Thursday, December 30, 2010

Adventures of an Amateur Writer: I think I'm obsessed!!!

Adventures of an Amateur Writer: I think I'm obsessed!!!

I think I'm obsessed!!!

So, most of you know I've been offered representation by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary. I'm super excited, not just to be represented, but to have someone like Terrie on my side.

Now comes the problem. I CAN'T STOP WRITING!!! I was told I was on "vacation" as editors aren't back at their desks until the middle of January or later. Unfortunately, my brain won't let me rest. If I'm not working on the manuscript which the offer was made, I'm working on two of my other works in progress.

I'm trying to decide if this is a good thing, or a bad thing. On one hand, I'm doing what I love. On the other, I don't want to get burned out before I really even begin!!!

If anyone has any thoughts on this, feel free to sound off. I hate to think I'm burning the candle at both ends, but when an idea is hot in my head I just have to write it down.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!!

Though I should probably be busy working on my work in progress, I can't help myself but watch out the window as the snow falls. What a beautiful day. Then again, I'm not driving in the snow, nor working outside.

My family will be over for our annual Christmas party, of course, weather allowing. This party is a tradition starting over thirty five years ago. My mom and uncles used to get together on Christmas Day, until the birth of my cousin, Gina. After her birth, came the rest of us, so they scheduled the party for Christmas Eve, that way, everyone could spend Christmas Day with their own families.

I have had the honor of hosting the party at my own home for the past three years, and look forward to many more years of parties at my home. Someday, my children, my nephews and nieces will all be grown and the party will be at their homes. Believe it or not I'm looking forward to that day...then I won't be the one cooking and cleaning.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and God Bless You and Your Family!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finally, one of my goals have been met....WOOHOO!

As of today, December 21, I am being represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary. I was offered a contract this morning.

Funny story about the contract: I was sitting on a low shelf, tucked away in a less traveled aisle of Wal-Mart while speaking to her. When I hung up, and after I high-fived my mom, I did a cart wheel down the aisle. Don't worry, I didn't hurt myself.

This is a step we all work insanely for, and the first step towards a whole lot more work. From here out, there will be revisions, rewrites, waiting, and more waiting, deadlines, negotiations, more waiting, then finally busting my ass to get the book sold!

Thank you so much for all of you who believed in me and my work. You guys are awesome!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I love writing...sometimes

So, as I've said before, I've started a new novel. My characters are very vivid in my mind, all the way down to their clothing size, their favorite foods, etc. However, for some reason, they didn't want to come across as believable on the screen.

Many authors I know come across this occasionally. But they can also tell you how very frustrating it can be. I was 21,000 words in and realized I was forcing it. For those of you wondering, that's about 60-70 pages. I just couldn't bring myself to continue. So, I scrapped it and started over.

During times like these, I like to refer to Stephen King's On Writing. He lays it all out, no bull shit, no candy coating. That man is a wealth of knowledge, and not the kind you pay for and can never use again. Even the great horror master himself has had something similar to writer's block, brain farts in the middle of a scene, etc. Makes me feel a little better about my own writing.

So, my lovelies, you'll have to wait for more information on the newest work in progress. All I can tell you right now is the male is an American Indian, and absolutely masculine and gorgeous. The female is a petite red-head. They both will be Hunters.

Ooh, what's a Hunter? You'll just have to wait. Don't worry, has nothing to do with deer or turkeys.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Synopses questions answered...found a great link!

Found this article while searching for more information on a better synopsis. The article was on Writing Check out the site when you get a chance. A lot of great reading!!!

How to Write a Synopsis

by Marg Gilks

Writers will spend years writing, lovingly polishing and then marketing a novel, and yet they shrug off the synopsis with a comment like "I hate writing synopses."

I hate writing synopses, too. I used to hate them because the ones I wrote sucked all the life from the novel, reducing it to bare-bones sentences that did nothing to capture the depth of the novel itself. Now I hate writing synopses because they are much more difficult to write than the novel ever was. It's not easy distilling 100,000-odd words into a few pages. But it's important.

The synopsis is the most important part of your submission package and, as such, it has to be developed and sweated over and polished with the same attention you devoted to the novel itself. Along with the cover letter, the synopsis is what sells the editor on the manuscript. If they don't see anything they like in the synopsis, they won't even glance at your chapter samples.

The synopsis is your sales pitch. Think of it as the jacket blurb for your novel (the synopsis is often used in writing this, and by the publisher's art and advertising departments, if the novel is purchased), and write it as though you're trying to entice a casual bookstore browser to buy the novel and read it. Which isn't too far from actuality.

"Okay," you say, "you've sold me. This is something I have to do, and do well. But how?"

One Step at a Time

Rather than being daunted by the enormity of such a task, break it down. Do it step by step.

The first step, of course, is realizing that you're going to have to write a synopsis -- if you intend to market your novel, that is. The best time to realize this is just before you sit down with your manuscript for the final reading preparatory to declaring the thing completed.

Sit down to that final reading with a pen and paper beside you. As you finish reading each chapter, write down a one- or two-paragraph summary of what happened where, and to which character, in that chapter.

Notice any themes running through your chapters as you're reading? Symbolism you didn't realize you'd woven through the story while you were slogging away at the computer for all those months? (The subconscious mind is a wonderful thing.) Take note of themes, too. You may just discover your one-line story summary that agents and editors like so much, if you didn't know what it was before. Or even if you thought you knew what it was, before (surprise, says the Muse, you were wrong).

What you will have when you are done is a chapter-by-chapter novel outline, what I call my author's outline. This is pretty dry reading, and since chapter-by-chapter outlines seem to have fallen out of favor with editors and agents, this will likely remain one of your most valuable writing tools, and that's about it. Don't throw this away when you've done your synopsis, either. You may know the story intimately now, but you do forget details over time. You may decide to revise the novel in the future, and this outline will help you. I've used mine to make sure I'm not duplicating character names from one project to the next. (The subconscious mind can also booby-trap you.) Reading an outline is much easier than leafing through or rereading an entire novel.

Anyway. There is an immediate use for that outline. What you are doing, basically, is distilling the story down into smaller and more manageable packages, step by step. So, you pinpoint the most important plot points in that outline, and you put them into a synopsis.

Notice I said the most important points. We're talking about only those events and motivations that moved the story forward in a major way. We're talking about only the most important characters, the ones your reader will ultimately care about, not the bit players. Right now, we are striving for bare-bones.

"Yup," you say, "that's bare-bones, all right, and just as boring as ever."

Yes, it is. It's also probably still too long, but don't worry about that right now.

Let's See Some Enthusiasm!

Now I want you to envision one or two things while you rework that synopsis:

Imagine that you're writing a jacket blurb for the novel, one that will pique the casual browser's curiosity and make him or her want to buy the book to see what happens. Read a few jacket blurbs, to get a feel for how it's done.

You've just seen a terrific movie. You're describing it to your friend. You're not saying, "The good guy chased the bad guy and shot him and that was the end." That doesn't sound very enthusiastic, that sounds like your synopsis as it stands right now! No, you say things like, "The good guy is wounded, but he knows if he doesn't stop the evil Dr. Death, the whole world is in danger, so he staggers after Dr. Death, falls, somehow gets to his feet again, and at last zaps him with the Good Guy Death-ray to save the world."

That's how your synopsis is going to sound, when you're done: enthusiastic. Enticing. A description that makes the reader want to pick up the manuscript and find out how this happens!

How can you make your synopsis unique, exciting? Start with the main character and his or her crisis. Include snippets of dialogue or quote briefly from the novel itself. Don't neglect to reveal the character's emotions and motivations, those points that explain why a character does something, but keep it brief. If the setting is exotic, inject a taste of it into the synopsis with a brief paragraph. This includes any background information that is absolutely necessary for the reader to understand the story. Build excitement as you near the conclusion of the story summary by using shorter sentences and paragraphs. The synopsis is a sample of your writing; it is a taste of what reading the actual novel will be like, so give it your all.

