Why Doesn't My Brain Have a Pause Button?

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Yeah, everyone's at RWA workshops and I'm heading for the grocery store....

I didn't sleep well last night AGAIN. My brain just takes too long to shut down. The night before, I had nightmares, thanks to Linda Howard's new book, so I got up and watched a Grey's Anatomy, then went back to bed at 5 and dreamed of all the different ways Denny could die (a tidal wave was one of them, because he actually left the hospital at some point...)

ANYWAY....last night, I was thinking maybe I should take the terrorist plot out of BD, just make it a man looking for a drug smuggler by following the mistress. Much simpler. I've submitted the thought to my critique group, who have read almost every page. They may kill me. But seriously, I don't think it will be that big of a change until the end, and I may be able to resubmit to SRS if I ever hear from Susan about DLB.

I also know how to fix Ghost Hunters.

But I really want to work on Spy Girl.

All this is rolling around in my head along with the grocery list and the bills to be paid and getting ready to go back to work and.....you know. It took me over an hour to fall asleep!

I spent yesterday reading. I'm on chapter 3 of Into the Night, I read more than half of Her Best Friend's Husband by Justine Davis and finished Death Angel. After my trip to the grocery store, I think I'm going to repeat....


Fun Supernatural News from Comic Con (SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN SEASON 3)

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Both Jared and Jensen were at Comic Con this year...I wonder if they met up with JDM (probably not, different days.) Kripke was there, too, as were Sera Gamble and Ben Edlund, two of the writers. They showed the first five minutes of the season premier, which will air on Sept. 21. (I'm loving September - my book is out the 12th, SPN and Grey's both returning...)

Dean didn't know he was going to die until he got the script.

Kripke said the Impala looks cool but "handles like a shopping cart."

The Ghostfacers was Ben Edlund's favorite episode, and the Ghostfacers may get their own webisodes. They also showed up during the panel.

Supposedly there will be a love interest for Sam.

We will learn more about Mary Winchester. One episode will show a young Mary and John. Mitch Pileggi from X Files will play Mary's dad.

Jensen actually sings well, though he was told to sing off-key for the season finale. Jared really can't sing.


Novel Sisterhood is doing a writing challenge. I've fallen behind my goal every day. I do not know what to do with this book.....I don't think I'll finish by the weekend, though I should finish before I go back to school.

Speaking of challenges, Linda Winfree brought this to my attention: Unleash Your Story Neat concept, huh? I'm thinking about it....

Oh, and I caved and am judging three more Golden Gateway entries....I know, I know, but the coordinator is a friend.

AND I'm blogging at the Wet Noodle Posse about the Ritas.


Dark Knight

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WOW, was Dark Knight good. I was a bit disappointed that they DIDN'T show The Watchmen trailer, but....

Dark Knight had incredible performances, good writing - lots of stuff was foreshadowed well. The Joker's lines were menacing and darkly funny. One scene, while scary, was really funny because of his performance. I found myself trying to find Heath in the character, just to kind of reassure myself. Maggie was terrific as Rachel, the woman in the middle. Aaron Eckhardt was compelling as the White Knight who showed no fear in his quest. The action scenes were incredible, and during the car chases, I could FEEL the rubber of the tires on the Batmobile gripping the road. There NEEDS to be another.

I was a little surprised at the "real worldness" of it - no cartoon Gotham City here. And there was a great sense of hopelessness in the movie - you could feel the frustration of the law enforcement in the face of the madness in the city.

I do not think little kids should see it. It's VERY intense, complex, and lots of scary tension and violence. Someone in the theater had a baby, and there were little kids. I wouldn't have let my son see it if he'd been in elementary. Heck, he saw TWO TOWERS when he was in 6th grade and he couldn't sleep. This was DEFINITELY a PG-13. Makes me wonder if I can handle the intensity of The Watchmen (btw, we couldn't find the graphic novel in two bookstores, so ordered it from Amazon. The book has gone back to print since the trailer came out last week!)

I'm also looking forward to the new Terminator with Christian Bale.

Have you seen Dark Knight? What did you think?


