Scribbles and thoughts ...

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where did I lose a week?

Can't believe I've forgotten to update my blog lately. I used to be so good at that ::chagrin::

I can blame holiday overload. At this time of year, the ugly "shall we travel?" question always arises. I live in the Midwest and the weather is ALWAYS a factor. This year we waffled on the travel question for days until we finally decided that no, we can't travel at Christmas. We had to wait until after Christmas. Which meant I ended up re-doing some work plans, which means I had to re-do some home plans...ripple effect. Regardless: we managed to get to Iowa for Christmas with my Mom, albeit belatedly.

I confess, too, that my current WIP is keeping me engrossed & I do lose track of time. I'm *this close* to being done with Part 1 of Book 1 and it's going very well. I anticipate 2 more parts to Book 1, then I'll move immediately to Book 2. I hope to spend this year working on that 5 book series and knowing I have a year of writing "grace" is a blessing. I'll be submitting 3 more books to my mystery editor for 2011 publishing, and if they're accepted that gives me 2 years of grace.

Fingers crossed.

I'm pleased with how 2009 has gone but have hopes that 2010 will be a bit better in book sales. Every year it does improve, but I've been slacking on the promotion & I must get back on track with that. That's my one and only resolution, really.

So here's hoping I'll remember to update my blog on a regular basis in the upcoming year. Okay. Resolution #2.

Have a happy & safe holiday!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Through the eyes of a kitten

All things are possible toys to a kitten. The crinkly paper flowers come wrapped in. The flowers. The leaves. The vase.

Yes, we've had a couple of accidents already this morning. I'm going to lunch with friends, so bought a hostess gift (flowers) along with my potluck offering (fruit). Within 10 minutes of turning my back, the grapes had become soccer balls and the flowers were spilled on the floor. No vase breakage, thank goodness. The Paw of Destruction (a.k.a. Pandora the kitten) just looked at me like I was insane to yell at her. "Toys! Shiny, noisy toys! And small round objects just MADE for play!"

I believe that animals do know right from wrong in the sense that they know what displeases us humans. But kittens don't care yet what pleases or displeases us. Unlike puppies, who are social, kittens really don't care what their humans. The only time it matters is when what the humans wants coincide with what the kitten wants. Then it's important.

I'm reminded of this while I write, too (yes, you knew this would come around to writing, didn't you?) I've been making good progress on my current W.I.P. but lately I got a bit bogged down. I was trying to move the characters around on the stage, making sure they got to Point A by a certain time in the plot. It just didn't feel right. They felt wooden, recalcitrant, like they were resisting. Sort of like a kitten when ...

Yep. I was trying to impose my idea of what was correct behavior on the characters I created. And what I thought was right (for the plot) was totally out of character for the character.

Scrap that chapter (oh, I'll save it for later cannibalism) and back to the drawing board. Like kittens, I have to let my characters grow and develop. Maybe at some point our ideas will intersect.

Until then...oops. I hear a noise. I think I may need to clean up some more flower spillage.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


It's all a matter of attitude, isn't it?

I was thinking about that as I drove snowy roads to and from the gym this morning. A month ago I would have said "These roads SUCK. Man, can't they clear 'em off?"

Today I thought, "Not too bad. Only a few icy spots. Reminder: start braking early at stop signs."

I think I have my "winter driving skills" back. I know I won't see dry pavement for 4 months at best, and am now adapting.

So much in life is a matter of perspective. I think the tough thing is to figure out when to adapt, when to bitch about it or when to get worried.

The same is true in writing: when you're working on a book and it just isn't working out: when do you cut & run and when do you continue plugging away? My current WIP is going along great, so that's not a problem, but I've had books where I wasn't sure: keep or toss? Continue or move on to something else?

It's the same for so much in life ...balance. Balance is all....

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Snow day

We got about 8" of snow last night and we're in a blizzard right now, so I am snug at home in front of my fire, working remotely. Telecommuting has to be one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century.

Hard to believe there's a Global Warming Conference going on somewhere in the world. The wind is howling, the snow is drifting, and my back is a bit achy from shoveling. I've been thinking a lot about how humans affect the world because I'm working on a new book series, sort of a "Life Without People" kind of thing. What would happen if...

I think I come up with all my story ideas that way. People ask, "How did you come up with the idea to murder a woman in the middle of a big book signing." Well, I did it by saying, "What would happen if a well known author dropped over dead at a book signing. How was the murder done? Who did it? Why?" And off I go...

Maybe we need to do the same thing for climate change. "What would happen if...everyone set their thermostats lower. Everybody ate 100 fewer calories a day. Everybody..."

Indeed. What would happen if?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

20-somethings, 30-somethings

Help me out. My newest WIP has a heroine in her 30s and I'm not 30 ::grin:: I stay pretty current on music, but am not really versed on what she might listen to on her IPod.

Please email me ( the following if you would:

Title & artist of:

10 romantic songs
10 rock-n-roll high-energy get-up-and-move songs
10 quiet, contemplative, relaxing songs

It can be pop, rock, top 10, obscure ... I need your opinions on what she might download to her IPod.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Twitter, Facebook, MySpace...oh my

I'm so engrossed in my latest book project that I've lost track of just about everything else. This is the way it should be. I should enjoy my writing so much that everything else falls by the wayside.

This means I'm not being very 'social' right now on the social networking sites. I've set myself a goal of updating my 'status' every day, but sometimes it's hard to remember to do it. Luckily I have it all set up so when I go to Twitter & update, the posts go to other sites. Sneaky, but useful.

It's going to be very challenging in January when I kick off a new year of books. I haven't been doing much promo lately because I don't have anything new out. But next year ... 5 books again.

For now, though, I'm just going to enjoy myself... and my new characters!