Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lazy Days of Summer

Not quite! If you think late July and August are the time for lazying around, you haven't been to our house!

July 4:
One lost puppy. Our Bassett Hound, Willow, disappeared in the midst of pops, whistles and bangs. We suspected foul play. No trace of her or how she escaped the yard. (Did she escape??? Or did she have help???)

July 25:
Three weeks later. We get a call from the animal shelter. Willow has been dropped off. Do we want to pick her up? Uh, yeah. In spite of the fact that she's one more living being to take care of--and don't we have enough?--of course we want to pick her the tune of $70 plus rabies shot plus license plus promise to spay in 30 days at the cost of $50. Uh-huh. Well, like L'Oreal, she's worth it. But just why did I think we needed a puppy? And why did I ever think my youngest daughter, who I got the puppy for, would actually take care of an animal? Four grandkids, a step-granddaughter, and another granddaughter on the way, plus the two new fish, Shrimp and Spock, aren't enough? I can barely take care of myself!

How the mind works:
I was driving home from the other side of town on Friday and saw an interesting billboard. Because I was on the interstate that runs through and around the city, I didn't get to read all of it, but what I read sparked some ideas. It read: CEO OF LARGE CORPORATE...WIFE BEATER. Whoa! It wasn't until a few hours later when I was copying notes down from a hopefully upcoming book set in Desperation, OK, that I realized this was the heroine's backstory! I was pretty much stuck, until that lightbulb went on, so I'm hoping now I can move forward with it. Now you know where ideas come from. ;)

How the fingers work:
As soon as I hear the words "we want to buy" from my editor, I create a schedule. You see, I'm the Queen of Procrastination, and if I don't have a reminder of something coming a deadline...I'll play around and not get it done. With Morgan's Pride (w.t.), the deadline for the finished book is September 15, a very doable date. I set my goal to finish the first draft for August 23. At 3 pages a day or so, that would work fine and still give me time to revise what's needed and polish before sending to meet that deadline. I finished the first draft at 4 a.m. on July 23, one full month before my stated goal. I am in heaven!! Well, for a few days. There are still revisions and polishing and printing involved, but the way seems pretty clear (knock on wood) to be able to get it to my editor in advance of the deadline. But all I have off is a few days, because there's a deadline for the second book, Nikki's Secret (w.t.), too. A full proposal (first 3 chapters and synopsis) is due November 1. After that, I get to write the rest of the book. This means to stay ahead, I can't procrastinate. BOO HOO! I can't sit and veg out, watching movies or reading books that keep calling to me or even stories that have only just birthed themselves in mind and keep whispering write me... No, one must buckle down and do what needs to be done, not what one wants to do. RATS!

How the mind messes with...everything:
Needing to get started on Nikki's Secret is a priority. There's no reason why it can't be ready to send for that November 1 deadline--or earlier!--except it just doesn't want to come together. The heroine is being a willful brat, not following my directions. We've had a little chat, and maybe she'll behave. Maybe. I'd rather be thinking of Garrett's Woman (w.t.), the story mentioned above with the abused heroine. Why? Nikki is just as interesting as Libby. Both are strong, independent women who only have to surmount unimaginable odds to find true love. (Hey, this is romance, folks! It can't be too easy!) Nikki and I will soon come to an understanding. She can be as smart-mouthed as she wants, but she must adhere to my plot. And she needs to realize that Mac isn't glowering at her. He simply has an arrogance about him and knows this woman (or any woman) is, for now, off limits. Poor Mac. Poor Nikki!

So if you should happen to run into me and find me muttering to myself, it's the characters I'm talking to, not pure madness. When I do hit that pure madness state---and it could be soon---I'll be found in a corner in a fetal position, humming lullabies. Or maybe some Michael Jackson songs. Oh, you'll know what it is. The question is, will I?

Happy lazy daze!!

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