Wednesday, April 30, 2003

I've had two days (or is it three now?) of working almost exclusively on Vision. I'm happy to say that I am putting the last touches on the 15th issue right now. It will set for tonight, and tomorrow when I put it up I will no doubt find horrendous problems and pull out all my hair.... but for the moment I can pretend that I'm done. There are 30 articles, three of which are recurring... oh yeah. Need to update guidelines to take off the theme for the issue that is just going up... There, that's done. Looks like I forgot to do it for the last one. Oh well. We're set now.

And now I get to go back to the novel. I've managed to write only a few thousand words in the last couple days, and unfortunately, now there is going to be a new project to take my attention -- May has two major dares going on at Forward Motion. But I will keep working on Ruins. I have plans for it. (grin)

Off to work!

Current count: 17294

Monday, April 28, 2003


Not bad. I didn't think I was going to get past 500 words on it tonight.

15,038 words -- which is better than I expected. Along with the 800 word article I wrote, that puts me over 1000 for the day. I want more on Ruins, though. I had hoped to make it to 20,000 tonight, but I'll be lucky to make 16,000 at the rate I'm going.

It's a good point in the story, though. If I can get all the other work done, I might be able to get some real work done on it tomorrow.

Onward. At least a couple hundred more words tonight...

I'd howl, but I don't have the energy...

I did a lot of good work for Vision early on Sunday, which is good, because late in the afternoon the agenda for Monday's meeting finally arrived.

Not a single hyperlink or internet link worked. The agenda was over 50 pages long.

It took me five hours just to get the html version done and up. I never did the pdf version because it was kind of useless at this point. No one will get it before they go to the meeting.

I will be lucky to get 1000 words done before I go to bed tonight. My head hurts, I've got the snarls -- the cats have even disappeared -- and because of that stupid agenda, I'm way behind on other things.

Oh well. I'll get stuff done. I'm just not in the best of moods now, and it's hard to fall into the novel. Snarl, growl...

Current count: 14,687

Saturday, April 26, 2003

We went to Omaha tonight to drop some money off to friends. Nice ride away from the computer for a few hours. Messes up my writing totals and work on Vision, but it was good to get away.

I bought a cheap little CD of Thunderstorms that I'm rather enjoying tonight. I like storms in general, and for some reason I've found this pleasant to work to. I have some other nature sound CDs, including at least one other with a thunderstorm in a forest, but this one with the (now almost an hour) of rain and thunder is kind of neat.

It is, however, odd to walk into the office and find that it's raining here...

Friday, April 25, 2003

I am starting my writing with a headache -- it's the up and down weather here, by the way. Rain, could, wind, warm, wind, cold rain. Everything looks pretty, but my head doesn't appreciate it all.

I did top 10,000 words total on the novel last night before I went to bed. I also put together a few more pages for Vision. I'm sure today is going to be busy when Russ gets home, but right now I'm going to get a few words done.

Starting count: 10,634

I miss the zoo. I haven't been there for quite a while, and it seems unlikely that I'll get there any time soon. Besides, I need new batteries for my camera -- after four years using three of them, they've finally worn down and will no longer take a charge. That leaves me with two. I need one or two more -- but at $50-$60 a piece, it's not something I can just go out and grab.


Russ came home earlier than I expected tonight, which was good. It gave us a little time to talk before he went to bed. He has a class to teach early tomorrow, so it's good he got back before the usual 1am that the last few classes have been.

The story is moving ahead very well, actually. I'm about 9,000 words into it. Ruins is going much better in this round. I'll be slowing up over the weekend, though. I have to get Vision put together. (I keep reminding myself of this because I could just get caught up in Ruins and forget...)

Thursday, April 24, 2003

About an hour later and I'm up to 8235. This despite both inside and outdoor cats demanding more food, and the dog going nuts and barking enough to give me a blinding headache. That last is why I'm not going to make it to 10pm. I'm going to go in and rest in a nice warm tub of water and come back afterwards to do more writing.

Forward Motion appears to be down again.

On the up side, despite a few problems with the material, I did get the agenda done, the pdf version emailed and the html version posted.

And I've made it to 7169 on the novel, having started at 5548. About 1600 words so far today. I hope that it picks up. I found that I made a bit of a continuity mistake in the outline, but by moving and combining a couple chapters, it shouldn't be a problem. I think I'll reprint the outline to get the chapter numbers right, though.

