Wednesday, February 27, 2008


We have enough snow here right now that I'm willing to sell some to anyone who would like to decorate their lawns in white. It's been snowing for 24 hours. It's stopped everywhere else around us, but we seem to be in some sort of valley that has a cloud hanging over it........and the snow comes down and down and down.

This morning, I shoveled the deck and the path to the office. Then I went to exercise and out to lunch. I didn't get back until after one and haven't done a thing since. Shel, on the other hand, pushed the snow around on the deck, since it hasn't stopped coming down. And tonight, I shoveled the front porch. All this exercise is tiring me out. I didn't do a single useful thing in my writing today.

Disgusting isn't it?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Doctor Days

On the days that either my husband or I have doctor appointments, I just don't seem to get much writing done. I did some this morning on the beginning of Vengeance Is Mine. But, it's hard to work on something when the time you get to spend on the writing is broken up by other things.

I'm curious, with this snow storm, if the school will be closed. On days that it is, I seem to get much more work done. I spend a part of the morning shoveling snow off the deck--for the dogs--and then shovel snow off the walk to my outside office, where the big computer sits and waits. Once the shoveling is done, I go to the office and work for a long period of time. The only thing wrong with that office is the fact that I have to come into the house for lunch--or to go to the bathroom. "Mighty inconvenience," I say.

I am anxious to go to the office. There are things I want to get done on each of the novels I'm working on. Each day, I make a list of what needs to be done--and my greatest pleasure is to draw a line through each thing accomplished.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gone to the lists

I've had it with my foolish ways. I am making a list of everything I need to do in the course of a given day. Each day, I will do my household stupid errands in the morning. My writing activities, other than a blog or two, will get done in the afternoon--unless I can get some done in the morning, especially these blogs.

For today, I have seven items on my list. I have done two of them, will do a third within the hour and am writing this blog a bit earlier than planned. I will be able to save the afternoon for some writing exercises--although, I must admit, I snuck in some writing this morning before even getting showered and dressed for the day. I'm cheered up already.

I have some monumental writing to accomplish. I must definitely rewrite pages 9 through 15 of Saratoga Winter 1865. It seems that, in transferring those pages from flash drive to computers, I have lost my original rewrites. It's a pain in the tush, but I guess I'll have to redo them--and hopefully make them better.

Also, I brought two complete chapters (excluding pages 9 through 15) to the SRWA Winter Retreat. The attendees critiqued them all, not the exclusion, and I have those to go over. I also have to work on Vengeance Is Mine, having gotten some good ideas written down. All that should keep me busy for the rest of this week--writing-wise, that is.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Took a Hiatus

Didn't bother to write on the blog for a couple of days. I went into thinking mode, grew discouraged and had to berate myself. Sometimes the things Shel says to me cut to the quick. His latest bit of sweetness was so comforting. He thought that I enjoyed critiquing someone else's writing rather than writing my own. He's touted me off the suspense novel, which I am going back to with a vengeance, telling me that I seem to write historical novels so much easier and without a struggle. Frankly, the whole conversational twist had me in a funk, but I'm about to reembark on a new path.

I will write every day, whether I'm working on the suspense or the historical. I will find some time to do the writing, no matter other things come up to get in my way. It's merely a question of deciding to write instead of hanging around, watching TV or reading, which is one of my first loves. If necessary, I will forego all TV, in order to write and will not allow myself to turn the blasted machine on until some writing has occurred on that day.

I don't know which novel I will work on in a given day. Perhaps, I will be able to squeeze both into my schedule. I am going to have to write around meetings that keep getting in the way and all the other sort of CRAP. I will write. It's a promise I'm making to myself.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Days slip by

Days slip by before I realize they are all gone. I had planned to do much over the weekend but did nothing of note.

When I tried working on Saratoga Winter 1865, I wound up rewriting the beginning of the suspense, Vengeance Is Mine. I must be in a learning spurt. I'm reading a lot and that makes me want to try different writing techniques. I feel I can always learn. I must have seen something in what I was reading because I immediately thought of a new way to start the suspense.

It's strange though. When I'm writing the historical, I think about the suspense--but when I'm writing the suspense, I can't concentrate on the historical. I can't figure out which I am more comfortable with and enjoy writing more. I also know that I enjoy working on the big computer, rather than the laptop, but I tend to use the laptop more in the evenings. Transferring things gets to be a problem. At the Retreat I went to, I found that pages 9 through 15 were of the old start. I somehow lost the new revisions and am only now catching up. What a waste of time--yet I thought I had everything done correctly on my Flash drive--but obviously, NOT. Now, I have to rewrite something that had already been revised.

I haven't kept up with my Writer's Village assignments and have to visit there today. I really have been lax.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Just Another Lazy Day

Today we had a snow storm, an ice storm and rain. What more can the weather bring--more from what I heard. I guess it's going to be a mess until tomorrow afternoon and then again over the weekend. We certainly are getting our fill of messy weather. It's the climate up north.

Although I spent most of the day inside because of the icy rain, I merely wrote something for the first chapter of Vengeance Is Mine. All the time I'm thinking about Saratoga Winter 1865, ideas come to me about the suspense and the historical gets cold. Strange how those things work. I guess if I want to do something on the historical, I should be writing on the suspense and vice-versa.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Waiting for the Storm

I love storms, even snow storms. I did nothing writing-wise today. Drove my husband to several different doctors, went to get his new medications and bought a few groceries to weather the storm.

Although I didn't feel great yesterday, I had to feel good today. My husband doesn't drive anywhere except around the village we live in. I do all the driving--to doctors, to dinners out and everywhere inbetween.

