Friday, May 13, 2016

The Downhill Slope - It's a Great Thing!

Crossing the 70,000 word line on the work in progress really makes me want to celebrate! :)

I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. Still have quite a ways to go to finish and tie up all the lose ends, but at least I can breathe again. My goal of finishing by the end of this month is looking more promising by the minute. The muse, as well as my characters, is playing nice, which is a rarity.

A scene that took me be surprise this week and had me questioning my heroine's state of mind has really become a turning point in the story. Thought I'd share a snippet. Now it's first draft quality so be warned. LOL

Ella fought to keep breathing. Her head hurt. Her chest ached. And her brain felt like mushy oatmeal. What Darien did to her parents would haunt her for life. What he’d almost done to her might be the last straw to do her in for good.
She stared passed the man who’d stolen her childhood, stripped her of her dignity and made her feel dirty and immoral. Like she’d been to blame for her uncle’s lustful ambitions. She stared on into the kind blue eyes of a stranger. The man who’d rescued her not once, but three times. She stared on trying to figure out what to do next. Did she dare trust him? Was she capable of letting a man be her whole world? Did she dare give him that much power over her?
Hand trembling, her finger so damn close to the trigger if she drew in a deep breath the gun would go off, she fought for clarity. Fought for the answer that would set her free. Heaven help her she wanted this to be over. All of it. And she now held all the cards. She looked down at the gun and then back at the man in front of her. If she pulled the trigger, the last of her problems would disappear. Without an army of minions, her uncle couldn’t come after her. He wouldn’t be able to track her. To find her. To hurt her ever again.
“Ella?” Seth’s face crinkled in that cute way she found so appealing and her heart flip flopped before lodging between her ribs.
She choked back a whimper. Who was she kidding? She loved this man. Every single inch of him. Heart and soul she was lost to him and him alone.
So weak and disoriented from her near drowning experience, her tortured body needed relief. She too collapsed to her knees, dropping the gun to the ground.
Seth was there in an instant, kneeling down in front of her. His strong arms embraced her smaller frame, holding her upright and for the first time in so many long, lonely, unrelenting years she felt at home. He was her family now. He was the one who could heal her brokenness.
“You had me scared shitless there for a minute.” He stroked the hair away from her face, lifting her chin with his forefinger.
“I’m so sorry.”
“After what you’ve been through, little lady, I don’t blame you one damn bit.” He plopped down beside her and pulled her into his lap, his kisses feathering the hair on top of her head. “You saved my life.”
“How about that.” She tried to laugh and coughed instead, reminding her how close she’d come to death herself.
“I thought I’d lost you,” he said, his voice tight, raw. Increasing his grip around her waist to keep her from turning around to look at him, he pulled her closer, his breathing unsteady. She snuggled in closer, the racing beat of his heart tattooing all kinds of promises deep into her soul.
And then she dared speak the words that would change her life forever.
“I love you, Seth.”

Love these surprises along the way. Although this one had me more than a little worried. I mean, how can you have a "happy ever after" in a romance if the heroine ends up shooting the hero. ACK!! Maybe it had something to do with it being Friday the 13th?

Oh, well!!  It's all good now! :)
Onward to the finish line!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tricks of the Trade - Writing Locations

Never fails.

I swear the minute I reach the middle of a new book my muse becomes uncooperative and takes a vacation. I've been plugging away on this new book with little trouble for weeks and loving the way the story is playing out.

Then wham! Muse decides to play hard ball.  Almost 50,000 words in. Okay. Let's put on the breaks, shall we?! Make her work for it!

Geesh...what'd I do to piss you off this time? LOL Was it me thinking I actually might finish by June?

Well, I've learned a few tricks of my own on this oh so twisted journey. One of which is switching the locations I write in to stir things up. Sometimes more than three times in one day when times get really tough. So far, the muse appears clueless to my antics, so I'll keep using this trick till it doesn't work anymore.

This afternoon, I stepped outside into my new office. A beautiful sunny day greeted me with a cool breeze, the sound of leaves rustling peacefully overhead as the steady trickle of the pond echoed in the background. I'll be honest, all I really wanted to do was lay back in the hammock and nap the afternoon away. But wouldn't you know, the crazy muse had other ideas. Sneaky thing that muse.

