On the personal side it's been a lot of religious and spiritual text. And on the professional side, it's all about fairy tales and winter-related mythologies and me figuring out how I'm going to tie up the threads left dangling at the end of UNTOUCHABLE. Although, I also read a book on astral projection as research for the FORBIDDEN MAGEIA series, when I'm ready to pick that up again. Read that book this week since it's not my book and I should return it soon...
Tempted to buy my own copy just so I can mark it up with highlights...
But that's much further down the road. The path in front of me is filled with Krampuses, Jack Frost, The Winter Queen and the King of Pohl.
I thought it would be hard to get back into the world of Everwinter, but as I read up on winter lore and reread UNTOUCHABLE, I'm slowly getting more and more excited about revisiting these characters. I still think I'm going to do my best to keep it as a trilogy and not a series, but still. It's nice to know that I won't be completely dreading the process of writing UNBREAKABLE.
Meanwhile, what little writing I have done this week has been primarily on HUNTRESS. I am really loving Selene's story, and some of my personal research has helped me flesh out her world a bit better, which is exciting and sad at the time. Exciting, cause it's creating a much richer world than I could have ever imagined, but sad because I have to start putting Selene on the back burner in order to focus on UNBREAKABLE, especially if I want it to release later this year, which I do...
Some how or the other, I'm going to make this "work on two projects at once" work for me. Or learn how to write faster. Which ever happens first.
Oh, BTW, cafenowhere has an EXCELLENT series on her LJ about writing Latin@ characters. It's worth checking out, even if you don't write Latin@ characters because a lot of the info can be applied to writing POC in general. It's worth reading, too, if you are just a reader -- it gives you insight into what you should expect when you read a book featuring a Latin@ or POC character.
Now if you'll excuse me, I must unwind with some Netflix marathoning -- I'm currently watching Leverage (with Bagpiper) and Pysch (on my own) as well as doing another rewatch of FarScape. :D
I tell ya, having Netflix on the iPad in the kitchen while I cook/clean is one of my more genius ideas.
Very LJ similar, but people/communities seem to be a lot more active on Dreamwidth than on LJ. It seems like when I find people of interest on LJ, they haven't updated in years. But when I do the same search on Dreamwidth, people are listed in order of whose most recently posted to their blog. Which is nice. Cause I'm not being shown people who have been absent for years.
In any event, posts to Dreamwidth will cross over to LJ for the one or two people who actually read it...LOL
On to the writing news!
Been researching a lot of stuff for Selene Wilde, and have some awesome new ideas to add into that story. Unfortunately, it's April, which means it's time for me to get super serious about UNBREAKABLE.
At the same time, however, I really hate to just stop writing midway through HUNTRESS (Selene Wilde's tentative title), so I'm going to experiment (again) with working on two projects at once. I've never had much luck with this, but if I can at least get the bare bones of Selene's story down before they evaporate, then I can set it aside while I work on UNBREAKABLE.
But UNBREAKABLE is the priority, so only time can tell if I end up having to put Selene on hold or not.
He did most of his HGTVing in our bedroom, but he also did a little bit in the dining room area, Previously, my desk allowed me to peek into the kitchen. Seeing dirty dishes always distracts me from writing, but closing the kitchen door was not an option because Soba needs the access to his litter box in the laundry room.
So my desk was pushed to the other wall and the dining room table was moved closer to the kitchen. The kitchen is now to my back and if I want, I can peek down the hall and have a pretty good view of my daughter's bedroom. No more messy kitchen distractions. I also now have a bigger wall on which to hang things...
...like the new dry erase boards I may or may not have bought today.
Confession: I bought three.
I couldn't help myself! I loooove dry erase boards.
Several years ago, a friend of mine bought me a weekly one with a cork board. I have that one in the kitchen and I use it for weekly meal planning.
One is a big one that currently just reads: YOU SHOULD BE WRITING! because a) I am incapable of leaving a white board blank and b) if I am at my desk, chances are very high that I should be writing.
The other is a monthly one that is semi color-coded. It came with these nifty hanging pens and though the example on the package was that each member of the family have their own color, this white board is just for me, so I've color coded it for family stuff (green), writing (pink), exercise (blue) and misc (orange).
My writing space just got a whole lot awesomer.
Oh, and bonus! I received Pokemon X in the mail yesterday, so since I've hit my word goal for today and it's getting late(ish), I'm gonna go lounge in bed and watch Netflix and catch some Pokemon. seanan_mcguire told me on Tumblr that we could trade once I level up. :D
I've done pretty well with ROW80 in the past, but since migrating my blog over to LJ, I have not participated. After talking about goals over on paragraphs, journal, I realized I kind of missed participating in ROW80.
