Friday, June 30, 2006


I'm antsy and jittery and it's not from coffee.

My story is so close to being complete. I know I've said that before, but this time it's true, I swear! I'll should finish it today--maybe tomorrow at the latest. Yeah, yeah, yeah, then I have to go back and revise and polish--but's exciting.

And I'm going to send out a short story I wrote two years ago. It's been rejected from three magazines so far and has been languishing for months in another journal's slush pile with no word as to its fate, so I think the time has come to dust it off and submit it somewhere else. I'm going over it again, and tweaking it slightly (just word changes here and there, no alterations to the story) and want to get it in the mail to another lit journal today or tomorrow. It'd be nice to have a publishing credit when I start sending out queries for my novel. (Well, a more relevant publishing credit than the parenting articles and a more recent credit than the story published in Jack and Jill magazine when I was 10.)

Did I mention my daughter's 7th birthday is tomorrow and I still need to finish shopping, clean the house, and decorate for her party?

No wonder I'm antsy!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tri no more

I've fallen out of the blogging groove. There's lots I could say, but I'm not always in the mood to say it.

The good news is I haven't fallen out of the writing groove: I'm writing away as usual. Last week we went camping and I wrote every day in a notebook, sitting in a beach chair by the American River. Talk about a picturesque writing spot! The notebook writing was so enjoyable, I decided to keep it going, even though I'm now back in civilization. It's good right now, because the story is sweeping me along faster than that American River (which is both high and swift thanks to all of that late spring snow and rain) and I want to follow it to the end--which is coming, believe it or not, in the next couple of days. However, I could be setting myself up for weeks of hell as I revise and polish all of those pages of notebook scrawl and I'm sure I'll come to regret abandoning the scene by scene method I've used up until this point. Right now, however, it feels good to charge forward to the end.

On a not-completely-related note, I think I'm going to give up on a goal I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I'd planned to do a women's sprint triathlon in September, but now I'm thinking I just don't have the time if I'm ever going to get this novel finished. The thing is, I can do my Body for Life workouts while I'm taking care of the kids. (I'm an expert at gasping, "I can't talk right now Honey, but I'll tell you in a minute," when the kids ask me a question mid-weightlifting set, and slapping together peanut butter sandwiches during the one-minute breaks between sets), but in order to train for a triathlon, I'd need to utilize my babysitting network, and I want to reserve them for uninterrupted daylight writing sessions. I still want to do the triathlon, but I'm thinking next year makes more sense. I'm kind of bummed, since I was really looking forward to the challenge of swimming, biking, and running all in one race, but as much as I'd like to prepare for a triathlon while finishing a novel, it's not realistic to do both.

One time-consuming, selfish goal at a time!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Rest Time Writing Revisited

Did I mention it's summer vacation? No school...less me time. Actually, it's okay. I really love having the kids around and that our schedule is more relaxed. But I need to find some more time to write. So I think it's time to bring rest time out of retirement. The swimming bribe worked pretty well the other day, but it's unseasonably cool right now, so I can't use that strategy again until it warms up.

It's okay. I have lots of ideas! Today, we'll go rent Ice Age from the video store. They haven't seen it yet, and it should keep them reasonably occupied for 90 minutes or so. Then tomorrow we can go see Ice Age 2 at our local theater (it's part of their free summer movie series). And I'm going to be a big weirdo and bring my lap top to the theater and write during the movie.

That'll be a first--writing in a movie theater, that is. I'm often a big weirdo. (No surprise there!)

Monday, June 12, 2006


Still jogging along, trying not to panic. A new scene I wasn't expecting cropped up yesterday. It's good for the story but it means I have more to do than I thought. As Stuart Smalley would say, "And that's...okay!" (Have I quoted Stuart, yet? I'll have to do a search of my past entries and see.)

I stumbled across a blog the other day belonging to an author I really enjoy, Laurie R. King. She recently did something exceptionally brave, in my opinion--she started a short story live on the web. It was an exercise to demonstrate the writing process and what a first draft tends to look like--even if it's the first draft written by an established, award winning author. She plans to post both the first draft and the final version of the story (when completed) on her web site.

Check it out: Writer's Improv

Friday, June 09, 2006


Things went much better yesterday and again during my early morning writing session this morning. The words flowed for the first time in weeks. I finished one section and almost finished another. (Thanks, Mom, for watching the kids yesterday so I could write!)

The kids are going to let me write for an hour this afternoon and then we're going to go swim at our local pool. (As a parent, you sometimes have to resort to bribery!)

I'm feeling more optimistic about it all again. Yay!

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Ever seen the movie Amadeus? Remember the character Salieri--who wanted to compose music as beautiful as Mozart's, but didn't have the talent to make it happen? I often feel like Salieri--although not so jealous of someone else's talent that I'd resort to poisoning him or her. It's more that I see the type of writing I want to be able to do, but it's SO hard to get there. And I often don't.

I haven't blogged in almost a month for two reasons:

1. I haven't been making a lot of progress on my novel, and
2. I'm going through another low self-confidence, panicky, who-the-hell-am-I-to-think-I-can-do-this phase.

Do you think the two reasons are related?

Uh, too.

I'm trying to write more. I'm trying to force myself to sit down at the computer and forge ahead, even though it is SO hard right now. The end is in site and a lot of baggage comes a long with getting near the end. I know I'll get past it. Heck, half of this blog documents the low phases I've worked past. But that doesn't make things any easier right now.

Warrior Girl wrote a great blog entry about why writing a novel is so difficult.

Writing Past the Demons

See? I'm not the only one!