It has been a while since I've said a whole lot about my WiP from an informative point of view.  I mean sure,  I'm constantly tweeting or blogging updates about the writing process -- my word count, my frustrations, and most recently, the tools I use to keep me going.

But it just occurred to me that I haven't said a whole lot lately about the story itself.  Occasionally people are considerate enough to ask how my work is going, and it's hard to say a whole lot in answer to that question.  One reason I find difficulty with that specific question is because when one writes, things are constantly changing.  Characters evolve, scenes appear (and then disappear), dialogue emerges.  (Lately I've been hacking away at all of my unnecessary adverbs.  Oh how it pains me to let them go.  But I have to...I know I do.)  Plus, as writers, we tend to treat our current WiP as our baby.  We're very protective of everything about them and don't want too much to get out before everything is done exactly how we want it.  Not to mention, if the entire story was already out there, who in the world would be interested in buying the book when we (hopefully) get it published?

So after explaining all of that, the reason for the title of this post.  I wanted to give my friends, Romans, countrymen  -- oops, sorry, got a little carried away there, anyone want to tell me the line that follows? -- a little peek into my story, the story that's taken up so much of my time, so much space in my mind, so much of my emotions. (Has anyone noticed that I tend to do things in threes?  I noticed that recently in my writing -- I'm constantly explaining things in groups of threes. Odd.)

I thought I'd do something a little different to give everyone a bit of dirt on the storyline.  It's not a contest per se, but let's just pretend it is one, because that will make it more fun. *flashes a cheesy grin* In the comments section of this post, feel free to ask me anything you would like to know about "I'll Love You Until", and in three days I'm going to answer five of those questions.  (Right now my brain is warning me that I may not even get ASKED five questions...but I'm totally ignoring my brain.)  Keep in mind that I'm obviously not going to answer things like "What happens in the end?"  or, well, for some reason that's the only question I can think of that I won't answer at the moment.  But I'm not going to give anything away that would ruin my teeny-tiny chances of getting my novel out "there".  So I'm sorry if that just made all of you reach for your mouse to hit the "exit" button...but this is my un-contest, and those are my rules.  I'm going to have to reserve the right to choose which questions to answer, though hopefully this will be a fun experience that will leave you all wanting to know more. *throws head back and lets out an evil laugh*

Well what are you waiting for, people? Ask away!

I got the bug.

So over the past few days I got the bug again.  Finally.  I was starting to get a bit worried, I will admit.  Life is time-consuming, and with so many things needing fixing in my WiP, I was feeling overwhelmed.

But a little time off has done wonders.  My house was clean...for a millisecond.  And I cleaned out a lot of places that had been stuffed full of anything and everything for over the past year or so.  Enough to fill two trash cans.  Talk about feeling empowered.  

Speaking of empowered, that's the perfect word to explain how it feels when you have gotten something accomplished in your writing.  It could be thinking of a new scene, or funny dialogue, or even just watching the word tally go up as you type along on the keyboard.  This time my writing bug gave me all of the above.  It was refreshing.  And now I'm on a roll again, with ideas popping into my head at the strangest times of the day.  I love it.  

One of the things that started my writing up again was music.  We writers use many different tools to get us in the "zone".   When I'm in a slump, I go searching for new songs.   Songs I can rock out to, songs that make me sad, songs with words that make me think.  I blare them in my car, play them as I do laundry, listen to them over and over again until my kids know all of the words right along with me.  And it never fails... within a few days I've got feelings and ideas flowing through my veins again.  So here's to music, for giving me the writing bug.

I'm having a birthday party, but you're not invited, but you can come if you want.

The above quote is from one of my favorite movies, What's Eating Gilbert Grape.  (Some of you have noticed hints on my tweets lately, and this blog is what they have been about.)  

For months now I've planning to do a blog based solely on my favorite movies...but after realizing I have way too many favorites, I'm thinking none of them would get the time they deserve if I post them all at once, so this will be broken down into a few blogs over the next few weeks.

