Tag Archives: Spazmatic

Happy Thanksgiving and #ROW80

This year my family decided to do something different for Thanksgiving and get out of town. I’m headed to Mt. Hood in a couple of hours to enjoy a few days of eating and sledding and snowball fights.

Here’s where we’re staying:

Yes, that’s the Timberline Lodge – the hotel from The Shining. I fully expect my sister to wake me at least once by wiggling her finger in my face and saying “redrumredrumredrum.”

Our plan for Thanksgiving is to eat ourselves silly and then take the kids out to play in the snow.  We don’t get much  in the valley, and when we do it’s usually covered in a sheet of ice, so my kids have never been sledding before!

Wish me luck, I’m going to be the one driving and I haven’t ever put chains on my tires.  Actually, I haven’t driven in much snow at all since I was a teenager…why did I volunteer for this job again? 🙂

Enjoy the holiday, American types, and do yourself a favor and sleep in on Friday.  The 500 pack of socks for 10 cents will still be there later in the day.

Row80 update: I barfed up a whopping 3,279 words on a new pen name short story on Monday. I’m using barf in the best sense of the word – I’d been thinking about the story for a while now and wasn’t in the mood to work on my DBC story, so I thought I’d just get the beginning written.  It took off from there!  I probably would’ve stayed up late and written more, but my husband wanted me to watch How I Met Your Mother with him and my eyes were burning something fierce. I added another 400 words yesterday and have left off in an awesome spot so that I’ll be rarin’ to go on it  when I get back from the mountain.

I also completely reorganized all of my files and finally got the epub version of most of my stories up on All Romance.  A fairly productive beginning to the week that I will now completely ruin by being a sloth for three days.  Yippee!!

Have a good one, y’all.

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Busy Bee and #ROW80

Such a busy week!  We had three RBR tour stops, our last at A Children’s Place Bookstore yesterday, I saw Footloose, took my kids to the pumpkin patch and ended the week last night at Billy’s bar with pizza and vodka tonics and my Cards kicking some World Series butt.

The YA author tour went so well that we’re planning another one in the spring – with even more local authors!  Cheri Lasota, Cidney Swanson, Craig Hansen and McKenzie McCann will hopefully be joining us next time around. (That’s a lot of C’s, people!! Just noticed that.)

If you’re a YA author and live in the Pacific Northwest, drop me a line at: Pacific Northwest YA Authors and we’ll talk. Going on tour as a group makes the experience a little less daunting.  Plus, we have all kinds of fun – where else are you going to meet people IRL that geek out on e-book formatting and platform building? 🙂

Now that the tour is over and all I have to worry about are birthdays and holidays and cleaning my hole of a house, I’m going to try to write every day.  I’ve got three long short stories to write by the end of the year – one I hope to publish by the end of this month.  So, if you don’t see me around on the interwebs quite as often, you’ll know what I’m doing!

Word Count: I wrote 788 words on Thursday on my story for the Death By Chocolate anthology.  Right now, the story is called Do Over.  I totally hate that title and am sure it will eventually be called something awesome. 🙂

I’m off to write!  Have a splendiferous ( or glorgious as Kait Nolan would say) week!

Doughnut overload and #ROW80

It’s only been since Wednesday that I last blogged, but it feels like it’s been weeks!  Since Wednesday, I’ve made a Rain Boots Required stop at West Linn Public library and spent two long days at the Wordstock festival in Portland.

Dudes and dudettes, so much has happened!

The tour stop in West Linn was fabulous.  We had another great turn out and this time our audience was filled with actual young adults.  They asked great questions – about writing and publishing and technique.  Watch out, y’all, the next crop of writers are gonna be some savvy upstarts!!

Thanks so much to Elaine, the Teen librarian at WLPL. She made us feel so welcome and she is such a dedicated and awesome librarian.  The kids of West Linn are lucky to have her and her bosses on their side.  The teen section of their library is a place that I know I would’ve loved to spend time in as a YA because I’m now having fantasies about escaping to there as an adult.

My apologies to Lisa Nowak and Laura Elliott for my less than stellar AV skillz.  I think we can all agree I shouldn’t be in charge of taping the talks anymore!! 🙂

Saturday and Sunday were spent at Wordstock from 10-6.  We had VooDoo Doughnuts at our table and let me tell y’all, doughnuts are the great equalizer.  We talked (and talked and talked and talked) to so many people who might not have stopped by our booth if it wasn’t for those crazy doughnuts.

I shared a booth with authors Angela Carlie and Laura Elliott. Lisa Nowak was at another booth, but she popped over frequently to hang out.  We had such a blast!

Since I had to register the booth name before we had even named our author tour and I wasn’t sure who exactly was going to share it with me, I named it Pacific Northwest YA Authors.  Good name, right?

