Tag Archives: Eliza Jane and Grady

Draft done

Finished the first draft. My first drafts are way too thin, but the basic plot structure is there and the characters are developed. Now to go build their world.

I’ve been listening to one of my early books that’s been produced into an audio book. WOW. I tell my students that all the time: two musts if you want to be a writer–read a lot and write a lot. I’ve written a lot in the last ten years.

I’m in the middle of reading a book by one of my former students right now. I can’t wait to share more about that book with my blog followers. People are going to love Laney.

Jodi’s posts about Laney helped me with my first draft of the new book. I checked out strong female country artists on spotify and they helped me write more words a night than I had in forever. I love writing to songs that set the tone for my books. (Amy LaVere’s Damn Love Song might be my most favorite song ever!)

Looking forward to working through this draft. I don’t rush revisions any more, though. I’ve found time is a HUGE help on revisions.

People ask about writing processes all the time. To be honest, any time I read about other authors’ processes, I hang on to their every word. But I’ve also discovered the writing process changes from person to person. I used to critique with the amazing writer who wrote scenes all out of order. If something popped in her brain, it went down on paper, no matter where the scene took place in the book. I plotted with a best seller who wrote a scene and revised it to perfection before moving on. When she finished a book it was D.O.N.E.

I have to get my beginning set and then I can write like crazy to get to the end of the draft. Other than my beginning, my draft is CRAPTASTIC with moments of magic. I go through and flesh it out a couple times then let it rest, go work on something else, then come back. I have to handle revisions like this, especially during the school year.

It’s going to be crazy cold tonight again. March and we’ve got a winter weather advisory. STRANGEST winter ever. At least all that cold inspired me to write. 🙂




That moment when…

I added Within Temptation to my current WIP playlist. Within Temptation is a mainstay of my Sharlene Gallagher book playlists. It instantly pulled me from the book mid-scene. Won’t do that again. Music is powerful stuff.

I’ve rushed this book. The plot is all kinds of crazy. Good thing it’s the crappy first draft. If I can whip this cold from hell into shape I can finish the first draft this weekend, I think. If I can’t whip the cold into shape I’m going to be an unhappy camper. I’ll share my unhappiness here, I’m sure.

Speaking of unhappy and cold, it’s going to be 12 here in two days. It was 80 today.

To end on a happy note, a fellow teacher gave me a GREAT gift today. I can’t wait to get it framed and hanging in my house. It’s the second gift of art I’ve gotten this week. I love my job and the people I work with. ❤





That was surprising

I didn’t expect to get a lot of writing done tonight since we’re working on deadline and it was small group night. But I’m at that part of the story where everything starts to fall apart, and that tends to be pretty fast writing in the draft stage. I was hoping for 500. I got almost 2k. I’ll take it.

We talked about men we admire in small group tonight. It’s easy to think of that in superficial terms, which would be the complete opposite of what small group’s about. I said my dad. My dad can stay calm in chaos like no one else I know. He never freaks out. He doesn’t judge people. He prays. He goes through life these days with some pretty awful pain because of arthritis. If I had psoriatic arthritis, I feel quite confident the whole world would know about it. I definitely didn’t keep my frozen shoulder secret, and that was just for a few months. But Dad doesn’t whine. He just keeps on keeping on. I’m glad he’s my dad, and I’m glad he’s always been there to look up to.

If I keep going with this draft like I have, meeting the first draft done by spring break goal won’t be a problem.

Bonnie, if you’re reading this THANK YOU for kicking my butt back into gear nicely….

The words today included QUITE the shock!


Oh insomnia…

I think insomnia goes hand in hand with writing for me. Turning characters off so I can sleep isn’t always easy. That could be a good thing if I didn’t report to work at 7:25 Monday-Friday. Nah. It would still be a bad thing. Because I might be able to create for hours, but sleep is essential. At least it is for me.

The 5k day yesterday hurt my arm all day today. It was either that or the cold front moving in. UGH! Not sure which. I am sure I wrote again tonight, but I stopped early because I’m not up to hurting again tomorrow.

It’s fun to watch the word count meter crawl closer to the end. One day at a time. That’s the key to finishing this book. I hope I’ll have a draft done by Spring Break. Fingers crossed it happens. Today’s writing ended with one of those “didn’t see that one coming” moments that make the first draft so much fun. My poor heroine. She’s going through hell in this novel. SOOOOOO much fun to write.




Today’s writing day was incredible. BUT I didn’t do what I promised myself. I didn’t take it easy, and now I’m blogging after icing down the arm. That is not okay.