We'll start out with my favorite 90's movies, and go through 1993.  Keep in mind that I am just stating my opinion - not all of these are critically acclaimed (Are any  of them? I'm not sure.) or five star rated movies, just the ones that will forever be in my "favorite" list. Ones that I fell in love with, that made me laugh or cry, or both.  

Would I suggest you watch them?  Of course I would. They're my favorites.  (FYI I'm not very picky with movies -- as long as there isn't tons of blood flying everywhere I watch almost anything.  Not a fan of horror though -- sorry horror fans.)

Hope you enjoy the facts about each one. (Keep in mind that movie ratings during the 90's were more lenient than they are now!)  Movies with a ** symbol are ones I would love to add to my DVD collection. (Ebay and I are best buddies.)  Also, I was using the tab key overzealously at first, and had to go to a different format...but in the process a few things stayed spaced out but they will NOT show on my I apologize.

Very quickly before I start, I'd like to give you all an idea of my age.  I turned 12 years old in October of 1990, so that should put my movie viewing status/tastes in perspective a bit.  And here we go....

*Not sure why, but for some reason I have no favorites for this year.   


My Girl - PG


When your dad's an undertaker, your mom's in heaven, and your grandma's got a screw loose, it's good to have a friend who understands you.  Even if he is a boy. 


Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Anna Chlumsky (Vada)


Won MTV's "Best Kiss" category, nominated for "Best Breakthrough Performance" for Anna Chlumsky , and "Best On-Screen Duo" for Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin.
Won Young Artist Award's Special Award for "Most Promising Young Newcomer" for Anna Chlumsky, nominated for "Young Artist Award" in the Best Family  Motion Picture category

Memorable quote:  

Vada - "I was born jaundiced. Once I sat on a toilet seat at a truck stop and caught hemorrhoids.  And I've learned to live with this chicken bone that's been lodged in  my throat for the past three years.  So I knew Dad would be devastated when he learned my latest affliction."

Coffee chatter:  This film begins in the summer of 1972 (so yes, you get to hear songs from the 70's).  Viewers see the world through an 11 year old girl's eyes.  I saw this movie in the theater with two of my friends. Love it.

The Man in the Moon -   PG13


Remember when you couldn't wait for your life to begin... and then, one day, it did?


Sam Waterston, Tess Harper, Gail Strickland, Reese Witherspoon (Dani), Jason  London,  Emily Warfield


Young Artist Award nominations for "Best Young Actress Co-starring in a Motion Picture" for Emily Warfield and "Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture" for Reese Witherspoon

Memorable Quote:

Dani - "Are you always this nice to people you just met or are you practicin' up to be a horse's butt?"

Coffee Chatter:  This movie takes place in the summer of 1957 -- and was ReeseWitherspoon's film debut at 14 years old.  (She actually tried out for the role of an extra, and landed a lead role.) 

**Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken -  G


The inspiring true-life adventure of a courageous young rebel who defied the odds...and won.


Gabrielle Anwar (Sonora), Michael Schoeffling, Cliff Robertson, Dylan Kussman, Kathleen York

Memorable Quote:     

Sonora - "Manure just happens to be my specialty."

Coffee Chatter:  This Disney movie takes place during the depression, and is based on the true story of a woman who did horse diving during that era.  (Yes, it is exactly how it  sounds - diving into water, while on horseback.)  Wild Hearts Can't be Broken is a very inspirational movie -- though it is rated G and a good family movie, I could watch it over and over again by myself, as well.


