Quote of the Moment

"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sigh

Bad...yes. Horrible...yes. Shameful...yes. These words all describe me when it comes to writing lately. My muse is hibernating.

Not to mention that current posts on my WRWA listserve has made me feel a bit ashamed of having a such a personal (complaining lots) blog. It's not professional for a writer. What if a publisher/agent were to see it, what would they think? Honestly, I like utilizing this blog to get out my frustrations. Even if so few people come here, it at least feels like I'm getting all my junk out in the open, instead of just containing it to a private journal. Private journals still keep all the crap locked up in my own head, and that isn't theraputic for me in the least. So, will my chances at having a novel accepted for publication decrease if I continue this blog? I surely hope not. I tend to pride myself in doing things because I want to, and if other people don't like me the way I am, then boo to them. It doesn't seem right to hide a part of myself, and no longer having this "venting" blog would do just that. :(

See, talking about that made me feel a bit better already, especially since I didn't feel it was proper to argue for the personal blog on the WRWA listserve. I'm not one of those people that expect a publisher to see my blog and want to publish it (which was another thing they brought up), so I see no problem with doing this. :) I want my fantasy to be noticed as "something special," not my blog. :p

Well, as mentioned above, the muse is on vacation, and I have no motivation to write, revise, or critique. Although, I really need to critique stories. Heck, my Halloween lights are still up - I don't have motivation for anything. Including this blog, as the timespan between this post and the last shows.

It is my New Year's resolution to become more balanced, encourage the self-motivation, and get way more done in 2005 than in 2004. Okay, I know it's early still for New Year's resolutions, but it's good to get a head start on the long resolution/goal list I plan on making for myself. ;)

Hopefully, I'll have happier things to update on in a week. Happy writing and Merry Christmas (or Blessed Yule)!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Last Comment for NaNoWriMo 2004

No, I haven't written anymore. Yes, I know there are still two days left (a day and a half to be exact). No, I don't consider this giving up. So, I didn't suceed at NaNo this year. I'm not a winner (nothing new there). At least I have the second novel in the trilogy started, and with that start came new insight and ideas for revising the first novel. There's always next year. Maybe I'll be able to convince a few of my friends to join me next time so we can bribe and flog each other into finishing. I had one friend doing it this year, but she likes to be silent for spans of time. And I think she got way less than I did (3k). She's not as serious about writing (she spends more time on fanfiction, which I think would be best spent creating her own works).

So, my final count is at 14k. And I'm not going to strive for more in the next two days because I have other writing stuff that I've been putting off, like revising the first novel, writing my workshop submission for next residency, and filling out module stuff for the residency. I should have sent that in weeks ago.

That's all I'm going to say about NaNoWriMo for now. I feel too pessimisstic right now to actually display it on the blog. ;) So, it's back to weekly updates.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Days 23 through 26

I do wonder how so many days pass me by. The time fairy is playing tricks on me. That has to be it. Oh, I promised myself I wouldn't make excuses. Oops. Well, I wrote nothing on days 23, 24, and 25. Day 26's count is...

1,100 words

Total...

14,000 words

I wrote more that that in the book in a week I attempted a few months ago. And this has taken me almost 4 weeks? I'm pathetic. Anybody think I can write 36,000 words in 4 days? I could really use some encouragement right now (but the key is, it has to be believable encouragement because the false stuff just depresses me even more). Some of what I write in the next few days might not be on the current novel, since I need to write something for school (workshop for the next residency - I was thinking of writing the first chapter or two of my Shepherd of Dreams idea...if I knew where to start). I'd of course use that toward my NaNo word count - hey it would still be fresh writing.

I'm going to sleep now. Also, I plan on setting the alarm for 8am and see if I can encorage myself out of bed that early, so I can start writing by 9 or 10am. I was supposed to do dishes today...oops. Such is life. Damn time fairy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Days 21 and 22

Nothing on Day 21. Surprise, surprise. Day 22's total:

1,220 words

Grand Total:

12,900 words

I know it doesn't add up from what the total was last time, but all the times I kept rounding down seem to have caught up with me, and 12,900 is the wordcount according to WordPerfect. I was hoping for 5k on Day 22, but I had issues with my husband to resolve, and crying and arguing always wears me out. Yes, I know, another excuse.

I will catch up. *glares at wordcount*

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Days 15 through 20

*cringes* Ow, that hurt. Oh, that would be myself throwing the rotton tomatoes. *sigh* No, I haven't written anything for most of those days that encompass this post. Day 20 though...

340 words

Total...

11,640 words

I know it's sad and pitiful, but at least I wrote something. I've decided I have some type of writing-related virus or disease (not writer's block - I don't belive in it). Or, it might just be SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I hate Wisconsin. Especially the fall/winter days when you wake up at noon but you swear it's only sunrise because it's so grey and dreary outside. And then 4 hours later, it's totally dark again. It just wears me out.

Okay, I have lots of stuff to catch up on, don't I? I've also been slacking on e-mails, critiques, and everything else that could be condidered tasks that put forth effort to accomplish. Going to bed now. *waves*

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Days 10, 11, 12, and 13 (and possibly 14)

I will pause a moment while anyone who is consistently reading this blog yells at me for not posting for days.

*flinches at the berating*

I haven't written anything. I haven't been feeling too well. So, what I do when I'm not feeling well? I put all my energy into video games and get sucked into them, and in essence make myself even more sick because I've screwed up my sleeping schedule so bad that, well, it's just bad.

I'm not sure if I'll get anything written today. If I don't, I'd have to write 20k each week to reach 50k. *sigh* If I don't reach that, I'll be seriously disappointed. I received the end of term feedback from my mentor today. She says I've self-motivated. Oh, I so haven't felt self-motivated lately. It's interesting how things can be so different - you feel one way, but people perceive you another way. Maybe if I stop feeling like doo-doo I'll actually feel self-motivated. Someone make me go to bed at a decent time tonight, please (last 3 nights, 5am or 4am - way not a decent time). Then I sleep until noon or 1. So not healthy. What's wrong with me? Lately, lack of self-control. I really need to get myself on a schedule. My husband is right (mind you I don't say this often) - at least when I had a day job I had a set schedule because I was forced to go to work.

New schedule starting Monday. If I screw up, well then I can have people help me think of punishments for myself (the reward thing isn't working, so it's back to the old-fashioned way).

Now, I'm rambling. Be happy if you see an update at the end of the day - that would mean I wrote something. ;)

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

NaNo - Day 9

This'll be a short one, since it's late and my back is killing me. Day 9 total:

1,090 words

Overall total:

11,300 words

I didn't hit my goal because I got distracted by other things. I know I need to learn how to focus better. And it doesn't help that I'm not sure how to get Bastian out of a certain situation. :p Okay, as I said short.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Cliche Day - NaNo Day 8

I don't know what it was, but everytime I sat down on my loveseat and booted up the computer, I felt like I was going to fall asleep. Anyway, the total for Day 8 is:

2,160 words

Grand total is:

10,210 words

I've eclipsed the 10k mark. Yay! I didn't get as much done today (after midnight again, oops) as I wanted to, but I think I faired pretty well with having the sleepies and all. And as the blog title says, it was cliche day. I used at least 3 cliches in what I was writing. I didn't much care since I need to just plow through this draft, and I can come up with something more creative and original when I have to revise. :p

I think that's it for updating. The sleepies are attacking again.

Monday, November 08, 2004

NaNo - Day 7

Day 7 total:

1,190 words

Overall total:

8,050 words

Well, I made it through week one. I didn't reach my goal for the week (which was 17,500 words), but I think I have a good start. It's more than I've written in a week in a long time. I intend to do better this next week. Somehow, I'll get to work on the things on my list that are more important, instead of putzing with the things that still need to get done but are less important. That makes sense, right? Motivation, that's what I need. I have to remind myself my motivation should be never having to work a day job again. Sadly, I know that's unrealistic, therefore that thought doesn't work for motivation. And the thing I had going with my husband to revise (I revise 2k words, he plays an hour worth of a video game I want to watch). He owes me 12 hours. Shows you how much that's working, since he hasn't paid up on his end, there goes the drive to even consider getting anything done. I so have to revise.

