Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Sum Up Type Post Thingy

It's officially December 31st... very, very early on the last day of the year. I just realized, we're not only on the cusp of a new year, but of a new decade! This last year sucked financially, with my work hours cut, but I tried to seize the time and write more. All in all, the last 10 years have been better than the 10 years before that... and I have great hopes for the 10 years ahead.

I've already listed my goals for 2010 in a blog post farther down the page (copied to a sidebar now). I thought I was being ambitious, but when I admired another writer's goals, she said she was going to start writing as if it were her day job. I want to embrace that attitude. I've gotten the whole "BIC" thing down, and the next big thing: submitting my work to an agent. That means submitting my work to a beta reader! I keep writing all these books... and they never get read by anyone. So there's another obstacle - finding reliable betas who can scrape me over the coals... and of course, actually getting books edited to the point they get to a beta at all! (There are about 4 of you on the list for April! You know who you are!) I hope I've got my karma well in line - I've done some beta-ing for other folks. I've enjoyed doing it, and I'm surprised to find *blushes* I'm rather good at it. It's incredible how much reading other people's work helps me with my own. So, have you beta'd? If not, you need to think about it.

I think I'll end this rambling thing with a shout out to my AW peeps. I've learned so much from Absolute Write and the mad conglomeration of folks therein, I don't know how to put it into words. I've joined other boards in the past, and I've joined other boards since, but I never quite "clicked" - I never made friends or got to know people. Being a social-waste-of-space in real life, I figured I was so anti-social I couldn't even make friends on the internetz. That's depressing, seeing as how message boards are the last bastion of inclusion for the geek and the socially awkward. Joining AW has proved to me: it's wasn't me. It was them all along!! I've found a place to have fun, be held accountable and learn. Sorry guys... I think you are stuck with me.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Three Possibles

It is far, far too early to be worried about it, but just for kicks and giggles, I will list the ideas behind the "Three Possibles" for the books to be written in June/July and Nov/Dec.

The Road Dogs: I've already started this by a few thousand words. It is actually part of a larger idea about immortal beings, set out to right wrongs and balance out the peril to the good. The Good generally gets screwed in the universal balance, I've noticed. Anyway. My "Road Dogs" are former bad guys from the Wild Wild West, who died, yearning for redemption. They were given the chance to achieve it. They are on a road, a road that leads from troubled places, to more troubled places. Only now, something is following them. The heroes are now in need of rescuing themselves, and have to fight for their own survival. Or, has their road come to an end, and their redemption end in death?

Race Across Doomed Flats: I wrote a few chapters of this about a year ago. I got up in the middle of the night and banged out 10K in a few hours. A young man, who came from a broken home, has lost the people that took the place of his natural parents. Unable to handle the idea of starting over, he hires himself out to the highest bidder, and will enter the Race Across Doomed Flats in their name. The winner of the Race names his prize, but losing the race isn't the worst that can happen. Half of those that enter never finish, and are never heard from again.

The Last Unicorn Hunter: For centuries, Unicorn Hunters have lived solitary lives, roaming the forests and glens collecting the gifts of the unicorns. The unicorns are growing rare, and with so much money to be made from even a single hair, those without the Unicorn Hunters magical abilities have started hunting them, slaughtering them. Now, the forest, their home and haven, has begun to decay and grow dangerous. One of the most respected Hunters fears these rogues are killing or enslaving other Hunters, and their true motive isn't money. He surmises they aren't human, but demons once banished by the magic of the unicorns. With wizards and healers caught up in the web of politics and benefitting from the lower price of magical materials, he realizes the Hunters are on their own, to save the Unicorns, return the balance to the forest and banish an ancient threat.

I tried to write the last one in high school, and my Unicorn Hunter was like a Mad Max, and sneered and spit into the fire a lot. Ah, the folly of youth.

All of these have been started in some way, and two of them will be completed this year. I'm excited about all of them. Anyone have a preference?

Oh, I know there are those afraid of letting their precious jewels out in the light, for fear of having them stolen. I assure you, there are better ideas than mine to steal, and besides, they might steal my idea, but the heart of it would never truly be theirs.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Packing Up

Funny thing, this finishing The Spiritcaster. I didn't realize, moving on to the new year and the new book meant that after two years, I am packing up and leaving behind the world of the Dragongar.

It's an empty feeling.

I hadn't realized that would be happening. Not until today. I thought I'd move my computer over and angle it. Then I was making room for my new note cards (for my awesome new characters) and realized those half-edited manuscripts sitting on the desk shelves could be gotten out of the way. Then my eye fell on the box with all the Dragongar character cards. There's no need for that to be cluttering up the desk now, is there?


I don't know whether to consider the first two books of the trilogy "trunked" or not. I hate to admit that I see no reason to complete the third book if Spiritcaster doesn't sell. I hope that if I have the discipline to finish my books as scheduled, I'll have time to enter the edits on the Dragongar books a page or two or three at a time... I love the world and the characters, and the story, and I hope they see the light of day, not to mention a shelf somewhere, other than the ones at the side of my desk. I guess time will tell. Still, today, the day after, has been a little bitter sweet.

The Spiritcaster and Goals for Next Year

Greetings, minions. Mama is finally checking in.

I am proud to announce that my first stand alone book in the world of the Dragongar, The Spiritcaster, is finished. (big sigh!) As I have said several times today, there is little that is more satisfying then finishing a piece of novel length fiction. It's easily the best and most satisfying thing I've ever written. This ended up at 103K, and was written in less then two months. 40 writing days, according to the careful stats I kept on my progress. It also ended up being the longest, and I thought it would be the shortest. The other novels? Each took about 8 or 9 months.


