Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Down, Maybe, but not out!

Well, I've been knocked down by a mighty foe.

Insomnia. It sucks.

I haven't written hardly anything in almost a week, I'm just been dragging myself back and forth to work, trying to stay awake until its time to go to bed, then going to bed and staring up at the cieling, trying to remember ever having been tired. Last night I got a few hundred clumsy words, but not enough to mention. I really need to do a read through - something I had tried to avoid while writing, going a hundred miles a minute, only looking forward, not back. However, I've lost momentum and fallen out of the story, not to mention my poor fiction machine being set in "zombie" mode. The main problem is, that I don't know what happens next. So I'm going to go back and try and get caught up again. I'm not at all despondent about the story, only this damn zombie mode I'm in. Which is a very good thing, or at least, I assume it is, throught this fog of incomprehension. I just gotta hold on till the weekend and get caught up on the zzzz's. *crosses fingers*

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day Three: No Outline Yet

I guess I'm not out of story yet. Yesterday, I had no idea what needed to happen next, but then I didn't realize I hadn't finished writing what I started. I have a tendency to write... up to a certain point. It's weird, and probably not a good habit, but I prefer to only write one big happening a day. And I like to jump right into it when I start for the day. I don't know how that works... as I require a certain number of words be written a day. How is it that that 2k will stop before the big shootout, or the hole to the other side being ripped open? I don't know. Sometimes, I feel like a tourist in my own head.

Of course, I strongly hold to the Stephen King Theory, which is that stories are found things. They are all there, in the earth, and like a plodding archeologist, you have to chip away and dig it out, being careful not to destroy anything.

And where did the gypsies come from?! When I was in tenth grade, I lived way out in the boonies and had to take the bus to school. For a few months, we drove by this caravan type wagon parked on the side of the road. There was a family there, and I thought they were wearing costumes. Very early nineteenth century pioneer type clothes. It was all cow pasture out there and not a house in sight. I thought it was a strange place for a roadside attraction. Then one day, they were gone, and someone said "The gypsies have moved on." I was like... whu? And somehow, BLAM! Just driving down the street, they show up in my urban fantasy when it goes rural. Found things indeed... who knows what else is buried down there.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day Two: Probably Time To Outline

Greetings, fearless readers. It is day two of the four days of madness, and after arising, at a much more decent hour than yesterday, I have indeed gotten my first two thousand words of the day. I did have two writing sessions yesterday, but the second one only garnered me about 1300 words. S'al'ight.

I think I've come to that point. The story has been moving along on its own, in the direction I had planned, but now we've come to that murky 100 page plateau. There are goings on in Mexico, out in the Midwest, the fae are abandoning this plane, and Sara has found a cryptic message left in her most recent acquisition's apartment. What appears to be a home movie, left on a piece of paper than can work as a projector. Yes. It's magic, folks. They have to find the location of the home movie.... or so they assume.

And I don't know what happens next. Considering that I want to try and write a little more tonight, I think I better figure that out! Time to start jotting things down in an outline.

Wish me luck.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Four Crazy Days: Day One

Due to some strange, ethereal scheduling complications, involving a co-workers wisdom tooth extraction and a Friday off already being procured, it just so happens... I have a four day weekend. I have wasted much of one of them sleeping. :( Sad face. But, I have had a 2000 word writing session already.

I'm going to try and make the most of these four days. The goal is four days of writing and blogging madness! Yes. A blog post each day, to report the day of writing. So hold onto your seats, people! The next three posts may be as inane as this one.

So, day one. I rose at the embarrassing hour of 12 noon. Seriously. That's just embarrassing for someone at my age. In my defense, I went to bed at one am, woke at five am and listened to the cat yowl for about three hours before dropping off again. And I suffered for it, because when I got up, I felt like I'd been beaten about the head and shoulders with a blunt object. Coffee, tylenol, and I was off to the races.

I'm hoping to maybe, sort of, tentatively, suggest that I might have two writing sessions a day. That would be good, right? But I've sworn to go easy on myself this time. I get very caught up in missed opportunities and beating myself about the head and shoulders with blunt objects when I miss a goal, or perform less than spectacularly, and then I stop enjoying the process. It becomes a slog. No slogging this time. Just slow, steady progress, and the blog thereof.