Alan & Naomi - PG


(No tagline so I'm using something the product description from
This atmospheric tale of real love, set in 1944 Brooklyn and shot on a deliciously alive studio street, concerns a young Jewish boy named Alan Silverman (Lukas Haas) who is pressured into providing companionship for a catatonic French girl, Naomi Kirschenbaum (Vanessa Zaoui). The latter witnessed her father's death at the hands of the Gestapo and has been lost in herself ever since. A small crowd of Naomi's boosters, including Alan's parents (Michael Gross, Amy Aquino), hope that his frequent visits to her can resuscitate her old spirit. Poor Alan, however, with his mind on such crucial matters as improving his stickball game, is hardly in a position to understand Naomi's psychological wilderness, let alone penetrate it. Yet his essential decency wins over all else, and if his secrecy about the matter draws the disappointment and wrath of his bewildered best friend--an endearing, tough, Irish-Catholic pug named Shaun Kelly (a wonderful performance by Kevin Connolly)--then Naomi's progressive steps toward trust are worth it. ..." --Tom Keogh


Lukas Haas, Vanessa Zaoui, Michael Gross, Amy Aquino


Won Heartland Film Festival's "Crystal Heart Award", nominated for "Young Artist Award" for Vanessa Zaoui (Naomi) in the Best Young Actress Co-starring in a Motion Picture category

Coffee Chatter: This movie has been very hard for me to find on DVD, but I think I may have finally found it. For those of you who still own VHS players, there are many VHS versions out there.  Alan & Naomi is based on the book of the same name by Myron Levoy (a children's book for the 11-14 year old range - that I have not read).  Wonderful, touching movie.

School Ties - 1992


Just because you're accepted doesn't mean you belong.


Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O'Donnell, Randall Batinkoff


Nominated for Casting Society of America, "USA 's Best casting for Feature Film, Comedy", and Political Film Society, USA's "PFS Award" in the Human Rights category

Coffee Chatter:  School Ties is based on personal experiences of writer and TV producer, Dick Wolf (producer of Law & Order, amongst other things).  The story takes place in the 1950's and one thing it does is show the viewer how people can make ethnic jokes and yet not realize the very person standing next to them may be that exact ethnicity.  If you enjoy watching "pre-star" performances, this is a good movie to check out -- Chris O' Donnel, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Brendan Fraser are all in this movie.


**Swing Kids - PG13


In a world on the brink of war, you either march to one tune or dance to another.


Robert Sean Leonard (Peter), Christian Bale, Frank Whaley, Barbara Hershey


Won American Chreography Award for "Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film" category (tied with "What's Love Got to Do With it"), Young Artist Award in the "Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Motion Picture" category for Christian Bale, Robert Sean Leonard, David Tom and Frank Whaley

Memorable Quote:

Peter - "It dont mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. Do wah, do wah, do wah, do wah do wah!"

Coffee Chatter: Swing Kids takes place in Germany during World War II.  As the war progresses, the "laws" become more and more strict, until no one is allowed to do anything unless it is deemed "German".   A group of kids who are taken by America's Swing music and don't care about the politics of the war go underground at night, dancing together, wearing long hair (another "law" -- the boys/men were not allowed to have long hair), and listening to Swing night and day (even though they knew anything played by anyone of a different race or skin color other than German was just downright dangerous).  I like anything with music and dancing -- but don't worry -- there wasn't a whole lot of dancing, though when there was, it was great.  (I can't imagine attempting to dance like that - the women are tossed all over the place!)  Again, if any of you like "pre-famous" movies, Robert Sean Leonard (currently on House), Christian Bale and Noah Wyle are all on this movie.

The Sandlot - PG


The adventure of a lifetime, the summer of their dreams... the dog of their nightmares.  


Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar (Benny), Patrick Renna, Chauncey Leopardi, Marty York


Won Young Artist Award in the "Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Motion Picture" category - Brandon Quintin Adams, Victor DiMattia, Grant Gelt, Tom Guiry, Chancey Leopardi, Shane Obedzinski, Patrick Renna, Mike Vitar and Marty York

Memorable Quote:

Benny Rodriguez - "Anyone who wants to be a can't-hack-it pantywaist who wears their mama's bra, raise your hand."

Coffee Chatter:  The boys of The Sandlot all have quirky characteristics which makes you like them even more than you would if it was just another group of boys playing baseball.  The theme of the movie is baseball, yes, but there's more to this movie than that. The Sandlot, based on the 1960's, proves that friendship and determination go a long way.  There have been two more Sandlot movies since this original - I have seen Sandlot 2 once and though it was cute, it wasn't as good as the original.  Sandlot 3 came out two years ago but I only learned about it today as I was researching.  Chauncey Leopardi, who plays Squints in the original, reprises his role in Sandlot 3.

