Sunday, October 31, 2004
It's down to the last few hours before NaNo. I really have about everything done. I have Vision ready to go up, I have two outlines written. I've posted this week's 2YN and done all the updates for the site.
I will not have the Dancer outline done before NaNo, but I don't need it anyway. I might try to finish a short story tonight, though, just to get it off the list. I think I may have too much stuff to finish up in December! (grin)
Beyond all that, things are calm and quiet here. I went over and checked the other house out today, just to make sure all is well. When I came back, a couple of my strays were 'playing penguin' outside my window -- crouching on their hind legs, their front paws held up. In a black and white cat, it looks like a penguin, and we've had a lot of black and white cats, so the name has stuck for this kind of behavior. Anyway, it was cute. I gave them extra treats tonight.
I have a couple more things to do around the house, like make my own dinner. But then I'll be heading over to the FM NaNo Chat room for the duration. I'll likely be living there for a few days.
We're almost there! Yay!
Friday, October 29, 2004
Without a Fear of Words came out today. So, I've been busy updating my website and listing it at various places -- like this. Amusing how this stuff keeps turning up. A good couple days, though!
Russ is off to New York tonight. He'll be back on Tuesday. I don't intend to do much except prepare for NaNo and do NaNo. I've gotten a lot of site stuff done today, and I've nearly finished the work with Vision as well. Updated my site, answered some DT email -- and now I'm ready to sit down and work on the Dancer outline.
I did mention the Dancer outline, right? The one that I shouldn't be doing since I still have two other unfinished outlines as well? Years ago I wrote a series of 8 books called Devlin's Team. Dancer is the first of them. Interesting story, but as you can imagine, the prose sucks. So I'm just writing out the events, adding a bunch of new things, and making a nice phase outline out of it. I don't know if I can have it done before NaNo, but if I do, I'd be tempted to make this my second novel on the list.
But that's why I'm working so hard to get everything else done early. I want to just wallow in this story for a while. Enjoy it.
Oh, and I'm just a few hundred words from dropping below the 200,000 words needed to make 1,000,000 for the year. Going to be a tight couple months between now and the end of the year, but I think I can do it.
Right now, though, I need to go do my other journal. Then, maybe, I can just sit down and write!
Thursday, October 28, 2004
I just received word that I've made a second chapbook sale to Yard Dog Press. Yay! This is for Star Bound, a three story collection of about 20,000 words. The only problem is that I need to get the edits done and back to them right away. They want them by the end of November, but we all know that I'm going to be a little... sidetracked (?) during the coming month, right?
Besides, there aren't many changes at all. I think I can have them all done tonight and the material in the mail tomorrow before Russ leaves for New York, or no later than next Wednesday when he comes back.
Anyway, it's nice to have a sale like this!
Now if I can just get the edits and Vision done!
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
That's from the ruins at Mesa Verde. I've been stumbling across a good amount of my pictures from there, and pretty soon I'll put together a set of pages for my new web site.
We're drawing awfully close to NaNo!
I've done something silly -- made a NaNo Blog. I think it's going to be fun. And it will give me 'someone' to talk to in November, because from the looks of things, Russ isn't going to be around very much! He'll be in New York the first of the month, Indiana the end of the month, and he not only has his day job, but classes to teach four days a week for most of the rest of the month. The only time I'm likely to see much of him is on that middle of the month trip we're taking to Oklahoma City.
I've gotten a good amount of Vision put together today. I'll do more after I've slept. I have done a couple long rejections, explaining a few problems I saw in novels, and hoping that helps them in the future. I've done a little reading, picked up a few things, and generally just not gotten too fired up about anything I should be doing.
Maybe tomorrow. It's 4am, and I really think that's late enough for tonight. Time for sleep, and then tomorrow I really seriously honestly truly have to get some work done. (grin)
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Look at that. One week to NaNo.
I have my outline done. I am so looking forward to writing Bad Connections. I love working with Elias Singer and Nicholas St. Jude, my two undercover cops in an alternate near future where LA has been nearly destroyed by quakes. I think writing this one is going to be great fun.
