October 1999

October 1, 1999: I chose a really different design for October. I'm also going to try target linking from the main page to specific dates on this page so I won't have different pages for each day, yet you can visit a particular date.

I've started receiving a Fitness magazine (one of those gimmick things from credit cards or something) and I read an article on the benifits of running. It said that people who regularly do aerobic excersize are more creative thinkers than those who don't. My creativity level in the last few weeks has been zilch, so I'd best get to doing something. :)

If nothing happens EGII will begin progress on Monday. I'm taking the weekend to catch up on some other things as well as get my mind into writing gear again. I can't believe it's been two months since I've written anything new. August I spent editing a story for OnSpec (the one that recently was rejected) and September I spent vacationing and then being busy catching up on after vacation stuff as well as tons of other things been going on. You know, life. ;)

Tomorrow I shall write one of the funny things that happened on our vacation. So, tune in tomorrow for the story of the white bare. ;) TTFN!

October 2, 1999: Last night after I posted a lot happened. I got Drazil out for a while and even put him on his leash and went outside for a while. He tried to eat some grass and I guess he didn't like it. Here's a current picture of him that I've been meaning to upload. Here's another one of him trying to be fierce.

He scratched up my arms so badly (my fault for not clipping his claws like I knew they desparately needed) that I decided to put him in the bathtub and start dinner. I origionally planned to clean his cage before eating, but I decided to let all the scratches clot so they wouldn't get any germs in them. I scrubbed them and put every medicene in the house on them. His cage hadn't been cleaned in so long I was afraid what might have been on those claws. Anyway, so I started dinner, pork cube steaks, rutabagas, and brocolli. I started peeling the rutabagas since they needed cooking the longest. I washed and peeled the first one and was just about to finish it. Basically lets say I tried to peel my fingernail off as well. At first I thought it just damaged the nail a bit, then I realized that it had cut the nail. Straight down through the quick and then most of the way across. Not too bad considering. James came home just then (he'd been out of town all day) and I showed him my big booboo and flashed some pouty eyes. He finished most of the dinner (I fried up the pork chops) AND cleaned Drazil's cage for me. He's so sweet!I'm having difficulty typing with it, it's the finger over the 'd' key. I'm learning how to train the fingers around it to do it's job and it's very hard.

Anyway, about the white bare. I'm starting with this story because nothing very eventful happened before this particular day. We'd left Sunday night and spent the majority of the time until Wednesday morning driving. We stopped to see mount rushmore, Bear Country U.S.A. (I'll talk about this another time), needles highway (some neat rock formations there) and devil's tower along the way though. Thursday is the day of the white bare, moose and horseback ride. So there's stories for today, tomorrow and Monday if I get time those two days to post.

Wednesday we got to yellowstone. Nothing much eventfull happened then. Since we had a steak dinner horseback ride planned Thursday evening, we decided to do one long hike near our campground area that morning so we wouldn't be driving all over the park and be late for the ride. We chose the cascade lake trail. 2.5 miles (I believe it was) one way. Plus we parked at the campground visitor center so it was about a 1/2 mile extra one way. The trail was beautiful, winding around the feet of several mountains and in and out of meadows. When we got to the lake, we sat down and had a picnic near some fallen trees, about 50 feet from the lake shore. There was a small rise from the shore, so we couldn't actually see the edge of the water. While we ate we watched an osprey hunt over the waters. It would dive down to the water and swoop back up again. It never caught anything while we watched, but was still facinating to see. I wished I'd had a zoom lens camera to capture it on film. We were just about to finish up, just lazily sitting and munching on peanuts or something, when I looked up to the lake. There, suddenly risen out of the lake, was a man whom I could see from the knees up. I quickly looked back down and asked, "Uh, James, is that man naked or wearing a bikini thing?" I pointed in the direction I was referring to. From the distance we were I couldn't tell if the dark patch in his crotch was clothing or hair. "He's naked alright." We laughed at this and I said, "He must be a foreigner, you know all those nude beaches in France or something." James said, "Well, there's something you can write about in your journal; you can tell everyone you saw a white bare, b a r e." :)

Tomorrow about the moose scare. TTFN!

October 3, 1999: I've been spending a good deal of time with Drazil everyday to tame him and it seems he's getting worse. Before this week, he'd only bitten me twice in the two years that I've had him. This week he's bitten me twice already and those two were Friday and Saturday. I refuse to give up though. A guy at a pet store who's owned iguanas before said ten minutes a day for three months. If that doesn't work, then he just can't be tamed. I've got two weeks down already and it's not looking good. I didn't take every day with him the first week, but I believe I've gotten him out everyday this past week.

My finger is doing much better. I can type with it now! It's amazing what leaving the bandaid off for one night will do. Just from doing that last night, it's 80% better today.

I have no idea how I'm going to start writing tomorrow. I'm also planning on excercising more so that my brain will function better. It's been mush lately, can't think about anything. I had to use paper for some simple math problems. Tomorrow night we have to go out of town too. So my day will pretty much be going to work, going out of town, then coming home and going to bed. But, I'm considering going to bed early, getting up at 5, excercising and having an hour to write before work. We'll see.

