Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

2006 is mere hours away. How'd that happen? Where did 2005 evaporate to? It seems like only yesterday I was facing the beginning of 2005, setting aspirations, goals, wants/desires. As I looked over my list I made on last New Year's Eve, I have to say, I'm impressed with all I've accomplished on that list--all the blessings I've enjoyed over the past 365 days. I've been blessed with so many family members and friends, writing opportunities, and spiritual blessings which only come from God. 2005 was, indeed, a good year for me. I'm praying 2006 will be just as blessed.

And for you, my faithful blogging buddies, I pray for blessings to rain down upon each of you...may you be blessed in 2006, and may your dreams, writing and otherwise, all come true!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

What I Hope to Achieve in 2006

Okay,'s not exactly GOALS, because to be honest, much of what I hope to achieve in the upcoming year isn't totally in my control. Like, landing an agent...getting a contract....getting a MULTI-BOOK contract! While those things are certainly what I'd LIKE to happen, ultimately, these things are out of my control. But what I CAN do is list what I hope to achieve and some solid, concrete steps to forge ahead to help myself gain those achievements. So, without further ado, here we go....

What I Hope to Achieve in 2006
1. Acquire the perfect agent for me
A. Steps I can take to help myself
-research agents I'm interested in
-attend conferences so I can meet those agents I'm interested in, face-to-face

2. Hone my writing skills
A. Steps I can take to help myself
-read writing books
-take online courses
-attend conferences and go to the workshops

3. Complete 3 wips
A. Steps I can take to help myself
-actually use my writing time for writing
-write daily, even if it's only a word
-try to PLOT before I start writing (hard one for me!)

4. Celebrate writing successes....mine, my cps, and just about anyone I even hear of (I do so love the celebrations! :) )

5. To set daily word count goals for myself and adhere to them

6. To hold my cps accountable (are you guys paying attention????)

7. And God willing, if I get that perfect agent for me or contract, NOT to explode with pure joy all over the place!

May 2006 be filled with blessings for you all!

Oh, and writing related....did you guys see the progress on my rewrites? LOL

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Post Holiday Stress

I hope everyone had the merriest of Christmases....I did. But now that the holiday is officially over, I'm experiencing some stress I hadn't planned on. The first of the year rejections. SIGH. I know that 2006 will garner more rejections for me as I've sent more things out the end of the year. Still, it's with an expectant heart that I check my email in box....fear and excitement mingle, along with anticipation and yes, dread. Am I the only one?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

SOME progress

Well, amid the life interruptous, I managed to squeak out 7753 words on my revisions. Sent those 20-something pages to my crit buddies tonight. Who knows...maybe they'll be worth keeping. The pages, that is! :) How are the rest of you doing???


Since life seems bent on interrupting my writing, thought I'd post a poll for y'alls opinion! After you vote, post a comment as to why you voted as you did.

Which would you rather have first, an agent or an editor?
An Agent
An Editor


Free polls from

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Life Interrupts

Well, you know, I HAD the good intentions to work this week. Really, I did. However, life has interrupted. Kids are home from obligations...not to mention getting ready for Christmas day (and dinner) around here. So, I've given myself permission to take the week off and work only if I have time and am so motivated. How about YOU? Are you working, or has life interrupted with your plans as well?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Awesome New Book Club


American Christian Fiction Writers Launches Book Club

From airport newsstands to Newsweek, Christian fiction continues to grow in popularity, resonating with readers looking for both faith and fiction. The growth of the genre has birthed many new writers, as evidenced by American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization started in 2000. Now boasting almost 1000 members, ACFW reaches out to readers as well as writers with their new ACFW Book Club. Beginning January 2006, the Book Club will offer fans of Christian fiction the opportunity to chat with ACFW authors and discuss monthly reading selections. Readers will also be eligible for monthly free book drawings.

The titles chosen to kick off the club include:

Ø Black Sands by Colleen Coble. Trouble in paradise. A Hawaiian romantic suspense.

Ø Leave it to Claire by Tracey Bateman. Single mom tries to fix her family. Chick lit fun!

Ø Outriders by Kathryn Mackel. A new ark. An ancient enemy. Fantasy adventure.

Ø Pink by Marilynn Griffith. Four fashion designers collaborate on a million dollar wedding dress. Will they find God in the seams? Multicultural tale.

Information on the Book Club will be posted on the ACFW Website, and on, a book discussion e-mail group designed to keep members informed and allow them to discuss the books throughout the month. Book Club chats will be held on the ACFW Website in the chat room at 7:00 p.m. CST on the first Monday of the month following the month the book is read. Membership is free and open to the public. To join the announcement and discussion e-mail group, send a blank e-mail to

For more information about the ACFW Book Club, please visit:

***From Robin here: I'm really excited about the book club, and hope many of you join. As you've read above, the "launch" book is BLACK SANDS by Colleen Coble. I've written a personal review of this book and can't wait to discuss it! Come join the club...we're gonna have a blast! Here's the review:

If you've never read a Colleen Coble novel, do soIMMEDIATELY. If you love suspense with clever twists and turns, a romance that will warm your heart, and a storyline that leaves you filled with hope and promise, you won't be disappointed!

Black Sands, the second book in the Aloha series, blew me away! While in a series, Black Sands is easily a stand-alone novel. Set in Hawaii, Coble weaves the island culture and scenery into the story so masterfully that you can almost feel the ocean breeze kissing your face! With a strong heroine and an even stronger hero, you can't help but fall in love with these characters--become emotionally involved in the drama they face--and root them on to not only find the heroine's missing sister, rediscover the love they are destined to share, but also to be refilled with their faith.

This book is one of the best I've read in a long time! Get it. Read it. Devour the pages. It's a must-read!

Good News....I think

Hello all! It must be that time of year. Well, for members of ACFW who pitched at conference and submitted requests in September anyway. Rejections/requests for fulls seem to be coming in almost on a daily basis. I've had a few rejections--funny how a couple of years ago that might have really upset me. Now that I'm learning my books are NOT me, but are a product I'm trying to sell, I don't take them personally. I do, however, nitpick them apart to try and gleam some understanding and feedback to make my story better. But, back to my subject.

