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.