Friday, May 31, 2002

Found time...

I didn't get to bed until nearly 8A.M. That's not unusual for me. What is odd is to be back awake barely three hours later. But the kid next door is mowing our lawn (lawn being euphemistic for knee-high weeds) and there was no way I could sleep with that right outside my window.

So here I am. I should write, but I don't think my brain is quite prepared for the idea of creating words just yet. So I am going to work on the zoo web site. I have a lot more left on it than I thought, and I would like to get it all done before the first. Seems unlikely, but I might as well give it a try since my two brain cells will not be communicating for another hour or so.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

We had a long Questions and Answers meeting over at Forward Motion. That slowed me up a bit, though I did do some writing on the side. Now it's off to do the real journal, and then look at the idea of food. Lots of things to get done before I come back to writing!

But I've already done over 1000 words, so I'm not too worried. I've only read half a page, though. (grin)

I stopped at 45,012 last night which puts me at 50,081 for the month. Good, with two days worth of writing to do. Last year's total for May was 53,526 , and I don't see any trouble bettering that by at least a few hundred words. I try to do better each year than I did the year before.

Which is stupid, by the way. I am fast approaching a point where turning out more words will be counterproductive to actually getting material ready for publication. This year I'm all right because I have the eight books to completely rewrite. Next year I may have to rethink my overall yearly goal.

Although I do have to admit that there is part of me that would like, just once, to write 1,000,000 words in one year.

Well, Russ is off mc'ing a poetry slam. The kitties are fed, the world is calm for the moment, if a tad bit too hot (93f).

So, we start at 45,012 words and 174 pages.

Off to work!
44,661 words

page 172

A 2000 word day for the first time in a while. And still going a bit. I'm doing a very short chapter that I need to beef up a bit. Ah, and a way just came to me, a little note of foreboding. Good. Back to work.
Okay, I took a longer break. I'm back for a few hours though. A shame I lost that rush of words I had before. That was nice to get back after so many weeks.

Just did a check on where I stand in relation to last year's total for May. I'm down about 9000 words, which I don't think I'll have trouble making up in the next three days -- four counting today, in fact, since nothing from today is in that count. Not a problem at all, looked at that way.

But I wasn't too worried anyway. I was already...

No hold it. I looked at the wrong month. I'm less than 6,000 down for the month with four days left to count. If I can't do 6000 in four days, I'll have become a pod person and you can call the Men in Black. No problem. But I was about to say that I'm not worried anyway, because while I may be lagging a little this month, my overall total for the first four months of the year was already 179,551 words over what I wrote in the same months last year.

I'm going to get to October and November and lose a lot of that 'over' count because last year those were 100,000 word months, and though I had two of those already this year, I really can't count on them. 45,000-70,000 seems to be about my average. I had suspected this year would be better because of the novels, but I'm not certain that it will.

And now back to one of those novels again.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

I took a break so we could run to the store, and now Russ is putting dinner together, so I'm not going to get back into the writing part for a bit. I've done well, though. Coming up on 2000 words already, and it's not even dark out yet! (grin)

My fingers are starting to get the tinglies again, though. I hope a longer break will help with that stuff.

Page 170

No quote this time, just a couple notes. The charter for the Polish market town of Llow said that goods arriving there had to stop and be sold, while in Danzig merchants could take their goods in and out without a problem. Interesting thought.

Page 168

And after reading about the convoluted trade in year old grain in the Polish markets, I came across this little piece about wine selling in Cracow. Poland had lost nearly all it's vines and had to import wine.

The arrival of the new wine was an annual occasion for festivity. To guard against cheating by tavernkeepers, all wine shops in Cracow had to dispaly on their boards either a shock of straw or a green branch according to whehter the wine they sold was Moldavian or Hungarian.

So many interesting little tidbits to pick up...

166 pages in The Mediterranean. I'm reading about overland routes through Russia right now, and how they affected the Mediterranean trade. I've already read about trade through the southern, desert lands. This is just the first of three volumes in this set (Folio Books -- expensive but wonderful books).

This set of books is a world builder's dream, by the way. The narration covers everything from climate and geography to how those help shaped history for the region. I believe that the later parts of the work focus on the 16th and 17th century history of the Mediterranean area, but this first part covers far more. The relationship between the people living in the mountains close to the sea, and the shore villages fascinated me. I used part of that in Paid in Gold and Blood. There's something to rewrite...

No, not now. I am on book three out of eight. I have quite a ways to go before I can turn to work like that again. But it gives me a reason to keep pushing, doesn't it?

The insecurity of the southern roads, because of the Tartars, also played a part So there was a decline in the long-distance overland trade which since the thirteenth century had brought to Poland from the Black Sea, particularly from Kaffa, the produce of the Levant, chiefly spices and pepper -- The Mediterranean, Volume I, page 166

Now there's a little bit of added world building for a story. War and raids in another part of the land cutting off the spices needed to make food palatable for the nobility. What? You mean we have to eat food like the peasants make?

It might well be enough to swing a noble to one side or another in a war.
I should find something interesting to write about here. I really should. Sometimes I get a little idea... but most of the time my mind is so entirely on other areas that I find myself usuing this as a notepad to keep track of work, rather than discussing it.

Well, that's not entirely true. It's really a look at technique of how I get those numbers. Boring, barebones technique, but there it is. Right now I'm still doing the 'write 500 words, read 2 pages' trick to keep my hand and arm from giving me trouble again. It's working very well. I'll up it to 1000 when I'm sure my hand is better, but I'm going to try to keep this plan for most of my writing.

I've reached a fun part of the story as well. That's helping.

So, on to today's work.
Yesterday the blog stuff was down when I came over to write. Today the site is down. That seems about right.