Will I do a second novel this year as well? Maybe. Depends on how the first one does. And I do have another finished outline if I decide to. I might even have a third one so that I could have a choice.
Or maybe I'd do what I've done before and just 'fly without a net' for the second book. Those are often fun, too.
Work in general is going pretty well. I've been working through the slush pile for DT at a good rate. A couple possibles, but I need to some reworking before I can accept them. I have Vision all nicely lined up. Chat is down at FM, but I've arranged for it to be returned to us about Wednesday.
I'm starting to feel fired up about NaNo. Good thing, with it so close. It'll be nice to throw myself into the writing stuff for a week or so, at least!
Tonight, though, I think I'm going to kick back and relax for a while. I've been very tired lately, and I think a few more days of 1000 words and just reading isn't a bad idea. I'll go into crazed writer mode soon enough!
Monday, October 25, 2004
The outline for Resolutions of Trust is going pretty well. Poor Emil hasn't quite accepted that the only way he's going to get out of this mess is to kill his wife, though she's already made it plain that no one is safe if she thinks they're going to be a problem for her during this crisis. We've already seen one person take a leap from a building top -- and not entirely their idea, either.
And then there are the FBI people asking around and trying to get him to come to their side -- but he's not ready to make that kind of a target out of himself, either.
It's an odd story. The outline is moving slowly, but that's all right. I'm purposely slowing down for these last few days before NaNo. I need to get some editing done over the next few days and line up a couple submissions for November. Beyond that... not much I need to worry about until 12:01am on November 1st.
While reading through submissions for DT today, I found that I may be far too sensitive to 'was' statements. The moment I see one, I immediately begin to rewrite the line to take it out. No other passive voice wordings affect me in this way. And yes, I know that a 'was' statement is not always passive voice, but it doesn't matter to this odd affliction!
There is something else that I think is weak writing, and that's repetition of a word, either in the same sentence or in the same paragraph. This obviously doesn't apply to every word. Usually it's a bit of description or a noun. The storm, blowing in from the east, dropped rain all during that stormy day. We tried to out race the storm, but by midnight the storm had caught up with us again. Stuff like that, though usually not quite so blatant.
The two of them can ruin a story, no matter how interesting it might otherwise be. They are both usually invisible to the writer, though, until it's pointed out. Holly Lisle threatened to remove the W-A-S letters from my keyboard not too long ago. I also often find the repetition in my own work and grimace as I try to rework the sentences.
And that makes me think about NaNo and not worrying about such things. I'm not sure what I expect out of this year's NaNo project. I am looking forward to the Singer and St. Jude novel, though. NaNo may be insane, but it suits me. (grin)
Sunday, October 24, 2004
I have my second outline done. I even have a good amount of Vision completed. I'm not used to being this far ahead. It's unnatural.
I still have two more outlines to work on. One of them is giving me trouble, and I don't really know why. I want to write the book, but getting into the story is not easy for some reason. I know what happens, I just can't quite get the characters and events to line up for me to do it.
Except, of course, the moment I said that I started getting ideas for one of the outlines, and I'm now two hours later. Hey, whatever works.
What hasn't worked the last couple days is my head. We're having massive odd weather changes here, and I've been suffering through some unusually bad headaches for it. I slept a good part of the day and I'm still tired. So I'm heading off to bed again and get some rest.
I got the 2YN class stuff posted, at least.
Friday, October 22, 2004
I have a workable outline for Darkness Falls now. It's only 150 points, but the story itself is all laid out. I think I'm going to have trouble getting the ending to feel important enough, but we'll see when I get there.
Vision work is going well. Really. The 24th issue is almost ready to go together. Editing done, copy editing done, most of the articles actually in my hands... it's good!
And then I get hit by a weird stupid problem.... For the last two hours we've been trying to figure out why the County site that I do isn't showing properly. I do the upload. I have the proper file names. Everything looks good on my end. I check the upload. It's fine. No one else can get it.
Well, you know, two things make a difference. One is that they changed the site name. Okay, that makes a difference... but more than that, the server people moved the entire site and didn't bother to tell anyone. In fact, I've been uploading to the old site, and no one bothered to tell me that it was no longer in use.
