Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Russ is home! Well, not exactly home at the moment because he had a class to teach tonight, alas. But he's back from New York.

One of the kittens came over and let Russ pet him, so that was good.

I'm about 500words short of 3000 right now, too. It's going very well tonight. Except that my cable keeps going down, so I'm going to post this and hope for the best!

Monday, September 29, 2003

Three new friends...

I have them in the house. They are doing remarkably well -- better than me in some ways. They're stretched out and asleep right now, mostly in places I can't quite reach them.

My office is an absolute pit from having them in here. Food scattered everywhere, boxes stacked in odd places to keep them away from wires and such. I've taken down all my glass stuff. I thought the room should look better. It doesn't.

But we have calm today. No one has thrown themselves against the window this time.

I'm keeping them away from the older cats for a while. Russ will be home tomorrow, and we'll start looking at introductions then. I'm not doing it alone in case there is trouble.


Yeah, actually. Doing quite well. I have a short story about to be printed up and ready to go out tomorrow. Hope in Hell is about 1/4th of the way done, maybe more. I have outlines for three novels in hand, two of them mostly done. I have not finished the editing on Glory, but I did that on purpose. I feared I was going to try and rush it, rather than taking the time it needed. I'll have it done and out in October -- I think. We'll see.

October is looking like an odd month. I'll be doing synopsis, outlines... and not a lot of 'real' writing. Well, unless I take one of the three outlines and do a novel then. (grin)

At any rate, all is going well. The kittens are asleep. I think I'm going to go find some food for me, and then come back and do more work.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

I've been busy the last couple days. A Hope in Hell is up to 17,789 words. The three kittens are very nearly tamed. I think they'll come in for good about the time Russ comes home. I'm too chicken to do it when I'm the only one here, in case there is some serious problem. I can imagine them getting into fights with my older cats. Or panicking and trying to leap out a closed window. I had one cat go through the pane of glass on a french door once. It's way to easy to imagine something worse.

Right now the window is open. Two of the kittens (and one of the older strays) are sitting inside. Actually, it turned out to be all three. The little black and white had climbed up on the books where she likes to rest, and I didn't even realize she was over there.

I had to chase them out (Yes, they didn't want to go) so that I could leave the room for a cuple minutes. I won't leave the window open if I'm not here, and I didn't want to panic them by closing it down.

I have a new idea for yet another novel. I've started doing the notes up for it as well. I don't know where all these ideas are coming from, but that's all right. I like doing the outlines and then having stuff ready to go later.

Anyway, time to get back to work. As soon as I get a chapter done in the book I'll start typing in the outline for the new novel...

Thursday, September 25, 2003

I love that egret picture.

I had planned to get up today and just write for the entire day. Write, write, write... don't worry about anything else at all. See how much of A Hope in Hell I could get done.

Just one small problem.

I didn't get up.

Oh, I was up twice checking on things. But each time the bed called me back. I slept a lot. I feel better for it, so I can't complain too much. But it's now 5pm and I haven't written anything. I think, in fact, that I'm going to go find something to eat, and plan to start writing about 6pm. Not that I really need a starting time, but it will help me get going here. Otherwise... I might just go back to bed.

A Hope in Hell is the last book of the Dark Staff series. That means I will have written all eight first drafts in two years, plus turned in four of them in final drafts. #3 will be out soon, in fact.

I do intend to rewrite Eliora's World (#5) yet again. I think I finally got the idea I've been looking for, too. It should be interesting to rework. I'm not doing that until next year, though, I think. Unless, of course, December comes up empty.

I also had a great idea for a new book today. Sleep apparently helps. I'm going to write up the idea and some of the plot. I think this one could be interesting, and fun, to work with.

But right now... find some food, I think! And get the outline for A Hope in Hell ready.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Waiting to hear from Russ. He should be emailing me soon, I hope. I hate this waiting part.

I also hate that my dog is sick. I've had to clean up after her three times this afternoon.

And, of course, I can't exactly concentrate yet. I'd like to go take a nice long, relaxing bath, but I need to wait until I hear from Russ. So I've been wandering around here and there, cleaning stuff, picking things up, talking to the cats. I guess I've done better on writing than I thought since I I'm 48 words short of 1000 already.

Okay, so I'll do that, email Russ first, and go take a nice warm bath. I just need to relax a little. This sounds like a really good plan...

Russ has just left for New York. He won't be back until the 30th, which leaves me a lot of time to fill with... things. (Here, kitty, kitty, kitty. You three want to be nice indoor cats now, don't you?)

