Apr 29, 2010

Knuckling Down, the "R" and a New Dance Number

Editing makes me feel like I'm in a constant struggle, always swimming up stream. I've run into no major snags. It just takes time. After all, this is the pass I'm supposed to get it right. It's faster than writing from scratch, but not as fast as I planned. I am still determined to get the first novel done by end of June. I go off to meet with my family then and it'd be a nice break between novels.

I keep the blinders on. One chunk, one section at a time.

It's been pouring R this week. What is that? On the plus side, they're still using my name and several said they'd love to see something else. Not a yes, but it's positive. I keep moving in the right direction. I sent a bunch of subs to the big guys, so I was expecting it. My intention was to put myself on the radar. Mission accomplished.

I'm not really dancing, but I have a new story trailer [video] done: http://mpaxauthor.com/biblio.php?storyid=28

Video Genius, Kimberly Nicole - http://www.angelfire.com/scifi2/trunevar/ - did another spectacular job. She rocks.

Back to editing ...

Apr 27, 2010

Today's Oxymoron

Did you see one today?

I did. I was out running errands: library, gas, post office, Home Depot and then Whole Foods. I was out of apples and only Whole Foods has my Pink Ladies. As I was explaining to a lady at Trader Joe's last week, I've become an apple snob. They also carry these really excellent grapes, muskats. Mmmmm.

Anyway, so I'm walking out of the story with my organic, healthy bounty and there are people sitting outside the health food store smoking. I had to laugh. You're going to spend all that extra money on organic groceries and smoke?

Well, made for amusing fodder. I don't think 'oxymoron' would have popped into my head today otherwise.

The best part was when I got home. There was Star Trek: TOS season three sitting on the doorstep. Yip! Since we only have one more episode to go.

TV cat Makayla will be happy. It's her favorite show. Last night we started Star Trek and she came running down the stairs and flew onto the couch between us. She was absolutley riveted. I'm beginning to think she has a crush on Mr. Spock. Maybe cause he has pointy ears like a cat. He was making some radio contraption last night and Makayla was fascinated by that thing. Or was it Spock? Hmmm.

Apr 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Hubble!

It's been 20 years Hubble has been up there in the sky taking wondrous pictures of the universe for us to see. Thank you for the awesome trip, NASA.

http://hubblesite.org/  There's the site address if you want to thumb through the gallery.

Hubble isn't the only telescope up there. There's also Spitzer and Chandra. There's a buzz of activity out there in the solar system. They lost contact with Pioneer a few years ago, but it's still out there. It was about to leave the solar system, I think they said. There are missions at Saturn, Mars and Mercury. One on the way to Pluto. Another is visiting the largest minor planets in the asteroid belt. Cool.

I updated the blogs on my website:

Discovery [space & astronomy blog]: http://mpaxauthor.com/discovery.php  The new article is on launching into near space for about $150. It's definitely something I'd like to try.

Writers Desk [blog on writing]: http://mpaxauthor.com/writersdesk.php  I talk about committing and, like anything else you want to accomplish, coming up with a schedule.

I also updated Scoop [under News] , which is what I'm up to. Oh, and the calendar. So, I think I'm all caught up with updating the website.

Just finished putting some time in on my tumbleweed short story. It's moving. Still working on editing novel#1. Did not finish up the first part by the end of last week. But, I keep at it every day. It's going to take as long as it takes. I am hoping it won't take until August, but if it does, it does. I will keep at it until it's done. I will not rush it. I will take my time and polish it into the best product I can. It will tell me when it's ready. I'll feel it. I'll know.

Worked on the next story trailer this weekend. Well, Video Genius worked on the trailer. I gave input. Does she want to box my ears yet? Soon. Soon. LOL There's not much to be done on it. Just one bit needs some smoothing. Next up for video is to do trailers for the novels, so that I can send discs with my packets and hand them to the agents I'm meeting in August. They need to be ready. I need to be ready.