Okay, I think I'm in too much of a whiney mood right now. I should do my backups and go to bed. Maybe I'll dream up some motivation. Hey, it could happen ;)

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Procastination for Day 6...

Going through all of my papers. And do I have a lot of papers to go through. Yes, I'm posting this even later than usual, but I was putzing on the NaNo Forums for the last hour. Anyway, the wordcount for Day 6 is:

720 words (better than yesterday)

Total wordcount is:

6,860 words

I'll catch up, really I will. I have to. If I can;t get at least 50k words, I can't call myself a writer without feeling guilty about it.

Bastian has decided to creep me out a bit - I've discovered a darker side to him that wasn't able to come out in the first novel. As promised though, one beheading and counting (seeing Bastian right now, I wouldn't be surprised if he snaps later in this novel or the next one and we have a wonderful, much needed slaughter...I just have to make sure he doesn't kill Tessa - that would be bad). Why am I so obsessed with blood right now? Maybe I'm channeling Bastian. :p

Saturday, November 06, 2004

NaNoWriMo - Day 5

Am I going to get sick of typing NaNoWriMo in the blog title by the end of the month? Maybe I'll just shorten it to NaNo or NNWM or maybe I need to start getting creative - i.e. Day from Hell 1, Too Damn Tired Day 1

Anyway, I at least wrote today (erm, it's after midnight again, oops, I mean on Day 5), even if it wasn't much.

Day 5 wordcount:

540 words

Total wordcount:

6,140 words

I actually sat on my loveseat for the hour I wrote tonight (erm, last night? - oh, I give up). It's nice and comfy, but the kitties abandoned me. :(

Here's hoping I can finish the week with a bang. ;)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

NaNoWriMo - Day 4

Okay, I hope this is the only day this month I'm going to have to say this: I wrote diddly squat today.

We had an interesting time trying to get my new loveseat through the front door. Anyone watching my husband, my stepmom, and me would have probably laughed their asses off. We still don't know how we actually got it in and up the stairs. Definitely hiring movers when we move. Anyway, I now have a loveseat to stretch out on in my study. Now there's the period of time that it's going to take for me to get used to actually writing in my study. I'm just so used to the livingroom. I also am now have my old handmade cradle in the house (it was sitting in my dad's garage for over a year and they didn't know what to do with it and wanted to give it to me, and I said okay - that was a year ago when I had room for it - no room for it now). Where the fuck am I going to put the thing? Excuse my language, I've also been in a bit of a foul mood all day. If I would have written I most likley would have killed off Simon, the dumbass Head Enforcer, and that would have cretaed all sorts of problems for Bastian and Corinne. Who knows, maybe I'll do it tomorrow anyway and watch Bastian go through more torture. I swear, I need less emotional and mental torture and more physical torture. If they ever run into the group that worships the Ravager, chaos I think is their central ideology, hm...maybe I should skip a few chapters and write a torture chapter. Nah. I'm chronologically attuned. I'll get there eventually.

Okay, now that only half of that mess was about writing... I'm going to read and promise myself I'll have an outstanding wordcount tomorrow. ;) Oh, and any encouraging comments to make me get my butt in gear are welcome. Bye!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

NaNoWriMo Day 3 ...... *sigh*

I know I'm cutting this post close to the midnight mark. Oh, well.

Total for today:

600 words (yes, I'm bad - at least it's not zero, and I was tempted to let it be zero)

Grand total:

5,600 words

So, I din't get my 2,500 words for the day. Oops. I'm too sleepy to argue and make excuses right now. I just didn't want to write, so there.

Oh, and for all I told (I think it might have only been my mentor in my writing program) that my characters would not go back to Sierka most likely - I lied. Tessa didn't go back, but Bastian did with Corinne in tow (um, maybe it's more like Corinne leading Bastian - they're having leadership issues and they haven't even been on their journey for a day). I have such hard-headed, independent characters. Come to think of it, I don't think I have any meek characters. That might be a bad think. Oh, Sinda is more meek. That helps the balance a little.

I've decided to give you all a snippet from yesterday's writing (not from today's since it wasn't the best). Here you go (the first person speaking is Bastian, and Uliah is the new Watcher on the Council - she's usually as cold and calm as Arian, really):

"I’ll find her, and I’ll kill her," he said.

Uliah grabbed Bastian’s wrist and squeezed, and an urgency filled her eyes. "Don’t be so quick to behead her. She holds the keys to many things, including the one to unlock your memory. She also carries a link that has a heartbeat."

Bastian pried her fingers off him. He’d have bruises from her grip. "Enough of this."

Uliah leaned over the arm of her chair and retched. Her entire body trembled. "What did I say?" she asked.

NaNoWriMo Day 2

I know, it's an hour after day two. :P That's all I have to say.

Wordcount for Day 2...

2,500 words (Okay, maybe it was about 3 less than that, but I wasn't about to write a whole other scene for 3 words - too tired, so let me round up)

Total wordcount is...

According to WordPerfect 4,997, so I again say, I round up - 5,000!

The second day was harder than the first. I wasn't sure where to go in parts, and I know one of the scenes I wrote needs to be quite a bit longer. I cut it off at the knees because of my aversion to writing fight scenes (this one would have been a practice sword-fighting scene, and I really don't know where to begin with that). I also admit I padded my last scene horribly with over 100 extra words so I could reach my goal for the day because I didn't want to stop in the middle of a new scene I would have had to start for 100 words. At least I'm admitting my weaknesses.

Oh, and the revisng 1k each day doesn't seem to be working. I'm coming up with wonderful excuses in my mind (like I need a break from revising) to aid in my not revising. Willpower - where the hell are you when I need you? Maybe it will show its face tomorrow (erm, I mean today...). Watch for my post on day 3!

Monday, November 01, 2004

NaNoWriMo - Day 1

The promised update is here. Now, let's see if I can keep this up everyday this month (that includes the writing).

Today's word count is...

2,500

Yay! Which brings the total up to...

2,500

*insert maniacal laughter here*

I know, it's the first day so my overall total is the same as my daily total. I just wanted to be a snot.

This means, I reached my goal. If I can write that much each day, I'll have over 70k by the end of the month. The NaNoWriMo goal is 50k, so even if I only write 1,700 words a day, I'll still be fine with that, but since the rough draft of the first novel in the trilogy was 70k, I figure this one will be too, and I'd like a complete rough draft.

All I have to say is, I forgot how fun it is to write a rough draft. Exploring is the best. It took a while for me to pick up the pace because I was used to revising and was more careful, but now I'm relearning how to just go with my intincts again, just writing down whatever comes out of me (and I know I've written a few cliched lines already).

I still plan on revising 1k a day of the first novel, so I have less to do when my 4th school term starts. It might only be 500 words tonight before bed (I didn't start my NaNoWriMo stuff until later because I had to do all my weekly scans on my laptop, and I had to let the thing cool down after that - I figure the freezing up happens when it overheats), but then I'll have to make myself revise more later in the week. I need to revise 7k a week, so I don't have loads to do in one chunk (until the 2nd revision that is).

So, I think that's my update. I'm off to the NaNoWriMo website to see if I feel like posting anything in the forums and to update my wordcount.

Is it really November First?

Oh, look at that, it is. And yes, I forgot to post my weekly blog (even though I really count this one, since until I wake up in the morning, it's still Sunday in my mind). I had a busy week - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it (have I said something like that before recently? I'm having a deja vu moment).

Anyway, NaNoWriMo officially started about a half hour ago (Central time zone, of course). I, the sleepyhead, will not start writing for that project until it's light out and I'm not so tired. But I promise to update everyday. I also hope to keep a pattern set and revise 1k words in the first The Mind Behind the Mind everyday. Let's see if I can keep up. I have so much to do. *groans*

Okay, that's as far as my mind capacity goes tonight. Must sleep. The short sentences are killing me.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Oops...almost forgot today

Yes, I almost forgot to write a blog post this week. I'm so bad.

