This is not London

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This is not London

Sunday has rolled in all cuddled up in a wooly bank of fog.

Very atmospheric if it was London in November. Seeing as how it’s northern Florida in late July, however, it really kind of stinks.

But, hey, I’m willing to roll with Mother Nature’s punches.

Ain’t no fog that can take Chloe Stowe down!…

*winces*

Alright that was admittedly ridiculous.

It was also a big, fat lie. Heavy, grey skies can gather a depression in my head with alarming speed.

However, that’s not going to happen today.

I’m going to be chipper, d**n it!

Frolicking will freaking occur with regularity and glee.

I might even be able to cough up a giggle and a guffaw from time to time…

Which is most likely the reason my dog is scratching pitifully at the front door with her bags packed.

*sighs*

Oh well.

Maybe the fog will lift soon and the creative juices will start to flow again (right now they’re moving at the clip of molasses heading uphill).

Well, wish me luck in surviving this Sunday and I’ll wish you the same.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Frosting Earned

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Frosting Earned

Cupcakes for all!

*coughs into fist*

*realizes I’m sounding a bit royal there*

*tries again…*

Cupcake! Cupcake! Cupcake! Everyone gets a cupcake!

*winces*

*realizes I’m just being loud and annoying now*

*gives up on the whole cupcake deal and moves on…*

What we were all supposed to be celebrating up there is this: The “Six Brothers” Chapter Outline / “Am I doing this right?” package is not only complete but was packed off to my agent yesterday afternoon!

Yep, told you that deserved a cupcake.

And notice that I was including each and every one of you in the frosting and cake fest. As much as I’ve been whining and worrying about the stupid “Six Brothers” thing, you all deserve some compensation for your tremendous patience.

Hence, cupcakes for all!

*realizes that really doesn’t sound as royal as it does grateful*

*smiles and decides it’s perfect then*

Ok, everybody get out of here!

Early dismissal today.

Go and rock your Saturdays, people!

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Wrecked & Wry

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Wrecked & Wry

*kicks tires of my stalled imagination*

*curses*

*stomps off determined to do this posting without the old clunker of creativity*

*the blog auditorium empties at a frankly embarrassing rate*

*clears throat and begins anyhow…*

I worked on the Six Brothers project yesterday just to prove to myself that I could.

Well, I could.

Bravo, me.

I’ve got all the major characters’ identities shrunk down into a “Players” board that can be sent off to my literary agent. With my highly touted (at least in my own mind) detailed chapter outline, I think I could actually have a reasonable package to send to Tish early next week.

Now, what I’m expecting back from my agent is a mystery even to me.

I think I’d just like some kind of nod as to the direction I’m taking the story she’s so anxious for me to write. But since I’m a newbie at the whole agented-writer bit, I have no idea if that’s something which is done or not?

I guess we’ll see together… because of course I’m dragging your butts right along with me in this madcap publishing adventure.

Lucky, lucky you, right?

Ok, apparently my latent sarcasm has replaced all creativity today, so I’ll leave you before I do our relationship irreparable harm with my wryness.

*smirks*

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Fighting the Fade

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Fighting the Fade

Getting reacquainted with characters you haven’t seen in a while can be rather, well, demoralizing.

Case in point: Sabella and Conyer from my West Africa novel.

After spending the majority of last year working on The Sun and the Sand Cat, a reasonable person would think that getting back in sync with the good doctor and the special agent would be a breeze.

Big, demoralizing wrong.

Oh, I remember the details.

Her backstory is still crystal clear in the old noggin.

His work travails are still carved cleanly in my memory.

But…

Sabella’s cadence of talk and thought has faded into a warm hum I have to struggle to hear.

The sun has bleached Conyer’s intensity into something unrecognizable.

Recapturing the tone of the novel (3/4 of the way done, remember) is like trying to catch fireflies in a bright noon sky.

Yep, demoralizing.

But…

And I am a sucker for a good challenge!

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

The Seafaring Coward

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The Seafaring Coward

Ok, change of plans.

*the crowd snickers*

Alright, admittedly my plan-making as of late has left a lot to be desired.  The thought has been there. The desire has been keen, but the execution has been, well, rather crappy.

For two days I’ve been all set to put some hurt on the Six Brothers synopsis. I’ve been raring to go on bullying that darn chapter outline into two pages of coherency.

Well, best laid plans of mice and men and all that jazz.

Yesterday, after floundering quite embarrassingly on the Six Brothers for more hours than I wish to recall, I retreated to a known entity: the third book in “The Lion and the Steed” series.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Go ahead and say it.

“soccer mom in the second row yells helpfully, “Coward!”*

Spot on, ma’am. Thank you.

I didn’t linger too long on it, however. So it wasn’t as much a case of hiding in familiar romantic smut as a case of re-gathering my authorly wits in welcoming territory.

*the snickers return*

Like I said, I didn’t stay with book three the entire work day. I actually took a dip in The Sun and the Sand Cat for several hours and it is in these modern day West African waters I have decided to sail for a while.

With only another 10 to 15k to go on the agented romance, I need to get it done.

Hence, change of plans.

So, if anybody is looking for me today please check the gold mines of Guinea. Me and my authorly wits will be hanging out there for a while…

At least, that’s the plan.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Do Not Answer That Door

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Do Not Answer That Door

I had a bit of an unexpected visitor yesterday.  My 16th novel apparently did not appreciate being tucked away in the “Done!” closet and dropped by for crumpets yesterday afternoon.

Yes, I did say crumpets.

Frank (my specter of imminent failure) and his loud-mouthed parrot, Lola, shouldered their way in the front door alongside Pound’s copy edits.

I was not pleased.

Bits and pieces of my Six Brothers’ project had been meticulously strewn out over the couch, the floor, the tables all primed and ready for the attention the Revolutionary War mainstream romance so richly deserves.

