Posts Tagged ‘Check-in’

May 17, 2011

Meg & Matt


You already know I spent my vacation procrastinating. This is what I was avoiding doing:

Looks daunting, doesn't it?

Each one of these colored squares represents a scene in my Golden Heartยฎ-finaling manuscript, “Beauty and the Ballplayer.” The yellow ones are turning points; blue are scenes that can stay the same; pink must be deleted altogether; and green are new scenes that must be written.

I drafted this Post-It plan after sitting down with my friend Mallory, who’d volunteered to read the story and help me “fix” it. (This was after getting a couple of rejections from agents who said the same thing: The writing was good, but they didn’t connect with the characters).

Little did I know she planned to make me re-plot the whole thing!

Well, not really RE-plot since I never plotted it out to begin with. Did I mention I’m the epitome of a pantster? I write scenes in order, but I often don’t realize certain things about my characters (such as Meg’s issue with her controlling father) until I’m well into the last third of the MS.

On the second day of my vacation, Mallory and I sat at Barnes & Noble and came up with the turning points. After that, it was up to me to figure out which scenes would stay and which would go.

I was gung-ho about the project, and finished the Post-Its that night. Then I packed up my posterboards and took them to the Boyfriend’s. I attached them to the wall (where they still are, because I forgot to bring them back with me) and stared. And stared. And stared some more.

I could drown under the weight of all those little colored squares โ€” or so I thought. Now that I’m examining the photo again with a few weeks’ distance, it doesn’t look so bad. There are:

  • 16 scenes to be deleted
  • 9 new ones to write
  • too many keepers to count. (These, too, will need some tweaking, I’m finding โ€” but tweaking I can do.)

Really, that’s not so much. Dare I say I’m feeling like Superwoman? I can delete long passages with a single keystroke … draft new scenes faster than a speeding bullet …

Okay, probably not faster than a speeding bullet โ€” but first drafts of nine new scenes won’t take more than 48 hours’ work, tops (probably less).

I have this Wednesday off. Let’s see how much I can get done.

P.S. To avoid serious plot problems with my next story (the companion to “Beauty and the Ballplayer”), I think I’ll be plotting those turning points in advance.

See? The slow learner CAN adapt to new ways of doing things. ๐Ÿ˜‰


I believe it was Robert Burns who coined the saying about the best-laid plans of mice and men often going awry. John Steinbeck borrowed part of it for his “Of Mice and Men.”

Not that I’m trying to compare myself to these literary greats (yet), but I can definitely say that the best-laid plans for my vacation went way off track.

I had two whole weeks off work. I planned to shop for my GH awards ceremony dress, work on fixing my finalist MS so it’s ready for a judge request and do some plotting (and maybe even write new material) for Dave and Melinda’s story.

Only one of those things got done. I found a dress. That was it โ€” I didn’t even get matching shoes or the proper undergarments. In two weeks of not having to go to the day job, the revising, plotting and writing just didn’t happen.

I spent a lot of quality time with the Boyfriend โ€” and spent even more in the kitchen, whipping up delicious Atkins-approved meals. (I recommitted to a low-carb diet while on vacation.) On days the Boyfriend left to work or play tennis, I spent more time playing online than working.

I did actually sit down to rewrite once or twice, but didn’t spend long enough with the MS to get much accomplished.

As you can tell, I also ignored the blog. My last post was written on May 2. May 2? How am I going to build an audience if I only blog every two weeks?

I promise to start doing better, y’all โ€” both with my writing AND the blogging. I want to write for a living … it shouldn’t be this hard.

Too bad it’s not this easy to win the lottery.

Wait a minute. Did I just say easy? I’d hardly call three shopping trips in search of the perfect awards ceremony dress easy.

On two separate Friday mornings, I hit six stores in Flagstaff. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much โ€” one extremely expensive (and beautiful) gown. ย Since I didn’t want to pay $300 for a gown I didn’t completely LOVE, I headed to Phoenix on Saturday.

Bigger city, more places to shop … and better prices, right?

Thank goodness that did, indeed, turn out to be the case. I visited three stores in Phoenix โ€” a store in the mall and two bridal shops.

What is it about bridal shops? At the first one, all the dresses โ€” even the supposedly huge ones โ€” were too small. (The same thing happened on Friday at the bridal shop in Flagstaff. Dresses that, as size 3X, should have fit me … didn’t. I couldn’t even zip the darn things.)

I had better luck at David’s Bridal. I tried on several gorgeous dresses before deciding the one I liked best made my butt look big. It’s big enough already โ€” it doesn’t need help from the dress.

In the end, I headed back to the mall and bought the very first dress I tried on Saturday morning. Keep in mind, this was after a day of driving all over Phoenix, looking for something I liked better. (At least I had a chauffeur. My roommate went with me, and her husband tagged along to go to Lumber Liquidators. He drove.)

GH gown. Obviously, I'll be wearing a different bra โ€” and taking off the chunky black watch. And doing something with my hair.

This beauty was $165 โ€” and I got a discount because some of the beads/sequins are loose and need to be tacked down. I was able to pay for a couple of pairs of shorts for this summer with the savings.

Even better, it matches my blog. I was looking for a purple or red dress in keeping with my blog banner. Success! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The savings didn’t stop there, though. This same store was selling cocktail dresses buy one, get one for $1, so I spent $55 on two short dresses to wear during other conference events. I believe there’s some kind of party one night.

Looking at the photo, I see I need to start toning my arms, though. Shake Weight, here I come! ๐Ÿ˜‰

April 29, 2011


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You read that correctly: I’m proud to be the guest blogger at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood today.

Once you’re done watching the romantic spectacle that is the Royal Wedding, visit me there to debate the qualities of a good hero.