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Showing posts from 2011

A Blue Moon review-

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"McShane's fictional examination of one man's choice - whether to continue a life terrorizing others or to destroy himself - addresses issues of choice in the nonfictional world. Perhaps informed by his days working in a funeral parlor, McShane clearly understands the many emotions surrounding death and impending death. I don't want to put words in the author's mouth, but I must state that he has written a chillingly accurate account of the thought processes involved in such life-death choices as suicide (assisted and otherwise), abortion, and, yes, even murder.
It is this gift for depicting horrible thoughts with such realism that sets McShane apart from other authors in this genre. He has taken a common storyline - that of the werewolf - and added angles most authors are afraid to explore.
If you're looking for a story that will make you reflect on your own beliefs, and if you're not afraid of what you might find, then you will be delighted …

What a day-

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Yikes, what a day!  Today was one of those days when I really wanted to just throw in the towel and not give a crap about being so close to retirement.  Unfortunately it was because of a few random customers who were in a bad mood or just naturally crazy.  Either way, they spewed their bad vibes all over me and those vibes stuck like glue for the rest of the day.  I am about to have a glass (or three) of wine.  I decided to do my blog entry beforehand as to protect you from a lot of al aoiaisjnd ljlj hi!-that.

But you know, Steve and I are strong believers that everything happens for a reason.  And today, even though it was crap on Pol's head day, I came out on top.  As I fumed all the way home at lunch to let the baby out, I had an epiphany.  I suddenly realized that I have the sequel to Blue Moon that I have never published just sitting on the perpetual shelf collecting fairy dust.  I realized I could easily prepare it and release it as an eBook, which is exactly what I am goin…

A Christmas trip-

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Well, Christmas is over.  The end of the year is just about upon  us.  I guess it's been an okay year.  We're still alive, still healthy, still have jobs, and still have each other.  But I am looking forward to 2012 like you wouldn't believe!

What's been going on with me for the past few days?  Well, since most of you who are reading this are my Face book friends or Twitter followers, you probably know what I've been up to.  I ended up going with Steve to Amarillo to visit his parents.  I'm glad I did, too.

Aside from being with Steve on Christmas, we had a nice drive up there (the drive back was a horrific traffic cluster fuck, so I won't even get into that).  Buster did really well on the drive.  It was his first long car ride and we were a little worried.  But he just lay in the back of the Jeep on his bed and didn't complain once.  And when we got to Steve's folks' house, he was the poster child for the world's most well-behaved dog.

On…

A real vacation-

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I have spent the last few weeks going over Luthor and making edits and doing yet another polish.  As a writer, every time you read your work you see something that would read a bit better if a few words were changed or a sentence was moved from the beginning to the end of a paragraph.  Over the years I have done this countless times to Luthor.  But this is the last time and it feels great.  Now it will go to the editor next week and that will be that.  And now that my job is done (until I get it back from the editor), I can finally relax.

Tomorrow starts our Christmas vacation.  Originally Steve and I were not going to be able to spend the Christmas holiday together because he was going to Amarillo to see his parents and I was going to stay home with the baby.  But as it ends up, we're all going.  This will be Buster's first long car ride.  I think he'll be fine (Please don't get sick in Steve's new Jeep).

As for me, well, Amarillo isn't the most picturesque p…

My rock-

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I realized that a lot of you (most of you) who are reading this now are not that familiar with who I am.  It has only been within the last month or so that I've started reinventing myself with a new sense of vigor.
 Since I'm about to start a brand new chapter in my life, with all of you along for the ride, it seems only fitting to give you a bit of back story of what really gives me strength.  Of course you could go back and scroll through the past entries-broken and scattered as they are-but since this is a new chapter-let's start new . . .

I won't bore you with my childhood (trust me, it's not worth repeating).  Let's just jump to the important part.  That would have started the day Steve walked into my life about twenty years ago.  There was an instant attraction between us, and a bond that seems to be made of some indestructible material.  We were best friends for a year and spent every day together.  Unable to fight it, we realized a couple was what we w…

Full circle

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It's strange, this life thing. 
In 1996, Steve got me a seven-week-old golden retriever puppy.  I had just finished my first novel and knew right away that I wanted to name my new puppy after the title character-Luthor.
For more than eight years Luthor brought us joy and filled our lives with so much happiness we couldn't believe.
Then things started to change . . .

