November blusters in...





Let me introduce you to my sunlamp.  It's not even remotely as bright or as hot as the sun.  In fact, I think my iMac gets hotter in about a quarter of the time, but that's for another day.  Back to the sunlamp. It's pretty bright.  Bright enough that I have it angled slightly away so it isn't right in my eyes or I see spots for a long time.  Bright enough to make me forget (until I turn it off) that I've entered the land of murk and there I will reside for long enough to make me think once or twice about leaving.


Not seriously, of course.  Well, maybe to parts south for a long weekend.  But I promise to come back.


I'm pretty surprised no one has compiled one of those "You know it when..." deals for the Puget Sound/Cascade mountain foothills.  Like, "You Know it's November in the Cascade foothills when the sun gets dramatically sucked out of the sky and is replaced by a layer of clouds so thick you begin to doubt there ever was a sun to begin with."  Oh, wait.  That might be part of my sci-fi for NaNo breaking through. See, the brain melt starts.


The problem is, I like the sun.  I don't like sunburn, or heat waves in the consistent 100s (so glad not to have been part of the East Coast Bakedown this past summer).  But I like seeing it through the window.  I like knowing it's out there.  And it always makes me feel guilty when it leaves and I haven't appreciated it enough.  But I doubt I'll do better next year.  


So I feel like hibernating but I can't.  Because today is Day One of NaNoWriMo and I'm finding my novel writing groove.  900 words into scene one and I changed my mind already on a bit character I wanted to be a little more smug, a little more thoughtless toward the "lesser people".  Eh, the little darlings run away from me as quickly as I can set their little feet on the paper.  Which reminds me, time to crank the lamp up another notch, pretend it's really only September out there, and wrap the leash around my wrist as my characters drag me down the block.



Words and Jazz




I've always wanted to be really good at playing the piano.  Good.  Like, throw out a few bars of Beethoven-good.  The keyboard above has been in my possession more than eleven years now.  My husband bought it for me a couple of days after we married; he still loves to indulge me in my creative endeavors.  

My keyboard sits downstairs on a table, played somewhat by my husband and tinkered with by my kids.  The three year old loves hitting the demo button and dancing to all the snippets of music thrown about.  But I don't play.  I want to be good.  Immediately.  Unrealistically.

This problem with realism hasn't filtered through to my writing.  Instead, I'm a little too ruthless when it comes to getting it right.  I'm homicidal when something's not working to my liking and the trunk novels are piling up.  They aren't "there" yet.  But I'm not putting my laptop on a desk somewhere and leaving it sit for eleven years.  I'm not expecting to write like yet.  I'm not even going to write like some of the talented and rising soon-to-be authors I've encountered over the last couple of years.  I'm going to write like me.  And keep going until I can stand up with the rest of them.   

NaNoWriMo is days away from starting and my outline is done, character's are a little less blob like.  I'm excited to be working on a more sci-fi oriented idea. 

I've got my cool NaNo tote to protect my laptop when I slosh through late autumn in Western Washington.  I've got Scrivener 2.0 downloaded and already being the efficient organizing and writing program it is. (Only used for free by me until Literature and Latte give me a buy button to clicky)  I've got at least 2 boxes of K-cups in various flavors so I can avoid a distracting run to the local espresso stand.  Well, some of them anyway. 

Ending my post with another piano mention: tonight is Word Jazz in the Snoqualmie Valley and I'm eager to cheer on my fellow peeps in our terrific writer's group.  They've got a million times more guts than I do for getting behind a mic and reading 2,000 words.  Out loud.  In public.  *Thud* 


Distracted by summer...



I had no idea I’d be distracted by summer.  And yet, that’s exactly what happened.  I squeaked out one post right around when summer began and then… nothing.

That’s not to say I haven’t been writing.  I have.  Several different things, in fact.  A short story, I’m still not-so-patiently waiting to hear the results of, is one thing I spent the month of July working on.  Another short story, the shortest I’ve written, is being included in a journal my awesome local writing group is producing. 

But I’ve been taking the time to think.  To plot.  To read more in areas I’m not usually interested in.  To research. 

And I went on vacation.  A much needed one. 

Here it is, somehow Octoberish.  I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo again, making this my third year.  I love the goal, the camaraderie, the planning.  And that I will have something to say.


High Maintenance

I hate nail polish.

