Even being a stay home mom I work with clowns…

I was sitting down minding my own business editing when I was needed to run to the store really fast to grab a few things for dinner. I left all my editing stuff out (although I did take my phone with me).  Leaving it all out might have been a mistake.

This is how it looked when I left…

One computer has all my writing (I don’t have internet on it), one has a dictionary/ thesaurus open, and one is just for research. I know I could have windows open for the research and thesaurus, but I didn’t want too. Also I had my phone next to me because I always get phone calls and texts when I’m writing or editing — not because of Facebook or Twitter or anything. I’d never waste time there. 😛 The binder is one of my beta’s with their notes and such, and the list on the binder is my “said list.”

When I returned home from my store run I found this…

Ok, one of these is broken, one is my oldest daughter’s, one is my husband’s, and then they put their cell phones on the high chair… *deep sigh*

Yep, I can’t get away from clowns in my work place. I guess I should be glad that they didn’t mess with anything important.

Note ~ My “said list” is a list of about 100-200 ways to say “said” so I don’t always say “she said” or “he said.” It reminds me to add the extra emotion and use words like words for example “she cried” or “he chuckled.” When I first write the story I usually write it so fast I just over kill the word “said.”

I don’t think she’s coming back…

Yesterday when the post ran there was a little something in there for me.  It was a postcard from my Muse. The picture was of her sunbathing off the shore of… somewhere, she never said.

I’m starting to get a little worried that she might not come back………… here is what the card read…

I wonder how the postman knew where ‘over there, not here’ was?

Characters, my favorite part of the book…

Characters make the story, at least for me they do.  Everyone comes up with different ways to write them. Sometimes they are like Frankenstein’s monster with their bits and pieces from old friends, a cluster of flaws from people we know to make a neurotic creature, or maybe we borrowed little morsels of cuteness from a few crushes of the past to make our dream love come to life.  No matter how they’re made though they have to start with something, some idea of what’s needed, what makes them tick?  It’s the author’s job to know that and work it all out.

I love dark hair with blue eyes.  I think it’s dreamy.  My husband has near black hair and sky blue eyes.  I love his eye color.  Anyway, I’ve found that I wrote a book with way too many ‘good looking’ people.  My biggest villain, dark hair with blue eyes, my other villain, dark hair with blue eyes, my hero, longer dark hair with blue eyes, one of my main ladies, dark hair with blue eyes.  I’m going to have to give one or two of them brown eyes.

This got me wondering about how everyone else sits down to make their characters.  I feel that this is one of my biggest strong points in a story.  I’m bad at scenery, but great at the ‘people’.  I start with my idea. Then I draw (a poor sketch): One of a close up and one of them standing.  They are either standing next to a ruler or a tree to give me an idea of their height and girth.  My art could be better, but I’m an artist of words, not an artist of pictures.  On the opposite side of the paper I have a character sheet.  For those who are unfamiliar with what that is: it’s a page where info such as age, height, weight, hair color, personality flaws, rich or poor, and so on are written down.  For me the detail all depends on how important the individual is in the story, that’s how I decide how much info they are given.  For important ones I give them four to six pages and both drawings, for less important ones, two pages and one (maybe two) with very sloppy sketches, for a one time encounter just one sheet with the bone basic info.  I keep all of these in a binder just for that book. I save it, and if needed, I rewrite repeat characters from the series, put it in the folder for the next book, and write in the changes.  I use birth year and date, not age.  Ages change even with immortals so dates act best.  Also, I have found that to give them more flaws and personalities I’ll give them a little history, even if it’s not told in the book.  I feel this helps to add depth.  This is also if I ever need a little more of a reference to the individual, it’s there.  One of my characters is gay.  I don’t think it will ever come out but he just is. I need that info when I work with him so he never looks at the ladies.  Two of my characters are 1/2 brothers that are very close and one of them had a mother who was a slave, the other mother was sickly. I need this so I know why and how they both might feel in certain situations.  We never read more than one line about Mary’s sisters, but in my binder their age differences, married family, and such are written down just for reference.

