Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo Eve & Halloween

I luv me sum Halloween. And I luv me sum NaNoWriMo.

*Throws hands in the air, just don't care*

No. Really. I don't. Not about much else. Writing is about all I have right now, and I am so glad to have something to funnel my energy into. Things are sucking a bit at the moment. Trying to scrape up enough money to pay rent and eat at the same time just seems to get harder and harder each month. It's seven months before I can seriously think of getting out of here and into a place with waaaaay less rent. It's also a drain on me emotionally to know if I were somewhere else, things wouldn't be so fucking hard.

Don't mean to be a ungrateful or a whiner. But it's good to have something to focus on. It's also putting my nervous and somewhat obsessive energy into something positive. NaNoWriMo is wrapped up in a warm blanket of good feeling. There's the NaNoWriMo website, the peptalks, the AW Write 1 Sub 1, of which many folks are participating in NaNo, the NaNo forums on AW... just all kinds of places to throw yourself down on the floor and roll in the warm effluvia of writing and creating love. I've also found photos of my heroine and the places she'll be inhabiting as inspiration. I've got them set as screen savers and background art on my computer.

But there is still tonight to go. One more scene to write in Dreadight before I go back to editing. One more LIVE ghost hunt on SyFy to go! GHOSTHUNTERS! Ah. My delights. They are small and insignificant, but they are mine.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Blog! She are different!

I felt it was time for a change! As I couldn't find a template I liked (or, let's be honest, figure out how to put up a new one!) I figgled about with the settings, found a damask pattern I liked and away she went! All new and pretty! Since it looks like I won't be changing my physical location any time soon... I changed the one thing I could.

I've given up the idea of finishing edits on Dreadlight before November 1st. And I am bound and determined to challenge myself and write 3k a day on The Vampire Baron (opes... did I just let the title of my NaNoWriMo project slip? I think I did) so, looks like I'll be editing... and writing 3k a day. I don't know when I'm going to blog or feed the cat. Not to mention have my house look decent when my sister comes to get me on Thanksgibbing.

So it's Halloween eve... sort of All Hallows Eve...eve.... :) I'm going to go watch The Ring and eat Snickers. Then tomorrow, same thing.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Write 1 Sub 1 Novel Style!

Are you familiar with a little website called "Absolute Write"? Are you also familiar with a little project called Write 1 Sub 1, wherein participants write a short and sub a short, within a specified time period? (I'm not too familiar with it, I don't write short stories, they are the bane of my existence.) Well, now there is one for novels!!!

Write One Sub One Novel Challenge

The challenge differs by person, so do not think that you are required to "Write 1 and Sub 1" within someone else's time period - you choose how long you will take to write and sub a novel and/or novels. Izz, your Rejectioneer and AW Moderator is watching over us like little chicks. There will be check in threads, advice I'm sure, and since it's AW, lots of encouragement and support.

But don't take my word for it. Click that link above and go check it out. Looks like the official "start" date is November 1st. But remember, you set your own time frame. And after all, it is NaNo. It's not like a bunch of writers don't want to start something on November 1st. Are you telling me you're taking the silly NaNo approach "Ahm jus' writin' a dummas novel that ain't gonna go no whar!" *said with flailing arms and a little drool for emphasis*. Come on! Write that novel! Polish that novel! Sub that novel! Hmm... cheers like that are probably why writers don't have cheerleaders....

Friday, October 28, 2011

It hasn't quite been a week....

Good evening! I am writing to you from Friday night, after a day of mostly editing. I say mostly editing because I had to write a new scene. Something was missing, I needed some oomph. A little worldbuilding, a little sexy time for the characters and little injection of sinister foreboding. All good things. I really want to finish this first round of edits. I'm not sure if I should send it off to betas when I'm done, or if I should let it simmer and do another pass before sending it off to betas. Decisions, decisions.

