Tag Archives: Fess Up Friday

Fess Up Friday – The Mission Possible Edition

I really should’ve updated last Friday, because I had something amazing to write about. Though, I was probably too wiped out from the amazing thing to write about it so immediately.

I’ve been making a list for myself of contests I want to submit writing to, of residencies and grants I want to apply for. And their deadlines. I’ve been checking the list every day and since I just made it, some of the deadlines are coming up fast. You could say some of the deadlines are NOW.

So last Thursday, I had plans to watch the Saints game out with some friends and I canceled on them. I stayed home with the game on downstairs (my office is in a loft) and cranked out a 3,000 word story. from scratch. in three hours. And then submitted it to a fiction contest. While I’m not advocating reckless unprepardness, I’m proud of myself for refusing to let the deadline daunt me. Submitting is the thing. Winning would be nice, but submitting is the objective. Creating the work and putting it out in the universe instead of holding it back till its perfect. Perfect sounds like a great idea–and it is, in moderation–but for a perfectionist like me, who’s developed an unfortunate and chronic case of lily-liver, perfect is dangerous. I’m a good writer. And I’m a good editor. I can be good at those things forever and perfect a thing to death, never letting it see the light of day outside of a few readers. OR, I can be brave and put my work out in the world, let it have a test run and see how it looks when it returns.

The best part of this mad dash to write a story was that my sister and I did it together, counseling each other in phone conversations and via text. And we both submitted to the contest.

So that was last Thursday.

This Thursday, yesterday, had a sense of deja vu. The day followed an almost identical path. I had plans with friends to watch the Saints game. And I canceled. To stay home and put together my submission for another fiction contest. The friends were supportive last week and rather incredulous this week. And while it sucked to disappoint them and ground myself to the house, the postmark deadline is today and I have a busy day, so I had to prepare the submission last night if it was ever going to get done. And it had to get done. Or else.

This time, I took a different path. I submitted a discarded chapter from my novel The Winter Circus, a chapter which doesn’t belong in the novel anymore but I’ve always loved. The events still take place in the world of the novel, but the readers don’t get to see it in real-time action anymore. It might be referenced by characters in passing, but won’t be fleshed out. So, it’s perfect. The chapter was under the word limit and required very little tweaking, as it was already pretty strong as a stand-alone. And since the chapter no longer exists in the novel, publication in a magazine is a way it may potentially reach readers.

Again, my sister and I had a war council as we decided to beat the deadline and submit regardless of the obstacles. The last I heard, she had an idea and was rolling with it. So, submitting is the thing. As Jamey always says, you gotta play the literary lotto. If you wanna win, you gotta buy a ticket.

In between these two Deadline Thursdays, I applied for a residency. Don’t worry, I took a bit more time with that one and wasn’t quite as crunched against the deadline. And now, I’m armed with a list and building the battle plan. I’ll have my war council convene as needed. We are fierce and we’re already winning.

P.S. If you’ve sensed a new determined, even war-like, attitude from me about my writing lately, I’d have to say a lot of it probably comes from reading The War of Art, which is the best and the scariest and the truest writing book I’ve read yet.

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Filed under Fess Up Friday, freelance work, Friends, New Orleans, writing updates

The writing habit – Fess Up Friday

I can’t count the number of times I’ve read/heard/thought different permutations of the same thought lately: If you write every day, if only for 10, 15, 30 minutes a day, it adds up. Certainly more than not writing at all. Mary reminded me in a comment on my last post. I reminded my sis Aimee last night in a phone conversation and I know, know, know with every fiber of my being that it’s true, but it takes a surprising amount of courage and willpower to make writing a habit.

But writing makes me happy, so I’m working on it. To that end, I’m resurrecting Fess Up Fridays, a borrowed idea that emphasizes accountability.

On Monday, I finished a short story called The New Heart. I let it sit for a few days, then re-read and edited today. Then, just a little while ago, I sent the story to my first-read committee.