James just came home and he said a storm is on it's way, so I'd best hurry and get to tonights story.

The Moose. On our way to the lake in the hike I talked about yesterday, some people told us that some moose were sitting just inside the tree line in a meadow up ahead. When we got to the meadow, we looked and looked and couldn't find any moose. We were just about to reach the lake when some people came from the lake and told us that they'd seen people looking in a particular direction. We backtracked with them and discovered where they were. Four magnificent male moose. One huge one, one just a bit smaller and the other two perfect stair steps smaller. They sat just inside the tree line and occasionally one would stand and graze. We watched them a bit, watched one guy (the one whom later we would find skinny dipping) walk up just about too them. I had the camera ready just incase he got mauled. :) He didn't. :( Heheheh. We finally went on to the lake to have our picnic. When we decided to leave, we were just about to the spot where the moose were and we watched them very carefully. Then something happened that scared me something awful: the moose stood up and took some steps in our direction. Then they stopped and looked right at us. My heart was pounding at this point and I said, "James what do we do?" I was ready to run. "Stop, stand really still and get the camera." The camera! I was scared to death and did as I was told, but I thought, 'The camera, who cares about the camera, we're probably about to be stampeded by those huge moose!' As we watched, they turned and went in front of us. Here's the picture I snapped as soon as the camera was out and ready. Our camera makes things look really small. We got those back and both James and I said, "They were closer than that!" So anyway, the moose crossed the meadow in front of us. Now there had been a back country camper near the lake, a man and his young son (about ten I'd guess). They took down their tent and began hiking back down the trail in front of us. The moose looked like they were heading right for them. They were completely oblivious to what was happening. I told James that they needed to know what was coming their way, so tried to whistle to them. I was too nervous to do it right, so I hollered to them, "Look out." They turned around and I could see their mouths drop open. The boy grabbed his camera and started shooting pictures of them too. I snapped another picture after I hollered. Then they picked up a bit of speed and went into the trees at the other end of the meadow. Here's the third picture that I took. The other hikers waited for us to catch up and spoke to us. "Man that was incredable!" was the first thing out of the guys mouth. I asked them how close they were and they said about fifteen feet. I'd say we were about thirty or fourty feet and that was close enough! Everyone we talked to after that didn't really believe that we saw four males together like that, especially since it was right before mating season. But we did and we have the pictures to prove it! Actually, now that I seriously look at the pictures, you can't see the fourth one because it was tagging along behind, it was the smallest. But, three moose are impressive as well.

Well, I hope you liked reading about our moose encounter. Tomorrow, if there's time, I'll tell about our horseback ride! Believe me, it was even more terrifying than the thought of getting trampled by four moose.

October 4, 1999: I cannot believe how fast the counter is rolling on the index page! Last night when I got on to update it was in the 130's, then an hour later it was 183! In one hour! It's already over 200 today. It makes me feel good to know that people are visiting here and reading (at least I hope they are reading and not refreshing the index page for me). :)

I was out of bed at 5 this morning, went for a brisk 1.5 mile walk (a bit of a jog, over 1/4 mile in there), nearly got rained on. It sprinkled on the way home, then poured about 6:30 or so. I spent 6-7 on EGII and basically worked out characters. I spent a majority of the time choosing a name for the leading man. I don't know if I'm stalling or just wanting the perfect name.

Ok, before I babble on too much longer: The horseback ride. On the way to the northeast area of the park, we passed Tower Falls. Since we arrived to the corral early, we decided to go the five or so miles back to tower falls and hike down. Here's the view from above. Really some gourgous falls. It was a long winding path down and the entire way down, I dreaded going back up. It was worth the view though. We were in a hurry on the way up, but I just couldn't make it. My lungs are out of shape, my body is out of shape, not to mention the altitude problems. (I live at about 800 feet above sea level and yellowstone is around 8000 feet above sea level). I had trouble the entire trip trying to climb even the slightest incline.

Anyway, I finally huffed and puffed my way to the top and we were only five or ten minutes late. It didn't matter, we had to wait about ten minutes anyway for the group ahead of us. After the mandatory safety speech, we lined up to get our horses. I believe they looked us over and picked horses that we needed according to our size. I'd never been in a trail riding group of this size, so I'd never seen this done before. Usually, they see us coming and pick out the horses for us while we're filling out forms and such. They gave James a draft horse named Sonny. We have a picture but Sonny was shy and didn't want his picture taken and James said that he didn't want to pose for another one. The horse they gave me was a nice looking one, not a draft horse, but not dainty either. Here's us posing for the camera. There was about twenty in the group, so it took a while for everyone to get on their horses and get adjusted in their saddles. If I knew then what I knew by the end of the ride, I would have shifted my saddle. When I got on, it pulled my leg awkwardly and put too much pressure on my knee.