Don't forget that one- or two-sentence story line, or the theme of the story that you discovered. It should go in your synopsis, or in your cover letter. Editors and agents like having this distillation; not only will it pique their interest, but it's something they can use when presenting the novel to the buying board. It's also something you can use, the next time someone politely asks you, "What's your novel about?"

"Wow," you say at last, "this is pretty good! It reads almost as good as the novel!"

Shalts and Shalt Nots

But wait, there's more. Now we get to the "thou shall and shalt nots."

First, acceptable length. One guideline is to allow one synopsis page for every twenty-five pages of manuscript, but even that could be longer than most editors and agents want to see. Most editors and agents, busy people that they are, prefer short synopses -- two to ten pages. The busier ones like five pages at most. I personally consider two pages ideal, and have distilled synopses down to a single tight page. If you've written a thoroughly intriguing synopsis, don't worry if it's ten or more pages long -- but it had better be gripping.

Edit, edit, edit, if you have to! Always keeping in mind that the synopsis must remain interesting and supply the necessary information. Yes, this is the hardest part. Don't know what to cut? Lose the adjectives and adverbs; keep the motivation and "flavor" of the story.

You have to tell the entire story in your synopsis. Don't send the first three chapters and then start the synopsis at chapter four. Don't leave out the ending, hoping to entice the editor or agent to request the full manuscript in order to find out what happens. What they will do is decide you're an amateur.

No matter what tense your novel was written in, the synopsis is always written in present tense (Jerry goes to the bullfight as opposed to Jerry went to the bullfight.)

Format: there seems to be disagreement as to whether you should single- or double-space your synopsis. To be on the safe side, double-space; it's easier to read. In terms of layout, format your synopsis much as you did your novel, or a short story.

The first time you use a character's name in the synopsis, type it in CAPITAL letters. Do this only the first time. Avoid confusion by referring to a character the same way throughout (not "Dr. Evans" the first time, "Jerry" the next, and "the doctor" another time). It's also advisable to identify which character(s) is the point of view character by typing "(POV)" after the first instance of the character's name.

Yes, writing a good synopsis is a lot of work, but think of it this way: not only are you creating a vital marketing tool, but you're honing your writing skills at the same time.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Found my muse for my new male character...

The hero in my new novel is an American Indian. Originally, I saw him with deep green eyes, though I keep finding myself picturing him with beautiful chocolate brown eyes. I decided to do a little research, and find myself an actor to portray him in my mind.

This is who I found....
I mean, seriously.

How can you not want to be in Eric Schweig's arms.

He just fits my ideal hero for this story. I don't want to give away too much, as I'm still working out the kinks in my head, but damn....

He's just begging to take care of somebody. You can't tell me you don't want to melt looking into those eyes. For those of you who recognize him but can't seem to place him, think The Last of the Mohicans. Yep, that's him.

So, enjoy. I'm done for the night. Back at the keyboard tomorrow...can't seem to stay away from this story for very long.

Good night, all.

What a beautiful sunrise....

It's bitterly cold outside, there's frost on everything, but what a sunrise. Everything was pink this morning, and I'm not even a fan of pink. It was absolutely amazing.

I'm exceptionally tired this morning, and originally planned on going back to bed after the kids got on the bus, but my brain is in overdrive. I can't wait to go spend more time with my newest line up of characters.

I love this part of the process. You know, when you don't want to walk away because you might miss something. I love when my fingers move at a feverish pace trying desperately to keep up with my brain...and if you knew how fast my brain moved, you'd be impressed at my typing ability.

I normally have dozens of ideas buzzing around my head at any given time, but this one storyline has been beating at the inside of my skull for the past couple of days. The scenes are just playing themselves out, the plots thickening. I've developed quite a crush on my hero, and my heroine is a sassy, stubborn, independent woman.

Picture a tall - and I mean six foot four tall - Choctaw American Indian, with long, black hair, and ocean blue eyes. Yep, now you can see why I have such a huge crush. He's strong, caring, compassionate, yet macho and masculine! Hell yeah, that's my kind of man!

Stay tuned for more. And if you like the first chapter of Repeated Life make sure to tell your friends to head over to my blog and take a gander. I'm hoping to have it published by next year. Cross your fingers.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A sample first chapter of Repeated Life by CL Parks

Chapter 1

"Juliana?" Ms. Sams’s voice coming from the opening of my cubicle startled me, breaking my concentration.

I turned in my chair to face her, "Yes, Ms. Sams."

She stood over me in her sailor-look-alike, red suit. Her clothes reeked of cigarette smoke and cheap perfume. She reminded me of a bad Linda Evans impersonation, completing the mockery with yellow, smoke stained teeth.

"Would you mind staying a little later tonight? Mr. Mason would like to speak with you after work," Her lips curled at the edges in her attempt of a friendly smile. It came across more as a grimace.

My mind whirled with the possible reasons my boss could possibly want to speak to me. Not just that, but he wanted me to stay after work for our little conversation.

Ms. Sams tapped her ugly, red-toed, velvet shoe impatiently waiting for my answer. Linda Evans called, she wants her shoes back, I thought to myself, fighting to stifle a giggle.

"Of course, Ms. Sams. I'd be happy to." Bitch.

She gave a weak, condescending smile as she turned on her heel and headed back down the cubicle.

“Good morning, Ms. Sams.” My co-worker Amelia called from the next desk as she passed by.

“Good morning, Amelia.” Ms. Sams squawked as she passed.

Amelia gave a her a sarcastic salute behind her back, then leaned over the partition separating our cubicles. “So you excited about tonight?”

“Shit. I totally forgot about that. I got roped into staying late again tonight. Mr. Mason wants to see me about something.” I rolled my eyes, trying to seem as blasé as possible, but my lips twitched at the corners.

“Uh huh. I saw that. You’re long time crush has asked you to stay after work, and now you’ll be fantasizing about him all day.” Amelia said, wiggling her eyebrows.

“I do not have a crush on him. Yeah, he’s hot, but there’s a lot of hot guys. Besides, someone like him wouldn’t be interested in someone like me.” I turned in my chair hoping to change subjects. It didn’t work.

“Someone like you? What’s that supposed to mean? Have you not noticed how men turn their heads when you walk past? You know, you turn down more dates than anyone I know.” Amelia’s brows were drawn down over her eyes, and she had her arms perched on top of the partition. She wasn’t going to let me off the hook, no matter how hard I tried to look uninterested.

“Whatever. I’m just not ready to date yet.” Anyone else would’ve taken the hint and left well enough alone. Unfortunately, Amelia had known me my whole life, and wasn’t anyone else.

“Damn, Ana, it’s been over two years now. Time to let it go. Not all men are pricks, you know.” She threw her hands in the air in exasperation.

“Oh, yeah, and you’re the expert on relationships.” I hissed as sarcastically as I possibly could. I wanted to make sure she realized how far she was pushing me.

“Hey, I get a relationship all the time. They’re just short term.” She said dismissively.

I couldn’t help myself, I laughed at her. “Slut.” I declared.

“Prude.” She returned before sitting back in her chair. “Just try to get out of lover boy’s office as fast as possible, and we’ll wait for you.” She called over the wall.

“Yeah, yeah,” I said more to myself than out loud.

I scooted my chair back into my desk, and tried to focus on the words on the screen of my computer, but my mind wouldn’t stop returning to thoughts of my boss. Though anyone rarely saw him out of his office, when he did come around, every female stopped to watch him move through. I had even seen a few women freshen their lipstick as he made his rounds near the cubicles. I don’t think he’d spoken more than two words to me since I started over a year before. Now he was requesting a meeting with me. A private meeting. After business hours. My stomach clenched, and butterflies tickled as I tried to
consider every possible reason he could want to see me. Was I getting fired, laid off, promoted? Of course, in all honesty, I did have a minor crush on him, but every woman in the office did. Maybe I’d get lucky and get to play out one of my long running fantasies of him seducing me and making love to me on top of his desk.
As the afternoon wore into evening, I was still unsuccessful concentrating on any real work. I answered a few phone calls, and read a few emails, but that’s about as far as I could go. The fear and anxiety of the upcoming meeting was niggling at my brain and burning my gut. What in the world could he possibly want to talk to me about?

