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Hello!!

*waves*

Long time no update (again). I planned to post an update last week, but, well…it was a bit up and down.

Sunday night (August 10th), I FINALLY FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT of Along Came Jones. Confetti was flung, tears were shed, couches were collapsed upon, and there was great rejoicing throughout the land…or at least in my townhouse. I planned on posting a giddy, happy update on Monday to share my euphoria…

…and then the news about Robin Williams broke.

No, I didn’t know him personally, but just like for millions of others, he was an actor who was part of my childhood (Mork and Mindy), and my young adulthood (Good Morning, Vietnam!) and my later adulthood (Good Will Hunting – I still sob like a child when I watch that movie). I’ve watched his stand-up routines and his interviews, and I’ve laughed until I’ve cried, and my heart had gone out to him in his more vulnerable moments. He made me laugh, he made me cry, he made me respect his intelligence and his talent. Falling in love with him was a gradual thing, but fall in love I did, and the news he was gone was simply heart-wrenching.

Why he took his life is something that only he could ever fully understand. I can only hope for nothing but peace for his family, and for their good memories to outweigh the bad.  I also hope he’s now at peace.  I’m so grateful we had him, and I’m so sad to see him go.

Just as I was getting used to the idea of Robin Williams being gone, I learned that Lauren Bacall also passed away last week. My sorrow for her was different than for Robin Williams (she was 89; she was a living legend; she had the best voice in show business; she was so talented), but it was sorrow, nonetheless. It’s the sadness of knowing an icon is gone, mixed with the gratitude that she had existed in the first place.

Once again, I wasn’t really in the mood to post about my finished first draft.

