Saturday, December 27, 2008

It never ends

So, coming home tonight from our last Christmas celebration, we say to ourselves as we pull into our driveway "What's that in our front yard?"

The answer: Our chimney

Yay severe winds last night.

Friday, December 26, 2008

This should explain a lot about me.

Watch the video attached to this blog post.

The blond is my friend.

Nuff said.

A post-Christmas post to come later, after we've finished one more Christmas debacle tomorrow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bouncy bouncy!

Ok, Project 2 revisions are officially done, typed up, and sent back to The Agent. I'm pleased with them, especially since it added another thousand words to the total. (I'm up over 78K now, a very respectable book size)

Sorry for the blog silence. December's always a rough one for me, between shopping, and the Real Job (tm) being more chaotic, and...bleh. I saw a Santa hat at the store the other day that had "Bah Humbug!" embroidered on it, and I thought, "Hey, that's my hat!"

Now that I'm done with Project 2 for the time being, I am going to try and finish the Project Formerly Known as NaNo. I'm only a chapter and a half away from the end, and I know Chie is just champing at the bit for me to finish it. Then, my plan is to revise it, send it out to a larger group of beta readers, and revise Project 3 while they're reading that one. If I don't watch it, I'm going to have two more completed and polished novels.

Right now, I have to get kiddo and I dressed, so we can head out into the madhouse that is Wal-Mart on a pre-Christmas Saturday. I know, not a brilliant move, but there are a couple more presents I still have to get. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For those who are curious

Whoever thinks that shovelling snow for 20 minutes in 14-degree temperatures only burns 133 calories has obviously NEVER DONE IT!

That is all

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bad bad bad...

Ok, I admit it, I've been bad this week. I haven't really touched my project 2 revisions at all, and I'm really kinda kicking myself over it.

I DID have a really good conversation with Chie about them, and I think she helped me hash out some of my stuck places, but I still haven't picked the book up to implement them yet.

I'm just so...ugh. Project 2 is still a good story. I realize this every time I pick it up and read some of it. And the revisions I'm making are going to make it even better. But still, the thought of picking it up yet again is just...ugh.

I need to just push through them and get them back to The Agent. Then I can settle in and finish the Project Formerly Known as Nano, and begin revisions on it and Project 3.

And somewhere in this, I have to finish Christmas shopping. I solved the problem of when to put the tree up by simply leaving it up since last year. (yes, my Christmas tree has been up ALL year. No, it is not a real tree. Yes, I will be taking it down after this Christmas. The novelty has worn off)

Ever just feel like you keep putting one foot in front of the other, 'cause if you don't, you'll fall flat on your face?

Friday, December 12, 2008


This was actually way more accurate than I expected it to be.

Which creature of the night are you?
Your Result: Werewolf

You are a vicious fighter and a vicious lover, absolutely dedicated to your pack. You are pushed to anger by disloyalty and injustice and have a tendency toward sudden, periodic bursts of wild behavior.

Cthulu Spawn
Which creature of the night are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I promise, a post with substance later.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sluggish Tales of the Sluggish Slug

Ok, I have been working on my revisions. I swear I have. But since I'm working in hard copy (much harder to hide from prying eyes than a window on a computer screen) I'm limited to my lunch break. And one hour goes by so fast!

I'm happy with what I've done so far. It's amazing what a difference one sentence changed or added can make to an entire novel.

So, my goal is to wear my pajamas all day tomorrow, settle in, and get the rest of these things hashed out. I'd really like to have these back to The Agent as soon as possible.

Sadly, The Project Formerly Known As Nano is languishing in an unfinished state. Only a chapter and a half left to go, and it's just sitting there. It'll have to wait until I'm done with Project 2 again. On the upside, I have had a few great ideas for things to add to the world I've built, and today I even got a really great idea for book two in that series (y'know, 'cause there's always a series). So, I journey on.

I have also succumbed to peer pressure and joined Facebook. What is the world coming to?

Also adding some Halloween pics of kiddo, late but better than never. I have to say, the fanged one is kinda scary.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Political Statement

Ok, I don't normally make political statements or any kind of declarations of my beliefs (or non-beliefs), but... Well, this is just damn funny. And Jack Black playing Jesus Christ is just blasphemous to make me giggle for hours.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cool stuff from Cool people

Today, a friend from the Absolute Write boards linked to this blog on her blog. That's just unspeakably cool, for starters. I'm unbelievably stunned that she even knew about my blog. (which is dumb on my part, since I link to it in my sig on that site)

But not only did she have links to my blog (and LOTS of cool others, check them all out seriously), but the post itself was pretty awesome.

I intend, in the near future to do a "what did NaNo teach me" post. I also intend to write a couple short stories for my WoW friends, finish The Project Formerly Known as NaNo, edit said project as well as project 3, AND finish this round of revisions on Project 2. (project 2 gets priority)

I promise, meaningful blogging is to come! Sometime...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

And to celebrate my birthday, I finished NaNoWriMo! Yay! (envision me waving my arms around like a muppet here)

I also went and saw Twilight, though I shall keep my opinions to myself, 'cause it seems like no matter what I say, someone is more than willing to cut me down because of it. So there. Nyah.

And here is my little digital bit of self-worth:

I need a freakin' break.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I haz notes!

And it just proves that no matter how often I have things critiqued and ripped to shreds, and nitpicked into oblivion, there is still this initial gut reaction that wants to stomp out of the room and throw a hissy fit.

So, I will sit and let these notes process through my increasingly mushy brain. Some of the things I can already see are "tweaky" and easily accomplished. Some are simply things that need further clarification in text. And some... I don't know. I suppose I'm always within my rights to say no. But before that, I think there will need to be multiple back and forths with The Agent to hash out some points I'm leery on altering.

In the meantime, I shall NaNo on. It is possible that I will not only hit the 50K, but that I will soldier on and finish the entire novel within the month. This amazes me no end. And I have to wonder, have I always been capable of this output rate, or is it the fact that I had a REALLY good outline before I even started.

(my vote is for the outline)

Needless to say, all future projects will be outlined this way. This has gone SO smoothly.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Well, here we are, and still no notes. A bit of a let down really, but at least I have no reason to feel guilty about continuing to work on my NaNo project. I mean, what else am I going to do?

Pounded out 3,222 words today. I think my hands are going to go on strike. The lucky thing is that it puts me about a day and a half ahead of NaNo schedule, so I could take a break this weekend if I have to.

Other than this, not much to report.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back to the grind!

Well, I heard from The Agent today, and he hopes to have editorial notes to me by tomorrow afternoon. Guess that means playtime is over! I'm anxious to see what he's got to say, mostly because I'm dying to know if my revisions matched what he had pictured in his head when he suggested them. Then again, I'm also terrified that he's going to say "Nope, that was all wrong, start over!"

I managed to catch up with NaNo today. Not sure what the new revision notes are going to mean for my progress there. Since next week is pretty much a wash due to holidays and birthdays, I'm wondering if I can get away with finishing NaNo before I go back to Project 2. (well, yes I can, but the question is how guilty will I feel doing so?)

Even if I had to stop working on the NaNo project immediately, I'm still extremely pleased with myself and what I've accomplished. I don't know that I want to work at this pace ALL the time, but it's nice to know that I can if I have to.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hi, I'm a WoW addict.

This is the part where you all say "Hi, WoW addict!"

Seriously, I did nothing this weekend but crack out with the new expansion pack for hours at a time. And I realized, when I ended the weekend feeling rather refreshed and not dreading the coming week, that it had been a long time since I just did something mindless and fun.

Sure, I didn't get any writing done, so I'm technically behind on my NaNo count (less than a full day behind after today's efforts, though). But you know what? Sometimes, you just gotta breathe.

Got to see the Donder, her hubby, and her offspring this weekend. That was awesome. I have a feeling that it's a good thing they live so far away, or her hubby and my hubby would get into trouble together.

Also got to see the Mel and go out to dinner on Saturday with her. We definitely don't see her enough. And she's going to be moving even farther away! Where's the logic there?

Ah well, I guess this is what happens when everyone grows up and gets real jobs.

And at least I'm back to writing today. Pounded out 2,571 and finished up Chapter 9. I'm still pretty stoked about my progress, and even happier that I can already see where I need to revise and make better. I guess my greatest fear is writing something that I know is too short, but that I can't see any way to improve/lengthen it.

Off to fix dinner!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Plague! (we haz it)

So, kiddo has strep throat, and I have a severe sinus infection. Auggy has voted to quarantine Missouri. (I think it's a bit late for that)

I did manage to get my NaNo quota in for the day before I bugged out of work for the doctor's appointment. I got nothing accomplished yesterday, however (well, ok, 300-ish words, but that's almost like nothing) so my lead has dwindled drastically. I'm still on track, but I've lost my cushion, so this weekend I'll have to really keep my butt in chair.

