Archive for November, 2008

Clearing and Cleaning

November 30, 2008

I’ve been spending the last couple of days clearing stuff from our bedroom and cleaning. When I’m busy writing, I let things pile up. I can take it for a while then it starts to stifle my creativity. So I decided to work on clearing things out of the room and my mind. So far, I’ve cleaned the closet, packed up summer things and gotten a trash bag of clothes to take to Goodwill. I’ve gone through a large box of cds and photos that’s been sitting in our bedroom since last Dec. My dresser top is cleared. Next it’s my bookshelves and vanity and two boxes on the floor.

I’ve thought of some places I need to work on in Body Language and tomorrow, I’ll start going through it again for the last time before sending off the requested full manuscripts.

I still hope to get them off by Friday, but this week is turning out busier than I had planned. I have a dentist appt and an appointment with the satellite TV people Tues. Wed. is critique group and Christmas shopping. Thurs my dad has two doctor’s appts and I’m going with my mom to help her. The plan is to work on the book tomorrow, Tues afternoon and Thurs afternoon and hopefully to print it out on Friday and mail it. But if necessary, I’ll work during next weekend and get it out at the beginning of the following week. The important thing is to feel confident of what I’m sending off. I don’t expect the agents and editors will be looking at what I send until after the holidays, but I want it off so I can move on to revising the second book.

So decorating is going to have to wait until this is done. And the house is clean.

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Thanksgiving

November 25, 2008

All my chickens are home to the roost and I’m thankful for my boys and my wonderful husband who supports my writing and has never asked when I was going to get a job that brought in actual cash money. And he just laughs when I say I’m going to clean the house now the book is done. Got to love him and I do.

I’ve had people say they just can’t identify with heroines who fall in love within the first few hours, days, weeks they meet the hero. They say it takes longer. You have to really know someone before you can love them.

Settle around your computers and sip your cup of mulled wine, tea, or hot chocolate and I’ll tell you my story. Back when I was young, I threw myself into my career as a dietitian. I loved my work, served in professional organizations, worked with the local Heart Association teaching cooking classes and working on heart healthy restaurants, and did worked after hours as a consultant. When I was thirty, I took a good look at my life and decided it was lacking something I wanted, a man to love and a family. So I decided to put some of the energy I’d been funneling into my career into my social life.

I resigned from my position in the professional organization, I agreed to blind dates, and to shut up the friends and family, who said I must not be looking very hard or else I was too picky, I joined a dating service. It was expensive. Very. (More for women than men, I discovered later.) But I decided to do it because I wasn’t meeting many eligible men who had the same interests as I did.

Interesting experience. If you decide to go this route, don’t be afraid of being a sqeaky wheel. If I hadn’t gotten on the phone and complained they would never have decided to shut me up by sending me a better selection. (Because I didn’t want the guy with the panty hose fetish or the one who weeped over the phone about the wife who recently left him, go figure.)

I don’t know how it goes with the computer dating services now, but back in the old days (1985), they sent the women the phone numbers and you chose if you called or not. So I called the new set and made dates with all of them. Meet in a public place, drive separately, be safe. Four nice guys. But there was this one. We talked on Feb. 10th and set up a lunch date for the 12th. Turns out we both worked downtown and our offices were two blocks apart.

I walked into the city hall where we were to meet and looked up the escalator at the only guy in sight. ( I don’t know, maybe there were other guys but I didn’t see them.) He was coming down, talking and laughing with a woman on the floor above. Dark hair, long overcoat, broad shoulders. Oh, please let him be my lunch date. He was. We went out to lunch, talked, talked, talked. I must have eaten something, but can’t remember what. He walked me back to my office holding my hand. We made another date for Friday night. (Valentine’s Day, but neither of us mentioned that)

I think I floated upstairs. I called a girlfriend and told her I was probably crazy, but I’d just met the man I was going to marry. Then I said I knew that was nuts and I knew it couldn’t be possible, but…

Friday it snowed. We’re talking central Virginia here not the northern states. Measurable snowfall is the exception not the rule. There was more than six inches on the ground before six p.m. (Schools close and people strip grocery store shelves of bread and milk for 1 inch.) I got dressed for dinner expecting any minute to get a phone call cancelling. He was late. But he came. In fact he missed my house and had to help a driver who spun out, go up a large hill and come back down then make it up my driveway which was steep in order to appear at my door. Luckily, he grew up in NJ and went to school in Indiana so snow wasn’t a barrier. We went out to dinner to a Chinese restaurant we both loved and sat there almost alone with the snow falling outside the windows and talked. And talked. And talked.

He didn’t kiss me goodnight. (Told me later he was afraid to for fear he’d screw things up), but did ask me out again. We were engaged by Easter and married in August, 22 years ago. And I love him more than I did then.

So this Thanksgiving I’m thankful for the love in my life. The love of my parents who had a love story that should be immortalized. The love of my husband, my boys, my family and my frieds. I am blessed and very lucky and I know it.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

The End

November 18, 2008

The rewrite is done and the full is off to two of my writer friends who offered to be delta readers. Most writers call them beta readers, but I’m a Cherry Bomb and we have delta readers.

It felt wonderful to write the end the first time through. But it doesn’t compare to this time. The book is so much better than it was thanks to all the feedback I’ve gotten from delta readers, contest judges and my critique partners.

Updates on the conferences I went to where I pitched to editors and agents. I’ve had requests for partials from two agents and, drumroll, requests for fulls from an agent and two editors. I’m beyond thrilled. I know this doesn’t mean they’ll call and beg to have it, but it’s another step on the path to being published. Getting requests for fulls means they like the premise of the story and I hope that I’ve impressed them as a writer serious about my craft and my career.

I’ll be sending the partials off by Friday of this week. The fulls will go off after I get the feedback from my readers. What’s next? Well, this story ended on Christmas Eve and there is a holiday story there begging to be told. And what better time of year to get started on that. Then I have the second story in this series to rewrite and my ghost story. I have plenty to keep me busy.

I’ve always wanted to write books. And nothing compares with having someone tell you they love the story, the characters, and can’t wait to see what happens next.

Excuse me now. I’ve got a Snoopy dance to do.