Sunday, July 31, 2011

End Of July

Hello!  Here we are at the end of July.  It's been a tough month for me, but I survived!  I finished teaching my Contests: The Basics class on Friday and tomorrow I start my Killer Openings class through Outreach International.  I'm very excited because I LOVED teaching this class in April.

I did not manage to write a complete rough draft of my 1st inspirational romantic suspense, Unbroken, but I did make significant progress on it AND my next "regular" romantic suspense,  I Dare You.  In August, I plan to put the new writing on hold (or I'll write very little) while I work on revising Tell Me No Lies.  I want that story ready for submission soon!

With my fitness challenge, I managed to attend 60 classes in the month, which is a TREMENDOUS improvement on the 16 I usually do in a good month.  My weight has fluctuated a bit so I'm only down about 9, 10lbs at the moment, but I'm not discouraged.  I feel so much better, I know I'm gaining muscle and I have every intention of keeping up with my exercise...just not 60 classes in a month!

I've been doing some freelancing work and I have quotes out for more.  I'm really hoping I can start getting something steady with that.  Feel free to visit the website of the company I'm working with, CK Tutoring.  And please keep it in mind if you hear of anyone needing help with writing, editing, brainstorming, etc.

Tomorrow I start a temporary job in an office with a friend.  It's full-time for about a week and a half and then part-time I think while they decide if they need to make it a permanent position.  Either way, it's work and pay for me.  If I don't end up staying, it'll at least end around the time that I can start substitute teaching again.

Okay, I'm off to read Laura Griffin's short story now and later today I'm going to see Harry Potter!  Ron's always been my favorite character.  It'll be so sad to see them all for the last time!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Killer Openings

There's still time to register!!!!  Feel free to pass this on.


Presented by: Alexa Bourne
Dates: August 1 – 31, 2011

Fee: OIRW Members $20
Fee: Non-Members $25

Many people browse through a bookstore, pull a book off the shelf and read the first page. They decide right then, based on the 1st line, 1st paragraphs and 1st page, whether or not they’ll buy the book. Killer Openings dissects those all-important elements. Students study good and bad openings and discuss why they do or don’t work.  They also submit their own opening lines/paragraphs/pages and receive critiques from the class. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Writing More, Worrying Less

Hey there!  So, I'm not back up to 1667 words a day, but I am working.  I had a brainstorming session Saturday with a friend who helped me get back on track.  So I'm going to write as much as I can and not worry about it.

Another friend is staying with me for a couple of weeks and she moved in this weekend.  Through her generosity, we're keeping the cable and internet while she's here.

I've got one more week on my fitness challenge.  It's been a WONDERFUL experience and I hope to be able to keep some of it going.  I can feel myself getting stronger, healthier and thinner!  (Although, today I do feel fat.)

Dopey me thought about the New Voices competition again and....duh.  I don't need to rush to perfect one of the bounty hunter brothers' stories.  I've got a perfectly AWESOME opening scene with Tell Me No Lies, my first bounty hunter story!  Plus, the manuscript is done and currently with my CPs before I query and submit it.  I've got over a month to revise it and make sure it's the best it can be.

If you have a moment between now and Tuesday afternoon, please send positive vibes my way.  I've got a job interview for a job that would be a FANTASTIC opportunity if everything works out for it.  I'll let you know how it goes and if I get it, I'm sure you'll be hearing me shout from my rooftop...almost like I intend to when I get a book contract!  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Round And Round I Go!

Yes, I'm still here.  Yes, I'm still hitting the gym 2-3 classes a day.  Yes, I've lost more weight- I'm officially down 12lbs in 5 weeks.  No, I haven't been writing as much.  My real life exploded and I've written 1/2 a page in the last 2 days.  This has made me very sad. 

I'll be cutting down my time on the internet over the next couple of months because I am either putting my cable/internet/phone service on a vacation hold or turning it off all together.  I hate to do it because I'm teaching a class now and I'll be teaching another one next month, but I don't need the bill.  Sadly, I'm also putting my gym membership on a vacation freeze for up to 3 months, which basically means I'm still a member but I can't use the gym.  Again, I can use that money for something better.  AND I've got a couple interested in renting out my house for the month of August while they search for a new home.  I have a friend I can stay with in the meantime.  AND I've been working, planning job ideas too, but I'll share those when I have more details.

