Thursday, June 29, 2006

Still ill

I don't normally get ill and stay that way for days at a time. I'll not feel well for a while, but not this kind of horrid really sick stuff.

I hope it clears up soon. I feel a little better tonight, but then I did yesterday too, and got much worse this morning and afternoon.

Obviously, everything is behind. Vision will likely go up after the fourth. I'm still working on the workshop -- something I have started and deleted four times now -- also something I never do. It's a sign of how ill I am because I don't think you should delete stuff right away. I'm sure a couple of those would have made good starts if I had a brain. I do, finally, have one I like, though.

I've been asked to do both a story and a cover for a second cat book (Sequel to the Twelve Cats of Christmas anthology). I'm sure I'll be very happy about this when the brain wakes back up.

Oh, and that's a picture of Edmond of the Big Ears. What a doll he is! Except that he's fascinated with my hair, and leaps up onto the back of the chair and attacks it. My hair reaches past my waist (though I'm about to cut a few inches off to even it out a bit again), and he just loves it.

Sure sign of stress, though -- every time I wash my hair I get huge clumps of hair in my hand where it's fallen out.

So I am trying to take things more calmy. It's obviously not quite happening yet, and won't before I get Vision done and the payments made to everyone, my bill paid so I don't lose the site that has Vision and get a few other things caught up.

I am working on the Touched by the Wild book, which I might yet get started on July 1 -- not sure how I'll feel in a couple days. I am also working on the outline for a new novel, and using a new program. Obviously, considering the way I've been feeling, I haven't gotten very far at all. The program is SuperNoteCard and comes from this site:

Since I had a bit of money from the sales of the 2YN book, I decided to splurg. And I'm glad I did because tonight I started using it to put together the second 2YN book and realized I could drop entire chapters into the notecards and move them around -- a big help since I moved some of the late stuff into book 1, some of the early stuff to book 2, cut out a few things and merged some stuff... you get the idea. I've already gotten more done on it, even this ill, than I had in the last two weeks since I opened the files and started messing around with them again.

So there is something good, at least. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Not well

Better than I was yesterday, when I spent part of the day on the bathroom floor, too ill to get up and move. Russ, of course, was not in town. By the time he made it home late last night, I had finally managed to crawl back into bed.

Today I'm feeling better, though not great. And it's not helping me get anything done, either. I did finally get some work for the county up on their site, answered a couple emails, and stopped by FM for a few minutes.

Oh, and the cable company turned off my modem yesterday for no reason at all. They've also had my email locked down a few times -- and can't tell me why. So things are screwy. It doesn't help.

The dog is still doing all right today.

Russ cancelled his trip to New York, for which I am very thankful.

Oh, and my father went into the hospital yesterday, but he's out today and back home. Since my mother died a year ago this week, it was kind of worrying there.

All in all, yesterday was not a good day, though. And right now I'd like to just rest... but I still have a couple things that need to be done. So off to work I go. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Waking up....

That's what it feels like sometimes -- as though I've just awakened from a long stretch of sleepwalking to get back to work. I've written about 4k words today, did some DTF work and some work on Vision. I made dinner, cleaned some of the house, and worked on a Daz picture.

It's always good to get moving like this. I wish I could do it more often. I hope it holds up for a few more days because I still need to work on Vision and get it done before too long.

Russ should be leaving for New York on Wednesday. He's getting some odd messages on that end, so maybe he won't be going. I wouldn't mind if he didn't. He'd be gone until about the 4th, and with the sick dog, I really don't want to be here alone that long.

She is doing a little better, by the way. She goes to the vet tomorrow and we get more word.

The babies are doing well, too. They're still 'hold me' kitties, though they are getting to be a bit too big to hold both them at once. Cute little guys, though. They make a number of things better.

I just hope I can stay awake for a few more days. Time to get back to work now before the feeling goes away again. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Off on a small adventure

We will leave about dawn tomorrow to go to Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge. This is Russ's gift for our 27th anniversay, and I am really looking forward to it. We'll be back in the late afternoon, hoping that a check shows up in the mail. It won't, but really it doesn't matter.

Getting away for a day should be a lot of fun!

I'm making small progress on Touched by the Wild. I like what I've gotten so far, and since I'm working on Chapter four, I'm doing all right for my 'one chapter a week' story starting in July. I just don't dare fall behind.

And that's about it for me right now. I want to go crawl off in bed and get some sleep!

There will be pictures, of course! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Trying to work

On the good side, I have gotten a lot of things done off my To-Do list. On the bad side, I've had seven days of less than 1000 words in writing. It's not that I don't want to write. It's not that I'm bored with the story. It's that I can't stay focused long enough to get more than a hundred words out.

