuli to concentrate and focus. This has earned me the "weirdo" badge on more than one occasion, and I wear it proudly. Right next to my RWA PRO pin.

So that's my day. Including writing. Which is always a good thing.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Greetings from the walknig dead. Or, as the husband would put it, "very happy but very very tired." Yesterday was our RWA chapter's (::waving:: Hi, Kate!) first conference with guest Susan Meier and Sandra Marton, and the proverbial good time was had by all. Old friends, new members, catching up on critiques we didn't get to finish from last week, plans to get together and start an in-person and/or online critique group, and if the gorgeous wallpaper in the women's room turns up missing, we know nothing about it, do we? (insert innocent look here)

Added a trip to the annual library sale in my dad's town to the regular Sunday affairs. Not a lot in the romance department, though that section would be a category lover's dream. Several trads as well, but not a lot of the historicals I was there for. Snagged a few other books to begin the husband's Christmas stash, so I am well ahead of the game.

Ran into my old high school librarian at the sale, and when she asked how I was doing these days it was fun to tell her that she must have done her job right, since I just sold my first novel. She agreed she must have, and peered into my box to see if I had "good books or trash." While I debated inside my overheated cranium (sun, sun, sun) what to respond with, she proceeded to tell me how she liked going home to "read trash" after being around all that nonfiction and stuff all day. I told her my novel was a romance, and she said that'll do. I don't know if she was a romance reader when I was in high school, but way to go, Mrs F!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

You'd think there would be more to the day's writing than drawing little boxes and writing people's names in them. Yep, that's right, I have reached the stage of the diagram. In which I know what has to happen in the scene I write next, but have no idea how to go about it. Completely stymied.

So, we go to the visuals. Three boxes and a circle. One box for each floor of the house. Circle is outside. Write names of people who will be on each floor (or outside) in the appropriate shape. That way I know who would logically be close enough to butt in on the action, and who can't possibly know what's going on. It's a place to start. Usually a little diagram work can get me right back on track. Hopefully this will be the case here, because I hate it when a scene is hard in coming.

Since The Husband is home tonight, hopefully I can talk him into getting dinner, which may buy some more writing time. Plus we need toothpaste. If I send him out for that on his own, there's a good chance he'll get the orange kind, --cinnamon is better; I'd also take mint, but I'm the only mint person in the house-- but I'm willing to take that chance so I can play with my boxes and the fallout from them.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Despite a distinct lack of social emails in my in-box today (must remind self is normal holiday thing) I am still in a good mood. One of the things I really like about having signed with an e-publisher is that I get to have lots of control over the cover art --and control freak is very much me in this regard (and others, but that's another post.) Right from the time I found out I could choose my own art/artist, I knew who I wanted to use; Tim Harrison (must find and post some of his stuff, with permission.)

We'd met through a mutual friend, when we were both working in the fanzine "business," and his illos clicked with my writing. As in he'd read the story and bloop, there are the original characters looking the way they did in my head. Ah, bliss.

Will skip the boring how we found the right phone number (which was the wrong phone number, but he happened to be there anyway, which I think is delightful) and yes, he would love to do the illustration. Huzzah! In the words of Animal from the Muppets "me so happy."

Friday, September 03, 2004

Augh, big picture again (but that was in the code already, I'm sure) and for some reason, my actual post didn't show. Urgh. Anyway, I have My Outcast Heart ready to send in (final version, eep) and did more work on the new story idea this morning. I love it when pre-writing falls into place that easily. Still don't know the exact era, but I have it narrowed down into a timeframe, and know the nationality of one of the pair, have a good lead on the other, since it would work perfectly for the plot.

Work on the WIP on Monday, I think, since the husband is off tonight, and we enjoy being with each other too much to get any work done. Mostly finding something Law & Order related on the tube, and reading bits to each other out of whatever we're each perusing at the time. Boy, are we old and married. :)
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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Poor Mama Hick -- at least in my Sim game, she has become the poster child for Upside Down Head Disease. We may have to name it after her if it happens again. These are things that go through my poor cold-ridden mind when I've been trying to get the final manuscript together. Which is coming along quite well. I'm ready for "baby" to leave the nest and go on to the next stage.

Which, quite appropriately, is when another idea cleared its throat and waved politely in my general direction. Which is always welcome. Was watching first season episodes of Highlander this morning, and had to put my foot down that it was one hundred percent unfair that Duncan and Tessa didn't get to have a HEA.

Don't remember the title of the episode, but it's the one where at the very very end, Duncan agrees to move to Paris for Tessa's job. I remember thinking "if this were a romance novel, it would end with this that and the other," and my noggin started making lists of how to begin the translation process to straight historical romance. So we'll see how that goes. Definitely will revisit when my sinuses clear and I am no longer a slave to the Riccola.