Monday, March 31, 2003

The last day of the Out Like a Lion dare.

And am I ever grateful. There has been way too much other stuff going on, and I had trouble just keeping up with about 5k a day. I'm up to 45,440 right now. Not nearly as far as I watned to be, but still a lot better than I expected, given the insanity of the week. I think I'm unfortunately over the half way mark, so that's going to mean some hard thinking for the rewrite/new thread section.

But a good story so far. Needs a little more color, a little more detail here and there. A bit more depth on one of the characters, which is going to be difficult because he's kind of mysterious and the story does not have any chapters in his POV. I don't intend to write any, either. It's going to be interesting to see how I pull this off better.

But right now I need to get back and finish out my work for today. And then tomorrow...

...Starts the regular two month dare.

(Bangs head on keyboard, hoping for a few more words.)

Sunday, March 30, 2003

I am ready for spring. I am starting to think that a lot of people need a spring break this year and get them out into the world a bit. Start planning some outside time -- that's what I'm doing. Of course, I'm also looking at future zoo time. They're opening a new section at the Henry Doorly Zoo soon. I'll give it a few weeks before I go, but I'm looking forward to it!

I should hit 40,000 on the novel today. I'm at 38,600 and some right now. I feel so much better now that I'm not trying to make up word counts for no apparent reason. The book will be done in a few days anyway. I think that's good enough!

I can't wait to get my new glasses. Soon...

And Russ should be home pretty quick, too!

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Well, hello...

I've been busy for a couple days her, and unfortunately not as much of it has been with writing as I would like. I've done 6000 and some on both of the last two days, and the book is up over 30,000 words. I'm not going to push for 10,000 for the last few days, nor for finishing it this week.

But it is going well. It's just that being sidetracked by FM stuff slowed me down. It was not good work, but it was something that needed done to avoid even worse things.

I am happy to say that in a few days I get new glasses! They are paid for, and all we'll have to do is pick them up when they're ready. It's going to take at least a week though, maybe longer. All kinds of odd things with my glasses, of course -- but I am so looking forward to seeing clearly again!

I should go back to writing, but I'm kind of worn out again. I might go take a nice, long warm bath and relax instead. No, no. Don't fall even farther behind. I'm going to write a couple thousand words first. I'm getting closer to the end of this chapter, and there's no reason to drop out of it now!

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Well, this is not good. For various reasons -- mostly having to do with FM related work -- I've only reached 21,400 so far tonight. Oh dear. I get the feeling I'm going to be very far behind soon if I don't get my little body in gear and my writing brain kicked in!

But the story is still going well, and I think I have most of the FM stuff sorted out. And Russ brought me Taco Bell food tonight, which is like ambrosia to me. LOL. So I'm in a good mood and back to writing!

To be honest, I don't think it hurt for me to back off a little anyway. I don't think I can finish this book this week, not with the detail and depth -- and even first draft quality, which I normally don't think that much about -- that I want.

I do really like this story, though. (grin)
Well, I just finally topped 20,000. Yes, behind. Falling more behind. Various things have taken some of my time, but that's life. I'll either get caught up or I won't. I'll either finish this beast in one week or I won't. It's hard to say since I think the first draft is running short.

But... it's a good short. It's been a good story so far. I'm happy. I'm also over 100 pages.

Oh and I've topped 100,000 words for the month already.

So I really can't complain.


Almost up to 19,000 words. I'm going to call it a night and make up the rest of the words over the next few days. I'm really tired tonight. And headachy.

But the story... Oh my, the story is going so well that I can hardly believe it's me writing it. It's wonderful when that sort of thing happens. I keep going back and looking it over, reading parts and feeling that odd sort of chill I get when something comes out right.

Of course there is every chance that I am lying to myself about how good this is. That's happened. I have this inner voice that tells me that every new thing I write is better than the last. It's helpful when you also have a rule that you will finish everything you start. (grin)

But I'm calling it a night and going to rest for a while. By the time I get back up, we might have snow...

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Oh, and did I mention the Winter Storm Watch for tomorrow?

Yesterday was good. 10,426 words before midnight.

