Monday, January 31, 2005

And that's it for the night!

10,415 total.

Not too bad. That gives me over 2000 for the day, and I might get a bit more written in bed with my lovely little toy.

In fact, I think I'll work on the outlines to the two new stories in my head. I need to get them worked out, especially since I need to work on one soon.

Tomorrow I go back to work on Ada Nish Pura too. That's going to be fun!

Half an hour later


That's not bad. And all I really needed to get tonight. I see a problem with this story, though, and one that I'll have to think about. Lucky for me it will only take an insertion of a scene or two early on and nothing much in the rewrite of what I have.

I'm going to write for another half an hour, I think.

Back to work....

Somehow, this idea of doing nothing but writing on the weekends is not quite working out. I should not be surprised, I suppose. Still, it seemed like such a good plan -- dedicate one day from Monday-Friday to various 'work' things and then have Saturday and Sunday for me to write. Sounds very good.

But somehow I keep ending up doing various work things instead. Today I did a lot of DTF stuff. Okay I was behind a bit on it, but still....

Organization and keeping to a schedule just is not something I'm particularly good at. Oh, I can write up a good schedule. I might even keep it for a day or two. But somewhere along the third or fourth day something usually comes up and I have to deviate a little... and then it just goes down hill from there.

Tonight I finally did something I had meant to do from the first day I got my HP iPAQ -- I put two of the novels I have to read for DTF on it so that I can read them away from the computer with out having to print out papers. So I can read them in bed without the light on. So I can take them with me and read them in the car if I ride with Russ somewhere. I have been writing quite a bit on it, but not doing this part yet. I think it will help. I've got quite a few novels to read right now.

But it's still my 'writing' day until I go to bed. So I'm going to get a bit of work done. I'm staying clear of FM for a few days, conserving bandwidth (and giving myself a break with the excuse that it's for other reasons), so I'm going to do a little 'word count updating' here for tonight.

I'm working on Kinship.

Starting count: 8728

Be back in about half an hour to update.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Things are picking up!

The picture kind of symbolizes how I've felt -- like there's just been this little spot of something out there in the distance that I couldn't quite focus on. Then suddenly, not only is it almost in focus, but I'm starting to see all it's little companions as well.

In other words, I've started getting far too many ideas for stories again. Wonderful, nice little ideas seeping into my thoughts. I think this may be a sign of having gotten a lot of sleep this week. My brain is suddenly working again. I've got a great idea for a new fantasy novel (which I don't need) and the idea for the sf novella that I do, having an agreement and all to do that one. The idea has been bouncing around in my brain, but it finally fell into focus (at least the opening) last night.

Serendipity Blues is moving along as well. I've seen all kinds of interesting strands weaving together around the levels of 'badness' in this book.

Argh. Started this and promptly got hit by a migraine and spent the next three hours in bed. That will wipe any 'oh boy, things are going well' thoughts out of a person's brain. I've now taken so many pills of various kinds it's a wonder I can think at all.

Yesterday I cleaned up the file cabinets, pulling a ton of old fanfiction out and putting it into plastic cases. I still don't have room for the new stuff I want to print out, and there are a couple things still missing.

I'm going to sort through my computer files, too, and fine all the latest versions of everything and make backups of them and print them out. This might be most of what I work on tonight and tomorrow, while I let the stories grow a bit in my mind. I have the 2YN stuff nearly ready to upload, so I'm okay there. And I need to get a clarification on something with Ada Nish Pura -- but as soon as the last of that is cleared up, I think I'm going to be doing a full rewrite in order to incorporate a couple big changes that we worked up. I'm looking forward to it.

Yes, I know I'm crazy.

Oh, and I'm also going to do a bibliography for my site. I've never done one, for some reason. That should be fun!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Vindication is such an odd word. It seems to say that you need someone else to prove that you are right, but that's not always what it means. Sometimes things are obviously true, even if some people are not willing to admit it -- even after events play out in such a way that makes it obvious the choices made, though unpopular with some, were the right ones.

I've had people argue with me over everything I do at the site, but for the most part I've been right. And sometimes, like this week, I get a couple nice letters from people thanking me for keeping the site running with so few problems over the last year. Always nice to hear that people appreciate the work that goes into it.

Today has seen a couple different aspects of vindication played out for me. I am amused by them all, but especially by the SFWA sting operation against Publish America. Like many people working with new writers, I've tried to direct people away from vanity press publishers, and especially places like PublishAmerica.

People will still argue with me about self-publishing and even PA, I'm sure, but in this one I've stood up on the right side of this one.

If you are a serious writer respect the people who are trying to help you, even when you don't agree with their methods. Sometimes you find out the hard way that they were right.