So now I'm trying to figure out how much material they don't have up, because I have NO IDEA when they did the change and no one seems willing to tell me. It's 5:30pm and no one is around, either.
I am beginning to think that I'm going to have to wipe out the entire site and upload again. I've been doing this site since 1997. That's a lot of pages, but I sure as hell don't want to go through page after page and make sure it's all there.
Argh. I'm waiting for Russ.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
I feel like there ought to be choirs singing the Hallelujah Chorus right now.
I have found my answers to Darkness Falls. Not only do I have a second character, I know that her pieces will be presented as journal entries in a computer. Nothing long -- just pieces into insights as she tries to reconcile her survival with the loss of so much, and understand her place in the future -- and view the two human groups vying for power.
But tonight another thought occurred to me -- or, at least, finally became articulate.
Survival just to survive is barbaric. I don't want my humans to look forward to barbarism.
So I started thinking about what it is that makes humans not always barbarians. It's more than just the culture from which they came, because we have so many human cultures that it's impossible to claim any single one as the piece that keeps us all from barbaric backsliding.
What is it that groups like street gangs give up when they turn to the power of guns? When was the last time you heard of a gang member quoting even one of their own to any purpose? They have no past or future. So they just act for today.
Personally, I think we are not barbarians because the past talks to us. We can 'hear' Homer, Plato, Locke, Kant, Augustine, and Darwin. Even many societies that never developed the written word of their own have, at this point, been transcribed as best they can.
Those who don't read history are destined to repeat it, right? My people may have lost Earth, but that doesn't mean they have lost their past. It was one of those true 'duh' moments.
And then I started comparing that to what I had created in my alien society. Is it possible they don't have written language? They have a scientific notation... but not symbols for writing common words. They have created a strict hierarchy of status to avoid chaos, and into that system an occasional 'Holy Man' will bring enough change to keep the world from becoming completely stagnant.
And now one of my humans has taken on that role. He doesn't quite understand what it is he's bringing to the aliens, being rather preoccupied with helping is own people survive and convincing some of them not to fight him.
It probably sounds boring as hell. But it's exciting to write up the outline and see if I can't introduce at least a little of the philosophy into the action.
Oh, and that second POV character? She's the only surviving communications officer from the ship. She's been trained to deal in words, and her very act of writing down the history of what happens from the time Earth is destroyed has a significant symbolism.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
You know, there are days when maybe I should listen more to what I tell others.
For the last few weeks I've been frantic to get things done before NaNo. The last few days I've barely been able to get any sleep -- the minute I turn off the light I suddenly remember all the things that I meant to do. Vision is top of the list right now, of course. I spent all day working on the upcoming issue, and I don't feel that I'm any closer. I have a glitch in my Excel file and merge for the contracts. I still have articles to edit and I have not even begun to put the issue together yet. That last part really isn't hard once I get all the rest of it done, but I need those contracts to go out! I think I'm going to just have to do them by hand tomorrow. It means more time, but....
But that's not what this was supposed to be about, although in some ways that's exactly what I'm talking about.
I have not yet done the final little bit of work on Ada Nish Pura and printed it off to go out. Instead, I spent all day working on Vision. I wrote close to 4000 words today, but none of it was fiction. It's been like that for about a week -- little bits of fiction shoved in between all the other things, and all along this NaNo is coming! feel over everything I work on.
I love NaNo. I have great fun just setting everything else aside for at least the first week and writing. But I have to have everything caught up in order to do that, and right now it's still looking a bit iffy. Vision, FM, DT -- if I wasn't so new at DT, I'd have the schedule for that down a bit better.
My reading has gone to hell again. It's always the first thing that drops by the wayside when I run out of time. That and the tiny bit of TV I watch. Although, to be honest, I watched the pilot episode to 21 Jump Street tonight. I did it as a purposeful break from the I must get this done! feeling that I've let run my life lately.
Because, well, here's the deal.... Nothing I do is so important that if I don't get it done on time it's really going to matter. I know that and it doesn't bother me. I'm involved in a lot of neat things, and I donate 3/4's of my time to stuff like FM, Vision, Estand -- and even DT won't be paying until I start getting some stuff in production. I like doing the kind of work I do, and spending time with writers.
