Wild Day

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I thought this picture appropriate after last night's LOST, which was awesome.

First of all, go HERE and see Elisabeth's BIG NEWS!!!!!!

I thought the big news yesterday would be that one of the two sidewalks at my school, that they've been working on since JULY, was open. (One of the lights is already out.) Alas, the big scary news is that we thought Cindi was having a heart attack and so her dh Robert (who also teaches there) had to take her to the ER. She has been having numbness in her fingers, but yesterday they were numb AND discolored. They were WHITE, and her palms were normal. Also, her feet were mottled white and red. AND she couldn't lift her left arm higher than her shoulder. I told her to go to the nurse NOW, that I'd get her kids and get ready for a sub (which I did in 5 minutes, thanks to years of preparation ;) ) She started crying. Cindi NEVER CRIES. I was so scared then, but later she told me that she was so scared because Robert, who is never worried, was worried, and I, who never take charge, was taking charge.

They called about 11 to say the drs had run tests and ruled out a heart attack or stroke, but there's a long list of what it could be. Still, when I talked to her in the afternoon, she sounded wrung out. She should be at school today, but dang, she scared us.

And of course she didn't want anyone to know and everyone knows. (Hey, it wasn't ALL my fault!)

In lesser disappointing news, the boy was supposed to get his senior ring yesterday. He got to school early, picked it up, didn't look at it till he went to class, then had to go back.

It had an ROTC emblem on it instead of a journalism emblem.

Imagine my hippie son in his concert shirt, long hair and Obama button being in ROTC. Apparently I put the wrong code, so they'll fix it but we won't get it for 3-6 weeks.

Stef came to town last night on her way to Houston, so she, Trish and I went out to dinner and laughed and talked and ATE. It was good to see her! Trish leaves today :(

I may not QUITE be ready to give up on my Wayback....

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Trish's Visit, The Boy and Websites

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After breakfast yesterday, Trish and I toured the Steves Homestead in the King William district, then went to the zoo (you'll have to check her blog for pictures, but I don't know when. I forgot my blasted camera). Lots of walking, and before I knew it, it was 4:00! We came home, each went to our own computers. I joined Manic Readers and Good Reads. Then we went to eat Chinese because the boy wanted to, then we came home and watched Disc 1 of BBC's North and South. I got to bed before 11 ;) I have to teach today!!!! Trish will stay here and work, then we're meeting another Noodler for dinner! Squeee!!

The boy gets his senior ring today! SOB! And he wants to go to another Obama rally tomorrow night. Eek.

And it's official - I hate my Wayback story.

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Wayback Conflict

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I'm adding words to my Wayback story, but not sure how much story I'm adding. I'm seeing some major flaws.

One is my hero's attraction to my heroine, beyond the physical. I'm not sure what he sees in her.

The other is, I know that there's a way to connect their conflicts but I'm just not seeing it. She's essentially a George Bailey character, who's given up her dreams to stay in Wayback to care for her grandmother. My heroine has abandonment issues and he's a rodeo cowboy, so there's that. But it's making his backstory superfluous. Without giving too much away, he's kind of a former child star who fell on hard times and left that life behind. I know there's got to be a way to tie their conflicts together, but I can't think.

Trish and I were up till midnight watching TV ;) She's still sleeping, then we're going to the Guenther House for breakfast. No telling what we'll do after that ;)

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Trish is Here!

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We just got back from eating Mexican food and are watching LOST (my 4th time). When we were coming home, we realized both our first books will be in print in September, and both are about firefighters. Wild, huh?

Have you guys heard of this site?

Good Reads

It looks like Facebook for, well, books.

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Monday Funny

House is mostly clean, new plants, need to do laundry, vacuum couches and sweep back room. The day is already crawling by....

But here's something hilarious.

Goals the Week of Trish's Visit

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The house looks pretty good, I'm done with the Sheila entries, I'm caught up on Vanished revisions, and I went to Target last night to get a new pillow and an extension cord for the new lamp. I ended up buying new sheets, new silverware, new washcloths and Easter candy. I forgot to get toothpaste, though.

