Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I have the intro done. I have the About This Issue finished. The Interview has not yet shown up, so I'm putting a placeholder into the spot. It's not Victoria's fault -- I got the questions to her very late. I'll hold off on posting the new issue until tomorrow, in case she has a chance to get them done.

Right now I'm doing the 'Good News' section. That's it. I can then get back to the novel.

Russ is washing clothes and general getting things ready for his trip. He leaves about 8am tomorrow and won't be back home until around midnight on the 5th. Sigh.

I'm going to have to do a lot of writing to keep myself busy.

Is everyone going crazy?

In the last couple days I've had to deal with some incredibly rude people, and not all of them on line. I'm beginning to think that there's some sort of summer flu going around. The rude flu! That's it!

At any rate, I wasted far too much time last night dealing with someone who isn't going to be part of the FM site anyway, so why did he keep emailing me? Each one ending with an 'I'm leaving the site' note. He didn't like what someone told him. (shrug) As it happened, the person got a warning as well, all within five minutes of the posts being pointed out... but he was still rude and irrate about how the site had not protected him from this person.

We aren't there to protect you. We have rules that are made to make it difficult for someone to take the problem outside of the boards, but if you are going to post in ways that will draw attention to your personal problems, then you are going to have to be prepared to have someone tell you how to fix them.

But anyway, that took time that I really didn't have last night. So now....

I am missing one big piece of Vision. I'm going to put the issue up without it, I think, and if it comes in, add it in when it arrives. That's one of the great joys of on line stuff.

Russ is putting my new window AC unit in today. He leaves for New York tomorrow and won't be back until the 5th. So we have things to do. That's going to take more time, of course.

But I'm getting there!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I've done some work on the novel tonight. At the moment I'm entering a short scene earlier in the book, and the I'll get to those last few pesky pages. I hope.

Russ leaves for New York on Thursday and won't be back until the 5th so we have a great deal to get settled. I may be even farther behind than I thought, but I'm working at it.

I'm tired. I hate feeling this way, and I think a lot of it is just a reaction to seeing the pile of work I still have to do before July 1 is over.

I really think I'm starting to get tired just looking at the list of work. LOL

But at least I'm making a dent in it!
I believe I have all the pieces of Vision put together. That is all the pieces that I already have. There are still a couple things I need to do (Good News, About this Issue, my note) and I'm waiting on one more piece that's still out.

But I did it. And I got the short story out. And now I can get back to the novel without feeling as though I really should be doing something else.

Of course I have a number of more things to do for the site. But still, I at least got the majority of work done for Vision.

Stick to the plan! ARGH!

If I would just stick to the plan of what I need to get done, I would actually get there, you know.

On the other hand, I did see a submission possibility with a very limited time frame, and leapt at it, so that's not entirely bad. I doubt what I sent will work for what she wants, but better than not trying. Besides, that does take care of the second submission for the month.

I have gotten about six pieces of Vision done, too. So it's not that bad. Oh, and remembered to transfer the last issue over to the back issues files so I can upload them.

Really, I shouldn't complain. I got the story out. I had to do a quick rewrite on it because stories are never as good as I remember them to be. Not a surprise there.

But it's done. Time to go back to work on Vision. I think I can get a good amount of the issue put together yet this afternoon. It's not that difficult! (grin)

So, back to work again!

Hello. Two days left in the month. Lots to do. What a shock.

I'm going to work on Vision first today. As much as I really want the novel done, I know that I have a responsibility to get Vision out on time, if possible. I am waiting for a big part of it to show up, though, so it may be a couple days late no matter what I do. That's all right. I've had the July issue wait until after the 4th at least once before.

Hard to believe that this is the fourth year of production and it's still this crazed. Though, to give myself some credit, this is the first time I've had enough articles that I have a good part of the next issue ready to be formatted as well. That's a really great feelling.

However, I'll still be running behind at the end of August. It's absolutely guaranteed. That's a part of my life.

So, off to work I go! A few pieces of Vision, and then some more of the novel. I found a section where I want to add about 3000 words to the book, so it's going to take just a little bit longer than I expected.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Between the cat and food at dinner that didn't agree with me... well, it's not been the night I imagined. I have, I believe 16 pages to finish the novel. I'm going to do it after I take a nice long relaxing bath.