No hold it, the site is back.

I can tell what kind of day this is going to be...

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

40,530... yes, I've gone to the 500 word at a shot now, but not for much longer. I'm getting tired.

oh, and 160 pages. Forgot to post this. Move along, move along.
40,011. I finally have a novel.

And page 158. Interesting stuff about Islam, oasis, Istanbul.

I'm thinking about starting a second blog, this one for a continuing story.... that might be fun, but I would have to archive that one, wouldn't I? Hmmm... I had decided that I archive far more than enough on the internet as it is, and that I wouldn't do this one or any other. But we'll see.

The story is going well, but the way. I'm happy with it tonight.

Page 156

I may have to change the ratio, though this isn't going too badly tonight...

Monday, May 27, 2002


39,255 words

page 154 of the book -- I read an extra page because I realized I had read half of the first one.

So far, so good.

Alright, I can't just type like I usually do. My hand won't let me. And when I try, it gives me more trouble.

So here is the temporary new plan.

I will write 250 words. I will take a break and read two pages out of the nonfiction book I should have finished long ago. It's a wonderful book -- the first of three volumes called The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World by Fernad Braudel.

So right now I am sitting at 39,049 words. At 39,250 -- or close there after -- I will stop and read page 152 and 153.

This isn't a great plan, but I work well with a goals and odd things like this. I couldn't do it with fiction, by the way, because once I fall into a fiction book, I don't want to put it down. I'm that way with nf on occasion, too, but I'm hoping to work this out right. So, off to work! I'll be back in a few minutes, I'm sure...

I woke up with my left hand so swollen that I had trouble getting my rings off. It seems to be much better now, and I think I must have just slept funny. I'm not going to let it stop me from working. Not today.

Although the usual lack of a brain may do that for me instead. I can't focus. I can't get my story-writing functions to kick in for me right now.

So... dinner first instead. Yeah. That'll help.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

I slept about nine hours. That's very good for me!

I'd have slept more, but Russ came racing into the house saying that a friend of ours was only a few minutes behind him. That wasn't a good way to wake up, but I managed it. (grin)

I was just about to start writing... but Russ just asked me if I had done the agenda yet.

I'm home!

I had a fun few hours in KC visiting with very many friends. I learned that I have a short piece in a September 11th chap book put out by Yard Dog Press, which is giving all the money from it to 9/11 relief funds. That's nice.

Rob Chilson, who was interviewed for Vision a couple issues back, stopped to thank me and say how hits to his web site doubled just afterwards and just kept growing for a couple months. Now that's really nice to know. It makes me realize the one thing I should have been doing for all the contributors -- including a web site link. Duh.

And I found out there were a couple other writers who routinely just drop over to Forward Motion just to check it out and see how things are going. That was nice, too.

But I had not slept since 9am on Friday, so I was not the most coherent person I could have been.

Oh, and we stopped at the wildlife refuge on the way down -- great raccoon chasing fish in a pond -- and then on the way back where I got a lovely picture of herons and deer, as well as a very distant shot of a bald eagle.

You can't hope for days much better than this.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

In a few hours I leave for KC and a day at ConQuesT. It will be good for me to get away for a few hours. I'll be back tomorrow night some time.

Friday, May 24, 2002

You know, I finally figured out at least part of what is bothering me here. It's not just the petty vindictiveness of the entire matter. It's not the side taking and the other games. It's not even the name calling by Jen, whose true-life story in her blog only makes her announcement in Forward Motion all the worse. I wonder how she feels now, being the one on the bleachers calling others names. Self-rightous, of course, because she's done in the name of right.

What bothers me the most is that I liked these people. I thought that they were... I don't know. Right now, I'm not sure what I thought they were, but I'm sorry to have ever suggested Jen or Vicki for the spot of moderators. And that makes me feel even worse, because until now I've never had reason to regret stuff like that, even when it didn't work out.

It's a shame that they couldn't at least have been polite.
Okay, I've pretty much gotten over the really, really angry part. Being called a Nazi does that to me, for some reason. (And being told it was just an analogy doesn't change the fact that the analogy still says you're like a Nazi.) I would like to think that Jen really didn't mean it -- but she's a better writer than that, and I think she knew exactly what she was saying, even if she didn't forsee the reaction.

Ah well. Off to write something...
Okay, if we're going to make accusations of Forward Motion being run by Nazi-like people...

This was a private answer I made to Jen ... but Holly has already revoked her access to that newsgroup, being a bit miffed about the Nazi stuff. Anyone who thought she would sit through that just hasn't been paying attention... (Added a few things in this reading.)

Do you know why the feeling at the community has changed?

Because so damn many of you will not let a disagreement between two people stay that way. You have to bring it into the community and make it something huge and unforgivable.

Yes, there have been disagreements at Forward Motion as well. Guess what? That's going to happen with any group, and if you can't stand back and go on for the sake of the community and better things... well, then I guess you aren't ready to go out and help others. It's your choice. Because there are always people you are not going to agree with, but as a moderator here, you would be expected to help them anyway. Even when it is the person who has put up the money for the site and who has opinions you do not agree with. I expected all of you to be adult, and if you felt you had to leave, to BE POLITE ABOUT IT!

But until this post of yours This Disagreement had been entirely off the Forward Motion Site.

Yes I am well and truly angry. More so than I have been in a long, long time. To have this place compared to Nazi Germany is just too damn much, even for me. I expected so much better from you, Jen. I really did.

No one told you that you couldn't post all you wanted about Bryn in your own weblog. No one told you that you had to take one side or the other. Sheila is free to delete anything she likes from her own weblog -- including the comments -- just as you are.


