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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Location: Puerto Rico

Friday, April 29, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 26

Tonight I added a few more dialogue to yesterday's scene. It's coming out pretty hilarious. Well, maybe others won't find it funny. I've got a weird sense of humor anyway. *lol*

However, I don't know much about the plot of this story. I just got that one scene, but what trigger it? I don't have the faintest idea. I've spent part of this night trying to figure out where the scene fits in, but for the life of me, nothing pops into my mind. I thought about using it in "SOI," but it's too funny to fit in a suspense romance story. Even if I turned it into a sarcastic one, it still won't fit in it. Then I thought I could add it to "MM & RW." But the character of Jenny in that story isn't that knowledgeable about sex, so it won't work either. And I get the feeling that the heroine is going to have a big mouth and a bad-ass attitude to back it up.

Geez, but I barely know the name of the hero and heroine! I went over the character sheets, but somehow I couldn't dig what I'd written, so I threw away them away. When it comes to characters, I can't plan them out. *sighs*

Okay, so this counts as writing, but it's definitively something I can't send to my mentor. I've got nothing to work with. Just great... So "That Don't Impress Me Much" is filed under future stories.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 25

Here I was, filling out one of those character sheets for my hero. I hate it. I'm scratching my head as I try to come up with answers to questions like: What's his career? What does he do for a living? What are his hobbies? Etc... While I was re-reading my answers, this song from Shania Twain came on the radio.

"That Don't Impress Me Much"
by: Shania Twain

I've known a few guys who thought they were pretty smart
But you've got being right down to an art
You think you're a genius-you drive me up the wall
You're a regular original, a know-it-all
Oh-oo-oh, you think you're special
Oh-oo-oh, you think you're something else

Okay, so you're a rocket scientist
That don't impress me much
So you got the brain but have you got the touch
Don't get me wrong, yeah I think you're alright
But that won't keep me warm in the middle of the night
That don't impress me much

I never knew a guy who carried a mirror in his pocket
And a comb up his sleeve-just in case
And all that extra hold gel in your hair oughtta lock it
'Cause Heaven forbid it should fall outta place

Oh-oo-oh, you think you're special
Oh-oo-oh, you think you're something else

Okay, so you're Brad Pitt
That don't impress me much
So you got the looks but have you got the touch
Don't get me wrong, yeah I think you're alright
But that won't keep me warm in the middle of the night
That don't impress me much

You're one of those guys who likes to shine his machine
You make me take off my shoes before you let me get in
I can't believe you kiss your car good night
C'mon baby tell me-you must be jokin', right!

Oh-oo-oh, you think you're special
Oh-oo-oh, you think you're something else

Okay, so you've got a car
That don't impress me much
So you got the moves but have you got the touch
Don't get me wrong, yeah I think you're alright
But that won't keep me warm in the middle of the night

That don't impress me much
You think you're cool but have you got the touch
Don't get me wrong, yeah I think you're alright
But that won't keep me warm on the long, cold, lonely night
That don't impress me much

Okay, so what do you think you're Elvis or something...
That don't impress me

Suddenly I burst in laughter (now everyone in my office thinks I'm crazy) as in my mind I saw the heroine singing this to the hero. Oh yeah, I've made my hero one of those "you're too perfect to be true" type of men. You know the kind that makes women go "uh-hu." Yet, as I read my absurd answers in the character sheet, this little scene between the heroine and the hero, where she isn't impressed with his sexual prowess or his...er... size of shoes. *evil grin* So I wrote the scene, the song still running through my head. By the way, you can guess how I'm calling this WIP, right? *winks*

Sunday, April 24, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 21

After spending a (very) frustrating afternoon staring at the blank page in a monitor, trying to summon some inspiration, I decided to go back to basics: pen and paper. I grabbed my old notebook, a red-ink pen, and laying down on the floor, I began doing whatever came to my mind. At first, it was simple drawings. Then names started popping in my mind. I ended up with a list of 50 names. Anyway, I had a few more ideas for my angels series. Other than that, nothing more.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

List of my 20 writing fears

Today while I was at Borders I picked up this magazine about writing. In it there was this article about facing our fears as writers, and it has this exercise in which you must write your 25 fears. So I thought I'd give it a try here.