Yes, they have been in the house quite a bit, mostly at night. In the next fw days I'm going to get them used to being around me, so that every time I stand up they don't freak and leap for the window. After that, I'll eventually close the window and keep them in.

Russ says our vet is going to be thrilled...

Anyway, I have not really settled on an absolute project for this week. I should. Like get one of the other novels finished. That really might not be a bad idea. it would be good to have a lot of work to do. Otherwise I might go off and do something like... clean house. Russ was barely out the door and I had grabbed stuff to clean the bathtub. This could get serious if I'm not careful.

My other possible projects include getting a bunch of family photos scanned and organized. That's probably not a bad idea to work on, too. I just have to get the scanner hooked back up again.

Plenty to do over the next week, if I just settle down and decide on something. Cleaning my office seems like a good plan as well. I thin I especially need to get all the wires up and out of the way, since this is where I intend to keep the kittens for a few days after I let them in.

Okay. You know, all of the sudden I feel like I have a ton of work to do. This can't be right...

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I love a nice cloud shot. (grin)

I've been busy the last couple days. Did I mention that I finished Emergent? I don't think I even got around to writing that part here. It is done. I'm not as pleased with the over all story, but I'm glad to have it done.

Russ leaves for New York in a few hours. He won't be back until Tuesday. I've actually bought cleaning things to do some work around the house, but mostly I intend to write. I know this just shocks all of you. I spent most of today setting up things for the site that will take place in October. I'm trying to clear as much 'other work' out of the way as I can, in hopes of really getting a chance to do some serious writing again. I did very well at the beginning of the month, with the Challenge. Maybe I can do as well in the last week.

Oh, just thought of something else I want to add to the site -- the new Historical Fiction section. I best go do that right now, before I forget!

I will get to writing soon...

Sunday, September 21, 2003

I can't seem to get a grip on ending Emergent. This is odd. I'm likely only four or five pages from the end, and it just sits there, staring at me. Taunting me like the evil little story it is.

Ha. I'll end it. "And they all shook hands and went back home."

The funny thing is that would almost work.

Really, the trick here is to find the ending and write it, for good or bad. It won't be as exciting as I first imagined. I can fix that in a rewrite, later. It is not going to suddenly sprout wings and fly for me. I'm going to have to drag it to the end instead.

People know that I finish every story I begin. This is what happens when one of them just doesn't quite fall the way I had hoped. I put it off for months, but I knew that I'd have to get to it before the end of December. Better now than sitting there in the last week of the year bemoaning the way it was driving me crazy.

I'll have another story for that work.

But right now... I'm going to go glare at Emergent for a few more minutes.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Today is odd so far. I have a story I would like to send somewhere. Unfortunately, it started out about 600 words too long. I have to get it down to 1500. I have 64 more words to cut.

I like this sort of editing, because it's not just cutting, but replacing other words with something that will still hold much of the original intent, but in fewer words. Good practice, really, for tighter writing.

Make that 44 words. I just thought of something that helped. 44 more words. I can cut that much.

Ah... 34 words.

Okay, 16 words. 8 pages. 2 words a page.

3 words to go...

1500 even. LOL.

From 44 to 0 took me about ten minutes. I'm going to cut a little bit more to give me some leeway for description. But right now... that was fun! I feel like I've actually accomplished something.

Next up will be the formating of Crystal. After I feed the sharks and do my daily attempt at taming three of them...

Friday, September 19, 2003

I did a ton of site stuff today, fixing up a few more pages with bad links and such. I'm just about ready to sit down and write for a bit... but I think I had better feed the sharks... ummm cats... first.

I have not done the formatting on Crystal yet today, but it's up next in the list of things to do. And then I get to write again! Yay!

In my work for the site I put a notice on the rules about respecting moderators and not using their notices as a starting point for debate. You know I would have thought this one was obvious, but so many people have said 'but it doesn't say we have to listen to them!' that I decided I might as well write it up. It makes me feel like I'm dealing with kindergartners, and I know most of the people at the site are not that dense -- but now I can point to the rule and say it's written. Stop arguing. (grin)

I really don't think that's a rule that should have to be explained, and I don't think it's a rule that most members of the site need. They are adults -- but whenever there's been trouble that needed stopped, the moderators were the ones that came under attack for one reason or another. Maybe it doesn't hurt to remind people that they are volunteers and should be shown a little respect, even when you disagree. After all, they aren't getting anything else out of this work.

