Sunday, December 27, 2009

The after Christmas update

Hope everyone had a really super Christmas and if you traveled, it was a safe trip. So many of my friends, including Elle Parker had some really nasty weather sweep in starting on Christmas Eve and continuing on through the weekend. We got off relatively easy here, although there was freezing rain Christmas night. Yuck.

So onto the Gwenna Project Updates.

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- I had to have my first copy edits in by the 21st... and I did. :) There was also some paperwork I had to fill out as well and so I got that all done and sent back. At this point in the project, I sit back for about four to six weeks and work on other Gwenna Projects. We are still looking at a tentative release date of June 21st.

Gwenna Project: VN2 (Nate and Ian)- With the holidays now out of the way, I can finally ramp up on this one. I'm still working on an "event" outline- this is color coded and lets me know what needs to be written, what I have written and what I need to overwrite. It is my goal, currently, to write a minimum of an hour on this on the week nights. Certainly more on the weekends. I'm putting on a major push to get as much of the rough draft done as I can by January 25th. That's when my second job starts up again.

Gwenna Project: Melody Blue (Holly and Dennis)- I've got most of the broad outline in place and I'm currently researching the English countryside for the time period. I'll be creating a fictional airfield and a nearby fictional town/village. Since I'm looking at high summer time of year, I'm also researching the typical weather in southern England. Once the first draft of VN2 is hammered out, I will dive into this. I've also found names for most of the crew including Melody's navigator and co-pilot. Obviously the focus is on Holly and Dennis, but there were a total of ten crew members that flew with a B17.

Gwenna Project: Imperial City (Pairing un-named)- Still only in the research phase. I continue to amass research materials about the Vietnam war in general and the battle of Hue in particular. I've pulled out some of my original research books that I've had for years to see what they have on Hue. And it turns out my husband has the entire Time/Life series of books about the Vietnam war and I'll be going through those as well. I continue to have a rough idea of what I want to do, but I won't cement it until I can verifiy it would have been feasible under the circumstances. It's fiction, sure- but I want it realistic.

Gwenna Project: Then and Now (Mark and Josh)- Sequel to Lost and Found, this will follow up Mark and Josh as they rehab a house in the Florida Keys during hurricane season. I'll bring in more of both men's backgrounds as Mark continues to struggle with his demons and alcoholism. He won't be making anything easy on Josh but then, where would the fun be if it was all sun and smiles, right? It starts out okay for both men, but Mark becomes unsure when Josh, unknowningly, catches the attention of another gay couple. Misunderstandings and jealousy all set against a hurricane that turns into a monster over night, separating Mark and Josh when they need each other the most.

I've also found a couple of intriguing calls for stories in certain anthologies that I'm going to explore. One I'd like to pound out before January 25th, and I probaby can do it in a weekend if I set my mind to it. The other I've got a ton of time for and need to do a bit of research on before I would tackle the subject. I prefer the novel format, but it wouldn't hurt to get my name out there in some anthologies.

And that's the state of Gwenna for now. I'll be updating the webpage with some new links to things I support or want to bring attention to. I'm still waiting on my artwork for that as well. I've got this Friday off for the New Year holiday and plan to use the three day weekend for work on VN2. Other than that, it's surviving the next few snow storms as they come through tonight and tomorrow. Oh boy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My husband found for me this incredible HUGE book in the bargin bin at Walmart of all places. The Vietnam War Experience is the most unusual of my research books. It's tons of pictures (I LOVE the cover, btw) but its got all sorts of things tucked inside the pages, in pockets or stapled or simply shoved there. The Marines Guide to the Republic of Vietnam, posters and maps and my personal favorite- a pocket guide to Namverse. So Gwenna is very happy.

