Books from Before

Well, of course I’m supposed to be writing an academic paper proposal, modifying generic syllabi, and working on my writing research trip to Chicago! That’s exactly why I’m choosing to procrastinate.

I’ve been reading Jim Hines this morning, and he linked to a post about the books that he’s written. Some of you have done this before, and just yesterday Tina Gray and I were talking about this topic. I suppose it got me thinking about the big projects, so mostly for my own reference, here’s a list of the novels that I have written or started.

Continue reading “Books from Before”

Writers and Their Soundtracks, and Notes from the Revision Cave

This just in: Julie Rose has posted her latest podcast with Alex Dalley MacFarlane on the Writers and Their Soundtracks web page.


Let’s talk about tonight. I’m really colding, so creating isn’t as easy as revising. Hulk Hercules: I revised the Hera scene, but didn’t have it in me to write the important science class/bully scene, or the scene where Dalton tells Bianca that Tony has gone to the office, and she meets Hannah and works on the newspaper.

Next session, then, will be to sharpen up the Hera, Bast, and Livy scene, and hopefully create the next two new scenes. So, the meter doesn’t change for tonight, but should move forward tomorrow, and actually get a little longer.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7 / 38


In Substance, I have added in a couple of old scenes and whacked them up a bit to make them less austere. I think that the Hamwiches are introduced more naturally. I’m running out of the agent’s material, so I’ll need to sweep through the rest of the book on my own, working on deepening the points of view and destiltifying the dialogue. Milo may get more of Amanda’s bits than previously. We’ll see how that goes.

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79 / 384

Now, to relax and embrace the cold…


Stinky Cows and Horses, Wizards, Etc

Arm on ice, but here’s today’s count for Hulk Hercules.

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7 / 38

The Augean Stables tale was pretty broad and fun to tell, and so it required little revision. Next session, however, will be pretty much brand new: introducing Hera and Libby. Hercules may get all my attention next session. I also want to get Tony and Bianca back to the school and get a Bianca POV scene before I start in on the Herculean love triangle. So, we have some new tents to pitch.


Now for Substance. I added in two old scenes and polished up Stephan’s questions about the curses. Next session I will go back over that section in a smoothing rewrite, and move into the chapter that introduces the Hamwiches in earnest, as well as polish Atreus’ custody battle for his children. I’ve almost reached 75 pages for the resend, but of course, I must revise the entire novel first.

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67 / 384


Notes from the Revision Cave

So, today’s glamorous word counts!

Hulk Hercules: Began work on chapter 3, revising an interpersonal scene between Bianca and Tony, and set up the wrestlers potluck. Next session will be Nonna’s retelling of the Augean Stables.

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6 / 38


Substance of Shadows: The beginning of a new chapter. Not too much wrong with the Ma’at stuff. Next, a big revision: the meeting between Stephanas and Professor Borgia, which needs quite a bit of work. I’m also trying to think about whether to insert the Hamwich scene before the Atreus meets Enid scene, or after, which will serve the story best. We’ll let that stew.

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58 / 376

Characters and Heart Strings

I know, I know. I’m not supposed to be here, so I’ll keep it brief.

When you write, do you become so involved with your characters that you feel them? You become them, you carry their sorrows and joys, you don’t want to leave them at the end of the day?

Not all the time, but during those projects when I seem to have a tie to the characters, then I am most alive. Revising Substance yet again, and putting the characters’ voices back in this draft hearkens back to when it first came to me. I’m not in love, exactly. I feel full of light and full of tears, even at the same time.

I write for myself mostly, it’s true. But I feel so soulful as I write this book and return it to its former self that I truly, truly hope I can share it with all of you some day.

My schmaltz on your friends list, I remain,


Scaling Back

Today’s more modest revision effort, to engage in elbow protection.

Hulk Hercules:

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5 / 38

Next session is more of Chapter 3, which requires some major refocusing of events. I’ve mentioned all the major characters save Hera, who will be introduced in two more scenes.

Substance of Shadows

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44 / 377

Chapter 1 is finished, and has been split into chapters 1 and 2. The agent seemed to enjoy the last part of the chapter, as not much was required in revision. That section always makes me cry, and I’m glad to have gotten through it. Ready to move on to the new chapter 3. Does anyone remember the Ma’at attacks scene?

Ice, ibuprofen, The Fugitive, and lunch. If I get some elbow back, it’ll be time for some paper checking. That’s the glamorous life of the English teacher indeed.

Hope you are all doing well!


Feeling Sorry for Yourself

Sure. I probably shouldn’t have written for five hours yesterday. But writing is so sweet and tasty! Things were going so well that I just wanted to keep going.I was in the zone! I was cranking it out!

Adrenaline is one of the reasons I write. When writing works, it makes me feel very good.the last thing I want to do is stop in those instances. Writing can sometimes be difficult, so you also hate to waste the time when it works.

However, when your arm is broken, it’s not best to be an idiot and keep working with it. I thought if I took a break in the middle of the day, I would be okay. *headdesk*

So today, I’m paying. I’m working on this entry with my voice activation software, and I’ll be staying off the keyboard tonight. I hope I don’t have to do it tomorrow as well, as it’s a writing day.

Boohoo! I want to write! What do the rest of you do to quell the hunger to write in times you can’t, for whatever reason?

Notes from the Revision Cave

Used the Brookfield Zoo Site extensively today, and found out the name of cheesecake in India is burfi. Mmm, burfi.

Today in Hulk Hercules, I wrote the Labor Day trip to the Brookfield Zoo, introduced Diana, Polly, Hannah, and her family, and wrote the Stymphalian Birds. Then, I found Tony and Bianca’s school: Jane Addam’s Elementary, and I rewrote the first scenes there. I also did some more research on Chicago Amateur Wrestling.

Our word count has expanded to 38, 289, and here’s where we are on the meter.

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4 / 38


On to Substance of Shadows. I’ve revised the first third of Chapter One. I’ve shored up family names, changing Geoffrey to Gregorius and Stephan back to Stephanas to latinize more. I’ve also put Errol’s interior back in after the Gales leave. Our next stop with Substance will be to rewrite Milo and his brothers invading for the birthday party, and then breaking for chapter 3.

Word count meter:

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25 / 372

Research from the Revision Cave

Today’s Hulk Hercules session: research. I am working on a section where we see Leo at work at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, so I visited the Brookfield Zoo site to learn a lot about it.

And then, since Tony and Bianca with Nonna and Leo in Little Italy this year, I did general Little Italy research.

What I’m having trouble finding is where you go to school if you’re in the 4th grade and in the 6th grade in the Little Italy area. If any of you are Chicago-ites who happen to know, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll be buying a map and writing the school districts soon.

Bob, I’m considering coming to Chicago either the weekend of October 18th, or November 8th. FYI for you and Tasha. Of course, I have to contact Brookfield and the gym, see how it works out for them.


The rest of the evening’s work will be taken up in finishing the restructure of Substance’s Prologue, and perhaps putting the final buff on it. Revision meter should not substantially change.