Today will be lucky to hit 5,000 -- but I do have a good reason. I had to have my eyes examined today. Yes, eyes and not head, thank you. They're still dialated, which makes working on a computer rather... interesting.

Oh duh. Blue background, white text for Word. Hadn't thought of that until just now. That helps. At any rate, I've only done 1,879 words today. But I have the urge to write.

And the urge to go kill the dog who is now barking...

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

5040 -- half way through my first day's intended writing.

My two MCs have just met. She's thinking working with him might not be so bad after all.

I'm on page 3 of the outline, so that's not too bad, either. And the story is going well. Tighter writing than usual, for some reason.That's very nice. I suspect that this one won't take as much editing as I usually have.

I'm going to have to take a break to feed the creatures soon, though. Bothersome little beasts -- one of which has taken over the right side of my keyboard trayand is using the mouse wrist pad as a pillow. Using the mouse is kind of difficult right now... (And yes, it is Pip!)
2844 words so far. While that may not sound like much, they are really GOOD words. And I'm only on page 2 of my outline.

I was held up a bit by some background I hadn't thought to check, mainly in the form of a weapon to give to my MC. I settled on something for now, but I'll likely change, mutate, update it for something in 2030.

I've introduced one of my two main characters and a bit about the world in which she lives. She's now on her way to the scene of trouble where she will meet MC number two.

(If this shows up twice, it's not my fault. Really.)

I think the story might still be running light on detail and depth, though. Well, still. I can fix that later. Openings always do this to me -- this feeling that I haven't quite gotten the feel yet, that I'm overlooking things.

I'm going to do a few more hundred words and go to 3000 at least before I stop and sleep for a few hours. When I come back, I'll be half way through the intro stuff and be able to get more into the story. That should help.

Yes, the madness has started. I've been working for about an hour and a half, and I have about 1598 words. Not a terribly fast start, but so far it's a good one. I'm not sure if I will get all of The First Open Door done this week, but I'm going to make a nice dent on it.

It's unfolding the way I imagined, though maybe -- as is usual with me and first drafts -- a little too quickly and without some of the details it will need. But the story is good. I'm going to enjoy this one.

Monday, March 24, 2003

About six and a half hours until Out Like a Lion March Madness. I slept for quite a few hours in preparation. (grin)

I would still like to go over my outline again and add in a few details, but I can go with it as is. That's a relief. I feel almost lost right now, waiting for things to happen. Very odd.

I'm not sure how well I'll do on this round. I hope to get the entire first draft done, but if I don't I'm not going to be upset.

Russ just went off to teach a class tonight, so I guess I can go out to the dining room table and spread things around and see what I can come up with. (grin) It's a sign.

Not that I couldn't if he was home, but he's trying to put together the last bits of his Lewis and Clarke in Nebraska book, so it's best at those times if we both work in different areas of the house. So off I go to fight the cats for the table and see if I can add a few more notes to my material...

I have achieved outline! 8500 and some words worth of outline, in fact! I'm going back over it later today with some of my other notes in hand, but I think I have everything scripted out and will only be adding a few details.

I am a happy person. Too happy to go to bed, even if it is almost 5am. I will go watch something for an hour and get away from this computer for a bit.

About 19 hours before I start the novel. It's good to know what I'm doing with it now!

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Days are slipping away! Help!

I'm not nearly as far on my outline as I would like to be, but I'm still working on it. I might get it done in time. It's going well enough -- but it's already 3715 words long. I'm going to just throw myself into it as soon as I get through with the 4th class material that I need to post. It's written, but it needs to be cleaned up a bit.


Yesterday I made fresh bread and a huge thing of chicken and noodles. Made it very late -- we ate some at about ten last night -- but it's mostly there so I wouldn't have any reason to stop and hunt up food tonight. The only problem right now is that we're having our first really nice weather of the season, and part of me says I should go outside. Kind of a frightening thought.

At any rate, I'm going to go attack the class stuff and leap back into the outline. Less then 48 hours to go until the Dare starts. I can do this...

Mind you, I am a bit worried when just getting the outline done is posing a bit of a problem for me. I dread to think what that means for the book itself.

