cherry blossom time

The weather’s turned cold again, but the sun shines brightly everyday. Severe storms were predicted for this week, but guess they passed elsewhere. It’s 59 degrees today. I was worried about the pending storm because I’m flying off to California on Saturday on my way to Japan, an unexpected trip to a country I’ve always wanted to visit, a distant wish I didn’t think would ever become real (despite my upcoming cruise to China in August–another dream trip). I’ll be traveling with a good friend and we leave next Thursday out of LAX. I’m excited! I’ll get to visit with my California friends, see faces I’ve sorely missed, and then off to exciting Tokyo. Oh yes there are places we plan to see–first, the Cherry Blossom Festival, which will have started in Tokyo by the time we arrive, and then Kyoto, city of temples, Mount Fuji, the Arashiyama bamboo forest, and I hope we can squeeze in a tour of the Tokyo Imperial Palace (a reservation is required), among the many other wanderings we plan to do. And sushi, sushi, sushi! Not to mention shopping! Tokyo’s Ginza is full of great stores, and I plan on dropping some yen! I’ll be taking lots of photos and doing as much journaling as possible so I can write about it here. It’s going to be a fabulous trip!

How much editing on Shadow Walk have I done this week? Not much! Besides preparing for the trip, I had to get my taxes done. So taxes are done and in the mail. Shadow Walk can hang until I return in April, and also I’d like to return to writing A Fall of Diamonds then.

I’m planning to publish Shadow Walk and I’d actually set a release date of May 31, but now I’m thinking not. It needs more editing and revising work and I don’t even have a cover for it yet!

I’m halfway through the first draft of A Fall of Diamonds. It’s been sitting since I took time to write a new ending for Shadow Walk and move along into the edit phase. A second draft is pending, and then it goes to my two beta readers, so you see, a May 31 release date was ridiculous!

Now I’ve got a short story to polish and, if I can settle down my monkey mind, get it submitted today.

Happy writing!







IMG_0018Spring has sprung here in southeast Alabama. The weather has been lovely, hitting 80 degrees F a couple weeks ago. The flowering trees are in full spring regalia–the Japanese magnolia cloaked in lovely cream pink blossoms and the Cleveland Pear as pretty as a bride in white. There’s a house in my neighborhood with five of these snowy beauties in a row. You see them and your heart leaps. clevelandpear

I’m on track with my goals so far, ‘though I’m veering off a little bit.

2018  Writing Goals

  • Submit a book proposal — Done!
  • Finish writing Possessed by January 31 — Done!
  • Write A Haunting of Roses — In progress, until a week ago
  • Rewrite A Lamentation of Swans
  • Revise Errors of Choice (NANO 2017)
  • Edit Loose Daddy

Up until last week, I’d been working diligently on A Haunting of Roses. It’s at 25,889 words and I’ve hit a wall. Found myself not looking at the manuscript, just brain-dead about it despite the fact that I have an entire outline, a synopsis, and pages and pages of notes. So I set it aside, and gave the brain something else to do–editing Shadow Walk–not even listed on my goals, but it’s coming along fine. I’ll be traveling to California and Japan in March, hope to pick up A Haunting of Roses in April. I’ve scheduled the Shadow Walk edits to be done by May 31st. I’m nearing the end of the first round and there’ll be at least two more rounds before it’s ready for publication.

japanese magnolia
Japanese Magnolia

2018 Goals


Writing Goals

  • Submit a book proposal*
  • Finish writing Possessed by January 31**
  • Write A Haunting of Roses
  • Rewrite A Lamentation of Swans
  • Revise Errors of Choice (NANO 2017)
  • Edit Loose Daddy

Skills Goal

  • Become proficient at writing queries and proposals
  • Participate in a pitchfest

*I submitted a book proposal to Carina Press, January 7
**I finished Possessed, January 25

Short Fiction to Submit

  • The Apartment
  • Dead, Baby!
  • Into the Night
  • Abstract Synchrony
  • Second Incursion
  • Dust
  • Lost and Found
  • Parting Gift

Research Trips

Japan – March 29 – April 7, 2018
China – August 23 – September 5, 2018

home stretch


41,951, Errors of Choice. Had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and hope y’all did too! Friday was catch-up day and I made it to 40,185, writing 3,373 words during my morning session. What a relief! I wasn’t sure if I’d get it done in one session or have to stretch it out over these final days. My 40,000-word reward was Shopping! I went and splurged at the local Dollar Store, bought holiday decorations and pretty poinsettia kitchen stuff.

Less than 10,000 words to go! Yippity!




33361, Errors of Choice. Having surpassed the Day 18 target on Saturday, my reward day was yesterday. Didn’t Nano, but I edited and revised a short  humorous horror story, The Apartment. It’s ready for submission and I was supposed to send it off today, but I didn’t. I want to read through it one more time. Yes I’m procrastinating over letting it go. I’m always afraid I’ve missed a mistake so I’ll read a story one more time before zipping it on its way to a chosen publisher. It’ll go out tomorrow.

Today, Monday, I made up for my day off and wrote 4,084 words. I’m terrified of falling behind because I know how my brain works–it’s a lazy ass–and will start capering about like a monkey in a tree if I don’t keep it in hand. I’m now 66% down the Nanowrimo road and what amazes me the most is how little fretting I’ve done in the past two weeks, and I’m looking forward to rewriting Errors of Choice during one of the Camp Wrimo’s next year. Probably April.


a rush into unselfconsciousness


Update:  30,190, Errors of Choice. Good productive session this morning! Can’t believe I wrote a difficult scene in one session. I was really worried that I wouldn’t get far today. By the way, yesterday I reached 28,482.

26,773, Errors of Choice. This novel absorbs my days and you’d think that would be enough to carry me through, but it isn’t. I’ve a number of stories pressing on my mind–two of the most pressing are Possessed and Loose Daddy.

Loose Daddy is a finished first draft. It took me a long time to reach the end, and the novel has set for years in my file, untouched. I wasn’t ready to revise and rewrite it; now I am.

Possessed also has been with me for a long time, another first draft, 75% percent written. I’m at Act III and I’ve drafted a list of scenes and sort of know what to do, but I haven’t got a handle on the final part yet. I have figured out that it works best divided into parts by the characters, Part 1- Randall; Part 2 – Deidre; Part 3 – Kenny; and the final Part 4 – Deidre. Once I saw that, the story aligned itself better, and now I need to write the final part, but have not carved out time for it because of EOC.

I plan to take December off from writing, and catch up on my reading. I like the idea of spending an entire month doing nothing but reading, recharging and entertaining myself through the visions of other writers. But Possessed presses on my mind so we shall see.

I’ve got my Thanksgiving menu planned. My sister and her family are coming over. It’s going to be a grand day and Errors of Choice will sit quietly in its binder on the desk in my office.

I’m heading toward the 30,000-word mark and the reward of a day off. Not sure if I posted my NaNo rewards. Here they are:

  • 10,000 words – New planner stickers (ordered from Amazon)
  • 20,000 words – Movie (I streamed The Dark Tower)
  • 30,000 words – Day off (not including Thanksgiving)
  • 40,000 words – Shopping (Antique store browsing)
  • 50,000 words – Open the bottle of cabernet sauvignon and have a glass or two

A friend suggested I give myself a bonus reward–have the book cover done. The one I mocked up is this one:

Slide1It’ll do for the my eyes only draft, and I’ll have it done by my favorite cover artist,  Angie at Fiverr.  It’ll be fun to have the manuscript in book form. I think it’ll make editing it fun too. I’ll see the mistakes more clearly.

It’s Saturday! I’m up early and I’ve got a long day of work planned.

Happy writing!