Saturday, September 27, 2008

New Book Snippet


Busy and busy and busy. What was I working on the last time I was here? Probably Touched by the Wild. The book is done, but the art work isn't. I'm afraid that just is going to have to wait. Too much to get done between now and NaNo, and then from NaNo until the end of the year. I think it's going to be a real busy, now that I think about it. Ack.

I am working on a new book -- well, the rewrite of an old one, actually. I'm enjoying it, too. Some of the parts have had drastic changes, some less so -- but the story. The title is Infiltration. It's an SF story. It has a two part story, worked together -- first, a team of Inner World Council Security Agents have a very dangerous assignment to infiltrate and take back command of a post that is devoted to creating very dangerous, experimental weapons.

They need someone with special skills for this one, and the person the head of the IWCS suggests is someone who may not be stable. A number of people have recently died who were connected to him -- members of another IWCS team, his family -- and there is a real question about why they died. Was it an accident? Did someone kill them? Is he responsible? The head of the IWCS doesn't think he's responsible. That doesn't mean he's safe to be around.

Kip is the head of the team. Allie, the other person in this scene, is a general PITA. Delphian is the guy with the problems.

Kip sealed the airlock door behind him and they waited while it cycled, neither of them speaking. When the inner door opened, they walked up the corridor, heading for the Delta's small lounge and kitchen. The hall curved a little and climbed on a slight incline heading past the two quarters -- the 'girls' on the right and his on the left... though now it was for him and Delphian. He wasn't used to that yet.

He noticed how the plain blue walls of the hall were beginning to show a bit of wear and the brown carpet had dirt spots. He needed to get her refitted soon and cleaned up a bit. Maybe after this case, if they got any down time. They hadn't had much of that lately.

"I'm really beginning to dislike this assignment," Kip admitted.

"That just hit you did it?" Allie said with a shake of her head. "I didn't like this assignment before we acquired Delphian."

"Then why are you going along?"

"You don't have to like an assignment to know it needs to be done." She shrugged and started heating water, waving him toward a chair. It was a small kitchen, and he'd just get in the way. "Hell, the ones you dislike the most are the ones that most need to be handled."

He agreed and sat back, wishing the others would get back to the ship soon. Allie brought him over a couple cookies and his favorite tea. She knew what he liked, just as he knew she was drinking coffee with extra sweetener. He knew what Estes and Gina liked... which made him wonder about Delphian. What were his tastes? What would make him feel more at home? They needed ease to work together, and as the head of the team, it was his job to find the ways that would make this as easy as possible. Besides, this little scout was large compared to the cramped quarters of the glider where they were going to live soon as they reached their destination and went to work. If they were not at ease with each other by then, it was going to be trouble on the mission.

"Kip?" Allie asked as she settled in the chair across from him.

"Just wondering how Delphian will fit in."

"He's competent, from what the reports say," she said. He'd known she had accessed them, of course. "He's even likeable, if you can over look the fact that a lot of people die around him."

"Those incidents where either years apart in time, or light years apart in distance. They're probably totally unrelated accidents."

"I hope to hell not!" she answered, startling him again. "I want someone to be responsible for those deaths, Kip. I'll even accept Delphian himself as the killer. I can watch for enemies, but if it's just fate that people die around him, then we don't stand a chance in hell of surviving!"
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What to do about NaNo?

It's difficult to get back into the swing of things this week. I'm running late, too -- I need to do a lot of DAZ work today. Wisely, I did a bunch of writing after midnight before I went to bed, so I'm doing okay there for today. Sometimes I count after midnight words on the day before if I haven't been to bed yet. But NaNo is coming up, so I need to get back into the 'actual day' count again anyway. And it will help out today.

Touched by the Wild is going pretty well. I still keep feeling as though I'm missing something here, but at least it feels closer. I'll get through this version, and unless I come up with some drastic change, the next version will just be an edit and additional material rather than a rewrite. Though, if it sits for a few years, it might get a complete rewrite again. I can't guess at this point.

Here is something I posted at FM yesterday... just to give people some idea of how things are going for NaNo!

I have not decided on a NaNo novel for this year. I have a few partially finished outlines and some ideas that haven't even gotten that far, and once I finish the current book (this week, I hope!), I'm going to go back to work on the other material. There are, I think, five possibilities for NaNo. I don't know if I will do more than one novel this year, so right now I'm just trying to decide on one to make certain that I have at least a basic outline and worldbuilding done in time.

Living at the Edge of the World -- Contemporary YA novel about a high school student who finds herself under federal protection and shipped off to a small town in the sand hills area of Nebraska after her mother (an international reporter) is kidnapped. The change from New York, plus the pressure of not knowing what happened to her mother and step-father causes serious problems, along with the casual harassment by the local teens who have never really dealt with an outsider before in their class.

