Friday, December 30, 2011

Obligatory End of the Year Post

So here we are, the second to last day of 2011. It has been a crazy year for me with some pretty high highs and some really low lows. But I survived it all 'cause that's how I roll.

Since I pretty much outlined my major plans for 2012 in my last post I'm going to break it down for you (and me, mostly me) into smaller goals. And by doing so I'm hoping it will keep me motivated and on track. I've been told that checking things off a to do list is satisfying and since I've never been one for lists I'm going to give it a try. I'm going to take my "big" goals and break them down into smaller ones. So away we go!

Goal 1: Finish The Guardian by January 15
*Finish outline. I'm usually a pantser but because of the way NaNo worked out I was able to go through and make a skeleton outline of the story. If I finish it I think it will be easier to finish the story. 

*Complete 3000 words a day. I would say just write but quite a bit of the story is already done so I won't be coming up with new words every day.
*Tuck it away for safe keeping and revisions after Goal 2 is completed.

Goal 2: Finish Revisions on Harvest Moon by March 23
*Revise 2 chapters per week. There are 10 weeks between goals and I'm fairly sure I have about 20 chapters (plus a couple. You'd think by this point I would know.)
*Re-read from start to finish to make sure I filled all holes and characters are consistent.
*Prepare copies for beta readers and send them out. This one I'll probably have to have hubby fantastic do for me. Even just typing that turned my stomach inside out.

And now for the Not So Major goals that I have in store for myself. More so, goals that have no specific deadlines

*While HM is out with readers begin query letter to (hopefully) be sent by mid-year.
*Start fleshing out other story idea.
*Write EVERY DAY. I have been remiss on doing this and it makes it so difficult to keep moving. I must reform the habit.
*Post updates on the blog once a week. I'll probably have to set reminders for this but I'm going to hold myself accountable by putting this stuff out there more regularly.

I think that's everything for now. Wishing you all a safe and very Happy New Year! See you in 2012.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Quick Christmas Update

So the year is coming to a close. It's all a little to fast for my liking, but you can't stop time. Or so I've been told, I'm still hoping that someone will invent some sort of machine that will make it happen. But I digress...

I've been working (not so) diligently on the revisions to this year's NaNo project and I'm almost completed with the first chapter. I have written a ton of notes about what I'm wanting out of this story and where I want it to go so I'm thinking that I may actually be able to finish a pretty decent first draft in a relatively short amount of time. I was hoping to have it done this month but time just seems to get away from me. Now I have family in town for Christmas and they'll be here for about a week.

Because I haven't been able to finish this story I am now having to push back working on my previous project. I definitely need to start setting deadlines for myself and sticking to them. That being said, deadline numero uno will be to finish first draft of The Guardian (working title) by January 15th. Deadline dos is to finish the revisions to Harvest Moon (also a working title) by my birthday, March 23.

From there, I have 2 beta readers that have volunteered to run though that draft and I'm hoping for some good feedback. Depending on what comes of the readings I'm going to do more edits, another set of readers, and start shopping around for agents. I'm thinking I should be able to get queries started mid-2012.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Slight Change in Plans

As I stated before, my plan was to take the month of December off from all creative endeavors so that I can get back to editing in January. All in all I thought it was a fantastic plan. The stress of NaNoWriMo would be over, I could handle the holiday stuff without worrying about fitting in time to write/edit, and my poor brain could take a short respite before I send it into overdrive (I plan on having my draft out to beta readers by my birthday in March).

The best laid plans... It took me so long in November to finally come up with a plot that by the time I reached 50k I had just gotten to the part where it was starting to get good. Since I am not one to walk away from a project, I have decided to take this month to figure out how it all ends. I will wind up taking apart the beginning and getting it to make sense with my plot direction. I am hoping that I'll be able to touch it up enough that it can sit in a completed draft form until I'm finished with my other revisions.

