Friday, January 29, 2010

Windows 7

If you've read some of my previous blogs, or follow me on twitter, you might remember that I had a heck of a time when we upgraded my laptop to w7. I missed some of the features of vista, and we had to get my settings just right. Anyway, there is a feature on w7 that they did improve, the tablet functions. I use a wacom tablet for art things as well as editing, and I love the new features, they're so much more user friendly. Now, I can highlight a word, and to get rid of it, it only takes a line through it to strike it out. A tap on the word lets me edit individual letters, I can split compound words if I've mistakenly joined them, or join ones I've mistakenly split, all with my stylus. Before, I still had to use my keyboard to make some of those things happen. So w7 isn't all bad, tablet function floats my boat. :) Off to get kids from school!

Progress on Chased

It's happening, really. I've spent the last couple of days going through and dumping a lot of words. Some because they were repetitious or unnecessary, others because there was a better place to use them. In the first 28 pages I dumped 2092 words. I think that's about six pages of a standard book. Anyway, it's alot, and I'm sure that's where my hold up was. I have about six more pages to go before I pick up where I stopped, but that's not what I was worried about, in fact, it's where some of the slashed info will end up. I feel so much better now.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Writing...I'm not feeling it today...

I'm not sure what it is but today it feels very forced. I feel agitated and I'm not sure why. I think it's may be because I realized yesterday that alot of what I've done this week and last week will be trashed. Too much of an information dump that's slowing my characters from meeting up, and since this is a romance it's slowing my story considerably. For whatever strange wiring reason, I'm having a hard time continuing knowing that the beginning isn't right. The kids are home from school now, interfering with the voices in my head, and tonight's a kind of busy night, so I may just put it away for now. Maybe when the kids are in bed, I'll print out those first 30 pages or so and scrap most of it. I have almost 15,000 words for this story now. Wonder how many I'll keep.


You know, Wendesdays kind of bug me. Exercise gets in the way. I heard a rumor that regular excercise was supposed to make you more productive. I'm just not finding that. On Wednesdays I have Zumba at the Y. I really like the class, got special shoes for it and everything. Unfortunately, the class that goes from 10-11:20 or so in the morning somehow manages to wipe out my whole day. I'm trying to figure out how that's scientifically possible. I think there may be some factors I don't understand, or a worm hole sucking away my time...something because this makes no sense. But by the time I get home, let's be generous and say 11:30, by the time I'm done showering, doing a quick make up and hair indulgence, eat something, and catch up on email, it's already 1 pm. To be fair though, I had more email today than normal, but to keep math simple (because I need it to be) we're keeping the 1pm time. That leaves me 2 hours of writing time before I have to leave and start picking up kids - that's not a lot of time, and the eating wasn't very much, so now I'm hungry again and a little grumpy. Hunger tends to do that to a person. So, I will be lucky to get writing by 2pm which only leaves me an hour. If two hours wasn't very much time, well this is obviously less. How does one class, make such a huge difference in my day?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Planning, Plotting, & Paper

I've been busy the last couple days. I have about 9 note book pages (front and back) full of notes for Chased, book two, and a few directional notes for future book ideas. Manuel and Alec now have their very own backgrounds and history. Both are fairly old vampires. Manuel de Leon was changed way back in 1513 and was a Spanish Conquistador Alec Babineaux was changed in 1625 and was a French soldier in a Louisiana fort long before the Louisiana purchase. I now know who they were before they were changed, who changed them, how and why, and a lot of their lives before they show up in my stories. I've learned about the history of Florida, New France (Quebec), and Louisiana. As well as brief histories of various groups of people like Native American tribes like the Natchitoches - part of the Caddo Confederacy and Jesuit and Recollect priests in Quebec in the 1600's. I have time lines and myths noted and reworked some history to my advantage. Today I finished up Alec's history and started on some beasties that will make an appearance. The first beastie is a snake demon, so I scrolled through Native American lore, as well as myth and lore from around the world looking for things I could pull in and I found what I was looking for, but in the process gleaned tidbits of information about all sorts of snake mythology. I also found out what happens if you type in snake demons as search words and found myself in a land of beautiful, yet terrifying art. One picture in particular caught my eye, (link) and it may get used as inspiration for my snake demon, who now has a name: Jake Pomo, he's named after my brother (Jake, not Pomo). He asked and I thought, why not? I'm pretty sure he has an eye patch, and I'm pretty sure I know why. For tomorrow: Play with Jake, the snake, Pomo and get him finished up. Then create gremlin and witch/warlock characters. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I had a blast! After I have these notes done, I'll transfer them to my index cards for easy organization and access. Have a great day, and thanks for stoppin' by!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Little Bit of Fun

