Thursday, July 31, 2008

Maybe I will do it this year!

I almost signed up for the 3-day novel contest last year. It costs $50, which is a lot to me, so I didn't enter last year.

This year, though, I really think I'll do it. It'll be an opportunity to do something completely, utterly, 100% different from all the other writing I've done this year and still plan to do. NaNoWriMo helped me develop the world of Charmed Circle (and Evil Outfitters, Ltd. and Jack of All Trades), but I want something radically different for this new project.

I walked downtown to check the mail and get a coke (the coke machine promised me a ginger ale but delivered a Sundrop, so I'm saving it for tomorrow because the last thing I need right now is caffeine), and thought about ways to budget so I could afford the contest this month. Budgeting item #1: I do not actually need a new pair of tennis shoes. After all, I don't play tennis. I also tried to come up with ideas for the book, the main character, the world, the plot. I think I'll decide on a title first, and let the rest flow from there. At least then I'll have a good title. Example of a good title: the 3-day novel contest previous winner that I think I'm going to order, Day Shift Werewolf (by Jan Underwood).

Right now I can't get into a project--my interest in continuing White Rose flickered, and I've just been pecking here and there at other projects. I think I just need to recover after the hugely productive last few months. I hereby give myself permission not to write any damn thing at all (except an outline) until the 3-day novel contest starts.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bad Mood

Grumpiness abounds at my house. My paycheck came, which ought to have delighted me--and did, this morning, when I checked my bank balance and saw that I could, you know, buy gas this morning instead of hoping I had enough in the tank to get me to work.

But this evening has been a series of irritations calculated to send me into a tizzy of annoyance. First I couldn't find my bank's routing number when I was trying to pay bills over the phone. Then I realized I'm still out of stamps. Then I went to Walmart (bleah) to get money orders and a few groceries; I got the money orders (and was annoyed that that particular Walmart doesn't sell stamps), but the cat litter I always buy has not been restocked after over a week and they were out of skim milk in half-gallon jugs. What the hell? I thought about running out to the Clinton post office to buy stamps from their machine (because our local post office doesn't have a stamp machine), but decided I can't really justify the gas when I can borrow stamps from Mom tomorrow and replace them this weekend; so that meant I also couldn't justify getting something to eat at the Chinese restaurant also in Clinton. I went to Wendy's instead, and the fries were burnt and so was the burger.

And so on, until I am damn well ready to just go to bed right now and give up. Oh, and You need to fix your damn comments, because they don't work and it is REALLY ANNOYING.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Because I have no ideas of my own...

I grabbed this one from Catherine J. Gardner, because it saves me from having to think up something to blog today and also it looked like fun.

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes, yum!
2. Have you ever smoked? No
3. Do you own a gun? No
4. What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite? KoolAid revolts me. I guess I like lemonade flavor if I have to drink it.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? I only go to the doctor when I am so sick I want to die. But I still get nervous.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Hot dogs are revolting. Just like Kool Aid.
7. Favorite Christmas movie? I guess A Christmas Story.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Tea.
9. Can you do push ups? I could probably do one, but why would I want to?
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My gold ring set with a garnet and four tiny diamonds.
11. Favorite hobby? Writing, I guess. Because I do it more often than handspinning.
12. Do you have A.D.D. ? No.
13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? Yes. Glasses at the moment; when I can afford it I plan to get contacts again.
14.Middle name? Elizabeth
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? I ate too much tonight. My feet are cold. I should be in the shower right now instead of blogging.
Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Tea, Coke, ginger ale
17. Current worry? Will my paycheck come in time so I can pay the rent without being late?
18. Current hate right now? How much I ate for supper.
19. Favorite place to be? Does it have to be a real place? My favorite place used to be the Atlanta Bread Company in Turkey Creek on a Saturday morning when I didn't have anything else to do except write and nothing to worry about. But they closed. So I guess my favorite place is my hometown, where I live now. :)
20. How did you bring in the new year? I think I was asleep.
21. Where would you like to go? Scotland, Ireland, and Texas. To see where my people come from.
22. Name three people who will complete this? Ffft. Maybe my mom.
23. Do you own slippers? Yes, my sister-in-law gave me an adorable blue pair with monkeys on them.
24 What shirt are you wearing? I've got a nightgown on at the moment.
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No. I want 300+ count 100% cotton and nothing else. Except maybe equally high quality linen.
26. Can you whistle? Sort of.
27. Favorite color? Red! Redredred.
28. Would you be a pirate? Maybe for a little while. It might get boring.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't sing in the shower, actually.
30. Favorite Girl's Name? Elizabeth
31. Favorite boy's name? Christopher
32. What's in your pocket right now? No pockets in my nightgown.
33. Last thing that made you laugh? A Geico commercial, I'm embarrassed to admit.
34. What vehicle do you drive? A black 2007 Toyota Yaris.
35. Worst injury you've ever had? I was bitten by a dog on my right hand and left wrist when I was in high school. The nerve damage in my left hand fortunately repaired itself after about six months.
36. Do you love where you live? Yes. I wish I lived a little farther out in the country, though, and had some land so I could keep goats and chickens.
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? One.

