Spawn of the Zombie Horse

  The Thestral – yes, borrowed from Harry Potter world is being used for your visual reference.  It is the closest thing to what is inside my mind at the moment.  Scary indeed, be happy I am not a phenomenon artist and this creature will stand in.


Time Management – I swear it is my arch nemesis. I sometimes wonder if the T virus isn’t somehow connected to Skynet, and the Terminator cyborgs  via time management tools.  The zombie horse has not only risen again, but produced spawn.  In version 3.0 I dropped a cultural awareness class I was taking.  It was an informal small group setting, not an academic thing.  What was promoted as an hour and a half class – figure two hours for travel – turned into a four or five-hour time vacuum. Hmmm, perhaps Skynet and the Umbrella Corporation are really one and the same.  *taps chin –  intrigued*

In evaluating my priorities, I determined that I couldn’t afford to give up four to five hours every week to the class, so I quit.  Tentacle Number one snaked out and wrapped around my wrist.  The facilitator called to let me know my absence was missed.  I was honest and up front about my reasons for dropping.   “Well, how much time does your ‘part time’ job require each week? And how much time does the writing require?   Can’t you just write in the evenings instead of watch tv?”

Excuse me?  Is that really any of her business?  NO!   However, I answered.  Why do we feel compelled to answer nosy questions that aren’t their business?

Tentacle two popped out, encircling and compressing my chest.  Now I’m getting miffed!  “How much time does  it take to write anyway?”  You know, if I decided to sit on my butt and pick my nose all day it’s not really anyone elses business but my own, and my nose’s! A third tentacle tried to snake out, I lopped it off right away!  Between my roles as parent, wife, employee and writer there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Here’s the thing:  people always want you to do their projects.  I’ve spent way too much time expending my efforts for someone else’s projects.   If Donald Trump said “I don’t have time in my schedule for that.” Would anyone question him?  No, they would not!  Now, I know I’m not Donald Trump, but why should my time be any less valuable?

Making the call to pursue my dreams is not a popular decision. Ever notice how all the people you helped never offer to help you with your goals? Yeah, not a popular decision but sometimes you have to be selfish. I knew there would be resistance.  The whole point in hiring my coach Tasha is to be more productive with the time I have.  To make a concerted effort towards my own goals and to undo the years of bad habits that I’ve acquired.  It took me many years to be comfortable with myself, to accept my own unique talents and gifts.  There is much I want to change or improve in my life, but the essential part of me I’ve made peace with.

Evan Sanders has touched on something similar in his blog The Better Man Project.  He talks about authenticity.  He also mentions about being comfortable with himself.  At the end of the day I want to have a clear conscious, and a sense of accomplishment.  That’s never going to happen by doing other people’s projects and ignoring my own dreams.  This is such a simple thing, but I find I am surrounded by a whole generation that was never encouraged to pursue our own dreams.  We were told to be practical, sensible, and responsible.  It’s only through pursuing my own dreams that I discover that those three things can indeed overlap with pursuing the dreams that are within myself and give the sense of satisfaction that even a high paying professional career did not provide.

Self confidence is a powerful drug!  It also seems to be the antivirus for the dead horse strain of the T virus.  I have to admit, five years ago I would have folded, and given in to the “pressure”   – oh we need you, it’s a good thing,  whatever the catch phrase was that was essentially emotional blackmail to manipulate me into giving up my time for someone else’s cause.    They are often good things, not going to argue with that.  At some point though we have to evaluate is it the best thing for us?

Have you given your time up for someone else’s cause?  For their pet project while shelving your own plans?  Is this just a mom thing or is it deeper than that?  What is it about the Donald Trump’s of the world that never struggle with these things and how do I get it?

Please share your thoughts, your struggles, or any advice you may have on this.  Meanwhile steer clear of the zombies!

Write on my friends, write on!



The Same Dead Horse

You’ve heard it before.  You’ve heard it here before.  You’re looking over at the categories thinking: ‘It says here on writing, life, and random madness so why are we beating the dead horse again?”

Easy!   It won’t stay dead!  Time management that  bane of my existence; that impossible task that I just can’t seem to conquer – yes that dead horse.  It’s the Zombie horse of Biblical proportions that even Resident Evil didn’t try to conquer.   Yeah, don’t get me started on that point, I’ve already gone around and around on the Biblical reference of the dead rising in the last days.  This horse is worse than a cat, a cat only has nine lives.  This time management horse apparently has infinite lives.

I’ve been building my schedule for my coach, to see where I can carve out more time for writing, where I can balance time to actually clean my house, and even manage to have some quality time with the family.  If there are many more nights like last night the family time will be removed but that’s another horse.  Sounds simple enough right?  Make an excel spreadsheet with  time blocks for my daily/weekly schedule; in theory it is a simple task.

I was so proud of myself when I sent my first  schedule via email, then crushed when moments later I got a response – um, no.  Then came the phone call where we discussed the lack of entire subjects such as no time scheduled for housework.  Yeah? I’m not having a problem with that until she pointed out to me that although I don’t allocate time for it, I am probably doing it anyway.

“Laundry? Babe, there’s not one place where you do laundry.”

“Well I wear clothes, it’s not like I spend every day nude.”

“Where’s that in the schedule?  They don’t wash themselves do they?”

“Ha! I wish”

After several little things bantered about like that, I realized that in fact, more times than not I am in fact doing things throughout the day like washing the dishes left out from breakfast; starting the dishwasher; cleaning the grease splatter off of the stove; sweeping the sugar up that the kids have spilled.  Yes, I do it.   It’s just part of the “mom” job that  I take for granted.

Then, she said the golden words to me:  Any time I ask a client to give me their schedule you can bet your boots that if it’s a guy and he has to do any housework at all, it’s allocated generously.  If it’s a woman – she tends to leave off huge blocks of time.    Well if the guys can count it then why am I leaving it off?  Why do we sell ourselves short?

OK, back to the drawing board; revision 2 finished.  “Where is the time for editing, writing, reading in your  genre, research?”

Hangs head, and returns to the desk, working on Revision 3.  OK, I didn’t include bathroom breaks even though I take them.  I didn’t include the interruptions I get because they are not on the schedule, although in reality they should be. You can almost count on at least two hours of interruptions minimum in a week.   I still have a giant box at the bottom that lists the occasional items:  seminars, webinars, articles I should read, blogs I’d like to read, or working on a synopsis or submission package.

I have a couple open slots on Saturday, and a two-hour slot on Sunday.  I can see the horse trying to get up already.  I’m ready for Revision 4, with a big club in my hand.  I’ve already told my coach – just because I schedule housework doesn’t mean I’m actually going to do it.   (Look – I like it clean I just don’t like to clean.  I never wanted to be  a maid, I wanted to hire a maid.) Likewise, not scheduling in the ‘mom’s taxi service’ time throws a wrench into the works every single time.

On the bright side, this is helping me to utilize my time better.  Well, not this week but in theory it will, I hope.  If not I could revert to the government plans for dealing with  dead horses:

  1. Buy a stronger whip.
  2. Change riders. (Well that’s not really an option for a writer now is it?)
  3. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses. (This is going to require deviation form the schedule thsu modifying the dead horseeven more, hmmmm)
  4. Increase the standards to ride dead horses.
  5. Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.
  6. Create a training session to increase my riding ability.
  7. Compare the state of other dead horses in today’s environment.
  8. Pass legislation declaring that “This horse is not dead.”
  9. Blame the horse’s parents. (NO wait, that would mean it’s my fault, can’t have that!)
  10. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.
  11. Declare that “No horse is too dead to beat.”
  12. Provide additional funding to increase the horse’s performance.
  13. Do a Cost Analysis to see if contractors can ride it cheaper or faster.
  14. Procure a commercial design dead horse.
  15. Declare the horse is “better, faster and cheaper” dead.
  16. Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.
  17. Revisit the performance requirements for horses.
  18. Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.
  19. BRAC the horse farm on which it was born.
  20. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

Well, those don’t seem to work either.  Stand back everyone zombie horse version 4.0 is standing on its legs.  Maybe if I get some cool clothes like Alice, the zombie horse will recognize my superiority and die of its own accord. Maybe?  Anyone?

*Sigh*  Well while I go back to my desk and struggle with Versions 5 thru infinity of a ‘simple spreadsheet’, you can name your own apocalypse horses. At least they aren’t Zombie Alligators. Maybe I should re-examine the clone idea, then there will be more of me to beat the horse.

Have any undead monsters in your own life?

Write on my friends, write on.

My Favorite Author

I honestly can’t believe that people don’t know this about me, I’ve not kept it a secret at all!  Have any of you been paying attention at all?

Seriously I think I ‘ve mentioned it about a gazillion times. But, for the sake of arguing and since Karen ‘s latest book is released I’m going to go there.  So, here it is, the latest addition to her Fever series:

ICED: Dani’s story.   Karen’s books are the only ones I have preordered for quite some time.  I think they have been worth it.  I haven’t finished this one yet, but so far it is not disappointing at all.


Dublin, you had me at “Hello”

Imagine a world that doesn’t know its own rules. No cell phones. No Internet. No stock market. No money. No legal system. A third of the world’s population wiped out in a single night and the count rising by millions every day. The human race is an endangered

A long time ago the Fae destroyed their world and decided to take ours. History says they moved in on us between 10,000 and 6,000 B.C., but historians get a lot wrong. Jericho Barrons says they’ve been here since the dawn of time. He should know, because I’m pretty sure he has, too.

For a long time there was a wall between our worlds. With the exception of a few cracks, it was a solid barricade, especially the prison that held the Unseelie.

That barricade is gone now and the prison walls are dust.

All of the Fae are free: the deadly Dark Court and the imperious Light Court, who are every bit as deadly, just prettier. A Fae is a Fae. Never
trust one. We’re being hunted by voracious monsters that are nearly impossible to kill. Their favorite food? People.

As if that’s not bad enough, there are fragments of Faery reality drifting around that swallow up anything in their path. They’re tricky to spot; you can drive right into one, if you’re not careful. The night the walls fell, Faery itself was fractured. Some say even the inimical Hall of All Days was changed, and opened new portals onto our world. The drifting is the part that really gets me. You can go to sleep in your own
bed and wake up in a completely different reality. If you’re lucky, the climate won’t kill you instantly and the inhabitants won’t eat you. If you’re really really lucky, you’ll find your way home. Eventually. If you’re superlucky, time will pass at a normal rate while you’re gone. Nobody’s that lucky. Folks vanish all the time. They just disappear and are never seen again.

Then there are the amorphous Shades that lurk in the dark and consume every living thing in their path, right down to the nutrients in the soil. When they’re done, all that’s left is dirt that an earthworm couldn’t live in—not that they leave those either. It’s a minefield outside that door. Walk lightly. Your parents’ rules don’t apply. Do be afraid of the dark. And if you’re thinking there might be a monster under your bed or in your closet, there probably is. Get up and check.
Welcome to Planet Earth.

This is our world now—one that doesn’t know its own rules. And when you’ve got a world that doesn’t know its own rules, everything dark and nasty that was once held in check comes slithering out of the cracks to try to take a shot at whatever it wants. It’s a free-for-all. We’re back to being cavemen. Might is right. Possession is nine-tenths of the law. The bigger and badder you are, the better your odds of surviving. Get a gun
or learn to run. Fast. Preferably both.

Welcome to Dublin, AWC—After the Wall Crash—where we’re all fighting for possession of what’s left of the planet.

The Fae have no king, no queen, no one in charge. Two psychotic, immortal Unseelie princes battle for dominion over both races. Humans have no government. Even if we did, I doubt we’d listen to them. It’s complete chaos.

I’m Dani “Mega” O’Malley.

I’m fourteen. The year was just officially declared 1 AWC, and the streets of Dublin are my home. It’s a war zone out there. No two days are alike.

And there’s no place else I’d rather be.

If you haven’t read the rest of the series, I’m not sure if it will make sense or not.  I highly recommend the whole series!

Now, for my little bit on my favorite author.  This originally was posted for the Tasha Turner Virtual Blog  Tour.  I thought I’d share it with the timing of Ms. Moning’s new release.

My current favorite author is Karen Marie Moning. I’ve read every book in Karen’s Highland series as well as the Fever series. As much as I enjoyed her well written romances, the Fever Series was phenomenal.  The Fever series consists of five books, which should be read in order: Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever, and Shadowfever.  These are dark gritty urban fantasy that got me to read outside the box of my preferred genre.

I have never been so completely transported into a fictional world as I was with the Fever series.  Mackayla Lane or Mac for short takes a journey to Dublin, Ireland in search for answers about her sister’s murder.  What she finds is the greatest challenge of her life, and two mysterious men that are vying for her attention.  Jericho Z. Barrons, a mysterious, wealthy, powerful man that evades questions and Fae prince V’lane, a ‘death by sex’ Fae, use every weapon in their arsenal to win Mac to their side. Her true mission becomes clear, to obtain the elusive all-powerful Dark Book, the Sinsar Dubh.

The first line in Darkfever, the first book in the series is:  My philosophy is pretty simple, any day nobody’s trying to kill me is a good day in my book.

Later in the series, Mac states:  Although it may not seem like it, this isn’t a story about darkness. It’s about light. Khalil Gibran says, “Your joy can fill you only as deeply as your sorrow has carved you.” If you’ve never tasted bitterness, sweet is just another pleasant flavor on your tongue.  One day I’m going to hold a lot of joy.

Karen’s ability to draw me completely into her character’s world has caused me to examine my own writing, digging deeper, tapping into the dark places to eventually produce the joy.  I’ve survived a few darknesses in my own life, and if I can use that to produce a better story for my readers, it makes my scars a badge of honor.  It’s the victors that tell history, not the defeated.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think on some level I could relate to the character of Mac, realizing that I was made of stronger stuff than I thought I was.

Have you ever read a book that made you really think?  Made you examine yourself in ways that you wouldn’t if you had not read the book?   Who is your favorite author or book?  Why? Was it simply a great story, or something more? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Write on my friends, write on!

I Need A Hero

A romantic hero must possess an awareness of himself, his motives, convictions, and his inner world.   This hero must understand the value of his experiences, whether through intuition, logical reasonings, or dare I say it, getting in touch with his emotions.  He may act irrational, may behave contrary to his inner thoughts, but his awareness must be piqued.  The audience must be able to relate and emotionally connect with our romantic hero on some level of his emotions so that no matter what his experience is we can relate and expect the best of our hero.

In the romance genre there are a few stereotypes for our heroes.

Bad Boy Hero:

Nice girls and bad girls alike love to flirt with danger.  Nothing says danger more than the bad boy.  He is in a league of his own, breaking barriers, breaking rules, and breaking women’s hearts until he meets his match.   More heroines and readers fall for the Bad Boy than any other hero. He is the ultimate rebel: mysterious, aloof, seemingly indifferent, the one we are convinced we can change. He starts off behaving badly and unrepentant, a rebel through and through. His inner good is revealed in the end due to actions of the heroine or circumstances that force the Bad Boy to become the knight in shining armor, and reveal that she in fact is the one that broke through to the tender heart inside.

Alpha Male:

The Alpha Male…we love him, we hate him, we adore him and resent him. The born take-charge leader in any situation, all look up to him and want to be him. He’s cool, confident, steady, strong, and sure. And of course he is uber sexy – flinging his locks in a carefree manner.  A body like Joe Mangionella, hair like Fabio’s, a smile like Jake Gyllenhall, and a voice that leaves us weak in the knees. His ultimate role, I’ve noticed, is to take care of the heroine  in whatever capacity is availed to him.  He rescues her from a fall, from thieves and bandits, and always looks good doing it. Later, when the heroine has captured his attention he takes care of other needs like no one else is humanly capable of.  Fair damsels in distress, and the Disney hero is on the scene.

Brooding Hero:

What a tortured soul our Brooding hero is, misunderstood, just needing the opportunity to  prove himself. Oh, how we love to torment him!  He is aloof, angry, wounded, and ultimately the most vulnerable heroe out there.  The Brooding Hero has captured many hearts in recent history with Angel and Edward Cullen. Yes, the misunderstood sensitive brooding hero is the perfect foil for the paranormal.  Don’t hate him because he is vampire, he didn’t ask for this.

Rogue Hero:

The Rogue, the Regency staple, is essentially a womanizing cad, a promiscuous dog that would nail a snake if you held its head down. Other than needing a clean card from his physician, he is a charmer, can be quite dashing, carelessly sexy, carefree about life, and love.  The Rogue knows no bounds to his carnal desires, turning innocence to wanton, releasing the inner vixen in readers and heroines.  He embraces his women like he embraces life; with zeal and deep passion.  Commitment is not a word in his vocabulary, until the heroine turns his world on end, making nothing else matter as much as having her in his life.  If I were to write about the rogue, this is the point where my heroine would have him begging her, pleading her to stay with him, he’ll change and she turns the tables on him, shattering his life into a million brittle pieces, making him feel life is but a shallow husk without her in it.  but I believe in the happily ever after, so I skip this heartbreaker for my own writing.

Nerd Hero:

Another name for the Nerd Hero is the Beta Hero. He’s kind, sweet, and decent. He can be the goofy best friend, or the slightly awkward guy that is overlooked.  This hero type is thrust into the hero role almost exclusively due to the heroine, and always rises to the occasion proving that good guys are great guys, and great lovers!

Tycoon Hero:

This hero type  litters many romance books. He can be a millionaire, billionaire, prince, shiek, or wealthy boss. Ninety percent of the time the Tycoon starts out isolated and jaded.  He is dissatisfied with his “playboy life” and often meets a down to earth girl that shows him happiness.

Protector Hero:

The Protector Hero comes in many disguises and professions, most are obvious, but some are a little harder to discern . You can find him playing the role of a cop, firefighter, spy, detective, bodyguard, part of the military, etc. The plot behind many Protector Hero stories involves a mystery where he almost loses the heroine while trying to save her.  The near loss brings him to the reality that he needs her desperately.

Daredevil Hero:

Pirates, swashbuckler, and superheroes make up the majority of  Daredevil Heroes. They love action, fights, they live for the thrills. Enter the damsel in distress and they are on it! Daredevil heroes can sometimes be found in humorous romance, as their antics trying to impress the damsels are often quite comical, but in the end he wins the fair maidens heart.

Warrior Hero:

The Warrior Hero, oddly enough is a reluctant hero. He thinks he’s above it all. His mission is to fight and protect his home, his country, and his men. He fights for honor, integrity, he fights because he is a man above other men.  Then a woman shows up and throws his ordered world into chaos – gotta love that.  Havoc ensues, not necessarily because of her but it becomes centered around her.  He fights his emotions, fights love every step of the way.  Other lesser men fall for women’s charms but not him.  In the end, he’s the sweetest most docile caring lover that ever was, but the warrior is always just below the surface now ready to defend her honor and fight for his new life with her. Ironically, this hero is conquered by the most demure of heroines.

Paranormal Hero:

Then there’s the Paranormal Hero, when a human male just won’t cut it.  The Paranormal Hero is prepared to win hearts, yet steal our very souls. He oozes sex appeal with his otherworldly hotness, taking our imaginations down a one way road to a dead-end alley of no return.  He gives us images of erotic passions, extraordinary experiences that a simple human could never provide.  The ultimate forbidden fruit, tempting us to sample just one bite knowing there is no turning back.  Call him a vampire, a wizard, a lycanthrope, or whatever sort of being, it’s all the same to him.  He lost his soul ages ago, and the heroine might , just might be able to save his wretched soul from despair, or at least provide a good meal in the end.

The anti-hero:

The anti-hero is akin to the nerd hero, but is less obvious.  The reluctant hero, the guy you don’t expect to come through in the end.  Sometimes he seems like the antagonist, right up to the critical moment when it comes down to making the right choice, and hero boy can’t cut the muster, then anti-hero steps forward, letting the heroine know that he’s been there for her all along, and always will be.


So, where are these guys in real life?  Only in our imaginations, which is why we turn to fiction. In reality the alpha male that tries to boss us around or order us around is going to meet with firm resistance to the point that no matter how hot he is, he can take a flying leap back to the medieval times.  In real life bad boys end up in jail – not a promising future as provider for our future sons and daughters.  The tycoon?  Well, they are out there but we don’t travel in the same circles as Shiek Hotness, or Heir von Richness. There are plenty of rogues out there breaking hearts left and right.  When I come across the next ‘Angel’, I’ll send him on a mission to rid the plant of them.   In the meantime, you decide for yourself which heroes appeal to you.

In the end it all comes to this, we dream of being romanced, pursued with passion like the characters in those books.   We want the hero to want us, or at least a man who would romance us to some degree.

Write on my friends, write on!

It’s Alive!

Those famous words from Dr. Frankenstein came to my mind this morning while in a discussion with a writer friend.  It’s November, which means roughly 350,000 people or more are trying their hand at writing.

Remember in Ratatouille when the chef said “Anyone can cook.”?  That’s true, but not everyone cooks well.  The same is true for writing.  Anyone can write, not all can write well.  NaNoWriMO is a great time to try your hand at writing.  Thirty days of literary abandon that  serves several purposes.

