Monday, December 12, 2016

Writing Versus Christmas

I’m sure there’s a way to balance the writing and the holidays, but I haven’t found it yet. NaNo’s finished and then all of a sudden, EEEK! Christmas is just around the corner!

I still have one big scene to write before I can call the NaNo draft done, but it’s being very illusive. And after making a list of stuff I have to get done before Christmas I’m pretty sure it won’t get done any time soon. And while I’d like to think that once the holiday madness is over I can settle into a routine, I’m already starting to feel like I’m losing my momentum.

I guess it’s time to start putting my money where my mouth is, eh? I give all this advice on finding time to write, and making time to write ... and by writing I don’t mean letters, emails, and blog posts. I mean actual writing.

The time I was hoping to have set aside for writing every day isn’t exactly working the way I expected, so I’m going to have to find a new time. Maybe even a new story as well - something shorter perhaps that I can fit in between all the baking and crafting and shopping.

You know, it’s kind of like the exercise thing. It seems like it takes forever to get into the habit of doing it every day, and it doesn’t take long at all to get out of the habit again. I fell off the exercise band wagon back in the summer when it was so hot and humid, and my last check up with the doctor has proven that I need to get back into it again. But it’s hard.

Baby steps. Instead of 45 minutes a day on the bike, I’ll start with 15. Maybe even 15 a couple of times a day, just to get me back in the habit. With the writing, instead of looking for those big chunks of time I’ll try finding smaller ones spread throughout the day. It sounds good in theory, we’ll see how well it goes in practice. ;-)

Meanwhile, for the rest of the month I’ll probably still post at least once a week, but I’m not going to do a wordage report per se. There’s just no point when my writing schedule is so up in the air. I spent the weekend going over the notes my editor gave me on An Elemental Earth and making the editing lama face as I made changes. You know the face, this one:

At least I think it’s a lama. Whatever. The point is, that was the face I was making as I read her notes and realized she was right. There may have been a bit of fist shaking and a few “Damn you!”s in there as well. ;-) But I only have one more read through, just to make sure the changes I made make sense, as well as one last check for typos, and then I can send it back and the wheels of publication can be set into motion.

Which is, I think, a blog topic for another day.

In the meantime, here’s another excerpt from my NaNo novel, just because. :-D

“A day at the beach?” Maykayla repeated thoughtfully. “I used to love the beach as a kid - I can’t remember the last time I spent any time at the beach. It sounds great.”

“Did you say beach?” Jeffy’s voice came from the door to the kitchen. Jonathan cursed under his breath. Abraham appeared behind their little brother and spread his hands wide, mouthing “I’m sorry.”

“Can I come too?” Jeffy wheedled.

“No, you can’t,” Jonathan said forcefully. At the same time, Makayla said, “Sure you can.”

They looked at each other. Jonathan barely managed to keep his ire in check. Couldn’t she see the beach was just a ploy to get her alone again? They’d had a great time out on the island and even if they weren’t soul mates he saw no reason why they couldn’t repeat the experience.

But there was Makayla looking surprised at him turning Jeffy’s request down, and Jeffy looking all woebegone, and he had the feeling he’d just gone down a point or two in her estimation. He glanced over at Abraham who studiously ignored him, helping himself to breakfast instead.

“Fine,” he said with a long-suffering sigh. “You can come with us. But you have to promise to stay out of trouble.”

“Great! I’ll go get my stuff.” Jeffy was about to take off, but Makayla snagged him by the arm. “Breakfast first, young man.”

  To Jonathan’s surprise, his little brother acquiesced immediately. Apparently he was quite taken with Makayla. It made him almost wish they really were soul mates, she fit into the family so well.

“Why don’t you come too, Abraham?”

Jonathan almost choked on his coffee. Was she going to invite the whole damn family?

“Oh, I don’t think...”

“C’mon,” she urged. “The more the merrier, right Jonathan?”

They all looked at him and he mustered up a weak smile.”Sure,” he agreed, really having no choice. Then it occurred to him that if Jeffy started getting tired or too annoying, Abe could just take him back to the castle and he’d have his alone time with Makayla. This just might work out after all.

“Kay’s right,” he said with a little more enthusiasm. “The more the merrier.”

“Well, I really should...” Abraham waffled, but Jonathan gave him a faint nod to let him know it was all right.

“You can’t spend all of your time squirreled away in that lab of yours, you’ll turn into a mushroom,” Makayla said.

“Well, we wouldn’t want that now, would we?” Abraham said weakly.

“What’s a mushroom?” Jeffy wanted to know.

“It’s a kind of fungus that grows in dark places,” Makayla said with a smile.

“What’s a fungus?”

“Oh, how do I explain that one? A fungus is a living organism, like a plant, but it’s more like a soft, white, spongy mass, usually attached to trees in the woods. Mushrooms usually have stems and rounded tops to them like hats.” She sat back with a laugh. “If I had my sketchbook with me I’d draw you a picture of one. Remind me later and I will.”

“Okay,” Jeffy said happily. “Hey, Abe, Makayla thinks you’re soft and spongy.”

She sat up straight in her chair, looking alarmed. “No, that’s not what I--”

They all laughed, and Makayla reached over to tweak Jeffy’s ear. “I can see where I’ll have to be careful around you!”

They finished their breakfast and went their separate ways, agreeing to meet in the main hallway in half an hour. Jonathan was already making plans on how he could salvage the day.

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