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Friday, March 31, 2006

A Concert

The things we do for our children. My son, who just turned 12, wanted to go to this concert. His favorite band was playing and it was right after his birthday, so could we go for his birthday present? Please please please?

I reluctantly agreed and bought the tickets. Three bands that I'm not particularly fond of - they all sound the same! I feel old saying that! - and guess what?

It's tonight.

Sigh...I don't really want to do this, but I'm telling myself it'll be fun to watch my son have fun. It'll be a great place to people watch (the freaks come out for concerts, don't they), and it's only one night of suffering. And my husband is staying home with the little ones, so he can have some nice bonding time with them. Ha ha.

The things we do for our children.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Organizing

Do any of you start organizing and tossing stuff during this time of year? I do. Right after Christmas (when you have all that shiny new stuff and you want to get rid of the dull old stuff) and Spring time is when I get organizational fever.

Went to Costco yesterday and bought some cool drawer organizers. Cleaned out the TWO (that's right, two!) junk drawers and put in these little organizer-thingys. It looks much better now. Bought new office stuff at Target for my desk (such pretty bright colors and subtle flower backgrounds!) to organize that sucker. What a wasteland it's been pretty much since I've lived here, which is going on five years. A total dumping ground is more like it. Since it's my year to get super serious (I sound like a teenager) about writing, I figured I needed to get super serious about keeping my desk in working order.

So now it looks great but here's the funny thing. I've been writing solely on my ol' laptop, which means I'm either writing with it literally in my lap in bed or at the dining room table, so I can keep track of munchkins during the day. And my Alphasmart is coming soon which means I can write outside if I want, (battery in ol' laptop doesn't work) while watching munchkins run around.

Why the clean desk with the pretty new stuff then? I don't know, but it sure looks good!

PS ~ Julie, I still don't have my Mod X's and it's been ONE MONTH since I ordered them! How about you? I'm crying right now, so sad that I don't have them...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Take That, Meter!

I laugh in the meter's face. I was on a roll last night, wrote nine pages. Mostly dialogue, but it just flowed out of me. I let my cp know of some plot changes and twists I came up with and she asked more thought-provoking questions (she loves to do that!) that gave me some ideas (so I love it when she does that!).

I feel good about this one. My biggest problem in the past has been not enought motivation. Not enough internal conflict. I can come up with external conflict no prob but it's the internal stuff that gives me pause. I need to dig deeper, which I did with these characters. And after yesterday's questions I've dug a little more.

Plus, there's a great workshop going on at www.romancedivas.com about conflict. I'm not participating (it started Sun and I only started reading it late last night), but there's a lot of useful info on it. I think I need to read Debra Dixon's Goal, Motivation, Conflict. I'm in the middle of Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel, which I'm enjoying. I finally felt compelled to read the thing. Too many people talk about it.

How's everyone's writing going? Feeling good? Feeling stuck? Trust me, this roll I'm on will probably come to a halt here soon. Not being negative, just being realistic. Y'all know what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Curse the Meter

I knew I shouldn't have put one of those little word count meter thingys on my blog page.

Now it just teases me and taunts me when it stands idle for a few days. Oops, more like almost a week.

It glares and asks in an all knowing tone, "When you gonna write something so I can advance the color a little bit, up the percentage some more?" And I just grumble at it, "Gimme a minute. Gotta do something else first."

Not that I mind what I've been doing. I just finished reading/editing the 272 page ms my cp is sending in to Everlasting. What a good story. Great characters, unique way she put it together. Loved it. But because my weekend was shot to hell and I've spent the last couple of days reading, I haven't got any writing in.

Hence the evil meter.

Guess I need to show that meter who wears the pants around here. Give it something to do.

Like advance.

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Ha!

You Should Be a Romance Novelist
You see the world as it should be, and this goes double for all matters of the heart.You can find the romance in any situation, and you would make a talented romance story writer...And while you may be a traditional romantic, you're just as likely to be drawn to quirky or dark love stories.As long as it deals with infatuation, heartbreak, and soulmates - you could write it.
What Type of Writer Should You Be?


Ok, ok, I tweaked one question knowing the answer would come close to this and I was right! So I'm a cheater. Shame on me.

