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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Monday, January 31, 2005

Am I willing to try?

I was surfing the web, procrastinating as it has become my habit lately, looking for articles on writing, when I came across another writing contest. This one is from Aphrodite Unlaced called Sexual Healing. The entries should be short stories: 3000-5000 words. The deadline is on Feb. 28. Tempting, isn't it? I admit that my head was already calculating how many words I'd have to write per day, and how long it'd take me to finish the story, send it to critique and edit it. I even researched the web for a title (I thought of Sex Shooter, after the song by that barely-remembered, 80's trio Apollonia 6 or Sexual Healing from Marvin Gaye). But deep inside I think I'm setting up myself for another failure, like I did with the Amber Quill Press contest.

Speaking of it, AQP posted the winners of the Amber Heat Wave. As I read the list, I felt mixed emotions. A part of me was angry at myself for not having given it a try. But another (and perhaps bigger) part of me felt relieved that I hadn't entered the contest at all. Oh well... *sighs* It's been a very long day at work, so I don't feel like sitting to analyze these feelings.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Pantser, I am!

During the course of the chat with Kayla Perrin tonight, I learned a new word, pantser. It means "writing from the seat of your pants." Yep, that's the kind of writer I am. If the Muses hit me hard, I just sit before the computer and type my way into another world. No outlines. No synopsis. No filling out bare bone sheets. Just me, right in the moment, my fingers on the keyboard as words pour from my brain.

Chat with Kayla Perrin

Yesterday I thought I'd missed out on chatting with Kayla Perrin, who gave us the workshop on Plotting and Pacing, on the Romance Divas chat room. So I was thrilled when I found out the chat was actually tonight. Kayla chatted (and joked) with us for almost an hour and a half. She is a very sweet person with a great sense of humor. Her advice and suggestions are invaluable to me. It helped me think more about my writing style.

These are the things I learned:

1. Don't edit the chapters so much! It's a form of procrastination.
2. Learn to go with the flow. Don't over plan.
3. Even if it's all dialogues, write, write, WRITE!
4. Don't let the rules get to you. They are another cause of writer's block.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

A possible CP?

About two months ago I'd had my name added to the list of looking for Critique Partners at RWClist. Today I received an email from Jane, asking to be my CP. I'm pretty excited. I already emailed her back. Let's see how things work out. First we must see whether we're compatible, you know.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Friday - Recaping my week

I knew I was trying to do too much when I thought I could take two online workshops on the same week. I did finish the one on "Plotting and Pacing" with Kayla Perrin. Hooray for me! But I couldn't keep up with the one on "Conflict" in RWClist. I downloaded the files, but I've not had the time to sit and read them yet. And I missed out chatting with the writer. *sighs* The sad part is that I don't feel any more motivated about writing than I did last week.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The middle of the week

Okay, it's Wednesday, and I've not been around here since Sunday. Right now, I'm in the middle of the "Plotting and Pacing" workshop. I couldn't come up with new ideas for the tasks Kayla asked, so I decided to use the ones I had from The Male Muse and the Romance Writer, the story I was writing for the Amber Quill Press Contest. We worked on the "hook," chose the type of story, wrote the first chapter, and wrote the black moment. So far Kayla seems to like my ideas. And I must admit that these exercises are helping me with the story.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


I went back to work on Jan. 11th. after a two-week vacation and since then I've not written a thing. It's not like my schedule has changed since last semester, you know? So I can't remember when I lost control. Somehow along the way my life became in disarray. Suddenly I don't have to time for all the things I want to do. I started reading the book for "Dummies" two weeks ago, and haven't found the time to finish it. I'm trying to keep up the critiques in one critique group, but I don't seem to be making much progress. Tomorrow I start taking two workshops online, and I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up with them. I find myself sometimes overwhelmed and it's not like there are a lot of things happening. Perhaps I need to reorganize my time. Maybe I need an infusion of motivation like Karin told me.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Missed another opportunity

Geez, I can't believe this! I just found out right now that Terese daly Ramin, Executive Editor at Triskelion Publishing, is giving a workshop on "E-Publishing" at the FTHRW website. The deadline to register was January 15, so I can't enroll in it now. This is the second workshop I've missed in the last two weeks! It's like the whole universe is conspiring against me and my desire to be a writer.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

This is so funny

I sent the story I wrote for the NaNo challenge to my best friend, Elaine, last month but it wasn't until recently that she sat down to read it. We have known each other for over 25 years, so she sort of knew that I like writing, but I'd never shown her any of my stories before. So she was surprised when I told her that I'd won the NaNo Writing Challenge. Anyway, she began reading the story, and as she did she emailed me comments on what she'd read. All I could do was laugh. I don't know what shocked her most, the fact that I'd written a novel or the deliciously sex scenes.

