Monday, August 20, 2007


Are deadlines made to be broken?

I'm not gonna make it. I blew my self-imposed deadline to finish a manuscript. I couldn't do it. And I won't make Wednesday's deadline for submission of that unfinished manuscript. I'm not happy about it, but I have to be realistic. So, I'll set some new deadlines. I'll also be setting up a work schedule so I spend the time I need on what needs to be done. Lists. Lists can be good only if you follow them. Making lists can be a great procrastinating tool. So can email, games, and reading.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What a week!

I took my daughter to her college to get the financial aid and fall schedule pinned down. I said, "If I decline my financial aid, what will effect will it have on my daughter's financial aid?" "Let's take a look at your file," the young woman said, a brief moment later insisting that I talk to the financial aid officer who advised that all of my fiancial aid was not listed on my report. When he had it all listed there was enough money there for me to go back to school...if I use a student loan. I didn't want to do that. But I am going to go that distance because it's necessary for me to finish my bachelor's degree so that I can begin my master's in creative writing.

I talked with my advisor. She spent a couple of hours with me to figure out how I can get this accomplished in a year. She also advised that I should consider applying to the Honors College, which I have the application all filled out and ready to send through the mail. I should do that right now, in fact. Done. The 300-word essay is actually closer to 400. But every one of those words was important to define why I want to be accepted to the Honors College.

Today I am supposed to be revising my novel for submission by Aug. 20. Instead I am working on revision/rewrite of a complete first draft of a novel that I penned in the spring. When I arrive at an impasse I tend to pick up something else to work on for awhile so I don't lose a lot of time. I don't know how efficient that is, but I'd rather be working on something than making excuses NOT to work on something. What does Stephen King say about that?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Plotting and planning

Too much interruption. I have 25 days to finish that novel and have it ready to mail on Monday, Aug. 20. It's a self-imposed deadline. I want this done. I want it gone on the 20th...or the 18th if I can manage that. It MUST be done. No more excuses. Some marathon writing episodes. It's got to be done.

As I am working on the revisions I also am working on a new manuscript. Each one comes easier than the one before it. How cool is that? Each one is a learning experience.

I read the Harry Potter book. I've been reading Licey's Story for ages. Sorry, Stephen, but you're starting to lose me. But I am keeping it all in the family. I bought Tabitha King's Candles Burning...actually a collaboration with the late Michael McDowell...Says it's a people page-turner. Then there is The Tristan etrayal by Robert Ludlum. I haven't read any of his books in years. One of the guys in the shop at NRM learned that DH's wife loved to read. He would send books home with DH for me to read. When I finished them, I sent them back. That's when I developed my interest in Robert Ludlum's work. But I'm looking for a woman writer to read. This is the first Tabitha book I've purchased. I do have a couple of Joyce Carol Oates. And years ago someone said my writing reminded them of Alice Walker.

Now that the Potter series is complete, I'm working on the Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events. The series is 13 books long. I have the first four. They read pretty quickly and I've urged a friend of mine with a wonderful writer's voice to get his hands on them and see what he can do. I'm very confident in him, "Jay." Are you listening? Another set I want to read is a trilogy by Christopher Paolini. The first book is Eragon. I don't have that one. The second is Eldest. The third has not been published yet.

Writers write. Writers read.

Monday, July 09, 2007


I'm revising. Carolyn read the first three chapters and advised that she thinks, too, that I'm getting real close. In fact, she urged me to submit the novel. DH asked, "Did you do it??" Well, the first one has to be complete for anyone to read it. They need to know that the author can, in fact, write the beginning, the middle and the end of a novel.

I used to print out every draft but that's such a waste of ink and paper. So I began to write my novels longhand and as I typed them into the computer I made additions and corrections. And kept writing. I stopped printing out.

So, I'm revising. As I finish editing a chapter I print it out. When I stop work each day I note the page number and chapter so I can go directly to that page when I begin work the next day. I'm seeing progress. And I'm not going back to the beginning all the time to "start fresh."

