Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I will be returning here

I just need to figure out how to point this blog to my webaddress instead of the wordpress blog. then I need to transfer posts over...

Friday, June 4, 2010


I liked the "webiste" feel of using Wordpress, and the ease in which I can make my own images the header image. What I miss about Blogger is the ease in which I control the items on the side. These have been my guides, my to-do, my progress watchers, and my connections to other writing friends. Wordpress has a pathetic Blogroll/RSS Feed in which I can either just list all the links to blogs and not know when they've been updated, or I can list each blog in a seperate RSS feed which is kind of a pain.

There's a chance I may be coming back here for blogging. I need time to decide.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Blog Moved

Funny things those blogs... you can find it here:  http://dmbonanno.com/

Thursday, April 22, 2010

nighthunter's bite in progress again

I'm liking the new title Etherea in her Veins but on the lookout in case anything more interesting comes jogging by. I'm rewriting the story from memory, guided by my edit list, things I need to keep in mind when writing this. It's interesting this way; there's no writing pressure to rushrushtypetype and I'm a lot more relaxed about it. I've already written it, so I know my setting and I'm intimate with my characters. Rather than go line by line from the old version, I am writing it how I love it. To be honest, I also need to do it this way so I can work on it a little over the weekend. I'm visiting my sister out of state and taking my daughter to play with the cousins. It'll be crazy, but thanks to my laptop and its 9 cell battery, I don't have to worry about plugging in anywhere.

Deadlines though; I'm submitting this one to Sword & Sorceress and we're already a week into the submission period. I don't want to wait for the last week to submit it. I need to give this story a fighting chance. My only concern is that they want strong female characters, and in every story I've read in S&SXXV, the women start out in positions of power, or at least respectable positions. Mine starts a slave and comes into her own. Hopefully, they'll like it. If not, we'll see who else will.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

triangulation rejection

For a story that I wrote, revised, and submitted over the course of 30 days, I'm surprised I received such a quality rejection. I'm pleased she went into such detail, points being positive and constructive. I figured a personal rejection from Triangualtion would be myabe a paragraph, some feedback on whatever ailing issue destroyed the story. But no -- it was a page long. I am very grateful and will definitely be revising this one before sending it out again.

And I think the response has encouraged me to maintain the theme in the story. I don't think I can pull the rainbow out too easily. I'll revise the rest of it and start submitting it elsewhere and see what happens.

What I learned? Don't wait until the last minute. I was stuck on the idea for the longest time before I finally wrote it, and had only enough time for two decent revisions. One more revision round might have been enough. When next year's theme is announced,  I'll be getting to work on it right away. I want to get better at deadlines. I'll write and revise better. This is my first year of serious submission: it's my training-wheels year. Next year, I'm riding a two-wheeler.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

shadows and bites

I'm in a weird place right now. I'm preparing for a road trip at the end of the week, but trying to jump into two projects that both require serious concentration. Shadows needs a massive block of worldbuilding, which I'll be trying to work on tonight, and Nighthunter's Bite is is need of a kind-of rewrite because I don't think the viewpoint (1st again) really works for the story. I tried, but the it's better from third. Third works most of the time, but every now and again I decide to fiddle with. It's good to try things differently. Maybe one day I'll find the perfect story for 1st person. It's not this one though. Well off to do some dishes then choose between projects...

Friday, April 16, 2010

back to work

Insane week, boy am I glad it's over. Computer's in good shape, and the only thing left to deal with is getting to know office 2007 as I work in the programs. Getting some sleep tonight and picking up with Nighthunter's Bite tomorrow. The new title may be "Etherea in Her Veins". I'll sleep on it. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I'm learning Windows 7 and I'm learning to get comfortable using the laptop keyboard (very comfy size compared to the HP I use for work) and I'm even learning how to use the touch pad and am only using the mouse when I get stuck and am not sure how to do what I need.

The dual monitor bit isn't working like I'd hoped and I'm not sure why at the moment. I'll have to read up more on it. I do know location matters.  The little computer desk I'm using now is a little cramped with all this stuff on it, but I'm not sure how often I'll be down here with this setup. The dual monitor thing is neat, and may come in handy during editing. The plan is to convert to an on-screen revision process and view the old material in one screen and use the new screen for retyping. We'll see how that goes. In the meantime, I've got to make the laptop recognize the second monitor.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

new computer :)


Probably no writing tonight, have to figure out the new toy. But tomorrow – Nighthunter’s Bite, with a new title and some new attitude from my MC. I promise.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

story submitted

Technically submitted. The envelope is on my desk, signed and sealed, and awaiting a trip to the post office. I won't make today's closing, so it'll go out on Monday.

This is a record for me: less than one week between writing the first draft, revising, and submitting. The beauty of flash fiction that works. I just seriously hope this one makes it, because the theme is so strong in this story, there is no way I can rewrite it to avoid the "colors of silence" theme.