Well, I'm having issues with blogger, of course. Someone decided to spam my blog by putting a comment on one of my posts (two posts before this one) advertising a free tv. So, I should be able to delete the comment, right? For some reason the garbage can icons are not showing up for me, so I can't delete the post. The techs at blogger say it should show up when I'm logged in. But it doesn't. See my problem? Evil spammers.

In writing news, I have to get 18,000 words revised between now and the end of the day Thursday. I've procrastinated too much, and I'm all down about how little description I have even after the first revision (on what I've revised so far at least). This is going to be an interesting week. I also have to plan and decorate for my Halloween party on Saturday, bake, clean, write a reading journal and self-assessment, and go to a crappy interview (for a job I really don't want). No sleep, that's the key.

I will be undertaking NaNoWriMo in November (I think I might have mentioned that before). I know blogger is advertising NaNoBlogMo, but I'm not about to post an entire novel for all the public to see. Does blogger want to encourage people to lose their first published rights so no publisher would be willing to publish the novels? Anyway, I intend to do a daily update on this blog. It'll include my word count, my frustrations, and anything else I deem worthy. I figure, if I have to post here everyday it'll force me to write, since I won't want to post "I did diddly squat." I'll be working on the sequel to the novel I'm currently revising. I really need to know what the core plot of that one is going to be. I know where I want to be by the end of the third novel, but each novel needs its own story arc (unlike Laurell K. Hamilton's last Merry Gentry book).

Okay, I have other things to do. Maybe I can get 2,000 words revised before I go to bed (if I stay up until 3am...). Happy writing all!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

New Website Is Up and Running!

I know, I just posted a blog update yesterday. Didn't I tell you I was impatient to put my new website up? I decided to not wait for the metadata and just add it in when I get it. It might not even do me much good anyway. Who knows.

Anyhow, click on the link to go to the new website: Alexa Grave's Writing Corner. I'm really proud of myself for learning style sheets and creating the website from scratch. Let me know what you think of it (layout and content). Any feedback is welcome. Oh, and I still have a lot of content to add. Most of the pages you click on, you'll get a wonderful excuse saying I still need to add to that page. Sorry - this is the result of my impatience.

The old website is still up, and I know I need to take it down, or at least make it only one page with links to the new site and such. I'll get around to it.

You know, when I was writing the Bio for my website, I realized something. My eleven-year-old goldfish is only a couple months older than when I started writing fantasy. Could it be that it's the goldfish all along that has some crazy power to drive me to write? Needless to say, I'm going to bawl when that fish dies - he's been with me through so much (poor little thing has a cataract over one eye too).

Okay, update over. :p

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Has it been a week already?

This week went way too fast. I'm not even sure where most of it went. Oh, yeah, at least a good chunk of it was devoured by Evercrack (um...I mean Everquest).

I had the most difficult time revising when I sat down to do it earlier this week, and was only able to accomplish 250 words in an hour and a half. Don't ask why - or if you might know why, please tell me. ;) Did about another 500 the next day to at least finish off the scene, and I think the scene ended well at least. I'm learning more and more how Bastian works - I thought he was going to be too stubborn to agree to something (that he agreed to much quicker in the rough draft when I didn't know how much of an ass - and I mean unmoving donkey - he really was), but Tessa baited him right, which is one of the things she's good at doing. Of course she'll make a good High Priestess, she's a manipulative little bitch. *evil grins*

The next scene is a longer one (at least in my terms), and the next scene/chapter is even longer than that. Maybe that's why I'm procrastinating. I know my butt will have to be glued to the couch and my laptop soldered to my lap for a long while, since I hate stopping in the middle of the scene; if I do, I lose my train of thought and next time I sit down to revise, I suck up lots of time by re-reading the stuff through.

Oh, look at all that commentary above. And I thought I'd have nothing to say when I finally decided I needed to do a blog entry.

I haven't submitted any of my stories that I received rejections back for. I'm thinking some might need another revision or two. I might just break down and revise "Cold...Oh So Cold" again, even though I said I wouldn't. Maybe just a tense change. Now to find the time to revise. I have a few other older stories that if I just had the time to revise them, they might actually be up to snuff to submit to places. I think I'm going to have to make a "This is what needs to be done" list for all my writings. Something to put on my website? Perhaps. Perhaps not (might just be too boring for most people - not everybody is as list-oriented as I am).

Oh, yes, there hasn't been much progress on the website. I'm ready for it to go live once I get the metadata from my friend, but all the pages off the main page are currently awaiting content. I might work on some of that after this post. It would be fun to send the new site live on Halloween (also my wedding anniversary), but I don't think I can be that patient. I'm hoping it'll be up this week sometime. Here's hoping I can get the search engines to pick it up.

Okay, enough blather. I should be doing more important thing, like revising (and playing Everquest...I didn't say that, really). Happy writing!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Tired, and more tired

I seem to be super tired lately. Maybe it's the change in whether. Who knows. I've of course been putzing around with things I shouldn't be putzing around with, instead of writing. I spent about 6 hours yesterday and a bunch more today (oh, it's after midnight, so that would be Thursday and Friday) working on my website. Sorry, no one else can see the changes yet since the site will be going up at sff.net, at least once the main page is done. I'm not even going to post it on geocities. But, I learned a bunch about style sheets. Which means, I now know how to putz with the blog look without having to arbitrarily change something and see what it does. :p That reminds me, I need to change around some fonts and colors... Oh no, more stuff I shouldn't be doing.

In way of writing, I started a short story, temporarily entitled "The Purging." It's actually set in the world of my current novel in progress. It takes place in the past, one of the turning points in Leera's history, when the first Witch Hunter beheaded a Witch for the first time, and the sun turned as red as blood. ;) The new quote in the scrolling marquee is my first sentence of the story.

I just received my contributor's copy of The Drabbler (and yes, the story is under my pseudonym), and I'm tempted to frame my dollar. :p Also received another rejection from F&SF, but this time it was on a Monday, not a Saturday (thank the Goddess for small favors).

That's about all that's going on with me. I need to revise more. This term went so quickly. My unemployment is going to run out way too soon. Eek! Anyway, happy writing!

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Drabbler

Hey, all! Well, I survived another deadline for school, and I'm eager to plow ahead with the revising, if I didn't have so many other damn things on my list to do. *grumbles* It's really sad that I actually kind of want to revise, and then I can't find the time (it's those last 3 books I have to read before my final deadline this term).

Anyway, that's not what's important. My story "Jasmine, Sage, Lavender, and..." is out in The Drabbler through Sam's Dot Publishing. Buy It Here! I'm not sure if they published it under my pseudonym or not (I'll know once I get my contributor's copy), since they sent me the contract last minute. *sigh* Anyway, it's only $5 with the shipping, if you're interested.

In other news, I'll be moving my website to the sff.net servers. I'm sick of Geocities. I don't know when the move will happen, but it won't be until I figure out how to redesign my website. This won't effect my blog at all. That's staying where it is. And I'll probably still keep the Geocities website up with the link to my new website and a link to my blog.

That's all for this week. I have cleaning that needs to get done, and revising that says, forget about the cleaning. Happy reading and writing all!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Nothing much on this end...

Hey everyone who reads my blog (and those wonderful internet waves which are forced to read my blog)!

Okay, this is just a mandatory post because I have nothing much going on here, but I figured I should keep up with my posting once a week (yes, it's Sunday, I count it as the last day of the week for me). The revising still looms, and I have a deadline on Tuesday. I also hate computers more, namely Microsoft, but everyone has their own opinion on that company, I'm sure.

*Twiddles thumbs* Um. I still want to redo my website and tweek the blog template a bit, but I must find the time somewhere (I know it's hiding, and I just haven't found it yet). Look at all the parentheses in this post. Who says a writer can't ramble on about nothing? No one ever said it needed to make sense...

Anyway, watch my blog, I'm bound to have something annoying and blog-worthy soon (there is little out there that I can't find something about it to complain about). Oh look, more parentheses.

By the way, Kushiel's Dart was good - finished reading it this past week.

Happy reading and writing all!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

A Woo Hoo....among other things

*shakes fist at HTML coding* I'm trying to use more than one font on the blog, but I can't seem to get it to work. I may need to beg the assistance of my more knowledgable friends.

