Monday, October 31, 2011

Epic Fail, Part II

This is me.
The novella is not done.It's close, but there aren't enough hours in the day so it has to wait. Jobs that are paying me money now need to be priority. Maybe I'll get to a little of the novella tonight. Of course, then tomorrow starts the insanity that is NaNoWriMo. I considered not attempting NaNo because I don't feel I'm in the right frame of mind for it, but I REFUSE to let my "real world" infringe on this writing activity that I absolutely love. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Last Draft?

Okay, I'm awake, I've had caffeine and now I'm buckling down to get busy with draft 5 of the novella! I have just over 2 hours to get a huge chunk done before I have errands to do and a movie to see (Moneyball). I debated whether or not to go to the movie at all since the novella is so important, but I think I can do it! If I can get at least 1/2 of the draft done before, I can do the rest tonight.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

And We're Off!

Novella? Check
Coke? Check
Celtic music? Check
Story timeline & miscellaneous notes? Got 'em!

The push for completion, for the chance to type THE END, begins now! I'm going to work for an hour, then get up for 10 mins, work for another hour and then play for 10 mins. Hopefully my muse, my hero and my brain are ready to work together. I'll keep you updated!

2:33 PM:  Making progress! LOVING this story! Just hit 14,000 words.
6:10 PM:  Still at it! Just over 17,000. 
6:34 PM:  Yikes! The hero just called the heroine by the wrong name.  :-O 
8:39 PM:  Just over 18,000! Whoohoo! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.... 
10:54 PM:  I'm over 20,000 and having a blast BUT I'm thinking I might have to have another draft just to make sure it's the best it can be. I'm hoping to finish this draft (4) tonight. 
12:23 AM: DONE! And I've outlined what needs to be done in draft 5 tomorrow when I'm more awake.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Am In Charge!

I had a nice little chat with my hero this morning. I told him that we had to work out the kinks to his story today so that I can finish the novella tomorrow. He was skeptical, but he did listen.

I subbed with a 4th grade class today and when they had independent work, I pulled out my notebook and worked to compromise with my hero. He appreciated that and decided to work with me.

So now I've got next to nothing to do for the rest of today and all of tomorrow. I'm cautiously optimistic that I might actually...sorry, WE (he's very pushy!) might actually get this story done! Wish us all (because we can't forget his heroine) luck!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Grand Morning?

I've got work this afternoon only so I thought I'd get up early and work on the novella and get a HUGE chunk of stuff done on it.


However, the day is not over. I can still salvage a few more hours of work after the day job. Hopefully I can make up for some lost time. Maybe. If I can focus.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get Out The Dancing Shoes!



Monday, October 24, 2011

My Kilted Man Is Kicking Butt!

So, this guy is definitely the one I keep going back to out of the lot on my previous post. Yum! I picture being between those arms, with my back to the wall and...{{sigh}}}!

Okay, I'll calm myself.

I've been hard at work for 2 solid days (well, in between a few other errands & commitments) and I'm TOTALLY loving this Scottish suspense novella! I'm going to be so bold as to say that I will have draft 3 done by Wed AND I'm aiming to submit it via email on Sunday! 

In revising (rewriting) this story, I'd forgotten how much I miss writing about Scotland, since it is my favorite place in the world. I'm hoping this novella will sell so I'll be able to bring readers more of my contemporary Scottish heroes!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Draft Two Is Done!

Whoohoo! I just finished draft 2 of the sexy Scottish suspense novella! Tomorrow I'll think about starting draft 3. For now, I'm celebrating with these lovely pictures. I hope you enjoy them too!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Goal Met

Some of you have followed me since I chose to leave my teaching job in June 2010. I thought I’d share the revelation I uncovered a few days ago:

Lately, I've had to cancel my cable/internet/phone, my RWA membership, my Scottish Life magazine subscription. Other sacrifices will be coming as well. I can't plan any vacations, not even to see my brother & sister-in-law in Houston. I've searched for a roommate and talked to a realtor about renting out my condo and finding me another place to live.

And you know what?

I'm okay because my reason for quitting was to focus more on my writing. By the end of 2011, I will have written and revised Tell Me No Lies (which was my 2010 Nano book) and it will be ready for submission soon, I've written the rough draft of my 1st Inspirational suspense story, I will write the rough draft of my 2nd bounty hunter story during NaNo 2011, I will have revised and submitted my 1st novella and I will hopefully have written/revised the 2nd novella. 

Are things perfect? Of course not.
But it seems I have reached my goal.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don't Believe It!

The meter on the right says I'm only at 11% for my Scottish novella. DON'T believe it! I've been slaving away at the story all week so far and have made TREMENDOUS, EXCITING progress. I'll update you and the meter next time I'm on the computer!

UPDATE:  It's halfway through the day and I've updated the meter! Yay, 27%! BUT I'm not done. I've got a couple hours of tutoring work and then I'll be jumping into the story again. I'm hoping to be at 50% of the 2nd draft before I go to bed tonight. I'll let you know!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Scottish Highlands & Sexy Scotsmen!