And I also reminded people that moderators have been removed from their post for misuse of power. I know some people won't always agree with what constitutes misuse. But still, it has happened. A moderator's action can, and has been, questioned -- It's just not proper to do it in open debate on the boards.

But I'm glad things are calm there and we're getting back to normal. I may make my word count this month after all.

Oh, have to start setting things up for the next dare, too! I think I'll look at reworkign it a bit. I already told Mar I would give some definite numbers to some of the dare sections, rather than a relative to number of weeks count. That seems wise.

Sharks are starting for my toes. I guess I better go feed them now! and this will be day two of luring the little ones in, so it's not just simple work this time. Off I go!

This was a good day, career wise. I got back two signed contracts! It was kind of funny -- no street mail for me for weeks, and suddenly two very nice things. I think that helped with my attitude when I went to work tonight. So much so that I have finished the editing on Crystal and the Stars. Tomorrow I'll go through and do the final formating, and off it will go! Yay! This was really not too hard -- just go through and check what the copy editor had changed and look at a couple suggestions she made. She'd already told me there wasn't much to worry about.

This is a major relief to have it done. I was going to do the work in Kansas City, but I forgot to tell Russ I needed the a-drive, which is a separate unit on his machine. So I wrote a lot of new stuff instead. (grin)

I still have the edits for the chapbook to do, but I don't think those are going to be too difficult. And I pulled up the fifth book in the series -- the one I keep thinking I need to rework from scratch yet again. I need to work out the outline for new material, and maybe just write new sections rather than reworking everything I have. If I could just get a solid grip on a secondary POV character, I'd be fine. But I keep waffling between three choices. I only need another 30,000 or so words, and if I would just make up my mind, I could have them in a week or so. Huh. Now there's incentive. Just settle on one of the characters and do it.


Emgergent is almost up to novella size, and I have about 1/3rd of the story still to go. I think it's going to be done before the end of the month. I'd be happy with that, too.

Glory is still hovering with about 176 pages left to do in the rewrite/addition phase. I want to clear things out of the way and just leap into that work. I'd love to do it all in one run. The story is about 116,000 right now, I think. I don't expect to add much more, but there are going to be a lot of small changes.

What else have I got hanging around? Not a whole lot, really. Badlands and Hope in Hell I think are the only unfinished pieces. I have two outlines for upcoming work, one of which will be for NaNo. Maybe more than one, in fact. I want to work more on those outlines, and maybe do the outline for a third novel as well.

I think I'm going to hold Badlands out until I get everything else done. It's going to be the easiest work since it's a rewrite from orginal material. Read a page, type, read another page, type -- get the story basically the same but the prose becomes much stronger -- especially for anything that old. (grin)

Ha. Can you tell that I'm fired up on the writing side of stuff again? Even though I had a miserable cold, this is still the first month since last April that I haven't had a major, serious problem -- from deaths of relatives and friends, to time in the hospital. The new medications are doing great -- I haven't felt this energetic in years.

And hey, two contracts can kind of make any day look good. (grin)

Thursday, September 18, 2003

And the good news is... no more stupid emails! I had hoped pointing out that I could guess who it was would stop them. Either that or they backed off when they realized how stupid it looked when presented in my journal. But we're past all that now, and no one has posted anything bad at FM. Yay!

I got two signed contracts in the mail today from two different publishers. I have something coming out in a print anthology next month, another ebook coming out soon, a story in an ebook anthology that is doing very well at Fictionwise,

People in the path of the hurricane are reporting in on how things are going. It sounds troublesome, but not too dangerous, I'm glad to see. Weather here has taken a decidedly colder turn, too. A couple days ago we were in the 90's. Now it's 51 and going to be down in the 30's tonight. I've just kicked the house's heat on to get the system cleared out of dust while Russ is out of the house. I think he'll be happier for it, since he kept his jacket on the entire time he was here this afternoon.

And I am finally going to get back to focusing on writing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

A few words about childishness and harassment

Creating web based email accounts just to tell someone about how you are going to ruin them and Forward Motion -- and then killing the account -- is childish Or maybe you figured another way around email that I haven't seen -- I'm not much of a tech. I only know that I can't answer your emails, and since some of the quotes have been from my journal, I am going to answer you here.

