Friday, December 28, 2007


The end of the year is in sight, and the last of the official "holidays" is coming up shortly. So far, I have survived, and it looks like my continued survival is inevitable. Yay!

I've written some new scenes for Project 2, and my goal tomorrow is to sit down for three hours of uninterrupted editing. Kat has graciously provided me with this, a constant reminder that my self-imposed deadline is ticking down.

I have also written the first two chapters to Project 3, as well as doing quite a bit of research and brainstorming on plot and such.

And lo and behold...there is also a Project 4! I've been researching and brainstorming that lately too (damn you, protagonist, why won't you tell me your name?!). I'm actually torn on whether to pursue 3 or 4 next, after I'm done editing 2.

And then we have Project 1. Poor Project 1. It languishes there in abandoned novel limbo. I think the story still has merit. I think the characters need tweaking, and I think the writing was horrendous, especially the earlier-written pieces. It needs a rest, it needs a makeover. So if anyone asks, Project 1 has gone away to live on a farm somewhere with a nice family that loves it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tis the Season

Argh, I am seriously learning to loathe Christmas. If it wasn't for the kiddo, I'd probably boycott the entire mess.

Don't get me wrong, the holiday itself is a great thing, even if you're not necessarily Christian. It's full of hope, giving, generosity, and goodwill toward man. (I should have left the typo, which was "foodwill" toward man. I don't think it was entirely incorrect) And stuff. But it's the commercial side of things that really get me down. I'm tired of shopping for people, I'm tired of trying to plan the perfect schedule to run between everyone's houses (and my current one involves travelling faster than the speed of light, so it's going to have to be revised)

On the writing front, I am 13 chapters through my latest editing pass. I've written the first of at least four new big sections, and made some nice polishing-type decisions on other sections.

I re-read the chapter I wrote for the new project, today, and I find that I still really like it. I think that bodes well.

Several people that I "know" on the Absolute Write boards have been offered representation by agents and/or book deals in recent weeks. It's so strange, being this happy and this jealous all at once. But I really hope this is a herald of many good things for all the people there, myself included. I mean, if I can't make a book sale, at least someone I know should.

Friday, December 14, 2007

This should not be this hard

Somehow, my brain was created defective. I can take a simple random comment from one person and turn it into an entire world/plot/character/drama in a matter of moments. But I simply cannot write a query letter. There is some switch in my brain that never got thrown (or installed) or something.

I have dabbled with this query for three months now, popping it open from time to time when I felt like being depressed. I know it's horrible. I can even tell you some of the reasons WHY it's horrible. But for the life of me, I can't seem to wrap my brain around how to fix it!

One thing I think I've settled on is voice. This book has a very unique voice, and it isn't even remotely relayed in the query. I may actually have to try and have my protagonist write this query, just to make sure his voice gets in there.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

And again

I got Theo's notes (and some from his lady love, which was an extra bonus!), and I'm currently letting them sink into my brain. A lot of it dealt with things I've already addressed (but it made me glad to know that my instincts seem to be right). But both he and his lady love have agreed that my protagonist has it too easy.

And this made me think of something I heard Jim Butcher say, at a book signing I attended. He said "If I think it's going to make my hero's day worse, I put it in." So now, I'm pondering how to make my hero's day worse, without totally adding in a new plot thread. (because honestly, I think my plot is pretty tight as it stands, and I like it.)

I think I've figured out some areas I want to tweak, but I decided that I simply could not do such extensive editing on the computer screen, so once again utilized Kinkos and their wonderful online printing option. This time, I even got it bound, so it almost looks like a real book!

Within ten minutes of picking it up, I had it adorned with sticky flags and highlighter marks, already making my plans. I have decided that, after THIS round of editing, it's done. No matter how long or short it is, this is the last batch I'm doing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Greetings from the Arctic!

Well, at least it feels like it.

Yes, I am one of those currently stuck in the midwest under a rather pretty (but destructive) glaze of ice. In fact, we had no power here at the house from sometime last night until about 5:09 this evening. Kiddo and I were in the middle of packing bags to go to a hotel when the lights came back on.

(Needless to say, I have one very disappointed five-year-old. *sigh* I have offered dinner from Wendy's as a consolation. She's a Frosty addict.)

And the sad thing is, all I could think, knowing that I had no home computer/internet was: "Thank gods I'm at a 'taking a break' place with my book". I'm sure, somehow, that makes me a true writer.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Research, it is strange...

In preparation for two new projects, I have been making a list of things to research. Included on this list is:

Greek gods
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

These things don't necessarily belong to the same project (well, ok, the first two do, but the third is for its own thing). But I do find some amusement in the varied state of my interests. Gita, my medical consultant, gets questions ranging from "How would a pre-technological society drain fluid off the lungs" to "what easily obtainable narcotic can be dissolved in juice and be strong enough to kill a small human?" I have also given her the challenge of deciding how many ribs can feasibly be removed before complications ensue (but that question was for someone else's book, not my own)

At any rate, I made a ton of notes and a loose outline today for yet ANOTHER new project to be completed sometime in the future. That brings my total to 2 new projects, 1 abandoned project to pick up later, and 1 sequel to my current project (which is still in the editing phases)

Theo's very close to having his notes to me. I think he's enjoyed this. And Kat says I am free to bribe her with chocolate and/or books to read for me again in the future. This makes me happy. (because if I sucked, she wouldn't wanna read for me. See the logic there?)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Haz Plan!

If I had my brand new digital camera up and functional, I'd start accosting my cats to make lolcatz pictures illustrating said plan. But I don't, so my cats are safe for yet another day.

I buckled down at work today (on my lunch break, I'm not a total slacker) and at the end of it all, I have only one chapter left to revise based on my own notes. Then, Theo's going to deliver me his long-awaited treatise on my work, and I'll be going through what I have again, with that in hand. THEN, I'm going to spend the bucks to print it out one more time (might even bind it, that'd be cool), and go through it yet AGAIN. And that, my friends, will be that. It will be finished, done, finito. Length will be set at whatever it ends as.

I have sworn an oath in front of three people (which makes it official) that I will have a submission-ready manuscript and a submission-ready query letter AND a list of potential agents ready by January 31st. You heard it here. Deadline is set, people know, if I chicken out now I'm gonna look like a giant goober.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I have survived!

All in all, I had a really great birthday! My friends/beta-readers from all over the place have lavished books upon me! I spent waaaay too much time reading this weekend. (I read four, total, still got three more to go) Two of them were even "work" related, in that they are also research materials for the new project.

I worked on three more chapters of Project 2 today, slowly muddling my way through it. I'm trying to catch as much as I can, but I can already tell I'm going to need a fourth draft after this, just to polish. Theo keeps teasing me about finally getting his notes on it. I think he's having waaaay too much fun, but I'm glad to see him enjoying himself.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


comes at bizarre times.

Last night, just before drifting to sleep (I do my best creating then), I realized a very simple way to expand on a certain scene in the book. I was just tickled pink with myself, and so today I wrote that replacement scene and took a 500 word scene to almost 1400 words. Yay!

Theo is working harder on his beta-reading comments for the book than I think he does for his school work. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing them.

The holiday weekend was all right, if you ignore the fact that I came down with the plague Wednesday night, and I'm only starting to feel truly human today. In fact, Friday passed in a comatose blur, and the hubby did a remarkable job of stepping up to run the house/kiddo without me.

Friday night is my birthday. (you don't need to know which one. Suffice it to say that centennial quarters have special meaning for me) I doubt we're doing anything then, but my mother may be doing the birthday lunch thing Saturday, then Gita may swing by for a repeat performance on Sunday. Needless to say, I don't intend to get much writing done this weekend, and that's ok.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hope Springs Anew

Or something.

So...out of the blue (well, not totally out of the blue, I've been brainstorming and taking notes for a while now) I started writing on project number 3 today. And when I was done spewing things out of my brain, I had an entire chapter 2. Don't ask me what happened to chapter 1. Apparently, I just wasn't in the mood to write that one today.

I don't think I'm comfortable enough to post a word-count bar yet, but it could be on the horizon. And at some point, I will have to face facts and take down the word count bar for project number 1. Sad, but true.

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Elements

I've been pondering a new element to add to the story today. Not so much a new element, really, as a reassignment of several key roles. I would be taking some actions performed by a supporting character and reassigning them to the hero instead, to make him a more active participant.

I'm not sure I'm really going to do it, but I have to say that the two replacement scenes I wrote made me giggle all day. At the very least, I have something to amuse me between serious efforts.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm a bad girl

I promised myself that, once I started my revisions, I would not hit the word count button.

I failed, almost instantly.

Still, after going through the first six chapters, I am up to 52,500 words (in actual MS Word wordcount) or 64,000 in estimated word count.

There are betas I still haven't heard back from. I'm hoping to get their feedback and then make another pass through the manuscript to touch up the areas that they've pointed out too.

I doubt I'll get much accomplished this coming week, what with the holidays and all. But, maybe a break from obsessing will do me good.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Another Week, Another Fifty Cents

I am soooo glad this week is over. The Real Job (tm) has been mind-numbingly dull for quite some time.

So, saw an interesting post on the Bookends Blog today regarding how to figure word count. Now, knowing that I have a particular obsession with the subject, we'll look at my current predicament.

Per MS Word's nifty wordcount feature, my book is 50,300 words (give or take, and pre-revision). Per the 250-per-page method, my book is 61,750 words! (It should be obvious which count I prefer.)

Apparently, some agents prefer the 'real' word count, others prefer the estimated one. But, for those who don't specify, can I please use the estimated one? It just makes me feel better about myself.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


For some reason, when I hit post on this one, it didn't take. And I'm not sure I feel up to typing it all again.

Suffice it to say, status normal, still in limbo, and I'm working on new stuff too, slowly.

Slacking, pt 2!

Ha ha! I have figured out how to retrieve the stupid saved drafts! So, original post below, for your reading pleasure.