What about you? Plans? Dreams? Goals? Discuss.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Who doesn't know about slippage? Ah, the feeling of your goals and dreams giving way to reruns of Friends and Ghost Hunters...

No slippage for you!! Or me, rather. I didn't write Saturday due to NO sleep Friday, and I mean ZERO SLEEPAGE in the night hours. I slept from 7 am to 11:45 am. That's the wrong side of the clock to do your sleeping on. I wrote on Sunday, but then, Monday... I was hungry when I came home from work. The dinner-getting process was a long one, and I said the magic words. The ones that bring about the phenomena of slippage. Sort of like summoning Bloody Mary in the bathroom with the lights off.

"Fuck it."

And it was all over. I sat in mah chair and watched Spooks episodes. (I have shiny new DVD's, you see.) And no writing was done that day.

Well, not tonight. Tonight, no slippage!! Right back in the saddle with 3308 words, bringing the WIP up to 19,306. Boo yah! Take that, slippage!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Never as Pretty as in my Head....

Update: 1644 words today for a total of 15,998

Sigh. I'm taking the advice to write crap to heart. It sucks being out of practice. My prose isn't as good as what I hear in my head. Of course, the stuff I have in my head is terrifying. Who can blame those poor sentences? It's a miracle they get out alive.

I am having a pretty good time, though. The world is fun, I wrote a great scene with a fae, and my main MC and her trusty sidekick have a great report! I'm struggling to show that report, but that is the point of the blog post, isn't it? Writing is like a muscle, if you don't use it, it goes all flabby. And my vocabulary is so rusty. When I run into difficulty, I hold my hand up, opening and closing it like a sockpuppet gasping for air, only I'm gasping for words; ones I knew as well as I know that opening and closing hand. It's like a mist has grown up between us. I've always struggled to find the perfect word, but I blame my lack of writing for the appearance of the mist.

I've thought about adjusting my goals because I'm so out of practice. I'm not sure if I should keep editing Endways of the Gods, or just read it. Or leave it alone until I've gotten more rust off the magic fiction machine. Right now, they're just the stilted words of another first draft; they have flashes of brilliance, but much of it is flat and "was-y". Plus, pronouns are a difficulty, as my characters in that book have titles. Sigh. Again.

To this end, I've pulled out a few books of poetry, always a rich depository of words. And I know I need to read more. I've asked mah pals at AW to suggest current (and good) urban fantasy and I've got a list, I'm checkin' it twice.... hello Library!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Who Doesn't Want to Talk About Genre?

Why exactly am I writing Urban Fantasy, you might ask, if you were one of the creatures living in my head. (There are many, and they are varied. Some are fanged.) I might have asked myself that as well. It might be that I am a little insecure, and don’t think I can write a good enough epic to get published, not in this bat time and this bat station. It might be that I read too many blogs and see too many posts on Absolute Write from people that don’t want to read about elves anymore. Not to mention the aforementioned notes from all the agents that don’t represent what they call (with a shudder, I imagine) “regular” fantasy. (I shudder too, to tell you the truth. I don’t think of it as regular. Wait, I said ‘not to mention’ and mentioned it anyway. Mah bad!) This perception might be wrong, culled from naysayers and nogooders. Now – that said. The idea of writing an Urban Fantasy seemed quite daunting to me. I am not a creature of the cities. I’ve lived in the suburbs all my life, and longed for the country. I prefer horses to cars. I love a wide open meadow as opposed to a grungy little coffee shop nudged in between a grocery and some import/export depot. I’m not a fan of garage fronts and find fire escapes interfere with the flow of a building.


I came up with what I think is a really good idea for Urban Fantasy. Well, two, actually. The first one I failed at for NaNo, but I have no doubt it will be the next book I write, as soon as I hammer out some plot points. Someone jokingly called this other idea (the one I am working on now) a cross between Chuck and the Dresden Files. I like that. It seems like a good idea makes working on a setting and a person to go in that setting a lot easier. I didn’t think I could build in a city. You know – world build? I look out across a prairie and plop in a castle, a thatched village, a magical ethereal city, or a few outlying farms and call it a day. I didn’t imagine I could do the same thing with a concrete jungle. But holy cow. I’ve already had a battle in a parking garage and followed a Dark Spark down into a subterranean basement laundry, places I know and work with as easily as a fenny marsh or an underground set of lost caves. I guess just because you don’t live in the big bad city, it doesn’t mean you can’t move around in one, using the theatre of one’s mind. And after all, I’ve watched a lot of Friends and Law and Order, SVU. I’m also venting my feelings about modern architecture, which I HATE. And guess what? My MC hates it, too. Take that, post-modern functionality!!

