Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Looking back on January 2006

Wow. This month has really whizzed by and the scary thing is I don't feel like I've accomplished much. I started out with all these great writing goals. Following Stephen King's advice (not to me personally, he he, but to aspiring authors in general ) I planned to write 3 hours a day. That maybe lasted, oh, one or two days. And not in a row.

Then I decided not to be so hard on myself and write only on my days off work. I only work 3 days a week (or nights to be exact) but they are 12 hour shifts and sometimes I end up "losing" a day just catching up on sleep. And then something would come up on the weekend, and before you knew it, I had maybe only written one day that week.

So, thouroughly disgusted with myself, I sat back and tried to analyze what's holding me back. And because I love to analyze, I finally found something I could sink my teeth into. I'm not writing as much as I would like because I'm not writing the way I started out a few years ago. I've always been a natural born story teller. But now that I've become "educated" in the art of writing the story, some of my umph seems to be missing. I'm worrying too much about all the "parts" that need to be in my story. You know what I'm talking about. GMC, internal conflict, external conflict, black moment, etc. etc...

I'm not saying that you shouldn't have those things in your story. And God knows, I have to start with a plan. But I think I've just been overthinking things lately. As my pal Mel says, I have to go with my instincts. And since she always gives the best advice, I know she's right. Now, if she'd only believe me when I say my instincts tell me that Sarah Tennessee is gonna win The Bachelor...

Friday, January 27, 2006

And the Final Rose goes to...

Sarah from Tennessee. Yup. You heard it here first.

I'm going out on a limb and making my Bachelor prediction a little early, but I have almost no doubt in my mind that Sarah from Tennessee will get Travis's final rose. Even though there's only been 3 episodes so far of The Bachelor-Paris, careful examination of all the facts show that all roads lead to Sarah. Which is ironic, really, because Sarah and Travis both live in same town--Nashville. Nice twist, eh? The Bachelor had to go all the way to Paris to fall in love with the girl next door. It's a great tagline for the final episode. ABC execs must be eating it up.

Here's why I think Sarah will be the one to win Dr. McHunky's heart. It's pretty much a given that the final four will be Sarah Canada, Susan, Moana and Sarah Tennesse. Next week, that annoying twit Tara will get the axe, and something dramatic is going to happen with Jehan. Either she leaves the show, doesn't take Travis's rose or Travis doesn't offer her one. My money is on #3. I think ABC is building up next week's Jehan drama into something bigger than it really is.

He isn't going to pick Moana. She's this season's Trish. The Bachelor "bad girl" that we've come to expect and love to hate. Moana makes it to the final 3, though. This will create plenty of angst for Sarah Tennessee who has called Moana a bitch to the cameras and has deemed both Moana and Susan "totally wrong" for Travis.

He also isn't going to pick Sarah Canada. She was the lead horse out of the gate but she's already losing ground. He initially loved her laid back attitude but with each show she's getting more and more possessive. She won't make it to the fantasy dates. At least I hope not. The girl gets on my nerves.

This leads the final show down to Susan, the sex kitten vs. Sarah, the kindergarten teacher/girl next door. Travis was practically drooling over Susan on their one on one date last week. Susan is "ridiculousy beautiful" as Travis puts it. But so far, all they've shown between them is a glassy-eyed Travis and Susan proclaiming that's she's one "smitten kitten" over him.

I think Susan will definitely give Sarah a run for her money, but in the end, hometown girl will win. I just didn't get it until last Monday's show, but all the signs are there.Sarah Tennessee is the only girl on the show that's gotten a hard time from Travis. He's constantly probing her, testing her out. And that's because he's interested.

Episode 1: Sarah tells Travis that she was nervous about meeting the other girls. He immediately gets a serious look on his face. Don't you get along with other girls? Sarah gets nervous and is afraid she's given Travis the wrong impression. She's worried she won't get a rose. But she does...

Episode 2: Sarah tells Travis that she's been friends first with every guy she's ever dated seriously. Again, Travis calls her out on that, implying that Sarah isn't impulsive enough to go for love/attraction at first sight. Again, we listen to Sarah in the interviews saying that she thinks she blew it and is worried about getting a rose. But she gets one...

Finally, Episode 3: Travis and Sarah have the only real conversation we've seen this season on the deck of the boat. This time, he goes in for the kill. He says to Sarah: "I'm thinking, this girl never dates. This girl likes to hang out with the other girls. Is she passionate?" And the look on his face when he asks her this is serious, engaged. Sarah gets flustered, they share another look that makes Travis seem a kid on his first date. And then bimbo Tara interupts them and Sarah looks ready to kill her. Sigh. I was ready to kill her!

