Monday, December 31, 2001

I am going to have to redo the pdf because I missed an entire article...

But I am not doing it until later tonight or tomorrow. This is it. I am done for the year as far as I'm concerned!

I did update the html version though!
Done! Last story of the year, and Russ just arrived -- surprised to find the van here. But I am done!

We have to run out and grab a few things for tomorrow. I'll be back for a recap of the year a little later!

8069 and still going.

I also got Vision # 7 posted, so that's another piece out of the way. Found one minor problem with it right away, but I hope the rest of it is fine.

Need to post in Esther's newsgroup that it's up.

Starting count was 7350

Current -- 7605

No email from Russ yet answering my question about the van.

I did pick up a little bit around the house, which is why the writing is still slow. I need to just concentrate on this now. Maybe some music...
I fed the cats, picked up the mail, and looked at the van. I'd say it's ours all right.

Now, the last few hundred words of this story. Please let it go fast and let me be done for the year! I have the notes all worked out to the end -- though no closing line. I think I know the basics of it, though. If I could manage this in the next hour, I would be a very happy person.

I am not allowed to sleep.

If it's not the cats at the door or climbing all over me, it's the dog barking like crazy. I think she may have had reason for the seconed one, though. It looks as though our older van is parked in front of the house, which means the friend we had loaned it to a few years ago must have brought it up from Omaha.

Now, there are a few reasons why he could have done this. I know he's getting married and I assume she also has a car, and since they live at an apartment, they might not have had room for the van anymore.

Or, it might be that the odd noise Russ heard in our newer van turned out to be something serious, and he had to call and ask that they bring the Van back.

Or it might not be our van. I mean I haven't seen it in about three years, and though it looks like ours, there are quite a few of those older Astro Vans around.

The truth is that I just didn't need to wake up this way. I would like to have slept until Russ got home, but that's the way it goes. I'm up. I've taken a bath and washed my hair, which I shouldn't have done since I still need to go feed the outdoor guys. I think, in fact, that I might go take care of all of that right now, and then sit down and right the last of my words for 2001.

Odd year...
The PDF file is too large. I'm going to have to redo it.

But not right now. Later. After some sleep, or maybe not until the first or so. Right now I am preparing to retire for a few hours. Maybe quite a few, since I'll be taking some Nyquil so I survive lying down.

It was 2AM when I started work on this. It's a bit after 6AM now. I think that's enough for one night.
I have something uploading. I also have a cat asleep sitting up on my desk. And it's a quarter to six, and 3f out.

Unfortunately, the bit that's uploading is probably going to take a while. I'd be tempted to go wander off to bed anyway, though. Russ will be up soon, and I would just like to crawl in and sleep for awhile now.

At least my writing, such as it is, is done. This is the last day though! I did just go over the 700,000 mark with yesterday's writing, finally. Now it's just a matter of getting the story done, and I do have the last few notes written out, so that's not a problem.

Sleep seems like such a good idea about now...
I did it.

(Falling over dead on desk now...)

Actually, I need to go open the html files back up and make the few changes there that I saw to make on the pdf.
Normally this wouldn't be so much trouble, but I honestly have very little functioning brain left tonight. A couple of these mistakes were just stupid things on my part. Stuff I normally check before I do a pdf, like links and titles. And blank pages...

But it's working at it one more time. If it does not go right this time, I'm not doing it again until after I sleep for a few hours.
Well, I got farther this time, if that's any consolation....

Ah well. It's best if I don't go crawl into bed and wake Russ up this late, since he has to go to work today. And he doesn't need my cold anyway. So... let's give it one more try...
And now my computer is acting up and I must restart.

Can you say conspiracy to drive me crazy?

No, no. Another mistake. Deep breaths, zette. This is just too many pills and feeling miserable. You can do this...
Try again...
Argh. Very close to done and found that I had repeated one article twice and missed another one entirely...
Did I mention it's 171 pages long?
And now the final step -- converting .doc file to .pdf. Sometimes it just doesn't work. But if it does, then all I have left to do (always something more, right?) is to do the pdf TOC. If this works, I will upload it and everything else tonight so that I can have most of tomorrow (today) free. We'll see.

Wish me luck...
Hello at 3am

Well, very nearly.

I'm much closer to done with the pdf version of Vision.

I really didn't want to be doing this at the last moment when I have things I want to get done, but life interfered. It's one of the reasons I really hope that we can work ahead of the next issue now that we have people who are not tied down to moderator duties and getting articles besides. I expect articles from moderators, but it would be nice if we can get enough other people interested that we get articles to fill out several issues -- and then it won't be a last minute job, waiting for things to come in before the TOC can be put together, and all of that.

I love working on Vision, mind you. I just don't like the wait, wait, wait... oh out of time! get it done! feeling. Some of that is my own fault. I need to get on top of this better for the next issue.
Hello at 2 am

I am not feeling well. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I am feeling progressively worse with each day. The good news is that I very nearly have all the pdf version of Vision done. The html version is ready to go up as well. The bad news is that I haven't done anything on the pdf version, but I might be able to get that tomorrow yet.

Don't even ask about the writing. Not that I won't have the story done, because I will. I will also make the 700,000 -- barely.

In 24 hours we'll already be into the next year.

I'm not ready...

Sunday, December 30, 2001

Oh look. I've manged 100 words.

To say that I am not in the best of writing moods is putting it mildly. Not a good time for this kind of problem, of course. I'm thinking, if I get moving on While the Gods Sleep that I might go ahead and finish it tonight, and write a short article tomorrow. Or, if I can time it well enough, write the last 500 words just after midnight and be done for the year. We'll see. Either way, I see no trouble with being done this year.

I still need to work on Vision. Maybe I should be doing that now instead of grumbling about everything else? Seems like a good idea...

I am very ill. I have spent the day in bed with sneezes, coughing, nose bleeds, and general grumpiness that even sent most of the cats running. I have read the first third of C.J. Cherryh's Defender, however. About time.

I am up now because I have to get work done on Vision. And some writing done. But I'm not happy about it.

I also have to feed the herds, but I'm waiting until Russ is done with his show. They make such a fuss when they realize they're about to get fed!

I am sitting here wrapped up in a blanket and grumbling. I suppose I should get to work instead.

The html version of Vision is done. Now just run everything together and format for the pdf, and then do the same for the palm.

It's cold here...

