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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Figured Something Out

Something's been bugging me about ROAD, and I just figured it out. My main character is too damn reactive, and not active.

And, of course, I have no idea how to fix it.

So Loving Husband and I are going to sit down with a glass (or two) of wine and brainstorm.

Separately...

BAD NEWS: I may have to lose the song lyrics and references I use in HELL'S BELLES.

GOOD NEWS: My initial advance installment arrived today. Money, money, money!

BAD NEWS: Crap, I really have to finish my damn 2005 taxes.

GOOD NEWS: Er...where's that wine?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Look! I Have a Personality!

Dang, and here I thought I was getting by on my good looks alone...

Your Personality Profile

You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!
The World's Shortest Personality Test



(Got to say, this is one persona I'll be happy to keep. As long as my other personas -- personae? -- don't freak out and start a revolution...)


ROAD TO HELL update
Well, kids, the draft is getting there. I got hit with inspiration today (and yes, my brain still hurts), and once I'm done with chapter 11, I'll be giving my Really Big Idea a shot. Wish me luck...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Freedom! (Thanks, Heather!)

Yes, you guessed it -- I finally finished (read: wrote through) that damned chapter 10 of THE ROAD TO HELL! Huzzah! Up to chapter 11! (Look at that -- mine goes to 11!)

((insert poop-eating grin here))

Can't do any writing tonight; Tax Deduction the Elder is having a bad night and asked me to sleep in his room. So I'm roughing it on the floor tonight. The good news? I'll be going to bed early for the first time in...um...weeks. Maybe months.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Where the Hell Is the Really Cool Stuff?

Ever have one of those scenes that you just didn't want to write?

You know what I'm talking about: the Really Cool Stuff (RCS) is about to happen in the next chapter, and man, you can't wait to get there...but here you are, stuck walking down the block to get to the RCS.

I hate those scenes. I have to force my way through them. Just write it, I nag myself. Just write it, no matter how crappy you think it is. Write it, and get to the RCS.

So block by block, I get my way to the RCS. And the damn thing is, those annoying obligatory scenes wind up being damn good ones. Don't know why -- maybe it has to do with me whining and kvetching over having to do them at all that I'm hypersensitive to the words I choose. Maybe it's irony at work.

Anyway, I'm finishing up an ob-scene, hopefully tonight. And then the ROAD takes a number of twists and turns.

And let me tell you, my friends, I'm rubbing my hands with glee over the thought of writing the next two chapters. ((rubs hands))

But first...

...must...finish...scene...


Jackie's Cool News!
Well, I think it's cool.

My editor -- dear, sweet man that he is -- has given me the green light to extend the projected word count of THE ROAD TO HELL to 100,000, up from 80,000. "Don't limit yourself," he said. Huzzah! Time to add extra words! Break out the adverbs! Heeyah!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Another WIP

Let's hear it for the GAN, the Great American Novel that refused to die. :-) This time, I'm trying it as a YA fantasy...that is set on a world where magic is real, featuring protagonists who wield magic and would do anything to make their powers go away. I don't know if it will work or not. But I'm giving it a shot.

And yes, I'm also in the throes of THE ROAD TO HELL. Jesse's alive and kicking (for now; poor dear has a lot of crap on her plate). But I'm psyched about the return of the GAN -- hopefully, an all new, all improved work that will actually, you know, be marketable.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Interview with Nadia Cornier

In the latest issue of Wild Child Publishing, read what Firebrand agent Nadia Cornier has to say about the industry, why she will never be an editor, and what authors need to do to be considered a success...plus much more.

Friday, February 10, 2006

My First Negative Review

Well...sorta.

One of the web designers I approached to, you know, design a website for me that would promote HELL'S BELLES wound up passing because the designer was uncomfortable with the devilishly playful look I'm hoping to get. The cover art I had suggested to my editor -- a bra or G-string dangling from the tines of a devil's pitchfork -- I had also passed along to this designer...and the designer replied that a G-string wouldn't look good in the designer's portfolio.

Sigh.

(The designer also said it was no reflection about the quality of my book, and that my book sounded kinda cool. Okay. So it's the sort of book you'd read, but not the sort you'd want to promote. Guess I'm relagated to a guilty pleasure...)

Anyway, based on how depressed I was after I read the designer's message, I should probably decide right now that I will never, never, never read any reviews of my book.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Death of Elmo?

