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Showing posts from 2006

On all four wheels

As I’ve mentioned before, vacation doesn’t agree with my husband, so we took a day trip yesterday. Aside from getting lost at one point, it was a great day, but as we headed home, it suddenly sounded like a helicopter was hanging over our car. As I looked at the night sky like an idiot, my husband pulled over into the shoulder. Our tire had blown up.

I really mean exploded—I’ve never seen a tire in such bad shape. Of course, the tire needed to be replaced and we both knew that.

I waved goodbye to the hubcap as it rolled onto the interstate before our car had even pulled to a full stop, but my husband’s comment was something about how much hubcaps cost. Miraculously, neither of them got hit by a car when he ran after it.

After fretting over the fact our road side assistance had expired 500miles back, my husband managed to HeMan the wheel off and get the spare on. Now a spare is supposed to be good for 70miles or so, but we were still over an hour from home, with at least 70 miles of in…

What I'm Reading

In a post earlier this month (hard to believe that was only a couple weeks ago) I wrote about an (unammed) book that kept throwing me, and blamed the reason on the fact it was written in present tense. Well, reality loves to make a liar out of me, and I just finished an absolutely amazing book, that just happened to be written in present tense.

Vacation doesn’t agree with my husband. While I am accustomed to hours on end locked up in a little room working on a single task, such activity makes him stir crazy. So, he has been dragging me out as often as he can, and one of the few places close by that we both agree to waste away hours is the bookstore. On yesterdays trip, I was wandering through the stacks and Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls by Jane Lindskold grabbed my attention. Might have been the name, or the striking cover, but something possessed me to pick it up and read the back. My first thought was that it would either be a really good book, or horrid, but the premise d…

Broken, and it's my fault

I'm not sure, but I think my cat had a seizure last night.

She is just over a year old, and we were playing with one of her Christmas gifts, a mouse on a string. She is a ball of energy and a bit of a spaz, so she was jumping around and running in circles after the toy. After a couple minutes, she suddenly crawled onto a blanket, and for a second I thought she was humping it before I realized something was seriously wrong. I wasn't sure what was happening, her mouth was open like she was coughing or choking, but no sound came out, and she pulled her legs and arms tight to her body and seemed to shake. I picked her up and pulled off her collar, thinking it might be hurting her, and then I just rubbed her while she shook. Her heart was racing, and since she'd been playing so hard, it might have been a heart attack, but I've never seen a heart attack or a seizure in a cat, so I don't know.

After maybe half a minute or a minute, she stilled and let out a pitiful moan, …

Good Impressions

My poor little brother.

He met his girlfriend’s family for the first time over Thanksgiving and was invited back for Christmas. She goes to school out of state, but her parents live instate, only about an hour away from my brother, so he picked her up from the airport with the intention of taking her home after they did a little Christmas shopping together. Apparently one member of her family (an uncle, I think) had a birthday yesterday, which they needed to attend. So, trying to make a good impression, my brother made cupcakes.

He isn't really a baking kind of guy (though he can cook amazing meals) and he definitely isn't a cake-decorating kind of guy. So, to make things easy, he bought cupcake mix, canned frosting, and colored gel with decorating tips. There were two different gel color tubes side-by-side at the store, one with pastel colors and one with darker colors; my brother chose the darker.

Maybe around noon yesterday, I got a call from him because he was making 'la…

the encroaching holiday (rant)

I feel like I have been knitting and knitting and knitting constantly, with the only interruptions being sleep and baking cookies. I haven't even opened a word document since Saturday (well, except to spellcheck these short blogs. I couldn't spell my way out of a hat.)

The next time I decide it's a great idea to knit gifts for Christmas but wait until only a week ahead of time to begin said knitting, someone kick me.

A story from Christmas shopping

My husband wanted me to share this story:

So, the other day while we were out at the village doing our shopping, I stopped in front of the Bath and Body Works window, looked at my hubbie, and asked "Do you think your mom would like something from here?" Just as the last word left my mouth, a child of maybe three ran up to the other side (inside) of the window, did a temper-dance-all jerky arms and stomping feet-and then pointed at us. Well, that was a enough of a sign for both of us. We walked on without going inside and found the perfect gift for her a few stores later.

Weekend Art Update

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I think I will try to make a weekend art update every week, that will give me a push to actually paint. (A habit I've been lacking since graduating college.)

