Friday, October 30, 2009

Stuck at the 11th Hour

I'm stuck. I can't seem to even think about my novel. I need to outline what happens next and I haven't a clue. I know what happens in the end, but there's a large chunk of space in between the middle and the end that isn't accounted for. And NaNo starts in 2 days! Help!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Perpetual Non-exclusive Publication Rights

And the answer is, perpetual, non-exclusive publication rights. It is supposed to be only the winner's who give up these rights, but that is not the way the provision is currently worded. And until they upgrade it, I'm afraid I won't be entering this contest. Such a pity as I had worked so hard and come up with a pretty darn good story too. Even so, I don't think I would be too keen on giving perpetual rights to anyone, even if they are non-exclusive. It just doesn't "feel" like a wise thing to do.

Anyone Planning Anything Unusual to Prepare for NaNoWriMo?

I know Jennifer N. over at Gather is planning her snacks. . I'm just wondering if anyone else is planning for NaNowriMo in a Unique or Unusual way. Me? I'm going to empty my piggy bank and go get my nails manicured. Yep, you heard right. I'm going to have the lady cut them very short, then paint them so they will be strong. (I might even get a pedicure while I'm at it -lol) That way, I can type faster and my nails won't keep getting caught between the keys. Don't you just hate that? :-) Naturally, having pretty nails to will be a warm fuzzy bonus. lol. What are you doing?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Won't Give You That - Publication Rights

Well I discovered something interesting today and I hope I can get it cleared up before Nov. 2. That's the deadline for the Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards. According to the official rules, the winners give Writer's Digest one time publication rights to their stories. However, at the end of the sign up process online, before you can submit your entry, there is a box that says you give perpetual non-exclusive publication rights to your story when you sign up. Now that's a big difference. I deleted my entry when I got to that point. I'm not giving anyone perpetual rights to my story. Also, it wasn't limited to just the winners. I hate stuff like this; it's enough to make you pull your hair out. Now with only 5 days to go, and one of them a Sunday, I had to send an email to Writer's Digest to try to get this worked out. What do you suppose my chances are of getting a response in time. There is a phone number, and I will call tomorrow, but, I need something in writing clarifying the error. It also doesn't make sense for those who mail their entries in to get one set of rules, and those who enter online to get another.

We'll see what happens. Wish me luck.

Monday, October 26, 2009

NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo is in five days and I have managed to waste the entire morning twittering and commenting on other sites around the net. I've done my shopping for the day, checked my mail and driven my son to swimming. Now it's time to get down to business. I've got to get my first novel firmly in my head - no more living dead villains, lol. I want the sequel to flow naturally from the first book. The only way that is going to happen is if I'm back into the first book as much as possible. Working on that now. Can't help editing while I'm there though, darn it. Enough talk, it's all work for me from here on in today. Well, except maybe for a nap that is. :-). NaNo on!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Attention Published Authors

You can help U.S. troops and promote your books at the same time. To learn more about this program see How it works is you send your books to a military serviceman or woman and they get to enjoy reading it. Then they give it to someone else to enjoy. Your book gets passed from person to person and brings happiness to those posted so far away from their homes. It’s a great program. Everybody wins. Apparently romances and the like are not allowed, but other genre are welcomed. See the website for more details. Note: The mailing deadline has been extended. I just got an email from ODS and they still need 11 more people. They mailing deadline is now Friday, October 30, 2009. I hope you will check it out and participate if you can in this worthy cause.

Fall Back and NaNoWriMo

I just realized that we turn the clocks back 2 hours into NaNoWriMo this year - 2am November1, 2009. Isn't that a hoot?! Personally, I won't be starting right at 12:01am like many of my comrades, but it will still be nice to have that extra hour in the morning to work.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

NaNoWriMo Cover Art

Well, I've finally hit upon something I like. My model has given me the go ahead, so I'm posting it. NaNo is only 7 days away, I'm still outlining and I just realized one of my bad guys is already dead! Ha. Ha. Time to raise up another boogey. It's all in good fun. I certainly intend to have some.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I've got to tell you, this home schooling is definitely a challenge. First of all, I'm sure I'm not doing it right. Although there really are so many great sites on the web to help you. Second of all, I have to relearn algebra as I go along so I can teach it to my son. What kind of way to do thing is that? We have less than two months until the end of the term to get through, but I'm still sweatin it.