My Twitter experience has been...interesting.  I can see the advantages to it and I can see the time-suck as well. 

Mills & Boon is planning to have their New Voices competition again this September and I'm thinking to enter one of the bounty hunter brothers simply because I LOVE the opening to that story.

That's all for now.  Until next time...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bounty Hunters, Criminals, Villains...Oh My!

Bounty Hunters- I Dare You has a bounty hunter hero in it.  I've been going back and forth for quite a while deciding which man was the hero for this story because you see, I have 3 bounty hunters to write.  Well, 1 is already written- Tell Me No Lies- and will be revised next month.  The other two still need to be written.  I struggled with this when I first started brainstorming I Dare You, the boys told me what they thought of my plans, told me I was wrong and then I did what I wanted.  Well, today, they decided they weren't going to stand for it any longer.  I have officially changed the hero of this book. 

Criminals- The hero of my other current manuscript, Unbroken, is a criminal.  (Yeah, remember I'm working on 2 at a time?)  Yes, that's right.  He committed a crime and I'm pretty sure he did some time.  Still searching for what he actually did.  But of course, he's a reformed man, ready to prove his worth to society and the heroine will teach him that he must first forgive himself.

Villains-  Not really sure who they are yet in either story.  But I'm going to have fun learning all about them!  And of course watching my heroes and heroines take them down!

Oh My-  Twitter.  Yes, I took the plunge.  I'm starting off small, with just a few follows and I'm using my own name, my real name, until I really get the hang of it.  When I create my Alexa Bourne twitter account, I'll let you know and invite you all to follow and be followed!

Friday, July 15, 2011


Fitness challenge- After 2 weeks on the fitness challenge, I've taken 27 gym classes.  (I've lost 8 1/2lbs in the last 4 weeks, which is about 1/3 of the way to my goal weight!!!)  
NaNo challenge-1212 words
Brainstorming challenge-463 words

Can't wait to see what the weekend holds for me!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Immediate Writing Goals

My Austin RWA chapter has a goals challenge ever month.  You pay $1, write down what your goal is for the next month and if you accomplish it, your name goes into a drawing for the money collected.  I did accomplish my goal last month, which was to read at least 2 Love Inspired Suspense stories for research and to write at least 100 words a day.  I read 4 LIS books and wrote, as you know, 20,000 new words.   (I won last night- $12!)  

My goal for the August meeting is to write 45,000 new words.  I can split it between Unbroken and I Dare You however I want, but I have to write 45,000 new words before the 2nd Tuesday of August.  It's a bit of a challenge but definitely doable...I think.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Words, Words And More Words

Ya know, for all my talk yesterday about not making my NaNo count for the day, I really have no reason to be upset.  In the last 4 weeks I've written 20,000 new words (combined) on my 2 newest stories! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

Yes, I'm still doing my fitness challenge.  I'm averaging 2 classes a day (sometimes more, sometimes less).  I just didn't think you'd want to hear every single class I took every day.  All together I'm at 18 or 19 classes for the month of July so far.

My brainstorming challenge ends today.  It was a goal for my local Austin RWA chapter's meeting, which is tomorrow night.  I LOVE those characters.

My NaNo challenge has been tougher than it usually is in November and I don't know what to do about it.  Usually I have the suspense part of a story in my head and I have to dig down for the romance part.  This time I've totally got the romance part, but I really don't know what's going on in the suspense part.  And writing the romance parts is great, but they have to evolve through the suspense too.  Today, I only managed to write 90 words on it and I really don't want to write any more today.  (Actually, I'm tired from my 3 gym classes so I'm going to bed early---early for me.) 

A friend suggested I write on both stories for the rest of the month because it seems when I don't want to work on one, the other one sparks to life in my head.  So, I can either suck it up and continue the NaNo-style on Unbroken that I started July 1st, or I could stop that for a week or so and write on I Dare You.  OR I could write on both each day, maybe make a plan to write 2000 words a day and split it between the 2 books any way I see fit.  What do you think?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Classes And Chapters And Scorpions...Oh My!

Classes- I skipped the gym yesterday because I was exhausted.  It was a good decision.  I went to NIA and yoga today.  (Would've stayed for Zumba too, but they had no instructor.)  I've completed my first week of my current online class, Contests: The Basics.  There aren't a lot of people in it, but it's been good so far.  Hopefully there will be some more interaction this coming week.

