Irons in the Fire update…

16 12 2009

Weather: High: 28º (Zomg! Single digits this morning!) & sunny!

So yeah…VERY cold this morning. Captain Coffee is helping thaw me out.
Seems like ages since I did my irons in the fire update, so here’s what I’m working on:

The Archive Universe is finally taking shape. I’ve been spending some time crafting the “rules” and giving some underlying structure to the magic systems and alternate history it will exist within. There’s a base storyline in the Library of Alexandria, and nicely enough, there are enough holes in the history of the Library that I can plant my story in them and let it take root. Love it when Historical records can provide the “What If” for me. 🙂

As for the individual books under this Universe umbrella:

When The Lights Go Down: Current WC: 107K – In Rewrites.

Shadow of the Wolf : Current WC: 51K – Still in process. Hoping for 75K before starting revisions.

Dark of the Mirror: Current WC: 53K – In revision. Adding in references to Universe and revising some of the plot. Hoping to bulk it up to around 100K

Carrion Dreams: (Book 1) Current WC:  52K – Still writing. Needs revision to put it in alignment with Universe.  [Books 2 & 3 are in outline form]

All Things Fanged & Furry: (Book 1 of the “Houses” Trilogy) Current WC: 50K
In massive re-write mode

All Demons Dread & Dire: (Book 2 of “Houses” Trilogy) In massive re-write. Most of story is getting scrapped to better line up with Book 1 & universe.

Untitled (Book 3 of “Houses” Trilogy) In outline form, but due to be revised in line with Book 2 rewrites.

Archivist’s Tale: Still in planning stage.

Lyra’s Tale: Still in planning stage.

Kenric’s Tale: Still in planning stage.

Other Fiction:

Dreamfic: Currently only a couple of stray chapters in search of a bigger plot.

Librarian stories: “Into the Stacks” is almost finished. Needs two more chapters to be done. Second untitled story is in notes & outline stage.

So yeah. 2010 is gonna be a rather busy year for me. I’m hoping to have WTLGD ready for submission to an editor by January. Then we’ll see where we are.

On the non writing front, I’m getting a little geebly waiting for the next season of Being Human, and the final season of Lost. And the finale for Supernatural. Gonna be rather depressed when both those latter two are done.  We’ll see if anything rises to the top to get my obsession piqued again.

Not ready for the Holidays to be here already (Haven’t even figured out what we’re doing for the Solstice on Monday. ) Presents are mostly bought & cards have been sent out, though I’m almost positive I’ve forgotten some people. Sigh. December has been made of fail so far.

Need to get my 2010 list together. I’ve decided to do one of those “101 things to get done this year” lists. Nothing crazy like a typical “bucket list” , but number one on the list is gonna be MOVE TO SEATTLE. Somehow, my hubby and I will make that happen, probably next summer. I’m going stir crazy living where we are. Time for a change of scenery.


Now playing:
Abney Park – Under the Radar
via FoxyTunes

It’s get annoyed at your manuscript Thursday!

5 11 2009


Yeah. Even with sunglasses, the sun was a tad FLAMING BALL OF EVIL this morning.

NaNoWrimo Morning Wordcount Total: 10033 words. Aiming for 12K today.

UPDATED: Only managed another 500 words over lunch, so I’ll need to do 1500 between the commute home and this evening. Brain seems to have thrown a coil. May need to to work on something else tonight or just take a breather. The story is there. It’s not writer’s block, just malaise has set in. We’ll see if I get a second wind on the way home.

Supernatural/Vampire Diaries Thursday -WOO!  It’s silly how much I’ve gotten addicted to these two shows.

Brian has an interview today. Not saying any more so I don’t jinx it. Could be a VERY good thing for us if he gets it.

And a picture of the cast of Being Human, snurched from Here:


Lenora, Russel, Sinead and Aidan ❤ !!!


Have a good evening all!

Countdown to NaNoWriMo…T-minus 6 days

26 10 2009

Weather: High: 60º & rainy.

Well the weekend proved productive after all.

Spent a good part of Saturday trying on Bridesmaid dresses and remembering why I hate the process with a fiery destructive animosity. Sigh. Nothing makes you feel like a bucket of reprocessed horseshit than having to stand under fluorescent lights wearing a dress 4 sizes too small to figure out what won’t make you look like a moose in a tutu even when you DO get the right size. Needless to say, I came home with a massive self-flagellating attitude. The dress I decided on at least is flattering. Sigh. Need to get back on the workout wagon. These grandma arms are not in the least bit sexy.