This would be a relatively easy one to do... and for that reason I think I'll hold it for the second book if I do two this year. It's also likely to be fairly short. I have not done any outline work for it, but I think I can do a line or two per chapter and not have a real problem.

Broken Journey -- Science fiction. A group of 'sleepers' went into stasis on Earth, knowing they would not awake again until the ship they are on arrives at a viable new world, which could be hundreds of years in the future. However, when the leader of the group awakes, she finds herself looking into the face of a stranger -- and she immediately knows something has gone wrong. She learns that the ship was attacked and damaged in flight, that some of the sleepers were awakened then, and eventually, with the help of other aliens, they found a world. One generation died on the ship and there have been three more generations since they came to the world. And now things are going bad.

I have a partial outline for this one and a lot of ideas, but I haven't been able to pull it all together yet. I would really like to do a science fiction novel, though, and this one seems the best idea.

I'm Not Who You Think -- Contemporary YA mystery. A young man is shot when the place he works is robbed, and he has no memory of who he was... or what happened. The next year, after he returns to school, he's faced with problems dealing with family and former friends, as well as trouble with someone who doesn't want him to remember.

I've had this one as an outline for a few years, but I could never really get a feel for it until I recently thought of two things -- first, that the main character could be male rather than female (don't know why that seemed to work better...) and that when he was shot, he recognized someone, and they're now worried when he does start to remember things again.

Draw the Line -- This is a very complex science fiction tale, and though I've been working on background material for it for nearly a year now, I don't think I'm going to be ready to tell it by November. It's the story of an abandoned alien space station that has recently been found and partially repopulated by humans and three different alien groups. That station itself is also a 'character' in the book, doing things for reasons no one else understands. There is one human who has accidently made a connection to the station, which has left him mistrusted by just about everyone.

This book has multiple POV characters and four cultures, so the amount of work needed to do it properly is pretty intensive. I've gotten a lot of it, and I might push to get the rest... but it depends on how the rest of the work goes between now and November.

In the Shadow of Giants -- Sci-Fantasy. This one is a long shot. Back the first time I started the 2YN classes, I thought I would go through it with the rest of the people, and I came up with an idea that I really liked. Unfortunately, it got too hectic to go beyond the first few weeks of classes. I tried again the next year and didn't even get as far as the year before. I stopped trying to take part after that... but the very basic idea of the story has still been sitting there in my brain. In the far future, a member of the Chinese Gods kidnaps a member of the Norse Gods, and Odin -- known as Dion now -- must try to pull together the old team, who have scattered to the stars. The worst problem is drawing in Koil -- Loki -- who is not in the least bit interested in another go at being the fall guy for them.

The problems with this one is pretty obvious -- lots of pre-work needed on the various gods, and creating the culture in which they live and work. I think this one is going to have to wait until next year because I just can't see where I'll have time to do a lot of mythology studies between now and then.

Oh and let's not forget this, which I wrote up for a workshop on query letters for Vision:

Mark Carter should never have followed the ghost of Allisia, his murdered wife, down a dead end street.

Two years after the shocking death of his wife, Mark has finally put aside his grief, sold his home, packed away his wedding pictures, and taken a new job. At twenty-five, he's even found a new romance. Then, on a stormy afternoon, he sees the ghostly apparition of Allisia jogging along the road where she had died. In a frenzy of shock and grief, he leaps from the car and runs after her... and into a perilous world of shadows and ghosts, truths and deceptions.

Mark has stumbled into a world that parallels his own, and there he learns that his wife was not really human and is not fully dead, but rather is trapped in the area between worlds, where dangers he could never have imagined stalk her -- and now hunt him as well, as the link back to the world of light.

He also learns of Allisia's part in a plot to invade his world, but that she had defected and is now paying the price for her love of him. Uncertain whom he can trust in this new world, and learning he might become trapped as well, he still joins forces with her to fight back her former commander and defeat the dark forces bent on invasion. Their success is bittersweet, however, since Allisia can't come back with him, and he must leave the shadow lands or risk being the key that opens the doors for others.

Dead End Street is a completed urban fantasy novel of 96,500 words. The book has potential for additional stand-alone novels featuring Mark, his dead wife and the trouble brewing between the two worlds.

Haven't written that one, of course. I think I'd like to.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Russ is coming home this weekend. He'll be here late Friday or early Saturday and leave on Monday. I'm looking forward to seeing him! We have some work to get done around here, but at least we'll be doing it together.

