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

Monday, December 26, 2005

I know what I said...

I said I'd post my Resolution List last week. Well, I did manage to finish drawing it up, but I think I'll wait to post any writing related ones until the 31st or 1st. Makes more sense, anyhow.

Some good news (now anyone who actually reads this will be thinking...is she serious?...is she joking?...she never has anything but bad news to report). We actually got the house! We were finally able to find a reputable insurance comapny to cover us, plus the seller took $1,100 off the price, which is half of what the electrical update was estimated at.

So, since we had a bunch of X-mas and house running around to do last week, all I got done writing-wise was the Resolution List and a little more of that novella. I might just need to accept the fact that with all the house stuff (we are closing on the 9th), I am not going to get the novella done, critiqued, and revised by the deadline for the anthology I want to submit it to. :( I'll try, but I have a lot of packing to do now, among other things. Been cleaning most of the day and this place is still a mess...

Okay, enough from me. Hopefully I'll post again at the end of the week. Happy writing!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Long Overdue

I am definitely long overdue for a blog post. See, after my last post, I was hoping I could come back for my next post with a nice balance of good and bad things. Seventeen days later, I realize, fat chance. So, I am going to complain all I want right now, and the only thing that will stop me is if the power goes out. :p

First, I haven't written anything for two weeks straight. Not good at all, of course - I feel strained not having written (the why will be coming, just be patient). I also haven't submitted any queries, which will not be worked until after the first of the year - boy is X-mas approaching swiftly. As for stories, according to my tracking system, I still have one out there; I received two rejections in the last couple weeks.

Here comes the story of the last three and a half weeks. On Dec. 5, we found out that an offer we put on a house was accepted. Yes, this was great news - yay, we were so excited. I didn;t post because I wanted to be sure everything was going to work out. In hindsight, I should have posted because things have just gone downhill. :( The Saturday after acceptance, we had an inspection of the house. Needs some work, of course, it's an old house. But there are asbestos lined pipes in the basement - not good. We gave the seller the right to cure (she's a nice old lady, and has lived many years in that house), and she was willing to incapsulate it after she got estimates, so we went ahead with getting the loan done and getting insurance (which is needed to secure the loan). No problems with the loan, but then my husband's insurance agent calls back and says they can't cover house insurance because of the old knob and tube wiring in the house (and yes, we have asked around since - no one will cover it). This is the rapid downhill portion. It can cost upwards of 2k to replace. We don't have that kind of money, so we asked the seller to cure. She wanted to talk to her son, and right now it's sounding like she will want us to pay half, which is understandable, but we are stretched at our limits for money and couldn't afford something 1k or more. We knew it would have needed to eventually be updated, but we were not expecting such a big thing right away. In the end, all we've done and stressed over will likely come to nothing and we won't get the house because we can't agree to pay half.

So I have been majorly busy with house stuff, plus the X-mas season. And last Friday was pure hell. Within 2 hours of me waking up I had to call the vet again for sick kitties, hear a nasty grinding noise when I started up my comp, found out about insurance not willing to cover us, and had to talk to my mom about three times (this is a bad thing, trust me). Then later that day my mom calls back and tells me my grandpa fell again and was in the hospital, so the nice (nice is a relative word with my family) planned fish fry with mom and grandparents was spent in the hospital - we actually ate in the waiting room.

So, mostly bad stuff. I'm waiting patiently for the year to turn over so I can put crappy 2005 behind me. Has not been my year, and the last 3 weeks have not been good for my depression. I hope to get a new resolution list typed up for the year sometime this week. I will post most of the writing related ones here when I get the chance. Maybe I'll even do a X-mas post. :) I'm not going anywhere, I'll have time - lol. Just glad we can stay in X-mas weekend this year. It's damn cold out there.

I wish everyone Happy Holidays, and a Blessid Yule! That's about as cheerful as I get right now - heh. ;)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Doldrums

Well, I'm sick of making excuses, so I won't make any. I only got a little over 7k for NaNo and the rough draft of that novella isn't done yet.

It's not that I don't want to write or submit stories/queries. I have that constant tingling in my brain that insists I tell all the stories that have come to mind. It's just I'm somehow stuck in my ability to motivate myself to do anything. Not just writing either. The house is a mess, and I haven't actively looked for a "real job" in a long time. I know I've been bad with everything, allowing things to pile up, and when my husband comes home from work everyday, I'm afraid one day he'll snap on my because I haven't gotten much done for the day.

What is wrong with me? Do I need to see a therapist or something? How did my life get so out of wack? I have also been ignoring things like my spiritual development (I am Wiccan, by the way - *she says and loses at least two readers*), and that isn't a good thing. I have a million questions and I don't have any answers, although I SHOULD be the one with the answers.

I'm sick of blogging every week and complaining about my lack of progress. I'm tired of not ever having much good to say about myself. It burns me out more and more to type of my short comings all the time (it really does hit harder when it's out there in writing).

What am I saying? I don't know. Another question without an answer. Perhaps it's just a warning that I might not post as frequently as I have been? I will always complain, it has been my nature since the day I was bron and yowled at the cold, cruel world, but I need a bit of a balance I think. I'm all lopsided. Maybe I am saying every post should be half good, half bad? Again, I don't know what I'm saying.

Watch for a post down the line. Hopefully I'll have figured some things out by then. :(

Monday, November 21, 2005

New week, new plan

Sometimes I do think I come up with a new plan every week on how to get stuff done and use my time wisely. Anyway, last week ended with me not wanting to do anything and playing too much EQ. This week, I hope to finally crack the code to my own brain and figure out how I work.

I did about 200 words last week, and about 1k words today - that's an improvement - hehe. Well, this is what I'm doing. I made my usual big huge list of things that need to get done. Now, every night before I go to bed, I plan out on a schedule what I'm going to do when (generalities, that is - like I mark down writing, and that could encompass many different writing things I need to do on my main list). It worked out well today. I actually woke up at 10am, and even though I have been running on four hours of sleep all day, I feel like I got everything done that I wanted to accomplish for the day. Yay!

Oh, I received two story rejections this past weekend, so I should resubmit those stories somewhere this week. I also hope to get the rough draft of the novella done. One of my main POVs has a stick up her ass, as I discovered today, but I think it will all fall into place nicely as I continue to write it. I will still add the word count I get done in my novella to the NaNoWriMo meter, but Shepherd is on hold until I finish the novella. I should also submit a couple more agent queries. And add to that chain story. Plus a crit. Those are my main goals this week, at least, among the other stuff I have on my writing to do list. One thing at a time. :)

I'll try to update during the week how my "new" plan is going. Wish me luck, and happy writing!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Forget Days

Yesterday, I again was feeling like dung. And then everything else I needed to get done trumped writing. I know, it's NaNo month, and all other things should be lower priority than NaNo. I can't do that. I'm the only one that cleans the house, otherwise it smells bad, and when I have a dirty, messy house, I can't write, or keep my mind on the writing. Not to mention dealing with student loans and house hunting (still - I haven't heard back from our realtor either...she might have forgotten we exist). All those little things that needed to get done, and when I finish them I look at the clock and the day is over.

I do want to catch up with NaNo, I do want to hit 50k this month, but I might have to be realistic. November sucks for NaNo. The only worst month that could have been chosen for this crazy feat would have been Decemeber. WFC in November, Thanksgiving in November. Why not June or August for NaNo? Not to mention daylight savings time has shifted, and it gets dark earlier, and with it being colder out, I'm more lethargic (as I think I've stated before - I swear I have SAD - I so need out of Wisconsin).

So, today my stomach and the gray sky outside say, go back to sleep. I won't go back to sleep, per se, but I will take it easy, and I won't push myself to get thousands upon thousands of words done just so I can catch up. I'm a loser, I'll accept that, but I won't stop writing. I will be shifting gears to that novella I need to get the rough draft done of. And yes, I will be counting any words I complete for that toward NaNo. Right now, my goal is to make sure I write a little bit each day, even if it's just 100 words. Tonight around 6, when I'm not too tired yet and when my husband will be leveling my enchanter on EQ, I will work on that novella for at least an hour. Then I will increase my writing time everyday. Baby steps to get back into the heavy word counts. I also plan to handwrite the next novella scene - something I haven't done in a long while.

Have I babbled? Yes. Have I made excuses? A few. Will I find my writing pace and pull myself out of my stress-funk soon? I damn well better.

Good luck to those that are on track to completing NaNo. I give you props for being able to do what I can't seem to do. :) Heck, I'll still try again next year because I am a masochist at heart, and torturing myself with things like NaNo is a hobby. :p

Monday, November 14, 2005

NaNo - Days 12 and 13

Writing in the car is not a possiblity for me - too scrunched in. So, I didn't get any words done for these two days. Not to mention, I am still not feeling well. I think I was sick all last November, too. You think it might be psychological, or just the crappy shift in Wisconsin weather?

