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

This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called hunks. Make your own badge here.

Template by: © 2006  Thur Broeders

Powered by Blogger


My Photo
Location: Puerto Rico

Friday, September 30, 2005

Fast Draft workshop: Day 11

Since it was Friday, I figured I could squeeze some writing. The way I saw it was that I'd do it in small sections of 20 minutes with breaks between them as I took into consideration the amount of typical interruptions I usually get at work. After I was done with the payroll paperwork, I hunched before my computer, and inserting the jumpdrive into the USB connection, I opened the file with the story I've been working for the Fast Draft workshop.

I know I said yesterday I was bored with the characters' dialogues, but I decided to give it a last try. I've been pondering the problem, and I think it was a matter of not having a clear idea of the basic GMC in it. Usually I figured out the GMC of either the hero or heroine, and then I built upon that, making either the other react. So last night before I went to bed, I brainstormed GMC's for both the hero and heroine (notice that I've not found the perfect names for them yet), and jotted down a possible ones.

This morning I woke up with a slightly clearer idea of the GMC and story line as a whole, so I was hoping to use that to tighten the dialogues (even if we're not suppossed to edit at this stage of the workshop) and see what happened. When I was getting ready to start my first little section, my cellphone rang, in which became a long series of cellphone calls from my mother followed by numerous trips between my new house and the hardware store. By the time I returned to my office (two and a half hours later), I had lost all inspiration.

Pages written for Fast Draft workshop: 0

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Fast Draft workshop: Day 10

After being sidetracked yesterday by Ebay, and seeing it was already day 10 of the Fast Draft workshop, I thought I should try to get something done. I knew I'd not do much writing since I feel exhausted, but I could do some research. I logged on the internet and found a few possible names and surnames for my hero and heroine, none that drew my Muses to attention yet, but I added them to my database nonetheless. Then I opened the file with the story for the workshop and re-read everything. As I did so, I tried to picture my hero and heroine having those conversations. Gosh, I felt so bored while "listening to them"!

Has that ever happened to you? Have your hero and heroine bored you with their conversation to the point that you lose all interest in them?

I thought about deleting the whole thing and starting anew. What stopped me from hitting the Delete button at the last minute was the thought that maybe - just maybe - there might be something in the dialogues that I could use in another story.

Pages written for Fast Draft workshop: 0

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fast Draft workshop: Day 9

I'd be lying if I told you that I did my best to sit down before my computer and write something today. The truth is that I didn't even try to write at all. Instead I sat hunched at my computer desk and surfed the web like there was no tomorrow.

I logged into Ebay and checked out stuff for my house. I want to put something to identify the house, you know, the numbers. So I was especially looking for tiles with letters and numbers. Nothing cute or with flowers. I hate those. But it seemed that was all I could find unti I ran across one that makes engraved personalized house names and numbers plaques. What called my attention was the design of the "Green Woman." It's just perfect for my new house! But the problem is that it's made in England, so I'll have to see if they ships overseas and how much they'll charge. As it is, the plaque is a bit expensive. Yikes!

Pages written for Fast Draft workshop: 0

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fast Draft workshop: Day 8

I admit it. I'm a sick person. I live obsessed with my heros' and heroines' names. I can't write a story if I don't have the "perfect" name for them. Many fellow writers have suggested me to give them temporary names (or "working" names) until I can come up with something better for them, but I just can't do that. I've tried; believe me, I have T-R-I-E-D. But it just drives me crazy not knowing their names! I keep thinking about their names (to the point of obsession) so I can't focus on the story until I have their names. Sometimes I've gone for days without writing a word of the story just because I don't know the name of the hero and heroine; and therefore, nothing in the story - the plot and the conflict - makes sense to me.

For me, a name is very thing. It says so much about a character that I get a feel for them. (Look at Pearl in The Scarlet Letter, or Ernest in The Importance of Being Earnest.) Through their names I get to know so much about my characters. Who they are. How they perceive life. What makes them tick. That's why I keep a database on Excel with names for heroines, heroes, and villains. Every time I see a name I like, I put it in. Then I try to find a last name that matches. I also keep a list of surnames for that purpose.

Am I crazy? *watches you all nodding emphatically* Hey!!! You don't have to agree so fast, you know. Besides, it was just a rhetorical question. Sheeesh!

Is there something you must absolutely need to know about your story/characters (like the title, characters' names, the name of the town, etc.) before you jump to write the story?

