Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Warning: English Teacher/Writer Rant Ahead

You might want to look away.


People! The verb "may" is present tense. It's an auxialiary verb . . . and did I mention it's present tense?!

The inflected past tense form is "might."

That's right: "may" is present, immediate, happening now. "Might" is past tense, done been done as one of my most-beloved students is wont to say.

So what does that mean and why does anyone care?

Well, if you're writing in the past tense. And oh, it seems like 90+% of romantic fiction is in the past tense (present tense is pretty darn hard to maintain for an extended period, kinda like the second person) you cannot have sentences like, "It may have been a while . . ." or "He may not need . . ." Those are unnecessary tense shifts.

That. Is. Bad.

Might, people, if you're writing in the past tense. Might!

Thank you. You may return to your regularly scheduled blog-hopping now.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ten Years

I started writing for real in 1997. Okay, basically, I started with a kernel of an idea that would later become Hold On To Me.

So . . . that's probably why I can't turn loose of this story. I've never been able to. I'm editing now, after rewriting multiple times . . . but it's truly the "story of my heart," the one you hear writers talking about.

Ten years is a long damn time to carry people and their lives around with you.

Which is probably why I'm thrilled to finally see it up on the coming soon list at Samhain.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


You can also order What Mattered Most from Target now too!

How cool is that?


Just realized I haven't blogged in FIVE days. Five!

I've been fighting off a cold all week -- finally feel better. Edits on HOTM are going well -- they're due Oct. 1 and I'm on p. 290 out of 317. I'm adding a short sequel scene at this point, but it looks like I still have time to go through the whole book one more time and tweak.

I'm still ill over how rude some of my SGA kids were in our meeting yesterday. I expect a lot from them, and rude behavior is NOT one of those expectations. One thing I will do before Monday is lay out some basic ground rules for what is expected when a heated discussion is taking place. I'm starting with everyone stays seated during meetings.

I have a package at the post office. Have no idea what it is . . . haven't ordered anything. Will let you know what it is . . . hope it's something cool!

Monday, September 17, 2007


This was at the post office today. Pics are a little blurry because we took them with the DH's cell phone.

Me and my books:


I screamed in the post office. I screamed in Connie's classroom. I pretty muched screamed in the front office at school, while showing them off.

They're REAL!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

First Review, a.k.a Del Got Giggled

Rating: 85

“His Ordinary Life has plenty of realistic emotional upheavals and poignant character development … well-written romantic drama with some suspense but mostly plenty of internal turmoil … Fans of such stories may enjoy this one. I know I did.” – Mrs. Giggles

Click here to read the review in its entirety: http://www.mrsgiggles.com/ebooks/winfree_ordinary.html

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

You Could Not . . .

Pay me to go back and do high school all over again.

Just an idle thought.

Head over to Romance Worth Killing For tonight . . . I posted an excerpt from His Ordinary Life for reading enjoyment. It's part of my world domination plan . . . I want everyone to fall in love with the two oldest Calvert brothers.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Contest Winners

Just made my DH draw from the lucky St. Augustine hat. And the winners are . . .

1) The $5.00 MBAM gift certificate: Sunflower (Amelia)
2) Ebook of What Mattered Most: Loretta Wilson
3) Ebook of Truth and Consequences: Beth Reimer

Oh, and by the way . . . His Ordinary Life is now available!

Just a Few More Hours . . .

Until His Ordinary Life releases!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Morning Musings

It's Sunday morning, I was able to sleep past nine o'clock (that can be rare on weekends in this house), and I have coffee. I'm good.

The DH fixed my dryer yesterday, so I can tackle the mountain of laundry, thank heavens! Grades are due tomorrow, so I'll probably be grading notebook tests today, entering and exporting. I need to make a Septemer calendar for my students, but they might end up with a weekly one instead.

Homecoming is staring me in the face -- two weeks until Homecoming Week. It's a very good thing I didn't make plans to go to M&M in Atlanta, as the dance is that Friday night. It's not like I can skip it, either. I have a fantastic student government president this year and that's made planning for HC much easier. At this point, we have a theme, a venue for the dance, a DJ, a list of things to do and committees. I feel like I have more of a handle on it this year than I did last year, when we held the first one (we're a really new high school -- we didn't have alumni until last year so we could have a Homecoming.).

