Monday, March 31, 2008


The revisions have been sent off. YAY! Now I have 3 more days to work--Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday--and then I'm OFF FOR 2 WEEKS!

I'd originally planned to spend it editing. But my planning sucked, because the bulk of the work is done.

Oh, dear. What shall I do?

I could, hmm, try to get the first draft of my wip done?

Or I could clean my junk drawers.

Sigh. Decisions, decisions.



The Great and Powerful Oz has endorsed: OUR OWN CARRIE JONES!

"No more Larrys or Curlys or Moes. We gonna vote for CARRIE JONES! Sing! Sing!"

"No more Larrys or Curlys or Moes..."

"...We're gonna vote for CARRIE JONES!"

"No more Larrys or Curlys or Moes..."

"...We gonna vote for Carrie Jones...psst, I'm lying, of course. I'm voting for my sister! And I'll do everything in my power to guarantee she wins! Shh! Shh!"

"The POLLS are OPEN!"

"I predict she will win!"

"Curses! So do I. I must STOP this! Must think of a way, a waaaay...! Yes, yes. I HAVE IT!"

"Rats. I think she's up to something."

"Like my clever disguise?"

"Hello, dear ladies. I am here to collect your absentee ballots. I'm sure you are voting for my SISTER, n'est ce pas?"

"Oh, no, no, no. I'm VOTING FOR CARRIE, you wicked, wicked witch!"

"Heh, heh, heh. I'll show YOU, my pretty. Monkeys! Take these ballots and TRASH 'EM!"

"It's too late! The votes are in! And look! Up in the sky!"

free logo -

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Almost Finished

Previous word count: 86K

New word count: 77K

I have maybe a half dozen scenes to tweak. But Hubby's cleaning the bathroom and bleach has infiltrated my bronchioles which is SO not conducive to the creative process. Plus it's giving me a headache, and I'm too lazy to go to Borders because that, yanno, involves making myself look human which, at the moment, I totally do not.

What I've Learned:

1. Well, the obvious: I can tell an 86,100 word story in 77,500 words without changing the story. Isn't that amazing?

2. Related to # 1: Nobody needs that many adjectives and adverbs, haha.

3. No matter how many people go over your story for you, things will be missed. Teeny time frame screw-ups. Echos. Redundancies. Typos. Formatting errors. Tense mistakes. Yeah, I write in present tense, have always written in present tense. I found a number of past tenses. Hello!

4. I hate this new version of MS Word. You know how you start each chapter on Line 10? This version doesn't even show me where frickin' Line 10 IS! I'll have to move down to the Dinosaur to format my chapters.

5. It's a good story. And I'm not just saying that cuz I wrote it. :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

And One of Them Will WIN


Saturday Morning and Ready to EMAO

Why is it on the weekends I have to work--and be there at 7 a.m.--I can't get up? I mean I seriously. Cannot. Get. Out of bed. And when I finally do get up--late--I sit in a coma, drinking coffee, dreaming about crawling back into bed, staring at the clock till it's pretty much guaranteed I'll be late.

Now today, Saturday morning--my weekend OFF--I woke up at 5 a.m. for No Apparent Reason, showered, dressed, did my hair, made coffee, read emails, browsed my friends' pages--and it's not even 6:30. I'm wide awake. Full of energy. And in a basically good mood.

Weirdness abounds.

I'm still Editing-MAO. I think addressed most (all?) of the issues in my editorial letter. I have a couple scenes that don't sit well with me yet, so I've set them aside and will do them last. For now I'm trimming the word count (by 7K so far) and hope to finish it up this weekend.

Horoscope: You are ready to climb a mountain for the fun of it or a hill of work because it is required. Either way, you need to be careful so you don't burn yourself out before you reach your destination. It's not about applying yourself with any less intention; it's about making sure that you don't waste energy by doing something that is neither pleasurable nor productive.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Editing, Editing

Edit, edit. Cut, cut. Write, write. Delete, delete. Check word count every thirty-five seconds, not that I'm obsessed or anything.

"Please, please, please! I desperately need a break from this madness!"

"A break, you say? But you're under contract. You get no break!"

"That's right, you lazy, no-talent slob! Listen to hairy little pal. You must edit! You must edit!"