Pages written for Fast Draft workshop: 0

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fast Draft workshop: Day 7

While watching the channel for home improvement and decoration, HTVG, I came up with two great titles for possible stories. Some vagues ideas for their possible plots popped into my head, so I jotted them down in paragraph form. I'm still debating how to name the heroines. Every name I came up with sounded just wrong. Hmm... Perhaps I should check my "heroine's name" database.

Pages written for Fast Draft workshop: 0

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Weekend summary

The weekend was good. I worked Saturday morning. That sucked. Then I went shopping for stuff for the house - mostly paint. I still haven't made up my mind about the colors on the outside. Ugh!

BTW, the security windows were installed on Saturday. Woohoo!!! I spent Saturday night and Sunday afternoon putting the primer to the new walls. If I don't get off work too tired, I hope to start painting inside - the living room and dining room - when I come home at night.

The car is still behaving. It hasn't left me stranded - yet. I think it overheard my mother talked about buying a new one, a Hyundai "Brio," on Saturday, and now it's in its best behavior. *lol*

Number of pages written for the Candace Haven's Fast Draft workshop: 0

Friday, September 23, 2005

Fast Draft workshop: Day 4

Okay, 4th. day of the Candace Haven's Fast Draft workshop, and things haven't improved much. I'm getting bombed with all these ideas for my previous WIPs, but when it comes to the one story I'm trying for the workshop, nothing... NADA. Tonight, hoping to avoid distractions (meaning, the internet), I hooked the foldable keyboard to the PC Pocket, and dragging my pillow to the floor, I laid down and opened the file. I fiddled with a couple of ideas for about an hour, but I gave up after writing barely few lines, which I'm sure barely add up a page. *sighs*

I have no idea why this is happening. I did the NaNo Challenge just fine. Sure, I had a title, the hook, setting, and a basic idea of what the story was about - although they all came to me 2 days before the NaNo Challenge started. For this workshop I went full gung-ho with no idea what to write, but I'd hoped something I could write about would pop in my head as I went along. Now I'm falling behind, not meeting my pathetic daily quota of 2 pages (which with the help of a fellow romance writer I figured it comes to around 500 words). Partly I blame it on not having a good working title. Knowing what makes my Muses tick, that would have trigger their curiousity. Besides the whole Christmasy theme set in Puerto Rico, although seeming inspiring, makes me doubt about the story in itself. I can't point my finger on exactly what or why.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

What's a writer to do?

Today was a bit of a slow day at work (thank goodness!) which allowed my mind to wander often, and I found myself writing bits and pieces of dialogues and descriptions to 4 previous WIPs on a notebook I always carry for such events. The more I wrote, the more ideas popped into my mind. And sometimes dialogues and ideas for two different stories would pop at the same time. So I'd have to try to write one, and hope that while doing that, I'd not forget a thing from the other one. At one point I couldn't seem to write fast enough. Quite scary. *lol*

Anyway, tonight I was trying to stick to the Candace Havens’ Fast Draft workshop, but the need to type what I had on the notebook was greater. So after wasting an hour before the screen without having typed a word, I opened the files of those other stories and typed everything I'd handwrittenand, plus added a few new things that popped into my mind. If I put together everything I wrote, I think I did like 5 pages (single spaced).

After doing that, and feeling satisfied with the progress of the other stories, I closed those files, re-opened the one I've been working for the Fast Draft workshop and tried to concentrate. However, those characters from my previous WIPs wouldn't let go. They fought for my attention, trying to make me continue writing their story. No matter how hard I tried to block their voices and focus on the new story, their voices became more intense. So now I'm a quadary. Should I ignore them and go on with my new story for the workshop? Or should I put on the backburner the story I'm working on for the workshop?

Have you ever been in a situation in which you consciously want to write something, yet characters from other WIPs or from a completely new story keep intruding? How do you choose between them?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fast Draft workshop: Day 2 and Ebay auction

Well, it's the second day of the Candace Havens’ Fast Draft, and honestly I feel at lost at what to write. While at work, I kept thinking about possible things to write about and kept coming up blank. Of course being interrupted every 5 minutes by people asking stupid questions didn't help one bit. *smirks* So I came home, and after answering a few emails, logging into Romance Divas and Yahoogroups to check out the posts, I finally sat before the computer, hoping that the Muses were in the mood to grant me some inspiration. Yet after half and hour of staring at the blinking cursor and realizing that nothing new worth writing would pop in my mind, I opened the file where I kept what I wrote yesterday. Ugh! I re-read it a few times, trying to get the "feel" of the scene. Since it was just a dialogue, I decided to add description. I know we're not suppossed to edit, but I didn't edit anything in the dialogue - although I was mighty tempted. Then I went on to add a few more dialogue and all in all I did 2 pages - a slight improvement over yesterday's performace.

