Saturday, October 31, 2009

October Results & November Goals

October proved to be a wonderful month for writing.  I stuck with it all month, accomplishing a variety of work.  I'm quite pleased with it, and hope I can keep it up through next month.  November promises chaos: my son's first birthday, a short vacation, a family visit, and Thanksgiving: all in the same week.  I may need to fly back home early in the month for an unplanned family issue as well.  I'm scheduling the first three weeks of the month for writing and planning my goals according to the time I believe is available outside of preparing for these committments.

And no, I'm not doing NaNoWriMo, but for everyone who is: best of luck and have a blast!

October Accomplishments:
* Fading Light: edited; submitted to crit group, re-edit in progress;
* Watering the Black Violas: first draft written
* Hunter's Honor: edited; submitted to crit group
* Critiques completed: 3
* POV Workshop: 4/4 segments complete
* Novel Reading: slowly working through Game of Thrones
* Market Research for Hunter & Fading Light
* Started planning 2010 writing goals: novel projects selected, submission-hopeful short stories selected (yes I am forever thinking ahead to my next projects)

November Goals:
* Fading Light: complete edit and submission
* Watering the Black Violas: edit
* Nighthunter's Bite: write 1st draft (and rename)
* Critiques: 2
* Novel Reading (con't Game of Thrones)
* Hunter's Honor: edit (tentative)

Friday, October 30, 2009

fading light on hallows eve

I'm working on Fading Light tonight.  My crit group gave me several fantastic crits.  I missed 2 - 3 critical points for truly bringing this story alive.  One was entirely absent, but the other two are there, just below the surface.  I just need to name them.

It won't be done in time for me to submit before month-end, but that was my own self-imposed goal to make sure I got it out the door.  A few more days is fine.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Not exciting but good for the writing soul. ;)  I organized a ton of notes I'd been emailing myself for the past two years and dropped all those notes into Word files.  I feel much better now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I played catch-up today with the POV workshop Valerie is running on FM.  Completed exercise numbers two and four.  I also had a revelation today regarding my novel Forgotten Star, which I plan on editing is 2010.  For some reason, it suddenly hit me this might be a YA novel.  Who would have guessed?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Mostly household stuff today, and family issues.  I started and completed a critique for David, and hopefully didn't go too wild making comments. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

the value of a word

Since I began writing seriously ten years ago, there have been a few notable breaks from the writing for me.  Two had to do with pregnancies and childbirth, a third was related to insane stress and unusual living circumstances, and the others were writing related.  Critiques.  I can take a rejection from an editor much easier than I can take a harsh critique.  Twice now, I've received critiques that have sent me running (screaming) from writing.  The critiques were not wrong, I just wasn't ready to understand them and put them to use.  They intimitdated me from my writing, cropping up doubts in my ability, giving power to self-pity.

I have two stories out for critique right now.  One came back with numerous and consisten comments on what worked and what didn't, with comments citing disapointment in the outcome compared to a promise in the beginning, paths in the story that didn't get addressed, some grammar issues.  These were presented in a manner in which I digested them easily.  They were learning-worthy.  I love those kind of crits. 

But my other story received a crit in a very different fashion: the kind that usually sends me running.  With comments such as "poorly written" and "hated it" beginning the crit, it took me two hours of repeated attempts to get past such cold comments to get to the points this critiquer had made.  One some counts, I agree with some of the issues, on others- I don't.  But I fought with it.  Grappled with it.

Unneccessarily, perhaps.  Because in the end, it's feedback and I can do with it what I want.  But that doesn't stop the sting of someone hating what I've created.

I have to remind myself that if I want a career as a writer, there will always be someone who hates what I create.   Many someones. 

This guy gave me feedback that I asked for, and while it isn't in the warm-fuzzy-learning-joy kind of critique, it's still a critique with points I can use to better my story.  To the extent he wants?  Probably not.  It's my story.  I'll pick.  I'll choose.  And I'll learn what I can.

What do YOU do with crits you struggle with, right or wrong?

Friday, October 23, 2009

quiet few days

The writing has been quiet for a few days.  A nasty cold hit too, so I'm glad I finished the Hunter revisions early.  I'm torn now between starting the next revision for Fading Light.  I haven't received too many crits back (and I hate to be impatient and ask people for crits).  The two crits I received were accurate; I agree with most points made and at this point, I can't imagine there is too much more to point out.  I'm printing the latest version and the crits I have, and I'll look at it tomorrow night.  I can at least start marking up the printout and judge how I feel.