Monday, July 28, 2008

More planning

I think I'm ready to plunge back in and finish White Rose. I didn't finish the scene I started yesterday, but I'm partway through and it's whetted my appetite for the project. Thank gawd, too! I hate not having something to work on.

After White Rose, I'll work on Charmed Circle. That means I have to finish White Rose as soon as possible, to get it out of the way so I have lots of time to recharge and research before November. Can't wait for Nano!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Disgusting way to plot

Jasper the Newfoundland got me up at 5:30 am to go out, and when I let him back in and got into bed, I smelled something nasty. So I turned on the lights and discovered--apologies if you're eating--that I'd stepped in cat poo and it was now all over the sheets. So I had the fun fun fun of cleaning everything up in the gray pre-dawn light, changing the sheets, taking a shower, changing into a clean nightgown. And then I couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up and checked my email and surfed a bit before returning to bed.

While I was lying there, cursing both the dog and the cats, I started thinking about White Rose. And I figured out how to extricate Rose from her predicament without it seeming too cheesy. I haven't written the scene yet--it's been a busy day--but I'm about to do that now.

I should thank my cat Vincent (Angel would never have left the litter box with a piece of poo stuck to her fur, but Vincent's a slob). No, actually, I do not intend to thank Vincent for making me clean the damn house at 5:30 in the morning on a Sunday. No matter what the outcome.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

2,000 words!

I did it! I cut 750 words from a 2,750 word story and I don't think I lost anything! Well, except the main character's attitude, which frankly I never liked very much--she came across as kind of snarky. I took all that out and I actually think it's a better story as a result.

Now I just have to wait for the Cinema Spec submissions period to open. Ten days!

ETA: And I just realized I have a second story that features a movie as part of the plot. And it's already under 2,000 words. Of course, no editor has liked that story enough to buy it--but it can't hurt to try.

FinePrint on eReaders

The new blog for FinePrint Lit Agency is up, and Peter Rubie has a stupendous post about ereaders and ebooks. I've read a lot of posts about the subject, but I think this is the first that nails every single concern I've had about ereaders. I'm afraid I left a slobberingly adoring comment, but I really am impressed.

I'm looking forward to the next generation of ereaders. Sony's taken a step in the right direction by making their reader DRM-free. Now they just need to drop the price so more people can afford it.

I really do predict a huge explosion in ebook sales in the next few years. All we need is a really good reader to hit the market. I want one, but it needs to be better-designed than the ones available now, and more open too.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Movie anthology

Duotrope reports that Raven Electrick is about to open for another anthology, this one called Cinema Spec. I tried to get into their Sporty Spec antho last year without luck (although I did later sell both stories to Every Day Fiction). This year I've got to get into Cinema Spec. I'm all about movies.

They take reprints, and as it happens I have a story available that fits the theme. At lunch today I opened it up to see if I could trim it down to the requisite 2,000 words. I thought it was 2,200 words or so. Turns out it's 2,750 words.