If you remember from the first post on this subject, I began two paintings last week. (Scroll down a couple days if you would like to see the paintings) I did not get around to working on 'Fire Faerie' but I did a good bit of work on 'untitled'

Well, it's starting to look like a painting at least. I worked on rendering the flat forms today and blocking in the faces and hands (*gripe* Did you know portrait painters in the 17th and 18th century charged extra if you wanted the painting to include your hands because hands are freaking hard!) My palette consisted of: White lead, burnt sienna, raw sienna, burnt umber, raw umber, red ochre, terre verte, and cerulean. The only medium I’m using currently is Liquin, and any mixing is done on the canvas (very rare for me!) This painting is out of my comfort zone beca…

Weather Roulette and Christmas shopping

My hubby and I did all our Christmas shopping today (except for gifts for each other.) We went to the new 'mall' (it's called the village and it's actually out doors so not really a mall) and I was very comfortable wearing a spaghetti-strap top. It’s a strange thing to be wandering the streets laden with shopping bags full of Christmas gifts, looking into windows with decorative snow, and everyone around you is decked out in summer clothes. But then again, that is just mid-December in my hometown. Not that it never gets cold, mind you. Last week it dropped down to 17 degrees, but a few days earlier, while the majority of the country got snow, it was nearly 80 degrees here. Up and down, up and down, welcome to weather roulette, now do I need my winter coat today or can I get by with a tee-shirt? I’m told this is cold/flu weather because the body never knows what to expect. I’m not sure how true that is, but it does mean I never box up out of season clothes. That may sou…

A productive day

I finally had a day I felt was really productive. I needed one. It had been a while.

I tackled a huge chunk of revisions for DH today. I hope to have this edit finished soon so I can sit on it and reread it before sending it to my agent. This is the first edit I’ve done where I ended up adding more words than I deleted. It’s sort of weird, but by far not a bad feeling. I’ve been thinking about the scenes (decided on based on responses from editors) I’m adding for over a month now, letting them work themselves out, and I think it is flowing together nicely. I’ll see how much I like the additions next week. That’s usually a good indicator. Hopefully I’ll have one of those (very few and far between) moments where I go “I wrote this? Wow, I don’t remember it working out quite this well.” Usually I just look at anything I do and go “OMG someone get the defibrillator because this baby is crashing!” (I know I’m not the only one who does that, right? *looks around*)

I also dropped a short sto…

Mistral's Kiss

If I had to point a finger, I would say Hamilton was the biggest forerunner in the blooming Urban Fantasy subgenre as it is today. There are variations out there on what people call UF, but the largest emerging trends in the genre include:
• First person, smart ass, female characters who kick butt. (there are several great UFs from the male pov, but the majority seems to be female)
• Modern or futuristic-modern settings
• Some preternatural or supernatural characters/occurrences

Hamilton may not have been the first to combine these things, but on my bookshelf, Anita Blake was one of a kind for years. Hamiltion’s work definitely has had an effect on my own reading and writing habits. I read only high fantasy before I stumbled on her books, anything remotely modern was an instant deal breaker. (Boy how that has changed…) I think I picked up my first Anita Blake book when I was 14 or 15. I quickly grabbed up everything that was out thus far, and since then have picked up the new novels the …

Painting day 1

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I started two paintings today and I thought I would post the preliminary stages. *shrugs* Maybe someone will be interested in seeing the process I go through with a painting.

The first painting (currently untitled) is the largest piece I’ve ever tackled at 36x40in. In fact, it didn’t fit on the easel I typically use and I had to improvise. The second piece (“fire faerie”, FF) is only 5x7in and is very small for an oil painting. Okay, that’s a pretty diverse little pair, so on to the first step I used in starting these paintings:

-inspiration. Eons ago I decided I wanted to paint a faerie for all four elements. Water is finished (you see part of her up there in my title image) but I never got around to the rest. It seemed like time to fix that and fire was the next element that called to me. As for the untitled image…well my mother made a comment a couple weeks ago that got me thinking, and the idea simmered under my skin all through nano, so it was ready to burst out by now.

-Bodies. Wh…

Present Tense

I almost gave up on the book I read yesterday.

Not because it was a bad book. For the most part the story was very interesting (though by the middle of it I found myself skimming the large sections of history and back story that cropped up every other break and interrupted the action.) Over all, I was intrigued by the premise and interested in the characters. No, the problem, my problem, was that the book was written in present tense and I kept being thrown by that.