I don't care if you belong to both sites. I never have cared. That's a lie perpetuated by people who are trying to create dissention between the groups. You want the honest truth -- I have always thought that Evolution was a great idea because it took some of the people who were unhappy away from Forward Motion and gave them a new place to play rather than staying at FM and complaining that it was not the way they would do it. Now they have their chance. Is it going to hurt people to belong to both sites? Of course not. It's just a web site. That's all both of them are. They can be fun, they can be helpful, and they can be great places to hang out. Belonging to one does not mean that you are marked and somehow unfit for company. Get a clue.

It does not matter.

I don't care if you belong to a thousand sites. Why could it possibly be important to me or to anyone else at FM? We are a writing site, and either you find what you want there, or you don't. However, threatening to ruin a site for other people goes beyond childishness, don't you think? If you try to start trouble on Forward Motion, you will -- as others have learned -- be shown the door, and rather quickly. I'm sorry if others find the use of removal from the site unpleasant. But it has to be done sometimes, and if people purposely start trouble I'm not going to stand by and let it go on. That happens to be a part of my job.

I've already addressed the childishness. Telling me that you are going to convince my publishers that I have been plagiarizing people and stealing stories is harassment. If you do, in fact, contact any of my publishers, I will do my best to hunt you down and sue you. And yes, I am pretty certain I know who you are. That's what comes of seeing someone on a writing site for years -- you get to recognize writing styles and quirks. I could be wrong, of course, so I won't give out any names.

I have already deleted fifteen letters from different email addresses saying pretty much the same thing. If you are going to write again, at least show a little creativity, will you? Otherwise maybe you ought to turn all that energy to fiction for a while.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I have got work to do. LOL. I just realized the date, and I know that I'm not going to get half of the stuff done that I need to in the next few days. But that's to be expected. I can't just walk away from the site in the middle of trouble, after all.

I have opened up Crystal and the Stars, which I have back from the copy editor and need to get done before the end of the month. I don't think it's going to be much trouble, over all. Best to get it done and out of the way, though. There are a lot of minor changes, but nothing drastic. I just wish she used Word's track changes... hmmm. I think if I use the compare manuscripts, I might be able to do it that way, and save a lot of time.

Or not. I think I can go through this easy enough. She's done the changes in red, the notes in blue. They're easy to pick out, after all.

Time to get to work. I'm way behind. 256 pages to edit. I can do this.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Okay, yes. I am going to rant. If you don't want to know how I truly feel about things that happened at FM in the last couple days, don't read this. You are no more required to read it -- or agree with me -- than you are required to stay at Forward Motion if things there don't agree with you.

I have spent nearly seven hours dealing with the problem at Forward Motion. For every troublesome post on the site, there are twice as many emails and private messages with people worried, upset, and angry. I'd like to think that everything that happened was unintentional...

But, unfortunately, I can't believe that the people creating the problems are stupid. Believing that they aren't stupid is a problem all of its own. It means that I have to also believe they are purposely creating trouble to tear apart a site that they no longer care about. And they do it despite their protests of having friends at the site, and how much the site had helped them.

Right. If this is how they treat their friends and deal with things that they consider helpful, I wish them a lot of luck in the future. These are not stupid people, but they are childish and self-centered. Me, give the power to me! Oh, you won't let me tell you how to run things... well, then you're bad evil people for making me abide by the rules I agreed to when I joined.

Is this some sort of thing that kids are learning in school these days -- that because they join something, they get to tell people how to run it? Because welcome to the real world, child -- life doesn't work that way. You can join any group -- let's take the Y for an example. You can go there, make friends, join in the fun, discuss things that do not directly relate to the YMCA/YWCA goals -- but that will never give you the right to decide the rules by which the Y is governed. Same thing goes for work. Sorry, but that's life. I think some of you out there ought to take this as a chance to learn about reality.

I don't know why I keep thinking, and expecting, better from them. I'm disappointed every time. I'm really sorry for that, too.

In the mean time, I have the cold from hell, a bad toe and two major editing jobs to get done for publishers. I've put enough time and effort into trying to cover for people who would rather see the site shut down than to just walk away from it.

It's not going to happen. The site is going to keep going. Go bother someone else.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

I'm finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things the last couple days. I have lots to do, including a couple novels to look over for DDP.

Speaking of which, I think I'm going to start a new blog that deals with 'editorial' things. I might not keep it for long, but I think it might be fun to start one as I end my third year editing Vision and start my first year as an aquisitions editor. Two very different jobs.

That brings up something else. I started scanning some blogs at random. Normally I just read blogs/journals from Forward Motion. I think I'll be sticking to that. I'm sure all these children think it's cute to use their little shortcut words and never capitalize anything, etc. -- but as someone who truly works with words, it just makes me cringe trying to read them. I'm sure that just shows that they're not intended for someone like me, which is fine. Most people would not be interested in the discussions of writing, either.