Every account and transaction I had completed in the last year was stored in my computer, so I decided to go through each as thoroughly as time allowed. I couldn’t find any obvious mistakes in the few I was able to go over, but it could still be something I couldn’t locate. Damn, what if I did something to cost the company money? I’m definitely getting fired.

“Ana!” Amelia called out, snapping her fingers at me and dragging me out of my internal fight.

"What?” I said, dazed, looking up at her standing in my cubicle doorway.

“Did you hear anything I just said?” She said, leaning against the opening of my cubicle, her hair pulled back in a ponytail, her purse over one shoulder, and her coat hanging over one arm.

I could feel the heat rushing my cheeks, “No. I’m sorry, what’s up?”

“I said I’ll see you later.” She said through a knowing smile, shaking her head teasingly.

“Later? Oh shit. Is it time already?” The day had flown past without me noticing.

“Yeah, I’ll see you later.” I gave a half-hearted wave, but my mind was already reeling with the upcoming meeting.

I waited until the office was empty, pushed my chair from my desk with my hands against the edge, stood, ran my hands down my skirt, and slowly made my way to Mr. Mason’s office. I had procrastinated as long as inconspicuously possible.

As I shuffled along, I watched my feet move across the generic Berber carpet that covers every office floor, mentally counting the steps. The door was in front of me entirely too soon. I paused outside the door, wiping my suddenly clammy hands on my skirt, and rapped my knuckles on the wood twice.

“Come in, Ms. Benson,” Mr. Mason called through the closed door.

I took one more deep breath, releasing it slowly, and turned the knob. The door swung open with ease, and led into a large, but bland office. I’m not sure what I was expecting to see in his office, exactly.

It held a large mahogany desk, that faced the east window, a wall of shelves filled with books, and a few manila envelopes were scattered on his desk. That was it.

There were no plaques or awards, no degrees or certificates, and absolutely no personal pictures.

“Please, have a seat.” He said, waving his hand to the two chairs across from his desk.

Instead of sitting in his own chair, he propped his hip against the edge of the desk directly across from me. “Can I get you anything, Ana?”

“No, I’m fine, thank you.” My shoulders were beginning to ache. I hadn’t realized I’d bunched my back in anticipation. I relaxed as discreetly as possible, adjusting my sitting position to make it look more natural, and concentrated on slowing my accelerated heart rate.

“Very well. I suppose your wondering why I asked you to meet me after work.”

Well, duh, “Yes sir. I am.”

He pushed at the edge of the desk with his hands, and hopped up to sit completely on top of his desk. I found this odd for a boss, but being as I knew nothing about this man, I wasn’t about to judge what he did in his own office. It also made keeping eye contact difficult with his crotch so close to me, and him sitting on the very desk I had fantasized about for over a year.

“I’m in need of a personal assistant. Mine recently…became unavailable. I’ve gone over the employee records, and with your attendance, eye for detail, and work integrity, I felt you’d be the best candidate.”

I sat there staring at him, my mouth hanging open, like a moron. I closed my mouth to avoid looking feeble, shook my head to clear it, and swallowed hard. “I’m sorry, did you just ask me to be your personal assistant?”

I swear his eyes seemed to glimmer slightly, as an amused look crossed his face. "Yes, that is exactly what I asked you. Of course, the hours can be odd at times, but you’ll be paid three times what you’re making now. You’ll have use of the company vehicle, as well as my personal jet for business.”

I found myself blinking entirely too fast. The words company car and personal jet echoed in my ears. I opened my mouth to speak, but couldn’t find my voice. I cleared my throat and tried again.

“I don’t really have use for the company car, I have my own. As for the jet, well, let’s just say I’m not a fan of flying.” I admitted, though sheepishly.

Mr. Mason smiled, dropped his head, attempting to cover his amusement at my admission, then lifted his head, composed again. “Of course, you don’t have to use either, if you don’t find the need. But, they will be at your disposal should the situation arise.”

He was so damn calm about the situation, not to mention articulate. He talked about the car and jet as if he was offering the use of his gloves.

“Mr. Mason…”

He held up a hand, “Please, Michael.” He said, cutting me off, then waved the raised hand to encourage me to continue.

I did a quick double take, “Ok, Michael. This sounds great, but wouldn’t Ms. Sams or John be better suited for this sort of position?” I could feel the skin on my forehead crinkling with my raised eyebrows, but there was really no way to hide my surprise.

Michael grimaced when I mentioned Ms. Sams. So he had a hard time stomaching that smelly woman too? I grinned to myself.

“As I said, I’ve gone through the employee files, and you are the absolute best candidate. I need someone dedicated to their job, someone reliable. Your file says you’ve only missed one day in the last year. Is that correct?”

I chewed the inside of my cheek, trying to recall my absence. “Oh, yeah. My flight was late coming back from a business trip.”

“That’s exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve never even taken a sick day.” His voice raised slightly for emphasis.

“I don’t get sick. I’d rather save my personal days for something else.” What that something else was I wasn’t sure. Eventually, I hoped to take some sort of vacation. I craved a little excitement, like most women craved romance. Hell, I would’ve loved an exciting romance even more!

Michael leaned forward, holding his weight on his hands, and his grey eyes watched me through his thick black lashes.

I dropped my gaze, a little uncomfortable with the sudden scrutiny, and tried to think clearly. “What exactly would this job entail? Would I be picking up your dry cleaning, taking your kids to school, walking your dog? What?”

Michael chuckled softly, “No kids, no dog, and no you wouldn’t be picking up my dry cleaning. You would, however, run business related errands for me, maintain my work and personal schedule, things like that. I promise there are no sordid or nefarious details to this job.” His smile was absolutely intoxicating.

I felt like he was laughing at me, but in reality I was laughing at myself. Michael was gorgeous in a Greek god kind of way. His dark hair was combed into sexy waves, but not plastered down like most guys do. His grey eyes were the color of a storm cloud, his body chiseled from rock. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t just hire some beautiful, young secretary to do his biddings, but as long as he was paying me, I wasn’t about to argue.

He had no kids; did that mean he wasn’t married, or that he just hadn’t started a family yet? Only one way to find out.

“Would I be responsible for Mrs. Mason’s schedule, as well?” My stomach clenched waiting for the answer. Please say you’re not married. Please say you’re not married.

He shook his head, “No. No Mrs. Mason.” Yes!

Michael looked to be around thirty, but a lot of executives married late in life.

Besides, who was I to judge? I married early and look where it got me. Either way, he hadn’t mentioned a girlfriend, and he had just admitted he wasn’t married. Therefore, I wouldn’t feel guilty flirting during private hours.

I watched out the window for a series of heartbeats, pretending to be distracted by a pigeon resting on the window ledge, while trying to rectify the situation in my head.

Screw it, I thought to myself.

“I’ll do it. I mean, I’ll take the job.” I sounded a little more overzealous than I had intended, but he didn’t seem to notice.

He hopped gracefully from the desk, and extended his hand out to me. I stood, overly aware of how close he was, took his hand and shook it. His hand was warm, soft, yet calloused.

“Great. You’re first job is to report here tomorrow around ten in the morning.” He said with a sharp nod.

“Ten? I usually come in around seven thirty. Don’t you need me before then?”

“Nope. I won’t be in until later, so there’s no point in you being here, either. I’ll leave a list of instructions on your desk before I leave tonight.” He answered.

I studied his expression for a moment, but nodded my head and turned to leave. An itch began in the middle of my spine, more like a tingle. I turned to find Michael watching me, his eyes locked on mine. Ok, that was weird.

I made my way out of his office, pulling his door closed behind me. I stopped by my desk to gather my things, and plopped down in my desk chair heavily. The computer had been turned off over an hour ago, but I still found myself staring at the blank screen. The more I thought about the situation, the wider my smile grew. I was going to be Mr. Mason’s, excuse me, Michael’s personal assistant. I was going to be in charge of the boss’s personal affairs.

