Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The frozen desert

No I didn't say dessert, that would be ice cream, or sorbet. Much too cold for either one.

I'm talking about the California desert. Can you believe the nights are below freezing? I had a busted pipe on Sunday with a fountain of water spurting off the roof. Of course that meant calling a plumber and paying twice as much for the repair but Monday was a public holiday and I figured, who can go two days without water? Not me. The irony is, the pipe ran over the roof, was totally exposed to the elements, and had no purpose but to supply water to an additional hose bib. It wasn't even done to code. Damn. We took the whole thing down but I still had to pay $200 for something I didn't use or need, thanks to the prior owner, Mr. Fix It.

The fruit farmers are having a tough time with their crops. We have oranges and grapefruit that will not recover if this cold continues. My grapefruit are doing fine, I've picked and refrigerated a lot of them. Plus I sent dozens back with a friend who'd come down from northern California. Red peppers have frozen on the vines and will have to be destroyed. Look for rising prices in fruits and veges over the next few months.

I'm heading off to NYC for a week and figured I'd have a huge adjustment to the change in temperature going from the desert to the big apple. Not so. They've had a fairly mild winter so far and ours has been extra cold. I've been wearing gloves and scarf and heavy coat in the mornings and evenings when I walk the dog, so it will be no different. Maybe I'll pack a couple of turtlenecks, and one heavy sweater but otherwise, it'll be the same old same old. Which is good, cause I hate worrying about packing the right stuff for different climates. As I've gotten older and wiser, heh, I find I pack fewer items. I try to travel light these days.

Haven't heard anything back from the agent who has the full manuscript of Gone Tropical. My mother would say "no news is good news" I however, am chewing at my fingernails. Next month I'm off to a conference in San Diego, so if the news from the agent is a negative, I hope to get some feedback and put a bit of polish on it before pitching it to anyone else.

Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer are conducting their ongoing year long workshop over at It has been very informative so far. A great opportunity to not only get free lessons but insight into the writing process of two fabulous authors, and to interact with other writers in the comments section. Check it out.

In the meantime, I'm working on my new story retitled, Unlock the Truth. It's a cold case and requiring a lot more research than I've ever had to do before. While I'm excited about this story it's a lot slower getting it off the ground. I do have access to a female lawyer who is giving me some assistance and also have a fellow LARA member, Melissa Jarvis-Prieto, who is not only a great writer but works in Public Relations. She has given me insight into crisis communications which is a thread that runs through my story. It's all good, just not my usual seat of the pants, make up the story as I go along kind of writing. Not sure if it will be better or worse, but something is making me plod through it. I think the research, combined with the workshop, might help me produce something deeper than I've written in the past.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

The holiday season is over, thank goodness. Now I can get serious again.

I've done very little writing in the past three weeks, there have however been lunches, dinners, parties, and playing around on several blogs. These blogs have proven to be of great help (entertainment factor aside.) I've found wonderful tidbits of writing information, references to workshops and suggested books to read. So while I haven't been writing I've been learning. I ended up spending an entire week researching one aspect of writing that I really knew little about and that was, how to really tap into the unique world of your narrator. I ran across something written by Alicia Rasley and was immediately acting like my dog, ears straight up, still as a statue, prepared and ready to take off. I've been reading up on this ever since and think I might now understand it.

I've just started the Crusie/Mayer year long workshop:
The first lesson was posted by Bob. On Thursday, Jenny will comment and discuss Bob's blog. If you haven't already stopped by, go and check it out. It's free. How great is that? You get the wisdom and writing insight from two talented authors, plus you get to discuss in the comments with other writers. It's all good.

The holiday season was quiet for me, an occassional lunch or dinner out with new friends. A lovely brunch on Christmas morning with old friends who came down from L.A. They're TV producers and have their own production company. Interesting people and it's always fun to hear of their projects. The kids were both out of town. I spent New Year's Eve with friends in my neighborhood, they had about thirty people over for dinner, with dessert and champagne at midnight. I left at 11:20pm to avoid the whole "kissing of essential strangers" thing. No matter how swiftly you turn your cheek someone usually manages to plant a wet one. : )

Today I delve back into my current story, Behind the Gates. My goal is to write 1,000 words per day in the rough draft. I should be able to get the draft done in three months but am adding one extra as I have a couple of short trips to take. NYC this month, San Diego conference in February, maybe a trip to Australia for a wedding in March. Still working on that last one. It's either that, or I go to Australia in August for the RWAconference. Can't decide. I need more money. Have to write faster and better. I'm going now, to clock in.