Yesterday I received an email from an editor. A really, really nice editor (no Ron, I mean it! LOL--sorry, inside joke) who said he was interested in my submission, but asked for a major rewrite. If willing to do so, I could then resubmit the entire ms to him upon revision completion. At first, I was elated...excited. Then, the negativity crept up my spine. Was I reading more into this email than what was really there? What's an unpublished writer to think? What should I do? Lucky for me, I've been blessed with an AWESOME MENTOR (waving wildly at Colleen) who I quickly emailed and asked. Well, when she came back excited for me, my excitement surged again.

Long story short....I won't be making much progress on my current wip nor on the revisions I've been working on. I'll be undergoing a major revision on an 80K manuscript. I'll add up the chart today of that progress. OH....and the editor also requested I come up with some suggestions for alternate titles. of my major weaknesses....then again, isn't that what I have crit partners for??? LOL

So, what are YOU working on and how's YOUR progress????????

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Well, today I critted 3 chapters, 2 for the Critique Boutique and one for a partner. In my writing, here's what I accomplished:

Revisions to Denied Justice--
2254 words added to the revision total word count!

WIP Prowl of the Enemy--
1520 words written
Completed scene 48 out of a projected 75

Now....more crits landing in my box so tomorrow morning, I think I'll start with catching up on all those before I begin "my" writing time!

How are the rest of you coming along???????

Monday, December 12, 2005

Today's Progress

Amid a horrendous ear ache that I've endured all weekend, here's my writing progress for the day:

Revisions on Denied Justice:
3831 more words revised!

Prowl of the Enemy:
2871 words written today
completed scene #46 out of a projected 75

WOO HOO! And I completed some more chapters in critiquing for the Critique Boutique, as well as catching up with all my crit partners' chapters! WHEW! Long day, but I feel like it was worth it!

How about YOU?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Blessed, Blown Away, and Humbled

Let me start out by telling those of you who don't know me well that I'm not an emotional person. I don't cry at movies, I don't get misty over sweet-nothings, and I don't sob over Hallmark commercials. But today, I was moved beyond tears. I bawled like a baby--quite literally. Why? Because a special group of people did something for me out of love that blew me away.

As you've read here, my computer died this past Monday. Sadly and tragically, it had to go into the hospital. I screamed, ranted, and basically threw a hissy-fit (that's southern, but trust me, it ain't a pretty sight). Unbeknownst to me, a friend prayed Sunday evening for God to provide a way for me to get a laptop. I'd personally been praying and praying for a means for a laptop, and this was almost the final straw. Yes, I'll admit it, I'm a computer addict. No getting around the the facts--there it is, the truth of the matter--I live via my computer. Monday was miserable for me. Tuesday rolled around and I soon realized that I felt like a part of me had gone to the pc hospital with my 'puter. I was in hell, I tell you. The computer got fixed, quickly by the grace of God, and I was elated to be back among the "living". But I still wanted that life is on this computer and I knew I needed another system.

Today, the UPS man rolled down my driveway to deliver a package. A Dell laptop! I called my husband, bless his heart, who'd been in on the "secret". After putting me through hoops (he's gonna be paying for that one for a while), he told me to call one of my dear crit partners and ask her about it. I don't think I even said goodbye before I hung up and dialed her number. As she relayed who had banded together to get me this laptop for Christmas, the tears came. No holding them back, and I found I didn't want to. I was utterly speechless (not great for a writer to admit, I know), but there were no mere words to express my gratitude and emotional overload. These wonderfully special people have touched my heart more than I can ever express. These are God's special people, right here on earth, who have taught me how to be humbled and blown away, and truly blessed. So, my heartfelt thanks and love to: Ronie, Dineen, Ron, Heather, Colleen, Kristin, Camy, Pam H.. Pammer, Eileen, and Lisa (sister-in-law extraordinare). You guys are awesome and I'm so BLESSED to call you my friends! :)

Stats: Beginning of Today

Current wip:
Same as yesterday....I know, I didn't even write a scene yesterday! UGH But this one is more impressive:

Revising of Denied Justice:
23470 words revised out of 100K

Obviously I worked on the revisions yesterday. Today, I hope to do a little on both! That, and do some more crits for my buddies, as well as the ones for the Critique Boutique

How are the rest of you coming along with YOUR work?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Beginning Stats for the Day

Okay, although it's my first day back to actual work (and playing on the 'net), I thought I'd better post my beginning stats on what I'm doing. My current wip, Prowl of the Enemy:
40588 written out of a projected 90K
44 scenes completed out of a projected 75

The revision of a completed ms: Denied Justice:
15475 edited words out of 100K
Edited through chapter 4
(okay, so I have a long way to go to finish this one, but actually, editing/revising is MUCH easier if it's already written!)
This ms is one I completed last December and I've been letting "rest" I'm revisiting! :)

My goal is to have the draft of Prowl of the Enemy completed by January 31st and the complete revision of Denied Justice finished by January 15th. I'm being brave and posting those goals up here, so feel free to gently "nudge" me! :)


I got my pc back last night! Doing the snoopy dance to the treetops over here! WOO HOO. Just wanted to thank everyone for leaving me comments. I honestly didn't know how much longer I could stand being pc-less. Trust me, after day 3, I was ready to climb a wall! Sorry I don't have anything more profound to blog about.....I'll try to come up with something later! Right now, I'm just too excited to have my 'puter back! And I'm still on the journey for the perfect agent! :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Death of My PC

Well, it's pc is in the hospital. Don't EVEN get me started on the aggrivations of this issue. Needless to say, it'll be about 3-4 weeks before I'll be able to have it repaired and back home. So, I'm sorry, but I'll not be posting or anything else for the next several weeks. Hope you all have a very merry for me, I'm going to go insane without my pc. Can't work, can't chat...can't blog....oh my, I'M GOING CRAZY! (Esp since hubby says I can't run up to his office every day and check my email! UGH) For those of you who have my #, feel free to call me just so I have some human contact with the writing world. UGH. Catch you all later!

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Hunt for the Perfect Agent

Not every agent is the perfect agent. At least not for me.

As pre-pubbed writers, we hear all the adages and advice from the writers who've gone this journey before us. You know what I'm talking about..."no agent is better than a bad agent" and so forth. The warnings are true, I know for fact, but it's all such a daunting task for a writer. How do we avoid these nefarious "bad agents" and dig down to find the great ones? So many are "not taking new clients" or not considering unpublished writers. What's a writer to do? How do we step up and get noticed by a really brilliant agent? To begin with, IMHO, we write the best story we can. No, it won't be perfect. But if it's a good story, well written, and has a unique feel to it, the rest can be fixed. So, you've got the best story you can what? Research. Yes, we the unpublished and learning and growing writers, research the agent/agency we'd like to represent us. How? Several websites have recommendations. Reliable organizations. Writing memberships. So you've got all the goods and the agent/agency has a solid reputation as far as the general public is what? You find their client list and email these authors and ASK. Ask if they would recommend their agent--ask how the agent interacts with them as the client. Ask if they're satisfied with their writer/agent relationship. Most authors who really love their agents can't wait to sing their praises. So now you have a complete ms, researched and the agent is have to decide if they're right for YOU. How? Read their submission they represent the genre you write for? Are they selling to houses you have targeted? (check out Publisher's Lunch) Everything good? Great. Then go a step further. If you have contacts with editors, ask THEM what agents they like to get submissions from. You'd be amazed at how much you can learn this way. It's a scary process, but hey, this is all just IMHO anyway. LOL Now, you've got all the info and you're raring to go. Now what? Find a confence that agent is attending and make plans to attend...and if at all possible, get an appointment with that agent. Why not just send it in? Well, for the freaky people like myself, personal contact is vital. You can get a great "feel" for an agency and their vision for the publishing future by just talking...not just about your wip, but about the agency. Ask questions. See if you and the agency representative are on the same "page", so to speak. (Yes, pun intended) Do you feel a "click"...a "connection" overall experience of this could be a perfect fit for you? A writer/agency is a TEAM EFFORT. It's not just for you to hand over your ms and expect to be called when the advance check clears. LOL That might be nice, but I don't think it's realistic. So you find what you believe to be a perfect team and you're ready. They request your ms! (Woo hoo, great so far!) You whisper a prayer, bite your nails with your crit buddies, and send it in. The waiting begins. Sure, we'd all like an instant answer. I am probably the most "p" word deficient person in the world, but I know it takes time. As if they were just waiting on MY work to come in so they could bring all their business to a screeching halt and devour each word I wrote? Yeah. Sure. Right. Keep on dreamin', baby! LOL So we wait. We get rejections from ones we were really hopeful about...and it stings and it's a bummer. But you pick yourself up and start the whole process again. Or, we get "the call" that the agent wants to represent us...or an email, or whatever. WOO the work can begin! It's all a cycle, a big circle, just like life. It's a wild ride, people....but oh the adrenaline rush we get! LOL

From Robin...who's still on her hunt for the perfect agent, but enjoying the journey!

Tagged Again

This time, I've been tagged by Kristin Billerbeck on Girls Write Out Blog. Here are the questions:

Seven Things to Do Before I Die (Lord willing):
1. See my family/friends who aren't saved, accept salvation!
2. See my children graduate COLLEGE! (Pushing it since my youngest is 3)
3. See a book of mine published!
4. Travel
5. Become more blessed so I can bless others.....ABUNDANTLY!
6. Learn to sing
7. Enjoy my family/friends

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. Become passive in my spiritual walk
2. Sing...see number 6 above!
3. Read a historical, for pleasure
4. Shut up....especially when it's smarter that I did
5. Not be honest/sincere
6. Stay in a confined area
7. Not stand up for things I believe in

Seven Things that Attract Me to My Spouse [romantic interest, best friend, whomever](not necessarily in this order!):

1. His eyes
2. The way he loves God
3. His intelligence
4. His honesty
5. Our chemistry -- wow!
6. His support
7. His love for our family.

Seven Things I Say (or write!) Most Often:
1. LOL (waving at Ron)
2. BM
3. Sheesh
4. Okay
5. Alrighty then.
6. I wish
7. As if

Seven Books (or series) I Love:
1. Bible
2. The Stand (anything by Steven King)
3. Anything by Edgar Allen Poe
4. Shakespeare (I know, I know...but I do)
5. Left Behind
6. Colleen Coble's series--all of 'em
7. Dee Henderson's O'Malley series

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again:
1. Gone with the Wind
2. Somewhere in Time
3. Gladiator
4. Dirty Dancing
5. Pretty Woman
6. Cutting Edge
7. Braveheart

Seven People I Want to Join in: (be tagged)
1. Colleen
2. Dineen
3. Ron
4. Ronie
5. Camy Tang
6. Jason
7. Allen

There...okay people listed above, get to list-compiling!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Prowl of the Enemy Progress

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
40,588 / 90,000

Today's word count total--2588
Completed scene #44 out of a projected 75

That's it for my writing today. I DO have to clean the house! UGH~

I've Been Tagged....

Tagged by Allen from Writers Domain for a Book Meme. You list 15 facts and personal preferences about books. So a 15 book things (quirks, prefs, whatever) list...Here goes....

1. Hello, my name is Robin and I hate historicals.

2. I love Steven King favorite? THE STAND. He's my hero! I also love Colleen Coble favorite? There're two at the moment....ALASKA TWILIGHT and BLACK SANDS....oh wait...there's three.....DANGEROUS DEPTHS, too! :)

3. I hurl books. Literally. If the author hasn't done their job and it shows in poor writing or unbelievable plots, I chunk the book across the room. Yep, I really do.

4. I love everything about books. The smell of them, the touch, the feel...I collect them (don't EVEN ask) and give them as gifts and love getting them. :) Except, I hate historicals.

5. I ALWAYS read prologues.....ALWAYS.

6. I NEVER skip to the end of a book and read the ending first.

7. I can read 3 books at a time, and keep everything straight in each story. Unless it's a historical, then I don't bother.

8. In my reference books, I highlight and make notes. Yep, even do this in my Bible. Hey, it's my textbook for life and I figure I'd better take all the notes I can! LOL

9. My favorite genre is suspense, thriller, mystery and *gasp* horror. (another secret revealed--I LOVE horror movies, too. Even the bad ones! LOL) But I will read futuristics if they're well written (waving to Randy I. and Ronie), women's fiction (if they pull me--waving to Denise Hunter and Michelle), the lits if they amuse me (waving to Kristin Billerbeck and Diann Hunt) and even romance if I believe in the emotion. I only read historicals when I'm critting one.

10. I believe book art is VITAL. I'm very opinionated about this issue. (Ducking from Colleen's pop upside my head)

11. Did I mention I hate historicals?

12. I not only love books, I love writers. All of them. Even the historical writers!

13. I love critiques! Okay, this isn't about BOOKS so much as writing, but hey, it's related and it's MY list, so I can do what I want. Right? Doing it anyway! LOL I love getting lots and lots of suggestions and comments. Why do I adore abuse? Because I want to be the best writer I can be. Hard comments help me do that.

14. I love deadlines. Again, more about writing than books, per se, but again, I can do what I want. LOL I love imposing them on myself. I write better under pressure, I think. Or, as my bud tells me, when I'm really annoyed. (Hey Ron! LOL)

15. Did I mention I hate historicals?

Okay guys, that's enough delving into my mental status for today. Let's see....whom shall I tag? Hmmm.....
I tag...
Jeff, from the Write Thing
Dana, from Diary of an Aspiring Romance Writer
Mel, from Mel-O-Drama
Heather, so she'll HAVE to post! LOL

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Critiquing Services

Hey all...wanted to pass along another critiquing service for you guys to mull over. Now, before any of you start asking me why I'm promoting competition for the Critique Boutique (my critting service), I'll go ahead and service deals mainly in complete manuscripts or sets of chapters for contests, submissions, etc. This one is different....this service is a centralized, indepth service. So, without further ado, here's the info:

Hi! My name is Camy Tang, and I have a critique service called The Story Sensei.

A novel's structure is like a button-down shirt. It can be
mis-buttoned so that the story elements aren't quite in the right
places or emphasized enough, making the manuscript disjointed.

I also know that writers are DIRT POOR (I'm one of them), and many
can't afford to hire a freelance editor to go through their entire
manuscript (which costs anywhere from $300 to $3000) and identify
structural flaws.

I offer a cheaper, specialized alternative.

For only $40, I will do a high-level structural critique of your story
using a 2-page single-spaced synopsis and a chapter-by-chapter
synopsis. I'll look for things like:

• Good pacing, strong sense of movement
• Setting as a character
• Unique story premise
• Voice
• Clear story arc--beginning, middle, end
• Inciting Incident
• External goals
• Internal goals
• Obstacles/conflict
• Epiphany/sacrifice
• Black Moment
• Flaws
• Unique/original characters
• Secondary characters--goals, depth, contribute to the story

You can find more information on my website, including testimonies
from writers who have benefited from my services:

Thanks! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Wip Progress

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
38,000 / 90,000

Hilarous Blog

Hey guys....found this writer's blog and I'm ROLLING with his post for today...go check it out!

Some Progress

Total wip word count: 38K out of a projected 85K-90K
Today's word count: about 2326
Scene count: currently on scene #42 out of a projected 73

Today was a bad day for me. Things happened that really put me in a mood to not want to do anything, least of all write. But, I wrote a chapter anyway. My crit partners have it to slaughter. And slaughter it will most likely need, but can't edit what's not written, right? Right? RIGHT?

Monday, November 28, 2005


WIP total word count--36K
Today's word count--6K

Can you say "back in the saddle again"? LOL Okay, I know that was lame, but I'm excited I was able to write today. See, not only do I have BOTH the little girls home with me today, but also my husband is under the weather and home. SO, getting 6K done today was WONDERFUL!

Creating Character Emotions, by Ann Hood

Okay, either I just didn't "get" what the author was trying to portray in this writing book, or it just plain didn't make a lot of sense. Either way, I didn't get a thing out of it. At all. Except that I disagreed a lot with the examples the author gave of "good" emotion portrayal. For me, it was a disappointment to read this writing book and not gain any insight. Waste of my time, and money, personally. I learned so much more in CHARACTERS, EMOTION & VIEWPOINT in the Writer's Digest WRITE GREAT FICTION series. More "hands on" information, IMHO. Is it just me? Do I expect too much from the writing books I read? Hmm. Read the book--then YOU decide!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Back to Work!

I hope you all had a marvelous holiday! I'm so glad to be home! :) Being away from my computer really "ouched" me seriously! LOL

I did do SOME work while I was away....I plotted every scene from now until the end of my wip! Yes, me...the original SOTP writer PLOTTED out 2/3rds of a book! I'm impressed with myself. This one is just so complicated, I really had no other choice. I'm spending the day working on some paid crits, but plan to be back to work on my wip tomorrow morning...bright and early! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I'm Thankful......

This is the time of year which makes people automatically think of food, football, and family. Yes, I'll admit, those images do march across my mind. But the real deal with Thanksgiving is to remember to be thankful. Thankful that God sent His son to die for us....thankful that He is loving and merciful....thankful that our home is NOT of this world! Remember to take time out of your holiday to thank Him for these basic gifts He's bestowed upon all of mankind.

Additionally, I have so much to be thankful for in my life. So much that the blessings just fill my heart to overflowing. While I can't write down EVERYTHING I'm so enrichly thankful for, I'll just hit some high points!

I'm thankful for my husband, Case, who after 18 years together, we're still in love. I'm thankful for the provision he provides for me, the love we share, and the family we're blessed to have. But more importantly, I'm so thankful for the spiritual growth this wonderful man of God has undergone in the past few years. I'm thankful for my three daughters--Emily, Remington, and Isabella. Each is truly a special gift from God and being their mother is not only a blessing of love, but a true honor. I'm thankful for my parents and siblings (yep, including my bil & sil) and my nieces and nephew...each day, one of them touches me in an unexpected way. They inspire me, support me, and I'm blessed to call each one of them not only my flesh family, but my spiritual family as well.

I'm thankful for my old friends.....Tracey, Allison, Dana, Donna, Carla, Christi, Tina, Pat....these precious women have taught me so much about life and friendship. I'm thankful for the part they've played in helping me become the woman I am today. I'm thankful for my steady prayer warriors....Camie, Julie, Loree, Tricia, Traci, Sonya, Amy, Amanda, Martha, Miranda, Sheila, Dia, and Ann....what a blessing these strong women of faith are in my prayer life!

I'm thankful for my writing mentor, Colleen Coble, who continually inspires, motivates, teaches, and directs me. I'm proud to call her my friend, who I love to pieces. I'm thankful for my small crit group....Dineen, Ron, & Ronie....I have no doubt God put us in a group together--each of you bless me daily! I'm thankful for my other "critters"...Cynthia, Michelle, Heather, Camy and my roomie guys continually amaze me with your love and inspiration. I'm thankful for the awesome members of ACFW, who give so willingly of their time and knowledge--the blessings flow from the group!

I'm thankful for the journey God has brought me put so many wonderful people (way too many to name personally--you guys know who you are) on my path and bless me by your friendship.

May each of you have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving.....glory to Him!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

On a roll???

After being tied up with kiddo stuff Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I was behind in my weekly writing goals. So today, having been woken up at the ungodly hour of 6:30 (do NOT ask), I decided to sit down and try to write. The result? Wrote three chapters, 30 pages total, and my word count is now over 30K! That's 8K I've added in one day! Not bad for a morning's work, eh? However, my crit partners may revolt! LOL

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Crazy...I must be crazy!

Me, the hermit, was reminded today of the many reasons WHY I enjoy being a recluse. I don't like people! I had to take my teen shopping today to get her some jeans for her birthday. We go to the first store (I refuse to even consider a *gasp* mall) and she tries on like 12 pairs of pants. (BTW, do you know how frustrating it is for her to come out in a size 1 and say "they're too big and they don't have any zeros"! Justifible homicide comes to mind here.) An hour later, we have to go to the next store. An hour there and she FINALLY has a pair of jeans she wants. So, we mosey to the checkout counters. Now, there are THREE registers open, lines at each one, and I'm about at my limit. Do these people take "slow down" pills every morning? I mean, really. There were four people in line before us. It took the cashier THIRTY-FOUR minutes to ring up and move out those four people. I kid you not--I timed it. And these people only had like 2 or 3 things. Can someone say EXPRESS LANE? So, the cashier FINALLY finishes ringing up the customer in front of us and then realizes her cashier receipt paper is going out. So she goes to get another roll of the takes her FIFTEEN minutes to do this simple task my 5 year old could have completed in less than five! UGH. THe moral of the story? When I say I'm a hermit and enjoy myself, please do NOT try and convince me otherwise. I should just stay at home and forget about the rest of the world. I'm sure I, and the other inhabitants of planet Earth, would be much happier!

Harry Potter....Book vs Screenplay

I took my teenager to the opening of Harry Potter last night. WONDERFUL visual effects and great acting....good movie. Now having said that, I'd like to compare the book to the screenplay.

I DEVOUR the them opening day and read them that day. But how does one cut a 700+ page ms down to a 300 page screenplay? (And I thought I had it bad cutting 10K words! LOL) Granted, in writing a book we must put in setting and description--movies don't have to do that because it's shown on stage. But how does the writer decide what pertinent details to include in the screenplay? There were several points from the book that were omitted from the screenplay in the movie last night. Some of them tie into upcoming books, so I'm wondering how they'll explain certain plot points in upcoming movies. A total subplot wasn't even mentioned in the movie. Something that in book 5 ties up a main plot point. So, I'm wondering how they'll pull that off in two or three more movies.

And here's another thought I'm pondering....the Harry Potter books hit the bestseller list as soon as they hit the bookstores. The movies sell out, bringing in millions from the box office. Some people, like myself, read the books then watch the movies. Some people read the books, but don't watch the movies. Some don't read the books (what?! Not reading?! YIKES!) but watch the movies. This imaginary story from JK is filling a void in the market today. Or maybe because it was so fresh and unusual in the mainstream is why it's such a hit. I don't know, but I do know that JK has pulled me into her imagination for a while, shared her story with me, and I'm entertained. Fiction at its best. I could only aspire to pull off what she has.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Flattered or Annoyed?

I had an incident happen to me yesterday that gave some of my friends quite a laugh. I'm still trying to decide if I should be flattered or merely annoyed. Here's the scene...
I went to the high school to eat lunch with my daughter, Emily. Now, let's set the record straight: Emily is all, hair, clothes have to be just so, to her liking, before she leaves the house. Not wanting to embarass her by showing up in my normal appearance (hair in ponytail, no makeup, wearing sweats) I actually put on makeup, fixed my hair, and wore slacks with a sweater. Now that you have the backstory, on to my adventure. I took my 3year old, Isabella, with me. We sign in at the office, then move to the hall where Emily had told us to meet her. Now, my toddler is the easiest of my children--if I tell her to stand still and be quiet, she complies. (God, PLEASE let her stay so well behaved) So we're standing there and this teenage boy in a football letterman's jacket comes strolling by. (Sidenote--is it just me, or are high school guys MUCH bigger now than I was in high school? Yikes!) He gives me the once over, you women know what I'm talking about--the "up and down" look? I just rolled my eyes and focused my attention on Isabella. Emily comes out of class and heads our way. This football player walks around behind me, then bumps me in the shoulder. I turn my head, my eyes scathing his mere presence. Does this distract him in any way? No! He merely gives me a leer, then a smile, and says in a long, drawn out to ten syllable word "hhhheeeeeyyyy". I was mortified. I just said "hi. I'm old enough to be your mother." Emily caught the last end of it and didn't know whether to be appalled or find it hilarous that a high-schooler hit on her mom. I didn't know whether to be flattered or annoyed at the gall of some kid. Amusing? Yes. Strange? Yes. But I still can't decide whether to be flattered or irritated. Hmmm. I think I'll just go with funny and leave it at that.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

...the book is by Patricia Highsmith. You may recognize her name...she's the author of "The Talented Mr. Ripley". So you can imagine how excited I was to get this book and read it. When I finished devouring the book, I set it down and stared at it. Didn't help me a bit! I was SO disappointed. Then I looked at the copyright date....1983! So much has changed in the writing field in 20+ years! While the book has some amusing ancedotes, IMHO, it isn't a "writing" book. I gained no insight, nor any inspiration.

Hey...anybody want a used book?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Work in Progress...Progress!

Well, after a morning of procastinating, I completed chapter 8 and sent it to my crit partners. It wore me out! My total word count on this ms now? 22,500! Whew, no wonder I'm tired! LOL Now on to chapter nine????

Monday, November 14, 2005

Red Ink is Your Friend...Really!

Okay, have to admit, got that "title" from my crit bud, Ron! :)

Here's the thing.....why are we so afraid of crits? Is it putting our stuff out there for people to read and give our opinions of that scares us silly? I just don't get it. If we can't take it from our buds or paid critters, how are we ever going to face it from an agent/editor? SIGH. Crits can make us better writers, stronger writers, and make our stories really shine. Isn't that what every writer SHOULD want?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Passing the 20K Mark!

Woo hoo...maybe the rain's inspiring me! I've just completed chapter 7 in my wip, which pushes me past the 20K word count mark! This is a "goal" for me...I break my wips down into 20K average wordcount is around 80K, so I gear myself up mentally for 4 "sections", I'm one down, three more to go! Not as impressive as I'd like, but it's that first hurdle toward completion!

Moving Forward

Well, I fleshed out that scene again, rewrote over half of it, and it's coming in at a little over 1200 words (yes, that I wrote yesterday) so I guess the select all delete factor wasn't TOO bad! LOL Now to look over the scene index today and see what else I need to flesh out for upcoming scenes.

RAINING TODAY! Woo hoo! We needed it, badly.

Today's my dear friend, Dineen's, birthday...skip on over and wish her a happy bday! :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Writing Craziness!

Okay, amid a million other things I'm doing (yes, they ARE writing related, in a round-about way) I fleshed out the first scene in my next chapter. Here's my dilemma...I read it through a minute ago and thought to myself "this is horrid...what was I thinking?" I know we have to get it down before we can edit/revise it, but what do you do when you don't even want to read it again? UGH. Wait. I know the answer to that all, delete. Bye-bye 521 words that I slaved over today. Upward and onward, right? Right? Right?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

More Test Results...Still Playing

Here's another personality test result: The Ultimate Personality Test
The Real You: A Scientific Analysis
Rob, you're a Socialite!

This means you're confident, dependable, and goal-oriented — and when you make a plan you stick with it. Your natural friendliness and charm mean you're great at meeting people. And chances are you handle this popularity with grace since you take your personal life very seriously.

You are generous with your belongings and see work as an extension of your social life. Sometimes you can also be self-critical and worry too much.

And another one:
Rob, Indulging in a Retreat makes your mouth water

Getting away from it all is where it's at for a stylish and pampered soul like you. Nothing beats a departure from the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day like a jaunt to a serene and scenic spot.

Life's hectic, so what really makes your mouth water is some good old peace and quiet. Whether it's at a seaside cottage, lake house, or cabin in the mountains, you enjoy retreating to places that have lots to offer in natural beauty and untainted splendor. And if it's got a spa, all the better! Summer's about doing a whole lot of nothing. So get out there and relax!

And the last one....this is almost scary people! LOL
Rob, your Key Motivator, the thing that really drives you to success in life, is Curiosity.

Based on your answers about values, past behaviors, and internal priorities, we can tell you look for ways to be independent, to understand how things work, to have new and diverse experiences, or to explore sexuality. In addition, you may find that you're also motivated by aspects of prestige, stability, connection, and experience.

My Color Quiz Results

Okay, yeah, I SHOULD be writing....sorry, just not "into" it today! LOL Instead, I had to go take a color are my tell me, is it ME or not?

you are deeppink

Your dominant hues are red and magenta. You love doing your own thing and going on your own adventures, but there are close friends you know you just can't leave behind. You can influence others on days when you're patient, but most times you just want to go out, have fun, and do your own thing.

Your saturation level is high - you get into life and have a strong personality. Everyone you meet will either love you or hate you - either way, your goal is to get them to change the world with you. You are very hard working and don't have much patience for people without your initiative.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the html color quiz

Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint

Yep, it's one of the books in the WRITE GREAT FICTION series. LOVED it. Especially for someone like me, who seems to not add enough emotion into my poor characters' lives! LOL My critters are always pointing that out to me, you'd think I'd learn by now. But I regress, this book is an awesome tool in getting those emotions into your wip and how to avoid the deadly cliches! Highly recommend it! :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Beating the Blahs!

So I'm suffering from sinus stuff (Excuse me, we have cold weather for days, then we jump up into the 80s? This is ridiculous!) and my mind's just twisting off in strange directions. I'm almost 17K into this wip and quite clearly I'm hearing this is NOT for the CBA. So my dilemma? I need to start something that IS geared to the CBA for me to enter in the Genesis, if I decide to do that. But what? Not a clue! UGH! So I'm avoiding right now. LOL I've updated my website...yeah, you guys need to check that out....and I'm working on submitting applications to teach workshops at next year's ACFW conference. Yeah, don't ask. LOL ANYHOO, my Golden Heart entry is out the door...sent yesterday! WOO HOO. Now if I can just put it out of my mind until March when they announce the finalists! UGH, long wait, but SO worth it, I suppose. Let me see, what else is upcoming for me? Oh, on the 15th of this month the SSSS winners are supposed to be announced. I'm a finalist, so that's pretty exciting to see if I placed. On Dec 1st they'll announce the Susannah finalists and Dec 29th the Emily contest will announce their finalists. Hmm...will be a tension-filled holiday season for me! LOL Also, I judged in a couple of contests where there were some REALLY GOOD entries. Okay, there were TWO in the four contests I judged. I want to watch for those finalist postings as well and see how those entries did. Wow, I'm really rambling now, aren't I? Okay, back to trying to do SOMETHING constructive as I avoid actually WRITING! LOL

Monday, November 07, 2005

WIP, Progress!

Well, since I was up at 5:30 this morning anyway--don't ask--I decided to write a little. Make up for the lack of doing so this weekend. I finished chapter six and sent it to my critters. Then I checked my word count--almost 17K. After looking over my scene index I realize something startling...this book will probably come in around 100K upon completion. Hmm. And something else hits me...I think this is geared at the ABA more than the CBA. Hmmm. Another thing to ponder. But hey, I had to get out to go to the post office and grocery store and I've done that already. WOO HOO. Now I have an hour and a half to write before I have to go pick up my kindergartener! Let's see what I can do!

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Okay....I didn't feel well last night, so didn't get much done on my wip. Actually, I got NONE done! LOL But I did watch KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. Was actually pretty good. Well, then again, it has Orlando Bloom starring in it...need I say more? LOL

Today, I've looked back over my scene index and just can't help myself. I really need to write a scene. It's in my head, whirring around up there, battering against what was once my brain. And then it occurred to me...I need to update my website as well, adding a summary of my new wip on my WIP page. Sigh. It never ends.

So instead, I think I'll take a break from anything writing today and convert my 3 yr old's crib to a toddler bed. My little Tinkerbell child has been begging for Tinkerbell bedding for Christmas, so I'd better get her used to the toddler bed so when Christmas comes, she can have her twin Tinkerbell sheets. Uh, they don't make them in toddler bedding. SIGH.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Read that book? Let me tell you, if you haven't, do so! It'll take your characterization to a whole new level. For me, getting into my h/h and villian's skin is fun. Using this book to build their traits, likes/dislikes, and goals from their archetypes is a Godsend. Good charts in there, but I take their suggestions and incorporate them into my own character synopsis. What else was very helpful in this book was the heroine journey and the VERY different hero journey. Now that I'm trying to plot a bit in advance, having this information already figured out is HUGE for me. I highly recommend every writer get the book and keep it for each novel they write.

Golden Heart Preparation

Okay, guys....I've had my synopsis for the manuscript I'm entering in the Golden Heart looked over with a fine tooth comb and I think that it's as ready as it will ever be. UGH. I'm looking back over the entry itself one more last time, just to see where I can polish a bit more. But the thought has crossed my mind several times....polishing too much can suck the life and passion right out of the story. I love this particular story--it's my favorite so far--and the last thing I want to do is zap any of the passion and life from it. So when do we say enough is enough and leave it alone? SIGH. If I knew that, I guess I'd be way ahead of the game.

Friday, November 04, 2005


FINALLY finished the last scene in chapter five! WOO HOO. The wip is up to 14K now! Yippee! Doing the snoopy dance! Now to outline a few more chapters. Hey, I'm TRYING people. Doing a few chapters is a HUGE deal for me. So, we'll see how I do.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Plodding through the Plotting

Well, I've almost broken 13K on this wip. I have to say, this one is a booger for me. The keeping track of the HOUR timeline has given me fits, HOWEVER, it's a necessary evil. And, having a detailed outline, at least for these first few chapters, has really been helpful. Now to just pull in more emotion from my h/h. That book I'll touch on tomorrow when I post a recommendation on another book! :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Okay, how fitting is it that I picked James Scott Bell's "Plot & Structure" to recommend this week when I'm in that plotting part of my book. No, I don't do outlines or such, but with this wip, when I'm down to the HOURS in my timeline, I'm HAVING to do a rough sketch, at least here in the beginning. Had to revise my scene index, to include the actual time of day. WHEW....but, I'm getting there.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Whew! Sure feels good to be back in the "saddle", so to speak. Finished chapter 4 of my current wip, bringing my word count up to 11K on this puppy! Had to stop to rework my timeline. Which is HARD for a SOTP writer like myself, but in this wip, the plotting and keeping an eye on the timeline is VITAL, so I'm having to keep up with it. SIGH. At least I'm trying it! Now, to catch up on those crits waiting in my basket for me! FIVE of them! :)

Monday, October 31, 2005


Today, I'm going to start my review of some writing books that have helped me tremendously. They are the WRITE GREAT FICTION series published by Writer's Digest Books. The first book I'm going to talk about in this series is by James Scott Bell and is titled Plot & Structure. This book is an AWESOME help in figuring out the structure of your novel, and the plotting devices utilized by various writers. As a seat-of-the-pants writer myself, this book really helped me look into plotting SOME and lining up some scenes, etc. I'm currently working on implementing these suggestions in my current wip, and I have to say, I'm liking it. Oh, I don't think I'll ever get to the point where I write an extensive outline/synopsis to write from, but having a general overview has been fun to set up. I recommend you get the book if you're serious about plotting and setting up a structure in your novel!

Back to Writing

Happy Monday! This weekend was fun! Getting to see my family, eating, visiting, and playing Mexican Dominoes was so much fun! Had a great time. We took the girls to the Halloween carnival at church--they so have such a blast--and we went to the Pumpkin Patch! :) Oh, and for you wondering people, Bek whipped us all good in dominoes....however, in Mom's defense, she didn't feel so hot. LOL If I can get my scanner to work, I'll post the pix of the girls at the carnival!

Today, I'm back to writing. Hope to get some serious word count down on the page since last week was a total wash!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Inquiring Minds

For those of you who were wondering, I DID get my house clean yesterday and today! WOO HOO! Now I just gotta get my teen to sweep & mop her floor-she washed the sheets yesterday, so BB and Robert will have a nice clean room. Hmmm...might better check her bathroom, it's been a while since I've been in there! LOL Of course, I DO have children, so it'll all be a wreck by this afternoon, but hey, at least I got it done. Good thing the kids went back to school for a full day today! :)

I actually tried to work a little on my wip last night....wrote maybe 500 words, which were promptly deleted this morning. I can visualize the scene quite well, but SHOWING it with writing...well, it fell REALLY short of my expectations! LOL Will try again next week I suppose.

Looking forward to visiting with my family. That's the only thing that really is bad about having moved away from my home state....not being able to see my family/friends all the time. But we'll have a good time this weekend, no doubt! We always do when we get together. Wonder who's gonna win at Mexican Dominoes? money's on Mom!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Great Movie Lines Regarding Writers

I'm a huge movie buff. I'm a writer. So I get really excited when I find something that blurs the edges. Seen a movie, not necessarily great, but with a really great line in regards to writers/writing/etc? Here's mine, from The Stepford Wives....
Husband to wife: "Did you finish the laundry?"
Wife reply (played by Bette Midler): "I finished a chapter."

LOL Sounds like dialogue from around my house! LOL

So, any of you have any lines to share?

Still No WIP Progress

Here's the thing...with kids, you can never expect to be on schedule. I haven't written a single word on my wip this week! interrupts! LOL And today, I have to clean house because my family will be here this weekend! I'm SO beyond excited!

Contests.....just thought I'd announce some of the contests I've entered in....the Susannah, The Emily, and 1st Kiss. Now, I entered the Susannah because I want to support a Louisiana chapter, but also because I'm going to go to that conference in March, God willing. I only entered the Emily because, well, my oldest daughter's name is Emily. Even though there wasn't a category for me, but hey, I just couldn't help it! LOL And 1st Kiss? Well, I'm still not sure why I entered that one! LOL Oh wait, now I prizes and Warner is the final round judge. Hmm. Not that they had an inspy category, but hey, you never know.

Golden Heart.....I hadn't planned on entering because it's a stiff entry fee and membership to RWA....however, God never ceases to surprise me. He so loves using ordinary people to make extraordinary differences! So, because of His provision, and a very special friend being willing to do His will, I WILL be joining RWA and entering the Golden Heart. I think I'll enter Torrents of Destruction....any thoughts on that?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

WIP Progress HALT

You know, I knew my writing time would be very limited because of the kids getting out half days, but I had the intent to do some writing last night after I put the kids to bed and spent a little QT with my husband. I figured I'd write from at least 10 until 11. Didn't happen. Why? Because at 9:30, our electricity went out. Neighbors across the street had lights blazing, but my whole side of the street was without power. And it wasn't just a FLICKERING. Oh no, that would be entirely too easy. No, we were without power until almost midnight. I know this because we went on to bed around 10:30, and we thought we had turned off everything before we retired. However, my 3 yr old sleeps with her radio on....when I put her down, I normally have it at a normal volume, then when we go to bed, I turn it way down. Around midnight, my room fills with music! Ah, the power's on and the monitor beside my bed blared with her music. I managed to stumble to her room, turn down the radio, and crawl back into bed. I guess I COULD have gotten up, come downstairs, reboot my entire system and wrote a little, but by then, my heart wasn't in it and my mind was set on sleep. So, today I hope to get SOME writing done, before I have to go pick up the 5 yr old from her half-day out! UGH

Monday, October 24, 2005

Glitch in Writing Time

You know, just when I get on a roll, the wind gets knocked out of me! After such a great weekend for writing, I come to a screeching halt. Today, Tuesday, and Wednesday the kids get out half-days of school for end of 9 week conferences. Why would they do something so stupid? I mean, really....with the gas prices up, you'd think they'd consider just closing for one full day for the conferences--hey, the school buses wouldn't run for a day, saving a day's worth of gas. Think about this....all the schools in the district, all the buses that run for each school, the gas to do a run each morning and each afternoon for each bus for each school...come on, that could save some money. MY money...the taxpayers' money. I mean, am I the only one who considers such things? But anyway, I go back to my now, I have to stop writing like at 11:30 (yeah, I'm past that point anyway now! LOL) to get dressed to go get the kids, leaving here at 12:15. Therefore, my writing time is all jacked up! And, I have my family coming up this weekend for Halloween, so I need to clean the house. Don't you just hate when life interrupts writing?? UGH

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook

By MAASS.....published by Writer's Digest Books.....***** (5 Stars Rating)

Okay, I read the novel, then the workbook was recommended to me. After reading just the opening paragraph in the workbook, I knew I'd struck gold! This workbook can help you take your novel to the NEXT LEVEL. Indepth, insightful, with exercises to use..IN YOUR CURRENT WIP, make this workbook a MUST for any fiction writer.

More WIP Progress

Wow! I stayed up til 2 this morning, writing away. Final word count done in now, 3 days? Over EIGHT THOUSAND words! Wow, that really feels good. I needed it! After being in "research" mode for several weeks, I was glad to get back to the actual writing! I decided, after much debate among buddies, that every week, I'll be posting a "review" of a writing book, reference book, resource book for writers. So, check back weekly to see what I'm talking about!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

WIP Progress!

After my nap, I felt duly motivated to write. So, I wrote chapter two and sent it to my group! WOO HOO I'm feeling a bit happy today about that. Being as I just started this story, oh, two days ago and I'm now OVER 6K words into it, I'm thinking of throwing a party! Celebrating! LOL Actually, I'm just going to move on to chapter 3! I think I'll drive my group insane....see how much I can write and send to them by tomorrow night! Hmm....might be a cause of mutiny! LOL

Supposed to be writing, but I'm too lazy

Hi all! Just woke up from a nap with the kiddos. SHOULD be starting chapter two of my new wip....I'm getting pretty excited about this story...I'm dealing with some tough global issues and I'm pretty intense about it! Imagine that--me, intense? LOL Since my hubby's out of town, I opted for the nap today so I can stay up most of the night and write. Well, that's the plan anyway. Watched MONSTER IN LAW on dvd last night...was actually quite amusing. I've sent chapter one of my wip to my crit buddies/readers....hope to get a response back from them to see if it's hitting its "mark". I hate first few chapters, did I mention that? I end up changing them oh about midway through the book anyway, so you would think I wouldn't stress....but noooooo, I do! LOL But hey, God is good and He loves me, so I went ahead and left it and sent it to my readers! We'll see.

I'm a Blogger!

Okay, so kicking and screaming I was pulled into the lure of blogging! Why? Because everyone told me to! So I'm a little in denial about the whole am I supposed to be a wife, mom, home-organizer, critiquer, writer AND a blogger? I don't know, but we'll see!