Friday, August 29, 2008

Writing, Technology & Murphy's Law

I've been working on a novel for a couple of years now. And I've finally gotten 'done' to the point where I'm working on the synopsis.

I actually had it done, once.

Then the file disappeared. An entire day's work, gone. And I don't know how that happened. I could have sworn I saved it. And in all my years of working with computers, this is the first document that's vanished like that.

Figures.

I'd cuss a bit, but I'm not sure if I'm the only person reading this blog or not. So I'll keep my vitrol off cyberspace. Of course, now that my work is gone, I checked to see if my backup utility was in place. Not configured.

Otherwise, the project has shaped up nicely. I don't expect this novel to make me any money. But I do believe it will get my name around to agents. The goal is to get at least three agent requests for the full manuscript, in 2009.

If not, I will send it to category romance houses, and see what they think. Most of them want Agent Submissions for the higher lines. I'm going to shoot a little higher this first time out.

Publishing isn't an easy process. Agent searching isn't either. But this is what I want, and my other "somedays" have all been taken care of, except for this one. So, I shall read the submission guidelines carefully and act like a Professional Writer.

Why is "Besieged" better than the average category romance? It's an emotionally touching as well as suspenseful story, the characters have dialog pertaining to the plot. They don't jump into the sack. There is an attraction between them, and they acknowledge it.

No fake denial here.

Tag teases Lindsey, like any smart guy (with sisters) would. He kids her and encourages her, but he slowly comes closer, still worried that she will reject him because of his injuries. He's also worried about the effects of PTSD on his mental health. Jim Bennett acts as a stabilizing example as someone who made family life work.

Lindsey is naive, admits that she's naive. She's in denial, distracted by her mother, her sister then Tag. She eventually finds out that Brandon and Mychou are up to something, she just isn't sure what. Or what to do about it.

Brandon doesn't think anyone is as smart as he is. He makes few attempts to hide his trail, the drugs have taken any sense he may have had. At the end, he's beyond sanity.

I've learned a lot from this novel. The next one will be much better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Addition to the Farm

We have a Jack Russel puppy named Trouble.

(I can see the grins already.) He is about 5 months old, and feels more than able to live up to his name. He gives 10 year old JR and 2 year old Mocha a real workout.

This morning I was sitting on the front porch, enjoying the breeze and my morning coffee when I saw Trouble and Mocha racing down the hill. Trouble was carrying something that was making a lot of noise.

It was a baby rabbit. Eye still sealed shut, the poor pitiful creature was screaming. It would take a harder heart than my marshmallow ticker leave the bunny to the dogs. On command Trouble obligingly spit the bunny on the ground, and got a good boy ear rub. Mocha got her ears ruffled too.

I cringed as I picked up the now silent bunny. It was breathing, and it tried to burrow into my hand. Two years earlier another set of pups had brought a bunny home, that one had lived for a week. It was much, much smaller.

I don't have much hope for this one. But I did show it to my husband, and put it in a nice warm sock, in a basket, on the kitchen counter.

I called home several hours later, my husband had tried to feed it. It leaped out of his hand onto the counter. Lucky rabbit, the dogs would have gotten it for sure.

He named it "Bugs" making it an official Croft Critter. He also called some rescue shelters, but they were all full up. Someone recommended puppy milk replacement, and feeding it twice a day.

I stocked up at Walmart. Puppy milk, kitten bottle, we have lots of old socks. I'm not holding out much hope for it, but who knows?

Stay tuned.

8/23/08 -- Bugs was too young to leave his mother. He didn't survive. Baby rabbits are notoriously hard to raise in captivity.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hope for the Hopeless Case of Ashtabula

My last blog was a commentary about a beautiful, but hopeless place on the shores of Lake Erie, Ashtabula Ohio.

Is there any hope?

I've been reading about "The End of Poverty" which focuses on Africa and the problems that fester there. The parallel with Ashtabula seems to be quite obscure.

It is, I think, a question of capital, instead of a question of government. Since there is no monetary capital to be found, and precious few skills for technical assistence, I have decided to get to the heart of the matter. Big industry isn't coming back, there are only going to be small businesses, very small cottage industries, in the county.

Little cottage industries could make a big difference, if there was a market place. Yes, I know, sounds lame, but what else is Ebay for crying out loud? Hundreds of thousand of cottage industries that became the giant market place.

"Build it and they will come."

A farmer's market and a flea market would do a great deal to help the 'average' person get some extra cash in their pockets. If it was located close to the Geneva Line, there would be access to the tourist trade. That would open up some real opportunities.

There are craftsmen and artists hiding in the woodwork. A fleamarket would bring out the junk collectors from as far away as Eire and Cleveland.

There are plenty of farmers to fill the farmers' market. The Amish would certainly come to the farmers' market. Every little town in Kentucky has both a farmers market and a fleamarket. We have 3 in our area, one is a big one with frozen chicken and fresh cheese as well as all the normal veggies.

Of course, it will never happen. It is so much easier to whine 'the government should save us' then to pull yourself up by the bootstraps.