Monday, July 28, 2014

Coming to grips

I think perhaps I was in shock the other day after finding out my third book had been accepted. I'm one of those people who have trouble believing it when good things happen too easily. Sure, I moan and complain when they don't, but when they do . . . it's just weird. But I am very happy, and again, I look forward to the release.

When I look back at writing the first book, which I've talked about way too much I'm sure, there's a feeling of pure love and happiness that it's all worked out. It was a rough road convincing people a ghost love interest had any real merit. At the time, it was cliché as hell. But to me, it was everything. From the moment I saw "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" on TV in high school, I knew that I'd write about a specter and a human one day. I just didn't know how or when . . . or anything. I just knew. The funny thing is that when you finally allow yourself to believe in an idea, and you give of yourself completely, good things happen. I want all writers to know this. You can be young, or old, or rich, or poor, but if you have a dream, you have everything. And yes, making the dream come true entails a lot of hard work, but mostly I really, really enjoy this whole writing thing. Sometimes it's like I'm not actually working.

That's the key. I never knew how much I loved writing until I succumbed and just did it. All those excuses which kept me from writing the first page of this or that, and the doubts which nagged at me saying, "You don't know how to write. You only think you know. Writers are gifted people and you, my dear, are not gifted." Years went by with this inner dialogue. Then one day the image of a young man sitting alone in a library struck me. I could feel his feelings and hear his thoughts. I experienced such an urgent need to write about him and to save him from that loneliness. So, whatever that was, that bolt of inspiration, it saved me from the doubt. And I wish for all writers to have the same lightning strike of creativity. If it happens, don't let it go to waste. My 1950's ghost boy now appears in three books, and always, in my heart.

Nothing done in earnest will ever be wasted.

So, now I get to say I'm the writer of a trilogy. That's kind of wonderful. My hope is that I'll get to do something which, for some reason, never happened with the first book's release—to have a signing/reading. While I'm not holding my breath, it would be nice to do the proverbial 'author appearance' and relish in the public life of a literary figure. Or not. What I really do best is hang out in comfy clothes and brainstorm.

But really, the proper thing to do is hope for another great idea. And write, and write, and write.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New book, and it's late so I can't think of a proper blog title--you're lucky I can even spell right now . . .

After some crazy email problems, all stemming from my Yahoo account (basically, someone hacking my Yahoo, which sounds terrible), I heard that WiDo will pick up the third book in my novel series about Emma. I'm truly happy and thrilled to know The Love Seekers will come out. I was sort of transfixed into another world the whole time I worked on it, which is a nice treat after struggling so much with other projects. So, yay, this is good news and I can't wait to get things rolling!

But back to that email. I had a bad feeling my messages weren't going out, as all received messages were being erased--and not by me. I had my computer hacked too, and my phone. I'm pretty sure it's still happening. My Facebook goes nuts, it's crazy. It started last spring. The good news is that I've switched to a new service, but as for Facebook, it's not like I have to go on there that much anyway. Too many arguments and annoying misspelled memes. Anyone have similar issues with this stuff?

Hope all is well with all of you in bloggerland! I'm not ready for summer to end yet. I'm the same way every year. I'll be back when it's time for The Time Seekers cover reveal, or hopefully sooner. Until then, much love and rock on!

Here's my latest Flickr activity if you're bored.

Some lovely Kansas flowers

Monday, July 7, 2014

Marching On

It's hard to believe Summer Break is half over. I refuse to accept it! Most of mine has been spent with the kids, watching them swim and taking them to the park. I've also been writing a lot, as usual. I do that in the mornings before they wake up, and then simmer over what will happen in my next writing session throughout the day. As usual, I'm dreading the start of school because it means an empty house. But I'm also looking forward to it . . . because it means an empty house. I always feel guilty about that! The truth is, I write more when the kids are around. My schedule is jacked up, yes, but my heart is in one piece. But, hey, don't tell anyone I said that!

The other day WiDo sent a message to tell me The Time Seekers is about to get a cover. Probably one of the most exciting times for any writer. Seriously, it's like Christmas! A nice reward after all that hard work. It's my first real time travel novel, and to understand the significance of that, you have to know how much I love Jack Finney. LOVE Jack Finney. Then you'll know how much it means, and why I worked so hard to make this book just right. Time will tell if I was actually able to achieve that goal (see what I did there?). Can't wait to see the cover.

Speaking of time, I'm going to step back to the summer of 2009 when I first came up with the idea for The Soul Seekers. Maybe one of the happiest eras of my life. I was completely devoted to the story and the characters: Emma, William and Jesse. I'd always wanted to write, but nothing had ever grabbed me quite like this. I became Emma and I could hear and feel every part of Springvale around me that summer. It was magical. For people who have read the book, I think that joy comes across. And I think it comes through in The Time Seekers, where I continue Emma's life through college and marriage and all the tough decisions in this crazy thing we call life. She goes through a lot, that girl, and I'll admit I have cried at times for what I've put her through. If that makes me weird, so be it. Although, I have a feeling I'm not the only one who gets lost in their characters!