A little bit more writing and I'm done for the night...

Saturday, December 29, 2001

Okay. Yes I realize that writing is not everything. It's close, mind you -- but even I have moments where I am momentarily interested in something else. Like photography, for instance.

So I'm going to change things. I'm going to have at least one hour a day where I work on something outside of writing and web work. Photography is likely to be top of the list. Reading (which won't be confined to this hour, of course) might fill the time. Photography won't be taking pictures, but working on organizing them. My collections are horribly confused right now, and I would like to be able to call up pictures I want to see without having to go hunt through dozens of boxes of disks and hope that I have the right dates...

I just made a quick check of my computer files and found 23 short stories (short being not entirely correct) to edit and put out next year. That's not bad at all. And that's just with a quick run through the files, and does not include any novels. I can think of a couple of those right off that I'd like to clean up and get out -- Such Gifts as These and Waiting for the Last Dance, although I will probably hold the last one for next years Delacorte contest.

Preparing myself for the next year is a ritual I go through every late December. It's my way of saying that I can do better, if I just put a little more effort into it. Better at a lot of things, though most often everything but writing sort of falls by the wayside. Writing drives me, and no matter how hard I try to turn my attention to something else, it always comes back to this. But every year I try a little harder and make it just a bit farther in these other goals. So, if I don't at least try, I'm not going to get anywhere at all.

Time to go redo my daily check sheet for next year...
Just a little test, removing the pic on the left.... it might look better in my regular journal that way.
Forward Motion is down. I hope this is the 'we figured out the problems and everything will be fixed by New Years' down. I really feel sympathy for the guys running that place. It's a great site, and it's lousy that it would develop trouble over the holidays. I mean there is a faint chance that these particular computer people even have family. It's rare, of course, but it could happen.

Last night I finally began to see the changes I want to make for work next year. It's not in the number of words I do so much as in when and how I do them. I need a different schedule to my life.

Early this year I said I was going to write at least 500 words each day before I started work on web sites and such. It was very nice, and I enjoyed it a lot. I don't know why I stopped. But that's going to be the first goal. Get back to putting writing first in my day, instead of holding it out like a carrot to make sure I get everything else done, and then limping through it at 3am. It means I have to admit that writing is the primary goal, not the web sites. And that's fine by me.

And other changes. Actually, I'm not going to start with writing. I'm going to start with an hour of work around the house. Feeding small useless creatures, picking up, sweeping. etc. Dishes. Get all of that out of my way so that I don't come out of my office later and feel like I've been a slug (even if I have been) because the place is a mess. I am not a good housekeeper, but I can do better than this.

But then we get back to writing and web work. Another experiment I did earlier this year was to confine web work to Wednesday-Friday, except for the occasional important info that had to go up right away. I'm going to start doing that again, too.

So, now I'm left with a couple things concerning writing to work out. Novels, short stories, rewrites and edits. Those are four different things and I believe I am going to try to schedule, on a regular day, a bit of work on each of them, with the understanding that if one piece takes off or needs to be completed, I can drop the others. So, let's say I have a schedule for a regular day that looks like this:

One hour house work
work on new novel
rewrite older piece from files
edit story/novel to go out
work on short story

And Wednesday-Friday Schedule looks like this:
One hour house work
work on new novel
web work
rewrite older piece from files
edit story/novel to go out
work on short story

All that means is that there will be less time to work on the other material on those days.

Into this will thread the stuff on Forward Motion and work for Vision. Sitting and just working on any of these projects without breaking to talk at Forward Motion would probably drive me to distraction, which sounds odd because some people would find Forward Motion a distraction. I don't. I find it a needed little break now and then.

Other plans? Yes. I plan to read more. In order to make myself keep on the nf stuff, I'm going to start doing something I did when I read the Durrants' Story of Civilization and the Cambridge Ancient History books -- write down a quote that catches my attention from each day. Those will likely go in my journal.

This year is going to be about focus. About not only working on new material, but working harder on making certain the stuff that is going out is ready to be sent. I won't be changing my hours, just making better use of them. It will probably mean less new words over all, but more material going out, which means more possible sales. And if I do enough sales... well, I can drop the web work entirely, right?

Now there's a goal. (grin)

Very nearly done with the main part of Vision. I have three articles left, two of which I have to put together. Amazing to feel this relaxed coming up on our second year of production!

Three days worth of writing left. That's good, too. Nearly done with While the Gods Sleep, such as it is, and then... what am I going to start the new year off with? (grin)

So much to think about. But it's 4am and I think I'm going to call it a night!

Friday, December 28, 2001

I have very little work left on Vision! Yay! And the last story of the year is going well enough. In fact, everything is going so well that it's making me nervous.

Or maybe... maybe that's just finally the anxiousness I feel when I know there's a new year coming up, and I get to start new things. Fun things. Rewrites of some of my better work from this year. New stories. New areas to explore. This is the first I've felt excited about the new year so far. I want to pull out older material and look for things to rework -- unfortuantely there is this rather LARGE tree in front of my file cabinets. Ah well, just as well. I do need to finish what I have in front of me, right?

But finally, I feel like I have all the fun stuff in front of me again. Maybe it's because I'm actually getting Vision done a couple days ahead of time. Maybe it's because all I do have to work on is this last useless little story. (A few good lines, I have to admit, but other than that, there's not much to it.

So, I'm off to do a few more pages for Vision and then do a little writing of my own.

And maybe start planning out the new year. Despite a miserable headache I've had all day, I think I'm actually in a really good mood now.

Hello there...

4:30 AM. I am working on Vision. I'm actually doing quite well, in fact. A couple little glitches here and there, but I've gotten at least half of the 31 articles done. I'm working on one right now that's giving me a little trouble, but I think that's mostly because of the hour, not the article.

In fact, most of what I have left now are the regular articles -- a couple will just be copys from the last issue (like Guidelines) with the out of date parts cut. Good News is going to be a trick to do if the boards aren't running properly, but I'll manage something. I sure hope it gets up and going soon!

I did write a little over 500 words tonight. I'm feeling odd doing so few words. I think it's making me uneasy. It's not natural.

On the other hand, look at all the work I've gotten done for Vision.

Okay, that's it for my break...

Thursday, December 27, 2001

The library web site is posting already. Yay! I think I will do some writing for a bit and then throw myself into work on Vision.