SO, while I’m much more in the mood, this somewhat-rambling post will just have to do for today. I’ll post a happier, more focused on my writing news, post in the next day or so. 🙂

~~~~~

Along Came Jones – Editing – 2nd Draft

 

00 / 295 pages. 00% done!

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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Sausages and Writing and Book Covers – Oh My!!

Hi everyone.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m on a bit of a hiatus with the book tours.  They should be starting up again shortly and I’ll be posting here when they do.  🙂

The first thing I’m going to mention here this morning is the fact that I have three book cover projects up for submissions on Crowdspring.  If you or someone you know is a graphic designer/artist, please forward the links on to them.  🙂

They are:

Plugs

Historian’s Daughter

Along Came Jones

Which brings me to the second part of my blog today:  Sausages and Writing.  I can see your puzzled puppy looks… ;D

There’s a saying (I heard it on The West Wing):  “There are two things nobody should see you make:  sausages, and laws.”  I’ve been involved in making both (on the periphery of making laws, but still…) and truer words have never been spoken.  I’m beginning to think “writing” should be added to the list!

Like making sausages, it’s messy, gross and slightly obscene.  While you’re making sausages, you can taste test the mixture and taste test it and still can’t figure out exactly what’s missing.  We’ve spent a lot of time nibbling at a piece of sausage meat going, “I don’t know what it is, but something’s missing.  Garlic?” “No, garlic’s good.  Sage?”  “Sage is good.  Maybe we just need more salt?” Making sausage is best done as a collaborative effort because you need all the taste buds you can get.

Well, that niggling “I don’t know what it is, but something’s missing” has had me derailed for the last couple of months in terms of my writing Along Came Jones.  I love the characters, love the premise, love a lot of the scenes/banter/plot points.  But for the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to read the thing through to smooth out tone/plot/characterization/etc., etc. – and always got derailed halfway through because DAMN IT SOMETHING WAS MISSING!!!

Which would be where the obscene part begins.

I am happy to report, however, that I think I’ve pinpointed the problem (FINALLY!).  It means reorganizing the beginning, and rewriting an entire chapter, which will then have repercussions throughout the story, but well…that’s what happens with the spices in sausages, too:  they sometimes need time to permeate throughout the mixture.

Can I work a metaphor or what?

In the meantime, I’m commissioning a cover for it, along with Plugs and HIstorian’s Daughter.  The latter two have the same issue of “something’s missing” coupled with “OMG – who’s gonna buy these?” but I love them so much that I’m willing to take the risk of nasty reviews and no sales to get them polished and sent out into the wild.  Plus getting them in book form in my hot little hands.  Hey, I named my publishing company “Love of Words” for a reason!

Have a great day, everybody!

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Cast of Characters (in all senses of the phrase… :D )

Here is the list of characters for my current Plot Bunny of Unusual Size, which I talked about here.  😀  It’s currently titled Lou Lou…but I hate it, so who knows what I’m going to end up calling it.

If you’ve read A Life Less Ordinary, you’ll know I like “casting” my characters.  While I have no problem identifying and posting pictures of the celebrities I’ve “cast” on my fanfic oriented journal (that’s really what fanfic is about, after all), I think it would give a very different and very misleading impression here on my professional one (especially for people not familiar with the fanfic concept).

I guess you’ll just have to wait for the book to find out who was in my head for all of these characters!  ;D

Main Characters

Benjamin Ferrin Macon-Jones – Ferrin has it all:  comfortable wealth, minor celebrity due to his family name, and Olivia, an intelligent, accomplished, ambitious woman who loves him as much as he loves her…until the day she refuses his marriage proposal, tells him he’s a detriment to her career in his family’s company, and leaves him.  Reeling from the rejection and unable to cope with his cantankerous family’s attempts to be supportive, Ferrin decides to take some time away from everyone and everything.  With the help of Pierce, his business manager, he leaves town under the name of Lou Simon Upjohn, and quietly disappears into the Canadian countryside.

Lou Simon Upjohn – Unbeknownst to Ferrin, Lou Simon Upjohn is a real person – and she has problems of her own.  Besides having the stupidest name ever for a woman, Lou’s a recluse and agoraphobic, trapped within the walls of her family home in a small town in Saskatchewan.  To make matters worse, Ike, her only link to the outside world and the love of her life, has married another woman and now they’re moving to Vancouver.  Before he leaves, Ike hires the new guy in town to run her errands and do her yard work.  Lou isn’t happy, but she’s not sure she’s prepared to do anything about it.

Secondary Characters

Tessa – The friendly, free-spirited barista in Lou’s small town home, she’s naturally curious about the stranger in town, and his budding relationship with the local recluse.

Pierce Hotz – The Macon-Jones’ personal business manager, he’s been working for the family for decades.  While the family drives him crazy, they pay extremely well and, he has to admit, they can provide hours of entertainment.  He has a soft spot for Ferrin, but knows better than to admit it to anyone in the family.

Olivia – Ferrin’s ex-lover.  She refuses his marriage proposal because she thinks it’s better for her career aspirations in the Macon-Jones company.  But does she regret her decision once Ferrin strikes out on his own, away from Toronto, the family…and her?

Ike – Lou’s best friend, protector and former lover.  He’s Lou’s lifeline to the outside world, both practically and emotionally.  He’s the only person Lou has interacted with for the last five years.  When he marries another woman and then leaves town, it sends Lou into a tailspin that takes her places no one could predict.

Tertiary Characters

Juan Martinez – The first person Ferrin meets in town, Juan takes an immediate liking to this stranger drifting into town, and offers him a job as a general labourer on his construction crew.

Abram Macon-Jones – The oldest member of the Macon-Jones family, he’s the reigning family patriarch and the Chairman of the Board of the Macon-Jones business empire.  Like everyone else in the family, he has a soft spot for his cousin Ferrin, but would rather gouge out his own eyes before he’d admit it.

Gillian Macon-Jones – Ferrin’s stepmother, Gillian knows all too well the Macon-Jones’ tendency to exploit any sign of vulnerability.  She married Ferrin’s father filled with romantic dreams of life with the man she loved, but the reality quickly hardened her into the cool, refined and detached woman she’s become.

Glorified Extras

Ferrin’s Cousins – Cantankerous, sarcastic, cutthroat – but they all have a soft spot for Ferrin, who somehow manages to stay outside of the bickering while staying within the family.

