Lucky To Wait

Thank you to all my followers. I’m glad I haven’t felt the need to continuously pepper your e-mail boxes with updates about new posts. However, I realize I haven’t given much reason of late for you to acknowledge my existence. 🙂

Indeed, I am waiting for the return of an edited manuscript. I can’t seem to reach for the muscle needed to move the grindstone until I’ve received feedback on this work. In the end, it is not wholly a bad thing because I have had other distractions in my life at this current time. I should not beg for more to be added to the pile.

Once the ball is in my court, I will have to act fast, as I’ve learned from past experiences I feel fortunate to have gained from Soul Mate Publishing. Their main editor recently informed their writers that all works published through them will eventually be headed to print. Yes! My book will escape the e-universe and can be physically held instead of flinging one’s mental body through the obstacle course of online downloading through apps, accounts, and devices whatnot. Now, back to my ms (manuscript) currently being reviewed, the demands of revision will have a strict deadline and I’ll have nothing else to expect in my mail until I’ve sent it back.

I like having the subconscious knowledge of waiting on something in the mail. If there isn’t something pending in the mail, even if it’s an expected rejection letter, I feel fairly inactive in my life and rush to rectify the matter. Yes, I am aware if I’m not writing now, I will have nothing to submit later, but I am composing the next book in the series to the first on which I await response. Of course, I have other titles needing a few read-overs and complete revisions since they’re in first draft stage, but I can’t move past the point of waiting. I gobble up books during the interim. But, perhaps, getting my fingers flying here in an address to you, will encourage them to make their move on other works.

Occasionally, I do delve into where the second story’s plot currently stalls and I’ve developed new twists which thrilled me at the time of their discovery. Who knows what other things I might contrive during this time of waiting. I do not write down most of these ideas because they are still shifting, trans-morphing, and once pen is put to paper, it seems to put a permanent sting to things whereas in my mind, ideas will hit no boundaries. I may lose some of the finer detail from my conscious self but fresh things surface once I finally commence the writing process. The nagging continues inside–I must start writing again soon. I’ll take this day to review those new plot lines I’ve devised and see if I feel more comfortable with where things will head should I take this route.

Will the characters have enough story left or too much after these series of events? Does this scene seem a bit extreme or daring? I still have to get these other characters into the limelight soon. I can’t believe I’ve already gotten this many words down for this manuscript and there is still so much to develop. It simply means I have plenty to hone down for the smoothest read in the end.

And so I wait, contemplate, and keep my presence. I’m still out here!

My romantic suspense with automotive emphasis is hot on my figurative high heels because I’ve gotta slip them on somewhere in here. They’ll be getting their share of the attention soon.

 

Opening excerpt of my WIP RomSusp

Told her no good could come from wearing high heels, Amanda thought in regards to her cousin. She had nothing else to think about while awaiting the executioner. Maybe a bit dark but some other person had their hands inside her baby right now. Yeah, so her Wrangler’s her baby and it still makes messes. Unfortunately, this was one she couldn’t clean up on her own, especially in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming. The place had a name, sure, but Amanda was too busy thinking about other things.

Things had to cool off and maybe she had some internal exploring to do, but she’d rather keep pressing the gas pedal instead.

Walking squares into the patch of grass outside the waiting area as she sipped at tepid, black coffee, she glared under hooded eyes against the midday sun. Dry, late summer heat rasped against her bare arms. She had on a generic auto parts t-shirt, two sizes too big, tucked into a ragged pair of jeans over tan hiking boots with slip-resistant soles. If she didn’t find a job soon, she’d have to change her footwear attire. No need to worry about oil slicks when one wasn’t in a shop.

Clicking high heels never used to grate on her last nerve until the night she’d heard them take her mother. Amanda hadn’t even hit puberty yet and her mom had figured she’d given her daughter enough of her time and life. The words came through her closed bedroom door the night her mom said she had bigger opportunities she couldn’t refuse.

See? It all went back to high heels, time and again. Custody lawyer who said Mom didn’t want any. Child psychiatrist who said things would get better if Amanda showed the world a smile. Nice ruse–Amanda used it on a daily basis.

“Miss Hudson?”

Speaking of which, she turned and flashed her teeth briefly at the man. The service adviser’s tag read Gerry. She supposed he had a face to go with it but didn’t feel like taking a look as she gulped her coffee, letting him talk.

Call Me Idiot of The Moment

If you’re going to upgrade and all you want is a new phone with your carrier plan, please read this first.

I imagine establishments like the one I visited expect the I-feel-stupid revelation to keep their clients from announcing their experiences to the public. Indeed, I felt embarrassed, ashamed because if you read through this, it will seem downright obvious in post-perspective.

However, I am motivated by knowledge of the other mom who visited that store and the me whose brain was frantically nagging her throughout the day, discouraging rest as my toddler napped. I am thankful it wasn’t satisfied and yet again still wasn’t satisfied until I found all unnecessary charges.