It is also Halloween weekend! Very exciting! I have to remember to pick up something for our potluck at work on Monday. I may even have to buy some candy... you know... for the kids. Or for myself. To eat when no kids come by. Who am I kidding? I'm going to buy candy and put a sign on my door that says, "Sorry, no candy", then I'm gonna sit and eat the candy and watch The Ghost Hunters Live, just like I do every year. Bwah hahahahaha!

And it's also just before NaNo! The clock, it are a tickin'. I'm getting very excited. I keep tinkering with my summary, which I feel really, really stinks. I'm terrible at narrowing things down. And then I feel bad, because if I'm a writer, I should be able to summarize my story, or give you the beat down, the logline, the query, the remix, the fashizzle, all in one go. And I've never been able to. I can write you a story, but don't ask me to tell it to you.

I really need to work on my fashizzle. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's been a week

Greetings, Fearless Readers. I apologize for the blog's quietness. It's been almost a week since I blogged.

I am really glad to be trying to become a writer. There are times when it feels like it's all I've got. Today was a horrible, horrible day, and instead of going home and wandering around the apartment, inflicting unwanted love upon my cat, eating and sobbing, I am going to go home, open the current file containing my great work, and edit. And please understand, I use the word "great" as in meaning this thing has taken up a huge chunk of my time over the last year, it's become my Everest. It's huge and it's there. And I am not using a lesser adjective for it anymore. It will be a "great" day when I am finished. It will be a "great" book when I am done editing it. It will be a "great" accomplishment to get something beta and/or sub worthy when it as polished and perfect as I can get it.

And even if my day sucked, I have something "great" to go home to. I have a purpose. I have an Everest to climb.

*puts on lamp and affixes spikes to shoes* <-- this probably looks hysterical at 3:25 on a Monday, but the people here think I'm weird anyway.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sorry Kitteh, Mama Can't Play

This is how things were in my head on the drive home.

Sorry, Kitteh, Mama can't play with you.


Chorus: Because we're going to EDIT!

And why are we going to EDIT?

Because we have a JOB to do!

And then I started to refer to myself as "The Editor in Charge" or, the TEIC.

TEIC: And what are we going to do when we get home?

Chorus: Sit in the office chair and EDIT!

TEIC: And what are we going to eat for dinner?

Chorus: Potatoes, and maybe some cereal.

TEIC: And why are we going to do it?

Chorus: Because it's cheap and it's what we have. And we have to EDIT!

TEIC: And why else?

Chrous: Because we're going to EDIT, and potatoes and cereal take hardly any attention! And we have to EDIT!

TEIC: And what are going to do when the kitteh comes up to us crying?

Chorus: We're going to make sure there is kibble and water, and maybe steal a little pet, and then we are gonna say, "Sorry, kitteh, Mama can't play with you. She has to EDIT!

TEIC: And what are we gonna do when the internet paws us for attention?

Chorus: We're gonna shut that bitch down and turn up the itunes, cuz we have to EDIT!

So goodnight, most of my internet friends. I may be posting my accomplishments or coming up for air on Twitter, but I gotta go! Cuz I gotta EDIT!

TEIC & Chorus OUT.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Storytelling: The Lost Weekend pt II

Welcome to the lost weekend part two. The weekend of madness and editing. Well, I've been struggling with my edits of Darklight - which has had another name change, by the way. I'm going with "Dreadlight." I like it.

The trouble has been editing the crap I wrote before. I'm moving sentences around, moving phrases and clauses and throwing pencils. Then I had this great idea. What about saying "screw it" to the crap you wrote and just telling the damn story? I have this technique I use when having trouble writing something. I close my eyes and visualize the scene. Then I write it down. However, this requires throwing out the stilted paragraph or whatever garbage I've blurted out that isn't working, which I hate doing. It isn't that I have "golden word syndrome" - I know it's crap, but I have terrible short term memory. If I say a sentence aloud, I forget it as soon as it's out. I have to type it in order to remember it. If it's typed, I can remember it and fix it. If I delete it, it's gone forever, which is probably a good thing.

