Saturday, November 30, 2002

Well, we are officially into the last day of the Dare and the lst day of NaNoWriMo. It's been an interesting month!

It is also Kitten Kid's 13th birthday (home day, actually). And we might be out of town this afternoon.

Just thought I'd drop all that in here in case I don't get back to it soon.

Friday, November 29, 2002

I've got a cold.

Ack. Sneeze. Sniff.

Well, better today than yesterday.

Kind of explains my feeling so up and down though!

(Off to curl up in a nice, warm bath for a while...)

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

So, I got a couple hundred more words.

And then I realized something. I want to be working on something fun when I hit 1,000,000 -- not just dragging out the poor second NaNo story.

Russ suggested something, and I think I'm going with it.

It's one of my 'Sangre' stories -- the two sister spies who thought they were working for the U.N., but found out they actually worked for an alien group instead. As it happens, the next story up in the set (written in my twenties), is Turkey Shoot, the Thanksgiving story. These are all holiday themed stories. The first book is Double Time for Holidays and has four stories: And aPartridge in a Pear Tree, Auld Lang Syne, St. Valentine's Day Masarcre Revisited, and Luck of the Irish. The second set (Which I haven't made into a unified book yet, unlike the complete reworking fo the first stories) has May Day, When Do the Firworks Start, Not a Ghost of a Chance... and Turkey Shoot. Possibly Home for the Holidays, if I feel up to it.

Turkey Shoot is not going to be a case of copying the story from an old version. The older version was written when the Berlin Wall still stood, and the Soviet Union held power. I'll have to rework everything, including the location and reasoning behind the assignment. But...

Yeah. Can you tell I'm having fun with this already?

Time to go to work on it.
Okay, I actually had to make up a list of things to do today. I've gotten one important one done and deleted off it. I've started looking at the rest of the list and wondering if I really, really care...

Yes, it's headache time again. Might be weather change. Might just be annoyance with everything in general. No reason for it -- things are not going badly, really. Maybe writing almost 170,000 words this month has something to do with it. My brain is rebelling.

I have, by the way, 3425 words to go to 1,000,000. And right now even that looks like... so?

I think I might need a little break here.

But I probably won't take it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

We have canceled our trip for tomorrow. We might go this weekend, or we may end up not going until next week some time. It's hard to say right now. It takes some of the pressure off what we're doing, even if I was looking forward to it.

Only a few more days of NaNo left. It's going to be odd not having it sitting there each day... But then, my life is odd anyway, isn't it?

I think I'll start my annual Christmas show watching early this year with Lethal Weapon...
Closing in on 65,000 and the story inching closer to done. Yes, I could put The End on it right now and put it aside, but I keep thinking of things I want added in, and since it continues to grow, I'm going to let it. This is slower now, but still doing well enough for the rest of this month. In fact, it's kind of nice to wind down like this and prepare for a somewhat calmer December.

Tomorrow we will be out of town and I'll be doing my writing on the Visor. I think I'm going to try for a new short story -- just something short and quick that I can write in a couple days. I've got a busy three days coming up ahead of me, so no matter what, I'll be getting Whispers of Winterwood done soon.

Other than that... not really a lot to say. I'm working out some other problems right now -- no writing stuff -- so it's kind of taken a little of my attention. But I'm having a good time with NaNoWriMo, and I'm going to be sorry to see it go away.

It's snowing. Very pretty tonight.

I'm over 63,000 and doing well, though I think I'll take a break and go have a nice warm long bath now. It's been a good night!

And less than 8,000 words to go to 1,000,000.

Monday, November 25, 2002

I've nearly reached 60,000 words on the novel, and it is sort of drifting toward an end. I just realized that I hadn't finished off one thread, and I'm doing that now. I'm so looking forward to having it done! Two novels -- over 160,000 words total -- this month. This is the most I've ever written in a month (duh), but the amazing thing is that I'm still as eager and ready to write as I was at the first of the month. Hell, if it was the 20th, rather than the 25th, I'd go for a third novel. Lucky for me time has intervened where sanity fails.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Slow going today. I'm at a little over 52,000 though, so I'm fine. Just need ot get my brain around this current set of scenes, and then move on to the ending. Nothing too hard.

