Mid-Week (Day 10 of 30) Check In

First off, my great good friend Jackie Barbosa is blogging about post-book release blues at SFC today! Stop by and comment to be entered to win a copy of her new release, Behind the Red Door.

Second…need to update the word meter in the sidebar.  Pretty sure I hit my 10 day goal but I have till midnight and I’m going to use every minute for what it’s worth!

Third…there is NOTHING on TV–which is good for writing but bad for boredom. Loved the Closer but Damn Brenda’s a heartless bitch and Loved Raising the Bar! Also checked out Nurse Jackie…it looks pretty fun(ny) but what’s with the half hour shows?

Fourth…need to blog about my neighbor–he’s SUCH a hoot! He’s 85 if a day and spry enough I’ve seen him on the roof wielding a chainsaw (to cut tree limbs).  And he gossips like a woman but he’s good about looking after things. I came home yesterday to discover he’d edged my front lawn… awwwwwww

WIP Update:

I have a plot problem. Its’ a rather large one that goes something like this, “WTF My hero cannot keep boinking my heroine on the pretext of discovering her secret,” –readers will string me up– but after chatting with Jackie yesterday afternoon, I *think* I found a fix.

I’ve reached the point in the wip that I have to stop and edit–in part to fix the WTF plot problem — so that’s what I”m doing.  80 pages down/75 pages to go!  This is a technique I picked up from Suzanne McMinn and it works well for me…stopping to edit every 1/3 of the way through the book (or so).   In this case I’m shooting for 90k (that’s 360 pages by the 250 words/page formula) but I’d be happy with 85k so I’m almost to the halfway mark (155 pages).

Anyway….this allows me to go back and tweak with new character/plot discoveries in mind.    And while editing yesterday evening, I had THE BEST FRICKENIDEA EVAH!!!!!!

It was so good, I had to email Jen and Raine on the spot.  Jen says I’m sick but that’s okay! Then I told Jen if I could write all six books at the same time, I probably would–I’ve already written the opening for two of them (sad yes LOL).  She said I’d end up in a very special room if I tried it.  I’m assuming she meant one with padded walls.  Nice n Soft!

How do you edit? And how are my other writing challenge buddies doing out there???

Fiscal Responsibility

One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn as an adult is Fiscal Responsibility. That is, managing my money. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to pay the electric, the water, the cable…bounced a check (I should own stock in WAMU/Chase for all the checks I’ve bounced)…you name it–though I’ve gotten much better over the years. And there’s just no reason for it other than I’m a horrible money manager!!

I decided late last year, with the recession, the biggest favor I could do myself (and the kids) was get out of debt.

To that end I made the VERY difficult decision to pull a huge chunk of money out of my retirement account (but I had to wait until this Spring). Yes Yes I know! Penalties and fees and taxes oh my! But I talked it over with my finance dude and a) I’m young b) that means I’ve got at least another 20-30 years of working left in me and c) paying off not just credit cards but the car will free up enough money to allow me to put money back INTO savings and eventually funnel it to some sort of IRA fund. And also c) late payments are not just wrecking my credit and lowering my credit score, but making me pay higher home and car insurance rates, so e) with improved credit scores those insurance rates will go down.

Seeing as how I’ll soon have to add another driver *sob* (and a boy to boot) onto my car insurance (and then yet another in like 2011-12), I need all the help I can get. And eventually I’m going to have to invest in a second vehicle, but we have a while on that one. There’s also the new fence that’s desperately needed, some tree trimming which is God-Awful expensive, bathroom tile repairs that’ll probably set me back a couple grand or more, and new floors in the house–also a huge expense.

I’ve been doing this in chunks and I’ve got $100.00 left on one credit card and one last big payment on the car. By July the only real debt I’ll have is the mortgage and my student loans. It’s slow going but we’re getting there. I’m not so worried this year about those summer electric bills (w/two teens home all day) or the food bills (w/two teens and their friends in and out all day–and #1 son officially has the bottomless stomach of suck that can’t be filled. Ohhhhh 15 how I love you what a wonderful age *sigh*). There probably won’t be a birthday trip for the big 4-0, but I do see a new dryer in my future 😀

So, share your money saving tips with me!

Something For Sunday

Something from the WIP (Desiree is NOT the heroine and this is not edited 😀 ):
Nico sank down on the side of the bed, the soft give of the mattress tempting him to stretch out beside Desiree, but he was determined to wait until the others returned.

She shook her head and turned away. “No more, please. It tastes like Satan’s shit.”

“You have to.”

With a little help from Nico and every one of his bed pillows, she managed to sit up. “How’d it go out there?”

“That little son of a whore is dead.” While he spoon fed her more medicine, he filled her in on everything she’d missed. “Do you remember seeing him talking to anyone?”

“Do you remember anything else, Desiree. Anything at all?”