In 2001, 9/11 happened.  In 2003, the war in Iraq began.  Then, shortly after, our lives changed forever when Luthor was diagnosed with cancer.  He went through Chemotherapy with no bad side effects and thought he would be just fine.  But that was not the case. 
Luthor began to do what they called "walk the walls".  He would need to lean against walls in order to walk straight.  We immediately took him to the doctor and they did a CAT scan.  We were called and told that the cancer was not gone, in fact, it had spread to Luthor's brain, and there was nothing they could do.  We never brought Luthor h…

Okay, let's try this again . . .

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Yes, it's me again.  And yes, I have faltered from posting for months on end again.  But as the title of the blog states, it's the ups and downs of a writer.  You have days when you feel that your career is about to make a complete 180, and then it all slips right through your fingers. 
There have been so many times when I simply wanted to give the whole thing up, forget the writing, forgetting getting that big break.  But being a writer, I can't.  It's in my blood.  And, as I've mentioned in earlier posts, I need to be successful for Steve.

Okay, let's get caught up.

I've completed the first two installments of my young adult series.  (Sorry, I still won't say anything more about them in fear of having the idea stolen.)  I've sent out tons of letters to agents and publishers but I get the same response: "We love the idea, but it's simply not right for us at this time."  In other words, fuck off.  But I know that one day that one per…
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It seemed at times it would never happen, but I have finished the first draft of the second installment of the new series. I'm so excited. I think it turned out great. Now, I have to go through and reread it a few times and polish it up and make it even better.
It took a lot of research to get this installment completed. I have always been a stickler for trying my hardest to get things right in my books, so when this one called for various locations and technical jargon, I had to start learning. But I'm glad I did because it only made the book that much better. Steve even commented on how much research I had done for the book.
I still haven't heard anything back from any takers on the publication side of things. But that's okay. Everything happens when it's supposed to happen. One way or another, this series will be published and the world will love it, I just know it!
As for anything else that's been going on in my life, there hasn't been much. I've been…
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It's been a busy week. I took off the entire week so that I could do one final polish on the first installment of the new series. I had thought I was done with it, but after a friend read it and found a mistake or two, even after being through a professional edit job, I thought I would read through it again just to make sure. And while I was at it, I couldn't help but add a few things here and there. I'm sure it would happen each time I were to read through it. It's just the nature of the beast. It will never be perfect in my eyes. There's always something I could add or tweak. This time, I added a total of 2, 094 words. I hadn't even realized until I did a new word count. Hopefully it's good enough now. Yesterday I sent out some sample chapters to one publisher and three more agents. I haven't sent out the entire manuscript yet, but I will be doing that very soon. Anyway, now that the reread is done, it's time to get back to working on…
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It was a lovely day in Austin for drivers. They closed two of the three lanes on I-35 causing major gridlock all day long. The same will be going on tomorrow. Luckily, I don't have to go anywhere. I worked out at the gym here at home instead of going to the gym two streets over and avoided the whole mess. I'll be so glad when we move to Woodland Park and don't have to worry about traffic and the hassle of all this crap.
As for the rest of the day, and most of the week to come, I have made the decision to go through the first installment of the new series one more time. I'm glad I did because there were things I found that would have been missed. I was going to go in and fix some errors that were missed by the editor (oops) anyway, and that prompted me to just go ahead and do a complete read through. I took off the entire week to do this so I should get it done. It may not sound like a big job, but it's a 138 page manuscript and I've already read it and…
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Well today kinda sucked. It seemed to start out on the right foot, but quickly tripped and stumbled down a long, treacherous hill. There was nothing too life altering about it. It was just one of those days at the day job that I still have, that I should have been able to quit by now if things had gone the way they were supposed to. But, no, I'm still there. And there are days, such as today, when it is a bit tougher than usual. For the main reason, because I know I should have been gone by now. Another because (God forbid) if nothing does happen that allows me to quit early, I'm only four years from retirement. That alone makes tough days just a little tougher. I think it's called Short-timers, or something like that.
It's just more crap piled onto the crap from the week before that and the month before that. It's just the never-ending cycle of a day-to-day job.
And there are days, like today, when it feels like it may be too much. They have piled one t…