If this had been about trouble since September, then why wait until now and use something NOT EVEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE SITE to resign?

Oh, and by the way for the rest of you who were not around... the huge horrible thing Holly did back in September was tell people that they could no longer talk about the American War Effort, mainly because she disagreed with so many of them, and didn't want to see a rift continue to spread. So people use this to accuse her of censorship because on her own site, devoted to writing, she told people they couldn't discuss something that was causing bad feelings in her and a large group of people.

One person decided he was above any rules and posted anyway, and got booted off the site. Another left because of political disagreements.

And the rest of you have taken this and used it to sew more trouble at the site. Oh horrible, horrible censorship, that we aren't allowed to talk about this RIGHT HERE. People left because they had a political disagreement with Holly. At least be honest about that part.

I seldom get really angry, but you never know what's going to push someone like me just that final step. It surprised me, in fact. But the use of a disagreement outside Forward Motion to accuse us of anger and hate... well, let's just say she managed to get the anger part kicked in.
I'm going to rant. And yes, I'm going to rant about the whole Sheila/Bryn thing.

I wasn't going to make any more comments on the review. Bryn says she didn't write it. It does, I admit, read like Bryn's writing -- but then there are a whole lot of young women in that same age/education/lifestyle who write like her, so it may well not be Bryn. Her statement that the real author wrote her and said she doesn't use her name for personal reasons... well, anyone who is savvy enough to post on would be smart enough to create an alternate name/email address, wouldn't you think?

Or maybe not. From all I could tell, the post was made for only one reason -- to make sure that people knew she couldn't see why Holly was getting all those five stars. So maybe this person isn't that smart.

The review was not all that bad. I didn't like it, but that's life. I've had far worse reviews of my work, and sometimes even for good reason. I don't think Sheila should have asked for its removal, but then I've said that before. I think, in fact, that we all should have followed Holly's reaction -- been annoyed first and then shrugged and said 'oh well' afterwards.

Here's the thing, people -- just in case you all missed it in your leaping up and down over poor Bryn. Sheila will defend Holly, even to extremes. Sheila is a person of passion and unshakeable convictions. She felt the review was an attack on Holly. She moved to have it taken down. Failing that, she's cut her ties with We're not all going to agree with Sheila's convictions, and few of us are going to stand up to ours with the same fervor that Sheila does. But let me ask you this -- is your coming to the defense of Bryn that much different than Sheila defending Holly?

And are you going to sit there and say that Bryn has not attacked Sheila in her blog?

Never mind if she wrote the damned review. Sheila stated things about the SF community and about NASA that Bryn took up as a counter rant. Fine. I notice that she never mentions anything Sheila says about the romance community, and I've seen a few rant bits about it too. Bryn chose to make the statements she did just as Sheila chose to make hers. If Bryn thought that Sheila was going to ignore it... well, she's just not been paying much attention then, has she?

Look at Bryn's Blog about Sheila and SF. Maybe someone should ask Bryn why she bothers to write fantasy if she hates it so much. I mean she argued about one part of it in Forward Motion, didn't she? So she must HATE it all. Oh, she doesn't? Does that mean that someone can dislike a lot of things about a subject, and still have stories to tell? My, what a surprise.

Are the rest of you going to tell me that Bryn is so stupid she never knew she was making snide little remarks about Sheila and SF in her blog? No, she isn't that stupid, is she? So neither she, nor the rest of you, should pretend that she is. She made her stand. She disagreed with Sheila over a few things. That's her right. But she (and the rest of you) ought to at least have the decency to say Sheila has the same right in her blog.

Oh, and on the comments thing... The comments area is still Sheila's area, and she can delete any part of it she likes. Those are the rules. Stop being so shocked and angry that Sheila deletes your comments, even when they do not seem to be an attack. You expected it, didn't you?

By the way, did I miss where Sheila came out and said it was Bryn? She said she knew who it was. She said she knew it was someone who had left Forward Motion. Later she did give a rather telling clue (Harvard), but for the most part I don’t think even most of the people in Forward Motion would have known. After all, other people have left Forward Motion for various reasons -- most of them having to do with the fact that they can't stand someone to have opinions of their own, especially if that person happens to be a professional. Apparently neither Sheila nor Holly is allowed to disagree on anything because ... well, because they're professionals.

Sheila never named Bryn in her posts, although Bryn mentions Sheila. Bryn came and posted to Sheila's comments. Most everyone there wouldn't know Bryn from a hole in the ground, if Bryn hadn't decided to leap into it.

And it's not the first time Bryn has leapt up and down about things Sheila said. As far as I can tell, Bryn just doesn't like the attitudes that Sheila holds. Well big DAMN DEAL. I don't agree with the attitudes Sheila holds on many things, including NASA and the SF community or a number of other things. But Sheila has a right to her beliefs. If Bryn had, without mentioning Sheila's Blog, stated her own beliefs, it would be a different matter. But Bryn specifically pointed her rants at Sheila. So don't be so damned surprised that Sheila takes them up.

Bryn ranting in her Blog was no different than Sheila ranting in hers... ah, but as soon as Sheila said something about the poor Bryn -- without naming her -- people come unglued. How could Sheila do such a thing? How could she attack Bryn?

Get a clue, people. It's a disagreement between two people -- not between the unpublished and a professional. Not between the poor, little Bryn and powerful Sheila.

But the more I look at it, the more I'm convinced that there are elements here that would just like nothing better than to see a massive break in Forward Motion, so that they can sit back and show how smug and superior they are. And that, finally, is what is annoying the hell out of me. Go ahead and tell me that this isn't affecting attitudes within the community -- not because Bryn and Sheila are disagreeing, but because others are determined to make the most of it. People I thought better of, in fact.

