Monthly Archives: February 2008

Kicking out the words…

 Well, since Sunday, I’ve written over 4,000 words on Duck and Run, so this makes me very happy.  Maybe because I set my goals a little lower, I wasn’t as intimidated by them.  Plus, they were “good” words, words that moved the plot forward, and made the hero and heroine come together and then separate again, at least emotionally.  Now I’ve got them stuck in the equivalent of a safe house, and am gonna bring the bad guys to them.  On a happy note, the line I’m targeting this to (Harlequin Intrigue or Silhouette Romantic Suspense) has a shorter word count than I’d originally thought (55-60K).  I was shooting for 70-80K, and was wondering what kind of secondary storyline I was going to have to incorporate to bring it up to that count.  Now, however, I can easily see this story settling nicely into that count.

On the agent front, I still have 4 out, and have a few new leads that I’ll probably send something out to in the next few weeks.

To be honest, I’m now hip deep into D&R and really liking writing it, so I’d like to finish that before I start on Live and Let Die.  If nothing else, I’ll keep pitching View to a Kill and the whole Talented series, even if I have to write the whole blasted series before I collar an agent.

I know that may sound a bit fatalistic, but I’ve been told by editors that I tend to write ahead of the curve, so if nothing else, I’ll have a body of work ready to rock and roll with. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself *G*.

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole

 Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him.  The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed-until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires.  When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strengths and skill to keep her alive.  Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary.  It’s rumored that no one can tempt Bowen’s hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them.  Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go.  If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul-or will she risk everything for her fierce protector?

A great addition to the Immortals After Dark series, Wicked Deeds takes place almost simultaneously with No Rest for the Wicked.  As a writer, I found it interesting that Cole chose to have Bowen and Mari separated for almost the first quarter of the book.  It totally worked and furthered the storyline, but I suspect that’s not something a newbie author could get away with *g*.  While the plot is relatively simple and straightforward, Bowen and Mari’s relationship is anything but.  Both have obstacles from their past (and future) to overcome, and they can only do that by trusting in each other…something neither is willing to do, even if they want the other to distraction.  This is a hot, lush book.  While I recommend you read the first two books in the series to totally immerse yourself in the worldbuilding, you could certainly read this as a stand alone and be perfectly happy.

What’s playing on my iPod

 So the heroine from Duck and Run (Chris) has some very distinctive tastes in music (think classic country western), but damned if I’m not channeling totally different tunage when it comes to writing this story.  Anyway, I thought I’d share a bit of what I’m listening to as I write…  Warning, it’s a hella long list, because I was trying to get back in the zone with this book after putting it down for quite a while…

  • Duck and Run – 3 Doors Down
  • Be Like That -3 Doors Down
  • Duck and Run – 3 Doors Down
  • Life of My Own – 3 Doors Down ** Chris’ song??
  • Remedy – Seether
  • World Falls Away -Seether
  • Never Leave – Seether
  • Fake It – Seether
  • Simplest Mistake – Seether
  • Truth — Seether
  • Cumbersome – Seven Mary Three
  • Pain Redefined – Disturbed  **Chris’ song??
  • Stricken – Disturbed  **Nick’s song**
  • I’m Alive – Disturbed
  • Sacred Lie – Disturbed
  • Deify – Disturbed
  • Stupify – Disturbed
  • Forgiven – Disturbed
  • Bodies – Drowning Pool
  • Lovesong – The Cure
  • No Excuses – Alice in Chains
  • I Stay Away – Alice in Chains
  • Man in the Box – Alice in Chains
  • Fight for All the Wrong Reasons – Nickelback
  • Animals – Nickelback
  • Savin’ Me – Nickelback
  • Far Away – Nickelback
  • How You Remind Me – Nickelback
  • Side of a Bullet — Nickelback
  • Interstate Love Song – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Big Empty – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Plush – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Amen – Kid Rock
  • Selling the Drama – Live
  • White, Discussion – Live
  • I Alone — Live
  • Click, Click, Boom – Saliva
  • Musta Been Wrong — Saliva
  • Your Disease — Saliva
  • One Step Closer – Linkin Park
  • Bleed it Out – Linkin Park
  • Breath – Breaking Benjamin
  • The Diary of Jane – Breaking Benjamin
  • Heaven’s Already Here – Collective Soul
  • Gel – Collective Soul
  • The World I Know – Collective Soul
  • Simple – Collective Soul
  • Why, Part 2 — Collective Soul
  • I Can’t Believe – Collective Soul
  • Shine – Collective Soul
  • One Headlight – The Wallflowers
  • Snow (Hey Oh) – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Scar Tissue – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Higher Ground – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Suck My Kiss – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Wish You Were Here – Incubus
  • Echo — Incubus
  • 3 AM – Matchbox Twenty
  • Push – Matchbox Twenty
  • Counting Blue Cars — Dishwalla
  • Give — Dishwalla
  • All She Can See — Dishwalla
  • God is a Bullet – Concrete Blonde
  • Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
  • Hemorrhage in my Hand — Fuel
  • Not for You – Pearl Jam
  • Better Man – Pearl Jam
  • The Way – Fastball
  • Swing, Swing – All American Rejects
  • A Girl Like You – The Smithereens

