Tuesday, February 22, 2011

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 too many pieces of straw onto this camel's back. There was a time today where I saw myself standing up and walking out. Waving goodbye to everyone with one finger. But I knew that when I got home, my husband would most likely break that finger when he found out what I had done.
So, took a deep breath. Took another one. Took another one . . . hyperventilated a little, and tried to calm down. It didn't work all that great.
So, I came home, walked the Buster boy and poured a big glass of wine. That seems to be doing the trick. Whoever came up with that breathing thing didn't have wine readily available.
The good thing that comes out of day like this, though, is that I really pushes my writing in high gear. It gives me that extra umph to get letters out and find someone to take me away!
Speaking of my writing, I am close to finishing the first draft of the second installment of the new series. This past weekend proved to be momentous. There were a few bad things that happened to very nice characters, but it was something that had to be done. And those bad things are still continuing, and it's slightly difficult, but at the same time, it's so fun. That's why I love writing. What other time can you make someone suffer with projectile vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive bleeding and not get arrested or suffer eternal damnation in the fires of Hell?
Well, I'm done ranting for now.
I hope the rest of your day goes better than mine.
Be nice to each other.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


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.
What really bugs me is that for years, with every change she said she was going to do, we kept saying, "Just let her do it, she knows what she's doing. As long as we get the money and the movie gets made." Well now we aren't getting any money (exactly what she planned, most likely) and the movie is being made, but it's her movie. Her version, that is nothing like my book. You know what? It better not be, that's all I can say.
I just hate feeling like I got taken advantage of, and that's all I feel.
Oh, well. This, too, will pass.
Okay, I'm done complaining for today.
Later. Be nice to each other. Don't promise things for five years and then break that promise.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

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 the first few letters to publishers. I've been previously querying agents, but I don't want to limit myself.
I know there will be the inevitable rejection letter . . . but the word will get out there. Eventually, someone will take notice.
I feel it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

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 yes, we would like to spend all of our time together. That's just the way we are. We don't argue, we don't get one each other's nerves, we work well together when we're working on a project. We're two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together.
Well, I'm short on words today, so I'm stopping there. Be nice to each other.

Friday, February 11, 2011


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.
This friend loved the book. She even started rereading it again as soon as she finished and has asked to hold onto it for another day or so to read it again.
I can think of no bigger compliment than someone finishing your book and turning to page one to read it again.
Needless to say, I'm on cloud nine. (What's so great about cloud nine, anyway? Are clouds one through eight only mediocre?)
So, no matter how many rejection letters come (knock wood, there won't be many more) I feel confident that in the next few months, someone, somewhere will take the chance and request the manuscript and see what my friend saw and then, IT'S ON!
Later-Be nice to each other.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

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 wrapping paper to see the wonderful gift inside.

But it's early. No harm. No foul. I've only just begun to fight!

I know there will come a day when people will hear the name Pol McShane and say, "Mmm, Pol McShane . . . Yeah, he wrote that werewolf book that was a suicide note, right? And he had those children's books about the two brothers and their magic elevator. And didn't he didn't he do that thing with the snakes? Damn, I should have signed him. He'd have made us a lot money. What a dumb ass I am."

This is just the beginning. The bridge ahead of me may be long. It may have a few missing slats. It may be teetering on the edge of collapse, but I'll get across it. And on the other side . . .
The success I'm terrified of!
WTF?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

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're not like this. This is Dean freakin' Koontz!" He's a master storyteller. He's written hundreds of books for more than thirty years. Most of them, if not all, have hit the best-seller's list.
I need not compare myself to the masterful Koontz. But that self-doubt still stirs the pot.
But on the flip-side of that self-doubt is fear.
There have been many a time when I have asked myself: Have I not reached the level of success I strive for because somewhere deep inside I'm morbidly terrified of it? I think on some level that may be true. And that fear has been raising its ugly head more often than not, as of late.
This new series could be the one. That's what Steve and I keep saying. EVerything about it is perfect. The first installment practically wrote itself. It took just over three months to complete. It came too easily. Things fell into place to readily.
Steve tells me it's a sign. He also told me that he thinks the first installment is better than Twilight. I seriously doubt that, but he stands by his statement (and he looooves Twilight).
And while that may be all well and good . . . do I want it to be better than Twilight? A part of me says no. A part of me is running for the bed so I can crawl beneath the covers or get under it completely, which ever will provide more protection.
The angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other are constantly arguing with each other. The protagonistic angel keeps whispering in my ear how it will be so great to be that successful. Being able to provide us with the lifestyle we've always dreamed of. Never having to worry again.
But then the antagonistic devil reminds me of the interviews. The book readings. The signings. The traveling. The time away from Steve and Buster. The critics!
Be careful what you wish for?
I feel this fear rising as I wait for word to come back from the first group of letters I sent out to agents. One side is excited to hear back because I know they'll be so interested in the story and ask to read the manuscript and then they'll see that I really have something and, and, and . . .
The other side reminds me that it will mean "It has started".
Funny-for years I've only dreamed of success. Now I'm apprehensive.
But things will happen the way they're supposed to happen. God won't throw anything at me He doesn't think I can handle (You won't, will You, God?).
Okay, that's it for today's trip through my jumbled brain. Be nice to each other.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

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 the above picture) and Steve bought it for me. It is now sitting on my desk.

If all of that wasn't inspiration enough to push a writer's block away, I don't know what would have been. Steve always knows what's best for me and I owe him a lot. One day, I'll be able to take care of him and provide for him so that he can lead the life of leisure he dreams of.
I owe it to him. He's given so much to me over the past twenty years.

So, I think that's gonna be it for today. We're off to see what kind of trouble we can get into.

Be nice to each other.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

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 (first ticket in 20 years!), I've been too distracted.

But now that things have started to settle down in my head, I'm hoping that the block will loosen up and ideas will begin to flow again.
This has happened to me once before. I was working on the third installment of the Johnny & Joey series, Return to Animal Land. I can't recall the reason for that block, but it lasted about a week. Then, without warning, it broke free and I was writing again. Usually when I stop worrying about the fact that I have a block, the block eases up.

But other than that, there's not much for me to do but wait for responses from the first group of letters to come back, wait for the block to vacate, and enjoy the next few days with my husband.

Be back soon. Be nice to each other.