Archive for January, 2012


Of Sunshine and Steam Engines

Oh, wait, there’s that light at the end of my perpetual writing tunnel, and I think it may not be a train… this time.  No, it’s the swanky Sunshine Award!

My friend Amber was kind enough to nominate me for this as she called me a writing machine.  I think that has more to do with the inescapable nature of being trapped in this tunnel with my story ideas.  Wait, what do you mean this is actually my brain?  Then what was that train I saw earlier that nearly ran me over?  Um, never mind.  *chants* If I have to ask, I don’t want to know. Well, back on topic after that small diversion. I’d read the instructions, but this thing is blinding me.  *grabs industrial grade sunglasses that look just like sexy Oakleys*

Much better.  I’m amazed those instructions haven’t caught fire.  I mean, how do you even pin them to sunshine?

  • Thank the person who gave you the award. Check!  Thanks Amber!
  • Write a post about it. Check!
  • Answer some questions down there. See below
  • Pass it along to ten people and let them know they received the award. Hmm, we’ll see how many I can get this time.

So, questions and answers for the curious.  The rest of you will just have to suffer. 🙂

Favorite colour: Fake Grape Purple.  You had to have seen that coming.
Favorite animal:  Horses.  I miss riding (from when I was a kid)
Favorite number:  13, because it’s my lucky number.  Good things usually happen to me on Friday the 13th
Favorite non-alcoholic drink:  Hot Chocolate.  Anyone surprised by that has not been reading this blog. Alternatirely, Citron Tea (for those of you who needed a surprise).
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook.  I have trouble with the idea of expressing a complete thought in only 140 characters.  I don’t think I can do that…
My passion:  Writing. In all it’s aspects, oddly, I love it.  I’ve figured out that I average 50 hours a week working on writing, and yet it never seems to make me tired or feel overworked.  I think that’s what the day job (37.5 hours) is for.
Getting or giving presents? Giving.  I’m actually terrible at accepting presents.  Or compliments, which are like verbal presents.
Favorite pattern:  the veins of leaves.  In clothes, solid, because I don’t do patterns!
Favorite day of the week: Saturday.  It’s post-work without being pre-work, which is why it’s better than Sunday.
Favorite flower: Lilies, of any sort, really. You might have noticed that a bit in my pictures.

So, right, ten blogs, let’s see how this goes.

  1. I’m sorry, but anyone who makes me nearly snarf my coffee as often as this lady does has to be up for a Sunshine Award, because that’s happiness right there (less so for the monitor or lost coffee, but she’s worth it). Let’s everybody love the Kiwi. 🙂
  2. This lady of images and words often makes me reach for my own camera, which, in winter, is a hell of a feat.  I have yet to see her post something that didn’t make me smile and feel a sense of wonder.
  3. Sometimes it’s the journey and struggles shared that can bring a smile to our face, and help us keep perspective on any off days.  One of my fellow writers reminds me of that often, and I really look forward to her posts of progress, learning and deep thoughts.
  4. Another source of laughter and shared wisdom, I know I just nominated her recently, but I really want to add this one.
  5. I love the insightful posts this lady makes, and it doesn’t hurt that she made my whole year recently (a bold statement in January, I know, but I stand by it.  Most of the good things that might happen this year are now gravy).
  6. More laughs and head-shaking happen from his blog (on my part at least) than any outside that of my favourite Kiwi
  7. Because I don’t think a list of amusement and hilarity would be complete without him.  There’s nothing I can say that doesn’t give him away, and I’m dying (figuratively) to see what he’s going to do with this.
  8. She’s going to hate me for doing this to her shy, introverted self because it’s my spotlight and not hers, but I have to include her, because she makes me smile so often.

Well, I got most of the way there.  Eight’s a good number, nice and round.  And I can manageably let them all know.  I have to remember to do that.  I believe that’s enough of me trying to get a sun tan from my award, so I think I’ll head back to my world of words.  Thank you again, Amber.

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Done and Begun

So, those are the words for the day.  Those who are following along with the home version of this game (wait, do we have one of those?), please mark down the following:

Outline for Possession: Done

Editing of Cost of Duty (Short Story): Done

Editing Dark Mirror v2.1: Begun

So, that’s the basics, now for the details.  As I said, I finished the outline of Possession this morning, having done the climax last night.  Oh my god, I really can’t wait to start writing this one.  But I am going to make myself wait.  I know, I’m not patient, but I need to try to learn some, I swear.  I can’t live my whole life on fast forward because of it.  This outline is longer, for sure, than the one for DM, both in number of entries and how detailed some of them are.  And a lot happens, which is also good.  But for now, the outline goes in the mythic Drawer for a few days or so, at which point I will go back through it, make sure I’m still happy with it, and then open a fresh word document.  Fair warning, I’ll probably do another write-a-thon for this, if only because doing so seems to work so well for me.

