Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Not dreaming about my characters...having trouble writing.

I type a few words and lose interest.



Lack of confidence?

I realized suddenly the other day my word count is at 13 K, and the maximum word count for the submission is 15 K. And my characters have only had sex once, and are back to the getting-to-know-you-let's-see-where-this-takes-us stage.

I need to speed it up. I need to talk to my best male friend, but he's not available for input.

So I guess I'll just have to do what I did during NaNo and rely on my imagination, which is showing signs of disappearing as the stress of having an irate hubby and rising gas prices shut down my creative process.

Which sucks.


Please....let our rebate check come in the mail, so my van can be fixed.

Please...let him return to work so we can pay all of our bills, instead of having to pick and choose.

Please...let me have more recipes for pork loin, hamburger, and chicken, or let us have the income to buy stew meat and beef roasts again. I have a craving for beef stroganoff. And not made with hamburger.

Please...let nothing interfere with my 'book tour' this summer? And let my royalties be a steady source of income for me between now and my next contract??

Please...let the gas prices come down a dollar or two, so my hubby's mood will improve?

Do you think I'm asking for too much?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dream Pt 2

The dream sort of continued, only it took a weird turn...

I am in New York, on a 'field trip', of sorts, with the girls from One Tree Hill. Brooke was to meet with a fashion designer; Peyton was there for support, except she met a guy we were convinced was a mob figure.

The hotel we were staying at was the same one in which my character had a suite in which he lived.

We dodged the Joan Collins-type chaperone character and I discovered the suite. Nothing happened; we simply talked. But later, as the antics of Brooke and Peyton grew outrageous, I called on my friend for help. It was one of those frantic phone calls in which the only information revealed was 'Help! Peyton's being chased by this unsavory guy and Brooke can't find her...'

But in the end, the guy was miraculously apprehended; the girls were tearfully returned to the hotel; the chaperone and the rest of the crew blissfully ignorant of all actions.

And myself? I knocked on my friend's door and asked quietly, "How did you know?"

"Because I know you, and I've come to expect things like this."

I entered the room. His son is playing a video game, and there is a strange woman and young child sitting on the couch. I introduce myself and apologize for the interruption.

"But...you did it all with one phone call," I continue. "You never left; We never saw you. And yet you still managed to be the hero in the end." I'm thoroughly confused.

"Kenzie...I can't explain it. I've matured over the past several years, but you refuse to see it." He's getting slightly angry. "Now don't you have a plane to catch?"

"Actually, we're leaving in the morning." I shoot another inquisitive glance at the silent woman still in the room.

He shifts in his seat. "I think your friends would like to see you."

"Why?" I challenge him. Somehow, my shoes are off, and my cardigan sweater is unbuttoned. I don't remember doing anything to my clothes.

"Because I have plans tonight." He frowns and leans over to hand me my shoes and pull my sweater together, so my tank top is covered.

Suddenly, the woman pipes up, "That's okay; if your wife needs you..."

I shrug and give her a smile. He is not amused.

"She's not my wife," he snaps.

I fasten my sweater and pull on my heels. "That's right; just an Old and Dear Friend, right?" My sarcasm overflows as I feel my own anger rise. I get to my feet and head toward the door. "Enjoy your evening."

Suddenly, his hands are at my shoulders. "Awww, Kenz..."

And suddenly, I jerk wide awake AGAIN! What is it with these weird dreams? And I wake up just when things are getting interesting? What does it mean when you and your 'soul mate' argue in your subconscious?

Not exactly the ending I wanted, but then again, maybe it will continue again tonight?

Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Do you dream in color?

I do.

Several months ago, my blogmate Kelly interviewed a couple of her male characters, and they said some flirtatious things. Well last night, one of my favorite characters invaded my dreams last night, and I woke up too early!

The dream went something like this:

I let myself into the house. He is sitting on the floor, surrounded by boxes.

"We need to talk," he says, looking serious.

Uh-oh...I don't like the sound of this. "What's the problem?" I set my briefcase down by the front door and make my way over to him.

He stands, and we leave the crowded living room for the spacious master bedroom. I lay down on the bed and curl up on my side, watching him pace.

"I was there...today. In front of the stadium. I bought hot dogs for the kids and saw you."

