Monday, July 25, 2005

Anna’s Office, interior, day.
A glow emanates from the computer as Anna opens a file.
The theme from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" plays.
It’s revision time. One of my crit partners and I promised we’d tell each other if a scene ever stunk on ice, and a recent one of mine did. As in did not accomplish its purpose, gave the wrong message, so back at it I go.
Fixing a scene gone wonky is a tricky thing. There’s the time spent staring at it wondering where exactly things left the track, and can anything be saved from the wreckage? Do I have to put out any fires first? Why did things take the turn they did, when they clearly need to go the other way?
I don’t wanna open the file and look at the big scary sucky scene. Can’t I make some notes and come back later? No, because this is fix bad work habits week. Which includes tackling this sucker, doing serious looking for a romance focused critique group, and a few other things. I’ve been a bit on the slacker side. Taking advantage of the slight drop in heat/humidity to take care of aforementioned matters. Deadline looming, so fingers moving.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I think I am living in a crock pot. The air is downright drinkable, it's hot, and everyone is listless and cranky at the same time. There is a rumor the weather will eventually break, but I'm not banking on it.

Writing is going well, though the office turns into a sauna from around eleven AM on. Bleh. I've been doing a lot of longhand in the air conditioned living room, especially since I have a nifty retro-flowered ergonomic lap desk from Target. I love Target. There's something special about writing with a silver Sharpie in a black paper composition book that clicks for me. Now the trick is to find more, for future projects. I have black craft paper, black spiral notebooks, black filler paper, and even a black legal pad (oooh, must play with that soon) but the black composition book is very very rare. The search is on.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Middle of my writing time, and only the feline is around, so I think I have most of my brain back.

Just got off the phone with my cover artist, and we are so very much on the same page that I am delighted. Of course the cover is due at the same time he and his wife expect their next baby to be born (talk about timing!) Some art talk, a wee bit of discussion on the next book and I got to effuse over the Patrick Stewart version of THE LION IN WINTER. (Which is utterly gorgeous; go rent it now.) We’re still both open to different concepts, but we have the same favorite, which I think is a good sign.

Which brings me to the forgotten points from yesterday. What makes for a good cover for you? What elements say "romantic?" Not sexy, not sweet, romantic. Which brings me to my ongoing quest for branding.
One would think that as the daughter of an advertising executive (dad was an art director for decades, and was and is a fine artist on his own) I’d have a better handle on these things. What is a reader going to get when they pick up one of my novels? Historical romance, yes, but what kind? I’m stumped on that. I know what my stories are like inside my head, but to put that into a brand? Augh. Pass the chocolate covered gummi bears (they are the solution for all annoyance, except weight gain, but since I am officially down a size, bring them on!)

I told DH about this last night (after making him listen to the gothic idea that pounced me, which I was furiously scribbling while he was trying to serve dinner and needed to know why I was grunting at him)and his response: "good." I love this man. Then, "if you were a guy, we could say ‘gritty.’" I’m not a guy, but that would fit. And yes, I would like some cheese with that whine. It’s grocery day. Swiss, please.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

When a person who identifies themself as a "writer" is at the computer, fingers on keyboard, making a "tickyticky" sound, and words are forming on that glowy thing that looks like at TV set above the tickyticky thing, talking to that person is not a good idea. I say this for the good of all humankind. A friend's question about laundry chased what I was going to say here right out of my head, and man oh man is that frustrating.

Anyway, I'm still here, still writing. I was in the middle of my morning putzing when my brain decided I'd much rather be writing (or rather Simon and Jonnet, my current h/h) decided I needed to get back to them and leave that email nonsense for anohter time. Quite pleased with the day's work.

No nag group tonight, as one of our members got the chance to go see Phantom in NY for free. Would any sane person deny her that?

Stalling...nope, it's gone. Whatever I had in mind has now been replaced by all the possible days of the week when laundry can happen. Which is about the most boring thing I can think of at the moment. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Something about author branding, cover art, uhhhhhh, yeah it's gone. Drat. Drat, drat, drat. Aha, possible gothic idea....bleh, now chased away by report on gob of shed fur cat was going to eat but didn't.

That's it, I surrender. Will now go grab one of the special books from my TBR pile and bury self within pages. Hopefully brain will return tomorrow.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

First, big hugs and fervent prayers for those in the UK. Our hearts are with you.

On a lighter note, I hope to get bloggier in the week to come. I'm out of the middle of the book, or at least in very end of middle, heading toward beginning of end phase, and I'm feeling good about that. Confident. I can see the end in sight, and apart from a few small details, I know where everything goes. Good place to be.

Once I'm a bit farther along, I need to set my sights on the next project. I know I'll be going back to TWR as my WIP (enough anagrams today? I prefer not to use them at all, but very rushed at the moment) but I'll need a new book as well. Maybe the next Bedford book to be ready while My Outcast Heart (full title, hah!) is still around. My nag group insists I look at a partial from a few years ago, which I will, but I make no promises.

Still stuck on the whole "branding" thing -- eep, is it really neccessary? I asked the nag group gals, and I'm afraid, that while flattering, "well written" isn't going to work as a brand.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth of July to all who celebrate. Hope the heat isn't too bad where you are, the grill is full, and the fireworks spectacular.

No real plans over here, as family schedule is scattered, so I am spending a good deal of my day setting up a custom neighborhood experiment in The Sims2, and stomping around in a circle because...I am slumping again. Finished Bertrice Small's Lara, then Johanna Lindsey's A Loving Scoundrel, and then el slumpo. Nothing is holding my interest.

This is not for a lack of books; we're talking "water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink" here. I definetly need to pick up some more CBA titles -- there are Angela Hunt, Robin Lee Hatcher, Liz Curtis Higgs and Frank Perretti books I still need, and Ted Dekker, too...then there's the first in Lyn Cote's new historical series in the early 20th century. Book shopping -- of any sort-- will be possible for later in the week, but at the moment, it's me, apartment, bunch of books that are not making an effort to call me.

I've found that usually it's older historical romances or newer CBA fiction (of any genre) that will break me out of a slump. I also have a short list of books that I do want to get read "over the summer" but not in the mood to tackle them at the moment. In summers past, I've used time travels to while away the reading ennui; for some reason, they tend to get me back on track. Not that many time travels out there at the moment, and I'm picky about them; prefer modern character go back to pre-1800 era and stay there. Have never seen an inspirational historical time travel, but I've always thought Merline Lovelace's ancient Roman time travel would have been a great concept for an inspirational angle. So perhaps a pen and notebook to ponder.

Other than that, it's some reading meh. Tried a couple of historicals, couldn't get into them, so maybe it's me. Must paw through crates in attic and see what I can find.