I love the way nail polish smells, fresh from the bottle.  I love watching the lively color glide from the brush to a bisque nail, empty and ready for some pizazz.  Some oomph.  Everything looks wonderful for the first 6 hours.  Maybe, if I've got a great top coat, my nails might last a day or so.

It's all over when the first chip happens.  Then they look like exhibit A.


That's 24 hours later.  All that hard work of getting the polish on perfectly for such a temporary pleasure.  Now they look terrible and I can either leave them plain or do it all over again.

As I sat here looking at my ruined manicure, I realized I'd probably have longer lasting results if I went to an expert.  They do something that makes the polish stick better or stays chip resistant longer.  But, if I did that, I wouldn't have the satisfaction I get when I do decide to paint my nails.  That first second when everything is new and shiny and it's because I did it myself.  Even if a couple of hours later I have a flaw in the works and the frustration of not being good enough sets in.

My approach to writing is just like that.  When I read published books, sometimes I wonder if I'm going to get there, if I'm just throwing away the words on paper, deleting them when I find the inevitable flaws.  Whole sections started chipping and needed to be wiped clean.  When I look at books written by those who've broken through, I wonder if I should leave it up to them and simply enjoy their perseverance.  It's far easier to read an enjoyable novel than it is to write one.  But then I wouldn't have that moment.  And I write for that moment above anything else.

Writing is high maintenance.  Lots of chipping.  Lots of effort swept away in a moment to make room for a better polish.  One of these days,  I'll be able to make the words last longer.  And all shiny.  Red optional.

Hi June, Bye June...


Kelly's Great Big Distraction List!

June is nearly over and I needed to get a post on the map.  I can't leave a gaping hole in the sidebar - even if mother nature has decided not to bring any summer to Seattle until nearly July.  I'd obsess about my missing month of June for the rest of the year and we can't be having that.

In terms of actual writing, I edited up to and some of Chapter 3 in Wishful Thinking.  Passed it to my beta/husband/amazing guy and he gave me some great feedback.  I'm waiting until the next chapter to see if he still thinks the same way about one of the characters.  In the meantime, I've been writing new ideas in the "idea file" for future use.  How fun it would be if I could mix the ideas up.

I've also dabbled with writing by the seat of my pants - no outline, no plan.  Just a story I've started and will keep going until I see where it wants to go.  If nothing else, it's consistent writing and flexing the spontaneous muscle I let stiffen up most of the time.

But enough of the stuff I've done that counts as productivity - the fun stuff was, well, fun.  And needed.  Started the month off with a good dose of camping fun.  This year, I've learned that late spring/early summer is just too volatile for tent camping out here.  So off I went to a heated cabin with a futon bed and table/chair set.  Oh, and electricity.  That's a must.

Dance recitals, end of school year activities, planting/gardening, Alan Wake for the XBox 360, way too many blogs to follow, IronMan2, Green Day:Rock Band.... it's been a fun month.  A nice break.

Now, bring on the summer.  I'll be writing out in the sun.


Oh my, I think I've got a novel...


I've been hard at work trying to get Chapter One into a decent enough shape to be finally beta read.  I let the earlier incarnation out to a few folks and I admit, I cringe at the words on the paper.  The gist of the story was there, I suppose, but it was in a very rough shape.  The latest draft reads much better; not quite diamond, more like cubic zirconia.  It's getting there.  I can say that now after a couple of frustrating days.

It's been two weeks since I got down into no holds barred editing.  I'm somewhat surprised at how long one scene took me to get right but I suppose it's because it was further than the others at getting my character's point across.  I have to keep in mind, when I'm trying to rush through, that the process takes as long as it takes.  Good practice for when I'm looking at a nth revision I've been asked to do. 

What I'm loving is getting all the details in the right place, something I wasn't so great at the first pass through.  I know it's because I didn't have all the details to begin with (you'd think these characters would clue me in or what not) but it's still fun making things click - even for the author!

So, yeay, Chapter One is done and I'll be foisting it on my unsuspecting victims betas soon.  Unfortunately for the husband, he's really good at being a beta and has no idea about 8,300 words are heading his way.  He also doesn't spare my feelings at all and has no qualms about telling me when something doesn't work without needing to use the sandwich method.  I think that makes me lucky :)

I've also been paying attention to the music I listen to (either in my head or through my speakers) when I edit a chapter.  Chapter One has been brought to you by the oh, so appropriate song Redundant by Green Day.  





