Scribbles and thoughts ...

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

Friday, May 30, 2008

A moral dilemma ... kind of

Once again, we have orphans in our back yard. Two baby coons, wobbly but with their eyes open, were stumbling around near our spruce tree. I set out some chopped up fruit and they nosed at it, but didn't really eat much. They finally meandered away, going into the woods behind my husband's shop/studio.

This happens every year, it seems. I find a baby coon (one year he had a broken leg), an abandoned baby bird cowering under a peony bush, baby squirrels who fell out of the nest. I took the squirrels into the Wildlife Rehab Center (a LONG drive through rush hour traffic, a tale best told over a beer sometime), but I didn't try to capture these coons. I did try a year or two ago with the one with the crooked leg, but he evaded me and I have no idea what his fate was.

The good thing? I'm leaving town tomorrow so Mother Nature may take the decision away from me. I'll leave the food out (which will draw any coons in the area, so if Mom is around, she should smell the babies in the food and hopefully track them). I'm pretty sure my husband will keep the food supplied, but other than that, I don't know that there's much I can do ...

We'll see what happens in the next day or two. We've got a LOT of woods around our house and the only predators are a couple of neighborhood cats and I don't think they'd tangle with a coon (and if they do, they deserve what they get). I hate being faced with these moral choices but I feel obligated to at least put out the food and some shelter (there's ample shelter in and around our garages, so that's handled).

Of course, I may curse myself next year if they survive and keep coming back for handouts .... such is life, I guess!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And the motive is ...

Heck, I'm not going to tell you, it's a murder mystery.

Suffice it to say, a long holiday weekend was just what I needed to get in the right frame of mind for writing. I'm half-way through my book and I believe I have some good suspects, an intriguing murder, and a motive that's believable but not immediately obvious.

Now if I can just maintain this pace, I'll be on track for my summer writing goals. And the good thing is, there's another long holiday weekend coming up again in a month, so I'll be able to have a repeat performance then. It's nice to have something to look forward to!

I think my new office space is really making a difference for me. I have so much room and it's so quiet and nice to be there -- no distractions except those that I welcome (stepping out into the garden for a break, watching the birds in the birdbath, listening to the pond fountain). Yep, it was worth all the dust and annoyance.

Now back to murder and mayhem ....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What's a motive for murder?

This isn't a personal question, but I'm working on my latest book and am trying to decide why the victim died.

This probably seems backward to you, but I never know whodunnit until I get a few chapters past the murder. In this case, people are stepping out of the woodwork with reasons to kill the victim, and I'm trying to decide which one has the best reason. Of course, I'll probably toss in a few more victims before I type "The End" so I'll need some more motives as I go along.

There's always the biggies: greed, envy, jealousy, etc. Maybe I need to go back to the 7 Deadly Sins and use those as my critieria? Hmm.

Anyway, it's pleasant to plot a murder on a beautiful, sunny (albeit cool) summer day. The trees are finally fully leafed out, the flowers are blooming, the lilacs are smelly and I'm on vacation.

What better time to plan murder?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Creativity: the well is full!

I had a great time at the conference last weekend. It was a small one, only about 150 people or so, but it was the perfect size for me. I had a chance to talk one-to-one with readers, make connections, hang out with other authors, many with small presses, and generally feel good about myself and my craft. Woot!

And another neat thing ... Wild Rose is my publisher for my first-person mysteries, and the CEO was there (Rhonda). She and I got to talk a lot and it reconfirmed that I am SO happy to be with them. She's a great lady and I feel confident about the company and its direction.

She also asked me to write a 'free read', which is a short story given away on the web site. I thought about it ... I've never done a short story, but I decided to tackle it. So I'm writing a story from the male P.O.V., and it's a scene from my upcoming book ("Autographs, Abductions, and A-List Authors"). That book is told in first-person female POV, so I thought it would be fun to write the scene from the hero's POV. This is so much fun! I'm having a blast doing it. Hopefully you'll see the result soon.

Maybe it's spring, but I feel so energized now and ready to write, write write....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

3 publishers, 4 editors, 5 books

It's juggling time again. I have signed contracts with 3 publishers for 5 books using 4 editors. I've gotten final edits turned in on 2 of the books, but I've got nit-picky details to finish on 1 more, 2nd round edits to do on another one and final edits to do on another one (haven't seen those yet).

And I'm going to a conference this weekend.

Plus I'm working on a WIP, of course which is going really well so I hate to take time out from it to deal with books I wrote a year or more ago and haven't even thought about in the intervening months. But edits mean 'drop what you're doing, put your head in a totally different place, work like crazy then drop it again and go back'.

I'm looking forward to getting out of town just to get away from the juggling!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What makes a good writing week?

I didn't get a lot of writing done on my WIP but I got a lot of thinking done, and I think that counts.

I also got a ton of promo done -- designed a very tricky bit of promo (little bitty books, called 'chapbooks' that can be sent to conferences, etc.) I came up with a slick design, downloaded software, tested it and printed it ... it's all doable, and I'm ready to go into production (so to speak).

I also lined up some promo ops in terms of ad space, etc.

I did editor-edits on two books and did a final galley proof of another.

I designed and ordered new business cards.

None of this is really writing, but it's all writing-related. So I wonder why I feel such a great sense of writing accomplishment? I only wrote one chapter this week, but I feel like I produced a TON of work.

I guess it's just attitude, hmm? Maybe I need to keep that in mind for other things in life as well ... it's not necessarily WHAT you accomplish, as long as it's an accomplishment?

Must cogitate on that one ....

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Link Police

I heard that MySpace occasionally prohibits links on pages if they deem the linked site is Not Good. I'm not sure on the rules for Not Good, but I tried a few links on a friend's page, which should have taken me to the Buy Screen for her book.

Yep. The link was reported as a Not Good Link.

Her book is a cozy mystery but her publisher does have a 'hot' line that sells erotica. So I'm guessing her book got tarred with that feather (is that a mixed analogy?)

I've clicked on all of my links, and all appear to be intact, but it made me wonder ... I'm sure a software tool is doing the evaluation of various sites to determine which are deemed acceptable. What keywords are they using?

I appreciate the need for keywording like this but it seems to fail a lot -- look at this instance and then that dumb video game making such a splash, Grand Theft Auto. Why is junk like that allowed to drift around the airwaves but an innocuous link to a publisher not allowed?

{shaking my head and wondering ....}

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Chapter 1 ... the longest chapter in the book

That 'in-between place' I talked about? I'm out of it and into the next book.

I made my first tentative start on the next book in the Bea & Lucas series -- the final book, I believe it will be. I always pick at Chapter 1 and write and re-write the opening. I really don't feel I can move on until I get it nailed down well. Sometimes I'll get to chapter 3, realize that's where the book really starts then go back, tear up chapters 1 & 2 and rewrite them completely.

I think I've got a good start on this one, though, so once I carve out some time from my To Do list, I can sit down and write.

I have a book coming out next month that's the first book in this series, and I just edits in for book 2 of the series, so the timing is auspicious -- I'll be promoing the characters and the series while writing the third one. Hopefully I'll get some overlap that way and the writing will go quickly.

So I'm putting myself on the line here: I started this book on May 1. I want to write "The End" by July 1. You read it here!