Writing Can Be Murder

July 26, 2007

Headphones or an aluminum foil cap?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 8:32 am

So after ranting about being interrupted yesterday, I asked the Romance Divas (www.romancedivas.com) what they did to prevent people from interrupting them while they were writing in public.

Many people suggested wearing headphones. I already do this in the supermarket, but I’m a bit leery about doing it in a cafe because I hum. I hum all the time. I even sometimes start to hum in the middle of the conversation if my mind is wandering or I’m bored.

So then I was thinking maybe I should just hum while I write. People will think I’m a bit nuts and leave me alone. Then I got to thinking that perhaps I should just make myself a foil cap like people do to keep aliens from reading their thoughts.

1480 done on Stolen yesterday.


July 25, 2007

“Are you a writer?”

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 4:40 pm

I like to write at my local B&N. I get a drink. I plop myself into a seat. I pull out my alphasmart and I write for an hour or two. I don’t read. I don’t make small talk. I don’t even make eye contact with people. I’m there to write.

I was in flow today when the guy sitting next to me asked, “Are you a writer?”

Dread pooled in my gut and I thought, No, I’ve just been pounding at this keyboard for the past ninety minutes because I’ve got to type up a REALLY long “to do” list.

But I said, “Uh huh”.

This is my none too subtle clue that I’m not interested in talking. This only works sometimes. It didn’t work today.

“I knew it!”

Brilliant deduction

“I’m a writer too!”

Oh god, not just a nosy person, but a poser too. Save me!  And I say again, even though I now know I’m doomed, “Uh huh.”

Now he was probably a nice enough guy, but dammit I was in flow and I didn’t want to hear about his book. I wanted to work on mine. I was working on mine.

After giving me his card, he  proceeded to tell me how great his book was and all I could think of was a post I’d read on Rene Lyons blog the other day about gargantuan egos ( www.renelyons.blogspot.com ). I hate when people tell me how great they are. It’s a total turnoff, that coupled with the fact I was pissed about being interrupted, had me getting up and leaving the store just to escape him.

So much for my flow….

Name that character!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 10:41 am

I have many weaknesses and one of them is that I do not excel at naming characters. I was having a discussion with Jennifer Colgan ( www.jennifercolgan.com ) about this very subject just last week.

Take my current WIP “Stolen” (1728 words yesterday)

I have characters named:

Chase and Chuck 

Steve and Stew

Mike and Mark

Names that sound similar (or that start with the same letter — I’ve got a Sebastian and a Chris thrown into the mix too) make it difficult to keep track of which character is which. Do not make this same mistake!  By the time I send it out, half of these names will be changed.

I’ve also realized that most of my female characters have names that end with an “e” sound. Emily, Laurie, Ginny.

And don’t get me started on last names. I tend to pick them out of the phone book.

What about you? How do you go about naming your characters? What kinds of problems do you encounter?

July 24, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 8:24 am

Do you feel like you’re constantly chasing the “proverbial” carrot?

Do you hold out little treats for yourself as bribes?

Yesterday my “carrot” as I worked on Stolen, was a scene from my  sadistic serial killer’s POV. I love to write from his POV (I don’t even want to consider what that says about me!) because his scenes are so clear in my mind. I never say “why the hell would you do that?” like I do when I’m writing scenes for other characters. I just write his scenes and the flow is exhilarating.

His scene was the last scene I wrote yesterday. I wrote the scenes that came before and after it, by promising myself that scene as my carrot. It worked. Yesterday I wrote 1522 words (of course I deducted 67 from the rest of the manuscript, so it looks like I only got down 1455).

I’ve already got my carrot in mind for the day, what about you? Do you use carrots? What are they?

July 23, 2007

Progress (or lack of)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 8:46 am

Today, as part of my walking program, I did a “hill” workout. Up and down the same two hills over and over again for 40 minutes. In the rain. It did not leave me feeling enthusiastic about my progress.

My progress on Stolen is even slower than I thought. Right now the word count is at a paltry 44,455 words. Awful.

And my progress on ES. I have no idea, because all those notes are still scribbled in on the pages of the manuscript.

 Perhaps tomorrow will bring better weather and more pages.

July 16, 2007

Authors Reveal Their Guilty Pleasures

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 11:21 am

Time magazine has an amusing article about the guilty pleasure reads of well-known authors. My two favorites were: Joyce Carol Oates picked MAD Magazine and Janet Evanovich Picked Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Comic Books.

You can check out other picks at: http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1642805_1642798,00.html

 I’m behind on posting my sweat progress, but I should be able to post tomorrow once I get everything typed up since I’ve been handwriting.

Antiquated yes, but it works for me.

July 13, 2007

Visions of Sugar Plums

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 7:32 am

I go to a local farm stand once or twice a week. Last week I bought sugar plums. I’d never tried them before and they were just the right mix of tart and sweet. Yummy! So this week I went back and they didn’t have any more sugar plums. I even asked the wacky character who works there, but nope, none to be found. “Try one of these,” she said, holding out a pint of yellow and red cherries. “You’ll like them.” And she was right, I did.

Going to the farm stand is a lot like going to sit at your desk to write. Maybe you think you’re going to get one thing, but you end up getting something else. It happens.

July 12, 2007

70 Days of Sweat update

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 1:18 pm

I started the challenge http://www.alisonkent.com/blog/ on Tuesday, thinking I was going to start a new book, but yesterday, while sitting in the waiting room of my DH’s doctor’s office, I had a major A-HA!  (though DUH! might be more appropriate) moment. I overheard two nurses talking about some kind of “itis” and it occurred to me that I’ve got a severe case of “new-book-itis”. The symptoms are familiar. My current WIP has lost it’s magic and I’m itching to start something new.

 After giving myself a stern talking to, I’ve decided to tackle my new-book-itis head on. This means I won’t be starting a new book after all. I’ll be finishing two WIPs over the course of 70 days which will equal 100,000 words.

Stolen: Currently 40,000 words  Goal: 90,000   (I’ve REALLY got to stop deleting scenes from this one. A couple of weeks ago it was 60,000 words)

 ES: Currently 44,600   Goal: 95,000

 I’m supposed to be writing 1500 words per day.

 On Tuesday I only wrote 800 (because I was decluttering and reorganizing my office, which now looks awesome, thank you very much!).

Yesterday I wrote 1400.

I’ve got some catching up to do!

July 11, 2007

Rogue Theta by Bernadette Gardner

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 9:35 am

Gage Benjamin is the title character in Bernadette Gardner’s erotic science fiction tale “Rogue Theta” available from Ellora’s Cave. http://www.ellorascave.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=9781419911163&Page=Page1


Implants have been injected into human volunteers brains that have turn them into perfect killing machines, but now the chips are malfunctioning and the Thetas are remembering their identities, values, etc.


Lilliana, who has some cybernetic parts of her own, has been sent to kill the Rogue Theta, Gage, but when she recognizes his human characteristics she doesn’t. Instead she reports to her superiors that he is dead. If/when her lie is discovered, she will be marked for death. Together they must discover the secrets that the government desperately wants to hide.

The attraction and ultimately love between Lilliana and Gage is palpable in this imaginative story by Bernadette Gardner http://www.bernadettegardner.com/


July 10, 2007

70 Days of Sweat

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 9:10 am

Allison Kent and others are running a great motivational challenge on her blog


 The challenge is to write 60-100k words by September 20th — which of course translates to an entire book.  I signed up and will be posting my progress, so stay tuned.

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