I’m sure I haven’t always had issues with present tense. In fact, my first noveling attempt, back when I was maybe eleven, was in present tense. So what changed in the last thirteen or so years to make present tense such a deal breaker?

I honestly don’t know.

Other writing styles don’t throw me as much. For instance, my current preference is 1st person pov, but I easily get immersed in books written in 3rd person pov and will accept a certain amount of head hoping without it distracting me. Most of what I read and everything…

What I've been reading

Well, I read far too many books during November. (I think my final count was around 10 books… yes, that is one of the reasons I didn’t meet my 95k word goal.) Out of those books, I want to point out a couple of my favorites:

I’ve been really impressed with the LUNA publishing line, they’ve been putting out some real winners. Poison Study and Magic Study by Maria Snyder are probably my favorite books read this month. It’s been a while since I read a high fantasy novel I couldn’t get enough of. I think the magic of these books are that she combines what I love from UF (first person, kick ass female character) with traditional fantasy elements (roughly medieval setting and magic.) I highly recommend Ms Snyder’s books to any fantasy lover!

I’m a huge fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, so when I heard she released a book on writing, I had to pick it up. How I write was fun to read and filled with great advice, but if you’ve read other writing books, you probably won’t find…

NaNoWriMo Wrap-up

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I know, I disappeared. No, Nano didn't eat my soul, but life got a little hectic and I decided any free seconds needed to be spent writing. For that reason, I am way behind on my own blogging and have a lot of catching up to do on the blogs that I usually visit.

It's almost 7pm on November 30th and here is my Nano word count:
50,112 / 50,000
(100.2%)

So, now it's time to do a happy dance because I finished, but at the same time hang my head because my wordcount is only half my goal for the month. Also, I finished almost a week later than I did last year. *shame*

Really, it's all my fault that 50k took me this long. Everything that could get in my way this month did (which was mostly myself) and I'll add updates about some of it later.

After a couple days down, I plan to edit the mess, and will probably lose around 10k. Eeps, does that still mean I wrote as much? This story has been fighting me every step of the way, it's going to be something to actually finish it...…

Can you see?

I swear I never saw anything until I began painting.

I remember always being in awe of nature, but I never really noticed it. I never saw the beauty of the one pale bare tree next to her sisters still wearing reds, yellows, and greens. I never noticed how the sunset glowed through the trees, splashing the sky in all shades of orange, alizarin, violet, and blue while the trees were only shadows against it. I swear I never realized how rich a green the leaves turned before a thunderstorm or the way a person’s iris is shot through with a dozen flecks of color.

Someone had to teach me to look.

Not how to look, but that I needed to look.

I wonder sometimes if most people walk through life never really seeing any details; that if no one tells them to actually look at things, they never see more than a second long picture of the world. I was twenty-two before I took my first painting class and actually started to look at things. I remember walking across campus one day and stopping to stare a…

A lesson from Nano

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This was a bad writing weekend. Real life just kept bidding for all my time (don't you hate when that happens.)

I only wrote 1k the entire weekend, and that was at (surprise surprise, you guessed it,) a write in. On that note, I did host a successful write-in on Sunday, and everyone who attended left with a decent wordcount for that short block of time. What made this one work when the others didn't? I have no clue. Maybe it was that I had a different set of people, or the fact I worked really hard on keeping my mouth shut.

So, to make up for the busy weekend, I chained myself to the computer today. Doing so would probably be more productive if I didn't have the internet to distract me, but I actually managed to keep the surfing to a minimum as I tried to work. I broke thirty thousand, which was the minimum goal I set for myself today, but that's only 4k words, and I really did work all day.

The sad part? The first 1k or so of today’s word count was like pulling teeth a…

Refueling

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Well, I passed the halfway point for Nano and the quarter point for my own personal goal today. I know some people write faster, but I'm pretty happy with making 25k in 10 days. The last few days I have been slowing down though. Not only have I not met my 3k a day goal in the last two days, but my words per hour have dropped as well.

The problem with Nano and trying to write in such a tight deadline is that I don't get a lot of time to take care of my muse. Ten days stuck in my head without any outside release has started to get to her, so I stopped by the bookstore and picked up Jenna Black's Watchers in the Night.

