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Showing posts from October, 2006

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'…