Sunday, June 30, 2002

Russ is down in Omaha helping a friend move. He was there yesterday, too. These have been the hotest days of the summer so far, of course. The friend had no choice. His wife had a son, which put them one kid over the limit for their housing, and they had to be out by the end of June.

I am holding up in my office, the only room with AC.105 heat index temps do not appeal to me at all, and the less time in the rest of the house, the better.

I am set up for the Dare, which starts in about six hours. I'm looking forward to it in an odd sort of way. It's not like I don't have plenty to do without the Dare, or that I won't get much of the same work done if I'm not in a Dare... but having a group of people working toward their goals always seems more fun to me.

I have done what work I can on Vision, but I need some more material from others before I can go on. That doesn't exactly upset me. I can sit and work on writing for a while, and end June with a good count.

So, off I go...
I did work today. And now I'm going to bed because I'm tired... even though it is early. But I wrote over 2000 words and edited and emailed a story. Now... sleep for a few hours...

Saturday, June 29, 2002

It's midnight and I'm on the third item on my list. Yay! I might even make it part way into four before I fall over dead. It happens that #3 is kind of tough -- some editing work -- and I really shouldn't leave it until so late. It's moving, but slowly. If this scene wasn't such an important first meeting, I'd be tempted to scrap it. I suspect that's just my mood, though. And the fact that I'm tired...

Friday, June 28, 2002

Yes! Despite a blinding horrible headache, I have gotten the Agenda off! And in equally good news, the finance meeting for next Friday is cancelled. I will have a few days without an agenda hanging over my head! Yay!

I still have my list from yesterday. I'm about to go attack it in a few minutes. I think I may actually have a chance at getting part of it done tonight.

But not yet. I'm going to watch The Last Waltz first...
I've way too much to get done. And do you know what happens at times like that? I start not getting any single thing done.

So I am setting up a late update for Vision -- not until the 5th or so. I've only gotten one of the articles tonight, and there are still some others that I'm looking for -- plus editing, layout, etc. Putting it back a few days is going to help a lot, but I'm still going to be pressed for this one.

I am also dropping down to 500 words a day until July 1 when the new Dare starts. IU've alrady written over 53,000 this month, so it's not like I need the words to keep my 1000 a day minimum.

Yes, even I need a break now and then. This is the day. Or the few days, at least. My head is pounding, I've hurt my right ankle, and I want to rest. I also want to think about a couple projects and do some background work on them before I leap in.

Sounds very nice... calm...

Thursday, June 27, 2002

The last thing I did before I went to bed last night was to write out a list of eight things I needed to get done today. I've been up since before noon. I have not gotten to any of them yet.

This is not for lack of trying. Oh sure, I messed around at Forward Motion for quite a while, but that was because I was doing the agendas at the same time. Two agendas, and neither of them particularly difficult... but agendas will always have problems. I've come to accept that as my fate. Actually, having two of them nearly done already (still have to pdf) is amazing.

But then I look at my list with all the other things that I need to get done... and I think banging my head on the keyboard might not be a bad idea.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Hello there!

Yes, it's daylight and everything!

I've managed to work down the pile of things to do over the last couple days... mostly by piling them up somewhere else, but that's beside the point. Mostly.

Writing is a bit slow, but not horrible. The weather is horrible... even sitting in here with my AC on it feels uncomfortable. It's worse in the rest of the house since our main AC broke down. I go out there for a few minutes, and then step back in here and it doesn't seem nearly as bad.

Heat and humidity are not my friends...

But I thought I would just check in for a moment. So much to write, so little time...

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Yes, I've been remiss. The weather is hot, I'm behind on everything... but I'm getting caught up.

In a few minutes I have a gathering at the site for people who are editing and rewriting. I've done a lot of that lately. (grin) But once I'm past that, I think I will be back to writing for a while. I've already edited material for Vision today, and managed a few other little things. Writing sounds like a good plan.

Off to work...

Sunday, June 23, 2002

I had a wonderful day yesterday. We went down to Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge just over the Missouri border. Actually, we took a long, roundabout way to get there, dropping into several small towns along the way to see if we might like to move to any of them. Not that we're likely too, mind you-- but it was fun to do it.

I took a bunch of photos, too. Some really neat ones. I'll have some of them posted on my site soon...

Right now, though, I'm just trying to get my fingers up and moving.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

You really didn't want to hear from me yesterday, not with the 119 page agenda I had to put together...