Probably more rant later. I've already typed more on this than I have on anything else in the last few days.
Maybe we'll go down tomorrow and just for the day. It's a long drive, and probably not wise... but none of the money came in today, so it's very unwise to go down and spend a couple nights.

It's pretty apparent that I'm not supposed to go off and have fun this year. From my birthday on, nothing has fallen into place. I know I'm not going to World Con or, alas, World Fantasy Con -- I've been looking forward to the last because it's so close for a change.

But that's life. You run into these problem years now and then. Maybe by next year things will work out.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

At this point it looks as though we'll not be going to the convention. I don't know. It seems wise not to go... but it's the only trip Russ and I make together any more, and it's likely the only convention I'll go to this year.

I hate having to make decisions based on whether or not we can trust other money to come in on time.

I'm tired. I'm really very tired.
Better, worse, better worse.

I spent the last couple days reading my novels, reading other people's novels, doing very little writing. It's weiging on me. It's now nearly 4am and all I really want to do is sit down and write and write and write. My hand is almost up to it. I'm going to give it a little more time. If I can hold back until Friday I'll be away from this keyboard and working on my Visor. That's good. I won't work nearly as much on it, mainly because I'll be away from home and out looking at things.

I need to get out for a bit.

But at the same time I know it's nuts to go to this convention. I've got about $350. I'm not likely to see that kind of money again for a while. There are bills to be paid. There are things I should look at buying. I shouldn't spend the money on a convention.


Wednesday, May 22, 2002

I'm not doing a lot of writing. My hand still tingles if I do.

I have been reading over some older stuff. Hit on one very nice novel that I think will be on my next 'rewrite and submit' list... after I get past the five and a half I still have to do for Double Dragon. (grin)

I am ready to move on with Crystal. I think I have the feel for this scene that kept dragging me down. I've cut it twice now -- not my usual writing style at all, but then this really isn't a first draft. Nor, unfortunately is it a final draft. I'll go through this run, and then I'll do a last clean up.

I probably won't post much in the next couple days, either. I want my arm and hand to recover. I'm tired of this.

Monday, May 20, 2002

Dinner is nearly done. I've completed work on the class stuff and written a few hundred words on Crystal. I would have more, but I had to rework a short bit. I need more power in this section.

Ah, maybe that's the answer. Maybe I'm trying to add too much leading up to the conflict. If I cut that down... yes, that might work. Going to cut stuff and NOT rewrite it this time....
I staid in bed for a while today trying to get my mind ordered again. I've been skipping around from one project to another, not particularly happy with any of it. I was waiting for word on the re-re-re-edits (I'm not joking) to the first five chapters of Living In Caine's Hold, and those finally came last night. She pointed out an on-going problem Russ and I will have to watch. I had a disagreement over the emotional content of one sentence -- someone thinking 'This sure as hell better be important' has far more impact, I feel, than 'This better be important.'

At any rate, we'll be going back to work on the novel, probably this afternoon when Russ gets back from his job at the Chamber.

Last night I finally started serious work on the 'back from the copy editor' edits of Aubreyan. She caught a lot of stuff, but what she didn't do was try to change the style of the writing. I think that's the big difference between the two. One wants a certain style of storytelling -- so not only does she note the numerous real problems, but she notes wording that doesn't fit that style. This does make it more difficult to go through. I want the story to be my voice, just without the mistakes. I'm not sure where one stops and the other starts sometimes, but I'm slowly putting it together.

But this afternoon I need to do a little more work on the cultural worldbuilding class and get ready for it tonight. So off this goes for now. Actually, I need to go get supper started, then come back and work...

About 1700 tonight even with company and the hand problems. Still going on to other things, I think.

Long night!

Sunday, May 19, 2002

Tingly fingers are more of an annoyance than a pain. It makes it hard for me to type things. I stopped yesterday at the 5001 mark for the 24 hours. I worked on pictures -- mostly cut and paste stuff. Having a generally good time. Did a little web work that didn't require typing. But I must write soon...

Saturday, May 18, 2002


That's it. I feel lousy. argh.

I'm at 4829 with about 45 minutes to go. If I can't write 171 words in that amount of time, I might as well give it all up.
Better and worse. Not quite as sore over all, but my arm giving me trouble. My fingers tingle when I type more than a few hundred words. So I'm not typing much at all today.
3504 new words so far. Cut them out into a new document so I could keep count easier.

But my back is starting to stiffen up something fierce and I keep getting sharp pains through my left hand.

Oops forgot to post that. No matter. Quitting at 4044 because of hand and back pain. Hope to sleep.
Yes, I am in the dare, at least for a while. I've done a bit over 1000 for the first hour. My arm hurts. I'm not in a good mood... but the story is going pretty well.

Starting count, 29,880

Current count, 31,127

Friday, May 17, 2002

Last night's fall is beginning to show itself today. My left arm is swollen from elbow to fingers, and though it aches, I can still work. I'm just not doing much work.

We'll not talk about how much the rest of my body aches.

This will be a 500 word day, I think. I'm not really up for anything more. Looking through pictures and that's about it. Even eating dinner sounds like way too much work.
I think I want to go back and start over for May.

Colds, flu, colds, back problems and now tonight...

I slipped getting out of the bathtub and came down on my left side, banging up my left elbow pretty good. Nothing broken, but I already can feel protests throughout my body. I'm grateful I still have pain pills for my back. I'm going to need them.

I've written about 300 words is all. I'll make 500 without too much trouble. I might even make 1000 or more. But right now I'm so annoyed that I'm finding it difficult to get 100 words out at a shot. And my arm hurts.


