Monday, December 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo - The Grand Finale

Wow. I did it.

There were many times this month when I thought I wouldn't finish, and a few where I didn't even care if I finished, but I did it. My official word count was 50,475 (although my Word document says it's 50,533). And now I have yet another unfinished book to add to my collection.

Yes, that's right folks, I won the NaNo challenge, but I did not complete my story. It's almost there though. One last fight scene and then wrap it up. Shouldn't take more than a couple of thousand words. Maybe five. Ten at the most. :-)

I am seriously questioning my sanity, doing this year after year. This was my eighth NaNo win. The novelty has well and truly worn off by now. Have I ever lost the challenge? Yes. The very first year I entered. I talked a friend into doing it with me - she won the challenge and my story was done at 33K. I ran out of story before I ran out of words.

So why do I do it? It's a sickness, I think. An addiction. Once you start it's hard to stop, whether you win or not.

You want to hear something a little appalling? I realized this weekend that if I include Lucky Dog and An Elemental Earth, which is also close to being done, then I could theoretically finish a novel every month for the next year without having to write a new one.

And no, I am not going to try doing that. :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NaNo - Day 25

Bless me readers for I have sinned. It's been many days since my last update . . .

Well after a week of struggling I had an awesome weekend and now I'm back to struggling. I'm still on track, but I'm struggling. I sort of know where the story's going, but at the same time I don't. The bad guys are not going to get what they want, but even if I eliminate them, what's to prevent more from coming after my heroes for the same thing? That's the problem with super secret societies. So I may have to rethink my bad guys, or at the very least their goals. But not right now. Right now I have to push forward to get the story done. :-)

So, in the meantime, I thought I'd post an excerpt. About time, eh? In previous years I always posted excerpts, at least once a week. I have no idea why I didn't think of this sooner.

This doesn't really need much set-up. My FMC, Octavia, and her friend Vanessa have driven into town in search of dinner:

They found a diner right on the main street in the form of Miss Patty’s Place. A chalkboard sign on the sidewalk proclaimed that breakfast was served all day and today’s special was all you can eat clam chowder.

“This place is awesome,” Vanessa exclaimed.

It was like stepping back into the fifties. There were high backed booths covered in red vinyl and the round stools along the counter with the same vinyl on their seats. On the walls were photographs: girls in poodle skirts, boys in leather jackets, several hot rods and an autographed picture of James Dean. There was a juke box in one corner and an old fashioned soda machine behind the counter.

They could only stare at the waitress who came out of the back in answer to the summons of the bell that tinkled when they opened the door. She was dressed in an old-fashioned, pink waitress uniform and her blonde hair was upswept in a beehive hairdo. The name tag pinned to her chest proclaimed her to be Patty.

“What’ll it be ladies?” she asked as they slid onto stools at the counter.

“You’re way too young to be the Miss Patty,” Octavia said.

Patty smiled good naturedly, “Actually, I’m the third Miss Patty. The original was my grandmother. She only comes in about once a week, more to visit with her friends than to check up on me.”

“This is such a great idea for a diner!”

“Actually,” Patty leaned on the counter to talk, “All this stuff is original. My grandma started it back in the fifties and we just never got around to changing anything. People around here seem to like it, even the kids.”

“So,” she asked, pulling a pencil from behind her ear and an order book from her pocket. “Would you like to start with some coffee?”

“I would love a cup of coffee,” Vanessa told her. “And some French toast with bacon to go with it.”

“Sounds good to me,” Octavia seconded. “I’ll have the same.”

“Great! I’ll be right back with your coffee.”

As she bustled away into the back Vanessa twirled around on her stool. “This is great, I feel like a kid again.”

“The fifties were just a little before your time,” Octavia reminded her. “But there is something oddly familiar about this place.”

The bell tinkled over the door and an older, plumper version of Patty entered the diner.

“Well hello there, I don’t think I’ve seen you here before. Are you first timers at Miss Patty’s?” Mystified, they nodded their heads.

She reached into the pocket of her uniform and pulled out a pair of cards. “Here you go, a free fountain treat on your next visit, compliments of Miss Patty. Well, one of them anyway.”

At that precise moment, the first Patty returned, in true waitress fashion carrying their entire order. She slid the plates in front of them and nodded at the older woman.

“I see you’ve met my mother, Miss Patty the second.”

“And there’ll never be a Miss Patty the fourth if you and that husband of your don’t get cracking,” she replied.

Patty rolled her eyes as if this was an old argument.

“We were admiring your diner,” Vanessa said.

“Why thank you,” Patty the elder said. She peered closer at Octavia. “Do I know you from somewhere?”

“I don’t think so,” Octavia said. “Although I was just wondering if it’s possible that I’ve been here before myself, maybe as a child. I’ve had an accident with my memory and there are . . . gaps.”

The elder Patty took a seat beside her and looked her over carefully. “You do look familiar . . . You have the look of a Griffin about you.”

“That was my grandfather’s name. Samuel Griffin.”

“Of course, your grandfather used to bring you here when you were a little girl. Are you just visiting or are you back to stay?”

Octavia hesitated. “I’m not sure what my plans are yet. I’ll be staying for awhile, anyway.”

