Category: faerie story

Doing Too Much

In case you’re wondering where I’ve been (you know, all three of you that are reading this), I need to make a confession: I tend to over-commit myself. Basically, I need about 5 extra hours in every day to get everything done I need and/or want to do. Here’s a list of things I need to be doing on a weekly basis (some of which I’m failing miserably at):

1) Work (2 15-hour days, 1 13-hour day). On my feet….
2) School: 17 hours this semester (5 class, one lab, WTF was I thinking?)
3) 3 blogs (my writing blog, my personal blog, my environmental blog)
4) Write the first draft of The Fall (My Muse thinks I’ve gone on strike.)
5) Revise the zombie story
6) Revise the werewolf story
7) Write book reviews for Examiner.com (assuming I have actual time to read)
8) Keep up with my writing crit circle (I’m trying.)
9) Church (This has become a necessity in my life. Period.)
10) Keep up with all my home projects (the green-friendly ones that are now my priority)
11) Hang out with family and The Diva (so she doesn’t have a complete breakdown. I love you, sister-wife!).
12) Work out. (Ha. Hahahaha. Yeah. With what free time? I’m pretty sure the 5-7 miles I walk at work 3 times a week count for something.)
13) I’m taking a 6-week Nutrition class on Coursera (halfway through), with a Philosophy class starting in 2 weeks…
14) I’m pretty sure I’m missing something, but I can’t remember what just now…

You’ll notice this list does not include things like, oh, sleep, relax, hang out with friends. All of which are things I do try to do, too. I’ve had some stuff going on with the Sierra Club and Environment Texas. This past weekend, I had a membership class at church. I have another one next weekend.

Watching TV…sigh. It’s a good thing I have a DVR. That’s all I’m saying. Actually, I did watch two shows I had recorded on Sunday, while I was doing other things. A friend of mine called while I was watching. He asked what I was doing. When I said “Watching TV,” there was dead silence on the line for a good ten seconds, then “REALLY?!” Yeah. Before that, it had been…oh, probably a month, since I had my TV on. Money well spent on the cable bill, huh?

In short, I’d show you my daily planner, but I’m too embarrassed. It’s probably confusing to everyone but me. Plus, I’m severely OCD when it comes to my planner and it might be color coded…

So, every day, I feel like this:

"Lalalala...I've got this!"
“Lalalala…I’ve got this!”

But in reality, I look like this:

...or not...
…or not…
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I Think My Muse is (Finally) Back from Vacation….

So, I haven’t done any writing to speak of in…oh…a year and a half. I know, right? The horror! Seriously, I’m not sure how I’ve managed to stay sane without it. (Okay. Sanity is relative. And people who know me would say I’m sort of dangling off that cliff anyway…). Ahem. Anyway. I’ve been taking classes for basically the last two years, but I’m taking this summer off, and writing is definitely on the agenda. Two separate novels, in fact. And I’m planning on revising another one (FINALLY). Also, my crit group is–hopefully–going to be active again after over two years of not-much-of-anything-going-on, so I’m hoping to put the faerie story (Chasing Shadows) through it as well.

I didn’t get to do NaNo last year, since I had too much else going on, so I’m going to give Camp NaNoWriMo a try in June. I’m sure if I can write 100k in November–twice–I can write at least 50k in June. Just to get back in the swing of things.

Hello, Muse. So good to see you again!

Progress…

So, instead of taking my day off to do…nothing, I actually accomplished some things. I’ve been stalling/procrastinating on working on my revision of the faerie story for months now, but I actually finished up one of the HTRYN lessons today and read the next one. Yay!

I also started outlining the new DOTD story. Okay, so by “started outlining” I mean “did a phase outline for the first scene.” But still, it’s progress, and I’m happy. It feels good to make progress. Now I’m off to outline the next five phases and get some much-needed sleep before work tomorrow.

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)….

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?

Back To The Grind…

So, I’m back from vacation. I’m not exactly thrilled to be back, really more…resigned/annoyed, but I’m back. I had a great time, except that now I’m tremendously homesick. But hey, what are you going to do?

I’ve actually been writing on the 2YN sequel some since I got back. Not a lot, or anything. I set myself some really modest goals. I only got about 250 words yesterday, and about the same today. But it’s a start. It’s progress. And considering what else I have going on…I’m happy with it.

I also started back to school. Online classes, but I haven’t taken any classes in…we’ll just say “a long time”, so I’m a little worried about the adjustment. I’m taking four classes, and hoping/praying I don’t get overwhelmed. So far, so good, but it just got started, so it’s really too soon to tell.

My goal is to keep up with all my classes (definitely the priority), write about 2k per week, and try to do a little bit of revision on last year’s NaNo story (the faerie story). Oh, and TRY to hit the gym four days a week (which is why I’m up at the crack of midnight). Not to mention work full-time. And possibly try to sleep a little bit in there somewhere…zzzzz…..

Done!

I finally finished the story today. Finally. I got seriously behind last week, and it took some major hours at the computer to get where I wanted to be (10k on Saturday, 10k again on Sunday, 4k today), but I finished. I accomplished two things this month: 1) I hit 100,000 words, and 2) I wrote every single day. Granted, a few days it was only a couple of hundred words, and one day, I know it was only 15 words, but still. I wrote every day. And I’m happy that I did, thrilled that I got the entire first draft down.

Is the story finished? Absolutely not. It’s going to sit for at least two months, probably longer, and then I’m going to revise it. It needs it. Parts of it need a lot of revising. Parts of it, hopefully only a little. The characters surprised me a lot. Mina’s boss, Richard, was way nicer than I imagined him. And Phoenix…well, Phoenix turned out not be quite the hard **s I thought he was going to be. And I think that’s a good thing. I still like him a lot, though, and right now, I’m actually looking forward to doing the revision on this.

And speaking of revision, I’m in the first class of Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel, which I’m really excited about, because hey, I don’t like revisions. I know the story needs fixed, I just…usually don’t know how to go about it. So I’m hoping this will give me the tools I need to figure that out and make the story (stories) stronger.

Congratulations to everyone who did NaNo, winners or not. Yay! /cheerleading

Playing Catch Up

So, it looks like I can only manage to post here once a week. You’d think that meant I’d been doing a ton of writing, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong. Because I’ve been doing quite a bit of other things that aren’t writing.

Like watching men in kilts throw trees around. Yes, seriously. Why are you looking at me like that? I went to a Celtic Music Festival/Scottish Games. Quite interesting, let me tell you. Men in kilts. Throwing trees. And flinging burlap bags (weighted) into the air with pitchforks. Quite impressive as well. I can only imagine me either hitting myself in the head with the 16-pound hammer, or stabbing myself with the pitchfork. Ah. Good times…The music was excellent, as well. You don’t hear many harps these days, but I listened to one awesome performer. All of which allowed me to successfully procrastinate for almost the entire day Sunday. Yes, I’m behind. No, I’m not giving up. I shall hit my word count goal of 100k for NaNo!

Day 10: 1,772 words (23,085 Total)
Day 11: 60,040 (29,125)
Day 12: 1,009 (30,134)
Day 13: 1,012 (31,146)
Day 14: 3,218 (34,364)
Day 15: 1,205 (35,569)
Day 16: 2,180 (37,749)

And, as a side note: I hit my word count goal for the year today! 300,000 words!