Thursday, October 30, 2008


I stayed up late last night working on Eternity 4 (which really needs a real title). I took a couple of Tylenol PM's to help me sleep and they only worked for about four hours. I was awake a little before 4AM tossing and turning. Dozed off and on until the alarm around seven.

So stop with the whining... *cackle*

Any way, I met with Delilah Devlin online at nine for timed writing. We did a little brainstorming and voila! I have a plot for NaNo. I did a rough synopsis--almost an outline--and sent it to her. She thinks it'll fly. I think it'll fly. So I now have a NaNo plot. However....

I'm still making progress on Eternity 4! And I don't want to stop now! I'd be crazy to. If I can finish this and get it into EC, I'll have three submissions while I work on NaNo. So I put away the NaNo plot and kept plugging away at E4. I really wanted a nap this afternoon but I wouldn't let myself until I had at least 2k on E4. Since I'd spent a good part of the morning on the NaNo, the nap didn't happen. However, I'm wrapping up for now--probably for the day but I won't say that for sure--and I hit 3561 on E4. Add the 1061 I wrote on the NaNo outline, my word count today is 4622! Awesome!

And I think they were good words. Sometimes I get on a roll only to realize later I wrote a bunch of crapola. *cackle*

So the E4 meter, please.... *drum roll*

Eternity 4(Target Ellora's Cave)

I'm going to chill out for a little while. I might write some more later but for now, I need to get my butt out of this chair. I think it's gone to sleep...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Plot Blockage!

ARGH! I can't wrap my brain around my NaNo plot! I finally gave up this afternoon and worked on an old work in progress--book 4 of the Eternity series. I stalled on it months ago and switched to another story. Since then, I've finished two novellas and two short stories. Today, I opened it up and read through the nearly 15k words I'd already written. Then the block for Eternity 4 opened up and the words started flowing! 2800 words to be precise! So now the challenge is to finish this story--which is supposed to be around 30k--before I start the NaNo story in two days! Plus figure out my NaNo plot!

I waiting for them to come and take me away! Who you say? The nice men in the little white coats, they're coming to take me away!

Eternity 4 (Target Ellora's Cave)

So I need like, 12k in two days? Okay, maybe four days. I could start my NaNo novel late. After all, I'm writing fulltime. I can get more words a day than just the 1667 needed for 50k in 30 days! But I still need a plot! ARGH! I also need some sleep. I'm meeting Delilah Devlin online at 9AM for timed writing.

Maybe I'll dream a plot for NaNo. Or maybe I'll just dream about the bloody swordfight I just wrote! Yikes!

I'm waiting on my critique partner to get back to me with Hidden Hands. She's also looking over the synopsis and blurb I wrote today. If I can finish Eternity 4, I'll have three submissions into EC while I work on something for Blaze. If I can think of a plot...

Playing Catch Up!

Wow, the days are flying by! Guess staying busy helps! And I have been a busy little bee! Last Thursday I finished up the read through and final self edits on Positive Possibilities (tentative title). I emailed the submission to my Ellora's Cave editor. Now the waiting starts. *cackle*

But I didn't stop there! The other work in progress is done! Woo hoo! My critique partner has done her first read through and loves the story. I only hope my Ellora's Cave editor feels the same way! Today, I need to work on the synopsis and blurb. The working title for this one is Hidden Hands. This is the story of David (from Hidden Force) and Jeremy (from A Helping Hand). So yes, I am being cute about the title. *snort* I want to get this in my editor's hands this week as well!

HIDDEN HANDS (Target Ellora's Cave)

I need to work on my NaNoWriMo plot. All I have at the moment is blurbage. Which is not much. I have most of the first scene set in my mind but I need at least 55k words worth of plot! I'm also wavering about my focus on this one. I can go one way, and make it a Harlequin Blaze submission or I can go another way and send it to Silhouette Romantic Suspense. The same basic idea works either way except one would have a few dead bodies and the other would just have nekkid bodies. *cackle-snort*

I need to call in the Brainstorming Gang sometime before the Saturday start of NaNo! And I need to get my bootay in motion this morning and get some work done! Plus it's exercise day so I'll miss some work time today!

