Sunday, September 26, 2010

A little of this, a little of that.

I updated and reworked my website just a bit. It's not fantastic but it's not quite as bad either. It'll do until I can get back to it, probably in January sadly. My graphic artist gave me a signed version of the banner, I updated my greeting and I finally moved Lost and Found off my Gwenna Projects page onto a new page called Current Releases.

I also added a new project to the Gwenna Projects page- something that came out me from nowhere. It'll be a prequel to Lost and Found, about Mark, back when he had Ryan and they were in Vietnam. This will be a much different Mark than the angry and bitter one that Josh somehow falls in love with. This will be set completely in Vietnam and I'll love writing about what I know best- Boonie rats. LOL. For now I'm calling it Firebase October but that's subject to change if I find something I like better.

I've also updated the status of other Gwenna Projects for those interested. (or not.)

Some articles and links I've meant to post before this.

North Carolina Wild Horses Face Uncertain Future.
The plight of the wild horses in the Outer Banks distresses me. I mention them breifly in Lost and Found and I had seen them myself more than once. I think it will very sad if they are no longer allowed to roam the northern Outer Banks as they've done for years.

Boeing Tearing Down Historic Plant 2
Boeing has made the decsion to tear down the place where the B17 Flying Fortress Bombers were once built. Where hundreds of women during a time of war came to work and become known as Rosie the Riviter. It seems a shame to see this go in the name of high tech. Melody Blue would have been built here and such famous names as The Memphis Belle were.

The Art of the American Soldier.
There an amazing art display that just opened a few days ago featuring art by Army Combat Artists. I knew about the Marines but did not realize until I came across this that the Army also supports these artists. Unlike the Marines though, they do not have a museum to display their work and a lot has been lost over the years. Right now it's being shown in Philladelphia and the pieces from the Vietnam era are nothing short of stunning. My particular favorite is called Landing Zone by John Wehrte. If you are lucky enough to live in the greater Philly area, take the chance to check out this exhibit.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Not my best fall

I normally love Fall, I mean- seriously. For as much as I hate winter (and I can bitch about winter here because this is upstate NY we're talking about...) I still love the change of the season from the heat of summer to the crispness of fall. There's just one tinsy set back for me. Ragweed.

It's flattened me this season which is a large part of the reason I've not updated here in a few weeks. So my apologies. (Okay, I realize no one reads this but it makes me feel better to apologize anyway.) Add to that the fact that my second job started last week and well.

Thankfully, I've actually felt more human these last few days. Sleep goes a long ways toward that.

Despite my woes with ragweed and my spare time now reduced to almost nothing, I've been pounding very steadily away at VN2. I'm up over 48K word count and intend to be well past 50K (hoping for 52K) this weekend. I'm pretty pleased so far with it, have filled in some plot points and holes and I'm keeping it moving. My self imposed deadline of end of October is still very achievable if I keep this pace up.

In other news, my beloved editor who held my hand through the entire process of getting Lost and Found published has left my publisher, Lyrical. Devastated doesn't even begin to express how I feel about this. I have since been assigned a new editor but I already miss Cyn. *sniff*

I made an investment and purchased some advertising space in Romance Times. This has a huge readership and well maybe I can get some sales out of it. Despite everything else I've done and some really excellent reviews, I don't feel it's really selling all that well. I'm sure completely overhauling my damned webpage would help, but I need to find time to do that and well, there is only twenty four hours in a day, sadly enough.

Next post, I've got some interesting news articles I've been meaning to share.

Oh, and congrats to my sweet friend, Elle Parker. Her second novel- Like Pizza and Beer is coming out in two weeks on October 4th. I can't to get my copy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Favorite blog

Handmade by Mother (So you better damn well wear it!) is probably one of my favorite non-writing blogs. If you haven't checked this out, you're missing a treat. I get such a kick out of this woman's uncensored snark about things we knitted and crocheted back in the fifties and sixties. She even includes the patterns so you don't have to feel you missed the boat on creating bad taste.

(It's also a bit horrifying to think people actually made this stuff!)

So go get your fill of snarky goodness and check out this blog. It's good for a grin, trust me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A step back for 9/11

It's been 9 years today that everything changed for my country. What happened that day, is still with me as vividly as the day it happened- with a clarity that never lets me forget.

I can't explain why this impacted me the way it did in those moments when I stood in our cafeteria where I worked and watched as the second plane struck the second tower of the World Trade Center. The collective gasp as we saw it happen, the horror and shock in the eyes of my co-workers. It couldn't be real, could it? Who would do this?

I don't think I'll ever forget the sound of the fighter jets that screamed over us on their way to Washington DC. They were the Boys From Syracuse, our fighter wing stationed at Hancock field. I was afraid, me- who grew up outside a SAC airforce base all her life. Radios were turned on at every desk, in the confusion we were told that Washington DC was under attack, that the Pentagon had been hit.