I did actually accomplish something more fun in that my outline (or the rather stream of consciousness collection of plot points I’m loosely calling an outline) for NaNoWriMo is DONE. It has a beginning, some credible events that could be called a PLOT in the middle and, as most people would call the stopping point, an END. (This last bit is always the stickler for me. I’m fab at beginnings, moderate on middles and just BOLLOCKS with endings.) But there you go. Norse Mythology Urban Fantasy with a heavy tweak. Have to admit, the research has been fun. Norse Mythology has about 40 bajillion possible versions. Someone could be the son of one god or not, making him either the brother or half brother of his uncle…I just went with the most common permutation. Also lots of loopholes. As a writer, I find loopholes in mythology INCREDIBLY HELPFUL. Loopholes give me nice little footholds for my plot.

Was happy that I got to get inundated by the muses this weekend. (Three Days Grace were on MTV2’s rock show on Saturday night and BBCAmerica had a Being Human marathon on Sunday. GLEE!)

I also made cobbler this weekend. Now, since I’ve mentioned this about a dozen or so times, here’s the recipe:

Set oven to 350°

You’ll need a 9 X 13 pan for this.

For the batter:
1 Cup flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1 Cup Milk
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
Whisk these together in a bowl until the lumps are gone and set aside.

You’ll need about 4 cups of fruit.
I reccommend any of the following combos:
Cherries (Preferable tart)
But you can use pretty much any berry or pitted fruit.
You’ll want to pit the fruit, and if using Apples or Plums, slice them thinly. (I peel the apples, but leave the peel on the plums.)

Mix the fruit in a large bowl with:
1 Tbs flour
3/4 cup of sugar (You can use less if you have less fruit.)
Melt 1/2 cup of butter in the pan. (1 stick) And yes–USE BUTTER.

Pour the batter over the melted butter.

Scoop the fruit on top of the batter. (Make sure it’s evenly distributed)
Bake for 1 hour (or a little longer) until the edges are browning. (The cakey parts will caramelize in the corners-OM NOM)

Best served warm.  The cooking time may vary depending on what fruit and how much you end up using. Also, you can use a little less butter and still get good results.

All right. Have a writing mix to make for NaNo. Castle tonight is vampire themed (WOOT!) so I’m geebling already. And broken toe seems to be on the mend. 🙂

Now playing: Marilyn Manson – Redeemer
via FoxyTunes

Oh wow! It’s been a while, huh?

28 08 2009

Weather: High: 69º and rainy. Been like this all week. Not complaining one jot!

Wow…I really fell off the blogging wagon there, didn’t I? ::smacks hands and sends self to the bad blogger corner for a time out::

Things have been chaotic in the office and writing has been claiming what little free time I have. Not that the latter is a bad thing. The former is vexing, but I am the bread winner at the moment, so I think this falls under “Necessary Evil.”

Been working hard on  When the Lights Go Down. Got a little bogged down in the climactic fight scene and it still needs some cleaning up. Fight scenes for me tend to get weighted down in description.  I’m trying to get them more lean and keep the action flowing rather than choppy.

Have switched on fangirl mode. New Supernatural season starts up the Thursday after I get back from Dragon*Con. And the Vampire Diaries starts up the same night. Am ADDICTED to True Blood & Being Human, though both are ending their seasons soon before protracted hiatuses. This will be night unto torture for me, needless to say. But with hotties like these, DO you blame me for being a little morose about not getting to see more of them? COME ON!

Mitchell (Aidan Turner) from Being Human

Mitchell (Aidan Turner) from Being Human

Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) from True Blood

Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) from True Blood

Also, my lovely lads from Three Days Grace have a new album out very soon and released some fantastic photos. My faves were predictably the darker B& W ones. :

Three Days Grace

Three Days Grace



And as an added bonus, they posted a short Behind the Scenes vid on YouTube. I’m ridiculously squeeful about this album.

Yes. I’ve been a total and unrepentant FANGIRL. And Dragon*Con is only going to exacerbate the situation. I do hope to actually use the Con to make some professional connections as well. I mean, what’s the point of having a 300+ page book under my belt if I have no one to query about it, right?

Hubby and I are making all the prep for D*C this weekend. Hopefully we will have pretty much everything in place by the end of Sunday, so I can do the last minute thing with less to worry about.

Can’t say that I’m gonna be upset about getting out of town for a few days. Plus, getting to see several bands I like? (Abney PArk, Faith & the Muse, The Cruxshadows, Bella Morte, Ayria, Spider Lilies, & Voltaire) BONUS!

Ah well. Time to go. Have a good weekend all!

Friday! My old friend! Let’s get ready to ramble…

24 07 2009

Weather: High: 84 degrees and partly cloudy & muggy. Gah! Thunderstorms later!

Well Friday has started off with a bit of non-fun. Missed my usual train into Chicago thanks to one of our interminably long freight trains in NW Indiana. Took a later train and made it into the office by the skin of my teeth. (An expression I have yet to understand, but there you go.)

Since yesterday’s post was so truncated, I’ll try and get the stuff said today I meant to say yesterday.