I feel like I've got the cursed novel here. Maybe I should take a few hours with the XFiles, Buffy and Angel to figure out what I'm tackling here.

At any rate, I'm going to have it finished soon.

Of course, there's still the problem of putting Vision together, too.

You know, there's a reason why I'm never bored.
Cricket is spending a night or two with the vet. He's going to give her shots and work at knocking down a fever and infection she has again.

We went to dinner. We went to Sam's Club for cat supplies. And now we're home.

Russ needs the computer for a while so I'm going to be a little later finishing the book. But all is well.
Cricket is off to the vet now. She was much better by the time we fought her into the cat carrier, and screaming quite loudly. I'm sorry she was so annoyed, and feel much better that she was so well that I had trouble holding on to her.

Sigh of relief. I can think good thoughts now, instead of worrying. We have a wonderful vet.

In other news, I've been working steadily on the novel during the last few hours. I have about 12 pages left. This is a difficult part, of course, with the end sneaking up on me. I will have it done tonight. I think Russ and I will have dinner first, though. I need a break away from the house and the cats for a little bit.

Back to work on the novel for a bit.

I think she might be all right. Not well -- that's not something that will happen, given how long this problem has lasted. However, she's been yelling at me for food, and she's no longer curled up on her side panting. In fact, she has been spending a good amount of time growling at Wind and stalking off whenever he comes near.

Russ made an appointment for her at 4:30 (an hour away). It's best to take her in anyway, since Russ is leaving for New York in a couple days.

But I'm feeling better about her, and that's allowed me to go back to work. I'm on to #19

By the way, the previous post where I listed the number, I had it wrong. I had the chapter number there for this section of the book, not the number of sections I have left. I'm on 19 out of 23. Yes, that close to finished. I can do this.
No, this will not be a good working day.

I just found that Princess Cricket is very ill. Russ is coming home to take her to the vet, and I suspect that this time she won't be coming back home. She's had an on going problem for a couple years, and....

Hold on. She just jumped up on the counter to get at the margerine containter I put there for the cats to clean out -- great for that fur ball problem.

So maybe, maybe....

It's hard to say. She's dropped weight, she's panting and she's bleeding again. Russ works about an hour away, so I don't expect him until about 3:30 (2:11 now and he has to clear things up at work first).

We'll see.

It's hard to see them get old, that's all. Lady Jane and Princess Cricket were born on July 4, 1992.

At any rate, work is out for a while.

I have all of Vision to put together, but it's edited (thank you Mariko!) and it's just a matter of making it fit right. Oh, there are as always a couple missing pieces. No Good News Section. I really need to find someone willing to do that for every issue. I haven't quite finished the Workshop, and I haven't done my intro piece.

But I also have only 7 more sections to do for the novel. I need to get this novel done. So, at the very least, I'm going to do a couple chapters on it before I turn my attention to Vision again.

I stopped at the end of #14. I think the rest of this might go pretty fast.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

I have spent all day working on the Vision database, contracts, emails.... but I have that part done, I think.

The problem is that we will have company in about an hour and half, and he won't leave before midnight. So the rest of my day is pretty much shot for work. I am going to spend the next hour working on my writing so that's not messed up, but I doubt I'll get much more done today!

Busy day!

But the contracts are finally out. I'm going to burn a cd tonight of everything again. I don't know how the Vision database kept falling through the cracks on that one.

Still, got things done and I can't complain about that part.

So, off to work, work, work.

And then, if I get enough done, I'll watch the last LOTR movie with Russ and friend. I haven't seen it yet.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

It's amazing how much time writing material for 2YN takes. But I'm done. I'll go over it again later, but right now... time to do a little novel editing.

No, hold it. First do a little house work (very little, after all it is the weekend!) and then come back and edit for a while. I'm working on the fourteenth chapter out of twenty-three. I still hold to some strange hope that I'll be done this weekend.

Today I'm starting out with work on the 2YN class which will be posted tonight. I have a good section of it done, so that shouldn't be too hard. Then I'm going to do some work on Vision. After that I will get to the last of the novel. I might not finish it off tonight, but I'll get there.

