$20 Amazon Gift Card

I‘m a little swamped today. All the usual, plus, I’m pitching a proposal to a new client that I’m really excited about.

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So today I’m just taking the opportunity to remind everyone that I’m giving away a $20 gift card on November 1st. All you have to do to be eligible to win it is to comment on my blog here. You could share your thoughts on writing fiction, tell me about your own blog, or just tell me a joke. You could even write “I want that gift card, baby!”

Only five days left. Get in while the gettin’s good.

100 Days of Writing – Day 31

Well I’m officially a month into the 100 Days Of Writing Challenge

. I’ve missed four days, for a grand total of 27 successful days. My goal was to write one page a day on the Northern California book I’m working on for Eye Muse Books . The book is set to have 100 pages, and I had 18 when I started, so I’m at 45 – almost half way done.

The first week was easy, the second was okay, but now, four weeks in, I’m realizing how very hard it is to sustain a write-every-day habit. It’s amazing how easily a day can slip by. Some days I’m just being lazy (on Saturday we babysat a friend’s little one so she and her husband could go to a wedding, and having one more kid around the house was the perfect excuse to bail on work), and other days I’m actually using the time for other work (yesterday I spent the time working on a proposal for a new client).

So while I haven’t been perfect, I think a 87% success rate over 31 days is pretty good. Last year I only made it to day 12.

The thing I’m afraid of is that it isn’t going to get any easier. Family is coming to town this weekend, and soon the holidays will be here. My husband’s birthday is coming up and our little guy will be turning one on December 10th! I can’t believe it. I will likely miss more days ahead, but I’m going to keep trying. I will keep getting back on this horse, no matter how many times it bucks me off. I really want to finish this book before the end of the year. It would just feel good.

New Headshot

I am super excited for tomorrow morning.

My friend, and amazing photographer, Paul Giunta

is coming over early to take some family photos for us. As of right now – this is the best family photo we have. I think we can do better.

While he’s here, we’re going to try to get a good solo shot of me to use as my new writer’s headshot. The one I’m using now (check out my bio page

, or any of my social media) was taken when I was pregnant. If you look close you can tell that I’m leaning over to camouflage the belly. It’s been a fine filler, but I want a really great headshot. Something I would be proud to put on the cover of a book.

I guess I need to get busy looking at some examples. I’m sure it’ll be a lot easier to get something fantastic if I can tell Paul what I think fantastic is.

ps- don’t forget that anyone who leaves a comment between now and the end of the month will be automatically entered to win a $20 gift card to Amazon (my way of celebrating the redesign of the site). I’m sure you can think of something to say…

Ta-Dah!

Welcome to the new and improved Unfolding Tale.

I spent the last few days transferring my blog posts from the old site (good ol Weebly didn’t have a way to do that automatically, booooo!), which was a fun, if tedious, stroll down memory lane.

One thing I realized is that I used to only post two to three times a month, whereas now I post that much in a week. I also used to write much longer posts. I still occasionally take my time to opine freely, but these days I tend to get to the point a lot more quickly. I also used to only write about fiction, but now that I do so much writing of all different kinds, the topics of my posts have grown much more diverse.

A few notes on the new site – I tried to transfer photos as much as I could, but not all of them made the cut. I also lost all of my comments. This is truly sad, as the discussions that have taken place in response to some posts were awesome. My apologies to everyone whose thoughts were lost to the ether. Now that I’m on WordPress I shouldn’t have that trouble again, even when it’s time to update the site in the future. Next time the transfer will be easier, and I’ll be able to take my photos and comments with me.

So this is it!

As promised – I’m celebrating by giving away a $20 Amazon gift card. Anyone who leaves a comment on any post written between now and the end of the month will be automatically entered to win.

A Blind Woman Reading A Map In The Dark

In November my novel was 247 pages long. I still refer to that stack of paper as my first draft, but by January 11th I was back down to 35 pages. The story changed so much as I wrote it that by the time I reached the end, the beginning I had written months before no longer worked. I had to trash most of my work.

I’ve heard great writers talk about how they always trash their first hundred pages – that it takes that long to figure a story out. One writer (Isabel Allende I think?) even refers to those as pages -100 to 0, then she starts with page 1.

So even though scrapping over 200 pages seems extreme, I’m willing to accept the loss as part of the process. The thing is, now that I’m back up to page 120, the ending I wrote in my first draft doesn’t seem quite right.

Here’s my nightmare: I figure out the next 200 pages, but by the time I get to the end, my current beginning is no longer any good. So I rewrite the beginning again, then the end doesn’t fit. This cycle goes on indefinitely, and I never, ever finish my novel.

Am I spiraling down into a tighter and tighter story with all the interesting characters and moving plot points that will keep a reader turning the pages? Or am I chasing bubbles in the breeze? I’m going on faith that this process I’m engaged in will lead me to a finished product at some point, but at times I get nervous that I’m going nowhere.

All I can do is keep writing.