Relief flows through me. He came to the signing after all! But..."Why didn't you come over to the table?"

"You had several people at your table, and you looked so beautiful, so animated, and it hit me...you're going to do well with this! And where does this leave me?" He sits on the edge of the bed, and I see the little boy who just wants to be loved and appreciated.

"I will never leave you," I whisper softly. "I love you."

He get up and spoons his body around mine. "Can we research some more?"

I feel his hands unbuttoning my shirt. "You've been reading Sommer's blog again..."

And all of a sudden, my eyes flew open and I'd slept through my snooze button again. It was 6:30; there was no sexy man trying to entice me to get naked; just a snoring husband and another morning waiting for me. Time to get up, make the coffee, watch the news, and wake up my kids. Thursday morning, and all I want to do is go back to bed and finish my dream!

Maybe he'll return tonight?

This is the second time I've dreamed about someone's blog post. The first one was Anny Cook's, when she was doing research on the nutritional elements of acorns!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Updated Word Count: 8,021 in the past week. Doing well...page 28, ready to start ch 6:)

I can't keep my fingers silent. I read on another blog that she prefers the term 'fucking' over 'making love'.

I disagree. And this is my blog, so I get to state my opinion.

'Fucking' refers to selfish sex. The two partners are only doing 'it' for their own selfish pleasure. And I'll agree with her on this point: You CAN be in love and still 'fuck'.

'Having sex' is a step above 'fucking'. The two partners are somewhat selfish, but they may not necessarily care about their own pleasure. It may be that one partner is only seeking to pleasure the other, and not expecting anything in return.

'Making Love' is unselfish. Each partner cares deeply about the other, or at least shows how much they care, by taking time to put the others' needs above their own. This is a deep, rich experience, and usually draws each partner closer together.

Go ahead; disagree with me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquake and Edits

Sounds like a strange combination, right?

I finished the edits on chapter 3 last night. Discovered I am overly wordy in some spots, and less in others! Lisa also graciously pointed out where rearranging the wording makes the sentance flow a little better! Thanks, Lisa:) And she also pointed out that when two people are talking on the telephone, the other person cannot be seen. Sorry; I was picturing a split-screen! Too much TV, I guess!

And then this morning, we were rudely awakened by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake. Rare in my neck of the woods! This was my 2nd one; I stayed in bed, wondering, 'What the hell....?" If I'd been in California, I guess the knee-jerk reaction would have been to dive into the doorway. Me, I lay in bed waiting for the house to fall on top of me! Bad Kenzie...

But no damage. And we apparently had an aftershock while I was downstairs and missed it. Maybe I'll feel the next one.

Haven't written anything all week, and I'm hoping to rectify that oversight. Monday...what did I do? Can't remember. Tuesday, I chatted on the Novel Sisterhood and outed myself. Got great preliminary reviews on both of my blurbs...can the writing hold up as well? Stay tuned...Wednesday, I received word that my Wild at Heart manuscript had arrived on an editor's desk, and when it has been reviewed, she'll let me know yea or nay. And Lisa is loving my Head of the Class. I'm getting ready to send her chapter 4. God, there's a lot of sex in the first couple of chapters! But that's what the public wants, apparently! Hope the general story is received well, along with my steamy sex scenes!

I'm living vicariously through my blogmates this week. Kelly, Anny, Brynn, and Bron, not to mention other authors whose books I've read, are all in Pittsburgh this week. I found out next year the Romantic Times Convention will be held in Orlando. Hopefully, I'll be a published e-author next year, and can afford to go? (But will hubby let me is the question!!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Dance:)

Word Count: 2626 on Monday:) Doing good! I'm on ch 3, page 12:)

I received confirmation that Eternal Press received my Wild at Heart submission, and they will let me know what they think:)

I also sort of 'outed' myself on the Novel Sisterhood chat group. I posted the blurbs to both Wild at Heart and Head of the Class, and several people liked the premise of both:)

Lisa sent me Chapter 3; I don't know if I'll get to it today or not. Depends if I get everything else finished first...long story short, I ended up washing enough laundry yesterday to use almost an entire bottle of detergent. Now, laundry is the one chore I actually enjoy doing. But fumigation is enough to change that attitude...