And take a look at this: (Quoted with permission from the Boards, specifically Vera Nazarian's post)

Several months ago, Yog (James D. Macdonald) got many of us SFWAns and others involved in a secret project to prove that PublishAmerica really DOES publish anything and everything submitted to it.

And now, here are the results, made public and excerpted from a post that Yog made:

* * *

Now it can be told.

Do you all recall a year ago, when I was looking for chapters for a Bad Book, to test to see if PublishAmerica( really was selective about what they bought?

Several of y'all helped that project by providing chapters -- without knowing what the other chapters were, whether the chapter was first, last, or somewhere else in the narrative, what time of year it was, or much of anything else.

PublishAmerica bought the book.

(note -- the links below have crashed some people's browsers)

You can read the manuscript at

You can read the acceptance letter at

You can read the sample contract at

Never again let it be said that PublishAmerica is "selective" in what they accept. Never again let it be said that they reject the majority of the manuscripts they receive. Never again let it be said that they are anything other than a vanity press.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Okay, where was I?

Well yes, things are going very well. I bought myself an expensive toy --

This is the HP iPAC rx3715. I love this thing! Tonight we sat outside a closed coffee shop and played with the WiFi stuff just for the fun of it. It has a little camera (like I need that!) and of course the inevitable MP3 stuff (I'll have to break down and get into that kind of stuff now). But most of all it has a version of Word on it that works very well and is allowing me to edit material and work on things away from the computer. And this is good because I need to get away from it, but I also don't have the time to just drop all the work. This makes it possible (when the weather gets a little better!) to take my work with me, go for walks to the parks, get out in the sunlight -- and still do a little writing or DTF or FM work. I'm really thrilled. I have one novel, twelve short stories, and a synopsis on there right now. I can work anywhere!

I also made another sale -- this one to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine! Yay! I am really happy about this sale. It's a fun story, too. (grin) Unfortunately, I only have two more things out right now, and I think one of them is just lost. Time to get moving!

So far not a bad month at all. Oddly, the one thing that doesn't seem to be going especially well is the writing. Not badly, but nothing really spectacular. Russ helped talk me through one plot problem with Serendipity Blues tonight, though, and I think that's going to get that novel moving again. It's up to 15,149 -- which isn't bad for 24 days, but still, I'd like to move a bit farther. Kinship is not very far at all -- I think less than 4k -- but it's my 'fun' work and quite frankly, I haven't had time for fun.

And I still have to get two submissions out this month. I know what they will be. I just have to find the time for final edits! So that's it for this update. Maybe I'll get a bit of a life again and have something fun to report next time. (grin)

Oh -- I have been dropping snippets of various stories in my other blog I couldn't see any reason to just drop the poor thing after NaNo, so I'm using it to focus more on writing (like this isn't?) and talk about editing and such. No pictures. Maybe that's the only real difference. (grin)

Okay, time to get back to work again!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Work! Write! Do SOMETHING!

Okay, so I'm not getting a lot done in some areas. Like, well, writing. Part of that was because today I had so many odd things going on that I ended up doing everything but write. But I have two copy editors set up with novels for DTF, and that is a great relief.

I spent most of yesterday doing email exchanges with the people at Aio. I really like working with Tiffany! I have some things I need to work on with Ada Nish Pura, and I hope to get to that yet tonight. but between DTF, FM and one of the most startling sleep attacks I've had in months, I really haven't gotten to mujh of anything yet!

And I did sleep. Wow. More sleep than I have in some weeks. I woke up feeling groggy, but now I feel pretty good.

Maybe it's the weather. It was 9f when I got up this afternoon (not to bed until about 7am so don't snicker too much!), which was far warmer than it's been in days. I was able to turn off my office heater and turn down the house heat.

And then something really odd happened. When I woke up again about 11pm after that other sleep attack it was 40f. 40f! It's 2am now and it's still 37f. All the snow is melting, and it's likely going to be brown in the morning -- but it is warmer and I won't complain too much. Especially since the warmer weather means we're likely going to have more snow soon, too. (grin)

My writing numbers have been low this month, but I hope to kick my output up soon. I have some serious work to do with Ada Nish Pura that is going to include some new material, and I'm looking forward to that part.

Serendipity Blues is over 13k, too. That surprises me since it seems to be going to slowly to me. I guess it really isn't. I need to go do a little research now, though. Just remembered some stuff I want to add in, but hadn't considered it until now.

So that's it for me tonight. Not really any true news, but at least it allowed me to get my thoughts straight. (grin)

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Working, really.

I have spent this entire weekend doing everything that I said I would not do on weekends any longer. These were supposed to be my writing days -- and I've written less in the last two days than I did on the rest of the week.

