Thursday, May 31, 2007

Find my Alec!

Okay, I need help. I have not the foggiest idea where to find pictures of guys online so I can look through them and try to spot one that looks like Alec. (DH was somewhat relieved to learn this.) And frankly, I'm a little afraid to try random domains like "" I'm sure you understand.

SO if anyone has any suggestions of sites to try, or if you want to try to send me pics of guys you think fit the bill, that would be great!

You can see the avatar approximation in the post below for a starting point. I'm looking for someone:

-mid to late 20's or very early 30's (not too boyish looking)
-blue eyed
-well built/muscular/physically fit
-reddish brown hair (think chestnut), long if possible
-about 6' tall

Bonus points if the guy is Scottish and/or wearing a kilt. *g*

::UPDATE:: 11:05 pm

Bleh. I meant to write tonight. But I really feel like I need to "meet" Alec. So I spent yet another night trolling the information superhighway looking for him. (Wait, that sounds not-quite-right...)

Anyway, some minor progress. I found the pic at the top of the page.

Also ran across Martin Henderson. Not exactly what I was picturing, but the closest so far...

::EDIT:: Since apparently I get a LOT of blog hits off this pic, I want to attribute it (and any other MH pics I might have around here) to the following website: I couldn't figure out a way to post the pic AND link it to their site without stealing their bandwidth, so I had to copy-save-upload it here. I believe the original was taken by photographer Bradley Patrick.)

At any rate, MH does have longish brown hair and blue eyes, and a good-natured smile. It was the first pic I looked at all night (and I have been looking all night) that "clicked." So I'll keep my eyes open but at least I have a starting point.

And now I am 750 words in the hole for June. Ah, well. I'll make it up with a 1500 word night tomorrow.

Oidche mhath.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fun with Avatars

I'm still trying to get a handle on exactly what Alec looks like. So I've been playing with online "avatar" creation sites...

Yahoo! Avatars was fun, but they didn't have any good guys' clothing (read: kilts). This face is close, though.

In the meantime, I came up with cool ones for Elspeth and me (even though I already have a good idea what we look like...)

Yeah, we have the same face, but only 'cause there were so few options. I really do ride a motor scooter, btw. *g*

Bleh. It's midnight. How did that happen? I don't consider this "wasting time" because I really am trying to nail Alec's appearance down. I think that will help me write him better. But so much for tonight. Tomorrow starts my goal pursuit. 50K (total) by June 30th!

On second thought...

I crunched the numbers after I posted last night, and 25K in a month is a bit much. For me at least, with a full-time (50-55 hours) day job and a 15-month-old I like to spend time with. Oh, and a husband, too. *w*

So I'm scaling it back a bit. Not too much, actually. I'm going for about 20K instead. Twice my old monthly goals. Officially I want to be at 50K+ total word count by the end of June. 4 weeks and 3 days from now. That's 650 words or so a night. Doable.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Everybody hurts

...well, I do at least. 'Swhat I get for doing yardwork in the sun from noon-5 pm, wearing a halter top that exposes my entire lily-white back to UV rays for the first time this year. Oh, and without sunscreen (I forgot).

Yeah, "lobster" does not begin to describe me.

See, I normally don't burn. I tan. And when I do burn, it becomes a tan in a day or two. But a 5-hour stretch during peak exposure without sunscreen will cook anybody.

And did I mention it hu-urts?

Okay, enough whining.

I had a busy weekend. Visitors off and on all 3 days, and the aforementioned yardwork Sunday (that's when I got the sunburn) and Monday. We saw POTC3: At World's End Sunday night. Good movie. Interesting (and not contrived or cliche) ending. The scene after the credits made it better for me...and those of you familiar with my plot will know why. *s* There were a couple scenes with great emotional impact that I may tap before the memory fades.

Last night my back hurt so much I couldn't do anything but watch Eragon "On Demand" with DH while trying not to wince every time I moved. It was also good, but it was basically Star Wars with dragons and a few LOTR elements. I know, I know..."Hero's Journey" and all that. And amazing for a teenager to have written. I was told to watch the movie before reading the book, though, or I wouldn't enjoy the movie as much. So the book is now in my (ginormous) TBR pile.

Tonight, I had high hopes, but the combined physical exhaustion from working hard all weekend and recovering from this sunburn, mental exhaustion from training two students/summer interns all day, and having to catch up on all the e-mail and online stuff I put off for the weekend tonight conspired to make it 10:30 and I haven't written a word and I just don't think I have it in me. *sigh*


A new month is coming up. I haven't set any goals for myself lately. I think this is a good time to start. Susan has inspired me. I've proven I can do 10K in a month, so to really push myself I'm going to mimic her goal of 25K. I want to be over halfway done with this thing by the end of June. Cross your fingers for me...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Playing catch-up

Yet another scene up on the Forum. And now I am playing catch-up on commenting on all the others' posts in 3 different subjects...April X's, May X's, and Twitterpated snips. I counted them when I sat down tonight and there were about 21 different snips I needed to read and comment on, fairly evenly spread over the 3 groups. Looks like I'll get the Twitterpated ones done tonight, and then - as it is very late already - I guess I need to go to bed.