And Gwenna is nothing if not patriotic and I continue to find interesting links that help support our troops that I'll add to my website as well. My latest find was on the NBC Nightly News tonight and is a non-profit called Totally For Troops . It's helps get handmade Christmas cards to servicemen and women in Afghanistan and Iraq so that THEY in turn, have cards to send to their families and loved ones. It seems PXs are very picked over and it's almost impossible for our troops to get something as simple as Christmas cards to mail home. I think it's worth adding to my list of those websites I wave my flag for.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Update on Lost and Found

I've got my editor assignment and a tentative release date of June 21st. Gwenna is very happy! Things are gonna start moving now. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gwenna project update

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- this is moving forward quite quickly now. Lyrical has my contract and sent me the "Welcome" package and I'm sorting through that as best I can. There is a lot there to look at and I have several forms I have to fill out so I've been working on those. Right now it's admittedly, somewhat overwhelming but I'm working through it a little at a time. I'm still waiting for an editor to be assigned to me and with that, a tentative release date.

With everything happening now with Lost and Found AND Christmas sort of rushing at me like a runaway tractor trailer on a steep incline, I haven't been able to devote anytime to my other projects. This does not make Gwenna happy as I really keep hoping to get back to work on VN2 at the very least. But tomorrow night is the last night I teach at my second job until late January, so that is going to help alot. When I'm not working on edits for Mark and Josh, I'm going to be all over VN2 with a schedule and goals and the idea that I'm going to push through to get as much of the first draft done before I start to teach again at the end of January.

I do have a new Gwenna Project to add to my list though- now that Mark and Josh have been accepted by Lyrical Press, I can go ahead with the sequel I had hoped to do but didn't want to invest in until Mark and Josh got picked up. So, I'm going to mark it here- the follow up to Lost and Found is going to be Then and Now. It will follow Mark and Josh down to the Florida Keys where they will be working on a rehab there.

So here is the current list of Gwenna Projects as they stand now:

Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- Currently accepted by Lyrical Press and starting the editing process.
VN2 (Nate and Ian)- currently writing the first draft- word count over 25k.
Melody Blue (Holly and Dennis)- Still researching but outline is complete. Still working out some details but this one is ready for me to get started on.
Imperial City- Still strictly in the concept and research phase.
Then and Now (Mark and Josh)- Follow up to Lost and Found, I've already outlined this and it's ready to go. Will work on this as I work on VN2.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


It's official- I mailed back the signed contract on Lost and Found (Mark and Josh). I'm very excited. *vbg*

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gwenna Project Update

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- Good news on this- finally! That's right, it got accepted! :) I can't say more at this point, I still need to sign the contract and such but I'm thrilled beyond words that it's being picked up!

Gwenna Project: VN2 (Nate and Ian)- I'm still tinkering with a few things but admit I've done no writing on it. Thank god for the four day weekend as most of it is mine and I can seriously get back to work on this.

Gwenna Project: Melody Blue (Dennis and Holly)- Some new research books I ordered came in, including one my husband found for me. The outline is pretty solid at this point and I'm continuing to dress out the additional characters needed to support this. I also know how I'm starting this and wrote all of that down. (Need to translate it to my computer now.) Like VN2, I'll be juggling a lot of characters and action scenes and such but I really thrive with that. I still need more research on southern England, about the countryside, small towns and villages and the weather during high summer, but those are details I can continue to work on while I start to actually write on this one.

Gwenna Project: Imperial City- Still remains stritctly in the preliminary stages as I continue to gather information concerning the battle itself. I've only got some vague ideas of what I want to do and how to approach it but nothing suggested yet for specific characters. I have decided to stay with two Marines so some work there on my part is needed. Thankfully, I have an "in" there. LOL.

And that is the state of Gwenna for this week. I'll take this opportunity to wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving. If you are traveling, take care and be safe.
This came across my radar this morning, as I'm a knitter (although not a very good one...) Anyway, it's a great organization that helps our military troops out and they've got a lot of Christmas stuff lined up so if you want to make Gwenna happy and make sure that a soldier isn't alone for the holidays, check out Citizen I'm currently looking at trying to make a helmet liner, but there a lot of NON-knitting activities you can be part of if you want. My son served in Iraq for a year as a combat medic- believe me when I say he and his buddies were always so thankful that we back home supported them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- still out with Lyrical with no word one way or another.

As for the various other projects I'm juggling, I can admit I didn't get much of anything done. No writing or research at all as I went to Washington DC for a long weekend to meet up with my closest friend and just got back late this afternoon. We had a blast and I did get a lot of pictures of a Vietnam era Huey at the Air and Space Museum- which for me is so completely awesome. I don't know what it is but I just have such a fascination for Hueys!

