Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Break time

What a crazy year it's been already. We are on vacation this week, taking a break while our house sitter watches over things back home.

From the bathroom fiasco to Holly, our Shih Tzu, getting seriously ill from kidney failure and needing sub Q fluids twice a day, and Cookie, our other Shih Tzu having breathing trouble, and trying to write and publish books, and the stress of DH's job and my PT job...we needed a vacation.

It's hard for us to pack up and simply leave, not only because of work, but mainly because our dogs are elderly and can't be boarded. We did board Holly at the animal hospital because of her needs, but the vet advised that next time we probably won't have to do that. We are blessed with a good friend who can house sit and watch over the other dog, and a great pet sitter who can help as well, so that is why we left this week.

And it was my birthday, and I needed a vacation!

And getting away has been interesting because as I put it to DH, when you are so stressed with trying to get so much done, and have so much on your plate, and then you finally slow down, your body simply says, "Ok, I'm collapsing now!"

I'm more tired NOW than I was before. Part of it probably is the altitude of the mountains...we are in Estes Park, about 7,000 feet above our Florida sea level.

I've spent four days NOT writing or doing anything closely resembling work. And now, on Tuesday, it's time to get back to business. I have a book due in June and I also want to get cracking on the rest of Xavier's story.

But the view by the window is lovely, even if the sky is grayish and sullen, and there is a rather frisky marmot who keeps popping in and out of view as he scrambles along the river, looking for food, or handouts.

Happy writing to me!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Tristan, ah Tristan!

My apologies to you, the Silver Wizard I created for my Werewolves of Montana series. I had every good intention to finish your book and move on. Your book is now (partly) with an editor, but it is not finished.

After I finished writing the last post about trying to get back to your book, I spent most of the weekend at our rental unit. I had to hire movers to move out the sofa and loveseat we'd purchased to live in the condo while the demolition was taking place in our home. But we rented the condo and the new tenants were moving in.

Then that Saturday, DH and I spent the day cleaning and doing last minute fixes to the place to make it nice for the new tenants.

Come Monday, it was back to the day job. And then on Feb. 18th, the Thursday I had off from the day job, I just sort of collapsed. Well, that and I had to send in the proposal for the next Navy SEAL book. Oh, but I got my hair done!

Tristan, you wouldn't understand, being a guy and a wizard, how important it is for a woman to have a beauty day after she's been through the hell of renovation and having to be uprooted from her home due to a flood and mold.

So I figured the week of Feb. 25th... that's when I could focus on your book! But that was the weekend of Sleuthfest, the annual mystery writers conference. I did at least send off the revised proposal to my HQ editor. But alas, no time to write your book except in bits and pieces.

That is why today, Thursday, I am concentrating on YOU. I'm nearly at 50,000 words, about 5,000 more to go. You're finally going to get out of the hell of the Shadow Lands.

And maybe soon I'll get out of there, too, with my house! Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Writing again

Back in October, I had to set aside Tristan's book (The Mating Season) in order to work on Navy Seal Seduction, the first romantic suspense book for Harlequin in my new trilogy. That book was due Jan. 15.

I finished the book, and I'm so proud that I did, because we had a huge crisis happen to us the week of Christmas. We had a flood in our master bathroom and discovered lots of black mold growing between the walls. We had to hire a mold mitigation contractor and gut the bathroom, and remove part of the new kitchen. And we had to move out of the house last month, Jan. 17, while all this work was being done.

We moved back last weekend, Feb. 6. It was tough on our two elderly Shih Tzu dogs, one of whom has stage 3 kidney failure.

The mold was discovered when we removed drywall in the kitchen to see if the flood was caused by a burst pipe, and we discovered the bathtub drain was leaking and rusted. Not good. There was standing water in the peatrap. And the mold. After the drywall was removed, my husband and I started getting very sick with respiratory problems. He was coughing and I was coughing and wheezing at night.

I now have bronchitis, thanks to all this.

But I digress. I finished Navy Seal Seduction, it went to edits and it's DONE DONE DONE. Navy Seal Seduction is out July of this year. I also wrote the proposal for the second book and turned that in.

So now at last I am ready to return to writing Tristan's story. It's been a long, grueling two months and it's tough to get my writing mojo back for this book because it means switching from RS to PNR. And with all the chaos of the house, and renting our condo, almost all our spare time has been sucked up with home obligations.

