Sunday, November 30, 2008

50,000 + NaNoWriMo


I passed 50,000 words this month - Whoo-hoo!
This is the third novel in my Mystery/Adventure Series set in 1875 just off Chicago.

Now I have to finish the manuscript, type it up, edit and sell it. Or, since it's #3, sell the first and have this ready to present.

Hmm, perhaps finishing #2 would be the next step...

(Doing things in order is boring)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Wedding

Last night we all had a great time at a co-workers' wedding. The happy couple boogied down on the dance floor and made the rounds to every table and just looked so...well, happy.

It was a wonderful evening filled with much laughter and friendship.

I wish all the good luck in the world to them and my warmest congratulations!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Words, Roofs and Flames

I started having an off day the moment I got up.

I had much trouble writing so my father, who is in town, suggested I go to work with him today. I could sit in the car and write and maybe even help him with his rooftop job - 1/2 hour tops, he said.

A change of venue was just what the doctor ordered. Except I spent about three hours up on that roof. That cold, windy roof. He thought it was the funniest thing - I stood waiting for his next instructions, scarf covering my hair, gloves protecting my hands, I scribbling furiously in my notebook, the pages fluttering in the wind. He threatened to take a picture but his phone was not with us on the roof.

I went home and burned my dinner. I was talking casually when my father suddenly shouted, "Flames! Fire!"

I turned around and sure enough, flames were shooting from the food.

"I can't believe I did that again!" I whined.

He stopped putting the fire out to laugh.

I knew when I got out of bed that it was one of those days.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Need a Push for NaNoWriMo Word Count

I'm a little behind in the NaNoWriMo daily word count. About 4,000 words or so behind. Fortunately, I've taken a vacation day tomorrow and don't have to work again until Tuesday so I have PLENTY of time to catch up and get ahead!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NaNoWriMo


National Novel Writing Month begins today.

50,000 words in 30 fun-filled days.

Good luck to all my fellow participants!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Malice Domestic

I sent my manuscript to one of the Malice Domestic Contests. Of course they request you do not wait until the last minute to send it as volunteers are spending their time reading the submissions. The deadline is tomorrow and I sent it today!

I had nothing but a comedy of errors with THREE printers and the ink. Then of course, Monday was a Post Office Holiday.

I feel bad - but I sent it anyway. I didn't let anything deter me.

Now I can shelve this particular book until April! That's a weight off - I can work on the next two in the series in the meantime.

Monday, October 13, 2008

NANOWRIMO 2008

I'm NaNoWriMoing again this year!

Whoo-hoo!

I'm very excited to write the 3rd book in my mystery/westesrn/adventure series.

I'm geared up and ready to start writing - though now I have to wait two plus weeks before I'm allowed to write anything...

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Don S. Davis

I am incredibly saddened by the news of Don S. Davis' passing.

I got to see him speak last summer. He was honest and raw. They say you bare your soul as an actor. In my experience, an actor makes someone else's words their own and creates a character life and then portrays it - you have to get out of your own way to do this.

Don S. Davis, though, got up on stage and sat down with the microphone and bared his soul. He spoke of his life; problems, triumphs, loves lost to loves found...Yes, actors do this all the time in interviews and talks like this one, but Don S. Davis hid nothing. He shared all - he truly connected to the audience.

He inspired me because at the time, I was toward the end of a particularly difficult period in my life and his words touched me in such a way that I could let go just that bit more.

I'm sure you've felt that at some point, as though someone who is speaking to an audience is speaking directly to you.

Another actor had been scheduled to attend but had to cancel at the last minute and that's when Don S. Davis appeared.
At the time, I was disappointed because I wanted to see the other actor.
After he spoke, I thought how lucky I was.
Today, I am honored. If that other actor had shown up, I never would have seen Don S. Davis, heard his words at the time I needed to hear them and never know what I'd have missed. He was a true gentleman.

My warmest thoughts go to his family and loved ones.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Get Smart

A co-worker has been lending us his "Office" DVD's and we are loving it!

Last summer, my sister sat me down and had me watch "the 40-Year-Old Virgin" since I had become a fan of Steve Carell. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought I'd hate it.

Today, my sister and I went to see "Get Smart" and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Except for the throwing up. Throw up humor is not humor to me. It's just gross!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Indiana Jones IV

Now that my sister, her boyfriend and I watched the first three Indy's, we could finally go to the theater and watch the fourth.

I really liked it.