My chair squeaked underneath me as I did a little celebratory dance, stifling the squeal that was building in my throat. I’d just let that go in the car.

A low, throaty cough startled me. My face immediately flushed, burning my cheeks with humiliation. I turned slowly in my chair, dreading the look on my boss’s face.

“I’m sorry, one more thing. Would you mind meeting me at Starbuck’s before coming in? I’d like to introduce you to my partner, as you’ll be dealing with him a lot, as well.”

“Yes, of course.” I stammered. He had obviously witnessed my little show, but graciously, didn’t mention it. That didn’t, however, improve the heat in my face. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

I gathered my purse with as much dignity as I could muster, and quickly shuffled out of the cubicle. He moved, allowing me just enough room to pass, but I could still feel his heat against my bare arms. I couldn’t force myself to look at him as I passed, terrified he’d start laughing.

You are such a dork, I reprimanded myself as I headed to the elevator.

The parking garage was in the basement, so I had another six floors to replay the recent humiliation in my head. Just let it go and enjoy the new raise, I kept telling myself.

As the elevator door opened, I ambled into the garage, my heels echoing throughout the concrete enclosure. I’d forgotten to take my keys out, completely distracted by all the changes to my night. I rooted around, my head almost buried in my purse, and didn’t notice the soft footprints sounding close by.

My key had slid into the door lock easily, and I began to unlock the door, when a hand grabbed my shoulder from behind, forcing me against my car. The stranger’s body had me pinned, preventing me from turning.

“What do you want? I don’t have any money, but you can have my car.” My voice came out breathy, but I managed not to sound panicked.

“You know what I want. I’ve told you enough times, or are you really that stupid?!”

My ex-husband’s voice growled in my ear. The smell of alcohol wafted across my face as he spoke, and I turned my head away from the stench.

“John, you’re drunk. Just get off of me and leave. If you don’t I’m gonna call the police.” My heart was beginning to speed up, thundering against my rib cage.

“Really, you’re gonna call the cops, huh?” John snatched my bag off my shoulder, and threw it across the garage. “And how do you plan on doing that, you stupid bitch?”

The self-defense class I’d taken started ringing in my ears. Nose, eyes, knee, groin. Take out the weakest points.

I threw my head back as hard as I could, and felt the back of my skull make contact with something. The crunch of bone was proceeded by a painful howl. His grip loosened just enough for me to pull out of his grasp. The elevator was about twenty feet away, and I ran full force for the doors, my eyes sweeping from side to side, looking for help or a convenient weapon. I had mace in my purse, but it did me no good when I didn’t have a clue where the hell John had thrown the damn thing.

I had only six feet to go, but he caught me. He grabbed a full handful of hair, yanking my head back painfully. I couldn’t help the yelp that escaped my lips as several pops indicated a lot of hair had been ripped from their roots. My balance was thrown off momentarily, and by the time I regained my composure, a fist was planted against the side of my face. I didn’t see it coming, and had no time to block it.

My knees wobbled, then gave out. My pantyhose - and the skin beneath - ripped against the hard concrete. I opened my mouth, attempting to scream for help, when another blow caught me in the mouth. The sweet, coppery taste filled my mouth, but I didn’t feel any teeth give way. The blow had, however knocked me backwards, smacking my head against the parking lot.

The concrete floor was cold and hard. My back pressed hard against it, as John climbed on top of me and wrapped his hands around my throat.

“You gonna come home with me?” He said, spittle landing on my face. His breath was enough to make me gag, and between the spit, and cigarette and booze breath, I almost lost my cookies.

“Fuck you.” I managed through busted, swollen lips.

He tightened his grip, enough to make my spots appear before my eyes, and cutting of any more colorful words I may have thought of. “Wrong answer. I told you, if I can’t have you, no one can. Kind of a clichéd way to die, huh bitch?”

I stretched my hands up, my nails finding purchase on his face. I clawed at him, frantically, but he didn’t release his hold.

The spots before my eyes were being swallowed by grey. I was losing consciousness.

The face of the man who had terrorized me our entire marriage was quickly fading behind a black curtain. His face would be the last thing I saw before dying. Dear God, not yet.

A loud, bone rattling growl resounded through the garage. I saw John’s head whip up in fear, then the world went away, and I drifted into nothingness.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Very First (blogged) Movie Review

So, my darling husband rented The Expendables tonight, knowing how badly I wanted to see it. To me, that movie is the equivalent to giving a child the key to a candy store. I am an action and horror fanatic. There is no such thing as too much gore, too many explosions, or too many weapons. The more hand to hand combat the better. And somebody better off the bad guy in a violent and/or gory manner by the end of the movie.

Having said all that, I have to say...I feel let down. I'm extremely disappointed by this movie. The trailers teased some of my all time favorite action heroes including Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, and many more. If you're renting it to see any of the above you'll be very disappointed. Now, if you don't like spoilers, stop reading....NOW!

Bruce and Arnold are in one five minute scene for the whole movie. Mickey has a total of three scenes, albeit the best in the movie. You can't NOT love Mickey Rourke. Dolph has very few, though rather action packed scenes, and the list of disappointments goes on.

Remember how much I said I love explosions? I hated them in this movie. They reminded me of the bad technicolor bombs from the mid to late 80s. You know what I mean, then ones that look like somebody added the flames after the movie was shot, and only as an afterthought.

Now, on to the plot. Though I can easily watch an action movie with a weak plot, this one was not only weak, but overly predictable. It seemed every scene or major line was cliched, right down to the damsel in distress. Apparently, whoever came up with this movie didn't get the memo about the bad ass heroines now gracing the big screen. Hell, even books are chock full of women kicking ass left and right. I'm not on a sexist rant, trust me, but at least let the woman get a little revenge.

I did laugh at a few of the weak jokes, (Jet Li has some great conversations about why he deserves more money), and smiled at the creative gore in some scenes, but overall...very, very disappointed. If you're interested in seeing for yourself, make sure you go to Red Box or the Blockbuster equivalent so you only lose $1 (and approximately an hour and a half of your life). I would've been pissed had I spent $10 to see this at the theatre.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Be Thankful, Dammit!!

Over the last few weeks I've listened to so many complain about having nothing to be thankful for. Seriously? Oh, I have nothing to be thankful for, or with the country/economy the way it is there's nothing to be thankful for. Then, of course, there's the usual, do you know what this holiday really means?

Shut up! Quit your whining and look around you.

Sure, there's a lot to be concerned over, but are your kids healthy? Do you have a roof over your head? A job, even if it's minimum wage? Do you have food in your belly? Do you live in America, where you're free?

Personally, I have a long list of things I'm thankful kids are healthy and happy. They go to a great school where they're getting a free education. My husband and I are happily married, and we both have our health. We have a roof over our heads that doesn't leak. Our bellys are full every night before going to bed. I have awesome pets. I'm Christian and don't have to fear for my life when confessing my faith in Jesus Christ. My husband is gainfully employed, which allows me to focus on my lifelong dream of writing for a living. I have a large, loving family, no matter how dysfunctional at times. I have awesome, devoted friends..both in real life and my cyber friends.

I could seriously keep going for hours. Before sitting back and feeling sorry for yourself, take a look around. You don't even have to look at other countries. Take a look at your neighbors, other communities, other states. If you can read, have a meal everyday, have a job, and a roof over your head, you're more blessed than over 10% of this country. Hell, it may even be higher than that...I didn't exactly research my numbers before ranting and raving today.

Look around you, and smile. You're very blessed, therefore, you have much to be thankful for. May God bless you and yours on this holiday, and all the days of your life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Could be one of the worst years ever....

Yeah, that sounds like a pity party, but it's my party and I'll cry if I want to. Thing is, I only lost one friend to death, and no close members...though I'm came close twice to losing an immediate family member. But all the incidents, both small and large, have put so much stress on me I feel both physically and mentally tired all the time, every day. It takes a toll on an overly energetic person like myself.

