Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Blue Moon review-



"McShane's fictional examination of one man's choice - whether to continue a life terrorizing others or to destroy himself - addresses issues of choice in the nonfictional world. Perhaps informed by his days working in a funeral parlor, McShane clearly understands the many emotions surrounding death and impending death. I don't want to put words in the author's mouth, but I must state that he has written a chillingly accurate account of the thought processes involved in such life-death choices as suicide (assisted and otherwise), abortion, and, yes, even murder.
It is this gift for depicting horrible thoughts with such realism that sets McShane apart from other authors in this genre. He has taken a common storyline - that of the werewolf - and added angles most authors are afraid to explore.
If you're looking for a story that will make you reflect on your own beliefs, and if you're not afraid of what you might find, then you will be delighted with Blue Moon. It will keep you thinking long after you've read the final words."

You can get Blue Moon in paperback or eBook.
http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Moon-first-hand-becoming-werewolf/dp/0595130046/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325345576&sr=1-4

And coming soon as an eBook, the Blue Moon sequel, The Rise of the Son.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What a day-

Yikes, what a day!  Today was one of those days when I really wanted to just throw in the towel and not give a crap about being so close to retirement.  Unfortunately it was because of a few random customers who were in a bad mood or just naturally crazy.  Either way, they spewed their bad vibes all over me and those vibes stuck like glue for the rest of the day.  I am about to have a glass (or three) of wine.  I decided to do my blog entry beforehand as to protect you from a lot of al aoiaisjnd ljlj hi!-that.

But you know, Steve and I are strong believers that everything happens for a reason.  And today, even though it was crap on Pol's head day, I came out on top.  As I fumed all the way home at lunch to let the baby out, I had an epiphany.  I suddenly realized that I have the sequel to Blue Moon that I have never published just sitting on the perpetual shelf collecting fairy dust.  I realized I could easily prepare it and release it as an eBook, which is exactly what I am going to do.  The book is called The Rise of the Son.  And no, that's not a typo, you have to read Blue Moon to see why Sun is spelled Son, and you can do that by clicking the following link.
http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Moon-first-hand-becoming-werewolf/dp/0595130046/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325203853&sr=1-4

I've said that I am going to do whatever I can to get to Woodland Park sooner than my 03/2015 retirement date.  I hope to already be there by this time 2014!  The next year or two will be a whirlwind of writing, and publishing and marketing.  So hold onto your hats!

Now where's that damn glass?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Christmas trip-

Well, Christmas is over.  The end of the year is just about upon  us.  I guess it's been an okay year.  We're still alive, still healthy, still have jobs, and still have each other.  But I am looking forward to 2012 like you wouldn't believe!

What's been going on with me for the past few days?  Well, since most of you who are reading this are my Face book friends or Twitter followers, you probably know what I've been up to.  I ended up going with Steve to Amarillo to visit his parents.  I'm glad I did, too.

Aside from being with Steve on Christmas, we had a nice drive up there (the drive back was a horrific traffic cluster fuck, so I won't even get into that).  Buster did really well on the drive.  It was his first long car ride and we were a little worried.  But he just lay in the back of the Jeep on his bed and didn't complain once.  And when we got to Steve's folks' house, he was the poster child for the world's most well-behaved dog.

On Christmas morning it started to snow.  It began before we woke up, so we had that moment when you look outside and the world has been turned into  a winter wonderland overnight.  I hadn't had that experience since I moved from New York over 30 years ago.
The snow continued to fall throughout the day and was absolutely beautiful.  It only solidified our yearning desire to move to Colorado and experience snowfall and an actual winter even more.  To get out of Austin once and for all.  We couldn't help but think that, if we were already living in Woodland Park, we would have been home five hours sooner than we actually ended up arriving, after the bumper to bumper to bumper traffic from Ft. Worth to Georgetown, which took 3 1/2 hours . . . but I digress to the horrific cluster fuck trip home.

