Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Moment of Heart-Stopping Terror

I just went over to NaNoWriMo to validate my 50,000 words. Popped the name of my last text file into the browser window and waited patiently.

Then the verified word count came up - 45,000 and change. No, that can't be right! I wrote 50,000 words. Where were those last 5,000 words hiding? I don't want to write 5,000 words in one night - I'm all written out at the moment.

Then I realised I validated the wrong file - I validated the morning file, not the afternoon file from my last day. Duh. One validation later and I'm now an official winner of NaNoWriMo, which is really a nice way of saying I'm a burnt out writer with a pile of editing to keep me company in the long nights of December.

Good luck to everyone else who is sprinting to the finish, especially Claire, who has made up an amazing amount of ground after being sick recently.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Foghlaim Dé hAoine

Today's installment is a little different than usual. I've read a book and written a little book report about it. My translation is in the comments. As usual, all help and correction is much appreciated.

Léigh mé an leabhar - “Bran ag obair.”

Tá Bran maidrín ach tá sé maidrín uathúil. Tá sé ag obair an lá ar fad. Bhácáil Bran brioscaí agus dhustáil an seomra suí. Rácáil sé duilleoga agus chuir uisce ar na bláthanna. Mhol Mam Bran ag deireadhan lá. Tá Bran maidrín maith.

Is maith liom an leabhar ach tá sé deacair léigh.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Tá mé abhaile anois.

Actually, I've been abhaile since Sunday, but I've been crazy-busy at work. From the standpoint of Peter's photography, the trip was a tremendous waste of time. But two good things came out of it - I got loads of ideas for my book and I expect I will have acres of blogging material from the photo show.

I know I'm not the girliest of girls, but every once in a while, I do something that reminds Peter that there's still a girly-girl somewhere inside of me.

I was in Paris for about 24 hours. I did not check any luggage but managed to have with me three pairs of shoes. And, if I needed any further proof that I am a nerd - I also had three books.

Because, let's face it, for a nerdy girl, books and shoes are absolute necessities. The more, the better!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Foghlaim Dé hAoine

Today's Foghlaim Dé hAoine is factually correct, but there is a high possibility that it will be incorrect in the grammar and/or pronunciation department. I had to cancel my lesson last week because of work and this week because of my second job (Lovely Assistant for Peter Cox Photography). The last time I was actually able to have a lesson, an múinteoir told me that his schedule was probably not going to be able to accommodate my lessons after Christmas.

I'm at the point where I should probably take some group lessons, but with my schedule the way it is, I like the flexibility of private lessons. (Although I'm looking forward to doing a week or maybe two in the Gaeltacht this summer.) So, if you know a decent Irish teacher in Dublin (preferably south-side or South County) who wouldn't mind giving a weekly lesson, please let me know.

Beidh mé i Paris bParás an deireadh seachtaine seo.

File under:

Shameless (Him)Self Promotion

Peter is showing his photographs in the Art Ireland Show at the RDS this weekend. We were there until 8 last night, setting up his booth. The show is huge, much bigger than the April version.

You can find free tickets and more information on the Exhibitions page on his web site. Peter is near the front of the main hall, in stand D2.

And while we're talking about Peter and his photographs, I'd like to congratulate him on his recent awards from the Irish Professional Photographers Association. In his first time entering images for consideration, he had an excellent showing: five images submitted, five awards won including the prestigious Diamond Crest for Melting Ice.

Illustration Friday

The topic this week was Clear....It wasn't at all clear to me how to illustrate something you can't see. So I asked Google to save the day for me, which it did with a listing for Cape Clear Island. Although my picture isn't really of Cape Clear Island, it's of the nearby Fastnet Lighthouse.

Some other interesting takes on illustrating clear:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sibling Rivarly

A recent conversation with my brother Shane...

What was that car I had in college? Come on, use your freakish memory.

Was it like a Celica or something?

No...Mom and Dad got the same car at the same time. Cavalier!

You know, just for the record, Mom and Dad never bought me a car.

Yeah, well, Mom and Dad never gave me an all-expense paid trip to move to the other side of the world to be with some guy they'd never met.

That's completely different. That was like $2,000. Your car was $10,000.

Dad sent his only daughter off to live in a foreign country with a complete stranger. That's got to be worth at least $8,000."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Seven Lessons Learned During Eleven Days in November

As promised, here are my lessons learned during National Novel Writing Month.

