Tag Archives: twixt

Shadows Gets Shelved

Tombstone - Photograph by Rhonda ParrishOur vacation is over.

Well, actually, I’m “officially” back to work tomorrow, but because I expect to be completely swamped with Niteblade stuff and some pressing writing deadlines I have, so I’m blogging today.

One of my goals for this year was:

Figure out what to do with Shadows…and get to work on doing it. This can mean looking for an agent, a publisher or any number of other things. I can’t be specific until I’ve made a decision.

Well, the good news is, I’ve made a decision. It was very difficult because I’ve spent so much time working on it (years) that I’m really close to it, too close, to make a clear and rational decision. Unfortunately, most of my critique partners are also too close to it to give me unbiased advice. Happily, there are people who make a living out of giving clear, unbiased advice about these sorts of things LoL

I hired Kate and Taryn from Teen Eyes Editorial to take a look at the current version of Shadows and tell me what they thought. Their feedback was insightful, in-depth and incredibly helpful. It helped me see that it’s time to put Shadows on a shelf.

Their comments were very positive and encouraging overall but they definitely showed me that Shadows still needs a lot of work before it is ready to go out in the world. And the thing is, I’m kinda tired of it. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the story but I really need some time away from it.

Dudes, I’ve been working on this story off and on for several years. Honestly, I don’t even know what version this draft is. I have learned a ridiculous amount of things about character development, plotting, revision, pacing, dialog (and more!) while I’ve been working on Shadows, but it’s time to move on to something else.

I have a finite amount of time I can spend writing and several other projects demanding my attention. So, at this point I’m going to file Shadows under ‘Learning Experience’ and let it sit in my Dropbox gathering virtual dust. Someday a few years from now I might decide to come back to it, but I rather doubt it.

For now, I’m looking forward to seeing how awesome I can make Twixt and Hollow Children πŸ™‚

 

Tagged!

Lucky Seven MemeWhile I was struggling to figure out what I was going to write about for today (it’s T day on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge) I was saved by Kern Windwraith when she tagged me for the Lucky Seven meme. Tagged starts with T, so yay!

Unfortunately that means I have to share some uneditted first draft-y badness, which, ya know, isn’t my favourite, but it will get the job done. Actually, I’m kinda lucky because though the section of my WIP that is covered by this meme is slated for straight-up deletion it’s not terribad and it really shows the voice of my protagonist, Tannis.

So here’s how it works:
Go to page 7 or 77 of your current MS/WIP
Go to line 7
Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences or paragraphs and post them as they are written.
Tag 7 authors and let them know.

My first drafts are written by hand with lots of crossed out parts and notes to myself. Page 7 has no cross-y out-y bits, but there is a note to myself. I’m going to leave it in. Because I can. (Notes to myself are surrounded by *** which is a holdout from when I used to draft on the computer, the stars made the notes easy to find come revision time)

Also, my lines are very short because of the size of my notebook, so I’m writing until seven lines in the field I’m typing this blog post into are full.

So, without giving myself time to chicken out or list a bunch of excuses and explanation, here is a bit of the first draft of Twixt, starting on line 7 of page 7:

I can’t take this conversation much longer. It’s all blah, blah, freaking blah. Reminds me of how it used to feel when my two best friends back home, Cindy and Lauren, would start talking about World of Warcraft. They’d be all like “We’re gonna raid Mount Doom with our PVP and DPS” or whatever, and babble on for hours, completely oblivious to the fact my eyes had glazed over at the first sentence.

Thinking of theme made me sad, so I stood behind Kasey and started doing jumping jacks. Each time I jumped I could see over the top of her hair, but Richter was doing an admirable job of ignoring me. The bastard.

Finally, blessedly, Richter and Kasey wrapped up their conversation. ***Cut everything before this point. Let’s try to start this again in a way that reveals stuff slower***

Now the 7 writers I’m tagging are:
  1. Beth Cato
  2. Amber Stults
  3. KV Taylor
  4. Clare Revell
  5. Alison Stone
  6. Damien Walters Grintalis
  7. Jonathan Pinnock

I made that list largely by going down my Twitter feed and picking the writers I didn’t think would hate me for chosing them. If you didn’t want to be tagged, I’m sorry, ignore me, if you did want to be tagged and I didn’t pick you, I’m sorry.

