Friday, November 30, 2007

This is how I feel...

Funny Pictures

My writing plan did not work out like I hoped. Chapter 9, the one I spent all day rewriting, doesn't work. I knew something was wrong when I emailed it to my cp yesterday evening and told her something was off, but figured there was an easy fix that I was too tired to see. Nope. I learned just how bad the chapter was when when she emailed me back an hour later and told me to call her even though she lives back east and it was almost 11:30 pm her time. So instead of rewriting Chapter 10 so I could work on Chapter 11 today, I spent the evening trying to figure out how to fix the problems in Chapter 9.

The diagnosis: scene selection-fine, conflict-not even close.
Amount of rewriting needed: pretty much the entire first scene from scratch, parts of scenes 2 and 3.
Time required: Don't even want to think about it.
Amount of sleep I'm going to get over the next three days: Sleep? What's that?

Hope you're having a much more relaxing day then me!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Four days to go

The reason I'm not posting the tally anymore is I can't figure out how to cut and paste it.  Blogger changed on me adding all kinds of new tools plus both an Edit Html and Compose mode.  But in doing that I lost the ability to paste.  It goes beneath the window and I can't figure out how to get it into the window so it's part of the blog at the top.  I don't have time to type it in each day so I'm kind of stuck.  If anyone has any ideas please let me know!

Still coughing and congested, but on the upswing definitely!  Hubby is going to work from home today so I have some help with Rose, too!  Still skipping today's Crossfit WOD.  It's a 5K run, but as a puppy/buttercup I'd only have to do 1-2 miles.  But it's raining and my head hurts, so I'll skip it and do a few squats and push-ups instead.

I typed in my changes to Chapters 6, 7 and 8.  I started typing in Chapter 9.  I also revised half of chapter 10 on paper.  Today's goal is to type in Chapter 9 so I can send it off to cp, finish revising Chapter 10 and start revising Chapter 11.  I really need this book done by tomorrow so I can spend the weekend going over it.  Fingers crossed.

Last night we watched Shrek the Halls and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  The kids enjoyed both.  Me, too.  I put them to bed right afterwards.  I decided to turn on the Hallmark Channel to have in the background while I typed in revisions and waited for hubby to get home from a meeting.  A movie called The Christmas Visitor was on.  Talk about a tear-jerker. But it was an enjoyable holiday film that made me think about a few things with my book!  

I love Christmas movies.  There are so many good ones out there that just bring the warm and fuzzies.  A couple of my favorites are Holiday Inn and Borrowed Hearts.   What are your favorites?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A quiet house

Everyone will be back to school today! I'm so relieved the oldest felt better this morning. Having her home and making the run to the doctor's really impacted writing yesterday. Forget about resting at all since I was not going to fall asleep with her around. I ended up crashing early which affected the writing, too.

The kids watched The Charlie Brown Christmas show last night. Tonight is the Shrek holiday special so they will watch that one too. I'm usually pretty strict with bedtimes, but loosen up the rules this time of year. I have so many wonderful memories watching all those Rankin-Bass Christmas shows when I was a kid that I want the same for my children.

I'm still sick, but not feeling as bad. Thank goodness. The stuffiness is now watering eyes and runny nose and the cough is more wicked, but the achy soreness is gone. I skipped Crossfit again this morning.

On the writing front, I have three chapters revised on paper (6, 7, 9) with changes that need to be typed in and two more printed out to be revised (10, 11). I'm waiting to hear back from my cp on chapter 8. I'm sure there will be many changes with that one!

I emailed my editor and asked if I could email the book on Sunday night so it was there Monday morning since it was due on a Saturday and no one was going to be there to read it when I sent it in. She said yes, so I just got another 24 hours to work on it. Huge sigh of relief.

Not much else to say except... Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Two for Tuesday

Two sickies, that is. My oldest daughter isn't feeling well now. She was already set to go to the doctor this afternoon (oh, mom, did you know there's this bump behind my ear and it keeps getting big, then small and hurts when I touch it), but I'll see if I can move her appointment up so we don't have to deal with traffic on the way home. Luckily hubby bought me a few cans of chicken noodle soup so we'll be set for lunch. And she's old enough to lay on the couch without needed me every five seconds. A good thing since getting out of bed holds little appeal for me.

Between taking it easy and trying to rest yesterday, I rewrote Chapter 8 which brought me up to page 173. Unfortunately, I ended up losing over 1000 words via tightening so I'm back to watching the word count. Though that will creep up again once I type my revisions in to chapter 6 and 7. I got the two chapters back from my awesome critique partner yesterday and started revising them on paper last night. I also realized that Dec. 1st is not Friday, but Saturday. An extra 24 hours to work on the book. Yay!

It's a rest day at so I don't have to feel guilty about not working out again.

I only managed to catch the last couple of minutes of Chuck, and it made me with I'd seen the whole episode. I was getting too much work done on the book to stop. But I did catch all of Heroes and can't wait until next week. Due to the what-was-impending-but-is-now-real WGA strike, Heroes shot a new ending to their Dec. 3 episode to turn it into a season finale should the strike occur. Of course, I hope someday we get to see what the real ending should have been!

Are the shows you watch still going with new episodes or have they reverted to reruns because of the strike?

Monday, November 26, 2007

No Monday Madness

I woke up this morning not feeling any better (I sound pretty bad all congested and coughing) so I decided to cancel everything. No Crossfit garage WOD. No Pilates Mat Class. No teaching Atrium. No climbing.

The things on my To Do list today: writing, resting, picking up the kidlets from school (though hubby might do that) and watching Chuck and Heroes tonight. Maybe by tomorrow I'll feel better. I sure hope so!

Anyone have any good home remedies to beat a cold?

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Time to choose this week's free book winner. Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2007-11-26 06:37:34 UTC

This week's win a book winner is Brandy again. She won with a comment on "Almost Turkey Day" post. Brandy, please pick a book off the list here and email me your choice and snail address. Thanks!

Last week's winner, Brandy, chose The Rancher Next Door by Cathy Gillen Thacker.