**What's Eating Gilbert Grape - PG13


Arnie knows a secret.  His big brother Gilbert is the greatest person on the planet.


Johnny Depp (Gilbert), Leonardo DiCaprio (Arnie), Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen


Won awards for Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Leonardo DiCaprio in "Emerging Actor" category, National Board of Review, USA for Leonardo  DiCaprio in the "Best Supporting Actor" category, and two foreign film awards.  Nominated for a Golden Globe for Leonardo DiCaprio in the "Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture" category, nominated for an Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio in "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" category.

Memorable Quotes:

Arnie - "Match in the gas tank, boom, boom!"

Arnie - "I killed it, Gilbert!  I killed it!"

Coffee Chatter:  What's Eating Gilbert Grape was a different kind of movie for the early 1990's. The main issue is Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) dealing with the huge undertaking of taking care of his mentally handicapped brother, Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his home-bound mother, but it's also a love story.  For those of you who, like me, watched Leonardo DiCaprio each week on Growing Pains, it's easy to see that he was pretty young in his acting career at this point (WEGG came out a year after those episodes), yet he does an absolutely amazing job playing Arnie.  This movie might have meant more to me considering I have a brother with a handicap, I'm not sure -- but I really recommend watching it at least once.

Until I began to post everything, I hadn't realized most of the movies I love take place at least a few decades ago!  If anyone would like to remind me of more movies from 1990-93, please do.  It was hard to narrow it down to a few, and at the end it may be necessary to list a few honorable mentions for the entire decade. Keep watching for tweets to more lines from my favorite movies -- and if you recognize them, I want to hear about it!

We Will Always Remember

Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children. “ - President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

"The planes were hijacked, the buildings fell, and thousands of lives were lost nearly a thousand miles from here. But the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were an attack on the heart of America. 
And standing here in the heartland of America, we say in one voice: 

We will not give in to terrorists;

We will not rest until they are found and defeated; 

We will win this struggle: not for glory, nor wealth, nor power, but for justice, for freedom, and for peace; 

So help us God."

--Tom Harkin

The Lemonade Award


I'm finally passing the lemonade along.  Kristen Torres-Torro of Write in the Way was kind enough to nominate me for the Lemonade Award back in August (you can view the post here).  I would love to say there's a wonderful reason for taking this long to pass it along, but really, my only excuse is life in general. Busy, crazy, chaotic life.  (But that doesn't mean I'm not grateful for the nomination, because boy let me tell ya, I am!!!)

The Lemonade Award is a feel good award that shows gratitude or a great attitude.  Here are the rules:

*Put the Lmeonade Award logo on your blog and/or post.

*Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.

*Link the nominees within your post.

*Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

*Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award.

First off I want to thank Kristen for choosing me and nine other bloggers.  Recognition and camaraderie on these here blogs really does help the sanity. This community is the best.

And now it's time for me to pass the Lemonade Award on to another ten bloggers.  I chose people who inspire me with their overall spunk for life -- those who make me stop and think and feel better after reading their blogs (whether it's because of their fun attitude or because I learned something by reading their blogs -- or both).   And I tried to find people who hadn't received this award just to make it a little more exciting.  So without further ado....

1.  Dorraine Darden at Free Ice Cream

2.  Jenny Ingram at Jenny on the Spot

3.  Liana Brooks at Liana Brooks

4.  Darlene over at Peeking Between the Pages

5.  Sierra Godfrey at Sierra Godfrey

6.  Susan Adrian at Susan Adrian

7.  Kate Lord Brown at What Kate Did Next

8.  Wilkie at To Write and Publish

9.  Anita at Beyond the Diapers and Spills

10.  Lari Lynn Dell at Montana for Real

Thank you again Kristen for the award!  =)  I can't wait to see who is nominated by the ten wonderful ladies above!