1) finish Vanished
2) work on Wayback
3) send small town scene to critique for Merritt
4) clean house
5) decide what Trish and I should do on Wednesday
6) have fun!

I'm actually looking forward to teaching today. We're reading an excerpt of Anne Frank, studying planets and the Civil War. And then the stupid TAKS test will come along next week and ruin it :(

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Tagged!

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Amie tagged me with 6 unusual things about me and Natalie tagged me with 10 unusual things, so I’m splitting the difference, because dang, I just can’t think of that many things about me you don’t already know!

1) I got strangely atwitter when I found out my Brad Paisley CD was ready from the library.
2) I survived my first night with my son in another town. We’ll see how I do when he’s in another STATE.
3) Next to chocolate, my favorite food group is salt.
4) I love bracelets but hardly wear them because it’s too hard to put them on and too hard to write when I wear them.
5) Nothing makes me happier than a full fridge.
6) I once took my entire Trixie Belden collection on a road trip to CA in the backseat of a Cutlass Supreme, with me and my brother and my step-brother in the backseat. I also started my first story on that trip. I was nine.
7) I have 5 calendars – my Supernatural one, my Pirates one, one on the fridge that’s a to-do list, one on my computer that sends me reminders and one at school with my lesson plans sketched out. (I’m not even counting the chores list on my dry erase board ;) )
8) I had a pony. Her name was Penny. She was mean.

Today, I need to do taxes, put the sheets on the guest bed, type in revisions on Vanished and clean bathrooms. I think the dh will do the floors since I’m, you know, doing taxes. And I hate doing the floors.

I decided against the plotting retreat, the Merritt deadline has been extended, which means I have more time to find a “magic moment” scene in my book and I haven’t touched Wayback all week.

BUT I have a release date for Where There’s Smoke – March 14 for the ebook and September 12 for the print!!! WOOT!

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New TV, Michael Clayton and the Merritt Contest

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Wow, Lost and Supernatural continued to be awesome!!! I was shocked by the end of Supernatural. And as always, in Lost, I love the Kate and Sawyer scenes.

Now that the strike is over (yes I am that far behind) I'm wondering when my shows will start up again.

24 won't be back till 2009.

BSG (technically the dh's show) will return April 4.

Bones will be back April 14. (new night, BTW)

Burn Notice will return in July.

FNL is not making any new shows and may be cancelled!!!! WAH!!!

Grey's Anatomy will be back April 24.

Heroes won't be back till fall.

Jericho will just finish up what it had, which was 6 episodes, so that leaves 4, yes?

Lost has a couple more, then will resume April 24.

Men in Trees will start next week (YAY!) with 11 new episodes.

Moonlight will resume on April 11.

My Name is Earl will resume on April 3.

The Office will return on April 10.

Supernatural will return April 24.

If I didn't include any of your shows, you can look here: TV Guide

We also watched Michael Clayton last night. GC is soooo Gabe from Hot Shot. Anyway, the last scene is shot at the hotel where we had the 2003 conference! I recognized the chandelier.

My Microsoft Word is doing a weird formatting thing. It's showing arrows for tabs and p for paragraphs and I don't know what I did and how to turn it off!

The boy is heading for his first out of town trip tonight. I won't even see him today!

Cindi and her husband and another 5th grade teacher took the day off....lucky!

I am caught up on Vanished, but haven't written a lick on my Wayback story this week. And I'm reading through my small town story looking for a magic moment for the Merritt, since the deadline has been extended.

PERMISSION TO FORWARD GRANTED

The Deadline for the 2008 Magic Moment Contest, Sponsored by The San Antonio Romance Authors, Has Been Extended!!

Entries and payment must now be received no later than 12pm CST, March 15, 2008.

This gives you 3 more weeks to get that magic moment scene from your manuscript in the best shape possible.