I'm also covering his health class that requires physical education. I have a plan for him. Unfortunately, the weather isn't cooperating and we don't have adequate indoor facilities. Wait! I could dig out that old total gym I bought years ago. It's still got all of the pieces. He could do a light workout on rainy days. That would certainly comply. Now all I have to do is teach him all of the required health related subjests, like health safety, all about the heart, depression, that sort of thing.

Still, algebra is my big bugaboo. I have to work out all of the problems before I give them to him so that I know I can help him out. Naturally we're about to get into some complicated funcions with polynomials. I'll be studying math while trying to write my NaNo novel. Wonderful!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccine Will Come Too Late

The delays in the production of the H1N1 vaccine have been caused in part by its slow growth in the whites of chicken eggs, a purportedly out of date method for creating such vaccines. According to a study done by Purdue University, the virus will peak in mid-October, with 63% of the U.S. population getting the virus by the end of December. This is alarming not only because of the number of the people expected to become infected, but also because the doses of vaccine promised for October have not been delivered. There will be a partial delivery by mid-November with the remainder in December. Obviously this will be too late. Has the epidemic hit your area yet?

Here's a map showing the latest tracking statistics on the flu as of yesterday, October 21, 2009. You can keep zooming the map in to show your state and more information will pop up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Balloon Boy Drama

Okay, enough is enough. These people are getting just what they want. Free publicity. You couldn't buy exposure this complete. Sometime down the road, maybe not for a while, they are going to profit from this despite the Colorado Law to the contrary.

I just want to say that these people are pathetic. What they did was childish and beyond irresponsible. And look at the mom. During one of the TV interviews she conveniently has a Tupperware for the kid to throw up in. What's up with that? And the dad just goes on talking like nothing is going on.

Then there's the older boy, name unknown, who said his brother, Falcon, was in the balloon. Why doesn't anyone question him after Falcon is found hiding in the attic? He obviously didn't see what he said he saw.

I think they deserve all of the charges that are being requested against them: conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, attempting to influence a public servant and making a false report. That may seem harsh, but what they did was stupid and put a lot of other people at risk. They took away public services that might have been sorely needed elsewhere. There is no telling the actual damage they caused.

I truly hope they do not profit in any way from this fiasco, but I fear that at some point in the future they will.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scientists in Greenland Study Ice Bubbles

There is ice in Greenland that contains tiny bubbles from a period in Earth's history, the Eemian Period, when the climate was about 5-9 degrees warmer than it is now. This period occurred about 130, 000 years ago. Scientists hope that by studying these bubbles, which contain ancient atmosphere, they will gain some insight into our own global warming scenario.

Currently, Greenland is losing a record amount of ice. In 2007, it lost 340 billion tons.
They hope the bubbles will also show how much ice Greenland lost during the Eemian Period. Apparently the sea level was 13 to 20 feet higher during that Period than it is now. When talking about sea levels rising, the scientists here are making their projections for the next 100 to 200 years. Still, our children and grandchildren would be affected by whatever happens with global warming. I know if sea levels rose that much now, I would definitely be out of a home. I don't even live on the coast.

I am amazed by the dedication and ingenuity of the scientists who go to places like Greenland. The research base here is well above the arctic circle. They have to have a special plane to fly them and all of their equipment in. Then they take core samples of the ice and study them tirelessly. Now, they have this ice from the Eemian Period, which is much closer to home as these things go. They will study these bubbles for any and all information to tell us what happened during that time that might impact our time. I am in awe. Of course I have a thing for scientists in general. lol.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Irish Aid Worker Freed In the Sudan

An Irishe girl who had gone to the Darfur region of Sudan with a group called GOAL was abducted 100 days ago on July 3, 2009 at gunpoint with her companion, Hilda Kawuki. The Irish government sent its jet to retrieve Sharon Commins who was released Saturday.

