Sunday, October 31, 2010

Do Over

I mentioned it on Friday, and it was almost prophetic.  I thought I might have to delete most of the book I started for NaNo, and I was wrong only in the 'most of it' part.  I need to delete all of it and start over fresh. 

So, I guess this means I'll be doing NaNoWriMo by the rules this year.  :shudder:  Rules. 


Don't worry.  Everything will be saved in a file.  I never really delete anything major.  Who knows, I might even be able to use some of those words again.  "Like 'the' and 'you'?" said Husband when I told him my plans.  Yes, folks, I married a smart aleck like myself.  Ain't love grand?  =oD

So, this day before November will be used for mental planning and some major reading.  Tomorrow we begin anew.

Oh, and before I forget...  HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  We have tons of chocolate.  If no kids come by, I'm set for the first week of NaNo.  LOL


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why NaNo?

If you've been reading along, I actually joined the NaNoWriMo site this year, and I'm committed publicly to writing 50K next month.  But, you see, I've already been doing this in my own way for the past few Novembers anyway.  Why? 

My family probably thinks I'm crazy.  Husband looks at me with gentle humor.  Daughter asked me straight out why I was doing this.  (And then added, "So I suppose this means no computer time for me next month.")  So I had to ask myself why I NaNo...

The answer is partly because I think it's important to celebrate this occasion.  Even if you don't do NaNo, if you're a writer, this is your month.  I mean, it's hard enough doing this in solitude - with little to no cause for celebration.  Having a whole month dedicated to writing novels?  Well, it makes up for the long months of writing without a contract, I guess. 

Another part is that writing is my job.  NaNo is my way to preparing for the time when I actually have a book contract and I'm under deadline.  If I can write 50K in November and have it be some kind of cogent story at the end, I know I can produce a book in whatever timeframe a contract would require.  I'm hoping that by taking this month and using it as a faux-deadline, it'll alleviate some of the pressure beforehand.  (Time will tell whether I'm right.)

And the rest?  Well, I guess it's my way of proving - if only to myself - that I can do this.  I can sit down every day and write an average of 1667 words.  I can forgo television when I need to - even if it means missing Grey's Anatomy or NCIS or :gasp: football.  I can prove to myself and maybe to the rest of the world that writing is that important to me - that this isn't a game or a hobby or a pastime.  (Which writing can be mistaken for if you're unpublished and sometimes even when you are published.)

So, if you're on the fence and looking for a good reason to participate, I invite you to use a reason or two of mine.  Jump on board and push yourself to write 50K next month. Or if you don't have time or the urge to actually participate, set a goal of your own and push to hit it.  (Like say, 30K, or promise yourself to write for at least an hour a day, or commit to 500 words a day.  Whatever works for you.) 

One way or another, celebrate National Novel Writing Month, because as a writer, you've earned it.  =o)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekly Update

Not much on the accomplishment list for this week.  I did start my NaNo novel, but I think I have to delete most of it and start over.  Other then that, I sent some queries.  I got some feedback.  I rewrote my query.  Blah blah blah.

Then I went on a pizza binge and now I'm paying the price.  (By the way, make sure you have your Google SafeSearch set to at least moderate when looking for images or you'll get a nasty surprise even searching something innocuous, like cartoons for 'under the weather'.  You don't want to know.  You really don't.  I need cleanser for my eyes.)

Okay, now I'm off to run errands and then collapse on the couch.  I'll be around to moderate comments, but other than that, I'm toast.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Picture Pause - Starvation Reservoir

This is a picture of Starvation Reservoir in Eastern Utah - off Hwy 40 southeast of Park City on the way to Dinosaur National Monument.  The DNM was a nice day trip out of SLC and we got to see this reservoir, too - even if it has a creepy name.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NaNo Pitfall Posts

Last year I did a series of posts on the various pitfalls one could encounter while trying to participate in NaNoWriMo.  Rather than repeat the information or re-post each, I thought I'd just give you all one place with lots of links.  Browse at your leisure.

NaNo Pitfalls -

Pitfall #1 - the urge to go back and read what you've already written.