Part of this is because our 12 year old dog is very ill, and I don't think she'll last out the month. Medication isn't helping, and she's having a harder time moving and breathing each day. Gracie has been a good dog, and she's still quite happy -- but it's difficult to sit here in the house and listen to her gasp and cough sometimes, or walk with her and help her up and down the stairs to get outside.

Other problems are of the more mundane kinds. Checks have not arrived, of course. Bills are due. And our 27th anniversary is on Thursday. We'll have a good time -- I think a nice little ride down to De Soto might work, depending on the weather. Russ has a class to teach on Wednesday and one on Friday, but so far we've been lucky and Thursday is free. With luck, we'll have funds for both gas and some food. (grin)

On the 28th Russ will fly out to New York for a job interview. This is good....and bad. I don't want him to move to New York, but it may be the only way we can keep going at all. Quite obviously we wouldn't have the money for me to move with him, not for a long time. I know it's not unusual these days for husbands to have to move far away to get jobs, but I don't particularly like it.

There is a possibility of a job in Omaha instead, but they are taking a while to make up their minds. I wish they would so that I don't ahve to worry about the New York job at all. Fret, fret, fret. But however it works out, things will be fine. I have a great next door neighbor, so I know if there are problems here, I can count on her. And virtually everything in town is within walking distance. (I have mentioned that I don't drive, right? Even if we could afford a second car and insurance... grin.)

And to make things even more annoying, I have hurt my left leg. It aches from the hip all the way to the ankle. I could have gone to the zoo tomorrow, but I've decided to pass on it, even though the leg feels a little better today than it did yesterday.

Okay. I'm going to actually write 1000 words today. I don't think there's much else going on that absolutely needs my attention. Except maybe these two crazed kittens, charging around the house.

Funny how I can find distractions, even when I really don't need to. (grin) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Touched by the Wild

This is the upcoming 'blog' novel cover. Or at least the version I have so far. (grin)

I have the first chapter done and I'm moving on to chapter two. I want quite a few of them lined up before July1. The only problem I see is trying to figure out how to do the posts so that they stay in order, with the first chapter at the top and working down. I suspect I could do something with the dating? Republishing posts each time?

This is odd. I'm actually enjoying this idea. Of course, it helps that I have two novels ready to go off to publishers and the dreaded submission pile right now, too. And a short story that I can't seem to figure out where to send. And a romance novelette (or is it a novella? I've forgotten the word count), and absolutely no idea at all what to do with it. It's a 'tame' romance. No sex in it. (grin) Which, of course, will probably make it even harder to place. (Okay, I went and checked. 25,974 in the first draft.) (And I edited a bit while I was there, of course.)

For the most part, that's it for today. Still working on the zoo blog site. It's fun, too.

Nothing wrong with fun! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I was told today that I have an incredible amount of patience. Oddly, it's true in most cases. Annoying things that drive others crazy can go on for a long time without doing more than getting a shake of my head. In fact, sometimes they go on until someone else complains. This is both good and bad. On the good side, I don't get annoyed very easily. On the bad side, things get out of hand before I decide step in.

The kittens would probably drive people crazy. They rush around, they get into things, they attack stuff they shouldn't. But I've been patient with them. I think they're sweeter for it.

But the point where my patience really shows is in the zoo pictures. I've been known to stand for an hour or more before one animal, waiting for it to act in a way that will get a good picture. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't. But then that's true of many things in life. Patience can win a great picture, but there's no guarantee that the animal will cooperate. Sometimes all it wins is sore feet.

I am putting together the zoo blog I talked about. I've been posting five or more pictures at a shot and I think I have around 40 up already. I have hundreds more to go. This little Degu is not up on the site yet. I'm still working through the pictures from March -- my first trip to the zoo with the new camera. I have pictures from a trip in April and three trips in May. I suspect I'll have a trip in June before I get all the others up. My hope is to go to the zoo at least once a month.

And then to patiently sort through 200 to 400 pictures and find the best ones. It's a long process, and often gets set aside while I take care of all the other things that must be done. The zoo photography is my hobby, after all. Hobbies can't have the top place on the list.

When I started putting the pictures up, I realized that no one would ever be able to find any specific animal. So I began an index with links directly to each entry. The Index link is at the top of the blog. I have the archives set to show the pictures by the day I posted them. A monthly archive would be far too long for some browsers.

And here it is: Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The 2YN Book is out!

2YN: The Two-Year Novel Course–Year One,

THE BOOK IS DONE! It's up for sale! I don't have to think about it any more!