I think I have WriMo-itis. I engaged myself in the noble pursuit of 50K during the month of November (NaNoWriMo) and won handily in 22 days. Then continued on with NaNoFiMo to finish. Thanks to the NaNoWriMo sight, I also found JaNoWriMo and WriDaNoJu (Write a Damn Novel in June). I've planned my next years writing goals around these WriMo's.

Here are my goals for next year:

Jan and Feb
Write The Endways of the Gods: a multidimensional fantasy/sci fi mix

NaNoEdMo: edit The Spiritcaster

Finish the last 10k or so on a book called The Rabid Horses of Valdor
a fantasy/romance type deal
Also: hoping to have Spiritcaster out to betas

Work on edits to Spiritcaster, synopsis and query

June and July
Write a book to be decided, there are 3 possibles

Edit Endways of the Gods

Edit Rabid Horses of Valdor

Edit whatever won the June/July book idea

Nov and December
Write one of the two that didn't win the June/July race

Have you turned your eye toward next year yet?

Monday, December 7, 2009

How this all happened....

Above is my most awesome certificate for the NaNoWriMo win :). I am way too proud of this. I know it's only half the novel, but I'm getting the other part written!!

All this leads to the point of this post. Adam Slade of Editing Hat asked about how you got started writing. The funny thing is, when I was a girl, I used to tell myself I would be a writer. The problem is, I don't think I wrote very much. I wrote a lot of poetry, but I lacked the work ethic to actually write a story. So, I read. And read and read. I consumed the written word. I've never gone to college or attended a workshop. I think my years and years of reading are what taught me about stories: how they should be paced, what made a sympathetic character, what kept me reading a book, and what made me put one down.

I first attempted a novel in my early twenties. George Lucas had finally allowed the serializing of the Star Wars characters into novels. I was going to write a grand, sweeping science fiction story about these superhero vigilantes (a thin rip off of the Star Wars Jedis, now that I look back on it!) However, I had no work ethic, I didn't even know how to get it published or looked at by those that would publish it. It eventually fizzled out.

Years go by. I continue my reading. Stephen King publishes On Writing. I read it. I take his advice, start writing and start reading Writer's Markets. I'm going to be a horror writer now. The thing is, those Writer's Markets? They scare the living fuck out of me. I write, but I have no confidence. I make friends suffer and read my stories. Few understand them. No one gives me any feedback worth anything. I keep writing, but something is missing. I don't have the confidence. I never submit anything for publication. I fall into a pretty black period of depression and stop writing.

I approach 35. I tell myself, if you don't start writing, you will never be a writer. That is all there is to it. What do you want to write? What is holding you back? I don't have the scientific knowledge to write sci fi. I don't feel like I know enough about the modern world to write modern horror. My poor little mind lives in its own world, and always has. Why not write stories taking place in my own worlds?

So I did. I wrote a story about a gypsy girl with the ability to talk to horses. Not a bad tale, but again, I had no confidence. I didn't see how to get it published. I finish it, put it aside, and started on another work. That went pretty well, but again, slowly but surely, I stop writing. I tell myself, AGAIN! if you don't write, you won't be a writer! What the hell, girl? So... I had this amazing idea that had been percolating, that I was going to write someday... when I was a better writer. You know, when I knew what I was doing. I decided to write it, and write it now. What do you have to lose?

So that's what I've been doing. I've been steadily writing for the past two years, and I am now working on the book that I believe will be finished to completion and submitted to an agent. I see people do this all the time, and they don't die of shame when they are rejected, and the agents don't come over to their job and point and laugh at them because they put it's instead of its. Sometimes, writers make mistakes when submitting to agents or publishers, and no one has died from it yet. Not only that, but I've found out, there are agents out there, and they have these things called "blogs" and well, apparently, agents are human beings. It's true! I know!

So that is the long ass story of how I became a writer. *nudge, nudge* Are you still awake?!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Glad to Report!

Our vending machine at work used to dispense a cranberry drink - I forget which one. They had a game going, and one day I popped open a jar, to find the phrase "You are not a winner" transcribed in the top. The first time I saw it, it gave me pause. Who are the cranberry juice people to judge me? My dad thinks I'm cool! Of course, once I got over the initial, albeit unintended ramification of my beverage choice passing judgement on me, it gave me a giggle.

Regardless, I have told you that to tell you this :

I am a Winner!


I hit my 50,000 words on my NaNo novel today, actually, a nice round 50,200. Ironically, the last three days have been a slog, and today, I wrote about 200 words of useless ramblage just to try and get somewhere (which I did omit, the notes I wrote to myself, consisting of "What the fark do I put here? What is Jale thinking? Does anyone care what she is thinking? got taken out and put in my notes)

I'm not done with the book of course, I've got probably another 30 -35k to write, but I'm proud of my accomplishment, it's a goal I set and made. I came up with the grand plan of writing my Dragongar trilogy many years ago, but I put it in action on December 16, 2007. I finished writing the second book August 16, 2009 (the irony! I didn't realize it was the same day of the month!) So it took 1 year 9 months to write two books.

I have now written at least half a book in less than a month. In less than another month, I should be done!

Yay me! Hope everyone's NaNo is going well!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Embrace the NaNo. Be the NaNo.

So, how is NaNo going, you ask?

Super! Thanks for asking!

Seriously. The first week, I got 20K! The most I've ever gotten in a week. I'm now at 34,751 (according to the NaNo bots). The secret? The Alphasmart Neo, and not reading and/or editing over what I've written. The Irony! It's probably going to be the best thing I've written and I know it reads like a barely literate third-grader right now. But that's ok! I'm embracing the write, write, write, and polish, polish, polish later, later, later.

