Sunday, August 31, 2008

August Results, September Goals

My primary goal this year has been of a dual nature: Consistency, and short stories. While August was not a phenomenal month, I did maintain this basis of my goal formation.

August Results

  • Short Stories Edited: 1 (Sunguard)
  • Short Stories Written: 0 (Nighthunter's Bite is still in progress)
  • Crits: 1
  • Novels Read: 2 (Plague of Memory and Wolf Who Rules)

What I didn't get done was based on time constraints, the physical need to not be on a computer 12 hours a day, and changes in my family. I know these things will balance out.

September Goals

  • Story Edits: 1 (Sunguard!)
  • Story Writing: 1 ('Bite, preferably)
  • New Submission: 1 (if Sunguard is ready)
  • Adv. Fiction Class: 0/1 (low priority, I have a year to complete 5 more lessons)

Friday, August 22, 2008


I'm not going to whine, I'm not going to make excuses. I'm going to understand what's wrong and deal with it. Unfortunately, what's wrong with my writing and my writing time is really beyond my control and just requires patience from me to get through it all.

I've had the luxury of working a pretty terrific dayjob that allows me thinking time for my writing, usually at the expense of speed getting through my never ending workflow. If I didn't get enough done before lunch, I'd make it up after lunch. If I didn't get enough done after lunch, I'd make up for it the next day. Don't misunderstand - I don't steal company time to write, it's just that I'm usually thinking about two different things at once anyway, so why can't one of them be something I love? :) Having my mind in two places was okay before, but not now. I'm entering the third trimester of my pregnancy, and I cannot play with my workflow anymore. I cannot chance handing my workload over to my co-workers without it being 100% up to date. Totally not fair. So with the super-focus on getting stuff done at work (and taking on -voluntarily- a scanning project that will help those gals while I'm out) means my lunch break writing time is being compromised. I have a hard time switching tracks in my brain from patent workings and data entry to the creative output I need for writing.

Also creating an obstacle is the combination of my two year old needing a later bedtime and my own need for an earlier bedtime, shrinking that precious time to a mere hour to an hour and a half, which needs to be divded between writing, household stuff, and oh I don't know, ME time? It took us a few days of fighting the 7 - 7:30 bedtime routine for the little girl, and she wouldn't actually go to sleep until 8 or after. We pushed that up, so our routine with her starts at 7:20/30 (playing, reading with her in her room, singing bedtime songs) and ends quite smoothly by 8pm. Sound asleep, she's freed me to do my own thing.

Which means finishing up the dinner cleanup, putting away whatever toys we never got her to do, dealing with the day's mail, starting a load of laundry, and then am I free to write. Or try, anyway. My bedtime has dropped to between 9 and 10pm, mostly because of the Nighttime Joys of pregnancy (leg cramps, bathroom needs), I'm only getting an hour and a half to two hours of sleep at a time. Between that 10pm and 6am, I'm up and out of bed at least 3 times every night.

So faced with all this, my creative energy is dwindling. My time available to stir up that energy is fading, right along with my desire to put out stories. It's the sleep, it's the strain on my body, it's the demands of keeping my day job going strong. Heck, even sitting at the computer is getting more difficult with the big baby belly in the way.

I'm dropping my weekly goals to one item from here on out, which will be geared toward completing projects, but focused more on paying any level of attention to the writing. Reading is included in that, especially if it's my own. Marking up manuscripts now for editing later might work. My monthly goals are going to change, and I don't think I'm going to make my submission goals for the year. And considering the baby is due the end of November (and will likely show up via c-section), my recovery and his well being are going to take precedence over the writing. Not to mention, my computer room is in the basement of my house and stairs after a c-section are quite limited, I won't even be at my computer all that much.

I knew this was coming, and it still makes me sad. I feared with my first pregnancy that I'd forget how to write, and while some things needed practice to get back into, my muse was still there. I just had to rework some of the technicalities of the writing. I can do it again. I just didn't want to give it up this soon. Comparing again with my last pregnancy, I wrote a little bit, but gave up very early on. This time, I wrote nearly every week right through week 26 (that's about 6.5 months). So really, I did better. I'm glad for that.

I'll just have to take it one little bit at a time from here on out.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And Something Bit . . .