Hmm. Trim almost a third of the story's length without losing the flow, the plot, or the characterization? A CHALLENGE!

I've gone over the story four times now. It's down to 2,300 words and I'm getting close to the bone. Dammit, I will get this thing down to 2,000.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I've written 3,500 words in the new and as-yet-untitled book (I have it saved as "four" since it's the fourth in the series), but it's not the first 3,500 words. I've been jumping from high point to high point, writing a bit here and a bit there. I suppose I can link the scenes up later, but I suspect I'll have a lot of rewriting to do.

I didn't used to skip ahead. I still don't, except with the weredeer novels. I wrote a small scene for book three when I had just started work on book two, and after that it's as if I'd given myself permission to jump around. I think it's because I know these characters and this world so well, and I know what's going to happen in future books; I want to hurry and get to the good stuff. It's sort of like making quilt squares; but eventually I have to sew all the squares together and hope I got all the sizes and colors right.

I don't quilt, actually. But hopefully my analogy wasn't too off, for those of you who do quilt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Marshmallows good.

The second I hit "new post," all coherent thought flies from my mind and I'm left with nothing deeper than "Marshmallows good" and "Me sleepy." Then I type up something about how I was busy at work, or not, and got some writing done, or not, and plan to do some different writing soon, or not.

Or I complain about how long it's taking editors to send me rejections, or acceptances, or contracts, or little encouraging notes.

So basically, nothing is going on in my life right now that is worth sharing with anyone, even myself, because lately my blog has been boring me silly.


*thinks thinks thinks*

Marshmallows are not actually very good at all. Raspberry flavored ginger ale is, though.

Monday, July 21, 2008

decisions, decisions

I'm not sure what project I should be working on right now. The fourth Weredeer book is intriguing--and in fact I did write a big chunk of a key scene at work today--but it needs more work before I can put a full outline together right now. I have the first half outlined, but it sort of falls apart after that. White Rose is stuck at a tricky juncture. I left poor Rose hiding from a magical monster and I'm not sure how to extricate her from her peril without pulling a deus ex machina.

Maybe I'll do my Charmed Circle outlining early. I intend to make that book a real showcase for my writing--good enough to snag an agent--and it's going to need a good bit of research. If I rough out the outline and characters now, I can concentrate on the research over the next few months. I plan to actually write it during November (during NaNo).

It's either that or go back to those two dreary short stories.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More exciting than a movie

Mom and I saw the new Batman today. It was about an hour too long, and Christian Bale is just as dull as I remember from the first Batman he was in (which I didn't like), and the plot consists of "Saw" type decisions one after another, and the special effects aren't even any fun. The only saving grace is Heath Ledger as The Joker, who was brilliant far beyond what this movie deserved.

Anyway, we were almost home when I noticed a lot of dust hanging in the air on the edge of the road. Then I realized a car had veered off the road and was bouncing over driveways and flattening bushes and signs, and then--about the time I started saying to Mom, "What on earth is going on?"--the car rammed into a telephone pole and stopped with its hood all crumpled.

As we passed the wreck, we looked over and saw the driver, an older man. He was sitting up with his eyes fixed and his face blank and gray. We think he must have had a heart attack and was probably dead before his car wrecked. Mom stopped and I called 911, and several other people stopped too and rushed over to try and help.

We left, not wanting to gawk, and there wasn't anything we could do anyway. But by the time Mom swung me by my house to drop me off, we were over our shock and dismay. I let the dog out and gave him fresh water, and then got back in Mom's car so we could go out to McDonald's to get hot fudge sundaes, and incidentally drive past the wreck scene to see what was going on.

We saw an ambulance and fire truck and three police cars (this is a very small town--three police cars show up if someone complains about a stray dog). And when we left McDonald's we saw the ambulance drive by. Its lights and sirens were not on. It didn't need to hurry.