I've also started market research for Hunter's Honor and am pleased it fits the criterea for JJA's Way of the Wizard anthology.   It also fits my favorite fantasy zines, but I'm starting with JJA's antho.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hunter's Honor

It's done.  Done and posted for crit.  The brain is dead, the fingers exhausted.  The eyes?  Quite bleary.  But the story is great.  I hope it reads as smoothly as I think it does, and I hope I solved all the story issues.  We'll see what my critiquers and time have to say.

On that note, I'm taking the day off writing tomorrow.  I might do some market research for Hunter.  Oh yes, and the beast clocked in at 4650 words.

Hunter's Honor

Last night I was hesitant to say the revision was complete, and I was correct.  I tied up loose ends, adjusted some writing, and retitled it to "Hunter's Honor" over lunch today.  I'll read it one last time this evening then post it up for critique.  The story has seriously grown: the batch of revisions took it from a 2500 word story to 4500 words.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

hunter progress

This edit pass of Hunter is complete.  Stayed up way passed bedtime, but the brain, fingers, and muse were all cooperating.  I couldn't break that up.  I'll review the story tomorrow and post it up on the critique boards on FM.  Wordcount totals 4,000 words.  A good length for a short story, I think.

Title is still evading me.  Something about honor.  Looks like I have to fight for this...

Morning update:  a few loose ends need to be tied together before I'm comfortable posting for crit, but I'm pleased at the changes.  The story seems right.  Title may be "Hunter's Honor".  Will be working on this over lunch.

Monday, October 19, 2009

and it begins again

The week's started up fairly strong; one crit today, one workshop exercise and discussion, and editing more on Hunter. I'm still rewriting the ending, and the word/page count is rising. It's sloppy writing at the moment, I'm just trying to capture the event and the feel of it. I'll have to go back and see what will need cutting and how much of it needs cleaning up. But getting there. This is good.

Friday, October 16, 2009

new scenes for hunter

Adding the new material has been tough. The story background has changed, so I've had to be careful weaving these details around events already in place. And then fitting the new scenes in so they don't look like purple Dora bandaids... ;-) Getting there.

I've been encouraged to join the Muse Online Writing Conference (it's free). I haven't yet done it, and it's over this weekend, but I promise myself that I'll sign up for it next October. In fact, it's going on the family calendar (and my annual goals sheet) to remind myself.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

hunter redlined & gutted

I completed the redlining over lunch, determined what is to be gutted and what is to be edited, and where to insert new scenes and details. I expected it to hurt, to be reluctant to let these scenes die, but it doesn't, and I didn't. It feels right.

Thursday night lost to illness; good news is I'm back on my feet on Friday.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

evening writing

I think I'm developing a cold here, thinking is much more difficult than it was this afternoon. I had a wonderful brainstorming session in the car (in between the cursing at the construction) and came up with a few thoughts for the title and the new opening. Except that now I can't even bear to type anything. It doesn't help the basement is cold... So I'm taking the manuscript and notes upstairs with a red pen and marking it up now. I'll enter the changes tomorrow. Can't wait to get this thing going!

hunter revisions and the weight of honor

I am so glad I decided to edit this story. Revisions are in full swing and I am loving it. I'm still not sure what the title is, but it'll come to me before this edit is complete. I thought for a long time that this story was about racism, but the characterized racism stems from a terrible event that ocurred because one man did not act honorably, and someone had to stop him by any means, and did. That's not honor either, but for a people who respect honor to this degree... well, that's pretty drastic.

New scenes are going in tonight, and then a full edit/cleanup pass.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

hunter revisions

I think I've been really hard on myself lately in regard to my writing quality. I reread Violas today, and while the writing is fairly plain, it's not the horrible disaster I thought it was. The ending will need tweaking for sure, but the story seems solid. Same situation with Hunter. I thought it was a complete rewrite, but after analyzing it tonight, that's an extreme option that I don't think the story needs to deal with.

The focus has changed, and Daymar is no longer the "Hunter, Hunted" but he's still a hunter, and while the tables have turned on him, his role, his task has become much more complicated than simply capturing an evil witch. Scenes need to be added, other bits need to be removed, and then everything smoothed and edited. I have faith in this story. I can't believe I wrote this over five years ago. I need to give it some life already.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Violas First Draft is DONE

Finished it up this evening. The writing is horrendous. I started in 1st person pov, then went to 3rd and sometimes flipped back to 1st when it felt right. I still don't know what it should be, I'll figure that out next month when I edit it.

This is the first new story I've completed in over a year. I'm quite pleased with the story, and can't wait to edit it. Well truthfully, I can wait, but I'm eager to see what I can do with it when the time is right.

Now it's time for bed.

amazing viola progress

Amazing progress on Violas today. Gutted most of the old version, and wrote the new story, and have the climax and finale to write now. I have to figure out the ending though, something is hanging...

