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

Monday, October 31, 2005

What to NaNo about

Just like last year, I find myself with absolutely nothing to write about for the NaNo competition. Well, that's not true. At least I had a title, the first paragraph, and the names of the hero and heroine four days before the competition started. However, this year I have nothing - not even a line. Hoping that something will spark my writing juices, I've been attending the chats at Romance Divas chatroom, where some of us divas have been meeting on Tuesdays to help each other by bouncing ideas. Although I've been quite into it by contributing ideas to others' stories, my inner muse has remained totally uninspired. Tomorrow is the first day of NaNo, and I'm still have nothing to NaNo about! *hits panic button*

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The second round of critiques are in!

That's riiiiight! Laura Biacchi, Eden Bradley, and Luisa sent me back the critiques of my vamprotica story, and all I can say is thanks girls you're all truly awesome critiquers... and wow. *wg*

First, I'm amazed at the positive reaction to the story. I must admit it was thrown all together at the last minute so to speak. I just wanted for once to submit something to a contest, and since I'd bowed out of so many (me, chicken), this one was going to be the one - making me stick to my guns and write it till the end came hell or high waters. So I didn't expect it to be a good story at all. Actually, I thought it wasn't a good story. It was only about 5,902 words long, and I felt like it could have had more meat. Yeah, I know, it's the plotter in me talking. *lol* So I must admit I couldn't believe my eyes when I read their wonderful words about my little story. I read and re-read their emails several times before I realized my eyes weren't deceiving me. What can I say? They liked the story. *blushes* Oh...chucks... *g*

Second, I'm totally impressed by their comments. Each one approached the story from a different angle - as readers or writers - and focused on something different aspects, but taking in all these comments together and viewing them as a whole in respect to the story have put me to think (a lot) about the plot. I'm giving serious considerations now to bring some of those scenes in the "leftover" file back to thicken the plot and therefore expand the story to maybe 10K words (perhaps slightly less).

I've been tagged again...

...and I didn't even know it, which goes to show I'm not blog hopping as much as I used to. Ugh!

Three screen names that you've had: blacklace,
manana, virginlace

Three things you like about yourself: I'm clever, imaginative, and curious.

Three things you don't like about yourself: I'm impatient, demanding, and perfectionist.

Three parts of your heritage: Spanish, Italian, Puerto Rican

Three things that scare you: heights, marriage, and writer's block

Three things you are wearing right now: underwear, pj, and socks

Three of your favorite songs: Rock n' Roll - Led Zeppelin, We're the Champions - Queen, and I Need a Hero - Bonnie Tyler

Three things you want in a relationship: Independence, respect, and good communication

Two truths and a lie: Thruths: I'm right handed and I love chocolate. Lie: I didn't spend $10 on that big new stuffed tiger lying over my CPU.

Three things you can't live without: computer, internet, and books

Three places you want to go on vacation: England, Italy, and Alaska

Three things you just can't do: swim, ride a bike, and bungee jump.

Three kids names: Eagle Song, Raven Dance, and Ishtar

Three things you want to do before you die: Visit Disney again, publish a novel, and build my own library in my house

Three celeb crushes: Brad Pitt (w/long hair), Lorenzo Lamas (w/long hair), and Viggo Mortensen (w/long hair)

Three of your favorite musicians: Randy Rhoads, Andres Segovia, and Paco deLucia

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you: hard body, long hair, and killer buns

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Another Romance Diva contest!

Gina does it again! She just announced the We All Win Best Beginning Scene Contest at Romance Divas. It consists of sending the beginning scene (15 pages maximum) of your MS. I don't have anything written in which the opening scene is close to 15 pages long, but I think there are a couple of stories that are about 6 - maybe 7 - pages. Yep. I'm competing in this RD's contest too! After having so much fun with the last one, I thought why not try it again. I know I'm not going to win, but I can't wait to read the comments my fellow divas will leave. *g* The deadline is on Nov. 10, which doesn't leave me too much time to go over the folders and see what I've got ready. Hmm... But this is so exciting!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Critiques: Second round

Last night, after finishing with the edits for the vamprotica story, I sat down and re-read the whole thing. I was amazed at how good it was. But it was just good. Although I thought there was nothing wrong with it, my eyes kept straying to the "leftover" file, where many scenes ended up just to meet the number of words required for the contest. I could remember some of the scenes - a few flashbacks between the heroine and the hero in another life - and kept wondering whether I did the right thing to eliminate those scenes or not. So I realized I needed a second pair of eyes to read it - give me some extra feedback - before I publish it. This afternoon I posted on Romance Divas looking for people interested in critiquing my story. Knowing how busy my fellow divas are, with the NaNo coming up and all, I wasn't expecting anyone to answer my post soon. Imagine the wonderful surprise when three (very) brave soulserotic writers Laura Biacchi and Eden Bradley, and diva Luisa, answered. I just sent them a copy of the story, now let's see what happens. *sits to bite her nails*

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Got Cece's critique!