Now that I'm back, I hope to get back to my projects.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- This went out today to Lyrical, who have treated Elle so wonderfully. We'll see what happens when it happens. But keep your fingers crossed for me.

Gwenna Project: VN2 (Nate and Ian)- Did not get as much writing done on this as I had hoped for a variety of reasons. Part of it was, there was some parts that I wanted to correct that I'd already done and that was nagging at me, making it impossible for me to move forward. Current word count: 20,539

Gwenna Project: Melody Blue (Holly and Dennis)- continue to outline and set the rest of the characters on this one. I've got the storyline/plot pretty much set here and continue to do research on exactly where I want to create my fictional airfield and village.

Gwenna Project: Imperial City- Based around the events of the Battle of Hue- Vietnam 1968. My research materials are coming in and I'm having a blast working through them. I'm starting to piece a plot together but won't get too attached to anything until I'm sure it's plausible under the circumstances of the actual battle. I have no characters marked up at this time and probably won't for a while.

So there is the state of Gwenna for this past week. Lost and Found is back out the door and the other three projects are cooking along. In four more weeks I'll get a break from my second job and plan to make a major push on VN2 before the next semester starts up.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Research materials

One of the books I ordered for my research on the Battle of Hue came in the mail today. It's called Battle for Hue Tet 1968. And my husband, knowing I'm researching this topic again, taped a program off the History Channel that was solely on this battle. This one is starting to come together for me much as Melody Blue is so I'm excited. I love research anyway, especially about Vietnam. It remains a fascination for me.

I now also have a working title for this Gwenna Project: Imperial City.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not unexpected

When I started this blog and my LJ, it was to post the failures and the victories. Having said that, I got turned down by Samhain for my Mark and Josh story. In my heart I had a feeling, I was aiming as high as I could and it was a real long shot. Of course it's disappointing. I'll wallow in it for a few days and set it up for my next choice of ePublisher.

This publishing world is so different for me from 20 years ago. I haven't given up, I'll still shop it around, it would be foolish not to and I won't give up that easy. But I'd be lying if I said this hasn't shaken my confidence up some.

There are dozens and dozens of ePublishers. I'm hoping that it being a contemporary m/m romance with a military background with men who are older was simply not a good fit for Samhain and the reason why it wasn't picked up and not because my query and synopsis sucked.

I'll post when I send it out again, hopefully, this weekend, and of course keep everyone updated who is interested.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- Still out for consideration. Still keeping the good thought that if I've heard nothing, then I haven't been rejected yet. Should I be lucky enough to actually get this picked up by someone, I've already got a sequel in mind.

Gwenna Project: VN2 (Nate and Ian)- Word count 20,533K. I'm writing again on this one, was able to write both Friday and yesterday and it's feeling good. I'm pushing the boundries way out on my original concept and I have to say, I like the results. It's dark and edgy and gritty and that's what I really want in this. Hope to get between 500 and 1000 words done today.

Gwenna Project: Melody Blue (Holly and Dennis)- WWII period piece set in England. I've got the basic rough outline in place and the two main characters down. I'm also working with a friend who lives in England for a feel of the countryside and the weather and other specifics I need to give it the realism I want. I am using my research and supporting characters from my traditional fiction story that I've shelved. Next step will be to set the rest of the characters, name my fictional town and airfield and then flesh out the rough outline into a full detailed one.

Gwenna Project: Hue- This is still only in the barest of research phases. I've pulled my notes from when I worked with my Vietnam veteran friend and ordered a couple of books on the battle that took place during the Tet offensive. I'm 95% sure I'm going to stick with two young Marines in this, but there was an Army presence there with MACV. But the Marines were the real story there, as well as what was up until that battle, a beautiful city. This was a long battle involving a lot of different aspects and I'm going to define it down to a specific point and around these two specific men. I have some ideas of flash backs from these two of time spent together in the beautiful city set against the reality of the firefight they are in. Once I have the books and some other research done, I can define it more in my head and get the outline down. I'll have a working title at least too. For now I'm just calling it Hue.