Last weekend, I got to see the HBO series True Blood for the first time. I didn't realize they were based off of novels until I watched the credits, so of course I went in search. And I realized, once I found said novels, why I'd never read them. The original covers looked stooooopid. Take note, marketing people! Covers matter! Kat agrees with me, and said she never picked them up for the same reason. I'm now waiting to get the first one from the library, so we'll see if I like them. Shame on me for judging a book by its cover! Shame I say!

I think I'm going to take a short nap before I have to pick kiddo up from daycare. ('cause honestly, I feel like I've been kicked in the face with a golf cleat) Hopefully, the drugs will alleviate this killer headache by tomorrow morning. Let's hear it for better living through chemistry!

Oh, and one more thing, shamelessly stolen from Jen. (not to be confused with Jenn. Keep up, people!) I think this is also for Auggy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In lieu of real content

This one's for the Intrepid Auggy

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hi, lurkers!

I love it when people I don't know comment on my blog! (and it's even better when they're nice people!) Makes me feel like I do exist, instead of being a figment of my friends' collective imagination. (we did have an imaginary friend in college. Hi Donder! It's a long story)

I shot past 20k total on the NaNo project today. I'm kind of in a daze, really. I have NEVER written anything this fast. And sure, it's not perfect, but's really whizzing by! I'm starting to wonder if I can get the entire thing finished in the month, instead of just the 50K I was planning on.

I have just enough that I can justify NOT writing this weekend if I have to. (read: if real life interferes) On the other hand, if I do get to write, I'm just going to pad my lead. Which isn't a bad idea considering the four-day weekend that is Thanksgiving + my birthday this year.

Happy weekend, folks! Get to writing!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Week One

Ok, so week one of NaNo isn't actually over 'til midnight tomorrow, but humor me.

I have been managing to keep to at least the 1,667 words a day, and so far at least a hundred words beyond that each day. This is good! I'm hoping to be enough ahead that slacking this weekend won't cost me too much. (real life is intruding this weekend with kiddo's karate tournament and some friend type visits)

Outlining this so extensively has been the key so far. The plot is coming together nicely. I have realized, though, that in the speed of getting the plot down, I've been sacrificing character development. Something to work on in revisions.

Talked to The Agent today. His assistant has finished reading my revised Project 2, and he'll be taking a gander at it himself shortly. So another couple weeks before I get official opinions/notes on it.

Just means more NaNo time for me! Whee!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Today's word total: 2,717
NaNo total: 5,134
Total total: 11,077

Today, I had one of those moments where I wrote something that actually gave me goosebumps. I didn't mean to write it, I hadn't planned for it in my outline, but once it started happening I was swept along with it like my protagonist, and both he and I sat there with our hearts pounding until it was over.

It was a GOOD day.

It's things like this that renew my belief that I might someday be a decent writer.

The weekend went great, much fun was had on Halloween, and though Gita and I realized it had been thirteen years since either of us had been rollerskating, we handled ourselves admirably. Only one adult hit the floor, and it was NOT either of us. (or hubby, for that matter)

And since I know some of you were dying to see, here is a picture of me at work on Halloween, as a vampire.

(I did change costumes later in the evening, but I don't have pictures of that one yet)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I did no writing today, nor do I expect to be doing any for the rest of the evening. Festivities abound!

I have, however, learned a few things about myself. When the vamp fangs I've had for 14 years finally bite the dust (no pun intended), it makes me very sad. Like it's the end of an era. I am also WAY too old to be wearing a corset for 12 hours straight.

Needless to say, the costume I wore today for work will NOT be the costume I wear when I take kiddo out trick-or-treating tonight. Hubby and I might actually be wearing "matching" costumes for the first time ever. (I will be Christine to his Phantom)

Have a good, safe night everyone, and tomorrow, we hit NaNo head on! Rawr!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Forgive me for I have sinned

I highly doubt this sin will ever make the Big Seven, but still.

I started my Nano project today. I know, I know...I could have just waited until Saturday, but I didn't. Of course, I'm not counting any words written before Saturday toward my Nano total, so I guess I'll have to keep two running totals.

On the upside, I wrote the entire first chapter today, for a personal daily best of 3,735 words. Theoretically, if I could continue the write a full chapter a day, I would get this done in 17 days. Not likely, but it's a pretty dream. Still, I'm going to go through with my Nano intentions of writing as much in a day as possible, and even working weekends when I'm not running amok like a headless chicken. Maybe I can finish a whole novel in a month? That would be amazing if I could. (and would also alleviate one of my deep secret fears that I simply write too slow to compete in a professional market)

The holiday looms large, and the rest of the week is going to be largely devoted to costumes, candy and cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is it Christmas yet, Mom?

Ok not Christmas so much (I don't even want to talk about how close THAT holiday is) as Nano. I have my Nano project all plotted, all outlined, and now I just want to start it, dangit!

I admit, I've toyed with the idea of starting early. Now, I wouldn't COUNT those words toward my 50K total for November. It'd just get me further along into the book by the time I was done.

Really...I can start now? Please?

I managed to quash the urge today by re-reading some other outlines and things I have in the offing. My outline for Son of Project 2 is just baaaaaaad. I think when the time comes for that one, I'm starting completely over.

I don't know how much posting I'll get done for the rest of the week. There's karate class tomorrow, pre-Halloween festivities on Thursday, Halloween on Friday, and a twin birthday party on Saturday. (When did I develop a social life???)

Still no word from the agent on my revisions for Project 2. I envision those notes coming in right in the middle of Nano, forcing me to put that aside and work on Project 2 again. Ah well, such is the life.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Plot Sickens

So, in plotting out the NaNo project (complete with jackalope), I realize how much FUN I have doing advance plotting. And since I'm forcing myself NOT to write anything on this project until November 1st (and let me tell you, it's hard!) I am pouring my creative energies into the outline.

There's a keen sense of satisfaction everytime I add something into a later chapter, and I can SO clearly see where hints and foreshadowing need to be layered into earlier chapters to make it all hang together in the end. And while this one is getting an extraordinary amount of extra-planning time, I may have to make this a practice for my future works. It's just...coming together so neatly!

Research of the day: Dutch words, the mythology of the Wendigo, and the Cheyenne creation myth.

The Wendigo thing is going to have to wait for a future book though. Y'know, in this series I haven't even started yet.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Recreational Reading

So, over on Absolute Write, I've been loosely monitoring the sci-fi/fantasy board and the book club they've started. I am bound and determined to read every book they pick, even if (especially if) it's outside my usual comfort zone. This has led me to read Ender's Game (which is apparently a sci-fi classic) and I just finished A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge.

Now, strictly sci-fi is pretty far outside my chosen genre. I'm a fantasy girl, since I read the Hobbit at age 5. (yes, I was a geek even then) And space-based sci-fi stretches me even thinner. It's not that I don't understand the physics concepts (weightless living, bizillions of years passing while you're in transit, etc.) but they are things that my mind doesn't easily adapt to. Yes, I ~know~ that the characters are floating down the hallway, not walking, but every time it's mentioned it kind of yanks me out of the story because I have to actively stop and visualize that oddity.

That said, I thought it was a good book, and the fact that it took me multiple weeks to read it I think is more of a reader malfunction than a writer malfunction. Maybe I'm just not meant to read sci-fi. I do, however, feel much more accomplished for adding it to my "have read" list.

And bless the book club folks. Next month's book is Storm Front which I've practically committed to memory anyway. Much more in my comfort zone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Just call me Lemming

I blame Jen for this:

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

The sad thing is, I don't think anything in this surprises anyone that knows me.

I'm working really hard on plotting out the NaNo project. It shows in my chapter summaries that are turning into writing projects in and of themselves. Just goes to show that my usual outlines don't garner this much pre-planning. Still, I find myself stopping to examine character motivation from time to time (largely my antagonist). I just can't seem to move the story forward unless I know just what he WANTS from my good guy. (Right now, he wants him to die, but that's at the end of things)

Survived kiddo's sixth birthday yesterday. She had a makeover at Club Libby Lu. She was gorgeous but I'm just not ready for her to be a knockout. That can wait another decade or so, right? Maybe four decades or so?

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I pounded out over 2500 words today (before noon, actually) to finish off the first draft of Project 3. Yup, that's right folks, she be done. Or at least as done as a first draft gets.

I'm going to set it aside for the month of November and work on my NaNo project, but when December comes, I intend to be in full-on editing mode. I really hope I can get this whipped into something special.

