Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

holidays

DesiComments.com | Happy Holidays

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's that time of year again...









These aren't Thanksgiving-related, but I had to share them. Boggles the mind, doesn't it?






Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Baaack!




Imposter Syndrome. I haz it.

I'm two-thirds of the way through my gazillionth round of revision on my current story. Current being the key word, since there are a lot of other Not Ready for Prime Time stories waiting to be revised.

I've lost track of the number I've "completed." I put that in quotes because, while they have a beginning, middle and end, and are mostly in the 90,000 word ballpark, they aren't complete in the Ready to Submit sense.

In fact, right now I'm thinking more along the lines of "Let's Have a Bonfire and Toss Them All In It." Unfortunately (or fortunately - these moods usually pass), they're not on easy-to-burn paper. They're in my computer.

Bad, bad computer! It sits there, day after day, leering at me. It knows the truth. It's seen all those poor, orphaned stories, the characters lost in the limbo of the unpublished. Surely this state of affairs isn't all MY fault. Moi? No, that can't be right.

I figure my computer should shoulder some of the blame. Remember that scene in OFFICE SPACE where the guys kill the copy machine? I have moments where I picture doing that to my trusty Dell. I just finished paying for the damn thing, though, so I'm trying to restrain myself.


(Did anyone else notice how "should" and "shoulder" are spelled almost the same way? Huh. I have an uncanny ability for using repetitive words.)


Let's have some backstory - God knows, I have a real gift for it. I'm published in non-fiction. Heck, I've had six books published. They all sold well. One is even still in print! And I've read a book a day for most of my life. Surely some knowledge of writing craft must have sunk in?


Not so you'd notice.

I've blogged about Imposter Syndrome before, over at Romance University. I'm something of an expert on it. I'm normally a happy, mild-mannered sort of person, but I used to be a redhead. There's a volcanic temper under my skin. These days, the only thing likely to trigger an eruption is frustration with my writing.

In the four years since I started writing fiction, my skill set has improved in a lot of ways. What really bugs me is the issues that consistently come up.

1) Tone. It's like I have a split personality: one side is light, humorous and chick-lit-y; the other side is dark and scary. There are authors who combine the two successfully, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding a balance. I can't change my voice, nor do I want to. It's the main thing I get positive feedback on (that and dialogue), but it's also a problem.

A couple of contest judges have compared my voice to Vicki Lewis Thompson's (a huge compliment - I LOVE her "Hexed" series). The problem is, I have a tendency to slip into Karen Rose territory. It's unsettling for readers to find both styles in the same book. (Duh!) Must find a way to fix this.


2) Classification. Thanks to issue #1, it's very hard to classify my stories. I talked about it with an editor who gave me extremely helpful feedback. She said what I write is really contemporary romance with magical/paranormal elements, which is what I thought, too. BUT she suggested I pitch my stories as paranormal romance, since editors are more likely to look at those. Problem is, when most people think "paranormal" they picture something a lot darker and with more world-building. Not sure how to address this.

3) Heroines. My heroes, oddly enough, don't seem to be a problem. It's the heroines I have trouble with. They're either too nice or too snarky; a wimp or a bitch. It's a challenge to find a balance. (There's that word again...) I've come up with a partial solution, though. My next story will DEFINITELY have a hero as the protagonist!

4) Writing passively. I overuse words like "was" and have to make a conscious effort to write actively. Show, don't tell - I SHOULD KNOW THIS BY NOW! *bangs head on desk*


5) Backstory. There's that bad boy again. The issue of backstory is one reason I'm always rewriting my opening scenes, to the endless frustration of my critique partners. I KNOW I should start where the story begins and I KNOW the story should jump right in with action. Easy peasy, right? (You can see where this is going...)

I'll write a scene and feel like I've accomplished it, but when I look closer? Cleverly disguised backstory. This will come as no surprise to my family and friends. I TALK in backstory. I'm into history and genealogy, for Pete's sake. I'm almost freaking sixty years old - my whole LIFE is backstory!

So, yeah. Need to get over that. Backstory is Bad - got that, brain?


I'm not much of a drinker, which is kind of a shame. I suspect I might find inspiration in wine, or even chocolate. Instead I'm going to have to do it the hard way.