Russ is gaming today -- either Advanced Squad Leader or a civil war board game -- in the second house. This is the first actual 'use' the house has been put to, and I think it's great.

I, in the mean time, need to get my brain fired up and get to work! The computer is acting oddly again today, though. I keep having to shut down programs, which hardly helps with the writing. Well, off to work I go anyway....

Friday, June 25, 2004

And # 13 is done. That was a dififcult one to get through! I'll have to wait to see if I really got it right when I do the final reading.

A number of the full chapters have shorter 'elsewhere' chapters that follow them. I wasn't certain they were going to work well, but I've found that the short and to the point approach from this secondary character works very well. I'm very pleased, especially since they were a late plot thread addition.

Overall, I'm still happy with the work. And I'm getting very close to the end.
# 12 is done. Yay!

I am doing pretty well with this tonight, though not working as fast as I would like. But I am getting there!
There. Finally made it through #11. That was a hard chapter to fight my way through. A lotof changes, which meant going back and changing something else sometimes.

On to the next one. It's very short.

Okay, I'm now somewhere into #11. I should have been all the way through #12 last night, but that's life. I can make that up, I think.

Feverish today, though. Very annoying. Still, the work is going well.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Okay, well. Haven't gotten hardly anything done. It's been a long night, and I'm just back to work on chapter (checks) nine.

If Russ decides to watch a movie, I'm going to do that instead. I shouldn't. But my concentration is already shot.

This is going very well! I already finished chapter #7 this morning. Only 16 more chapters to go in this phase, and then another reading/fix and off to the copy editor it goes! So that's what I'm focusing on today. I think I can get this done in one or two more days.

I really shouldn't have left this sitting for so long after the last edit/rewrite. I just get caught up in other work, and that has got to stop. My submissions are way down this year. And while I love working with Forward Motion and Vision, I have to start taking time away to do my own work. I know this is logical and all... but I've already spent over an hour answering emails dealing with the ridiculous 'ban minors' suggestion. I haven't even started on the Vision email, and the people there have valid reasons to wonder what's going on since I still haven't gotten contracts out. Those computer problems I had mean I had to rebuild the database, and I just haven't had time to get it all done.

And I will get this book finished and sent off first. It's not going to take me that long if I just keep my attention focused.

So, this is going to be another day of 'got another chapter done!' entries. Having somewhere to report has kept me focused on the work.

So, off I go to the next one!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The sixth chapter done for the day. I'm so tired I'm falling over, so I think I'm going to go get some sleep, even early as it is. Russ has to leave at 3am to head out of town for the day. I might be back up then.

Must... sleep...

And the fifth chapter done. My. I hadn't expected to do this well.

I even had a quick dinner.

I'm taking another short break and then get in and do at least one more chapter. If I can keep this up, I'll have this one by this weekend. What a relief that would be!
Finished the fifth chapter. Is that the right number?

Anyway, I'm miffed becasue I forgot to check the car and Russ is gone again for a while.

I also have to go do some house work.

Then it's on to the next chapter!
On to the next chapter. The last one took a lot of time!

Russ unexpectedly came home, so I'm taking a short break.

I think this is going well, despite a number of interruptions.
On to the third chapter.

I wil lhave to go back to these earlier ones again when Russ gets home. He has my line edits in the car still, and I want to go over this section again with them in hand. I had some changes I made on the papers that I want to make certain I included. I think I got most of them...

Anyway, on to the next chapter. I'm moving along well, at least.
In other news....

One of my publishers is looking for a manuscript back from me. So, I'm basically dropping everything else for a while and working on it again. I should never have let it go this far.

Oh! And one of the anthologies I'm in is on sale at Barnes & Noble. I have a few things (both e and print) at Amazon, but this is the first Barnes and Noble. Funny how you can watch your little career moving ahead by such bits and pieces. It's From Within the Mist. I can't get the link to work right now. As soon as I get a chance, I'll put it up on my site, though.

Anyway, I have 22 chapters left to edit -- already did one this morning. They're mostly short. Let's see how long it takes me to get them all done...

Thanks everyone who liked the previous picture. It was taken about 3am on a very foggy morning here. I love shots like that -- unexpected beauty.