And finally, there's the fact that I'm now of the opinion that Sarah is really the most attractive girl left. She's not obvious beautiful, like Susan. But she's girl next door beautiful. She's not afraid to let the cameras catch her in glasses and no makeup. And I have to say, that on Casino Night she was by far the classiest one there. The top picture doesn't do her justice, but the gold dress was out of this world. Ultimately, Sarah is the one that fits Travis best. I can see her getting down and dirty while camping, or looking glamorous in the ballroom. Now, I just want to see some sparks between them. And I think we will. Starting next week.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Labor and Delivery Nurse writes Romance in the Closet

Isn't that a great title for a newspaper story? My friend Rosanne came up with that idea. The local paper didn't buy it, at least not yet. But I'm ready for the day they come knocking on my door.

When I started writing 3 years ago I wrote on the family computer in the den. But the distractions were just too much. And since I'm a plotter who needs absolute solitude and quiet (see my friend Mel's blog to take the Writing quiz) it didn't take me long to realize I needed a space of my own. Trouble was, with 3 kids, we didn't have the extra room. So when my husband offered me his closet (yes, his closet) I jumped on it.

It's not a big space, but it's big enough to house my desk, chair, a small filing cabinet, a CD player and still let me walk a few steps in each direction. This weekend I made the space truly my own by painting it Sherwin Williams Ivorie, recommended by my sister Carmen, the Interior Designer. The color, btw, is not really ivory. To me, ivory implies white. Instead, its a cream color with gold undertones. Very warm. I think Sherwin Williams and the crayola people need to get a grip. In their quest for original sounding names almost half of the names given don't even come close to matching the color.

I also got a new desk and lamp. The lamp, which you probably can't see too well cuz the picture came out sort of dark, has this cool sort of African design on it.

So, this is where I write. The space might be small, but my ideas and dreams are not.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Round Three

I'm happy to announce that The War Bride has made it to Round 3 of the American Title II Contest. While this is exciting for me, I'm very sad to see Theresa Meyers, Lois Templin and my fellow RWA Online chaptermate Debra Parmley eliminated. They've all written wonderful books that I hope to be able to see in print soon.

Round Three features Best Story Summary.


As a British spy during the Napoleonic wars, Miles Mountkeefe thrives on danger and excitement. When his partner is murdered during a routine mission, Miles suspects they were double-crossed. Hell-bent on discovering who betrayed them, he travels to London with a coded letter he is convinced will help him solve the murder -- a letter that only his partner's widow, Tess Beauchamp, can decipher.

While the letter contains nothing that will help Miles, it reveals to Tess that her illegitimate daughter, whom she believed dead, is alive somewhere in Spain. With Miles' help, Tess knows she can save her daughter; but this spoiled son of nobility, infamous for his rakish reputation, is the last man on earth Tess wants to trust. Determined to seize the opportunity to right the wrongs of her past, Tess persuades Miles to escort her to Spain, supposedly to search for her husband's killer.

Miles is accustomed to dealing with ladies who instantly fall for his charm, but Tess is a different kind of woman; her tenacity and lively spirit irritate and fascinate him. And Tess is shocked to find that Miles' bravery and sense of loyalty make him a different man than she once imagined.

Together, they reluctantly join forces. But opposing agendas, dangerous secrets, double agents and a burning attraction they can't deny make their journey more perilous than either of them bargained for.

Come check out the voting website to read the rest of the summaries at www.americantitle2.com. Remember to cast your vote by February 5!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

To Bunco or not to Bunco...and about that DVR

Last night, I unBunco'd. That's what you do when you set out to play Bunco, but you don't. We meant to play. We really did. The Bunco Broads (the best damn Bunco group in Tallahassee... take that back, the world) met at my house for our monthly session of the most exciting dice game there is (at least outside of Vegas). But we got sidetracked. Instead of rolling dice, gossiping and screaming with laughter, we sat around the fire, gossiped and screamed with laughter. Oh, and I got tons of great advice on my writing career and since my current wip, The Church of Bunco, is centered around a heroine whose main passion in life includes among other things, Bunco and the film Bull Durham, I thought it was quite apropo. The funny thing is, I never missed the Bunco. Which of course, is the main point of my post. It's not what you do, it's who you do it with.

