Sunday, November 1, 2009

First day of's 2009 challenge

The challenge is to write the first draft of a complete 50,000-word novel in November. I signed up again. I couldn't do it last year because I was taking an ASU course that consumed 15-20 hours a week for homework, for one course. Not to mention mentoring my classmates, which was a part of the course -- to exchange papers, etc.

This year, no classes. It's not just that I don't have time for writing fiction when I am taking university courses, but the course at ASU, Technical Editing, was so lame that the textbook was from 1992, the instructor was unavailable for most of the time (caught up in her own drama), and I also figured out that by the time I get my degree, according to the number of classes I am allowed to take for a discount, that it would take me 10 years to get my degree, coincidentally when I reach retirement age. I tried to retool the education goals by going for a professional writing certificate but ASU laid off the teachers I needed and apparently canceled the professional writing certificate program. Subsequent phone calls to ASU went unanswered, as did e-mails. I tried to get an NAU professor to talk to me about it, but never got anywhere there, either. They don't offer ANY of the courses I want at NAU. Oh well. There will apparently not be a degree for me, however, when I get $5,000 (hubby says I CANNOT get a loan -- we have a deal with each other that we will never borrow money for education, cars, or even a mortgage) then I will take a July off and get my professional publishing certificate from the University of Denver Publishing Institute, if they'll have me as a student. *crosses fingers*

I have an editing job during the day; I write novels at night and on the weekends. I'm finding balance in it. I learn so much from editing scholarly work that I am not joking when I say I'm getting a free education at work.

Today's (Sunday, Nov 1) haul of Nanowrimo words -- a six-hour spurt of writing -- netted me 6,032 words. I started the prologue with an up arc that leads to the story's climax, then I am going to start Chapter 1 tomorrow as a flashback. I've been studying mystery structure, although my story elements also contain romance and adult familial relationships. I'm going to have a murder, economic realities, second chances at love, grizzly bears gone really wild (you'll see), horses behaving badly, Montana sapphires, truffle hunting, and an undercurrent of environmental issues as a thread throughout.

My story takes place in western Montana, where I actually fell in love with a place in May 2001 -- the Glacier National Park area. I have many good things to say about Montana in my novel, which I am researching thoroughly.

Tomorrow is going to be crazy at work. Well, first I have a mammogram at 8 a.m.. I'll run to work and start editing a new project from a young and enthusiastic professor whose project is intriguing and unique. Rather than a literature review of the research of others, she went into an inner city situation and did a certain kind of ethnology research that may be unprecedented -- I can't really give details, but I feel privileged to edit her book manuscript. She's young and vivacious and she knows how to express ideas. And, she seems to love a metaphor -- a gal after my own heart! When I say it will be crazy, that's because I have three other editing projects at the same time. Ack! One of them was unexpected.

I'll be writing my November novel in the evenings, Monday through Friday. More tomorrow! Montana Man is the working title.

I'm having trouble with's slow site. I hope to log on tomorrow night and have an easier time of searching for buddies and using the forums.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Book Review: Moon Dance by J.R. Rain (*****) [A review by Eve Paludan]

Book Review: Moon Dance by J.R. Rain (*****) [A review by Eve Paludan]

Moon Dance by J.R. Rain is a brilliant urban fantasy novel with engaging characters, witty dialogue, a page-turning plot, and clever subplots that unfurl like a well-paced movie in your mind.

The protagonist, Samantha Moon, is a smart and beautiful private investigator who hasn't aged a day in six years. She can kick butt in a street fight or in a boxing ring. An ex-federal agent for HUD, Sam is also a vampire who likes her steak rare, and, is married and the mother of two school-age children who have a relentless penchant for sibling rivalry.

When someone sends Sam a medallion that her attacker wore, six years ago when she became a vampire, she wants to find her attacker. This has to take the back burner for the moment, as she has a P.I. assignment to find out who shot her hunky client in the head multiple times. By the way, he lived.

Sam is a busy mom who hates going outside in the daytime, and a wife who suspects that her beloved husband is straying -- Add to this cast: an apologetic vampire hunter, a sexy, helpful urban werewolf, some cop friends, and an internet friend who falls in love with her words. Sam's adventures include testing her vampire powers and supernatural limitations, and the inner quest to validate that the goodness of humanity is still inside of her. (You just gotta love a vampire heroine who worries that her supernatural status might render her automatically evil.)

This is a book full of humor, rather than horror, and a woman's self-examination of a new unchosen immortal lifestyle.

Moon Dance is the witty and intelligent journey of a vampire who loves her kids and wonders if God still loves her. She barely has a pulse, she's whiter than a goth girl, she doesn't reflect in a mirror, and she has a heart as big as Orange County, the urban setting of the novel.

If you like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, be prepared to love J. R. Rain's Samantha Moon, vampire private investigator. Sparkling dialogue, page-turning action, and superlative characters will leave you wanting to see more from the pen of J.R. Rain. I know I do!

Moon Dance is a must read. I gave it five out of five stars. J.R. Rain has more novels coming. Stay tuned for more from this talented author!


The book will soon be on Amazon.

Monday, January 5, 2009

43 Things

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm an
Extroverted Self-Knowing Builder

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Resolutions

1. Lose weight and get in serious shape. For good, this time! I've done it before, so I know I can do it again! (I have a long way to go, again...)

2. Write and publish at least three more novels, two short stories, and some magazine articles.
3. Build up my freelance editing business.
4. Sell our house. (I took a job in another city and the house has been on the market for awhile.)
5. Read at least 100 books this year. Review at least one a month.
6. Get out my watercolors and use them. Ditto, the camera!
7. Sew some new clothing. I have in mind a line of comfy spring clothes and accessories for myself: cloth shopping bags and handbags, drawstring pants, and breezy skirts and funky tops made from other clothes or fabric from the thrift store. I am all about recycling and going green!
8. Network with other authors in similar genres and do cross promotion of our books.
9. A blog a day, if possible, with my photos and art, etc. I want it to be interesting, informative, and aesthetically pleasing.
10. Finish what I start. Who else has lots of unfinished novels in the works? *raises hand meekly*
11. This summer, visit my sis in California to hang out at the beach, read naughty books and Cosmo mags, eat avocados, and swim laps in her pool.
12. I agree about creating a legacy. I'm feeling the need to really expand my creativity and leave my literary and artistic mark. It must be that midlife thing nibbling at me!
13. Laugh, live, discover, grow.

-- Eve