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I'm a wife, mom, mom-in-law, grandma, and writer. To read more, visit :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 227

Thursday, April 28, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Spent more time with reader emails and author’s Facebook page. Crossed a few items off the to-do list, but there are still many details to attend to. . .website, an link for me as an author to update. . .  As usual after a book is finished, my ability to sit at the laptop for long periods of time is limited. My eyes and mind have been on overload and are still in recovery mode.
            THE DETAILS. . .Cleared the desk, completely. Even dusted and “polished” the pressed wood.  =)  Reorganized it a bit. Always a fun, satisfying task.
            Home Group was a sweet time with My Guy and two women.  =)  (He enjoys this.)  We sat around a bowl of guacamole (made by one of them; yummy with a hint of cumin), chips and farmers market carrots and talked.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 226

Wednesday, April 27, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Corresponded with readers via emails. What a blessing these women are to me.  =)  Posted a new discussion question for Desert Gift on the Facebook author page. Replies posted to the last one are beautiful.
           Finished reading a novel, one in a series, criminal suspense genre. I skim the over-the-top violence and zero in on the relationships. Such excellent writing with the recurring characters.  (Writers workshop by osmosis for me.)  At the end of this book the author killed off one of the main characters, the husband of another main person. Not exactly a happy ending but a true ending; given the circumstances it had to happen.
            THE DETAILS. . .This and that. Crossed a few things off the to-do list.
            Biked with My Guy for dinner to the restaurant where we ate several meals in the days following the fire because it’s near the motel where we stayed. We’ve gotten to know a young waitress. Had not been there for perhaps six months. She was pregnant at that time; last night she wasn’t – we saw photos of her baby boy. Nice.
            As we started to bike away, a woman reading the menu posted outside asked us about the food. We learned that she was from New York and her 19-year old in the car wanted steak before he shipped out to Afghanistan. Please pray for Eric and his family.
            The two mama-son stories sort of twist your heart, don’t they?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 225

Tuesday, April 26, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .My Guy finished Heart Echoes, so there is talk about it.  Nice.  =)  Other than that and touching base with Agent and Editor, I did not engage. There is work to be done now regarding Desert Gift (it’s coming SOON), but it wasn’t in today’s mindset.  ;)
            THE DETAILS. . .Went back to the To-Do List. Assuming Daughter and S-I-L don’t have time to read this blog, I will say that I got lost in a photo project, a gift for them for their first anniversary.  And then I got my birthday gift mother’s ring sized. Am so happy to be able to wear it on my finger now. 
            The slowed mental pace is goooood.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 224

Monday, April 25, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . . Played with Discussion Questions in my imagination. As I write, I list possibilities that I might use, topics to pursue.
My Guy is reading the manuscript.  He’s always been one of my first readers. It’s fun to hear his reactions, how the characters come alive for him. Some things he picks up on that I did not know were in the story.  =)
            THE DETAILS. . .The catch-up begins: laundry, wrote the to-do list, framed and hung photos long sitting in a pile, pulled weeds where the sidewalk sections that leads to our house meets the sidewalk that parallels the street, some emails. Ran out of time to get through my list.  ;) 
            The highlight: Granddaughter #2, the 6-year old, called to tell me she did her first by-herself kick-over. Whoa. Okay, I had to ask what it was because I could not recall from when Granddaughter #1 learned how to do it. (Their mom is the gymnast.) It’s kicking over from a backbend into a standing position. As I said, whoa

Monday, April 25, 2011

Days 223 - 224

Saturday – Sunday, April 23 – 24, 2011. . .
            Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia! 

Day 221

Friday, April 22, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .I tightened up that Epilogue, worked on a few other things and then. . .I was done.  Yes, again.  ;)  It was another “finished” episode. This was a Biggie: I emailed it to the editors.  It was time to let it go (no matter that today is Good Friday and no one is going to see the email until after Easter).
            Thanks be to God.
            There is always the post-mortem: What do I think? How do I feel? I feel good about the work. I put forth my best efforts. I miss my characters.
            THE DETAILS. . .The remainder of the day I moved in a fog. How do we writers come out of it, how do we leave a world in which we’ve lived and breathed for months and months? It’s like being born or gaining sight: everything is new. Everything is bright and shiny and a little bit scary.
            I emailed my daughter and asked what they were doing for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving.  In an email. It wasn’t a slip of the tongue. Slip of coherent thought, perhaps.  ;)   