But today is our 23rd anniversary, and we'll be heading off to see wildlife and such in a few minutes. I thought I would just make a quick note to say that I haven't killed anything just yet, so all is well.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Agenda. Agenda from hell that took... hmmm from 3pm until a few minutes ago. Well, not entirely. I had about an hour and a half off when Russ took me out to watch the storm rolling in.

I did not need an agenda that massive today. I got up filled with good intentions toward estand and vision and all kinds of things. Now it's nearly midnight and I'm not quite entirely done with the links for the angenda... but at least I can start thinking about writing other things for a little while.

Okay, yes I'm crazy. We know that.

I started Book 4 tonight.

Why not? Why not get going on it so that I have a headstart this time, rather than feeling like I've fallen farther behind. And this one at least started well.

I did not write a new short story tonight. I couldn't get my mind around the idea of one. I did write a few stanzas of Windborne free verse. Right now their pattern is 7/5/3/1:

Consciousness and perceptions
Bright day awaken
A star falls

We'll see see if I keep to it.

Right now I'm so tired I can hardly type, though.

Time to get back to work... and then off to bed!

Hey, even crazy people have to sleep...

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Done and going off in the email right now.


Two out in one day. I'm pretty happy.

And now I'm going to go find something for dinner and relax for a couple minutes before I have to go start something else...
The last chatper. I said this woulnd't take long once I got to it. Hmmm... times on my entries below are off. It's about 5:30 now. I'll have this done in just a couple minutes!
Back, finally. I can get through this...
I have three chapters left. I can't follow the instructions. That's it. Be back in a few mintues, I hope.
Yes, another one. Yes, very fast, even with a couple questions about spots that weren't very well explained.

I can do this and then I can nap...

Okay, one more really fast chapter first. And maybe another one if it looks like only a couple little changes... (grin)
Okay, I finally beat that chapter into submission. But... I took some Tylenol for a growing headache. Bad mistake. I'm already starting to fall over asleep. I shouldn't take anything without food. But even that's no guarantee that I won't fall over asleep anyway.

Argh. I think I'm going to go rest for a few minutes. Or hours. Seven chapters left. I'll do them when I get back up.
Argh. Need to make an addition to this first chapter I pulled up, and of course I can't seem to get out two little lines. Snarl.
Okay. I've looked things over. I have eight chapters left to do. That's not much work at all, with the few revisions the copy editor made. I can do this quickly!
Still working along. A little slower because my head does not want to focus on this right now. But I'm so close! What is this attitude problem all of the sudden?

Maybe I shouldn't have jumped into the work so early today.
And here we are. I've already done one chapter for Abby and I'm working on the next. I'll have it done and back to Elizabeth in no time.

And then... well, back to work on Vision, of course. But at least I won't feel as though I have several thousand things sitting there to be done. Just ... well a few less thousands of things.

And now I have written another short story. Three in three days. That was fun. Not as good as the first two, but still not a bad little story. It's based in the same world. I'm actually considering doing a collection of short stories rather than a novel. I kind of like dropping in like this and touching the important places in their lives. I could also not write this in a linear timeline. That might be interesting.

I am going to bed for a few hours. I'll come back later and finish Abby and send it off as well.

Sleep. Yes. But... I did well today. I'm happy.
And with three minutes to go.. not only DONE but emailed.

Yes, I did that on purpose. I had to get it out of my life. Well, until I get the line edits back, but I won't have those until after we get through Brendan's Song.

I'm going to go do a little writing for the next hour. I'm not sure what on, but a few hundred words.

Done, done done! Finally!
Half hour mark. 384 out of 483.

357 out of 402 at 3AM

A little slower there, but still going. 45 pages to go...
321 out of 402, with two side excursions to do a little more explanation.

Going well. I will have this done tonight. 81 pages to go. Yay!
297 out of 402 at 2AM

I know this is the most boring stuff in the world to read, but it keeps me on my goals. I want to see how much I can get done by 2:30AM, and with that in mind -- and know I'm going to post it -- I'll stay working on Crystal.

I know. Stupid little writer trick, but hey... it works for me.
I got side tracked by a number of things tonight, but I'm back to work on Crystal at least. Up to page 268 out of 402. I intend to have it done before I go to bed. I might not get back to Abby, which would be unfortunate. I would like to have it done as well. I would, in fact, like to have pretty much EVERYTHING done. Somehow, I don't think that's going to happen in the next three hours before I get too tired to go on.

But all right. 268 our of 402. 1:42AM

Be back in a few minutes...

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

So there I was, going through the final, final, yes this is it, run through of Crystal when I reached page 183 and something... obvious hit me that I had not covered.