Instructions to self:

*Keep writing, even though practice doesn't really mean perfect.

*Pay attention to passive words and cut them out.

*Understand every character's goal, motivation and conflict.

*Make each scene count.

*Work on the damn conflict box.


*Don't use action for the sake of action - everything must have a reason. (And watch those em-dashes while you're at it. Even though you haven't figured out how to create an em-dash on Blogger, so that last one doesn't technically count.)

*Pace the turning points so readers will keep turning pages.

*Show, don't tell.

*And stop writing blogs as a form of avoidance.

Here endeth this lesson, self. Enough with the whining. Go forth and write.


Monday, October 31, 2011

So true!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I now have a "Writer" page on Facebook!

Facebook, in their wisdom, has a 5,000 friend limit for "regular" pages. I'm going to reach that very soon, so I've started a new "writer" page there. Even if we're already friends on my regular page, please stop by and like my new page! Before long I'll have to move all my content there.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Next Week at Romance University

At the Romance University blog, we alternate weeks acting as host to our Visiting Professors. Next week is one of "my" weeks - stop in and say hi! Here's the schedule:




Romance University
Weekly Lecture Schedule for October 24 - 29, 2011

http://www.RomanceUniversity.org

This week, Becke has lined up three fabulous authors to share their tips and techniques with us.

In addition, our generous visiting professors will give away Deal with This by Lucy Monroe (Wednesday) and a 15-page critique (Monday)!

Mon, 10/24Kelly L. Stone explains "Role Modeling as a Way to Writing Success" on Monday, and she's giving away a 15-page critique, any genre, to one lucky commenter!




Wed, 10/26 – Best selling, multi-published author Lucy Monroe discusses writing for visceral impact in "More Than Five Senses." Lucy will give away a copy of her book, Deal With This, to one commenter.




Fri, 10/29 – Multi-published author Paige Tyler gets some help with her steamy books from her husband Paul. They talk about their "Marriage of the Minds" in a Q&A on Friday.


All Romance University lectures are generously provided by our Visiting Professors. RU is a tuition-free zone!

Best regards,

Robin Covington, Kelsey Browning, Becke Martin-Davis, Adrienne Giordano, Tracey Devlyn, Carrie Spencer and Jennifer Tanner

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Love and Marriage




Back in the day, a popular Frank Sinatra song said "love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage." Well, you don't see a lot of horse-and-carriages around these days, and divorce, sadly, often takes the place of the fairy-tale happy ending.

I am an obsessive reader, and I love to read romances that end with the promise of a happily-ever-after. In real life - though I'm a Pollyanna-optimist in most ways - I'm somewhat cynical about marriage. To this day, I don't wear a wedding or engagement ring, although my husband does. I still have reservations about marriage, and I worry that people focus so much on the wedding that they forget to think about all the days ahead.



This may come as a surprise to those of you who are aware that a) I got married at age 19 and b) I just celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary. My husband and I started going out on April 18, 1970, so it's actually been a bit longer than the anniversary indicates. It beats the heck out of me how this happened, since my husband and I - as much as we loved each other and wanted to be together - didn't have much confidence in the institution of marriage, despite the fact that neither of us came from "broken" homes.

We both were familiar with far too many marriages that were either lopsided, with all the power going to one person, or desperately unhappy, seeming more like a prison than a partnership. I wasn't at all sure I wanted to get married, ever. Apart from dressing as a bride for Halloween one year, I never had fantasies about my wedding day. I was the opposite of Bridezilla - my mom liked the idea of planning a wedding, and for the most part, I let her have at it.


Becke (spelled Becky back then), Halloween, 1959

In spite of our very young age, my husband and I didn't enter into marriage blindly. He never proposed, which was smart of him. I might have panicked and run if forced to make a yes or no decision. We were together every day and it just felt wrong to go to go our separate ways at night. When it came to our future, it was more a question of whether we'd elope or move in together, and we weren't quite unconventional enough for that. Marriage it was.

We labored over our vows, mingling our own words with those of Kahlil Gibran, removing "till death do we part" and the references to "obey" from the script. Music brought us together, so it naturally played a big part in our wedding. We put together our own soundtrack, carefully choosing songs that had personal meaning to us. Paul Stookey's "The Wedding Song (There is Love)" had just hit the charts and was an easy choice, as was "our song" - Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed."