The temps are going to be in the 70's today. Hubby informed me we will be cooking on the grill. Yay! Easy clean up and prep! So with that said, I'm getting off the internet and opening up the doors and windows to let the fresh air (and the pollen, fun fun!) circulate through the house!

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Routine...

Word Count: 1456. Success! They're in bed! And by page 3:)

I hope I don't jinx myself; I've had two fabulous days of reworking my WIP, and all is going well! I typed two pages yesterday, and another two today. While this doesn't sound like very much, it is working with the household routing, and no one is complaining that Mom is monopolizing the computer.

After getting the kids off to school, I have my 'me' time...I shower, dress, do my QT, make the bed, and do a quick pick-up of the house. Next, I fire up the computer and read the blogs. Afterwards, I log off and pull up my wip. I work steadily until noon, when it is time to pick up the toddler. Then it's lunch time, and any errands we have to run. By 2, I'm usually back on the web, posting my blog and seeing if I can inspire a comment or two. Yesterday, I think my alter ego shocked the hell out of some people. Maybe I should have posted some of my questions here; maybe I'll repeat them later. Who knows? Anyway, after I get finished here, I'll make the rounds again and comment. Then it will be time to make way for the teenagers so they can do homework or IM long-distance friends. Dinner. And then TV time. I might be able to get on again after my show is over, but before bedtime. Again, who knows? And if I can squeeze it in, I might even post a comment or two on one of my chat loops. It all depends on if I have something to contribute.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I was inspired last night. I received word over the weekend of a submission call, but as I have never read any of this particular anthology stories (actually, it turns out that one of the stories is on my TBB list!), I wasn't sure I was up to the task.

But guess what?

I've been plodding along with a current WIP, and I'll write a scene here, a scene there, and figure that eventually everything will come together, right? I think it finally has.

Only....I'm getting bogged down in the backstory. I read somewhere an author gave an manuscript to her critique partner, who pointed out her 'story' actually started around page 50 or something like that. I went to bed thinking about where I wanted my characters to go next, and the email popped into my head. Okay...only in my story, the characters haven't even dated yet. So maybe I need to create a scene where they don't know each other, but they meet and the chemistry blows them away, something like what I've created for my story 'Head of the Class'?

I mulled it over while I was soothing my 'I'm-not-sleepy-(yawn)-Mommy' toddler and as soon as he fell asleep, the idea came to me. Nope, not going to tell you what it was; as soon as I get some time to myself, I'll commit it to paper/Word Document and see if it will work. Since several scenes are already written, the conflict is already established and should flow as soon as I get them into bed for the first time!

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 4, 2008


Pet Peeve #5? Complaining all the time! What is my alter ego doing today? Complaining!

But I guess I should clarify; she's ranting about her disrupted schedule. I hate it when I get together with friends and they spend the majority of the time we have slamming their significant other!

A little venting, that's okay. But don't complain to me about what he does or does not do; tell HIM! And if you're that unhappy, seek counseling, or as a last resort, file for a separation/divorce. I don't care to hear it day after day, and I try to keep my own desparaging remarks about mine to a minimum.

On to better news: I received word that Eternal Press was seeking submissions, so I went ahead and submitted my 40K story, Wild at Heart to them! Whoo hoo! Let's hope I hear favorably???

I'll admit; this story could use a little work. I've been putting it off, because I really need to talk to someone in the banking industry to make sure my facts are clear. But maybe the details are vague enough to satisfy the editors? And I'm flexible; I know changes are needed, and I'll gladly do some minor rewriting.

And now I want to reread it myself. I've not looked at this story since last fall, and personally, I think it's damn good! Not to mention, I endorsed my dad's favorite state, restaurant, and vacation place, so if it's a hit, I'll have a great excuse to go back and do some promotion?

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pet Peeves, Pt 3

How many people have heard this?

"But Mooooooooooooooom!" (Insert whine)

"Okay, dear." (resigned sigh)

Many of today's juvenile problems go back to one main issue, PARENTING.

Do we as a society not know how to parent anymore?

Think back to your childhood. We were given set limits, curfews, and chores, and if we dared test the boundaries, we were spanked, grounded, and shamed.

I'll admit; I received my last spanking at age twelve. I don't remember what it was I did, exactly, but it probably had something to do with the fact I was being horrible to my younger sister.