My other problem with a modern setting is my image of a heroine. I like long princess dresses and red hair. Ha! I know. Cliché. Surprisingly, this girl who jumped into my mind has a little pixie haircut (most likely nabbed from Jo on Spooks – a British tv show I am currently obsessed with.) I didn’t want a cliché club girl, either, with big blue eyes and blond hair. She’s short, has brown hair and eyes, a little curvy, and she wears a brown leather jacket. She wears her piece, it’s always her piece, never her gun, in a shoulder holster. (I’m not about to admit I practiced what it was like to pull a gun from a shoulder holster in the mirror. Nope. Not at all.)

So. I have a setting, I have a character. Both fit into a modern, urban fantasy-type setting and story. Said story is chugging along to the tune of 11k. Feels fine. *Looks up at posters of fantasy-type settings.* ...Maybe after the Hobbit gets released….

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

All Hail Neo!

Thank Gawd for Neo! I’m not talking about Keanu Reeves… that’s another kind of appreciation, altogether!


(You’re welcome!) I’m talking about this jobby:


I can get right to work, no internet pawing at me for attention. No smexiful Richard Armitage wall paper to give me the googly eyes.


(You’re welcome!) I just put my head down, put my fingers on the keys and WRITE! I’m getting two thousand words… in about an hour and five minutes!! GASP! Shock! AWE! I can’t believe it either! It’s amazing what can happen when you actually write instead of staring at the wall, pondering the ramifications your golden coated words will have on the establishment and the age of (genre) literature… once you get an agent and get published, that is. (details, details!) I used the Neo in November 2009 for NaNoWriMo, and it ushered in a new period of productivity. Then I got all lazy, and thought I could go back to using my computer… I’m a dedicated genius writer now… but nooooo…. At some point, the old habits came back and 2k became a hill to climb. For now, they are erupting in a cavalcade! I’m not asking why, I’m just trying to enjoy the ride. So far, my Urban Fantasy has witch doctor’s, a white queen, demon protectors, and a sexy Latin sidekick. Tonight, the Dark Sparks and The Brotherhood come out to battle the CIA spotters. Of course, the Brotherhood want to defeat the CIA and nab the Dark Sparks, and the Dark Sparks want to destroy The Brotherhood and get revenge on the CIA. The CIA want to protect the Dark Sparks from The Brotherhood… there's a lot of history here. It’s gonna be a hell of a fight.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Not the Blog Post about Genre

I'm not ready to tackle genre yet... but I will tell you the last two days has gone pretty well. What I will talk about is oil. Man, am I rusty. (Cue the Tin Man. "Oil caaaan....") Yes. The tools have rusted up. Lots of sentences with 'She' capitalized. 'There were' and 'It was' all over the damn place. Oh well - I have permission to write crap. It says so right on this faded, coffee stained note I have up on the wall!

I've stuck to the goals both days, and I'm so shocked. I'm getting over 2 k... in less than an hour and a half. Yeah. Thank God for the Neo. I'm usin' that little sucker, and not staring at the wall thinking about the depth of my words, I'm just putting my fingers on the keys and typing. Even though I know a lot of it is info dumping. I don't care. I'm writing it for myself, right? RIGHT?!

I've also enjoyed the editing. I spend a solid hour editing Endways of the Gods after I've gotten my 2k in wordage on the new book. I'm really diggin' it. I know this go round might be a waste, as all my writing tools are working at half mast, if even that. I'm fixing miss-spelled word, reading my stilted prose and just sort of getting the groove of the story and seeing what needs to be fixed for now. Even so, I'm reading something I wrote and enjoying it. I have no idea how to query it, and its genre is all over the damn place, but it's not total crap.

That is all for now, fearless readers. Just sort of checking in. How goes it for you and your projects in the new years? Tell fairy all about it....