Happy Day Before Nano...oh, yeah, and Halloween!!

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I would be so much more excited about it being Halloween if I didn't have to work the school carnival this evening.


I'm worried I've made Nano harder for myself than it has to be. With just the small plot I have, I already need to know:

1) railroads
2) guns
3) how to load a cannon

and most of all, sensibilities of the time. She is a widow who's buried her husband and child, he's a widower, they're going to be isolated for a time (though she's got her MIL and SIL with her) and I'm just wondering how they'll act on their attraction.

I think the time period I chose is tough, too. Not a lot of conveniences.

I may have my hero's name, but that took me almost all day. I need to get a name for my heroine.

The good news is I'll still use Jared pictures. I can so see him in this. And his heroine:


Yes, it will be Sam and Jessica from Supernatural, but she has the right look, and I can't remember the name of the other actress I liked for this. I can hear her voice but that's not a lot of help, huh?

Speaking of SPN, not my favorite episode last night. And are they putting too much make-up on Sam? What's going on there? Castiell was kind of stiff in his first scene, I thought, and that Sam pronounced it SamHAIN bothered me. BUT it wasn't a bad episode. I think I just like the stand-alones better. I was happy to see a Halloween episode again, and I liked the lore a lot.

I almost cried when the Metallicar got egged. Dean DID take the time to clean her off, I noticed.

The dh came home and removed the broken part of the fan. Maybe we'll get a new fan this weekend!

I saw the last half of Grey's. I was looking forward to Major McHottie, but now....meh. Denny's supposed to be on again next week, though.

Okay, off to research guns and railroads and weather and stuff.


Countdown to Nano...oh noes

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So I plotted my Nano Bodyguard story with my critique group. I took a storyboard to school and showed my kids. I have the pictures for the collage cut out and haven't had time to put them together, but....

Yesterday I got another idea. A historical idea. Right in the middle of teaching social studies, reading about Jane Long.

There is no time to storyboard this one. I would be going by the seat of my pants, again. I would be writing something I've never written before. I don't know names or external conflicts. I know she's widowed and taking care of her sisters-in-law and he's a widower looking for a new start in a new country (1830 Texas.) I see them both clearly, and have a few scenes, but....do I have enough?

Does it matter? I did Spy Girl with less (not even names!) but it ended up a mess, though I love the basic idea. But if I don't write this one, I'm afraid it's going to prevent me from doing a good job on the bodyguard one.

I have two days. Let me see what I can get done.

Oh, and the time? Yes, I'm really up at 3:47. The dh came to bed at 2, stood looking at the ceiling fan, said, "That's about to come down," then turned out the light and went to bed.

Guess who sleeps under the ceiling fan? Guess who couldn't go back to sleep?




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I THINK Bull by the Horns is supposed to be out today. It's not on the coming soon page or my author page, though.

Bull by the Horns

Check at The Wild Rose Press and let me know if it shows up.

Today is a Bad Day. Our Halloween program is tonight and I'm unhappy with the other teachers at school. I asked for someone to bring me a CD so I could burn the songs. No CD. I wrote the play before my MIL died and asked them to work with the three students to learn their lines. No. I threw the scripts away. I wrote the note to the parents, have parents calling me, I bought the music and made up the dances. I asked them to decorate the stage. No. I am not feeling charitable with the ladies who sit in the audience and grade papers while I sweat and ache and get behind in my own grading. Oh, and I have to take one home after the program, and another won't be there because she's going to the Spurs opening night.

Never mind that on Friday is our carnival and two of them (the one I'm taking home and the Spurs-goer) are leaving early because they have little kids, and another is not coming to school that day because she doesn't celebrate Halloween, so only one other teacher and I will be running 2 booths, with whatever parents we can round up.

Some days I hate teaching.

On the plus side, I finished the spreadsheet with all the threads from VH last night. I need to print it out to see it better. I see some definite holes, especially in the romance. And the end. Oy, the end.....