Okay, short blog, since I need to get 3k done today before I sleep (among cleaning fish tanks, going on a raid for EQ - probably the only EQ I'll do all week - taking clothes to the laundromat because our landlord is too damn lazy and cheap to replace the broken 15-year-old washer, and other cleaning things...). Happy writing...kind of...bleh.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

NaNo - Days 10 and 11

This will be a quick post. I have lots to do.

Day 10 I got about 1k done. Day 11, nothing at all - I still haven't been feeling well. Had to get up early this morning because we need to get the kitten from the vet, then we are heading up north. So, I will not be updating on the blog tonight, since I will be at the in-laws. I'll be back tomorrow evening. Hopefully I'll get some writing done on the four hour trip there and back.

Happy NaNoing!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

NaNo - Day 9 - sick

Yesterday, I felt like utter crap. So, I didn't get any writing done. I still feel horrible today, but I hope I can get some writing done. The kitten is being super crazy again though (I can't say I will not welcome the two nights of peace when she goes to the vet tonight).

Okay, short blog. I'll catch up, really I will.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

NaNo - Day 8

I swear I got some type of bug from the convention - I feel more lethargic than usual. Ah, well. I knew I'd get sick.

I did get 1200 words done today. Small steps - I intend for my word count to grow exponentially. I doubled it from the day before, which is a great feat. :)

Otherwise, nothing to report. Oh, accept that I have a more in depth sex scene in this novel than I did in The Mind Behind the Mind. This one isn't even romance sub-genre fantasy, at all. I didn't even know it was coming until I realized it was the perfect way to get inside Lazarus's head and show why he does what he does. I'm liking that character too much now, which I'm scared will make me be too nice to him and give him the benefit of the doubt - he needs to be an asshole through most of the novel, damn it!

Okay, bedtime. Sweet, precious, sleep. :)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Errors

Yes, I see all the grammar errors I made in my last post - that just shows how tired I am. And being too lazy to go edit them all shows it even more. :)

Still tired

WFC wiped me out. I slept lots last night and I still feel like I need even more sleep. *sigh* I will post some stuff I heard on the panels later this week. it won't be nearly as much as I posted for WisCon - hehe.

So, time to cover goals. Last week I managed to write 2.2k for NaNo and have a good time at WFC (even though it exhausted me).

This weeks goals are:

- 14-21k of NaNo novel
- 5-10k of novella
- 1 crit
- still need to add to that chain story (I swear it's been a year since I was supposed to add to it last)
- update website
- 2-3 queries to agents
- post some tidbits from WFC

That's a full plate, to use a cliche. I've already done about 600 words for NaNo today, I just don't want to edit my tracking bar until I am done for the day. So, later you'll either just see the bar updated, or you might get a NaNo comment from me, too - depends on how tired I am and how late I get to the at least 3k goal I want to get to today. This week will be better - no conventions, no guests (sent Chun off on the bus a couple hours ago). I will be visiting in-laws on the weekend, but a 4 hour trip there and back with the husband driving will likely be good for getting writing done (that is if my laptop cooperates with me - it was such a pain over the convention).

That's all for now...I'm tempted to take a nap. :) Happy writing!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

NaNo - Day 4

No cute title today. I'm too darn tired for cute and witty. Note: today still means Friday, no matter what my time stamps says. It's my brains clock that counts.

Okay, if I can't get this crappy internet connection and blogger to cooperate in sync to get my template updated - the bar should be at 2,245/50,000 (4.5%). Yay, I got some done!

Yes, this means that I figured out most of the Lazarus stuff - well, the main stuff that I needed to get my rolling at least. He surprised me with a nasty secret already while I was just writing. Love it when they do that. But, yes, when I was trying to get to sleep, I thought on it, and it clicked. Muse likes to kick in when I'm almost aleep because she hopes I'll forget in the morning and get frustrated. Sometimes I think my writing troubles only exist to amuse her. I swear she laughs every time I receive a rejection.

Now I'm rambling about crap. Oh, am I exhausted. Here's hoping I get some decent sleep and that I can write another 1k at least tomorrow. I might not hit 10k by the time I go to bed on Sunday, but I'll just have to play catch up next week then. :) Fun, fun. Night all, and happy writing!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

NaNo Day 3 - No words

Okay, WFC started today. Unfortunately, that's not the reason why I didn't get any words for NaNo done. It's one of my main characters that has me stumped right now. I know, this is where people tell me I should plan things out further ahead of time. This writer can't do that! So, instead I will vent and think things through out on here. Sometimes if I actually talk about the problem, a solution will pop in my head.

I can see the Shepherd of Dreams - she was the one who led me to this novel to begin with, and I even have developed a few more ideas concerning her and the plot. Well, I also have a male POV. The first scene with him is only currently a page long. I don't know very much about him, though. His name is Lazarus. The name was pulled from the ether when I started his scene - it felt right (hell, I never thought I'd be using a name from the bible). Anyway, when I came back from the panels today and started my comp, I at least looked up Lazarus to refresh my memory on the biblical story. Okay, he was the dude raised from the dead. So, I think, it would be cool to have him be involved with death, perhaps something like a necromancer. This is where I freeze up. It sounds right - dreams and death is a good pairing, but I can't even begin to see how any necromancer-like thing could be intertwined with the Shepherd of Dreams. I also don't want to be cliche. There needs to be something different, and he needs to have a reason to use necromantic power. It feels lke one of those things where I'm so close to the answer, but my muse is currently unwilling to bonk me over the head with the connections. I do know, Lazarus is one sick fuck. I hope he doesn't turn into a second villain - the poor Shepherd would have her hands full. From how I feel, he might be one of those anti-heroes.

Perhaps I'll get some ideas from the zombie panel on Saturday - lol - Chun would love it if I wrote something with zombies in it. Heck, maybe my husband would actually read some of my writing then.

Why must I be cursed with having a brain that needs to write scenes in order? Here's hoping if I sleep on it, it'll all come together, so I can squeeze in 2k words on Friday, sometime between everything else going on. I might be going the handwritting route so I don't have to drag my laptop around (which takes like 15 minutes to boot up anyhow).

Lazarus - let me in your head! Muse - start talking, and stop smirking! Sleep time. :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

NaNo Day 2 - The Hits Keep Coming

Well, my hamster girl died today. :( She was a year and a half old. For the last few days I knew she wasn't looking good, but I'm still uber sad that she's gone. The picture is of her from a few days ago - my little Cliona of the Fair Hair. I had realized that I had taken no pictures of her before (stupid me). Two good memories of the hamster girl: unlike most hamsters, she didn't pick one corner to sleep in - she switched it up during the week, sometimes even in one day - and my husband and I would sing the "Run to the Hills" song when she was zooming in her wheel.

Needless to say, this dampened much NaNo progress. I was emotionally worn out for most of the day (for those people that say she was just a hamster, don't say it to me, otherwise I will likely snap - she was family). I did get more done than yesterday at least. WFC starts tomorrow, so the NaNo word count will have to be made up mostly next week.

That's all for now. *Mourns her hamster girl*

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

NaNo Day 1 Blahs

This is not starting out well at all. I got five hours of sleep last night, so I am exhausted to begin with (I would have slept longer, but my eyes didn;t want to stay shut). When I finally get into my study to start my word count, Amara, the calico kitten from hell, is an utter pain in the ass. I am the type that can really only have the music as background and no other type of interruptions. Here, I posted a rant to the NaNo forums, and I will repost it here.

#


Look at me - I was stupid enough to get a new kitten about three weeks ago!

I know you might think, okay, I'm too busy having fun and playing with the kitten.

It's quite the contrary. She is a terror with four paws and a tail. So, you say, shut her out of the room. Well, she is stuck in my study because she has an upper respiratory infection and would get my other cats sick. And if I left her in any other room alone, she would destroy it.

I admit, this is just a vent post because the kitten has been such a brat that I was only able to get a paragraph done in 45 minutes. People like to make lists, and so do I. Here are a few reasons why Amara (unfading - gods why did I pick a name that means unfading) won't let me write:

1. Instead of eating her food, she tries to knock it over so she can bat around the pieces.
2. Instead of drinking her water, she tries to knock it over so she can amuse herself while I'm wiping it up.
3. She jumps up and pulls at my hair when I am in the middle of taking a sip of soda, so my hand jerks and I get soda all over me and my keyboard (this was the incident that made me start this post).
4. She jumps from the loveseat straight onto the keyboard while I'm typing (you should have seen the Yahoo search she attempted last night).
5. She chews mouse cords, among other cords. Yes, she shorted out my nice mouse this past week and I was forced to buy a wireless.
6. When I pick her up when she's going absolutely bonkers running around the room, there are moments she goes schitzy and decides biting is a great option - ow says my left hand right now.
7. She likes to eat paper - I'm a writer, and I get a cat the chews paper.
8. She will crawl in anything and everything that she is not supposed to be in or on, and she does it because she knows it will get my attention.