Though, I kept nudging my sister about how unsafe a refrigerator is. I finally shut up when one of the characters told Indy how unsafe a refrigerator is.

I keep missing the little touches that I love - the little touches that make a movie worth watching. I missed the visual oens that reference the past movies, such as the Ark of the Covenant being in one of the boxes in the beginning.

When the kid got bit by the scorpion and Indy asked how big it was and the kid said huge and Indy said good, I wondered if that was true. I supposed so since it's in a movie and audiences despise inaccuracy. My sister nudged me and said her boyfriend just whispered that it's true, he learned that in the desert.

Talk about instant gratification to an unasked question!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Indiana Jones III

Vindication!

Okay, this movie was a hundred times better than the second one.

I love Sean Connery - though all I could think of when he spoke was Will Ferrell and Jeopardy...

After the movie, again, at my sister and her boyfriend's house, I got up and walked a few steps to the ping pong table.

Can you believe I'm admitting my little sister beat me twice?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Indiana Jones II

Holy Toledo

After work, I went to my sister and her boyfriend's place, to watch this movie.

This is one of the worst flicks I have ever seen. And it even has evil Indy and Harrison Ford with his shirt off! How could it go so wrong?

I'll tell you this, I lost the plot somewhere during the nightclub scene.

For those of you who haven't seen the movie, or those who have and have blocked it from memory, that is the first scene. Actually, the movie had like three scenes - which is strange considering the fact that every scene went on forever! Never to come to an end for the next one to start!

I did laugh when the elephant kept bugging the chick with his trunk and she kept removing it from her neck. Then a snake began slithering down her neck and Indy jumps up and back and she rips it off saying, "I hate this elephant!"

I love that Indy was about to bolt instead of help - of course, if I was saddled with that chick for more than three seconds I would have bolted.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

SinCC Critique Group

Today marked the first of many EVERY OTHER MONTH CRITIQUE GROUP's hosted by the Sisters in Crime.

I'm quite proud of this particular activity as I came up with the idea and implemented it!

I think it went quite well - as far as first meetings go. I will have to take more of a leadership role next time. Someone has to moderate so we stay on task - especially since we have a mere two hours every month to do this.

One of my plans is to get people together to form writing groups that meet more often...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another Birthday Surprise!

We had a surprise birthday party for my great aunt - who turns 90 in June!

She was just floored! (Not literally, thank goodness.)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Is That a Train? What Do You Mean Earthquake?

Seriously, I woke up in the middle of the morning because my bed was shaking rather violently.

My first thought was an earthquake. But that's ridiculous.
My second thought was it was a train. The couch shakes on weekend nights when the heavy freight trains go by. But this was Friday.
My third thought was ghosts - I tend to watch a lot of those ghost shows on Discovery and Sci-Fi. The reality ones, not horror movies. The reality ones are far scarier.
My fourth thought was, my bed is still shaking.
Maybe it was an earthquake?
I got up and looked out the kitchen window. There was no train, the lights weren't even flashing.
I went back to bed but didn't fall asleep.

Low and behold, my sister walks in in the morning and asked if we knew there'd been an earthquake.

I drove to the airport to pick up my Aunt and her boyfriend. They flew in to attend the surprise birthday party for my great aunt. So my Aunt's boyfriend took to shouting out the window that they did not want to stay in earthquake country and wanted to fly back home.

They live in Southern California.

I have now been through two earthquakes. How exciting!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Lake County Morgue

The Sisters In Crime went to the Morgue today.

The Deputy Coroner that conducted the tour was friendly and informative, as well as a little unsure as to what we were all doing there. We explained that as writers, we are driven by a need to experience some of the incidents we write about for that added layer of authenticity.

A writer does not wish to sell a book a reader will throw against the wall in frustration of unrealistic police procedure - even in cozies.

Before she started, the Deputy Coroner asked if any of us were squeamish, so she could gauge what to say and what to sugarcoat. Most of us raised our hands, mine went up fast and high.

We walked through the facility, saw the cooler with the body bags, a couple of labs with expensive equipment they were lucky enough to obtain, the autopsy room with an identified though unclaimed skeleton and back to the offices.

I had a great time - any day you can walk out of the Morgue is a good day. She kept apologizing for the smell and I wondered if I shut the olfactory senses off because I smelled nothing but a little musky air.

The tour was great. She went through an evidence kit they bring to a crime scene, explained how to test for the presence of drugs right at the sight - she even showed us how to lift a fingerprint!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

SCRIPT FRENZY IS IN 9 DAYS


I have joined Script frenzy despite my better judgment (shouldn't I be concentrating on my near-finished novel first?). I am actually excited by the thought of writing 100 pages of a script in 30 days. Am I crazy? You bet. I think that's a requirement in the creative field...if so then I'm covered in spades.