Friday, April 9, 2010

trying to fit it all in

I've been horrible with my fitness and healthy eating plan, so I've finally figured out how to fix the food situation. First, no more buying food from the cafeteria at work. On Sunday, I'll be prepping veggie and fruit containers to handle that. I have to test how long a made salad will last in an air tight container, and I have to remember to hardboil five eggs on Sunday while I'm prepping my food. I managed to eat healthy for 3 workdays this week, which happened to be the days I was able to get up earlier.  So it all ties in.

But the exercise? I've been walking during lunch on the nice days, but walking isn't enough. I need a way to fit in weights and max cardio. Walking should be a bonus. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to have to mess with my writing schedule to fit this in. My least productive writing time is the evening session, so do I give that up to do a dvd workout after the kids go to bed? I'd still be able to fit in my reading afterward. Having the new laptop will help too - maybe I can get a half hour of writing related stuff in. I'm going to have to play with this. I was only planning on using 3 lunches a week at work for writing, the other two for fitness. I have a hard time with running a different schedule from day to day, but I think this is what I'll have to do. Even play it by ear-- if it's a lunch workout day, then I write in the evening. If it's a writing lunch, I work out in the evening.

The problem with that, is betwen the day job and getting the kids sorted out, the rest is kind of relfex. "It's 8:15pm so I need to be at my computer writring", etc. I like reflex. It's what makes my schedule work. I think I could reduce my 8x11 weekly schedule sheet down to an index card and print it off so it's more accessible in my purse calendar which I look at daily, rather than in my writing folder, which doesn't come out until I sit down to write.

And the bad news is this gets adjusted 2-3 times a year based on the amount of sunlight available to drive home in after work. Which means I'd lose my after work writing time November through January.

Damn it, I need to be more flexible. :) Or move someplace where the sun shines more in the winter. :D Better wait for the bestseller for that . . .

Thursday, April 8, 2010

time, energy, and the life of a good idea

The new story option veered away from the silence theme, as did the second new story option.  With seven days left, I have decided to clean up the Angel story as best I can and submit that, and be done with the theme.

All is not lost though; I am pleased with the results of this endeavor. In trying to get Black Violas ready for submission, I ended with a new contest entry, two strong story ideas, and the conversion of Black Violas to either a full length short story or development into a novella.

I learned a lot about writing on theme. I've written according to prompts before, and pictures or words that inspire me, but I've always allowed myself to let the idea evolve naturally. Deviating from that prompt was necessary. For a contest--that's pretty much a rejection.

So I have a strong entry for parsec. I'm happy with that. I'm going to spend the next few days making it stronger, and then getting back to my other projects. It's not just about how much I can do, but how GOOD I can do.

And speaking of good, March was horrible for working out. I managed to walk a few times, but only made it to the gym once. I need to fit it in someplace other wise my sedentary lifestyle is going to be very bad for me and my wardrobe. :P

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Talk about storms... my post from this morning is now outdated as far as Black Violas goes. Black Violas is a good story, and the contest theme led me to it, but they don't fit together. I broke the story elements out to what would fit, but my heart isn't in it. I like the story the way it is, aside from fixing plot holes and getting it to fix inside the 3500 wordcount limit. So why do I need to do that? I don't. I can turn this baby into a novella, get into all those nitty gritty details without freaking out about writing a full length novel on this topic.

So my new plan for the parsec contest: I'm taking the elements I broke down and fitting it to a fantasy story, changing the setting from a cave to a forest (because I really don't need two cave-in stories!), and THIS concept seems to fit the theme better, more naturally.

Here's the catch: I only have eight days to write, revise, and submit this thing.  I am insane, but I'm going to give it a shot!

eight days left

Eight days. Technically nine, but I need the ninth day to go to my day job and hit the post office, which also happens to fall on Tax Day. Punishment for waiting until the very last minute I suppose, but I've been struggling with this story for months. Every time I think Black Violas is done and in the right direction, I've discovered a solid reason that it doesn't work. For the longest time, I had a whisper in my head that I was forcing the theme. And really, I was on the right track, but the way I was using it was forcing it.

The good news is I've finally figured out how to fix it. I let go of "I want" and started at the ending, thinking of how the theme and issue could be resolved together, and figured out what needs to happen to get Meghan there. And what's even better, I get to keep the cave-in scene I liked, I just need to change what planet it happened on. There's more to it than that, but that's enough to keep me going.

The bad news? I'm losing my beloved title. I had been trying so hard to keep the part of the story that gave it its title. It was my visual for the entire thing. Oh well. No sense in destroying a story if the title is going to kill it. :)

Eight days.

Monday, April 5, 2010

shadow of blood

Shadow of Blood is a novel I started in 2005 that I dropped midpregnancy (and alas, mid-novel). It only needs another 40k until it's a good length for a first draft, so it's a good project to start with, as I haven't written novel length fiction in a few years.