Grandparents Day

grandparents Pictures, Images and Photos

Some of you are probably counting down the days until Grandparents Day, and some of you probably didn't even know it existed.  This year Grandparents Day is on Sunday, September 13th.  I've noticed the past few years that more and more calendars are listing it -- and to be honest, I think that's a good thing.

When I was a kid my school had a Grandparents thing every year. The younger classes would perform skits, or sing songs (I'll never forget the "I'm My Own Grandpa" song our class sang in fifth grade I think it was) and all of the students' grandparents were invited to hang out in the classrooms for a while.  I don't think we ever celebrated it on the real day though, and now that I think about it, I'm not sure if it was even on any calendar yet back then.  It was still neat that we celebrated them in that way -- all of the grandparents walked around the school grounds with big, smiley, proud cheesers spread across their faces. Even the really grumpy ones.

20 years later, my kids are at a school that celebrates Grandparents Day as well.  Not a whole lot is done in the classroom -- it's mainly a fundraiser for the school where grandparents arrive early to eat donuts with their grandchildren in the cafeteria and take a picture with them, but I'm still extremely grateful for the celebration.

Grandparents mean so much to us as we grow up -- and I think many times kids get to a point where they think they're too cool or too old or too whatever to be around grandparents socially  anymore.  I've had this argument recently with my 6th grader (who thinks she's 21, along with all of the other 6th graders).  She's getting to the point where it's almost -- not yet, just almost -- embarrassing to do things like Grandparents Day.

We were having a discussion the other day about an entirely different subject, and I just flat-out told her how I felt. (That's one good thing about older kids, not beating around the bush anymore.)  I said, "Well you know what?  You never know how long any of us are going to be on this earth -- so for that reason above all else, you're going to continue to do things with your grandparents until you are WAY older than this!"  What I didn't tell her was that when she gets older and looks back on it all, she's not going to remember the embarrassment or the conversation we even had -- she's just going to wish they were still around.

Maybe that's why I make such a big deal out of Grandparents Day.  Because slowly but surely over the years I've lost grandparent after grandparent. I started out with 4 grandmothers and 4 grandfathers (long story) and now I only have one of each.  This isn't supposed to be a sad story about losing grandparents, believe it or not.  The reason for this post was to say that I looked around town a bit today to get a feel for what's available for my girls to give to their Grandparents on Sunday, and after looking around Hallmark for 15 minutes, I left there feeling really pissed off.

I cannot even begin to tell you just how many "Grandma" and "Nana" things there were.  Not that I am complaining about that -- to a certain extent I am actually excited that people are finally making items that say "Nana".  But when I looked for "Grandpa" or "Papa" I couldn't find jack.  "Grandparents" this and "Grandparents" that, and then "Grandma, Nana, Grandma..." and so on.  For some reason it really bothered me.  Here there's shelf after shelf in every single store I enter with Halloween crap spread all over the place -- ugly witches that cackle and disgusting dead skulls and bony hands and spiders.  For a holiday that I can't stand in the first place -- that doesn't take place for over a month from now.  

Yet "Grandpa"? "Papa"?  Nothing.  Now I'm sure if I headed over to Wal-mart, I'd find the same ol' T-shirts and hats and coffee mugs (how many does a poor grandpa need of those, anyway?). How in the world can goblins and ghosts and bats be more important than grandparents?  I just don't understand it.  I'm probably odd-woman out on this one, and I realize that.  

If you looked at it from my point of view (and most of  you probably have your own version of this), grandparents are life savers.  They feed you whatever you want. Spoil you and take you places your parents would never go.  You get to watch TV in their beds and be hyper and play games with them.  For the first few years of my life, one of my grandpas was practically my dad.  And he was a wonderful grandfather.  I can't complain about a thing.  Of course he was the first out of all of my grandparents to leave this world, but by that time he wasn't "him" anymore, so it wasn't as hard on me.  