All week, I made attainable goals to tackle my freelance work. I usually met my goals each day, but more importantly, I got a lot of work done. While working on some freelance yesterday,  I couldn’t shake the weirdest thought and that suddenly became an idea for a book. I texted sis Aimee, knowing immediately that this was something for the two of us to write together, and she was taken by the idea as well. We might’ve just stumbled upon our NaNoWriMo 2011 project, with plenty of time to outline, create characters and world-build. Wild.

I am not nervous at all about collaborating with Aimee. We used to write together as kids and we’ve been reading each other’s individual work for years, so we know each other’s voices and strengths. In fact, I’m the opposite of nervous. I’m excited. I can’t wait for NaNoWriMo, though I know our idea is such a big one that we’re going to need all this time to do the groundwork and be ready to write.

One of my biggest challenges is follow-through. I get tons of ideas (usually in a bunch of different genres) and rarely see something through to completion. Some version of completion, yes. True completion, not usually. So, my goal is to write every day so I can tackle all these different ideas and genres, to see things through. Because it feels really good to finish a project and it’s important for my soul, as well as my success.

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Filed under family, Fess Up Friday, freelance work, Friends, musing, NaNoWriMo, writing updates

NaNoWriMo Day 26 (Fess Up Friday)

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been updating. I’ve noticed. Mostly, it was because I wasn’t writing. I was so tired most days after work, it was all I could do to keep regularly scheduled programming going, let alone write 2,000 words. It didn’t help that I lost any connection I might’ve had to my characters and story. I didn’t look forward to visiting them. They were boring and whiny and disappointing. That’s probably what happens when I write from an “idea,” rather than from character and genuine story. A lesson for the future.

But then, quietly, I started hand writing something entirely different than Story 1 or Story 2. It was a fictionalized version of something that happened to me. Something intensely personal that I feel desperate to write about, but haven’t because I know I’ll likely never do anything — i.e. publish — with the work. But you know, why not just write it now, for me? Why not write something that I need to write without caring that it’s “unproductive”?

And the reason I started writing again this NaNoWriMo season, the reason I started writing this intensely personal unpublishable story is because a friend started asking me questions while a bunch of us were out drinking during Words and Music last weekend. And I realized, as I answered his questions, that I had a lot to say. And it needed to be said whether it was published, whether anyone read it, whether anyone listened.

So maybe that’s what NaNoWriMo is really about, at least for me. Sometimes you just have to write. Stop thinking about the end game and the process and the ramifications of success and failure and just write.

I’d kind of given up on “winning” NaNoWriMo. I was too far behind and only writing in 700-800 increments before falling asleep. Which is something, but isn’t winning material. I didn’t think about it because it made me sad. And tired. Plenty tired. But, once more, a friend said something that got my wheels turning. Another friend, J. wrote on my Facebook page:

“Memories. Going to do some NaNo writing at Perks tomorrow. Thought about last Black Friday when I met you there and you helped spur a 5,000 word day that put me over 50K.  Thanks again and I hope you’re having a great holiday.”

And talk about sad!! Not only did I remember *exactly* the day he was talking about, I wrote about it here on the blog. J. helped me get over the hurdle last year and he was the first person I word warred with. And, I realized right then and there (last night) that I was winning NaNoWriMo 2010, come hell or high water. If only so that I would no longer invest in the idea of an “even year curse,” for future NaNoWriMo years. If only to prove to myself that I could write 50,000 without a great story or awesome characters. If only to prove to myself what I can do.

That being said, my word count went from 24,916 words going into this new motivation to 31,532 words today. I wrote 6,351 words today. And I spent time with my parents. And cleaned the kitchen.

My parents and I watched Knucklehead, the first of  the six WWE movies filmed in New Orleans in the last year (three of which I worked on). At first, my parents were like a lot of people and assumed they wouldn’t enjoy the WWE movies. Mamma Mia! said, “I’m not much into wrestling movies.” I assured them the movies aren’t what anybody expects them to be. They often include wrestling and wrestlers, but they’re funny and entertaining and well-acted. My parents were laughing all through Knucklehead and really invested. It was great to share with them. As it was great to share Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 with them this evening. I’m such a sap. I almost started crying not even five minutes into the movie. But the books and the movies have been a huge part of my life, so I guess that’s to be expected.