“Well that’s good to hear,” the elder Patty said, getting to her feet. “Now don’t you forget to come back for your free fountain treat.”

Friday, November 21, 2014

NaNo - Day 20

If I was right on track, then today I would be at 33,340 words. I, however, am at 32,751 words, which is 589 words short of the daily goal. That means if I want to get back on track tomorrow, I need to write 2,256 words. Wow! That seems like a lot for a Friday . . .

I spent way too much time researching motorcyles - my MMC and his brother both ride them and of course they can't ride the same kind. So I started researching motorcycles 'cause although I've always liked them, I know next to nothing about them. And then it suddenly occurred to me that this is NaNo, not one of my serials, and I didn't need to waste so much time trying to be so specific.

That's the thing about NaNo, the idea is to write as quickly as possible. It's the quantity of the words, not the quality. Just start writing and don't stop for anything, certainly not petty little things like details.

But herein lies one of the pitfalls when you're a pantser, like me. You know about the two kinds of writers, right? There are plotters, those who follow an outline, and pantsers, those who write by the seat of their pants. Had I been a plotter I would have known ahead of time about the motorcycle and I could have done the research during my pre-NaNo planning.

But I'm a pantser. So I didn't know about the motorcycle until my hero decided to save some time by hopping on one to go meet his brother. And I didn't know about the brother's bike until my hero got to the meeting place and parked beside it.

Boys and their toys.

Can't wait to see what my characters decide to throw at me next. ;-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NaNo - Day 17

Here we are on day 17. The goal for the end of the day is 28,339 words and as I type this I'm at 27,593. Which means I'm beginning to catch up. I'm less than a thousand words behind, at least until midnight when I get to tack on the additional 1667 words I need to write each day to break even. :-)

I'm really going to hate myself before I'm done. Why? Because I keep skipping over the parts with the super secret society because I don't want to get bogged down figuring them out while I'm still behind on my regular words. And eventually I'll have to go back and fill in the gaps.

At this point I think there's actually two different sets of bad guys - one set are just bad guys and one set are super bad guys. The super bad guys are willing to work with the regular bad guys as long as they have the same goal, but they're also working behind the scenes with their own agenda.

Anyway, the action's starting to pick up. There's been a couple attempts on my main character's life, but she's got her memory back now so she's ready to dive head first into a relationship with the male main character. After she gets rid of her fiancé of course. ;-)

I've had one friend who was forced to drop out of NaNo, due to circumstances beyond her control, and just heard from another who's decided to give it a shot after all. She figures she only needs to write 5,000 words a day for the next ten days.

No problem at all, right? :-D

Saturday, November 15, 2014

NaNo - Day 15

For those of you keeping track, I've been steadily slowing down all week. Yeah. Big surprise there. :-)

Day 15 of Nano, and I should be at 25,005 words. I am at 19,472 - a difference of 5,533 words. According to the NaNo site, I need to write 1,908 words per day from here on out to finish on time, otherwise I'm on track to finish by December 9.

Am I worried? Not really. My very first NaNo I had fallen far enough behind that it looked like I didn't have a prayer of finishing on time, but on the last day I sat down and started writing and not only caught up the 5,000 words I was behind and win it, but continued with another 5,000 to finish the story.

Yes, that's right. Ten thousand words in a single day. I'm pretty sure it'll never happen again, but the fact that it happened once means I'm capable of far more than I give myself credit for. And it also means I work pretty well under pressure.

And I think therein lies part of my problem this past week. I'm not feeling the pressure. I've got other things I could be/should be doing as well as NaNo, but I'm not feeling any particular pressure to get them done. One of the pitfalls of working from home - there's always tomorrow.

5500 words behind? Pfft! It's only the middle of the month. Plenty of time to make up for lost time.

Meanwhile, I found a vague outline for my NaNo story, tucked away in a file, and I started following it, only to have it stop abruptly. As much as I'd like to believe there's a page two to it . . . there isn't. So really, I'm no further ahead than I was, because I'm still not clear on what happens next. I know the stained glass windows in the stone tower attached to the house on the cliff are important; I know the secret passage into the grotto below the house is important; and I know the Super Secret Society it having problems of its own - its attention is split between two separate issues.

So there's plenty of stuff to figure out this week. I just have to apply the BIC (butt in chair) principle and do it. :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NaNo - Day Ten

As of the typing of this I'm starting to fall behind on my words. Day Ten's goal is 16,670 and my total is 15,928, which is 818 words short. I have only myself to blame. I bragged how this year I was keeping on track instead of falling behind, so I guess I was due. :-)

I had an epiphany regarding my NaNo novel today. I may not have mentioned this before, but I'm working from an old idea. I had to delve deep into the old story trunk for this one. It's about ten years old and though I originally started out strong with it, the story kind of petered out because I only had a vague idea where it was going.

But it piqued my attention when I was searching for a NaNo idea. I had a lot of notes and a long prologue. I was good to go. First thing was to scrap the cheesy prologue. It concerned the two main characters saying goodbye as young teens, pledging their undying love to each other. Gag me! I may salvage some of it later as a dream sequence, but that'll be as good as it gets.

Anyway, in the original concept there was only a hint of a Super Secret Society (SSS), so one of the things I'm doing is fleshing this organization out. It's going to be a driving force behind the suspense of the story.