Friday, March 21, 2003

A slow start today, but I think it will pick up soon! I have a story to print out and get ready to mail, but after that I'm going to try and finish at least one, if not two, short stories. I'm also reading a book on The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I have to start outlining the new novel. I have a number of scenes I want to write, but and I have them loosely grouped in 'early, middle, end' catagories. I have a total of 149 entries right now in database, and quite a few more to type in from the current book I'm reading.

I am, however, a bit worn down. And my mind is starting to wander off to that 'figure out the outline' sort of place that means less writing and more dreaming. Probably means a low word count day, but since I did 10,000 yesterday I don't suppose I'll complain too much. It does make it hard to concentrate on the short story though.

Or on much of anything, now that I think about it.

Pip, looking for treats...

Over all, a 10,000+ day. I'm going to bed now to get a few hours sleep. I've gone back to work on an unfinished short story, and I'd like to get it done tomorrow. I might try for one other short story as well, but after that it will be a few days of very small word counts while I do the last of the research and arrange matterial for the new novel. I start it on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to it.

I feel so much better having gotten Those Who Seek Sanctuary done. It's a good novella, too. Russ has been reading it -- he got caught one day when I had left it up before I went to bed. It was about 80 pages at that point, and he wasn't happy to know I hadn't finished it yet. It came in at about 112 pages the way I have it formatted.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Well, that's better. Those Who Seek Sanctuary is done at something over 35,000 words. A good, solid novella there. Granted, novellas are about the worst thing a person can write, but still, I like it. And they seem to be a good length for me.

I have four days now in which to get the material ready for the new novel. The good thing is that almost all the notes are done, and my next step is going to be to sort out scenes and start writing up longer descriptions and fill in spots with... well, with actual plot to ties the scenes together.

I might also try to finish a couple short stories in the next few days, but if they don't take off, I'm not pushing it.

It's looking good, though.

I used to write a lot more haiku than I do these days. A nice picture, a bit of haiku... it was fun.

I'm not sure if it's as much lack of time or lack of inspiration that's kept me from writing many in the last few years. I might try it again, soon. It was fun, and relaxing.

Right now, though, I have other things to get done. Still working on Those Who Seek Sanctuary. Yesterday was too emotionally overbearing to get much work done. Tonight I have reached reconcilliation, along with the realization that how I feel about certain aspects of life -- including the war -- are my feelings, and since I'm not looking to argue with anyone about them, nor will the affect the outcome of what's going on, I can afford to keep those thoughts mostly to myself. I'll rant and rave now and then when something strikes me, but for the most part, I'm going to turn my attention back to writing. It's the way I get through things.

So, with luck, I'll still get the one book done in time before I start the new one. I have several notes to type up in my Access file -- which is working so well that I'm going to do an article on how to do it, I think.

But right now... write. Calm. Enjoy what bits of life as you can, because so much is out of your hands, that you cannot say what will happen tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The moment the world has held its breath waiting for has happened about forty-five minutes ago.

We all knew we would go to war. The 48 hour "Get out of Dodge or else' ploy wasn't going to work any better than it does in the movies. I didn't want the war, but I knew it would come. I can't think that anyone sane, anywhere, would really want a war in this day. I would have liked to have seen diplomacy work, but it rarely does.

How do I feel about the war?

I think it is a horrible mistake that we'll all regret -- everyone on all sides of the battle, here and elsewhere. There are many factors that led to this, and unfortunately, it's too hard to sort them out in the current climate and find out if one outweighs the others. We have become very reactionary since 9/11 -- and that's to be expected. We want to stop the terrorists from doing it again. I think that's wise. I don't think it's really possible.

Unfortunately, I also think far too much of this crisis came to a head because the war in Afghanistan was not politically 'exciting' enough. We can't pretend that politics don't have a big part in this war, but then they do in every war. How much of it affects what we did -- I don't know. I don't trust propaganda on both sides, and because I can't know if the Iraqi government really had weapons ready to use against us, I can't be completely certain that we've done something for protection, and not for glory.