Anyway, it was nice to get home and plop down on our own couch and flip the channel to our own TV (and not watch Fox News).  Home is always wonderful to return to after a long trip.  And as long as Steve and I and the Buster boy are arriving with each other and we're all safe and sound, it will always be good to be home again, no matter where it is at the moment.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A real vacation-

I have spent the last few weeks going over Luthor and making edits and doing yet another polish.  As a writer, every time you read your work you see something that would read a bit better if a few words were changed or a sentence was moved from the beginning to the end of a paragraph.  Over the years I have done this countless times to Luthor.  But this is the last time and it feels great.  Now it will go to the editor next week and that will be that.  And now that my job is done (until I get it back from the editor), I can finally relax.

Tomorrow starts our Christmas vacation.  Originally Steve and I were not going to be able to spend the Christmas holiday together because he was going to Amarillo to see his parents and I was going to stay home with the baby.  But as it ends up, we're all going.  This will be Buster's first long car ride.  I think he'll be fine (Please don't get sick in Steve's new Jeep).

As for me, well, Amarillo isn't the most picturesque place in the world, but we'll be together and that's all that we really care about.  (Yes, we're sickeningly still in love like that.)  There may be a chance that it will snow in Amarillo around Christmas and it will be the first white Christmas I've had in about 30 years.

But it won't be the last!

In a few years (two if my plan goes as we hope) we will be moving to Woodland Park and living the life we've been dreaming of for a while, in the mountains of Coloroado!

I wish all of you the happiest of holidays!  And I hope all your Christmas wishes come true.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My rock-

I realized that a lot of you (most of you) who are reading this now are not that familiar with who I am.  It has only been within the last month or so that I've started reinventing myself with a new sense of vigor.
 Since I'm about to start a brand new chapter in my life, with all of you along for the ride, it seems only fitting to give you a bit of back story of what really gives me strength.  Of course you could go back and scroll through the past entries-broken and scattered as they are-but since this is a new chapter-let's start new . . .

I won't bore you with my childhood (trust me, it's not worth repeating).  Let's just jump to the important part.  That would have started the day Steve walked into my life about twenty years ago.  There was an instant attraction between us, and a bond that seems to be made of some indestructible material.  We were best friends for a year and spent every day together.  Unable to fight it, we realized a couple was what we were destined to be.
In 2008 we were married on the 40th floor of a hotel in Canada, overlooking Niagara Falls.

Steve has been my number one fan (sorry for the Annie Wilkes sound off) throughout the years.  Through my ups and downs (the many there have been) he has never faltered.  As I mentioned a few days ago, he is the main reason I keep writing.  He is the spark that keeps me going.  To finally, one day, show him that he was right to have faith in me.  He was right to keep pushing me.  He was right.

Each time I take on a new project, write another book, another screenplay, whatever, I feel one step closer to reaching that goal Steve has always known I can reach.  And I feel it again now.  Stronger than ever. 
And if you are reading this blog, then you are going to be a part of it.  And I thank you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Full circle

It's strange, this life thing. 
In 1996, Steve got me a seven-week-old golden retriever puppy.  I had just finished my first novel and knew right away that I wanted to name my new puppy after the title character-Luthor.
For more than eight years Luthor brought us joy and filled our lives with so much happiness we couldn't believe.
Then things started to change . . .

In 2001, 9/11 happened.  In 2003, the war in Iraq began.  Then, shortly after, our lives changed forever when Luthor was diagnosed with cancer.  He went through Chemotherapy with no bad side effects and thought he would be just fine.  But that was not the case. 
Luthor began to do what they called "walk the walls".  He would need to lean against walls in order to walk straight.  We immediately took him to the doctor and they did a CAT scan.  We were called and told that the cancer was not gone, in fact, it had spread to Luthor's brain, and there was nothing they could do.  We never brought Luthor home that day.  We were with him when they put him to sleep, a month before his ninth birthday.

I have never in my life known such anguish.  We were both devestated.  My heart was broken.  I admit that there were times when I wasn't sure I wanted to go on, but I knew I had to because Steve needed me.

So go on I did.  And the years passed.  Then Buster came into our lives and taught us how to love and laugh again.