There was also only a hint of what's really going on, and I'm a little more clear on that as well. But my epiphany was the beginning. I finally figured out how to start it. I knew the grandfather had to die, but I didn't know how or under what circumstances. I think in the original concept he just died of a heart attack or something mundane, but I decided if I'm going to start out with his death, it needs to be a good one. So the SSS will have to involved. And it'll happen before he's able to pass on a secret that will become an important plot point.

AND, because this unrevealed secret is so important, there'll have to be clues for my characters to follow, the SSS nipping at their heels.

I love it when a plot comes together! ;-)

Friday, November 7, 2014

NaNo - Day 7

You might not have noticed, but I removed the progress bar for my NaNo novel from the sidebar on the right. It seemed a little redundant when I have the official NaNo widget right above it. Besides, I have to generate a new one and go into design mode every time I want to change it, while the NaNo one updates automatically.

Surprisingly enough, I've been staying pretty much right on track this year. The total showing right now (which will change when I update later tonight) is 10,130 words. When you add in the 1,000 words I've written so far today and the 600 or more I plan on writing later, I'll be a couple of words over today's goal of 11,669 before I pack it in tonight.

My normal pattern for NaNo is to start out way behind, catch up, fall way behind again, catch up and get ahead, then fall behind again only to put on an impressive burst of words at the very end. So what's different this year? I'll tell you.

Prior to NaNo this year, I got into the wonderful habit of writing every day. My amazing friend Jamie, has been emailing me on a daily basis to remind me to write. And I not only have to send her my daily word count, I have to include a couple of sentences of what I've written. And they have to be new sentences, I can't cheat and give her something from earlier in my WIP, 'cause she'll know. I don't know how I know she'll know, I just do. :-)

I started out a few hundred words at a time, feeling like it was a good day if I reached 500 words. But as I struggled to get Lucky Dog finished before NaNo, that number crept upwards until a good day was 1,000 words or better. So it was good training for this month.

Can I keep up the pace? Guess only time will tell. :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

NaNo - Day 4

So . . . let me tell you a little about my NaNo novel, tentatively titled Guardian of The Sea.

I actually feel like I'm cheating a little. I skipped over the first chapter where I had to come up with a super secret organization of bad guys who are about to kill my main character's grandfather, and went straight to the more ordinary stuff.

My main character is named Octavia Winston, Tavi to her friends. Ten years ago she was in a car accident that left her mother in a wheelchair without the ability to communicate, and Tavi herself with no memory.

Her mother has just died, and while cleaning out her mother's room, Octavia discovers an envelope, with her name on it, taped to the back of a dresser. This leads her (eventually) to a house on a sea cliff that she's been dreaming of for the last ten years. From here things get a little complicated. :-)

She discovers that her father isn't really her father, her grandfather was hiding a secret, and she meets a man she was in love with as a teenager. Oh, yeah, and someone's trying to kill her to gain control of the property she's inherited.

There's going to be some shape-shifting going on, but that's a little further on in the story. :-)

Right now Octavia and her friend Vanessa are exploring her new house, and her mystery man is lurking around in the background. I'm thinking her fiancé isn't about to let her get away that easily, especially since he's one of the ones who wants the property.

As I'm typing this post, I'm about 1500 words behind (on the meters) but once I update I should only be around 500 or so behind. Not bad considering I got a late start.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Once More Into the Breech . . .

So here's the thing. The title/heading of this post is kind of misleading. It implies that there's been posts before this one and while technically that's true, at the same time it isn't.

Once upon a time I had a blog called Writers Write, Right? It was attached to my main blog as a page tab at the top called: Current Projects. It was the place where I could sporadically talk about my writing, post a little poetry, update my progress bars . . . only I didn't.

A couple of months ago I started thinking about it again, trying to figure out where I went wrong and how I could fix it.

Then my buddy Jamie and I started a mutual "email nag" - where we'd nag each other to get something specific done each day (mine was to write). It was, for the most part, successful. What it did was get me writing every day.

Anyway, to start the new ball rolling, the month is November and the name of the game is NaNoWriMo. If you don't know what that is, go HERE. Once upon a time I did a PowerPoint presentation about it and if I had paid better attention in class I'd be able to embed it in a post. But I didn't, so I can't. :-)

So beginning tomorrow, I'm going to start reporting on my NaNo progress. 50,00 words in 30 days. As I write this I'm a little behind. I got off to a slow start because I was determined to finish at least one of the two books I was working on. And I'm happy to say I did. The first draft of Lucky Dog is finished, all that's left is the editing. Which, as everyone knows, is where the real work of writing starts.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I Lied

You know in my last post where I said it was getting better? Well I lied. Big time. :-)

I lost another day to sickness last week, but most of the time I was just busy. Now that the nicer weather's arrived, this will happen more often I'm sure. Which is why, theoretically, I'm supposed to get all my writing done during the week. Which, of course, didn't happen last week.

And I'm off coffee at least temporarily. Normally when I hit the afternoon slump during the week I'd have a half a pot of coffee to boost my creativity. I don't know if that's really what was happening or it was just a psychosomatic thing, but it worked for me. And now I'm finding that after lunch when my energy takes a nose dive, it takes my creativity with it.