What is a Magic Moment, you ask?

The pivotal, breakthrough scene from your manuscript. Your favorite scene between the hero and the heroine. The point in your manuscript when you feel it gets really good. You decide!

And you want it to be really good for this Top-Notch, Final Judge Line-up:

. Short/Long Contemporary - Susan Litman, Editor, Harlequin
. Single Title - Allison Brandau, Editorial Assistant, Berkley Publishing Group
. Paranormal - Hilary Sares, Editor, Kensington Books
. Historical - May Chen, Editor, Avon
. Erotica - Raelene Gorlinski, Editor-in-Chief, Ellora's Cave

Entry format:

Entries will be in electronic format and should be no more than 20 pages in length; entries should also include a 1-2 page set-up to explain the context of the scene.

Eligibility:

Entrants may be published or unpublished, but manuscript cannot be contracted for publication at the time of entry.

Entry Fees:

$20 per entry for San Antonio Romance Authors members; $25 for nonmembers.

Entry Deadline:

All entries and payments must be received by March 15, 2008, 12pm CST.

Judging:

Three published and/or trained unpublished authors. All contestants will receive a score sheet from each judge. In addition, judges are encouraged to write comments on the manuscript.

Awards:

Finalists will be notified by April 19, 2008. All finalists will receive a certificate and be listed in the RWR. Winners for each category will receive a plaque and a year's electronic subscription to The Love Letter, the San Antonio Romance Authors newsletter.

Questions and Entry Information: Please visit our website at www.sararwa.net or contact the Contest Chairs, Beckie Ugolini and Margaret Batschelet, at merrittcontest@sararwa.net

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Bleh

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I dun' feel gud. Came home at noon yesterday, tried to sleep, some idiot rang my doorbell. Did finish my line edits for Hot Shot. Got them back AGAIN.

Today I'm blogging about names at Wet Noodle Posse.

The Boy, Taylor and Obama

Okay, I'm a little creeped out. This is why I don't write younger heroes, overall.

Here's the boy.

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Here's Taylor. He IS 26 or 27....though.

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I'm never going to get that love scene done now.

The boy had fun at Obama, but didn't get home till 5! We saw him on the local news and the CBS Evening News. See the guy in the top left corner in black? The boy is right in front of him. He's all sunburned, too.

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ZZZZzzzzz and Found my Romantic Song

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As if driving the boy around all afternoons and evenings wasn't enough, now I have to take him to a friend's at 6:30 AM so they can go see Obama. No, he's not going to school today, but he rarely misses and this is a big deal for him. Still, this is my prime writing time!

I got 2 Sheila entries judged, my Emily packet ready and queried 2 agents yesterday. I typed in the edits on Chapter 7 of Vanished, went through half of the line edits on Hot Shot and barely wrote anything on my Wayback....tired. Also got to HEB and the dry cleaners. Today will not be as fruitful.

I did find my romantic song for my Wayback....don't know why I didn't think of this before. It was my cousin's wedding song.



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SHE DID IT!!!!

Trish is in the TOP TWO FINALISTS for RT's American Title!!!

GO VOTE!!

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Decisions

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Add Hot Shot line edits to that long long list.....so far they don't look too bad, though.

I'm up to page 70 in my Wayback book, need about 50-60 more. After I met my BIAW goal, though, I started working on Vanished. Which book do I give priority to?

I have so many decisions in my head right now.

Do I go to my chapter plotting retreat, the weekend before the boy leaves?

If I do, what book do I plot?

When would I have time to write it anyway?

Do I enter the Merritt?

With which book?

And since it's a "magic moment" scene, which scene?

What kind/how much promo to do? And when?

Should I leave Surface as it is and submit to Samhain, or change it to paranormal and rewrite?

Do I let the boy skip school to go see Obama? Do I have to take him to see Huckabee (for newspaper?)

I got a really good offer to join Curves for a month. Is that something I want to add to my plate right now?