All the sound and fury of Batman, and one sad, not unusual event trumps it. If Heath Ledger wasn't dead himself, poor guy, his performance as The Joker would still be perceived as excellent, but not quite so perfect as it seems now. Story is all about character, but so is real life.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Better Beginnings

I'm only about 2,000 words into my new project, and I'm already rewriting it. The original first paragraph of the still-unnamed project is this one: "Autumn, crisp and thrilling, had swept the sullen summer heat away at last. It was the end of September; a rich blue sky arched above ridges ablaze with golds and reds, and the air was so clear that colors seemed bright and clean--as though the whole world had been washed overnight."

Okay, not only is that way way too wordy and full of adjectives, it's also no way to start a book. Here, in contrast, is the first paragraph as rewritten by me this morning: "Gabe had fallen. He'd fallen down the stairs."

It's not perfect, but it's sure a lot more interesting.

Now I'm leaving for the Weird Al concert, so while you're full of jealousy this evening wishing you were with me, you can just think about how all writing is really rewriting.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The perfect injury

I've decided that yellow jacket stings are the perfect injury. I've got two, one on my left inner ankle and one on my right lower calf. Both have swelled prettily, although not so much that they look bizarre, and both itch and ache just enough that I can feel genuinely sorry for myself. Walking really does make the swelling and pain worse, which means I can lie in bed reading without feeling a bit guilty; but they don't interfere with normal activities to a great degree.

That means I can't go for a brisk two-mile walk tonight, and instead I have to lie around eating bridge mix and watching Outlaw Star. But I can definitely go see Weird Al Yankovic tomorrow night!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nature always wins.

I saw Hellboy 2 this afternoon, and when I got home I decided it was high time I mowed the lawn. While I mowed, I thought about what a great premise the movie had and how little it did with it. It's about an elf prince who wants to Destroy All Humans because we keep building parking lots and housing developments in the wilderness places that belong to the fairy folk. Hellboy and his pals have to stop him, but of course the prince has a darn good point, and also the fairy folk don't think Hellboy is ugly. So you'd think Hellboy would spend a little more time thinking this over before beating up the elf prince. Sorry, spoiler there.

So I was thinking about all this, and wondering if I could use the theme myself; and I had just decided that I couldn't, because I was so solidly on the side of nature that I'd have let the elf prince win and kill everyone, when I mowed over a yellow jacket nest.

Stupid nature.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

waste of time

I finished rereading The Weredeer for a final (probably) line edit. It holds up well. I think I'll reread Stag at Bay next to see how the rewrite holds up now that a few months have passed. And I've started writing the fourth book, as yet untitled. See what I mean about not being able to let these characters go?

It's been a crazy long week already. I plan to head to bed here in about an hour, if I can manage to do something about the gigantic fly that's been flying hysterically around the house for an hour, buzzing loudly and making the cats fling themselves into the air like acrobats.

Monday, July 14, 2008

short stories or novels

I had to proctor placement tests all day today--I didn't get home until a little after 10pm--and of course while I proctor I can't do anything else. I tried to think about the short stories I'm working on (two of them now, although they're so similar I think one's going to get the chop soon).

But neither story interested me enough to spend brain time on. Instead my attention kept getting pulled to the next Weredeer novel, dammit. So I gave in and thought about it, and I have it half plotted now. I think I'm just going to give in and start writing it.

I love immersing myself in a novel, both to read and to write. Short stories don't interest me as much because they don't offer the same scope for character growth and detail that I do so love. And I'm not as good at writing short stories--the skills needed for short stories are different from those needed for novels, and I'm definitely a novelist. The only reason I really bother with short stories is because I can sell them so quickly (usually), and I loves me that instant gratification.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Welcome to the Knotted Thicket. Maybe.

I changed my blog title and template and stuff. I'm not sure if I like it. It's not green enough, really. I liked my old template because it was so soothingly bluuuue.

I just discovered that The Baby Name Wizard, a book by Laura Wattenberg which is absolutely indispensible for writers, has a blog! I've linked to it on the sidebar.

I couldn't get to sleep last night (20 fl oz of Coca-Cola right before bed will do that), so after tossing and turning for almost two hours I got up and finished the book I was reading (Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers--one of her best). When I went back to bed about 2am, I still couldn't drop off. The only way I managed to lull myself to sleep was by mentally writing the first scene of the next Weredeer novel, and this led to...