Pitfall #2 - thinking your NaNo book sucks

Pitfall #3 - worrying about adverbs and dialogue tags in your NaNo book

Pitfall #4 - Why bother finishing when I'm already behind?

Pitfall #5 - Ack! I'm lost!

Pitfall #6 - writing yourself into a corner

Pitfall #7 - Procrastination

Pitfall #8 - the physical wear and tear of writing

Pitfall #9 - pulling it all together when you haven't plotted any of it

Post-Nano - what to do when December rolls around

Can you think of any pitfalls to your own writing that you'd like to share?  Any tips you have to help out your fellow writers?

BTW, I'm signed up at the National Novel Writing Month site as besanderson - feel free to buddy me.  We'll nudge each other along as we go.  =o)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Things to Do Before NaNo Hits

This year I'm planning ahead.  Hell, this year I'm actually participating in the official NaNo website, so I'd better plan ahead.  Last night as I lay in bed, I began running down a list of things I'd better get done now because there's no way in hell I'm going to get them done during NaNoWriMo.

  1. Clean.  Not just a casual tidying, but a full-on clean.  If I don't get this done, December 1st will be an ugly day in the Sanderson household.  Seriously, what color is my carpet?? 
  2. Cook.  Since I write best at night, dinner could suffer if I don't  put away some healthy meals before this thing starts. That's not to say our freezer won't also be filled with TV dinners, but I'd like a few things I can defrost, reheat and serve that won't kill us with sodium or fill us with fat.  Maybe I'll make a massive lasagna.  Those freeze well, don't they?
  3. Warn the family.  With everything going on in Husband's and Daughter's lives, a short reminder is in order.  "Darlings of mine, I will be busy because it is November and I'm writing an entire book this month.  I'll probably also be grouchy, forgetful, distant, grumpy, dopey, sleepy, sneezy...  Wait those are the dwarves..."
  4. Hit the city for some shopping.  Stock up on all the non-perishable things I might need during November...  like shoes.  Wait, I mean toilet paper. 
  5. Plan a writing schedule, so even if I get tripped up by some unexpected event, I can still get my 1667 words in every day.  (And take Tuesday night off to watch Biggest Loser.)
  6. Stock up on valium, gin and NoDoze.  Or maybe just make sure I have plenty of coffee in the house - you know, since I'm allergic to Valium, never drink while I'm writing, and enjoy not having my heart race.
  7. Write future blog posts.  Maybe I'll do a 'best of' for the days when I'm too brain-fried to want to write any extra non-NaNo words.  
  8. Arrange all my pending appointments.  Haircut?  Perhaps.  Dentist?  Maybe.  Oil change?  Check.  Vet appts?  Definitely - Max needs to be winterized.  Or maybe that was the car. 
What am I forgetting?  Is there anything you might want to do before November arrives so you have extra time to write?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Things I Forgo to Write

In the interest of keeping blog topics flowing in a somewhat straight line - and trust me, these things do tie together - I'd like to chat about thing I forgo in order to get my writing done.

- television - I love TV.  In fact, if I gave up more TV, I'd probably have another dozen books by now.  Of course, I'd also be brain-fried. 

- sporting events on TV - This gets its own category because it has its own pull.  I can miss TV on any given day because I know if I miss something I can catch it reruns later.  Sports doesn't have reruns.  It has highlights, but unless it becomes a classic and channel 25 shows it somewhere in the future, I'll never see the whole game.  Last night, I missed Game 6 of the NLCS to write wherein the Giants put the Phillies down.  I'm running out of baseball for this year.  :sniffle:  I also missed flipping from that to the OU / Mizzou game where Mizzou tumbled OU out of first place in the BCS standings.  :sigh:  It's even worse when I'm here typing and Husband is over there talking about the game.  "You've gotta see the replay for this!  Honey, look.  This is great."  Harumphf.

- housework - not a huge pull, but the guilt of a messy house is tremendous some days.  I think the dustbunnies are about to take over.  I can't remember what color my carpet is.  I haven't seen the top of my dresser in weeks because it's piled with clean clothes.  And Kira's bed has enough hair on it to walk on its own. 