I consider myself as having made progress, though. Being on the Forum again is getting me "back in the groove" and excited about writing. But before I went there tonight, I also spent quite a bit of time responding to an e-mail from my crit partner (yo, Kimb'!) who made some very good points about my plot in the ubersynopsis. So I was brainstorming and bouncing those ideas off her, and I think I came up with some workable ideas, or the beginnings of some. I can go from there, and the book will be richer and better for it. For all that I don't have any new words on the page to show for it. Those days are coming...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

May X

May X is up now. I rewrote Elspeth's first fight scene, the one with the drunk Campbells. Made it choppier. Faster. Some of the new stuff is good; it will probably get worked back into the WIP scene. I had meant to rewrite it even slower, but time ran out and I think there's a good contrast between the versions as they are. What comes in and/or goes out of the WIP will depend on people's responses to the X.

And now, to bed. Long weekend coming up, which means yardwork and writing. As soon as I finish commenting on the other X's, I'll get back into writing hardcore. (No, not that kind of hardcore! ...perverts... ;-)


This site generated a haiku for the blog:

write quite a bit by
traveling back through now if
i really should

Heh. Not far off.

For giggles, I ran it again (several times) and most of what it came up with afterwards was random drivel. I liked these:

ya now so don't
forget she's a physicist
like myself and to

of kilts and clans will
distract her from the heartache
of her recent post

that compress the space
time and thus commences a bit
by traveling back

hers anyway geez
it's 1 am and i've
been riding a 50cc

(Thanks to Susan for the link.)

Monday, May 21, 2007

April X

I did get the April X done and posted last night, but I forgot to blog about it. A couple of favorable comments so far, and I've gotten to thinking that I can do the same X for another "transition" scene: when Alec learns of Elspeth's "death." So I may be inspired to write that scene soon as well.

I also need to go and comment on everyone else's X's and then start on the one for May. But not tonight. Tonight is the season finale of Heroes (and I am a little more obsessed with that show than is probably healthy) and also the final of Dancing With The Stars. I want Apolo to win. But DWTS is getting the DVR in favor of Heroes. Tomorrow is the NCIS finale, but that will probably go on the DVR too. After this week, though, my "TV nights" will open up for the summer and hopefully that will help my writing time.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

They say it's your birthday...

...It's my birthday too, yeah!

Well, another year has come and gone, and now I'm on the 30 side of 25. *g* It was a pretty good day. Beautiful weather. I got some yard work done, we went to a wedding (actually, the reception), now it's late and I'm not going to get a chance to write. But it's my birthday so I think I deserve a day off.

Plans for tomorrow: finish the April X that I didn't get to do yesterday.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Back in the Saddle

For real, this time!

I'm kicking off my fresh start by catching up on the Compuserve forum. I missed the April and May exercises, and I knew April's at least would help me get a new scene started. So tonight I read the prompt and wrote the "transition" scene of Alec returning to Glenstrae and learning that Elspeth sacrificed herself to Campbell in order to secure his (Alec's) release. He goes from giddy to be home and excited to announce their handfasting to worried, afraid, even angry - at her, for going against her promise to forget him and get away safe, and at Campbell, for obvious reasons. Even at himself.

So, I got the scene down, about 585 new words. Now I'm winding down (only one can of writing juice - aka caffienated soda - with dinner tonight) so I'll save and go to bed. Tomorrow I'll post the X and try to crit a few of the others. Then tomorrow night I'll take a look at May's.

100th Post!

And since I haven't written anything in a while, and just told you all about my Jeopardy! audition, I will simply direct you here:


Quote from the website:
Warning: Buying a Utilikilt may lead to feelings of smugness, freedom and
absolute, unabashed manliness. We've got 7 styles of Utilikilts to cover your
ass in every occasion. Stock up and donate your pants to the homeless.

Heh. Thanks to the Smart Bitches for the heads up. Now I know what Alec can wear when he gets here!


(cross-posted from my personal blog, written last Thursday 5/10/07)

I so totally owned the audition today. After reading a behind-the-scenes/prep book I was more worried about the 50-question written test than anything. *That* had a lot to do with if you qualified to be in the contestant pool. I knew I would ace the mock game (in which, incidentally, your "score" does not affect your selection - only your gameplay) and the interview. But you have to do well on the test to get to that point.