She closed her eyes and wet her lips with the tip of her tongue. Nico waited so long for a response, he thought she’d fallen asleep again.

“Get me a mirror.”

He’d killed a man for her tonight and she was worried about how she looked.  If he hadn’t been so tired, Nico would have laughed at her vanity. “Not until you answer the question.”

“He was standing at the bar all by himself.  He played me.” She rolled her eyes. “He played me…and I fell for it.  Sweet Hell.  If I hadn’t been so greedy.  Maybe you should have let me die.”

Stay Tuned

So Dollhouse is over.  What did you all think of the season finale? I kinda loved it…yes, even the freaky twists.  This is Dollhouse after all 😀

The book signing on Saturday was full of lovely and awesome!!! Even my dad and step-mom came out though we didn’t get much of a chance to talk.  Mother’s Day?  We won’t go there.  But I managed to wrap up first draft of my proposal, so that was something.

AND I  got to lay around reading–I finished up Ann Aguirre’s Blue Diablo which was fully of awesome goodness 😀

Yesterday I blogged at SFC on writing dudes.

Today I’m over at NAS talking the birth of a series.

Now, what’s on your agenda for the week?

Astrology

From Rob Brezsny:

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “The Amazing Race” is a reality TV show in which
two-member teams compete for money and prizes by doing odd feats in
exotic locales. One especially stupid and awesome task they performed
was carrying 50-pound wheels of cheese down a slippery hill in
Switzerland. Everyone started out hauling the wheels on cumbersome
wooden backpacks, but hardly anyone was able to make it to the bottom
without falling, breaking the backpacks, and having to manually herd the
runaway cheese the rest of the way. I foresee a similar fate for you, Leo.
You’ll be asked to do things that are both fun and frustrating, all in a
cause that in the long run will be worthwhile.

Hahahaaaa so true. So. Very. True.

And on that note I’ll be signing books today at the Barnes and Noble in Hurst along with a slew of talented and fun authors so be sure to stop by and say hey!  A portion of the proceeds benefits the Bedford Public Library.

DEETS:

Come out and help support the Bedford Public Library on Saturday May 9, 2009 at the Barnes & Noble at NorthEast Mall

861 Northeast Mall Blvd, North Richland Hills, TX

Authors scheduled to appear:
Candace Havens, Karen Kelley, Jax Cassidy, Cindy Dees, Karen Whiddon, Juliet Burns, Celya Bowers and yours truly!

Noon – High Tea in the Cafe
1:00 – 3:00 Author Discussion & Signing

Writing…what writing? lol

Rambly Chatter

Finished Kelley Armstrong’s The Awakening.  I liked it but it kinda felt like a filler book–lots of running around and one of the secondary characters needs her ass kicked 😀 .  Would have liked a bit more explanation but never fear, I’ll be patiently waiting for the third book 😀 (PS Loved the ref to the werewolves of Kelley’s other series)

Celtics WTF?

Brief AI recap:

Adam–so you’re good.  So what.  You just don’t do much for me.  (Sorry Karen).  If you were a character in a book, I’d have set the book down by now.

Allison–I love you. That is all.

Duet–I really liked it even if it was rough in spots. *squee for classic rock*

Kris–I love you. That is all.  I had a feeling this was going to be a tough week for you, but I think you picked a song that suited you.

Danny–WTF? My ears are filing a police report. Taking risks is one thing, shooting yourself in the foot quite another.  Sorry dude.

Second Duet–Full of awesome even if Adam was in it. Sorry ya’ll.

Who is going home? Based on last night, I’d guess Danny.  DialIdol says Allison–I hope not.

And Slash? FULL OF WIN!

***

I think I need more protein–not tired but energy level is REALLY low and I’m struggling to get enough calories.  It’s a downside of the new meds and I’m just going to have to find a work-around because for a borderline diabetic this isn’t good.  So I’m off to get some protein shakes this afternoon and get a script filled.  Otherwise, going to spend about an hour on a cleaning project (probably the dining room) and another hour writing, then it’s off to take #2 son to doctor for six month ADHD recheck.  The last six months have only confirmed my decision to medicate him.  His school work has improved, his attitude has improved, he’s matured (but hey he’s still a 13 YO boy!) and he’s dropped damn near 30 pounds and 5 inches on his waist (which honestly, he needed to do. I love him but I worried about his weight. The doc said it’s not unusual for ADHD children to be overweight).

Medicating him hasn’t been some magic pill that made his world all right, or made him “easier to deal with” or any of that, the medication enabled him to do the things he knows he was capable of doing.  And success has been wonderful for his self-confidence.  Sadly, other family members don’t feel the same, but I’m his mother and he lives with me so I’m the one who sees the day-to-day.  And I’m the one who sees, TRULY sees, how much happier he is.