This is seriously freeing! I'm jamming between 2-3k a day and NOT stopping to read, to meddle, to try and make mah werds be all purteh - I'm just getting the story on the paper. Sorry. I don't think I'm makin' any sense, and this blog post is for crap - but I have a good story goin'!

Also - a shoutout to Wayne. You guys know Wayne. In case you didn't know, he's got an agent, who says he will soon have a publisher, a movie deal, and probably a harem-full of women following him around to try to get him to be their babeh daddeh. Suck up to him now, so you can say you knew him when.

Friday, November 6, 2009

NaNo Preparedness

How I prepare for NaNo : for to see picture below

#1 is Drangongar book, filled with secrets, inner workings, plot ideas and other lies.

#2 is the AlphaSmart Neo supercool Angie from AW gave to me. It has no internets connection.

#3 is my ipod

#4 is my new sparkly pen with editing purple ink still in it

#5 (hidden under the headphones) are my notecards for important character notes and the suchlot.

How kitty tells me that all this NaNo is cutting in on her "special" time.

but idn't she purty?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Past the 10,000 Word Barrier

Greetings, blog readers. Five days into NaNoWriMo and I am at 11,888 words on The Spiritcaster. I'm really diggin' it.

Tonight, for example, I wrote about 3000 words that might not make the final edit. It's personal, family stuff around my female main character. And I didn't got all wingerific over it - bemoaning the fate of my 3000 words. Since this is the prequel to the trilogy I was writing, I have tons of backstory, I am crazy about the world, I know this is The One, like Morpheus knew that Neo was The One, even thought Neo wasn't convinced he was The One. I know there is no spoon. I wrote something that might only be for myself (depending on if I can make a Dragongar look guilty of a crime.... that part of the plot is a little bit up in the air.) But I enjoyed the words. I enjoyed the flow. I found some real depth of character, and... I am sorry to go all artisty, I think I delved into some stuff about myself. We all put a little bit of ourselves, our history and our hang ups in our work, right? Dysfunction. I has it.

Also, I have a confession to make. Ok - big intake of breath. I. Am. Writing. From. An. Outline. I don't know how it happened. I didn't plan it, like that whole sparklepeaches, tt42 throwdown challenge (inside reference to mah AW Crew - what up, AWers?!) I just started jotting my first few scenes, like always (cuz if dummy doesn't write it down, dummy doesn't remember it) and next thing I know... I've got two pages of an outline. For reals. I have added a few scenes, and I'm keeping my outline updated (so there isn't that 29 page synopsis fiasco that happened last time.)

So. In short: NaNo - goin' awesome. Wordcount: on track. Writing from an outline: Not dead yet. It's a miracle.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009... I can has story?

Greetings, all. Don't know why I have let the blog go all cold and moldy. Guess it's because I missed a huge writing goal. I petered out on doing edits of book II and gave in to the emotional and enjoyable splurgitude of the tv. Ah... Ace of Cakes. Animal Cops. Flash Forward. Project Runway. And who doesn't love Ghosthunters?

But, alas, NaNoWriMo 2009 has begun, and I stayed up late to greet it. If you don't know what I am talking about, get you hence to and learn all about it. Basically, you begin a novel and write 50,000 words in a month. This is 1667 words a day. I am increasing my goal to 2000 words a day, since that is what I did way back in the old days, and I want to get that mojo back. Since NaNo starts Nov 1, I sat up to write and got 2028 words in 1 hr 54 minutes. If I can keep up with that, it should be no problem. That means, no sitting and drooling and looking off into the distance. Fingers must move, and move constantly.

I did pretty good at that tonight, but of course, I now have the "It didn't quite meet expectations" afterglow. I must resist the urge to fiddle. I shall resist. Because I'm rarely any happier after the fiddling. I'm also going into this with more of a plan than I've ever had on any other novel! It surprises me... but also feels good, since I have this "no drooling" rule, I have a direction to write in.

Well, I'm going to try and get myself tired so I can go to bed. Happy NaNo, everyone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Randomness, a picture, and a link

First of all, I would like to apologize for the venom of the last post. I still mean what I said, and said what I meant... but this is supposed to be my writing blog, not the sick pathway into what I watch when I am bored and should be writing or editing...

On that note: the Edit of book I is done, the edit of book II has begun. I'm having trouble sticking to it again... I work for a day or two, take several days off... and sit there thinking, what the fark are you going to do when NaNo strikes? There is no putting off at NaNo time!

And speaking of foolishment right before NaNo - you have no doubt noticed the lovely journal picture, yes? I have written the words "By Bettie Lee Turner" on the first page, on the 2nd page I have written "Chapter One" and beneath that, these words:

The enemy came to him, craven and wasted, as they all became in the end.

I don't know what that means, it might be completely destroyed and rewritten at some point, but I'm sure it has to do with the lovely lady on the cover of the journal (by artist Selina Fenech - she is fairy magic!). I don't think she's the enemy, and obviously, she's not male... but I have a story I plan on handwriting in this journal. Just a paragraph or two at a time. I'm sure no one will care about it until I'm a famous, in demand author. (Aw, you look so cute when you grab your belly and laugh!)

Speaking of laughing... ok, I have no segway into this last bit, but I do have a song.