How about you?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

"Your Refund is Getting Out of This DeathTrap With Your Lives!"

Will Ferrell is so funny!

So my sister and I went to see 'Semi-Pro', which I thought was all about volleyball. It's basketball. And I just laughed and laughed - if you just want to lose yourself and have a blast, go see this movie. Just don't bring your kids.

My sister was so annoyed as the little kids surrounded us in the theater because this is NOT a kid's movie and I think the parents (wherever they were) should be ashamed of themselves! Am I wrong? Kids should not be seeing some of the parts of this movie. My sister even said that we should not be seeing some of this stuff!

My Favorite Line: "Your refund is getting out of this deathtrap with your lives!"

Slight Spoiler Sort Of/Not Really:

I loved the part when one of the players was knocked unconscious during the game and the team starts to pick him up - it was actually touching - and the announcers say something like, "And his teammates are picking him up, with no regard at all to keeping his spine in alignment."

They always do that in movies and on television but in real life, I remember from CPR class, you do not move someobody unless there is risk of fire or explosion.

So that part cracked me up!

We also got to see the Get Smart trailer and 'Stepbrothers' which is another Will Ferrell movie. He is paired up with John C. Reilly - they did 'Talledega Nights' together. Watch this trailer!

Have you seen any good movies lately?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Love Is Murder

I just got back from the 10th Love Is Murder convention in Rosemont, Illinois and it was great!

I got to see Lee Child for the first time and thought he was charming, down-to-earth and actually quite funny.

There were panels on Snagging Agents, Characters, Hooks (not the pirate kind), Writing Amateur Sleuths, Historical Mysteries and Marketing, just to name a few. Once again, I attended and loved the 'Novelists' Boot Camp' given by Todd Stone with very useful comments thrown in by his wife, Terri.

I would have to say that the highlight of the conference was the 'Stump the Stars' trivia game held last night.

The contestants: the lovely Tess Gerritsen, the kind-hearted William Kent Krueger , the perfectly English gentleman Lee Child, the delightfully southern Carolyn Haines and the insanely good-looking Barry Eisler.

They sat in five chairs facing the audience.

Our host: J.A. Konrath - the only way I can describe him is "hysterically funny". Like, you will wet your pants kind of funny - and I nearly did.

They gave him a microphone though he did not need one.

The scorekeeper: Robert W. Walker. (The scoring itself was a hoot! Caroline was given a 1,000 point lead because she was from Alabama and Barry Eisler had points taken off because he’s so handsome and a crowd favorite…)

The game: J.A. Konrath read a line from one of their novels and the author of that novel had to raise their hand and then name the title of the book and give a little info. about the plot.

If you haven't seen this, you would think it to be too easy and it would not be entertaining.

I have got to tell you, that was not the case at all.

J.A. Konrath would read a line and then five blank faces stared at us. Once or twice, Caroline Haines raised her hand and Konrath would say, "Are you guessing it's yours because nobody else is raising their hand?"
And she would nod!

Oh, this was absolutely fantastic and so much fun.

Favorite Line of the Weekend: Everybody slung jokes left and right, backwards and forwards, even the audience threw out a few chestnuts here and there – then Robert Walker called out to us, “You guys are out-Konrathing Konrath!”

Karen Syed, Jennifer Turner, and Morgan Mandel sat with a few of us after their panel this morning and answered every question we had concerning marketing and promotion. These ladies sure went the extra mile! They were so giving of their time, it makes you proud to be a writer.

Whether you’ve never been to Love Is Murder or were sitting next to me this weekend – GO NEXT YEAR!

You’ll have a blast.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Stephen J. Cannell


I got to meet Stephen J. Cannell in a Border's in Oakbrook, Illinois.

I grew up on his TV shows, The A-Team, Greatest American Hero, Renegade and a bunch more.

The man is an inspiration.

He failed three grades and has severe dyslexia and he went on to write more than 450 scripts, produced over 1,500 TV Shows, has a dozen novels, received many awards - the man is unstoppable!

The comment that struck me the most was something his father shared with him:

"Try to catch people doing right."

Instead of constantly focusing on what people - or you - are doing wrong, tell people what they are doing right.

What a concept.

After hearing him talk, I love this guy even more than I did before!



Stephen J. Cannell