But I get into the story and I just get lost in it. Until I look up and two hours have gone by and I haven’t stopped to even get a drink.

I’m going to have to start setting a time or something.


I’ve had a few questions about the book. I’m not sharing yet because I learned a long time ago that I can’t talk about the story or I lose the push to write it.  I don’t know why, but that’s the way my writer brain works.

I know some people can talk out their stories and actually end up with a better book. Not me.

Of course some people can’t write to music with words, and I write better to music with words. I’m having so much fun listening to new music while I write. Loving all the strong women anthems in the country world. Thank goodness for spotify and the Nashville soundtracks.

It’s going to get cold again this week. I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate that!

I’m ready for spring.


Prayers and positive healing thoughts for my mom, please. She went to the doctor Friday and got diagnosed with pink eye. Today she went to the ER because it hurt so bad. The doctor took one look at her eye and said that’s not pink eye. He did some tests and found a scratch on her cornea. He ordered her to go to an ophthalmologist first thing tomorrow and gave her eye drops to use every hour for twelve hours then every two for twelve more hours. I’m not a fan of our ER docs because none of them in town are in network for BCBS. They refused to accept the terms of the insurance company about four years ago, and that’s never been resolved. BUT I sure am thankful for them when they’re needed. Those of us with BCBS can just pay $5 a month on our bills until they’re paid off.


P.S. WAY to go Jr. That was one heck of an end to the race. #NASCAR fan for life even though I only got to watch the last 30 laps since it was on during prime writing time because of the rain delay.

Date Day and Writing

It would be easy to lose myself in a novel over the weekend. But I’m working hard NOT to do that. Today was date day. DH and I went to the Home & Garden show. Awesome this year! We went out to eat and then we watched HOURS of House of Cards Season 2. I’m still stunned with that ending. We finished the day with a little Olympics.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m disappointed with NBC’s decision to air the Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan story tomorrow. It’s the last day of the Olympics. I’d rather see something about the current Olympians. I know Costas, et al. have done several segments throughout the games, but I’d still rather keep the focus on our current athletes. Show the Harding, Kerrigan story next week.
After date day came writing time. Yesterday I wrote my poor heroine into a near death experience. I couldn’t very well leave her there.
I’m really enjoying this draft. I’ve given myself permission to write crap, and there have been a couple days where I wondered what happened to my command of the English language. One day I had to delete more than I kept. I know there will be more of those days. But I’m not thinking too much about that. Instead I’m focusing on how writing some every day gets me closer to the goal of the end.

It’s interesting how the “permission to write crap because you can’t fix a blank page” mentality frees my creativity. I have two amazing young men working on closing copy for the yearbook. One isn’t even in my class, the other is in a non-writing class. Both are known as amazing writers around campus, and they have done a GREAT job with the words, but they’re not quite there yet. They’re not honest enough. I made the guys take the oath Friday. They resisted. They’re used to writing for their English teachers instead of for readers. Sometimes, especially in upper level classes, kids are so focused on getting the words right they don’t realize that getting them wrong first leads to magic later. By 5:22 Friday evening, they understood. I told them to keep notebooks around for the weekend and warned them that inspiration could strike at any moment. It’s going to be interesting to see what they come back with Monday.

Just like it’s going to be interesting to see how many words I have on this novel draft Monday. 🙂


The Pay Off

Yesterday’s words were hard fought. I mean I had to tell my brain to shut up and force every sentence. But I did it. I didn’t stop and check out the Olympics. I didn’t go to cnn.com or timesrecordnews.com or huffingtonpost.com. I forced myself to write.

Today I was at school until late and had to go grocery shopping. I hate grocery shopping alone, but it’s lots of fun with hubby. We made steaks, and I tried a new recipe: roasted cauliflower (recipe at bottom of post). We watched the Olympics while we were eating. Quarterfinals for some cool looking skiing event with lots of jumps and skids and all sorts of fun. It would have been easy to skip the writing tonight, especially when yesterday’s words were so hard to come by.

But I didn’t. I started at 8:30 and finished at 10:30 and right now, I like the words. I kind of love them. I have no idea how I’ll feel about them when I get to revisions, but I’m not going to worry about that right now. This is the draft stage, and I gave myself permission to write crap because I can’t fix a blank page. It’s way easier to teach it than to do it. 🙂



Roasted Cauliflower:

I head of cauliflower. (The fresh stuff, not frozen.)

4 TBSP butter. (I’ll use 2 next time and add some coconut or olive oil)

Minced onion, garlic salt, pepper.

Stick it in the oven at 350 for an hour stirring every once in a while.

AMAZING, Easy, low-carboliciousness ❤