I'm glad they're going home. I can't imagine the courage it must have taken to enter that region in the first place. I don't know what to say about Darfur. It has gone on for so long and as usual it is the women and children who suffer the most. I don't understand a government that can allow, much less participate in the abuse and torture of its own citizens, civilians! In the face of all of that horror, I am truly thankful for this one simple mercy. I shudder to think of those who may not have made it home. The article merely says that it was a gang that abducted them, not what its affiliation may have been. The girls thanked the Sudanese government among others for their release, but I suppose I would have too under the circumstances.

Darfur is a region comprised of three states/territories in Sudan, a country in Africa along the border with Chad, another country in Africa. The conflict in Darfur has been going on since 2003. The death toll cannot be accurately measured due to all of those displaced who have died of malnutrition and disease, but it is measured in the hundreds of thousands.[1] I saw in one report that over two million people had lost their homes. Many people fled to Chad and when trouble began to escalate there, they fled back to Darfur. The people suffer murder and rape at the hands of the government as well as a government backed militia calling itself Janjiweed. This group was instrumental in the origins of the Danfur conflict as were the rebel groups the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement.[2]

[1] Wikipedia, War in Darfur

[2] Wikipedia, War in Darfur

The International Criminal Court, ICC, has issued warrants for Ahmad Muhammad Harun ("Ahmad Harun"), Former Minister of State for the Interior of the Government of Sudan; Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs of Sudan.

Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman ("Ali Kushayb"), alleged leader of the Militia/Janjaweed.

And, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir , President of the Republic of Sudan since 16 October 1993. Warrant of arrest issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I 4 March 2009. Which of course, he has ignored and even flaunted.



The warrant of arrest for Al Bashir lists seven counts on the basis of his
individual criminal responsibility under Article 25(3)(a) of the Rome
Statute as an indirect (co) perpetrator including:

• five counts of crimes against humanity: murder - Article 7(1)(a);
extermination - Article 7(1)(b); forcible transfer - Article 7(1)(d); torture -
Article 7(1)(f); and rape - Article 7(1)(g);

• two counts of war crimes: intentionally directing attacks against a
civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking part in
hostilities -Article 8(2)(e)(i); and pillaging - Article 8(2)(e)(v).

All perpetrators are still presently at large.[1]

However, today Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, a rebel leader charged with three war crimes alleged to have been committed during the Haskanita attack in 2007 has appeared before the ICC in The Hague in Netherlands.[2] While The Hague is the governmental center, Amsterdam is the Capitol of the Netherlands.[3]

[1] International Criminal Court
[2] TIMELINE: The International Criminal Court and Sudan
[3] Wikipedia

Sunday, October 18, 2009

African Children Denounced as Witches

I could barely make it though this article. I can't believe so much evil exists in this world. You can dress it up and call it religion - it's certainly not Christianity - but it's still pure evil. Those pastor's know what they are doing is wrong. Many of the parents do too. These are just church sanctioned abusers, many of them extracting money and gifts for their crimes. I feel sick that the Church has become so twisted in a place that can least afford or guard against it. I just feel sick.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Working Manuscript

Finally, I have a working manuscript of my second book. I plugged so many holes and rewrote half of the last quarter of the book. I added 10 pages! I've got 180, 000 words now. Whew! Now it's just a matter of edit, edit, edit, until it's as perfect as it's going to get. I may go back to my first book for a while first. I need to have it in my head quite solidly since I'm going to be writing the sequel soon. Good plan.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Navajo Code Talker Dies

William Varnell Oliver, a Navajo Code Talker died yesterday at the age of 88. He was one of the elite who helped to confuse the Japanese in World War II. Joe Shirley Jr., the Navajo Nation President ordered their flags flown at half mast for the next week.