1. In creative endeavours, failing to plan is not necessarily planning to fail.
I started Nano with an idea, three characters, a vague structure of three acts, and a handful of scenes. About five years ago, when Peter first encouraged me to start writing I wouldn't have been happy with that sort of starting plan. I'd have wanted stacks of research, full character studies, and a complete plot outline. Guess how many words I managed when I started writing back then? A grand total of zero. I was so paralysed by planning that I couldn't get started. There's something to be said for just going with your characters and seeing where they take you.

2. Send Fussy Internal Editor and Mean Writing Teacher on cruise around the world.
Editing is extremely important in writing, but editing while you write is akin to throwing out seeds as you plant a garden, because the seeds just don't seem right to you. You end up with a sparse, uninteresting garden. You will need to weed and prune your garden but the more material you have to work with, the more options you will have. Not to worry, though, you haven't sent Fussy Internal Editor and Mean Writing Teacher away forever. You'll need them when you get to the editing stage and they are going to need to be well-rested and ready to work.

By the way, if you have the automatic grammar checker in Word turned on, turn it off! It's wrong at least 20% of the time and you don't need green squiggles to give you an excuse to second guessing yourself.

3. Find a routine and stick to it, but not to the point of burnout.
Hemingway wrote from 5 or 6 am until 11 am or noon every day. He wrote standing up because a war wound in his leg made it uncomfortable for him to sit for long periods of time. (He then spent the rest of the day drinking himself senseless, but I digress.) I think I read in one of the Sunday magazines that Frederick Forsyth spends up to two years researching a book, which he then writes over the course of several weeks, pounding out 10,000 words a day on an old-fashioned typewriter in a converted dairy barn. He doesn't even open the curtains – his whole life for that short period of time is about writing.

The point here is that different things work for different people and you have to find what works for you. I've learned for me, I work best when writing is the first thing I do in the morning and it requires a quiet room with the door closed, a comfy chair, and at least two cups of coffee (sequentially, not concurrently). This meant getting up at 4 am nearly every day. I did give myself the chance to sleep in on the weekends, although I still found myself waking up before 6 am.

4. Try to remain calm.
When you get to the point where you've exhausted your ideas, it's easy to slide into panic. This is crap. I've no idea what to write next. I have writer's block. What am I going to do?!?! No matter how tempting it is, you cannot give into the temptation to lose the run of yourself and plunge into an episode of plot panic.

5. When in doubt, pick a road, any road.
They key to avoiding writer's block is to keep writing,. even if it's just a huge digression that you end up throwing out in the editing phase. Marshaling letters into words and stringing them into sentences is essential. One morning, I found myself in my chair, with my laptop and coffe but without even a ghost of an idea for a scene.

I'd left my characters in Paris and although I knew they still had work to do there, I didn't know what that might be. I knew they'd have to come home eventually, so I let them have a little baggage trouble in the airport. I drove around in circles in a literary cul de sac, chronicling the minutiae of trying to sort out a lost bag in Dublin airport. 1600 words later inspiration struck.

“I want to talk to your manager.”

“My manager?”

“Manager. Supervisor. Boss. Whatever.”

“I'm afraid...”

“You're going to be even more afraid if you don't get someone in here who can help me. You don't get paid enough to deal with me, so go find someone who does.”

The woman jumped out of her chair, blinking as though slapped. She stalked out of the room, cursing Americans and their bossy, over-confident natures.

“What was that?” Ciaran's voice was low with approval and surprise. He'd never seen Julia stand up for herself like that.

“That's the way my mother would have dealt with the situation. It's what grown-ups do, right? Deal with situations, make things happen, make things right.”

“I suppose so. But I've never seen you so forceful.”

She nearly said that if he wanted to see forceful, he should have come to Paris to see her handle Niamh's French boyfriend. But she'd promised Niamh that she wouldn't breathe a word to Ciaran and so she wouldn't.

Doesn't sound like much, but it suddenly gave me a real idea of what had happened in Paris and what I needed to go back and write.

6. Jump around.
I can be a bit of stickler with myself on finishing what I start. Which is Good, in general, but can be Bad at particular times. Writing requires a certain fluidity and ability to make decisions as you go. If one scene isn't working, there's no point in force-marching your characters through it. Moving on to something else is essential to keeping the project moving. As long as the project is completed in the end, it doesn't matter if you skipped around during the writing.