So I'm jumping back on the bandwagon, and adding a personal twist. Not only will I do my weekly (or bi-weekly, I haven't decided yet) check-ins, but I'm going to add writing snippets to keep me focused on adding NEW words and not just fiddling with the same chapter over and over...which, if you haven't guessed, is what I have been doing all month long.
Today I added it up. 24,000 words on MYSTIC. 15 variations on the same scene. Now I fully admit that I am an edit-as-I-go type of writer. I have tried to turn off my inner editor, but it never works. I know that by editing as I go, my writing process is slower than other writers. However, I usually have a pretty clean first draft, too. I also know that I struggle with opening scenes. Until that opening scene is just right, I have a hard time moving on. But I am determined! Mostly because I really only have about 5-6 weeks to finish the first draft of MYSTIC before I need to put it away for awhile and start working on UNBREAKABLE.
UNBREAKABLE has a deadline, MYSTIC does not. Even though I want to be querying MYSTIC by this summer, UNBREAKABLE is releasing sometime in the fall of this year, so it's a priority project.
On to my ROW80 Goals.
- Finish first draft of SPIRIT MYSTIC (Forbidden Mageias 1) by mid-April. Goal: Approx. 70K. I'd like at least 40K by the end of March.
- Begin prepping UNBREAKABLE (Everwinter 2). Want to begin working on it in April.
- Begin first draft of UNBREAKABLE. Would like to average 1.5-2K a day, if not more.
- Post a snippet of new material each week with my ROW80 Check-ins.
But it wasn't the general, excitable feeling of the sarakasi. As she paced the hall outside of the Ring Master's private quarters, anxiety and fear churned beneath Nadia's skin like an itch that couldn't be satisfied.
She felt sick. Her pounding head did nothing to help, either.
Glancing out the window, the courtyard was alive with laughter and light. Beneath the high noon sun, flame-eaters and tumblers practiced their craft while jesters and mimes mimicked them with exaggerated gestures. She fiddled with the garnet pendant on her necklace and tried to spot the Ring Master.
If she knew when he was arriving, perhaps she could find a way to calm herself before their meeting.
She looked down at the array of orange and red stones she was wearing and wished she had chosen something calmer, like amethysts. Instead, she was wearing golden rings with citrine stones, bracelets of light green peridot and pale yellow heliodor and a necklace with a rather large hessonite garnet. They were great for giving her energy and helping her stay awake, but terrible at calming her too-agited nerves.
The door behind her opened. She jumped and then squeezed her eyes shut as embarrassment flooded through her.
The Ring Master.
Nadia had thought he was still downstairs. Orelia, one of the water dancers, had told her as much when she'd asked.
She probably saw Kin, the stupid cow.
The Ring Master's son was a near mirror image of his father, but Nadia thought that Orelia should still have been able to tell the difference between a grown man and his teenage son.
She let out a deep breath and turned to face him.
I swear it was like looking in a diary and reading my own experience.
The only difference between me and the writer of the article is that where they were a G-cup pre-reduction, I was much,much larger before I went under the knife.
But so much of what they write just hit home with me and I am sitting here just feeling so, so, so thankful that I was able to have a breast reduction.
Especially this line, referring to how they felt after the reduction, "For the first time, I wasn't controlled and confined by the limits of my own body."
It's been one year (and two months) since I've had my reduction. And while I am still on the well-endowed end of the boob spectrum, I am much more comfortable in my own skin. There is no back or shoulder pain, no pain from wearing bras that are two to three sizes too small because I couldn't afford having custom bras made (and the bras I was wearing still cost a pretty penny because I bought them at specialty stores).
Today I can go into any store and buy a bra. I can go into Walmart or Target or Victoria Secret (this is the big one for me. I'm buying some VS bras when I go back to the states just because I CAN) or wherever and find a bra in my size. I don't have to go to Lane Bryant or Casique and hope they have something near my size. I don't have to debate on whether or not to shell out upwards of $200 on a custom-made bra.
And the best thing is?
There is still room for me to get even smaller, once I find a work out I can stick with for longer than a month...
But that's a different post for another time.
I have long since accepted that weekends are not for writing.
For one, it's just not possible with a full house. And secondly, the weekend is for spending time with the family.
