13,600 / 20,000 (68%)

Samba story
7,926 / 8,000 (99.1%)

S.M. (Book 1)
580 / 10,000 (5.8%)

S.M. (Book 2)
1,010 / 10,000 (10%)

4,032 / 10,000 (40.5%)

ASPCA Day is April 10

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Friday, December 31, 2004

Just relaxed

I know I said I'd work on the story even if I wasn't submitting it to the contest. Well, I decided to dump it. I saved the files and put the diskette away. Today I went to the opening of Borders at the Mall, and enjoyed my time among books. Ah... so many books, so little time. *grins*

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Bowing out

After reading all the critiques for chapter 3, I realized that I don't have enough time to re-write chapter 3, finish the story, post the chapters on the critique groups, and wait for the responses. All I've got is today and tomorrow for that. Then I'll have to edit them during the weekend and so I send the story to the contest on Monday. It's impossible to do, so I'm out of race. I'm dropping from the Amber Quill Press contest.

Might as well face it, I set up myself for failure. I was too cocky 'coz I had won the NaNo Writing Challenge. I thought I could do this contest too. Even if I didn't win it. The goal was to have the story out. Pride comes before the fall, right?

Oh well, it was a stupid story anyway. I might do some work on it today and tomorrow. I know I won't finish it but that's okay. Perhaps some day, when I'm bored and have nothing to do, I might entertained myself finishing it. If I ever do, I can always put it up in my website for people to read and get a good laugh.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Critiques for chapter 3 are in

Okay, I know I promised myself that I'd not log into the critique groups and see if there were any for chapter 3 until tomorrow night. So in that way I'd not become obsessed with the chapter and I could finish writing chapter 4. But I couldn't help myself and peeked. The chapter bombed. And big time! *sighs* Back to the proverbial drawing board.

I did it!!!

I finished chapter 3!!! *does the happy dance* I've already posted it in the critique groups. While the critiques start popping in, I can move on to chapter 4, which is halfway done. Hehehe! Well, the ending of chapter 4 is there. What I need to do is add the beginning to link it to chapter 3 and expand the sex scene. And chapter 5 is almost finished too. Just need to add a sex scene at the end of it.

Making changes

Yesterday I ended up writing 700 words, all distributed among chapters 3 - 5. I'm not wonder writer here. Spreading myself like this isn't good for my muse. And I can't send the chapters to be critique because none is finished. Annoying dilemma, uh?

After turning off the computer last night, I started thinking about it (alhtough I didn't want to). Chapter 3 is almost done, but certain parts don't add up in the plot. So finally it hit me. Part of chapter 2 is forcing me chapter 3 to take place in her room, but half of chapter 3 should take place in her office. There was no way to make a smooth transition, and that is the part that has me stuck.

So today I'm reworking chapter 2 so she does the ritual in her office downstairs instead of her bedroom. Of course, you might wonder how Andras get her to her room to make love. Simple. He used magic. *winks*

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Still struggling

Here I thought that I'd have chapter 3 uploaded by the 26th. and chapter 4 finished today. I guess I got too cocky. For the past two days I've been struggling with both chapters. Chapter 3 isn't finished yet. I've even reworked it several times. Nothing makes me happy. Then ideas started popping for chapter 4, so trying not to get stuck, I began typing them. So basically I'm struggling with 2 chapters at the same time. Last night I pushed myself to write 1,000 words (divide than between the two chapters). Geez, time is running out! I want to finish this story by this Friday, so I'm pulling a schedule of a 1,000 words (or more) per day. I want to edit it on the weekend and send it to the AQP contest on Monday.

Then again, I might be fooling myself. I don't think I'll be getting the critiques in time, so I won't be able to edit it this weekend. *sighs* I know the contest deadline is on Jan. 15, but I wanted to have it all finished before that since I start working on the 12th.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Starting chapter 3

Since I was home alone and the neighbors were out, I decided to use this time of peace and quiet to do some writing - meaning finishing the second part of chapter 2. Yet for some reason, things weren't working out. I kept writing, and worried the chapter would end up being too long. I was frustrated for a while, until I realized what the problem was. I'd written a good hook by the "end" of the first part of chapter 2. So I couldn't come up with another one and end the chapter. So I decided not to worry about chapter 2 and leave it as it is. Whatever was after the hook is the beginning of chapter 3. Now the ideas are rolling. *grins* I hope to finish chapter 3 tomorrow and post it for critique.