Do I have time to go to HEB this morning?

No wonder I make the same thing for breakfast and lunch, and only have about 5 different things I make for dinner.

How do you make decisions?

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Goals

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Urgh, I need a day off to catch up, but too close to testing. Still, Obama will be in town noon Tuesday and the boy wants to go. And he's off school Friday but leaves for A&M at 11:30 so has to get to school somehow. I MAY just have to take a day for one of those things.

1) Finish Wayback
2) Finish revisions on Vanished
3) WNP blog
4) Send Best of the Best entry for the Emily
5) Enter Merritt contest – at least decide which ms, since it can be any unpublished book. Maybe my small town story, but needs work first.
6) judge Sheila entries
7) SARA meeting (maybe, since this is a state-of-the-chapter meeting)
8) update website
9) join Romance Studio
10) query agents
11) make Romance Wiki page
12) do taxes
13) get a sub for next week
14) get the boy ready for trip to A&M
15) get house in good shape for Trish’s visit next week
16) go to grocery store, dry cleaners, post office and library
17) decide whether to go to my chapter's plotting weekend, which is the weekend before the boy goes to NYC

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Guest Blogger Marianne Arkins

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Welcome Guest Blogger Marianne Arkins, whose first Samhain Title came out this week! Click above to GO BUY!

1) What inspired ONE LOVE FOR LIV?

Liv was a character from one of my other novels (still unpublished) who ended up being written out. But I loved her! She was the incredibly nasty ex-fiancée in that book, snobby and perfect, and I loved her so much I wanted to make her a heroine instead. I knew it could be difficult, so I had to make her somewhat sympathetic despite her bad habit of looking down on everyone, so I worked through a plot that would encourage that AND force her to change. I created that book for Liv, and not the other way around.


2) It was a NaNoWriMo book. Did that make it easier or harder to write? To revise?

It made it a LOT easier to write – with NaNo, you just don’t have time to think of all the places you’re messing up. I also added things to that book because of NaNo that I would never have added if it had been written at any other time (like the secondary character, Frank, who is trying to break a Guinness Book World Record).

Conversely, what made it so easy to write made it a nightmare to edit. Motivation was missing in some places, I forgot certain plot points, and even changed hair color once. The book as it was following NaNoWriMo in 2005 is only a pale shadow of the book it is today.

3) What is your process in your non-Nano books? Do you have the same process for every book?

The main difference in a non-Nano book is that I allow myself to write a little while I’m brainstorming. Writing miscellaneous scenes (ones that I often times won’t even use in the book) helps me get in touch with my characters. I love to use writing prompts to get the juices flowing and do it frequently at the beginning of a book. I seldom write the book in order, and almost always write the ending after I’ve written the first few chapters. It helps me to know where I’m heading.

I do try to have 20 or so scene ideas brainstormed before I begin seriously sitting down to write a novel and hope that I’ll think of 20 – 40 more as I write (so far, that has never been a problem). I really believe that the characters write the story, and the better in touch with them I am, the easier it is to write.

For NaNo, I brainstorm and do character interviews and think up scenes. I also make a list of potential “dares” from their message board that I can use when I’m stuck. I love those, and often utilize them even when NaNo isn’t in session. I just don’t write scenes.

4) What has your journey been like so far? Is there anything you’d do differently in your career so far?

I’d have gotten serious sooner. I feel like I missed so much time. I’d also have sought a critique group earlier. Working with the talented ladies that I have been privileged to work with has been invaluable.

On the other hand, I firmly believe that things happen the way they’re supposed to, so I suppose this is when I was supposed to be published. I do think things are so different now, with ePublishing being so popular, and I have certainly benefited from that!

I do admit to being surprised that “One Love For Liv” turned out to be my first published novel. I have several others that are completed, but I just haven’t gotten them polished yet. Liv called to me, for whatever reason. She’s a pushy lady, and shoved her way to the front of the line.

5) What aspect of craft have you struggled with the most? How do you overcome it to write a selling book?

