Herc-o-meter: Labor Day, the Nemean Lion, and Women

Dusty, dirty, absolutely fun Renaissance festival yesterday in Kenosha, WI. Bryon had stellar day. He was on stage with The Swordsmen and picked up their video, bought his amazing uber toffee from Pemberton’s, and enjoyed himself. We met up with our friend Paul and shared the entire trip with Mark and Michelle. Pretty good stuff.

Experiment suggested by Dr. Qiao failed miserably. I cannot cut back to one prilosec clone every three days. Nope. Paying that price now. My heartburn yells, “From the abyss, I stab at thee!” We’ll be okay in a couple of days, really.

I’m writing this one over the course of the evening, and I’ve been working on the draft until I had to go out and do my lawn mower thing. I have made a dreadful mistake. I just drove our riding lawn mower backwards off our driveway. Yes, off the steep side that spills over onto the gravel driveway of the neighbors.

Safety features of the lawn bug include that the mower automatically shuts off when you are no longer on the seat. I had the good fortune to fall away from the vehicle, so none of it landed on me. We have yet to test it to see if it works again, but that test will be for another day.

Bryon wanted to go get it checked out at emergency immediately, but I suggested we wait to see if anything is actually wrong with it. Well, obviously I can still type, but putting away a load of laundry is a bitch, and twisting and crouching certain ways also isn’t working for me. So, yes, after he’s done with the lawn, and cleaned up a bit, we’ll make that trip to the emergency room. I’ll keep you posted.

So NOT what I needed. It’s expensive, and I do not need a problem with my hands and arms when a book deadline looms. Sonya, you’ll be the first to know if there’s an issue that affects my deadline. I’m optimistic that I haven’t broken anything, but if you want to say a little prayer for my right hand and typing skills, please do.


HH:PW? Here’s where I made it to tonight, seemingly on schedule.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
26,816 / 55,000

You’ll pardon me if I don’t do trivia and the rest. The mood isn’t quite right here in limited mobility land.

Shoot, shoot, and shoot.


My Color Code: Let Me Show It You

Today I finished rolling up my sleeves on Hulk Hercules. I divvied up the original draft into scenes on Scrivener, and then I color coded my entire outline. I made spaces on Scrivener for the scenes that I have yet to write. I cropped all the research notes out of the draft, and put them in the reference section.

What I learned: I learned that I have approximately half of the draft written, and I have about half to go. That means I’ve backed down on my word count for the rough draft, and I’m okay with that. I can now officially see the entire forest.

Where I go next: I have 32 days, until September 30th, to finish that first draft, something that is achievable if I write 984 words a day starting tomorrow. No problemo. I have a fantasy of finishing the first draft BEFORE September 30th, but if I do, that’s gravy.

The new Herc-o-meter looks like this:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
24,870 / 55,000

Later, taters.

Progress Tonight

Tonight I pruned more than I added, so I lost about 300 words. My writing ability tonight seemed to be taking a vacation, so I organized. I whacked the draft up and put various scenes in order in Scrivener.

Tomorrow we’ll see if the writing comes back, and if not, we’ll continue to shuffle things around.

Expect the return of the Herc-o-meter then.


Herc-o-meter: Polly

So, I’ve done some more writing and chopping.

Word Count:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
36,634 / 75,000

The answer to the last Herculean trivia was the Nemean Lion. That’s where Hercules picks up his attractive poncho. Here’s an easier question. What did Hercules steal from Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons?

Herculean Wisdom:
“Polly, there’s something I want to ask you.”
“Yeah?” said Polly.
“Well, there’s this girl I’ve been thinking about asking out. Do you think I’d stand a chance?”
“I don’t know, Leo. Is she prissy?”
“What? No! I’d never date a prissy girl!”
“Good. Because you’re a little rough around the edges.”
“I could clean up okay.”
Polly put her hands on her hips. “Yeah. Sure.”

Soap is an important ingredient for dating.

Writerly Musings from the Thin Computer

So…this morning I’m off for my annual trip to the gastroenterologist (wherein we discuss how January’s surgery has changed the reflux landscape), so I’m killing a wee bit of time before I commute over there. I’ve done the email, alerted the ELA honor guard to delay the students until later, read your entries on my friends lists, and still have a wee bit of time to kill.

I’m enjoying reading about all those stories you guys have out there, getting published. Short stories, novels, those found by agents. Congratulations! It seems that the world is abuzz with happy news. Me too. I’m working on a novel that I’m getting paid to write, that could become a series, and that has a couple of film companies waiting in the wings for it.

Like so many writers, I have a hard time focusing on the positive. I feel a bit fraudulent at the moment, mostly because I’m not sending out queries. Hulk Hercules is priority one right now. I wish I had time to crank out short stories for all the markets I’ve heard about recently. I’m particularly hot to write Mark Twain’s Daughter for the Interfictions 2 anthology now that I’m reading it, and really enjoying it.

And then there’s the whole novel thing. As long as Substance was making the rounds, I felt cool, I’m working toward getting an agent. I tell myself that I am doing the same thing by writing Hulk Hercules, as I can actually tell an agent I’ve written a book, and even, if the film deal comes through, use the book to help get an agent. I also tell myself that the jury is still out on Substance. Chances are slim it will get an agent, but it ain’t over until it’s over.

So, in addition to wanting to work on Hulk and write those short stories, I also want to be working on my Abigail Rath Versus series, which I think will be fun, and other novels I have ideas for. I don’t want to slight anything, but yeah, I want to be working on it all. I feel I should be trying to get a new agent with a new project, and trying to get into a writing work shop with short stories, and trying to publish short stories…

Okay. You guys know me. I’m really pretty patient. But we all have to have these cathartic moments, just to reveal that deep down inside, all authors are the same insecure people. 🙂 I’m curious how you guys manage your hopes, your dreams, and your desires with your real life, your impatience with your patience. I’m going to go back and look at my writer’s life list, and bide my time. I’m going to wait for the storm to break. I’m going to take it one step at a time, and I’m going to put my head down, and write Sonya and Cats Curious a killer book.

It would be nice if something new would happen, if the storm would break. I feel, especially after my family went ‘splodey this weekend, I deserve something nice. Then I remember that my life is pretty good, and I already have breaks other authors want.

We always want the next thing, and I guess we should just learn to appreciate the step we’re at when we’re there.


Herc-o-meter: Herapy

I copied last night when I should have cut, so I discovered that I didn’t get as many new words as previously thought. Still, I’m ahead of where I was yesterday after writing the first version of the cleaning of the Augean stables, so that’s good. I’ve also worked a bit on adding to the scene that introduces Hera. Initially it was a student in Hera’s motivations, but it will become a full blown therapy session which will introduce the opposition team of mythological guys that will run through the books, if, in fact, Cats Curious has enough success with the books to make it a series.

So, word count:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
35,826 / 75,000

No one’s guessed the first labor of Hercules yet, so that question will stand for another day.

Herculean wisdom today:
“Did Arnold get into trouble?”
“Sure did. His dad sent him away to live with relatives.”
“Hmmm,” said Bianca from the doorway. “So, that’s what happens to kids who get into trouble. I get it now.”
“You,” said Nonna, shaking a spatula at Bianca. “Come set the table.”

Even in Herculean times, crossing your parents could have consequences, but if your relatives cook better than your parents, maybe it’s not so bad?

Herc-o-meter: Antipasta and Augean Stables

We’re back, and we’re writing. First of all, let’s talk about word count.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
35,397 / 75,000


I’ve just started another Nonna tells Tony story: this one the Augean stable. But we’ve already covered trivia for the Augean stable, so I’ll ask you this question: What was the first labor of Hercules?


Herculean wisdom:
“Tell me the story of the Augean Stables,” said Tony. “Since I’m working.”
“I don’t think that’s a food preparation story,” said Nonna.

Your appetite *can* be affected by mythology, so tell gross and gory stories with care!

Tomorrow, then!


Mixed Bag

Occasionally we have those days where things come up, and we don’t get to write. Today was a mixed bag. Familial entanglements from the last couple of days took me traveling. When I arrived home, I caught up on some internet things. I expect to be peripherally involved in some things the next few days that will be unpleasant, but I will do my best to persevere on the book. But I’m pleased that I’ve built some words up for a margin of error, and that I’m being productive.

That’s the last you should hear of angst. I’ll keep it over in the other journal. We try to keep this one professional.

However, since I was in Des Moines today, I stopped at their Half-Price Books, and serendipitously found a biography specifically about Mark Twain and his daughter Susy, which means that short story is fated. Sometimes these things are surprising, these signs.

By the way, Mochi Monkey scores correctly on the trivia. Hercules takes the boar to Eurystheus.

Watch my fingers fly tomorrow!