Cost of Duty spent a few days in The Drawer and came out for reading this morning, after I finished the outline for Possession.  It aged well, I still love it.  I made a couple of very very minor word tweaks.  I’m now trying to decide whether to put it up for crit on the writer’s forum I spend a lot of time lurking and a little time posting on or start submitting.  It’s being mulled.  I have decided against trying to e-pub it, because I just don’t think there’s much market for a single short story (and I really don’t write them often).  I’m also too lazy to do a cover.  🙂  Hey, at least I’m honest.

Moving down the list to editing DM.  This is a little funny.  I had read somewhere recently that you should use the tab key in your manuscript.  This being news to me, it was all through the 333 pages of DM.  Grr.  So, after reading through and editing the first chapter, I set about deleting them all from the manuscript so I don’t have to worry about it.  Stupid lack of find and delete all function in my word processor.  So, there I am scrolling through and deleting them manually.  That was going along swimmingly until about a quarter of the way through, when I suddenly realized I was reading my book instead of deleting tabs.  For the last 4 pages. Whoops.  This happened several times in the process of getting them all out there, so the process took almost 5 hours.  Way too long.  I have learned, though, that being engrossed in the book I wrote, where I know everything that happens, is probably a good sign for the book’s quality, relative to my being still definitely a rookie at this.  I’m trying to see it that way, at least, instead of seeing 5 hours spent on a task that likely should have taken only half that time.  Fortunately, with that completed, I can move on to the real task of doing the actual edit.  I’m hoping that it won’t take as long as the last one, that maybe I can get this done in a week.  That would be a good time frame actually, because I’ll be ready to start working on Possession at that point (seriously obsessing about that now).

It’s like they’re all working out in a mystic order that I didn’t prepare.  Perhaps the writing gods are smiling on me… Right, that’s right before they drop a safe on my head in the form of something major changing, isn’t it?  Of course, both of the above points suggest that I need to start percolating on the overall plot in book 3, but to be honest, that’s doing itself already, I’m just writing it down as it comes and keeping, well, my version of semi-focused, which means doing a dozen things at once.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention something.  I’ve added two pages to this blog that weren’t there before, though they are subject to unannounced revision whenever I bloody feel the need.  One is my About Me page, which I finally got around to doing.   I really hate doing those, but I can only hold out so long on that kind of thing before the peer pressure gets the best of me.  The other is my Project Status page.  I have a lot of stories on the go, and I mention them only when I have something to say about them, as far as blog entries go, so I thought you might want a quick reference, in case you miss something, or are curious.  This is not an exhaustive list, but they are the ones that are sort of front of mind for me in some form or other.  It’s also there for me to keep track of all the crap I’m in the middle of.  Yes, I really do think I might need this kind of help.  Among other kinds of help.

And, last but not least on today’s hit list, the picture of the post (I can’t say day, because I don’t usually post every day).  I love this one.  It’s one of the framed prints up on my wall.

The Ice Giveth Way!

Okay, so I know that I’ve said that I was making progress on the outline for Possession, and I was, but it wasn’t much, and it often wasn’t that pretty, requiring some pouring over and work even after the entries were in the outline.  That all changed tonight.  I finally got them on the road to the climax, and have at least a base play-by-play in my head for the rest of the book, including the things I need to wrap up in this book, and what I need to leave loose still for the grand finale, The Nine.  Yay!  I think I’m about 3/4 of the way done the outline now, which is awesome.  I’m just about willing to bet money that this one will be longer than Dark Mirror, definitely more intricate, and a bit more event driven (though still with much character development, and well, what one might call character abuse.  I’d apologize to them, but I’m not really sorry, and I refuse to get stuck with their therapy bills).  These are good things though, in my opinion, so I’m going with them.  I’m now starting to really get revved up to get on with writing it, but there are still steps to go through, things I’ve learned I need to do so I don’t have to throw out the whole first draft (hopefully) this time.  Once the outline is done, I need to let it sit and reread it.  This should go fairly well, partly because of all the rereading of it I’ve already done in my struggles with the parts I was just going through, but not to be skipped in any case.

Also, I don’t want to lose the thread of DM in my rush of excitement with the new book.  I know two people who will kill me if I don’t get it to them at some point in the near future, and no one wants that, especially me. My plan is to do my next pass of editing (which I’m already thinking about and planning out) while the outline for Possession sits in the mythic aging drawer, and then see where we are, but I think that will be the final pass before printing and mailing to above mentioned test readers.  Then to keep busy and not pester.  I think I can manage that, though some days it will likely be difficult.