Okay, 7169 words. Let's see where I am in about an hour.
A break for something a little more serious...

What does it mean to be an American? I'm going to start with some lines I remembered reading a few years ago, and finally just hunted down again:

The hue and cry about "un-Americanism," it seemed to me, was most un-American. It was foreign to our deepest American traditions, certainly not worthy of them.

...I had always boasted abroad that Americans were the most carefree, ruggedly independent-minded individuals on the face of the earth, never afraid to say what they matter who, or how many, disagreed... and [that] qualified us, after the war, to champion freedom in the world...

...Everywhere I went a surprisingly large number of people seemed afraid. Of what, in God's name? Of becoming involved in controversy, they said, of getting into trouble by expressing an opinion that someone might not like.

That WHO might not like?

Well, they said, hesitantly and usually in a whisper (was I back in Germany under the snooping nose of the Gestapo, I wondered), the government, or the F.B.I, or some loyalty board, or the University Board of Trustees, or Senator McCarthy, or the un-American Committee, or the moguls in Hollywood, or the sponsor of a T.V. or radio program, or the local paper, or any of a hundred groups of self-appointed vigilantes -- or even your boss at the office or your next-door neighbor.

... "The best thing," they said, "is to keep your mouth shut -- and your thoughts to yourself. It's safer that way."

--- Midcentury Journey, William Shirer

I think there is nothing more American than to say what you believe -- to protest (peacefully, because non-peaceful protests wins nothing for anyone) a position that you oppose, whatever that may be.

People who do not believe in this war not only have the right to protest it, but as Americans they have the obligation to do so. That is a large part of what being American means -- the right to voice your true beliefs with freedom to do so in any appropriate manner or place. And it also means that others have to accept that they have that right. And they can protest that those people are protesting, but that should be as far as their power goes.

A person should not worry that disagreeing with the President of the United States is going to cause you hardship. In fact, not agreeing with the majority of the people of the US shouldn't cause you hardship just in itself. If you are an artist, and the people who disagree stop buying your product -- well, that's their choice as well. But having it decided for them by some outside force is not American.

I don't like Bush. That's not going to change the fact that he's president. I truly believe that he subverted the entire American political system by having the Supreme Court basically decide an election. I think he did it unnecessarily, because I believe he would have won the election anyway, and that just makes it worse. But he's president and I'm resigned to it.

I don't like the war -- I think a country as large and powerful as the US should have a better answer than killing people. But we don't. And we're there. While I think protesting isn't going to change a thing, I would never dream of saying the protesters were wrong to do so. They are doing what is their American right to do. It is not going to help or hinder the war one way or another, and believing it is giving moral support to Iraq seems to say that being American, and having the right to disagree in ways that the Iraqi people never could, is a bad thing.

To me, protests are the most clear-cut and obvious show that we are free and the Iraqis are (were) not. We should not only be able to disagree in protests, speeches, newspapers, personal appearances, and even blogs, but we can even elect someone different when the time comes, if the protest is great enough.

One of the other great freedoms we have is to make fun of a situation, to point out the irony and to mock and satirize it. Much like marching in the street, it is something a totalitarian government will not allow. So, in honor of my freedom as an American, I'm going to post some jokes that recently came through our email. I normally don't do this, but these did make me laugh:

"President Bush has said that he does not need approval from the UN to wage war, and I'm thinking, well, hell, he didn't need the approval of the American voters to become president, either." -- David Letterman

"In a speech earlier today President Bush said if Iraq gets rid of Saddam Hussein, he will help the Iraqi people with food, medicine, supplies, housing, education, anything that's needed. Isn't that amazing? He finally comes up with a domestic agenda, and it's for Iraq. Maybe we could bring that here if it works out." -- Jay Leno

"Democrats were quick to point out that President Bush's budget creates a 1 trillion dollar deficit. The White House quickly responded with 'Hey, look over there, it's Saddam Hussein.'" -- Craig Kilborn

"We have it. The smoking gun. The evidence. The potential weapon of mass destruction we have been looking for as our pretext of invading Iraq. There's just one problem -- it's in North Korea." -- Jon Stewart

"The president boasted at the top of his press conference that we have the support now of Britain and Spain for our attack on Iraq. You know, when you want to make it perfectly clear to the world that you're not an imperialist, the people you want in your corner are Britain and Spain." -- Bill Maher

That last one, as someone interested in history, really made me laugh!