Last night, when I was feeling really awful, I took a little notebook into the bathtub with me and hand wrote a bunch of stuff. I would have taken the Visor, but I couldn't find the batteries we just bought for it. So now I have to type yesterday's work in before I can go on to today's work. This is why I don't do handwritten material any more -- it is a waste of my time to have to redo the exact same words in a new format. Oh, I might change a few here and there, but not enough to make it seem like a new draft.

And we'll not even talk about how awful my handwritting is and has always been, and how much fun it's going to be to try and figure out what these scratches actually mean...

I slept for a couple hours, actually. Russ had to get me up with promise of food. So off we went, I ate and now I'm stuffed and sleepy. I'm sure this isn't right.

I will get the library web site done, then go on to either Vision or a bit of writing.

End of the year is so close! I feel like it's just hovering out there, ready to leap on me with an 'ah ha! You screwed up!'

I still feel lousy. I am doing web work today, though. The one serious problem with my version of Front Page (which I understand they've corrected in the new one) is that you have to wait for something to upload before you can work on something else. And it often takes a LONG time for that to upload.

I might end up taking a nap and coming back later...

I have some library web site things to do, and then some work on Vision tonight. Getting near that due date! I'm looking forward to having it all up and running!

As far as my own writing... Well, I'm just drifting toward the end of the year. Just as well that I'm not rushed to get anything drastic done there. I don't think I would have the energy to handle it.

Post this, take a short rest while the other stuff is uploading, and be back later...

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

We appear to be back.

If Ihad anything interesting to say, I'd post it right now. But I don't, so I'll just go crawl off in a corner somewhere for awhile...

(Cold/flu/general yuckies...)

I wrote a very short piece for Holly Lisle's Winterfest Tale at Forward Motion. That was kind of my little holiday gift to myself -- a short piece of fluff, and don't worry about it. Only 835 words on my part, a little more than 900 with the opening that Holly wrote.

It's cold here. Even all bundled up, I'm still cold. I like the snow, but I wish it wouldn't get quite this cold.

We're drawing closer to New Year's eve and the last writing for the year. It's been a very good year for me, and I'm reluctant to let it go.

But then I wonder what will happen next year... and I can't wait to find out.

Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Oh the weather outside is fluffy
And my cats are surely scruffy
So since we've no where to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Actually, we did get some lovely flurries through most of the afternoon. Nice big white flakes, but not a lot of them. It was rather nice.

All in all, I had a very lovely day. We went to see my parents at the hospital, where my mother has been for the last week or so. Then we came back home and made a quick dinner, opened presents, and just generally had a quiet day. I napped after dinner for some time. I've still got a sore throat and itchy ears, and it caught up with me.

But I am having a nice day. Wish it didn't have to end so soon!
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and a good day to everyone else. I am off to bed a couple hours early. I've written a bare 500 words again, and it was like pulling teeth tonight -- but only because I wanted to just do other things. To go have fun. To read journals, and post things, and generally not work.

But I did work some. I had forgotten to put out a very important piece of work for the city, and I finished it up (It was half done, and I needed something they never sent me, so I forgot about it...), and sent it off. There, that's done.

And now off to bed. I'll be back late today or early tomorrow. Have a good time.

Monday, December 24, 2001

I'm saved!

I have been told that the short story I just finished can be up to 15,000 words long. Right now it's sitting at 16,712. I can edit it down that far with no problem at all. In fact, I can edit it down far enough that I can add in a few more details here and there, and still come in under the count.

She is also talking about a short run novel...

Oh and if you would like to read my holiday story/poem for the year it's up at my journal web site right now: Zette's Days of Writing

No, I have not written a thing yet. But I will. What a nice day this has been!

Happy Holidays!
I wrote barely 500 words tonight. I did very little work on Vision. And now... bed! I'm tired and this looks like a very good time to head for bed since programs are crashing, and I would have to restart the entire computer anyway.

So, off to sleep... I hope!

Sunday, December 23, 2001

I did some shopping today. Not much, and I basically only bought presents for the kittys and dog. I wanted to buy something for Russ, but I could't get rid of him. (grin) We bought stuff or Christmas Dinner (which is not much for just the two of us), and we just generally had a good day. It feels like it should be hours later than it is.

Forward Motion is still down. I feel sorry for the poor people trying to fix this. I know how annoyed I used to get when Russ had to work on the holiday-times that everyone else had off, and I imagine that some of them have families they'd rather be with as well. I hope they get done soon and get to spend All of tomorrow and Christmas Day with their people, even if it's not a holiday they celebrate.

I need to start back to work on While the Gods Sleep. I managed to write out some notes for it, and I think I can at least get it moving aways again. I'm not worried about word counts -- I've already managed over 40,000 this month, so even if I dropped down to 100 words a day, I'd be fine. (grin) Not that something like that is likely to happen.

I did some nice work on Vision last night as well.

But now I'm going to go watch some Man from UNCLE!
With Blood of the Clan completed, I had a couple options for finishing out my night. I could do nothing. I could watch TV. I could read... which almost won out. (I'm reading Pascal's Provincial Letters, and it's fascinating...)

Or I could work on the next issue of Vision.

Which I did. I have about 1/3rd of it done, and it's going together very well. I need some info off the Forward Motion Boards, which are down at the moment, so I'm calling it quits for the night now. Well, not quite quits. I want to set up a few of the pages for the pdf version as well, but that will only take a few minutes. And then I'm going to read more out of th Folio Society's Christmas Book, which they put out last year. I had planned on having that one done by Christmas, but then the new books came in... I shouldn't let myself get side tracked like that.

4:30 AM. Time to do this stuff and get to bed!

But it has been a good day as far as work is concerned.
16,712 Complete!

That is way too long, of course. But this draft is done. I'm glad.

Yay! It's done!

Hello I'm up to 15,166 words and almost done with this one scene. Then just the closing pieces left.

I think I'm going to make it!

I'm going to try to finish Blood of the Clan tonight. There is not that much left to do. Starting count is 14,092.

About one and a half scenes to go, but the way I've been writing that could be another 10,000 words.

I like this story. I'll be glad to have it done and be able to play with it.

Saturday, December 22, 2001

I'm waiting for Russ to get home, and we will decorate the tree tonight, finally. It's nice to have it sitting in here, of course, but decorated would be so much better.