Not a horribly hard thing to fix, and I'm grateful to have found it now. It will mean some additions in a few places along the way. It won't be hard. It just came as quite a shock since I thought I really was done.

I have the missing chapter now, so I can bet back to work on Abby as well. I should have that one done tonight. I hope to have both still done tonight, in fact. And a bit of other work as well.

Odd life, isn't it?
I did another 17 chapters, and then found that I was missing one. I could have gone on past it, but I took it as a sign that I should take a break.

I went in to take a nice, relaxing bath.

And got hit by a short story idea. So I came back out and wrote that one, and since it was based on one of Justin's exercises -- like yesterday's -- I posted it there as well. Two short stories in two days -- this one 1312 words. Nice to have a break from the novels. (grin)

But now it's very late and time to get a little sleep again!

Monday, June 17, 2002

My Monday night class has become a beacon for bad weather. The minute I posted that there would be a class tonight, the clouds began to roll in. Now it's dark and loud out there, but there doesn't appear to be anything too drastic going on.

I edited about 17 chapters of Abby last night. I have not had a chance to get back to it today, but as soon as I'm through with class... well, providing that the weather doesn't turn worse, of course.
The edits slowed down for one particular chapter, but while I fought my way through it, I also took a look at one of the exercises that Justin had posted for the Forward Motion site, and it sparked a nice, and very short, story.

The edits are going well, despite this little problem chapter. I must be nearly 100 pages into the story by now. It's divided into chapters and I've not run them all back together yet.

I've also gotten quite a bit done on the the class stuff for tomorrow. All in all, not a bad day at all, despite a horrid ear ache for part of it.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

I have just finally restarted going through the line edits from the copy editor on the first book of the series. So far they aren't bad at all. I can get this done fairly quickly, I think. I've done about four chapters in the last half hour, so this won't take long unless there are some major problems later on.

This is good. I want this one done and the book finally completely out of my hands.

But the real reason I threw myself into it was because I had this really insane urge to start book 4. I want to get some other things done before I throw myself into that one... but there I was,looking for the file. NO!

So I'm off to work...
So far today I've been hanging around the newest version of Forward Motion and getting caught up on the posts there, as well as learning how the new boards work. They're fun so far.

I've also been working on the class material for tomorrow.

Yes, it's been a sort of lazy day. Russ is gone, and I'm determined not to get too crazed for at least 12 hours before I start in on the next project.

So yes, this is a quiet day...
So I immediately began thinking about all the stuff I've not gotten done while I slaved over this monster. Agenda is uploading right now... that one is NOT my fault. I had it done. They sent me an updated version the next day. Yes, I was annoyed.

But I have class things to prepare, an issue of Vision to get put together, short stories to edit and get out, and cleaning up my office would not be a really bad thing to consider. Right now, however, I'm going to start the work for the class. Just as soon as I find my notes again. Hmmm... maybe cleaning the office ought to be top of the list after all...

Saturday, June 15, 2002



I do keep going back and messing with it, but I think this really is it this time. Finally. Crystal and the Stars will go off to the publisher either later tonight or tomorrow.

About time!
I have four pages to go. I can do this, right?

I am finally back again.

I will get done. There is only one chapter left, but I am cleaning up the previous one. I rushed through it, and I need to make it stronger.

14 pages to go.

And a break. Russ and I have to go out for a little bit. I hope by the time I get back that I'll be in a better mood. This has not been a good day so far. I would like to have and enjoy finishing this one. I think I deserve at least that much enjoyment from the monster after all the trouble it's given me.

So out for a few minutes, grab something to make for food, and then I'll be back.

Back to work. I would have been to work far earlier than this but I had an eye problem and I just couldn't even look at a monitor for a few hours. Figures, doesn't it? I should have just finished the book last night.

Although after I went to bed I realized I had not accounted for one of my characters at a critical time, so I fixed that when I got up. And I have two more name changes that I think I like. So far the only character who hasn't either changed his name or his gender is Crystal.

Not much work left. I'm on page 379 of 384 right now.
I am on page 370 of the new version. I have 27 pages left of the old.

And I am going to quit here for a few hours.

I want to enjoy getting the last little bit done, and I fear that I'd just race through it too quickly right now, egar to be done and to get to bed.

Page 343

Once I put my mind to this stuff, it goes well. And I knew the closer I got to the end of the novel, the more determined I would be to have it done. I wish I could get this attitude from the start, but better now than not at all.

