Thursday, January 31, 2002

What did I write yesterday? I can't remember, and I can't update my listing until I do.

Brain? What brain?

I remember I was in chat. I know I did quite a few words. I remember I was even happy about it. part of it was for Brother, but I can't figure out what the other might have been.

Oh, hold on. I bet it was some work on Abby!

Yes. There. That's better.

But now I remember there is one other bit of web work that has to be done right now. Isn't it always like that? Ah well. I'm still in a good mood over the story, so it's not all bad.

Well, so far not my best day. I woke up with one of those headaches that makes you sick to your stomach -- where everything smells awful, and the gentle meow of your favorite cat is likely to send you into a frenzy.

And into this headache came a 59 page agenda that I had to get done. It took me a long time, and then I wimpered and crawled off to the bathtub. And that was nice, until people kept calling and hanging up right about the time I had pulled myself up out the tub and gotten to the robe.
I have gotten no writing done, but then it's early for me. We had a fairly good now today, so Russ is spending the night in Wayne. My hope is to actually finish Brothers tonight, though the edge of the headache lingers, and it may be too much work for me tonight. We'll see. I seem to be coming out of it.

I'm thinking good thoughts....
I have had one of those odd, stupid breakthroughs that make you sit back and go, oh duh.

It's for the story, Brothers. It was not moving. I could inch my way forward with a few hundred words, eke out a thousand, and then sweat over it for the next 24 to 48 hours. The problem -- and I kept seeing it, but didn't actually face it -- was that the story wanted to end. Not the overall adventure, which will take the two characters many places in their world, but just this particular part of the adventure where they meet up, join forces to fight against a wrong, and start out away from the city.

Anyone else here read about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser?

The reason it wants to end is because this is not a novel, but a collection of short stories, stupid. It wants to end because it is an adventure in itself, and while there is an over all storyline to follow, it is not necessary to take it every single step of the way.

I think I can finally get it through a touching scene at a cemetery and an unwanted reunion on the road. And then it will be done. Duh.

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Today's mail brought two absolutely beautiful Folio Edition books. The first of the sixteen or so volumes of the History of England seires, and The Babylonians, which is the second of four books I have out of that particular set. The other is The Persians. I still have The Egyptians and the Hittites to buy, but at $50+ each, it's not something I leap out and grab on a whim. It took me a long time to decide to do the History of England set,which is also in the $50+ per book range.

I have learned something important about the Folio Books, of which I now have 20. I can trust them, especially where history is concerned. No, hold it --make that 22. I forgot the one Grant (Nero) and the Maltese Falcon book. Hmmm... might be getting up there with Russ's leatherbound Presidential Library from Easton Press.

Looking around, though, I think I need to redo my shelves in here. I might even do that yet this month, since I'm not going to do any spectacular writing, as far as I can tell. (grin) I may be slowed down by some reading, though. I made the mistake of starting The Babylonians, even knowing it was the type of thing that would take my attention from other work I need to do. Silly person....

Okay, it's 5:30. I should get some writing done first tonight, maybe. Russ worked out of the house today because he had some meetings here in town, but he's gone right now. I suspect he'll be back soon either with dinner, or with news that we should go head for dinner. I'm up for either one at the moment. Does make it difficult to start writing though...

Decisions, decisions.

And still no snow, by the way. We still have a chance of some tonight and tomorrow. I see by the radar that we might actually be right on the edge of a thin band of snow, but nothing yet....
Hello there.

I have spent all night writing an article on an outsider's introduction to Romance.


But you know, I've really enjoyed the work and I like what I've written. I haven't done something like this in quite a while, and I really enjoyed the research and the conversations. But it is obvious I'm not going to get any other material done tonight.

Ah well. Having written this and Would That It Were kind of makes up for the rest of a rather blah month. And hey, I still have a bit more time to write that perfect novel before February, right?

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

And here I am again. I am a little more fired up today, at least. I need to get work done on Vision related things, including an article on Romance. That should be interesting! I'm writing it as an outsider's first view at what it takes to write a romance novel, and I've learned a lot of interesting things. I don't intend to write a romance, by the way. I don't have that sort of inspiration. But I believe in knowing all you can about every kind of book out there, and this was one subject I was woefully uneducated in.

Other than that... a little bit of snow on the ground -- not even enough to cover the ground. And it's cold. It looks as though there is weather south of us, which is unfortunate, since that's where Russ is. I'm not sure if he's coming home or not tonight. Well, we'll see.

And now, off to do some work on something, somewhere...

There, that's better. I have that section of Abby done. In the end, I cut a good amount of the confrontation between Goddess and her son. The previous version was horribly melodramatic. This is just painfully melodramatic now.

I just read through the next section. There's some good material to work with there. But it's nearly 6am, and I think I'm about ready for some sleep again...

An odd night. 1000 written on Hunter, but then I spent a lot of time getting a story printed and ready to go out. Would That It Were will be in the mail tomorrow. Now I'm working on Abby, but not getting terribly far on this little section. It's the last of the 'intro' part of the novel. I'd like to get it out of the way, but I don't want to mess it up, either. I don't think I have more than 1000 words left to go on it...

Okay, back to writing.

The writing is going slowly. Not a surprise. I'm getting some work done on The Hunter and the Hunted, and I think I'll have the final rewrite of Would That It Were done and ready to go. I hope to have it printed and in Russ's hands in the morning. I'm running behind on my dare stuff. And I keep forgetting to post it, which is entirely not like me at all.

I think my brain is still on vacation.

Monday, January 28, 2002

Well, I still haven't gotten much done. This is not going to be a 3000 word night. I am nearly done with another rewrite of Would That It Were though. I cut quite a bit off the opening, added something funny at the end, and cleaned it up a bit. I was going to print it off and get it ready to go out in the morning, but having changed so much, I think it best to let it sit for another day.

So now it's printing out and I'm going to go do some real writing again. I actually wrote out quite a bit while in the tub tonight, so all I have to do is get it typed in. I can get that much done, at least.

I do wonder where all my energy has gone.
I have not yet gotten any real work done. Instead, I watched a movie with Russ, something he bought because he'd seen most of it once, and thought it was wonderful. He knew I'd love it.