Goals the last week of July

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1) Finish Surface
2) query Surface
3) do something for someone who reads this blog to find out what I'm going to do....you know who you are :)
4) dinner with my brother, hopefully
5) walk
6) keep up house
7) read Death Angel

Not too bad.....


Guilt Redux

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3 weeks to go...sad, sad, sad. I don't know where this week went. One minute I was dropping the boy off at school, thinking I might go see Journey to the Center of the Earth, and next thing I know it's Friday, I'm picking him up and I've seen no new movies.

I'm sitting here beating myself up for wasting time when I have SO MANY ideas to write and so many books to read, but then I stopped myself. My goal this summer was to have 3 marketable books ready to submit. I'm 70 pages away from that goal. I planned to read a book a week this year. I'm on book #44 for the year.

So why am I still beating myself up for "slacking?" I've judged 3 or 4 contests, I've participated in critique every time, I've written queries and synopses, I've revised a contracted novel and a contracted essay....I've probably done more work than many other teachers I work with, and still I'm guilty.

My only bads - I've not finished sewing, my house isn't as clean as I'd like and I never did get exercising, and it shows. Oh, and the boy hasn't been driving as much as he should.

Are you like me? Do you let guilt get to you?


Stoopid Dog, Wolverine and Dreams

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I discovered the #10 reason to want to be at Comic Con....Hugh Jackman showed up with a clip of the Wolverine movie, with glimpses of Gambit. How long do you think it will be before it comes out on the web???


Taylor Kitsch

Stoopid dog woke me before 5. I think she had to pee. Just as well, I was having some WEIRD dreams. Possibly I should not have had this for dinner:


and then watched Comic Con coverage on G4.

I dreamed I was on a battlefield with The Comedian from The Watchmen (JDM's role.)

I dreamed the dh and I decided to go on vacation after all and we were going to be able to afford it by selling folding chairs.

I dreamed about a poor girl at a prep school, who paid her way as a maid or something, who everyone ganged up on, and one of the prep boys she was in love with risked his life to save her. I don't know if he did or not because that's when the dh and I decided to go on vacation by selling those chairs.

I dreamed it was the first day of school (3 weeks away!) and I slept till 8 and FORGOT it was the first day of school (if only) and two of the teachers came to get me because we were carpooling. THEN we had kids the first day and I wasn't ready at all so I thought I'd get them to help me plot a graphic novel.

Yesterday I dreamed I was going to have to go back to the school from hell (which shouldn't be anymore because Satan retired) but I didn't want to go and I kept telling them I'd worked in two ERs. Like that makes a difference.

And I dreamed I was Jeannie from ER and I was in love with Mark Greene only he had this big Dallas-the-TV-show kind of family and we of course worked together at the hospital so we could NEVER be alone, but the tension was incredible.

So, yes, no more Comic Con coverage or ER for me...

Anyway, I know how to fix the Ghost Hunter story, which will be after Surface, so yay. AND I went to the library to get the new Suzanne Brockmann and the new Linda Howard and I also picked up Karen Harper's Below the Surface. Never mind that I have enough books in the house to last 4 years....


Reasons I Wish I Was at Comic Con

1) The Watchmen buzz


2) JDM will be there.


3) LOST buzz

4) Joss Whedon and the Dollhouse buzz

5) Helo will be there.


6) Eric Kripke

7) Someone will be promoting Gerry's new movie, RocknRolla.


8) They'll be talking about the new Terminator (Christian Bale as John Connor!), the new Day the Earth Stood Still (Keanu Reeves!) and the new Land of the Lost (uh, Will Ferrell).

9) There will be people there geekier than me!

La Nora

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Kris emailed me last night and asked if I was in the path of the hurricane. I was like, there's a hurricane? So yes, not been paying attention to anything not book/comic book related ;)

I finished reading TRIBUTE. Took me 2 weeks - 451 pages in something like 9 point font. LOTS of details about rehabbing a house. I did end up liking Ford, a geek boy, and his dog Spock, though he didn't introduce well, imo. And I didn't like the villain. It was a little like Carolina Moon meets The Perfect Neighbor - she was famous, he was an artist.

