Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And The Golden Shoe Award Goes To...

Not to keep you in suspense or anything, but before I announce the winner, I would like to say that I loved every entry. Each one would most definitely spark a different story line. I've made some creative friends here, and I thank you all for entering the contest.
My kids had a terrible time choosing because they also loved all the entries. After a great deal of deliberation...oh, who am I kidding...after a great deal of arguing, they finally narrowed it down to two possibilities. They liked Mooch (submitted by Whispering Writer) but felt the poor little guy also needed a last name. And they liked McGee (submitted by Struggling Writer). So my wise fifteen-year-old daughter suggested there be two winners. Thus, the name Mooch McGee was created.
Now, this might have been a problem had I offered a cash prize, but since the winner was only to receive the satisfaction of having named the penguin, I figured there was enough of that to split between the two.
So congratulate Whispering Writer and Struggling Writer, and of course, Mooch McGee. He finally has a name!
Okay, now on to new business. Now that the cute little guy has a name, he needs a story. So let's give him one. The Slumpbuster Challenge begins tomorrow. Check tomorrow's post for details on how it will work. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click on the penguin in my side bar.) I hope you will all join in. I think it will be fun!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Someone Call the Doctor!

I don't feel so good today. I planned on cleaning, but I just don't think I can do it. So I've decided to get in bed with my completed MS, and do a little doctoring of my own. It could use the attention, and I could use the rest.
Maybe we'll both be better off tomorrow.
In the meantime, don't forget that today is the last day to enter the Name The Cute Little Guy Contest. Click on the penguin in my side bar to enter.

Friday, June 26, 2009

In memory of these shoes....

Yesterday, two icons from my childhood passed away.
I'll never forget running around the house pretending to be one of Charlie's Angels. My brother played the part of Bosley. (Yeah, he'd kill me if he knew I told.)
I'll also never forget when my mom won floor seats to a Michael Jackson concert. I wasn't a big fan of his, nor have I ever been, but she made me go with her. As it turned out, I was glad she did. That guy really knew how to put on a show.
My thoughts and prayers go out to both of their families.
On another note, the house across the street finally sold. It's been on the market for three years now. Back then, the housing market in my area was booming. Yet, the house didn't sell. Now, the housing market in my area is almost at a standstill, and it sells. Go figure!
It gives me hope. Despite the state of the publishing industry, all of us writers trying to get published have a chance. If the house across the street from me can sell in this market, perhaps our books can too!
Don't forget to enter your suggestion for the Name the Cute Little Guy contest. Click on the picture of the penguin in my side bar to enter. You have until Monday. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Let's Put Our Shoes Together!

The Omaha Slumpbuster baseball tournament my son played in last weekend has got me thinking. Strange Fiction mentioned in a comment to one of my earlier posts that there seems to be an epidemic of writers in slumps. So I thought we should have a slumpbuster of our own.
We used to play this game at summer camp when I was a kid. One person would start a story with a sentence, and then the person sitting next to her would add another sentence, and so on, and so on. I thought it would be fun for us to write a story together, one sentence at a time. Maybe it would jolt us out of our slumps!
I'd like to start it on July 1 and let it run through the end of the month. I'll have more information on how it will work when the day draws nearer, but for now, first things first.
You may have noticed my cute little penguin guy made his way to my side bar. Yesterday, I realized he had disappeared from my main page, and I just couldn't have that! So there he is, a permanent part of my blog and also the subject of our story. Now, I figure if he's going to be the subject of our story, he should have a name. Don't you think? Since I can't think of one, I am having my very first blog contest ever: Name The Cute Little Guy Contest.
Enter your suggestion in a comment to this post by June 29. The winner (chosen by my three impartial children) will be announced on June 30 and will receive, well, the satisfaction of knowing they named the penguin!
Once cute little guy has a name, we'll start the story! I look forward to seeing what names you creative people come up with!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Decisions! Decisions!

