Archive for March, 2011

Here I am in beautiful Richardson, Texas, gearing up for the Dreamin’ in Dallas writers’ conference. (I came a day early to get a lower airfare, and so I could hang with my old critiquing partners for a bit.) It’s nice to be in a hotel room by myself, though, and just chill. And how pleasant it was to see the prices on the menu in the bar! I didn’t really think California restaurants were that much more expensive, but a big chicken salad wrap with a huge side order of fresh fruit for 8 bucks–in a hotel–wow.

I’ve been OD’ing on NCIS on the big flatscreen TV and lounging on the Sleep Number bed with the down duvette and trying to figure out how they folded the end of the toilet paper roll like that. (Honestly, it was a work of art. I hated to use it.)

I just hope my blue sparkly nails last until Saturday. I bought that “Peel and stick” nail polish, and it really works pretty well. My right hand looks better than my left, though, because I did my left hand first and didn’t really get the hang of it until I’d done a few.

I got some writing done on the plane. Word count is inching up and I’m at least starting to feel better about what I’m writing as I hurtle toward the end.


Shadows from the Past


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Shadows from the Past

It’s from the Savvy Authors forum, where I’m teaching a class.

Today is moving day! We get to move back into our bedroom and I’m so excited. I’ve been working on this room for months. I’m also going to plant the tomatoes we bought at Home Depot yesterday. (We couldn’t find the new window hardware we wanted, but we didn’t leave empty-handed.)

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The original hardware on our built-in bedroom drawers were covered in so many layers of paint, it was impossible to tell what they were. I stripped the paint and discovered they were copper, but still darkly oxidized. So I cleaned them with ketchup (yes, ketchup) then shined them with a silver polishing cloth.

Like everything else in this house, they still have a distressed look, but I rather like it!

Built-in drawers with semi-restored copper hardware

Gradually finishing up the details so we can move into the bedroom. I’m going to have to buy new window hardware; I tried to fix up the old, but it’s just too far gone. It’s not copper or brass,  just pot metal, so I don’t feel too badly replacing it.

Earlier today I attended a Scriptwriter’s Network meeting. Patrick Horton was the speaker. Last time I heard him speak, I wasn’t quite ready to accept his advice (you pretty much have to rip your own guts out to write a good story). Today, it settled better with me. I think we all hear what we’re ready to learn. His message is that every story we write is somehow autobiographical, and once we get in touch with the journey we, as writers, need to make, we can write an authentic story that resonates with readers/viewers.

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I didn’t sit down to write my pages until after dinner. (Normally I write in the mornings.) But at least they got done!

42981 / 70000 words. 61% done!

Grr. I don’t know why the word meter isn’t working properly. Just imagine that lovely blue bar that’s supposed to be there.

Not much else to report today. More rain. I don’t mean to complain, because rain is always welcome where I live, but it’s getting a little monotonous. Wish the clouds could save a little, and deliver it in, say, August.

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Quick Check In

I am so falling behind! Ack! I have no idea why this book is writing so slowly. My normal pace is just not here. At least I haven’t hit that “I hate this book” stage where I want to give the advance money back and quit writing altogether. I’m more at the “I think I can finish this book but it’s going to be crappy” stage.

38679 / 70000 words. 55% done!

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Three-act structure–which you will find in almost every movie ever made–has been around at least as long as the ancient Greeks. Screenwriters adhere to it strictly. As a novelist, you are probably more aware of it than you think. You know that every story has a beginning, a middle, a climax and a resolution. But knowing the specifics of what goes where, and when, can help you structure your story so that it resonates with readers on a subconscious level.

Next month, my online class is “Structure Your Novel Like a Movie,” hosted by the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. In
this workshop, you’ll learn the ins and outs of this basic storytelling form and how to apply it to a novel of any length or genre. It’s not a formula, but rather a powerful storytelling tool to help you emphasize a story’s strengths and shore up its weaknesses. It’s a tool you can use before you write or during revision.

When: April 1 – 30, 2011

Where: http://heartofcarolina.org/online-classes.html

Cost: $20-$25

Deadline: March 25

In May, I’ll be teaching an online class on Setting. Click on the “Workshops” tab at the top of this page to find out about this and all future workshops.

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Creeping forward, but still not where I need to be.

33349 / 70000 words. 48% done!

Had some excitement yesterday.  The previous evening, our oven wouldn’t come on and our burners were kind of sickly. Overnight the furnace didn’t kick on. So I called the gas company. Turns out our earthquake sensor had been tripped. Cost $65 to reset it.

The gas company guy said it was probably a garbage truck–or maybe the big car accident that happened in front of our house the previous day. Seems kind of strange, since when we did have a real earthquake a few months ago, one that violently shook the house, the earthquake thingy didn’t trip. Oh, well, I guess all that matters is that we were able to cook our weekly frozen pizza last night.

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