Well, not until I start pulling together everything for Book 2, but that's going to be July at the earliest. I want a little time to recover and bask in the joy of having this beast done.

Jean is offering a BookPack giveaway: A copy of Holly Lisle's Talyn, a copy of Lynn Viehl’s Dark Need, a book of the reader’s choice by Tamara Siler Jones, a download copy of my book, Muse. Go take a look. So far, people have really enjoyed Muse. (grin)

The first of my two main projects right now is something I've discussed with Chris Baty, originator of NaNoWriMo -- a small (25,000 to 30,000 words) give-away book on tackling NaNo. It's mostly going to be things I've written before so this isn't a big deal.

The other is Touched By the Wild, the fantasy novel that I'm going to put on line one chapter a week.

Yes, really. I'm going to burn my first publication rights and offer something for free to read. Why not? It's not as though I don't have more stories than I can sell anyway. I want to do this as an experiment to see if I can draw readers. I shouldn't have any trouble putting the chapters together unless I get hit by some big project that takes over my life. I'm working on chapter 1 now, and hope to have a few of them lined up before July, when I will start this.

I think it's going to be fun! Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 12, 2006

Yes, really done!

The book just went off to Holly. It is out of my hands. Unless she comes back with something that needs changed, the PDF version of 2YN Year 1 will be out as soon as she has time to do it. Which may take a while -- she's a very busy person these days!

I'm really, really happy to have it finished, you know.

Oh and that's Edmond sitting on the books. I had them out to work on the zoo site, and both he and his brother took turns up on top. I thought this was the cutest look, though.

I have started the novel I think I'm going to post on line, one chapter at a time. It's Touched by the Wild, an older fantasy novel. I'm going to post one chapter a week, and probably start in July. This gives me some time to get a few chapters ahead... as long as I don't have anything else leap out that needs to be done.

Well, of course there's Vision, but I have so few articles right now that I'm not certain what I'm going to do. I might ask for some donated (that is, not for pay) articles soon. Reprints from other places would be fine.

I don't want to think about it right now. I want to work on the new fantasy book for a little while. I want to spend some time writing the stuff that I love. It may not be the best writing in the world, but at least I really enjoy what I'm doing!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Prolific or not?

One book a year is not prolific by the current publishing standards. As I understand it, most big publishing companies have at least a two book contract with the second book due in about a year. That's considered normal -- not prolific.

A good many people are apparently surprised and upset to learn this, but they really don't need to worry so much about it. If they are not able to write a book in a year there are a couple different things they can do -- like writing a second book before they sell the first, or looking to publishers (like small press and electronic) who are likely not going to ask for a second book.

Being prepared for what a publisher will ask of a new writer is better than going in blind. If someone gets their first contract and only then learns that they have to write another book in a short amount of time, it could be devestating. Far better to be prepared for it, and start working on ways around the problem now.

I am prolific, but that only means I can write more first drafts than many people. It still takes me quite a while to edit. Still, when I first learned about the second book requirement in most contracts, I started making certain that I could do my best to fulfill that kind of contract. We'll see if I ever get the chance. (grin)

In other news....I think I'm going to start a zoo picture blog. I think it will be far easier than making a new website, which I absolutely don't have the time to do right now. I have a place I can upload the pictures, at least. It might be fun to post one or two a day. I have about 200 new ones to go up.And if I don't like it, I can always delete the blog. Sounds like a winner to me.

Oh... and back on the subject of being prolific -- yes, I write more than I can sell. Thinking about that tonight, as I began the rewrite of a nice little fantasy novel, I thought I might put this one up, a chapter at a time, on line. Yes, that's right -- give up the First Publication Rights and just share the story, one chapter at a time. I'm not even certain how long it will be since it's an old novel and I'm doing an extensive amount of work with it.

I'm obviously in an odd mood. Maybe I'll be over it by tomorrow.

It's 3 am. Time to get back to work on the writing. I'm actually having fun with it tonight.

Oh yeah

The damned 2YN Book From Hell is DONE! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 10, 2006


We found a friend to take care of the domain name problem, so that's handled. Sigh of relief. Now, even if I can't pay for the site itself, I can keep the name and restart it.

This, by the way, is Lady Jane who is 14 this year. She's a sweetheart and has a lovely face.

We have some hope here of things looking better by the end of the month. It would be nice if it looked better by our anniversary (22nd), but I'm not going to count on that part. Still, there's at least one place that is showing a sign of being interested in Russ for a full time job. He's applied for a number of others, too, most of them in Omaha. We've given up on anything in this area. Good thing I like Omaha, because we may end up moving to that area if anything solid comes through.

