4 more chapters!

I got 4 more chapters typed in. It would have been more had I not become obsessed with fixing my blog layout. Ah well! I am now officially 1/4 of the way through typing in the edits.

It's midnight and I'm off to bed before all the craziness that is Hallowe'en/Reformation Day begins.

My little Renaissance princess needs gussying up in the morning. ;)

Also - what is your take on a female (let's say... me) writing a male POV character. I've been hashing out an idea for the next book, and I think the protagonist needs to be male - it's just more interesting to switch things around to his POV. Anyone have examples of that being done well or poorly in contemporary literature?

Crazy layout

I apologize for the crazy spacing - I'm trying to figure out how to make the posts not overlap each other. I finally got *that* to happen, but sadly now have these awful gaps. Stay tuned as I hone my css skills!

Also - made the switch to Arial. It's less atmospheric, but easier on the eyes, I think. ;) Let me know if you disagree or have any advice on what value to change to the the spacing on track. Muchas Gracias!


Editing update

OK, for some reason I can't figure out how to get the word count meter to display properly in my sidebar. I've done it successfully in other templates, but not this one.

So... you'll just have to put up with my boring text based updates. ;)

I got three more chapters typed in tonight. Did I mention this was going slooooowly. How is it that it took me less time to edit them than it does to type them? I'm thinking it has to do with having to actually get on the computer and thus wait till little monkeys are sleeping.

Alright - off to bed - I'm going to be miserably tired in the morning!

Tales from typing in edits...

Here's a tip.

If you do a find/replace and say, hypothetically, change every instance of "Vince" to "Vance" because you're a dork and couldn't keep the name straight the first time through... you'll end up coming across words such as "conVance" in your manuscript.

It's Halloween week...

And my friend Brian is doing some themed photos. I love this one! Aren't the colors beautiful? I used to have an apartment that overlooked a graveyard on a hill, and as much as I don't like graveyard's (yes, I'm a mystery writer, but thoughts of death really freak me out), they can certainly be stunning.

I'm gearing up for the big day Wednesday. It's my busy day anyway (volunteering in the classroom, tennis for the red head, church for everyone - ack!) and on Wed each activity has it's own Halloween party. The one at school is technically a celebration of Reformation Day - so the kids go to school in Medeival costumes (which really means the girls are princesses and the boys are knights) and they're going to play at bobbing for apples, archery, sword fights and "pin the theses on the Wittenberg door". I kid you not.

I'm not even sure we'll have time to trick or treat at the end of all the festivities (oh shoot!).

In other news... I got two - yes, only TWO chapters typed in last night. This is going wayyyyy too slow. Must come up with a way to speed things up. ;)

typing typing click click click....

I'm typing in edits. Wow. This is tedious. This might make me rethink the whole "editing on paper" thing next time, as fun as it was.

I think I'll be posting an excerpt from the book - either chapter one, or the beginning of chapter one, and hard link to it from the sidebar. I'd like to have it up here for agents to look at if they want to (those that don't request pages) and of course, for all of you wonderful people! I really liked reading Sherry Thomas's excerpt when she put it up, so I think it's a fun idea.

Plus, motivation to keep typing. Clearly I'm procrastinating right here. Of course, now, when I WANT to procrastinate, none of the 46 blogs in my bloglines roll have updates and I have no e-mails. It's as if you people WANT me to get my edit's done!!!

OK... back to work...

I'm done!!!!

I did it! I'm done! Woo hoo!!! The paper edits have been completed, and only one day behind schedule! YAY!!!!!

My wonderful two year old went to sleep at 7:30 tonight and I've been working non-stop ever since with the World Series on in the background (Tivoed). And now I'm done!!!

I'm giving myself until Tuesday to type in the edits, because I want this out the door to the beta readers in October, and the 31st will be crazy busy.

This is such a good feeling!!!

OK, now not to rain on my own parade, but I will say that I did a touch more cutting and I'm worried about the word count. I have a couple of scenes waiting in the wings that I'll probably polish up and insert while typing in the edits - gotta keep the word count reasonable. That's the only thing really concerning me right now.

November will be all about querying. QUERYING! WOOO!!!!


My goal was to be done with the paper edits yesterday. I'm not. I'm on chapter 30 out of 35, though, so within striking range. Just like writing the draft, it gets harder at the end, making sure every loose end is properly tied up and that I didn't leave any subplots hanging.

I'm close though, so close!