So. I need to find a new way of boosting my creativity/energy in the afternoons. Any suggestions? And please do not insult my intelligence by telling me I just need to get some more exercise. Been there, done that. If I exercise in the afternoon then that just leads to napping. Seriously! I get more tired than doing nothing at all.

My Thursday lunch date and I - okay, so last week it was Wednesday, but normally it's Thursday - did the "take our notebooks to lunch" thing again, and this time I got a little more done than last time. So it's progress, anyway. I'm working on a kind of Halloween themed, scary story, and I think I need to print it out again before I can continue. It's getting kind of hard to see the typing under all the hand written notes. :-)

I did not get a new installment for Earth written last week, so I foolishly promised to get two done this week. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but then I thought I'd get some writing in over the weekend. I didn't, and it's time to pay the piper. So the first installment went up today, and the second one will be up on its normal day.


BLOG POSTS (not counting this one)
The actual total isn't a lot less than last week, but I did fewer of them and the total word count wouldn't be as high if I hadn't been so verbose in Monday's Post

Total: 2666 words

Time spent editing last week was zero. :-)

I have no new ideas to report.

I did warn you. Poetry is fine when it comes spontaneously, but I'm not going to try and force it.

words = 0


An Elemental Earth -947
Lucky Dog - 0
Forever and For Always - 0

Total New Words - 947

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

It's Getting Better

Just as I was finally getting my writing mojo back, I got sick. Dag nabbit! I got a few words done on Lucky Dog on Friday, but ran out of time. Oh, well. There's always the weekend, right? Wrong. I was so sick on the weekend I couldn't even read, let alone write.

Even though my overall wordage was down last week, I still think things are getting better because I'm venturing beyond just blog posts and my serial. Although I didn't get as much done on Lucky Dog as I would have liked, I did do something, and that included deleting 87 words.

I also did a bunch of poetry, which totally took me by surprise. I was transferring notes that I had scatter through various notebooks and scraps of paper into a single book for writing stuff and a separate one for poetry, and found some notes about some poems I'd intended on writing, so I sat down and wrote them.

Thursday I went to lunch with a writing buddy and we took our notebooks (the paper kind, not the electronic kind) with us. The idea was to try and get some writing done in long hand. Well, it worked for her, but I spent more time staring off into space than anything else. And of course just when I finally got working on my story, it was time for lunch. I never did get back to that story, but it's been in my mind ever since.

I actually enjoy writing long hand. After all, that's how I got started writing in the first place. I write my journal in long hand, and my poetry (although I type my poems on the computer when I'm done). And pen and paper are so much easier (and lighter) than a lap top if you want to write somewhere other than the comfort of your own home. I say pen, but actually I use pencil when I'm composing (usually). So I'll probably try writing in a notebook again, maybe somewhere a little quieter. And we'll see what happens.


BLOG POSTS (not counting this one) Now here's something interesting. I did three posts over on this blog last week, and yet my overall total for Blog Posts is 200 words less. Go figure. Guess I just didn't have as much to say. But I guarantee next week's totals will be higher - I have a lot to say on tomorrow's Wildcard post, and I've doing a bunch of reading lately so the Friday post should be wordier too.

2751 words


Time spent editing last week was zero. :-)


See? I shouldn't have complained last week. I have no new ideas to report.

For a new category, this one sure has been seeing lots of action lately. But like I said in yesterday's post, don't expect to see this on a regular basis. Poetry is fine when it comes spontaneously, but I'm not going to try and force it.

517 words

Last week's installment of Earth was a real struggle, so it was shorter by about 200 words. I don't know why this story is giving me such hissy fits. It's not like it's my first serial. But things just aren't progressing the way I've envisioned - some things are going faster, some slower. And some in the wrong order. *sigh* And with Lucky Dog, the spirit is willing but the hands want to skip ahead to the good stuff. Not that it's not all good stuff, but there's a couple of events that happen near the end and I want to skip ahead to them. But skipping is very, very bad and leads to plot holes and such.

An Elemental Earth - 979
Lucky Dog - 198
Forever and For Always - 0

Total New Words - 1177

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pour It Forth

So apparently that little poem I wrote a week ago was like turning on a spigot. Today I sat down and wrote five of them! Now granted, a couple of them were works in progress, but still. That's a pretty good haul considering the creative slump I've been in lately.

I'm only going to share two of them today 'cause they all turned out a little on the depressing side, but sometimes that's just the way the words come out. And don't expect me to be posting a poem every week. Been there, done that, and what it does is turns the poetry into a chore. It went from something I enjoyed, to something I struggled with, to something I loathed. And that was probably a good part of the reason I've been absent from poetry so long. So like everything else on this blog, expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to posting. :-)

Black and Silver

I used to have a silver pen
to use to write in a book
a black book
a journal book
a journey book
the journey of a small part
of my life
of my thoughts
of my dreams . . .
the sense of living
of having lived.
In this book I wrote:
"A moment in time
caught like a fly in amber."
The rest of the pages are black
the rest of the pages are blank
and I wonder
whatever happened to that pen?
whatever happened to my life?

C.R. Ward 05/05/2014


You do not know me
and yet you judge me
you form your opinion
without knowing the facts.

