Monthly Archives: August 2011

Now I’ve done it…

Apparently I don’t feel that I have enough stress in my life because I just backed myself into a corner.  A very public corner when I announced the release of my next book in November.  On my website.  And on Twitter.  No more than three months, if I manage to drag my feet and hold off until the last possible second.

It’s not like I’m starting from scratch.  The book is about three-quarters of the way done.  Only problem is, it’s been three-quarters of the way done for a long time.

I’ve been writing this book for what feels like forever. Longer than I’ve ever taken with any other one.  Much longer.  Spent countless hours researching in libraries, a records office, the historical society, the newspaper archives, and online.  I fell in love each and every character.  Well, with one notable exception.  This is my baby.

It wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I realized why I never got any closer to finishing it.  Because if I did, I wouldn’t be able to work on it anymore.  Or to say I was working on it.  If I got the editing and rewrites done, finally got to the end, I’d have to say goodbye to make-believe people I’ve gotten far too attached to.  And I wasn’t ready to let them go.

But as happens with so many situations in our lives, it’s time to make my peace with it and move on to other projects.  Will I love future characters and plots as much as I do this one?  I sure hope so.  It would be awfully tough to write if I couldn’t get very involved with it all.

So now I’m committed to finishing the handful of scenes I believe it needs, to do some editing, get it to my proofreader, and then edit it again.  And probably a couple of more times after that.

It might be easier if I could find the list I made the day I realized what I’ve been doing.  But somehow I managed to misplace it (please, not in the trash bag that was picked up this morning!).  Too bad, since it was the list of scenes I wanted to add.  Even worse, I’m drawing a blank on all but a couple of them.

If I was tired enough, or stupid enough, to actually throw it away, I just might have to kick myself for writing it on a piece of paper instead of in a computer file.  But I will get the book done.  For whatever reason, I seem to be more efficient when there’s a deadline involved.  Even if it’s a self-imposed one.

Wish me luck.

And just a quick word to my father.  It’s been eight years, Dad.  Still missing you every day.  Tell Kerry, Grandpa, Grandma, and everyone else hi for me.  And you had best be perfecting your filleting skills because I expect a big fish fry when I get there someday.  Love you.

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A fashion statment?

While shopping with my daughter a couple of weeks ago, I spotted some really pretty tops on a clearance rack.  And since the only way I can justify buying clothes for myself is if I can get them for a really low price, I made a beeline for the rack.

Yup.  Just as pretty up close as they were from a distance.  I thought I’d figured out the reason they were so cheap and turned to my daughter, laughing, and said, “It looks like they wadded these up and packed them in a bin for a month!”

She said no, it was actually the style.  Thinking that she was pulling my leg, I took the one I liked the best and tracked down a saleswoman, who confirmed her story.

Are you serious?!  This is stylish?  I laughed again and took it back to the rack. It didn’t matter to me how inexpensive it was.  If I showed up at some family function wearing that, I’d be accused of either sleeping in it, or being too lazy to iron it.

And then I spotted another one a few days ago.  It must have been from the previous year’s clearance stock because it cost a whopping two dollars.  Yeah, probably not the greatest quality in the world, but it was absolutely gorgeous!  Soft, silver and white, adorable sleeves… and about as wrinkled as you could ever hope to imagine.

And so I started arguing with myself.

It’s so pretty.  It’s wrinkled!  But it’s only two dollars.  It’s still wrinkled!  Well…I could just wear it around the house.  And what if someone comes to the door?  Are you going to let them wait while you hurry and change into something that’s NOT wrinkled?  Yeah, but when am I going to find something this nice for such a good price?  If you’re never going to wear it, what difference does it make?

On and on it went, for about two full minutes.  But I finally decided to buy it.

After it was washed, my daughter took great pleasure in twisting it up so it could dry.  I think she did it in front of me just to watch me cringe.  All I could think is that with the daytime temperatures in the low 80’s, and the fact that it would have to take at least two days for it to dry, I was going to not only have a wrinkled blouse, but one that didn’t smell very good either.

Amazingly enough, it smells just fine.  I know because I tried it on a few minutes ago.  The colors are flattering, the blouse is still pretty…and it’s very wrinkled.  Not a fashion statement I’m prepared to make right now.  And I probably never will be ready to do that.

