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?!