My goal tomorrow is to read through what I've written, and then push ahead on this story. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 2, 2015

November already?

I don't know where this year has gone. Lots of writers are participating in National Novel Writing Month. I can't because I have a book due in January. Navy Seal Seduction is coming along just fine, and I also have a novella that I have to revise and release.

Busy, busy.

I need to find more time to balance life. Some writing days are much slower and less productive than others. But the trick is to keep at it!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Aiden's book is out!

Hard to believe it is October already! The Mating Challenge was released on Thursday and my computer took a nose dive. Thankfully, it seems to be working ok now, because we got a new monitor. And that's a good thing because I am plunging ahead with The Mating Season, Tristan's book. Lovestruck, the prequel to Xavier's book, is being edited as I write this.

I made goal, actually, I exceeded my goal last weekend. Instead of getting to 25,000 words on Tristan's story, I reached 28,000! And then I hit a roadblock... not just the day job and working long hours there, but I fell ill and then the computer got sick, too. Such is the life of an author...

I'm hoping to finish Tristan's book by month's end, because I have to really crack down to write the new Navy SEAL book for HQ that is due in January.

Balance, balance, I keep telling myself. The cleaning lady told me today that "You work too hard. You always working!"

And I told her, "I have bills to pay, lol."

Truth is, I love to write. It's not work, as much as it is fun. But the other side of being an author is work...the promotional stuff, paying the vendors, formatting, publishing, etc.

Writing is fun. Sometimes it is like pulling teeth and frustrating, like today when the computer went dark. But it's wonderful to create a world where I can indulge my imagination, and provide readers an escape from the gloom and doom of the world.

And speaking of writing, it's BACK TO WORK!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Working hard...

Aiden's book comes out next week, Oct. 1. I can't believe the release date is upon me. In the meantime, I'm writing, writing, writing. I'm focused on Tristan's story, The Mating Season, and determined to make a huge dent in that book before I have to yank my attention to the Harlequin, due in January.

I decided, with two big projects I must tackle by year's end, that I need a road map so I wrote a synopsis for Tristan's story. It really helps to have one, so I can ID the conflict, both the external and internal. Writing a synopsis is required for all my HQ books, and it's a very useful tool for my indie books as well.

I'm hoping to reach 25,000 words by Sunday on Tristan's book. A very lofty goal and I will probably not meet it since I need to have a life, too. But we'll see!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Creative writing

Last weekend DH and I went away for a much-needed mini break. We headed to the west coast of Florida, where we always go when we need a weekend away. The beach is quiet, wide and lovely for walking. Our hotel sits on the beach and if we are able to snag a room with an oceanfront view, we can sit on the balcony and take in the briny air and listen to the seagulls.

I've written a couple of stories at this hotel, inspired by the setting. When I get away for a few days, I leave behind the responsibilities and distractions of everyday life, such as dogs, laundry, the business, the day job, and whether or not I should clean the house.

While driving over there, I got inspired and took out my alpha smart and began to write. I had an idea for a short story. I fell in love with this story as I wrote on and off all weekend. A writer's imagination never stops. Friends ask, "Where DO you get your ideas?"

It's easy for me. In this short story, which I am calling "Lovestruck," I had a scene for Xavier, the Crystal Wizard, and the heroine, Ciara, as I sat on the beach in the shade, writing on the alpha smart. I could "see" Xavier in his beach chair, glowering as the cute cougar shifter flirts with Ciara. Xavier set up the meeting, but secretly, he wants Ciara for himself.

Even when we ended our trip with a visit to the flea market, I had an idea. I could "see" Ciara standing at a market stall, selling her artwork. And she has a painting of Xavier, and she misses him oh-so-badly. There was a grizzled biker with a bright orange shirt passing us by as DH and I ate hot dogs, and he went into the story.

Beware. You never known when you will inspire an author!

I had so much fun writing Lovestruck, and freeing my imagination. The story still needs fine tuning. I had to set it aside and focus on edits for another story this week. Edits are another kind of beast. You have to switch from your right brain creativity to your left brain, and that's always challenging for me.

But I slogged through and I'm proud to say that I finished edits last night. The book is "almost" ready to go to the proofreader. And when I am finished, I will reward myself later this week, when I am off from the day job, by returning to Xavier's story and finishing it.

Making a living from writing is hard work. You have to promote yourself all the time and you are only as good as your last book. But it is fun, especially when I get to create entire new worlds where love is the answer, and magick rules.