1. I suck as a writer.
2. I keep writing the same story line over and over and over.
3. I'm not disciplined enough to be a writer.
4. I procrastinate a lot.
5. My writing is totally disorganized.
6. I'll run out of ideas to write.
7. I hate deadlines.
8. Contracts scare me.
9. My ideas are stupid.
10. My characters are boring.
11. I'll never get published.
12. Publishers will hate my stories.
13. I'll get terrible reviews and people will laugh at my stories.
14. I'm not talented enough to be a writer.
15. I might become bored of writing.
16. I'm wasting my time.
17. I don't have enough time for it due to my full-time job.
18. I can't deal with the romance writing rules.
19. My heros and heroines are slight variations in each story.
20. My romantic scenes are laughable.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Today's card: The World

After every obstacle has been faced and surmounted, after every path has been travelled and charted, there remains only the last step to the next level of existence - the World, the final gateway. This journey is over and the next is only beginning. It represents the final achievement of all your worldly expectations and desires, and the immenent approach of new desires to follow and new goals to puruse. It would seem that the Fool's Journey may not have been so foolish after all.
Since the Fool card, I've been on a journey of self-discovery, in relation to my writing and where I want to go. Looking back at my posts, I can say that I have confronted my fears openly. And gosh, I didn't know I was so prejudiced! Now, I find myself at crossroads. I'm still trying to deal with some of those issues. Honestly, I can't find that middle ground - that place where I'm willing to give in. Am I such a control freak that it might sabotage a possible writing career? Possibly. I'm not sure if the journey is really over. Or maybe it is. Perhaps a new journey is about to start.

RD Bootcamp: Day 19

Don't Stop Believin'
by Journey

Just a small town girl living in alonly world
She took the midnight train going anywhere
Just a city boy born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train going anywhere

A singer in a smoky room the smell of wine and cheap perfume
For a smile they can share the night.
It goes on and on and on and on

Strangers waiting up down the boulevard.
Their shadows searchin in the night
Streetlight people living to find emotion
Hiding somewhere in the night

Working hard to get my fill everybody wants a thrill
Payin' anything to roll the dice. Just one more time.
Some will win some will lose some were born to sing the blues.
Oh the movie never ends. It goes on and on and on and on...

Don´t stop believing.
Hold on to the feeling.
Streetlight people.

Do I sound like I'm in a funk? Well, I am. I've been trying for days to write, but I can't seem to concentrate at all. Frustrating? You betcha!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 18

Another night spent before the computer, staring at the blank while listening to music. Nothing. I bobbed my head to the rhythm of Journey, hoping that Steve Perry's voice lulled me into the realm where inspiration would receive me with open arms. Yet I ended up with a (big) headache and no story. *sighs*

Today's card: Judgement

This is another card of transition, like Death and the Tower, but its energy is neither violent nor catastrophic despite the fact that its power is far greater. This is the energy of creation without destruction, impossible on the material plane but certainly possible in the world of the spirit. There is rebirth not through discarding negativity, but through integration of all parts of the self.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 17

Okay, so I'm still simmering - just a little - about what happened yesterday. I can't seem to let go. But anyway, I sat before my computer and tried to write something new. It just that all my ideas sounded so...yucky. Geez, okay, so 'yucky' isn't a technical word, but that's how it felt.

Today's card: Sun

Sun can take on many meanings, though the most predominant one is that of success and completion. One cycle is over and, before the next begins, there is a period of light and relaxation that you can and should properly enjoy. Success comes if you are confident and bold in the use of your creative energy. Glow with the vitality of the Sun whose light is umatched and whose power is absolute.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 16

I was hoping to get some writing done tonight, but my mind isn't into it. I wasn't planning to go to work this morning since I'm still sick. But seeing as I didn't have any fever, I decided to go after all. I arrived about 30 minutes late. When I got in, my co-worker told me that the secretary had called. I figured it had something to do with the second contract Human Resources was sending me to sign, so I went up to the department and checked the boxes for mail. To make a long story short, I was right. It was about the contract. They made a new contract for $128 - not $250. That's $122 less than what I was suppossed to get. Was I pissed? Ha! The word "pissed" doesn't begin to define the anger surging through me. (If I'd been a Jedi, I'd have gone so far into the dark side, that I'd have made Darth Vader look like Santa Claus, a jolly good fella!) So I stomped into the secretary's office, my face contourted in rage and announced that I was signing the damn contract against my will just to put an end to this once for all but that they were ripping me off. When the director tried to say something, I just gave her that cold, liveless look that makes even the devil run away to hide. Then I stormed out of the office, leaving everyone with their jaws hanging.

Throughout the whole day I've tried not to think about it, but just creeps on me. 13 years of loyalty. And for what? So I tried doing some writing tonight just to relax. But most of my writing included lots of foul words. It was liberating though.

Today's card: Moon

This card can also show times when you are not sure of your destination, or even of the path you are travelling - but you travel nonetheless. It's quite possible that you have lost your way, and are stumbling around in the dark. If you wait until the sun rises again the path may have changed and the opportunity could have been lost. So what should you do?
Good question. What should I do? I feel like I'm stumbling in the dark with these stories. I can't seem to find a way to make them work. Not the way I want them. It's like, I can't find the inspiration. I just stare at the blank page, watching the cursor blink. And if I don't come up with something soon, I might as well withdraw from the RD Mentor/Understudy program. *sighs* But it's a good opportunity to move forward in terms of writing, learn things that I can't get through my critique groups. So I don't want to lose it. A dilemma. I hate this.

