Thursday, February 28, 2002

I think I've gotten all of the html version of Vision done. I'm doing the pdf tomorrow. The pda, too, if I can fit it in. Tonight, though, I'm going to do other work. I still have things to get done for the dare. So, I'm off to do that... right after I get my journal done. Back later, no doubt, with more boring news.

I made a sale today...

Yes, I know. It's getting kind of silly. This is Broken Wings to Alternate Realities.

But it is the last day of the dare, the last day to get Vision done, I just did an agenda that didn't want to upload, and I think I'm running out of time...

Off to work!
Long day. I've done some writing on Brendan's Song. I've worked on my last short story for the dare. I did a lot of work on Vision. But now I'm really getting tired, and I think I might call it a day.

Been an odd one...

I'm so tired I can't even think what I was going to write here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

I just sold my ninth book this month. The Good People of Coralville (YA mystery/adventure) is going to Writers Exchange E-Publishing.

Silky has a fan. (grin) She posted at my AuthorsDen site and at the Baen Bar. I found her email address and wrote her a thank you note.

Time to get back to work on other things.

Working away on Brendan's Song this afternoon.

I hate that this is such a short month. Too much to do, too little time. I'll need to quit work on this soon and get back to Vision. At least I've gotten almost 2000 words done already today. Nice when it works that way some times.

There. 5095 words on Brendan's Song. Gender change for one of the characters, which is turning out to be... much better than the original. I think this is going to work well.

But there's so much to do. Seven more novels, counting this one, which is barely begun. I love it. I'm having a great time. But... it's a lot of work to look at!

Time to go to bed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

I am rewriting Broken Wings again. This is the second time in two months, and this time I think I may have fixed a lot of problems. Help came in the form of a rejection with some notes on what he thought was wrong. He liked the writing, just didn't feel that the story held up.

So, I'm going to email it off again later tonight to somewhere new.

The problem is that so many places have gone to limited reading times that it's sometimes hard to find a place to drop a story to. I have more hope for it this time.

I am also no longer blind to 'was' constructions. Gives me hope that I'll learn how to write properly yet.

Russ will be out of town on a job for my birthday.

Okay, so it's not the end of the world. But there are only two days a year that I really consider days that I can set aside to do things with Russ that I want to do... a ride down to De Soto is the usual trip unless the weather is bad. The idea of spending the day home, alone, has just depressed me. I'm sure I'll get over it.

Anyway, I pulled up Brendan's Song despite telling myself I'd wait a few days. Hey, might as well go at it while I still have the urge to work on it. I should be reworking a few other stories, though. Hmmm... well, one chapter on Brendan and then off to other things, perhaps.

The weather here is awful. Winds for two days now, sub freezing temps, and no snow. What good is that?

Monday, February 25, 2002

I think that's it...

Wow. I had begun to think I would never reach this point again.

Aubreyan is off to the publisher. (I love email.) And now I'm on to work with Vision.
406 out of 445

I expect Russ to come home soon. I think he was working on the freenet mail server, since I noticed it was down and is now working. It's a night to be home. The wind is fierce and cold. I have the electric heater on in my office, along with the regular heat, and this is the only comfortable room in the house right now.

Onward. Almost done.
Of course, then there is the inevitable 'must restart the computer' trick that I've been facing for a while.

Page 387

How much longer will this take me? (grin)

Page 345

I got a little side tracked by a couple things. Well, feeding the hordes of course. Amazing how 4pm rolls around and they all line up -- in doors and at the window. Unfortunately, it is really cold out there, and most of the group is not turning up for food right now. They won't starve. I made sure my strays are all fat for this winter, just in case a storm did cut them off from food.

But what really slowed me down was a very nice post at Authorsden about my book, Silky. You know, that can make me feel as though I really am doing something right. I wish I could have written something a little more exciting in answer to her, but still...

And now back to Aubreyan. 100 pages left.
Well no, it's not done, thank you.

I made it to page 300. Then I was hit up side the head with a four page free verse poem about a woman asking a lover from her past to meet her in the woods again. I have no idea where that came from, but it was one of those pieces that had to be written RIGHT THEN or lost. So I wrote. Russ really liked it, too.

But now I am on page 300 of 445. Holly Lisle has repeatedly pointed out my trouble with the word 'was' so this time I am doing a last run through with the find function and seeing how many of them I can change into active constructions. This takes longer than I had expected. However, if I keep doing this will all my work, I know that I'll start making the changes ahead of time. Not a perfect answer to passive voice, but at least something that will help.

Page 311. I must get it done and get on to other things. Vision. The last of the work for the dare. And then on to Brendan's Song, and I hope it goes at least as well as this one did.

The temp is 19, the windchill is 0. No snow, of course -- that would be too nice.

Yes, off to work.

I am at page 287 out of 445. It really is going well, and I still intend to make it through the last pages before I go to bed. I think I'm pleased with the manuscript. We'll see how well it stands up before the eyes of others.

It's as though this novel has taken over my brain, though. I try to work on other things (even this entry) and find myself drawn back almost immediately. I have not taken that bath yet, though I think maybe I should. I need just a little distance, since I'm starting to go 'word' blind. Everything starts to flow together, for good or bad. A little break won't hurt.

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Hours and hours later. I made it through the draft of Aubreyan, but I'm now in the middle of a final reading, tweaking here and there as best I can. I hope to have it off tonight. That's my intention anyway. And although this seems to be going slow, it really isn't.

I'm wearing down, though. I think it may be time for a bath and some note taking again. That helped very well last night.

Yesterday at this time it was 75f. Today it's 29f and the wind is shaking the house. Winter has returned, and boy are the birds annoyed.