My point is, sometimes I want to scream from the rooftops at the marketers here, who decide what is so popular and what isn't. But I also want to scream at the consumers as well -- because to a point we are the reason for the decisions they make!  We're the reason Halloween and Fourth of July and even St. Patrick's Day are more important than Grandparents Day!  What are we telling our children? Or our parents, for that matter?  (Not that I think any grandparents actually sit around sulking if Grandparents Day isn't celebrated with them or anything.  But that's probably mainly due to the fact that most people don't even know about it.)

As I write this, Wednesday begins in 12 minutes.  That's four whole days to get out there and make/find something to give your grandparents, to help your children give something to their grandparents.  You can do this, people. I know you can. Go for it. Be creative.  And if you see anything that says "Papa" please let me know as soon as possible.

For those of you who haven't been able to remember the lyrics, or the ones who were wondering what kind of words could be in a song like "I'm My Own Grandpa",  here ya go.  

I'm My Own Grandpa
Guy Lombardo

Now many many years ago when I was twenty-three
I was married to a widow who was pretty as can be
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red
My father fell in love with her and soon they too were wed

Oh I'm my own grandpa
I'm my own granpa
It sounds funny I know,
But it really is so
Oh I'm my own grandpa

This made my dad my son-in-law and changed my very life
My daughter was my mother 'cause she was my father's wife
To complicate the matter even though it brought me joy
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy

My little baby then became a brother-in-law to Dad
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad
For if he was my uncle, then that also made him br'ther
Of the widow's grown-up daughter who was also my stepmother

Father's wife then had a son who kept them on the run
And he became my grandchild, for he was my daughter's son
My wife is now my mother's mother and it makes me blue
Because altho' she is my wife, she's my grandmother too

Now if my wife is my grandmother, then I'm her grandchild
And every time I think of it, it nearly drives me wild
For now I have become the strangest case I ever saw
As husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa 

The Writing Process


Writing.  Sounds so simple, doesn't it?  Stuff comes to your mind, you write it down, a story forms, you build on that story. Protagonist, Antagonist. Characters, dialogue, plots, sub-plots. 

It sounds so simple. You think of a story, decide to share it with everyone, and in a matter of weeks/days/months/years, after being sucked into a world of your own and neglecting almost everything else around you,  you're done.  As you move on to the next step of querying, a satisfying feeling of completion washes over you.  But...are you really finished?  Most editors and publishers will think not.

Writing can be compared to many things, but for the moment I'm going to compare it to shoes.  You buy the shoe, insert the laces.  Now do you expect to walk around?  No.  The laces still have to be pulled up together, looped around, and tied.  It's pretty much the same when it comes to writing.  The writing part is getting your shoes, and lacing them nice and neat and even.  

But learning how to tie them tight enough to stay in those loops as you walk around all day long is the hard part.  That's the publisher/editor process.  They take what you have (if you've followed the insanely long guidelines/rules) and help you get the laces into nice, perfect, symmetrical loops.  Guidelines like:

Were the characters believable?  Were they the type that people could relate to?  Did you do your story in third person point of view? If so, did you go too far with the he's, she's and they's? How about first person point of view? Too many I's? Did the first person point of view come across too telly? (My new word.)  You made sure to show enough, and not tell the whole time, right? And how about talking? Did the main character talk too much and not tell -- oops -- I mean, show the story to the readers?

And speaking of readers - did you pull them in enough at the beginning? That first sentence, the first paragraph  -- was it good enough?  How far into the story did the readers have to get before they come across the hook?  Was your hook good enough?  Was the it the real reason for the story? Did it even tie into the story at all?

Did you go overboard with adverbs? Adjectives? Throw in too many just's or that's? Are there too many words? Not enough words?

The story line wasn't too dark, or too light, or too heavy, or too preachy, or too full of dialogue -- right?

Let's not forget originality.  Is your story original? Will it stand alone in a book store and say "Read me -- I'm different. I'm entertaining. I don't sound like every other chick lit or nonfiction or mystery or romance out there."?  Or is it just like ten/twenty other stories that have just been published or are being submitted to agents as I type this?

