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This Week in Writing

I started working on the paranormal romance I was asked to write. I had a great idea, things started out pretty good, then I got a little stalled. Mainly, it's a confidence issue. I've never written this type of story, so I think it sounds like crap. I'm forcing myself to get through it, though. It's just a draft. I'll have plenty of time to rework it later.

I also finished a draft of chapter 1 for the sequel to my YA novel. I'll go back to working on that when I'm done with the novella. Or, if I have time, I'll work on a zombie story. I'm just playing it by ear right now!

For those of you who are patiently waiting for "Life After the Undead" to come out, you're still going to have to wait. I've sent the publisher several emails, but I still have no idea when the book is supposed to be available. Don't worry, you'll be the second people to know!

I hope you all have a wonderful and productive weekend!

One of Those Days

I had a late start today because I had to go to physical therapy this morning. It's not exactly a good day because my shoulder is KILLING me. I'm trying to remain positive, think of good things, but it's really hard. Pain is clouding my brain.

Speaking of being positive, I'm leaving work early today to work on a novella I was asked to write. I'm very excited about getting this done. It's in a genre I don't normally write in, so I'm looking forward to the challenge. I know you're wondering what the genre is, so here ya go: Paranormal Romance. Can you believe it?! I already have an idea and started the story, we shall see how well it goes (and if I can get 10,000 words out of it)!

I also want to write a zombie story for an anthology, but I'm not sure if I'll have time. The deadline is May 13, and that is fast approaching. If only I didn't have bills and real jobs getting in the way! One day writing will be my profession, then I'll have all day to write!

It Only Takes One YES!

To make you think, "Really? Are you sure? Did you actually read the proposal?"

TWO yeses and you're pretty sure Hell has frozen over and somewhere in the world pigs are flying.

This is what happened to me two weeks ago. I was waiting for the five final responses, then I was honestly going to let my nonfiction book rot on my flash drive. Then, the first publisher said they liked it. Being the cynic that I am, I was a little skeptical, but I was also a little excited. Finally! Someone wants my book.

My proposal was still under consideration with another publisher, so I did the courteous thing and gave them the chance to pass or accept. Well, they accepted it. I was shocked! Again, the thought of "Really? Did you actually read the sample chapters?" crossed my mind.

To be honest, the whole experience was completely overwhelming. There were pros and cons of being published by both companies, and I had to weigh my options of which was going to be the best fit for me. I annoyed the crap out of my friends and spouse, had a freak out, and spent a week making my decision.

After making my decision, I felt so much better, and I was actually excited. I had the chance to step back and think, "TWO! TWO publishers wanted my book!" How freaking cool is that? This was the book I was ready to give up on, the book I wasn't even going to finish, and TWO people were interested in it. This was, of course, after 30+ rejections. But those TWO yeses changed all of that!

I know I have more edits coming my way, but it won't be for a few months. I'm going to sit back and relish the fact that the book actually has a publisher! Here are the links to the publishers so you can check them out.

Midnight Marquee Press

Scarecrow Press

Tough Question Tuesday

What is one memorable movie-going experience you've had?

When I was close to 13 years old, my friend's mom took us to see Alien 3. Scared the hell out of me! I was convinced an alien was going to pull me under the seat and kill me, so I kept my feet up. I made it out OK, and I've loved the movies ever since!

Movie Review Monday

Rio (2011)

Mom and I took the boys to see this on Saturday. We took them to the 2D version because the boys won't keep the glasses on. We didn't miss anything except the movie in 3D!

The story is about Blu, who was taken from his rain forest home when he was a baby. His crate falls out of the back of the moving truck in Minnesota, and he is found by Linda, who promises to take care of him. Since he was so young, he never learned how to fly, but he's content with his life. After 15 years, Tulio makes his way from Brazil to inform Linda that Blu is the last male of his kind, but they found a female, so it's important they meet and continue the species. When they get to Rio, that's when the adventure begins.

This movie was great! It was funny, colorful, and had a great beat. The 2 year old was in my lap and would wiggle a little bit when the music played. There was a bad bird, but he wasn't so creepy that it freaked the kids out. There was also a lot of humor for the adults, so everyone was happy!

The boys said they didn't like it, but they were very tired. I got the soundtrack and listened to it on the way home (it was a 3 hour drive from my parents). The 4 year old recognized the songs, and we listened to it three more times. He enjoyed the movie even though he was being a poop! I definitely recommend this movie, even if you don't have kids!