Crossed the 50,000 mark and still going strong. Shhhh.... Let's keep this our little secret. :) No reason to test fate.

I also received a cool new coffee mug full of goodies from my publisher this week!

"Professional Author at Work". Love it!

My new favorite cup! :)

Yes, it was a really great day!
Here's hoping there's many more to follow.

Would love to hear how you get those creative juices flowing again. You know, in case I need a new strategy after this post. LOL

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Shot of Creativity

The weather has been really wacky here lately. Beautiful spring like weekend only to wake up this morning to a chilly 48 degrees. Of course we will be warming up to around 67 degrees later this afternoon. Texas weather! You've got to love it! :)

All these sunny days have me wanting to be outside working in the yard, when I should be cranking out words on the new manuscript as I patiently (not) await my edits on the last one.  But creativity is funny this way. At least for me. It seems like the more I get out and enjoy God's beautiful creations and discover other's masterpieces, the more ready I am to work on creating works of my own.

My youngest has started the college search. Gulp. So we've been taking fun trips to visit the different campuses. Lots of inspiration to found there. A few photos from our latest visit to the University of Texas.

Canoes all tied together.

So much history and knowledge on all of these campuses I can barely wrap my brain around it all. But it's the idea my youngest has made it to this milestone that blows my mind. Decisions, decisions...which will he choose? Hopefully one close to home so his mom won't completely lose her mind. LOL

No matter how hard we try to drag it out, ignore the reality and pretend time doesn't affect us, life moves on, doesn't it. Better not blink or we'll miss the blessings and opportunities laid out before us.

Nothing rings truer than this as I get older.  And there is nothing like a good ol' shot of creativity to help me see the meaning behind all this madness.

Life is, and will continue to be, what we make it. ;)

So Happy Spring, Ya'll!!

Get out there, create, live, love and laugh till your belly hurts! :)

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Beginnings

The sweet month of February is finally here! Yippee!

Can you tell I favor this month? LOL 

Yes, it has to do with chocolate, strawberries dipped in it, and boxes filled with the delicious morsels. But it’s also my oldest daughter’s 21 birthday. She’s my Valentine Baby, and I must say the sweetest gift I’ve ever gotten on Valentine’s Day!

This February is turning out to be a month of new starts for me, too! I’ve just signed a contract with Entangled Publishing for my newest manuscript! Yeah! And I get to work with an amazing editor, who I know will get my creative juices flowing!

So excited to see where this new path takes me. It’s a lot different from the self-publishing. And I’m still learning the ropes. But I hope this course will free me up to write more as someone else deals with the formatting, covers, blurbs and other tedious parts of the publishing process.

Not that I don’t plan to self-publish when I get the chance or have a story that won't fit their line. I love the control too much to just let it go. LOL Control issues! Big time!

So my new journey begins. And I'll keep you posted on the details as they pop up. As of now, I've already turned in my first round of revisions on the manuscript, so now I can sit back, eat chocolate, drink tequila, and wait. Right?

No! Ha! Ha!  I’m only kidding! 

Time to turn to the next project.

Going to get back into routine, meet up with special writing friends each week and crank out those new words. Accountability is a must for me. Otherwise the procrastination wins out.

So happy Birthday to my sweet first baby girl!

And Happy Writing/Creating to All! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Life's Journey Awaits

So the New Year has come and gone, and January 2016 is already winding down. I’m shocked. How am I supposed to enjoy these moments with my kids while they’re home if time keeps zipping along at warp speed?

I think someone is trying to tell me something. Something very important.

Cherish the moment. Every single one of them. The good. The bad. The quick. The slow. Quit saying “if I can just make it till….” Because doing so only speeds up the very thing I’m trying to slow down. Time.

My new Work shirt! LOL
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I look at them as new year challenges instead. My first one is going to be a commitment to live in the moment. All of them. Regardless of what’s going on at the time. Regardless of what I might be dreading to do, or have happen or how hard it might be.

You see, both my sweet girls have already left for college a few years ago. I still can’t wrap my brain around it. And my son is a junior in high school this year. I’ve got one more year before the dreaded empty nesting starts. LOL

Yes, I’m dreading it with a passion. But I’m not going to let it steal my joy or all the precious moments and chances to make memories before it gets here. Nope, not gonna do it.