But I'm willing to bet no other wedding ceremony has featured Carly Simon's "That's the Way I've Always Heard it Should Be," which also came out that year. Here are some of the lyrics:

"You say it's time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me -
Well, that's the way I've always heard it should be:
You want to marry me, we'll marry.

My friends from college they're all married now;
They have their houses and their lawns.
They have their silent noons,
Tearful nights, angry dawns.
Their children hate them for the things they're not;
They hate themselves for what they are-
And yet they drink, they laugh,
Close the wound, hide the scar."



Weird song for a wedding, right? That song was included as a conscious choice, a statement that we were NOT going to let that happen to us. Privately, we swore to each other that if we ever wanted out, we'd do it before we ended up hating each other. That our happiness would be more important than the marriage.

I was going through some papers yesterday and found a poem I wrote during the first year of our marriage. Bear in mind I was 20 years old and a very amateur poet, with a love of e.e. cummings and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The title was simply "1972":

what i like about being married is you
in bed at night and on chilly mornings
our bodies, content, fit like two
puzzle pieces or two hands holding
each other against the world

and i like you to talk to and be with
while I read and you play guitar

like old married people we joke
we laugh and love and fight
we take care of each other and
it's nice and your love is warm

what i don't like about being married
is, being young, both of us don't know
all there is to know about our hearts
and forever is a hell of a long time

it can be scary, like a closed book,
the pages stuck together to keep
dreams out, but at least right now
we have each other while we're needing
each other
and loving and wanting and caring
about each other

i hope our love lasts and grows,
but marriage is not much, by itself
and if you change or i change
or we both change

if in growing up or old we grow
apart instead of together
please let's not make the marriage
the most important part of our love

Wow. I'd forgotten all about that poem, and it was strange to read it all these years later. Lots of things have changed, but some things haven't changed - I still read, he still plays guitar. And I still smile when I hear his voice on the phone, and we still like to tell each other about our day.

Bec and Mart, Christmas 1982


Of course, we also drive each other nuts at times. We sometimes joke that while divorce isn't on our minds, murder isn't out of the question. We are opposite in so many ways it shocks me we ever got together in the first place, and it's a freaking miracle we still get along. Maybe it took the pressure off, taking this relationship one day at a time. We didn't go into it with huge expectations - we just wanted to be together. Maybe that's enough.

This was another poem I wrote in the early days of our marriage - again, forgive the technical imperfections:

Love -
I do not know
if it is worth it.

Two brick walls:
we talk as though
our words will never touch,
Letting them shatter
on the asphalt earth.

Perhaps a word
will wound my wall
staining it with tears,
and a green sprout
replace the stained spot
and flowers bloom.

Perhaps
two brick walls
a building make, or
fall, and give a garden
room to grow.

Laughter
would fill the space
our words left untouched -
and the silence
touches
telling so much
more.

Love -
did I say I do not know?
It is worth it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Halloween!





Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ten Random Facts About Me, and Another Liebster Award!

Big thanks to my friend and fellow struggling author JENNIFER TANNER for honoring my blog with another Liebster Award!


Thanks, Jennifer!


Jennifer also tagged me in her "Ten Random Facts" - this requires me to tag four more blogs and list ten random facts about myself.

The four blogs I'm tagging belong to:

1. GABRIELLA EDWARDS - Her blog is called "The Story of Ro: Confessions of an Erotic Romance Writer." Gabriella is a great friend and long-time critique partner - you can follow her on Facebook here. And if you haven't read UNTIL EMIE yet, what are you waiting for? (Warning: It's HOT!)

2. DEBBIE HAUPT - Her blog is called "The Reading Frenzy." Debbie moderates Barnes & Noble's General Fiction board at BN.com, and reviews for Library Journal, RT Reviews, Mira, Grand Central, Tor, Penguin and more. Stop into BN.com and hang out with Debbie and me!

3. MARY ULRICH - My friend Mary's blog is called "Climbing Every Mountain: A Base Camp for Parents and Caregivers of People with Disabilities." A fellow member of the Ohio Valley chapter of RWA, Mary is also an aspiring writer.