Now, in 2011, the war in Iraq has finally ended.  Last night the last of the U.S. troops left.  And at this time, our lives are about to change again because of that book I wrote so long ago.  That book that is Luthor's namesake. 

Our lives were never the same once Luthor came into it, and they would never be the same once he left.  But he is never far from our thoughts. 
I know he is with me as I embark on this new journey.  And I hope he gives me the strength he did as he walked by my side so long ago.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Okay, let's try this again . . .

Yes, it's me again.  And yes, I have faltered from posting for months on end again.  But as the title of the blog states, it's the ups and downs of a writer.  You have days when you feel that your career is about to make a complete 180, and then it all slips right through your fingers. 
There have been so many times when I simply wanted to give the whole thing up, forget the writing, forgetting getting that big break.  But being a writer, I can't.  It's in my blood.  And, as I've mentioned in earlier posts, I need to be successful for Steve.

Okay, let's get caught up.

I've completed the first two installments of my young adult series.  (Sorry, I still won't say anything more about them in fear of having the idea stolen.)  I've sent out tons of letters to agents and publishers but I get the same response: "We love the idea, but it's simply not right for us at this time."  In other words, fuck off.  But I know that one day that one person will see the potential in the series and they will be rewarded with its success. 

So, in the meantime I have revamped my book Luthor.  It's a book I wrote about 17 years ago.  It's one that is near and dear to my heart.  (It's mentioned in the bio on my book Blue Moon that we named our first golden retriever after the title character.)  And during the last week or so, I have had an epiphany.  I am about to embark on something with Luthor that I'm hoping will start turning things around for me, and possibly open up new doors for my young adult series. 
That's the main reason I've started posting in this blog again-to take you along for the ride.

What else? Oh, the movie that was being done based on Blue Moon, well, after about six years of dealing with it, the producer has pretty much fucked me (and not in a good way).  Now, the movie has been changed so much, the title is Blood Moon and it is only "inspired" by my book.  And I don't get a dime.
That was one of the reasons I was on a down period. 

But I'm being proactive as of late and I know things are about to change.  I hope you'll stick with me, and I promise I'll stick with you.

Later-

Sunday, March 27, 2011


It seemed at times it would never happen, but I have finished the first draft of the second installment of the new series. I'm so excited. I think it turned out great. Now, I have to go through and reread it a few times and polish it up and make it even better.

It took a lot of research to get this installment completed. I have always been a stickler for trying my hardest to get things right in my books, so when this one called for various locations and technical jargon, I had to start learning. But I'm glad I did because it only made the book that much better. Steve even commented on how much research I had done for the book.

I still haven't heard anything back from any takers on the publication side of things. But that's okay. Everything happens when it's supposed to happen. One way or another, this series will be published and the world will love it, I just know it!

As for anything else that's been going on in my life, there hasn't been much. I've been going to work and coming home to write. I finished the book this morning around 7 a.m. and spent the day purposely not doing anything because I wanted a break. But all day long I felt as if I was doing something wrong because I wasn't writing.

Now, I'm going to sit on the couch and read a book and then watch the tube.

