Wednesday, June 29, 2005

What do you want?

The big questions:

Who am I?
What am I doing here?
What do I want?

I am a big believer in goals. I think that unless you know what you want, you don't stand a chance of getting it. But sometimes, deciding what you want is pure hell. That, and determining the cost/benefit analysis.

One of my goals is that when I die there will be ten people left behind who can honestly say that their lives were better because I was here.

There are others, but that's the biggie. Don't need fame. Fortune would be nice. (REALLY nice). There are all kinds of things I'd like to do (I have a 100 things list of things I want to do before I die). But as an all-purpose, what I want to accomplish on the minimum, that's it.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005


That is me with Onyx (my black cat that I lost a few months ago and still miss terribly).

OK, I'm at work and in a rush AGAIN. Still, things are going better. One day at a time. Happy news coming I think.

Thanks Yolanda! You rock!

Sorry this isn't more.... I dunno, interesting. I promise I'll write more soon. Tomorrow, I hope. Life is just so BUSY!!!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Welcome to the Weekend

We're almost there! WHOO HOO!!! Let's hear it for the weekend.

I had intended to have a big garage sale this weekend. BUT as of yesterday the City decided to tear up my street. SO, if people can't get to the house, they're not going to be going to a garage sale there. SO, I'm rescheduling, probably for next weekend, which is a holiday weekend, which could be either good or bad, I'm not sure which. But either way it leaves me THIS weekend to enjoy.

Talked to my sister yesterday. She had a really lucky break. Terrible wreck on the highway doing 70, (wasn't her fault), and she wasn't even hurt. Even the cops said she should've been killed. We are now looking upward and saying "thanks!"

My sister's brother-in-law died unexpectedly. They think it was pneumonia. The coroner didn't know for sure. It's been a bit of a shock to my brother-in-law. I guess this drives home yet again to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES FOLKS. Pneumonia isn't a wimpy disease. If you feel your chest tightening -- get thee to a doctor. (And yes, that goes for me too. AND before you ask. I'm fine. Only a little lingering cough that comes from the asthma kicking in.)

Anyway, take care of yourselves. Buy books. Be happy.

Oh, and we may be taking part in another anthology. More word on that later.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Characterization and What Makes You Angry?

I was going over a couple things in my life and examining them. A question came up about characterization on one of the boards: Are characters a reflection of you. Do dull people write dull characters.

Define dull.

My answer:

OK this is tricky. Yes and no, not necessarily.

A writer bases their characters on their observations of life. Therefore, your observations combined with your imagination will color every character. So your brightness or dullness will influence, but it doesn't necessarily control. The broader your experience base, the better your chances of having characters that are not just echoes of you, or your first boss, or other real people you've run into.

I will admit that sometimes I have to fight an ongoing prejudice that comes from my own personal experience. For example, my high school days were NOT ecstatically happy. Prom Queen? Not so much. So, I have to be careful not to make the football hero jock guy into the ultimate jerk EVERY time. Yes, some are. Some aren't. There are layer and levels of jerkdom as well. But my first inclination, when writing a jock is to write a world class jerk. But the characters are BETTER if you can get past the surface impressions and prejudices, so that's what I try to do. FINE he's a jerk. Why? Is he being pressured from outside, etc.

Does this make any sense?

My life has taken a turn in adulthood I wouldn't have expected. I have met two SERIOUSLY COOL great guys who were football heroes. One played professionally. The other was just the Prom King in High School kind of football hero. They are two of the best human beings I have ever met. Which has helped me to get past the prejudice somewhat. But like many an old wound, the scar remains, and if you prod it too hard the memory of the pain is almost as intense as the pain itself.

What makes you angry? Here are a couple of mine:

1) Deliberate cruelty. People accidentally hurt each other all the time. It's hard, but it's forgivable. People who deliberately are cruel just to get their jollies chap my hide.

2) Prejudice. Alas, this is mostly unavoidable. Humans are "us and them" kind of creatures. It's how we sort our world. Still, I believe you should TRY to overcome the limits of prejudice.

3) Laziness. OK I'm not talking the "I'm pooped, I need a vacation" laziness that means you sleep in for a weekend or go on a trip. I'm talking the "God did not put me on this earth to work." level of laziness. (Seriously somebody told me that once. I looked at him and said. "Glad to know you know God's plans. So, you're not here to work, why ARE you here? And while you're at it, you might check and see what his purpose for me is." For some reason he wasn't amused. "Well work is fine for YOU.")