I struggled with and STILL struggle with all the techniques we’re supposed to use consciously. GMC, for instance. I understand the concept, but don’t like being shoved into a box. I have tried to use so many different ways to write, and fact is, I don’t like any of them—pieces of them, yes. But no one way works for me.

I also HATE to revise. I have one particular friend who loves that part of writing, but for me, when the first draft is done, I just want to be finished and move on. Realistically, I realize that’s impossible. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all write perfect first drafts? But still, I dread editing and revision more than being locked in a tiny wooden box full of tarantulas.

6) What one thing do you think beginning writers focus on that they probably shouldn't?

Writing to the market. Fact is, by the time you finish your draft, edit and submit, something else will be hot.

I think new writers should work more on technique and good grammar. I can’t tell you how many times I see ladies in a class who can’t spell, use words correctly or punctuate properly. In my opinion, there is no excuse for that. If you’re a writer, you gather the correct tools for your trade, and good grammar should be top of the list. It’s like being a brain surgeon and using a steak knife instead of a scalpel to do surgery.

7) What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Writing! I have all these ideas bouncing around in my brain, struggling to get out. I love to write. I love to see my characters, my worlds, my stories take shape. They’re my friends and my children. I truly love the simple act of writing.

8) You also own the review site, The Long and the Short of It. How do you balance keeping up that site with your writing life and your family life?

Thankfully, I have an amazing business partner, Judy, who helps as much as she can, as well as two reviews coordinators (“all around big helps”) who do much of the “grunt” work. Mostly, my job is to work with publishers, coordinate advertising, guide the reviewers and I am responsible for building and maintaining the website. It can be a challenge… I’m also a homeschooling mom to a fourth grader, and so never have a time when I don’t have my daughter with me. My husband is VERY understanding and, in fact, encourages me to write as much as possible.

It helps that I’m an over-the-top type A personality and the queen of multi-tasking. I can’t NOT do more than one thing at a time. If I’m watching TV (which isn’t often), I typically have my computer in my lap or a pad of paper. When I cook, I read books for review. I’m also a very early riser, so have several hours in the morning without much interruption.

Is it a challenge? You bet. But it’s also rewarding as well. We saw a need, and we wanted to be the nicest reviews site out there—no snark allowed—and we hope we’re managing to do that.

9) Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?

I’d like to be able to have a real career as a writer. My goal is to be a person with contracts and deadlines (I love deadlines!) and lots of published books on the shelf. I don’t have any desire to be famous—fame is a headache. I just want to be able to have a consistent and ongoing life as a published author, five, ten or twenty years from now.

10) What are you working on now?

I’m working on finishing my first mystery. This has been a real challenge! I’ve found that I tend to focus on either the mystery or the romance, and not both. I’ve had to go back scene-by-scene and layer in the missing elements every time.

When that first draft is completed, I want to polish up the novel that Liv was originally a part of. It’s a fun story that I’ve been working on for far too long, and I’d like to get it out the door.

I also have several short stories asking to be written, and I’ll get to those when I have the time. I love to work on my short stuff at the same time as a novel, because it’s encouraging to be able to write “the end” on something when I begin to wonder if I’ll ever finish a longer piece!

A shortage of ideas is not a problem. I’m sure I’ll keep busy.

To learn more about Marianne Arkins, please visit mariannearkins.com or www.reading-writing.blogspot.com, and for the most up-to-date news and information, you can join her announcement only newsletter at: her yahoo news group .

And please ask any questions!

Hillary, the Rodeo, Lost and Supernatural

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Okay, first, Hillary. Cindi cancelled her dr appt to come get the boy right after our faculty meeting (which the VP did fast because a LOT of our teachers were going to see Hillary.) So Cindi got to see post-deadline, mid-BIAW house...bad, bad, bad. They raced off to pick up her mom then to St. Mary's, where there were already several HUNDRED people waiting to see Hillary. So despite the RSVPs they all sent in, they couldn't get into the gym. They stood outside (thank goodness for Texas weather) for THREE HOURS. The organizers put speakers outside so they could hear everything, then Hillary came out for about 5 minutes and addressed them, then left. The boy was Very Disappointed, but Cindi and Lucinda had fun. They said it was a lot of good energy.