BTW, if you're waiting for a book to arrive, I have a pile I haven't mailed yet. Sorry, but I probably won't make it to the post office until after Dec. 1st. I had one thing to get out this week-I'm going to be featured on LASR and am donating a prize that needed to be sent ASAP-but forgot to bring the other stuff with me.

I'm still feeling lousy, but managed to get to page 153. I also added a bunch of new words so I'm no longer worried about my word count. At the rate I'm going, I'll probably have too many pages by the time I'm done!

With all the snow being dumped on Mount Hood and our season passes waiting to be used, we needed to get ready for skiing. Hubby took his turn shopping and bought the kids new skis and boots on Saturday. Rose's new boots (as well as skis that we don't pick up until later this week) are pink and she's so proud of them.

Mackenna needed a ski jacket since she outgrew her other one and really wanted this cute, stylish polka-dot Roxy jacket she'd seen at a booth at the ski show booth where we'd bought Finn's jacket a few weeks ago. I figured out the name of the store and called the Grom Shop on Saturday. Luckily the shop had a couple in stock (on sale this weekend, too) so hubby ran the kids over there today to buy one.

Hubby also bought me exactly what I've been wanting-a PVC pipe to do and practice Crossfit exercises with. He bought it so he could make two. One for me and one for the kidlets. They are really getting into it. They even made up their own WOD yesterday based on all the things I'd taught them. I wish I could find a Crossfit kids that worked with our schedule. The only one in town doesn't.

Hope you had a great weekend!


Even though I was really good yesterday and didn't do anything except attend the breakfast with Santa (which as a blast) and write (which wasn't as fun), whatever germs were lurking decided to make their presence known this morning.  I made it to 8 am Mass, but am now in bed where I will hopefully be able to spend the day writing.  I had to cancel my plans for gym climbing and didn't make the early morning's Crossfit session, either.

I'll pick the contest winner later, so you can comment to get more entries until then!

Hope everyone is doing and feeling well!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Soreness

There was no way I could get up for Crossfit at the garage gym this morning.  I'm so sore and tired.  Stuffy nose and sore throat.  But I'm not getting sick.  No way.  No how.

This morning we're having Breakfast with Santa (the kidlets came home last night from my parents), then I will spend the rest of the day writing.  I put a nice dent into the chapter seven last night.  My goal is to finish that one and chapter eight today.

It's already been a good day.  My outdoor/indoor kitty finally came home.  The temperature was in the thirties yesterday, and she wasn't at the door waiting for dinner or to come in later in the evening like she normally does.  I got up early to check and she still wasn't there.  But she just showed up and came in so I can relax now!

What are you up to today?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday Craziness

There's a reason I haven't posted yet today.  I got up a little after 4 am and have been shopping all day.  Yes, I know my book is due in a week, but this is my yearly tradition.  I know I'll pay the price with sleep depravation, tears and stress, but what can I say? I hold certain traditions near and dear to my heart.

My 12 year old nephew, Connor, asked if he could come with me so the two of us hit the road and arrived at our first store at 4:40am.  We stood in 38 degree temperatures waiting for the doors to open.  We were probably 20th in line or so.  We started talking to a guy behind us.  He and the three people with him hadn't gone to sleep yet. They played games all night and were at Kohl's at 4 am when the doors opened.  According to him, it was crazy there.

I started thinking that anyone who was out at that hour had to be crazy.  Then I realized I'm one of the crazies.  I do this every year.  I love it.  I truly am insane.

We had a few must get items at the first store, Fred Meyers.  Two of them were Nintendo DS packages for my sister.  (Yes, I take requests from friends and family members.)  My nephew ran ahead and got those as I manuevered the cart.  Some guy with a 37" LCD TV on sale for $599 nearly took him out though.  Good thing my nephew's an athlete and quick on his feet.

I can't say what else I got (here or anywhere due to who may read this blog), but I saved a bundle.  Plus there was no line to check out!  I was very happy.  And I did buy a couple of things for myself.  They had some DVDs for $5.  I got Cutting Edge (love that movie) and Galaxy Quest.

Next stop, across the river to Jantzen Beach in Oregon where there is a Target, Toys R Us and Michaels.  We arrived there a little before six.  The line to get into Target wrapped around the building.  We decided to check out Toys R Us instead.  We walked in and saw lines of people.  Those were the hardy souls who had arrived at 5 am.  Estimated time to checkout 2+ hours.  I looked at my nephew and said I only was going to look at two things here.  It's not worth it.  We headed to Target instead.

The hot item at Target seemed to be this guitar game for a video game unit.   Not the Wii so it might have been the Xbox or Sony one.  People were also snapping up chairs to play video games as well as LCD TVs.  I saw many people carrying stacks of DVDs, too.  My nephew proved a great partner as he got to items I couldn't with the cart.  I got everything I wanted at Target, but the checkout lines were so long.  It seemed to take forever, but as we were walking back to the car, my nephew wondered what time it was.  It was only 7:19 am.

The stream of people walking out of Toys R Us empty-handed sent us next door to Michael's.  I love Michael's.  I could go their every single day and always find something to buy.  If I didn't write I'm sure I'd be a crafter extraordinaire.  I love all that stuff, but have no time to do it.    But that doesn't stop me from buy supplies in case I happen to have a chunk of free time to craft.  Today though I skipped the crafty stuff and bought a bunch of frames.  I want to get pictures on the wall!  I know as soon as I hang something hubby will decide it's time to paint.  (I really want the walls painted, too!) So I'm hoping somehow this will get me exactly what I wanted pictures in frames hanging on painted walls.  Fingers crossed.

I found the most adorable custom basket the floral department had made.  Think stuffed reindeer, greenery, candy canes.  So cute!  I saw it when we walked in and kept thinking about it the entire time we shopped.  It was 40% off.  Finally I put it into the cart.  I knew hubby would say something about it.  He did.  But oh, well, what can I say?  I love Christmas decorations.

After Michael's we headed back to Washington.  We swung by Joe's Sporting Goods.  Then I bought my nephew breakfast at McDonalds.  We stopped at another Michael's though I didn't buy anything.  My nephew did!  Then it was off to Walmart.  Then home around 11:00 am.  