And then there’s the short story, currently going under the title Cost of Duty.  The whole not patient thing reared its head (please, don’t laugh in total lack of surprise, just cause it’s true).  I read the story on Tuesday, then sent it to my test readers.  My, did I ever hear back quickly.  And in the good sense too.  No, no comments that it was perfect because, well, nothing ever is, but also nothing major wrong.  It was minor stuff, which I’ve already acted on.  It’s now in the drawer for a few days or so (depending on my patience and how busy I am this weekend with a training session on Monday to prep for, and the above writing tasks sitting on the front of my brain).  I may not get to rereading that until sometime next week, which is fine.  More time means more distance, and I can then view it with a clearer eye.  But I feel very good about this.  The question, then, is what to do with this one.  I’m of several minds (no, this does not resemble multiple-personality disorder, as much as it sounds like it should), but I will probably submit it to a couple of short fiction pro markets (defined as paying at least 5¢/word, some pay more), partly because I don’t want to do a cover for 3500 words, really don’t.  And I don’t know how I would price it as a self-pub e-story.  That might be because I can’t imagine buying a short story as a one-off, though.  I think research will be in order on that one.

Beyond that, I will need to keep The Nine on my brain as I move into the first draft stage of Possession, because I will probably start outlining that one as soon as I finish Possession.  I don’t think I plan on stopping at all, ever.  Too many ideas, really, not enough time to write.  Besides, I like being busy like this.  It keeps me happier.

Ah, yes, and picture time.  Really enjoying this, and I’m glad that others are too.  It feels good as a photographer to share some of my work, and only partly because the response has, thus far, been favourable.  Pictures should be shared, it’s just part of their nature, in my less-than-humble opinion.

The Beach Writer was so very sweet to nominate me for the Versatile Blogger Award, which she recently received herself (well deserved, I might add).  I would definitely like to thank her for the recognition.  It’s always nice to know that others like the things you have to say, rather than just smiling and nodding at the screen when they see your post.

Now, I think I still have the instructions around here for this one. Right, here it is, I took a charcoal rubbing of the engraving last time, just in case this came up again (reading engraving is hard in the darkness of my blog theme, you know).

  1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post. (Done)
  2. Share 7 things about yourself. (Thankfully, I’m not one of those shy writers)
  3. Pass this award along to 15 others. (I’m going to cheat a little here, as I’ve done this once before, so I may not get 15)
  4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award (I really should remember to do that more often)

So, now, talking about me… What don’t you already know?

  1. I’ve recently discovered Gotye, fabulous musician.  His song “Somebody That I Used to Know” has been spinning since I bought it last night.  Non-stop.  This may go on for a few days.  Sometimes that happens to me.
  2. When I’m not writing or gaming, I have a tendency to crochet, which a friend of mine and I call “Playing with Yarn.”  This term also applies to knitting.
  3. On the subject of knitting, I’ve been informed (repeatedly) by said friend that I knit “wrong.”  This is probably a result of teaching myself.  According to her, I knit a beautiful, single-sided pearl stitch (I think that’s what she said), but that I do it totally wrong.  It drives her into fits every time she sees my knitting, which I almost never do anyway.
  4. I’m rarely impressed by the things I do, but I still think the title of this blog kicks ass.  It’s also highly appropriate for the current state of my writing life, which is funny, since it was thought of while I was working on a now dead novel-attempt (55k, on a vast plain with no idea where I was going with it)
  5. I have a writing charm, a wonderful chain maille key chain with a dragon charm on it.  It was a Christmas gift this past year from my friend SJ and now it’s always at my side when I write/outline/make notes/do anything writing related.  I think I’m becoming almost as superstitious as baseball players (I promise, I change my socks regularly)
  6. A song I write to a lot, which I have spun for as much as two or three days straight (I lost count) is “Mmm, Skyscraper I love you” by Underworld.  And before you start doing the math on just how many times in a row that means I listened to it, keep in mind that the song is 13 minutes long. 😀
  7. I am unbelievably glad to be back to rain here in Vancouver, even though I forgot my umbrella at home yesterday, the day of the worst rain we’ve had in my area all fall and winter.  Figures. :p

And on to my own Noms, keeping in mind that 15 is entirely unlikely.  I do, however, have some new blogs I’ve discovered that I haven’t had a chance to share, so it works out in my books.

  1. Kayjai’s Blog
  2. On Diversion
  3. p u t n i k
  4. The Digital Bookshelf
  5. Simon Read
  6. jmmcdowell
  7. Ben Shotter’s Blog
  8. Gayle Francis Moffet

Well, I made it a little over halfway, which isn’t bad since I did the full 15 last time, so I’m up to 23 people I’ve nominated for this award.  Thank you, again, Beach Writer, for the award. Now, back to the grind.  Silly stories not writing themselves as I think of them…

So I had a good night tonight, very productive, which means I feel better than yesterday, where I would have gladly died.  Headaches should not be allowed to travel in either packs or series’.  I started yesterday with a migraine and when I got that under control, I found out that a massive pressure headache was waiting for me behind that.  So unfair.  So I spent yesterday alternately passed out and trying to die, in spite of comments made around WordPress.  I was trying to distract myself from how wretched I felt.  I must say, terrible way to spend a Sunday, feeling that god-awful.