Yesterday was our anniversary. Russ and I had gone to Colorado as an anniversary trip. He worked part of the day but came home a bit early and we went to Omaha. We stopped at the wild life refuge along the way and I got the most incredible pictures of turtles that I've ever managed before. We had a lovely little Italian dinner (most of which came back home with us because the appetizers could have been dinner by themselves). We stopped at Borders and bought some DVDs (Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, In Search of Troy -- I love Michael Woods! -- and The Presidio movie.)

Then we drove back home. Since it's about two hours both ways we had lots of time to talk about things, like how much has changed since we married. VCRs were new. TSR80 computers were incredible. (We had one -- still have it, in fact, though in storage right now.)

No Internet back then. How life has changed since then!

Which brings us to another aspect of the day... dealing with children on the Internet. In this case being a child has nothing to do with age. It has everything to do with attitude -- How dare you say I can't tell you how to run the site, or start a debate on something that is not open to debate. It's my right! I get to say whatever I want whenever I want! And you HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME!

Well, as someone found out today... no, we don't have to listen to you. I am not going to debate whether to ban minors from Forward Motion. Aside from it being a stupid, thoughtless and arrogant thing to even suggest, no one is going to debate who can or cannot be a member of the site. The rule is simple: If you are interested in writing and you don't make trouble, you can be a member. I don't care what your age is, where you are from, if you are published or not. And I'm certainly not going to encourage such a debate and get other people upset thinking it might happen, just so that an over-aged child can tell people younger than her why she doesn't want them around.

I also said something that I seldom feel I need to point out -- The final decision for what happens at the site falls to me because it is, now, my site. Someone has to make certain decisions. That, of course, offended this person as well. Apparently she thought it was her site. Considering how little she contributed anyway, I don't know where she got that idea.

I have to admit, she brought a lot of laughter to our trip to Omaha.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Hello. Yes, still alive. Somewhat.

I am still sorting through vacation pictures, too, although this should be the last day, since I'm down to the last 122 shots from vacation. If I get through them, then I can post the already written trip report. Of course I've 'chosen' over 200 pictures, so I'm going to have to go through and cull the finished list as well. I figure I might allow myself only one out of every five pictures. Possibly one out of ten. I can then use the rest for daily posts until even I get bored looking at them.

I also have three more Vision articles called up and ready for an edit before I send them off to my wonderful copy editor. I'll get those done today. And if I can get my eyes to focus (they really don't want to) I may even be able to work with the Excel data sheet and get all the information in there for the contracts and get those emailed.

Those are my non-writing goals for the day. Sounds like a full day's worth of work to me. So my writing goal is going to be just another 1000 words on Sooma. Once I get the Vision stuff all finished I'm going to go back to some of the other work. Sooma is relatively easy since it's plotted, and I really am not getting very serious about it. I want to get it typed up so I can work on it at some time in the future, though. As expected, the prose sucks. The characters are horribly melodramatic, and I think I can find a plot somewhere in there.... but even so, it's been fun to work on. Fun is all right now and then.

I've also continued handwriting out Farstep Station since vacation. I'll get bored with working that way soon, but for the moment it's different. And I've been outlining The Wind and the Sand on my Clie. Everything is going well, but slowly. It's far too near the end of the month for me. I need to get myself moving a little better is all.

Ah, but here is a reason why I won't be getting very far ahead. A problem at the site right now that will take some tricks to fix, I think. Hmmm.... Time to talk to Mar. Personally, I think we should all get at least one day off a week from site work, but problems turn up all the time. This one is odd -- a missing thread that should not be missing at all.

We might be able to hunt it down.

Just need to talk to Mar before I do anything really drastic.

Ack. Just ack. I need to go write something.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

So, here I am a couple days back from vacation. Of course there's a ton of work to get caught up on, even though I was only gone for four days and I took some of the work with me.

And there are the computer problems, but at least some of it is working better now, and I have the feeling a few more tweaks of programs and hardware will settle the rest.

It's hard to sit here and work, though, when I have about 400 more pictures to sort through, resize, etc. I've had to make myself do Vision Editing between groups of pictures, and a lot of hand written daily goals while Russ works on and with the computer.