Bring on the tennis tournaments, the trips to and from the two different colleges my daughters attend for visits, the birthdays, the graduations, marriages… gulp. I’ll stop there. No need to get too far ahead of myself, right?

In the meantime, I’m happy to report I’ve been writing up a storm. Editing along the way, too. I didn’t make the goal I’d set for myself last year as far as writing went. Sometimes those goals are just not meant to be. Wishful thinking on my part. But I did finish a new book. Yeah! And I hope to have some very exciting news to share really soon.

2016 is going to be a Terrific Adventure and one wild crazy ride for sure!

Even if it drives me to drink! Ha! Good thing I found out tequila can help you lose weight. No really! I read an article! LOL

A win, win situation as far as I'm concerned!

Bring on the Margaritas!! Let's celebrate!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe how quickly the year has flown by. So many wonderful memories in 2015, along with hurdles and heartbreaks that test your sanity. But when it's all said and done, I find peace in knowing that God is still in control. His plan trumps ALL others.

So look for the positives every day!
 Enjoy the sunrises! 

And sunsets!

Make memories with family and friends and enjoy every second God has given.

And remember.

God is good! All the time!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Alone Time is Magical

Such a peaceful weekend.

Girls didn't come home from college this weekend since they will be home for Thanksgiving. (Miss them terribly!) And hubby and son took off on a hunting trip for the weekend. So that means I got some much needed and treasured "me" time. Magical Me Time!

Unlike most of my family, extroverts on steroids, I enjoy my alone time. Don't get me wrong. I love my family with all my heart and all the chaos we have created together. But for this introvert there is nothing like these rare moments when I have no one to answer to but myself. Well, there is still the dog and cat. But that's a different story. Another blog post maybe. LOL

During this time, I've finished reading several books I had started over the summer, revamped my newsletter, found a cool Progress Counter called NaNoWriMo Word Meter and added it to my blog, and got the Christmas tree all ready to put up after Thanksgiving. Even managed to get a few words down for NaNo. Whew...

Now I'm sitting back under a warm blanket with the puppy and enjoying the Hallmark channel and all those wonderful sappy Christmas stories I never get to watch when hubby or kids are home. I can sniffle and laugh and go awe... and no one will make fun of me. Priceless!

Gosh, I love this time of year. :) Cooler weather, spending time with family & friends, making new memories, eating good food and sharing lots of love and laughter. So much to be thankful for.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving filled with many wonderful blessings! May you Enjoy and Cherish every single moment!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pray for Peace

My heart breaks for those who were hurt or lost loved ones in these cowardly attacks. 
I pray for all touched by these senseless acts of violence. For France, their government, for their police, fireman, and paramedics  And for all those brave men and women who deal with these situations on a day to day basis in our military and others around the world.

May this tragedy bring us all closer together, strengthening our bond so that evil cannot win!


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Time is All I Need

If only I could figure out how to manage my time better, I'd be on my way to a less stressful life.
Now I know adding NaNoWriMo is a decision I didn't have to include in this maddening month of mayhem. But it's actually helping me keep my stress level down.

I know, right? C R A Z Y!!

Procrastination is my worst enemy. Well, that and my non- existent organization skills and urge to check on what's new and exciting on the internet. ugh... Word of advice. Stay off Pinterest! Whatever you do!! Don't pull it up. Don't scan down the list of pretty and interesting pictures. Don't click on anything. Just don't go there! LOL

Despite it all, here are my accomplishments so far this month.

* Edits almost done on next book. Getting ready to send it off and see what happens. :)
* Cute humorous Nano story I'm working on with my daughter coming along nicely. 4K words so far. Progress is slow, but lots of brain storming going on while I'm completing other daily tasks.
* Working on finishing next thriller as well. (I know. I'm walking a fine line! But after taking Margie Lawson's workshop at a conference in October, I'm energized!)
* Started my Christmas shopping already!
* Getting ready for Thanksgiving. Might be having my family here this year. Yikes!

Looks like I'm getting quite a bit done now that I've written it down. Yeah! I think I'll celebrate! Not even going to try listing, or thinking about, the things needing attention in between all of this fun stuff. They will get done. They always do. LOL