Has anyone else seen it? What did you think?

This Week in Writing

I know it's not Friday, but the boys don't have daycare tomorrow, so I won't have time to post.

I finished a rewrite of a short story and sent it off to an editor. I originally wrote the story a while ago, it's been so long I can't even remember when! The first version was an attempt at noir, but it didn't work out very well. It was very passive. On this attempt, I tried to make it a little darker, completely forgoing the noir feel. I'm not sure how I feel about the end...

I also started the sequel to my YA zombie novel. I have some time while I'm waiting to hear about my nonfiction, and I can't remember the short story I wanted to do, so I decided to start on this. I'm sure I won't get it done before I have to switch, but at least I'll have a start!

The other night, the boys and I went to my sister's house to celebrate my niece and nephew's birthdays. While we were there, my niece was telling me a story about how their cat brings in dead mice. She told me that he left it on the floor, and she was the one who found it. My sister then proceeded to tell me that my niece wanted to keep it as a pet.

I stared at her and said, "The dead mouse?"

My niece's eyes got wide and she nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah."

I'm pretty sure my response was something like, "Okaaay".

She continued to tell me how she wanted live mice, but I told her it probably wasn't a good idea if her cat likes to kill them. She agreed with me.

I suppose out of all the things in the world my niece could want, a dead mouse isn't really out of the ordinary. A bit odd, yes, but she is from my family.

I hope the Easter Bunny brings you all something better than dead mice this weekend. Unless, of course, you're into that kind of thing! Have a great one!

You Know, Like, Whatever

For the last few weeks, I have been very irritable and p*ssed off that I haven't been receiving certain emails. Well, yesterday, I came to a realization: Not everyone checks their email 500,000 times a day like I do (it's a disease; I'm working on a way to cure it!), so I can't expect an answer 2 seconds after I send mine. Plus, if they aren't going to write me back, that's their problem, not mine. I can't force anyone to respond. If things get too out of hand and I don't get replies within a reasonable amount of time, I'll move on. I have options.

It was freeing coming to this conclusion. It is very exhausting being high-strung all the time, so I'm taking steps to calm down (no drugs, just au natural!). It's going well, but I still have a long road ahead of me. I really need to realize that some things are out of my control, and getting angry isn't going to change that. Besides, I have more important things to do. If I focus my energy on those, I'll be able to get a TON of stuff done!

Tough Question Tuesday

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Sadly, I fantasize about all the bills I would pay off. Oh, it's dreamy. No more car payments, no more school loans. Even if I only had $100,000, it would be more than enough to pay off the big stuff. I'd take the family on vacation, too. A cool place like Alaska or Australia. Perhaps England or Ireland. Maybe take the boys to Disney. Does that make me old?

Movie Review Monday

First of all, I just want to comment on what a beautiful Monday it is. The sky is gray and it's raining. I love the rain. They way it sounds on the windows, the notion of cleanliness it brings. Plus, it's not snow. Don't get me wrong, I like the snow, but I'm definitely ready for spring, and today brings the promise of warmer weather!

RED (2010)

This movie was so much fun! My spouse kept putting off watching it, having no idea what it was about and assuming it was going to suck. Half way through the film he turns to me and says, "Why don't we own this film? It's awesome!"

The story is about Frank Moses, a retired black ops agent who is trying to live a normal life. He finds a girl he likes, and they have a relationship over the phone. When someone decides they want him dead, he has to find and protect this girl and the adventure begins.

The movie was just a lot of fun. It had an interesting storyline with a few twists and explosions. You know, pretty much all I need for a movie to be good (yes, I know, I have extremely simple tastes). The characters were likeable, and John Malkovich was hilarious! If you like action movies/spy thrillers, I think you'll get a kick out of this movie!

This Week in Writing

Honestly, I have accomplished nothing. Between dentist appointments, doctor appointments, physical therapy, being busy at work, and having a freak out (I'll tell you about it next week), I've been exhausted at night. My goal is to get back on schedule this weekend. Things should be calmed down by then.

My 4 year old has moved up a room at daycare, so he's no longer taking naps. It's been extremely obvious and difficult for everyone. He falls asleep in the car on the way home, then proceeds to be an utter grump until he eats dinner (which, has to be an ordeal). Last night, he was in a particularly special mood.

