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I'm finally coming up for air. I'm mostly caught up on grades, I'm on schedule on the edits, a bit behind on the bodyguard story but I think I know how to wrap it up.

I'm thinking about Nano, a month out now. I thought I knew what I wanted to write, but now I'm wondering if I should work on another romantic suspense. I only have my historical out right now and I want something else in the pipeline after the bodyguard book.

I have an idea for a hostage negotiator story, and a "Die Hard on a cruise ship" story (I know, Linda Howard did this, but mine's different, I promise.) I have another political story but I don't think I'm in the mood for another politician right now.

Then on the other hand, I have a straight contemporary road trip story. It would be fun.

I don't know why I plan...I came up with a story last year, all nicely plotted, and tossed it out a few days ahead to dive into that historical.


Goals for the End of September

I decided to return the Gabaldon to the library. I don't feel like making that commitment right now. I'll read it later, maybe next summer. It's just huge. I feel like something light. I bought some books from Fictionwise yesterday, so maybe those will go next.

This week is pretty easy, I hope.

1) Endless edits on DLB. I can’t imagine how many rounds there will be. I can’t even see the story anymore, just –ing words.

2) Try to work on bodyguard story

3) Finish up grades—end of first 6 weeks already

4) Paperwork for one of my students I retained

5) Prep for sub—a personal day this week and a day and a half of inservice the following week

6) See about a booksigning

7) House/exercise routine


TV Season So Far

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I have a sad. I don’t think I like Supernatural anymore. It’s too dark, too sad, too hard to watch. I loved Season 4 like mad, but this season…there’s not one episode I’ve watched a second time.

Grey’s Anatomy’s first hour was awesome. I started crying less than a minute in. Was still crying when it ended. The second hour was on par with last season, above average, but not as engaging.

Dollhouse was better than last year. I liked Echo and Ballard working together. I liked Amy Acker’s larger role. Still not awesome, though.

Glee is getting really good. I loved Kurt’s story this week. Loved his dad. Why did I think he was wealthy, though?

Castle is terrific. So is FlashForward. I’m absolutely hooked.

Big Bang Theory was just okay. I thought the three did a terrible thing to Sheldon, and their unwillingness to apologize bothered me.

Heroes was….hm. I love the actor who plays the artist. LOVE him. But…what the hell kind of power is that? Goofy, if you ask me. And he has to use the same woman as his canvas? How do you discover that power? I dunno.

The Good Wife was good, but it’s going to turn out to be case-of-the-week, I’m sure.

Eastwick was okay. Forgettable. I liked the setting, but, well, I've seen the movie.

Cougar Town was funny. Loved it, especially because Courtney Cox is older than me.

I’ve not seen Vampire Diaries, The Mentalist or Fringe yet. DH liked the season opener of Fringe, but I still haven’t connected with the cast of either show.

Yes, I watch a lot of TV. What have you seen? How did you like it?

Hopefully I can work on the bodyguard book today. I need to catch up on edits. I'm trying for 20 pages a day, but it's hard. And I checked out the new Gabaldon from the library, 810 pages. I couldn't even finish Club Dead, and it was only 250 pages!



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Picture me leaping through the house with joy, doing a hippy-shake dance...yes, I think I really need more sleep ;)

Let me show you one page of the revisions I've been working on. I've been having a really difficult time working at this level of detail. I can do maybe 10 pages in an hour. At this rate, the book may be out in 2011. Of course, other than Hot Shot, this is my longest book. And every page looks pretty much like this.


I've had them since Monday and I'm on page 29. Of course, I sent back BD on Wednesday and got more edits last night, but still.

Okay, to work. Need to run errands when I get home, then Dollhouse tonight. More excited about Tahmoh than the plot, of course.


Insanity Fades

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I didn't get the librarian masters degree grant. I'm actually really really relieved. I haven't been in school in 21 years. I can't imagine how hard it would be to get back in the routine. So far, none of the teachers I know who applied got it. There were 500 applicants and only 40 slots.

I'm very confused....the clock in the kitchen is an hour behind. It was fine yesterday. And something with the dh's computer isn't quite right....it's saying 100% charged though I've had it off the charger 30 minutes.

It got quite cool here yesterday. Should last today and maybe tomorrow before bouncing back to summer temps.

I didn't write at all yesterday. Came home and hunkered down on the couch, was out by 9, though yesterday was an easy day with the testing. Hmm.