I'm the woman in the corner
sipping her latte
wearing long sleeves
to hide her shattered dreams.

I'm the man whose hand trembles
ever so slightly
as he reaches for his coffee
wishing it was something else.

I'm the life of the party
everyone's darling
hiding the emptiness
behind a cheerful facade.

I'm the girl in the corner
alone with her book
the words her armour
to keep the world at bay.

I'm the fat girl in high school
I'm the boy with the acne
I'm the man with the ragged coat
I'm the woman with scars.

I'm the blind man with the tin cup
I'm the woman sleeping in the alley
I'm the kid on the skateboard
I'm man playing sax in the subway.

I speak and my words fly away
you listen, but you do not hear.
You do not know me
yet you judge me

C.R. Ward 05/05/2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

Progress Report

Top 'o the month to you! It's time to update the progress bars. Okay, so it's actually the second day of the month, but close enough, right?

So . . . it looks like the book that saw the most action in the month of April was An Elemental Earth, going from 14477 words to 18261 words. On the one hand this makes sense 'cause I'm serializing it, so that means I'm adding a couple of pages to it each week. But on the other hand, it's a sad testament to the amount I've been writing lately because there's seven days in a week and usually only one of them is needed for Earth.

I don't know why this story seems to be giving me a hissy fit. I go from thinking the story's going too fast to it's dragging too slowly, all in the space of a single scene. Granted some of the things that are supposed to happen happened sooner than expected, like . . . Zephryn finding out that Chloe hasn't undergone her tespiro, and him telling her about it . . . and that makes me think the whole thing is going too fast, but there's lots of stuff that needs to happen yet, and most of it will take a few chapters to develop.

Now, if I can just make up my mind about the climactic scene . . .

It was nice to see some progress on Lucky Dog finally. Okay, so it was only 824 words, but it's still progress! But what's not reflected on the progress bar is the notes I've made for it. While poor Jessica is on her way back to Ghren thanks to the witchguard, Sebastian and his old friend (and Jessica's new one) Dominick are hurrying to her rescue. Meanwhile, I've figured out a couple of major scenes towards the end. AND I came up with a plausible explanation for Howard's disappearance at the end of the next book, Wandering Wizards, and why Sebastian parts company with them temporarily at the end of this one.

I really, really want to get past Jessica's rescue and what happens to Dominic and then her confrontation with Ewan again. But I refuse to skip ahead in the writing. Been there, done that, and it's never a pretty sight. So I'm just going to have to use it as my incentive to get writing. :-)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Excuses, Excuses

Well, actually I don't have any excuses for not getting lots of words in over the past week, other than I was just busy doing other stuff instead, and a lot of what I was writing was of the email persuasion. I caught up on some of my outstanding correspondence to the tune of about 6,000 words in emails. Or more to the point, electronic letters, which are like snail mail letters only longer. I tend to write long letters, whether they're snail mail or electronic mail. Ask anyone who's ever been on the receiving end of one. :-)

So whose idea was it that email words didn't count??

Anyway, last week was a bit of a dry spell as far as proper writing went. The spirit was willing but the body just couldn't find the time. One of the days I'd designated for writing got spent doing taxes instead. Yes, the whole day, because I was doing taxes for four of us - apparently I'm the only one who knows how to plug numbers into the tax program. And the other day I'd set aside for writing got spent being the family taxi service.

What can I say? Life happens.

So needless to say, while my list-making thing is working on the whole, as far as my writing goes, nothing has really changed. Part of the problem with writing all those emails is that I write slowly when I'm writing an email.

Okay, maybe it's not the writing that's slow, maybe it's the thinking about what I want to say. Or the staring off into space and getting distracted by the music I have on the CD player. Or the view outside the window that's right in front of me. Or the checking of other emails. Or Facebook. Or -- squirrel!


BLOG POSTS (not counting this one)
Not only did I get all my blog posts done on my main blog, I even got one done here, too. Just scroll down a bit and you can see my poetry post. :-)

2950 words


Time spent editing last week was zero. :-)

You know, I hate to complain lest I drive all ideas away, but I really wish I'd stop getting new ideas sometimes. I like them and all, but they can be very distracting. Fortunately, I only had the one worth writing down.

239 words

New category alert! To be honest, I haven't written a poem in so long that I didn't even thing to include this. Which just goes to show, you never know what the muse may hit you over the head with. :-)

105 words


An Elemental Earth - 1189
Lucky Dog - 0
Forever and For Always - 0

Total New Words - 1189

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Little Sunday Poetry

Wow. When I sat down to write this post I thought I'd be dashing off a quick explanation of my take on poetry, adding a poem, and that would be that. But then I started getting into this whole convoluted thing about writing poetry and this nice little Sunday post was threatening to spiral out of control. So let's see if I can pare it down to the essentials.

Long before I wrote fiction, I wrote poetry. I think there's very few people who took English in high school who didn't. ;-)

I never really thought of myself as a poet - writing poetry came far too easily to me for that. And I have the reams of it to prove it. But I enjoyed writing poetry, and I enjoyed reading it, mostly the dead poets - modern poetry was not my thing. Mostly because I didn't understand it. Furthermore, I still don't.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Poetry, to me, is like art. I either like it, or I don't. I don't try to interpret it or dissect it or figure out what the creator meant by it, it either appeals to me or . . . it doesn't.