I had a wonderful time in Colorado. Hell, I even had a wonderful time in western Nebraska, which is a completely different ecology than here by the river. Dry, desert like areas, buttes -- and those views where you can see forever. I love looking through the pictures and remembering the moments.

However, other than that, not much going on. Tons'o'work to finish up and a lot of writing to get to. I have some great notes. And I can't wait to get back to Sooma. But first... work on Vision and the site.

And maybe a few more pictures.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I should probably never try for good, solid 'this is what I'm going to do' plans. I swear, every time I settle in with a nice plan, something comes up. At least in writing.

What came up this time is a returning back problem -- spine actually -- that led to incredibly bad headaches for days. They're still there, building up again, but it's not constant. So I can work. But concentration is shot to hell.

Which makes writing new material very hard. I have the outline for Farstep Station, and that's helped me keep moving on it. Creating outlines for other material is not easy, though, and I've let them slip for a few days. Editing Eliora's World isn't bad. Editing Mirrors has turned out to be a lot of fun and diverting.

But even Farstep started to get difficult. So I went looking for something easier to work on. Maybe an older story that I needed to rewrite and get on computer so I had more than one copy....

I found something. I can't say it's easier, but at least I'm having fun.

I wrote the original Sooma story in about 1971, I think. That copy got lost in a flood, but I did somehow save a rewrite I did in 1981. Handwritten, by the way. I pulled it out while I was in chat and the people there talked me into typing it up. IT'S ALL THEIR FAULT!

Sooma I, handwritten, is 1770 pages long. About 100 words per page. Yes, easy math there -- around 170,000 words. And it's the first of four, though the following three are shorter.

I got through the little intro note and started on the chapter. I kept telling myself that I would only type it up. No rewrites. No rewrites. NO -- hell, I couldn't stand it. The entire first two chapters hadn't a single bit of dialogue. The characters fought a massive battle in the first chapter. I'd never read anything so dull. If there was ever a sign that I'm a better writer (for whatever that might mean) it's here in this twenty-three year old handwritten monster.

So why bother?

Because something in it still calls to me, oddly enough. Sooma was my very first original work. I'd done Star Trek, High Chaparral and a few other odds and ends. I hadn't done Sangre yet, which was something of a joint effort anyway.

Sooma was my first brush with creating my own world, my own characters and my own (rambling) plot. I doubt I'll be able to do more than make it barely readable. But you know, you shouldn't forget your first love in writing.

This is fun.

So here is a snippet from the opening, part of a journal:

I am old now. The Eternal Children are gone, and I am an old rambling heretic high priest who feels the end near, and must -- for the sake of his soul -- tell the truth, even if it is only on paper.

I will write here all that they told me, as well as what I learned from my father and grandfather. This is not the tale of the Gods as it is written in the Official Creed of Sooma (which I also wrote). No, this is the story of four people who chanced to be immortals, and found life as much a curse as a blessing. They paid dearly for their gift.

I write this as I wait here on Alofi like any other pilgrim who traveled the stars to see this world. And a thousand times a thousand years from now, when even the name of Sooma is finally forgotten, perhaps then this journal can be found and read -- and understood.

We were a young empire -- insecure, barbarian -- and when they left, we needed something.

They gave us Eternity.

Come seeking, but do not pray to Sooma.

Pray for Sooma.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

So, when did politeness become evil?

I've just had a long and unpleasant conversation with someone who protested that they are required to be polite at the site and not purposely cause flamewars over the death of Reagan. The odd thing was that we agreed on the politics -- I despised Reagan and consider him and his administration as one of the worst things that ever happened in the last century. I think he did more to polarize the country and force people to take sides instead of joining together than any other president, and he started the ball rolling with the lovely Iran/Contra deals that has led the presidency to a position where the people feel they can't trust the person they elect to the post. I think he proved that too many people wanted mediocre 'stars' and not leaders.

Edited addition: Okay, maybe Nixon was worse. But still...

People seem to forget that even Holly called me a 'flaming liberal.' My husband is the local Democratic Party coordinator. I am not a follower of Reagan.

That doesn't mean that I am required to be impolite to those who are, or respect the fact that there are inappropriate places to rant and shout about it.

