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Q&A Blog

Q: What happened to your blog?

A:  You were following my blog?  You and two others.  

I'm too inconsistent with blogging to be of any relevance.  Besides it was hard work keeping that page up-to-date with this one.  I already have my work cut out for me managing the superauthors blog.  

You'll find me there and guest blogging around the world wide web.  Don't worry, I'll be keeping you posted here.  Dare I say once a week?  I've even enabled the comment feature so we can chat.        

Unbalanced

My life tends to be unbalanced.  I couldn't balance work and writing before I quit my day job so why should it come as a surprise that I can't find the perfect balance between writing and everything else now that it is my work.


The Frogman, Prince

Quitting my day job at the end of last year to write full time is a dream come true. This year is about the journey, the process of getting back to writing after almost giving up. About the stories I've loved and lost along the way...The Frogman, Prince is the modern retelling of the Grimm's classic, The Frog Prince. The hero is a Navy SEAL and the heroine is a salvage ship's captain. Their daughter's story was my first Harlequin Super Romance, SEAL It With A Kiss.

Originally written in 1995 this 400 page / 91K word manuscript was revised in 2000 with a 1960's timeline (to reflect the published sequel) and appeared on my website for a brief period. At that time I received over 200 fan emails. Though it remains unpublished, The Frogman, Prince is still a personal favorite of mine.

Synopsis:

Captain Lillian Meredith Chapel is a salvage operator in search of a four hundred year old treasure. Her father’s dream of finding La Concepciòn has become her obsession.

But Lily is running out of money and time...

The last thing the Captain needs is a Pirate in the form of a scarred Navy Frogman commandeering her ship for his mission. Little does she know, his objective is to keep her safe. Which may mean keeping her at arms length.

Teaser:

THE FROGMAN, PRINCE

Summer 1965…
THE STRAITS OF FLORIDA OFF THE COAST OF CUBA


Under the cover of darkness, Toad braced himself in the helicopter’s open hatch, marking time as seconds ticked away. His flippers tipped close to the edge.


Exactly the way he lived.


Anticipation pumped through his veins. Perspiration gathered beneath his wetsuit. He ignored the discomfort like a hundred, maybe a thousand times before.


Flying low over the water to escape radar detection, wind-whipped backwash pelted the tense lines of his face as salty trickles ran into his eyes and mouth. Blinking back the sting, he scrubbed a gloved hand over his chin.


What in the hell was he doing here? Time spent in a Cuban prison still echoed in his nightmares.


What choice did he have?


This was his job.

He lived it. And he loved it.


“Remember, Gentlemen,” he shouted above the whirring blades. “The only easy day was yesterday!”


Flashing the pilot thumbs up, Toad leapt through the hellhole. In the descent from air to sea, seven men followed his lead and the CH-46 SeaKnight veered sharply left, then out of sight.


In the eerie glow of chem sticks, he accounted for every last man before fitting the breathing apparatus of the chest-mounted Dräger LAR-V to his mouth and setting a grueling pace for their two-mile ocean swim. The rasp of exertion filtered through the rebreather like some sci-fi creature on The Twilight Zone.


When a murky shadow stirred the phosphorescent algae in his path, he reached for the K-bar strapped to his thigh, but the hammerhead moved on as if sensing a far more dangerous predator in the water that night.


Sixty minutes later, the frogmen surrounded their objective. The hull of the OSV Lily Pad measured two hundred and twenty feet from stem to stern.

As his men bobbed silently in the water, Toad waited to give the man nearest to him the signal to board. Once issued the command would pass from frogman to frogman without fail.


Working Cover Only
Click here to read Chapter One of The Frogman, Prince can be found on Wattpad.  If you're unfamiliar with Wattpad it's a place where writers and readers connect.  You can log in using facebook.  Don't worry, it's FREE.  I'll be posting unedited installments to completion a couple times a week until the story is published.

THIS DIVE PHOTO IS A TEMPORARY PLACE HOLDER FOR THE COVER IN PROGRESS.  WHICH I PROMISE WILL HAVE A HOT GUY!

Please post your comments.  Help me get the word out with likes, tweets and votes.

And don't forget to check back to answer the polls in the side bar.

One Million Words


Ray Bradbury is quoted as saying, “Write a thousand words a day and in three years you’ll be a writer.” 

Which is often misquoted as it takes a million words words to become a writer.  The point is, you can't call yourself a writer if you're not writing.  To be any good at anything takes practice.  Without consistency you'll never finish a manuscript, let alone become a successful genre writer.  

The truth is I'm out of practice.  A million words is a long way from the 30,000 words I wrote last year.  Despite that I'm setting my sites on 1,000,000 words this year. 

Maybe over the next year, three years?

A thousand words a day seems like a reasonable goal for the New Year!  Wait a minute didn't I say in My One Word post that I don't set goals?  I don't do New Years Resolutions.  I do set writing goals throughout the year.  It's human nature to view the new year, new month, week as a fresh start.  Ask any dieter, myself included.  You can keep track of my progress in the side bar.       

Blah, Blah Blog

I was afraid I'd embarrass myself by shooting off my mouth.  A million words, yeah right.  A thousand words a day?  All talk.  No action.  

The meter's moving, maybe not as fast as I'd like, 2600 words is not 8000 (which is where I should be--I'm writing this on the 8th), but I'm not embarrassed.   

I'm working on it.  This week, Week Three PDJ (Post Day Job) is my first "official" week writing.  Christmas  was a week of rest and New Years was a week of planning.   