I've been slacking on the blog, not on the writing. When I don't have a word count to update every day, it just seems... I 'unno.

Beta reports are still trickling in. I've been taking the info I'm given and using it as inspiration to scribble ALL over my hard copy. The poor thing is so tattered, and now covered in purple ink. I have quite a few people I haven't heard from yet (nudges to Gita, Lendys, Chie), and a couple others who are going through it piece by piece. I'm resisting the urge to go ahead with the next draft until I hear back from them, but it's getting harder by the day.

As far as new projects go, I scribbled some stuff down yesterday. It brought me to the realization that while I am GREAT with premise (and I can world build like nobody's business), I struggle with actual plot. So I have these wonderful people in this really neat world, and I'm not sure what they're doing! Oh well, all things in time, right?

And on a real life note, when did Thanksgiving sneak up on us! I demand my year back.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thoughts and Mullings

As I let my betas' comments seep into my brain, I find that I am thinking of more ways to flesh out my world and make it a fuller, more interesting place. For example, I have quite a bit more room to explain many things about my antagonists that I never even touched on. I think I was so paranoid about info-dumping that I've neglected some basic explanation and examination that the reader will want/need.

This is encouraging to me! I think I would be more disheartened to realize that I had written something and had no where left to go with it. But a story that has room to evolve means that it has room to be better.

We can rebuild it! We have the technology!

I'm still not touching it at this point. I'm waiting to hear back from my betas that are using this weekend to get up a head of steam and blast right through it. But the feedback I have so far is taking my mind in wonderful new directions. I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

And in other news

I banged out a rough outline for the sequel to my current project. I'm not planning on writing it, right away ('cause what's the point of writing a sequel if the first never sells?) but I would like to be able to show an agent that I have plans for the future, if they ask.


So, one of my virgin betas, Vaeras, has come back to me with an enormous list of first impressions, and promises for a list of second impressions yet to come. And I'm just blown away!

He's put so much thought into reading and critiquing my work, and offered so many good points, I scarcely know where to begin. At the moment, I'm going to give myself several days to mull over what he's given me, and try to take it from general advice into practical changes in the work.

I will be making no changes at all until I hear back from all my betas. I know that Kat is only beginning to read tomorrow, so it'll be a while before she gets back to me. Others have finished reading, but are taking their time to formulate helpful suggestions for me.

I don't think I'll ever be able to thank all these people enough, for all the time and effort they're putting in for me. Is there a limit to how many you can thank in an acknowledgements page?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Responses so far

Three of my betas have finished the book so far (let's hear it for speed reading!). They've given me a few tips, with promises of more in depth critiques to come. I'm actually excited! First off, no one has said "Oh wow, you stink!" Second, even the small tips they've given me so far have been helpful (and very true, when I look at it).

I told Theo today that I'm not sure if I'm disgusted or happy. Disgusted at myself for not thinking of most of this stuff earlier, and happy that I AM thinking of ways to expand/hone my book.

AND, I bought a purple pen to do my edits in! Purple trumps all.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Beta-Readers, Away!

Well, I finished this morning, and dumped this beast on my readers. I have also arranged for Kinko's to print me a couple hard copies, so I can edit on paper for typos and spelling while my betas have it. I refuse to do ANY story/plot editing until I hear back from my band of super-great readers.

Here is the small note I sent to them, since some of them have never done this kind of thing before:

Congratulations! You are part of the few, the proud, the suckers. Somehow, I conned you into reading this beast, with an eye toward helping me make it better.

I encourage you to do at least the first read-through like you would any book you picked up for enjoyment. Just, read the story, enjoy it (or not) as you can. Be entertained, learn to love or hate our hero, whatever. Ultimately, I just want to know if you liked it!

Then, if it wasn’t vile and you can stand it, go back through with a more critical eye and look for specific things to give me feedback on.

Here’s a few things I’m specifically looking for:

** Honesty. Total, brutal honesty. You are all my friends, but please don’t let that cloud your judgment.

** Word-count-wise, this is too short to be a novel. Anything you see that you think “Hey, I’d like to know more!” or “Hey, she could expand on that there”, lemme know.

** Totally contradicting that, if you see a scene/paragraph/sentence that you think needs to be cut, lemme know that too.

** Look for things that yank you out of the story. If you see something that is totally distracting, mark it, let me know.

** If you find yourself at chapter 3, thinking “ZOMG, will the torture never end”, feel free to stop reading. But please, let me know exactly WHERE you lost interest, and why.

I am hoping to be able to catch most typo/spelling/grammar errors on my own, but if you see one that is just glaringly apparent, feel free to mark that too.

There’s no time limit on this, so don’t feel rushed. Everyone has real lives that need tending to first. If you have any questions, let me know!

So, have at it everyone! I think I'll find something else to stress about for a few days/weeks/however long it takes.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Rare Day

I've spent a good portion of the day (well, this afternoon, really) writing, which is highly unusual. I'm not programed to write from home, after all. But thanks to Gita, who kept me babbling through IMs, the various websites I like to lurk on (waves to the AW crew), and fiddling with my music selections, I managed to trick myself into feeling like I was multi-tasking, which seems to be the requisite for productive writing.

I finished the revision of chapter 23 (the final chapter!). Now, I need to go back and tweak four earlier chapters with things I thought of after I was done with them. Then I need to research and choose six quotes with which to introduce certain chapters. Then...oh, then... I will be done with revision number two.

I'm excited, and terrified, all at once. Gita made the comment that she didn't realize my novel had come out so short the first time. I guess this is a good thing, maybe indicating that the story is good enough to make a reader lose track of silly things like length.

Or, it was so boring she thought it dragged on interminably anyway.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The End is Near...Again!

I have reached that point in my revisions where I just want it done with. I'm sooooo close to the end, and I'm anxious to see what my new bunch of, I mean beta-readers will make of it. (Kidding guys, I luv ya. You know I do)

I have one more chapter to revise, some tweaks to go back and add to earlier chapters, and six quotes to find. I am seriously going to try and push through this weekend and finish it up. I can send the document to Kinko's, over their online service (I think this is the coolest thing ever, by the way) and print out a couple copies for my local betas (and myself) and get set to do this all over again!

Word count, I believe, is going to come in right at 50K words. I have reached the point where I'm trying to decide what is "too short". I chose 80K for my goal, simply because many books in the urban fantasy genre (especially first-in-a-series-books) seem to start out in that range. It is possible that the book can be just as good in the 70K range, but thinking of going shorter than that is giving me the heebie jeebies. I guess I'll just have to see what comes.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Things we learn from our children

First and foremost on the list: I am TOO old to go trick-or-treating. I feel like we walked 20 blocks last night (I'm sure it was closer to 10) and of course Daddy wound up carrying Kiddo the last four or five.

Still, I am pleased to see that Halloween still holds all the magic for me that it ever did. I mean, on what other day of the year is it perfectly acceptable for sane adults to dress up and play make-believe, if even for only a few hours?

On the book front, I'm slowly plucking away. I thought I was done with the revisions on chapter 20, until I was hit with a tiny inspiration on the bus on the way home tonight. So, I'll be revisiting that chapter, and a couple of earlier ones to make tweaks before I move on to the last three.

I'm slowly assembling a batch of beta-readers. I'll be sending this out to my readers who have already read the first draft (Chie, Theo, Gita) as well as a brand spanking new crop who have what I call "virgin" eyes. They haven't read any of it, and should enter into it with no expectations.

I'm excited and scared to death all at once.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Weird dreams

I dreamed last night about being back in high school (or maybe college?) and misplacing my schedule, so I had no idea what classes I was supposed to be in at what times. It was the second week of school, and there was one class I hadn't even been to yet, because I couldn't find out when or where it was. I have no idea what this says about my subconcious, but suffice it to say that my sleep has not been settled.

I went through chapters 17 and 18 today, for a grand total of an additional 900 words added to the manuscript. I have five chapters remaining before I inflict this disaster upon my beta-readers (including the batch who have never seen/heard of this monstrosity before). I am hoping that virgin eyes will help give me a fresh perspective.

The word count, sadly, is still lacking. I'm at the point now where I'm trying to figure out just how short is too short. I know, it's early still, and the beta readers may open up an entirely new world for me as far as elaborating/expanding my story. Still, I fret and worry, because it's something I'm good at.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Today's Efforts

Today's efforts made up for my disaster of a yesterday. I struggled my way through revisions on chapter 15. (sometimes, the original version is just as good as it gets) Then my revisions for chapter 16 FLEW by. I had things to add, and room to expand, and...oh, it was sweet.

That leaves me with seven more chapters to go (and six more quotes to find). I have ten books on Japanese philosophy and swordsmanship scattered around me at the moment, as I look for just the right words to preface a few of these chapters.

I've been threatening my beta-readers with a mid-November delivery. Ahead of my self-imposed schedule, but it should leave me plenty of time for follow-up revisions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

There is more to life than writing

There was no writing done today. Instead, I spent the day dealing with a car that suddenly would not function no matter how I begged, cursed, or beat on it. It's days like this that I sorely miss my father. He was the best mechanic in the entire world.

The good news is that it was only the battery in the car that was borked. The bad news is that it took them over $200 in diagnostics to determine that. Oh well, better safe than sorry, I guess.

Hopefully, tomorrow's writing will be back on schedule.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'll take that to go!

While I am diligent about updating my word count meter to the left, lately I’ve been slacking on making actual posts. Most of the time, it’s because I’m so tired when I get home from the Real Job ™ and the hubby and kiddo are demanding so much of my attention just then.

I have also discovered that, while I think of many things to babble about during the day, many times they have faded by the time I actually walk in my front door. So, to rectify that, I’m going to attempt to take notes for my daily blog posting during the day, and just cut and paste when I get home. It’s not cheating, it’s thinking ahead!

