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.