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Archive for February, 2012

I used to think I would never get tired of CSI. That it was the greatest show in the world. Then CSI: Miami. Then CSI: New York. But then there were so many shiny new shows! Shows that were different. And the DVR just keeps filling up. When will I have time to write??? *wrings hands*

My husband and I have had Directv for years. When U-Verse finally came to our house, we chose to only take the internet service. We stuck with Directv. One of the reasons I didn’t want U-Verse TV is that you can DVR four shows instead of two! Sounds great, doesn’t it? But when would I actually watch all those shows. I work 8 or more hours a day, 5 days a week. I need writing time. I need cleaning house time. I need exercise time. WHEN can I watch that much TV? Oh, and then there’s Netflix. I have so many things queued up to watch. And I haven’t finished watching my Twin Peaks DVDs. I haven’t finished watching my Buffy DVDs (for about the 6th time). And I HAVE to watch Moonlight again!

I discovered the other day that I had 4 CSI:New York’s and about that many CSI and Criminal Minds on the DVR. I’m behind watching The Mentalist. I’m going to have to trim something down, but I don’t know what to give up. I’ve added The Vampire Diaries, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, and my FAVORITE, Person of Interest. I have to give up something. Well, actually I did give up one show. My husband was disappointed to find that The River, which he was waiting for anxiously, came on at the same time as one of his other shows and one of mine…Ringer. He was just going to have to skip it. He thought. But I love my hubby so much and didn’t want to disappoint him. So I gave up Ringer for The River. I actually wanted to watch it, too, so it wasn’t that hard. I’ll really miss Ringer, and maybe I can catch it on Netflix later.

Well, I watched 3 out of 4 of the CSI: New Yorks. I may keep that one. But I may ditch CSI. It’s not been the same without Grissom anyway. I’ve already ditched CSI: Miami. I don’t know if I can give up Criminal Minds.

I know I’ve been kind of rambly, but I have a hard time giving up shows and I’m feeling kind of angsty about it. What about you? When it just gets overwhelming, how do you decide what to give up and what to keep? How do you find the time to watch everything? I would really like to know!

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I expected to have the first draft of my WIP finished last night. I really did. But life got in the way. I did more housework than usual because I’ve been feeling bad about not doing much. Especially since this was one of my goals. Then my husband wanted to watch some things we had on the DVR since it’s piling up. Also, my mom needed me to take her somewhere and bring her back because she doesn’t see well enough to drive at night in unfamiliar places. Oh, and then my husband announced that he had rented a movie we needed to watch last night. Scorpion King 3. It wasn’t worth it. So I didn’t get that first draft finished. It’s almost there. It has turned out a little differently than I originally intended. It was going to be more of a slasher horror story with an element of supernatural. It’s ending up being a supernatural story with an element of slasher. If that makes sense. I’m pretty sure it still needs to be labeled as horror, though. Maybe supernatural horror as a sub-genre. I’ll talk that over with the beta readers.

Right now it’s 20 degrees here with a wind chill factor of 13. I knew that warm spell we had was a harbinger of colder things to come! Brrrr. It’s going to be cold going to church this morning.

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PSA – Blood Clots

I was reading an article from a link on Darlene Steelman’s Talk About It Tuesday post. It was about a gamer who was only 23 years old and died in a gamer cafe and no one realized he was dead for about nine hours. He died from apparent cardiac arrest due to blood clots. Similar incidents have happened with gamers going hours without getting up because they are so engrossed in a game.

In May of last year, my best friend died of blood clots in each lung. It was believed that her lack of movement caused this. She had a bad knee due to an injury when she was younger, and the surgeon wouldn’t operate until she lost a great amount of weight. In the meantime, she could barely get around and spent most of her time at home and at work sitting.

I said all that to say this. We, as writers, need to be aware of the time we spend sitting and writing. Sometimes we can get so involved in our story that we just can’t stop. But, please, try to get up and move around from time to time. When my friend died, I really started thinking about this. Then, when I read the article, it really made me nervous for myself and all of you. I know some of you are already aware of the importance of taking breaks, and some of you are exercising. That’s great. But I know a few of you sometimes mention you aren’t getting exercise and that you spend hours writing. Please take care of your health. Take breaks. Get up and walk around for awhile. Get that blood flowing.