Some of you have been dealing with some wild weather this summer. I hope all is well. Here's to a beautiful rest of the season. Anyone reading anything spectacular right now? I'd love to hear about it.

My offspring when I took them on a tour of a small Kansas town. Photographic proof that you can't make both happy at the same time.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Ramblings

The most strenuous edits are now done and The Time Seekers has been sent for copy edits. Kind of relived, and also, kind of feeling like I don't know what to do with myself. Sure it won't last.

The kids have less than a week of school remaining, but you wouldn't know it because it feels like early spring out there. Not liking it at all. Being hot ain't great, but let's face it, winter's trying to sneak back in, and that is some crazy shite, my friends. Let's form a wall to keep it out. The Winter Wall. We could all hold blow torches and fry its you-know-what until it gets the point and goes back to where it belongs. 

I have a few gigs lined up on the music side of things. I got all nervous and pulled out the guitar, thinking I was rusted to heck, but I guess these things can't be unlearned. I remembered all the chords and words and my voice was in fine form. So strange. Guess I've sung enough in my life that things have cemented. So, bring on the shows (and not the nerves).

Hope all is well with you, dear people. Bring on the sun!

Here's my Flickr photos of late, if you're interested. Take good care of yourself! Peace.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Time Seekers

A few weeks ago I mentioned writing a blog about my newest novel, The Time Seekers, and have only just gotten to it now. It's been a process, this book. Loved the idea, hated the execution. I think by the time I started the first draft I had grown tired of the whole paranormal genre, but the story required me to delve into that mind frame regardless. The book's middle section has been revised many, many times. I just could not get it right. I've heard of the sequel curse, but this was tough.

What I had to remember, though, was a story is never about a genre or any tricks you magically pull from the air, it is about the characters and their journey. Once I came to that mindset I was able to move ahead. I feel like now, finally, there is a great story within the paranormal.

Emma and William weren't perfect for each other after all. William, a ghostly relic from the 1950's, has difficulty adapting to the 1980's. There's also the problem of Emma not being able to get over Jesse's death. She carries the guilt of leaving him that night in the caves, and this guilt causes her to pull away from what would otherwise be such a beautiful relationship with William. Sounds like real life, if you don't count the ghost/cult stuff!

There was another element in the novel which had me in a brain-knot—do I alter a major 'real' event in history or keep it the same? People can get mighty pissed off when you mess with history. Especially when it comes to famous rock stars! To be honest, I didn't even choose at the end. I let the story lead me to that scene and whatever happened, happened. I worried about it, but now it's out of my hands. I'm clean . . .

The Time Seekers is in its fourth round of edits. The process, to be vetted by someone who knows the ins and outs of molding a perfect book, is wonderful yet painful. But I love it. My hopes are people will enjoy the book because, despite what I've said about any difficulty I had in writing it, The Time Seekers was enjoyable for me in so many ways. I loved revisiting Emma and William. And . . . hmm, you just never know who else is going to show up! Btw, I've written the third book, and so there's more time-travel goodness on the way. Emma goes from New York to Paris to Aspen, Colorado, then back to New York, 1980, 1963, 1988 . . . It's rock n roll and love and magic.

Peace and Smiles. Take care.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Words and Whips

So, you want to be a writer, eh? Well let me tell you something, little squirt, it ain't for the weak. Think you're great at it? Don't we all. Have you ever had to rip apart a million sentences until your fingers bled? Aha! Okay, I haven't either, but it sure feels like it. Edit number three is back and I feel a bit sick. This is hard work. Mental childbirth. Where's my epidural?

I've been informed that I use the word 'that' way too much. Who knew? I was just writing all happy-like and then 'that' just ruined my life. Oh, I also use 'just' too much. Is there any word I can use that isn't going to get me in trouble? I'm a bit paranoid now. Words, words. You nasty buggers.

So, if you don't hear that much of me in the near future, it's probably because I've had the passive writer whipped out of me. Don't worry. Don't call anyone. I'll be just fine . . .

Have a good one and take care of your beautiful self today!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Edits, Edits

Edits are finished and have been sent off. They'll come back with more changes, and for me that means more worry. But it's all worth it. This round I discovered that I use too many filler words such as 'get' 'got' 'feel' and 'went.' I can see how vague they are and am extremely embarrassed that I ever relied on them as much as I did. But . . . better to learn now than later.

My editor said the next around will be 'inline' edits, which means you're really digging deep at word usage and sentence structure--I think. Count on me to be stressed. Really stressed. This thing is happening for real. Hard to believe The Time Seekers will be coming out soon!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday. As you can see, a tornado did not carry me away. That's a relief. Take care!