The movie is called Paulie, and it's about a far too intelligent parrot and his quest to get back to the Marie, the little girl who had been his friends. In the end, it is a wonderful quest story about love, over coming fear, and perseverance. And maybe about acceptance, as well.

Now I have to go face my writing with this wonderful story in my brain, and all of my stuff is going to look dull and unimaginative after the movie.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

What started as a pretty good day, turned bad after lunch when I had a reaction to something, and ended up in bed for the next several hours. I still feel ill, but not nearly as bad. I'd still be in bed, but I can't do that because of my back problems. Sometimes there is just no hope.

I need to get some writing done anyway.
I've done well on writing tonight. A thousand here, a thousand there -- and about another 1000 to finish a very short story that really isn't good, but it is just about done. I need the closing line, that's all...

Okay, did that. Done. Now, at 5:30 in the morning, it is time to get some sleep!

It's been a good day, over all. The only thing I didn't work on was Abby!
Okay, here I am. I've gotten a ton of web work done today. I think I can finally get to writing. I would like to fly with something for awhile, but none of my work is really lining up that way. Brothers is the first thing up. I've managed about 300 words on it while doing other work.Hunter should move a bit, I think. Abby might actually do well.

And I have the short piece I started while on the trip yesterday. Need to upload that to the comp right now.

Saturday, January 26, 2002

I am up. I'm moving. Really. I've updated my journal, which is really uploading now, and next I need to get to work on the agenda, the newspaper, the library we sites. Then... write.

I'm stiff and sore today from sitting oddly, and nodding off to sleep a couple times on the way home. Sore shoulders and neck.

I have not yet uploaded the material from my Visor -- probably just afraid to find out that it's not uploading properly again.

By the way, it's 68 out right now! That is absolutely amazing! We are expecting snow in a couple days, though. But the great thing is that when it snows this late in the season, you know it's only going to be around for a month or so at the most. Unlike a heavy snow in October that doesn't go away again until March or April.

Time to get to work on things!
Oh, and I did do some writing. I don't know how much yet -- still have to download the Visor. But it went really well!

burning cdrom versions of the Agenda. I hate wasting the disks like that, but Russ says he needs a couple for tomorrow. Ah well.

Sleep. Must sleep.
Got back from a trip that took from 7am till 1am the next morning -- no break except for food and a couple hours at a book store [while husband was at a meeting] and then back into the car and head home again. And did that on only an hour of sleep the night before. Unfortunately, I came home to find out that I had to put together a 105 page agenda for the city council meeting on Monday and get it off to everyone BEFORE I could get to bed... so I'm just getting the last of that done, and then I'm crawling off to bed for the rest of the night, and probably most of tomorrow as well. Didn't do a lot of photography -- just some dawn shots that I hope turn out well. But it was a nice ride. We talked about the new YA quite a bit, and I think I've begun to define the characters a little better, and see what it is they are trying to accomplish, how they find the answers, and what menace is trying to stop them. I'll have to do a little bit more research, but I look forward to it.

By tomorrow the web sites should be uploading again. Joy. LOTS more work.

But I had a nice day!

Friday, January 25, 2002

Well, I got about an hour's sleep. No, that's not good. But it's not a great tragedy either. I'll just sleep at some point during the ride. We'll be leaving soon!

Oh, I know it's not a huge big deal, but it's the first chance I've had to get out for ages. And there should be snow to the north of us, though there's no guarantee. I'm hoping to find a Barnes & Noble or a Borders somewhere along the path to Russ's meeting where he can just drop me for a couple hours. I was thinking about going to Mall of America -- but really, that seems like so MUCH. We'll see. It's not going to be a very long trip, after all.

I'm pretty much packed up and ready to go.

While I'm here, a few words on Lord of the Rings.

I've never read the books. I tried The Hobbit and didn't get into it -- though people tell me now that The Hobbit is entirely different from the other work. I might give it a try.

We saw LOTR last night. Russell's term for it was frentic. Excellent movie, enjoyable to watch, and certainly didn't feel like three hours.

I am left with an impression of ... images as being the most important part of LOTR. Not that the plot or the characters are lacking, but that the image of what you saw being more important than any other single piece. I am a character driven reader/writer, and I found myself overwhelmed with the images that I took away from that movie. I cannot quote a single line from it. I have no trouble remembering faces, but I can see the images of the different places far more clearly.

It's, for me, a very interesting change. I suspect that the movie closely reflects the book in that respect as well. I may at some point find out.

And now I'm off on my own adventure...
Now FrontPage won't upload.

I think there's some sort of pattern here, and it all points to driving Zette mad.

I'm heading off on an adventure tomorrow. Just a little one -- a nice LONG ride up to Minneapolis, where Russ has a meeting, and then a LONG ride back home. Five hours each way. I will have the Visor and keyboard with me. And the digital camera, of course. A few things to read.

All in all, I'm looking forward to it. I'd be even happier if my computer was working properly right now and I could get a bunch of work done, but I'm not going to get overly worked up about it.

I'm not sure if I'll post any more tonight. I want to write a few hundred more words and then try to get some sleep.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

The Visor hot sync is now working. Life an return to normal.


I have the stuff for Abby sitting out here right in front of me. It really wouldn't take much to finish the chapter. Really, it wouldn't. And then a little work on Brother, maybe. And Hunter. And then notes on Time. And more pictures. Oh, and there are a couple web page things sitting here I could get to.


Oh, I guess I'll go do my journal entry instead. There, that gets me out of any sort of work at all.
I can't decide if it's early or late. I do know I haven't done a single thing so far today except try to figure out why my Visor won't hotsync. It wouldn't be really important except that I may be out of town on Friday (Yes, really!) and I will have the Visor and keyboard with me to do my writing. Ah well. I can always retype it reading from the screen. I've done that before anyway.

It's just an annoyance. A distraction, and probably one that I was looking for since I've let it take so much of my time.

I will get some writing done here soon, though.

On the other hand, I'm still sorting through disks of pictures from our great vacation in 1999. What a beautiful trip! The places were beautiful, the sunsets spectacular, and everything fascinating. Russ has suggested that I take one of those Tourist trips to the area, and I might do it. I love the area. I'd probably live in the Four Corners area, if I could.