Okay, eight is enough. There are more, trust me. *sigh*

#


So, in an hour, I managed to write 218 words. Yippee! Did I spell yippee right? Yipee? Bleh. I was tired to begin with, and I am exhausted now. I hope to write more tonight, but I just might do one of the things I hate doing right now. Nap. She wore me out that much. Of course, now she's sleeping, so when I get back in here to try again, she'll be bouncing off the walls again...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween, WFC, and Goals

Happy/Blessed Halloween/Samhain everyone! (And happy four year anniversary for my hubbie and me.)

This is going to be a BIG and BUSY week for me. First, World Fantasy Con starts on Thursday. I have some great news, too - I'll be reading at the Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading on Friday at 11am. Asking to be put on the waiting list was a great move for me, since it seems someone had to drop out. It's only 4 minutes of reading, but it'll be fun. :) Also starting at midnight tonight is NaNoWriMo, but I will talk about that more later in my post.

I suppose I should mention what I completed off of my goals list last week. Well, I was kind of eaten up by the Party Prep Monster. A bunch of little things didn;t go as planned, so it sucked up more time. All I managed to get done from last week's goal list was about 1.3k of the short story, and then I realized it was going to be longer than I expected - already on page 19, and I'm maybe a third of the way through. So, that story will have to wait to be finished until after NaNo (and after that novella - I need to do a rough draft so I can get crits and revise it before the submissions deadline - eep!).

With that said, here are my goals for the week:

- 10k of my NaNo Novel
- 5-10k of my Blood/Souls novella
- 1 crit
- Add to a chain story (I think Super Dave will kill me in my sleep one night if I don't finally add to "The Clock")
- Have a wonderful, uber time at WFC!

It's all doable. I think. I hope. We'll see. Of course the house needs to be cleaned again because the party made it dirty. Always a sign of a good party. :) Although Chun says at least one person has to throw up for it to be dubbed a good party...hehe.

Okay, NaNo time. Tonight or tomorrow I will add a new counter to my blog. It will reflect the same counter on the NaNoWriMo page. I might keep the weekly word count goal thing up until I finish that novella rogh draft, otherwise it will be removed until NaNo is over. I'll also try to update my blog everyday with my NaNo status. I might slack a bit during WFC, since my laptop internet connection might be crap at the Con (it was when I was there for WisCon, so who knows). I am hoping the Con will energize me and get some momemtum going for NaNo.

Hm, anything else to mention? Nope, don't think so (oh, accept for getting another agent query rejection on the day of my party...good thing we had alcohol - lol). Happy writing, and good luck to anyone else doing NaNo!

Monday, October 24, 2005

New Week

Okay, so here is what I accomplished last week (in between having to take the kitten to the vet because she has an upper respiratory infection, plus having to give her a bath because she had poo smushed into her fur - Roland was never this much work):

- 1 crit
- Updated Website (added a tip finally - yay - go to my website to check it out)
- Edited "Daina" short
- Submitted 3 queries (1 to Luna)
- Submitted 2 stories

Not as much as I wanted to get done, but such is life.

This week, on the other hand, is the week of my big Halloween party. Okay, it's not so big, but I do have a lot of preperations to do for it, especially since the house still isn;t fully cleaned. So, this weeks list for writing, I know I won't complete it all, but they are things I need to work on, so we'll see what I get done. Chun will be coming in on Friday, so maybe he'll encourage me to get more done while he's here (after I make him help me carve pumpkins - lol). Here goes:

- 1 crit
- Write story "Hell Hath No Fury"
- Write novella (Blood and Souls - working title)
- Edit flash "Path of One"
- Edit story "Bloodstains"
- Add to a chain story
- Website - update (maybe add to the Chronicles)
- Submit 1 or 2 stories
- Revise story "This is Where I Stand"

Long list, I know. As I said, I don't expect to finish it all.

In other news one of my stories made it past round one of ASIM's submission process - yay! I'm all blogged out for now. Happy writing!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Progress Report #1

Okay, it's not as if I haven't done anything, it's just I haven't accomplished as much as I've wanted to. Road blocks keep getting thrown in front of me. :( If it's not the kitten, it's calling about my student loans or freaking out because Spy Sweeper said I didn't renew even though I did in August (and being on hold with them forever). Sigh. This is what I got done so far:

- 1 crit
- 3 queries mailed (1 of them to Luna)

It looks even worse when I type it. :( I haven't even had a chance to add one word to that short story. I did get some cleaning done, which is good, but I really need to finish that story.

I have a killer headache right now, so I think it's time for bed...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Goals - maybe this will help

Okay, I am going to post my goals each week, and then at the end of the week (or beginning of the next week) I will post what I actually accomplished. My reasoning is that if I make my list public, it will encourage me to get it done so I don't humiliate myself. I'll only do this goals on blog thing until I get back into the writing habit. So, for this week:

- 2 crits
- Add to a chain story
- Finish rough draft of "Hell Hath No Fury"
- Write 2.5-5k of the novella
- Update Website (add a Tip/Prompt OR a new Chronicles piece)
- Edit "Daina" short short
- Submit 2 or 3 stories
- Submit 3 agent queries (and maybe a query to Luna as well)
- Revise "This is Where I Stand"

Those are just the writing goals. No one needs to hear all the cleaning and halloween party prep that I need to do. Wish me luck, and I wish everyone luck for their writing goals during the week!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fresh Distraction

Well, this week flew by fast, and I'm not actually sure where it went.

I do know where most of my energy has gone since Wednesday.

Meet Amara. Her name means unfading. She is our new addition to the house (which puts our cat count up to three). At the pet store she was so timid and inched away from us. I was like, oh, she's so sweet - she'll be a nice, quiet little kitty. Well, I should have learned my lesson with Roland. Amara is a little spitfire (who just yanked my mouse off the desk - sigh). I am expending most of my energy keeping her out of trouble. Not to mention, when I try to type, she tends to want to walk all over the keyboard. I know, I know, the last thing I needed was yet another thing stopping me from getting words onto paper (or into word doc). What can I say, my husband and I are impulse pet buyers. :p Our other two cats are none too happy with the situation either.

So, I haven't gotten much done in way of writing this week. I have a few crits to finish, and I might just have to lock the kitten up in the bathroom to get them done...my study is her home while the other cats get used to having her around and so she doesn't destroy the rest of the house when we can't watch her. That makes things difficult. One good thing about her as a distraction - I haven't played EQ much, haven't logged on in two days, as a matter of fact. And having the kitten is encouraging me to clean the house, so she has less junk to get into. :)

Okay, I think that's all for my post right now. I have a Roland growling at an Amara - he's jealous because she's playing with HIS toys. Who needs children when you have cats? Happy writing, all!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Little Things

I'll get to the title of this post in a moment, but first some general, boring updates. This week was rejection week - joy! Monday I received the last query rejection (my initial thought being, at least I didn't get it on a Friday). Tuesday I received a rejection for "Suicide Woes." After that rejection, it struck me, I had nothing else out in circulation. At the moment I opened the letter on Tuesday, I knew I wouldn't receive another rejection because there was nothing out there to reject. Am I weird in saying, I kind of felt like a deer caught in headlights? Guess I'm admitting my masochistic side.

So, today I sent out "Suicide Woes" and "Prince Upon a Black Horse" to new markets. That means I feel a little better, since I know I can get my Friday rejections again. :p I haven't done any queires at the moment because I e-mailed a friend with a few questions about a publisher I'm considering sending the novel to. And I signed up for NaNo - yay! I will be working on Shepherd of Dreams. Can't worry about that though until November 1. Too many other things to get done before then.

No, my word count hasn't gone up this week. Monday I spent most of the day working on a crit and cleaning my study (the papers might not be organized yet, but having a clean place to work in feels good). Tuesday I felt like poo, so no work got done, Wednesday I still felt like poo and did scans, and today, well, I already mentioned I was working on submissions - it takes a lot of time to pick one from the list at ralan.com, then to make sure I didn't make a big oops in the cover letter.

As for the title of this post. I think so many of the little things have been holding me back lately. I have so much to do that my mind starts to panic, but the thing is, especially with the writing, it's mostly a bunch of little things, and that's why the list seems so long and overwhelming. I've been intending to make a list of all my writing projects (or languishing stories that should be in a slush pile somewhere), but I've been putting it off. I think it needs to get done, along with some of the other smaller stuff I have been putting off, which eventually make them into big things. So, for the rest of this week, I'm not going to be concerned with word count. Instead, I'm going to make myself that list, so I have something to focus on and check off once I finish it.

My goals for the rest of the week: create a writing list, including what stage in the process I'm in with my stories and novels, update my website, including something on the sad, sad tips and promts page, finish a crit, and plan next week's goals. I know it doesn't seem like much, but those little things are beginning to get overwhelming to the point that I'm choking on my worry.