But, because I don't know, I can't say that it isn't for protection. Either way, though, I don't like that it came to war. War is too dangerous, and I'm only glad that I live in an area that is mostly out of harms way.

It's been very odd to sit here, waiting for the war to start. I thought about the age when mass communications wasn't the norm, when you didn't know the moment the first bomb hit the enemy city.

The war is an attempt to go after terrorists. I want terrorists stopped. I don't want terrorists to strike at the US again -- or anywhere for that matter. But let's look at our own country for a moment. We have had our own homegrown terrorists. Why haven't we gone after the groups that backed the Oklahoma bombing and wiped them out? Because they're American Citizens, and it would be political suicide, as well as probably starting a civil war. Not a good idea. However, if we're going after 'foreigners' because of this problem, I think we better take a closer look at our own society. Not that I want any more of our rights to be trampled on, but hypocrisy should at least be admitted.

By the way, when did terrorists start hanging out in libraries so much that they have to be closely watched and everything checked out listed for Homeland Security?

I don't like the war.

I don't expect my feelings on this to matter one way or another in the matter.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Just for St. Patrick's Day (See my journal for another such picture.)

102 entries into my database for the novel... I would likely have about 150, but I combined a number of them. Now I'm going to off to take a bath, finish a book on Egyptian Mythology, watch something, and then get to bed. If I get the book done, tomorrow it will be Noah Adam's Far Appalachia for reading -- a little north of the area I want to cover, but I'm looking for the 'feel' of the area, and this really seems to have it. It's also relatively short. Then... A book on the Great Smoky Mountains that's full of pictures, climate info, plants, wildlife... I might actually skip doing notes from that one, and just keep it on hand while I write to fill in some of the 'background' info.

I also have a story I must edit and get out in the next few days. I hope it won't be too hard to do.

But right now... work on getting the Egyptian book read and out of the way!

Well, I took care of quite a few things yesterday, but too little of them related to writing. This week I am turning over to research, note taking, and preparing for the new novel. That's right. I might work on Those Who Seek Sanctuary every now and then, but for the most part my writing for the next week will be worldbuilding and outlining. Then on the 25th I start the new novel.

Yes, I should try to get something else finished first. I hope Those Who Seek Sanctuary will actually catch me in those times when I'm tired of reading/researching/outlining. But I have five full books and another four or five partial ones to get through for the novel,a nd since I'm taking notes along with them, that means it will take me longer to read them. I hadn't realized how much I needed to get do and how little time I had until tonight, when we drove to Omaha so I could buy even more books for this.

But you know... I am having a great time of it. The First Open Door is really falling together, and I'm having a great time.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

When I took the dog out tonight about 8pm, I could hear geese in the sky, though I couldn't spot them. It's warmed up. It's still 50f here, at 2 in the morning. Spring may finally really be on the way. Good. I want to see the nice birds again, and take walks at dawn before I go to bed. I need those walks. This has been a long and illness-filled winter for me, and I want to get back to where I at least feel half alive.

Today was pdf/pda Vision day, and that took all my time. I'm going to do a little writing tonight, and then go watch something. Or do some more research for The First Open Door, which is still going very well.

You know... I think I'm going to make an Access File to type my notecards into, and let it sort them. Hmmm... that might be fun. Since Russ does a lot of work with Access, I can probably get him to help me out with some of the more esoteric stuff.

And I can count it all for writing tonight and tomorrow, since I really do need to get these cards typed up and organized.

Well, this sounds like more fun than I expected for tonight... Especially after the hours and hours it took me to get Vision done!

Friday, March 14, 2003

I'm trying to get Those Who Seek Sanctuary done before I start the new novel on the 25th. This seems to be going well enough, even if my fingers have decided to forget how to type sometimes. I'm getting there.

I am also going to give several on-line classes at Forward Motion. These are going to be non-chat and therefore accessible to people who couldn't get to the chat classes at the times they were given. I think they'll also help for me. Chat with a lot of people and scrolling screens going crazy gives me a headache. I love doing the classes... I just needed to find a way to do them that worked for others and me. I think I'm working out the pattern of how it will be laid out. Looks good so far. I'll be starting one in the next couple days.

