Goals for the First Week of December

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Yesterday I: finished my NaNo book, put up my Christmas tree, finished my Christmas cards (just need stamps), baked cookies, bought a present, cleaned my front and back patio, proofread 20 pages and finished up judging the Emily entries.

And yes, napped! The only thing I didn’t do on my goals list from last week was get Cindi’s baby a present, but I plan to remedy that at Borders after breakfast. Then go to the library and maybe go get some poinsettias for the front porch. It's going to get cold this week, too, so maybe a coat for the boy. Or a sweater at least.

1) Update website

2) Galleys on DLB and Surface

3) Work on bodyguard book

4) Outline revisions on road trip book

5) Blog at Supernatural Sisters and Wet Noodle Posse

6) Plan my Christmas around the world unit (wish I kept what I did last year!)

7) Get Cindi’s daughter a bday gift

8) Start tutoring

9) Finish Christmas shopping (or get darned close)

10) House

Hm, not sure whose picture to post. I’m deconstructing the NaNo book, proofreading Surface and DLB (Gerry was the model for both heroes) and getting back into the bodyguard. So it’s a three-fer!

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YEAH, BABY

Needs major revisions, which I will outline LATER. For now, I need to get my tree up and work on galleys and clean up my back yard--tons of leaves.

Happy Thanksgiving

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Yesterday I went to a funeral for the husband of a friend. I got lost and ended up coming in just before services. The parking lot was mostly empty, and when I walked in I didn't see a lot of people, though there was already a row and a half of teachers.

By the end of the service, there were four rows of teachers, dozens, including her principal, VP and counselor, the secretary and teaching assistants. I was so impressed to see the support that her friends and colleagues offered her. Yes, we were off school, but people are busy the day before Thanksgiving, and not only did they come to the service, but also back to the house. We left after 6:30.

And while we were there for a very sad reason, we talked and laughed and reconnected. We've all moved away from Norma's school, some are in different districts and different towns, even, but coming back together was so easy.

I have to say I'm grateful to Cindi, because she--I don't want to say "forces," but "encourages" isn't strong enough--me to stay connected to these people. She's the one who pulls people together and keeps people in contact.

In other news, my books were listed on Astatalk, a piracy site. ARGLE.

I worked on promo yesterday. Today I'm working on Christmas stuff. Trying to remember what it is I usually bake at Christmas...


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The Trouble with Reading on my iPhone

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I have about 40 books on my iPhone right now. All of the ones on my Kindle app were free, and a number of the ones on my eReader app were, as well as Stanza. I got quite a few classics, the Harlequin freebies, and all the Samhain titles Kindle is offering free.

The problem I'm having is that I'm reading three different books, one on each application. Then I'm reading a paperback. I've become ADD reader!

I don't know how to take them off once I've read them, though. Anyone know?

I have, however, read 4 novellas this week.

I made 3 loaves of banana bread last night. Also 4 containers of cranberry chutney. Today, pasta and salad.

I have a funeral to go to today. Very sad, a friend's husband died Sunday night. I worry about her. She has her sis, but other than that, she's alone.


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Lovely Evening


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My folks went out of town for my step-grandmother's funeral but Baby Brother had school so he stayed in town. I invited him to dinner last night
, and he came bearing Bubble Tea. Yum.
I made chicken a la king and more cupcakes in ice cream cones (you make them the regular way, only instead of paper cups you use ice cream cones. You set them in a 13x9 dish and cook them slightly longer than the recipe calls for. Last night I didn't cook them long enough.)
The son's girlfriend called. She was off, so I told her to come for dinner, too. We ended up eating dinner with three college kids, who talk about philosophy and physics and history.
Then we rearranged the living room so we could all watch Star Trek. Baby Brother, dh and I had seen it, but the ds and his girlfriend hadn't. We ate cupcakes and drank Sprite with cherries and oranges in it and had a really lovely time. I was able to relax and enjoy because I'd gotten everything done on my list. Yay!
Today I need to get to the bank, pick up a bottle of wine and trash bags, maybe go back to McD's because they're giving a Coke glass with value meal purchases and they're really nice. Then there are the galleys, the Emily entries and, oh, yes, the NaNo novel. I may know what the black moment is after all.
Anyone see Big Bang Theory last night? Has Katee Sackhoff had her lips done?