Photo of ruins by Free Stock Photos


Plucking from obscurity

While trying to accumulate as much gold as possible in a video game I'm playing, I started wondering about some of the characters I'd passed along the journey.  Some tragic things had happened to my main playable character and one event in particular had me thinking.  See, while my main character's storyline is mostly set in the lore of the game, there is very little mentioned about what happens to the lesser known characters I've encountered.  I'm not all that interested in the main events because (while somewhat flimsy), I get to find out plenty.


What I'm more interested in is what happened to the obscure characters, the ones who seemed to have more of a story than what was told, if any of their story was told at all.  I want to know about what affects the main story has on them, what happens to them.  Of course, it occurred to me that I could find out.  I could craft the obscure character and let him tell me what happened.  So far, he's quite interesting.  I want to know more, I need to see what makes him work, what makes him run.  Along the way, I'll lob some more defeating events his way and see how he deals.  If he can manage to get to adolescence after being taking away from his mother who was off saving the world, I think he's got something going.  


The same goes for Wishful Thinking.  My need to delve into the obscure led me to wonder about lesser known mythological beings.  I hear over and over how Greek mythology stories are overdone.  Maybe they are, maybe they aren't.  Maybe it's because the major players got too much air time.  I don't care all that much about the Olympians, in my novel they are peripheral.  I care about the overshadowed immortals, the ones whose stories weren't deemed all that important to focus on.  


So many people work magic behind the scenes, overshadowed but content to be doing what they love.  They have important stories to share, they are interesting people...we just need to be willing to listen to what they have to say.  In our world, or someone else's.  I'm going to hop on and go along on this boy's ride; I think he has something special to say.


  

Break time is over...

...let the hard work begin!  The read through of Wishful Thinking is complete.  This go-round is much better than the last (when I couldn't even read through the whole way).  This means I can begin editing with more of a shape rather than an unassuming blob of a novel.  


Ah, editing.  Some people love the first draft of a novel; the heady, breathless rush to put words on paper (metaphorically speaking for me) and see thoughts become form.  Not me.  My favorite part is planning with extensive outlines and offshoots and what ifs.  Since I can't spend all my life just planning things...well, I could, but part of the fun in life is finishing those projects too...editing a novel is my second favorite part.  


For me, editing is where I prove to myself I know what I'm doing, I know what I'm trying to say.  The first draft of Wishful Thinking had promise but it wasn't until I re-wrote most of it that I could see the direction I needed to go in.  I consider my re-write the first editing pass I took since I reshaped the plot and basically made it make sense.  (If it doesn't make sense, it's worthless - going on a sticky note push pinned in my drywall)  In editing, I'm starting to look at the individual scenes and their role in the whole package.  And I'm ruthless.  Forward the story or GTFO.  I'd push pin that into my wall too but my eight year old is very interested in colorful language and I'm not talking aubergine.


So far, I've noticed a flat scene, a scene that needs a follow-up scene, a scene I chickened out on, etc....  I can't wait to get back in to those scenes and let the characters tell you what they really think.  No holding back.  Time to make the story better, give it a fresh coat of paint.  










Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos.

Almost...but not quite.

Right now, I am looking at a sky similar to the one in this picture.  The missing objects are the beautiful sunflowers at ground level.  Instead, I get blown over brand new patio furniture and gratitude at not purchasing mulch yesterday at the home improvement store.  Otherwise, my neighbor's yards would be looking fantastic and I'd be out some $200 easy.  Ah, fickle mother nature.  Spring here in the Pacific Northwest can take you on an interesting ride.  After five plus years though, I've proven I can be taught - no mulching and no patio umbrellas until after the 15th of May.


Another interesting tidbit about greenery out here in the Cascade foothills - yup, we've got plenty of it but if you want the edible kind, you have to be patient.  A handful of 65 degree days does not mean it's a good idea to get a jump start on the peppers (learned that last year).  I am tempting fate by putting in two tester cherry tomato plants (not even going to try the full size and pull the rest of my hair out).  Just two days ago, we were treated to a nice hailstorm which would've crushed my seedlings flat.  So I wait.  I like fresh beans far too much to risk them.


