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Mel's Procrastination Palace
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 Hatchets, swords and cuticle scissors...

Elliot: Cowering from the hatchet and sword. Don't you dare bring that thing any closer to--

Me: Easy boy, I'm not out to castrate you... but you are...a little long. Definitely gotta take some off the end.

Elliott: Clutches crotch You wouldn't even think about it.

Me: Have, did, and will do. I already took one of Laura's O's away, did you see?

Elliott: Sure, make me look inept. The woman's always supposed to have more O's than the man.

Me: It's that or --

Elliott: She had enough O's. What about the vamps?

Me: What about em?

Elliott: Did you um...cut them too?

Me: Not yet. Gotta figure out what's expendable.

Elliott: Okay, now I'm pissed. You cut my oral scene and you haven't even LOOKED at the "big vamp fight" yet?

Me: Yeah, get pissed. Your story's written, unless, of course, you want me to revise the ending?

Elliott: narrows eyes and curses under breath

Me: Thought you saw things my way. Now, go play nice with Laura while I look for those extraneous words. You don't want me to start thinking I used "cock" too many times in this story, do you? holds up cuticle cutters.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:43 AM :: 1 comments

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Monday, June 27, 2005 Done!

When it comes to rough drafts, I dare say that other than those first half dozen books residing in the dark recesses of my computer's hard drive, this has GOT to be the roughest rough draft yet. First, my fault. A bit of preplotting would have been nice, because I sort of learned as I went and morphed the plot as I went. *meep*

And we won't mention I went over targeted word count by ten thousand words. Ten thousand. Considering the finished size, that's substantial. Discipline avoids me. Either that or I'm a word whore and a plot whore. But I guess I've been called worse.

(Read a scathing review on Amazon today for Dante's Relic. Talk about being called worse, geesh. Thanks. Thanks a lot. *coughs up hairball and puts in reviewers coffee* No, really, thanks...)

On the plus side, I got contracts in the mail for my two upcoming Vampire books through Ellora's Cave. The Last Bite will be features in the September release of Tails from the Temple 3. *YAY* and Haunted Redemption will be part of the Things That Go Bump in the Night Anthology with two very special authors, Cynthia Williams and BJ McCall! *big grin*

Now, on to editing those and trying to figure out what to work on after that. I've got a shapeshifter, a sort of shapeshifter (inanimate object, lol) and well, a bevy of idea files just waiting for the muse to start playing with. *IF* the muse will start talking. Maybe Witch-lit. That one's begging for my attention. But Edits first, then I'll let you know....

Til then, ciao and happy reading!
Mel (who thinks the spellchecker on this blog is on drugs.... you want to turn Ellora's into WHAT?)

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:10 PM :: 1 comments

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Alrighty, here's the Twiggy girl, as you see, she's hopped up on the steps so she's in clear view of the vicious kitty cats and is munching away on her handful of corn. Posted by Hello

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:16 PM :: 0 comments

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Okay.... wer're looking over the head of Tornado, who's approximately 30 pounds of solid kitty. Does the squirrel look worried? I wouldn't count on it. That's his little *ahem* brother Cane (Hurricane) in the lower right corner of the shot. He's really not that much shorter, but he's in "stalking" mode at the time the pic was snapped. Posted by Hello

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:15 PM :: 1 comments

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Today's goals....

I'm writing them down so maybe someone will hold me accountable....

1) finish edits
2) come CLOSE to finishing book, tho I know it's possible to wrap up first draft...
3) upload the squirrel pics. (Which means installing software, etc, so pardon my procrastination on doing so earlier...)

I will not: let my daughter talk me into playing with html until my head aches before aforementioned tasks have been completed.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:58 AM :: 2 comments

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Thursday, June 23, 2005 Who's crazy idea was that anyway?

My daughter's been playing with a free website--you know, one of those freewebs.com accounts where she technically gets X amount of webspace to "goof off" in. She's changed her home page about 15 times today. I give up a) helping and b) keeping up with what her grandiose idea is this hour.

However, my husband perks up and commandeers her into building HIM a webpage to showcase his car and the progress he makes on this beast of all beasts. Actually, I think it's a neat idea and convinced the two of them that a blog would be a better idea.