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Monday

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I spent my mad money--plus some--the first day of vacation. I bought prezzies for the teachers and a super-secret project and a pair of fuzzy socks and an ornament and lunch and POOF! Also bought a couple of books because Fictionwise is having a good sale with 45% microrebates, so bought two Harlequin Historicals. And I have my eye on some earrings here. However, I got an unexpected refund check for $77 in the mail, so I'm ahead again!

I'm where I want to be in NaNo, word count wise, but I used Write or Die and wrote some nonsense and now realize I have to break up my hero and heroine (technically, have her break up with him) only I don't know how because she was all willing to move to Seattle with him the last time I checked. But one of the things I wrote using Write or Die was that she didn't want to go to his mom for help because she'd broken his heart. So yay for having an idea for what to write tomorrow, but what made everything change???

Finally, I may be the last person to mention the Harlequin Horizons thing. While I don't like the idea at all, and I feel awful for the Harlequin authors this affects, I'm wondering two things:

1) Who will pay these amounts? Are there going to be that many potential customers for Harlequin to really make money here?

2) Why do people think readers will be confused if these books will have no distribution?

Don't get me wrong, I hate the idea, and I feel like some of the explanations we've gotten are pretty condescending, but I'm wondering if those two concerns are really valid.

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Goals for the Week of Thanksgiving

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It's here, it's here, vacation is here! Note the fun stuff mixed in with the work!

1) Finish NaNo book

2) Blog at 007 blog

3) Judge Emily entries

4) Clean house

5) Get present for Cindi’s daughter’s bday party on Friday

6) Start lining up promo for Breaking Daylight--DONE!

7) Decorate for Christmas

8) Make baking schedule

9) Start Christmas cards

10) Start Christmas shopping--started

11)Nap daily

12)Read!--four novellas so far

13) Work on galleys for Surface

14) get pies and wine for Thanksgiving--got!


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A Book You Should Read

I finished reading this novella today, and it was SO GOOD. I was a bit confuzzled when I began, because it starts with a 70-year old woman returning from the funeral of her husband. I told the dh and he said, "Maybe it's a time travel."


It was and it wasn't, kind of like the movie PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED. The bulk of the story took place in a small town in West Texas in the 50s, where Christina has met the love of her life, while her mother is railroading her to marry another man (the husband whose funeral she just attended), trying to get her away from this boy. Christina, with 70 years of experience in an 18 year old body--a dream come true ;) ) is trying to figure out why she's back here, and if she can change her future.

It was lovely and sweet, and I only wish it could have been longer! Check it out here.

Two More Days

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Tuesday one of my ex-students came to visit me. I taught him in 2nd and 5th grade, at 2 different schools. His sister came to visit a couple of months ago, and I saw his mom in August and his brother last semester. He owns his own tow-truck company and is engaged to a woman and raising her little girl as his own. We talked a long time, and I kept remembering how much TROUBLE he was. Oh, the boy did no work. I blamed my first gray hairs on him. But here he is, a success story.

I'm behind on Tivo, but I've seen The Proposal and UP this week, no thanks to Netflix, though they are sending Star Trek. I enjoyed both movies.

I'm more than a day behind on NaNo, and while something fun popped up while I was writing yesterday morning, I didn't have the energy to push through with it last night. So I got up early this AM. I also got 4 Emily entries to judge, as a third point judge. Due Dec. 15, galleys due Dec. 16.

Tonight is the last new Supernatural for TWO MONTHS! ARGH!!!

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Stuff

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I'm reading Mr. Darcy, Vampyre and I LOVE IT. One of the BEST books I've read this year. Just loads of fun.

I rewarded myself for meeting my goal the other night by playing with a new story idea. Boy was that a mistake. Now I'm totally in love with the new story, of course, even as I am getting to the most important part of my NaNo book. Also, I got my print galleys for Surface, due Dec. 16, so the new story is pushed way back, but I can't stop thinking about it.

