Archive | June 2008

Edits complete – Phew!

Well, three cheers to Elizabeth, for her fantastic editorial contribution to the All or Nothing project. That’s what it has become. A project. A comprehensive effort – that will be reviewed by me ONE more time, and then forwarded on its merry way – to be designated with a cover, back cover copy, blurb, etc. and so on. Lord, I can’t wait to see the cover. It’ll be amazing. A dream. I used to stroll book stores to envision where Ashley Ludwig would reside – and now, it’s happening.

What a phenomenal effort on the part of The Wild Rose Press – whom I couldn’t be more excited to work with. I am so excited about seening the cover. About the rest of the publishing process, which is, as of yet, a mystery to this writer. I’m ready to go back to work fleshing out my next historical, inspirational story – Castles by the Sea… set in the golden era of Hollywood. I’m looking forward to it – but have so much plotting to do, I should change the concept to plodding. Why oh why can’t I be a pantser? Every story I’ve ever “pants-ed” together has gone nowhere. Oh, well. That’s a topic for another day.

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Popsicle summer

Saturday heralded the official arrival of summertime -There is nothing like seeing the Popsicle smiles on their sweet faces, and enjoying that cool California breeze off the coastline. My girls are getting bigger, learning to swim, and can still strip and run naked through the sprinklers in 5 seconds flat. The video camera is on the fritz, so as soon as I can get it to the geeks at Best Buy, the more video I can capture of that reckless abandon.

The garden is spectacular – the flowers have outdone themselves, even though the heat index has been screwy. And, now we are in construction of our newest Ludwig Family Project…the river. Yes. Perry is constructing a river in the side yard. Complete with trickling fountain, tadpoles to turn into froggies, and fish. I imagine we’ll even find a home for a turtle or two. Lord, I’m going to turn into my sister. There are worse things than that. My sister rocks.

Speaking of sisters – I often wonder how my mom did it with us. Granted. We had more of an age difference between us. Three and a half years instead of 19 months. I am bound and determined to see these little misses lean on one another the way that Paige and I do. To hear them speak about each other once they reach adulthood – the way Paige and I speak about each other. What does a parent have to do to engender that? All I can say is, patience. Fights are not allowed. Hurting feelings on purpose is a definite no-no. Respect. Love. Fun. Play. All of these things are mandatory. Hateful words must be apologized for as much as physical contact. But, you know what? There is something about hearing them play, invent games, giggle in secret, and plan together that makes my heart flop around in my chest.

People ask me, as an adoptive mother – if my girls are related. *CRINGE* first of all. Second, comes the smile that states – you have no idea what you’re asking me, do you? You might as well ask a person who physically bore their children – oh, is your husband the sperm donor for both your kids? But – no, I don’t do that. What I do say is my pad-answer: “God made us a family. We’re not biologically related, but Rachel and Ellie are sisters. I’m their mother…Perry’s their father, and Millie’s our dog.”

Aye-yai-yai… that’s a whole other topic for a later date!

We’re all part of the same gene pool. Jump in and take a swim. After all, it’s summer. And have a Popsicle, while you’re at it.

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Some notes on editors…

Wow. I’ve gone through over 300 pages of detailed notes from Elizabeth. Yikes.

First thoughts, after seeing my bleeding, disected manuscript… AAARGH!!!
After catching my breath, my second thoughts (no pun intended) are… wow. How lucky am I?!?

I have an editor who is brilliant. She not properly and politely chastised me for the overuse of “was” – she fact-checked all of my historical elements. Bowie or Buck knife? When in the world did “threw me for a loop” enter the public vernacular? and other things that make me blush, and slap my forehead with a good-0le Homer Simpson ” ‘DOH!”

So, notes on editors. WHERE would we be without them? I shudder, suddenly, thinking of how many editorial mistakes I have made on this blog. Apologies, dear readers, for any overuse of commas, misplaced modifiers, lonely words, and other editorial attrocities that more than likely exist in this here blog.

So, with every edit, this writer is putting herself back to school.

Quickie Reads…

Okay – now is the time. I’d like to present a new review source for short and full-filling e-reads.

Quickie reads is a place where anyone can highlight a favorite short story – be they rosette or miniature rose, or any other length.

Today we’re highlighting: Catching the Bouquet by Kara Lynn Russell. Have you read it? Post a quick review! or download it when you have a quick minute…

Add a Quickie by commenting on the Add a Quickie page.

Read Quickie Reviews – for both paid and fun reads…

Or, add a “Full-Filling Reads” for full length novels that are worth the time and cost of admission.

Please, take a glance. Contribute. There are so many titles, and so little time – I really need your help filling the site with quick reviews!

It’s a great place to showcase your work – whatever the link. Please take a look and let me know your thoughts. Post your title, or post a friends. Let’s fill this up with lots of great stories that can fill the moments, when you only have a moment to spare.

~Ashley

Love and Loss…

I woke up this morning to a new world. A world without a man who was central to my dear friend’s life. The father of her child. My heart aches with the loss. The part that is the worst, is the mystery behind it.