Anyway, onto the good news. My stort "Kindled Morphogenesis" has been accepted for publication in the Modern Magic anthology, to be published by Fantasist Enterprises. Yipee! I'm quite happy about this one. Publication date is still to be determined, and I will of course update things on my blog and website when it becomes available to order. ;)

Along with the good there is some, well, I don't want to call it bad, more like an annoyance. I received my Blue Form of Death from Realms of Fantasy. Okay, fine, nothing new. But, she had my cover letter in there with a Hall? next to the Seton Hill University mention. Erk. No, it's not Seton Hall, it's Seton Hill, and the program I'm in is one of the few that concentrates on genre fiction (popular fiction) rather than literary fiction, and it's quite irksome that one of the big fantasy markets hasn't even heard of it. *sigh* Maybe the Writing Popular Fiction program needs to make the publishing industry more aware. It was a bit upsetting though. Did she not even read my story and just reject it because she thought I had a typo in the cover letter? I'm debating about putting a polite, "this is the link to the program if you're interested" post on her Rumor Mill thread, but I don't want to be pushy or anything.

As for the revising, don't ask. I will trudge on soon whether I like it or not.

Um, I think that's it for now. No, I haven't had time to overhaul my website. I'm also debating on moving it from geocities to sff.net. That would require me to have HTML creating software though, I think. Anyway, until next week, happy writing!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Pardon my dust, but I'm redoing my blogskin. I actually think it was whoever created my old skin in the first place (off of blogskins.com) was why the title wasn't showing up. Or it might have been something with fonts. Well, I wanted something simple and sweet, but I didn't like any of Blogger's skins, and blogskins.com were kind of eh (I'm a very particular person). So, I'm editing one of Blogger's skins to meet my preferences. It'll take some time to figure out the place to change colors for specific things. I can figure html out just fine when I set my mind to it, but nothing can be learned that quickly.

In other news: I revised the damn fight scene. I dread revising it again in the future, but I feel it's better right now than the rough draft version. After revising the fight scene, I realized how much more work I have ahead of me, so I'm procrastinating by putzing with the blog. :) I'll get it done. Maybe I'll have some good news come int he mail to lift my spirits up. I didn't have an evil Saturday - that's something somewhat good at least.

Okay, I'll putz more with the blog, then I have to read more Fantasy Hall of Fame for school. Happy writing!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

First I must get this done with: *grumbles at blogger* Their new bar at the top totally gets rid of my blogs title. How is that supposed to work? And it's not covering it either, it's just gone. Maybe I'll need to find a new blogskin that's more compatible. *shrugs*

Anyway, I received an e-mail on Friday. A drabble I entered in a contest a long time ago (which i didn't win the contest), will be published in the upcoming anthology entitled The Drabbler. I was quite shocked since someone else I knew who was going to have some drabbles published in this (the ones he submitted to the contest) was informed over a month ago. Better tardy in informing me, than never. The anthology will be published by Sam's Dot Publishing. It's due to come out October 1, 2004. It might be a small woohoo, but it's a woohoo nonetheless. :)

And then to dampen my mood I received a rejection from F&SF on Saturday. Why always Saturdays I ask? I even thought when I got the e-mail about the drabble, just wait, it's saturday tomorrow, my rejection letter day. Low and behold. I'd rather the rejections come on Wednesdays - I hate to hate Saturdays.

Well, that's all I got for now. Oh, my website might be down next week because I would love to do a major overhaul, password protect some stories that I intend to submit places. I'm probably going to make it more professional, even though NO ONE gave me any feedback. I am just talking to the internet waves. If only they'd talk back. Hm, that might be a story.

In novel news, the fight scene I have to revise has caused me to procrastinate some more. But I drew a map of my world. If I can get past the fight scene, and draw a map of Haven, then there shouldn't be too many more speedbumps for revising the first time through. Lots of work, but no one ever said it would be easy. happy reading and writing all!

Friday, August 27, 2004

I know, it's been a while since I updated. I haven't had much to update since I continually disappoint myself. Life seems to be getting in the way of my writing more now than when I had a full-time day job. Do tell me, how does that work out? If anyone figures it out, please let me in on the secret.

Well, the computers are fixed and fortified. I re-wrote the stuff I lost. It was pure torture, and one of the scenes I really liked when I first wrote it didn't come out as well. I pushed myself to submit 3 more stories to other markets. That means 6 of my stories are out there, awaiting rejections. Yeah, yeah, I'm being pesimisstic. Screw optimism.

Otherwise, I have a deadline tomorrow, and only have 2k words revised of the 15k I wanted to revise this week by the deadline. As I said, I've been diappointing myself. Maybe if I ban any form of recreation? That would suck. I know, I need to stop using cleaning as an avoidance tactic. I never thought I'd be keeping up on my cleaning for over a month. I hate cleaning. I'd rather clean than revise, and revising is more exhausting than cleaning. Does that tell you anything? I loathe revising, even if it's crucial to writing. Inserting new scenes aren't bad, although I have to be more careful than when I'm writing my shitty rough draft.

*sigh* I'll get over it, and the novel will get revised, and I'll have to repeat the process all over again. Maybe I should do something psychological to get me to like revising. Like the whole association thing. Pair something I love with something I hate, and then I eventually won't hate the one thing anymore. Or I'll start hating the thing I love.

On another topic, I'm thinking of giving my website another big overhaul. It's just so unprofessional right now. I mean, the stories I have posted I really don't intend to ever submit anywhere (and I never want to submit my poems anywhere). On the other hand, it's not so good to have those stories posted because it reflects my worst writing. If I had any publication credits to speak of, I'd say yeah, sure, revamp it and pull off most of the writing (don't worry, I still intend to do the blog - it's more help than hinderance, especially since I can complain to the internet waves, and they don't roll their eyes at me).

Okay, I'll do this. See, I have this comments section here on my blog, but no one comments on anything. If you read this post, and somehow make it up to this point, you are obligated to give your suggestion on what I should do with my website. Just click on the comments link. It doesn't hurt, I swear. And if you need to look at the website, the link to that is off to the right (Alexa Grave's Writing Corner).

I think I've blogged enough to make up for last week, huh? Happy reading and writing all!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Computers are evil.

I know, I'm not the first to say, nor will I be the last, but I'm saying it anyway. It's been a bad week. And I feel like complaining about it here. So there.

Finally, on Monday I get up the motivation to sit down and revise my novel. I had some new scenes to write to add in. Okay, I had the general idea worked out in my head, so on Monday I got 2 scenes done (1500 words). Yay! Then on Tuesday I tweaked an already present scene. I saved after that. Then my computer froze up.

Okay, the laptop has done this before. All I usually had to do was reboot (it freezes so I can't even use Ctl Alt Dlt), and the stuff that I hadn't saved is the stuff usually missing from the document (which usually isn't much since I'm constantly saving), and this time I had saved right before it froze up.

So, I restart and try to open my document. It asks to convert (this is WordPerfect btw). Huh? It shouldn't need to be converted, I was opening it in the program I created it in. Well, turns out my entire 70 page document is no longer accesible, and even trying to open it in notepad, there's nothing there, it's just blank.

I had really like those new scenes.

Tears squeezing out of my eyes, a panic attach setting in. This was no good. What, when I finally get 2500 words revised (when it took me so long to get the motivation to revise), this happens? Do the gods enjoy playing jokes on me?

I still can't get to my lost scenes. A margarita on Tuesday night made things a little better for a while. And a two-day separation from my computer (I took the laptop into Best Buy for diagnostic tests).

Well, they think it was the spyware on my computer. Me, I expect the sucker to freeze up on me even after I reboot the entire system, reinstall everything, and take extra precautions to shield against the spyware (and guess how often I connected that computer to the internet? maybe once every three months - and it had over 1400 traces of spyware on it! you tell me how that works).