We were finally on our way, at a snails pace. We were at one end of a long valley, probably about a mile long. Our destination was the far end. When I'm on a trail ride, I like to feel like I have some control, instead of simply plodding along behind the person in front of me. So, I like to stop my horse and then urge him into a fast walk or a trot. I did this the entire 45 minutes to the far end of the valley. Stanley didn't like it too well, but he minded. I did have to pull back on the reins a bit since he tended to run some.

I must interject here and say that I don't like to be on a horse while it is running. When I was about 12 or 13, I went on a horseback ride with my sister. We started running the horses. This was my first time being in control of a horse and I was very unsure of myself. When we started to run, I just held on the best I could and let the horse have the reins. What happened while we were running became a blur to me, but what I think happened was that the horse, Sundance, tripped in a hole. His front legs went down and then he rolled over on his side. Rolled over- with my leg underneath. I think it dislocated because when I stretched my leg out, it popped and felt somewhat better. I had a huge 'goose egg' swelling on the inside of my knee and the bruise lasted a year. It was kinda neat- there was a perfectly round white circle in the center of the bruise. I looked at the saddle where my knee was resting and there was a decorative design there. I thought that was neat the way it imprinted my leg. My knee is fine now, I did some personal therapy on it a few years ago when I tried step aerobics and noticed a weakness in it.

Back to the most recent horseback ride- So, we made it to the far end of the valley, with a buffalo watching from a nearby hill. I was ready to get off the horse and stretch my legs as well as put something in my tummy. They had an area set up with a grill and tables everywhere. We had to wait a while for the two-hour horseback riders to get there and for the food to finish. The dinner was good, steak, beans, rolls and watermelon. There was more food than that, but I can't remember what it was. There was also dinner music, a man walked around singing country songs, and I think he played a gitar. After we ate, one of the trail guides got up and gave a history of the valley. (For length sake, I'll not include it) During his talk a coyote came into the area. The guide said that the coyote had been showing up for the last eight nights in a row. Of course, his entire audience was lost to the coyote, so it took a while for him to finish his history talk. I guess they were all cleaning up or something because it took a while for us to get back on the horses. It was getting dark and I was anxious to get going so we could rest for the night, it had been a long day.

About ten minutes on the way back to the corral, we were all talking and having a good time. I don't remember what our conversation was at the time of the 'incident', but we had been talking to the guides, asking them where they were from and how long they had been working at the corral. One guy was from Australia, if I remember correctly, and the woman from Montana. Anyway, I was about the third or fourth horse from the end. Suddenly, about five horses back from the leader, a horse spooked and caused a chain reaction all the way back. James was in front of me and he gained control fairly quickly. My horse took about two or three steps. I remember thinking, 'Get control of that horse and stay on, what ever you do, stay on!' My foot came out of the stirrup and I pannicked, but very soon after that, Stanley stopped. We had turned to the right in the process and out of the corner of my eye, I saw one woman wasn't so lucky. Her horse took a few more steps off the trail than mine and I watched her fall to the ground. I think she landed on her sholder and then summersaulted to her hip. I heard her make an "Ohhhhh" moan and knew she was hurt. I don't know how I knew, but I know that sound means, "I'm hurt really badly." It's kind of a shock thing, I have no idea how I know that or where I've heard it before, but it's just something I know. Anyway, so the very first thing the trail guides did was make sure every one was ok. When they discovered a woman down, the Aussie guy was off his horse in a second with radio in hand. They seemed efficient like they knew how to handle the situation, but I still sensed a feeling of, "Oh, no, what do we do." As we started back, I saw the coyote very near. Several people asked if it was the coyote. If it had been low in the grass, it might have spooked the horses in the dim light. The one guide leading us back said no. Oh, I forgot to mention, the Aussie guy and the injured woman's husband stayed behind and they got an ambulance to get the woman.

We plodded back very slowly. Stanley was acting very strange. I realized I was holding the reins very tight, so I relaxed them a bit. He stopped. Then when he did go, he wanted to flat out run. I held him back and he shook his head, refusing to stop running. He did this twice and I was in near tears because of the way he was acting. I was about to holler at the guide and ask if I could walk back. I got myself undercontrol and mentioned to James what was going on. He asked me if I had taken the time to calm Stanley down. I hadn't. I was so concerned about the woman lying on the ground, praying that we'd make it back safely, praying thanks that it wasn't me lying there, and just genuinely scared, that I hadn't even thought about Stanley. I calmed him down and he did much better. He only stopped one more time, but that was to drop a pile. :)

The guide stopped the entire group several times to make sure we were all together since we didn't have a guide at the end. Once she stopped right before a small hill and we all had to go down slow. The guide emphasised this. The last thing we needed was for a horse to trip or injure itself on top of everything else. By the time we came within sight of the corral, it was pretty dark and I was in constant prayer that we would make it all the way to the corral. I have never in my life been soooo eager to get off a horse! I was ready for the night to be over. My stomach was in knots and I was so nervous I thought I'd be sick. Even the entire way back to the campsite I was white-knuckling the door. I didn't sleep well that night either, but by the next morning I did feel better. I called the corral to find out how the woman was doing and they had no clue. They said, "The ambulance took her to the hospital and that's all we know." I thought, how cold. A woman gets hurt on your trail ride and you don't even check up on how badly she was hurt! If I had known her name, I might have called the hospitals to see how she was doing.