Thanks to the friend who asked me questions last weekend, J. for his friendly Facebook post and everyone who word warred and sprinted with me today. Thanks to my parents for giving me the time to write when I asked. Let’s see if we can do it all over again tomorrow. And the next day. And then for two more.

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Filed under bragging on, family, Fess Up Friday, Friends, funny, movies, NaNoWriMo, New Orleans, pop culture, weirdness, writing updates

Fess Up Friday Finally

It’s been a while. I wrote six posts in the first two weeks of this month, most of them about the same thing, and I think I needed a break from all of that. I’ve rarely felt like that – torn between the debilitating need to discuss something and the longing to be able to think about anything else. But I’m proud to say my book didn’t suffer in the midst of the mess.

I am behind schedule. I’d set myself the deadline of Easter, trying to finish the book during Lent. I knew it was pretty ridiculous, but needed a deadline to motivate myself. And as I learned during the two weeks I was a shut-in for the sake of my thesis deadline (subsisting on Rockstar Energy Drink and hardy vegetables, only leaving the apartment to treadmill and watch the last of the Bob Barker Price Is Right episodes), the more ridiculous the deadline, the braver you’re forced to be.

The book is starting to be something beautiful I never would have imagined at the beginning of this whole process (circa 2004), something that it was always somehow meant to be, something that it knew it would be, all along. The book knows, as Jamey always says, and its will is stronger. No matter how stubbornly I insist on my way, it wins out every time. But, if I didn’t fight it, would it know itself so well?

I haven’t really been counting new words as strenuously as I once was, because most of the new words are essential little sutures tying together fleshier sections that already existed.

However, for those of you numerically-minded folks, I’m looking at about 3,191 new words this week. Probably a few more, maybe closer to 5,000 since I only remembered to count the last 3 days. A more accurate accounting? I am finished with Section I and now Section II. I have reached page 206.

Who knows how long Part III will take, but I’m going to barrel on and see how much I can finish before my arbitrary, crazy deadline of Sunday, April 4th. That’s a little over a week from now. Let’s see how brave I can be.

I wrote those last words before I watched the video I’m going to give you in a sec. And I’m glad I wrote them, glad I watched the video and heard them echoed in the voice of a “girl who’s already half angel.”

Shortly before I started this update, I received Nick’s latest e-mail newsletter. He hasn’t sent one for a long time. We’d talked, so I knew why. His friend Gabrielle Bouliane, a poet, died at the end of January and he knew he needed to talk about her death, but he didn’t know how. He broke my heart when he eulogized a woman I’ve never met and said, “This is what artists can do. They stop time. They hand us a photograph of a moment and it stays there because of what they did, what they said, how they moved, what they gave us. Who knows what connects us then. Call it God, energy, the universe. But something jumps out of time and seizes us and says, Look. Look right here. Record this and put it in your pocket. You’re going to need it later.”

He said a few more incredible, personal things and he gave us a link to Gabrielle’s last performance before she died. I was moved more than words can say, for all of the reasons you might imagine from the quote above. I was honored and grateful that I got to see Gabrielle perform, that technology enables us, who never knew her, to see what she said and how she moved, a miracle that has nothing on her words. Thank you, Nick, for sharing a bit of her with me. I know it was hard. As Nick said, “What I do know is that more of you should have known her. She looked like this. She sounded like this. She still does:”

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Filed under Fess Up Friday, Friends, poetry, writing updates

Fess Up Friday – the Saturday edition

This Fess Up Friday is also my “getting back to business” edition.

It’s been a strange week.

While the new word count on The Book is probably less than 1,000 for the week, I’m up to page 163 on the latest draft. So, it’s chugging along. But despite all this progress, my week has held significant distractions. Some pleasant, some not.

Peauxdunque (my writer’s group) had an informal lunch at Green Goddess to celebrate Sabrina’s birthday. I’ve rarely felt so relaxed and yet inspired as I do with these people, which is probably just what one needs from a writing group. I spent most of that day running errands, so did not get any work done on The Book.