Today, as I am working on revisions to chapter 14, I am pondering the fact that I come from a fast generation. We have fast food, e-mail, instant messaging, and one-hour photo. We wait for no man (or woman)! But, since the Evil Powers That Be have blocked more websites from Chie’s work, I no longer have her instantaneous feedback on my writing during the day. That’s two years’ worth of habit to break! And Theo, while he gets to talk to me during the day more than anyone else, likewise has classes and a job, and other obligations that extend beyond the virtual realm.

So, I toil away here, and when I hit a stumbling block, I have to wait hours to get a fresh set of eyes to look at my obstacle. It is unreasonable to expect people to drop everything and do what I wanna do, but sometimes I feel like I’m out here alone and treading water, waiting for a passing ship to rescue me. I’ve been spoiled in the past, and now I am suffering the consequences.

I think chapter 14 is done, by the way, minus any small tweaking. Onward and upward.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Keeping on keeping on

I've managed to make it through revising chapter 10 today, and start on chapter 11. Then, during a boring spurt at work, I sat and just read through my own story, just for the pleasure of reading. You know what? I still like it. I take this as a good sign.

We have a newly acquired furnace in our house, so we have warmth. This is also good. The kiddo's birthday is Friday, and I am taking the entire day off of the Real Job (tm). This means I probably won't get much work done at all on my writing. And that's ok.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cut off the nose to spite the face?

So, in my effort to expand my word count.... I hacked 700 words out of my manuscript. I know that it will be better for the book, but it hurt. It hurt a lot.

The pieces that I hacked were my hasty and ill-thought attempts at a meta-plot. Yes, the series will have one, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided that it shouldn't be introduced in the first book. The plot for this first book is already nice and tight, and I'm happy with it. The fact that adding this meta-plot thing brought me to a screeching halt proved that it wasn't the right thing to do. (it has, however, given me some good notes and plot ideas for the second book)

I'm panicking over the word count thing still, despite my promises to myself that I'd finish the revisions before going all freaky. Ah well. Even if it's short, it's going to beta readers when I'm done with this round of revisions. I'm hoping that they can point out other places where I can expand without making it merely gratuitous padding of words.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Word from a Beta

I'm in the habit of jokingly giving assignments to my beta readers. See Gita's book report for an example. Well, Theo has furnished me with an excellent essay on my hero, Jesse Dawson, and with his permission, I am posting it here. Everyone have a good weekend!

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dawson: The Five Minute Man

For Dawson, he lives in those five minutes all the time. He is that guy that each of us finds ourselves being at some given point in our life when we are called upon to don the mantle of a hero even for the briefest of moments. Dawson is both an example of an extraordinary person and an ordinary person, not because he's the typical poet-warrior that classical literature explores, but because he dwells within that five minutes of super-normality that everyone experiences at some point. He just does it better than most.

The archetype is familiar to us, not just because of its relationship to our own moments of heroism but also because its closeness to the modern interpretation of the hero. We know this five-minute man. We've seen him thrive in characters like Han Solo, the space-opera anti-hero who through a brief encounter with someone of more innate goodness than themselves forces them into the five minutes which they will spend the rest of their lives in. We know him in the western hero Shane, who despite being a gunslinger, finds himself attracted to the notions of a normal happy life even if such a thing is denied to him by virtue of...that's right....his five minutes that he lives in. Dawson is aware he lives in those five minutes. We know he does when he asks himself “Am I the only person who gets paranoid when life is going too good?”

So where is the religion? The higher calling? The fate and destiny and supernatural aspects of being heroic that we often crave in our heroes? It's there like it is in each of us but it's grounded in the practical good. Does a man become a samurai because he can memorize the code of Bushido or does he become a samurai because he addresses a commonality of goodness that can exist in your everyday person? Dawson seems to do a pretty good job answering that question. The markers of higher ideals are all around him, the trappings of Bushido and the placement of a Buddha in his garden. However, he is no Buddhist and he's not exactly a samurai either and yet we find him bowing because of “Courtesy, you know.” Dawson bypasses the pomp and circumstances of honorific titles or codes but bypassing such, he comes to the heart of it. In this we celebrate with him the irony of a noble existence; sometimes if we are simply true to ourselves and believe in doing the right thing our of common decency, we become much more sublime in our inherent goodness and the codes to which we adhere ourselves exist independently in themselves, free of any forced regulation or sublimation. By no means do they lose their meaning for us or for Dawson but he doesn't need to force them upon himself. He embodies them without knowing it.

But that's getting complicated. And Dawson is uniquely noble in his simplicity. It's also what makes him loveable. And we love to love the sardonic everyday hero. We love to love ourselves after all while we pray for that five minutes when we get to put our base character to the test.

In Live Free of Die Hard, the latest installment of the adventures of another five-minute man John McClane, he asks the question any sane person would “Why does this always happen to me?”. The answer is as practical as the question “Because you're that guy”. Even the choice of words underscores the inherent normality of the everyman hero we find in Dawson. Dawson is also that guy.

We wonder when Dawson had those five minutes and we wonder why he stayed. But we only wonder for a moment because we're drawn into the time and space he lives in because it is so very familiar to us, not just because it is a popularized archetype but because we wonder if our own five minutes are coming and if and when they do, if we would find a hauberk dreadfully uncomfortable or not.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Today's Efforts

Short post at the moment... Worked on chapter 6 today. Added about 700 words to that one.

I realized, in talking to a couple friends (*waves to Chie and Theo*) that I talk about my writing an awful lot lately. I mean, annoyingly a lot. I think it's because, for the first time, I actually FINISHED something. Granted, it was only a first draft, but if someone wanted, they could sit down and read it from beginning to end and have a complete story. I'm excited! I'm invigorated! My dream is closer to being real than ever before! I have!

Sorry, Monty Python moment there.

I started this blog so that I wouldn't be annoying my friends/neighbors/co-workers/beta-readers with my random insanity. Maybe I should leave more of my babbling here, and learn to shut up in real life, from time to time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A little goes a long way

So, I posted the first chapter to project #2 on Absolute Write's critique board, to get some initial reader reaction. And the first person who critiqued it said it was "Nearly brilliant". This made me feel all gooey and glowy inside. In fact, it's days later, and I still feel pretty darned good!

And this got me to thinking how one single word or phrase can have such a drastic effect on a writer's self-opinion. All it takes is one tiny bit of praise to make us fly high for a week or more, and one itsy bitsy criticism to send us spiralling into the realm of "I will never write again." In some cases, we even stick with it, hanging up our pen and parchment and slinking off into the sunset to lead mundane lives.

I have no idea what this all means, but it was the thought that was creeping around my brain today, in amongst my other familiar neurosis. (no, I still have no idea if the e or the i is plural. At this point, I'm refusing to look it up out of sheer spite)

I think I found a happy solution to chapter three today, and reworked four and five as well. Five may or may not be done, but I was at the nitpicky point when I left work this evening. None of those three chapters have reached the word count goal I'd set for myself, and in true anal-retentive form, I'm fretting about it. It's a sheer act of will, now, to force myself to just write the damn story, and see what I've got at the end before I start freaking out.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Blog Comment Blitz

This week is Absolute Write's fourth ever Blog Comment Blitz. So, welcome to all who have stopped (or will be stopping) in! I plan on visiting 14 other blogs over the next few days to leave my mark there as well. It's amazing what interesting things you can find out about the world.

On the writing front, I haven't touched it this weekend, but I have been musing on the revamped chapter 3 quite a bit. I may be able to rework the section I hated as of Friday, and then weave in some of that meta-plot I was babbling about.

On the personal front, we had our first ever Jack-o-Lantern carving today. Trust me, it was a camera worthy event. Now, if I can just figure out how to get my ancient digital camera to play happily with my bright shiny new computer.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The plot bunnies are stalking me

Well ok, plot bunnies and dust bunnies. The little bastards have teamed up.

My brain is frying with all the things I'm trying to keep in it, at the moment. I'm slogging through chapter three revisions at the moment, and I just wasn't happy with what I was coming up with. I mean, there were certain elements I knew I wanted to introduce in that chapter that I'd missed in the first draft, but when I stuck them in, I lost the narrator's voice. So I was all bummed about that most of the afternoon.

Then, on the bus ride home (let's hear it for public transportation!), I had a realization. I have plot. I have sub plot. What I need to introduce is meta plot! See, I confess, I am eyeing this project to be the first in a series. Doesn't everyone want to write a series? This doesn't HAVE to be a series. It's a rather pleasant little tale on its own. But...if the characters happened to show up again, I have plans for them! And, one of those plans is an overall meta-plot. And I can start laying subtle groundwork for it now!

And I promise that there will be nothing at the end of this book that would cause a reader to gnash their teeth and froth at the mouth if there were never a sequel. Cross my heart.

So, my word for the day is meta-plot, and I may spend my three day weekend pondering that.

Status: Tweaked chapter 2, and added about 900 words to chapter 3.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The voices are talking to me

I admit, I am a slave to my neurosis. (neuroses? I'm too lazy to look up which one is plural, right now)

I think I was happier before I discovered the "word count" tool in Microsoft Word. Curse you, Bill Gates! Even in the midst of my revisions, I am agonizing over every single word. And then I realize that the actual word count differs drastically from the 250-words-per-page method of word counting. I mean...HUGE difference. And then I worry about which one people want to see. (I know the answer to that. It depends on the person)

And I know if I write to word count, I'm only hurting myself. If I write to fill words, I'll end up putting in unnecessary padding. If I write to cut words, I may cut things that I should leave.

Just write the story, stupid! Argh.

On a saner note: I added about 800 words to chapter 2, today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

And it begins anew

So, I started revisions today. I know, I know, I said I'd wait. But I found a bit of free time (while waiting for OTHER people to do THEIR jobs) and reworked chapter 1. I added about 750 words to it, and I'm fairly certain that I'll be fleshing out the description a bit more in certain areas, might eke out a few more here and there. Overall, I'm pleased with how I've begun. I suppose that's half the battle, right?

