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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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A little reading for the end of the month

Usually after a writing challenge, with all the tension and pressure, I feel totally depleted of energies. Mix this with how I feel about the outcome of the challenge. I fell 1K words short from the goal, so I feel totally down. Last night I couldn't bring myself to write at all. I sat and stared at the monitor. I tried to type a few words, they all stank. So I turned it off and read instead. Since it's the end of the month, and with the new moon out, I decided to do a 2-card throw.


The message of The Moon is a shadowy as a moonlit night. Pay attention to your dreams and your intuition. Face your fears, even if you do so a little at a time. Attend to your soul.


The message of Strength reminds you that you have more strength, power, and courage than you realize. Learn to live easily with these gifts and use them when appropriate.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Weekend Warrior Challenge: Weekend 4

This is it. Yep. The end of the Weekend Warrior Challenge. And here's the outcome in a nutshell.


Word count for the weekend: 3,000
Chapters: 4


Word count for the weekend: 2,000
Chapters: 0

Final word count: 9,000

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What Movie Heroine Are You?

You are: Arwen, from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

What Movie Heroine Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Five Guilty Pleasures

Here I was, trying to keep a low profile but Karen tagged me. *lol* O-okay. Lemme see... My five guilty pleasures are... (let's start the countdown)

5. Computer-related gadgets. Less than a year ago I bought an iPaq and its foldable keyboard. I have like 3 pen drives. Soon I'll add another DVD burner to my computer. But tomorrow I'll buy a new small mouse for the 'puter. I just love electronic devices.

4. Naps. It's the only way I can recharge my energies. So afternoon naps are a most. If I don't get my nap, I'm veeeeery cranky.

3. Watching old Looney Toon cartoons. "What's up, doc?" "It's rabbit season. No, it's duck season. Rabbit. Duck. It's baseball season." They just kill me! *rofl*

2. Eating chocolates and pizza (tie). White chocolate, dark chocolate. As long as it's chocolate, it's all good. I know I shouldn't eat them 'coz I'm hypoglicemic, but I don't care. If I'm going to die, might as well be with a smile on my face and my lips covered in chocolate. As for pizzas, I love it. I could live of pizza alone. Give me cheese or pepperoni, and I'm the happiest woman on earth.

and the placer número uno is...

1. Buying books. I can't help myself. I go to Borders, I have to buy a book. I get their discount coupons, and I just HAVE to go and buy a book. I go by Barnes & Nobles website, I have to order books. My TBR is growing faster than I can read them. *lol*

What's with the new avatar?

That's the question almost everyone is asking me. *lol* I know it doesn't look as clear as it should due to the "shrinkage" so let me tell you about it. If you look closely, it contains the two main symbols of Puerto Rico: the flag (obviously in the background) and the coqui (yeah, the green thingy in the middle). I was looking for a pic of coqui, and while doing some research I found this image. I just love it! *g*

Friday, February 24, 2006

Nerve-wrecking days

It's all over the Romance Divas forum. Their members can't stop talking about. Who might be the winners of the Amber Quill Press HeatWave contest? Trace is keeping "mum" about this. There's nothing we can do bribe him into telling us. He just said we have to wait until Feb. 28 at midnight when he'll post the list of the winners. What a tease! And meanwhile the count down has started...

Last weekend of the challenge

I can't believe it. This is the 4th and last weekend of the Weekend Warrior Challenge. It seems like it was just yesterday that C.C. posted about it. Wow... *blinks still amazed* February has sure gone by fast. Anyway, here's my writing goals for this final weekend of the WWC.

Word count for the weekend: 3,000

Chapters: 4

Thursday, February 23, 2006

How do you approach your writing?

Jordan's recent entry on her blog on how writers, and especifically she, approach their stories got me thinking (very hard) about my own approach to writing.

It's been almost 2 years since I decided to take writing seriously. In all that time I've tried to learn the ropes of the trade. I've joined critique groups and taken countless workshops. (BTW, the last one was Cara King's Deep POV at Romance Divas and it was totally insightful.) I've met many wonderful writers (both unpub and pub) on the Net (especially at that wonderful place, Romance Divas), shared ideas with them, and exchange workout sheets. Hopefully all that might have shaped me in so way, right?