I haven't even thought of a single song for a soundtrack for my Nano book. No idea at all where to start. I have my pictures for the collage but haven't had time to put it together.

I need me some Sammy.




A PSA and Books and Movies

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First of all (and I know I'm preaching to the choir here), please spay and neuter your pets! I brought Mama Kitty home last week, and this week a dog had her puppies under the playground equipment. Before we knew it, the dog catcher was there and took the puppies, but I heard he didn't get the mom. Soooo, the puppies will be put down! If they'd only waited, I know one of the teachers would have taken them. But the mom was pretty defensive so the kids couldn't play on the playground, but still.

We watched The Incredible Hulk last night. Pretty good, and I love Edward Norton. I didn't love it like I loved Iron Man, though.

I'm listening to RHETT BUTLER'S PEOPLE on audio book and I am crazy about this book. It's Rhett's story, from a boy on, and while not really in his POV, it reveals a lot about the man. I'm just to the part where he finds out Scarlett is widowed. It really makes me want to write historical.

I'm reading Larissa Ione's PLEASURE UNBOUND and it is SO GOOD. Really dark, and there are a TON of characters, but once you get in the groove, it's wonderful. A tremendous amount of world building went into this. I know why paranormal writers like to do series, after doing this much work!



Halloween party pictures!

My SIL carved this pumpkin.


Scary brother-good thing Sam Winchester wasn't there!






Me and Scary Brother


The Boy and Baby Brother as Shaggy and Fred


SIL singing, The Boy behind her


The whole crazy family


SIL and her best friend.


Hank the Designated Driver Dog


Sarah Palin and moose


Writing Historicals

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The dh and I had dinner with Mary Beth and her dh last night on the Riverwalk. It was gorgeous and great fun and of course both of us forgot our cameras. Seriously, we never do the couple dinner thing, and it was a lot of fun!

Baby Brother came over last night to bring me a CD of the pictures, only it didn't work, so he's going to try again. INTERESTINGLY, though, he's talking about writing a historical novel about one of our ancestors, who he's been researching. The interesting part is that I'm toying with two historical ideas. I've NEVER written a historical..the research overwhelmed me before, but I'm having to do quite a lot of research anyway, so....

The first idea I've had since last year, when I was doing a TAKS passage with my kids. The story was about a "school" train that would travel from town to town, making a circuit, staying in a town a few weeks before moving on to the next town. The children would go to school in the train, and the teacher would leave them with homework before moving on. My idea was, of course, of a female teacher, perhaps traveling with her brother, teaching the students and falling for a widower. I think it would be short, maybe for TWRP.

The second idea is more nebulous at this point. I'm listening to Rhett Butler's People and Rhett was a blockade runner and that just sounds so romantic to me. My cp, Linda, says Civil War romances are hard to sell because of the slavery thing, but like I said, the idea is nebulous still. It would have to be WAY down the queue.

Have you written a historical? How did you like it? Was the research difficult?

Oh, and the queue?

Nano Book
Vamp Hunters
Ghost Hunters
Spy Girl
Hostage Negotiator story
Politician story
Antarctica story
Second Chances revision
High concept story (I need some experience under my belt for this one, I think.)


Goals for the Week of Halloween

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1) Survive Student Showcase
2) Survive School carnival
3) Enter critique group suggestions in first 15 pages of Vamp Hunters so I can enter in Gotcha contest
4) Promote release of Bull by the Horns
5) Work on Vamp Hunters
6) Finish prewriting on Nano book
7) Lupe’s booksigning Saturday
8) Dinner with Mary Beth
9) Progress report
10) Keep up house….when I’m here ;)

You have to wait for pictures of the Halloween party - I forgot my camera so have to wait for Baby Brother to send pictures. There weren't as many good costumes this year, though there was a moose for me (Sarah Palin) to shoot.

Did I mention I really love the denim shirt?