And I imposed a deadline for myself. I can mail this out on Aug. 19 if I stay on schedule. Today I'm going to make a visual to tape up near my desk so I'll keep going, keep my nose to the grindstone and make this novel happen.

The other tool I'm using is a writing buddy. When I mentioned at JWW (Jay's Writer's World) what I'm doing, Bo jumped up to the plate and said, "I'll do it, too!" So we're writing buddies. If you are trying to accomplish your writing projects and having difficulty, and if you've never had a writing buddy, it's well worth trying. A writing buddy is there to encourage you, be a sounding board and help you to meet your goals...and you help your writing buddy to meet her/his goals, too.

Now, get all of your needs together before you start...bottled water, pens/pencils/markers/highlighters, box of tissue, snacks, candy, gum...whatever you need to have nearby so you won't make excuses to get up and walk away too frequently...and get started. The day's getting away! It's 8:40 a.m. already!!!

Monday, July 02, 2007


Can one do too much research for a novel? I've enlisted the help of a friend to find information for me on a couple of my WIPs (Works In Progress). There's a ton of stuff and I appreciate the time he's put into finding this information for me. It is saving me a bunch of time. I'm thinking, though, that different lengths of research are needed for different genres of writing.

Non-fiction: the more facts the better.

Romance: The bottom line of the whole story is the relationship between the hero and heroine. So the facts are less important than the relationship. That being so, I think that I don't have to go into great detail about the heroine's job like I would for a mainstream or literary novel where the job and the romance are pertinent to the story line.

On the other hand, Titanic, the movie that made out very well financially, was considered a "romance" story. Hm...yes, it was more romance...

Back to work...

Well, after I share this bit of news. Carolyn Garriott, author of Shadow of the Cross, met with a movie producer in California while she was promoting her book at booksignings in June. Carolyn was hoping to be a consultant on the making of the film. But she is writing the screenplay. I'm thrilled for Carolyn!!

Now, back to work.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I am Senior Living editor at Bella Online. I met a veterans' service representative through my work there. He is a sergeant retired. I asked him about ICE and if they would be the right government organization to find the information I need for the career of the heroin in my novel. He came through like gang busters!!! I have plenty to read tonight.

I spent much of today trying to write an article for FRC. Then, just less than half an hour ago I realized that the article already is written and sent. I don't have to worry about writing an article tonight! Yes! So I can focus on the research reading and novel editing. Yes!

I have imposed a July 16 deadline for completing this novel. Carl asked if I would still want to read any information he can obtain from his contacts. Will I really have the book done by July 16? I want to, but the days are ticking off and I'm not getting close enough to finished.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Eight unique things about me

Hello everyone,
I have been tagged by Nancy Louise McCormick-Kovacich and now I'm tagging YOU. What you have to do, is come up with 8 unique things about yourself, blog about them, then tag 8 more people.
Simple enough, right? Check out another friend's blog at: to see how it's done. If you do or don't want to participate, please leave a message in my comments letting me know, okay?
Cathy Brownfield

Eight unique things about me

1.) I proved that you don't need a college degree to enjoy a caareer as reporter, photographer, editor and/or publisher in newspapers. My major was elementary education and I had to drop out of college at one hour from senior standing because I was put on complete bedrest with a multiple pregnancy. I never had a journalism class. I learned on the job at a weekly newspaper and worked my way to lifestyles editor at a daily newspaper.

2.) One of my best childhood friends struggled through the school year when our teacher, Mrs. Pike, had a heart attack. We had a series of substitute teachers that year. My mom has said many times that my playing school with Linda is what got her through that year and passed into the next grade.

3.) I was never a child. I was always a grown-up little person. I didn't spend much of my preschool years playing with children my age. I was always with adults.

4.) I am the eldest child and have two brothers. Billy is two years younger than me. He went with us the day Mom took me to my first day of kindergarten. I cried because I had to stay. Billy creid because he had to leave.