I am preparing to open Aubreyan and prepare for the final attack. I have taken pills, fed the cats, looked around the house for anything else I can do... there are no more distractions to be found unless I go crawl back into bed, and on a day like this that's really tempting. I love curling up in bed with a good book (today's is Life in the Medieval Castle by Gies), and listen to the storm blow over.

Russ says I can have the laser printer here in the office if I would like it. Since the only printer I have is my fance Hp Photosmart, this might be a good idea. The Photosmart is very nice and prints manuscripts out just fine, but I bought it for picture printing and would like to have something that prints text a bit faster.

But then there is that 'room' problem. I'll have to think about it for a bit.

Now, though, it's back to work. I think the book will be done soon. Kind of a nice feeling...
This done. That done. Everything but writing done tonight.

It's 12:30am. I will not have Aubreyan done like I hoped, but what's one more day?

I'm about to hit the WIP, but it appears I have a shortness of words. This can't be good.

Saturday, February 23, 2002

I wrote quite a bit tonight -- something over 7,000 words, in fact. I am within a couple chapters of finishing Aubreyan. I also did some of the prelim work on Vision and even managed to get quite a bit done on the material for an agenda, even though the main part of the work is not yet here.

I am still shocked, and a little dismayed, over Russ's job -- though it's not quite as dismal as it looked at first glance. The owner of the company is desperate to keep Russ on in some capacity where he can at least help move a few of the projects forward. So Russ will likely do freelance for them -- which is how his involvement with the company started, in fact.

Overall, I think it's still a good choice for Russ, just one that I would rather the didn't have to make. But such things happen. And if things get really tight, it's not like I'm incapable of holding down a little job for a few hours a week. (grin)

Time for bed, though. It's been a very tiring day.

Close to being done with the first of the eight books, at least.

Friday, February 22, 2002


Russ quit his job this afternoon. The inability to work around at least one person who, while not the boss, held too much power in the company made it just impossible for him to continue there. He's back to freelance work, which means far more days away from home again, probably. I know he has something lined up in New York again. He'll probably even do some freelance work for the company because there are some outstanding projects that need completed.

It's quite a shock though. Tight times coming again, but we managed fine the last time. Since we'd already decided to drop the cable (and, alas, the cable modem) that will be a big chunk of our expenses. I've already started throwing out book flyers so that I'm not tempted. (grin)

I had hoped he would make it the full year, that we would reach June and our anniversary, and maybe have a chance to take a trip this year like 'the old days' (grin-- it's only been one year without the trip!), but I fully understand his reasoning behind this. I had hoped he'd make it past my birthday (two weeks from today) for purely selfish reasons. But that's life. Sometimes these things just happen.

I had been considering quiting the work for the city since I've been at it for what -- five years? -- and I'd grown just damn tired of the same things, the same problems, the same annoyances week after week. But it's easy money, at least.

So tonight I'm working on the agenda, Vision, maybe some work on the novel though I'm not quite in the sort of mood where I should try that, I think. We'll see.

Time to work on something, though.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

I have just survived my Cybling.Com chat, which went far better than I thought it could. I wrote in whole sentences, and had a great time. I survived it.

I now have to get back to writing, of course. But I'm pleased.

Actually, I need to go find a little bit of food and settle down. And then write.

No, go do the journal, then the food, then write.


I think.
Only about 4500 words tonight, but a lot of 'little' things added in to help the story along. It feels like it's moving far too slowly toward the end, but then I look at the changes I've made, and I'm very happy with them. I've still got a few notes attached to my monitor, outlining a couple other things to change but they're going very well so far.

Tonight is the chat. I am remarkably calm about this.

Over all, everything is going well. But I'm tired and it's time to go crawl off into bed before I start making 'corrections' on the novel that might be better done with someone awake...

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Hello everyone. Yes, I'm back again, still alive and everything!

I have not started writing yet. I'm not entirely certain what it is I have been doing today, but it wasn't writing. A little editing, but I didn't think it was taking me that long! I think I stared out the window for great long stretches of time, giving my brain a rest. That must have been it. Right.

If I can get another 10,000 tonight I might have this done Thursday or Friday. How odd. How odd that it's going so well.

And odd, too, that this starts out reading like an old fashioned fantasy series with all the old fashioned creatures and such. I had even started out with that as my entire intention. But by the end of the second book I realized I really needed to keep stepping a little farther away from the original 'world' and find new places to take my two MCs. That's when I decided to make that big leap to an SF world that is touched with magic. There will be forewarning of it in the last of the first book, though if anyone actually realizes it, I'm not certain.

Close to being done...

Starting count: 62,144

About 20,000 more of the original manuscript. I don't know how that will work out in the new version. It may go longer, or it may go shorter. Lately it has been shorter because I've cut entire sections out. I'm tempted to cut another... but I'll leave it for now.

We're looking at about 80-85,000 which is shorter than I expected, but then again I have been cutting. I have to keep reminding myself of that. If I keep going at this rate, though, I might have it done before this weekend. That would be fun.

Right now, though, it's off to get a few hours of sleep. It was a long night.
I got my numbers backwards last night. Not 57,469 -- 54,769. Not nearly as much work, but still all right. And I am finally back to work now. And it's still going well. I had some real problems slow me up today, but I think I'm finally past them.

Work, work... write, write, write...

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

A nice evening. We had a pleasant meal, a nice walk through Staples where I bought a pop-up post-it note thingy. I am now going back over the last 100 pages of Aubreyan before I start back on the new material. From here until the end (which is only a day or so away), I will write one day, go over it the next, and write more afterwards. I will never have perfection in my prose, but I can make it as close as possible.

