Notes from the Revision Cave

Yesterday I didn’t write. I did go out and shop! I now have Lament, The Graveyard Book, and the first of Mervyn Peake’s two Gormenghast novels. And then I watched the excellent Iron Man documentary on the two disk set. So today, best get to work!


Hulk Hercules: Last night, in a flash before sleeping, I decided to do some darling murdering. There will be no grounding, Joe goes to character later land, and the food fight is assigned to the land of orphan scenes, which may or may not be salvaged. I’ve changed some ordering. During the night of the wrestling potluck, we’ll have the Hephaubot planted in the apartment, and later the Hephaubot incident.

Then we’ll move back to school and plans for the Fall Festival (new material) and some investigation into the Hephaubot, moving the spotlight onto Hannah. We’ll also get that visit into the zoo, where Leo asks Diana out.

Scene Counts:

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13 / 37


Substance of Shadows: Revised Chapter 5. Mostly cut snotty Errol dialogue, and polished Milo a little bit.

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162 / 387

Off to make dinner!



Steroids: the anti concentration drug! I’ve spent my day hopping from task to task with my temporary ADD. I am earnestly going to try to do some writing at this point. Here goes nothing.

Hulk Hercules: Tony and Bianca’s classroom scenes were actually pretty well written first time, so they are revised and ready to rock. And I’ve written the potluck kitchen scene. I’ve busted out the Tony asks wrestlers for tutorial help with Marshall scene on its own, and I’ll draft it next session, as well as revising the food fight scene.

Word Count:

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11 / 38


Substance of Shadows: I’ve actually revised through Chapter 4 now. I added back in Andrew to talk to Stephan, and the burning of the other Rowther letter. I’ve also destiltified a lot of the kids dialogue. Now I’m ready to begin some of the Rowther material, introduce the dark magician kids. I plan to add in more POV and development of the characters.

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140 / 387

And the ‘roids appear to be wearing off, so I think I’ll trust myself around the oven to begin some dinner preparations.


Steroids Win Day: Film at 11

As often happens with my colds, they migrate to my bronchial tubes and become this thing-that-is-not-asthma-that-pretends-to-be-asthma. That’s been the doctor’s mantra for the last three years. Today, Doc Tyler sang a different tune. Some of you might remember my “temporary” grass allergy last spring? Well, it looks like we may well be on the path to being officially labeled allergic.

I’ll be heading to the doc next week to have him listen to my lungs, and to talk seriously about allergy testing, so I can be medicated to protect myself from nature. I’m also supposed to get pro-active about mid-August and mid-May and start using over the counter allergy meds if nothing is prescribed.

It seems to be a loser fall for health. First arm breaks. Then, lungs break. Steroids, however, are mind-altering. This morning I smoked the magic hookah, and went on the magical mystery tour (read the 75th cup of coffee jitters. Paranoid? Me? *nervous tick*) followed up by a chaser of three steroids. This always turns me into the Incredible Hulk.

And now, I’m crashing. I feel like I haven’t slept all night, a fairly accurate assessment. So, my writing plan is to get out my computer. Yup, that’s it. 😛 Who knows? Maybe I will yet perk up, but I do have about a month of wiggle room.

And that’s what’s happened to me today! Well, that, and I played editor with about 30 students. You?


Notes from the Revision Cave

Last night, my elbow started twittering, so I quit my writing session about 15 minutes in. The heartache! However, I managed to get this great sequence into Hulk Hercules before shucking out.

“Hera is coming over. To talk, she said.”

Hephaustus whistled low. “I don’t want to be anywhere near that.”

“She’s calmed down a lot over the years.”

Hephaustus flung back the box lid and grabbed a jumbo piece of pepperoni.

“Sure. And Aphrodite and I are getting back together.”


It’s now 8:11 am. I’m at Coffee Talk waiting for a 3:15 osteopath appointment. (Arm girl doesn’t drive, so a friend will take her to said osteopath when friend is finished with work at said Coffee Talk at 2ish). And I’ve had a reasonable night of sleep for someone with a head cold and a bum elbow, so carpe-frikkin’-diem! I’m working like gangbusters on the books!


And now, it’s 9:42 am, and I’m done with the Hulk Hercules tasks for the day. I’ve revised the Hera scene, and added the first two drafts of a Tony in science class scene, and a Bianca perspective scene, both of which I will revise next session, along with the wrestler potluck scene. My work count is current 39, 431, and the scene counter looks like this:

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8 / 37

The highlight of the Hercules’ day was learning about swamp gas for a much, much later scene, and integrating it earlier here.


Onto Substance, I finished today’s revision today at 10:30. I’ve finished the first part of the book, and I’m ready to revise into the Esme’s trial part. I’ve whacked out a lot of deadwood, but I’ve replaced a couple of scenes with older ones. The overall effect is that Errol seems more genuine, and I think the characters seem less arch than they did.

In the next section, I broaden out Milo’s role more, and work on developing those interiors. I’m feeling pretty good. Word count has increased to 72, 783, and as you can see below, we are close to having revised a third.

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105 / 386

And that’s it for today. See you tomorrow!


Lament: Coming to a Store Near You

It’s a big, big day for Maggie Stiefvater, whose novel Lament comes out today. Maggie is truly an inspirational writer. I haven’t had the good fortune to meet Maggie yet, but I have to tell you how much she impresses me. In the writing world, it is so easy to spin, moan, and worry. I have never heard Maggie do this. Her journal is upbeat and positive, and she’s always talking about the possibilities, rather than the drawbacks. I’m sure she’d disagree with me about how she feels, but she looks great in cyberspace!

The story of Lament is the story of the discovery of a good book. Lament languished in the slush pile, and was rescued from there. Then Maggie found an agent (she had to choose from 4, if memory serves!). It goes to show you that there are all sorts of ways to get published if you are patient and bide your time.

Maggie inspires me to enjoy the ride. I’m an unagented soon to be published by small press writer. This is an okay place to be for now. Right now, my life is still flexible in regard to my writing. That’s a plus. I can still explore projects I want without publishing deadlines looming over me. That’s a plus. I am enjoying the submission process and the revision process. That’s a plus. I’ve got an opportunity to write a series for kids that might get bought for film. That’s a big plus! Thanks, Sonya!

I’ll eventually be somewhere else as a writer, and maybe even soon I’ll be an agented writer, but since life is uncertain, and publishing is full of bubbles that pop at a moment’s notice, maybe I’ll just appreciate what I’ve got. It’s an important thing for all of us to remember, no matter what we’re doing, no matter where we are in our life. Maggie, thanks for making me think of this!

Champagne to you, Maggie! You can read some of Maggie’s wisdom at David Bridger’s excellent blog.


Oh, and Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard book also comes out today. I was lucky enough to hear an excerpt of it at Fantasy Matters in Minnesota last year, and I’ve been looking forward to it since. However, I’m sure Neil’s machine will gear up to tell you all about it.

Me, I’m pulling for Maggie!