Oops. Forgot to publish that last one. Well, I'm up to page 360 anyway. The original only went 362, but I've still got about 35 pages left in that version to edit and add. This close... maybe I will stay up and get it done.
Made it to page 331. So far, it's going well.

The next chapter ends at page 342.

And then 52 pages of the original novel left. 2:15am. I doubt I can get it all done tonight. This hasn't been a very cooperative novel, after all. But it's moving again at least.

Tough chapter, headache, long warm bath...

No, I haven't gotten very far. I did, however, make it over the 80,000 mark for the book, so I'm doing all right. Just falling farther behind again.

I'm going to kick myself into gear here. I'm on page 322 of 326 for this chapter.

Friday, June 14, 2002


I went to bed at about six this morning. I did not go right to sleep, being awfully annoyed about the lost chapter. I got back up at 11am when Russ came home with a new desk for his corner of the house. I did some writing. I cooked dinner. I ate too much.

I slept for a few hours.

So now that I'm back at the computer, I rather hope that I can get some work done. That 'less than 100 pages' left seems to be getting longer and longer, doesn't it?
Okay, now that I've gotten past being really annoyed...

I did something stupid (too tired to think) and lost the last chapter I did last night. Not a huge amount of work, and I've already redone it and I'm on to the next one... but it really annoyed me at the time. I had gotten past the 100 page mark and then dropped right back down.

If I work through all of today I might get this done. I don't think I can, but at least it's a goal I can aim at right now. I didn't think I would get this far, you know. I had begun to think this would be the novel that never died.

However, I have found myself chuckling at a couple points during the last edits. I think it stands up well. And it's almost done. Life is good...
I have less than 100 pages of original to get done.

I am going to bed now...

Okay, like major distraction this time. I ran out of post it notes in my little holder. I went to find them, knowing they were buried in a pile of other stuff. Knocked over a stack of picture cd rom disks that went falling all over the floor -- I don't know if they all survived or not yet. I just put them back in cases (many of which had broken), and put them on a shelf behind me. Then I pulled all the junk out of that corner, took the shelves out and put my little stereo unit in that corner.

Of course, then I had everything spread all over my desk. I have finally gotten most of it back up. It's going to take a couple more days to get everything else arranged right. I need some more speaker wire, but over all it sound all right. And I won't be shoving more junk back into that little dark corner now.
Made it through that chapter. Even had some fun with it. And now to the next one, a bit shorter.

I would love to go into tomorrow with 100 pages or less to do, but I don't think I'm going to get quite that far. Ah well.

I'm still working on the third chapter of the day. Attitude adjusment, attitude adjustment. I keep wanting to go flitter around looking at everything else, slip away for a bit... Not work on this any longer.

But... I might get this done soon if I just put my mind to it. Still about 100 pages to go, and I'm only been doing about 30 or so a day, but I can do better than that! This is stupid, letting myself slow down this much. I know it. I see it every time I start looking outside the story for something to do.


Well, I've added about 8,000 words over all. Cut quite a bit too, so that's really probably closer to 11,000 new words. How much can I get done in the next hour or so? Time for my own private little race, isn't it?

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Today we learned something very important about our car.

It coasts real well.

We learned this right after we found the glitch in the fuel indicator.

All in all, considering where it tried to die, we did very well. But it was one of those adventures that a person could really do without in the long run.

I've done one chapter and part of another before I was waylaid by agendas that were a bigger mess than usual. They are... I hope... uploading on the other computer.

I need to get back to work now. I was doing very well on the novel after I did that Attitude Change.
There. Bath. Change in attitude. Another chapter done.

Yes, this is much better. I don't know what I was complaining about so much. The novel is going fine, and I'll get it within the next couple days. I think the pace will pick up now that I've sat back and realized that I just was floundering again, bouncing around from one thing to another. I can focus better than this. And to prove it, I got Chapter 3 done in about a quarter of the time it had taken me to do any of the others of equal length.

So, almost there. I am very close to 50,000 words on the rewrite and about a 7,000 word gain over the original. Not to bad at all, with about 25,000 left to go.

Oh yes, I can get this done.

But it is 5:30am. The rooster is crowing and it's light outside. Time for all good little Literate Vampires to head for bed.
Added 124 words and part of a page.

And now I am really going to go take that bath so that my hair will be partly dry by the time I get to bed.
Yes. Much better. Made it through those last to pages and gained 529 words for the chapter. Not too bad. That's right at about the proper number of words per page. And the new version of the novel itself is up to 45,000 words. If this goes to 80,000 then I am actually over half way there.

