Family Outing

Saturday, 26 October 2013

God help me...

So, today we are off to get Hunter's Halloween costume before going to his football game. Then a trip to town to the post office, bank, and pick up our second attempt at clownfish. 

This is going to be a long day. And, of course, Bug was up a couple of times in the night, then the kids were up at half seven, so sleeping in wasn't an option. 

Now they are blaring Gangnam Style in the truck. 

Pray for me...

NaNo Preparations

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

As the end of October draws near, I have realised that I am nowhere near ready for National Novel Writing Month. I could really do with an extra week or two to plot out some scenes and get myself started. Last year I went in with an idea and a couple if character sketches, yet I still managed nearly 30k words. I doubt I'll make it to 50k this year, but I would love to get further than last year.  Or at least as far as last year. Thing is I find that if I plan scenes out in depth, I write them much faster. I wish I had enough time to plot out about 60 scenes before November 1st. But first, I need to figure out which WIP to write on for NaNo...

Confessions of a Southern Mother

Monday, 21 October 2013

So, ya'll already know that I have way too many things on the go these days. And, I've mentioned cutting back on my blogs. I don't really have time to keep up with them all anyway.

Well, here's the thing. I do have another blog which, while it is really new and has only had a handful of hits, I do love. I call it Confessions of a Southern Mother. It was where I hoped to go to let off a little steam here and there. I'm not Donna Reed (soooo far from it) and every now and then I need a good rant. Some rants may be a bit cheekier than what my (again, few) readers are used to from me. I wanted a place where I could be a little less polite and a little more... I don't know... less-politically correct at times, down-right sarcastic at others. So anyway, I am trying to decide whether or not I should keep these two blogs separate, since I like having that 'other place to rant' or if I should just make my weekly post here on Mommy Mondays.

What do you think? Has anyone else got more than one blog on the go which share a similar element? Or would you forgive me if on the occasional Monday, when I am exhausted, I direct you there instead of posting here?

Bedtime For Me

Monday, 14 October 2013

I'm too tired to make much of this tonight. I just did my first Monday day shift and my last Monday night shift all in one, so I am barely functioning at this point. I'll be in better shape for Wednesday's post, I promise.

Until then... Night night.

Alpha vs Beta

Friday, 11 October 2013

So, I got a rejection back on the partial I had with Harlequin Intrigue. I'm ok with that.  In fact,  I'm a little happy with it since it was a personalised rejection. I've subb'ed three times ( 1 synopsis, 1 first chapter, 1 partial-- all through contests)  and received two personalised rejections and one form, so hey, go me!

Specifically she said it was too gritty and graphic for the line (yeah, I can see that now) and the pacing was slow with too much romance and not enough suspense (I think I get that, too). These are things I understand and will definitely work on. In fact, sitting here now I can see where my mistakes are.

What I can't decide is if I even want to try to rework it. A friend of mine, Sophie, is reading it and has been asking for the next chapter, but I'm not sure my heart is in it. In all honesty, I have been desperate to finish it only so I could go back to the story I started in NaNo last year that has been calling me. Should I plod ahead, knowing the whole book is a mess, or take some notes and move on? I can always come back to it later. I wonder if Sophie would forgive me...

The last thing the editor said confused and concerned me. She said my hero was 'a bit too Beta for our readership and they will not find that appealing'. Hmmm... Now please understand that I am not questioning her judgement. If anyone knows her stuff it is the editor of such a major line. I am just wondering how to make him more alpha. You see, this hero in particular always came off as a bit too cocky for me anyway. I thought he was alpha, but I guess not. I'm going to have to do a lot more reading,  both of HI books and on what the difference between alpha and beta is.

What I'm really worried about, though, is that this guy was a bit 'too much' for my tastes. I prefer my heroes to be boy-next-door-ish, which I suppose is beta. I like a man who is down to earth, loves his family, and is working to make ends meet like the rest of us. I don't fantasize about some corporate bad ass sweeping me off to Rio. Nope. I'd prefer to watch the Fourth of July fireworks in the back of a pick up truck with a man who has calluses on his hands. So, really, it is safe to assume that most, if not all, of my heroes will be beta.

I do tend to write more small town South (the story in question is set in New Orleans, a place that I am fascinated with, but not somewhere I know well). I suppose, with the exception of a few ideas I have which include a little mystery, that I am more suited to Harlequin American Romance or Entangled Bliss.