Thankfully, I did well on the test. It actually seemed easier than the online test. We were given an answer sheet numbered 1-50 with blank lines after each number, 2 columns of 25. I was 3/4 of the way down the first column before I even hit a question I didn't instantly know. I probably only left 2-3 blank, and guessed on about 5. Plus I may have missed some I thought I knew. All-in-all, I feel I got 35-40 out of 50 right. I don't know what constitutes "passing" but I think that's pretty *darned* good.

Here's how it went down: A fiasco with the hotel last night (ugh, I'll talk about that later) meant we didn't get our room until after midnight. Which means I actually didn't get to study or play Trivial Pursuit. I was in bed by 1, but couldn't get to sleep. I finally drifted off just before 2 am, only to have Dad call me because we forgot to call and say we got here. I slept for about 4 hours until my alarm went off at 6, then hit snooze on the various cell phones we had set until 6:30. Getting ready took longer than planned. I wanted to eat at 7 am and be out by 7:30, but it was about 7:30 when we got down to eat.Just as we sat down at the table, the friggin' fire alarm went off. So we went outside, and when Ben didn't show up or answer his phone, I went back up to our room to get him. Of course, he'd already left, but I took the opportunity to grab a soda to take with me. By the time we got downstairs, there was no way we had time to finish eating. I took the alarm as a sign we were meant to go. So we did.

A frantic drive to the Metro station, train ride to Dupont Circle, jog-in-heels two blocks to the hotel, and breathless elevator ride later, I arrived just in time to sign in, pick up my paperwork, and kiss Shaylin goodbye before they called us into the room. I guess the alarm *was* a sign for me to leave; I would have taken longer at breakfast otherwise, and may have arrived too late.

There were actually only 21 people invited to this audition. 17 of us showed up. I was one of the youngest in the room (there was one other 25-year-old, though I will be 26 next week). I was also from the farthest away. Most were from Virginia and Maryland, all 6 hour drives or closer. I was the only Kentuckian, and 8 hours away.

First they talked to us about timing (you have to wait until the whole clue is read, and lights on the side of the board will come on when you can ring in - anticipate and you get locked out) and played a practice round of Jeopardy!, with us raising our hands and them calling on us. I got to be the first person called on to answer: Rhyme Time - You could get this filled at a pharmacy in Cairo - What is an Egyptian Prescription?

Then we took the test, and I did well, as mentioned above. Afterwards a little less than half were enthusiastic and remarked among ourselves that it seemed easier than the online test we took to qualify for this audition. I was in the second group of people (in no particular order) to play the mock game. And may I say, I was a natural. She never corrected or reminded me about anything. I spoke clearly, always answered in the form of a question, moved right on to the next question, was confident, everyone could hear me... And let me tell you: my world narrowed down to the screen with the clues, the lights, the buzzer, and listening for my name. Even though I was selecting the clues (I did go on a nice little streak, I must say) I could not have told you the dollar amounts of anything I answered. I was not thinking about money values, just getting the next question right. Then she interviewed each of us, and again, I struck up a rapport, spoke clearly, was (I hope) interesting and funny... In other words, I nailed it.

Still, we were told that out of 2,500 that will interview, only 400 will make it on the show this season. So now we sit back and wait. I could get called later in the summer (they start taping in July) or not until next April or not at all. I guess we shall see. But I have a good feeling about this.

Now I can get back to the book...

Monday, May 07, 2007

And then, despite myself...

This is actually from a few days ago...Thursday, I think.

But yeah, I post on here that I'm not going to think about/work on the book until after my Jeopardy! audition. Then what happens?

I am overwhelmed with the need to write. It's that "inspired" writing where you're not thinking about're just reading words off a page in your head and if you don't write them down they're gone forever. So I gave in, and got over 800 new words down on my lunch break. Would have been over 1000 if I'd finished the scene, but hey - I'm not complaining.

Now Alec and Elspeth had better leave off for the next 4 days so I can do well on my Jeopardy! audition. Then they are welcome (indeed, requested!) to come back full force.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Or...not so much

I didn't get (haven't gotten) to the April exercise. *sigh* I still plan on doing it. Thankfully, Jo has said anyone can do any X at any time. Maybe she'll get a double-whammy from me: April/May.

I leave for my Jeopardy! tryout one week from today. After that it will be "all book, all the time" or as close as I can swing it.

I still have a goal of finishing this thing (rough/SFD version) by the 1-year mark, which is in July. That's asking a LOT of myself, BUT I've got so much of the legwork done - plot layout, historical research, etc. - that now I just need wordage. If I can keep myself BIC (butt-in-chair) it might still be doable.