Friday, October 30, 2009

Discouraging lack of progress...

Currently, I'm at about 72.5K words on my SciFi novel. That's great. Only about 25K-30K more to go. Yippee. Sorry. I need more enthusiasm there. I really am excited about this, so YIPPEE!!!

But all this talk about Nanowrimo got me thinking about my own rate of writing. Currently I've only been managing about 700 words per day, weekdays only. That means that over the month of November, when all the contest goers will pound out 50K words, I'll only squeeze out... 14K. :( Yuck. I won't be finishing my novel until the end of December, and that's if the holidays and the still-hoped-for job don't slow things up. That was depressing to realize.

So although I won't be Nanowrimo'ing in November, I think I will make my own effort to ramp up my word count. Even if that just means extending my writing to the weekends or getting an extra 100 words per day in, obviously that's something I need to move towards. I eventually want to be a for-real published writer, and not just of a single novel.

Do you guys care to follow along and watch my progress? I could post a word count meter and update it daily. It would allow you to point fingers and laugh, I'm sure, so there's even something in it for you!

What do you guys do to discipline and keep yourselves on track for your job, diet, exercise regimen, or whatever?

And btw, have a safe and fun Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SciFi Snippet

Because I have nothing to really talk about today, here's a snippet from Sunlands, my SciFi novel. Enjoy!

Then they let Sergeant Ortelli in. He stepped into the room and almost missed a step when he saw Lora, but came to attention despite the burning questions in his eyes.

“Sergeant, I don’t suppose you have any credits I could borrow?” she asked sweetly.

He broke attention immediately. “My Coravi, aren’t you carrying around your own credits yet?” but he was reaching into his trouser pockets nonetheless.

She laughed delightedly. “Not to worry, Sergeant. Save your credits. I learned my lesson and have my own. I was actually hoping you would help me put another arrogant man in his place.” The first time Ortelli had come to her attention, he was in her honor guard on an excursion into the city. Yet another of her attempts to right a wrong had almost failed thanks to his then commanding officer. With Ortelli’s help, and his credits, things had worked out. Ever since, she’d had a special fondness for the kind-hearted rascal.

He rubbed his hands together. “You know that old dog Warski did something to jack up his career? He has patrol duty now. In the north. Far north.” They shared a laugh at his old commander’s fate. The man had not been well-liked. “I’d be delighted to help. Things have been sorely dull since you left.”

She explained her need to obtain the records from the herbalist. “You’ll be acting on my authority. While I would like the operation to go smoothly and without offending too many people, if you start getting push-back, feel free to throw my weight around.”

“How many is too many people to offend?” He smirked.

“You’ll know you’ve jacked things up once you’re on patrol duty up north reporting to Warski again.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nalini Singh Blaze of Memory Giveaway

If you are a Nalini Singh fan, you're probably aware that her next book in the Psy/Changeling series, Blaze of Memory, is coming out a week from today - Nov. 3. Lurve A La Mode has posted a review and Nalini is giving away 2 signed copies of the book there. But you must comment by tomorrow morning at 6:00 am. So be quick!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Unintentional Discipline?

I guess I have J6.3's being sick to thank for my recent spate of housecleaning and dedication to writing. Today makes day #8 that she's been home. Since she's been home with me, I haven't been able to go into B&N to pick up any hours, so I've been doing lots of stuff around the house - going through boxes, cleaning out closets, etc. I've also had lots of snuggle time to be sitting around and working on my novel plots in my head. Six out of the last seven days I've worked on my writing - even the rare weekend writing that I usually never do. I've also been editing and researching.

This is cool and all, but I'm feeling guilty about being productive. My poor kid is miserable. She's tired of being sick and stuck at home, and she's exhausted all the time. But we're heading to the doc's today so hopefully we'll figure out what this is. I thought flu, but since it's lingered so long without any improvement, now I'm not so sure. Hopefully it's something easily taken care of.

Have a great week!

Edit: Good news/Bad news. Good news is that they know what's wrong with J6.3 and she's on antibiotics. The bad news is that the kiddo has pneumonia. :( And if it's the wrong kind of pneumonia, the antibiotics won't really help. Joy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Any Nanowrimo'ers out there?

November is NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth, hence the term, NANOWRIMO, that you might see popping up around the web lately. Basically it's an effort to encourage aspiring writers to put aside their worries, their disbelief, the excess of advice out there for writing, and to simply WRITE! 50,000 words in one month is the goal (that's about 1,667 words per day)- quantity over quality - no editing, just writing. They acknowledge that you'll write lots of crap, but you'll be writing and writing a lot. That's the only way to get better with your writing.

I know of one friend who plans (or planned) to enter. Anyone else out there?