Have a fabulous day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Release! Double Happiness at Ellora's Cave!

I can't believe I forgot to post on Friday about the release of Double Happiness! This novella is my first attempt at something light hearted. I usually try to include some humor in my stories but they tend to stick with serious. Double Happiness has a little more humor while still covering serious aspects of my heroes' relationship! And it has an incredibly hot cover by Les Byerley!

Available at Ellora's Cave!


Chen Jin Tai faces the worst possible news only days from his commitment ceremony with his lover—Tai’s estranged mother is coming to the wedding. Unable to accept her son’s sexuality—she’s determined to have a daughter-in-law—Chen Qi Xiang’s visit is unexpected. Tai wants to believe she’s looking for reconciliation but he knows his lover’s attitude will be anything but optimistic.

David Anderson never thought about settling down until he literally bumped into Tai on the street. Before Tai, sex was for fun and love wasn’t an option. Now two years later, he can’t imagine life without his partner. Tai’s Ice Queen mother showing up with malice in mind could be the beginning of the end of the best thing in his life.

Two beautiful men, one tiny Chinese soon-to-be mother-in-law, a live cricket as a present and a red wedding dress. It’s about to be an interesting next few days and the men are going to learn a whole new level of sexual excitement.

Excerpts are on my website. Click here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Long Time No Post?

Well, it feels like a long time! I didn't get a chance to update my progress for Friday--not that there was much. Friday slipped through my control. I wrote a little in the morning then went to my exercise class--where once again little old ladies kicked my ass. The afternoon was a combination of getting ready for my weekend trip and, yes, a nap.

Princess has been a pain through her recovery. Several times a night, I'm up checking on her. I hated going away for the weekend and leaving her but I couldn't change my plans. Momma was going to come over twice a day to feed, water and medicate.

The weekend was fun! Layla Chase flew in from San Antonio on Saturday morning. We attended the Diamond State Romance Author meeting. Layla is a long distance member. We met up with Delilah Devlin there. After the meeting, the three of us had lunch with Cynthia D'Alba and Melissa Frances. Major fun!

Making Lye SoapThen Delilah, Layla and I headed for north Arkansas and the Ozark Folk Center. Saturday night we attended a concert of bluegrass and folk music. Sunday, we wandered through the permanent exhibits which include soap making, sewing, quilting, blacksmithing and the making of musical instruments. We also toured through cabins common to the Ozark Mountains in the late 1800's/early 1900's. Amazing to see how our forefathers lived. I'm old enough to remember the cabin where my paternal grandparents lived. No indoor plumbing! Couldn't hack it then, definitely couldn't now! LOL

We had good food, great brainstorming and Layla found some great detail for a story she's setting in the park.

Once home on Monday, I realized Princess wasn't better. Neither my mother nor I could get the meds down her. Princess may be a little cat but she has the strength of a tiger when you try to force her to do something she doesn't want! So Tuesday, we were off to another vet visit. They gave her another shot of antibiotics. If I can't get the meds down her, I'll need to go back every other day for her to get a shot. The vet also recommended a special (read: expensive) brand of canned food. She said it was high calorie and cats really liked the flavor so I might have better luck getting her to eat--sore mouth or not.

Okay, so the Kitteh Krack (aka Hill's Prescription Diet A/D) is a big hit with her royal highness... Princess literally tried to climb my arm while I'm preparing her food. The stuff has a real silky texture like a very fine pate. Actually, for the price of it, I might as well feed her pate! This morning, I mixed her meds with the Kitteh Krack and she lapped it up then cleaned the plate. Woo hoo! A method of medicating! Of course, I'll need some more Kitteh Krack tomorrow. *headdesk*

So my writing progress has been abysmal. Friday--between everything else--I managed another 713 words. Monday night, my critique partner returned my other manuscript so I worked on that as well as the blurb and synopsis for an Ellora's Cave submission. Today, I'm doing the final read through of that story before I return to work on the other.

Updated word count! Almost there!

New Novella (Target Ellora's Cave)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Good Day!