But in better news, as I said, better night tonight.  I didn’t work on the outline at all (yet, the night is still relatively young here on the west coast), but I wrote a short story.  I cried while I was writing it, which is entirely abnormal for me.  I’m normally much more dispassionate when I’m writing, but I couldn’t help it.  Let me say that again, I made myself cry, with my own writing, even though I knew exactly how things would turn out.  Is it sick that I feel good about that?  It’s certainly a major step for me.  The short is 3400 words approximately, and involves a couple of the supporting cast from the Mirrors Trilogy.  You’ll all meet Keari one day, when DM is out, but I wish I could give him his own book, especially after writing that short story tonight.

The funny part is that the idea for writing the short really only came this morning, as I arrived at work.  I jotted down a couple of notes, not nearly as much as I wanted to because I had to dive into work, and was promptly too busy to think about it all day.  I looked at my paltry notes when I sat down at home, nearly cried thinking it wouldn’t work, said what the hell, hauled out the netbook and opened my manuscript formatted template.  I didn’t stop.  I wrote the whole thing.  It was all there.  It was amazing, almost like when I wrote my first short story, when it felt like it had been waiting for me, but better, mostly because I think this is already better written on first draft than my first short was (I know more about writing now, and I’m more practiced).  It’s going in a drawer for a few more days before I read it again to see how it is, what it needs.  I’m of two minds about sending it to my test readers before they get DM, because it will spoil a bit of a reveal in that book, but again, not patient, and I love how this one feels. We’ll see how it holds up in a couple of days, and by then I should have reread DM itself.

On that subject, I’ve been thinking about DM (damn multi-tasking brain that can’t seem to leave well enough alone) and I think I know something that it will need work on before I send it to test readers.  It needs more description, but not on just everything.  I’ve been thinking about perception, how to use it as an author and where I need to accent the importance of certain things.  I think that is something I need to do more of, using the characters’ perceptions to show the important things, the details that either make the character who they are, or the things that make them stand out from run-of the-mill nobodies who, lets face it, are practically scenery in the real world.  I find that’s the way I tend to view the world, seeing the different, the important, though I do it with almost everyone I see, picking out something distinctive about them as I find and perceive them.  It’s an interesting tool to play with, as I’m thinking about it, and it’s making me ask myself some good questions.  That said, I don’t think it’ll take me that much work to do this, as I know I’ve done some of it naturally through the process of writing and editing the book already.  Mostly, I’m thinking about places where I need a little more, or some oomph to it.  That will likely be the task for next weekend, and part of me fears to think how much it will add to the book’s length, not that there isn’t room to add.  Besides, if the book needs it, then it needs it.

I’m feeling very happy and mellow right now.  I swear, the more time goes on, the more I think that writing is my version of Prozac.  Worse things could be said of me though, I’m fairly sure, probably have been in fact.

And, to top it all off, picture time.  This one came from the Musical Gardens in downtown Toronto, which I have visited a few times.  I’m already thinking about some summer trips I might take around downtown Vancouver, places I want to shoot, even if it will take some time away from writing.

That’s really what I’d like to tell my story ideas.  Why can’t they at least run around my head in an orderly fashion?  This jumbling about and yelling is very distracting, especially since the choice has been made already.  Yes, I am ready to move on to the next project, have been on it for a couple of days in fact, but hadn’t felt that moved to post about it yet.  I’m reasonably moved now, as evidenced by the fingers on the keyboard.

It’s Possession, by a long shot, and I think anyone (including me) could have called that.  Let’s start with the fact that I’d already begun the outline.  We can move on from there to the fact that I’m already into those characters and that overall story.  And Tavis refuses to let go of my brain anyway.  With what I’m about to do to him, well, that might change.  I’m not sure he’ll forgive me, and even after that, it’s going to get worse.  I’m sorry, Tavis, really, but I have to.  One of the more interesting things I’m finding as I work my way through outlining Possession and making notes for The Nine as things come up that affect that story is that Dark Mirror (not willing to spring the tentative new title here yet, but there is one) is almost more of a character-oriented story.  It’s more intimate (get your minds out of the gutter), less about big events.  That comes later, in the second and third books.  I’m not sure yet if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, or just different.  DM sets up several of the things that go on later, so I think it’s necessary to tell the whole story, but I’m not sure how I feel about the difference between the one I’ve written and the one I’m working on.  Mulling shall be done about this, though not too much as I’m trying to gain a bit of distance before I  judge DM’s readiness to go to test readers.  And god knows, I’m hands down my harshest critic, so there’s at least a chance that it’s more eventful than I realize, or at least more involving than I think.  I’ll have to wait and see.