7. This is supposed to be fun.
Really. If it's not fun, then something is not right. Don't misunderstand me – editing is not fun. The painstaking process of polishing and refining your story is not fun. Trying to get an agent or publisher is not fun. But this bit – creating people and making them do your bidding, populating a whole alternate universe in which you are the Supreme Being and Decider of Everything. That's fun. I went to work every morning in a very good mood, having felt I'd accomplished something. I don't think I've been so cheerful at my job since....well, ever.

Overall, I found the process surprisingly similar to running my first marathon. Some days were hard and some days were easy. I spent a lot of time alone and was a little (okay, a lot) obsessed with achieving my goal. But all it took was dedication and a bit of graft. In a marathon, one foot in front of the other will get you through to the finish line. It might take you almost seven hours, but you'll get there eventually. In Novel Writing Month, the same rule applies, only it's one word after another and you don't have to worry about blisters or dehydration.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Expect to read a post here soon about what I learned during my obsessive writing phase known as NaNoWriMo. Right now, my fingers are cramping and my eyes are burning.

My plan for this evening is to celebrate simply - pizza, beer, and then bed. Tomorrow will be a day off and then sometime next week, the hard work of editing will start.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Foghlaim Dé hAoine

Novel writing month is still going well. I've been up at 4 am every day this week and, just this morning, I slipped past the to pour out a little over 40,000 word-mark. 80% to the goal. Today's Foghlaim Dé hAoine describes is a set of directions for me, to keep me sane over the upcoming week.

Ná bí buarthe buartha.

Suigh síus síos agus tóg go bog é.

File under:

New Friday Fun

I haven't forgotten about Foghlaim Dé hAoine, but that post is going to have to wait until I get home from work. I do have another new Friday feature.

My brother Shane recently started doing Illustration Fridays. My nephew Max also now has an illustration blog. So, as you can see, all the cool kids are drawing pictures for Friday and I just couldn't resist.

Yes, not even the fact that I can't draw will stop me. This week's topic was Smoke.

Don't laugh at me. Laugh with me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Political Machinations

My B.A. degree is in Political Science. This means that I spent my college years discussing politics over cans of cheap beer, which fully qualified as study time. My reasoning for going down the political science route were fuzzy and impractical - I enjoyed it, was good at it and thought I wanted to get into either the foreign service or politics.

I learned quickly that I didn't have the personality for the foreign service. It took until law school for me to realise that politics were better studied than lived. 90% of my law school class had political aspirations and I couldn't imagine myself spending the rest of my life dealing with those people when I could barely manage a 60-minute class. In short, when my youthful idealism met the crushing reality of ordinary life. I realised that I had essentially misspent my youth and there was nothing left to do but make a radical change.

But I managed to salvage one thing from my education: an understanding of political systems in general and the inner workings of the U.S. government in particular. Not the world's best party trick, but every once in a while, it comes in handy. Like now. I am not going to be dancing in the streets anytime soon, even though the AP has declared that the Democrats have taken control of the Sentate.

For one thing, bitter experience has taught me about believing in the results of elections before all the votes have been counted, double-counted, or ignored, as the case may be. You can ask Al Gore, the man who used to be the next President of the United States, all about projected winners. I bet he could tell you where the networks and the press can project their winners.

But no, my concerns revolve around a much more devious theory. Ever wonder what happens when a U.S. Senator is unable to complete his term, whether through death, indictment, or elevation to a Cabinet position? The governor of the Sentator's home state appoints a temporary Senator, who serves in that capacity until the next national election, at which point that person can run for re-election to a full-term.

Assuming that the Democrats really are back as Kings of the Senate, their margin is one lousy seat. (Since Joe Lieberman is like a Republican-Lite, it's more like half-a-seat, but I digress. If he says he will caucus with the Democrats, I am sure he will ably caucus with the Democrats and not just spy for his Very Best Frient George.) If the Democrats were to lose a seat, then the Senate is tied, with Dick Cheney holding the deciding vote.