5.) I hated kindergarten. I didn't want to learn to play. I already knew how to do that. I knew small words, my numbers, how to write my name. I was teaching myself to read. I wanted meat, not baby food.

6.) Girls softball didn't exist in our area when I was growing up, so I couldn't play in a league. A girl play boys baseball??? But many days we had enough kids to choose team captains who picked their teams and we played baseball at the corner of North Beaver and West Spruce streets. A ball hit over the church building was a home run. And the one that went through the window was, too. (The elders still wouldn't stop us playing because they knew when we were playing baseball we didn't have time to get in trouble.) I LOVED playing baseball! There's nothing that feels like a solid connect when you bring that bat around and send that ball flying!

7.) My maternal grandmother lived four doors down from us. My brother Billy and I went to her house and climbed the outside stairs to her house. She wasn't home. A neighbor called my paternal grandmother to advise her that my mother wasn't paying any attention to us. Grandma sent my uncle to get the two of us. Mom couldn't find us. Grandma called her and told her where we were and that she wasn't giving us back. Mom told her that if she didn't give us back Mom would have her and my uncle charged with kidnapping and she'd never see us again. Grandma returned us.

8.) My great-great grandmother, Louisa Jane Clarke Skipp, insisted her daughter Alice (my great grandmother/, was related to Queen Victoria. Other family stories say she wasn't related but was either in Victoria's Court or a servant. Alice was very genteel. I'm thinking that she would know what her mother's station was. On the other side of my mother's family, her paternal grandmother was a Campbell. Alexander Campbell was in the region when that generation was living. Are we related? I don't know yet.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Along a country road

I made a choice. I could take the highly traveled route home from the grocery store, the one that involves traffic lights, lots of houses, businesses, pavement and sidewalks, or the right at the light, along a country road. There were houses, but there also were lawns and fields and trees, and very little pavement.

The sunlight through the leaves on the trees dappled the street, and the scents of spring wildflowers filled the air through the sunroof. I was immediately gratified by the relaxed pace, the ease of passage, the "stop to smell the roses." Mmmmm. By the time I got home I wanted to say to my husband, "Let's drive to the lake." I changed my mind, though, because I know what he would say. "No." Or, "No, gasoline costs too much." Or, "No, I have to go to work in awhile."

I've been trying to make our yard into an oasis that creates the same relaxing qualities as the back way I took home that day. The oak tree is twice as tall as our house, so towers between us and the brutal summer sun. There often is a breeze through our backyard, making it one of the coolest places in our town that I know of on those muggy, sweaty, summer days. I've planted some gladiolas. The hostas are huge, the periwinkle spreading, and the day lilies growing taller by the minute. There are more to plant...I need to do that soonest. It's nearly June!

Likewise, I've been writing stories and novels, and other things. When I stop to look at the beauty of the world that surrounds me, I find my creativity kick-started. When I can relax and read, other of my own ideas start springing forth. When I get a little involved in my community--like the Chamber of Commerce meeting I attended this noon, I gain a little more insight into our world.

So, I'm going to toss some laundry in the washer and sit with my notebook...after I plant the rest of my gladiolas and the 4,800 wildflower seeds. By summer's end I want to see production, both planting seeds of flowers and planting seeds of thought.

(C)2007 Cathy Brownfield

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Learning through writing

It's amazing the things you can learn when you are writing. My favorite writing group is a little band of writers at Jay's Writer's World. We talk a lot, play a little at the place we have lovingly dubbed "The Playhouse." And lately we've been throwing out some writing challenges. We're getting some insight into our own writing through these brief exercises. Nobody participates in all of them, I suppose, but when one strikes our fancies we jump right in and experience small epiphanies about ourselves...well, I do anyway. I guess I can't speak for everyone. But the exercises do offer a jump start to creative thinking and writing.