It's the same problem I've seen everywhere, though. ME ME ME and screw what anyone else feels, as long as I can say what I want whenever I want. I am so tired of children who throw tantrums if they're told this isn't the time and place for the ME ME ME behavior. Hell, they shouldn't have to be told -- but apparently politeness and respect of others beliefs is evil.

I can say these things about Reagan on my blog. But saying it on the site, or in chat for that matter, is just an invitation to start a yelling war, create anger, and not do a damn thing for anyone on either side. I know that a good many people don't agree with me and I respect that they have their own opinions. I also respect that people come to Forward Motion and remain there because they are not going to be attacked for their politics. Personal politics is not important to what we do at Forward Motion.

Purposely going in and attacking Reagan in a chat room the day after his death is just plain damned impolite. But according to a few people, respecting the fact that others at the site do not have the same beliefs as you is evil, and the death of someone loved by millions is the best time to jump in and tell any of those millions who happen to be around that they're idiots, and he was evil incarnate.

Don't do it at Forward Motion. If you want to be that immature and try to start a shouting battle, go do it at some other site. I can think of at least one where you would likely be welcome and have a great time.

If you can't agree to be polite and take your arguments elsewhere, just don't bother to come around the site. Sorry, but we're not going to miss you, especially if you are one of the people who sit in chat and pretend that makes you a part of the community.

You want a site where you can tell people their idiots, revile someone because you don't believe in the same politics, or a place to just plain be impolite -- go start one. But if that's why you are at FM, then you're in the wrong site. Move along.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Well of course this works for me....

I've not been getting things done in writing. Oh, I write -- always -- but I keep finding myself with new projects, and not getting many of the older ones finished. We're looking at half way through the year. I decided it was time to get things organized.

I worked out the numbers until I had nine projects in three categories:

First Draft (Farstep Station, Sangre 2, Only A Novel)
Edit (Eliora's World, Mirrors, Ada Nish Pura
Outlines (Resolutions of Trust, Darkness Falls, The Wind and the Sand).

The first piece in each of those is the prime material and I work on it no matter what. But if I get a minimum number of words written or pages edited on it, I can go on to the next one.)

I am a multiple project person. I've always known this. I get a lot of work done when I can look at lists of things and know that there are specific projects that need finished. And since I don't start anything I don't like (and I make sure the plots remain things I like) it's really fun for me to work on them.

Now, you will no doubt notice that there is nothing Forward Motion or Visionish in this list. Those remain on my daily to do list, which generally runs from 10-15 items. I never really get through them all, but it is going pretty well.

This morning when I checked my blood pressure, it was as low as it has been in all year.

I'd say I'm starting to get things sorted out. We'll see how well it goes.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Had a lovely convention, had a great time at the wildlife refuge, and I don't even mind being home again, despite that everyone seems to want me to do something for them right now.

Some of it I'm just not going to get to. By the time I get through all my email, online posts, and private messages some of it will just be out of date. Oh well. Sometimes you just can't get it all done, no matter how hard you try. I've done remarkably well today, considering how little sleep I've had.

I've come back from a nice convention where we talked writing and I wan to get back to it. So I'm going to start forcing myself back from some work at the site and such and turn that sort of attention back to my writing. I have too few things out in submission right now (Three? Maybe only two.) and a pile of material to be edited. I have four outlines to work on and a couple unfinished novels. I wrote ten short stories last month for the dare (would have loved to do more, but no time, of course) and I actually like three or four of them. A couple of them seem to have developed 'longer' pretensions. We'll see.

The convention was great. I got to speak with friends I only get to see once or twice a year. People bought my chapbook and had me sign it. Even Stephe Pagel of Meisha Merlin bought it and had me sign a copy.

Okay, the tornado warning that sent everyone in the hotel to the basement was odd, but the rest was a great deal of fun.

The only other convention I have planned for this year is in November. Of course that's NaNo month, so that should be... interesting. (grin) That's only six months away now. Amazing how fast time goes. But I'll have outlines done before then and shouldn't have much trouble getting a good run in the first three weeks.

Anything else? Hmmm.... I need to write. I really need to sit down and work now, so off I go...