Speaking of waiting, still doing that with Wishful Thinking.  Letting a novel sit for a little while before diving back in to edit is just like waiting for the last little bit of foothills weather to clear on out before risking tender plants.  Too soon, you might have to start all over again and waste whatever time you might have gained.  Far too inefficient a plan for me, so as much as my impatience is beginning to take over, I'm holding out.


May Day is right around the corner.

Distractions:
 ~  Found a card game for the iPad which not only has my best scores, but registers daily best scores against other players as well as weekly and monthly.  The uber competitive soul in me has been trying to crack the top 50 all weekend.  Getting 2nd place right after server reset doesn't count.


Accomplishments:
~  Even though it's too early for beans, peppers, cucumbers; it's not too early for lettuce, broccoli, and dill so those went into the ground yesterday.  I am so glad I went with a raised bed garden.  For one, there is no way I can get anything as sensitive as vegetables to grow in the rock that is my yard.  For two, heat tends to get trapped earlier in a raised bed and I can fudge the sowing dates for some herbs.  I've had parsley growing since January :)



Tackling the reading backlog...

I've decided May Day is the perfect day to start editing Wishful Thinking and I'm excited to get there.  In the meantime, I've been working through my "pile" of books.  Couple hardcovers, handful through Kindle, a paperback or two.  Now, I realize I can't get through all of them before May.  I'm speedy, but not that speedy.  *shrug*  A dent is better than nothing.


Currently reading:  The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand - my inspiration for today's picture.  Howard Roark is a fascinating, intriguing character who is unlike most protagonists I've ever read and I'm hoping Keating gets stuffed.  The little sympathy I had for him is dwindling with every impulsive move he makes.  I'm not surprised at my liking this book; the author and the protagonist are both INTJs.  Different.    


What I've noticed from a writing perspective is, after writing third person limited, the omniscient point of view is strange to me.  It never used to be.  I also never used to read and study setting, narrative, or internal dialogue either.  Sometimes, reading as a writer is distracting and I have to work at it.  Frustrating because first and foremost, I read for pleasure.  Could be a sign I'm not as enmeshed in the book as I should be, could be I need to take off the writing hat when I'm not working on critiques or writing related work.  Whatever the cause, once I figure out a flow, I hope to be able to switch in and out at will.  A necessity because there are some great books coming out over the summer.  


Distractions:
~  Why yes, I'm looking forward to the teen getting her driver's license.  It's inevitable anyway and then I can send her out for the dinner ingredient I seem to always forget to order....  


Accomplishments:
~  New short story in progress: 836 words written about three teenage mages who think they know more than they do and their insistence gets them into trouble.  Sub out mages and this story is about every teenager who ever lived.  I only wish I had magic back then, think of how fun that could've been.

The alternate reality where I am not a wuss...

In my quest to not peek at my cooling novel (sitting there so nicely on my iPad I might add), I've been keeping myself relatively busy.


Busy, being in the eye of the beholder, means my Tauren Druid is level 74.5 (as of 11:00pm last night), all my various iGadgets are sync'ed with the mothership (just learned I can't library share my iTunes when the mothership is napping though...), and I stopped waiting for my husband to downgrade our cable.  Which leads to the wuss part.


I have the pleasure of being the negotiator in the house.  Call it a personality quirk, if you will.  Just about everything that needs to happen gets processed through my brain first.  No, this doesn't bother the husband - he likes not having to be responsible for all the nuances and I geek out hard core being said responsible person.  Usually.  


Which brings me to my call with the cable company.  The only time I've not had cable was a brief 2 or 3 year stint with a satellite company.  I liked the sat. co. but with our move out west and a swank deal on the cable + equipment, well, there it is.  We started with a decent package and I knew right away we had "too much" cable.  The only ones who watch TV here are the ones who shouldn't be - the kidlets.  Couple years later and for some reason we decided the problem with our package (for non-TV watchers) - not enough cable.  Yeah, I know.  


Today, I called to downgrade.  And I wussed out.  The intention was to get rid of all movie channels and drop to just above the basic so we retained several essential kidlet channels.  The problem is, the cable company would only honor the "new customer" price for one step down, not hitting the bottom down.  I guess HBO and Starz is worth $10/month, but I still feel mission unaccomplished.


I will be hearing about this when the husband gets home.  And he will file it away for future use.  This tarnish is unlikely to become a patina.


Distractions:
~  It's all a distraction, baby!  


Accomplishments:
~  I did manage to outline a short story I've been kicking at around.  Itching to get back to work.  






Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos



I have to wait how long?

This past weekend, I finished the first rewrite of Wishful Thinking.  Five minutes after, a funny thought occurred to me: I couldn't wait to go back and reread it from the beginning.  And I wanted to do that right then.


I wrote this for the first time during the 2009 NaNoWriMo, the idea one I'd been kicking around for  months before.  I wrote somewhat faithfully to the first outline I drafted in October and breezed through the first draft.  I even hit my 50k words well before the November 30th deadline.  Still, I worked on, reaching The End in December at 63k.


Took the draft with me on the plane heading east for the holidays.  Read the first chapter and realized it all sucked.  Really bad.  The climax scene was anything but.  I know the common rule is to read from page one until the last without editing but I couldn't imagine wasting several hours on something I was going to rip to shreds.


So I didn't.  I put the manuscript away for almost all of January.  When I came back to it, I grabbed the first chapter and pulled out what I liked.  The plot had changed dramatically so chapter two was a goner.  Unfortunately, so was chapter three, most of four, all of... well the rest.  I think out of the first edition, I've kept about 20k words.  Even that might be a stretch.  


At the least,  I've learned I'm fairly detached from my work.  I've learned lots more stuff too and will chat about it in the coming days when I'm trying not to go back in and peek.  I'm not sure what my reaction is going to be when I reread in a couple of weeks, but I know this plot is stronger and more interesting the way I've rewritten it.  Lasting a couple of weeks is going to be the hard part.    




Distractions:
~  I was a laser-guided missile the last several days.  The three loads of washed and dried laundry in piles on my bed can attest to it.  As can the receipts scattered on the counter from a take-out/eat-out frenzy.  As can children who look at me and say, mommy?  Well, not really, they all still remember me, but I holed up as much as I could and cranked out the last 4k words.


Accomplishments:
~ 75,471 words, the majority fresh.  Which means for Wishful Thinking, I've written at least 130k words.  Letting that sink in.












Photo courtesy of Francesco Marino

First Page Blogfest



Kelly Lyman at Kelly's Compositions is hosting a First Page Blogfest and I'd hoped to squeeze in right at the deadline.  This entry is from my wip, Wishful Thinking, which has three scenes to go.  

#   #    #   #


Aurelie scanned the sides of the road stretching before her, seeking the perfect tree.  Only the best would do.  A stout tree for hand-crafted Aston Martins weren't made of fiberglass and spit.   She needed elegant.  Evergreen.   She wrapped her slender fingers around the leather steering wheel, feeling the powerful engine purr as she accelerated.  The DB9 handled like no other car.  A pity it needed to be sacrificed. 

The swick-flick of windshield wipers brushing away steady raindrops did not distract from her task.  Her focus rested entirely on her mission.  She wondered, when the end came, if it would hurt, if she would feel any pain.  That was partly why she wanted a big tree.  Aurelie didn't want to linger in agony, hovering between life and death for a minute longer than necessary.  Just get it over with.

A glance at the speedometer showed her cruising at forty miles per hour.  A little slow for that stretch of road if anyone else joined her.  So far, Aurelie had encountered only oncoming traffic and even those instances had been sporadic.  Rush hour and its relentless traffic had been long gone, those worker bees tucked into bed with their night lights on.  Where Aurelie drove, closer to the mountains, the road wound through miles of pine trees interspersed with open plats.  Two lanes of meandering asphalt ferrying the souls who desired gainful employment in the bigger cities without sacrificing aesthetics.  She wondered whether they realized how much of their souls had been traded long ago, how much informed consent 
they had given.


Not so fast, romance...




The last several days, I've been writing until my fingertips cramp.  Partly to make up for the tiny funk from two weeks ago, and partly because I am almost finished with the 2nd pass/rewrite of Wishful Thinking.  It looks amazing to see that typed out.  Almost finished.

This means for a self-imposed three weeks off from the novel, my husband won't look over in concern at me every time I gasp, or glare furiously at my screen because the antagonist pulled a rather %^&$# move.  I think he wants to ignore most of them but doesn't want to get stuck if my expressions are reality related.

It also means I can take a break from the emotions of my characters.  Throwing rocks at them takes a toll on even the most wonderful days; when the words are hard to come by, every pebble becomes a boulder and I kick and scream more than my darling main characters.