Well that's our nightmarish horseback ride. I don't know how long it will be before I get on a horse again, but I do plan to ride again, just not at night. :)

Tomorrow, baby bears at Bear Country U.S.A. TTFN. :)

October 5, 1999: Whew! That was a long entry yesterday! Plus, I got cut off the internet right before I was finishing up for lunch and I think that caused some problems. I was about half-way through when I had to go back to work, so I put a little note saying so, that I'd finish this evening. It appeared to have saved it fine. When I came that evening, the latter half of this entire file was missing, including some of what I had written on my lunch break. I even had to re-add the links at the bottom of the page. I learned my lesson, from now on, I'm saving a copy of this file on my hard drive. Plus, later that night, I realized I hadn't uploaded the pictures. There was some problem with one of them, so I had to re-save the picture from the Wal-mart disk on my hard drive and re-upload it. Then that one worked fine, but then I noticed that the other three pictures would say, "The file is there, but empty". That was really wierd. So, I had to re-upload them. Then I noticed that two of the pictures were flipped wrong (I thought the Wal-mart disk program would save them the way I turned them, I was wrong). So, rather than ask you all to turn your monitors sideways, I flipped them and re-uploaded them. ::sigh::

So, I hope you don't mind, today I'm taking a break from the stories and pictures. There's not much to tell about Bear Country U.S.A, just some cute pictures we took. There's at least four pictures I'm thinking of posting and none are on my hard drive. I don't really feel like transfering them today after that mess yesterday.

Worked for an hour on EGII today. I feel strange not jumping in and writing like I thought I could. Over the weekend, I read through the character sketches and the first chapter (which needs to be done from a completely different viewpoint) and I realized that I need a lot more brainstorming work on characters. The main character I feel fairly confident about, what I don't have will come out in just writing. But the 'hero' of the story, I don't know anything about. I've decided to weave in his viewpoint about every other chapter, so I really have to know him better. So, this morning I hand wrote two and a half pages of background history and personality on this guy. I don't like filling out little questionaire forms on characters. The way they come out of me, and come alive, is to free-write about them.

I think I'm really going to go radical on this novel. EGI (the only novel I've written completely) was written headlong beginning to end. I knew the beginning and I knew the ending, the middle just happened as I went along and I never looked back. If I ever had a thought something was wrong, I didn't do anything about it, just kept going. This time, I think I'll let my mind diverge a bit. After each chapter I'll ask myself, 'Is there any way that could be different, better?' If I come up with a different way to put that chapter, I write it. Later I'll come back and decide which is best. Also, I'm just going to let my mind go. Let it wander about the intamite lives of the characters.

I'm reading a novel by one of my recently favorite authors, Lori Wick. She writes amazingly well and I can only hope to be a shadow of that. I'm trying to analyze what makes her writing so supurb. Strong characters (so well written that you can actually see them animate), well-developed plot, dialogue that really moves the story and story lines that are mixed in together. All marks of great literature, and none that I feel I can perform well. My dialogue is short, hurried, only used to convey information rather than just putting it there. Ms. Wick's characters joke with each other, tease, and really show their personality through their dialogue. I don't believe that I do this at all. I want to work on this as well as the other things I mentioned she does so well. I've got my work cut out for me. Oh, and another thing. I picture a book as getting the characters from point A to point B, with few twists and scenes in between. Ms. Wick brings the characters from point A to point Z with so many twists in between you never know how they will ever arrive at their final destination. It takes a lot of work to develop that much. ::sigh:: I'd best get working. :) TTFN!

October 7, 1999: Yesterday was a really full day! I spent some more time freewriting, this time a general outline of the 'hero' story line. In the afternoon, James and I took our walk jog (in keeping with our three times a week regimine). This time I bailed out 3/4ths the way through the second long side of the parking lot. So, we took another lap, jogging the short sides of the parking lot, making a total of two miles, with nearly 1/2 mile jogging. Then we got home, James went to check the mail and I, feeling guilty that we didn't take Z with us, took our doggie a treat.

So that leads me to some good news and some bad news. The good news: I played fetch with Z! I took Paula's wonderful advice and instead of using a stick, I used the 'treat' that I brought for him. His 'treat' was a 'baby shoe' made out of rawhide (he loves them, actually he loves any kind of shoe :) ) We played for a while, actually I think he was playing, 'Keep away from the human'. We played fetch a couple of times then he started walking up to me and when I go to grab it, he'd run about six feet away. Then he'd trot back to me and do it again until I got it from him. :) Then we started wrestling. I don't do that often because something, weather it's the grass or his hair or something else, makes me break out in a rash that's usually gone by the next day. This time I had a small patch on my arms, and my neck was covered. I thoroughly enjoyed 'romping' with him and I know he did too. Just before I left, he bathed my face in slobbery kisses. I think he liked the salt from my sweat after running and then playing with him.