- cooking - Sure, my family gets fed, but if it weren't for microwave steam-in-bag (SIB) stuff, they'd be eating sandwiches five nights a week.  Last night, SIB salmon and SIB rice.  I figure last night was training for what'll happen during November.  Tonight, pizza made with store bought crusts.  I can't remember the last time I made pizza crust.  Probably right before my food processor died, when it was still easy.

- reading - Oh, I still read, but not nearly as much as when I'm not writing.  In fact, for a while I couldn't read when I was writing new words.  The way around that was to not read in the genre I'm writing until the book is firmly seated in my head.  For instance, right now I'm writing a new speculative and I'm reading a thriller.  :shrug:  We do what we can.

- the occasional shower - At the risk of grossing everyone out...  Yep, I stink.  I should've showered last night but I was on a roll with the new book.  By the time I wrapped up for the night, it was time for bed and since my bathroom is en suite, I couldn't shower without keeping Husband up.  This morning, I'm grossing myself out.  As soon as he gets out of bed, I'm totally hopping in there. 

-exercise - Okay, so I probably wouldn't actually exercise if I never wrote again.  Still, sitting here for hours at a time is less exercise than I'd get from walking around the house, doing things like... you know... cleaning.

Of course, reading over this, it might seem like I'm writing all the time.  I'm not.  I'm just not good at budgeting my time.  I could've shifted things around and gotten some things done earlier in the day - except then I would've missed the MSU / Northwestern game...  Ah, sports...  But I digress.  If I were more organized, I'd probably wouldn't have to miss some of the things I like.  I wrote for about two hours last night.  I did some planning and organizing in my head during the MSU game, but two hours was how much time I spent on actual writing.

As NaNo approaches, many people will think about writing a novel.  Some will succeed and others will at least try.  A larger segment of the populous won't even begin because they'll tell themselves they don't have the time.  They might be right.  I think it's more likely, though, they haven't made writing a priority.

I know I asked yesterday, but I'm still interested in the answers.  What to you forgo in order to write?  What could you cut out or cut down to make time (or more time) for writing?

** 7 days to NaNo (not counting today)

 *All images deleted to avoid any chance of copyright infringement*

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sacrifice? I Think Not

I've heard it so many times before I couldn't begin to figure out who said it first, but it always goes along the lines of 'If you want to succeed in writing, you have to be willing to make the sacrifice'.  Sometimes they mean sacrificing your time, sometimes they mean sacrificing your activities, a lot of times they mean sacrificing sleep, and sometimes it feels like a sacrifice of one's sanity.

Except for me, it isn't a sacrifice to forgo one activity or another to achieve your goals.  When I take a chunk of time and use it for writing, it's not a sacrifice.  There are a lot of other things I could be doing during that time, but none as important as writing.  When I miss prime time TV so I can write, it's not a sacrifice.  I love my shows, but I love my writing more.  When I lose sleep over a story - either because I'm up late writing or because I'm laying in bed kvetching over it - it's not a sacrifice.  I can sleep another time when things aren't so pressing.  And my sanity?  Well, that's questionable anyway.  LOL  But I can find ways to regain it once the crazy time has passed.

But then again, maybe it's all a matter of perspective.  Personally, if I felt like I had to sacrifice something in order to write, I'd begin to resent the act of writing.  After a while, it would eat at me so much I'd never be able to get the words on the page because the whole time I'd be feeling guilt over what I had to sacrifice to take this time to write.  Maybe that's just me.  Could be that other people view it differently and feel noble that they were willing to make a sacrifice for their art.  :shrug:  I don't get it, but to each his own.

What do you think?  Is giving an hour a day (or whatever time you devote) to writing a sacrifice?  What do you give up in order to write?

** Eight days to NaNoWriMo.  Stay tuned for fun and interesting NaNo related posts.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekly Update

Sorry the blogging's been sporadic this week.  In my defense, I was concentrating on my query letter and work should come first, right?

In other news...