I need to not race through these novels. I need to work at a steady pace, and to make sure I do the best I can. I need to not wear myself out or burn myself out on the stories.

I need to keep reminding myself of this.

It's going well. I'm haivng a good time.
Hello. I'm not sure what I'm doing today. My brain is gone and my hands are fast following it. I think I can get a major part of Abby completed today, if I can get my brain focused. It may need to sleep a while longer first, though.

Odd stuff today. I'm a big woozy -- had some food not agree with me last night. Now I'm looking at more work... Maybe I'll have something interesting to say later!
57,469 for the ending count. About 5000 words, I think. Good count. I'm very tired, though and I have to get up early tomorrow (well, noon at least), so I'm heading off to bed. If I can get a good long run at it, I might have most of Abby done tomorrow. How odd...

Time to sleep!
Today was the day to step back, to look things over -- to edit 135 pages of another, unrelated manuscript -- and to consider how to handle the eight books. I have a plan. I have a plan so cunning you could... well, never mind. No more Blackadder for me for a while.

I think taking a step back has been a real help, though. I also, by chance, picked up a small book to read off the shelves called The Structure of Medieval Society by Christopher Brooke. Aside from some very readable prose, it has l.Lots of very nice pictures of old city streets, one of which leapt out at me as a street close to the opening of Brendan's Song. And that drew me a little more into the book and the concise outline of how society worked. That, too, will help with Brendan's Song. Details. Little notes.

But first I have to finish the work on Aubreyan. I'm close. I also have to get Vision ready, of course. So far it all looks good.

On Thursday I will have an official Author's Chat at I must not only remember this, but start to tell people as well.

But right now... time to go write.

Monday, February 18, 2002

I didn't nap. But Russ is home and all is well, though I wish he didn't have to go to work tomorrow.

I've hit a little snag in Aubreyan -- nothing drastic, and it may not look so bad tomorrow. I've done well over 10,000 words today, so I'm not worried. I think, in fact, that I might just have hit a point where I need to step away for a few hours. Sleep. Rest.

Starting count was 36,024

Final count for the day is 51,617

I'm tired...

Sunday, February 17, 2002

I got quite a bit done! But I'm tired now and I'm going to take a nap while I wait for Russ to come home. He should be here in the next couple hours. I'm really worn down -- a lot of intense writing this afternoon and evening. And excitment, of course. And worry.
I am, of course, not resting. I am working away at the first of the eight novels -- which is Abby, of course. It's going very well. Amazing what a nice push something like this can give you.

Aubreyan and the next book, Brendan's Song, will go very quickly. They've both been reworked since the original. After that I have first draft copies from an old Atari computer and printer of the next six, so it's going to be very interesting to see what happens when I attack them.


I just sold the eight book series.

I'm going to go rest for a while now....

36,024 -- 4019 for today. Along with the 2278 in the short story, that makes 6297 for the day.

And now I'm going to go read and relax for a while. The novel is moving along well. I've no complaints. I just need to make my shoulders relax a bit tonight.

Russ will be home by this time tomorrow. Yay!

And I'm coming up on the half way point for Abby. On Monday I'm going back to serious work on Vision, though. No, maybe I'll wait until Tuesday, and let myself have this four day holiday weekend for the book. I like that idea.

It's been fun. I hope it keeps up that way!

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Well, I got sidetracked and slowed down.


I hope that it will pick up again now, but I'm not going to push like last night. It's kind of nice not feeling totally frantic while I write!

I did pick up a little bit around the house. I should think about food now, though. it would be good not to go so far that I get a headache and can't think about it again!

Oh. Should go do journal.

Yes, there's something to take a little more time, right? (grin)

Starting count -- 32,005

And I'm off and running!
Yes, yes, yes! 2278 words, and done. Nice little story, too.

That was fun to write. I like it when stories just hit like that, and get out of the system.

I think I'll rest a bit and then get back to work on Abby soon.
Oh hell. I have a short story idea. It's one that's been playing at the back of my mind for days now, and it suddenly just sprang out while I was feeding the hordes.

I don't think it's going to be more than a couple thousand words, luckily. So I might as well go to it.

A Tale of Cats and Rats and Really Bad Choices

Time to write, time to write...
Good afternoon. I slept well, except for these odd nightmares about being buried in manuscripts that had to be rewritten.

Oh -- another lovely book just arrived from Folio Society. The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert. All Folio books are slipcased and have beautiful bindings. I'm going to have to set this one aside right away -- I've only about 50 pages left on The Spartans and I don't want to get side tracked now!

Besides, I have a lot of writing to do.

That's 7595 words for the day. I'm probably about a third of the way through the book.

I won't be able to keep this count up much longer. I have Vision and other things that will take my attention soon. But I might try to keep going for the rest of this weekend, and see how well I do. It's been fun! Time to go read about Spartan Art for a while, though. And get some sleep!


Almost up to 5000. I've made a big transition in the novel, and writing this next part is going to take a lot of work. It's too... sappy in the original. I don't know if I will be making these big counts after this, but I'm going to keep trying.

Of course, I do have Vision coming up as well...
27,845 and a nap

I took a couple aspirin. It was a mistake. Next thing I new I was flowing off into the bedroom where I dropped on the bed and didn't move again for about an hour and a half.

Ah, figured that one out. Good. But now it's time to get back to writing!

Friday, February 15, 2002


I have stuff uploading, and then a little bit more work before I am well and truly done.

The novel I'm working on, Aubreyan, is an old fashioned fantasy quest novel. It even has elves, cursed swords, and magic that can destroy the world. And it's moving along very well.