Later-

Be nice to each other.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


It's been a busy week. I took off the entire week so that I could do one final polish on the first installment of the new series. I had thought I was done with it, but after a friend read it and found a mistake or two, even after being through a professional edit job, I thought I would read through it again just to make sure. And while I was at it, I couldn't help but add a few things here and there. I'm sure it would happen each time I were to read through it. It's just the nature of the beast. It will never be perfect in my eyes. There's always something I could add or tweak. This time, I added a total of 2, 094 words. I hadn't even realized until I did a new word count. Hopefully it's good enough now.
Yesterday I sent out some sample chapters to one publisher and three more agents. I haven't sent out the entire manuscript yet, but I will be doing that very soon.
Anyway, now that the reread is done, it's time to get back to working on the second installment. I am so close to finishing I can taste it. Although I spent the morning doing research on the Florida Everglades (hence the picture) and the more I research, the more ideas I get and the longer the story gets. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the book being long. It can't be too long for me. But I also know that this is only the first draft and it will grow each time I do rereads afterwards.
Steve and I went looking at houses the other day. Houses we can't yet afford. Counting those chickens. But it was fun. Our plan is to buy a house here in Austin with a pool so we can enjoy swimming for a year or so and then it's off to Colorado. It's funny because Steve really wants to get a pool to be able to watch Buster play in the water and I want to get to Colorado soon enough to see him play in the snow before he gets too old (Buster, not Steve).
The key to both of us getting what we want is to get the books published as soon as possible. I will not falter this time. "Dream until your dreams come true", that's how the saying goes, and they are words we are living by.
We'll get there. Sooner than later, I'm sure.
Well, that's it for now. Don't forget to visit my website, www.themagicelevator.com, and buy some books. Hey, sure it's a plug, but what did I just say? I'm stopping at nothing, even self-promotion in my blogs.
Later. Be nice to each other.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It was a lovely day in Austin for drivers. They closed two of the three lanes on I-35 causing major gridlock all day long. The same will be going on tomorrow. Luckily, I don't have to go anywhere. I worked out at the gym here at home instead of going to the gym two streets over and avoided the whole mess. I'll be so glad when we move to Woodland Park and don't have to worry about traffic and the hassle of all this crap.
As for the rest of the day, and most of the week to come, I have made the decision to go through the first installment of the new series one more time. I'm glad I did because there were things I found that would have been missed. I was going to go in and fix some errors that were missed by the editor (oops) anyway, and that prompted me to just go ahead and do a complete read through. I took off the entire week to do this so I should get it done. It may not sound like a big job, but it's a 138 page manuscript and I've already read it and reread it five times. But I think this time it will be as good as it is going to get from my end and I will feel comfortable enough to send out chapters and the entire manuscript to publishers who ask for it. There are those who simply ask for a query letter and those who ask for more. While I would prefer not to send out the manuscript, it will be good to have publishers read it. That's part of the problem with queries. They don't get past the letter in order to see the work.
We're hoping that things will really start moving once I begin sending out packets.
Fingers crossed!
I would love to tell you more about the series, but ever since my book Blue Moon was supposedly going to be turned into a movie and then five years later was turned into something so different I was pushed aside-my guard is way up.
Anyway, that's it for now.
Be nice to each other.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Well today kinda sucked. It seemed to start out on the right foot, but quickly tripped and stumbled down a long, treacherous hill. There was nothing too life altering about it. It was just one of those days at the day job that I still have, that I should have been able to quit by now if things had gone the way they were supposed to. But, no, I'm still there. And there are days, such as today, when it is a bit tougher than usual. For the main reason, because I know I should have been gone by now. Another because (God forbid) if nothing does happen that allows me to quit early, I'm only four years from retirement. That alone makes tough days just a little tougher. I think it's called Short-timers, or something like that.
It's just more crap piled onto the crap from the week before that and the month before that. It's just the never-ending cycle of a day-to-day job.
And there are days, like today, when it feels like it may be too much. They have piled one too many pieces of straw onto this camel's back. There was a time today where I saw myself standing up and walking out. Waving goodbye to everyone with one finger. But I knew that when I got home, my husband would most likely break that finger when he found out what I had done.
So, took a deep breath. Took another one. Took another one . . . hyperventilated a little, and tried to calm down. It didn't work all that great.
So, I came home, walked the Buster boy and poured a big glass of wine. That seems to be doing the trick. Whoever came up with that breathing thing didn't have wine readily available.
The good thing that comes out of day like this, though, is that I really pushes my writing in high gear. It gives me that extra umph to get letters out and find someone to take me away!
Speaking of my writing, I am close to finishing the first draft of the second installment of the new series. This past weekend proved to be momentous. There were a few bad things that happened to very nice characters, but it was something that had to be done. And those bad things are still continuing, and it's slightly difficult, but at the same time, it's so fun. That's why I love writing. What other time can you make someone suffer with projectile vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive bleeding and not get arrested or suffer eternal damnation in the fires of Hell?
Well, I'm done ranting for now.
I hope the rest of your day goes better than mine.
Be nice to each other.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