I started reading this with horror, unable to believe the content and the quality of the writing, which speaks of how far I've progressed in these years. I also learned as I'm reading the halfway point in the existing story, that I can probably just chop off the first half of it. The story picks up, and I'm in love with it again. My two main characters are showing their true colors (to each other, not to everyone else!) and I'm seeing a lot of places where cutting characters or at least making their roles more vital (every character has to matter in some way, and carry their own weight).  This is good.

I've even got my Sentence for the story:

After the senseless death of his brother, a despondant slave and his rebellious mistress conspire to end one hundred years of oppression by learning and using the forbidden art of magic.

Friday, April 2, 2010

new story today

While analyzing Black Violas, I had inspiration for a new story (also related to the parsec theme) and I wrote it right then and there in the parking lot. Came home and typed it up after dinner and am now looking at the revision. I've never written flash fiction before, and it was amazing that I got the elements right. I'm tweaking the details, but I love the story. It'll come into its own before long. :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March Progress / April Goals

March was amazing. I figured out the writing schedule and I got my goals done. Of course, I did revamp mid-month, but that's par for me and goals. Goals are guidelines and I tweak them in order to get stuff done. I have more deadlines in April, but they are spaced out, thankfully.

March results:
  • Viable Paradise application and submission story
  • Rise of the Tiger Princess: drafted, revised twice, submitted
  • The Lonely Orchard: revised and submitted
  • Watering the Black Violas: revised
  • Shadow of Blood: rereading novel-in-progress

April Goals:
  • Watering the Black Violas: revise and submit by 4/15
  • Nighthunter's Bite: revise and submit by 4/30
  • Shadow of Blood: read, review world notes, complete neccessary worldbuilding, and continue the writing at 500 words daily for a weekly goal of 2,500 words. Estimated completion date is July.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

bomb's away

Two submissions made today. Yes, I made my deadlines. The last one I made by about 15 minutes. :) But it's done.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

orchard tonight... all night

Hopefully not all night, but I haven't been able to get this opening quite right. I think I'm almost there. I was on page 4 of a 15 page revision, but I really didn't like the opening. This one is better. I just need it to take me to page 15 and beyond. This story is due tomorrow... back to the revisions.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

tiger princess cont'd and complete

Working hard and making progress, but not done yet. 8 pages revised today, with a total of 25 in the story (double space), so I doubt I'll finish tonight. Maybe in the morning, or over lunch? Here we go...

Edited 11:23pm to add: And v02 is complete! I'm printing and will reread in the morning before I send off for crit. It's my usual length, 5k (25 pages double spaced). I think it's good. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Full Time Working Mom of Two Makes Time for Writing (and stays sane, mostly)

I tell people I've been writing seriously for about ten, eleven years now. I thought I was writing seriously all those years. Granted it was a step up from hobby writing, so in that sense yes I was serious, but I'm on a whole new level of serious. Publication Serious. Getting up at 4:30 in the morning serious. I'm there.

I even have a typical schedule, created based on which activities I perform better at various times. All of this is subject to deadlines (like now, I've got two major short story deadliens, so ever writing session is spent working on those two stories) and also subject to family needs. My kids are too young for me to say "no this is my time". But I plan the writing to fit into times where they aren't around, or when they're sleeping, or when someone can watch one or both of them for me.

My day-job dictates that Monday through Friday I work from 6;30 am to 3:00 pm, and my household responsibilites run me ragged Saturday and Sunday. Working around that:

Morning Writing: 4:30 - 5:30 Mon - Fri (novel writing / other first draft writing)

Lunch Time Writing: Tues, Thurs, and when possible Sat/Sun - short story work.

After Work: 3:45 - 4;45 (4x weekly) @ the library near daycare for (novel) revision

Evening Writing: 8:30 - 10:00 pm  (5x weekly)- "Other" = Reading, Revision, "Developement" (plan, outline, analyze for revision), Submission prep, critiques, or whatever pressing deadline needs more time.

I guess that between the kids, work issues, weather related road delays, I tend to lose about a quarter of what I planned on doing during the day. The Evening Session will help me make up for those days, hopefully.

This schedule should theoretically allow me to accomplish the following in a year: write one novel, edit one novel, and fit in several short stories. I'll know better after this year, but I'm hoping that spending more time writing means revision will go faster than I've done them in the past. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

orchard revisions

It's been a rough couple of days. I haven't been able to make use of all my writing sessions, but the ones I've gotten in have been productive. The revision for Lonely Orchard is underway and going well enough.  Left arm is sore tonight - something is off about using the library computers for extensive typing. One library has wooden chairs so I can't adjust height, another library has horrible keyboards so I have to pound the keys. At least I've been able to use my evening writing session for reading and giving my arms a little break.