I needed to be more comfortable with Celtic rituals and sacrifice before I could put this story together, so that's what I did over lunch. There are some interesting websites you can find if you just Google the right combination of words, and let me tell you, those Celts were damned interesting.

Nighthunter's Bite now has some backbone, and a basic outline is set. All I need now are the words.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Sometimes plotting is easy, and sometimes it irritates me to no one because I know the story is there, I know it needs to be written, but something is evading me, and I can't figure the 'why' of the story. I remember now why I had stopped working on Nighthunter's Bite. Gutsy character with enough spunk to challenge her goddess, and a nice confrontation scene between the two. But why is there this confrontation? And what the hell does it have to do with the moon bracelet I'm fixated on? Time for some celtic research, maybe something there will coax some answers out of my muse, not that I know where SHE went to. Probably took a nap after all the editing I've been doing . . .

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Edit: Sunguard

The Sunguard edit is complete and off to critters. The story doubled in size and some plot layers were added. I have a feeling the resolution isn't what it should be, so I need to give it one more pass for sure. But my time has paid off, I think it's a good story. It just needs a little more editing love. ;)

Friday, August 8, 2008

8/7 Update

Exhaustion hit me early evening, which makes me really glad I pushed on the story over lunch. The entire draft of Sunguard has been redlined on paper, with sheets of new scenes and paragraphs that need to be added. Evening is starting to become difficult again at week 24 of this pregnancy, and I still have about 14 weeks to go. Sunguard is my priority this weekend, but I think I'll have to focus most of the work around the daughter's afternoon naps. It's killing me not to have this one done already.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Moving Along

I managed some decent writing today. Nighthunter's Bite is coming together in my mind, and I've got some more notes. Sunguard is definitely moving ahead. I went back to redlining on paper with pen instead of using MS Word's track changes, and I feel like it's made all the difference. I redlined 7 of 17 pages today, and handwrote a new scene, plus bits of some other scenes that needed additions.

Is it possible I'm getting somewhere? :-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tempting Fate

Yes, I tempt fate. My promise to myself "edit Sunguard no matter what comes up" was derailed by Mother's Nature's attempt to blow my city away with massive thunderstorms and sightings of funnel clouds. Niiiice. Thanks, Mama Earth. Love ya. (smooches)

Today was fairly productive, surprising considering how little sleep I got last night.

Over lunch I completed the crit that was troubling me. I don't usually read, never mind crit, flash fiction. The author is someone whose writing I respect, so it's always tough for me to get into crit mode in that situation. It IS harder for me to crit for someone when they're less of a stranger, but that's okay. I'm learning to handle it better, and I'm learning from the people whose work I've learned to critique.

I also started reviewing my notes for Nighthunter's Bite. I like the concept of the story better now than I did before, and am looking forward to writing it. This is going to my submission to the celtic fantasy anthology and really does have the right foundation for it, I just need to research some details to make it just right.

I'm working on Sunguard now, I won't get through it tonight though. There's too much I need to change. But I'm slogging through the handwritten notes, reentering the edits I made last week before I had lost that version of the file. It's tough going, but I am making progress. Then I can go back and and the two new scenes. I need to do some character work, as two characters that had only been mentioned before, will now have more significant roles. And they weren't even mentioned in the first version of the story. It's fun watching how these things develop.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Back from Vacation & On The Go

"Vacation" simply means "time off of work, not at home" when it's done with a toddler. She's moving beyond her toddler phase, and while she is a well behaved child, it's still work. I gave myself this morning off to recover from the vacation, but it's off to finish unpacking, doing laundry, buying groceries, and logging on to the work computer (yep, promised them four hours today, which is much better than eight).

I was too exhausted to manage any writing over the trip, but I did get some reading done, and quite enjoyed Wen Spencer's "Wolf Who Rules". I get a kick out of her main character Tinker, who is as short as I am, but has courage in spades where mine only comes in spurts. ;)

This week promises to be chaotic, mostly due to committments to the day job that may require more than the normal eight hour day, but I do have a few things I'm aiming for. Sunguard needs editing still, and I intend to finish it this week even if I have to sacrifice sleep. I have some minor goals (my fiction class, a crit, and start/build a short story first draft), but not until Sunguard gets another pass.