In the meantime, the last five scenes are the hardest ones to write.  My protagonist is elevated, hopeful, like the couple in the picture above.  She has no idea what's coming.  But I do, and it isn't pretty.  It's sad, it's messy, and it's the way it has to be.  And it's almost over.  For now. 

Things that distracted me on the internet:
~  Trying to work through what the Health Care Act means for me.  Lots of text to slog through. 
~  Reserved my iPad and raring to pick it up on 4/3.  I am even going to brave the crowds of people to get it.  This is no small deal for me since any group larger than 5 people is a crowd to me. 
 Non-internet distractions:
~  Dragon Age: Awakenings conquered.  Hats off to the writing team on this franchise, the lore is well done.
 Accomplishments:
~  Did I mention around 5 scenes to go?  Granted they are the longer ones because they are ramping up to climax but I'm in the last 2 or 3 chapters.  Woot!



Image above courtesy of Dynamite Imagery/Free Digital Photos

What do you call spring cleaning if it isn't spring?


I am convinced writer's funk is worse than writer's block.

I can blame the sun for daring to shine for days before slipping behind the clouds again where it belongs this time of year.  I can blame having to rewrite several scenes (ok, the whole end of the book...) because the plot works better this way.  I can blame my house for being dirty.

What I ended up doing - moped for three days, scrubbed the master bathroom, rearranged middle daughter's room (and bought her a tv).

The whole time I complained I wasn't writing.

Before I left for a weekend break and some fun, I sat down and pumped out 1800 words of a scene that had been bugging me for a bit.  Of course I break the funk right before swearing to leave the laptop home.  Part of me feared I might not get back into it when I returned.  Irrational thinking that turned out to be - over 3500 words over the course of the day yesterday.

The funk has faded, I'm energized and ready to get this novel done.  I learned two important lessons over the last week though.  1. Writing can be a bitch.  2.  I don't feel right anymore without doing it.  I am clearly an insane typist (Thanks @alta03).

Things that distracted me on the internet:
~  More research on setting I needed for a scene between brothers.  Decided to bookmark it but wasn't worth adding too much description. 
~ I had fallen way behind in my blog reading and I wanted to peruse the expert websites.  There were too many good updates to list but my Distracting Writers and Agents blogs are starts. 

Non-internet distractions:
~  EA Games and Blizzard helped pass the rest of the time when I wasn't scrubbing my house.  And indoor waterparks are pretty awesome.  Running up and down five flights of stairs, not so much.

Accomplishments:
~  Will cross the 50k barrier today.  The rest of the book is a rewrite and I am determined to be 3/4 of the way done before April 1st.

Hot dogs that snap when you bite into them...

 
Now that I've gotten my sun fix for the day... .

In all seriousness, I bow to our weather overlords for giving us  in the greater Seattle area the second best winter I've experienced here.  The first time around, I hadn't realized how atypical a winter it was.  This is the first year since then I haven't needed to fly to LA and parts south for a break.

Just as the rain usually doesn't let up here, I've tried writing every day including the weekends, including when I didn't feel it, when the scenes had to be ripped screaming from my brain.  And each time I've forced myself, I wind up deleting or archiving what I've written.  If there is one thing I can't stand (besides from hot dogs that snap when you bite into them...), it's inefficiency.  Writing subpar is bad enough but writing subpar just to hit a number of words on a spreadsheet is a waste of time.  

So, I'm ready to try something revolutionary.  Something atypical.  At the end of the day, I'm going to go through what I've written and take words off the total for various insults to the English language.  Something like a net return on decent words.  I'll give myself a break if the sentence could be written a little better.  No, the words I'm talking about are most adverbs that I throw in lazily (:P  I'm talking about the word 'just', the word 'that', the filler words padding my word count.

I'll post next week how I did.  Now, excuse me while I play hooky and get my pasty self some more vitamin D from the primary source before mother nature tells me she didn't mean to give us an early spring.

Things that distracted me on the internet:
~  The teen needs a driving school to get her one step closer to her license.  I'm trying not to fall over how expensive it is to drive when you are <18 years old. 
~  The teen also needs a college and has given me a short list to peruse.  Somehow, I'm not experiencing sticker shock there.  I am experiencing information way overload. 