4. CAREY CORP - Carey is another OVRWA friend. Her YA story THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE GUARDIAN was an RWA 2010 Golden Heart finalist. Carey's blog is called "My Own Brand of Madness" - check it out!

Okay, now for Ten Random Facts about me:

1. One of my all-time favorite movies is AMERICAN DREAMER starring Tom Conti and JoBeth Williams.

2. My future husband and I were voted Most Affectionate Couple in the senior issue of our high school paper.

3. I was named after REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM.

4. When I was in high school, I starred in a freshman production of SORRY, WRONG NUMBER.

5. I didn't get my ears pierced until I was 55. I have accumulated an embarrassing number of sparkly earrings since then.

6. In July 2007 I read my first Jennifer Crusie book. In October 2007 I attended Jenny's "Cherry Con" in Covington, KY, which included several writing workshops. It was at this mini-conference that I decided to try my hand at writing fiction. I finished my first story, OVER EASY, in January 2008 - it finaled in three contests. I still like parts of it, and hope to revise it one of these days.

7. Driving: Hate it. I am the world's biggest chicken. I don't like night driving, expressway driving, driving in rain or snow. Yes, I have a license. But I avoid driving as much as possible.

8. I am a greeting card junkie. I collect cards for all occasions so I always have plenty to choose from. Cards with random sayings are favorites, along with anything sparkly. I like to match cards to my friends and then save them until their birthdays.

9. I was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, even though I never lived there. My parents (who were very young - I attended my father's college graduation) flew down to Hot Springs so I could be born at Army Navy Hospital, where my grandfather was Commander-in-Chief. My mom said she was treated like royalty!

10. Speaking of royalty, I once met the Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth's late mother) at a trade show in England. She had the bluest eyes I've ever seen.


Monday, September 26, 2011

The Lovely Liebster Award

I WON THE LIEBSTER AWARD!

It's always fun to receive an award, especially a cool one like the LIEBSTER.


I'm sending a big thank you to the extremely talented CARRIE SPENCER for giving my blog this coveted award! Carrie can be found at Romance University as well as at her own blog.


In keeping with the traditions associated with receiving the Liebster Blog Award, I must now convey the following:

Winners of a Liebster must:

1. Post the award on your blog and show thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them via the award graphic ~ Check!

2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog or send them a shout out on Twitter. ~ Check!

3. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other writers (and bloggers) ~ Check!



My top picks for the next Liebster are:

1. JESSICA DAVIS - Okay, she's my daughter, but she also has a very cool make-up blog called DON'T CALL ME JESSIE. You can also find lots of cute kitten pictures there!

2. KERI STEVENS - Twitter Goddess, author of Carina Press' STONE KISSED, member of OVRWA, belly dancer, mom, good friend and brilliant critique partner. Keri is multi-talented! Check out her blog LEAP! And love will catch you.

3. JENNIFER TANNER - I met Jen at the Romance Bandits blog some time back. Now we have Romance University in common in addition to being long-distance friends and critique partners. You'll be seeing her name on a book cover before long! Her blog is ROMANCE AND OTHER LEGAL STIMULANTS.

4. RENEE VINCENT, author of RAELIKSEN and others, is a member of OVRWA and a prolific blogger with endless energy and a gift for discovering some of the hottest male models you'll ever see. Her blog is called PAST THE PRINT - don't miss her Wake-Me-Up Wednesday posts!

5. JAN O'HARA - I met Jan through Jennifer Crusie's Cherry Forum several years ago and had the pleasure of meeting her at RWA National in 2009. We belong to a writer's group called the Cherry Tarts. Jan blogs at Writer Unboxed and the always interesting TARTITUDE: Art. Attitude. Vitamin C.

Thanks again for the award, Carrie!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My 40th Anniversary - Again!

Last year, my husband and I celebrated our REAL 40th anniversary - the anniversary of our first date, and the beginning of a long, wild ride. On October 2 we'll be celebrating the 40th anniversary of our wedding - it was a fun day, but we still consider it secondary to our April anniversary.