Monday, March 22, 2010

tiger princess... 1st draft done

Yes it's a crappy first draft, but I like the story. I can fix it. :) But first, I'm going to start on Orchard...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

continuing tiger princess

Friday I wrote another 1/3 of the Tiger Princess story, but Saturday and Sunday were nonwriting days (aka kids, kidfun, laundry, groceries, more laundry, etc etc etc). Finally, I have some time to myself after prepping for the week, and am almost ready to sit down and write. I'd like at least a scene tonight if nothing else. I should be able to finish up the story tomorrow with three hours of writing over the course of three planned writing sessions. I'm actually giving up the lunchtime writimg tomorrow to hit the gym.

It might seem silly considering I have two big deadlines coming up, but if this is what I'm going to do with my life, I'll always have deadlines coming up. If I don't fit in my workouts now, they'll never become a solid part of my routine, and it will always compete with my writing. Aside from those workouts I've managed to plan for a good 20 hours per week on writing, including attempts on Saturday and Sunday which don't always work. I figure I lose a quarter of what I plan on due to family stuff. So still, 15 hours a week on top of the day job? I'm happy with it. Especially since adding the early morning sessions. I'm been getting up at 4:30 and get onto the computer by 4:45, giving myself 45 minutes to write. This week, I'm moving it a tad earlier: up at 4;15 and onto the computer by 4:30. It's amazing how much the writing flows at that hour, and I found that I kept creeping past my 5:30 mark, and getting our morning going late.

Goals for this week: complete Tiger Princess first draft, revise Orchard and send for crit, and then start on the Tiger Princess revision.

Here's to a busy week, and a sucessful one! Good luck with your plans/goals.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

tiger tiger growr!

Engrossed in the tiger story, about 1/3 done.  Started early this morning, got a half hour in around 4:45am, and then again over lunch. I was going to take the kids to the library today, but. . . I think I'll be going alone and writing. Sorry kids, but I've got some momentum going which can be good for stories on a deadline.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I know I'm growing as a writer. Before, when someone critiqued me and tore my story apart, I bled. Me. I'd think I was a failure and question why I was doing this to myself. I'm done with that. Critiques are so neccesary to writing fiction. The world and story are so alive in my mind, that I cannot convey it all properly right off. Maybe if I had six months to forget the story and read it anew, that would help. But I'd still need the view of someone who hasn't had any exposure to it at all. It's invaluable.

So, Black Violas: I got back two critiques from writers, and two from non-writers. They all helped me understand what isn't working. It was an early draft, I knew it needed work, but I didn't realize how much I really tried to cram into a short story. It seems what I need to do is go in with a highlighter and find everything related to the single most important idea in the story, and anything that supports that. And start the next revision with just that.

It means cutting another character, and actually, I'm all right with that.  What's helping me is believing that the story as is, is a novel synopsis, so I can play with all my complications later on, in a stronger form. It's allowing me to let go of what isn't critical for this small piece to work.

There is less than a month until the contest deadline, and I have two other deadlines before it. This is definitely shaping up to be an interesting year--and I am not backing down from the challenge.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Lonely Orchard is prepped and ready for revisions. Considering a title change. Possibilities are: Her Father's Orchard, Valla's Orchard, Valla's Lonely Orchard, The Magic of Trees. I do like Lonely Orchard, and it has an underlying meaning that she sees the orchard as being lonely without her father, when it's truly her that's lonely without him. So maybe it'll stick.

Running out of time: stepping it up on the Tiger Princess draft. I think the title is going to be Rise of the Tiger Princess.  We'll see. I finally transcribed all my notes, organized them, and worked out the outline and ending options. I think I know which ending I want to go with, though the creepy one is tempting. I have to see how Vandana develops and see which one is more natural for her.

Oh and it doesn't help that I've found James D. MacDonald's writing posts on Absolute Write. I've been stalking the internet to learn more about the viable paradise instructors, and I'm actualling learning stuff about writing in the process. :)  I found a suggestion for an exercise, an idea I briefly considered myself a few weeks ago and dismissed, but am willing to consider it again.  The idea was to type a published short story or novel opening in order to study it. When I was in college, that was exactly how I studied: I typed out important notes and study guides. I learn through typing. There's just something about it. I thought maybe typing up someone's short story might give me a better understanding, but I figured it'd take too much time, and I have deadlines right now. But it is a good idea, and I might just do it when I have more time.

In the meantime, it's write write write. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

forging ahead

Resubmitted Fading Light after a quick revision. Definitely fixed some minor problems I didn't see with the story before submitting it to Writers of the Future. Darn it. Better luck at this next place...

Working on Tiger Princess, actual title expanded to Rise of the Tiger Princess. And it's got a whopper of an ending.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Writers of the Future: Honorable Mention

My story Fading Light received an Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest. 

What does that mean? Top 10 - 15% of entries received this quarter. Pretty neat for my first entry.  My next story goes in in two weeks, and I've still got to revise it. I'm super psyched now.  :)

Oh and my friend Margaret is on the list too, so doubley excited.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Over lunch, I analyzed Lonely Orchard and I'm pleased at my results. This is about fifty percent rewrite, but the rewrite is worldbuilding and a specific detail about the conflict. The characters are spot-on, the scenes and structure are mostly right.