First Night of Season Premiere Week

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And all I saw was The Big Bang Theory! Okay, I saw the first hour and a half of Heroes, and have to watch Castle today. Baby Brother came over and we talked, and I wish I'd gotten him to help me with the Halloween tote. By the time I got back to Heroes, we;;l I watched till I reached my 1000 words for the day, then went to bed. I thought I'd get up early this AM and finish watching, maybe watch Castle, but I slept till the alarm. I actually snoozed twice!

But....I know how I'm going to fix that last plot point. Yay. And the kids are testing today, so my mind can wander.

Our first cool front is blowing in and it's raining pretty good right now. Fun driving!


I Think It's Going to be a True Monday

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I'm already overwhelmed.

This morning I realized my bad guy in the bodyguard story can't be the bad guy. If I put him as the bad guy, well, he had ample opportunity to kidnap my heroine before she got her bodyguard. Why would he make more trouble for himself by going after her when she's got a bodyguard 24/7? So now I have to go layer in a new bad guy.

I still have one major plot point to address in BD before I send it back. I'd injured my hero enough that he lost track of my heroine. Well, my editor pointed out he recovered pretty danged fast. So...I need to injure him enough that he loses the heroine but NOT enough that he can't do what he needs to do the rest of the plot.

And I got my edits for DLB this AM.

This week at school we have a fire drill, a district assessment, a faculty meeting and faculty pictures.

The dh is back at work so I'm in charge of dinner.

And yesterday I was doing so well, getting through my to-do list like wildfire!

At least tonight is new TV.


Goals for SEASON PREMIERE Week!!!

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I love this week. Love! All the new shows with the possibility of being great. Returning shows answering questions and asking new ones....I have popcorn and Diet Coke ready to go. Bonus--our first cold front is supposed to arrive this week.

This week:

1) Finish revisions on BD
2) Start revisions on DLB
3) Work on bodyguard story as I can
4) Blog at Supernatural Sisters, Wet Noodle Posse and The Romance Studio
5) Faculty meeting
6) Cut out Halloween tote bag
7) Get into that house/exercise routine. (This has been on the list TOO LONG!)


Generosity and Good Luck

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This has been a pretty amazing week for us.

First, my mom and step=dad gave our son their 10 year old Taurus. That moves him up 6 years from his last vehicle. They even took him to change the license and paid for it. Wow. We just need to get it on our insurance, which I think I can do today.

Then my good friend Chris emailed me. She'd gotten a second set of conference CDs as a gift and wanted to know if I wanted. YES!! They arrived yesterday and are all ready to mount on my iPod when the dh gets home with it.

Yesterday I won a book about the series Angel from Smart Pop Books on Twitter.

And last night was the icing on the cake. We went to the boy's girlfriend's very first art show. It's a gallery in an old house, and she had three paintings displayed with all this other art. It was really incredible---poetry readings, a band, ice sculptors doing their thing, free food and drink. When we walked in, the young lady at the door asked us if we wanted to buy raffle tickets for a sculpture done by one of the men who would later be ice sculpting. It was a dolphin carved of mesquite, and the dh bought two tickets.

He was getting bitten by mosquitos, and he had to work this AM, so we left before the drawing. I texted the boy around 10 and told him I was going to bed. He texted back for me to stay up, they were on their way and it would be worth it. I didn't say anything to the dh, and when the boy came in, he told his dad he needed help with something.


Now, this picture doesn't show how big it is. It's about four feet tall and too heavy for me to move. They put it in the guest room because they're afraid the cats will scratch it. I told the dh I'm redoing the house in a beach theme. When I find a good home for it, I'll post a new picture.

What good luck has come your way lately? Do you ever worry you'll use it all up?


Why I Write at 4 AM

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Writing early is the best time for me. Even though I'm a little groggy, I have WAY fewer distractions.

No email is coming in that I HAVE to check. Doesn't stop me from mousing over the icon every few words, but if nothing's there, I don't leave the document.

No Twitter updates ;) Or very few. I know Marianne's up, because there are the tweets from LASR ;)

The dh is sleeping, not blasting guitar.

The dh is sleeping, not telling me to watch something on YouTube.

The dh is sleeping, not flipping channels.

The boy is sleeping, not bringing home company.

I can't do anything that makes noise, like sort laundry or sew.

I can't turn on a lot of lights so I can't clean.

So really? Idea time.


What New Shows Are You Going to Try?

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I studied the new Entertainment Weekly looking at new shows and returning shows. Last year I think the only new show I tried in the fall was FRINGE. This year I'm branching out a bit.

I hadn't thought I wanted to see "V" but Morena, who played Inara in FIREFLY, is in it and I love her. Not on till November, though.The dh wants to give Flash Forward a try.

I've always liked Chris Noth and Juliana Marguiles, so I'm going to try The Good Wife.I've already watched a couple of episodes of Glee and while I'm not HOOKED, I'm enjoying it.