For instance, I wrote something and thought, "That would be a great challenge."

"Always a new idea brewing in the back."250 words to describe the image that came to your mind when you read that."

The responses were great. Give it a try. Then, open up the file for the Big Story that you've been working on and see if the jump start kicks you into gear.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Read what agents are looking for

Growth in work.
The first novel is rarely published.
Showing that you aren't wasting time trying to breathe life into a novel that's never going to be good enough.

OK. So, I can see the growth in my work as I write these novels. Just need to be writing more. With every novel I start, I see the strengths better and winnow out the weaknesses so the stories are better and more close to publishable.

A lot of stress has been relieved since DH told me I don't have to kill myself to try to bring in income. Wow. Don't know where it came from, but I'm sure glad he said it! I'm writing more and I'm even getting some housekeeping done. Whoo-hoo! How cool is that?

But the weight thing...I was trying to just eat sensibly. Trying to get consistent about drinking 80-100 ounces of water each day. Trying to get some exercise every day. If I just sit at the computer I can easily drink 5 20-ounce bottles of water daily. But, I can't just sit at the computer all day! I have a gazillion things to do since DD3 gave me the key to her car and said, "It's at your disposal for the next 15 months."

Things are happening for me. Last month DH and I ordered Chinese carry-out. The fortune cookie said, "Major life change is coming for you." Or something to that effect. Whoa! I can see the difference already. Amazing!

Today's checklist:
Laundry -- Check
FRC article -- Almost check
9 article assignment due Friday
Lunch -- Almost check
Senior Living @ BellaOnline article and newsletter -- Check
Novel writing -- Almost ready to start

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Chapter Thirteen

Yep. That's where I'm at. Chapter Thirteen. Now, if I can just get it typed in to the computer from the longhand form. It's not really a problem because I got to thinking. I wrote a 60K novel in October and a 50K novel in November. I know I can write the first draft of a story from beginning to conclusion. I've done it twice. So, I'll do it with this one...working title: Enough.

DH and I were driving home the other evening. I noticed how nice it was, kind of intimate, that the two of us were in the car ALONE. I'm not complaining about two 20-year-old children still living at home. I'm not complaining at all. I'm just noticing how nice it is to be just the two of us, in the car, driving down the highway. Cool. This is the way it was before children.

I mentioned something, a complaint he used to have.

"How long has it been since I said that?" he asked.

He was right. It's OK for me not to have a paycheck now. It's OK for me to do what I have to do. And I felt a little more freedom. And maybe a little closer to him than I've felt in a long time because, well, we were trying to get our family through some very difficult financial times. And now...the time I was always striving for, dreaming of, looks like it might be here. DH and I alone in the car, driving down the highway...It felt good.

The more freedom I feel from the things that have tied me down for SO long, the more creative my mind and the more energy I have. I can write this novel and the 97 other ones that I want to write before I die. It all starts now.

Ohhhhhh, runnin' down the highway...ohhhhhhh, runnin' down the highway...I hear the tune with that great traveling music kinda beat.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Celebrations & Memorials

It's nearly May. There are a lot of things going on in the month of May. Birthdays are plentiful. But there are writings in the wind. Being the Senior Living editor at, I've been looking for great ideas to "jazz up" the site. I've interviewed a couple of authors. One went live at Senior Living this month. One is scheduled for next month. And I happened to be contacted by someone who works with U.S. military veterans.

Carl posted to me to remove him from the Senior Living list because he's interested in newsletters that help veterans. I jumped on the opportunity, "Well, how can Senior Living help? Would you answer some questions and let me write about what YOU do?" He posted back, "Sure will, and I have someone else I'd like to pull into this and answer your questions."

So, in May I will be writing a number of things. May isn't "just" Memorial Day celebrations to remember those who sacrificed for the rest of us so we could have the rights to our opinions. It's also Older Americans Month and Family Violence Prevention Awareness Month. And probably a gazillion others, too.