I was planning to just drop off packages and bags and my nephew, but decided I should see everything I'd purchased so far.  I even dragged the presents I'd bought earlier downstairs and made piles.  It was good to see what was there and cross reference the stacks with my list.  Then I left the boys (hubby and nephew) and headed out once again.

This time I hit Kohls.  The line was long, but there was this baby doll I just had to buy for someone so it was worth the wait.  I then headed to the mall.  I found matching pajamas for all five of us at the Disney Store.  (We open one gift on Christmas Eve and it's always pajamas.)  The pjs were 50% off, too!   And they'll be great to bring with us on our trip to Disneyland.  I bought one my nephews a Swiss Army knife at another store.  I swung by Sees Candy and Hallmark, too.  Then I drove to Borders and finally the Target on this side of the river.  A long, but productive shopping day.

I rolled home a little before 5 pm.  Hubby heated me up a plate of leftovers.  I realized except for two Zone Perfect Bars, I hadn't eaten all day.  But now I'm fed and full and need to write.

All the walking and driving and shopping was worth it.  Hubby will be gone for 2 weeks (different weeks thank goodness) before Christmas and I really need to have everything done before he goes.  I won't have a lot of time without the kidlets when he's gone.  Plus after cooking Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and working so hard on the book, this was a nice treat for me.  (My parents took my three kids last night so we just had our nephew, too!)

Now it's time to get to work and finish the book!  Did any of you brave the sales today?  If so what did you get?  If not, what did you do?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday Tally

Pages revised: Typed in changes 1-5, started revising chapter 7
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: +2
Total page count revised: 129 pages
Total page count to date: 217 pages
Total word count: 42968 words
Days remaining until D-day: 8

Chocolate consumed:  Zone Perfect Bar
Junk Food consumed:  Costco Trail Mix
Diet: Need to start The Zone, but with a deadline it just doesn't seem doable
Exercise: Official Crossfit warmup then 3 rounds of 400 m run, 15 KB swings (25#) and 9 jumping pullups. (Puppy WOD version) Time: ~11:30
Television watched: None
Tears: none
Link/Clip for the day:  I found this on You Tube.  If you've seen Apollo 13, you've got to check this out. The title is Thanksgiving with the Kranzes.  It's long, but worth a watch!

I worked out at a new place this morning.  One of the families from church has turned their garage into a Crossfit gym.  I showed up at 6 am.  Our parish priest was also there along with three others.  It was the first time I'd worked out with anyone other than a trainer present.  The hardest part was getting up that early!

Early this morning, Crossfit.  Later this morning, Mass.  All day, cooking.  At four o'clock, eating.  Later tonight, writing.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable day and, for those in the US, I hope you eat lots of yummy turkey!  

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Almost Turkey Day

Tuesday Tally

Pages revised: Chapters 1-5
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: +2
Total page count revised: 127 pages
Total page count to date: 215 pages
Total word count: 42652 words
Days remaining until D-day: 9

Chocolate consumed: Zone Perfect Bar
Junk food consumed: Sweet Potato Fries, Costco Trail mix
Diet: Need to start The Zone, but with a deadline it just doesn't seem doable
Exercise: Crossfit - warmup then 3 rounds of 400 m run with 3 minute rest.  Time: 14:52
Television watched: Michael Flatley Irish dancing on Dancing with the Stars (thanks for the heads up, Dru!)
Tears: none
Link/Clip for the day: The title of this Publishers Weekly article on the romance genre is annoying, but is worth a read.

I went back to the beginning of the manuscript yesterday and made some much needed changes to the backstory.  This took a while, but I think it was worth the time.  Of course that meant I didn't move forward much on the rest of the book.  I'll start on Chapter 7 today once I type in all the changes I made on paper yesterday. I wanted to read them with a fresh eye before putting them into the manuscript.

I've got my Thanksgiving shopping list made.  Now to get out there so I can get home and write some more.  I'm only going to do minimal cleaning.  Well, as little as I can get away with due to the book.

Here's the menu:
Appetizers (being brought by my sister)
Deviled Eggs (being brought by my mom)
Fruit Salad (being brought by my mom)
Molasses Ginger Glazed Carrots
Green Beans
Macaroni & Cheese (for kids)
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Turkey (using Martha Stewart's Turkey 101 recipe)
Rolls or bread of some sort (being brought by my sister)
Pies (being brought by my mom)
Cookies (being brought by my mom)

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Getting panicked

Monday Tally

Pages revised: Chapter 5 and Chapter 6
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: -1
Total page count revised: 121 pages
Total page count to date: 213 pages
Total word count: 42408 words
Days remaining until D-day: 10

Chocolate consumed: A handful of whoppers
Junk food consumed: Burgerville Tillamook Cheeseburger and fries
Diet: Need to start The Zone, but with a deadline it just doesn't seem doable
Exercise: one hour Pilates mat class
Television watched: End of Chuck (the ending!!!! Wow!!!) and Heroes (which was amazing!)
Tears: none
Link/Clip for the day: If you want to read a first hand account of the December Mount Hood search for Kelly James, Brian Hall and Jerry Cooke, check out this article written by Iain Morris, a Portland Mountain Rescue member. Iain was one of the guys in the Esquire style layout and a couple of you voted for him, too! I came up with the idea for Christmas on the Mountain, the book I'm currently writing, while following this story last year.

Between 8:30 am and 8:15 pm yesterday, I was home for only 10 minutes. That was to drop off my purchases from Costco. I didn't get to bed until 1 am because I had to get some writing done. Of course if you look at my page totals, it doesn't look like I did much, but I really did revise two chapters. A manic Monday for sure! Today has to be better. Not being isn't an option!

What did you watch on television last night? Anyone see the shows I watched?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tally Time

Starting Tally (Today will be the first day I start keeping track)

Pages revised:
Pages lost or gained due to revisions:
Total page count revised: 117 pages
Total page count to date: 214 pages
Total word count: 42445 words
Days remaining until D-day: 11

Chocolate consumed: Snack size 3 Musketeer and Butterfinger
Junk food consumed: none
Diet: Need to start The Zone, but with a deadline it just doesn't seem doable
Exercise: Gym Climbing
Television watched: 30 minutes of The Amazing Race
Tears: none
Link/Clip for the day: If you want to hear Christmas music now, you can go to K103.3 and listen to it via the Internet.