So, what has all this got to do with my little tale? I was thinking about a poem I wrote in high school that got many, many compliments (and still does today), and how astonished I was that everyone thought it was directed to a boy I'd broken up with over the summer. I even had a couple of his friends come up to me and tell me point blank that he didn't want to get back together with me.

Here's the thing: it was just a poem. It came to me out of the blue. I wasn't thinking of anyone when I wrote it. It was just words on the paper.

I know you're probably expecting me to post that poem here, but I'm not. That's not the point of this little rant. The point was to share the poem that popped into my head while I was thinking about that other poem and people's reactions to it, and how I've never felt like a real poet.

Confusing? Yeah, maybe. But I didn't want to just post the poem without an explanation. :-)


like tongues of flame
scorch their way up
and out through my pen.
But that's not right.
A real poet would say:
"Burnished topaz, flaming amber, rarest ruby. . .
these ideas of mine spill forth
like hot lava
spewing from the volcano of my soul.
I stand upon the precipice,
my kinship to Athena intact.
Such incandescent brilliance
must be carved in precious stone
and preserved for all eternity."
That's what a real poet would say
to make it personal
all about them.
While I
hoard these pieces of myself
like a miser with his gold.
So what
does that make me?

And there you have it. My first poem for 2014. :-)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Update Day!

I've decided to instigate a new feature on this blog, the Wordage Report. I'm going to keep track of the words I've written during the week and then post it here on Tuesdays. This will serve two purposes. It will ensure I do my minimum of one post per week here, plus it will encourage me to write more because I don't want to have to show a zero word count, thus revealing me to be sad and pathetic. LOL

If you've been over to my main blog, you'll have seen I've started writing out daily to-do lists. Each day has four things I want to accomplish, even if I get nothing else done. One of these things is to write. A while back I set myself a goal of 500 words a day, but 500 seems like a lot, so I've since lowered it to a minimum of 250 words, but they have to be new words - not a blog post or email, but new words added to a WIP.

Yesterday it was closing in on the time where I have to feed the cats (which also means stopping to make and eat supper, and some nights I don't get back to the lap top until after 11 p.m., if at all) and I realized I hadn't written my daily words yet. So I opened up a WIP and wrote some. Just like that. Hopefully I'll be able to do it again today. :-)

So it can be done, and it was pretty painless, which all writing should be. Editing's a different story of course, but the initial writing shouldn't be a chore. At least that's what I've been told.

Last time I mentioned a post by Chuck Wendig on getting a novel written, and one of the things he suggests is taking weekends off. So I tried it over the weekend and it felt really freeing. I'll be talking about it at length as my Wildcard Wednesday post on my Main Blog, but I thought it worth mentioning here.

But despite the fact I didn't plan on writing over the weekend, that didn't stop an idea for the blurb for An Elemental Earth from popping into my head. And yes, I wrote it down during one of my breaks so I wouldn't forget it. :-)

Wordage Report

So . . . this week's report is going to look a little sad and pathetic because I just came up with the idea yesterday, so I'm going to include a bit of an explanation of each category. And just so you know, after much soul searching I decided not to include email. Technically emails are all new words, and some of my emails can be seriously long, but emails are targeted for the recipient only, not the general public. Same goes for journal writing and snail mail.

Blog Posts (not counting this one)
750 words
Again, I debated about including blog posts, but as someone pointed out to me, these are my creations and they're new words, so they should count. Sounds good to me.

New Ideas
None yesterday, but that doesn't mean I don't get them. And if I take the time to write them down so I don't forget them, I think the words should count. It is, after all, part of the creative process.

Here's where it gets tricky. I've got a lot of unfinished, partially finished, and finished but needs polishing stories. While I'd like to somehow acknowledge the work I do on any of these, the word count isn't an accurate measurement because I'll be deleting words as well as adding them, so it'll throw the whole count off. So perhaps for the sake of efficiency I'll be keeping track of the time I spend editing instead. Which for yesterday was zero. :-)

New Words
I have three WIP on the go right now, and while I'll be updating the progress bars in the side bar once a month, I'll fess up to the number of words I've done on each of them each week here. But sometimes I might get the urge to work on something else, like a flash piece or a short story, so any new words I write can be included here.

An Elemental Earth - 100
Lucky Dog - 519
Total New Words - 619

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One More Time!

So . . . I may have mentioned when I created this blog that this is a work in progress. And while I've made a few little changes over the last several weeks, I have to admit this has been a somewhat neglected blog. The time has come to fish or cut bait. Or as my mother would have said, pee or get off the pot. :-)

To that end, the first change you will notice right off the bat (or maybe not if this is your first visit here) is the background. While the Old English text in the background was very writerly, it made it hard to read the side bar. At least it did for me. So I've changed it. I tried a bunch of different images in the background, but it just looked way too busy. So right now it's pretty much the same as my main blog, which I think works for the whole continuity thing.

But hey, did you notice the tabs at the top that will take you places? You have no idea what I had to go through to get those tabs up there. LOL Now you can move back and forth between this blog and my main blog at will. The links page for my Writerly Advice page is the same as it is on my main blog, and as yet I have not mastered the art of having these links open up into a page of their own, so for now if you want to check them out you'll have to press the back button in your browser to return to the list.

