Tag Archives: Holly Lisle

One of my favorite authors of all time.

#ROW80 Check-in June 4th

It’s #ROW80 time again!!

I’ve been busy working on my secret  project and promotional opportunities for Fey Touched’s free run in July. This week I am on vacation from work so I hope I can get some serious work done. But I have promised myself no stress!

The other thing is that I’ve had more TN pain, which screws with everything. I’m hoping this is temporary, but after three weeks of logging my pain, it’s looking like it might be permanent. 😦 I see my neuro in September, and he will probably up my dosage of the tegretol. Until then, I need to hang in there.

Here’s the rundown:

Fireborn – 8 pages in. Finished reading Holly Lisle’s Create a Plot Clinic and I plan on doing some of the exercises today. The first draft is 23k, and I want to expand it to around 60k. So I need more stuff!

Secret project – Up to 8,812 words now. Going well. I’ve already booked a cover artist and I have no title, no blurb, or any idea about a cover. I should probably get on that.

Covenant – Nada, although I did expand those 100 words to 443 words.

Water – Almost every day. I may have missed one.

FYFB class – Nada.

Promotion for Fey Touched – I set up three more free promos.

Guild Wars – I haven’t had a lot of time this week for it. I spent maybe an hour total. This week I’d like to do more.

Chocolate consumption report – Rolos, Sno Caps, ice cream Twix bars, chocolate cookies. Not a lot. Need to eat more!

#ROW80 Check-in 5/28/17

Happy Early Memorial Day everyone!

It’s that time again.:) I’ve been a bit scattered this past week. With no clear deadlines, I’ve been doing a little bit of everything. And giving my brain a break! Lots of Guild Wars! I have a new character I’m playing, a Necromancer/Ranger, which I think might be my favorite combination of professions.

Anyway, here’s the rundown:

Fireborn – I started the preliminary read-through/note-taking. I’m doing this right in the document. I also still need to run through Holly Lisle’s Create a Plot Clinic to help with expanding things.

Covenant – I handwrote about 100 words while at work (shh! Don’t tell my bosses). I still need to transcribe them and finish the scene.

Water – Every day but one.

FYFB class – Thought about it, but ultimately didn’t get to it yet.

Secret project – Up to 5k now. 😀

Promotion for Fey Touched – I’ve taken a break on this. I will be diving back into it very soon.

Chocolate consumption – Dark chocolate caramels (yum!), ice cream Twix bars (2), chocolate cookies. Wow, not a lot there. Must eat more!

How was your week? Did you enjoy any delicious goodies?

#ROW80 Check-in #4

Feeling so much better than I did last check-in. I’ve been drinking a glass of water a day every day so far (with one exception) and it seems to be helping. It seems that once I start drinking it, I’m good. Only drinking one glass for now. Because I have bladder issues, I don’t want to go overboard.

The awesome fantastic wonderful super news is that I not only finished my synopsis to my satisfaction, but I submitted the whole thing on Monday. And now I am chewing my fingernails off. I don’t think I’ll hear from them really soon (unless they are rejecting me) but who knows? Gah, I hate waiting.

I also more or less finished the Changeling 4 revision. I decided that the ending did work, and it will provide a hook for part 5. It will end with part 5, though. I sort of semi have that figured out.

(Also toying with the idea of an online serial novel. Thoughts?)

So now that the submission’s finished, I will turn my attention to Fireborn and writing 8 minutes of new material per day. May end up being Flamebound, a paranormal romance novella I wrote waaaaaaay back in 2008 for Harlesquin’s Nocturne Bites line, but it never quite got to the point where I felt confident in submitting. I took it through Holly Lisle’s awesome How to Revise Your Novel class and have been chipping away at it ever since. When I set up my short work priority list for this year (I also have a novel priority list as well), I decided that 50-60k would be perfect for my new goal of getting shorter works up for sale (and could kick off a series). So, that may be my 8-minute writing project, maybe.

On the physical activity front, I’ve done 15 minutes of activity. I’ve fallen a bit down off of it due to lack of motivation. It’s cold outside, I was forced to spend a lot of time here revising/editing/synopsis-izing, I was tired, etc etc etc. I need to get more time in and pronto. If I feel up to it, I may clean a portion of my darkroom as one 15 minute thing this weekend, and it will help me get closer to having it ready to reopen.

Annnd that’s it for now. 🙂

 

 

#ROW80 Check-in 8/23/15

I’m doing some better. Still having vertigo, but I no longer want to curl up and hide somewhere, so that’s good, right?

I made some progress!!!

997 words on Fireborn and I think I’m unstuck. And, I have an idea for a spin-off series. Thanks, muse!

I’ve been thinking about revision, and decided to go back to Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class, which I took waaay back in 2008. It has been invaluable for figuring out where I messed up and where I didn’t, which is really cool. So I printed off the first lesson worksheets and will be working on them once Fireborn is done.

I also have been inspired (by Holly Lisle) to shift my focus a bit to shorter works. And I’ve thought about it before, but never really considered it for reasons I don’t know (too many novel ideas?). She says that the more you have out there for purchase, the more traction you get with sales. I would love to go full time with this, but I need a certain amount of money to make the leap, and sadly, it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve got two books out and two poetry chapbooks and a free anthology. I’d like to get a few more shorter works (novellas primarily) out there. Part of why I decided to write Fireborn was because of that, actually. But I’d like to put out a few more novellas, like novella #3 in the Reaper Girl universe, Flamebound (which was a novella, then I planned an expansion to novel length, and am now planning it as a novella. Crazy!) which has been languishing far too long and is on my priority list of projects. I have a few novel ideas that could be serialized (as long as there’s a complete story per installment — I’m not a fan of having incomplete stories and forcing people to buy three installments vs one novel, but that’s my opinion) and a few longish short story ideas that are lower on the list but are intriguing. Might be some possibilities there. So that’s my main focus at the moment.