As for the auction of Jordan Summer's critique at Ebay, it had hit the $76 mark and I was ready to bid hard. But then I re-read the part of "30 manuscript pages and a 5 page synopsis." That stop me short. I realized all my stories are short (so they don't amount to 30 pages), and therefore I didn't have a synopsis of any of them. So what was the point of winning the bid then? Finally, I bowed out of the bidding.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Fast Draft workshop: Day 1

Last night I sat down to think about what I wanted to write for Candace Haven's Fast Draft workshop. Since I knew I worked best with general ideas, I didn't push myself to write a synopsis as she had suggested. And even though some of my fellow divas were working on outlines for their stories, I avoided that too. I'm too much of a pantser. Anything outlined constricts me. But I needed those general ideas first.

That was the first tumbling block. I didn't have any idea what to write. I tried researching for a good title. If I find a title that appeals me, I quickly develop a story around it. But after extensive research, I didn't find anything. So I decided to go over those WIPs that I've started. I found two with barely a chapter or two written; however, none sounded appealing enough. Then I moved on to make a list of themes. I figured if I could come up with a theme, like a vampire story or a Christmas story, I could write a story about it. Three themes later I stopped. I was too tired so I went to bed.

Today was officially my first day of the Candace Haven's Fast Draft workshop. While at work I wondered what to write about. I came home at 6:00 pm and still clueless. Not a good sign, I thought as I took a bath. I was hoping the bath would wake up my muses, as it has done in the past, but this time it failed me. After dining and watching some TV, I sat before the computer and answered some emails. Then, after checking on my bids on Ebay, I turned it off the computer, took out my PC Pocket, hook the keyboard to it and opened Word. I stared at the cursor blinking, and not a word that made sense crossed my mind. Great. Just great. So I put a CD and lit a cinnamon candle hoping for a flash of inspiration that never came. Since I didn't want to give up, I started writing a dialogue between a woman and a man who met at a Christmas party. With that I achieved a page and a half. Half less than I had set my goal. But at least it was something.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Car problems, Ebay bid, and fast draft...oh my!

The car is still giving me problems. The last time I took it to the mechanic, I swore it was fixed. But after two weeks, it started acting out on Thursday. The mechanic cleaned some of the filters, but during the whole weekend it kept turning itself off every time I stopped it. So I didn't do much from my "to-do" list. (Yeah another wasted weekend. GRRRR!!!) Since he was at lost as what else to do to my car, this morning the mechanic took it to be scanned, hoping that something would show up in the scanner. However, they couldn't find anything wrong with it. *sighs* I'm starting to believe that the car is possessed. I might need a voodoo priestess to exorcise it.

In the effort to help raise money for Larissa Ione, I was bidding for fellow diva Gina's critique, but I got outbid by another fellow diva, Kristen. *g* Way to go, Kristen! I've been outbid for Lora Leigh's critique too. Anyway, I'm still after Jordan Summer's critique though.

To complete this weird day, I remembered that Candace Havens’ Fast Draft workshop through Romance Divas started today. So I logged in to read Candace's posts. According to her, the goal is to write 20 pages daily. I already had a problem with this because I view my progress in terms of word count, not pages, since it's easier to write single space. Writing double space doesn't allow me to see too much of what I've written, so I find it very annoying and useless during my creative progress. So I figured a way out of it would be to calculate how many words were in 20 pages, and it came up to around 7,800 words. YIKES! No way Jose! I can't do that in one day. As it is, it takes me hours to come up with 2,000 words. I have a full-time job, so it's not like I'm at home with nothing else to do but write (although I wish!). All in all I just have about 2 hours at night to write. What can I do with 2 hours? After too much thought, and getting some advice from C.C., I decided to overlook the 20-pages part and start with 2 pages a day, a level I feel comfortable working with. Also, according to Candace, the workshop works best if people team up to support each , so some of the divas have created teams. I joined C.C.'s Gonzo Team (named after the Muppets). *vbg* Hopefully, that would help me get started tomorrow.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Whoa, girls, chill!