In the end, when this war ends like all the others have, and when we move on to new Presidents and new policies, we will still all be Americans. We still won't agree, but we'll still be here -- unless we allow others to take our rights as Americans away.

But here is a final quote that I think both sides can agree with:

"Someone died for me today, and I need to either find or make a reason why I am worthy of that sacrifice.".
-- Eleanor Roosevelt on being an American during war times

I went to bed more than a little dissatisfied with one aspect of Ruins that I just couldn't get worked out. When I got up, I still didn't have an answer. I sat down and did a little typing on the story, filling in a few little spots and then I hit the bit that needed something...

And it just came to me. A perfect answer. I have over 400 new words so far today. I'm not sure how far I'll get, but having that one little piece of the problem solved I feel like I can move on without feeling like the story is lacking some fundamental little piece of information.

First day's total is 5548. This isn't bad, but I really had expected to do a little better. I know -- there's just no pleasing some people.

It's not going badly. But I am really tired tonight!

Time to get some rest, I think!

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Even slower! Only 400 words, and a lot of on-line checking around, but I came up with something important, so all is well. Slow night of work, though.

And I'm going to take a bit of break here, so I don't know that I'll be back for a few hours...
A little bit over 700 words for hour two. Up to about 1400 at the top of the hour. I had taken a little bit of a wrong turn and had to delete some stuff. Right now my second MC is about to turn down a really large amount of money to buy out his business. Getting the feel for that part is proving a little more difficult than I expected.

But so far... it's going pretty well.
Only 701 words for the first hour. I almost immediately found something I needed to look up and that slowed me down quite a bit. This first intro chapter is very short. So far, it's going well. I need a little more detail in it, but the feel is there.

I'm going to be slow in hour two as well. In fact, I probably won't get more than a couple thousand done tonight. But so far, it's going much better than the earlier version.

Cats and dog fed. I'm sitting here with two nice bean burrittos -- and wondering why the only things in the fridge we run out of before they go bad is Diet Pepsi and salsa. It's questions like that which can define an entire lifestyle, you know...

Listening to Dan Folgleberg's The Wild Places, which really fits this novel. Glad I thought of it. I saw Fogelberg in concert (according ot the ticket in this CD case -- on March 22nd, 1994. Doesn't seem like it should be that long ago. A couple songs on this cd -- The Wild Places and The Spirit Trail in particular -- are good for the novel. I might copy them off and do a cd for this novel. Depends on if I find enough. I think Dougie Mcleans 'Ready for the Storm' would be a good one, too. But then, I think Ready for the Storm is good for just about anything...

Oh, and Eagles' The Last Resort -- the live version off of Hell Freezes Over.

Looks like some storms heading this way. I better finish my food and get some writing done, in case they do kick up. It doesn't look like they will, but you never know. Unfortunately, it looks like worse down in Omaha, where Russ is helping friends move. He had hoped to get it done tonight so that he wouldn't need to go back tomorrow. Tomorrow night he has a class to teach about 60 miles west of here, so he'd have to drive to Omaha, help with that, then leave early enough to get home, clean up, and drive out to the other little town. With the look of the weather (which is supposed to be bad tomorrow, too), they aren't going to get done tonight, though.

Okay... going to finish dinner and plan on starting to work about 6pm my time -- a bit less than half an hour to go. I don't think the storms are going to be that bad.

Of course, if you don't hear from me for the rest of the night, you'll know I was wrong...

I am going to start the novel here in a couple minutes. I'm really up for this, too. That surprises me. Just printing off the outline (five pages is all) and looking over the original material, much of which will be scraped, and all of which will be retyped and rewritten. I think I might as well go feed the cats first, and all that kind of stuff, before I sit down with the novel.

Here's the big problem, though... I can't get so caught up in the novel that I forget Vision is coming up pretty fast. Still, it will put me in a good mood. We all like it when zette is in a good mood, right?

Oh, and Prehistoric Indians of the Southwest by Wormington is great! I remembered liking it, but it's even better than I recalled. I've got a bunch of little bits and pieces marked already, and I'm only 40 pages into the book.

Okay. Go feed cats, maybe make something for me, make sure there is nothing else I need to do, and then sit down and write.

Sounds good to me...