Luckily, for me, it is the slow season at work so I'm not near as worn out when I get home so I can dedicate more energy to my projects. Maybe one day I won't have to try and do it all. Someday I'll be able to stay home and focus on what matters most to me. Until then, however, I will continue to do it all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NaNoWriMo and Beyond

So last year I didn't update at all during NaNo and that's because I was trying desperately to come up with something that I could string together for 50k words. I was able to put down 50k at the very last minute, but there was nothing together about it. It wound up being a bunch of scenes about the same characters that had a tiny little portion of things in common. Thus the label on my drive of, Do Not Open Ever Again.

This year, I don't think that I'll struggle to get to 50k. However, I am struggling to get to my plot. I bored my way through 15,000 words of minor happenings and background(ish) information to finally come up with a plot. So I know things are going to happen and there will be a general story arc if/when this thing is ever completed. I just wish I had come up with said plot line earlier. Then I wouldn't have to try and lead every single string back to one point.

I guess that is what writing is all about though, isn't it? Learning and perfecting the craft. I do figure that what I have finally come up with will make for an interesting story. Hopefully, one day I'll be able to pick it back up and do something with it. But I have plans, big plans.

I'll be taking the month of December off but come January I'm hitting the revisions hard on my MS that I've been toying around on. I will be finished with said revision by my birthday in March. Then, I will finally send it out to the beta readers I have met this past month. And then, with a few more revisions, I WILL submit for representation next year. I have learned a lot about not putting things off recently and I'm tired of waiting for something to happen to me. I'm going to make it happen myself.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Apologies and Updates

First, I'd like to say that I'm sorry it has been so long since I posted. I received some tragic news while I was on my working vacation and I have been slowly trying to piece things back together. Although I have a long way to go to get there I am going to try and use my writing to keep me occupied while I heal.

As for updates... As all of you know it is November. (Yes, I'm extremely observant) As some of you may know November is NaNoWriMo. This being my third year participating I took on a Municipal Liaison position, along with a very good friend of mine. That means a lot of my time has been spent putting together goody bags, organizing write-ins, and general NaNo shenanigans. Sadly, my writing has taken a hit. I'm so far behind in the word count there is a good chance that I will not finish this year. But I'm ok with that.

For the first time ever, I have decided that it is ok to "fail" as long as I have fun doing it. And I am having a blast! I've met so many new and awesome people that I actually spend most of my time at write-ins just chatting away. That's not to say I haven't been writing because I've put together a good 15,000 as of today. And I plan on continuing that.

The biggest problem I'm facing is that I have NO PLOT!! I keep hoping that as I write more something plot like will come along but so far it is all in vain. I have characters, a setting, a couple minor events, and a bit of background information, but where it is all going to go is still a mystery to me. I'm hoping it comes up soon, I can only handle so much boring-ness.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Working Vacation

I had all intentions of posting this on Monday but I've been a little forgetful lately. So here it is, Wednesday evening and I'm finally getting around to it. My bad.

I took this week off from work with the intentions of doing a re-write on a novel that I wrote and have been revising for almost 2 years, really it was the whole reason I started this blog. After one and a half rounds of editing I decided that it really wasn't working as I had initially written it. That is as a 1st person Multi-POV. About a month ago I decided that it will be so much better if I go back to writing in 3rd person which his how I started it in the first place. I thought it was going to be an easy fix. Me now wants to go back to Me then and laugh in her face.

You see, in dropping a POV I am tasked with deleting now unnecessary scenes, as there is no reason to now have the same scene play out from both when omniscient narrator can see it from both sides. So that cuts about a third of my writing to start. And when you're floating somewhere in the 60k range that is a large part. Also, by changing from 1st to 3rd I can't just copy and paste from the last draft. I literally am rewriting the entire thing. And I thought I could get it all done in a week. Now Me finds this hysterical for some odd reason.

On the bright side, some of the ideas I had before I started are really boosting what I had in the past draft and covering for my now missing word count. I would say that of the chunk I have completed almost half of it is new material. It has help close up plot holes that I knew were in there and it has also given me some new threads to weave in. So it's not a total disaster.

Now I just need to find time after my vacation is over to finish it before November. NaNoWriMo is fast approaching.