What was *I* thinking? Cuz of course, the daughter knows nothing about blogs and therefore drags ME to the computer to start editing a template. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Honestly tho, I think I'll make her do the grunt work, i.e. determining those hideous 6 number color codes and scanning, editing the pictures we'll be using for blog background, etc. :)

Stay tuned, you KNOW I'll link to it once it's not embarrassingly.... green. (OY! but it looked like the most workable template. I'm cheap--I'm not paying for it since I can't guarantee he'll even post next months)

Anyhoot, that's my day... how's yours?

Oh, and did you check out Shan's and Ann's new sites?


Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:59 PM :: 1 comments

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005 Don't worry Shan, you're not alone...

I cheated... it told me I, too, was Satanic when I put in just my first name... :P And my IQ was lower then, too.

What Kind of Geek are You?
Favourite Color
Your IQ is very high
You are a computer geek
Your strength is you can see in the dark
Your weakness is chocolate
You think normal people are interesting
Normal people think that you are weird
This Quiz by owlsamantha - Taken 235304 Times.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:22 PM :: 3 comments

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Monday, June 20, 2005 Twiggy, Madcap action heroine...and squirrel

She's my husband's latest mistress, a large brown squirrel with an unsatiable appetite for peanuts.

Lemme back up a moment, if you will, and explain that we live in town, in a house where the neighbor's home is closerthanthis and our corner lot probably has the more trees than anyone else's on the street. Thus, we have the largest population of squirrels. We feed them well. The neighbor behind us has sixteen birdhouses and feeders, so we figure he's got the feathered friends covered. (I still put up a hummingbird feeder and have lured one or two from his immaculate gardens...) Anyway, we have those pressed corn bricks hanging from tree and on a bungee from the corner of the garage. We were skeptical that a squirrel would come that close, especially with side door (all glass) and several cats guarding the premises.

But, alas, one brave soul not only found and consumed said bungee corn brick, but would bite off a hunk, climb the three concrete steps and perch, mockingly, two and a half feet from three salivating felines while munching away. I was alerted to this fiasco when one of the cats began that hideous yeowling that everyone talks about happening on alley-way fences at 2 am. I was on the phone with my mother in law, discussing a kick ass book we'd both read (see the blog from several days ago concerning Sweet Gum Tree) when I walked into the kitchen and witnessed this daring rodent at work.

Of course, being unblinkinly unfazed by the presence of three oversized cats, the brave squirrel didn't so much as twitch its fluffy tail when my 5'6" frame shadowed the doorway. "You oughta see this squirrel," I tell my m-i-l, and then proceed to describe the scene before me. Amused, I sit down, using the fridge for support and continue talking away while assuring my kitties that they don't want squirrel pie for supper.

I hadn't expected the squirrel to be considering the corn as appetizer and it wanted a feline feast for its dinner.

It got closer. The cats got louder, their stances nearly flat with the floor as they computed the momentum it would take to shatter the window, grab the offending fluffer in their jaws and abscond to the other side of the garage to snarf it down. The cat beside me, Hurricane, who was the smartest and bravest of the brood, smacked his tail against me and the fridge with such intensity, I'm surprised it didn't break. The squirrel had once against hopped the three steps and stood on the landing, nonchalantly nibbling on a handful of free food.



I screamed. The cat screamed. The squirrel might have, I don't know. I dropped the phone. The door vibrated in its frame. Then I realized. The cat hadn't moved.
The squirrel had attacked the door, intending to take on all three massive, drooling felines at once! (Duh, squirrely, it's corn, not spinach. You haven't got a chance in HELL with these three...)

My mother in law, still holding on the other end and thanking me for such wicked entertainment signs off so I can retell this tale to the snoozing husband. Ha, he says. You're exaggerating. (I wasn't, my daughter witnessed the entire thing and actually has scratches from Tornado running over her in his haste to retreat from a la killer squirrel.)

Next day I arrive home from errand to find DH sitting on the steps, same trio of onlooking whisker licking droolers behind him, and squirrel beside him, taking peanuts out of his fingers. Peanut shells littered the yard and driveway.