Monday, April 18, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 15

Today I didn't get anything done (again) for my mentor because I'm sick. I woke up this morning with a sore throat (I could barely swallow) and a runny nose. I knew it wasn't a good sign. So I quickly started taking the penincillin pills. Yet, as the day progressed, fever crept on me and ended up spending the whole afternoon in bed, unable to move. I've been taking Tylenols, hoping to bring the fever down. Right now, it's slightly over 37C. I'm still coughing, and my head feels like it weights a ton. I can barely get one coherent thought after the other.

Today's card: Star

Whenever all hope seems lost, it will reappear to prove that you have really lost nothing, except perhaps your sight of the path to enlightenment. And in the absence of that sight, the Star will light your way. Its light is not a blinding flash like the lightning bolt of the Tower, but a soft radiating glow that warms and comforts, rather than burning and destroying.
If there's suppossed to be little light at the end of this tunnel, well, I'm not seeing it. It's true that I've been too eager, trying to achieve too much too soon. So I better regroup and think of taking baby steps instead.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 14

No news today. Instead of spending my time trying to come up with ideas, I decided to take a break. I needed some breather so I took my goddaughter to Borders, where we spent the day picking our favorite books and magazines and then sitting in the comfy chairs to read them.

Today's card: Tower

Sometimes, when accepted and welcomed, divine wisdom and enlightenment flow freely like a calm river. The rest of the time, wisdom is blocked until it rages forth like a tidal wave and crushes anything in its path, including the recipient of the wisdom. This is the energy of the Tower card, an energy very similar to Death in that it is both a destructive and a creative force. When a building is old and decrepit, it must be demolished so that a new structure may stand in its place. The same is true of the symbolic Tower. When old attitudes and beliefs are outdated, you will have to let go of them, whether you like it or not.
That's easier said than done. I just can't simply say, "Oh, okay, this is what I believe, but hey, it's old so I won't think this way anymore." Yet I know that I better start changing my mind if I want to become published. It's going to be a hard process. I'm going to be fighting it every inch of the way.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 13

I can't believe this! I've been sitting for 3 hours before my iPaq, staring at the blank page, and not a single idea for the Phaze HOT summer-themed short novellas contest has popped in my mind. I live in a tropical island, so you'd think my brain would be ready to explode with ideas of summer love. HA! C'mon... think "Heat. Summer. Romance."

Today's card: Devil

When the Devil card appears it usually shows that you are not in control of your life, sometimes as a result of your own actions, but more often as a byproduct of inaction. This loss of control often leads to loss of hope, and a lack of faith in your own abilities.
This card says it all. This is how I feel right now. I've not written anything since January, when the idea for SOI came up. Not a single thread of inspiration. I must admit that my doubts on my ability to write has wormed into my brain. And all this inactivity has just lent itself to add to it. I know I'm to blame for that one. I should have pushed myself somehow. But if it feels good not having to worry about plotting and developing characters.

Friday, April 15, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 12

I tried to sit and read over the ideas Briana sent me, but I'm still seething over what happened yesterday. (Yep, that's me. Once I get angry, I can't calm down easily.) I guess there's too much negative vibes around me, so I'm packing my iPaq, foldable keyboard, a CF card, and the AC/DC cable. I need a change of scenery. And no distractions.

Today's card: Temperance

After the purging experience of Death, it is necessary to rebuild and improve on that which has been left over. Now that old habits and beliefs are gone forever, new attitudes must be acquired to fill the gaps and make you whole again. This process of reconstruction and harmonization is shown by the card called Temperance. The verb "to temper" means to modify or strengthen by adding a new component to an existing substance or mixture, and this broad defintion can be applied to many areas of your life. But all applications of Temperance share the common theme of moderation and balance, culminating in the creation of a centered and well-rounded being.
I've had a lot to think for the past two days about my writing, which hasn't been easy considering all the other things going on in it. I won't exactly say that my ideas are gone, but I'm starting to modify some of it. I talked today with a couple of students from the Art Department, and they showed me the works. Truly amazing! I'm considering contracting them.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 11

Early this morning I had the "talk" with my boss. Needless to say, it went better than I thought I would. I went into her office, sat down, and told her the whole side of my story. Of course, she was clueless of what had transpired, so she phoned Human Resources to find out their side of the story. It all came down to nothing new basically. They are begrundgingly paying me the money, but from now on I can't accept any other workshop contract until I clear things up with them. On my part, I made my dissatisfaction with the whole incident clear. But I'm still simmering over the whole thing. It wasn't fair and I'm paying for it. Since my mind wasn't in the writing zone, I used my time to do some (much needed) research instead. In that way I felt like I didn't waste any time.