Ok, preaching is over. 🙂

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48 Questions

I got this from Claire Farrell. I almost didn’t do this because I didn’t want to bore everyone, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt anything if someone just happened to want to know one or more of these things about me. LOL

1. What time did you get up this morning? At 5:30. Then at 6:30.
2. How do you like your steak? Medium well. Unless it’s hamburger steak , then well done.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Hmmm, probably Breaking Dawn Part 1.
4. What is your favorite TV show? Person of Interest
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Right here in the southeastern U.S.
6. What did you have for breakfast? A slice of cheese, a chocolate covered pretzel, and coffee.
7. What is your favorite food? Pizza
8. Foods you dislike? Broccoli…and similar veggies.
9. Favorite place to eat? A Greek restaurant called The Acropolis.
10. Favorite dressing? Depends on my mood.
11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Bright red Chevy HHR.
12. What are your favorite clothes? Blue jeans, feminine blouse.
13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Ireland or Scotland…preferably both.
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Most definitely ½ full!
15. Where would you want to retire? Right where I am!
16. Favorite time of day? Early evening.
17. Where were you born? Southeastern U.S.
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Football, I guess.
19. What is your favorite fragrance? Miracle by Lancome or Twilight Woods by Bath and Body Works.
20. What is your favorite face cream? Mary Kay
21. Favorite baby/kids products? I don’t have little kids anymore, but I’ll have to copy Claire’s answer. Baby wipes.
22. People watcher? Yep.
23. Are you a morning or night person? Morning. MID morning.
24. Do you have any pets? An 11 year old white dog with a few black spots. He came from the Animal Shelter.
25. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share? After writing only paranormal romance, I’m venturing into Christian romance under a different name.
26. What did you want to be when you were little? A writer
27. What is your favorite memory? ALL the memories of my children being born and growing up.
28. Are you a cat or dog person? Cat person. But my husband won’t let me have one in the house anymore. Long story.
29. Are you married? Yes, for almost 30 years.
30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes.
31. Been in a car accident? Three. I was driving in two of them.
32. Any pet peeves? People who don’t respect others.
33. Favorite pizza toppings? Pepperoni and extra cheese.
34. Favorite flower? Oh so many! I like roses and also tropical plants.
35. Favorite ice cream? Anything with caramel, nuts, and chocolate fudge running through it.
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Steak N Shake. It’s KIND of fast food.
37. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? Aced it the first time.
38. From whom did you get your last email? Probably my cover artist, Anya Kelleye.
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Amazon
40. Do anything spontaneous lately? See #25.
41. Like your job? Yes, quite a bit!
42. Broccoli? See #8. Bleh.
43. What was your favorite vacation? This is a toss up between relaxing on the beach or going to Disney World.
44. Last person you went out to dinner with? My cover artist, Anya Kelleye.
45. What are you listening to right now? All the guys in the front office making a lot of noise.
46. What is your favorite color? Red.
47. How many tattoos do you have? None. I used to want one, but not anymore.
48. Coffee drinker? Yes. I’m kind of a coffee snob. I order mine online from coffeefool.com.

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This post will be a lot more positive than the last one. I FINALLY got past my problems with my WIP! Yay! After much brainstorming Monday night at dinner with my friend and cover artist Anya Kelleye, things started to come together. Sometimes you just have to talk it out with someone. Plus, she had a lot of good ideas to add.

My Christian romance is going well. I wrote 1240 words on it yesterday during lunch. I’m not setting any cumulative goals, but I’m shooting for writing at least 500 words on it when I do get to work on it. I’ve exceeded that each time.

Exercise has been good. I think I posted on Sunday that I went bike riding on Thursday and Friday. Sunday night, I walked about 30 minutes on the treadmill. Yesterday, I walked almost an hour in the park where I bike ride. I would have ridden, but I had a friend who needed to talk. And I’m feeling much better physically and mentally.