The other ideas are still around, still in my iPad and being noted, worked on, all that good stuff, but they aren’t front of mind anymore.  I need to focus more than that when I’m outlining, or I risk mixing up what I’m working on.  I did just have fun dropping a bombshell into my outline, and now I’m playing with the aftermath (insert evil author laugh here).  I’m looking forward to working on it some more this weekend.  I’m not going to push myself on having it ready by a certain date, but it may be there in another week and a half to two.  Then the outline goes in a drawer for a few days before I reread it and see what needs tweaking before I start in on Page 1.

I kind of have a game plan developing in my head, very loosely, for my next several novels.  It’s mostly which one I’ll work on in what order, and it’s subject to being tossed like any other draft should circumstances go against it.  The reason it’s there is to keep me going and maybe get me building toward and practicing the skills I’ll need for a few of my more ambitious projects that I’ve mentioned.  We’ll see where that actually gets me, but it’s nice to have some kind of idea where I’m trying to go.  No, I’m not planning on sharing it here, for a variety of reasons, including the changeable nature of the plan.

Also being mulled is the whole traditional publishing vs self-published ebook.  Really not sure.  Most of me is looking at the second option though, for a lot of good reasons, including a very healthy (maybe excessive) dose of cynicism about the traditional publishing industry.  I’m still working through it though and talking with people about it, then mulling their thoughts.  It’s still early for that, though, as I have no idea how DM turned out or how long it will be before I’m ready to take that step.  And make no mistake, I won’t be half-assing that.  If it isn’t ready, it doesn’t go out the door.  That’s always going to be my theory on publishing, and the control that takes is very much part of what is driving me toward that self-publish option.  We’ll see.

And today’s picture, before I go, is here.  I seem to have a large number of pictures of insects on flowers, and I don’t know why, as I’m not overly fond of bugs.  But they can be fun to shoot, if they sit still long enough.

Must Not Eat My Award!

One of my best friends in the world (and a fantastic fellow writer) was ever so thoughtful as to give me this Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.  I think it’s because she knows I’m hopelessly addicted to sugar.  Though tempting, I will not eat my award.

Though it makes my mouth positively salivate, it’s not for eating…  Mmmm, tasty noms!  No, wait, not eating my award. I am in full, firm control of myself… Oh, who am I kidding?  *takes a bite of yummy award, then picks something out of her teeth*

Man, they hide the instructions on these things in some of the strangest places.  It’s like they expected me to do that or something.

  • Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  • Pass the Award on to 10 deserving blog buddies

Hmm, I think I can do that.  Things you don’t all know about me already, hmm.

  1. I’m an only child (probably for the best) and I often think it was because my mother was afraid if she tried again, she’d get another one just like me, or worse, twins (runs in the family).
  2. I read my first non-children’s-section book at the tender age of 11.  Nancy Drew and such had gotten boring, plus I could easily read two a day, so I needed a bigger challenge.  I never looked back.
  3. I have the most fabulous, hand-knitted scarf ever made.  My friend SJ made it from black wool and cream and green hairy yarn (my technical term for the stuff) knitted together.  When she gave it to me, I said it looked like she had skinned a Fraggle.  It has been known ever since as my Fraggle Pelt.  Getting to wear it regularly is just about the only good thing to winter.
  4. One of the VERY few TV shows that has ever held my attention for more than a few episodes is Fringe, because I like a TV show that makes me think, lets me think I know what’s going on, then throws a total mind-fuck at me 3 seasons later.  Seriously, keeps my creative juices flowing for some reason.
  5. I don’t feel even slightly daunted by my next writing project.  I only feel torn in a million directions as to which one to work on next instead.  Life could be infinitely worse.  If they’d only stop all yelling at me at once…
  6. In addition to the fabulous hot chocolate I’ve now shared the recipe for, I like to make Chocolate Wafer Cakes.  Imagine chocolate Oreo wafers, stuck together with real whipped cream in a log, then the whole log coated with more whipped cream.  Sometimes I like to shave chocolate onto it, but that seems a bit overboard to do it all the time. *giggles*
  7. My winter coat is my favourite that I’ve ever owned.  When I saw it in the store at the end of last winter, very much on sale, it actually stopped me in my tracks.  It has white accents, but what stopped me is that it’s the most fabulous shade of fake-grape-purple.  It’s totally awesome.

That was actually rather fun, probably because I wrote most of it while still a little high from finishing the edit.  It explains a lot about that list, actually, now that I reread it.  Hmm.  Oh well.  Now, on to 10 bloggers I think are sweet enough to deserve cake… I mean an award.