I also have to keep reminding myself that writing is more than just getting words on the page. Word counts are great, but those don't show the time spent trying to network with other writers, preparing submissions, critiquing, allowing ideas to formulate in my head, reading magazines for market research, reading books, among the other number of writerly things. I think I've been giving myself a guilt trip too much over the low weekly word counts. I need to clean out some of the little garbage that piled up while I was working on my thesis before I can get my fingers moving again with my current rough drafts.

And I'm rambling - surprise, surprise. Okay, I'll stop boring people with all this junk. Time to work on those goals...and maybe eat something today - lol. Happy writing all!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Supposed to be....

I was supposed to be in New Orleans this week. :p Well, the husband still has the whole week off, so I am counting the week still as a vacation week. I might write some, but I mostly plan to allow myself the time to relax with no pressure. I think that's one of my problems - I never let myself have fun. Yes, I do fun stuff, but I give myself a guilt trip the entire time, which in the end makes things stressful. So, no guilt trip this weekend. If I get some writing sone, I get some writing done. If I don't, I don't. I actually was thinking of trying to write one the scenes with one of my characters by hand for my novella. Deyrdre = typed first, Maeve = handwritten first. Call it an experiment. :)

With that said, the husband and I are off to a Bed and Breakfast today for a couple days. Some time to get away from the computers (not taking my laptop, even though there is wireless internet connection). Oh, and I received an e-rejection today from one of the agents I had recently sent a query to. Oh well. Not worrying about queries at all until next week.

Short blog. I have so much to do around the house and we leave in an hour and a half! Happy writing. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Odds and Ends - Have I Used This Title Before?

To answer my own question, I think I have, but I think the title fits the post because my mind has been all over the last couple days, and so likely will be this post/rant/whatever-the-heck-you-want-to-call-it.

Well, I'm back to querying. My partial was rejected rather quickly. Guess the sooner the better, but I think it would have been nice to live in wonder for another two weeks. :D So, three more queries went out yesterday, and probably another three more in two weeks. This Friday was supposed to be the start of that vacation with my husband in New Orleans, so I don't want to deal with Queasy Queries next week. I think spacing them out every other week is a good plan anyhow.

On another topic - see my word count bar actually has something in it this week? Yay. No, I am not working on the short story I've been working on (that I know I just need to finish, so I can send it out for critiquing). I started something else. Bad me, right, I know. The problem is, I had this idea for an anthology that's currently accepting submissions. I needed to start it at least, especially since it might end up being novella length. Not sure. But I do know I will have at least two main POV characters. I'll finish that short story eventually, really I will. I should write at least 2.5k a week though on that novella though, just so I pace myself and make sure I get it done in time to be critiqued and revised before the submissions deadline.

So, when I updated my word meter today, they had a link with something to do with NaNoWriMo. This made me remember how close November is approaching. I really want to do it again this year, and I want to win! Okay, but I have some issues. First, I have SO many projects started that I need to finish. Daina novel, short story, novella, second Mind novel, revising some stories so I can actually submit them somewhere. This means I'm going to feel guilty as hell doing NaNo, since I need to start fresh. Then I think, what AM I going to do for NaNo? I could work on Shepherd of Dreams. Although, I already have a chapter of that written - I'd have to cheat a little and just start from where I ended (no, I wouldn't count the word count on what I already have written - it was a short chapter anyway, maybe only 2k words). Yet, I feel driven to work on my other things. I'm only 14k into the second Mind novel, and I know I have 50k more in me for that, but that would be just stupid doing the same novel two years in a row. I don't think I have a fresh 50k left in Daina. See my dilemma? And if I don't want to "cheat" a bit with Shepherd, then I'm not sure what else I should do. Yes, I have other novel ideas (most have a chapter or scene written already), but do I really want to do another full rough draft of an idea that isn't fully formulated yet when I have more formulated ideas that need to be completed first? Oy, what a mouthful. I'm not sure what to do for NaNoWriMo right now. I guess that's what all this blather comes down to. Although, I'm very excited about it (that didn't come through in all that, did it? I am really excited!).

And what if I get a full-time day job? Yikes. NaNo might be a dream then. Well, Judi is planning on doing it, and I guess if she can do it when she has to work 40+ hours a week (heavy on the plus), then I guess so can I if I'm working...and give up Everquest for the entire month of November. :p

I guess I should stop complaining and start working on things on my weekly list. I need to make a Writing List, too. Been intending to do that for ages. Then maybe I'll at least feel more organized if I can look at a list and say, okay, this is where I am in the process with this idea. Lists are my life - heh.

As I said, scattered post. Odds and ends - mostly just odd, but anyone who has read my blog for a while and continues to read it knows that I am far from normal. Happy writing!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Mind - Lost In Space

The title of this post should be expalatory enough. I feel like my brain has been hijacked, and I'm only running on the energy that's left over (soon to be gone). So, who's interested in knowing what's been going on with me? No one. Tough, I'm telling it anyway. :D

Last week, along with the week before, was mostly taken up by house hunting ventures. We actually put an offer down on a house, but then refused the counter-offer after looking at the house again and deciding it wouldn't accommodate (sp?) any of our exsisting furniture.

So, to pile on the stress, New Orleans is under loads of water (I do hope the person I know down there got out okay along with her family). Have I mentioned in my blogging efforts before that my husband and I were supposed to finally have our honeymoon, four years in the waiting? Well, it was supposed to happen at the end of this month. Guess where? Yup, New Orleans. No, we didn't want to go anywhere else - no other options, for those who say, well you could fly elsewhere. New Orleans or bust is our motto. So, we will have no honeymoon this year. Who knows when we'll get a chance again.

Well, the stress was mounting with the house stuff, the vacation cancellations, and other numerous little things. Low and behold mid-week last week I received one of my tell-tale SASEs back in the mail. My thoughts: "Just what I need right now - another rejection." I assumed it was for a short story. Opening it up though, I discovered it was from the agent I had still been waiting to hear from (and no, I hadn't sent out any other queries recently). And he requested a partial. Needless to say, with it being the day where my stress was the highest for the week, and being confronted with some good news that I couldn't be happy about at that moment, I burst into tears. My husband says I'm over-emotional. He might be right. :p Okay, so I am thrilled that I've been given this chance (and I guess it's a good thing I haven't sent out any other queries for a while). After letting my nerves settle from the rollercoaster that was last week, I worked on my detailed synopsis this week, and I just sent out that and my partial to the agent today. :) Now I don’t have to worry about queries for a while.

Argh, I just tried to publish this post, then it wouldn’t publish, so I hit recover post and I lost the end of what I wrote! Now, I’m typing this in Word Perfect so I don’t lose it. Maybe it wouln’t work because I’m using Firefox now? Who knows. Do I remember what else I had? Remember, my mind is gone... Something about Moira being a smartass and me loving her. Oh, yes - the marquee! I changed it. It’s a quote from the short story I’m working on (that I want to continue, but have to finish a crit first). And I think I begged for people to send my brain home if they see it. Finally, happy writing!

Okay, just learned Blogger went down for maintenance right when I was in the middle of my post... How nice of them. So, it’s their fault I lost stuff, and that this is being posted hours AFTER I wrote it.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Bah and Double Bah

Nope, I haven't posted in a while. Nope, I didn't get one thing of writing done last week (or even attempt to change the meters on this page). Yup, my mind was on a mental vacation for a week and a half. Some personal junk cropped up, and my mind was reeling. I think it needed recovery time.

This week, the entire house needs to be cleaned, otherwise I'm going to likely meld into the dust, grime, and endless dirty dishes.

I guess I should send out more queries, too, since I received all the rejections back from my last queries. And finish critting a friend's chunk of novel.

Those are my major goals for this week, along with getting up earlier than I usually do. I did get up at 10:30am today, although it took a cat barfing to force me to (before that I was thinking another hour in bed sounded lovely). Oh, and I do have a 20 hours only of EQ goal (unless I get everything done on my list - then I can EQ more). This time I've broken it down: 4 hours for exp on my main wizzie (this includes fun LDoN and DoN missions), 4 hours of tradeskilling on all toons, 4 hours of exp on other toons, 4 hours of raiding and helping guildies with things, and 4 hours for quests (including factioning - bleh, I hate factioning). Here's hoping I stick to it. And here's hoping I don't play too much Star Ocean: 'Til the End of Time, like I did last week.

Otherwise, I hope to see my meters rise, but right now the cleaning, critting, and submitting more queries is taking precedence. Oh, and the house hunting. That sucks up loads of time.

I did receive my copy of my thesis novel all bound and looking nice. It's thick! So thick that when you look at it you wonder if you can read it. Well, it scares my husband at least. It IS single-sided though, otherwise it would be half the size.

