Sunday, November 29, 2009

Musings on the Anniversary of My Natality

At the end of my senior year of high school, we all had to fill out these little questionnaires to be included in the yearbook. And one of the questions was “What will you be doing in 10 years?”

My answer was, “I will be married to (insert ex here) with two boys and working on my second bestselling novel.” Needless to say, by age 28, the ex had gone bye-bye, I had a gorgeous daughter, and my writing was…not there yet.

And as yet another birthday rolls around, I have to stop and look at what I intended versus what I’ve actually accomplished.

I was 31 when I signed with The Agent. I was 32 when I got my first book deal. I’ll be 33 when my first book hits the shelves.

I have many writerly friends (shout out to my Purgies) who are younger than me, and amazingly talented. They are in their early-mid-late twenties, writing novels, honing their craft, querying agents, getting deals. And sometimes, I’m majorly jealous. I think “OMG, I’m 33, I’m so oooooooold!” I wonder, did I waste all those earlier years? Should I have been working harder, writing more? Could I already be an established author NOW, instead of just debuting?

In all honesty, looking at what I was writing during that time period, there was no way I’d have been published. Project 1 (relegated to a farm with a family that loves it) was a product of that era, and re-reading pieces of it now make me want to cringe in shame. The encouraging thing was, the pieces I wrote at the beginning and the pieces I wrote just before relocating it are vastly different in style and quality.

I was getting better. Noticeably better. I found my own style, I learned not to infodump. I discovered the art of crafting characters that were real AND interesting. Every sentence I wrote, though I may never use it again, was useful. The writer I was then taught me how to be the writer I am now.

So maybe I didn’t marry the guy I thought I was going to, and maybe I have one girl instead of two boys. Maybe I didn't have any bestselling novels under my belt by age 28. Anything is possible, and an extra five years tacked onto that really isn’t that much, in the big scheme of things.

Happy Birthday to me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy happy!

Happy Thanksgiving folks.

And though I know everybody and their brother's cousin's dog will be posting this, you can't tell me it doesn't bring a smile to your face.

I give you...Bohemian Rhapsody ala Muppet.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Random Thoughts

Again, my absence is loud and long. This time, I blame the nasty cold that kiddo and I have been passing back and forth for over a week. If anyone knows a place where it never becomes winter, and there are no earthquakes, volcanoes, or hurricanes, I'd like to know please.

In Nano news: I passed 40K way ahead of schedule. Hoping to pass 50K just as easily, and then I'm gonna just keep going to try and finish the book entirely. (first drafts usually clock in around 60K) I still have two chapters in my outline that say "insert plot here" but I talked with Gita some last night and I think maybe we've sketched out a road to take.

In book news: My revisions for A Devil in the Details are done and accepted! Next step is getting blurbs from authors to put on the cover. That's probably going to wait until after the holidays.

In other news: I'm not even going to say that I'm going to blog more regularly, 'cause I never do. However, if anyone has anything they'd like me to talk about, please let me know. (see, this is a test to see if anyone's actually reading this) You can ask me about writing, publishing, zombies, and my real life. I warn you, I fully plan to lie about the real life stuff. ;)

And, upcoming book releases:

Kelly Meding's debut novel hits shelves this week! Pick up Three Days to Dead if you know what's good for you!

Jim Butcher's First Lord's Fury also comes out on Tuesday. You wanna see a brawl, watch hubby and I try to figure out who gets to read it first.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Drive-by Posting

Just a quick post to let everyone know I'm still alive, and still Nanoing. Currently at words. Yay! (That's 18,805 words, if Nano's site is currently down) Rapidly approaching the Big Gaping Hole in my outline (I have chapters 1-10 outlined, then the last three. No idea what happens in between)

This past weekend resulted in a new haircut (which folks want to see pictures of) and a new garage door opener (which no one has asked to see, oddly). Haircut pictures will be forthcoming, on a day when my hair is actually styled, and not when I've been at work trying to rip it out all day.

I am afraid that most will be disappointed however, to find out that my new hair is much like my old hair, only just slightly shorter. There's only so much you can do with this massive amount of curl.

Trying to decide if I'll post a Nano teaser tomorrow. This is such rough stuff...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nano Teaser

Just for giggles, here's a snippet of what I'm working on for NaNoWriMo. We'll call it Project Nano 2. (Or, if you'd rather, Night of Fire and Ash)


We were dismissed to go about our duties, but Amir lagged behind, his dark eyes troubled. “What’s up, kid?”

He looked surprised, like he hadn’t even realized I was still standing there. “Nothing. Just…thinking about the anniversary.”

I nodded. Most of us remembered very well where we were, ten years ago. “You were what…twelve?”

“Thirteen.” I could see the shiver crawl across his shoulders. “They burned our neighbor’s house down. Thought it was ours. She was old, like in her eighties. She didn’t make it out.”

Yeah. Purity Night – called the Night of Fire and Ash by most of the Otherkind I knew – had resulted in more human deaths than Otherkind. Some nights, laying alone in my apartment, I could still smell the smoke. Funny how that smoke smelled different than any fire I had scented before or since. Almost like you could smell the very hate burning.

“How old were you, Fiddler?”

“Seventeen.” I could remember the feeling of the dew on my bare feet as I slipped out the back door, the red glow of houses burning three blocks over. To my adolescent mind, I thought if I could just get out of the house, they would leave my family alone… It was only when I heard the glass breaking, my sister screaming, that I turned back.

“Did anyone in your family get hurt?”

Men died, that night. Their flesh turned black, the fat boiling from within. The masks that were supposed to hide their faces melted into their skin instead. The smoke curled out of their mouths, their noses, choking to death on the very air that should have saved them. “My sister got cut with some flying glass. They shattered her bedroom window, thinking it was mine.” I was never charged. The deaths were ruled accidental, the arsonists caught in their own accelerants.

“Do you think it could happen again? I mean, Franklin Pitt. He’s out of jail now.”

I tasted char at the back of my throat and swallowed it down. The back of my t-shirt fluttered as the air heated just above my skin, the ifreet in me rousing at the sound of the most hated name in the world. “Anything’s possible, kid.” Franklin Pitt would be speaking at the summit, too. I only hoped I could stand next to him, look into his hate-filled eyes, and not incinerate him where he stood. The ifreet would find no guilt in that. The human…might.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Today is November 1st folks, and do you know what that means? It's the start of NaNoWriMo!

Ok, yes, I swore I wasn't going to do it, but you all know I have no will power. I think taking a short break from Book 2 will be good for me, and if I can get 50K words in one month for NaNo, then surely I can get 30K words done in December to finish Book 2 on my self imposed deadline.

So, charge ahead pantsers! Plot forward, outliners! Go forth and conquer! Because...