on October 24, 2009

I know this title is confusing, but it’ll make sense in a minute. And for the record, this is a POSITIVE blog.

I received feedback on the first three chapters of my WIP this week, and the information was encouraging and enlightening. There were observations I’ve never heard before, which was great. And much of it confirmed issues I’ve been feeling but couldn’t pin down.

Imagine the opportunity to climb into the mind of a top editor, read their thought processes, understand what they’re looking for, and receive tips on how to achieve what it is you want to create. So many authors write in a bubble then submit, get rejected, and never really know why. I’ve been fortunate to learn now why I would be rejected and what I need that I’m missing.

What I’ve also figured out is that LETTING GO as it is now, the plot and conflict I’ve created, is not a viable story. At least not to be a Single Title Contemporary, which is what I want to write.

I’m not completely giving up on Bryan and Celi and I already have some ideas to transform the story. But for now, I’m moving on. I’ve had several story ideas pop into my head in the last couple years, all of which I’ve pushed to the back until I could finish this first WIP. It’s time to give those stories a chance.

I’m now plotting and developing a new story in preparation for NaNo. It’s set in a small town high school in Ohio (no resemblance to Glee) and comes ready-made with great built-in conflict. I’m excited about starting something new and look forward to making it shine.

Thank you to everyone who visits this blog and cheers me on in this crazy endeavor. And thank you for loving my characters and always having something sweet to say about my writing. As I always say, you can never have too much sunshine shot up your…tookus.

Your turn to share. Anything you’ve given up that you realized you should have let go of a long time ago? Ever have that liberating feeling? Anyone jumping into something new and exciting?

And They Meet Again

on September 14, 2009

First, I have to correct something. And I’m amazed Hellie didn’t correct me sooner. The character in The Holiday is named Arthur, not Walter. You’d think I’d know better than to rely on my memory at this point. Sheesh.

So, I’ve been revising the first three chapter of the WIP to send off to the writing coach by the 25th. There’s no way I can have this final-draft ready by then, but I’m sure as heck not sending her first draft crappola either. The beginning was tough, but I’m enjoying it a bit more now. Cutting things is getting easier, and what I’m adding is more powerful and maintains the quick pace I like. I think it does anyway.

So tonight I reached one of my favorite parts, the second encounter. Celi gets the last word in this one, but the entire exchange is fun. That’s one of the great parts about writing these argument scenes, you can take time to come up with that perfect comeback you’d never be able to think of on the spot in real life.

So, I give you, the next, slightly less painful (for Celi anyway) encounter…


One word pegged Celi against the door with the accuracy of a knife thrower. Yellow-green eyes reflected her own surprise and ignited half a dozen conflicting emotions. The traitorous tremor of excitement at seeing him again being the most unsettling.

Forgetting the fact she’d been admiring his ass less than thirty seconds ago and that he’d just carried a chair into the apartment behind him, Celi said the first thing that came to mind. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“Moving in.” The man stood with his feet planted wide, shoulders back and hands in fists at his sides.

As if her brain refused to accept the obvious Celi pointed over his shoulder and asked, “In there?”

“No, downstairs. I just thought I’d haul all my crap up here first.” His southern drawl stronger than she remembered, he shifted his weight from one foot to the other and pointed out another obvious fact. “I guess this means we’re neighbors. Lucky me.”

Between the pain in her hip, the now thumping pain in her head and Mr. pain-in-the-ass, Celi failed to come up with a snappy comeback. She’d probably think of one by Monday.

How she’d missed the size of him last night she didn’t know. Celi stood at 5 foot 10 so jerk boy had to be a good bit over 6 feet. A wall of muscle, his shoulders went on forever, filling the doorway behind him like a curtain. His tattered University of Alabama t-shirt appeared to have lost its sleeves long ago, the tattoo on his left bicep looked tribal, and he was no stranger to the sun if his tan skin and sun streaked hair were any indication.

Once she’d taken him in from head to toe her eyes moved back to his face to find a smug grin and one brow raised nearly to his hairline. That damn look again. The comeback showed up sooner than expected. “Yes, lucky me. I always wanted an idiot for a neighbor. Let’s just hope we can manage not to run into each. Or should I say run over?”

“As long as one of us watches where she’s going I’m sure we’ll be fine.” He’d emphasized the word “she’s” and his accent turned “fine” into a two syllable word.

The nerve. “Listen, Mr. Alabama, I don’t know what your problem is but I’d say our best bet is to stay as far away from each other as possible. Now if you’ll be so kind as to get out of my way, I’ll start that distance thing right now.”

Stepping back to let her through he said, “I don’t have a problem Miss stick-up-my-ass and how do you know I’m from Alabama?”

Celi started down the steps throwing a response over her shoulder without looking back. “I’d suggest you read your shirt but maybe that’s more than you can handle. When you’re done bench pressing that furniture you might want to pick up a book.”

Block head may have had some snappy come back but whatever he said was drowned out by the sound of Miranda’s horn. Celi would never complain about Miranda’s honking again.

As you can probably figure out, it’s mentioned that his shirt says UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA before we get to this part. Now it’s onto the ball field and then to the bar for encounter number three. That one involves alcohol and leads to a much funnier encounter number four. Nothing more romantic than a drunk woman wiping her nose on her sleeve, right?

