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.


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.


Birthday Thanks, Bits of This and That

Thank you all for the birthday wishes yesterday. I spent most of my birthday in meetings for the glory of the college, and every one of them ran late. Bryon took me out for dinner and dessert, and darned if that didn’t take some time too. And well, I won’t talk about afterwards, but yes, I didn’t have what you would call a productive day yesterday. It was a wonderful day nevertheless. It’s always a good day when you get roses.

Interesting birthday trivia. Even though we roomed together for a week at Viable Paradise, I did not know that Chia Evers and I shared June 10th as our birthday. That’s cool.

Today I’m waiting for Russian lessons, but something must have come up. Olga has a Russian friend who’s in the hospital with a serious affliction, and I could well imagine she’s translating somewhere. I have a meeting with the Iowa City dean and my dean about expanding ELA offerings down here, so I would have been here anyway. Yes, I know it’s Friday. That’s why I took a large chunk of Wednesday off to write.

And speaking of writing…O-Taga-San still needs clean up. I’ve gotten some great feedback, and I’ll get that in there. I received a yes to my query, so now I have to send in the story.

Early next week work will be killer, as we have some students coming for a summer program. I expect to have Wednesday afternoon, Thursday morning, and all of Friday to write, however. I’m in Kaz Mahoney‘s summer camp. This troll novel will be done by August. Enough is enough.

I’ll see you all again after my story is off.



I like the birthdays with fives and zeros. This particular birthday has the bonus of being divisible by 9, which happens only, say, every 9 years. 🙂

I also finished O-Taga-San last night. A little polishing, and it’ll be ready to go out.

I have to admit, I feel pretty good this birthday. My lost weight is making me feel more zippy, and writing always makes me feel less compressed.

How are you this fine June day?


Last Day of Wiscon

I’ve been working on a short story that someone has invited me to send for an anthology. The working title is Kitsune Girl, but it will probably end up being called O-Taga-San. This is kind of cool, using my familiarity with Japanese culture in a very different way. And it’s stretching me. The relationships in the story have thorns, much like they did in Sister Night, Sister Moon. However, I think the outcome of this story will be less tragic than the other.


The last day of Wiscon I had a good time lunching with Catherine Lundoff and her wife Jana. We had some good breakfast, and we talked about Catherine’s upcoming guest appearance at Akon, which went pretty well for her last weekend.

There was the sign out. Let me tell you, signing books is pretty cool. Caroline found us some great seats. Ellen Klages sat on the other side of Caroline, so it was a rollicking table.

Wiscon gives each author a bag of goodies and takes orders for munchies. It’s really something.

The most moving thing I saw all convention was when Lisa Cohen asked Caroline about when her new book was coming out. Lisa has had a very hard year. Caroline’s response was to give Lisa the copy of the book she had at the table, even though the book isn’t out yet (June 10th, folks!). Yup. I really am impressed by Caroline.

After the sign out, Ellen seduced Cassie, Dan, and Lisa with her iPad. I admit to getting pulled into that and all the Space Babe merchandise after checking out the Rothfuss baby. Cassie, Dan, Lisa, and I had lunch, and then I went back to Iowa with the other two musketeers.

A good time was had by all, and I look forward to making the pilgrimage again next year.

I may be a bit sparse for a bit. Interviews are heating up at work, and I need to get some writing done. Of course, just as soon as I say that, I’ll figure out something I need to tell you about.