I saw the first tower come down and cried. I never saw the second one follow.

We had 14 employees that worked in the World Trade Center.

We were sent home, schools were dismissed and my son came home at the same time I did. There was such a profound silence I couldn't understand until days later when we were told that every commercial and private air plane had been grounded, flights arriving from overseas turned away, most going to Canada. There were always planes flying over my house. Not now. It was unprecendented.

I stared, numb, at our TV at the images of the chaos and destruction in Manhatten. They showed the Pentagon on fire. The news was confusing but word came there had been a fourth airliner heading for Washington DC but it went down somewhere in PA.

I didn't sleep that night. I remember thinking that the world as I knew it was forever changed.

I was numb and dazed for days. Couldn't focus at work, I'd suddenly find myself blinking and staring at my computer screen, realizing I had zoned out. It was months before I finally started to come around. I didn't lose anyone in those towers I knew. Nor in the Pentagon, yet somehow this hit me harder than anything else.

A lot of people don't know this fact, someday I may write about it- that the last soldier to leave Vietnam when we walked away and left the South Vietnamese to their own fate, died 9 years ago today. In the Pentagon. He survived a war to die on his own soil at the hands of terrorists. He was a Marine.

9/11 cemented my son's destiny. At 18, he joined the Army National Guard and trained to be a combat medic. I watched him go to war in Iraq four years ago, and cried almost every night. I was one of the lucky ones, my son came home from his tour a year later. So many of our sons and daughters, husbands and wives have not.

I've learned that it's easy to hate, to paint everyone, innocent and guilty, with the same brush. But the truth is- Islam didn't fly those planes into the towers. Islam didn slam one into the Pentegon. Terrorist did at the behest of a madman who is such a coward he hides.

I understand the pain is still raw, it is for me and I lost no one. But burning another country's bible- the Quran- is not the answer. It makes us no better than those terrorists who flew those planes. My son went to war to protect all our freedoms- including those of muslim americans who grieve with us.

I think it's time Sarah Palin stepped back and shut up. I think it's time the extremists in our government who claim to represent all of us, to knock it off and shut up too. Those who scream about freedom of religion and the right to bear arms- except for muslim americans. Just as those terrorists do not represent Isalm, Sarah Palin and other fanatics do not represent me and my country.

I think it's time the hate mongering stops and we rise above all of this. I think it's time we start picking up the pieces and instead of pointing fingers and acting like a bunch of narrow minded bigots with the mob mentality of sheep, that we become proud again without being bullies. Proud of our sons and daughters who want to fight for our country, volunteer to fight for our country, regardless of their race, religion or sexual orientation.

The damage done by these terrorists is still with us today. Burning a Quran justs proves them right and lets them win. Aren't we all better than this?


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How could I not know about this?

Okay, I know all about NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month) but this one- the 3 Day Novel Contest- that I hadn't heard of. Not that I would have attempted it, but it might have been fun to try. Sadly, with everything going on in the month of November, I must again pass on NaNoWriMo. I'll be overwhelmed as it.

Anway, seems I lost a follower from my legions of followers here. (Yeah, down from 5 to 4.) And I'm pretty convinced no one reads this blog to begin with anyway. But to the one who left, I hope it wasn't something I said... or didn't say!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

just updates

I've been out of town, visiting a friend over the long holiday weekend. The one nice thing about that is, I usually can and do get a lot of writing done. I wouldn't say I got a lot of writing done this time, but I got a lot accomplished. I know it doesn't make sense, but trust me, I did.

I'm still working steadily on VN2, still aiming for that end of October do or die deadline with an iron fisted determination. I'm well over 40K on the word count now and that puts me at least half way there. I used this past weekend to read through the entire manuscript as it stands now, fixed a few continuity problems and a couple of minor POV issues. (My poor editor, Cyn, is about ready to throttle authors who have POV issues...) I've also tweaked up the event outline and will continue to as I work through this, tossing out elements tthat no longer work and adding in those that make the overall story stronger.

If I hang in tight and keep to my schedule, I should be able to turn it over to my trusted writing partner at the end of October for her to tear apart and show me where I need to fix it. Then it's off to my editor at Lyrical, no later than end of November, preferrably sooner.

January I'll no longer have the second job. That means I can unshelf Then and Now (Mark and Josh 2) and get moving on Melody Blue (Holly and Dennis). And get back to researching for Imperial City, my Vietnam War story set during Tet 1968 in the beautiful city of Hue.

Lost and Found seems to be doing okay. I just made the investment for some advertising and hope that pays off. I haven't stumbled over any new reviews- good, bad or indifferent.

So that's the state of Gwenna at this point. Just riviting, wasn't it?