Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rejection Letters

I have this sick need to fill in every blank space on my cubicle walls with these.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I've started planning for my next book, and I've pieced together most of the magic system. I'm pretty excited for it! Though when I describe what it is to others, I usually get a response somewhere in the realm of, "Ew."

I've figured out the history of the magic and how it came to be, and I can definitely use that as a plot point in the book. Do I have a plot yet? No. But I have a few ideas. Have to finish the world, first. World spawns characters, and characters spawn plot. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what Orson Scott Card said.

Started draft 3 of Piscis. I think it will read much better in first person POV.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

TDSF Wordle and Soundtrack

As always when I finish a novel, I'm posting the Wordle and soundtrack I used whilst writing it. If you're quite bored, please enjoy.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Day the Sky Fell--Finished!

My fourth novel is done!

The rough draft clocks in at 90,000 words, and I'm not sure that number will fluctuate too greatly after revisions, but we will see. I already have it out to alpha readers, because I want to get it editor/agent-ready as soon as possible.

Also, I started this book at the end of May, which means I finished it in three months. That's a record for me. Usually it takes four to five. (I know CSH took five, don't remember how long I spent on Weirs.) Helps that I seriously quintupled+ my word count post-WorldCon. :D I'm really excited to get this book polished and ready to go.

Now some random crap that you all care so much about.

Total chapters: 20
Total words: 90k
Number of names I unknowingly changed the spelling of: 2
Number of people I later realized had curse words for their name: 1*
Alternate title idea: The Breaking Sky (What do you think?)

Anyway. Now I need to finish rewriting Piscis, outline books 2 and 3 of this series, and then outline my next standalone (which will be the next book I actually work on). I have a few ideas for that one. Hoping I get to use the word "teeth" in the title.

*Explanation: the protagonist, Kylah, is bilingual, and curses in his native tongue. I accidentally used one of these curses as a name for a minor character in the last few chapters. Go me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Books to Read: The Black Prism and Blackdog

I read a Brent Weeks book once (first in the Night Angel trilogy)--or rather, I read half of it. He's a good writer, but only being interesting in one of the many plot lines had me move to something else.

However, his Black Prism books have gotten some really good reviews, and there was a lot of effort put into the book trailer, which of course makes the novel look cooler.

So I added it to my GoodReads list. First and foremost, however, I want to read Blackdog by K. V. Johansen, a new book put out by Pyr. The story sounds AMAZING, and whoever did the cover art . . . genius.

(Thanks, Lou, for the high resolution picture!)

Not yet out on ebook, but it's coming. We'll see how long I can wait after I finish A Night of Blacker Darkness by Dan Wells (which is really quirky so far). I haven't been this excited for a book in a while, though. Man, does Lou Anders know how to sell a story.

Monday, August 22, 2011

WorldCon Day 4

I realize that at least half the people I met at WorldCon have a first name starting with a J. ;)

Highlight of the day: The Hugo Awards!

The ceremony was a lot more entertaining than I thought it would be--very humorous hosts and gracious acceptance speeches (though one guy completely freaked out that he won, ripped off his jacket on stage, and cursed into the microphone on several occasions. In tears, mind you). A lot of the people I voted for actually didn't make it. But, an interesting note, Girl Genius is withdrawing its name from the ballot for future Hugos. They have the Oprah Winfrey complex--they just keep winning, so they want to let someone else have a chance. I wouldn't be surprised if Howard Tayler took the Hugo next year.

Outside of that, the day was quite mellow. Went to a couple of panels, did a little copyediting for the newsletter, took Danny back to the motel for a break. Us Utah writers did go out to Foley's Irish Pub for dinner, and I got to talk to some new people, though not as much as I would have liked. Ah well, that's what email and Twitter is for, right?

Overall, I'm very glad I went to WorldCon (didn't do day 5 as I was driving back to Salt Lake!). More for the networking than for the panels, but I had a good time. (Though unless I publish-slash-become oddly wealthy, I don't know when I'll be able to attend another.)

I heard Westercon might come to Utah in the next year or so. Here's hoping! My next convention will be Life, the Universe, and Everything in February.

Until then, I have a lot of writing to do.

Friday, August 19, 2011

WorldCon Day 3

Highlight of the day: I got to chat with Lou Anders of Pyr Publishing.

Kristy and I were lucky enough to sign up for his kaffeeklattsch, so we got 50 minutes to sit with him, along with five other people. I got to ask him a lot of questions, and he gave me the email for his assistant and what she specializes in. I really want to send her TDSF, but it's not finished yet, let alone revised, despite being a stronger story. So I had Kristy glance at Weirs (By the way, you can hire her services here) so she could tell me how the prose read. I always get antsy about my prose. She recommended combing through it one last time, but said it read well. SO, I'll have my Piscis rewrite and my Weirs read-through to do once I finish TDSF. All the more reason to finish faster. (Needless to say, WorldCon has taken a chunk out of my writing time.)