It took me about 6 months of actual writing to finish this book. Remains to be seen how long the editing will take.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Exhaustion vs. Satisfaction

Today, I pounded out almost 1800 words, and finished chapter 23. My heroes have saved the world folks, just like I knew they would. It was a bit hairy there for a while, I don't mind telling you. My heart was pounding just as hard as theirs by the time I typed that last period.

Seriously, I am just WIPED. Saving the world is hard work! Apparently so is writing about it. But I am done with chapter 23 now. (it clocked in at almost 5K words in and of itself, my longest chapter to date) Now, I only have my denoument chapter to write, and I'll be done with this first draft. Easily obliterating my 70K first draft goal.

I (and my heroes) need a vacation.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rainy Monday

I hate days when the sun doesn't even come out. It makes it impossible for me to know what time it is. (damn circadian rhythms)

I have added a followers widget over on the left. Go on, I'll wait while you look. You will notice, I have no followers. This is not surprising, since virtually no one knows who I am. Yet. But I want to be able to look back on this post some day (preferably after my followers widget has blown up due to too many people) and say "Ha! Remember when it was empty?" And if anyone who reads this (someone DOES read this, right? 'cause otherwise, I'm just talking to myself) wants, you can be the FIRST one to follow me! C'mon, you know you want to.

Reading other author blogs is starting to make me depressed. I can't even begin to explain how envious I am of people who are able to get 3,000+ words in on a project in a day. Granted, I have the Real Job(tm), and the kiddo, and the hubby (who is like another child), so it's understandable that my writing time is more limited. But still... I'm soooo jealous. I want to be able to just spend my days writing to my heart's content instead of having to juggle it with everything else under the (now-hiding) sun.

Got another 1,300 words in on Project 3 today. Tomorrow's job will be the big climax scene. That should finish out this chapter, then the next chapter is all denoument. It's a bit strange to realize I'm finally typing out this scene that I've had in my head all these months, never knowing quite how I would GET to it. You'd think, after finishing other novel-length works, that I'd be more used to it by now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why am I not in bed?

Ah, that's right. Because I was doing some last minute obsessive tweaking on Project 2 revisions before I sent them back to the agent.

Well, they're delivered now. I'ma go sleep.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Yup, I did it. I officially signed up to participate in National Novel Writing Month.

For those who are not aware, NaNoWriMo is the month of November, wherein all types of writers attempt to bang out 50,000 words on whatever they choose. You don't even have to finish a novel, you just have to get 50K into it.

I'm choosing a brand new project (complete with sarcastic jackalope named Ernst) for my first attempt at NaNo. 50K translates to 1,667 words a day. IF (big if) you write EVERY SINGLE DAY. Now, since my writing tends to be confined to weekdays, that actually translates to 2,500 words a day (and I don't even want to think about taking Thanksgiving off. *shudder*)

In all honesty, I don't expect to hit the 50K goal. Historically, I don't write that fast. But I'm going to have fun trying and rooting for my other friends who are also similarly afflicted with insanity.

In Project 3 news, I finished chapter 22 today, and I'll start 23 tomorrow. Two more chapters left! If I finish this before the end of October (and I should) the rest of the month will be spent outlining the project I shall refer to as "NaNo Project". Just to be prepared when November 1 rolls around.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Raiding in WoW tonight (told you, I am one of THOSE geeks) so short post.

Working very hard on Project 3. I'm almost done with chapter 22 (and worked in a KILLER action sequence, if I do say so myself) and then I only have two chapters left. I think I'll hit 70K easy with this first draft, which will make me just giddy!

The plan at the moment is to finish said first draft, then work on planning out a new project to do solely through NaNoWriMo in November. (barring any agent-driven revisions on Project 2)

Betas are getting back to me with notes on the current revisions, and everyone seems quite pleased with them. I'm really glad, because I have lost all ability to be objective with this one.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Friday!

We have received word from said friend in Iraq. He is well enough to be on the computer (posting from his myspace page) and well enough to already be annoyed at the doctors.

We are very relieved, and grateful for all the prayers.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Real Life Intrudes

We just received word that a friend fighting in Iraq was hit by a roadside bomb today. At this time, we've been told that he's alive, and that he's made it through surgery.

I'll take whatever prayers we can get.


Ok, I don't know why, but I have been having bouts with the WORST heartburn for like the last two or three weeks. And it doesn't seem to be connected to anything in particular that I've eaten. It goes away if I drink milk. Go figure.

Today, I got a little less than 1200 words written on Project 3, and what I put down on screen actually gave me goosebumps. This is good! I think I should be able to burn through the rest of chapter 22 in the next couple days (excluding weekends, which seem to be taken up by people in the real world wanting me to go out into that bright thing I hear is called the sun)

I am valiantly battling through Quarterly Project From Hell, but it would be so much easier if the people I ask actually KNEW they were supposed to be doing the things I'm asking them for proof of. Pretty sure that sentence isn't grammatically correct.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Like a hole in the head

So, daydreaming during my morning bus ride inexplicably resulted in an idea for yet another book. (because I obviously don't have enough to work on as it is) At first, I thought that it was such an obvious idea that SURELY someone else had already written something similar. But a day of practicing my google-fu (and polling the Sci-fi/Fantasy readers over at Absolute Write) has proven that no, this idea has not been touched on yet. At least, not like I want to do it.

So, I dutifully spent my lunch break finishing up the revisions on Project 2 (go me!), but the rest of my "free time" making world-building notes for this other thing. I swear, I'm such an addict. I could sit and world-build all day and never come up with a plot. Speaking of...anyone have a plot? This thing is shaping up to be an alternate-history fantasy/western. With a jackalope. Don't ask.

I'm going to let the Project 2 revisions sit for a few days, then see if I can't look back over it one more time with an eye for flow and blended..ness... (What? It's a word if I say it is!) I'm debating on whether or not I have time to shoot it to a couple of my betas before I send it back to The Agent. I guess it'll depend on whether or not any of them feel they have time to completely read and comment on the book within two to three days of receiving it.

I mean really, who has that much time? Everyone besides me has a life.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gloom, Despair, & Agony on Me

Yes, I freely admit I am old enough to remember Hee Haw.

And I still know all the words to this song.

I am five chapters away from being finished with these revisions. (meaning, I've got them all scribbled out on the hard copy, I just have to type them in.) It also means that I have to take something that says "Expand on XYZ here" and make it into actual prose.

The problem is that now, I'm being beset by the doubts. What if these revisions are nothing like The Agent pictured? What if they're REALLY REALLY lame? What if I haven't blended the changes in as neatly as I think I have, and they stick out like a sore thumb. (like someone will be reading along and say "Holy crap, someone stuck a page from a different book in here!")

What if, what if, what if. Bleh.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Minor Accomplishment

I finished the last of the six new scenes today. Go me! Also puts me about 100 words shy of 77K (just like I predicted! Yay, I got one right!) I have about 8 chapters of "blending" to plan out (and 10 chapters to actually implement). I'm now shooting for a 78K total on this revision.

Yesterday, I admit I called in to work. But in fairness to me, I really was sick! I just also happened to spend all day working on the first 13 chapters of already-plotted tweaks. And honestly, I'm starting to be very happy with what I've come up with, especially for my MC and his wife. It's making them much more rounded folks.

Trapped hubby in the car for an hour drive to the hometown this weekend, and we hashed out a lot about future books in this series and where we see the big meta-plot going (and ending! Oooh!). I'm actually excited about this again, whereas about a week ago, I was so sick of it I could have cheerfully chucked it in the bin and started over.

('cause really, I'm sure my agent would have understood that completely. Oi)

Conga Rats go out to Crayon who got the job she applied for a few weeks ago. Gita has declared this a September to remember, and is hoping for good things for herself too.

Edited to add this, for all the music majors in my life:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I never mix my pies!

Seriously, this is what you get from me when I have spent all day trying to force the two halves of my brain to play nicely together.

We're working on a new project at the Real Job(tm) and it largely involves manipulating numbers. And I can safely say that, after having spent all day trying to get some creative writing in on my breaks and at lunch, that numbers and writing do NOT mix.

I am firmly in the left half of my brain, and apparently that is where I shall stay. (It is the left half that's mathematical, right? Oi.) This presents a logistical problem for me, since I obviously can't refuse to do the project, and my lunch/breaks is when I get 90% of my creative writing done.

So, today I sit with one scene still left to write, and 8 chapters still to look through for editing/adjustment purposes. I have nearly reached the decision that I can't write this remaining scene until I make some of said adjustments, because those will dictate a lot of the character reactions in said scene.

Am I confusing anyone yet? (besides myself?)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chuggin' along

I finished new scene 5-of-6 today. One more to go, then I can start doing the nice blending that is required all around it. (and re-writing a big chunk of the final chapter to account for the changes I've made) I don't think I'll get the revisions done by the end of this week like I wanted, but if I get the big chunks done, the rest should be fairly simple (but will require a few solid, uninterrupted hours of my time).