Only wrote a little over 1500 words, but they were all on the new outline, so I'm happy about how well that's gone. It's a blending of the old novel and probably enough new stuff to add about 30,000 words or more -- which will take it up to about 100,000. I don't know if that's really going to happen when I get into the older stuff. A lot of it has to be so drastically changed to fit the new story line that I might end up cutting more than I think I will. But we'll see. I'm also not entirely happy with some of the 'mystery' aspects, but I think things will work out once I get into the story. I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of editing and adding of material, but I think this should be the last 'start all over from scratch' version.

At any rate, I'm going to start writing it tomorrow.

I spent the rest of tonight getting two short stories off to submissions. That takes care of my 'have to' work for this month. This is the first time out for both stories. Next ones to go out will likely be older material. I have a couple that I really would like to get back into the mail again.

I am heading to the bath tub with one of my many books on the Southwest to read up on the area and the cultures amd get a feel for the area again -- especially the archeology-related material. Prehistoric Indians of the Southwest by Wormington looks like the most likely one to start with. I haven't read it since 1992. It's a bit out of date, I'm sure, at least in terms like Anasazi instead of Pre-Publeoan -- but that one is up in the air still anyway. And I love the sound of Anasazi. Ah well, I'll mostly be covering Chaocan, Basketmaker (an early form of Anasazi), and maybe a little Mogollon. Mimbres pottery with 'kill' holes in them... Oh good! There's my big book on Anasazi pottery, and my little (very helpful) book on Chaco Canyon Architecture, which actually covers a number of styles found outside of the Chaco Canyon. (Can you tell I'm kind of really interested in this stuff?)

It will be fun to get up tomorrow and get to work on this, I think.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I have started the basic outline for the new version of Ruins. I think this one is going much better. I have a few more little bits and pieces here and there. I'm not sure if I'm going to leap in and write it right away, but working on the outline has been fun. It's over 1000 words, just a line or two per chapter so far. I'm not certain I will need more than that, since much of it is already written in the original story. I'm just not sure... oh. Hold on. If I make one of the two main characters normally reclusive and secretive, I can use that as an excuse why someone could claim he had died already. And since someone had tried to kill him just prior to this book... yeah. Okay. Back to working out plot points again...

I love the way the light made everything look silver. Very hard picture to catch, and this doesn't really do it justice, but still nice.

I appear to have missed another day in the blog. I'm not sure how that happened, except that I've been busy writing. I finally finished The Business of Monsters and Nightmares. Something over 15,000 words and NOT a novella, I'm happy to say. Of course, since it's the first of four linked stories, that probably doesn't really count for much, does it?

I have eight days until the new month and the start of the rewrite dare. I need to get the rest of Vision done in those days, edit a couple pieces and work on Ruins, which needs a complete rewrite. I have several new sections to add in, and a change in a lot of other other material. I'm going to start it tomorrow (later today, actually), but I won't get it done before May 1.

I have two short stories to send out, and I don't know what to do with either of them. Very odd. One is The Musing of Four Muses -- A Cautionary Tale for Writers and the other is Children Play in Shadows, which Russ liked and made a couple suggestions on. They're both very short, at least by my standards. The muse one is going to be the harder to place, I think.

Right now I need to take Ruins off to the bathtub with me and make a few more notes on inserted chapters, a murder or two, and see how it goes.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Went down to the pond and saw a lot of teals. There had been wood ducks the other day, but they were in hiding. Cold out, too.

And now, back to work.
I've written about 2000 words so far today, and edited a few more pages on Ruins.

In other words, just another day of work.

Missed a day. I was mostly messing around with a slightly crazed plan to print off a ton of material and do some editing. Surprisingly, it's working. I almost through with the second short story I've edited in two days. I'm working on the last page or so of The Musings of Four Muses: A Cautionary Tale for Writers. Actually, in this case, I scratched the entire original and rewrote everything, so I'm counting it as new. The idea was good, the presentation wasn't. I think I have closer to what I want this time.

Anyway, I've printed off five notebooks full of material. Three are novels, two are collections of short stories. There are two or three more novels I'm tempted to print off tonight, except that I think I'll run out of notebooks if I do that -- and I still have a dozen or so short stories as well. Maybe as I edit, and empty one notebook at a time, I can plan on what to put in later.

I have been remiss in getting things out for submission. I keep up my minimum -- two things a month -- but I write far more than that, and quite often the stuff that goes out is what most recently came back since it's the easiest to edit again and put back out. I do always go over things again before I drop them back into the world of submissions.