But I start making it more important than it is sometimes, and that leads to madness.
Writing is the most important thing I do. It may not be what I do best, and it may not be important to the wider world, but in my place writing is my goal. Sometimes I let that get lost, though. Even when I write every day, it doesn't mean that I have committed more than some finger movement to the work. Did I make 1000 words? Good enough.
I've even let the idea of NaNo become more important than the writing part of it. I must have outlines! I must have everything else done and the world must be perfect or else....
So what is this all about? This is about it being four in the morning and I wasted two whole hours tonight watching the new 21 Jump Street DVD. And I don't care that I should have been working on Vision or the next challenge, or checking to see what's coming up in Back to School or 2YN. I don't even care that the damned Vision stuff is giving me trouble again this month. I don't care. I'll get it done because I always do.
And it's time to remember that I am a writer again, not just a Site Administrator, ezine editor, class instructor, ebook associate publisher, and whatever else there is tagged on to my name these days. I love doing those things. I just need to put writing up at the top again.
Ada Nish Pura should have been out by now. So should Muse for that matter, and there are a couple other novels I have let slide while I worked on everything else.
Time to get my priorities sorted out properly again.
Well, maybe not yet. Maybe after I get Vision done.
And after NaNo.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Okay, no more playing around.
Last week was one of those transition weeks that I get now and then. Part of that came because I was actually out of town for part of it -- including Saturday when we went to Omaha. So now I have to really sit down and get to work on several things.
First up is the Vision work. I was waiting for some last articles so that I could do the contracts all at once, but I'll go ahead and get the ones I have done.
Then back to the outline for Darkness Falls which is going well -- up to about 60 points -- but is odd. It's more about the mental and cultural reactions as the humans and aliens interact. Last night in chat I talked myself into a second POV character, though. This one will not have as much interaction with the aliens so I'll be able to deal more with the human side of things.
I'm going to write out my entire main plot first, though. That will make it far easier to see where my humans are going to have their biggest moments of conflict and put her (I think her) at the right place.
At any rate, Darkness Falls is not quite turning into the novel I thought it would be when I started, but that's not a surprise. My novels usually go this way!
Am I still writing this blog to avoid doing any real work? Watever would give me that idea?
Unfortunately, there is nothing else I can talk about so I might as well go off and get to work. It's not that I don't want to get Vision done -- I just don't feel like doing it. (grin)
Friday, October 15, 2004
Busy, busy, busy....
But I'm getting things done and sites updated, and thinking about my outlines. So far today I've managed to write up a rejection for DT and update the new Forward Motion Bookstore. This is a spot for FM members to put up their work.
The work at DT has been interesting. Since I have most of the basic rules now set up, and the site mostly the way I want it, I'm able to concentrate on the work. Of the ten manuscripts I have received since the start of the month, four were rejected straight out as the wrong genre, wrong format, or short stories rather than novels. Two others have been rejected after a reading. That leaves me now with four more manuscripts and the promises of three more on the way.
I'm working on the Darkness Falls outline. It's made a strange little shift in direction that I didn't see coming until I suddenly stood on the precipice and wondered how I got there. It's a good shift, though. It gives me humans a reason for survival and a more definite foe. I'm glad I thought of this part, and it plays into the role of the alien Holy One and what he means to the society. It's a great theme to play with.
Have I mentioned that it's COLD here? We haven't gotten higher than 47f today and the wind chill has kept it down in the 30's all day long. Russ and I have been trying to guess if we'll have snow before Halloween or not. It's happened before.
If things go well tonight, Russ and I will go out and buy a new toner for the printer and some paper. I have two novels ready to go out -- two of them! -- and need to get them packaged up over the weekend. Then I have to prepare two more submissions to go out in November so that I don't mess up my 'at least two a month' goal that I've kept for several years. Since 1998, I think.