The bad news: After playing with Z, I came in and the first thing James said was, "I love you baby," and he gave me a big hug. Not that there's much unusual about that, but the way he does it and says it, I know something's wrong. Finally I dragged out of him that the insurance company turned us down again. To make a long story short, we wanted to try next year about this time to have a baby. Well, the only insurance in Alabama that sells maternity insurance is this company. We applied and they said because of 4 conditions we were denied. Well, most of these conditions were things that I haven't been treated for in over seven years, including a misdiagnosis that I shouldn't have even mentioned and the fact that I'm nineteen pounds over their maximum weight. So we wrote them back explaining each of them and also saying that we wanted to have children next year so I'm working really hard to get the weight off (so far I've lost at least five pounds). They deny us insurance anyway, only dropping one condition (actually the one that I thought was least likely to be dropped since, other than the weight, is an on-going condition, my back problem), so now I have no clue how we could pay for a baby. I refuse to work after the baby comes, so we have to be financially able for me to stay at home. We're looking into a few other options, but it doesn't look so good. James thinks that it's the weight that's really holding us back, so he thinks that we could re-apply after I lose twenty or so pounds. The thing is the insurance won't cover maternity for one year. I don't want to wait longer than one year. We've been married for 5 1/2 years and I've been (sometimes not so) patiently waiting from the day we married to have children (James asked that I wait five years to give ourselves time, I aggreed, but I still wanted a child).

Anyway, I didn't make that a very short story, did I? :)

I took today off from writing. I woke up at 6 AM to work, and had a sinus headache from all the crying I did last night (it's a bad week for bad news, with PMS on top of it all) so I slept in thinking I could do some at work. Well, at work I had a lot of 'work' to do, since the baby's mother that I sit for will be off tomorrow to go to the beach, so I had to do all the work that I would have done tomorrow as well as today's stuff. I didn't have time for hardly anything. I watched TV, but that was while I folded clothes.

Since I have the day off tomorrow, and the library's open (only open W, Thurs, Fri here) I'll get some research and brainstorming done on EGII. I'd really like to start writing soon. Maybe tomorrow and Saturday I can finish what I need and be ready to start next week. That, actually would be great, since James will be out of town all week. I can even forgive him for being out of town on Monday (my birthday). :) TTFN!

October 10, 1999: Much has happned since my last post. Thursday, James decided to take me to a movie for my birthday. We went to see the Sixth Sense. Very good movie. I'd say a 'must see' of the year. I had no clue about the twist, but on the way home, James and I talked about it and we realized we should have seen it coming. The hints are so subtle. I don't want to give it away, so I'll stop talking about it now. :)

I had the day off Friday and had all these intentions of doing some writing and housework. It was raining nearly all day Friday and Saturday and it just spurned me on to stay curlled up in bed with a book. I finished it in time to take it back to the library ten minutes before closing and got the next two in the series.

Friday night, James decided again to take me to the movies. I had been a bit let down since the one I picked out on the sign to watch wasn't showing Thursday (They had changed it already for friday), so we went back to watch The Blair Witch Project on Friday night. I didn't know much about the film, just that it was supposed to be good and the title intrigued me. The film was good, but both James and I were feeling sickly about halfway through because of the camera bouncing around. I 'watched' the rest of the movie with my eyes closed and only opened them for the night scenes when there was actually something exciting happening. If you ask me, I think the young men set it up to kill that girl. :) (that shouldn't spoil it for anyone, I hope)

I'm not sure if it was just the movie or if it was the cold that had been building up all week, but during and after the movie I really felt bad. I felt like I did when I had pnemonia about two years ago. Just to sit up in the movie seat made me feel like I'd pass out. The whole day Saturday I spent in bed reading again, this time to get over the cold. My nose was clear, which was drastically different from last weekend. But this time my throat ached all day (not just in the mornings like it did last week) and my ear canals hurt. Plus I felt a bit achy all over (probably from laying in bed Friday). I took heavy doses of vitamin C and drank fruit juice all day Saturday. This morning I felt some better, but I still have a touch of a sore throat.