News on Chapter 2

Last night I didn't get to finish chapter 2 as I had hoped. However, I felt confident that the first part of the chapter was done. So instead of waiting until I had the whole thing finished, I decided to divide the chapter in two parts and sent the first part to the two critique groups.

Since Yahoogroups had been so slow in posting messages these past few days, I didn't think my email would be posted any time soon. So today I logged into the critique groups to see if my email got through, and, to my surprise, found that not only it did but there were critiques to my chapter 2. And they've been very positive! There have hardly been any comments and corrections. *beams*

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Yuletide

A little something to inspire any romance writer in this joyful season.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Slow progress

For the last two days I've written around 1,000 words. Not what I was hoping for. However, I feel like chapter 2 is taking shape. At least the first part of it. It's the part when the muse appears that's giving me a hard time. I wish I could have a male muse of my own.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

On to chapter 2

A this moment I'm struggling with chapter 2. I've got down to the first paragraph. Not bad. I've got some of the dialogue between Jenny and Andras so things are kind of building up. But I was afraid that once the critiques for chapter 1 started coming, I'd get caught on editing it. And it came true. I've spent most of the day on it. This is going to cramp my muse, I just know it.

I just hope tonight I can work on chapter 2 tonight. I need to have it finish by tomorrow so I can post it on the critique groups. *sighs* Time is running out... The pressure!

The first critiques are in!

I got to my office at 7:30 am, and quickly logged into the critique group. There were two critiques for chapter 1. Both were very positive. Although one was more lenient than the other, both brought forth excellent points. I know I promised I wouldn't do any edits and go on to chapter 2, but I couldn't help myself. I did the necessary corrections plus added a bit of additional dialogue between Jenny and Christina.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Chapter 1 is done!

Amazingly enough I finished chapter 1. Hurray for me! I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. So I've uploaded it to the first critique group. Gosh, this is the nerve-wrecking part. The prologue did poorly in the critique groups, so I don't know how the chapter will fare. Tomorrow I'll know...

Got something done

After taking yesterday off writing and spending it watching Lord of the Rings 3 (extended version), I decided to get busy today and write. So far I've written 1,250 words. *grins* And chapter 1 is finally taking shape. I'm hoping to be able to finish it tonight and upload it for critique.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I finish the end...

Today I struggled to finish the first chapter, which by the way, I didn't. I ended up with a headache, so I took a nap. When I woke up, I had the ending and epilogue of the story. Isn't that weird? I sat down and wrote it. Now, if I could come up with the middle of the story, I'd be a happy camper. *sighs*

Friday, December 17, 2004

Something is something

Even though I promised myself I'd try to write some, I wasted my morning surfing the web. Thank goodness the internet connection went down in the afternoon. I opened the file and started writing. I admit I didn't do much writing. Basically, I edited the prologued, adding some parts I had removed before. Then I wrote about 150 words. Okay, it's not so great, but something is better than nothing.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Last night something happened on the way to writing

I know I promised that I would write something - at least 100 words. But I started surfing the web and found all these great articles for aspiriting writers like me, that I had to print them. Then I sat down to read them thoroughly. So by the time I was finished, it was almost 1:00 am, and I had to go to bed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

My promise today

Okay, it's the 15th. I've got exactly 15 days to write the story and send it to critique before submitting it to AQP. So I've got to write something today. I just gotta. I'm getting all tense and upset about it. I think that's why last night my stomach was so upset, the pain was unbearable.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Doing some snooping

I know what I want from this story, but it's like I don't know what to expect from AQP. I know I should be prepared for rejection letters. It's part of the writing job. Anyway, I've been having so much trouble coming up with the rest of my story. I didn't think it would be this hard, since it has to be 5,000 - 12,000 words. Then I sat to think and figured I might be having trouble because I don't know what AQP looks for in their erotic romances. So I went about downloading a couple of stories from 'Heat Wave' to see what they're looking for. Some were slightly steamier than others, but nothing too erotic. I think I have a much clearer idea of what they are looking for.