Remember that I'd won a critique with Celia Stuart at the Ebay auction? Well, to be honest, for a while I didn't know what to send her. I had all these stories started, but I wasn't sure which one to pick. You see, I was suppossed to send up to a maximum of 30 pages, and I didn't have anything that fit the length. Not even close. And I didn't want to waste such a great opportunity with a story that was barely half written. So I finally sent her the story I'd written for the Vamprotica contest. I figured it was the best choice since it was finished and it was only 20 pages long. Well, I received her email with the critique. She liked the story. Can you believe it? (Yeah, I was suprised she did. I thought she would start the critique with "What a piece of crap this is..." *LOL*). She did a great line-by-line critique, and she took the time to point out my weaknesses and to comment on how I can improve them. All her comments were right on the money. I know critiques are quite subjective, but I agreed with each comment. I quickly sat and started editing the story following closely the ideas Mrs. Stuart gave me, and the story is much better now.

NaNo anyone?

It's almost November 1, fellow writers and aspiring writers, and you know what that means. NaNo!!! NaNo!!! NaNo!!! For those who don't know what the excitment is about, a group of people created National Novel Writing Month), and its goal is to write a 50,000 word novel starting in Nov. 1 and ending midnight, November 30.

I'd heard of it afew years ago, but it wasn't until last year that I joined the madness. I wasn't going to but the members of my critique group were so excited about it that I joined in. (BTW, I was the only one that I finished it. *lol*) It was a great experience, if not a totally grueling one. There were times in which I wasn't sure if I'd reach the goal and wanted to quit badly. But I did it. I'm not so sure if I'll do the NaNo this year though. There are so many things going on in my life right now that I don't know if I'll have the time for it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Are you a bookholic?

I admit it. I'm a bookholic. I need to have books to read. If I don't, I go into withdrawl, and when that happens, I get in nasty mood. I used to read about 2 - 4 books weekly. Nowadays I'm lucky if I can read one per week. But as long as I have a new book around, I'm one happy reader. *lol* A few Saturdays ago I received a package from BN.com with the 4 novels I ordered. Yesterday I received another package with 4 more books, and last Saturday I had bought a book with my 20%-off coupon from Borders. And just a few minutes ago, I hit the "Order" button for another 4 more books. That makes about...uh...what?...10 books this month? *lol* How many books do you buy a month?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Book Buying Habits

I've been thinking about my book buying habits. When I was young I'd order them through Scholastic Scope. Then when B. Dalton opened in the west coast, I made dad take me there every Friday after school. I suffered a lot when B. Dalton closed its doors, and for a while I depended on the wonderful members of the romance community - RRA-L - to get me the books. Then Amazon.com came along and The BookShop opened, so I had two sources to buy books. I mostly bought them through the book store. However, since the book store didn't bring all the books I liked, I'd ordered those through Amazon.com. About 3 years ago, I started ordering books from BN.com when I got their Mastercard and saved in the process. After the BookShop closed, BN.com became a lifesaver, especially since they have the free S&H after an order of $25. Now Borders opened here about 10 months ago. Although mostly I keep ordering books through BN.com, now that Borders sends me discount coupons, I sometimes buy a book there.

A few months ago, I also bought a PC Pocket, so I've been downloading free books through the Guttenberg Project. I've bought a few ebooks directly from epublishers. However, my collection of paperbacks is still bigger than my ebook. *lol*

How do you buy your books?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's the new look!

No. Don't click that reset button. You are in the right place. You see, I changed the look of the blog (again) but this time it's a bit more personal. Isn't it great? I've been toying with the idea of changing the look of my blog for one that is, well, more me. For some time now I've searched around, checking out what was out there. Not that I was looking for templates. Although there are some very beautiful ones out there, I wanted something unique. For starters I realized a 3-column blog so I could post on two different sidebars and balance my blog was the basic layout I needed. After spending a long time searching the web, I finally found a variation of a template offered by Blogger. All I needed was to tweak it a bit, and now that was the hard part. Getting to know the different elements of the code took a lot of time (and patience). It's a period of frustration and growing. Finally I managed to tweak it the way I wanted it, making it look as close as I've envisioned it. Okay, so it still has a few bugs. Don't worry I'll iron those pretty soon. First, I need to create a new header for it since I'm using the one on my website. But that will have to wait until I can install PhotoShop in my computer again. *wg* I'm searching around for cool pics I can use in the banners (header and footer).

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sunday Night Quiz

You Have Your PhD in Men

You understand men almost better than anyone.
You accept that guys are very different, and you read signals well.
Work what you know about men, and your relationships will be blissful.