We had our first snow today. Not enough to really cover all the grass, but still better than that dead brown that was everywhere before this. The outdoor cats are... startled. My new coat is good, by the way. Prior to this I wore only my levi jacket out. Amazing how much warmer a real one is. Need gloves, though. My fingers got cold and my hands still hurt.

On the 20th I only did 503 words on Blood of the Clan and 1511 yesterday. I am right down to the finaly scenes, and for some reason slowed down -- that doesn't happen to me very often. I might have them written tonight, and then I get to try and figure out how to cut this beast back to a reasonable size. I can think of one subplot that can go if I need to, but I think I'll talk to the editor before I do anything that drastic. (grin)

But I am going to get to work.

Russ should be back soon. That wil stop me from having to actually work, right?

Starting count: 14,092

Friday, December 21, 2001

The Lost (Wax) Morning

There are certain times when one should just cover up one's head and not come out. I've long held the feeling that morning in general is one of those times. Today proved me right.

Russ had a doctor's appointment this morning. He also needed to take Cricket back to the vet for her check up. He could not catch her, so he went on to his appointment. His hand appears to be fine, but it took two long hours there, and he came home in not a great mood. This was about 11am. At this point he came into the bedroom and woke me up. Not a good thing under any circumstances. Then he asked how I was feeling and if I should got to the doctor.

My immediate answer was no, no. NO. He tried to ask me questions. I was less than coherent and rather growly.

He left the room. And I heard a thunk and a curse and knew what had happened.

I like candles, but I can't burn them. I forget them, the cats are dangerous, etc. So sometimes, just to get the scent, I sit them on the floor vents...

Russ kicked it. Wax splattered straight up the wall and across the floor.

I went and got Cricket and shoved her in the cage and sent him on to the vet with her. Then I began scrapping wax off of everything.

Let me tell you about this particular wall. It's covered with a lovely small print of beige flowers an off white swirls. Subtly raised flowers and swirls. I spent the next two hours scrapping green wax off of beige flowers and white swirls. And oak woodwork. And the venetion blind and window underneath it.

Oh, and the floor. The off white floor with subtly inlaid beige flowers...

I have discovered why I hate craftwork. I hate sitting there doing that kind of repetitious work. I would, truly, rather be writing. Though it did give me a better feel for the work that archaeologists do. (Let's scrape this little bit off! Oh wow, look! More little beige flowers! Isn't that wonderful?)

I fear there shall be subtle hints of green on the wall and the floor for a long time. Oh, and did I mention that this is scented wax? Or that it melted all over the power supply for the answering machine and it's now making an odd whistling noise?

Oh, and the vet wasn't in, by the way. So Cricket came home, very pissed at having had to go for a ride...

Is there a reason for mornings?

Thursday, December 20, 2001

Russ skipped the party to come home and make sure I was alright. I was feeling pretty lousy, so he went up to see my mother in the hospital, and he brought back a new tree stand, and a cute little teddy bear 'season Greetings' wreath. We have the tree up in my office, but not decorated yet. It's a beautiful tree, but very large!

I'm feeling a bit better tonight -- enough so that I will do some writing. I'm not sure how far I'll go. I've taken some medication for the problem, and there's every chance it will make me too tired to go on. We'll see

Did I mention the 'short story' is now 12078 words. This is not going to work...

But I'll ge the rest of the story told and then worry about how to tell it in half the words.

As I laid down to sleep last night... this morning, actually, I got a horrendous pain up through the left side of my neck, face, and ear. Hours later and it still aches. I am going back to bed. If I write at all today, it will likely be just a few hundred words on my visor, done from bed.

Russ has his company holiday party tonight over in Wayne, and may stay at his place there tonight. I decided to put the tree up on Solstice Eve. Providing I'm still alive then.

You know, it occurs to me that I can probably rework my daily journal so that this blogger takes the place of the usual entry. Hmmm.... three screen frame, and change this to just a plain text.... I'll think about that for January.

Now, sleep for a while longer and hope that I can wake up feeling better.
I should add that the count for the day is 2252 words. I am, I'm glad to say, heading into the climactic battle now. I suspect this might actually end short of a novella...

The headache got much worse before it finally began to ease again. I worked through it, though not well. I suspect that I'll have a lot of editing to do on that part, but for the moment, I have an ending count for the day. 12,078. It's a good count, even if it does mean this story is way too long.

Ah well. If I can't have fun, what good is this?

Quitting early tonight though. I need to rest and hope that this headache eases.

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

I wrote a bit over 1000 words earlier today, and then went off to do other things for awhile. I'm only now getting back to the compuer. Unfortunately, a bit of a headache is going to slow me down. This is still a vestige of the sore throat stuff, but I think it's all starting to clear up, so I'm happier.

Not that it will hurt for me to slow down. I'm just so excited about this story that I want to fly with it. I want to just leap in and not come back out until dawn.

Today's starting count: 9826

Current Count: 10,838
I had a good run of writing last night. My ending count was 9826, with a total of 4274 new words on the story. Yes, the story has gotten out of hand. Yes, I will be editing it back into something reasonable.

The cards are working very well. I even sat down and wrote out a few for While the Gods Sleep and I think I'll be able to move ahead on it too.

I think I need to find a set of these card dividers with numbers on them. Yeah. That way I can do novels by chapter. Ooooh... I like that idea....

Now, I still need a plot for next year's first story...

Ah well, still a few days to go before I have to throw myself into anything that drastic, right? And in the mean time, I'm almost up the main part of the story now. Did I mention that it's already over 9,000 words long...?

Off to do some work!

Starting count: 5552

Currnet count: 8842

Good run of writing, though I'm really tired out now! You can see my journal entry for the new way I've set up doing note cards. Journal. Check the entry for the 18th if it's not on the front page.

I like this story. It's too long and I'm going to be editing like mad when I get through with the first write, but it's wonderful when stories move like this.

I think I'm going to call it a night, though, and take my note cards and myself off to a nice, warm bath...

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Okay, I didn't go back to bed. I did the web work, and then I thought I ought to do a little more on Vision, and then next thing I know, it's 6 PM.

It's probably just as well. I would have been miserable in bed, and this way I feel as though I've gotten a few things done.

But now Russ is home and we're going out for a little bit. Not long. And then I'll be back to write something, I'm sure...
Don't expect to see much of me today. Feeling a bit more ill, and just worn down, so I'm feeding guys, checking email, and going back to bed. I will take the visor and keyboard with me, and do a little work there if I feel like it. If not, I'll be up later to get my writing and journal done.