In the mean time... the temp here is 64 right now. Amazing. I walked outside to get the mail and didn't want to come back in. That's very rare for me.

Looks like thunderstorms tomorrow! And the next two days... followed by snow.

Ah, spring. Almost...

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Today has been research day. I am going to have to sit down and do a little writting soon, but for the moment, I'm just working away at the research side of things. It's been very fun.

I picked up Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods tonight. It's next on my list of reading material, right after I finish In the Court of the Borgia (which I should have by now, but it misplaced and I just found it again) and Who's Who in Egyptian Mythology.

I really love this life sometimes...

Have I used that picture yet? I'm recycling ones from my journal. Just thought it would be fun.

I have mostly been researching The First Open Door, which is going so well that I have trouble dragging myself away from it. But I do have to get a bit more writing done today. I've told myself that I must work on both Book 8 and Those Who Seek Sanctuary every day, and start clearing some of the backlog of unfinished material I've already got building up this year. In fact, I think I'm not going to start the new book until I get at least one of those two finished, and maybe a dangling short story as well. I also need to get caught up on my editing.

But, over all, I'm doing better today. My back does not hurt nearly as much as it has the last two weeks, and I feel like my brain is coming back out of the 'stuck in pain mode' feeling.

I may start typing up the notecards for the new book though, so I can get the worldbuilding stuff in order and printed out. I still have some serious background work to do for two areas -- but for the most part, it's going very well.

Hmmm... Just remembered a book I want to try and track down on line. So... off I go to do that before I get work on writing.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Yes, another Pip picture. He seems to be around a lot. Right now he's sitting between the keyboard and the monitor, just to make sure I know he's here.

I think I'm better today, but my arms feel heavy, the keyboard very hard to type on, and my head not entirely in my work. But I am going to get to it anyway. A little work here, a little work there... It will all add up.

Eventually I'll even have a novel or two. (grin)

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Okay, back to life in the real world.

Today is agenda day. I have now been working on it for... hmmm... 5 hours, it appears. I'm about done...

I did have food in there. And I've been arranging book shelves while stuff uploads, to it's not all been staring at the computer screen and driving myself crazy. Pretty close, though.

As soon as this last bit gets done I'll be able to work on other things, though. I have something to write up for Forward Motion, but after that I might get a chance to write. I'm going for another 1000 word day. I'm getting lazy.

Or, actually, I'm hoping to do some more research for the new book. (grin)

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Happy birthday to me. (grin)

We're going to be leaving town in about five hours, so I'm doing a bit of 'after midnight' writing, to cover what I need for the day. Started book 8. I don't intend to rush through this one quite as fast. I figure I'll give myself a whole month.

And the other new novel... well, I might start that later today, or I might just keep doing the backround work on it for a few more days. I had a breakthrough on the secondary character, and I'm not entirely sure I want to go that way... but suddenly things fell into place, including a news report on CNN a few days ago. We'll see...

But right now I'm going to write a few hundred more words, and then head for bed.

I hope to have a nice day. We'll see. At least I'll be away from home for a few hours!

Friday, March 07, 2003

There. Done. 79,350 words in two weeks. Ha!
Did I get done?


I got down to the last TWO PHASES and got so incredibly ill that I couldn't go on. I crawled off to bed. I've been up for a few hours now, feeling somewhat better, and I'm going to finish this last few hundred words.

Two phases. I can do this...

And then it didn't post for some reason. Figures, huh? (Talking about post below with odd looking squirrel.)

I am feeling mostly better today. I hope to have the novel done in the next few hours. Then I'm going to spend the rest of the 7th doing notes for a novel that has nothing to do with the book I'll start on the 8th. I'm sure this makes sense. I just... well, I have one of those new stories in my head that will not get out, and I'm going to have to do something with it soon. I was just lucky that I had a definate, stated in public, goal for book 7 and 8 or I'd have dropped them already. And that isn't good, really. I need discipline.

I need more time, so that I can work on the new novel, too.

Okay, stop that. Back to Book 7. I have 30 phases left to go. The novel is going to run about 75 to 80,000 words in the first draft, which is really good for me.