And did write a book set in that area last year. I should have looked through these pictures before I did it, through. The area seems far more alive to me again. Even as touristy as Taos is, I loved it.

Ah well. Time to get to work on other things, right?

Or maybe I'll do another disk of pictures first....
I finally realized what I didn't like about The Game of Time. It was the fact that there was no reason to it. An arbitrary game with these kids thrown into it for no reason, and what do they get for all the work? So I've changed the base premise of how this game was set in motion. Same set of people -- the Egyptian Goddess and Ptolemy I, but different circumstances. He had taken the board from her temple, and that caused problems. The board is a link to time, the pieces are important moments in history. The pieces, now out of the Goddesses control, tend to gravitate toward their moment in history, and also to disrupt it with possibilities.

For instance -- in one well-known modern day moment in history -- some of the people who were present when JFK was assassinated said they heard multiple shots from different directions. If they heard anything, it was likely echoes. But for story purposes, what if it was other possibilities, including Lee Harvey Oswald being shot before he kills the president?

That's a relatively easy one. You know how history is supposed to go, even if you don't like it. What about events that are just as important, but less well known? How does my group make up their minds on what should be done? They might change history, and only realize it later. Could they fix it again? I don't know.

But there are interesting possibilities for the story.

I'm also cutting one of the characters out since I'll no longer need him as a guide into the game.

I suspect I'll be starting this one pretty soon, finally.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Feeling better tonight. I slept through part of the afternoon and I think that helped. Amazingly, I could go right back to bed now. That doesn't seem like a good idea at the moment.

I will get some writing done tonight. I've been just a bit off. And because I've been ill, my emotional reaction to things has been way over the top. Not good. I really hope that I can get everything back in line again.

I found a little pamphlet in my collection that I'd forgotten I'd bought a couple years ago. It's a small book called Checking on Culture: A Checklist for Culture Building by Lee Killough. She even signed it for me. It's an interesting little book, and I'm going to sit down with it and work out some background for a novel that I felt wasn't exotic enough when I was done with it. This might just be what I need.

But not right now. Right now I'm going back to work on the regular stuff.
I'm back up, but only because I have to be. Don't expect any great amount of words out of me today. I'd rather just be back in bed. At least I slept for a few hours. Now I'm going to write for a bit.
I can't sleep. I can't even rest well for more than a few minutes.

I hate this. If I lie down, my head starts pounding worse. If I'm up, I'm sick.

I'm trying pineapple juice, which for some reason I find soothing. Ack. Just ack.
I've come to realize that I am very ill. I've been trying to pick up the house and I keep having to sit back down every few minutes. Tea has made me sick to my stomach. My head is pounding.

I should have seen this coming when I continued to have trouble writing. I'm going to go back to bed and hope that it clears up over the next few hours. I might get lucky.
There it is. I had trouble getting here, for some reason!

I went to bed about 10:30PM with the hope that I would sleep through the night. No such luck, of course.

I am having computer/Internet posting problems, too. I hope it doesn't keep up for long. I'm not sure what to load/reload this time....

Monday, January 21, 2002

Problems, problems, problems.

None of the stories are exactly going together well. It's more attitude than anything today, and I'm probably going to call it quits at 500 words.

Waiting for Russ to come home. I don't know that he plans to, but I'm waiting.

I should be writing. I should be doing anything but just sitting here staring at the screen. I hate nights like this. Headache growing again, annoyed at everything and computer is acting oddly. I can't get my Visor to sync at all, and I need to go pick up the house before the cleaning people come tomorrow.

Not my favorite day...

Okay, so it's getting later. I've written a little bit over 100 words. Am I worried?

Nah. I think, more than anything, I'm just annoyed that I can't get to my new story yet today, and that's not all bad either. I can stand to work on the outline and background for quite a bit longer. I know I rush into writing something too soon quite often.

But I also know that if I work on it too long without writing, I lose interest. Or if I make myself wait so that it will fit into a certain date pattern, I lose interest as well. Not good, but that's just the way I work.

Time to get back and see if I can do another 100 words....
I have worked with this log so that it looks better when it pops into my the side of my journal pages . (Don't click if you're already there -- frames within frames, within frames...) I think this is much better. And cleaner, too.

And no, I'm not writing.
We had company tonight. I didn't need company tonight. I needed a night where I could attack the new story. Ah well. Now I have to work at getting 1000 done on the other stuff, and leave the new one for another day. I don't want to go into it without the right feeling. So, it's back to the terrible trio... (grin)

Sunday, January 20, 2002

So, I suddenly realized that if I had a Game of Time, I had to have someone who set the game in motion. I did a search on the Internet for Goddess and History. Almost immediately I stumbled across a little page about Seshat. .... Where other Gods hold the was-scepter in hand, she bears one of notched palm leaves that terminates at the bottom with a tadpole which rests on the symbol of eternity. The notched palm leaf itself is a large representation of the hieroglyph rnpwt, the tadpole or shen meaning millions of. Together, they convey the message of "millions of years". ... and the fact that Seshat is the minister of Time.

Well, now there's a nice little bit. Perfect, in fact. I wanted to know a bit more about her and went to my own shelves, thinking it was a shame I had never really collected much on Egypt....

Ummm... I went to my shelves pulled down 19 hardbound and oversized paperback books on Egyptian history. I'm not sure where they all came from. I've even found her name in heiroglyphs in Budge's The Dwellers on the Nile. I've learned an alternate (and more Egyptian-like) name, Sefkhet-Aabut, and that she's also known as the Goddes of literature and the library and is closely assoicated with Thoth, the God of wisdom. I think I like this Goddess.

The great thing about this is that I can now have a definite background for the game board as well. I could base it on their senet game, I suppose... three rows/ten squares with five to seven playing pieces. No one knows the rules for senet, and I wouldn't want to use the throwing sticks anway.

OH.... how about a game between Seshat and a god or goddess of the new Ptolemaic rulers....

Greek books. Actually, Hellenic history... or is that Hellenistic? I can never keep them straight. Also not one of my better time periods, but wouldn't that be Athena she'd be playing with? We could go with Kronos, of course... but I'd like someone a little less known.

Hey, I think I found what I want. Ptolemy I, who served with Alexander and founded the kingdom of Ptolemaic Egypt was also a historian. I think that's perfect.