I'm going to push a few new things out the door soon. Or out through the email, if that's the appropriate place. I think Niche will be heading for F&SF next weekend. I'm not sure what to do with the current one. It's going to be an odd one to place. And Children Play in Shadows... I don't know on it yet, either. I've started editing a short novel that I think will be good for an epublisher, too. Right now it's my 'bathtub' novel. I can take the notebook in with me and edit there. I would do this on the Visor, but I needed a change. Sometimes things like this make everything look different.

And, of course, this keeps me away from The First Open Door for a little while longer.

Back to work.

Friday, April 18, 2003

I made it to 3000 words last night. That's much better than I expected. The story is over 10,000 words, though. I'm really not surprised there. My work often goes that way.

I've been doing little notes on The First Open Door for things I think I need to add. So far I have 6 points. If each of those points generated 2,000 words... hmmm, I should try for 10 new additions. That would be the 20,000 or so words I would like to add. LOL. Whole new way to add material to stories.

I'm not going to work very hard at writing today -- or for the rest of this weekend. I have a few other projects that I need to do, like some reworking of a site for the county. I think I'll be done rewriting/editing Niche today, too. I'll need to go over it one more time in a couple days, though. I made some drastic changes in this version, and I'll need a little space before I can look at it and judge it again. But I expect it to go out soon.

I have several other pieces to go out as well. I just need to do a rereads and clean ups again. I keep thinking that one piece in particular needs a change at the end.

Okay... off to work.

(Almost forgot to do a picture for the first post of the day)

So, really, I just decided to write entire new story to add to the front of this one. Right.

But it's working. I have over 1000 words and I'll likely go to 2000 tonight, at least. I'm also going to load the printer up with paper and get a copy of The First Open Door so I can read it and start that work Good plan.

There, it's started. I should have a print copy anyway, even though I do have backups.

Oh, and the short story is definitely in novelette stage now. If I can keep it from doubling in size, I might bring it in under novella. Since it's the first of a four story set about Devlin's Team, I'm not too worried. Eventually it will even be a book. (grin)

Thursday, April 17, 2003

I just had something odd happen to me with this story, Monsters and Nightmares. I am near the end, and it's going well... but I thought about the opening, how my MC has just found some missing children and is leaving the world before the reporters find out and hound him...

And I realized I need to tell that half of the story. That's the Monsters part of it, in fact. It doesn't have to be a long story. I know what he did, and it shouldn't take much to write it up, really. But it does mean that the story is going to be at least a novelette. It might be already, actually.

Back to work. Back to the start. I think I'll write it in and then rework the later stuff so that it reflects some of the problems he already faced. Good...

I only thought I was almost done.

I like to make pictures from alien worlds sometimes....

Yes, I read the second Wen Spencer book -- Tainted Trail -- last night. Good stuff. There will be another one in a few weeks, I'm glad to hear.

Odd day. I can't focus on anything. I'll do a little writing, edit some stuff for Vision, and just relax. I've been fighting a headache off and on -- drastic weather changes this time. It's amazing the kinds of things that will set headaches off. Like the dog next door and the one behind the alley deciding to bark at each other for half the night. That's been happening a lot. I don't always want to listen to music when I write, but lately it's been necessary.

I'm going to print off The First Open Door and start looking at it. I did a scan of some of it last night on the computer. I know a few things I need to add in, and I think I'm going to enjoy it. I almost regret setting up the rewrite Dare for May, because I'd start now. But really, it won't hurt me to hold off for a few more days.

There. That's the most I've written all day. Maybe my fingers will start working now...

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

I have written 1500 words, editing a Vision article, edited part of Niche, done a little house cleaning...

I would like to finish the (not so short) story tonight or tomorrow. I keep thinking it would be nice to have it done tonight, but I just can't see that I'm going to get that far. It's not for lack of enthusiasm. My finger hurts, and I'm tired. I guess another 'short day' is in order.

Okay, Okay. And I want to read the other Wen Spencer book sitting there, just out of my reach. All right. I admit it.

I'm going to write at least another 500 words and then maybe go crawl off somewhere comfortable and warm for the rest of the night.


I read Wen Spencer's Alien Taste last night. I had not intended to, and it really cut into my writing, but the book just sucked me in. I have the second book sitting over just out of my reach on the true hope that I can get some work done before I'm sucked in again.

