It’s That Time of Year Again–NaNoWriMo!

Perhaps it’s a little sad that I have only kept up this blog during NaNoWriMo the last few years.  Perhaps it’s not.  Either way, that’s been the case this year again.

And, with 35 minutes left before I can begin my 7th novel (6th to win!) with NaNoWriMo, putting up another post seemed like the appropriate “time killer” as the minutes count down to midnight. (34 minutes)


This year, I’m trying something new.  I’m writing, yet again, the first draft of my newest “For the Love of Music” series novel, but (33 minutes) I’m being “tagged” by my fiance as he writes a companion to the story of Meg Carter and Adam Orion.  I, obviously, am telling Meg’s side of the story, and Matt is writing Adam’s. (32 minutes)  We’ve had to hash through some outlining things together.  Key moments that must happen in both stories.  Key points in time where their lives intersect, even when geographically living far apart.

And (31 minutes) this is totally new for us both.  We both love collaboration, but have never tried to write the same story as someone else before, with a different POV.  A challenge, I believe, lies ahead.  And that thrills us both!  We’re (30 minutes) both thrill seekers, one could say, at least of this variety.  Challenge?  Yes please!  Adventure?  Of course!  Novel written in parallel with the love of my life?  Um, duh.

So, here we go.  All the best in writing, my darling Matt. (29 minutes)  Have fun with that writer’s cramp as you dash out those words with pen and paper.  I’m glad to use my laptop!

And, now, my pre-writing thoughts are spent, with 28 minutes left to go.  I say this calls for a pot of tea, a bathroom break, some more M&Ms, and the turning on of one fantastic playlist.  Here we go!  “One A Cappella Song” begins life in 27 minutes!


Introducing: “Drop Dead Daisy”–published!

“Daisy Meeks never really knew her family. She’s never known love. She’s never had anyone stick around long enough to open up to. Well, except through her music. But those who hear her heart don’t get her. They think she’s just some hot chick who plays a mean guitar. Until Kane Sullivan comes along and pulls her into the world of heavy metal and fame. And, of course, love. But is his love really all she’s been searching for? Is he really enough?”

After 4 months of drafting, and then 3.5 year of revising and editing (well, off and on), my second book, “Drop Dead Daisy” in the For the Love of Music series is finally in print!

You can get a hard copy here.

Or the Kindle version here.


Celebrations began last night, here in Chicago, when I sent it off to the publisher… 😉

Daisy Meeks: Ax Queen

She inhales.  She steps into the light.  This blinding world envelopes her.  She has taken possession of the stage.  She lifts a purple Surfcaster into her arms, and slips the strap over her head.  She stares out into the audience.  She has never had such an insane notion before.  She may choose to follow it.  She knows she shouldn’t.  That would be pure insanity.  No one else would do that.  She’s nuts.  She might be the Ax Queen, but even she has not right to expect that music, the music that only some supernatural presence could create, to come to her in the moment.

But she is Daisy Meeks.  She is a little insane.  She knows it as she dismisses the rest of the band and takes over by herself.

She plays a story, not a song.  She sings an ache, not lyrics.  She reveals herself for thousands of strangers in a way which she never could for him.  Not even Kane.

And then, she is done.  She is finished.  And she looks around.  The lights pierce the theatre, expanding the darkness around her into a fine point of empty light.

She is Daisy Meeks: Ax Queen.


Knocking Out Chapters and Cover Suggestions

Chapter 26 of Drop Dead Daisy has been submitted to BETA readers, so that means it’s time to knock out one of the cover ideas.  The list has been narrowed down to 3 options.  So…now I gotta do that.

And done.  This is the first cut.



Now, chapter 27 is done!  Only one more to go!  But that means it’s time to narrow it down one last time and choose between the last two options.

Here’s the last cut.  It was a close second.


And chapter 28, the final chapter, is done!!!  I was starting to wonder if the day would ever come.  But it has at last!

So, here’s the cover.  It just fits the story best.


Project DDD Publication: final days

Only 3 chapters remain in this revision project.  Of course, a few more passes (proofreading, final read-aloud, etc.) will happen, but we’re only days away from publication!

Of course, that means I’m also forced to decide which cover design to use now.  Dang it.  The toughest decisions!  At least I’ve narrowed it down to 3 options.  That feels symmetrical.  3 chapters, 3 choices.  Okay.  As I knock out these last 3 chapters, I’ll narrow down the choices to 1, as well.

Much like a great manuscript, the original photo is kinda crappy, but some editing and tweaking will make it into a great cover.

Here’s the original [model: Jeremy Kuder/photographer: me].  (I’ll post the front cover once it’s chosen.)


“The One I’m Waiting For” (NaNoWriMo Day 7)

7 days in and 25,005 words finished on this year’s NaNoWriMo entry, My Vienna.  And I haven’t a clue where this story is going.  I mean, I do.  The outline is there, the super short version of it is there.  The characters are there.  The plot is laid out.  But I don’t know what answers this story will give.  I’ve been writing it in bits and pieces, instead of linearly, like I usually try to do.  Some of that is because I had ideas for scenes right away and had to write them before I lost them.  Some of that is because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it this year.

And, honestly, I suspect more than half of what I’ve written will get cut in the revision.  Obviously, after I’ve written a lot more of the story.  But right now, what I’ve got is filling the story backward.  It’s almost giving me a God-like perspective Galadriel’s life after this big question comes in.  All the wonders, all the wanders, all the what-ifs.  And I know the answers to those.  If she goes in this one particular direction, then this will happen.  I have not written the other dimension, though–the one in which she chooses her own path, instead of following what she knows is right.  Maybe that will the second 25,000 words?

25,000 words in, Galadriel isn’t any closer to the answer she’s seeking, and neither am I.  But I’m okay with that.  I’m just going to keep writing and praying and reading God’s Word until I get there.  And then, Lord willing, both of our questions will be answered.

This song from Reliant K kind of says it…“The One I’m Waiting For.”

Galadriel, I’m waiting.  For you.  You’re the one.

Reliant K--writing inspiration from music

Reliant K–writing inspiration from music (can’t find copyright info, but found here:–trees_1403_1024x768.jpg)

Project DDD Publication Continues

I haven’t forgotten Daisy Meeks and Kane Sullivan.  I haven’t dropped the ball on getting Drop Dead Daisy published this month.  No, no, I’m still going.  In the midst of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to keep plugging away.  I’m ahead of NaNoWriMo by several thousand words, so I’m still doing well.  I can maintain this and do some editing.  I am feeling very much that My Vienna, this year’s NaNo novel won’t be remotely drafted by the 50,000 word line, so I’m okay with working on both at once.

9:40 That being said, I’m going to read aloud one more chapter tonight.  Chapter 26.

10:15 Well.  That went better than planned.  6000+ words, and I finished the final 3 chapters for the read-aloud.

And you know what?  I’m really happy with this book.  It still has a lot of work to make it what it should be, but this story is one that really speaks to my heart.  I’m nothing like Daisy, but I still relate to her and love her.  And I guess that’s what it’s about, right?  Hopefully my readers will love her as much as I do when she finally meets the world this month.

Zack's Bass Guitar (photo by Pixomar)--writing inspiration

Zack’s Bass Guitar (photo by Pixomar)–writing inspiration