I was making dinner (pork roast with cheesy potatoes and beans) and asked if he wanted that or chicken nuggets. He told me he wanted pork, then when I set the plate in front of him, he proceeded to push it away and pout. I made him the nuggets (I have always been told to pick my battles with my kids, and dinner is not one of them. As long as they eat, I'm happy), and while they were cooking, he changed his mind. As you can imagine, I had to restrain myself from smacking him upside the head (for those of you out there who don't know I'm joking, I'm joking. I wouldn't smack my child in the head).

While he was eating, he, of course, got into a better mood. After watching the whole situation, though, it reminded me of what I went through all this week. Like my child, I was going back and forth with a decision and being a little grumpy about it. I overreacted, then realized my first instinct was the right choice. I'm sure several people wanted to smack me upside the head (sorry, Tamara; sorry, Dax), but things are going to work out in the end!

No Time

Today is a busy day. There are doctor's appointments and I'm busy at work. I will catch you up tomorrow! Have a great day!

I Think I'm Needy

On Sunday, Tamara and I went out for drinks. As usual, we talked about writing, what we are working on and our plans for the future. We also talked about things that frustrate us, and I mentioned people who don't return emails.

I know I've complained about this before. It is seriously one of my pet peeves, especially if it's your only form of communication. The majority of the time, I send emails because I need information. Sometimes, though, I think I need emails for validation.

It sounds weird, I know, but it's nice to know that my work is still being looked at or that they want to see other things I've written. I have moments where I am that author editors hate: the one who needs their hand held through the entire process. Part of it is ego stroking, part of it is reassurance that I'm not a complete fraud, but the other part is knowing exactly what is going on with my work.

I'm sure my close friends are reading this saying, "Duh! We've known that about you for a long time!" I've probably known it for a while too, but now I'm admitting it. Isn't the first step recognizing the problem? After that, I should be able to work on it!

Tough Question Tuesday

What are your most stressful dreams?

And I'm not necessarily talking about nightmares here. My most stressful dreams are the ones where I'm a waiting tables again. *Shudder* I haven't done that for years, but every so often, it invades my subconscious. It's always stressful because I'm trying to get to a table, to take an order or bring them food, and something always hinders me. They suck!

Movie Review Monday

Hop (2011)

My in-laws and I thought it would be fun to take the boys to this movie. The 4 year old watched the previews, and he thought they were hilarious.

The movie itself wasn't bad. Sadly, at an hour and a half, it was a little too long. The kids (and not just mine) had a hard time sitting still. I'm sure part of that was because they were all jacked up on sugar (you can't go to the theater without getting treats!). The film does throw some musical interludes into it to keep the kids interested, but it didn't really help.

The story is about EB, who is supposed to become the next Easter Bunny, but he doesn't want the job. He wants to be a drummer. Like all teenagers, he fights against the older generation and runs away to follow his dream. He runs into Frank, who is also a disappointment to his father because he can't keep a job or move out of his parent's house. Of course, by the end, both of them get their acts together.

The film had some jokes for the adults, especially with David Hasselhoff, and it wasn't horrific. There were some amusing parts, but it's hard to enjoy a film when two kids are crawling all over you looking for the bag of Skittles (I kid you not, my 2 year old is a sugar junkie!). It was worth it for the kids to see in the theater. They enjoyed the majority of it. Has anyone else seen this film? What did you think?

This Week in Writing

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I finished my nonfiction this weekend. And I do mean FINISHED. The only way I'm doing more edits to that travesty is if a publisher wants to publish it and tells me to. Otherwise, I'm D.O.N.E.

I finished my novelette about vampires, and I started a rewrite on a short story I wrote a while ago. I'm hoping to have that done by next weekend, but it will all depend on how much motivation I can muster. So far, that hasn't been much!

Earlier this week, I was asking the 2 year old if he was ever going to go potty in the potty. His eyes got wide and he shook his head. He said, "Nooo! I fall down!" He was afraid to get on the toilet because he thought he'd fall in (a logical fear, really, because sometimes we do fall in!). I explained to him that we have an adapter so that he can't fall in, and he was cool with that. Now, he sits on the potty most chances he gets.

The 2 year old faced his fears and realized that things weren't as bad as he thought they were. We have opportunities to do that in our lives, and the next time a challenge like that comes up for you, face your fear. You'll probably discover it wasn't as bad as you thought it was.

What Else is Out There?

