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, August 29, 2005

Weekend (and writing) report

I had a lousy weekend thanks to my car. Friday night it decided to act out by turning itself off while I drove it. Great...just great. So I was hoping the mechanic would have fixed by the time I came from work. Yeah, I had to work on a Saturday. At least it was until mid-day. And it gave me some free (and peaceful) time to add a couple of hundred more words to my story. But that was it. I didn't do much writing the rest of the weekend until Sunday night. Sunday I borrowed my dad's car for two hours to run some errands. Then I spent the afternoon finishing paint the closets of my new house and planting the little bamboos on the crystal bowls (these are for my living room). At night I sat before the computer, but all I could do was stare at the monitor, so I surfed the web for a while. When I was about to turn off the computer and go to sleep, my muses decided to wake up. I added about 600 words to the story.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Low on books

Last night I noticed I have just one book left on my TBR pile. Yikes! *hits panic button* Okay, I'm still halfway through Angela Knight's Master of the Moon, but I don't like to be "low" on books. So I'm ready to place an order of books with Barnes and Nobles in two days. I went by my BN's wish list. I've got two new Star Wars books in it. Oh, and there's the latest Kasey Michaels's book in the Maggie series (Maggie with a Clue) in paperback out. *vbg* And I can't forget also the latest vampire romance from Charlaine Harris in her Sookie Stackhouse series. In terms of novels, that pretty much rounds up my selection.

Now I'd like to buy a book about writing. (Although I haven't touched Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies by Leslie Wainger since January. Maybe I should make an effort and finish reading it.) During the RD's Mentor/Apprentice program, Briana suggested me Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass, while Lynn swears by First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner. I'd like to buy both, but I have enough money for just one of them, so I'm kind of torn between which one to buy. What do you think? Which one should I buy first?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Just a brief note of my writing progress

Yesterday I did very little writing. About 120 words, perhaps a bit less. I was too busy at work to try to slip and write. Then at home I added perhaps another 100 - 150 words. Just some dialogues that popped into my mind.

Jordan Summers gave me some good ideas about how to make the hero and the heroine. I went over chapter 1, and there are a couple of openings where I can stick her idea.

So while I'm trying to work on my story and make some headway this weekend, I decided to share with you the tarot cards for this story. The ones used by my tarot card reader are loosely based on these. The first three images belong to the Medieval Enchantment tarot deck and the last one to Gilded Tarot.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hit a snag

For the past few days I've been working feverishly on the story for the Phaze contest, as you can see from the writing goal bar. Mostly on dialogues. Chapter 1 is almost done, although I need to polish it, and I'm almost starting chapter 2.

Now here is where I hit the snag - that first meeting between the hero and the heroine. I know they're going to meet at the club, so the setting isn't the problem. It's how they're going to meet there that's bothering me now. For the past two days I've been pondering the options. Since it's an erotic romance, I need it to start the sparks by chapter 1 going to 2. So I thought they should meet the first time when the hero asked her to dance. Slow dancing can be a good way to start their relationship.

However, I'm finding it hard to insert the slow dance into the way chapter 1 moves into chapter 2. You see, I ended chapter 1 with the heroine and her friend going off to a "private" party with the villain and started chapter 2 with the hero noticing the heroine and her friend while they talked with the villain, and he follows them upstairs and saving the heroine from the evil guys.

So I'm wondering what to do. If I keep going as I do, the story will have more action than romance. I mean, the romance will be there. It's the erotic part that would be hard to insert among the action parts.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Getting back to the writing groove and more

This morning I went to the cabinet-maker and chose the top for my kitchen cabinets. I'd seen this beautiful green marble one in a store, but I saw this other green top at his office that was even more beautiful. So everything is set now. He said it'd take about 2 weeks, and he'd call me as soon as they're finished so he can come and install them. This is so exciting! New cabinets! New windows! Can't wait to move to the new house.

As for writing, after carefully contriving a story for Phaze's HeatSheet Shivers these past two days, and with only 15 days to go before the deadline (Sept. 5), I decided to put the Capricorn Man story on hold and focus all my creative energies into it. I don't know the title of it yet. I hate when that happens. But at least I came up with a great hook. Thanks to Briana for pushing the idea of the tarot deck! It's going to be a short story, 5K words. That way I know I'll have it on time for the contest. So today at work, while I managed to write 1,000 words. Mostly in dialogues, which is what I do best. I'm leaving the "authorly stuff" for later.