But I always forget about the random three-day weekends. They throw me off. I'm used to waking up on Monday, getting Cupcake ready for daycare and spending the morning writing. I can't do that on three-day weekends. Normally, I am not opposed to taking an extra day off, but when I'm behind my personal word goal, then I start feeling anxious.
So today, I was feeling anxious.
It didn't help that I spent all weekend in bed with the near-death plague only to wake up today with cramps.
My goal for February was to have 30K words written. I'm way behind where I want to be because I spent a lot of time fiddling with the beginning. It always takes me a while to get going on a new project. And without being able to write today, I thought over what I do have, and realized, once again, I'm not starting where I need to be starting. Haha.
The good news is a lot of what I already have is still usable, I just need to expand a scene and tweak a few of the details.
The bad news is I will not hit 30K words by the end of the month, which means I won't finish the first draft of this WIP by the end of March. This puts me in a predicament, as I was going to spend the end of March/beginning of April rereading Untouchable so that I could start the sequel in April.
I'm hoping that by getting the beginning back on track I can get out some extra words on Dream Walker. The words are still really flowing there, just a little out of order at the moment.
My big goals for this year are to have DW out on submission to agents by the summer and have Unbreakable published at the end of the year. And while I'm behind where I want to be personally, I'm still on track to make both of these things happen.
Just need to keep playing by ear and see what happens.
I'll see Libby Webber, my writing partner, again on Thursday (because our husbands have a four-day weekend and are off tomorrow, which means another day of little-to-no writing) and we're going to reevaluate our February goals and set some goals through the end of the month.
If I keep up my current momentum of about 1.5K a day, I can hit 12K by the end of the month...so I'll be a little bold and shoot for 15-20K, because I always have to set the bar high. :P
Every Tuesday and Thursday, I meet Libby Webber at Starbuck and we write.
We also talk and tweet, but mostly we write. We brainstorm with one another when things need brainstorming and it's all very nice, because sometimes writing gets lonely. We're usually writing from about 9am - 1pm, at which point we pack up because it's time for us to go pick up our daughters from daycare.
Since today is the Thursday before Valentine's Day, I thought I'd surprise her with a little gift. She already knew about the candy part -- last night she was near death due to lack of chocolate, and I admitted I had some for her. She didn't know about the rest...
The Starbucks bag is kind of obvious. I got her a gift card when I arrived, and the barista was nice enough to do an amazing wrapping job.
The bigger bag had all the big goodies -- journals, pens, chocolate and a pair of hand knitted gloves. Not the ones I originally wanted to make for her (I wanted to knit her a pair of green ones), but ones I had on hand since it was painfully obvious I couldn't knit a new pair in time.
Thankfully, she loves them and is currently wearing them. I did tell her I'd probably gift her a second pair next month when I finish them. ;)
In non-gift giving related news, Dream Walker is starting to come along really well.
The newest opening is the one that's working the best, and my elven sarakasi just got a whole lot more intricate in terms of the hierarchy of the performers. Guys, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this book.
While I'm behind where I want to be (I originally wanted to have 30K written on it by the end of the month) deleting the other beginnings and starting fresh with a more YA tone is just making everything click into place so beautifully.
So because I'm so excited about this story, here's another little snippet, this time showcasing Nadia's ability to send messages on the wind.
As Miriam disappeared into the kitchen, Nadia went to the window and opened it. Closing her eyes, she called a thread of air. She opened her eyes in time to see the air shimmer. A sheer, silvery ribbon-like strand danced in front of her like a wisp of smoke from a freshly extinguished candle. Cupping the thread of air carefully in her palms, she whispered a message to Cedwyn, asking him to come visit if he could. With a deep breath, she blew the thread away and watched it dance on the breeze until it disappeared into the sky.
I did it. I moved my blog here. Or rather, I'm just going to use LJ for blogging. The "blog" link on my site now directs here.
Why LJ and not my WP blog? Because on LJ I can make posts private, public or friends only, and I really like that feature. People don't have to be on LJ to comment on posts, either. You can use your Google, Facebook, etc.
Not all my posts will be public, but most of them will be. More personal reflections will be private or friends only. On LJ and want to be my friend? Cool! Just comment and I'll add you. Easy peasy.
Here's a teaser from my current WIP, Dream Walker. It's a YA fantasy, and I'm really loving this story. Magic, elves and traveling circus, what's not to love?
Unwanted, uncontrollable astral projection was hardly a little problem. It was a Big Problem. A Big, Bad, Very Dangerous Problem.