In case you're new here, right before a deadline I always keep track of my productivity using something I call a tally. This one is a little different than the others in that it's the first time I've had a complete this early. So instead of keeping track of new pages, I'll be logging pages revised. It also gives me something easy to blog about everyday because I start getting stressed out and trying to think of something to say gets harder and harder.

Time to catch up on my Crossfit workouts:

On Saturday I did my own workout at home. Three rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters (in the rain, I want to point that out, and I hate to run. Argh!)
10 Back Extensions
20 Sit-ups
Time: 21:31:53 (Buttercups version of WOD)

On Friday I worked out with my trainer at the gym. Lots of warm up that included jump roping, lunge walks, etc. Then:
Four rounds:
5 Push Pulls with bar (25#)
10 Kettlebell Swings (15#)
10 squats
Row 250m
Time: (need to find sheet with time on it)

This was my last session with my trainer so now I need to figure out what to do. I would like to keep going with the privates, but she's taking a break. So I guess I'll be doing Crossfit on my own for a bit (at least those WOD I can do with the limited stuff I have), looking at the other gyms around the area and waiting to see what my trainer decides to do. I really want to get the kids involved in Crossfit Kids, too!

My life is going to revolve around writing, family and Thanksgiving this week. What about yours?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another free book winner!

Sorry this is so late. There was no way I could do today's Crossfit WOD at home so I slept in a little, went to 8 am Mass, then went climbing at the gym. By the time I got home, it was lunchtime and then I had to get ready for Atrium, which is what we call the class I teach on Sunday nights (think Montessori method of teaching religious education to preschoolers.) I was hoping to catch The Amazing Race on television, but hubby's watching the football game instead. At least that gives me a few minutes to blog.

Time to choose this week's free book winner. Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2007-11-19 04:06:16 UTC

This week's win a book winner is Brandy. She won with a comment on "My Nano is over!" post. Brandy, please pick a book off the list here and email me your choice and snail address. Thanks!

Last week's winner, Dru, chose Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews.

I'm really behind right now. Writing. Mailings. Even posting my two latest WODs. I also need to figure out what people need to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. Tomorrow. Of course, I've been saying that for a week!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Ten years ago today on Monday, November 17, 1997, I received The Call. The Call is what unpublished writers dream about. At least, I did. It's that much anticipated phone call telling you an editor wants to buy your book. I thought it might be fun to look back at that day with some emails I sent out telling people about selling my first book.

This is the email I sent to my beloved group of friends known as The Goalies. We'd been together for years (and are still together today!)

I just got the CALL from Mary-Theresa Hussey. They want to buy Fiance For the Night!!!! My heart is just pounding and my fingers are trembling.

More later. I have some phone calls to make!

The next day (I'm guessing after I made all those phone calls!) I sent this email to the now defunct RWALINK that was an email list for a group of RWA members.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I finally got The Call! I sold a manuscript to Silhouette Yours Truly. It was quite a wonderful, exciting day and to top it off last night I felt my baby move for the first time in my stomach! Doesn't get much better than this!

Melissa McClone

By Thursday November 20, 1997, I had recovered enough to post this details of The Call to the RWALINK. Though I'm sure the Goalies and all my friends on the AOL Series Board had heard this by now.

I posted details of the call on AOL and thought some of you might want to know that as Russ mentioned that I wasn't as restrained as my post announcing the sale on RWAlink. Far from it *g*

And thanks for all the congrats. I've tried to answer those posts outside of the Link. Sure hope I haven't forgotten or missed anyone!

Here are the details of the call. Feel free to skip or delete:

I got the call a bit after one o'clock on Monday. One of my kittens, Rocket, was crying for no apparent reason so I had picked him up to quiet him so we could eat in peace. I'd just set him down when the phone rang. After Mary-Theresa said it was her, she said she had some bad news. I'm thinking she's telling me they rejected my book and the only reason she's calling is that it took so long (16 months) for them to get to it, but she goes on to tell me that she hasn't had time to read my newest ms. That is there. I got confused because I had just called her a week and a half ago for a status check and knew she hadn't read it. Then she says but everyone who needed to read the 16 mo. ms. has read it and they'd like to buy (don't remember the exact word cause at this point I started to freak out.) My heart was pounding like a jackhammer and I couldn't breathe. I also started jumping up and down. How I managed this while almost hyperventilating I'll never know. I asked for a minute which I leaned around the corner and told my dh that they wanted to buy my book. His questions: "Who?" "Which one?" Managed to calm down a little and get enough oxygen in my lungs so I could actually put a sentence together. I truly thought my chest would explode. She asked if I wanted to discuss the terms. I said something along the lines that I'd like to write them down and then call her back after I had a chance to review them. She said no problem. She told me the advance amount, asked if I wanted a pseudonym or not, when revisions would be due, review times for them, months to publication, option clause. I scribbled it all down and said I'd call her back tomorrow. I was having a really hard time thinking straight. We spoke a little more, but I don't remember much of it. *g*

On Tuesday I called back around 9 am my time (Oregon). We spoke about the contract terms. I get to use my real name--Melissa McClone--which I'm really happy about. Also found out the revisions are pretty minor. She described them as surface tinkering. I received the letter last night and they are pretty minor. Thank goodness. *g* Release date will probably be sometime in 1999.

So that's the story.

And for those who are interested: Baby's release date is on or around March 31, 1998. We had an ultrasound, but choose not to learn the sex. We wanted it to be a surprise.

Melissa McClone

It was funny to read my account ten years later. Hard to believe that baby in my tummy just lost another tooth and is nine! Rocket is no longer a kitten, but still cries so I'll pick him up. The part I remember most clearly was hubby telling me to stop jumping because I was going to go into labor yet that didn't make it into this version. I wish I had the post from the Goalies loop because I'm guessing that one had more personal details. Oh, well. This is better than nothing! And I must admit, I'm surprised I even found this version. I never saved a copy for myself.

