#NaNoWriMo, #amwriting, #amexhausted, #storycontinues, #amdrinkinganicemerlot
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about making the word count target. I thought it would be a ‘rush’, a ‘hell yeah’ moment. It’s actually a bit of a whimper. Probably because there’s still a huge chunk of the story left to tell. I have the ‘big action sequence’ coming up, and I need to make a decision about the fates of the three characters – life altering stuff - and there’s a going forward story arc with new MCs and some old friends uniting to deal with the clear and present danger.
I’ve now got a way to move my Guardian Chronicles story onto a whole new level, joining up with the Althing ‘verse and pulling in some of my favorite characters. This is more of a ‘guy’ book, rough, raw, violent, with a classic buddy sequence that comprises the 2nd half of ‘Retribution’. I can barely wait to finish up Book 2 of Portals so I can head into #3.
Merciful heavens. I *love* this.
The firstborn and his noble steed completed the Carolina 55 in 7:04 today – not ‘turtle’ but a smart ride, saving the horse and setting him up for the Goethe ride in Florida next month. Mom’s proud as punch.
Wizards and Dragon Academy are both in the proof stage. I’m expecting the books next Wednesday. This is go-round #2 for Wizards as I worked my way through some punctuation challenges. It never ceases to amaze me that words on screen do *not* look the same as words on a page. I will fine-tooth Dragon Academy. That one has been vetted by several folks so my confidence level is fairly high that I only need this single iteration prior to launching it onto bookshelves.
I also edited Sculpting David. My Red Sage editor, Tashery, complemented me on the clean copy. I had a few really, really stupid errors: canvass instead of canvas. Sheesh, I know better, but there it was, consistent throughout the MS. I’m perusing the Red Sage formatting guidelines and wondering what parallel universe breeds people who write these things. I think that’s a task for tomorrow, hopefully when I’m fresher.
Sigh. What in the world am I to do with my free time? Hmm, let me think … Oh, oh, I know! I have four manuscripts to evaluate for Pfoxmoor Publishing.
Day 21: Derailed, dejected, determined
This is the tale of the 3 D’s.
Derailed: I’m not looking for sympathy, well a little might help, but mostly it was ‘let’s be stupid and download four, count’em, four majorly new software programs’ end-of-week madness. And try to ferret out how the blasted things work.
One of the ‘Suites’ was Microsoft 2010 which included a new and improved Word [read: different for the sake of being different and put all the old stuff I needed and used four thousand times a day in out-of-the-way places, or hey why not call them something completely, inexplicably bizarro or imbed them …].
Mostly I needed to format John Booth’s Wizards to go to print. That meant formatting for an 8.5x5.5x.0.46” paperback. If this sounds like a rewind, you are correct. Reject #1 indicated a few little errors on my part, nothing majorly wrong, and imminently fixable. If only I knew how. Booth to the rescue once more. He designed battlestar galacticas back in the day, and fiddled with Word in his spare time. He had templates fer cryin’ out loud. I mean … really. I’ve got nothing for that.
Dejected: By Saturday night, I was beyond a blue funk and emailed a dear friend with the simple message, “I needs a hug.” Next thing I know, the phone rings and my world gets put to rights. That’s what friends are for, even if they live on the far side of the universe.
Determined: Sunday morning, 5 am, dark, cold. On goes a pot of coffee, Dunkin Donuts vintage – quite nice with a kick – and I fire up the ‘puter, answer emails, then move the lot into the spare bedroom, aka ‘office’ and get down to serious writing. I turned off the cable one-way so as not to be distracted by FaceBook, and apologized to my characters. I’d left them in a pickle, Wolf especially. Rowan – who’d been out bingeing with some other Muse buddies – finally came home, hangover ‘n all. I was all set to give him a lashing, but he rubbed my shoulders and whispered sweet nothings to my fingers [gawd, I’m easy when it comes to Rowan. If you ever saw him, you’d understand]. I wrote two paragraphs … that’s the last I remember. I went to that place Far Far Away where the words grow wild and unfettered. No hot house flowers these. I like them untamed, in disarray, the patches sprinkled with adverbs and adjectives … weeds to some, if you cannot see the beauty and the power when viewed through the magic lens of craft and whimsy. 44173 words total.