I dreamed about those characters! YES! For possibly the first time, I dreamed about my favorite characters, Kristof, Gabe, and Linnet. Yes, in my dream I was writing the scene and even had writing narration over the action, but they were still there. And interestingly enough, part of the dream was told from Linnet's POV and part of it from Gabe's, when the books themselves are actually all told from Kristof's POV, and first person at that.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No one remembers poor A.E. Coppard

In thinking up a new title for my blog, since Noisy Typewriter is just stupid, I keep coming back to the poem "Forester's Song" by A.E. Coppard. It contains the lines:

There are thorns on yonder mountain,
An olive on the crag,
And I leave a knotted thicket
As a chamber for the stag

It's a lovely little poem and I'd quote the whole thing, but it's not in the public domain yet (I think it was first published in the 1940s).

Would "The Knotted Thicket" be a stupid blog title? I'm not, you know, trying to find a stupid blog title. I just seem to luck into stupidity. I can't think of anything else. I'm terrible at titles, even for blogs.

No one would get the reference, of course. No one reads A.E. Coppard, and those who do happen to read A.E. Coppard probably don't remember this one little poem he wrote about trees. Hell, I don't even read A.E. Coppard. I'm not sure where I found the poem, but I wrote it down years ago and I like it--and more to the point, it's pretty much the only poem I can find that mentions a stag. Well, except John Davidson's "The Runnable Stag," which is about a hunt where in the end the stag throws himself into the sea to drown instead of being caught. That's not really the tone I'm after.

Edit: The old no-paragraphs problem has reared its head again. I think it comes from using the quote function in this case. Hopefully I fixed it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ding! Round one is over.

I promise this is my last post today.

I just finished the first set of revisions to Stag in Velvet. All the major problems have been sorted out, although I'm sure I'll see new problems when I come back to reread it in a few months. But for now, I'm happy with it.

I ended up writing a short final chapter to wrap up a few things--only about 1,000 words, but that means the final word count is about 133,500. That is a long honkin novel. I'm hoping I'll be able to do some serious trimming on the next round of revisions. Then again, it's the most ambitious and involved novel I've written; maybe it just needs all those words.

I'm sad to be leaving those characters behind, even for a while. I absolutely adore them. But I've got ideas churning for the next book already, and I'm sure that I'll start sketching it out soon enough. For now, my writing schedule stands thusly: write the short story I'm thinking about; finish White Rose; write Charmed Circle for NaNo 2008. That's hardly 100,000 words all told, even if White Rose turns out to be pretty long (which it may--it's an Epic Fantasy in the corny tradition). For someone who just wrote a big chunk of a 133,000 word novel in about a month, 100,000 words in six months is NOTHING.

Writing-inspired food

I went to the grocery store today, mostly as an excuse to use my new bright blue umbrella (with white polka-dots!). While I was wandering through the produce department, it occurred to me that I almost never eat the same kinds of foods I write about.

The main character, Kristof, in my weredeer novels talks a lot about food. It's a character trait, but it's also a good way to describe different cultures (useful in a fantasy novel). Kristof's family eats a lot of vegetables and fruits, which I often describe in loving detail. But I don't eat that kind of thing very often.

So I spent way too much today on various fruits and vegetables, and when I got home I was sort of stumped as to how to use them. So I invented a recipe I was going to name "what hath god wrought stew," but it actually turned out good. So I renamed it "summer stew" and here it is:

about 1 lb. beef, cut up
2 leftover BBQ smoked porkchops, cut up small (when I make this recipe again, I'll use cajun andouille sausage and make this into a proper gumbo)
1 onion, diced
3 or 4 garlic cloves, diced
1 can tomatoes-okra-and-corn (Glory is the brand I bought)
3/4 lb. okra, washed and cut up
several carrots, scraped and cut up
a few young yellow squash, washed and cut up
celery salt, salt, black pepper
lemon juice

Put beef (unbrowned), pork, onion, garlic, celery salt, and pepper in a big pot. Drain tomatoes-okra-and-corn into the pot, but do not add the canned vegetables themselves yet. Add water to cover and simmer uncovered for about an hour.

