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Archive for May, 2012

Random Thursday: Beta Readers

I am once again looking for beta readers. I didn’t have any takers the last time I posted about this. Hoping it just got passed over(think the original post was between rounds of ROW80). So, now that I’m getting closer to finishing edits of Guarding the Heart, I am reposting that original blog post(or at least the part that is still relevant):

anyone interested in reading through this when it’s ready? It is a romantic suspense and runs about 83,000 words. Here’s a quick synopsis:

Casey Brannigan, a personal bodyguard and former Marine, who is trying to get his life back after losing his last client. He almost lost his life and is on the verge of losing his business as well. With his future and that of his partner and best friend, at risk, he feels he has no choice but to take the next job that comes their way no matter what it is.

But when he gets the phone call from Senator Blaine, he wants to turn down the job even though he knows they cannot afford to and feels forced to take it. His daughter, Emelyn, who Casey thinks is just a spoiled rich girl, has been receiving threats against her life. Her father wants someone to protect her while the police look for the person behind the threats. Casey thinks this will be an easy job and goes by himself to her house to watch her. But, there are problems from the start. And when he finds his feelings for her deepening, he realizes there’s more to her than what you see on the surface.

Now, he has to decide if it is worth the risk of getting close to her only to lose her. When Emelyn is taken under his watch, he throws everything he has into finding her, even calling on people he has not spoken to in years. But, as time starts to run out, he fears he will never see her again, let alone confess his true feelings for her. As he closes in on the man who took her, he is forced to face the past he’s tried to leave behind. Will he find her in time or will he have to bury another woman he loves?

Writing Wednesday: Breaking It Down

Last week when I started working on the new WiP, I put down on my to-do list just to write that day’s words. Well, I realized this was not working for me. It took forever until I was able to cross that off. So, I did what always seems to work best for me. Took a larger goal and broke it down into smaller ones. So, at the beginning of my list I have down to write my Story a day, then finish my 750 words(since I write the stories at 750words.com) and then write 500 words on the new WiP. And then I have a few other things I want to get done and among those I repeat my small writing and editing goals. I seem to get a lot more done this way, although I have changed from the word goal to more of a time goal. So writing/editing for half an hour at a time. And then I work my way methodically through my to-do list. and I find myself actually getting things done.

As to what I actually got done over the last week:

  • Be through edits for Chapter 25 of Guarding the Heart

Not there yet. Adding a couple scenes into chapter 23, and still working on that.

  • Find Beta readers for Guarding the Heart

Still no closer on this one.

  • Have at least 8750 words on Slow Revenge

Not there yet. Last Wednesday afternoon, I got a really bad sinus headache and just could not focus. Only got 394 words written. still felt pretty bad on Thursday, so spent most of the day reading. Only wrote 311 words. Started to get back on track on Friday with over 1800 words. Thought about writing to catch up over the weekend, but with my niece’s birthday party Saturday and going out for Mother’s Day on Sunday, we weren’t really home much. So, I was still behind coming into this week. I did write at least 1K Monday and Tuesday, but I still only have 7895 words as of right now. Planning on writing some more later today, so may still meet that.

  • Keep up with Story A Day

Doing good here. Haven’t missed any days yet.

  • Keep up to date on reading blogs and replying to comments

Doing good with reading blogs. And pretty good with staying caught up replying to comments on mine. Falling behind on posting to my own though. Skipped last Thursday and Friday. Almost skipped Monday’s then buckled down and wrote one. And I must have messed up on scheduling posts, because it appears two posted on Tuesday.

  • Be 25% through Willowtree

I gave up on this one, I think before I even got to the 25% mark. Then, I read Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba, One Small Victory by Maryann Miller, and Darker by Degree by Keri Knutson and Susan Branham, all within about 3 days. And yesterday I finished When a Man Loves a Woman by Alina Adams and started Come Back to Me by Melissa Foster.

goals for next check-in:

  • Be through edits for chapter 27 of Guarding the Heart
  • Find Beta readers for Guarding the Heart
  • Have at least 15000 words written on Slow Revenge
  • Keep up with Story a Day
  • Keep up to date on reading  blogs and replying to comments.
  • Be 50% through Come Back to Me.