Time to get some control here. I am considering not looking at email or the site tomorrow, and just seeing how much I can get done. Seems unlikely that I'll go that far, though.

I'm happy with the edits for Glory, though. I do a couple pages at a time between other work, but I'm up to 80+ pages so it's going fine.

Oh, and I'm reading about snails in the GALE books. Reptiles hasn't arrived yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. I would love to devote some of my free time (oh yes, you can all laugh now) to working on write ups on the zoo site. Of course I would also LOVE to go back to the zoo and do more pictures, but that's not likely going to happen any time soon. Still, there is that appeal of walking into the jungle when it's below freezing outside. Such a nice, lovely dream....

We might have some snow tomorrow. Well, it will give the stuff a nice new white coat. Might get above freezing on Tuesday, though, which is going to make a real mess of things!

We're doing better at the site now, by the way. People seem to have taken my rather unsubtle hint that I'm not even close to banning anyone at this point, lol. The two sets of classes for 2YN are going well enough, and I'm getting various site work caught up.

Now to just get some real writing done again....

Friday, January 14, 2005

Cold, cold, cold!

I have a new heater for my office. I hope that it helps, but so far I'm still cold. This is unpleasant. It's supposed to get down to -15f tonight, too. We don't often get long stretches of cold like this, but it's supposed to stay this way through most of the next week. And this is just January. We have months ahead.

In a couple different emails in the last two days people have eluded to my banning of people from the site for disagreeing with me. I don't know where they got the idea that I'm about to ban someone, but I haven't had any such idea. I don't know why I would. Yes, people are worried about the changes in the site and some people don't like the changes. That's no reason to be banned.

If you are one of those people who believe that's how FM is run, I think you should take a look at the site and count the number of people banned in the year and a half since I took over. You will find one person, and that came right after I took the position and was part of the larger problem that landed FM in my hands.

One person was also kicked out of chat for a few weeks for posting things from chat in his journal. I did that, in fact, both to reinforce that it was no more acceptable to copy material from the boards and post it (and he argued that point) and also to give a few people a chance to calm down because they found his actions and his attitude very annoying. He was not banned from the boards at all.

Now go and look at the people who disagreed with me on various subjects on the boards. Odd, but it seems to me that most of them are still there. People have disagreed and left the site of their on free will. That is not the same as being banned and please do not confuse the two. People will leave the site because it does not suit them, and that may be directly related to my decisions or it might be for something else, but it is still their choice.

I don't expect people to always agree with me. I do, however, expect them to look at the choices I make in light of the entire site, and not just what works best for them. There are a lot of active people at FM, and many of them really do hope to make professional sales. I would be doing a bad job if I didn't do my best to make certain that nothing at the site is going to be a detriment to their future sales.

If I were running FM just for me I would do things differently so that there is a lot less work, but that would also limit the options people have. The site exists to help as many people as possible reach their writing dreams of publication. I try to do that in the ways that give people many options and possibilities for connecting with people who have the answers they need.

So those of you who are getting all riled up about how people are gong to be kicked out of FM... just take a few deep breaths and calm down. It's not going to happen over anything as silly as just disagreeing with me.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Yes, a bit busy

So tell me, why do people get themselves into situations that a protozoa would have enough sense to back away from, and then are shocked and dismayed when it doesn't work? Let's not even talk about supposed intelligence here. Common sense should play into life somewhere.

There are moments of 'you are an idiot' but they generally pass and I laugh instead. I have been able to predict a lot of obvious things in my time (duh), but somehow I don't see the things that are in my hands sometimes. So far I seem to be able to handle it all. So here's my current problem. Nothing all that earth-shaking, but it is driving me nuts.

I have two sets of 2YN people taking the class. That's going very well, really. I don't have a problem because all of year one is written, and for a while year two is going to be pretty light until we get to the wrap up and get it out the door stuff. However, one of the things I always planned was to help go over work by the participants. I have set up the 2YNY2 people to give me the first three chapters of their work when they're ready and we'll talk about it.

So far I have managed to get through... one chapter.

See, what I didn't take into account was that I would suddenly have an influx of slush to DTF and that a good portion of it would be very good slush. Plus I have the work of getting the first DTF novel ready for release. So suddenly I am overwhelmed with editing of everything but my own work.

Sometime in the next two weeks we'll start work on the editing/rewriting/whatever for Ada Nish Pura. Need to make a sizeable inroad into this before then.