~*~

This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by Kern Windwraith and the letter T. If you come by tomorrow I’ll be blogging about something that begins with U, but you’re guess is as good as mine what it will be LOL

Challenges (and progress)

I’ve signed up to do the Blogging from A to Z challenge in April. This may be further proof that I’m freaking crazy as I’m also planning to do the April Poem-A-Day challenge, but… well, there you go. If you’re interested in checking it out you can click on the picture which is linked to the Blogging from A to Z challenge website. The basic idea is exactly what you’d think it was — 26 blog posts over the course of April, with titles that start with the different letters of the alphabet.

Speaking of challenges, I’m still enjoying the Month of Letters challenge. I’ve stopped posting on the forums there because it was filling up my inbox with all the replies, and apparently it’s easier in my brain to just stop posting updates than it is to find the setting that would make it so I didn’t get the replies. *shrugs* It’s all good, the point for me was to do the letters, not necessarily to check-in everyday and tell people I’d done it πŸ™‚ A couple times I’ve not written a letter on a specific day, but I’ve made up for it the next day by writing two, so that counts, right? I also received my first piece of Month of Letters snail mail yesterday, a letter from Northern Ireland. That was nice πŸ™‚

Speaking of writing, I’m not doing a whole lot right now. Mostly I’m reading. The first step of the ‘How to Revise Your Novel’ course involves reading over the current draft of your novel and identifying what you’ve done wrong and what you’ve done right. It’s taking me a long time to do this. Partly because my first draft is handwritten with great sections marked ‘CUT THIS’ which makes reading a bit of a challenge, and also because I’m having a difficult time forcing myself to only identify problems with the story and leave problems I have with the writing for the time being. It’s killing me. Killing. I’ve failed a couple times already, but I think I’m getting a bit better at it. I have to constantly remind myself that I’ll be able to fix the writing later though.

Anyway, I was supposed to finish that read through on week one. I’m now on week three and I’m still working on it. The good news is, there’s a lot more to like about this story than I remembered, and some of the issues I thought were going to be pretty big, really aren’t. So far. I’m not done yet so there’s still plenty of time for me to become disappointed in myself. πŸ™‚

Right, if I post this now I’ll have time to write a letter before I have to start dinner, so I’m off.

If you celebrate Valentine’s Day I hope you’re having a good one, and if you don’t, well, I hope your Tuesday is fantastic.

 

Bullet Points ftw!

You know, one goal I’d set for myself for this year was to blog at least once a week. I think the reason I forgot to add it to my goal list is because I’d set this goal just before then, so it felt separate somehow. But it isn’t.

I guess that’s relevant mostly because this is going to be my blog entry for this week. It’s a busy week, so I’m going to be making this blog brief and bullet point-y. I always sorta feel bad when I write bullet point blogs, but I do have a few things to share and not much time to do it in.

<– Check this guy out. How cool is that? This is the graphic reward I get for sticking to my Write 1 Sub 1 goal for January. I’m doing the lightweight version which is writing and submitting one short story or poem a month.

This month I was largely focused on working on Consequence but, because I’d set a W1S1 goal, I also made time to write a few poems and (nearly) finish revisions on a short story I’d written a few months ago. I also revised a couple poems I’d started for the 2011 November Poem a Day and submitted one of them. That, combined with re-submitting stuff as I collected rejection notices for them, resulted in 8 submissions this month and 1 new piece moved into the pool of work I’m actively looking to sell.

I got an email last week that nearly made me cry. In a good way. It was a ‘Your work has gone on to the next stage’ letter from a market I’ve been trying to break into for years now. I’ve got my fingers crossed really tight (and I’m superstitious enough to hope I’m not jinxing myself by talking about it like this) but really, at this point even if they pass on it, I feel like I’ve made progress, and progress is good.