And the big question? Is there a place for beta heroes in category romance? What do you think? Have any of you read or written a beta hero in a category romance? And if so, what line?

The Elusive Capsule Wardrobe

I do not have Carrie Bradshaw's closet. Not in size not in contents. Hell, living in England, I find I'm lucky to have a closet, or built-in wardrobe as they call it, at all. What I do have is loads of clothes and not enough time to wear them all-- or heaven forbid have to wash them all. So most of the things in my closet go unworn. Why do I have so many? Simple. I cannot resist a bargain, whether on eBay or in the local thrift shop. So I end up with mountains of clothes that never get worn. It's sad, really.

For years I have talked about starting a capsule wardrobe-- a small collection of clothes that coordinate and allow me to easily choose outfits. Until now, I haven't had the guts to gut my closet. But in my quest to streamline my life, I know that the first thing that has to go is my bulging dressers. This has a lot to do with my recent shift to 'quality over quantity' and my sudden desire to own brand names. Yes, it is an expensive habit (not so much since I'm trolling eBay for everything), but I will be replacing the hoards of inexpensive/no-name brand clothes, shoes, and bags I have with these quality staples.

I have decided, based on loads of research, what should stay and what should go. I just have to put it into action, which I plan to start once the kids are in bed tonight. I have also downloaded a closet app for my tablet that will let me photograph my clothes and accessories and combine them into outfits and a plan for each month (Stylicious I think it was called, I haven't actually looked at it yet). I am relying heavily on info from Project 333, although I don't think I'll make such drastic cuts just yet-- I can't begin to add shoes or scarves in my 'allowance'. I do plan to get rid of some, but there is no way I could live with 3 pairs of shoes and 4 scarves!

So, I'll let you know how I do. Anyone else have a capsule wardrobe? Where did you get your inspiration/rules?

Freshening Up For Fall

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

I don't know what it is about fall, but it always makes me crave a new start... and hot apple cider, lots of hot apple cider. This year change seems more urgent than ever. I am, as ever, overwhelmed in this circus that it my life. But instead of moaning about it here, I am doing something to simplify it.

Things at home just keep getting harder. These is a lot going on with my son right now, which I will get into later, and I find myself tired and unfulfilled at the end of each day. I need more time. Of course, I know it isn't possible to create more time-- we only have 24 hours, right? Instead, I need to free up some time.

Currently, I coach Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays-- bare in mind this is all VOLUNTEER. In the next two weeks, I will be dropping Mondays. Hopefully in the next month or so I will be able to drop Wednesdays as well, or at least go to every third. So, that's a start.

I am also really enjoying my writing these days and soooo anxious for NaNo, so I am going to look at adding more hours at my real job, so I don't have to write articles to make ends meet. The time I spend on those articles is way more than I would need to spend on my real job. And I have the added bonus of knowing the bills are paid each month without needing to worry about where it is coming from.

I am moving my web site back to my blog so I can update it from anywhere without needing special software (it has been over a year since I've touched that site, mainly because I need Front Page to do so). I did that last night, but for some reason if you leave off the www it still goes to the old site. I'll try to fix that soon. I am also going to cut back on blogging. Right now I have a load of blogs I write each week-- this is going to move to 2 or 3 at the most. In particular, I am going to start making my Monday Mommy posts more like the Confessions of a Southern Mother posts I write elsewhere.

In the coming weeks, you are going to find many changes to this blog. I am going to change the scenery every now and then. (I just love the new Halloween decorations, don't you?) And I am going to change the things I write on here. I still want there to be Mommy Mondays, but the posts will be a bit different-- in other words, I'll try not to moan so much. Some will be funny (I hope), some will be deep (things are getting a bit tough for my family right now, so I may need to confide a bit), and some will be random (recipes, etc.). Wednesdays will stay about writing. I'm going to keep track of projects and NaNo and even share some excerpts. And Friday will hopefully be about friends and fun (book reviews, movies, crafts, etc.).

I know these changes will make me happier with this blog. I hope they make my (pitifully few, but planning to promote to get more) readers happier as well.

Happy hump day everyone!

Latest Instagrams

© Christy Kate McKenzie. Design by Fearne.