I enjoyed the movie Witches of Eastwick, so will give the series a try.
Cougartown looks hilarious.

What new shows are you going to watch?


What Makes a Single Title?

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Recently Michelle Grajkowski read my manuscript Something to Talk About (AKA The Story I Love) and remarked for it to be a single title, it needs to be bigger.

I understand what she’s saying. Something else has to be at stake. But what?

I was going to use Virgin River and Nora’s wedding books as examples, but that’s not enough like my story, since they are technically part of a series.

My critique partner and I were talking about this on Saturday and she said maybe adding an issue, like animal rights or add an abused woman or something like that, but it would change the whole tone of my story.

What says Single Title to you? What makes them stand out from Harlequin/Silhouette titles? What can I do to save the book that I love?

Blogging today at Wet Noodle Posse and Romance Bandits. I'm giving away goodies at Romance Bandits. Come say hi!


Things That Perform as Advertised

My grandmother always liked to try new things and I guess I'm like her in that respect. Here are some of the things I've tried lately that have done what they say they do. What have you tried lately that works?

I'm also at Writers at Play today! Come say hi!


Goals the Week of the DH's Vacation

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1) 7000 words on RS. I had that epiphany, but will it give me the page count I need?
2) Guest blog on Writers at Play, Wet Noodle Posse and Romance Bandits.
3) Sew purse—hopefully I have the write kind of interfacing now
4) Grades done for progress report
5) Big grocery trip (hopefully not as big as last time, though)
6) Get into house cleaning/writing routine.

I don’t have to cook this week since the dh is home. Yay! But the deal is, she who doesn’t cook has to clean and the dh is notoriously messy. BUT we should be eating earlier, so I should have more time to write.

I got my first review on Surface from Book Binge. They didn’t love it but didn’t hate it. So…good?


New Cover

Wednesday night I filled out the cover art worksheet for my January book, Breaking Daylight. Thursday morning, I got the cover art for Don't Look Back! I love getting covers---one of my favorite parts of the process. What do you think?

MJ Fredrick

Anyone see Supernatural? I'm reserving judgement until I see it again. I watched WAY
too much TV last night--the last disc of Samantha Who? (which I loved), Glee, Vampire Diaries
and Supernatural.

Today, the synopsis!! My computer's being a PITA, though. It was doing so well, too,
and this AM....pleh.


15 Hours Until Supernatural....

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Last night Mama kitty climbed UP the brick wall to get on top of the entertainment center, where she knocked off a glass candle holder. It shattered in a billion pieces. I swept the room last night, but we only have a lamp back here, so I was still finding pieces this AM. Climbing the brick wall. I can't believe it.

Went to HEB and JoAnn's on my way home from work. HEB did not have Diet Coke with Lime in cans. Grrr.

I got my art sheet for Breaking Daylight, so worked on that last night. This AM I got the cover for DLB. It's beautifully composed, just not sure how I feel about the colors.

I watched 6 episodes of Samantha Who last night because I needed to send the disc back because we went back to one disc at a time. Even the dh likes that show.

Blogging today at We Write Romance. Come say hey!


Random Thoughts

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I find all these excellent pictures of Helo, then am blogging everywhere else and don't have time to use them!

I had to rewrite the last 2000 words because I forgot my hero had been shot. Yeah, he won't be treading water, will he? But I've met my goal for the day.

I watched "Hush" this weekend on Lifetime. Twice. Because Tahmoh was in it. I watched four episodes of BSG when I came home, even though I have the second disc of Samantha Who? here. Tahmoh was in two.

I have traffic duty this week and am in fear for my life. Or at least my toes. Respect the stop sign, people!

Technology was being a hater at school yesterday. It's supposed to make life easier, not make you want to drop-kick your computer.

The dh came home and roasted a chicken yesterday, which meant we ate at almost 8. And the house still smells like roast chicken.

Beneath the Surface is #30 on Fictionwise's Samhain page. Hot Shot never made it above #50, so yay!

I'm blogging today at Natalie's blog, Supernatural Sisters and I Read Romance. Come say hi!


Goals for the Week of the Supernatural Premiere

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1) Blog at Jody Wallace’s blog, The Romance Studio, SPN Sisters, Natalie Damschroder’s blog and We Write Romance.
2) Grade papers so I can send home progress reports.
3) First round of BD edits. Let’s see if I can get this one done in 3 rounds. Hot Shot was 5, Surface was 4.
4) Work on RS
5) Get ready for critique
6) Traffic duty at school
8) Keep up house
9) Start exercising
10) Make purse



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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