Friday, September 30, 2011

And I Made It

So, tomorrow was my deadline to finish my current work. That would have given me a week off to deal with a definitely going to be stressful week at work before diving into revisions on a previous work that has been haunting me for the last couple of weeks. And as of about 15 minutes ago I wrapped up the last chapter that needed to be done on this project!

I checked my note cards to make sure that I have covered everything that I wanted to in this draft and I have done so. And a whole lot more! It really veered off in its own direction as I was writing, as most of my stuff is wont to do, but that is perfectly ok. This was actually the first time I had a beginning, middle, and an end before I even started writing. Usually I have one of the three and then kind of fit things around it. It is, by far, bare bones and maybe a little incoherent in places but that's what revisions are for. It has everything a story needs; it just has to be polished until it shines. And polishing will probably start in January.

The next month is dedicated to working on round 2 revisions of my previous work and also planning for NaNoWriMo. But stay tuned, because I have something that I'm toying with right now and if it works out the way I want it to I will have something completely new (for me) coming soon.

Friday, September 16, 2011


So, the other night, in my attempt to get to sleep, my mind wandered off into novel land. Normally, I fully enjoy being there as I know that it means I'm making progress towards something, but this time I was a little perturbed. You see, the breakthrough I had was NOT for the ms I'm currently working on! How is this fair? All I want to do is finish this WIP before the end of the month so when I take my vacation from work I can focus on the project that said breakthrough was about. It's too hard to have both story lines going on in my head right now. They're very different types of stories and it would not be good to confuse the two. I have 14 days (eep!) to finish 4 chapters, if nothing else in this ms comes to light it's completely do-able.

That being said... I'm so excited about this breakthrough!! I've never really been able to piece everything together on the project and it's been so frustrating. There always seemed to be something missing but I could never put my finger on it. And then, there I was, laying in bed all ready to go to sleep and there was the answer. "It's HER he wants!" I'm 99% sure the words actually flashed up along my eyelids, in neon. It was the weirdest thing ever. And I know that statement probably means nothing to you but it will. If I can get what I want done during vacation I will be starting to post more about my actual work than just what I'm working on. Promise.

I really want to get started on this and see how it makes different parts come together but I know that I need to finish my current WIP before I do. If I abandon it now it will never get finished. And it has to get finished! I'm really trying to get on this finish what you start bandwagon. So I will finish in 14 days and in the mean time I will take notes on everything having to do with her.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Moving Right Along

So surprisingly enough I actually did something I said I was going to do regarding this WIP. A week or so ago I went chapter by chapter of stuff that I've already written and made a note card with a brief synopsis of what happened in the chapter, characters introduced (if any) and where I thought it needed to go. After a few hours of that I pulled out my little pop-up tape thingy and taped all those little cards in a straight line. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and stepped back to view it all. Guess what! There aren't as missing elements as I thought there were!! Woot.

I still have quite a bit of work to do just to finish this first draft, but it really isn't as patchy as I originally thought it was. I am super excited about it. It has given me the motivation to get working again. Maybe it was actually seeing the whole thing laid out in front of me or the fact that it was a bunch of little pieces that made up the whole but I'm feeling (somewhat) good about this thing. So I plucked one of those fill in type note cards and sat down to writing. Only 6 more to go!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Did You Hear That?

Douglas Adams once said, "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." I now fully understand what he means by that. They really do make a pretty noise as they go flying right past your head, as I am learning today.

Short of NaNoWriMo, this is the first deadline I've set for myself and I am nowhere near making it. But I'm ok with it, or at least I'm trying to be. I know what works for me and what doesn't. And getting severely homesick in the middle of my writing does NOT work for me. Sitting down and setting a timer so I at least write for 20 minutes DOES work for me (when I'm feeling unmotivated) (which is more often than I would like to admit). Making notes on a big sheet of paper taped to my wall works; not updating said notes when I have new thoughts does not. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.

