Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Funny Coincidence

We just got a new car! My husband's business partner made the arrangements and we drove over to pick it up. I thought we were getting a Grand Marquis. We arrived at night, and the car was sleek and long and silver. We got in and looked at it----grey leather.....luxurious....not brand new---but almost! And then my son said, "Its a Crown Victoria!" Well, blow me down!
My son said, "Mommy, it's meant to be that you have this car." I think so too. I'm one of the few people in this world obsessed with Queen Victoria and her dependents. I bought two grey stuffed animals---for the back of the car. Guess what I named them? Victoria and Albert...
Anyway---its odd how the small things in life can bring us such happiness. The car isn't perfect, but I love it to death. It rides like a dream and after all these years I have a tape deck that works and, mind you, a CD player. Finally, I can listen to my tapes from church and from Joyce Meyer---I've collected so many over the years. I feel like a Queen. I also feel very safe in it...and there's three seat bealts in the back for my son and his friends.
It's early Saturday morning. I'm sitting in bed with my laptop with CNN on in the background. My boxers---Hunter and Rocco, are beside me on the bed, snoring. My husband is in the living room with the kids. I think he snuck out there to watch TV. My son and his friends had a little sleepover in the living room. All the kids are sleeping on the couch, including my husband, who is sleeping sitting up. He's a great Daddy, but he has a hard time giving up his couch and his cable TV.
Later in the day we are taking all the children to Toys-R-Us. As I have said in the past, its wonderful to see the happiness in a child's face----knowing that you are helping to build happy memories that they will carry with them forever. My home has always been one of the fun places to come for a sleep over (or so they say). It's a lot of work and disruption but it's worth it.
Onto writing....I'm dabbling in a little Regency piece that I might send off for possible publication. I haven't decided yet for sure. My UK critique partner is done with her new novel!---the first rough draft! I'm still working on the critique and soon she is going to start on the revisions---in part based on my suggestions. Usually what I do is work on it every weekend and then send it to her so she has in on Monday mornings. I try and do a chapter a week. That seems to work well for me.
We have both come to the realization, happily, that we work very well together. Our styles seem to mesh so well. I sent her 2 pages of the Regency story and... back it came with several suggestions to make it better. Without thinking about it too much and too hard, I incorporated her suggestions into the narrative---it was a trust thing. I was amazed at how perfect it seemed to be afterward. I sent her an email to point out how nice the finished scene seemed to be. She also felt it had come out pretty nicely. The fun thing was, though, we weren't even trying that hard.
We aren't sure if we should meet, at least right now. Our working relationship seems to be so productive--that we wonder if meeting would somehow spoil it. We don't want to mess with a formula that seems to be working so well.
Last week I found out that she only lives 30 minutes from Windsor Castle in England. Oh, what luck! I'm not sure what we are going to do with that new found discovery, if anything, but if I need any in particular concerning Windsor---the seat of the English Monarchy, I'm sure she can help me out.
The American Christian Fiction Writers Annual conference is over---and from reading the email loop, it would appear it was really a blessing to many of the writers who went. I long to go in the future. I know its not time (for me) to go yet with a little one at home. But it something to look forward to---and its fun to hear all about it second-hand, which is almost as good. I have to decide if I can go to the October luncheon for the mid-atlantic area which will be taking place in Philadephia in October. The Ladies-In-Waiting group is, as usual, bursting with activity. These girls are a lot of fun as well as being extremely talented. I go and look at their websites---and just surf---and I get lost....between the blogs and the excerpts and their favorite links....and their email loop is always so interesting. Some of the authors write for Highland Press which is an up and coming publisher of historicals----and we are talking real historicals, which is nice.
The Historical Novel Society seems to be quieter...but each email loop contains something fascinating. These authors are serious writers. Well, all the groups have serious writers. I can't limit it just to the HNS! I enjoy their magazine which comes out (is it bi-monthly, I think?) Its packed with all the new books coming out---all the new deals the authors have, and more. Overall, with these three groups, I feel very lucky! I'm learning so much.
My battery is almost dead---so, I better save this post while I can....
Let me think of a little tidbit I could leave you with.....Since I mentioned Windsor---and also Victoria and Albert... did you know they spent their honeymoon there? It was a very, very short one, however. Victoria was sublimely happy on her wedding night. The happiness, love and joy she felt and expressed are quite touching...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Good Grief!

Good Grief is right! Where has the time gone? Its September already! I have much to catch up on. By the way, the above picture is the view from my living room. Pretty.

I have to come on and edit some of my posts and take out some of those nasty spelling errors. More important, I suppose I should fill you in---or remind myself of what I have been doing these past months.