How's everybody's week going? Great? I hope to be hearing a lot of greats. :D

Apr 23, 2010

Terror in the High Desert 3

Part Three - Sirens at the Earth's Core

"It's tomorrow already." The gripe didn't make the descent go any faster. The darkness cloyed around Britt's headlamp. It refused to part. Neither Paul above nor Jen below breached its dense curtain. Britt felt very much alone, swallowed up by the Earth.

How far did this tunnel go?

She heard scraping below. Must be Jen and must be the bottom.

Relief washed over Britt's straining muscles. Already she dreaded the ascent. She hoped there was something to look at down there. Some excuse to rest.

"This was a stupid idea," she called out. Her voice went nowhere. It fell down the pit like lead. Listless. Soundless. It was strange.

A gray smudge broke through the smothering black. "Jen?"

No answer. The light grew brighter, then glared like the sun.


Solid rock met her feet. Britt tested it before unclipping from the line. "Jen?" Was she deaf or what? Britt called louder. She followed the beacon. It didn't seem far. So, why couldn't Jen hear her?

Then she screamed. Shrill. Parting the dark from the really dark. Brit kept on screaming. And screaming. And screaming. This couldn't be real.

Hmmm. Shocking? Scary? Both? Oompa Loompas gone mad? Or something else?

Part One

Part Two

Enjoy your weekend!

Apr 21, 2010

Sentiments on Juniper ... TV Cats Say ...

One of the things I love most about the high desert is the constant perfume of juniper, sage and cedar. From afar, the landscape looks, sparse, short and scrubby. When you're in it, it's much thicker and much more colorful. The colors of the high desert have grown on me. I've come to love them more than the lush greens of the Valley. [Willamette Valley]

What I like least about juniper, is when it is blooming in the spring. I start wheezing and sneezing. That I can handle. Worse is the dry, sandpapery eyes, the itchy eyes and the swollen eyes. That's the part I don't like. And, allergies can make me feel sluggish and dopey. I don't care for that either.

The TV cats this week give eight paws up for Stargate Universe. I've missed those mysterious story arcs the original [SG-1] did early on its run with the Asgard and the Ancients. Seems like Universe is starting one of its own. Aliens who can create solor systems? That's intriguing. What would they be like? They seem to be striking more of a balance between character-driven and action. We've not been to Earth for awhile. Good. I like staying on the ship and seeing what's out there. That's what I liked best about SG-1, going through the gate every week.

May 23 is the finale for Lost. Although, I've enjoyed it, it's the type of show that needs a built-in ending. I think many shows would benefit from a limited run - more drama, less draggy stuff. Maybe it's something they should think about in the TV world. Anyway, another round of up paws for Lost.

We watched Riverworld on the SyFy channel on Sunday night. It was actually pretty good. Husband claims the first one was better, but it had no ending. This one had an ending. A very trippy sort of ending. My kind of thing. I like something I can gnaw on and think about. Six paws up.

I've taken to getting dvd sets from the library lately and watching TV that way. I actually like that better. No commercials and I get to go at my own pace and select my own programming. Lately, I've seen the first seasons of Rome and Curb Your Enthusiasm. I got introduced to Torchwood that way and have enjoyed the Tudors very much from the library. I've ended up purchasing later seasons of the Tudors and Torchwood. Going to put in requests for season 2 for both Rome and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Husband claimed he wasn't interested in Rome, but then he got into it, too. We both enjoy Titus and his soldier buddy the most. So, yeah, I like history.

Eight paws up for all of those.

Season three of Star Trek: TOS is on its way. Yaaay.

From: Court Martial

Areel: Do you think it would cause a complete breakdown of discipline if a lowly lieutenant kissed a Starship captain on the bridge of his ship?

Kirk: Let's try.

