Scribbles and thoughts ...

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The In-Between Time

I'm at that In-Between place again: finished one book, haven't started another.

The IBP is an interesting mind-set for me, because it lets me get caught up on all the other little chores I've put aside -- sorting through a file drawer, arranging for promo, rearranging things, planning the garden...

I've found that it's no good to push myself to start the next book. I'll start it when I'm ready, when I feel like the characters are solidly in my mind and the plot is percolating. That's what's happening now -- the percolation is bubbling along nicely. I have some of the scenes firmly in mind and I've jotted them down and I have a few other scenes I'd like to work in, but am not sure they'd be appropriate. I've got a good sense of the time of year, the location (although I'm waffling a bit on that), and other details.

This is where a good road trip comes in handy. I use the time I'm driving as a chance to sort through a lot of ideas in my head. And I just had a road trip last weekend, so I had a chance to think about some of these details, adding to the percolation factor.

I imagine I'll be jotting some more for another week or so, then the need to start Real Writing will take over and I'll dig in. Until then, I'm enjoying the In-Betweens.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

RT: final recap

If you read any of the usual blogs (dear author, etc.), then you know that RT has gotten a lot of press lately, much of it negative. There were some ... exhibitions at some parties that got a bit out of hand. I didn't see it and I daresay not a lot of folks did -- there was a crush at most parties and few people could see the stage.

I'm not going to comment on that. There was a lot of inappropriate behavior, from rudeness to costumes in poor taste. This was balanced by graciousness on the part of others, a hotel staff who was totally overwhelmed by the crush of people, and ... the beautiful weather.

Yes, I have to comment on it. The weather was excellent -- sunny, warm, with flowers blooming, grass growing, and gentle breezes blowing. The hotel was in a great location to allow one to walk outside, sit amongst the flowers, and feel the sun on the face. What a great boon after a long winter.

This conference is the first one I attended at which ebook authors and publishers were truly welcome, and it was a nice change of pace, just as the weather was a nice change of pace for me. I felt valued and appreciated as an author, which I don't feel at other big conferences (or even at some smaller ones, for that matter). So that was a big plus.

On the negative side: it was too much of a party for me. I don't need to socialize that much, I need to network and figure out useful things (like promo, marketing, time management, etc).

Was it useful? I think so.

Will I do it again?


What's next? More traveling and another conference in May (WisRWA's conference in Green Bay). For now, though -- on to writing. I just signed another contract for a new series (a futuristic other-planet overthrow-the-government book). I need to start working on book 2.


Friday, April 18, 2008

update from RT

We finally got an internet connection so I can post some thoughts:

1. Noise: at least a thousand people, all talking at one.

2. Nobody looks like their picture (me included)

3. Old friends are still old friends -- I lunch with an old Pittsburgh friend from 20 years ago and we had so much fun!

4. The town hasn't changed much. I could still find the bathroom in Macy's, even though when I was here, it was called Kaufman's

5. The conference is really party central and some people go ALL out for it -- the gowns for the Hollywood party were amazing, and the fairy costumes ... some folks spent a lot of time and effort on those.

Am I learning anything? Not sure, I'm certainly not getting a lot from workshops because I've barely had time to go to any.

Has it been worth it? YES. I met my publishers, my critique partners, and my fellow authors.

Will I do it again?

Yes. But I probably wouldn't want to fly here for it, but if I could drive ... yep.

I'm leaving the hotel later today to spend time with family in town, then back tomorrow for the book signing, then leaving the conference tomorrow afternoon for time with hubby and family,then home on Sunday. Probably no internet access until Sunday. So I'll send an update on Tuesday on my regular day ...

What an adventure!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


And I did it!

Yep, I finished my WIP, I got the edits done, and I did the cover art request. I just have to hit 'send' on the edits for my editor, and I can turn my attention to packing and gearing up for the conference next week.
I may try to blog from there, and if I can, I will. If not, you'll hear from me in a week or so -- when I'll undoubtedly have LOTS of gossip to share (not!)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Looming deadlines can be useful

Perhaps it's the effect of my new home office, or maybe it's the fact I'll be leaving next week for a big conference, but I'm making excellent progress on my Work in Progress. I set a mental goal to have the WIP finished before I leave, and I have 3 chapters to go (or what I think will be 3 chapters. May be 2, may be 4 -- we'll see how the plot shakes out).

I'm also doing edits for my new editor at my new publisher, going back and forth between New Book/Old Book. This is working out excellently because Old Book precedes New Book: the main characters in New Book were secondary characters in Old Book, so I'm able to use little tidbits from my editing in the New Book.

My very laudable goal is to have the book back to my editor and my New Book tucked away when I take off for the conference. That way I can come back, start afresh on a new project, then revisit the finished manuscript with a fresh eye in a few weeks.

Can she do it?

Stay tuned and find out. I'll post a progress report on Saturday ...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

We have an office!!!

Yea! Mad happy dance!

I am in my new office, and my first Official Act is to post this blog!

Yes, finally. It took 3.5 weeks, but it's done! Okay, it's almost done. We still have a few touchup things to do, but I am writing here, I have a cat in the basket at my feet, the new window is open and I'm watching the wild turkey as they feed at our bird feeder.

Life is good.

Now if we just had living room furniture, all would be complete. Tomorrow we Shop for furniture. Always an interesting prospect since the Spousal Unit is 6.5' tall and I'm 5.3' tall. What fits him doesn't fit me, and vice versa.

Oh well. I am happy. I have a writing life again!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Am I a writer?

I haven't written much in the last three days, which doesn't like much to you, I know. But to me that's a very weird feeling, to not be working on my WIP.

I've been working on this MS for 2 months now and that's about my limit. 3 months is stretching it, and I'm starting my 3rd month. I'm on chapter 13 and I'm anticipating 18 chapters, so I'm on the downhill stretch. And I think it's hanging together well, so I don't expect a lot of edits.

It's just that life has gotten in the way. I'm a nomad right now, lugging my laptop from room to room as we do construction and that's really put a crimp in how I write. It's been interesting to see how much that's affected me, actually. I used to think I could write just about anywhere, and while I can, I'm finding I do my best work sitting in one spot, with my Stuff around me and my notes close at hand.

Oh well. The construction is almost done and so is the book. My new goal is to wrap it up in two weeks, before I go to my first big conference of the year. I think it's doable. If only the sawing and hammering abates a bit ...