In Romance Divas, Gina came up with this contest, We All Win, in which we send our hooks to be judge. I didn't think much of it, not being one to participate in contests. But last night I was in such a silly mood, maybe due to having a productive day in writing, that I sent five entries to it. Let the shredding begin!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A lazy but productive Sunday

I thought I'd take it easy today. After a stressful week, I needed to unwind so I went window shopping. They're starting to put the Halloween stuff out already. Oh goodie! I was like a child in a toy store, having fun perusing everything. I couldn't find any lights, but I saw a few plastic pumpkins that will be perfect for the front porch. I didn't buy them though, I want to check out other Halloween decorations yet. Yep, I want to decorate my house for Halloween. My first Halloween in my new house. That's so exciting! Well, that is if it's ready on time and I can move in.

On the writing front, I kept myself away from the computer most of the day and didn't do much writing. I tweaked a few things on the Capricorn man story. I wrote a draft of the scene I mentioned last Friday. I was laughing so hard while I typed it. It's not suppossed to be funny, mind you, but somehow I found the whole situation of the hero masturbating to "see" his mate hilarious. Have you ever written a scene that makes you laugh although it's not funny in any way?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A different kind of Saturday

If everything that could wrong went wrong - and worst - last Saturday, today couldn't have been any more different. Everything I'd wanted to do last Saturday, I was able to do today - and more. Just very single thing in my "to-do" list. Except for buying plants. I needed to buy additional plants for my new house. But I didn't buy the pots anyway, and I want these new plants for the back of the house. So I need a few pots to hang from the hangers and maybe a couple of big ones. I don't know what I'm going to plant in them yet. No palm trees though, that's for sure. Anyway, I was totally amazed at how much I was able to accomplish. Things went so well, it was scary at times. *lol* The best part was that I felt relax.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Slow day at work, busy day in the head

Since it's Friday, registration went pretty smooth today. I think I registered about 20 people all in all. I took some time to go to the vet and refill my dog's heart medicine. I also had time to do some little writing on the Capricorn Man story. Not much, mind you. Just 500 words. But at least I'm getting a clearer idea for that first chapter. I sort of had started it right in the middle of it, with the hero going to headmaster for advice. But I wasn't sure to get him there in the first place - or for what reason. I needed a scene where the hero "foresaw" his meeting with the heroine. I tried the "dream scene" (pretty cliche, I know) but for some reason it didn't click. So whenever I had some free time I started thinking about it, and finally I got figured out how to do that. Can you say masturbation? *evil grin*

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A glimmer of an idea

Sometimes I'm amazed how my fried brain can get jumpstarted by the most remote things. You see after a grueling day there I was tonight, vegging on the floor, my dog sleeping next to me on his little pillow, while I watched VH1 classics (my favorite channel to catch good ole rock videos), trying to unwind some of the stress. I caught up with the heavy metal show, and Great White's video "Rock Me" came on. Gosh, I've totally forgotten this song! I guess it's because I remember their hit "Once Bitten, Twice Shy," which my band used to make our own version of it. Anyway, "Rock Me" is a good song. And the video was pretty good too. A typical 80's video.

It revolves around this mermaid, because of the "great white" theme in their name, see? Well, there's this scene in which the mermaid turns into a woman dressed in this tight sky-blue spandex with scales and all and fires this harpoon. Why does she do it? I don't know. The whole scene doesn't make sense. To me the model is just some eye candy to appeal to guys. Yet suddenly a glimmer of inspiration popped in my mind. My only living brain neuron begged me to write a story about this mermaid woman, that looks like the model in the video when she transforms (the part of the sky-blue scaly skin) and uses her harpoon to hunt down those mermaids that have gone rogue and attack people who venture into the deep, telling me it would be perfect for the Let's Make Waves Contest. (You know, make waves... mermaids. Get it?) However, the other 99 billion neurons in my brain weren't too excited about the idea of working. In the end the idea was filed somewhere in my head.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Too tired to be inspired

Today was worst than yesterday. If I thought it couldn't get any busier at work, I was dead wrong. If the last two weeks of early registration left me too tired to write, this past days I feel totally drained (and without hope to replenish that energy back). The worst part is having to be nice to people who behave like jerks and feel that they must get priority treatment even though they're a 2 weeks late for registration. Gosh, I'm so sick of listening to so many pathetic stories/excuses. Why can't they accept that they're wrong and deal with it?