WOOOHOOO! Do I know men or what? *does the Ren & Stimpy happy-happy joy-joy dance*

Your Nail Polish Color is Black

How you're unique: There's nothing about you that isn't unique

Why your style rocks: You are a total indie chick... and you can pull it off

What this color says about you: "I'm a trendsetter and don't care what anyone else is doing!"

Friday, October 14, 2005

Romance Divas' Mentor Program update

Since many of us complained that we would be too busy with NaNo Challenge and other things (like Yule shopping) to start the Romance Divas' Mentor Program on November 1, Jax has accepted to move it to mid-January.

Those of you who are still interested in participating in this wonderful program either as a mentor (btw, we need mentors!!!) or understudy, you can sign up by going logging to Romance Divas' Forum and create an account. *wg* So what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Romance Divas' Mentor Program is back!

After the wonderful success of Romance Divas' Mentor/Understudy Program back in May, Jax has decided to bring it back. This is a 3 month commitment, excluding holidays (Yuletide). It starts on NOVEMBER 1st...

If you're interested in being a mentor or an understudy, log on to Romance Divas' website. If you're not a member, sign up at: http://www.romancedivas.com/forum/

Then go to Diva Chit-Chat room, and post on The Mentor Program the following info:

Program Position: Mentor or Apprentice
Rating: G, PG, PG-13, X, XX, XXX (alternative)
Level of writing:

The winner(s) will receive a prize. What's the prize? Jax is keeping it as a secret, but I'm sure there will be lots of goodies involved. *g*

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

What cute animal are you?

I saw this in Lynn's weblog, so I gave it a try. Here's my result:

You Are A: Frog!

froggyIndependent yet still part of a large community, frogs are unique creatures known for their distinctive sound and ability to hop. As a frog, you spend your days sitting on lily pads or climbing trees, searching for delicious insects to eat. While there are some frogs that aren't exactly cute, you are certainly not one of those!

You were almost a: Duck or a Bear Cub
You are least like a: Bunny or a PuppyCute Animal Test!

Excuse me? Frogs are cute animals? Since when? *rolls eyes* What cute animal are you?

Lynn tagged me!

I've seen this little game going on in other blogs and figured if I kept a low profile I'd get tagged, but Lynn got me. You'll pay for that, my deary. *evil laugh*

Okay, so here's the deal. You have to:

1. Delve into your blog archive.

2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).

3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).

4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas.

5. Tag three people to do the same.

I checked my archives and found my 23rd. post, Doing some snooping, and my fifth line was:
I didn't think it would be this hard, since it has to be 5,000 - 12,000 words.
Hmm... Nope. No hidden agendas or meanings here. Or maybe the heavy rains for the past 24 hours have washed my brain blank.

I tag Cynthia Justlin, Gina, and Karin Tabke.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Good things about eating chocolate

Chocolate's Good Stuff:

* A typical dark chocolate bar contains significantly fewer calories and carbs than milk chocolate.

* Although it contains saturated fat that's believed to increase LDL, or "bad," cholesterol, new studies reveal that dark chocolate doesn't raise LDL levels. Its high stearic acid content is actually thought to lower serum cholesterol levels.

* Dark chocolate contains magnesium, known to regulate blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease. Magnesium also helps to metabolize the sugar in the chocolate--a good double whammy.

* Cacao beans (which chocolate is made from) have the highest levels of antioxidants of any known plant source. Antioxidants suppress free radicals, which can damage healthy cells in your body. Dark chocolate has the highest level of cacao solids of any chocolate, making it the healthiest, disease-fighting chocolate choice.

- Southern Living

Sunday, October 09, 2005

How do you sleep?

Since I'm up to my nose in paint and haven't done much writing, I thought I'd post this, it's part of an article which I found once in the web, just to have some fun. The only way I can fall asleep is when I'm flat on my tummy with hands next to my head or sometimes under it. According to this, it says I'm brash and gregarious. O-okay. Maybe gregarious. But... brash???

What does your sleeping position say about you? *g*

Sleep Position Reveals Your Personality

The six basic sleeping positions and the personality traits:

Sleep Position No. 1: Crouched in the fetal position: Shy and sensitive

Sleep Position No. 2: Soldier position flat on the back with arms at the sides: Quiet and reserved

Sleep Position No. 3: On the side with legs outstretched and arms down: Social and easy-going

Sleep Position No. 4: On the side with legs outstretched and arms outstretched: Suspicious

Sleep Position No. 5: Flat on the tummy with hands at the sides of the head: Brash and gregarious

Sleep Position No. 6: On the back with outstretched arms and legs: Unassuming and a good listener

Friday, October 07, 2005

Which Astrological Planet Are You?