Thanks for all your kind words of support on my post about losing in the "Best Opening Hook" Contest. I appreciated very much the posts left there and the emails. But the truth is I've been totally cool about the whole thing. *vbg* Losing never dampered my spirit, so I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that it bothered me to be a loser. *lol*

Like I said before, I'm not into entering writing contests, but when Gina posted reminding the divas about the "Best Opening Hook" Contest, curiosity got the best of me and I entered it just for the fun of it and see what resulted from it. So going over the scores for each entry was a pretty amusing, and most enlightening, experience because it made me realized a few things about these type of contest. Of course, I judged several entries too, so my conclusions come from what I also experienced as a judge.

One of the things that called my attention was those whose writing styles might be closer to mine scored me higher than those whose style is different. I know that I could appreciate better those entries "whose voices" were similar to mine because I had a feel of where the story was going and so forth. In other words, I got them. *g*

Another thing was I avoided judging any entry that was in a genre I didn't like or wasn't too knowledgeable about. So I avoided like a plague anything that said "historical," "regency," and "contemporary." They way I see it is, if I'm not familiar with the genre, I can't judge it fairly. So now this makes me wonder how many judges were doing the same thing.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Romance writers and readers, go to Ebay and bid now!

As many of you might know by now, fellow blogger and romance writer, Larissa Ione, lost everything in hurricane Katrina. To help her with a new start, her friends have set up a fund. Many romance writers and editors are auctioning their services. So go to Ebay and bid on these critiques and books. It's for a wonderful cause, so aspiring romance writers and romance readers go and bid.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI already did and won a critique with romance author (and fellow blogger) Celia Stuart. *vbg* I'm torn on what to send her. I think I'll send the story set in Puerto Rico. Oh, so pity her... *lol* And now off I go to bid on Jordan Summer's critique. If I could win that one... I've my latest vampire/suspense story lined up for her. *evil grin*

Friday, September 09, 2005

Thoughts on writing contests

I admit it. I've never been interested in participating in writing contests. Why? I find them useless.

Every time I read the guidelines for these contests, I feel like I have to sit and write something to please a few people just to get their approval. And you see, I've got big issues with that. First, I've lived my life just pleasing myself. Second, I'm not much of a approval-seeker.

If I were an animal, that would be the cat. I do what I want, when I want - as long as I harm none. Others don't like, fine. They don't have to do what I do, or like what I like, or think as I think.

Not long ago I was talking to a fellow aspiring writer, and she mentioned something about entering a contest about "the first kiss" between the hero and the heroine and asked me if I was planning to submit something. So I mentioned her my thoughts on it, and she told me that I shouldn't dismiss them so easily since there are advantages to entering these contests.

She mostly went on to point out how these were shortcuts to get published by the "biggies" since sometimes the prizes were having one’s MS read by big-time editors. Perhaps that’s true for a few of them, but honestly I've seen tonz of aspiring romance writers who enter every single contest out, polishing those few chapters over and over and then displaying their winning titles in their signatures, yet they never get published.

She also said these contests are a great source to get feedback. Perhaps that's true. But, isn't this feedback subjective? Not everyone "gets" your writing. But that doesn't mean your writing is bad. How about styles? We all have different writing styles. Doesn't that count?

Then she told me that one of the advantages to enter a contest is to see what's selling. Personally I disagree. The readers are the ones spending their hard-earned cash on books and ebooks, so for me they're the true measure of what sells.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The L-word

Remember that little contest I told you about a week or so ago? Yep, that's right. The Best Opening Hook at Romance Divas. The judging period ended yesterday at midnight, and the results are in. And...I lost. Yep, I'm a loser, with capital L.




(What did you think the L-word was? Likeable? Lovely? *lol*)

Since the contest is over - at least for us l-worders *chuckles* -, I can talk about it. You see, I sent the openings of five of my WIPs (here with their working titles):

1. One Wild Convention (contemporary comedy) - entry #51
2. Crimson Desire (vampire erotic comedy) - entry #45
3. Dark Angel (paranormal erotic romance)- entry #50
4. The Muse (fantasy erotic comedy) - entry #44
5. Untamed Fantasy (fantasy erotic romance) - entry #49

Putting it bluntly, all five entries were shredded to pieces by the divas. (For those who are reading this now and judged them, yep, I wrote those pieces of crap. *vbg*) Except C.C. She was the only one who totally "got me." *lol* I was truly amazed. If I ever publish one of those stories, I swear I want her - and only her - to review it for Romance Divas. *g*

Some said my scores were so poor because I didn't follow the rules of the contest correctly. Something about sending the first 250 words of the story. Anyway, I admit I didn't read Gina's post on it. My entries were a last minute whim. But even if I'd done it right, I know that wouldn't have sway the judges to score my entries higher.