And then there was the offBeat Magazine debacle, which sucked up a large part of my Thursday and Friday, in responding, discussing and just plain shaking. How to describe what about 36 hours of solid anger and frustration feels like in my body? Well, there were more emotions pinging around in there than even I realized. Still are, but I’m lucky and happy to be back in a place where I can work despite them, at least.

So while do not in any way intend to back down from my opposition to the cover and the aftermath reaction displayed by offBeat‘s editor, Jan Ramsey, I’m glad to get back to my work. While I’m gratified to see that people are reading and responding to the three posts I’ve written about offBeat‘s cover and their editor’s behavior, I’m just as gratified to see that the post generating the most traffic on my blog is the same one that’s been generating the most traffic since October. I would like to see a constructive resolution to the entire scenario and hope the magazine endeavors to find one that demonstrates respect for their audience.

Meanwhile, Maurice told me I had to read The Time Traveler’s Wife and I’m enjoying it far more than I expected. Especially since I didn’t think I had time to enjoy a 500+ page book right now. I look forward to celebrating the success of my friends, so look for a bragging on post very soon.

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Fess Up Friday (the quick edition)

While there are still two more days of February left, I thought I would take this opportunity to do a quick Fess Up Friday and give you the status of the book, as far as I understand it.

In February so far, I have written 8,395 new words and have reached page 145 of the 3rd draft, which is a little ways into Part Two, a little more than third of the way through. Most of the new words are for Part Two and Three, to be woven in with previous scenes from the 2nd draft.

I’m aiming to be done by Easter, which is April 4th, just to give myself another crazy-but-potentially-doable deadline.

Some presents:

I never bragged on my friend Helen Gillet, who is OffBeat’s cover girl.

One of Rachel’s stories is online in audio.

A man watched 30 chick flicks in 30 days to be a better boyfriend.

A great article about the potential future of healthcare-concierge medicine.

A sweet review of one of my favorite movies, The Cutting Edge.

Lipdubbing – check out the last video.

Fun airplane safety cards (make sure to check out the images at the end).

Message in a SIM card – this is a really cool story about a couple’s anniversary pics being returned after being lost at sea for nearly two years.

Wusbands and hifes.

Girl Scout cookie facts (and recipe!)

Enjoy your weekend!

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Fess Up Friday (the so glad to be done edition)

Let it be known that around 7:35 p.m. today, I finished my book and my first act upon said completion was to launch myself across Cheers, throw myself into Jamey’s arms and sob for about three minutes. And then she took me to Juan’s for some melted cheese and margaritas where I occasionally sighed with relief and randomly grinned and was generally goofy.

Just prior to this launching and sobbing and celebrating, B. came by and knocked on the window and made silly faces at me, to which I very meanly held up a finger and mouthed “ONE PAGE” and then made a rude gesture for him to leave me alone. But he’s forgiven me, so that’s okay. This is what happens when one finishes one’s masterpiece at a public venue.

At this point, my computer has threatened to die several times, my hands and wrists hate me and I am incredibly sleep deprived, but I never once had to consume an energy drink and I’ve slept at least four or six hours each night. I think we can surmise that my coffee habit is so much more pervasive and deeply rooted than the last time I pushed to finish a book (ha, also this one, but in a different version) that I had no need for energy drinks (Rockstar didn’t come through anyway).

But let’s rewind to where I left off with the last FUF. N. came into town and we assembled a motley crew for a bit of drinking and dinner at the local and the next morning, we recuperated with some yummy at Slim’s. Then, we hit Magazine and the Quarter for some fun shopping and indulged in the best candy in the city. And then, like a good girl, I stayed in to write while N. went out. Though, we did hit the local after that, so it’s a toss up how good I actually was. And then we recuperated again the next day with Slice and some Borders browsing before she went home. I spent the rest of Sunday doing some last minute hurricane research, which was pretty traumatic, but helpful. I watched a short movie (41 minutes) about the affects of storms on Louisiana’s coastal wetlands called Hurricane on the Bayou that’s pretty remarkable and I highly recommend it. It features some awesome local musicians and there’s a pretty amazing story behind it, but that’s for another time.

