Thursday, March 30, 2006

It's All about Cobblestone

It's a Cobblestone Press kind of week. After more revisions, I submitted Between Floors for consideration. I sent it last night, so I haven't heard yet and won't be surprised if it takes a week to hear either way. I hope they'll accept the story, but I will treat myself to a consolation prize if they don't.

I got my edits for Office Relations today. My editor Leanne called it a "clean manuscript," a compliment I appreciate since I write and edit for my day job. She still had some excellent comments and caught a number of things I'd missed. Bless her! I appreciate the help in making the story as good as it can be.

I noticed a couple of things I can work on--first, I need to get away from those wandering eyes. Someone's gaze can move freely, but the eyes shouldn't. Yikes! This is something I'll watch for in future stories.

Another common issue was using actions that contradict each other--for example, one character puts his hands on a desk at the same time he gestures to a chair. Uh . . . no. In many cases, this happens because my writing process is first to write, then to revise the story significantly. During the revision process, I end up with contradicting actions. Again, this is something I really appreciate my editor catching, but it's something I can watch for as well.

In any case, I will send back my edits later this evening.

And in my last piece of CP news, they shared a series idea with all of their contracted authors and invited us to send a story proposal. I came up with an idea very quickly, submitted the idea, and got the green light. It's not an automatic acceptance since they don't contract stories unless they have a complete manuscript, but I'm very excited about the concept and have already started writing. For now, I'm writing it as a first person story; we'll see if that changes later. It's a fun challenge.

Monday, March 27, 2006


I just finished Between Floors and have sent it to a test reader and an editor I found through Romance Divas who also has an editing/critiquing service. I've heard good things about this editor, so I decided to try her critiquing service. I've heard from several people that it's good to have critique partners or critique groups, but my schedule is so hectic that I don't feel I could do someone else's work justice. However, like every writer, I can use an editor. So I'm looking forward to seeing how this works.

I can't tell you how glad I am to have finished Between Floors. I've lost objectivity on this story and learned a very important lesson--there's a reason I usually go back and forth between stories. When I don't, I get way too bogged down in the one story. Alternating works much better for me; when I get tired of one, I move on to the next.

This basically solves my question of what to work on next. I'll work on The House Party for a while, then start Tavia's story, and keep going back and forth. This process works much, much better for me.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Closing In

I'm closing in on the end of my latest story--working title: Between Floors. I'm thinking of submitting it to Cobblestone, but I need to have some test readers look at it first. I should finish it tomorrow and send it off. It will be nice to move to another story.

Now, I have to decide what story to work on next. One of my goals this month was to revise chapters four through nine of In Her Eyes, so that's what I'll do. After that, then I need to decide whether to start Tavia's story or go back to The House Party.

I have joined Michelle Rowen's group, the Write-Ons. Each of us is striving to finish a book by August. I'd like to do The House Party, but it's slated to be about 30,000 words instead of a full-length novel. I've begun to plot Tavia's story, but I haven't gotten very far. It's not coming together yet--I don't even know what the hero's name is.

In any case, I'll figure that out in a week or so, and then I'll have plenty of writing to do.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Which Came First . . .

I'm blogging at the Cobblestone Press blog today. I hope you'll stop by and check it out! Feel free to join the discussion.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Office Relations Cover

I got the cover today for Office Relations, and it's got me stunned almost speechless.

I had a great deal of faith in the Cobblestone Press' art department, but this is still so much better than I'd imagined, and definitely better than the idea I suggested. I love, love, love it.

Friday, March 17, 2006


I watched the latest version of Pride & Prejudice tonight. Spoilers are ahead, so if you haven't seen the movie and don't want to know anything about it, stop reading now. Anyway, the first time I saw it was in the theatre, my heart turned over in my chest in the scene where Mr. Darcy walks toward Elizabeth in the morning mist. When I bought the DVD, I wondered if I would have the same reaction watching it again.

I did.

It's such a terrific moment, and as the credits rolled, I thought about why. The scene is beautifully filmed. The scenery is awe-inspiring. The clothes are perfect--I practically swoon over Mr. Darcy in that long jacket. And, of course, the acting is wonderful. But what makes that moment so wonderful isn't all of the things I've just listed. It's also because of what happened in the story before this moment.