And, brilliant me, I thought to put a roast in the crockpot this morning, so dinner was all nice and ready when I got home tonight. I love not cooking.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Great Writing-less Writing Blog

So, I'm not sure what to blog about, now that I'm taking an officially sanctioned week off from the writing process.

I started the Quarterly Project From Hell at the Real Job (tm) today. I have already reached the point where I can do no more work until other people get back to me. I think that's the part I hate, that I have to depend on the work ethic of others to complete this task. If it were just up to me, I'd bang it out, have it done, and be on my way.

Every day, I have opened up chapter 1, with the intention of simply thinking about it. I already know that the opening paragraph is weak. It always has been, and the tone of it simply doesn't match the tone of the rest of the book (hazard of coming first, before I'd had time to find the right voice). So, I keep pondering that first paragraph, trying to figure out how my main character would introduce himself to the world. He' s a bit of a smart ass, so I'm sure there's going to be something sarcastic in it. I don't feel bad that I haven't figured out how to start it yet. (all these "Great First Lines" threads and contests I keep seeing have me very intimidated. Think anyone would notice if I stole someone else's?) I'll start feeling bad NEXT week, when is when I've said I want to start writing again.

Now, since I have a three-day weekend coming up (yay Columbus Day!) does my next week start on Monday or Tuesday? Hmm...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The End

Well, I did it. The 23rd and final chapter is complete, as of about 3 pm. I fell short of my 40K goal for a first draft. I'll probably fall short of my 80K goal for the final draft. But the story will be what it will be, regardless of how long it is.

I have copious notes on things I want to add, expand, revise. My goal is to have the second draft complete and beta-reader-worthy by Christmas.

Wish me luck.

Monday, September 24, 2007

One More to Go

I wrote the entirety of chapter 22 today. It's the longest of the first draft chapters to date, coming in just over 2300 words. I'm afraid I got very little Real Job (tm) work done today. I'd be lying if I said I was sorry.

The climax of the story was in this chapter, and as such I feel like I've been on an adrenaline rush the entire day. So much happening all at once.

I have one more chapter to write, tomorrow hopefully. It'll be the resolution to many things, a chance to let the reader (and me) rest and catch their breath.

Next week, I have the dreaded Quarterly Project at work. I'm going to plan on NOT writing all that week. It's just not worth the stress, trying to juggle anything else with that quarterly nonsense. And, since I should be done with the first draft, taking a week's break before starting Mission: Revision is warranted.

I feel very satisfied with myself today. It's been a long time since I could honestly say I finished something. One more chapter to go

Friday, September 21, 2007

The End is Near

I finished chapter 21 today. I knew I'd zoom right through it! The next one should be the same (knock on particle board), as it's full of action. I seem to do well with action. It's the quieter moments I struggle with.

So, because I had some bored moments today, I got to thinking about how long it's taken me to write this particular work. I knew that I'd started in May, so I figured it was around five months, so far. Being the anal creature that I am, I went to look at just exactly WHEN I started.

The "created on" date, for chapter 1, is May 21st. I wrote the first five chapters in 8 days. Then, I struggled with six weeks of writer's block before I touched anything again, around July 18th.

Taking all that into account, carrying the 1, dividing by Pi, I figure I've written this first draft in 2.5 months. That...astounds me like you cannot believe. Granted, it's no where near finished. (for my purposes, finished = publishable) But still, I've managed to create a full story, with great characters set in an interesting world, in just under three months. I never dreamed that possible.

Chie tells me it's becuase I outlined this first. I'm inclined to agree with her. That idea makes me rather skeptical about the fate of project number 1, which has languished on extended hiatus. I didn't outline that one, and in retrospect, it shows. Badly. I wonder if it's even salvageable.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

And the true puzzle is...

Why does one screen say that I have 100 posts, and one screen says 99? Ah well. This'll be the proxy-100th post. Yes, that's what we'll call it.

100th Post

For my next trick...

Well, this is my 100th post. I'm sure it would be much more momentous to announce that I've finished a book, or found an agent, or entranced a publisher. Maybe those things can wait 'til my 500th post.

I can say that I finished chapter 20 today, and got a good jump on 21. These things make me positively giddy. I'm pleased with this as a first draft, and I'm even more pleased with the notes I am taking for myself on the things I need to add/change/embellish to make this truly all it could be.

So, happy 100th post to me!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Purple Haze

I had a lot of interesting writer-ly insights to discuss today. Unfortunately, they have all vanished into the antihistamine fog in my head.

I know better than to take them, but my allergies were just making me soooo miserable today. So now, sure, the allergy symptoms are gone, but I'm a walking zombie, reducing my husband and child to scavenging for food without my maternal guidance. (Pizza Rolls, anyone?)

Maybe tomorrow, I'll be witty.

Or the next day.

Happy "Talk Like A Pirate" Day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Yes it's a word. By the powers invested in my English degree, I am allowed to use/coin words of questionable parentage. I am also fond of jackassery, and asshatery.

I finished chapter 19 today, AND broke the 30K mark in word count! Come on, dance with me!

Four more chapters to go, and I'm still hoping to hit the 40K mark with this first draft. You ought to see my outline, it's all colorful and stuff. I use blue to denote things I want to add/change in the second draft, green to keep track of my word count, and red to highlight the finished chapters. It's a veritable rainbow! I suppose, to denote finished chapters in the second draft, I'll have to come up with a different highlight color. Purple, maybe. Royal purple.

I did hit a bit of a hiccup today, as I'm laying the final clues for my plot twist. What if my twist isn't nearly as clever as I think it is? I mean, I don't mind people figuring it out before the big reveal. That's half the fun of reading! But I don't want them to see it coming WAY too early and say "Oh wow, that was dumb!" There's a fine line between the reader outsmarting you, and the reader thinking you're a raving moron.

Anyway, that's my ramble for today. I'ma go watch it rain.

Monday, September 17, 2007

If Wishes Were Fishes...

...the house would smell like rotting cod.

Sorry, that was my deep thought for the day. It's the most I've accomplished all day.

Work is driving me batty. Friends are driving me batty. People I don't even know are driving me batty.

Needless to say, there is no writing being done.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Seminars and Get-Togethers

I spent all day in a customer service training seminar. I'm sure this isn't unusual for many of you, but considering that I don't actually TALK to customers (I don't even talk to my co-workers if I can help it), it seemed a bit superfluous.

This is why I didn't get any writing done today. (Waaaay better than the "dog ate my jump drive" excuse) Which, by the way, brings me to the one highlight of my intensive-training day. I won a 256mb jump drive! I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but...I have one!

This weekend, dear sweet patient adorable Gita is coming into town again, as she passes through headed for Chicago on Sunday. We're having breakfast with the Crayon (another friend, and future beta reader, little does she know) on Sunday, and catching up on old times. Gita and I may also go to an art fair tomorrow, as it turns out one of my co-workers from the Real Job (tm) is an accomplished artist and is one of those showcased.

This is why I won't get any writing done this weekend. (still better than the "dog ate my jump drive" excuse)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sinuses, Allergies, and Writing

I have a headache. I've had it, off and on, for probably the last five days. It's not a horrible, incapacitating headache. It's one that's just there enough to be annoying. I think it's due to the absolutely horrible allergy season we're having here in I never thought I'd be praying for the first hard freeze.

Today, I finished chapter 18. I say it's finished because I'm sick of looking at it. It's going in the pile of "chapters I really don't like, but had to finish". I'm looking forward to working on the next chapter. Should be more action, more stuff simply HAPPENING.

I may still meet my goal of finishing this first draft by the end of September. I know, I know, you're eyeing the word count at the left and thinking "Uh...but that's no where near 80K words..." I know this. I'm hoping to get 40K with this first draft, and then flesh everything out in the second draft. This is my first attempt at writing in this fashion, so it remains to be seen how it turns out.

I have to say though, the hardest thing to learn has been something that I see repeated often over at Absolute Write. "Allow yourself to write crap." If you don't, you spend your whole life editing three pages, and you never get anywhere.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Today's Efforts

Well, I finished chapter 17 in an unexpected burst of creative energy, and even churned out about the first 200 words on 18. I didn't expect to do that, 18's the one I've been dreading getting to. One of those "Ok, I know that stuff needs to happen here, but I'm not quite sure what yet" places. I always figured I'd know what, when I got there, but now I'm there and I still don't have more than the vaguest clue.

Ah well, I'm just glad 17 is done.

Again, with the weekend upon me, I probably won't get much done. Local Renn Fest is in full swing, and the kiddo is clamoring to go. I wouldn't mind going myself, it's one of my favorite things to do. (and yes, we do dress up in rennaissance garb. Probably won't this weekend, though)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Molasses in January

Would be faster than I'm writing, right now.

I managed another 600-ish words on chapter 17 today, but it's far from finished. I'm not sure if my creativity is lagging, or my Real Job (tm) is just sucking my will to live. Then, there's the matter of this nasty sinus headache that popped up out of nowhere today. That, I blame on the impending thunderstorms that should be arriving any minute now.

I hate storms, I'm not real fond of my Real Job (tm) right now, and I loathe loathe loathe not writing up to my own speed standards.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Today's Efforts

I finished chapter 16, but we're going to call it a "grudging" finish. I don't like it, I really don't, and yet I'm not sure how to fix it. BUT! (there's always a but. Not to be confused with a butt) But, this is...say it with me kiddies...Just a first draft!

There! I said it! Deep breath. Someday, I'll even believe it.

I know I need to force myself to do this. I can't get hung up on the nitpicky details, I MUST get the story down first, then I can tinker to my heart's content. It's all will power over neurosis at this point.

So, I've moved on to Chapter 17 (about 200 words in, it was a rough day at the Real Job(tm) ), and chapter 16 will be shoved to the back of my mind to let my subconcious brew up something brilliant.

