Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mush, I Tell You!!!!

At the weekend, I thought I could survive at the temporary sub job. After a couple more days of babysitting, policing and getting pegged between the eyes by a paper airplane, I gave my notice to the principal. It's not worth it when I'm depressed, exhausted, physically sick and I'm only making a bit more money. (PLUS I haven't been able to write anything!) So, I've got tomorrow, the hell day, and Friday. THEN I'll be free to take other jobs!

Yesterday and today at the day job, while the kids chased each other around the room and ran in and out of the room, I worked on the new project, Unbroken. I'm determined to finish the partial in the next couple of weeks so I can submit it to the editor who requested it! It deserves to be read. I was going to share a pic of my inspiration for the hero, but the internet isn't working with me right now. Maybe later.

Have a good Thursday! It's my hell day since I have all my toughest classes, each for 1 hour and a 1/2, but I WILL SURVIVE!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Brain Is Mush

I've been at the temporary sub job for 8 days, 4 with kids, and it's HARD. I like the staff I'm working with and I love what I'm learning about myself as both a teacher and a human being. But the kids are difficult. Very difficult. In fact, some of the attitudes & behaviors are the exact reasons I left the last teaching job. But I'm taking things 1 day at a time, 1 class at a time and I'm focusing (as I always do) on the positives. For example, every time I start to think, "I can't do this" something positive happens--a teacher says thank you for staying, a janitor says thank you because the room isn't as messy as it has been, a student drops me a note that says thank you for teaching us. I can't help but think there's a reason I'm the one that's here in this class at this time. I won't try to explain it. I'll just go with it one day at a time.

With all the stress of this temporary day job, I've been so exhausted after work each night that I haven't done much else. I've been working on filling out the paperwork for the guest blog spots/interviews I have scheduled for Champion's release. I planned specifics about my online party. (Are you coming????) I'm always looking for other ways to promote my baby too.

Also with the day job I haven't had a chance to really think about how my publisher has the 2nd novella. At times I chew on my fingernails, but not for long because there's always something else to do.

This weekend I intend to get busy with revising my partial that's been requested as well. You've heard a bit about this story, Unbroken, on here. It was written last summer. I'd like to submit that before Champion comes out (so within 4 weeks!) so I can focus my attention on Champion.

Okay, I'm off to have another cup of tea and watch the last 1/2 hour of English soccer (Chelsea vs. Bolton) before I have to get ready for a staff meeting for my part-time job. Have a great day!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

You've Got To See This!

If you're interested in Scottish stories, check out this book trailer for my Celtic Hearts sister Victoria Roberts' book coming out in September! I just watched the trailer and LOVED it! Go here to see it!

The day job is kicking my arse, but I'll fill you in over the weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

First Comments On 2nd Novella!

I sent Fractured Paradise to my beta readers Sunday night. The first reader sent her response back yesterday. She's a tough cookie so these words MADE MY DAY!

I didn't stop reading till it was over - I want a man like that!!
Great job.... very well written - i'm in love

congratulations to having another hit!!!"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Celebrating Robert Burns

I'm over at the Celtic Hearts Romance Writers blog today sharing my experience at a Robert Burns Supper earlier this month. Come on over! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lift Off!

Whoohoo! Time to celebrate! I JUST hit send on my submission! Fractured Paradise is now in the capable hands of my publisher. I'm THRILLED with how it came out and I really hope they want it.

But, no rest for the wicked. After a quick lunch, I've got to get started on the promo work for Champion, the work I've been putting off until I could get Paradise out the door. And then I've got to get busy with the other project, Unbroken, that needs some love and attention before I send its partial off to the awaiting editor.

BUT...I think I will bask in the glow of accomplishment for a few minutes first.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For

On Tuesday, February 7th, I asked for good vibes, thoughts and prayers because I had a few irons in the fire. I quickly came back with 2 of them as a no. Since then, things have changed. The iron in the fire is in regular print. The update is underneath and in bold.

1. I interviewed for a long-term sub job that could turn permanent.
I got the job, but it's at a very challenging school. The kids have run off every other substitute. Yesterday, apparently a teacher got assaulted. I've been on campus for 3 days prepping. I start with the kids on Tuesday. My first class is the one that vowed to send me away crying on my 1st day.

2. I sent a pitch into an editor for a completely different project. I LOVE the story!
I got a request for a partial (3 chapters & synopsis). The book's written, but I'll still have to take some time to revise a bit before I send it.

