Cup o’ Ramble

For those of you who don’t know, I have a tumblr where I do more often updates on how my writing/editing is progressing, so I don’t clutter my blog with “I edited 2 pages this week. I suck.” And in case you care, I’m on page 127/191. I wrote 2,600 words today. Most of which might be crap, but we’ll see.

I saw a movie tonight called 29 & Gay (punning on road intersections), talking about a gay man who is 29 and unhappy with his life. Only a year behind him, it certainly hit close to home. Sure, I’m happier with my life overall than he was, but romantically, I could totally understand. So it was an interesting insight into the coupling scene. Not that I’m recommending the movie, it was overall mediocre. I’m not actually sure why I’m sharing this, only that after seeing that movie, I wrote 2,600 words. So maybe it was a good thing.
Also, you may have noticed my blog address changed from something vague and mysterious to my name. I have no idea what that does to you if you were following me. Sorry!

ETA: I just realized I forgot to mention that I sold a short story! I’m doing edits on it this week then sending it back to the publisher!

Time for an update

Because of the nasty weather we had on the East Coast, my weekend was pretty free, and aside from 4 hours of sleep Friday night, followed by barn work, riding and lots of naps, I was rather productive. Not really on Saturday, because I slept, ate, and watched Avatar, and that was about it. But this morning I finished re-reading a book I’m reviewing, I wrote the review, and then I got to editing CL (on page 73 of 177, if you’re wondering). Sure, I still have loads of editing to do, but every little step helps.

I’m still not sure how I feel about the story overall, but I think working on it so long has left me rather jaded about it. I look forward to sending it off to someone who will give me an honest response about it. But that’s in the future.
I have two other stories that are finished that will also be sent out. One just needs a query written and me to feel like its worth being sent, the other needs a good strong round of edits before the rest happens. And of course, come the end of November I’ll hopefully have 50,000 words of a new novel that is brewing in my mind. Plus I have a short story I’ve started that needs to be finished by April for a submission call.
But for now, it’s time for a walk.

Not quitting (update)

I’ve made a decision.

Actually, I made the decision several days ago, but I was distracted. By something.

I’m not giving up on Clockwork Lives! While I have no idea if I’m going to make it to the deadline, I’m going to give it my best. And what exactly will I be doing? (Probably checking twitter obsessively instead of working…)

I’m going to give CL what it needs. First I’m going to go through it page by page and tear out the bits with questionable writing and fix them up while I’m working in the revisions.

Actually, that’s most of it. 160 pages of hardcore fixing. I’m on page 2, if anyone wants to keep count. And, to give myself an idea of how much is changing, I’m putting in all the new text in blue. Well, at least it should make me feel productive.

Once that’s all done I’ll do more basic edits on it and maybe find a new beta to read the new version (my old beta is going to be 3x too busy). Hopefully the new beta won’t send me back to the revision table again.

Then it goes to publisher.

(Waits for laughter to die down.)

Okay, fine, it probably needs more editing after all the revisions I’m making, but that’s fine as long as I’m not told “I didn’t get it.”

Thanks for everyone’s comments! (And for my beta-brother who gave the best comments of all in my novel :)*

* I have a really awesome understanding brother who is straight and doesn’t mind reading a bit of man on man. How cool is he?

When you just want to quit

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }a:link { }

After a nap, lunch and a chocolate bar, I saw down with the notes I’d taken about what my beta readers thought I should revise in my novel CL. I knew I had major work to do, since I’d obviously already read through the recommendations and written them down. I’d begun a little brainstorming and thought I had some possible resolutions to some of the problems.

However, as I sat down today to begin what promises to be a long process, I paused, looked at my notes, looked at my story document, looked back to my notes and referenced my mental solutions to the problem.

Well, shit, I said to myself. I should just rewrite the damn thing.

Not the most encouraging thought. I put aside my notes, minimized the novel document and poked around twitter and email for a little, did some browsing on programs to help authors organize novels (and came across Storybook, which I haven’t used yet, but is free and could be promising). After I stalled enough, I went back to my story and my notes.

Okay, some parts can be saved. Maybe I’m deluding myself, but I think the last half of the novel is better, mostly because it’s told in an active voice instead of trying to cover 5 years in under 40,000 words. So, maybe it’s not better, it’s just more What It Should Be, although I’m not certain about the plot part of that.

Of course, I’m still in the position where half my novel needs to be rewritten and instead of doing that (by the deadline of Nov. 1, no less), I just want to throw my hands in the air and say, “I quit. This one won’t be made into a book, fuck it!”

Which is quickly followed by considering how disappointed my brother would be in me and, honestly, how disappointed I’d be in myself. And I don’t want to abandon this work. I feel like it has potential. I love Coren (Royce, even though he’s the main character, is not my favorite…somehow). I like the world it resides in, although I now see that the world in my head is not the one I put onto paper (another major rewrite).

So what am I going to do?