So tomorrow I’m going to power spray the dust off my seldom used iron and see what I wind up with.  Hopefully something I’ll be comfortable wearing in public.  If not, I’ll just wear it around the house…making sure I have a non-wrinkled top handy to change into.  In case someone has the bad timing to knock on my door when I have my oh-so-stylish blouse on.

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Just one of those days

First, let me say that I’m trying to learn all I can about the features on WordPress.  Second, let me say that this video I hope will post right perfectly describes my mood at the moment.  I really do try not to swear, because I don’t think it sounds very ladylike.  But sometimes…well…it’s just kind of right.

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Can you acquire ADD as an adult?

Sometimes I think that’s exactly what has happened to me.  Why?  Because I don’t seem to be able to work on one project at a time.  While the series I’m researching, and creating characters for is still at the top of my to-do list, I also feel the need to give attention to a few other manuscripts I either need to edit, do re-writes on, or add extra scenes to.

Of course it’s not a whole lot different than what I’ve always done.  In fact, I can only think of three books that have ever gotten my undivided attention from start to finish.  And I’m a little curious to know if other writers work this way, too.

So…if you’re reading this, and you’re also a writer, do you work on one thing at a time?  Or are you more efficient at multi-tasking?

On a side note, I got my photos of the swamp today, so I’ll be working on the trailer this week, too.  In addition to all of the writing, making time to go to the pool every day…and researching ice harvesting.  Which actually is a very interesting subject.  And one that makes me very glad to be alive today rather than a hundred years ago!

It’s going to be a busy week.

I need a vacation.  I need a massage.  I need a sedative.  I need to not start writing blogs at 3:15 in the morning….

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So…I’m back again

Why is the question?  Well because, after about an hour and a half of sleep, I was jolted awake by yet another nightmare.  For the fourth time this week.  It’s not like I’ve been reading, watching, or even thinking about anything that would cause them.  And after laying in bed, trying to fall back asleep for God knows how long, I think I might have come up with a possible reason.

First, I had already been through a rather emotional experience last month (exactly a month ago, as a matter of fact) because of my oldest daughter’s birthday.  And then comes the eighth anniversary of the death of my father, now two days away, on August thirtieth.

I’m well beyond the point where I cry and get depressed when that date rolls around, but I do think about him more around this time.  Although I have missed him every day since he died, it seems to be worse this time of year.  Maybe because it reminds me of something I try to forget.

There have only been two people in my life who have ever made me feel safe.  The first was my grandfather, who passed away in 1992, so there’s a twenty year anniversary looming in the not too distant future.  Losing him nearly broke my heart.  The second was my dad, who left my heart pretty much shattered.

Now by safe, I don’t mean that I feel like I’m in danger.  I think it’s more that any sense of security that I ever felt is gone. And I never even realized, when they were alive, how much I depended on them to just be there.

I remember the first time I felt grown up enough to stay home when the rest of my family had gone up north for the day.  I must have been thirteen or fourteen, and I enjoyed the freedom immensely.  Until the sun began to set.  I was already feeling nervous enough, and counting down the hours until everyone got home, when a couple of cats got in a fight on our patio (we didn’t even have a cat).

The timing couldn’t have been worse.  The teacher in my English class had been reading a Halloween story about a coven of witches that turned into cats, and that scared me anyway (yes, I am a chicken who doesn’t get into a lot of scary stuff).

Anyway, the cats sounded like women screaming, scaring the heck out of me…and I was all done with the whole grown up thing…instantly!  But my folks wouldn’t be home until close to midnight.  What was I going to do?  I called Grandpa and told him there was nothing to eat in the house, and could he come and get me.  He had to have known it was a lie because my mom is quite the cook, and there was always plenty food in our house.  But he didn’t call me out on it.  Nope, he drove right over and rescued me.

My dad was a lot like that.  I could call him any time things weren’t right in my world.  No, I never told him the real reasons, but just hearing his voice made me feel better.

This has been a difficult year for me emotionally, and I guess that these anniversaries just drive home the fact that I will always have to deal with the hard stuff without them.

But I suppose that’s just life.  Not much we can do about it.  There is, however, something I can do about this blog, and that is put an end to it.  Much as I don’t like the thought, I think I need to try to get at least a couple more hours sleep. And hope that if I have anymore dreams, they’re a little more pleasant than the last one.  Of course I’d settle for one of the weird ones I usually have.  Weird is good.

I guess I’m not quite finished yet.  In reading through this to edit and check for typos, I remembered one other time I had been scared silly as a teenager.  I was sound asleep in my second floor bedroom when I was awakened by someone knocking on my window.  Seriously.