So many to choose from...
I finally realized what's holding me up on my writing. It's called INDECISION! And I'm not talking about deciding whether to wear the mother/wife shoes or the writer shoes. I'm talking about deciding which writer shoes to wear.
Do I wear the editor shoes and work on improving my completed manuscript?
Do I wear the research shoes and find the information I need to continue working on WIP #1?
Or, do I wear the creator shoes and just let my words flow on WIP #2?
Here's the dilemma:
With a little revision, my completed manuscript would be ready for querying again, and since it's complete, of the three projects, it is the closest to coming to fruition. But I have been working on it for so long, I am feeling the need to step away from it for a while.
I am very excited about WIP #1, but I'm not in the mood for doing the research needed to continue working on it. It is also the sequel to my completed manuscript. If the completed manuscript never sells, it will be pretty much impossible to sell the sequel, don't you think? Working on WIP #1 could potentially be a waste of time. (I'm not being negative, just realistic.)
WIP #2 is a stand alone novel, which would not be affected by the sell (or lack thereof) of the completed manuscript, but it is the farthest from completion, and I guess I'm being impatient because I really want to see one of my books in print. The sooner the better!
Here are my options:
Plan A: Put WIP #1 and #2 on hold and work on improving the completed manuscript until it is as good as it can be. Then start querying again. (quickest route to possible publication)
Plan B: Put completed manuscript and WIP #2 aside and buckle up and do the dreaded research. And, of course, hope completed manuscript does eventually sell. (potential waste of time)
Plan C: Put completed manuscript and WIP #1 on the back burner and let my creative juices flow! Who cares if it takes another five years for possible publication? (most conducive to getting some actual writing done)
What's your vote? Or do you have a suggestion for a Plan D?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hmm...Which Shoes to Wear?

I'm barefoot today because I can't decide which shoes to wear.
The shoes I should be wearing are those of wife and mother. The house needs to be cleaned. I need to go to the grocery store. That laundry I mentioned yesterday is still there. The pile is smaller, but it's still there. The dishwasher needs to be unloaded and then reloaded. And so on...
The shoes I want to be wearing are those of a writer. My first novel could use a little attention. My two new projects have been at a standstill for over a week. My synopsis needs a complete overhaul. And my query letter needs some tweaking.
Boy, this writer/wife/mother thing was a lot easier when the kids were still in school! How many weeks are left of summer?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Knee Deep!

In laundry, that is! I don't mean to complain. I did have four days of not having to do it. I didn't have to cook or clean either. Omaha was great in that respect. But the rest was, um, shall we say, A DISASTER! Okay, so now I'm complaining. But I'll try to keep it to a minimum. Thursday: When we arrived at The Carlisle Hotel, I thought to myself: It's just old. I'm sure the rooms are fine. When I waited in line for thirty minutes to check in because the front-desk employee was out having a smoke break, I thought to myself: I guess I'm not in any hurry. When said front-desk employee returned and looked up at me with a toothless smile, I thought to myself: Poor girl. She can't afford a dentist. When I crawled into bed and noticed a large brown stain on the sheets, I thought to myself: I'll just call housekeeping and ask for new sheets. When I went to make the call and couldn't because the phone had no cord, I thought to myself: I'll go down and ask for the sheets. Friday: When I went to make coffee in the little miniature coffee maker and couldn't because the pot had no handle, I thought to myself: I'll get some at the gas station. I can live with gas station coffee for a couple of days. When we got caught in a torrential downpour and our clothes were sopping wet, I thought to myself: At least I'm not sitting in the sweltering heat. When all of Friday's games got cancelled because of the rain, I thought to myself: There is an Irish Pub around the corner. When I went to dry our sopping wet clothes in the hotel laundry room and found the floor covered in two inches of water, I thought to myself: I'll hang them to dry and then go to the Irish Pub. Saturday: When nine people had to pile into my seven passenger vehicle because someone's husband had accidentally left her stranded at the hotel with no keys, I thought to myself: Well, if I get pulled over, I'm sure the jail cell will be nicer than the hotel room. When my son's Gatorade spilled in his bat bag and soaked his equipment with sticky purple liquid, I thought to myself: It's a hundred degrees and sunny. It'll dry out quickly. When Cameron's team lost their second game 17 to 1 (ouch!) and were out of the tournament, I thought to myself: Well, I guess we can go to the zoo tomorrow. Sunday: When we were checking out of the hotel, and our cooler on wheels tipped over covering the lobby floor with icy water and spewing pop cans, I thought to myself: I'll never see these people again. Besides, the floor could use a good mopping anyway. When my kids made me get on the sky ride at the zoo, I thought to myself: We're all going to die, but at least I'm facing my fears. When we were finally on the road back home, I thought to myself: I survived. See, it wasn't that bad. But then I looked down and saw this flashing warning signal on the dashboard. I had no idea what it was warning me about and thought to myself: At least I have On Star roadside assistance.

Okay, so I wasn't really thinking all of those positive thoughts, but if I told you what I was really thinking, my blog would probably get kicked off the Internet.

And one final thought: When I heard my son's bat hit the ball and watched it go right in the hole, I thought to myself: The Omaha Slumpbuster did live up to it's name. Cameron's hitting again. It was all worth it!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vacation Time!