Now, I've always said, if you don't like something about your life you should change it. How do you change things that have nothing to do with yourself. I have an issue of being an overly compassionate person. I mean like compassionate to a fault. I will see a fender bender, pass it, not go back, then obsess for weeks over whether they had gotten hurt and how I should've gone back to check on them. Sounds strange, doesn't it.

To top that off, when someone around me - or even on television - is hurting emotionally or physically, I feel physical pain. My chest gets heavy, and my stomach burns and aches. This is called Heartbreak Syndrome (yes, it's real. Look it up if you don't believe me). I've always wished I could be one of those people that hear bad news, and while I still felt "bad" for them, I didn't obsess over trying to make things better for them.

Some of you are sitting there with your mouths agape, amazed that something as hard as myself can be so soft inside. What can I say? I'm a great actress. Hell, I should probably get an Academy Award for how tough I pretend to be. Don't get me confused with being a push over...I'll jack someone up if they mess with my friends or family. But, at the same time, I'll feel very guilty for causing you any distress...maybe.

I've always wondered if there was a way to break this cycle. I would love to just feel my own pains and not everyone around me. I would love to stress out only over my own life, not everyone I know. I love to say "no" just once a day. You'd think saying those two simple letters would be easy, but not for people like myself. I'm always scared if I say no, something bad will happen. Is that a form of OCD? I should ask a shrink sometime.

So, to sum up this blog, I'm hoping and praying next year will bring way less stress. I really don't think I can take another year like this one. No, I won't bore you with specifics, but those of you reading this who are part of my everyday life are nodding in agreement. This year sucked...but my family is healthy, my kids are loved, and I have the greatest husband in the world!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Just A Matter Of Time....

Now, I've never been a Doomsday person, or someone to jump on the fear wagon. In fact, I didn't do ANYTHING to prepare for the dreaded Y2K (thank God), but something's coming. No, I'm not saying it's the Apocalypse, or the end of the world, or even the Zombie Apocalypse. But civil unrest is just stirring below the surface.

Everyday, hardworking Americans are tired. Not just physically, either. We're tired of government trying to run our lives, and take away our liberties because they feel it's what's best for us. They don't know what's best for me. And they definitely don't know what's best for my family. An article was released in one of the political online mags today describing how George Soros is counseling President Obama to take force against Americans, and to lay down executive law.

This is one of the steps which will aid in a Civil War. But this time it won't be North versus South. It'll be us against them, citizens against government. The government has talked about instilling large scale inflation to boost the economy...where does that leave those of us who can barely afford the bills we have?

Now here's the spooky question....could you survive without grocery stores? Is your family prepared if the government tries to muscle you out of your home? Could you survive without power, heat, A/C?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What a Beautiful Morning....

I'm trying to get myself motivated to get up and go to the gym. It's not that I don't want to go, I enjoy the gym. It's that my body wants to go back to bed. I keep looking out the window at the sun shining on the beautiful Autumn leaves hoping it'll get me off this chair, but so far it's just hypnotized me into staring out the window longer.

Yesterday, I practiced throwing knives after my gym workout. My right arm and shoulder are so sore. It's mainly my bicep and forearm, but you get the point. I was hoping to work on my arms today, but I guess I'll focus on my legs or back instead. What's with all the exercise talk you ask? If you've been following my blogs you'll see a pattern. It's a mixture of training for research while trying to reverse the curse of the writer.

Laurell K Hamilton, one of my favorite local authors, writes about going from a size 14 to a size 8, and I believe she's even smaller now. A majority of authors become overweight or out of shape. Why, you ask? Seriously, you need to ask that? Look at what we do all day...we sit and write for hours at a time. Then, we sit and read or research...or both. So, as you can see, we get very out of shape. Luckily for me, I had blood work done at the doctor and was given an early wake up call.

Now, on to the blood tests. I'm currently watching what I eat, making sure to eat chicken, fish, and a crap load of vegetables, all while taking my meds. I'm also working out at the gym 5-6 days a week, and attempting to reduce my stress level (yeah, right). I go back in a few weeks to have my follow up testing done, so we'll find out then if I'll be having a heart attack anytime in the near future.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Would Your Sanity Survive?

The country's finances crash, there is no money to give out, no jobs left. Chaos erupts, technology crashes, humanity falls apart. Would you survive?

If our country, or better yet, our world were to ever face the catastrophes we see in movies, the bad guys would take over. They terrorize the "weak", they would rob, kill, rape. Would you survive?

Our communities, and more specifically, our little suburbs would no longer be safe. We would be forced to rely on our neighbors, the same people we say no more than three words a year to, to watch our backs, to take turns at nighttime surveillance. Would you survive?

Or would you be safer taking off for the woods? Perhaps you'd feel safer surrounded by wilderness, or living in a cave. Would you build a cabin? Or just sleep in a makeshift shelter?

What about food? If the economy, and civilization as we know it crashes, we'll be on our on when it comes to food. Would you grow your own, raise cattle and chickens? Or would you hunt deer, turkey, and rabbits? Could you gut and skin these animals? Could you destroy your pretty little manicure with blood and entrails?

Would you survive? Could you put everything you've ever learned on the back burner and depend on nothing more than survival instincts? More importantly, would your sanity survive?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Would You Survive?

If the world as you know it ended today, would you survive? I'm not talking about the Apocalypse, I'm talking about no more technology. No more Internet, no more electricity, no more heat or air conditioning. You'd have to read to entertain yourself instead of watching television, or listening to the radio. If you wanted to hear music, you'd have to make it yourself or find a musician.

How about food? Would you be able to cut off the head of a chicken in order to have the meat? Could you kill a cow for the beef? Or how about it's hide? Could you wear a dead animal's skin in order to stay warm?

The big question is, could you kill to protect your own family, or your life? What about stealing from someone else to make sure there's food in your baby's belly? Could you do it? Could you survive if the world as we know it were to cease?

Do you have it in you to live like our ancestors, depending on yourself, your crops and your community?

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Muse Has Reappeared!

I spent quite a few hours writing yesterday, and loved every second of it. Has anyone else noticed when you take a break from the stories, how much you realize you missed your characters?

Of course, now I have about ten new story ideas floating around in my head. Creativity and a strong, active imagination is both a blessing and a curse. I'd love to watch TV or a movie without rewriting the damn thing in my head!

On to the next random thought - the kids are home from school today, and in the few short minutes since I started writing this, I've heard "Hey, mom," six times. Yep...six. I love my kids, I love when they're home, but damn it's hard to write when they're here. The cool part, though, is they love to get me cups of coffee, and know how I like it. It's great to have older kids, sometimes!

I got to sleep in today! Woohoo! Except the ring I have programmed for my mom is dogs barking. I woke up yelling at the dogs to shut up before I realized my phone was ringing. Maybe it's time to change that ringer.

Whew, I'm full of random thoughts today! Don't worry, I'll have a real topic next time...just imagine what it's like inside my head!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Picking the Actors to Star in the Making of My Novels!

So, I was thinking while I was cleaning, and I think I've finally figured out who Michael in my novel Repeated Life resembles in my head. If Repeated Life were a movie, Michael would be played by Kevin Durand. He's 6'6" of hunking man! He's got the right masculinity mixed with boyish charm.

I know I'm not the only one who fantasizes about who would play their characters in movies. Whether my books ever become movies or not, it's nice to have a mental picture of my imaginary friends.

Day Two of Lifestyle Change...and No Writing

I don't know which I miss more...the soda and doughnuts, or my characters. I'm also in the midst of the seasonal clothes switchover, while cleaning and doing normal day to day housework. I'd much rather sit at my computer and disappear into my worlds I built. Everything is clean and in place there.

As I'm typing, all three of my kids are behind me, refolding their clothes I handed them folded, while talking all at once. You try to stay focused with that going on. I usually only write while they're at school, but lately, I'm taking what little time I can to get anything done.

Just like many of you, I have many interruptions throughout the day. I had all three kids this morning, plus my oldest brother was here until after nine. I left him while I went to the gym. Then, my youngest sister stopped by after school, like she does every Tuesday and Thursday. My older brother borrowed my car, then returned with my younger brother. And you all wonder why I like my cigarettes and junk food.

