Showing posts from October, 2007

On the Fly--Happy Halloween

It's Halloweeeeeen! I'm locked upstairs in my office writing. Steve is downstairs with Billie and Cheyenne (our crazy dogs) distributing candy to some very cute trick-or-treaters. Lest you think I didn't get into the spirit, I put in a full day at the library as . . .

The Cat in the Hat!!

These are my co-workers, Denise and Beth (the other Beth) who came as.... do you see it?

Green Eggs and Ham!!! Ha! Denise,an amazing artist, made her ham hat and Beth's egg glasses, and Beth was full of it (Suessical talk) all day!

Here's another co-worker, Lesa, a wiz(ard) when it comes to even the most obscure research questions.

And our fearless leader, Sue, the most creative and energetic person I've ever met!

For anyone who thinks librarians are quiet, conservative beings... come visit the Brigantine Library some time. Is it an wonder I love my day job?

On Writing: Dean Koontz

I've read that you will rewrite a page until it's right before moving on, sometimes redoing a draft thirty or forty times. This must make for a slow process. Approximately how long does it take you to write one novel?

I work 10- and 11-hour days because in long sessions I fall away more completely into story and characters than I would in, say, a six-hour day. On good days, I might wind up with five or six pages of finished work; on bad days, a third of a page. Even five or six is not a high
rate of production for a 10- or 11-hour day, but there are more good days than bad.

The above is an excerpt taken from an interview at Novel Journeywith Dean Koontz. Click here and scroll down to the 10/26 post. I blinked at this section because, hey, that's my process exactly! Not that I'm afforded many full days to work with but when I do have them--that's how I work best. What he said!

Speaking of, when you visit Mr. Koontz's website'listen' to his avatar. It's t…

On Writing--Best Intentions

Apologies to anyone waiting for 'Part Two' of Night of The Living Dead. My intentions were good, but I'm a slow typist and the story--I just know it!--would be lengthy. Plus, I think my re-telling of the evening is funnier when spoken than when written as it involves voice inflections. Hmm. Maybe it's time to look into occassional Podcasts.

Also, apologies to anyone who is waiting for the signed bookmarks I promised. I WILL send them out next week. Everything and I mean everything in my life, aside from the day job and feeding the crazy animals got put on hold while I devoted all time and energy into finishing this deadline book. This week I skipped Tai Chi class, canceled a booksigning, canceled my much anticipated weekend retreat with Cyndi, and took a vacation day (today). Must. Write.

Speaking of... See you Tuesday. Have a great weekend!

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."
-- Douglas Adams

Night of the Living Dead - Part One

I'm baaaack .

Not from deadline hell, unfortunately, but from the dead people zone. Saturday night's gig where I had to assume the non-personality of a zombie went extrememly well. This is the first chance I've had to blog about it, and I don't have much time even now so... Part One.

I can honestly say, I wasn't looking forward to this gig. It had been at least a year and a half since I'd done one of these interactive jobs. No matter what character you play, when you do these particular casino parties you're putting yourself out there in a big way. You're 'on' for approximately three hours with maybe two fifteen minute breaks (if you're lucky). The key is to interact with people one-on-one and as a whole. There is no script, no stage. You're in the trenches improvising. This kind of work isn't for the meek and over the past two years as I've shifted my passion and focus from performing to writing, I have absolutely become more inwa…

On the Fly: The Weekend Ramble

Under the weather today. Caring boss and co-workers sent me home early from work. Swung by CVS. Bought soda crackers, ginger ale, Thera-flu, and ... black nail polish.

Once home I medicated, rested, did a load of laundry, rested, organized my costume for tomorrow night's gig, worked on a script for a promotional book video, rested, watched a tv show for the first time this fall--the pilot episode of Journeyman--via my computer (I loved it) ... and painted my fingernails. Black.

Why black, you ask? For tomorrow night's gig, I say. My first character actress gig in a year. A special event party for one of the casinos. I have been asked to appear as someone from Night of the Living Dead. Jeez. That's not even a challenge since, these days, I feel like the walking dead.
But I digress.
Hopefully I will have tales to tell from said gig on Monday. Not Sunday. I'll be bearing down on the deadline book ALL DAY Sunday.
Speaking of deadlines... My brother-in-law and his lady love gi…

On Writing: Flailing and Faith

I've been struggling with a story for what seems like forever. It's coming. But not easily. And not fast enough.

