Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I am Now a WotF Entree

As of last night (roughly 8:40 PM), I officially entered the Writers of the Future contest for the first time. :D

I read* the entire story—35 pages, I think—out loud to myself last night to catch any discrepancies (I found more than I thought I would). Took me almost two hours! But it’s done, and it’s in, and I am going to forget about it until I get my nicely worded rejection in the mail. :D I do have enough confidence in that story to get pass the first round, which is basically a screener weeding out all the terrible, grammar-murder, can’tcompleteasentenceorvampireladen entries that shall never cross the judge’s table, so Mr. Torgenson told me.** I know how to use a semicolon, so I think I can get that far, at least.

Meanwhile I’m working on Weirs and attempting to plant a seed of plot in chapter 4 so the rest of the story has more guidance than it currently possesses. I’ve cut half of the original chapter already—lame “learn how to fight!” scenes that never actually amount to anything and “Let’s learn about this magic system through lots of dialogue” crap that I took care of much more subtly in chapters 1 and 2.

Shafted Legend by David Gemmel to read Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier. It’s really good so far. (It’s so surprising to me that her Sevenwaters books are so amazing when her Heart’s Blood novel sucked royally.)

*I just realized I didn’t update the word count after my last edit and am slightly mortified. Maybe they won’t notice….

**Brad Torgenson is the WotF winner I talked to at LTUE who was super friendly and helpful when I approached him. You can read his blog here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chapter 3 Done (Plus Some Advertising)

Chapter three rewriting is DONE! Phew! Got it all in one sweep too, which is good. Now I have to vamp my plotlines and get everything straight and figure out what the heck I’m doing with the next 20 chapters.

BUT, my beta-readers for EH got back to me speedy-quick, so I may switch gears for the next little bit.

Also, a plug-in for a short story now available on Kindle. Memoirs of a Snowflake is the first e-published story from my friend Joe, so go check it out!

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Ending for EH

After some brainstorming with my husband and one of my alpha readers, I figured out a slightly better ending for Edradorn’s Hammer, one that’s a bit more conclusive and brings another character element full-circle. I added a whole page and a half. Go me.

I finished my newest rewriting of chapter 1 and 2 of Weirs, and now I’m making Nathan read the crappy rough draft version because I need over-arching critiques on the novel before I can do deep revisions for it, and my writing group is only on chapter 7. (Thanks Nathan!*)

Sanderson’s class got cancelled yesterday. Sadness. I’m glad I found out before I drove all the way down there. It may have been for the best, though. I was seriously brain-dead after work yesterday.

*Nathan pretty much gets the blunt end of all my writing woes/whining/problems/issues/questions/etc.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Epic Fantasy Shafted.

So if I were ever to series-inize Weirs, I know how I would do it. I’d write the story of one of the side characters pre-Weirs. It would be awesome. It could even stand by itself. I may do it. (This is not the wicked idea I mentioned in my last post. That is still brewing.)

Also, there are way too many agents and such in the middle grade and young adult market. I dare day 80% of fantasy agents only do YA and/or MG. What the shaft. (Joshua Bilmes, you have a special place in my heart.)

While you’re here, you can listen to my new favorite song.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ideas, Laziness, and Broken Glasses

So I got a pretty good idea for a novel today. It's awesome. IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.

But I want to let it simmer before I tell. (It's either really great or I'm a little crazy.)

Meanwhile I've gone three days without writing--this is unacceptable. I outlined the third take on my opening Weirs chapters on Friday, but I haven't done any actual revising all weekend. I've been busy, but that's a lame excuse. I might do a little tonight so I can claim I only actually went one day doing nothing. (I had a dream about Thade [character] last night, so maybe that's a sign that he's growing impatient.)

Also, my glasses broke yesterday at the gym, which is ironic, since they're the glasses on my business cards. :D I ordered another pair online. (They cost like $20 to get new; $40 to repair. So I'm wearing my old periwinkle ones until they arrive.* All the information you didn't want to know.)

My CONduit registration is ready to mail--they don't do online payments (archaic much?), so I have to mail the check in. Hurray for saving $15. Any of you going to CONduit?

*AKA the glasses in the sidebar picture. (Because you care.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mission: Navigation Bar

Despite my affection for my background template, I'm going to be hashing my blog design so the navigation bar is visible at the top. Alas, don't cry for me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rewriting the Rewritten?