Its not all my fault about not writing. I lost my Gateway computer. My dear husband bought my son and I (both) a laptop---two of them. I was so happy getting all my things set up, and my favorites. I had queen pictures posted on my desk-top and I had lots of photos of jewels and I was really getting somewhere. One day I turned on my laptop, and only a bit of the screen was there---the rest was black. The little bit that was showing was jumping up and down. Evidently my liquid screen had broken down. I called Gateway immediately and that began a real nightmare. My paperwork got confused with some else's in Colorado and my computer was sent back, not touched. When I called them I was told that I broke the LCD screen----that it was a customer induced break. They said they knew it. Well, how, I wonder--- could I have broken it? I had just used it the night before and all was well. When I told them that it could have been broken in shipping or in the warehouse or dropped. Oh, no, I was told. It was absolutely me. What would it cost to repair? They told me a whopping $450.00. Sheeeesssshhhh!!!!! I could almost buy a new laptop for that.

My son and I have been sharing a computer. His battery charger doesn't work, and my computer screen doesn't, so we charge up the battery in mine and put it in his computer and this gives us about 2 hours of computer time.

I'm still reading and corresponding (a little) with my email loops. I'm amazed when I have the time to sit and read through many wonderful authors I am privy to. One of the groups had a fantastic writing course that went on for months. It was amazing. If you have a question, someone gets back to you quickly. I love reading the excerpts and reviews of all their books and hearing about their WIP's. So many of these girls have trilogies and more!

I met a great girl who lives in the UK and she is about the same age as me and she writes sooo quickly...!! She is really a good writer and her characters manage to pull me in. Right now we're going through one of her manuscripts...and I love the heroine....who lived over 100 years ago. Obviously its an historical, and based in the United States. I am really loving the story and the girl is already up to 85,000 words. She's a speed demon. Since she lives in the UK, she may be sending me a few useful books for my royal writing.

I haven't done any more articles.....but I think I will. I've been reading a lot---and I cant seem to finish anything. I go from one book to another to another----some fiction, some biography, some fictional biography....and then magazines. I just cant get satisfied. Lately I've even been reading Jane Austen and loving it. I've been spending some time reading Phillipa Gregory---oh, she is so good! I've even been reading the diary of Thomas Moore...written from about 1925 till 1947 or so. Its just a printing of his daily diary. For me this is a wonderful way to see what happened in Britian during that time. He moved in high circles----he is always talking about one Lord or another or writing about being invited to Lady So and So's dinner party. Often he supped....which means he ate supper. Last night I was reading that because of the terrible rain one night he was forced to take a chaise home! A chaise? Obviously that was some sort of carriage.

I drift between the Regency period and the Victorian---even the Edwardian....and sometimes I look at my writing and think, "Oh, how awful." I know everybody has that feeling. I need to conjure up some "Ooomph" and real feeling and just choose a story and jump into it and let it take me away. Writing is intended to take us away and not upset us and so I should write to please myself first and not worry so much. If I make a mistake in a description of clothing or mess up a time frame or whatever, so what? I do so need to be taken away. I'm working at home now, which is a blessing but I'm without a car at the moment and I've been kind of housebound. It does get depressing at times. I don't mean a real depression---you know, just the blues and a bit of stir-craziness....I also have to pack up about 5-8 more boxes and have them sent to storage and finish re-arranging my apartment....and get rid of this clutter. There's not all that much left but it does get me down. I might hire someone to come in and help me organize the last of it. Its something I hate, hate, hate to do and I'm terrible at.

I do have to say that I quit smoking about 3-1/2 months ago. I used everything on the market....zyban....smoke away and also nicorette....all at once...and I'm doing pretty well. I'm not dreaming about cigarettes and besides having a bigger appetite, I feel pretty good. I'll have a few pounds to take off in the end, but I'm healthier...and its very calming to go thru a day with no caffeine...and just feel the quietness.....its very nice. I did it so I can be around for my little boy and I wanted to show him that if you pray for strength--God will help you. Its important to me that he sees me do it and believe, so he will know what to do in his life. The Lord did not let me down.....I did not have horrible cravings and I had peace! Oh, it wasn't was Him!

I wish in a way I had someone to work with me. I do very well with my wonderful UK friend but I have no idea if she seriously would consider doing something with me. WE feed off each other wonderfully.

Need to sign off....Okay, something on QV as I call her..... when she had her first baby, it was a grey, rainy day outside...all she could see was the grey weather outside her bedroom window and some smoke from the chimney. Sounds rather cozy, doesn't it?