Sunday, July 23, 2017

New Book Sent to my Editor

I am so excited to announce my manuscript for Cruise Into My Heart, has been submitted to my editor with a tentative publish date of October 4th!

I want to thank all of my beta readers for their comments and how to make it a better story. It is based on a true story but somewhat embellished by me.

Which brings me to my next work of art, Breakout Heat. I'm halfway through it's first set of Lois' edits trying to make the characters more vibrant. I'm reading my favorite authors books like crazy to assist in that goal. Then I will give the manuscript to my cohorts in crime for their opinions and comments.

However, I've been deterred by life events. When the Runway Went South is really my third attempt at writing a book. As you know, we bought the Money Pit when we moved to the Dallas area. We have never spent more money on a house in our first year of owning a home. Everything in the story is true. Because it was a true story written from my heart, Lazy Day Publishing accepted it and stood behind my work. Then Blushing Books acquired the Lazy Day name. Unfortunately, Blushing Books Publishing made the decision to no longer carry the imprint of Lazy Day and therefore the book is no longer available.

Which brings me to my next step. This last year, the house has acted up again where we've had incredibe repair bills beyond our worst nightmare. It's to the point where we can't afford to live in this house, but who would buy it? My mentor is screaming SEQUEL! The characters are talking to me.
Should I do it?


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Funny Story

When I tell people that I'm an author, most of them can't believe it. (Well, sometimes I wonder myself, lol). But I love when they launch into their stories if they could write, it would be a best seller.

My 84 year old aunt said I should write about my husband's family. Um, she's never read any of my books and I hate to tell her that a lot of my characters are based on my husband's family. When Play for Me was being edited, my editor told me that the heroine's mother was too mean and to lighten up the character because it was not real. I wanted to introduce her to my relative but thought better about it and changed the character.

My husband's uncle is a retired Chicago Policeman and he does have great stories that I'm compiling.

Next, I was at a pool party and met a delightful young man and his husband. They couldn't wait to talk to me. They wanted me to write a story about our next president who would be gay and his husband would not be the first lady, he would be the first man. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that one. I asked about the plot and they said that was it. A gay first man! I'd really have to do research on that topic....

While the plumber repaired my underground clogged pipe, ($$$$) he said I should write a book about Jesus as a salesman. How Jesus was able to sell his beliefs to the world and still maintain this belief to this day. I hated to burst his bubble, but I told him people have researched that very topic for years. I write contemporary romances, a feel good story that warms the heart. That topic is a little too heavy for me.

I wonder what will be next? Do other authors get the same reaction from people? I don't know!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Working with Characters of a Story

So sorry I haven't blogged for a while! We had out of town family come and visit us for seven days over the July 4th holiday. We also took three days of vacation to do much needed yard work. I think we're done and I'm ready to get back to writing. Having people around tends to do that to me.

I'm taking today and Sunday to read. There are so many inspirational authors that help me work through tough passages.

I'm finicky when it come to my characters and I want to make sure I'm portraying them the way I want them to come across. The latest book I wrote which I'm editing is not doing that for me. My heroine and hero are flat. Grrr! Spending ten days away from it is helping and each book I read gives me a picture of how the author gets their characters alive! Come Monday, I'm ready to tackle it again.

Granted, I have the best editor ever, Michele! But I want it to be perfect before it gets into her hands.

Back to personal stuff! It's been very hot and humid in Texas. We've had more rain than I can remember since we moved here in 2009. Usually, by this time of year, the grass is brown and there are fire warnings. Not so! We've had close to 6 inches of rain in one week. We've had to cut our grass twice in ten days. The pool is still cold from all the rain water, but at least it's refreshing!

I hope everyone had a great holiday!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

How Innocent Suggestions Become True

It's ironic how things happen. I began my writing career in 2002. I wrote the book of my dreams, called The Network of Deceit, a Romantic Suspense. It was based upon my years in computer programming. Part of it was a true story but as first books go, well. It got rejected time after time. Looking back at it, I made every mistake known to the craft. I put it aside while I wrote it's sequel.

Then life got in the way. I got a full time job for the next three years; my daughter went off to get her Masters Degree in English, and we moved to Dallas.

That's when When the Runway Went South was born. Everything happened to our house and I cried the first year we were here. Me, being the organized person I am, made a spreadsheet of every incident that went wrong with the house. With the suggestion of a cousin, he told me to write a story about it. I did.

As of last year, guess what? Things are going wrong with the house again. It's been seven years since things were fixed but it still makes me sick to my stomach. Never have we had so many problems with home ownership. And the way businesses operate in Texas, verything is a racket and Texans just shrug their shoulders and pay. A good example is mosquitoes. The city sprays for mosquitos during the season to prevent West Nile Virus. Now there is the Zika! Guess what? Along comes Mosquito Joe, who will personally spray your yard twice a month for a costly fee and that's not all. You have to agree to a year long contract. The cost is close to $500 a year. And people are buying into this. I'm not like that, which makes it harder to deal with these firms.

My best friend suggested I write a sequel to When the Runway Went South, which unfortunately is out of print. That was last year. I toyed with the idea but put it aside. I ended the story with a happy ever after ending.

After posting my latest adventure with a rattlesnake, I'm getting more support to write the sequel. You know? Maybe I will!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hang in There

I'm ready to start my next book. It will be a sequel to When the Runway Went South. I have enough material based upon my true life adventures with this house.

