Still Writ’n

August 25, 2009 at 10:21 am (Writing Journal)

Gone Writing

Gone Writing

A month ago I took off from blogging to write. I am only on page 27 of the final edit of FREEDOM, but I did get almost 3/4th of the way through a second draft of REVENGE until I bogged down with story problems. I haven’t managed to write anything in over a week.

I should have remembered how the crowded summer conditions affect me. I need space, peace and quiet, alone time. I don’t need to be arguing with my 10 year old know-it-all grandson, or my three year old know-it-all granddaughter (she copies her brother). The summer also means lots of company, and all my daughter’s friends have kids too. Oh, the screaming, yelling, splashing in the pool. Not even earphones dealt with the noise level. I finally lost it last week and became a screaming harpy. Everyone was shocked and have been going out of their way to be nice to me. Things are getting better. My grandson is spending the week visiting his father, and my granddaughter went to play with friends today. Unexpectedly I have a day by myself. It is quiet and restful. But instead of writing, I’m blogging. Complaining about the fact that I haven’t accomplished nearly what I expected or hoped for.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. School starts soon. In less than 2 weeks, I will be free to write. My granddaughter will be going to school and a babysitter and I will have the whole day to myself to actually be a writer. It excites me and scares me at the same time. So the question is, can I finish the final edit of FREEDOM before I go in for Carpal Tunnel surgery on September 23rd? I hate copy editing. It takes me so long to even edit one page. I know it is worth it, it is necessary if I want a book that is finished and I am proud of, but the going over and over each page, sentence, word looking minutely for errors or finding just the right word or phrase is frankly boring. And I tend to procrastinate and resist the process. Someday I’ll blog about the pain it causes or maybe figure out a better way to handled it.

But right now, I am going to take another month off to write and hopefully I will be more productive in the coming month than I have been in the last month. Then as I said, September 23rd I have surgery and I won’t be able to use my hand for 2 weeks.

So I will see you about October 10th.



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June 28, 2009 at 10:59 am (Writing Journal)

It’s Sunday. Another week gone by. No progress. Each time I start to write, I find myself writing about the health challenges I’ve been facing this last week. I wrote a couple of paragraphs and in disgust erase theme. I don’t want to do another organ recital, I don’t want to whine and complain. But I envisioned this journal as a place to write down what I had done each week towards completing Darkhour Vampires. I did write an email asking for help to develop a market strategy. It helped me to realize that I am floundering and until I can develop something concrete, I won’t be able to move forward. No real help but a couple of suggestions of people to contact who have dealt with the problems of cross-genre work. I will keep you informed. And until I resolve my health issues, I giving myself permission to focus on them and not writing, rather than failing weekly to meet my writing goals.

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June 21, 2009 at 1:46 am (Writing Journal)

This week I am going to introduce Cassandra. She is one of the villains of the Darkhour series.  Much of what she is comes from her twisted and abusive childhood.  I found myself somewhat sympathetic to her and yet appalled by what she was driven to do.

I can’t remember whose advice it was that your villain never see themselves as evil, and so you should never write them that way.

As I re-read the introduction of Wade and Prane, then Donovan, I have found myself sharing more and more of the complex background that fuels the stories. And wondering if I am confusing readers with all the names and details. And yet, this is what I find fascinating about writing a vampire story, the backgound of the various vampires, their long history.

For more of the details, visit


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June 14, 2009 at 1:23 am (Writing Journal) ()

Friday, instead of writing, I spent the afternoon visiting Doctors. Learned that my second mammogram shows no signs of cancer and that I officially have severe carpal tunnel in my right hand and the recommendation is  surgery. At least go see the surgeon. What bothers me is that they don’t seem to be prepare to do any treatment except surgery. They seem to have no non-surgical methods, except sleep with wrist braces. I’ve done that for years. I also have sleep apnea so I wear a CPap mask, and end up looking like a space alien warrior when I go to bed.

I’m not keen on surgery, and I wasn’t keen the last time they diagnosed carpal tunnel and suggested surgery. That was 1985. Maybe I can find some alternatives this time too.

But after a long afternoon in waiting rooms, my husband took me to dinner at Marie Calendars. I enjoyed the meal (ribs, shrimps, bacon and cheese mashed potatoes.) Too full for pie. But they were having a special, so we brought home pie.