I finished the two books that I got from the library on Friday. Sometimes I get on a kick and I just can't stop reading. I was up till 4 this morning reading when I finally said enough. It only took me an hour this afternoon to finish that second book. I've never been able to finish a book as fast as I can Lori Wick's. It's increadable. (I take that back, I read "Seven of Nine" by Christie Golden about that fast)

I finally got around to doing some writing stuff this afternoon. I'm excited with what I've come up with. Erin Glen II will become Erin Glen III. I've decided to take a character from the first book and write his story as EGII, then go to the next generation and write EGIII. I will however continue with EGIII now, since I'm ready to write it. There probably will be revisions on it, however, when EGII is written since things might change and EGII's chracter is going to play a role in EGIII. It's getting confusing, I know. I also worked out some time problems with historical facts and I think I've got them straight. My outline has been altered. Instead of knowing the beginning and knowing the end, I've moved the end to after the beginning. So now I need and ending, but I'll get to that as I write along, I'm good at that. I'm so anxious to get started, I may actually work on chapter 1 tonight. Like I've said before, I'm going to do this really different and just let my mind go. Another thing I want to work on is using more dialogue, let the characters interact more and let the conversations move the story along. I do too much telling and not enough showing (I've felt that for a while now, and it's been confirmed by some editors rejecting my stories.

James left to go out of town for the week, so I'm hoping that I'll get in 2k a day. We'll see. TTFN!

October 12, 1999: My birthday was fairly quiet yesterday. My mom and my sister called, which was great, but it took away my writing time. It was really my fault for putting writing off until the last thing in the evening. I was slightly upset when James didn't call until 1 AM. He forgot to call me! Grrr! I was kinda worried about him since he was supposed to call around 10, so I didn't get to sleep until 11:30.

I still got up at 5, like I promised myself this morning. Had a great excersise time with Z. He was wonderful this morning, hardly tugging at all. My morning irratibility caused me to whap him pretty hard with the chain when he tried to drag me along. I felt sorry for him when he yelped pretty loudly, but he was wonderful the rest of the time. All I had to do was shake the chain a bit to threaten him and he obeyed. I went a total of two miles, with two sets of 1/4 mile each of jogging. I was really surprised at how well my endurance did compared to last time.

I got quite a bit of writing done on EGIII today, 2400 words. Chapters 1 and 2 are done, but much shorter than I'd like, around 1k each. I don't suppose that's bad, but I'd like to clear 60k this time.

I promised myself a short post so I could get to bed and get up by 5 again tomorrow, so TTFN!

October 13, 1999: Up at five again this morning. It felt wonderful to get out and get awake by walking and jogging. Not a soul seemed to be stirring and it seemed so peaceful in the pre-dawn hour. :) Z was very obedient again, but not quite as good as yesterday. Had one bad experience where I accidently dropped the leash and he went running off for a minute or two. Then it took another minute to get him to obey again. I don't know what got into him, he was acting strangely even before I dropped the leash. He acted strangely again on the way back at the same spot. I have a sneaky suspision that there was a girl doggie in the area. We were right by some appartments and I'm pretty sure they have a pet policy. We'll see if the same thing happens tomorrow in that spot.

I had to fight to get the words out of me today, but I got 1000 written on EG3 today. I got some critiques on chapter one already and I guess it got me a bit discouraged. I should say 'a critique'. I really should learn not to let these things get to me. I'm also realizing, though, that my style of writing is not the way I want to write. I have three favorite authors in this area (two published and one is not) and they all have a similar style. I wish I could write that way, but no matter how hard I try, it comes out the same way. I don't know if I should fight it, or not. Maybe it would make me grow as an author or maybe it would make me worse, who knows?

I do know one thing, I'm not going to quit writing over this. I'm not a quitter (on most things anyway) and I'm going to give this all I've got. TTFN!

October 14, 1999: I feel much better than yesterday. I got two good critiques, one woman said, "You write very well....I hope to write as well as you do one day. I really think you have a lot of talent." Another said, "Your heart seems to be well adapted to write this sort of hearth and home adaptation to the human experience." Oh, they did have a few things to help me improve, good things too, not just grammar or spelling problems. I know I shouldn't let my feelings about writing stem from reader's critiques, but they said such good things. :)

Went out again at 5 AM, this time I felt the need to push it and jog faster. I paced my self well at the beginning, but the last thirty feet or so I nearly broke into a flat out run. Made my leg muscles hurt for the first time since I started back two weeks ago.

Pushed out 1300 words today. That broght me to the end of chapter four. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about the chapter lengths or not. I am going back through them each day and adding more to them as I think of things to add. Yesterday I added 600 words that squeezed in chapters 1 and 2. Today I squeezed in 100 and then became frustrated that it took me one hour to add 100 words, so I went back to working where I had left off. Chapter 4 turned out to be unexpectedly well. I really didn't know what to do with the chapter when I started it. The character arrived in town and I was like, now what. Things just kept clicking into place until I had the entire chapter and accomplished what I wanted the character to accomplish as well. Writing is an adventure sometimes. :)

Good bit of news today, I got a new pair of shoes! I know, that's just terribly exciting. :) No, the neat part about it is this. See, I had mentioned to my boss (the baby's mother that I babysit) that it was my birthday. I guess she was looking for little hints on what she could get me. Well, most mornings I arrive while she's still getting ready for work. So, I make conversation with her. This morning I mentioned how my shoes were uncomfortable and made blisters since I've been jogging. She brought home a pair of Avia Crosstrainers for me for my birthday! They fit well, nice and roomy in the toes like I like 'em. I can't wait to try them out jogging tomorrow morning! Which reminds me, I was going to do another short post and go to bed early for a change (it's only 9:20 now!). TTFN!