I'm also just shy of 75K words. This makes me gleeful.

Anyone who keeps up with this blog (there's what...two of you?) might notice that I've adjusted my link list to the left. Check out Jay Lake, Cherie Priest and Janet Reid for all your agenting snark, author-y goodness, and random link needs.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quite Pleased

I got one of my new scenes done today (for a whopping 1500 word addition to the manuscript), and I am very happy with what I've done. In this one at least, I know I've recaptured the protagonist's voice. I've been worried about getting back into it, since the voice for Project 3 is soooo very different, and face it, I've been away from Project 2 for quite some time at this point.

This brings me to almost 74K total word count, and I'm very excited about it. I knew this puppy was short when I finished it the first time, so anything I can add (without adding "filler") makes me just giddy. Looking ahead at the two new scenes I have left to write and the other changes I'm slipping in here and there... I think I can break 77K easily.

And it's a darned good thing I'm back to work again. I had an absolutely slack-tastic weekend. Seriously, I sat and did a North and South marathon. (I have loved those movies since childhood, and a lot of it makes so much more sense now that I'm an adult and I can grasp all the social implications of stuff) This also led to a half hour discussion with my five-year-old explaining just what slavery is. She was properly horrified.

Friday, September 12, 2008

News of the Weird

On the way home tonight, we were brought to a dead standstill in traffic while an entire flock of about thirty Canadian geese crossed the street. They did so in a very orderly single-file line, but it took quite a while for the entire line to get across. And kiddo in the back seat asks "Mommy, why are the geese crossing the road?" For some reason, this struck me as unbelievably funny. I was laughing too hard after that to answer her. I'm still giggling a little.

I also found out this week that spaz means something very different in the US than it does in the UK. I don't know that I'll ever be able to use this knowledge productively, but I thought it was an interesting tidbit.

I have another one of my new/heavily reworked scenes done today. If you're keeping track, this should mean that I have two more left to go, but oh no! I have now added another one! So, to all appearances, I am making zero progress.

However, I have come to some understandings with the new material. These are things that may never make it INTO the actual book, but that I as the author needed to know in order to lay all appropriate groundwork. Part of me feels like my characters all just turned into method actors. "What's my motivation?" But I got it figured out (I think) so yay me!

I think, after some minor melting down last night to both Theo and Gita, that I have finally reached my balance with this whole "ZOMG I R real riter nao!" (Did reading that hurt you as much as writing it hurt me? *shudder*) thing. I don't suck, my agent isn't going to suddenly fling me to the curb and point and laugh at me... Just...deep breath and keep doing what I love.

I got this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I haz it.

Seriously, these revisions are consuming all coherent thought for me right now.

As of tonight, I have decided upon (and pinpointed locations for) five new scenes. Two are actually reworkings of old scenes, and three are brand new. I have two of said scenes completed (one rework, one new) and I have three left.

My plan after that is to attend to the myriad of ripples said new scenes will leave throughout the book. So much foreshadowing to layer in, so many repercussions to work out. Most of that will be taken care of with altering mood tags, some random thoughts, things like that.

At some point after that, I need to stop and do a solid read through (no editing allowed) so that I can see where it flows, where I need to tweak, etc. There are things I need to flesh out, things that changing one sentence or one phrase will make a hold ton of difference.

Personal goal set: These revisions done by September 19th.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Another Monday, but not

So, here I am, my first Monday as an agented author.

I honestly didn't sleep well all weekend, simply because my brain would NOT shut off. Revision ideas for Project 2 have been running marathons in my head since Friday. Normally, I do my best creative thinking when I'm dozing off, but this is a bit extreme, hmm?

Been bouncing ideas off a few people these past few days, and I've at least come up with a few new scenes that I want to work in. (which will of course necessitate tweaking the rest of the book around it, but I'm talking just about the major chunks here.) I decided I'd write a few of the new things out just to see how I feel about them.

Today's effort was a reworking of the end of chapter 5, which added about 1,200 words total. I'm a bit stoked about that. The next new scene I want to try requires some deep thoughts about re-working my bad-guy hierarchy a bit, and I may kick that around with the beta crew first before I commit. (of course, there's nothing I can do that a delete key can't fix)

I think I really need to print out the whole thing again, get some paper in my hands. When I'm doing scene revisions, the computer is fine, but when I'm doing stuff that's going to require edits throughout the entire book, I need to be able to SEE the entire book, and there's nothing for that like paper.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Official Announcement

Ok, now that I have notified agents who had my work (and received congratulations from them, there are truly awesome people in this industry). Now that I have signed the agreement and faxed/mailed it back... NOW, I can make my announcement.

As of yesterday, I am officially represented by Chris Lotts of Ralph M. Vicinanza, Ltd. He has some great ideas for my book, and I'm dying to sink my teeth into the revisions.

Unfortunately, this means that Project 3 is on hold for the moment. Sadly, if I'd have finished it in August like I wanted, this wouldn't be an issue. On the upside, maybe a break will do me good. I can work on Project 2 for a while and return to 3 refreshed and eager. Or something.

I may or may not be having a website in development as well. The Intrepid Auggy is champing at the bit to design something for me, but at the moment I can't really afford to spring for the domain name. But we'll figure it out. And then maybe, at some time in the future when I get paid for this, I can afford to pay Auggy. (it's good to keep your pet code monkey happy, trust me)

So anyway, this is my news! Probably, when I stop to think about it, I'll be terrified.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Can I get a Hoo Rah!

Details forthcoming, once all appropriate paperwork is filed.

Doncha just hate it when I do that?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Out of Despair, A Light Shines

First off, I hit my 60K goal a full day early. Yay! In fact, chapter 21 kinda exploded all over and spewed out onto the page (screen?). I did way better on today's word count than I expected. (1200 words! Woo!)

Second off, I may have good news in the offing. Things look promising at the very least. Hopefully, I'll have more to add to that tomorrow afternoon at the latest.

Stay tuned!

Or don't!

Y'know. Whichever.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I have a topic? Anyway...

Saw this yesterday on CNN, and I immediately tought of the Jewell Pack. How many years did we lust after David Duchovny? We analyzed every moment of the X-files, we watched the original Red Shoe Diaries... And now this. Ah Dave, we barely knew ya.

Seriously, if you're going into rehab, more power to you. But dude...say it was for drugs like everybody else. We seriously didn't need to know this.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


So, if an agent that has your manuscript e-mails you from their vacation to say they're enjoying what they're reading...that's good, right? Right? Come on, somebody throw me a bone here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Progress, I haz it

I am not going to make my 60K goal by the end of the week, especially if they let us go from the Real Job(tm) early on Friday. (that happens pre-holiday weekend, sometimes. Please let it happen) But I am making progress, so I'm not too torn up about it. Better than missing a goal because I'm sitting there staring at the blinking cursor of doom.

Almost done with chapter 20. Ideally, I'd like another thousand words on it, but if I get another 700, I'll be happy. And I think I should be able to accomplish that fairly easily. Chapter 21 is going to at least start off with a bang, 'cause I know how I want it to start. How it proceeds from there, though, that's the mystery. And I'm not entirely sure that chapters 20 and 21 shouldn't be in reverse order. I'll have to let my betas hash that one out once I'm done with the writing.

I'm a few pages away from being done with Escapement. This would be the sequel to Mainspring by Jay Lake. (reminds me, I really need to update my "blogs read" list, 'cause I read Jay's all the time and he gets no credit here. Bad me, no donut) I have to say, I think I like Escapement better than the first one. Possibly because I spent so much of the first one struggling to let go of my preconceived notions of how the world should be and just accept the world he's invented. It's a WONDERFUL world, and part of me is a bit jealous that I didn't come up with something so intricately complex. (another part of me is using it as motivation to try and polish the world of Project 3 so it can at least compete respectably)

I have a feeling that this weekend is going to be a chaotic comedy of terror, and therefore I shall get nothing accomplished. There are a variety of festivals happening, birthdays occurring, and out-of-town guests descending. It should be just enough to remind me why I don't do well around humans, and I'll climb right back into my hidey-hole.

Oh, and for a last-minute side note: I received a form rejection on one of my outstanding partials yesterday. Even those have lost some of their sting. Either I've become immune, or...well...I don't know what the other choice is.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Small Update

Thanks again to the Intrepid Auggy and Gallant Little Brother (who both suggested the same solution), we have hubby's computer functional and now locked down tight against nasty diseases and such.


Make up your own title

I'm so...ugh, just...everything today.