I hope.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Book Report

So... I let my bestest bud and medical consultant, Gita, read the first 15 chapters of project number 2. And, jokingly, I told her that she was required to write a 500 word book report on it.

And she did.

Granted, she wrote it on the level of a second grader, but I found it hilarious, and decided that I would post my first ever book report/review here, for all to see. (with her permission, of course)

"Why I like Jesse Dawson"

Jesse Dawson is a really cool guy! I like him because he fights offmonsters, and demons, and other really bad things. He is always nice to other people and not the bad things. He does get beaten up a lot which is not good. He has a very nice daughter. She reminds me of my little sister. She can't eat without getting food all over either. My sister is a very silly person, and she is always stealing my clothes with I do not like. I want to cut her down with a sword, just like Jesse does with the crab demon.

Jesse's wife also seems nice. She is a witch, but not like the witch in the Wizard of Oz, she is a good witch. She performs all kinds of really cool spells on people. I do not like the talking squirrel. Grandpa says that squirrels aren't good for anything and just steel acorns off our tree. Squirrels are silly creatures.

I don't like the baseball player. He seems mean. Anyone who sells their soul to a demon is up to no good. And I am pretty sure that Jesus would not approve. He needs to go to church or have Sr. Delarosa yell at him for being bad.

I want to work in a store just like Jesse Dawson. I like music, and I really want to dye my hair pink, but my mom won't let me. She can be really mean sometimes too, and doesn't understand that I want my dress to match my hair. I also want to be able to carry a sword around so that Shaun Bell and other bullies will not pick on me. If they do pick on me then I can just pull out my magic sword and make them cry.

My favorite charecter is the doctor. She is really cool! She fixes Jesse back up after he gets beaten up by crab demons. someday I want to be a doctor too. It seems like it would be the best job in the whole world.

I am looking forward to the end of the book. I hope no one dies. Except for maybe the bad baseball player. Of course if he dies then he will go to hell because he sold his soul to the demon. And wishing that someone goes to hell is not a very Christian thing to do, so I suppose he will have to live. But he should be made to feel very sorry for what he has done. I also hope that Jesse remembers to buy his mother a birthday present. He will be in big trouble with his mother if he forgets. And birthday parties are not fun without presents, and lots of cake and ice cream. And there should be balloons at a birthday party too. And all of Jesse's friends, Marty, Will, and Lori, plus his wife and daughter should be there. Then it would be a reallly big party, and everyone will live happily ever after.
The End.

If anyone bothered counting, it came in at 507 words.

And there you have it, the bare bones of some of project #2's plot, in a rather simplistic nutshell. Hope everyone is having a good holiday weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Watching Paint Dry

Watching paint dry would be infinitely more amusing than what I've been doing at the Real Job (tm) lately. At least then I would have the hope of getting high on the paint fumes. But no, we are stuck with the most unbelievably mind-numbing, soul-sucking tasks this week.

You would think, being this bored, that it would lend me more time to write, in amongst. You would be wrong. This much boredom isn't good for creativity, and I spent all day painfully grinding out about 600 more words on chapter 16. While they were decent and offered interesting insight into the character...I have the sinking feeling I'll be cutting/severely editing them in later revisions.

Ah well, that's what first drafts are for.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Today's Efforts

I churned out about 700-ish words on chapter 16 today, and then the Real Job (tm) reared its ugly head and that was all she (well, I really) wrote. But it came at a point where I'd written myself into a stuck place, so the timing was good.

And oddly, it isn't a stuck place where I don't know what happens next. This project is fairly well outlined, (one of the reasons it's going so quickly, I think) but occasionally I hit a snag where I simply can't string more than three words together to get from Point A to Point B. This usually occurs when I am transitioning between scenes without a chapter break. There's only so many graceful ways to do it, and sometimes, I flounder.

I trust, however, that when I pull up the document tomorrow morning, the solution will spring right out at me and then I'll feel ridiculous for struggling with it in the first place.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday night

I wrote nothing this weekend, but I did finish off all the books in Kim Harrison's Hollows series. I won't spoil the end of For a Few Demons More, the newest one, but if anyone else has read it, may I just say WTF??? Had some stuff there I never expected, but oddly, it makes me more anxious to read the next, to see how the characters adjust to events.

Hopefully, back to my own alternate world tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ah, blessed weekends

I finished chapter 15 yesterday, and today when I attempted to start chapter 16, I think I typed a grand total of 59 words. In my defense, I was distracted by the jets and bi-planes doing acrobatics outside my work-window, in preparation for the air show this weekend. And even better, now I don't have to GO to the air show, seeing as how I've just seen all their tricks for free and minus the heat.

I may write this weekend, I may not. I am currently working my way through Kim Harrison's Hollows series (and I have developed an unnatural obsession/love for pixies as a result). So, with lovely thick books so conveniently within reach, it may be a weekend of getting lost in someone ELSE's fantasy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Struggling through Muck

Well, sleep didn't help me resolve my chapter 15 issues. I still don't like what I've done.

I tried editing things, to make it flow better. I tried tying it into a new section at the end of the chapter that would "undo" what I did that I don't like. But when all is said and done, I think I'm going to be deleting a huge chunk of text. Sadly, I'm not sure what I'm going to be replacing it with.

The hazard I'm stumbling into, with chapters 15-18 is that these are the ones I wasn't sure about in the first place. This would be day four in my story's timeline, and it's the day when I'm not sure what happened. Sure, I have things to put in there NOW, but they didn't just spring fully formed into my head like the rest of the tale. And because I struggled with the idea, I wonder if the actual writing of the idea will feel like a struggle too. (or, if because I struggled with the idea, it means its actually a BAD idea)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Today's Efforts

I finished off chapter 14, and found it woefully short. Now, keep in mind that they're ALL shorter than I intend them to be, at this point, but this one is shorter than the others, and therefore has more cosmetic surgery to be done in the revision. Chie, dear wonderful Chie, already spotted the perfect way to expand this one, though, and it should go smooth as silk.

I also knocked out a huge chunk of chapter 15, but I'm honestly not sure I'm happy with it. It seemed to write itself, as this project largely has, but I don't know that I like the things that occur. Realistic? Yes. Probably truthful to the story? Yes. Revealing more about the character? Yes. But....I 'unno. I'm not pleased. I may sleep on it tonight, and revisit it with fresh eyes in the morning.

I also finally got Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking from the library. Yes, as much as I love urban fantasy, it's shameful that I haven't gotten into this series yet. (I chalk it up to the library filing it under mystery, where I never thought to look for it. WTF is up with that?) I'll keep you posted on how I like it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Today's Efforts

Well, I wasn't nearly as successful at writing from home as yesterday. Got about 700 words into chapter 14, but the kiddo just wouldn't settle two days in a row. I have to say, for four years old, she has an amazing amount of patience with me. was a good weekend. I have high hopes for this project.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Today's Efforts

Chapter 13 is in the bag. I don't normally write at home, so I'm extremely pleased that I was able to, today!

Now, I'm having issues getting my head to return to the real world. I really got involved in that chapter, and it's a bit of a jarring transition

Deep Thoughts, by...

Well, I'm no Jack Handy. Maybe I'm just having an introspective morning.

I sit here, and I'm tired of being ordinary. I'm tired of "ok, just keep at it, and in the future, all this great stuff MIGHT happen!" I want my great stuff now, dammit!

I'm envious of those I read about on Absolute Write, who now have book releases...or book sales...or new agents...or query rejections. Heck, I'd love to have a query rejection. At least then I'd know I was out there, I was DOING it instead of just talking about it.

I'm no where near that stage yet. Earlier this year, with Project #1, I thought I was close. But realistically, I know now that I wasn't. The rewrite was a good thing, even if it pushed my personal deadline back. Putting out crap is worse than putting out nothing, in my mind.

And now of course, I have project #2 which is flying by quite nicely. First draft of that might be done by Christmas, if I don't hit a snag. Maybe have revisions done by March? Start sending out queries? Either way, it's not NOW. I want something wonderful to happen NOW.

Have I mentioned that patience is not my strong suit?

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Ok, the above isn't technically a title, it's an emoticon (I think) but it rather accurately reflects my mood.

I finished chapter 11 today. Then I started chapter 12. Then I finished chapter 12. And I'm mulling over chapter 13 in my head right now. I'm not sure I've ever written this much in one day! And even stranger, I still got a ton of Real Work(tm) done too!

I wish days like this would happen more often!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rollin' rollin' rollin'...

keep them dogies rollin'...! Hmm...anyone know how to spell dogies? Y'know, the one that means cows, not canines.

Finished Chapter 10, and it came out way longer than the other chapters I've worked on. Yes, this is a good thing. It means I have less to revise later. I also got started on the first 200 words or so of chapter 11!

Part of me feels very guilty about ignoring project number 1 for so long, especially since I pretty much dumped it in the middle of a rewrite. (rather like breaking up with the girl who just got plastic surgery to make you happy) But I'm terrified if I break my momentum on project 2 that I'll stutter to a stop altogether. I suppose I should just be happy that I'm writing SOMEthing, and not sweat the details.

Still, maybe I should buy my original protagonist flowers or something. Though...she's probably prefer a new gun or sword. Maybe a new pair of boots. Sea water is hard on leather.

On the Road Again

Back to work as of yesterday, and back to writing!

I didn't do any writing at all while Chie was here. We didn't even talk about it. It was really pretty nice! A relaxing break with adult conversation. (nevermind that I was sick the entire time. *sigh*)

So, yesterday, I managed to tack about 700 words onto chapter 10 of project #2. It's actually a chapter I've been looking forward to writing, becuase it's where I really start to get into the supernatural aspect of the book. Get to flex my descriptive fingers and pull really cool stuff outta nothing!

I'm hoping to finish the chapter today, Real Job(tm) permitting.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Is There a Maid in the House?

So, instead of having four days to do the frantic housecleaning I needed to do, kiddo and I both came down sick on Friday and I have instead had two days to do all of that.