The biggest part of this revision is giving life to one people's fear and hatred of another. I need to create these two nations, including why Valla's people lost a war to them (or something that'll hurt as much). I also need to discover--aside from Valla's sentimental attachment to the orchard--why the trees are so important. I know the create magic, a balance of some kind, and even how it happens, but I'm missing why and the other side of how. Sorry if that doesn't make sense to you. It does to me, and I'll need the reminder later.

Trees and maps tonight, and maybe I'll get some more done on the tiger story too.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Black Violas, revision complete

This story has gone through the ringer, but it's finally in good enough shape to pass onto critters. :) No not the furry kind, the writer kind. Yes, I'm loopy. I stayed up too late, but... it's okay.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

the magic of trees

Trees keep popping up in my writing, which may be an occupational hazzard for a fantasy writer, except that my trees are always more than just trees. In my published story, "Treischan Strength", the trees are an age-old race that record history. In Lonely Orchard, the trees are magic, alive, and aware, and communicate through a special song that only those gifted with the talent can hear. I'm also working on a SF story where the dominant species on the planet is a hive-minded race of flowers. And never mind the forest in Nighthunter's Bite -- it's not exactly alive, but it is mystical.

I know I've got enough varies projects going on, but I need to break from my current course and get started analyzing Lonely Orchard. I want to submit it at the end of the month, so I at least need to understand what kind of fixing it requires. It's old--years and years old-- so I'm afraid.

But to imagine what this story could end up being? I'm willing to lose sleep over it. :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Applied

Can't get in if you don't apply....  My viable paradise submission has been emailed and the paper version of the application is awaiting the opening of my local post office.  Now I just wait for July to hear if I'm accepted.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

multiple projects

I've shifted over to the multiple/simultaneous project mentality. I flowed into it because some of my little bits of writing time don't always allow me computer access.  I outlined the Tiger Princess story, and started writing it today. The first scene revealed some information about the characters I hadn't realized--I thought the main character was my tiger princess, but someone else has claimed that title in a very creepy kind of way. Can't wait to get this one day and out. :)

I got some feedback on my letter for viable paradise, and the revision should be fairly easy. The submission is going to take a little while--Nighthunter's Bite is in good shape, but getting into this workshop is competetive, and I need it in tip-top condition. I'm concerned that I'm sending in my experimental story (1st person pov, present tense), but with proper editing I hope I can make it shine.

Black Violas is on a break (last night). I'm about to rewrite the ending, the right ending I believe, so looking at it fresh should help.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I spent my lunch break today analyzing three of the stories I have queued to edit, and I reviewed my submission needs with a realistic estimate of which stories I'll be able to get into shape by these deadlines.

The Tiger story is first, I need to get the first draft done so I can revise submit it by 3/31 to the triangulation anthology.

Nighthunter's Bite is next. My original intent was to submit it to writers of the future (3/31 deadline), but now that I'm applying to viable paradise, I want to submit either this story (2nd choice) or my Honor story, which is with JJA right now for the wizard anthology. So this story has priority for revision.

Dragon's Bard and Lonely Orchard require much more work than I anticipated. Only one of them will get revised this month, and at the moment, I'm leaning toward Orchard. Black Violas isn't due until 4/15, so after this round of revisions, I'll post it for crit, and then get to it early april.

At least now I'm organized.

Monday, March 1, 2010

February Progress / March Goals

February was a trying month, but also a huge learning experience. Black Violas has been an extension edit, and I'm covering in one long revision what would have taken me several versions as well as multiple critiques to correct. Now I'm seeing this stuff on my own.

February Results:
* Hunter's Honor - revised and submitted
* Black Violas - revised, revised, revised
* 1 critique
* started VP letter
* story research
* market research

March is going to be insane. I've set myself some potentially record setting goals in regard to short story revision, but I think I can do it. Several of the stories are in cleaner versions, except for one, which I need to actually write.  I'm borrowing a method from a writer friend and working on it in small bits--250 words daily--while working on my revisions. The deadlines I have are 2 stories for my VP application (asap), trianguation anthology (3/31 via email), parsec contest (4/15 via postal mail), WotF (3/31 via postal mail). If I need to, I can drop the story for WotF, but I'd hate to waste the quarter if I can get a story in decent shape.

March Goals: (edited for submission changes)
Black Violas: revision (contest entry, will be retitled later) 4/15 deadline
Tiger Princess: draft and revision and submission 3/31 deadline
Nighthunter's Bite: revision  5/14 deadline (aiming for 4/17 submission)
The Lonely Orchard: revision and submission 3/31 deadline
VP application
Crits -- 2

Yes, I'm insane. But it'll be a good test for deadline handling. I've blocked off four 45 minute writing sessions to do while I'm still at work but off the clock. I may take a personal day toward the middle/end of the month if my progress isn't far enough along. I'm also employing a dual-project goal for my evening writing to see if it helps my brain by swapping projects when exhaustion starts setting in.