Yes, I am really starting to get into this story... and this part is going to be no more than a couple paragraphs. It's now 4:40am and I have books stacked all over.

I can see a cover for this book: Seshat on one side of the board, Ptolemy I on the other, and between them on the board itself the figures of my characters....

Saturday, January 19, 2002

I slept through most of the afternoon.

However, it wasn't all lost, because when I wasn't sleeping (and sometimes even when I was) I began working out more of the details for The Game of Time. I think I can see some of the details coming through. The question is where to start them out on their first adventure. I've pulled out my Encyclopedia of World History, and I'm half tempted to just open to a page, find something there and begin research on it. I was going to go with something standard like Rome or Greece, but you know... it might be more interesting to find something a little bit more out of the usual.

In some ways I wish I hadn't come up with this so soon. Another few weeks and I could have held off and started it on my birthday in March. I always start something on my birthday. But... I know better than to try and hold on to something like this that long. It may be that the research part takes me that long, but if not...

And I can start the material in the current time frame. My characters are starting to come alive in my head. This is good. Maybe I'll come a bit more alive as well.

500 words on Hunter and Hunted. That wasn't so hard. And now work on Abby.

And my brain is starting to turn back toward The Game of Time, too. I think I'll take a nice bath with the notebook and do up a bunch of little pieces for it. Just as soon as I'm done with Abby for the night. He's about to find out his mother has disappeared, and that leaves him as the lucky person who will be given as a gift to a demon.

The person who intends to give him -- mostly dead -- is going to find out that it's not such a good idea, and he should have checked more into how the mother escaped with all the guards between her and any exit, rather than just assuming she had help....
This is as close as I come to writer's block. I have plenty to write. I have stories all laid out, and notes written up. I do my 1000 words a day, but they are forced out because I just don't feel like it. No angst, no beating the head against the wall because the stories won't come. Just don't feel like working that hard right now. This will last a couple days. Sometimes longer, but I can bet it won't hold on that long this time. I have that new set of books I thought I would start today, but it's not worked that way.

I just noticed that Hunter and Hunted leapt over into novelette size while I wasn't looking. I expected novella though, so I'm not surprised. Abby, on the other hand, has lost quite a bit of the opening in this rewrite. Also all right, though I hope to add some material later on. Poor book see-saws all over the place. It was 120,000+, then I cut it way back to about 80,000. There was a huge section that was just... boring. This time I'll see if I can't expand a couple areas and get it back to at least 100,000.

500 words at a time.

Friday, January 18, 2002

I think I'll take up agoraphobia. Then I'd not have to worry about not getting out. I could hide back here in my office and think how lucky it is that I don't ever have to go farther than the mailbox. I could put up a nice high fence across the back of the yard, and not deal with anything more than that.

Right now it sounds very promising.

And no, I didn't get out of the house, in case you didn't work that out. And yes, there was even more web work to do.

No, I havne't started writing for the day.

Web work, web work.... There is always more web work.

And it gives me a headache. Or maybe everything gives me a headache these days.

Russ was by briefly before his appointment. I think he'll be back soon and maybe we can slip out for a little while in the daylight. (grin) I think I've gotten almost all the web work done. There is still a big agenda, but it can wait until tomorrow, if I like. No use making the headache worse.

I would start writing now, but I think I should wait and see what Russ has to say when he gets home. Soon. I hope.

I did mroe sleeping last night. And woke up before noon -- up and ready to work, I guess. I've done some web stuff already, and a bit of writing.

I only wrote a little over 1000 words yesterday. I hope that today I'll get moving a bit better. I actually feel better. Amazing!

There, the last four Buffy episodes are watched. Interesting show.

Unfortunately, I'm about done in now. I'm going to do some writing, then take the notebook and work up some more material for the new novel. In bed, I think. I felt this headache coming on earlier, and I'd hoped that the shows would actually help it go away. It didn't. Managed to keep me entertained through part of it, though.

I still think writers get headaches so often because they think too much....

Thursday, January 17, 2002

Russ is not coming home tonight. He'll be in town early tomorrow, though. I'm sure he'll have more than enough to get done, but I keep hoping that we'll get out for a few hours of daylight. (grin)

I have begun to suspect that one of my email addresses is down. This would be the main work one, which means nothing much has come in for work today. I did get the Finance Agenda via Russ, but not the attachment that went with it. Nevertheless, I was a good person and made the pdf version of what I had, sent it off and uploaded it all to the Internet. I would much rather have been working on my stories, but I was a good person.

Only now...

I've started doing notes on Game of Time #1 -- Misfits. Three of the main characters are slightly more tangible than ghosts at the moment. I have two others I need to flesh out, so to speak. I have most of the opening laid out in my head. A little build up, then the arrival one more character, an unfortunate accident... and we'll be off and running.

Yes, I think I can do this. But I might just sit down and watch the last four Buffy episodes first. Not because they have anything to do with the story, but only because if I do start running with this, I don't want something stupid like "Oh, I really want to watch those last shows today, so I've done all 12 of them in three days" hanging over my head. I do stupid stuff like that, but at least I know how to minimize the damage. Go watch shows. Yes. I've done a little writing, and I can get the rest of it in a few hours... no hold it. Do the Journal first. Okay. But before that I have to chose a picture. Oh, there was a lovely flower I copied off of a disk today...

Okay, I can do this. Time to get moving.
For the last 12 hours or so a new story idea has been slowly taking over my brain. This is good. This is the way I usually work (as anyone who reads my daily journal knows). I slow down for a few days and then something leaps up and grabs hold of me again. Material I have been working on, unless it's been really powerful, generally get's pushed aside until it takes over my brain again as well. Hunter and Hunted will likely still keep going. So will the rewrite of Abby. Wildwolf Brother, which has already sat for about ten days, is going to take a bit more of a rest, I think. Or I might make myself do a few hundred words on it each day, even still. I should have been doing that from the beginning, but my brain needed a nap from anything difficult. Generally, once it wakes up for one thing, it's good for the others, too.

This one is a YA story, which is also good. I've done three of those so far -- The Good People of Coralville, Differential Equations, and Waiting for the Last Dance. Those have all been contemporary stories, and singles. I think I have an idea for a fantasy series. I need to work out the group of teens that will unwillingly take part in this set of tales.