3. I'm at 8 months waiting for a response on another book.
8 & a half months now and still waiting.

4. I had a person put an application in to rent my condo.
The person's background and credit check came back and my property manager couldn't approve. BUT the very next day she called me with another applicant who did get the "thumbs up" and he's moving in March 1st!

To be honest, I'm a bit overwhelmed because add to this I'm trying to prep for the release of Her Highland Champion next month too. Wonderful things are happening and I just have to learn to balance everything, but it will take me a while. Hope it doesn't make me crazy in the process!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Longer Retreat Review & Other Stuff

Okay, so I lied when I said I would post on Monday night. Sorry, but I've got lots of stuff going on!

My retreat weekend was wonderful and relaxing and beautiful. I got the 4th draft of Fractured Paradise done, got to know/visit with some of my fellow Austin RWA members and was thrilled to do nothing but write. The retreat is usually 2 nights. I wasn't going to be able to go at all due to my financial situation, but I won a free night through a raffle.

I got up and drove the hour and a half out to our location early Saturday morning. Things were already in full swing, with lots of people writing, when I arrived. Of course, I set my computer up, put my earbuds in and started working. BUT, I am a sucker for a good conversation and soon I was having a great chat with Jax Garren, another author who recently sold her 1st novella. We chatted about our novella plans, what we've learned so far, and how we're feeling. We also compared notes on our epublishers. Thanks, JC! Then it really was time to get busy. I stopped a few times for a quick break and a cookie (or two), but altogether I wrote for about 10 hours on Saturday.
When I couldn't write anything more, I went out to the "talking zone," grabbed a glass of wine, and joined the lively conversation. When my eyes started to droop, I called it a night.

Sunday morning I woke up ready to tackle the ending of the book. After breakfast with those who stayed, I got back to work and finished the draft. I was soooooooo excited! I considered doing a happy dance, but my limbs were stiff from sitting so long. So I settled for loading up my car at about 4pm, and I headed home.

When I got home, I was so "in" the story, I decided to start drafting my blurb for the book. Surprisingly, it came to me pretty easily. (My CPs have also said it was a good job!)

Now, the plan had been to complete the 5th draft before Tuesday, read the entire thing for last minute changes, and then submit it today. Of course, that didn't happen. Why? Because of my "irons in the fire" from one of last week's post. But that's info for another post.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Retreat Review In Thirty Seconds Or Less

What a WONDERFUL weekend! I'm tired and I'll give you more details tomorrow, but I finished my 4th draft of Fractured Paradise AND wrote the blurb for it! I've got errands tomorrow and a few hours of work, but I promise to post my few pics and give you a rundown of the weekend tomorrow night.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

This Just In....

I'm blogging from the Austin RWA retreat in Central Texas. It's been a productive day, although I'm not moving as fast I'd hoped. Still, I'm down to a few scenes left to revise/write to finish this draft. I had hoped to finish today, but there's something simple preventing me from finishing. Of course I don't know what it is, but I know it's very simple! So, I'm getting off the computer, taking out my handy-dandy pencil & paper, and I'm going to handwrite my blurb so I can remind myself/remember my characters' GMCs. Maybe that will remind me what's important and shed light on what needs to be deleted or added to make that happen. Wish me luck! Update coming tomorrow night!

While I'm Busy Finishing My 2nd Novella....

* * * Permission To Forward Granted and Appreciated! * * *
Contests: The Basics
Presented by Alexa Bourne
Dates: March 5 – 28, 2012
Deadline: March 2, 2012
Fee: $16.00

Course Description:
Students will explore reasons to enter contests, how to find the right contest for their work, how to follow the “rules,” how to deal with the results/feedback of contests, and finally choose contests.

Topics covered will include:
·       Pros & Cons of Contests
·       How to Find Contests
·       How to choose Contests
·       Rules of contests
·       Contests vs. Publishing Industry
·       Dealing With Contest Results
·       Other advantages to contests

Instructor Bio:
Alexa Bourne has been working toward publication for several years. She entered her first contest in 2002 and has since finaled or won in 21 RWA contests with seven manuscripts. She has a Bachelor’s in English Literature and a Master’s in Education. She has been an English teacher for children and adults. She has also written various articles for RWA chapter newsletters and befriended the competition in a contest on more than one occasion.

You can register for the following on-line class through March 3.  Each class is $16.  FMI:

Or email Online Workshop Coordinator, Veronica Alderson, using the Subject line: LRWA ONLINE WORKSHOP.  To subscribe to LRWA Online Workshop monthly mailing list,

Thank you.

Veronica Alderson,
LRWA Online Workshop Coordinator
LRWA Treasurer

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Temporary Heaven...Lexi Style!