It's when working on something like this that I truly understand the 'write what you want to read' maxim. Aubreyan is the first of eight books, and they take the characters to a variety of worlds, some of which have sf elements. I know this series wouldn't have a chance in a print market. Too many books, and the combination of sf/fantasy would doom it with an editor. But I enjoy them. I want to make them better, and that's why I started the rewrite.

The series might have a chance in an epublishing market because quite often those editors are interested in something that might be a little unusual. In fact, I might have some interest in the set right now, though this is way too early to tell. And the interest came after I began the rewrite, so I was already well into Abby. I have made a submission to the place, with a few chapters of Abby and a brief explanation covering the rest of the novels. I really don't expect the books to be picked up, but since I was already working on them it seemed worth the try.

Will I stop if the books don't go? No, I won't. I'll still want to make this series the best that I can, and I'll try it other places. Maybe, eventually, it will sell. Maybe not. Maybe I should be working harder on material I'm more certain of selling....

But sometimes I have to write something just because I love it. This is such a case. It's going to be a long, long battle to make it through all eight. I am doing the 'read a few pages and then sit down and start typing' method of rewrite. Some of the material is very close to the original. Some of it is better dropped and never remembered. I'm filling in holes and correcting plot inconsistencies that I never would have seen when I was younger. Maybe this is just a training exercise again. Whatever it is, I'm enjoying it.

Time to get back to work, in fact!
An hour later, still working on the agenda. It's getting somewhere, at least....

I have the agenda and must get to work on it now. Too bad. It was going very well!

Ah well. This is just the Public Works agenda, which isn't as long as the full council agenda. With luck it won't take me too long!

I'm up, I'm working. I'm waiting for the agenda to arrive so I can do that and then get back to writing again.

Abby is going very well today. I just started into it a few minutes ago and I've already managed several hundred words.

Pip is a bit better. He does have an ugly sore on the side of his tail, but he's finally calming down and even came to bed and laid on my arm for a while this morning.

I sent off a requested query and part of a book to an epublisher who may be interested in it. If he is... well, I know what I'll be doing for a while. I'm excited about the possiblity, though at the same time the amount of work involved really worries me.

Ah well, we'll see. It may be far more than he's willing to take on as well.

Back to work!

Abby starting count: 24,410
Pip is calmer. I'm so calm I'm about to fall over dead on the keyboard.

I did write another 4000+ words, which isn't too bad. And now I'm going to read and try to get some sleep! Yes, probably at the same time. (grin)

Thursday, February 14, 2002

The library web site is uploading. I've taken pictures of my Valentine's Day presents for Russ and will be doing my regular journal next. Network 54 finally has a maintainence notice up on the site, so I know it's not just me anymore. And Russ just emailed me, so I know he's doing all right! He said it was windy when they landed in Chicago, but otherwise everything was fine.

The very last of the web site work is uploading. I just have my journal to do, but first I have to upload some pictures from the camera.

Oh, that's the other thing!

I've had three days here with just stupid little things going wrong. A couple days ago the furnace refused to turn on. It's fine now. Then yesterday, while out shopping for groceries for me for this next four days, I dropped the camera about three feet to a cement floor. I turned it on and it said it couldn't find the disk. So off it went, we got through shopping, and went home. Still couldn't find the disk. I finally popped the back open and found that the disk had just slipped out of place. I placed it back in the right spot and it worked fine after that. But it was a few minutes of 'oh no not the camera!'

(Yes, the camera does go everywhere with me, but normally it's inside my purse. I had some rolled papers in there, though, and didn't want to crunch them. It was on my shoulder, and caught on a freezer door.)

Then, today, we have Pip and his tail, and Russ heading off to Chicago. Individually, none of them would have bothered me for very long. And in fact, even as a group -- with the exception of Pip's tail -- have bothered me for long. But I do hope the rest of the week goes quietly. (grin)

I see a lot of other people doing fancy things with their blogs, and I keep thinking I should do something... but you know, I do so much web stuff already that I really don't want to make this more than just a place to do a few notes. I don't even keep an archive. If anything important really happens, I'll archive it in the regular journal anyway. In one of my few sane moments, I've realized that I don't need another distraction.

There, last stuff uploaded. Time to do the journal and then write. I see a long night ahead! Yay!

Bath taken. Newspaper website done and uploading. Pip lured out for a moment with a promise of Cheetoes (tm).

I still have the library web stuff to do, but that won't take too much work.

It appears that the Forward Motion site is down. Isn't it odd how something you are used to, even if you don't really need it, can affect the rest of your day? I keep going over to see if it's back yet. I check Holly's page and Holly's Blog to see if anyone has mentioned it. I check other blogs. I come back and do some more web work. and I check again.

I'm hopeless. I haven't done a bit of writing, I just keep going back and checking to see if things are up. I would like to say it's my concern as the Assistant Site Host, but I'm afraid even I couldn't pull that one off.

I slept for a few hours. It helped calm me. Pip is still running around, very upset. I think he just needs to calm down, so I'm hoping he'll be past this by tomorrow.

This cat is giving me ulcers. I know he's not seriously hurt. He wouldn't be running all over and stop to eat a bit if he were. But it's still very upsetting to see him act totally out of character.

I have done the Finance Agenda, both pdf and web site -- the last is just uploading now. I have the newspaper site to do and some library pages to update. Part of the agenda for Monday is in, but I'll wait until I have the entire piece before I work on it.

