Saturday, May 28, 2011

Short memory.

I have an "everything that needs attending to list" on my computer, and as soon as something is completed it's deleted from the list, kissed goodbye, sent on its way, whatever. Being organized has always been something I've needed in my life. I'm a list maker. I love routine. And I don't like clutter. But I swear that I have the shortest memory of anyone I know. I've given away stuff, donated stuff, and then within a year or so bought a similar item.

When I moved to this home six years ago, I bought a treadmill. This is a small home, so there isn't any place you can hide a monstrous piece of equipment. After two years I donated it to a charitable organization because aesthetically the machine did not appeal to me. Every time I saw it it jarred my nerves, even though I loved working out. My motto is, if it isn't pretty it has to go. I swore there would be no more gym equipment in my house. Ever. Two years later I bought a spinner bike. But at least it's small and not offensive, and I do use it a few times a week. ; )

A few months ago I started getting the desire to workout on a treadmill again. I'm not kidding. A real desire, but not one that required being in a place with other people sweating and huffing. Of course then I started thinking about buying a machine, even though there is a small HOA gym in the development I live in. That would be too simple, right?

So, forgetting all past experiences with home gym equipment, I made many trips to many stores. I took measurements. I compared prices. I rearranged furniture in order to accommodate said machine. I weighed and balanced the lower price with having to put the thing together myself. Have you ever tried to move one of those suckers in Costco or WalMart? I realized I wouldn't be able to bring it home in my car. I'd have to hire someone to do that, plus get it into the house, plus put it together. So, if I was indeed getting another treadmill it would have to be higher priced and from a store that could do all of the heavy lifting. But that was an added expense I did not want. I had the Aussie trip to make. Oh, and the annual taxes. So I shelved the idea and took the trip, and paid Uncle Sam, and totally disregarded the jiggle of my hips.

Last week, I was going over my "list" and spotted the word treadmill, and it wasn't crossed off. Oh no! That invoked a pressing desire, all over again, to buy a treadmill and have the convenience of working out on my own time, in my underwear, and not have to talk to anyone. Did I mention already that I have a short memory? Well, this time I caught myself in mid-action. I tried a new tactic and decided to give the gym a chance. I'm now working out and loving it. And I've chosen a time of day when nobody else is there...lunchtime. Crafty, huh? I still have to wear clothes, but heck, it's almost as good as having the machine in my house.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I'm finished with Mick

Ha ha. Don't Mess with Mick was my latest story. A romantic suspense. It is now finished, and off to my critique partner for a final read through.

I'll do a little polish, and then send it off to a couple of Beta readers. With any luck it will be ready to submit to contests in late July. I'm not able to go to RWA National Conference this year, this will be the first time I've missed it since 2003, and it seems awfully strange. so there will be no post conference submissions to agents and editors. Just a big old silence. That might send me slightly batty. However, my sweet dog is approaching twelve years of age, and for her breed that is elderly, and I can see the changes in her on almost a daily basis. I know our time together is diminishing, and I can't put her through the anxiety and stress of me leaving, even if it is only for five days. There will be time for trips later.

My critique partner and I used to refer to my latest work as "Mick's story" but it was really the heroine's story, her journey, her loyalty to her family, her desire to find her missing grandfather...but Mick? Well, Mick just got in the way. Not really, he was in pursuit of a criminal and somehow grandpa got in the way, and that caused the hero and heroine to cross paths and draw swords. : ) And of course, the criminal had to try to bump them both off, oh yeah, and the hero and heroine eventually fell in love.

I really enjoyed writing this story, but it took me longer than I'd anticipated. I kept putting it aside to work on other things, and then I'd come back, putter around some more, and so on. Finally, I forced myself to finish it, didn't like it, put it aside to simmer for a few months and then went back to do a rewrite. That was when it suddenly became real to me. I could see the story as a whole. As if I were at a distance, looking down upon it, and seeing all of the inner workings, the gears, everything operating as it should. It was a strange experience, and one I haven't had before. I'm not sure what that means. Maybe it means it's the best story of written so far. I can only hope. : )

I'm already doing research on my next project. This time I'm switching genre. I think my voice is better suited to women's fiction, and that is what I started out writing. No, it won't be one of those divorce tales. And it won't be about recovering from, or going through, a devasting illness. It will be a young woman's journey of discovery. An enlightening journey. And I don't care how long it takes me to finish it. I've removed myself from the rat race. That's all I'm saying for now. But I'm liking what I'm researching, and if all goes well, I may just visit the country of the setting in Spring 2012. Got to save my pennies. But it would be fabulous, and I love to write from location. There's nothing like soaking up the ambience, the sights, the smells, and the local mannerisms, and then trickling them through the story.