Hate being ill this time of year...

I had no intention of writing this much, but I'm now up to 5552 words on the story. A bit over 2000 words for the night. It's a good strong story that can write itself even when I feel this lousy.

Nearly 4:30 AM. I'm heading for bed.

I have not been well today. That translates to very few words. I've just made 500, which is my absolulte minimum for a day, and I'm about to call it quits.

I hope tomorrow is better...

Monday, December 17, 2001

And thank you to Sheila Viehl for the holiday gift of getting rid of the advertisement at the top of the page!
I was up at 8 AM again today, and stayed up until a bit after noon. Then I napped, got back up at two, decided it wasn't worth it, and went back to bed again for a few hours. The sore throat is getting the better of me, I fear.

I did print out a bunch of copies of the holiday poem to send out. It will be posted on my site on Christmas Eve, or maybe a day or two later. It proved to be prophetic -- it's all about some little teddy bears facing the prospect of a Christmas without snow. And we have not had a single flake in more than a month, while temps have been up in the 50's. They're saying we might finally get some snow on Sunday, but I'm not holding my breath.

As you can tell, I'm far behind on anything holiday related. I did get some decorations up and surprised Russ. We do not have a tree, and I'm not sure if we'll get one this year. But over all, it's not that bad. Things have apparently finally calmed down.

I will get to writing tonight. First I'm going to do some web work and maybe a little more work on Vision. I did some more notes on Blood of the Clan last night and this morning, and I have to say that this way of writing out ideas is working pretty well for me. I'm going to the store and buying more note cards and stuff. I'll write longer passages on my Visor, but working with notes on it has always given me some problems afterwards, since it's so hard to move them around.

Or it might just be that I needed a little change.

Time to get to work!

Russ is home! Yay! We talked for a little bit and I showed him the emails of my good news. He said he suspected there was something like this because I was in such a good mood on the phone when we talked. (grin) He was very tired and went to bed soon afterwards, and I came back here to write.

This was not a great writing day, but I have made my 1000 words, and Blood of the Clan is starting to move a little better now. I doubt it will go much farther tonight, but I'm glad to have gotten past that feeling of being stuck that I had there for a few hours. I knew what I wanted to write, I just couldn't sit down and do it!

I'm only going to write a few hundred more words and then I'll head into bed!

Sunday, December 16, 2001

Well, kitten stompers.

I am having a horrible time just settling in and writing today. And now I'm tired! It's rather funny after my note of this afternoon.

The trouble hasn't been that I don't want to write today. I really would like to have another good day. But I did have real life things to get done. Russ will be home tonight, and you know... I like to have the place a little neat! And I did more notes on the new story that, if you didn't see in the two other places posted, is already sold.

And I'm really having a good time with it, too. It's Blood of the Clan and based in a gaming universe. I've never seriously written for something like this before.

I'm also trying to get at least 500 words done on While the Gods Sleep so that I can get it done and out of the way before the end of the year.

You know something a little worrisome? Even with these two pieces and another I'm thinking about writing, I fear that I'm going to run out of stories to write before the end of the year. This would bring me up against two problems: (1)I have not missed a single day of writing in about two decades, and (2) I always finish everything by the end of the year. So... I would have to come up with things to write that are short enough that they don't run over. In case you haven't noticed, short isn't one of my best traits...

Turning it off...

That's my problem. I can't turn it off. I almost constantly think about writing. So much so that it's hard to get any sleep. I catch a few hours here and there, and if I'm lucky, I get a couple nights a week of six or seven hours.

But the last thing I think about when I'm going to sleep is the story(s) I'm currently working on. They keep me awake far longer than they should. I am glad I now have the Visor and can take occasional notes in bed because prior to this I often either got back up or I would try to memorize everything for the next day. The stories often invade my dreams as well, though rarely to give any help. If I'm stuck at a scene I try to se the idea up in my mind before I go to sleep. Sometimes I dream my way through them, but most often it's with help that I can't use. (How did the elves get into my SF universe, and what makes them think turning Idela into a toad is going to help anyway? She'll just be a very ambitious toad...)

The stories are almost always the first thing in my mind when I wake up. I come in and I sit down at the computer. I check to see if there is work that I absolutely have to do, and if there isn't... it's back to work on writing. Oh, I may be in chat, but the story is open.

Leaving the house doesn't help. I take the Visor, and even if I don't work on stories, Russ and I often discuss them. We discuss his work and my stories at dinner.

In other words, writing isn't something that I do when I have some free time and there's nothing on TV. With the exception of West Wing, I rarely watch TV at all. My reading habits have gotten very bad the last two years, and I need to change that part of my life. I should spend more time on house related things -- and after all, I could still think about writing while I'm sweeping and doing the dishes.

I could spend more time doing things at Forward Motion, too.

But... but...

I like my life. I like having stories that tumble over each other in their attempts to get down on the screen/paper. I like that I can write (like yesterday) 9,000 words and wish I had more time because there are so many more waiting, queued up to hit the screen as fast as my little fingers can type.

Oh, there are plenty of days when they fight me. Today is one of those. I need to finish a story by the end of the year for my own goals, and this one has been fighting me since June. It is not going to be the huge sweeping saga I originally saw. I'll be happy with a short story that does something. I'll look at it as character development for something longer, if I ever get the feel for it. But I will finish it.

The other story is going much better, but I'm holding it out like a carrot. Get something done on While the Gods Sleep and then I can work on The Blood of the Clan.

I should go and do a little house cleaning before Russ gets home tonight.

Later. I am going to get 500 words on While the Gods Sleep.

Starting count: 2567
I wrote some more and I've been going back and cleaning up the first part of the story, though I still don't have names for the main characters. I might do some work on that right now, in fact. The story is up to 1747 words. I also put up some holiday decorations and then napped. I have an ear ache/sore throat and it's rather put me in a bad mood.

I am going to try to get to 2000 words tonight and then maybe go back to bed...

Saturday, December 15, 2001

Well... I hadn't intended to write more, but there I was in Forward Motion Chat, and Holly says she's up for an hour-long writing war...

So I now have 1333 words on a new story, so far called The Blood of the Clan. It's VERY rough, and I'm going to back through it and see what I can do to fix some of the story line.