Chapters- I've been slacking off a bit on my Nano challenge lately mainly because I've been doing some paid jobs.  And since I have to eat, I put those first.  Yesterday I only wrote 356 words on my new manuscript, but today I've done 1730 and I'm planning to keep going for another hour!  My brainstorming challenge is in its final days.  (Monday is the last day.)  Yesterday I did 126 words and today I did 123. 

Scorpion- I found a baby one on my stairs in my house.  YIKES!  Luckily I saw it before I stepped on it especially since I walk around barefoot!  Now I need to keep my eye out for the partner since they always travel in pairs.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Bloom Is Off The Rose

I think the reality of my month-long fitness challenge is settling in.  I'm absolutely exhausted!  I could only make it to 2 classes today and I've already decided not to go at all tomorrow.  I think I need a break.  Ugh.

So...Thursday's totals:

Fitness challenge- NIA, NIA (yes, I went twice with different instructors.  I wanted to stay for Zumba, but I was running out of steam during the end of NIA so I didn't.)
NaNo challenge- 84 words (Whaaaaa!)
Brainstorming challenge- 115 words

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm A Winner!

So, I spent a lot of time on the Get Lost in a Story blog while everyone else was at Nationals.  I read most of the posts, commented on a few and I won a Barnes & Noble gift card!  I see a trip to the store in my near future!

Fitness challenge- 2 classes- Zumba and Weights
NaNo challenge- 1695 words
Brainstorming challenge- 122 words

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday Stuff

NaNo challenge- rough day- only 628 words
Brainstorming challenge- 203 words
Fitness challenge- 3 classes- NIA, Turbokick and a nutrition class where all I had to do was sit and listen.

I got an AMAZING idea for my current manuscript, the one I'm doing in the NaNo challenge.  Everyone's been assuming the intended victim of the villain is the heroine.  BUT they're wrong!  It's the hero and the heroine will become a pawn in a sick and twisted game!

I think I'm heading out of my mid-life crisis!  (More on this at a later date!)

Challenges On The Fourth

Fitness challenge- no classes, gym closed for the holiday
Nano challenge- 1768 words
Brainstorming challenge- 104 words
Margarita challenge- 2 and they really weren't a challenge!

Monday, July 4, 2011


To all of you who celebrate it, have a wonderful, safe 4th of July!  I'll be busy writing, but I'll take some time out to have 2 margaritas- 1 to celebrate the birthday of my country  
and 1 to celebrate the birthday of my British grandmother who would have been 89 today!

I also want to share my favorite version of God Bless America.  Yes, the singer is Irish, but hey!  America was built on the blood, sweat and tears of immigrants so why shouldn't he be included?  :)  Enjoy! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Fitness challenge- none- my day of rest
NaNo challenge- 1742 words
Brainstorming challenge- 184 words

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday Work

Fitness challenge- 3 gym classes- NIA, Zumba, Yoga
NaNo challenge- 1667 words
Brainstorming challenge- 138 words

He thought he was doing her a favor,
but instead his actions led a killer straight to her front door.

She needed a hero.
He had no confidence to be one.
But danger from her past will push them both
to discover the strength within themselves...and each other.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I've decided to post here daily.  (I know, I know.  Just recently I said I spend too much time online!  But you should know me by now.  I change my mind A LOT!!!)  If nothing else, I'll post my progress with my fitness challenge, my Nano challenge and my brainstorming challenge (at least 100 words a day on a new story, which ends on the 11th.)


Fitness challenge--3 gym classes- Nia, Kickboxing and Yoga
Nano challenge-- 1684 words written
Brainstorming challenge- 136 words written

I'm Channeling Rocky Balboa!

 Cue the training music!  With July comes a BUTTLOAD of events for me!

1.  I'm teaching Contests:  The Basics starting July 5th.  (Shhhh.  Don't tell!  I'm still working on the lessons!)
2.  I'm finishing up a freelancing job this weekend.  
3.  I'm entering a fitness challenge at my local gym- take as many classes as you can for the month.  My goal is 40-50 classes!
4.  I'm going to write a BRAND NEW MANUSCRIPT NaNoWriMo-style!  It's called Unbroken.  I know the hero and heroine's names, a bit about their pasts and a teeny bit about their external conflict.  That's it!
5.  Of course I'm STILL searching for a "real job."
6.  And I'm going to try NOT to think about my other manuscript arriving today at the office of a lovely NYC editor.