Thursday, January 31, 2008


Today was a totally wasted day as far as writing goes. I ran a million errands in the morning, accomplished very little and cooked all afternoon.

Abbey is still not herself and that's beginning to worry me lots. I don't know what to do for her when she whimpers. This morning, I had the devil of a time putting her pill in her mouth. She screamed and hollered and cried. But, none of this seems to have affected her appetite except for her carrot treats. She won't eat those. She wants cheese. Of course, she might be working a con-job on me, knowing I'm a softy when it comes to having a pup in pain.

Consequently, I didn't do a single bit of writing and here it is--8 p.m. and I've done nothing constructive. Some days, the writing comes last.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sick Pup

Monday I rushed my little Abbey, English setter, to the Vet's. When he called later in the day and said he wanted to keep her longer, so that he could X-ray her, I knew something was up.
By the time 5 p.m. on Tuesday came around, I was a wreck. I had the feeling that it was something serious--and unfortunately, I was right.

My poor little female has severe hip dysplasia. She was groggy when I brought her home and couldn't settle down anywhere she hurt so bad. She cried most of last night, sometimes in her sleep, and I had to take her outside twice during the night. She seems a bit better today and is on the pill the doctor gave her. We will have to wait several days to see how effective they are.

Consequently, I'm a wreck, only did a tiny, miniscule bit of writing Monday and Tuesday because I couldn't concentrate. Today I have to go to Red Hat luncheon for a gal who used to work at Curves and then go to Bennington to get several huge foam rubber mattress toppers. I'm going to make some comfortable beds for Abbey...knowing full-well that Barney will used them, too.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A break

I obviously took a longer break from the blog than I had planned. Saturday, I went to the Saratoga Romance Writers meeting. It's about 50 minutes away from where I live, but we had a Board meeting (I'm the current Vice-President.) and then a regular meeting. One of the gals gave a workshop on "Beginnings and Endings," something she's learned at the New Jersey Conference last October, and I found it very interesting.

After lunch, we did a bit of critiquing and I presented the next scene in Saratoga Winter 1865. They always do a nice job of giving feedback, but it still amazes me that there are so many different opinions on every paragraph. But it all helps.

Of course, on Friday, I had presented a different scene to the Cambridge Writers.......they really take the entire presentation apart and help me put it back together again, better than it was before. The Cambridge Writers have several folks that give much the same feedback on a constant basis. I try to learn by it--it is much the same advice that my friend from Tupper Lake often gives me. I guess I tend to I am very willing to cut.

Saturday and Sunday presented an other-than-writing probelm. One of my English Setters was not acting right. She seemed to be in pain and is at the Vet's today, until he finds out what's wrong with her.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Critiquing and Revising

Today, I made some financial decision--like, don't buy
I also revised my Chapter Two, Scenes 3 and 4. Tomorrow, I'll present them to the Cambridge Fiction Writers for their feedback and then, when corrected more, will put them into the novel folder. I will not touch the chapters and scenes in the folder until I'm ready to do a final revision.

I also posted the first scene in the Word Slingers' group at Writer's Village. The group is finally back together again after the University changed much of its direction on the website. Now that we're all together, we'll begin posting small portions of our novels for feedback. The feedback I get from them is usually pretty darned good.

As always, no matter what kind of feedback you get from friends, other writers and even strangers should be taken with a grain of salt. There is no way an author can please all people at any given time, so, in the end, an author must rely on his/her own judgment. This is particularly true when you start a novel. No one can know what you have in your head. They can only see a piece of work from their point of view...........and as all of us know, POV is very important.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Website Day

Although I printed out Chapter Two, Scenes 3 and 4 of Saratoga Winter 1865, I decided to work on learning more about doing my own website. I'll do some reworking of the scene after I watch American Idol tonight, but, in the meantime, I'm reading a book on how to do a website in Front Page, which is no longer on the market.

I spent a good deal of the afternoon trying to get another copy of the program, since I can't find my original disk. I called Microsoft (in the Phillipines) four times and now have more Microsoft numbers than I can possibly use. Front Page is kaput. They now have a new program called Expression Web. Since I can't do the easy one yet, I'll be dipped before I spend money on another program. I then went to Amazon, E-Bay and several different stores but no one seems to have copies of the entire program. They sure do have a lot of books on it, but I already have three.