Plenty of folks thought so.  In fact, a lot of people thought we were an organization and wanted to join.  At first, we laughed about it and told them we just needed a name for our booth, then, well it occurred to us that maybe we were an organization of sorts.  More of a group, but we had authors wanting to join and librarians and teachers wanting us to come give talks at their schools.

Never one to turn down an opportunity…

I give you Pacific Northwest YA Authors.

The website and e-mail address were created on Saturday night when I couldn’t sleep but for thinkin’.  Today, we signed up four schools/libraries to give talks at and collected over 20 e-mail addresses from people who want to receive our newsletter.

There’s just a welcome post up there right now, but by the end of this week I should have all of our Abouts, videos, reference links, contact info., guidelines for joining, etc. up.

Another awesome thing that happened at Wordstock besides networking our asses off, was that Lisa Nowak noticed the Trends in Publishing panel was the most well attended one of the whole event.  And you know what?  The panelists talked about self-publishing, but didn’t have a ton of experience with it.  So, Lisa and I tracked down the incoming director of Wordstock and pitched her a self-publishing panel for next year.  She seemed into it and said we were the first people to pitch her a panel for the following year.  Who knows what will come of it, but I can’t stress enough that it never hurts to ask for what you want!

ROW80 update:  If you’ve stuck around, I have good thangs to share about this too! (Seriously, I had three doughnuts today and am soooo high on the sugar!!)  I talked about my decent word count for Tuesday on Wednesday.  Yay!  On Thursday, I fired up my new Final Draft software.

Guys, I’m in love.  Yes, I actually heart software.

Although my ultimate dream would’ve been to pick a TV format and then copy and paste what I’d already written directly into it, what I got was pretty close.  I selected the script format that they use on Grey’s Anatomy and copy and pasted line by line what I’d written so far.  Voila!  Formatted script.  So easy to use.  I spent the last hour of my writing time creating new stuff for the script.  It’s such a fun project because I get to rewrite my book without having to actually rewrite my book.  Writing new dialogue for the Rosedell gang made me absolutely ecstatic.  There’s a new conversation between Avery and his best friend Jason that had me laughing my butt off.  It’s fun to be back in Zellie’s world in a new way.

Okay, I’m off to work on the PacNWYA website before my sugar crash commences.  Peace out.

Dancing Queen does #ROW80

Today is the #ROW80 Twitter party!  Woot!  We’re supposed to post pictures that illustrate the theme “Rock the ROW.”  I couldn’t come up with any pictures that wouldn’t embarrass A LOT of my friends from college, so I chose this beauty from my friend Erica’s Disco Party.

I realize I look homicidal.  It’s because I don’t have bangs.  My fivehead conveys a lot of malice.  Also, how long do you reckon I kept those shoes on?  Yup. Two minutes.  What?  I had to teach everyone how to do the Hustle! (If we ever meet, I can teach you too, don’t feel left out.)

I learned from this guy:

Row80 update: I wrote 600 words on DoS #5 yesterday and then another 1k on a short story I’m working on for my pen name. Good writing day.

I have decided to change my Thursday goal – I’m getting Final Draft, which is screenwriting software – to help me write the TV stuff, so Thursday is learn Final Draft Day. 🙂  The hardest part of writing the Glimpse TV pilot has been the formatting, so hopefully this will help.  To be able to just plug in the dialogue would be wonderful!!

Talk at y’all later.  And….ROCK ON!

Last #ROW80 post for Round Three

This round of Row80 has been crazy!  Because my life is crazy!  I’m writing this at 5 in the evening due to the fact that I spent a good chunk of the day making dips and sauces for a party I’m helping to cater on Saturday night.  Why, on the last week of ROW80, on the first week my son is back to school, on the 80th week (it seems) of going to the doctor twice a week, did I agree to cater a party?

Because I like to cook almost as much as I like to write.

I go on and on and complain a good portion of the time about how busy I am and how I’m never going to finish anything, but the truth is, I always manage to fit the important stuff in.  ROW80 has helped me realize that.

I thought this round had been a bit of a fail for me until I sat down and went over my original goals.  I wanted to finish Takeover and get started on the next DoS story.  I wanted to figure out how the DoS series ends.  Done, done and done. Almost. 🙂

Takeover goes to the beta readers tomorrow and will be published by the end of next week.  The next two stories are simmering in my head.  I actually know what’s going to happen for once!

A little further into this round, I added two more goals.  I wanted to write the TV pilot for Glimpse.  I’m halfway there! The last goal I had was to try to write a story all the way through without stopping to edit.  I did all right with this one.  There were some days where I just couldn’t resist going back and fixing things that were bugging me.  I think that’s okay.  It’s progress.  I had the idea that after the story was finished, I’d go through and identify three things in each scene that could be expanded on.  This trick worked out sooooo well.