I keep thinking that this isn't going to work. But it will, really. I know it's not as bad as I think at the moment -- on very little sleep. If I start scheduling more editing time I can get a chapter a night on something. Maybe two -- one for 2YN and one for DTF. Five pages a night on Glory, too. Writing is slower than hell this year, but I think it'll pick up this weekend. I'm looking at an old novel to rewrite and that will keep my 'writing brain' tricked and happy for a couple weeks.

Ah. See. If I think this way I can get everything worked out. I'm already in a better mood, too -- and despite that I have a LOT of work to do to get to the point where I feel like I'm caught up.

I think I'll take a break and work on my schedule. I don't see any reason to go charging off into this without one!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Let it snow....

Ice on the Missouri River, a few days ago

We have a winter snow warning until midnight, and though we don't have the 12-18 inches of snow they originally predicted, this isn't bad for the first snow of the year. Maybe 7-8 inches so far, and a few more hours to go.

See, I like snow. I think if it's going to be cold anyway, it might as well be white and cold and give us something pretty to look at. I love winter storms. Russ stayed home and worked out of his office next door. If he were working down in Lyons tonight (about 50 miles away), I would likely feel differently about the snow. But he's right next door. I have chili cooking in the crock pot, and we're going to have a nice little stay at home night. Maybe watch a show or two. Twister might be fun. Just watching that movie makes me feel like it's summer and hot.

I have already written my first 10,000 words for the year. I'm not entirely certain how that happened since it feels as though everything is moving far too slowly. I did realize something interesting about Serendipity Blues, though. It will not be rushed. I'm going to be getting about 1000 words a day on it and I doubt it will ever move any faster than that rate. I'm not complaining. In fact, just allowing myself to realize this has taken a lot of the stress off of writing it. I'll have the first draft one by the end of March if all goes well. I'm happy with that plan!

The editing of Glory is going well, too. I've cut a lot of excess verbiage in the first 25 pages. I think this is going to be the final edit, too. I have plans for it this spring, so I'll probably start doing more than 5 pages a day soon. I just wanted to start the year out slowly.

I do intend to start a new writing project, though. I have another older novel that I want to rewrite from scratch. This has worked very well for me, and given me some nice material to submit that would otherwise just sit in the file cabinet taking up space. Those are fun to do because it is such a graphic example of how much my writing has changed over the years.

But right now... I think I'll go finish up the chili and have a nice dinner with Russ. Hope all the rest of you are nice and snug in your houses!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

And another day

I've been working on the new novel a little more today, mostly between bouts of trying to set up a new work schedule for everything but writing. I think I have a five day a week schedule for the other stuff, finally. I want to free up the weekends. I'm tired of spending every single day working on things that take more time than I devote to writing some days. I think yesterday's 14 hour stretch between Vision and Forward Motion was maybe a bit too much and finally convinced me (especially since it was a holiday) that I need to take better control.

So I have. We'll see how long it lasts.

I'm working on Serendipity Blues, and I think I'm starting to get the feel for it. Dante did well. Surprisingly, my Mafia man came across real well, too. My female lead is about to make her appearance, probably tomorrow.

For editing I'm doing Glory. Just a few pages a day, and then it will be ready to go out.

For the rest of life... well, I'm getting the schedule done, right? (grin)

Saturday, January 01, 2005


Happy New Year!

Writing. Seems like a good idea, but apparently the actual work part is escaping me. I did a few hundred words last night on Serendipity Blues, but so far today I have not really gotten back into it. Time to focus and get to work! I don't know what it is about today that's throwing me, but I had that problem last night, too. I finally ended up writing when I went to bed. And even then I kept starting over after a few hundred words. Odd behavior on my part!

We are having an ice storm, by the way. We had to run out to the store for Diet Pepsi and saw one guy take out a stop sign. Russ pointed out that in this area ice storms have an affinity for holidays.

Yes, yes. Writing. I think I'll just throw myself back into the first scene of Serendipity Blues. It's a good story, and I think if I can just get moving on it I'll be much better off today. Otherwise, I'm going to end up redoing more websites and possibly even cleaning house. We need to do all we can to prevent that from happening.

I do, however, need to make copies of my 2004 manuscripts and file that away now. And I still have to get the last bit of Vision done. I'm just waiting for Russ to sort out some questions for me for the interview.

My total word count for last year was 1,035,404. I made 12 sales and placed four more pieces, and really did quite well overall in writing. And now it's time to start over. I still think there is some flaw in this plan....

This is the year I find out if I am any good at picking fantasy books. We're getting the editing done on the first one, and all is going well.

Beyond that.... things look good. I have stew going in the crock pot and bread in the machine. We might get snow tonight. I will get some writing done! And if I get my 1000 words, I can do some rearranging in my office that I've been meaning to do. Hmmm.... time to get to work!