Scribbles and thoughts ...

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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Retiring this blog

I decided to somewhat simplify my life, so I'm retiring this blog and moving my random updates to my other blog, "Writing In Between."

If you're following me, I hope you'll join me there:

Why, you ask? Just a way to simplify what I'm doing. I have a web site (actually, 4 of them, one for each genre and a main one). I have a mobile app. I have 3 blogs. I decided I don't need 3 blogs, so now I'll have 1 blog (maybe 2. I might keep my Zen blog going). And I figured out a way to simplify my updating of my sites. I think.

And I guess I thought it was time to move on to a new theme... so join me at WIB and let's see what the future holds.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Revisiting an old book

Not an old book, really. It's one I wrote last fall. I finished it and set it aside because I honestly didn't know if it was any good.

Well, I just re-read it. I think it's good. In fact, in a couple of spots I said, "Damn. That's really good." When I wrote it, I wasn't sure if I was wasting my time or not. But I read it over these last few days and have decided it's good to go--to my beta reader, for her evaluation.

Next up is Gilt. I edited it, it's been reviewed, now I have to re-read it, hopefully to catch any errors (grr. That boo-boo in Mist still bugs the crap out of me). Then I'll get a cover for it and hopefully upload it in a month or two

By then I hope to have a reply from the lawyer I hired to review my plans for Twistered, Woulds, and Dogged (the Classic Childhood Murder series). If I can use the series idea, fine. If not, I'll revisit and rewrite. Won't rewrite Twistered. It's too set in Oz. But the others, yeah, I can come up with something.

Then it's back to the future with my "The Dystopian American Dream" series. I have made HUGE strides in that and am almost done with the first volume (3 books).

I am on a roll. Watch out!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The legal nonsense continues

After my run-in with a near-lawsuit (who knows -- it might turn into a lawsuit) regarding the sale of our house, I am gun shy. So I've hired a lawyer to look over the Oz book, on the off-chance I may be violating some copyright rule somewhere.

Stay tuned. Life may get interesting.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I'm on the road again

Cue the music.

I'm traveling to MN this week for business, so will be offline for a few days. Oh, I'll be online. I just won't be on-task to keep blogging.

I'm looking forward to this trip. A chance to visit friends, go into the office and get some face time with people, and just a nice little getaway. Haven't been out of town since early Feb., so I'm feeling antsy.

Here's hoping Father Weather will let me travel safely!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Modest success

I'm following a new regimen for writing, and so far I feel it's working. Here's what I do: I limit myself to email/blogs/Facebook, etc., for the first 15 minutes of an hour. After that, I write.

I also do a quick outline of what I'm going to focus on during my writing. Then I just sit down and do it. My output has increased and I'm finding the energy again to work on things for a long period of time.

Stay tuned. We'll see if I can make this a habit.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I've put the FUN back in fundamental

Usually I put the "fun" in dysfunctional, but this is different for a change.

I'm revisiting how I write, my process, how to improve it, etc. I know, I know: I write books fast, I write them cleanly, etc., so what's to improve?

There's always room for improvement. Stay tuned here for the next few weeks. I'll update my progress. I kick off a new writing regimen on Monday and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all shakes out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Never underestimate organization

I have discovered Wiki Spaces and I have not looked back.

Remember that multi-book, multi-family saga I've been chipping away at for years? Well, I finally found Wiki Spaces and OMG, I am not getting mega-organized. Instead of scraps of paper, notebooks, index cards, I now have linked files and outlines and ...

Can't stay to chat. Must go upload more info to My Cloud.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ideas, ideas, ideas

I attended an all-day gardening fair today: workshops, chatting with other gardeners, etc. I used to be an avid gardener, but physical limitations make it difficult any more, but today I saw a whole new twist to my physical issues: studying horticultural therapy and horticulture for the handicapped.

I'm going to use this summer's experiences in my new garden to explore some ideas I have. And I wonder if it's time to take another look at the Master Gardening program. I find I need a new challenge and that might be it.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm not fit company for man nor beast


A Gigantic Annoyance is looming on my horizon. Did I tell you about our legal woes? How the person who bought our house in MN is now thinking about suing us? Even though there was a home inspection, she was in and out of the house multiple times, and even though we provided her with enough documentation on the house to choke a horse?

Yep. She appears to think we cleverly deceived her about the electrical, the insulation, the status of our trees (all diseased, apparently), etc. Of course, we lived there for almost 20 years and had no problems, but that doesn't count.

So until I can cool down and think rationally about it all, I probably will post very little. I may, however, share some plot ideas I have for how to kill someone who buys a house then has buyer's remorse ...

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Adventures in travel

I'm now traveling out of a small airport, not a big hub like Minneapolis, and traveling small has its benefits. Example? My flight last Thursday was canceled due to weather and I was rebooked on the next flight, about 4 hours later. There are only about two dozen flights a day out of that airport, so when flights get canceled, it's chaos. But it's a very small airport, so it's controlled chaos.

Me? I went home, had a nap, ate lunch, then came back. It takes about 5 minutes to get through security and another 2 minutes to find my gate, one of 7 in the airport. Piece of cake.

Yeah, it's inconvenient that I don't have a lot of choices. But a lack of choices also simplifies life quite a bit. And you know -- I'm getting to that point in life where simplified choices is looking pretty darn good....

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Can I leave my computer behind?