I wanted to try waking up an hour early and writing then, but I already get up at 5am for work. So, I'll try it for a few days and see how it goes. At this point, I just want to get through all this madness. :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

bumps in the violas

Despite my cold, I came down to write tonight. The edit's been progressing well, and I got done several more pages tonight, and then realized that my wordcount is still way too high.  I'm five pages from the end, which is going to be rewritten more or less. I had a brainstorm on eliminating a character that really truly isn't neccessary. But he did serve an important part that can be transferred to another character, but that means adding a scene and removing a scene. It might end up being that this change will not alter the word count, but I think it puts my MC in a better position of seeing the crap that's about to happen and not just get it from someone else.

This could be good, but it means I'm NOT done tonight.

And I still need to dig through my To Edit pile for some short stories for my viable paradise application. 

I need more time in my day...

Friday, February 26, 2010

still revising

Violas is going well. Too bad I only get 1 - 2 hours at a time, but tonight I made good use of it. I passed the halfway mark, I'm reducing the word count, and winding the story tighter.  I'm up early with the kids tomorrow, but hopefully can stay up late in the evening to finish this off. I've got to get this out to my readers/critiquers quick, and start looking at my other short stories.

Hubby and I finally agreed that I can apply to Viable Paradise, and I need to choose the right stories to include in my submission package. Then there's the letter. I've been working on it with the intent to apply for the 2011 workshop, but things just seemed to fall into place this year.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Violas coming alive

Last night I stayed up late to complete the rewrite. Not the revision: the rewrite. Sent it off to a few friends who I know enjoy SF, and sure enough when I read it over lunch today I realized how far I had veered off course in the last five pages. This is major. And this always embarasses me. I know I need to wait 24 hours before sending it anywhere.

I figured out what it lacked, that was all I had time for. But the amazing thing of driving home from work, without the radio, without screaming kids in the car, is a focus for me. I connected the dots of what was wrong to how to fix it. And that's what I'm doing now. Just finished the final redlining, and am launching into a screen edit.

Will I finish tonight? I sure as hell hope so!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Revising Better

I knew this revision for Black Violas is the toughest one I've done a long time. The biggest issue was the viewpoint (written in 3rd, revising in 1st) and that the wording/verbiage was rather pathetic.  I'm making serious progress, and am rewriting the last of the scenes. At this point, actually, the ending is completely new. Yet, I still have a page of notes, details I need to work into the story.

Why is this so difficult? Why is it taking me so long?

And it just hit me today. I've improved. I'm doing two or three drafts worth of revision in this one revision. I'm seeing my problems all at once instead of revising for problem A, then revising for problem B.

This is big. :)  I'm thrilled. I'm growing!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

still going...

Lots of battles this week with work/lunch/sleep issues. We're resolving much of it, and the writing improves as we do. Aiming to finish this revision by tomorrow night. I'm doing a scene to two per session now. It won't be the final version, but close enough event/plot wise that i can have some readers give me some realistic feedback. Then I get to work on the Tiger story.  Growr!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Query: Titles

So what's the deal with short story titles? I'm not so worried with my novels because all I've heard is that the publisher will change it on you anyway, you just need one spiffy enough to get their attention.  So how about short stories? No one ever talks about their short stories being renamed upon acceptance/publication. 

I also want to know how you come up with your titles. I tend to pick an element from the story, and while my titles tend to be about something from within the story itself, they don't seem to carry the weight of the stories I've read.

What do you think about titles?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Writing writing writing

Progress has been slow, writing time is not abundant, but I'm finding it in little bits and pieces.  That's the hazard of weekend writing, but we're back in the week so I should have a better chance of getting time in.

Goals for my week - I intend to get a lot of things done.

Black Violas - two nights of computer time to bring these edits/rewrites into existance (Monday and Tuesday); then I can send it off to my readers.

Nighthunter's Bite - revision again, probably Wednesday and Thursday.

Two crits, one on Monday, one on Wednesday.

And, if this goes well, I can jump back into Tiger Princess by the weekend.

So we'll see. My eyes might be overestimating what I have time for this week, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Hopefully, the muse will be along for the ride.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

violas in progress

Spent a few hours on Black Violas today, and put together a game plan on how to fix it. I was afraid it wasn't fixable.  I didn't understand why the voice wanted to be in first person, but it did, desperately, and today I figured out why.  I figured out why the ending didn't work, and came up with a better one. I found a couple of muse bombs and I am exploiting the hell out of 'em. This is going to be a kick ass story when I'm through with it. I would love to share specifics, but heck, that'll ruin it for when you read it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

honor subbed

It's out, it's gone, it's in the email, no taking it back now.  Revision wasn't too bad, but took about three hours and a cupcake's worth of sugar. Here's thinking good thoughts.

hunter finals

Final fixes for Hunter, cutting some wordage... tonight is it.  Still love the story, and I think it's better than ever.  Submission email goes out *tonight*.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hunter done, again

Revision was a blast.   My dear sweet hubby took over kid duty at 6:30pm and I had all night to write instead of my usual hour and a half.  I spent four and a half hours on the revision yesterday, and gave it a quick proofing today, and implemented the final changes.  I think it's good. I think it's ready. :)  It's awesome when things work.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hunter again

Reworking Hunter.  I received a few crits back and it was rejected from the first market I submitted it to (with some interesting comments), so I figure, why not, let's make it better.