October 18, 1999: I expected James to come home Friday between 12-2. He called Thursday night at midnight. We talked for a few minutes, then he said, "So, are you going to come unlock the door and let me in or not?" Tehhehe, I had the chain lock on and he was next door at the church building. Talk about big surprise. :)

Friday morning Z and I went for a walk again. It was so cul, in the morning stillness. About fourty feet ahead of us, a huge deer came out of the woods near the road and walked across. It was silouetted in the streetlight and it was so serene looking I had to slow my pace and watch. Z didn't notice at first, then when he did, he didn't bark or growl, but he did tug the leash wanting to get to it. :)

::sigh:: I've realized that the EG series needs much more research. It's frustrating doing a historical romance. So, I'm acting like I'm still writing and spending that 1-2 hours a day in research. I'm making some headway, but until I get some things from the library on interlibrary loan, I can't get the bulk of it done. The series has also expanded from 4 books to 6, pushing Erin's Glen from 3rd to 4th. The third one is the one I'm really excited about right now, the main character will become a soldier at a western fort. The bad part is, that's all I know about it. I'm drawing a blank whenever I try to think of what happens, who he falls in love with, etc. The same thing is true with the second one. I really feel that I need to write them in order, since I'm using many of the characters as I go along and it would be easier to create the characters from the beginning, if you catch what I mean. I'm frustrated because this means that I won't get writing right away, like I hoped. My goal was to have another novel written this year and to have more than 100,000 words. So, this is really been a frustrating weekend.

Also, since the research for it will be less, I'm also researching my contemporary inspirational romance novel, 'Silver Star'. Which ever one is ready to write first will be written first I suppose. I just hope it's soon, I'm soooo ready to be writing a novel on a regular daily basis. TTFN!

October 20, 1999: Went out in drizziling rain this morning. It was great! I had on a sweatshirt and didn't even feel wet. As per our routine, I sat on the back steps and gave Z a good scratching and in return he got me all muddy. Imagine this: a nearly 50 pound dog trying to climb into my lap. He's so silly. :) Then at one point, he stood on the step above me and put his feet on the back of my neck and just looked around, as if he thought the scenery was better from there or something. Then we played fetch, er, keep away from the human. :)

I'm so glad I'm doing a good job keeping up jogging. I went five times last week and three times so far this week. I'm trying to go M-F and then break for Sat and Sun. I didn't break for two days last week, I went Sunday morning. I'm looking forward to the break this time, I have blisters on the back of my heel and they need some time to heal. I've tried everything from bandaids to double socks. They don't hurt much anymore, but they ooze some everytime I'm out.

The Erin Glen series is coming along well. I'm not doing anymore research right now, just letting what I have done settle a bit. I plan to read choice sections from the book on America from birth to 1865 (wish I'd paid more attention in college), and will also study in depth the books on Wyoming when I get them. What I do know, is that EG 2 will be called, 'Tara's Heart' and EG 3 is 'Sean's Love'. I know the very basics about each one, not an entire outline, but it is coming along.

Gonna head to bed early again tonight, these early mornings are beginning to make it difficult to get out of bed.

October 28, 1999: Lots-o-neat stuff happened yesterday. The books I ordered Sunday night from Amazon.com (which they mailed out Monday) arrived yesterday! I got three writing books: 1) Write a Novel (and get it published) by Nigel Watts, 2) Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress, and 3) The writer's guide to the Wild West by Candy Moulton. The first book is for an internet class I'll be taking in November. I wanted to get a head start reading it, since I'm usually behind in the class readings. The second one has been recomended to me by a writer friend for a long time and I've finally gotten it. I've read the introduction on it and the first two chapters of Mr. Watts book and I can already tell that they are going to be very helpful books. Both stressing that writing is an art that has to be taught from the self, not from any outside form. The last book, the writer's guide, is my second of that type (the first being the writer's guide to Renaisannse England). I was ecstatic to find that the author had autographed my copy! I know that's not really much to get excited about, but I thought it was pretty neat. Never had that happen before.

Good news to relate: I've lost ten pounds in the month and a half that I've cut sugar, milk products, breads and noodles from my diet. Honestly, I don't miss them. I feel great too. And no, I'm not on that Atkin's protein diet that everyone's talking about. Actually I eat very little meat, it's probably only 10% of my diet. I eat some every day, but mostly I eat fruits and vegetables. I do start the day with a good bowl of oatmeal, but that's the only grain that I eat (rice occasionally). I've been excersizing for nearly four weeks now too. The first week was three times, then four times the next week and then five times. I go Monday through Friday. I'm loving it! I go down to a nearby parking lot, 1/2 mile there, 1/2 mile around. I've worked up to jogging a long side, a short side and half a long side at once, then walking fast to the next long side and jogging it. So I get total 1/2 mile jogging. Next week I'll do the same, then I'll increase it to finish the long side, then another short side and do that for two weeks. then I'm planning on doing a full 1/2 mile in one set for two weeks. I also walk an extra lap around (a fast walk) so total I go 2.5 miles daily.