Nice civics lesson, now for the real-world application. Let's say that the Secretary of Agriculture suddenly decides that he has to spend more time with his family and resigns his post. George W. could cast a cold eye over the Senate and decide that even though Ben Nelson and Evan Bayh are Democrats, it would be mighty bi-partisan of him to nominate one of them to be the new Secretary of Agriculture. Ben Nelson is from Nebraska, producer of beef, soybeans and corn. Evan Bayh is from Indiana, producer of corn, hogs, and rusty cars. Given this, they are both emminently qualified for the Agriculture post. More to the point, the governors of Nebraska and Indiana are both Republicans.

The second term is all about solidifying legacy and Bush hasn't accomplished everything he's wanted. The last two years of the second term are particularly challenging, as party loyalty gives way to the every-man-for-himself ethos of electioneering. It cuts both ways, as some Democratic senators from Red States have to be careful not to appear too Liberal. (In modern day America, Liberal is half-a-step up from a paedophile and half-a-step down from a leper.) Every vote will count but Bush can't always count on all his men holding the line, so he will have to be able to peel off a few Democrats.

With shifting alliances and politicians with one eye on the next election's polls, a 1-seat majority won't mean every Bush initiative would get through the Senate. But, there is still a compelling reason to want that one seat. The party in control sets the legislative agenda. Will the Senate spend its time demonizing undocumented aliens, railing against terrorists by introducing freedom-curbing restrictions, and warning about the scourge of homosexuals? Or will they spend all their time as busy investigative beavers, issuing subpoenas to find out who was on the secret energy task force, what Bush knew about alleged weapons of mass destructions, and whether Bush is actually just a life-sized Charlie McCarthy and Dick Cheney a high skilled ventriloquist?

I'm not saying that this is going to happen. It would be highly unusual for Bush to turn outside his inner circle of associates. He is all about loyalty and it would be a risk to trust an outsider, even with the Agriculture Department. But I am saying I wouldn't be surprised by such a turn of events. No dancing in the streets for me, not until Crawford, Texas is home to a Former President of the United States and a Good Guy is in the Oval Office.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another Arachnid Anecdote

I like my morning routine. It's precise, quiet and involves lots of coffee. Now that I am getting up so early to write for two hours before work, the caffeinated nectar of the gods has become exponentially more important. Coffee helps me think faster and move through my morning more quickly.

On Monday, I arrived at the front door to discover I was not alone in the foyer. In the space where the wall meets the ceiling was a spider who was distinctly segmented, with eight legs stubby. His carapace was a shiny dark brown and he didn't look like he was going to set a land speed record anytime soon. I dismissed the likelihood of spider incursion when I opened the front door and decided to give him a stay of execution. I didn't have enough time to go upstairs, get my hurley, kill the spider, wipe spider guts off my hurley, and then put it back upstairs.

There's a bathroom off of the foyer and through the open bathroom door, I could see a second spider. Spider #2 was more problematic. He was a smaller (but no less ugly) cousin of the big scary fecker I killed in the sink two months ago. Plus, he was moving along the wall. Moving spiders are a higher risk than stationary spiders.

The way I see it, a stationary spider has just pitched a little tent and decided to squat for awhile. A moving spider is one who has Manifest Destiny on his tiny brain. He's off to explore new lands and claim them for Spiderland and clearly, that will not do.

Unfortunately, Spider #2 was still too high up the wall for me to easily reach him. And even if I could reach him, I didn't relish the idea of crushing him under my thumb like the evil spider overlord I aspire to be. I'm not real keen on the crunching noise. Reluctantly, I knew I was going to have to let him live.

I watched him to see if he was going to move within pouncing range. He was too wise though and he even ran in a crooked line, like safety experts advise you to do in the unlikely event that someone is shooting at you. I noticed a little motion behind him and realised that a little baby version of the spiders I like was following my quarry as well. I almost had to laugh. I wanted to say “Little Bit, what do you think you're going to do?” But still, the little spider shadowed the big spider across the wall.

I made a mental note to put a hurley in the umbrella rack and went out to catch my bus. In the evening, I killed Spider #1 but Spider #2 was gone. Just between us, I've been checking around the downstairs toilet almost obsessively when I need to use it. I do not want to meet that spider when I am in a vulnerable position.