Russ and I decided on email instead of phone calls this time. That's partly because someone has been calling about 1:30am and hanging up -- not every night, but every now and then. Having the phone ring at that time of night is very troubling, and (in case you didn't notice with Pip), I tend to immediately over react. The phone is forwarded to Russ's beeper, so if there is any problem, he will still be able to deal with it. And I am left in a few days of relative bliss.

There goes Pip again. Sigh. Great. Now he's back behind the clothes dryer. He couldn't get out of there the last time. I guess I better go clear some spot for him.

A few calm days, that's all I ask for....

Russ finally just left for Omaha to catch his flight. I hope he's not too late. He just kept getting farther and farther behind today. I don't know why he doesn't do some of the stuff ahead of time -- yes, I know he doesn't have a lot of time any other day, either, but he wouldn't be up against the time constraints of a flight to catch. And security is going to be tighter, so they may frown on his showing up... though it won't be last minute, so he should be all right.

Pip has calmed a bit. Russ talked to the vet and he said he doubted there was anything seriously wrong since the tail is not limp, and Pip came out to eat. He just needs to calm down. And then I'll calm down.

Actually, I'm going to go back to bed for a few hours. That'll give Pip time to relax with out me cornerning him and demanding he tell me he's fine.

Oh, and I got carnations and two cute little stuffed animals! One's a puppy with a heart. He's holding on to the vase with the flwoers. The other is a very cute and very soft little white bear. I'll have to hide the flowers in the bathroom while I sleep or else the cats will have them. Carnations are a favorite snack around here.

Okay, time to go relax for a few hours.

Oh, and I wrote a bit over 4,000 words last night....
Well, so far it's not exactly been the best morning. Russ should be leaving in a few minutes -- right now he's delivering Princess Cricket to the vet for the next few days (she has an on-going problem that started up again, so better that she's there now, then have to go AFTER he's left). He's going to have to restart the FreeNet computer since it looks like it's down.

And Pip's tail got caught in a door, and I can't tell if it's a serious problem or if he's just totally wired and weirded out by it -- he's run all over for the last hour, keeps cleaning the spot on his tail (which is not swollen), and keeps trying to hide under the bed. He did come out and eat a bit, though.

I was doing fine with the idea that Russ was leaving, even with the FBI alert up. And that he was going to Chicago, which doesn't exactly sound safe at a time like this. Now my stomach is in knots and I'm going nuts.

I hate this stuff.

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

How odd it appears to have posted twice. Well edit one and that will take care of it!
Russ will not leave for the coast tomorrow. Russ will leave for Chicago instead. There were two places that needed people over the weekend, and part of the team will go to San Diego, and part to Chicago.

I plan to write. I've made a good start today by doing a bit over 2000 words, I think, on Aubreyan. Once I finally got the real feel for the story, I think I can move along very well with it. It's about time I had something that moved. And it was, of course, my attitude that has been slowing me down. Now that I'm past that, I seem to be doing fine again. For awhile at least.

Ah. Have to go do my web journal site. Best to get to that before it gets any later!
Okay, I decided enough of this laziness. I'm working on Aubreyan, and I've done over 1000 words already today. I don't know how much more I will get, but so far it's not too bad.

Russ leaves for the west coast tomorrow, so we'll have things to do tonight. That might slow me down, too. But I am going to get some serious writing done in the next few days. I'm tired of this floating around not getting much done!

Starting count at about 4pm was 16085
Current count is 17466
Onward. (But Russ might be home soon, so maybe not onward by much...)

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Web work, Vision, Web work. Maybe writing in a bit, but so far that's eluded me.

And I think we're having problems with the furnace. (Watching the temp drop from 38f to 33f in the last half hour). I know we're having problems, but I may have gotten past part of it. The thing had just turned itself completely off. Now I suspect the fan is out. Not good. And it looks as though we might have more snow coming later this week. Ack. Just ack.

And Russ is leaving for the west coast tomorrow or the next day. He's just going to be thrilled to hear about this problem when he gets home.

In the mean time, I've finally found the topic for my Editor's note. I have a couple hundred words on that, which should be about the last thing I need to write for this issue, except for the 'about' section -- and can't do that until I have it all in and put together in the right order.

I did all right on writing last night. I suspect I'll do well again tonight despite the little bits of annoyances. Just hope Russ gets home soon!

Monday, February 11, 2002

Let's talk about inspiration here. I'm having trouble getting inspired for any work since the beginning of the year. This has not stopped me from writing, of course, but none of the stories have quite taken off the way I expected. I'm not sure why because I've had some great 'working up to it' days. Ideas seem to be strong, right up until I start putting them down in words. I need to get inspired because I don't want to be in a bad mood when I sit down to write. That doesn't help.

I have four unfinished pieces right now. One is just an article that needs a few pieces pasted on the end. No big deal there. I will probably do it this afternoon.

The second is Aubreyan, which is the rewrite of a much older novel. And it's not going badly. I think if I applied myself to it, I could have it really moving. But it is a rewrite and though I'm retyping everything from scratch, it's still not... inspired the way new work is.

A novelette about to become a novella is The Hunter and The Hunted, and I think last night I might have finally happened on part of the problem there. I was dragging things out, and these characters do much better when they are in dire situations. I need to get them out of hiding and back to work. Never mind all this angst over the death of a friend crap (grin). Now it's time for them to go find out why she was killed.

And that brings us (finally) to The Game of Time. I started it. I was bored. I think I had a bad POV character -- or at least I hadn't defined the one I was using well enough. And maybe it's too pat, the way they all get together. Yeah, I think right now, I see a major change in the set up and that might work. It means starting from scratch, which is something I don't often do --but it was obvious this was not working.

I think I've just been inspired.