Okay, blog posted on. That's one thing off my list! Yay. Well, happy writing all.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Missing CD

I have not been able to find my compilation CD that I listen to (made for) while working on my Daina novel for two days. This has put a crimp in my productivity. See, the thing is, I used that CD on Monday, and there is no reason it should have left my desk area, let alone my study. It's a psychological thing (I have a lot of those it seems), and I can't work on Daina without that CD!

I managed to add a little to that short story at least.

But I want to work on Daina! So, if anyone happens to see a gremlin pass by, please tell them that their cousins over at my place need to cough up my CD!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Rejections and B-days

Nope, I didn't post last week. As Chun reminded me all last week, it was bad chili week, so nothing was going to get done. Ended up being bad roast week for me instead, but the topper was receiving a rejection on my b-day. Joy! (sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm) Couldn't I have received it the day after? Bleh. So much for b-days.

I didn't get much done last week. That depression thing kind of sunk its teeth into me, making me miserable to live with also (ask my husband). It might be a mix of post-partum graduation and life in general (i.e. figuring out what I should or can do besides writing for a day job - doesn't help the job market has been in the toilet around here for over a year or more). Not sure what's going on in my head most of the time though, to be honest.

Well, the worm is moving up on the meter today at least for Daina, since I retyped two scenes so far. I need to clean before I do anymore writing stuff - and my hand hurts from typing (because it was hurting from too much mouse-clicking with tradeskilling in EQ - any EQers, I recommend tradeskilling in moderation). I should know better, especially with that fear of carpal tunnel as a writer. Eep.

This post likely would have been better done later in the week, when I've maybe made more progress, but I thought I'd get it over with now. Check another thing off on my list of things to do - muahahahaha.

Hope everyone else's writing is going well. ;)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Miserable

Well, as you can see, neither of my bars have moved up since Monday. Monday I was doing fine. I might not have been able to work on Daina, but I had finished a scene in the short story I was working on, and I finished critiquing a friend's story.

Then the week fell apart. I've been in a bit of a mood, which some people might call depression. Sometimes I don't know what's wrong with me. Yesterday was the most horrendous day. Just having bad luck all around (including a rejection for one of my stories from Cemetery Dance - for the life of me, I'm not sure where to send that story anymore, although I love it and want it published).

Okay, I don't want to depress anyone else. I did read Harry Potter: Half-Blood Prince this past week (no spoilers ahead, don't worry). Actually, I read the 652 page book in two days. She needs to strike the word very from her vocabulary, but I stick to her being an excellent storyteller. I know there are some people that sneer at her success. They say she's not a good writer, etc. Yes, she has flaws, but doesn't every writer? We should be happy for her success. She wouldn't be as popular as she is if she didn't have something. Me, I think that something is excellent storytelling ability and her willingness to torture her characters. Every writer should know that torturing (emotionally at least) is a must when writing popular fiction. Key in fantasy. I know our characters are our babies, but it gets dull after a while if you don't heap the conflict on them.

Well, I guess I'm going to attempt to raise my word count meters. I should clean this house, but my husband and I can live in the squalor for a little while... I should pay bills too (urk). Here's hoping nothing bad comes in the mail today. Hope everybody else's week has been better than mine.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

New Angle

Okay, I'll get into the title of this post after one thing.



There he is. My twelve-year-old goldfish. You know I had to post it as a large pic - Stars deserves no less. I do think he's determined to live until I get a novel published. Do you think he knows that means he might have to live forever?

Anyway, as my post title says, I'm approaching my procrastination thing from a new angle. Starting today. I have to find some way of engouraging my brain (or tricking it, as the case may be). The lists thing isn't working, even though I will always have my lists, otherwise I will forget half the things I need to do. So, I now have a word meter on my blog (see the little worm off the the left, right under my profile info).

If I don't update that every other day at least, well, I'd say I'd shoot myself in my foot, but I don't own a gun and pain is not my friend, so I'll say I'll feel even more guiltier than usual. Okay, okay, I need a punishment if I'm bad. Let's see. Taking some Everquest time away is the only punishment I can think of right now. And that won't work because I have no willpower, and my husband won't stop me. Then it might have to be the reward thing. Well, that can't include anything having to do with buying things, so that narrows down the field pretty dam quickly. I'll have to think harder about the punishment reward thing if I don't keep moving that counter up. Any suggestions are welcome (within reason - yes, this note is for you, Chun).

Anyway, I got the idea for the word meter thing from Diana's live journal - she's counting up to when the last of her rough draft is finished. I know I had one of those counter things during Nanowrimo and it didn't help me write more, but this time it's a worm, and that makes all the difference (lmao). :) I also only intend to use it for novel length projects. I tend not to have a word goal for short stories because I never know how long they'll be. Perhaps I'll add a second bar eventually for total word count in a week. That might be a good idea. I'll think about it...thinking, okay, I twisted my arm. I think that one will be a silver counter.

The things I do to try to trick myself. Oh fudge, I have to do dishes before the hubbie comes home. Adding the counter then off to clean. Happy writing!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Queries = Queasy

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Well, it's true. I was searching for a few agents to query today and my stomach was doing flips, along with the shaking of the hands and such. I think I'm just so scared that I'm going to screw up on one itty bitty thing, so the form rejections will be right in the mail. It's that paranoia of mine. And perfectionism.

So, after searching for some agents to submit to, I was preparing the packages to be mailed out, still cringing. When, lo and behold, I hear a crash from the other room. I notice both cats are in the room with me, so I can't blame them (darn). Investigating, I discover one of my bookshelves had decided to give way (only one shelf thankfully). I am still trying to figure out how this would be a GOOD sign, but anyway I look at it, it speaks of forbodeing. I'm doomed, cursed. And I wish to strangle the fairies in my house for making mischief (too much lately - they keep moving objects in front of my feet so I'm constantly stubbing my toes).

Well, whether I'm cursed or not, I sent out an e-query today, and two other queries are ready to be snail-mailed out tomorrow. I still have yet to hear back from that second agency. Right now I'm guessing my rejection is lost in the postal system, simply because our post office is run by morons. Yesterday I received mail that was supposed to go to our address on a different street (McCall, Hartwell - can the difference be anymore blatant?), and today our Netflix arrived totally drenched (yes, it's raining out, but isn't that what the mail truck is for and the mail bag? to keep things dry!). I do wonder how we'll be sending that disk back - maybe 2 in the same envelope.

I think the rest of this day calls for a Hard Cider and working on my website (or playing video games). Although, a hard cider would go well with the Terry Pratchett book I'm reading.

Until next week (or maybe later this week if something GOOD happens...perhaps I'll post a pic of my 12-year-old goldfish). Happy writing!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Reasons

Okay, I think I know the biggest reason why I haven't blogged lately. If I post what I'm about to post, it will have to solidify in reality and I'll have to accept it because it will be readable by the public. Then I'll be sad. I might cry (I'm an emotional mess - ask my husband, I cry at way too many sad scenes on TV and in movies). That was a tangent. See - I don't want to say it. But I have to don't I? I mean, you'll all be able to see it in my profile now anyway, since I updated the darn thing. Here I go. A strange sense of vertigo is taking over. Okay, that's all in my head. Yes, I'll stop putting it off now.

I'm finally graduated! I now have my Master of Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction. And I don't have those wonderful week-long residencies to look forward to. *cries* I warned you.

Okay, I am sad about the residencies and the socializing with people who have the same goal in the writing program (it's the socialization I looked forward to - me the socially handicapped one). But, I'm also happy I finished it. It's an accomplishment for me, and well, I'm proud of myself. Not only that, but the final residency was a blast. Little sleep and small shocks. The shock mainly being the response I got when I did my thesis reading (20 minutes of selected scenes in my novel). Everyone loved it! I still think now and again they were just being nice, but then I tell myself to stop being so pessimistic (see, I'm trying). I had to be grilled with questions by my mentors right after the reading and then by everyone else listening. They all started asking storyline and background questions, and me being a fool was giving some of it away until I finally realized what they were doing and said: Enough! Read the novel! So now I have to get it published so they can read the novel. :p Got to love how that works.

I know I should have posted about residency a week ago when I got back, but I think it all needed to settle. In January I'll still be, "Aren't I supposed to be in Pennsylvania?" I also took the week off last week. Although, I did tweak a story and submit it to another mag. Oh, I still haven't heard anything from that second agent. This week I hope to send another query out at least, as I try to catch up with other writerly things (and now look for a part-time job - bleh).

I thought this blog would be longer. That I'd have more to talk about. My mind just had an overload. Too much Mountain Dew I think. Well, if I missed anything big, I'm sure Chun will remind me, so I'll just have to post again.

Oh, yes - look at the picture of Roland. Isn't he a snot? (if the image posting thing is working that is)

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

So sue me

I know I should have updated like right after WisCon, but I have a good excuse. This time I didn't have a fever during WisCon, but it hit me after. So, all last week I was in a fever haze and couldn't concentrate on much of anything. Now, I just have a cough and stuffy nose, so I'm a bit better at least.