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 220

Thursday, April 21, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . . \O/  I typed THE END.  Woo-hoo!!!!
            There’s finished and there’s finished and then there’s finished. Maybe one or two more.  Last week’s was completing the story, minus Epilogue and my editing/rewriting.  That’s emotional crying time.  Empty and full time.
Today’s finish was: Epilogue written and all the red ink transcribed into the file. I laughed and clapped at my laptop.  =)  Thanks be to God.
I enjoy writing epilogues. For my type of story, it’s a look at what good has come of the previous 200 pages of struggle. There might be some bittersweet. I try not to answer all the dilemmas or be too syrupy sweet.
It should be tight writing and honestly I will most likely rewrite it after my editor gives it back to me because as is, it’s loosey goosey stuff, an emotional unloading as well as a “this is what happened to so and so and that situation and this is where we are and the moral of the story is this in case it wasn’t clear.”
THE DETAILS. . .Maundy Thursday. Our church practices some of the old ways. We had a foot washing, communion, and then in silence the altar was stripped. Even the floral arrangements were carried away. The barrenness speaks to me: what if Jesus never came to reveal God to us?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 219

Wednesday, April 20, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .A 10-hour, at-it day. Finished entering the red ink into file, then finished reading the hard copy.  Ahhh.   I am satisfied – well, as much as possible before transcribing all the red ink. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 217

Monday, April 18, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Sixty pages and a red ink pen.  ;)  An interesting process to read and edit and see the big picture and rewrite and check notes and take notes and follow threads. Interesting and all-consuming.
            I do so appreciate my editors.  =)
            THE DETAILS. . .Not much. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Days 215 - 216

Saturday – Sunday, April 16 – 17, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Continuing to let it sit.           
THE DETAILS. . .Landlord visit and new lease.  =)  Walked around local art fair; always inspirational to see artists’ work, such an expression of creativity and diligence and beauty.  Dinner at friends’ home that included time with their visiting parents, a couple full of encouraging later-life stories. (Yes, 60-year olds need to hear from elders who are doing it well.)
Palm Sunday. . .Hosanna time!

Day 214

Friday, April 15, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Another hands-off, back-away day.
            THE DETAILS. . .Put some order to the office.  Scooped piles of stuff from bed, dresser, and floor into the closet.  This would have waited but the landlord is coming for his annual look-see and for us to sign a lease to continue renting.  I Did not touch the desktop however.  ;)
            Movie time. My Guy and I walked down to the neighborhood theater; was bummed that our coupon gave us cheaper tickets than my new Senior Status so I still did not get to say “one senior ticket.”
            We enjoyed Soul Surfer very much. Based on a true story and well done, it is full of real-life: sadness, joy, inspiration, hope, conflict, unanswered questions.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 213

Thursday, April 14, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Around 2 a.m. an answer to me, to a question I did not realize I was asking (I probably wasn’t, ha, ha!).  Underlying everything else in the story, what is Heart Echoes really all about?  Ta-da!  It’s about Protagonist’s father wound. I went back to sleep.
            And then I took the day off.
            THE DETAILS. . .Farmer’s Market with My Guy. We worked on flight arrangements for June travel for me to be part of a writers conference and visit extended family.
            Noticing house things again, like the sun shining just so on white woodwork.  ;)  DUST!! LOTS OF IT!!  I addressed a few things. 
Also I treated myself to a stroll through some secondhand stores not far down the main street (101) and found a treasure for $8: pink Depression glass creamer and sugar bowl.  They’re a memento copy of a memento lost in the fire, my grandmother’s dishes.  I’m not interested in replacing things like this, but a small bit to have for a time and then pass on with the stories to my kiddos and grands is good.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 212

Wednesday, April 13, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Love the ‘search and find and replace’ feature of Word. =)  I worked on incorporating notes jotted during recent weeks. They were tweaks, having to do with such things as name changes, timing issues, that legal technicality thread.  Paused some to rewrite, but not much.  Printed the whole thing out.
            In the old, old days, I began a writing session with pen and paper and then put it on the computer; it was weird to start directly on the computer and see my work displayed so glaringly on the monitor.
In the old days, I printed daily, needing the hard copy in hand, not trusting technology very much.  Now I email the new stuff to myself and sometimes back up on a flash drive.
In the nearer old days – as in two books ago – I worked in double space; today’s it’s single space.  Double space was a throwback to 20 years ago when we mailed two hard copies to editors who worked on them and needed the space.  
I’m feeling I’ve been around for a while.  =) 
THE DETAILS. . .Ahh, a morning walk on the pier.  I’ve missed them.  Finding some balance today (read: I did not do much at all after noon).  I finished my Shutterfly project:  a photo book of our weekend in Borrego Springs.
Still some dazedness going on.  It’s a sweet and odd space to be in.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 211

