December 13, 2009

Tis the Season

Santa Baby
Just slip a sable under the tree
For Me
Been an awful good girl
Santa Baby
So hurry down the chimney tonight.

That song is my favorite Christmas song but not because of the lyrics. I began singing that song to Danny during our first Christmas season together and the following Christmas Eve he proposed to me while that song played. My friend Kathy's favorite Christmas song is Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer and she is a grandmother of eight hmm......

As for the traditional Christmas songs Silent Night and Little Drummer Boy would be tied for first. Silver Bells is one of my favorites because it reminds me of my mother. Then I have to go with Rudolph, I've always had a fondness for the little fellow. Christmas is about the kids so I would also go with Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Christmas songs have a different meaning for everyone. Some people hate Christmas songs...Bah humbug to you too! I guess the radio does start playing them too early but I look forward to hearing my song for the first time of the season.

We put up the tree last night and decorated it today and they got so excited it was funny. I remember doing the same thing with my parents and brother during the Christmas seasons when I was young. My father used to put the tree up and hang the lights then my mother, brother and I would hang the decorations. It's nice to have a similar tradition around here with the grandkids. I still have a few of the ornaments that I had made as a child and I made a point to show them to the kids when I hung them.

Sorry! I didn't post in November like I had said I would but it turned into a crazy month. I went to Wisconsin for a weekend to write and that was fantastic. I wrote more than 10,000 words in three days. I loved it! I was keeping up with my daily goal and was very happy with myself. Then, I ended up working extra days and eventually fell behind. I ended up the month with 41k and part of a story. I am now working on revising Chain Reaction one more time before I start sending it out again. That way I am letting the two versions of Bar Time rest for a while before I work on them again. So far I am liking what I read in Chain Reaction.

Well, that is all for now. I will post again sometime soon and let you know about my goals for the new year but if time runs away from me again I want to wish everyone a fantastic Christmas filled with love and joy and a New Year full of hope.

Good night and happy writing.

October 30, 2009

26 Hours Until National Novel Writing Month Begins!!!!

Hello again!

The leaves are various shades of everything except green, the rain has been relentless and the Chicago Hawk is blowing tonight. I remember sitting with my parents in this very kitchen and one of them would make a comment about the Hawk or the wind in the Chicago area. I was a paranoid kid. I kept thinking that the wind would turn into a tornado. I think I was more afraid of the wind then I was the thunderstorms. I like storms now.

In around 26 hours the month of writing will begin for me and probably about 100k other people. I am going to rewrite the novel that I had written last November. I sent out a partial to an agent in August and I received an encouraging rejection. I have new ideas that could flesh the story and the main characters out a lot more so I want to work with that. I'm not cheating because I haven't even looked at the manuscript for over a month. I have worked on this ms for so long it is burnt into my brain.

I have also been feeling a little down lately and I think a major goal like this will help me get out of my mood. I enjoy writing and my friends and family support me even though they might think I am a little crazy. Well, I guess the people that are closest to me know that I am a little crazy. I will post word counts once the crazy month starts.

Good nite and good writing. Patti

October 10, 2009

It's Almost November!!

Hello everyone!

It's October 10th. That means that are 21 one days until November and to me and thousands of other writers that means it will be National Novel Writing Month, also known as NanoWrimo. The goal for NanoWrimo is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. It sounds hard. It's not easy but it can be done. The first time I did it was the year that my mother passed away. I didn't have a job so I had plenty of time and I finished early. The following year I was in school so I didn't finish. The next two years was able to succeed. This year I plan to try again.

As anyone reading this blog knows, I submitted a partial to an agent and didn't hear back from her. I am considering this kind of a blessing because after letting it sit for a while I understood more what this particular agent was talking about at our meeting. She asked questions about the climax and how everything ties in together. I also started a new book but I was having trouble staying on track. I don't do too much plotting ahead of time so even though I made to 7000 words it wasn't going the way I wanted it to. So, what I am going to do is combine the two ideas to try to make one story and NanoWrimo is the perfect place to do it. I had seriously debated on whether I was even going to try it this year until I had this idea.

At the Midwest Writer's Workshop Dennis Hensley gave a speech during lunch about what to do if a manuscript isn't working for you or if have writer's block. He told us about the recreate eight:

1. Reshape
2. Re-energize it.
3. Reverse it: Think about what you want to say and then reverse it.
4. Rearrange it
5. Reduce it
6. Expand it
7. Combine it
8. Replace it: Sometimes you just have to let it go.