The other big change here will be the general usage(for lack of a better term) of this blog. As far as keeping track of my progress goes this has been kind of a bust. The intentions were good, but the progress has been dismal. Hopefully this will pick up in the near future, but I've been going through a bit of a dry spell lately, which makes the whole point of this blog a little moot.

So more changes. The Manifesto stays. However, I'm not going to update my progress bars in blog posts any more. What I'll do instead is update them in the side bar on the first of each month. And while I'm still not going to create a schedule, I will still be talking about how my writing has been going. Sort of like a sporadic writing journal.

I will try to post something at least once or twice a week, even if it's just a link to something of interest to other writers. Like . . . this excellent advice from Chuck Wendig. I'll warn you that the language is somewhat graphic, but he gets his point across. If you want to write a novel but are having trouble getting started, read this.


Just wanted to warn everyone that I'm working on this blog today. So if you start seeing funky colours and images, it's not your computer, it's just me. LOL

Friday, April 4, 2014


I'd just like to go on record here by saying that when I said (when I started this blog) that I wouldn't be sticking to a schedule, I did expect to be posting at least once a week. I guess the fact that it's been almost a month since my last post speaks volumes about how the writing's been going lately.

As I said in my last post, it's been a long, hard winter, and it's been especially hard for those of us who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). In fact, one medical professional I was speaking to recently said this winter was exceptionally bad for people with SAD, and even people who aren't normally affected by it were suffering.

But while it makes me feel better to know there's a reason I've been so tired and unmotivated this winter, it doesn't get any words onto the page. Hopefully, now that the snow is disappearing and the temperature is rising I'll be able to get back on track.

Currently Writing

An Elemental Earth

14477 / 50000 words. 29% done!

I've been saying for a while now that I'd like to start posting chapters to this serial twice a week, but I'm not sure when that's going to happen. After weeks of being late getting even single posts up, I'm finally back on track with the weekly installments, but I have yet to write ahead.

Even though I'm a die-hard pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants without using an outline) I usually have a general idea of where a story's going when I start writing it. This one has veered off into a completely different direction than I intended. A couple of things happened that weren't supposed to happen yet and something else has yet to happen. It's throwing the dynamic off and I'm either going to have to find a way to go with the flow or I'm going to be doing a major rewrite when I'm done.

It's probably just my imagination, but my characters seem to spend an awful lot of time talking. Yeah, their conversations have purpose and move the story forward, but I'd like to see a little more action. Guess I'll just have to wait and see what the characters decide to do.

Currently Editing

Still not editing anything right now. At least, nothing of my own.

New Writing

Lucky Dog

50969 / 70000 words. 73% done!

I'm still going over what I've already got of Lucky Dog, which is why I've only added a measly 39 words. However, I've had some good ideas of scenes that need to be added - two of which are pivotal to the plot and one of which sets up the ending to be less of a cliff hanger than Magical Misfire was. Something really bad will happened, but the revenge for this evil deed will be awesome. :-)

On Deck

Forever and For Always

73622 / 80000 words. 92% done!

I've read over what I've written of this book, and the first 150 pages (of just over 200) aren't bad if I do say so myself. Then comes a few half-finished scenes and then some brief notes about three major scenes before it continues to a pretty awesome ending. :-)

That's the good news. The bad news is that I think my estimate of it being 80,000 words before I'm done is a little low. I'm pretty sure it's going to be closer to 100,000 before I'm done.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Long, Hard Winter

I don't know about anyone else, but this has been a long hard winter for me. And coming from someone who loves the winter - the cold, the snow, the whole thing - that's saying a lot.

But what's really made this winter long and hard has been my lack of writing. Both energy and motivation have been hard to come by and that makes it difficult to get any writing done. My only consolation is that I'm not alone in feeling this way. A lot of my writing friends have been complaining about the same thing - a severe lack of inspiration.

Currently Writing

An Elemental Earth

11256 / 50000 words. 23% done!

I seem to be consistently late getting the chapters of An Elemental Earth up on my main blog and I think I figured out why. Normally I start writing the chapter the night before it's to be posted, because that's when I used to get my best writing done - late at night. Notice the use of the phrase used to. Lately I'm finding I get my best writing done in the mornings. So maybe I need to start these chapters earlier in the day, or even earlier in the week for that matter.

The good news is, last week's chapter went much easier than the last couple. Hopefully this trend will continue. I've actually got a start on this week's chapter so I'm off to a good start. This week's chapter will actually be answering quite a few questions, such as where Chloe and her mother are from and why they're hiding on a mining planet.

Currently Editing

Not really editing anything right now. At least, nothing of my own.

New Writing

Lucky Dog

50930 / 70000 words. 73% done!

Although I've opened Lucky Dog up a few times, I haven't really made much progress as far as plugging plot holes and finishing the story. The changes I've made so far are small enough that I don't really count it as editing, and I actually lowered the word count by 10. But I'm seeing lots of time in the week ahead for me to work on it.

On Deck

Forever and For Always

73622 / 80000 words. 92% done!

Holy crap! I didn't realize I'd written so much on this one. Shame on me for not getting it finished!

