Behind the Scenes, draft file, Family, fun, funny, My readers rock!, Randomness, things that make me laugh, Why Me?!, Writing

Visiting the “Draft” file…

I spent a good part of Monday afternoon reading through the 123 (no exaggeration!) blog posts I’ve drafted but haven’t published. Some turned out to be great stories that I’ll publish with a word of warning that the content came from the draft file. Then there were several wonderful titles that got me super excited to read what in the world I’d blogged about, only to open the post and see nothing, or just a few words or sentences. So, because misery loves company, I’m going to share some of these titles with you all so you can all be like me and wonder “where was that going?!”.

  • Yard Sales vs. Rose Gordon (The only line in the post said: Yard sales for the win!)
  • Backhanded Compliments (The only line in this post read: No matter who you are, we’ve all received one of these little jewels…)
  • Let it Go! (Not the song)
  • My Favorite Things (Yes, because you ALL have been waiting with bated breath for what I love. As if I’m Oprah. Good grief.)
  • In My Former Life (Actually, this one has a LOT of content. I write it when I was 27–I’m now 31–but I might post this one one day when I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel.)
  • From the Marshmallow Man to a Beast! What’s a mother to do?! (This was from two years ago when my son started wrestling at school and got his butt handed to him. That didn’t last too long. 😉 )
  • Candid, Blunt and…well, perhaps a little TMI
  • Didja Know #10 the definition of a Nincompoop
  • Wicked Wednesday!
  • Didja Know Facts about Humans (Contrary to the cute kid in Jerry McGuire, the human head weighs approximate 12 pounds.)
  • The Truth about Passions of a Gentleman (Ooooh, so many things this post could have contained, but probably didn’t.)
  • Wanna be my friend? Probably not.
  • Looking into 2015
  • Sometimes I wonder…
  • A Day in the Life: Humble Pie (I dearly wish I’d written something–ANYTHING on this page to know what I was talking about because I am quite certain that since the date I wrote that heading I’ve eaten a lot more humble pie.)
  • Ten Year Reunion?
  • Unspoken, but not unimportant, rules among authors
  • End-of-Year questions for teachers and moms (final plea as homeroom mom). This was the year an alien had inhabited my body and told the teacher I’d be delighted to be the homeroom mom for a gaggle of kindergarteners. 
  • Research
  • RT Anyone?
  • Kids + Outside = Resistance, “no fun”, and a tinge of whining! Why, oh why?
  • Awkward confession…totally off topic.
  • Seeking suggestions.
  • I need help… (yes, yes I did and still do!)
  • A writer’s confessional
  • A writer’s biggest reward
  • Let’s talk spam, and I don’t mean food.
  • No title
  • Advice on friends from Edward Banks
  • Poor Bob
  • A candid discussion and a few revelations
  • Come laugh at me!
  • Authors are human, too. At least this one.
  • Writerly Woes
  • Oh. My.
  • Scandalized. (Another Florida escapade.)
  • An Impromptu poll (AKA I need help again.)
  • Inside joke for those who’ve read Intentions of the Earl (I’d love to share with you all where I was going with this, but alas, the contents were blank.)
  • Oh help us all…I’ve been asked to act as host.
  • Drawing lines–Warning Touchy Subject
  • It’s tough being a writer… (So tough, I seemed to have given up on this topic after writing the title.)
  • In regards to my books, please note:
  • Guilty pleasures
  • A hot date
  • 10 things you probably don’t know about me (Seeing as how I only got to #5, I’m going to take that as a hint that I’m pretty dang boring.)
  • Hard lesson: old manuscript copies do not make suitable scrap paper.
  • Not a fairytale wedding
  • Do romance novelists have a more stellar romantic life than everyone else? (I can answer that without a post: no.)
  • Ever wish the ground would open up and swallow you whole?
  • Honest chat
  • Perceptions
  • Men can be such babies
  • Henry and June, Part 2
  • Right on!
  • Unconventional
  • Where did you come up with THAT?!

 

There were many other fully written blog posts that might require a little polishing and posting. Turns out I blogged more than I originally thought I had. 😀

 

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Behind the Scenes, Books, changes, Family, fun, Happenings, Her Sudden Groom, I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, My readers rock!, Polls, Randomness, Real Life, Save me from myself!, Secrets of a Viscount, Swag, things that make me laugh, To Win His Wayward Wife, Why Me?!, Writing

Long time, no blog

For those of you who don’t know (or remember me :-p ) my name is Rose Gordon and once upon a time I wrote historical romance–mostly Regency-era.