I'm hoping to set boundaries and stick to them, keeping everyone from my house and refraining from calling me while I'm working. Whether or not they'll follow my new rules is yet to be seen!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Curse of the Writer...

As all my writer friends know, a writer's life is very sedentary. We sit at our computers for hours at a time, then the rest of the time is spent reading our genre, researching for our stories, or reading writing techniques. As a consequence, our health tends to go downhill.

Well, it's happened. I received my lab work from my last physical, and not only have I gained weight since I got married two and a half years ago, but my cholesterol is high. The fact that heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks run in my family, I now have to worry about that as well.

So, here's the moral of the story. I have to get back in shape. I've signed up for the gym, which I'll be heading to after my last kid gets on the bus, then heading to the grocery store for healthy food! My writing will have to be put on hold for a couple of days while I get my house in order, both literally and figuratively.

Don't worry, I'll still stop in and keep you guys updated on that's happening.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

When I Become a Rich and Famous Author....

The first thing I'm going to do is buy my mom a new red, Ford Edge. Four door, power steering, power breaks, CD player...all the bells and whistles.

Next stop is to the bank, where I withdraw a couple thousand dollars in cash, head on over to Plaza Frontenac dressed in my usual jeans and t-shirt with my hair in its customary ponytail, where of course I won't buy a single thing! Why the hell would I want to spend my hard earned money on over priced designer duds, sold by snooty bitches who probably had their finger on the security button the second I walked through the door.

From there, I'll take my little ass over to good old Kohl's, then Chesterfield Mall and buy something I like, not because of the tags, or price. Just because I liked them!

I'll buy my family a large home on some sprawling ranch, a few ATVs for myself and the kids, a couple of horses, and of course put money aside for my kids education.

Doesn't that all sound wonderful? If this is your goal for becoming a writer, well, turn your laptop into a ain't gonna happen.

Those of us who devote hours a day, or sometimes only a week, do it because we love it. We write because it's who we are, and because we really have no choice. I've constantly got stories and characters running through my mind, and if I didn't put them on paper (or screen), I may very well go stark raving mad! I've made many friends in the cyber world, some who have been published, some who are working at it, then there are others who only do it to keep the characters quiet in their heads. Sounds a little crazy I'm sure, but the writers are all sitting there nodding in understanding.

Someone once said they wanted to be a writer because it seems like such a glamorous life. For those of you who believe that, feel free to stop by my house any day of the week. You'll find me still in my pajamas around noon, drinking my, oh I don't know, tenth cup of coffee, sucking on a cancer stick and screaming at the laptop to tell me what it wants. Very glamorous I know. Hey, at least my teeth are brushed upon rising!

And by the way, I really will buy my mom that car with my first large advance. It may not be for a couple of years, but that doesn't mean I'll ever give up!

Am I good enough?

Oh, but where to start?

It's Thursday, which is one day closer to Friday, but unlike everyone else, I prefer the weekdays! Of course, I get to sleep in on the weekends, but I get time to write during the week. I like the quiet of the day.

Problem is, I haven't written hardly anything this week. I've been reading two fantastic authors of my genre, and now I feel inadequate as a writer. Now, I'm sure everyone goes through this at times, so I'm just gonna ride it out and wait until my wonderful muse decides she's done punishing me.

So, here goes the question of the you often doubt your abilities? Do you push away the laptop, notebook, keyboard and think "Why am I trying? I suck!"?

Sound off, y'all! Let me hear that I'm not going completely insane!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yep, It's Wednesday...Happy Hump Day

Wednesday morning, and two of my monkeys have doctor appointments this morning. Why the frown, you ask? Because they've been fighting since six am. Every morning, the same thing, kids screaming at each other, me threatening to ground them until their forties, then finally....the bus comes. Nope, not today.

While I'll still be dropping them off after the doc appointment, I still get to deal with my mentally challenged daughter doing everything in her power to piss of her brother, and my thirteen year old...well, behaving like a typical thirteen year old boy.

Is there a secret remote control to fast forward through the teen years? I'm ready for grandkids. That way, I can send them home at the end of the day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back to the Grind

Well, it's Sunday night, and the weekend is almost over. Finished a great book by Jeaniene Frost from her Night Huntress series, and loved it. I love reading awesome gives me something to strive toward. I'd love to write as well as Rachel Vincent (who made me cry...I don't cry), Jeaniene Frost (who's romances are more my taste), and Rob Thurman (who's imagination is unbelievable broad). Therefore, I read as many of their books as possible, perhaps to soak up their talent through osmosis.

So, I began to wonder...what do others read? And why? Is is because it was suggested to you? Do you take inspiration from their style? Is it a release, or escape?

Of course, you can answer all of the above as I do for these questions. I was an avid reader long before I decided to try for publication. I've been reading since before kindergarten, and will even read a cereal box if it's the only thing in front of me in the morning. If you saw my book shelves, you'd wonder how I have any time to do anything else. Lucky for me, I've always been a fast reader.

So, let me hear from y'all. Who's your favorite authors, what's their genre, and if you have a specific reason...why do you like them?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Founding Member of Adverbs Addicts Annonymous

Hello. My name is CL (or Christy to some of you), and I'm and adverbaholic. There, I feel so much better admitting it.

Sounds funny, but it's true. I have quite an affection, or would that be affliction, with adverbs. Stephen King, as well as countless others, refer to them as lazy. And they're right. While I love to lean on my adverbs, for fear of over describing a scene, or action, it allows my readers to become disconnected to my characters. I want them to love Reece, Marley, and Charlotte, or even Michael, Julianna, and Jeffrey as much as I do. These characters have become part of my life, and I've put my blood, sweat and tears into them.

(Ok, maybe I didn't bleed for them, but Lord knows, after I broke the flash drive there was plenty of tears.)

Now that I've admitted I have a problem, the next step is trying to fix it. Of course, I won't stop writing to go back through the entire story right now. I'll start right where I am, then fix it during the editing process. That's what's for after all, to edit out all the garbage, redundancy, and crappy writing.

For those of you who wish to join me in a meeting, feel free to stop by anytime. We lunatics don't hold banker's hours.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's day closer!

Why is it when you sit around all day, the first thing on your mind around lunchtime is a nap? Granted, I'm usually not just sitting around...I'm usually cleaning, writing, running errands, etc. Either way, come around 1pm I just want to snuggle under the blankets and sleep for at least an hour.

Lately, I've been laying down until the kids come home, then writing until the hubby comes home. Then it's dinner, family time, and what ever book I'm reading at the time.

Oh well, guess it helps my creativity because as soon as I wake up the first thing on my mind is the next part of the new book!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Doing research on Native American Traditions has my head spinning!

Yuh Tsalagi. I am Cherokee. Perhaps not full blooded, as I've found Choctaw and Chickasee, as well. But I'm interested in learning more. My new book includes some embellished Native American traditions, and some Indian words. Unfortunately, Cherokee language is way more complex than I had originally thought. For the English word 'love' there are about six Cherokee words. The way to speak correctly is by gesturing with your hands. Not so easy when you're writing a book.

Today, I'm heading to a store in Maplewood called Mystic Valley on a hunt for more Native American goodies. It's a lot harder to find authentic material than I thought. Hell, the "authentic" ones on the Internet are hundreds of dollars, and that's just for little things like jewelry, throws, or mugs.

Now, I've heard some bad things about the employees at this store, so I'm dying to find out if they'll suffer my wrath like so many before them. Nothing worse than a hippie with an attitude! Peace and love, sister, peace and love!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Where did all my cool dreams go?