Working on the last few chapters of “When the Lights Go Down” is proving more difficult than I thought. Funny thing is, I have the plot worked out, have the scenes mapped and even have bits written. It just isn’t flowing like everything before it has. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting nervous about finishing it and am subconsciously dragging my proverbial feet or if I’m really having an issue with the ending I’ve chosen. Could probably be a combination of both or neither. Ahhh! Writing Angst! My old friend. But I have every intention of spending time this weekend focused on the manuscript and reviewing my outline. Maybe there’s room for tweaking and improvement. (Who am I kidding? There’s ALWAYS room for tweaking & improvement.)

I’ve had the major good fortune to be friends and acquaintances with people who are either in the process of writing books or have already had books published. The nicest thing about this is not what you might first assume.
I’ve never had any intention of currying favor with these people to get a foot in the door. Truth is, most of them I knew for a long time before they got published or were entrenched in the process of writing.

What has been advantageous is listening to their discussions about the process of writing, the pitfalls of getting published and all the various cack and nonsense that tends to crop up around both. Sometimes the best way to learn how to be a better writer and avoid the Writing 101 & newbie errors is to just ask a writer who is further along the path than you. Or read their blogs. Follow them on Twitter. And, as you’ll find in other areas, sometimes you learn more from what DIDN’T work or from their stories of rejection that you will from the successes.

The one thing I’ve learned from all the writers, published and not quite yet published, is that there are no shortcuts, no fast tracks and no wormholes to get you past the difficult bits. To quote Mur from I Should Be Writing. “It requires not only butt in chair, but daily butt in chair.”(I HIGHLY recommend going to her site and listening to her podcasts. Some of the best motivation & advice for writers can be found here.)

In other words if you want to get a book published, you have to put in the time writing it. Crafting it. Getting your words pulled out of the ether, onto a document, then making the words play nice with each other. And this process takes time.And generates headaches. And frustration.

A lot of people have also said, and it’s definitely a truism, “If you really want something, you can make it happen. You may have to work for it though.”

As lovely as the idea is that you could just sit down in a weekend and churn out a fantastic novel, it’s probably not going to happen. Because life happens. And words fail you. And eventually your butt gets sore from sitting. But honestly, excuses are not going to get your book written. (Thanks, Mur.)

I’ve managed a six hour writing marathon here and there.  Both my brain and legs rebelled after that.  A couple things I found out really quickly when I first set out to write were such bits of wisdom as “Typing does not equal Writing”  and “What seemed like a brilliant plot twist when you were writing Chapter One, suddenly becomes ridiculous and unusable when you reach Chapter 10.”

I’m sure every writer finds their own truisms as they start writing. A bunch of my friends and I have been experiencing what we all fondly refer to as the “What the HELL was I thinking? I HATE this story!” phase. It usually hits about halfway to 3/4 of the way through the manuscript. This is where your writer’s dedication gets tested. ESPECIALLY on your first novel.
Hopefully, you can set it aside for a day or a week and come back to it with fresh eyes and renewed love for the story & characters. What I’m trying to say here is the enthusiasm you have at the beginning of the story may lag in the middle, and the momentum may abandon you. It will come back, but you may have to work your way back to it.

So basically, I’m learning a lot from my friends, and let’s face it, no writer exists in a vacuum. We all absorb things from other people, for good or for bad. The way I figure it, no one method works for everyone.
As I’ve said before, one writer’s habits would drive another to homicide.  But it’s a good idea to  listen to people who’ve accomplished what you yourself are trying to accomplish.
Granted, taking their advice and using their methods & habits may not be a guarantee that you will mirror their success. But if you pay attention, you might just learn a thing or two about not tripping yourself up, or better yet, get renewed motivation to KEEP your butt in the chair and continue writing.

Ramble done for the day.  I need to get my butt back in the chair soon.  Today I had a nice anvil-to-the-skull epiphany that helped me work through a gap in my plot. Now I just need to get the damn thing written. 🙂

Torchwood finale tonight, and I have a gut wrenching feeling I’m going to be twice as wrecked as I was last night. But it’s been amazing so far.  I’ll probably catch Eureka on the replay later. And then there’s Being Human tomorrow night, which I am practically geebling over right now.

Also, just realized that Dragon* Con is just a little over a month away. Feeling that double edged sword of anticipation and terror.  I’m usually not good in crowds and I’m obviously going to have to deal when I get there. (Comic Con sounds like it would have been a nightmare for me.)  But I’m looking forward to hanging out with my friends, some of which I’ll be meeting in person for the first time. (Such is the nature of the internet community.) And there are bands I’m looking forward to seeing and some sci fi people that I’d like to meet as well. Probably a good thing my husband Brian will be there. I have a feeling he might need to be lugging around the smelling salts for me in some cases. 🙂

Have a good weekend everyone. 🙂

Now playing: VNV Nation – Still Waters
via FoxyTunes