Add the canned vegetables now, as well as the okra and carrots. When the carrots are tender, add squash and more seasonings. Simmer until the squash is tender. Add a generous squirt of lemon juice--I guess I got about a Tbsp from my lemon, without trying too hard.

If you aren't a fierce lover of okra like me, you could reduce the amount of okra and substitute more squash and/or carrots instead. And you could add zucchini if you want. If I'd had celery I would have added it too with the squash. Instead of the canned vegetables, fresh or frozen corn and diced tomatoes would have worked (even I admit the extra okra was unnecessary). And diced green peppers would have given it more zing--or hotter peppers. I would have experimented with cayennes if any of mine were ripe yet. Next time. The great thing about stews/soups is that pretty much anything goes, and summer vegetables are all lucious and delightful anyway.

Peaches for dessert!

I'm all about name changes

It's raining raining raining. I love it.

I have alphabetized my links list. First is my website, of course (which I updated in a few tiny, unimportant ways) and then three markets. Then two agents whose blogs are entertaining. Then a few sort of writing-related sites I like. Then we come to my ever-growing list of blogs I read, some of them fellow writers, some of them just people whose blogs I've come across and find amusing or interesting or fun. And then Mr. Typewriter, because they gave me permission to use a picture of one of their typewriters on my blog. I apologize for linking to a site that plays music, but what can you do?

I'm thinking of changing my blog's name. Noisy Typewriter is pretty stupid. I mean, it's not like I write political commentary or anything. I'd like it to relate to my writing a little better, or at least be fantasy-related, but I can't think of anything that's even dumber than Noisy Typewriter. I'd appreciate any suggestions, no matter how silly, because they might spark a better idea.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An idea is not a plot

I've now cut about 5,000 words from Stag in Velvet, and it seems to be holding together on the reread. I still see a lot of stuff that needs to be changed, but after this round of revisions I'll set it aside to age a little.

I started a new story yesterday. Well, I have two paragraphs of a new story written, but that doesn't sound as impressive. I don't really know where the story's headed; I just have two characters and a situation and that's about it. Once I finish with the Stag in Velvet revisions tomorrow, I'm going to focus hard on the story. It has promise.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Not as much cutting as I'd like

I've cut only 4,000 words from Stag in Velvet so far, and I'm a third of the way in. Dammit, I was hoping to trim it more than this. But I do think I've quickened the pace a little, and of course this is just the first go-through.

I can't do these revisions at work--I have to be in front of the computer, because I'm moving stuff around in the document. So what on earth am I going to do tomorrow when I have down time and a notebook with empty pages? I guess I'll have to work on a short story to tide me over--I don't want to plunge back into White Rose until these revisions are done.

I do have a good idea for a short story, but I haven't thought it through as far as a plot and setting and things like that. I guess I'll have to figure out a plot real fast.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cut cut cut!

I got started on Stag in Velvet revisions today. I'd forgotten that I'd already trimmed a lot of the excess in the beginning of the book, so I didn't get a chance to make the truly drastic cuts I'd been looking forward to. I've only cut 3,000 words so far, although I do plan to take a really hard look at chapter four tomorrow. It's far too long and it's got an awful lot of description. I don't like description--it slows down the pacing--and I think I can get rid of at least some of it.

I didn't realize I'd been irritable the last several days, until this morning when I woke up serene and happy. Instead of yelling at the cat to for gawd's sake shut UP so I can concentrate, I went to see what she needed; instead of complaining to the dog that I just let him out fifteen minutes ago, I just opened the door for him and made sure he had water in his bowl. Apparently, working on the very end of a book makes me tetchy, and finishing a book makes me happy. Makes sense.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The End!

I have been writing all afternoon and evening, and I have finished Stag in Velvet. Well, I've finished the rough draft--and it is very rough. It's also 138,000 words long!