Oh, and better still the next chapter is another of the little two page ones showing things happening elsewhere. Better and better. I like having the short pieces to do.

217 out of 218
Well no, not quite to the bath yet. A couple more pages, a few minutes wandering around my little office, and then a bit more work again. I can see this scene in my mind, but it doesn't want to write out properly.

However, I have made it to 212 out of 216.

Yes, I can have this done quickly now.

208 out of 216

Yes, gaining words. Gaining pages.

Gained a bit of a problem that will slow me down. I need to think it out. And I am going to do that away from the computer again. In a bath tub for an hour or so.

Maybe I am looking for an excuse to get away from the story. But I've done my 1000 words already, so I'm going to stop getting all worked up about it, at least for the next couple hours.
Midnight. Two chapters done. Into the third one.

Why is this novel fighting me? And it's not even hitting that hard... just dragging it's tail in the dirt, slowing me down from getting to anything else. Part of it, of course, is that I have not done the one thing that I tell everyone else to do. When you finish a manuscript -- whatever rewrite you are on -- put it aside and work on something else for a while.

But I don't have time. I don't have time because the novel dragged its tail all through the initial writing, and now I'm far behind already.

I am, I'm glad to say, about half way through this last run. I can do this. Maybe some good music.... I don't often work to music, but this might be the time to do it. Nothing with words, though. Words tonight would just distract me. I'm looking for distractions. Adagios, perhaps or something... well, something interesting. Yes. Yo-Yo Ma playing Japanese Melodies. It's going on right now.

I am on page 200 of 214. (I copy to a new file by chapter, so the last page number is the last page of the current chapter.)

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

All right, I finally got that chapter done. This isn't so hard, is it?

Sometimes I find it interesting to sit back and look at how I work. I get things done in my own peculiar way... but I get there. And all in all, I think I do a pretty good job of it, though some things just slip past me when I throw myself into this work. Ah well. In the end I usually get it all caught up.

Sometimes my mind flitters around from one thing to another so much that I can hardly seem to focus on getting a line down at a time. More often, though, I lock myself into a story and find that I've forgotten to do other things for days. There doesn't appear to be much for middle ground.

Ah well. I've managed to live with it for a long time now.

Back to the next chapter...
There is one thing I shouldn't do... take any kind of pain pills, even over the counter asprin, on an empty stomach. It knocks me straight out. and that's what happened this afternoon. I had barely started in on my first chaper when I found myself sitting with my eyes closed and my fingers on the keyboard. I crawled back off to bed.

And slept for several hours. By the time I got up, Russ and I had to go out for a little while. I am only now getting back to work on that first chapter. Annoying... I really want to get moving on this last run through. But I didn't have much choice, when it came down to it.

So, back to work. I must write...

I ended on three chapters last night, and another 1361 words. I wish it would go faster. I wish I could say that I would have it all done tonight... or tomorrow night. I'm hoping by the end of this weekend.

But I am 135 pages into it, which is crawling perilously close to half way. I might yet make it. Ther have been times when I didn't think I would get this far with this novel. So far... it's not going too badly. So I should get back to it and stop sitting here grumbling about it, right?

I need an attitude adjustment.

Monday, June 10, 2002

So far today I've done one chapter and finished up the material for the class... which starts in about 25 minutes. Not too bad. It does look as though it might storm, though. We've had a very hot, sultry day with the kind of temperatures and humidity where you really don't want to step outside for very long. I always look at days like this and feel more and more gratitude that I live in the age of ACs.

Hey, if you have the technology, why not enjoy it?
I've done two chapters and finished out the first part of the novel. I also ganed 2850 words, which is good -- more than I needed per page, in fact.

The next chapter is longer, and it may have to wait until tomorrow. I would love to hit the 100 page mark, though. Argh...

Well, I'll do some work on it. We'll see how it goes.
It took me nearly four hours to get that agenda done last night. But I finally did, and finished up the rest of chapter three as well. However, by the time I got done I had such a headache that I couldn't even sleep. Pills finally knocked me out, but I woke up and it was still there. More pills, and more sleep... I finally made myself get up. I've worked on the class stuff for tomorrow. It's going all right.

I have pulled up chapter 4 to get it done tonight. It is still early, especially considering how much sleep I've had. I might even get the next chapter, which will be the last to part 1. That would be good.

I added a couple thousand words yesterday, and that's even better news. It's going well. I can get this done...

Saturday, June 08, 2002

Oh gack. I forgot about the agenda. I have to drop out of chapter three and go do it right now before I forget again.