My FRC work is done, except to send it on. I'll do that this evening when I know for sure that the rep from Adult Services isn't going to call me today. Eloise was hoping for a quote from those folks. My BellaOnline article and newsletter for this week have been put up and distributed. I'm going to read this material I've just printed out from the site that Carl referred me to so I can compile a list of questions for him and for the website owner so I can get those posted tonight. I want to work on my senior novel that I plan to make into an e-book to be sold at Bella. AND I want to work on the other novel I've been scribbling for weeks.

Additionally, I finished reading The Giver by Lois Lowry this morning. Futuristic, it is about family, memories and life, very apropo to our times when there is strong agreement from everywhere across the country that the American family needs to be rescued. So, I want to finish reading A Door Near Here by Heather Quarles. It is another story about four children who live with their alcoholic mother. The youngest, a 3rd grader, had a homework assignment: Write a letter to your favorite author. Her letter was to C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia. She wrote that she realized he lived in England, but could he tell her where in Washington, D.C. was the door to Narnia because she really needs to get there to rescue someone who is very ill.

In there somewhere I have to wash some more laundry, make supper and clean up the kitchen. I also have to take advantage of the beautiful afternoon to get in my 30-40 minute brisk walk. How else am I going to lose weight?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Storm of a different nature ~ Interview with Joyce A. Anthony

Joyce Anthony and I met through an online writer support group, MomWriters. She and I were writing novels at the same time last year. Joyce has finished hers and published it in March. For me, I'm still writing. And I'll get there. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Joyce to my blog to talk about her new release, Storm by Joyce A. Anthony.

CB: What message does Storm send to the reader? What is the theme of the book?

JA: We are so quick to judge, both ourselves and others. Yet those we judge are not always as we see them. There is a greater depth we must explore. Everyone has a story, and we must take the time to know that story.

CB: What is the one thing that would/should draw someone to read Storm?

JA: Readers will find within the pages of Storm at least one person they know. It is a story they will find recognition worldwide. The themes, the characters, are universal. Anyone who seeks to understand basic human conditions will find answers within the pages of Storm.

CB: I believe this is a Christian fantasy. What about it would make it appealing to other belief systems?

JA: I write from a Christian perspective, but the spiritual messages portrayed within the pages of Storm are universal--love, pain, understanding, acceptance, and faith. Storm does not preach nor try to convert. It is for anyone who seeks to love and understand his fellow human beings and himself.

CB: Who has influenced your writing style the most? Why?

JA: I think my two favorite authors have found a way into this book. Rod Serling always challenged his readers to see that "reality" as we know it is often not as it appears. Richard Bach challenges a reader to go within himself and examine all he knows or thinks he knows. I believe Storm contains a bit of both these elements.

CB: What inspired this story?

JA: The story developed over tiime, from a brief glimpse of a man years ago, to a dream and a question by another writer. All of the characters deal with things I have seen throughout the years, all togehter, the elements joined and created this book.

CB: You are donating a portion of your royalties to a child abuse prevention website. Does the novel have much to do with that topic?

JA: One character, Jane, is an abused child. Her story is important, but not any more so than all the others. I chose StopItNow because they are a group I feel is doing a necessary task, and approaching the matter in a unique way. I would love to have included a charity from each of these issues, but, having to choose one, I chose the one that is closest to my heart and has been since before Storm was born.

CB: Is there a question you hoped would be asked and wasn't?

JA: I think you covered quite a bit, Cathy. These were great questions. What I'd like to do is invite your readers to visit my website to learn more about Storm. Thank you for having me here today.

You can read more about Joyce and her book, Storm, at

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Just write a good story

I had to wait for prescriptions to be filled. It would be a little while. AI strolled through Rite Aid, and ended up in the same place that I always end up: the writing supply aisle. I found a top spiral notebook about the size of a steno pad, but the paper is like a legal pad. It cost over $3 and I didn't want to spend that much on a notebook! But I really liked it. It was the perfect size to carry around with me.