Now, the rodeo. Linda and I met at Jim's, ate dinner, then she drove (God bless her.) We found a parking place for $8, which I happily paid so I didn't have to drive, and walked forEVER to get to the arena. For some reason, they fenced off our parking lot from the main entrance, so we had to walk all the way around back. The good thing was, once we entered, all we had to do was go upstairs and we found our seat. We got to our seats just about the time the second bareback bronc was going, and that was the first event. I imagine we looked kind of silly scribbling notes, but that's okay. There weren't many people in our section till later - apparently they were there for the band, Staind. We didn't stay for that, which is good because I still got home at 10! But it was fun cheering for the cowboys and seeing all the people who work on a rodeo behind the scenes. And I have a new cowboy boyfriend, Ryan Mapston. He's a saddle bronc rider, and when they showed him getting ready on the Jumbotron...mmm.

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Lost was less confusing last night, but verrrrry interesting. And next week looks AWESOME.

Supernatural was good. How heartbreaking to see Sammy turning into John. I mean, at least John had the boys to soften him some - not that they did much. And again, next week looks AWESOME!

Okay, off to BIAW...falling behind!

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INDY!!!

THANKS, Tracy!!

Happy Valentine's Day and Top Romantic Movies

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So tired.....and I found out yesterday one of the SARA's husband's died this weekend. I want to go pay my respects after school.

I didn't do ANYTHING for my kids for V-Day. I feel bad, but I don't go anywhere but HEB and their selection is meh. I like to get pencils and cups and stuff, but.... Any Valentine plans out there? All I want is for the dh to bring home dinner and for me to stay on the couch.

Top Romantic Movies (in no particular order)

This list was harder than I thought! There are a lot I left out for various reasons that were on other lists. And I swear I tried to think of some older movies but couldn’t! Of course, it was post-rodeo, so…

1) Keeping the Faith
2) Two Weeks Notice
3) So Proudly We Hail
4) Pride and Prejudice (any version)
5) PS I Love You
6) Shrek 2
7) Ladyhawke
8) While You Were Sleeping
9) Fools Rush In
10) Strictly Ballroom
11) Singles
12) Bridget Jones’s Diary
13) Mr. Wonderful
14) Where the Heart Is
15) Bull Durham
16) Ten Things I Hate About You
17) Battle Cry

What would you add to the list? Has anyone seen Fool’s Gold? I’m wanting to see it because the premise is so similar to Beneath the Surface!

Rodeo report/Hillary Clinton report tomorrow.

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Buckets of Crazy

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I'm going to the Rodeo tonight! Woot! I had to arrange for the boy to get to the Hillary Clinton town meeting too - fortunately Cindi was already going, and get this - just before, she has a dr. appt. RIGHT BY MY HOUSE. Couldn't be more perfect. So she's going to pick up the boy, then her mom, then go to the meeting, then bring him home. Is she AWESOME or what?

The boy has decided he wants to major in broadcast journalism and political science. Wow.

We went to pay our respects to Mrs. Orozco, the boy's kindergarten teacher last night. Her daughter and I used to teach together, so we talked a bit. She was very happy we went, and so was I.

No wardrobe malfunctions yesterday, though I have no idea what I'm wearing today. It's 40 degrees again, and the only solid color skirts I have are my denim ones and black. And only one pair of pants is clean, and I want to wear them tomorrow.

Good thing I got up at 4 yesterday or I wouldn't have gotten ANY pages done.

My chapter is having another plotting retreat, the weekend before the boy goes to NYC. I feel weird going away that weekend, though, like I won't see him for awhile, and yet I'm not going to be here.