I'll cover some recent news before I delve into WisCon (this might be a long blog, I'm not quite sure yet - depends on how long the steam lasts). Last Saturday, while feeling miserable in my illness, I received a rejection from the agent I queried. Bleh. When things hit me, they wack me over the head until they think I'm unconscious. So, yesterday I walked my butt to the post office to submit another query (did I pick a hot day to do so). Here's hoping number two will at least come back with a request for a partial. These first two agents are ones I really wanted, so that's why I'm not sending multiple queries out. After residency, and if I get a rejection from this second agent, I'll likely send more than one query out at a time. Maybe four.

As for other writing, I've been decent with getting a couple things rolling this week. Did at least four hours worth of writing work Monday and Tuesday. Sadly, I have a week and half until residency! I have to get my thesis organized and professionally printed, pick excerpts to read, read the residency novel, critique five stories, and prepare my entire 50 minute presentation. Yikes! The panic will set in next week. It's going to be a bitch finding high quality, acid-free, watermarked paper that's not going to cost me $70 for 100 sheets (mind you I need to print out 2 copies, 450 pages each about).

Now for WisCon. It was great! I'm glad I went. Sadly, though, my room was on the floor where the parties were held. It would have been okay if things would have wrapped up at 1am, like they were supposed to, but they didn't on Saturday night (kareoke right next door to me, through the connecting door, and people shouting in the hall right outside my door). I did encourage myself to go to a couple parties. Stopped in at the TOR one, looked at the book covers on the wall, grabbed something to drink, then felt stupid standing around by myself because everybody was talking in groups, so I went back to my room. I was more successful on Sunday night, when I went to the Film Noire and Broad Universe parties. I actually started talking to someone that I'd seen in many of the writing panels I had gone too. So there, I was social. Reminds me, I need to e-mail her. :p

But I'm rambling. I'm sure no one much cares about my social handicap. This is why I write and blog, I can think through what I'm going to say, and I don't have to actually approach strangers. Anyway, the panels. Some great panels! I loved it that I recognized so many people from last WisCon, and in all honesty, putting names with faces will more likely make me buy a book by certain authors. :)

Before I go into details about some of the panels, I'd like to comment on one of the guests of honor - Robin McKinley. She snuck onto one of the panels on Saturday morning, and one of the things she said was that if you know you're not the type of writer that can sell yourself, and if you're not a social butterfly, that you feel your best effort with writing is to stay at home and work on it, then don't force yourself to go against your nature. When she said this, I was so happy! She had said she doesn't usually go to Cons and such because she's not the best in front of people. I felt like I came across a kindred spirit. :) I've had so many people saying I have to sell myself, that I have to totally put myself out there, and now I hear this from her. I am not comfortable with trying to sell myself because I trip over my own words, and say stupid things most times. She's right, it would just make it worse to force myself. With that said, I don't plan to become a total hermit writer. I do enjoy going to the Cons, and will continue to do so, and maybe one day I'll have enough courage to be on a panel. But I'm not going to force myself across the line into total discomfort.

Okay, I was just talking more of my social handicaps, wasn't I? :p Onto the panels! I'm not going to cover every panel I went to, just some tips I received which other writers might find useful. Some are things I knew already, but they're worth repeating.

Panel: Common Questions for Pros First some query notes. It's good to have something in your query letter that stands out, that will make the agent/editor remember you. This of course should be related to your writing and not something totally out of the blue. Perhaps something that proves you're knowledgeable in what you're writing (I have yet to find my "query letter hook" - I'm too humble). If you're writing a trilogy, make sure each book is stand alone. In the query letter, or synopsis, if you're querying about the first book in a trilogy, make sure you sum up in a sentence or two what will happen in the second and third novels. Also, personalize the query letter - don't make it look like it's from a template you found online or in a book. One thing this panel also recommended was going to your local bookstore readings - you never know who you'll meet!

Panel: Common Neo-pro Mistakes This could be used for people that have a couple things published (stories or novels). These are some good recomendations no matter what, in my opinion. Don't become so publoucation driven that you forget why you started writing in the first place. Know the rules and break them (I've always loved this one)! There is a need for a cultural diversity in fantasy and science fiction - explore cultural backgrounds and such - step away from the caucasian. And make sure to emotionally engage the reader.

Panel: Pauses This was mainly a writer's block panel, but I figured I'd go to it. As many long time readers of my blog know, I don't believe in writer's block, only writer's lack of motivation. These are just some reasons why people might have problems. You can't predict how long a novel is going to take. When you've been working on something so long, thinking of completeing it creates a void. The momentum is the hurdle, when you've finally started, you wonder why it took you so long to get started (this would be me). Don't forget to have fun while you're writing! A cool writing exercise that was suggested was to write from the viewpoint of your critic, then from the viewpoint of your muse - then have the two characters meet. I hope to try this one. I might even post the exercise on my website. I could only imaginr the cat fight my critic and muse would get in...and I have no clue who would win.

Panel: The Business of Publishing Okay, here's a reason why you need an agent - they already have established credibility in the publishing world. Also I got a good link for a place to search for an agent. The Association of Authors' Representatives This was recommended by an agent.

Panel: Dealing with Burnout Some factors of burnout. There is a realtionship between burnout and depression. Too many things to do could burn you out (this would be me) - the whole you freeze because you're so overwhelmed thing. Suggestions to help with burnout. Simplify - do you need to do everything you're doing? You can't do it all, so you need to put some things on the side and give yourself time. You need to find a balance. Don't worry about what you're not achieving - it's a trap. Sometimes it's just general stress, and exercising can help (just another reason I need to start doing my yoga again). You have to believe in yourself (no pessimism for me). Always remember that reality doesn't always match the romantic image of being a writer. And you should always ask the question - what's right for you?

Okay, I think that's much of the good advice I received. I tried to cover the important things. :) Hope it's helpful! So, this was a long post. I made up for some of my past blog negligence. Until next week. Happy writing!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

One small step, and...okay, just one small step

Well, I sent out my first query to an agent today (um...Monday...didn't I mention something in my last blog about posting before midnight - oh well). It's a tiny step. And I'm not going to say what agent because I don't think it would be proper, and well, I won't name names unless I actually sign with an agent. *fingers crossed*

As for other writing things, I drowned myself in EQ for a while because I think I needed a mind rest after the last couple deadline sprints. I wrote a first chapter to the Shepherd of Dreams idea (which I brainstormed on here about a year ago). That's going to be ripped to shreds by the workshop at my final residency. I really need to get a schedule all set (this includes going to bed before 4am and waking before noon), so I can write and do writing related things for at least 40 hours each week. Sometimes I just don't know where the time hides...it disappears so quickly.

Anyway, WisCon is this coming weekend. Yay! There isn't going to be anyone else I know that's going, but many of the panels look interesting. And I intend to force myself to go to a couple of the parties, just so I can feel all out of place. This time I hope not to have a fever. At least I'll be staying at the hotel, so I can spend a night soaking in the hot tub before I go to bed. :) And I'll be away from EQ - oh no! I'll live. Hehehe. There will be a wireless internet connection, so here's hoping my laptop doesn't say "I'm not working anymore." I hope to squeeze in writing time inbetween all the panels and running around. If anything interesting happens, I promise to blog about it. That's a big IF. Lately, interesting for me usually concerns bad luck.

Okay, enough pessimism for one night. Off to bed, so I can clean, write, and catch up on e-mails tomorrow. Too much to do before WisCon. Happy writing!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Where'd the time go?

It's been two years since I started the Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill. I received my second reader response about my novel today (well, Tuesday). Passes across the board! Woo hoo! Although, it's a tad bittersweet. I've enjoyed my time in the program, and I'll be sad to graduate in June. True, I have a reaching module and thesis presentation to prepare for, but the manuscript passing and finishing the critical essay pretty much says I'm graduating. *throws confetti*

Now comes the hard part: getting the damn thing published. One query at a time...

Anyway, I'm too tired to elaborate anymore, but I have decided to post my final self-evaluation that was due on May 10, my final writing term deadline (although I still have to revise a bunch of Chun's pages - tomorrow...erm today - I really need to stop posting after midnight). I hope you get a laugh out of the evaluation - I had to be hunorous, otherwise I might have teared up. Happy writing!

Term #4 Self-Evaluation for the Writing Popular Fiction Program:

Well, I’m not exactly sure what I should say this time around. I can say I’m sad. Very sad (in this case, I think it’s appropriate to use the word very). It’s hard to believe that two years have passed, that I met all the deadlines and completed my thesis novel. Do I really have to fend for myself in the real world now?

Okay, I’ll be a little more serious right now, but no promises that I’ll remain serious. I feel I learned a lot about myself as a writer (or should I say reviser) this last term. No one truly knows their limits or the loads that they’re comfortable with until they push themselves. The reason why I had to push myself is because I was the Procrastination Queen. See the crown--it’s as dented and tarnished as the one Thane wore at the end of my novel (I warned about me not remaining serious).