I need this done by Tuesday, though. Wednesday we may leave town, Thrusday we have Thanksgiving at my parents, and Friday is my parents 50th anniversary... which only leaves Saturday after that.

If I pushed, I could probably have this done by tonight. There really isn't that much left to go. We'll see...

Still having trouble with our modem connection. Another phone call and email exchange. It's getting odd.
Oh. Yeah. Post.

Well, to be honest, I've been kind of busy. Not just writing. I had an agenda with a whole new problem today. Amazing how after years of doing this, they can still find new ways to screw it up and make it more work for me. It idd not put me in a good mood. And I do have other things to do sometimes, you know. Like... like... I swept up today. I changed cat litter. I fed the guys.

And I wrote.

Whispers of Winterwood is now a bit over 51,000 words. So I've made the second novel count. I'm in a good mood. And the novel is still going, too. I think it might make 60,000 before I'm done.

Happy zette, off to bed now before the modem crashes yet again...

Friday, November 22, 2002

The new thought on the novel turned out to be so twisty and devious that it took me hours to figure out how to properly work it in. I finally came up with the answer, I'm happy to say. But it's 3am, and I'm not going to get it all worked out tonight. Still, it's been interesting working this bit up.

I'm tired tonight, though. I think I'm going to call it an early night (for me at least) and think through the scenes to come. Take my Visor to bed and write a few notes, if any come to me.

Yes, sleep sounds like a really good idea...

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Still having modem problems. A person could get really tired of this, esepcially when the problems came in the midst of trying to do some agenda work.

But in the midst of a lot of annoying little things, I had a new thought on my novel. Something twisty and interesting, and I'm going back in and writing a couple little hints and then I'll run with it in as soon as I get all the rest of my work done. This one came out of nowhere, but it fits the story. (grin)

And I have a new book out!

The info is here

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

I have a new modem. It does not seem to be working any better, but we'll see. And not only that, but they upped the cost of it without sending out notices... hmmmm, does the word illegal mean anything? We'll see how it goes, but I'm about to drop the cable modem entirely. When it works, it's great. When it doesn't -- and when they start screwing around with us like this -- it's not good.

You see, Russ worked for this company -- Marketing manager, in fact, before he left. He worked for the company over here before this one bought them out -- General Manager here. He knows the law and he knows when they're screwing around with things that they shouldn't be doing. He's also a former city council member. They really shouldn't treat him like he doesn't know what's going on.

Okay, back to the story and novel....
I went to the zoo yesterday. Great day, lots of fun -- hope for some good pictures, but I'm not had much of a chance to look yet. I've got a couple bits of writing I absolutely have to get done, so I'm off to work on that and see if I can't get the story to fall together. I know what I want. Maybe I need to just write the bits I know, and then see how I can fit them together in the end. Yeah. That might work in this case.

Okay. That helps. It's a short story, and that's part of the problem, I think. I keep trying to add in too much. Too many novels lately. (grin)

Monday, November 18, 2002

Hello. A bit over 26,000 words today. Headache, though, and modem crashing every few minutes. That doesn't hurt with the writing, of course, but it is an annoyance over all.

I like this story. I realize that I've rushed through some parts of it that I can expand (good thing since the plot line appears to be a little light for what I need), but over all it's moved very well. I'm having a good time, when I can concentrate on it. Toinght is a problem because of the way I feel, but I think once I lock myself into the work, I should be fine. That's how it usually works for me.

My eyes are starting to give me some serious focus problems again. I hate that. I keep readjusting the position of my glasses, which does not help, and only contributes to the headache in new ways. So reading stuff is out. Writing stuff is in. Time to get to work.
I'm almost up to 25,000 words on Whispers of Winter. Still moving along, in an odd, little steps fashion. But moving and I like the story.

We went out for food tonight. It was the first time in quite a while. I ate too much, felt stuffed, and came back home and napped. I hadn't intended to, but I was falling asleep at the computer. I don't do that very often. I headed for the bedroom and laid down -- and went so instantly to sleep that Russ said he didn't have time to hang up the phone and come in and ask me if I was all right. Just, gone. And I slept for hours.

