Saturday, September 30, 2006

Write It Again

Amazingly enough, I've gathered the courage to enter another round of the Avon Fan Lit chapter. My first entry was for chapter 1, and it ranked 61 out of 513. I opted out of the second round. My new chapter is for the third round, and I think it's quite a bit stronger than the first one.

Here's something that puzzles me. When you enter a chapter, there is a place to see the latest rating your chapter has received. Ratings run from 0 to 5, and apparently I give higher scores than other people do. If the writing is good, I give nothing lower than a 3. I'm fairly certain my writing is solid and in some cases (I hope) funny, so it confuses me to see scores of 1, 1.5, and 2.

There's a place for people to comment, but my comments are largely positive, so I don't know why some people score it low.

Oh, well. I'm going to try and be less obsessive about checking scores this time around. Wish me luck!

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Being Brave

After a lot of internal debate, I decided to enter the Avon Fan Lit contest. I just uploaded my chapter and it's ready for rating. Putting your work out there is always a bit anxiety-inducing. In this case, it's more so because of the sheer number of people who can read and rate it. It's gotten a couple of comments so far, both more positive than negative. We'll see how this goes.

I was feeling a bit awkward about whether to let people know about it. I've never been fond of the "click here and vote for me" approach to things because it feels too much like a popularity contest. But once I finalized my entry, I ended up at a page allowing me to invite 25 friends to read and rate it. This levels the playing field somewhat, so I decided to announce it. I've invited about 10 people so far, so if you're interested in taking a look, send me a message with your e-mail address and I'll send one of the remaining invitations to you.

The subject line of this blog comes from my niece, who more than once has said, "Be brave." I think she got it from Scooby-Doo. It was pretty cute when she said it, and it's good advice too.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Two Weeks

It's been nearly two weeks since my doctor visit and a little more than two weeks since I started exercising again. I started out by walking, but now that it's getting dark earlier, I've been doing exercise videos. So far, I'm enjoying the cardio dance ones. From past experience, I know that kick boxing ones get my heart rate a bit too high. (And that's a serious understatement.) If you know of any good dance cardio videos, feel free to suggest them.

I haven't weighed myself and don't plan to. First of all, I don't have a scale. Second, my doctor asked me to avoid the self-weighing thing. We'll see how it's going at my next appointment at the end of October.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is coming up in November. The goal is to write 50,000 words that month. I'm planning to do it again this year. I've joined Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld Writing Group (OWG), and she's got several helpful outlining exercises I want to do. My outline saved me last year, so I've got to get going on one for this year's story. Several people at the OWG are participating in NaNoWriMo, so that will help with the motivation. We'll be the NaNoWriMo Pack. :)

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Writers are often asked where they get their ideas. I had an interesting experience with this on Sunday, when I was talking to my nieces and nephew, who are 8, 11, and 15. They know I'm a writer, and although we don't talk in extensive detail about my books--I certainly wouldn't let the kiddos read my very adult stories--they do ask what I'm writing. It's kind of cute.

Anyway, I was talking with my 11-year-old niece about the story I want to write for NaNoWriMo this year in November. I was speaking about it in very general terms, as I always do with the kids: it's a futuristic about a heroine who is a former criminal and wants to turn her life around, etc. So she pipes up with, "I have an idea." I was expecting to hear one of her more fantastic ideas, such as the ones she's given me in the past. Instead, she says, "Why don't you have her sister be a criminal still so they have to fight?"

Huh, I thought. Why not, indeed?

It's a simplistic concept, as one might expect from an 11-year-old, and it may turn out to be another family member rather than a sister, but still . . . it's got definite possibilities.

Writers get ideas from everything around them, even from 11-year-old nieces.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Laboring Away

Yes, it's Labor Day, and I'm laboring away! It's been almost a week since my doctor appointment, and I'm more than a week into my exercise routine. I'm starting small, with 15-20 minutes a day, which is basically what the doctor recommended. Oh, he did say not to drink alcohol, but that's not a problem, since I don't anyway. One less thing to worry about quitting.

I'm making small progress on the writing front. I've finally sent The Seventh Sense off to my critiquer. I was hoping to revise it a little first, but I've passed the point of objectivity, and I can trust Jana to tell me what more the story needs.

I'm now working on Tony's story, and have set a personal goal to finish it by September 15.

Also, after a great deal of resistance, I decided to join MySpace! Visit my page at And feel free to add me as a friend.

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