Tuesday, April 12, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Oh happy day! I wrote the final scenes!! (Except for the Epilogue which comes more easily after my editing.)  Thanks be to God.  Afterwards, I just sat for a bit, overcome with gratitude for those 87,000+ words and for the gift of putting them together.
            Tomorrow the editor can come out and play. It’s fun, hard work, tiring – but not daunting as creating new.
            THE DETAILS. . .Dazed.  Much singing.  =)  Groceries, putzed around Tuesday Morning (small home outlet store), massage.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 210

Monday, April 11, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Odd middle-of-the-night moment. A new story began. This is how they come sometimes. They lie in wait until I’m ready to “read” them. This one played out like a scene from a play; it even had music, the song Our God Reigns. The upper left hand corner of the “screen” of my imagination was fuzzy; obviously the whole thing is not clear to me yet. It’s too early to talk about content; it’s enough for me to know it’s there.  
            Okay, that sounds really, really weird.
Long, full, satisfying day. It’s a balancing act: by the end, Protagonist has changed, she’s grown, she’s wiser, she’s more at peace, she has seen evidence of God at work in her life. . .but life is still life, full of challenge and sadness and consequences of her choices. In short, she is in a better place and yet she is not perfect.
            It is a joy to look at her life through her new eyes though.  =)
            Final scenes with minor characters completed.
            THE DETAILS. . .Looked up from laptop at 6 p.m. Went to the kitchen and wrote a note to myself about a story detail to add tomorrow.
            What details?  =)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Days 208 - 209

Saturday – Sunday, April 9 – 10, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .A middle-of-the-night tweaking in my imagination. Early morning note jotting. Okay, now I can let it go.
            THE DETAILS. . .A cold, windy yet sunny weekend. My Guy and I managed to sit at the beach, bundled in sweats and jackets and blankets, and read.
Cahill’s book, The Gifts of the Jews, continues to enlighten; it’s such a succinct history lesson, not only about what physically occurred but also along the lines of developing spirituality.
Got lost in a Coben novel, for me an out-and-out writing lesson: character development and dialogue are models.
Oh, such a treat! A breakfast reunion with long-distance old friends in town. Face-to-face time after four years was the stuff of soul feeding. But the best part was to  meet, at long last, their daughter, the talented, creative young woman who designed my pretty website.  My world is richer having met her. KB, you are an absolute delight.

Day 207

Friday, April 8, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Good stuff.  =)  Late afternoon, I received an email from my legal expert replying to a question I ran by her.  Whoa.  A new layer has been added to Protagonist. Something I had in place will not work, technically/legally speaking. She is in deeper than I knew. This tweak will round things out and take me to the end.  THANK YOU, AR!!!
            THE DETAILS. . .This and that. It’s a struggle to resurface, but I think I really, really, really need to. Walks and a recorded The Mentalist help.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 206

Thursday, April, 7, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .One of those days that begins with “uh, I don’t know how this is going to happen” and then ta-da! The characters do it.  Some tears shed on my part as they face a difficult reality and meet it with grace and courage.
            THE DETAILS. . .Toooo windy for a bike ride; we walk but not far. Typical spring, a game of tag between winter and summer.
            Finished Rob Bell’s Love Wins. Such encouragement tucked in it: God is always inviting us to hear the story He tells about Himself and us, that He loves us no matter what.
            Home Group. . .Ezekiel 37 reading about those dry bones clattering together and being enfleshed and receiving breath. Again, that invitation to hear the invitation God is always sending forth to let Him give us new life – sometimes if only moment by moment.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 205

Wednesday, April 6, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Worked on Facebook author page – time to post a new topic for discussion. Not sure this is working to create interest. Questions I come up with are too heavy, too involved, too personal for a public forum. Maybe should rethink this.
            Writing of final scenes continues. By final I mean several that carry us to the conclusion; I’m sure there is a technical term for it that escapes me at the moment. They are a series of short chapters because there is much going on and I want to see these events from both the Protagonist’s and her husband’s points of view. Also, because I do not want to introduce the daughter’s POV at this time, I want to see as much as possible what she is doing behind their backs (which means it is done behind the backs of us readers).
            Which all reminds me of my stickler’s attitude toward POV for the type of writing that I do: tell the story from within one character’s seeing and only one's at a time; change chapters when it’s time to enter another person’s head. Plain and simple. It requires tighter, stronger writing. It invites the reader to connect more personally and emotionally with the characters.
            Any other way cheats the reader, in my opinion. Some readers don’t mind. I do. And so I write this way. It’s not a “right” or “wrong” thing for this non-literary fiction, it’s a preference.
            THE DETAILS. . .Bike ride with My Guy. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 204

