Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Today I:

1. Mowed the yard

2. Bought three t-shirts, a skirt, a pair of shorts, a pair of capris, two books, a hairdryer, and two beach towels

3. had lunch with girlfriends

4. lounged by the pool

5. got slightly sunburned

6. got a haircut

7. ate dinner with my wonderful husband

8. wrote 800 words

And now I am tired. I am going to shower, read a bit, then crash. But before that, a picture of a wet cat to amuse you:

Morgan loves to shower. He is my little freak of nature.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm free!

Today I worked the last day of a six day stretch. Tomorrow I'm mowing the yard, eating lunch with friends, and swimming laps. If the mood strikes I'm going to buy some desperately needed summer clothes. T-shirts and shorts and sandals. Maybe even a new purse or something.

I'd also like to get the ending of Stormy Weather hammered out before I send it out to alpha readers. (Or are they beta readers? I'm the alpha reader, aren't I? Or can the writer be the first reader of their own work? Oh, the philisophical question.) I've stolen a few bits from the earlier draft--mostly character development--and smushed them into the current one as well as tightened a few bits. I need to re-work the ending and go over the draft again, but right now I feel pretty good about the whole business. Is it in any shape for agents? Absolutely not. It's way to undeveloped. But with some input from readers and a whole heck of a lot of work from me, I think this story actually has a chance.

Over the past few days I've tried my hand at a few songs on the "hard" level of guitar hero II. This level introduces the orange key, which requires you to move your hand away from its comfort place in order to hit it. At least, my hands are small, so I have to move. Anyway, it's kickin' my ass. I move my hand, hit the orange note, and the promptly lose my place on the fret board and miss the next twenty notes. I made it through one song last night but got boo'd off the stage multiple times trying to make it through a second song today. (That's right--I'm playing a game that boos you if you suck. I can't even tell how good this is for your ego.) I'm beginning to think I may have hit a plateau with the game. It's all good, though. Less time with xbox=more time with the laptop=more time with Stormy Weather. See? Everyone wins.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Rejection City

Another rejection, this one from Interzone for "Sudden Death." It'll go to Baen's Universe next. I'll probably get it out this weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I'm editing/reading the Stormy Weather manuscript, and here's my take: I suck.

Maybe I should marry the two different drafts together or something. Maybe I need more teen angst. Maybe I need more plot. Maybe I need to have my head examined.

Definitely a valley in the writing roller-coaster ride.

Maybe I don't have any perspective anymore. I need to get some readers on this thing. Hopefully a semi-formed draft will be ready for readers by June 1st. Volunteers, get your eyes ready.

All I need is a rejection to really set the mood.

On the bright side, I bought the new Maroon 5 disc on Tuesday. It's stylishly funky. There's a few songs that sound like they could have been on their last album, but most of the tunes have less edge than Songs About Jane. I like it--it's got a beat I can dance to.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Back from St. Louis

Ken and I road-tripped to St. Louis with friends of ours this weekend. We hit the Science Center, ate Imo's Pizza, and attended a Cowboy Mouth concert. The Science Center was cool but would have been cooler had we been about 20 years younger. I did get to climb a rock wall, though, and I hadn't ever done that before so that was worth the admission price. Imo's Pizza is always delectable. And the Cowboy Mouth show was entertaining. I had never heard of them but one of our friends loves this band and encouraged us to see them live. This is definitely a band that shines in a small venue (we saw them at the Pageant). They're going to be guests on Regis and Kelly one day this week, so if you're so inclined, set the TiVo. Or check out YouTube next weekend--I imagine someone will post their performance. They've been touring and recording for about 15 years, and I understand they've recently acquired new management, so I wouldn't be surprised if their most recent album (Voodoo Shoppe) breaks out. You know, as an "overnight success" type thing.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Another reason not to procreate

So Ken and I went to Best Buy today. I had intended to buy a new CD as a reward for my "Last Man Standing" rejection, but the opening chords of the Guitar Hero II song "Surrender" by Cheap Trick caught my ears. I wondered over to the display area to find a father watching his boy play the game. The orange key was in play, and from the number of notes, I suspect this kid was playing the "expert" level. I watched an eight-year-old score over 200,000 points on a first-tier song. I was exhilarated and humiliated at the same time. Exhilarated because damn! I just watched someone kill this game! and humiliated because damn! I thought I was doing good because last night I scored over 75,000 points on a "medium" level, sixth-tier song.

Chalk this up as a lesson learned. Never have kids because they'll only kick your ass at video games.

And I still have to buy a CD. Maybe I'll wait until Tuesday ... the new Maroon 5 album comes out. Yeah, yeah, Innuendo, I know. I almost heard your eyes roll in Indy all the way from here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The "eight facts about yourself" meme

Rachel Barth tagged me, so I'm going to try to come up with eight interesting and/or unusual facts about myself. Here goes:

1. I used to read my dad's Archie comics as a kid. If I had to pick one of the guys, I'd have to go with Jughead. Apparently I was into geeks even then.

2. I've never had formal swimming lessons.

3. When I was in first grade, the family dog trapped a skunk underneath the house. The skunk sprayed and the smell permeated the whole place. We had to move out for a week while the smell dissipated.