Maybe it's time to get to work.
Okay, about 255 words on the zoo stuff, and some actual pages set up this time. I really enjoyed that. It's going to take FOREVER to get anything done on the site, but it was fun!

Now I'm working on The Hunter and the Hunted. It's moving along just fine tonight. Nothing spectacular, but at least it is moving. That's good. I've found a good link between one death and the case they're on -- I had a tenuous link but this is much better. I like it when things link up better, but that's the way it is when I write. I start out vague, but I often see things better as I write them.

The French Toast was wonderful, by the way...

Sunday, February 10, 2002

The headache is easing a bit. I've been picking up my office and trying to settle my thoughts into a good writing mode. It's not working very well, but that's all right. I have all night.

Russ is making French toast. It smells wonderful. I'm not going to get any writing done before that's done and we eat! (grin)

I have been wondering why The Game of Time is not kicking in for me. It should. I just apparently haven't quite made the connection that I need to with it. I suspect that I'm going to scrap the entire opening so far -- though in true Zette fashion, I probably won't do that until I've completed the first draft. After all, at this point I can't see a better opening.

And, of course, I need to get some work done on Vision. That's for later tonight, I think.

Focus appears to be my problem right now.

That and the smell of food cooking.
I finished If It Burns last night. Like many of my stories, the ending dictates a change in the opening, and a little more depth here and there to fill out a pattern. But it is a story. Good to get it done.

The snow is not terribly deep and the trees are ice covered. They're gorgeous at sunset with a glass-like glitter. Sometimes you can see tiny rainbows around the branches. I wish I could capture that light in photography, but I've never had good luck at it.

I should sit down and start writing. There is no more web work stacked up around me. So, of course, I have a headache and the start of a head cold. My mind just isn't locking in. I hope it does soon because I would hate to waste the rest of this day.

Saturday, February 09, 2002

I just finally uploaded the last of the web work for the day.

It's not that it's hard work. I enjoy a lot of it. But it takes so damn long! And after so many hours at the computer, I'm not always as thrilled with idea of a few more to write some words.

Tonight I'm kind of half way in between.

I love writing. There is nothing I would rather do, and quite often there's nothing else I have to do. While I get frustrated with web work, it's not exactly the worst job I could have. I've worked in factories (the worst), in an office (or maybe that was worse), taking care of a bunch of kids (Okay, that one really wins as the absolute worst job, and why I don't have kids myself), and bookstores (nice really), and now the web work. The web work pay is bad. The hours are generally good, and the fact that I can get done and write is wonderful. I had limited myself to working three days a week on web sites -- Wednesday through Friday. Two things changed that this week. First, I was at the zoo on Friday, and second was that they didn't get the agenda to me until this afternoon.

Now I think I can start writing. A few hours of work and I'll be a much happier person....
More html stuff uploading. This time it's the library pages.

The wind has come up. The trees outside my window are making odd crinkly icy sounds. Hmmm... I think something just hit the roof. Ah well. It didn't come through, so I'm not going to think about it.

One more web site to do when this is uploaded (almost there) and then I can finally write. I hope.

The html stuff is uploading. I'm not entirely certain I got it all right. But it's going. I took an hour off for dinner in there, but basically I've been working on this for about four hours. Four hours of agenda is too much. And I just know as soon as it's uploaded and I get the library page done, we'll lose power. (grin)

It's still snowing. It doesn't look like we're going to get the 4-7 inches that they predicted, but mostly because so much of it fell in rain/ice form. It's still 33f out so most of the stuff that's coming down is heavy and icy. That's both good and bad. Good, because we won't be ass deep in snow drifts in the morning. Bad because it's already pulling down branches and we're more likely to have power outages in something like this. South Sioux is lucky (smart) because almost all the power lines here were put underground several years ago. There are still lines that can go down, of course, but not as many.

I think I have a story to finish tonight. I saw the ending the other day, and I'd like to get back to it. That's a good sign, I think. (grin)

I also want to work on the zoo web site again. I did a lot of notes a the zoo yesterday (was that just yesterday?), and I'd like to do a bit more work on it. And track down all the other zoo pictures, but that might be a bit more ambitious than I can stand right now.

Soon I'll have the web work done, though....

The pdf agenda is finally off. Now I have to do the web site version, but I hope that won't take me too long. There were lots of problems with the version of the agenda they sent me -- duplicated material, bad hyperlinks. Now I have to clean up the doc file for the html version.

This stuff can kind of wear you down.

Huh. Lights just flickered again. This is a heavy, icy snow, and I wouldn't be horribly surprised to have the power go out on us.
We went to Pizza Hut. It's sort of a tradition when a storm is just breaking. The Pizza Hut is only about ten blocks away, and we could walk home if we had to. So we go there, have a pizza, and watch the snow come down. And that's kind of what it did, though it was pretty much ice to start with.

But now we are getting the prettiest big flakes I've seen in a while. Lovely.

Time to finish the agenda so I can enjoy it.
The weather has changed. I've been watching snow for the last few minutes, althought it hasn't stuck yet. I'm taking a break from the agenda to eat a little soup and watch the snow for a bit. Looks like all the agenda stuff is finally in. I'll have it done soon enough.

Or maybe not. I see she's now sending me corrected attachments. This might take a while to straighten out.

But the snow is pretty...
The weather is starting to change. When I went out to grab the mail (which included my bi-monthly rejection from F&SF), I was hit with small ice pellets. It's going to turn nasty out there, I suspect.

Back to work on the agenda. Stay tuned for further weather reports....