Mildly entertaining story, you say, but what does that have to do with coffee and your morning routine? Well, how good of you to ask. I was just getting to that bit. Tuesday morning, I took my cup out of the dishwasher, which had run overnight. I poured in a good bit of Nescafe Black Gold, a generous amount of sugar and a couple of ice cubes, as I do every morning. (Speed of coffee ingestion is of the essence. I don't have the time or patience to wait for it to cool down.) Then I tottered off to the let the kettle do its thing while I collected my lunch for the day. When the water was boiled, I filled up my mug and went into the study to write.

I like to savour the first couple sips of coffee, while the mug is still warm, and then jump into the writing. One delicious sip. Two delicious sips. Three delicious sips, then “What the hell is that translucent thing stuck to the side of my mug?”

A spider, who looked suspiciously like my friend Little Bit, was plastered against my mug. He looked like a cartoon character after the steamroller. I looked at him, weighing up the grossness of drinking spider particles against my need for coffee. I was about to try to get him off the side of the mug, when he slipped slowly, inexorably into the blackness like a drowning man.

My squeamishness won out and I had to get fresh coffee. I also had to check the bathroom, both for Little Bit and for Spider #2. Little Bit was alive and well. Spider #2 was nowhere to be found. The fanciful part of my imagination wants to believe that Spider #2 engineered the little spider's demise as a warning to me. Sort of the arachnid version of leaving a horse head in a mafia rival's bed. The rational part of me has collected a very valuable lesson – as bleary eyed as I am some mornings, I am checking my mug first.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More About Me

  1. I didn't fit in all that well in high school.

  2. I did a little bit better in college.

  3. But had a set back in law school.

  4. Yeah, I went to law school.

  5. I dropped out during spring break of my second year.

  6. I don't regret dropping out.

  7. I regret going in the first place.

  8. I'll be paying off those damn loans for the rest of my life.

  9. Sometimes, that thought wakes me up in the middle of the night.

  10. I feel like an anvil is on my chest.

  11. Usually, I can get back to sleep after that if I name cities in alphabetical order.

  12. Rarely, I just have to get up and do something productive until I feel tired again.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Halloween Parade

OK, so I'm a week late with this. Most of these pictures came from the States and you know, international email, it takes so much longer than regular email. Yes, I am a horrible liar. It's because I'm covering up for the fact that I am a tremendous graphics moron and I had to wait for an opportune time to ask Peter to help size the images so they wouldn't make my blog go all Crazy City.

That done, here is my Halloween Parade, featuring my nephews.

Darth Vader, Age 6
Ed note: I know Darth had a fantastic, fun Halloween. You know why? He's wearing wellies, of course!

Darth's Pumpkins
Ed note: The owl and the ghost were done using stencils, but Darth came up with the design for the vampire all by himself. Not only skilled with a light saber, he's also an artist.

Mr. Incredible and His Merely-OK Dad
Ed note: Mr. Increible's Merely-OK Dad is my brother. And yes, I am horribly jealous of their beautiful, thick red hair.

Pumpkins by Peter and Ann
Ed note: Guess which one is mine! We got our stencils online from Bride of the Zombie Pumpkins.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Alarming Discovery

Today, while I was using my stupidly expensive (and therefore, highly effective) anti-gigngivitis mouthwash, I made an alarming discovery.

When I let my cheeks puff out with the mouthwash, the area under my eyes went all wrinkly and I looked exactly like the grinch.

Image found on via Google Images and taken from, which I didn't actually think existed outside of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Friday, November 03, 2006

Foghlaim Dé hAoine

Novel writing month is going well. I've been up at 4 am for the past three days and have managed to pour out a little over 10,000 words at last count. 20% to the goal. Today's Foghlaim Dé hAoine is appropriate.

Although, it might not be 100% correct. I am guessing at part of it because I forgot to ask my teacher how to formulate one of the parts of the sentence and, from my purusual of the Internet, it looks perhaps like it's not all the straightforward. How unusual for Irish. ;)

As always, please correct me if I am wrong.

Tá mé ag scriobh leabhar an mí seo.

File under:

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Five Simple Tips for Rejectors

Receiving a rejection letter is never a pleasant thing. Whether it's from a company you wanted to work for or an agent who read your manuscript, it hurts to find out that you're not wanted. But, there are a couple of simple things that the writers of rejection letters can do stop rubbing salt in the wounds of the letter receivers.