If your writing is sparse, like mine, and you have a hard time getting to the word count you want a piece to be, you should totally try this.  I added roughly 3,500 words to Takeover in ONE day using this method.  I swear, the words just fell out of my head when I knew exactly what I needed to expand on.  I mean, stupid stuff like, “describe how this character looks and what they’re wearing.”  Dude, need to know kind of stuff that added paragraphs to the whole story.

Some of you might think that’s a huge duh, but I just never stop to describe what people look like half the time.  I mention it once in the span of one sentence and then never again. (I’m still/always learning, okay?)

I’ve got big plans for the little vacation between rounds. (What?  She’s making goals for between the rounds now?) My website is getting an overhaul.  I’m going to be adding glossaries for both DoS and the Zellie books.  I write stories with a bazillion characters and hate to recap.  This is my solution.  They’ll be available on my website and on Smashwords.  There will be the publishing of Takeover.  I want to write a couple more pages on the TV pilot.  I’ve got to prepare my talk for the Rain Boots Required YA Author tour I’m doing in October.  And, the opening scene for the first Ben book has been written in my head for over a week.  I am so stoked for it and need to get it down on computer.

Oy vey. Thanks for reading this ramble.  Ha!  I’ll be back with even more crazetacular goals for the next round.  Be prepared for more bitching and moaning and then for me to be like, “Dude.  I totally did it.”

Pour some sugar on #ROW80

The first draft of Takeover is complete!  I was having some trouble writing the final scene yesterday – I was at that point where two groups come back together after having separate adventures and I couldn’t figure out how they were going to share their intel with each other without having to recap the whole story.

Then it occurred to me that the last scene I was trying to force myself to write wasn’t necessary if I added a few key paragraphs at other points in the story.  And, that the last line of the second to last scene was an awesome final line and left a good cliffhanger for the next story. (Which I have figured out!!!  Go me!  Knowing what I’m going to write before I sit down to write it!!)

I’m going to spend a week editing and rewriting in preparation for sending it to beta readers at the end of next week.  I hope to publish it before September’s over, but I make no guarantees.   Then I’m onto DoS stories #5 and #6!

To celebrate finishing yet another story that I was sure I was never going to finish, I’m going to see Def Leppard and Heart tonight.  Very excited.  The concert is outside and the weather has turned chilly, so I get to wear ripped up jeans and flannel.  I feel like it’s always a good idea to dress like the band you’re going to see. Unless it’s Lady Gaga or Rhianna.  I can’t pull off the leather hot pants look anymore.

Okay, so maybe I never could.

Rock on and have a buttrockfantastic rest of the week!

La la la, whatever and #ROW80

This is a photo of Charlize Theron in the new movie, Young Adult, from the peeps who made Juno:

When I first saw this it made me feel funny.  It made me feel squeamish and…called out.  Replace that dog with a satchel of Diet Coke and the Hello Kitty t-shirt with the Mickey Mouse t-shirt my friend Kristen got me at a yard sale junior year of high school that I still wear, and yeah, they pretty much got it right.

Every time I’m cruisin’ in my minivan and car dancing to that Hot Chelle Rae song – complete with a killin’ it on the dance floor fantasy – the photo of Charlize pops into my head.

I’m 36, I have two kids, the aforementioned minivan and I should be, I don’t know, listening to the new Wilco.  Strangely enough, that was the music I listened to in high school!

So, how did I get this way?  I blame Zellie.  After being stuck in her head for seven years, I’ve immatured.

Good for the YA/New Adult writing career, not so much for grown-up stories. If I’m ever going to finish the DoS series, I’m totes going to have to start wearing slacks and gently grooving to easy listening.

Say it ain’t so!  La la la, whatever.

#ROW80 update: Monday- I wrote a single paragraph over the course of six hours due to the kids being all up in my grill hopped up on popsicles.  Household chores have gone to hell. Tuesday – I decided I hated the beginning of Takeover, wrote a new one of about 300 words, decided I hated it more, read over all of Takeover that I’ve written so far, decided I liked it, added another 200 words before my writing time was up and then I researched shotguns. For the story.

And maybe the possum family that likes to chill on the back patio.

Kidding!

Clearly I had tons to write about. 🙂 Check y’all later.

 

 

Invasion! and #ROW80

The Benefiels are under attack!

Our garage and my husband’s office have been invaded by fleas.  We’re talking an infestation of Angela’s Ashes proportions.  Ick.

For most of my adult life, I’ve had at least two dogs and three cats.  We’re now down to one dog and two cats…and about a gazillion fleas.