Writing went great yesterday! Word count for the day was 3919! Woot woot! But I was exhausted by 5:30 and ready for bed. I don't think I can keep up this kind of pace even if the story is flowing. I'm pushing to finish this novella today so another high word count. Probably between 3000-3500 words. Hopefully I can keep up! *cackle*

Little Miss Snake Hunter (aka Princess) seems better. She's eating some, drinking and she can use her tongue well enough to clean herself. Which is good because she got outside and came home a wet bedraggled little kitteh! Of course, I try to help her keep clean. She loves it when I take a warm damp washcloth and rub her fur. Talk about a purring machine! A real bath, on the other hand, is not an option. We tried that once. She vetoed future baths. LOL

So the final tally of the new novella as of yesterday is...

New Novella (Target Ellora's Cave)

Almost there! Now if the plot will cooperate with the 18k max. Somehow, I'm not expecting it to!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Not As Good A Writing Day...

Well, I didn't do as well today on my progress. Only 1840 words to add. I did pass 12k which is good. I got a late start then took a break to go to my mother's exercise class. She teaches a free seniors class at the local library. I'm out of shape but I figured this would be a breeze. I mean, I'm 20 years younger than these ladies.

Local news headline: Local Author Out Exercised by Old Ladies

Seriously kicked my ass. *hangs head in shame* I ended up needing a nap. But in my defense, I did spend a lot of time last night running around to check on my great snake hunter, Princess. Her poor mouth is so swollen she can't eat and barely drink. She's better today but if I don't see some significant improvement, we're going back to the vet tomorrow.

I also had to stop writing this evening to watch the last Prez debate. I'm not sure if my blood pressure meds will be enough until the election.

So tonight's Word Meter doesn't look as good but hey, I'm still 2/3 done! Of course, it might go over 18k. If things don't start turning in the plot, it probably will. I wanted this done before the weekend. I'm going on a "research" trip with Delilah Devlin and our friend, Layla Chase, after the Diamond State Romance Authors meeting on Saturday. We're headed up to north Arkansas to the Ozark Folk Center until Monday. I'll have to kick the writing back into gear tomorrow!

New Novella (Target Ellora's Cave)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

That Damn Cat!

Princess has got to learn she's just not fast enough to play with frakking snakes! She got bit...AGAIN! Another $200 and change for a vet bill. I sat all the critters down a few weeks ago and explained the "unemployed" thing. I'll keep paying for the roof over their cute little heads and the food they eat but they have to be very careful and stay healthy. And UNINJURED!

She's okay. Sitting at the foot of the bed staring at me with malice in her gaze... She's already bit me. Evidently, she took another bite to the face. She showed up last night with her face all puffed up. Today when I brought her home from the vet, she was having trouble picking up food from the plate. So I put a little on the tip of my forefinger. We've done this before. I scoop, she licks. Everyone is happy. Not this time. Bitch chomped down on my finger. Hard! I'm hoping that evil glare in her eye has nothing to do with a new fondness for the taste of human blood. I may have trouble sleeping tonight...

In spite of Missy Princess' adventures with reptiles, I had a productive writing day! Woo hoo! Although the last 600 words were interesting with the bloody bandaged finger. *cackle*

Today's word count: 4734
Two day total: 10,256

Woo hoo!

New Novella (Target Ellora's Cave)

I'm going to rest now. Not sure I'll sleep. Princess has moved a little closer... :/

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fantastic Progress!

Well, today's been quite productive! I started writing about nine but I had to do a little research. So slow out of the gate but I made up for it! I wrote more than 5500 words! Woo hoo! And I think most of it is good. Sometimes, I start out in one direction then go off in a tangent. I have to go back and edit for the change in direction. This time, I think I'm on target. Not much changed from the original idea. Of course, most of the 5500 words is a sex scene. And I'm not finished with it! LOL But the whole scene lays out the two characters and their issues.

I'm off to relax for a little while. If my back stops kinking on me, I may write some more kink! *cackle*

New Novella (Target Ellora's Cave)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Inspiration Strikes!

