Wednesday, December 21, 2005

2005 In Review

It's been a crazy year, not that it's over yet, but there isn't too much more that I'll be able to complete before New Year's. I looked over my work for the year and am fairly pleased, considering the chaos that plagued my life.

My 2005 Writing Accomplishments:
* 3 New Short Stories (Lambs To The Slaughter; The Perranti Deception; Fading Light)
* 3 Short Stories Revised (Lost Tower of Corienth; For I Have Sinned; Fading Light) and several other stories in the process of being revised (For I Have Sinned, Hunter Hunted, and Comets' Kiss)
* 1 Article written and sold to Vision (Research On-The-Go)
* 1 Story in submission (Sinned, to 3 markets)
* Participation in my writing community to the tune of 10 critques, not including the novel critique I am still working on.
* Shadow of Blood with 40,000 words; still going.

I had some personal accomplishments as well. We sold our condo, spent the summer with my husband's parents, bought our new townhouse, welcomed a nephew into the world, and are now expecting our first child.

I realize that many of my accomplishments are due to the special people in my life. I am fortunate to have such loving family and friends and I appreciate every last one of you, even if I have not told you as much. Thank you for being you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Fading Light Edited

Fading Light has been edited, and even for a sad story, it felt good to complete something. It's out for critique now.

Next stop: Hunter, Hunted needs an edit.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'm Back

It's been too long since I've written, but life took over for a while. If I fought it, I'd only have become frustrated with my writing. I need to take care of both myself and my writing. The proof lies in the growing desire to get back into it.

I've been reading some books at my husband's recommendation, the Riftwar series by Raymond Feist. I've been thoroughly enjoying them, and it's led to stray thoughts concerning my own writing. The writing voice I'd let sleep like a black dragon, came back to life. I returned to my friends on (and realized how sorely I had missed them), then returned to my blog.

The strange thing was, one of my last entries seemed foreign to me. Fading Light? What in the world? Normally I can hear a title and know it's mine. I briefly wondered if I had made it up. Leaving the wondering aside, I dove into my writing files and dug the bugger up. Oh, so I did write it. I proceeded to read it, strangely enjoying it as I had no memory of this story at all.

And now I've been editing it for the past few days. It's still sad, probably more deeply sad after this revision, but it is a story that requires telling. There are people who I will not share this story with due to the content, and strangely it's one of my biggest supporters. But dying and the right to die are two different things and something I'd never wish on anyone.

But here I am, writing and editing such a thing.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

June Update

Current Projects:

Hunter, Hunted (fantasy) - short story edit. My attention keeps wandering from this one because the world the story takes place in, and I'm half afraid of the novel idea that's going to come from it. On the other hand, it's an unusual edit in that I'm getting to three or four pages per week, but it does help with distance.

Shadow of Blood (fantasy) - novel first draft. I had taken a break from this during the chaos that is my life, but it's time to get back. I've been reviewing my charachter profiles, outline, and general notes. It's scary how many things go into creating lives and worlds, but soon the chapters will be coming again.

And my third project is a novel critique that I'm doing for a writer friend of mine. I'm enjoying the story so far, but I'm critiquing directly on the computer instead of a printout like I normally do, so it's taking more time. It saves trees though, so I'm trying really hard not to give in. :)

Submission Updates:

For I Have Sinned was rejected by Strange Horizons. Next stop: Analog.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

June Reading Recommendation

I've been reading "The Fairy Godmother" by Mercedes Lackey. I have enjoyed her other fairy tale themed novels and this one is no exception. At first I thought I was reading another version of Cinderella, but there's much more to it than that. There's humor and danger around every corner, and gives a new meaning to the term "fate".


Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fading Light

Fading Light, the sad fantasy story is finally done. It's the shortest one I've ever written (first draft at 1700 words) and the saddest. It seems like it's a good one, or it will be after I clean it up a bit. The subject was difficult, as I like to fix everything and the theme of the story was that not everything can be fixed.

Enjoy what you have while you have it.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Life Of A Short Story

I shipped For I Have Sinned off again. My worry over the length of the story is premature. While it does eliminate many proffessional markets, there are still several left that accept as much at 10,000 or 17,000 words. I get a kick out of the list I made though. When I edit a short story for the first time, I look at the genre and make a submission list a page long of all the professional markets I'd like to submit it to. (Professional means paying; markets whose publication will give me a respectable publishing resume.) In this particular instance, the next three on the list accept the longer stories. Funny how that played out.

