Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


September 16, 2009

Welcome to the new home of Working On Happily Ever After.  I will try and be better about updating this blog.  Really I will.  I plan to share bits of my life, and my journey as a writer.

I’ve just sent in a submission to an agent who requested it this summer.  It will be interesting to see if the response is any different because I decided I needed to start the book at a different place so the first 10,000 words got ditched and now I need to weave in that backstory.  I’m very excited and think the pace of the book will be much tighter now.  This book is a romantic suspense.  Over the next few weeks I’ll be working on the adjustments to this book.  I plan to finish this by the end of October so I can start my new project during National Novel Writing Month in November.

Please let me know if you visit by making a comment even if it’s just to say “Hey”

What we did on our summer vacation

August 18, 2009

Now, I had great intentions of writing about our vacation while we were on it but I wanted to include pictures so had to wait. So here is the first installment of “Hawaii–with teenagers.”

First, I’ve been to Hawaii once before–30 years ago. I went with my two sisters, a friend and her friend. It was a great trip and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. We spent most of our time at Waikiki and on Oahu but did take a quick (very quick, all in one day)trip to the Big Island to visit the Volcano National Park and to Maui for a sunset luau.

Planning the trip: I love this part. I have so much fun reading about the place we are to visit and picking the activities I think my family will enjoy. I first started planning the trip to Hawaii 5 years ago. We had our flights and hotels booked and then had the house fire. Since then, we haven’t been able to get the hotel and airline tickets using points until this year.

For anyone interested in visiting Hawaii or just reading about it I recommend the series of guidebooks on the islands by Andrew Doughty published by Wizard Publications. They have one on The Big Island, one on Oahu, one on Maui, and one on Kauai. I used Hawaii, The Big Island Revealed and Oahu Revealed. I’m seriously considering buying the other two because one day I hope to go there and it’s so much fun reading these books.

So first stop, Oahu because the main thing DH wanted to do in Hawaii and the reason he’s always dreamed of going there was to visit Pearl Harbor.

We got up and were out of the house by 3:30am to catch our 5:25 am flight. We went Richmond to Charlotte, Charlotte to Phoenix and Phoenix to Honolulu. Later this year there will be direct flights from Charlotte to Hawaii. When I was planning this I figured we’d be so excited that we would want to go for a walk on the beach or a swim that afternoon. The guys told me, no way don’t plan anything for that day because we’ll be wiped out. And they were right. By the time we got the rental car, went to the hotel and checked in what little energy we had left was gone. We ate dinner at the hotel buffet(and it was better than I’d expected from the guidebook’s review, we all enjoyed our food) Then the boys went up to the rooms and DH very kindly walked across the street to the beach with me.

Waikiki and Honolulu are very different than I remembered

Merry Christmas to All

December 21, 2008


December 12, 2008

Once again, I’m done. Thank you McB, McB’s mom, BCB, CMS and my critique partners Alleyne and Diane for all your feedback and help.

The last full, which needs to be sent snail mail, won’t get out until Monday because I had a brainstorm last night and decided the black moment would be blacker if done in the antagonist’s POV. So today I rewrote it. It works. I hope. I’ve been reading and rereading. Going over comments and adjusting and editing and revising to the point when I can’t really assess it any more.

I’m going to wait to hear back from the partials (or until Feb 1st) before starting to send out cold queries.

And I’m ready to move on to the next project. After I clean the house and decorate and bake and do all that holiday stuff.

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.


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.

Not Quite There

September 30, 2008

Well, I’m not finished with the rewrite but I’m much farther along than I would have been without the deadline I set for myself.

Having the deadline gave me the push I needed to keep writing a little longer each day and to write even on days when the words weren’t flowing.

Since I last posted, I’ve written 8542 words. I’m at 89,791 and 308 pages.

I’m very pleased.

One of the things I didn’t take into consideration when I set my deadline and goal is that rewriting is part of the editing process. It’s not like Nanowrimo where you are turning off your internal editor so you can get the ideas down. I’ve done that part with this book. Now, I’m working on making it the best it can be. So I had to take the scenes I’d already written and look at them. What’s that scene’s purpose? What is the goal, motivation and conflict for the characters in this scene. Does it move the book along or is it just chatter?

Doing this slows the process. But that’s okay because my goal is not just a word count. It’s a good book.

I’m going to the NJRW conference the last weekend in October. This rewrite will be done then.

So reassessed deadline. Complete the rewrite by October 22nd. I might be able to get it done before but I’m trying to be realistic. This weekend will be spent with friends. I’m planning to get some writing done but it’s a revitalization weekend not a writing retreat. There are also several appointments, dentist, kid’s doctor, hair the following week and a conference that weekend.

So my goal for between now and this coming Sunday is 2500 words. Maybe I can do more and get this next chapter done.

Progress Report

September 21, 2008

7128 words this week. I hit a snag with a new scene I added and spent a couple of days working it out. I might not finish the book by the 30th but I’ll be close. Having the deadline pushes me to write more than I would without it.

As my friends commented, making progress and doing more than I would have without the deadline and goals is what is important

More realistic goal for next week, 8,000 words.

Week One–Progress toward Deadline

September 14, 2008

I worked on the book 6 out of 7 days this week. Yesterday, I rewrote most of the chapter I’d written Thursday because I wasn’t happy with it. If I add those words in I wrote 9,014 words this week but only 7653 toward my projected 95,000 words. Though this averages below my goal of 1500-2000 words, I’m pleased because I pushed myself.

This rewrite may make the book a bit shorter. We’ll see. Using 95,000 words as my guide I have 22,290 words to go. Since life happens and writing 5 days a week is more realistic than 7, I really need to shoot for 2000 words a day.

I believe I’ll go back and try to finish this chapter today.