Anyway, as I was saying, I learned a lot about my writing habits. It seems that revising fifteen pages a day is my comfortable amount. Anymore, and I get a bit lazy, or I at least can’t concentrate as much. Revising is still the bane of my existence, but I will always love seeing the results after revising. Although I am humble, I get proud of myself when I’m willing to change something that will improve my writing. This means I will need to balance my revising and new writing each day. Something old, something new, something borrowed . . . (oops, wrong saying – this is what happens when I’m “lady” of honor).

The biggest thing I learned though is that I need a schedule, badly. If I don’t get myself in a set schedule, I will likely slack and leave things to the last minute. I spend more time worrying about what I need to get done instead of actually doing it. So, starting next week (after my friend’s wedding is all said and done with), I have to make sure I write and do writing related things for 40-60 hours a week. The time comes first, the set times come later. Progression I think is best. This way, I won’t be rushing to get my thesis presentation, teaching module, critiques for residency, and the book I need to read done. Oh, and I won’t be sitting on my novel – so I’ll actually send out those queries (and working on another novel). Damn. This list is starting to overwhelm me already.

That reminds me. I’m scared ----less (I won’t be that naughty in this evaluation, I promise to keep it clean . . . or at least strike the bad words out) of sending my queries out. Every time I think of doing it, I choke up. Rejections are nothing new to me – I’ve received enough for my short stories. It might be that fact that it’s my novel – the thing I put every ounce of myself in for the last two years. I think the amount of time I spent on it is why I’m so frightened. I know, I know, there is no way I’ll ever know if I can get it published if I don’t send it out. The sweaty palms will always exist I think, though.

Well, I guess I should cover my goals. I succeeded – yippee! According to Tim and Diane, my manuscript is marketable. I finished the second half of the first revisions, did a second set of revisions, and edited it, just like I wanted to do. Also, I think I did a little better with adding description, although I will never be able to describe clothes in detail (sorry, Diane!). I’ve written some new material also. Two new scenes developed with a new POV character in the novel I’m working on next. I hope to have a good chunk of that rough draft done before residency starts. There’s nothing I can do but keep writing. Practice makes perfect (well, it’ll NEVER be perfect because I’m a perfectionist, and it’s impossible to wholly please myself).

Oh, look, I’m at the end of two pages. I rambled a bit, but I had to add the humor. As I said before, I’m sad it’s all coming to an end. I’ll miss the residencies and the writing terms. And I’ll miss my mentors (I plan to keep in contact with them though)! As Chun says, there are always conventions. It just won’t be the same, though.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Blogging Guilt

How long has it been? Well, that nagging guilt has pushed me to post. So much for keeping people updated (well the one or two people that read my blog, anyhow). Oh, yes, can you tell I'm in bit of a depressed mood? Don't ask me why. I can't answer that question.

Well, May 10 is about to slam into me, and I have numerous books to read, a 5-10 page term paper to write, 120 pages of other people's manuscripts to critique, plus a 2-3 page end of term self-assessment to write, all by next Tuesday. Joy. And not to mention dealing with necessary things for my friend's wedding on the 13th (like only getting 4 hours of sleep tonight to go to her last dress fitting...it would have been so much easier if she were getting married next year). Oh, I also need to revise my synopsis, make sure my query letter is acceptable, and polish a few odds and ends in my novel somewhere in there. I want to get the query package out to agents as soon as possible, but that might not be until the end of May at this rate.

No wonder I'm depressed - I'm overwhelmed and nearing panic mode.

Some good news. One of my two readers already sent me my grade (along with comments), and it was passes across the board. Yay! Now I await Diane's grade. Oh, I did want to send her the beginning of my other novel, didn't I. So, I have to squeeze in time to get that together too. Sigh.

I have no time. It's non-existent. Where the hell did April go? Was it an EQ gorge? I didn't think I played that much. Okay. Seven days to make miracles happen. I have no faith in myself. Bah. That's only going to make things more difficult.

Happy writing anyway!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Haze or Blah

I'm a bad, bad blogger. I had promised I'd post once I finished my edit and sent out my manuscript. Well, that happened over a week ago. The thing is, my mind hasn't accepted that I'm done with the friggin' novel for now. It insists I still need to revise and that I can't admit to the world that it's done (for now, oh always for now).

Maybe this will help: I've finished the damn novel, and it's shipped out to my two readers! And they get to decide my fate - to graduate or not to graduate. Meanwhile, I stare at the pile of books I need to read for my term paper, and keep reminding myself I need to draft up a query letter. *sigh* Must pull mind out of muck.

I was going to rant about the lack of manuscript boxes (at least you can't buy any - you need to scrounge them from places like kinkos), but I was all hot about that last week, and I'm simply too tired now. :p

I did write up a synopsis for the World of Darkness contest. Wish me luck (even though I already found a grammar mistake after I had sent it). Pesimissm has a hold of me concerning this contest. Oh, and now that the slush editor is leaving Realms of Fantasy, and she's only finishing up the current batch, my story will be sitting there a long time (it's supposed to be at the beginning of the next batch - sigh). Such is life. :) RoF will be losing a great slush editor.

Okay, time to read. Too many books and things to critique (what I really want to read is a Stephanie Plum novel, but I have to restrain myself). Happy writing all!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Revision 2 - Conquered!

I know, I was supposed to get revision two done last week. But I just finished it, about a half hour ago. I feel like dancing, but there's too many papers littering my study floor to do that. Yes, I still have the edit to do in the next couple days, but I'm not worried about it (for once) since I've been told I don't have any major grammar issues.

Yipee! And I loved the little bit I added with a new memory surfacing in Bastian's mind. It actually ties into a few things, which I didn't intend it to. I love it when that happens, and I'm just so giddy and proud of myself for writing it (until someone tells me otherwise, I think it was an excellent addition).

Oh, and by the way, I now have an excuse for being scatter-brained and sounding crazy in my blog entries. I am now dubbed Alexa the Insane, writing superhero! Hehe... Ask Chun, one of my crit partners, for details, :p

Enough craziness for now. I'll probably post once I ship my thesis novel out on Monday, or on Sunday when I finish the edits.

*dances around, not caring if she slips on some paper and breaks her neck - the second revision is done at least* Happy writing!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Revisathon 2005

The title pretty much says it all. I will be revising 60-90 pages a day in the next 4-6 days. My brain hurts just thinking about it, and I've only done 9 pages so far today. I will conquer this novel! And then I'll remember that the revisions are never over until the damn thing is published...

Okay, no pessimism, right? One revision at a time, right? Let's just hope what I do to it will be enough to pass me, so I can graduate. I will be so happy if both my readers say "Yes, this is a publishable manuscript." (That's the over-arching criteria for passing.)

So, wish me luck with Revisathon 2005!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Trudge, trudge, trudge

Plod, plod, plod. Drag, drag, drag.

Those are just a few synonyms for moving forward with the revising that come to mind. I seem to have this one particular response when I finally sit down to revise - I get very sleepy. Maybe my brain just doesn't want to work lately.

I did finally (just now) finish revising the first 50 pages. This means if I want the second revision doen by the end of this month, I have to revise 40 pages a day. Urk. Is that possible? Might be, but I forsee at least one 100 page day next week, most likely on the 31st. Depends, though. I still have to finish the exercises for my POV module, and I have critiques to do. If I only had to revise, I would have been done long ago. Lots of other stuff to do!

Including adding to this blog. And I should probably add to my EQ blog to confess my EQ indiscretions. No where near as bad as I could be, since I went like four days without playing EQ at all last week.

And why is my grammar not looking right? Tired, sleepy. Time for bed. More revising tomorrow. Joy.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Jelly Brain

I have finished my first revision! And I revised straight though today since noon, with only a few short breaks. My brain is jelly. Note to self, break up the day when starting the second revision on Saturday. Although, I hope to get more than 25 done on Saturaday, so I don't have as much to do on Sunday - need to earn that Sunday EQ time.

I should really either work on the POV module now, or finishing critiquing one of my group member's stuff. Bleh. I need ice crean via IV before I can think again. Or maybe I should just go to bed early...

Nope too much to do. I've been ignoring my poor animals all day. I guess the kitties deserve fresh water.

Now I'm shutting up because I can't seem to stop typing...I think I'm stuck in overdrive. Where's that hand break? Oh, there it is...

Happy writing!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Avoiding Posting

Have I been putting off posting here? Pretty much, yes. Why? Because I'm still not done with that first revision. Close though. I just pushed out 5 pages today in less than an hour - I think that's a record for me, since I usually only get 2-3 pages done in an hour.