Someone is grinding metal outside from the sounds of it. My guess would be the race car driver on the other side of the other house. I've had to put music on, which I normally don't do. I work better in silence. But that's all right. I'm still editing. Almost done....

Besides, Runrig is a wonderful combination of Scottish and Rock Music.

So anyway, if I can keep from getting too stressed today, I'll get something done.

Off to work I go again! Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 09, 2006


Okay, cute cats. That first before I go into the worse stuff.

I just got the notification that my domain name has expired. This means not only my site, but Vision is going to disappear unless we can do something very quickly. I hope that Russ can find someone with a credit card tomorrow and get it taken care of.

People are asking about their money from the last few Vision issues, too.

I hate this point in life. I've been here before, and I know we can get past it, but the moment is always bad. We have money that should be coming in, but it's going to be too little -- and obviously too late. We are waiting to hear on one job, but now they're saying it could be a couple more weeks before they make a decision.

My stress levels have been way high. I need to take a nice calm, quiet break.

I have only about 50 pages left to do on 2YN. If I can get it to Holly and she can get it up, I might make a little money and help out here.

Gah. Just Gah. I'm going to bed, I think. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Moving along....

I now have the edits to the 2YN book (year 1) done. My next step is cover art and back over material. Then... done.

And on to the next project. I only hope that the 2YN book will make some sales so I can pay for some of those other things. (grin)

I just took a bath... and ended up with Zaphod in the tub with me. He took it very well and I'm not at all scratched.

And when I got out of the tub, one of the lenses popped out of my glasses.

I think it might just be time to go to bed. There are times when you know that it might just be safest to go curl up somewhere and wait for the karma to balance out again.... Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 05, 2006

Moving my regular journal

The journal that I have kept since October, 1998 is in the process of moving. Right now I'm at the 'can't upload to the old site or the new site' spot, which is annoying. But I'll get there and get it figured out.

In the mean time, I'm still writing on it so I don't miss a day. I haven't missed any since the first day I started it, though when I'm on vacation (or having upload problems) everything is a few days late.

I am on the last rounds of editing with Vita's Vengeance. I'm really pleased because I think I'm going to have it out by the end of this week. It is a better book than I had hoped, to be honest. And I will be very glad to have it done.

I need to get better control of my time again. Things are starting to slip away from me. This happens more often lately, and I Russ thinks it's partly stress. I think he's right. I need to not worry so much about some of the stuff because I get distracted. I'll get to the Vision payments when I can. If I can't pay for my domain name it could be a problem (and it is due now) because that's where Vision is. I will likely lose my site because I can't pay for it, too, but if I can keep the domain name, I can move it to the Jatol site so we can keep Vision, at least.

Gah. Stress. Headache coming back again.

I have all the corrections for the 2YN book in hand. I had intended to do them this weekend, but I wanted to get Vita's Vengeance done first, and it's taken longer than I expected. Distracted, you see. If I can do these last two rounds of word hunts tonight, I think I can do the 2YN book tomorrow. It doesn't look bad at all and I am really looking foward to having it done.

Russ is helping me with Muse to get it ready for print, too. And the 2YN book will follow very soon. Maybe I can generate a little income and get some of my personal bills handled.

So, back to work, back to work. It's a good thing I love writing or else I'd be pulling my hair out right now. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 03, 2006

So this is June?

Okay, yes, it's barely 2 and half days into the month, and I'm already behind. This is a shock or something? I am trying to get caught up but I've already been hit with enough odd stuff this month that I can see it's going to be a really tough month to get through.

I have several projects near completion. I have all the edits for the 2YN book in hand. I have the PDF version of Muse done and just about ready to go to lulu for a print copy. I'm still trying to get through the Vita's Vengeance clean up, but I had to put it aside for a couple days to get some other things done. I plan to get back to it tomorrow.I have to start work on Vision, too. I think I already have a headache just thinking about it. It's going to be a long month.I have put up a Help AbsoluteWrite link on the FM site. It's a shame to see a site that has offered that much help go down to rudeness and incompetence. I've had to deal with a few of the rude ones from time to time, though luckily nothing as serious as this, and most of the time it's been through emails, so that's not so bad. I can't even imagine what I would do under the circumstances that have occurred with AbsoluteWrite.

Anyway, I just got the county work done, so I think that's about it for me for the night. I've an ongoing list of things to do that still has about 17 items on it -- it grows by about 1/3rd every day. At that rate it's going to be a monster by the end of the month, no matter how hard I work.

Oh, and the babies are seven weeks old now. It's gone so fast! Posted by Picasa