 

Short Tuesday: Here Then Gone

It had just been here, and now we couldn’t find it. I looked around me then out to the woods beyond. Then, over at my cousin. “I saw it go down, didn’t you?”

He nodded. “Right here. Your shot took it clean. It should be here. But, there’s no sign of it. No blood or anything.”

I sighed. Maybe the deer I had shot had gone off into those woods. But my cousin was right. There should have been at least a trail of blood to follow. I had seen it go down under my arrow as well. “Come on. We need that meat. We’ll have to go in after it.”

I could feel his hesitation though and turned to face him. And he shook his head. “I’m not going in there. Haven’t you heard the stories?”

“You know I have. I’ve told you some of them.” I turned back toward those woods, supposedly haunted, and away from him. “But, I don’t have a chance. Ma’s counting on me. If I don’t bring that meat home, we won’t have anything to eat. And the little ones need to eat.”

I knew he didn’t follow me as I started for those trees. His family wasn’t as desperate as mine. His father was still home, so he didn’t have to provide for his family when he wasn’t even a man yet. We were the same age, but by circumstance, I had to be older, to act older. I wasn’t bitter about it. It just was what it was. I took another arrow from the quiver on my back and held my bow ready for when I came across the animal. Not only did we need the meat, but I couldn’t afford to lose one of the arrows I had crafted myself.

I took another step deeper into the woods and heard the crunch of a foot on dead leaves and sticks to my left. I turned, bringing my bow up to aim at whoever it was. I wouldn’t let anyone get between me and my family’s next meal. But, there was no one there.

Then, another crunch. This one closer and behind me. Could it be the monster reported to live here? They said you wouldn’t see him until he was right on you. I shook my head. I didn’t believe in monsters anymore. At least not the ones that lived under the beds and in our nightmares. I turned again and still nothing. Letting out the breath I’d been holding, I started forward again.

Short Tuesday: The Fire

This was the first one I wrote and actually stopped when the 15 minute timer went off.

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The fire engine arrived too late. I had been walking down the street when I heard the sirens. And watched the truck race by me. I didn’t know where it was going, but I knew people down this way. Then, I saw the smoke. It was so thick I wasn’t sure how I had not noticed it before. But, where was it coming from. I felt a panic closing around me and started to run.

Then, I saw the flames as well. And I knew. I dropped to my knees as the firefighters jumped out of their truck and started to attack the blaze. I knew what she had faced. But, I never thought she would have done this. Never thought it would go this far. Was she really so intent on erasing all the memories that she would set fire to them? I shook my head, knowing these weren’t the questions that really mattered to me. And I didn’t really want to think about the one that did.

I didn’t even feel the tears streaming down my face. Was she in there? I knew she had lost everything. Her parents. Her husband, the bastard. Her child had been born sleeping. And it never would have happened if she would have ever just looked at me. Seen that I would have given her everything. Certainly more than the man she had married did. Why hadn’t she listened to any of us?

I saw one of the firefighters come back out of the house and shake his head. What did that mean? Was anyone in there? They hadn’t brought anyone back out. But, I couldn’t be sure. I ran across the street but arms grabbed me before I could reach the house.

“You have to stay back here, Sir.”

“I need to know what’s going on. I know who lives here. She’s a friend,” I said after a slight hesitation. Even though I had always wanted more, that’s all she would ever accept. “I need to know if she was in there.”

“No one was inside. Your friend must not have been here when the fire started.”

Knitting Monday: New Hat & More Yarn

Last week, I shared the pattern I was using to make a hat for Hayleigh. Well, I gave up on that one and started a search for one that was more of a sun hat. Couldn’t really find any that I liked though. So, used them as a starting point, and am pretty much making it up as I go. It starts just like a beanie would. After finishing the main part of the hat, I’ll pick up stitches around the bottom and knit around for the brim.

Picture is not the best, I know. I did a 1×1 rib then knit up in stockinette stitch until it was about 3 inches from the beginning. Then, I did two eyelet rows with a row of knitting between. Almost ready to start the decreases now.