Irish – Ike’s wife…sorry, that’s all I’ve got for her so far…  😦

They’re all enormously fun – and they all want to take over the story!!! *bats at them with floofy bats*

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Plotz Bunniez – I HAZ THEM!

I’ve been meaning to post a synopsis and excerpt from the the story that’s currently taking up all my creative thought processes for the last couple of weeks…but time has a way of getting away from all of us. *cough*  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!!  😛

In personal news, I’m currently in the middle of selling my house – I hope.  I got an offer for it on June 30th; I finally signed off on the documents last week (Thursday), and the inspection is this Thursday (the 11th).  I’ll find out after that if the deal is going to go through (nibbles fingernails).  Which means I’ve been half-heartedly cleaning and packing, but if it’s confirmed then that will be pushed into high gear – along with apartment hunting, and making arrangements for movers, cleaners and garbage guys.  With a possession date of August 13th, I should have lots of time (but very little money) to get moved out.  Bottom line:  it’s going to be a very interesting few weeks!!

In other news, I also had a meet-and-greet interview with an employment agency to be added to their roster.  So I’ll hopefully have some work coming my way too…eventually.  ;D

*flails like Kermit the Frog*

Anyway…on the writing side of things, I should have been focused on writing the sequel to A Life Less Ordinary.  I have about 20,000 words written and almost a hundred scenes “mapped” out/identified.  Which is really weird for me, because I don’t plot!!  Although “plot” may be too strong a word…they’re more like a list of “OH, and then Zeke/Manny have THIS conversation, and Rebecca does THAT, and then Daisy does THE OTHER THING, and after that…” LOL  I so want to know what happens to these characters!

But I’ve been attacked by a Plot Bunny of Unusual Size, and it’s all Nathan Fillion’s fault!!  He’s inspired this character and I can’t get him out of my head.  Damn those puppy eyes!  I’d shake my fist in Mr. Fillion’s general direction, but he’d turn that kicked puppy look on me and then I’d melt and then…

…um…sorry…got a little distracted there…

*ahem*

Anyway, this Plot Bunny of Unusual Size has been dominating my writing life lately…hopefully it’s going to be a good story.  It’s a pretty traditional romance (so far), but I’m madly in love with all the characters, so I guess that’s a good sign!  LOL

DISCLAIMER:  Everything in blue and green is a first draft.  The story isn’t written yet so I have no idea what’s going to happen…well, I do, but I still don’t know how they get there although I’m having a hell of a lot of fun with the ride!

Synopsis:

Benjamin Ferrin Macon-Jones has it all:  comfortable wealth, minor celebrity and mild notoriety due to his family name, and an intelligent, accomplished, ambitious woman who loves him as much as he loves her…until the day that same woman refuses his marriage proposal, tells him he’s a detriment to her career, and leaves him.  Reeling from the rejection and unable to cope with his cantankerous family trying to be sensitive, Ferrin makes the decision to take some time away from everyone and everything, and quietly fades into the Canadian countryside.

Lou Upjohn is dealing with problems of her own. She’s a recluse and agoraphobic, staying safely within the walls of her family home in a small town in Saskatchewan.  Now her only link to the outside world, her childhood friend and love of her life, Ike, has married another woman and they’re moving to Vancouver.  Before he leaves, Ike hires the new guy in town, Ferrin Jones, to run her errands and do her yard work.  Lou isn’t happy, but she has to admit the stranger looks mildly interesting…and very sad.

Both their lives might be changed forever, if Lou can only find the courage to open the door.

Excerpt – Scene between Ike and Ferrin:

Ike sipped his own coffee, and said, “Let me try this again.”  He shook his head, closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.  “This is what Lou does to a person,” he muttered.

“Lou?”

Ike nodded.  “That’s the job I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Lou.”

Ike laughed.  “I’m sorry – really.”  He leaned across the table, hands clasped in front of him.  “Lou’s a childhood friend, and the town recluse.  Hermit.”  He grimaced.  “Nut job.  Whatever you want to call it.”

“You’re a friend?”

Ike hesitated, then shrugged.  “Yes, but I’m not blind – or deaf.  I know what people say.  Anyway,” he waved a hand, “Lou’s a recluse.  Never leaves the house.  I run errands, cut the grass, deliver groceries, do general maintenance, that sort of thing.  I want to hire you to do those things from now on – or as long as you’re in town.”

“Tired of doing it?”

A genuine smile curved Ike’s lips.  “I got married six weeks ago.  We’re moving to Vancouver, and…well, someone needs to take care of Lou.”

“So a total stranger is your best bet?  Doesn’t this…Lou…have any other friends?”

“Just me.  And I’ve tried to find somebody else.”  Ike leaned back and glanced around the coffee shop.  There was a decent mid-afternoon crowd, and about a dozen people at tables or standing in line.

“Hey!” he called.  “Does anyone want to work for Lou?”

There was a pause, then the room exploded with laughter and the echo of “hell, no!”

Ike turned back to Ferrin and shrugged his shoulders.

“You’re not really selling the job,” Ferrin said drily.

“You seem to be down on your luck,” Ike said.  “I’m willing to pay you-” and he mentioned a sum that made Ferrin’s eyebrows shoot up.

“Trust me,” Ike said, “you’ll earn every penny of it…if Lou decides to interact with you, that is, and that’s highly unlikely.”

“So how will I know what he wants me to do?”

“She’ll leave you notes in the mailbox.  I’ll still be taking care of her finances, like I’ve always done, and I’ll make sure you’re paid.”

“She?”

“Yes.”  He leaned forward again.  “Juan says you’re a good guy, even if a little distant.  Honest.  Trustworthy.”  He smiled fleetingly.  “He’s also very observant.”

Ferrin frowned.  “And what if I say no?”

Ike leaned back and sighed tiredly.  He spread his hands and shrugged.  “I’ll have to come back from Vancouver more regularly than I’d planned.  Or she’ll have to finally face the world or starve.”

Ferrin drummed his fingers on the table, and he could hear, once again, Olivia telling him he was gullible.  There was something wrong, Ferrin thought, but he couldn’t put his finger on what it was.  But judging from the crowd’s reaction to Ike’s question, there was a real person hiding behind the doors of her house, a real person who was friendless and alone.

He heard Olivia call him a sucker again, and he ruthlessly shut the memory away.

He nodded.  “Okay, Ike, I’ll do it.”

Ike grinned as they shook hands.

Maybe he was making a mistake, Ferrin thought, but it was his mistake to make.  Olivia was out of his life, and he would not allow her past opinion to define his future.

OMG – I’m so in love with these characters…*huggles them all*

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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