So now it's 4am and I'm wide awake. Okay, fine. I can do some writing then, can't I?

Saturday, November 16, 2002

I've come to realize that during the work on Freedom and Fame, and now Whispers of Winter, I have taken a serious break from reality. It's been a needed break, to be honest. Things have been a little bit troublesome in real life, but nothing so earth-shattering that I couldn't escape for a while into a novel or two. That's good. Just the kind of break that I needed. I'm still at less than 20,000 on Whispers and starting to worry that the outline is not going to carry it all the way to 50,000. Argh. But I am still working on it. It's going very well as a story, just not the word count that I would like.

So yes, I'm a bit distracted still. I probably will be for a while longer. I need the break for a couple reasons, including my own bad temper at the attitudes of others here and there on the web. But once I'm working on a story that is going well... well, it doesn't really matter much. I'm in my place. I'm doing what I do best (whether I do it well is another question).

Off to do more writing.
Thought I'd post again before this got away from me once more.

I am working on Whispers of Winter. I'm about 17,400 words on it tonight, and I like the feel. If it keeps going the way it is, it should come in right about at 50,000 words. That's good enough for me this month. (grin)

I've been going back and changing things in this one as I go along. Adding a bit here and there, reworking the storyline a bit to cover new ideas. I think it works. I need to bring in more of the secondary trouble, but over all... not bad.

And now -- off to bed!

Friday, November 15, 2002

I had no idea it had been this many days since I last posted. I think I rested a little too much after the 10,000 words a day, 10 days in a row. Not that I stopped writing, but my total output for the last 4 days has only been about 12,000 words. Good words, though. I wrote up a short outline for the new novel and it's helped a lot. Yeah, I've sort of been won over to outlines. Sad, isn't it? Another 'free spirit' writer gone to the dark side.


Really, the reason I haven't been here has had more to do with not getting work done during the first ten days of the month than anything else. Quite a bit to get caught up on there.

Hell. I think my modem connection just went down again. Yup, it's down. Well, this will just have to sit here for a few minutes, then, while I wait for it to come back. Goofy damned provider. I'm starting to think wireless feed, even if it isn't great in bad weather, might be the way to go. At least then you'd know why it wasn't working.

Tonight I have an agenda to put together, but it looks like a short one. It's just coming up on 6pm here, so I don't think I'm going to get any additions or changes after this. I'll give it another half an hour, though, before I start work. One of the most annoying things in the world is to get to work on the agenda and then have them send me a new, updated version.

I think we're back up, about half an hour later. Going to try to post. Copy first, though...

Monday, November 11, 2002

And now...

I feel like I've just come back from a long vacation somewhere. I've never written anything so intently before. I have the plans to start a second novel today, mostly because I feel like I'm just kind of twitchy now without one. Too sudden of a drop. I need to ease off the writing drug a bit more slowly. LOL. Like I'd stop altogether.

Okay. Just thought I'd drop in here for a moment. I've been wandering around boards, trying to get my mind engaged again. But the cats are circling my ankles, so I better get moving and feed them, and then maybe do a little other work around the place.

And then... the new novel. I have it in my head. Time to get it out.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

I did it! I Did It! I DID IT!

101,654 words in ten days. Done just before 11:30pm.

Unfortunately, NaNo appears to be down right now. I'm hoping it comes back soon.

In the mean time, I get to do happy dances and scare the cats. Lucky Russ has gone to bed. (Actually, he stayed up to be with mewhen I finished, and even made cookies to celebrate! -- but I did hold off on the happy dancing part so I didn't scare him, too!)
My computer connection has been down all day. I was really annoyed, but I think it may have had something to do with the rather serious wind storm we had here.

I am within a few hundred words of being done with the novel. It's going to hit 100,000 words, but not much more than that.

I'm pleased!

Saturday, November 09, 2002

A NaNoWriMo Post

Okay, I've got to get this out of my system.

Some people either:

a) Take writing way too seriously
b) Have no sense of humor
c) All of the above

The following is the post I made at NaNoWriMo after reading the article I've linked above.

