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still going…

Lots of battles this week with work/lunch/sleep issues. We’re resolving much of it, and the writing improves as we do. Aiming to finish this revision by tomorrow night. I’m doing a scene to two per session now. It won’t be the final version, but close enough event/plot wise that i can have some readers give me some realistic feedback. Then I get to work on the Tiger story.  Growr!

nighthunter’s bite

You’re welcome Maya.  Go collect some souls, will you?  Let me write some other stories now. 😉

Yes, it’s done.  Finally.  The ending doesn’t seem exactly right, I was torn on who should die, but I think I made the right choice.  Now, to tuck this one away until I’m ready to edit it.

more ‘bite

Major progress on Nighthunter’s Bite.  Over 2k written today, and just a scene and a half to go.  Tomorrow should be good for tying it up.  Not a happy story though, but one that needed writing.  I’ll be glad to put Maya to rest for a bit once this is done.

‘bite in progress

Despite my exhaustion, I worked a little on Nighthunter’s Bite.  I deleted the junk I had in place, tweaked the existing opening, and that was pretty much it.  Ready to move forward, next writing session.

planning for the rest of the week

I’m back from my trip and wow did I ever underestimate the time I need to get settled back in.  I posted goals for this week, but I can’t get to them all. 

Nighthunter’s Bite is on the agenda for tonight and tomorrow, I’ll push through what I can.  (No more ‘i need this to be perfect’; I just need to write the damn thing.  I can always edit it. This story has been in my head for three years now, I’m disgusted with myself.) 

Then, Friday and Saturday I’d like to spend on Black Violas.  I have a March 31st deadline, and I’m only on the first revision here.  Again, this doesn’t need to be perfect, but I need to start addressing the story issues.  I do not have the luxury of time on this one.

This is the year I break through my old writing problems and produce.  Year?  Nah.  Week?  Change should never be later, it should always be now.  TODAY.

2010 Goals and Expectations

I have high expectations for 2010, but I know there will be complications this year for various reasons.  With that in mind, I have selected Enudrance as my focus goal because I want to endure through the issues that come, and when I take those neccessary breaks to deal with (or enjoy) my life, I will return to the writing. 

Novels: You can’t publish a novel if you don’t write it to completion and edit it.  Shadow of Blood is about half complete (stopped during my pregnancy with Amber) and I intend to complete it this year.  Forgotten Star has been in existance since 2000, and it needs an edit worthy of my love for the story, and it needs to enter the submissions process.  I signed up for Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel class to do this.  I’ll take what I like from her process and forge on ahead.  I also know that ideas will come to me for other stories to write: I will allow myself to develop those ideas and conduct limited research (see below “novel planning”) and then return to it when I need a new project.

Short Stories: I love them, but they are still a challenge.  I will continue to write and revise and submit.

Reading: My time is limited but I can’t neglect reading.  I’m still working on Martin’s behemoth novels, but I also need to keep reading short stories, and I’d like to start reading some YA because some of my story ideas are veering that way.  I just don’t know enough about the genre to feel comfortable writing in it just yet.

Classes/Workshops: I don’t know what’s on the agenda at FM for 2010, but I know the 2009 workshops (I think I did two of them) were wonderfully helpful for my writing.  If it’s free, why turn down an opportunity to learn?  And I will be saving some personal time from work to hit the Muse Online for the same thing. (edit: workshops not on the agenda, but there are “back to school” classes that run about a month.)

Viable Paradise: I’ve drooled over this workshop for years and the husband and I finally decided I could apply.  The kids will be old enough in 2011 for me to leave him alone with them for a week, and I’ll have enough time to budget for the trip.  My one project for December 2010 is to complete the application.  I don’t yet know if I’ll be applying with the novel chapters or the short stories, but I have a year to decide.

I’m also hoping to use personal time from work this year to provide extra time for writing, maybe on the basis of a half day, once a month.