This past Saturday, we were out and about and I finally picked up some more yarn. Cotton in two different colors, 1 skein of orchid and 2 of rouge red. Planning on using this for some more hats. The red will be for the ones for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. And the orchid will be ones that I’m hoping to sell for some of the proceeds going towards a friend’s fundraising for her Lupus Walk. Now, that I have the yarn I need, I’m hoping to get started on these hats sometime this week.

Writing Wednesday: Bouncing Between Projects

I finished getting all the scenes for my new WiP put into Scrivener on Friday. So, Monday morning, I started on the actual writing of it. Feels good to be writing on a project again. I enjoy doing the short fiction too, but there’s a different feeling when writing on a novel, at least for me.Of course, I’m still working on editing my other novel, so I’ll have to find a way to balance while jumping between the two different stages. So far, I seem to be doing all right with that.

  • Have rewrites through Chapter 12 done.

I was there on Friday, plus got another one done after that. I have found that I can usually get three chapters done in a day. Of course, that may not always be the case. Some chapters have more in them to change than others. So, some days I may not be able to get quite as much done. On Tuesday, I only got 1 chapter edited. That was due in part to the power going out in the morning, so I got behind on everything else I wanted to get done as well. But, still I’m through Chapter 17, so more than halfway done.

  • Have the rest of Slow Revenge put into Storybook and start adding scene to Scrivener.

Like I said, I had this finished on Friday. And have the first 2800 words written. Chapter 1 is finished, and I’ve started on Chapter 2. I first created these characters almost 10 years ago. I like revisiting them now and knowing there story will be told better than it was then.

  • Keep up with Story a Day goal.

Doing good here. Have posted a story every day so far. Usually I take the weekends off from writing, but I’m using this challenge to write at least a little bit even over the weekends. And some of the pieces I have written have even given me little sparks that might lead to a bigger story. Three or four of them could be tied together for this possible story idea. Not sure if I’ll actually take it any farther than these little pieces of story, but the idea is brewing.

  • Keep up to date on reading blogs and replying to comments

doing good here still. Read blogs and reply to comments at least once a day.

  • Be 25% through Seeds of Discovery

Actually, I finished this one Monday night. And downloaded the second book. Read Through the Lace, a short story by Ruth Nestvold on Tuesday. I will be starting Willowtree by Mike Bove today. Working my way through my To Be Read list.

Goals for next check-in:

  • Be through edits for Chapter 25 of Guarding the Heart
  • Find Beta readers for Guarding the Heart
  • Have at least 8750 words on Slow Revenge
  • Keep up with Story A Day
  • Keep up to date on reading blogs and replying to comments
  • Be 25% through Willowtree

How has everyone else been doing this week?

Short Tuesday: In the Moonlight

This piece I just wrote this morning for Shah Wharton’s Storyteller Challenge. I had to write a story between 70-700 words based on an image. I’ve never been able to write a story from looking at an image before(actually that was an assignment in one of my English classes in High School). But, I looked at this photo, and the first line just came to me.

She walked in the moonlight. I saw her on top of that hill, and I could feel my pulse speed. It wasn’t the first night I had seen her walk. But, she never came during the day. So, I had stood at my bedroom window, waiting for her to show. And I watched her walk past, as if she was going to meet someone.

I had to follow her. Had to see where she was going, who she was meeting. Why she came every night. I slipped on a coat over my night clothes, but left the house without shoes. And I went to where I had last seen her from my window. But, she was gone.

I didn’t even know her name. I couldn’t call out to her. Couldn’t find out where she had gone. My heart feeling heavy with disappointment, I turned back toward the house. Then, I heard  her voice. I knew it was her although I had never heard her speak before. “Over here.”

I turned and saw her step out of the stand of trees. What I had always thought of dead wood turned to beauty behind her. A bird rode on her shoulder, but with a gesture from her that I barely saw, he flew off, leaving us alone. “I have been waiting for you,” she said. “For the one who would be able to see me.”

I thought she almost floated across the ground as she moved toward me. “Who are you?”

But, she did not speak again. Instead, she ran her hands up my chest and over my shoulders. Then, she took my hand and led me back toward the trees. I could do nothing but follow. I did not even wonder at the time why I didn’t question it. Why I didn’t question her. But, I didn’t. I just followed. And that one decision, or lack of decision, changed every aspect of my life.

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