I see people talk about "soundtracks" for their writing projects all the time, and I never quite got what they meant. My responses to questions of "soundtracks" were probably way off the mark, because I thought they meant "what do you listen to while writing" - which is far different from having songs that MATCH what you are writing. Well, I finally have a song for Jale and Baerwen. Except their love is not ill fated. Sorry. I guess that's a dealbuster, telling folk they aren't going to break up, but the song does match what's going on in the story, and I'm even bein' all writerly and adjusting some of their backstory to match (coming in Spiritcaster: stay tuned!!) Much of the Dragongar stories, which people assume have "tropes" because I have dragon/human bonding, prophesy, etc, was about bucking tropes. Jale and Baerwen are FOREVER! If you don't like it, you can suck it. (and just because they don't break up... doesn't mean that one of them doesn't die! duh duhh duuhhn.....)

Last random thing: if someone comes to me with a button to push to get a million dollars, I'm pushin' it. Sorry. I'm a bad, bad girl...


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sorry guys...

As a blogger, there are times when you have access to people and you also have access to giving off your rage.

I am sorry this is not a writing entry... this is about that dumb ugly bitch Julia on Rehab Party at the Hard Rock.

She's not a nice person.

I don't like her and think she should get over herself.

Now I'm going back to watch ghosty tv.

More editing later.

This is why you shouldn't watch pop culture crap, when you are not a pop culture fan. You lash out inappropriately on your blog. Live and learn, kids. Live and Learn.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Blogman Badge

CR Ward over at nominated me for the Blogman Badge! apparently, you must go through a series of rites in order to post this on your blog:

1. Tell us your favorite superhero and why
2. Copy the badge and post it to your blog
3. Present the badge to five other worthy bloggers
4. Post links to five people you nominate
5. Let your nominees know they've been chosen

To perform the First Rite:

So - to perform the first rite: I shall tell you of my deep affection for Wonder Woman. Yes. She of the American Flag turned Bustier. She not only had an invisible plane and the lasso of truth, but the strength of the Amazon, the gifts given her by Aphrodite, man-killing beauty, and bracelets... that could repel bullets. Her accessories did not define her, they made her look good, and they kicked ass, too!

I think my love of Wonder Woman had to do with the simple fact that she was a brunette. I know how stupid this sounds, but hear me out. I had an older, beautiful sister with pale, perfect skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. In the seventies, this was the definition of beauty. They were everywhere, and anywhere there was a blonde, there was a mousy brunette (often with glasses, another of my afflictions) standing in her shadow. Charlie’s Angels: the only brunette was brainy and sorta mean. Three’s Company: Chrissy Snow was the beauty. Janet Wood was smart and sensible, but clearly took a back seat to the blonde. I was an avid reader of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, and she also had a pretty sister with long, blonde hair that Laura always admired, suggesting that somehow, she came up short for having brown hair.

Wonder Woman didn’t take second seat to anybody! She was tough, sexy, took risks, and was never in anyone’s shadow. Yeah, I know, she wears a leotard. The bustier is a bit much. And all of a sudden, she can fly due to some weird, alien technology because the damn plane got stuck on some alien planet. Also - the theme music on the 70’s tv show? Listen to it, and not start spinning around and thinking of uses for the Lasso of Truth!

Now: the 2nd rite:


Rites 3 and 4

Sarah Dooley at Dooley Noted I wish I could write like this woman.

Spamwarrior at How to be a Perfect Lady This girl is the blogjam-master!!

Steve at Steven’s Spot One of my support system, who beats health demons and is dedicated to his sobriety

Jade at Jade hears voices : Another whose bloggums make me jealous

Adam at Editing Hat : An all-around joyous gentleman, and damn funny.

please note that I didn’t name sparklepeaches or Lori, because Adam will want to....

and rite 5: done via AW and blog comments.

I shall blather on tomorrow about my edits. For now, I shall revel in my newfound status.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No Time to Blog!

Seriously! I realize there are only 9 days left in the month, and I wanted to be done with the edit of The Unicorn Conspiracy by month end. The reason : this book already had a polish that got rid of nasty adverbs and passive phrases. What it needs is story smoothing! Next month is the heavy lifting: The Truthsayer's Plot. There's very little of the "Plot" (yes, notice the capital P!) in there. But I am setting the bricks for the Plot now, so go figure. Then NaNoWriMo and what I am tentatively calling "The Spiritcaster" or "The Dragongar and the Spiritcaster" - but that sounds a little too Harry Potter.

I'm very happy with the changes I'm making, but that foolishness last post )about changing the beginning to start with Darik stealing the ***** {mystery meat!}) would just be stupid. All the tension started with "what is the Queen doing" would be lost. So, I still need to figure out the first chapter. Oh well. That can wait. I'm doing the rest of the editing, and happy to find some of the rocks I've left strewn around are helping me get over the rapids! It's great when that happens. I found a boy wandering around, and he's in the perfect place for me to change his identity and weave in a subplot I forgot.

So - there is no time for blogging, or tv! No time for Paranormal State! Butt in Chair time, Now!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

In It! and breaking the rules...

Listening to: the long awaited Pearl Jam album, Backspacer.
It is phenomenal.

Well, I got serious work in today. Not as much as I would like, but unfortunately I see some road blocks. I may be needing a serious beta reader for one chapter. You know all those rules we're not supposed to break unless we know what we're doing? Yeah. Those are being shattered all over. It's the introduction of one of my main characters. My boy awakens from a dream (just a little snatch of a dream, which is one of the themes) in the hayloft of an inn's barn, and beside him is a large pearlescent egg. The scene that follows imparts important info about the world and the dragons to the reader, moves the story forward and has lots of characterization. Most of the chapter introducing him is his backstory of how he got there. All of it is absolutely CRUCIAL. I think it's got several great hooks, as I wrote the whole thing trying to draw the reader through the chapter. Rediscovering it during the edit, I am actually very happy with it, and I would hate to change it because THE RULES say I should. I hope it's engaging enough to stand. OR - this could be rewritten and be the opening scene of the book. I always saw the first scene involving Jale and the Dragongar, as these are the tales of the Dragongar.