I'm working on Touched by the Wild and making good progress again. Once I'm done with this one, I'll mostly work on outlines for a while and start preparing for the dreaded NaNo event of the year. I'm looking forward to it. It will be nice to just let myself fly for a month and not worry about too much else. Last year wasn't good since Russ left -- yes, almost a year already! And while I've gotten somewhat used to it, I don't like it any better.

But NaNo... I have a choice of five different story ideas, all of which need outline work and some that need a lot of background work as well. I would love to write something long and complex, but I'm not sure I'll have anything ready in time. I do have two lovely contemporary YA book ideas that would be fun. Three sf ideas. Nothing in fantasy, which is what I usually write for NaNo. Maybe I should be thinking about that.

My plan is to mostly just write for fun for the rest of the year. I don't think there is anything else that I need to really worry about to get to people. I would like to make a few more submissions, of course, but I'm not going to kill myself to do them. I have two unfinished novels, and one of those will be done in a couple days. The other is the third Silky novel, and it will be done by the end of the year. I have the ending scene in my mind... I can't wait to get to it!

See that -- that was enthusiasm for some writing again. It's been a bit lacking on my end for a few months. Not that I haven't written, of course. And even enjoyed the work -- but I haven't been as excited about it as I usually am. Now I'm starting to get some of that feel back. I guess it's the NaNo influence. I always get fired up about it.

Let's hope it's fun this year!
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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Thinking of NaNo

Writing is going very well at the moment. I'm rewriting a book, and so far I've enjoyed the work, and it's gotten me back into the groove of work again. I need this with NaNo only a couple months away. Once I'm done with this book, I'm going to be working on outlines for a while. And worldbuilding and all the other fun stuff that goes with it. I would like to have a couple very solid outlines for NaNo this year and see how I do.

Last year was my worst NaNo, but that was only because of outside influences. I still wrote quite a bit (over 200,000 words). I enjoyed leaping in and having fun with it, but by the end I was glad enough to be done. I hope that this year will be better, and I'm going to make certain that I have plenty of stuff ready to write, just so that I don't have to worry about added stress if there are problems.

This year has not been my best writing year in general -- but again, that has been due to outside forces, and I'm fighting my way past them so that I can get back to the enjoyment of the work. I don't want to do more nonfiction for awhile, with the exception of things like Vision. What I really need to do is concentrate on writing the stuff I enjoy and enjoying the stuff I write. So, with that in mind, I'm going to start looking forward to NaNo and all the crazy stuff that goes with it.

It might help if I get a clue about what I want to write for NaNo this year, though.

The weather here has dropped down cool enough that I have been avoiding the morning walks until I'm over my cold. It's been too damp, too. Even the cats were complaining about it, but I got out the plug in heater and set it up for them. Janey has finally shut up for the first time in a week. I can hear myself think again!

It is funny, sometimes, to watch how the cats react to the changing weather. For a couple weeks I couldn't keep them off the screened-in porch. They would climb into and onto the boxes out there and stay all day. It was heavenly not to have them all over my desk.

Then it got cooler. Suddenly, there were cats on my desk, in my lap, on the back of my chair... climbing all over me trying to snuggle in for the winter. Come on guys! It's not that cold!

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Monday, September 01, 2008

September and Holly's Class

Isn't that a lovely picture? Dawn on the Missouri River with a bit of fog. The obelisk in the background is the Sgt. Floyd monument. Sgt. Floyd was the only member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to die. It should have been the first of the registered national monuments, but the paper work got 'lost' so that somewhere on the more popular East Coast could claim that distinction.

There's your local history lesson for the year.

Let's talk about Holly Lisle's new classes.

This is a really fantastic six month course. I've had a chance to look over the first two months, and Holly, as usual, brings all her expertise and enthusiasm to helping other writers. I suggest that all writers take a look at this, even if they aren't certain they want a career in publishing. She starts with creating stories and moves on from there. Go take a look!

And what have I been doing? Getting things done, for a change. I am waiting on a couple things from Russ on the nonfiction book, and then it is off to the publisher. I have Silky 2 done and it's going to head to Holly in the next couple days. Vision is up. I actually finished a couple projects over the last few days, thanks to the Unfinished Business dare at FM. My list for today looks remarkably reasonable for a change. I'm sure that will change quickly enough.

I'm excited about the story I'm working on. I don't think it is going to be more than a novelette, or maybe a novella. I had hoped to finish it for Unfinished Business, but the work on Vision took too much time and slowed me down. I'm about to go back to it, though, and I'm really excited to get going. I'm having fun with this one!

I hope that I can make September a good writing month. I need one!
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