Time for a Fairy Godmother

Plate facing page 050 of Fairy tales from Hans Christian Andersen (Walker)

And indeed there will be time…
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Arthur Prufrock

I am making progress on my revisions for The English Lieutenant’s Lady.
It just doesn’t feel like it.
Seriously, I am getting close to done. Well, as close as ever I get. Close to muttering imprecations under my breath and calling it Done so I don’t have to look at it any longer. I’ve got a couple of chapters revised on my Victorian romance, which is going slower than it should be, mostly because I’m 40% done with the rough draft of The-Story-I-Shouldn’t-Be-Working-On-Yet.
Mind you, according to the schedule I’d optimistically drawn up a few months ago, I should be finished with all of these stories and just typing The End on a story that I’ve been dreaming of for–well, for longer than I want to admit.
So many stories, so little time. I wish there were such a thing as a fairy godmother, who could wave a wand and find a way for me to pay the bills and keep NotMyCat fed without having to work at a day job.

Year in Review

I’ve had this blog for almost 18 months now. My thanks to all the lovely people who’ve stopped in to visit and to leave comments. People have come by from all over the world. Well, okay, Greenland continues to snub me. I’m trying not to take that personally.

By this time tomorrow, I’ll be a published author. Woo hoo! Let there be celebrations.
New Years Eve fireworks Oulu 20111231l

I’m prepping a second book for publication, have another one submitted to a publisher, and several more waiting in the wings. In terms of writing, I’d say this has been a very good year.

Where do you see yourself in a year? And what plans to you have to make your goals become reality?

I’ve gone through the links that I’ve included in posts this year, and singled out my favorites. These aren’t necessarily links that were created this year, but they’re  the ones I liked best.

Links for when I’m feeling sad

Not always right Stories submitted by various people. Just little anecdotes of a time when someone was nice to them, kindness from total strangers.

This link will make everything okay. It’s silly, but this does help.

Favorite video links

An interview with Susanna Kearsley and Diana Gabaldon

Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech

Favorite game

Freerice.com There are other games out there, but I like this one because you can play word games and donate to the hungry at the same time.

What links make your favorite list?

I hope 2018 is a fabulous year for each and every one of you. Happy New Year!

Fireworks DetroitWindsorIntlFreedomFest

A big part of a writer’s life? Waiting

Arthur Rackham 1909 Undine (15 of 15)

They also serve who only stand and wait.
-John Milton
(who clearly never had to deal with a slow waiter)

The nice part of waiting for your book to come out? The experience prepares you for writing in general. You are always going to be waiting for the next book to come out, the next Bookbub ad, the next royalty check… etc.

Of course you fill the time with writing the next fabulous opus, but you still wait.

I don’t have much longer to wait for my first book to be published. But it FEELS like it’s taking forEVER.

What a good thing I am such a patient person.

Um… you believe that don’t you?

Oh. You don’t.

Well, you’re right. But I’m trying to be patient.

Two more days.

Only 3 more days as an unpublished writer…

I haven’t been posting too much about the forthcoming publication of His Forgotten Fiancée. Truth to be told, I’ve been trying not to think about it.

Well, not completely. I have written some guest posts for a few blogs. But I’ve been trying to avoid most advance reviews and just focus on getting the next novel out. I am working my way through the first batch of edits back from the editor for Geoff and Lia’s story, The English Lieutenant’s Lady. I just submitted Neil and Sam’s story, I’m roughing out scenes for a new contemporary romantic suspense story, and I’m updating a Victorian romance for an agent who requested the manuscript.

Working on several projects at once does help me keep my mind off fretting about a book that’s out of my hands. But I wish I could get these stories finished now. I don’t want to have to stop writing to deal with the need to pay the mortgage and the myriad chores inherent in living in a fixed place on this planet.  It is tedious to have to work a day job and clean house and tidy the yard and all those things. I need staff.

A couple dozen sounds about right… of course, I’d have to have a mansion to house them all… and a whole lot of money in the bank and… well… maybe I’ll hold off on these plans until after my first book is published.

In three days. Gulp.

Two of my favorite words in the English language

11 Whirlwind the Whistler carries away Golden Tress - Russian Fairy Book 1916, illustrator Frank C Pape

Ask any writer and they will tell you they love writing ‘The End.’

I’ve finished my smooth draft of Neil and Sam’s story. It is such a relief. Though I probably shouldn’t start celebrating yet, not until I write up the synopsis and do one final read through.