Anyway, today I dropped the money on a JumpDrive, and I intend to back up every hour now. I only lost the stuff that I wrote on Mon and Tue because the rest was in another file. I'm also going to upgrade to WordPerfect 12 because even though they said it wasn't a hardware or software problem, I have sense that it might have been a combination of WordPerfect and my laptop over-heating. We intend to reboot our desktop comp too. So for both comps we're buying Norton System Works and Firewall (AntiVirus is included with that, but we already had that). Since I need Microsoft Word because almost everyone (including the school I'm attending) mostly uses that, and since when I installed Microsoft Office before it was from the college I no longer work at (the had the diskas to check out for their staff and students for free), we needed to purchase Word at least. there was no way in hell we were going to get the new Office for $400, although I probably could have bought the upgraded version for $240 since the desktop at least came with Microsoft Suite 2001. $240 was still too much (hell, that's how much I'm getting in a week on unemployment). So, we decided to drop $90 instead for an upgraded version of Microsoft Suite.

So, $350 later (and thankfully the diagnostic tests were free since I had the laptop under the service plan at Best Buy), I hate computers more than ever.

Oh, and I still don't know when I'll get the courage to re-write those scenes without getting all choked up at how beautiful they were and that I'll never be able to get it that way again. Five hours worth of work down the drain.

One of my friends had her car stolen the same day. I swear, the universe burped and we got the stinky fumes. *grumbles*

Not to mention, I've been wating the rest of the week screwing around with computer crap when I have better things to do!

I just hope the computer doesn't eat this post because I sure don't want to type it again...

Friday, August 06, 2004

Submit story via e-mail.

Receive rejection 4 hours later.

Is this supposed to help with my depression? Why do I think they didn't even read it? Humph.

Must find energy to revise novel.

Not much energy to do this blog. And what a blog entry this is. :p

Friday, July 30, 2004

I have discarded the Haloscan comments, since Blogger now has comments. So, now I enabled the Blogger comments. Thank you (yes, I know, no one comments on anything I say).
I haven't posted in a while. At least the week isn't over, so I don't have to say I didn't post this week.

What's new with me? Well, I'm in a bit of a slump. Motivationally challenged. I just haven't wanted to do anything, and I think a small bout of depression might have to do with it. Sometimes I think, is it worth it to try? Will I ever have the things I want in life, especially when it comes to writing? I'm thinking the not having a day job thing and the not knowing where I want to go for the day job thing might also be adding to all of this.

Here's what I'd like. I'll try to be realistic. It's obvious that I'm going to have to get a day job, so I'd like to work in something that I don't hate. So, I wouldn't mind doing something with editing. Preferably something in the fiction field since that's where I have most of my experience.

Is that so unrealistic? Well, if I don't want to live in New York, it's totally unrealistic. Urgh. It doesn't help that I don't even know where to start with that.

Okay, I'll stop my complaining. For now.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Done with the BIAW! I didn't reach anywhere near my goal. Only wrote 17,600 words. I'm still happy with the amount. That's probably about a fourth of my rough draft, since my rough drafts tend to be 70,000 words (at least my last one was). Of course, this is because I put the meat in when I revise.

Learned a few more things. I will never do a BIAW again. If I do, my word count will be lower. And, well, a BIAM seems to be a bit more realistic with the way I write. I was also happy that I wrote something new 6 out of the 7 days in the week. I don't think I've had that long of a writing stretch in quite a while. So, hopefully I can keep the momentum going and force myself to write another 1000 words a day, of something new that is. That so doesn't include revising. I think I'll continue to work on this novel, it's been fun. :) Although, I'm scared as I get further into it, I'm going to gain another POV character, and that means I'll have to go back and add scenes. *sigh*

Okay, enough of this for now. I have a schedule to follow (I will, really I will). Happy writing!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I'm in the middle of a BIAW (Book In A Week) Challenge on my Wisconsin Spec Fic writing group, and exhausted already. I've already discovered that I made my goal way too high. 70,000 is just a bit much. So far I've been averaging 5,000 words a day, so I might make it half-way to my goal.

Although, I am no where near disappointed about not writing as much as I expected. This has been a wonderful learning experience so far. It's clued me in to my physical and mental limitations when it comes to writing. I'm thrilled that I was ablt to write out more than what I normally wrote in a month (for my other novel - the project for my writing program), in two days!

It might also have helped me write more if I knew where I was going. The middle is one big blur for this novel. No lectures about outlines. *cringe* That takes all the creativeness out of it for me. And, well, frankly, I wouldn't have had the little turns that have already come up if I would have written an outline.

I know my pattern though - having less time to write brought it to my attention. I have to sit and mull over a few scenes, figure out what my characters are going to do next. Then I write those scenes. After that, I'm at another wall, so then I need to mull over the next few scenes. It's like when I write a short story - it's as if it's one big scene to me since it's so short, so I usually know where I'm going with it. I'm also learning what my best pace is. All this will help me set more realistic weekly writing goals in the future. This self-discovery is great.

Unfortunately, as I was falling asleep last night, my mind latched onto a major plot hole. *grumbles* Always in the rough drafts. It's not a big enough one to drive a mack truck through, but it's big enough for me. I think it can easily be fixed though (when I revise). Then I thought of another possible POV character, which would require to go back and insert scenes. Should I do this now? Would it be considered revising? Probably. I should just file it away for later. I have a feeling this rough draft is going to be super short, especially since I'm really only working with the main plotline right now. There is so much possibilty for sub-plots.

Okay, enough of me. I should be spending this time writing, not working on the blog. Happy writing all!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Well, I feel like I've been a bit productive this week. Although, I don't think I can stress how sick revising makes me. That's what I'm mostly doing this week. So far, I've revised two of my stories. Three stories will be out in the mail today. I still have to revise my novel. Urgh. That I'll plow through this weekend. I have another short story to revise (the one I finished the rough draft of this week). Not to mention revising the first two chapters of what I intend to write for the BIAW next week. I just want a set-up so I know where I'm going. I can't wait until next week. A whole week of fresh words and no fucking revising! Excuse my language.

Don't have much else to say. Oh, I read the second Stephanie Plum novel. It was way funnier than the first. Quick read too. No, no, I cannot read the next one. I have books for school to read. I'm done now. I think. Nap time?

Friday, July 02, 2004

I figured it was time to update. :) I've been trying to recover from my residency since I got back on Monday. This means I've been a very bad writer and haven't been working on the things that are on my list for the week. Starting next week, I need to set up a schedule. That's the only thing that'll keep me going. Still need to contact unemployment too... Good thing I got two weeks vaction paid out to me.

As for the residency, it was great. I was sad to see it end, but tired as all hell and happy to come home. Those damn conflicting feelings. Currently, I'm trying to write a short story, which I have grand ideas for, but I'm scared I'm not going to be able to pull it all together properly when I write it down. That's what revising is for. Although, I don't have much time to get the story in order, since I already have somewhere where I want to submit it.

My big goal in the next 4 months is to revise my novel twice. That may be too high of a goal, but I'd like to reach it. Maybe I should stop writing in this blog and get some e-mails sent and some writing written... Happy reading and writing all!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Not much to talk about. Hey, maybe I'll complain about all the crap I have to do...

No, I haven't written anything new. I organized my study though. It actually looks like a room now, not just a storage locker. Although, since I got rid of my futon, I need to scrounge up money to buy a loveseat. I write best when I'm all stretched out on a couch or loveseat, and I think my husband is sick of me taking over the livingroom when I have my study begging to be used. Sitting at a desk makes my back hurt. Thank the gods for handwritting and laptops. With all the things I want to get done though over the next few months, I doubt I'll be handwriting much.

Oh, I did post Ode to Buses and Libraries up on my website (just follow the link off to the right if you want to get to the website - it's under short stories). I have way too much fun writing Grinka and Syndago stories. It's good therapy. The next one will have to be with Grinka's ex-boyfriend (a goblin).

I'm off to my residency on Tuesday, so I'm not sure when I'll update next. That's what I have to prepare for. I still have critiques to do, two books to read, and now a paragraph to write for one of my modules. I'm supposed to write about my most painful childhood experience. How am I supposed to remember something like that when I've perfected the art of repression so well that my mind can't drudge anything up? I hated life all through high school, enough said. Can't use that though because we're just supposed to write the facts, not the emotions. *sigh*

I also plan to do a Book In A Week challenge with my online writing group in July. I think only two other people are interested though. It would have been cool to get more. If anyone who reads this and is a writer, if you're interested in setting a goal above what you usually write for a week (and this is only rough draft material - no revising), feel free to join the group. The link to Wisconsin Speculative Writers is also to the right. You don't have to be from Wisconsin to join. ;)

Okay, I've procrastinated at work enough I guess. Three more days in this miserable library. Then I'm free! Happy reading and writing!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

What we're running from masks our true selves.

