Category: Chasing Shadows

Goals. And Strippers. And Maybe Some Writing Stuff…

You know what I’ve discovered after taking off months from working on anything related to writing? Getting back into the swing of things is hard. I mean really, really hard. I started working on revisions to the faerie story today. Wow. It’s like I forgot what the story was about. I’m using Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel, and this lesson involves the Monastery. If you’re familiar with the technique, can you imagine how difficult it was to keep track of everything when I haven’t really thought about this story in months? Yeah. I’m sure I missed some things. And if you’re not familiar, well, it’s an excellent technique (as is the class as a whole), and definitely worth the effort.

Also, I’ve been doing a bit of research for the new story, the DOTD (Day of the Dead) story. Very little, to be completely honest, but I’m hoping (No. I’m PLANNING.) on getting the last of my background details (of which there aren’t going to be too many) solidified today, and hopefully start outlining this weekend. Of course, it’s research, so I’m easily distracted by all the pretty, shiny lights (What? The Mayans practiced bloodletting as a form of worship? And made bread offerings of a specific number of grains? Hmmm…..), but I think I have some of the pertinent details I intend to use (where “use” means “twist to my own nefarious purposes”) nailed down. So, yay, I’ll finally be writing again!

In other news, I’m working on my 101 goals for the year. Maybe I should post them here and keep them updated? Yes? No? You don’t really give a crap? Well…goal #21 is: Start going out more. I’m working on that. Yes. As a matter of fact, last week, I went out so much I was exhausted at the end of it and practically comatose. First, I went out for dinner and drinks with a friend who was in from the Big Easy (had a great time, and I really miss hanging out with my friend…). The next night, I went out with a couple of the girls from work, and one of their sisters. Who is a stripper. Excuse me, an exotic dancer. (No, I did not put “start hanging out with colorful people” on my list. I already know plenty of those. I didn’t think it was necessary to state it explicitly.) On a slightly unrelated note, while we were out running around, I discovered I have the same taste in shoes as she does. (No, I don’t want to know what that says about me, thankyouverymuch. The shoes were cute. That’s all that matters. Pfft.). After that little adventure, the next night I hung out with an old friend ‘til 2 a.m. and then collapsed from exhaustion. This week…well, the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie comes out, so I’m definitely gonna see that. As for the rest of the weekend, well, I’m going to try to knock out at least two of my goals (#14 and #26)….

Where’d the Week Go?

Seriously. How is already Saturday night? The week’s over, and I’m not really sure what I accomplished this week. Let’s see…I remember doing homework. More homework. And yes, MORE homework. That’s an awful lot of school work, especially since I can’t remember what else I did this week. *thinking….thinking*….Hmm. I wrote two book reviews for Examiner.com. Read a few books (the first four books in Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra series. Really enjoying them.) Ah….what else? I can’t think of anything else. That’s just…ridiculous. Oh! I did get some writing done. Yes. About 3500 words this week. I know it’s not a lot, but it’s steady writing every day, and that’s my main goal.

My Muse is working on a new story idea. I can feel it! I should probably be writing some of the details she throws at me down. Things are coming together. I have a vague idea of a character, well, two, and the main conflict, so that’s cool. The setting is coming together, too, and it should be something radically different than I’ve ever written before. I’m actually starting to get really excited about the idea, but I’m trying not to rush my Muse. Bad idea, that.

No revisions done this week. Which gives me…two days to finish Lesson 4 of HTRYN. Guess I need to get on that, huh? Okay. I’m off to do more homework. Two exams next week, and some essay questions that are waiting for my attention (Not the kind of writing I enjoy. At all.) And I’ll have another book review up tomorrow.

Yankee Standard Time: Fact or Fiction?

Okay, Random Question for the Day: Do Yankees run on a different time schedule than we Southerners? I’m starting to think so. A certain person who shall remain nameless has apparently been trying to drive me crazy with the differences in our concepts of time.