But at least it's coming.

I'm not the only writer wrestling with an obstinate tale. Check out Neil Gaiman's October15 posts (yes, plural): The view from the end of chapter 8AND Why Write?

Picked up a cool book at the library book sale: Quotationary. It's huge and filled with... you guessed it... quotes. I love quotes. Smart people saying smart things. Things I'd never think of. Things that motivate me. For instance...

"Faith is not being sure where you're going but going anyway."
~~Frederick Buechner

I don't know who Mr. Buechner is, but I like what he has to say. Not sure I'm taking the next chapter of my WIP in the right direction, but I'm going anyway. I've got faith.

On the Fly--Another Year Wiser

Head down. Way down. Writing. Writing. Writing.

But peeking out to say....

Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thai Chi and Me

I want to thank everyone who shouted out and celebrated the Golden Leaf Award with me. I'm still stunned and thrilled even if I'm no longer floating on air. Returning home to day job and writing deadlines (Read: Reality) grounded me to be sure. This week in particular is intense so posting will be sparse.

Given my crammed schedule, the last thing I wanted to do last night was break away from the computer for my second Thai Chi class. However I knew deep down it was exactly what I needed to do. I'm new to Thai Chi. I joined because all of my co-workers at the library did. We made it a group thing, thought we'd motivate each other, which we do. I knew I needed to do something exercise-wise for my health and body but what really interested me was that Thai Chi is supposed to relieve stress. Let me tell you, it absolutely helps!

I've only had two classes. It's intense physically, but I am loving it. Especially the inner focus. Curious. Anyone else out there ever tak…

A Win for The Goober!

And, yes, I am a 'Goober'. I had the goober of all evening, full of gooberisms, but the good news is... I won! Or rather ALL ABOUT EVIE won the NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Single Title! The moment was doubly sweet as I tied with Jan Coffey--the writing team of Jim and Nikoo McGoldrick. Two of my favorite people in the biz. Congrats Jim and Nikoo!!

The day started off just dandy, with the exception of my eyes. Once again, as they have been throughout the summer, they were swollen and red--some sort of allergic reaction I have yet to identify. Steve's right. I have to break down and go to the doctor. This is crazy. They itch and hurt, too. Not my eyeball, by the way, but my eyelids and the entire area below and around my eye. I took an allergy pill, but it didn't help. In fact, as the day wore on, they got worse. Mind you I am at the NJRW writer's conference. I'm surrounded by peers and industry professionals. I won an award. I'm trying to look '…

On Writing--The Weekend in Pre-Review

Same ol', same ol' here. Work. Writing. Work. Writing. However, I am taking off early tomorrow for the NJRW conference. In addition to attending several informative and inspiring workshops, I'll be meeting with Keyren, my HQN editor, for dinner. Keyren is great fun so I really look forward to our 'date'. Friday night is the awards ceremony/dessert reception. ALL ABOUT EVIE is a finalist in the 'best single-title' category. Wish me luck. Win or lose, I'll be eating decadent desserts after!

Saturday I'll be participating in 2007 Literacy Book Fair and Author Signing. There look to be about 100 authors signing, including special guests, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Julia Quinn & Karen Robards. If you're in the area, come visit! Sheraton at Woodbridge Place Hotel 515 US Highway 1 S, Iselin, New Jersey 08830 -- Saturday, October 6, 2007. 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, we're hosting a luncheon for fifty booksellers. I look forward to meeting and chatting with…

On Writing: My Process, My Friend

As reported, I took a few vacations days from the day-job so that I could devote focused time to the deadline book. I've spent the past five days putting in 14-15 hour writing days. I'm pretty fried, but I've made strong, vital progress. This is how I work best. Long stretches of focused time. Because I'm very much a seat-of-the-pants writer. I discover and create as I go. Then I go back and add more layers. I typically write the last half of a manuscript in a cross-eyed blaze. What I turn in is pretty much first draft from mid-point on, although tweaked and polished due to the wondrous comments and edits of my fabulously talented critique partner, former writing partner, fabulous friend, Cyndi Valero.

Cyndi is currently deep in her own manuscript, a wonderfully imaginative and gritty fantasy. I know it's wonderful because she's been sending me scenes as she finishes them and I'm rivited! I feel guilty not being able to return the favor by offering her insig…