I logged a little over 500 words on Saturday and 1000 words both Monday and Tuesday.  Today I felt like my routine was falling into place.  I exercised in the morning.  Read email over breakfast.  Then read the first chapter of my draft and did some fact checking.  Took a break for lunch.  Read email, checked in on facebook and twitter...  Kept twitter open to #1k1hr thinking I'd be brave and jump in on the hour, but my speed is nowhere near 1000 words an hour right now.  

Plus I'm really typing a clean draft with revisions from two hard copies and a beta document so it's slow going.  I set my timer for an hour and got down to the real work around 1:30 pm.  Three hours later I realized the day was done and I hadn't moved from my chair since lunch.  Got up to stretch thinking I'd put in a couple more hours before I called it quits, but I was so stiff I decided on aqua aerobics instead.  

Logged my word count and clocked out for the day.  But not really, after aqua aerobics there's still emails to answer and a blog to write.  I"m trying not to do any busy work or business during my writing time.  Put I do know I have a long way to go in making the best use of those hours I set aside for writing.  This week is about catching up to where I'm supposed to be.  

We'll see where I'm at when I check in again on the 16th.  Will I have caught to that 1000 words a day average with 15,000 words, I wonder?       

My One Word

lim*in*al 

lim*in*al  [adjective]
1 : of or relating to a sensory threshold
2 : barely perceptible
3 : of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase or condition : in-between, transitional

At the moment I'm in transition between the day job I left behind and whatever lies ahead.  It's long been a dream of mine to write full-time.  Making that dream a reality almost didn't happen.  I'd spent months planning my exit from the company (see my superauthors.com post Future Me).  Met all my financial goals, and then a major fiscal set back, or rather a series of set backs, had me rethinking my decision.  The added stress affected my writing and by my own standards I no longer met my criteria for quitting.

I was caught between, should I or shouldn't I, when a dear friend and coworker--also a writer-- announced she'd be moving out-of-state at the end of the year.  I knew I had to make up my mind, fast.  If I was leaving our boss would be losing us both at a critical time.  Another good reason for me to stay--six more months, a year--I felt that tug pulling me back.  Why not just stick it out until retirement--seven, ten or even fifteen to twenty years from now?

Or was that kind thinking holding me back?

"Let's be practical," my left-brain argued.  "Let's not," my right-brain insisted.

The truth is I'd made up my mind six months ago.  I even had my last day circled on my calendar, and when coworkers would ask, I'd shrug and say, "It's personal."

In the end I wound up giving seven weeks notice.  Seven weeks was a very, very long time.  But I find myself looking forward to the days ahead.

Despite the hustle and bustle of moving, my friend found time to send me a link to a post she'd written on Liminal Space.  And didn't that word pop up again the very next day in the book I was reading.  So I decided to make liminal My One Word for the year.  Normally, I'd choose a power word to replace my New Years resolutions.  But this year it was more about accepting where I'm at.  Which is on my way to fulfilling even bigger dreams.

I hope you'll join me this year as I blog my way through a life in transition.  

One Million Words

What does it take to become a writer? A million words of practice?  

Ray Bradbury is quoted as saying, “Write a thousand words a day and in three years you’ll be a writer.” 

The truth is I don't feel like a writer. I'm out of practice. A million words is a long way from the 30,000 words I wrote last year. Despite that I'm setting my sites on 1,000,000 words. 

Over the next year, three years?

A thousand words a day seems like a reasonable goal for the New Year!
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” ~Stephen King, On Writing

I'm planning to write a lot this year. I quit my day job to follow through with that plan. Call it burn out, writer's block or pre-menopausal hormones, but I could no longer find the balance between writing all night and working all day.

So I chose my dream job. 

The two most important things every writer needs:
A working spouse. And Health insurance. 

I wrote a business plan. Then tacked my last pay stub to the cork board in my office--gross annual income highlighted--as a reminder of how much money I need to replace those steady pay checks. 

My first book earned more in one royalty check than I earned this entire year.

I don't know what's worse, that I wasted years for the illusion of security.  Or that royalty checks are smaller these days.

Someday I'd like to eat more than my words.  To that end I'll be sharing my venture into self-publishing over the course of this year.

12.21.12 My first day PDJ (Post Day Job). The world didn't end.

Christmas Week PDJ: Took the week off without guilt.

New Years Week PDJ: My "to do" list is three pages long, but I have so much energy and enthusiasm it doesn't phase me. Well, maybe a little. I get up early and go to be late. 

Clean office. Check. Buy new calendars and planners. Check, check. Update superauthors blog. Update website. Check out social media. Check in with friends. And sign up for a free online class at RWA University. All checked off. 

I've written a newsletter and three blogs (all of which took longer than planned). And none of which count toward my million word goal.

Chose my first project: The Frogman, Prince (read more about it in the sidebar).



Some say you should never dust off an old manuscripts. That they're best left under the bed (which is where some of us kept hard copies before flash drives). 

I don't believe this is true. If you're embarrassed at the thought of digging them out, by all means leave them there. Consider them practice and move on. 

But if your characters are calling, what's the harm in taking a look? 

And if after taking a look you think, "Wow, this doesn't suck." Then maybe you have a revisable manuscript. Only you can decide if you're willing to do the work to clean it up. 

In the case of The Frogman, Prince, I'm typing the new draft to addresses the fact that I'm out of practice. I used to average a 1,000 words an hour, but my writing speed has dropped considerably in the last year 

I have my work cut out for me this week to make that word count meter move.  I'll be checking in every Wednesday.  I'm just happy to be doing what I love at last.

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