He was a mere shadow of his former self. Once upon a time he was strong, brave, funny, caring, true. But something happened. Somewhere along the way, the demons found him. A blank slate. A man who had doubts. They peppered his life with shadows. They took what was true and kind and good and turned him into something else. Someone who was lost. Who was unsure. Who was scared. Who despaired. Who couldn’t find the joy or the will to go on.

And this world has lost of a good man. A man who if he would have just asked for help, would have had so much offered him. A man, who if he saw himself the way the world saw him, could have found hope. My heart hurts. My reason is rent in two. I pray God that he found peace. Today, I thank God for my steady husband. Today, I pray peace for my dear friend, and her sweet daughter. His loss will not be forgotten.

Where in the universe are you from?

Thanks, to my friend Skhye Moncrief – now it’s officially official. My compartments I’ve diligently organized for myself (see post from this morning, below!) now look exactly like the top of my desk, counter, bar, and kitchen table. 🙂 Still, this is my life. I’m from Mercury. Where in the universe are you from?


You Are From Mercury


You are talkative, clever, and knowledgeable – and it shows.

You probably never leave home without your cell phone!

You’re witty, expressive, and aware of everything going on around you.

You love learning, playing, and taking in all of what life has to offer.

Be careful not to talk your friends’ ears off, and temper your need to know everything.

Thoughts for a Monday

Listening to: Birds singing in the backyard
Price of Gas: $4.25 a gallon
Stress Level: low to medium

I spent the weekend with my parents -and my mother took it upon herself to share with me that I’ve been a wreck lately. Thanks, mom. No one can completely level you like your own mother. Thank the Good Lord that my mother knows how to pick me back up again, dust me off, and set me on a better path. She told me to compartmentalize. To not try to do everything all at once. Work during work time. Take care of my family during family time. And write when no one else is around.

Well, that’s the trick, isn’t it. When you work from home, there’s always work to do. There’s always someone around, because I’m a parent of a four year old and a two and a half year old. And then there’s Perry. And we do everything together. So that leaves, when everyone is asleep. Okay, so we’re going to try that this week. Now that Rachel’s in school, and Ellie’s playing with PJ at Niki’s house – it’s time to go to work. And what happened? My e-mail’s full. I’m archiving. So that buys me about 10 or 15 minutes to blog about my Monday morning thoughts. Uhoh. In attempting to compartmentalize, I’m blurring the boundaries. This is supposed to be work time. Thank heavens I don’t actually have to drive anywhere to go to work.

Never have I been more glad to telecommute than this summer. I can hardly believe that Perry and I are considering buying a new SUV. I’ve been calculating my weekly mileage, and suppose if you consider my commute is walking upstairs to my desk with a cup of coffee, than perhaps I’ve done my part for the gasoline crisis.

After two weeks, and a few trips out to Lake Skinner for the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival, I racked up a total of 115 miles. Not bad. Perry only drives slightly more, so perhaps we can swallow the cost of an SUV and cruising around in comfort, rather than scrinched in the minivan. I’m still on the fence about that one.

Still waiting patiently for Tessa Takes a Chance to go live. Stay tuned for the sweet little read to grace the Free Reads section of http://www.TheWildRosePress.com

Another thing to do today – after work (and believe me, I want to get to work, my E-mail is still auto-archiving and disallowing me any access…argh!) I will get through at least another 50 pages of All or Nothing edits. I was going to this morning. I even woke up early with Perry so I could get to work right away. I don’t even think I had my face washed when Ellie’s little voice called from my doorway. Mommy! I wake! Go downstairs watch Dora! Lord, the child’s addicted to Dora The Explorer!

Did I mention it is impossible to write a romance novel with Dora the Explorer on the television? Not much better with Miss Spider, Max and Ruby, or anything else considered Pre-School time on Nick Jr. Aye yai yai. So, I whipped out my journal, and we wrote her name awhile. We wrote down every word she could think of, and I swear the child talked for two hours and forty-five minutes, nonstop.

My mother says this is my karmic payback. My nickname, they remind me, when I was a toddler was the mouth. So, I set the edits aside (sorry, Elizabeth!), I picked her up, and we talked and tickled, and I remembered how once upon a time I wrote a novel with her happily cooing in her swing. Perhaps by the time I’m ready to start the next one, she’ll be sleeping in a bit more. In the mean time, it’s ridiculous to let this add to my stress. I have until July 10 to return the MS. I’ve been advised to take the entire time to get it right, and Lord knows, I’m following the sound advice of my fellow authors. *grin*. I just love saying that.

So, with that in mind, back to the day-job. I’m going to do my darndest to solve the world’s bibliographic issues today. Diving whole focused into work, now that e-mail is done archiving. Edits come later. Then to the park with the munchkins. I’m compartmentalizing – work during work time. Play during play time. Edits and writing after my family and other obligations are complete. And someday, maybe, this will be the only work I ever have to do again. And wouldn’t that be sweet?