The deadline for the Let's Make Waves Contest is fast approaching, and I hadn't worked on the Capricorn Man (temporary title) story since last Sunday. Although I'd had faint ideas buzzing around my head in these past three days, I'd not been in the mood for it. Today wasn't any different. I was too mentally exhausted to sit before the computer and try to get it unstuck. My story has hit a sticky point, you see. So I didn't find appealing to ponder on whether Charissa (the heroine) should have an accident or not, and if the accident should be caused by Simon (the jerk) hiring someone to tamper with her car or the sudden apparition of the Capricorn Man (hero). Ugh!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What a nasty day

Gosh, I'm so tired that I wonder if I can write a coherent line whatsoever here. I think all my 100 billion brain cells are fried. Things at work are really, really, really hectic. Between yesterday and today I've registered 375 people. Do your math! Not that I didn't expect a number of people to come to register, but having that huge number in 2 days when in 2 weeks I barely registered 573 is a joke. My only break was during lunch, and if it were for them, I'd not have any. I swear, my hands feel numb from writing for almost 8 straight hours. I gotta put them on ice later. And do you what's like to repeat the same things over and over and over and over and over again? My voice is totally shot. It's barely above a whisper. I tried to do some writing, but I just sat before the monitor, my brain cells refusing to work, so I think I'll lay down and read Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Sins of the Night" instead.

Monday, August 15, 2005

LSB contest a "no go"

I know I promised to keep you updated on my writing for the LSB Zodiac Contest. Sorry I didn't. You see, things at work were brutal last week. Between registering and everything else, I didn't have time to work on my LSB Zodiac entry for Capricorn, even though I carried my PC Pocket every day. Then I came home every afternoon totally drained. I tried to sit before the computer and finish the story, but I felt too tired to think. My mind refused to cooperate although I tried to bribe it with everything - from a sugar binge in the form of chocolates to vacations in the form of Brad Pitt/Viggo Mortensen movies. I think I wrote about 600 words. Don't ask me if they made sense though. I've not re-read those passages. *lol*

Seeing as the week was a total mess and my brain activity had been low, I was hoping to pick up the pace and get some writing done during the weekend. I knew it was only two days, but I figured that if I put some serious hours, I could get the story finished by Monday, and then spend Monday night doing the editing. Again I was regretting not having the story critiqued, but there was nothing I could do about it. Yet again the universe conspired against me and this plan also went down the tube. Why? Let's just say this was a weekend I'd rather forget.

So here I am today, sitting before the computer with only half of the story done. I wish I could say that I finished it, but I didn't. Once more the hectic day at work left my energy level low (almost empty). And it still a long way to finish the story. I'm still on the kidnapping scene, and I don't know if the heroine should have a car accident before she gets kidnapped. I'm still toying around with the possibility after the re-write of chapter 2, where she has a major pow-wow with her agent.

The next contest, Ocean's Mist Press's Let's Make Waves is due in 4 days. I might be able to finish it by then. Or maybe not. I don't want to rush it like I did with the one for the Vamprotica contest. Since the story is set days before Yuletide and it's a highly (I hope) erotic story, I might submit it to Whiskey Creek Press - Torrid: Seasons. Although they might not like it because it's a fantasy story set in another planet.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The future cover models of romance novels

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Seeing things under a new light

Last night, after emailing (again) my submission for Vamprotica 2005, I threw a little "pity party" to cheer me up. Popcorn. Soda. A Brad Pitt movie Troy. Hmm... Can it get any better? *vbg*

Now the whole Vamprotica contest is behind me. I'm trying to focus my energies on two upcoming contests: Liquid Silver Books - Zodiac Contest and Ocean Mist Press's Let's Make Waves.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAs far as I'm the zodiac contest, I'm in a quadrantry. Too many good ideas, too little time to develop any. I started writing one which begins with the heroine's friend reading the horoscope. Not bad. But it's the way most of the stories published already are starting, so I want to try something different, which brings me to idea #2. This one is (very) tricky. I can make the setting either futuristic or fantasy. On either one I can incorporate the ideas of these Boris Vallejo's images.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Both are really good, and I'm tempted to try both and see where each leads. But I've got 7 days left, so the whole exploration thing seems out of the question.