Here it is -- Saturday afteroon and I'm waiting for two things. First is the city council agenda that I need to have to do the pdf and the web site. Russ just talked to the city clerk -- who does not work on Saturdays -- and she said they are having trouble with it. The thing must be a nightmare. I can't say I'm looking forward to it. I do have about a dozen attachments that I can put together early, though. That will help.

The second thing I'm waiting for is the snow. They're pretty insistant that we're going to get some. A lot, in fact. It's raining now, which is never a good lead in to snow. Ice on the streets, etc.

I think I'm on the edge of being rejuvinated for writing. Things have been a little slow for me, but I'm going to kick in soon. I can feel it building. Nothing as showy as the last few months of 2001, but I think I'll do all right. (grin) I have done considerable editing work this year already, which is different for me. Lots of stuff out. I'm pleased.

Russ is off helping someone with their computer. Luckily, it's only a few blocks away -- so if the weather does change as quickly and badly as they say, he shouldn't have any trouble getting home. He went grocery shopping this morning before I got up, so we're doing well with food. A couple days, hiding out in the house, isn't all bad. After all -- he bought me the last three Sharpe episodes on DVD a few days ago. I haven't seen them. And we picked up the non-dubbed version of Mad Max as well.

Of course with our luck, the power will go out. Ah well. Lots of batteries for the Visor -- I could still write. (grin) And read for that matter -- I do have a few books on it. That's after it got dark, of course. It's so gray out there today that I suspect it's going to get dark early.

Okay, off to do a litte work and get the attachments ready for the pdf and the website.

Friday, February 08, 2002

I went to the zoo.

I had a great time.

I'm dead on my feet now!

But I'm getting my writing done tonight before I go crawl off to sleep somewhere. Anywhere....


Russ has a meeting in Omaha tomorrow morning.

If all goes well, I'll ride down and get dropped off at the zoo!

What GREAT timing! I'm really looking forward to it.

But right now I need to get some writing done. Just a little bit of fiction, and then some more work on the zoo stuff. I also need to get to bed fairly early since we'll be up and going in the morning.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

I bet you didn't know that that Tomato Frog only lives in a small area of Madagascar, did you? Or that female geckos sometimes use communal egg laying sites.

I am finally working on the zoo web site like I've wanted to do for a long time. It is very slow work, but researching the different animals has been fascinating so far! And this is what I'm going to be doing for writing for a day or two at least. Maybe. You never know how I might feel after a few hours sleep. Which will happen soon.

But right now I'm reading up on the Tawny Frogmouth. What fun!

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

I started out today by writing 500 words on If It Burns and then did some e-stand work. Then I picked up a little, and finally... napped.

The napping thing still seems odd to me, but this new found ability to actually get tired and sleep is kind of neat.

Oh hey -- sounds like Russ is home! Let's see, sleep-write-webpages-sleep-food-write.... yeah, sounds like a good schedule to me!

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

I spent a good part of the afternoon editing a piece called Playing with Fire. I think it's about ready to go out. I'm going to let it sit through the night and maybe print and package it in the morning. Yes, this is another piece off to a print publisher. I try to do those every now and then still. (grin)

Russ was home, briefly, before he had to go to another meeting. I hope he's almost done, if for no other reason then he's going to bring food.

I still have some more to clean up in the office, but over all it looks a lot better.

I really have no mind suddenly. I thought I did... but I don't.

So, this is morning.

I can't say I think much of it. A bit too bright. Cold, too. And... (grumble)

But here I am, remarkably awake for a change. I have a bit of housework to get done, and then I'm coming back here and working on the stories. And fixing up the shelves, which are still a bit of a mess. It's looking better back here, though! If I keep up like this, I might even get the dreaded bedroom picked up. And then who knows, maybe the library....

Nah. Let's not get too silly here. I know I won't get that far. (grin)

Off to do dishes and finish the kitchen.
So, why did I start rearranging books at 11 at night?

Well, Okay. I know part of the answer. I didn't want to sit down and write. And I was tired of looking at the same things, the same way, in my room. And I had the new Folio books to get shelved, and I'd really ran out of room. Each of them is a valid little point all on it's own.

I suppose I don't have to get it all done in one day....
Ah, and if I pull and box all those older computer program books on the bottom shelf of the big case... yes, I can see possiblities with that one. I might reclaim my desk yet, though I'm not sure. After all, I don't think I've really had claim to it since the day we put it together.

Monday, February 04, 2002

564 words on If It Burns.

Obviously, this was what my mind wanted. Just a little story to play with, let the imagination run for a while. The story is moving along fine.


I am going to go do a couple hundred more words on Game of Time so that I've got at least 500 on it for the day. And you know, I think I feel better about it now. Maybe my brain was just in neutral and needed to be kick-started again.

It's late. Once I get that couple hundred done -- and I reach the 1000 for the day -- I'm heading for bed.

You know, you suddenly clear your mind of self-made pressure, and things become clear.

Like the fact you forgot to bill the city for work you did in December, let alone the stuff from January.

So, that's what I've done for the last couple hours -- put together the billings and emailed them off. We're big into email around here, for which I am VERY grateful. It wasn't for much money, but it should come just before my birthday next month, which would be very nice. Go out and buy a few more books....

I started a short story. I was actually three paragraphs into it when I got to thinking about how broke I've been, and then realized there might be a reason. I don't make a lot of money, but at least it's enough for a book or two now and then!

Russ, by the way, pays for the expensive Folio books that I was talking about a few days ago. No way I could afford those myself.

I have decided that I'm trying too hard.

That probably sounds odd, but I think I'm putting too much pressure on this story, and I need to step back and relax about it. I don't want to mess it up. Right now I feel like the characters are dull, and that's making the intro dull. I had better characters in my head when I started considering this story, and I need to sit back and think them out.