This is a much better story than I thought it would be. :)

I also had a few ideas on how to slip some extra details into Fading Light that should liven up the surrounding world.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Violas has changed drastically thanks to a brainstorming session with my brother. He asked a question I wasn't prepared to answer, and that threw quite a wrench into the works. The end result is a better story (outlined, everything else has been gutted), but the ending still needs some attention. Looks like I'll be skipping the workout tomorrow to get this done.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

what a week

This has been a roller coaster week between the baby boy's needs (ear infection and cutting two teeth) and the writing success (short story publication). I maybe achieved half the writing time I aimed for, but I supposed that I even made half of it is a win.

Writing agenda this week: Hopefully with the boy feeling better, I can get some regular writing time in. I need need need to finish this short story, and I need to crit for a guy in my group.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Treischan Strength has been published in the Shadows & Light: Tales of Lost Kingdoms anthology.

violas cont'd

I worked on Violas over lunch today, I'm about a third of the way through the story and the POV (1st) isn't working anymore. I'll move the story into 3rd and edit out the 1st perspective on the edit.

I'm almost done with the 3rd of 7 scenes, so definite progress. There is a lot of (fill-in-the-blank) type notes though, but that may clear up with the pov change.

I'm so excited to be moving again on this story. I'm just not thrilled with the bumpy-stumpy 1st draft sentences... can't wait for the edit. I don't think anyone is looking at this first draft.

As soon as this is done, I'll get back to Carter's crit. I've learned to balance multipe projects, but I can't seem to juggle 1st drafts with other tasks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

violas tonight

Character work tonight, and plotting. I'm putting a lot of time into this, I know, but I want to see what the end result will be or if I am unconsciously procrastinating. Will post update when I have the answer. ;)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

slow progress

I think I'm on the right track now with Violas. I need to refocus on the important details and I am using the Think Sideways techniques to do this. After the past few days of sick baby combined with insane working hours, my brain and body are tired, and after today's insane workpace, my hands are very tired. My fingers want to find a cool vat of silky mud and jsut soak. So, I will cut the Viola scenes tomorrow, am salvaging two, but redirecting them, and then I have to write the rest.

Slow, yes, but progress is good.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

there's a thought

I've been using the Think Sideways techniques for novel ideas, but why can't I use it on my short stories? I'm going to test it out on Violas, possibly tonight....

posted: 7:47 PM, power loss 8:04 PM -- proof of Murphy's existance in my life

Monday, October 5, 2009

behind the scenes

My brain likes to simmer with things, and I didn't realize until bedtime last night that it was still simmering the ending to Fading Light. I didn't realize this until I was reading a chapter of Think Sideways regarding story endings and then it hit me like one of those cartoon pianos falling from the sky. So I made the changes and updated the story version to my crit group. The prose isn't as fancy as it was before, but the content is positively heart wrenching, which counts for more. Hopefully my gut is correct.

Worked a bit on the POV workshop Valerie Comer is running on FM.

Friends headed over for role playing tonight, so not much more for today.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

tiring sundays

Fading Light has been posted for my crit group. I'm eager for some feedback and a little fearful as well. I'm always fearful on crits. Occupational hazzard I guess. :)

A full day with the kids is exhausting, yet I still pushed this evening. Did some science research for Black Violas, tried working on the first draft a bit, but failed at that. Science fiction is difficult for me, not impossible, just very difficult. It requires a lot of effort to understand concepts that do not come naturally to me, but yet I have the need to understand them to represent them properly in the story. I don't always understand the science I read in science fiction either, but I try. And for some reason I love reading it. Figure that one out.

I'm giving my brain some time to adjust to the science and am going to spend the rest of my writing time tonight review Hunter for those changes. I originally decided it would be a rewrite. I need to skim through the manuscript and select which passages will remain.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fading Light tonight

This story breaks my heart every time I work on it. But I worked through it, and the edit is complete. I'll review for typos in the morning and then send off to my crit group. This is one of my best pieces, and it follows my trend of dark and painful. I guess I just can't write happy. I need more puppies and rainbows...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September Results/ October Goals

September was a good month as I was able to pull myself back into the writing. I don't have a lot of completed work, but there are projects in progress that will continue into October. Family stuff may come up mid-month, but hopefully I can work around that. This is the final quarter of the year -- time to own up to those goals I made in January. At least, as best I can at this point.

September Results

submissions -- 1

acceptance -- 1

joined crit group

crits -- 2

short story edits -- 2 in progress

short story drafts -- 1 in progress

novel reading -- Game of Thrones, Martin (in progress)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

October Goals

fading light edit

fading light to crit group

fading light final edit

fading light submission (dependent upon lvl of edit needed)

viola first draft

hunter edit

crits - 2+

novel reading

fm pov workshop