-- I actually did send out a couple submissions last night.  Keep your fingers crossed that this one is the one.

-- I just finished reading Cursor's Fury by Jim Butcher.  It's a long book, which is why it took me longer, but it's also a fast-paced one.  So far, this is my favorite of the series.  Go Mr. Butcher.

-- I probably didn't mention it, but my new camera died.  I sent it off to Nikon via Priority Mail insured.  Just so you all know, neither priority nor insurance means the package can be tracked.  (Even though my postal person said insured could and talked me out of paying for delivery confirmation.)  I found this out after I finally got to a real human being at the toll free USPS number.  Thank goodness Nikon emailed to let me know my camera arrived safely.  Here's hoping it comes back safely and works like a charm.

-- I'm pretty much sick of myself this week.  Could I possibly get any whinier?  (Not online, at least not that I think.  The whining is in my head.)  I think I need a good slap - like in the old movies when the gal is hysterical and the guy snaps her out of it.  :thwap:  Or in that really funny scene on Airplane!* when the passengers line up to slap this one woman.  Maybe I need the old lady with the baseball bat.  I definitely need an attitude adjustment of some kind.

So, what's up with you this week?  Read anything good?  Ever get sick of yourself, or is it just me?

*and for your viewing pleasure, here's that scene...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Too Long

A clear sign I've been at my desk too long.

Thanks again to everyone who chimed in on my query letter.  You were all really helpful.  Plus I got some help from an unexpected source.  So, I should have a viable query letter ready to go shortly.

Right now, I'm going to lie down before I fall down.

(That's just a stock photo, downloaded so long ago, I no longer remember the source.  Suffice it to say, it ain't me.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fresh Eyes, Please

Jo Mayweather’s not a typical gal—even amongst her fellow Djinn.  She hasn’t had to call anyone ‘Master’ since WWII.  Unlike most of her kind, she's got no problem living with humans--which certainly doesn’t help her status with the brethren.  And while most of her kind are either out enjoying eternity or slowly going nuts from it, she spends her immortality helping others gain their freedom, too.  With everything going on in her life, being different doesn’t seem like such a big deal.   
When some creepy Efreet starts killing the Djinn Jo’s supposed to save, her whole bizarre world frays like a cheap sweater.  It’s bad enough she has a killer to catch, but fighting against a conspiracy of silence shouldn’t have to be part of the plan.  Of course, neither should finding out two of her closest friends could be working for a murderer.  Needless to say, the whole situation has her doubting everything she thought she knew about being Djinn.   With her supposedly-immortal brethren dying around her, though, she’s not going to let something like a little lack of knowledge stop her—even if ignorance could get her killed.  Or worse—enslaved again. 

That's the latest incarnation.  I've looked at it so much, my eyes are going squonky.  If this isn't it, I'm at a serious loss. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shoot me now

My query letter is killing me. Yeah, I know. I already wrote it. I feel the need to rewrite it, because it, like, blows. Feel free to shoot me now.

ETA:  I got it.  It took most of the day, on and off, of me beating my head on the desk.  Funny thing was, though, I was taking a nap and the new angle woke me up.  It needed work, but in the end, I really like what I produced.  =o)  

Oh, and I deleted the head-bashing gif.  It was giving me a headache.  ;o)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Love/Hate Relationship

I'm in a love/hate relationship.  No, not with any human.  Not with any living thing for that matter.  Right now I'm in a love/hate relationship with MS Access.

Back in my old OLD life, I built Access databases.  Long story, but the company I worked for did computer consulting and even though I was the office manager, I was the only one who knew Access, so they rented me out.  I love Access and all the wonderful things it can do to make a really nifty, customized database.  Of course, that was 1996.

Flash forward to last night when I finally did what I said I was going to do since May.  I built a database for my agent contact information.  Holy shit.  A lot has changed with the program in 14 years, and truth be told, I've forgotten a lot.  Needless to say, last night was not a fun time.  Husband's enjoyable viewing of the Yankees game was interspersed with my shouts of "Why won't you do that?!" and "WTF?  What do you mean I can't change a linked database?"  or "What the hell are you linked to, dammit?"