"I can't, I can't! I'm exhausted. I must sleep, sleep, sleeeeep....."

"Oh, no! Now what?"

"I'll tell you now what! NO MONEY. She'll live the rest of her life in squalor, blogging idiotic anecdotes about nothing. Ahh-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-hahaha!"

"Wait. She gets money for this?"

("...I get money?")

"Only if you write something worth reading! Before your damn deadline! Time's running out, my pretty!"

"But...but...I'm doing the best I can! Oh, have a heart!"

"I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear that."

"Oh, don't let that old beyotch intimidate you, honey. You know you can do it. You can do it! Do it! DO IT! DO IT!"




"Um, I meant finish your edits, you silly girl!"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Me

Work: Yeah, I had to work Easter Sunday. Not too bad of a shift till the very end, when it took 10 people to subdue a single patient. I gave the injections, which reminded me of a scene out of M*A*S*H except we remembered to pull down his pants. Don't you love those shows when they jab the needles right through the clothes? Uh, that never happens IRL.

Easter: When the kids were small, we'd color eggs together, hunt for Easter baskets, dress up and go to church, visit relatives, enjoy a huge meal, and stuff ourselves silly with chocolate and jellybeans.

Times have changed. This year I dragged myself home from work, sprung Grandma from the nursing home--and this was our "Easter" dinner: cheeseburgers with mushrooms and onions, French fries, and chocolate cake. But with just the four of us (Nate was working) and with my having to work day shift, it seemed a waste of time (and utterly impossible) to cook a major meal. Most of my family celebrates Orthodox Easter, anyway, and that's not for another month. Beth and I exchanged boxes of chocolates, Grandma got a bunny and candy, and that was about it. No church, of course, since I can't be two places at once, but I did take a few moments for some serious reflection. Later I conked out in front of one of my favorite old movies--

Mildred Pierce.

--and didn't wake up till 9:00 this morning.

Edits: Yes, I have the bulk of the work done. Slash, slash, slash. Add, add, add. Slash, slash, slash. I hope to turn this version in by the end of this weekend. Editing a second book is nowhere near as intimidating as editing the first. Maybe because I'm not as pathologically attached to every.....single.....freaking.....word? Things are moving along.

Me: Anyone else desperately in need of a DIET??? Please say yes!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ready for my Close-Up

Horoscope: "Looking within doesn't necessarily require looking back. Imagine your future rather than dreaming of your past."

Now this is stupid. There is nothing in my past I remotely dream about. Evidently the stars have me mixed up with Norma Desmond.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful my previous editor taught me so well.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008


You are Strength

Courage, strength, fortitude. Power not arrested in the act of judgement, but passing on to further action, sometimes obstinacy.

This is a card of courage and energy. It represents both the Lion's hot, roaring energy, and the Maiden's steadfast will. The innocent Maiden is unafraid, undaunted, and indomitable. In some cards she opens the lion's mouth, in others she shuts it. Either way, she proves that inner strength is more powerful than raw physical strength. That forces can be controlled and used to score a victory is very close to the message of the Chariot, which might be why, in some decks, it is Justice that is card 8 instead of Strength. With strength you can control not only the situation, but yourself. It is a card about anger and impulse management, about creative answers, leadership and maintaining one's personal honor. It can also stand for a steadfast friend.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

"Anger and impulse management"? I think they screwed up. I'm the mellowest person I know, dammit!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Poor writer Jen had troubles of her own
She had a sneaky mole which wouldn't leave her home;
She tried everything she could to send the mole to hell,
Even doused him very thoroughly with a bottle of Purell.

But the mole came back the very next day,
The mole came back, she thought he was a goner
But the mole came back; it just couldn't stay away.
Yay, yay, yay.

Jen was determined to kill that mole dead,
She loaded up with D-Con and placed the box near its bed;
She waited and she waited for the mole to come around,
And danced with murderous glee when the empty box was found.

But the mole, though not quite the next day,
The mole came back, she thought he was a goner
But the mole came back; it just couldn't stay away.
Yay, yay, yay.

Jen thought she was imagining the scritching in the couch--
But late last night she flew straight up and shrieked a hearty “OUCH!”
That stinking little bast*** she thought would never show its face
Zipped passed her butt a second time while she was watching Nancy Grace!