Apr 20, 2010

The Great Rubberband Caper

So I was thinking how Pine Mountain Observatory will be opening in about 5 weeks. My crazy life is about to get crazier. I'm looking forward to it, though. I love standing at the summit. I love looking through the telescopes. It's fun to give some kid their dream by showing them nebulae or other galaxies or some point in the sky that always caught their attention. It's fun to teach someone dying to know how to use a telescope and a star chart. It's fun to learn more and become more knowledgable.

Last year, we were severely short-handed. So, I usually pulled double duty - gift shop and then operating a telescope. Lots of folks don't bring red flashlights, so for our sanity, we cover white lights with red cellophane. It's part of gift shop duty to make sure no white light makes it up to the telescope pads. Some invariably always does. Siiiigh.

Anyway, one night I was busy wrapping about 50 flashlights. I'm not going to get hired as gift wrapper at Bloomingdales, but I can cover any type of flashlight in existence. I teach folks flashlight etiquette: keep them pointed at the ground, only use when you have to and to please place headlamps around the upper arm or anywhere but on the head.

I go to wrap the next group's lights and the rubberbands are gone. I look everywhere. It's a tiny gift shop. They're gone. And, there are no others. I have 10 more flashlights to wrap and nothing to make them stick with. So, I had to conclude someone picked them up. I'm nice, so I assume they're gone by accident. When someone was picking up their stuff, the rubberbands got in their stuff and away they went.

So, I send someone over to the tent to ask for the rubberbands back, to ask folks to check their bags and pockets. Well, they never come back. I was mad the rest of the summer. Honest. It just pissed me off that someone would swipe the rubberbands. Why? Why steal my rubberbands? OK, yes, I'm still a little miffed about it.

But folks swipe anything that isn't nailed down - toilet paper, solar lights to help guide them over boulders and into the parking lot, tent poles, string, tape ... anything and everything. It really astounds us what people will steal.

Just know Rubberband Thief, karma can be a bitch. Me, too. And, I'm looking for you!

Apr 19, 2010

How the Pen's Shaking

You know that feeling when you're ovewhelmed and you feel like you're spinning your wheels? That's been creeping up on me lots lately.

It's because I haven't been able to do everything. With that said, I keep my focus on the main projects and sneak in the other stuff when I can jam it in. Makes for some slow progress on some things, but the main project stays on target.

So, when I see that, I feel better. Editing and getting the first novel in shape is my main priority. The momentum is rolling, so I keep on with it. If I lose it, I'll lose time. I'm actually pleased with how it's shaping up. Very pleased. I'm on target for getting the first part of it completed this week. So, I'll be close or on time with hitting that milestone. The second part is still reading well.

I haven't gotten to much extraneous reading. Made no headway on my 'homework' for August. End of June I have lots of hours to kill in airports and on planes, so can catch up then. I hope. I sneak in some great space opera when I can.

My tumbleweed story rolls along ... pun intended. I sneak some time in on it in the afternoons . I'm very pleased with how it's reading thus far. As long as I keep adding little bits to it on a consistent basis, it will roll toward completion. So, that is what I aim to do.

It's my strategy with all the other projects swamping my inbox - little bits at a time on a consistent basis. It may take me longer to get them done, but I keep things moving. Then I don't feel so mired or overwhelmed.

For the main project, one chapter at a time. For the other things, an hour here for that one, an hour there for that one, etc ...

It may take longer than I'd like to get some things done, but they will get done. I can accept that. Well, I have to or give up sleep. I like sleeping, though.

My writing group met Saturday. I read them chapter 3 from novel#1.  Got to hear chapter one from one colleague and a continuation of adventure from another. I enjoy reading the other works. It's amazing how one person doesn't like something and another loves it. It proves how diverse tastes and audiences are.

How's your week shaping up?

Apr 16, 2010

Tumba Wumba

I hoofed it through Tarjay, Petsmart, Trader Joes & Whole Foods. I'm mad that Tarjay quit selling Aveeno body wash. I have mega piranha sized problems with soap. So, I am a religious Aveeno devotee.