The Meet Cute

on September 4, 2009

If you’ve ever watched The Holiday (and if you haven’t you must watch it ASAP!) you might remember Walter telling Iris how all the best classic films started with a meet cute. That cute, usually funny, totally random moment of coincidence when the hero and heroine meet. The moment that marks the beginning of their journey to their very own HEA.

Since I am a fan of the meet cute, in movies or books, it should come as no surprise that I’ve made an effort to create a meet cute in my WIP. Mine includes a close call, an exchange of insults, plenty of sarcasm (since that’s an ingredient I can’t seem to shake), and a touch of attraction. Unwelcome attraction, but attraction all the same.

To set this up, Bryan has just nearly run over Celi in her apartment complex parking lot. For the record, and because Bryan would never forgive me if I don’t make this clear, it’s completely Celi’s fault.

Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.
Heart racing out of his chest, Bryan ignored the rocks digging into his skin as he knelt over the woman he might have just killed. Her eyes were closed, her body still. Only when her breath brushed his cheek did Bryan realize he’d been holding his own.
She’s alive.
A glance down the length of her body revealed a magazine open across one leg and a scattering of white envelopes, but no blood or obvious broken bones. A head injury would be hard to determine through the mass of chestnut curls spread across the pavement.
Reaching to move those curls brought him nose to nose with the woman and Bryan nearly jumped to his feet when her eyes flew open. Staring into blues eyes the color of the sky before a storm, his heart not only stopped racing; it stopped completely.
“Am I still alive?” she asked calmly.
“It seems that way.”
The woman made an effort to sit up; groaned and laid back. Looking up to the sky once more she said, “Where the hell did that car come from? It almost killed me.”
Adrenaline still pumping, fear for her life changed to irritation at the idea this was somehow his fault. Bryan sat back on his heels. “Where did I come from? Where did you come from? I only almost killed you because you walked out in front of me.”
“You’re the idiot that almost ran me over?” she asked raising her head as far off the ground as she could without getting up. Her eyes grew darker and a wrinkle appeared between her brows.
“Idiot?” She called him an idiot. Amazing. “I’m the idiot? You walked out in front of me. You’re lucky I was able to stop at all.” Talk about ungrateful.
“Lucky? I’m the one laying on the ground and I’m the lucky one?”
Bryan raised his voice to match hers. “You’re only laying on the ground because you walked in front of a moving car. You never even looked. How can that be my fault?”
Sure he couldn’t get any angrier, the banshee proved him wrong with her next statement.
“Of course, nothing could be your fault. Typical male.”

Needless to say, the scene goes down hill from here. Celi comes out of it with a broken cell phone, a broken heel (on her shoe), and a badly bruised hip. Bryan comes out of it with a damaged ego, a good dose of frustration, and pity for the man who ends up with this crazy woman. Ha! Little does he know.

This is one of the few scenes to survive the great deletion of 2008. I’m glad it did. I kind of like it. A furious exchange of insults is something with which I’m well acquainted.

Next time, we’ll move to the second run-in. Right now, I’m working very hard to turn my limited POV into deep POV. Wish me luck.

The Introduction

on August 22, 2009

I promised a sneak peak at LETTING GO, my first attempt at a Romance novel, and I’m here to deliver. I give you, the summary.

Sometimes what you think you want isn’t necessarily what you need. And sometimes what you need, doesn’t just land in your lap, it knocks you on your ass.

The one thing Celi Cooper wants is to be taken seriously by her boss. The last thing she wants is to become the victim of a hit-n-run. Unfortunately for her, she gets both. Though she survives the hit and the guy doesn’t really run, she wishes he had. Not only is the man infuriating, he’s her new neighbor and hot to boot. So when her boss assigns her an account all her own, Celi’s life is flipped upside down when the client turns out to be the stranger seemingly sent to do her in.

Bryan Riggs is determined to open his own restaurant and fulfill a promise. He knows his food will win over the customers, but first he has to get them in the door. For that, he needs help, but the last person he wants to work with is the crazy neighbor who won’t stay out of his way or his thoughts. With no other option and a truce in place, Bryan sets out to open his restaurant and ends up opening his heart.

In a story about headaches, heartaches and the ultimate healing, two damaged people go from enemies to friends to lovers. But if they’re ever going to find that elusive happily ever after, both will have to let go of the past and put their heart in someone else’s hands.

This is a brief introduction to my story. It’s rough and thrown together, much like my characters, but gives a pretty good summation of what this story is about.

To go a little more in depth:
Celi has abandonment issues. Men, starting with her father, have a habit of walking away from her and never looking back. As you can imagine, this doesn’t do much for a girl’s self-esteem.

One years ago, Bryan was engaged, picking out rings, and planning the rest of his life with the woman he loved. But in a split second, all that was taken away and the only thing he has left is the dream they shared of opening a restaurant.

Celi has no intention of ever giving another man the chance to walk away.

Bryan has no intention of taking the chance of loving and losing again.

Celi needs to make the launch of Bryan’s restaurant the biggest splash the town has ever seen in order to convince her boss she deserves a promotion.

Bryan needs his restaurant to be a success or he’ll not only lose his future, he’ll lose everything he has.

This seems like the perfect situation for them both. But, life is never quite that simple, now is it?