One Act is looming, too. I've started auditions, but with kids adding and dropping at practices, I still don't know how many actual actors I might have so I haven't even chosen a play yet.

And I'm haunting my email, looking for my HOTM edits from Anne the Editor Goddess.

In terms of story progress, I'm at 63,752 words, exactly 75% of my targeted 85K. I have seven plot points to go, so I'm not sure if that will take 22K or if I'll end up at around 80K. Either way, this rough draft will need serious marination before I go back and revise, edit and polish. In the meantime, I'm trying to think my way through Ash's book. I know the story of the romance. I know the suspense story. Now, I just need to figure out where the darn book begins. I can't get a handle on the opening scene/event, which is really unusal for me.

Need to write today, too. Fell short yesterday and only wrote 700 words. It was like drawing blood, finally gave up and went to bed (I was wiped out). Feel more refreshed this morning, hoping that will make a difference.

Hey, quick question for you . . . do free reads by an author make a difference in whether or not you buy his or her books?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Big Team, Little Me

Monster #1 ran in his first cross country meet today. I was so proud of him! He's definitely not the fastest runner on the team, but he completed the race, even though I knew it was hard on him.

I was also proud of our entire team, especially the varsity runners. When I reached the finish line area so I could watch Monster #1 come in (if you've never watched cross country before, you go to areas along the track as the run progresses so you can cheer them on), I saw groups of our older kids running the final, grueling yards with the middle school stragglers. They were encouraging them, making sure those kids would finish.

It was fabulous and gave me chills.

So kudos to our coaches and our kids, who have given new life to the "Big Team, Little Me" motto.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Two New Reviews and My Contest

What Mattered Most, my first novel from Samhain, received Five Lips from Tara Renee at Two Lips Reviews. In part, Tara said, "I could not put this book down and I know that anyone who reads it will find it as magnificent as I do." You can read the rest of her comments here: http://www.twolipsreviews.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2142&Itemid=36.

Sandra Paquet at Gotta Write Network also recently reviewed John and Lanie's story and awarded it five out of five "ever afters". Here's part of what she had to say: "An emotionally charged plot, tortured characters who live and breathe on the page - what more could you want?" You can find her review here: http://www.gottawritenetwork.com/ReviewsBySandra2.html (you have to scroll down to each review).

You can find the blurb and excerpt for What Mattered Most here: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/romance/what-mattered-most.

Here's the contest deal:

The three prizes I'm giving away:

1) A $5.00 Samhain gift certificate (MBAM)
2) Ebook version of your choice -- What Mattered Most
3) Ebook version of your choice -- Truth and Consequences

How to Enter:

Read through the two excerpts from His Ordinary Life found at my Yahoo group (in the files section) as well as the excerpt at the Samhain website. Find the answers to THREE of the contest questions below. Copy the questions you're answering into a blank email and provide the correct answer for each question. Send to linda_winfree at yahoo dot com (you know what to do) with SAMHAIN CONTEST in the subject line.

Contest runs through Monday night (9/10/07), 9:00 PM EST. At that time, I'll draw a winner for each prize from those providing the correct answers and post the winners here at the Samhain Cafe as well as at my blog, lindawinfree.blogspot.com.

The Questions:

1) Where does Del have a scar? (Excerpt 2)
2) How many children do Barb and Del have? (Excerpt 1 or 2)
3) What did Del drive before the Porsche? (Excerpt 1)
4) What is Del's brother's name? (Excerpt 1)
5) In the Samhain website excerpt, what memory sends Del after Barbara for one more try?

Remeber, the questions and excerpts are posted in the files section of my newsletter group at Yahoo (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/linda_winfree).

Word Count

For Tuesday, 9/4: 1362.

Total on Facing It: 60,363

71% of my projected word count. I love the last third or so of a book. I like moving toward the climax. Writing the ending, not so much. Climax and resolution? Definitely.

I'm running a contest this week -- will post those details later today.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Is the only word. I'm probably jinxing it, but I wrote approximately 6000 words on Facing It in the last day or so.

I'm 69.4% finished with the MS. Yes, I need to update my word meter. No, I'm not doing it tonight. Too fiddly.

What are you up to tonight?