So I'm lazing about in bed this morning trying to convince myself to get moving... Suddenly, my brain goes into brainstorming mode. I have a couple of secondary characters who were left hanging at the end of their respective novels--Jeremy from A HELPING HAND and David from HIDDEN FORCE. By coincidence, both of the characters are based in Memphis.

Actually, this isn't really that much of a coincidence. I love Memphis. It's one of my favorite cities so I use it alot as the setting for my books. But for the purpose of Jeremy and David, it was not planned to give either one a book of their own, much less one where they interact with each other.

I blame it on my brilliant readers. The most common comment about both books has been, "I hope Shayla writes (insert David's or Jeremy's name here) story." This morning, my thoughts drifted to a book with both of them in it. *grins* I've jotted down a basic synopsis and I think this story is going to interfere with the mainstream story I planned to work on next. Oh, well, when inspiration strikes, seize the day!

EC Novella

I'm starting with 18k as a minimum but you saw what happened to the last one.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Trouble comes in all shapes and sizes...

Well, the past few weeks as our economy tanked, my evil day job disappeared and the presidential campaign moved into high acrimony, I've been dealing with a personal health crisis.

Now, I'm a very laid back kind of person. I refuse to worry about things I can't change. I change the things I can. And I move on. I squirreled away my 401k and my savings into safe funds last December. I've been looking for a job for quite a while now...just no luck. And while I try to keep Shayla's stuff non-political, I tell everyone I meet that we can't afford another four years of Republicans. Go Obama/Biden!

But the one thing I could have done about my health, I needed to do thirty years ago. Quit smoking. I finally succeeded in July. Then I got pneumonia in August. I've talked about this on my blog. What I didn't say was the subsequent testing revealed a spot on my lungs--about 2.5 cm or one inch in diameter. Over the last eight weeks, I've undergone two CT scans, a PET scan and, finally this last Tuesday, a lung biopsy using a needle.

Today, I received the fantastic news that I don't have cancer. It's a benign lesion, possibly an infection. We'll be playing the watch and wait game that doctors loved to do so much.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, I refuse to waste energy on things I can't change so I really haven't been driving myself crazy with worry. My mother, however, has. Driven me crazy with worry. And my sister. And my friends. My boss. Co-workers. Pretty much everyone who knew what was going on. So while my sigh of relief was small and grateful, the gale force winds you heard whipping through central Arkansas were the combined breath of my friends and family. And to them, I say many thanks.

Now, since I've let the cat out of the bag on Shayla's political leanings, I will leave you with this most hysterical video. If you are a McCain/Palin fan, you probably don't want to watch it...unless you can laugh at the things you can't change!

I found this video at one of my favorits blog reads, Are You There Blog? It's Me Stephen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


EC Novella (revised target)

Done for the day. My first full day of being a writer instead of an accountant! Woo hoo!

Finished the story. Ran through critique partner's comments from a partial I sent last week. Started through self-edits. I'll finish those tomorrow!


Today I get to actually sit at home and write! *cackle* This week begins my full time writing but so far, I've spent the first two days doing other things! Monday was a trip to Little Rock to check out Veteran's health benefits. I need to get them set up so I have coverage once the day job stuff goes away. I have some additional paperwork to fill out but I should get that taken care of next week. Yesterday, I spent all day dealing with some tests at the hospital. Good thing the day job coverage is still in effect!

But today...I've got coffee brewing and I'm sitting at my desk working. I consider blogging working as long as I don't get too carried away. *cackle* Here's a picture of the new setup. I moved my desk into the living room to get away from the television. Too much distraction and the only TV is in the bedroom. You can also see I have plenty of help--not! The cats think the placement of the desk is for their use as a kitty condo.

And the chair is absolutely the best new "bed" in the house, complete with a nice warm throw.

I'll be working the kinks out with the "help" as we go along. *snort* Or until I'm properly trained.

As for now, the 18k novella went overtime. It stands at 20,062 and will probably end closer to 21k. As I wrote the last scene, I kept "telling" things that happened off screen between one of the heros and another character. Finally I gave up, went back to about the middle of the story and "showed" the scene. Now I'm back to finishing the last scene. Then it's off to my wonderful critique partner and I'll be on to the next project!

EC Novella (revised target)

Mainstream submission