I found non-soap at Whole Foods. I'll give it a go ... or part of me is saying: don't be stupid. Do I really want to be slathered for two weeks in cortizone cream if my experiment doesn't work out? Maybe I should try it before the Aveeno runs out. If I have to go to another store, I will.

On the positive side, a couple of people asked me for my card so they can look me up on the web. I could be famous in town before I have a reason to be famous if I keep at it. I could become the Paris Hilton of Central Oregon. Hmm. I don't think that's how I want to brand myself though. :)

Nini was just hollering to watch TV, so I went down and turned it on for her. Yes, I'm rolling my eyes. What's worse? That my cat asks to watch TV or that I understand and go turn it on?

Makayla will come down when we put Star Trek on. It's pretty funny. She hears Kirk's famous "Space" and it never fails to bring her down to the couch to hang out. They both seem to enjoy Stargate, too. At least they have good taste.

I realized today that the observatory opens in 1.5 months. Wow. Time flies. I'll have to have Husband check the inside of my telescope for spiders.

Apr 14, 2010

A Woot For Mega Piranha

I love a good, bad movie. The kind that makes me laugh and I have a lot of fun watching. Mega Piranha on the SyFy channel Saturday night definitely scratched that itch. I'd have to rank it up there with my all-time favorite, Gamera vs. Zigra. The only thing better than giant reptilges in my opinion [yes, I loved Jurassic Park, only the first one though, don't get me started on #2], is giant man-eating, exploding fish.

There were fish leaping out of the water, attacking towns and people. Exploding! I didn't get why the fish were exploding, having missed the first 20 minutes. But, it didn't matter. It looked great and I enjoyed the flare of unexpected.

The fish ate boats and the highlight was one leaping out of the water to devour a helicopter. I hope I'm not spoiling the plot for you here. I definitely had a great time watching it. I don't know how SyFy is going to top that one.

Another good episode of Stargate Universe. More aliens and more battles. Yeah, let's have a little more of that. A little more action, or as Elvis would say, a little less conversation. Character-driven is good, but let's not go at it at the expense of putting us on another world rife with aliens and the unexpected. Get out the phasers and find some life not as we know it ... Colonel. I guess it's the zats in that show, not the phasers.

Lost trots on toward the end. So, is Desmond the new Jacob? Will they leave the island? Pass a can of Dharma beer. Is it more tropical with coconut in it? Hmmm. There was some Sawyer. So, that was good. It was a dose of Hugo's alternate life. Four more to go.

I think that was all the sci-fi I watched this week. I did watch a documentary on the expanding universe and another on the Phoenix robot on Mars.

What'd you see? Anything good?

Apr 13, 2010

Up and Coming: Frances Pauli

I stumbled across a real find in science /speculative fiction, Frances Pauli. I met her on Goodreads and was following her virtual book tour to be supportive to a fellow writer. I happened to win a copy of her e-book, Roarke. Available from Devine Destinies and for Kindle from Amazon. 

I have to say, it's the best thing I've read in some time. The story is compelling and intriguing. It begins with the heroine waking from the dead. It gets better from there. If Frances doesn't become big in the future, there's something wrong with the world. I was sad at the end, because it was the end and there was no more to read. I definitely want more and am looking forward to her upcoming releases The Dimensional Shift, A Moth in Darkness and The Fly in Paradise. In the meantime, I enjoy her ongoing series Space Slugs. A free read on her blog.

Despite a tragic predilection to paint, Frances discovered her calling as a writer. She set aside her degree in visual art, packed up the easel and opened her laptop.

The stories that clammer for her attention inevitably fall into the Speculative Fiction category. She maintains that the Romance is not her fault.

Frances claims she eats far too much chocolate, drinks far too little wine, and does her best to get the stories out and on paper before they drive her completely insane. And, she boasts, "Good Wine, Fine Chocolate and Dangerous Men".

