Archive for the ‘Meg & Matt’ Category
Good morning, everyone. It’s Saturday, and you know what that means: Time to kick back with another round of My Sexy Saturday reads.
Post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words. The choice is yours. It can be from a WIP or something you already have published. Your post should be live by 9 am US Pacific Time on Saturday. Put those lucky 7s to work for you!
To celebrate the sale of my 2011 Golden Heart-finaling manuscript, BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, to Turquoise Morning Press, here’s an excerpt.
In this scene, the book’s opener, Meg has just realized she’s pregnant and almost lost her job. She and her still-employed co-workers have hit the local watering hole to celebrate the fact that they still have jobs. But she’s feeling weak and needs to sit — and finds herself battling a sexy stranger for the only open table in the bar.
As Meg slid into the seat he’d so ungraciously offered, she ordered her unruly hormones to simmer down. A man was the last thing she needed tonight — or maybe ever again. “Didn’t your mother ever teach you not to stare?”
“Sorry.” The word was an apology, but he didn’t look the least bit contrite. “I can’t help staring at beautiful women. It’s my biggest character flaw.”
Beautiful? After the day she’d had — confirming she was pregnant, fighting off morning sickness … all day long … and dealing with a fresh round of layoffs at the foundering ad agency she worked for — even a blind man would know she looked like hell.
Despite her bad mood and his too-obvious pickup line, Meg found herself smiling at the guy. After all, it took guts to tell such a blatant lie — and it’d be nice to talk to a brave man for a change. Her ex, who’d run off to Vegas last month to try his hand at the professional poker circuit, had certainly been lacking in that department. Besides, with her friends otherwise occupied, she had nothing to do but make conversation.
After enduring his appraisal, she had no qualms about completing one of her own. She slid her gaze from the tuft of thick, chestnut hair poking through the back of his burgundy-and-white cap downward, over his golden-brown eyes, straight nose and smiling mouth. She took in his toned arms, broad chest, tree-trunk thighs and — oh my.
Perhaps he had good reason for his arrogance. Meg jerked her eyes back to his face. After they’d mentally stripped each other, it didn’t feel right to not know the man’s name. She extended her hand. “I’m Meg.”
He eyed her outstretched hand, his lips lifting again. She grinned back as she rescinded her offer. He was right: They already knew each other too well for a mere handshake.
Beauty and the Ballplayer, coming in 2014 from Turquoise Morning Press.
In case you missed the good news on Facebook, I signed another contract today. And this time, it was a multi-book contract.
That’s right: I sold not one but two more books in my baseball series, tentatively titled “All’s Fair in Love & Baseball,” to Turquoise Morning Press.
They sent me an email earlier in the week about wanting to offer me a contract for BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, my 2011 Golden Heart finalist. And when I responded “Absolutely, positively yes, I accept,” I also mentioned that I’d begun writing Book 3 in the series. I said it was still in the early stages, and as-yet untitled, but gave a quick rundown of the premise …
It’s the first baseman’s story — spoiled second-generation ballplayer trying to outrun his father’s long shadow. The heroine is his lawyer, whom he thinks is the exotic dancer he got busted for trying to defend. (The dancer’s her twin sister, though.)
— From my email
… And they loved the premise enough to pick it up sight unseen.
That’s both marvelous and frightening, since I’ve only got a few thousand words down right now. But I have a week-plus of vacation starting next Thursday, and I intend to get at least the bones of the story down while I’m off.
It’s probably a good thing I didn’t mention Book 4, since it’s not more than mere glimmer in my eye: I see an injured pitcher falling for his physical therapist … I have no idea how he got injured, though, and no clear idea of the heroine.
Soon, there’ll be three books of mine running free in the published world. Plus my indie-pubbed holiday novella … I’d better get back to work!
As much as I love my RWA Golden Heart® finaling MS, “Beauty and the Ballplayer,” I’m beginning to think it’s cursed.
Longtime readers of this blog will remember that I somehow lost the last 50 or so pages of B&B. It simply was gone from its Word document. Thank goodness I had a hard copy. All I had to do was retype — not completely reconstruct.
The MS has changed since then, of course. I finished the revisions detailed on all those Post-It notes on May 21.
On Monday, I received an agent request for the full. I took my GH sisters’ advice to read through the MS one more time before sending it off — and am I glad I did. Somehow, the version of B&B on my flash drive wasn’t the most recent version. Scenes that I’d deleted were still there and new additions were nowhere to be found.
Oh, the horror! My heart skipped more than one beat.
Luckily, I was able to boot up my wonky computer and retrieve a more recent version from the desktop. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that even that one didn’t contain the completed new draft.
I just spent four-plus highly caffeinated hours at Starbucks, rewriting a scene near the end and then editing out the rest of the things that needed to go to live up to the revised version.
I’ve also learned a very valuable lesson. This time, I e-mailed myself a copy of the completed revisions — both as an attachment and in the body of the e-mail. I’m not going to get caught without the most recent version again.
You already know I spent my vacation procrastinating. This is what I was avoiding doing:
Each one of these colored squares represents a scene in my Golden Heart®-finaling manuscript, “Beauty and the Ballplayer.” The yellow ones are turning points; blue are scenes that can stay the same; pink must be deleted altogether; and green are new scenes that must be written.
I drafted this Post-It plan after sitting down with my friend Mallory, who’d volunteered to read the story and help me “fix” it. (This was after getting a couple of rejections from agents who said the same thing: The writing was good, but they didn’t connect with the characters).
Little did I know she planned to make me re-plot the whole thing!
Well, not really RE-plot since I never plotted it out to begin with. Did I mention I’m the epitome of a pantster? I write scenes in order, but I often don’t realize certain things about my characters (such as Meg’s issue with her controlling father) until I’m well into the last third of the MS.
On the second day of my vacation, Mallory and I sat at Barnes & Noble and came up with the turning points. After that, it was up to me to figure out which scenes would stay and which would go.
I was gung-ho about the project, and finished the Post-Its that night. Then I packed up my posterboards and took them to the Boyfriend’s. I attached them to the wall (where they still are, because I forgot to bring them back with me) and stared. And stared. And stared some more.
I could drown under the weight of all those little colored squares — or so I thought. Now that I’m examining the photo again with a few weeks’ distance, it doesn’t look so bad. There are:
- 16 scenes to be deleted
- 9 new ones to write
- too many keepers to count. (These, too, will need some tweaking, I’m finding — but tweaking I can do.)
Really, that’s not so much. Dare I say I’m feeling like Superwoman? I can delete long passages with a single keystroke … draft new scenes faster than a speeding bullet …
Okay, probably not faster than a speeding bullet — but first drafts of nine new scenes won’t take more than 48 hours’ work, tops (probably less).
I have this Wednesday off. Let’s see how much I can get done.
P.S. To avoid serious plot problems with my next story (the companion to “Beauty and the Ballplayer”), I think I’ll be plotting those turning points in advance.
See? The slow learner CAN adapt to new ways of doing things. 😉