Here’s a few visuals…

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Me at RT in Chicago 5 *gulp* years ago.

 

 

And when I wasn’t slaving away to write about unsuspecting fellows and their over-scandalous counterparts, I was on here blogging about nonsense like…

j-wglasses
Jezzie–the mannequin head my family and I pass around.

 

(The time I fell through the attic on Thanksgiving.)

 

(Crazy stuff I’ve found–and maybe bought…–at the fair or craft mall.)

I also shared on here about my failed attempts at crafts:

Held crazy votes:

 

Or shared stories about my kids:

(100 “signed by author” stickers, plus autograph for 100th day of school; and my kids fighting over a stuffed enema…)

So many of you supported me when I raised $10,000 for MS and looked like an idiot while doing it!

Let me share some seriously scandalous “swag” I’ve picked up at different conventions:

 

I had so much fun writing over 600 blog posts whether they were stories about the craziness in which I live, a man’s POV of my books, hosting contests and so much more. I have missed out on so much by not posting very consistently for the past three years. A fact I wish I could change–but some things aren’t things you post. Or at least not things *I* could ever post.

Many don’t know that about 3.5 years ago my world tilted on its axis when the happily-ever-after I believed I was living fell apart. I have gone through fire after fire since and in my own opinion, I think I’ve emerged a much different, and perhaps stronger person.

Am I ready to write romance novels again? No. Maybe one day, but not today.

Am I ready to start blogging about the craziness that I now face with boys who are 10 and 12 and have entered into their first year in public school? Oh, absolutely. (Funny sidetrack: on Halloween my kids left for the school bus 10 minutes earlier than they needed to. Why? Because they could and I was in the shower and couldn’t tell them, “Oh, hell no.” When I got out of the shower, I noticed I had received about 5 texts from my kids. “Mom, we’ve been down here for 5 minutes and haven’t seen a single bus. I don’t think they’re having school today. You know, Halloween is a holiday.” Oh, my poor kids who’ve always been in a church school or heaven help me homeschooled for an overwhelming year. I wrote back: “Wait for the bus. You left 10 minutes early. The bus doesn’t even get there until 7:40 and you usually leave at 7:30. Writing me at 7:25 to tell me you haven’t seen the bus and you think there’s no school in observance of Halloween will be posted to Facebook if you two argue when you get home tonight. 😀 Love ya!”)

So, if you’re up to following my blog to follow more about me and my shenanigans, my crazy parenting, unusual finds, ridiculous signs, craft fails, wild tales and other craziness where truth is stranger than fiction, than please stay tuned and subscribed. (After all, it IS called Rose Unscripted.)

If you followed my blog as a means to keep up with my writing progress and being informed of new books only, I will by no means be disappointed if you’d like to unsubscribe.

Again, I want to thank you all. Whether you’ve been a follower since I started blogging in Feb. 2011 or have subscribed recently, it doesn’t matter, I just appreciate that you’ve enjoyed my work enough to sign up!

Books, Updates, Writing

Editing Stage One: The Prelim Edits

I get asked all the time by curious readers about why books aren’t out within days of being done. I’ve done a few posts on what my editing process is like and now that I finished another book, I think I’ll try to show you over the next few weeks.

I finished this book at 4:59 yesterday morning. I was so close Friday afternoon, but didn’t make it, then I spent Saturday with my family and Saturday night with my husband; woke up at 3:20 on Sunday and had to go work on it. I just couldn’t sleep until it was done! An hour and thirty-nine minutes later, the epilogue was done!

Part of the reason I’m able to write anywhere between 500-700 words in 30 minutes or 1,000-1,500 in an hour (if I’m really on a roll–sometimes it’s more like 300-400 in thirty or 750-900 in an hour if I keep getting stuck) is that I’ve learned to use two very important things: insert > comment command and X. If I can’t think of the right word at the moment because it just eludes me or I’m not sure what a certain item would have been, I write a sentence with an X where the word should go and keep going, there is NO reason to stall a story (at least I don’t think so) just to conjure up what the perfect word is:

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 6.43.15 PM

If I’m uncertain if a word was around during the time period I write, I insert a comment with the word “origin” on it, and move on:

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 6.39.58 PM

Sometimes if I know I need to research something a little more to make sure I word it right or get the facts right, I leave a comment:

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 6.38.10 PM

If I know I mentioned something about this particular topic earlier and I need to change it to match, make sure it matches, think I need to elaborate more before this point in the story, delete something about it, etc, I leave a comment:

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 5.10.22 AM

If I think this scene needs to be fixed, but I don’t know exactly what to do about it now, and think I’ll have a better idea as I’m reading through it, I leave a comment:

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 5.11.18 AM

I also had these little comment flags all over in all in my Banks Brothers’ Brides book where I was making notes to go back to previous books and make sure I had the facts right and that the story (or running joke) stayed consistent. Side note, I didn’t even know these things existed until I was writing Secondhand, before that I literally would stop writing and physically jot down on a piece of paper next to me what I needed to check on later. Talk about a slow boat to China. Anyway, I am a HUGE lover of these comment flags and I have probably about 60-70 of them that cover my side panel by the time I’m finished.

When I first finish, I do a find and replace for all of the Xs I put in the MS (manuscript):Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 6.52.11 PM

[I also do this if I’ve made up a name that the spell check doesn’t recognize and it’s possible I’ve misspelled it by giving it a varied definition–for example Rockhurst (which now my spellcheck does recognize) being spelled Rockherst/Rockharst or Ridge Water as opposed to Ridgewater/RidgeWater.]

I like to have a contest with myself to see how far I can get on a book before I have to start using the X. On this particular book–The Officer and the Bostoner–I made it to page 17 (single spaced) so roughly 8,000 words in. I also think it’s fun to see just how many of these I had to use…the total was 45; apparently, I had a strong start with knowing just the right word, then as momentum of the book took off my mind became too absorbed with the story.

Anyway, in what I consider my “preliminary editing stage” I do the find and replace for any possibly variation of names or words that might be wrong: night rail for nightrail, night stand for nightstand, anything that could easily be overlooked because there is a meaning for it as one word or two. This takes about 15 minutes as I’m really not trying to correct them all, just the majority and stem a large amount of corrections based on something so trivial later. The find and replace tool is a very good friend of mine. Then, I do a search on the Xs and mentioned above. Even though I had 45 Xs from words I couldn’t figure out right away, it only takes about an hour to go through all of these. I read the sentence before the X to get a better understanding of what I’m looking for and most times, the word comes immediately. It’s so much easier at this point than when the story is trying to pull me forward and yelling for me to HURRY UP! Then, I scroll through the comments and look up all of the words I’ve flagged with the words: look up or origin. Dictionary.com offers the year of origin (or a pretty narrow gap) for about 85-90% of their words. So if it falls in the time I’m writing or before, it stays. If it doesn’t, I have to go to the thesaurus, find a similar word I like and check the origin. This takes another hour (or a little longer) depending on how many of these I have marked.

I do find it funny that with this book being roughly 40 (to 70) years in the future of the books I normally write, my vocabulary allowance has grown considerably.

Once I finish that, I scroll through all of the comments and make notes of what I need to be looking for as I start my edits. If I have it flagged that I need to double-check on a certain character’s eye color or style/rank, I make sure I do that as I’m reading through and jot down details about characters, events or places that I know I need to be looking for. It’s far easier to do when you’re reading it and to make notes for the future than to be searching through the MS at every single comment to find your answer right then.

As I said, I didn’t always do this. I used to just write as it came and worried about origins, if this matched, if this contradicted itself, etc later. My first four books were written extremely fast because of this. I didn’t flag things or worry about them until I got to editing and I started on page one and just went, making sure to check the list I’d made of things I knew that needed to be addressed from time to time and looking for new things as I read through. These days, it takes me about 2-3 weeks longer to write the book (not necessarily because I stop to flag things, but more likely because I have far more going on these days that I didn’t in the early days, so I only get so many good hours of writing in each day and have to make the most of it), but because I flag things, use the X and spend about four hours to do all of these preliminary edits as soon as I reach the end, I’ve shaved about two months off of editing and can now get the book edited and done in about six weeks as opposed to between three and four months. It’s also cut down on my amount of read throughs to make sure things matched.

Keep in mind, this is just what I do, this does not work for everyone. I know people who cannot use an X or leave comments because it bothers them to no end to know that they’ve left something incomplete (or they hate editing/re-writing so much they’d rather stop and fix it or research it right now to avoid spending the time later). Every writer is different in their methods. This is just what works for me.

I have a school field trip to chaperone today so I probably won’t start with my first round of edits until late tonight or tomorrow, but I’ll try to cover that, too–as long as I don’t get too many complaints about boring everyone to tears!