I am having a great time. Lots of stuff to do, and nothing much to complain about. You know, long ago I decided that I had control of my own life and I'm an adult. Things that happened in the past only matter if I let them matter. I absolutely will not let how my parents raised me dictate what I am today, and far less so the reactions of others whom I have had problems with. I'm in charge of who I am and what I do -- and my only restrictions are the ones that we all face like finances and time.
So today is good. I get to do all the things I want to do, and while they don't always work out well, I know that they're my choices, and I'm not going to blame my failures on family, friends, poor schooling, or anything else. My choices, my mistakes -- and my successes.
It's good to have control. (grin)
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Yes, the outline for Bad Connections is done. It took me a few days too many to get that last part finished up, but I finally worked through the problems to the end. I look forward to writing it!
I have pulled up two other unfinished outlines and hope to get them done this month as well. I have one other written on notecards to type in and finish, too. I have found that I like having outlines done and novels ready to start at any given time. With so much else going on in my life, it saves a lot of 'down time' while I think of something.
I did start a new story, too. I needed something more than just the outlines to work on, since they take far more work to write than the story. I played around with a story prompt generator and got a few things that got me started. I don't intend for this to be more than a novella. (Why do I have to keep telling myself that part?) I'm working on the outline to Darkness Falls (2YN novel) and had a vision of the opening -- the opening keeps changing drastically on me, but I think this might be the one this time. I think once I commit to what I want, I can just push through this outline. Resolutions of Trust (other 2YN) is also up for work, but it's a little harder still. Not a genre I'm comfortable with, I guess. The third one Serendipity Blues, is a story that I really want to write, but can't quite get a grasp of how it falls together. I think this is going to be another case of just write what I want for it, and then start figuring out how it falls together. Two story lines braided together for that one, and the material needs to slip in and around each other.
So what else? I am working on Vision and trying to figure out why some stuff didn't work last month on the emails and things. I dont' want it to go that way again, and I would like to figure out who did and who didn't get the emails. ARGH! But I'll get it fixed. This issue is going together well.
Beyond that, I have two novels ready to go out as soon as I get new toner and paper. I don't think I've ever had two novels ready to go at the same time! I'm looking forward to getting them shipped off!
Sunday, October 10, 2004
I am very nearly done with the outline for Bad Connections. It's very long, of course. I love it! I can't wait to start writing this one -- which is about three weeks away. I have some other outlines to work on during that time. In fact, I have this fear that by the time NaNoWriMo does start, I'll have so many outlines that I love that I won't know which one to start with!
My plan is to do my usual two novels in November. I might not make it this time because of some 'down time' in the middle of the month to do a convention. But if I can do that I'll still have one or two more outlines, and that'll give me a nice start for 2005. December will be devoted to finishing the last half of Written in the Sand which I have been purposely holding off for that time.
Right now, though, the focus is on finishing Bad Connections. I have only maybe two and a half chapters to go. I might add something back toward the middle, though. I'm at 265 entries. Might go to 300 or so.
Yes, I write excessive outlines sometimes. But when I get to the actual writing, it just flies, and I love that part! So I am going to devote more time to fancier outlines for a while. Fill in all the holes that I can and then just have fun when I get to the novels.
But right now.... I think I'll take my PDA and rest for a while doing notes. I'm near the end and I think I need to slow down and think this part out again.
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Something occurred to me today after hearing about an incredibly rude person at Forward Motion.
Have you ever noticed that the people who most loudly proclaim they're so much smarter than everyone else are the ones who obviously aren't? It's amusing to watch people justify rudeness because they claim to be smarter -- as though, even if it were true, it would be an excuse. When someone like that tells you how much smarter they are, take a good look at them. See anything they've achieved by supposedly being a genius? Or is it just another bitchy person trying to make themselves more important with words rather than deeds? Shrug them off. Someone should have taught them manners when they were children. Now it's better to just laugh because they don't deserve anything more.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Yes, I am done with Ada Nish Pura! 101,431 words. I'm happy with it and I'm happy.
I'm also very tired.
But I thought I would post here tonight before I forget. I'm going to be very busy tomorrow (well, today -- but after I sleep) trying to get caught up on everything I should have already done. (grin)
But... but... I like it.