My cats are old. Vampire old. And we have a hard time getting them to come inside in the summer.  The have kitty dementia and forget that the garage is where their food is, so we have to hunt them down every evening and put them in there.  In the past when we’ve tried feeding them outside, we’ve ended up with some pissy raccoons at our backdoor munching away at the cat food and hissing at me when I tried to shoo them away. Raccoons scare the bejeebus out of me.  Also, possums.

So, I was dutifully putting the cats in the garage every evening.  But they stopped eating and kept trying to escape.  We couldn’t figure out why.

Then my husband and I started noticing that when we’d go out to the garage we were being bitten by something.

Like I said, I’ve always had a bunch of pets, so I’m used to some level of flea-ness in the summer, but this was ridiculous.  Now, stepping into the garage to get a soda from the beer fridge had become a stealthy operation.

Just how quickly could we open the door to the garage, lean out into the garage, open the fridge door and grab a beverage?  I’ve come up with sparkling water when I was going after a Diet Coke more than once.

When the fleas started screwing with my Diet Coke consumption, it was WAR.

I began feeding the cats outside again, b.b. gun at the ready in case any raccoons try to trespass on my land and take what’s mine. Never mind I’ve not shot the thing.  How do you keep all the b.b’s from falling out? Whatever.  It’s about intimidation.  The raccoons don’t know I don’t know how to load the gun properly. Or that I have night blindness and will have better luck aiming at the kids ladybug sandbox than a moving target.

Enough about the damned raccoons.

Back to the fleas.  The pets have been liberally doused in Frontline.  We bought a gigantic aerosol can of Sentry Flea and Flea egg killer.  It came in pump spray, but I went with aerosol, because I’m not effing around here, people. This is no time to be a hippie!!

Last night we dropped the kids off at my parents and sprayed the house.  We used the whole can.

And we waited.

After the foggy chemical mist settled, my husband bravely ventured into the garage for a  life-sustaining Dr. Pepper.  He emerged from the garage triumphant.

“There seem to be less fleas on my socks.”

Huzzah!  The was much celebration in the form of TV and movie watching.  I caught the second half of Tess of the D’Ubervilles on Masterpiece Classic and the hubs watched Source Code, which he claims to have figured out in the first five minutes.

Cha.

ROW80 update: I managed to squeeze in another 300 words on Takeover on Thursday. I’m becoming annoyed that it’s not going  faster, so I’m upping my time working on it to two hours a day on Monday and Tuesday.  I’d like for it to be in the 6k range by the end of this week.

The Goodreads giveaway of two copies of the Zellie Wells trilogy has ended.  1,199 people signed up for it, so that was cool.  Congratulations to Denise Zaky and Michelle Fecko.

There will be more giveaways of the trilogy, so if you still want to win one, keep your eyes out for that.

I have some other exciting news to share, but I’ll save that for another day when I can make it the focus of a blog post and not just tacked onto the end of this randomness. 🙂

Happy reading and writing and may you be safe from the evils of fleas.

 

 

 

Mid-week #ROW80 check-in

Quick check-in today: 500-ish words (over, not under) on Takeover on Monday. Two and a half more scenes on the Glimpse pilot yesterday.  Monday and Tuesday seem to be the days I have the most time to fit writing in. I’m aiming for more work on Takeover today.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday are non-stop busy!  Oh, crazy summertime.

Today’s the last day to sign up to win one of two paperback copies of the Zellie Wells trilogy on Goodreads.

Book you should move to the top of your TBR pile: Darkness in the Blood by Vicki Keire.  Don’t be dumb like me, read it sooner than later. 🙂

Thanks to everyone who has reviewed Glow.  It doesn’t look so sad and lonely anymore.

Grumble, grumble and #ROW80 update

Let’s get the update I’ve been putting off all day out of the way first. 🙂

I have yet to write a word on Takeover.  This is really annoying me, but I have other things I have to finish first.

Grumble, grumble…

I’m having massive problems getting the Zellie trilogy formatted for Kindle.  I have no idea why, I’ve done this a bazillion times and didn’t even have this much trouble the first time!

I’ve tried to copy it to Open Office and it won’t let me copy it. I’ve saved it as a webpage (my second choice for HTML) and none of my scene breaks are sticking.  If you’ve ever read any of my books, you know that the scene breaks are pretty important! 🙂

Ima just about to rip all my hair out.

Also, Facebook is all screwed up and I can’t comment on anything.  Did I break the internet again?

Figures.

If you would like to purchase an e-book copy of the Zellie Wells trilogy, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble were nice to me and published them without repeatedly kicking me in the ladyballs.

Grumble, grumble…