Well, sort of... We aren't going to the beach as this picture suggests. And it's not really a vacation. We're only going to Omaha for my eleven-year-old's baseball tournament. But my kids think it's a vacation--we are staying in a hotel, and the hotel does have a swimming pool. I think of it more as three days in the sweltering heat listening to umps yell things like: "STRIKE ONE!" or "HE'S OUT A THERE!" and of course the occasional "COME ON UMP! GET SOME GLASSES!" from the coaches. Fun times, fun times! I am also hoping to hear the crack of my son's bat against the ball and to watch that ball go over the fence. Okay, I'd settle for a line drive right in the hole. You see, he's been in somewhat of a hitting slump. But I admire him, though. He keeps his chin up and never gives up! That's how I want to be. Another lesson learned from my children. Wish Cameron (or Cam as he likes to be called now) luck. I think he has a shot. The name of the tournament is The Omaha Slumpbuster, after all. Let's hope it lives up to it's name!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Put On Your Walking Shoes!

These doggie walking shoes have absolutely nothing to do with writing. (Of course by the end of this post, you never know, they might.) What they have to do with is a strong, courageous, and determined woman who I am thrilled to have had the pleasure to get to know.
Debra Lewis is fighting cancer for the second time around. Her story can be read on her blog http://thekclewisfamily.blogspot.com/. Every year Deb puts together a team for The Kansas City Race for the cure (a local charity walk-a-thon). This year, she has also decided to do, I guess what you could call, a "virtual" walk for the cure. Here is the email she sent and asked everyone to forward:
Help us fight breast cancer with only $1!! Please read on... and forward to everyone you know!! Debra's Circle of Friends is once again raising money for our team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Kansas City on Sunday, August 9th. Last year we raised over $5,000. This year we are embarking on a new journey.... to raise funds to end breast cancer, $1 at a time! With the economy the way it is, I wanted to find a way to raise funds this year without having to ask people for big donations. So, I thought it would be fun for me and the boys to try to raise more money than last year by doing it $1 at a time. Please help us out by doing the following: 1. Send $1.00 (to be donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation) to Debra Lewis, 16141 S. Raintree Dr., Olathe KS 66062 2. Forward this email on to everyone in your address book asking them to send $1.00 to us for the Susan G. Komen foundation (and have them forward the email on to everyone in their address book). All money will be donated under team name, Debra's Circle of Friends for the Kansas City Race on August 9th, 2009. Please have all money sent in by race day, August 9th! We hope this email gets forwarded many, many times! Please keep it going! We know that we can beat our $5,000 raised from last year with your help! Thank you! Debra A little update on me: I am currently still undergoing treatment for my recurrence of breast cancer which showed up in my lungs in December of 2007. All is going well. The tumors are very small and stable. I am taking the summer off (partially) from treatment. Our hopes are that the tumors stay small and unchanged during this time. So far I am 8 weeks off chemo and no change! I am looking forward to spending lots of time with my family and friends this summer! "When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift, thrown away. Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!" author unknown
I wanted to pass this on to my lovely followers (all 5 of you) and my visitors (hopefully, all 2,000 of you). Deb truly is a lovely lady, and maybe we could all take a moment to see what it's like to walk in her shoes. Feel free to copy and paste her email and forward to all your friends and family, or mention it in your own blog. Deb would be very appreciative!
Hmm...nope, no tie-in to writing. Weird, huh?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Most Uncomfortable Shoes Ever!

These shoes may also come in as a close second for ugliest shoes ever, but they definitely take first for uncomfortable, perhaps even painful!
This spurred me to think about what part of the writing process has been most uncomfortable or most painful for me. What shoes have I had to wear that I wish I hadn't? Well, I guess the obvious answer would be the shoes of the rejected. These were definitely painful! But when I think of uncomfortable, I think of first telling someone that I've written a book. One such instance just occurred this past weekend, thanks to my mom. Don't take this the wrong way, Mom, but you really need to learn to keep your mouth shut! (I'm only kidding. I know you are just proud of me, and I appreciate it!)
Here's how I feel when I first tell someone:
Butterflies are going crazy. My face feels hot, and my hands get clammy. Are they going to think I am crazy, weird, too hopeful? The bottom line is: I'm a nervous wreck!
Here's how they react:
"What? You wrote a book? Wow! That's amazing! You actually finished it? I'm impressed! I'm proud of you! I want to read it!"
So why does telling them make me so uncomfortable? Well, I guess because I feel like, now that they know, they are all waiting to see if I succeed or fail. That's the part that makes me so uncomfortable.
So what about you? What part of the writing process is most uncomfortable for you?

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Ugliest Shoes Ever!