I got this from Donna's blog. Take it - it's fun!


Gee Whiz

It has been nothing but pure craziness at my house this weekend. My two little ones were nuts, my parents probably think I have no control of them (I swear they don't act like this when it's just us), and my husband looked like he wished he would've stayed away (he just came home after 2 weeks gone for work).

Besides the fact I still need to edit my cp's ms for Everlasting (she was a winner in the contest!), and I haven't written a single word since Wednesday night.

On a bright note I know my oldest had a great birthday, my dad is coming back in a week to start working on outside projects (whoo hoo!) and my Alphasmart should be here soon. Hopefully. Please. And by the way, where are my Mod X books I ordered? Nearly a month ago? I'm dying here - I want to read them!! Of course, once I start reading, then I won't write, so hmmm...need to finish the critique first and foremost. Oh! And I've barely been on the internet, which proves...I can live without it! So take that, Internet!

I think I've lost my mind.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Thank Goodness...

Well, I was on a roll last night and wrote quite a bit, which was cool. Needed to get that boost cos my weekend is shot. Husband comes home tomorrow, parents arrive today to stay for the weekend, oldest son's birthday is Sunday. Lots going on. So there probably won't be much writing going on. And the weather is sooo nice. Makes me want to go out and play!

Which is probably what I'll end up doing this weekend, as long as the warm weather holds. Yea!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Gotta Get a Move On

Fancied up my blog page this morning. Added some links (I hope the bloggers don't mind - I'd love to have a link on someone else's page!), added one of those meters to inspire or depress me, came up w/ a goofy working title. What fun. Soon I think I'll get a website. I keep reading how both published and aspiring authors need one. As long as it doesn't cost too much and is easy to maintain, eventually I'm in.

So I wrote four pages last night. Not bad. Forgot to do the timer thing. Duh! Think I'm going to do that tonight. But now I'm extra excited 'cos I bought something last night. . .

I bought an Alphasmart!! Whoo-hoo! Husband was feeling generous and said go for it, and I got the basic model for $139 (w/ shipping & everything closer to $170). I'm so excited. My post from yesterday kept bothering me. I DO waste too much time on the internet. With an Alphasmart, I can take it anywhere, and no internet access. Just plug it in to my computer and transfer over my work. I'm sure this will help cut back my internet time, and hopefully up my writing time.

So does anybody else have an Alphasmart? Do you love it, like it, hate it??? Let me know.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Waste

I waste way too much time on the internet. It's bad, like an addiction. Like, when I could be writing, I'm fiddlin' around surfin' the 'net. Sometimes I try to chalk it up to research. Yeah, right...checking out the new spring stuff at Old Navy is research. Reading other writers' blogs is research (well, kinda!). Checking my email all the time is research.

I need to face facts that most of my time spent on the internet is a waste of my time. I'm just fooling around when I should be doing something. Like writing. I don't count my time here blogging - it only takes a few minutes and I feel a little glimmer of satisfaction when I'm done. It's not like many people are reading my blog, but that's ok. It's a way for me to drone on about life.

Ok, I really do have some research to do, and then I'm going to *hopefully* get a little bit of writing in this afternoon. We'll see - awake and active children can put a damper on that sometimes. And if I don't get much writing done, then tonight I'm going to try the timer trick I read about on Julie Cohen's blog and see if that helps.

By the way, potty training has been a great success. She's had a few minor accidents, but for the most part, she's trained! Let's just hope she can keep it up. Wish us luck.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Successes & A Deadline

First I must say how proud I am of my daughter. Yesterday was tough - but she wore (multiple pairs of) underwear all day. When I put her diaper on to wear for sleeping, she literally danced around the living room singing "I love my diaper." Oh boy.

But today is a brand new day, and she's done wonderful. One accident in the morning, and that's it. Successful going in the potty all day (so far). Including a "number two" incident she took upon herself to take care of. I know accidents are bound to happen, but I'm thrilled. And my husband will be thrilled too. This potty training boot camp is tough stuff but the rewards are numerous, let me tell you.

On to the writing life. I've decided to implement a self-imposed deadline. I would like to have it finished by April 30th. That's approximately six weeks, and I know I can do it. Once I come up with a title for the damn thing, I'll post one of those counting meters I see all over everyone's blogs. Maybe it'll inspire me.