Then we decided to go see the new Star Trek movie. I enjoyed it and was glad we had gone. But afterward raised the issue of whether or not they would be able to do a sequel. I want to say, the movie sucked me in and definitely held my attention. It is only on later reflection that I found myself finding it wanting. First, it was not what I call a “Star Trek” story. It is hard to explain, but Star Trek stories had something unique about them, the fact that they tackled social issues, that they gave us hope for the future. That was missing from the script. Second, they ended up with caricatures of the characters and unfortunately the actors didn’t have the charisma to make me like them enough to want to come back and see them in another story. Although they certainly opened up the possibility for new and interesting future stories. The story concept was pretty brilliant. Not to give anything away for you that have yet to see it. As a long time Star Trek fan, I think you probably will want to see the movie and I don’t think that you will be disappointed. I wasn’t. But it just isn’t strong enough to support a sequel. But who knows, they might get the chance anyway to develop it. If it was the start of a new TV series, I might be interested in watching it, but big screen movie, I’m not sure.

Anyway, I have been at the computer for almost 12 hours and frankly I am bushed. I didn’t finish my blogging, so it will be a long day tomorrow. But at least I have something to post for my Sunday journal entry.

P.S. I was twittering and checked what others had to say about Star Trek. I recommend Passing the Phaser: 10 Tips for turing your kids into Trekkies You are sure to laugh.


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June 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm (Writing Journal) ()

As I was reading Chester Campbell’s blog today called The Odyssey Project about where authors get their ideas, I kept wanting to add comments to what he said. In this scientific project, authors were studied to find out where we come up with our ideas.

I have a unique perspective because I am a handicapped writer.

Chester says: Authors’ pharmacy records were surreptitiously gathered to determine the possible effects of prescription drugs on fertile minds.

Yes, drugs to affect the mind. The pain relief I feel is at the cost of  no longer being able to fantasize. I no longer dream.

Chester said: Their final report was brief but concise. “These people who call themselves authors are nuts. They have no clue where this stuff comes from, and neither do we.”

But I do have a clue.  Because I no longer conscious  create, I have learned to rely on my subconscious.

Today I was writing a new scene for my book Revenge. Thom is trying to find Donovan. It is a simple scene and suddenly out of nowhere I found myself writing about the Incident Room, which resembles the NASA control center, where the vampires monitor what is happening, looking for signs of newborn vampires. It is a brilliant idea but I had no idea of writing about it. It came from my subconscious and I rejoice in the gift.

For me writing is full of these unexpected surprises. It makes it difficult, but it also makes it exciting.

Yesterday and today I managed 6 hours on my story. Wow, I am actually making progress.


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June 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm (Writing Journal) (, )

I had to add to my skimpy Sunday post. I sat and read The Langauge of Bees by Laurie R. King until almost 11 pm, but I had still about an inch of paper to go through. Should I stay up and keep reading? The adult part of me tells me to go to bed, because Monday would be a busy day. Still the obsessive compulsive part of me wailed that I couldn’t stop until I was finished. So to shut that part up, I finally  skipped to the end of the book and read the last few pages. That satisfied me enough so that I could go to bed.

It was actually Tuesday before I got back to the book. After all I knew how it was going to end, so I didn’t need to hurry.

But this time when it turned bed time, I was only a few pages away, so I stayed up. But it was after midnight before I finished the book. The Language of Bees is the latest in a series about Sherlock Holmes, but this is a much older Sherlock Holmes. After retiring he met a young girl, Mary Russell, and in her found a kindred spirit, a brilliant detective, an assistant, a partner, and later his wife. I have loved every book in the series and The Language of Bees didn’t disappoint me. I didn’t want to finish the book, I wanted more. In fact the book pulled an “Empire Strikes Back” on me. While the story is finished we are left hanging with lots of unanswered question.  I was so frustrated I went to Luarie King’s website and was pleased to find out that the sequel The Greenman is due out in 2010. Still not very satisfactory, but since it was 4 years between The Language of Bees and it’s predecessor The Locked Room, it could have been worse.

So what does this have to do with vampires? Nothing, although Sherlock Holmes did have a story about the Suxxex Vampire, which I’ll have to look up and read again since my mind draws a blank.

But besides vampires, I love mysteryin all its variation.  But I love mystery and vampires even more. I’m trying to incorprate a bit of mystery into my Darkhour Vampires, as I incorporate a bit of vampires in my Fantasy detective story, Eyes of Truth.


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June 7, 2009 at 3:43 pm (Writing Journal)

A good book can grab your attention and not let go. Today it is THE LANGUAGE OF BEES by Laurie R. King. This morning I picked up the book to read a couple of page while I was sitting ahem how do I put it politely, on the throne. But it grabbed hold of me and now late afternoon, I am still reading.

Mindful of my duty to keep to my blogging schedule, I know I must write. But all I want to do is get back to the book, to immerse myself in this intriguing world.