That was the caption on this photo. I'd have to agree, but I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder! The person wearing them must like them, right?
My friend recommended this book for me to read. I won't mention the title or author. (As usual, I don't want to offend anyone.) She loved the book, and we typically have the same taste when it comes to literature. So I thought for sure I'd like it, too. But I don't. I have been trying to get into it for over a month now, and I just can't. I have always finished every book I have ever started reading, but I'm not sure I will be able to finish this one. I'm only on page 128, and there are over 600 pages. The print is tiny, too. According to my calculations, it must be over 250,000 words. That's a lot of words! Especially when many of them are unnecessary adverbs and adjectives, and the voice is completely unbelievable.
My point is this, and I've made it before, the publishing industry (and apparently the shoe industry) is a highly subjective business. The author liked the book. An agent liked the book. A publisher liked the book. And some readers (like my friend) liked the book. I am curious, though, how many times was the manuscript rejected before it found its home?
I'd also really like to know how many times the design for these shoes was rejected before it found its home! The good news is that if these shoes can get manufactured, surely my book can get published!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cute little guy, isn't he? A penguin with shoes! It doesn't get much better than that! I was so excited when I came across this picture. When I was twelve, I collected things with penguins on them. Yeah, I know it's weird, but it's true. I was fascinated by the waddling creatures.
As I've mentioned in a previous post, I also loved writing poetry. I already shared my poem, Piano Man. So, now I'll share my poem, A Penguin to Fly. As you are reading, please keep in mind I was only twelve when I wrote it.
Formally dressed in black and white
He knew it wasn't fair, nor was it right
He wobbled with his head held high
Wistfully awaiting the day he could fly
He could swim, he could slide
He could slip and he could glide
But he had yet to fly and soar
Though he had so much, he still wanted more
He tried and he tried till the day grew old
He kept trying still as the night grew cold
He didn't care about the dark or the chill
For to fly, he would try and try still
Though we all know he will never fly
He won't give up, again he will try
He'll try his hardest till he reaches his goal
Down there, near the South Pole
Now, you knew this part was coming--the part where I relate the penguin to my writing. Well, I'm glad I'm not that penguin. Because some day, I'm going to fly!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Name! New Look! New Pair of Shoes!

Yesterday, my blog went under a slight overhaul. "Why?" you may ask. Because it needed it! For those of you visiting for the first time, my old blog looked just like Nathan Bransford's (only without the 1000 plus followers and zillions of comments). Now, no offense, Nathan, but it was, shall we say, BORING! I know this new look isn't perfect--web design really isn't my strong suit--but it is better, wouldn't you agree?
Now as far as the new name goes, well, it's just a better fit. (No pun intended.) LCcanwrite2, the old name, is more appropriate for another project I am working on. Details will be forthcoming when they become available. A Walk In My Shoes seems perfect for this blog. When we post, aren't we really sharing what it's like to be us? Don't we really want others to see, for however brief a moment, what it feels like to walk in our shoes?
There's also my theory that shoes have the power to dictate your mood. Or, perhaps, your mood dictates what shoes you decide to wear on any given day. Either way, the two go hand in hand. From now on, my posts will come with pictures of shoes. They could be my shoes (today's are not--I do not own any pink shoes); they could be my kids shoes; or they might be shoes I wish I was brave enough to wear. It probably will just depend on my mood!
Today, I am wearing a brand new pair of shoes (metaphorically speaking). What kind of shoes are you wearing?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where Do You Write?

Okay, so I know this is going to sound crazy, and it probably is, but I do my best work in the garage with pen and paper. I have a home office with a built-in desk and a relatively new computer, and yet I choose the garage with a notepad. Hm...strange perhaps, but it works for me. First of all, it's a place to escape from the noise and chaos that typically abounds inside my house. I've tried the bedroom, the basement, even the bathroom, and it seems there is nowhere inside to get away from the noise, whether it be the television, the phone, the radio, or even fighting children. The garage offers the privacy and solitude I need to let my words flow. Second, writing things out on paper before actually typing it on the computer allows for a quick edit. Here's how it works: I write a scene in my notebook, kick my kids off the computer, and then type the scene. More often than not, what winds up in the word doc is different than what is written in my notebook. Wa La...first edit already done! Now, you may think writing the scene twice is a waste of time, but if it works for me, who cares? The problem is, though, it hasn't been working out so well lately. There was just too much junk in the garage, at least until last night. I took advantage of my kids' boredom and made them help me clean it out. Today, I wrote several pages (they haven't made it to the computer yet, but at least they're written), and I even had time to blog. My system seems to be working again! So, what about you? Do you have a strange location where you like to write? Or perhaps you have an odd idiosyncrasy that helps you work? Maybe an unconventional method? Please share, I'd love to hear about it!