This past Saturday I finished the rough draft of my contemporary Scottish suspense novella, Her Highland Champion. When I started working on the 2nd draft Sunday, I panicked a little because I thought I started to see that a lot more work needed to be done on it before I could submit it and I was hoping to send it off in about a week.Today I started playing with the scenes that were frustrating me and I FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT! I was trying to keep the events in the order and location that I had them instead of letting the characters guide me through their story. Just because I created these characters well over 10 years ago doesn't mean I know what's best for their new (and better) story. So, I tossed out some more "favorite" scenes, started working with my characters and you know what? It's all flowing again! Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to submit it as planned.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Killer Openings


Registration Deadline: October 31, 2011
Class Start Date: 11/01/11
Class End Date: 11/23/11
Instructor: Alexa Bourne
Fee: $10/HHRW members, $20/others

Class Description:
Many people browse through a book store, 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

For additional information, contact

Instructor Bio:
Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by
nights, weekends and all school holidays. When not traveling around the
world or crafting thrilling romantic suspense stories, she spends her
time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. She
has a Bachelor’s in English Literature and a Master’s in Education.
She has finaled in or won 21 RWA contests with 7 manuscripts. (Most of
those contests focused on the 1st few pages or the 1st chapter.) To
learn more about her, visit


Sunday, October 16, 2011

You Know You're A Suspense Writer.....

You know you're a suspense writer...

when you walk into a bank, it's deserted and you wonder if everyone is held at gunpoint in the back.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Week Later....

Hi-ho, hi-ho!  I'm still here. I've been visiting with the family, working and....WRITING! I finally cancelled my home phone (got my cell though), cable & internet in the house. Right now I'm using the internet at a friend's house who only lives a few doors down to me. It's been different without all that in the house, but I can't believe how much time I'm saving. I've been able to get back to the business of writing, which is so important if I actually want to sell something! 

I'm so excited about my current story. It's the novella with an American woman and a Scotsman set in modern day Edinburgh and the Highlands. At the moment it's called Her Highland Champion and here's my latest blurb for it:

She needed a hero.
He had no courage to be one.
Can her love renew his confidence and make him her Highland champion?

Yes, I know that blurb isn't the best, but I'll be revising it as I get closer to submitting the story. I'll be sharing more about the story in the next couple of weeks. I expect to finish the rough draft tonight and then have it all ready to be submitted by the end of next weekend!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

Hello! I've had an amazing weekend! My family dinner was fabulous on Friday-good food, good drinks, good company! Everyone sang to me when they brought out a cookie & ice cream for me. Then yesterday was fantabulous! Okay, my Texas Longhorns CLEARLY did not get my memo that I needed them to play well, but other than that it was a good day. I got some gift cards (1 for Barnes & Noble!!!), a beautiful necklace, some money (always helpful, especially since my RWA membership is up for renewal), a happy birthday hat, Bunco game (I've heard it's fun) and some other neat things. Today we had some much needed rain in TX. I had leftover birthday cake & tea for breakfast, lunch with 2 of my brothers, my niece & 1 nephew, then dinner with the British relatives & the parents. Now I'm just reading birthday wishes on Facebook and emails.

If you have a free minute, you could give me a birthday present. The Mills & Boon New Voices Competition ends tomorrow. I'd love some more comments on my entry!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Let The Party Begin!

I worked a 1/2-day sub job today and now I'M FREE TO PARTY!  I've got my family b-day dinner tonight, then a bright and early start to my birthday party day. My Texas Longhorns (okay, they're not mine. I don't own them, but...) are playing the Oklahoma Sooners in the morning and then I've got friends visiting to celebrate with me!  We'll be hanging out, listening to music I've loved over the last 4 decades, looking (and giggling) at pictures of me over the last 4 decades, eating, drinking, swimming and being merry!  Then Sunday, my actual birthday, I'm having a nice breakfast, recovering from Saturday, hanging by the pool, then going out to a favorite spot for drinks at sunset.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Slow & Painful Death

Tell Me No Lies, my entry in the Mills & Boon New Voices Competition is now around 154 out of 624 entries. I've received 1 comment in the last week and a half and that was from my FANTABULOUS CP. I know the ratings don't really make a difference and I still don't have any illusions that I'll make the top 20. I really only entered to get comments & feedback, which I did. I'm thrilled with the reactions I've been getting. I really feel like I'm doing something right!

BUT I'm soooooooo ready for this competition to be over. I spend lots of time tracking comments on all the manuscripts, reading some entries (I'll never get through them all!) and obsessing with my own. Monday, the last day to enter, can't come quick enough. Quite frankly, I need to get back to actually writing my current novella so that it can be done and submitted before NaNoWriMo & my next bounty hunter story!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October So Far...

No writing on the sexy Scottish contemporary, although I think about it quite a bit
Many beers have been consumed...I blame it on the visit from the English relatives who are here to celebrate my birthday.
No word from the Chinese recruiter (about a teaching job in China)
No rejection yet after 14 weeks on my last completed manuscript
I'm back to being a substitute teacher (but so far I'm managing to work only in the "good" school district)
Tomorrow I start training for a new PT job, tutoring with a well-known company
Still in the Mills & Boon Competition, managing to stay within the top 10%-20%, but haven't gotten many more comments since last week. Thank goodness it's now less than a week before it's over!

More later.....

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Yes, it's true! My 40th birthday is this month and I've decided to start celebrating right from Day 1!!!! How am I celebrating? I'm cleaning the house, grocery shopping....WAIT! No, that was last month.

This month I'm working on a brand new series of novellas. I'm hard at work on the 1st one, Her Highland Champion, which is set in modern-day Scotland. The hero is an operative in an international organization and the heroine is being hunted by her ex-fiance.  When she has no one else to turn to, she relies on the hero. Too bad his choices put her in more danger. (For more information about the rest of the series, visit my Manuscripts page on my website!)

Other than that, I have English relatives coming in for 2 weeks to help celebrate my birthday. (Finally figured out where to have my family birthday dinner!) I foresee MUCH celebration in the next couple of weeks!
And now, I'll share with you a picture of me when I was about 4 or 5 from the 1st house I lived in. I LOVE this picture and used it for my party invitations.