It's because of everything Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth experience in their journey together that the scene not only works but has an emotional impact. If the moment in the mist had been the first part of the movie, I would have noticed the beautiful filming, awe-inspiring scenery, clothes, and acting, but the scene wouldn't have had the same emotional punch.

I'm working on a story now, and I've been considering how best to strengthen the characters and lengthen the story for possible submission. Tonight it hit me. My story has a moment at the end of the book. It's not Mr. Darcy striding across the meadow, but it's a scene with potential emotional impact. The best way to meet my goals for this story of improved characterization and increased length is to evaluate what happens in the story before that scene. What journey of the characters will bring them to that scene?

In other words, I need to make sure the story earns the moment, earns that final emotional punch.

I love making realizations like this.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Writing Meme

I didn't plan the results, I swear.

You Should Be a Romance Novelist

You see the world as it should be, and this goes double for all matters of the heart.
You can find the romance in any situation, and you would make a talented romance story writer...
And while you may be a traditional romantic, you're just as likely to be drawn to quirky or dark love stories.
As long as it deals with infatuation, heartbreak, and soulmates - you could write it.
What Type of Writer Should You Be?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Back to Writing

Every writer has a source for his writing, a deep, hidden well that he draws from to create.
--Alan Lightman

Lightman's quote has been true for me--on occasion I wonder if I will run out of ideas, but something else always comes to me before I worry too much about it. I wrote again tonight for the first time since hearing the news about Office Relations. I've been busy filling out forms for Cobblestone Press so I can be assigned an editor and have a cover started. Tonight I went back to Sean and Chloe's story. It's good to get back to writing.

I'm still feeling giddy about my Cobblestone contract. In fact, I'm a little too captivated by the CP banner I posted below. If I'm this way now, I'm sure I will be downright obsessive about my cover. I'll post it when I receive it.

Thank you all so much for your congratulations and good wishes. They mean a lot to me. :)

Monday, March 13, 2006

No Consolation Prize Required

The only reward I look forward to is seeing the finished piece of writing in hand.
--Erskine Caldwell

Well, I had my consolation prize all picked out, and it turns out I don't need it. I just received an offer from Cobblestone Press for Office Relations. As you might imagine, I'm thrilled by the acceptance. I'm so excited to see Peter and Sabrina's story in print! Well, in print as an e-book, but you know what I mean. :)

I've already returned the contract and now look forward to filling out the cover art form. I imagine there will also be some edits to the story before its final acceptance. For now, though, I'm just going to enjoy the feeling! And get back to writing . . .

Saturday, March 11, 2006

If at First . . .

The great thing about revision is that it's your opportunity to fake being brilliant.
--Will Shetterly

I revised Office Relations with some suggestions I received from an editor. The story is quite a bit stronger, and I've submitted it to Cobblestone Press. I am so impressed with this publisher. I attended an online chat with the two founders and found them to be very down to earth and approachable. I also love the look of their site and the covers they have done so far. I would love for Office Relations to find a home there.

I haven't picked out a consolation prize yet. I received the got plot? shirt (my previous consolation prize) this week and wore it yesterday. I'll come up with something good to get for myself if the story is not accepted.

I'm going back to In Her Eyes. I've revised the first three chapters more times than I can count. It's time to move on to chapters four through six. LOL!

Monday, March 06, 2006


I'm very excited about my new website! I think the designer did a terrific job, and it's very easy to update. I hope you'll enter my contest. I promise not to deluge you with e-mail. I'll only send a message when I have news to announce.

I found an interesting article about hooks, and I thought I'd share it. The article is called How to Hook Your Readers Right from the Start. Hope you enjoy it!

In writing news, I'm back to editing Office Relations. An online friend has taken a look at it and given me some good feedback. The only trouble is that my edits are making the story shorter. LOL! Ultimately, my changes will result in a stronger story, but I want to make sure it's at least 10,000 words when I'm finished. After this round of edits, I'm submitting the story somewhere else and moving on. Sean and Chloe are waiting impatiently for me to get back to them.

Name: Lia
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