Non-internet distractions:
~  Pulled my level 66 druid out of languishment and have been fast leveling her.  My server went down unexpectedly and I played around on my Alliance priest (1st character).  So strange not to fly to Thrallmar :)

Accomplishments:
~  Passed the halfway point on rewrites/1st round of edits.  Have made peace with tossing more than 25k words from manuscript.  If it doesn't work, it doesn't work.  Oh well.  Also made it through a difficult scene emotionally and the family is only singed.  :D

Cool Chick and Procrastination

A lovely award arrived for me the other day, called a Cool Chick, thanks to Carolina Valdez Miller (go check out her talented self).  


I'm passing along the rules: Before you take him home, you have to tell me how you like your eggs cookedFeel free to hand over the award to other Cool Chicks if you wish, but please advise those recipients to keep his hutch clean and tidy at all times. Oh, and make sure he has plenty of grain and water. And love.... 

I only eat my eggs scrambled or in an omlette (which counts as scrambled).  I'll add cheese, mushroom, shredded zucchini, but that's about it.  
I will be passing along my Cool Chick in another post, when my unsuspecting victims delighted recipients will love him too :)


Procrastination....
Only a few more days left of Pen Olympics and I'm feeling the crunch.  I may have been a tad overeager with my goals.  Not anticipating needed several new scenes in my editing has put me behind and I'm pushing to catch up.  No matter where I end up, I will have at least 3 chapters more revised/rewritten and I can only count them as a win.  I may have had a little more done had I not caved and commenced leveling a druid in WoW but that was whispered and no one heard.


Things that distracted me on the internet:
~  Still following the 2010 Olympics when I can catch them and at this point, I can only catch them online.  Going for highlights.
~  Today is TwitterTattoo day and I've been considering more ink for a while.  Motivated to find something close to an idea I've had which incorporates the triquetra; I discovered Celtic Trinity Knot Swirl as designed by Captain Bret in Rhode Island.  It's perfect (middle of page from the link) and I want.


Non-internet distractions:
~  The Kodak ink commercial interests me but for some reason the sound of the ink splatting on the paper is my nails on a chalkboard moment.  Included in that moment is the sound of chewing food with mouth partially open.  It's not you, it's totally me.


Accomplishments:
~  The toddler nap strike goes on but I am rising to the challenge and cranking out 2k + words a day.  I have no idea why but it's not like I'm putting a stopper on this bottle.  

Sleep Writing

The other day, I was having a bit of a laugh with someone about sleepwriting and how funny some of the output is when reading it the next morning.  Naturally, I got to thinking about whether writing anything while too tired to form coherent sentences is a waste of time.


My unscientific conclusion is: no writing is ever a waste of time.


I can think of plenty I would consider a waste of time.  Putting down a fresh layer of mulch a week before the windy season - waste of time (and money, but I've already kicked myself and learned from that mishap).  Steam cleaning the carpet with three kids and a dog (needs to be done anyway).  Going to the mailbox (has the level of junk mail tripled in the last year or so?).


No matter what gibberish lays on the screen in the morning after two cups or so of coffee, I find I can always salvage something.  A thought, a phrase, an emotion needing to be expanded on.  After I finish erasing the embarrassing prose I wouldn't even let my husband read (and he likes most of my stuff), I look at the potentials left and get back to work.


I find, however, all of the above does not apply when writing intoxicated.  I bow to the myriad authors out there who are/were slaves to the drink and produce masterpieces.  I'm not even sure I can get a noun/verb thing going together.


Things that distracted me on the internet:
~  Wealth, and I mean potential to be distracted for days wealth, of information to read on agents, the publishing industry, and more with tons of links thanks to Teresa Nielsen Hayden, courtesy of Neil Gaiman.  I'm in research obsessed heaven right now.  Here's the linky.  It's from 2005 but hey, it's new to me :)  It might be new to you.
~  Revising my novel means putting my characters in something other than white space.  While I can visualize a house layout, sometimes it's nice to look at a picture of something while I write.  Home plans on the internet rock.  Home plans (in microscopic print) for 10k + sq ft homes are drool worthy.


Non-internet distractions:
~  Two of my three kidlets are back in school after a mid-winter break.  'Cause two weeks off around the Christmas holiday and a week in April isn't enough.  I believe this may qualify for accomplishment rather than distraction.


Accomplishments:
~  Three days this week/end of 3k plus words written.  A two scene chapter has morphed into four when realization struck me that I was leaving a lot of stuff out.  All good things have gone in.  Very pleased.
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