"What's this?" I ask, wondering why I'm not surprised at this development.
"Twiggy. Her name is Twiggy."
And so it began.

Twiggy now comes running when we come outside, or open the garage door. She knows the bag of peanuts are on the snowblower and helps herself when we're not quick enough. She's caused a few heart attacks that way. The other night we were working on the car and suddenly heard the rustling of the plastic bag. Dh banged his head, I tore the skin off my knuckle, but when we looked, it was just this innocent looking squirrel with a giant nut in her mouth. I swear she was smiling around it.

We've decided she has babies somewhere, either that or she's had mini squirrel breast implants. (snort) [The former of which] just makes DH more determined to feed her.
And this weekend, she's brought her boyfriend, a cute little black squirrel with a white spot on his head, and his buddy, a little "piney" (that's what DH calls him but I doubt the authenticity of that as an official name. Anyway, it's a squirrel with a stubby tail, as opposed to Twiggy's full, pretty fluff). They've not been brave enough to snatch a peanut from the fingers, but I'm sure when Twigster runs away with one between her teeth, she's heading off to share her bounty.

I've got pictures. I will get them off the digital soon and force you to believe that I'm not lying about this.
And do you know how freaking HARD it is to find bags of in the shell-unsalted peanuts in this world? Geesh!

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 2:40 PM :: 2 comments

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It's gotta be the heat

...causing this mental meltdown. And no, I'm not blogging to moan and bitch, but rather, muse out loud about why my normal routine has suddenly become decidedly well, unsatisfying.
It started last week, ya know, when I blogged about getting out of the draft on the yahoo groups. Since then I've logged, read pages of posts, but felt zip inspiration to post. I *want* to comment, to let other's know I'm listening, but how does one post *quiet person in the corner nodding head*?

It's not just that. I'm not visiting my local haunts. Yesterday I googled everything and anything, looking for that elusive *it* factor. Am I burned out on internet? *gasp* is that POSSIBLE? I mean, I hit the fan sites I secret too when no ones looking (a girl needs inspiration right?) While I certainly appreciated the aesthetic quality of its content, the site held my interest for nary five minutes. Email: empty. Current WIP, meh. I even went to Pogo. Yes, me, bad, bad Mel. I played three games of freecell, a game of video poker and then closed the window. I *could* have played word whomp, but by this time I realized I wanted something that didn't require actual thought. And we won't mention the edits in my inbox. I really SHOULD do those, ya know?

Anyone ever experienced this phenomenon? (did I spell that right?)
Is there a cure?
Maybe I should go camping with Shannon. I need a good laugh like the whole bug spray in beer bottle episode.... but that reminds me of the brave squirrel who thinks my husband is its pet. I'll have to blog about THAT soon.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 1:11 PM :: 3 comments

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005 Getting outta the draft

If you watch NASCAR, then you know what that means. Well, I've been toolin' along, going to work and then coming home, checking email, scrolling through blogs and then writing until my eyeballs are so dry I can barely blink (or until I can't hold them open anymore.) Sounds like a writers life, eh?

Um, forgetting one important thing.
I've gotten out of the habit of checking the boards.
You know the ones--the zillion message boards that everyone who's everyone has to belong to. Your friends' chat groups, your OWN chat group, the publishing company's chat group, then the author's chat group--both general and the one exclusive to your editor. Oh, and then the OTHER publishing company loop. *sigh* Am I done yet? (And why am I rattling those off as if they're yours? There mine. Is that some subliminal way of NOT feeling guilty that I haven't opened yahoo groups in days?)

I need to go to the boards. After all, the blogs have lots, but they don't have everything. I.e. the very important interaction a la promo. (Bad, bad Mel) I should go read, visit, hear what people are reading and what they think about it. I'm missing the gossip, dangit. And the jokes.
I get reminded of all I AM missing when I talk to a pal or two on IM and they're talking about something that I'm left out on.

So I'm outta the draft. Anyone have any idea what it's like to get back in? Should I just floor the accelerator, grip the steering wheel until my knuckles turn white and squinch my eyes shut until the faster cars go zipping by? Maybe I can catch some air off one of their spoilers and keep up... at least for a little while.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:25 PM :: 1 comments

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Sunday, June 12, 2005 Definitely good for me!