That pesky first scene a few someone's commented on, turns out didn't live up to its potential because the finale didn't really zing.  I'm adding zing. And my hero, Daymar, misses a huge opportunity to confront his commanding officer who is essentially his role model.  Adding that.  Then there's a mysterious chameleon that was neat in the first version, but should've gone by the wayside when the griffon did about four revisions ago.

I'll find another home for the lizard; this just isn't it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Progress / February Goals

It's been an interesting month to say the least.  I lost the first week to family travel, and the next three weeks were struggles between being sick or taking care of the sick. I lucked out with a day off work that daycare was miraculously open, and I spent the day on a writing project that saved me two weeks worth of evening writing time.  I have decided for sure, I'm taking one personal day off from work each month and committing myself to a day of writing.  I'm pleased with my work, even though I have several "in progress", but I did complete a story that's been haunting me for years. 

I am disappointed I didn't get to the novel revision, but I have four short stories that have submission deadlines of March 31st, and I'd really like to get them in the best shape I can.  The novel may have to wait until April.

January Progress:

* Nighthunters Bite - first draft written and a full revision done.  (By evening time standards, this is a good three weeks worth of work).

* Black Violas - revision in progress. (Rewrite, actually, in regard to POV).
* Hunter's Honor - revision in progress.
* Tiger Princess - research done, outlining and worldbuilding in progress.
* Reading - still working on Federations, and rereading some of the stories that appeal to me (and have POVs that deal with my current stories).

February Goals:

* Hunter's Honor - revise and resubmit asap
* Fading Light - minor revision to ending
* Tiger Princess - first draft
* Black Violas - revision
* Nighthunter's Bite - revision

Monday, January 25, 2010

black violas, cont'd

A few days off due to family and stuff, and now I'm back at the keyboard.  Working on Black Violas, and it's coming along nicely.  Slow, unfortunately, as I am rewriting the story, so it's deeper than an edit, and not quite as free as a first draft, but it's strong. My heroine is bitter yet motivated, and damn if she isn't going to figure this out, one way or another.  :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Black violas edit is underway; the new opening rocks.

Received Hunter back from a submission, no luck there.  I want to revise it again before I send it out, but I need to finish Black Violas first.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

black violas in progress

Watering the Black Violas is in the edit process now.  It's drastic in that the pov is shifting from third to first, and while I'm keeping the events fairly close to the original, it's easier to jsut rewrite it into a clean new file.  I'm eager to get it done, but I'm guessing it'll take a few days at my evening writing pace.  Then I can send it off for crit.

Monday, January 18, 2010

nighthunter's bite revised

What a wild ride that was.  I have a day off from work, and decided to spend it baking and writing.  I spent 6 hours working on the short story edit, only taking brief breaks to get water or swap laundry around.  If I had tried this during my normal evening hours, it would have taken a week to complete. It's off to some readers now, so I'll have to wait for feedback.  Hopefully, I'm not out of my mind on this one. (Or, scaring anyone off my writing!)

I hope Maya is happy now, and that the next round of revisions are minor.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

nighthunter continued

I've been battling POV and continuing the edit (somewhat) but I've at least decided I still like first person for this story.  I'm leaning toward past tense now, though present tense nags me just as much.  I'm just going to have to make a choice at some point.  Maybe tonight, because I have lots planned for this week.

Black Violas needs me.  Tiger Princess needs me.  I have research.  I have a day off, which was supposed to be for writing, but it's getting eaten up with baking plans and house cleaning that I've neglected for too long.  So yes, I really need to choose.

I'm giving myself a deadline of tonight to make the decision.  After that, I continue the edit, and be done with it in a day or two.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

nighthunter edit in progress

Some wonderfully dark ideas, some twisting of an already threatening situation, and a slave who stands up for herself...  No wonder I can't put it down.  Perhaps this is a good sign.

I didn't bother with the usual method.  No analysis, no red-lining.  Just jumped in and threw notes in to add or change details, deleted the uselesss stuff, and tweaked what didn't work.

Another night, then I'll send it off for feedback.  If only I can lasso those past tense verbs leaping in front of my 1st person  present...

nagging stories, taking over my life

I wrote Maya's story.  I wrote it, and she's refusing to leave me alone.  I've got the fixes for the story already in my head, sooner than I've ever had the desire to edit a story (six days after writing it).  I guess I'd better hit it while I've got the desire.

The problem I have with this, is I have three other short stories (two in edit, one in draft) that have a 3/31 deadline.  Maya, I so want to tell you to get in line, but I love my muse too much to refuse an untimely gift.