2010 Goals
Main Goal: Endurance
HTRYN Class: 22 lessons
Forgotten Star revision
Shadow of Blood 1st Draft (40k done, 40k to go)
2YN Class (half done w/Shadow of Blood)
Novel Planning: 4
Short Story Writing: 6
Short Story Edits: 15
Short Story Submissions: 20
New Submissions: 3
Crits: 20
Reading: 6
FM Classes as interested
FM SAD Writing Challenge (May)
Muse Online Writing Conference (Oct)
Prep Viable Paradise application for 2011

** Taking time to visit family; no writing schedule for the first week of January.

2009 Results/Accomplishments

December: not a lot of writing, but important projects were completed.
* Fading Light — reedited and resubmitted;
* Hunter’s Honor — reedited and submitted;
* Think Sideways — final 3 lessons completed.

2009 was a very busy year.  I learned that I can write when I often think I can’t; I can work multiple projects (Balance!) though not quite simultaneously yet.  I learned that people have more faith in my writing than I had realized, which is amazing.

What did I do?  I survived the first year of my 2nd child’s life.  That alone is victory.  Writing on top of that, aside from being insane, is wonderful.

While I didn’t achieve all my goals, I came pretty damn close.

* Think Sideways 25/25

* Stalker novel planned/outlined
* Short Story Edits — 5
* Short Story Submissions — 7
* New Submissions — 2
* Short Story Writing — 1
* Crits — 7
* Reading — 4
* FM Workshops — 1
* Rejections — 6
* Publications — 1

Hunter submitted

Revisions completed over lunch; story submitted.  This one item cleaned up 2 goal items I didn’t think I’d make this year.  I am much pleased with myself.  🙂

Hunter revisions, again

Hunter revisions are in progress.  Removed myself from the cold basement, and am working in the living room after the kids have gone to bed.  The “climate” change is good, and I just have to adjust to having distractions (tv, hubby, food), but there are good things too, like when I’m stuck on a word and I can ask the nice guy sitting a few feet away. 

Possibly one more night on this project.

too harsh

I expect too much of myself at times… I’m close to making my goals for the year.  I won’t complete all of it, there simply isn’t enough time.  But with the whole potty training the toddler, getting us through the second baby’s first year, and various other things (including a writing class!), I did pretty well.  If I get through Hunter this week and submit, that’ll only leave one goal unaccomplished: writing the short stories.  I shouldn’t be beating myself up about this!  So I’m going to stop.  I’m looking at what I accomplished, and I’m pretty pleased.  I never expected to get as close as I did to my goal, and that’s why I was so hard on myself.

So, Hunter tonight.

goals and lack of progress

This is another one of my danger points: when I have a long list of goals for the month and they turn out to be impossible.  Oftentimes, I ignore what bothers me, and the ignoring of the writing begins, and six months pass before I choose to face it.  I’m not going to do that. 

I’m trimming my goals to show exactly the thing I want to get get done.  If anything else happens to get done, then fine.  But my time constraints aren’t exactly promising right now.

progress

Okay so it’s slow progress, but it’s in the right direction.  I’m researching for Tiger Princess, making notes for ‘Bite, and redlining Hunter for edit.  And I might even get some writing time over lunch tomorrow.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

switching tracks

Time is limited for me at the moment, so I’m switching tracks to a project nearest completion: the final edit of Hunter, with plans to submit it by the end of this week.  I want to work on the new projects, but as long as my holiday responsibilities are cropping up, I can’t put as much time as I want into the writing.

Noted for my 2010 goals: no new projects for December, just cleanup and prep for the new year. 🙂

tiger princess

About a month ago, a new member to http://www.fmwriters.com/ inspired me with her user name, “Tiger Princess”.  I knew I had to use it in a story.  I wrote tiger princess on a note and it’s been staring at my all this time.  And today I found a new listing on Ralan for the Triangulation anthology “end of the rainbow” and the story HIT ME.  Punched me in the gut.

I have some research to do, but I know where I want to go with this.

AND at the same time, I figured out what (else) was wrong with Nighthunter’s Bite. 