This weekend I made cupcakes in ice cream cones. The dh and ds had never had them and they were a hit. Gone, gone, gone.

Tomorrow my brother, mom and I are going to the arts and crafts show at the Wolfson House, the historic home that hosts an arts and crafts show for a week every fall. I like it, because other than it being pretty, they have snacks and spiced tea, and you can pay all at once at a single check-out. I can't wait.

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Goals for the Week before Thanksgiving

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I caught up to where I should be for NaNo yesterday. I wrote 7000 words in 2 days! Whew! Still not sure I have enough plot for 31000 more words though.

The hard stuff is over, thank God. This is my last week before I start tutoring, so I’m going to enjoy leaving on time this week. And thank goodness we decided to have our school's TG meal catered. $7 is TOTALLY worth not having to cook.

1) Reach 40,000 words

2) Supernatural Sisters blog

3) Craft show at the Wolfson House, an annual tradition

4) Start reading through print galleys for Surface. It’s out July 1, but galleys are due Dec. 16.

5) Keep up house

6) Start thinking about Christmas presents

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What to Read Next?


I finished reading Warning Signs by CJ Lyons this weekend, and started Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, because I have it from the library for another week.

I finished reading two novellas on my iPhone and am trying to decide what to read next. I have:

Bed of Roses by Nora

Covet by JR Ward

72 Hours by Shannon Stacey

Venus in Blue Jeans by Meg Benjamin

Beauty Tempts the Beast by Leslie Dicken

Romancing the Stones by Catherine Berlin

Truth and Consequences by Linda Winfree

Hot Spell by Michelle Rowen

Hot as Sin by Bella Andre

Moonlight and Mistletoe by Dawn Temple

SEALed and Delivered by Jill Monroe

I can't decide which to read! What are you reading?



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All The Things I Wish I Had Time To Do On My Day Off

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All the things I wish I could have time to do on my day off:

Write 5000 words--2000 so far

Go to the library--done, still missing a book. Hope it's in the car or at school.

Go to JoAnn Fabrics--decided to wait until Thanksgiving break

Go to Lakeshore to spend my $200 carnival earnings

Go to Bath and Body Works (I have a coupon)--also waiting for Thanksgiving break

Get lunch at McD’s--ds wanted to go to Chester's instead. Nice lunch date with the boy.

Clean up back patio

Watch The Ugly Truth--done

Watch Grey’s Anatomy--done

Finish reading Warning Signs

Do laundry--almost done, last load in the dryer

Clean kitchen

Clean the bathroom

Nap--done

Think I’ll have time?

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Comparing Experiences

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Last night when I got home, I was too tired to write. The program went well--when all the kids sang "Proud to be an American," there wasn't a dry eye. They put a lot of emotion into it, and it was beautiful. Got home after seven and decided to see how I managed NaNoWriMo in years past.

Every November has been just as nuts as this. Last year I had more red days than green days, but I had two GREAT days--7,000 words and 8,000 words, both the week of Thanksgiving. The first year, I started big and slowed down later in the story. The second year was pulling teeth. The third year I discovered Write or Die, and that gave me some big days, so I think I'll give that a go this weekend for a boost.

I'm afraid I need to tweak my hero--he's not as fun as I'd hoped, too tense. And I'm not sure I have enough plot. We'll see.


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Veteran's Day




My dad was Air Force, both grandfathers Army and my uncles were Marines. Thank you, Veterans!

Tonight we're having a Veterans Day program at school. I'll be so glad when it's done--my last late night until spring.

Getting Whupped

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Last night the NaNoWriMo site was down. This may have been a good thing because I’ve been torturing myself comparing my progress to that of my writing buddies.

Here’s the thing. I’m getting my butt WHIPPED.

I’m ahead of where I should be—I’ve already met today’s word count. I’m on track to where I want to be—2000 words a day. My little progress bar chart is proceeding nicely. I have a few light red days on my calendar, but I have some bright green days, too. I’m making steady progress.

But some of my buddies have THOUSANDS more words than I do. Several of them have hit the 20,000 word mark already, including Natalie and Kelly.