I'll start the initial revisions tomorrow while they're still fresh in my mind, and hopefully get the bulk of them worked out. I need to do the following, at minimum:

Rewrite the opening, because it all starts with the actions of a character who would not actually act that way.

Trim at least 10,000 words from the first part of the book, because the plot changed so radically since I started it that most of the first part is unnecessary.

Drop in foreshadowing of the murder mystery that ended up being much more important than it was supposed to.

Take out foreshadowing of two subplots that didn't actually come to fruition.

Trim at least 5,000 words from the section of the characters traveling, because it didn't turn out to be as important as I originally intended.

Go back and rewrite scenes where the character I added late in the plot needs to be included.

Either cut the scene that was supposed to be the book's last or work it in earlier.

Change most of the scenes where the main character bursts into tears, because just because I'm sitting here weeping gently while I type doesn't mean it's actually all that agonizing, and the more tears my characters leak, the less impact it has on the reader.

Friday, July 4, 2008

bake sale goodness

I hope all of you in the U.S. had a good Fourth of July, and all of you not in the U.S. had a pleasant Friday. I went to the bake sales this morning and bought brownies and zucchini bread and M&M cookies, and this afternoon Mom came over and I grilled hamburgers and corn on the cob, and for dessert we had a blackberry pie I made instead of cobbler. In between, I wrote and wrote and wrote. I'm still not done, but I'm getting really close. Our Hero is about to be rescued, at which point he'll go after the bad guy and then the book will FINALLY end.

After supper, Mom and I walked down by the river and talked. She asked me the title of the book I was working on, and when I told her it's called Stag in Velvet, she said instantly, "That sounds like a porn movie or something." Thanks, Mom! Just for that, I'm eating all of the zucchini bread myself!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I stayed up way, way too late last night writing. It was past two by the time I got to sleep, but I finished the masquerade scene. Tonight I've been working on its aftermath, but I need to step up the pace and not let it flag too much. I still have a lot of ground to cover before I'm done.

Trouble is, I really am in uncharted territory now. I know what needs to happen, but I'm still not sure how to arrange it so that all the characters are where they should be. The action is so complicated, with so many characters, that I'm seriously thinking about a flowchart.

It'll have to wait until tomorrow, though. I'm worn out and I've had a headache all afternoon. Time for bed, and in the morning I'll hit the Fourth of July bake sales with my mom and then come home to write until the fireworks start.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Six month round-up

I just realized we're halfway through the year. Oh geez. I don't think I've met any of my new year's resolutions yet.

Here were my resolutions. Let's see how I'm doing with them:

Sell a novel or novella
Make my first pro sale
Make at least four other sales
Write two novellas and a novel
Write at least four short stories
Finish revisions for Stag in Balance and Jack of All Trades
Finish writing Stag in Velvet

Okay, it's not as bad as I thought. No novel/novella sales, no pro sales, but I've sold four stories. I've written no novellas or novels but I did finish revisions for Jack of All Trades, and revisions for Stag in Balance (now titled Stag at Bay) only need minor tinkering. And I'll have Stag in Velvet finished in a few days. Oh, and I've written nine stories, although some of those are flash pieces and I don't really think they count.

For June alone, I sent out six submissions and received three rejections and no acceptances. I have twelve stories/novels out right now and Duotrope has six of them listed as red. Two of those are novels (both requested fulls), two are stories being held for further consideration. I am getting impatient, editors.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I'm still stuck in the masquerade scene. It is a pivotal point in the book and a lot longer than I intended--just like the rest of the book is--but it shouldn't be taking me this freaking long to finish it. I should have the whole book finished by now.

Part of the problem is my work schedule. It turns out I'm off Thursday through Sunday--I don't have to work at all Saturday!--but that means I have an awful lot to do before the end of tomorrow. I didn't get home from work until after ten last night, and not until after eight tonight, and I do have other stuff I need to do besides write. I think cleaning the kitchen might take three of the four days I have off, for one thing.

I'm going to finish Stag in Velvet by Sunday night, though. One way or another, I'll type THE END before midnight on July 6, just see if I don't.