Twenty-one chapters, ten (more or less) major characters and a trunk load of notes were tacked on walls, hung from ceiling fans, and, in one rather ugly case, harnessed to my dog’s back all ripe for Chloe’s talented hands…

*Frank chunks a crumpet at my head and whines, “Geez, get on with it, will ya?”*

To put it shortly…

Pound’s edits showed up about week earlier than I had expected.

The edits were well-done and handled quickly and professionally.

Bits and pieces of Six Brothers were then collected and packed back up for another day.

I sighed.

My dog sighed.

Frank and Lola did a little jig… my manic self-doubt thrives on copy edit days.

So, today I will try again to turn my attention back to the Six Brothers… as soon as I shove the freezer up against the front door.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

The Blanketing Skirmish

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The Blanketing Skirmish

Blanket trailing behind me, hair mussed to the point of hilarity, I drag myself downstairs and plop down on the couch.

My laptop scowls at me from across the room.

I scowl back.

My dog grrrs.

With the early morning air sizzling and snapping with intensity, the confrontation between writer and computer lingers for long, stress-filled minutes.

Neither party blinks.

Time lumbers by.

Eventually, I fold.

My dog sighs at the limp noodle she’s got as her owner.

I write.

- -

And so here I am.

The writing of these posts have become almost second nature to me so that’s not why I’m dragging my butt this morning.  It’s the diving headfirst into a new project that’s got me more or less hesitant about greeting the work day.

The Six Brothers project (Revolutionary War mainstream romance) is impatiently awaiting its synopsis to emerge gloriously from its chapter outline (which, if you remember, is unbelievably complete and really, really good, in my unbiased opinion *lol*).

The Sun and the Sand Cat (contemporary, mainstream romance set in West Africa) continues to sit ¾ complete with my literary agent nudging me to get it done so we can finally pander the thing to the publishing houses.

The third and probably final installment of “The Lion and the Steed” series has just popped its head over the horizon. It and its October deadline is waving at me jauntily.

So, I must decide which novel gets my attention next, as in today, as in now.

I hate making these big decisions.

*sighs*

Anybody up for a game of Eenie-Meenie-Minie-Mo?

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

The Idling Post

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stockvault-orange-maro113862My last day of chilling has arrived.

Tomorrow my toes will be pulled out of the cool waters of “I don’t have to write and you can’t make me!” and placed firmly beside my nose back on the old grindstone…  (of course the contortions this move will require will be quite comical and potentially horrifically painful, so stay tuned for updates).

Hmm, now what other old saying can I mangle and mar this fine Sunday morning?

As you can see, my creativity continues to idle in neutral today.

I would turn it completely off but then I’d be leaving you kind folks high and dry. And that would simply be unacceptable.

So, excuse the puttering and sputtering of the engine today. What’s important here is that the ol’ girl is still running and providing you hardy souls with a post.

*man in the fourth row loudly complains “But this post is crap!”*

*Chloe nods*

*Chloe’s dog nods*

True. It is less than stellar…

*”Crap! Crap! Crap!” the crowd begins to chant*

*Chloe gulps*

*dog scrambles for the exit before rotting produce is thrown*

Alrighty-then. I think I will leave it there for today.

Until tomorrow, when the engine will be purring like a panther…

Chloe

Where is My Cudgel

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milkweedI’d like to take this opportunity to blame not only the lateness of this blog but also my frazzled, squiggling nerves on the… aphid.

The yellow aphid.

The vampirish hordes of yellow aphids on my milkweeds to be perfectly precise.

I have spent my morning trying to hose off, pick off, scrape off with both paintbrush and paper towel, and knock off with cudgel, mace and hammer the little sunny-colored beasts from my flowers.

I have succeeded for the most part, with my mother acting as both co-combatant and steely bastion to my “Are they on me? I can feel them. They’re in my hair!” freak-outs. (I don’t do bugs. At all.)

I survived however.

My mother survived, although a little worse for wear.

And the majority of the milkweed blossoms survived.

Unfortunately, as mentioned in my opening sentence, my nerves are fried.

I pity my poor dog.

She’s going to have a very, very long day of soothing all my rough (i.e. psychotic, idiotic, annoying as all hell) edges.

I will end today’s blog with the following sentence said in my best pissed-off piratical brogue… “Curse those blasted aphids!”

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

P.S.  Apologies for this complete nonsense of a post. Sense, insight and non-bug subject matters will return tomorrow.

The Frolicking Hours

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stockvault-daisy-meadow118146I’m feeling it.

Barefoot, hair down, I’m frolicking through a field of daisies, here.

Pound is off my shoulders, the bulk of work on book #16 is done as I wait for the edits, the cover and the release date.

Finally, a day with no “MUST WRITE”s has arrived!

Yep, I’m freaking frolicking with a big, crooked, goofy grin on my face and an incessant giggle to my voice… True, the neighbors are looking at me a bit strangely, but I don’t think any calls to the mental paddy wagon have been made just yet. *giggles incessantly*

I’ve got zero plans for my writing today.

I’m just going to open the gate to my imagination stables and see what comes thundering out. (Apparently, the first thing out of the gate is a really poor metaphor.)

Meanwhile, my fifteen pounds of four-legged taskmaster has collapsed on the couch and is currently chasing bunnies in her sleep.

Frank (the specter of my imminent failure) and Lola (his saucy, mimicking parrot) have gone out for the day. I’d like to imagine them fishing for piranhas in a really leaky boat but I never get that lucky.

Oh well.

Even though I know Frank and Lola will be back soon, I’m living it up with the bunnies in the daisies today!… as long as the lady next door doesn’t call the cops on me.

Until tomorrow…

An incessantly giggling Chloe