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

I guess time will tell.

Friday, September 18, 2009

On Do Not Disturb

Only when you acknowledge something can you begin to foster change... or something like that. I am easily derailed when I am bummed. And I am not a happy camper right now. I've had two blow-ups come smack me in the face over the last two weeks, over miscommunications. One was probably my fault, the 2nd was not. This is why I am a hermit. I don't like people. They upset me. Then... the mother f'ers I rent from claim I paid my rent an hour late in New York. Of course, I live in California, so you can see why that would piss me off. I now owe the rent-nazi's $52 that I don't have. That's about 1/3 of what I have to live on after bills are paid. Again, you can see why I'm not happy. Even eating catfood, I'm gonna have trouble this month.

These are the excuses I have used for not editing my novel, like I should be. So, tonight, I'm going to stop by the big corporate box store and buy what little kibble I can afford to eat, then the pet store to buy the high quality, expensive cat food for the kitty. When that is done, I'm putting the tv remote controls way up high in the closet, turning my phone off, locking my door, making some coffee, putting on my sweats and a pair of big girl panties and knuckling down on the first 200 pages of the WIP.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Editing Blues

Well. That high is over. I spent two days working on my first chapter rewrite - being redone from the bones up. I think it' pretty good, but I've to the realisation that it may be all circus and no concession stand. In other words, is there really anything in this chapter for the reader to eat? I think it's exciting, there's a hook, danger, intrigue and a lure to lead the reader through the scene. Only... I seem to have forgotten about the drug war that is such a big deal in the next chapter. So I give the reader all this information (and it feels like there is so much information...) and then I have to give him more in the next. I have become very sensitive to the infodumps (as do all who spend any time on the Absolute Water Cooler...)

This isn't the only crises of faith. When I began this foolhardy adventure, my plan was a trilogy. Then I find out no one buys a trilogy, they buy the first book and if you're lucky, you get to do the second one. This trilogy is sort of based around the foolishness of a prophesy. Why have a prophesy if it's going to happen no matter what? It's rare that a prophesy says "Be on the corner of first and main on April 2nd or else..." It's always "Ben shall be born into a family of left handed gypsys and shall bring about their DHOOOOOmmmm...." Then all the left handed gypsys try to marry right handed gypsys so they won't have a family of left handed gypsys. Then... along comes young love among two foolish left handed gypsys, and along comes Ben, to destroy the peace of ten thousand years of gypsydom just like the prophesy said. So, I have a prophesy, and only the first step of it is completed by the end of this book. Obvious cliffhanger.

It looks like I might have to tell a backstory of the Dragongar. I know they are out there. My characters are adults, my female MC is around 28, and I could easily go back in time. I might have to delve into the reason the Brickmasters and Masons Guild are such rabid supporters of the Dragongar and all they do. Gah. National Novel Writing Month might come early to the house of Dragongar...

There would be a good side to this foolishment. I know this world backwards and forewards. I have maps. Histories. Family trees. "What the shell" occasionally flies out of my mouth. I could also delve more into the love of Baerwen and Jale, and Jale's family tragedy. I think I'm a much better writer now, and don't think it will take me 6 months to write one 500 page story.

Somebody - say a prayer for my sanity. Please.

ETA: I know I was just saying "I'm writing a trilogy, and you can all laugh at me for it" in a thread on AW. Feel free to laugh at me for reversing myself. It is simply that I realise I can't make book one END without seriously screwing with my idea, and I don't want to do that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Editing: She Begins

Greetings all! I have not fallen from the face of the earth, I have been lazy as hell and took approximately a month to do a synopsis on each novel. Albeit, these "synopsis" are each 29 pages long (single spaced). I really needed these as maps of the plot and exciting happenings... and I have many changes and fixes to make. It starts today.

I must be ill. Someone, call a doctor. I am a self-avowed night owl and long suffering insomniac... but I'm up at 6:30 A.M. on a SATURDAY, writing a blog entry, preparing my fountain pens (with purple ink), about to go to my car to go acquire a sweet delicious coffee drink and return, with coffee drink and two, count 'em, two printed manuscripts retrieved from the trunk of my car. Yes. Two printed manuscripts. The last year and eight months of work. 999 pages. I haven't held a printed manuscript in my hand for over a year. I am loathe to print them out, because as soon as I do, I make a change to the computer copy and then the printed copy is just toilet paper. Sigh. There is just something about seeing the physical manifestation of all your work, your worry, your obsession, your ever-present concern belched forth from the belly of an HP 8100 onto smooth clean ... previously used... white and yellow paper (hey, it's scratch and it's free) and it's waiting for me to edit.

I go forth.

Wish me luck.

And thank you all for waiting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Itchy Fingers

I'm still buzzed over finishing book II. I find myself drumming my fingers, thinking about chapter 1 of book 1 which needs a total overhaul rewrite. On my lunch hour at work I've been doing a chapter by chapter synopsis, and peppered throughout are many, many notes to myself in red. They didn't bum me out, those notes. They seemed to be shining little bits of things I already knew, and much of it was just tying up to things that happened later already.

I am surprised. I was looking forward to the generous days off I gave myself, including one entire day off on Wednesday, where I didn't even have to go to my day job. I spent the whole day thinking about writing. First, I pulled out some notebooks I keep for my "novel ideas" (thank you for not laughing.) First: Endways of the Gods. A huge, HUGE idea that made me quiver in my fairy boots. I'm not quivering too much anymore. I think I can tackle it. After reading the notes, a scene come dancing out of the aether, and I banged it out on the Neo (little word processing device - Thank you Angie!) Then I had another idea show up while I was trying to enjoy Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time. I didn't know what this idea is, so I wrote up some notes. I still don't know if there's a real story there, or is it just another orphan world/bit of magic that never finds a plot.