Tomorrow, I'll shovel my way to my outside office and try to do some work on writing. I do have corrections to make to my first two chapters. The Retreat was the first time I had anyone read them through altogether. Even I could see what worked and what didn't and I can't wait to get started on fixing the holes in the chapters--and then they can rot until I go far enough forward.

In the next week or so, I'm going to have an author, who's written a mystery about horses, speak on the blog. I have to write up some questions to ask her and once she stops here, perhaps some of you might ask some questions as well.............

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Retreat

The Saratoga Romance Writer's Retreat was wonderful. The president, Sally Booth, did her usual fantastic job of putting everything together. Of course, Jennifer Burton made most of the hotel arrangements and they went off smoothly.

Eight members went and it was just the best size group for critiquing, which is what we do most. Those that brought chapters had them critiqued and both days were spent doing so--along with many laughs and fun times.

Stupid me got sick on Saturday night. A bit of flu, but after being sick to my stomach, which I emptied, I managed to make the Sunday meeting. Once I got hom, I put everything away and went right to bed. I stayed there today as well. Regardless, the Retreat was great and I am so glad I went. Tomorrow is the time to get to work and redo all the suggestions made on my chapters.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lots of work

Today, what with the storm and snow, I spent part of the morning shoveling the deck so the dogs could get out without a lot or trouble. I had to do it again in the afternoon because it was caked with ice. I also shoveled the path to my office, outside the house.

Then, a million and one errands took up most of the morning. I had to run to the Vet to get some more medication for little Abbey, the English Setter. I'm going to a writer's retreat tomorrow and wanted to be sure there was enough medication at home. I even got some Glucosamine Chondroitin for them both. I know it won't repair whatever damage has been done to their bones but maybe it will stay any further deterioration.

I went to the office today and worked myself silly. I printed out 8 copies of the Scene and Sequel Workshop I intend to present at the retreat. I also printed out 8 copies of my first two chapters of Saratoga Winter 1865. Everyone does feedback at the retreat and I'm looking forward to some suggestions on the beginning of the novel. Every little bit helps.............

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Attacking another chapter

Since I revised yesterday's Chapter One beginning, I decided I needed to go on. I began Chapter Three and can't seem to get a handle on it. I want the scene to be between a father and son--as in Chapter One--although with a different father and son. I need to show the contrast between the two families.

Maybe what I need to do is list the differences in the two families--the one in Ireland and the one in New York City. Of course, the different locales might add to or detract from the normal differences between any father and son. It's hard growing up today, but I'm sure it was just as hard in the 19th Century. In that century, fathers expected more of their sons--harder work to help support th entire family, perhaps less education. Boys in 1865 were expected to be men, but still had the same emotions of boys today. They were just better able to conceal what was not considered nice then. 'Tis a puzzle.

But the main thing is--I am writing.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Setting the scene

I just wrote the beginning of my Saratoga Winter 1865. I had the entire scene written but didn't have a good setting or intro. I managed to write one this morning and wound up rewriting some of the scene itself. It works so much better now and leads the reader into the novel so that the reader will know where he or she is in the story.

I sat and thought about it for an hour this morning. Something about the beginning just hadn't set well with me. I knew it missed something but what was the question. I was so excited when I came up with the beginning. It's done now and a nice start for the book. I had to remember that this is a historical and needs to set the scene.

I have it on my computer now and on my flash drive. I will put it on the big computer tomorrow and print out six copies for the Retreat, which starts on Friday. I'm even more pleased about the Retreat now that I have a good beginning. Boy--things sure done come easy.

Monday, February 4, 2008

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday was the day of the Super Bowl. Who can possibly write on a day like that? Not me. I even bet on the game--didn't win, but my team did. I can't even believe that the Giants got to the Super Bowl, much less that they won. I cheered and cheered. Of course, today, I'm hoarse as can be and loving every minute of it.

Plus, my little Abbey is feeling better day by day. She coughed up a hair ball, one Saturday and then again on Sunday. I have never known a dog to do that, but the Vet said it's possible. Nevertheless, she's doing better, jumping up onto the sofa and onto one of the lower beds. She even barked to go out today. I hate her bark because it's so hig-pitched, but today it was a most welcome sound.

I had energy because she's doing better and barking. I started getting my workshop ready for the Saratoga Romance Writers Retreat this coming weekend. Just looking back on articles I've read and some I've written, I learned a bunch of new things...things that spurred my desire to write. I hope I'm getting back into it. It's been a long haul of nothing but a few scenes here or there or some revisions. Not good. I used to enjoy writing so much and want to get back to that old feeling..............................

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A quick note

I thought I'd just stop in and see what was going on--not much that I saw. I put an article about Riding Horses in Ireland on my Celtic Musings blog, if anyone wants to see it.

I've been taking care of Abbey. She finally slept through the night, didn't pee in the house and seems in better humor. I just want her to get better. It seems that she hasn't had too much of a good life until she got here where we spoil her. We don't know how old she really is because the information we got might not have been correct, but we figure she's about 9 or 10--a senior lady. We will continue to do our best to make the rest of her days, happy and healthy. She's a treasure.

Her brother, Barney, has gotten somewhat protective. If Abbey is outside and wants to come in, he stands there and barks for her, knowing that someone will come. Once we do, he goes off on his own to explore the back yard.

Consequently, I haven't done much writing, but I've made the Chili for the Saratoga Romance Writers' Winter Retreat, which will happen next weekend. I also have to present a short workshop on Scene and Sequel. I will write up and print out the pages that I intend to present, on Monday. I'm looking forward to the days away and doing nothing but something to do with writing.