Alrighty. Let's hear it for the cuts in education that President Bush just approved. While we're at it, let's hear it for ExpectMore.gov, which states that the Ready to Learn Television program does not demonstrate results. "A rating of Results Not Demonstrated (RND) indicates that a program has not been able to develop acceptable performance goals or collect data to determine whether it is performing."

Is it just me, or is that the sound of scissors? Cut, cut, cut...

Ready to Learn Television is one of the sponsors of Sesame Street.

This is the dirge, la la la la, Elmo's dirge...

(Oh, along with Ready To Learn, there's also Head Start, Perkins Loans, Work-Study, National School Lunch...my, my, the list of so-called non-performing programs is five pages long...)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sigh. Some Demons...

Jesse is waiting so very impatiently for me to hop to it and finish the damn scene already. She's stuck in front of a makeup mirror, with one side of her face looking like something out of Tammy Fae's Makeup Success Stories.

Patience, Jezebel...patience...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Huzzah!

Major updates...in no particular order:

HELL'S BELLES. That's right, kids -- I get to keep my title. And more: my editor (I love him, love him, love him) loved the book (there's a lot of lovin' going on)... AND had no revisions. Happy dance! The book is coming out in January 2007 from Kensington, in trade paperback. I've started the know-no-shame, beg-for-blurbs process (boy, this part is fun...back to checking my email every ten minutes to see if Insert Name Here has gotten back to me). But the uber cool part? My editor sent me the back cover copy. SWEET!

THE ROAD TO HELL. Yep, this is the name of the second book in the HELL ON EARTH series. I'm further behind than I would like -- I'm only about 27,000 words (read 100 pages) into the rough draft. The good news is that the final draft isn't due to my editor until December 1. The uh-oh news is the full outline (10 - 70 pages ... yes, 70) is due March 15. Problem: I can't write an outline, then the book. So I'm trying to get as much of the draft down as possible until about February 20, then I'm concentrating solely on the outline.

THE HOUSE. We sold it. At least, we have a buyer (thank you!)...and we are in the process of buying a new (okay, from 1950s, but you get the idea) house. Getting all the paperwork in order is a bit of a nightmare, and let's not even talk about the whole packing thing. We're aiming to be moved by the end of March. (Yeah, right around the time the full outline is due. Oh, and you know I have a day job and moonlight on Wild Child, right? Life? Who needs a life? I mean, it's Saturday night, and I'm blogging, for God's sake...)

So...as Loving Husband likes to say, it's all good. It'll be even better once the move is a thing of the past. And it'll be surreal once again when HB hits the shelves. Going to have a major launch party. Hell, a gal gets her debut novel published only once in her life. It's definitely a party-like-you-mean-it moment.

Books Jackie Bought
Okay, waiting for me to read them are...

Cheating at Solitaire, Ally Carter. A fellow Backspace member, Ally's book has gotten terrific reviews. Plus she and her agent are FABULOUS. Can't wait to read this.

Lamb, Christopher Moore. I've read Bloodsucking Fiends (thanks, Heather!) and Practical Demonkeeping, and I loved them both. I plan on getting every single book he's written, flying to Hawaii and having him sign them all. And, you know, hitting the beach. But maybe this will wait until after my advance for HB shows up...

Bitten and Smitten, Michelle Rowan. I've heard terrific things about this book -- and I hear that her upcoming book has an angel with an attitude, something that the hellion in me can appreciate.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why Was Cindy Arrested?

I'm not a political person. But things have been happening that have, frankly, been scaring the bejesus out of me. CNN reports that peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested in the House gallery just before President Bush's State of the Union address.

Why?

Because, according to the article, which references Michael Moore's website, Ms. Sheehan's shirt read the following message:

"2,245 Dead. How many more?"

Because of this reference to the Iraq war, she was asked to cover up her shirt. She refused.

For this, she was arrested on the grounds of "unlawful conduct."

WEARING A SHIRT WITH A POLITICAL MESSAGE IS NOW CONSIDERED UNLAWFUL CONDUCT.

The First Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Apparently, this doesn't apply to the Executive Branch, just the Legislative.

Illegal wire taps.

Outsourcing torture.

And now, arresting American citizens for what they're wearing.

What's next? Thought police?

I'm not a political person. But there comes a time when people must stand up for what they believe. And I believe that what happened to Ms. Sheehan -- among many other things -- was wrong.

Mr. President, you owe us some answers.