4. That was not my last encounter with a skunk. A few years later, I went to our back door to let what I thought was my cat Frisky into the house. When I discovered it wasn't Frisky but a skunk, I yelled "Ahhh! A skunk!!!", slammed the door, and ran to get my parents. Unbelievably, that skunk didn't spray.

5. I played the drums in the sixth grade but quit because I was too scared to go to Contest.

6. I've been asked if I'm left-handed enough to think that maybe I'm a little ambidextrous.

7. My second toe is longer than my first. I've heard this is a sign of high intelligence. That almost makes up for not being able to wear sandals without someone commenting on my toes.

8. If asked to choose between cake and potato chips, I'll choose the cake.

I don't think I know eight people with blogs that haven't already been tagged ... but Sean Murphy, Innuendo, and Bridget, get eight facts about yourself up on your blogs pronto. I'll be checking ...

Last Man Standing...

... has been sent back home by Cemetery Dance. It's going to visit Realms of Fantasy next. Hopefully it will stay and play for awhile.

Right now I'm writing a climactic battle scene of sorts in Stormy Weather. It's fun to write, but kinda tough. Until now I've stuck with one charater's POV for an entire chapter, and now I'm jumping around to a different character every few pages. I have a feeling when I go over the draft I'll have to really tweak this part, but for now I like it. I've got so much work to do on this thing yet. Obviously I'm not going to hit my original goal of having a polished draft out the door to agents by June 1st, but I'm hopeful I can have a first draft ready to be read by some readers by then. For some reason I'm in a good mood about my writing today. Maybe it's because I'm in love with my book again or maybe it's because I have a little niggly feeling in the back of my head that I'm about to sell another story or maybe it's because of the position on the planets. I don't know and I don't care; I just want to take advantage of the writing-love while it lasts.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Glorious summer!

At least it feels like it. I live near a college town, and it's graduation weekend. For the townies like me, that means two things: 1. I will not be dining or shopping in town this weekend unless I am about to die from starvation and 2. starting Monday, there will be available tables in the cafes, no lines at Target, and no waits at the restaurants on Friday nights. Those of you who live in towns with major universities will know what I'm talking about. When 30% of your population leaves for three months, you're bound to notice.

Actually, in regards to #1: starvation would be a preferable alternative to dealing with the crowds this weekend.

Don't worry about my stomach: we're traveling to the Quad Cities tomorrow for Mother's Day. Harris's pizza, here I come!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Writing with a sore wrist

Stupid Guitar Hero II. I've made it through the easy level and I've started on medium. That damn blue key is kickin' my ass. Though, you'll note I've made progress on Stormy Weather.
All is not lost. Tomorrow I have to be at work at 5-frickin'-30 a.m., so no more writing or Hero for me tonight. I'm going to read in bed until I fall asleep. Hopefully I don't wake up every two hours wondering when the stupid alarm's gonna go off.

I have Friday off, and I've decided I'm going to use that day to go to my local booksellers and businesses and stump Pirates of the Blue Kingdoms. I don't have any hard copies yet, but I'm hoping to take a few orders or convince a few managers to buy it themselves from Popcorn Press. I have two chain bookstores, one independent, and a few indie coffeeshops on my list of places to hit. Any other suggestions out there in blogland?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Have your credit cards handy ...

... and visit Popcorn Press to purchase Pirates of the Blue Kingdoms. In fact, buy two--they make great gifts for the upcoming pirate-movie season.

Girl's night poker happened this past Friday. I love being an adult because it means you can eat mini-cheesecakes, cheese and crackers, and caramel corn for dinner and it's okay. Your body may hate you for it, but your inner child loves you, so it's all good. I didn't win any money but I laughed so much my ab muscles were a little sore the next day. The highlights: we called the chips "euros" instead of "cents" to celebrate the Queen's visit; a cat jumped onto the counter and helped himself to french-onion dip; I ate the aforementioned junk for dinner; and after the game, we played with ferrets. Next night is June 15th. I'm already looking forward to it.

I've made good progress on the book today, and I'd like to get another few pages in before the night's over. Productivity was the code-word of the day: I wrote 5 pages, mowed the yard, finished laundry, and played a little Guitar Hero II. For those of you who haven't jumped onto the Guitar Hero bandwagon, do so the first chance you get. Buy a used Playstation 2 from the neighbor kid down the street if you have to. Even when you suck at it like I do, you feel like a rock god(dess). I'm so buying guitar lessons as a reward when I sell my first book. Or singing lessons. One of the two.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The intrepid adventures of short fiction

"Sudden Death" went to Interzone and "Rules of Engagement" went to Weird Tales.

Fingers crossed!

Oh, and I've passed the 15,000-word mark on Stormy Weather. I have a suspicion the first draft is going to be around 30,000-35,000 words, but I also suspect that after a few read-throughs by myself and some fabulous readers, I'll be able to beef that up. As I said a few days ago, I'm beginning to hit the part of the story where shit really starts to hit the fan, so for the next week or so I should make some major headway on the first draft. June 1st, I snub my nose at thee!