Since this is the first time I've mentioned submission, it seems like a good time to explain my strategy (that I learned from my friend Margaret.) Though it seems like a long shot, I have to aim for the magazines ("professional markets") where I'd like to see the story most. That means I'm up against professional writers whose books already span the shelves in bookstores. So, what's a little competition? It usually results in the dreaded rejection arriving in my mailbox month after month. I'm not far into the process with this one. I've only gotten three rejections and my submission list is twenty-four markets long. Of course, I may not be able to send it to all of them. The idea is that I send it to one, I receive a rejection, polish the story again, and send it back out. This is a young story though. I wrote it last May and have been editing and submitting it since last July. It's my favorite short story, but I really need to put the time and effort this one has seen into my other stories so I can send more out the door.

I'm optimistic this round. I fixed a flaw in the story I didn't realize existed until it just hit me on the head one day (thanks, Mr. Newton.)

Now I can focus on my next story. It's kind of sad though, it's a fantasy story about a healer and a patient with a terminal illness. The hardest part about writing it, is that this a happy week for me and the main character is so down-hearted. It might take a while to write. Hopefully it'll come off the way I'm picturing it in my mind.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Perranti Deception

New science fiction short story, done! I really like this character, she's young and alien and learning new skills. Finished it this evening at 3900 words. It's long for a first draft, but it's high on my list of my stories. Yes, I don't always like the stories I write. Those end up in the "shelved" folder on my computer. I never delete, never throw away. But this one won't end up there.

Denalla, the main character, may even end up with a novel of her own.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Short Stories: Length Not My Strength

I like complicated stories; plots and characters that have depth. Sure, there are people who can write short stories of less than a thousand words that have depth, but I can't write those. Nor do I want to.

For I Have Sinned came in at 7700 words on this last edit. That takes it out of Short Story Land. I've never considered marketing it as a novellette/novella, but I may have to. I'll decide after this next edit pass. I'll see if there's anything that is unneccessary to the story and cut that. I've never had to cut before. Wish me luck.

Current Projects
The Perranti Deception, science fiction short story (first draft)
Shadow of Blood, fantasy novel (first draft)

Thursday, May 5, 2005

May Writing

Writing has picked up this week, I'm glad to say. I wrote one short story Sunday/Monday, a fantasy adventure I'm calling Lambs To The Slaughter. My current project is a science fiction short story, The Perranti Deception. If you couldn't tell, it's short story month, specifically Story-A-Day Challenge on FMWriters. It's a fun challenge and it's testing my short story telling skills. Last year I completed three stories for the challenge. This year, I'd like to do a few more. With the novel in progress and the edit on For I Have Sinned, we'll see what I can swing.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

May Reading Recommendation

I've decided to start sharing reading recommendations. As a writer myself, I want to support the writers whose work I love and believe in.

My May selection is Last Girl Dancing by Holly Lisle. Yes, I've mentioned Holly before. I've read two of her fantasy trilogies and was not disapointed. I am eagerly awaiting the release of her newest novel Last Girl Dancing. No, this isn't fantasy, this is a mystery/thriller. I've read part of the first chapter on Holly's website and I believe that this book will be as phenomenal as her others.

I've already pre-ordered mine.

Happy Reading.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The End Cometh

The end of this nonsense is near. The car's been repaired, baby shower invitations are mailed, the condo has been sold, we moved in with the in-laws and my oral surgery is tomorrow (buh-bye wisdom teeth.)

I know it's a redundant evolutionary aspect to human physiology, but the only wisdom these teeth have imparted to me is that I should have done this years ago. Not that I'm complaining. My teeth are not impacted nor are they causing me any pain. It's the trouble they can cause that's resulted in their banishment.

On the upside, it's getting me a day off from work and letting me continue my current reading streak. This time it's S.L. Viehl's Stardoc series. Highly addictive science fiction. After these last two novels though, it's back to my own writing. Well, before then, I'll be starting something.

Sunday is May 1st. I like month changes. They're refreshing, at least as far as my writing goals are concerned. It's the point where I reevaluate my current projects and prioritize what's been neglected. In my case, it's been everything but whan can I do? I'm only one writer. In this instance, I'm choosing what will come to an end quickest. Completing a project is a triumph, even if it's just an edit. It's further proof that I can do this.

Yes indeed, endings are good.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


While I can keep my cool in a crisis or in the day-to-day stress at work, I must admit that I'm not invulnerable. Yes, you heard me. I can't do it all. A pending job change, a double move, auto repairs, a baby shower to plan for my sister, and the removal of my wisdom teeth. All within 5 weeks of each other.

So how do I handle it?

I abandon every single one of my writing projects and I read. Furiously.

In the past month, I've read novel after novel, losing myself in the worlds of science fiction and fantasy (and some romance, too.)

Today I finished reading Holly Lisle's Secret Texts trilogy. When I first began reading the first book, Diplomacy of Wolves, I was afraid it was going to be too political and too much spying. But Ms. Lisle surprised me, something not too many authors can do to me anymore. Needless to say I devoured the book in three days, then moved onto the next in the series, and the next.