Right now, Chie has been told that she is confined to the kitchen, the living room, and if she has to pee, she has to do it in the yard. (bathroom just isn't up to my "guest" standard)

Still, picking her up in the morning, and I'm so excited! (If for no other reason than to hear a sentence that doesn't being with "Mommy!") I'm sure we'll talk about writing and all, but really, I'm just looking forward to the relaxation and companionship.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Insert Title Here

I'm tired of thinking up titles for the time being.

I didn't get much writing done today, but it was for a good reason. Work was super hectic (trust me, the good reason is still coming). It was super hectic because.... I'm on vacation next week!

I doubt I'll get much writing done then, either, but I have learned to value a good break. And while I'm not writing, I'll be brainstorming because my beta-reader Chie is coming out here to visit me? (can you imagine visiting me counting as a vacation? The mind boggles.) We're going to pal around town and do things sans children for a bit. It should be heaven.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Too Many Choices

I finished chapter 9 of project number 2 today. I was rather gung ho to plunge on into chapter 10, until I got home and found...

A lovely package in my mail box, courtsey of The Knight Agency (blog link to the left)! No, I haven't been submitting queries in secret. But I did enter a contest on their site to win an ARC of Jennifer St. Giles' The Lure of the Wolf, and I won! My book arrived today, and I may just settle in tonight for some good reading.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Cruel Cruel World

I have to say, this no-blogging-from-work is seriously cramping my style. I think I need to start keeping a blog notebook handy, so I can jot down all the random thoughts I want to share, but forget by the end of the day.

In hashing out the title for my urban fantasy project, hubby and I also managed to hash out a section that I'd been hazy on. I'm currently working on updating my outline and brainstorming the chapters contained therein. This is the first time I've ever tried to outline BEFORE I did my writing, and I find that I'm liking it. I'm sealing up plotholes before they ever come to life (they're harder to kill if you let them sprout first, y'know).

I wonder how difficult it would be to go back and outline my fantasy project, which seems to have stalled even in the midst of its rewrite.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Ladies and Lords, we have a title.

I didn't get a lot of writing done yesterday (at least, not on either work in progress. The writing I do for the entertainment of my friends doesn't count). BUT, my hubby and I did manage to have a great brainstorming session regarding titles.

I'm a big fan of titles. In my opinion, they should have multiple meanings. For example, the name of my 1st WIP is the name of a ship in the book. It's also the attitude of some of the bad guys.

So, the title of this second book plays on many different elements in the book. I love words that can mean more than one thing.

I is a happy camper today.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A blow to freedom

Or something like that.

They've finally done it. They've blocked my blog access at work. What in the world am I going to do now?? Even more importantly, are they also going to block the forums I visit frequently. Honestly, if I can't multitask while I work, I'll go stark raving mad.

This might actually be the thing that makes me look for a new Real Job(tm).

On an up note, I wrote a minimal amount towards chapter 9 today. The work is still untitled, and it's starting to bug me. How can I have all these great novel-length creative urges, and yet something as tiny as a title stumps me. Where's the justice, I ask you?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter

Today, I finished chapter 8 of my still woefully untitled urban fantasy. I realize that, with my current wordcount-to-chapter ratio that this first draft is going to be about half the length I want it to be. This is ok. I'm going to write like a fiend while the muse has me, and I can revise to my heart's content later.

That said, this weekend is devoted to Harry Potter. I will be going to the midnight release tonight, and I have strict instructions to finish the book tomorrow so my husband can have it on Sunday.

Everyone have a great weekend!

Trunk Novels

I have been operating under the assumption that my 1st WIP is actually my first novel. This made me sad, because the general consensus is that first novels are drivel, and should never see the light of day. They should be written, and then trunked.

But, I realized last night that I am wrong. In reality, it is my fifth.

My first novel was written in middle school, back when I was still typing it out on my mother's old Brother typewriter. It was horrid, but one of the supporting characters later became my current protagonist in my 1st WIP, so it was not without value.

Then, in highschool, I had a creative writing teacher who was way too lenient, and in place of doing daily assignments, she let me go to the computer lab and work on my "book". I must have been reading Anne McCaffrey's Rowan series or something, because I remember it being about telekinetic/telepathic teens. I guess, in retrospect, it was borderline urban fantasy, before I even knew what it was.

Somewhere along the way, I got involved in roleplaying games (notably Vampire: The Masquerade) and when I was in my first few years of college, I wrote two books involving the characters my friends and I created.

None of these were publishable, and I didn't even try. I didn't even go into it with the intention of publishing them. And truthfully, the last three were probably more novella length than novel. But, I choose to say it counts. I have written four books, prior to the two I am working on now. When I look at it that way, I'm actually kind of impressed with myself.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back in the Swing

It feels so good to be writing again. I would seriously like some kind of study done to find out why I actually feel physically better when I'm writing, compared to when I'm not.

Got through chapter 7 of the urban fantasy project today. Still pondering titles. I'm toying with finding some meaningful Japanese word to use, but when I was looking up random things today, all the words were too soft sounding, or have already been used to name video game characters. (it's sad that I recognized that) Not to mention that it probably wouldn't accurately reflect the feeling I was going for. Ah well, it'll come to me. (or I'll choose a "working" title, and some brilliant editor will rename it for me, when it is set for publishing)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And the angels sang in chorus...

I wrote today! I finished chapter five of my second WIP and got about halfway through chapter six. The word counter to the left actually MOVED.

Just...let me sit here and bask for a bit.


I am lousy with titles. I don't know if you've noticed, but titling my blog posts is even taxing the limits of my creativity.

My first work-in-progress (stall-in-progress?) has a "working" title, because I had to call it SOMEthing. Especially after I started the second one, when saying "my book" would no longer suffice.

It's the second one that's picking at my brain today. Not only do I want to come up with a title, but I would also like to come up with a vague series title as well. (y'know, for when the unbelievable happens and folks want to read MORE) I'm looking for something vaguely Japanese sounding. Something with a samurai flavor, but not...too. I have no idea if that made sense.

Granted, I know that if/when anything of mine gets published, the publisher is just as likely to throw my title out the window and come up with one of their own. (this is why Jim Butcher gave us Death Masks instead of Holy Sheet.) But still, the first title you present to an agent/publisher should say something about the work and give them an idea of what to expect.

Apparently, they can expect a great deal of nothing from me.

Monday, July 16, 2007


One would think that weekends would be the ideal time to write. No where you HAVE to be, no trying to fit a bout of writing into your lunch break at work...

Unless you happen to have a sick child. Then, she's hanging on you (literally), demanding this that and the other. Don't get me wrong, my daughter is an angel, but when she's sick, she is very very VERY clingy.

Thus, I have nothing to show for this past weekend. (except for an extra day off today, to take her to the doctor)

I might get something done this afternoon while she naps. I have the vaguest feeling of some impending writing coming on. Does anyone else ever have that? That feeling that there's something great sneaking up on you, if you just wait a little bit?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Value of Force

Runners, especially long-distance and cross-country, will tell you that you reach a point when your body says "Screw you, I'm going home!" but you just keep running. Push through the wall, go for the burn, whatever.

I am wondering about the value of applying that to mental exercise. You see a writer's block. For me, this doesn't mean that I can't write at all. (obviously, I'm typing this) So, it shouldn't be inconceivable to put words down on paper (harddrive) regardless of what they actually ARE. So, is it worth it?

When I think about my 1st WIP right now, reaching for images in my head is like grasping at smoke. They wisp away, just out of reach. But, what if I stopped trying? I know the basic plot points I want to hit in this section I'm stuck on. It's not like I don't know what happens. What if I just sat down, and wrote those out? No prettiness, just basic words. A happens, and leads to B. Then C occurs. D feels X about said event. Can I do that? More importantly, if I do it, can I go back later (preferably sooner, but who am I kidding?) and fix it, flesh it out?

Is it possible that I'm just too damn neurotic to be writing at all?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Since I'm not spending my free time writing, I polled all my friends and have come up with a list of authors that I'm trying on for size.

Currently, I am reading Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay. Oria recommended the author, though she hasn't read this particular book yet.

And on hold at the library, I have two books by Paula Volsky, Illusion and The White Tribunal, and one from David Farland, Runelords: The Sum of All Men. All of these were recommendations from Kat. As I understand it, these are mostly older books, but that just means that my local library might actually HAVE them. (all the newer stuff gets tied up in holds for months when they first come out.)

Also on recommendation from Kat, I have a hold on Anne Bishop's Pillars of the World. But it's checked out right now.

And to round out my hold list, I have Laurell K Hamilton's The Harlequin. Yeah yeah, I know. Drivel since Obsidian Butterfly. I can't bring myself to spend money on them anymore, but I heard Edward was in this one, so I have to read it.

I always seem to have a rush of creativity, after reading a good book. (and some of the other things I've read thus far have NOT been good.) So, hopefully, this marathon of literacy will kick me into high gear.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Slowly but Surely

Ok, while I still seem to have hit an insurmountable block regarding my novels (both of them, oi), I am intending today to sit down and write a short piece on some roleplaying stuff for a friend. Sure, it's not gonna get me the big bucks, but it should be fun and I'm always happiest when I'm writing no matter what it is.

Does it count as writer's block if you're only blocked on certain works?

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Not sure why it won't let me type in the title field this time... *ponder*

Oddly, I was going to talk about writer's block, but this wasn't what I meant!

Writer's block has a firm hold on me, no doubt mostly due to real life stress. Work, family, everything. It all just sucks right now. I'm not sure what to do to snap me out of this funk. But I just sit and look at the blinking cursor of doom, and absolutely nothing comes to me.

Advice is appreciated.

Edited: And I fixed the title. It has nothing to do with the post, and everything to do with the fact that there is at least a title THERE now.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Weddings and Holidays and Real Life, Oh My!

Still here!