I resisted...walked away. It was the perfect size for the firwst draft of a novel. I had to have it. I paid the price. I went to wait at the pharmacy and began to write.

I had decided to begin yet another novel, not because I wanted another novel, but to put into practice some of the things I had learned through discussions at my online writer groups. The beauty of this particular novel is that I carry it with me and write longhand every spare minute. When the action slows I do as author Carolyn Garriott suggested. Stop...and think about where the story needs to go next. Garriott, author of Shadow of the Cross, set out to "just tell a good story.

My good friend, travel writer and fiction writer, Maureen Creager, has always been an encourager. I went to great lengths to chart out one of my novels in an effort to try and get control of it. I couldn't wait to show her. She said it was impressive. But when I got home, there was an e-mail waiting for me. Maureen advised, "Very nice. Now, put the chart away and just write a good story."

So I carry this yellow, top spiral notebook everywhere I go. I'm letting Isabella, Daniel and Micah tell the story. When the action slows I do what romance author Shirley Jump does: Throw another elephant into the middle of the room.

I like to write longhand so I bought a lap desk. I carry it with me all over the place. My goal is a novel in 2007. If I'm going to write 100 novels before I die, I have to get busy making tracks.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Meet other authors

In the past month I've had opportunity to interview two published authors. And I've learned something I always knew but maybe didn't quite put into concrete thought. It goes back to a mom-ism that I remember from my youth: "You're judged by the people you run around with."

Well, I'm looking at it from a theme perspective. If I want to write well, get published, I need to commune with other writers who know more than I do. The flip side of that is that I owe it to those who follow in my footsteps to do the same for them. That's just the right thing to do...Propagate it...pass it on, as a friend...perhaps a soul mate...once told me. The pay back is not that I will see the end result, but that I was responsible and passed on what was passed to me.

I spoke to Anita Bloom Ornoff several weeks ago and wrote a book review that can be found at and an interview, Anita published an autobiography, Beyond Dancing, at age 83...and believe me, she is now a feisty and young 85, ready to begin work on the next book, her life before she became paraplegic.

Recently I received a request to review Carolyn Garriott's first release, Shadow of the Cross, which I will post at on May 1. We just seemed to click the minute I posted to her about a review copy of her book. At age 70, Carolyn (also feisty and young) didn't just publish a book. She established a publishing house because her publisher was not working with her as she wanted.

I enjoy getting to know women like Nita and Carolyn because they don't let being a "woman" get in the way of achieving what they want to do. It's not about gender. It's about persistence. It's about self-fulfilling prophecy. It's about knowing who they are and what they want and forming their plan of how to get there, how to make things happen for them.

Having a supportive husband makes a difference, too. Hal Ornoff has been his wife's supporter and encourager. You need to read the interview to understand their relationship. And to understand Nita, you need to read her book. The goal of her book was for young people to read it and understand that they shouldn't give up easily on the things that they want. Hard work and persistence pay off.

Carolyn survived two bad marriages. Well, she thought the first marriage was a happy one until her husband came home and advised that a young women's libber had advised him that their marriage was not a happy one. He divorced Carolyn, married the younger woman who abandoned him later. All Carolyn ever wanted was to be a homemaker and mother. Life pushed her to other things. Somehow, though, she and her high school heart throb found each other at age 65 and life has been filled with joy ever since. Check in at Senior Living at Bella Online on May 1 to get the story and the encouragement you might, as a writer or a wife, be looking for. And for the review of Shadow of the Cross.

Now, it's time for me to be working. What are you writing today? Go! Go!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunny Sunday?

I read that Stephen King writes every day of the year. Even holidays. Hm. How does he keep his balance? Of course, when I read that I decided I should be writing every day, too, just to keep up with my characters. And I believe I'm a full-fledged workaholic. DH agrees. My mother agrees. And my dad, another workaholic says, "I know what you're saying."