Last night, I really hated that damn thing.  Long about the top of the 9th, I backdoored the database and now everything seems to work. It's amazing what you can do once you convince any Microsoft program you don't need them to wipe your nose for you.  Of course, in order to do that, you have to fool the program - which in my case meant transferring all my data into Excel, deleting the one column that was fudging up the process and then importing the Excel file into Access.  

It's really very pretty...  See?

...and all my old ACT! data on dozens of agents is at my fingertips.  Sure, some of the data is old, but the actual data part of a database is easy once you create the structure.  It's creating the structure that makes me want to throw my computer out the window.  Now that I have the structure, I can play with it.  I can reset the User fields to useful things and plug all sorts of data in.  Ooo, and I can create other databases based on this one and link them all together.

heh, i'm such a geek

Even while I was hating Access last night, I was loving it.  It totally got my geek on.  It's been too long since I was a super-geek with mad computer skills.  Now the only thing I can say that the geeks of today can't is...

I still know DOS.  =op

Okay, I'm off to surf around the interwebs and then play with my pretty new toy so I can keep track of all my submission info.  Of course, now that I have this nifty database to keep track of my submissions, I'll probably snag an agent and make the whole thing moot.

I can live with that.
 *All images deleted to avoid any chance of copyright infringement*

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bursting Dam Averted

I was going to write a post about celebrating your accomplishments, but I think this is more important (and related to that topic, so I'm going with it).

Yesterday Daughter and I were working on her college application.  When we got to the part where she lists her extra-curricular activities, we hit a stumbling block.  Being homeschooled doesn't make extra-curricular anything easy, but she does have a couple things.  The big one is her internship at the local office for government aided housing.  We came to the box where it asks for what she does there, and she was all like 'I dunno.  I type, I file, I answer phones'.

Now, I know there's more to it than that.  Her boss has told me on several occasions how awesome Daughter is at her job, how much she's helped with computer stuff, and how she's lightened the load at work.  Plus Daughter herself has talked about all the housing things she's learned - forms and laws and gov't requirements, etc.  She's using jargon I've never even heard.

Anyway, her inability to celebrate her accomplishments pissed me off in a seriously irrational way.  It started with a general irritation that she wasn't even trying to help me help her fill out her application.  Then it turned into pissed about all the things I do for her when I have to pull teeth to get her to help me.  And before I knew it, I was about to burst into tears about all the angsty things in my own writerly life.  (I ain't June Cleaver here.  Daughter jokes about the tell-all book she's going to write someday about her mother and the psychological scars I've inflicted.  Hey, before I left the room to bawl like a baby, I did tell her she wasn't the cause of my mental breakdown.  I get credit for that, right?)

Once I got myself calmed down, she told me about all the angsty things going on in her head, too.  She had herself a good cry, too, and now we both feel better.  And hey, we didn't even have to break out Steel Magnolias.

The point is, we both needed a pressure release.  I'm sending a book out into the world and she's about to step out into the world herself.  With all that water up against the dam, you have to have some kind of outlet or the dam will burst.  Maybe that's why people go postal - because they never vent in healthier ways.

This morning Elana Johnson had an awesome post about her own pressure release.  And while she may have thought she was being 'Bawl Baby Elana', I think she was being healthy.  Everyone needs a good vent every now and then.  Even if it's just ten minutes of beating the hell out of your pillow or sobbing over a scene in a movie.  Or ten pages of a really violent scene where you kill off the prose effigy of someone you hate.

Hell, it's better than shooting up the inside of a school, or beating the crap out of your wife, or kicking the dog.

What do you do when your dam is close to bursting?  Do you even know when you're close, or do you suddenly snowball a simply disagreement into a sobfest?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Floating a Theory

The other day a writer friend of mine hurt herself tripping over her husband's foot.  Another writer friend lost her car in the Walmart parking lot.  This morning, I almost fell off the porch, stepping over Max the cat.  Between the gyrations to stay on the porch and the twisting to not squash kitty-boo, I wrenched several annoying parts of my anatomy.