Today's card: Death

Big changes are heading your way. Usually this change refers to something in your lifestyle; an old attitude or perspective is no longer useful and you have to let go of it. While the Hanged Man was a card of voluntary sacrifice, the Death card is a forced sacrifice - but that does not mean that it is not for your own good. Sometimes you cannot see how your attitudes are hurting you, and when that is true, the Death card is your wake-up call. Death is not simply destruction; it is destruction followed by renewal. Even though one door may have closed, another is opening.
Yesterday's outburst about ebook covers caused some controversy - especially among those epublished writers. I'm sorry if my attitude in some way hurt someone; it wasn't my intention. Still, I won't retract of my words because they stemmed from a real concern. However, I've been thinking about it. I won't say that I've been hasty in my words, but perhaps, I should bend a bit. Since I'm starting to target small presses for my novellas, maybe they might allow me to supply my own artwork instead of using theirs. That's one of the things that I could look into before submitting.

What Kind of Book I Am?

The Vampire Novel
Hmm, very interesting! You scored 138!

People are addicted to you, as you make such entertaining and sexy reading material. You get people’s imaginations flowing and make for the type of book people want to read more than once. Cults have been inspired by the likes of you.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 52% on bookpoints
Link: The What Kind Of Book Are You Test written by saucygirl on Ok Cupid

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 10

This afternoon Briana sent me an email with a more detailed review of the plot ideas I'd previously sent her. I opened it and scanned it briefly while I was at work, but being one of my busy days, I put the email aside. I was hoping to be able to sit down and read her comments thoroughly when I got home, but I had such a terrible day at work that I just couldn't concentrate. I'm too tense. I tried to focus my attention on what she was saying but my mind kept wandering off. Especially since my boss wants to see me tomorrow morning in her office. Oh, I know what my boss wants to talk about, and I'm not exactly looking forward to this meeting. So, since I couldn't do any writing, I tried to distract myself doing other things (like blogging and surfing the web), but my mind kept going back to the problem. This is hopeless! I'm shutting down the computer, and I'm going to try to do some meditation/yoga exercises. Hopefully, it'd help me relax. If not, I'm in for a long, sleepless night. *sighs*

I'm hanging on a thread...

The message of The Hanging Man is knowing when and what to sacrifice. Be clear about who you are and let all your actions and decisions hang from that vision. Even if your actions feel clumsy or out of sync with the rest of the world, sacrifice their favorable opinion rather than be untrue to yourself.
Sacrifice. Yes, that's the keyword when it comes to my writing. I know what I want as a writer. I want to see my stories published. Simple, no? No, not that simple. What are my changes of having one of my stories printed? Very slim taking into account the competition.

Of course, there's always the ever-growing epublishing market. I've been a supporter of epublishing. I believe it's a great alternative when it comes to publishing. But... (Yes, you knew a "but" was coming, didn't you?) I admit I have an issue with epublishers. The lousy covers. Okay a few of them have nice covers. But let's face it, the quality of ebook covers is terribly poor. Using those programs to try to create people... They lack realism. Oh pleeze... Keep those images for video games. They have no place in book covers. And another thing I found out is that quality of cover depends on the length of the story. If you submit for one of those short ones (5 - 12 K words), they won't bother to put the best efforts into having the best cover.

Okay, that does it! They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Excuse me?! Covers sell a book! If the cover is attractive, the reader is more willing to pick it up, and then read the blurb. That goes for both printed books and ebooks. The cover is the image that sells. Just like the cover of a magazine helps sell it. Or the image of a store makes it appealing for customers.

What to sacrifice?

At this point, I don't know. The only thing I'm sure of is that I'm not willing to sacrifice my work to see published. I'm the kind of person that demand quality at all times. If my stories have to be good enough to be published, then why should I settle for one those lame covers? Of course so many writers are so desperate to see their names in a cover, they don't care about the quality of it. All they want is to say, "I've got my first cover." Not me.

So, should I sacrifice my beliefs in order to get my stories published? Am I being too demanding? Should I settle for less for now?

When to sacrifice it?

I've been thinking about the many writing contests lately. All of them by epublishing companies. Are they right for me? If so... Which one will be right for me? Perhaps in my own desire to see one of my stories printed, I'm not taking into consideration that many of these contest might not be right for me or my writing. Am I ready to participate in one of them? Am I ready for the outcome? The possibility of winning bothers me more than not winning. I can't stand the thought of contracts. But this is something I've talked about before. It's just that I don't feel the moment is right for participating in any of the contests.

What color am I?


You are very perceptive and smart. You are clear and to the point and have a great sense of humor. You are always learning and searching for understanding.

Find out your color at Quiz Me!