On the subject of research. I've discovered I LOVE I've always relied on Google like everyone else, but I get tired of sorting all the flotsam out of a serach to get what I need. seems to cut to exactly what it is I'm looking for. If I want a map of the United Kingdom during WWII showing locations of American airfields, that's what I get. If I want material having to due with the Battle of Hue, or GI slang specific to the Vietnam era then that's what pops up. It's become a huge time saver for me. If you need to do research like I do since I work on so much period material, in my opinion, can't be beat.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Congrats to a friend!

I just wanted to take a minute and offer congrats to a great friend of mine- Tara- who just found out yesterday that she sold her first children's story! How cool is that?

It couldn't have come at a better time- after another "professional" tore her apart only a few days ago- causing her to seriously doubt herself.

Congrats, sweetie! You deserved this!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

No good news is good news... we hope!

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- at this point I've heard nothing from Samhain. Sooooo, I'm going with that old saying of no news is good news. After all, even though I haven't been accepted yet, nor have I been rejected. I'll be a glass "half full" kinda girl about this. LOL.

Gwenna Project: VN2- I'm back to working on this project again. I'm picking up at the scene where I left off with some changes in mind from my original notes and vision. I like it better. I'm also printing off the material I have so I can mark up where I have problems and what needs to be seriously overwritten. That's all part of to do list for tomorrow.

Gwenna Project: Melody Blue- Now this one I'm getting excited about. for one thing, I can use the research I was doing for Daisy Mae and put it all to good use here. That puts me ahead of the research game. Also, I've got a solid plot in mind and some smaller plot threads to run through it to add some realism and depth to the entire thing. I've got my two main characters set too: Captain Dennis Baxter and Staff Sergeant Theodore "Holly" Hollenbeck.

My main overall background on Holly comes from a real life ground crew chief I was told about- who was in Japan and worked on B-29s. That he came from money and could and should have been an officer, but he didn't want that. He loved working on the ships. Using that, I've built out Holly, a man who was expected to marry well and take up the family name but instead decided that was not going to be him and joins the Army instead to avoid an arranged marriage. He is the head ground crew chief that is assigned to take care of the Melody Blue.

Holly is going to be about 5 years older than Dennis, but no more.

Dennis comes from the Chesapeake Bay area, his family owns a cannery and he loves all things boats. He is the captain of the Melody Blue. Back in those days, young officers were expected to marry, and so Dennis has a young beautiful wife who is sweet and patient. But he can't love her and the more he tries, the more frustrated and confused he is. Something happens that tips his world upside down and he runs, joining the USAAF, hoping this will make a man out of him.

These two men, despite their rank and circumstances, form a friendship when they realize how much they do have in common. After a rough mission where Dennis manages to get the Melody Blue back to the base. Holly is so relieved to have his "lady" back, but even more so that Dennis is back, a bit worse for wear but okay otherwise. But Melody Blue lost her youngest crew member and Dennis is distraught. He goes to Holly for drinks and understanding and it leads to something else entirely, the two men discovering each other. Holly has some experience but it's a whole new world for Dennis. Now Dennis has to figure out what this is he has with Holly and continue to fly Melody Blue. Left behind each time she goes out, Holly can only wait and pray she brings Dennis back to him. Then the unspeakable happens and the Melody Blue, badly shot up, most of her crew injured or dead, doesn't make it back to the base. And no one knows if Dennis was even able to get her out of France and back across the channel. Or if he is even alive.

I've still got another idea I've got at the back of my head but can't label a Gwenna Project yet- of two Marines in Vietnam and the backdrop is the batlle of Hue. But I'm leaving that alone for now, my plate is full enough!

So that's where I am right now. I'm really pleased with the projects so far. Finding time to work on them is something else entirely as I've got two regular jobs that actually pay the bills. *rolls eyes.* I am, however, going over to my good friend's place for a long weekend next weekend. There I will be writing and enjoying and fleshing out more of the Melody Blue. Definitely will be working on VN2.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Gwenna Project now has a name...

The new Gwenna project I mentioned in yesterday's posting about a WWII novel is suddenly taking off here and I jotted down a lot of notes today- including some ideas of character names and who I want them to be. With it is the working title of Blue Melody, which is the B17 that will be the backdrop and will be this Gwenna Project name from now on.