I discovered Jenna's website before the book came out and read the first chapter online, so I've been looking forward to its release. More recently I learned that she is a member of the local RWA chapter I intend to join, so now I'm doubly excited about reading it. I lack self control when it comes to reading, and typically finish a book in a single…

Write-ins

The first week of Nano has passed, and during that time, I’ve hosted a kick-off party and two write-ins. That means I have three more weeks of write-ins and a TGIO party still to go.

The concept behind a write-in is both intriguing and confounding. Writing, at least in my experience, is a very solitary endeavor, so from a practical stand point, a write-in doesn’t seem efficient or practical. I admit that some of my lowest word counts are during the hours I spend with other nano’ers at B&N or ABC. Put me alone in the same situation and I accomplish a good deal typically, so I can’t blame my surroundings. The problem is the pressure to socialize.

It is awkward to sit at a table with semi-strangers and work.

I tried to start a freewriting/ writing prompt exercise at the kick-off, but it didn’t take off. The idea of doing a couple page critique came to mind, but that’s not the point of Nano. Besides, I wouldn’t be comfortable showing my very rough first drafts to people, why would I ex…

Wine and Pizza

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What a combination, huh? But that's how I celebrate.

What am I celebrating? Well, I’d love to tell you some exciting news about my book, but what I’m actually celebrating is my hubby’s new job!

After several months of searching, he received an offer Monday. (He wouldn’t let me post about it until the papers were signed.) I’m so excited for him and for us. This is going to be quite a lifestyle change. He has been working third-shift since we got married, which was especially hard when I was working days full time. This job is not only better in the monetary way, but it is during the day! We can finally both adjust to a normal schedule with the rest of the waking world!!

Okay, I could go on and on about that, but really I’d be repeating the same things in different ways. Let’s just say we danced around our living room for awhile and two weeks from now you probably won’t find me hanging around online at 5am in the morning…

A quick Nano update:

Current progress:

19,671 / 95,000
(20.7%)

I ha…

Please take a seat

If you’ve been following this blog the last few weeks, you probably remember that I was working on a project called MG until a subplot spiraled out of control and I decided there was a book between DH (the story my agent has) and MG. I outlined this new book, tentatively titled CW, and then put it to the side because Nanowrimo was weeks away from starting.
During those two weeks, a new character walked up and said “hey, while you wait, here’s my story.” Then proceeded to tell me about how dark and twisty she was. She was also kick ass and a great main character, so I wrote a short story for her set in the world of my novels but with none of the usual characters. Great, that was fun, and I finished just in time to start nano.

Now she won’t shut up, and she brought another friend who is also begging for her own story.

For awhile now I have been afraid if DH doesn’t sell, that will be the end. All my energy and thoughts have been tied up with that main character and I have a rough idea wh…

CRW

I managed to drag myself to the CRW meeting today and I am so glad I did.
I enjoyed the LRWA when I attended their meeting, but the CRW meeting just blew me away. I will definitely be joining their chapter.

What helped me make the choice?
Well,
-CRW has a larger group with a much more diverse set of writers including other fantasy writers.
-CRW has two workshops every month at the meeting as opposed to LRWA’s one
-and CRW has a critique group.

I was happy with both meetings I attended, and everyone I talked to was wonderfully nice, but right now I think CRW can offer me more of what I need at this point in my career. (hah…like I have a writing career…) The only thing I’m a little afraid of with CRW is that since it is such a large group, there might be ‘cliques’ of writers. I’ve noticed that happens when you get more than a handful of people. But we will see. All that is left this year is the Christmas party, which I probably won’t attend, but I can’t wait for meetings to start up in Janu…

Quick update: Day 3

Well day three of Nano is coming to an end.

To be on target with my personal goal I needed to be at 9k tonight, I still have a couple hours left, but I'm not sure I'll make it. I will probably get close though.

Current word count:
7457/95000

I'm feeling a little better today, and I'm hoping I will be up to going to CRW tomorrow. I won't be able to drive if I take the pain pills the doc gave me, and though my husband has offered to drive me, I probably won't go if I have to face all those new people drugged up. So, if I'm not hurting too bad, I plan to go, but I don't know how good a first impression I'll make as I look like someone punched me in the jaw.

We will see.

Day two of Nano—Post Surgery

Well today has been an interesting day two of Nano. As the title indicates, my surgery was this morning, and I won’t go into all the bloody details (I had surgery on my jaw and they had to cut and peel down a section of my gums, oh yeah, that was a blast) but let’s just say I could have had a better day. I slept a lot, but I did get some writing done.

When I finally got around to writing, I read over what I wrote yesterday and decided it all blew chunks and I needed to trash it. Since I am on lots of fuzzy pain pills, I decided that might be a little rash, so it went to a scrap folder instead of getting the permanent vacation. Currently I’m under the impression my new opening is much better, we will see how that holds up once they take the codeine away.

I made the official statement at last nights kick-off that I’m setting my personal goal at 95k for the month (that’s only 3k a day, right?) so maybe it would be best if I keep the codeine…. So far I’m right on track for Nano’s goal, but…

How strange

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I don't know if this is happening to everyone else, but on my computer, the words in my "halloween" post keep disappearing. My progress meter is also not working correctly... something I'll have to look into later as my internet went on the fritz (great timing) so me and my computer are at the library and the connection is painfully slow.

I guess I could look at this as a blessing... no 'net means way less distractions, but as I'm supposed to be moderating a forum...I see it leading to a problem. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

If I have a connection tonight, I'll post on how the kick-off goes. Other wise I guess I might be a little silent.

Here is my current progress:


1,151 / 50,000
(2.3%)

Halloween

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Here is my hubby dressed up as the amazing melting man....



Well, unfortunately we couldn't catch him as the melting was happening, so here he is post melt.

The Eve of Madness

No, this post has nothing to do with Halloween.

Tonight, at midnight, Nano officially begins.

I feel like I was much more prepared for it two weeks ago than today. Two weeks ago I had just worked out an outline so it was fresh in my mind and I was excited to get working on it. Of course, I then decided to wait so I could start a new project for Nano. In the interim I’ve been editing DH (which I’m not done with [the editing, that is]) and working on other things, including a short story I’m in the middle of and need to finish today and not put off until December.

Life also decided to throw me a couple curves over the last few days. The car breaking down was expensive; the part it needed was only like 20$ but the labor was several hundred. *grumbles* This Thursday I’m having surgery (nothing serious as long as I don’t put it off.) So on the second day of Nano, I will be out of it-- not a good way to start the month. Between the car and the surgery, the bills are starting to get out of…

LRWA

Life sometimes makes a point of scaring me.

Thursday my car broke down, which is a really big deal as it is the car my husband and I share and public transport in my city is a joke. The shop said the car wouldn’t even be looked at until Monday, so my chance to attend the LRWA meeting basically evaporated. Luckily, both our parents helped us out in getting where we had to go around town, but getting to Charleston still seemed like an impossibility. Then in a change of fortune, the shop called back and told us we could pick the car up Friday night and I ended up being able to go after all.

I was really nervous walking in the room, but everyone was really friendly. I wasn’t even the only guest visiting. Apparently lots of members were missing at this meeting because there is a writing retreat next week, but there were still probably 13 or so people present. It was a good mix: a couple published authors, several with works looking for representation, and a handful still working on their f…

Plot, what plot?

Plotting really isn’t very high on my skill list. Isn’t that a terrible thing to admit as writer? But, it is true. I struggle with plots endlessly and that’s the reason an outline is a must for me. (I’m very bad at planning almost anything else in my life and tend towards the spontaneous, but if I don’t outline, I don’t finish a story.)

What is a story without a plot? Well, probably not much of anything, but plot isn’t what comes to me when I dream up a new story. First shadows of characters show up and eventually meet each other and start talking. (Yes dialogue is one of the first things that comes to me and is one of the few things I’m confident about when I read over my work) As the characters develop I start figuring out their world, which is one of my favorite things. (My roots as a reader and early writings are high fantasy, so even now world building is a special joy. I do less of it in urban fantasy, but I still slip it in as much as possible.) Once I have my characters and my…

A new look

You probably noticed the blog got (yet another) face lift. This is probably the happiest I’ve been with the blog’s appearance, and ironically, I changed it specifically so I could give the template to a fellow blogger who is really frustrated with the template she is using. I never intended to keep it, but I think I like it and it will stay this way a while.

It’s funny, I have made a good chunk of change over the years doing freelance web design, but this template kicked my butt. Maybe I should take a refresher course in xml and such, but it’s only been maybe three years since my last java/html course. It’s amazing how fast such things become dated and near obsolete.

If you have ever stopped by my gallery site you might recognize the faerie in my banner. If you don’t, she is from an oil painting I did about two years ago. (She has of course been modified in photoshop as she appears in the banner) I always meant to do a series of faeries, but got side tracked. I should go back and revi…

To join a writing group

Recently Rachel Vincent devoted a post to finding/picking critique partners, which was a topic I definitely benefited from. (BTW if you haven’t stopped by her blog recently, the cover for Stray is up. Go look!) She suggested looking for a CP through local chapter meetings of RWA (and other writing groups) or online. That was the part where I hit myself on the head and said “Yeah, I should have thought of that.”

Of course, I have thought of it before, but remember I’m shy about admitting to being a writer, so I’ve avoided writing groups. It’s clearly time to kick that bad habit. (Especially since I just volunteered to be CO-Municipal Liaison for my regional Nano)

There are two local chapters of RWA within reasonable driving distance, both have published and unpublished authors represented, workshops at the monthly meetings, published writer/agent speakers, and allotted time for network/socializing. That all sounds great (especially the workshops) but I’m not a romance writer, so I…

Halloween is coming

October is one of my favorite months. The weather is typically mild here, the fair comes to town, and the month ends with Halloween, one of my all time favorite holidays. Now that I’m out of collage and theoretically an adult, I don’t go to many Halloween parties. (I need some married friends. I love my friends, wouldn’t trade them for the world. But parties are odd now that I’m married as my friends who are not single, are in somewhat open relationships, and tend to get naked and play drunken debauchery games. While amusing for a while, that’s not much fun when you’re sitting on the sidelines.) So if parties are out, bars are full of singles, and I’m way too old to trick-or-treat (unless I kidnap a small child, but even my cousins are out growing that) what’s a Halloween loving girl to do?

Volunteer work.

I’m friends with several librarians in the area, and I was asked to help out with the Halloween festival on Saturday. It’s sad, I probably spent close to three hours getting ready, b…

First Rejection,

Well, my agent passed along DH’s first rejection today. Weirdly, I’m not as bummed out by it as I thought I would be. Of course, maybe it just hasn’t had time to sink in yet.

The rejection was very nice and complementary (which I’m not sure how much that means since it is still a rejection.) It also listed the reasons DH was rejected, so at least that gives me something to work with. CW will have to wait a couple weeks; I have some editing to do before Nano starts.

Wish me luck.

Touch of the Muse or the Touched Muse

You might have noticed the progress meter claims it is ‘Out of Order’ currently (actually, you might have noticed the entire blog has a new look. I went ahead and switched to blogger beta after seeing several examples of it and the super shiny labels. But I digress…) The progress meter is down. Why? Because MG is in ICU on life support after cutting out 25k words of malignant sub-plot.

The muse and I have been fighting about this for almost two weeks now. And let me tell you, a girl doesn’t get a lot of writing done when she’s fighting with the muse. It was obvious that sub-plot (plots actually, three of them) slowed down MG, but the idea was to set up some stuff for later stories. The problem: the main plot and the sub-plots took place in two different places and I had to wrap up the sub-plots before heading to the location of the main plot. In the outline this looked great, but when that two sentence summery of a sub-plot became 10k words and wanted more, I knew there was a problem…

Bees

Bees?
Yes, this post is about bees.

While at the fair yesterday, I passed a local bee farmer’s booth and stopped to look. He had a honeycomb behind glass with bees working in it, and while people were gathered around he started doing his educational/sales pitch. At one point, he held up a little tube of honey and explained that during its life, that was how much honey a single bee would make. I’d be surprised if the amount he held up was enough to fill a thimble, it certainly was less than what I put in my tea.

It made me think. Several bees toil their entire life to create the amount of honey I put on a single biscuit. It’s kind of sad really.

What I'm reading

I've had a blah couple of days, so I hit the bookstore to make me feel better.

GreyWalker by Kat Richardson hit the shelves last week. The book is only out in trade right now, and she is a first time author, but I'd heard some good stuff so I decided to spend the extra bit and give her a chance. It started out a little rocky(or maybe that was my mood while reading) but once it picked up it was hard to put the book down. The book's biggest fault was the psychobabble by characters speaking for the writer and telling us about the 'grey.' That was forgivable though, and the book is well worth the extra price of the trade cover (though to be fair, most UF is out there in mass market and lots of it is well worth HC to me.) Great novel. I recomend it and look forward to the next one, which is due to be out fall 2008.

Kitty goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn is the second book in a series. The first book, Kitty and the Midnight Hour was great. Not I'm dying to get more…

Wine in plastic cups

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Last night was the art preview and awards reception, which is always a weird but enjoyable event. It’s nice to see the artwork, but I’ll be honest, I pay more attention to the pieces once the show is actually open and I visit it for a second time, last night I was observing the other attendees.

People of all ages enter the show, from fresh out of high school to blue hairs. The preview is open to anyone who entered artwork and one guest, whether they made it into the show or not. This makes for an interesting crowd. Some people are very quiet as they roam the aisles of work, occasionally pausing to look a little closer, but usually pulling the typical art observer and giving each piece around a 2 second study. Some people stop and study/discuss almost every piece, at least in their favored medium. Some are obviously juried out artists, and they tend to stop in front of art they don’t like more often than art they do. Their ‘supportive’ guest tends to be more critical than the artist (…

When they stop talking

Do your characters ever stop talking to you? Not because you don’t know where they are going, but because they suddenly become as elusive as trying to capture the breeze?

I have a scene I’m working on with MG that started forming in my mind way before I even finished DH. It’s played through my imagination a thousand times, I’ve written snippets of it in random places in my notes, (Yes, I have a word document named ‘notes’) and I have been looking forward to actually writing the scene for almost a year. Now it is finally time and my characters are standing around the scene acting like rusty marionettes.

Maybe the scene has been with me so long that the characters have out grown it, or maybe I’ve lost contact with them. Is it possible that long term planning could be unhealthy? In the last year, since I came up with the idea for this series, my brain has been slipping pieces together so that I have a rough idea what will happen for at least five books, (which means it will be really sa…

The interim and Firestorm

This blog went silent for several days, my apologies.

Things have been a little crazy around here in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with writing. I picked up a contract job (as I do when the opportunity arises) because a little extra cash is always useful. When I heard the details of this job I had the feeling it wouldn’t work out well, and really I should have gone with my instincts but I took it anyways. I had the feeling when the problem was first presented to me that I wouldn’t be able to do much, and stated that up front, but the client really wanted me to look into. So I looked into it, and the research (and tech support) glutinously devoured my time. In the end, I was correct with my first assessment. Since I couldn’t technically do anything, I have to decide what to bill the client that both my conscious and my pocketbook can agree with.

Urgh… I hate money.

I explained the situation to my ‘boss’ (who really just passes me clients who he feels wouldn’t be profitable eno…

Art Show and Nano

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They say “when it rains it pours” and “misfortune always comes in threes” but is the same true about the good stuff? Or, would that completely unbalance the karma scales and drown us in the bad stuff?

Good news came in today: my piece made it into the art show!

I’m super giddy (and who knows, maybe this will be my week for good news.) This weekend is the preview and awards reception, which means free food and wine, a mishmash of the local art culture meeting, and me walking around pretending like I’m the guest of an attending artist instead of the artist herself. (This goes back to the same issues as discussed in ‘writing secretly.’ I’m mortified to point out my work face to face with people, never mind that I went through an art major and had public critiques… there is probably no hope for me.) I won’t find out until the reception if my piece placed, but I’m just thrilled to have made it in. That’s enough for me.

In other news, October is here again which means it’s time to start thinki…

De-stressing with string part2

Well, armed with a plethora of knitting books, I have started making progress on my goals from the last post.

So far I have learned which stitch is a Knit stitch and which is a Purl. It turns out that the stitch I have been using for years doesn't actually exist, but is similar to a knit through the back stitch. I also figured out what obnoxious pattern notes such as Row4 p3 k2tog *p1 k1 repeat from * actually means. So, I plan to practice real stitches for a small project (making fingerless gloves because winter is coming and my hands get cold while I'm typing all night,) then I will start on my husband's sweater. I'm excited.

I hit the bookstore this weekend and picked up two of the books on my reading wish list: Firestorm and Kitty goes to Washington. I can't wait to dive into those. I'll let you know what I think after I'm finished, but as they are both parts of series I already like, I anticipate they will be great.

Still no word from my agent, but I'…

De-stressing with string

I went to the library today to pick up some books on writing. Over the years I have read most of what my local library carries on the craft of writing, but I have convinced myself that I don’t know anything about telling a story, so I went looking for something new. While browsing the shelves I spotted some books on knitting.