I don't know why I have this memory problem. And no, I'm not like Drew Barrymore in that stupid movie with all the dates. I function. I have a job and I home I can find. But for instance, at work, when I answer the phone, I may as well not even be listening if I don't have a pen in my hand or it isn't someone I know. They can say who they are and who they're with, but if it isn't written down, I'll forget by the time they're done saying what size thingy they need.

I'm also adding the sexy, which is fun, and hard. I'm adding in the love interest I wanted from the beginning but just, uh, sort of forgot to write. My female MC is thrown together with an old lover, one who has a weird effect on her. And of course, stuff starts happening. Gushy, luvy stuff.

And feel free to leave me shit in the comments if I used effect wrong. Which I don't think I did, according to this little book on my desk.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Lost Weekend

Greetings, Fearless Readers. Today is Friday, and I am off work. That means I have a three day weekend. An excellent thing for someone with lots of edits to do. That's what I plan on doing. Gotta take this baby by the throat if I want to meet my deadline and have it in somewhat decent shape for betas at the end of the month.

I've only gotten 20 pages edited - in a week. That's beyond pathetic. I've been letting myself get sidetracked by the internet, the tv, the movies on the tv, the ghost shows on the tv... etc. That's a bad thing. I think when I move, I won't be taking a cable tv subscription with me. The shows I just gotta watch are on the internet anyway, and I have enough movies to choke a .... moviewatcher with a very wide throat orifice. As for man-stalking, all the good stuff on tv ends up on youtube anyway.

Please don't think that this tv watching is all I've been doing. I've read a great book and a kinda lousy book over the last two weeks, so it's not like I'm not getting my reading in. But  - I've rededicated myself to editing for the weekend. I hope that means it goes well, and you won't see me come limping into the AW - and - or - Twitter-sphere looking to nurse my wounds!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2nd Attempt: I can't stand the rain

I wrote another post but I deleted it in shame. It was a little too boo hoo, and believe me, I know there are people who have it way worse than me and I have no business complaining about my lot. So let's move on.

It's raining tonight, pattering away as I edit. I'm sort of behind on my word count. But I'm obsessing about possibly, maybe, moving at some point in the near to distant future to an apartment that may or may not have a bedroom or may have a dishwasher. Well, it better have a dishwasher if I'm going to all this trouble. I don't like change. But I would love a new apartment. I would love the extra cash I would have moving out of this damn expensive city, but all the fuss of moving is a nightmare.

I think I'm just OCD. I get a thought in my head and I can't let it go. Like if I'm going to a concert on Friday (not that I ever go to anything, anywhere) I wouldn't be able to sit down and do anything else. I just sit there and think about Friday. I'm like that with apartments at the moment. And I'm not going anywhere.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Edits and Hera Book Club

Greetings, fearless readers. I have finished the first scan-through of Darklight and written up all my notes. The hand did not like it, but the magic fiction machine is feelin' really good about where I go from here. (The magic fiction machine would be that which is my brain. I gave it a nickname in case I ever get duplicated and we get separated, it'll know who I am.) I've also figured out I have to edit 3116 words a day to finish this in October. I can handle that.

All this running around the city and airplanes and parking garages (fictionally speaking) has left me in serious need of some costume drama, so I may have a Jane Austen movie-thon this weekend, playing gently in the background whilst I edit.

In other news, I'm sure you've heard about Musa Publishing, rising from the grit and dust of Aspen Mountain and taking over the airwaves. But have you heard of the Hera Bookclub? Well now you have. I'm kind of excited, because I haven't read a lot of more modern Regency or Paranormal romance and Musa boasts a lot of them, not to mention already decent prices. If you join the book club, you get to buy the book at a discount! Which seriously removes the guilt of buying books when I'm so poor I can hardly buy toilet paper. Seriously. I'm intrigued at Marguerite Butler's book, Death by Scandal, chosen for this month. I'm probably going to buy the book about a second before the discussion begins, but it's payday that controls me, not the other way around.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I believe in Fairies, but not in Hags

I hadn't planned on posting again until I finished the first sweep of story edits. Unfortunately, it's taking longer than I expected. That's ok, though, as it's going really well. I hope to finish today.