It Sunday. Steve's been working all day. He's been working a lot lately. But on the brighter side of that, I've been getting a lot of writing done on the second book. I did some great work today. Actually had one of those moments when I started getting teary-eyed because something bad happened to the main character. Even though it may sound weird, I love those moments. I hope that it effects readers the same way.
I've been trying not to think about getting screwed out of my movie deal, but lately it's been all I can think about. It irritates me that the "producer" seems to have no qualms about pushing me out. After five years! Steve keeps telling me that she'll get her's one day. What comes around goes around. I only hope that's true. We're really hoping that this new series will get picked up and be as big as we dream it will be. Then that b-- "producer" will be sorry she doesn't have me in her corner anymore.
What really bugs me is that for years, with every change she said she was going to do, we kept saying, "Just let her do it, she knows what she's doing. As long as we get the money and the movie gets made." Well now we aren't getting any money (exactly what she planned, most likely) and the movie is being made, but it's her movie. Her version, that is nothing like my book. You know what? It better not be, that's all I can say.
I just hate feeling like I got taken advantage of, and that's all I feel.
Oh, well. This, too, will pass.
Okay, I'm done complaining for today.
Later. Be nice to each other. Don't promise things for five years and then break that promise.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

As I sit here, writing to whomever sees fit to read, I am filled again with the overwhelming sensation of anticipation. The anticipation of what's to come.
There are times in your life when you feel that you simply go through your days in the most common routine. You can drive to work without even thinking about it or paying much attention (though, I don't recommend it). You go through your work day in much of the same daydream that brought you there.
But then there are those days when, although nothing visibly or physically has changed, you feel something. What that "something" is, who knows? But it's there. And isn't that enough?
I've had a great three days of writing. The second installment of the series I'm working on has suddenly taken off. I was having a bit of trouble before, but that's all past me now. It's coming along great. Perhaps that's the reason for that "something" I'm feeling?
I've also sent out the first few letters to publishers. I've been previously querying agents, but I don't want to limit myself.
I know there will be the inevitable rejection letter . . . but the word will get out there. Eventually, someone will take notice.
I feel it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Well, it's Grammy night. I'm not usually all that excited about Grammy night, but for some reason I am this year. I think it's because of a few reasons. One being that Lady Ga-Ga's new song will be premiered and second (and forgive me for sounding a bit like a pedophile) is because Justin Bieber is nominated for best new artist, and I really hope he gets it.
I don't know what it is. There's just something about that kid that is so inspirational. He really is talented and he seems to be handling all his success the right way.
Anyway, we like him, so there.
Other than the Grammy's tonight, my day will consist of working on the second book, going to the gym and reading. Steve will be at work tonight so it's just Buster and I again.
Oh, I wish I could just get this career of mine started so we could spend all of our time together. I know it's not going to happen all at once, so I need for something to start so we'll be that much closer. And yes, we would like to spend all of our time together. That's just the way we are. We don't argue, we don't get one each other's nerves, we work well together when we're working on a project. We're two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together.
Well, I'm short on words today, so I'm stopping there. Be nice to each other.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Another few days have gone by and another rejection has come in the mail. But that's okay, it's to be expected. I just send out another query to replace the one rejected.
I would have been a bit more upset about the second rejection letter arriving, but I feel too good to be upset. You see, I know what I have. I know it and Steve knows it. And now, someone else knows it, too, and had reaffirmed to me that I have something special here.
The book is in such an early stage of getting out there that only three people have read it: Steve, my editor (who said it was great, but I was paying her) and now a friend of mine.
Now you may say, "Oh, a friend. Of course a friend is going to say they love it." But my friends know that saying things just to make me feel good doesn't really help me in my cause. And I would have known if this person was just saying nice things to be nice. You can hear things like that in a person's voice, especially one you know so well.
This friend loved the book. She even started rereading it again as soon as she finished and has asked to hold onto it for another day or so to read it again.
I can think of no bigger compliment than someone finishing your book and turning to page one to read it again.
Needless to say, I'm on cloud nine. (What's so great about cloud nine, anyway? Are clouds one through eight only mediocre?)
So, no matter how many rejection letters come (knock wood, there won't be many more) I feel confident that in the next few months, someone, somewhere will take the chance and request the manuscript and see what my friend saw and then, IT'S ON!
Later-Be nice to each other.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Well, as they say in the biz, "Aw, shit!"
I got my first rejection letter back yesterday from one of the agents I queried. But it's okay. I wasn't so naive to think that the very first letter I would get back would be someone banging on my door begging for me to be their client. Grabbing me by the leg as I drag them across the floor. Tears flying out of their eyes like some exaggerated cartoon until I agreed to allow them to sign me. Finding and agent is almost as hard, if not harder, than finding a publisher. It's part of the reason I had quit dealing with all of this before.
They say that writing the book is the hard part. Uh, no, that was quite a bit easier than trying to get someone to look past whether your query letter is the best in the bunch and give you a chance.
Don't get me wrong-I totally understand that the query letter has to be good enough to get past the thousand of others that are received per year. But come on! You've got to look past the wrapping paper to see the wonderful gift inside.