But now I am going to go do some house things, and put up decorations, and just generally have fun.

And then I'll come back and write some more.

So what do I work on now?

This ending is proving harder than I thought... I've only done a couple hundred words in the last half hour...

I am down to the last few paragraphs. Finally! Yes! I will have this one done by the next hour mark, if not a lot sooner!

I am on the last chapter. But I am going to eat lunch first. There's not much more to write, and I'm feeling much better about it now. But I would like a little food so the headache stuff doesn't grow too bad on me again.

I hope to make it to 70,000 after all. I had thought it wouldn't go much past 60,000 a couple days ago. Now that I'm this close, I want to see it make it that far.

It won't be long now!

I was slowed by a couple things. The spot in the story, which needed a little thought, and a download of some Cowboy Bebop music that Russ forwarded to me.

But now I am into the final battle, and in fact to the last desperate step by the mc. I doubt there's more than 2000 words, and probably less, to finish this part out.

And then just a final very short chapter where a last decision is made.


I am up to the final battle. I just read my notes, and I can see that this is going to go quickly. Good. I'll be done soon!

And I've already written nearly 3,000 words this morning. Obviously the story was ready to be finished.


Not bad for about an hour's work. But it does mean there is more than 3000 words to go because I'm not yet finished with the chapter I was working on, and there's one good sized chapter and another shorter one to go.

I'm going to take just a short break here, pick up a little bit in the room, find a sweater or something, and then leap back into work. I will have this done soon!

Well, so this is morning... I can't say I'm much impressed.

A combination of medications and a massive headache sent me to bed way too early last night -- just a few minutes after my last post. So now I'm up at barely 9AM! It's a gray, windy day. It might snow tonight, but it's already nearly 40f out. My cats are weirded out by me being up this early. Even the gray and white stray came up to the window and stared in shock.

I have an ear ache/sore throat that will probably make me miserable for most of the day, but I don't care. I am going to finish this book.

Paid in Gold and Blood has maybe 3000 words to go. I can do this.

Starting count: 63,328

I don't think I'm going to be done tonight. My head is still pounding a bit, and I think I'm going to go to bed 'early' for a change. I'm working to the end of this chapter -- just a few hundred more words -- and I'll see how I feel then.

I would really like to have this one done, but if it takes me another day, oh well. I have to stop pushing when it's not necessary.
Why does it seem that I just can't get moving tonight! ARGH!

All right. I will get to work on this now, and no more messing around.



Friday, December 14, 2001

I had some other things to get done after all. I'm only up to 62,134. Time to buckle down and work!
There. I edited a piece for Vision and I did as much other work as I can stand. Time to start writing finally!

Starting count is 61,611 (No writing elves got i and added to it since the last time I looked. Drat.)
Well, it's a good day anyway!

I did manage to get the server to upload two different web sites, but now it's stuck again. I have one more to go after this, but I don't think I'm going to make it. Gee, that's too bad. I guess I'll have to write instead.

I have what feels like the worse cold coming on that I ever remember. My chest hurts, and I haven't even started sneezing or coughing yet. My head is in that woozy stage where looking around too fast makes me dizzy. I can tell this is just going to be a lot of fun.

But... I am almost done with the novel and I'm looking forward to working on the new piece. Or one of the old pieces. I hope I can get to it soon!


3019 words for the day.

I will have this done tomorrow. Later today, actually. After I get some sleep!

I am really happy about how things have gone today. And on that note... some sleep! Be back later tonight. Probably after six. I want to get some other things done around the house tonight.

(happy zette...)
And now I have been writing.


I'm going for about 500 more, I think. Then sleep!

I have been... not writing. I have the opportunity to write something really kind of neat (yes, for money), and I spent most of the night thinking out my initial idea. I can't say more, and chances are that what I come up with might not be suitable, but I'm going to give it a try.

I am all the way to 59,297 on Paid in Gold an Blood. 300 more words and I'll be up to 1000. I think I'll do that right now before I go any farther on the other thing.

I'm really kind of tired tonight, too!

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Once again my main journal is down. We have the world's most touchy server, and I know it's annoyed that Russ has gone off to New York and left in the hands of infidels. It goes down every time he leaves town. It's amazing. It's made me believe that computers (especially those connected to the Internet) are far more sentient than we believe. And they obviously read our email or else they wouldn't know Russ is a few thousand miles away now.

I've been working on all kinds of useless stuff today. Now it's time to write again. My main character is still exhausted. I'm a bit more awake now.

Starting count: 58,592

(I will make it to 60,000 at the very least!)
Life and art are too much alike. My main character is exhausted, and I'm so tired that I'm having trouble writing it out. Just a few hundred more words to the end of this chapter, and then I'm going to get some sleep!

I'd like to play more with the design of this blog, and maybe even get the comments part to work... but every time I try that, something messes up. We'll see if I can figure it out this weekend.

But right now... Don't expect to see me before sunset.

Well, about an hour of messing around on line waiting for Russ to get back from his meeting. He's running way late again. I should just open up the WIP and get to work on it... hold on. I bet that's him! Dog going nuts!
Just playing around this morning. I'm up way too early, but Russ will be leaving for New York in a few minutes, and I'd like to see him off. He's at a meeting right now, but he'll come back past here and throw a few things together, then head to Omaha to catch his plane.

I don't see many mornings any more. Sometimes I stay up this late, but I rarely get up, unless I might be going somewhere. I have never been fond of mornings. Most of it was because I had to go to school, and I hated it. Not school so much as just the people there. We moved quite a bit when I was younger, and that made me the perpetual outsider. When we finally stopped moving, it was a a time of such great family stress that I hated everything, everywhere.

So now I just associate mornings with stress, I think. And work -- had to get up early to go to work, which was also not my favorite thing.

I have a good life now. I could even get to like an occasional morning...
58,592 is the final count for the night.

I could probably go on a little more, but I really do want to get some sleep. And I'm at a point that should be fun to write tomorrow. (Though not fun for the character, of course. Isn't that the way these things always go?)

But I am nearly done with it all. I'm pleased. And worried. I still have one major bit of work to finish off this year, but it's going to be much harder to write. Ah well. It'll be a good ending to the year.

And now... sleep!