Honestly, I don’t know yet. It won’t get abandoned into the ether. It won’t get tossed in the garbage. It won’t be submitted as is, that’s for certain. The question remains, then, is how much editing am I going to do to it? Am I going to hobble together the good pieces, rework and add what needs to be done and then see how it turns out, OR am I going to open a new blank document and start over? I can’t imagine doing the latter, although writing that much in 4 months isn’t impossible, just terrifying.

Mostly I just needed to write this down—to face my demons, so to speak—before coming to a decision. I hope to make an update tomorrow on where CL is headed.

Making plans

So after some conversations with friends and family and the (far) looming date of Nanowrimo, I’ve made some decisions and deadlines.

First I need to finish the current story I’m working on (and not get immediately distracted by another). I’ve no idea how long that’s going to take, but hopefully not all summer 🙂

After I finish that story, I’m going to work on CL, because it’s long overdue. My plan is to get it finished before November. Finished enough to be submitted somewhere, now that I know more about the major works that need to be done to it.

And that’ll leave November open to writing 50,000 words on a new story.

So…that’s that.

Good luck!

ETA: I forgot to mention that I’m going to take a month–at some point–to only read non-romance novels. Depending on how it goes will determine if I continue it (and slowly re-include romance novels) or just admit to myself that I’ll be reading fluff for the rest of my days :). I’m compiling a list, so we’ll see how that goes.

Monday after Easter

Last week was exceptionally stressful, so I took today off, because yesterday, despite feeling miserable, I went with my family to visit my Grandmother. While I know my mother appreciated my efforts, I don’t think she understands how wretched I felt the whole time and I will never feel guilted into going again. Or at least not for a while.

And I finally used a Christmas gift card I had to Dover Saddlery to buy breeches, gloves and a fly mask. Sure it was a late Christmas present 😀

Quick update on new year’s resolutions: I meditate every week still, but my slouching efforts have been slightly forgotten. I’m doing good on the reading, for the most part, though my reading amounts have plummeted. Partly due to riding starting up again and partly due to my Netflix account.

In the writing arena, I’ve stopped making huge progress on my current WIP, which makes me sad and I wonder the reality of writing 5,000 words a week still for it, because I’d like to get it done. For CL, I did some clock research, because I’d like to work some more technical aspects in while I make changes to other elements of the story. But that’s been put to the side for the most part too, and I’m guessing I’m going to have to give myself deadlines again in order to get my butt in gear.

In two unrelated notes, I’ve been working out more recently and I’m contemplating getting a hysterectomy. That’s still just in the brain-considering phase though, since it’s obviously something I wouldn’t want to rush into. I just see no need for that particular organ as it causes me nothing but distress.

Now to spend my day off going for a run, writing, and reading. And if I want a downer, my current Netflix movie is Angels in America @.@.

Writing, Writing, Movies

I have a writing question for the general audience…

I read a series of books and was kinda really into it. So I took the atmosphere of the books and pseudo location and pseudo characters and wrote long story. None of the characters/events/plots/locations are the same, but I think if someone read the same series I did and then read my work, they’d see the similarities. Does that make this story fanfiction and thus unpublishable (assuming I’d want to go that route)? My only concern is because the original series is kind of unique (I haven’t read anything like it before), that my story will appear as a huge copycat. I suppose one answer to my question is that because I’m questioning it at all shows that I shouldn’t try to publish at all. But I’d be glad to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Update on CL: The end of February was supposed to be finished editing so March could be trolling for publishers. Well, 1/3 of beta readers got back to me and the one who did said she didn’t buy the second half of the story and thus stopped halfway (she was also involved in moving, but would have stopped anyway). This was a concern of mine before, and she just confirmed it…but I also wonder if it could pass as a genre thing. I’m not sure how much experience she has in the genre, plus it could just be a personal preference.

The long and short of it is that I think the story has to go back into major rewrites…and I’m not sure how I feel about the ending anymore either. I’d still love for my other betas to get back to me, but I’m not holding my breath (February is a short month and I know they’ve both been busy with family plans and a new job). Though I’d love to hear if my writing was bearable to read or not.

So my original deadline is going to have to be scrapped. I don’t count this as missing deadline because I didn’t miss it due to procrastination, but due to the realization that I need major revisions. I’m going to take some time to consider where I want to head with it and then create a new plan. If I don’t see any solutions that make me happy, I may just send it off as is and see what publishers have to say.

ETA: I heard back from another reviewer who needs a few extra days. I’ll be looking at his commentary before moving forward to see how it fits in with what this other person said.

I created a tumblr account for creative inspiration. Every day I post a picture, a quote, a first line, or a concept on which to write a story. Plus there is a “random” option, so you can use it whenever! Feel free to check it out.

For those who follow me on Facebook, you may have seen that I finally caved and got a Netflix account. I’m currently on the 1-month-free trial, and I’m enjoying it. I’m actually considering cancelling my Comcast, since I don’t really watch TV except for Big Bang Theory. But then I consider all the hassle that is and maybe I should just keep both. But that feels wasteful. Anyways, the point is I get to watch more movies! So on Between the Covers I’ll add some bunches of movie reviews. (And yes, they’ll probably have a queer focus.)