4) I'm better than you are attitudes. (See the tail end of the description of #3) OK guys, at times I've worked up to four jobs at a time to support myself and my son. I've cleaned houses, scrubbed toilets, taken care of people's animals, etc. Mostly I've typed. I'm good at it. But my personal take is, if it's honest labor, isn't illegal, immoral, and doesn't hurt anybody, you shouldn't look down on it. No, I personally don't particularly WANT to be a plumber, but I'm damned glad there ARE plumbers, and I expect they make a he** of a lot more money than I do -- AND EARN EVERY PENNY. Ditto trash collectors. I am no better than they just because they chose a different career path.

There was a guy on The Contender: a boxer from East LA, by the name of Sergio Mora. He was talking about how he was trying to change the perception of boxers. He was also talking about the books he's read, things he's learned, etc. The man had a BRAIN. OhmiGOD what a mind! It shone through despite television editing. OK he's a boxer. I'm a writer (and a legal secretary -- whoo hoo). Standard prejudice would make people think I'd be the intellectual. Wrongo. I get the distinct impression I'm not even in this guys class.

Which is why I get pissed by people who do the: "I'd never!" about working at a burger joint or cleaning houses, etc. What you do does not necessarily reflect who you are. Frequently it just reflects your current level of necessity. I have a lot more respect for people who are willing to work hard at a minimum wage job than the people who whine and expect assistance because they can't get that executive position they feel they're entitled to and they think they're too good for anything less. It may put me in the minority, but it's the truth.

Does this reflect in the characters I write? I expect so. Just as my belief that when he said "Judge not lest ye shall be judged." he meant it.

OK I've rambled on long enough. Bored you to tears no doubt. Have a good day anyway. If you feel like it, drop me a comment about what ticks YOU off. I'd really like to know. And, as always, all comments I blog are mine, not Cathy's and may not reflect her views... yadadadadada.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Hi Guys

Hello everybody.

Sleepy today. Don't know if it's the cloudy weather, or just a passing phase, but I'm ready to curl up in a little ball and sleep.

Taking a break for a day or two to get my head on straight. I've been making good progress, so I can afford a day or two.

Hope you are all doing well.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hi Guys

Good Tuesday morning to everyone.

I overslept this morning. I don't do that all that much any more. But today I slept hard and soundly enough to sleep through the alarm. It was 7:00 and the sun was well up and shining brightly when I finally managed to open my eyes. Since I'm usually up at 4:30 or 5:00 this was not good news. No writing. Not enough time to clean up for work, AND I was already late to go walking at 7:00 with my co-author by the time I was able to roll out of bed.

Now this could be either a good thing or a bad thing. Good, in that I finally actually got some real sleep (I've been having insomnia due to a combination of worry, the meds, etc.). Bad, because I get like this when my symptoms are starting to act up. I'm HOPING it's the former not the latter. Time will tell. In the meantime I'm going to be very nice to the old body in hopes of heading off any trouble at the pass.

Read a little bit last night. I'm trying to get romantic and sexual tension going in my head so I can translate it into the book. There's nothing worse than a lifeless relationship between a pair of characters. You can have a wonderful plot, but if the characters don't speak to a reader, they'll drop the book like a hot potato.

Well, gotta run. Real life expects my attention. Go figure.

Have a great day folks.


Saturday, June 18, 2005

Things in General

OK, here goes. James is back in Brady. Job hunting didn't work out in Denver. It caused a bit of a strain. We're working through it. I love him, he's my son. He loves me, I'm his mom. But that doesn't keep us from getting really seriously upset with each other on occasion.

Good news is I got 25 pages done today. Real, actual, probably won't get cut from the mss. pages. Action that needed to happen to include stuff already mentioned in Moon's Web occurred. Romantic arc is progressing (sort of. I'll have to go back and flesh it out more when I'm actually having enough oompfh to create romantic tension). Romance is not my bestest thing, but I'm working on that.

James has applied for 3 jobs (and been told that a fourth place isn't hiring) here in Brady already. One bodes VERY well. Keep all available appendages crossed. He needs to start work as of YESTERDAY.

Well, I'm pooped from the page production, so I'll wrap it up. Send good thoughts my way if you get the chance.


Friday, June 17, 2005

Working Hard

Hi guys!

Rushing a bit this morning. Things in the personal life are being a bit difficult. I'll get past it, but it's hard right now. At least the lungs are starting to clear. I should start being able to sleep through the night soon. (I kept coughing myself awake when the meds would wear off). Stress also has added to the insomnia.

