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.