Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween

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 hand, and the tightrope that was letting me work only limited hours is swaying really close to the crocodiles below, so I might need to go back to work full time. *sigh* That’s life, and when it comes to working, I was pulling over-time at work last year during Nano some weeks and still made the goal.
All and all, my pre-nano stress has very little to do with jitters about writing and more with everything else.

Wow, this has turned into a whiney post. Sorry.

On the upside, I am looking forward to the kick-off party tomorrow night. I probably mentioned it before, but I’m co-ML for my area this year, and the other Ml and I have planned some fun things for our fellow nano’ers. I will be heading up several write-ins over November, so I’m hoping doing that will help me get over some of my shyness while helping other nano’ers meet their word goal. I won’t know how I want to structure the write-ins until I talk to the writers who plan to attend, but I’ve been getting material ready incase people want to start the session with writing exercises or talk about outlining/plotting/character development. (And yes, I’m taking things from the net and books, not coming up with it on my own because I’m definitely not an expert on the subjects.)

Well, good luck to any of you out there who are also Nano’ing this year! Just a few more hours…

Sunday, October 29, 2006

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 first book. We talked a little about what each of us was working on and things we had heard about the industry (a who’s looking for what moment.) Then there was the workshop about writing thrillers which was informative, and while I never plan to write a straight thriller, I’m sure I can incorporate some of what I learned in my own work. The meeting wrapped up with a discussion about making your name a brand (for advertising purposes.) As I have nothing to compare it to, I couldn’t tell you how well the meeting went, but I had a good time. It will be interesting to compare it to the CRW meeting next weekend.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

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 world, I need to figure out what they are going to do.
That sounds simple, but it is the part of the process that makes me want to set my hair on fire. (Thank you miss snark for that wonderful expression)

My characters have personal motivations and small plans for what they want to do: Ch A wants everyone to leave her alone so she doesn’t have to face her past or responsibilities, Ch B wants Ch A to come home…yadda yadda yadda. Nothing big, all encompassing, or with enough momentum to move a whole story forward. The mcguffin, the quest, the mystery, whatever is moving the story, is painfully extracted from the depths of my brain and sewn into the threads of possibility. Some days I feel like plot is something I force on my characters just so they have something to do while they work out those smaller subplots centering on their personal motivations.

Does anyone else feel that way about their work? How do stories form for you? Is plot something that easily forms, or do you fight with it?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

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 revisit that idea. Of course I say this now, only seven days before Nano starts, which means there isn’t a chance in the world of me painting much until at least December.

Monday, October 23, 2006

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'm not completely sure RWA will be a good fit. Worried about that fact, I did a quick search of my favorite urban fantasy writers and learned that many of them are in the RWA. I wrote my agent to get her opinion, and she thought joining would be a good move.

After contacting both chapters, I learned that I can sit in on a meeting before I join, so I've decided to attend the next meeting for both groups. Why both, why not pick one? Well, one (LRWA) is around 2-21/2 hours away, but I have a friend local to the area so I can visit her after the meeting. The other (CWA) is only an hour away, so closer, but no friend. Besides that, since I do have the choice of two, it seems wise to allow myself to decide which chapter has members I mesh with better.

I’m nervous, but excited. The LRWA meeting is this weekend (the 28th) and the CWA is the following (the 4th). I’m hoping to learn a lot and meet a lot of interesting people. I’m sure I’ll post something after the meeting, but until then: is anyone reading this in a writing group? (of any kind) If so, what benefits do you feel being in the group has brought you?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

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, but the event only lasted an hour. (My prep time included ransacking my closet trying to put together an acceptable costume because mine haven’t been kid-friendly in several years, so improvises had to be made) I was stationed in a haunted house (more a haunted broom closet) with another guy and my husband. We had the facade of a castle with a window, some dangling bats, three tombstones, a black light, and after some searching, two flashlights.

No instruction at all.

We spent most the time laughing and goofing off because the librarians told the children that the haunted house was really scary and only the bravest should enter (these kids were like six.) After three or four kids we finally worked out a script (okay, I was the only one talking, but my friend laughed maniacally and my husband played a disembodied hand behind a curtain.) Getting the kids back out was the biggest problem. The room was only maybe two yards wide and they had turn around and go back out the door they entered. The solution turned out to be terribly dorky, but worked quite well. When I led the child over to the ‘disembodied arm’, I told them that the dead were rising, then my husband would stick out his hand, holding a bit of candy, and I would urge them to go take it from him. Then, I would ask what the child found, and, as it was always a chocolate eyeball, say “Oh no! His eye, you better run before he comes for it.” This was usually met by wide-eyed shock, and then the child rushed to the door.

Yeah, it’s hard to balance acceptable spookiness with not getting laughed at by small children.