Many times we aim our frustration at the person teaching us to tie our shoes (a.k.a.the one who edit/critiques our work), because writing, like tying shoes at first, isn't really as simple as we all make it sound.  It takes so much time and effort to get the loops right and tight enough, and sure, other people learned to tie their shoes the same way eventually, but that doesn't really make it any easier, does it?  

The term the writing process is used for a reason.  Aside from coming up with a story line, characters and a beginning, middle and end, there's so much writers have to worry about before a book can even be considered as finished. Not to mention, so much that needs to be done before it's even considered to be good.

And that process can get you down. It can get you frustrated, give you writer's block, make you want to bash your head against the keyboard, tear up your journals or notebooks, go shopping and blow tons of money, eat endless amounts of chocolate, devote more than a normal amount of time to watching movies or reading books or even scrubbing the grout in your shower, clean your house, do yard work, smoke thousands of cigarettes, boycott your computer.  Simply having fun while writing a book tends to be the last thing on a writer's mind when they are re-writing for the tenth time, because something doesn't make sense, or flow, or well, all of the things I mentioned above.

That being said, I don't think any of us would choose NOT to write.  But I know a lot of us are forming ulcers in the process.  Ulcers we, in a twisted, masochistic sort of way, want to have, but ulcers nonetheless.

And...CHECK! Moving right along...

Yesterday was quite a good day.  Did I cross everything off of my "to do" list?  No.  Did I get my house picked up? No.  Did I even finish this time-consuming novel already so I can stop boring everyone with all of the little details? No, of course not, that would make my life (and yours) seem way too easy.  I was able to cross about three out of ten things off my list.  Not too exciting, I know.  But the most important one, the contest submission, that got crossed off.  (It was down to the wire, the last date you could have on the postmark actually, but I made it!)  fiveit Pictures, Images and Photos

So now that that's done...I've received a few viewpoints now about what I've written so far.  Of course any kind of criticism is hard to take, and any kind of praise isn't enough (more, people - I want to hear more! lol).  But I think in order to be the best we can be, we need to hear both. (Long as it's somewhat even, I think I'll survive.)

That being said, a fellow writer friend whom I've gotten to know very quickly (thank you internet!) has brought up a few things, and they are making me think.  Some, I have no idea what to do about yet - or if I'll do anything - but I think I've found the solution for one area in particular. 

It's crazy to me how one day the negative feedback can knock you down (sometimes for only a few minutes, sometimes for hours, or a day, just depends) but then, as you figure out where you went wrong, or how you can make it better, that excitement comes back and makes the whole process fun and exciting again. (Because, I'll be honest - after a while, editing takes the enjoyment out of this process. It drains you.)

So that is where I'm at, dear readers. I'm moving right along, re-writing this time but in a fun way,  a "I'm going to entertain myself as I right this" way.  This is a good place to be.  I'm enjoying it.

Oh - and I totally forgot to mention the other reason I thought it was a good day.  I never win anything. Ever. Never, ever EVER.  Something went wacko for a few moments of time (I picked up a lucky penny, perhaps?) because I won a pack of things from and it arrived in the mail yesterday.  Whoo boy is it fun to open something up with your name on it and pull out a bunch of  free stuff. It was like Christmas in August.  Totally made my afternoon. And Lovemuffin's. He was sportin' the hat and claiming things for himself the second the bag was opened.

Well I'm off to re-write for a few more minutes, and then I'm going to try and cross a few more things off my list. I'll leave you all with an interesting blog post that I came across this morning titled The Writer's Baggage.  It's aimed at writers, but I think those of you who don't write may still find it entertaining, and it gives a little insight to a "writer's world".  I really related to #6 - A dog, not a cat.  My dogs have spent hours lying by my feet as I work on this thing.  It's like a little silent support system. (With the occasional loud groaning - those of you who have heard my German Shepherd stretch will know what I'm talking about - he's like an old man.) And as for #9 - I'm new enough in this journey that those do not apply. I still love journals and plaques and whatnot. Just thought I'd clarify that.  You can read The Writer's baggage  here . Okay I'm off to find me some stickers.