Rethinking Word Count Goals…

So I’ve been steadily working on Duck and Run, my latest WiP while my last critique partner shreds Breath of Heaven.  Unfortunately, “steadily” means I’m producing word count, but not as much as I’d like. 

In my perfect world, I’d write 1,000 words a day, take a two-week break when I’m done, and then dive into the next book.  And except for the whole 1K/day gig, I’ve been doing fine.

With Duck and Run, I’m producing about 500 words a day…half of what I’d like.  But lately, by the time I get home from the day job, that’s about all I can muster up.  Then I feel bad because I know I can do better…but will the book be as good because I’m pushing past my creativity wall?  Seriously, my brain is mushier than usual after spending the day looking at incident reports and performing data quantification.  (And I always thought I sucked at math *g*)

Sooo, after thinking long and hard about it, I’m revising my “during the week” goals to 500 words/day.  In my perfect world, I’d write 6K a week, so that means if I’m to maintain THAT goal, I’d need to write 3500 words over the weekend.  That’s certainly doable since I’ve been known to write 5K in one day when football is on, so I’ll have to see if that kind of mindset works any better. 

Thirteen reasons I’m ready for spring…

  1. Tuesday it was 61 degrees…
  2. It was 31 degrees when we left the base at 1630 yesterday.
  3. We’re supposed to get MORE ice today, tonight and tomorrow.  Then it’s supposed to be 60 again.  I shit you not.
  4. The trees have started to bud outside, and the bulbs in the front yard  have started to bloom
  5. My gas bill last month was half as much as my mortgage!
  6. I’m actually getting tired of wearing boots!  That means winter has definitely gone on too long
  7. I wanna sit on my front porch and watch the world go by without my nose hairs freezing
  8. Scraping ice off the windshield is no longer a novelty, nor is waiting five minutes for my truck to warm up
  9. My spring/summer dresses are mocking me from my closet
  10. I’m having an insane compulsion to listen to Zydeco (my summertime obsession)
  11. I want to buy new clothes to celebrate my weight loss
  12. And on the heels of that…sandals, I want sandals!
  13. Enough already, Old Man Winter, make up your mind if it’s spring or not!!

Checking in, word count and agent update…

 Sorry about the absence yesterday.  WordPress wasn’t letting me in at 6 am, and I had to head to the dreaded day job shortly thereafter.  This morning however, is a whole ‘nother story!!

In rockin’ great news I’m jamming on Duck and Run…in the last week I wrote 4.5K and got past the part that was stalling me by putting in an action/danger scene as well as a torrid kiss that really moves the plot forward.  My goal is to pump out at least 1K per day (getting back to my original daily goal), if not more, so I can get the first draft finished and into critiques pronto.

In the agent hunt, I’m still on the search…I’ve got it out to five agents now, and am pitching to an agent and editor in March at my local chapter’s mini-conference.  I figured I’d pitch View to the agent and Duck and Run to the editor.  Even if that doesn’t pan out, I want to have both ready to rock for the conference in San Francisco in July. 