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Look Who's Got a New Book Today and "Ojo"

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Marianne's One Love for Liv is out from Samhain today! Go buy now! Marianne will be guest blogging here later this week.

More movies today - Becoming Jane, No Reservations, Gone Baby Gone. Will stop by BB after tutoring.

The boy's kindergarten teacher died this weekend. Her Rosary is tonight. She was 91....she was a retired teacher when the boy had her. She stepped in to take over the class when his teacher had a late-term miscarriage. She sure loved the kid, too.

Yesterday I stopped at HEB on the way to school because I heard JDM was in Ladies Home Journal (I am a sad, sad woman.) So I'm flipping through the magazine and this lady complimented my outfit (brown and teal gypsy skirt from WalMart, teal blouse from Chadwicks).

Now, I've lived in San Antonio my whole life and I've worked in South San for 18 years. My first instinct was to ask her to touch my skirt. Then I realized, she's a white lady on the north side. She might not understand that asking her to do this is a superstition to prevent anything happening to the skirt.

Six hours later, I was getting up to gather my kids from PE and my skirt was caught in the wheel of my rolling chair. Now it has a hole the size of a - well, the size of the wheel on a rolling chair.

I should have made her touch my skirt. It's not expensive, but it's 3 years old - not replaceable. And I had the perfect blouse and necklace for it.

And I'm up super early because the ceiling fan is making all kinds of noises. Grump, grump, grump.

Did get the JDM pic, though.

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Signs of Spring in Texas

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Hey, did you know the new Stephanie Meyer is called Breaking Dawn? And my book is Breaking Daylight? Weird, huh?

I've got 30 pages for BIAW already.

Here are some Signs of Spring in Texas.

I sat on my patio to write three times this weekend.
I had the windows and back door opened the whole time I was home this weekend.
I forgot my coat at work last week – twice.
The mesquite trees have budded – no more freezes.
Down the street, I see fruit trees blooming.
I boughta hydrangea, a Gerber daisy and two geraniums at Home Depot.
I’ve started painting my toenails again for sandals.
My flannel pjs and fuzzy socks are replaced by Capri length yoga pants and t-shirts.
Pretty soon the mountain laurels and redbuds will be blooming, followed by bluebonnets (though all the bluebonnet fields by my house are covered with construction.)

I know I taunt some of you with this....I'm very very sorry ;)


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The Emily

Breaking Daylight won The Emily and I got a request for a partial from Kerry Donovan!

Goals

Crossin bridge to holy grail, BRB!
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I slept till 8!!!! I was just telling Trish I can't sleep in, well, there you go.

I wrote 21 new pages yesterday on my cowboy story. That's 1/5 of the book! I haven't even really gotten to my internal conflict yet! I also bought some songs on iTunes - Dwight Yoakum, Brad Paisley, Jo Dee Messina and that "Ain't Goin Down til the Sun Comes Up" song, but not by Garth Brooks. Now I'm looking for slow and romantic.

Okay, goals for this week:

1) 80 more pages on rodeo story
2) work on Vanished revisions
3) Go to RODEO - research, of course ;)
4) get progress reports out
5) tutoring
6) faculty meeting
7) keep up house


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Isolated

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This has just been a WEEK! I feel absolutely snowed under. I had, what, 4 rounds of edits on Hot Shot, then I'm trying to get another book to Samhain and another to WRP, which I'm writing in a BIAW challenge this coming week. I've only been to maybe three blogs all week. My inbox is full with emails I've read but haven't had time to get to.

At work, progress reports are going out Monday so I've been grading like an insane person, having to write lesson plans and looking for ways to teach different reading skills like cause and effect and main idea. The copy machine is broken, which makes it difficult to pass on these ideas to different teachers. I usually go to Cindi's room for a 5 minute visit each morning on my way to get the kids, but now I'm usually scrawling a word problem on the board and flicking on my computer when the bell rings. When I do go to her room, it's for teaching advice! (I think long division will kill my class. Seriously.)