I've written a total of four novels now, and it was GREAT to finish this one. It was AWESOME! Now I only have one more leg of the story to write. The funny thing is that finishing the novel didn't make me feel any different. Wednesday did. On Wednesday, my "day off", I suddenly felt like a writer.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book II is done!

I don't know at what point I moved beyond the simple arrogance of "I am writing a novel" to "I am writing a trilogy" but I did. I don't know how I made the leap, but people should understand, it is not the arrogance of "I am writing a trilogy because I am such a stud," it's the insecurity of "I don't know if I have it in me to write a trilogy, let's start writing one, and not query or move on it until it is done." I've taken another step towards that goal, because on Sunday, August 16th, I finished book II! I am so stoked.

It's a tempered, happiness (really - please, I don't need all the Absolute Writers who saw me cavorting in every thread, scampering like a drunk in Vegas, laughing and drowning out my seriousness, here!) I know I have serious work to do. The first book doesn't stand alone, or have an excellent summed-up stopping point. It just sorta flops around and runs out of breath. I'm already thinking about tweaking, and I know I have the mother of all rewrites coming. However, who said the unwritten page can't be edited? Well, I have 1002 pages to edit. Yay me! (that's two books of pages... I did not write one book that's a 1000 pages... just for to clarify!)

In celebration: I give you pictures of my Cricket. I loves mah kitteh...


"I'm cuter than Faireh! See?"


"Mama, what you do with my ears?"


"Sure, take undignified picture of me. Just cuz I don't have thumbs. I seen you naked. And I have claws."


Her majesty, displeased.

"Sure, stack books. Rest of your crap in piles. Have you changed the litterbox yet? Get to it. I don't have all day. I have sleeping to do, and later, I gotta scratch up the screens."


shhhh..... the beast... it slumbers...

Friday, August 14, 2009


I haven't been blogging or following anyone's blog lately, but the good new is: I am writing. I'm so near the end I can taste it! I gave up worrying about word counts, because I would keep stopping to check where I was at, and anything that stops or distracts me is not a good thing: I have the attention span of my 4 month old kitten when I write. In the last week, I've had an 11 page day and a 13 page day. I know that pales in comparison to some of my uber-word count colleagues, but I am happy with 4 or 5 pages a day, so 13 is like 3 days of work for me.

I have embarked on the diet, and it's going... ok.... The pre-packaged food is nasty, but I am enjoying the simple pleasures of grapefruit and apples, spinach out of bags with low calerie dressing. They taste like ambrosia after undercooked pasta and lumps of mystery meat in foul, gloppy sauce. Now if I could only conquer insomnia.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Well, I am still walking around in the darkness, but I am making some strides. I think I see clearly the things that need to be fixed in book II (The Truthsayer's Plot) - namely, it needs to have more about the Truthsayer's Plot in it. When in doubt, read your title, people. I have also had a muse-bomb, in that I realize a perfect reason why my Queen Regent is such a hag towards the Dragongar. I've really gotten my notes in order. I also busted out eleven pages on Sunday (after spending much of Saturday sobbing and much of Friday sleeping. I guess I can only do one thing at a time.)

I am still being terribly oversensitive and letting things get to me that I shouldn't. Little peas under the mattress are like boulders these days. And I kinda hate myself for it. One of the things I'm doing to improve things is working on my diet. I have a friend who is going to join me on a crusade to eat better. We were going to start slow: adding fruits and veg (the quantity you are SUPPOSED to eat, not just the onions and peppers that happen to be on the deep dish pizza. Oh, and the tomatoes...) for a week, then cut out fatty foods (...alas for the pizza...) then cut out deserts (yeah, ouch!). But she went and bought Nutrisystem and talked me into it. I can't afford it for long, that's for sure, but perhaps it will kickstart me. And the fruits and veg thing is so important: I KNOW when I eat more of the good stuff I feel better, it's simply a matter of being lazy... and oh how I hate throwing out food, which seems like always happens to the perishable stuff. Which means running to the store every couple of days. Oh well, I could use the exercise walking in from the parking lot...

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not Dead. No, Really!

No, please do not remove the pickets from the fence or the spicket from the side of the house. This blog has not been abandoned, despite the cobwebs in the cornices. And I am not dead, or disappeared to places unknown... it’s just felt that way.

I don’t know how to preface this, and believe me, I don’t want to sound like some sort of tortured artist. I believe most tortured or drug addicted or alcoholic artists that stand around wringing their hands over their art are that way because they refuse to do anything about it - in other words, they have carved themselves a niche and become comfortable, and the fear of crawling out of that niche and having to redefine themselves is too overwhelming. That doesn’t mean they are bad people, they have just forgotten that artists are supposed to push themselves. I'm not talking about depression not being a real thing - it is. Many artists that struggle with depression do just that: struggle. There are several people I have met “virtually” who are open and honest about their struggles, and they continue to work, write, and produce material. Those are people I really admire. And I don’t want to alienate the boys because I am about to bring up three little letters: PMS - the scourge of the 80’s!

