Friday, March 30, 2007

March Update

Well, it's the end of March. Time for an update on how many March goals I've achieved.

1) Enter Erin's Rebel in Hearts Through History's Romance Through the Ages Contest.
I actually had already accomplished this one by the time I posted my goals. But I won't hear any results on this until about mid to late April.

2) Finish final edit of Erin's Rebel.

3) Print out a copy of Erin's Rebel and proofread.

4) Send complete manuscript of Erin's Rebel to Medallion Press by March 30th.
I got ahead and sent out the full on March 20th by priority mail. They should have it in their hands right now.

5) Continue World-Building for futuristic.
I'm moving ahead with this project. I've named the planet where the story will take place. Came up with a title that may or may not change. But I like to have a title in mind before I start serious work on a new project.

I also named the hero and heroine, and two of the supporting characters, who will be the hero and heroine of the second book. Now, I'm working on the characters themselves.

I wanted to get started on character development now, because I'm taking an online workshop next week on characters and can use the ones I'm working on here for examples in my homework postings. I may even learn more about them by the end of this workshop.

So, it looks like I got everything done for March and even got a little ahead.

Next up, I'll post the goals I want to accomplish for April.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thinking Baseball

It hit 82 degrees yesterday in Philadelphia. And it's almost April. It's started me thinking about baseball.

I've already caught a few of the minor league games on tv played in Clearwater, Florida by the Philadelphia Phillies.

They've become my team.

I say become, because in the past I had never been interested in baseball or any other sport. This baseball obsession started with T-ball.

You see, I have three boys. When they were small, I looked for things for them to do that would burn off some of that small boy energy. T-ball was the first organized sport I exposed them to.

Then came little league. Since my husband couldn't always accompany them to games, the job fell to me. I spent many a Saturday afternoon perched on the bleachers with a book, so I wouldn't get bored.

Then my middle son, who's now 22, got onto a team that was very good and very competitive. They won the championship that year. Suddenly, I started watching the games, even when my kid was on the bench. I learned the rules and started to get excited. I'd cheer and yell when something good happened and groan when games went downhill.

As my boys got older the games got even better.

Then they grew up and stopped playing. What was I to do now? I was going through withdrawal.

My solution was to watch and root for our local team, the Phillies. So far, they've been more a disappointment than anything else. But I still like to watch. And cheer. And groan.

For better or worse, I've become a baseball fan.

Batter up!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Work Out the Body & the Mind

As a writer, I do a lot of sitting. This doesn't sit well with a middle-aged body. So, the most important part of my day is my workout.

I do this religiously every morning. I start off with a twenty minute ride on my stationary bike, followed by a five minute cool-down. Afterward I do about five to ten minutes of stretching.

Then I vary the routine by alternating between two workout video tapes. One is lifting light weights, for both upper and lower body, followed by an abdominal and back workout.

The other video concentrates more on abdominals, with a few leg and back exercises included.

During the warm weather months, I also add in outdoor walks for variety.

After the workout, I pour myself a glass of orange juice and check my email.

My workout wakes me up, makes me look and feel great and stimulates my mind for whatever writing projects I have to work on that day.

So, if you're in a slump, try working out. It really gets the creative juices flowing.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Taking A Break From Contests

In the past I've entered numerous contests for my Civil War time travel romance, Erin's Rebel. First it was for the feedback, then to get an editor or agent's attention.

And while I've won a few contests, I usually get one judge who just loves it and two or more who like it, but think it's just so-so or outright hate it.

Before getting the request from Medallion Press, I had entered three more contests that I hadn't gotten the results of.

I just got one back and, as I said, one judge loved it, the other thought it was so-so. And some of the comments I got were baffling. One said I had relied too much on spell and grammar check. Huh?

It's time to take a break from contests. For one thing, I'm now a member of an excellent critique group. They give me all the feedback I need. And I've gotten the attention of editors at Medallion Press with my partial.

So, I'll save my time and energy for writing my next book.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My Baby's In the Mail

I finished and sent out the full manuscript of Erin's Rebel to Medallion Press this morning.

Now, I've got that nervous butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling. While the manuscript was here, I could still go back and change things. Now, the book has to sink or swim.

Time for me to get back to my other Civil War romance, Katie Rose. I have about five chapters done and had put it aside when Medallion requested the full of my Civil War time travel.

I'm also world-building for my futuristic series, so I've got a lot of work I can do while I wait.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What I'm Reading Now

I just finished In Sunshine Or In Shadow by Cynthia Owens. The publisher is Highland Press.

Cynthia is a member of my group blog, Slip Into Something Victorian. We talked about starting a critique group among our blog members and did a trial session a while back. I read the beginning of this book before it was published and looked forward to reading the entire thing.

The book is set in Ireland in 1850 just after the potato blight. I love Ireland and stories of the Irish and I fell in love with this story.

The heroine, Soibhan, has lost her husband and younger brother after they were hanged by her landlord. She's also lost other family members to the famine. She would do anything to keep her young daughter and grandmother from starving.

The hero, Rory, has come from America to take over as new landlord after the old one dies. He's lost his wife and has a young daughter. He also has a secret.

As these two come together, danger and secrets surround them. This story is a good old-fashioned historical romance.

For a great read, I highly recommend it.

For more information on Cynthia's book, IN SUNSHINE OR IN SHADOW, click on the link below.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Trying to Get That Love Scene Right

As I prepare my romance manuscript to send out to the publisher, I worried about my first major love scene that comes just before the middle of the book.

Is is sensuous enough? Will the editors thinks it's lame?

My solution was to put out an SOS to my critique group. And am I glad I did.

I got so many great suggestions to make my chapter shine. Now, I can send the book off with confidence to the publisher.

Thanks to my critique group, the Scandalous Proofers.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Happily Working On Two Novels at Once

I just got the good news that Medallion Press is interested in seeing the full of my Civil War time travel romance, Erin's Rebel.

So, I'm working through final edits and have promised to get the full manuscript to them by the 30th.

I've also started on the opening chapters of my new Civil War romance, Katie Rose. I was afraid that working on two different books would confuse me, but the characters and stories are so different, even thought they're set in the same general area in the same time period, that I'm having no problem switching between them at all.

I'm glad it's working out, because if Medallion likes the book, I'll have to work through more edits and revisions with them, but also want to keep moving ahead on my new book, while also continuing world-building on my planet for the futuristic series.

I'm as busy as I've ever been, but loving every minute of it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March Writing Goals

It's March 1st and I'm ready to list my March goals.

1) Enter Erin's Rebel in Hearts Through History's Romance Through the Ages Contest.
I'm actually ahead on this one and sent the entry out today.

2) Finish final edit of Erin's Rebel.

3) Print out and proofread Erin's Rebel.

4) Send complete manuscript of Erin's Rebel to Medallion Press by the 30th.

5) Continue World-building for Futuristic Romance.

Well, there they are. I'll let you know how I did at the end of the month.