Archive for September, 2011

If you wonder… no, I am not holed up in a deep dark cave writing. (Though that thought is a little bit attractive, with the exception of the lighting issues… and the creepy-crawlies.)

I actually update a lot. I just don’t do it here. The best way to keep up with the latest is to check out my Facebook page. I tend to post there at least once a day. I wait to post here until I have ‘more’ to say but at the moment the ‘more’ is being poured into the notebook.

Speaking of the notebook…it’s nearly full! Last night I outlined my final five chapters and I should be screaming (like my 2 year old) I DID IT! YAY! by Sunday evening.

Then I’ll be crying I HAVE TO TYPE FOR 100 HOURS NOW! instead.

Such is progress.

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I counted last night.

140 = the number of hand-written pages currently comprising the vaguely named Book 2

45 = the budgeted pages left, based on content remaining (approximate)

60 = the actual number of pages left in the spiral notebook

These are hand-written pages.

I still haven’t typed a word.

I’m crazy.

I know.

Thing is, I have a sinking suspicion I may be tacking a few extra pages into the back of this spiral notebook. The chapters tend to get longer, somehow. I think it’s a mix of great action I want to draw out and something else entirely…

I have been feeling the pull on my feet… that awful drag where the motivation to finish and write this exciting stuff comes up against the knowledge that when I finish I have to do the part I hate. Two parts, in fact – type, and edit. They are inexorably joined and neither reside in my ‘YAY’ box. The typing will be my first pass at editing. Then I will edit more. Then I will start having those who helped shape the first book read. Then I will edit more. Then they will read it again. And I will edit again. Fun.

I think the story here in Book 2 is good. I want to get just a little (or hey, a lot) better with each book. I never want people to get into my books and say “Wow, this is really going downhill!” My main goal with the second book is maintain quality and improve the pacing as, fairly, more than one person has commented that Come the Shadows is a little slow in Act 1. I listen to fair criticism and always aim to improve. I’d like people to have to dig to find problems and debate nuance instead 😉

But to get there I have one thing in my way… and that darn editing thing is rearing it’s ugly head up again!

C’est la vie.

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Does Free Reign?

Dina Santorelli asked me guest post about offering “One Final Night” free to readers. Read the full post here.

What do you think when you see something offered for free? Does it alter your perception of the writer/provider? Do you then expect to get everything from that person for free?

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Check out my author Q&A on Dina Santorelli’s informative and generous writing blog: Making Baby Grand.

Every Tuesday she opens her blog up for a debut author spotlight and she asks excellent questions! Please check out her blog to read about many great authors and learn more than a little about writing along the way.

Be sure to check in there on Thursday as well as there will be an guest blog post from yours truly as well.


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What I did this weekend

For the first time in over a month I missed my Daily Writing Goal (DWG) – on September 11th.

I’m not one who drops everything for ceremony and remembrance. I didn’t watch the entire live coverage or listen to any speeches, though I did catch the last 10 minutes or so of the name reading and wowee talk about some emotion!

I find it hard to articulate what I feel about that day. I don’t want to avoid it nor do I want to devote the entire day to it.

I think that, for me, it’s a day about the individuals more than the collective idea of terrorism or being attacked as a group.

So I spent all of my writing time on Sunday (and most of it on Saturday) watching documentaries and stories from that day.

The Miracle of Stairway B – 6 parts on Youtube, starting here

The Falling Man – one big Youtube video here

Inside the Twin Towers – 10+ parts on Youtube, starting here

And that night I watched what I have watched every year on CBS – the 9/11 film.

Being two days late, I would say this post isn’t very timely. But I wanted to make it anyway. I watch some of the same footage over and over and yet am still glued to it, trying to understand what it must have been like for the people who had to go through it. I think I watch for the same reason I write – the intense desire to understand.

I think it was time well spent.

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There are a lot of ways to finish that statement.

The more I write, the more observant I become.

The more I write, the happier I am.

and so on

But what strikes me now is this:

The more I write, the more creative I become.

I didn’t really expect that, in advance. I had a tendency to think that level of creativity is static… but it’s not.

Like anything else, the more you practice the better you become. This is not to say my next novel will be an epic masterpiece or anything (wouldn’t hurt) but the creativity workshop is in overdrive and it comes out in interesting ways.

For example, in regards to this as-yet unfinished (but currently underway as I write) siding project. Last Thursday and Friday they managed to get 2/3 complete but were then stimied by weather, only today returning to complete the job. In the meantime we had two walls – the ones intersecting at our bedroom – that were half complete, with the bottom 1/3 covered in new siding and the top 1/3 covered in old. The wind blew heavily in the storms and the old siding was a mass of creeeaaaaaaaaaaks and bangbangbang and thumps that left both my husband and I lying awake at 3:30 AM. Within half an hour I was up, checking email, doing a bit of the DayJob, and before I laid back down trying to figure out how to fit the the situations to the lyrics of Judy Garland’s Trolley Song.

It went something like this:

Bang Bang Bang went the siding

Whoosh Whoosh Whoosh went the wind

Groan Groan Groan went the Mama

As she tried to go sleep again

I am pretty sure that 6 months ago I would have had a different response. Who knows, maybe next time a half finished-construction project keeps me up at night I will start on my own personal Beowulf or Pride and Prejudice.

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Been a few days!

Life was thrown into chaos on Thursday when work went from ‘pick your color’ to ‘BANGBANGBANG’ in less than 24 hours, as our contractor began to replace the siding on our house. In April, an F-0 (what I said) or F-1 (what the contractor said) tornado hit our house. Thankfully we had no structural damage but cosmetically things have looked a bit rough for awhile. Now we near the end of repair work and it’s, well …… loud.

Yesterday, another storm rolled in. It was short but intense and old siding from the in-progress work soon littered our yard. We watched this from the open windows because, well, that was the most entertaining thing we could do with a 2-year old while the power was out. He kept asking us to turn on the lights, and to turn on Mickey, but was pacified and then truly enthralled with his stealthy attempts to stick his head out the window every time I blinked.

Despite the lack of power and the late evening hour I managed to scrawl in my notebook by the dying light from the open window. Another chapter finished, another page complete, and one step closer to finishing the first draft of book two. I’m well over the half-way point now and easily on track to finish (and have it typed) by the end of the month.

In the meantime, Amazon continues to sell Come the Shadows at 99c despite the price update to 2.99 that has already taken effect at Barnes & Noble. Sorry Nook-ers! (Is that right, it sounds far to much like a less savory word…) The issue lies with the Smashword version which has yet to update across it’s premium catalog. Hopefully that will take affect soon and I can stop thinking about pricing and focus on writing.

One last note about things I need to not think about while writing… I sold my first UK copy and didn’t even know it. Smile-worthy =)

One really, truly last note……if you don’t know what Timey-Wimey is, well, you’re missing out. Our power came on in plenty of time last night for our Saturday treat.


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