But it's early. No harm. No foul. I've only just begun to fight!

I know there will come a day when people will hear the name Pol McShane and say, "Mmm, Pol McShane . . . Yeah, he wrote that werewolf book that was a suicide note, right? And he had those children's books about the two brothers and their magic elevator. And didn't he didn't he do that thing with the snakes? Damn, I should have signed him. He'd have made us a lot money. What a dumb ass I am."

This is just the beginning. The bridge ahead of me may be long. It may have a few missing slats. It may be teetering on the edge of collapse, but I'll get across it. And on the other side . . .
The success I'm terrified of!
WTF?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Self-doubt. It's a problem of many. It's a serious problem of mine. It's always been a problem of mine. I've always been very critical regarding most aspects of my life. My hair-eh, could be better. My body-eh, would like it more muscular. My teeth-eh, could be whiter.
Are these realistic criticisms? No. My hair is fine-compared to some other members of my family at my age. My body-better than most people half my age. And my teeth-they're pretty white considering the amount of coffee I drink on the weekends.
One of the worst criticisms I have is with my writing. I have always doubted my level of talent, no matter who told me they loved the way I wrote. This doubt only increases when I read a book from my favorite author Dean Koontz. I can't get through a chapter without thinking to myself "Crap. Who am I fooling? I can't write like this. This is a real writer. I'm nothing like this."
But then I think, "Of course you're not like this. This is Dean freakin' Koontz!" He's a master storyteller. He's written hundreds of books for more than thirty years. Most of them, if not all, have hit the best-seller's list.
I need not compare myself to the masterful Koontz. But that self-doubt still stirs the pot.
But on the flip-side of that self-doubt is fear.
There have been many a time when I have asked myself: Have I not reached the level of success I strive for because somewhere deep inside I'm morbidly terrified of it? I think on some level that may be true. And that fear has been raising its ugly head more often than not, as of late.
This new series could be the one. That's what Steve and I keep saying. EVerything about it is perfect. The first installment practically wrote itself. It took just over three months to complete. It came too easily. Things fell into place to readily.
Steve tells me it's a sign. He also told me that he thinks the first installment is better than Twilight. I seriously doubt that, but he stands by his statement (and he looooves Twilight).
And while that may be all well and good . . . do I want it to be better than Twilight? A part of me says no. A part of me is running for the bed so I can crawl beneath the covers or get under it completely, which ever will provide more protection.
The angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other are constantly arguing with each other. The protagonistic angel keeps whispering in my ear how it will be so great to be that successful. Being able to provide us with the lifestyle we've always dreamed of. Never having to worry again.
But then the antagonistic devil reminds me of the interviews. The book readings. The signings. The traveling. The time away from Steve and Buster. The critics!
Be careful what you wish for?
I feel this fear rising as I wait for word to come back from the first group of letters I sent out to agents. One side is excited to hear back because I know they'll be so interested in the story and ask to read the manuscript and then they'll see that I really have something and, and, and . . .
The other side reminds me that it will mean "It has started".
Funny-for years I've only dreamed of success. Now I'm apprehensive.
But things will happen the way they're supposed to happen. God won't throw anything at me He doesn't think I can handle (You won't, will You, God?).
Okay, that's it for today's trip through my jumbled brain. Be nice to each other.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

So cold here in Austin! I love it! I've never loved the cold as much as I have this year, since we've made the decision last Spring to move to Colorado. And tonight, they're calling for snow. My fingers and toes are crossed that the forecasters get it right this time.

