“A monkey stole my bra”

I wrote this as I waited for Herman’s Hermits to start. (Epcot Garden Rocks Series) This month has been crazy and fast. Took mom to Key West for her birthday. Got photos with the clothing optional bar sign at Garden of Eden but we were too scared to climb the stairs. (Been there done that was terrified much) Caught up on sleep. I’ve been working on a new June Nash novel and indulged in too many 10 hr writing days. Did some West World binging. Great show. Watch it!

While you wait for the new June novel, I have a free micro misadventure. June is trapped in Costa Rica and nature is not her friend. Get it free on Amazon or Kobo. Tell a friend and leave reviews! Every time you do June smiles at a random Dewzer. And it helps me get up in the morning and write more.

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That’s it for now. Stay cool (the heat sucks today) and Write On,

Melissa

More Seattle

Last time I shared photos of the Star Trek exhibit at the EMP museum in Seattle. This time, I thought I’d wrap up that trip with some of the more bizarre outfits from the wearable art collection.

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The real Judy Jetson
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One way to look at couplehood
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My favorite outfit thanks to the matching lunchbox
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Your shoes really bring out your stained glass windows
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For when your friend doesn’t want to pay for the movie
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The best way to handle Monday after a long weekend
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And Friday’s outfit

Like I said last time, EMP is worth a visit.

It’s raining here. My frizzy hair and I hope you’re safe and dry wherever you are.

Write on,

Melissa

 

New book is done

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Near Bismark I think

 

Three nights ago I emailed my editor the rest of How to Sex Your Snake.  Woo-hoo. She already sent back line by line for the last three chapters. (She’s been editing as we go)

I’m celebrating by driving my youngest cross country to Seattle and their new apartment. It’ll be an early night tonight so I will download Scrivener for the ipad and get to work on the fixes. Next step is copies to my final readers so they can look at the formatting and make sure I got all the fixes in.

Gotta sign off and finish my wonton tacos before they get cold.

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Chow down and Write on, 

Melissa

Use it or lose it

 

Hold still while I kick you in the head…

In the summer of 2004, I’d just perfected my running-jump-spin-and-break-the-board-kick (sorry to be so technical) and was a few months away from testing for my 2nd degree black belt when the Air Force realized it had been way too long since out last move and sent us packing. Since ATF hadn’t made it to Tucson, I decided to look for a new discipline. Aikido, Jiujitsu, the west’s version of Taekwondo? Boxing? It was an agonizing search that I lost countless hours to. Guess what I ending up choosing?

imageIf you said nothing, you win! I got distracted running camera on a music video. That led to more films and eight years later, I was on my way to Key West where exercise involved a bike, riding to the bar for some heavy shot glass lifting.

Twelve years later, I can’t twist my arm enough to scratch a spot in the middle of my back. I used to be able to stand next to someone and kick them in the head. That was a valuable skill. I miss it. So, last month I decided I needed to get back in shape and I signed up for a yoga app through my smart tv. Don’t ask me what it’s called. I can’t remember. I’ve use it three times. What is it with commitments?

But Mom! Everybody’s doing it!

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ah pokemon thingies? hello? any of you out there?

Anyone playing the latest craze, Pokemon GO? I’ve been sad to see so many on social media bashing the popular game app. Who cares if people are using their cell phones to hunt and battle with imaginary creatures. I’m especially dismayed when I see writers join in the putdowns. Ah, hello, we live and die in the world of make believe. 

The game has been getting kudos for getting folks up off the couch and out into the real world, so to speak. It’s been a boost for small business, new friendships and even law enforcement thanks to at least two bodies discovered by players.

I even gave it a GO. Despite the fact that I live in the sticks. Check out that lovely screenshot. See how many nearby Pokemon are highlighted? Yeah.

I think I eventually caught 6 of those worm things that live in the grass (I’m deep in cow and potato country) and 3 things that looked like sparrows.

After a week I got bored and deleted. Another thing I couldn’t commit to. Jeez.