…and of course I get the brilliant revising idea AFTER I finish rewriting the beginning of the novel.

Story in a nutshell: Chapter 1 and [especially] 2 need major fixing. So I go through and fix them. Then worry that maybe chapter 2 is info-dumpy. Then realize I can actually have my protagonist know more about what she’s getting into before she gets into it, which A) eliminates info dumping, and B) Makes said protagonist come off as smarter and more compentent.

….but I JUST FINISH rewriting all of that. ;_; Woe is me, my life is so hard.

I was going to go ahead and finish revising the rest of the book, but if the start of the story is going to be re-hashed, maybe I should just create a version 2.1 file and have at it. It won’t affect chapter 1 too much, but I have to dissect chapter 2 all over again, and I’m not especially looking forward to it.

Because I’m lazy. The only reason I get anything done is that I have a strong sense of responsibility that combats my laziness, putting me at about 50% capacity for actually getting things done. Better than 0% (which is the case for some people I know, so go me.) It’s like I’m in constant seizure* mode, where half of my body is unresponsive despite how I might wish to make it work.

Anyway. I finished I Don’t Want to Kill You** yesterday and am starting The Woman Who Loved Reindeer by Meredith Ann Pierce today (friend recommendation). I Don’t Want to Kill You was good, but I think Mr. Monster is still my favorite in the series. :D

*Seizures are a very sad thing and I am in no way making light of them.

**I read it in three days, whereas A Game of Thrones^ took me a month and a half. Both good books, but I’m grateful for the occasional easy-reading because it makes me feel slightly more intelligent than I actually am.

^BTW, did you know they’re making an HBO series based on this book? Excitement! Too bad I don’t have cable.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Small Step for Revision...

I updated the link from the last post so non-DeviantArt members can see the picture. (I didn’t know you had to be a member! Times have changed…)

Finally done revising chapter 1 of Weirs. Man, it really is long—my writing group was right. (I think it’s around 8k!) The biggest fix for this chapter was the protagonist. I had to focus on making her more capable and more mature. I cut out a lot of awkward and stuttering dialogue. Add in a time bomb, a setting tweak, and a new capture scene,* and voila, chapter 1.

Now I have roughly 102k left to go. :O Meh, chapter 1 was easy. Chapter 2 and 3 are being rewritten from the ground up, more or less. There are bits and pieces I can keep. I recently went through chapter 2 and wrote down all the information I need to get across; now I get to rewrite everything but the first and last scene (both of which are short).

While I’m blathering, I finished George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones on Saturday—being horrendously ill somehow granted me oodles of reading time. It’s a really good book! I like how it ended. I would like to read the next book in the installment, but books like those take so much time dedication, and I have to read I Don’t Want to Kill You, The Woman Who Loved Reindeer, and the second Daughter of the Forest book (whatever it’s called) before I can check out another Martin from the library. Plus alpha reading.

Ugh, I stink and I totally took a shower this morning. What the face.

*This actually made the chapter even longer. Whoops. At least I got to stab a horse.**

**I do not condone the torture of animals, especially horses. But it had to happen, and the horse will make a full recovery. IT IS NEVER THE HORSE’S FAULT. Curse you, Braveheart!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cold of Doom (and Art)

I have been super sick lately. The cold of death. It's all wrong.

Colds have a certain, universal order they're supposed to come in. Sore throat, then stuffy nose, then coughing. Preferably no overlapping.

But this beast decided to do everything at once. Plus throwing in massive congestion headaches, and this sore throat STILL HASN'T GONE AWAY. Sore throats last two days, max. That's the rule. This one is four and counting. It's a cheater cold and I hate it.

Being glued to my living room sofa at least gives me time to do revisions (though I'm still working through chapter 1) and a start on a story I'm alpha reading for Joe. I’ve heard back from one alpha reader myself, so far.

Anyway, my actual purpose for posting today was to share the link of the picture my lovely friend Sara drew for me. My writing group best not click it, because it will taint their future comments. :D But I love it.

Le picture.

Or click this if you don't have DeviantArt.

I’m off to wallow in self-pity now.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Character "Pop"

I’m pretty sure this has happened at least once to everyone who writes: a character just comes to you, pops into your head uninvited. Not someone you actually put effort into brainstorming, just a sudden idea that springs to you. My character Thade (who has been adjusted to fit into two novels now…) came to me this way.