Yesterday hubby plugged in my old Mac 7200, and I went on a hard drive scavenger hunt. Find file was useless, but it did lead me to a folder in AOL 4.0 where I had saved each and every email sent to me after I made the call! I had so much fun reading through each one. Some people I had never met. Others I had read. A couple were unpublished them, but award winning authors now. In that folder were also several RWALINK digests with congrats on them, which is probably why I saved them, and on one of those digests is where I found my call story. And I could have swore I sold the book on a Thursday, not a Monday so that was a big surprise!

Looking back on the ten years, I have been very fortunate with my writing career. Both Silhouette and Harlequin have been good publishers. I wish I could have traded in a couple of covers, but I've had excellent editors who've made me a better writer and given me so much freedom with my stories. Whether it was a gold-digger heroine, who even my editor had doubts about, or a spirit/ghost added to a continuity because it was the only way I could fix the problems I was having with the set-up, I've always been able to write the stories I wanted to write. My upcoming December release, inspired by my fave reality TV show, The Amazing Race, is just another example of this. As well as my current work-in-progress set on Mount Hood. I can't forget my awesome literary agent Annelise Robey with The Jane Rotrosen Agency who I signed with in 1999. She's been so helpful and supportive with my juggling writing with the demands of young children.

I feel both blessed and lucky to be able to write and raise a family at the same time. I've been able to pursue my dream of writing romances in a way I never thought possible until November 17, 1997. My hope is everyone gets that call-of-your-dreams for whatever it might be you want!

Where were you ten years ago? What was going on in your life then?

Who should you vote for?

Since I'm not ready to think about page counts yet, I decided the topic of today's post should be about something I normally don't ever discuss...politics.

I haven't given the 2008 presidential election much thought yet, but I found this on one of my yahoo groups lists. This link will take you to a quiz that matches your beliefs to the various presidential candidates running for office. At the end of the quiz, you will receive three names representing the candidates who are closet to your beliefs. Included is a list of what beliefs differ.

I found the quiz (and results) guite interesting and thought I'd pass it on. I'll be honest, I had no clue about the three names I received, but after the book is turned in, I intend to find out more about them.

If you take the quiz, you don't have to tell what three candidates came up, but I would like to know what you thought of the results. Were they what you expected, a surprise, whatever! Thanks!

Have a fun-filled Friday! I'll be doing Crossfit, writing and climbing. And that's all before lunchtime!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Feeling better now!

My crown is back on and it was a relatively painless experience. They took a couple X-rays, checked my teeth, cleaned the crown and glued it back on. Not so bad, but definitely not worth a Sugar Daddy.

What was I thinking? The experience reminded me of my kid/teen years when I would have to make multiple visits to the orthodontist (much to my mother's dismay) because I ate a box of Hot Tamales at the movies causing one of my braces to come off. I'm older and wiser now, so I'll be sticking to chocolate from now on.

My Crossfit instructor was sick so my morning session got rescheduled. Probably a good thing the way I felt. But even though my mouth ached, I decided to do my own WOD at home. Pain and Crossfit go hand-in-hand. Besides if I concentrated on the parts of my body that were hurting during the workout, my tooth was nothing.

I did a Modified Cindy workout. Climbing Cutie had given it to me, but his had a lot more reps so I found a scaled version on-line. I did the second easiest scaled workout. The easiest workout is for Buttercups. The second easiest for Puppies. I am still probably a Buttercup, but thoutht I could manage the Puppy workout. Time to practicing on my bark! And had I been licking the Sugar Daddy like a puppy instead of trying to chew it like an idiot, I might not have lost my crown. Too bad I can't send Hiro (from Heroes) back in time to warn me! Anyway, here's what I did the morning:

Complete as many rounds in 12 minutes as you can:

1 pull up or 3 jumping pull ups (I did jumping ones)
4 push ups (I still can't do these and doing what I could wore me out)
7 squats

10 rounds in 12 minutes

Now it's time to write. I spent yesterday revising Chapter 5. We're talking all day major revisions that netted me four new pages. Now it's Chapter 6's turn. What are doing?


If you read yesterday's comments, you know what I did to myself. Stupid, yes. But now it hurts. I get it fixed later this morning so I'll be back when I feel better. Right now I'd just complain and whine and I already used my monthly quota for that. Take care!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My NaNoWriMo is Over!

Last night I finished my version of NaNo. I ended up with 2105 words for the evening giving me a total of 20453 words since November 2nd. (I didn't write anything on 11/1.) Not bad. I'm still a little short word count wise, but I need to rewrite what I've got before I add more scenes. Thanks for all your encouragement and support! It really does make a difference. I'll bring back the deadline tally tomorrow so I can keep track of the pages I still need to revise and eventually write, but I need a day where I don't have to think about how much writing I did or didn't do!

I visited to Borders with the kidlets on Monday. My oldest had two gift cards worth $30 and wanted to get the new Hannah Montana cd. I'd received a 40% off CDs coupon thanks to being a Rewards Card holder so it was perfect timing. I was curious what else she might buy. Since the cards were gifts, I wanted her to pick what she wanted (within reason since she's only 9.) She bought the CD, a High School Musical 2 novel and EB White's Trumpet of the Swan. I was pleased with her selections and didn't have to say a word.

I wanted to share this link to a cute blog article from Publisher's Weekly. It really does sound like a cute set-up for a book or a movie. What do you think? And what would you think if you were the girl of his dreams on the subway?

Okay, time to get the kids fed and off to school! Take care!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tally for Tuesday

I have the morning free to write so this will be short. Here's a brief tally of what I've been up to:

Climbing: I climbed my first 5.9 at the gym! This is a big deal for me. I was so happy. My instructor from the women's clinic happened to be there so she gave me some key pointers that helped me make it to the top. YAY!

Crossfit: Did a workout on my own at home. Three rounds: 3 Push ups (legs up), 6 jumping pull ups, 9 lunge walk. 5 rounds in 12 minutes. I also started teaching the kids moves so they could do Crossfit, too. We worked on squats, beginner pull ups and broad jumps. I can't believe I was so sore from that WOD. I could really feel it in my abs and butt last night and this morning.