Because the mole came back, resurrected from the dead,
The mole came back, she thought he was a goner
But the mole came back: IT JUST WON'T GO AWAAAAY!
No, no, NO!!!

Nancy, how about digging up some NEWS?

Almost 40 years later, people decide to hit the Manson ranch and search for possible bodies that "might" be there, but who knows if they're really there because nobody knows if they're there, or who they ARE...if they're even there? And, whoa, a cadaver dog sniffed something.


Yanno, until somebody finds a body--like, actually digs one up?--this is not really "news." I mean, WHO CARES? Nancy Grace just wasted a whole half hour on this.

Slow crime-news day, I guess.

But hey, 48.6 million bucks? Go, Heather! That's $34,000/day for every day she she was married to Sir Paul. Now she can hire someone to dump her antique chamber pot when she doesn't feel like hopping to the loo in the middle of the night.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thinking Ahead

I've been away from Shawna for so long--the ms was accepted in December and I haven't glanced at it since--I barely remember the story. Seriously. Unlike Before/After, I didn't spend 8 yrs on it, writing and revising it over and over until I practically had every word memorized. I wrote it in 4 months, revised it in 7 months, ran through it a couple of times with my agent--and that was that. So now I'm looking forward to seeing Shawna again. :)

Beth and I went up to Borders together, both armed with laptops. This was Beth's first experience with a write-a-thon (which is a twice a week thing for me since I gave up trying to write on workdays). I continued to revise the first few chapters of Linnea, while Beth did research and started a synopsis for her story. We worked from 11:30 to 6. She held out a whole lot better than I thought she would. :)

I'm still not sure where Linnea is headed. But I can't afford to throw yet another ms aside. Is it actually possible to write a book a year, and work a regular job besides?

Guess I'll find out.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Debbi Michiko Florence and CHINA

A special congratulations to Debbi Michiko Florence for the release of CHINA!


"The 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China will bring much attention and focus to this country. Children can dig in with hands, feet and mind to 4,000 years of this country's history, traditions and culture. Through photos, illustrations, diagrams, interviews and activities children will gain a deeper understanding of China and its people."

Website of Debbi Michiko Florence

Yay, Debbi!

Because I MIssed My Friday 5...

What I Have

1. A new editor(s)

2. A contract

3. 2 weeks off from work in April to make sure I finish my edits by the May deadline

What I'm Getting Soon

4. Editorial notes probably next week

5. Possibly accompanied by a nervous breakdown ;)

What I Did Today

6. Revised more of my current wip, added scenes, cleaned up typos, and chopped 1,500 words including one rambling scene that went absolutely nowhere and I can't believe I wasted my time writing it in the first place, I mean, hel-looooooooooooo, it was a conversation between my MC and a fricking boring neighbor who never showsher face again!

7. Would it surprise you if I said I skipped the cookies today?

What I Am NOT Doing Today




This Week's Good News

Before/After has been selected for the New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age list. I'm so excited!

This Week's Bad News

Grandma's been under the weather (but doing better now) so her hip surgery was postponed until April. Yeah, April. When I'm doing edits, lol.

Friday, March 14, 2008

NOT Mariah Carey...LOLOLOLOLOLOL (infinity)

Warning: Do NOT watch this clip--Bulgarian Idol: "Ken Lee"??? with a mouthful of anything liquid.

Thank you, Louis, for the link! *smooch*

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Note to Mr. Spitzer: Soooo...was she worth it?

Note to Mary Ann of Gilligan's Island: Drugs are bad, m'kay?

Note to Britney: Try staying inside for a month. See what happens.

Note to American Idol's Carly: WTF possessed you to to that to your arm?!?

Note to Jack Kevorkian: Wow, convicted felons ARE permitted to run for Congress. How lucky are you, dude?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Random Wednesday

Today I:
1. Revised the first 50 pages of my wip. I only have slighly more than 100 pages written, but decided I can't go farther without cleaning up a few things. Like the girl on the school bus who lives across the street from the school. And wondering if a secondary plans to take over the story.
2. Worried about an LJ-er I haven't seen in a long time. I hope she contacts me soon. I'm frantic.
3. Did crits, read other people's work, which was a nice break from my own.
5. Played on forums.
6. Priced cars (don't ask me where THIS came from).
7. Emailed friends.
8. Wondered exactly what a call girl has to do to make $2,000.00/hr.
9. Ate cookies. Ya think?
10. Looked forward to American Idol--and I'm watching it now. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tuesday Teaser

Dinah grabs my hand and hauls me outside. “What the hell was that all about? What's wrong with her? I can’t believe she did that!”