I'm getting fired up about this one. About time, this late into the month!

I hope it continues to grow. I'm going to be doing notes soon, and then work out the opening.

I think I'm done napping for awhile....
Another long night of not doing much. Four more episodes of Buffy. Don't worry -- there are only four more in this collection, and then I'll be done with them. Of course I do have the four seasons of X-Files on DVD that I could go to next....

I wrote about 1200 words on Hunter and Hunted before I went off to watch the shows. Now I want to do a little work on Abby. In some ways, Buffy is a good thing for me to watch for Aubureyan work. I'm dealing with demons in human form, with fighting evil. I think Aubreyan may need to question more, although he's bitter enough, I suppose about not having much say about his place in all this.

I wonder, sometimes, if I'm just fooling myself into thinking a book like Aubreyan has a chance. I write books that I would like to read, but I find that my tastes are not exactly aligned with what his selling these days. Oh, every now and then I stumble onto something I really like that's popular with others, but too often....

I don't know. I guess the best I can do is work with Abby and see what happens. You never know. At some point I might get it right.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

I have learned that there is a correlation between the amount of time I sleep and whether I'm fired up about writing or not. I'm getting a lot of sleep right now -- far more than I do in any given week. I'd say it's good, but I wake up with a headache and back problems, and I'm lethargic and bad tempered. And I don't want to do anything.

But I get to work anyway. I picked up the printed copy of Playing With Fire and began doing line edits on it while I restarted the computer a couple times, hoping to coax it into allowing me access to Word. It's a good story. I know where it's going, and I need to get it done.

Having a goal helps, of course.

So, the problem becomes a toss up between defining a goal or napping...
Okay, I slapped myself around a little and forced out a bit over 1000 words on Abby. That makes something over 2000 for the day, and that's it. Oh, and about seven pages of line editing on another short story. So not a horrible day, just not a very inspired one.

I must get my mind kicked in.

But I think I'll go sleep first.
4:30 in the morning.

Not an unusual time for me by any means. I've just watched a couple more Buffy episodes. I'd never seen any until a couple days ago. Now I've picked up the first season on DVD. I've seenthe first four. They're fun.

But I should be writing. I should be fired up about my new stories. I should be looking at markets and attacking the new year... and I'm not. I can't decide if this is just a hold over from the flu/cold I've had or not. I've been sleeping a LOT. My energy level is zilch, and even writing a few hundred words is way more difficult than it should be.

I really hate these up and down days where I can't seem to focus. They happen now and then. I know it. This isn't the first time and it won't be the last. It doesn't make the days any more pleasant to live through.

And did I mention the headache is coming back, straight up the right side of my head and into my eye. I've noticed that writers tend more toward headaches than any other group I know. I am beginning to believe that it's because we think too much.

Okay, a little work on Aubreyan. That's the serious novel of the day. The rewrite is going well. I can do this.
My journal won't upload. I don't know why. It's just trying to drive me crazy, I suppose.

I'm just starting my writing tonight. Beginning with Hunter, and then on to Abby and maybe some rewrite work on Playing with Fire. I would like to get that one out this week, if possible.

This is still no answer to how serious I am, but at least I'm working on material again!

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

How serious am I?

That's the real question, when it comes down to it. Do I really want to make that paper print sale? The answer is...maybe.

In short stories, it would be fun. I've never heard of any of the problems with publishing short stories that I've heard with novels. The rewrites, the copyeditors from hell, deadlines and name changes when books don't quite sell fast enough...

I enjoy writing. I'm not as certain I would enjoy it as a 'pro' job. But there's only one way to find out, and that's to keep working on material to try in pro markets. I mean it's not as though once you're there you can never go back again. Unfortunately, I've seen a number of people fall back down the ladder, though none of them willingly so far.

My current novel rewrite for a pro market is Aubreyan. It's definitely in the YA fantasy range. It has a number of sequels, but is good as a stand alone novel. I think it might be close. But then, I've been wrong before... maybe.

It's one of those nights when I would do better just to write something and not really worry about all the rest of this.

Good plan.


Russ came home tonight,which was nice. I hadnt' expected him until tomorrow evening, at the earliest. Good thing, too. We had a nasty wind storm that blew out a porch window and sent glass everywhere. Not my idea of fun.

I've been working on The Hunter and the Hunted tonight. Not much work -- barely 500 words at this point -- but I feel better about it again. I can see a couple twists here, that I'm going to explore in notes. In the tub. Resting.


Sunday, January 13, 2002

You know, it's pretty sad when I find myself looking at the current WIPs and wondering which one of them doesn't require a brain to be engaged while working on it.

There are three pieces -- WildWolf Brother, which is currently still claiming that it will be a novel. The Hunter and the Hunted which will likely be a novella. Aubreyan, the rewrite of a novel, which I hope will grow a bit this time around. Of those three, Abby would require the least number of start-up brain cells, but the most amount of 'think this through before you commit it to electrons' thought afterwards. Or... maybe not. I just realized that I might be at a spot in the novel that I had heavily rewritten the last time, and it's likely I'm just at the 'Hey, I did learn something from that grammar book!' phase with this section.

Good. I can at least get something productive done.

Of course, there's still the pictures files to copy over...

Okay, now I'm finished with the agenda stuff. The last piece is uploading now.

What should I work on? I need to get some writing done, but I don't feel like throwing myself into the more serious work.

It's that kind of day. I don't think I dare try to apply myself to any sort of serious work, not the way I'm feeling. (Better, by the way, but still woozy and uncomfortable.)

What I want to do is maybe just a few hundred words on something, and then work on the picture collection for a while. That's kind of mindless work, copying a disk from one spot to another and renaming all the files from it. Yeah, that sounds kind of nice, in fact. I think I'll do some of that first.

An hour and the work is uploading. I still have the pdf file to do, but I might skip it. This is so late already that it's not going to make much difference.

I pulled up Playing with Fire, a story that's almost 3,000 words over the max for the place I want to send it. It's sat since last October or so, and I think it's time to get it moving again. This isn't going to be hard to get down to the right count -- it's over 12,000 words so there's a lot to work with. The problem is that I'm not feeling well... On the other hand, having this printed out and scratching out words might just be fun on a day like this.