I haven’t been around too much because I’ve spent the last two weeks drifting in and out of a hazy darkness, and trying to pretend I wasn’t. In other words, I wasn't struggling, I was drifting. I didn’t want to admit it, I didn’t want to say anything to anyone, and I tried to continue to be myself, at least on the outside. This slow slide began around the time of the dreaded PMS - pre-menstrual syndrome to those of you without uterus-usses. That phrase is a wormy one, because the symptoms can come before, during and/or after the menstrual period (I know! UGH!) Mine is usually 12-24 hours of a strange, disassociated sadness, where I think everyone is whispering about me and my feelings are continually being hurt. I know during that time that it's just hormones, and the people I was friends with 24 hours earlier will still be my friends in another 24 hours - in other words, I try to take it for what it is - 24 hours of woe-is-me, and then done.

Not this time. I felt withdrawn, and began to withdraw. I’ve been in lurker mode on AW. I haven’t kept up with my blog or anyone else’s, and I feel bad about that. I’ve not responded to some emails. Have let a few promised things fall through the cracks, which sort of intensified my downward spiral so that I withdrew even more. These feelings coincided with the realization I didn’t have an ending for my book, and the overwhelming feeling that the year and half work on this has been akin to a mouse with four wheels in its cage; it spins and spins and spins them but never gets anywhere, and doesn’t come any closer to making those four wheels into a usuable vehicle. That feeling led to less writing. The less writing, the closer the black cloud came, the more worthless I feel, the more I withdraw.

So, I think I am going to admit that I am feeling down, downright down. I haven’t made it any better by putting up with some crap in the name of not making waves. Now I’m trying to kick myself in the butt, to not wallow. I’ve gone over some notes and found a magic line in which there is an ending for the book, rather than a lame cliffhanger. I think it’s a real, acceptable, jam punch ending where something is lost, something is gained and the story is moved forward. I have known the book needs work, what book doesn’t? I know the fairies aren’t going to write it for me, and the re-write is where the real work is, and a writer shouldn’t be afraid of doing real work.

So, that’s where I’ve been, and this has been my self-indulgent rant. I’ve gotten it out of my system, I hope, and will try and muscle forward. This blog was going to be about the writing process of a working schlub, and if I don’t write about the down times, then I don’t think it is a valid representation of said schlub’s journey. I wrote “Novel Done” on the square for August 14th and I hope I make it, but if not, that’s ok, because the “Summer Challenge” I joined on AW had a date of September 1st. I can live with that.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, I have missed you. Don't know if you've missed me. I fell off the wagon after going to visit my sister, and got squat done in two weeks. I have rededicated myself, and I got 7 pages tonight. I am still aiming for 4 pages minimum a day. I am a lot closer to the end than I thought - I've already started writing the climax. However, there are 2 plot lines I've sorta let trail off... so there are a few more scenes to write and add in. Because of that, I can't say how much longer before I am "done" with the first draft. I hope to finish book II sometime around the middle of August at the very very latest. Then start editing book I (because I can't wait to edit that first chapter, God that thing is utter crap!) including writing up the chapter bits for doing a synopsis on book I and book II. I suck at those, and they will be needed for query time. Sigh. That should help me get ready for writing book III. Maybe I will even send book I off for beta? Maybe...

I've also signed up for nanowrimo! I'm not sure what to do... try and make myself write 3000 words a day... or just aim for the 50,000 and write bare a well padded outline of the first draft. I'm terrible at just going full steam ahead. I am always going back and fixing and adding. 

Oh well. That is where I am. I hope I haven't lost all my followers with my long silence. I thank you all for your kind words... when I actually give you something to comment on! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Recharging the Battery

It's been a number of days since my last post because I've been away at my sister's house up north. Good God in Heaven, but it was hot. Four days of 100 plus temperatures with my sister, her two kids and the five kids from the neighbor's coming over every five minutes. It went so fast I can't quite remember everything that happened. However, it was a battery recharging I needed, a chance to get away from my tiny apartment, see my family and immerse myself in the majesty and beauty Northern California has to offer.

I will give you some blurbs: Lots and lots of trees. Most very tall. Ash, oak, fur, apple, neat lines of walnut trees, lacey strings of grapes and snarls and snarls of burdocks. Flat white rocks that ground together like teeth under my car tires. Sweat dripping down the back of my leg, then blood from three mysterious gashes. The feel of Robin's breath on my calf as she bandaged me. Lisa's laughter outside, echoed by everyone within hearing range, because Lisa's laugh is more infectious than swine flu. Cassie's wheat colored hair being slicked and straightened under a brush. Dustin upside down on every piece of furniture. Sunlight slanting through blinds and striping kitties with gold bricks. Cattails itchy against bare legs. Flip-flops smacking against concrete, packed dirt, and slipping on gravel. Meat bees humming over the skirt steak. The dogs hitting the motherlode when the kid's table is abandoned. A pinata filled with toys and hard candy. Three little kids smeared with chocolate icing, followed by three naked little kids smelling of berry soap. Poor Hailey's labored breathing in the night. Birds with magic wings flitting to the feeder. Waking up covered in sweat, so it feels like all your folded places have been oiled. Lifting the blanket to grab cooling waves of air from the fan. My dad up on a ladder and briefly wondering about his mortality. Indestructible moon sand meteors. Smiles, tears, why nots? He saids, you saids, I wannas. I hate yous. You're not my friends. Glad you came. Glad I came. Missed exit. I made it home. I had a great time. Thank you for coming. Thank you for having me. I miss you already. I love you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

AW Blog Chain

Well, the AW blog chain is rolling along. I am picking up where Fokker Aeroplanbau left off
at . This blog chain has no set topic, we are just supposed to roll off each other as we go along. So far, the topic has been climate change, and our impact (or lack of impact) on it.