Now, on to that *******DVR of mine. What's the point of having a smart techno machine automatically tape all your favorite programs if it keeps cutting off?? After I had unBunco'd and then brainstormed for a couple of hours on the phone with my wonderful cp Mel (who came up with my fab title The Church of Bunco, btw) I sat down on the couch to watch 2 programs I had taped. Love Monkey and Lost. Don't ask me why both these programs ran over their scheduled hour, but they did and my machine cut off the ending. So, I now I have no idea if Jack and Ana Lisa bonded on the beach or if Tom ever signed Wayne or if the evil Eli got his at the end. GRRR!!!! Me and that DVR are going to have words today. Very strong ones.

(You may have noticed I 've decided that Bunco needs to capitalized. If James Frey can do it, then why can't I?)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

On Writing

So, I'm not exactly Stephen King, but I do have a few things to say about writing. Number one being, if you're too busy answering posts and playing on the Internet, then you're NOT WRITING. I complained to my husband the other day that I haven't had enough time to write lately. His response: "Really? You were on the computer all day yesterday. What were you doing?"

I couldn't answer him. I know what I was doing. But I didn't want to admit that I've become an internet junkie. I went to my Yahoo! loops directory and discovered that I'm on 23 loops. Yes. 23. Now some of these loops are inactive and some I have to receive individual emails to keep me current on my RWA Online duties. And then of course, there's my Bunco loop. Can't miss any of those messages! And my American Title loop. Gotta have that one. But the majority of those 23 loops are writing related. And while they offer wonderful advice and keep me current, I've decided to go No Mail on them. Keeping current on the latest in the industry is great, but if you're not producing anything to GET you in the industry, then it's time to prioritize.

Of course, this No Internet thing does not apply to blogging :)) I'll still check out all my favorite blogs, but I'm going to limit it to one sweep daily. That's it.

Okay, now on to some writing.

PS. If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it. I promise, it's not scary!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Eggs are Rotting!

Yes. She actually said this on National TV. Sigh. When will people learn that alcohol and reality TV just don't mix? And this from a female physician! Is it any wonder that Dr. McHunky tossed her out on her ear? And if that wasn't enough, she came back for more: "Am I too short? Are my boobs too small?" (yes, she actually asked him all that) I have to say Dr. McHunky handled her very well.

Last night, The Bachelor started up again. Since I'm a reality TV ho, of course, I was glued in front of my televison. Dr. McHunky (real name: Travis) picked an interesting array of women. My personal faves so far are Sarah (from Canada) and Susan. On the surface, they appear complete opposites, but he seemed to really like them both.

Personally, I find Dr. McHunky to be all that and a bit more. I just hope he doesn't disappoint!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Jane Millionaire and The Bachelor

I just started reading Jane Millionaire by Janice Lynn. This is the book that won last year's American Title Contest. The book is funny and fast paced and very sexy! I can't wait to finish it!

Speaking of reality TV and romance... Now that Survivor is in hiatus, I have another show to look forward to. The Bachelor starts this Monday night! Yes, I know, it's corny and all, but who cares? I already have my trusty DVR (Tivo to some of you) programmed. This season's show was filmed in Paris. The Producers hope this will bring the "original" sense of romance back to the show that suffered such a hit after last year's "Jen" disaster.

This time our hunky guy who can't get a girl in real life is an ER resident. Ha! I can't wait to see this "Dr. McDreamy" in action!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

American Title 2 Contest Marches On

Round 2 of the American Title II Contest is now over. This was a particularly grueling round. Not only did it take place during the busy holiday season, but this time, 3 finalists were eliminated. Plus, we didn't find out the results of the votes on the scheduled day due to a glitch in the holiday calendar, adding to the already extensive nail biting going on by all the finalists. I can't post the results , but I can truly say it was a sad day for all of us.

Although there are definitely some negatives to this contest, there are a whole lot more positives. One of us will definitely get published by Dorchester. Perhaps even more than one of us. I've learned a lot about self-promotion. I've made new writing friends that I hope to cheer on as we all get published one day. But the best part of this contest is the enormous support my family and friends have shown me. Their belief in me, and in my writing has touched me in ways I can never express.

Round 3 begins January 23 and will feature Best Story Summary. You'll have to wait till then to see if The War Bride made it.

I'm looking forward to reading all the summaries. I'm betting the competition will be awesome!

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