10 Things I Can Do With the Money I Was Going to Spend on the Rita

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I found out yesterday I can't enter the Rita after all because my book is print on demand. I am wildly disappointed about this. I had thought before I couldn't enter because of the copyright date, but then an email went out on the Wild Rose Press loop saying we couldn't, and it's because it has to be "mass-produced." In a way I can understand, because they might be inundated with books if they didn't draw the line, but still. It's my first book and I've worked toward this for so long. So I was very down yesterday.

So I'm trying to console myself by thinking what that money I saved could be spent on (think: $40 for entry, $35 for books and $10 for shipping.:.so $85)

1) Two dinners out
2) entry fee and postage for 2 other contests
3) 17 trips to Starbucks
4) 15 new books
5) a good chunk towards a new laser printer (yes, mine died AGAIN)
6) a good chunk toward getting my laptop repaired
7) 3 new writer t-shirts....or Supernatural ones
8) 20 12-packs of Diet Coke
9) 3 movie theater trips for the family
10) 20 shares in GMC ;)

God bless Supernatural.tv for the screen caps of Thursday's episode, and the denim shirt.




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Okay, Blogger ate my post! That's a first for me.

HOW HOT WAS SAMMY last night? OMG, the last scene alone made the episode a keeper. MUST FIND PICTURE of him in that denim shirt! I hated the way they solved the problem, though. HATED it.

I seriously need my computer fixed. I didn't write at all once the dh came home last night. I know I can ask for the laptop, but I also know it's his way to unwind. That's why I bought my own computer. Maybe next week. I don't mind getting up early to write but I don't always meet my daily goal that way.

I didn't want to get out of my warm bed this morning. It's in the 40s here finally. I don't even know if I have a medium weight jacket, though.

Okay, better write while I can!


Cowboy Movies

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I grew up watching Roy Rogers on Saturday afternoons. I loved those silly movies and I wanted a Palomino like nobody's business.


After Roy Rogers was the series El Chaparral, which I always imagined was filmed in West Texas. I remember the main character was John, and his brother the trouble maker was Buck, and his hot headed son was Blue, and his brother in law was Manolito. I always thought Manolito had the best lines! Anyone else remember this show?


When I was a preteen, the modern cowboy movies started coming out. I remember the love story in The Electric Horseman more than anything else. She was a reporter or something, wasn't she? I did have the album.


Then came Urban Cowboy, which was actually pretty depressing, if you think about it, with all the infidelity, but I loved the music and dancing.


Then the brat pack made Young Guns. Dermot Mulroney with a wad of tobacco - yuck. But even dirty, Kiefer was pretty. And I loved the bonds between the men.


My favorite FAVORITE western, though, is Silverado. How do I love that movie??? I watch it every time it's on, even though we own it. Kevin Kline - what a hero. Kevin Costner - what a hoot! Love Danny Glover and Scott Glenn (also in Urban Cowboy, come to think of it) and even Jeff Goldblum was a good villain. And Linda Hunt! Loved her. Again with the bonds, and the shoot-out at the end, like Young Guns. I guess that was a staple.


What are your favorite cowboy movies?

Okay, going to work on VH for awhile ;) I thought I woke up earlier!


It's Not All About the Jeans

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I thought in honor of Bull by the Horns releasing next week, I'd blog about my first cowboy book.


I was in middle school when I wrote it and it was called Ramblin' Man. Back in those days I had a crush on John Schneider and come to think of it, maybe it was about the jeans....

ANYWAY, I cast him as my rodeo cowboy, though I don't remember what kind. Probably a bronc rider. He would go from city to city, each place a different chapter, and meet different girls. There were at LEAST 6 of them, and to think I had that many "cute meets" in me at such a young age is pretty funny. They would have little love stories, but he'd move on, thus the title. EXCEPT that in the last chapter he realized he'd had enough and went back to the girl in the first chapter.