That being said I have re-set my deadline for September 30 and I know that I can make that one. Over the next couple days I'm going to make note cards for every scene/chapter that I've written so I know what is still left to get down. It doesn't help that I don't write linearly, but I'm going to tape said note cards on my big sheet of paper along my time line and fill in the gaps with what I know is missing. Sounds easy enough and if I can force myself to do it I know I can. Good thing this weekend is a long one (woo hoo 3 days!) because I'm going to need every spare minute I can get to get this organized. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Some Up, Some Down

So here it is, Monday again. These things just keep happening no matter how much I try to get them to stop. Alas, it seems to be out of my control so I'll just have to deal with it.

This weekend was a little bit better than the previous. I actually did some writing and it was the first time in about a month that I had. And it wasn't just a few paragraphs or a couple of crappy notes. I finished two chapters and started a third. I'm proud of myself for actually doing it, but I'm still a little disappointed, too. How can I be disappointed when I put down about 3,000 (not so) quality words? Because I did it all on Saturday. Sunday was another day of procrastination watching cheesy chick flicks. I don't even like chick flicks, there was just nothing else on.

So turn the TV off and get to writing, you say. Love to but then I run into the problem that I have internet access. I've tried turning off the wi-fi connection on my computer but it is so easy to turn on when I don't feel like typing. I would just turn off our connection completely but hubby fantastic is a video game nerd and when I'm "writing" he is hanging out in a war zone with his virtual friends.

I must learn to move past this procrastination. Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited that I finally got some writing done and I think that this weekend was overall a success. Now if I can just carry that through the week I might actually reach my deadline (in 9 days, eep!).

Monday, August 15, 2011


And because it bears repeating.... Ugh! I have not picked up a pen (or set my fingers to the keyboard) to make any progress on my WIP. It's pathetic, especially with a self-imposed deadline bearing down on me. I just seem to be stuck. And not just in my writing progress, I'm stuck in general. Since this page isn't about my life, per se, but instead my writing or lack there of, I shall not complain too much.

Too many things have gotten in the way of my creativity for too long. Now when I try to sit and write I turn on the TV or I Stumble for hours on end. I literally did nothing on Sunday but putz around the interwebz. I wish I could say that things are getting better in the real world and so I am able to jump back into my made up world but I'd be lying. So, as I've said before, I need to force myself to write. As of this post, I am sitting in my office (with the TV off) and I am going to set a timer as soon as this post is finished. 15 minutes is my goal for tonight. 15 minutes of what will be pure stream of consciousness nonsense but I'm hoping it will trigger something. I would be happy with just one sentence of usable material. We shall see.

PS - I will not make a habit of these whiny posts, I promise!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Did You Ever Wonder?

What would happen if Cinderella (pre-Prince) went to college? My current WIP is turning out to be a little like that scenario. I don't know how or when it took that turn but I was reading an editor's blog on the hook line and then started reading through my notes and what I have already written. There it was, in sparkly letters, right in front of my face.

It actually helps me a lot more than I thought it would. I was struggling with getting the story going. I've already written the middle and the end and now I need to tie it all together with a beginning. (Hopefully I'm not the only one who works backwards like that) Having that little insight pop into my mind really made me stop and think. Here's hoping it's enough for me to meet my deadline. Only 29 days to go!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Moving Forward

So I finally got some inspiration back last night. I just started typing nonsense and it started to come together into something that made sense. Once I reopened the doors I couldn't stop. I wrote a good part of another chapter last night before shutting down and heading to bed. And that's where the trouble started.

I couldn't sleep last night! All of these ideas for scenes were swimming through my head. I couldn't shut it off. Sadly, I didn't have a notebook near me (and I was too tired to get up and find one) so I didn't get to write it all down. I'm hoping that I can remember enough of it to trigger what I'm sure I'll be missing. One of the first things I did this morning is put a notebook and a pencil on my bedside table. I'm not going to let this happen again.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why Now?

After writing at a fairly good clip for the last few weeks I have hit the proverbial wall. My imaginary friends have decided to stop talking to me. I sit at the computer and flip through random websites just hoping to get the glimmer of an idea to keep me going. Alas, I am here posting instead.