What is your definition of a dangerous man?

I think, for my fictional purposes, "dangerous" is more of an aura of mystery, a hint of potential danger that I really enjoy in a romantic hero. He's dashing, a bit rough, powerful and appears more dangerous than he actually is. Deep down, he's nothing of the sort. Just like I enjoy a villain with a side I can sympathize with, I like my hero to have a touch of villain in his mannerisms. But he's always the good guy, true, honorable, faithful. That's why the danger is so appealing, because there's a safety net.

Does he eat chocolate?

I love this question. Have you seen the movie, Open Range? There's a scene at the end where Robert Duvall teaches Kevin Costner how to enjoy a chocolate bar. Then they get up and take out about a hundred bad guys. Dangerous, definitely. Not only does a dangerous man eat chocolate, he knows how to enjoy it--the sensual nature of it. He knows exactly why women like it, and if he's a true gem...where and when to buy it.

What's your favorite chocolate and the best way to eat it?

I'm a sucker for Godiva. Dove will do in a pinch. I prefer truffles, love white chocolate, and enjoy a little dark in with my milk. :-D How to eat it? Slowly, leisurely, and with much enthusiasm.

Tell us something about creating Roarke.

Well, in some ways, the story is completely out of character for me. I mean, I wrote it in an odd serious moment, and it has less hints of random silliness than my other pieces. It started with a dream sequence, and the mood was all business. I like that about it. I think it works for mercenaries, but then I think, "Mercenaries? Where did that come from?" I really wanted to explore the whole concept of what makes us who we are. Is it our experiences? Our history? Or is there something at our core, some personality trait or soul characteristic that defines who we become, who we love, etc. Then I think, well, what could change that?

What is a good story to you?

Can I steal an answer from painting school? I want a story that evokes a response in the reader. (or a painting that does, for that matter) Hopefully, that response is the one I was aiming for, but I think I can live with any strong response. People have different filters, and so different reactions. More specifically, I want characters that people invest in emotionally, care about, laugh with. I like a story that makes you want more when it's over....but I'm not too keen on writing uber-long series, so that may be a tragic flaw.

I see you have a bunch of stories coming out - The Alien Embrace, The Dimensional Shift, A Moth in Darkness and The Fly in Paradise.

Alien Embrace came out last summer in an online zine. It's a short story in two parts and has absolutely no romance element--something that I rarely pull off. My next release is The Dimensional Shift, and it's a novel--first in its series--about a hotel for inter-dimensional travelers. Definitely romance, hopefully funny.

Moth and Fly are the first two novels in my Urban Fantasy trilogy. There is a strong romance thread throughout, but I wouldn't classify them as romance. The story is darker, grittier than my light books, but still has a quirky edge. The world centers around the interaction between humanity and the Fey races, and my heroine is an ex-agent who has lost her Elvin partner and slipped into an addiction to fairy revels. Fun stuff. But really, this one's my favorite. Can I have a favorite?

What are you working on now?

Right now I'm writing a short holiday romance. I'm also editing the sequel to The Dimensional Shift, and prepping to write the last book in my Urban Fantasy trilogy. I've discovered that finishing up a series requires planning...outlining...organization. Not my strong points, but I'm excited about getting the end of the story out and on paper. I've been with these characters a long time, so I want to do right by them.

I'm also gearing up for the Space Slugs one year anniversary. I can't believe it's been that long already. It seems like only yesterday when Neela first said, "Neep."

Do you have a favorite storm trooper story?

I don't have a favorite storm trooper story, but I do have a favorite storm trooper. No way, am I telling which one, though. ;-)
Thank you so much for having me!

Thanks for stopping by, Frances. I am excited about her upcoming releases. Now that I've found her, I want more. To find out more for yourself: Frances Pauli website: http://francespauli.com/ / her blog Speculative Friction: http://francespauli.blogspot.com/ , or join in the fun of Space Slugs at: http://spaceslugserial.blogspot.com/

Clicking on the titles of her works above will take you where to buy. Roarke is available now. The others are coming up later this year and in 2011.