Am I the only one who sucks at titles? I'm terrible! Not creative with it whatsoever. Maybe I need to ask the critique partner. . .

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I'm in Hell

Potty training hell, that is. Second child. Only daughter. Turned three last month. Very stubborn. Has a mind of her own. Not too sure about this potty stuff. Must. Breathe. Deep.

My first child, what a breeze. He was about two and a half, and I told him big boys used the potty. He lapped that up. He wanted to use it constantly. It wasn't perfect, but within a couple of weeks of training him, he was pretty much on board.

Sigh...my daughter likes to be in control. We have almost daily power struggles. I think that's what she's viewing this as - a power struggle. But I'm persistent. I ask her *literally* every 5 minutes if she has to go. She was successful once today. Not bad for the first day of potty boot camp. And we have many hours to go, so I have a feeling there will be another success. But this stuff is hard. It calls for great patience, not my strongest suit.

What the heck does this have to do with writing? Uh...the fact that I can't really do it? That I'm able to type up this quick blog and then hurry off to the bathroom for yet another round of sit on the potty and watch her NOT go - and that's about it? That I was hit with a great tweak and idea for my current wip and I would love to work on it, but it has to wait til this evening, after children are in bed?

I hope this hell only lasts a couple of more days...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sick o' the Rain

The title is in honor of St Patrick's Day (notice the 'o - that's got a bit of Irish flavor don't you think?), but really, I'm sick of the rain. It's coming down right now as I type, filling up my pool that I'm longing to use once it gets warm again.

Come about August I'll be complaining about the heat and how I'm sick of it, and how I can't wait for it to start cooling down and raining again. It's a no-win situation. At least I can admit it.

So we'll be stuck in the house for most of the weekend (according to the weatherman, Sun. will be decent so I can let the kiddies run outside and burn some energy), but I guess that's ok. I'll clean house (ugh), catch up on the TiVo (am I the only one who lets that thing back up? I bet not), and write in the evenings. This wip is coming along, just did about 10 pages over two days and I have some great dialogue. But I need to delve a little deeper. It's set in Hawaii ~ which I think is a sign that I need to get back there. It's been almost 4 years! And it's about a bride who walks out during her wedding ceremony (fiance is a cheating scum) and walks right into the arms of the man of her dreams.

Sounds corny? Well, maybe, since that whole "man of her dreams" bit can be a bit corny-ish (is that a word?). But I don't care. I'm enjoying writing this story, I'm loving my characters and I'm putting pressure on myself to get it done soon. There are a few contests I would like to submit it to, and I would also like to submit it to the publisher! I need to set myself a deadline date...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Focus?? Ha!

So yesterday I said my goal was to focus. Never happened. What with all of the issues and waiting yesterday, my focus was shot to you know where. But that's ok. I worked on the outline last night for my work in progress (wip) and went to bed early. Good thing too cos daughter decided to wake me up at 5:30. 5:30??? What in the world is wrong with this child? She's been getting up at the crack of dawn ever since her father went out of town. It's awful. At least little brother sleeps in til about 7. He hasn't been thrown off like she has.

I got an email from my critique partner that threw me for a loop - a good loop. Gave me some ideas for my wip in directions I never planned. I'm going to have to make some changes on some of the work I've already done, but that's ok cos I really liked some of her ideas. That's the great thing about a CP - different eyes and different minds give you new ideas. Some of them you pass on, some of them you use. I did the same for her on her current wip. Gosh, the give and take of this process is great, huh?

Ok, I'm gonna go clean house for a little while and then hopefully get some writing done today!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's a Girl!

Ok, I had to announce cos I'm excited - my brother and his wife had a baby girl!!!!!!!!!!!

She was born today (3/14) at 8:21 p.m. Her name is Leah Grace and she weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and was 19 inches long.

I hope to have some pictures in the next couple of days. I wish I was there! But they live about five hours north of me, and it would've been impossible to go anyway w/ the munchkins. Hopefully I'll get to visit soon.

Yea! I'm an aunt! I'm thrilled.