It's been a hectic week. But, we survived the wedding, and we survived the 4th. I didn't even attempt to write, during this time. I'm still feeling a distinct lack of creativity at the moment, and it's depressing me.

My thought on my chapter 3 (where I seem to be stalled out) is that, if I'm having this much trouble, maybe I'm going at it from the wrong angle. (the wrong point of view, most likely) So I've been trying to figure out what other character I could visit with, to see how they could reveal the necessary details to the reader. I can come up with pros and cons to using several different ones. It may actually come down to me writing the scene multiple times, and seeing which one I like better in the end.

Also, I forgot my wrist braces today. I was a good girl, wearing them at home yesterday like I'm supposed to, but then I went and left them on my desk. I'm a hazard to myself.

Friday, June 29, 2007


So, yesterday was lost to a sick kiddo. Nothing serious, just an ear infection, but when she's clingy it's impossible to do anything else.

Today I will be catching up Real Job(tm) work from yesterday, and then tonight I have a wedding rehearsal. Tomorrow, I have the wedding itself. (thank the gods, not mine, but I'm in it, so I gotta be there)

Needless today, I don't expect to be back up and functional until Monday sometime.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Necessary Evil

I love my Real Job(tm). Really, I do. Except for today. Or, this week/month in general. It's just terminally frustrating to realize that the stupid people all get paid more than I do.

But what frustrates me the most is that my Real Job(tm) Frustration effectively ends any creative impulse I might have been having. I can't write, I can't even clear my head enough to mentally plot out scenes. I just stare at the blinking cursor and keep thinking how I want to throttle someone in another city.

It's days like this that I want to drink heavily.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Greetings and Salutations

I am participating in AW's Blog Blitz, so a hello to any of those folk who swing by here to leave comments!

I got a measley 200 words done yesterday on the rewrite, but I think it's a good jumping off point for today's work.

Is it strange that I keep thinking of things to include? And I don't mean plot things. I mean details about this world I've created. Superstitions, religions, ceremonies... It probably won't get more than a brief mention from me, maybe once. But I think including it would make things richer. I mean, what society doesn't have fears and tall tales? And those stories can tell a lot about the people who believe so fervently in them.

I also keep thinking about descriptive things to include. For example, winter in a marble palace would be coooooooold. So, my characters will need heavy robes, even inside. They'll need bed warmers. (no, not nubile young girls. Perv.) Just, things like that.

Again, small things. Things that, when reading it, the reader won't probably even realize. But for me, it was a minor epiphany.

Monday, June 25, 2007

They Mean Well

And we all have them in our lives. Those non-writers who, while they may not understand exactly what we are trying to do, are very enthusiastic about it.

For example, I have a lovely lady who rides the bus with me. She knows that I want to write. She knows nothing about my genre (fantasy/urban fantasy), but she's very excited to bring me any and every scrap of anything from the newspaper even remotely related to writing.

So far, she's brought me info on a screenplay writing contest, a nursery rhyme writing contest, and a contest to write the last sentence of the new Harry Potter novel, using certain words.

I appreciate her support. But when I tell her "I don't write screenplays", I really mean that I DON'T write screenplays. It is not a time to respond "Oh, you can do anything you put your mind to." Yes, I probably could, but I don't want to.

Still, she means well, and it's nice to know I have a fan. I guess.

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's Alive!

I survived...whatever that was. And, on the upside, I managed to miss Fire Drill day at the Real Job (tm)

I doubt I'll get much accomplished today, writing-wise. Half my department is gone, and I'm sure I have a ton of stuff to make up from yesterday. (not to mention part of this quarterly project that should NOT be mine, but they keep giving it to me anyway.)

Kiddo is going to her grandparents' this weekend. While this may seem a stellar opportunity to write, in reality I will be heading to a bachelorette party for part of it. So, again, another opportunity wasted.

Ah well. Not like I'm on a deadline anymore. I gave that up. It obviously wasn't working.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


We interrupt this blog, and any semblance of productivity, to be sick as hell.

I got nothing done yesterday, which made me mad. Today, I'm deliberately going to get nothing done. In fact, I'm going to crawl into a hole and die. Happily.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Ok, days of neurosis behind me. Today, I start to write again.

My goal for today is a brand new scene for the third chapter that my shiny rewrite seems to call for. So I'm gonna think of things I never thunk before.

Right now, I sit about 6,000 words into the rewrite. Doesn't sound like much, when I look at the 78,000 words I got into the original version. But I think they're better words, if nothing else, and I'm hoping that a lot of the later chapters will still work as already written, with some minor cosmetic editing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

PMS and Writing Critiques

Yeah, that's right, I said it. I have PMS. They're probably going to revoke my membership in the feminist movement now. And since all things are clear when looking back, I hereby solemnly swear that I shall not put any of my writing up for critiques when I am nearing this lovely time of the month. Seriously, it's just a bad idea.

So many people have gone out of their way and taken a lot of time to go over the work I've submitted for scrutiny. It's not their fault I'm a neurotic on my best days and a raving psycho on my worst. The things they've said aren't mean, or nasty. They're not even wrong. But it still really hurts to hear two people say "Yeah, at this point, I lost interest." How can you lose interest? This is my baby, this is important, people! So, you spend the night crying and declaring that your days as a writer are over. Then, you get up in the morning, slap on the wrist braces, and go again.

I think, after living in this story for over three years, I'm just so attached. Every word, every phrase has been painstakingly chosen for certain effect, and to relay a specific bit of information. I mean, I spent twenty minutes yesterday agonizing over the word "shattered" versus the word "fractured". Giant chunks of extraneous text have been cut out recently, leaving me feeling scoured and raw, but overall happy with the result. To hear that even that isn't good enough is...discouraging.

Still, I think I need to continue with the rewrite. If I stop now, and obsess over the first chapter, I'll wind up with a stellar first chapter and no book. I heard an author say once that she (or was it a he? I can't recall) cut off the first two chapters of her book, and it was suddenly better. I don't know if that formula will work for me, but maybe by the time I get to the end of this monstrosity, something will occur to me that will.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


As I have more unfamiliar folks read through my work, most of them butt up against the same difficulty: my strange terminology.

For a little background, WIP#1 follows what we would deem a "royal" family. However, my political system isn't exactly run like a traditional monarchy, so to avoid that pitfall, I made up my own titles. My loose equivalent of a king is a sho, my princess would be a shalina, so on and so forth... I did this, partly to keep this from being a typical monarchy, and partly to differentiate this land from others. (there are kings and queens in my world, just not in this particular nation)

But, no one seems to be particularly open to the odd terms, and if I go to the extent in the work to say that "the shalina is like a princess" then I've defeated what I intended to do in the first place by associating the two terms. I don't want them to be interchangeable, just simliar.

So, my question is, at what point do I have to concede my own wants to cater to the reader? Is clinging to my invented terms just shooting myself in the foot? Is thinking that I can re-invent terminolgy just the height of arrogance?

Some how, this really depresses me. I mean, I believe that I've created this rich new world, but if I have to keep calling it by things people are familiar with, is anyone ever going to realize that it's not just the same old same old? Or, is it a case of "a rose by any other name"?

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Error of My Ways

For as long as I've been plotting out WIP #1 (3+years now), there was one scene that I KNEW I needed, but that I could never write convincingly. The idea was to have my main character and her love interest have a bitter argument, and for the love interest to resign from his job and storm out. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't come up with a good motive for the fight. No matter how I thought of it, it felt contrived and forced. A deus ex machina for the sake of plot progression.

And now, as I start working through this rewrite, my main character has evolved beyond the two dimensional person she was. And it occurs to me that perhaps having them fight is not the right way to go anyway. Maybe, I couldn't come up with it, because that's not how the story is supposed to go? I mean really, all I need is to have him leave the building he's in for the plot to progress. Could he not do that just as well after a moment of tenderness between them? I think it would still accomplish the same thing emotionally (for the reader).

I find this an interesting concept to explore, and it would fill in one of the huge gaps that I was struggling with in the original writing.

Yay for rewrites!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's Always Something

The Real Job(tm) is effectively preventing me from doing anything even remotely creative today. On the upside, I only have to do this particular heinous project quarterly, so when I get it done finally, I'm free for another three months.

How convenient that this hits right at the time that I'm feeling my creative vibe returning. My revised chapter one has now become chapters one and two, and there will be new writing in chapter three. I'm so excited about these changes. Not only is my writing stronger now (I wrote some of these things almost three years ago), but my grasp of the story and where I want to go is stronger.

Chie and Oria have both agreed that this new version is a much tighter, much less "spewy" read. Theo hasn't chimed in yet, but the man does have to sleep, after all, give him a break.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

And Lo

there was a deluge.

Dunno where it comes from, but sometimes, so many great things just come to me. On the bus ride here, I have managed to mentally rewrite another section of this first chapter, and fill in some blanks in a later chapter that were bothering me. In the first chapter, especially, the small additional paragraph or two I've dreamed up should help me dispose of probably four paragraphs of info-spew (and be much more entertaining, to boot!).

It's official, I am rewriting, not editing, but it is SO going to rock! I'm not changing the story, per se, but I do seem to be finding ways to make events play out with more plausibility. I'm also fleshing out characters that were really one-dimensional before, and they're starting to serve functions I hadn't planned on (but desperately needed).

I have to wonder, if I had started this rewrite weeks ago, instead of trying to press on and finish the book as it was, how much frustration I could have saved myself.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Suffering For Your Art

My resident medical expert and personal physician, Gita, has confirmed that I do indeed have tendonitis in both wrists. It's not carpal tunnel syndrome (yet), because I don't have the numbness and tingling that goes along with that. But, I do have considerable pain in both wrists.

I've been dual-wielding wrist braces for the last two months, and it hasn't really helped. It hasn't gotten any worse, either. (part of my issue being that while I try to wear them consistently at work, wearing them at home is...less stringent) It might be better if I could take ibuprofen or some other anti-inflammatory, but lucky me, I'm allergic to most of them.