Apr 12, 2010

MPaxAuthorland Stardate 12.04.10

How was your weekend?

Was busy over this way. I had a workshop on Saturday on putting together a book proposal. It was really great. I learned a lot. Been using the nitty-gritty final editing tips to go through the manuscript of novel#1. I already began editing the first part. Cut, cut, cut, change direction of that slightly - get rid of that, bump that up, highlight that more, yada, yada, yada. Highlighters, markers and crayons are my friends and they make pretty spots on my hands.

I hope to have the first part of novel one rewritten and in order by end of next week. I keep on with the reading in the evenings, so that I can get my thoughts together on surgical intervention for the second part. It's really the bulk of the novel, 2/3's of it. There are two plot points nagging at me since last year. So, if I can end the one better and start the other better, I should be golden.

If I can get all that done by end of June, I'll be thrilled. That's what I'm shooting for. I do have a deadline as I plan on going to the Willamette Writers conference in August to pitch some agents face-to-face. It is possible the editing of the second novel could be done in time, too. It only has one plot thread that needs some alteration at the beginning. I don't think its editing will be as time consuming. But, you never know.

I thought my synopsis for the second novel stunk. I felt better about the one I wrote for the first novel. Turns out the synopsis for the second was better. So, what do I know?

Yesterday was Second Sunday and I had "Small Graces" all ready to go. There was a special program yesterday for the kick off of "A Novel Idea", so no open mic. That was fine. The guest of honor, Jason Graham, was not an act I'd want to follow any way. He is amazing. I'm already for May and June, then. Which is good, so I can put more effort into getting the novels in order. Next month they are coupling Second Sunday with a poetry workshop [I think, either then or June], so I should probably read poetry. I'll bring both, so I'm prepared to go either way.

Poetry is the soul of prose. I don't write poems any more, but I for sure use it when writing my stories.

I was invited to join in an anthology with the theme of feral tumbleweeds. I have an idea, but don't know what I want to do with that idea. What story do I want to tell with that idea? Revenge? Redemption? Saving the word? Fish out of water? Discovery? Adventure? Shrug. Still mulling it over. Thought will lead to inspiration. Sometimes it needs to cook longer than other times.

Need to get stuff together for the next story trailer this week, too. My video genius is asking for it. So, I shall hunt and gather.

Picked up the first deluge in studying for the one-on-ones in August. All sci-fi, all the time until then. Or, whatever the agent thinks is great. I'm wondering when I will find the time to read 4 books outside what I'm writing. Ambitious of me.

Apr 9, 2010

Terror in the High Desert [2]

Part 2 - Stepping in It

Brit, Paul and Jen traveled farther into the underground world. The temperature dropped to 45 degrees. The hollow through the rock meandered in a tunnel that split off now and then. Some of the splits led nowhere. Some descended steeply. One like an abyss. It was a black pit that had devoured the solid Earth In a ravenous void leaving a wake of emptiness.

Brits' headlamp caught another drawing. A splattering of red dots with darker dots, it looked like the rock had measles. Her foot stepped over the maw to touch the symbols carved under it. She was intent on touching them and deciphering their meanings. Too much so.

Paul grabbed onto her backpack and pulled her back. "Stupid, Brit! Stupid!" he yelled.

She blinked at him. Then looking down, she realized what she had almost done. "Damn." She kicked a loose rock down the natural shaft. For a long time there was no clatter. Then finally there was an odd plunk. She shivered. "That's a long way down."

Brit shined her lamp down the hole, trying to see what had caused the odd sound when the rock landed. Paul and Jen joined her on either side.

"Curious," Jen said. "What was that? I've never heard that before."