Grumble. Grumble. I want to work on the novel.

At least I got part of it set up to go already. Shouldn't take too much time to do the rest...
Little prologue and first chapter done. Gained a bit over 1000 words.

I've opened up the second chapter, but I think I might have to go rest for a little while before I try to attack it. I would like this to be going faster, but I can't complain too much. I'll get it done.

A little rest, though, is not a bad idea right now...
I am ill. Really, horribly miserably ill. I stayed in bed until Russ went off to his BlackTie event tonight (took quick pictures of him in a Tux), and then I fed the horde. I thought about going back to bed, but it might be more comfortable in this room once the AC cools it off a little better.

And besides, even with my throat mostly swollen closed and my stomach horribly upset, I still just want to get back to work on Crystal and try to get the last run through it done.

So... back to work at least for a while.

The End

I want another 10,000 words, though. This isn't as hard as it looks. The book is 362 pages long. That means I need to add about 28 words per page to bring it up to 80,000. I can do that just in the needed descriptions that I mostly skipped. I do that in drafts where I'm trying to work out the plot.

But it's good. I'll add the words as I do the line editing this time. Usually I would do them in two passes, but I am already so far behind on this one, that I really don't have that kind of time.

But this is it. I have the plot. I have a few pieces that worked very well, and some that I need to fine tune in the final draft.

I'm happy...

Nice, nice. It's working.

A few more minutes. I'll have it done about my regular quitting time. That's kind of funny.

69,373 Fixing and adding a few lines before I write the last couple paragraphs. I would like to make 70,000 words tonight before I end this draft. We'll see...

69,201 and very close.

There were times in the last few months when I didn't think I'd ever find myself at this point, with just a few hundred more words to go.

I have two notes on things I need to cover earlier in the book. I think I will look at those right now before I do the very last closing lines. Then I'll have a full count on this draft, and know just what I need to add to make it to the count I want.

Through a difficult scene.

I realized that I have one other short little chapter/scene that I must slip in right here. No problem.

Almost done...

Oh my, it worked, it worked! Something that came to me in the last moment, a little whisper of a plan. And I think it actually worked, ties in with the earlier material.

That was very nice.

Down to the last two chapters. One very, very short. The other just about that short.


I'll be lucky if the story makes 70,000 in this incarnation. And I'll be lucky if I don't pound my head to a pulp on the wall trying to get this last 3,000 words.

Normally I would reach this point and just run to the end. I love reaching endings. This time... I don't know what the problem is. I don't actually think it's the story. I seem to have some attitude adjustment problem right now. Well this is it. I'm going to get this book done before I go to bed. I'm betting it's going to be about 69,000 something. I can do that much. It's only 1am.

(Pound head against wall again, just to see if it helps...)

Yes, I am moving very slllooooooooowwwwwwwwlllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyy.

But I'm getting there. I'm on the final battle scene. All is lost... Almost.

Friday, June 07, 2002

Russ took me out for a ride tonight before he went off to play announcer at the comedy club. A storm had just started to blow in, so we headed west into it, and then drove along the gust front on a dirt road. That was really nice! The storm wasn't too horrible -- some stiff winds and a lot of rain, but we only hit a small amount of hail at one point, and we were able to turn out of that band a few moments later.

I absolutely love storms. Right now I can hear the almost continuous growl of thunder outside, but there hasn't been much in lightning, and the winds aren't up. We are under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning (Warning means THERE IS A STORM where as Watch means there's a chance of a severe storm), but I think most of it is going just south of us. I'm having a nice time listening to it, though.

I think I'll go check NOAA and see if there have been any tornadoes with this line of storms...

Nothing so far, but they are saying more severe thunderstorms. And I think the rain just hit...

And this just in:

At 718 PM CDT... National Weather Service Doppler Radar Indicated A Line Of Severe Thunderstorms From 3 Miles Northeast Of Jackson To 3 Miles North Of Allen... Or From 4 Miles Southwest Of Northwest Sioux City To 10 Miles Southwest Of Ponca... Moving Southeast At 15 Mph.

This Is A Dangerous Storm. Take Shelter.

Still doesn't sound like much out there though, so I think we're doing all right here!

And kind of just died there. I'm not sure why. I think I might just need to get up and move around a little. Go do the dishes... yeah.

The first thousand down. Not an easy thousand, either. I suspect that the next set is going to be even harder. I need to sit down with some scrap paper and work out a bit of the layout,

5044 words for this run. And some new stuff I hadn't expected until I got right up on it. Good so far... but I am tired now. Time to sleep again.
63000 even.

