Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Look Back

The time has passed for counting hours and I'm done to looking at the minutes before the fall of Christmas day.  This year has been such a roller coaster for me and it's impossible for me to decide what one thing had the greatest impact.

Challenges I've face:

January - started writing my first novel, The Evolution of Janie

February - began to seriously make plans to move to Colorado

March - faced a seven person panel for a job as a Science Skills Specialist, Calleigh turned 1!

April - started position as Science Specialist and went from teaching 20 kids in my classroom to working with over 80 teachers and three elementary campuses

May - began interviews with Colorado Schools

June - accepted a teaching position in Colorado Springs, Dad got sick

July -  left Houston and began a new life in the Springs,  my sister Penny got married, finished my first draft of The Evolution of Janie. Married four years!!

August - started my new job!

Septmeber - first round of rejections from agents

October - began a complete overhaul of The Evolution of Janie based on feedback from a wonderful agent and reviewers from tNBW

November - Nano took over and Songbird began, finished Nano, but still working on Songbird

December - Working on Evolution and Songbird

So where does that leave me?  Well, with six days to go I have about four or five chapters of Songbird to complete.  It was my goal to have it done and I will.  Failure is not an option and January 1st will be my first day of editing and revising.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

End of Nano

November was an amazing month.  For 30 days I was absorbed into my world of writing.  Pouring out the heart of teenage Dani and reliving her darkest and brightest moments. There were days I struggled to catch up and days I barely kept up but I eventually found a groove.  I am so proud to say that I am an Official Nano 2009 WINNER!!  I made just over the 50,000 word count and though I didn't actually complete the story I made the goal.

Then December 1st hit.  And my cocoon  of writing unwound. Since the end of Nano I've barely managed to pull out 3,000 words.  I'm still loving the story.  It's there in my mind, on the single scrap of loose leaf paper outlining the last few chapters.  But the drive is gone.  There's so much else to do. Facebook statuses to update, Perez HIlton to check and the local station has started showing Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I can't even claim to be a Trekkie, but it's there and I kept trying to figure out why Wesley Crusher was on board and actually given a job!

So, in light of my dismal efforts over the past two weeks I am setting a new goal.  A goal that I'm putting here so that I have that accountability.  I will be done with my first draft of Songbird by 11:59pm, December 31.

Wish me luck!

On my iPod:

Angels on the Moon by Thriving Ivory

Saturday, November 28, 2009


One of the hardest parts of writing for me is balance.  No, not balancing character development and plot, action and description.  It's the balance between writing and the rest of my life.  Maybe if I was a full-fledged author, secluded in my office from 9-5 I'd be fine.  Problem is, I'm not a full-fledged author.  Instead I trudge my way to work every weekday morning to teach my 21 kids, then come home and take care of my 1 child.  Writing for me is precious time.  When Calleigh is down for the night I turn to the computer and begin typing in earnest. 

If only inspiration would come on demand.

Most of the time I sit down five minutes at a time, frantically trying to get a few words down before Calleigh is begging to be lifted and played with.  When she is asleep I have a husband who doesn't get it.  To him my writing is a hobby.  "When are you gonig to get it published?" "Why do you spend so much time writing?"  "Why don't you do something fun?"  How do I explain this is my something fun?  Yes,  I spend a lot of time on the computer, but I'm not doing it in vain (I hope).  I have plans to submit to agents, to get my work published.  Writing for me isn't just a hobby, it's a way to express myself, all of the stories that run through my mind.  And one day I hope it pays for the roof over our head.

Until that day comes, I'll balance.  Five minutes here and there is better than none at all.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Perfect Spot


I've been searching for a photo.  Why?  Inspiration. 

What better way to create the perfect setting.  So my hunt began.  What I found was an uinidentified waterfall in Northwest Montana.  Close enough to the setting of my fictional town Everett.  When I found this photo I could almost see Samara diving into the frigid water, trying to wash the pain of Kyle's death from her heart or Janie struggling with Beth as she fights for her life.

Now if only Dani would show me where her story takes place.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

When Confusion Sets In

Focusing on one novel and the various characters within is difficult enough.  Their voices blend together as they each try to tell me their version of the story.  Now that I've begun a new novel I'm finding it even harder to keep voices and stories seperate.  Last night I found myself tackling the next chapter of Janie.  Janie is learning the true story of the Raven and how it relates to her.  Yet all I could hear was Dani crying.  Her brother is dead and she's just told me that her father didn't kill himself like I wrote in chapter one.  So now I have to rewrite the chapter and she totally threw me off of focusing on Janie. They're bossier than I thought.  Constant talking I can handle, but this goes beyond that.  It's like trying to listen to twenty people at once and keep them straight.  At the moment I'm satisfied if I can make it through a chapter without mixing Janie and Dani up, or Reece and Marcus or Justin.  I think that Nano has started to drive me crazy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Songbird is the tenative title to my new novel. At this point I can't even say what it's about - not that I wouldn't love to, it's just that I have no clue where this book is going.  Dani has faced a lot of challenges in her life that go beyond the typical teenage trials. Haunted by the memory of her brother and his violent death at the hands of her father Dani struggles to be the girl next door and find  a way to make her dreams come true. Okay - I guess I can tell you what it's about! LoL

I've been so focused on fixing up Janie that I've been ignoring all the other voices in my head.  so, now I'm going to let one loose. Dani Blair Mays has entered the stage.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

NaNo OhNo!

Well, I had the best intentions! I planned everything, yet somehow it all managed to fall apart. I was going to finish The Evolution of Janie and spend November dedicated to NaNo and write the sequel to Evolution.  Now I'm only half done Evolution and no where near ready to start a new project. Tonight my goal is to write. Yet, I'm sitting here watching Calleigh try and eat all of her Halloween candy through their wrappers.  Maybe after she's in bed and I've thrown the soggy wrappers (and chocolate) away I'll get myself motivated :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I like the sound...

I like the sound of Auntie Ang. I wasn't sure it would ever happen, but I'm so happy to say that my sister, Penny, is pregnant!! 

It was a bittersweet moment seeing the ultrasounds pictures. Baby Elton was so perfect on that screen.  I remember the moment I first saw Calleigh. The joy was overwhelming, the relief beyond belief.  Then the memory of my first pregnancy surfaced and I felt the despair and guilt flooding me.

Logically, I know I didn't do anything to cause or deserve the miscarriage but it was still there, buried deep under the joy of eventually having Calleigh. But the question of why me? still haunts me and I know that I will never discover the answer I want because the real answer is why not me?

So I'm filled now with prayers that Penny never has to ask that question. That Baby Elton be strong and healthy and that the pain that surges within me is one she'll never feel.

May 2nd can't some soon enough.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Diving in

So, I am finally entering the world of blogging. Ican remember a time I thought they were a fad, like social networking sites and texting.  How I hated the idea of people constantly posting mindless blather about their lives. Now I join the ranks having only ever read one other blog (Polar Penny!). Guess I need to start checking out others so I have some clue as to what I'm doing :)