Gearing up for a book signing this weekend and hopefully some writing.

Rain… you can leave now. A week is enuf.  Kthxbye.

#TeamTwitterNets Winners, Dollhouse & Goals

First off, I want to thank everyone who participated and gave to Nothing But Nets.  And I appreciate your patience….heaven save me from sick children. Anyway…….without further ado the following people have won an autographed Amie Stuart book–your choice from Hands On, Hittin’ It or Make U Sweat.  Sadly my author copies of Nailed are running low.  Please email me your book choice and snail mail address at amie at amiestuart.com (I don’t like posting peeps last names on the net so I’m just doing last initial)

CAROL B.

SCOTT K.

BARBARA D.

CHRISTINE O.

LYNN V.

*ETA Three More Winners: Carole L., Kate Pearce and Michelle McC

Also I made myself a little challenge, which I did not meet, so I’ll be coughing up another 7.5 nets for #TeamTwitterNets.

In other news, words written this weekend–None 🙁 Ok maybe a sentence or two but that’s about it. I realized this AM I forgot to take my thyroid medicine (plus I was taking Claritin) which is probably why I was so wiped out. Plus last week was just LONG!!!I think I need one of those weekly pill things that old peeps carry 🙁

DOLLHOUSE!! Can you say OMFGWTFBBQHOLYSHIT?!?!? Thank GOD I avoided spoilers all weekend because I was afraid I’d stumble across something that would ruin it for me.  Son #2 came home and said, “I know who Alpha is.”  And I glared at him and insisted he not tell me.  I KINDA saw it coming, but I didn’t because he was such a great character and I was totally LOL@the pot.  Ohhhhhhh Ohhhhhhhh and Topher said Fracking! BSGWOOT! You know, I think this is my favorite Joss show so far *sigh*

Also started the new Kelley Armstrong book but I’m taking my time because it’s really good and I’ll probably have to wait a year for book three.  I’m milking it, yes I am.

MAY GOAL: 100 pages.  Starting now.

My (Boring) Week In Review

ETA: My guest blog is up at KatieBabs on why you should read YA 😀

———-

Sunday–Finally figured out plot/world building issue for ParaRom and spent 3-4 hours working on synopsis. Nailed–like totally. Wrote five pages on contemporary steamyrom.  Recovered from Saturday yardwork and forgot to cook dinner.  Read through more of The Power of Less.

Monday–Cut hair. Big mistake.  Now front sides of hair are uneven and I have a book signing next Saturday. #sad.

Rewrote opening of ParaRom and sent it to Raine.  Tweaked synopsis of ContemSteamyRom but still not happy with it.  Set aside for now.  Decided cooking was overrated and went the easy route for the week. Had weird dream that strangely coincided with #2 child’s dream.

Tuesday–Tweaked opening of ParaRom.

Wednesday–Sent first two chapters of SCRom to agent (or was that Tuesday)  anyway….Exhausted, sleeping in all week since I dont have to get #1 child up at 6 AM.  Bumped new meds up by 20mg.  Worked through list of things to clean instead of writing.

Thursday–In the middle of putting dinner in crock pot and son says he can’t see striaght/is dizzy/feels horrible.  Dash to doctor completely freaked out because of dueling dreams (his-passed out; mine-asthma attack which he’s never had before).  Dr. says it’s inner ear (it’s rained EVERY day this week here) and gives us meds.  Relax. Go to work laughing it off.

Struggle with putting ParaRom heroine in first person.  I can’t resist; she sounds SO much better in first than in third–debating if I should write her in first then flip it to third but damn that’s a lot of work and I HATE flipping tense. I’d rather be beaten repeatedly.  Sent ParaRom to beta readers. Got great feedback.  Need to nail second chapter then I can paste in already-written pages.

Friday–Up at 4:45.  Ran to Target for dog/cat food. Picked up new Kelley Armstrong YA and Forest of Hands and Teeth (also YA), and picked up Shinedown CD, ran home, fed cats, locked up dogs, took meds.  Bumped new meds up another 20 mg. WHOA! Like a sledgehammer. I think I found a winner.  Ran to bank then to work.  Almost finished one big project; not sure I’ll ever finish the other project; emailed doc about correct dosage before I left work.  Came home and cleaned living room.  Too tired to write.  Vegged out catching up on DVR after kids left.

Saturday– up at 6 WTH :(  Take off at 845 for hairdresser.  Have straight hair again and it’s even now (and she did not yell at me)–happy day!   Struggling against urge to crawl back into bed.  Would like more sleep but need to go write.

General stuff: My life…it is SO exciting (not).

Writing openings is normally as easy for me as nailing drunk co-eds is for frat boys :(  But the ParaRom has been a struggle.  In part because I loved the opening I wrote–I loved the words–but it wasn’t getting the job done.  And in part because world building is still a struggle for me.  You can’t just arbitrarily make shit up–I personally, have to be able to reason out in my head why something is the way it is.  And in this case, world building went also to plot points.