Thanks Trace for this funny test! Oh, and BTW, I LOVE yellow. *grins*

Final decision of Romance Divas

On the Romance Divas front, things didn't go well yesterday. They'd hoped to upload the old forum into the new server by 2:00 pm, but they failed. It was such a pity, so many good threads and posts lost. *sighs* So we all thought that Jax would stick to the new version of the forum. However, Kristen and Jax decided to buy a new program (thanks to the donations of the divas) to recreate the forum instead of using the one phpBB offers for free. They claim it'd improve the forum. I don't know when they plan to implement this, so for the next few days I'm cutting down on one of my guilty pleasures - posting at Romance Divas.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 9

Wow, it's the second week of the bootcamp already. Can you believe it? *grins* Anyway, Briana read the ideas I sent her last night, so here is where she stands:

She thinks the vampire story set in Puerto Rico will be incredible. She likes the fact that it's set down here. I like the idea too, mind you. The story can be dark and sensuous. Perfect for the Phaze contest. But she sees it as a single title as she feels there's a lot to explore in this story, whereas I see it as "quickie." Not much plot in it. As a matter of fact, when she asked me what the conflict was, I thought, "What conflict? There's no conflict. Except for the heroine's internal conflict." Of course, this is a dark story, so I don't know if I can pull it off.

She also liked the story of Melissa and Marcus. Personally I love this story. This is the one I see as a single title. *vbg* I can have so much fun with it. Although to be honest, I don't have the faintest idea of what to do about Marcus. I mean, I've got a clear idea of Melissa, but Marcus isn't "talking" to me yet. So, if he isn't talking, I can't figure out how he finds out that it's Melissa doing the writing. I hate men playing to be secretive! *lol*

As for the story for LSB Zodiac contest, she loved it and thought it was a fun idea too. But since that story doesn't have to be ready until August 15, I'm not worrying about it yet.

So Briana and I exchanged emails all day long exchanging ideas on the first two. I still think I can come up with something else. The kind that can be put in a "quickie."

I heard from my WCP

It has been almost 3 weeks since I last heard from Sarah, who wanted to be my WCP. I emailed her my weekly goals twice on respective Mondays. Since I didn't hear from her again, I gave up and didn't email her again. Tonight I just opened my email to find a message from her. Her husband was involved in a bad car accident, and they've been dealing with all sort of things like insurance and stuff. Then she's got a call from Challenging Press,(Congrats Sarah!) so she was busy editing.

Today's card: Justice

News on RD's forums

Yesterday I had register for the forums since the old data was lost. Then a glimmer of hope shone when Kristen announced that it was possible to recover the old files and upload them to their new server. However, it'd take Jax most of the night. Today I went by RD's forums, and the logs said "0" posts. I tried to log but couldn't. So I found out that I had to create an account. Again. There is still hope that the old accounts can be uploaded to the new server. I'm keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.

Monday, April 11, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 8

Although Romance Divas website is up and running, the ordeal isn't over yet. Jax is working her butts off to be able to recover the lost posts and getting the whole forum back in shape. However, due to all this, the RD Bootcamp has been delayed.

Personally, I don't mind a bit of extra time to think more about story lines that I can present to my mentor, so we can work them within the workshop. Yes, I know that I've less than a month to write something for both Phaze and Silk's Vault contests. Hey, it's no biggie. Whoa! I don't mean that I can whip a story in such short time. Oh no, no, no! Not me. *lol* It's just that I'm not sweating the contests. I set specific goals when I set out in this journey, and winning those contests wasn't one of them.

Tonight I sent Briana an email with a few ideas for stories. Sadly though I had a little accident (due to terrible Internet connexion) and lost the email where I had jot down several other plot lines. So I sent her the original email instead, which only contained like 3 plot lines. Since the RD Bootcamp has been delayed, I still will have time to rewrite a few of the other ones.

The Wheel of Fortune goes round an' round

Everything happens in cycles; we rise and fall just as a spot on the perimeter of a wheel travels from the highest point, through all the possible points on the wheel, and then back to the apex. However changes will affect you depends on where you are on the wheel. If you are at the top then any change could throw you off, but if you are the bottom then a change could start you back up to the top. And for one person to rise another must fall - everyone is connected.
Following the order of cards in the major arcana, this is the one pertaining for today. As I read what this card represent, I can't help but wonder if it signaled what happened in the last 48 hours with the Romance Divas website - it's fall and rise.

News on RD's website - the phoenix rises again!

Kristen left me a message on my blog telling me to check her blog. So I went there, just to receive the terrible news that all the accounts are gone! No wonder I couldn't get in! We have to go back and create our accounts again. (All you divas, if want more info, go by Kristen's blog.)

Kristen and Jax, although it all seems lost, don't worry. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, we, divas, will rise again - and stronger than before. Like Arnold Schwazzeneger said, "I'll be back."

News on RD's website

Last night when I went by the forums of Romance Divas, the installation for the php forum appeared. I figured they'd be working on the forum last night. So I just went now by the website and noticed the forums are up. However, when I tried to log, I couldn't get in. Maybe they're still uploading the database.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 7

When I woke up this morning, I thought I'd make some headway in the writing area. I had planned to write at least a basic description of a couple of ideas to send to Briana and see what she thought of them. Perhaps start a chapter - or at least write 500 words. But no dice. Instead I spent the day doing other things. One of those was filling out the tax form. (Does that count as writing? Nah, I didn't think so.) Ugh! That was enough to kill any muse.