It doesn't seem right to me that someone so important to the war effort should be allowed to pass away so quietly. True, he is no longer here to care, but his family is. He has a son, Lawrence Oliver, who deserves to be shown the respect his father earned. It seems that all of our heroes are being allowed to pass away without a sound.

Well here's my sound William Varnell Oliver. THANK YOU! Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Working Title for New Book

Okay, so I have a working title for my new book, soon to be written during NaNoWriMo in November. Soul Jumpers II Blood Heat. I wish I could come up with a good enough name for my Romance novel. It's driving me batty. Also on the no go list is cover art for Soul Jumpers II. I've tried two covers and they aren't working one bit. I've got one more idea, but I'll have to do some traveling. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Freelance Finale II

Finally, I am finito! And the client seems pleased. That makes me happy. I always worry about that so much.

Now I can spend a little extra time editing my romance novel and outlining for NaNoWriMo. It's just around the corner. Yikes.

I need to hurry up and enter my Writer's Digest story before I miss that deadline. I am actually pretty excited about that. Of course my chances are pretty slim, but you just never know.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mayans Say The World Will Not End On 2012

Contrary to popular hype and a popular movie coming out soon, Mayans, including archaeologist Jose Huchim, say the artifacts and information left behind to not point to such a conclusion. Sadly, some people are taking this newest end of the world scenario to heart and have become fearful, even young children. One poor child emailed a website run by Cornell University's Ann Martin, saying he was too young to die. Apparently he was not the only one. Martin's website is Curious About Astronomy? Ask An Astronomer.

Apparently there may be some science behind this fear. On December 12, 2012 , the sun will line up with the center of our milky way galaxy on a winter solstice, the lowest point in the horizon. Then the sun will appear to rise in the same spot where the bight center of the milky way galaxy sets. Some believe this will cause pole shifts or other major phenomena, while others think nothing will happen.

What do you think?

Saturday, October 10, 2009


NASA's LCROSS Mission certain gives us something to think about. With our space program in trouble, finding water on the moon could be just what we need to jump start it. I don't know about anyone else, but I think dismantling the space program would be a huge mistake. Apparently there were a lot of disappointed observers, but NASA seems pleased with the data it collected. We can only wait and see.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Plot Breakthrough

I just finished the first draft of my second book. I had some major plot holes and discrepancies, but I just had an epiphany. I know just how I'm going to make it work. All of the problems have just fallen into place like dominoes. Okay, there are still a few kinks to work out, but I have faith now that the major issue is resolved that I can smooth those out. The really cool thing is I get to add a whole new major scene to the book. That means more original writing. Yay! Time to go back up what I've already done. An extrememly important practice. I don't do it often enough as it is. When I wrote my first book, I'm sure I backed it up every day.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Publishers and Agents

Wow, this can be so confusing. I've been reading about them for some time this morning and I still don't really know that much. It does appear that most if not all of the major publishing houses won't accept a submission unless it's through an agent. There are alot of other publishers who will, but it's hard to know much about them, even if they have great websites. They certainly paint a bleak picture for first time authors.

And then there's that pesky Platform business popping up again. How does a fiction writer really get the kind of followers you need to qualify as a "platform"? I admit that I'm a bit lost when it comes to that whole concept. I mean, between freelancing and writing, I don't have a lot of time for playing around on the social networks. But I guess I'd better find it if I want to sell my book. The problem is, you can't print excerpts because some publishers don't go for that, so how do you get people interested in your book?

I was amazed at how much the agents took. They really take a bite out of whatever royalties you get, unless that percentage is just for the advance, but I doubt it. Yeouch!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lizards and Other Housemates

I had a large lizard living in my house with me for about six weeks, maybe less. I let him/her be because they eat bugs. And he/she was big enough to eat big bugs. Everyday this lizard would make his rounds starting beside the refrigerator, behind it, then under my feet at my kitchen desk - he would always stop to look up at me - then he would continue on around the tile covered areas of the kitchen and breakfast room in one large loop. Once, he ventured into the den and startled my son who was working on his homework. I don't know where my lizard had gone, but I miss his daily routine. I've also had to spray for bugs and put out traps. More's the pity. He certainly was a lot of fun to have around.