We got Nerf Dart Tag Capture the Flag for Christmas. I just got a go at it tonight, and it's pretty fun. Carter loved having me play, and he was sure to remind everyone that the girls were on one team and the boys on another...unfortunately, none of the other guys played, so he was outnumbered by Alta and Mom. We had a ton of fun and laughed a lot. It was great excercise too, probably as good a work out as I got at the Y this morning and a lot more fun! Sirius was my constant companion in stealth. Although he was at my side during this rousing game of dart tag, I don't think he helped me in hiding...everyone knew where I was. All they had to do was look for the dog. On the other hand, he was pretty good at grabing the little Nerf darts and bringing them to me. That's always favorable. The one who controls the ammo usually wins. Tonight, that was me and Sirius. Okay, now back to thinking about Chased. It's time to get a little bit of work done.

Don't You Hate it When...

You find something you really like, and then the next time you need one it's gone. That was my frustration today. Last year, I bought this two ring index card binder for my 3x5 index cards. It worked perfectly. Now...I can't find any mor like it. I can probably order one on line, but I don't think they're very much, it wouldn't be worth the shipping. So, now, I've been forced to experiment and play with paper once again (poor me) to come up with a solution, and I think I have it, I just don't have everything I need. So, I'll have to wait until Friday to put my plan into action. Until then, I guess I can store my notes for Chased in the silly index card binder that won't even stay open...I think it will last that long.

Time to Get Back to Work

Went to the Y this morning. The whole Christmas break and snow days I stayed away. So now I'm trying to reestablish a habit that was almost there. I have to say though, without a friend coming along for the ride, it's pretty boring. I would be okay if I could skip the commercials on the tv. Since everything I watch at home is recorded on the dvr, or is a dvd, I'm spoiled. I don't have to watch commercials and now they annoy me. Anyway, after getting all excited on Saturday I'm ready to start mapping out book two in my Annwyn series. This one is called Chased, and although my characters overlap, my main focus is no longer on Taffy and Rafe. They've had their turn. I'm going to try a different mapping/outlining idea today and see if it works for me and cuts down on some of the repitition when I change my mind in my outline. Or when my characters do something unexpected. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Today was long, but seemed to pass quickly, it was a great day! Author Shannon K. Butcher was nice enough to invite me to the HeRA meeting that was today. HeRA is the local champter of RWA, which is the Romance Writers of America. I met some great people today, got to "talk shop" with people who've been there, and done that, and in general got to meet a great bunch of people. I may have been overwhelmed by terminology and acronyms, I'm told that's normal, but that's not going to stop me from going back. In one of my biggest steps in pursuing writing, I've decided to become a member of these two groups. Exciting! That was my day, how was yours?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another Mermaid Card

I did this today for someone. I love these mermaids from Coronado Island designs. There's a whole collection, many of them named after the zodiac signs. This one is named after the sign of Cancer. Once again, she's colored with prisma pencils. She's blinged out with stickles, and of course the word is stickled as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