So here I was tonight, blogging while listening to music when this song came up and put a smile on my lips (and a very funny plot line in my brain).
If you wake up and don't want to smile,
If it takes just a little while,
Open your eyes and look at the day,
You'll see things in a different way.

Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don't stop, it'll soon be here,
It'll be, better than before,
Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone.

Why not think about times to come,
And not about the things that you've done,
If your life was bad to you,
Just think what tomorrow will do.

Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don't stop, it'll soon be here,
It'll be, better than before,
Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone.

All I want is to see you smile,
If it takes just a little while,
I know you don't believe that it's true,
I never meant any harm to you.

Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don't stop, it'll soon be here,
It'll be, better than before,
Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone.

Don't you look back,
Don't you look back.

"Don't Stop" - Fleetwood Mac
I can always trust in Fleetwood Mac classics to bring me inspiration. Now I need to figure out how the hero discovers that it's the heroine doing all the writing. *grins like the Cheshire Cat*

The Hermit is but a knowledgeable fool

I've always thought of this card as the Fool but wiser. You see, the Fool is naive at the beginning of his journey. As the journey progresses, The Fool gathers knowledge after going through all the experiences and meeting others along the way and becomes the Hermit. Wise. Knowledgeable. The Hermit is ready to start the journey but this type his armed with knowledge.

Funny thing, I don't feel like that after all I've gone through this week. For some reason I know I should. Perhaps I should consider that in some way I'm a bit wiser than I was 9 days ago. But I don't feel so. Maybe it's something that can't be felt. It just resides in me. *sighs* I hate when the universe conspires to put these dilemmas before me.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Saturday's card

The symbology of the lion is common to Strength, and aptly so. The lion is the "beast within", the raging inner desire inside every one of us that must be controlled or it will be set free to manifest in the world.
It's been quite a Saturday, no? And look at today's card. Strength has definitively been handy for me today.

RD Bootcamp: Day 6

Not much to inform on this area. This afternoon I went over the story ideas I've had this week. Although they are pretty good, most are focus toward the LSB Zodiac contest. Those will have to wait though. So I basically have two hazy ideas for the Phaze contest. I've got no titles for either one, which makes it a bit hard for me to get a good grip on them. One is a vampire story about a female photographer and a vampire meeting during Loiza Aldea's festival (which is celebrated in July). Personally, I've been toying with this plot for some time, but I think it's too dark for me to pull off (especially in 12K words). Then, I've toyed with another idea - it's also a vampire one - which is kind of a comedy. Yet it's full of "no-no's" (according to the rules of writing romance novels). Drats, drats, drats!

Since I didn't have anything a story to send to Briana at this point, I emailed her a copy of the first 3 chapters of the story I wrote for the NaNo Challenge instead, just to show her my writing abilities in the raw - nothing that has been critiqued and edited. She read them (boy, she is fast in that area) and emailed me telling me that she likes it too. She also said that she agrees that dialogues are one of my fortes. *grins*

Romance Diva - Website Update - Read!!!

My dear fellow divas! Here's the scoop on the Romance Divas' website directly from Kristen's mouth!

"Here's the straight poop on Romance Divas. We are in the process of moving to a much larger server and transferring our domain to that host as well.

Our old host company is so happy to get rid of us, they have offered to transfer the site files for us as soon as we get our FTP info from the new host. So, we're just waiting on the account to be fully functional and that FTP info to arrive.

We should be up and running again very soon. Spread the word!"

Kristen, I hope they have the website up and running soon, or there can be a crisis in hospitals of divas suffering the withdrawls effects!

Fellow divas, don't call 911 yet!

Since yesterday, Romance Divas has been down. I keep getting emails of fellow divas panicking. Some think the server where RD resides is overloaded again. Even though I've not talked to Kristen or Jax, I don't think that's the problem anymore. When the first overload happened, I checked their original server. Now the message that's coming up has a different server's name. So it seems that Kristen and Jax decided to go for a new server. I expect the RD's website to be down for quite some time. They have a huge number of files to upload, which can take a few hours to do depending on the internet connexion.

Friday, April 08, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 5

I went by Romance Divas just to find the website was down - and moved to a new server. Obviously Jax and Kristen decided to change servers after all. So all this extra free time (which goes to show how addictive that place can be) from not forum-ing and having a lousy internet connexion gave time to think about what my next story would be. I've scribbled a few ideas, which I hope to run down by my mentor. I'm still hazy about the details of some of these though. Until I find the perfect titles and names for the hero and heroine, I won't have the whole picture in my mind.

