A little break from me

WIP update:
• Did not hit 30k words this weekend. -_-
• Did finish writing Chapter 7 though! ^_^
• Am considering upping my weekday quota to 1k words each, and my Sat/Sun quota to 2k words each. o_O

This weekend was beautiful, despite my allergies and the gnarly headache I got on Sunday. Andy and I played 9 holes of golf, checked out the iPad, and ate at a new restaurant downtown. For the record, yes, the iPad is very cool. Andy is even thinking about getting one. Personally I’d prefer the Verizon iPhone rumors to be true, buuuut I’m not gonna hold my breath.

Other than that, I just did the usual: read, write, sleep, play with Riley, and eat too much (particularly of the chocolate variety).

My life is fascinating, isn’t it?

Oh, it’s not? Well… okay then. Maybe you’d like a little break from me. Maybe you’d like a glimpse into someone else’s life? Maybe you’d like me to blog about something other than myself for once?


This week I’ll be posting a 2-part interview with blog-friend and fantasy author Todd Newton. His book The Ninth Avatar has just been released by Trapdoor Books, and he kindly took the time to tell us a bit about the book and its (unique) journey to publication. He also has some great thoughts on writing, and pictures of his 2 adorable pups.

Sound good? Great! Then stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’ll be at the driving range working on my swing. ^_~

Friday is for smiling

Me (on Twitter): Taking my multi vitamin with Pepsi seems… oxymoronic.
Friend: I feel the same way when taking my birth control pill with beer.

For all my big talk on Wednesday, I didn’t kick the funk. In fact, it got much worse that night, and I was still pretty “funky” yesterday morning. But last night I talked to Andy, cried a bit, and finally, finally felt better. The worst had passed.

(And no, I never figured out what the cause of it was. Weird.)

Sleeping 10 hours sealed the deal and now I’m good as gold again. Well, maybe not gold. But like, pyrite at least.

The funny thing is, because I was feeling so down, I gave myself the day off yesterday. I wasn’t going to do anything but the bare minimum I had to do to get through the day — not even write. However, by 1 p.m., I felt incomplete. Unsettled. Unsatisfied.

So I wrote, and I felt better.

I’m not gonna get all omg-it’s-destiny-can’t-you-see-I’m-totes-a-writer?! on y’all. But hey, it’s a good sign, right?

(By the way, I do not actually say “totes.”)

Also a good sign: after applying to be the “voice of the Unpublished” for Writer Unboxed, I did not win the position, but I was a finalist, and I was asked to be a Guest contributor a few times each year! The company I’m in over there is INCREDIBLE. Case in point: this week agent Donald Maass posted a great bit about inspiring awe. Since reading it, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the four questions he asked, and how they apply to my story (as well as my life).

Speaking of my story, the WIP is marching on. I’m at about 27,000 words, and my goal is to get to 30,000 by the end of this weekend. Truth be told, the quality of my writing in this first draft is waaaaay below my norm, and that’s hard for me. I’m used to reading my writing and thinking, “Hey, I like that!” Definitely not the case here…

But the flip side is that I’m 1/3 of the way through the first draft in just 8 weeks! Not as fast as I’d like, but waaaaay faster than my norm.

Thus I can already see where I want to push myself on my next WIP*. In other words, I can look behind me and see how I’ve improved as a writer, and I can look ahead of me to see how much more I will continue to improve. It’s a nice place to be, here in the middle of the road. Even if I sometimes get frustrated or impatient with the journey.

*Specifically: 1,000-2,000 daily word minimum, but also better quality writing.

This whole crazy writing thing

WIP update: As of today I am 25,000 words in, and the action has really picked up. That probably means I need to chop 10k words off the front, lol, but you know, whatever.

hairglassesoffice 002 hairglassesoffice 001

Left = me thinking about all the revisions I’ll have to do.
Right = me remembering my new motto: “Fix it later!”

Seeing as it’s April 2nd, I obviously didn’t make my original deadline of finishing by April 1st. That was always sort of a haha-yeah-right kind of thing, but still. Regardless, I think I can finish before June 1st and then revise and query (perhaps simultaneously, but shhh, don’t tell!) during the summer. Remember: my 2010 goal is to get an agent. Seeing as that process can take anywhere from a few days to a few years, I’m definitely racing against the calendar.