Ah well. Do you think this is going to stop me writing? Hell no! All true artists must suffer for their art, dah-ling.

Monday, June 11, 2007

So Excited!

I did indeed get several more reviews on the section I posted, and I think I've made some really good revisions based on their recommendations. We also had an interesting discussion on the etymology of curse words.

The most important part of the exercise, for me, was that people have said they were intrigued and that they were interested in my main character, even though this section was not told from her point of view. The story seems new to me again, and I feel excited to be living in that world. (as opposed to being ready to chuck the whole project just a few weeks ago) I'm going to continue in this revision vein, and hope that maybe when I reach the places where I have gaps, they will have worked themselves out. *crossing fingers*

Sadly, my most beleagured beta-reader, Chie, is now out on summer break, and as such, she won't be trapped at her computer dancing to my every whim. So I may actually have to figure out how to do this on my own. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Waiting for Vincini?

So, bolstered by my "good feelings" about these drastic revisions I've done (and really, I'm VERY pleased with them so far) I posted the first section of my first chapter on a writer's website for critique. Partly I did it because I knew they'd be hard to impress, and I'm trying to innoculate myself against the "rejection" bug. Y'know, in preparation for submitting to and being rejected by agents/publishers. The other reason I did it is, obviously, to see what difficulties an unfamiliar reader would have with the plot, terminology, imagery, etc.

So far, only one person has critiqued it, and they offered some really good comments on things that confused them as a first time reader. (they also offered some comments on things they really liked, which made me feel good) And I slept last night, pondering the things he recommended I change/edit/elaborate on. I became convinced that this person was completely right, and that I should take a hatchet to the chapter yet again.

Chie, bless her heart, reminded me to let more than one person critique the thing before I start making sweeping changes. One person's confusing point may not be another's. So now, I sit here, obsessively checking the website, waiting to see if anyone else has looked at it so that I can decide what revisions are necessary. My heart soars everytime I see the view counter go up, but sinks when no new posts are forthcoming. I'm an idiot.

I am, apparently, waiting for Vincini.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

First Revision

I started revising my first WIP today. As I suspected, I am not able to edit the first one and still accomplish anything. There's just too much to cut out. So, out with the old, and a complete rewrite!

I got about 500 words (one page) done today, but already it's flowing better, and it's accomplishing exactly what I had hoped the revision would. I'm eliminating my info dump and concentrating more on the "show" instead of the "tell". The one thing I haven't been watching for is passive voice, but I may do a quick read through here momentarily just to double check myself.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Short Thoughts

I know that editing my first chapters of WIP #1 isn't going to be enough. I need to start from scratch, at least with that much, and rewrite them entire. The good thing is, I can feel in my head how it's going to go already. Sentences are coming to me, images, word choices. Ways to eliminate the info dumps I have, and the backstory spew. Not today, but maybe tomorrow, I'll be ready to pick it up again.

I'm so glad I took this break. And when I'm done with #1, I have #2 all ready and waiting to go. This feels better.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Why I Write

Ah, no blogging yesterday. The Real Job(tm) was amazingly hectic. I didn't even get a lunch break.

And then I managed to lose myself in a new book. Kushiel's Scion, by Jacqueline Carey. I fell in love with the original trilogy long ago, but only recently picked up this one. The newest, Kusiel's Justice, is out in hardback right now, so I'll probably wait till it hits paperback. This book habit gets expensive.

But as I find myself wandering the streets of Terre d'Ange and Tiberium, I remember why I want to write. I want to do that, I want to take people to worlds they can't get to by car or plane. I want to show them places more beautiful, and more horrible, than anything they could ever imagine on their bus ride to work. I want to make their hearts swell with love, or pound with fear. I want to drag them on the journey, sometimes singing, sometimes kicking and screaming.

Yeah. Small goals.

Friday, June 1, 2007


I love riding the bus to work. I don't have to concentrate on the traffic, and it gives me time to get lost inside the convoluted world of my mind.

This morning, I was struck with inspiration for the third plot element I've been dying to add to this new WIP. Even better, the groundwork was already in place in the chapters I have written, and I didn't even realize it! (sometimes, I think my characters just need to hit me with a clue bat, I might get the point faster)

Sadly, this weekend has been devoted to a social life (both mine, and the kiddo's) so I doubt I'll get much done. I'm hoping I can dash out a bunch today while I'm here at the Real Job (tm) before it all leaks out of my head and dissipates on the wind.

And speaking of the Real Job (tm)... I was watching an interesting discussion on the Absolute Write forums about whether or not people told their co-workers that they are writers. And the overwhelming majority most vehemently do not. Now, I intend to tell every single person I know, if I get published, and to publish under my real name. The only reason I can think not to would be if I ever branched into writing erotica (which I've seriously thought about), in which case I'd probably publish those under a pen name. But still, it was an interesting discussion.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Feeling Left Out

You ever sit around people who have known each other forever, and they all laugh at jokes that are old news to them, but make no sense to you? All you can do is just chuckle politely and wait for them to talk about something that might include you? That's kinda how I feel about a couple of my characters.

Doesn't seem to matter where I want to steer them toward, they're quite content to sit and just chat it up and joke around, and leave me sitting there feeling like a third wheel. I'm obviously not one of the "in" crowd.

This is probably going to lead to me cutting almost every paragraph I wrote yesterday, once I can get them up and moving again. Stupid prima donna characters.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


So the books that I was waiting on apparently arrived on Saturday, but the delivery man couldn't be bothered to come knock on the door, and so they sat in my mailbox all weekend. Ah well, at least I have them now!

And reading through bits and pieces last night was most productive. I found at least one quote I want to use, and I can see potential for many more. I don't think I want to preface every chapter with a quote, though. It might break the flow of the action at the wrong moment. Maybe every other chapter. Still fiddling with it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


So, due to some techno problems with the computer at the Real Job (tm), I don't really have time to update this fully, this morning. (at least it wasn't the home computer, then I'd have had to commit seppuku or something)

So, in short, swamped at work, gonna try to work on the new project (see the nifty slider bar to the left!) and waiting for my research materials to arrive. (due May 31st, in theory)

Off to scrounge up breakfast.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Long Weekend

So, I'm settled in for the Memorial Day weekend. I am not a glamorously rich famous author yet, so we really can't afford to do much. (thinking of selling the kiddo for gas money. Oi.) A friend from online is driving through town tomorrow, so we're having dinner with him, and that'll probably be the extent of our adventures.

I have ordered some books for research purposes. Hubby has also give me a movie watching assignment for the same reason. (gotta see if Blockbuster has it today, it's an old one) All of these things are to help me find the "tone" I want for this second project. I know in my head what I want, I just need some more info to get it on paper.

I sat down all day yesterday and tried to prepare an outline for this book. I've never tried to outline at the beginning, so I thought I'd give it a shot. For starters, it's hard! But I've found and fixed a plot hole or two already (and trust me, better now than midway through the actual writing). I've also come to the conclusion that I have maybe simplified things a bit too much. I think it's going to come out shorter than I intended. (shooting for 80K words with this one) My intent is to read through the beginnings of some books I own in the same genre and see how they handled things.

It seems so strange to me that I can't just pull this information out of my head, when I've read these books already, but I guess it just goes to show the difference between reading for pleasure and reading for critique.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

She's a Maniac!

Obviously, I'm in a manic swing at the moment, since I seem to be devouring this new project. Still writing, about a third of the way into chapter 4 (5000-ish words total). Still researching. I'm not finding the kinds of quotes I want in the books hubby has, so I may hit the local library on my lunch break today, or I may just go straight to and spend money I don't have.

Hmm...I wonder, if I get published, if I can deduct that as a busines expense...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Still puttering with this new idea. About two and a half chapters (3800 words) into it at the moment. My poor original baby is sitting there, looking at me forlornly, saying "Why don't you love me anymore?" Ah well. I needed the break, and now I'm kinda anxious to see where this other thing takes me.

I've worked on my original story for the last three years (off and on with many months of lost time in the middle), and I have always been of the mindset that it would take me a year at least to write a book entire (y'know, really WORKING at it). I have the sneaking feeling that this one I just started wouldn't take that long. I'm kinda curious to see if I'm right.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


So, I'm still stuck on this idea hubby has had for a book, and to that end I'm investing some time doing research. Luckily, hubby happens to have most of the necessary texts to actually DO that research, so it's really taking little effort on my part other than turning pages and taxing my brain.

I think everything I've found so far is important, but the trick will be how to include it in a fun, entertaining, and nonintrusive way. This is an urban fantasy novel, not a history book. It is about a man who has made an ancient way of thought part of his everyday life in the modern world. Hmm... Think think think...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Food for Thought

On word count... has a nifty feature that allows you to look at pages of a book before you buy it. That nifty feature also offers something called "Text Stats", which gives letter count, sentence count, word count, etc.

So, out of curiosity, I looked up the books in my favorite series. The first book in the series was 84,000-ish words. The 8th book (we're on 9, actually, but they didn't have stats for that one) was almost 152,000 words. So, not only did he find more to talk about, but as he was more successful, the author's publisher allowed him to produce bigger books.

I don't know what this means, exactly, but I found it interesting.

Taking a Break

I have decided to take a break from my usual writing endeavor for today. (and possibly tomorrow, too) I'm afraid I'm getting burned out on the story, and honestly, pushing myself to try and finish at a certain date isn't helping my creativity, and is seriously raising my frustration.

So, today I'm going to work on an urban fantasy idea my hubby and I have been batting around. (his idea, my writing) In fact, in honor of our seven-year anniversary yesterday, we left the kiddo with my mom and went out to lunch alone, and did nothing but talk about this particular book.

I'm actually really excited about the idea, so much so that I couldn't get to sleep for about three hours last night, because I think I wrote the first two or three chapters in my head already. We'll see if I can actually get it down on paper today. (well, on harddrive)