Monday, January 30, 2012

Best laid plans...

When we moved into our lovely little house in 2006, there were 3 small cypress trees along the neighbor's driveway. Very small. Barely 3' tall.

I knew they were fast growing. I urged them to grow and block the view from our kitchen window into the neighbor's kitchen window. And then one morning I discovered they had doubled in size.

Then they were past the kitchen window and reaching for the roof.

Just about this time we put a sunroom on the south side of the house, just off the kitchen. I was very excited. A perfect place to start my seedlings. And in the winter, the sun beating in through the windows was practically enough for sun bathing.

But those clever little trees kept growing.

And growing.

I'm going to bet they top 20' now. And my sunroom, isn't.

But the birds love them. And they are really lovely with a little snow on them. So I guess I need to lay a few new plans.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thanks for all the free stuff!

This is a heartfelt thanks to everyone that has ever offered stuff for free on the Internet.

I use clipart all the time. And I just stumbled on all the amazing free fonts out there. I dabbled with GIMP. And I use all sorts of other open source programs.

So to all of you who share your hard work - THANKS!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I only now got around to this sweet story. And this is the perfect time of the year in which to read it. My bulbs are all poking up slender green fingers. Just like the author spoke of.

This story struck me on a number of levels. As a gardener, I enjoyed the author's pure love of growing things. As a storyteller, I marked how different the telling was. And finally as a reader, I just flat out had a good time.

And imagine my surprise when I went out in the garden today and found some snowdrops hiding under the hellebore.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ta da!

The final cover for White Lies. I did a couple different ones and my critique group voted unanimously on this one. It is the first image that came to me. Maybe I should have trusted my gut.

So, one more thing done. I wrote the dedication and acknowledgements. Now I need my short and long blurbs.

Oh, and of course the final editing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Woo Hoo! She liked it.

I just heard back from a reader about White Lies. She liked it!

Very exciting!

It's in it's final version and going through a grammar and punctuation edit right now. I am waiting to hear back from 2 more readers, hopefully soon. Then I expect there might be a tiny bit of tweaking. Then I will publish it on Smashwords and Amazon.

Wow. Saying that just raised my blood pressure a couple of notches.

The other day I stumbled across a blog post by Dean Wesley Smith about planning for the future. He said the key to success (or at least my understanding of it) was to work hard. Huh. I've done that all my life. And when I got to the point where I decided I wanted to write, publishing seemed out of reach. It was a magical, surreal game, but no one would give you the rules. Now Mr. Smith says - work hard, put your best work out there and it will work out. Nice!

Catburglar was a toe in the water. White Lies will be getting the suit wet.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dreaming of sleeping

I've started dreaming that I'm asleep. What does that mean?

In the dreams I am warm and comfy but I know I have to get up to go to work or school or somewhere. Sometimes I wake up to find that I am sleeping somewhere inappropriate, like the middle of an office. It isn't like those humiliating dreams where I'm naked. This is just bothersome. I should be doing something and I'd rather be sleeping.

I'm having some insomnia lately. So I guess the concern about getting enough sleep is bleeding into my dreams. Or maybe my brain is trying to sleep twice as hard.

I just find it really odd that I am dreaming of sleeping. How boring is that?

Friday, January 13, 2012


Life got in the way this week and I had hardly any writing time. I don't know how that happens. I carefully plan out my week and then whoosh, it's all disarrayed. I try not to feel guilty about all the things that went by the way. But I'd made myself promises...

I remember being told, as a child, that time sped up when you got older. Yup. I can now say that is absolutely true.

There were summer afternoons, when I was small, that lasted forever. I can remember lying on the front lawn staring up through the branches of our neighbor's horse chestnut tree and just dying of boredom.

This week I didn't have a spare second and I have a list as long as your arm of things that didn't get done. Like blogging. So, here's an apology, and I'll try to be better, but I really need to be writing right now.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Catburglar on Amazon

Woo Hoo! I finally got it done.

Catburglar has gone live on Amazon. Whew. It was very confusing to post. But I have to take most of the blame. Things work out much better when you read ALL the directions.

With no marketing, I have sold no more copies of Catburglar on Smashwords. Which isn't too surprising. It will be interesting to see if anyone stumbles across it on Amazon.

This is all sort of practice before I self-publish White Lies. I'm waiting on feedback from 3 readers and my copy editor isn't done yet. I'm still hoping to have it up by the end of January. We'll see.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Volunteer tomatoes

I am a frugal gardener. I start a lot of my plants from seed. And in the fall, sometimes I dig up some of my annuals to overwinter in the house. Usually I take clippings from my coleuses and geraniums. If the begonias or impatiens look nice I might pot up a few for the sunroom.

Last year I started some impatiens from seed. They took forever to get going. So it wasn't until the fall that they even started to bloom. I potted up two - a lipstick red and a fuschia-purple. They were doing fine in the sunroom and I wasn't paying much attention. Then the catnip I brought in got aphids. That made me carefully examine all the plants.

And - oops - there are 2 tomato plants growing out of my impatiens pot!

I don't start tomatoes from seed. I buy them in the spring at our local Herb Festival. I can buy healthy organic heirloom tomatoes in singles. Which lets me get exactly the number of plants I want. So this seed must be from the compost. I can't imagine how tomato seeds got into my front garden otherwise.
I'll be curious to see what kind of tomato it is.

One year I had a clump of volunteer yellow pear tomatoes in a new garden patch I'd just started. Another puzzle because I don't remember ever buying yellow pear.

I swear the squirrel is gardening when I'm not looking!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One Note

This is a program that came with my MS Office software. It took me a long time to get around to checking it out. I threw some odds and ends in there, then got too busy and forgot all about it. Now that I'm sorting through the rewrite of the tome, I've found a use for it.

I am taking all the miscellaneous notes scribbled here and there and loading them into a "notebook" that has sections and pages and even sub-pages. It's exciting to have all of the information at a glance. And I can open it while I'm writing and toss in any new nugget that I've invented.

The best part is that it makes me think through some facets of the world more carefully. Things that I jotted down way back in the infancy of the project might no longer be true. And a good portion of it might not be applicable until book 2 or 3, but it's in there!

Getting organized makes it easier for me to think. Now I can open the planet section and see what the inhabitants look like and maybe some of their religions or customs. Sigh. I can load maps and pictures and charts. An OCD nerd's dream.

Now I need to get back to actually writing.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Giving short stories a second chance

I've never been a big fan of short stories. I think I was traumatized by them in my late teens. I got a book, I believe it was Hemingway, (there was a bull and a matador in one story). The book was a collection of short stories, but I didn't realize it. About halfway through I was getting very confused. How could all these characters meet up? What plot line could possibly pull them all together?

Then I took a good look at the cover. I felt betrayed. It wasn't a story, it was many stories. Damn.

Lately, I have been following the trends in epublishing. New authors are putting out short stories for free as a sample. A wonderful idea, like having a taste of cheese before you buy it. It never occurred to me to troll for new authors in short story collections. Brilliant! I have so many new (to me) authors on my to-read list that I'm going to need a better way of sorting them.

So, I guess I'm giving short fiction a second chance.