Hubby's comp has some malware on it. No biggie, the same thing hit my comp last week, I clean it off just fine. But his computer is in such bad shape that half the time when we boot it up, it hangs, and even when it doesn't hang, I can't get it to even download the malware remover (and of course, trying to download it on another site won't work because said malware auto-redirects any searches or web-addies typed in). It also won't let us connect to update the removers he DOES have.

There's nothing quite so frustrating as knowing HOW to fix the problem and still being unable to.

Hubby says just wipe the drive and start over, and I'm at the point where I just want to do that.

Because I've been up since 4 a.m. this morning brooding about the stupid computer (because brooding is what I do), there was no writing done today. Therefore, to meet my 60K goal by the end of Friday, I have to write 1,000 words a day for the next four days. I don't see it happening, not with the mood I'm in.

We also have friends with a seriously ill newborn, and part of my mind is with them at all times. It's just a bad week to try and be creative. It's hard to believe in worlds of pure imagination when real life keeps jumping up and giving you the old right hook to the jaw.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The failure of goals

Once upon a time (ok, really about three weeks ago), I said I wanted to finish the first draft of Project 3 by the end of August.


That ain't gonna happen.

However, I have decided in light of my abyssmal failure in that regard that I must set a new goal. Therefore, by the end of next Friday, I shall break 60K words. I have about 4K to go to meet that, which is higher than my usual cumulative daily word goal. But on the way home tonight, I finally puzzled out the stuck part of this chapter that's been holding me up, and I think when I start in again, I'll be able to whiz through some stuff.

Unless I forget what I was thinking between now and Monday.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Short Post of Many Colors

No writing done today (bleh) but I did finish chapter 19 yesterday. I also ADDED a new chapter to the outline, so I'm still at 4 (possibly 5) remaining before I'm done. I think I'm defeating my own purpose.

I came home today to another request for the full manuscript on Project 2. Yay! With all this interest, surely someone will bite. Surely. (I know, I know, stop calling you Shirley)

Kiddo seems to be doing fine in school, though I don't know how much actual schooling they've had yet. She's mastered the lunch line, that much is clear.

Anyway, I'm scrambling to cook dinner before my WoW raid tonight (yes, I am THAT kind of geek).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

For those who keep track

No, I did not suddenly receive an influx of rejections on Project 2. I simply decided to recategorize my "no-response" queries as rejections. Some of them have been hanging out there for quite some time.

It is possible that there was a spam filter incident, and that some of those queries were whisked away to the technological never-never. And maybe, in a few months, I might re-query some of those, just to see if I could get a response this time. But for now, I'll mark them as "no"s, and move on.

I did send out three new queries today. Let the drubbing commence.

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Day

Normally, I don't post pics of my kiddo, but I figure this is the only way for most of my long-distance friends to get a peek at her on her first day of school.

Good luck kiddo!

And no, I did not cry, contrary to popular prediction. But the day's still young.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Funny

I admit it, I've been sucked into the Olympic drama. I tried to go to bed at 10:45 last night, and at 11:30 realized that I never made it. (damn gymnasts brainwashing me!) Still, it's nice to see the country all riled up about something that ISN'T self-destructive (yet).

Got back in the writing groove today and pumped out a spiffy 2,400 words! Go me! Yes, I danced a little at the computer, no you can't watch.

My current diet seems to consist of the mozzarella and pepperoni left over from Chie's pepperoni rolls. We'll have to build an add-on to the house to hold my cholesterol.

That's my random brain-spew for the day. I feel a bit giddy and flighty, as I always do when I've had a good writing day. I never got into the whole drug use thing, but seriously, this has to be what being high feels like.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Put one foot in front of the other

Ok...vacation over. Chie was here, and much frivolity was had, and stuffs.

I have yet to resume my writing, but I really want to. Really. I DO want to.

My long submission silence was broken today by the rejection of one of my outstanding fulls. Nothing specific, just the "I wasn't as taken with it as I'd hoped" line. Still have high hopes for the other one, though.

Kiddo is starting kindergarten on Friday, and I'm a little wigged out about that. I have this horrible feeling that I'm going to forget something and she's going to wind up naked with no lunch money or something. Oi.

I did, however, sign up for the PTA. Let the mockery commence.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Something of Interest

Ran into this link here on Janet Reid's blog, and just had to take the test. (I fancy myself a mimic of accents, though some are harder than others)

I actually only got 6 correct, but oddly I learned that had I trusted my first instincts instead of rationalizing my answers, I would have answered four or five more correctly.

I'm officially on vacation, as of 4 pm today. Yay!

I need a nap.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Week That Fell Into The Void

This is my annual week of doing absolutely nothing. (not to be confused with my OTHER weeks of doing absolutely nothing, which happen on an unofficial and unwelcome basis)

Today I took off work so my mother could take kiddo school shopping. Gita was nice enough to go with us, and much fun was had by all. (can't believe kiddo is starting school next week)

I'm working tomorrow and Wednesday, which may be my only opportunity to get any writing done at all, and I'm honestly not going to push it too hard. (reference the first line for explanation)

Then Thursday, Chie arrives for her annual visit, and we'll be running around KC doing various and asundry possibly improper things which will preclude any writing. Chie leaves next Monday, and then I suppose I might get things back to normal (whatever normal is)

(Can I possibly use more parentheses in one post?)

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Rawr. Rawr indeed.

Hubby's computer, after a mysterious spontaneous reboot, would no longer connect to the internet. So I rallied my contingent of geek friends, both long-distance and local, and we set about figuring out what was wrong with it. "Try setting it to a static IP" they said. No, that didn't work. "Maybe you need to re-install the network stack." Wtf does that mean? "Probably you need a whole new motherboard." Aw crap, that's gonna hurt.

And then....through an odd quirk of fate... I remember that I happened to have a brand new, unopened network card, just...laying around! I mean, it's been just laying around for like two years!

So I popped that puppy into the computer (with a bit of phone coaching from the intrepid Auggy), and lo and behold, hubby's comp is functional again!

I rock so much.

And I officially know just enough about the inside of a computer to be dangerous. I can also pull and reinstall a power supply, if need be. Like I told Auggy, I don't want to be a computer geek. I just want to not feel helpless.

In writing news... One of the agents-with-full e-mailed to ask what else I'm working on. So, after some scrambling, I whipped out pitches for both projects 3 and 4, and sent those winging into the aether. I deem this a good sign.

I also finished chapter 18 today, and split it into two on my outline. Chapter 20 (which was formerly chapter 19) may also be split, depending on how it looks when I get there. I think I'm looking at 22 chapters, max. I'm so close to done!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Goal Achieved

Well, at least this week's, anyway. I crossed the 50K mark on project 3, despite a delay yesterday due to sick kiddo. Chapter 17 turned out way shorter than I would prefer, but it finally came down to the fact that I couldn't really add more to it to beef it up, so I moved on. I'm about 1100 words into chapter 18, and it's just barely started, so it is promising to make up for what the previous chapter lacked.

I'm also contemplating splitting chapter 18 in two (from what I have outlined) and bumping everything that comes after down one chapter. Considering that I still have an un-outlined gap between chapter 19 and the last two chapters (figure, this is a 1-2 chapter hole), it might help smooth over some of what I'm missing.

I've also been pondering why I seem to have problems with certain books (most recently Scar Night and Iron Angel come to mind). There's nothing wrong with them, but I have difficulty wrapping my brain around some of the setting. I really have to work at picturing what he's describing (not through any lack on his part, the defect is mine) because it's just SO different. And I realized the other day that it's because I am too hung up on applying THIS world's physics/idea of normality.

This may also apply to Project 3. It has occured to me that I may be working too hard to have a "real" explanation for some of the fantastic things I'm describing. A scientific reality behind the superstition and religion that my invented people believe in. Maybe, just maybe, I could just LET them be fantastic. Who's to say that it's not how my invented world works?

I guess, to quote Fox Mulder, I want to believe.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The query works

I think I can say, without a doubt, that my query is successful. In adding this morning's partial request to the tally, I have over a 1/3 positive response rate. That's pretty darned good!

I sent project 2 out to a brand new beta who was gracious enough to volunteer. Not only that, but she read it in record time and sent me back notes!! Just have to find time to go through them all carefully.

I expected to have problems with chapter 17 of Project 3 today, but a passing comment by Theo broke the whole thing wide open. I'm no where near done with it, of course, but I have an excellent start and momentum to carry into tomorrow. I keep realizing that I'm nearing the end of the first draft on this one, quite rapidly. Stealth Book for the win?

All in all, I'm willing to concede that (writing-wise) the past week or so hasn't been bad at all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

To weep, or not to weep

I might come up with an answer for this one tomorrow.