Perhaps the issue is more of balance rather than writing 365 days a year. I just don't know how to work everything in and get every necessary task completed each day. Balance...body, mind and I should start doing yoga again. Since I have just made a major life altering decision to lose weight...60 pounds...I have to have a plan to lose by. In addition to the 60 pounds of body weight I want to lose, I also want to lose the negative self-talk that says I can't complete my novels and sell them. I want to lose the toxic people in my life who run me down, don't believe in me, and tell me I'm a failure by not supporting and encouraging me the way I support and encourage them. Maybe I don't want to lose the people...I just want to lose their negative attitudes that I perceive.

So, this is the first day of a new week. A new day. And I can try again from this new beginning.

Oh, the other thing I've been pondering. I hate it when I have to admit I've started yet another novel. Sounds like I can't finish anything. Then I hear an author say, "I wrote five, six, ten, twelve novels before the first one that sold." I can relate to that. I have a dozen novel manuscripts here in various stages of completion. But I get to a point where I don't know where they are going. Then I set them aside and start something new.

I think it's a learning process. Each time I start a story, I manage to write closer to the end of it. I had never tried the NaNoWriMo because I didn't think I could commit to writing 50K words. So, in 2006 I decided I wanted to try it. But I tested it first. I wrote 60K words in October. Whoo-hoo! I COULD do it! So when Nov. 1 rolled around, I was ready to commit to 50K for NaNo. AND I DID IT!

I have spent the time since January working on a novel I started several years ago. I've been ignoring it for two or three days. And I started another story. But this one is different. I can see the beginning, the middle and the end of the story. I know where it started, I know where it has to go and I know where it's going to end! FanTAStic! I am learning through the process.

I read an autobiography to review it, Beyond Dancing by Anita Bloom Ornoff. It will go live at my bellaonline site, Senior Living, on Monday. ( Nita published her book in late 2003 when she was 83 years young. She's getting ready to start writing her next book...her life before the WAAC. (I guess you'll have to read the review and/or the article about her ( to find out what that is.

Now I am reading another book to review, and I'm going to interview the author, as well. This one is "Shadow of the Cross" by Carolyn Garriott. Stay tuned. I'll post the links to those articles, too. Carolyn's book was released in 2006. This is her first book, I believe, and she is 70 years young.

I guess there's hope for me since I'm what Nita termed, "still a baby" at age 3. Hm. I guess I'm getting used to the big 5-0 decade.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Another week's end

The weeks are flying fast. One more week in March. One more week in the first quarter of 2007. Whew! Things need to slow down a bit.

When I was working at Salem News, Bob said, "We've got it all wrong. We should be adults at the beginning and work our way to being kids because young people don't know how to properly use the time they have!"

Well, it's paraphrased a bit. That was at least 10 years ago.

It's been a week and a half. Actually, it's been a 2007! With no changes in sight. I guess when one has a larger family there is always something going on. As mom of four daughters, now all grown up, two with children of their own, there is always going to be something going on. So I have to figure out my priorities at this particular stage of my life.

Writing has to be high up there. I have to write. I want to be published. I want to write 100 novels before I die. But with all the interruptions, I'm not so sure how realistic that's going to be for me.

I said to Dad, "I'm a workaholic." I made a point of looking at him because he has been a workaholic for decades. "I don't want to be a workaholic!"

Mom said, "You are a workaholic. You always set set your expectations too high, you can't reach them, then you beat up on yourself because you don't reach them."

She had a point. A valid point. A VERY valid point. She was absolutely correct. Right on the money.


There's an ad in the paper. A newspaper wants a reporter. I must have been psychic this morning. I picked up the paper and thought, "I should see if they're looking for a reporter and apply." There, when I opened the paper to the classifieds, was their ad. I didn't even have to read it. I recognized the box, the standard ad all the newspapers run when they're looking for reporters.

