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Showing posts from May, 2009

ConCarolinas

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This weekend I will be attending ConCarolinas in Charlotte, NC. This is a great little fantasy convention that is close enough to be considered 'local' (and give broke me the option of daytriping.) I attended last year with Tori and Darlene, and we had a great time, so I'm really looking forward to this weekend.

Recently, I've noticed that my views on conventions have changed. In past years, I've gone to cons hoping to learn lots of new cool stuff. While I still hope to learn stuff, the reason I'm looking forward to this con is to connect and see in person writer friends I usually only talk to online. What a change! Among the people I am excited to see are these very cool women (and wonderful writers) Marcia Colette, Misty Massey, and Faith (Gwen) Hunter. If you are near the Charlotte area, you should definitely check out ConCarolinas.

HB2 Progress: (I'm getting there!)

79840 / 90000 words. 89% done!

Please Insert Coffee to Activate this Brain

The title of this post is a bit misleading, as 1) I don’t drink coffee and 2) I want to talk about how useful mornings can be.

Yes, you read that correctly. I said mornings can be useful.

Now, before going any further, I would like to point out that I am not a morning person. Given half the opportunity, I revert to a schedule where I sleep through most of those pesky morning hours. My 9 to 5 doesn’t give me that opportunity. (Why do they call it a 9 to 5 anyway? I have to be here at 8:30. . . ) Usually my mornings consist of me staring at my alarm clock, willing the time not to go by so I don’t have to go to work. When I finally get up (late) I have to bustle to get to work (still late) then I drag myself through the rest of the morning.

If you’ve been following my twitter feed, you know that I recently moved. This move turned a 45 minute commute to work every morning into five minutes. I could sleep those extra forty minutes (or stare at the clock) and probably would have, but with m…

Goals and Rewards

(x-posted from the Tri Mu Blog.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that goals are important, but I think a lot of people discount the value of rewards. Writing a book is accomplished one word at a time with a final goal of telling a complete story. One could argue that the reward is having a finished book at the end, but honestly (at least for me) writing the first draft is far from having a ‘complete’ project.

I’m a fan of smaller rewards along the path of the writing progress. Also of smaller goals. I’m a procrastinator with time management issues, so having set goals (and dangling rewards) gets me writing. Some days, if I’m really struggling, the goals are small and the rewards disproportionally large. I would never suggest complete overkill, like a piece of chocolate cake every 100 words--not only would you be the size of a house by the time you finish a 90k manuscript, but you’d be sick to your stomach before the first turning point. But, if I’m having a really bad day, I might p…

Who are you, and what did you do with my character?

Throughout the first draft of HB2, I’ve had trouble with one of my characters refusing to talk to me. This character has been suffering major behavior and emotional changes from scene to scene as I’ve forced him to participate (when he obviously has had no interest at all.) A couple of scenes he has clicked in, but more often than not he falls flat on the page or acts in a manner completely out of character.

This is problematic to say the least, but it is a first draft, which is basically the same as the early rehearsals when the actors still have scripts in their hands and miss most of their cues. Later drafts will be ‘dress rehearsals’, and we are still a long way from ‘opening night’. There is still time for him to fill in his role and bloom into a real character. So, for now, I’ll let him mumble his lines and refuse to take blocking cues.

The next draft though . . .

Despite a noncommunicative character, progress is moving right along. I have just over a week to meet my goal, which…

Deadlines: Real and Imagined

In the past, I've often set goals for when I wanted to complete a piece of writing. The key word in that sentence is wanted. Up until recently, I haven't had an hard deadlines in my writing career.

Things have changed.

The first book in my contract is due in October of this year. After that, I have books due every year until 2013.

I have deadlines now. Real deadlines. Which means I probably need to spend more effort making sure I meet my imaginary deadlines. I have one coming up soon. I'm supposed to finish the first draft of HB2 by June 3rd. It's not a hard deadline, but it's the goal I set for myself, so I'm pushing for it. (Not to mention that week is SIMS 3 is released and if I want to squeeze in some guilt free playing, the two weeks while I let the draft sit are the perfect time. Also, fellow Tri Mu Sarah has threatened to taunt me with game facts if she gets the game first and I am still writing--yes we are geeks.)

So, I have about 13 days to finish the…

Writers Write

(X posted from the Tri Mu blog.)

When I was teenager, I was a member of a ballet company. One of my teachers was once told me that a ballerina could go three, maybe four days without practice, but every day after that, she was less of a dancer. I took her words to heart, maintaining a rigorous class and training schedule along with my rehearsal and performance schedule. When I stopped dancing, I felt what she meant as my muscles and flexibility suffered.

What does this story have to do with writing?

Well, I think my teacher’s advice can be applied to writing as well. Writers write, and if you spend a large gap of time not writing, you become less of a writer. Writing might not take hours of training and practice to build strength and flexibility, but writing regularly does develop skill and voice. It also builds a routine (even if your writing time isn’t set) and encourages the muse to make daily visits.

I think most people know someone who can tell a pretty good story. This person mig…

More Haven Books To Come!

You probably remember my teasing post a couple weeks ago about something big in the horizon. Well, I am finally ready for the big reveal . . .

I have signed a contract for five more books with Bell Bridge Books!

At least four of the books in the contract will be in the Haven series, so if you enjoyed ONCE BITTEN, look for Kita and Nathanial to be back in a new book this Winter!

More news to come soon, so check back.

Postal Woes

I'm starting to think my post office has something against me.

Mailing a package should be a simple process, and my stress should be over what is in the package, not how it is getting to its destination, right? Well, this week, that hasn't been the case. (Edit: Not that the stress over what is in the package was missing. I've just had extra stress with shipping.)

I had an important package I needed to ship this week. I'm accustomed to shipping manuscripts and books at this point, so I know the whole 16 oz rule (in which any package weighing over a certain amount has to be shipped from the post office.) So, early this week, I walked up to my local post office and shipped my package. The meter wasn't working, so the woman at the desk sold me stamps--which in hindsight, I should have taken as a warning. Anyway, I didn't, but I did feel insecure enough to pay extra to track the package.

I'm glad I did.

My very important package floated in nowhere-space for a whil…