Got a rejection on a partial that I had had such high hopes for. The sad thing is, I can't even really wail and gnash my teeth, because the agent went to such great pains to give me details on what she found wrong (she read the first 8 chapters). She also told me what she liked, and what she'd want to see in a revision. (hence inviting me to send said revision if I ever do it)

As far as rejections go, this is a STELLAR one. People would kill for this kind of rejection. (or, as it's called, a revise & resubmit)

Right now, I'm just highly disappointed. Tomorrow, or maybe the next day, I'll come to appreciate what an excellent opportunity this is/was. Maybe by next week, I'll even be able to wrap my head around the critique enough to figure out how to fix what she wants fixed.

Right now, I'm going to do a bit of self-pity and mope.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I feel a nap coming on

Short post for Friday, 'cause...well, the subject says it all.

For two days in a row, I got 1200 words down on Project 3. This resulted in a finished chapter 15, and a HUGE chunk done on chapter 16. It'll be interesting to see if I can get to 50K by next Friday, but hey, anything is possible.

Came home to a full manuscript request (the first 3 chapters went in the initial query) from a source I wasn't expecting. I mean, I DID query them, so I was expecting SOMEthing, but I didn't know they'd ask for it. You know what I meant. Sheesh.

Hoping to see Mel this weekend, as we christen Gita's new house. Other than that, I intend to be lazy.

Also, as an example of how my brain works (or doesn't work, as the case may be)... In the space of about twenty minutes last night, I managed to come up with an idea for a world/magic system/character class based solely off half of a word glimpsed on a sign in the background of a television commercial. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tastes Like Chicken!

Last night, there was a mishap involving frying chicken, extremly hot oil, and an unfortunate splash. Now, I have a rather interesting burn pattern on the inside of my right wrist/forearm. Honestly, I think it looks a bit like the Hawaiian islands. Luckily, it didn't actually blister, and I had Dr. Gita within driving distance to do the patch job.

Let this be a lesson to you, kiddies, fried food isn't good for you.

This wouldn't be such a pain (y'know, aside from the actual PAIN) except the burn is right where the wrist-rest on my mousepad hits, and it makes working on the computer a bit....tricky.

In good news, I think...THINK...I have the Quarterly Project from Hell done. My boss gave my bandaged wrist a rather odd look this morning, pretty sure she thinks I tried to off myself over it.

Hopefully, I can get back into the writing swing. Goal is 50K words by the end of NEXT week. (no, not this week, are you smoking crack?)

Monday, July 14, 2008


SO, let me explain to you what the world looks like on two hours of sleep. It looks weeeeeird.

I don't know why I couldn't sleep last night, but somewhere between 10pm and 2am, I managed to do quite a bit of thinking on Project 3. That thinking lead to writing about 800 words today, and hopefully will continue something. Cut me some slack, I haven't slept.

So, around 2-ish, I fell asleep. Only to be awakened by hubby coming to bed around 4-ish. Now, hubby snores. BADLY. But by the time I had decided that no court in the world would convict me of smothering him with a pillow, it was already 5 and my alarm was going to go off in half an hour, so oh well, another opportunity wasted.

And you say, but why did you not call in to work and just sleep? And I say this is an excellent question. I don't have a good answer for it, but it's a GREAT question. All I know is, every time I thought "Hey, I should call in", my feet just kept moving forward, taking me through my normal morning routine. And really, that's what I've done all day.

I feel a little wonky, and since Gita is officially a near-neighbor and touring her house is on the agenda tonight, I don't see a nap in my future. However, this should make sure that I sleep HARD tonight. No more insomnia, it isn't fun.

Hubby is currently giving me "that" look. (yes, women do not have a monopoly on the look) His look says "Stop typing and go take a nap, you dork." I may. Poor Gita may have to wait for tomorrow for the grand tour.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's all about perspective

After some events in the real life today, I have to say that perspective matters. I mean sure, I'm not a world famous published author (yet). Maybe hubby's jobs aren't that great, maybe we could always use just a bit more money. Maybe the entire cast of Deliverance DOES live across the street from me.

But in the big picture, we're pretty damn lucky. I mean, we HAVE jobs. We HAVE a house. And no one has told me my writing sucks yet. (Seriously, if anyone was going to, it should have been Chie)

Gita arrives here next Monday to close on her own very special house, and then I shall have yet another beta-reader within flogging distance. Chie will be visiting for a good chunk of a week in early August, and I'm really looking forward to that too.

Now, if I can just get back in the writing groove. Honestly, haven't touched project 3 since before the 4th, and I'm starting to feel very guilty about that. But if the words just aren't there, they just aren't there. I think I'll let myself go for this weekend, but then next Monday, I'm writing something even if it's a dirty limerick.

How many things rhyme with Nantucket?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Spork to the EYES!

Yes my lovelies, it's that time again. (No, not THAT time. I'm not so hurting for blog chatter that I'll talk about THAT time) It's time for the Quarterly Project From Hell.

I could ramble on and on about the idiocy and redundancy that goes into this monumental effort, but really, it's nothing I haven't complained about before. Suffice it to say that there will be very little writing done this week as I wrestle with this thing.

And the sad thing is, I actually like the Real Job(tm) except for once a quarter, when I punctually threaten to jump out the window and/or spork my eyes out. My bosses are used to it at this point, it doesn't even phase them anymore.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm a wuss

I admit it. My characters bullied me into altering my plot to accomodate their need to be highly suspicious of one another. It'll be a small alteration (same events, just a different motivation behind them) but still, it's going to make chapter 15 into something very different than it would have been otherwise.

And just for random interest, I give you a couple examples of what NOT to do when submitting to either agents or editors. Moonrat has this to say on the subject, and Jennifer Jackson mentions this little quandry.

Seriously, in what business ANYwhere are these behaviors acceptable? What are people teaching their kids these days??? (because thoughtless, tactless adults have to come from somewhere, they don't just spring into life fully grown)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bad Characters! No donut!

They just won't LISTEN to me! No matter what I say, they have minds of their own, and it's putting a serious crimp in my plotting.

I'm gonna go over here and sulk a bit.

Honestly, not a lot going on at the moment. Coming up on the big holiday weekend which won't be so big since hubby has to work. Really, I'm just as content to stay home and make sure the drunk neighbors don't burn down our house.

Don't get me wrong, I love what the 4th stands for and everything... But severe inebriation + things that explode = fail in my book. I hate this holiday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rawr indeed

Came home today to a partial request from the query I had feared lost to spam. So yay!

Still trudging on toward 40K with Project 3. It is officially longer than the first draft of project 2 now! (and is just over half way through the story) so I judge this as a good thing.

I must say, this was a much-needed boost of confidence today. I'll just bundle up the requested pages, shoot those over to Kinkos tomorrow, and get that puppy in the mail!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Yes, that's a technical term. It's ancient celticerdusanskrit for "things are just bleh right now".

I'm plugging away at Project 3. I finished chapter 13 today, but I'm seriously unhappy with it. It's going to be one of those things that gets a huge revamp in the first round of revisions. (I hope) I'm still hoping I can hit 40K by the end of Friday.

No news on submissions/queries so far this week. I did see a post from an agent who should have had my query read (from the dates she talked about) so I'm assuming that somehow my query was sacrificed to the spam filter gods. I may resend it next week if I continue to hear nothing.

Hubby has managed to hurt his foot somehow (we're still waiting on the x-ray results to see if it's broken) and kiddo has a golf-ball-sized goose egg on her head after a run-in with a playmate and a big wooden block. I'm tempted to wrap myself in bubble wrap to be sure I don't complete the set with some major mishap.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Huzzah the weekend

I actually had a pretty good week. I got some work done on Project 3 (didn't make 40K but I didn't really expect to. Next week, week!). I sent out more queries. Got a couple rejections back, which are really just serving to confirm that I DO exist (thanks to all of you who still believe in me, much like Santa and the Tooth Fairy. They say hi, by the way)

And in my neurotic ravings about whether or not agents actually received the pages I sent them, one very thoughtful, very sweet agent took the time to e-mail me and let me know that she did have it, and she didn't want me to worry. Now, this woman didn't have to do this. I didn't e-mail her for a status check. She just happened to see a post of mine over at AW and wanted to set my mind at ease.

THIS is what not only makes this person an awesome agent, but also makes her a nice person. Try to do something similar for someone this weekend. Random acts of kindness should always be encouraged.

Kiddo is going to her grandparents' this weekend. She's had an interesting week. She went to the zoo for the first time. Apparently, the highlight of the day was "the llama pooped!" Hey, she's five. I guess these things are fascinating at that age.

I think I'm going to curl up with some books from the library. I'm currently reading Breath and Bone, by Carol Berg, and I have The Nymphos of Rocky Flats, by Mario Acevedo on deck.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Figments of the world, unite!