Television: Watched Chuck and Heroes

Writing: 1156 words. I couldn't stay up late due to an early morning Crossfit session.

Tuesday (so far)
Crossfit: I just got home from Everyday Athlete. I really thought today I was going to meet Climbing Cutie's friend, Mr. Pukie. Oh, man. I can barely move. But I really need a shower. And food.

Warm-up: Run around the block, review exercises

Workout of the day (WOD)

Three rounds

500m row, 400m row, 300m row
15 Box step ups (20" box)
15 Squats against the wall (1 and 2nd round with 7.5# dumb bell)
10 Jumping Ring Dips

Time 20:37

I'd really just like to curl up in a ball and die, but since my goal was to finish my complete on the 15th, I must write. So that's what I'll do after breakfast and a shower. If I hit my word goal before I have to pick up Rose then I'll reward myself with a nap. I think I deserve it.

So what does your tally for Tuesday look like? Have a great day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Asleep at the keys

Last night I fell asleep not once, but twice at the keyboard. We're talking full on dreamland. Thank goodness I didn't roll over and drop my iBook off my lap!

The first time I fell asleep I'd managed to write approx. 1500 words before closing my eyes. I was so tired when I woke up I decided to call it a night, but as I was brushing my teeth, a couple of lines of dialogue popped into my head. I was hoping that I'd get a second wind so instead of going to sleep, I wrote again. When I woke up the second time I dozed off, I discovered I'd written 1964 words. So close to my goal of 2000 words, but I was too tired to continue plus I was starting to fear for the safety of my computer.

Yesterday I called my dad to wish him a Happy Veteran's Day. He was in the Air Force and served in the Korean War. We wanted to go to a parade on Saturday, but Mackenna had dance class. Did you do anything to commemorate Veteran's Day?

The kids are home today, but the only two things on the agenda are the class I teach (I'll take kids with me) and climbing tonight. Due to the holiday, no Pilates so I plan to do a Crossfit WOD on my own. I would still like to make the 2000 word goal because I want to have my NaNo over with on November 15th so I can get rewriting. I'll bring back the tally so I can keep track of my progress to December 1st.

There are all these great topics I'd love to blog about: the Flickr/Virgin Mobile controversy, the WGA strike and the fact Google hired a masseuse (who is now a millionaire thanks to stock options) for their employees, but I really need to focus on the book right now.

Update: I found this link to a blog post about the WGA strike on a blog and wanted to share it with you. The link is definitely worth a read if you're interested in the strike.

Enjoy your Monday!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

2111 words

I hit my daily word count goal last night! That gives me 15228 words since NaNoWriMo began on November 1st!

Once again my SAR hottie, Jake, took over, leaving me choked up and dabbing my eyes with a tissue when I realized what he wanted to do. No idea if that emotion translated into the words, but if not I hope I can fix that during rewrites. It was one of those out of the blue scenes that just worked on so many levels. Thanks Jake! You really are my hero!

I wanted to stay up and keep going, but common sense took over. Writing until the wee hours of the night when I have to get up for 8 am Mass while already fighting the sniffles is not a good idea. What I did do was write a few paragraphs to help me get started writing today and drink Airborne in hopes of boosting my immunity so I don't get anything worse than a runny nose.

The kids are off at swimming practice so I'm going to get writing. How about you? What are you going to do?

This week's contest winner is...

Thanks for all the NaNoWriMo support this week. It really means a lot. I also appreciated your votes on which PMR member's picture from the Esquire style layout I should send in for the cover.

Okay, it's time to choose this week's free book winner. Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2007-11-11 18:12:08 UTC

This week's win a book winner is Dru. She won with a comment on Fridays "258 words" post. Dru, please pick a book off the list here and email me your choice and snail address. Thanks!

Last week's winner, Marianne, chose an autographed copy of After Midnight written by the absolutely fabulous Teresa Medeiros. We are represented by the same literary agency in New York, but since I don't go to too many conferences and am pretty shy when it comes to meeting new people, it's not surprising I hadn't met her before. But since she was a fave of mine and I was sure someone who reads my blog must feel the same way, I decided it was time to introduce myself during a publisher sponsored booksigning at the RWA Conference in Dallas and, in the process, get a book to giveaway here. I'm glad I did. She is very welcoming and super friendly.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Back on Track - 2301 words

Hubby's home and things are going much better. Even the cats seem happier. Our gray kitty, Spirit, had been perched on my Alphasmart case all week. She wouldn't sleep on my bed. Pretty much she didn't move. As soon as hubby walked into the bedroom, she was back on the bed being her old self. She spent last night at his feet, waking him up several times for rubs.

Yesterday was a good day all around. I enjoyed my Pilates class and got a great work out. I napped. Report cards came home and the kids were all smiles. I also had a nice phone call with my critique partner, Virginia, yesterday. She has a very cool paranormal romance series coming out called Children of the Sea and is currently writing one of the books, Sea Fever. It's fabulous. The hero, Dylan, is a selkie and oh-so-sexy.

The best part, next to hubby getting back, was surpassing my goal of 2000 words and turning off the lights at 11 pm to go to bed. Two big accomplishments for me. I was really having doubts yesterday about how much I could do so this was a huge confidence boost.

Last night's writing involved a kiss so that may be why the words were flowing so easily. Have I mentioned how much I like my hero, Jake? Of course, I have no idea how much work it's going to take to turn what I wrote into something publishable, but I don't care. I just want this manuscript finished so I can get to the real work...rewriting it.

Today is Irish dance and a swim meet. Neither are conducive to NaNo writing due to all the interruptions and noise. I'm thinking of starting at the beginning of the manuscript and working through that instead of getting frustrated when I have trouble writing new stuff. Then when I get home, I'll do my NaNo writing. At least that's the plan. We'll see how it works.

Hope everyone has a great Satuday! The sun is shining here. A nice surprise since I thought they'd forecasted rain this weekend!