ANYWAY. I also got to watch "Whatnot," a puppet show put on by Mary Robinette Kowal and crew. It was very entertaining, and it takes guts to get on stage in a skin-tight white jumpsuit. Very nice.

Attended a panel on the works of agenting and publishing, which went well, and also a pitching panel with Lizzy Shannon, who is delightful. I adored her, though I didn't get a chance to pitch myself. I was so nervous just thinking about it, but I did raise my hand! (Eventually...)

I've met a lot of fellow writers as well--their business cards are busting my Kindle case! Great people. I also befriended new writer Lissa Price, whose book Starters is coming out this March. Check her out, she's super nice.

So day 3 has gone well. Tomorrow is the last day, as we're leaving for Utah Sunday morning. Tomorrow I will be slave to the newsletter staff, have dinner with fellow Utah writers, and attend the Hugo Awards in my snazzy $14 dress. I plan to spend the drive home catching up on my word count. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

WorldCon Day 2

Also titled, "Conventions: The Latest on the Dieting Frontier."

Today's panels went much better than yesterday's. The highlight was the Creating Gods panel headed by Brandon Sanderson. I got to talk to him a bit beforehand, which was nice.

Tried to sign up for Liz Gorinsky's coffe-klatch (I don't recall how to spell that, and I don't want to look it up), but I got in the alternate spot, so I ended up talking to another author instead (P.R. Frost, who writes faery-type fantasy. Not my thing, but hey).

Had one panel with an extremely rude man in the audience, who started going off about a topic not even related to the panel, and when the moderator tried to shut him down he cursed up a storm and left. I don't know how people like that can expect to be taken seriously when their behavior is so atrocious. I felt bad for the panelists--there was tension in that room for the entire 50 minutes, and the topic never did get back on track.

Overall, good day, though I didn't quite eat enough and felt rather famished by seven*, at which point Danny, Kristy, and I went to Wendy's. Still waiting for all that to digest through. Super tired, but there's a Tor party tonight I was fortunate enough to hear about, so I want to stop by and see what's up. Am I terrified? Yes. Fake it 'til you make it.

Also, Angry Robot. Go look them up.

*So if I attended a convention every day, I would be super skinny! XD

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WorldCon Day 1

Quick update.

Got to Reno at about 5:10 PM last night, checked into our hotel, which is pretty decent but seriously lacking in towels. Kristy and I went to the Atlantis to look around and say hi to the publication staff, and also found out we could register right then. Great.

Today was a bit slow. I think nearly every panel I went to dragged and was not what I expected, but at least I jotted down some ideas for the next book I want to write, and I think I have a name for my female protagonist. Wrote a whole 430 words for TDSF. Working on transcribing interviews for the newsletter instead of doing word count, but that's fine. My resume will be shinier for it.

Had a super sore throat Monday and Tuesday, but it's cleared up for the most part today, hurray!

ANYWAY, highlight of the day was getting a chance to talk to Moshe Feder, editor at Tor (who also works with Sanderson)! I saw Nathan, Derek, and Jason in the dealers room, so I went up to chat, and boom, Moshe is sitting amidst them. Awesome. He's very very friendly (and very Jewish. He mentioned being Jewish several times in the ten or fifteen minutes I got to chat with him, ha!). I'm hoping to send my finalized version of TDSF to him. Gotta get crackin' on that!

Also got GRRM, L.E. Modesitt, and Eric James Stone to sign my kindle. Huzzah.

Back to transcribing. ;)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Three Chapters Left?

I was looking at my outline for The Day the Sky Fell today and realized I only have about three chapters left to write before this rough draft is done. Three! If I cracked down I could finish this by September (though WorldCon may be distracting...). Three chapters means this book totals at 20 chapters total. Word count... not sure. Assuming each chapter is about 5k, that would put the initial count at 100K. Some chapters are more, some are less. I don't think I have any over 7k, but I don't pay attention enough to know. Won't be sure until I finish the book (because I like being surprised).

So wow. There you go. Maybe I'll put off my Piscis revisions* until this book is done so I can have a project between edits. Then I need to roughly outline books two and three, and start brainstorming the next independent novel (which will NOT be a series. I still strongly support stand-alones.)

Leaving for Reno tomorrow morning at 9:00!

*Got enough feedback (thanks guys!) to rework this story, and decided today to try it in first person. Haven't done first person for a while, but I can handle it. A lot of WotF stories are in first, so maybe this will actually better my chances. Who knows?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

This Post Has a Side of Eggs.