  1. LifeInTheFarceLane – So many wonderful things to say about my favourite Kiwi.  I know of no one else who can nearly make me snort my coffee in the morning.  It’s only through sheer will that it doesn’t happen every time, and that’s mostly because the coffee I get is far too good to waste on my computer screen’s unrefined palate.
  2. Limebird Writers – Such nice, encouraging people full of great information on writing and blogging, among other things. They also have a nice forum for asking questions about writing and otherwise interacting with other writers.  Yes, I’m still lurking, when I’m not running through edits or otherwise working on writing.
  3. Of A Writerly Sort – Definitely a very sweet fellow writer, who has infinitely more patience with others than I shall ever possess.
  4. On Diversion –  Does some incredible craft work, as well as jewelry and writing.  I’ve been more than a little envious of some of the things she’s created.
  5. Conversing With Novels – Amber always makes me laugh.  She also very sweetly makes me feel better about talking to my characters… mostly where other people can’t see, but sometimes I slip.
  6. Peggy Isaacs – Peggy is a recent discovery for me, but I’m very glad I did.  The things she writes about, the thoughts and experiences she shares resonate for me quite a lot, both as a writer and as a person.
  7. The Accidental Novelist – I love her observations and thoughts, as well as the writing exercises.  She’s always encouraging and thoughtful with her words, including instructions for loving your novel, like printing it out and giving it a real hug.
  8. The Joys of Writing – As she’s a recovering social media addict, by her own admission, I sincerely hope that this award does not cause a relapse, but I couldn’t resist giving it to her, really.
  9. The Beach Writer – I love the way this blogger writes, the use of language and the honesty of their thoughts.  That and I love beaches (true story).
  10. Diatribes And Ovations – Another one that makes me laugh, partly because I’m apparently the same kind of curmudgeon, according to a recent post, because I think the same things about some of these so-called fashion trends.  Oh wait, I knew I was one of those already.

Wow.  Those lists get harder every time.  Thank you again, Em.  Now to find some cake I’m allowed to eat. 🙂

I should be posting something else, but I know my friend will understand the delay and entirely forgive me, since we would both agree that this is more important.  Amazingly, it’s done.  The edit of the second draft of Dark Mirror is complete. In just a day over a month, I wrote an entire draft, then edited said draft.  Why don’t I feel more tired from this feat?  Oh, right, adrenaline and hot chocolate.  I rewrote the last two chapters almost completely, working in a fresh file and only copying over those bits that could be used with the new ideas, but even that is done.  It’s also a bit longer.  And by a bit, I mean about 8k longer, now weighing in at a not-mind-blowing 81,773 words. Trust me, that’s still pretty short by Fantasy standards.

Yes, I did end up incorporating those tugs and whispers I mentioned before.  It felt like pure laziness not to at least mentally explore the implications of doing so, and when I did, I found that it made the chapter far better, the story as a whole smoother and set up something I’m going to need later, when I go to write Possession and The Nine.  It didn’t take as much extra work as I had feared either, though it did forced the above mentioned rewrites, but even that turned out better, though I’m not entirely happy with the final chapter yet, I think.  I guess I just don’t have a lot of practice at endings.  We’ll see.  It goes in a virtual drawer now for however long I can leave it or a few days, whichever comes first (long time readers of this blog are probably sniggering at that, knowing which is more likely), after which I will read it again all the way through with no editing (though I might stop just long enough to fix actual typos if there are any left) and see what I think, and if I think the new title I’m contemplating for it fits.  I already know it fits better than DM, but that’s like saying a size 10 shoe fits better than a size 12 when your feet are an 8.  It’s an improvement but it still won’t stay on.  That said, I’m at the point where any title would make me happier than DM.

I’m amazed to have made it through again.  And I still like it.  Do I think I can do better?  Sure.  Do I think that there’s still room for me to grow as a writer, both in expression and how I grow my story and characters? Absolutely.  But I think back to the first draft of this, and then even further back to the last novel idea I tried to write,  and I can see the progression, the growth and improvement I’ve undergone and it makes me unbelievably happy to see it, because it means I’m on the right track.  I’m fairly confident that, after reading it through in (probably not) a few days, I’ll be ready to send it out for the opinions of others.  Those people will be warned that it’s on the way once their copies are in the mail though (when it’s too late for me to chicken out).  And then it will be time for another project to thoroughly distract myself and keep me busy while I try desperately not to pester them for word on their opinions.  I really try not to make a nuisance of myself to people who like me and are doing me a huge favour with the gift of their time, but remember what I’ve said before.  I’m not patient.  Never have been, and there’s no point in me trying to pretend.  The involved parties know better already anyhow.