So last night, being too tired to continue with the story for the Phaze - Surge contest, I sat down and took stock of how I go about writing. Here's what I came up about my writing approach:

1. I'm a total pantser.

Ideas pop in my head and I just write them. It's that simple. I can't plot a story. No matter how much other writers tell me the importance of outlining a story, I just can't do it. Why? By the time I finish the outline and doing all the thinking, I'm so sick and tired of the story that end up NEVER writing it.

2. I write dialogues first.

The dialogues between my characters are the first thing to pop up in my head. I believe that what the characters say and how they say it say a lot about themselves. Those interactions are very revealing.(So this explains why I skip the descriptive paragraphs and go straight to the dialogues when I'm reading a book.) So when I write a story, 99% of the first draft is all dialogues.

3. I leave the "authorly stuff" for last.

Authorly stuff are things like inner thoughts, descriptions, etc. If I try to add them while I'm writing the dialogues (something like: "Don't move," he said in a husky voice. He stood back and let his eyes trail down...), then I lose my inspiration. So when I'm not inspired, I sit to do the authorly stuff.

4. I write in a non-linear way.

I don't always start from the beginning. Maybe what pops in my mind can go in the middle of the story. Sometimes I've come up with the end of the story before I even dream of how the story starts. An example of this was a story in which I wrote the scene of the first chapter, the scene of the second chapter, and another scene which pretty much could go almost at the end of the story. It wasn't until a few days later that I wrote a scene that went before the last scene I previously written. And two days later, I came up with the rest of chapter 1.

While I was very active on critique groups, I tried to go with writing chapter 1 first, and then chapter 2, and so forth. After 3 or 4, I'll stop, the inspiration gone. Why did I stop if I had so many ideas before? Simple, I didn't write them 'coz I was going in a sequence so now they are *poof* gone. So bottom line, I write whatever comes to my mind and after a while I start organizing the scenes. This leads me to point #5...

5. I write by scenes not by chapters.

Although I've been known to write chapters at times, it's easier for me to write scenes. Again, since I write as inspiration hits me, I write whatever I need to write at that moment. So the scene can be long or short, it doesn't matter. If I feel it has what it needs, that settles it.

Conclusion: I'm one screwy writer. (Or is it screwed up writer? *lol*) I follow no formulas. I have no method to my madness. Let's face it, the way I write is totally insane.

So my question to you all is, how do you approach your stories? Do you plot it ahead, outline, synopsis and all? Do you interview your characters, fill out characters sheets, etc.? Do you write the descriptions first or do you do just dialogues? Do you write the beginning and the end first? Do you follow a formula?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Morning quickie

I thought I'd log in and just basically give you a quick report of what I've been up to. Yesterday I accidentally ran into the 3-column template I wanted for my blog, so I spent most of the day trying to figure out some of the codes. There tonz of hits and misses, but in the end I'm pleased with the new look. And people are already noticing it. *g* So thank you all for the words of praise! Now I need to work on the banner on the top and bottom. I just hope the internet is working today when I get home so I can search for pics that might fit the "paranormal/fantasy" look I'm going after. Anyway, I even added a little flickr.com badge with the pics of my fave hunks - men who inspire me to write my heroes. *winks*

On the writing front, I barely scratched 250 words yesterday. I thought I'd write a couple of scenes once I got home, but by the time I had finished dining and watched TV I had a slight headache and didn't feel like writing. So I ended up turned off the computer and read the new issue of RWR magazine.

BTW, have you all been clicking on the red button every time you visit my blog? Ehem... ehem... what do you mean "which red button"? The one that says "The Literacy Site." With every click, you go to their website and then you click "Fund Books for Children." Help with something so simple. Your click can do so much for children. *g*

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My fears are their fears?!

A few days ago Jordan posted on her blog about fears and phobias, and how we as writers transmit them to our characters. And I thought, "Nah. That isn't me." In my mind I let my characters be who they want to be (strengths and weaknesses), never manipulate them like some writers do. So I never thought my characters could be afraid of the same things I do. Perhaps I had transmitted them unconsciously? I found this so interesting that I quickly decided to try a little experiment/research on my own. First, I made a list of my fears:

1. Fear of heights
2. Fear of crowded places
3. A bit of claustrophobia
4. Fear of roaches and frogs
5. Fear of being without money

Then I pulled out the CD where I keep copies of all the stories I've written and opened each file. I read each story keeping in mind my list of fears. Nope. None of my characters are scared of heights. Actually some even love to fly, and the higher the better. They feel comfortable in large crowds. No claustrophobics. None of my heroines are scared of roaches. I couldn't find a single one of my fear projected into my characters. But I didn't give up so easily. I figured they had to be there somewhere perhaps in a subtle way, so I kept looking, keeping an eye even on the secondary characters. Again nothing. I was beginning to wonder if there was really nothing there.