And another one “popped” the other day—he even came with his own name.

I’ve been brainstorming for the next novel I want to write—not anything serious, it doesn’t even have it’s own mini notebook yet. But I have a magic system I want to use (cue me watching Bill Nye the Science Guy as part of my research) and two characters. One character is a re-version of a protagonist in a story I never wrote. The other one popped into my brain the other day. I know the jist of his personality, what he looks like, and even his name. And he’s apparently foreign, from some country I haven’t created yet. Funny how that works.

Even though I have no plot line whatsoever for said novel, I’m starting to get excited for it. Huzzah for projects.

As an added note, I got my business cards in the mail today AND my commission from Sara finished. :D I’ll post a link the picture soon—it’s amazing. (It’s also a spoiler, which is why I don’t just slather it up here. Can’t be ruining more things for my writing group than I already have.) :D

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Edradorn’s Hammer and Weirs Revisions

Edradorn’s Hammer* is complete and in the inboxes of my alpha readers—thank you so much to those who volunteered to read my crap!

Meanwhile I have hefty revisions to start for Weirs. I’ve never done revisions this intense before (since I’m a naturally lazy person), but I’m determined to make this book work. (Granted, every time I submit another 2-3k for writing group I get very downtrodden because now I think it all sucks.)

Said revisions will be very time consuming—they’ll probably go slow because I am blessed with a full-time job and zero-actual-writer-status-that-allots-me-time-to-get-down-and-dirty-with-writing. This makes me sad. But I will manage. (I always have.) :D

*Le gasp, it has a title.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Business Cards

So my business cards are finally ordered and en route to being in my wallet. What a relief—I’m no star, but one never knows when someone might ask for a card (as I learned at LTUE).

So I wanted my card to stand out a little, to trigger something in the holder that would help them remember me. So my graphic designer friend Brooke and I sat down and brainstormed what was memorable about me that you could put in print. We didn’t come up with many ideas.

Except one.

(The annoying dots are for suspense.)

(Card Front)

(Card back)

Brooke took a few snapshots of my pink glasses and shimmied them onto this AMAZING card, which she also did the layout for. I love it. (I also love pink, if you can’t tell.) It looks way nicer than the crap I had drawn up in PowerPoint. :D

Hopefully I’ll have 200 of these suckers in a week.

(If you’re going to alpha read my equist story for me, don’t read today’s excerpt!)

Spoiler excerpt of the day:

The memories haunted her. Visions of blood and torture filled her dreams; nightmares of running into battle with a new sword, one with no trace of experience. Recurring thoughts of Lign—his smell, his smile, the night outside the camp. Watching him die over and over, so simply. Each time she stood too far away to save him. In her dreams, she never ran fast enough.
Equist story

Thursday, March 3, 2011


So I’ve jotted down a few possible endings for Equist Story, and most are cliffhanger endings. But that’s okay for a short story, right? XD I think it will work...

What are your thoughts on cliffhangers?

In other news, I'm having a hard time coming up with titles for this story.

AKA everyone has a title but the story itself. And all my title ideas suck.

Excerpt a la day:

“Thank the Lord you’re awake,” a soldier said—no, a doctor. His face was withered with age, and he held a damp rag in one hand. Human—Moi couldn’t see his legs, but his long hair gave him away.

Equist Story

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Busy, but Progressing

I’ve been a very busy bee lately—free time flies out the window, and work is super hectic this week. The to-do list doesn’t shrink. Surprisingly, however, I’m doing better at my word count for Equist (despite having taken the weekend off. Bad Charlie. I never do that).

I think I’m about half way through the story—if the second half pans out like the first, then the story will be about 10k long. This is a surprise, since I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stay under the 17k limit.

Thanks to my writing group, I have some great ideas for revamping Teague, the protagonist in Weirs. But I shan’t work on that until I finish the first draft of this story. (And then I’ll need alpha readers for it [Equist]. Takers?)

Excerpt a la day:

“If I let go, I’ll see it. I’ll feel it,” she said, a tear running down her cheek. “I need their courage. I can’t face them on my own.”


“The soldiers,” she said, stifling a sob. “I killed them, Lign. More than I can count. I killed equists. I killed humans and horses. I was numb then, but no longer. If I hold this sword, I have the strength of a soldier. I can’t let go. Please don’t make me let go.”

Equist Story