The little finger on my left hand still hurts. Actually, it's more like the joint where the finger meets the hand. There is a bump on the underside, and any pressure on it (like picking up a glass)... well, it reminds me that it's there.

I have some web work to get done, and then some writing. And then some reading...

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

We are sitting under our first severe thunderstorm watch of the year. Things change so quickly lately!

I am having a bit of a slow day. I need food, I think. But Russ has a conference call and some writing to do, so I may have to just scrounge around here for a bit and find something to snack on.

Other than that, really not much going on...

Monday, April 14, 2003


1204. Story is a completed first draft. That's the fourth short story I've written this year. There is another one I haven't finished, and I suspect it's going to run up to novelette length very soon.

That brings the total of finished work for the year:

2 novels
1 novella
1 novelette
4 short stories
2 outlines

Time to work on that other short story, I think.
The best laid plans o' mice and men, aft gang a'gley...

I started working on the new short story. I've added over 300 words, and it's nearly done. Well, better to have written more words than less, right?

It is, I'm very glad to say, going to be an honest short story, and probably little more than 1000 words.

I'm at 934 now.

I'm starting to get confused about which pictures I've used. I'm taking them from my journal site.

Yesterday's writing was a bare 1000 words spread over two different projects. The first was a much needed Vision article that I was so relieved to get done I almost didn't do anything else. The other 500 words are on a new short story that likely won't reach much more than 1000 words total. I like those kinds of stories. A nice, quick fix. (grin)

I have the start of a really silly story in my head. I want to get some background worked out for it before I start, and I've actually put off doing it in hopes of getting one of the older pieces done first. So, starting tomorrow, I'm going to have a new schedule of work for a few days. I'll be doing at least 250 words on each of the following projects until one of them takes over my brain:

Emergent (Novel)
Hope in Hell (Novel)
Nightmares and Monsters (short)
Children Play in Shadows (short)

250 words on each of those will net me 1000 words. And it also allows me to dabble in the stories until my brain picks one of them up and runs with it. The last one, though, will not be very long. When I'm through with it, I'll either start another short piece I have in notes, or change the total to 350 words for the other three works. I would like to clear one of the novels out of the queue, but they are both probably going to take a lot more attention than I feel I can give them until after Vision is done.

And that's another part of the schedule, of course. I'll be editing one or two Vision articles a day. And I will be self-editing a couple short stories to go out. I'm working on Niche right now, which is taking a bit more work than I expected.

At any rate, I'll be busy for the next couple weeks. May will start to look a little clearer again, I think. That may be when I schedule the new 'funny story' to start. Except, of course, that means I have to also add some research time into my daily schedule now, to have the material I'll need then.

Ah well. It's not like I'm really working that hard.

Or sleeping, apparently. (Looks at the 6am reading on her computer...)

Sunday, April 13, 2003

So, the novel is done. I'm editing Niche right now, and pulling up Vision work. I have one short story that I need to finish, and two in notes. Oh, just came up with the title for the really short one. Might even be flash fiction, if I can manage it.

The site is down during Jatol work. I need to ask about articles. I need to get to work on that part of life again.

Glad to have the novel done, though. I'm looking forward to doing the rewrite. I might start it on May 1. Yes, that soon. I have a good feeling about this one, and if I can get it right, I'd like to get it out for a submission.

Right now though... I've just fed the cats. I have Niche open, something for Vision, and a page with nothing but a new title on it. I expect Russ home soon. Time to do a little work!

Saturday, April 12, 2003

The First Open Door -- 71,423


19 days... I don't know why it seemed to take far longer! Probably just because I had two big interruptions that slowed me down for at least six of those days -- injuries to the hands being the last ones. And yes, they are still sore. But I finished the first draft.

And I like it. I'll likely go through and tweak a couple things here and there yet tonight, but right now...

I'm done!
You know, I love these cats. I really do. But why do they have to be fed RIGHT NOW. Okay, so I'm already a couple hours late. You would think that by now they'd understand creativity and the driving importance related to The End of the Novel.

Cats fed. Almost there... Really.
70640 and down to the last little end chapter. I'm not sure it's even going to be 1000 words long.

This is almost it!
Went to dinner. Home now. Looking at the last of the novel...

70,296. It shouldn't be too long now.
After a few more small interruptions -- 70,033 words so far! I'm just about to the end of this chapter. One short piece after this. I'm betting 72,000.

I may be heading off for dinner soon, though.