When I reached my teens, I was disciplined for not doing homework, and had the plug cut off of my stereo. I didn't speak to my dad for an entire week. And surprise, surprise, my grades improved and for Christmas, I received a new cord for my beloved record player again!

I dared to back-talk my mother and got my mouth slapped. Lesson learned; you don't get mouthy with your mother. My sister, however, had a problem with this, and now it is a family joke that she received a 'daily beating' when she was younger! No, not actually beaten; just taken to the garage and spanked for being disrespectful.

Sidebar: Mom was so angry with her at one point, she came into my room looking for the toy with the ping-pong paddle, with the ball and string attached. I told her it had broken and we'd thrown it away. Not that it was at the bottom of my toy chest! Yes, I did protect my sister at times!

I know people who have actually said, "But then s/he'll hate me!"

'Scuse me? The greatest compliment I ever got was one of my kids yelling, "I HATE You!", accompanied by a door slam. Guess what? She was five and is now well-behaved. And yes, she loves me.

Kids need limits, otherwise they will grow into self-absorbed snobs who think they are entitled to everything: New clothing, money, latest electronic toys, jobs, etc. With our economy becoming uncertain, what's going to happen to these kids when there is no way to accommodate their demands? Will they kill, steal, and end up in overcrowded facilities? Oh wait...that's already happening...

There was a stunning plot to kill a teacher the other day. The kids planned how they were going to smuggle the weapons in, and how to clean up the mess later. No, not college students, or even high school kids. These kids were....8, 9, and 10 years old. Shocked? You bet. You can blame TV, video games, or even society as a whole. The experts on the news said that these kids knew about this stuff because it is most likely in their backgrounds; kids who have witnessed abuse or neglect of some kind. And that's sad.

Part of our job as parents is to show them love, provide them with the tools they need to become productive members of sociey, and to respect authority.

But if we're so afraid of offending them, and kowtow to their demands, how will this happen? Kids are crying out for help, all over the world. Are we listening, or are we too busy? Are we too wrapped up in our own selfish lives? Or will we take the time to raise our children to respect the 10 commandments and our society's laws?

And yes, it takes a village to raise a child. The next time you see a neighborhood child doing something wrong, how do you react? Turn away, because it 'isn't your child', or do you call them on it? Or even call the parents? If you see my kid doing something wrong, by all means; call me or put a stop to it! I won't get mad at you; I'll thank you. And I hope you return the favor if I do the same.

By the way, so far two of my three kids are growing up responsible. They are joys to have in the classroom, and everywhere they visit, I'm told they are welcome back at any time. My toddler is still being taught the rules. And I'm also well aware that my teens still need their mommy: I have an adult 'stepdaughter' who is still pushing the boundaries of accepted behavior. But she's finally learning, and we're satisfied with that. Some times it takes the school of 'hard knocks' to get the lessons learned. But then again, this child is only behaving in the way she was shown twenty years ago. And she's grown up a lot in the past six or seven years! Having children of her own has made her realize her 'father' was right, after all!

Why the quotes? There is no blood ties here. Her mother informally adopted my husband's family because her own was so dysfunctional. And since my husband practically raised her from age 18 months to age three, she looks upon him as a father.

Tomorrow: Complaining ALL THE TIME.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pet Peeves, Pt 2

Either my readers gave up, or they're keeping their opinions to themselves...(sigh)...it's okay:)

#2...Cracking the knuckles

Everyone has their auditory limits; some are more sensitive than others. For some, it's gum smacking. Others hate it when chalk squeeks on the blackboard. For me, I can't stand the sound of popping fingers.

A friend of mine does this out of habit. And when he does it in my presence, I want to cringe, grab my ears, and run screaming from the room. Fortunately, he knows me well enough by now that when he cracks the first one and sees me shut my eyes in pain, he stops and apologizes. And then removes himself to finish the job.

I managed to be polite when the Dish Network techi began to crack his. I simply winced and asked him not to do that. He was nice, and complied. But my son...he knows how to torture me, and now my daughter has picked up the annoying habit. But since I took away the cell phones and have threatened car priveleges whenever they start now, Mom has the upper hand again.

