Wednesday, May 30, 2007

May Goals - Revisited

Well, it's the end of May.

How did I do on those May goals?

1) Continue first draft of Katie Rose. I'd hoped to complete at least the first 200 pages.

I just made it. I'm exactly at page 200 in the first draft. I got a little sidetracked on this because I've been revising the early chapters for my critique group, so I've been going back and forth. But I'm where I wanted to be.

2) Start basic synopsis outline for my first sci-fi romance, Moons of Cynara.

I actually did start this, but again, got sidetracked. But my goal was to start, so I did accomplish that.

Guess I did all right.

I'll be back later with my goals for the month of June.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Trials of Historical Research

While I love reading about history and always find interesting tidbits that help to make my historical characters more real, I also find that looking for a particular historical fact that's important to my story can be frustrating.

In my Civil War time travel romance, Erin's Rebel, the hero is seriously injured while in the trenches surrounding Petersburg, Virginia. The trench collapses on him and he breaks his leg. He's taken to the home of a Petersburg citizen where his friend, a Confederate surgeon, has set up a hospital.

My dilemma was, what did they do for broken bones at the time of the Civil War?

I looked in my Civil War medicine books and searched a few websites, but could find nothing about the care of broken bones. But I did find tons of info on amputations.

Should I just put my hero in a splint, or did they have casts back then?

I did a search on Plaster of Paris and found it was in existence since 1852, nine years before the Civil War. They also had an earlier type of plaster cast that they used during the Crimean War.

If they had casts in that war, why not the Civil War?

Since my character was being treated by his friend, I decided to give him a cast. It made moving around a lot easier for him as he recovered.

But later, I wondered about shortages during the war. Could his friend have gotten the materials to make the Plaster of Paris mix?

Oh well, the manuscript's already at the publishing house, so I won't make any changes for now, but this points out the problems of historical research.

Sometimes, you just can't find out what you need to know. But what if you guess wrong and somebody calls you out on it?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Trying to Slow Myself Down

I've gotten into the habit of taking on too many projects at once. While I wait to hear back from the publisher on my first romance novel, I'm writing the first draft of the second one, while having my critique partners go over the early chapters. I'm also critiquing their chapters.

I'm trying to keep up with two blogs, this and my group blog, Slip Into Something Victorian. I want to post something new every few days on my blog and at do at least two per month for the group.

I've also started outlining my first futuristic romance. And, since I type manuscripts for other writers, I've got two clients whose projects I'm working on.

All work and no play. You know the drill.

My main diversion is baseball. I love to read, but that ties in with my work, so it's not really a pure leisure activity for me.

Watching baseball is one activity that totally takes my mind off writing. I can get caught up in the game and forget everything else.

Since I work from my home, there's no such thing as leaving work at the office.

So, now it's the weekend . . . bring on a baseball game.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Last Parent-Teacher Conference

Thursday night I attended my last ever parent-teacher conference. It feels like a right of passage.

I have three boys, young men now, and my youngest is a high school senior. When the boys were young they took up a lot of my time, but lately I've been able to devote more and more of my day to my own projects.

No more school volunteer work, scouts, little league baseball or other activities such as field trips, family vacations, children's birthday parties and other varied activities.

Will I miss any of this? Hell, no!

I've done my time to help my children become the young men they are.

Now it's time for me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Memory Problems

In my former life, BK (before kids), I used to be a bookkeeper. I was very detail oriented, was skilled at crunching numbers and could even balance my checkbook to the penny.

After the boys came along, I became a stay-at-home mom. After the two oldest started school, I became the family record keeper, keeping track of school projects, and other important school functions, doctor and dentist appointments, little league and cub scout activities. I always knew what was coming up, how long I had to get ready for it and I never forgot a birthday or anniversary.

Now, my sons are grown. The youngest is now a senior in high school and I've immersed myself in my writing projects. I'm at the point where I can remember every detail of my plots and characters, but often don't know what day of the week it is.

My husband says I'm living in my own little world. I guess I am. I love my stories and characters. With no young children to care for anymore, it's my time to do what I want. And I've never been happier.

So what if I can't get that darned checkbook to balance?

I'm living my dream.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Goals

My May writing goals are for two big projects.

1) Continue the first draft of Katie Rose.
I hope to write at least 60 more pages. This means I should have at least 200 pages done by the end of the month.

2) Start basic synopsis outline for my first sci-fi romance. I'm calling this first book Moons of Cynara.
After getting the character and setting sketches completed, plus a plot synopsis, I hope to start on my detailed outline by the end of the month.

That's it for this month.