To answer the unasked question, No, I will not be entering. I think it's a very worthy endeavor, but hopefully I'll be in the midst of starting a new job then. I'll be back to patting myself on the back for just getting 500 words down per day. I am in awe of anyone who can crank out the words necessary to accomplish Nanowrimo.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Writer Growing Pains

Now it's J6.3 home with a fever & vomiting. My life is a joy. We're hoping (yet again) that it's not the flu.

As for writing, it's been frustratingly slow-going lately. I'm moving along on the SciFi novel but it all seems kind of blah.

I've been working out the world for a fantasy novel or series (preliminary naming is Nightingale) in my head for about a month now and that's finally starting to gel a bit, but I'm trying to do the plotting thing for this one as opposed to pantsing it like I usually do. Plus, I'm not ready to start yet another project when I already have a few in the works. I want to plot the entire thing out this time, do the synopsis ahead of time, the whole bit. Even being an unpublished writer, I feel that I've grown as a writer over the last year, and I'm trying to keep stretching myself. I'd feel better about tackling a career as a writer if I knew I could accomplish my writing using a process and not just winging it every time. My logical math/science mind prefers that although the crafty side likes creating as I go. But from what I've read from other plot-happy writers, there's still room for writing off the beaten path and spur-of-the-moment plot developments even if you're writing according to your plan. The story always changes your plans, kind of like the first engagement in a battle it seems. Hmm, writing is the same as waging war? I can see that. :)

The other thing I'm going to try to improve: Giving my good characters more faults. Oh, they're not all perfect goody-goodies anymore, but I think I still do tend to make them "all people I'd want to be friends with" as one of my critique partners put it. Now, I'm not going to take it to the extremes that he suggested because I don't think that would be true to their inner characters, but I can certainly make them more "real" and believable. Now I just have to execute that somehow. Sigh.

What is something you think you could improve in your writing, your work habits or just life in general?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Keeping on... keeping on

Hi guys. Not much to say lately. Been working at my SciFi novel and debating over what to do about the UF novel I have been sending around to agents. I'm still undecided about what to do about it.

As for the kids, J6.3 had an ear infection in both ears, and E3.6 had a fever, coughs and sniffles for 2 days and then improved, so no flu for us... yet.

What else? The in-laws are back from their 2 week cursed cruise (apparently hardly a day went by that they weren't off-schedule because of having to turn around and meet up with the Coast Guard to off-load various passengers due to illness, broken bones, etc.), and it's nice knowing they're back safe on US soil. We will of course be invading their home in the next couple of days to make up for lost time. :)

Other than that, things have been pleasantly average around here. Nothing really doing.

To you writers out there, here's an excerpt from Donald Maass' (lit agent) book, The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great. I had this book recommended to me by a published author, and I've just recently started reading it. Good stuff.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

One Sick, Two Sick, Ear Sick, Flu Sick?

Yes, I'm home with not one, but two sick kids today. J6.3 has a potential ear infection and E3.(almost)6 is running a fever (please don't be the flu... please don't be the flu). Yay me. They are currently snuggled on the couch watching a cartoon and I'm posting real quick before I call the doc. Then I plan to scavenge the web for Halloween crafts with which to keep them occupied.

Quick story to brag on my kid: The other day, I made coffee cake when my folks came to visit. This little message was left for me on the front door later in the day: "Dear Mommy, thank you for the cofy cake it was dolishis. Love J." Wasn't that the sweetest? :) She's darling. I'm keeping the note here next to my computer to remind myself that I'm appreciated.

Anyways, have a good week and think healthy thoughts at my kids, pls.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blogging Slackers R Us

Sorry, sorry! I know I've been super-slack on the blogging lately. I have tons of excuses and some of them are even pretty good. The most relevant is probably that I just haven't had much to say. I'm slogging along on my SciFi book, while also trying to figure out what to do to Jayna's book (Historian's Calling) to get some representation, working at B&N and just dealing with life in general.

In random news, J6.(almost)3 managed to break my flat-screen monitor enough that it had to be sent back for repairs. I'm back to using a CRT monitor for 7 to 14 business days and it is... painful.

E3.(almost)6 told me this morning that she didn't want to go to daycare today. She'd rather go to the school in our playroom (the girls play school in there a lot). Cuteness abounded.

I'm counting down the hours until I can go pick up the books on my list getting released tomorrow. Did you miss the blog post about upcoming releases? Naughty, naughty. Last week I again went to B&N to pick up my books and stumbled on books I hadn't even known were on the way. The first books for two new series by a couple of fave authors were released last Tuesday: J.R. Ward's Covet, and Sherrilyn Kenyon's Born of the Night. Both look to be paranormal romances. And this, folks, is why I like going to a brick and mortar store to do my book browsing. I love surprise reading treasures.