In the mean time, I think I'm going to work on some short stories. And Abby, which has gotten lost in the shuffle again. Just work a little bit on Game of Time and not push so hard when it's not yet ready to fly.

Probably wouldn't hurt to watch some Buffy episodes over again, too. Not that this story is really Buffy-like, but it did get me thinking outside my usual box, so to speak.

I wrote a strange short story yesterday. I wonder if I could turn out a few more, just for the fun of it.

LOL. I just read and found out they only had four entries in the contest! Kind of hard NOT to win in that one.

On the other hand, if they'd not gotten at least four they liked, they probably would have just cancelled the contest, so I'll think good thoughts anyway. (grin)

The story can be found here

Sunday, February 03, 2002

And here it is another day.

I am one of the five winners for the writing contest. That made me far happier than I had been.

Writing? Nah, that would be too easy. I have to wait until I'm so damn tired I can't figure out what word to put in a row.

Hmmm.... you know, I think I could use a nap about now....

There. Another 1010 words on Game. I have introduced all five main characters, hinted at one very minor one, and brought in the only other character who will have any ongoing major part of this. All of this is very light. I'm going to have to add more feel to it, either in the rewrite, or when I finish this section and look it over.

We're barely 2000 words into the story. I'll start doing some serious plot setting soon.

I feel at ease with the story, which is... well, not as bad as bored with it, but not as good as fired up about it, either. But we'll see how it goes from here. It may be that it's just late and my brain is mush. Anything would be 'at ease' at this point.
I wrote a short story titled Who Rules In Hell. Good, that one's now out of my mind. I also did most of an article, now I'm working on the novel. It's been a good writing day. You havne't heard that one for a while!

Saturday, February 02, 2002

I finally just did my totals for January. I thought it was a poor month, but it looks like it was just may attitude that was poor. I wrote a bit over 50,000, which puts it 5,000 over what I did last year in January. I managed to finish a few things, sent a lot of material off, and made four sales. I guess I can stop complaining about it, now, right?

Russ had to go do some work on the FreeNet server, so he's just going to grab some Taco Bell and bring it home. It's nearly 9PM but I got up so late that I'm only now starting to feel up for dinner. I also started out with an awful cough today, but some nice tea has settled that down.

I worked a little bit on The Game of Time today. Part of it was messing with the names to get them a little less alike. I'm still not sure of the one female name, but I'll stick with it for now. I love search/replace features.

And I feel better tonight, I think. I've got my four people to the museum, they're going to meet their fifth member for the first time. Something odd is going to happen. It will take a second time before it really kicks in, though.

Ah, I love writing.

And I have a very short story -- maybe even flash fiction -- plaguing me right now. I might have to stop and write it to get it out of my head. A very dark story, not like much of what I write at all.

I'm just waiting for dinner before I throw myself into any writing. I'm looking forward to it tonight.

1019 and that's it for the night. For some reason I'm startling to babble in the story. I think it's just that I need rest! Sleep....

I'll be back some time after noon. Don't know what Russ and I might do tomorrow, if anything. But I'll be back to work before too long!
773 words. I've managed to do a quick intro to four of the five main characters. The last one will be at the museum where they all work.

Slower than I had hoped, but still going well. Maybe if I actually go at it early enough tomorrow I'll get somewhere.

Going for 1000 tonight, though. Not much more to get there.
543 words. Very slow for me, but I had to go do a quick check for a car, and that slowed me again. It's good so far,though. I just need to not draw this out too much, or I'll lose track of what the story is really about.
I have just started The Book. Finally.

I'm about 250 words into it. Good so far, if you can call anything good that early on.
Hello. Been doing web work again today, at least when I wasn't sleeping. (grin) For some reason I was very comfortable in bed today, and just dind't want to get out. That doesn't happen often. Of course I had enough phone calls and dog barking things to drive me nuts.

I am going to take a bath and think out my opening. I have an idea to draw the opening out a little longer and give us a chance to meet the people involved before I throw them out into the mess I want a little more interaction from them, and show how they might bond a bit before hand. Yeah. I'm going to do the outline stuff like I have been, and then come back and attack...

It looks like fun. I don't expect any great word counts, but I do expect to enjoy this.

Friday, February 01, 2002

11,654 Complete.

Great huge sigh of relief.

And a nice little set of closing lines -- nothing outstanding, but a good feeling.

And now, at 7:30am (or close to it), I am heading off to bed!
Current count -- 10,768

But I am going to slow down again here. Not for long because there isn't long left in the story. Less even than I had planned. As I draw closer, I can see the climatic scene. The piece that I was going to add afterwards -- of someone unwanted catching up with them before they've gone far on the trail -- is not part of this story. There is no need to rush him into their company. Give them a few days (off screen, so to speak) on the trail before the other one catches up with them. And it will be a good start to the next story, with the antagonism right from the start.

So, final scene at the cemetary, last look back at the city.

I'm almost done with this one!
Oh look. 6am.

I went and took another long bath, this time better timed because there were no ringing phones. I jotted out the rest of the story, and thought my way through another very short piece that I'll probably write tomorrow. Later today. Right now I'm trying to finish up the writing for Brother before I crawl off to bed.

Starting count -- 9650

Hi there...

That little bit of web work that I still had to do turned into a lot more work than I had expected. I'm still finishing it up. So far, I'm lucky it's gone as well as it has, considering the amount of work that was in those little emails. There's a bit left, but I thought while one is uploading, I'd drop over here and say that, no, I haven't gotten any writing done yet...