Scribbles and thoughts ...

These are ramblings from J L Wilson, published author of romantic suspense, mystery, and paranormal -time travel fiction....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sometimes life shows you your priorities ....

big storm last night. I mean, *big*. Lots of lightning and crashing wind and then, BOOM, crashing tree! Right down into our back yard.

Damn. I nursed those hydrangeas all summer only to see them crushed by a damn tree. And let's not even talk about my spirea, my astilbe, and my mallow (which are tough as weeds and will probably grow back more profusely than ever).

We are safe, though. Our little black cat, Mia, thought it was all marvelous and jumped up on the couch to watch the show. Our big blond cat, Houdini, hid under the bed, wise boy that he is. Jim nearly slept through it all but the tree coming down woke him up.

So now I have to put my writing on hold, a bit, to deal with cleanup. The good thing is, I get a lot of thinking done when I'm toiling in the garden. And I'll have a lot of toil ahead of me.

Once we get that 60' tree out of my way.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I'm a guest blogger next week!

I'll be blogging all next week at Coffee Time Romance's blog. I'm a bit nervous about this because I've never been a guest blogger before. I share a blog with some other writers, but I've never had a 'moderator' throw out questions that I have to answer.

Of course, those of you who know me know that I'll be able to gab quite handily, but I need to gab for a whole week. Yikes.

So come on over and visit next week. At least drop by and see what I'm yattering about. I'll be at:

In other news, I spent the day today at the State Fair. PERFECT weather, not too crowded until about noon, and lots of yummy food and people-watching. And a great place to plot my next book. My friends and I came up with several ways to kill someone in plain sight, most of which I think would be plausible. So look for "Murder on a Stick", maybe next year sometime. I already have a "Murder at the State Fair" where someone is killed at the grandstand show in front of a thousand cheering ZZ Top fans. I haven't submitted that one to any publisher yet, but I'm getting ready to toss it out there and see if I can sell it.

'Murder on a Stick' might be close behind.

Anyway, we had a great time. My friends and I have gone to the Fair together every year for 15 years. I wore my pedometer today and we walked 5.75 miles.

Not enough to work off all the food and beer .... but still a lot of walking in 7 hours.

I'm happy to sit around tonight and relax and recover...

Writers beware

Just to let you know there was a problem out there.

There was a web site called, and they are listed in Preditor and Editor as being Not Good.

My publisher is or They are good good good.

So help me spread the word. If anyone indicates that they 'heard' my publisher was unscrupulous, etc., you can correct them -- it's the TRIPOD folks who are the bad guys.

It looks like the Tripod site has been taken down, but in case it springs back to life, you know.

And now back to our regularly scheduled writing ....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I thought it would be easy ...

I decided to edit the manuscript that I 'owed' to an editor from my conference trip in July. Now that my latest WIP is done, I'd have time to glance through it, make a few minor corrections, then ship it off.

Wrong! The book just didn't seem right to me. I wasn't proud of it. Sentences were awkward, I have some POV problems, and it took too long to get the reader involved in the plot. I felt as though scales had dropped from my eyes and I was seeing it for the first time.

Damn. That means I have to rewrite. I thrashed around for a day or so then I decided to bite the bullet and really REWRITE. If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it as best I can. The basic plot is strong and the characters are strong, but I need to cut cut cut.

Back to the drawing board ... again.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

It's all just a matter of attitude ...

and time.

There it is again ... time.

I finished a manuscript so I'm taking a breather from writing and focusing on other things: mainly promo, but some catch-up, too.

Normally I just hurry these kinds of things as fast as I can. I hate balancing my checkbook, noting things on my spreadsheet, updating my web site, etc. But now that I have time to do it, it's not so bad. Maybe I need to give myself a day off a week from my writing just to do this kind of busy work. The problem, of course, is that when I'm writing, I hate to take time away from the plot. I like to stay 'in the zone' and get through it all (see previous post about how I write quickly).

Perhaps it's all a matter of savoring the moment. I know, that sounds suspiciously Zen, doesn't it? But maybe I just need to keep reminding myself that it's all a part of the larger thing called Life and I need to try to enjoy whatever I'm doing when I'm doing it.

Hmm. On the path to enlightment? I'm not sure, but I have another book simmering in the back of my brain. So I'd better get done blogging and get back to catching up before I get 'in the zone' again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yea! Finished another ms!

I finished another manuscript. The working title is "Murder on the Beach" but I think I'll be calling it Surf, Sand, and Strangulation (to fit in with my other first-person books).

I discovered something during this book's progress: I HAVE to write fast. Otherwise I get bored with the book and will wander away. I started this one on June 1 or thereabouts, and finished it on August 12 or thereabouts. That's about as long as I want to work on a manuscript in one go. I don't mind going back and filling in the blanks or doing some rewrites, but in terms of a rough draft, 10-12 weeks is perfect for me. The characters and plot are still fresh, the ideas are tumbling out, and I feel energized by the whole process.

Now I need to get cracking on reviewing a ms I have due to an editor who requested it at National Conference. Then I want to pick up a time travel book that I set aside because it wasn't working for me (I think I'd hit the 8 week mark and I was stalled). Then I have another 3rd person mystery I want to write.

And then it's onward!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Are people really this foolish?

At my RWA writer's meeting today, we had an agent come in and talk. She mentioned how important it is to have a blog, web site, and other promo things. Then she said how some people have posted email from an agent or editor on the blog, or have mentioned things like "my book is sitting on X's desk and I haven't heard. This is the fourth editor who's considered it, yikes, I hope they love it".

This made me go back into my archives to see if I've committed such a faux pas. Whew. Nope.

I think people forget that blogs are PUBLIC property. You may only tell a few friends your blog listing, but words does get around. Agents and editors are reading these things.

This was one of those "DUH" moments for me. But it also made me go back and see what I've written, both here and on other blogs.

So I guess it was useful after all ...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

And the Brownies are here !!!

Lo and behold, the book is available online, at B&N and Amazon. Check my web site for links (

And if you order it, read it, and love it ... write a review! Give me a glowing review online at one of those places to tell everyone how much you loved it. Or you can go into yourlocal B&N and say, "Hey, I know this author. You should stock this book. She's local, you know. IT should go on the Minnesota shelf".

Just a few suggestions ...

I got a glowing review for Grace, which I would love to share (go to this link). I'm thrilled by this review because I feel like the reviewer really got into my characters and the story, which is so gratifying.

All in all ... an excellent week so far!!!