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It Sunday. Steve's been working all day. He's been working a lot lately. But on the brighter side of that, I've been getting a lot of writing done on the second book. I did some great work today. Actually had one of those moments when I started getting teary-eyed because something bad happened to the main character. Even though it may sound weird, I love those moments. I hope that it effects readers the same way. I've been trying not to think about getting screwed out of my movie deal, but lately it's been all I can think about. It irritates me that the "producer" seems to have no qualms about pushing me out. After five years! Steve keeps telling me that she'll get her's one day. What comes around goes around. I only hope that's true. We're really hoping that this new series will get picked up and be as big as we dream it will be. Then that b-- "producer" will be sorry she doesn't have me in her corner anymore. …
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As I sit here, writing to whomever sees fit to read, I am filled again with the overwhelming sensation of anticipation. The anticipation of what's to come.
There are times in your life when you feel that you simply go through your days in the most common routine. You can drive to work without even thinking about it or paying much attention (though, I don't recommend it). You go through your work day in much of the same daydream that brought you there.
But then there are those days when, although nothing visibly or physically has changed, you feel something. What that "something" is, who knows? But it's there. And isn't that enough?
I've had a great three days of writing. The second installment of the series I'm working on has suddenly taken off. I was having a bit of trouble before, but that's all past me now. It's coming along great. Perhaps that's the reason for that "something" I'm feeling?
I've also sent out t…
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Well, it's Grammy night. I'm not usually all that excited about Grammy night, but for some reason I am this year. I think it's because of a few reasons. One being that Lady Ga-Ga's new song will be premiered and second (and forgive me for sounding a bit like a pedophile) is because Justin Bieber is nominated for best new artist, and I really hope he gets it.
I don't know what it is. There's just something about that kid that is so inspirational. He really is talented and he seems to be handling all his success the right way. Anyway, we like him, so there. Other than the Grammy's tonight, my day will consist of working on the second book, going to the gym and reading. Steve will be at work tonight so it's just Buster and I again. Oh, I wish I could just get this career of mine started so we could spend all of our time together. I know it's not going to happen all at once, so I need for something to start so we'll be that much closer. And…
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Another few days have gone by and another rejection has come in the mail. But that's okay, it's to be expected. I just send out another query to replace the one rejected. I would have been a bit more upset about the second rejection letter arriving, but I feel too good to be upset. You see, I know what I have. I know it and Steve knows it. And now, someone else knows it, too, and had reaffirmed to me that I have something special here. The book is in such an early stage of getting out there that only three people have read it: Steve, my editor (who said it was great, but I was paying her) and now a friend of mine. Now you may say, "Oh, a friend. Of course a friend is going to say they love it." But my friends know that saying things just to make me feel good doesn't really help me in my cause. And I would have known if this person was just saying nice things to be nice. You can hear things like that in a person's voice, especially one you know so well…
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Well, as they say in the biz, "Aw, shit!"
I got my first rejection letter back yesterday from one of the agents I queried. But it's okay. I wasn't so naive to think that the very first letter I would get back would be someone banging on my door begging for me to be their client. Grabbing me by the leg as I drag them across the floor. Tears flying out of their eyes like some exaggerated cartoon until I agreed to allow them to sign me. Finding and agent is almost as hard, if not harder, than finding a publisher. It's part of the reason I had quit dealing with all of this before.
They say that writing the book is the hard part. Uh, no, that was quite a bit easier than trying to get someone to look past whether your query letter is the best in the bunch and give you a chance.
Don't get me wrong-I totally understand that the query letter has to be good enough to get past the thousand of others that are received per year. But come on! You've got to look past the …
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Self-doubt. It's a problem of many. It's a serious problem of mine. It's always been a problem of mine. I've always been very critical regarding most aspects of my life. My hair-eh, could be better. My body-eh, would like it more muscular. My teeth-eh, could be whiter.
Are these realistic criticisms? No. My hair is fine-compared to some other members of my family at my age. My body-better than most people half my age. And my teeth-they're pretty white considering the amount of coffee I drink on the weekends.
One of the worst criticisms I have is with my writing. I have always doubted my level of talent, no matter who told me they loved the way I wrote. This doubt only increases when I read a book from my favorite author Dean Koontz. I can't get through a chapter without thinking to myself "Crap. Who am I fooling? I can't write like this. This is a real writer. I'm nothing like this." But then I think, "Of course you'…
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So cold here in Austin! I love it! I've never loved the cold as much as I have this year, since we've made the decision last Spring to move to Colorado. And tonight, they're calling for snow. My fingers and toes are crossed that the forecasters get it right this time.