How are the rest of you doing? I would love to hear about it.

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I feel like I’ve written myself into a corner. The next time I have a bright idea about writing horror, someone just please slap me. I’m coming to the end of my book, and it’s not going to be long enough. But that’s not the end of the world, it will just be a long novella instead of a short novel. My biggest problem is a showdown between two witches. This book wasn’t even supposed to HAVE witches, but somehow they sprang forth into the story. Now I’m trying to figure out the best way to have a weaker witch win over a stronger witch. My husband says it has to be with trickery. That’s probably true. So then I have to figure out the trick. There are some other timing issues that I need to figure out concerning something else that’s happening in the book, because the two scenes have to come together at some point. This is making my head hurt.

I have good things to finally report about exercise. I went bicycle riding Thursday and Friday. By Friday evening, my body was so sore I could barely move. I expected my legs to be sore, but not my back, shoulders, arms, and hands. I had a little trouble getting out of bed Saturday morning. Unfortunately, it rained Saturday and it’s supposed to rain today. So the next time I get to ride, I’ll probably be sore again. We haven’t had more than a couple of sunny days in a row for months! Okay, okay, I know…I can walk on the treadmill when I can’t ride. And I can lift weights. No excuses. LOL

Anybody else having problems with their WIP or is everything going smoothly?

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Today I’m happy to have my good friend, J.R. Pearse Nelson, as a guest on my blog. We agreed to trade posts on “Why Paranormal Romance?”. So here’s J.R.!

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Why Paranormal Romance?

Hi! My name is J.R. Pearse Nelson, and I’m a fantasy and paranormal romance author. I want to thank Lauralynn Elliott for having me on her blog today. We are trading guest posts on the topic: Why paranormal romance? Lauralynn’s post on my blog can be found here.

I’m excited to talk about this, because I’ve noticed something. Paranormal romance readers come from all kinds of different backgrounds. I didn’t realize when I was holed up in my own little world reading paranormal romance just how many others shared my passion for the paranormal. I could have guessed at the romance part. But what is so interesting, to such a wide variety of people, about paranormal romance?

Let’s start with what’s interesting about the genre for me, personally. I unabashedly read – and write – for escape. Seriously. The more “real” a book feels, the more it turns me off. I haven’t gotten all the way through a non-fiction book in the seven years since graduate school. I credit six years of college for my dislike of preachy ranting. But I digress.

The mysteries lying just beyond our understanding, the earth moving under our feet as we live out our mundane everyday existences…when I pause and think about what I don’t know, that’s when I feel truly alive. It’s when I think about how truly vast this world is that I feel invigorated and emboldened by the possibilities.

And the possibilities are endless. Who hasn’t dreamed about monsters, or flying horses, or having a magical power? Well, I get to turn those dreams, those fantasies that have always captivated my imagination, into tales that allow me to share what enchants me with others. It is so satisfying to surprise people, to take a reader back to a primal place of dream, and that connection we all feel with the mysteries surrounding us in this world.

So what happens for me when I combine the paranormal with romance? In a word: Fireworks!

I’ve loved romance stories since I was a preteen – a fact that always horrified my mother. (Sorry, Mom!) It went right along with my love of soap operas. I’ve been a fan of General Hospital (now the sole surviving ABC soap – boo, hoo!) for twenty years now. It’s funny that I love to consume media with boatloads of drama, because I’m a pretty low-key lady in real life. My husband may disagree. Am I on a tangent again?…

The best romance, and the best stories in general, build in tension with every scene. Romance features snappy dialogue and lots of physical description – the very elements that, in my opinion, help a story move along quickly. I love stories that whip along, and surprise me around every turn. That’s what I try to write – stories that will take my readers on an exciting ride, a total escape from the mundane.

Romance and paranormal put together means plenty of punch packed into every scene. What’s not to love?

Click the cover for the Amazon link to Tribute.

Visit J.R.’s author page here.