“She didn’t mean it,” I say. “She’s in the drama club.”

“The drama club? You blame that kind of behavior on her drama club? Linnea, this is serious. She pulled a knife on me!”

“Now who’s being dramatic?” I ask, because Jojo didn’t “pull” the knife on her, or anyone else. She just sort of picked it up and let us draw our own conclusions.

“That’s sick.” Dinah rakes her fingers through her hundred-dollar 'do. “That is sick, unhealthy, and very dangerous behavior. How can you not see that?”

Maybe I’m used to it?


I have a secondary character who lives directly across the street from school she attends with Linnea. She makes it a POINT to say she lives across from the school. That is, I made her make a point of saying this since I'm the one supposedly writing these scenes.

So why is this same character riding a school bus, back and forth, back and forth, every day with Linnie?

For 100 pages!!!


Oooh, I'm on a reeeeal roll now, hammering out pure unmitigated idiocy with each clueless keystroke.

Goal for tomorrow: fix it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Blizzard vs. Blizzard: a Monday Memory

Well, as bad as this last winter storm was, it was nothing compared to the Blizzard of '78. With the power completely out in my apartment building, I had to creep down four flights of stairs with a flashlight. Of course my car was buried and frozen shut, so my dad came over with, I dunno, a blowtorch or something, and got me into it. After my shift, I couldn't even go home; everyone called off, plus you couldn't even get to your car in the lot (assuming you could find the frickin' lot) between the snow and the cold and the 60 mile an hour winds. I worked ob-gyn at the time, so after my second shift I spent the night on a bed in the delivery room--ugh, ugh, ugh, just think of it!!! I worked day shift the next day and finally got out at 3:30 p.m.. I chiseled my way out of the parking lot and started for home, only to get stuck on the Clark Avenue bridge where total strangers sprang to my rescue and pushed me to safety.

Dedication? Or stupidity? I still haven't figured it out. But the next time they have to haul in the National Guard, I am soooo calling off sick.

In the meantime, I'm out of my favorite coffee and trying to choke down a cup of Maxwell House. Bleeach!

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Snow, snow, snow, SNOW!!!!

Two feet of the stuff. We're talking Antarctica.

An hour and fifteen minutes to get to work this morning, a drive than normally takes me just under 30 minutes.

Worked short. What a h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e day! I was still passing 9 a.m. meds at noon. In fact, we were sooo short we couldn't always get to the phone--so a patient reached over the counter, picked up the phone, and said politely, "Cleveland Clinic!"

Except...I don't work at the Cleveland Clinic. LOLOL!

Lunch (crappy sandwich) was nibbled at the computer and I punched out an hour and fifteen minutes late.


-10 minutes to clean off my car.

-10 minutes to get out of the parking lot.

-10 minutes to get to the freeway (normally 2 minutes) including a serious spin-out. Thank GOD nobody was coming in the other direction!

-50 minutes on the freeway. Ice! Snowdrifts! Spun-out cars! WHITEOUT!

-Stuck on the exit ramp--briefly, though it felt like forever.

-10 minutes to my street (normally another 3).

Guess what? Tomorrow I get to do it allll over again.

Helen and Teacher 1888

I saw this and it totally touched my heart:


Found: Rare photo of Helen and Teacher


Congrats to JODY FELDMAN on the release of her MG novel The Gollywhopper Games:


"Ladies and gentlemen!
Boys and girls!
Welcome to the biggest, bravest, boldest competition the world has ever seen!
The Gollywhopper Games!
Are you ready?

Gil Goodson sure hopes he's ready. His future happiness depends on winning the Golly Toy & Game Company's ultimate competition. If Gil wins, his dad has promised the family can move out of Orchard Heights—away from all the gossip, the false friends, and bad press that have plagued the Goodsons ever since The Incident.

Gil's been studying for months. He thinks he knows everything about Golly's history and merchandise. But does he know enough to answer the trivia? Solve the puzzles? Complete the stunts? Will it be more than all the other kids know? Gil's formidable opponents have their own special talents. He must be quicker and smarter than all of them.