(Note: Congrats to the winners: Lynn, Jax, Sela, Dawn, Tawny, Sienna, Clara)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back to the old schedule

Well, the semester is finally in full swing. And that means I'm back to my 9:00 am - 6:00 pm shift at work. *sighs* After almost 5 months of being having an 8:00 am - 5:00 pm shift, it's hard to go back to the other shift. When I got out at 5:00, at least I could go home, take a nap, and recharge my body again. You see, I don't do afternoons very well. I'm more of morning and night person. I don't mind getting up early in the morning, or staying up very late. (I don't go to bed before midnight anyway.) But don't ask me to be awake in the afternoons! After 3:00 pm, my whole energy plummets, and I can't get it back unless I take a nap. Of course, now I don't see that happening, you know.

So I just got home from work, and I've got this headache, my energy level is low, and don't get me started on how this affects my muse. It's wrecking havoc with it. I sat before the computer for two hours, hoping to add at least a chapter to the erotic vampire story I'm writing so I can send it to the Ocean's Mist Press vampire contest. Wisps of inspiration would sometimes float by my brain, but it was too tired to hold them long enough for me to turn them into something coherent. If this is how it's going to be for the rest of the week until my body gets back into the old funk, then I'm in trouble.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor-Day weekend

Car problems prevented me from enjoying this weekend. Yep, it went back to its all tricks again, scaring the heck out of me when it stop while I was driving on the highway. In the past 4 days, I've taken it three times (including this morning) to the mechanic. He is totally baffled and doesn't know what else to do to it. (On a personal note, I think the car is haunted by gremlins.) He hopes that the car keeps working fine after today's changes. I hope so too.

Of course, I had this long list of things that were necessary to do THIS weekend, before the semester starts and things kick in at work. So with the car problems, I had to try to get them all done, which wasn't easy. So little time, so many things to do! I crammed every hour as best I could. Sadly, I didn't get to do all the things in my "to-do" list though. So from now on, my schedule would be more hectic. *sighs*

So on the writing front, as you can already guess, I didn't do much writing this long weekend. By the time I had time to sit and write, my Muses were a bit tired. I think I put around 1,000 words. (For a total of 5,100 words.) Basically I tighten chapters 1 and 2 - the latter with the escape scene. I still have to work that chapter 2 though. Chapter 2 still has some loose ends that I'm not happy with. *sighs*

But today is the day. The deadline for the Phaze's Shiver is in 2 1/2 hours, and I've not written "THE END." And I don't see that happening in the 2 hours. There's too much in the story to wrap it up in two hours. I knew there would be no time for getting it critiqued, but at least I'd hoped to edit it a bit. No dice. Besides, the synopsis and my bio aren't done either.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Car (and writing) problems

Yep. The car is still giving me trouble even though the mechanic has seen it twice. On Monday he connected this cable that was loose. The car worked fine until Thursday. It was 5 o'clock. I'd closed the office for the day and hop in the car. I turned in on, but it turned off itself. Three times! I barely made it home. I took it to the mechanic again yesterday morning. He cleaned the plugs, and the car worked fine until today when I was going to take advantage of the Labor-Day hot sales. It turned itself off. It did it only once, but that was enough for me to freak out. In short, it messed with my whole day. I had this huge list of places to go and things to buy for my new house - especially the paint since the new windows were delievered and they're coming to install them next week - , but I didn't do anything. Sad part is that after this weekend, I'm going to be too busy to go out shopping again - even on weekends.

On the writing from, I managed to do some writing yesterday. But the muses aren't cooperating much. Even today they're refusing to help. One thing is for sure. I was hoping to round up the story in 5,000 words, but they way it's developing, I don't see that happening. It's 4,228, and I've not written the hot scenes yet. Ugh! And the contest ends this Monday. The worst part is I can't sit and write for the next two days. So... will the story be finished to submit Monday by midnight? I don't know... *sighs*