The only thing that's running smoothly is the house, if you don't count the overflowing hamper and the fact that today will be my FIFTH trip to the grocery store since last Friday.

I know people are busier, but I'm feeling cut off from the blogosphere, and from the teachers at school. I'm not particularly social - I told Trish I'd make a good hermit - but it feels odd to not be in the big middle, to know what's going on.

I think my day of sanity will me March 22. I will have books under consideration at Samhain and WRP by then, one TAKS test will be over and the boy will be home from NYC. In the meantime.....

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A Good Writing Day

My cover is up on Samhain and Breaking Daylight placed first in the Golden Palm with Leslie Wainger!!!

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LOST (SPOILERS!!!), Supernatural and Country Music

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First, LOST (SPOILERS!!!!):

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SPOILERS!!!!!

Man, was that a confusing opening! Was the off-island stuff flashbacks or flashforwards? I can't believe what they found, whole, and that they showed it on the news! I thought it was going to be the place where Charlie died. I kinda liked Miles in all his snarkiness. But I couldn't explain that episode for anything.

Supernatural ROCKED, so hard. MAN, that was a great episode. How funny was Sam? Adorable! And GOOD for Dean, in the end, but really, his dad DID care if he lived or died, right? John died in his place and went to hell.

I switched country radio stations yesterday because in 4 days I only heard one song I liked. Well, I had 3 by the time I got to school! And when I took the boy to a friend's play, I enjoyed all the songs I heard on the way home. The only thing is that the first radio station has a list of songs played for the whole day and the new radio station only has them listed for an hour. Still, surprising how much better the music.

I was surprised to find out this was Carrie Underwood (the song starts about a minute into the video):



Kris had sent me this song before, but I heard it yesterday AM and almost drove off the road. If you go to YouTube, you'll see the real video and it's a hoot. The ds and I watched the Austin City Limits with Brad Paisley and thought he looks like Milo Ventamiglia.



Then there was a Mark Wills song that I found the video for but embedding was disabled. And I thought this song was fun.



Okay, got to get to work before I go to work ;)

Movies

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I REALLY enjoyed The Jane Austen Book Club. Lupe, I thought of you the whole time. I thought the characters were interesting (though the dh said he didn't see one he liked), the individual stories compelling (though the French teacher's story had me cringing about putting up pictures of Taylor on my blog even though he's 26) and I loved the Austen discussions. I loved how the men in their lives were drawn in by the books. Unlikely, I know, but it was just....I really liked it.

Elizabeth was a visually stunning movie (especially the Clive Owen scenes ;) ) but not as memorable for me. Though I have to say, DANG, that girl can ACT!

Blockbuster is sending Across the Universe, though I have my queue set up to delete movies I rented from the store. So I'll return the store one and wait to watch the mailed one. I'm also getting Aristocats and Once, because I saw someone on another blog recommend it.

Supposedly I have 2-3 weeks before the copy edits come for Hot Shot. Hallelujah.

I found a used iBook on Amazon for less than $500. Thing is, that's 2 generations old....I don't know about getting that.

Okay, I've been listening to country music for 4 days now and have only heard one song I like. Sad. I have heard some ear-worms, though! Gah!

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Brain Fog

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I made it through school, through tutoring, went to Blockbuster and got Across the Universe, Elizabeth and Jane Austen Book Club. Came home, opened email. Almost cried when I saw another edit of Hot Shot sitting in my inbox. Did edit in an hour, sent it back, made supper, showered, collapsed on couch, made it through an hour of Elizabeth before I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. I didn't even READ last night, and the book I'm reading is awesome.

Woke up this AM to ANOTHER edit for Hot Shot, which took only a few minutes. Now it goes to a copy editor. I really need to make a top ten list of signs you've worked on the same book for too long....

I need to get something together for that promo opportunity. Maybe when I get home today I'll be more lucid.

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Goodreads

M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

Good Reads

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MJFredrick
I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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