And I've had a blissful day with two - count them TWO periods of kid free time. Yes, it's true. DH took them BOTH to the donut shop for our Saturday morning tradition. (Usually the little monkey stays with me while they fetch the donuts, but today she had her clothes in her hand and wanted to go. Who was I to say no?) I can't even tell you how much fun it was to get myself ready in the morning ALL BY MYSELF! Now I know why it's the little monkey's favorite phrase. ;)

Then - he took the little one on some errands while the red head worked with her Grandpa for a while - I went to the library ALL BY MYSELF! I even got to use the catalog! I picked up a new mystery called Blue Moon (my favorite song, and something of a theme for me). The sleuth is a band leader and I can't wait to read it. I also determined that the next project won't involve a lot of research. I'm just not up to it. Now, where does that leave me... still thinking about it. I'll let you know!

Stay tuned for the I'm Finished post, coming in the next few days. ;)

Blog Spotlight

I love visual art and find tremendous inspiration in pictures and photographs, but I readily admit that I have ZERO talent whatsoever in this field. This is one of the reasons that I'm so impressed with those who do. ;)

Today I have a blog to share with you by a brilliant up and coming artist who talks about things like color theory (literary theory I get, color theory BLOWS MY MIND!) and shares her artwork, and even has a little store with handmade prints.

This is a watercolor painting inspired by A.S. Byatt's "The Thing in the Forest".

This has all of my favorite elements - retro women, a forest scene, and based on a piece by one of my favorite authors!

So, go check out Blaze's blog, and I'll permalink to her from the sidebar!


Editing update - Tuesday night

Sadly, I only made it halfway to my goal today - largely because Knucklehead wouldn't fall asleep. (seriously, it's 11, and she just stopped fleeing her bed). I got the 2 1/2 chapters done during her naptime earlier today.

That's ok, though, I'm confident I'll make them up over the week and still finish Friday night. And I am still pretty excited to be more than halfway done this final pass. WOO! It's going much more easily than I thought.

OK, it's late, signing off.

Top Ten List

These are the top ten most frequently said lines by my two year old.

10) I run super fast!
9) This is fun! (usually said while doing something she isn't supposed to do - ie escaping from her car seat or scaling the refrigerator.)
8) I come too.
7) Catch me if you can!
6) See you later, alligator
5) Mama all gone. I cry.
4) No daddy - Mama!
3) I go to Starbucks. Strawberry Creme!
2) Popsicle!

and the most frequently line said by Little Miss Trouble:

1) I do it all by myself!

This could be why I'm tired.

Editing Update - Monday Night

Yesterday I didn't quite make my goal - I only got through 3 1/2 chapters, but today I made up for it and got halfway through chapter 16, so I'm 1/2 a chapter ahead! YAY! I'd have finished, but I'm at a sticky point and think I need to sleep on it.

So, all is going according to plan. The edits should be done by Friday night, giving me the weekend to type them in. I can hardly wait to start working on my query letter!!

Thank you for all the encouragement, everyone!!!

In other news - I really appreciate all the suggestions for books - I'm definately picking up the Ramona books, that's brilliant! Narnia is my all time favorite series, too, but I read those to her last year, so I don't know if they'd count. But it does make me wonder if she's ready for The Hobbit. I'll have to try that. I think she'd like Amelia Bedelia, too. She's also supposed to be reading *to me*, so those would be perfect for that part of it.

I'm feeling less victorious in my quest to identify the Bon Jovi song that Garth is singing with different words. ;) After listening to a bunch of them on You Tube, I've concluded that:

A) It's possible that a lot of Bon Jovi songs sound the same - shocking! I know!!
B) I remember how much I love Bon Jovi. I know, he's cheesey, but so cute.
C) I think it might be These Days - but I'm not 100% sure and now I can't really separate any of them out in my head, or remember the Garth Brooks song very well. So I'm gonna have to dig out my cd's and play the songs side by side the GB song.
D) I clearly have obsessive compulsive tendencies.

Editing Update and other business

I've got a goal of five chapters per day - that will take me exactly a week to do. (Hmm, was I so smart while writing it that I purposely decided on 35 chapters in order to make my editing week go so smoothly?! Probably not...)

So, I'll be updating my progress daily. Yesterday I did SIX chapters! WOOO!!!

Today I'm currently at zero, but DH is on the road, and Little Miss Trouble didn't nap (so should sleep at a decent time) and I'm confident I'll knock them out tonight. This is all very exciting!!!

I have two more orders of business for the blog world:

1) My six year old is in a 100 day reading challenge for school: read 100 books in 100 days. Longer books count as more than one. I'm to the point where I'm randomly grabbing things off the library shelf. Any ideas? So far, her favorites have been: The Babysitters Club Mysteries, Goosebumps, Nate the Great, Geronimo Stilton, and Nancy Drew. I'd like to steer her away from only reading series, though. I picked up Neil Gaiman's Coraline (big hit!) and she loves it. She's also managed the first two Harry Potter's, but the third was a little scary for her still.