And speaking of the sticks, my pooch Stitch is ready to go do this:

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Go take a hike and write on,

Melissa

 

 

 

 

And the winner is…

20160317_215329So, my youngest offspring and I are both trying to finish things. He’s working through some videos prepping for an IT certification test and I’m trying to get my latest project, the novel, How to Sex Your Snake finished and off to my editor. We decide to engage in a little friendly competition to see who would finish first. The deadline was today. (at midnight) And the winner is…”

Nobody. Yet. We had something unexpected take us out of town yesterday so we pushed the deadline to tomorrow. I’m not sure where he stands at the moment, he’s being secretive. Me? Well, let’s take a look:

How to Sex Your Snake has 25 chapters. (I’m one of those anal outliners)

Chs 1-18 are locked.

19 is probably done. I need to read it one more time but I’m saving that for later.

Ch 20 is done.

Ch 21 needs one line to smooth out a transition.

ch 22 needs a new ending. I made changes in the story (and rewrote my outline for the ending) and now a new last paragraph is in order.

ch 23-25 need complete rewrites. Everything I had is gone now, thanks to the new ending. Well, ch 25 has the same ending but the chapter has always been in an outline form. I expect each to come in at about 1500-2000 words. (for a total of 15-20 new pages)

As you can see in the photo above, I drank wine so I’m done for the night. Even a small glass just kills me. I have a practice 10k in the morning (and a race on Sunday) then it’s back to the computer until I finish or give up trying. I’ll drop a quick note tomorrow.

Until then, have a nice night and Write On,

Melissa

ps.

Did you lift a pint for St. Paddy’s day? I completely forgot about it.

 

 

Running out of Days

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Disney world at Christmas

I woke up this morning and realized I’d lost 12 days. My sweetie has been getting us ready for our next races, so it’s write, run, sleep, repeat. We did take a day to zip down to a caption theater in Appleton for a showing of Zootopia. It was one of those nifty theaters that have recliners for seats so we basically drove 3 hrs roundtrip for a nap. (you may recall I’m hearing impaired so I live and die by the caption) Okay, we didn’t sleep through the whole movie. Just bits and pieces. Despite it being adorable. It’s just that those seats are dangerous and I know that one day I’m going to wake up and discover that I’ve snuggled an innocent seat mate.

So, what races are we readying for? How sweet of you to ask. On the 20th of this month we have a 10k down near Milwaukee and on April 17 we’re running the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon – the Dark Side at Disney World. (think villains) I have no idea what to wear for that one. I’m toying with a t-shirt that reads something like, ask me about the light. Or, have you accepted Yoda as your savior? We’re still deciding.

In the meantime, I’m pushing hard to finish How to Sex Your Snake this week. (yeah, my sweetie doesn’t believe me either) One of my kids is prepping for an IT test and we have a personal challenge going as to who will be done first. The deadline is Thursday at midnight, so we’ll see. Loser takes the winner to the movies. Which is perfect. Cause, come Friday, I’ll be ready for a nap.

Keep track of your days and Write On,

Melissa

ps

Disney World is our go to spot for relaxing and we’re counting down the days till we’re Florida residents again and can renew our annual passes at those lovely local rates. What’s your go to spot? To be perfectly honest, if we had the money, we’d buy a place in Puerto Rico or one of the US Virgin Islands. So, how about if money was no object? Where would you be?

 

Lovin’ the Quickie (book update)

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A common symptom affecting readers of my Sunday Word Count category.

My 11 month experiment with tracking my writing has bored me to epic proportions. I can’t imagine what it did to others. From now on, I’ll keep infrequent updates to a 30 second read. (don’t worry, that’s only for updates on my books. I will still ramble endlessly on all other topics)

How to Sex Your Snake – I may have found a cover artist. Waiting to hear back. Manuscript goes to my editor soon.

My horror series, currently in outline mode, is based on a disturbing monster from a screenplay my writing partner’s and my agent submitted to the X-files. They passed on our script but the concept is too cool not to pursue. Possibly, my writing Scully almost completely out of the script was an issue. Also, they had just moved the series from Vancouver to LA so they only wanted “city” scripts.

More another day.

Write on,

Melissa

a ps cheat (not included in those 30 seconds)

Sunday Word count will move to this category but remember, anything below this entry will require lots of caffeine and probably lead to issues experienced by Mia in the photo above.