So, editing tonight.  Maybe if I get to the Nighthunter's Bite edits, it'll clear my head to hit Violas.  Hopefully, I can get moving early enough on it, and stay up late.  Might not be room for much sleep tonight. ;)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

more violas

Violas... new opening, definitely going with 1st person pov.  Not sure of the ending yet, but reshaping the story.  Mostly, I'm rewriting it, not just revising.  None of the writing/language really thrilled me in the first draft, so I really just went through the original manuscript and chose which lines I really like and want to keep if I can.  The rest, is just an outline.

Friday, January 8, 2010

my black violas... in progress

Started the edit for Watering the Black Violas.  The ending is wrong, way wrong, and I might have the wrong POV (3rd vs 1st) but I have to play with it before I know for sure.  This doesn't look like an easy edit....

nighthunter's bite

You're welcome Maya.  Go collect some souls, will you?  Let me write some other stories now. ;)

Yes, it's done.  Finally.  The ending doesn't seem exactly right, I was torn on who should die, but I think I made the right choice.  Now, to tuck this one away until I'm ready to edit it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

more 'bite

Major progress on Nighthunter's Bite.  Over 2k written today, and just a scene and a half to go.  Tomorrow should be good for tying it up.  Not a happy story though, but one that needed writing.  I'll be glad to put Maya to rest for a bit once this is done.

'bite in progress

Despite my exhaustion, I worked a little on Nighthunter's Bite.  I deleted the junk I had in place, tweaked the existing opening, and that was pretty much it.  Ready to move forward, next writing session.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

planning for the rest of the week

I'm back from my trip and wow did I ever underestimate the time I need to get settled back in.  I posted goals for this week, but I can't get to them all. 

Nighthunter's Bite is on the agenda for tonight and tomorrow, I'll push through what I can.  (No more 'i need this to be perfect'; I just need to write the damn thing.  I can always edit it. This story has been in my head for three years now, I'm disgusted with myself.) 

Then, Friday and Saturday I'd like to spend on Black Violas.  I have a March 31st deadline, and I'm only on the first revision here.  Again, this doesn't need to be perfect, but I need to start addressing the story issues.  I do not have the luxury of time on this one.

This is the year I break through my old writing problems and produce.  Year?  Nah.  Week?  Change should never be later, it should always be now.  TODAY.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Goals and Expectations

I have high expectations for 2010, but I know there will be complications this year for various reasons.  With that in mind, I have selected Enudrance as my focus goal because I want to endure through the issues that come, and when I take those neccessary breaks to deal with (or enjoy) my life, I will return to the writing. 

Novels: You can't publish a novel if you don't write it to completion and edit it.  Shadow of Blood is about half complete (stopped during my pregnancy with Amber) and I intend to complete it this year.  Forgotten Star has been in existance since 2000, and it needs an edit worthy of my love for the story, and it needs to enter the submissions process.  I signed up for Holly Lisle's How To Revise Your Novel class to do this.  I'll take what I like from her process and forge on ahead.  I also know that ideas will come to me for other stories to write: I will allow myself to develop those ideas and conduct limited research (see below "novel planning") and then return to it when I need a new project.

Short Stories: I love them, but they are still a challenge.  I will continue to write and revise and submit.

Reading: My time is limited but I can't neglect reading.  I'm still working on Martin's behemoth novels, but I also need to keep reading short stories, and I'd like to start reading some YA because some of my story ideas are veering that way.  I just don't know enough about the genre to feel comfortable writing in it just yet.

Classes/Workshops: I don't know what's on the agenda at FM for 2010, but I know the 2009 workshops (I think I did two of them) were wonderfully helpful for my writing.  If it's free, why turn down an opportunity to learn?  And I will be saving some personal time from work to hit the Muse Online for the same thing. (edit: workshops not on the agenda, but there are "back to school" classes that run about a month.)

Viable Paradise: I've drooled over this workshop for years and the husband and I finally decided I could apply.  The kids will be old enough in 2011 for me to leave him alone with them for a week, and I'll have enough time to budget for the trip.  My one project for December 2010 is to complete the application.  I don't yet know if I'll be applying with the novel chapters or the short stories, but I have a year to decide.

I'm also hoping to use personal time from work this year to provide extra time for writing, maybe on the basis of a half day, once a month.

2010 Goals
Main Goal: Endurance
HTRYN Class: 22 lessons
Forgotten Star revision
Shadow of Blood 1st Draft (40k done, 40k to go)
2YN Class (half done w/Shadow of Blood)
Novel Planning: 4
Short Story Writing: 6
Short Story Edits: 15
Short Story Submissions: 20
New Submissions: 3
Crits: 20
Reading: 6
FM Classes as interested
FM SAD Writing Challenge (May)
Muse Online Writing Conference (Oct)
Prep Viable Paradise application for 2011

** Taking time to visit family; no writing schedule for the first week of January.