Maybe just a mini celebration.

Have you tried the online game Free Rice? It tests your vocabulary and helps feed the hungry.  For each correct answer you give, the site donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Program. That’s not very much, but as the game is addictive, it can add up to a substantial amount of rice being donated. (They raise the money from advertising shown on the site.)

Did I mention it was addictive? You have been warned.

Update: joggling

Did you know there really is such a thing as joggling? Juggling while jogging. That’s kind of how I feel right now. Trying to keep several balls in the air while moving forward.

  • I’ve sent His Forgotten Fiancée to meet its just fate in the hands of reviewers. (Note: there’s a Goodreads giveaway if you’d like to get your hands on an autographed print copy. Just saying.)
  • I’ve sent Geoff and Lia’s story to the editor, so it’s out of my hands for the moment.
  • I’m charging through Neil and Sam’s story, hoping to have it ready to go by next week.

I don’t look anything like the guy in the picture, but I think I might have a similar expression on my face.

The Constant Companion

I eat doubting,
work doubting,
go out to a dubious cafe with skeptical friends.
-Jane Hirschfield, My Doubt

I am hacking my way through the revisions to Geoff and Lia’s story. Revisions are like housework; I would much rather be doing something else, but once I’m done I am glad I did it.

Anne Anderson05The difference, of course, is that when I’m sweeping the floor, I rarely question whether I’m doing it right.

Perhaps this is a character flaw. Maybe I’ve been sweeping wrong all this time and no one told me.

But with writing, it’s different. I am slicing and dicing the text and then splicing it back together into a semblance of a smoothly flowing narrative. And at each step along the process, doubt is right there with me, a constant companion who questions everything.

I’ve decided that doubt is part of the process as well. I might as well sit him down and make him a cup of tea if he’s going to stay around.

Update: the path to publication

Demon Roller CoasterI’m not sure if it’s a path, exactly. More of a rollercoaster. Long, arduous climbs up to an exciting peak and then plunging down again. Sometimes feeling as if I’ve been turned upside-down.
His Forgotten Fiancée has jumped through all the production hoops like a champion. Almost ready.
The last few months before publication will involve:

  • Blog posts with excerpts from the story
  • The cover being revealed (!!!)
  • A digital sample of the book available for you to download

At some point, a box is going to show up on my doorstep with actual physical copies of a book that I wrote. Incredible thought. I will post a picture here as Proof That I Wrote A Book. (I’m still trying to convince my subconscious that yes, I am a real writer.) Then I will be able to send out review copies, host a giveaway on Goodreads, etc.

Nothing but good times ahead! Or at least very interesting times 🙂

Why doesn’t it feel real?

Gertrude Kay Alice in wonderland caucusHarlequin includes a Dear Reader letter with its books, a letter from the author specifically for that book’s readers.

It’s a nice touch, I think. At the end of a story, you get to hear from the person who wrote it. Makes you feel as if you’ve shared the experience with them.

The Dear Reader letter is always interesting to read, as it often provides insight into the author’s inspiration for wanting to write that particular story. – SYTYCW.

For some reason, I’d forgotten to take the Dear Reader letter into account. Even though I’ve read them in all the Harlequin Love Inspired books that I have, it hadn’t clicked that I would need to provide one. Dear Reader letters are written by real writers.

My subconscious is stubborn. It doesn’t believe I’m a real writer.

Me: But — but– they sent me a contract, they sent me an advance, they gave the book a publication date. What more proof do you need?
Subconscious: I don’t believe it. You’re not a real writer.

I don’t know what it’s going to take to convince my subconscious that this really is going to happen. A book that I wrote is going to be published.

I’ve put together a Dear Reader letter for His Forgotten Fiancée. One more stop on the road to publication. I don’t think my subconscious is going to believe until I hold an actual book in my hands. Maybe not even then. I have a very stubborn subconscious.

Have a belief in yourself that is bigger than anyone’s disbelief.

-August Wilson

Becoming real


Not the cover, alas. A picture of Cinderella.

Matthew and Liza’s story not only has a publication date, it has a title. It’s almost like it’s a real book or something crazy like that.

His Forgotten Fiancée, coming soon to a retailer near you.

By soon, I mean January. Which is going to give me time to finish editing Geoff and Lia’s story and hopefully write another story that I have simmering.