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thursday thursday

It was a strange Thursday.  Rough day at the Day Job, lots of stress, and a little disappointment that the day job issue kept me from getting to the post office.  Well, the story will get out on Friday after I drop the kids off at school.  

No writing done in the evening, no editing.  I reviewed Black Violas, considering it for my next edit project, but I don’t know if I’m ready.  I’m reading it, I like it, there are obvious places where the writing itself needs to be fixed, but I don’t know what to do about the story itself.  I had a thought that first person would suit this one better, and since I had that many times while writing it, I think I need to try that route.  I also had a thought of swapping the MC from the daughter to the mom.  Their roles seem to be interchangeable as I have it now in the story.  If I reverse their roles and the troubles they’ve experienced, it might come out more emotional.  And I suddenly notice I’ve gravitated toward older characters in my writing. 

inspiration

I thought I was done with Fading Light, but it wasn’t done with me.

My copy of “Federations” arrived yesterday, and I finally got a chance to start reading it.  The first story “Mazer in Prison” by Orson Scott Card sang to me.  The story was wonderful, and I went to reread it –analytically– and decided I really liked the character’s voice, the way he told his story without telling even though he presented fact.

And I realized I was missing that.  Connor was missing that.  So I went back to Fading Light and dug back into Connor’s problems and how he viewed the world and adjusted a few words here and there to shine a better light on things, and then something huge hit me about the ending.  I totally missed this amazing thing he could do.

And now he’s done it. 

And the story is ready to go.  For real.

fading light —- done

Insane editing/fixing/re-editing over lunch. The story is good to go.

fading light cont’d

Worked on the manuscript with paper and pen, worked in most of the new changes (which now require transcribing).  Still need to rename the great spirits, but not feeling much creatively tonight (family worries).   I may have to skip my lunchtime workout to get this done…  my workout buddy is going to kill me.

October Results & November Goals

October proved to be a wonderful month for writing.  I stuck with it all month, accomplishing a variety of work.  I’m quite pleased with it, and hope I can keep it up through next month.  November promises chaos: my son’s first birthday, a short vacation, a family visit, and Thanksgiving: all in the same week.  I may need to fly back home early in the month for an unplanned family issue as well.  I’m scheduling the first three weeks of the month for writing and planning my goals according to the time I believe is available outside of preparing for these committments.

And no, I’m not doing NaNoWriMo, but for everyone who is: best of luck and have a blast!

October Accomplishments:
* Fading Light: edited; submitted to crit group, re-edit in progress;
* Watering the Black Violas: first draft written
* Hunter’s Honor: edited; submitted to crit group
* Critiques completed: 3
* POV Workshop: 4/4 segments complete
* Novel Reading: slowly working through Game of Thrones
* Market Research for Hunter & Fading Light
* Started planning 2010 writing goals: novel projects selected, submission-hopeful short stories selected (yes I am forever thinking ahead to my next projects)

November Goals:
* Fading Light: complete edit and submission
* Watering the Black Violas: edit
* Nighthunter’s Bite: write 1st draft (and rename)
* Critiques: 2
* Novel Reading (con’t Game of Thrones)
* Hunter’s Honor: edit (tentative)

fading light on hallows eve

I’m working on Fading Light tonight.  My crit group gave me several fantastic crits.  I missed 2 – 3 critical points for truly bringing this story alive.  One was entirely absent, but the other two are there, just below the surface.  I just need to name them.

It won’t be done in time for me to submit before month-end, but that was my own self-imposed goal to make sure I got it out the door.  A few more days is fine.

organizing

Not exciting but good for the writing soul. 😉  I organized a ton of notes I’d been emailing myself for the past two years and dropped all those notes into Word files.  I feel much better now.

workshopping

I played catch-up today with the POV workshop Valerie is running on FM.  Completed exercise numbers two and four.  I also had a revelation today regarding my novel Forgotten Star, which I plan on editing is 2010.  For some reason, it suddenly hit me this might be a YA novel.  Who would have guessed?