Gwenna Project Updates

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh) - Currently out with my first choice of ePublishers and still in a "wait and see" status. Keeping fingers crossed. :)

Gwenna Project: VN2- I've caught myself back up with what I'm doing there and there are some things I already see I want to change with what I did get done. And some new ideas I have for the section I left off. So it's coming back for me and it is my hope to work on it this weekend.

Gwenna Project: Unnamed (WWII): This is starting to take some shape, but I've got some research to do on this one. This will be set in England, WWII and I know I want to work with an enlisted man and a married officer. Of course this will be M/M. I will use some of my research from my regular fiction novel that I've shelved for the time being. Will be doing research this weekend when I'm not working on VN2.

And that's the current state of Gwenna for now. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yes on Gay Marriage

In running something else down, I came across this beautiful website- if you haven't seen it before, do check it out. And be sure to sign the petition.

Yes on Gay Marriage

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Okay, I got a nice quick note from the ePublisher that they did get the manuscript. So now that's off my mind. It's just a waiting game now.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's out there now.

I submitted Lost and Found this afternoon. There was supposed to be an auto responder that would tell me the manuscript (and synopsis) was received but that hasn't happened. I did check my spam filters and it's not there. So I'm a wee bit uptight about that.

The publisher's FAQ page notes that these do go astray and to write them to see if they did receive the submission so I've done that. I realize it's the weekend so I don't know when I'll hear anything.

But there you have it, it's now submitted and it's time to move on. I'm getting back into my other manuscript- VN2. I have some ideas for two other stories, one set in England during WWII and the other in Vietnam, tied to the battle of Hue. They are just raw ideas right now, some research and a more definite plot need to be worked out before I can seriously consider either of them.

So I'll keep you posted on what happens with Lost and Found- good or bad news.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Let me introduce myself

I'm slowly starting to figure a few things out here. I was easily overwhelmed when I started but I'm finding my way around a bit more.

So, let me introduce you to the "Gwenna Project".

I used to write and publish years ago, when my son was a small child. (He's now 6'4" and a medic in the Army...) Twenty years later, the publishing landscape has drastically changed and I'm playing catch up fast. It's daunting to say the least.

I'm trying my hand now at submitting a novel to various ePublishers. I feel that eBooks and ePublishing is the wave of the future and have for a few years now.

So let me fill you in on where I am with my various Gwenna Projects. I hope you'll stick around and watch how I go through the process and maybe even we can celebrate a sucess or two along the way.

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (aka Mark and Josh) I usually refer to this project as Mark and Josh. This is a short novel I've completed and is now in the self editing stage with the help of a good friend. This one is a contemporary, character and relationship driven story set in the Outer Banks in January. Mark Connor is a Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD who lost his friend and lover in an ambush back in Vietnam. He's never gotten past it. Josh Myers is a former Marine who survived the terror bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut back in 1983. Unlike Mark, he loves life. He's larger than life, always smiling and humming. One man is destroyed by his past and the other embraces the future.

Gwenna Project: VN2- A futuristic full length novel with a whole cast of characters, but centers mostly on Ian and Nate. I'm working with the concept of "bonding" here and how this impacts the men who end up in a bonded relationship. I'm tackling prejudices and bigotry and an Army that is deeply fractured into a caste system, all of this set on a hostile jungle world embroiled in a civil war. Nate, having recently lost his bond partner, has lost his will to live. He's a seasoned soldier and there had been hopes to have him rebond with the company commander. Ian is young, headstrong and running from a legacy he wants nothing to do with. He's also incredibly gifted and totally unaware of it. It's killing him by inches, driving him to the edge of madness. Nate wants to die, Ian wants to be left alone- bonding will change everything for these two men.

Gwenna Project: Establishing a web presence. This blog is one of the steps toward that. I do have a Live Journal and I'm currently setting up my webpage and should have something up here over the next week. I don't have a lot to put on it so it's a bit of a struggle to piece it together.

So there you have it- The State of Gwenna. LOL. I'll be posting on my progress as things happen. And you can also follow in on my LJ as well. Welll see how it all goes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Just moved in and totally lost...

So okay, here I am without a clue as to what I'm doing here. It's soooo gonna take me awhile to figure this out. Hope everyone can bear with me.