Looks like a band of light snow is working its way south to us. That would be pretty, at least...

Russ if off to -- wherever he's off to this time. I think he'll be back home tomorrow night. I spent most of the day in bed, miserably ill. I'm only up now because I have some web stuff that absolutely has to be done tonight for a meeting tomorrow. It should have been in last Friday, but the email has been goofy.

I can make it through this. And some writing besides -- though I can always take the Visor, keyboard and a lap desk to bed.

Time to work....
I finished Would That It Were. Fun story to write.

I got out to go to dinner tonight, and that was it. At least I got to see part of a sunset and got a nice shot of it.

Russ is not going to St. Louis later today. That's in two weeks. This trip is down to Missouri somewhere. Business trip, of course. He should be back on Monday night, but I'm betting he'll be staying in Wayne that night, so I won't see him until Tuesday night.

We might get some snow. That would be nice, just to get things looking a little different.

Saturday, January 12, 2002

Finally, a story that is moving well and a lot of fun. I'm about 3,400 words into Would That It Were and having a great time with it. I'm going to call it a night now, but I've done more notes and I bet I can get it done tomorrow.

Russ will be leaving for the St. Louis area on Sunday for a few days. Sigh. And next month he'll be off to San Diego. I know he'd much rather be home, and I don't blame him. But at the same time I'm feeling rather trapped again. At least I've finally got my writing kicked back in. But it would be nice to get away for at least a few hours...

Friday, January 11, 2002

I've been working away at web sites for most of the day. They've been arguing with me about such little things like if they're going to post, what parts they will save, etc. So far, I've been winning. I have one bit of web work left to do, late though it is -- which isn't my fault. The email got held up somewhere, and didn't get here until this morning.

I read the book City of Bones by Martha Wells last night. Good book! The worldbuilding was just about perfect, and the place seemed very real to me. There's a lesson to be learned there, I think. I am in the mood for a lesson, too, which helps. Sometimes you can hit me over the head with the obvious, and it will do no good.

Okay, finish the web work. Russ will be home in the next half hour or so, and we'll be off to pick up a few things, and when we get back I think I'll have time to write. Inclincation... well, yes. The new story is fun. I look forward to getting back to it.

Work. I must go do work...
I stared Would That it Were about an hour ago. 1100 words so far... but I am too tired. I'm going to bed.

I will say that this story is fun so far, but it's going to grow far larger than I want.

As usual.

Thursday, January 10, 2002

So, last night I got my first rejection of the year.

And I sold the same story this morning.

Life is odd sometimes...

I did send off the game material last night so Christina can look it over and make specific notes on what she wants change, deleted, expanded, etc. But I finally have a base from which to work, and after a few days of intensive 'what the hell am I doing!' writing, I'm ready to get back to work on other material. I even have a new short story idea!

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

This descriptive writing for the game is far more difficult than I expected. I think I have the approach down, finally. The feel of what the piece should do. I hope today to get all of the first draft done, and then throw myself back into other writing.

Oh, I see that publishing for Blog is momentarily down. I guess that means I have no excuse. I need to go write. No wait! I can clean my office instead!

Actually, I need to pick up in here, so that's not totally out of line. Besides it's still light out.

Copy this to a note to post later...

And now it's later and it looks like Blog is back.

I've discovered that the computer ate part of a different story. I'm working at replacing those words right now, before I go back to the sell text. I found that stepping back from it a bit is helping.

So, back to work...

Hello. I'm going crazy. Fits with the title of this log, doesn't it?

I need to write the sell text for the game. I know what I want to say. I have my notes. I can't seem to hook myself into it.

Time to work...

Monday, January 07, 2002

I am obsessed with this story. That's good, I suppose.

But I took it to bed with me this morning and did another full run of editing on it. Since it has to be 3000 words or less, I noted the number of words with each change. It climbed to 3005 at one point, and dropped to 2987 at another. I felt rich, with 13 words I could play with.

Now I'm typing in those changes, along with a few others. I think this will be it. I'll have Russ read it tonight. He just emailed me to say he's still in Wayne, so it'll be more than an hour before he gets here. Time enough for this final editing. And maybe another one, right? (grin)

Ha. 2998. I am not looking at it again tonight, though that made a great improvement in the opening paragraph, which had really been bothering me.

I have written about 200 words on another piece, so I'm moving along.
I've just spent close to an hour over at Forward Motion setting up the the threads for the current Dare. Now, finally, I'm going to get some real writting done again. Not much. I can tell that already.

But I feel as though I was a 'real' writer tonight. I worked hard.

Huh. Would you believe I went to look at the story, and I fiddled... 3004 words. Can I cut 4 words somewhere, real fast? (grin)

It leapt to 3016 for a little while, but now it's back. And there it sits for the night. I'm off to do other work -- a few hundred words on somthing before I go to bed.

It was good work. I'm happy.
3000 even.

Hmmm.... Should I leave it alone for awhile, or continue through the last little bit? Might as well continue. I suspect it will grow a couple words, because I know something that needs said. Might as well get it out of the way.

I need to write a little tonight, too. And here it is, already after 3am. This is interesting, because the story has had my full attention for nearly ten straight hours just today. It's good for me, the kind of work I need to work at being more professional. But I hope those last 24 words don't take all night...


That's bound to happen when you realize you cut too much somewhere and have to reword something.

Yes, it gets harder when you get down to these numbers.
3094. Can I cut 94 words out of the last nine pages? I don't know. Maybe.

I had better let this sit afterwards, though, and reread it in the morning!

This is exciting, in it's own strange way. And not the first time I've cut a huge story down. I once took one over 40,000 and made a 2,000 word short out of it. And sold it. I think that says something about how badly I over write...

Really, there are tricks. Compression of time, elimination of the less powerful events and scenes, etc. And then (like now) it's down to replacing phrases with single words, making sure you use contractions where you can, and cutting out every little thing you can, without cutting out all the detail.

I'm closer...

I started at the end and I'm working forward this time, since I've redone the opening far more than the ending.

Less than 200 words. I can do this, right?