Tuesday

Mostly household stuff today, and family issues.  I started and completed a critique for David, and hopefully didn’t go too wild making comments. 

the value of a word

Since I began writing seriously ten years ago, there have been a few notable breaks from the writing for me.  Two had to do with pregnancies and childbirth, a third was related to insane stress and unusual living circumstances, and the others were writing related.  Critiques.  I can take a rejection from an editor much easier than I can take a harsh critique.  Twice now, I’ve received critiques that have sent me running (screaming) from writing.  The critiques were not wrong, I just wasn’t ready to understand them and put them to use.  They intimitdated me from my writing, cropping up doubts in my ability, giving power to self-pity.

I have two stories out for critique right now.  One came back with numerous and consisten comments on what worked and what didn’t, with comments citing disapointment in the outcome compared to a promise in the beginning, paths in the story that didn’t get addressed, some grammar issues.  These were presented in a manner in which I digested them easily.  They were learning-worthy.  I love those kind of crits. 

But my other story received a crit in a very different fashion: the kind that usually sends me running.  With comments such as “poorly written” and “hated it” beginning the crit, it took me two hours of repeated attempts to get past such cold comments to get to the points this critiquer had made.  One some counts, I agree with some of the issues, on others- I don’t.  But I fought with it.  Grappled with it.

Unneccessarily, perhaps.  Because in the end, it’s feedback and I can do with it what I want.  But that doesn’t stop the sting of someone hating what I’ve created.

I have to remind myself that if I want a career as a writer, there will always be someone who hates what I create.   Many someones. 

This guy gave me feedback that I asked for, and while it isn’t in the warm-fuzzy-learning-joy kind of critique, it’s still a critique with points I can use to better my story.  To the extent he wants?  Probably not.  It’s my story.  I’ll pick.  I’ll choose.  And I’ll learn what I can.

What do YOU do with crits you struggle with, right or wrong?

quiet few days

The writing has been quiet for a few days.  A nasty cold hit too, so I’m glad I finished the Hunter revisions early.  I’m torn now between starting the next revision for Fading Light.  I haven’t received too many crits back (and I hate to be impatient and ask people for crits).  The two crits I received were accurate; I agree with most points made and at this point, I can’t imagine there is too much more to point out.  I’m printing the latest version and the crits I have, and I’ll look at it tomorrow night.  I can at least start marking up the printout and judge how I feel.

I’ve also started market research for Hunter’s Honor and am pleased it fits the criterea for JJA’s Way of the Wizard anthology.   It also fits my favorite fantasy zines, but I’m starting with JJA’s antho.

hunter revisions and the weight of honor

I am so glad I decided to edit this story. Revisions are in full swing and I am loving it. I’m still not sure what the title is, but it’ll come to me before this edit is complete. I thought for a long time that this story was about racism, but the characterized racism stems from a terrible event that ocurred because one man did not act honorably, and someone had to stop him by any means, and did. That’s not honor either, but for a people who respect honor to this degree… well, that’s pretty drastic.

New scenes are going in tonight, and then a full edit/cleanup pass.

what a week

This has been a roller coaster week between the baby boy’s needs (ear infection and cutting two teeth) and the writing success (short story publication). I maybe achieved half the writing time I aimed for, but I supposed that I even made half of it is a win.

Writing agenda this week: Hopefully with the boy feeling better, I can get some regular writing time in. I need need need to finish this short story, and I need to crit for a guy in my group.

violas tonight

Character work tonight, and plotting. I’m putting a lot of time into this, I know, but I want to see what the end result will be or if I am unconsciously procrastinating. Will post update when I have the answer. 😉

there’s a thought

I’ve been using the Think Sideways techniques for novel ideas, but why can’t I use it on my short stories? I’m going to test it out on Violas, possibly tonight….

posted: 7:47 PM, power loss 8:04 PM — proof of Murphy’s existance in my life

September Results/ October Goals

September was a good month as I was able to pull myself back into the writing. I don’t have a lot of completed work, but there are projects in progress that will continue into October. Family stuff may come up mid-month, but hopefully I can work around that. This is the final quarter of the year — time to own up to those goals I made in January. At least, as best I can at this point.