That's gone far quicker than I expected it too, especially since this is sort of little transition scene that I couldn't quite focus on. Not until I started putting down the words before me, and I could see the trees where Katashan is sitting, and feel how utterly, mind-numblingly tired he is. How the world moves in odd ways as he slips down and puts the tree at his back. How he closes his eyes and slips away, and comes back again with others gathering around him.

I was only going to go for 1000 words. I might end up doing more after all.

Okay. I ended up doing all kinds of things at the Forward Motion site, and now I really need to get some writing done!

Starting count is 57,217. I've written a few hundred but not nearly enough!
So, I have not actually done any writing yet. I better get to that now! But it was fun working with this stuff tonight. Just what I needed for a change. I suspect I'll be back to a 1000 word day, though. Oh well. Time to work!
Let's see... again...and again...
That worked. Let's try this one... (Just to see how far I can go before I screw it up again...)
I'm sure I've messed this up again, but this is a test...

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

And it's another day!

Russ is back home -- well, not exactly home but he is in town. The cats have chewed through the power supply cord to the phone, which is making for an interesting evening. Other than all that... life isn't too bad. I have yet to write. I've been doing odd web page things first, and preparing to go out with Russ tonight. Tomorrow he leaves for four days in New York, so we need to make certain that everything is handled here.

There is still no snow, although the temperature has dropped considerably over the last two days. I suspect that we might not see any before this weekend. Which is fine.
57,217 is my final count for the night. If the story contines at the rate of 500 words to each note card of material, I've got about 7,500 to 8,000 more to go. I suspect that it won't go quite that well, but I see another 5-6,000 at least. Maybe I'll have this done within the next 24 hours. Hard to say, though probably not. Russ will be home tonight, and we'll have only a few hours together before he leaves for New York. I'm sure I'll be done before the weekend is out at the worst.

Unless I get side tracked by another story. That's not impossible, though I'm fighting the urge off!

There is so much I want to write. Good thing the new year is almost upon us, and I'll have good use for those ideas!

But right now... a few hours sleep!

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

I came back and wrote more. I'm up to 55,847 now. I think it's starting to flow, but for the moment I'm going to take another break. I need to think out this scene in another dimension, more or less. and I think I'll have the best luck considering that in a nice, warm bath. (grin)

Be back sometime tonight, I'm sure!

Okay, that's it for a little while. I need to find some food and think about the next step. I have the notes, but I want to do it right!


It's moving along, though it does seem to be slow again! I don't know why I can't fly with this story. I have it all mapped out!

Ah well, I shouldn't complain. I have nearly 2000 words done, and it's way early for me.

Huh. Maybe that's the problem. I rarely start writing before midnight. Maybe I just don't have the brain kicked in for it yet!

I'm going for the next 300 words, and then a break again!
Okay, back to work. Russ unexpectedly had to go out of town tonight, so I might as well have something to keep me busy. Writing for awhile, and then maybe some picture work.

I have ideas for stories. I have ideas for lots of things. But I'm forcing myself to finish this first.

Off I go again!
53,649. That's a bit over 1000 and time for me to stop for a while. I need a break, and the story needs a rest.

I will probably be back at it later, though. I feel that lure of having the ending now firmly in mind, and I want to push for it.
So far I've written about 400 words, which isn't too bad, although it seems to be very slow.

This should be a moment of high conflict in the story. It's not. The feeling just isn't there, even though the mechanics of the scene is right. I can't tell if I'm just not inspired and need to rethink the entire scene, or if I'm just tired (about three hours sleep), and it will look better later. It may also just be a need to spice up the words some, and that will come in the revision.

So, I guess the best I can do is move on with it. Like all first drafts for me, I won't know if it's working until the rewrite.
I am up early. I have people coming to clean the house -- every other Tuesday, but I won't see them again until a week or two after New Years because the holidays fall on Tuesdays. Yes, part of it is laziness, but also because I have bad back problems and can't do anything that requires heavy lifting, or downward pressure -- like scrubbing floors, bathtubs, etc. This works quite well.

Last night I wrote out notes for the entire rest of Paid in Gold and Blood. I expect to have it done by the end of this weekend, if not a lot sooner. This may be too soon, and I'll be scrambling for things to fill in the rest of the month, but over all I'm happy to have everything finally line up.

So now I'm going to go do some writing. I don't know how much I'll get done today!

Monday, December 10, 2001

So the computer died and took the opening to the new chapter with it...

Ah well. I know I can get it rewritten anyway, but it was annoying.

I'm about 300 words short of 1000 now.
Hi there. Yesterday I went off to the zoo and had a great time. Today I picked up the house, worried over yet another sick cat, and did some writing. It's still early, and I've managed about 500 words so far.

I am working on my schedule for next year. Not easy, but I have a few weeks to think it out. And I'm doing work on Vision already -- yay! Most of the material is in, and I'm having a great time with it. Our second year of publication!

Time to get to work...

Sunday, December 09, 2001

There. 1034 words done. I don't think I'll do any more on it tonight. I want to look over some other work, and just relax a bit. We might go somewhere tomorrow. That would be nice, too.

But right now I'm going to go read some stuff and do some editing, and generally just relax and not get caught up in anything.

And think about the next story. Isn't that the way it always is with me?
I went to bed and slept for hours, then got up and worked on web stuff for hours. but now I've managed about 770 words on Paid in Gold and Blood, so I will make my 1000 before I go to bed.

Holly's current Forward Motion question is why do you write. I've started to answer a couple dozen times now. Odd how such a simple question, and one so central to my life, is turning out to be so hard to answer.

I do have an idea for the first work of 2002.

I guess I better work a bit harder on finishing up 2001, huh?

Saturday, December 08, 2001

This is the last change, and then I'm leaving it for awhile. I am really tired today!
I think I had better leave this alone for awhile. My head and I are not agreeing, and working on something like this is not the wisest thing I could be doing right now. Of course writing is sort of out as well.

I did get something off in the mail today. Years ago, I would give myself 'word count bonus' for doing that. But then, that was back in the dark ages when I might actually miss a whole day without writing.

I really shouldn't be messing with this stuff, but I have a headache and I can't see any reason to do anything else right now.
Changing things...
I cannot get comments to work on this one for some reason, and I'm not up to messing with it right now.
Test #2
Testing out the comments... I hope.
Ah, 49,889 words. Just over the 1000 I wanted. But I am going to try for 50,000. It shouldn't take me too long to do it. I hope! But the way I've been going... I don't know.
Word count 49, 335 (starting count was 48,840)

I'm working on Paid in Gold and Blood tonight. It's moving ahead a little. I've just finished the first 500 words for the night, and I am really tempted to stop here and go on to something else. I'm not really falling into the story as well as I would like to, and I'm tired. Not a good combination.