So it got me thinking to the Nora books I LOVE. Here are my top twelve (was going to be 10, but the woman is PROLIFIC!):

12) Northern Lights
11) Montana Sky
10) Angels Fall
9) The Calhoun Women
8) Daring to Dream
7) Rafe MacKade - okay, all the MacKades
6) Born in Ice
5) Rising Tides (LOVED Ethan)
4) High Noon
3) Blood Brothers
2) Carnal Innocence (Tucker Longstreet....sigh....)
1) Divine Evil (scared the hooey out of me)

I have Death Angel by Linda Howard and Into the Fire by Suzanne Brockmann waiting at the library, too.

Who is your favorite author? What are your favorite books by her? (or...him!)


Hot Shot trivia

I'm doing an email chat on Samhain Cafe so I thought I'd post some Hot Shot trivia here today.

1) Hot Shot was conceived during the Colorado wildfires of 2000, inspired by an email from Cindi Myers.

2) Gabe Cooper has the same initials as his inspiration, George Clooney. I never even realized it until the book was contracted.


3) Peyton's original name was Sydney, and instead of a reporter, she worked for a congressman.

4) Gabe lives in Albuquerque in the off-season but he's originally from Savannah.


5) I wanted Gabe to have a Hanover Street like arc, where he'd been fearless before, then falls in love and makes a stupid mistake. HQ did not like that tack, and now I see they're right.

6) I got the contract offer for Hot Shot when I got home from the November SARA meeting, where I had just announced that I was anxiously awaiting word from Samhain.


7) Anne Scott's requesting email was in my SPAM folder a week before I saw it. I check my SPAM every day now ;)

8) Hot Shot was released on April 1. If you knew all the trouble I had getting this book published, you will see the irony there.


9) The original ending had Gabe going to a banquet in Chicago, held in Peyton's honor, to win her back.

10) The love scene in the orange and black motel room is original - hasn't changed from 2000, though most of the scenes around it have.


11) I bought the new National Geographic just because it was about wildfires. I watch the news stories about them, too, and almost believe I'll see Gabe and Peyton hiking out!

12) In earlier versions, Peyton hid the fact that she was a reporter.


13) Hot Shot was a Golden Heart finalist twice, a Maggie finalist, a Sheila finalist and it won Where The Magic Begins and Hot Prospects (Brenda Chin wrote wonderful things about it and told me to send it to Superromance with her blessing).

14) It was requested by the same NY publisher 3 different times.

15) In contests, Hot Shot got dinged for not enough romance, not enough sexual tension, too much firefighting, the title (too much like a Charlie Sheen movie) and Peyton's name.


Goals for the Week the Boy Goes to Journalism Camp

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Busy promo week! The boy is out of town for four days, so my time is my own for the most part...not that he's been demanding or anything.

1) Write Surface to p. 270
2) Promo stuff Monday, Wednesday and Thursday
3) update website
4) go see Batman
5) the boy's senior picture
6) online critique
7) finish skirt
8) day with Mom
9) revise Breaking Daylight with critique partners' comments
10) finish Tribute
11) keep up house
12) figure out how I'm going to survive without Trish for over a week!!!!



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Yesterday my priorities were skewed, so I'm taking a harder look at them. We're at less than a month till I go back to work, I need to buckle down.

My priorities are NOT:

1) watching The Watchmen trailer 20 times
2) looking up and buying the Smashing Pumpkins song ("The Beginning is the End is the Beginning")
3) looking at the scans from the ComicCon issue of EW.

4) going to HEB looking for the ComicCon issue of EW.
5) calling bookstores (and I hate using the phone) looking for the ComicCon issue of EW. (and not finding it)

6) making room for The Watchmen teaser on my iPod
7) reading every blog written and adding more subscriptions to my Google Reader
8) sitting in the pool for an hour after I cleaned it (and it now has a HOLE, thank you very much to a kitty named DUKEY!) - although that was nice and allowed me to turn the AC down
9) clearing off the Tivo in one sitting
10) still trying to decide how to spend my Amazon gift cert - like I'll make the WRONG choice - all this stuff has been on my wishlist forever.