So, new project.  Part of me deeply feels that I should work on Possession, especially since I already have several fairly detailed entries in the outline for that one and I’m getting to have a pretty good idea of where I need to go with it, though the ending still isn’t entirely in focus.  The only problem is that I’m a bit concerned regarding doing that and then having something seriously change once I get comments back on DM and having to redo all that work.  I’d do it (after me throwing out the first draft of DM, you know I will), but if I can avoid it…  And then Helix and his girlfriend start shouting, and I have to tell you, a guy in a leather jacket with a street bike who can do magic is pretty hard to resist. It’s mostly between the two of them, because I’m not sure if I’m ready to face The Ailing Tree, as much as I really want to take a crack at Lorah and Arcalyus.  I really do want to write that one, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a slightly ambitious project for me (long story, not going into it here), and I’m not sure I’m ready for it.  Funny thing is, I have a way more ambitious project that I’m frankly scared of, which currently goes, as a whole, under the code name Generational.  Em and SJ might remember me talking VERY briefly about it and the 5 books it’ll take to write it.  Like I said, highly ambitious, but not really on my radar yet.  Need better skills first and a lot more thought.  Worse, another old idea is knocking on my head, my Tuatha project, but that one will probably take some actual research (agh).  Too many choices for this writer.   Generational entirely aside, any suggestions?

Oh, and I haven’t forgotten that I promised a pic with my next post (which didn’t happen because the next one was an award post). As I really should have gotten off my lazy ass and done one last time, no matter how tired I was, I shall make up to you all by posting two today. 🙂  And on that note, I bid you adieu and good night.  This writer needs to rest her brains (what she has left of them).

Going To Need A Bigger Mantle

Now here’s an award I never thought I’d win, in large part because this blog is mostly about my writing.  Except now that I think about it, I’ve been including my photography and I do touch on other things as they come up.  *realizes she’s been turning herself into a pretzel lately* Wow.  It’s probably a miracle I can type with my body in that kind of shape.  I didn’t think I could bend that in that direction.  Hmm.

My favourite Kiwi has very kindly passed on to me a Versatile Blogger award, which caused surprise and delight in my over-worked brain last night.  I would have written up a post immediately, but exhaustion wasn’t even my big problem last night (but definitely present).  You’ll have to see my next post about writing to find out what the real, primary reason was for the delay.

Now, these things always come with instructions on how to not blow yourself up with them…  *turns it over, sees nothing, checks around clothing and shoe bottoms for a fallen slip of paper but finds nothing*  Um…  Well…  Wait, there’s an inscription on the ring… I mean award.  If I squint right I can read that.

1. Thank those who nominated me.

2. Nominate 15 other bloggers who I think deserve it.

3. Share 7 random facts about myself.

4. Add a picture of the award to this post (see above)

Wow, that’s some seriously fine print.  Well, LifeInTheFarceLane, you are most thoroughly thanked.  I suspect that this is payback for that hot chocolate recipe.  🙂  That stuff’s evil in it’s wonderful deliciousness, isn’t it?

I have to say, I feel so loved every time someone gives me an award.  I think that’s universal, but it’s also one of the surest sign that I joined a wonderful community the day I decided to set up my spanky writer’s blog on WordPress.  That’s one of the best parts of being here I find, is the other people you find and get to know.  On that note, my 15 Bloggers:

  1. Conversing With Novels never fails to make me laugh, and also feel less crazy about the amount of time I have spent talking to my characters when trying to figure out a difficult or unruly section of story.
  2. Maggsworld is a recent find for me, but as I have read back through her posts, I am very glad to have found her.  She makes me smile and it’s always wonderful when you find someone who sees on their own the simple wisdoms that you’ve found.
  3. Objects Gross & The Unseen Soul is a photography blog I discovered recently and love.  His work is beautiful and makes me want to go tramping around with my camera every time he posts.
  4. Improvisations on Reality discovering the blog of another writer who is editing while you’re going through the task yourself is a great experience and one that can bring a bit of solace and make you feel better about scary decisions you make as you wrestle with the beast of your own creation. And that was just the first bit of amusement and wisdom I got.
  5. Winsomebella has a little bit of everything and I always find myself smiling when I see a new post by her in my feed of blogs I follow.
  6. Dex Raven always amazes me with their Flash Fiction, something I know I could never write.  I don’t have that kind of brevity in me.  I can’t even do a short story.  Maybe that’s why I write novels…
  7. 4amWriter often says the things I’m thinking about writing but don’t always know how to get out unless someone else says it first.  Thanks for saying it first for me.
  8. MrTinney often makes me laugh so hard with his posts that I have to stop, grab a tissue for my streaming eyes and clean up before I can finish reading.  Usually it manages to come on a day when I needed that too.  Bravo.
  9. Of A Writerly Sort makes me smile, commiserate and laugh, and I always enjoy people who can do that.
  10. Coldfire Writer is never one to mince words, and I always look forward to her next post, about writing or anything else.
  11. Fictional Impulse is the only person in the entirety of WP that I know outside of the blogosphere.  Though her blog is new, I know how versatile she really is and the way she writes about the fun of trying to balance family and writing is always amusing.
  12. Johnsep has been sharing with us his experience in his new military life, and it’s been both eye-opening and fascinating.
  13. Novice Journal shares with us her poetry and sometimes makes me see things from a different perspective.  It’s often inspirational for my own writing, for which I am grateful.
  14. Peggy Isaacs is another recent find, but I find her insights and honesty about her own journey in writing something both relatable and a little inspiring.  I also love the included pet peeves, as many of them are so familiar.
  15. Tim Kane Books because I love anyone who refers to themselves as a word wrangler.  Also, humour is the best thing in the world in my less-than-humble opinion.

Wow, that was way harder than it looks.  Now, where was I in my to do list?  I think I’ve lost my place… Oh right, random facts.  Some new ones preferably, I think, since most of you seem to have read the last one.

  1. I have friends scattered all over the world largely because I prefer to socialize with people online (not sure why), but it drives my mother crazy because she thinks I spend too much time alone.
  2. I am the designated bartender at all family functions I attend because, after a couple of hours, I at least still remember how to mix the drinks because I don’t drink myself. I prefer Kahlua-filled chocolates if I really need alcohol that badly, and chocolate does the trick for me better than booze.
  3. I’m getting entirely annoyed.  After blissfully enjoying a winter thus far sans snow, I have now woken to fresh white crap on the ground for two days running.  I am presently refusing to open the blinds of my apartment window in hopes that the snow will take the hint and go away.  Preferably immediately, leaving no trace but moisture I can pretend came from rain.
  4. I like to treat my apartment as my own personal gallery for my photographs.  I have a bunch of framed 5×7 prints of my pictures up, and more prints that I need to buy frames for.  I really should do that sometime this year.
  5. I am blessed with two of the most awesome best friends in the world who are there whenever I need them, even though I now live across the country from them.  Can’t wait to see you guys this summer!
  6. Sometimes I like to turn my face to the sun with my eyes closed and let the energy soak into me.  I refer to myself as solar-powered whenever I do this.
  7. In spite of the title of my last awards post, I hate wearing dresses, to the dismay of the above mentioned best friends.  I’m an unrepentant tom-boy, always have been, always will be.  In fact, after a quick check of my closet, I just realized I don’t even own a dress anymore.  Cargos are very much my preference, even though my current pair hardly fit anymore due to weight-loss.

More difficult things on a Sunday.  Thank you very much for this award, LifeInTheFarceLane.  I always knew Kiwis were awesome.  Now to do laundry for the weekend and think about writing.  Why don’t we live in the world of my imagination, where there would be roving bands of house-work fairies who come in and do all housework for you for no better reason than that they enjoy it a hell of a lot more than I do?

Helix and the Editor Go to War

I really would love to explain to some of my story ideas and characters that the best time to start chatting me up is NOT when I’m in the middle (okay, latter half) of editing a completed story.  It makes it hard to get to them because I keep promising I’m going to finish the edit first and these constant interruptions make progress toward that quite difficult.  And frustrating.  So pardon me while I tell Helix how much I love him and his motorcycle and that it’s time to go sit in a corner for a while.  And he can take his girlfriend with him!  She won’t shut up either.  Even in the corner, neither of them will shut up.  It’s making my editor-self scream in fury.  There’s going to be blood in a minute, I swear.

That said, it’s nice to have an story forming up around Helix, because I do love him.  I think he’s the free spirit in me.  He’s not going to like what I do to him, really won’t, but he doesn’t get a choice anyway, and I’m sure it’ll come out well in the end.  🙂

Another few  chapters done in the edit (13/20 done), and it’s still going well, except for one small thing.  There’s this voice in the back of my head asking if that’s really all there is to the story.  I think it is, and I’m trying to find that voice to muzzle it, but… well, it’s elusive.  Part of me wants to be done with this story, to move on to new adventures, new characters and apply lessons learned, while the rest of me chastises that I should make this one the best story it can be before moving on to anything else.  And the part that is trying to insert itself would certainly add to the story and the stakes, but I’m not sure that there would be a point to it, in the larger scheme of the trilogy, other than torturing one of my characters a bit (well, okay, pushing her) and I’m not sure how I would do it.  I really don’t know.  I feel a little lazy for not wanting to even investigate it.  Some of that might be my brain saying it’s at least temporarily had enough of this story.  I need time to sort that out.  Maybe some distance too, but for now, I’m trying to maintain my focus on getting this draft edited.

It’s been a draining day for a number of reasons, and so I’m going to sign off for the night.  No picture tonight as I can barely keep my eyes open, but I’ll try to remember to post two next time, as a bit of an apology.  I do like sharing my work, I’m just too tired to do the conversions I need to right now.

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