I saw this test in Bonnie's blog. I am...

.:the Moon:.

"You are known as the peacemaker of the group.
You have a lot of patience and understanding of
others. You hate to see pain and suffering in
others. You love to nurture and help others,
but you hide your own feelings in an effort to
avoid conflict."

. : : Which Astrological Planet are You? : : . [10 Gorgeous Pics!]
brought to you by Quizilla

Since I'm Cancer, this doesn't surprise me. I've always been a child of the Moon. *wg* Now, which astrological sign are you?

Thursday, October 06, 2005


According to this test...

EROTICA! - Wet, salty and delicious You are driven
to excite the reader into a literal froth with
your literary talents! You are a connoisseur of
the carnal side of humanity from Kink to
high-speed BJs in the front seat of a speeding
jag! Sex is GOOD. Penthouse and the Internet
after dark are your inspirations!

What Kind of Novel Should I Write?
brought to you by Quizilla

And this proves that sometimes these tests fail... *rofl*

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

7 things...

(I stole this from Sasha. *wg*)

7 Things to do before I die:

1. Write a book.
2. Learn about herbs.
3. Own a bookstore.
4. Create my own book covers.
5. Master the program PhotoShop.
6. Create a peaceful garden in my backyard.
7. Build my own computer.

7 Things I can do:

1. Play guitar.
2. Teach.
3. Create websites.
4. Decorate a house.
5. Lift weights.
6. Resist a bag of M&Ms.
7. Ride a bicycle.

7 Things I can't do:

1. Write stories.
2. Cook.
3. Keep the house clean.
4. Use Poser to create my own book covers.
5. Leave a lost animal alone.
6. Hook my DVD-RW to my computer.
7. Plant flowers and keep them alive.

7 Things that attract me to a man:

1. Confidence
2. Long hair
3. Humor
4. Nice body and tight butt
5. Loyalty
6. Inquiring mind
7. Independence (emotional, intellectual, and physical)

7 Things I say most often:

1. Like whatever.
2. Heeeello?
3. Hell no!
4. Uh-hu...
5. No way, no how.
6. Get it?
7. Yeah riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

7 Celebrity Crushes:

1. Jared Leto
2. Brad Pitt (with long hair only!)
3. Paul Walker
4. Viggo Mortensen
5. Chris Jerricho and Edge (gotta love long-haired blonds!)
6. Mark McGrath
7. Lorenzo Lamas

What color are you?

you are lightgreen

Your dominant hue is green. You're logical and steadfast, focused on figuring life out and doing what makes sense. You value being trusted because you know you're taking the time to figure things out and everyone should just follow you.

Your saturation level is lower than average - You don't stress out over things and don't understand people who do. Finishing projects may sometimes be a challenge, but you schedule time as you see fit and the important things all happen in the end, even if not everyone sees your grand master plan.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

Hahaha! Just the color I chose to paint my new house. Damn, these tests work! Scary little thought, uh?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Fast Draft workshop: Day 14

Number of pages written today: 0
Total number of pages written this week: 0
Total number of pages for the whole Fast Draft workshop: 9.5

Yep, last day of the Candace Haven's Fast Draft workshop, and I'm not going to apologize for not writing a single word today (or letting my team - TeamGonzo - down). I got home too tired, my head throbbing with a headache, and even after two Tylenols, it felt heavy like I had a hangover. Ugh! So I put on my headphones and listened to MS Reader read me an ebook instead.

Now looking back at the whole workshop experience, I know I did a lousy job for not keeping my daily goals of 2 pages per day (many writers would say it was a petty goal). The way I see it is this whole writing thing of cramming 20 pages (5K words) per day didn't work for me. Mind you, I'm not saying that the workshop was bad. The idea of turning off your internal editor and writing is great - one I keep hearing often. But the goal of writing 20 pages per day definitively didn't do it for me - not even a lower count. Funny thing, a friend of mine was surprised at my low performance and pointed out this workshop was like the NaNo Challenge so I shouldn't have had problems with it. She was right - up to a certain point. However, with the NaNo Challenge, I deal with 1,667 words per day, a barely manageable goal for someone like me with a full-time job and a wacky schedule. (I'm still debating whether to participate in the NaNo Challenge this year or not. It's not easy to wack 1,667 words per day. Last year I spent weekends trying to cram as many words I could - over the limit I'd set for myself - in case I couldn't meet my daily goal during the week.)

Besides, according to the workshop, you need a partner or support group. Although online support groups were created, they didn't work for me. For one, I had to log online, which tempted me to keep on surfing instead of writing. C'mon, you've got to keep me away from one of my addictions - internet! And second, I don't do well in large groups. I prefer small groups or one-on-one interactions. When I don't do know well enough half of the people in a group, I tend to shy away.