Yep, that's the famous $12 wedding dress. My mom managed a couple apparel departments at Marshall Field's, including the prom shop. When this dress went on clearance, it was marked down to $20. With her discount, $12. Even in those days, that was freaking cheap! The fancy headgear I was wearing cost more than the dress, and it was painfully anchored to my head with a gazillion bobby pins.

My flowers and wedding cake came from local businesses that had family connections: Jarosch Bakery (one of my first jobs was there - saw Betty Jarosch about a year ago, and reminisced) and Berthold's supplied the flowers. Both are still going strong!








We've been reminiscing, and one of our favorite memories is the music. Neither of us were much on organ music, so when the organ in my tiny Presbyterian church died, we were more than happy to create our own wedding soundtrack.

These songs were among the highlights!























Here are the instructions for the lead-in music:


Some cute cards from my wedding shower:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memory...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Spam-a-Lot, or Treasures from the Trash Bin

I must lead a more boring life than I thought, because lately I find myself entertained by the spam that sneaks past the filters on my website.


I can't for the life of me figure out what good it does these people to send me these spams. Do they think I'll visit their websites and buy their products, if they even have such a thing?

Note that I said these comments came through on my website, not my blog. So it cracks me up a little bit when so many of them sing the praises of my wonderful, brilliant, enlightening blog posts. (Except that there aren't any...well, there is a blog attached to my website, but that's not where the comments are sent.)

Maybe I'm just easily amused, but I have to share a few of these. I go through and delete them regularly - I should have saved some of the really mind-boggling ones.

Here's a few from today's virtual trash bin:

"Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude." (Dude??)

"hi! Great Friday here. This is a super nice article!!" (What article?)

"This really answered my drawback, thank you!" (Huh?)

"Full of propaganda and revisionist history." (Hello? This is a romance writer's website?)

"Your house is valueble for me." (Didn't Agador say this in "The Birdcage"?)

"Great submit. I observed what I was seeking." (So happy for you...I think.)

"A formidable share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a little evaluation on this. And he the truth is purchased me breakfast as a result of I found it for him." (Yeah, um, okay. What he said...)

"Massive thumb up for this blog publish!" (I think that says it all!)

And a new one:

"You pointed roughly finicky subject matter." (I did? Who knew?)

Still more winners (I'm updating this as new spams appear):


"My partner and i no longer nurture doubts including a troubled mind because you totally attended to the needs in this post." (Why do I feel like I need to wash my hands?)

"I am very happy that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for one thing regarding this." (I'm sure this person speaks English better than I speak his-or-her language, but still. My grammar geek gene just exploded.)

I'll have to add more later!

Aaaand...I'm back with another winner:

"In the event you neediness to litigate, you just take up to head to port of entry, he include in concert, provide up into the companionship force stylish the North American country." (Yep, I'll get right on that!)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

View from the Writing Cave

I've been in the writing cave so long, my eyes are having trouble adjusting to daylight. And, needless to say, a certain part of my anatomy is welded to the computer chair. No one ever told me writing was fattening, but it's hard to exercise on the computer.

Oh yes - I've tried it. I even posted here about the fancy gadget that lets me type while walking on the treadmill. That does work pretty well if you're only playing on the computer, but it's hard to stay focused on characters while huffing and puffing.

I entered the cave in January, tempted by the lush greenery and the lure of a new story. Well, not an entirely new story - I took a story I wrote for NaNoWriMo back in 2008, tore it to pieces and started again with only a root cutting to start the new growth.


My goal was to complete the story in time for Lori Foster's Reader Author Get Together in early June. I signed up for the pitch appointments before I'd written the first chapter. Talk about pressure! I rewrote the first two chapters a gazillion times, which is pretty normal for me. The view from the cave was gorgeous, and I was right on track.


It got a little trickier in March when I went on two out-of-town trips and attended a writer's conference, none of which were conducive to writing. I kept plugging away, but my word count wasn't quite up to par. It was April by the time I got back on schedule, and the beginning of June seemed frighteningly close. I had to get in some major writing - a mini-NaNoWriMo. Of course, that's when my brain froze up. The cave didn't seem quite as pleasant. The letters wore off my keyboard, and I swear the keys were glued down by bat droppings.

