Flailing About

I’m full of odds and ends on this Thursday morning.


Haircut tonight. After years of not really caring about my hair, Bryon has discovered he likes the colored dye thing. He’s put in requests for white and blue on some occasion. So tonight, Margot and I will have the Ramona Flowers discussion, and we’ll see what she thinks of sinking heavily into Cindy Laupnerville.

Yesterday, I hit 55.7K and finished through chapter 18 of the Troll story. I’m just about 60 pages from the end. After the 4th rewrite, it’ll be good to go. I’ll go through and do some editing, sharpening, and cutting. But I’m jazzed, because not only only is there light at the end of the tunnel, but there is also a hole big enough that I can crawl through.


My friend Catrina Horsfield and I are taking a summer trip in June to Finland and Norway for research for each of our novels (my sequel to troll, her wizards). I love planning itineraries, so expect much Norway blabbing in the future.


Viable Paradise friend Brent Bowen posts this inspiring piece for writers. It’s a well-written thing worth the read.

Another post coming up. I have discovered I don’t want to bury these things in that post.


Nothing Up My Sleeves…

Today, the writer is working.

Thanks to archeologist/writer/VP XIIIer Miranda Suri, I have whacked my my 9 chapters of troll-y goodness into 22 smaller chapters. The theory being that my chapters were way too huge for teens.

I hope to repay Miranda by giving her good crit on her latest novel, of which I read two chapters last night. VERY Aztec.

Thanks to all you nice folks who have been helping me get perspective on the agent partial. I’ll have it ready to go soon.


Um…resuming the 4th draft. Things are both more ambiguous and less muddy. Clarifications are happening where they need to. Characters are no longer blurting out their motivations. The book is plumping up. We’re a little over 54K.

And I don’t mind telling you I’m heartily sick of this book. This, this is the slog I so well remember from my dissertation. It’s a much better book than it was even last draft. I’m satisfied, win, lose, or draw, that I’m putting my best effort into it. But yes, the romance is gone as I look at spelling, organization, and what would bore a reader at 15.

And just think! If I am lucky enough to get this book accepted somewhere, I probably get to do this rewrite thing several more times! Hurray!


Meanwhile, there is some stuff swirling around “O-Taga-San” which I will update you on ASAP.

Feh. I’ve got to have devil-possessed David try to beat Grant to a pulp, mark 4. Later, taters.



I have returned from the Temple of Sacred Cake Dissection. Much happiness and felicitations to Aric and Kim upon the advent of their nuptials!

Um. An interview and a book review/interview out currently. As soon as they come home to roost, you will see them here!

And. I am working my way through rewrite 4 at a pretty rapid clip. My fantasy is to have chapters 6 and 7 modified by the end of the week. I’ve received some valuable input from a fellow VP’er about some rearranging, clipping, and chapter shortening that I thinks is spot on.

I’ve read Magic Bleeds. You know what I like about the Kate Daniels series? It’s sexy, but there’s much more than sex. That’s not the motor of the book. Nice work again, Ilona!

Right. I have 17 minutes to produce SOMETHING before I head back for a meeting with a couple of teachers. Perhaps in night class tonight I’ll be doing some writing.

How are you? These days I don’t seem to have time to read through a bunch of journals, which saddens me.


Still, it’s another complete draft…

Well. *dust hands* Draft 3 of the troll story was finished yesterday evening.

The next draft/polish should take less time. There are three objectives:

1. The romantic YA overlay (but not too sappy. I’d never make it as a romance writer.)
2. Change and focus the role of one of the characters a bit.
3. Sharpen everything.

Since the fall semester has started, given the new job, this should be made easier. I have scheduled writing times during the day, and I tend to have more energy when I write during the day.

I can actually see this project ending. Readers should be asked opinions soon.

How are your projects coming along?


Breaking Silence

Sorry about the quiet. I’ve been working on, you know, the Write-a-thon. I’ve also had to sew a quick shrine maiden outfit for the anime convention I’m helping with this weekend. Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve sewn. I had forgotten how to thread the machine. In my defense, it was a fairly new machine when I stopped using it a couple of years ago.

It’s pretty roasty toasty here in the Midwest. We don’t air condition except a small bedroom unit at night. Argh.

I’m focused on finishing the troll novel. There will be a call for readers soon. I plan to revise chapters 8 and 9, and then wrap things up with chapter 10. It’ll come in at that nice YA size of about 55K. Once I’m done with the write-a-thon, I’ll go through with a serious eye on editing, continuity, and connection. Then, agent roulette begins again.

And I’ll be glad. Because I want to send something out.

So, I’m not dead, although nature is trying. Off to Florida to the Potter Park next week, so things may get quiet(er) for a while. Oddly enough, I seem to be more chatty when I’m at work all week. Go figure.


The Productive Writer Gig

FYI, it’s not too late to contribute to the Clarion Write-a-thon. I don’t care who you give to. I care that you give.

Let me make this easy for you:

Cool graphic link:

Shop the authors.

Remember, Clarion took some heavy cuts this year in funding. It is a great place for writers to learn, and one of the few places that is specifically designed for genre writers to learn their craft.

So, send them some money!

And yes…I have been writing on schedule. This is chapter 8 week, and I’m rough drafting that RIGHT NOW. Okay, not right now, right now, but this week right now.

Seriously though, we’re finished on August 7th, so you need to get that cash in.


Rethinking that Con Thing

Courtesy of Julia Rios, you too can use your phone to do amazing things.

a photo taken of the VP XIII reunion at Readercon.


It’s been 3 days since I started this post. I had a faboo weekend with my family of choice, but yeah, my extrovert battery got hit pretty hard, so I’m only just getting back into the swing of extrovert things.

And work today…well, after a week’s vacation, I really couldn’t expect any better than 31 phone messages and 147 emails. Because that’s just the way the English department rolls.

So…anyway, let’s get back to the subject at hand, which is rethinking that Con thing.

Readercon was fun. It was a con. I saw some friends and enjoyed seeing others from afar. I attended valuable panels, and I burned out and skipped panels I hoped to see. It was a pretty typical con experience for me–highs, low, and the impossibility of doing it all, but enjoying most of what I did.

Except there was something unusual that has never happened to me at a convention before.

And if you don’t want to read on, I’ll cut this here. But if you do, especially as regards writer’s retreats and VP XIII-ness, you may want to click.

Continue reading “Rethinking that Con Thing”

Writing…a Lot

Since I’ve been a domestic being this week, I’ve been cleaning and sorting some. The husband and I took about six bags of books out of our library yesterday, and the house has been thoroughly dusted. With my dust allergies, that does make for a sniffalicous good time.

However, I’m weighing in to mention that I am finished with this week’s chapter for the Write-a-thon. I am going back to chapter 3. I have to back weave a plot element in, and change Manuel’s mom’s job, so that the new plot movement makes sense in chapter 8. Then I’ll revise chapters six and seven.

I know this excites. It might be more exciting to mention that I’ve learned a lot about autoclaves and what they do in the last couple of days. Nope, you’re going to have to read the manuscript later to know why.

You can guess all you want, though.