Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What I'm Reading Now & Music

I just finished The Widow by Carla Neggers and that sent me to one of my TBR baskets (that's right plural). My baskets are separated by category - contemporary romance, romantic suspense, women's fiction/chicklit, suspense & mystery.

The book I pulled out to read next is Damaged by Pamela Callow. The heroine of this story is Kate Lange who works for a high-powered law firm. A teen is brutally murdered and Kate wonders if her legal advice led to the girl's death. Kate pursues the case and unearths some chilling facts that lead her directly into the surgically skilled hands of the Body Butcher.

For more info on the book you can visit Pamela's website, http://www.pamcallow.com/

I'm looking forward to reading it. The book came with a sticker on the cover that said it was a "need to read". I'd love to have a label like that on my book someday, wouldn't you?

I've registered for the three classes happening in September. Yay! I've printed out a new scene I began working on a few days ago. It needs a lot of help. The two scenes that follow it are new scenes I have to write. I'm finding with this revision that I'm adding scenes, I guess I'm realizing opportunities for the story that I didn't see first time around. But I guess that's why it's called a first draft.

I downloaded Katy Perry's Teenage Dream just a few minutes ago. I heard the song a few days ago and I love it. I've read on some author blogs that they create play lists for their manuscript. Hmm. That sounds like a good idea but I worry I'd spend too much time searching out the perfect songs for my manuscript. Another distraction that I don't need. But I have to admit that I heard a song months ago, Meet Me Halfway by the Black Eyed Peas, that summed up the heroine and hero for my second RS. How about you? Do you create play lists for your manuscripts? Do you listen to music while you write (I find it too distracting to listen to any music while writing). Does having a play list help your creative process? Does it help focus you while you're writing or is it just something nice to do for your manuscript? I'm just curious.

Happy writing!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New School Year

A new school year is just around the corner for kids and for this writer. Well, sort of. It's been a few weeks since I've posted last because I haven't been getting up early to write and my writing in the evening has been minimal. I've kind of been going with the flow and not worrying too much about it (see what denial can accomplish?). Then the other day reality hit hard.

We're in the middle of a huge project at work and this past Thursday my manager asked if I could work a couple of hours at home. I agreed. I got an hour done that night and I dragged my butt out of bed the next morning to finish the second hour.

Hmm. I was able to get up and out of bed a little earlier to work that hour for my employer but for myself I haven't been able to to do that. Makes a girl stop and think.

After thinking I realized a few things:

A. This was the first time I brought work home with me and I didn't like it.
B. If I'm going to be tied to a computer at home it's going to be for something I like. Something I love.
C. If I can get out of bed for the "job" I can get out of bed to write.

So I got some insight. Now I need to grab the bull by the horns, so to speak. I've decided to help jump start my motivation I will enroll in a class for September (which is just a couple of weeks away). I scanned the list over at RWA's site and ended up enrolling in three classes.

I'm so excited! Three classes will be a heavy course load in one month in addition to revising my manuscript, work and life. But it's going to be so worth it. I started to get the itch to take a class when I was walking down the seasonal aisle of my local grocery store. There were school supplies and what writer doesn't get a little weak in the knees at the sight of colored markers and brand new notebooks? I did cave and bought a pink notebook. :)

The one thing I am concerned with is managing all the email that these three classes will generate. This time around with the classes I will be dumping the class lectures and assignments right into OneNote. This is a new program to me and I love it. But sorting through all the emails will be daunting. I think that takes up most of the time.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Okay, now I'll share with you the classes I signed up for.

The Conflict Grid, Tool for Success

Sponsor: Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter
Fee: $15.00 for FFnP members, $25.00 for non-members
Date: August 30–September 26, 2010
Presenter: Lyn Cote with permission of Kathy Jacobson. FMI Click here

If you don’t have conflict, you don’t have a story. With Kathy Jacobson’s CONFLICT GRID,* you will learn to uncover every possible conflict inherent that keep your hero and heroine apart. No more sagging middle. No more trouble crafting a true black ...

Yes, You Can Quit Your Day Job

Sponsor: Red River Romance Writers
Fee: $15 RRRW members; $20 non-members
Date: September 6–19, 2010
Presenter: Kara Lennox (AKA Karen Leabo). FMI Click here

Do you dream of working at home every day, sitting at your computer in your sweats communing with your muse? It's not an impossible dream no matter what your situation. With some careful planning and a lot of self-discipline, you, too, can look forward to Monday morning as a stay-at-home writer--even if you haven't yet sold your first book. In this workshop, we'll discuss making the transition to self-employment while addressing all financial obligations and family/societal expectations.

Writing Novellas—Making a long story short

Sponsor: Southern Tier Authors of Romance (STAR)
Fee: $20 (RWA); $25 non-members
Date: September 1–28, 2010
Presenter: Nina Pierce. FMI Click here

Nina Pierce, award winning author of six novellas, will share some tricks she’s learned to help tell a complete romance story in 30 thousand words or less. Topics will include plot points, character development and point of view, time tables and cutting out unnecessary words and scenes. Instructor will provide examples from her novellas and offer students opportunities to share writing samples to help clarify concepts of lessons

The Conflict Grid class was the first one I came across and I still need to work on this area. Conflict is everything in romance. Kara Lennox's class is just plain interesting. I'd love to write full-time and get paid a decent salary, who among us wouldn't? And the novella class is like a little gift from heaven for me. My current manuscript is just under 40,000 words and so is the other manuscript I have completed in first draft. These classes are just what I need right now. I can't wait.

Well, I have a few things that I need to do today before I settle down with my laptop to write.

Have a great Monday!