It was around this time subversive thoughts would come to me at night: "Why are you killing yourself over this? The story won't sell even if you do finish it. Why not give it up and get yourself a life? It's not like anyone is forcing you to do this! And you sure as hell aren't getting paid to write for ten hours a day!" The ugly voice of Imposter Syndrome had spoken. I wrestled with it for days - in the end, I beat it down. For awhile, at least.


By May, I was making real progress. My husband had long since stopped asking if I was ever planning to come to bed, and the cat disowned me. The words were doing their magic and I was back in the zone. June was just around the corner, but by God I could do this!

My daughter came into town two days before the conference started, and that's when I had a reality check. We had all kinds of activities planned with my writing buddies - activities that didn't include writing. Three days to go and I was at 60K out of a projected 85K. I told myself I could write at night. The day before the conference, I decided I could write in the hotel room. Yeah, that didn't happen.

Instead, I went into full blown panic. I had a pitch session in ONE DAY! Not only was the story not complete, I hadn't even taken the time to write the query, tagline or pitch! I brought a notebook to every event, and cornered critique partners for impromptu brain-storming sessions. My daughter took off with my friends while I went quietly (or not-so-quietly) insane.

Then I found out the lovely editor I was pitching to had to cancel due to health issues. Relief slammed me, and then guilt because - hello? - she was in pain, for Pete's sake! For a full two hours I relaxed. The editor requested a partial, but I could pull that together in a week, no problem. Reprieve!


My daughter Jessica, author Nancy Naigle, me - in a brief moment of non-panic - and author Gabriella Edwards aka Rosie Murphy

My friends - who are in equal parts wonderful and evil - insisted I pitch to an agent instead. At first I resisted until the voices in my head joined in. Damn those subversive voices, anyway! This time they nagged about my lack of professionalism. "Are you going to pass up an opportunity to pitch because you're too lazy to pull something together? Are you a writer or a wimp?" I left my daughter to her own devices as I shut myself in the hotel room and dug in.

By three a.m., I had a query, a tagline and a pitch. They weren't perfect by any means (another agent was seriously unimpressed), but the agent I pitched to that Saturday liked them enough to request 150 pages. She said to hold off submitting until the story was ready to go, because if she liked it she'd want the full the next day.

I was still in the writing cave, but it was sparkling.



The day after the conference, we headed up to Chicago - taking my daughter to see the family and to meet her new niece. I planned to write in the hotel room every night, which proved extremely difficult. I finally gave up and decided to work double time when I got back home. I should have known better - it's always a mistake to let a day go by without working on a story, much less a whole week.

By the time I got home, I had to read through it from the beginning to get myself back on track. I had two weeks to write before heading back up to Chicago (I swear I'm attached to that city by a bungee cord) to dog sit while my son and his significant other went on a cross-country road trip. I had a plan: my new goal was to finish before I left on June 23. Once again, I failed to meet my goal. I wrote about 1,000 words a day, and every word was like drawing blood.


I pushed on, and by the time I went to Chicago I was at 70K. Not where I wanted to be, but by then the remaining 15K didn't sound so bad. Chicago was great. I became I writing hermit - just me and the dog, and my old laptop. The A/C didn't work real well so I got up at the crack of dawn to walk the dog before the heat set in, and then came back and wrote like a maniac. I took breaks to walk the dog along the lakefront, which helped recharge my batteries and sweep the cobwebs from my brain. Finally, I could see the light outside the cave.


I wrote 31,500 words during my three weeks in Chicago, overshooting my anticipated word count significantly. Since I returned home I've trimmed 2,500 words, leaving at least 4,000 more to cut. The revisions aren't going as smoothly as I'd like - when do they ever? I'm still plugging away.

I'm not out of the cave yet, not until I push on and complete the revisions. I feel antsy because the submissions are later than I anticipated, but I'd rather submit a clean, polished story than pages that are rough but on time. It's nearly August, and I'd like to think I'll be done by then. Somehow I doubt it.

The cave is starting to feel like home. My family has adjusted to my state of distraction, and the cat is busy hanging with his raccoon friends. Life goes on.

Is it worth it? Well, I'm not writing the Great American Novel, but I hope I'm writing something fun. Now I'm heading back to the writing cave. Any other cave dwellers out there?