Kind of funny to watch me with a negative count, isn't it?
I have spent two days doing virtually nothing but edit this short story. I need it down to 3000 words for the guidelines. I've gone from 7820 to 3,311. Almost there.

But it has taken almost all my attention. It's good practice for me. But damn...

Okay, we're at 3,311 words. Can I do this? I'm not sure...

Sunday, January 06, 2002


I'm trying to organize all my notes to get the pages up for the Dare fixtured out so I can get those threads going on Forward Motion. What I would really like to do is take the day off from such things... but they would still be there next time. It's just that there are so many entries to make, and I'm sort of worn out today.

Oh, before I forget. is having a genre contest for women. The deadline is the 15th. I just came across it last night. I'm trying to cut one piece down and see if it will work. If not... well, you can only do one entry. I can write another piece, but I'm sort of lacking in ideas right now.

Odd feeling, that...

Actually, it's that I'm overpowered by the ideas I'm trying to work on right now. Switching gears like this is bothersome.

Okay, go work on the Dare stuff.

Or go ask Russ if he wants to go out and grab food. There's a nice distraction!

I have not gotten much writting done. However, Russ is home now, so things are better!

I think I needed to take a breath and slow down here for a couple days. I think I'm getting the feel of writing back again. I hope so. I'm a miserable person to live with when the stories aren't coming.

Besides, I dont' want to fall behind right away this year!

Off to work...

Saturday, January 05, 2002

Okay, time to get to work. Russ will be home in the next two or three hours, and I'd like to have some writing done before then.

I am snacking on the best (i.e. most spicy hot) jalepeno jack cheese I've ever had. I will have to remember to buy more of this. And make certain I have plenty to drink on hand when I do. Even small bits of it on crackers with summer sausage is almost too hot.

Time to get Runrig started for music and get to work!
Make that 35 in 30 months.

I just found home for the cockroach poem (the end of the world and we know it) at Shadowkeep. Nice way thing to find in my email today!

On a less happy note, material that the city emailed me has taken three days to reach here. And that means I have an important bit of web work to get done right now.
Okay, I should have gone to bed, but I realized I hadn't updated my publication list, neither on my site, nor on my Visor. It was hard to get them both to come out to the right number. But it looks as though I've placed 34 pieces in 30 months. Not all of them are published yet. One was sold and the ezine folded, for which I am really sad. It was the place that had bought my very first sold story -- Jackhammer.

But anyway, 34 in 30 months is not too bad at all. Placed does not always mean for money, but that's only five of them -- two flash fiction, two reprints, and one I just eventually found a nice home for. (grin)

Three novels in that group, but only one up so far. But you know... that's really not too bad of a list.

Okay, I finally got some writing done. Maybe tomorrow will be better. I think sleep is in order now, though.

Russ comes home tomorrow night, too. That's good.

My mind is bouncing around. Obviously time to rest!
I have spent more of the night restarting my computer than I have working. It's quite frustrating, and I think it's about to win. I'm looking at taking the Visor and the keyboard off to the bedroom and doing a little work before I just fall over asleep.

It wouldn't have been such a bad day over all if I just felt as though I could get a few hundred words done on any one story! Well, which me luck. I can't give up, of course....

Friday, January 04, 2002

Headache. Virtually nothing done. Even the web site stuff keeps crashing.

It could be that the two are related, but I'm not sure if the crashes are because of the headache, or the other way around.

Very little writing done, too.

Pretty funny... S.L. Viehl, in her blog, is lamenting the weather which got down to the 40's today.

And I am sitting at 43, absolutely amazed that it got this warm. About half of what little snow we had has melted, and I can go outside without coat, gloves, boots and worrying about freezing my fingers.

I learned last night that Dragonlaugh is going to stop publication. I'm really sorry to see this happen, since it is one of only two genre-related humor ezines that I've found, the other being Planet Relish. I've sold one piece to each of them. Sigh.

I'm a little out of it today, I'm afraid. It's going to take some work to get me back on track after that editing marathon last night. Glad to have it done, though, at least for this round.

Work. right...
And it is off to the editor. That was a lot of work.

But I like it. I hope she does.

My brain is fried though, after 40 pages of edits. I did write earlier, though, so I'm okay. This may be the time to get to bed.
I love writing.

I love when I have a story that just drags me along with it, even in the editing. That's The Blood of the Clan for me tonight. I'm not claiming it's a great story, but it sings for me tonight. I'm very nearly done and ready to send it off to the editor for her thoughts on it. She might not like it at all, in which case I will rework it for another market. But it's working for me...

I'm on page 56 of 66. Almost done!

Thursday, January 03, 2002

You know there is something really wrong in the world when you hear the guy on the radio enthusiastically tell you that the "Temperature is going to soar to 30 today!"

Worse, of course, is to find yourself saying, "Great! Warmth at last!"

It is now about 5:38am. I have gotten pretty much everything I wanted to do out of the way.

1159 words on Wildwolf Brother (new)
1154 Words on Aubreyan (complete rewrite from scratch --and going very well, I think.)
15 pages edited -- Blood of the Clan (and this went very well too!)
515 words on The Hunter and the Hunted (Which went well also!)
Estand updated (web work)
And three disks of pictures copied over for archiving.

I also found out something fun. A page is back up at Ideomancer:

Check it out: Me

Good day, all the way around. And now, some sleep I think!
Okay so far...

1159 words on Wildwolf Brother (new)
1154 Words on Aubreyan (complete rewrite from scratch --and going very well, I think.)
15 pages edited -- Blood of the Clan (and this went very well too!)

That leaves one more thing on my regular list of writing, and a bit of work on one other thing after that.

I do have another project, though, that I need to work in now, since it's a possible sale.
Well. I have written 1159 words on the novel, and edited 15 pages on the short story. So much more I should do tonight, but I'm getting worn down. I hate that.

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

Russ made it home a little bit after the last post. He'd just had one of those days where people had to have material, had to talk to him, had to have answers. He has an important meeting tomorrow, so he also had a number of things he needed to get done as well.

He's not coming home Thursday night, and possibly not the night after that, since he has an early Saturday meeting at work as well. But at least I know!