As for the Ocean's Mist Press Let's Make Waves Contest, I looked through my files and found an old mermaid romantic comedy I wrote last year. It's not finished yet, so I went over it but realized I can't finish it in 10K words or less. So I just might skip this contest and go for their Halloween contest instead. Today, as I was fooling around this online tarot reading, the Death card came up and an idea for a vampire story was born. If there are no constrains in the word count, I think it might be perfect. I don't have a title for that one yet, but I came up with a title for a vampire romantic comedy while listening to an old rock song on the radio. *lol*

Monday, August 08, 2005

I'm pissed! BIG TIME!

Remember that the Vamprotica deadline was July 31 and how I was in such a rush to send them my story that I didn't have it critiqued? WELL... I just got an email from a friend with this:
The deadline is August 8, 2005. Please submit earlier!
CHIPPEWA PUBLISHING MOVED THE DEADLINE FOR THEIR VAMPROTICA 2005! I couldn't believe it. I've been going by their website almost everyday, and I never saw anything about this. So I rushed to their website and almost fell off my chair. Overnight they'd changed their website look. And there it was, the new deadline.

Damn, damn, damn! If I'd known of the deadline extension, I'd have had my story critiqued and edited before sending it. Not that I'm hoping to get a call from them, you know. After all, I recognize I didn't do a fair justice to it in barely under 6K words. But geez, at least I could have sent something better. And if they rejected it, I could always add to it and submit it to another, like Ocean Mist Press who's accepting stories for their Halloween releases.

And want to know what makes the whole thing worst? I don't even know if the first submission got through or if it is even under consideration. You see, back then they used to have this web submission form which you filled out. I wasn't crazy about it 'coz it didn't allow you to attach both the synopsis and manuscript as they ask. Only the latter could be attached, and the synopsis was posted in a special block. This left no space to add the cover letter anywhere. So I never sent them a cover letter with the submission. What if they aren't considering my submission due to that? And now instead of the web submission form, they give a specific email to send submissions. Okay, so what if it didn't get through back then? Now it's too late to email them asking about it. What to do? What to do? What to do!!!

*bangs her head against the desk* Okay... Luckily I still have the synopsis and manuscript files saved in my computer's hard disk so I'm going to re-submit everything, this time using their new email address. *takes a VERY deep breath and releases it*

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Just one busy day...

It's that time of the year when work just saps my energies (and my creativity in the process), so I missed Siren's Pub competition yesterday. Hoping to get some writing done for it on one of my WIPs, I'd packed my PC Pocket and its foldable keyboard and taken them with me to work. The story was almost finished, so I figured I could pull the last 5K words while at work. But although it was a slow day compared to today, the many interruptions disrupted my concentration so I didn't get any writing done.

Today I took my PC Pocket with me to work again, hoping to get some work done. You see for several months now I've been toying with the idea of sending something for the Liquid Silver Book's Zodiac Contest. I'm specially interested in the Capricorn one. I came up with 3 possible storylines, which I discussed with my mentor during the Romance Diva's Mentor/Understudy month program. I'd started developing one of the ideas, although I wasn't sure if that was the one I wanted to go with. However, when the Vamprotica contest came up, I put aside the Capricorn story and focused my efforts into it. Now that's done, so I wanted to go back to the Capricorn man story, see if I could get back into the "writing funk" again. Yet it was so hectic I didn't do any writing.

Monday, August 01, 2005

One more diva is Phaze(d)...

Yesterday I found out that my Romance Diva mentor, Briana, got a call from Phaze. WOOOHOOO!!! They contracted her story, 101 Degrees Fahrenheit. This is so cool! She's an amazing writer, I'm very happy for her!

Ain't this the truth?

you suck, and that's sad
you are the "you suck, and that's sad"
happy bunny. You're truthful, but can be a bit

which happy bunny are you?
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