Scribbles and thoughts ...

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two books in my head

While driving south to visit Mom, I started thinking about one of the books I drafted a long time ago. It was more of a women's fiction book than a mystery, sort of a rambling 'starting over after divorce' kind of book.

I started thinking what it would take to re-task it into a mystery. That occupied me for most of the drive down to Iowa (4 hours). I sort of mulled it over while I was there and on the way back I got out my digital tape recorder and taped a few ideas.

So now I'll have 2 books going at once. Actually, neither is really 'going' right now. I'm still in the mulling it over stage. But I think I'll try to do both at one time. If I can, that will wrap up the mysteries I planned to write for this year, so I have incentive. My goal is to finish both by the end of summer. Stay tuned for a progress check!

Friday, April 24, 2009

... and gone again, gone again

I'm on the road on Saturday, so figured I'd post early. I'm off to visit my Mom in rainy Iowa and also to meet some high school buddies for coffee. Should make for an interesting trip.

I'm happy to get away right now. Work has been stressful lately. The work itself isn't bad but the office politics is a bit weird right now. Our small company was bought by a Mega Company a few years ago, and while we've all adjusted, it's not a happy place a lot of the time. This is one of those times. I keep repeating to myself: 'it's a job. It's a salary. It's just a few more years until retirement.' That helps, sometimes.

The good thing is, I have a fantastic boss who is willing to do what she can to make life better for us all. So I will knuckle down like a good little soldier and do my part. I may not grin, but I'll bear it.

So it's good to get away right now. In fact, the more I can get away, the better {wink}. I have the sort of job where I really don't have to be in the office to get it done, and I may take advantage of that in the future. For now, though ... it's spring, things are greening up, and I can get away from it all for a couple of days. I'll pop a CD into the changer and sing along with Eric Clapton as I drive to Iowa. And keep reminding myself .... it's just a job. It's a salary. It's just a few more years ....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Home again, home again ....

I've been to California several times, but usually it was northern CA, in Silicon Valley. This was my first time in L.A. I've been to San Diego but never as far north as L.A.

Traffic. Oh.My.God. Traffic. I couldn't believe it. We were in bumper-to-bumper traffic almost the entire time we were there. It was 2 in the afternoon, and it was like rush hour. I don't know how people stand it. My niece's husband said that he just checks the GPS before leaving the house to figure out the best route. And he usually changes routes in mid-trip.

But all in all, it was a good time. My sisters and I had a good time hanging out with the younger kids, and they had a good time hearing us talk about 'the old days'. The baby shower went off with just a few tiny hitches (nothing major), and a lot of gifts were given. My niece is Great With Child, probably basketball-sized, and she's not due for another seven weeks or so.

It was fun to get away, but my it was nice to get home! The plane flight, long though it was, went faster with my Itouch to keep me company. I watched a movie and read a couple of books all on my little gadget -- such a deal -- how did I travel without it before?

So back to writing, back to promotion, back to work. Until the next trip this weekend.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Family times sneak up on you

I'll be out of town this weekend, visiting family on the Left Coast. I haven't been that way since my SGI days, when I used to go to Silicon Valley for the occasional dog and pony show.

I'm not looking forward to the plane flight: 4 hours in a crowded tube with 200 strangers, but I hope the Dramamine kicks in quickly and I doze off. I've got plenty of reading matter: a rough draft of the Oz book, my netbook, my Itouch loaded with books, a magazine. I'm taking carry-on (at least that's the plan), so it should be a relatively straightforward event.

As it turns out, I'm out of town every month (at least once a month) for the next year. Yep, a year. I've got something planned every month through next April. About half are road trips but half are flying. I took a look at my vacation time at work and, yikes, I may run out in October. I'll have to either work a bit of overtime or maybe take a day here and there without pay. Not a problem, but a surprise since I usually have an abundance of time off.

Our company was bought out, though, by a Left Coast company and they're pretty stingy with time off. I'm not complaining, really -- I've got a job and in this economy, that's a biggie. And I can miss a day or two of pay here and there. So I'll go ahead, use up the time, and enjoy myself. After all, it's what vacation is for, right?

So I'll post again next Tuesday and let you know how the trip goes. Then it's off again next weekend (road trip this time), so posting will be erratic again. Enjoy the spring and look forward to summer! I surely am.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Whooee ... another one in print

Coming soon, to a printer near you: yep, If Not For You is on the spring print list with my publisher. I suspect it's because it won the Eppie, but I don't care why, I'm just glad that Max & Layla will soon be in print!

I'll keep you posted on the details as they become available.

In other news: I'm off to a book signing today. My local writer's group is having me speak and sign books. So I need to get organized for that event. And then a weekend of writing & getting caught up before I leave town next week. Oh, and golf -- gotta watch the Master's tournament both days, too.

Spring is here!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

As you can see..

A new book!

This one is out today in download, out in print in a few months. This is my Giggling Pig book: a lot of the action takes place at the Giggling Pig cafe and that's where one of the major mysteries in the book is solved ... kind of.

Death on the ice, now that we're going into spring. What timing, eh?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Whooee .... the Oz book is done!

Mad happy dancing.

I've finished the first draft of the Oz book. This one was problematic, let me tell you. I tried to stay true to the stories, which means:
  1. I read a LOT of Oz books (I read 14 or so. There's 30 or more, I think).
  2. ALL of my characters are prototyped on characters from the Oz books (I kept a 'cast list' to keep track of who's who) and
  3. I tried to keep elements from the movie running throughout the book, so people who haven't read the Oz books will still have a frame of reference.

{whew}. Done. Good first draft DONE. Four months of hard work interrupted now and again by:
  • edits to Human Touch, releasing in August
  • edits to Temperance, releasing ... this year? I hope
  • edits to Living Proof, releasing next year
  • edits to Nowhere to Run, releasing next week
  • edits to Homicides, Hostages, and Hot Rod Restorations, releasing in January, 2010
  • edits to PhDs, Pornography, and Premeditated Murder, releasing in May, 2010
I plan to rest on my laurels for a week or so then I'm moving on to the next book to write.. But first I want to update my web site, finish judging a contest, and get promo lined up for Nowhere to Run.

Happy happy draft done!