Friday's Card

The Chariot is a card of emotional control; the power of the mind to shape the desires of the heart and direct them to meaningful expression.
Oh, how I need to be like that today. I feel like I'm being pulled in too many directions. Too many ideas. Too many goals. Yet I don't know which one to begin with, or where to begin. My emotions are scattered. I definitevely need to put my thoughts in order. Take control of my emotions.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 4

Briana sent me a little sample of her writing. I tried to read while at work, but all the talk around me didn't allow me to concentrate.

I had hoped to come up with at least a chapter (or a reasonable facsimile) to send to my mentor tonight. But, alas, it wasn't meant to be. Although good ole Stevie Nicks came through for me, like she always does when she sings, I think "Angel of My Dreams" is a title best suited for my angel series. Instead I sent her the prologue and chapters 1 - 3 of MM & RW (yes, I dared to include the dreaded chapter 3). That should keep her entertained for the weekend, while I whipped something for the contests. *g*

Today's card: Lovers

Since I posted The Fool card back on the first day of this month, I've been putting up one every day. So the following card in the sequence of the major arcana will be The Lovers. Today of all days? Is the universe trying to tell me something? Again?

Angel of My Dreams

Since last night, I've been thinking about starting a new story instead of using an old one for the whole mentor/understudy project. One of the reasons for this is that I want to try something new which I can send to the Phaze and Silk's Vault contests. Not that I'm interested in winning. I'm scared of those contracts, you know? Just for fun. Maybe get my first rejection letter? Anyway, the truth is my mind was blank. Sure a few very general ideas floated around my (very sore) brain (the Advil barely took away the pain), but nothing that would grab my attention. It's just that I didn't have a title suitable for any of those ideas. Oh, I know some writers don't care much for titles since editors and publishers end up ditching them. Yet, I have to work around a title. No title, no story. What can I say? I'm weird that way.

So here I am at work, my mind swirling about what to write. It's a slow day so I popped a CD on the computer when this song came up.
The most beautiful things
The most innocent things
And many of those dreams
Pass us by
Keep passing us by

So I close my eyes softly
Til I become that part of the wind
That we all long for sometime
And to those that I love
Like a ghost through a fog
Like a charmed hour
And a haunted song
And the angel of my dreams

- Stevie Nick's "Angel"
Ah... I can always count on Stevie to bring me some inspiration - and the right title for my next story. *g*

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

RD Bootcamp: Day 3 (Update)

Tonight I tried to go over some of the stories I've written and see what I could send to Briana. I even tried to come up with a few ideas for a new story, so I could bounce them with her. But it's been a long, hard day; the muscles of my back are too tense and my head is starting to hurt. I was trying to search for a good title on the net, but I can barely concentrate. And thinking is out of the question. (It's a wonder if I can write to sentences coherently.) So I'm calling it off tonight early. I'm going to take an Advil, lay down, and listen to some old Journey and Fleetwood Mac.

RD Bootcamp: Day 3

Briana emailed me today telling me that she received the form and asking me to send her the first three chapters of one of my stories. I don't know what to send her. I could send her the first 3 chapters of the story I wrote for the NaNo Challenge, but I've not edited them. And they're pretty crappy. Then there is S or MM & RW, which at least I've got 3 chapters ready. But at this point I don't know the direction these stories will take. Specially with MM & RW, which was suppossed to be an erotic comedy. There is also FOI. Yet I know this will also be a long story. I'm too much of a plotter to shorten it. Briana suggested me to help me with a new story after she read about my interest to participate in the Phaze contest. Sounds quite tempting. But I just don't have any ideas... Okay, that's a lie. I do have a few ideas bouncing in my head, but for a 5 - 12K story? I'd have to think this one before I email her back.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

He's the man!

The second leg of the Body-Mind-Spirit triad is the Emperor, representing the power of the mind to shape the world. Such action does not take place at the command of the will, but through the command of the spoken or written word.
Romance writers create little worlds inside their minds, but it's through the written word that they take shape. Come alive.

RD Bootcamp: Day 2 (Update)

Well, I finished filling out the assessment sheet, and after trying to get my email to compose the note, I was able to send it to Briana. I've got a feeling she's going to get a good laugh out of it. *g*

RD Bootcamp: Day 2

A lot of things have been happening, and this is just the second day since the whole mentor/understudy thing started.

Last night I couldn't log int the RD's website, and today I barely got through in the morning before the server locked me out. At least I had a chance to read Jax's posts about the whole mentor-a-member project that started yesterday. According to her, this is the week mentors and understudies get to know each other, which sounds like a great idea. To make this easy, that little pixie posted assessment sheet, which she so appropriately called "RD Bootcamp," on the RD's website. We, the understudies, have to download it, fill it out, and email it to our mentors.

The internet connection to their website sucked. It was very slow. But luckily, I downloaded it this morning. Now I finally had some free time to sit down and read the file. The first part asked about our weaknesses and strengths. This didn't take me long to fill out. Hmm... My weakness list is longer than my strengths. Go figure... The second part asks about our goals - what we hope to accomplish at the end of these two months.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Mentor

Generally, The Empress is the mother in a good sense. Patient, loving, giving, generous.
Most aspiring romance writers seek guidance from someone, whether it is from a critique group or a mentor, who has traveled the road for a longer time. It's our way to reaffirm ourselves that we're doing things right.