#

Had to write that down before I forgot it. Could be a kernel for a future story or novel. I know it sounds dull, but every idea has to start somewhere.

I guess I should give an update anyway, since it's been a while. The last couple weeks have blurred by.

Well, I went to WisCon, and was sick all of WisCon (a slight fever as a matter of fact). I'm still getting over being sick. Hence, I haven't written anything.

I received another rejection on one of my stories yesterday, and I'm at a loss on where to submit it next. Not to mention I have a couple other stories begging to be revised so I can submit them somewhere. Critiques up the whazoo to do. Ick, bad unintentional rhyme.

Maybe I'll be more on track after my next residency, which is in two weeks. Not having a job will free up a lot of time to organize my life in July. Hm, I should really post Ode to Buses and Libraries on my website. Happy writing all!

Monday, May 24, 2004

*Bounces off the walls* I did it, I finished the rough draft of my novel! I wrote 13 and 1/2 pages just today. Woo hoo, I'm just way too wired. And I like my last few chapters (that is until people tear them apart).

Okay, I need to calm myself down so I can try to get to sleep tonight. I was writing since 1pm though, and I'm just so thrilled to have the draft done...although I didn't get to those critiques for WisCon I need done for Friday. Eek! If I only didn't have to go to work for the rest of the week... Damn stupid joke of a job.

Anyway, time to go e-mail people. I'm just way too excited. This has to be unhealthy. Happy writing!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Okay, dreams can be fun, especially when they give you writing ideas. Although, the ideas need to stop rolling in so I can work on my current projects. The dream I had last night actually planted a trilogy idea. Damn - that's the last thing I need.

Here I go. Some of this may not make sense because it might sound a bit scattered, but I just want to get the main ideas in my head down. Prince of Ice, Fire, and Lightning. War going on between this land and another (the other land is invading this land). This land keeps losing ground. The Prince was supposed to marry (Katja, that's her first name). She was perceived as not good enough for him (even though it was an arranged marriage). Katja was an orphan, but she had a special "power" (Not something necissarily magickal, and I'm not actually sure what it is, but it's something "special" about her). Katja can't handle the thought of all those people on the front lines dying - she wants to go fight. She's attracted to the prince, drawn to him, but her mind overrules her heart and she stands him up at the altar - her reasons being she wants to go fight and that she barely knows him). This society believes in a Goddess, much like the depiction of Mary - meek and loving. Most of the people forget the other face of the Goddess - her warrior face (also called Valkyrie). The Prince and Katja agree to "get to know each other better." He is truly in love with her, and promises he will never stop her from going where she wishes. See, the royal line all has three marks on their forhead (at birth) - red, yellow, blue, representing fire, lightning, and ice. These were once magickal representations, but that has been lost for generations. The Prince can feel the fire magick, the passion, the life essence, build inside him when he's alone with Katja. He heals her with it at one time. But he can't control it to aid others. Katja goes to the war front. She's seen as a joke, called the Prince's Harlot. There's rumors that the Prince only sent her there to die because she insulted and disgraced him by not weding him. She has to prove herself to even get a sword in her hand. She fights for their trust, to be given the chance to suggest other strategies. To prove herself, she's given the charge of a group of women warriors (who were all pulled from different units). The strategists saw this as a suicide mission. They returned with no casualties, and the women that followed Katja now trust her. They wish her to be their leader and she calls their group the Valkyries. Oh, around we're they're fighting there are these beautiful arches where the inside is carved with murals about the Goddess. At court, when they attend chapel, the women wear black robes and a shawl to match over their heads (white is seen as a bit childish). The strategists use Katja's strategies, but don't give her the credit. Katja struggles with whether or not the rumors are true. When the Prince shows up, she knows they're false. He is a good man, and does not follow in the footsteps of the few generations before him. He heals her there. She agrees to marry him once the war is over. Oh, yes, there is a doctor, his name is Doc Polly - the Prince takes advice from him, but the Doc also looks down upon Katja. The strategists want to use the rediscovered magick in the Prince. The Prince had demanded Katja be given credit for her ideas (he figured out on his own what was going on, and about the rumors). The strategists ask her to approach him.

Then what happens? I think I have to write the first novel to find out. I just have a hunch that each novel in the trilogy will be concerning each of the elemental powers mentioned. The Prince says "My father, and his father before him, and the many generations back lost the ability to use their gifts because they stopped listening to the Goddess. The fire comes alive when I'm with Katja, and only with her, so I would never wish her dead no matter how many times she leaves me at the altar. I can't control it. I'm still paying for my ancestors' ignorance." He needs to earn the powers back that his line has lost.

Huff. Puff. Okay, out of my head. Now maybe I can work on other things. Oh, I did write another Grinka and Syndago story. It was definitely healing to do so. I won't go into details, but it's titled "Ode to Buses and Libraries." If you want to know more, I'll let you all know when it's posted to my website. I think it'll be a while before I revise and submit that one. It actually ended up being about 14 pages (I wrote 11 yesterday - that's a lot in one day for me!).

Time to tackle all the other junk on my To Do list... *waves*

Monday, May 10, 2004

Well, I found out this past Thursday that I will be out of a job as of July 1. The library I work at has decided to outsource the cataloging, so mine and my boss's positions are being eliminated.

I know I didn't like the day job, but I needed the money. Although, now I'm considering collecting unemployment for a couple months so I can work on my writing. And maybe find a job I enjoy more - in the writing field. My husband says it's my decision. How'd I get such a supportive husband (even though he's not making much money where he's at, so that's the major stress). If I had kids, I'd really be in deep shit.

All this has put a big damper on my writing. I didn't finish the rough draft of my novel yet. I've been too apathetic. I guess I need to get my ass in gear though. If I wander in delirium and depression for too long, I won't get any writing done. Although, I am formulating a story with lovable Grinka, Syndago, Tamor, and Tamara. It involves the Immortal Library - which will of course no longer be standing after they leave. A bus make plow through it too, I'm not sure (Immortal Express? When it takes 10 hours for an hour long trip...).

*Sigh* Okay, back to "work." Talk about awkward for the next two months. I feel like I'm going to throw up...

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Okay, so I spent the day working on my website instead of writing. I felt I needed to try the WebRing thing, so that took a while, and then I said, I mine as well make sure they website looks decent. Well, I needed a day to do my own thing. I'm pretty confident I can drudge up the energy to finish the rough draft this week.

On a website note - I'm currently working on my Links page, since it's quite sad. I would like to get a good list of my writing friends' and associates' websites and blogs. And of course if there are any other excellent writing pages that people might suggest, I would be glad to consider any suggestions. Leave a comment here, or send me an e-mail.

Time for bed because it's Monday tomorrow. Bleh.
I have changed the Comments over to a different host. It looks like this time it's working. Not like anyone will leave comments anyhow... *shrugs*

I'm almost to the end of the rough draft. I think. It might not be 75000 words like I wanted it to be for this draft, but I guess that's what the revising is for. Just need to get the bones down right now. My ultimate goal is 100000 words. I'm at, last I checked 67000. But I've written 11 pages between Friday and Saturday. Now to encourage myself to write today. :)

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Comments aren't working... I may have to find another host for them. If I don't hear back from the Entenation support by tomorrow, then I think I'll putz with it.

I've written another 5 pages!
I added a Comments option to my blog. It can be found at the end of each post, after the time stamp. I know, I should be writing. I was just taking a break...