My priorities ARE:

1) finishing Surface, and since I had a brainstorm yesterday, I went backwards in the story, so I'm at the same place today that I was this time yesterday.
2) spending time with the family
3) getting critiques done
4) getting research done
5) reading Tribute, because I need to get it back to the library
6) keeping up the house
7) promoting
8) teaching the boy to drive
9) exercise
10) finish sewing

Now, really, is that so hard? What keeps you from sticking to your priorities?


JDM goodness

First of all, the Watchmen teaser is finally here. Jeff looks AMAZING. AMAZING. He's a bad dude, though. I've only watched it....a half dozen times.

He's also on the opening page of the Watchmen website. A man with a gun....

AND rumor has it he'll be back for a couple of episodes in Grey's Anatomy. ::::THUD::::

Got through a rough new scene yesterday, need to write another new scene, then an old one needs revision. I think after that, though, it will all be new. I watched Dear Frankie for inspiration. I forgot what a sweet movie that is, and the black moment is really good.


Do You Use This Resource?

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I've rediscovered a resource lately that I've forgotten about. From the looks of things, a lot of people have forgotten.

That's the library.


I mean, I've used it before, gone to the central library and checked out armloads of resources after scouring the shelves for an hour. NOT that there's anything wrong with that, but this past year I've learned that the library will scour the shelves FOR me. Our library has a pretty easily navigable home page, and you can search the catalogue from home, by keyword, author, title, whatever. THEN you can place those items on hold, which means that wherever they are in the city, they will SEND THEM to the library of your choice, and you will receive an email informing you when they are ready to pick up. Then you just have to trot on over there, show your card and voila!

Yesterday my brother had to help me because I had ten books on art and shipwrecks ;) I've also done it with books for school, audio books, DVDs and CDs. It's like having your own personal shopper! And I can renew online as long as there's no hold. Plus, you can see where you are on the waiting list - I'm number 6 for Linda Howard's latest!

I think my librarians hate to see me coming, though ;)

Do you use your library? Is it as helpful as mine? Are there other features I haven't mentioned?



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The other day on Romance Bandits they were talking about being crafty. I mentioned that I sewed but made SIMPLE things, my brother is the one who makes detailed patterns. So I thought I'd post a few pictures of what he's made.

I think he even made the shoes of the Roman outfit.




Can't really see the detail on this one....

Jenny made her own dress, too. They wore their outfits to prom, but also occasionally to other places, like breakfast at Guenther House or walking around The Quarry!


Breakfast and shopping with Mom today, SARA tonight. Will try to squeeze at least 8 pages in somewhere.


I Has Got a Gift Certificate....

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And I don't know what to do with it.

Do I want Season 3 of ER? (Research for the book I'm not supposed to be writing, of course)

Should I preorder JDM's independent movie Kabluey? (research for the revision of Spy Girl, of course)

Preorder some books (Michelle Maddox, Colleen Gleason, Jennifer Crusie)?

Order the Season 2 companion to Supernatural?

Get some books on writing?

Or some research books?

Order Lost Season 1 (or 4) for the boy? Or the new season of House?

What would you buy? (It's only $25 - don't get excited ;) )


Unfinished Projects

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The other day one of my cps asked me about unfinished books and I told her I only had one I hadn't finished.

Um, I lied (not on purpose, though!)

The one I was thinkiing about was the one inspired by an ER episode, a heroine trapped in a coffee shop being held hostage and being the go-between with the negotiator and the hostage takers. That was the first chapter, didn't know what to do with it once the heroine and the negotiator met.

My cruise ship story...I knew the end and the beginning, but the middle had me muddled. Still does. I think it's going to be my Nano book.

Then there's one that I started in 2002 on the way to the Grand Canyon when the dh pointed down a dirt road and said, "I wonder what's down there." I came up with what, a man raising his younger disabled sister, living with his drunk brother, when his father is released from prison for killing the hero's mother. I changed it to enter the Intrigue contest and didn't keep the original copy, idiot that I am. I'd still like to finish it.

The reason I'm mentioing it is that last year Kris had a dream and told me about it and now it's wormed its way into my brain. I've written the first five or so pages and it's pulling at me....

But no! This is the year of revisions!!!! Must.....resist....



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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