I'm not going to fully blame my characters for not talking to me. I am partially at fault here. I took the entire weekend off to celebrate the 4th of July and they we're so kind as to fix a gaping plot hole for me on Saturday. What do I do in return? I make a couple notes and walk away. I now am understanding why all those writing gurus tell a writer to "write everyday". Three, ok four, days off is a long time in the grand scheme of things.

I'm going to take the rest of the night off and hope (and pray) that this all comes back to me. I really want to get this novel done by the end of August. I don't exactly know why I set that as my deadline but I felt that I needed one and a month wasn't long enough to actually put some thought into this. Also, with it being finished by that point it will give me a couple months to prep for NaNoWriMo and then I can come back to it after the recommended three to four months for revisions. Sounds easy, right?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Feeling Good

So I finally sat down to do some much needed creative outletting (and yes, I made up that word) this weekend. And let me tell you, it was a productive one! I actually got two chapters out and on paper, well a word doc. If I do say so myself, and I will, they aren't half bad. I'm finally getting the hang of not just writing scenes and calling them a chapter but actually writing coherent flowing prose that someone might actually want to read. (Even if that sentence does not even come close.)

I actually had to force myself to walk away so that I could get some sleep last night, not that it worked for me. I kept thinking about where I was and wanting to go. After laying in bed for two hours I finally decided to take a sleep aid so I could at least function at work today. It helped me sleep but as for functioning, not so much. I just want to write not deal with stupid work. Boo! Oh well, lunch is around the corner and that will give me an hour to focus on finishing up where I was.

Also, while working on this current WIP, my characters from my previous attempt decided to pop up and remind me that they are still here. So now I have two stories vying for attention in my head and I don't know what to do. I really like where this current work is heading and I want to see it through, but I'm so proud of my first one that I don't want to shove it to the side. Oh the life of a writer! If only I could focus full time on those pursuits. I mean really, who needs a roof over their head? Or electricity? Or food? Just sayin'.

I guess I should get back to pretending to work now.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Where Did the Time Go??

Ok, wow! I didn't know I had been neglecting my poor book for so long. Apparently 5 months flies when you're not paying attention. And I have to be honest I haven't been paying much attention to my writing at all.

After a few personal hiccups in life I hadn't had the motivation to sit at a computer any longer than what I do at work (and 7.5 hours is plenty long). Heck, I could barely pay attention to the work I was doing for work, much less swallow the thought of thinking once I got home. Many things have been neglected in the past few months, not just my writing. I've slowly but surely coming back from that. (Let's just say my apartment is mostly clean)

A couple of weeks ago I had a fairly normal dream, which is very odd for me, and I woke up thinking "These characters could make for a good book". So I'm playing with them now to see where they're going to go. I even have a rough outline. And by rough I have a beginning, a climax, and an end. Considering I had none of those when I wrote my first one I feel pretty ahead of the game. I have a basic concept of what I want the finished product to look like and, if I could get the time, I would sit down and start writing.

Don't worry though! I'm still going to try and get going back on my original idea from (almost) 2 years ago. I love those characters, even the ones I hate (don't ask, it's confusing to me, too) and I can't stay away from them much longer. Its just the voices on the WIP are speaking louder right now. Stay tuned...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Chapter 1... Again

So I have not gotten nearly as far as I would have hoped with this whole revision process. After much deliberation I decided to completely rewrite chapter 1 and take out all of the boring background information. In media res was my new motto. Sadly, it means that I have to take out a small story line that lasted three chapters, but I am up to the task.
Trying to get the beginning right is hopefully the hardest thing I will do. I like the direction the new writing is heading in, more foreshadowing, more characterization, etc; however, I don't like that it just doesn't seem right. (Not the word I was trying to convey but it's difficult to express how I feel about it.) I am taking tonight off from life and sitting myself down in front of the computer. I'm hoping this will get me moving in the direction I need to go so I don't go another month and a half without a post.