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J.R. Pearse Nelson is an indie author of fantasy and paranormal romance. Her work is fast-paced, adventurous, and sometimes dark. Her novellas, Tribute and Vessel, are the first two books in the Children of the Sidhe series. While the genre of these novellas is paranormal romance, J.R. doesn’t limit her reading or writing to one type of fantasy. She loves it all, from the epics to the dark beasties to the mythological, sociological side. An urban fantasy novel and two more Children of the Sidhe novellas are in the works for 2012.

J.R. is a native Oregonian, living in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. Self-publishing is the realization of J.R.’s life-long dream to write fiction for an audience. You can connect with J.R. online at her blog, twitter, and Goodreads. Visit http://www.jrpearsenelson.com.

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The two things mentioned in my title have absolutely nothing to do with each other. I was going to just blog about my cover artist, but I’m so frustrated this morning that I had to mention what I’ve already mentioned in a previous blog. For my ROW80 friends who use Blogspot, I’m very, very sorry I can’t comment on your blogs. Some of you sometimes comment on mine, and I really want to reciprocate, but I just can’t get my comments to go through. This doesn’t happen with EVERY blog on Blogspot, but it’s happening on more and more of them. So please don’t think I’m ignoring you on purpose. Your blog just doesn’t like me. 😦

Now on to my cover artist, Anya Kelleye. I’ve never really acknowledged on this blog how much I love and appreciate her. She is the most patient and understanding person I know, and she really has to be when I’m being really picky about my covers. There have been times when I’ve asked her to do things over and over until it was to my liking. Some of my remarks have been things like: “He’s (or she’s) showing too much skin, cover it up.” “Those boots are so ugly, can you cover them up?” “Their faces look too stretched out, can you fix it?” “You know, I don’t like that road on there, can you just take it out?”(after she had worked and worked on getting that right) These are the things she has to put up with from me. And I know she has some more picky authors that make her change things a lot. And she does all this for such a reasonable price. She’s done my covers from the beginning, and I’ve seen her get better and better. She’s gotten better software, better hardware, and her covers keep improving. I’ve thought about letting her go back and change my first two covers, but I kind of like them. I’m leaving them as they are. 🙂

Anyway, if you ever need a cover artist who is patient, will work with you until the cover is to your satisfaction, and is very reasonably priced, check her out at Anya Kelleye Designs. You can view all of her book covers on her site.

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Yeah, I know, it’s late in the day, but it’s hard to do my Wednesday updates when I’m here at work. So let’s see what’s going on.

For my current WIP, the garden gnome horror story, I’m still behind on word count. It’s because I’m not writing every day. I’m having a little trouble with it right now. For starters, it’s going in a direction I didn’t really originally intend. I’m going to let one of my beta readers take a look at it early and see if it’s so bizarre that it’s falling apart or if it works. If I go in this direction, I’m going to have to go back and add a few things to make this all make more sense. But I think I can make it work. Also, I originally intended for this to be a novel, not a novella. In horror stories, especially the slasher kind, things move pretty fast. But I think I moved this one a little too fast. I wanted to get at least 50K words out of it so it could really be classified as a novel. Right now, I’ve written about 35K words, and I’ll be lucky if it makes it to 40K. So it’s right on the cusp of being a novel. Most of my novellas have run between 25K and 26K. So I’m not sure what to do with this. I know it needs a little more fleshing out, which will be done in the second edit, but I don’t know if it will be enough. I refuse to pad it just for word count.

Things are going well on the Christian romance I’m writing. I’m not setting a particular word count goal on this one because I never know when I’ll be going out for lunch instead of staying in and writing. I’m sort of shooting for at least 500 words for each lunchtime writing session. So far, the word counts have been 579, 908, and 926. I still don’t know whether to use my real name or another pen name. I wanted to use my real name so the people at church that read Christian romances would know it was me. But now I’m thinking I can use a different pen name and just TELL them it’s me. That way I won’t have to worry about stalkers and such. Because some authors actually get them.

Don’t even ask about my exercise progress….

On watching TV (yeah, I know this isn’t a goal) – I’ve watched lots of episodes of Dark Shadows. I’m LOVING this. It’s so much fun to revisit the show that started my love for vampires (and other paranormal beings) as a kid.

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