Eventful

Crazy morning! Woke up about 4:45 a.m. to pitch black darkness, which means...no power. This is like the millionith (ok, I'm lying, but it feels like it!) time the power's gone out since the beginning of the year. It was out for about six hours. Ugh. When your daughter keeps yelling "I want toast!" it's hard to explain why she can't have it. Though since the power has gone out a million times, she has a better understanding now than she did a couple of months ago.

Then I'm sitting here minding my own business at the laptop once the power came back on and up pops Cheetah the missing cat on the table that butts up against the house. Like no big deal. He's been gone for 5 days in some terrible weather. Where the heck has he been? Jenna mentioned in a comment maybe he got taken in by a crazy cat lady. Maybe he did, and was able to make the great escape.

So I called my mom to tell her about the cat coming back (she cares about these things - her cat was kidnapped once for a week) and she's like "I've been trying to call you." My sister in law went into labor this morning! My new niece or nephew is on her/his way! So exciting.

It's not even noon yet and I feel like all kinds of stuff has happened! What's coming next? Well, I know a baby is. And maybe, if I can get myself together, I can start working again on the Modern Extra story I'm 14k words in. Life has been constantly interrupting, though. Makes it hard for me to focus.

My goal for the day, then? FOCUS!

Monday, March 13, 2006

myspace: the new crack

myspace is an evil, evil thing.

Been there? If you're 25 & younger, definitely. Hell, all kinds of people are on myspace. Including me! I blame my friend Linda - she "invited" me to join, and once you join, forget it, you can't ever get out of it.

You can fancy up your page, add all kinds of cool and weird people as your friends (if they'll have you), add songs on your page, post pics of your loved ones, post weird quizzes you took (I took the 7 deadly sins test - I am greed - that makes me feel awful!), etc., etc., etc.

Then you start taking self portraits, which I did yesterday (see pic on this blogger - self portrait). Then you'll want to take the quirky self portrait, where you're looking off to the side, rolling your eyes, looking sexy, whatever.

It takes up so much of your time that you don't do what you're supposed to be doing while on the computer - like writing! Which is what I'm supposed to be doing!

Damn Tom and his myspace. Jerk.

ps - My myspace url is:

http://www.myspace.com/kdid210

I'm so lame

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I'm Sad...

What a week. Last night went out w/ husband & friends up to local casino for dinner and a little gambling (I don't partake too much so it's ok) & it snowed - we're talking big time snow. We're talking close the roads down snow, cars wrecked on the side of the road snow. It was crazy, but beautiful. Not as much snow at my house (I'm 1000 ft lower than the casino), but this morning had a 10 minute hail shower that looked like snow. Weather is bizarre...

But I'm not sad about the snow. I'm sad cos my cat is missing. Cheetah is an awesome cat, but he hasn't been home for nearly 48 hrs. I'm thinkin' he's a goner. Which depresses me cos he was so cool. Good hunter, sweet, good w/ the kids. Just an all-around great cat. So I'm in mourning. I guess I should wear black.

I can hope he's coming back, but I doubt it. Just minutes ago a bobcat was out walking around the pool fence. He was sooo close - & it clicked in my mind that maybe that's the way Cheetah went. Sucks. I ran right out there and shooed him away, which usually doesn't work (I always say they would flip us off if they could) but he ran like the devil was chasing him. I guess that shows how pissed I was.

Ok, it's hailing again. Big time. This weather is freaky.

Gotta go. I just needed to get my sadness off my chest.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

First Time

This is my first blog and this is my first time posting. Here I go...

My name is Karen and my goal this year is to write a fantastic romance novel and submit it to a publishing house. And hey, maybe even get it bought. Wouldn't that be nice? I think so.

This writing stuff isn't easy, though. Especially when you have 3 children - two of them ages 3 and 1 who are constantly in "your Kool-Aid" (a quote from my friend Linda) and hardly give me a spare moment to relax, let alone write. But I'm trying anyway.

Why didn't I start this goal a few years ago when I only had my oldest and he was so easy? Eh, what can you do. I figure this will be a great way for me to vent, ramble, share the joys and share the pains of my life.

So join me on my journey of writing, living and being driven crazy by my children. I'm sure it will be a wild ride...