Thursday, May 16, 2002

Well, there. I wrote a note to the EPIC list about how I feel towards the group. I think it could be helpful, if they'd just get their act together. I've been there for a year, and I haven't seen much so far.

I also posted something about epublishing over in Vera's newsgroup on Yes, I'm obviously fired up about everything again. Good. I can use a little fire now and then.

I have not actually written anything today, though. The rewrite is good, of course, but I need to get moving on other stuff! But Russ should be home soon and we'll have dinner. I'll get serious about writing after that. Right now my brain can't quite get past the concept of food.

The final count for Crystal last night was 28,715. Not too bad at all.

And I still have more pictures to go through. About 40 is all, so I shouldn't have trouble with them. The only thing that is slowing me down is that I had a story to resubmit to an ezine -- they kind of lost track of it -- and I have an agenda to do for the city. It wouldn't be too bad, except that I see they messed up the link on something and want me to make sure it works anyway. That shouldn't be too bad, if I can figure out which way it should be. If I had a brain this probably wouldn't be a problem.

So I should go do that work, right? Get it out of the way...

Started today at 25,621. I am now at 27,782 and working on a chapter that's new to this version. I need something to happen here, though. Something important. Ah, yes. The crown. Abby needs to check it again, and find something wrong.

At any rate, this is going well. Over 2000 words on a day when I feel this lousy -- I can't complain. Or at least it would seem stupid to.

I've got 83 more pictures to go through that I've broken up into sets of six. 100 words (minimum) written for each set, so that's another 1400 words if I keep going through the night. Or 1400 words at some point, anyway. That's not that many more.

And then I'll have to figure out what ratio to use when I'm putting the new web site for the zoo back together. That'll be fun, too!

Right now, though, it's back to conflict and my usual 'what can go wrong now' sort of question. Yes, I can see a couple trouble spots that I can exploit for this scene. Good.

Okay, I'm going to try this again.

This is the third time I've written something up, and then closed it without posting. That's how far gone my brain is tonight. I have the return of the cold from hell. This thing has been plaguing me for weeks, and it sprang back up in full force today. I spent most of the day in bed, knocked out by the pills I took. I can't say that's much better than sitting here un-drugged but coherent. Or almost coherent.

I did manage to write about 1000 words earlier today between taking the pills and having them knock me out. I'm doing the pictures/write trick again, and it's fun. Sometimes you just need a little change in the routine to get things moving again.

My two MCs have just suffered a nearly devestating loss -- they fell under attack and one of the two crowns that links them was stolen. The others don't quite realize the full implications of the loss just yet, although they are going to learn how this affects Tristan right away. It's going to be a little while longer before they find out what happens when Tristan no longer has any controls in place with Aubreyan.

I still have over 100 pictures to go through, but I'm doing them just a few at a time, writing at least 100 words, and then going back to the next set of pictures. It's working very well.

So I'm going to post this one right now and get back to work.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

A bit over 2000 words. Not too bad.

And I got the last of the pictures I wanted copied off of the disks. Some nice shots there. When I got done I thought that couldn't be all of them, finished.

Literally, it couldn't be all of them. I realized I hadn't seen the entire very good tiger and snow leopard set. That meant somewhere there was another entire day at the zoo. I found it... well over 200 pictures.

Pounding head on keyboard now....

I'm going to have to quit for the night. I got hit with a massive allergy attack -- that time of year, isn't it? -- and the stuff really wiped me out. I'll stop now and take a look at what I've done, and check out the last couple paragraphs on Crystal... I think I was sort of sleep writing about then. Time to get to bed!

Tomorrow I will finish with these pictures. I have no idea how long it will actually take me to do the web site, though!

Tuesday, May 14, 2002


Going well.

Nice pictures, too.
Slowed down again for Russ to do work. That's fine. Obviously I'm not really tracking all that well, but it's still good to get any work done!
Back to work...

I was going to go to the 'come as your character' party at but I can't seem to get my brain around it. Very odd. I think part of it is medications. I think that's what is making it so hard for me to stay focused on one thing or another for more than a few minutes. But I've found my way around that by leaping back and forth with the pictures, and it's working.

I started out well...

But Russ needed the computer for a few mintues, so now I'm starting again. Only I think I might as well stop right now and fix dinner instead if he wants to eat this early. Lately we've been eating about 8 or 9.

Still, I wrote a couple hundred words and got moving. That's the important part!

Oh, and I found about three more pictures. (grin)
The cats and dog and phone woke me up nearly every hour through the morning and early afternoon. I kept making myself go back to sleep, and I'm sure that didn't help. I had odd dreams... planes landing in the middle of town, finding litters of siamese kittens in the shed... Things like that. Nothing bad, just odd.

I wrote last night. Fun writing, in fact. I opened up my current WIP and every time I had to open a few pictures from the a drive, I'd go write a few hundred words. I did well over 1000 that way. I'm going to do it again today. Just opening first batch of pictures now.

Starting count is 23358. I don't expect to do much over 1000 today. I have some serious editing to get back to -- haven't been doing nearly enough of that. But I'm off!
Or maybe not tonight... I just saw that it's 3:30am. Amazing how that happens...

I'm going ahead with the work for a little while, at least. If I get too tired, it'll give me something to look forward to tomorrow.

Hundreds of pictures. It's amazing how many pictures I can take.
Only 242 more pictures to go through... (thunk)

It's been good to have this the last couple days, for a few reasons. First, Russ and I were both ill. I couldn't think plot, or edit or much else. I managed about 500 words yesterday, and I think I'm doing a bit more today. And, as often happens with people who spend all their time working on writing, a few days away from it has made me appreciate the story more. Tonight, between disks loading (amazing how much longer it takes to get pictures off of the a-drive than the cd roms), I've stopped over and done a few hundred words on Crystal. A good amount of it has been 'go back and fix things' work that only takes a few words at a shot. Great way to get back into the work. Not really editing, mind you -- just remembered that I need to make a reference to a different name a few pages back. Stuff like that.