Leaving for Reno in roughly 36 hours. This blows my mind. And yet it doesn't feel that... here. I realized I need to actually go BUY food for the trip, which will have to be done Monday night after work/Dad checking out the car.* And I should probably do laundry, because I'm pretty sure I do not have enough underwear to last me 'til Sunday.

Side note: My computer screen is super dirty.

I wrote out a lot of scene notes [in church, whoops] today, but I haven't actually gotten my word count done yet. Go me. I blame not being able to nap long enough.

In other news, thanks to a case-lot sale at Macey's, I now own a two-month supply of ramen noodles. Have you ever eaten ramen with a boiled egg? So good. SO CHEAP. I will be bringing several servings of this meal with me to Reno. Here's hoping the room service is on top of taking out the garbage, eh?

*Aren't dads great?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Write that Novel! Seminar

So I finally browsed David Farland's Web site and found which writing seminar I'd like to attend. I think I'll go to his Write That Novel class, which is next April.

Reasons to choose this one:
-It's in Salt Lake City, which means I don't have to travel!
-The points that David hits on the site look really good
-It's two-day instead of a week long, so it will cost a bit less and use less PTO
-It looks like the first seminar of the year, so less waiting ;)

I weeded out the outlining seminar off the bat because I feel my outlining skills work well enough for me. I haven't signed up yet, but I will. Eventually.

Any of you guys (especially UT writers) thinking of attending?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

At Least the Hotel Has a Toilet!

Did you know you can play games on the Kindle? Yeah, guess what I did during my entire anniversary trip. :D I love it. Also excited for my pink case to come in the mail.

The WorldCon program doesn't seem to have a lot of writing panels--there's more fandom than anything else, which is a bummer to me. BUT they have a lot of publisher presentations, which I want to go to. And the whole trip is for networking anyway, right? One week from today and I'll be on I-80 heading to Reno!

Currently on chapter 16 of TDSF, inching closer to the end. Jason from writing group put together a crazy Excel sheet to keep track of our daily word counts, so that's cool. It's all color coordinated and everything.

Still itching to work on Piscis and send it away, but I still need reader comments back (hint hint, you guys). I have until the end of September for this quarter, so I'll keep the spazzing to a minimum. For now.

Meanwhile I need to figure out as many no-microwave-no-fridge meals* as I can since I'll be staying at a hotel with no appliances for WorldCon. Suggestions welcome.

*You can make ramen noodles by putting hot water in a bowl and just letting the "pasta" sit there long enough, right?

Thursday, August 4, 2011



Besides the fact that he's sweet and funny and super crazy attractive, he gave me a KINDLE for our anniversary!!!

A KINDLE! Just in time for WorldCon!

In case you're wondering, that's "From the Ice Incarnate" by Joe Vasicek on the screen. It was free. :D

Meanwhile I'm pestering Nathan on Gmail so he can explain Kindle to me. There are so many features! EEEE!!!

Need a case...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How Being Annoying Helped Me Make a Better Pitch

So I'm intent on getting a decent pitch for TDSF for WorldCon, though I doubt I'll get to spatter anything outside of the elevator pitch.

Kristy helped me a lot with this pitch, but it still wasn't perfect. I let it sit for two weeks and came back to it, with little to add.

Cue the following conversation:

Joe: There is a difference between your editing mind and your creative mind, so don't worry if you don't seem to be coming up with [a good pitch].

Me: Well, I wish they would go have an orgy together and give me something decent to work with.

Joe: That... is an interesting image.

Later my friend Leah got online and I immediately attacked. She must have had zero plans for life, because she opened my pitch in a word processor and had at it. Thank you Leah for your word-crafting! The pitch is sounding much better now. :D

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Take a Shower Every Day.

I officially got the day shift for publications for WorldCon, woo~. I also finished my stalker list of editors and agents (there aren't much of the latter, actually) who will be attending the convention, so go me. (Though honestly the WorldCon Web site did most of the stalking for me.)

Meanwhile I'm terrified of being sick during WorldCon. My mind fathoms all the horrible things that could happen... like pink eye volume 3. No one will talk to me if I have pink eye. They'll think I'm one of those fangirls who Mary-Sue-RPGs herself as an elf and only bathes once every two weeks. I AM A HYGIENIC PERSON, DANGIT.

Happy thoughts, everyone. I did totally kick A on my word count yesterday, got about 3k done. I'm on chapter 15 and now get to BS a bunch of steampunk-esque science.

I also think I totally freaked out one of my coworkers whilst sniffing and coughing in the elevator. But I'm pretty sure I'm not contagious...*

*Let it be known that I do not support sick people coming to the office. I hate sick people in the office. But I'm really more whiny than sick. It's okay to be whiny as long as you're aware you're being whiny, right?