A friend taught me two stitches back in college, but I only ever use one of them. Don’t ask if it is a purl stitch or a knit stitch because I don’t actually know the difference. I also can’t read a pattern (or most maps, though I can navigate cross country with an atlas, go figure.) I knit hats and scarves because that is all I know how to do and the repetitive movements are very zen for me. Knitting also gives my hands something to do while my stories sporadically play out behind my eyes. I knit a lot when I get writer’s block because it takes the pressure of the keyboard away and lets me work through things.

I don’t have writer’s block right now, but my nerves co…

Addictive personalities and Nervous energy

"The waiting is the hardest part." I've heard it all my life, but I don't think I ever really understood until now.

I'm not a patient person. I can be, and I try real hard, but I always end up adding the spaghetti noodles before the water boils. That's the way I am.

Now I am stuck in a position where all I can do is wait.

What am I waiting for? My agent to call and tell me someone wants my novel (or doesn't want it and she needs more copies,) to find out if my painting will make it into the show, and for the guy who interviewed my husband the other day to call and offer him the job. The painting has a date at least. I will know on the second. The other two are up in the air so they're harder to deal with. It fills me with all this nervous energy, which if I could figure out how to harness and use constructively probably wouldn't be that bad. (Who couldn't use a little extra energy.) But no, nervous energy makes me act a little ADD, always jumpi…

Editing and Outlines

I am having an issue today, I want to edit DH and I'm not sure if I should or not.

Holly has four copies of the manuscript out with editors already, so if I do change anything and one of the editors wants my novel, I will probably have to change it back. (I know there will be edits after the editor picks it up, but I'm not sure what to expect with that or how open the editing will be on my end.) If none of these editors bite, having a tweaked manuscript might be a good thing. I don't know, and I don't even know who I can ask. I suppose I could ask Holly, but I don't want to 1.) bother her, 2.) sound like an idiot, or 3.) make it appear I sent her the manuscript before it was ready.
Three weeks ago I was pretty sure it was ready. Now I can think of places that could be better. (I haven't let myself read over it because I knew that would incite another edit. If I ever do get to see this thing in print, I will probably have to continuously buy new copies because min…

Writer's Digest, writing secretly, and email

I have become a compulsive email checker in the last few weeks.

I didn't use to be this way. In fact, until two weeks ago I had to remind myself to check it, or I would end up going several days without opening Outlook. What changed?

My agent contacts me by email.

So now I hit send/receive at least four times a day, and with my schedule that is really ridiculous because she is only likely to write me between 9 and 5. But at midnight I still can't resist hitting the button and seeing if something new slips into my box. I foresee this growing into a really bad habit.

I noticed something interesting recently. I subscribe to Writer's Digest because, well, I write, so it seems the thing to do. In the last few months they have been sending me renewal slips saying I can get 2 years for 1 low price...2 years (12 issues) for only $29.96 as opposed to 1 year (6 issues) for $19.96. The thing I'm confused about is that the little postcard ads that fall out of the magazine claim that i…

R.I.P. fish and Max

Since the fantasy worlds I write are not reality, I have to accept that all living things have to die.

Sometimes it's shocking and sometimes it's merciful, but it is always painful.

I woke up today to find my Beta floating upside down in his bowl. Yesterday I thought he had looked a little sick, and I guess I was right. He was around two years old, and I don't know what the average lifespan for a Beta is, but that sounds like a long time for a fish sold for two dollars in a plastic cup. I think my fish had a good life: he had a pretty bowl, was fed regularly, and liked to swim over and look at people.

Max was my mother-in-law's beagle. He was old and had been sick for a long time, but he was a sweet little dog. I got the call a couple hours ago to let me know that she had taken him to be put down. It wasn't that surprising, she had tried to take him a few times before, but always turned around before she got to the vet. It is still sad though.

Rest in peace fish and M…

Fall, the fair, and art

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I look forward to the fair every year.

I mean, what's not to love about the fair? You get to eat fried foods that you would never even consider ingesting any other time of the year, there are cheesy haunted houses, festival music by small bands no one has ever heard of, and rides that are scary only because you wonder how precariously they were set up. But that's what makes it fun. It also is the harbinger of Fall (no matter what the calendar says, it's not Fall until the fair gets here, and it's still fall even if it's 101 degrees and all the trees are still green.)

In recent years the fair has started meaning something else to me as well, Art Show. I'm not active in the art community, but I do try to enter a painting or two each year. Now that I am out of school and have no deadlines on painting, motivation to work on them wanes greatly most of the time. Knowing that I need new works to enter in the fair is a good push for me.


With less than a week left before I…