Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ever onward

I'm going to begin Chapter Forty-three tomorrow. I've got a character, a lesser one, that needs some fleshing out. It will take some time. Though I have a picture of him in my mind's eye... 

I found I had edited a couple chapters that I didn't remember... so the editing is going better and faster than I thought. Life is good.

Otherwise, I am having two molars pulled tomorrow... not looking forward to it. I'll never forget an episode of the Sharpe series where they pull Patrick's aching tooth in the field. Oh God... the noises...

If you enjoy sword-fighting battles - the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell are quite fun! I think there's around twenty-two books. I discovered them whilst recovering from a broken back. Down and out for three months.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pressing onward

Thirty-one out of sixty-three chapters edited.... Now, if I can just persuade my editor to give them a look... hard with the holidays coming up.

Just got my fingers crossed. I am setting January 1st for completion. Good grief, this is about the third 'deadline' I've given myself... but deadlines are important. And the reasons for missing them are valid - it is not due to lack of desire, nor of work, but of strenuous and time-consuming edits....

*holds head in frustration*

But I'm almost half-way to my goal. Hooray!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The mind never stops

Honestly, before I started writing, I wonder what other thoughts my mind ruminated upon! Bills probably and the kids and the weather....

So there I am, innocently lying in bed this morning, and for the umpteenth time, the mind is racing like a runaway train. A scenario flashes across my brain - the hero is being interrogated by what appear to be humans, but what are, in reality, aliens. He is being asked about the minerals in the Black Hills of South Dakota. And about the Ute Indians.

Now come on, mind - the Utes are in Utah. 

Do you have any idea how much research I'd have to do to get this story up and flying? It's bad enough for the little worlds I'm creating... but creating a new world seems infinitely easier than researching the Utes, the Black Hills, alien need for minerals... 

My conscious mind hurts at the thought. 

Researching dragons and heraldry and distances are bad enough. It's taken the last nine years to get a good database of traveling times for boats, dragons, dragonlings, armies, little boys..... 

So - dear mind - be still and let me finish the three books I'm writing right now. Please.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Title not changing today!

Was not babysitting today, so I spent many hours editing 'My Sword.' It really is a lesson in patience and courage. Not touting my own horn, really, just stating the obvious. One that I think most writers will recognize and understand.

When first I read the next section to be edited, I usually get a little queezy in the stomach. The changes seem to be monumental. But I'm learning to step back and say, 'Nah! I can do this.' And then it works. At least, it did today. God only knows what will happen tomorrow, but I'm not going there!

As it is, I've now final edited (I refuse to go back) ten chapters out of sixty. *hits head on desk* I'll finish this some day, I know I will. 

Ever onward!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Editing - again!

It's hard to sleep when you've been editing or writing with abandon. I've spent the last few hours writing a new chapter for 'Blue Skies' and another few for editing a couple chapters of 'My Sword.' 

I find I am on an adrenalin high. Both endeavors were successful.

I think it had to do with comments from my editor today. She loved the last chapter and made only a 'new paragraph' change in one place. Whoo hoo! I think that spurred me on, gave me the confidence to have a go at the editing, especially. 

Life is good!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


A long time ago, a man I deemed quite wise, told a group of women that they should retreat at least once a year. Retreat - as in taking the day away from 'life' and concentrating on the inner person.

Today - by happenstance - our little class of writers, invited to our teacher's home, received a gift of 'retreat.' 

Our 'regular' class turned into a day of beauty, rest, and sharing (food and laughter). Her home is open, uncluttered, and welcoming. We chatted for a couple hours and ate good food. Afterward, we sat together in front of the fireplace and critiqued each others' pieces. With a healthy dose of 'gentle guidance' from our teacher. 

I know I was not the only one who left that house with an inner glow. My deepest thanks to our teacher for a day of refreshment. 

May you all have such moments!

Friday, November 19, 2010


To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. Nietzsch

I do think it is carrying the quest for meaning a bit too far when I suffer for my writing, but - I had some bad news the other day and was trying not to cry. I'd forgotten how your nose burns when the tears lay on your lashes and you keep them from falling. Another useful piece of life to inflict on my poor characters.

*giggles* - they must hate me. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blue Skies

Went to one of my writer's groups today. It's a great one - gentle people with a love and a lust for writing. 

I've been presenting 'Nothing But Blue Skies' on a weekly basis - it's great cause it forces me to keep writing this story. However, I really, really, really was taken aback at the members' adulation of the book. They seem to love it and are quite vocal in their approval.

The problem (who would think such a thing would be a problem) - they seem to like it so much more than my own heart's favorite - 'My Sword Sings.' Granted, 'My Sword' is really a complicated piece of fantasy with lots of characters, locations, and such. But it seems much grander to me than 'Blue Skies' with much more depth and scope. I adore the characters. 

Now - I've been writing 'My Sword' for the last four or five years. I've 'lived' with the characters, laughed with them, cried with them. I've only been writing 'Blue Skies' for about a month. I suppose that explains my own reaction to the critiques/comments/praise. I still don't really know 'Kathleen' - nor her world. It's coming along. I suppose, in another few months that she and I will be BFF's - but for now.....

Well - I'm going off to have a go at her world. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I've never really had it. My husband used to say I never finished anything. After he was gone, I made it a point to finish anything I started. I can be stubborn. I suppose that is my own brand of discipline.

But with writing, you have to be. There's no teacher standing over you, making sure you do your assignment. There's no homework that HAS to be handed in. There's only the computer or the yellow legal pad staring at you - not saying a word, not judging, but staring. *shivers*

Lack of discipline is the excuse my daughter uses to deny me home schooling my granddaughter. She's probably right. But my goodness, the little one and I could have SUCH adventures!

