Posts Tagged ‘writing’

The extended typing project is going well and by mid-week I will have the first draft of my second novel complete. Then it’s on to the editing! I have several pieces of news to share soon. October will be devoted to editing almost exclusively. November…..that’s another story. I will be polishing and polishing and polishing but I will also have a lot of great things going on, from day 1 through the 29th (when I am publishing the sequel novel), and beyond!


Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.


Read Full Post »

My worst fear was that when I published I would wake up one day and be inundated with 1-star reviews declaring me the William Hung of self-publishers.

As yet, it hasn’t happened.

But I did receive my first 1-star review yesterday, on the short story One Final Night (which has now been downloaded 23k+ times).

My heart skipped a beat and I groaned when I saw it. I really didn’t even want to read the criticism, but I soldiered on.

The reason for the 1-star rating was given as this:

The problem is the story is depressing and discouraging and unlike other reviewers the ending was not enough to save it for me. Too little to late!

While it’s hard to see a 1-star pop up, I understand that it’s a tough story where the most common reaction is profuse tears and hugs and kisses for your loved ones. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to be thought-provoking. As Lisa Vaughn (@thegiftedones) said on Twitter – not every story can have a happy ending. It’s a bummer, but it’s just the way it is. Stories not only do – but need to – represent all facets of life.

Ironically, I tend to avoid tear-jerker, sad stories myself. I watched Message in a Bottle in the theaters and refuse to watch another Nicholas Sparks offering. I can’t stand such a sustained level of raw emotion. But I give him 5 stars for the work because it did exactly what it should – made me bawl my ever-loving eyes out.

But, I digress…

It was quite a long review and several other nuggets do jump out:

The problem is not that the author can’t write, because she certainly can!

…books that have unhappy endings just do not appeal to me, I hope the author takes that into account in future offerings because she is a good story teller who I would read again if her stories are more positive and uplifting in some way!

Those were some nice compliments, hidden in the paragraph, and I hope they stand out to others who read her review in the future. Honestly, if this review helps other people who dislike hard endings stay away, maybe that’s not entirely a bad thing. I want people to enjoy the writing and if, for some people, the quality can never overcome the ending then there is nothing I can do about that. But I’m glad to see the quality acknowledged, even under the 1-star heading.

Read the full review here.

This officially scuttled my plans for a post about review jitters, inspired by this post I saw linked on Facebook yesterday. I’m still a bit jittery without much chatter on Come the Shadows (and who wouldn’t prefer everyone to LOVE what you write) but I am just taking this a sign it’s time to get to work on that thick skin that’s been on my to-do list for, oh, 20-25 years.

PS: As for the suggestion in the review that all the 4- and 5-star reviews are all just people I know… Nope!

Read Full Post »

I wrote Come the Shadows without any form of outlining. I knew the answer to whodunit (which, coincidentally, changed) and that’s about it. It was based on a script I wrote 3 years ago, which provided about 5% of the content of the book. The rest I wrote very organically, step by step, day by day, until a full book emerged.

When it was time to start book two, I drug my feet. To kick-start things I began an outline and came up with nearly 30 chapters of material before I actually started writing the text.

The outline has officially ended.

I’m again flying by the seat of my pants and while I’m a bit unsure how I’m going to get from M to Z I know X Y and Z, and a few bits in between. I have a feeling that I might just get faster now that I won’t be tied down by a plan. I hope so! It’s more than a little exciting to not know what exactly is going to happen in the next chapter. I get some of my best stuff that way (for example, most of the 2nd half of the last book).

In a few weeks, hopefully, I will be saying that the first draft is in the bag, and complaining about the three weeks of typing ahead.


If I had gone the traditional route, I might not even be writing this book now. Then again, I probably would write it right away despite the most well-intentioned advice. I do better when I finish a story fully so I can put it aside and free up all that mental room for the next one.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »