Thursday, May 27, 2010

The End

Thank you all for your kind words, prayers, and support. I just wanted to let you know that Grandma passed away at 1:30 this morning.

Her last chapter has been written, published in the hearts and minds of those who knew her, and now her book covers are closed.

She will be missed, but is at peace in a better place.

We’re all doing okay.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mayday MayDay and Update

Okay, so I’ve been so busy writing today that I forgot to post the final Mayday MayDay Wednesday check in. Hey, at least I remembered before Thursday! =)

So, how are you all coming on your goals?

It’s been a tough few months for me writing wise with school, kids, etc., but things are finally starting to kick into place. I had an epiphany at about 2:30 am (why is it that epiphanies can’t wait for a decent hour?) and jumped out of bed to write it all down.

I tried to go back to sleep afterward, but I couldn’t. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any writing done either since hubby was trying to sleep and the tap, tap, tap, of the keys wakes him up. So, I waited until the decent hour of 6:30 am (time to wake up the kids) and then started writing (after I woke up the kids).

I would like to have written more, but oldest son had a half-day of school because of finals (this will happen tomorrow too) so I had to stop writing to bring him home and get him something to eat.

Anyway, I’m not done writing for the day (at least I hope not . . . but the kids are home from school now so concentration will be a challenge), but here is my word meter so far:


Hope you are all having a great writing Wednesday!

Write on.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Few Words

My mother told me earlier this afternoon that Grandma is no longer responsive. She’s still breathing on her own, but won’t wake up. It probably won’t be long now.

I didn’t get much written yesterday since I was doing a beta read for someone and then this morning, I worked on some critiques I needed to get done. I did get a little writing done today though.

I’m hoping for more writing time tomorrow, but we’ll see how it goes. The kids get out of school on Friday, but oldest son (in high school) is turning his books in tomorrow so he doesn’t have to go on Friday. My first and second graders have awards assemblies Friday morning from 8:30 to 9:30 and then my fourth grader has her assembly from 9:30 to 10:30. After the assemblies, the kids can come home. Like that ever happens. They end up going around the school for the next hour or so getting autographs on their shirts (every year I buy them a shirt and permanent/fabric markers). *sigh* I don’t know why I ever started that tradition. =)

Anyway, that’s my updated life.

Oh, and coming soon to this blog . . . The Road To Publication series continues . . .

Hope everyone had a great Tuesday!

Write on.

Monday, May 24, 2010

And So It Goes

First of all, Grandma is still with us (I told you she was stubborn). I hope this doesn’t go on for too much longer though. My dad thinks she’ll pass on his birthday (tomorrow) and my sister’s anniversary is on May 31st and she’s worried grandma will pass then (sis’s birthday is Sept 11th so she doesn’t want a sad memory for her anniversary too).

Okay, so on to writing news. I’m finding myself able to get some writing done (and it helps keep the worries at bay). As of the end of yesterday, my word count looks like this.

I was tempted to go type four more words before posting this so it could be 4,444, but I resisted.

Now I’m going to write and we’ll see how much I can get done today . . . but I’m craving a pimento and cheese sandwich so I might have to take a break soon and run to the store for pimentos. =)

Write on.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Update on stuff

Thank you to all my wonderful friends for the words of comfort and support. I can’t tell you how much your thoughts and feelings moved and comforted me.

Grandma is still hanging on. As I said, she’s stubborn. Maybe I get my perseverance from her. ;-)

Since she’s not eating or drinking, they doubt she’ll last long. She’s still in the assisted living facility since that’s the way she wanted it. My aunt is staying with her constantly, and the uncles and my mom have been to see her.

After my good cry yesterday, I went to Snowflake to visit with my mother. Talking with her really helped me be more at peace with everything. Though I could have visited Grandma yesterday, I decided not to. It was hard enough to see her at her 90th birthday party in October because she didn’t know who any of us were. I’m comfortable with this decision and will remember her like she was; the grandma from before the Alzheimer’s.

I went to a special church meeting today and am even further comforted. I know family is forever and I’ll get to see Grandma again someday . . . and she’ll remember me then.

After the meeting, I felt like writing again, so I’ve been doing it. I’ll post my progress later. This post is just to update you and say thank you to everyone for their love and support.

Friends are the best and I’m glad I have so many who care. =)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Life . . . and death

Okay, I’ve been trying not to dwell on this and have been pushing it aside since yesterday afternoon when my sister called. The call itself  isn’t unusual and I don’t mind since I often get calls from one of my sisters (some more than others). Unfortunately, she wasn’t calling with good news and this is the real reason I wanted to veg out in front of the TV instead of write yesterday. =(

My grandmother (on my mother’s side). . . the only grandparent I have left . . . had a sudden decline in health yesterday. She’s ninety and suffering from Alzheimer's so it’s not a huge surprise, but it doesn’t make it any easier. She’s not expected to make it through the weekend. =(

I was going to Snowflake later today to take a puppy to its new owner, but now I worry I won’t get there before Grandma passes. I can’t leave early because hubby and son are out working and we were all going to go together.

Times like this remind me how fleeting this life is. Ninety years is a long time, but it seems like only yesterday we were little kids running through grandma’s huge garden (the corn fields were our favorite) and having her yell at us to get out before we ruined the corn. LOL She’d let us run through them after the harvest, but it was so hard to wait. ;-)

Grandma taught me how to grow a garden (even though I’m not as good at it as she was), can fruits and vegetables, pickle cucumbers, make jams and jellies, freeze corn, and appreciate the beauty of nature. Thoughts of her have been particularly strong lately as my mother has decided to grow a garden this year, and I’ve been helping when I can. Granted, Mom’s garden isn’t as huge as Grandma’s was, but still, it brings back memories. =)

Those memories will never die even when Grandma does. I know I shouldn’t let it hit me so hard. With the Alzheimer’s, she’s no longer the grandma I used to know anyway, and this passing will be a blessing to her.

Her mind went a long time ago and it’s only her physical body left. But, as long as her physical body held out, she was still here, you know? Then again, Grandma is stubborn and she might fight through and hold on for a few more days . . . who knows? But it would really be better if she didn’t have to suffer long.

Anyway, I’m not sure how much writing I’ll be able to do today. I’ve been trying, and I want to, but the worry about Grandma keeps intruding. I’ve been trying to use my writing to distract myself until hubby and son come home from work . . . but maybe I’ll just go soak in the tub and cry for a while instead.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Slowly But Surely

I’m plugging along with my rewriting. I really hope I get a good writing day soon. Things always seem to pile up when I WANT to write.

Anyway, here’s my word count update:

Yes, I’m quitting for the day and going to watch some TV. I’m horrible, I know, but I’m just done and can’t go any further today. I’ll have a fresh mind and spirit in the morning . . . right?

Write on.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

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Thank you for reading that important message from our sponsor. And now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

Okay, so CRASH doesn’t exist, but I can certainly send you the list of websites from the WPTB. ;-)

Since I was busy with life stuff yesterday (no I wasn’t wasting time online), I didn’t get much rewriting done. My word count looks like this:

What does your progress look like?

In other news, Lisa Schroeder is having an ARC giveaway on her blog. Go check it out and enter for your chance to win some amazing ARCs!

Now I must close my WPTB and go back to writing!

Write on.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mayday May Day Check in

Good Wednesday everyone! It’s time to check in on our progress since last week (though I technically didn’t post the check in until Thursday). I didn’t get much writing done yesterday because I spent most of the day doing research. Still, that was time spent on my novel so I’m okay with it. =)

My word count is:

I’ll probably not get much more writing done today because I have a field trip to attend and more research to do, but we’ll see what happens.

How are you all doing with your writing goals so far?

Write on!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Not Enough Words

I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, but I did manage to get a few words rewritten. I’m going to write a whole bunch more (I hope) today so I’ll be back to update this later (unless I don’t make it back, and then I’ll update tomorrow).

How is everyone doing on their own writing progress? Do you have a goal for this week?


Write on!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Being Accountable

Well, I ended up cleaning house and going to see Ironman II this afternoon so I didn’t get much writing done. Still, I did a little bit.

I’ll come back and update if I get a chance to do more later today, but right now we’re taking the kids to the park and then out to dinner.

By the way, the 70000 word count is a rough estimate. I may not make that many words or I may go over. We’ll see. Anyway, here’s my progress for the day.


Write on.

Friday, May 14, 2010

How Do I Write Thee?

Let me count the words.

Okay, so I’ve decided to do a rewrite of Wolfsbane at Midnight. Yes, I’m insane. Okay, not really. Trust me when I say this is a good thing!

I’ve had some feedback that has given me ideas for improving the MS. I’m super excited about all the changes . . . but there are many changes and this will mean a rewrite of the novel. I’m sure there will be some moments I can tweak and still use, and the premise is the same. For the most part, I’m shaking up the beginning, not killing some people off so soon, killing others off sooner, and generally messing my MC’s life up as much as possible.

Hey, it’s for her own good!

Oh, and since I’m rewriting anyway, I decided to change the POV from third to first person.

I kind of like the “old fashioned” feel of the third person, which works well for the whole fairy tale thing, but I just started the rewrite today so I need to give the first person POV a chance to work. I think it can, I just have to figure it out.

Anyway, I’ve decided to keep myself accountable by using a word count widget. I found this one on It looks like it will be fun because you can change the mood of the little dude at the computer. I’ll let him watch TV right now.

And then I'll let him sleep

Good times! Anyway, my word count today is lame, but at least it’s a start! =)

I’ll be writing as much as I can this weekend though I’m sure I’ll have to occasionally stop and feed the family and all that. I’m hoping to at least reach 1000 words tomorrow! Yeah, that seems like a reachable goal. I’m sure I can find a few minutes to write the 68 words I’ll need. ;-)

Hey, it’s all about realistic goals, people. =p

Hope you all have a great weekend! What are your plans?

Write on!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mayday May Day . . . My Bad . . .

I was so busy studying for my final and finishing up my research paper yesterday that I forgot to post a check in for Mayday May Day.


How are all of you doing on your goals? Now that I’m finished with my schooling for the semester, I’m looking forward to getting some writing done!

I think I’m going to do some revising, but I may change my mind and work on the new WIP. It’s 6:47 a.m. and I’m not quite awake enough to make a decision. ;-)

No matter what I decide to do, I’m just thrilled that I’ll be writing again. Yay!

Write on.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I know I posted a link to Maggie’s amazing Linger trailer in my last blog post, but I’m imbedding it here to make it easier to view (I hope):


Seriously, it is cool stuff!

Now onto other lingering things. I’ve had lingering doubts about going back to school in the fall. Part of me really wants to, but another part of me wants to spend more time on my writing. At this point, I’m not sure what to do. My intention was to go back 1/2 time in the fall, but I had so much fun in the ceramics classes that I really want to take them again. If I do, that would put me at full time (ceramics is two different days and 3 credit hours per day), but I’d only be getting credit for 1/2 time (because I don’t see them giving me credit for the ceramics classes again).

I may have to break down and not take the ceramics classes. This makes me sad. I’ve had more fun doing ceramics than anything I’ve done in a long time. It made me happy and I realized I kind of need the creative outlet. I’m not saying writing isn’t a creative outlet, it is, but the written word on the page isn’t the same thing as holding one of these in my hands (these are some of my final pieces from the class):

P5030405 P5030407

P5030413 P5030421P5030418 P5030416 

 P5100463 P5100464 P5100467 P5100456



Those of you who know me well, know I do a bit of sketching (not professional by any means), so I suppose I could go back to sketching to satisfy the artist in me. But something in me is drawn to ceramics process. I’m fascinated with molding a hunk of clay into a bowl (as you can tell, I like bowls LOL), a vase, a plate, a whatever! Then after it dries, it’s fun to put it in the kiln for firing and hoping it doesn’t crack. When it comes out of the kiln, there’s the fun of glazing it. I really enjoy experimenting with the glazes. After it’s glazed, there’s anticipation of wondering how it will come out after it’s re-fired. Will the colors work? Will it crack? Will I like it?

And the really fun thing is that all these pieces are usable! They’re dishwasher and microwave safe (there’s no lead in the glazes)!

I use the big bowls (grapes, butterfly, flowers) for salad bowls. I haven’t used the smaller bowls (the first two pictures . . . I did them on the pottery wheel, and I’m not a master potter yet). They’re kind of too small to do anything with (hey, it was my first few times on the wheel). I’m not sure I like the coloring of the vase. I want to make a new one and paint the glaze on instead of dipping it in one color (can’t you just see it with yellow flowers on a blue background?). I also want to make more pasta plates (the big square thing with the grapes) because I have another version with 3D grapes (I’ll get the 3D grape plate back on May 14th because he had to re-fire it).

I was also thinking of trying my hand at making some mugs. I do have left-over clay and the instructor said I could make things over the summer and bring them back in the fall for firing and everything, but I’d have to be signed up for the class.

*sigh* Oh the lingering agony of having to make a decision. =(

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll figure it out. For the time being, I guess I better get of the internet and get busy on finishing up my research paper and studying for my English 102 final (tomorrow night) and my Cultural Diversity in Education final (Wednesday night). Hopefully, I’ll still have some time today to do some work on rewriting one of my WIPs.

Write on.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Road to Publication: Mechanics

I’m feeling a bit better today, but I’m thinking it might not be allergies since I ended up having a bit of a fever. I’m still stuffed up and coughing up a lung, but I don’t feel like I’m going to pass out every time I try to stand up. That’s good.

Anyway, before I move into the whole Road to Publication thing, I wanted to direct your attention to the amazing Maggie Stiefvater and her magical LINGER book trailer. If you haven’t seen it, you must go and watch. The things that girl can do with music (which she composed herself), paper cut-outs (which she made herself), and stop-motion camera work (she did that herself too) is absolutely breathtaking.

Okay, let’s get back on the road.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at mechanics. These are the wonderful people/books/other resources that help keep us running. Let’s face it, everyone has a break-down at some point. The key is to get that car fixed and get it back on the road.

You need a mechanic.

A mechanic will tell you how to fix your car, they will guide you during the process, but the actual fixing of your car is up to you. Seems like a raw deal, I know, but no one knows your car better than you. There are many different mechanics, and not every mechanic is right for every car. It may take a few tries before you find the mechanic you love. You may find more than one mechanic, and that’s okay too. You may like the way one mechanic handles the spark plugs, but another mechanic is a whiz with the engine. It’s okay to have more than one.

Where can you find them?


Often, you can learn how to fix your car by attending a conference or workshop. There are many available and likely some near enough for you to attend. Yes, these cost money, but good mechanics often do. Conferences and workshops are invaluable to any writer on the road. They are inspiring and teach us what we need to do to keep our cars running. Visit as many of these mechanics as you can afford because they offer new information all the time. You will always learn something that will make spending the money worthwhile.

Writing books

There are hundreds of books about writing that will teach you “how to” write. These also cost money unless you have a library that stocks them.  Just like conferences and workshops, there are so many available that you’ll always be able to find some new technique to get your car running.

I have quite a collection of writing books, and I’m sure I’ll acquire more as time goes on.

A few of my favorite writing books are:

Finding Your Voice by Les Edgerton

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass (and the companion workbook)

The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass

Fiction First Aid: Instant Remedies for Novels, Stories, and Scripts by Raymond Obstfeld

I could go on and on because there are many great ones out there, but these are the ones that came to mind without having to consult my bookshelf. Feel free to comment with your own favorites.

Agent/Editor/Writer blogs

These can be some of the most helpful mechanics available to you. And, they’re free! Not only do you get to find out more about the agent/editor/writer you are stalking researching, but you get valuable tips on writing that can give your manuscript a tune-up.

Some of my favorite Agent/Editor blogs: (Mary Kole from Andrea Brown Literary Agency)

Crowe’s Nest (Sara Crowe with Harvey Klinger, Inc.)

Guide to Literary Agents (Chuck Sambuchino Editor for Writer’s Digest Books)

Alan Rinzler blog

Query Shark

Nathan Bransford

Brooklyn Arden (Cheryl Klein with Arthur A. Levine)

There are many other agent/editor blogs out there as well. Feel free to post links to your favorites in the comments. I also have many helpful author blogs I visit, but since this post is already longer than I anticipated (I need to get to writing at some point today), I’ll forego posting them. Feel free to comment with links to your favorite author blogs.

Writing Websites/Forums

Having a place to go where others share some of your same experiences can be invaluable. Not only can you learn ways to keep your car running, but you can benefit from the camaraderie of other authors and professionals in the business.

A couple of my favorite sites:

SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators)

Children’s Writers and Illustrators Message Board (Verla Kay’s)

Anyway, those are a few suggestions for finding the mechanic(s) who will keep your car in good running condition so you can continue on the Road to Publication.

Write on.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

‘Tis the season

Not to be jolly ‘cause Christmas is too far away, people. No, ‘tis the allergy season I’m talking about. I hear the wetter than normal winter had something to do with making all the allergy inducing things grow more abundantly this year. Whatever the reason, I’m dying! Not literally, of course. I don’t think I can die from watery eyes, runny/stuffy nose, and sneezing . . . unless I banged my head when I sneezed or the watery eyes blind my vision and make me wreck . . . okay, I guess I could die, but I doubt I will. =)

I don’t like the symptoms though. I’m going to have to look into some kind of medication, I suppose. I usually depend on Sudafed when I get a cold, but I’m not sure how it will work for allergies. Anyone out there have any good over-the-counter allergy med recommendations? It can’t be anything super powerful though cause I react strangely to medication. The non-drowsy Sudafed even knocks me out (I’m strange, I know).

The really fun part about all this is I’m a chaperone for D2’s field trip today (leaving in two hours). Guess what we’re doing?

Walking to the Forest Ranger Station . . . and then going into the forest. *sigh* I’m packing a box of tissues. I’m also taking a hat to protect me from the sun, but I’m not sure my stuffy head will fit inside it. Maybe I ought to take one of hubby’s hats . . . his head is bigger than mine. ;-)

Luckily, it will only be a 2 1/2 hour field trip (we’re walking from the school to the station and back . . . about 1/2 a mile round trip).

In writing news, after I’m done posting this, I’ll spend a bit of time getting started on a rewrite of a manuscript. My goal for May is to get at least half of it rewritten.

We’ll see if I can reach the goal what with all the last minute field trips, volunteer celebrations, school volunteering, allergies, and my own schooling to finish up (next Wednesday is my last class YAY!!!).  Why do they try to cram a whole bunch of stuff into the end of the year?

Anyway, will you be suffering with allergies and doing last minute school stuff like me or do you have better plans for your month of May?


Write on.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mayday Mayday check in

Here’s the check in point for all you out there who are joining us in May. We’re holding ourselves accountable for our writing and working on our goals, feel free to join in if you haven’t already.

What’s your writing goal today?

I probably won’t get much writing done  since I’m off to my mom’s house to work in the family garden, but I wish all of you luck today!

Write on!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Monday Mumblings

I’ve been fighting a flu bug or something, so I hope you’ll forgive my lack of posting and responding on your blog posts. I didn’t want to spread my germs. ;-) I’m no longer praying to the porcelain god, but now I’m coming down with a sore throat and cough. I’m not sure if these are new symptoms or left over from whatever bizarre bug I had in the first place. Still, I have much more energy than I did. Though the cough and sore throat are annoying, they’re better than the flu-like symptoms I’ve been dealing with for over a week.

Anyway, I have two kids home sick today with the same garbage I had. Unfortunately, my six year old is one of them. He has a problem making it to the trash can or toilet so I’ve been having to clean up after him. *sigh* The joys of motherhood. =)

In other (less nauseating) news, I only have two more weeks of school left for the semester. I’ll be glad when it’s over, but I’ll miss the fun of the ceramics class. Tomorrow will be my last ceramics class (not sure why he’s ending a week early). I’ll get around to posting pictures of my latest pieces eventually. I’m thrilled with some of them and not so thrilled with others. I plan to take the ceramics class again in the fall. I’ll only take one other class in the fall. Full time was too much for me this semester. I think half time or three quarter time will be plenty of work for me. Especially if I take the math or history class I need.

During my illness, I managed to get a little bit of writing done on my new-ish YA novel (but not much). Mostly I spent my time reading. I managed to read quite a few novels, but I still have several more on my I didn’t get the reviews written; that will have to wait until after the semester ends because I have some papers I have to finish.

By the way, Ingrid Sundberg has an awesome post about how to wow an editor on her blog. It’s full of some great information so be sure to check it out!

Well, those are my Monday mumblings. I’m off to eat some lunch and see if I can get some writing done before I have to go get the other two kids from school.

Write on.