There was nothing to help them figure it out up here. No draft of moistness. No damp smell. Only the strange plunk and the drawings.

"Let's go see," Paul suggested.

"Our ropes long enough?" Jen asked.

"Guess we'll find out." Paul began setting up for the repel, then checked the hold of the anchor with forceful tugs. Jen and Brit added their strength to his. The rope held.

"Ladies first," he gestured nobly then bowed.

Brit stared at the drawing on the far wall, hesitating. Jen brushed past her starting down. Down, down, down. The darkness swallowed her light.

Hmmm, what's down there?
Need to read Part 1? click here

Apr 7, 2010

Sci-Fi on TV 07.04.10

Caught Fringe for the first time last Thursday. It was enjoyable. Will give it another go this week.

Lost was good despite the lack of Sawyer on screen lately. Looking forward to seeing how they end it. Desmond without Penny? It was an alternate universe indeed. Interesting.

Stargate Universe started off very nicely. Aliens. A space battle. Excellent. Let's have more of that sort of thing. We've been deprived of space battles since BSG went off the air. So, keep up the good work SGU.

I watched the first 15 minutes of V. It looked good. I just really don't like watching TV after 10, so that was all I could handle.

So do you have a favorite all-time show? Character?

I still love to watch the Kirk. That series seems to be timeless. Currently, I'm jonesing for more Torchwood. However, I still mourn Firefly. I loved that one. Miss it still. In it is my all-time favorite character, Jayne Cobb. I love me some Jayne. He was fab. I watch Chuck just because Adam Baldwin is in it. No other reason. Every now and then there is a glimmer of Jayne. Ah, I miss him. He was bad. He was crude, and yet he sometimes did the right thing. He was certainly fun to watch.

Jayne: "Testing, testing. Captain, can you hear me?"
Mal: "I'm standing right here."
Jayne: "You're coming through good and loud."
Mal: " 'Cause I'm standing right here."

Apr 6, 2010

Never Surrender, Never Give Up

That's today's motto. Never surrender, never give up.

Some of you may recognize it from Galaxy Quest. I have to say, it remains a favorite - the movie and the quote.

Sometimes we look at other people and think they have it easier than us. That perception is probably not true. In most cases there's probably a lot of work and effort that went into achieving whatever it is of that person's being coveted.

This much is certainly true. If you give up, you will never achieve it yourself.

Frustration is part of the game no matter the goal. Obstacles and challenges are part of any road. They're just bumps and potholes. Nothing to let yourself get intimidated over. Not good enough reasons to stop. Not if you have passion and drive.

If you look past the potholes and ignore them, there's still a lot of road and asphalt. There's grass and trees and an endless sky. At some point the road crew will come by and fix the road. It will smooth out and you'll forget about the potholes for awhile. When they show up again, as they always do, just steer around them or pick an alternative route. But don't quit. There's people honking behind you.

Yeah, it's a metaphor. Take it how you wish. Keep your eyes on the road, the sky and the future road crew. Most importantly: Never surrender, never give up. As Jason Nesmith says.

Sir Alexander Dane: You're just going to have to figure out what it wants. What is its motivation?
Jason Nesmith: It's a rock monster. It doesn't have motivation.
Sir Alexander Dane: See, that's your problem, Jason. You were never serious about the craft.

Apr 5, 2010

MPaxAuthorland Stardate 05.04.10

So my break didn't last long. One day. That's all I managed. I did find a pair of rocking pants though. And a pair of shoes. The shoes were harder than the pants. What's with all the hooker shoes? Not the impression I want to make. Ever. I managed to find a smart, sexy pair that did not tout me as selling something I'm not. Finally. Gees.

One day off was all I could stand. My fingers itched to get back to the keyboard. My brain twitched to get into the stories that needed tending to.