Anything kinda spooky, but not too spooky, or about Egypt would be a huge hit. She's got 60 books to go, folks!

2) So, you all know I'm now a country music fan... one of my new favorite songs is the Garth Brooks song, More than a Memory. BUT, it's so nearly identical to a Bon Jovi song I used to listen to, that sometimes I even mix the words up if I'm singing along (I know, by now, you all think I'm sooo cool that you're dying to be me - Bon Jovi, country, and singing with the radio, but I digress).

All my Bon Jovi cd's (see, I keep getting cooler, I have a collection) are in storage and I can't figure out what the song is and it's DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!! I think it's off the These Days cd, but it could be from Keep the Faith or Crossroads. If anyone comes up with it, I'll send you a prize, I promise. Maybe a book. Maybe chocolate. You tell me. But I must figure this out!!

The Next American Band

Is my new show. YAY! I so needed one!!!!

My favorites, so far, are The Clark Brothers and Six Wire - because I'm a country fan, now. ;) But Six Wire is gonna have to give Sawyer back when Lost starts up in January. ;)

I love the spirit of the girl band, but I just didn't think they were that good.

Also, I think the 12 year olds need to put shirts on.

Mutating Gene Meme

OK, what does it say about me that I had to read the instructions three times and I'm STILL not sure if I got them right. ;)

Here goes nothing!

There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is…". Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:

— You can leave them exactly as is.
— You can delete any one question.
— You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question. [For instance, you could change "The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is…" to "The best time travel novel in Westerns is…", or "The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is…", or "The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is…".]
— You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is…".

You must have at least one question in your set, or you've gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you're not viable.
Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions.

Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.

My origins:
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is Pharyngula.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Club.
My great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Flying Trilobite.
My great-great-great-great-grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.
My great-great-great-grandparent is Shakespeare's Sister.
My great-great-
grandparent is Excuse This Mess....
My great-grand parent is Jennifer.
My grandparent is Snag.
My parent is Dilettante

Here I go!!!

1. The best comedy in classic Hollywood is: My Favorite Wife with Cary Grant and Irene Dunn.
2. The best sexy song in rock is: You Owe Me Some Kind of Love by Chris Isaak.
3. The best use of ground meat in American cooking is: a nachos with everything! (I'm guessing I won't really find these in a South American country - so I'm calling them American).
4. The best caper movie in American film is: Ocean's Eleven.
5. The best mystery novel in a series is The Last Lion Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters.

Now, I tag Anissa and Faking It. Have fun!

It's printing now!!!

All 273 pages!! This is the first time I've printed the entire finished manuscript! It's so exciting. :)

I was planning to print it at Kinko's so they could hole punch it for me and not tax my poor little printer. But, well, that was going to cost $150. I figured I could handle the hole punching myself for that! Geez!

So now I get to listen to it print in joyful anticipation of my week of editing while the maple leaves gust by the window. :) What a wonderful October day!


If your husband buys face paint for Halloween - the top shelf in the bathroom is not high enough to keep it out of the hands of a a two year old who clearly has monkey DNA.

Also, soap and water is not enough to get it off.

Also, it will turn your sink and wall purple.

Also, two year olds get tired of being scrubbed after half an hour and you are left with a slightly purple child for the rest of the day.

And I wonder why I don't get anything done...

I'll have my coffee any flippin' way I want it!

I don't usually (ever?) blog about femininist issues and I don't really consider myself a hard core femininist, but this reallllly bothered me, and I thought I'd share it here, with all of you, so you could be bothered too. ;)

So here I am, trapped at the doctor's lab for AN HOUR waiting to take my glucose intolerance test, which explains why I'm watching local news at all. I was trying to concentrate on Detection by Gaslight - but couldn't quite manage it.

The story - news story - on the news - with real anchorpersons and everything - was this: Can the way a woman orders her coffee at Starbucks tell you if she's high maintenance. Cue eyeroll.

OK, first of all, it's not like it's the first time I've heard this. Secondly, even if it were, how is this in any way shape or form news?

They actually had a female reporter out at Starbucks asking women how they ordered their coffee. (And for the record, I take a 5 pump vanilla latte, but my husband orders a grande soy no whip mocha). And THEN, they bring in this "dating expert" to say that women should order their coffee in as complicated a way as they want to so that their date can decide there won't be a second date. ARGH!!!!!!

My thesis boils down to this: It's a FOUR DOLLAR drink. If a man walks into a bar, and orders a four dollar mixed drink to his specifications, he's debonair. If a woman orders her coffee to *her* specifications then the NEWS STATION says that she's high maintenance and men should beware.