Books, Happenings

Updates

Just a few updates:

1. Everyone who was a winner in my giveaway has been contacted. 

If you have NOT received an email or a Facebook message from me, please email me.

If you have not received your prize/book by January 1, 2013, please email me (the exception to this is if you live outside of the USA, naturally your package will take longer, especially since one of them required me to mail it Media Mail).

2. Jilted is rolling right along–thank goodness. 

So here’s a confessional that might be useful to any of you aspiring writers. When I have completed books in queue to be released, it’s easy to write. Why? Because not everything I have done is already out. I still have a safety net. When I no longer have a completed book that I’m holding on to, just ready to publish whenever, I start to get nervous–and being nervous makes it difficult to write.

It took long enough, but finally the inspiration has hit and this book is moving along very nicely now. Let’s just hope it continues.

I think that’s all. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

Characters

Character Interview, Brooke Black, Secondary Character in To Win His Wayward Wife

Today I have with me Brooke Black, Countess of Townson here to talk about her sister, Madison, and her past romance with a fellow named Mr. Robert Swift.

 

Thank you for joining me today, Brooke. The readers of the first two books are very curious about Madison and her past relationship. What can you tell us?

Nothing good. The three of us used to play together as children. As we got older, Madison developed a rather disturbing infatuation with him. From there, she allowed him to court her for five years before tossing her aside in favor of another.

And I’m guessing this did not endear him to the family?

No, it did not. Would it endear someone to you if you saw that person treat someone you love poorly?

Point taken. But I’m the one asking the questions, remember?

Then ask sensible ones, would you?

A mighty sharp tongue today, eh?

I just can’t believe you did that, that’s all.

You mean—

I mean who you affianced her to! Have a heart, would you?

I do. And so does he. He may not know how to show it, but he does have a heart.

Good to know. I’ll go cut it out after this is over.

Oh, don’t be so dramatic.

I’ll try, but no guarantees.

Very well. Let’s talk more about Madison’s relationship with Robbie—

I’d rather not.

—Why  specifically do you dislike him so much? And don’t just give the vague, “he treated my sister poorly,” line.

I think the better question would be why should I like him. But since you asked why I don’t, I’ll name you a few reasons. First, he’s dumber than stump. He can’t read his own pocket watch. He constantly confuses the meanings of words. He doesn’t think before he acts.

Perhaps he just gets nervous?

No. He’s not nervous, he’s a clodpole. And yet, he’s a walking contradiction. One minute he’s charming and has a silver tongue then the next he walks into a room and makes a complete fool of himself.

Sounds like an interesting fellow.

He’s not.

All right, I’ll take your word for it.  Just one last thing, is there a man somewhere out there you think she would have been a better match for?

Yes, but it matters naught now. She’ll never have the chance to discover the truth of that mess. Not that she’d want to. She seems bent to believe the worst about him, even if I don’t.

Thank you for talking to me today, Brooke. I hope you’ll all join me tomorrow when I invite Madison back to help me answer a couple of reader questions.

Characters

Character Interview with Liberty Banks, Heroine from Liberty for Paul

Good afternoon, Liberty. Thank you for meeting with me.

The pleasure is all mine.

We’ll see about that in a minute. *Clears throat* Very good. Well, what can you tell our readers about yourself?

I’m the youngest of three daughters. The oldest is Brooke, she recently married an earl after the two of them were found….found…uh…in a peculiar situation. Then there’s Madison–

Pardon me, can you tell them more about you?

Sorry, I get carried away at times–

…That’s putting it mildly…

…Anyway, hmmm, I don’t know what you want to know.

Do you have any hobbies our readers might be interested in knowing about?

I like to read.

Very good, so do our readers. Most of them enjoy romance books. Do you enjoy romance novels as well?

I suppose. I’ve never really read one.

But you love to read! What does a young lady your age read then if not tales spun of a romantic nature?

Non-fiction.

Is that code for books about manners?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

I get the feeling like someone else I recently interviewed, you don’t wish to discuss certain topics–

How very perceptive of you, Ms. Gordon.

Unfortunately for you, there is a subject you are going to discuss. Quit shaking your head. You’re going to discuss it if I have to burn your precious propriety books and pin you to the floor.

I don’t want to even think of him. Please. Let’s talk of something else. Anything else. I’ll even tell you all the details of my five hundred ninteen books about manners. Please just don’t make me speak of that dratted man.

The lady doth protest too much.