I formulated my battle plan today while showering and waiting for my food to reheat. It's a good battle plan, I think, but it will also require my mentor to get me feedback to me by certain dates. She'll be getting an e-mail soon about that. :) Okay, first revision needs to be finished by this Thursday, March 10, the second deadline of the term. The 11th will me spent organizing and planning the second revision. Starting the 12th, I need to revise 25 pages a day, so I'm done with that revision by the end of March. Every 50 pages I complete, I'll send off to the person that agreed to look over it for me and give me editing comments. I plan on doing some of the editing while I work on the second revision, but will finish up that editing April 1 - April 8. Manuscript will then be sent out to my readers on April 9 (because the deadline of April 10 is on a Sunday when the post offices are closed! - this is not fair).

Sound reasonable? I think it does. Although I'd like to squeeze in writing a story for the Writers of the Future Contest, and I need to write a synopsis for the White Wolf contest. Might not happen. Thankfully the White Wold contest has been extended to April 15.

That's all I have to say for now. Wasting precious writing and cleaning time. Oh one more thing. I just started an EQ Anonymous blog on Guild Portal. Check it out if you too are addicted to Evercrack - and post! Although I've been better than usual in the last week, I really have. :)

Happy writing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Template Change

Okay, I finally took the time to change the look of the template. I've been meaning to do it for a while, since I had some constructive criticism about my blog. The background and colors now coincide with my website, and I made the font bigger. I hope it's easier to read for those that commented. :)

Imagine a Plane Crashing - Lots of Smoke and Fire

Okay, the last week wasn't productive. My mind was worrying on other life things not related to writing, which made me completely freeze up. So, I didn't get anything revised. Is there no hope for me? Oops. Letting the pessimissim seep in. I did get some critiquing done, but not much else.

This has to be a better week. I hope.

Monday, February 14, 2005

First Deadline Down...Only 2 More Before the Novel is Due!!!

Signs that I've been playing too much Everquest:

- I am now a Journeyman Brewer with a 202 trivial
- My trivial for Baking is 191
- I made ANOTHER new character (a froglok cleric this time - the poor thing, you can see up her skirt when she's swimming :p)
- I was willing to go to a very scary zone tonight that I'm too low of a level for (that means I've played too much EQ and was too tired to think straight - although the trip wasn't a success, I didn't die, and that's always good)
- I went 2 days straight without revising anything

Urk. If you don't play Everquest, you won't understand half of what I said, but everyone will understand the last one. I'm still in my first revision. I'm approaching the majorly muddy zone, and it's looking about as risky as going to Skyfire with a level 46 Wizard... So, if I could go to Skyfire, I guess I can revise the crap that's next - let's hope the revising is a success, unlike my trip to Skyfire.

Another thing that shows I've been playing too much Everquest: I keep comparing my revising to the stupid game! Anybody have some spare willpower lying around? I seem to have lost mine somewhere in the Plain of Knowledge. And that's a very big, and very busy zone!

Enough Everquest metaphors. At least I've updated my blog, and it's still Sunday night in my mind (I know 2am technically makes it Monday, but the day's not over until I go to sleep). Wish me luck for a more successful writing week - I will get that first revision done - I have faith in myself (number 27 on the goals lists peeks its head out again).

Happy hunting....er, I mean writing.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Long time...

Urk.

That one word (and my dictionary doesn't even consider it a word, so I guess I should say sound instead), sums up last week. I was sick for a few days, and that didn't help the start of my week. It actually set up the rest of the week.

And I'm tired now because it's late, so this will be a short update. Even though it was an urk week last week, I did get some of my novel revised. It's always good to make some progress. Although, I have a deadline this Thursday. And I wanted to have the second half of the first revision done by the first deadline. That would mean I have 24-34k words worth of revision to do, in 4 days (I'm counting Monday here). So, Monday has passed, and I've managed to revise 2k in between a bunch of household things that I had to do (our poor animals needed to have their habitats cleaned). This means, I might not get as much done as I wanted to, but I'm still closer. I need to at least finish the second half of that first revision by the 17th, but I haven't given up hope to have a good chunk done by the 10th. I only have to do 7-11k each day. *huge grin* And I'm at the hard part where the rough draft is such crap that's it's going to take a lot of thought and planning to revise.

Urk.

That sound will likely sum this week up too.

Happy writing!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Pretend it's Sunday

Okay, I know I said I would post on Sunday. The day flew by, and now it's Monday. Pretend it's not, and I'm a good, faithful writer. :p

Anyway, I revised another 7k last week. Pretty descent amount, in my opinion. I hope the revising goes up exponentially as I get used to doing it everyday. I will graduate, really I will. *looks around nervously*

Don't ask about most of the other things on my goals list.

I did write two more scenes for the rough draft of another novel I started a few months ago. One of my friends and I are setting an hour aside everyday to sit down and write new material. Since we both have to do it at the same time, and then have to check in with each other, it's going well. Only two days in, but I have hopes we'll keep it up. :)

So, I'm going to make this short because I'm not feeling too well and plan on going to bed early. Sleep beckons, so I have energy to revise tomorrow. Happy writing!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Almost recovered from residency

I know I should have posted last week, but I was still recovering. So, I'm posting now, and I'll probably post again this coming Sunday.

The residency was a whirlwind, as usual. I came back crammed with more knowledge and another list of recommended books that I can't afford, but purchased anyway promptly when I got home. I also came back with motivation. Sadly, it's motivation to work on other things besides the novel revisions, and since I told myself I can't work on other things since my revisions hold precedence... I'm sure you can discern that circle.

I have done some writing. I wrote up my new Prelude, and I'm quite happy with it, until my mentor and critique group tear it apart. And I worked on the next chapter which needed revising, and it happened to be two new scenes. I'm not so sure about the scenes right now. I look forward to feeback on them. I feel they're necessary, but I might have rushed the scenes too quickly. I'm sure that chapter will need special attention in my second revision.

Anyway, the list of things I need to get done by April is making me sick. Here's hoping I get everything done so I can graduate in June. I will get everything done (Goal 27). Okay, that's all I've got for now. Happy writing!

Monday, January 03, 2005

It's a New Year...

And it'll be a better year than last year (yes, optimism - one of my yearly goals - see below). It has to be. Insert the long speech about it being a fresh start, yada, yada, yada. :)

With the new year, I have a long list of goals that I hope to accomplish (writing and non-writing alike). I figured I'd post them all here. If I seem to stop working on the goals (or if it seems I'm about to fall off my mark), admonish me all you please - it'll help. :) Here's the list:

Goals for 2005

1. Yoga - 30 minutes a night, at least 4 times a week - build up to doing the Sun Salutation every morning

2. Wicca - read and work on spiritual things once or twice a week for 2-5 hours

3. Overall writing - spend 60 hours a week on writing (this includes researching, writing, revising, and critiquing) Note: When I find a part-time job, the required time will be dropped down to 40 hours, and if I get a full-time job, the required time will be dropped down to 25 hours

4. New writing - spend 1 hour everyday, at least 5 days a week, writing something new

5. Revising thesis novel - finish 2 revisions and one edit by April 1

6. Revising short stories - spend 5 hours a week polishing short stories (or any other writing that isn’t my thesis novel)

7. Submissions - write up a query letter for my thesis novel and send “package” to agents (“package” depends on submission guidelines); submit at least 1 short story a month, trying to keep all my unpublished stories in circulation at all times

8. Critiquing - critique 1 or 2 things each week

9. Keep track of all financial expenditures for writing

10. Blog - update my blog once a week, making sure I have progress to report

11. Website - complete the unfinished pages, streamline the html so Macs can view my website, update it once a week at least with what I’m currently reading/working on, and update the hints/tips area once a month

12. Organization - keep everything in order, including the house, so I can find things when I need to

13. Back up - make sure to back up my files once a week, and jump drive back up while writing every hour

14. Video games - play less - in other words, pull myself away from Everquest

15. Reading - read at least one novel a month

16. Weekly goals - set weekly goals and meet them

17. NaNoWriMo - don’t fail it next November

18. Cleaning - keep the house decent

19. Move - try to get into our own house, instead of funneling all our money into rent

20. Writing groups - organize writing groups I belong to, and possibly drop some - I should be spending no more than 4 hours a week dealing with groups other than the one I’m listmom on

21. Writing magazines and newsletters - I buy them or subscribe, so I should read them

22. Eating - stop skipping meals

23. Sleeping - get on a better sleep schedule

24. Role-playing - start a role-playing game like I’ve been promising everyone

25. Cross-stitching - finish some of the projects I started

26. E-mails - respond within 2 days

27. Be more optimistic, especially with writing (this might also fall under having more confidence in myself)

It's a long list, but I can do it (#27)! The list will actually go in effect on the 11th, since I leave tomorrow for my week-long residency, which I'm not prepared for. So, that's all I have to say, since I have so much other stuff to get done before I have to be at the airport at 5:30am. :p I'll be oh so tired. I'm already tired just thinking about it. Happy writing!