I have been no exception. Interesting that on a day like this, in which the list of mentors and understudies was posted at Romance Divas and I was assigned a mentor, this card came up. Ah... the cards never cease to amaze me. *g*

This is going to be interesting...

A few days ago, Jax, one of the moderators (and computer guru) at Romance Divas, came up with the idea of making April a mentor-a-member month. The idea is for members with strong writing backgrounds to help those who aren't. (The idea had a great response, so Jax decided to extend it to two months.)

In order to involve the members of this group, she asked us to rate our writing level, and which members would like to be mentors of their fellow members for a month and which felt that needed mentoring. I answered the post scoring myself a low 1 and needing a mentor. Let's face, I still need help - badly.

Yesterday, she posted the list with the mentors and understudies. Briana is going to be my mentor. Poor thing. She doesn't know what awaits her. I already offered her my sympathies. *lol*

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Priestess calls to women

The High Priestess represents intuition and secret knowledge. She shows us that we can also use these powers on an inner level, to enrich and transform ourselves
Romance writers are very intuitive. But it's no wonder when most of them are women.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

One new goal

Today I was cleaning the closet when I found Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies, the book I bought back in December. I started reading it, but I put it aside when I began working again in January. I had totally forgotten it. *sighs* And here I was thinking of ordering the book Lynn's been raving about, First Draft in 30 Days. Okay, I better finish Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies first before I consider buying another book. A small goal for this week - to read a few pages of this book every night.

The way of the Magician

The Magician represents a focused, goal-oriented individual who harnesses the power of creativity, especially through willpower and determination. He reminds us that we already have everything we need to create the life we want for ourselves. We can accomplish anything if we stay focused on what we want. - Linda Dalton
We romance writers are goal-orientated people. Our goal? Bring stories to life and make people happy. That desire to create is the driving force that resides within us and pushes us in unimaginable ways.

However, the desire to create is nothing without an ability to create. In order to create, we romance writers seek to know our Craft - writing - inside out. We spend our hard-earned money buy books that tell us how to make our characters come alive, how to create a fascinating plot, how to write our stories logically. We join support groups and critique groups to help us polish our skills. Improving our skills. And packed with our knowledge, down the long and winding road we go. We write and write.

Of course, to be a writer, knowledge isn't enough. One must be determined. We may receive letters of rejection from editors and agents, yet we are determine to succeed. We keep learning more about our Craft. Because we're determined to succeed, to see our names in books.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Happy April's Fool!

The Fool represents the "everyperson" - the essence of us all embarking on the journey of life, self-discovery and mastery. He is the innocent, the whimsical, the "inner child" mixed with the "inner sage" that lives down deep inside of us all. He faces life and his journey unafraid, trusting, the perfect example of total and utter faith that all will be well, that every experience has a deep essential meaning. He trapses along the crags of life, regardless of any hidden peril or disappointment, his eyes are turned to the heavens and he knows that he will be kept safe and whole along his travels. Key words associated with the Fool are new beginnings, important decisions and optimism.
- The Fool Card
You might be wondering what all this has to do with April's Fool. Absolutely nothing, to be honest. Or perhaps everything. You see, today is the day people play jokes, trying to fool each other. But, isn't the fool the innocent, just like the image in the card above?

Today I couldn't help but be reminded of the first card of the Major Arcana in the tarot deck - The Fool. As a writer I feel like the Fool every time I start a new story. With each plot I embark on a new journey. Together with my characters I traveled down the road, unafraid of what might happen along the way, trusting that everything will work out in the end. I know things don't always work out the way I want them, yet I face the obstacles with optimism, hoping that each step I take, each leap of faith, will bring me closer to my goal. I write fiction, yet I cannot deny that there's a sense of self-discovery, an inner understanding of who I am, through my characters for there is a little bit of me in each one of them. (Sometimes there's too much of me in them.) Besides, through them I live things I'd not live otherwise.

In the end, writing is an experience that transform us, giving us a new perspective about life and people. Isn't there a writer that can say otherwise? Of course, those who critize romance writers will think that writing romance isn't an experience with deep meaning. What fools they are! No. They're no fools. They're just ignorants. But go ahead and ask those who write it. Romance writers live a richer, more fulfilling lives just because of what we do.

Cynnara Tregarth Workshop: Final Day

Well, another week ends, and with it another workshop. And all I can say is that it has been one heck of enlightening workshop. The info posted was excellent. I copied and pasted to keep it in my folder of articles about writing. Although the workshop didn't require a practical part (in other words, have us writers submit anything), I still learned so much. And Cyn was one heck of a great teacher. She was funny and totally energetic (I think the latter was the effects of the sport drinks *lol*).