I am back from Rib Fest 2005. It was a success, and of course my hubby is now napping. He has basked in the glow of his coworkers' compliments and is free to snore in exhausted oblivion. I, on the other hand, am wondering where in the heck is my AlphaSmart. Day 4 of the vigil and no Alphie in sight. It's coming from CA for pete's sake! They charged me express rate because some poor pilot has to fly over an ocean to get here–apparently that makes the destination farther away than, say, Boston. It's 2500 miles from CA to Hawaii. Gimmee a break.

I also forgot to call the Menehune water people and tell them not to deliver a 5 gallon bottle of water today. So naturally they did, and naturally I already have six bottles sitting around here because I have forgotten before and they will deliver anyway if you don't tell them otherwise. So I have 7 bottles total with a $10 deposit on each. It's a new savings account! Rack up bottles and then cash them in when you need funds. Sheesh, why can't I remember what day they deliver!! I have got to get rid of at least 4 of these things. It's ridiculous.

All right, enough blathering. On to critique. It took me an hour to get there, btw, and it's less than 7 miles away. Very bad traffic day in Honolulu. 🙁 Ann Peach was there, as I said, and she's so interesting and informative. She told me what I already kind of sort of suspected but didn't want to admit: my first 3 pages need to go. The first line of the book is halfway down page 3 (not the 1st line of dialogue, but the perfect opening hook–which also happens to be dialogue). She says you should think of the scene like a movie scene. If you were a director, where would you start? Where's the action? My heroine sitting in her car and thinking of why she's back in her hometown and why she doesn't want to be isn't good enough, even though she thinks about her past relationship with the hero and about her urgent goal for returning. Ain't good enough. I knew it, and I'm actually much happier that someone else saw it and pointed out what I'd only suspected. Ann says to go with your gut. If you think it's wrong, it probably is.

I also think that if you've reached the stage in your writing where you only have to cut three pages in the beginning rather than three chapters, you're moving up in the world, baby! I remember when Rebecca Brandewyne once said that she had to toss the first 100 pages of an early novel because it was all backstory and irrelevant. I, of course, made all the newbie mistakes and piled the beginning with irrelevant backstory in my first book years ago. I hope I have learned since then, but you know, I always write that stuff in there somehow anyway and then end up cutting it. Not chapters anymore, but definitely pages. I used to love prologues too, but now I avoid them like the plague. And, oh hell, where was my brain when I included that half page of flashback not all that long ago on the second page of the book? No, no, no. Sell a few books, get rich and popular (hahahaha!) and then do whatever you want. Until then, no cigar. *sigh*

Speaking of cigars, you have to see Triumph the Insult Comic Dog do the weather for Hawaii. LOL! http://www.nbc.com/nbc/Late_Night_with_Conan_O Why do I laugh at a really bad puppet cracking jokes? I don't know, but the dude behind the act is hysterical. And he gives it to Hawaii during the weather report. It's Armageddon in Hawaii!

I have to report that I did not get any writing done yesterday. 🙁 Hubby did manage to wash his Jeep and clean the yard alone, but I got busy updating my checking account on Quicken and making sure I hadn't forgotten to pay any bills. I am very good at forgetting when I get immersed in a book. Today is a shot writing day so far, mostly because of lack of sleep and hauling all that food around this morning. And I keep obsessing about the Alphie, looking out the window when I hear a truck. It's like Christmas and I just can't wait for morning.

I need to get busy though. Might be having lunch with Ann tomorrow, so I need to be able to say I was working. She likes to ask me what I'm working on, how close I am to completing it, when I think I can finish, etc. And then she likes to tell me I need to finish the book and have it ready to go ASAP. She is so right, of course.

Aloha for now…..