Oh, stop it. I have no feelings for that…that…that creature. He needs to do the world a favor and go crawl into a hole.

And do you see yourself joining him in this hole of his?

Ms. Gordon, if I was not just a figment of your imagination I might take umbrage with that comment and chalk you up on the same list I have him on. But since I cannot do that, I shall simply fold my arms and shut my mouth, effectively giving you writer’s block.

Ah, I see. You do care for him. Contrary to what you believe, I am rather perceptive at times and I think his indifference toward you has fueled the fire for your angst against him.

(Scowls)

You should probably stop that. It’ll eventually leave marks. Now, just tell me this, I know you haven’t seen the man in some months now, but is there any reason you might have for seeking him out?

None. 

Fascinating. What if he were to see you naked?

He wouldn’t! He couldn’t! He shouldn’t! He better not!  What are you talking about?!

Well, that concludes our interview for today. Come back tomorrow to see what Mr. and Mrs. Banks have to say about Liberty and Paul’s unusual relationship.

Ms. Gordon, don’t ignore me! You better tell me what you were talking about right now. Rose! Rose! Come back here…

Characters

Character Interview with Paul Grimes, Hero in Liberty for Paul

Last month when Intentions of the Earl came out I spent a week giving a rundown of each character (main and secondary), but this time I thought I’d just let the characters speak for themselves and post a small part of my character interviews, starting with Paul the hero from my recent release Liberty for Paul.

Good afternoon, Paul. Thank you for agreeing to talk to me (like you had a choice).

No problem. It’s my pleasure and…er…duty.

Oh, stop that scowling. Just saying the word duty isn’t going to lead to talks of propriety. At least not from me.

Good.

Good. Tell us, how would you describe yourself?

Physically?

Yes, and your personality traits if you will.

Hmm, well, I’m slightly above average height, I have green eyes, blondish hair, wear spectacles. I don’t know what else you want me to say.

Do you have any distinguishing marks or scars on your body?

(Coughs) Yes…er…a scar. Next.

By the way you’re blushing, Mr. Grimes, I daresay you have something to hide.

No, nothing to hide.

So you do have something. interesting. And where, pray tell, is it?

That information is unnecessary. Next question, please.

Fine. I’ll let the matter drop. For now.

Thank you.

You’re welcome. All right, what are your feelings about Liberty Banks?

(No immediate answer)

Sir, unclamp your jaw, please and answer the question.

Liberty and I have an unusual relationship.

That’s an understatement. Now, would you be so kind as to explain your relationship with Miss Banks?

It’s a love-hate relationship really. See, we both love to hate each other. Kind of. Well, actually no. It’s more like she has a passionate hatred that seems to consume her soul toward me and I just merely find her annoying. Unfortunately, her undisputable hatred for me has led to several…shall we say, uncomfortable moments for me.

Such as?

Where to start… Let’s see, she’s openly called me a coward and questioned my manhood, she’s “inadvertently” elbowed me in the groin and she’s hurled a book at my head that knocked me unconscious and left a bump the size of an egg on my forehead for a week.

Hmm, that doesn’t sound very endearing.

No. It doesn’t.

So is it safe to say you wouldn’t enjoy being married to her?

Now, that, Ms. Gordon is an understatement. I have no desire to be in a room with her, let alone married to her.

All right, calm down. We won’t speak of her anymore. Let’s talk instead about you.

What would you like to know?

Who is Lucy Whitaker to you?

I didn’t see that one coming. She’s a woman I once admired.

Admired?

All right. I proposed to her. But it was a long time ago and I don’t wish to discus her, her son, her wretched aunt or anything that has to do with that family.

Understood. Let’s talk about your relationship with John Banks. How exactly did you and Liberty’s father become acquainted?

He agreed to act as my mentor last spring when I approached him about a sticky situation that was going on in my church.

 A sticky situation, you say? Care to divulge?

Not really.

Mr. Grimes, I’d have never thought you’d be so difficult to interview. You’ve a mark upon your person you don’t wish to discuss, a former love interest you’re not inclined to talk about and now you hint at secrets you will not share. You seem to be far more interesting than the bore we met in Intentions of the Earl. Do you have anything further to say for yourself?

No. I don’t think so. Oh, wait. Something about the way you’re looking at me just now makes me think I’m going to marry, fall in love with and share all my secrets–including my scar, former proposal, and unpleasant church situation–with that hoyden Liberty Banks.

You’re a smart man, Mr. Grimes. All those things and so much more will be happening to you very soon!