But there's another issue. I am planning on returning to college in the fall to complete my bachelor's degree. I am one hour from senior standing. I can graduate in a year to a year and a half. Which do I do? I have to have a car to be able to get back and forth to school. I need a job to have the money to buy the car. I can't work full time, go to school full time and have time for my family all at the same time. ssssssssssiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

And what about writing?!

Use the time I have. Take every opportunity I have and can realistically apply. OK. Time to take a shower, dress and get to Beth's to babysit my darling granddaughter who will be 3 months old on Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Today's writing challenge

I have an appointment at FRC at 10:30. Take a few pictures. Talk to a few teens. Write an article to send to the newspapers. I can do that.

I have to finish the book review and interview article with Anita Bloom Ornoff and send them off for accuracy, then put them on the web. I can do that.

I have a little research to do for some teen pregnancy prevention work I'll be doing for FRC in April and May. I can do that.

I have to visit my parents today because I haven't been there for several days. I can do that.

And I have to work on Saved by Grace today. I'm working on chapter 23 of 20. Yeah. It's a little longer than I had anticipated, but I'm flexible. I can do this.

And I should throw something in the slow cooker (it's a Hamilton Beach, not a Crock Pot and I love it! It's brand-spanking new!) so I won't have to stop what I'm doing and go to the kitchen to cook. Well, that's my theory, anyway.

I also have to check all of my blogs and my BellaOnline site to make sure I'm not missing anything.

And my house...there is no little genie taking up my slack. So I'll have to find a few minutes for some housework somewhere. But the day is still young. It's only 9 a.m.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Writing anything

I've been writing today, but not on the novel. Sunday I worked on BellaOnline articles. Yesterday I worked on getting my blogs updated and ready for a blog tour for Joyce Anthony's new release, Storm. I will be posting an interview with her right here at Novel or Bust on April 21.

I got started by offering to write a review of Anita Bloom Ornoff's book Beyond Dancing. Anita is 85 years young and lives with her husband of 46 years, Hal, in Central Florida. She was permanently paralyzed at age 19. I'm working on the review and the interview which will be posted at BellaOnline and the review at Bella and Amazon and all of it right here at Novel or Bust. Nita's book is a memoir, though, not a novel.

So, I will resume working on my novel tonight for awhile, as I did Sunday evening. A little writing is better than no writing at all.

And there are several other articles I need to write for Family Recovery Center. And there is WomanSongs that needs to be sadly neglected for SO long.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New beginnings...again

Novel or bust...I set up this blog as my writer's blog when I joined a writing challenge that would--in theory--help me get my novel written. I was never quite sure whether the challenge was going by plan or just hit and miss by the facilitator. She was there, and then she wasn't. I know from experience that life with a family interferes in a woman's plans, so I'm not being critical, bless that woman's heart!

When the challenge ended, I didn't have the novel finished. I have a dozen of them in various states of completion. I took one of them, though, and decided I'm not working on another piece of fiction until this one is complete. I'm working on Chapter 23 of 20. Yeah. Well, having a plan is good. Being flexible is--ha!--gooder. Hehehe. My word count is right around 67,000 of 85,000.

DH says I don't have a sense of humor and I over-react to everything he says. Well, we never see ourselves as others see us. I delivered my list of reasons why I don't have a sense of humor, but if he's willing to work on his attitude, I'll work on mine, too, but we won't have any double standards.

But I'm still not talking to him about my work. One day, when one of our daughters was right there in the room with us, he said he gave up on my writing anything a long time ago. Our daughter couldn't believe he said that to me. The kids probably would have thought I made it up if she hadn't been there to hear it. So, I don't talk about my writing with him. I don't talk about my dreams with him. We just don't talk much because the only thing we have in common is our children. A lot of couples reach this point in their relationship with two choices: 1.) Jump ship. 2.) Work on the relationship.

And it all affects a writer and the writer's writing. Relationship status affects what a writer writes. It does.

(c)2007 Cathy Brownfield