I finished a wonderful book called Cures for Heartbreak by a writer I adore, Margo Rabb. I managed to keep my (few) appointments and I did watch SYTYCD both Wednesday and Thursday, though I almost forgot about Wednesday and missed the very beginning. But largely, people knew to ignore me and I felt qualified to ignore them.

And so, some final word counts for you:
5/23: 68
5/24: 1,074
5/25: 4,118 (yeah, I know)
5/26: no new words, but lots of editing
5/27: 2,205
5/28: 1,688
5/29: 4,619 (whew)

The days got kinda strange there. For several days in a row, I was up till 3 and then 4 and then 5 a.m. I’d get a few hours’ sleep, address bills and emails (the least amount I could get away with), talk to Jamey and drink coffee, putter around a bit, then go home and eat. Around 7 or 8 p.m., I’d begin writing again. This morning, I was up till 7 a.m. and almost finished the book. I had ONE chapter left and had to stop because I was exhausted and had an appointment in the afternoon. Even after I forced myself to shut down the computer and go to bed, I was jotting down notes in a frenzy. So after the appointment and puttering around, I got back to work about 5 p.m. and by 7:35, I’d finished. Which brings us back to the beginning of this post.

Thank you to everyone for your support.

In parting, some links to things I’ve found interesting this week:

This person gives me hope for the youth of America (and also makes me sad about that status of education in America).

This is mostly a test to see if W. reads my blog. 🙂 Horror novels on toilet paper. What next?

Men love Twilight, too.

Yay for Louiethis is fun.

To bed, go I. My blog is a year old, my book is finished and I get to see my Papa Bear tomorrow. Life is good.

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Filed under bragging on, family, Fess Up Friday, Friends, musing, New Orleans, pop culture, So You Think You Can Dance, what I'm reading, writing updates

Fess Up Friday (Just Tell the Story edition)

I’ve been writing throughout the week and socializing like a fiend on the weekend. Big sigh. But how do you say no to drinking at new bars with visiting friends, 12-hour adventures with D. (a seasonal treat) that involve the recording studio, Elizabeth’s, Apple Barrel and the casino and then matching R. and B. drink for drink at the local after said 12-hour adventure (never, never, NEVER again)? Why are y’all colluding to make me have fun? Stop the conspiracy! 🙂 I need better willpower.

I wish I could say it’ll be better this weekend. But with N. in town and J.‘s birthday…that might not be likely. At least there will be less drinking…right?

And of course, with the t.v. I watched AI, yes, I did, and saw Kris win (very glad because though I love me some Glambert, I think Kris needed the positive reinforcement and we all know Adam needs nobody’s approval to be hisself). It was a great finale, with a lot of fun performances. Could’ve done with less Gokey and more Alexis and Megan, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Allison singing with Cyndi Lauper – AWESOME! And loved Megan and Michael with Steve Martin on “Pretty Flowers.” I agree that “No Boundaries” is The Worst Song Ever, but Kris did an admirable second go of it (I prefer his to Adam’s, and with a singer like Adam, that’s probably no accident) and it was really good to see him embrace his wife right as the show signed off.

But probably the worst news for my book – So You Think You Can Dance started again Thursday. I love that show. Like seriously love it. Cat Deely is The Best Host Ever – case in point, she went to congratulate a contestant and being profusely sweaty after his audition, he was wary of messing up her couture jacket. She grabbed him in a hug, crowing, “Dry cleaning!” Hysterical.

Finished The Song Is You and while the plot got a little weird for me, the writing was always incredible and, most impressive of all, Arthur Phillips managed to consistently convey those indescribable things that music makes you feel. Utterly personal things and yet somehow universal at the same time. I’m reading some new books now (I can never read just one), so look to your right for that.

I took a quiz on Facebook called “Are You a True Bengali?” The questions were in Bengali (I assume, I don’t know Bengali) and I used deductive reasoning and picked whichever answers sounded the best when I tried to read them out loud. Turns out I’m 100% Bengali. I thought perhaps the quiz was rigged, but one of my non-Bengali friends (lol) took the quiz and her result was of the “why, dude, why – why did you even bother to take this quiz?” variety. I feel like I have achieved something here.

