Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lost Chapter Teaches Organization Lesson

Ok. I’m not the most organized person in the world. I know, that’s a shocker for anyone who knows me *snorting here*. But last weekend, going through a revision, I discovered I’d lost a chapter. Really. It was nowhere to be found.

I was reading along about half way through the story, turned the page from one chapter to the next--and went into an entirely different place.

The heroine had been preparing for dinner, at which time she would confront her betrothed—a man she’d just met. She’d girded herself for battle, so to speak, and the chapter ended on a hook (I’d hoped.) Breathless to see what I’d written, I flipped that page—and found myself in the middle of a storm at sea.

Hummm. I checked the rest of the manuscript. I’d printed it off because it’s easier for me to check continuity that way. The story continued right along, with no more interruption and no out-of-place pages that I might have gotten mixed up. Didn’t find that chapter. Had no memory of what happened in the missing link.

I was so upset, I had to get up and get a cup of coffee and a peanut butter cookie.

Let me explain that part. Last weekend I went on a write-in sort of getaway at a campground several miles away. Seven women were there, along with an employee of the organization that owns the camp who cooked for us Saturday and again Sunday morning. OhMyGosh!! Food was homemade and So good. But I digress LOL.

This manuscript was one I finished at the end of 2011 and was so sick of, I hadn’t looked at it since. Last month, I decided to haul it out and try to get it in shape to send out at least once or twice. (It had done pretty well in contests last year.) I’d gotten through about half and decided to take the last half to the write-in for editing and revision.

That’s when the error was discovered. Saturday, I spent a good deal of time searching the computer and finally found the problem. I’d picked up the wrong file when I merged chapters. After a few whispered prayers of ‘Thanks,’ I realized the blame partly lay in my writing process.

I write in chapters, then merge them all. I’d revised that particular chapter, saved it under another name, but picked up the old chapter when I assembled the whole book. I was so relieved I celebrated with another peanut butter cookie.

That scare taught me a valuable lesson in organization, and my writing process will be structured differently from now on. 

What about you. Have you ever ‘lost’ a piece of your story? How do you organize a WIP?

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Unconscious Obsession

Daniel Craig
On the heels of Cecily's "Crush" post, I finally became aware of my obsession recently, and even though I've retraced my steps, I cannot find where it all started. As I edited a manuscript scheduled for release soon, I noticed my male character was blond haired and blue eyed. In the past few months, I've written a couple of stories in which the hero is blond and blue-eyed. 

Simon Baker
Sean Bean
One day, I posted a pic on facebook in my readers group of Simon Baker. He's blond and blue eyed and oh so dreamy to stare at. Then there's Chris Hemsworth, Paul Walker, Connor Trineer, Daniel Craig, Sean Bean, and my new cover crush whose face adorns my facebook cover, my business cards and my banner... you get the idea. (insert cheesy grin here) I don't even want to say his name, you know to protect my precious... *ahem*

Chad Kroeger of Nickelback fame has blond hair and green eyes. Eric Dane boasts the green sparklies.

Chad Kroeger

As I wrote this post, I thought back to high school when the blond haired, blue eyed new guy sat near me in math class. An older guy coming back to finish up high school, he frequently asked me for test answers. Did I give him those answers? Damn skippy! Hey - he was hottie and although I was well aware he was using me, one flash of his grin and I'd turn a fetching shade of red, and my ears would burn 'til they were purple flames. I loved the ill-gotten attention. *hangs head in shame*

Sam Worthington
I have had a couple of trysts, let's say, with men who were either blond haired and blue or green eyed. At least this time, I knew the female power I possessed and had only to flash my t-- teeth (you know big, sweet smile? get your mind out of the gutter people!) to capture their attention and turn them into putty in my hands.  Can't say as any of my time was wasted with either of them!
Henry Cavill

Jason O'Mara
Julian McMahon
Perhaps it's not even the blond hair. Jason O'Mara, Henry Cavill, and Sam Worthington have darker hair, but amazing blue eyes. I fell in love with green-eyed Satan himself, Julian McMahon on Charmed. And who could forget Gerard Butler?

Gerard Butler
What is it about a pair of green sparklies or baby blues that mesmerizes me? Is it because I feel like I'm staring into the soul of my savior, or because I see the devil inside that wants to be set free?

Alas, I don't know. But I realize this "eye thing" at the very least is an obsession. An unconscious one, but still, perhaps a little therapy is in order. Admitting I have a problem is the first step to getting help, right? But I don't see a problem here, do you? *skips off to google*

How about any of you? Any "obsessions" you care to share?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Awkward Crush

So, I've been thinking a lot about crushes.

I mean, I get it.
It's a crush.
It's not supposed to feel good, exactly.
It's more like that epic moment before orgasm, when you're perched at the edge of madness, writhing in agony, waiting for the bliss you're sure is coming. The problem with crushes is that their fate is more often like roses than firecrackers.

For example, a few weeks ago I couldn't sleep (no news there) so I went into the living room to browse the DVR and eat potato chips out of the bag (also not a shock). At random, I selected an MTV show called Awkward (research, obviously, since I write YA).
The show was pretty cute. Funny, too, if you like that kind of thing.
But that's not why I kept watching for ten hours straight until my children woke up demanding breakfast (please don't ever tell my husband that).
I kept watching because of this guy:

Beau Mirchoff.

He's twenty-three and plays a sixteen-year-old. (Okay, twenty-four in January. . . Not that one year makes me less pervy, but at least he's legal. Sigh.) With that in mind, here's another photo from his shirtless stint on Desperate Housewives.

I know, right?
He totally wants me.

Anyway, here's my dilemma:
Obviously, we're meant to be together, but I have this rule, you see. I won't eroticize anyone for whom I could have concievably changed diapers. And this tasty snack of manness is twenty-three, ergo, well within babysitting limits for me.

I can't even look at him.
So, so wrong.
And yet. . . LOOK at him!
I keep waiting for the crush to do it's usual thing. . . wither like those grocery-store roses boys bring you on Valentine's day. And sure, so far it's decreased from drool-dripping, lip-biting, heart-thumping obsession to a mere crush.
But come on!
I need to sleep, okay?
I can't be stalking the DVR at all hours, waiting for MTV to re-run Awkward Second Season, Episode 3 so I can watch him take his shirt off again. (Admittedly, the fact that I made notes on this boy's shirtlessness is embarrassing in its own right. Don't tell hubs that either.)

So here's my new rule:
If I could have given birth to a boy, I can't eroticize him.

That opens up a lot of doors for me. I can still have Chris Pine, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Channing Tatum and Ian Somerhalder.
But now I get Beau Mirchoff, too.

Yeah, I'm sure you're all as relieved as I am.

Now, what about y'all?
Who are your dirty little crushes?