#3 Not returning Email questions

Another annoying habit by another friend. It's not like I bombard her with questions or anything, but when I ask a question, please answer it? Is that so hard to ask? And I'm not asking hard ones! Simple ones, such as "Who do you think will win the game tonight?" or "Do you think you can make it on Saturday to the signing?" But noooo. I'm being ignored in cyberspace until she finds the time in her busy schedule to hit the 'reply' button.

And I don't flood her inbox with emails, let me assure you. I email her on a friendly basis, generally once a week, sort of a 'hi, how are ya' thing. (No, she doesn't blog.) We're not CLOSE friends, but we've known each other for over twenty years. And she picks the ones she chooses to answer. Which I guess is her right; it just bugs the crap out of me when I want her opinion on something and it doesn't get answered until the second or third time I ask! Or we'll finally connect in person and I'll ask her then! Okay...this sounds a little whiny. Sorry.

On to happy news...

Finished the edits on chapter 2 and am anxiously awaiting chapter 3:) So far, my partner is very interested in the story and likes what I've written! Now I just hope a future publisher/editor does as well...

Am also in 'blah' mode. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you're feeling lazy? My favs are:

Numb-Linkin Park
I Don't Want To- Toni Braxton
Comfortably Numb-Pink Floyd (actually everything on Momentary Lapse of Reason album!)
Wish You Were Here-Pink Floyd
Reba McEntire
Vince Gill

Okay...wrote those last two artists, and now Reba and Brooks and Dunn are singing "If You See Her" in my head. I'm going to have to dig out that CD and listen to it; the bridge is stuck on a loop right now!

"And I still want her
And I still miss him so.
And I wonder why we let each other go..."

I'm getting off now, before I infringe on any copyright laws!

Next post: Adults wanting to be their children's friend.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pet Peeves

I wasn't challenged on this, but I'll post mine anyway. AJ wanted to know on another blog "What pisses you off?" So far, the Oh Get a Grip ladies have touched on the weight/clothing issue, public assistance, bad table manners, and blowing one's nose.

My big ones include:

1) Being late
2) Cracking knuckles
3) Not answering questions/returning emails
4) Parents who want to be their children's 'friend'
5) Complaining about one's spouse ALL THE TIME.

Being Late:

I'm not talking about being a few minutes late, or running into the occassional traffic problem. I'm talking about chronic lateness.

My mother was habitually late picking me up from events, practices, etc. Until I began driving, I resigned myself to the fact I was always going to be the final person hanging around school, church, or the movie theater, waiting for my ride to show up.

When I began driving, and the job of picking up my younger sister from swim practice fell on me, I made an effort to be on time. And she thanked me for it.

I have a family member with whom it is an inside joke that if a gathering is set to occur at 2 pm, her invitation MUST read NOON, or she'll be two hours late. Last year, our county was an hour behind everyone else's, and we forgot about it. We showed up an hour late. My mother tried to pull this tactic on us this year, and we showed up an hour early, because the time changed again, and we were now back on 'normal' time.

I also have two friends who are habitually late, and I've learned to plan accordingly. I don't like to be angry with people if we make a date for lunch, and I'm left waiting for a half an hour.

And then there is the 'entitlement' issue. These people don't apologize for being late! They act as if it is their 'right' to be late! If I'm late to an appointment, I immediately apologize for making them wait for me. My time is valuable, and so is yours. If I respect your time, please respect mine?

When my husband and I were dating, I arrived at his apartment one evening, and we decided to go out. I grabbed my overnight bag and went into the bathroom to put on my makeup. When I emerged a few moments later, D had taken off his shirt and shoes and was eating a snack!

"Oh...did you change your mind?"

"No; you said you were going to put on your face; my sister takes two hours to putty her face."

"I only take two minutes."

"OH!" And he jumped up, put on his discarded clothing and finished his snack. He learned that day he had a speedy girlfriend whose idea of makeup was subtle, not a total 'face' to produce!

I learned several years ago that I'm a 'time stresser'. I took a quiz to see what areas cause me the most stress, and time was the major one. I have a need to be on time, and the one time I tried to adopt the attitude of 'Oh well, they'll wait for me', as I've seen in others, I was raked over the coals for being disrespectful.

Maybe I should find that person who called me on it and introduce her to a few people?

Next Post: Cracking your knuckles and not answering your mail!