I've met Alma's kind many times. She's a member of the 'I've suffered for my art, and now it's your turn' group. They're the people who think that if you're having fun, it can't possibly be work, and if it's not work, it can't possibly be good.

A person who has fun at NaNo can't possibly ever be a real writer. And my, if we're laughing and having fun, we're obviously laughing at her! We're making fun of real writers!


The novel I am so very close to finishing for NaNoWriMo is already sold. It's part of a larger fantasy series that will be in ebook first, and (if all continues to go right) print next year. It joins a number of other books I've already sold, along with several short stories. In fact, my total sales of novels and short stories since July, 1999 (my first sale) has just topped 50.

I'm not published by a 'real' print publisher out of New York (small press for the print editions coming out), so that probably disqualifies me in her eyes as well. However, since one of my books is by an epublisher who previously only took books by known authors, I'll stand by my right to be listed as an author, too. The rest of the people I'm published with have names like Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Christie Golden, Josepha Sherman, Jack C. Chalker, Jack Williamson... (SF and fantasy people might recognize some of those names. The rest of you don't need to worry about it -- grin.)

I did write a novel during NaNo last year -- I need to edit it still, but with nine books under contract since then, I kind of ran out of time. I think I'm going to do two novels this year for NaNo -- the one I'm just finishing for publication, and one that's just for me. I do it because it is fun.

Yes, I could have written Freedom and Fame without NaNoWriMo. In fact, since I have a signed contract for it, it's pretty much guaranteed I would have written it. But I held off starting it until November 1 so that I could throw myself into NaNo and do something silly -- work along with 10,000+ other writers, many of whom are also having fun.

There's another important part of all this that the woman obviously refuses to see. Everyone who becomes a novelist has to write a first book. For good or bad, the person has to sit down and learn the mechanics of turning out the words, sentences, paragraphs and pages that eventually become a novel. For many people, it takes far more than one attempt before they actually find their voice and true style. Some people look at the work involved and give up without some kind of goal and push. The idea of publication works as a catalyst for a few, but for many others it looks like such an impossibility that they never get through their first draft, let alone go on to editing, synopsis and query letters, and submissions.

But here a first time novelist (or anyone that has trouble getting a good run on a manuscript) can leap in and do the work because there is a silly, fun goal. Reach 50,000 words in one month. Don't worry if it's not perfect. Learning to edit comes after you learn to just write the material. The best editing in the world won't sell a novel that is never completed.

So, Alma misses the boat for the fun cruise while the rest of us party, and she's going to think we're making fun of her craft every time we laugh. She's going to continue to hold to her angst-filled attitude of 'you can't be a real writer if you do something this silly.' And the rest of us will continue to write. Some will be published. Some will not. But you know... I have heard Chris Baty's name mentioned by aspiring writers as someone who started something that gave them a reason to be a little daring -- and give novel writing a try. When I hear the same about Alma Hromic I'll maybe take her more seriously.

I love writing. I also work very hard at it, and I write every single day. I'm far from a perfect novelist, and for all I know, she writes far better prose than I ever will and is far more popular than I will ever be. But you know what? I wouldn't care if she made the Times Bestseller list and outsold Stephen King -- I'd still rather have fun writing, including doing something silly like NaNoWriMo, then be like her and bitch about other people having fun and doing something that will absolutely have no affect on her life whatsoever.

So, go have fun. Even if you don't make the 50,000 word goal, enjoy yourself while you're here through November. The party boat only sails once a year, and it's one of the few times and places where you can talk all you want about writing with people who not only understand what you're saying, but also aren't going to look down their noses at you and say 'You can't be a real writer because I haven't given you permission to be one.'

Have fun!
Okay, back.

I got my 10,000 words written (which was actually 81,000 something). And now I am doing the agenda that came in this afternoon. I am doing it now because otherwise I will just not get it done in a good time frame for it to be of use. Not a good plan.

And, well, it's kind of a nice break from the novel.

That's it. I'm crazy. I knew it was going to happen if I kept up like this...

Friday, November 08, 2002

Hello, yes, I'm still alive. (Notice the same sort of line in my last post!)