Time to go to bed before my head hits the keyboard, though!
And, of course, it doesn't want to upload. I'm giving it one more try and then heading for bed!
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Busy few days, and yet with the feeling that I'm not getting nearly enough done. However, I am within about 10,000 words of finishing up Ada Nish Pura. I have some drastic changes to make at the end here from the original version. The changes may, in fact, cut down the length quite a bit now that I think about it. Since I've gone over 95,000 words I'm not going to worry too much.
Before I put this one aside, though, I think I'm going to do some reworking on a couple major parts. As I draw closer to the end, I see a few additions and changes that I want to make before I do the read aloud/clean prose phase.
And no, Mirrors has not gone out. I'm trying to make some decisions on it, as well. As I've told a couple people, I really like this story, but I also think that means it's doomed. LOL.
Anyway, it's coming up on 3:30am here and I'm ....
OH! A new Making Fiends! Yay!
Yes, that was fun. And now I can go to bed in a much better mood. (grin)
Monday, October 04, 2004
It's been another long day. But I got a considerable amount of stuff done! And Russ and I even went for a lovely drive this afternoon. I've felt much better for having gotten out and seen a bit of the world again.
Right now, though, I'm dead tired.
But I've just about got Ada Nish Pura done. I should have this draft done by the end of the week. Probably sooner. I am then considering short story and outline work for the rest of the month -- or at least until I have everything ready for NaNo.
The main outline is going very well. I'm going to enjoy writing this one.
But it's late tonight and I'm just dead tired. Just got some FM site admin work done, and now it is really time to go to bed!
Sunday, October 03, 2004
I'm too busy.
Well, I'm sure that's a surprise to people here. But really -- I've just been a bit too busy the last few days, and here it is the morning of the third already, and I keep thinking it's still the first. I'm sure that can't be right.
I have, however, gotten a lot of work done. I haven't yet had a chance to send a novel off, but it will get there. I might have a second one ready to go before too long, too. That would be fun.
I have a couple submissions to handle for DTF. This is fun!
I'm about 1.5 classes ahead on 2YN which is also very nice.
I am going to go work on the outline for my NaNo novel after I post this. I might even pull up the other unfinished outlines and work on some of them as well. I need to get them all done before the end of the year anyway. And then I'll have outlines to start out the writing in 2005, which would be very nice. Planning ahead is a good idea, if you have the time.
Right now, though -- I'm going to go do some writing. Or maybe work on some other websites. Yeah. I've already written over 5000 words today. I really don't need to do more.
I wish I could talk Russ into a trip to the zoo. I've been trying for four years, but I kind of suspect that he's really not at all interested. LOL. A refuge might be nice instead. Although not since we're going to have company tomorrow night, and tomorrow is the only day he'll have free to himself. Alas. That's the problem, you see -- I don't get to spend much time with him because he's always busy, and the only time we could maybe do something I would find fun, it's the only day he has off and the poor guy does need some rest!
But still.... it would be fun. Not that we don't do other fun things, but I like to go see things. (grin)
Time, I think, to go do some other work! But at least I finally updated!
Friday, October 01, 2004
Okay, so maybe I lose track of time, and suddenly there are only three months left in the year and I have things to get done right now! but I usually get call caught up by December 31st. It's just not always pretty. I think this is going to be one of those years.
Still, not all is bad. The new Dragon Tooth Fantasy pages are up.
Ah, fun stuff!
I have a new photography site that will be going up soon, too. I'm really looking forward to that -- my zoo pictures back! Yay!
What else? Wrote about 130,000 new words in September. I have about 276,000 to make 1,000,000 again this year. With NaNo coming up I have a good chance at it. But that means I need to get my outline done. Or maybe two done. Maybe I should be working on it instead of writing in this weblog!
Yeah, probably time to get to work. Lots of stuff to do. Really. And I have to stop looking at animal books and matching up pictures! (Sits piles of books on shelves behind her so that she doesn't see them and start leafing through the pages again.)
Ada Nish Pura is just over 77,000 words right now. About 20,000 or so more to go is all. I'll have it done soon! Yay!
Time to get back to work!