Friday, November 09, 2007

258 words

Pathetic, isn't it? Yesterday was a bust writing wise. Lots of excuses. I haven't been sleeping well with hubby out of town. Crossfit killed me yesterday. And to cap it off, the kids totally lost it last night. At one point all three were crying, the third one only because the other two were. It was one of those Calgon take me away times, though in 2007, forget a bath to escape. I was wondering what the cheapest ticket I could buy to take me far, far away. At least until I remembered hubby wasn't home and I couldn't leave. Then a bath wasn't sounding too bad since I still hadn't managed a shower. Even after Crossfit. And I still went out in public. Yep, that kind of day. But the bottom line is I just didn't get it done. Must. Do. Better.

As for Crossfit, I misplaced the sheet with my workout and time (again, see a pattern here), but this is what I remember doing:

Warm-up: Agility ladder, 300m row, review exercises

Workout of the day:
Three rounds

200m run
15 jumping pull ups
15 kettlebell swing (15 lbs)
15 squats

My time was somewhere in the 17-19 minute range. If I find the sheet I'll post it. I had Rose with me so in between exercises had to help her with the DVD that wouldn't work right. I finally took it out and had her watch Star Wars fan videos I'd downloaded. (I still love Anakin!) Needless to say, I was dying at the end of the workout.

Today, I've got Pilates (my last semi-private lesson since I've decided to drop them) and writing. I was going to do the writing/climbing with my Nano bud, but just can't swing it with preschool pickup times and an out-of-town hubby. In an ideal world, I'd write enough to make up for my lapse yesterday. Realistically, I'll be happy for anything around 2000 words.

Okay, you've heard enough whining and complaining to last a month. I promise to be better tomorrow!

Do you have any plans for the weekend? Mine revolve around the K-word and the W-word. Kidlets and writing. Hope you have a great Friday.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

2177 words

Here I am at Clubsport yesterday morning typing away on my Alphasmart. I met my NaNo buddy Tiffany there. We try to be good when we meet to write. Not a lot of chit-chat. It's hard. Really hard. But it's the only way we will get the words written. One exception is when we talk about our books. Impromptu brainstorming or questions are allowed. We learned last year that writing had to be the focus when we got together so we would try to have lunch or do something where we could talk once we'd written. Which leads me to what we did next...

After getting a little writing in, we moved from our comfy chairs and headed to the rock wall for some climbing. Here I am almost at the top of a route. I'm on the right in the dark pants. We climbed four routes then headed to a smaller wall where we practiced climbing using only one hand. It was hard even though the route was easy. We're getting together again on Friday to write and climb. I can't wait.

By eleven o'clock last night, I'd surpassed my goal of 2000 words. Huge sigh of relief. It looks like all my NaNo buddies Tiffany, Amy and Marianne are all on a role, too. Keep up the great work, ladies. The words are really piling up. Now to do it again!

Though I'm not sure how I'll do today since the little one will be with me all day! She's even accompanying me to Crossfit this morning. Should be interesting!

What's going on in your world?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Writing Wednesday

I didn't get nearly enough written yesterday. 1283 words just isn't going to get it done. So today, I'm getting serious. I'm meeting one of my NaNo buddies, Tiffany, down in Portland. We're going to write on our Alphies and then climb. This afternoon, I have high school student coming over to watch the kidlets for a couple of hours so I can get a little more writing time in. Once the kids are in bed, I'll write some more. I must surpass my 2000 word daily goal today!

Thanks for your votes yesterday on who I should send in for my cover. If you haven't voted, please do.

Yesterday, I had another Crossfit workout. Nichole wanted to teach me the deadlift using a real barbell. Needless to say, I was totally intimidated. That's like real weightlifting. Gulp. But I learned how to it and did the following:

Deadlifts: 45 lbs 3 times, 45 lbs 3 times, 50 lbs 3 times, 65 lbs 3 times

Workout of the Day (WOD):
3 rounds
10 broad jumps
15 Kettlebell Swings (15 lbs)

Time: 5:59

After the WOD, I did two static hangs from the pull up bar. 20 seconds and 26 seconds.

That's what I've had going on. What have you been up to?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

These Men Might Save Your Life

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned Esquire was doing a style layout with members of Portland Mountain Rescue. Hubby bought me the magazine last week, and it was great to read given what I'm currently writing. Perfect inspiration as I knew it would be. Plus I could call it research. I sure love my job!

Here's the article online, complete with pictures taken on Mount Hood. As I read the story, I couldn't help but think of my search and rescue hero, Jake Porter. Could I imagine him as one of the guys pictured? You betcha.

Of the nine guys pictured, I've been in contact with four of them in one form or another about this book and/or climbing. One is my SAR expert (and now friend), who has helped me so much with all three books I've written this year. Another I met at the dinner arranged (by my friend above) with a few of PMR members so I could talk to them about my book and watch how they interacted with each other. The final two I know online, having met them via messages sent on a climbing forum. I only found out they were PMR members after they replied.

I've been thinking (a dangerous thing I know!), but I need to send a hero picture in with my AFS, and now that I've seen these pics, who better to send in than a real SAR guy! That's the direction I've been leaning from the beginning. What do you think? Should I send in one of these pics for my hero, Jake? Who would you pick?

Monday, November 05, 2007


I managed to write a bunch of words last night and still make it to bed before midnight. The writing is really rough and will need tons of revising, but it felt good to see my NaNoWriMo word count hit 5998. If I had met my goal each day so far, I would be at 8000 words, but I'm happy with what I've done.

Of course, with today being Monday, who knows how much writing I'll actually get done? I'm shooting for 1000 words. Anything over that will be awesome!

One thing was really nice this morning. I woke up early with no alarm. So did the kidlets. By the time I was out of the shower they were dressed and ready for school. That's the one good thing about the fall back time change! No one is tired in the morning.

Did you wake up early this morning?

I wish I had more to say, but my mind is pretty much on one thing...the book. If I think of an actual blog topic that you might find interesting, I'll be back. Otherwise hope you have a great day!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Drumroll please...

It's time to choose a new free book winner. I must say you all outdid yourself with all the comments posted. And there were also a few new people who commented, too. Thanks!