Lost another bidding on Ebay!

I just lost the bid for an AlphaSmart Dana Wireless model. I was the highest bidder this morning. But when I logged in again a couple of minutes ago, someone else was outbidding me for $5. So I tried to bid again, but the internet connection froze on me. By the time the connection came back the auction was over. *sighs* This sucks...

Boy, and I could have used an AlphaSmart these past two weeks! Since work started again, I've been away from my office registering. So I've got plenty of time to write, but no computer around to do it.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I wanna cry!

I can't believe I missed the "Characters Make Your Story" workshop offered by romance author Millie Criswell at RWAonline. I'm a member of this chapter, but I hadn't logged in a very long time so I didn't know about this workshop until I read about it in Lynn's blog. Millie Criswell is one of my fave authors, and I'd have loved getting personal feedback from her. I logged on RWAonline and read the logs, and it seems like it was an awesome workshop. Oh how I hate missing it... *bangs her head against the keyboard*

Goals and reality collide

After the NaNo Challenge, I'd hoped to keep a daily "writing diet" but not the frenzy one of 1,667 words per day I had during the writing challenge. So I established my goal was to write 500 - 1,000 words per day, which I thought it'd be more realistic. Well, work started last week, and I barely wrote 297 words. I come home from work and I just want to slump in front of the TV. I don't feel like writing at all. Nor do I feel inspire. If this keeps up, I'll be lucky if I can write 500 a week. *sighs* I guess two weeks of vacations spoiled me rotten, and now I find it hard to get back into the swing of working during the day and writing at night.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

I got the book!

I received the printed copy of the story today and I'm so thrilled. Lulu.com had a special deal with the people who organized the NaNo Writing Challenge, in which, for a limited time, they'd print the winning stories for free. It only applied to the States and Canada, so I wasn't sure if they were including Puerto Rico as part of the US or not. But I applied for it anyway, and they accepted to publish it. I only had to pay for postage and handling. After a month of waiting, it arrived this afternoon. Tonight I sat to read it for a while. It felt like new to me. Anyway, I'm using it for proofreading. I began reading it and found mistakes, so I'm making annotations and comments. It's weird but seeing things printed makes me see things that I didn't when I were just staring at the computer monitor. Is this just me or do other people do this too???

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Giving the whole CP a second try

I signed up for the RWClist Critique Partner list, but I've received no response. I had pretty much given up on finding one. But I joined this new group, Romance Divas, three days ago, and it has forum for people looking for CPs. So I figured I should give it another try and posted. Let's see if this time around I'm luckier and someone answers.

Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies

That's the name of the book I received today from Barnes & Nobles. I figured I need some help, and since I've done no reading on writing a romance novel, that book sounds like a good way to start things, right?

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Becoming a DIVA

A few days ago I read about this workshop on "Plotting and Pacing" by Kayla Perrin at Romance Diva on another romance writer's group. I figured I could use some pointers to improve my writing, you know? And who knows, perhaps inspiration will kick in again. So tonight I went by the website and signed up. To my great surprise, some of the romance writers I know from other loops are there too. Romance Diva is made up of a cool group of pub and unpub writers, so I'm enjoying myself there.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Writing Challenge Partners

Back on December, seeing as how I was becoming lazy, I figure I need someone to keep my butt every once in a while. Especially when I get all blue. So I sent Charlotte, owner of RWC, one the three lists I'm in, my info so she could add me in the Writing Challenge Partner List she posts twice a month. Today I got two responses. One is from Rae from England and the other is from Nancy from US. I responded their emails since I think there's chemistry between us. I'm pretty excited about the whole experience. Maybe having a one-on-one contact with other aspiring writers like me will help me get back into the flow of things, and in the process we can help each other achieve our goals.