However, the more I analyzed (and over-analyzed) my characters, I did find a common trait shared by all my female characters. They are afraid to lose their independence and sense of self if they commit to a relationship. In other words, my heroines aren't the type to bend backwards for any man. If he thinks one of them will give up their dreams or their lifestyle for him, they've got another thing coming. Yep, they don't compromise. My heroines are strong women. You know when your mother told you couldn't have the cake and eat it too? Well, my heroines want the whole cake and want to eat it too. For them, compromising is a 50-50 thing. If the hero isn't capable of compromising, or accepting them as they are and allow them their independence, then he isn't the man for my heroine. No wonder I put those poor heroes into situations in which at the end they have to choose between whether to stay with the heroine or look for someone more pliant. *lol*

Hmm... Another interesting thing I discovered through this little experiment was how my fears became strenghts in my characters. For instance, I'm afraid of heights. Actually I suffer from vertigo. Yet none of my characters do. Most of them like to fly or climb high places. Am I living through them in this aspect? I've come to the conclusion that yes.

Is there a common trait in your characters, one that you could point out and say, this keeps repeating itself? Do you find yourself getting rid of your fears through your characters?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Weekend Warrior Challenge: Weekend 3

Here's in a nutshell my 3-day weekend.

Non-writing related goals:

1. Buy water heater (done!)
2. Buy microwave (done!)
3. Get desk calendar (done!)

Writing related goals:

1. Write chapters 1 - 3 (Only done 1 1/2 chapters)
2. No. of words: 4,086 (final word count for the weekend: 3,566)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

How much is your blog worth

Kristen posted this at Romance Divas, and it's just simply funny.

My blog is worth $11,855.34.
How much is your blog worth?

Too bad I can't cash out!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Today's predictions


February 18, 2006

Veering off the straight and narrow might be ever so tempting, but every time you try and do so, you're reminded of what's at stake. The stars have given you an extra dose of morality. Deal with it.

Tarot: One Card

You have the gift of thought. Use it rightly, to see the world clearly, to communicate well, and create a happy, healthy reality.

Runes: One Stone

The rune represents the critical factor in the issue at hand. Sowelu is a strong symbol, for it represents the sun. Unlike equatorial cultures that may see the sun as a harsh and imperial force capable of causing droughts, in the cold north the sun is a purely feminine force that gives life and allows crops to grow. In dark times, this rune represents clarity of sight and the victory of good over evil. Sowelu is irreversible, as the cycles of the sun and seasons are perpetual.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The week in writing and long weekend goals

Just a quick report on my writing this week. Since I'm working on my story for the DDD anthology during the weekends, then I work on the story for the Phaze - Surge contest during the week. I didn't do much writing this week though because I first wanted to think about this thoroughly. One thing I did was to set the limit of words. I want this story to be 5K long. It can go a little over it but not by much. I'm such a plotter that I've been tempted several times to add characters and subplots. Not that this is a bad thing, but it can increase the word count to 10K easily, and honestly, I don't have the time to write such a long story. So in order to fight such temptation, I set a 5K word maximum. This also makes me stick to the plot, keep the conflict simple and straightforward. No outside conflict. If there's any conflict, it'll be internal. Then I tackled the number of characters. I love adding characters to complicate things. In this story, that's a no-no. There are going to be only one more character beside the hero and the heroine. And this character will appear in chapter 1 and that's that.

So to summarize my weekly goals for the Phaze-Surge:

1) 5K word only
2) no extra characters (only one the first scene of in chapter 1)
3) internal conflict only
4) no subplots

Now let's talk about the weekend. I'm gearing myself for a 3-day weekend. Woohoo! This is going to be the 3rd. weekend of the Weekend Warrior Challenge, and I'm a bit behind in my word count (about 2K behind) so I need to crank it up. Okay, I only have 2 major things to do. First, I need to buy the new heater. That's a priority. And second, I need to buy the new plants. I'm just going to Aida's Nursery Plant to buy them. No going around from one nursery plant to another. Of course, we all know how life can interfere with the best layout plans, so I'm going to spend it at the beach house. I've packed my iPaq so no Internet distractions.