This morning started out great! My writer's block seems to be gone. It only lasted a few days and I'm grateful. Actually, I think I owe it all to Steve. Yesterday we had a day dedicated to (insert title of series here). We went to Natural Bridge Caverns first. That was cool because I was able to really visualize the setting for the third installment of the series.
Then we stopped at the Snake Farm outside New Braunfels. I can say that the series has to do with snakes and this was really cool because I got to see some of the snakes from the books live and in person.
Also, while we were at the caverns, they had a gift shop and a statue of a Western diamondback rattlesnake (almost identical to the above picture) and Steve bought it for me. It is now sitting on my desk.

If all of that wasn't inspiration enough to push a writer's block away, I don't know what would have been. Steve always knows what's best for me and I owe him a lot. One day, I'll be able to take care of him and provide for him so that he can lead the life of leisure he dreams of.
I owe it to him. He's given so much to me over the past twenty years.

So, I think that's gonna be it for today. We're off to see what kind of trouble we can get into.

Be nice to each other.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's pretty cold here in Austin this morning. A chilly 17! I couldn't be happier. Actually, I could if it was snowing. But they're saying snow for Thursday night, so we'll see what happens.

I'm still on vacation today. Steve's off today and tomorrow, which is nice, since we never get to see each other anymore. His new job keeps him working 12 and 13 hour days. We kind of hate it, but what are you gonna do?

We're going to Natural Bridge Caverns today. We're excited, since neither of us have ever been before. We decided to go a couple of months ago because the third installment of the series I'm working on will take place in some caves, so it'll be a research trip, of sorts.

I was supposed to have spent this week working on the second installment of the series, but have had a touch of writer's block. I think with the mailing of the letters to agents and the fact that I knew I had to take an online defensive Driving course yesterday (first ticket in 20 years!), I've been too distracted.

But now that things have started to settle down in my head, I'm hoping that the block will loosen up and ideas will begin to flow again.
This has happened to me once before. I was working on the third installment of the Johnny & Joey series, Return to Animal Land. I can't recall the reason for that block, but it lasted about a week. Then, without warning, it broke free and I was writing again. Usually when I stop worrying about the fact that I have a block, the block eases up.

But other than that, there's not much for me to do but wait for responses from the first group of letters to come back, wait for the block to vacate, and enjoy the next few days with my husband.

Be back soon. Be nice to each other.

Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Monday. The rest of the city's getting ready for work but I'm on vacation again. I enjoy taking vacations (of course) but it always makes it that much harder to return to work afterwards. I think it enforces my hatred for the place. But I've only got four more years to go before retirement. Four more long years. I've heard from some that those years will fly by, but I have my doubts. I'm the type of person who can't stop looking forward and inevitably can't stop waiting for what's to come. This results in little more than watching water boil.

I'm looking forward to retirement, as would anyone. Steve and I will be moving to Colorado, when the time comes. Woodland Park, if plans stay the same. We've gone around and around on several different locations over the past few years but have settled on Woodland Park. Of course if all the stars align and things fall into place for us as we pray they will, retirement will come much earlier.

If things do happen faster than planned, Steve wants to buy a house here in Austin with a pool and stay for one more year. We've always dreamed of having a house with a pool, and the summer heat here would be better for it than in the mountains of Colorado. I can't say as I blame him. As I said, we've always dreamed of having a pool, one private enough to do as we please, if you get my drift.