I'm up to 80,100 words right now. I might stop for the night. I've been feeling ill all day, and writing has not been a lot of fun... but then I could have just been sitting around miserable and not writing instead. Last I looked I was in the #3 spot on the NaNo chart. Amazing.

Ack. I thought I was done for the day. A bit of a scene just came to me. All right. Back to writing about 1000 more before midnight. Ought to be interesting, I think.

At the most, I have two more days of work on this thing. And then I'm off to something else.

Oh, and a rant or two when I'm done. I do have some things to day about attitudes. (grin)

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Yes. Hello. I'm still here.

Wow is this story going well. I've never had such luck with writing. I've gone over the half way point in the outline and over 60,000 words total... which, apparently, puts me in second place at NaNo. Actually, from what I can see, I'm technically in first place. The person who posted a 100,000+ story the first day wrote one paragraph and then copy pasted 'hello there' until they hit 100,000 words. (You can see it when you click on his name.)

I'm amazed. And I'm having fun.

And, nevertheless, I want this novel done.

So, back to do a few more 'phases' before I go to bed. I'm up to 192 out of 330. I kept thinking there were only 310... ah well. What's another twenty by that point?

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Except for the problem with the modem, all is going pretty well. The writing is great. I'm having a wonderful time -- over 50,000 words total on the novel as of today. That's a good showing for Nano, though several people are doing far better. I'm not quite half way through my outline yet, though, which kind of worries me, still.

Russ has been wonderful during this madness. He thinks it's great. I think it's madness.

But it is fun.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Quick entry, while the connection is up.

I'm up to 46,000 words. A slow run toward 50,000. I hope to make that tonight. I think I' might also make it to about half way point in the novel. Maybe not that until tomorrow.

It's been interesting still. I wish I could write even faster, but this has been fun!
I put the dog out.

The ground is white. Huh. Snow.

Maybe I'm a little too much into this novel stuff? Ya think?

I'm having a great time, except for the modem giving me problems. Did a couple thousand more words after midnight. And now, off to bed. I have to do things around the house tomorrow. Really. Maybe.

At midnight of day 4, I had 40,236 words for the NaNo novel.

I haven't enjoyed writing like this in a long time. My arms and shoulders aren't so certain it's been such fun... but my mind sure does.

It's amazing, sometimes, how often people take exception to someone having fun doing something they aren't having fun with. I'm serious. You would think that half the people who signed up for NaNoWriMo had been forced into it with guns to their heads, and that each word is extracted with a blunt needle. They're going to suffer through this and a good many of them want to make sure not only does everyone else know it... but that those of us enjoying ourselves realize that we're cruel and evil for doing so. LOL.

Look people, if you don't like it, don't do it. Simple answer. There's no competition here, except with yourself. It's a silly little thing to do, and there's no problem with deciding it isn't the way you want to spend the month.

And, well, I'm not going to feel sorry for doing well at something I enjoy. You might take a clue from my attitude, if you really want to do better at this. Stop approaching writing like it's something to be dreaded and hated. Have fun. Not only will it be a lot easier on you (and the people you live with) but it will show in your work as well. Even if you are writing the darkest, bottom of the pits story, you need to be able to enjoy the act of making those words right. Not enjoy what you have created in a sense that you think it's all fun and light, but have a sense of joy in knowing that what you wrote is the best you can create.

I still have far too much to learn about writing. I fail at a lot of key spots. But I still write with the intention of writing well, and enjoying the act itself. And I will keep doing so.

Monday, November 04, 2002

You know, it's nice to know that somethings just stay with you...

I was taking a bath this afteroon. At about 2:45 I felt what I swore was an earthquake. Having grown up in LA, I knew these kinds of things.

Didn't see anything on it. Forgot about it -- except to mention it to Russ later. But a note on from Justin asked if I'd felt the Earthquake this afternoon. Well. Checked it out, and sure enough. 4.3 with the eppicenter north of us.

I still have the feel. I'm relieved. I'm also rather relieved to know I'm not crazy, because I couldn't figure out what the hell it had been if it wasn't a quake...

Sunday, November 03, 2002


Hard to keep this pace up for this long. But... less than 2000 to go and I can have the 30,000 I wanted!