2 pages yesterday, 3 pages today so far, and counting. :)

Friday, April 30, 2004

I know, I said the posts would grow exponentially, but I guess I was wrong. I've haven't been feeling to well all week, so the images have decided to hush up for a while. Although, thinking about it and trying to come up with at least one more character, I did have an idea. Another character will be almost the opposite of her (male character) - he lives in reality, and he can't accept anything within him. The emotions, the dreams (which of course she is the Shepherd of Dreams and therefore touches many people's minds - she will linger with this ones mind, for she wants to understand it more). I see him frequenting brothels and drinking without thought of consequences (which might also make his reality not as real as he thinks it is). Not a guy you want to be around. But he's starts to sense an intrusion on his sleep, and he's not sure what it is... Well, I know it's the Shepherd of Dreams. :)

Just thoughts and ideas. I intend to push myself this weekend with my novel. I can almost taste the end. If I pull off a lot tonight and tomorrow, I'd be so thrilled. I may not be able to do anything spiritual for Beltane, but if I can finish the rough draft then that will be a great thrill. Note: right now I have the drive and urge to do it, but things may be different once I get home from work. I always have the motivation at the most inopportune times!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I see a woman's hand reach out, covered in blood. Her own blood. I don't know if this is the Shepherd of Dreams, but it's somehow connected to her, to this story that wants to be unearthed.

I feel like I need to see so much more before I even know where to begin writing on this. Which is probably a good thing because I can't start writing on this for quite a while. Too many other things that need attention. *Tells herself to tackle one novel at a time* There has to be another main character in all this mess, along with the Shepherd of Dreams. Maybe another song will conjure further images. Who knows. My muse is as confusing as the Shepherd of Dreams at times.

*Grins* At least I'll never fear of running out of ideas.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

She was a slave. Her mistress's husband was the father of her child. When they chose to sell her to someone else, they took the child from her, so the mistress could raise the baby girl as her own. In this society it is the daughter that carries the name and gains the land and property of her parents. It was the seperation from her child that struck her silent.

She has lived much of her life since then in Dreams. It has been sixteen years since she lost her daughter, yet she's aged only a few years, for when she is in the Dreams she doesn't age. Her talent manifested when she matured during adolescence, but the loss of her voice stengthened her connection to Dreams, allowing her to take a certain level of control. Her true speech, that of speaking to others' minds, also developed when she ceased using her tongue to communicate.

Is she still a slave? Physically, I'm not sure. Emotionally and mentally she still feels chained by the outer world, unable to steer herself in the direction she chooses. She has never had a choice.

###

Two posts in one day. Sheesh. Maybe I shouldn't quit my day job. This is when I have time to listen to music and form ideas.

Oh, I didn't mention last time. I finshed Part II of my rough draft this weekend. *Happy dances* Now, Part III, which shouldn't take me too long because I have a feeling it will be during the revising that it gets expanded into a goodly length. No more posts today, I swear.
She raises her staff, the shape of a shepherd's crook, and the wind picks up. It blows from behind, her hair lashing in her face and her wraps billowing around her. Darkness descends on the scene, so the vision of the plain disappears, but she can still be seen clearly. The smile has left her face.

Then an image forms of a child being ripped from the arms of its mother. This is her child. This is her Nightmare. She craves vengeance. Her power lies in Dreams, yet she has no power over Nightmares. If she could harness Nightmares, she could have her vengeance, for she is powerless in the real world. For all her strength of stature, she crumbles under the weight of reality.

###

Yes, I will continue adding my visions of this here, since I seem to see these things at work, and this is the most convenient way to write them down before they fly out of my head. This may just increase my posts, exponentially...

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Picked up some new music lately, and certain songs have a tendency to kindle images in my mind.

So, I'm listening while I'm at work and I see this woman in my mind. She's standing on a plain, almost bare of plants, except for a few dry looking bushes. Her shoulder-length hair blows in the wind, a light brown and layered. Bright feathers are tied into her hair. She holds a staff, and stands confidently. Her eyes are a piercing blue. She wears multiple colored fabrics wrapped around her body.

Awesome image, I'm all psyched. So then I obviously want to know more about her, who she is, what her name is. Well, she won't talk to me, to my chagrin. But she draws something in the dirt at her feet. Kind of the right half of a heart, and then a dot in between the two points. The name Shepherd of Dreams pops into my head. Okay, I'm getting somewhere. But I still want her to talk to me, to tell me her name, not just her title.

Then I realize she doesn't talk.

*Slams hand on forehead* Great. Now I have a character in my head who doesn't speak. I have a feeling she's telepathic, but she sure as hell doesn't want to connect to my mind. It'll come slowly, but I don't know if I'll be able to write a book (and this has novel, not short story, written all over it) with the main character (or one of the main characters) being mute.

I do know, I like her smile, even if she does it when I'm asking her questions, and she's not answering. Ach, back to work for now.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I know it's been a while since I posted, but I was in a slump. So, after allowing a short story out of my head, I'm for the most part all better. Accept for the fact that I'm so worn down from work (not to mention my internal clock is all wonky from Daylight Savings time). Deadline this Thursday - I have the minimum, but I wanted to get to the end of Part II in my novel so bad for this deadline. It's not that I don't want to write (I'm itching to get it out of me), it's just that my body wants to collapse after work and not move. I'll make sure I get some done tonight. I wish I could be as productive during the week as I am on the weekends.

Onto other things. I'm approaching the end of my rough draft! Eek! This is good and bad. Good because I'm so eager to get to the end. Bad because I've built up in my mind what I want the end to be like, and I fear I will fall far short of my ideal (even after revising). I'm just scared when I write it, it'll be horrible. Fortunately, that's not stopping me from getting to the end. *Crosses her fingers that she can finish the rough draft by the last deadline this term, and have the ending almost match what's in her head*

That's all for now. I don't wanna work (I'd rather go home and write). :p

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Ungh. That pretty much sums up how I feel. I can't seem to string a sentence together for the life of me without having to go back and correct mistakes. I send and e-mail to one of the writing lists I'm on, and when it goes through, I get embarassed to see all the grammar or spelling errors I made. Don't be surprised if you find a lot in this post, even if I am trying hard to type slow (and besides the fact that I'm having to backspace like every 5 words just to correct something). My mentor's going to have a field day with my next submission. I see lots of highlighting in my future.

It's so horrible that I'm having to push myself to write. I want to write, I want to continue my characters stories, but the drive just isn't there. Pooh. I think it's that time of year. I'm sure this will pass, unless of course work kills me first and beats every ounce of creativity out of me. I just wish I could take a year off of normal work so I could concentrate on my writing. Then see if I can get anywhere with it and then I'd know if I should relegate it to hobby status instead of killing myself by literally trying to work two jobs. But if I want to eat (and pay for the plane ticket to get to my residencies), I need to make money. And I don't want to drain what little we have in the savings. I really do want to own a house one day. Not to mention my husbands school loans will kick in in a couple months. Joy.

Okay, about the only thing I thought of in the last week that's relatively creative and I though interesting was this (ignore the grammar, the simile is what I'm geting at): As the snow melted from the first spring rain, it smelled of dead flowers and sludge.

Time to work now. And stay awake. Let's see if I can do both at once.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

I guess it's about time I add a new entry, huh? Well, I stayed home sick from work yesterday and did absolutely nothing. Slept till noon then watched my husband play video games all day. And of course, now I'm here at work and feel even more beat then I did yesterday. Hmph. That's not the way it's supposed to work!

Anyway, I guess I should talk about my writing woes. I'm having a difficult time getting into one of my main character's head. I don't know what it is, but he just doesn't want to open up to me. Kind of like he doesn't really want to open up to Tessa. And I thought she had major psychological problems (addiction to sex as a comforter and such). Looks like I have two emotionally messed up characters. I just feel like the next few chapters with Bastian's character are going to be dull and drab. Some of the things are necessary to happen, but I feel like I'm missing something more I could add to color the chapters. That's what revising is for, I guess. :)

I'm also reading Strategies of Fantasy. Did I ever mention how much I hate theory? Especially when it comes to fantasy. Sometimes I think people just pick apart things too much, look deeply into something that was never really intended when written, on a conscious level. The book is like two decades old too. They talk of postmedernism. Are we technically still in that era, or is there a new movement now? See this is what I get for taking writing classes instead of lit classes for my B.A. in English. Maybe I should save some of this rant for my reading journal...