Okay, on with the drumroll. Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2007-11-04 18:28:20 UTC

This week's win a book winner is Marianne. Twice in a row! She won with a comment on my Random Thursday post. Not bad. She not only got me as a NaNoWriMo buddy, but a free book by commenting! Marianne, please pick a book off the list here and email me your choice and snail address. Thanks!

Last week's winner, Marianne, chose Mommy for A Minute a Harlequin American Romance written by the gifted Judy Christenberry, who I was fortunate to met in Reno at the RWA Conference in 2005.

Busy day yesterday. The swim meet was fun. So was the ski show. The kids had a blast. There were two rock walls to climb. Exhibitions to watch. Lots of stuff to see. As I mentioned in the comment section yesterday, hubby bought us something we all wanted this years...season passes! We got something called a Fusion Pass which is good at both Timberline and Ski Bowl. Even though the little one can ski free, he bought her a pass too so she wouldn't feel left out and it's one less stop we have to make to pick her up a lift ticket in the morning. Just hope we get some snow soon! Well, after the book is done!

As for writing, I didn't reach my 2000 word goal, but I came close. Approx. 1600 words. I don't remember the exact amount and am too lazy to look. I hope to reach 2400 words today, but we'll see! I still need to take down all my Halloween decorations and put up the Thanksgiving ones. Plus my bedroom floor is covered in laundry that needs to be folded.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

NaNoWriMo Update

I managed to reach my daily goal of 2000 words yesterday in the National November Writing Month Challenge aka NaNoWriMo. I wrote 2090 words, a combo of rewriting a new ending to chapter four (after a brainstorming phone call with my critique partner), revising the first scene of chapter 5 (since the ending to the last chapter had changed), changes to scene two in Chapter five and a brand new scene in Chapter seven (after a brainstorming phone call with my SAR friend).

I write a lot of dialogue which means tons of white space on the page (rarely do I have the 250 words per page that proper manuscript formatting gives you) so 2090 words comes out to around 10 new pages for me. I'm a very happy writer! Now too keep up that pace for another week or so. I want a complete manuscript! I'd love to be able to send this one in early.

Okay, stop laughing.

It's possible. If the stars align and the sickies stay away and my numbers come up on PowerBall... Okay, it's very unlikely I will turn this manuscript in early, but a girl's gotta have dreams, right?

Hope you have a relaxing Saturday! Unfortunately, ours will be anything but peaceful. On the agenda: mall to buy competition swimsuit, end of year soccer party for son, Irish dance class for daughter, swim meet for two oldest and ski show tonight. Somewhere in there I must find a way to write 2000 more words. I'll be taking my alphie with me everywhere!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Guess Who Came to Dinner...

A couple of you guessed the identity of our dinner guest yesterday. The Climbing Cutie. Having him over for a home cooked meal was the least I could do after all he's done for me. He's been a climbing mentor, fitness guru and hero consultant. You know all about my climbing and Crossfit, but if you read SOS Marry Me (out in June 2008), you'll see what a big help he was with my hero Kane!

Luckily, the dinner came out well. That's always a worry when you have people over. Hubby did a great job grilling the King Salmon and steaks. He used a rub on the salmon that was totally yummy. I was in charge of the rest of the dinner. The only thing I forgot about were the mushrooms. Hubby was going to saute them to go with the steaks, but neither of us remembered. Oh, well. I don't think it mattered too much. There was still plenty of food, and as they say on the forum where I met the Climbing Cutie, the evening was super fun!

Even the kidlets thought so. Cutie and Finn looked through the climbing book he'd checked out from the library. Mackenna and Finn composed a musical piece on the piano and recorder and played it for us. All three showed off their Irish dancing. The kids hated for the night to come to an end. This morning, they were asking me again when John was coming back. They want to play another round of hide-and-seek with him. I think if I asked them what they want for Christmas, he'd be tops on their list right now!

Hope you're having a great Friday! The kids are off school and I want to take them to the Ski Show that opens today. I managed to do a little writing earlier this morning, but hope to crank out the pages tonight. What do you have going on?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Random Thursday

The title for today's blog could have been one of the following:

1) NaNoWriMo Begins
2) Pics from this week
3) Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Instead, I decided to borrow the Random Thursday title from one of the radio shows I listened to this morning on my way to Crossfit. Today was a skills day. Rather than do a WOD (workout of the day) I worked on my form on a variety of exercises. It was still quite a good workout.

10 reps of each of the following - air squat, ring rows, front squats (7.5 lbs), shoulder press (7.5 lbs)
8 reps of each of the following - OHS (overhead squats), jumping pull ups, thrusters, push press (10 lbs)

I wish my writing was getting a workout today. Even though NaNoWriMo started today, I've yet to write a word. Yikes! Not a good way to start. I guess it can only get better. And I still have tonight. Sleep really is overrated!

Here are a few random pics from this week. This one was taken Sunday night after the kids carved their pumpkins. They decided bigger pumpkins were better than small ones! Each designed their own faces, too, but they needed a little help doing the actual carving.

This is a picture from Tuesday when I celebrated my friend's birthday with her. She's Angus' mommy so a very special person who I love very much, not to mention a climbing partner and nano buddy! We ate lunch at Mother's Bistro in downtown Portland where I took this picture. I also got really good news that day. We are going to get Angus for six days later this month! I'm so excited.

Last night after the All Hallows Eve vigil, the kids went trunk or treating. People decorated the backs of their cars and passed out candy. This car won the prize for best trunk. You can't read the sign in the back, but it says "Garden of Eden." Adam and Eve passed out apple flavored lollipops. Too cute!

I laughed when I saw this "trunk." There was no escaping Christmas yesterday! The back of a pickup truck was decorated with a sleigh. St. Nicholas passed out gold covered chocolate coins. This one probably would have one if not for the adorable Adam and Eve. It was clever!

These are the kidlet's pumpkins last night. It was a fun time. We didn't get many trick or treaters, but we didn't get home from church until 7 pm so maybe that's why. Unfortunately we now have way too much candy in the house.

Tonight, I'm having a couple people over for dinner. On the menu: Salmon, steak, salad, couscous, asparagus, mushrooms, bread and make your own sundaes for dessert. Care to guess who's coming to dinner?

Hope you're having a great day!