September Results

submissions — 1

acceptance — 1

joined crit group

crits — 2

short story edits — 2 in progress

short story drafts — 1 in progress

novel reading — Game of Thrones, Martin (in progress)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

October Goals

fading light edit

fading light to crit group

fading light final edit

fading light submission (dependent upon lvl of edit needed)

viola first draft

hunter edit

crits – 2+

novel reading

fm pov workshop

Progress

Two crits done today (one was a quickie), and brainstormed on Viola. I’m closer to the science answers, the research helped, but I still need to nail it down.

Wed Eve

Read two stories for crit, brainstormed on the parsec story (too many ideas, I need to focus a bit more), and focused on the Hunter edit. I think I managed to nail down Daymar’s involvement with a pretty neat ending. The story’s come a long long way from its first draft.

Moving Forward Again

Edits are coming along, and I found a critique group to join. Fading Light should be ready to post to the group by next week at the latest. My progress posts won’t be daily, as that would be too boring to type (and for you to read) “I edited” six times a week. 🙂 I’m just excited about the crit group at the moment. I know most of the members (online contacts) and I’ve exchanged crits with several of them over the past few years. I’m excited about critiquing their work too. They always had interesting stories in the past, and I’m sure that hasn’t changed.

Need Groove Back

I slipped away from the writing for a bit, scared off the new novel for some reason. I think I was intimidated by the new characters (which can be fun, challenging, and terrifying all at once!). I need to get the groove back, even if it’s 30 minutes a day. This week, I’m aiming to edit Fading Light, something I know I can do. I’ve got a strange schedule with work, and Mom’s in town, so I anticipate some level of exhaustion, but writing is ON the agenda. SOMETHING every day.

This week

Monday’s lunch break was spent editing Fading Light (1 page).

Tuesday evening’s writing time was spent with the hubby.

Wednesday evening is going to be serious-clean-up-the-house night. Grrr.

Silence

The posting silence means Family took over this weekend, and I had neither the energy nor will to write, but I read. I’ve been reading Think Sideways lessons, and I’ve been reading Game of Thrones.

And I’ve been thinking about my outline, trying to fit my bad guy in, but I realize too that I know who my bad guy was up until the point he committed this particular crime, and he’s angry now, losing control, but who is he when he isn’t this criminal? And yes, this is important because he and his victim know each other. Poor Audrey can’t look at this guys and say it’s him because he looks and acts like a criminal. What fun would that be to read? Besides, even criminals have their own lives and schedules and likes and dislikes. It’s not like they live for each moment they commit these crimes. They grocery shop. They go to the mall. They read the newspaper while sipping their coffee. Ooooh.. and there it is. Thanks for the help. 😉

Novel Planning

I’m at it again. The project is in conjunction with the writing course (How To Think Sideways) by Holly Lisle. I’m in the planning stages of that suspense novel, and should be able to start writing within the next few weeks. I’ve got a temporary title of “Haven” which could of course, change at my next whim. But it’s something. A thing without a name is empty to me. The wrong name is not as bad, but everything needs a name.

Moving Forward

Since I don’t have a lot of time for writing, I decided to focus on just one thing — the writing class. It’s going well, I’m up to lesson five and I’m tweaking concepts I knew and used, but it’s nice to see how far it can go without taking the next ten years to figure it all out myself. The biggest thing I’m learning is how not to kill myself before it matters. I’m leary to discuss actual class details, as Ms. Lisle has worked hard on this course, but suffice to say I’m learning some self control, which may go a long way toward using my writing time more effeciently.