I had a good time though, and I think the children had fun. One little girl dressed like a princess might have gotten a little too scared, and a couple of the kids did laugh at the monster in the castle (my friend,) but most of them jumped at my appearance (floor length black cape, only black lights, and turning on flashlight… oh the magic of a cheap haunted house,) and even the laughing children approached the disembodied hand with obvious trepidation. So over all, our sad little haunted closet was a success.

Friday, October 20, 2006

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.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

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. Okay, just cut it and put in a scrap file to use later, right? Oh no, the muse says she thinks we can write a whole book using the sub-plots that will take place before MG. That was when the red flags went off. I have a hard drive full of stories that died after 30k words. Starting a new story sounded like big trouble and falling backwards into bad habits again. The muse assured me it would be just this once.

“Okay, so what’s the main plot of this new second book?”

That was when the muse got really quiet. The sub-plots might have been begging for more room to stretch out, but they were only supposed to be setting up for a story in the distant future, nothing fully worked out. She told me not to worry about that detail yet (not worry about the plot?) and to fix MG’s outline and then start the new one tentatively called CW. It took me the rest of the day to do that and as I started CW’s outline, I was pretty lost aside from knowing that a version of what I cut from MG would be near the beginning of the story.
The next day the muse didn’t show up while I was hitting my head on my keyboard so I went to look for her. I found her kicking rocks.

“So what’s the plot?” I asked.
She didn’t even look up, just kicked another rock. “It’s still hatching. Come back tomorrow.”

Right. The next day she didn’t show at the keyboard again, so again I went looking for her. This time all I found was a note under a rock that said she would be gone for a little while. Always a good sign. *sarcasm*

Of course whenever the muse goes on vacation, her house is empty and her evil sister, doubt, tends to hang around to water the plants. Doubt sings dark lullabies whenever she is in muse’s house. The theme tends to be things like that I won’t be able to finish a second book and that no one has even said they want DH yet. After a couple days of listening to doubt sing I tend to get rather blue. This time was far from the exception.
Finally a postcard arrived from the muse, but all it said was “need fuel.” Okay, I knew what fuel was, so off to the bookstore I ran. I tore through several books, but still no sign of the muse.

Last night I was sitting around telling myself I had to work, muse or no muse, when she just walked in, sporting a nice tan. (Which I have no idea where she went to get a tan in October)

“Got a pen?” she asked.
“Words up on the computer. I’m ready.”
“No, get a pen.”

A strange request, but I wasn’t about to argue with her. I grabbed a pen and some computer paper and we started working out everything she had come up with on her trip. In the end one of the sub-plots from MG transformed into the main plot for CW with the other two sub-plots tying in very nicely. She even came up with a delicious cliffhanger for the ending. (Which can probably be blamed on the fact that I read two of the evil queen of cliffhanger’s wonderful books for fuel while the muse was gone.)

So now I have several pages of notes with all the high points and even some yummy dialogue that needs to be turned into a proper outline. After that I can finally get back to really writing again.

When the muse left last night, she handed me one other thing: a sticky note with the words ‘pound it out’ written on it. It’s stuck to my computer now and is something I need to take to heart. Once CW’s outline is complete I’ll have two outlined books waiting to be written. Pounding them out is good advice. I’m so excited.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

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.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

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 great, but still good and looking forward to the next one great. This one was even better though. I feel like the author grew a lot between the first and second book, and lots of the little annoyances I had with the first one were worked out better in the second. That said, both books are funny, fast paced, and filled with snappy dialogue. Pick up the series if your looking for a fun urban fantasy.

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine. (Yes, I did just read a different book by her last week, sue me.) I had the hardest time finding this book. I wandered all around the bookstore and finally had to break down and ask. It was in young adult section, which, was not a mistake. Was the book good? Yes, I loved it, but I always have a hard time relating to main characters flustered over their first kiss when I'm used to characters rolling into bed with someone at least once in a book. Still, it was a fun and fast read, and because as previously said, Ms Caine is the evil queen of cliffhangers, it ended with me going "Wait no...you can't stop there...." So yes, I will be buying the next one. If YA UF isn't a total deal breaker for you, pick it up.

You'll probably notice none of those little reviews tell you anything about the books themselves, just my impressions. Sorry. Follow the links to amazon and read the blurbs there. So far I've read three books in as many days and I'm ready to make another B&N run if I don't get out of my slump soon. *sigh*

Monday, October 09, 2006

Wine in plastic cups

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 (though not always.) It is inevitable at this event to hear at least one lowered voice complain that “my/your piece is better than this” followed by some rather unpleasant descriptions of the judges’ tastes.

The judges’ choices are always a hot topic by even those that made it into the show. The ‘hit or miss’ discussion is muttered in hushed tones by most of the attendees, except perhaps those who won awards. I’ll admit to understanding the feeling. There are always some pieces that I stop and gap at. They are amazing in technique, content, or in some way that absolutely floors me, and they don’t even earn a merit award. Then, I wander to the awards aisle to discover the unimpressive image that won first place and I’m just dumbfounded. Nothing too extremely weird this year, at least. There was one year that a black and white photo of a jar of mustard won grand prize. If you ever wanted to hear lots of ugly words, you could hang out around that image for a while. It must be hard to be a judge.