My topic will be individual responsibility about resources, and the scientists can fight and argue over whether or not it affects our climate. Rain forests are disappearing, logging is clearing huge chunks of the United States, and whether or not it affects the weather, I am not well educated enough to tell you. I don't think it's a good thing for trees to be sacrificed to fuel the wasteful practices of some people. I was raised with "waste not, want not" ringing through the air, from my grandmother and a plethora of aunts and cousins. I still use my teabags at least twice. It kills me to see someone write one line on a piece of paper and then throw it out. It's one of my pet peeves!

We live in a world glutted with paper. Paper cups, paper napkins, paper liner on the try at the deli, paper instructions, paper wrapper around the paper cup, paper receipt for buying the newspaper. I remember the joy of buying clean white paper to print out my stories. Now I am older and A) Poor and B) More aware. I would love to print out my stuff on new paper, but now I use recycled paper from an excellent source: my work! You would not believe the amount of paper we throw out in the specialty plumbing business. I am not such a snob as to overlook free paper, I don't care if it's got orders or breakdowns of faucets and toilets on the other side! This way it is: A) FREE! and B)Would just be going into a landfill if I didn't use it. When I'm done marking up my manuscript and done retyping it, I'll carry that to the recycle bin at my apartment complex. That is at least 500 pages of paper I know aren't going to be disintegrating among the plastic bottles and broken dollies in a landfill. When it's time to start querying, I'm going to make my first attempts online. If I should find an awesome agent I just HAVE to query that doesn't accept email queries, I will use recycled paper, recycled packaging material (and probably recycled money to mail it with. Who needs cable tv, right?!)

Do I think this is going to change the world? Is the Antarctic going to stop melting? Are the polar bears going to have more seals to eat? Probably not. But there is no reason to buy a new ream of paper (even though... oh doesn't it smell good?) wrapped in a paper wrapper, for which I will get a paper receipt, and a plastic bag to carry it home in. I do this because it seems like the right thing to do, and it might make things a little easier on our friends, the trees.

If you are interested, here is the rest of the blog chainers:

Razib Ahmed: --- Hobby EconomistFokker Aeroplanbau: -- I'm Always Right, Far RightBettielee: ---- Far Seeing Fairy Tales Bsolah: ---- Benjamin Solah, Marxist TalksForbidden Snowflake: ------ DeliriousRosemerry: --- Beyond Tourism: Florida's YesteryearDnic: ---------- Four-Lettered WordsLady Cat: --- Random Writerly ThoughtsTruelyana: -- Expressive World Tika: ---------- Tika Newman Bill Ward: --- BillWardWriter.comdancingandflying: ---- Made of Carbon

Monday, June 22, 2009

Progress, and A Writer to Writer Meme

So, things are going along singing a song! The end is near, things are coming to a head, things are coming together, and the last two days have been writing magic! I have so many ideas about what’s happening I had to open a new file and type them all down, before they drift away like seeds on the wind. Now, if the cat would stop trying to eat my mouse cord....

I came across this on Isaac Espriu’s Place who said he found it at Got Muse? A Writer-To-Writer Meme . I am enjoying these....

1) Where do you write?
I have a card table (had to ix-nay on the esk-day, damn chair wouldn’t fit!) I am surrounded by my pictures of architecture. For some reason, architecture just sets my brain free. I also have pictures and figurines of fairies. I gotta have flair. 

2) When do you write?
Unfortunately,  I work for a living. I hate that. So after work is when I write. I am a night owl, but I am trying to write earlier, so it is the first thing I do, not the last.

3) Planner or Pantser?
Pantser! Loud, Proud, Pantser! I’ll tell you why I started writing. Stephen King said I could, and that I didn’t have to plan it all out. And I don’t mean he personally told me I could, but I read “On Writing”. He believes that stories are found things, that they are in the earth, and all you have to do is chip away the stone and dirt, and yes, the occasional rotted piece of plastic or old shoe loafer. You don’t always get it all, sometimes you break off a piece, but if you are honest and telling a story, you will get out as much as you need. He told a journalist that, who told him he was coo  coo for coco puffs. Stephen King told him he didn’t care if he (the reporter) believed him. Frankly, I don’t care if you believe it either. It works for me, and time and time again, I stumble over a big huge piece of ancient buried story that I never knew was there. It’s awesome.

4) Coffee or tea?
Coffee. Iced in the summer (but I have to buy those!), warm in the winter. Generally, I brew my own, but oh, how I love a mocha from Starbucks....

5) Pen and paper, or computer?
Computer - for writing. However, I adore journals, love love love journals. I always have one for my notes, ideas, character information and general ramblings.

6) What gets you in the writing mood?
Writing. I need to get the fingers and brain warmed up a little, so I like to go on Absolute Write and do some goofing off. 

7) What pulls you out of the writing mood?
I use any excuse, but I am doing so much better now. Being broke. Being broke sucks! Being depressed, but the writing helps with that. I guess... not writing pulls me out of the writing mood! The guilt begins to weigh....

8.) What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever read/heard/received?
Read a lot. Write a lot.

9) Got muse?
Yes. She comes out of the aether. From nowhere. I’ll look at a rock... and think, what if there were elf-like elephants that came out of the desert to dispense wisdom, or punishment... The more I write, the more I read, the more ideas I get. I love ideas. They’re like particles. They bang into each other and make more little particles.

10)Who is the biggest supporter of your writing?
I’ve written this almost verbatim on AW. When I mention my writing, my sister says “I know you’ll publish. I know you’re gonna be a writer.” It makes me feel special.

11)Sound or silence?
Music! I gotta have tunes. Each book has had a different soundtrack.

What about you? If you want to do this, please be sure and follow the link Got Muse? A Writer-To-Writer Meme and read the instructions for contributing. (We’re writers, we ought to know how to do that!)

Look forward to reading everyone’s answers!