Slowed, yes. But getting there. I'm also wearing down again. I think I need a snack of some sort. I wonder if there is anything not sweet to eat around here.

That puts me just a bit over 4000. I might keep going.

I'll be done soon. It's about time!

I'm at one of the last truly fun scenes in the book, the meeting between my smuggler and a prince of the line who is not exactly on the right side of the law either. It's a lot of fun to write. And I'm right out 3000 words for the day. Nice. Relaxing. I'm having a good time, and I think I'll for a couple thousand more tonight.

Yes, the book is falling short. I feared it would. If I can get it to about 70,000 in this run, I can start looking at places to expand when I work through the chapter listing. I already have an idea of places that I may have cut too short anyway.

Ah, nice to feel like I'm finally getting somewhere again.
And after a rather lengthy delay, I am finally back to the book. I've done over 2000 words so far today, so I'm not too worried. And I had a nice night. In fact, I feel rather fired up and ready to attack! I hope it holds up.

Starting count -- 60,858


Thursday, June 06, 2002

Lost Inca City found!

According to the explorers, it appears to have been built as a retreat from the Spanish invasion, and abandoned after the last Inca ruler was killed.

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of this one!

A bit over 60,000 -- finally! But I also have some web work that I need to get done right now. So off I go to get that out of the way.

But it is going well enough. A little bogged down, but not too bad so far.

I'm coming close to the climatic battle scene. One more bit of trouble to sit up first, and then I'll throw three converging problems together and let all the enemies have a go at my MCs at once. This should, at least, prove fun to write. The original version lacked excitment. I hope to change that this time around.

Okay, just coming up on noon and here I am like a good little writer person, about to start on my work. I'm usually not quite this early, but I was up already and it's either this or go clean house. I'll write, thank you very much. Actually, I've restarted an old system of quick cleaning -- every time I walk into a room, I have to pick something up or dust an area, etc. Which is great until you run out of the small things to do.

But now it's back to work on Crystal. Starting count is 58,677. And this is only Thursday, right? I keep thinking it's Friday and that's making me think I'm not close enough to finished. I can do this.
I wrote 3000 words today.

Exactly 3000 words.

I'm going to bed now, but I'm less than 1000 from hitting 60,000 words. I have 21 more scenes to write. I think I have a chance of actually finishing this one soon.

But now... sleep for a few hours!

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

I have been suffering for hours with one of the worse headaches I've had in a long time. Normally I can just work around them. This one kept me in bed. I finally forced myself up and crawled back here. I looked out the back window. And there it was again...

A big brown chicken.

This wasn't the first time I had seen a big brown chicken wandering around the neighborhood. I called for Russ. Once again, by the time he arrived, the big brown chicken had disappeared.

He just sort of patted me on the shoulder, mumbled something about headaches, and asked about feeding the cats.

I took my camera and went outside. And I couldn't find the big damn brown chicken. I did find that my nice peonys were starting to bloom. I took a couple pictures. And turned to go back inside.

And there it was, standing in the neighbor's driveway, taunting me. I pulled up the camera. It darted into the shadows. I stalked. (So, by the way, did my largest stray cat... but as soon as Russ shook the food and poured some out, he decided that was far easier to catch...)

I have pictures. Big brown neighborhood chicken creature.

Thunk. 5:30am. Still another 24 pages to go through on the changes, but it's basically there. Added just over 2000 words, even when I cut about 3000... which means I wrote about 5,000 total today. Too bad I can only count the 2000. (grin) Ah well. At least I think I finally have this story pointed in the right direction.

I would like to have it done. I rather hope to reach that point by the end of this weekend, but I can't guarantee it.

Tired now. Time to sleep....

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Just done with the rewrite gathering at Forward Motion. It went for an hour and a half, and I think a lot of the people found some help there. Now if they would just come and do this rewrite for me...


Russ isn't home from his meeting yet. I hope he makes it soon. I'm getting a bit hungry, and I think I'll work better after food. So, it's time for a bit of a break and then on to other things...

The rewrite still seems to be going well, by the way. I hope it works this time.
Reworking over 100 pages to take out the references to this incident and correct the weakness it left for the characters is not easy. It's working out, but slowly. I like the story better for it, though, so I guess I've made the right decision. Or maybe at this point any change looks better than what it was.

Cutting, reworking, adding new... I'm still getting a positve word count, which amuses me at this point. It's going to take all of today and maybe a day or two more to get this stuff reworked, but after that I can go on through to the end of the novel. Yes, people, I can finally actually see the end of this novel in sight!