Anyway, now that I’m almost 1/3 of the way through this manuscript, I’ve noticed a few things.

  1. Action makes life better. When I’m “stuck” and can’t seem to get any words to come out, it usually means there’s nothing happening in the story. The relatively easy solution is to throw in some action. For example, I had a scene where Zack, my male main character, was taken into custody by 2 guards. Basically they pointed to the door, and he went right in. BORING. So what did I do to fix it? I made Zack struggle and resist. And what did the guards do in response? They punched him in the face. POW! Much more interesting, and thus much easier to write.
  2. My characters are not me. That may seem obvious, but in the earlier chapters of this WIP, I found myself struggling to divorce the two main characters from me and my boyfriend. Yes, the seed for this story came from something in my relationship, but the results that sprouted from that seed are NOTHING like my reality. Furthermore, Lindsey and Zack are very different from me and Andy. In order to write their story, I had to stop asking myself what we would do in their shoes.
  3. I really do love this whole crazy writing thing. Okay, I sort of already knew that. But this manuscript has completely reaffirmed it. I think about Lindsey and Zack (and Cato!) all the time — while I walk Riley, while I drive to and from work, while I eat, while I shower, and while I fall asleep. Yet I never tire of them! They don’t frustrate me, and in fact, after I’ve spent some time with them, working on their story, I am happier. (Even if I know the words aren’t perfect.) It’s the best feeling in the world for a writer, and I never want it to stop.

Fake it till you make it

The other day, my real life writer friend Sarah blogged something brilliant about “Playing Writer”:

Even now, I feel sometimes that I’m “Playing Writer” and while I have the knowledge and the skills, I’m not going to get over my insecurities until I work through them and tell myself that I am capable of doing this task I have set for myself. Sometimes when I’m talking about my book, I start to laugh or I apologize for my story. I’m scared I’m not going to live up to the things I’m saying about writing. I’m worried how someone will react to the words I have placed together — I mean, I want to be taken seriously. And I’m really good at talking the talk. I’m friggin awesome at talking the talk, if only that were the only thing I had to do! But, I have to walk the walk. Write the writing I’m always talking the talk about.

Right on!

I often feel like I don’t have the “right” to call myself a writer yet — like I’m just a kid playing make-believe — until I get some publishing creds to my name.

At the same time, calling myself a writer is a big part of getting myself in the right (write?) mindset. Telling other people “This is my goal, this is what I’m doing, and I will succeed” is a huge motivator to follow through. It’s accountability, you know?

It’s not that I write for other people — I don’t. But knowing that other people are watching me, and rooting for me, makes it a lot harder to watch TV instead of meeting my daily quota. (Of course, ideally I can fit in both…)

Anyway, that’s a big part of why I blog about my process. You guys keep me on track. Thanks, guys!

And with that in mind…

WIP update: 22,600 words, and 5 chapters done. I’m in the middle of Chapter 6 and definitely feeling better about what I’m producing. I’ve finally gotten a handle on the two main characters, AND the action has stepped up. So Chapters 1-3 will need a lot of revision to catch up to the rest.

But who am I kidding? The whole ms will need a lot of revision once the first draft is done!

Is it weird that I’m looking forward to that? (Or is it just walking the walk?)

The end of publishing? Think again.

WIP update: Just topped 17,000 words and am getting to the heart of Chapter 5. Strangely, writing feels easier now that the two MCs (main characters) are split up. Not sure what exactly that means yet, but I do think it means something. I guess I’ll address it in the revisions. (That’s my new motto for everything, haha: fix it later!)

To make the most of today, my last Friday of not working (at least for a while), I’m in Houston visiting my parents for the weekend. Trying hard to relax, and to get a lot of writing in. Because next week, the real chaos begins. (Carpets cleaned, locks re-keyed, alarm system upgraded, FURNITURE AND ALL OUR JUNK MOVED IN, unpacking, re-adjusting. Oy.) A workplace move really cures you of wanting to look for houses, by the way. I’ve started to think Andy and I could live in our condo forever.

Anyhoot, I’m off to read and write and relax (and go to the rodeo! yeehaw!) but first, a video. Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have already seen this, but it really is worth seeing again, particularly if you’re into reading or you’re aspiring to be part of the publishing industry.