Enough with that, my deadline is ticking ever closer, so the fun may have to be quarantined. Hands off Sunday! I have nine days left and I’m going to crush this sucker – just watch.

New words –
5.15: 183
5.17: 601
5.18: 1,714
5.19: 526
5.20: 637
5.21: 248
5.22: 710 (so far today, one monstrously difficult scene).

In a weird sort of reverse logic, it’s a good thing to see fewer words because that means I have less new writing to do (don’t worry, there’ll be some whopping numbers coming up next week). I’m making some real strides in understanding a few things that eluded me previously. But I made the mistake of going to read the rules for a contest I want to enter soon and that stymied me for about a day and a half. Bad idea – I need every day and a half I can get. And I have a few of these hard scenes coming up, so I’ve been floundering a little bit.

But, as the card I wrote and put on my desk says: JUST TELL THE STORY!

It’s a bit early, but on the 26th, I will have been writing this blog for a year. You won’t hear from me again till the 29th with the last Fess Up Friday this month, so I thought I’d say something now.

In parting, some links:

D. worked on one of these top Sundance films.

Longest running fictional character.

Green Day takes on Wal-Mart. Finally.

JUST TELL THE STORY, EMILIE.

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Filed under American Idol, books, bragging on, Fess Up Friday, Friends, music, musing, New Orleans, pop culture, random rant, review, So You Think You Can Dance, t.v., what I'm reading, writing updates

Fess Up Friday (the short hair edition)

That’s right, I have chopped off my hair for Locks of Love, the official summer hair cut. When I get a pic I like, I’ll maybe switch it out so everybody can see. I’ve gotten “Amelie,” “retro,” and “babydoll” as comments, if that gives you any idea.

Wasn’t sick at all this week, but I did somehow lock myself out of my bedroom while I was in my pajamas. Thank goodness for those painters and their paint knife after my letter opener broke.

So, I’m doing better with cutting down on my t.v., though I did watch AI and I have to say that, all respect to Danny Gokey, but the voters got it right with Adam and Kris. And Kris! He totally showed Adam up, which I didn’t think was possible. I had just been saying that though I love both “Heartless” and “Blame It on the Alcohol,” both songs were pretty silly performed live on AI. A lot of posturing and rough negotiating with all of the synths or whatever. And as if he heard me, Kris performed an acoustic “Heartless.” Whoa! Freaking whoa! And not only was it just a freaking great arrangement, it also demonstrated how amazing the lyrics are (that was clear in the original, but with a stripped-down version, they just jumped out at you). So even though I was unfortunately wrong with the top 3, I was spot on about the top 2. And you know what? Kris could win this, he really could. And Adam’s gonna have an amazing career no matter what, so it’s all gravy.

But you know what I’ve been overdosing on this week? Reading! I read 3 young adult books in like 2 days. The last, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, I read pretty much straight through last night/this morning. Thought I’d read a chapter as I was trying to fall asleep and got so consumed with the story, just had to know what happened, that I read until I finished at 5:31 this morning. And of course, it’s the first in the series and of course the next isn’t coming out till September. Oh, how will I ever wait to find out what happens next? Somebody send me an ARC! So even though my site says I’m reading, The Song Is You and that is true, I’m usually reading like five or six things at once. But The Hunger Games. Seriously, read this book. It is inventive and brutal and gorgeous, about a future society in North America that sends 24 “tributes” from its 12 districts to fight until only one survives. I love how some of the best characters in these brutal future-society books (think John Marsden’s Tomorrow series) are kick ass girls like Ripley and Barbara.

The socializing – I’m still doing quite a bit of that. Drove up to Baton Rouge for an “Electric Ladies” lunch celebrating David Madden (see pic) and went to Bud’s Broiler for the first time and the Insectarium. Overall, however, I’m doing pretty good at saying no to invitations (sorry!!!! I promise I’ll be less of a hermit soon!!!).

But that’s enough about how I’m failing to use my time wisely. Let me update you on all the progress I’ve made.