Movie/Music Monday…Ghost Rider (2007)

Ghost Rider (2007)… As a huge Nic Cage and Sam Elliott fan, I was really looking forward to catching this movie.  Alas, this flick never quite reached the level it could have.  For starters, the beginning was entirely too long and drawn out.  Yeah, I realize we have to get to know the character to understand his motivations, but for it to stretch out over an hour was just too long.  I realize this is a classic graphic novel, so the character development is told through action (just like in a screenplay/movie), but it just wasn’t fleshed out enough, despite the long opening, for me to be truly drawn into the action.  The same goes for the villains…they were supposed to represent elementals, but that power and their prospective abuse of it was never fully drawn out.  Additionally, when the action did kick in, it was too dark (literally) for me to follow.  While I was interested enough in this to watch through to the end, when the 97 minutes were over, I found it to be ultimately forgettable, which is just too bad, given Cage and Elliott’s considerable talent.

Thirteen books on my TBR shelf (February update)

 Well, it’s that time again, time to revisit my TBR shelf.  Now I get to include the books I’m holding through 1 April for the National Reader’s Choice Awards.

  1. Garden of Beasts, Jeffrey Deaver
  2. Mine to Possess, Nalini Singh
  3. Blood Brothers, Nora Roberts
  4. The Alibi Man, Tami Hoag
  5. Marked, PC and Kristin Cast
  6. The Falls, Karen Harper
  7. Wild, Wicked and Wanton, Jaci Burton
  8. Sugar Daddy, Lisa Kleypas
  9. Kitty Goes to Washington, Carrie Vaughn
  10. Walking in Circles Before Laying Down (non-fiction)
  11. Angel Falls, Nora Roberts (I’ve been saving this one)
  12. The Killing Hour, Lisa Gardner (ditto above)
  13. No Humans Allowed, Kelley Armstrong (ditto)

Writing and agent hunt update…

 Well, I haven’t done squat when it comes to writing new stuff…I worked on Skully’s revisions over the weekend for Breath of Heaven (after sleeping for almost 14 hours on Saturday night), and now I’m noodling with which book to start.  I think I’m going to start playing with Live and Let Die and see where it takes me.  I’ve already got the synopsis done, and the first few pages fleshed out, so cross fingers for me.  If nothing else, I’ll kick butt and take names this weekend, since I’m feeling tons better.

On the agent front, I collected another rejection, but it was a good, personalized one, so I’m not totally dejected, even though this is kind of becoming old hat.  I guess it’s a good thing I’ve been at this writing gig for a good long while, because my skin has become ultra thick…LOL.  I know I write “different” stuff…I just need to find an agent who loves it as much as I do *g*!  I know that they’re out there, it’s just finding the connection, y’know?  I think part of it is that I was perfectly happy in writing “e” for a long time, and I developed great discipline from it…now I want to take the next step as Terri (with my mainstream stuff) while I continue writing for the “e” market as Keira.

TABT…Savor Me Slowly, by Gena Showalter

 Mishka Le’Ace was created to be an undercover operative…literally.  Her beautiful body has been mechanically augmented to give her superhuman strength-strength she’s going to need.  Her latest mission sends to rescue Alien Investigation and Removal agent Jaxon Tremain from torture and death.  With him, she discovers a passion unlike any other.  A passion she was forbidden to know…  From the moment they meet in a darkened cell, Jaxon craves her touch.  But the machine half of Le’Ace forces her to do things she doesn’t always want to do.  Even betray him…and ultimately destroy him.  Now Jaxon must battle the man controlling Le’Ace, and even Le’Ace herself, to at last claim the woman he’s come to love.

I have to say, I totally prefer Showalter’s darker books to her HQN fare.  While the others are fun, her Berkeley books go much deeper, and because of that, resonate much more fully with me, as a reader.  Both Mishka and Jaxon are placed in an untenable position…they want each other, and realize that they may be the perfect complement to the other, but forces outside their control hold all the cards, and there doesn’t seem to be a damned thing they can do about it.  The aliens in this book made for a great additional layer to the plot, and the romance between Mishka and Jaxon is hot, and hauntingly realistic. I can’t wait to read Showalter’s next Berkeley offering!