I have been writing like hell for the last hour and a half. Almost 3,000 words there. If I can do another 3,000 before midnight, I'll be happy. I don't know if I can. I'm taking a little break here just to let it gather a few more sentences before I go into this new section. A difficult section, of course. Damn. I would have liked something easy right now.

Ah well. Back to work.
For various reasons, I'm only now getting started on the novel. I'm going to try to make it to 30,000 -- that would be a respectable three day total, though not nearly as good as some of the NaNo people are doing. It's going well right now, so I hope that I can keep it up for the next couple hours. Just wanted to post here before I forgot.

I ended day two with 22,987 -- and so dead tired that I just crawled off to bed without posting here. But it went well enough. I hope for another good day, though I'm not sure that I'll make it this time. I'm wearing down.

I'm having fun, though. That counts.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

14,037 so far total (11,490 yesterday). I'm doing all right. Better than I had hoped, in fact.
I had to go out with Russ for a little while. But I'm back now. Can't see that I'll make 10,000 today, but I hope to at least get moving...

Russ is off to work until around Midnight, too. Except for the kitties, I don't think there's going to be anything to distract me.

Time to work!
I got up at noon. Russ gave me medications and said go back to bed. I felt/looked horrid. I'm up again. I can't say I feel any better, but I'm off to work...

Won't be as good a day as yesterday, but I'm going to get something done.

After I feed the cats.
Oh my. I slowed way down. It's like my eyes saw MIDNIGHT and my brain turned off. I haven't quite gotten 1000 words yet. I hope to make it to the end of this chapter, but it's looking unlikely right now. Sitting at 12,340.

But I'm happy so far. It's going very well. And by my 'phase' count, I'm over 1/10th of the way through the novel. Excellent. I'd love to be able to keep counts like that up for a few more days... and maybe I will, once I get a little sleep.

Right now, though, I'm going to fight my way to the end of this chapter!
First day count -- 11,490

That was fun once it finally started to move! I've made it through phase 37.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Yes! 10,089 -- and still an hour to go until midnight!

That puts me in a much better mood. The outline is perfect for this kind of work. I'm having fun! I wonder how much I'll get done before I go to bed!

Russ should be home soon, so I probably won't make it much past what I've done so far. After midnight I start the Day 2 count.
8420. It's been interesting working this way. I don't get lost at all, but it is still slower than I expected because sometimes it's harder to pull out the information that I want added. But that just might be me tonight. At any rate, it's just past 9:30. I don't know that I'll make 10,000 the first day, but I've already done pretty well.
Yes, I'm having a pretty good time. Just starting chapter three -- phase 22 -- which means once I get this section done I'll have done two days worth of writing today. Word count is 6966 so far. I'll make a bit more before midnight. It's a good first day, though.

Part of the reason is because of something annoying. My modem keeps dropping out. Russ has tried calling in to the place a few times tonight, but he can't get through. It does mean I've been spending less time on line, though. Even here.

The chapter I'm just starting has some real action in it. I suspect (as often happens with my work) that the rewrite of this will cut a good amount of what I've written -- or at least condense it a bit.

If I get to Phase 31 I'll be 1/10th of the way through the novel. So, off to work!

4269. I'm on 'phase' 13 -- that's two over what I need to finish this on the 30th. It's early, too, of course. I hope to get a few more in tonight.

I need to pick up speed here. I think I shouldn't have too much trouble if I can just focus for more than a few minutes.

Back to work!
And back. I was moving along pretty well, but my parents showed up. Didn't someone tell them this is NaNoWriMo month? What's their upcoming 50th anniversary to that, I ask you...

Anyway, I'm up to 3371 words. Not really omving yet... but we'll see.

Oh, and my modem connection keeps going down. ARGH! I hate that!
2819 for the first part of the first day.

And now... sleep!

1441 so far. Unfortunate that I have a headache tonight and it's VERY cold in here! Ack!

But still... not bad. I still have all day tomorrow, too, of course. Right now I'm making some rice, though. I'll eat a bit while I work and see how much more I can get done. I'm really enjoying this so far.
And yes, I'm off and running.

Starting count (at Midnight my time) 0

Current count (12:17) 341