Tip #1: Spell my name right.
Sounds so simple, doesn't it? You have it right in front of you, from the cover letter or the application or the manuscript. I once sent a query letter to an editor and misspelled her name. In her rejection letter, she made several harsh albeit relevant points about her opinion of that mistake. I never made that mistake again. (And, because my next query letter took every point in her rejection to heart, I ended up getting the piece commissioned and ended up doing a lot of work for that magazine.)

It's a simple matter of respect. People's names matter and if you can't take five seconds to make sure you got it right, then I don't feel like I matter all that much to you. Plus, I might just be a slug in the bottom on the slushpile right now, but someday, when I make it big and you want to lure me away from my publisher, don't think I'll have forgotten that you spelled my name wrong on the rejection letter.

Tip #2: With the magic of computers, mimeographs are no longer acceptable.
Really – print out a fresh rejection letter with a personalized name of the victim (properly spelled, of course). Like double-checking, this takes only seconds and at least marginally personalizes the processes. Getting a “Dear Applicant” letter or, worse yet, a letter that has my name handwritten into the “Dear” line, adds extra oomph to that punch in the gut you're sending me.

Tip #3: Sign the damn letter.
Especially if it has a line for your name. I got two rejection letters (different jobs) from the same company recently. In both, the HR Director didn't sign her name, even though the line was clearly there. I know you're busy, but it's another basic matter of respect. And you know what, I don't know what your signature looks like. If you are so important that you can't be bothered to sign your correspondences, then surely you have a secretary who can take care of it for you.

Tip #4: Don't tell me that you'll keep my application on file and notify me when suitable positions arises.
We both know you're lying. I bet you're the same type of person who tells a date that you'll ring them when you have absolutely no intention of doing so. I have gotten at least fifty letters that have made this claim. I've never gotten a single phone call. Maybe I'm just that unqualified, but somehow, I doubt it.

Tip #5: If you call me in for an interview, have the decency to reject me and not just leave me hanging.
This is infuriating. I've taken the time to dress up, come to your office, and answer your questions. The least you can do is send me one of your crappy form letters. What you should do, out of courtesy, is to ring me and tell me that you've decided to go with someone else. When you don't acknowledge receipt of applications, it is understandable due to the presumably high volume of applications you get. When you put me on a short list, call me in for an interview, and then don't communicate with me again, I get the impression that I am so unimportant, I'm not even worth a proper rejection.

Personally, I'd like to get a rejection letter telling the completely unvarnished truth. Something short and sweet like “You suck. We wouldn't let you work here if you were the last applicant on earth.” Now that's the sort of place I would like to work.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy National Write a Novel Month

Today marks the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I'm excited to have the kick-in-the-pants that I need to get started writing a novel again. Every year for the last two, I've finished a novel by the end of the year. This year, I stalled on Book #3. I got stuck (which happens sometimes), put it away, and then when I returned to it, I found I'd lost the characters.

I've talked before, a little bit, about the voices in my head. It sounds a bit mad, but it's not like they tell me to do things. They're not those kinds of voices. They're just characters that my imagination makes up and, when I'm lucky, they tell me their stories. I rarely know a character's whole story when I sit down to write – that all comes out in the writing.

I'm not surprised that my characters from Book #3 abandoned me. I'd gotten lazy about my personal writing. It's easy to get bogged down in work, especially when you write dry, technical documents for a living. The last thing I'd want to do when I came home was look at a computer screen. But really, I'm only hurting myself because, when I devote even a sliver of attention to my writing, I have great fun.

NaNoWriMo is a fantastic idea – give yourself a time-limited goal for something you want to accomplish and then just do the damn thing. The rules are simple – in one month, write 50,000 words of a new novel. In actual fact, the novel itself probably won't be done in 50,000 words, unless you're writing a Young Adult novel. The genre I'm going for usually has 80,000 to 100,000. I'd love to have the thing actually done by the end of November, but we'll see.

So, what is my big story? Well, I'm going to be a little cagey on that because I fear that what happened with Book #3 was that I talked it out rather than writing it out. I'll tell you what I can about it now. The genre is Chick Lit and I got the idea from a story in Pick Me Up, which is a trashy magazine that is absolutely one of my secret guilty pleasures. Yeah, that's really all I can say about it directly.

You can track my progress (and keep me honest) here:

Time to get writing!