  • Daily habit – A mere 1667 words a day, not a ridiculous amount but sometimes even that little bit is difficult especially if you are not in the daily habit of writing.
  • Accumulative Incentive – the 1667 adds up quickly, and NaNoWriMO has charts, calendars, and many materials to show you where you should be  for the word counts,  and shows the cumulative effect of doing it daily.  In a way it’s nearly as magical as the principle of compound interest.  Both are investments, it’s up to you to utilize them.
  • Get the first draft down – This point is confusing for many newbies.  A first draft is not a polished draft, and not everything you write is gold.  Voltaire wrote “Candide” in three days without the convenience of modern editing practices.  It is a short but enduring tale that entertains and mocks humanity itself, poking fun at every turn. The dry humor is as welcome today as it was shocking and in your face in its day. Hemingway it is said, edited one particular passage 37 times before he was satisfied.  Any writer worth their salt will spend more time editing than actually writing.  I know, sorry to burst your bubble but it’s true.
  • NaNoWriMo has a deadline and a finish line – for those of us, Yes, like me, that have a mountain of unfinished projects collecting dust like an old ladies Hummel figure collection, NaNo sets the pace, puts the finish line in clear sight, and has a definite deadline.  Thirty days, not thirty-one, not thirty-two.  50,000 words not 49,500 or 36,800 – 50,ooo words in thirty days.  It’s a mini marathon with daily workouts. They practically hold your hand, encouraging you to the finish.

As some of you may know, I changed my mind about participating in NaNO.  Yes, I know – back and forth, back and forth, like a ship tossed at sea.  Which was the final straw as my new project is about pirates, ships treasure, and romance on the high sea – arggggghhh.  I am plugging away at the NaNo novel, but I made myself a deal.  I will tackle my other irons first before ever putting a single word towards my nano count.  I am behind the curve where last year I was crushing it.  If you take into consideration though, the number of words written and edited daily on articles, Kiss of the Dragon, Faere Guardian, Love Notes and whatever Storytime project I”m working on, my daily word count for total number of words written is more like 4500 – 5000 a day. I am well aware I need to focus, that’s not the point here.  Let’s move on shall we?

So what has my dander up?  It’s many people posting to the NaNo group bragging about their most recent paragraph or prose.  It’s not one person but a collective of the general idea that their writing is golden.  Let’s get this put into perspective – a NaNo novel is 50,000 words – which is short of any standard length novel including YA, which runs between 60,000 and 75,000. Harlequin romances sometimes come in at 50000 as other trade romance novels.  I could almost guarantee though, that even Harlequin novels are edited and revised from their initial draft.  November is for writing, December is for editing.  Many seem to forget that necessary evil.

My second complaint about the mass number of posts is the telling.  I”m sure you’ve heard the old mantra show don’t tell when writing.

Johnny and Susie went into the barn.  Rick was dead in  Stars stall.  There was a bloody scythe hanging over the door and the rear door to the barn w as standing open.  Who could have done it?   ( The character names have been changed to protect the writer, and condensed slightly to make a point.)

Where’s the description?  Where is the emotion? The shock?  What about the senses?  I should be transported into that barn, Johnny and Susie laughing with each other lightheartedly joking about the fact that their friend Rick was always late.  Perhaps they were going to the show, or to a rodeo. Where’s the senses in this?  What are they seeing, hearing, what about the smell? The coppery tang to the air as they approach finding their friend in a pool of blood soaked straw, the dark crimson blood dripping from the scythe that is wobbling back and forth on the stall door.  Where is the building terror?  The sense of fear that the murderer wasn’t far as the scythe was still rocking and the door was swinging on its hinges?  I want it to draw me into the scene,  make me want more.

Sadly, many think because there is a mass of words in the file that their novel is complete.  First draft we write the backbone of the story, we tell. Second draft we create – breathing life into a dead document, making the characters live, adding depth,breadth, and length, giving it flavor.  You don’t want to read my first draft for a love scene.  It often reads like a technical manual.  Insert tab A into slot B, repeat.  OK, not quite that bad but you get the idea.

Anyone can write, but it takes work to write a story that readers want to read.  It’s my goal to improve my craft, working towards a polished piece that leaves a reader on the edge of her seat, turning pages to find out what happens next.  I’m not the fastest writer, nor do I come up with the most ingenious plots.  Simple plots can come to life when the right words are strung together.  the basic plot of all romance writing is very simple – two people fall in love, and in my world, live happily ever after.  The same plot can be told millions of different ways.  When I can get my writer’s voice out-of-the-way enough to get the reader involved with my characters needs and desires, then I have succeeded in telling a tale worth reading.

Sadly, many NaNoers will put out a Frankennovel.  They have every right to feel proud for accomplishing the goal of 50000 words, and reaching the end, but much like The monster with the Abby Normal brain, it just ain’t quite right!  Do us all a favor and edit the crap out of that beast before publishing.

Write on my friends, write on!