New words:

5.10 = 1,547 (3 scenes)
5.11 = 3,179 (2 scenes)
5.12 = 613 (1 scene)
5.13 = 558 (1/2 scene)
5.14 = 599 (2nd 1/2 scene)

But it’s not all about new words. I actually generated a significant amount of new words and scenes since last October, in preparation for filling out the parts that needed more. I have one complete draft and lots of loose material to work with. So the greatest part of the work I’ve been doing has been splicing the new work and the old material together, or editing. So, how’s this for linear thinking – I made an enormous jump and I have about 180 pages “done.” I’ll continue with my splicing and hope to have a few days or a full week at the end to do one more pass to make everything connect and work the way I’d like it to. Makes the book sound like a machine, doesn’t it?

During all the test runs I’ve taken it on, the book is performing well. Just like a top-end sports car, purring and growling enthusiastically, just revving up to show off what it can do. A friend recently asked me how the writing was going and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t sigh and shake my head and offer a lot of excuses. I grinned and chirped, “Great!” And meant it. That feels so good.

Toni sponsored a book-giveaway on my blog. Someday I’ll be more democratic with my book-giveaways, but this time instead of making y’all work for it, I gave the books to people I knew would love them. So the copy of Allison Brennan‘s Sudden Death went to Pam Gauxtreaux and the copies of Toni’s first two books (they’re gonna be re-released this summer under new titles) went to Kristin Sanders.

So, to conclude, a few items that grabbed my attention this week:

This is a GREAT idea (Amazon to reprint books).

This makes me incredibly sad (Coconut Beach).

And this is fascinating (Dan Baum, New Yorker, a story told on Twitter).

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Fess Up Friday (First)

So I decided I just couldn’t NOT post at all this month. I’m going through blog withdrawal and that’s a bad thing for me to focus on instead of the book. Therefore, I will do a Fess Up Friday edition through the month and let you know where I’m at with the book and with my promise to give things up in order to focus.

I’ve been doing very badly with the less t.v. and socializing, first off. As you will see below when I post pics from Bustout Burlesque last night (I’m updating on Saturday, though this post will be dated Friday). And I watched the season finale of Dollhouse, am completely wrapped up in that (Mr. Whedon, I understand everything and I’m STILL confused. Can’t wait for that DVD with the “Epitaph One” episode). Though, it will probably help that most shows are going to be on hiatus soon. And willpower, there is always that…

So for the first two days of the month, my intense period of work, I was insanely sick. A stomach virus or food poisoning, that was never officially determined. So, I didn’t get much writing done and that was pretty disappointing cause I’d been all geared up to attack. It lingered, even after I felt much better, for quite a few days.

However, I’m doing very well with the book. Have been writing the new scenes I needed, getting a handle on the new edits and I made a major breakthrough with a specific major character who’s been bugging me for a few years.

Also, I came up with a great answer for the, “So how close to finished are you?” question. Wanna hear it? Okay. Ahem. Ahem. “The writing process is not a linear one, so it’s difficult to say how close to the end I am.” I’m working every day and I still feel like I’m closer to done than I allow myself to believe on a day-to-day level. We’ll see what my answer is next Friday, if it will be a more linear-minded one.

And now your pictures. Bustout Burlesque is a regular show that will next be at House of Blues July 10th (though I didn’t see it on the calendar yet when I just looked). I definitely recommend going, it’s good old fashioned vaudeville. And yes, nudity. But also jokes and magic. And no matter your take on girls getting nekkid, it’s really hard not to appreciate their personalities and athleticism. I was lucky enough to sit practically on the stage at a reserved table and can I just say (i.e. rub it in) that backstage at House of Blues is pretty fun and interesting. So you see why I gave up working for the night to go. Forgiven? I forgive myself.

I’m pictured with Foxy Flambeaux and Praline DuPree in one picture, then with Athena.

Somehow, I missed my photo op with Kitty Twist, who also performed last night.

Last is the featured performer, Sugar from last season’s Survivor with Foxy and Praline. Enjoy.

Now, back to work.

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