I've always been one to have vivid dreams, and be able to recall them with clarity. Everyone single detailed could be called upon in my waking hours. Not anymore. Now, if I dream something that seems remotely interesting, I have to roll over in the middle of the night and write it out on a notebook perched on my nightstand.
Someone told me once that I needed to remove all electronics from beside my bed, so I did. The only thing left on my nightstand is my alarm change.
I've tried reading, or not reading before bed. Writing and not writing, watching television, and...well, you get the point. Obviously, not every dream is worth remembering, but some of my best plots and story lines have come from a dream at some point in time or another.
Don't know where I'm going with this other than venting a little frustration. I still get ideas flooding my consciousness at neck breaking speed, but it was so fun when a whole book would play itself out in my sleep. I miss my wonderful, wacky, sometimes erotic dreams!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I've had better days!

The proverbial bull in the China store...that's me! Today, being the good wife that I am, I brought my laptop downstairs so my husband could sleep in on his vacation. I set the laptop on the couch, got up to get more coffee. On my approach to the couch, I tapped my long, monkey like toes against the laptop, or so I thought it was my laptop. Wrong, it was my flash drive.

Long story short, my flash drive is broken. Did I mention that all of my work is on that thing? I was able to recover my current work in progress from the laptop, and my nonfiction proposal and the revised The Reluctant King Reece from the sent box in my email. But all of my other work is now gone forever. I could spend hundreds of dollars to pay someone to save it all, but I have yet to win the lottery.

Can someone pass a tissue? And a beer?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dear God, thank you for inventing Fridays!

Stephen King describes his muse in his book On Writing as a gruff man with a cigar hanging from his lips. He says his muse only comes after he's sat working for a bit. I tried my hardest to picture my muse in his way, but alas, the female and male brains really are completely different.
My muse, in my head anyway, looks a little like Amy Lee from Evanescence with blag wings. In my head she's beautiful but as an aloof as a cat, only popping in when she feels I'm worthy of her presence. Though she may not appear everyday, I'm convinced she's at least sending a friend, or fellow muse to watch over me, because though my current story may not flow as easily, something always seems to find itself screaming to put down on paper, or screen if you will.

Even as I sit here, at 7:03am, and before I've had so much as a sip of coffee, my brain is reeling with elements of both my current work in progress and possible future ones. I had started the sequel to The Reluctant King Reece months ago, but the more I think about it, the less I like the momentum of the story, therefore the rewrite is beating against the inside of my skull.

First things first, though. I'm determined to complete Repeated Life within the next few weeks, so if you call or email and I don't get back to immediately, you would be correct to assume I've got the laptop propped on my knees, my eyes glued to the screen, and my fingers are working feverishly on getting out as much as possible.

Until next time, have a great Friday. It's supposed to be a beautiful day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ugh, the sun isn't even up yet!

I've never been a morning person. Anyone who knows me will say that's an understatement, but honestly, it's the best I can do this morning. I didn't get to sleep until late, and as usual couldn't stay asleep. Then, my damn alarm started buzzing in my ears to drag me from a rather interesting dream...though I can't remember what the hell it was about.

This time of year has always saddened me. We have to get out of bed and get active before the sun is up, and frankly, I think it's for the birds. There should be a law against having to get up anytime before 8am.

So, here I sit, at 6:50am, on Thursday morning, trying to focus on the computer screen with sleep, itchy, swollen eyes, and at the same time I have to make sure the kids are dressed properly and ready for school, all while appearing cheerful and loving. Bah Humbug! I want to go back to bed.

On another note, I've sent the revised edition of The Reluctant King Reece and was asked for the exclusive first read. That's good, right? In the meantime, I'm hard at work on a complete rewrite of Repeated Life, which I'm contemplating renaming, though I haven't made up my mind yet.

Wish me luck, y'all. It's gonna be a long day. I will take a nap today, whether my family and friends like it or not!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Teeth Chattering Tuesday

I officially turned my heater on yesterday morning. This morning isn't a whole lot better. But, alas, the weatherman says not to be dismayed, as the warmer temps are returning this week. Either way, it's damn cold out right now.

So, I'm a little confused. If we're supposed to be afraid of global warming, where the hell is this unseasonably cold weather coming from? And according to the movie, The Day After Tomorrow, we're looking at another Ice Age. Whatever. I say live your life to the best of your ability, everything in moderation, and don't worry about may never come!

On to a more cheerful topic...the agent whom I've been speaking to for the last few months has requested an exclusive read of the revised version of The Reluctant King Reece. Of course I'm going to oblige. I like her, not just her talents, but her extremely likable personality! Everyone knows how hard it can be coming across a complete stranger with whom you can totally mesh. Yeah, I know I'm rambling...It's seven in the morning, and I'm wrapped up in a robe. I don't think well in the morning, so deal with it!

Have a great day, y'all, and don't forget to head over to and take a peak at the first chapter of The Reluctant King Reece.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My first published short story!

Here it first short story. I have nothing to do with the print format. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to go and leave a comment!

Raise your hand if you missed me!

Ok, do you really think I can see your hand?

It's officially October, well, it has been for a few days, and the weather is absolutely amazing. A little cold last night, but all the better to snuggle with the hubby! Almost finished with revisions of The Reluctant King Reece, then on to the dreaded edits! Why is it all the best ideas flow when you should be focusing on an old story? I have a thousand stories floating through my head, and all I can do is jot them down on a notebook. I've been contemplating a writing program, but I'm still researching the ins and outs, pros and cons. Any suggestions would be great!

I've reserved my copy of Stephen King's On Writing today, and after I drag my tired butt upstairs to get cleaned up, I'll be heading to Borders to pick it up. I'll also be picking up my autographed copy of Legal Guardian by Beau Woodall. I was just informed it's sold out at my local Borders, but they're ordering more copies. It's also available on, so make sure to order your copy today!

Now, back to the juicy stuff...I'm completely rewriting Repeated Life, so those of you who've had the opportunity to read it are in for a surprise! I've added a lot more paranormal/fantasy element to it, so it's more my style than before. Don't worry, it's still heavy on the romance, just a lot more exciting, and faster paced.

Stay tuned for a sample chapter of Repeated Life!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Ole Monday Morning....

After a fantastic weekend spent with family, and celebrating my sweet nephew's first birthday, it's now back to the grind. Instead of sitting at my laptop, or even walking around the neighborhood, I find myself at the computer, playing on the internet.
It's not that I don't want to write, really it isn't, I'm just tired of the same thing, in the same location, every single day. Laundry is backed up, dust is beginning to party on shelves, and my bed needs to be made....don't feel like doing any of it.
As writers, we tend to spend so much time alone, yet it's the life we signed up for. I've heard many say they go to the park, or Starbuck's to write, but I feel guilty even thinking about it. Being that I stay home all day, not having an outside job, I feel obligated to stay here and make sure the house is in some semblance of controlled chaos. I long for the day when I can actually hire a housekeeper to handle the tedious, day to day things, so I can just focus on the characters begging to get out of my head!
On a good note, my short story titled The Headline will be published in next month's issue of the e-zine The Momo Reader. Keep your eyes open, and I'll be sure to post the link when it's out.
Enjoy the beautiful weather, ya'll, and don't forget to check out the revised first chapter of The Reluctant King Reece over at

Friday, September 10, 2010

Almost done....

I'm nearly done with revising and editing The Reluctant King Reece. It has grown from the original 62,000 words to 72,000, and I still have about 10 chapters to go. I will post the revised first chapter on my website soon.
After working for hours yesterday, someone asked how I could be tired from typing all day. Tell me, have you ever sat and read a book, word for word, and revised it? It's a tedious, mind blowing, labor of love. I've never been one able to sit around for more than a few minutes at a time, so for me to sit for hours, staring at a computer screen is absolutely exhausting.
Though it wears me out, I can't imagine doing anything else all day long. I truly love creating my characters and their world, but I must say, I love writing the sex scenes even more!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sorry for the Absence...

After a great weekend spent with out of town family, I'm back to the grind. I'm hoping to finish with the initial revisions and rewrites on both The Reluctant King Reece and Repeated Life by the end of this week. The editing after that should only take a week or so....I hope. As long as I don't get distracted, I should be able to get a lot written this week. Anyone want to volunteer to stand behind me and poke me with a stick?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Clock is Ticking...