I will have this novel done tonight! Yay!

Okay, so now I can write, I think. For a little while. Starting count is 69,183.

Three hours work on the agenda, but it's done. More time on a note to someone who 'just doesn't get it' with a problem that she's created in her own mind.

I have so little left to write on the novel! I'm anxious to get to it!

Ack. One more very short agenda to do first. Oh, and mail the PDF version off before I forget. Duh.

Okay, almost there. I'll be writing in a few minutes.

I had a lovely trip... but it tired me out! I don't think I'm goig to get much farther on the novel tonight after all. I've written nearly 2000 words, though, so I'm fine there. It might be nice to get up to it tomorrow and work away to the end. I'll go anothr couple hundred words and then go to bed.

But it's good -- although this ending piece might not be quite right. I expect tomorrow's work not to go beyond 2000 words, to be honest.

Tired... I'll get my words done and get some sleep!

Friday, April 11, 2003

I expected food break. Russ is saying ride to Omaha.

Be back later! (grin)
And back to work. The last full chapter of the novel, then a little closing bit. I'm at 67,461. 70,000 does not sound out of the question... Nor does the idea that I might be done with it tonight. Yay!

I do expect Russ to want to take a food break, though! At least, I hope so! (grin)
Well, as distractions from writing go, this one was unique...

And you know, I was just thinking tonight that it would be fun to go to a wildlife refuge soon, and see if I could spot anything. Apparently, they're starting to come to me.

I finished the chapter, by the way. Only two left. I'm going to start one of them, but I don't think I'll write it all.

Didn't realize it was after midnight. That's what happens when you get caught up in the writing. So here is the pic for today. And back to writing...

65,803. Sacrifices made. Now to make them count for something.

Thursday, April 10, 2003


So there is the 1000. But I see a slight change I need to make in the battle. So just a little tweaking...

Oh! Oh! I see something! Yes!

(I love writing, even on the days when it goes slowly!)
65,270. About half way threre.

The scene is a battle between humans and other 'things' and this always slows me down. Trying to get the feel right between attack and thought, decisions and desperation.

I'll get the steps down, at least. Tweaking it will take more work, but I do know the steps at least.
A slow start -- barely 300 words so far. I did some stuff around the house that needed done, and now I feel much better. With my hands bothering me, I had begun to feel like a slug. Couldn't miss writing... but housework? Well, you're lucky to get me to do that when I am feeling well.

I'm at 64,735. I'm going to try to get 1000 words in tonight. So close to the end of the novel! I hate when I get slowed down at a time like this!

Okay, so I lied.

I wrote 2600 words tonight. Probably not wise... but the story started to flow again. I made it all the way through a very annoying chapter that will probably take more rewriting than all the rest of the book put together, but the scenes are there and in the right order and now I'm on to the final battle, followed by a last confrontation... and then a final little closing scene.

Pretty close to the end, in other words. 64,387 words at the moment. That's very good for a first draft from me. I think it might make it to 72,000. Maybe 75,000.

And yes, my hands do hurt.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

I've made a decision to drop back to 500-1000 words for the rest of this week. I woke up with pain in my left hand a couple times last night, so I figure that's a sign. Besides, there's no rush on the novel. Yes, I would like to get it done and move on to the next piece.

I am putting together a photo/pdf project that I can devote some time to. It has some possiblity of even earning me money. I would also like to look at the possiblity of a chapbook to sell at conventions. Usually, I'm so caught up in the writing side that I don't look at any of the rest of this. This looks like a good time...

My left hand started bothering me about a 1000 words later. Nothing serious, just annoying little pains. So I stopped writing and worked on my web site instead. I was tired of that beige/gold look, so I went back to a 'star' background. (

I just realized I'm less than 100 words from 2000 for the day. I can get that much more written!

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

60,500 words. Going all right, though nothing outstanding. I'm concentrating on getting the story down and I'll be happy to get the first draft done in the next couple days. I'm getting very close to the end. I have five chapters left, and two of them are very short little bits.

It's good to have the feel for this again, even if it's not completely there. Moving at all is nice.

And I have an idea for a new story. Novella, I think -- I can't see this one sustaining a full novel. A funny story about people not being entirely honest with each other. Fantasy set in Ireland, I think, about the 1200's to 1400's. I'm just feeling out the characters now, and I think it's going to be fun to write.

No, I don't need another story.