I need some writing time this weekend.  I need to work these out.

a stretch of life

Busy with work, busy with holiday prep, busy catching up on sleep.  Should be back at this writing thing in the next day or two, if everything else goes well.

nighthunter’s bite

I know, it’s a short story, and Maura has been in my head for years.  I haven’t found the right way to tell her story yet, and some of the scenes are still giving me trouble, but I happened upon the ‘title scene’, about why the bite is important and what it means to her and her curse.

my eyes are bigger than my muse

Six days into the month and I’m already overwhelmed.  I need to scale back the “new projects” and get back to my original intentions for December, which is project clean-up and completion of my 2009 goals.  The edits and short story drafts will remina; the HTTS transcription will remain; but the novel revision will wait until January.  Forgotten Star has been slated for my 2010 novel project for a while now.  The HTRYN class Holly Lisle offered (and I signed up for yeah!!!) got me way overexcited and I jumped on it, thinking I have time to fit everything in.

Right.  What was I thinking?

So the worst case scenario is that I ‘start’ the class 4 weeks late.  Chances are there will be a lesson or two that won’t take all week to complete, so I’ll catch up at some point.  And if I don’t, what consequence is there? I won’t be the first person to complete the class? Hmmm.  No, that won’t kill me, or the novel.  It can wait 3 more weeks.

I’ve grown up in the age of instant gratification.  I seize opportunities.  Sometimes they do need to be seized, but held onto for just a little while before indulging. 🙂

only human

I wanted to kick ass tonight and both, write Nighthunter’s Bite and edit Black Violas.  Who am I kidding?  After a day with the kids (whom I love dearly, but tend to wear me out more on weekends), I barely have the energy to even watch tv.  I’m only human, which means I need a break.  I recognize that tonight, and am taking the chance to take a hot bath and read, and maybe tomorrow I’ll come back recharged and do that much more.

On a positive note, I managed some writing while the kids were napping this afternoon and wrote a page for Nighthunter’s Bite.  I’m getting some better imagery on where the story is going, and this one has a dog in it for sure now… 🙂

how is it thursday already?

Finally resolved the formatting issues with the Forgotten Star manuscript.  Something has broken it, but I fixed it to the point that I can at least read it coherently in a printout.  The revision will be done by typing up the “keepers” in a new Word file.

Fading Light is on its way to the post office.  My desk is clean.  I still have ‘Bite and Violas to work on this week, but I’m taking tonight to relax and saving these stories for Friday and Saturday.

writing buffet

Another pass on Fading Light tonight, and I think it’s done.  I’m not sure the final paragraph is right, so I’ll sleep on it and see what I think of it tomorrow.  I worked on Nighthutner’s Bite today, as well as the novel revision lesson (one).  I think my two fantasy novels may be one long story, so I’m adding them both to the agenda to read and analyze.

Tweak Tweak

Three tweaks were required for this latest ‘quick’ revision of Fading Light.  I managed two tonight, one of which is a revamp of the ending.  I think it’s good.  I’ll decide tomorrow after I’ve gotten some sleep.  And I still need to figure out that last tweak.  One little detail is all I need…

November Results / December Goals & Year End

Insane month, as I expected. Still, the results were good considering the time allotted for writing.

November Results
* Fading Light: edited and submitted twice
* Critiques: 2/2
* Novel Reading (con’t Game of Thrones & Federations)
* Watering the Black Violas (edit in progress)
* Nighthunter’s Bite (draft in progress)
* Registered and started a novel revision class HTRYN)

December Goals
* Black Violas: edit
* Black Violas: to crit group
* Hunter’s Honor: edit
* Hunter’s Honor: submission
* New Short Stories: 0/4
* Crits: 0/2
* Reading
* Complete HTTS 0/3
* Class HTRYN 0/4

The short stories goal is going to be the most challenging, but I’m hitting it hard in order to complete the goals I tasked myself with for 2009. The edits are important because I want to get my stories out into submission, one of my big goals for the year. And, I’m still going for the “balance”. 🙂

Back Home

The vacation is over, now cleanup begins.  But I can’t neglect the writing for the cleaning.  I have goals for this week:

Black Violas — edit
Nighthunter’s Bite — write
Fading Light — tweak & resubmit

I’d like to get Fading Light done tomorrow, and a quick edit pass for Violas on Monday, then I’ll have the rest of the week to work on ‘Bite and the remaining issues/analysis of Viola’s further revision.

all work and no play

Taking some time for family and fun; will be back into the swing of things in about a week and a half.

rejection/resubmission

Fading Light rejected; sending it back out to another place.  My submission list for this one is too short; hitting http://www.ralan.com/ to check out some other places to sub.