Congrats to Yolanda for finishing up her YA! Attagirl!

Jim, D.T. hope things are going well for you too.

Everybody have a great weekend. Stay in touch.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hi Guys!

Morning D.T., Jim, Yolanda and everyone else who stops by or "lurks." (Somehow that word always makes me think of someone in a dark alley with a black trenchcoat and fedora).

Writing is going well. This is a good thing.
Health still improving. This is a very good thing.

Other stuff is being a pain in the patootie, but I'll get past it.

I do think I'm finally healthy enough to actually mow my yard. This will be of great joy to my neighbors, who have been being very patient while I've been sick. Then there are the inevitable (and innumerable) errands that have to be run. It's sort of like that old car ad about snowflakes. Individually, no problem, but they just have this tendency to gang up on you.

8:00 -- time to get to work. Gotta run.


Monday, June 13, 2005


Hi guys. I'm back from the weekend.

Good news -- I'm THIS CLOSE to being over the chest crud. Just a couple more days of being careful and being a good girl and I should actually be feeling like a real live human being again. (Instead of a poorly animated corpse.) Bad news, being sick is EXPENSIVE. I SO don't recommend it! There are so many more fun ways to spend your money.

Work on the book is going well. Ran into a pisser of a scene though this weekend. Yes, yet again it was a transition scene that gave me fits. Give me action, give me angst, hell, even give me a sex scene and I can probably deal with it. But transitioning is just harder for me. I'm also working to amp up the sexual chemistry between the protagonists. I'm not sure it's working. It's hard to think sexual tension when you're sick. I'm sorry, but you're SO not in the mood. I'll have to edit it when I'm completely well to make sure I captured the tension we need.

Well, off I go to face another week. Miles to go, dragons to slay (actually, more like errands to run, but it doesn't sound nearly as exotic).


Friday, June 10, 2005


New RX must be seriously tough stuff because after 1 dose I am doing better. Not great, but really seriously better. WHOO HOOO.

Got in a lovely e-mail discussion with a fellow author. Basically she is having the same problem a lot of us do. WHEN do you fit the writing in without screwing up the rest of your life. Don't know if my advice will help. Most people don't like it much. It consists of, get up way earlier than everybody else so that they can't interrupt you. Because as much as they want to be supportive, they can't quite "get" it.

Let me try to explain (I may already have talked about this in a blog a long time ago, but if you've seen it before, skip it or bear with me). People who love you want your attention. It's part of loving you. They also don't see why "Honey, where's my ... (insert lost item from wallet to remote)" is a problem. It only takes a second after all. BUT when you are deeply immersed in your fantasy world, planning the fight of the hero/heroine's life against a werewolf or vampire with supernatural speed (hell maybe even bad breath) there is NOTHING quite like the mental grinding of gears that comes with having something completely mundane drop down on your head from on high. There's a rhythm to writing. Break the rhythm, and the writing is choppy, and just doesn't work. Break the rhythm often enough and you can't even get back to the work. The creativity and ideas are just... gone. This is particularly so if you're writing in first person because in first person you are describing things as if you ARE the hero/heroine.

It can also be a little freaky for the person who interrupts you. I was writing a murder mystery -- first person -- hero a middle-aged, male, Hispanic bail bondsman with serious attitude problems. He's just discovered the bodies. My son (probably 6 or 7 at the time) wanders into the room to ask something inane. When I answered him, my body language, tone, choice of words, all were not MOM. TOTALLY weirded him out. (I wasn't mean to him, honest, but according to him it was very much like I was "possessed" and he DIDN'T like it.)

Last but not least, it's FRUSTRATING! It's sort of like the same radar that little kids have about their parents having sex. They can't possibly know, but they KNOW. Otherwise, how can you explain how they interrupt AT THE WORST POSSIBLE INSTANT every single time?

So, I moved my writing to times when nobody is awake or liable to interrupt. It's just safer and better for everyone concerned.

Have a great day folks.


Thursday, June 09, 2005


Good news - Writing is going great. James has a lead on another job. Dad's laser eye treatment went well. Mom's had hers and it appears to have gone well too.

Bad news - I'm headed back to the doc. Bronchitis is no longer getting better. In fact, seems to have gotten worse. Hoping we haven't once again travelled down the road to pneumonia, but it wouldn't be a surprise. Have I mentioned how incredibly much I HATE THIS!!!!!!!!!!! (Add a few more exclamation points -- I can't shout because of my chest -- but you get the general idea).

Amen I say unto you that this sucketh big time.