Better too many than not enough to keep me busy. (grin)

(And the fingers are a lot better today, though the left hand still hurts when I type too much!)
Not going to make it to 60,000. Ah well. I'll get it tomorrow. I just can't seem to get any more writing tonight, and I think it would be wiser to stop now rather than keep pushing. Time for a bath. Time to relax.
Just found out that The Good People of Coralville has reached Fictionwise!

This makes my third Fictionwise novel. I hope this one does well.

Now is the time to buy since it's discounted for a few days.

I hope to make 60,000 words on the novel tonight. I have a little less than 500 words to go. I'm typing better, but my left hand still hurts and is swollen around the spots where I scratched it on the cement. The last two fingers are badly bruised as well. But they move today. The right wrist is sore, but that's about the worse there.

Some days Ijust do stupid things. Sigh.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Great. Now my journal site is down, so no pictures at the moment, and can't upload to it.

I can tell this is not going to go well today.

The hands are a little better, though.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

I started feeling better yesterday. Then I fell getting out of the car and hurt both hands.

You know, life is kind of just getting odd...

Anyway, can't type much going to go sulk some more now.

Friday, April 04, 2003

I've been ill for about 24 hours, but I've finally dragged myself back out of bed and ready to face the day. Sort of.

What is that white stuff I keep seeing in the air...

Yes, a few flurries. Not enough to amount to anything, but we might have more. Odd. I'm used to seeing snow on my birthday, but not a month later.

I had a bit of a fever for the last few hours, and found myself daydreaming/sleep dreaming through parts of the novel. I think I came up with a rather touching scene that will help on my mystical river journey, where my MC has to give up something in order for them to go on.

Yesterday was barely 1500 words. I hope to do better tonight now that I can actually sit here without feeling miserable or in a lot of pain. I'd take one or the other, but both at the same time... it won.

But not tonight. I hope.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

New glasses. Nice... but going to be a little difficult to get used to. The right eye -- the one that gives me hellish problems most of the time -- is really trying hard to make an adjustment this time. But that's giving me headaches. Which means writing/reading is kind of difficult. I'm putting together material for Vision and trying to write a few thousand words, but everything may just get set aside for the rest of the day while I take a nice, warm bath and relax.

Russ is out of town this evening, though he'll be back in about three hours. I think he might even beat the snow.

This new glasses stuff is going to take a little while to get used to...
test... 2 -- think it's back...

The updates were not going through, but a little note to the people at Blogger, and not five mintues later they worked. Very nice. I'm editing a 'This doesn't appear to have been uploading for the last couple days. Testing it again...' post, so that's why things have changed. I wanted a picture at the top of the day. (grin)

I've had a couple slow days on The First Open Door, but I think I've got the feel for the last of it. I'm at 52,000 words. another 20,000 and I'll have the first draft. Maybe less, but I'm hoping...

So, back to work.

And in about an hour and a half I get to go pick up my new glasses!

Wednesday, April 02, 2003


(Wondering why these are not posting... hmmmm...)

I know spring is coming. Today we had another 80f+ day. They are still calling for snow on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Chances are that it will not happen. It's not like we've exactly been hit by winter storms at all this year. But it is still funny.

I was ill today. I even know why -- some food I ate last night did not agree with me at all. That happens when I try something new. It did put me off for most of the day, though. I've not even managed 1000 words yet, and just barely fed the hordes. I hope that my brain picks up the pace here and I get a bit more written. Although, now that we're past the short dare, I can go easier. Besides, I'm starting to edit Vision, so I might as well get used to not having as much writing time.

The First Open Door is into the last third of the outline. I have added one long scene that was not in the original, and I have notes at the end for another short chapter. I would like to concentrate on this and get it done, but with Vision taking part of my brain, it's harder to focus.

Still, it shouldn't take too much longer.

If I can just not get sick and lose more time again.

Ground rat... that's what Lewis and Clark called Prairie Dogs when they first saw them. This one is at the zoo. I hope to get back there soon.

The weather today was nearly 90f.

We're supposed to have snow this weekend.

You know, I'm fairly certain there's something wrong with that entire idea.

I am working on the novel tonight. I don't intend to write much. Since there was no rush for words today, I reread part of it, looking for the spot to insert a scene. I have found it, and I've been reworking a few things... but it works fine. It's a needed bit of work. One of my characters had kept looking a bit too weak. This helps.

Time to get back to work on it. And look for the snow boots again...