So if you will excuse me, I will do just that. More later.

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May 31, 2009 at 1:48 am (Writing Journal)

For the past month, I have taken on the BAD challenge writing a blog a day. While I didn’t quite manage everyday, I  came close. But it was rather taxing since besides Darkhour Vampires, I blog on three other sites, as well as networking on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter just to mention a few. The BAD challenge was part of the Blog Book Tour class that I am taking, but starting tomorrow, we can cut back to two or three posts a week if we want. I really thought about it and since I have yet to find a balance where I can find time to work on my novels and do all the other things such as blog and Twitter, I decided I need to cut back. So what do I leave out? I like everything I have been doing.

So what is Darkhour Vampire Blog’s purpose, its goals? First, I want to journal, a personal log where I can share with my readers my progress and my achievements and my failures as I work to finish and publish the series of Darkhour books. Second, I want to share interesting information about the world of Darkhour Vampires including Prane and Valentine’s journals so readers get an inside picture and hopefully get interested in the series. Third, I want to recycle and expand on articles that I wrote for Suite 101 about vampire literature and various other topics  related to vampires. I’ve started a series on Classical Vampire Literature and I definitely want to finish it. Finally, I want to visit interesting vampire websites, interview authors, and recommend books. So I have decided to combine several of the topics.

So here is my new schedule.

Mon: Darkhour Vampires

Wed: Vampires Around the World
Currently Classical Vampire Literature

Fri: Guests, Sites, or Books

Sun: Journal

My ongoing series the Art of Blogging will continue at

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Darkhour Vampires Schedule

May 31, 2009 at 1:45 am (Darkhour Vampires, Guests, Sites, or Books, Vampires around the World, Writing Journal)

Monday: Visiting Darkhour
Explore the world of Darkhour Vampires
Vampires Around the World
Currently Classical Vampire Literature
Friday: Guests, Sites, or Books
Visiting special guests, interesting sites, or intriguing books
Sunday: Journal

Art of Blogging has been moved to Journey to Best Seller List Also visit my other blogs On Wings of Murder and Midnightblood Reviews.

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May 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm (Writing Journal) (, )

This past week, I lost 4 days due to flu, cold and hot spells, spending the day shivering and sweating and staring at the TV trying to ignore the roiling stomach. Thursday I finally went to the doctor. She said I obviously have something, probably a viral infection, but what she can’t tell. Call her if I don’t get better. Maybe it was just the finally taking action, getting out of the house, but I did start to feel better. Then Friday, spent half a day going to the coast for dinner and a show with my husband. We went to see the Smothers’ Brothers. What a treat. What a great show, bringing back great memories. Amazing how many of the old routines my husband and I could remember and recite, but the show wasn’t just old stuff, there was plenty new as well. I was sorry I didn’t think to invite my son-in-law, he would have enjoyed the comedy and my daughter definitely the music. But as my husband said, it wouldn’t have been as special as it was to us and all the other grey haired, wrinkled, bespectaled audience. For their age (70) the Smothers Brothers look great, more like 50, and definitely didn’t act their age. In my husband and my life time, we have had the opportunity to see Bob Hope, Bill Cosby (got to go back stage to meet him), and now the Smothers Bros. That’s quite a line up.

Friday, after dinner, we had some time to kill and we parked overlooking the ocean and my husband took a nap and I started working on my story. I have discovered that sitting in the car, overlooking some nature spot, with the peace and the quiet, is very conducive to brainstorming, thinking things through. I was able to begin to plot what sort of experiments Sir Edmund would want to do to prove his theories about vampirism being genetic and his plan to stop the fatal flaw of line stability, when the sire dies, so do all the offspring, get. It was his idea to create the Second Generation, to have five sires, then all five would have to die before you would die.

When we got home, I was still wired, realized that I had drunk coffee so watched TV and continued to work on outlining what Sir Edmund would have done to prove his theories and how he would treat his slaves as ginuea pigs. I’m sure that it is a scandal that Thom could uncover and would definitely be shocked by.

But I didn’t go to bed until 4 AM and though I slept in, I kept falling asleep at the computer, so finally went and took a long nap. I accomplished a bit more, updating the timeline and the storyline, but as I said, I kept falling asleep so the day was basically wasted.

So today, I was well behind. It took me hours to catch up on Blog Book Tour emails, then I have to post to all my blogs. I’ve been working since 7 AM and it is now 8:30 PM, took about an hour break for lunch, but I’ve been working hard. The one thing I know is it always takes a lot longer than you think it wil. Like this short post, has taken me 40 minutes to write.

I hope this week that I can keep to the schedule and get more done.

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