Tis The Season

for shopping, wrapping presents, putting up lights, singing carols, drinking cocoa, and so much more.  It’s hard to keep writing and blogging when things get so busy, but I’m making progress.  I’m starting to think of finishing my current work-in-progress as a Christmas present to myself.  That would be joyous, if I can make it happen.  What about you?  Do you sneak in a present for yourself this time of year?  What’s your self-indulgent treat?

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Psychic Storytellers

I got adventurous today and went to a psychic fair.  I explored booths, listened to speakers, and got some readings.  I like to stay open-minded about things, and I take it all with a grain of salt.  For me, it’s entertainment.  Yes, there are charlatans out there, but I think others might have gifts.

The one thing that occurred to me is what good storytellers these people are.  They look to see what effect their stories are having upon their clients and try to tap into different emotions.  Can you imagine coming up with different stories all day long at one of these things?  People linger and listen in on other’s sessions, so they can’t stick with one story all day long.  I would have so much trouble doing this!  Maybe some authors have story ideas flying at them all the time, but mine take more time and cultivation.  Even those psychics who are truly seeing into a person’s life need to be able to communicate what they see in an effective way.  The better the story, the stronger the emotions and the more value people place on it.

There were some common themes that I heard today: that I’m strong and that I need to relax.  Those resonated with me, but made me wonder if I didn’t put enough concealer on my under-eye circles.  I try not to give them any hints.  An astrologist totally tapped into the fact that I write, but numerology was a bust for me.  My “life path” number is not me.  At all.  So there it was.  Some stories worked for me and others didn’t, but I like that they all tried.  I think that’s the part I like best, seeing storytelling in a different form.

Fall 2017 Newsletter Contest Winner & Survey Results

Susan W. won the Halloween gift bag prize for newsletter subscribers.  Congratulations, Susan!

The results are also in for the survey, and your answer was resounding.  The question was:

Do you like holiday-themed romance stories?

Yes   83%
No     3%
Depends on if they’re any good    14%

So we like them, but they’d better be good!  Thanks for participating.

What Dreams May Come

I don’t know if it’s because I’m back to working on the Dream Weaver series, but I’ve been paying more attention to my dreams.  I’ve always dreamed a lot.  I can dream some really bizarre dreams, but the most common is finding new rooms in my house and wondering why I never use them.  What’s struck me recently, though, is the feelings the dreams leave me with.

Dream researchers say that the dreams you remember are the ones that you wake up from.  Recently, I haven’t been able to remember what I was dreaming, but boy… the emotions.  I’ve woken up recently feeling “all the feels.”  I’m not an emotional person, typically, but these feelings that the dreams are leaving are intense.  I’ve woken up feeling sad or wistful or poignant.  I know that’s not a good adjective to use there, but that was the essence of the feeling.  It’s weird, because I don’t remember the dream that left me feeling this way — and I’m waking up in a mood. It’s the first thing in the morning.  I don’t want to wake up sad.

Fortunately, the feelings tend to go away quickly. My most common problem with sleep has always been insomnia. So I’m dreaming things that touch on my feelings.  I can’t complain. At least I’m sleeping.

Have you ever experienced this?  Do you remember your dreams?  Or am I just becoming a big old softy?

The Never-Ending Story

I have a couple of manuscripts that have been sitting on the shelf that I can never seem to complete.  One is finished, but not quite right.  The other is partially done.  Maybe.  The problem is that I’ve never been able to get either story out the door.  I have the best intentions, but something always comes up to throw me off track.  Another manuscript would sell and the editor would have requested edits.  Or a new line would open and I’d want to submit something, but the stories I had on-hand weren’t quite right.  The list of reasons is endless, but I keep going back to these stories on occasion to try to make something of them.  I love them both, but it’s been literally years.

So what am I doing now?  You guessed it.  I’ve picked up the partial manuscript and have begun working on it again.  I hate to even say what it is, because I’ve told readers before that I’m working on this story, only to not follow through.  But here we go again.  I’ll say it.  I’m working on a third Dream Weavers book.

I have the story in my head.  I even have eight draft chapters.  Heck, I have a finished cover!  You wouldn’t think it would be that hard to finish it out.  But something different happened this time when I picked it up.  I see a problem in the first two chapters, and I have a better idea.  That means that instead of just editing words for flow, I need to edit the content.  And that’s a lot more work.  It could affect (and probably will) the following six chapters.  Am I going to do it?  Of course.  Maybe that’s another reason I’ve never been able to finish this book… that I knew subconsciously that there was a problem with the story itself.

I’m taking this as a good sign, even though it’s going to slow me down yet again.  And as I work, I’ll be on the lookout for something else to swoop in and try to take priority.

What’s Next?

I’ve finished the book, so what’s next?  In this case, it’s a waiting game.  The book I just finished is actually connected to a book that I’ve submitted to a publisher.  Book 1 is still under consideration.  I’ve let the editor know that Book 2 is waiting in the wings, so now there’s nothing I can do but wait.  The next step will depend on the response.  I really like both books.  I’m hoping that readers will be able to read them soon.

For the past few days I’ve been getting caught up on all the other things that need my attention like yard work, a broken refrigerator, family birthdays, and I hear there’s an eclipse coming?  It feels good to get back on top of things, but as I was weeding my flower garden, I really wished I was inside writing.  (Mainly because I hate weeding, and not because a particular story was calling to me.)  But a story will soon catch my attention, like they always do.

Until then, cross your fingers on my books’ submissions.  Is there anyone else out there who hates waiting?  How do you distract yourself to get through it?  Any recommendations?

 

Finished Product

Did I mention I really do like how the book turned out?  After all the ups and downs, I like how it came together.  On final read-thru, I couldn’t even remember which parts gave me problems.  I like the characters, and I like them as a couple.  I’m ready to submit!

Manuscript Done!

I finished!!!!  The story has been proofread, and I revised the synopsis.  That’s a 5-10 page summary of the story.  In my case, I wrote it first before I ever got into the book.  There was a plot twist that I added while writing the story, so it needed to be updated to match.  I also wrote a story blurb, which is a condensed story description that authors use to “pitch” to publishers.  It’s very much like the story description on the back cover of a book.  So if you think about it, I have a one-paragraph description of the book, a five-page description of the book, and the book itself.  Done, done, and done!

Total word count = 49,727
Goal 50,000
99.5% complete = Close enough = DONE!