I was talking to a coworker yesterday, conversing about the writing I've accomplished so far and what I'm planning on working on next, and she asked me what I would be doing if I wasn't writing. I had no answer. I can't imagine I'd do anything!

I started writing when I was in high school, then things went on hiatus while I went to college. I still dabbled a bit with my personal writing, but didn't do anything major. It honestly wasn't until about 5.5 years ago, when I started working as a tech editor, that I got seriously back into writing (most of that was accomplished with help from my friend Tamara).

I have to say, having kids has really helped keep me on schedule. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it's true. I have very limited time during the day, so when I get a free moment, I have to use it wisely.

I still don't know what I would be doing if I wasn't writing. Probably editing. There was a point where I didn't think I was good enough to write (still don't, really), so I wanted to help other writers (and I do). It's so hard to say what could've been.

What about you? What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

Got Some to Spare?

Lately, I've been trying to focus on the positive. I think I've been doing pretty good considering I've been a pessimist/cynic for probably 20 years. In reality, I'm still a pessimist and cynic, but I try to keep it in check. That being said, I've been struggling for the last 2 days to stay positive.

Part of the reason I've been so grumpy is because I hurt my shoulder. I have no idea what I did, but it's been aching for a while (I go to the doctor tomorrow). I keep telling myself that it's getting better, that it's not that bad, but I think I might be kidding myself. I'll know tomorrow.

On top of that, I'm waiting for very important emails. You know how I get when people don't return my emails. *Deep breath*

If anyone has some spare patience they could send my way, I'd greatly appreciate it. Until then, let me list the positive things to help me on my way.

1. I finished the nonfiction book. That thing has been plaguing me for years, and now it's finally done. Hooray!

2. I'm rewriting some short stories, so I'm staying busy. They are fiction, so that's nice.

3. I haven't received any rejections this week.

4. I made a new writer friend in my little hometown, and we've been emailing back and forth. One more person for a support system!

OK. That helped a little. I could still use some patience, though!

Tough Question Tuesday

What cartoon did you enjoy as a child but can't watch now because it doesn't translate well with age?

There are several for me, but the one that stands out foremost in my mind is Thundercats. As a child, I loved that cats looked like humans and were fighting against evil. They had magic powers and cool rides. I still think in theory they are cool, especially their logo, but I can't stomach the actual show. The characters are flat and stereotypes. The story lines are cut and dry; good always triumphs over evil. For a child, that's fine. They like when things are black and white, it's easier for them to understand. For an adult, I like a little more depth.

Movie Review Monday

Killers (2010)

We watched this movie on Saturday night. I was celebrating because I finished the edits to my nonfiction book. I think having four beers was the saving grace for being able to watch this entire movie.

The film is about Jen, who goes on vacation in France with her parents after a break up with her boyfriend. She's doesn't live a very exciting life. In fact, it's pretty normal, but that's what Spencer finds so attractive about her. He, of course, is a hired killer, so he's looking to put down some roots. They fall in love and get married. Then, Spencer's past comes back, and he has to kill again to survive.

The movie wasn't terrible. It had some moments where I laughed, and I like Katherine Heigl. I'm still undecided about Ashton Kutcher. It was fairly predictable, but that's what I expected. My spouse didn't like it. His biggest complaint was that no one in the movie held a gun properly. What did he expect? It was a chick flick!

It was a mindless movie for a mindless/beer drinking night. After working earlier in the day, it was just what I needed. Has anyone else seen this? What did you think?

This Week in Writing

I finished my read through of the travesty, I mean, the nonfiction. My plan is to input the edits this weekend. Even though it's not going anywhere, at least I can say it's done. Feels good. Now I'm just waiting to hear about the other proposal before I figure out what my next project is.

I received 3 rejections this week. The first one was really nice because they told me they would be interested in hearing from me in the future if I had any relevant projects. That was pretty cool. However, I doubt I'll have any "relevant" projects in the future, but who knows?

The other rejection was niceish. They didn't ask me to submit in the future, but they were apologetic. The last one was from a small press that didn't really have the resources to publish what I wrote and it didn't fit in with his current list. Oh, well. At least I tried!

I still have a few submissions out there that I'm waiting for responses. Of course, I can probably guess what they are going to be. It's OK, though. Really, it is. I'm not the first author this has happened to, and I won't be the last. Like I said, at least I finished the damn thing. Now, it won't weigh on my conscience and I can move on to other things!