To this day I’ll never know why I didn’t scream.  Instead, I sat up and huddled in the corner of my bed just shaking with terror.  The knocking continued and all I could think was, ‘If they think I’m going to open that window, they’re nuts!

And then the knocking finally stopped and I hear, “Kristy!  Kristy!  Open this window, damn you!”

It was my sister.  She’d been babysitting and our mom forgot and locked the door.  So rather than ringing the doorbell like a normal person might do, she decided to haul the ladder out of the garage, drag it around to the front of the house and climb up to my window.  Because she didn’t want to wake Mom and Dad up.  And she had the nerve to be mad at me for taking so long to let her in.

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I keep forgetting to do this…

Well, I may or may not have come up with what I want to say in the book trailer, but for now I think I’ll be Scarlet O’Hara and think more about it tomorrow.  Until then, I’ve decided to take my mind off it, relax, listen to some soft music, and read for awhile.

And that reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to post here for weeks.

I don’t know about other writers, but I often listen to music to help get me in the right frame of mind.  For writing certain scenes, to help me get into the heads of some of the characters, or to set a mood I might be having trouble with.  I also use it to help me relax when things aren’t going smoothly…and I’m about to chuck the whole story.

One invaluable tool for this is http://www.playlist.com.  You can create a free account and then start creating play lists and filling them with just about songs you can think of.  I often Google specific eras to find what I need, or just to jog my memory about favorite songs from any given year.

If I’m not mistaken, I have fifteen different play lists at the moment.  Upbeat, 70’s, country, 1920/30s and a lot more.  One in particular makes me laugh.  I called it ‘Pretty Stuff,’ and it has music like Pachabel’s Canon in D, Music Box Dancer, and lots of soft love songs.  And right in the middle of them all, for some reason, I included Lido Shuffle and Puttin’ On The Ritz.  Don’t ask me why.  I have no clue.  But there they are, and there they’ll stay.

At some point I suppose I’m going to have to take the time to make more specific groups of music, but I manage to keep putting it off because it just isn’t a priority right now.

However, it’s well worth the time to create your lists, and do searches for the music you love to listen to.  It does help for writing.  But it’s also pretty handy to open an upbeat list and crank up REO Speedwagon and The Bee Gees while doing your housework.

If you want some examples of the wide range of music available, check out the site and look me up (Kristy424).  Yeah, I admit it…I like a variety.

And now it’s time to open that book and ignore the other things I should be doing right now.  🙂

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Update on my picture taking trip

I wound up traveling to two different cities, about an hour apart, and spending quite some time walking around a beautiful garden, and through the oldest part of a well maintained, lovely cemetery.  In between I managed to locate a house that is similar to the one in my book, and a couple of really pretty fountains.

In all, I have seventy-nine photos to choose from for my book trailer.

The only thing I didn’t get was a few shots of a swamp, but after nearly seven hours of traveling, searching and walking around, I was ready to call it a day.  I’ll have to drive over there tomorrow though, because I really think I need one.

All I have to say is that it was a lot of fun.  And I may wind up taking up photography as a new hobby.  Two shots really convinced me that this is something I would enjoy immensely.

The first was an uneven set of rough stone steps on a path in the woods.  It was so cool trying to set up the perfect angle to get exactly what I wanted.  The second, and probably something I won’t be using in the trailer, was just too good to not get.  A spiderweb in a tree.  There were droplets of water all over it, and I loved it!  There were also a couple of small, dried leaves that I didn’t love quite so much, but it’s one thing to take a picture of a spiderweb.  It’s quite another to put my fingers close enough to it to remove anything from it, and so they stayed exactly where they were.  No, I’m not particularly fond of spiders.

The most amazing thing about the day, though, doesn’t have anything to do with the photographs.  While I’m a little tired, I’m still awake, still thinking clearly, and still feeling pretty darned good.

Why is that the best part?

Because it wasn’t that long ago that even a quick trip to the first city would have ruined me for the rest of the day.  I expect that today’s outcome is due to a combination of having my hypothyroidism diagnosed and treated, going gluten-free, and spending so much time on my pool workouts.

Whatever the cause, almost three years after the accident that felt like it ruined my life, I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Yeah, there’s still room for improvement.  But life is finally getting back to normal!

Now if I can just manage to avoid a nervous breakdown as I begin work on the trailer…

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