Of course, no mention was made of how men order their coffee and this is the northwest, after all, where men drink it in just as high quantities as women. I'm still appalled - STILL APPALLED!

I'll vacuum in high heels and pearls before I order my coffee any old way so as not to send the wrong message to the opposite sex, thank you very much!

My little detective

My 6 year old just walked into the den and dropped off several notes saying, "I found these around the house."

One says "Rob, you will be sorry. Wa ha ha. Mr. X."

Another says, "Rob, Safty is histry. Mr. X"

And "Rob, I am on your trail. Mr. X."

Perhaps I shouldn't have bought her that boxed set of Babysitters Club Mysteries...

Um, she just came back in and took the notes and said,

"Excuse me, I need to check these for DNA."

Oh boy!!!

The End

Yes, I typed it. Yes, I'm done. WOOOO!!!!! OK, so this is several days past Sunday, but I *did* come down with that fluver, as did everyone else in the house, so that set me back a ways. Each time I'd get a kid asleep and start to type, one would wake up crying. That's not good on many levels, but really makes trying to eek out an ending difficult. ;)

I'm still not 100% thrilled with the last two paragraphs, so I'm going to give them another look today before sending them off to my brilliant and patient CP. Then, the massive printing (probably Kinkos - I'm not sure my poor little ink cartridge can take it!) and a read through before sending it off to the beta readers. I know I have a couple of consistency issues with character names that I need to address. But still....


And dear sweet DH is so inspired that he wants to buy me a new computer, so I don't have to use my funky keyboard attached to my decrepit laptop anymore. YAY!

Thank you for the encouragement, oh blogging community, I couldn't have made it to the end without you all!

But first a plea...

Before the fun schedule post - I've got a favor to ask.

It's October, and therefore CHRISTMAS season begins in my house!!! No detractors, please. It's not my fault Halloween and Thanksgiving are stuck right in the middle of the Christmas season. ;)

So, please, I'm looking for some good Christmas fiction. I love reading books set at Christmastime, but a lot of them are really hokey which takes all the fun out of it. I usually end up rereading The Christmas Carol, but I need more! Any suggestions? Pretty Please?!

Also, let me know if you have any favorite Christmas movies. My must-watch-every-season films so far are:

Meet John Doe (Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper)
Christmas in Connecticut (Barbara again!)
When Harry Met Sally
White Christmas
The Bishop's Wife (the Cary Grant film, not Denzel, though I usually love him)

Thank you in advance!

The end is near

First of all - I'm having Tivo issues and have yet to see the Top Chef finale. ARGH! Fortunately, The Office has not been affected by issue, whew!

Just wanted to let you all know that I'm almost done - almost so very, very close to being done -so close! Did you all get that!! Sadly, I have two little girls with the flu and fevers (fluvers), but because it's finally so real in my mind, I'm finding time in the middle of the night (or during Go Diego Go) to get it done. Goal = Sunday night. Then I'll do one more quick pass (max time, one week) before handing it over to beta readers. That makes BRG (beta reader goal) next Sunday night. Wish me luck and pray *I* don't catch this fluver!

Because it deserves it's own post, I will now share with the world my morning schedule. I've been working really hard to get a good working schedule during the day. But the first hour and a half of my day really cracks me up when I step back and look at it. Especially considering I'm not at all a morning person. I used to wonder why anyone even bothered trying to talk to me when I had my morning cereal. Now that I've discovered coffee, I'm a little more verbal!

Top Chef Finale - pregame show

After all my rantings about Top Chef last season, I feel obliged to say *something* since the finale is tonight.

BTW - my friend Dilettante linked to this: http://www.avclub.com/content/hater/what_your_top_chef_favorite
which is hilarious.

So, we're down to Casey, Hung, and Dale. I'm routing for Casey. She's nice, and she can cook. Wow, that is soooo milquetoast after my last season endless blogging in favor of Sam, or in defense of Marcel, etc. I have to say that Season 3 just didn't really connect with me the same way. Possibly due to no tall, dark and handsome contestants? Could I be that shallow? Possibly, I could. ;) Sam was awfully cute.

Also, several of my favorites were eliminated way before the finale - Sara, CJ, Sarah, Lia... I really think a final three of Casey, Sara and CJ would be much more interesting. And sure, Hung is the anti-hero this season, but his "I'm here to win" lines and speeding around with a knife can't top Marcel *rapping* about his woes as the odd man out, or his use of foam. Neither can the top Stephen from season 1 and all his silliness - nor, to segue to Project Runway, can they compare to the Jeffrey - Angela feud and Jeffrey making her mom cry. It's just all a little bland this season.

But, I look forward with much anticipation to Project Runway and hope that they get a group together that's as much fun as Jeffrey, Laura, Angela, Vincent and the like!