The book was written in PENCIL on notebook paper and I think I tied it together with yarn through the holes. I don't know how long it took me to write, but I remember working on it when I went on vacation with my dad to south Texas. Unfortunately, I threw it away before I moved out of my mom's house. Boy, would I love to read it.

Since then, I haven't written another cowboy story until now, when one of my cps challenged the other two of us to write a story for Wayback Texas. Even the cp that challenged us hasn't written her story, though I have her heroine in my book! Anyway, it's fun and while it has the common theme of the homebody vs. the traveller, it has some cute twists, too.

I finished the galleys on Hot Shot last night. Please PLEASE let that be the last time I have to read it!!!! Not that I don't love it, but I have read it at LEAST 50 times. At LEAST.

I storyboarded my Nano story last night since the boy was working on the computer, but I'm itching to focus on Vamp Hunters.

Mama Kitty stayed outside yesterday, and was mostly good when we brought her in yesterday evening. Poor thing is scared and pregnant and she was so hungry!

I was falling asleep during The Mentalist last night, made it to bed just after nine and slept till after five! YAY!


Wayback Texas and a Mistake

Bull by the Horns

I found out yesterday that my Wayback Rodeo story, Bull by the Horns, is coming out NEXT WEDNESDAY! Woot! 7 months, finished to published - wow.

I've been talking about Mama Kitty at school. Yesterday I got her, put her in my room all afternoon (yeah, good idea, Mary - at least we were out of the room for an hour to practice for the program). I got her in the car (twice - she escaped the first time!!! I've never had a kitty do THAT before!) and drove home. Thank goodness I was giving another teacher a ride, and Susan kept her calm. After I dropped off Susan, Mama Kitty curled up in the passenger seat for the rest of the way home.

So far so good.

I brought her in the house and she turned into Mrs. Hyde! She attacked Skippy, who was astounded. Everyone loves Skippy, but she was MAD. She's staked out the food and won't let the other kitties near. Oh, and the whole reason I wanted to get her was so she wouldn't get pregnant again, and guess what?

So yeah, now I have 5 kitties and counting. Anyone want a pregnant Mama Kitty? Honestly, she's very sweet, she just doesn't like other kitties.

Oh, and I taught the Men in Black dance yesterday. I'm SO SORE.

Look, two of my favorite things!!!


Must See TV

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URGH, I don't want to go to school, but at least I did my Men in Black dance (thank you, You Tube!) and I met my writing goals this weekend. I need to grade like an insane person today - progress reports go out next week again.

Grey’s Anatomy was GREAT this week – wonderful humor, excellent timing. I loved George this week, especially how he was with the little boy, who was ADORABLE and a pretty good little actor. The whole dermatology bit was a hoot, and Bailey trying to give Callie advise about her relationship with Hahn….priceless. Bailey is my favorite. Season 5 is rocking.

Crusoe was terrific, too. Fast-paced and adventurous, with pirates and, who knew, Sean Bean in excellent casting. I like the interspersed backstory. I hope it makes it in the Friday night slot, but wonder how they’ll structure it. There can’t be pirates and soldiers every week.

Back in the old days when I was on AOL, there was often discussion on different boards about who would make a good Jamie Fraser, should OUTLANDER ever be made into a movie. The hero of Crusoe would definitely make a good Jamie. Of course, I can’t find any pictures.

I already talked about Supernatural, LOVED it.

Heroes is pretty fascinating, though I don't like Claire or her real mom at all. I'm over Parkman, too. I'm really digging the evolution of Sylar.

I caught up on Fringe, which I can still take or leave.

The Office is only okay.

I keep Tivoing Life on Mars but it gets bumped before I can watch it. Blast my 40 hour limit!

Valentine is cute, though the main reason I watch is the romance novelist character.

I like The Unit but don't understand why Kim can't keep her own baby.

Army Wives makes me cry every time. The season is long this year, though, I guess a full season.

What's making a hit with you this year?



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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