I got a rejection on a query today. This made me happy! I'm sure you're wondering how that could be, so lemme s'plain. No, there is too much, lemme sum up.

With all this resounding silence in the submission department lately, I had started to wonder if I had perhaps ceased to exist. That maybe, I was merely a figment of a collective imagination, and they all stopped believing in me.

Now, before you scoff, I should point out that my college cronies and I had a collective figment friend, and once upon a time, we stopped believing in her and she went away! True story. (or, you know, she could have done the exchange program to Japan, but I like my version better)

So, if it can happen to Donder Kaye, it can happen to me! Please, everyone who may or may not believe in me as a figment of your imagination, don't stop now. I'm not ready to be relegated to that unemployment office where old imaginary friends go. No one's hiring anymore, and even when they are, they only hire the young ones who work for cheap.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Funny

I know, posting lolcatz is a rather cheap way to blog. But they make me giggle. Sometimes, a new lolcatz is the brightest point in my day.

Thanks to Chie, I worked through a stuck place in project 3, and hopefully, I can carry on with the spectacular writing speed I had last week. It's going to involve going back into earlier chapters to add some buildup for this plot point, but that's what revisions are for.

Today is Father's Day, but hubby has to work (trust me, he is NOT happy about it) so we did our Father's Day festivities yesterday. Somehow, that involved eating lunch at the kiddo's favorite restaurant. Not quite sure how that happened.

But happy Father's Day to all the other fathers out there!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


If I thought I was drained yesterday...oi!

I wrote a whopping 2400 words today. (ok, 2399, but don't hassle me over one word with a total like that) Finished chapter 12 then sat there blinking wondering "what did I just do?" After struggling for over a week with the previous chapter, this one just poured out of me.

It was exhilarating and exhausting all at once.

And now of course, I'm sitting here looking at my outline for chapter 13 and realizing that it's one of the ones I only had vaguely formed and I really don't know just WHAT happens. This is going to be...interesting.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Out of Witty Titles

I'm drained today, as I usually am after I manage a writing marathon. Yes, 1400 words counts as a marathon for me. I finished chapter 11 (finally) and got a full page-and-smidge into chapter 12.

No news on the submission front, and it's rather getting me down. I know that one agent has my material ('cause I e-mailed and asked) but I status checked on the other outstanding partial, and haven't heard back on that one at all. So of course, I fear that the pages AND the status check e-mail were swept into spam filter limbo.

Just what I need, another thing to be paranoid over.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Updates on Life in General

Well, the diet from hell and subsequent halfdays of work paid off. The doctor's office called today, and my scans were clean. No cancer here, baybee!

I have realized that I am stalled on project 3, and that I reached a point like this in a previous chapter. At that point, I decided to have my characters do something other than what I'd originally planned (go out instead of stay in), and the chapter bloomed nicely. This time, I'm not sure just WHAT else to have them do. I mean, they're kind of stuck where they are, and I really NEED them to speak to a certain person... Hmm.... Maybe something will come to me tonight as I doze off. I do my best thinking in that place between awake and asleep.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Funny

I could have used this one about a week ago. Though, in all fairness, my one moment of weakness in the diet involved eating one bite of macaroni and cheese, about three days before the diet was over. I think I did pretty good.

My body, right now, is wondering why the hell I'm giving it all this stuff I deprived it of for three weeks.

Hopefully, I can get back to work on Project 3 come tomorrow. I don't like being stalled, especially when I'm at the point in the book where things really start to HAPPEN, y'know?

Friday, June 6, 2008


Yup! Guess what I'm having.

Sluuuuuurp. Strawberry shake. (*coughandadoublecheeseburgerandfriescough*)

I feel sooooo much better.

Result of the diet from hell: 10 pounds lost.
Estimated time to gain it back: 5 days.

I think I'm just going to take this evening and bask in processed food goodness.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Adventures of Radioactive Woman

Yup, it's me again, sitting here and glowing in the dark.

Luckily, this is just enough radioactivity to get a look at my innards, and not enough to microwave me from the inside out (like last time). So I'm on a 24-hour no-touchy ban, instead of a week long.

I'm on day 17 of the diet from hell. I have two full body scans (one tomorrow, one Friday) and you bet your sweet Bippy that I'm getting a milkshake on the way home from the second one. Might even get two. And put cheese on them. And cover it in deep fried gravy.

Sadly, all this upheaval to my normal routine has been detrimental to my writing. I have, however, found a lot of time to read back through some of my old stuff. I've revisited ideas for future novels, old WoW writing, all kinds of stuff. I might not be half bad. (Might not be half good, either.)

No news on the submission front, and that's ok. I'm not sure I'm up to dealing with stuff this week. (but, y'know, if someone wants to send some good news my way, I wouldn't turn it down. Just sayin'...)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Creepy Crawlies

It has been determined that the extra-itchy spot on my side that we previously thought was poison ivy is in fact a rather nasty bug bite. (probably a bug of the eight-legged variety) I figure it couldn't have been one of the really bad ones, or I'd be sick already. It is getting noticeably better today, but still itchy.

Dear Mr. Creepy Crawly, I hope I squished you when you bit me in my sleep.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Post-Holiday Stuffs

Mostly a quick update, 'cause I'm behind on the dinner/dishes schedule for the evening.

The family (read: kiddo & I) are currently battling poison ivy. Kiddo's is clearing up, and mine....makes me want to jump off a roof. It's just one spot, a bit bigger than a 50 cent piece, but it's driving me absolutely batty and I can't seem to find anything to kill the itch. No, we have no idea where we picked it up, but we are choosing to blame the hubby & his brother who are apparently immune to poison ivy and were working in the yard recently.

We went to see Indiana Jones with Gita on Sunday and (even though I couldn't have popcorn *sob*)it was a great ride. Indiana Jones is one of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm glad they didn't tinker with it too much. I'm not sure why other people keep whining about it being a bad movie. If you didn't expect to see Indy be Indy, don't go SEE Indy. Duh.

I hit 30K on Project 3 today, AND got another full request for Project 2 from an agent. Yay!

Hopefully, I'll have time tomorrow to write something longer and more insightful.

Edited to add: And as I sit here, I got another query rejection in too. Guess I'm covering all the bases today!

Friday, May 23, 2008


And for the record, anyone who loves ElfQuest as much as I do is spectacular in my book. Not to mention, she's a pretty damn fine author too.

Condition: Squid

Richelle Mead, in addition to being an author I enjoy reading, also has a sense of the absurd that would fit in well with my group of misfits, if I do say so myself. Not to mention that she has an eerie physical appearance to my friend Jenn. And today, Richelle has instituted an alarm system to denote when she is under deadline pressure and generally a victim of chaos in her life. She calls this Condition Squid. The stage past this is apparently DEFCON Narwhal.

I think this is an EXCELLENT idea, and everyone I know should adopt this rating system immediately! Why? Why not, I ask you!

No, really. Why not? Ha! You don't have an answer either. See?

Here we are on Friday, and due to unexpected busy-stuff at the Real Job(tm), I still sit here 500 words shy of my 30K goal. That's just....sucky. But, I do have a three-day weekend looming before me, so hopefully I can get something accomplished.

I mean, it's not like I can go out to eat or anything. (this is me, making my forlorn face)

On the submission front: One query reject in the box today. Somehow, those just don't have the power they used to.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 3 of the diet from Hell

Needless to say, I did not hit 30K last week. Real life saw fit to intervene. I am hoping, however, that I can hit that mark by tomorrow, Friday at the latest.

My lack of writing desire/time can be directly traced to the fact that I am now (and for the next three weeks) on a rather irritating diet. Ever try to eat a low-iodine diet? Don't. It's not fun.

I have, however, discovered the bliss that is kosher salt. It truly does have a better flavor than regular salt. I am also exploring the wonderful world of fresh veggies (as opposed to canned) and unsalted peanutbutter (dubious at best).

But it's only for three weeks, and then I intend to go hogwild and eat all kinds of stuff that are seriously unhealthy for me.

No news on the submission front, and that's ok. I did realize that yesterday (me & hubby's 8th anniversary) was also the one-year anniversary of the date he and I dreamed up project 2. It's amazing what changes a year can bring.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dive right in?

So, I am reading Jay Lake's Mainspring and something struck me. (no, not a poodle knocked off a ten-story window. Geez.)

This book begins, literally, at what I'm calling the lynchpin moment. The moment that sets the events of the book in motion. We're introduced to the main character at the very second his life goes topsy turvy.

And I realized that I don't write that way. My own works always have a bit of lead in, a bit of time to get to know the characters in their natural habitat before I yank the rug out from under them.