Although, the thought of having to stay in Austin longer than we have to is almost more than I can bear. I can't stand it here. The traffic and the summer heat, and the winter heat for that matter. It's the end of January and the past four days or so have been in the mid 70's.

But my main priority with writing is to be successful enough to support Steve and give him whatever he wants. That would make me happier than anything else, honestly. So if staying in Austin for a year longer so he can lay naked poolside all summer is what he wants, I'll do it. Of course I'll be lying right there beside him so it won't be too bad. And if things go as we planned, perhaps I won't have to get out in the traffic-clogged streets as much as I do now and it won't be too bad. We'll see.

That's it for now. Be nice to each other.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Part of the downs

The point of this blog was to show the ups and downs of an up and coming writer. My hopes had been that there would have been more ups at this point in my career, but as it turns out, not so much . . . yet.

Unfortunately, there has recently been a large "down" in the ups and downs game. As some of you may know, I wrote a book called "Blue Moon" (available on Amazon and Barnes&noble.com). About five years ago (I can't believe it's been that long) I decided to try my hand at screenwriting and wrote the screenplay for the book. I posted it on a site where producers go and find new screenplays. It wasn't long before I had some interest. An independent production company contacted me and were interested. They had me start doing some editing work on it and we went back and forth for about a year. Then, that production company "broke up" and I was left in the lurch.

But as it turned out, the second half of that production company contacted me and was going to start a new company, I'll call it Thanks For Nothing Productions. So, the producer with Thanks For Nothing told me that she wanted to bring in a new screenwriter and redo the script because mine wasn't right. Okay, why wasn't I told a year ago? That was fine, I had only just started writing screenplays and wasn't totally upset.
Then, they started changing things in the movie version of the book. That started upsetting me. But said producer explained that things have to be changed for movie versions. Well, I know that, I didn't just fall off the proverbial turnip truck.
Anyway, the years passed as she tried to get funding and went through three or four different writers. To make a long story short, five years later, I receive an email stating that the story has changed so much, it's really nothing like my original book so I was pushed out of the deal.
What the fuck?
Are you serious? "Oh, things are changed in the movie versions of books all the time", she had told me five years ago. But changed and changed and changed enough to where the writer no longer has anything to do with it?
I have a feeling this had less to do with changes made and more to do with, "Well, now we don't have to pay the author". I just have to keep my eye out for anything resembling my work and if I see it, "Sue time!"

But, live and learn. I now understand why Dean Koontz is so against Hollywood. I can only hope that my new series will do as well as I hope and the producer will be kicking herself for doing what she did. If it had not been for the new series, I would have been much more devistated by what she did to me. But deep down we know we'll be on top in the end.

Okay, that's it for now. Be nice to each other.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Starting fresh

Well, here I am again. It's been a long time. It's been a really long time. I had decided to give up on the blogging, since I've had two followers for more than two years. It got a bit discouraging.
But I'm not going to let that deter me any longer. Things are going to start happening for me and I want those who decide to join me to do so, and come along for the ride.

When I last posted, I was simply wood burning. It was something I had taken up and spent most of my time on since I had not written much of anything for a while. It was something that I had just about given up on. It's a tough business and I didn't have the skin for it any longer. But being a writer, writing was never far from my heart. And it only took on good idea to get my juices flowing again. And that idea came from my husband about seven months ago.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you right now what that idea was. And because of the simple fact that it was a great idea, and I have taken it and created something wonderful, I don't want the idea stolen from me before I've had the chance to get it out there.

As for getting it out there and what it is: It is a new young-adult series, and I've already completed the first of four books. I've just gotten to the point (today, actually) where I've prepared the letters to send out to agents. After that I'll try publishers. Hopefully it won't be long before I get a positive response.

We're really hopeful with this one. So hopeful that I'm actually a bit scared to send things out. If this is the one that will get me the success I have always dreamed of, will it end up being what I wanted? Will I be overwhelmed? Who knows. But I have to try.

That's the main reason I felt I should start up with the blog again. I really feel that things will be happening and I would like to share those things with as many people as I can because I have feeling it will be exciting.

So, that's it for now. Don't worry, I'll be back.