This was my NaNo novel from 2008. I wasn't going to do NaNo that year, but on the first of November the name Treasure Beaumont popped into my head and then she wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote her story. It's very close to being done, but NaNo is all about the quantity of words rather than the quality so not only is it very rough in places, it also has a few . . . gaps, where I got stuck and then just forged ahead to get the word count in.

I'm actually looking forward to seeing what kind of shape this book is in.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Update the First

An Elemental Water

57340 / 57340 words. 100% done! finished!

Yeah, I know I have the progress bars at the side as well, but those ones will be continually updated while the ones at the top of the posts are permanent (more or less). I just thought it would be nice to be able to check back and see my . . . progress. :-)

So the big news is, I've finished the re-writes on An Elemental Water . Whew! What a job! If you followed along with the serialized version (which ended up taking close to two years before it was done so if you hung in there all that time you're totally awesome!) you'll know it ran a tad long, clocking in at 71,581 words before I was done.

One of the problems with Water was that I started at the beginning, which you should never do. And when I say the beginning, I mean the very beginning - with the main character and his twin being born. So the first thing I did was lop off the first 20,000 words, which brought me down to a more respectable 52,336 words.

But some of the stuff I got rid of was necessary, and since An Elemental Water is sort of telling the same story as An Elemental Fire but from a different perspective, I thought it would be kind of cool if it was done in the same format. Which meant including journal entries at the beginning of each chapter to impart the necessary back story. Only before I knew it, the character who was making the journal entries kind of took that part over and told her own story as well. This, along with a few other changes, brought my word count to 57,340. And there the word count will sit until the final rounds of edits is done. :-)

An Elemental Earth

9415 / 50000 words. 19% done!

An Elemental Earth has a new chapter on my main blog every Thursday. Usually I like to get my posts done the night before and schedule them to appear at 8 a.m., but occasionally (like last week) they don't get up until the afternoon.

This is really supposed to be Chloe's story, since she's the Earth Elemental, but Zephryn seems to have taken over. I was whining complaining mentioning to a friend that I know what's going to happen a few scenes from where I've left off, but it's getting there that's the problem. Chloe and Zeph need to be closer, but I don't want to rush them. Maybe I'll skip ahead to what I know will happen and write backwards from there.

The bonus of that will be having several installments written ahead of time. And if the writing starts to speed up on this I'd like to start posting twice a week so I'm not letting two years go by between books again. Easy to say, not so easy to do.

Lucky Dog

50940 / 70000 words. 73% done!

Lucky Dog is the sequel to Magical Misfire and was my NaNo novel from two years ago. Which is probably the last time I looked at it. It continues where Magical Misfire left off, namely, with Jessica up to her neck in hot water again. I swear, she makes the Perils of Pauline look like child's play. I'm going to start by re-reading what I've got and sanding off some of the rough edges. Being a NaNo novel I'm sure it's got a few plot holes that you could drive a snow plow through, so I'll be fixing them before I continue where I left off in the story.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

For those of you who missed it, I wrote a 1600 word story for Valentine's Day. It's an odd little romance but I set myself a goal of having it done for VD and I did it. If you'd like to read it, you can find it HERE. It's a little longer than I'm comfortable with for a blog post, but it's not as long as it could be. I actually left out quite a bit and I'm planning on fleshing it out to be released in a downloadable e-format next Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hello and Welcome!

So . . . you may be wondering why the woman who took over a year to decide which of her two blogs to abandon suddenly creates a whole new blog. It's a fair question.

Here's the thing. When I revamped my main blog and created new pages for it, I had a page for Current Projects. At the writing of this post I still have that page. At any rate, I was going to use it for updating my progress on my current writing/editing projects.

Well . . . first of all, I was supposed to update it once a week. That was a major fail, I've only updated it twice in the last month. And then I noticed my updates looked more like blog posts. The problem with that is because it's a page you're just adding to it and it turns into one incredibly long blog post. So I figured I'd have to either stop talking so much, or move my chattiness elsewhere.

Now. I could have just given the blog I abandoned a face-lift and used it, but I decided to start fresh. So here I am. :-)

One of the cool features of blogger is that you can link a page to a web address . . . as in a new blog. So that's what I did here. It's a stand alone blog, but I have a link to it on my regular blog. Cool, eh? Now all I have to do is decide whether I'm going to keep the page I created for Current Projects and just update the progress bars once a week as I'd originally intended, or delete it altogether and just keep the link to this page.

Now the incredible Jamie DeBree has a site where she shares her Writer's Notes and you really should got take a look. What I find so inspiring about them is the amount of writing she gets done in such teeny tiny snippets of time. Don't be expecting such inspiration here. LOL

Here's what you will and will not see on this blog:

I will not be sticking to a schedule, just updating as the spirit moves me.
I will not be sharing the length of time my writing sessions are.
I will be showing progress bars on my current projects.
I will be talking about said projects.
I will be talking honestly about how the writing's going.

And that's pretty much it. I'll probably get the first post up later this week, 'cause right now I have to finish my post for tomorrow for the other blog. ;-)

Oh! And don't be surprised to see colours, gadgets, etc. coming and going while I settle on the fonts and backgrounds for this blog.