One day, I was wearing pants with red splashes all over them. When he got under my desk and looked up at me, he got really scared and backed up under some notebooks and wouldn't come out until I left. Most of the time, I think he was just checking to make sure I wasn't going to chase him.

Maybe it was mating season and he'll come back with a whole family - Yikes!

Family - Cherish Them Now

Well, I missed another day. Guess I'm not so good at this. I went to see my 80 year old mother yesterday. She lives less than an hour away and I don't visit her nearly enough. She wanted to share some things that she's gotten on sale with me. She's so sweet. I know where I get my sale - o - holic tendencies. Of course these days, with the economy the way it is, if I don't already use something I don't keep the coupon just because it "might be" a good deal. I only get what I'm used to. If I get a discount, more's the better. I also shop at places that give you cash back, like CVS. I get my Rx's filled there too. Every so often you get a cash voucher to use on anything in the store, except Rx even though they did count toward your voucher. It's a great deal. But I digress.

My mom is a treasure. She is 80 and going strong. She takes care of herself, is perfectly with it and gets around fine. I pray that I'm doing so well at 80. I need to get my time with her in now because I think she will be leaving for an extended visit with my brother soon.

So, I didn't post yesterday. I'll post twice today. lol.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Freelance Finale I

I finally finished the chapter I was working on! Now I've got to get to the other book pronto. That chapter is going to be even more challenging I think. But first, I do have some housekeeping matters on the first book to make it print - ready. Also, I've got another job I've been neglecting that I need to do today. Work, work, work. Happy problems.

I hope you liked my little tip. I will have some more as time goes by. One thing I am definitely learning is that you can and must get free publicity for your book and you can do it yourself, without the help of an agent or publisher. Think on that and I'll have more for you soon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Little Monsters : German Schoolchildren Hand out Euros

Did you see that in the news? Apparently a group of four German school children aged 10 to 13 found a dirty brown envelope full of money - about 15, 000 Euros ($22, 000) and passed it out to all of their friends on the playground. The trick is, the envelope also contained the Visa of the man who purportedly owned the money. The little monsters knew someone was looking for that money and they took it anyway. One child told the teaching staff. At least one had some sense of right and wrong. The really sad thing is that neither the police nor the teacher's pleas could recover the entire amount from the children.

Now that's haunting.

What happened to honesty, integrity, basic tenants of right and wrong? You see things like this all the time in the news, but when our children are involved like this, it's a real shock. Are we failing to teach them properly, or is it something more insidious that is a product of society as a whole?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Romance Novel Progress; Writing Contests

Well, I finally finished it. Talk about something haunting you. I couldn't find an ending for the longest time, but I think that I'm satisfied with this one. Of course I could change it as I edit and rewrite certain portions. Right now I've got 371 pages , but I have scenes that need work and plot holes to plug. You could say I have a lot of work still ahead of me. But that's okay. I still love my book and my characters and I want to be with them every day. lol.

I also finished my entry for The Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards. I just hope it's good enough. I still need to tighten it up a bit. But the ending is killer. Literally.

Now I have to prepare for the Short, Shorts competition and outline (yuck) my story for NaNoWriMo which starts November 1st. Lots to do. More importantly though I have two chapters to finish for a freelance job I took a few weeks ago. I'm making great progress on the first one. Hope to finish up today. Then on to the next.

Friday, October 2, 2009


This month's topic for NaBloPoMo is "Haunted". Here's a great badge they came up with to commemorate the season.

I missed yesterday's posting, but I hope that won't matter. I originally posted something controversial, then I thought better of it. That's not what my blog is about. It's about writing and writer's. So here's a tip, if you want to market your book for free, go to Pitch Rate. They match authors with reporters looking for experts or specific stories. Check it out.