I'm feeling better tonight. That's good. I'm having a wonderful time with the pictures and I'm going to have the site done soon. I hope to get through the rest of these pictures tonight. All 247 of them.

And then it's back to life in the real world... editing books!

Monday, May 13, 2002

I am getting my journal to upload, I think. I've recreated some of the files in a different location on my computer, and that seems to have gotten past the glitch, whatever it was. I'm not sure how much of the original site will be left when I'm finished. It was way too large anyway.

And, of course, Forward Motion is down.

I've been ill all morning -- Russ was sick last night. We think it was something we ate. We both appear to be (barely) surviving it.

I'm still not through all the zoo pictures, and I'm still having fun with it. As soon as I get the work done for tonight's class, that's what I'm going back to!

Sunday, May 12, 2002

I can't seem to get my journal to upload again tonight. Now it looks like a problem on my end, and I'm just not up to mucking around with it and figuring out what to do. So I'm here instead for the moment.

I've not written much. I've worked on zoo pictures all day! Ten trips to the zoo, over 100 pictures each time... you get the picture (argh... I hate puns). I'm having a great time with it, though. Some of the pictures are really great. I have two and a half more days to go through, and then a final sorting of the pictures before I start the new web site.

Am I avoiding writing? Not entirely. I have an idea for a really different short story, and it's running through my brain. I think I've worked out a couple problems with Crystal. Should I be writing on them instead of doing this? Probably. But I'm going to do this anyway.

The site is back. I've written my 1000. Life is as good as it can be at this point.

Saturday, May 11, 2002


Now my server won't let me upload my journal.

Oh well. Russ can look into it tomorrow. I'm not going to get all worked up over it. I have other things to get worked up over. Class to do on Monday. Material to write tonight. That sort of thing.

Not a good web day, I must say...
Well hell.

There is some question about what's going on with Network 54, ie the location of Forward Motion.

Some days it just doesn't pay to start planning things. But that's life, I suppose. If Network54 is gone, we'll move on to a new site. This is bad timing, of course... but then I can't think when it would be exactly good timing, either.

And no, I have not done any writing yet. I've spent most of the afternoon scanning pictures and printing them to take to my mother tomorrow. I think she'll like some of these. I've found some fun ones.

So, let's talk about this whole book review thing.

Yes, everyone gets bad book reviews. And those of us who are serious about writing expect to see them. I've gotten bad reviews on Silky, and on a couple other stories. Occasionally I have had the 'what story did this person read' feeling, but other times I just shrug them off. I never expected to please everyone. I'm surprised when I find a single person who likes something I've written! So bad reviews don't bother me, but then my sales don't depend on them nearly as much as Holly's does.

Now, let's look at the review on What was the purpose in the review? The person waffled around so much, it was hard to say. That she wasn't entirely happy with Vincalis the Agitator is apparent, and there's nothing wrong with that reaction. No one is going to be pleased by every book. She and her boyfriend both read it. She liked the opening, didn't like the second half. Nothing wrong with saying that either.

She's read the other Secret Texts and liked them better. Good.

But then she got to the real point. You can find it right at the bottom of the review. She wrote the review, not because of any great dislike of the book (she says there were parts she really enjoyed, in fact) but because she couldn't understand why it was getting all those five star reviews.

So she made sure it didn't get another one.

And that had nothing to do with the book. It was the five stars that bothered her. That other people liked the book and she didn't and by God she was going to show Holly and bring that rating down.

If this person had signed her name -- at least been that honest with the readers -- then I might have taken the rest of the review more seriously. Nor, by the way, do I take the other one -- the good one -- without a name seriously. In fact, I don't read reviews without names because if you aren't serious enough to sign them, then why should I bother to read them? I wouldn't have noticed the bad one except for the notice it's gotten. But I've seen this sort of game too many times in the past. If she really didn't like the book, if she had serious reasons for writing the review she would have signed the review.

If all she's doing is making little jabs at Holly because she left Forward Motion over a disagreement, then it's pretty childish. At the moment, I can't see it being anything else. Which is sad. Overall, the review wasn't badly written. If she'd been honest... with everyone, then things might have gone differently. Or not.

Now one last point, people. Before you go off ranting about Holly and a chip on her shoulder -- she didn't like the review. She wasn't meant to. But keep this in mind -- She wasn't the one who asked that it be taken down.

That Sheila did, and has had it removed, is Sheila's choice and Sheila's answer to these kind of games. Mine is to shrug, ignore it, and go on. Holly's was to get annoyed, then shrug and go on. Overall, I think Sheila's might be the better response.
One computer, two computers...

Agendas, PDF files, uploads... ah, still have the email to get out. Better do that right now before I forget.

Okay, that's off. The PDF version of Vision is also up, and I'm about to do the final touchups to the Palm version.

This all takes a lot longer than it probably sounds like it should. The City agenda was 77 pages. Vision was 202. Both had problems and had to be redone -- things that I didn't notice until you look at the pdf version. I try to catch all that sort of stuff, but it often turns up anyway. Ah well. They're done. They're emailed and posted and whatever.

Russ is in Omaha today. His second trip this week! I'm not entirely certain when he'll be home. He's visiting some friends today after a morning meeting.

And me? Well, I would like to start writing now, but I need to get some things done before we go see my mother tomorrow. Fun stuff, by the way... but I would still rather be doing a little writing. Actually, I've been doing notes and stuff between the other stuff. No surprise there, right?

