So it looks like I didn’t final in another contest. Out of the past thirteen I entered, I’ve finalled in one. That can get pretty depressing, especially since I thought I was getting better, not worse. In 2003 I finalled in 7 contests with 5 manuscripts. Worse, some of those finalling manuscripts haven’t been able to repeat. So what is going on?

I’d like to say competition is more fierce, but frankly, my scores aren’t that good. Are the judges getting pickier? The scoresheets too detailed? I wish I could figure it out. And in at least two of the 13 contests, including the Golden Heart, one judge knocked me out of the running.

Why do I keep entering? There is nothing like the validation when you get that call or email. Since I’m waiting for word on my two novels at Intimate Moments and another novel with Harlequin American, contest deadlines give me something to look forward to. And then I hear someone else finalling in that contest and I’m on pins and needles till the finalist list is posted. It’s not a pleasant sensation.

So why do I have three more contests bookmarked? Let’s just say I’m a glutton for punishment.

Television season

I love two weeks of television – Season Premiere week (which used to be a bigger deal when I was a kid) and Season Finale week (which didn’t used to fall the last week of school when so much other stuff is going on). This year’s Season Finale week raised more questions than answers.

What will Jack do now that he’s “dead” to the US government? Will they find they need him and go look for him?

Will Bo Bice get a recording contract even though he didn’t win American Idol? Will he actually have a career? What was his appeal, especially to women? (Even Marg Helgenberger and Courtney Love were at the finals. I think I know the answer.) Will I buy his album? (Okay, I know the answer to that one, too.)

Did Sawyer survive? How will they get Walt back? Will Charlie crack open that statue? What do the numbers mean? AND WHAT IS IN THAT HATCH?

And, in my opinion, the best season finale of all, which totally made up for a lackluster season: Who is he if he isn’t Michael Vaughn? My heart was pounding so hard at the end of that episode, I couldn’t sleep for hours.

I do miss the show Eyes - Tim Daly was such a smart-ass. And I'm looking forward to the new FX series, Over There, as well as The Inside (I forget which network) about the girl who was kidnapped as a child and grows up to work in law enforcement. So my evenings will not be lost .

Day 2

I didn't do as well as I wanted on my daily goals yesterday, especially the walking and the writing (though I did a ton of research). I figure putting away nearly $230 worth of groceries counts as housecleaning. But my pantry and freezer and drink refrigerator are full. We'll see how long with a teenaged boy in the house.

What I’m reading now: Mission: Irresistible by Lori Wilde and some counterterrorism/special forces library books for research

In my TBR: Courting Claudia by Robyn deHart (getting a rare second read)
Stolen Memory by Virginia Kantra
Somebody to Love by Kate Rothwell
Flirting with Disaster by Jane Graves
Joint Forces by Catherine Mann

What I’m listening to now: The soundtrack for Dear Frankie

The last movie I saw in the theater : Revenge of the Sith

The last movie I saw on DVD: The Aviator – much better than I expected

Movies in my queue: Hitch, After the Sunset, Black Hawk Down

Summer vacation

Yesterday was my favorite day of the year. It was the last day of school.

Now, it's not for the reason you think. Yes, the end of the year (especially in 5th grade in Texas) is very stressful. Yes, the kids are raring to get out of elementary school and move onto middle school. And yes, some of them were getting on my very last nerve. But that's not why it's my favorite day of the year.

Yesterday was the day when all of summer stretched before me, when I could make plans without wasting even one hour. Everything was possible yesterday. Write a whole book? Yes, I could without wasting a day. Walk everyday? You bet. Paint the whole house (cringe)? Sure.

So yesterday was the day I laid out my goals. We'll see how good I do.

1) Write every day on the new book. (I have a page count I'd like to reach, but it could be potentially embarrassing, so I won't document it here.)

2) Clean my house every day. (again, a potentially embarassing time limit here)

3) Walk every day.

4) Paint my sunroom, hall and bedroom.

5) Read a novel a week.

6) Road trip! (I am a strange person who loves road trips, don't care where. Just put me in my Scion and let's go!)

So keep me honest, would you?


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)

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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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