In some ways, I already have the lifestyle one thinks about successful writers having–if you’re thinking about a tropical island and palm trees swaying in the wind. If we’re talking about money, or a house on the beach, fuggedaboutit.

Tuesday morning, and here I am with my 100% Kona coffee (best darn stuff in the world), the windows and doors all open, and a gentle tradewind blowing through the house. Can it get any better? Uh, yeah. I could actually have an income from my writing and feel a lot less like a slug. I’m happy, but I feel guilty because my husband gets up every morning and trots off to work. He loves his job though, so I shouldn’t feel too bad. I am a lucky woman, and I thank God every day for that.

Okay, so what did I do yesterday? I had a 5 page goal, and I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if I reached it or not, because a lot of what I did was layering and revising of earlier stuff. If I’m brutally honest with myself, probably not. Probably more like two new pages. Except, I had a better idea last night of where I was going than I did when I started.

I did waste a lot of time at the eHarlequin website yesterday. But I can’t really call it wasted. I found a Q&A with Brenda Chin where she talks about the Blaze line and contest. Learned some stuff, I did! For instance, she doesn’t care if the manuscript is incomplete. She’d rather work with you on finishing it than have a complete mss that needed a lot of work. Also, the big word count and format bugaboo that drives writers nuts. She said computer word count was fine. (!!) She also said she didn’t care if your margins were 1 or 1.25 inches. A standard 12 point font is fine. Nothing weird. TNR probably works best for that, my opinion, though I am in the habit of putting work for submission into 12pt Courier with 1 inch margins and 25 lines per page. This will be a hard habit to break, especially since it has been hammered into me since I was a baby writer that it was the professional way to do it. Only amateurs use fancy fonts and improper margins. Uh-huh. Think again.

Word count is the key though, and probably why they don’t care about the format so long as you know the word count. And, let’s face it, these days, we’re all using Word and we’ve all got the same count feature and its pretty standard. And it’s come a long way since the days of Windows 3.1. Uh, yeah, I was a 3.1 user, so I guess that dates me. In fact, I was on the Internet back when you used to have to Telnet and Gopher. I’m not really that old, for heaven’s sake, but I was on the information superhighway before it had easy to read road signs. 🙂 I remember bulletin boards and getting on line with a 2400 baud modem. When we upgraded to 9600 baud, we were flying. Ha! And I am not yet 40, so there, that should dispense the image of a graying old lady talking about walking uphill both ways through snow to access her internet connection.

Worked on my contributor notes for the short story anthology I’m appearing in. It’s always weird to try and write something that sounds interesting and yet remains the truth. To prepare, I looked at notes from other publications. Some folks are very wordy, others have 3 short sentences about themselves. I tend to the wordy side, but I think I managed 4 sentences. And then the sentences about the story itself, in which I still managed to talk about me. Ha! But the inspiration for the story comes from my life, so it wasn’t gratuitous.

I love these early mornings in Hawaii. The sky is almost always blue, and the air is warm and fragrant, and it makes you feel happy to be alive. I love the day just beginning, and the idea that it’s a new day and a new chance for me to write something, to get to a new place in my story. It stretches before me like a blank canvas, and it makes me want to achieve something before I climb in bed at the end of it. My husband wants me to trek downtown for lunch, but I don’t really want to. He works in the center of the island, but today is in Honolulu. If I go, if I spend time getting dressed and driving down there and finding parking and meeting him in the Ala Moana mall, I won’t get a thing done. I’ll have to go to Williams-Sonoma to look at pots and pans and gadgets, and I’ll have to pop into Macy’s and the Gap, and before you know it the day will be galloping toward a close and I won’t have anything done. I could take my borrowed AlphaSmart and try to work, I guess, but since I need to be onscreen with the current story right now, I’d have to work on something different. Nope, probably not going to go. I don’t feel too bad, since he’s taking tomorrow off anyway.

Oh, speaking of AlphaSmart, I ordered my own finally. I just have to have it. Naturally, they charge $25 to ship to Hawaii, but it should be here tomorrow or by Friday at the latest. It better be, since it cost that much to ship it! My husband thought it was just a useless gadget, especially since he bought me a nice new laptop, but when he saw it and saw me using it, he changed his mind. The AS is less worrisome. If I take it to Borders, I’m not as worried as I am over my laptop. When I set up my laptop, it’s a process, even though it’s a great computer and slim and features the Centrino technology. The AS runs on AA batteries and you can toss it into a bag. It’s not fussy like a computer. The thing that bothers me about working on my computer in a public place is how bright and lovely the screen is. Anyone who gets close enough can see what I’m writing. Don’t like that, not because I’m worried about someone stealing my words but because it feels like exposing yourself to have raw work out there for anyone to read. On the other hand, when I do a writing day at my friend’s house, I love to take my computer. It’s just the two of us, though, and I don’t have to pack up the computer when I need to pee.

Okay, I’ve been at this blog for half an hour, and I’m certain the writing batteries are charged, so it’s time to get busy. Again, I’m trying for 5 pages.