The complexity of her characters amazes me. This is how I want my characters to read. Characters I met in the start of the first book have morphed, grown, Become. And even the ending of the third book surprised me.

Strangely too reading this particular series has helped me through some concerns I had over Forgotten Star. I won't bore you with the details, but rest assured Korin and Crystal's story will only become more complicated because of it. (Oh, where's an evil grin when I need it??)

Coincidentally, she's the author who founded the online writing community, Forward Motion, of which I'm a member. She's worked miracles for my writing. The philosophy of the community is that we learn then we share what we learn. I'm also trying to support my fellow members by reading their books, and let me tell you what a treat that's been.

As far as Holly is concerned, her website is here. Her other works I've read are the World Gates books, more of a modern type fantasy story, for those of you who aren't sure of venturing into dragons and princesses needing rescue. There are several other books I have yet to read, but my husband knows the size of my To Be Read pile of novels, so I truly can't buy anymore just yet. :-) But soon!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Moving Treasures

There are treasures we possess that only get attention when a major cleaning is underway, like when we move. Sean and I are packing for our move and I came across my report cards from grade school, right down to kindergarten. For those of you who wonder if it's true, are we really set in our ways from five years old? I say yes. It must be. Mrs. Brucella said I had difficulty with scissors (still do, unsteady hands) and Ms. Murphy said I daydreamed too much (also true.)

Daydreaming is something I still do, often at times I don't intend. My father-in-law has caught me at it more than once. "She's off in Dawn-world again." Hence, the name of this blog. Dawn World is where my vague thoughts and glimpses are blended and shaken into ideas. Sometimes, daydreaming helps me solve a plot problem I'm having with a story. How many nights have I struggled to find out how one character can save the day and still live, when the answer will work itself out in the back of my mind only to appear in a daydream. This is why I leave pen and paper all over the house - I never have to go far to jot the idea down before it disappears back into Dawn World.

The moral of the blog is, if you see someone daydreaming, don't startle them out of it. When they smile back to full consciousness, then you can ask what it was about. Oh, and if it's a kid? Encourage them. :-)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Weekly Update 3-26-2005

Writing has been difficult this week, trying to balance the home-for-sale state-of-cleanliness and sorting out some character issues for Shadow of Blood. Both are moving toward resolution (offer made and accepted for the house; characters reworked). Despite the difficulties, I've made strides forward in the story. For I Have Sinned is going through some changes as well, though all for the better. The story remains intact, only the writing itself is being changed--improved.

House update: We passed by the construction site today, and though they won't start on our building until May, the first set of townhouses is up, with the exterior complete. They're gorgeous. I was a little worried, having bought off blueprints only, but it appears the risk was worth it.

Job update: the unexpected job interview went well and I've been asked for a second interview. It'll be great if I get the job - working with the same people, for the same company, only moving two desks away, and worst case scenario - the same money. The next interview will be in about two weeks. The manager has to fly in from our Phoenix office. Everyone at work thinks I'm a shoe-in; I prefer not to overthink it.

Tomorrow is Easter. Hope it's a happy holiday for all.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Current Projects

In the past, I've only focused on one project at a time. The past six months or so, I've tried working simultaneously on a main project (the novel) and smaller side projects (short stories/articles). Here's what I'm currently working on:

Shadow of Blood - a fantasy novel about a slave in a desert city. One man wants to use him, another man wants to torture him, while a third wants to see him dead. The only person he can trust tortures him far worse than his three enemies.

For I Have Sinned - one of my favorite (science fiction) short stories, I've been submitting this one to some magazines. No luck yet, but I'm giving it another revision. A healer is haunted by the memories of a dead man.

Hunter, Hunted - a fantasy short story that is in it's second revision. I think I've got the plot holes worked out this time.

Comets' Kiss - a science fiction short story that tried my science knowledge. My friend Bari helped me sort out the reality of it, and I hope to have the first revision done soon.

This is a bit more than I intended to balance, but I'm determined to get through all of these by the end of April so I can start on some new stories.

In the queue:

Forgotten Star - due for another revision. This is the first fantasy novel I've ever written and it's changed a lot, but for the better. This time, the revision will be complete and I'm sending it out for critique.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


It must begin someplace, and where better than here? The sharing, of course. I do not live in a vacuum, though at times I've isolated myself with my writing that when I finally look around for my friends, they've disappeared. This is the beginning of my apology, though I know they understand. My passion for my craft is not a secret, though the "how" is surely a mystery for some.

Here I will share my passion with you. Or at least the near-anal method of my existence.

Thanks for stopping in. Don't forget the courtesy two-by-four on the way out, to remind me of your existence.