Archive | June 2009

Announcements, Progress, Toe Joints

Let's do the announcements first!

Look! It's the YA issue of Drops of Crimson! Unfortunately, given the life that I've been having lately, I haven't had time to slip into the stories and go ah! yet. Here's hoping things will simmer down soon.

Next! I'll be at Convergence in Minneapolis this weekend. On Saturday at 3:30 pm in the Literary Lounge, there will be a patriotic flag waving reading Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading. I'll be reading with Catherine Lundhoff, Lyda Morehouse, and Kathy Sullivan.

The spooky reading from The Winter the Troll Danced with Old Nickwon.

I'll also spend some time standing in line to get Patrick Rothfuss' autograph for Mark, and listening to various witty repartee on panels. Mostly, I'll be hanging out with friends, and gofering for Bryon.

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And now...foot update. Bryon didn't get his stitches out, and he has to continue to wear his boot and carry his crutches. He does have smaller bandages now, and the addition of socks and a Dr. Scholl's pad on his medical geta are proving to make him more comfortable. The doc even says he can give driving a try. So, we'll see how he does at the convention. He thinks he'll use his crutches when he enters crowds, because that will keep people away from his feet.

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I have done really well on the writing front for the last few days, which is good, because after all the driving to various medical locations today, I got nothing for tonight.

Scene Count:

18 / 53 words. 34% done!

Excerpts? Okay. Here's a nisse excerpt that I like.

Continue reading

The Mahabharata Generation 2

When last we left our Indian dynasty, the children of Santanu and Satyavti both had died, and Bhisma had vowed celibacy. Looks like we're heading for a dead-end.

But no. Bhisma is a clever guy. You might remember that Satyvati had a child with Parasara? That child was Vyasa. Bhisma says to Vyasa that if he lies with the widows of the second son, those children will continue the dynasty.

Who are those widows? Well, Bhisma arranged for the prince who was alive at the time of marriage to get married to three princesses: Amba, Ambika, and Ambalika.

Amba actually bows out of the bargain. She tells Bhisma that she loves another man, Salva, so Bhisma lets her go to him. Unfortunately for Amba, Salva feels her honor has been compromised. Amba returns to Bhisma, and Bhisma will not help her, so she vows to be the cause of his ruin. Remember this for later.

Meanwhile Ambika and Ambalika marry, but they are left widows. Vyasa sleeps with each of them. Ambika thinks that Vyasa is ugly and closes her eyes. As a result, she and Vyasa have a blind son Dhrtarastra. Ambalika paled in fear for Vyasa, so she gave birth to a pale son Pandu. Ambika was supposed to go to Vyasa again, but she sends a serving girl in her place, and that girl pleases Vyasa so much that she is blessed, and gives birth to the wiseman Vidura.

Next up: What happens because blind men can't be king.

Chapter 4 Scenes

Bible study was inadvertently canceled tonight, so I had a chance to come home and work on a couple of chapter 4 scenes. These were fun scenes: one was Nick coming to tell the Widow...something.

The other was two of our nisse characters talking about the invading troll cat. You might remember the troll cat from the Norwegian folklore of milk. It was too good to pass up.

Anyway, some progress, scene by scene.

16 / 53 words. 30% done!

Unforgivable Personal Deadlines

In retrospect, I understand that I am tired. I think that's why it's hard for me to crank out the troll story as fast as I would like. I think that's also why I haven't been motivated to do the other creative non-writing project I had on tap for this summer.

I am a slogger. I make good on my threat to have a chapter of the troll story done a week in the revision. I have an agent waiting for some pages, which should motivate me to finish it sooner. But I'm tired. Still, this is not unreasonable progress. It's just not my usual progress, and Type A woman feels inadequate.

I also feel that way about the curriculum I need to get done at work as well. I have made a great deal of progress given what they've had me doing otherwise, but not enough to meet my unforgivable and unforgiving personal deadlines.

Justification to self: Last year was a very full year so far, as far as writing went. I think the creative well needs to refresh a little, bounce back. This year's been a very full year emotionally, and work has never slowed down. There's a lot to wrangle to the ground. I shouldn't feel inadequate. I am moving forward. Yeah. That's it.

There's that nagging voice in the back of my mind that tells me an editor wouldn't care about my full plate, and I should be cranking it out anyway. I really hate the workaholic monkey when he decides to camp out on my shoulders. He's full of deadlines and demands, not to mention unreasonable expectations.

It is true that we are hardest on ourselves. I have to keep repeating the mantra that I am moving forward steadily. I am not goofing off. Better to produce something good that takes time, than something fast, just because you are goal driven.

Inching. Not a Chinese fortune telling method. I hope you are all writing faster than I am, and feel good about what you're writing.

Meanwhile, I keep trying to feed the Type A monkey bananas. I need a vacation from the monkey, but instead I'm retreating to the curriculum bunker. Because someone has to meet those work goals no later than the end of July, and Momma's gotta keep her cats in tuna fish.

Catherine

Chapter 3 Done

I'm singing the chapter 3 is done song. I cut a scene for cliff hanger purposes.

I really need to think about which parts of this I want to read at Convergence. It's a toss up between introducing our villain or our hero. The spooky stuff at the beginning pulls you in, but the troll stuff is fun and likable.

What do you think? Spooky or likable?

Word Count for part one:

11565 / 45000 words. 26% done!

Scene Count:

14 / 53 words. 26% done!

Will I get to start next week's chapter tomorrow? Yeah, pretty much. No suspense there.

Catherine

Delays and Patience

You may have noticed from the Publications page that Hulk Hercules: Professional Wrestler has been pushed back to January, 2010. That's okay. I will bide my time.

There are some very good reasons. Cat's Curious editor Sonya Sipes thinks we can do a better publicity campaign for it if we have more time to play with. I can handle positive publicity.

I have pretty much determined to be easy-going in my writing life. (Alternately, I almost busted a sprocket in my day job life last week, so perhaps I should apply this lesson more broadly.) If I had any good advice to give a new writer going in, it would now be this: expect wait times. Take the longest wait time you can imagine, and cube it. That's your minimal wait time for any project.

This isn't a complaining piece. It's a cultural piece. It just took me a while to understand this piece of the culture. Mind you, I do find it frustrating sometimes, but you'll be better prepared than me, because you've read this and other commentaries like it.

Let's take a look at some time frames.

Continue reading

Bone Shop

Word is spreading through the internet of another writer who is offering a serialized novel and hopes for some support. Tim Pratt will be publishing chapters of Bone Shop, a prequel novella about his character Marla Mason.

Tim explains what's happening in this post. I am not fond of seeing anyone's circumstances alter, but I begin to wonder if this current economic crunch is beginning a resurgence in serial fiction.

Mondays may become serial Mondays.

Catherine

Group Dynamics

Gibbs is often in the habit of linking to journal articles he's enjoyed in the past week, or he thinks are useful, so turn around is fair play. Here he has outlined some ideas about writing group etiquette, based on a visit J. Kathleen Cheney took to a recent local chapter's RWA meeting.

I think in any new group there may be a tendency to stick with what you know, but if you are interested in attracting new members, what Jon suggests makes a lot of sense. Over on his blog, he's having a nice discussion about it. Check it out.

A couple more messages. Today looks spammy!

Catherine