Example 1: “I’ll call you back in a few minutes.” The callback actually occurs:
a) half an hour later
b) three hours later
c) Still waiting…

(Yes, all of these are correct answers.)

Example 2: “I’ll give you a call when I get up on Sunday, and we’ll spend the whole day together.”
a) The call doesn’t actually take place until, oh, 3 p.m. So, apparently, the day in Yankeeland doesn’t start ’til 3 p.m. Good to know, if you’re ever traveling there….Don’t make plans before mid-afternoon. Nothing will be open. Just a bit of travel advice.

Example 3: “We’ll get together very soon.”
a) “Soon” being…well, I don’t know when. That conversation took place on Friday. It’s Monday, and still nothing. Do you think this definition of “soon” would work for deadlines or school? “So, Professor, I promise I’ll have this final exam turned in soon.”….Like, next week? “Yes, Mr. Very Important Editor, I know I said I’d have the piece turned in soon. That was just last week. I still have plenty of time.”

Somehow, I don’t think the Southern standard of “Bless your heart!” is gonna cover this…at all.

So…on to writing. I did actually make it through the entirety of Lesson 3 in HTRYN last week when I said I would. Yay! I’m even about halfway through with Lesson 4, which is even better. I have plenty of revision ideas, too, I can feel them simmering…

Speaking of simmering, I’m pretty sure my Muse is working on a new story idea. Something that’s more traditional fantasy, instead of the urban fantasy I’ve been writing lately (like, for the past two years…). Something with ghosts, and maybe the Dia del Muerta… It feels like a nice change, and to go along with it, I started reading Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra series. Just got started on the first one, but I’m liking the touches of humor so far.

Revision Block

Is there such a thing? If so, I have a raging case of it. It’s worse than staring at a blank page and being unable to think of a single word to write (although that’s pretty bad). A few weeks ago, I started working through HTRYN with Chasing Shadows. Lessons 1 & 2 weren’t bad, but Lesson 3….all I’ve done is read the lesson and punch holes in my index cards. Not exactly a hotbed of revision activity.

I’m not sure why I’m having such trouble getting started on this. Well, I DO tend to have issues with The Sentence, even if it’s The Revision Sentence, so that could be part of it. But that’s the only hazy idea I have for what’s going on mentally. I’d say it’s lack of motivation, but…I’ve been writing every day. Only a bit, but still, daily progress. And I’ve been doing some pre-reading for school. And working out almost every day. So clearly I have some motivation.

I have absolute faith in the HTRYN process. I know what it did for Werewolves for Dummies, and I have every faith it can take Chasing Shadows that much closer to the story I want it to be. Of course, it won’t do that if I don’t actually apply it, so there’s the general problem with that idea. Hmm…Could be fear of failure. Of course, not revising the story at all is even more clearly a failure, so that should be an incentive…

Okay. Tomorrow I intend to work through Lesson 3 of HTRYN. ALL of Lesson 3. And get a few words written, of course. Wish me luck!

Another Year’s Goals

I don’t do “resolutions” per se, but I do set goals at the beginning of every year. I don’t always reach them, but I strive to do my best to get there. This year, I didn’t set a lot of goals. I know it’s going to be a busy year, what with finding a new job and continuing my back-to-school journey, so I didn’t want to over-reach myself and get distracted. That being said, here are my goals for the year:

1) Revise Chasing Shadows
2) Revise Witches
3) Complete the 2YN2 story (probably about 40k left to write)
4) Completely re-do and finish the sequel to Werewolves for Dummies
5) Do NaNo

As far as non-writing-related goals, I only have two:

6) Complete a half marathon (“complete” meaning some walking is okay)
7) Carry a 4.0 in school

Of course, “revise the zombie story” will hopefully be added in sometime this year. And I should mention that the NaNo story will probably be something new and completely different…NOT a sequel to anything else. I have some ideas percolating…I can feel them. I’m currently querying Werewolves for Dummies, and I’ll start querying Chasing Shadows when I’m done revising it, as well.

So, yeah, those are all my goals for the years. Anyone else setting any for the year?