Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Blogging today

over at The Wet Noodle Posse

I love that name!

Topic is stress and writing, and tips for reducing stress.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In celebration of the torso

My friend Pamela Clare sent me this. She has an historical, Untamed, out in November, same month as my werewolf Nocturne, Enemy Lover, is out. Untamed's cover has a very nice torso on it.

They look so innocent when they're sleeping, don't they? :-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dancing with the Stars

It's official, my 91-year-old father-in-law said, "Did you know there's a great new show on? It's called Dancing with the Stars."

He's hooked.

Just hope MTV's Parental Control or NEXT isn't next.

Or the new Paris Hilton show on My BFF where she holds a contest to select a new frenemy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Reality bites

Last week I was in Tenn., alone in a cabin and finishing my book about a werewolf confronted with the duty to execute his destined mate.

today was my first day back at work.

I had to look at photos of dead children who drowned in Haiti during the floods.

Reality sux


Friday, September 19, 2008

Cades cove

So glad I made this trip today before arriving at my current hotel. Flying home tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Inn on hill

This is the inn from the walking path on the property.


This is Laurel Falls, the waterfall hiking path where I saw the three bears yesterday.

Bare? No, BEAR

Today was my day "off" since I finished the book. I drove toward Knoxville to meet my brother, whom I hadn't seen in years. Work, and other obligations, living in different states, it's tough getting together. It was great seeing him. We sat and talked and talked. Then he had to leave to drive up north to work.

Got back to the cabin, then decided to drive to Smoky Mtn. National Park. A couple from Ohio I met here at the B&B said the Laurel Falls hike was a good one. Lots of people on the paved path, and since I'm alone and little wary of hiking by myself, I decided to try it.

Got there mid-afternoon, started up. And up. The "easy" hike was not so easy for me. I met a couple, Karen and Bernie, from Wisconsin. I passed them, they easily passed me.

Then about halfway I saw them heading back. "What's wrong, the falls are closed?" I asked.

"No," Karen said. "There's a bear cub up ahead in the trees, and we didnt' want to get between it and the mama."

So we hung out for a few minutes, talking. Then all three of us decided "safety in numbers" and ventured forth. No bear.

Got to the falls, nice water. Bernie and Karen left, I soon followed. Then I saw them standing in the path. Bernie told me they decided to wait for me because the bear was back.

And he brought friends. Three bears. Cubs, but fairly big. No sign of Mama Bear.

We cautiously made our way down the path, talking about wildlife. I prefer mine on TV or at a distance. A great distance. Like say, Seattle.

Then we rounded a corner and there was a couple standing looking up the hill. The woman said, "Shh, there's a bear up there!"

All three of us, Bernie, Karen and myself look at each other. Then at the bear, which was about 10 yards from the path. Then the woman's husband, in his shorts and his plaid shirt, snaps a photo of the bear.

The flash goes off. The bear charges.

My heart went still.

Fortunately it was a false charge and the bear remained on the hill, and didn't jump down to attack the guy. The three of us walked quickly past the three bears (just call me Goldilocks) and muttered, "dumb tourists."

It was all told, a 2.6 mile hike. Great exercise.

But next time, I'll take my walks without bears. It was a little too hairy (furry) of a close encounter for me.

Thanks Bernie and Karen, for escorting me down the mountain. I think I might have camped up at the falls rather than face a bear on my own.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is finished? Is it DONE???

yesss, my precious, my precious manuscript, Deadly Touch.



I can't believe it.

Well, the first draft, actually, now the editing begins. Still, I have a COMPLETED BOOK.

I wrote 9,000 words today. 36 pages.

Now I have to cut 3,000 more.

I wrote for five hours straight, and took a couple of breaks for a few minutes. Wondered why my butt hurt.

Well, duh, I was in a wood rocking chair, on the laptop.

Took an hour break, had some dinner, took a walk, made a few calls.

Then write some more, determined to finish.

I did.

I'm shocked i was able to finish. And very exhausted. All told, I wrote about 9 hours today. A very productive day.

As a reward, I'm taking tomorrow off, to meet my bro, do a little hiking and some touristy stuff.

Tomorrow night, I'll start the editing, and continue Thursday.

I just might make this deadline after all. I think I can.

I think I can.


This is my temporary "office," where I've been writing the past day. Yesterday I wrote 15 pages, plus cut and slashed and edited. I took a two-hour break, drove into town, and ate leftovers for dinner, then at night, cut and slashed some more.

Today's goal is to write 4,000 words. Getting there.