Fosterdog Mia

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I love my hat so very much.

Take a look at that face. That’s foster dog Mia. She loves that hat so very much. She came to live with us when a cousin decided to take a year long trip around the world. (think mostly Asia and South America) In the 13 or so months that she’s been with us, she’s learned to love snow, kill voles, chase chipmunks, annoy her 15 year old doggie second cousin Stitch, and generally snuggle her way into our hearts.

She lectures us when we’ve been gone too long, insists on playing squeaky football before breakfast, and has carved out a permanent spot between my husband’s calves when he reclines in his favorite chair.

In 9 days and a wake up, she goes home. A small part of me is devastated. She’s personality times a zillion. Most of me is relieved. She’s tiring. But in a good way. Like a toddler. I will miss her tons but be happy knowing that she’s home again with her human mom and dad and four legged brother and sister. (cat and dog and I’m guessing on their sexes)

I’ll probably post more photos and videos as I ready myself to let go.

Snuggle your babies and Write on,

Melissa

ps

Tell me about your fur babies in the comments below. That might help me overcome my sorrow.

New babies!

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Two of the babies peeking out.

 

The clutch is finally hatching! These silly babies are like a month over due. Have I mentioned the babies before now? I don’t recall and I don’t feel like looking back over previous posts. I think these are green rat snakes but I could be wrong. I’m just an innocent bystander, they’re my husband’s hobby. Though, for a year, I was mom in charge while he was stationed in Turkey. At that point in time, he had a collection that, including babies, topped out at about 100. It would take me an entire Saturday to feed everyone. Then I had to play with new babies to get them used to humans. And by playing I mean holding the little rascals, letting them crawl all over my hands. If I had a nickel for every time one of them bit the skin between my thumb and index finger….

I hope everyone had a lovely Hanukkah and Christmas. I took too many days off work and played with company. Any weird gifts? The strangest thing we got was…well, I don’t think there was anything strange this year. We discovered a nifty video game called Never Alone. It’s a gorgeous 2 player with fascinating stories and history of Alaskan natives. Check out their website and read up on how the game came to be. A great lesson on not letting someone tell you something can’t be done.

I suppose I should do a quick word count. (as I’ve mentioned before, this is more for me to keep track of my progress as I can’t imagine anyone being all that interested!)

I think I mentioned that I didn’t like the ending to the A story and cut about 7 thousand words giving myself a mini heart attack. (that’s 23 pages at 300 words per page) Well, I finished 3 new chapters, ended up ahead in the count and love the new direction. I was so happy with it, I almost stood up in Mcd’s to read what I’d wrote. At least, I would have cut into the crazy old man collection that was bashing the President. (by 10 at night, the place is pretty empty. Just the crazy old man club and me. We always nod to each other but keep our distance)

How to Sex Your Snake

Genre – Mystery
New this week – 2,436 words
Total Count – 46,962 words 
Release date: Early 2016

Chapters 1-17 are done. (I rewrote 15-17) Ch 18 needs some work but is completely outlined. Ch 19 is done. Ch 20 might be done. Ch 21 needs a bit of work. Chs 22-24 are just in outline stages still. My editor has me giving her daily updates with the goal of sending her the manuscript on Jan 2. We’ll see. It will be a push because I have commitments on new year’s eve and day. No, not the drinking kind!

Stay safe if you’re doing the drinking kind of things. Use Uber (or the like) or stay home and as always

Write one,

Melissa

Ps.

Did you get something weird for Christmas or Hanukkah?

Naked with Wet Feet.

I’ve been writing all day in wet feet. Which begs the question, why do we say in the nude? If you’re naked, you’re not in anything. That’s the whole point of the word.
I’m currently sitting in my car outside of Mcds about to start on my second 5 hr writing session of the day and I foolishly put on the seat heater. That makes it especially difficult to shut off the engine and brace the rain as I dash for Mcd’s front door.
I guess it’s just as well that I didn’t change my socks. My feet are about to get wet. Again.

Word Count- not much change in totals. Still working on the ending’s rewrite. The end is in sight. Of the book. Not the rain.