No, not the biological clock. I didn't write a single word on any of my books yesterday, and haven't updated my blog in a few days, therefore, today will be nothing but writing. Ok, well, maybe I'll take a break to eat, but that's it.

Yesterday, I spent the entire morning and afternoon playing with guns. Don't worry, it was for research. Marley and Reece love their guns, so I had to make sure they were using the correct ones. Unfortunately, my right shoulder is VERY sore from the shotgun. I do believe Marley will be using one very soon.

Stay tuned for the latest on Marley and Reece......

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Heading to the juvenile correctional facility today

Today, I will fill out my paperwork to become a volunteer at the St. Louis Juvenile Detention Center. I've received permission to institute a journaling/writing group for the kids detained there. Maybe it's one of those moments of hoped for change, but I'm hoping to teach these kids to channel their rage and put it on paper, in hopes of later avoiding yet more crimes and jail time. If everyone would take the time to help just one underpriveleged child our correctional facilities may not be so crowded.
During research, I discovered that a majority of children doing time in prison came from drug addicted, abusive, neglectful homes. These boys and girls would then go looking for a family and acceptance, usually finding it within a gang. What if they had another option? What if just one adult in their life extended their hand and told them, "I'm here for you."? Would it make a difference?

Feel free to sound off!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Did you miss me?

So I've been gone for a while, my apologies. Between preparing for the first day of school, volunteer work, child care, house work, and my own novels, I have been remiss on keeping up to date with my blog. Have no fear, I'm back!
Today is Monday. When I worked out of the home, this was my most hated of days. Now, it is the beginning of being able to write, uninterrupted, for hours. Though today, I only wrote for approximately two hours. My house was literally begging to be cleaned! Yes, literally begging! I'm sure the neighbors could even hear it!

I have been working on an old manuscript for days, tightening the plot and building the characters. This is due to advice from a very respected agent, whom I hope to work with in the future! Now back to the grind. I'll be back to post as soon as possible!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ahhh, The First Day of School

Well, my kiddos have officially started their school year. I'm a little sad, as I'm gonna get a little lonely, but overall, I'm ecstatic. I haven't been alone in over six months, and need some quiet time to finish the sequel to The Reluctant King Reece. Marley's bound and determined to make her debut as a hard ass female, and she keeps beating against the inside of my skull to finish her story.

The house is quiet, I've got my coffee, now all that's left is to sit down with the laptop and strum away on the keyboard....nah, I think I'll read in peace first, maybe watch the news instead of cartoons, and THEN I'll write a little bit.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reece Has Laid Down the Law

Due to the recent shopping fiasco, Reece has ended my little shopping trips. He said the only way he'll "permit" it is if I take one of the elders with me. Yeah, that's what I want, some stuffy, old codger with antiquated ideas following me around the mall. You know, I'm just as deadly as Charlotte with a knife, and nearly as competent as Reece with a gun, yet no one seems to think I can take care of myself.
So, what were all those years of training for? Just to look good holding a gun, or what? I wonder what it'll take for either of them to have faith in my ability to look after myself.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another Attempt on My Life...

Well, Damian's thugs are at it again. Charlotte and I had just finished shopping, and were headed to our car, when two jack asses popped up from behind the SUV. Unfortunately for them, they weren't warned about us. Poor guys came unarmed, thinking they were attacking two helpless females. Needless to say, we're fine, and they, well, they'll live. My fist is a little sore, though. Maybe I should've concentrated more in kicking them in the face, rather than punching them. At least my manicure held up. Oh, and Charlotte's fine, too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reece's blog

I figured if Marley's gonna post a blog, than I might as well. She acts like I had a choice in this matter. I was just as blindsided as she was. Hell, I didn't even want to be an immortal, but seeing as I was born that way, I didn't have a choice. As far as being king, well, I have no intention of stepping up anytime soon. Seely can rule to his heart's content as far as I'm concerned.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Marley. I love her with all my heart, but I would rather not have to put her life in danger with every turn. She says she'd rather live this life with me, or none at all, and I believe her. It's just, I don't think she really understands how very dangerous Damian and his thugs can be.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Blog from Marley Rose

So, I've been raised and taught to believe I am the next queen of the Simonites. Did no one think this may interfere with my own plans? I mean, come on! I'm barely twenty one, I just want to hit some clubs, go shopping, and fall in love like any other normal girl. Well, ok, so I've already fallen in love with Reece. And, yeah, he gives me pretty much anything I ask for, but isn't there supposed to more? Would trading all mortal desires be worth spending the rest of eternity with my greatest love? Or, I guess that would be my only love.
Seely tells me this was all destined, planned before my conception. Sounds a little Jesus of Nazareth to me. Trust me, I'm no saint, nor deity. I'm just a normal young woman. Normal may be a bit of a stretch, but it's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Lazy Sundays

While I should've been in church this morning, I found myself crawling out of bed around 11am. My wonderful husband got up with the kids, leaving me to sleep in. No, I'm not lazy, but I've been sick, and as everyone knows, it's nearly impossible to get a good night's sleep when you're ill. Though this is the first thing I've written today, be rest assured, it will most certainly NOT be the last of the day. I've never been able to go an entire day without writing something, anything. It's not only a passion, but who I am. I'm unable to see a simple situation without completely describing it in my head, then embellishing the scene with fictional characters and plots.
Today, I think I'll give Marley and Reece a break from their usual training, fighting, and love making, and perhaps, move on to some new characters. Let's just hope it doesn't bite me in the ass later.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Real Housewives? Really?

     While watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey, I learned something about myself…I’m doing it all wrong. As a ‘real housewife of St. Louis’ I clean, cook, do laundry, and run errands, on top of caring for my children, husband, and family pets. I missed the memo about concentrating on my appearance, parties, and shopping.

     So, does this make me an un-real housewife? Perhaps, after studying more episodes of this popular show, I’ll learn how to secure appointments for facials, pedicures, and massages. I will learn how to spoil my children until they become disrespectful, lazy teenagers. The belief that we are to raise our children to become hardworking, independent adults has been wrong all along.
     If only our parents had such an informative shows such as the Real Housewives of New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, and the new Washington DC. Then, maybe, just maybe, we would have been raised to hold material possessions, and artificial relationships with utmost reverence. We could have learned that the way to interact and debate with those we don’t agree with is by throwing tables, writing scathing tell-all books, and slandering them on reunion shows and in the press.

Children and Prison

Anyone who knows me, knows how passionately I feel about kids. I'm not just talking about babies, I'm talking about ALL kids. Over the past few years, I've watched several television programs, and researched endlessly about children in prison. A child being locked up in a juvenile correctional facility is one thing, but how many are aware of the thousands of kids incarcerated for life in prison without the possiblity of parole.

This trend of trying children as adults is quite the controversial topic, as I've had quite a few arguments with people of all walks of life. Though most feel similar to me, there are still some that say "lock them up and throw away the key". If you're one of those people think about costs a minimum of $40,000 for one bed a year in prison. If a child lives for 55 years, that's a grand total of $2,200,000! Now, wouldn't that money be better spent providing counseling, education, and skill training for our younger generations?

If this money would be better spent rehabilitating the juveniles, where do we draw the line? Would Lee Boyd Malvo have been a good candidate for rehabilitation, or should there be specific mental and emotional evaluations to determine the capacity for rehabilitation?

If you're following my blogs faithfully, you're going to see a trend of posts similar to this one. Feel free to comment at any point.

How is that possible?

It's official, most people are unaware of just how many juveniles are incarcerated for life in prison without parole. Even more are unaware how many are in their own state. In my home state of Missouri, there's currently over 100 juveniles sentenced to LWOP. Though I'm not completely surprised at the lack of knowledge, I am, however, appalled at how many people are completely apathetic about the entire situation. The only way to bring it home to some people is to use their own children as examples. "That would never happen to my child, I would make sure they got the proper counseling beforehand."

Great! What about the kids whose parents are too busy smoking crack, working the streets, or gangbanging themselves to care what the hell their child is doing? Whose responsiblity is it then to help shape and mold these impressionable little people?