I don't believe in astrological predictions but...

I have to admit that stranger things have happened. And what happened today was a bit spooky. You see, even though I'm well versed in both western and Chinese astrology, I've never been the kind of person to rush and read the daily astrological predictions. So last night, while I was channel surfing, I came upon Walter Mercado's show. (He is one of the most renowned astrologers. I don't think there's someone in Puerto Rico who hasn't heard his name.) I was about to change the channel when he announced my sign (Cancer), so I removed my finger from the channel button. Whereas he predicted things about money, love and work to the other signs, he predicted this weekend was all about friends for those of Cancer. Making new friends, reacquianting myself with old friends. And I thought sarcastically, "What? No new romance in my life? Nothing about money? Oh phooey! The least he could have done was give me the Loto numbers."

Well, today I found five emails from friends I've not heard in a very long time in my personal email account. Then when I opened my other email account, I had two emails from people who want to be my Writing Challenge Partners. Hmm... There might be some truth in his prediction after all...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

My strength and my weakness

For the past six months, in which I've been taking writing more seriously, I've discovered where my strength and weakness lies in terms of my writing.

I admit I'm good with dialogs. Everybody compliments me about them. "They sound so real." Well, what can I say? I almost have "psychotic" episodes in which I talk to myself. If the dialog doesn't sound good to my ears, then the flow is all wrong. If I could, I'd write a whole novel with dialogs only. Hmm... Isn't that what a screenwriter does? *chuckles* Anyway, right now I've got about 1,000+ words written for the new story, almost 3 chapters, and it's all dialog.

I hate descriptions and all that other embellishment that it's required to put in a novel. I'm re-reading the 3 chapters, trying to add POV, inner thoughts, actions, and descriptions. It sucks. *sighs*

An evening of Pit's butt

My goddaughter bugged me to take her to Borders (again) today. I've been going to Borders for the last two days, but I didn't mind going a third time. (Let's face it, we've been 2 years without a bookstore around here.) So I was passing by Sam Goodie and saw "Troy" on DVD. Ah... Brad Pitt in short skirt. Hmm... Now there's one buddilicious thought. *grins* I'd planned on buy a copy of "Troy" through Barnes & Nobles, but I couldn't wait a week to receive it so I bought it. Tonight it's going to be me, Brad, and rocky road ice cream. Now that's a lot of sugar...


Saturday, January 01, 2005

I've got the title

You know, it never ceases to amaze me how easily I can come up with titles for my stories (sometimes even before I’ve an idea of what to write). I just wish stories would come up that easily too. Anyway, here I was a few minutes ago just brushing my hair when I noticed the tiny ankh dangling from my loop earring, and suddenly the title for the new story hit me.

The Sisterhood of Isis. That's the title for this new story. At first I thought of calling it Fellowship of Isis, but then I remember that an organization already exists with that name so I tweaked it a bit. Besides, I feel Sisterhood of Isis is a more appropriate title since it's about a secret society made up of women.

Sometimes the Muses don't give up

As you can see, I've not posted for 2 days. That's because I'd decided to take some time off to do something else, except writing. Since I wasn't entering the AQP contest anymore, I wanted to focus my energies into my job. I felt ready to tackle the schedules. However, sometimes I wonder if the Muses ever listen to me.

Like for example, while I was taking a bath today, the Muses decided to attack. So there I was standing under the shower, and all I could see where these scenes being played before me. I could hear the character voices. I was babbling all these dialogs while showering. It was nuts! I had to cut my bath short so I could run to my room, where I keep a micro tape recorder ready at all times (I never know when I'll get inspired). I turned it on and recorded all the dialogs. Now when I get some free time, I'll have to type them.

Resolutions for 2005

I could write a new story...hmm... well, I think I should finish that story I started back in July, although perhaps I might try finishing the one I had for the Amber Quill Contest...hmm... well, there's always the story I began for NaNo..., but you know maybe I might do well if I promise to write at least 500 words per day... uh... or I should go back and redo that chapter... Ah, resolutions... who needs them!