Revamping the website

I've been trying to revamp my website since last week. But whatever I did just didn't do it for me. Today, I was working in several ideas, getting frustrated with my inability to 'translate' what was in my head into the webpage design program and PhotoShop. But out of my frustration, something went 'CLICK', and before I knew it, I had found the perfect photo, the perfect colors, the right 'feel' and all that. I'm much happy with it now. *grins*

Someone sent me my male muse

I was talking to some of my writer friends, telling them how I'm in a funk and can't seem to bring myself to write anything at all. Well, one of them sent me an email with this photo.

She said it was own male muse... Hmm... Oh yes... I'm getting some inspiration right now.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Feeling not so good

I promised myself that I would start writing today. Yeah, riiiiight. I spent most of the day reading novellas I downloaded from Ellora's Cave and Amber Quill. Then I tried to do some writing tonight, but I had to stop because I'm not feeling well. My stomach is upset. I can't think of anything I ate to make my stomach this upset. Unless it's my hypoglycemia acting out...again. Sheesh!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A time out

Today I decided to take some time off writing. I did take with me my trusty little notebook just in case something pop-up though. But I didn't try to force myself into writing anything all day. During the morning, I went to the mall before it got too crowded and did some Yuletide shopping. Then I watched movies almost all afternoon. Hey, there were good movies on TV! It was good to see "Ghostbusters" again. *lol*

Tonight I'm surfing the web and trying to get some email done. I was just checking my Ebay. Geez, I lost my bid for a Dana Wireless! I can't believe someone bid $500 for an used Dana Wireless when it costs $429 new. What was the person thinking!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Is there something in the air?

I've been talking with a few other authors about my creative block, and it seems like I'm not the only one. They've told me that they are in a funk too, unable to sit and write anything. One of them suggested me to read "The Artist's Way" to get my creative juices flowing. I just might... Hmm... There must something in the air - something about the holidays - that's making writers be in a funk, not allowing their creative juices to flow in their brains.


Just a few hours ago, I came from seeing Scorpions in concert! I wasn't sure if I could. I mean, c'mon at my age I couldn't see myself banging my head and going through the whole heavy metal concert scene. But I did! Yikes! I can't believe it's been two decades since I saw hard rock band, Scorpion, for the first time. It was in July 13, 1994 to be exact. I've still got the concert stub. Back then, a young, unknown band named Bon Jovi opened for them. Man, it was an awesome concert then. And the concert was great now! But... I'm definitively getting to old for these concerts.


Friday, December 10, 2004

Vampire series takes shape

Today, instead of enslaving myself in front of the computer, getting all frustrated because I couldn't come up with anything for my chapter 1 of the novella for the AQP Contest, I decided to do some free writing. I opened the MS Word screen and typed whatever came to my mind. I know what you may be thinking, that this helped me in writing that troublesome chapter 1. Well, the answer is NO. Nothing came up in that area.

However... I wrote the prologue of a vampire series I've been meaning write for five years. I know I'm not going to start writing anything on that area yet, but the ideas floating on my mind about the origin of my vampires are finally written and saved on a diskette for future reference. So I can say the day wasn't a total lost.

Thinking of buying an AlphaSmart

A few weeks ago I heard about the AlphaSmart on one of the many groups I'm in. I asked about them, and for I've been told by other writers, they're quite excellent to carry around and jot down ideas that later you can transfer to your PC. I thought about getting a DELL laptop, which are sold cheap on Yule, but they offer way too many distractions (read, the Internet). And they've to be upgraded, and that costs $$$. Besides, a laptop isn't as portable as a Dana.