Okay, yes. I'm wasting time here because I don't wan to go on to the next step. But off I go...

Friday, May 10, 2002

And so, how have I done today?

Well, I've gotten a lot of non-writing stuff done and out of the way. I know, I know. Just the opposite of what I said I would do, but this is City Agenda day, and because I saw problems with the material sent yesterday, I except it to be a major mess. I have done all I can before the actual agenda arrives -- all the attachments are lined up... ah, and I might as well put them up as well. That will get another group out... no, hold it. I better wait on that part in case I have to change all the links. Right.

Last night I went through a bunch of really lovely zoo pictures. I have only two more sets to do from the new camera, but I think I might go over the disks from the old camera as well -- and redo the entire site from scratch. Hmm...

You know, I think I feel better today. I actually don't mind doing the work and I'm looking forward to opening up the WIP and getting it done as well. I have most of the pdf version of Vision done, but I have to complete it on the other computer, so it's going to wait until I take the agenda out there to do as well.

Right now, though... I'm going to go look at more pictures.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

There. Corrected that POV problem! Can you tell that I'm not exactly grounded in this book yet? But on the other hand, it is moving along well, averaging a bit over 1000 words per page of original script. This will put it in right in line with what I want at about 85,000 words. Page 18 of the original is now page 101. I can deal with this.

Amusingly, I've done almost 2000 today. I suspect I'll go for the 2000, in fact, as long as I'm this close.

I've been doing some other things while I work. Got some city agenda stuff done the hard way -- working directly on the server. I hate working that way, especially with a server as wonky as this one. Russ is going to be changing servers out in the next few weeks, though, so maybe it will get better.

Russ is in Omaha tonight. Odd not having him around. Since he works out of home now, it's kind of quiet. He works with my computer in the mornings and early afternoon, and then I take over and he works on his laptop or the other computer, depending on what he needs to get done. It's worked pretty well so far. We haven't killed each other yet, though he does get anxious if I get up earlier than ususal. He likes my computer. (grin)

So now I'm going to look at some pictures for awhile. Should be fun!

Well, huh.

I just got the first two chapters of Abby back from the editor. Not bad. I think I disagree with a couple small points, but nothing drastic.

I have not gotten back to work on the web site. I've had a very slow going with Crystal, but part of that was a realization that I didn't need a huge boring part, and that I did need to add in some trouble early on. So I did both of those, and I am now just a couple lines from the end of the chapter and a bit over my 1000 minimum. Good. Doing the pictures helped. It allowed me to step back a bit again, and catch my breath.


Just realized I changed POV in the middle of the work again. Argh. Okay. Have to go fix that. I don't know why I keep doing that with this book. I usually don't have that trouble!

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

So, I do all this other work -- web sites, classes, etc. Stuff around the house on occassion. And the day gets later and later, and somewhere around midnight I finally sit down to write. I am usually awake enough, but my mind is worn down. It takes me a bit to get going. I rarely write as much as I planned to.

I woke up this morning and thought about the list of things to do -- work on the downloadable Vision files, do some city web work, clean my office up. Work on the class material for next week... and I would really like to pull out all my zoo pictures so I can fix some material on the web site. That would be fun.

But then I asked myself THE question.

Are you a writer or not? Is it what you want to define yourself by, or is it all this other stuff?

If you are a writer, then why isn't it the first thing you do?

Why do I always put it of to last? Well, I know part of the answer. I do it because I know once I start, I'm not going to want to quit to the do the web work, the class stuff, the Vision work. But would I rather not do the writing instead?

I'm going to be writing earlier after today. I haven't quite started yet. It's way to big a change in my work schedule to just drop into on a morning whim. But I'm going to at least do some writing earlier in the day from now on. It's about time.

Today I got through the last of the official After the First Draft classes. That one proved far harder to do than the one on Culture, even though there is more work involved with the Culture class. I think the difference is that I can come up with true examples for the Culture class, but the editing one was mostly 'this works for me' stuff.

I still have several of the culture classes to go, by the way. I'll be working on it for quite a while.

Tomorrow I need to do the two downloadable versions of Vision, and that will be it for a few weeks on that project. I hope that in the time between issues I can get quite a bit of writing done. I've very nearly dropped all of my web work lately, and I don't have much else but writing to worry about for a few days. I think it might be nice to just sit down and work my way through it all...

So now, at twenty minutes after midnight, I'm preparing to do my first fiction writing of the day. This can't be right. Yes, I do like to work at night, but that doesn't mean I only want to work now. I'm tired. I would like to have more energy when I finally get to writing. I don't have any tonight.

Ah well. Time to get to work. No excuses...

Monday, May 06, 2002

Oh look... Forward Motion appears to be down again.

Well, let's hope it's back up by the time I do the class. I'm working away on it, adding little bits and pieces. I love doing this class when the ideas start to flow.

So, back to work. Yes, I'm having a bit of trouble concentrating, but I'll get there!
I am working on my class/article material. When I have this class done I intend to redo much of this into a series of articles. I may even try to push them outside of Vision! What a thought!

I have three hours until class. I had better buckle down.

Some day I hope to say something... interesting here in the blog. I should start some discussion on epublishing and both the good and bad sides to it. I think I might enjoy that... but later. Right now I have to throw myself back into culture.
We did not even get rain. I think I heard some distant thunder.

I only write about 1000 words on Crystal tonight, but I did get an entire other story editied and sent back, and I did most of the notes for the class. Now I'm so tired I can hardly move! Time to get to bed!

Sunday, May 05, 2002

Ah look, our first Tornado Watch of the year. Doesn't look as though we're likely to be hit with anything, I'm glad to say. It has been a very calm spring, by the way. This is first watch that I've seen so far.