In fact, writing about writing can be pretty boring. Oh look, I wrote another 1000 words in the last hour! And look, I've only got another 180 pages to edit! I'm sure even people who know me can start weeping with boredom after a while. Well, that's life -- or at least that's my life. (grin)

And on that note, I'm going to go do some web work and then get to some writing.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Okay, I'm back again. I'm going to try and post more often again. I just got a tad bit too busy lately. I think I'm starting to get things back around to normal, though.

So, what's new? I'm back from a couple days in Kansas City where I did virtually nothing but sit in front of a laptop and type. It was a wonderfully relaxing way to spend a couple days. I'd like to do it more often.

What? Doesn't sound much different from my usual days? But it was, actually. No web related stuff at all. I Just writing. Never turned the TV on, never listened to the music Russ brought. I worked out most of the main points of an outline for what I think is going to be my NaNo book. Or maybe I'll do the one I started the outline on and haven't gotten far with yet. Or maybe the third novel that I intend to outline soon.

Or, knowing me, maybe I'll do all three. (grin)

I am back, though, and I am almost caught up with other material, so I'll be posting more and writing more again. Everything looks good!

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Interesting days. Things going on. I have two sets of edits to do for two different projects. Yay! Then they'll both be done, and I'll be able to send them off and move on to the next set of madness.

Monday I have a doctor's appointment, and I have to admit that I'm a little worried about it. I went into the last one thinking things were great and found out quite differently as far as the blood pressure went. I don't feel nearly as well this time.

Still, I haven't fallen over dead yet, so I suppose I should stop stressing myself over it, right?

I've written about half the words I want tonight, and I'm going to take a nice break now and watch a bit of TV. Yes, TV. I have this video collection for a reason. I know I do.

(Deleted -- duplicated for some reason)

Thursday, September 04, 2003

An appropriate picture for some odd news:

...Double Dragon eBooks is responsible for the publication of eBook titles in a variety of genres. By far this is the largest division under the DDP umbrella with over 200 titles in eight different formats with a global distribution network that spans North American and the United Kingdom.

Acquisitions Editor (Fantasy, Science Fiction, SF)
Lazette Gifford

Yes. That would be me. The new fantasy and sf acquisitions editor for Double Dragon.

You can see it 'for real' on the DDP Staff Page.

We had been discussing this long before I took over the daily running of Forward Motion. And if I didn't have such a great Tech Team for that side of things, I wouldn't have taken this on since I would have been spending far too much time just trying to figure out the tech side of things, let alone running them. But as it is, Foward Motion is moving along quite well. The data access shows that we're already back up to where we were before the move as far as posts and access goes. We have lots of new things going on, and new boards for marathons, Back to School for Busy Writers, and lots more. It's been really fun!

Becoming the sf and fantasy Aquisitions Editor for DDP is starting me along a path I had wanted to go for a long time -- the publishing side of fiction. Three years at Vision has shown me that I didn't really want to try my hand at running a fiction ezine, though. And I certainly wasn't going to start an ebook publishing company. This, however, allows me to work within the framework of a larger company.

I am so looking forward to this!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

This is a picture from Ashfall, a place about 80 miles west of here. Very neat. Haven't been there for a couple years, though.

And of course I'm going crazy trying to get caught up on work now. Notes spread out everywhere on my desk. Papers stacked up on the side table. WIPs... well, they aren't open at the moment, so I better get to it pretty soon! I did do some written notes on one story, though, so that's good. It should help me get that one finished, finally.

Other than that, it's just been crazy. Not at all helped by the fact that I'm almost constantly tired. And even if I went to bed, I wouldn't actually sleep. I've tried.


Well, time to get some work done...

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

IMPORTANT NOTICE -- Many of the pictures on the site are now gone. I'm not going to go back and edit out all the links. The server that they were on has been permanently removed, so I no longer have my photo sites.

But, in other news...

Okay, the writing madness is passed for the moment. I'm back to work on Glory -- only 227 pages to go. I think I have a chance of finishing it soon! There have been times when I thought I would never get through it all, and I suspect I'll feel that way again in the last couple hundred pages -- but at least it's moving.

Glory and Badlands are going to be my two big projects, I think, for September.

40,047 words in three days.

Vision up, corrected, and running.

Back to School for Busy Writers going well.

So tired I can hardly sit up straight

But I did well, I think!