It's almost Friday. I've got a sub job in a 4th grade classroom tomorrow and then NOTHING to do but focus on writing! (Well, I'll probably fill out some job applications tomorrow night, but that's it.) How am I so fortunate to have nothing to do but write, you ask? This weekend is my Austin RWA annual writing retreat. I'm getting up early Saturday morning to drive to a beautiful place for some quality time with some of my writer friends and my current FANTABULOUS characters. I'm so excited because I've been trying to finish the 4th & 5th drafts of Fractured Paradise for almost 2 weeks now. I expect to get tons done before I head home late Sunday afternoon. No, our retreat is not taking place in this location, but the way I feel when I look at this picture is EXACTLY how I know I'll feel Saturday when I arrive. Come on back Sunday. I'll post pics and details of my retreat experience AND deets about my universe plea from Tuesday. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

PLEASE, Universe, Swing My Way!

I won't get into details here, but if you've got thoughts, prayers, or good vibes to spare, PLEASE send them my way. I've got several "irons in the fire" on a professional and personal level and I could really use any one of the five things (or three or four, or all five...) to work out in my favor. I'll share deets when I can.

2/8-So far two of them are a big, fat NO! :-(

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ooops, I Did It Again

Somewhere around 2001: I wrote 150 pages of a romantic suspense and realized something wasn't right. I liked my supposed villain way more than my hero. And the hero and heroine had little chemistry. So I revised the 150 pages with the original villain as the hero and the original hero as his sidekick (who would get his own story later). It was painful, especially after 150 pages, but once I made the change the characters sparkled.

November 2010: I was working on NaNoWriMo, writing my 1st ever bounty hunter story. I'd reluctantly started watching Dog the Bounty Hunter to see what the lifestyle was like. My hero and heroine were both great people, I eeked out 50,000 words and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. In the end, I realizd the hero and heroine were wrong for each other. The hero was the wrong guy. He was the brother of the correct hero. After NaNo, I revised with the correct brother and the couple exploded on the page. I LOVED the revising and it became one of my strongest full-length books.

November 2011: I started NaNoWriMo with my 2nd bounty hunter story and an AWESOME couple. (Yes, I'm still a Dog the Bounty Hunter fan!) I got through 50,000 words after some difficulty (some "real life", some writing-related). I liked the characters, loved the premise, but the spark wasn't there. No true chemistry. Over the last few days I started thinking, "Maybe the correct hero is one of the brothers." (I had a specific one in mind. There are 4 boys and a girl in the family.) I haven't gotten back to revising it yet mainly because I'm knee-deep in the novellas, but already the choice to change the hero feels right.

Now, the real question is, when I write the 2012 NaNoWriMo manuscript, will I switch the brothers again or will I learn my lesson and make necessary changes BEFORE writing the rough draft??? Is there ANY hope for me?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Line Edits

On Wednesday I got my line edits for Champion. They looked relatively easy, mostly grammar (commas and I don't get along) and a few dialect issues, so I told the editor I would return them Thursday night before I went to bed.

Wow, I REALLY need to think before I promise to return stuff. Why? I left the house Thursday morning at 7, got home at 8:30 PM and then had to start my "relatively easy" edits. At 2:30 THIS morning (yes, FRIDAY morning-after 4 hours of editing!), I emailed them back to her. (Then I went to bed for 3 1/2 hours before I got up to spend the day with a class of 2nd graders.) I could've emailed earlier and said I couldn't finish at that time, but I felt I had to honor my word. It may not be a big deal at the moment, but if I let it slide now I run the risk of letting it slide later on and eventually that will come back to bite me on the arse.

Since I've been home today, I received my final edits before the story goes to the senior editor. I quickly started an email to my content editor and I had to literally take my fingers off the keyboard so I could think about my response. Can I really get everthing done before bed tonight and returned or do I need the weekend too? (For the record, I'm pretty sure I can.)

Now, as you know I've been knee-deep in revising Fractured Paradise so I can submit that to my publisher (yep, still smiling when I say that!) within the next 2 weeks. It's coming along, I'm pretty confident I'll submit it late next week and I'm absolutely LOVING everything about it. Well, when I started re-reading and editing Champion last night, what was in my head? Paradise. I kept having to remind myself to focus on the right story. It wasn't difficult, but it did feel very strange. This was the first time I'd done something like this because I usually work on one story at a time. (Not quite sure how that will play out when I have multiple contracts, but I can't wait to find out!)

So now I'm off to make a cup of tea and sit down to my final edits. I'll let you know if I get them done tonight!