Off to work... I'll be back later if I get done early enough!

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Yes, I missed a day. I was too ill to get out of bed for more than a few minutes. I wrote an entire 709 words on the novel.

I'm better today, though still not great. Well enough, however, to do some typing and see if I can't get this novel done in the next two days. I'm close. I just hope I can sit through it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Last night's writing looked very bad or a while there. I was doing fine and then suddenly, BAM -- pain up through the back and into the head. Took hours for it to finally ease enough that I could do anything. I ended up with something over 5000 words, which surprised me.

I'm about to start the work for today, and hope to get a good run at it.

And we have snow on the ground. More snow in March than we've had during all the previous winter months put together. (Which, by the way, is not that much -- maybe four inches. We expect more tonight.)

It's just strange some days, isn't it?

Monday, March 03, 2003

I wrote 8040 words before I stopped. I hope I can get back into it as well today, but right now I'm trying to push away a headache and upset stomach. But, if I can get my little pounding head to cooperate, I might get caught up today. I would like that.

My original plan was to have this done on the 6th. I purposely gave myself an extra day -- the 7th -- because I know things go badly. But the truth is, even if I didn't have it quite done my the 8th, I would still start the next book on that day. It's traditional that I start something new on my birthday, and... well, it's not like I've been logical about having things finished first before this.

However, I only have 102 phases left to go and four days left. 25 phases a day was my original plan. I'm feeling much better now that I'm back to where I should be.

So, I'm going to go do a little writing, then do some house cleaning... no hold it, a bit of house cleaning first, then some writing. Then some more cleaning. It doesn't hurt to break the horrible stuff up with fun writing. (grin)
Well, this has been a good night. 57,954 is the total count at the moment, and I'm up to phase 229. That's just a bit over 7000 words so far, and I'm still going for a few more phases before I give up. If I can make a few more, I have a chance of actually catching up tomorrow.

It is so good to feel part of the story again. I love writing. But I love it best when it flies like this.

Writing tonight is going very well. I'm over 5000 words -- over 54,000 for the novel -- and I'm going to get a bit more before I stop. I'm still a day behind, but I'm finishing up what I should have had done for yesterday, and I might get a couple phases into today. That would be great.

I'm feeling better, too. I hope it stays that way this time.

Now... back to writing.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

There, that's better. I don't really have much to say, but I thought I'd get this updated. I do have a new story up:

Seeker of Shadows, Stealer of Souls at Dragons, Knights and Angels. Check it out.

Other than that... I still have a cold, I'm still pretty miserable, and I need to get some work done.

Are we not posting for a reason? (grin)

Well, this is not good. I'm falling even farther behind, and on a day when I don't feel too bad. I had a reason today. I wrote an article that I should have gotten to long before now. It may not sell, but if I didn't do it, I'd never know. It's just a slight chance of an opportunity. We'll see.

Now I'm back to the novel, but not surprisingly it's a bit hard to fall into it again. Well see how well I do before I crawl off to bed. Right now I don't have much hope.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

I am only up for a few minutes. I feel pretty awful, but at least I made it through the end of February and the posting of Vision. Now I'm going to go crawl off somewhere for a few days and hope I survive.

Ack. That's all, just ack.
I have just hit the half way point on the outline. I have 42,882 words on the novel. I've dropped the my goal from 225 to 200 words per phase.

I'm still not as far along as I would like to be on this, but it's still going pretty well. I'll need to pick up the speed a bit here now, though, if I want to have it done before the 8th, so that I can start another book on that day... and do this again. You know, there are days when even I think I might be crazy.

We are officially into March. I have survived February, although it may still sneak up and get me.

But... Vision is done and posted, and all is well with the world as far as that goes. Writing, on the other hand... well, let's just say that I didn't quite make the amount I hoped to by this point. Still, with Vision out of the way, I think I'll have better luck making up the words. Well, as long as I'm still breathing... which at this point is sort of 50/50 chance. I don't remember the last time I had a cold like this. I'm not real happy with it.

But I can get back to work now. It's March. I get a few weeks of writing before I have to start panicking over the next issue of Vision. (grin)