I am SOOOO ready to be feeling better.

Um, let's change the subject, shall we?

I, (yes me, the queen of noninvolvement in group activities) actually took the time to write an e-mail to the board of the organization I was talking to you about a couple of blogs ago, giving them my opinion on the position they had taken. I was polite, business like, and have since gotten some very nice replies in which they tell me "Yeah, we're working on it. We'll get back to you." Actually one person sounded just a LITTLE bit testy (probably because the group is like 9000 strong and she's gotten hundreds of e-mails) saying that the whole thing had been distorted and blown out of proportion, but that they were working on it and would get back to me.

I wish them luck. They'll need it. They've pushed a major hot button for a lot of people and will be under a lot of scrutiny from the membership for a while. Thing is, I think they had the absolute best of intentions. But trying to dictate morality... that's a job for your church (maybe), not your writer's group.

Anyway, everybody take care. I'll keep you posted. I'm very happy with the book progress. I'm averaging 12 pages a day right now. This is a very good clip for when I'm working a full-time job. YIPPEEE!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hey Guys

Writing is going well. Bronchitis is still in residence, but seems to be diminishing at the moment (We'll have to wait and see how long that lasts). The brouhaha about potential censorship is still brewing at the organization. A lot of people have gotten very offended and are storming off. More are adopting the "wait and find out, but if this is what it LOOKS like it is..." attitude.

James appears to be doing OK, which makes me happy. Not independently wealthy, but hanging in anyway. I'm trying to remind myself not to worry so long as he says he's fine and seems relatively happy.

Actually, not a lot to say, and the book awaits, so... I'm off.

Monday, June 06, 2005


OK, things are getting... interesting. A (very large) group I belong to (which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) is starting to put into place some exclusionary rules that smack strongly of censorship. It seems some folks are offended by the more erotic romances and feel they need to impose their views on others. I hate it. It has, however, given me the first section of a possible new murder mystery:

"Well I NEVER!"

"Which would explain why your so cranky." Melody muttered the words just loud enough for me to hear. I spewed Dr. Pepper across the table, out my nose, and damned near choked I was laughing so hard. Totally inappropriate, it offended the hell out of Ms. Holier-Than-Thou. She stormed off, nose so high in the air an eagle might nest on it. . . . (Not that I am a liberal and anti-censorship or anything...)

Moving on...

The Supreme Court has ruled against Medicinal Marijuana. UGH! OK guys, in my opinion, MEDICINAL drugs are... medicinal. It seems strange to me that if I am in serious pain I can get MAJOR addicting drugs from my physician, but I can't get pot, even if it has never been proved to be addicting and is just as effective and possibly less traumatic to my body.

No, I don't use pot. But I have a condition that frequently results in chronic pain. I have been doing significantly better for about a year now (knock wood). But if it recurs, I would like to at least have the option. But NOPE.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Progress is being made. It's a little rough, but I can always go back and polish it. Editing is a wonderful thing. But I'm extremely relieved that the plot is actually moving forward.

Hope everybody has a great weekend!


Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Good Things

Life is exhausting sometimes. I get caught up in the "gotta do's" and start running like a wild thing from pillar to post trying to accomplish more than is physically possible to do. How many errands can you stuff into one lunch hour? How much can you do in that half hour between when you wake up and have to start getting ready for work? It's counter-productive because you wind up so tired that you've dealt with today's crisis, but you can't prepare and do the things you need to do to make sure there ISN'T a tomorrow's crisis. So the next day you're in the same situation.

At some point you lose all the joy and juice and are just running for your survival.

I hate it.

It's a trap that I've fallen into more often than I would like to say: Dealing with the urgent at the expense of the important. It particularly happens when I get sick -- or I get sick when it happens and I've pushed my body too far. (I think this may be one of the oribus [correct word?] snake-eating-its-own-tail kind of things.)

I need to sit back, slow down, and be grateful for all of the wonderful things in my life. Once I show a little appreciation for what I have, I can enjoy myself and decide what else I want. So, for one week I am going to SLOW DOWN and cut back on some of the extraneous stuff so that I can ride the horse instead of having the horse run wild with me on its back. I think it will help me get the "juice" back in my writing as well. Because the only scenes that have had any life to them this past week or two have been really angsty -- and that's not what I want to have dominate the book.

Posts will probably be shorter than usual. Bear with me.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Welcome to June

Welcome to June. Time is flying by. I have so much to do and so little energy. But today I'm going to try to focus and figure out exactly what steps I need to take to get everything done. Wish me luck!