Now, I’m getting long-winded, I can tell, probably leaning toward philosophical so I should dive into specifics though I don’t know if I can use the phone carrier’s name so I’ll omit that because it may run true for all carriers in any case.

I’m at the library waiting for story hour and I take out my phone to check the time. My smartphone states “No SIM card.” That can’t be good, I think. This problem persists throughout my library visit and I elect to visit my nearest carrier store. I am unable to text, make calls, or search the internet. I guess an archaic word for SIM card is antenna.

I go to the store, sign a new two-year agreement, collect phone and other items attached to the transaction. Afterward, something about cost, items I possessed, and what I really wanted didn’t balance in my mental equation.

I want to return to the store in hopes of getting the transaction described again. I hesitate and wonder if they’re a trustworthy source and, instead, choose a more direct reference–I call my phone carrier directly. After explaining everything thoroughly, the carrier representative is the first to use the word accessory. As in, I am under no obligation to purchase an accessory package if I want to upgrade my phone. Funny, because the package I purchased never had that word attached to it. The store I visited called it “Device Payment Package.” I had prompted the salesperson during the initial visit and this said person allowed me to say there was an activation fee and the package was the upgrade fee. I even asked her why the carrier did it that way and received a shrug near-to indifference.

Finally, during my talk with the carrier, I establish the store I visited was not a corporate branch. (The best way to know for sure is to have the carrier tell you which store is, I advise not to ask the local establishment, because this one had the carrier’s name in big, loud letters stretched across its storefront and their independent name in tiny, quiet print beneath.) The representative states my option is to return the items I can for a refund. The case and shield are already installed on the phone. However, I come in hot-faced enough that they take the “used” shield back and give me a full refund as well as I negotiate the price down on the case based on internet pricing. After all, I still want the case and would seek the same one out in the future and this one is already installed. I do not, however, foresee myself in the near future using the Bluetooth speakers, headphones, or battery pack. Yeah, it is a great package deal, but not why I had gone there in the first place.

Additionally, they are surprised that I did not receive their receipt via e-mail itemizing my purchases. (I had received my carrier’s  new plan agreement.) The store sends their receipt “again” and I see how everything boils down. This is where I later find number nuances.

So, after negotiating returns and receiving a refund, I leave the store and there is still a mental nagging. I look at the fresh invoice, wondering about numbers. Maybe that is where the issue rests. During my second call with the carrier, I make sure sales tax calculates correctly. Yep, that all looks, sounds, legit. I clear that up but it isn’t enough. Nag, nag, nag goes the brain. Sure enough, I see the SIM card charge and make a final call to my carrier.

I am informed that if I had gone to a corporate branch store, they would have installed/included the card at no cost. This time, I don’t visit the store, I call first. After all, I’m lugging around a toddler. He deserves better than endless car rides. They acknowledge the charge and congenially okay it with the store manager to issue me a credit.

After all this, I felt enraged, disappointed in myself, ready to sweep it under a rug and let no one know my blunder, but I believe they did a real good job of convincing me of what was necessary and laying the blame at other’s feet. As in, I asked them why my carrier issues these package fees and their I don’t know response allows me to think my carrier is the evil one. (I wouldn’t have seen it that way except for the other reviews I saw when filling out my own for the business.) And so, I want to share this in case others are briefly blinded by misleading words i.e. upgrade fee, activation fee, accessory package, device payment package.

In the future, for my case at least, I will do my phone-plan transactions through an authorized dealer/store as their locale information is provided by my carrier. Then I just have to worry about what data upgrades they’ll convince me I’ll need in the future as opposed to physical objects.

When Words Aren’t Enough . . . or Too Much

Prioritize my passions and you’d find writing leading against automotive. However, when it comes to some basic instructions on repair or simply locating a component, I turn to visual aids. No matter how many times my husband might explain something, I’ll go cross-eyed somewhere in the middle and yearn for a dry-erase board to depict the basic points of his highly detailed explanation.

I find it happening in well-described fight scenes or exceedingly specific settings of fictional material as well. Does anyone else share my struggle?

For some instances, there is nothing that can be done. However, for other moments, I seek out assistance via the all-knowing web, with a grain of salt, of course.

My point, beyond a tendency to acquire functional knowledge via observation, is should you ever feel overwhelmed by description and think it beyond you, try finding an animated version or even a real-life version (YouTube) of the event, activity, or component location.

For example, my Ford’s owner’s manual insisted there was a place to plug in my iPhone and allow such things as listening to online radio. For the life of me, I couldn’t find it. There was even a photo! Yes, well, whoever took the photo must have had the car turned inside out or had the camera perfectly positioned inside the center console. After a couple internet searches, I ventured on my quest and made the discovery previously made by others. It was more of a touch, can’t see, sort of find.