More Cards

These next two cards I did for some friends of ours. I was able to scan this image in so wishblade could cut it out for me, I added the text before the printing. Then I colored with my prismas and let my wishblade cut it for me. Scanned in this image, played with it in wishblade, printed, colored, then cut out this design around it. I love the print and cut feature!
I made this for my bil, he had our name for Christmas and I wanted to thank him. I put four penguins, one for each of my kids. The penguins are a digital stamp from I designed the background in elements and added the penguins, printed the card, then colored the cutie pie penguins. They're adorable - even before coloring!
Images c Judi Maddigan for
I did this up for Mary Lee, of Serendipity Stamps who went above and beyond in the customer service department for me. Thanks Mary!
I know this sounds odd, but I did this one for my brother at boot camp, but hear me out. Mermaids = Water Water = Navy - see how my mind works? Boot camp is tougher than he thought it would be, so I wanted to encourage him, and this is the card I tried to do it with. Inside I listed all the things he should believe in, including himself. The stamp is from Coronado Island Designs. Of course I used my prismas to color her, and I cut out the word Believe with my wishblade, added it, then stickled them. I also used stickles on her tail, as well as her jewelry, which you can't really see unless you click on it for a larger view. I also discovered something...cropping a white card on white background is not easy! I can see room for improvement, but oh well.
Thanks for stopping by!

Some December Work that Kept Me Busy

As a gift for a friend to use as a gift. Does that make sense? She wanted it earlier in the year, but I wasn't able to do it then, so I decided to surprise her for Christmas :) This is my first try at making a single page layout designed for framing and hanging. I played with the pics a little in elements and added the framing and the backgrounds. The monkeys (leaves and bananas) are stamped, colored with prismacolor pencils, and then cut out. All the words are done with my wishblade. Without the frame: With the frame. These frames are made specifically for scrapbook pages. They accommodate layering and many 3-D embellishments. You can't tell, but this is a giant poster I made for our women's get together for December. We made arrangements with a local women's shelter to come in and decorate for Christmas, bring a full Christmas dinner, Santa showed up, and then we worked on a craft with the women and children. I snuggled a baby and rocked him to sleep instead of helping with the craft though. It was a wonderful night. This is our third year, and I think there will be many more to come. I used a gingerbread house file from Butterfly Designs (found on to make the house, but I had to be tricky because of the size, but I did it. This is just a simple card I did for Emma's guitar teacher. She seemed to like it.
That's part of what kept me busy during December.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Boots!

They finally came! UPS driver didn't look to happy though...go figure. Just kidding. I'm sure I wouldn't be happy driving a big ol' cold truck around town today during an all day snow and well below freezing weather event. But he still brought them to me and I'm a happy camper! They're even cuter than the picture online! I'll have to get a picture of them and add them to this blog. They're called fur moccasin boots. They're black and furry with pom pom ties and some beading on the toe and around the front rim of the boot. Unhappy and freezing UPS guy rang the bell right at dinner time and I ran for the boots. I put them on before I ever sat down to eat. It's amazing how happy shoes can make a girl! I've been smiling all night :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Loved the Book Burning Alive

and I' m sure that, like most people, I have a genre I'm comfortable in, one that's my favorite, as well as other genres I like, but not quite as much. For me, that genre is paranormal romance...yes...I'm a romance junkie, but I like mine served up with vampires, shifters, and other alpha type males. One of the joys of reading is finding something new in a genre you adore...I found one this weekend. It's a book called Burning Alive by Shannon K. Butcher, it's part of a series called The Sentinel Wars. Basic concept: There's three races guarding and protecting humans from the Synestryn (bad beasties and things that go bump and slurp in the night). One of those races is dying out because no children have been born to them in centuries, and their women were wiped out by the Synestryn. One of these men stumbles across a woman who can help. She helps him. She can help his people. Here's the caveat - she's pretty sure he's going to kill her so she's leery of him. It seems that the one thing all the books I fall for have in common is a beginning where our hero meets his counterpart and decides he's keeping her. I don't know what it is, but I like it! I even remarked to my husband - "he said he's going to keep her, you know this is going to be a good book now!" I wasn't disappointed. It had a great balance of light and dark, scenes that made me laugh, and others that made me cry. A great new world, original ideas but still humming with the basics that have me addicted to reading this genre. If you're looking for something to read, something original, I would recommend this book.