Since last August, I've had a clothes dryer burn out; a new dishwasher, stopped up kitchen sink, a two new lawnmowers from Sears go bad. (They fixed the last one, but I will never do business with Sears again. Hidden in their website's fine print, they will not accept returns after thirty days of purchase. Since we purchased the second one in November and we didn't use it until March when it became the smoking James Bond of the neighborhood, they would not let us return it.) A strut in my husband's new car broke, my washing machine died, the water pipe underneath my house backfilled and had to be re-routed to the price of $$$$$$. The roof was replaced forcing us to park our cars on the street. While on the street, my car, which was given a clean bill of health last week, got stuck in Park. We called to have it towed, but they can't tow it if you can't put it in Neutral. So, the driver took apart my console and found the spring to unleash the gear shift handle. It was still drivable, but I had no brake lights. It's now at the repair shop. $$$$

I know there are those of you who are going through worse things than this and I pray for all of you. I'm just asking for good things to come our way. Please?

However, I did get the synopsis done for my next book. Now, I'm fine tuning the first three chapters for submission.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Frustrated!

I've always been a planner. I think I was born with a 'to do' list in my hands. I try to be accomodating when things don't go as planned, but I'm Sicilian and passionate about everything.

I have two manuscripts I'm working on since The Sin Bin. The first was rejected because I 'told' rather than 'showed'. I've reworked it and now feel confident that it's great. The killer for me is the synopsis and the blurb. How can I write en entire book, yet struggle with a 'hook' of three sentences and write a three page synopsis? Argh!

Second manuscript needs a lot of work. I mean a lot! I'm not at all pleased with the relationship between the hero and heroine. It's too complacent. I need to breathe life into it. And the timing is all wrong. I've got them jumping from one thing to another without continuity. I know what I want to 'show' and have to find the right words. Both situations needs lots of concentration on my part.

With that being said, I've got a lot of work to do with my career. I'm anxious to get those two books out there. But, NOTHING in my life is going according to my schedule. FRUSTRATED!

I run our household. That should be my second job but for the last couple of months, it has become my primary job. And I don't get paid! It started in March when we had a devastating hail storm and had major damage to the house. Dealing with the insurance (which used to be one of my careers) and repairs being done has become a nightmare. I never know when the repairman are going to show up and I have to scan the receipts to the insurance adjuster to let them know I'm using the partial sum of money to really get things repaired. I did not pocket the money and run away to Las Vegas or Bora Bora. Until every penny is accounted for with the first insurance check, I will not get the second advance. I have 365 days to complete the repairs but still.

Moving on to cars. There are three in our household. Mine is a 2002 with only 56,000 miles on it. It's getting up there but it still runs fine. That car went in this week for a Service A check and they couldn't find anything wrong. Yay!

My daughter has a 2006 Mazda with only 48,000 miles on it. She works in Customer Service and needs her car to go to work.

My husband bought the car of his dreams two years ago, a 2009 Mercedes Benz S550. Because it was an older model, we bought a 5 year warranty package on it and we've used it. It has all the bells and whistles on it and guess what? They all go wrong at one point of time. For the first year and a half, I was petrified to drive it. The only thing I haven't driven in my life is a pick up truck and am normally not afraid to drive anything. But the way my husband has carried on about his baby. I sucked it up after the last repair when the strut broke. I'm no longer afraid.

His car went in for a Service B and of course they found two oil leaks and had to replace the spark plugs and belts which was a two day process.  He took my car (I will not be without a car!) which meant I had to drive my daughter to and from work for three days straight. When the 2009 was complete, I had to have a friend meet me at my daughter's work so I could drop off her car and take me to the repair shop to pick up the 2009. I became so confused about where everything was in the cars...especially the windshield wipers. I know where mine are, but I forgot about my daughter's car and realized she needed to new ones. I couldn't see out the windshield. Trip to the auto store.

The 2009 has the automatic windshield where it senses the amount of water on the window. My husband didn't tell me he had turned it off because it hadn't rained in a while. Fortunately, I went back to the repair shop where they told me where the switch is. I bet they had a good laugh on my account!

I couldn't find a block of time to work on my books. I praying for normal. Please!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

School is Out

Which means our library will be filled with bored kids who have no place else to go.

When I'm writing, I need quiet. I can't listen to music because since I'm a trained musician, I listen to music rather than concentrate on my characters and story line. I can't do both!

At home is usually quiet except for the telemarketers. Yes, we still have a landline. We want to get rid of it, but our older relatives only know of that number and not our cell phones. Yes, I've reported the numbers to NOMOROBO and the Do Not Call but that doesn't work. Lately, I've been on a list of the best health care coverage. I'm covered under my husband's work coverage. Who knows what the options will be with all of the turmoil in politics? I receive about ten calls a day which is why I like to go to the library to avoid them.

But during the summer hours, kids and even parents don't follow the library rules and the staff is just happy people are using their facility and won't say anything. I bought a huge bottle of ear plugs at CVS which I'll use at home and the library!

On another note, it's funny how Facebook can change your life. The first job I had when I graduated from college, I was a Claims Supervisor at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois in downtown Chicago. A great deal of my employees were adjustors and batch and file clerks (all paper back then), the majority of them were from the inner city. They were a great group of workers with the exception of a few but I liked it.

Yesterday, I checked my many FB pages and I stumbled across a name from the past. One of my employees! I hadn't thought about him in decades! Yet, he liked my page. Of course I was nosy and checked him out. He was a good kid, about six years younger than me, but he managed to get into trouble out of work. My manager fired him because of it. I tried to stick up for him but I could only go so far.

Fast forward and I hope what he wrote on his page is true because I want to believe it. He managed to go to college and get a degree and a good job. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I see another story in the works.....