My theory?  Well, I joked about it with the one who hurt her foot - writers have their brains on loftier things.  I was joking at the time, but the more I think about it, the more I think I might be onto something.

Think about it.  How much time do we spend on any average day with our brains in someplace other than where we are?  I don't know about you, but unless I'm on a break from everything writerly, I should hang a sign on my forehead:  "Out.  Back in fifteen."  Or maybe it should say something more along the lines of "In the back working.  Knock hard." 

So, all I guess I'm saying is if you're in the midst of your own writerly world, try and stay safe out there.

(Oh and because the cartoon place put their information over the words in the cartoon - it's supposed to say Lost and Profound.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Inspiration, I Has It

After god knows how long without writing new words (or at least ones that didn't feel like pure crap), I started something tonight - Djinn Book Two.

:sigh:  Yeah, I know I shouldn't start book two when I just started querying book one, but I couldn't help it.  Inspiration zapped me like a lightning strike.  The whole opening scene played itself out in my head, and as I was writing it down, the whole damn book laid itself wide open.  I don't know all the specifics, but the path is clear, and this is going to be awesome.

As for what inspired me... Well, I read the first couple pages of another author's urban fantasy.  It's not anything like my own.  Hell, there wasn't anything I read in those pages that's even remotely like my lightning strike.  I can't even remember what I read because I no sooner started and my brain went to what the next logical installment of Jo's story should be, and how to accomplish it.

So, thank you so very much to Rob Thurman for just existing.  Of course, now this means that I won't be reading anymore of your novel any time soon - can't mess with the muse, ya know - but rest assured, I'll gobble it up once I have my own story firmly seated in my head and on paper.

Heh, and so much for not starting anything new so close to NaNo.  :shrug:  Oh well.  I guess I'll just participate in my own way again this year. And so much for that speculative that's been rambling around my head since last year.  Maybe I'll have the time and inspiration for that one next spring.

How's inspiration treating you lately?  Ever had a lightning strike?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jumping Off the Cliff

I just finished tweaking my query letter.  I'd post it, but I've got enough self-doubt dragging at me already (as in I tweaked this letter to the point of walking around my house muttering 'round n 'round' over and over).  Tomorrow morning, I send out my first query.  Pray to whatever god you honor for me, okay?

And just for fun, here's how I described the query process to my husband yesterday...

"I'm almost ready to run to the edge of the cliff and jump off.  Here's hoping that this time my parachute opens or someone catches me.  I'm not sure I can take it hitting every branch on the way down again.  You know, crash crash crash crash before I go splat on the pavement."

Hey, he laughed.  :shrug:  I guess you had to be there.  Or maybe you've been there already.  ;o)

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Synopsizing weekend is finally over.  It's done.  Daughter has read it through and provided insight.  At three pages, it's as clear and concise as it's going to get without some major surgery.  Oh, and a full frontal lobotomy for me.

Now I must collapse.


Let The Self-Doubting Phase Begin

Oh, come on.  This phase was bound to happen sooner or later.  Approaching the query process is a sure-fired way to set Self-Doubt off - like some dormant disease, hidden in your genes until some catalyst sparks it into motion. 

What if my plan to keep a few threads loose backfires?
What if it isn't nearly as awesome as I think it is?
What if I can't find an agent who thinks it's awesome?
What if I'm hitting the market at the wrong time... again?
What if people don't find Jo sympathetic?
What if Zeke comes across as irritating instead of charming?
Should I have made Jo's 'front' something more exciting than antiques dealer?
What happens if people don't read far enough to see that the dog and the Bedouin aren't just throwaway characters?
What if they don't like my premise?
What if they don't like my writing?
What if they don't like ME?


The whole thing can seriously paralyze a person.  Geez. I know it used to freeze me up - every time.  Now?  I still feel it, but I try to motor through.  Can't concentrate on it for too long, though, because if I do, I'll feel everything starting to harden until I can't breathe.