Violas edit

Several ideas to edit the story hit me on the drive into the office this morning.  Each thought was triggered by techniques in the Think Sideways class, and I haven’t even applied the techniques intentionally yet, this is my brain/muse putting all this together on the back burner of my consciousness.    Loving it, loving the story, and I can’t to see how it’s really going to end. 

It just might take a while to get to, since I’ve got the family visit, the birthday party, and the vacation to deal with.  And that trip to NY I’ve been hoping for may happen in early December, so… I need to hang onto these thoughts and hope I don’t lose the feel for it before then.

Oh!

Think Sideways — worth every penny.  Seriously.

This is probably the third time I’ve read these chapters, and while I thought they were informative on the previous reads, they’re downright perfect now.  I’m discovering what’s wrong with my story.  Several things, and it’s not even the writing; it goes deeper than that.  And unfortunately, I think the theme I was writing the story for no longer applies. 

I’m going to have to play with my options a bit and see where the heart of this story is.  If the theme no longer applies, then I’ll follow what does apply, and give this story the life it deserves.  I have other ideas I can try for the parsec contest.  At the very least, the contest itself led me to the path where I found this story, and that’s no small thing.

Continuing with Think Sideways tonight and tomorrow, will get to the applicable assignments, and then we’ll see what comes of this.

Thank you, Holly Lisle. 🙂

Weekend update

It’s no secret that my life is a little crazy right now.  I originally planned to not write from the 20th until the end of the month, not realizing I’d start feeling the pressure (serious pressure) the week before that.  Editing has failed me, writing has failed me.  I’m struggling with Black Violas, and I can’t see the forest nor the tress for the forest, and that should give you an idea of how far off base my writing barometer is as the moment.

Still, I attempted to write and wasted a good two hours last night.  I’d read what I wrote, make a change, start reading again and zone out.  Each time that started, the zoning would happen sooner.  There’s something wrong with this story, and I have no idea what.  So, I’m going back to the beginning, thinking about how I wrote this one, to see where I missed something.

And that’s when I recalled that I used a modified version of Holly’s Think Sideways methods for story creation.  So I spent the next two hours pouring through class material, looking for the next step, a link from the writing to the revising that might trigger my internal editor to get back to work.  I made it through five lessons, without neccessarily completing the assignments so much as writing notes “do this” in a notebook.  I’m about to approach the revision sections, will probably get there tonight, and hopefully, get some answers.

sharing knowledge

I love to share what I know, especially when it’s a topic I’m passionate about–like writing.  I think most of my blog readers are the friends I’ve made from forward motion, but I’d really like to hear from other friends.   I’m thinking about composing some posts with writing information for those of you who are interested in learning more.  It’ll mostly be my approach/philosophy with links to other sources on that topic.

I’ve learned a lot over the years, am still learning, but I want to share.  In the interest of writing these posts for someone other than myself, please reply in comments if you’d like to read anything of this nature.  If you have questions, post those too and I’ll see if I can help.

Writing is hard.  Writing alone is harder.

medical scare

I knew November was going to be chaotic, but not this bad.  The last week has been riddled with worry and regret and intense “what if” planning, making it the longest week of my life.  My dad’s medical scare is still an issue, but what was leaning toward a diagnosis of liver cancer is moving toward something else.  Not sure what that something else is yet, but it’s got my dad feeling more hopeful and there’s even more hope in that.

Writing has slipped to the background for a few days, and probably will for a few more, but Black Violas is awaiting my attention, as is Carter’s crit.  I’m not getting lost this time.