This week is very conducive to productivity, because, ah, there's nothing else to do! The weather is overcast, gray, and cool. Tomorrow I might go on a hike in the park, and I'm driving to meet my brother as well.

If DH were here, it would be less lonely, and we'd be happily tooling around in the antique stores in the afternoons, and visiting local haunts. He's not so I write.

I can understand now why FT writers, many of them anyway, need to establish a routine. A routine can be a very good thing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Here I am

I'm sitting on the porch of my cabin, in a rocking chair, surrounded by a cluster of oak, maple and birch. The air is loamy with the scent of damp leaves, and insects are humming in the trees. The mountains are peeking through the thicket of forest, and gray clouds drift overhead, allowing intermittent rays of sun to peek through.

I'm alone.

It feels odd. I miss DH. Really, really miss him. If he were here, I'd be writing, but also going with him to visit antique stores, going for walks, investigating the local happenings.

This is the first writing trip I've taken alone in a long, long time. I took one years ago when I visited Colonial Williamsburg, and wrote a Rev. War book. I was unpublished back then, and just wanted to travel to see and feel the history so I could bring a touch of authenticity to the story.

Never did sell it. Probably never will.

At breakfast this morning, talked with a couple from Ohio, who were leaving today. Others from Ohio were talking about Ike, which has wreaked havoc on their hometown. Corn mazes were toppled, power is out. And gas prices have risen.

In Knoxville, before Ike, gas was about $3.80. Now it's $5 and some gas stations ran out.

It's easy to bury myself here, away from reality, which will come soon enough next week when I return to the "real job."

Not that writing isn't a real job. It is, but not my main source of income. So when I spend a week to come up here, and finish a book, and edit, it feels more like I'm on vacation instead of working.

I wrote 2,500 words so far today. Promised myself if I can make it to 62,000 words today, I'd give myself a treat this afternoon of a drive into town and touring around.

Guess I'd better get back to work and concentrate on Emily's internal conflict. It's shifted because events have drastically changed. But I think it will be okay. I'll just have to tweak her around some more.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Where am I again?

I think I'm at the airport.


Getting ready to fly out.


Three trips in less than a month.

Nicaragua trip for work was very productive, interesting. We drove north through the mountains, visited families living in crumbling adobe shacks, saw some heartbreaking stuff. While there, I was monitoring Hurricane Ike, which at one point was headed toward my area as a Cat. 4.

I loathe hurricane season.

Because of Ike, I shifted this trip back by a week. Thankfully, Ike missed us and went south. Unfortunately, it didn't miss Texas.

Anyway, I'm here at the airport, getting ready to fly to TN for my week alone in a cabin doing nothing but writing. I'm getting there, almost there. The book due Oct. 1 has only 7500 words left, and then editing. My goal this week is to finish and start to edit.

The good thing about this past crazy month has been my ability to write in snatches, and chunks of scenes. I wrote in the SUV in Nicaragua while we were on good stretches of pavement (you would not believe the roads we were on. Think of driving down a flight of stairs. That would be a smooth ride compared to the mountain paths, and rivers! we navigated through). I wrote in snatches and then downloaded the Alpha Smart when I had a hotel with A/C current. Note to self: BUY adapter and REMEMBER to bring it on next trip to Central America.

This week away is something I promised myself when I conceived of the idea for Raphael's story. Raphael is a Cajun, immortal werewolf who looks like a fallen angel. He's very powerful and the executioner for his people. He has a few dark secrets as well.

I like giving my heroes dark secrets. DEADLY TOUCH has turned out to be an interesting story. I'm also curious to see the cover for BROKEN SOULS, the Nocturne Bite I have coming out in November, same month as ENEMY LOVER.


If I were to write my story, I'd title it WEARY AUTHOR.

I went from the Dorchester deadline and turning in the next Egyptian historical in August straight to BROKEN SOULS and revising that one final time to DEADLY TOUCH. It's been a treadmill and I need this time away to get back in touch with my muse, who is saying, "whahhhh?"

I told myself if I sold more Nocturnes, I'd go to TN and write, as a reward and inspiration for the story. It's a working vacation, more work than vacation, but a change of scenery that will hopefully enable me to bring the book together for a finale.

As long as no more hurricanes are spinning out there in the Atlantic.

If I can pull this together, it means I actually was able to write an entire book in two months. While working a demanding day job. While traveling to Nicaragua for a last minute work trip to replace a sick coworker. While hurricanes and tropical storms buzzsawed out there, a potential threat to my home and the crappy insurance we now have.

Small wonder I'm taking October off. I might just retire the computer for a full month and not write. It would be an interesting experience.