Tuesday, April 5, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Woke up writing notes in my head; put them down on paper ASAP, minor threads to tie up more succinctly, things that could have easily gone by the wayside (what exactly happened to that person?) which I as a reader might have wondered about and my editor might have pointed out.  =)
I incorporated that info previous scenes and began somewhat of a biggie scene for Protagonist. It’s all set up; she’ll walk it out tomorrow.
            THE DETAILS. . .Pretty much everything is falling by the wayside. My office is a major mess and that’s just the first layer. I did manage to go to the grocery stores. =) It felt good to do something concrete, to check things off a list.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another Desert Photo

Sunrise. . .

Day 203

Monday, April 4, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Here I go again, wanting to leap instead of linger.  Reminder to self: do not rush the end. I long for the characters to be reconciled, redeemed, renewed, restored. (Why do all those good words begin with ‘re’? topic for another time. . .)  But if I push it, I’ll end up telling.
            Wrote some icky telling today, BUT the setting and topics I need are now in place, ready for rewriting. Another ‘re’ word. . .
            THE DETAILS. . .Another yummy omelet cooked by My Guy.  =)
            Beautiful birthday bouquets keep on giving a week later, scents and elegance. Thanks to Daughter and Son-in-Law, friends KM and CG.
Have I mentioned the TV show In Plain Sight? Spectacular writing, real characters, superb relationship drama, and – almost an ‘oh and by the by’ compared to all that – very interesting portrayal of the government’s witness protection program (which may be mostly fiction, but still. . .). We watched (DVD) episodes from early season; we’re anticipating its at-last launch of season 4 in May.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Days 201 - 202

Saturday – Sunday, April 2 – 3, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Some nudges now and then, under-the-surface stuff.
            THE DETAILS. . .Remembering the young nephew who passed away a couple years ago; Saturday was his birthday. Prayers for his parents, siblings, wife.
            My Guy and I drove (rather than walked down the street) to a movie theater. I was rather excited at the prospect of saying “ONE SENIOR TICKET PLEASE.”  But their sign said seniors begin at 62, not 60 (unlike our theater down the street).  Major disappointment.
            We saw Certified Copy, a foreign film in English, French, and Italian set in Italy. At first it seemed to drag; then I began to think I missed something although the subtitles were easy to keep up with; when it was over I said “huh?”  =)  One of those – but then we started talking about it and began to see depth and nuances. It was all about a marriage; all about showing through dialogue.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 200

Friday, April 1, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Sigh, sigh, sigh. This is all I can do. Writing is such a deeply satisfying process, most particularly at the point in a story when the Protagonist shows signs of new life after reaching the end of herself. Her eyesight has changed; she’s getting accustomed to new lenses, so to speak.
            After solid hours of bringing the sister relationship to a new place, tying of those threads, I have to stop. Ahead is one more hoop for Protagonist to jump through, one more surprise, one more test – in this case one more tug-of-war between mom and sixteen-year old daughter.
            I shall mull it over the weekend.
            Touched base with a few readers via email who want to purchase some final in-print copies of The Other Way Home. Packed them and took them to the post office.
            THE DETAILS. . .Regular housekeeping activities center me. Our bike ride is an obstacle course of walkers, bikers, joggers, cars on the strand.  =)  Weather still the So Cal stuff of tv and movies.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Another Desert Photo

Ocotillo and me. The orange blossoms are at the top.

Day 199

Thursday, March 31, 2011. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Have I mentioned I love these people?  =)  Tying of some threads and an unexpected sweet connection for Protagonist and husband. Sigh.
            THE DETAILS. . .Extremely difficult to emerge from the cloud of make-believe. Bit of an afterglow going on. I framed my Eiffel Tower poster; felt like a teenager hanging it in my office until I remembered there was no framing going on back then. Transplanted a jade drowning in an inappropriate container. Jade is the way to go. This poor thing, a start from a larger one given to me by a friend a few years ago, just kept on trucking. I don’t know that he minded the ugly, no-drain-hole pot because he did not give up.
            Biked with My Guy. I was surprised to notice the weather. Summer had arrived! (At least temporarily, I hear.)  People, people everywhere. Spring Breakers and Ironman enthusiasts (this coming weekend event).
            Home Group – my brain and eyes unfocused for the most part.  Sigh.