I've mentioned my battles with insomnia before. With it comes a host of other bugaboos, and buggiest of all bugaboos has to be sleep paralysis. I had an episode this morning, and thought I'd take the blog off the writer tracks today and discuss it. Err... bitch about it. Same thing. Sleep paralysis is a mighty mother-effer of a bitch. You do not want to go there. Here is the wiki explanation if you are unfamiliar.

Basically, you're dreaming, but you would bet your last nickel you're awake. Every time I hear a paranormal experience that starts, "I was asleep and then something was choking me, holding me down, sitting on my chest," I discount it immediately. I love a ghost story, I believe in the paranormal, but don't judge me because I also believe in science. I've had so many experiences and felt such a wide range of things are happening to me that I understand, when this happens to someone out of the blue, they think they're having a visitation from the old hag or aliens are keeping them paralyzed.

The truth is, you are paralyzed, because you are dreaming. In sleep paralysis I've had the following experiences:

I've felt like something was sitting on me - it's usually something evil
I've been dragged off the bed (just like Paranormal Activity, only to wake and find myself in bed)
Once I thought my brother was sitting on me and trying to kill me
I've been on a train or a plane or a rocket going so fast it's pushing me back in my seat
Falling so fast that I'm unable to breathe

The most common experience for me is listening to someone breaking into my apartment and being paralyzed with fear. I wake up and still can't move, believing they are in the apartment. Last night's experience was horrible, and for a moment, I threw aside the rationale of "sleep paralysis"... until I woke up and rationale returned. I thought a woman was on top of me pushing me down. At the same time, I believed I was on my parent's old couch and someone had covered me head to toe with a blanket and sat on me. I woke up, still unable to move, thinking of the old hag of the stories. I lay there, gasping, still scared, because it always feels like there's someone in the room. I slowly became aware of my surroundings and the fear eased up. I found the pressure on my chest was my own hand. Seriously. The weight of my own hand resting on my chest felt like a thousand pounds. The numbness of my legs was from my muscles being held stiff for so long and my bum knee, which I twisted the other day, locked in place. I sat up in bed, when I could, and announced "I do believe in fairies. I don't believe in hags."

I like to think that somewhere, a fairy spread its wings and an old crone lost the last of her teeth.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

First Read of the First Pass of the First Revision

That's a long title.

With all that is wrong with my current work, I am really surprised at the ease of the fixes. I'm starting the edits and rewrites on Darklight. It has many problems, most notably a vague threat from nameless folk rather than a defined antagonist. The other problem is the non-existent lovin' due to the non-existent lover. These are of course, problems, but the fixes are surprisingly easy.

It reminds me of Stephen King's theory of stories being "found" things. I've always believed in this theory. The story is there in the ground, or deep in the ocean, you just need to excavate it. Hopefully, without knocking off too many pieces or killing any squid. Or whatever is in the ocean to be damaged by the full scale removal of a story. For instance, my main character is on the hunt for someone with magical powers in the very first scene and is attacked by dark magic. This is a hint of the major conflict in the story. However, whoever she was after is never defined and never really seen again. Well, now I know my bad guy needs to show up earlier, and he gets plugged into that scene. She spends most of her time with Gomez, an Agent with magical abilities. But I also want a love story. Her love interest was a former lover that is now a boss in her organization. Somehow, he never got enough face time. So now, instead of Gomez, she hangs out with Mr. Lovey guy, and instead of her boss, he's an Agent. Also, it's better that he isn't her boss, but her equal. It's like I had all the parts, I just hadn't put them in the right places. As if I'd excavated a house and put some of the walls in the wrong places.

Of course, I'm saying this only 45 pages in to the first pass, which is only skimming through and finding the plot problems. Fingers crossed I don't find any roof rot in my "found" story house.