Goals for Weekend Warrior Challenge - Weekend 3:

Write chapters 1 - 3
No. of words: 4,086

Pray for me, girls!

I'm pissed...

I just went home for lunch to find one of my favorite plants - the orange one - completely dead. WAAAAAHHHH!!!! Just yesterday it was fine, in full bloom. Since it was the kind of plant that didn't need too much water, I can only think that it was yesterday rainfall that killed it. I found the earth totally soaked in the pot and the plate underneath it.

This morning...

Since I had overworked yesterday, I thought I'd do a few things before coming to work. First I went to the bank to pay the electric and water bill. Then I popped by the nursery plant. I've been looking for something to plant inside my new house. There's this space between the window of my first bathroom and the heater that's perfect for one of those plants that hangs. I found one called "Mala Madre." Sorry, I don't know its name in English. Anyway, I bought two for the long planter. However, I was looking for one of the plants that I bought 2 weekends ago, which I have in peach and fucchia. Now I wanted it bright yellow to put on the other end of my porch, but they were none. But as I was about to leave, I saw them unloading some from a truck. I didn't buy any since I was in a hurry, but you bet I'm going back tomorrow to buy one. I'm also considering buying a couple of Ivy plants, but I don't know where I'll plant them yet. I thought in the backyard next to the big ball behind, but then I want to plant red Morning Glory (called "Scarlett O'Hara - romantic, isn't it?) and white Moonflowers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sexy Name Decoder

Want to know what sexy code is hidden behind my name? Check this out..

Sexy Ideal Lover Made for Affection

What sexy code is hidden behind your name?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!

And here's something for all of you girls to sweeten your day...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Weekend Warrior Challenge: Weekend 2

Okay, I didn't do as hot as I thought I would, and I don't have any excuses, except that I was busy running from one store to another trying to find a microwave and a waterheater.

Chapters done: 1
Word count for the weekend: 2,000
Total word count: 3,414

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Found my hero!

When I started working on my story for the DDD anthology, I had this (very) hazy idea of what my hero would looked like. I only knew the basics: long black hair, green eyes, and a nice toned body. Not much to go on, I know. But today I was searching the web, doing some research (meaning, looking for pics of hot-looking guys), and ... yes!... there he was, looking at me ... his emerald-green eyes locked with mine, and I knew it was him.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A surge of an idea

Sometimes inspiration just hit me like a struck of lightning - with lots of force at the most unappropriate time. And for the Phaze Surge contest, I've playing with an idea that I think it just might work. Mind you, I don't know if I'll be able to submit it for the contest yet. It'll all depend on next week. But if I can get the story in 5K words - no more, no less - then I'll submit it. *g* I need some support here, girls! Please... keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Weekend Warrior Challenge: Weekend 1

My first weekend at the challenge and I'm already sucking. Thanks to a "worm" I had to reformat my computer almost every day. What an inspiration breaker. I barely had time to write. Luckily Saturday I transfered the file with a few notes to a CF card, so at least I could do some writing on my PC Pocket. But I didn't do much writing. See my score.

Chapters written: 0

Word count: 1,434

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A woman has died, but the dream is still alive

Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and philosopher of modern-day feminism, died today.

A few days ago fellow diva writer Annalee Blysse posted an article called The Good Wife's Guide, which was written in the 1950s on how a woman should behave as housewives, in her blog on. At first I laughed so hard as I read it. The whole article reminded me of those 50s shows, like the Donna Reed's Show. Remember the submissive wife who could do vacumm the rugs while wearing a nice dress and pearls around her neck? And some people call that reality. How many of you women wear a dress and your pretty blink-blink to do house chores? Raise your hands, please. Uh-hu. Just what I thought. Nobody. So much for presenting life as it was. Personally those shows reflected what society wished reality was versus what reality truly was.

Then as I re-read it, anger built inside me. If women were so happy in the 50s, why was there a women's revolution? What was the base of the feminist movement then? Revolutions don't start unless there's unrest and unhappiness. Some women have dismissed this by saying that just a few unhappy women started the movement. The same way Afro-Americans said "Enough is enough," and went on to prove that they should, and I quote Martin Luther King, Jr., "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Women did the same.

So just like Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream too. I have a dream that my two goddaughters will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by their gender but by the content of their character.