I have too much damn stuff.  It is time to get my stuff under control LOL

Other than books, cuz come on, let’s be realistic, I promise no more stuff until I clean out the stuff.  The list of stuff to clean/throw away is very very long.  I need to get over my attachment to stuff I keep, “Just in case.”

It’s just stuff and most of it is stuff I don’t need or stuff that’s making me crazy, and dragging me down, thus it needs to go.  I do better with lists, even long ones. It’s also easier for me if I break down “clean room a” into a list of bite size chores (pick up floor, clean out couch, straighten games, dust bookshelf, clean off fireplace, etc)–maybe childish in its simplicity but it works for me (so far LOL).  It does make for a longer list but I think it’s easier for me to see what’s in front of me.

Weekend goals: Post #TeamTwitterNets book winners, finish up chapter two of ParaRom and tweak synopsis so I can send to Agent Holly on Monday, finish cleaning room and one closet.  Get stuff ready for ARC* pickup, and coerce Emma into finishing website updates.

Giving myself the month of May (and maybe June) to get house in order before I tackle another big non-writing/house project.  Also need to get busy on new novella on Monday.

No Wolverine until next weekend when I can go with #2 son. Ooooo nap how I want thee…..

——-

*ARC=Association for Retarded Citizens, they pick up about once a month.

At One With Nature

This morning I woke up around 5:30 to the sound of thunder.  Not the huge, make you jump out of your skin BOOMS, stormbut  rumbling that drew me out of bed.  You see, the dogs ripped into the bags of mulch and dirt I’d bought over the weekend and stored on the back porch.  I went outside, scooped up all the dirt (I’m ASSUMING that Lola was eating it cuz it smelled like Poo #dogfail) and looked up.

It’s still dark out but there’s enough light from the houses around to illuminate the clouds the tiniest bit and I’m standing there just taking it all in.  The wind is blowing just a little and not too far away a bird is singing.  These long, low rumbles of thunder are bouncing around in the sky one after the other, seperated only by the lightening that muted by the clouds.

It was all amazingly….lowkey.

I’m over at SFC today talking tech dreams and days gone by.

#CurrentlyReading: The Power of Less

RIP Gertrude…long live the new Gertrude

It’s been a long week at Casa Cece….Saturday I slept all day. Like ALL day–xoxo to the Benadryl!!! Then Sunday I wrote chi-ironall. Like ALL Day. Like 28 fracking pages on a wip that hit me from nowhere, all day. Then the kids came home. #1 touched my flat iron in ways I can’t describe, mostly cuz I didn’t see it but I know it was moved from one bathroom to the other. Now, I’m sure you’re going, “WTF it’s a flat iron, who cares?!”

But this is no ordinary Flat Iron.  There are some things I’ll skimp on, like cereal, and some things you never skimp on–like Pop Tarts and Flat Irons. Srsly. Don’t laugh. I paid 100 bucks about 4 (maybe 5) years ago. I love my flat iron with a passion and fervor that knows no bounds.  You can’t comprehend unless you have the type of hair that NEEDS a flat iron–which I do.

Anyway, Sunday night son #1 (Elvis) touched my flat iron. It quit working. There were many angry looks and much teeth gnashing.  Mostly cuz he has no respect for anybody’s anything. And of course, there’s the whole Fugly Hair thing.

I decide to wait until MOnday and hit Ulta 3 to price new irons. I can get one at Overstock but there’s the whole shipping thing and if I can pay the same price as it would cost me with shipping, I’ll just buy it Monday. Except I get up Monday AM and my flat iron is ON! WOOT! GERTRUDE LIVES!!!!!

Gertrude was great, Gertrude was FINE! I turned Gertrude on this morning, ran around, checked twitter, brought in laundry, hung out more laundry, washed laundry, stacked dishes in sink, washed hair and dried hair, plugged in Gertrude, drank 3 cups of coffee, watered front and back yard, went in to iron hair and Gertrudes red light was OFF!

*sob* I poked, I prodded, I begged, I whined but Gertrude had apparently decided that she’d ironed her last iron.  Today I’ve been relegated to Fugly Hair and tonight I’m off to ULTA 3 to price flat irons because they won’t show their prices online (Commy fuckers).  FYI ULTA 3…..Bed Bath and Beyond….yeah that store RIGHT NEXT TO YOU…they’re selling plain black Chi’s for 129.00 and I got a coupon in the mail yesterday for 10.00 off. Take Heed!!!

That said, if I can’t get a cute iron, I might suck it up and have Fugly Hair while I wait on Overstock.com to ship me this bad boy. Tell me you’re not drooling with jealousy!