Today on the way home I saw the bats out again. I hadn't noticed them for a while, I think because it had gotten cold and now it's warmed up a bit again. There's something very intruiguing about a bat to me. The way it flutters as it flies-it's facinating. Maybe that's one of the reasons that people have written about them so often throughout history. Another animal that I saw on TV this week was a barn owl. It was on Going Wild with Jeff Corwin. He said, "Just imagine being a new settler, out hoeing your field, the sun is setting and you see this creature." (Not word for word) He went on to say that because of it's ghostly-human like appearance that the barn owl played a part in many ghost tales of the west. Cul.

Oh, I did 700 words on Silver Star this week. I stopped writing and didn't go any further because it was too much telling. Today I re-worked the section to start off with some more action. I haven't typed it up yet since it was just on my little notebook I keep in my purse for when the muse hits, so I don't know how long the re-worked section is.

I'm planning on writing more entries here in the future. I can't believe it's been just over a week since my last entry. Life is just flying by...

Maybe I'll write some about what I'm learning in my new books. There are some great quotable sections in there and Mr. Watts' book uses some quotes from famous authors.

Time to hit the showers! TTFN!

October 30, 1999: Darth Maul and Blue just came to my door. Heheheh. I like Halloween.

A friend e-mailed me this site. It is sooo cute!

I can't believe, in all my excitement about those new books, that I forgot to mention that I recieved a package from my mom for my birthday, too. On the same day! Thanks mom, even if it was late. :)

Speaking of those books, I read about three chapters today, one in one book and two in another. My brain is on overload. So much good stuff in there it's going to take me a while to process it. I read one chapter on plot and two on the opening two scenes. I'm learning a lot about why my stories fail, why editors don't like them. They aren't structured well. Once my brain settles down, I'll re-read the chapter on plot and hopefully it will sink in and I can start applying it to my writing.

I did do one of the 'try this' sort of things. In Mr. Watts book, he suggests numbering a page 1-20 and filling it with the events in the novel you're trying to plot. He says if you get at least twenty events, you should have a full length novel. I tried this with Silver Star. I got 1-30 done before I got stumped, BUT I was briefly describing each SCENE, not major events. I had James look at it and he said, you've got a great five chapter's worth. Which is exactly as I feared when I asked him to look at it. I'm hoping that chapter on plot will help, once I digest it well.

In other writerly news, I e-mailed an owner of a recording studio today. I basically asked him if he or anyone at his studio would be willing to answer my questions concerning a novel in which a character becomes a famous rock star in. I hope to e-mail a few others once I find some more suitable.

Took today off from walk/jogging. It's driving me crazy! I've gotten so used to going every day when I go for five days in a row. I want to get out and do something! But I know my muscles need a break too. It's just so frustrating when you really want to do something.

I've caught up a bit on web journals this week.
Erin- Thanks for the praise on my journal. I try. :) Sorry about all your computer problems this past week. I know how that goes. I learned a long time ago to at least save to a disk and not on your computer. There was a writer in a group I was in. She had an awesome novel (I read the first two parts of it and they had to be over 150 k by themselves and I didn't even finish reading the third part), and she lost the entire thing to her computer crashing. She had to write the whole thing by memory! I said I'd never let that happen to me. I do need to make back ups of my disks though. James just had one of his disks suddenly get wiped out for no apperant reason. I do have old copies of my novel on the computer, complete, but missing many minor spelling/grammar changes. So it wouldn't be too bad of a loss, but still.
Caroline- England for your honeymoon! How wonderful! Please post some pictures!
Chiara- I've had similar neck/back problems. I go to a chiropractor and it's amazing the difference it makes. I still have minor problems, but I can handle them. When I first went to the chiropracter I was in tears constantly with neck pain. You should consider it. Oh, and never have back surgery. Everyone I've ever known who have had it, said it was always worse after surgery and my chiropractor says the same thing.

Well, I guess I've been on this 'puter over an hour just updating this page. It's time to go, I've got more to do today and today is slowly fading away. :) TTFN!

October 31, 1999:

Happy Halloween!

I'm going to a Masquarade Chat Party with a writer's group I'm in tonight. They have one every year. I wonder why I didn't go last year? I've been in the group for more than a year. This should be fun. I'll let you know tomorrow, that is, if I have time to post. It'll be a busy day. TTFN!

Oh, P.S.- I spent about 6 hours updating this website, looking for graphics and creating 4 new pages yesterday. Check these out: Erin Glen, Kisses From Heaven, and Silver Star. The descriptions of each novel were hurriedly put together, so I may take some more time with them and make them better at a future date. Please, let me know what you think. Thanks!


Not-A-Webring Journals

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