This morning started out great! My writer's block seems to be gone. It only lasted a few days and I'm grateful. Actually, I think I owe it all to Steve. Yesterday we had a day dedicated to (insert title of series here). We went to Natural Bridge Caverns first. That was cool because I was able to really visualize the setting for the third installment of the series.
Then we stopped at the Snake Farm outside New Braunfels. I can say that the series has to do with snakes and this was really cool because I got to see some of the snakes from the books live and in person.
Also, while we were at the caverns, they had a gift shop and a statue of a Western diamondback rattlesnake (almost identical to …
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It's pretty cold here in Austin this morning. A chilly 17! I couldn't be happier. Actually, I could if it was snowing. But they're saying snow for Thursday night, so we'll see what happens.

I'm still on vacation today. Steve's off today and tomorrow, which is nice, since we never get to see each other anymore. His new job keeps him working 12 and 13 hour days. We kind of hate it, but what are you gonna do?

We're going to Natural Bridge Caverns today. We're excited, since neither of us have ever been before. We decided to go a couple of months ago because the third installment of the series I'm working on will take place in some caves, so it'll be a research trip, of sorts.

I was supposed to have spent this week working on the second installment of the series, but have had a touch of writer's block. I think with the mailing of the letters to agents and the fact that I knew I had to take an online defensive Driving course yesterday (fi…
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It's Monday. The rest of the city's getting ready for work but I'm on vacation again. I enjoy taking vacations (of course) but it always makes it that much harder to return to work afterwards. I think it enforces my hatred for the place. But I've only got four more years to go before retirement. Four more long years. I've heard from some that those years will fly by, but I have my doubts. I'm the type of person who can't stop looking forward and inevitably can't stop waiting for what's to come. This results in little more than watching water boil.

I'm looking forward to retirement, as would anyone. Steve and I will be moving to Colorado, when the time comes. Woodland Park, if plans stay the same. We've gone around and around on several different locations over the past few years but have settled on Woodland Park. Of course if all the stars align and things fall into place for us as we pray they will, retirement will come much ear…

Part of the downs

The point of this blog was to show the ups and downs of an up and coming writer. My hopes had been that there would have been more ups at this point in my career, but as it turns out, not so much . . . yet.

Unfortunately, there has recently been a large "down" in the ups and downs game. As some of you may know, I wrote a book called "Blue Moon" (available on Amazon and Barnes&noble.com). About five years ago (I can't believe it's been that long) I decided to try my hand at screenwriting and wrote the screenplay for the book. I posted it on a site where producers go and find new screenplays. It wasn't long before I had some interest. An independent production company contacted me and were interested. They had me start doing some editing work on it and we went back and forth for about a year. Then, that production company "broke up" and I was left in the lurch.

But as it turned out, the second half of that production company contacted…

Starting fresh

Well, here I am again. It's been a long time. It's been a really long time. I had decided to give up on the blogging, since I've had two followers for more than two years. It got a bit discouraging.
But I'm not going to let that deter me any longer. Things are going to start happening for me and I want those who decide to join me to do so, and come along for the ride.

When I last posted, I was simply wood burning. It was something I had taken up and spent most of my time on since I had not written much of anything for a while. It was something that I had just about given up on. It's a tough business and I didn't have the skin for it any longer. But being a writer, writing was never far from my heart. And it only took on good idea to get my juices flowing again. And that idea came from my husband about seven months ago.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you right now what that idea was. And because of the simple fact that it was a great idea, and I have…