Nevertheless, I am reading up a storm and understanding a bit more each time I read. Tomorrow, I'll get back to the novel and work on the scene so I'll have something ready for the Cambridge Writers' Fiction group. They give such good feedback that I can't afford not to have something ready for them.

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Ideas

Today was a day for learning new things. I didn't have time to write it all down, but I think I might be able to duplicate what I did today. As you can see, my books are up on the blog, so readers can go directly to Amazon. com and order them. I'm thrilled.

And I have to tell you all, that I couldn't do it without Nikki Leigh, who has written several fine books, including a Promo 101, which leads an author to all kinds of different promotion ideas. She's in the middle of writing the second book on the subject, but she was gracious enough to help me out. She made me feel good enough to experiment--so if my blogs go crazy, it's because I'm playing, trying to make them better and better..........especially since my website is not online, at the moment, having been hacked twice.

I didn't do much writing today because of all the Internet fooling-around. I will get to the story tomorrow. I did manage to put my latest edit of Saratoga Winter: 1865 on the big computer. I used my flash drive and moved it. At least, I've learned to do that.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's Sunday

It's Sunday and the games before the Super Bowl. Having unexpected company today was kinda' a drag. We went out to breakfast at the new place down the road and met some acquaintances, who decided it would be fun to stop over and watch the Patriot game.

I did manage to edit a bit of Chapter 2, Scene 3 of Saratoga Winter: 1865 and have that scene ready for a bit more action. I need to keep setting up the heroine so that I get her to Saratoga, then I'll get the hero there. There was a big fire in 1865 and I think I'll incorporate that into the novel...........if it falls at the right time. I can't wait to get Egan reunited with Connor.

I'm curious about heroes and heroines. What do some of you consider the most important aspect of their personalities?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Writer's Meetings

I consider myself a lucky person. I am the member of a top-notch writing critique group. The Cambridge Fiction Writers are only seven in number--with only one missing right now and hiding out in Florida. Two of the gals are professional editors, one is an extraordinary writer of extremely lyrical mainstream, one is a fine romance writer, my husband writes legal novels on the subject of zoning, and I have gone back to my historical novels. Surprisingly, we meet each and every Friday. There are days that some can't make it but we're never less than four. We have been meeting every week since the late spring. I find it wonderful that everyone in the group is so committed--and we all write so differently.

So far, I have submitted the first two chapters of Saratoga Winter: 1865. Their comments on the story are usually right on and their grasp of grammar and the craft of writing is phenomenal. Consequently, I feel like the luckiest writer in the world.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Being a Dunce

Being a total computer dunce is a hard life. It took me hours to find the card I'd written that had my email and password on it. And I keep a file, but the darn card had three different things on it. I have to go through all the different emails, all the different passwords, until I found the right one. Thank God for the friend who told me to keep a record. Anyway, here I am, back at last. I think I'll be using this blog until such time as I can get a new website up, since the old one has been hacked twice.

I would like to catch up with what I'm doing. I have put Vengeance Is Mine aside for a time. It just wasn't going the way I wanted it to go. I love reading suspense but not as sure about writing it, so I have had to fall back in order to go ahead.

What I'm doing now is working on a sequel to Saratoga Summer: 1863, which was about Connor O'Malley, the oldest of the five O'Malley brothers. Saratoga Winter: 1865 is about Egan the youngest brother, who arrived in America with Connor. When Connor went to Saratoga during the course of the Civil War Conscription riots in New York City, Egan stayed in the City. What happens to him is quite a bit different than what happened to Connor, but he, too, manages to get to Saratoga. Egan has a rich, full life and is a "hunk". I will be writing a lot about him in this blog.

Also, Monday evening, I was on an Internet Radio Program, hosted by Phil Harris. The entire experience was delightful, including the host. I also got a chance to hear the voices of many people I've met on the Reader's Station loop. Nikki Leigh, Elena Bowman and Arline Chase, my publisher, were on with me. Two gentlemen stopped by to chat and it was quite lively. I'm anxious to do this again.