A fan, into forecasting, did a graph showing that I’m 25% over target and I stand to make 62500 by the 30th if I apply myself. Faith like that is hard to come by.
This will be a quickie. It's well past midnight so technically this is Day 17 sliding into 18. I'm knackered as my Brit friends are fond of saying. I spent two frustrating days in software hell, formatted a book to go to print, then did it again and again and again. My author, John Booth, is a saint, a Knight Templar, a mage, a wizard and an all-around ... Well, you get the idea. He remains calm, cool and collected while I do Drama Queen and Whiner Supreme. Somehow we [meaning mostly John] worked it out and the doc and a spiffy cover are sitting on Create Space's desk for round two.
I agonized over marketing and pricing details. I found out I'm really quite dreadful at doing press releases and those 'aren't we wonderful' editorial schmooze-fests.
I managed to get chapter nine of Portals: The Devil and the Falcon with the big 'scene of affection' going, only to be distracted with A5 formating/margin crises, leaving my MCs in bathtub interruptus. After a quick dinner, I hied downstairs, grabbed the earphones and tried to get back in the mood. Rowan had tottered off earlier, claiming a bad headache or some such drivel. I'll look at the scene again in a couple days. Right now it's word fodder. The count is up to 39701. I'll make the 50K.
The question is ... is it a 'good' 50K?
Day 12 was one of those über productive brain dumps where the word count blossomed to 30K+ so I opted to treat myself to a busman’s holiday. That meant having an intimate tete-a-tete with Amazon Kindle and Smashwords while I formatted and uploaded Wizards by John Booth.
But even before that, in a rush of joyful insanity, I installed the latest and greatest version of InDesign, the nominal industry standard for manuscript, web, magazine and brochure design, complete with project sharing, managing workflows, simplifying page layouts to - and let me quote here - ‘make quick work of everyday tasks’. Uh-huh. You betcha. Yepper.
Let me assure you, I never go into the good night unarmed. I bought ‘the book’, the approved Adobe ‘this is how we do it’, complete with DVD and lessons and mini-projects and exhortations to move the default settings to another folder so you can recover everything you will undoubtedly screw up as you clomp through the click-here’s with combat boots.
I have Windows 7. Lean, mean, a real cool Mac-wannabee-lookalike. You know the one … the OS with all the folders *hidden*- the ones you need if you’d like to a) find the frigging Windows defaults and b) create a folder in the great ‘somewhere’ so that c) you can move the defaults from InDesign to said folder for later recovery after you’ve royally screwed the pooch and perhaps d) reset everything because if you don’t, e) your $700 software program will be administered by three Cistercian monks with quills and inkwells that have dried up.
I made it through Lesson 2. I am truly inspired to start up an online rag called Hot Flash Fiction ‘cause I can do bubbles ‘n stuff, insert things, fade’em in and out, and set up automatic font/color/size/curlicue thingees for selected text. I can run said text through a maze and have it come out the other side over a pic of a tasteful fruit bowl with red seedless grapes.
That was about four hours of ‘are we having fun yet?’ so I checked the front matter and it said I could skip around and pick and choose what I wanted to do. Goody. What I *wanted* was to insert one word doc, format it to Kindle PDF specs, then format it to server PDF specs, maybe check and make sure all the noxious behind-the-scenes Word doc crap was dead ‘n buried. So I did ‘file open’. I selected my word doc. It said ‘not supported’. OK, I converted that puppy to rtf, doc, html, pdf, and a couple of others … nothing’s supported.
If they think I’m going to retype a 67K word doc in that teensy little box … forgot to mention that … or try cut and paste - that’s in the ‘I don’t think so’ category. Needless to say, I took a deep cleansing breath, popped a can of Fosters and a can of Pringles [yes, it was that bad] and vowed to sign up for a class at LCCC after Xmas.
BUT - there was a bright spot to my day. Richard Wood’s The Word Count Episode 5, special edition NaNoWriMo PODcast, went live this evening, with four authors reading excerpts from their NaNo novels: click here, give a listen, I think you will enjoy it - http://bit.ly/aHC4co.