Hopefully my ideas will be saved by doing some or all of these. Otherwise I might just have to do number 8. I will keep you posted on how things are going along. I have 21 days of planning to do. After that I am not allowing myself to look at the other two manuscripts until the end of November.

Good Night and good writing!!

September 15, 2009

A Little Sad Today

Hello all,

Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of my mother's death. The hurt stings a little less every year but I still miss her. She wasn't just my mother, she was my best-friend. She was a woman who loved to have fun and I know she loved my brother and I with all of her heart. I'm sitting outside my childhood home and writing this. This backyard is filled with so many memories of summer bbq's and wading pools. Now my step-grandkids are enjoying it. They are also going to the same school that I had went to for grade school and that my father had gone to. They are just starting so I don't believe they will graduate from Lindop but I still think it is kind of neat that they are going to the same school that I went to.

R.I.P. Patrick Swayze. I think Ghost was my favorite of all of his movies. It made me start questioning things and I have to say was sort of an inspiration for my books. Plus, I loved the scene with the clay! He was so sexy in that scene. Dirty Dancing would have to be my second favorite by him. Then there was The Beast. I work part time at a bar in Cicero, IL. He was filming The Beast in the apartment above the bar last year on my birthday but I was at the Cubs game during a tornado. Go figure. I could have at least seen him but I probably would have been able to meet him. Two of my friends talked to him. My hand made an appearance in The Beast a couple of months later though. That was a neat experience. I had really hoped that Patrick would have been able to do another season. He was a great actor and I wish his wife the best. I know how she must be hurting right now.

Well, I guess it is time to buckle down and do some writing. I'm still struggling with where I want to go with the new book. I still haven't heard from the agent. I am debating on emailing her to make sure that she got my submission. It's been around a month since I sent it in. I'll give it another week. I'm still thinking about some more revisions on it so if it is a rejection I might sit on it for a while longer before sending it to anyone else.

Good night and good writing.

September 6, 2009

Full Moon Week

Hello again.

It's September already and birthday month is over with. Hubby's birthday was yesterday and we celebrated by going to a nice dinner and then we met up with friends. I haven't been writing like I should but I am still waiting for the rejection or the hint of hope from the agent that I queried. I plan to do some revision work if it is rejected.

The full moon was Friday and that almost seemed the like most normal day of the week. I went and saw ZZ Top with my brother. That was a great concert! It just seemed like everything weird and dramatic happened this week. If I could use some of that in a new book or even my WIP I would have at least a extra chapter. Why is it that when it rains it pours?

I am now addicted to Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook I connect with friends and family. On Twitter I am following a lot of authors and agents I think I only have like one friend who I actually know and she doesn't get on very often anyway. A couple of the authors who I follow were at the MWW. I am trying to network but I haven't been getting a lot of writing done does that make sense? I don't think so. So, on that note, I think I'm going to write something other than a blog.

Bye for now,

August 23, 2009

Writer's block or Just Real Life?

Hello, Hello, Hello...Is there anybody out there out there?

Today I had a blah Sunday. I got up late, helped my husband go through paperwork and now I am attempting to write a blog.

Have you ever had a day when you had the time to write but you just didn't feel like it? That is the kind of day I had today. I had ample time but I was just feeling too blah to do anything about it. Laundry had to be done, the kids came home and the living room needed to be cleaned so I did not even look at the edits that I want to do or the new WIP.

I wouldn't even call it a WIP yet. It is just some bits and pieces of things that I might be able to shape into something. I don't normally outline. I work things out a little bit first so I get a feel where it might go. Then I plan it out a little. When I get to the point where I am starting to confuse myself I write down what is going on chapter by chapter. That way, when I have to do the dreaded synopsis I can work from that. It's worked out pretty well for me in the past. There is probably an easier way to do it but that is what I do. I was going to wait for NanoWrimo to start something new but these bits and pieces started coming to me so we will see what we shall see.

I sent a partial out to an agent on Wednesday night. At this point in the waiting game I consider no news good news. At least I didn't get a rejection an hour after I hit send. I will keep you posted on any new developments in that department.

Thank you for listening to me rant for a few. I guess I will try to get something done now.

Good Night and Good Writing!

August 19, 2009

General News and Bad News

Hello all (anyone?)

I know, I did so well keeping up with blogging when I was on vacation and in Writer's Workshop mode. It's been a hectic month. It's funny how you can go from everything going so well to almost everything not going well. I will talk a little more about that later.