I don't know that one style is particularly better than the other, but the difference caught my eye enough that I felt compelled to remark upon it. And in case you're wondering, Mainspring is really good so far (I'm only a few chapters into it) and I recommend it highly.

On the submission front: Sadly, my one full request turned into a pass today. But honestly, the agent took a great deal of time to tell me what he found lacking, and he had awesome things to say about my writing (and my future as an author, from his lips to the gods' ears please). He also said that if I find myself revising in the future, to please keep him in mind. This could almost count as a win.

The one thing that really interested me was that he felt my main character wasn't three-dimensional enough, but that my plot was well-constructed. All along with project two, I felt my character was the strong point, and that my plot might be a bit weak. Just goes to show that it all depends on your perspective.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Goals ahoy!

Ok, my goal this week is to break 30K on project 3. To do so (since I started today at 24,400 words), I need to write 1,120 words a day (Monday-Friday). Today, I wrote 1,156, so mission accomplished!

I also feel rather accomplished because hubby and I finally got the lawn mower out of winter storage, and the yard is beginning to look less like a jungle and more like a yard. Granted, we still have an entire forest worth of downed tree branches from the storms that keep popping up, but think baby steps here.

No news on the submission front. I sent a poke to one agent-with-partial (after doing valiant battle with her spam filter), and another one has promised via her blog that she will have all submitted partials read by the end of next weekend. I harbor secret fears that agent-with-full will once again have to fish my e-mail out of his spam filter (see a trend here?), but I'm trying not to succumb to technology paranoia.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Random Randomness

I wrote almost 1,000 words today, but you'd never know it from my progress meter. That's because I also deleted a huge chunk, did some shuffling and rearranging, etc. The deleted section has gone in my scrap pile, to see if I can find a place for it later. (yes, I'm a packrat in real life AND in writing. I never get rid of anything if I can help it)

Thanks to a lovely stomach bug kiddo dragged home from the daycare, I was unable to go to Denver with Gita for her mother's funeral. Considering the condition I was in when she left, she's probably very glad I did not. I did, however, lose four pounds in one day. (NOT a weight loss method I advocate, by the way)

There is no further news on the submission front. I am contemplating giving a status poke to the one agent who has had my partial for 8 weeks (tomorrow). Part of me also fears that by doing this, I'll get my rejection that much faster. Theo keeps telling me to think positive, that this is THE ONE (please please please let him be right) but I've decided I'm a pessimist at heart. Actually, I'm a pessimist AND a cynic. "Glass half full or half empty? What glass! The bastards stole my glass!"

It's also possible that my blood sugar is still a bit off from my two-day adventure in not eating, so take anything I babble with a grain of salt.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Life and other events

My best friend & beta reader Gita lost her mother today, so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

For my own events today, I wrote 2,100 words on project 3, finishing chapter 8. I also came home to find a request for a full manuscript on Project 2 from a brand spanking new agent.

Somehow, it's hard to be appropriately jubilant in light of the event mentioned previously.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Teh Crazy, It burns!

So...yeah, I'm a loon. Still convinced I had a rejection winging its way to me (and since I was home on Friday because the kiddo was sick), I stalked the mailman. Really, that just consisted of waiting til I saw the truck drive past my house, then running out to the mailbox.

Only to find that during the storms that slammed the Midwest on Thursday night/Friday morning, something had hit our mailbox and bent the latch shut. So, because the mailman couldn't get the mail, he left us none. Arghhhh!

I grabbed my handy-dandy hammer (yes, I have my own hammer) and bent the latch back, then Saturday I did a repeat stalking performance. The mailman came...he stopped at the bank of mailboxes that contains ours... and he drove away. And I ran out to the street to see what nugget of depression he'd left me! And... I had junk mail.

Yeah, I know, I deserved it. I'm well aware that I'm just about one loose screw short of a straight jacket. Oi.

Oh well, tomorrow, I promise to start writing again. And maybe I need to ban myself from agent blogs until I'm done with this submission process.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

No News is No News

I shamelessly stole this from the Absolute Write boards, but really, what else is there to say?

For some reason, I was absolutely convinced that I would have a rejection from Super Gonzo Dream Agent waiting for me in my mailbox today, but it wasn't there. I did, however, have junk mail, alleviating my worries that the neighbor kids are stealing my mail again. (please, Dream Agent, just e-mail me even if it's bad news. I don't trust the hellions across the street)

I elected to ignore Project 3 today, since it's currently a source of much frustration and angst. I did peruse project 4 again though (what little I have written, and my notes) and you know, it still sounds pretty good. It's more of an urban fantasy-ish thing, and I'm starting to wonder if I'm destined to write urban fantasy exclusively. My fantasy stuff always seems to stall (usually because it's not meeting some vague self-imposed high standards I've set).

Note, when I say "always" I mean really the two things I've seriously attempted (Projects 1 & 3). I'm fairly certain this isn't a large enough sample to accurately see a trend, but hey, why get picky?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

There are days I want to quit

I'm irritated with myself, mostly. Project 3 has staggered to a halt, mostly because I'm beset by the unshakeable notion that I'm doing it wrong. And even worse, I can't say just WHAT is wrong with it. The best I can do is say that the "flavor" is wrong. And being that I'm not a great cook (my family eats many things out of boxes), I don't know what spice I need to add to make it behave the way I want.

My attempt at a solution is to read some things that may be in a similar style as what I'm trying to write. I'm hoping they'll jump start my brain, show me what's been done before, let me sample someone else's flavor.

That sounded vaguely dirty.

And I just spent an hour looking for a decent lolcatz picture. Someone else is welcome to do better.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


You ever have that feeling that you're on the verge of something great but it's not...quite....there yet? I feel that way about project 3. The potential is there, if I can just...figure out what it is that I'm missing. I think the plot is good. I think the characters are good. The premise is great. But there's something in the tone I just haven't captured yet.

The closest explanation I can come up with is: I am aiming for a steampunk-ish world. I have the steam, I'm seriously lacking in punk. And I'm not even sure if that's an accurate complaint.

I am seriously considering going back to do a major revise on the first chapters I already have done before I can move on. I swore I wouldn't do it, but it may become necessary.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Easy Peasy

So my goal for the week (set just this morning! Better late than never) is to clear 20K words on project 3. I started this morning at 18,400, with the intention of writing 800 words today and tomorrow. Well, I got on a roll today and wound up with 1,400 words, so I only have 200 more to go to hit my goal tomorrow! Whee!

No new news on the submission front. I sent out a few new queries this week (got a 24-hour rejection on one of them)and we'll see what happens.

Tomorrow marks the 6-week mark on the partial that has been out the longest. That was the one that I sent snail mail. I remain firmly convinced that bad news will come in my SASE, but good news will come in e-mail. I'll keep you posted on whether or not my theory pans out.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hail the Conquering Hero

Or something.

I did finally beat chapter 7 into submission. It was a great victory for writers everywhere. Hear me roar! (Ok, not really. Mostly, we just agreed to call it a draw and reconvene at a later time to resume hostilities)

I have also decided that I am officially moving my "no response=no interest" query into the rejection pile. The agent listed a two week turn around on queries, and I gave them six, so it's an official no. Other than that, I've heard nothing. I need to sit down and look at my list and see who else I want to query next. I'm running out of e-mail lovers, and I'll be doing snail mail queries soon. (the cheapskate part of me was hoping to avoid this, but ah well)

I took kiddo to the park over the weekend, and it was the most perfect warm/cool day (I don't know how else to describe it. And I'm a writer. That's not good). And all it did was reinforce my longing to be able to take a laptop and go somewhere like that, and sit in the sun and write to my heart's content. (Though it should be noted that the realist side of me is scolding me for the sunburn I would most likely receive. I do not tan.)

Maybe someday. When I'm rich and famous. Or homeless and deranged. Whichever comes first.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I managed to write a whopping 1200 words today! Whee!

I was struggling with chapter 7, so I decided to just have a character walk around and see what he bumped into. So he took his walk, and I followed him like a literary voyeur...

And I realized that one of the elements I was working in turned out WAY creepier than I'd imagined. I'm a little worried about what else might be lurking in my head, unbeknownst to me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I admit, this has been my worst week as far as writing goes. It just seems that things keep getting in the way.

Today's excuse is that I spent half the day running around getting my car licensed, and postal packages picked up, and doctor appointment-ing. The good news is that I really am sick, not crazy, and that there might be medicine to help. If it doesn't help, I'll be getting steriod shots every six months. Feel my enthusiasm.

But with only a half day spent at work, it meant I actually had to DO work instead of secretly writing.

I swear, tomorrow I will write. I don't know what I'll write yet, but something will go on paper. Or screen, as it were.

And did I mention that I got my picture taken with Jim Butcher?