I shouldn’t let it bother me. I’m where I should be. But my competitive streak is taking a beating.

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Beta Boys

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The hero in my NaNo novel is beta. He’s the heroine’s best friend and a computer geek. He’s quiet and laid back, and while he takes charge of situations, no one would accuse him of being an alpha.

I was watching The Office and realized Jim is the ultimate beta hero. Best friend, laid back, cautious about making the first move.

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I went through my TV schedule trying to figure out who were some other beta heroes.

The boys from Big Bang Theory.

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Rick Castle

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Will on Glee (LOVE a man who sings and dances)

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I debated about McDreamy. I think his arrogance removes him from this category.

What other betas can you think of? Do you like reading betas?

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Goals for the Week of Student Showcase

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Napoleon, my big boy cat, is hurting. We took him to the vet yesterday. She thinks he got in a fight and his wound healed too quickly, sealing bacteria inside. So we have to dose him two times a day. Did I mention he’s big? And he doesn’t like people? And even sick, he’s strong. So…will be a fun week there.

The boy got a job at the Chick-Fil-A in the mall. Just in time for holiday hours, too. He’s worried about losing all his free time, but he’s been wanting money. At least he only has another month or so before he’s out of school for the semester.

This week should be calmer.

1) Get to 28000 words—the road trip part has begun.

2) Get grades done—it’s the end of the grading period.

3) Traffic duty, which means I get to leave early 4 days.

4) Practice for student showcase

5) Direct performance Wednesday night. Should be only an 11 hour day this time.

6) The house hasn’t gotten too bad, but I hope to keep it up.

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TGIF

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What a week! A meeting during conference time every day but Wednesday, a field trip and a 12 hour day on Wednesday, came up with performances for our program next week, and the first week of NaNo. Also, the dh practiced two days and is playing both nights this weekend. He'll be wiped out.

I'm on track with NaNo, but behind on my own personal goals. I'm at 10,200 and want to be at 12,000. I'm also wayyyyyy behind my buddies, several of whom are closing in on 15,000 words. Kelly has almost 19,000! It's just the first week! But I'm enjoying the story.

I'm up on Tivo (except for Heroes and V, which I'm waiting to watch with the dh) but behind on Google Reader. We'll see what the weekend brings. Also have 3 DVDs here--Rescue Me Season 3, Mad Men disc 3 and Caprica. All cheery, right? Might rain Sunday, so maybe a movie day.

I took a nap when I got home, hoping I could stay up late to write. Doesn't look like it's going to happen...

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Relationships I Believe In


I watched AWAY WE GO this weekend, about a couple expecting a baby who realize they’re not tethered to the place they’ve called home, and can make a home for their child anywhere they want. So they make a list of places where they might have a connection and encounter some pretty outrageous people (Maggie Gyllenhaal was WILD). The movie took a bit to get going, but I ended up loving it. Sobbed in 2 different places. What I loved was the relationship between Verona and Burt, the main characters. They could look at each other and communicate. They were on equal footing. They understood each other.

It wasn’t a romance, per se, but it was romantic. I realized that those are scenes I love in movies and shows, whether a romance or not. I love seeing the connection between the couple, either a couple just discovering love or a couple who have been together for years.

I see it in Athena and Helo on Battlestar Galactica, in Castle and Beckett on Castle, in Michael and Fiona on Burn Notice. They communicate so much in just a glance. I wonder how much of a connection the actors actually have to have in order to pull that off.

I like my characters in my books to work side by side, and for the most part, they do. Breaking Daylight is a bit different, but in the other books they have a partnership early, and while there are elements keeping them from a HEA, there is enough connection to keep them coming back together.

What shows/movies have you seen, or what books have you read where the characters have only to exchange a look for you to believe they belong together?

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Goals for First Week of Nano

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I made my first LOLCat yesterday, but for some reason the code won’t let me paste it here, so I uploaded it to Photobucket.

This week is another wild one.

1) 14000 words

2) Another field trip

3) Open House until 7:30 Wednesday

4) Get ready for our student showcase

5) Blog on SPN Sisters

6) Not let the house become too much of a disaster

If it’s November, it’s got to be

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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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