I forgot to mention that Cricket is at the kitty hospital yet again, with an infection and fever. The vet took an x-ray this time, just to make certain he wasn't missing anything. Nothing showed up. She's staying the night at least -- and maybe far longer if she's not ready to come home first thing in the morning.

We think the problem might be the cat litter, which is too bad because for odor control, it's the best we've ever found. But we are going to try some different ones and see if we can get this cleared up.

I have an incredible headache tonight. I hope that I can get back to work on my writing.
No Russ even yet. It's not unheard of for him to be this late, but it does get worrisome after about 8pm.

I read a few pages of Pascal's Provencial Letters, which are really a lot of fun to read as he takes a part the Jesuits by 'discussing' their policies and beliefs with one of their own. This is not something that I can read quickly, but it is enjoyable.

I'm going to take the story I am editing by hand out to the table and work on it for awhile. And have a bowl of chilli that I made for dinner...

Did I just hear a car door? The dog's not going nuts, so I doubt it.

No it appears not. Well, off to do some writing stuff instead, then.
2177. That is it for this story for the night. Still no Russ. I need to go check the phone, and then sit out by the heater and do some reading.

And still no sign of Russ.

The story is moving along pretty well, though. I have some interesting interactions in the last 500 words. Another 500 and I'll be done with this part for the day -- unless I decide to write more. I might. You never know.

But, as you can no doubt tell by now, I am having trouble focusing on the work. When I do, it goes well. The rest of the time, I'm up checking the food, looking out the front door as though Russ will magically appear if I do, and picking up stuff in the house. The house is better for it, of course, but the timing sucks.

I think Russ is staying at his place in Wayne tomorrow night since he has a late dinner meeting, and it would be silly for him to drive home after that, just to go to bed and get up and drive back. I wonder if I will be more steady then, knowing that I won't be interrupted in the middle of a scene. I hope to do some work on the bedroom while he's gone -- and since I work best at night, that might be good.

So many plans, so many things to get done.

Back to writing, though...
Starting count was 1018

I am now at 1380. Very slow going, fixing food, chatting a bit, and waiting for Russ to get home. I don't do well writing when I'm hungry, and cooking food will do that to a person. (grin)

It's odd. Even though this is going very slow, I feel good about it. Second day of the new schedule, and I like it. I hope that the writing itself takes off soon, but I feel comfortable with it anyway. I love when I feel like I have something workable, something that is going to help me get things done.

Sure hope Russ comes home soon, though...

Okay, so I didn't open the WIP yet. I did go get the chilli on for tonight, though, and picked up just a bit more.

I have no idea when Russ will be home, and with that in mind, I'm going to open Wildwolf Brother to insure (ensure?...must find the difference between those two!) that he will come home just as soon as I really get moving.
I am up and moving. Mostly. For my cleaning today I took down the rest of the decorations and packed them away. It was a lot more work than I expected. But, with the exception of a few odd things that I keep finding here and there, I think I'm done.

I read my first book of the year last night -- C.J. Cherryh's Defender. For anyone who has followed the series, this one hell of a rollercoaster ride! I will not give anything away, but I must say I hope the next one isn't far off.

I must go start dinner soon, but I'm going to open the main WIP and get it ready. So far no real web work has come in, though I do have some Estand material I need to get to. But that comes after the first round of writing.

Odd. I'm still excited about this new schedule and the little sheet of paper here on my desk that says 'Yes, you did some cleaning today, and look at all the writing you get to do now!' Maybe it's odd, but it is a little reminder, as blocks get filled in, that I am really doing something with my days. The only thing I didn't mark was web work, which I should add. There, it's now written into the margin on the right. All is well.

Time to get back to work.
My first day under my new schedule is something of a success. I would like to have edited more, so I'll work on that next time. However, I did write 2031 words today, on three projects, and edited 5 pages on another. I also did several web page things, including redoing the pdf file (two times! I still had problems!), and updating the library site.

I would like to think that I could keep this pace up for the rest of the year, but it seems doubtful. While I've often written a lot more, for some reason I had trouble just settling into the work today. It might have been the 'holiday' air still. Maybe now that we're past that I can settle in a little better. I hope so. I want to do well this year, and I see this schedule, with Editing as a major part of the day, as a way to assure me of at least trying.

But you know, for the first day of the year -- not bad at all! A sale, a new story up, a new novel started, an old one ressurected, and a new shorter piece started, along with some serious editing. I'm happy. Crazed, but happy.

I hope everyone did as well

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

1018 on the new piece. I think that might be it for that particular story tonight. So far the title appears to be Wildwolf Brother. This is apt to change later, but so far it suits the story.

I think I'm going to go on to an editing story or a rewrite story...
305 on the as yet untitled new novel. I'm still on the first notecard of notes, so that's going well.

I'm antsy though. I'm not sure why. Or maybe it's just excited about having an entire new year to play with!
I have a new story up at Fables -- Into Darkness

And now, finally... I am going to start writing.

0 words for the day, the month, the year... (Odd seeing that again!)

Hello and welcome to 2002

I just made my first sale -- A Ride Through Hell and Back to Alternate Realities.

I have not done any work yet, except for cleaning up my hard drive, which was long, long, long overdue. The new novel is gathering words in my head. I have been jotting down a few notes in my trusty little notebook, and preparing myself for the first lines. Soon.

But back to the hard drive now, so that I can feel like I got that work done before I go on.

And here we are in another entire year. Russ and I spent the night, as we do every New Year's Eve, pulling out shows from the collection and eating cheese and crackers. I was under two blankets and still couldn't get warm, but it was a fun night. And what did we watch?

It Takes a Thief -- The Galloping Skin Game
I Spy -- The Maderra Block
WKRP -- Who's Who?
War of the Worlds -- Totally Real
The Persuaders -- Five Miles to Midnight
Cowboy Bebop -- Ballad of Fallen Angels

To say it was an eclectic night would be understating things a bit...

It's early by Zette time, but I'm still going to bed. I'm tired and I hope that getting some more sleep will help deal with this cold. I thought I was going to start writing now, but I think I might do better by putting it off for a few hours and getting some sleep instead.

So tomorrow I'll be up and go to work on the as yet unnamed book. And the first crack at my new schedule, though it being a holiday will likely unsettle that a bit.

Time to retire for a while!

Happy New Year!