Consequence is fighting me for every word. Now, I tend to be a proponent of the ‘just write it even if it’s shit’ school of thinking for first drafts, but this one is like… well, pulling teeth. I feel like I’m spending too much of my writing time staring at a blank page in my notebook and trying to figure out what to write. That’s not cool so I’ve temporarily stopped physically working on Consequence. I’m going to let my sub-concious chew on it for a little while, and turn my attention to Twixt.

I’d like to avoid having to revise Twixt over and over again like I did Shadows. A good friend of mine took the ‘How to Revise your Novel’ course by Holly Lisle, and another friend took her ‘Thinking Sideways’ course. Both have loved them, so I signed up for HTRYN to try it out. I’ll let it guide my revisions on this draft of Twixt in hopes that it will save me time in the long run. I worry, mostly, that I’ll use this course as a new way to procrastinate “What do you mean I’m not working on it? I’m taking this course…” Only one way to find out, I suppose.

Lastly, on a short crafty note, I’ve reincarnated my Mystery Quilts blog. Hopefully I won’t accidentally delete it this time *eyeroll*. Anyway, it’s right here iffin yer interested. I’ve begun working on a new project for fresh beginners after having a crafty conversation with my friend Jayde, and I’ve got plans for a spring-themed tablerunner too, so, yeah… it should be good.

ETA: It looks like maybe this lil piccy to the right here is meant to be my reward for success in Write 1 Sub 1 for January and the top one is for a sub-section of the W1S1 community but I kinda like the dude up top better. Think anyone will be grumpy if I post both?

(This post has been edited to remove the bullet points because they were messing up my formatting. Funny and true!)

2012 Goals

It’s that time of year again. I have a love/hate relationship with goal setting. I love it because goals really are motivating and help me not only get stuff done, but see progress when I need to the most. The thing I hate about goal setting is trying to figure out where the balancing point is between ‘Unrealistic Expectations’ and ‘Challenging Myself’. Tricky, tricky.

That being said, this is my attempt for this year:

Health: This relates to my writing because the healthier I am the more productive (and less dead) I am.

  • Continue to eat healthy. In my case that is a low-sodium pescatarian diet.
  • No drinking energy drinks
  • Remember soft drinks are a ‘sometimes food’ (Thanks Cookie Monster)
  • Workout at least five times a week*
  • Lose 40lbs

School: I think this year is going to be more writing and editing-centric so my school goal is optional, depending on time and stress.

  • Finish one, or, if I’m feeling super energetic, two more courses toward my degree

Writing:

  • Write the first draft of Consequence (Deadline is March 31)
  • Participate in the monthly version of Write 1 Sub 1. I have a habit of writing ‘cast-off’ poetry for things like this when I become overwhelmed. That’s not acceptable here. Poetry only counts if it is in a complete and publishable form that I’m proud of. Same goes for stories.
  • Figure out what to do with Shadows and my zombie poetry and get to work on doing it. This can mean looking for an agent, a publisher or any number of other things. I can’t be specific until I’ve made a decision
  • Either finish a first draft of Hollow Children or a transcription of Twixt
  • Revise the whack of ‘mostly finished’ short stories sitting in my Dropbox and start looking for homes for them
  • NaNoWriMo is optional. So is NovPad.
  • Participate in the Whittaker Prize again this year, but in only one category, not both.
  • Finish writing poems for all the 2011 Novpad prompts

Editing:

  • Implement the new payment system for Niteblade
  • Run a fundraiser and increase promotion in order to move out of the red
  • Super Sekkrit Projekt w CJD (not Niteblade-related)

Wow… so that’s a lot more goals than I usually set in a year, but it covers some of the things which affect my writing and I don’t usually address in goal-setting. Hopefully that makes things go smoother, but if not I’ll know better for next year.

*The reward for 300 workouts this year will be Christmas in San Francisco. Rewards, especially those not related to food, are good.