I just now sent out my submission. I had to rework the query and I wanted to go through the first chapter one more time. The agent I spoke with at the workshop was very helpful and even gave me suggestions on reworking my query. I was, once again a nervous wreck. Maybe I'll get over that next year if I pitch again.

What's next? That is the question that I am asking myself lately. If I am rejected I have some ideas for changes to BAR TIME, but, if that happens I might step away for a while. I am kind of ready to start something totally new.

On a sad note, my youngest cat Jeepers passed away last Saturday. We got back from Tennesse the Sunday before and we could tell she wasn't feeling right but we thought it was the heat. We brought her into the vet on Thursday and she passed away on Saturday night. The vet called me personally and told me Sunday afternoon. She was healthy until the end. She was my fat cat.

Now I have skin problems and am very itchy and irritable and Danny is out of town. It's funny how things can go from so good to so bad in a matter of a month.

That's all for tonight, goodnight and good writing.

July 28, 2009

I'm Trying!!

Yes!! Two in one week and I'm on vacation!!!

One of the (many) things I learned from the Midwest Writers Workshop was that as a writer you have to have a web presence. It makes sense in this day and age, it isn't difficult to do, and its actually quite fun. I just didn't put the importance on writing a blog, instead I put the importance on writing my book! Some of the most popular sessions at the conference were the ones about the internet and writers resources.

I went to a session on Newest Tools and Sites for Writers looking to Get Discovered given by Jane Friedman from Writers Digest magazine. I knew about but I never heard of which is a collaboration website for writers or I have checked out Authonomy and I enjoyed reading some of the stories. I will probably go back there, read and review some more. There have been authors that have been discovered from that website. I am not against it, I just don't know I am going to post any of my own work on the site. I could go to Smashwords or Lulu, publish my work and even charge people for it but I really want to get published traditionally. I like the idea of seeing my own work in print. I might eventually get a Kindle but I will never stop buying books. I listen to books on CD but I would never stop buying real books in order to just listen to them.

I wonder if Ernest Hemingway would have his own website if he were living today. I do plan on writing this blog a little more often. Whether or not it peaks anyone's interest is another story. I read a lot of blogs but I just never got around to writing all that much.

I'm still in Tennesee. I will be headed back tomorrow or early Thursday.

Here are some of the websites that Ms. Friedman talked about in her session. I haven't checked most of them out yet but when I do I will let you know what I think or if you check them out you can let me know.

I will post again. Maybe even tomorrow. Talk to you soon!! Patti

July 26, 2009

Writers Workshop and Other Stuff

Hello again!!

Yes, I realize I have not posted since January but this year has taken me by surprise. Spring was almost non-exisistant in Chicago and the time just went by. Before I knew it, it was time for the Midwest Writers Workshop that I went to for the second time this year. It was just as inspiring as it was last year and I am going to start saving my pennies for next year. I met with an agent and she wants to see ten pages of my work!! She was so nice, she even helped me rework my query letter. I am going to finish all of that up and send it out next week or the following.

Right now I am getting set to go on the second half of my journey. I am going down to Tennessee to see my girls and bring them back up here so they party with me for my birthday. Some people mind getting older, I just like to party. Well, that is all for the moment but I will keep everyone posted on what happens with the query. I will also post more often.

Next time: some of the stuff I learned from the workshop.

Thank you for reading my ramblings,


January 17, 2009

The New Year (a little late)

Happy New Year!

I guess it's not too late to say that.

Well, maybe it is.

Okay, Happy January 17th.

This year I didn't make any resolutions, I set goals for myself. I want to write more, read more, and try to get my house organized once and for all. I'm going to send my book off again soon (next week if not this weekend) so hopefully I can be on the way to publication sometime in the near future (wishful thinking).

I am in the process of rewriting my next book and I forgot what an interesting process it is to rewrite a nano. I am finding a lot of holes in the plot and I've only made it to the second chapter! This time I am writing a synopsis as I go along so that I know what I've written in previous chapters so that I don't get thoroughly confused at the end. When I write nano I start with an idea in my head and work around it. I tried seriously plotting one year and I just got bored. I like the feeling of letting the characters lead the way. The problem with that is when I go to rewrite I have to rewrite a whole lot but I guess that is what nano is all about. At least I have a working first draft. This time around I am also coming up with a lot of new ideas for new directions for the book to take.

So, this is my plan: Find an agent for Chain Reaction, finish rewriting my nano, have a new book started by spring and of course go for nano in November.

I'll keep you posted. Good Nite and Good Write. (it's not actually night but it sounded good.)