When you just want to quit

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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.)

Tattoo Cheese Books

In that order.

Saturday I went and got my tattoo. It didn’t hurt too badly, and I think the healing stage is the worst for me (so impatient!) You’d expect there to be a picture of my new tattoo accompanying this post. WELL, my camera software isn’t on my computer and I’m lazy. So there.

I organized a cheese party at work, in which I was introduced to Armenian String Cheese. It’s delicious. I also tried goat cheese for the first time (two different kinds), edam (pronounce ee-dum), champagne cheddar, and Dubliner (?). It was really cool to try new things, and I came home with a bunch of blocks that people didn’t want to take home with them, so if you’d like to try goat cheese, Dubliner or goat cheese (two different kinds), just ask!

Finally, one of my beta readers returned the book with comments. She seemed to enjoy it for the most part (I haven’t gotten to look through all the comments yet), but she said about halfway through she just couldn’t buy the one major event that happened and she lost her willingness to suspend disbelief. Which really just confirmed some thoughts I had on the matter. Of course, to fix the problem I’d either rewrite the second half or rewrite the whole thing. But I’ll wait for what the others say (assuming the read/review).

Also, I really need to NOT stay up past 1 am. Saturday I did just that and that’s when I saw my friend’s review and I just kind of broke a little. And then I started thinking “Oh God, this tattoo was a huge mistake and now I’m stuck with it forever.” Thankfully I had the sense to kick my friends out and go to bed. I woke up more stable, and by today I was perfectly normal (well, my definition of normal^.-) Still happy with my tattoo!

Out of Season

I just finished baking pumpkin custard, thus the title of this blog.

But really, it’s meant to be an update on my new year’s resolutions:

Meditation: I do it every Monday. How successful that is can be argued, but I sit down and don’t do anything for 10 minutes. So I’m working toward meditation.

Sitting up straight: I’m trying. Not doing so well, but I’m trying, so I’m sure I’m making small improvements.

Reading: I am reading other books outside of the usual genre…though I tend to read 8 billion books at once now (okay, 5).

I’m scheduled to get my tattoo on Feb 12. I just sent out the rough draft of my book to my beta readers. I’m going to put off my taxes until tomorrow I think and reward myself with writing and/or reading.

Happy Monday!

Snow up to Here

Here in PA we’re getting the largest storm of the season so far, at least it looks to turn out that way if the snow we’re expected to get tonight amounts closer to the 8 inch mark. So my normal Wednesday activities are canceled (aside from work, of course), leaving me two extra hours to “get stuff done.” On schedule? My computer, editing CL, and washing my dishes (does it ever end?). The exciting life.

My computer (aka, the desktop) was very sick. So I reinstalled Vista (business) from my friend’s disk, but because it just “wrote over” what was already there, saved some old files, and didn’t remove my partition, the virus (who is a sneaky duck) remained. Yesterday my friend came over to remove the partition (thus wiping the harddrive) and installed Vista (home premium) for me (legit version, since I’ve got a product key). She seems better now, and I’ve begun re-installing all those lovely programs I had before. I get to re-install more tonight. It doesn’t even bother me, as long as everything is virus-free.

Editing is going well for CL! I’m up to page 113 of 158, and I don’t think it sucks. It might not be brilliant, but I think I’ll be okay with handing it off to my three betas for whatever horrors they’d like to report back. I plan to get it to them at the end of the month. They’ll get it back to me when they do (hopefully no later than March 15, but I’m not putting time limits on them). I’ve begun compiling lists of publishers (do they take simultaneous submissions? do they list standard contract rates? do they give time lines?) and it gives me squirmies in my stomach. Thankfully once I send CL off, I’ll have to wait a minimum of 2-4 weeks (more likely a minimum of 4) before I hear anything. That’s a month of freedom. (Well, sorta freedom since I have stories waiting to be written, glaring at me from my flash drives.)

You don’t need to hear about my dishes.

Also, on one of my various other communications, you may have heard I’m having stomach troubles. It’s been going on for the last week and is a serious annoyance. I can eat, but some things set it off, but not every day. Monday I felt back to normal, but then halfway through Tuesday, my stomach did it’s rumbling and my throat clenched up and UHG, it was back. Again, this is just a minor inconvenience (and I think I had similar problems in high school). But I’m pretty certain it’s not contagious, so no worries.

Finally, I’m thinking of signing up for some writing classes at the local community college, if they offer them next semester. I think it’d be a good idea to get more consistent feedback and forced to write outside my comfort zone a bit. Or maybe see if there is a “writing circle” in the area (very much doubt it). I don’t want my skills to become stagnant! (ETA: When I got home there was information on the next semester and there is a “Creative Writing Sampler,” which is $99. My only fear is that it’s going to be too remedial, but how pompous is that?)

…and really finally, this time: Patric Michael, an M/M romance author, recently fought off cancer, a really rare lymphatic type. Wishing on a Blue Star was going to be a memorial book for him, but is now a celebration of him and his strength. You can find it for free at Dreamspinner Press. I’ve just started reading it and will post a review when I’m finished.

Noveling update

Update on my novel:

As you may recall, the end of February is supposed to mark the completion of my edits and the beginning of preparations to send it off for publication. While I am sticking to this, I am also warning that I’m permitting slight flexibility because of my recent computer problems. I still hope to finish by the end of February, but I’ll be giving myself a day or two flex because of January’s unforeseen events.

I’m currently on page 20 of 158. Some days get more editing done than others, and some days I’m tempted to trash the whole thing. It’s very frustrating at the moment. In addition, I’ll be rebuilding my desktop computer from the ground up, which is loads of fun. So looking forward to it.

Also, I’d love to have people who’d be willing to read through it and tell me (mostly plot wise) if things are good (or should I just give up [not that I’ll listen to that, necessarily]). Drop me a message if you’re interested. I won’t be upset if you start reading and don’t finish, especially if it’s that bad, or in revenge for me doing something similar to you (just tell me which).