The funny thing is that I'm really looking forward to doing book 4. I've every reason to believe that it'll be a lot easier to deal with. Five... Well, I'm setting stuff up for five in this novel, so it's going to fall together a little better in this round. Six... what is six? Ah! Yes... well when I get to that point I think I'll have a better grasp of how this falls together. I hope.

Just make it through #3 first. Stop worrying about the ones that come after it.

Why didn't I just write short stories, huh?

For the last week or more I've been having trouble with Crystal and the Stars. A nagging little problem that grew and grew, until I couldn't hardly sleep at night, wondering about it. The story just... got boring. Not horribly boring, but weak, lifeless...

I went to bed at 6AM today, tossed and turned for another couple hours. I knew I had to go back and add things, rewrite things... change things.

Change something.

And I suddenly knew what I needed to change. About midway through what I'd already written I did something that made Abby and Tristan weak and very nearly useless, leaving the war in the hands of the others. That didn't seem so bad in the original version, but now I realize that I need more of the two, not less. And I need to show that they're ready to take on the next challenge at the end of this story, not just move on.

So I've gone back and begun changing things. This is going to take some time. I'm on page 132 of 278. I've added about 500 words so far, even though I keep deleting huge chunks. Something has to go in to fill in the gaps, after all.

It's going to mean a lot of reworking up to the point where I left off. I don't normally work this way... but I don't normally have a book under contract either, so I might as well give it a try this time.

I think it's going to work.

And I better get back to it now. Oh, and the hand and arm are a lot better, though long stretches of typing still makes them go numb. Well, always knew I should get up and move around more often anyway...

Monday, June 03, 2002

Took most of yesterday off from internet stuff when I started having trouble staying on. It cleared up. I didn't get a lot else done, of course, but still it was a good break.

Tonight is the Culture Class. I've got everything ready for it, though I do keep going back and tweaking things. Then I'm going to go back to writing. I think it should be a good night. It's quiet outside, mostly because the temp dropped quite a bit again -- back down to the 60's tonight, and probably going to slip into the 50's. This weather is strange.

But off I go... time to get the last of the class stuff done!

Saturday, June 01, 2002

Two small chapters added so far. I odn't think they amount to more than 1500 words. Snippets of life on the other side, and of the gradual change in Tabor as he realizes that he holds answers because he is not limited in his possiblities by his demon blood. It turns out there is a good side to being half human after all.

I'm not getting very far word-wise, but I have made a big improvement in the story, just in those few hundred words. A different feel. Now if I can just change the feel of some of the other material...

Well, first I'm going to get it written up. I'm very nearly to 50,000 words. I would like it to run somewhere between 75-90,000. I suspect that it's going to run short, but if I keep coming up with ideas like this last one, I won't have much trouble.

And the zoo stuff seems to be working. I'm testing an upload right now. We'll see... still some work to do on it, but I think it's going all right.

I hope.

Back to work...

When I went to bed this morning, I laid there a long time wondering how I can improve the excitment in Crystal and the Stars. I think I finally found it, and it's a problem I had with another novel a few years ago. The enemy is faceless. We know who it is from the previous two books, but for most of this one, they are behind the scenes.

So I'm inserting a few chapters that will expand on what Gix and his half demon son are doing. So far the first one is going well. I don't expect these pieces to be very long, but I think they'll add a nice flavor to the mix, a bit darker...

Time to get things together. New month. I will have this one done soon. At least I've gone over the middle, which had lagged -- but will be better when I put the new material in. Now I'm working my way down to the ending, and I can see it falling together better. And I can see... yes, the reason why the demons are not present in the next two novels. I knew why not, but I can work it into something a it more drastic in this round.

Good. Off to work.
Well, I've done next to nothing so far today. I got the zoo website done, only to find that it would not load. So that's taken a considerable amount of my time. I have written some material today... a short free verse poem for one thing. Odd. I don't do those very often. I had intended to write a short story on the subject, but the feel leant itself far better to something sparser.

At any rate, at least it's done in first draft, which is more than I can say for a lot of other things I've been working on lately!

I am going to try to finish a short story tonight as well, just so I can say that I've done the apprentice short story dare. I did get four stories out for the rewrite dare, so that's good too. Not my best dare months, but not terrible.

I've misplaced The Mediterranean book again. It's too expensive to just leave sitting around, so I always end up misplacing it. Ah well. It's a day to write, anyway.