I've started blogging half a dozen times, all to realize I was saying nothing while taking up space. Blah. Better to say nothing at all! Life's been much of a routine lately--work the day job, come home, play wife and then settle in to write (or find procrastination measures--easily done with the internet at my fingertips.)
Since I decided to write my current WIP without the aid of preplotting, once I got pulled away from it, the momentum came to a screeching halt. I did get to talk to a CP the other day who let me babble out the synopsis in rough form which got me a bit back on track.

Okay--point of the post. Yesterday the family and I went to Chicago via long-ass train ride. My intention was to write, but discovering muse wasn't into longhand, I ended up pulling out my Sony Clie and browsing the ebooks I'd downloaded. To my delight, I realized I had Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred on it.

I'd been looking forward to reading this book-- dubbed a women's lit by Cerridwen Press, since the first time Katherine posted an excerpt on the Cerridwen Press yahoo group. In it's own way, it's a coming of age story, but for an entire family--one that feels like YOUR family the more you read this book.

I was trying to explain to Jaci last night (still in tears after finishing it) what made it so special. I think the best way to put it is that I read to escape--I want to be taken completely out of my person and experience and be someone else for a few hours. This story went beyond that. There's no fantasy in this story. The characters are not larger than life--they're your family, your friends, the people down the street. You know the town, with it's gossip and quirks. There's a huge family, each with unique (non-cliche) personalities that remind you for your own aunts and uncles and grandparents...

While romance truly guides this story, and the book ends with it's own form of happily ever after, it's not your typical romance. That suited me just fine. Instead of a book, I felt like I was reading the diary of someone very close to me--or listening to a story told my by grandmother-- a story of her youth that she related with a sparkle in her eye and a tear on her cheek, one in which the characters came alive and touched my heart.

This book is a gem. I know it'll be one I read over and over, just to feel it. Do I recommend it? Absolutely. If you're ready for a story that opens your eyes, breaks your heart, makes you clench your fist in anger and then fills your eyes with tears of joy. I've already informed my daughter it's on her summer reading list.

It's available in ebook form at http://www.cerridwenpress.com.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:18 AM :: 2 comments

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

To me there's little more precious than a child's laughter. At 13, Goose's precious smile still melts my heart like it did 10 yrs ago. Posted by Hello

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:09 PM :: 0 comments

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I love black and white film. My daughter was willing (I had to pay her) to post for a roll of pictures for me. Actually, she's trying to do some acting and we're putting together a portfolio. I'll torture you will some of my favorites here shortly. :) Posted by Hello

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 6:18 PM :: 1 comments

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Thursday, June 02, 2005 Musta been the medicine talking

I managed to do it--get pathetically sick over the Memorial Day weekend. Sore throat, no voice, cough that sounded like vital organs would erupt.. you know the kind. Bleh. I couldn't concentrate to read (OMG!) and certainly not write. I even got whoozy looking at computer screen. Yeah. that sick!

But last night, after a double dose of antibiotics and some OTC superdeeduper flu/cold medicine, I sat down and said, I've left my characters in a very...questionable predicament. (Foreplay--yeah, mean ole Mel... I'll be lucky if these two talk to me after leaving them hot and bothered and...stuck for four days...)

Now, lemme fill you in on something. When I get to a good dialogue spot or a plot run where I'm confident about what's going on, I can whip out a few thousand words without realizing it. However, because I write romantica, I need to layer in hot sex with that dialogue and plot, and that's normally when the flying fingers come to a screeching halt.

Not last night. Call it doped up on medicine or simply too out of it to care, but I wrote a good chunk of a sex scene without stopping to analyze every single move, motivation and emotion. It flowed. (Literally) I can't say it's not complete junk, but when I was ready to call it quits for the night and hit word count, I went, "Holy Sh*t". At this rate, I won't be able to wrap this story up within the desired word count. Horny characters! *eyeroll*

But that--my inability to write *short* stories--is a whole 'nother blog topic.

Off to join the breakfast brigade to see what interesting convo we can delve into this morning!

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:00 AM :: 0 comments

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