Rowan wandered home, he always does. Seems he might have been out carousing with Sessha’s and Jane’s Muses - you know, doing guy things. I won’t be judgmental. Suffice it to say, we made up in a most agreeable way. 4770 words, chapter six in the can, as they say in movieland.
Someone accused me of having a ‘hybrid’ relationship with Rowan. I’m not sure what that means. I know my firstborn used to wonder about my ‘imaginary friend’, he’d even worry a bit, and it wasn’t unusual to find him pawing through the Yellow Pages, looking up ‘assisted living centers’. He doesn’t do that so much anymore. Most likely he’s in the spare room on his honking big Mac Googling. I like to think it’s all about investment strategies for when the royalties roll in, but …
I played let’s-make-a-deal with myself. Write today, do business/marketing/formatting/editing/fill out interview questions/delete old email/ evaluate a manuscript/ more editing tomorrow.
All well and good, except I’m back to Liuthr who’s out in a storm with the bad guys on Cats zipping up and down the mountain and they’re about to discover Caitlin hiding in the woods and there’s gonna be this huge firefight with bodies and things blowing up. Come on. I’m going to do what tomorrow???
So Dear Readers, that’s the news from Lake … oh wait, that’s a different genre.
I went to the Montgomery County Community College Writers Conference, brought KFC home for dinner, checked emails and watched three episodes of The Vampire Diaries.
Hey, a gal needs her guilty pleasure(s).
As Scarlet says, "Tomorrow is anutha day."
Well, here I am at 11:05pm, Day 4 of NaNoWriMo. My muse - his name is Rowan and he’s a hunk - went on walkabout. I know I’ve been riding him hard and putting him away wet. [Don’t start, I’m an equestrienne, or at least I used to be back in the day before I succumbed to this madness called writing.] But I sure don’t remember giving him leave to haul ass to parts unknown leaving me holding an M40A3 sniper rifle and nowhere to put it.
See, here’s the thing. I woke up bright and chipper at 5:30am, it’s what people with large animals to feed do in the wee hours, except I don’t because the firstborn does that now … anyway, I’m up, and I look out the window. Okay, it’s pitch black, but what I’m hearing is a sub-tropical downpour that’s almost biblical. Sigh, I love miserable, cold rainy days because they are perfect for snuggling under a fleece blanket. Better yet, I could fire up the pellet stove and sit in the rec room downstairs in the rocker recliner right in front of said device. Rock, recline with laptop on lap, sip Arabica and pound out a smoking hot love scene.
Now, I had no idea Wolf [Liuthr in Old Norse translates to Shield Wolf] was going to make an appearance. Nor did I have a clue that this giant of a warrior, a true Viking kriger type, would step in as *the* love interest - and this dude is an incendiary [hmm, starting to think that’s maybe why Rowan’s in a bit of a snit].
So, as I’m wont to do, I reread the story to get back into the flow, make a few minor adjustments, wriggle my butt to get comfy and realize I’ve written myself past the hallucinogenic teaser sex scene straight back to the alien planet, our supposed-to-be hero and the girl’s brother and a few roadkills are up on the granite outcrop fending off indigenes and wondering what’s gonna happen with the ordnance they’ve illegally smuggled through the Portal, while down below all hell’s ready to break loose.
I love to write, I *love* creativity, I *adore* a challenge, but … maybe I’m missing something but I’m not seeing any really good spots to insert said smoking hot sex scene. Okay, maybe some homoerotic interludes but for later, not right then. So there I am … holding the sniper rifle.
Let me just say one word … ‘disappointed’.
That’s when I realized Rowan was gone. Usually he gets all hot ‘n stuff when I whip out the Walther PPKs and Sig Sauers [you really don’t wanna see my browsing history, I actually read the forum posts in Sniper World] but not today.
I managed about 2K words - and there was some cool stuff with the advancing army and sacrificing to ‘save the brother, save the world’ but my heart just wasn’t in it. I wanted heaving bosoms and ripping bodices, I wanted testosterone dripping onto the wood floor while he fondles his Mossberg as watches her slowly … Humph. Didn’t get to do that.
The bad news is I still have another 1500-2000 words of some technobabble before I get back to Wolf who’s off searching for Caitlin in the Green Mountains in a winter storm of epic proportions. I’m hoping I find Rowan first.