Which is probably why I can't seem to get started on my new project.  I let the phase sneak up on me and before I realized it was happening, I'm already frozen.  Damn.  M'selle Self Doubt is a dirty, rotten, stinking, sneaky bitch sometimes.  Pardon me while I go kick the crap out her, and get back to tweaking my synopsis.  Once that's done, I might just write some new words, just to spite her.

Does self-doubt attack you at random times, or does she come on all at once at a particular point in the process?  How do you deal with her?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Synopsizing the TBI Way

What can I say about synopsizing?  I mean, other than I seriously dislike the process.  Well, one thing I can say is that even after writing what feels like a million of the damn things, I can't remember how to do it.  Seriously.  Sometimes my TBI* really messes with me, and this is one of those times.

Writing a synopsis is a learned skill.  Supposedly they get easier with every one you write.  Except when you can't remember how you did it last time.  And it's not like there's a set of instructions lying around for the process.

So, here's the process I eventually settled on - which, oddly enough, is similar to my writing process:

Sit down.
Open a new document.
Begin at the beginning.
Write until you get to the end.
Fix it later.

Yesterday I banged out the synopsis through chapter 20 of the 32 existing chapters.  I haven't looked at what I wrote, but I know it's huge and unwieldy.  As it stands I have 7 double-spaced pages of crap.  The only bright spark to this exercise is I'm not seeing anything wrong with the manuscript itself.  The plot lines are all flowing nicely, and without any tangles to trip a reader.

I'll get the first draft done today and spend the weekend tweaking it into some manageable length.  Monday is for querying.

ETA: It's done.  13 pages of the ugliest mess to ever grace this screen.  :cue music:  I can rebuild it.  I have the technology.  LOL... here's hoping it becomes the six-million dollar synopsis.   ;o)

*TBI = Traumatic Brain Injury

Thursday, October 7, 2010


In all the excitement of finishing DLN, I totally forgot the important step we all should take BEFORE we begin the query process.  Namely...


Yep, time to take a 97 1/2 K novel and boil it down to three pages.  No wonder I forgot.  I was probably repressing this part of the process.  I really don't like it.  If I could get away with not doing it, I would.  (And I tried once before...  Let's just say, laziness never turns out well.)

So, in addition to doing agent research, I'll be working on my synopsis.  Yay.

What are you up to these days?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Okay NOW It's Really Done

No more edits.  No more tweaks.  This puppy is done.

Let the celebrating begin.  ;o)

Tomorrow begins the agent research to make sure nothing has changed since the last time I sent a book into the world.  And then... :drumroll: ... the querying begins.

Wish me luck*.

*Kind of an ironic phrase since the book's about genies.  LOL

 *All images deleted to avoid any chance of copyright infringement*

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

So Close

I'm so close to the end of this, I can almost taste it.  Only two chapters left to go, and I'm too tired to do any more tonight.  Look for the end to this tomorrow, for sure.

:headdesk: ZzzzZZzzzz

Monday, October 4, 2010

Picture Pause - Happiness

Ever remember being quite that happy?  I think I do.  On the day I found out this beautiful person was on the way, on the day I got married, when I finished my first book...  I'm hoping I'll have that face when I finally get an agent and a sale. 

And you know something?  Just looking at that joyful face makes me pretty happy, too.  How could seeing any happy baby not make a person want to smile?  =oD

Have a happy day, wherever you are.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review: An Artificial Night

At the risk of sounding like a broken record about Seanan McGuire, she's my writer crush.  With her latest October Daye novel - An Artificial Night - she nailed it again.

If you aren't familiar with October Daye - or Toby as everyone calls her - she's a private detective working primarily for the Fae.  Not surprising considering she's half-Fae through her mother and when bad things keep happening around her, going into the PI business seems natural.

In this installment, two of her best friends' children disappear from their beds with a third lying in an unshakable sleep.  Of course, she's on the case.  Those kids are like her family and she'd kill for her family.  Too bad she might have to die for them instead.  It isn't long before she learns of other Fae children disappearing, and one human child (the girlfriend of her liege's ward).

