Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Productive Day

Sunday's are usually pretty good days for me to get some work done. Not just my writing, but housework, too. My husband works most Sunday's and that leaves me home by myself to get things done. Today, I was able to get three chapters edited. I'm so impressed with myself. I did loads of dishes and I don't mean in the dishwasher either because it's broken. I did these by hand. I'm so impressed with myself. I also researched publishers that I want to submit this manuscript to. I found at least four and will need to decide in what order to query them. Again, I am so impressed with myself.

What I didn't get done was vacuuming the carpet and cleaning the bathtub. The bathtub I can hide, but we have company coming tomorrow and I can't hide the carpet. So, my last task to complete today will be to get that carpet finished and if I can get another chapter edited, well all the better.

I'm still hoping to be able to make it to the Magna Cum Murder writing convention in October. I already have the days off from work and my hotel reservations, but then there that money thing. I'm car shopping right now and have a feeling all the money I have saved will be going toward a new used car, which I will have to have in order to drive that far to the convention. I'm still hoping and I won't cancel those hotel reservations until I have to. I might still win the lottery, you know.

Carol

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm a boring person....

....well, at least I think so. I read a lot of blogs and am fascinated by the goings-on of people. I wish I could write about my life like that. I go to work, I come home tired, and I go to bed. Okay, maybe I'm not that bad, but close. I'd love to write about my job, but I work in social services and pretty much everything I do is covered by the HIPPA law and is confidential. Besides, I'd be terribly afraid some of the clients might discover my blog and know I am writing about them. I couldn't do that to them.

I like letting everyone know about my writing, but I mostly only write on the weekends and there's really not much to tell about my writing. I know everyone gets tired of hearing about how much, or little, editing I get finished.

I thought about hobbies, but I really don't have any. But, then I remembered a hobby I used to do. Before postage became to too high, I used to collect autographs. It was really a fun hobby and the postmaster at my post office loved it when I had to go to the window to get a large envelope containing an autographed photo. She insisted I open it right then so she could see who I had gotten that day.

I did get a new autograph the other day. I was listening to the radio a few weeks ago and Karl Rove, from the George W. Bush administration, was telling how to get an autographed bookplate for his recent book. I sent a SASE and received the autograph this week. In addition to the bookplate, he also included a signed postcard.

I probably have well over 100 autographs in my collection. Most I got through the mail, but many were in person. The collection includes actors, singers, politicians, journalists, athletes, military personnel, and astronauts. If you notice, I left off authors. That's mainly because when I collected, I wasn't writing and didn't think about authors. I have since collected a handful of author autographs. Most of them are friends that I got in person, or they sent me one of their bookmarks. (Marian, I don't think I have your autograph yet.)

I'm always asked what my favorite autograph is. I have several favorites. I always wrote a letter requesting the autograph and made it a personal letter. A few times, along with the signed photo I received a personal letter from them. Those are definitely special. One time I wrote to an astronaut for an autograph and after about six months I gave up on getting anything from him. Then one day, I got a large envelope in the mail postmarked from Houston. It contained a signed photo and a letter from him explaining that my letter to him had gotten mixed in with some other stuff on his desk and he had just found it. As a way of saying sorry, he also included about six authentic NASA shuttle mission patches. How cool was that?

But, my absolute favorite autograph is from then Senator John Glenn of Ohio. When I wrote to Senator Glenn, I explained how much I liked and supported the space program. To my surprise, I did not get the signed senatorial portrait photo that he normally sent out. He sent me a photo of him in his space suit after a mission and even signed it personally to me.

I had hoped to scan a few of the autographs from my collection, but my scanner isn't working right now. If I ever get it fixed, I'll have to post a few.

Do any of you have any autographs that you cherish?

Carol

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I've been lazy

My intentions were good for today. I wanted to get two or three chapters of "Saved by the Sheriff" edited today. I really did want to do it, but things just got in the way. Laundry, for instance. I did a load of laundry first thing this morning, then there were some really good western movies on television. I love good westerns, so I couldn't pass that up.

Okay, so that took care of the morning. I finally sat down at the computer around 1:00 pm and got one chapter edited. That wasn't so bad. I checked my e-mail and did a little marketing for my e-book that is out. Oh, but then my husband gets off work at three, so I had to start thinking about dinner. Then, I had to cook dinner. So there you have it, my lazy day at home for Sunday.

Tomorrow, I go back to work at my day job, which leaves the evenings. I will try to be more disciplined about getting my writing work done. My goal will be one chapter per night and a couple of them on the weekend. That should get me almost done with the editing. Somewhere in there I will need to work on a letter to the publisher trying to sell my book to them and also a synopsis. Publishers always seem to want to see a synopsis of a book.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I have a writer's group meeting one night this week, that always gets my creative juices flowing. I might just edit two chapters that night.

Carol

Sunday, August 15, 2010

FINISHED!!!

Today, I typed THE END on my current manuscript. It is definitely a good feeling to finish a project like that. I'll take a few days off and then the second phase begins. I will start at the beginning and edit the manuscript, while also working on the synopsis. I'll be working on a query letter to pitch my book to some publishers.

Carol

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Progress update

Stand by for breaking news.... I will be finishing my current Work in Progress this weekend. I wasn't near a keyboard yesterday, so I wrote in longhand and got everything finished except the last paragraph. Drat, I ran out of time. Can you believe it? I usually spend Saturday's doing something with my mom, but when I get home I plan to start typing. Update to come....

Carol

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hot Temps

I took a sick day from my day job due to having an eye exam scheduled. I have laser surgery in my future to correct my eyesight in one eye, but that's not what I am writing about today. My appointment was very early this morning and since I took the whole day off, I figured when I got home it would be a good use of my time to write. I'm so close to finishing my manuscript, I really want to get it done and off to a publisher.

However, it is so hot today, even in the house with the air conditioner on. We were under an Excessive Heat Warning today with the heat index around 110° f. I like to write in longhand, which means moist skin against the notepaper. Not a good combination. So, I thought I would try working on my laptop. That didn't work either. It's just too darn hot to even concentrate on my plot.

I'll be back at my day job tomorrow, but only have a little to do. I might just be able to squeeze in a few pages. The temperature is only supposed to be in the mid 90's then.

Carol

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Accuracy in Fiction

Accuracy and fiction? That's kind of an opposite concept, but it's something that novel writers need to think about. For the most part, I think writers try to be as accurate as possible in their facts when writing a novel.

My husband and I had a conversation about this just the other night. We both love to read mysteries. I tend to lean toward the romantic suspense mysteries and he wouldn't be caught dead reading a romance. We have often talked about wrong facts in books we read. He hates reading about how someone puts bullets into their gun. A bullet is the part of the ammunition that comes out of the gun when it is fired. The ammunition that you put into a gun is called a round. Such as, Jack put a round into the chamber of his gun.

I, on the other hand, pay attention to locations and time in a book. When a book mentions that the sun had set, I make a point to note the time and place and try to figure out if the sun would have set during that part of the year so early, or late. When I write, I have a web page that I use to check sunset and sunrise times for the particular month I am writing about.

Recently, I read a book that took place in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. I was impressed by the accuracy the author had of the area, especially in the town of Cherokee, NC. I've been to Cherokee many, many times and knew exactly where she was talking about in town by her description. Of course, I found out after reading her bio at the end of the book that the author is from North Carolina, which made that easier for her to write about.

So, for you writers out there, the readers are paying attention to the details of our books, so we need to make it right for them.

Carol