This year the biggest complaints were about the lighting, which was honestly horrid. In the past, my works were better placed, so it could have been that I never noticed the lighting was quite so bad during previous years. There were lots of artists talking about it this year though. From dismay at how their colors looked in the light to the fact that some of the pieces (mine included) had weird shadows cast over them. This isn’t a gallery show, it’s the fair, so I guess poor lighting shouldn’t be that surprising.

My husband took a couple pictures during the event. I think it’s pretty obvious I wasn’t too keen on taking them. My smile is very ‘okay quick, while no one is looking, just take the picture.’ Special huh?

Despite how I look in the picture, the night was a lot of fun, and the show is pretty good this year. More works were cut than in previous years, so I guess the judges had more to choose from. I’m still surprised I made it in, honestly. My piece definitely didn’t fit in with the works surrounding it: a still-life, some flamingos, and a flower path. The great thing about being surrounded by ‘pretty’ images is that while, for the most part, the wall got a two second look, my piece earned a lot of double takes. No one really said anything, but people stopped and actually looked. What more could I ask for?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

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 sad if I can’t sell DH and the rest of the ideas have to be mulched to make room and fertile ground for a new story that might sell.) But, maybe being so far ahead of myself is tearing my characters in two. After all, from their perspective, I’m making them regress because at the point my brain is currently playing with the story they have grown a lot, but I’m way back near the beginning in writing it. It could be that I just need to be writing faster. (Well, actually, I know that is true. I should be setting a much higher min daily word count for myself.) I guess I should also consider the fact that I’ve hit a personal slump and just need to push through it and get back into the swing of things.


Does anyone else ever have this problem? What do you do when it happens? If you’re writing a series, how far ahead do you find yourself planning? How do you reconnect with characters when they are sitting around staring at you blank-eyed?

Friday, October 06, 2006

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 enough to work with himself) and asked him to bill the client for me. It’s the no rocks approach. If it were up to just me, I wouldn’t charge anything. Of course, I’ve never felt I’m as valuable as he contracts me out for. He is a fair guy though, so I know he will come up with something everyone can live with.

In other news, I finished Firestorm the other day. Rachel Caine is an evil genius. If you haven’t picked up the Weather Warden books, go, stop reading this and read them. This a wonderful series, but the amazingly evil writer always always leaves off with a killer cliffhanger. So now I have to wait until July for the next one. *grumbles*

Firestorm is the fifth book in the series, and I won’t tell you anything about it in case you have not yet run off and read the first four, but I guess I can tell you about the series itself. It’s urban fantasy, and though the genre usually arouses connotations of vampires and werewolves, this series has neither. Unknown to the general populous, a group of individuals called Wardens, who possess control over the elements, are the only thing standing between sentient storms, angry fires, and other major disasters and humanity. They are assisted by a highly magical race known as Djinn, (think genie in the bottle without the three wish limit) but no one said the Djinn want to be controlled. Oh yeah, throw in some demons too. The books are fast paced and the main character, Joanne, is sassy and kick ass. Read it, and suffer my pain of wanting more.

Here’s a random observation… urban fantasy females tend to know a lot about cars. Joanne loves fast cars and I have learned more about the motors in top end sports cars from the Weather Warden books than the boys in high school. Then there is Mercy in Moon Called. She works on cars as her day job, so more car talk in books. And the main character in Urban Shaman (also a Joanne) is an auto mechanic working for the police. I’m sure there are others, but those three come to mind. Anyone else notice the car savvy females in UF?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Art Show and Nano

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.

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 ParticipantIn other news, October is here again which means it’s time to start thinking about NaNoWriMo. For those of you who have never heard of it, Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month and is an event that gathers thousands of people who want to write books and pushes them to write 50k words during the month of November. I did it for the first time last year and won, (I found out about it the year before, but November was more than half over and I was in the middle of exams.) It’s madness but tons of fun. (I was working full time last year… it might be slightly less madness this time around.) This year I will be invoking the Zokutou clause and working on MG. If I manage to finish Mg early or there are not 50k words left at the start of November, then I'll have to throw together a quick outline of book #3 and jump into that.(And I wouldn't complain a bit about finishing MG sooner than planned.)

Last year around 60k people participated in Nano and even more are anticipated this year. If you have ever felt like there is a book inside you waiting for the right time to jump out, now may be the time. My Nano name is Kalayna. Drop me a message and we can keep up with each others word count and help each other stay motivated.

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'm really not as stressed as I was earlier in the week. Of course, it's the weekend, so it could be that my subconscious and my logical side actually got together and figured out there wouldn't be any news. Who knows. I've been getting work done, and that's the important thing.