Goal: write more than I did last weekend. I didn't write much because of a couple things. First, two rejections on a Friday do not bode well for encouraging me to write. I mean, they were nice rejections, and I totally understood why they were rejected (and it wasn't because my writing sucks, amazingly enough), but to get them before I have to write for the weekend! I have the luck... And then of course there was the aforementioned block with one of my characters. I'm just going to have sit down and force myself to write his chapters even if it is all crap.

Time to go actually work now. Here's hoping I don't fall asleep or throw up (gods forbid if both were to happen at the same time).

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Okay, a few things. First, I'm depressed as all hell with my writing. And it's hard trying to unconvince myself that my writing sucks more than rotten eggs. I keep telling myself that I'm writing for myself, first and foremost, but that's starting not to work because when I read over what I wrote I think it's crap even before I send it out to be critiqued.

Speaking of something along the lines of crap... I finished reading Laurell K. Hamilton's new book Caressed by Moonlight. You know, she just isn't paying attention to her writing as well as she used to. Obsidion Butterfly was probably her last half-way decent novel. This last one was filled with sex (as with her other recent books), and major plot holes - yes I'll use the cliche - you could drive a Mack truck through them! It's no longer horror/dark fantasy that she's writing, it's straight erotica. Is she sexually repressed or something? The main character had six guys in her bed before this book started, and now at the end she added about, let's see, six or seven. That's a hell of a lot of men to keep track of. Not to mention they're personalities just aren't unique enough. Maybe one or two aren't one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs. If I ever get published (and that if is bigger than all the plot holes I found in her book), I will never let my writing slack that much once if I'd ever get a following of people who would read anything I write and praise it even it it was crap... There were a couple redeeming qualities about her book, but the behind the scenes mythology/religion used shouldn't be the only thing keeping the reader reading.

On another topic, I was a bad girl this weekend. I needed a breather from all the dark fantasy I've been writing. so, I wrote a humorous fantasy story. Mind you, my sense of humor sucks, so no one else would most likely find what I wrote funny. I think it's funny - I'm still giggling over it. I should have added to my novel, but I needed to get something humorous out of my system. Maybe I'll post it to my website soon. Then everyone can tell me how funny it isn't.

Enough for now. Back to work for me. *groans* When is my husband going to get that six figure a year income? With a library degree never... So much for writing crappily full-time!

Monday, February 09, 2004

Well, I made it through the first deadline of the term. I'm beat. Three more months left? I wish I didn't have to work, then I wouldn't be so drained. And of course there's the dreaded passing of the Admission to Candidacy. I have to edit my three chapters (not as extensive as I did this past week, thank the gods), and then hope my mentor will accept them. *Sigh*

Anyway, I was thinking this past week how some ideas come about. The domino effect is truly amazing at times. I know, no one wants to hear about this, but I'm going to talk about it anyway. I wanted to integrate my villian more into the first three chapters. Okay. Well, I had a comment about the character seeking help being poor, and since she was poor why would she ask for the Witches' help. Okay. Well, she wasn't poor to me. Her husband and her didn't have any children, so the big house was too big for them and that's why they're in a dinky house. So, I added in that they moved a few years back, just to show that they weren't poor. So, then I started thinking after I added that in: hmm, a big abandoned house in the orchards. Wouldn't that be a perfect hiding place for the villian? Hence, I will have a new scene (or scenes) starting in Chapter 4.

I know that's only interesting to me. Here's another one. Someone commented that the law building probably wouldn't be the oldest in town. Instead of changing it's shabbiness, I thought, why not make it in an old church? Hence another big underlying factor that will be woven into the book. I never thought t would develop into a holy war of sorts between the Witches and the rest of the people in Leera, but I have a feeling it will play a big part, especially when I'm working on rewriting the whole thing. Hmm....I need to come up with the mythology concerning Leera's Goddess (the Witches' diety) and the God (everyone elses' diety). Maybe to divorcies, so to speak?

Ignore me. I'm pathetic. Although, I'm happy to say at least I feel my world is rounding out a bit more. Although I still feel majorly insecure about my writing. *Sigh* Okay, time to edit those chapters...

Monday, February 02, 2004

Revising... I hate it. Okay, those words don't really hold the emotion I'm trying to express. I loathe it, and wish I could take my laptop and chuck it across the room when it takes me an hour to revise two $!#@ing paragraphs! But then if I had a laptop in peices it would probably take me much longer to revise. I love the writing, getting the bones down on paper is a thrill. But revising sucks beyond belief. I know I need to do it, I even have the battle plan in my mind of what needs to change (at least the big ideas), but it's pure torture. It's the perfectionism bug, I know it is. Right now, I have so many suggestions rolling around in my head that I want to make it perfect. Don't use facial expressions, or movement (how the hell am I supposed to cut all of those out - just description and dialogue? I think not). Watch the viewpoint - she can't see herself do this (then why when I'm reading many books does the author do that very same thing I'm chided over?) The revising is driving me up a wall (to use a wonderful cliche that seems to be the epitome of my life lately). Right now I just feel that my writing is terrible, that it has no color, no life, it's been degraded to mere words on paper. I'm self-conscious as I revise. I'm thinking how everyone else will reacte to how I word something, how they'll look at it and say that's wrong. And it doesn't help that I don't even have the entire rough draft of the novel written. How am I supposed to revise the beginning if I don't know the nuances that happen at the end?

Urgh, boo, hiss, grrr, grumble, spit, groan. Maybe it's time to blow my creative brain to bits and start over. No, no that wouldn't work. Maybe the revising has already turned my creative brain to mush. Bleh.

Friday, January 23, 2004

This has been quite an unsuccessful week. I feel like I'm getting sick, which is just miserable. Bleh. It was so f#*%ing cold yesterday in Wisconsin, I wanted to scream (believe me it is not fun walking to work when with the wind chill it feels like -25 below 0, even if it is only a 5 minute walk). Last weekend was a bit productive at least, since I got 8 pages written. So, I hope to redeem myself this coming weekend. Churn out some fresh pages and attack my first three chapters (urgh and double urgh). Great it's snowing. Walking home for lunch will be a thrill. Okay, yes I'm in a horrible, complaining mood. At least my brain isn't unhinged from my head like the last post. That's all I have to say today. And I should actually do some work work instead of staring forlornly out the window and vetching in my blog to whoever happens to stop here and read it. Work, work, work....I'd rather be at home in bed, well rested and eager to write.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Well, I came back from my residency last Thursday. Lots of motivation seething through me and stuff like that. I was rolling this weekend - chopped down my synopsis to one page single spaced in five hours (cringe and double cringe). Read my critique group member's novel pages, getting ready to critique it. Also wrote three pages. Now it's Monday, and work has drained every ounce of will out of me. Is it the weekend yet? I don't have the luxury of only working on my project and everything that goes along with it on the weekends only. I think I'm more disappointed in myself. Damn it I should be able to handle more than this! All the things I want to get done, and all the things I need to get done, and my body just doesn't want to do it. I'm a pathetic loser who needs to get her ass in gear and stop thinking what I have to do and do it. Okay, I'm a bit better now. Just need to yell at myself once in a while, point out what a fool I am, things like that. I'll be fine. It will all get done in the end, whether or not my mind and body have to go through prolonged torture (that is to yank the motivation out of me, because the writing I love, it's the energy I need). Did this make any sense? Am I sounding two-faced, double-headed? My mind is split in a million directions and it doesn't know which way to think. Hmm, I like that sentence. Oh, oh, I thought of this today that sounded cool: Metal squeaking like a chirping baby bird. I know it's probably dumb, and I know I'm all over the place. Eh. Maybe I have schizophrenia. That would be interesting... Interesting - one of the most boring words in the English language. It doesn't describe anything. If anything, it's now interpretted as being negative - as in someone thinks your story idea is interesting, they really mean, I don't like it but I'm too much of a coward to be honest. I think I'm done now. Are you done sounding stupid brain? Food - that's what I need. If my husband would get home with the food I might not sound so nutty. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. >:) For those who don't know that's the devil smiley. That's it, I'm possessed. Why can't a demon that makes me into a compulsive work-a-holic/frantic writer possess me? I'm forcing the demon to stop talking through me now. Ta ta!