After hearing so many good things about them and checking out their website, I really want to buy an AlphaSmart Dana for writing. I just tried to buy one, but the company doesn't ship them to PR. So I finished calling their reseller in PR, and they want to sell me the Dana Wireless for almost $200 more than I can get through the company. I'm going to see if I can get one through Ebay.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Another day wasted

I spent all morning the day in front of the computer answering email and doing a lot of other things, but I didn't write squat. So I thought perhaps I would do some writing in the afternoon. Nothing. I didn't even bother opening the file. So I figured tonight I would do some writing. But I spent my time surfing the web than writing. The very few times I did open it and looked at it, I just couldn't bring myself to write anything.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Dreams and writer's block

I know people are always dreaming while they sleep, even if they don't remember their dreams. And I'm no exception. But lately I've noticed that when I'm trying to come up with something to write - or suffering a writer's block like now - my dreams become quite livid. They're pretty strange too. It's not like I'm dreaming something I can later say, I dreamed a great scene for my story!. The dreams - not quite nightmares - are weird, even though not totally scary. And I quickly forget them a few minutes after opening my eyes.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Prologue trauma

I've been sitting here, reading and re-reading the prologue for two hours. There's something off with it, but I can't put my finger on it and it's bugging like heck. Everyone thinks it's okay. Some of the latest critiquers even think it's clever and funny. Why can't I?

Day 2 of my new challenge

I've been sitting before the computer for almost 6 hours, staring at the screening, and nothing pops into my mind. I've not been able to come up with a single scene after the prologue. Not even a good dialogue. After all, I tend to come up with dialogues faster, and then I embellish them with all the "authory thingy." But not this time. I've drawn blank. *sighs* This happens 'coz I wasted too much time editing the prologue. If I had left it alone... Oh well...

I should go into the NaNo mode - write, write, write, and don't edit. Otherwise I know I'm going to get stuck. I need to set myself a goal of number of words to write per day. I think I should stick to 1,667, like I did with the NaNo.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Prologue 1.1

I posted the first version of the prologue on two of the critique groups I belong to. So far I've received three critiques, and two of them slashed it to pieces. After reading the comments carefully and taking a good hard look at the prologue, I have to admit they're right - for the most part.

Right now I'm trying to shorten the prologue, which it came out too long. And although the dialogues were good, it didn't serve its purpose. I've chopped out the dialogs between Apollo and Eros. From 1,360 words, I'm down to 956.

I still want to keep who's the hero as a surprise, so I'm still debating about how to end the prologue without giving it away.

One name down, one to go

Things always come to me when I least expected. I was looking for a name for my heroine, and as I walked by the coffee shop I heard a mother calling her daughter 'Jenny' and I thought What a great name! Simple and powerful, yet delicate. It's perfect for my heroine!. Now I need to come up with a name for my hero, a greek yet unknown god. So far I've come up with Andrasevrosto, which means 'lusty man.' At least she can call him Andras.

Seeking name for my heroine

I'm trying to write the first chapter of the short story, but I'm having the hardest time coming up with a name for the heroine. I thought about calling her Hope. But somehow, it sounds like a better name for the heroine of the other WIP. I've tried name generators, but any of the names have that "thing" I'm looking for. I hate to write a novel in which I don't know the name of the heroine.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Muses returned from their vacation

Last night I banged my head trying to think of something to write for the Amber Quill Press Competition without success. So today I decided to just go out Yuletide shopping and forget all about it. I figured I've got 25 days to come up with a short story and write it. So off I went to the land of mad people rushing from store to store buying and buying. When I came back home a few hours later, my arms loaded with presents and my wallet much lighter, I decided that a bubble bath was in order - a luxury I don't usually have.

Right in the middle of it, while watching the bubbles change their colors and explode, it hit me - a story about Muses on strike and the havoc they create. Next thing I know, I jumped out of the bath and headed to room where my reference books are. I did tons of research on the Muses and the Greek gods. As I read the info, the first part of a dialog crept into my head, unitl it kept replaying over and over, growing and adding new characters. So I took out my trusty notebook and pen and spent the afternoon writing.

So far I've got the prologue, which it needs some fine tuning but it's pretty good. As for the title of it, I'm still working on it. I've not decided on the name of the heroine, so I'm calling her Hope for the time being. As for the title of the story, I've got two on my mind. (Anyway, I've heard that publishers change them so I should be worried about it, right?) Gee, I was so inspired that I've even designed the cover of the book. *lol*

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Hey muses! Where are you?

I think I've spent like two hours scribbling in my notebook, trying to come up with an idea for my story for the Amber Quill Press Contest, and NOTHING. Not even a title. At least, if I had a title to work with something would pop out. I've been looking at titles of songs, movies... Nothing inspires me. This is very frustrating! I think I'll lit some cinnamon candles and listen to some Fleetwood Mac. I might get something then.

Next challenge - here I go

I spent last night thinking about what to do next, writing wise. Well, I think I found my next challenge. As I was searching the web, I came upon the Amber Quill Press Contest - again. And after carefully reading the guidelines, a part of me thought "Hey, why not? I can be fun!". It only requires to write a story of 5,000 - 12,000 words. After the NaNo challenge, this sounds like piece of cake. So Amber Quill Press Contest, here I go!

Friday, December 03, 2004

After NaNo, what's there to do?

This is the third day since the NaNo Writing Challenge ended, and I find that I've been blissfully living in quiet humdrum during that time. The rush is gone. The pressure lifted. For the past two days I've been updating my website (which needs a major face-lift) and answering all my mail. I should feel happy, right? Hmm... All I can thinks is Now what? I feel like a deflated balloon. Where do I go from here? I need something to do. So I spent all morning thinking (yes, I wasted my time in that when I could be doing major work on my website), and I figure I've got two options.

I could finish the story I began for the NaNo challenge. After all, I wrote 50,027 words, but I didn't end the story when I uploaded it. But I have to be honest. After a month of writing about Carrie and Jaysen, I'm a bit sick of them. (Has this ever happen to you?) I think I need to take a break away from them and Salem. So I saved that story on a diskette, labeled it, and put it away.

Then the other possibility is to go back to the other two WIP's. I opened the files and read through the chapters I've done so far. My mind went - ugh! So no chance there. Either my brain got fried from the NaNo challenge or it needs a challenge. Gosh, I hate when this happens.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Day 2

Peace and tranquility... I downloaded a couple of ebooks this, printed them out, and tonight I'm going to lit a vanilla candle and lay in bed to read. That's my whole plan.

Why having a blog?

I was just checking out the posts on the different Yahoogroups I'm in, and in one someone asked to the group what they use their blogs for. This made me think. I used to have a blog before. I got it at the beginning of the year, and for a while I posted my thoughts. But eventually I found it time consuming and stopped posting. So obviously it was deleted. Now yesterday I decided to create not one but two for my website. What was I thinking? It'll be twice the work, right? Hmm...

Somehow I believe that I've got a different perspective about blogging. Now I see it as a tool for my writing career. A way to jog my mind out of boredom. A place where ideas can pop in more freely. And in any case, just a way to make fun of myself and laugh about me.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Sanity slowly returns

After a month of frenzy writing, sanity is coming back. Slowly but surely. No more eating M&M's, drinking mint teas, or taking cold showers to kickstart my brain. Today I was able to kick back and enjoy my day - relax. I didn't write, nor did I think about writing all day. I lit a cinnamon candle and just let my mind wander. I just noticed winter is here. The air is colder, even for a tropical island. The leaves have turned dark green. The sky is cornflower blue. When did this happen? I'm becoming more aware of my surrondings. Yes, sanity slowly returns...

Dawn of a new me

I did the unthinkable. I accepted the NaNo Writing challenge. I had no idea what I was getting into, nor an idea of what I was going to write about. All I knew was that I had to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. Quite an extraordinarie feast. I was apprehensive. Days before the challenge I wanted to quit. I began to have second thoughts. Two days before the challenge started all I had was a catchy title, the first paragraph, and part of a dialogue. Not much to go for. But Nov. 1 came and armed with what little I had, I began writing. For the past month, I slaved before the computer, spending hours writing, trying to come up with at least 1,667 words. Not just any word, but a string of them that made sense. But I did it! I beat the NaNo!

Today makes a month since I sat before the computer, staring at a blank screen, the cursor blinking. Today makes a month that I decided to test my skills as a writer. To push myself to places I hadn't gone before. And like a phoenix, I was reborn through fire...