The ride of Gil's life is about to begin. Win! win! win!"

Jody Feldman is a member of the Class of 2k8. Best of luck to you, Jody! :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Five

1. Lisa Madigan has some AWESOME NEWS! Gooooooooooo, LISA!

2. I plan to pass the 30K mark on my wip today. Note I said "plan to."

3. It's 5:45 a.m. I'm awake and I don't have to be. This is very weird indeed.

4. F. A. T.

Hubby: Hey, where'd you get those pants?

Me: I've had them forever.

Hubby: I haven't seen you wear them in years.

Me: That's because they haven't fit me in years.

Hubby: ???

Me: (whimper)

Hubby: Oh. You grew into them.

Me: (unprintable)

So what do I do after that conservation? BAKE BROWNIES!

5. Horoscope: It may be time to reassess a complex relationship that involves jointly held resources. You may even need to remove yourself from the situation in order to gain control of your life. But letting go of an attachment may not be easy, even with your newly discovered strength. Make the most of this moment, for it will probably be harder if you don't take action today."


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Random Wednesday

Oh, great. Lindsay's mom gets the chance screw up another one of her kids.

Why is it when I hear the phrase on the radio, "We'd like to hear your analysis..." all I really hear is "urinalysis"?

As I was letting myself through the (locked) double doors to go downstairs, a patient shouted at a security guard to NOT let me get away because I'm the one who grabbed her and threw her to ground and dragged her down the hall. "That's the one! In the blue smock! Get her!"

Um, excuse me? A smock? I do not wear a "blue smock." I wouldn't be caught dead in a smock, blue or otherwise. It's a navy blue scrub jacket, thank you very much. So if I ever do get arrested, and if happens to be in any kind of a "smock," just please, pleeease, go ahead and shoot me.

Anyway, I never touched her.

I'm off the next two days. Thank. You. Jesus.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spam or Not?

Has anyone else gotten a letter from someone asking you to donate signed copies of your books for a breast cancer auction?

This may be perfectly legit--she included links (which I didn't click on) and personal information--but she started the letter with:

(my name plugged in, different font--but she did know my name) "I will start by saying that I love your books. I like the comtemporary and paranormal romances and the mystery. You are a wonderful author."

My objection is that she never read my "books" because

1. Hello, I only have ONE book, and
2. it's not a romance, and
3. it's not a paranormal, and
4. it's not a mystery, and
5. does she even know the title(s)?

Maybe she thought if she mentioned contemporary-paranormal-romance-and-mystery, she'd hit the jackpot with one of them. She totally missed the boat on my genre (although, yes, it's contemporary...and yes, I'm a wonderful author *g*). So how can I look at this as anything other than spam? What I object to is someone saying they loved my books book when they apparently never read them it. If she is shotgunning authors in general, why not simply say "I'm looking for authors who would like to donate a signed copy of their book...?"

If what she tells me in her letter is true, then I wish her the best of luck and many blessings. But I can't really take this seriously.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Zzzzzzzzzzz Excuse

What I did Saturday:

-Got up at noon. Seriously.
-Got hair chopped and hillbilly roots obliterated.
-Came home.
-Did nothing else.

What I did Sunday:

-Got up at 7:30.
-Got to Borders at 9:00.
-Wrote my a$$ off until 5:00
-Went grocery shopping
-Came home
-Made spaghetti

*note: this is where I started to poop out. Fried up the meat, threw it in the sauce, and called it quits. Hubby was then forced to wrap up the meal.

-Worked on a crit. Did not finish crit because I fell asleep.
-While working on said crit, started watching a bad, bad, ba-a-a-ad movie. Did not see the end. Or most of the beginning because I fell asleep.
-Planned to call my brother on his 50th birthday. Did not call my brother because I fell asleep.
-Planned to brainstorm with TheBadGirl2008 Did not brainstorm





So I've used that excuse 4 times so far. But the truth is: I frickin' FELL ASLEEP! I totally conked out in the middle of the evening and didn't wake up till this morning. When hubby WOKE me up. Or I'd still be sleeping.

Maybe I'll not show up at work today...because...of course...I fell asleep? :)