I am working on class material. I should have it done soon. By then our friend should be here... so I won't be getting a lot of writing done tonight. But still, getting this out of the way is good!
Today is a problem. We will have company later. I need to have the last of hte class stuff put together for Monday.

I want to write instead.

Well, the last one is not a surprise.

They have found six of those pipe bombs in mailboxes in Nebraska. All of them are rural areas south of us. How odd to see this is Seward.

It's just odd....

Final count -- 13,483

It was a very good night. And now it's a very late night. Company tomorrow. I need to get some rest.

But at least I've finally made some progress!

Saturday, May 04, 2002

I'm not entirely sure where the time went. Russ and I stepped out to go to the store, then I fixed dinner, then I napped... it was necessary, a by product of the medication I'm still taking. But I feel better for it now.

I'm up to page 34. Finally, finally moving on this beast. I hope to start doing better word counts in general. I hope that I can finally chain my wandering mind to this project and kick it out as quickly as possible. I will have to do an edit afterwards, after all. So let's see if I can start doing 5-10,000 a day for a while. Probably not, though I used to do it.

Back to work!
7538 at about 5pm. The word war did help, obviously. And I'm on to the next chapter. On the original (small print, single space) this was page 7. On the new it's page 29. All brand new, too. I didn't do anything from the original except the very basic plot -- go to steal something, find something unpleasant instead.

It's going well, if slow. But now I'm back to POV #1 and another chapter that isn't going to be anything like the first version. My, this is fun in a way, but kind of daunting!

6302 and lunch.

About to start a word war in Forward Motion, so that should help.

6300 at the half hour mark. Not great, but at least it's moving.
I barely made it through a word war last night before I had to go crawl off to bed. I was having trouble breathing, my chest hurt, and my head pounded. But I made the through. Now I'm a little better today, but I fear this cold is coming back in force. Ah well. These things are bound to happen.

Today's plan is to throw myself into the novel for a few hours. For some reason I've not done this yet. I need to -- I'm falling ever farther behind on it. I'm just on chapter two, and this will not do!

So, starting count at 3PM my time -- 5953

I'll be back in about half an hour. With luck, I'll have written something.

Friday, May 03, 2002

Good news! My ice skating camel story sold to Fables! Would That It Were will appear in the Summer edition.
Just a quick note here. I'm waiting for Russ to get home, and then I'm gong to go out to a local nature preserve for an hour or so and wander the paths. It's nearly 70, but breezy. It'll probably be a bit too cold to spend a lot of time out there since it's nestled in some hills and covered in trees, but I intend to enjoy it anyway.

Holly had some neat things to say about writing today. Sounds like a neat technique to pull things together.

I'm doing something different. I have a 19 year old manuscript with a cast of thousands, rambling pov, and I won't even get into the actual bad writing... however, there are some good characters and the plot is not too bad. This is the dreaded Book 3 of 8. (Sounds a bit borgish, doesn't it?)

I've been trying to get going on it for a month and I just couldn't seem to get past the first few pages. Well, I finally found the answer with the note cards. One note card per character, but more importantly, one note card per page of the original manuscript. It is printed in faded dot matrix, about a 10 point font and single spaced. The original is 85 pages. Yes, that's very short, even in this tiny print.

But I've already found several points where I can insert new chapters. In fact, where I should insert material. The novel is Crystal and the Stars. We meet Crystal very early in the book, but then it's mostly a 'look for Crystal' story for about a third of it after that. I realize that I need to show what Crystal is doing during this time since he turns up quite unexpectedly.

Ah, the joys of a real plot. I've now written 13 pages of new material. That barely covers the first 4 pages of the first version. But now all I need do is look at the note cards to remember what happened next, and go to work. If there happened to be some really good dialogue on one of the original pages, I'll try to remember to grab it. So far, nothing much has leapt out at me in that respect.

I've cut characters, and I've changed some of the extraordinary powers of the others. The note cards, all lined up in a nice little notebook especially made for them, is incredibly helpful. I can flip through them, insert material, write more notes on the cards, and go on.

And, one of the most important aspects of writing -- I'm enjoying this. I think it's going to pull together quickly now.

I think I'll go do some more note cards while I wait...

Thursday, May 02, 2002

This is working. I'm going through the old version and jotting down one note card for each page. Just a brief line or two about what's happening. I can already see that there are horrific POV problems. And I am about to hit the 'cast of thousands' problem. But at least I feel like I'm moving on this!

So where does all the time go?

I'm not sure. Here we are in May. I still have the calendar set to April, as though I can make the month last a few more days that way. I can't seem to get my mind focused around the idea of May. It I should be working on Book 3. I should be editing more of the other novel. I should be doing something rather than bouncing around web sites and looking for excuses not to do writing.

And it's not even that I don't want to write. I just can't quite seem to force myself to sit down and look at the material and get to work.

Okay. That will never do. I'm going to start doing some outline cards. Go through the old version and look at what I want to keep, what I want to change, which characters will change gender and which ones will disappear....

Yes, that's a good way to start. Wish me luck, people. I need to get to work on this!

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

Just a run by post. I have done next to nothing today except update my page at My brain needed a few hours rest. Now I'm going to watch a show with Russ, and then I'm going to sit down and write. I know I'll get at least that much done!

I also need to get the material ready for the next classes, and get some editing done and...

I'm tired already, just thinking about it. But off I go to watch TV with Russ instead. (grin)
Vision went up. I finished Mars Run. I am so tired now that I don't think I'm going to be able to crawl all the way to the bedroom. But I thin, at a quarter to five in the morning, that I ought to give it a try.

Tomorrow it's back to the novels...