Thursday, March 27, 2008

Writing while suffering the plague

Or: Letting your husband take care of you

Obviously this is not my strong point!

Last week, when I was starting to feel under the weather, my husband asks, “Do you want me to make chicken soup?”
We’d just finished St. Paddy’s Day and there was a bunch of leftovers and Easter was coming up, so I knew we’d have a ton of food around. I said no. Two days later, when I’m dragging my butt behind me with both hands, he asks again. Thinking of the ham and scalloped potatoes we’re making the next day, I again said no.
There’s only so much room in the fridge, right? My mistake.
Monday morning I couldn’t even get out of bed.

I have allergies, so normally I pop my daily Claritan and I go on my merry way. While traveling at the beginning of the month, I ended up buying Zyrtec, and instead of a prescription nasal spray, I picked up Afrin.
Zyrtec made me tired and crabby, and Afrin gave me a sinus infection.
The doc yesterday told me that they are taught in med school that Afrin, after three days of consecutive use, can do this – they all know it, but where is the freaking warning on the bottle??? Because I’m no stranger to sinus infections, and this one threw my ass down to the mat, had its knee in my back and was singing the Victory song from Rocky ten thousand.
My teeth ached so bad I thought they were going to fall out, I had laryngitis for three days straight, and I alternated from hot flashes to chills that three blankets and two heating pads couldn’t reach. Along with my antibiotic and cough medicine with codeine, I knew it was time for nature’s penicillin.

My husband makes the best homemade chicken soup in the world. Before he bought the smoker, the only thing he ever made was chicken. Since I burned Top Ramen, chicken was damn good J Anyway, Greg has this recipe that he learned from his dad. He has a system, and you never mess with it.
At first it’s easy to mock the method – you can’t cut the vegetables when you put them in the soup. He lines everything up, peels the carrots (we found out that pre-peeled bagged baby carrots don’t pack the flavor) peels the leek, the onion, and washes the parsley. Everything is clean and piled on the plate ready to be added once he, the master soup chef, deems it time. Then nobody is allowed near the soup (no matter how good it smells, and it does) until the chicken is cooked – but just because the chicken is cooked doesn’t mean that the broth is finished. So you get torturous little salty bites of chicken to wet your palate as you wait for another half an hour…while the pasta cooks.
All of this long, drawn out temptation is worth it as soon as you get that first bowl. That broth hit my tongue, soothed my sore throat, and eased down my aching esophagus – immediately making me feel better.

I woke up this morning knowing I was going to live (Allelujai!) and had to remember how good that soup was as my loving and talented husband said, “You should have let me make the soup last week! When are you going to learn?”

After twenty years…

I love you honey!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

missed post :(

Yesterday was a sick day. My voice refused to work, so I texted and answered all of two emails. I spent the entire day dozing or reading Today is also a sick day, but I just can’t justify two days spent in bed. I’ve cooked, done laundry, read my CP’s works in progress (3 chapters total) and I’ve been ‘pres’ today for at least two hours today, answering loop stuff and talking (hoarse whispering, lololol) to my fellow board members.
My nose won’t stop running so I am about ready to call a halt and put on the television and take a nap, Kleenexes wadded up each nostril. Attractive? Hey, it is all in the life of a not-close-to-famous author. After my shower I didn’t have to even comb out my hair or put on a bra. I wrapped my sneezing, miserable self in a ten sizes too big tee shirt and stretch pants and my green fuzzy robe.
I get to do this because I work from home. I am also working more than I should because I work from home, lol.

I have two pages written, and I like them a lot. I am finally on the right track for this book! Which makes the 100 pages I’ve had to delete a little easier to bear. The hardest, hardest part about writing is deleting perfectly hysterical scenes that just don’t work. Great lines? Sure, I try to add them in later, but I hardly ever do. I have a file marked snippets that has all of my unwanted brilliance. So far it is gathering dust – happy Tuesday and congratulations to my friend Cherry Adair on her RITA nomination – and to everyone else who has been nominated for the RITA or the Golden Heart.

Let’s blame the tacky sense of humor on the Nyquil, okay???


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Critique Group

All right - I promised the good, bad and the ugly when I said I'd do this writing blog. Today was critique group, and my first five pages didn't pass the 'aha!' test they should've in order to catch an editor or an agent's eye. I knew that I wasn't on the right track when I was writing yesterday, but I had a page count in my head. Now I need to start completely over and it's my own fault. Damn it, lol.

I love my critique partners. I think having a group of writers that you know and trust to read your work and give critism is one of the most valuable resources available. Our group has been together for five years :) with a few additions here and there. Rhon was already published when she came to us, then I was contracted, and now Patrice has an ebook out tomorrow! Joan won't be far behind, and Jasmin is a natural storyteller - Doc's got a great book he's been working on and he's almost finished. Then it will be on to the next project! We've been there for each other, rooting each other on or commiserating over rejections. This biz is too hard to have to go it alone, lol.

Patrice and I went to lunch afterward to celebrate how far we've come. I've sold and lost and sold some more, and she's been steady Freddy - now her ebook is out tomorrow - go to and pick up a copy of a great book - Desperately Seeking Susie - and she has a print book out in June, Replacing Barnie. I have an ebook out in April, and my first print book is also out in June.

As we toasted with champagne, we acknowledged that we couldn't have made it so far without our CP's!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Writing for the fun of it!


Welcome to my new blog, all about writing. Now, I don’t pretend to be the Grand Poobah of all things writing related – my role is more that of the court jester J
So what exactly do I have to offer?
A daily (or almost daily, lol) account of what it is like to be a brand new working writer in a market that is shrinking as I type. I am not signed on with a New York Publishing house – although that is a personal goal of mine. I don’t make a bunch of money – that’s a goal, too! I will be published in both ebook format and print, so I can give insight into both venues.

I will be as honest as I can with my own personal motivation, or lack of it, and how I overcome the obstacles - that nine times out of ten - I put in front of me. Is there anything more ridiculous than self sabotage? Most of the time we don’t even realize that we are doing it!

We can talk about marketing, sales, numbers and publisher’s expectations – please feel free to comment and share!