Ah, and I still have the pdf version of the city agenda to do, and one more bit of work for Estand. Both of those could wait until tomorrow.

This has been a very... calm month, as far as writing goes. No bursts of creativity, but no moments of 'what next!' either. I think that's what I wanted out of this month, but now that I have it, I'm finding it hard to keep my interest up. I obviously do better with some writing stress applied.

But I guess I'll live with this for a month.

Friday, December 07, 2001

Let's check this one...
Doing a little test here to change some colors...

Okay, I have some serious work to get done today. Unfortunatley, it isn't on writing. Two agendas, a pdf version of one of them (somwhere around 70 pages), and the newspaper site to do.

Speaking of PDF, last night I told Russ that I might offer a PDF version of some of my stories, just for fun. We'll see. It's not like I really need to find things to do besides really writing...

Or maybe I do.

Don't you hate it when I start thinking?


7714 words total. It's done and out of the way, and I can move on.

Tomorrow. Later today. Whatever.

7405 and very nearly done with the story!

Good thing, because i'm running out of energy!

I found the ending that will tie this story up. Not a great story, but very nearly done. And, with only 95 words to go to novelette, I suspect I shoudl stop calling it 'short' now.

We'll see how it goes from here.


Thursday, December 06, 2001

I'm back. I'm winding my way down to the end of this sotry at a little over 6000 words. Not too bad.

Somewhere in the last couple days I seem to have reawakened my muse again. That's good, too. At least for as long as she sticks around. With luck I'll be able to get the rest of this year done.

I had a long discussion with Russ about what I want to do in the future. He's still convinced that epublishing is on the verge of taking off, and that it's better to be in the forfront, before the big names start crowding in, than to be a latercomer and trying to find a place. It was good to hear some of what I'd been saying for the last couple years repeated to me.

Time to get back to work...
5900 words even at this point. A little after 6pm. That's over my 500 words, too. (grin)

Russ is home. He's brought Kincaid from the kitty doctor where he went to have his asthma shot this morning. It's funny because he gets so put out about having to go, and he feels so much better when he gets back that he is actually in a mood to tell you how annoyed he is.

Silly cats.

As soon as Russ is ready we're going to go off for food and some shopping. Out of various kinds of kitty foods, and that's dangerous in this place.

I am writing early tonight. I do have some few web things to get finished, but I'm trying to set myself up for next year and a change I'd like to try again. I want to write at least 500 words (half my daily minimum), before I go to work on other computer things.

So, I have At the End of the Map up. Starting count is 5348. This is turning out to be a boring story, but a good character study. I think I'll use the two main characters again somewhere else. They're typical fantasy characters -- male cousins who grew up together on the streets, one a musician and one a thief. I wonder if I couldn't work that into something unusual with them that takes them out of the usual pack of fantasy characters.

Not right now, though. Right now I just want to get this story done and I think I can see the ending coming up fairly soon now.

It's 6am my time. I've been working on odd things tonight. I'm actually closer to the end of At the End of the Map, and it's going well enough. But I took the time to write my intro to the upcoming issue of Vision. I also edited my piece on setting goals. And I read all of Paid in Gold and Blood so I can get a feel for it.

I've written almost 2000 words on the short story alone, so I suppose I can call it a day soon.

All in all, it went better than I expected it to.
I'm still working on At the End of the Map. I managed a bit over 1000 words today, and it's taken a turn that might help make it slightly more interesting. At least I think I can see the end now, just about. Hey, this one might even manage to stay a short story again.

I've been reading the unfinished novel and trying to get back into it, too.

But I think, right now, I need a break!

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

3627 words on At the End of the Map. I should point out that they haven't reached that end of the map yet. I don't know how it is that I can drag things out like this.

But that is 1000 words for today.

I also opened a novel Differential Equations that I'm editing to go out in the Delacorte contest. Has to be out by the end of this month. It's really virtually done. I just never liked the opening lines, and last night I finally came up with a simple fix. I might have it out in the mail by this weekend.

This might be it for me tonight. Or I might go in and work some more on the short story. Right now I'm going to copy some floppy disks to the hard drive again -- my way of taking a break.

Tuesday, December 04, 2001

Okay, I'm really working now. Starting count for At the End of the Map was 2567.

I'm now at 2831. I'm trying for at least 500 on this one (not far away), and if it's still moving, I'll try to finish it.
It's another really foggy night here. Russ is home from the hospital and watching shows. I'm preparing to think about writing. Maybe. I'm sure I'm considering it. I'm just not sure how seriously I'm considering it. In fact, this is almost more writing than I've done all day. The only thing that tops it is the regular journal entry.

I'm sure I've gotten goofy somewhere along the line again. Well, better than the angst stuff of the last couple days.

Actually, I'm not going to go write yet. I need to do one more bit of work yet. So this is a false alarm. You can all go back to your real lives again...

Monday, December 03, 2001

Meant to post here earlier, but I've had a day 'off' more or less. I'm only writing a few hundred words on At the End of the Map.

The server for my main journal is down again. It will probably be back up about the time I go to sleep, so the entry for the second is going to be increasingly late. Oh well. I'm sure we'll all survive it!

Sunday, December 02, 2001

505 words on Paid in Gold and Blood

503 words on While the Gods Sleep

506 words on At the End of the Map

1514 for the day. And that's it for writing. I'm going to work on digital picture stuff for a while!
So here we are in December. I've only written a couple hundred words so far. I've purposely tried to slow down and not race toward the end of the year like I'll never have time to write again after December 31. I've already topped last year's total words by quite a bit. There is no reason to keep pushing.

It looks as though the journal is down again. I'm getting tired of this. I hope Russ figures out what's wrong with the server down there.

Time to go write on Paid In Gold And Blood. Maybe on others, too -- if I can stay awake!

Saturday, December 01, 2001

Yes, I did it. At a little before midnight my time (about an hour ago) I topped 100,000 words for the second month in a row.

My journal server is down though, so I can't update it. Ah well. I'm sure we'll all live through it.

But here we are on the first day of December! Time to start all over again, though I will not be doing another 100,000 month!