So I am busy writing 'Nothing But Blue Skies' and having a ball - like eating chocolates. And shying away from editing 'My Sword Sings' - even though I now have a general idea of how it will work while keeping it 'good.'

Why is it that some things feel like the purest torture? And some seem like the purest joy? I loved writing 'My Sword' - but editing it is work. Ah - 'therein lies the rub.' Writing is joy; editing is work. 

Have fun yourselves!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Two is helping with book one

Who would have ever thunk?!? 

I was in the midst of writing 'Nothing But Blue Skies' when I realized I could change something in the first book of the 'My Sword' series. 

I've been having trouble with POV and the new book is strictly from the hero's POV. Adhering to that has made me understand POV better. 

'My Sword' is from three characters POVs... after writing two chapters of 'Blue Skies,' I went back to Sword and changed one of the chapters back to the hero's POV. Works well. Now, I'll go through the editing portion of this book's journey and see where else I can have my main character be the POV. I still want the others. The main character is a great kid and my readers like him. This broadening of his parts in the book should help cement him with his readers. 

Having a ball. I love writing and now I see that editing can be a bit of fun too. I REALLY needed to see that.


Whoo hooo - I love my blog

I've been a member of LiveJournal for years and just haven't been able to use it the way I'd like... and Facebook is a joke.

But here - wow - I get to really write and follow my journey!

The trees beckon

They are absolutely gorgeous. I have this wondrous red maple that tickles my window when the wind grows fierce. I can hear it now. I must be outside and drink in the final beauty of this fall. It will change and snow will come all too soon. Though I do love snow, right now I'd give the world for a month more of sun and sixty degree weather.

I've spent a good two hours writing this morning and that feels great. My arms tingle with the excitement of it. I love it when a story flows. I've got two others I'm supposed to be working on, but this little one, 'Nothing But Blue Skies,' is one of those fun stories. 

I do love writing dragons too and the one in Blue Skies - I'm particularly fond of him.


Rest In Peace

Ah December! I loved your little 'rest in peace' comment. Thinking and NOT typing can really get a writer into trouble, can't it?

Though I can see a painter sitting looking at her brush and muttering, "All right, what's next?"

Or how about a potter... "Dratted lump of clay! Why don't you tell me what you want to be?"


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day three - been shredding

One of the problems with writing is - there is a continuous flow of paper. Drafts fill my computer room, collecting dust bunnies, and making it difficult to find the floor. I know some folks keep their drafts, but I've got a truckload. I'm keeping them on my computer (MUST backup soon). 

I've got my Skyline meeting tomorrow. It's a good group, but has grown so large, it's difficult to get a piece critiqued in a timely manner. I've got my query letter ready and would most appreciate being able to have the latest chapter critiqued and done with. But that won't happen this month. 

I was fortunate to be introduced to a book buyer in a darling store in SLC. She took my ms and we'll see what she thinks. I'm still having trouble deciding if it should be lumped as an adult genre, or as a crossover, or as a YA. 

So many kids that I know have a great vocabulary and seem able to accept and enjoy a complicated story. We'll see what happens. 

As for now, I'll enjoy tomorrow's meeting and then come home and do a full-force push on the next chapter for my new book. Sunday I plan on spending time editing my heart's work.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day Two - I think I live at the zoo

Life can seem so complicated.

It is, until my four-year old gd starts chatting. We watched FotR (part two) tonight. She is firmly convinced that if we do the 'Blue Skiddoo, you can too' in the part where Boromir is tempted by the ring, we can save him.

That life could be that simple.

Perhaps it is. Perhaps I look too deeply. Considering all the ramifications of trying to make the 'perfect' book, I discover I have lost sight of the joy of writing.

I started a new book, to help me through the self-doubt that comes with crossing out scads of material, trying to accept my editor's red-marked changes (too much red), and retain some semblance of sanity. Writing always does that. I think that's what I like best about it. Never a dull moment, never sure of what's going to happen next, falling in love with my characters.

Writing gives me stability in an ever-changing world. Gives me joy when world news leaves me shell-shocked. Gives me faith that there will be a tomorrow.

Life can be wondrous.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SCBWI - Utah

Went to hear a SCBWI speaker at the SLC Main Library. Jennifer Nielsen. She has one book published and has a contract for another.

Character development. I thought I pretty much got into the head of my characters, but the 'tools' Jen gave us to delve even deeper, opened my eyes to what great things my characters are capable. Of particular interest was a YA/Child Character Chart (http://jenniferanielsen.blogspot.com/2010/11/young-adult-character-chart.html  
Great resource. I plan to share it with my writing BFs.

I haven't written since I've been back from my little vacation, but I've been thinking a lot. You know, when my WBFs say that, I just about cringe. And here I am doing the same. It can be such a good excuse for not writing. Yeah! I'm thinking. Well, thinking is like wishing. Ya gotta do something or nothing will happen.

I'm going to put my writing time on my cell phone's calendar and have the bloody thing beep at me. Then, I will sit and write. This past year has been challenging for I'm in the midst of editing my first book. The editing process is pure torture. If I'd known..... No, I'd still write, but better at the beginning and throughout - instead of at the end when corrections can cause tsunamis throughout - devastating plot, characters, themes, arcs, and even places and times,

Well, my little tsunami is calling - she's done with her blocks and wants to play puppets.

Day One seems so trite... but here it is

My eleven year old granddaughter helped me set up this site. Bless her. She has her own, reads tons, and writes a lot. I will use her as my mentor. I don't think age matters when it comes to mentors, or wisdom, or character. Sometimes it can be a hindrance.

Right now, the little one (4-yrs old) is playing blocks at the local library. It's time I started playing blocks with this blog. I think I can build something that will help me grow.