I'm prepping to go to my first conference of the year (Love Is Murder) and I'm traveling light, just taking carry-on. It's a low-key conference and I don't need a lot of clothing, etc., and I mailed my books and promo items to myself at the hotel, so hopefully they'll be there and waiting for me.

I figured I wouldn't take a computer. I mean, heck, it's a 3 day conference and my roommate and travel buddy will have a laptop. Then I had that nagging little thought. "What if?" What if I get stuck at the airport with a delayed flight (in Chicago, not here. If I'm stuck here, I'll just come home. I'm 20 minutes from the airport. Piece of cake). What if I want to keep my momentum going on that story I'm writing?

Grr. Okay, maybe I'll take a computer. I have 3 to choose from. Well, actually I have 5 to choose from. I know, I'm an over-buyer when it comes to tech. I have 3 very small computers: a Vaio 8", a Toshiba 10" and an HP 12". Then there are my laptops (work, home) but those are too heavy.

Okay, I'll give in. I got out the Vaio and I'm updating it now -- Open Office, Windows OS, etc., all needed an update since I haven't used it since -- hmm -- last summer? I'll put it in my shoulder bag and I'll have it and I'll lay you odds, I don't open it once on this trip.

But hey: better to be safe than sorry, right? Because someday that "what if" scenario will come true and I'll be damn glad I was prepared!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Well, that resolution lasted about a minute

I really did mean to keep this blog up to date, but damn, I failed miserably.

Here's the deal: I work full-time. I write in my free time. I have a social life. You do the math. Publishing isn't my first love any more so I don't invest as much of myself in it.

What is my new love? Damned if I know. I haven't found it yet. Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy writing, but I no longer am angsty about how it will be received, if people will love it, if I get good reviews, or hell, if I get a publisher. I'll just publish it myself if I feel like it. Or not. Maybe I'll just write because I want to.

So this blog will be updated, but hopefully I'll go back to my 2x weekly schedule. That's the best I can hope for, I think. And check my web blog for what's going on with books.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I missed a day because ...

I was busy. Icky busy. Icky as in, I had a colonoscopy so I had all that lovely prep to do. Nothing like sitting in the bathroom for a few hours to help you get caught up on your reading, at least.

Everything went well -- I think. Some biopsies were taken and we'll have the results soon. I don't have any particular worries, but you know how it is -- a curve ball can come at you at any time. So I remain cautiously optimistic.

As I sat there, doing my business, I was reading Jane Eyre. I have toyed with the idea of writing a kinda Jane Eyre book. I hesitate to say too much about it unless I actually get working on it, but suffice it to say, I found Jane absorbing enough to my mind off my woes. Hats off to you, Ms. Bronte!

And I spent the afternoon after the Event resting and relaxing. I was so groggy I had to just be limp. I watched some TV then in the evening I indulged in pajamas and a movie: Finding Neverland. It was thoroughly enjoyable and I realized, as I watched it, that I was truly feeling better. I figured out a way to turn Peter Pan into a murder mystery.

Add another book to my To Be Written stack!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Craft versus crap

I forgot what it was to Craft a book, not just write one. I'm taking my time, thinking about every word, examining the scene and making sure I have a goal there, making sure the scene is moving the book forward.

I don't do that when I write a mystery. I tend to get the story down quickly then I go back, fluff it up a bit, then I consider it done. Once Kathy has read it, I add more to it, tweaking it here and there. I don't Craft as I go.

But this Big Book has to be done that way, I think. Otherwise it's going to become superficial. And Lord knows, this won't be a superficial series if it works out the way I want it to.

Fingers crossed I can maintain this level of concentration. If I can, I think I'll have a story worth reading...

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Good Lord, this is hard

I'm working on my Big Book. Actually, it'll probably turn out to be 5 books or more.

I've been working on this for 5 years I think. I've started innumerable drafts, finished some, tossed some away, started from scratch 5 or 6 times. It's a Big Story -- spanning generations, etc. It's all-consuming when I work on it. These characters take root in my head and just live there for months at a time.

I love working on it but I despair of ever getting it Right. I feel like I'm doomed to always write a rough draft.

Maybe this time.

Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Keep writing. Keep writing.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Deep breath... promo

Started on my New Year's Resolution: promotion. I made a foray back onto some loops to post blurbs about my books. I've decided to focus on 3 different books each month. Lord knows, I have enough of them -- 20 at last count.

So I'll post something daily about one or the other of the books. Today I did If Not For You and Mist. An old book and a new book.

Will it make any difference?

Who knows!

Monday, January 02, 2012

I lied

Yep. I'm going to keep this blog going. I'm using it as a record for 2012. I don't expect anything exciting to happen, but a blog is a simple way to keep a record of my doings.

So here we are, Jan. 2: what's happening? I'm trying to decide whether to get a new car. I wrestle with this question often. I buy a car, I love it, then after 2 or 3 years, I want a new car. My husband thinks I should lease because "I can't make up my mind." He just doesn't understand that sometimes a person just wants a change.

So I may go out and test drive some cars today.

On a writing note: I'm not sure what to work on. I think I should write something that I feel like doing, but right now I'm torn between my latest mystery (the Pooh book) or my sci fi series (Booker's book). So I may take a day off and think about it.

Or maybe I'll go to a movie and say to hell with it all for the day! I'm trying to let my spontaneous side out to play...