April 6

Wicked windy today, but I’m still glad it’s spring. And here are five reasons why:

1. Longer days means I can putter in the kitchen with natural light at supper time. For some reason I’m more creative that way.

2. I’m able to sit on the deck in the warm sun and commune with the hens. I may still have to wear a jacket, but the heat seeps in. I can almost feel my cells rejuvenating.

3. Crocus, hyacinths and daffodils are sticking their noses out of the damp soil. Purple and yellow are my favorite colors.

4. I’m counting down the days until I can start digging in the garden.

5. The end of the school year approaches and I’ll get a break from yelling “get out of bed, you’ll miss the bus!!” I’ll have two whole months when I won’t need to pack a lunch for #2 son, or write the cheque to pay for school lunches in a mad dash because he didn’t tell me he needed money on his lunch card until thirty seconds before he has to be at the bus stop.

Conflict

Here’s something I’ve discovered about my writing. Being a “pantser”, I’ve assumed that I start a story with a basic premise, like “Lizzy moves back home to recover from heartbreak, and gets involved with the local politics…”. I write the story, discover the characters in the process, and bam! It all comes together at the end. Ha!

No no no. What I’ve learned doing NaNo this year, is that I need to know my story, the whole kit and kaboodle, even the fabulously uplifting ending, before I start. It’s not enough to have the opening line, paragraph, chapter. Because god knows I’ll veer off into a bog of sucktitude. When I say “know the story” I don’t mean I know everything that will happen, every twist, turn, plummet into despair. But I need to know what’s driving the characters on their individual journeys. And I need to know what brings them together and pulls them apart. Again, not the events, but the deep feelings – the internal conflict.

Gosh, it all boils down to Goal, Motivation and Conflict. Thanks Debra Dixon!!

NaNo word count: 25,345

NaNo – uh oh

Today is the start of NaNoWriMo, 2010. I’ve signed up for the challenge/torture as Henlady. Anyone who knows me will understand why I chose that name. (The ladies are being quite productive, btw.)

I participated in NaNo twice before. The first time, in 2007, I “won”. I churned out my 1667 words every day. Well, I averaged that. Some days were good, some days weren’t. Real life and all that. At the end of the month I converted my scribblings, sent them in for verification, and received my digital certificate. Woo hoo!

The following year, I tried again. Alas, I allowed real life to intrude too much, or I lacked chutzpah. Or both. I didn’t even sign up last year, knowing we’d be traveling for American Thanksgiving, and that would infringe on my writing time.

Now, for some reason, I believe this year will be different. We’ll still be traveling later this month, probably more than last year given how spread out our family has become. Yet I still think I can whip off a 50K first draft.

Stay tuned…

Happy Hallowe’en!

I was found out (waves to Janet). I have no self-discipline. Also, my memory skills are shot. I blame Mother Nature and all the wonderful things she has in store for women of a “certain age”.

I’ve just written “post blog” in my weekly calendar, every Monday and Friday until the end of the year. In big, black letters, highlighted in pink. If that doesn’t do it, I’m doomed.

A release date!

Mark your calendars, folks. On July 21st my first book will hit the virtual stands, via The Wild Rose Press.

My cover!

My first cover!!! I’m so happy with the artwork, it really conveys the entire story.

May 20, 2010

the ladies

May 19, 2010

A day early, but that’s okay. OUR CHICKS ARE HERE! They are too cute for words. Rhode Island Reds, hens (I hope). Little brown balls of fluff. I need to take a few pics and post them here, so you all can share in the cuteness.

I’ve already given one a name – Chatty Cathy. She’s the loudest of the bunch. I wonder if that means she’ll be head-hen.

When they scratch their heads, they fall over.

Oh what fun we’ll have.

May 10, 2010

Now that the contract is in my hot little hands, and all fear of jinxing the deal has passed, I’m thrilled to announce my first sale. My novella “Where There’s Heat” will be published by The Wild Rose Press. Woo hoo!

I feel incredibly fortunate that my story found the right editor at the right time, and all the stars were properly aligned. Hubby and the boys cheered me on at every turn. And gave me flowers and Proseco to help me celebrate. Aren’t they the greatest?

I’m not sure if the title will remain, and have no idea of a release date. I do know that I can now say “my editor” and “my publisher”, which is thrilling beyond words. Soon I’ll be able to say “my new release”, and I may just burst with excitement.

Huge thanks and hugs to my critique partners, Alannah Lynne, Cara Carnes, Deb Noone, Michelle Libby, and Judi Phillips. I wouldn’t have achieved this dream without their support, commiseration and laughter. Writers are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet!

Lu’s Journal

To have a website or not is a big question floating around the blogo-sphere. At least amongst us writer types. After much deliberation/procrastination I came up with many pros and few cons. My decision made, I purchased my domain name, and dithered.

And then one fine evening, while attending a charity auction, I purchased a web design and hosting package, and my fence sitting had to end. I needed to put a lot of mental energy into all sorts of decisions, like background color, pictures, tone, fonts, etc. I vacillated, spent oodles of hours on the Internet researching other author sites, and changed my mind dozens of times. Until I discovered my web “voice”.

Now here we are, a shiny new (gorgeous) website telling the world I am a writer, and I’m serious about wanting to be published. Hooray!

In other news, I submitted two different stories to two different publishers last week. I’m continuing work on my witch romance, but it’s tough trying to type with all my fingers crossed.