If any of my previous or future blog posts cause the cross-eyed side effect, feel free to inform me, (I have been known to overwhelm with the minutest details and lose focus on the over-reaching idea) but I also encourage you to widen your search before throwing in the towel. It’s amazing and great how resource materials can simplify the most complicated of concepts or, for some, like me, those sources just arrange the pieces together until I finally get the ah-ha picture leading to a possible self-duh moment.

But that’s when you just delete your search engine history so no one will ever know you had to look it up in the first place. 😉

 

 

Under No Obligation

Do you have to like my work? As I share the release of my debut e-book, Sara’s Last Resort, with friends and family, I’m suspecting I might back them into a corner.

I found the right words to explain things, though, as I spoke to a colleague at my Book Release Party. I’ve wanted to be published so my work would be available to anyone whom it might interest. For me to muscle through and finish the work already suggests I was interested in the story line. I took my automotive experience, applied it to fictional characters with related backstory in a what-if circumstance where the events agreed with my preferences. Basically, I wrote something I would like to read. Man, I miss the mountains. It’s great to re-visit them during editing.

My words had greater clarity, it seemed, when I explained off the hip while holding a White Russian. 🙂 On a side note, I found slicing and dicing my ms to meet my editor’s request of a faster pace opening proved easier to accomplish with a tumbler of Tullamore Dew. It eased the pain.

Additionally, I am thankful for a recent road trip with my toddler son. Before leaving, I read editor comments. Then, as I drove, I kept the radio turned off and allowed my brain rumination time. It generated great results in the less restricted mental meadow where I held no pen or paper. (At that time, I was fueled by caffeine.)

However, when I did my final read-through prior to Release Day, I aimed for sobriety as I scoured for potential typos because I wanted to avoid anything throwing you out of the story.

#WhyIwrite also has a lot to do with tracking my thought sequence. I leave a bread crumb trail from where I began and it helps me figure out where I’d intended to go as opposed to where I ended up. Although, I usually find myself appreciating the direction my characters take.

In summary, you don’t have to like the content, but I do wish you find my writing style–at least in my fictional work–doesn’t read disjointedly. I swear it is too much effort for me to try to sort my brain out than ask you to do so as well. A favorite quote of mine is credited to Mark Twain (versus his alternate identity): “Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one’s head.”

Okay, professional posture and maybe I can feel this is satisfactorily composed. It appears I wanted to share some tricks I found useful during my editing process and also self-revelation post-release day. Telling friends and family of my accomplishment also motivates me to keep writing, because if I don’t, I’ll have no answer when the next time I see them, they rely on my hobby/career as a fallback topic and ask what I’ve written lately. 🙂 I have a few ms’ up my sleeve already.

Tweaking My Book Blurb

My editor promised me final round of edits after this one. That’s great! But, now what?

I toil under sleepless nights. Why touch my next WIP (Work In Progress) because her word could come any day?

Getting published this first time is . . . everything to me. I am quite skilled at looking down the road, planning ahead but, right now, I seem to have trouble getting the horizon to focus.

A fellow writer previously suggested areas in which my book’s back cover synopsis could be strengthened. I decided to apply my indefatigable mental prowess to the chore. Okay, that sounds arrogant. How about I just say I want to exhaust my brain muscle so I can find slumber in my bed tonight? Why couldn’t it be this insatiable on a write-my-next-scene night?

If you’re in the mood to nitpick at the level I am, please apply your given (God, DNA, both) talents and hard-earned skill to the lines below:

SARA’S LAST RESORT

By: Kendra Vasquez

Sara McDaniels, educated automotive technician, drives her truck off the road in a small, Rocky Mountain town. She never intended needing another mechanic in her life, but Jason Cole, Sauk City’s only grease monkey, has the resources she needs. After abandoning Denver, Colorado with its cheats and liars in the auto repair business, she has no reason to trust Jason but, when she follows his non-assuming, muscular form over a few mountain trails, meets his intense gray gaze, she feels her defenses weaken. Her fierce will builds up its walls, ever wary, for how can she learn the truth about him without revealing her hopes and heart in the process?

Jason Cole must salvage his shop from a greasy pit of fraud compliments of his ex-employee. Hearing of Sara’s arrival in town and her background in automotive, he tracks her down and finds her completely unwilling to cooperate. Her education could get his shop back on track but her prejudice keeps anything automotive-related at bay. He takes the personal route, discovers the mountains are her natural element, and stumbles upon her more fragile side. The last thing he’d planned on was getting lost tracing trails in her wide, forest-green eyes. He holds off telling Sara about his fraudulent past. If he breaks her burgeoning trust, it may be the one thing he can’t re-build. How can he ever see the mountains again without her in them?

Neither of them wants to see Jason’s business fail. They share a passion for hands-on repairs, and for each other. Sara means to see this through to the end, see if Jason can exceed her expectations. When she discovers his secrets, will Jason’s past make her run again? Did Jason have any idea in the beginning he was her last resort?

Thank you for your effort in providing feedback.

My book release party will see more invitees than my wedding!