I got a first draft ready of my next flash fiction Saturday morning. Read it for my critique group. Found it's direction there. I'm still working it into shape. It will be done by Sunday. I will be reading "Small Graces" on Sunday if they are having open mic at the library. Sounds like they have a special program going, so I'm not sure. If there is no open mic, I will save it for another Sunday. That's fine. I will go and be in the company of other writers. That's fun in itself.

Did another edit on "Semper Audacia" this morning. I should begin submitting that shortly. Kim & I have been discussing the trailer for it.

I got through chapter 7 of my reading of novel#1. I know I'm not supposed to touch it, just read it. But I can't help myself. I fill out my chapter forms as I go along. I make notes and corrections. It's not bad, but it needs some help. It will be stronger and better. So far, it doesn't seem like too much work to get it into shape. I am still having trouble with one issue I've had with the first 17 chapters all along, that kept nagging. I haven't resolved the logic of it yet. I'll keep thinking. Inspiration will hit at some point. Hopefully before I finish reading. I'm not typing in the changes, etc ... yet. I'm saving that part for later. Just reading with pen in hand, chapter forms and post-its.

I have a workshop this coming Saturday, so will need to revise chapters 1-3 for that. Perhaps I can get back at my half-written short story this week, too.

Lately Arthur Dent keeps popping into my head, "Don't panic." That is my quote for the week. Don't panic.

Which leads to Wash, "I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar."

How are things shaking with you?

Apr 1, 2010

Tis Done! Tis Done!

Hoooooo! Just wrote out the final chapter in novel#2. Hoooooo! I can't believe I'm not saying I have 4 chapters left [which I feel I have said the last two months]. Hoooooo!

Doing a celebration dance over this way.

OK, so it's only the first draft and the work on it is hardly done. But it's not a terrible mess. I don't think it will take me long to edit it. Me hopes.

Novel#1 ... well, I almost dread starting in on its editing. But it has to be done. I must quit dreading and get a more positive frame of mind for it though. It is fun, M. It is fun. When you are done, you can sell it. That's fun. Then you can fix #2 and you'll have two books to sell. Yippee.

So, what am I going to do? Am I going to finish my flash fiction like I said on Monday? NO. [maybe Saturday morning] Am I going to edit my mostly done short story? NO! Am I going to start reading novel#1? NO!

I'm taking a frickin' break. That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to go get prettified and to to Kohls. That's what I'm going to do. Seems the Willamette Writers conference this August is now worth my while. So, I'm going to go. I'm already nervous. There are now four agents taking sci-fi. So, I'm to treat these face-to-face pitches like job interviews. Um, I own nothing but jeans. I do have blazers / jackets, but I could use a decent pair of pants that aren't khakis or jeans. So, I'm going to go out and see what I can find.

I have a lot of practicing to do before that first weekend in August. I don't know yet which novel I'm going to pitch. Depends how far I am in edits - whether I've finished the first and am on the second or what. According to my plan, I should be done with #1 and starting the second by then. But, you know what they say about plans.

Another bit of news. Tuesday I went to the mailbox and there was a key denoting the arrival of a package. I hadn't ordered anything recently, so I assumed Husband had. I open the parcel box and it's for me. It's a book. Maybe it's something I ordered and forgot about. Happens. Well, I open it and it's a cookbook from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking with the note that I'm in it. Yup, my Buffalo Burgers are on page 104 with my name. Cool! I'm in a book.

It's not exactly what I had in mind for my 'getting published' plan, but I'll take it. It's something. I'm in print with an ISBN #. Coolness.

Anyway, it feels great. Novel#2's final chapter has been written. Ya know, I think the story rocks for the most part. Now I'm going to go find some rocking pants.

Thanks to everyone who helped with input, suggestions and listening to me ramble on and on whenever I got stuck. You guys rock! You're my heroes - Kim, Jay, Nikki, my friends at PMO and my critique group. Thank you! A million times over, thank you! By no means are you done though. Rewrites and novel#3 are coming up. And some short stories. :-D After my break though. After my break.