So far I’ve gotten three really cool novel ideas straight from the assignments and can’t wait till the writing can begin. 🙂

Planning

So I signed up for Holly Lisle’s How To Think Sideways writing course, and dropped it when time constraints became too much. I’ve picked it up again, and have been working on the course material. I’m working through lessons three and four simultaneously (they work well that way, at least in my head they do), and I’ve got two solid thriller ideas. (Although I can’t decide if thriller or suspence is the right word, I’ll work that out later).

It looks like my brain was ready to start this up again. I just hope I can hold onto it this time!

She’s Been Patient, But It’s All Over Now

Life’s been crazed, but I can’t ignore the muse. She’s been quiet, yet I can feel her watching me. And when I picked up a Dean Koontz novel this weekend, the first fun reading I’ve done in a very long time, she grabbed me by the neck. “You can write like this,” she told me, “you just need to make the time.” And before she could strangle me, I promised her a half hour a night.

So I’m going to take another look at Holly’s writing class. I’m also thinking about skipping the short story angle and diving into a novel. Something new, something different. If I’m going to start this off right, different could very well cement me into the committment.

January Goals

I’m slowly moving back into Sanity thanks to the little one granting me more sleep these days. 🙂 To that end, I’ve made some January goals and gotten started on them.

Originally, my January goal went like this: “My January goal is to get myself and my family on a schedule to allow myself some writing time. Any writing time. “

I’ve specified some items to get done before the end of the month.

* Review coursework completed for my two writing classes
* Identify and reread my priority projects (short stories in progress and editing)
* Resubmit marketable short stories [DONE – Treischan Strength went out today!]

November/December Break

Superwoman, I am not.
Clones, I have not.
Common sense, I do indeed possess.

So I’ll be on break from writing November and December. My health comes first, and my new baby’s too once he shows up. I’ve got my two year old to still spoil for a little while yet, and holiday shopping to handle. The writing is there, and it will still be there when my brain and body recover. I’ll post if anything comes up (like my rejection from Fantasy, and yes I’m sending that one right back out tonight, just have to decide where the next destination is). Otherwise, I’ll see you in January.

September Results, October Goals

Life has taken over, and my completed goals are not what I had hoped for September. Considering however I spent half the month sick, and the other half playing catch-up at work, and I’m making the final preparations in the house for baby #2’s arrival, it’s no wonder my writing has slipped. I knew it would. I planned for it to do so. I’m also planning to not kill myself in October, and to get it back after recovering from childbirth/newborn feedings. 🙂

September Results

  • Nighthunter’s Bite – progressed but not complete
  • Think Sideways Classes – 2 completed
  • Novels – 2 read

October Goals

  • Think Sideways Classes: 2
  • Adv Fiction (UM): 1
  • Reading

Update

I’m allowing my writing to slip to the side, it’s getting to be that time, I think. I’ve had to reprioritize home/family/health stuff, and I’m okay with that. However, I’m not abandoning writing entirely. No, I know better than that. 🙂

First off, I’m focusing on the classes I’ve signed up for. I can do those with short periods of time without a lot of prep before hand. And not having fifty thousand things to do afterward, the material seems to stick better in my mind, and I find myself reflecting back to what the coursework entailed.

Also, I’m reading. I’ve added George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” to my bookshelf at my husband’s request. We don’t read the same authors, so when he raves about one, I really do need to check it out. I’ve read the prologue, and am intrigued by the characters and how quickly Martin has presented them to me in such distinct identities with only a few pages. I’m going to try and read this one slowly, and absorb what I can.

And finally, I’m focusing on one writing project at a time. Nighthunter’s Bite needs to get written, crappy first draft acceptable. I’ve got images of the chase haunting me, and Maura’s strange power is haunting her, and I’ve got to get her some resolution. She’s been running for two years now, you know. I owe her a rest.

My daily list format worked when I was writing daily. I’ve temporarily dropped my list to a monthly points of what needs my attention. I’m adapting, and that’s good. I know I’ll get my time back in some fashion in the coming months.