I would love to hear (read) other ideas for characters and if you have any tips for landscape details, besides just visualizing, please, please, PLEASE share.

Loves first kiss or loves first crush…

Everyone keeps asking me what it feels like to have a book out.  The best answer I can give is in a metaphor.

 It’s your senior year.  You’ve been dating a very handsome and wonderful guy for almost 6 months.  Neither you nor he has said, “I love you” yet.
Your heart skips a beat when you pass him in the halls.  You smile when you hear his voice on the other end of the phone.  You know you’re falling in love with him.  But why hasn’t he said that he loves you?  This feeling is making you worried and uncomfortable.
He calls after school on a Friday and asks if tomorrow you would like to go out to your favorite restaurant with him … just the two of you … no friends.  You feel the butterflies in your stomach and try not to sound too eager when you say “yes.”
You and he have been on many dates before, but usually friends are there too.  And he’s come over to watch movies at your house.  You’ve been over to his a few times as well.  You always see him, at least once, over the weekend.  But this date was going to be special; you’re going to tell him how you feel.
That night you can’t sleep.  You don’t even feel like calling and talking to your best friend because if she finds out it might get to him before you tell him.  She’s a great best friend, but you can hold your breath longer than she can hold a secret.  You lay there most of the night thinking of all the things he might say.  You’re hoping your brave enough tomorrow.  You’re scared, but you still love him.  You think about not going tomorrow out of fear, but you need to.  If you don’t tell him tomorrow, you know you never will.  You finally pass out into dreamland.
The next morning, when you wake up, you have a new zit in the dead center of your forehead.  You take longer than you ever have getting ready.  Thank goodness you started at noon and he isn’t going to pick you up until 6pm.  When you get ready you cover up your pimple with your bangs and some foundation.  You wear your hair down and in curls; because that is the way he likes it.  You take your time with each curl to make sure it is faultless.  You wear a dress that is most flattering to your curves.  You shaved your legs more careful then you ever have before; out of fear of having to wear a bandage under you tights.  You do your make-up just a little different, but it turns out great.  As you put on your new shoes you see you have a run in your tights.  With a heavy sigh you change them, now you are ready.  You look in the mirror.  Everything is done.  You look at your hands, you forgot your fingernails.  Tonight you need everything perfect, you don’t want one single detail to go unnoticed.  You sit down and do your nails.  The doorbell rings right as you are putting on your lip gloss and perfume.  You are ready.  You walk down the stairs, more nervous than you’ve ever been before.  He’s there waiting for you.  Your mom tells you look cute, she smiles, and leaves after you’ve descended the stair case.  He helps you with your coat.  You wished he would say something.
On the way there he mentions that you smell nice.  You smile and say thank you, so happy to receive a complement.  At your destination he turns, looks at you, and smiles but says nothing.  He gets out of the car.  You feel very panicky right now.  You’re out here, no friends to joke with, no car of your own to leave in, what if he dumps you and you’re all alone.  The car door opens, it’s him.  You step out.  Both of you walk into the restaurant.  You can’t find words.  The two of you always talk, but there are no words now.  You feel a lump in your throat.  You look around nervously.  When you are both seated he makes a joke about how maybe the two of you should have come with a few friends.  That didn’t help you any, now you’re thinking about not saying anything and never leaving your house again.
As you are sitting across the table from him you look at him.  He is so handsome.  He is everything you love and want in a boyfriend.  You think of your first date for a minute and smile at him.  Then, without much more thinking, you say it … you say, “I love you.”  He looks at you for what feels like eternity with a blank stare.  You just wish you could crawl under a rock and hide.  But you said it, it’s out there.  He knows and you are awaiting his response…

 Yeah, that is where I am right now.  He’s staring at me.  I know that he is going to give me many different answers.  Some will be bad, some good, but I hope that the good out weighs that bad.

For all authors out there who have been here before me, I just want to let you know; I think you are all very brave people.  For all of you that are getting here … I hope he says that he loves you very much.  Good luck to you all!