Without giving too much away, I'll just say that Seanan has a way of upping the stakes until Toby's truly up shit creek.  But does Toby break?  Oh hell no.  It isn't in her nature.  Sure, she gets tired - who wouldn't - but her unflinching character won't let her give up until she brings those kids home safe and whole.

I love these books - as you might be able to tell.  The writing is awesome enough to make me jealous as hell, and to also inspire me to reach greater heights with my own writing.  The scenes she sets drops me right into where she wants me to be and I love seeing San Francisco through Toby's eyes.  Her characters are sympathetic without being wimpy or whiny.  Her villains are delicious.  And Tybalt - the King of Cats and Toby's frenemy - is drop dead gorgeous and delightfully bad-boy - even when he's saving her life.  (I'm rooting for them to get together eventually.)

So, if you're into urban fantasy, pick up this series - starting with Rosemary and Rue, of course, so you can catch up.  (And pay no attention to bad reviews.  I suspect those people are just jealous.  :grin:)

Disclaimer: I don't know Seanan McGuire and I'm not receiving swag to write a review for her.  :cough:subliminalsendswagmessage:cough:  I just love her writing enough to want everyone to enjoy her, too.  Seriously, you all should know by now, I don't praise things I don't like - no matter whether someone bribes me. :cough:cashwouldbenice:cough:  Seriously, just knowing my friends and followers get to read an awesome book is enough payment for me.  :cough:chocolateworkstoo:cough:


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weakly Update, plus a Rant

It's been one of those weeks.  I started out strong enough, but then my week went weak.  I caught a bug and Tuesday night/Wednesday was a bust.  And then I had my quarterly appointment on Thursday, which I couldn't miss, so that shot Thursday in the ass.  (I can't complain about that day too much.  I got Red Robin and some awesome books.)  Yesterday?  Well, let's just say I bought the next October Daye book on Thursday and leave it at that.  Once I start reading Seanan McGuire's books, I don't do much else.

So, that means in spite of the fact that it's Saturday (aka Hedonistic College Football Orgy Day), I have work to do and I'm intending to work most of the day.  Minus the time I have to take for mowing the lawn and the one football game I can't miss - Wisconsin @ MSU (the only one because they aren't televising Michigan here).  Although, if I'm on a roll, I might have the TV on in the background while I work.

Now, before I get to work, I'd like to pause for a mini-rant - so if you're not in the mood, scroll past. 

:begin rant:

Yesterday evening, I looked out the window just in time to see some guy whip out his little buddy and take a whiz.  In broad daylight and on this busy street.  I did what any justice-loving American would do and called the police to report the guy.  Long story short, I heard later that the officer got into a scuffle and a large crowd of unsavory fellows gathered around shouting things and making aggressive overtures to the officer.  Backup was late arriving and the poor cop was out there alone.  Only through the presence of another public minded person like myself did the officer avoid being beaten into a bloody pulp - or worse.

To all of this, I just have to say WTF.  WTF is wrong with people.  WTF is wrong with the world that one misdemeanor almost escalated to a felony.  And WTF is wrong with me that I felt guilty for doing my civic duty because my one phone call could've gotten that officer killed.  Killed over peeing in public.  For all I know that guy could have something communicable and kids play around here.  :shudder: 

Last night I spent a lot of time searching within myself.  At first, I was all like "I'll never report stuff like that again" and I felt so stupid.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I change who I am because of people like that, they win.  Of course, I'm scared that the guy and his thug friends will find out I'm the one who called.  I woke up expecting to see my car trashed.  Funny, I lived in Flint, MI and wasn't this afraid of the locals.  Now I live in a tiny town and these people scare the crap out of me.  Nice way to live. 

More and more of our world is being taken over by people like that - people who have no respect for others' property, no respect for life, and no respect for the law.  Every time a solid citizen says they aren't going to get involved and turn a blind eye, the bad people get to claim a larger chunk of the world.  At some point, we have to draw a line and say 'You've come this far, but no further'.   

:end rant:

And now that I'm all fired up and feisty, I think I'll go edit some scenes where my MC kicks some evil-doer ass.