As for actual writing since the last check-in, very little. I’ve had a few Real Life things happen and I’ve been feeling a bit stuck. Now that I’ve worked on Fireobrn again, I feel pretty confident I can start again.

I will try to work a bit on Survivor after I finish this post.

And the fanfic-turned-original idea When the Stars Fall is still hounding me.

Noodling on Covenant, but no words.

Chocolate consumption: WW Sundaes (1 per day), chocolate sugar-free pudding (today), chocolate caramel thingies, Kit Kat minis, and some form of chocolate donut tonight.

#ROW80 Check-in 6/8/14 – Still no words

Yep, I still haven’t written anything. I have finished the Grave Touched reread, and I’m ready to dive back in. Might do that today if I can and feel up to it. I woke up to some pretty severe back pain and all I want to do is curl up (carefully) with one of my books and read.

I’ve started revising Reaper Girl. I can’t do anything major until I hear back from our editor, but I figured working on the smaller issues wouldn’t hurt and would help because the deadline for revisions is the 22nd, and I would like to have the small stuff done so all I need to worry about is the big stuff. Assuming there is more to revise, of course.

Also been working on my How To Write A Series coursework (a class given by Holly Lisle) and have been working on what’s going to become a series of novellas. (Hopefully. With my luck, they’ll grow to novels….) It has to do with ley lines, which I’m fascinated with, and people who solve crime using them. Should be fun to write.

No real stats this time as well. I hope to start working on Grave Touched again and I hope to have words to report. And chocolate consumption. I don’t think I’ve eaten very much since the last check-in. Not good, as I need my chocolate!

2013 in Review and 2014 Goals: Year of No Fear

This has been a very tough, challenging year for me because of my eye problems and everything that went along with it. An awful lot got compromised and set aside. But, I have accomplished some things that I am very proud of:

~I didn’t write for 3 months and did not go insane or kill anyone. That’s a big plus, right?
~I finished the revision of Grave Touched and turned it in on time. (Unfortunately, it needs a rewrite. More on that later).
~I took Holly Lisle’s Flash Fiction class and wrote 7 flash stories, 6 of which I self-pubbed as an anthology called In Flames. I also contributed to the Turtleduck Press Freebies with actual stories: Beloved(sci-fi) and Mirror (horror). I have another flash story going up on the TDP website on Jan. 1st, The Penitent (supernatural/horror).
~I made great progress on the Flamebound. I’m up to lesson 17 of 22.
~I took Holly Lisle’s Motivation class and learned some very, very important things that I have been trying to put into practice. Not quite there yet, but it’s happening.
~I got several new story ideas to add to the ever-growing writing queue.
~I worked a bit on Darklight as well.
inflames1a
Other goals I set not mentioned above:

~Reread Survivor and make notes for rewrite <–This has been started, but not much work done on it to be honest.
~Start a new novel? (Contenders: Darkweaver and Soul Touched, Fey Touched book 3) <–Not done. Darkweaver's still in the queue, and Fey Touched book #3 has been changed to Ever Touched. I can haz a plan!
~Redesign website so it makes sense Have decided to put this on hold.
~Get on a regular blogging schedule Started, with WWW Wednesdays. Would like to add more.
~Continue to look for more freelance editing/proofreading jobs <–Not really done, as my eye thing made it impossible to do anything except drafting for a loooong time. Still not out of the question — just not right now.

So you see I'm working little by little on reclaiming my life. It might not look like much at all, but I did things — I didn't bemoan my fate and give up. I kept plugging away. And while my writing numbers are quite low, I managed to release an anthology, write 7 flash stories, and finish Grave Touched. Not bad in my book. (I also want to add that as of November-ish, I’ve written just shy of 150k for the year. Not bad for having eye pain for almost a year!).

A little aside about Grave Touched… What can I say? I was be-bopping along, thinking I’d nailed it (or came close to it), only to find out that I screwed up. Bigtime. I believe I might have been a bit delusional. I won’t blame my eye entirely, but it did mess a bit with my creativity and story decisions. My editor — bless her soul — is totally right. It needs a rewrite. I know I am up to the challenge, and I know the book will be better and stronger for it. Am I disappointed? Hell yeah. But I consider myself a professional, and a professional would take a step back, shed the ego, and really look at what’s going on. Once I did that, I knew she was right. And I’ve already started on the planning, and I have some good ideas for improving it. So, no big.

As for the release date…we’re rejigging our release schedule and tentatively it looks like around February 2015. That may seem like a loooooong time, but in writing time, it’s not. It’s partly to accommodate the new schedule and to accommodate my need for enough time to do a thorough rewrite. So that’s the story.

As for 2014 goals…I’ve made some big decisions for this year. I am going to do things that I’ve been afraid to do. Fear is a HUGE factor in motivation, I found out. And when I dug in and followed the path to the source, it was mostly fear that was holding me back. So I want to fix this in 2014. Along with the following:

~Rewrite and revise Grave Touched by deadline (Sept/Oct – we’re not sure yet)
~Continue working on another draft of something (Flamebound is the top contender) if it doesn’t interfere with GT
~Continue the Flamebound revision (ties into the draft above)
~Make some type of ruling on Survivor – when to work on it and COMMIT to it
~Plan/plot/figure out Ever Touched
~Write more flash stories/poetry

As for the non-writing goals, check out my 2014 Manifesto (forthcoming!)

Hopefully, things will settle down in 2014 and I can get more creative stuff going. I miss photography and I want to grow and enrich my life. I also hope to nail the GT rewrite and get back on track with the series. And WRITE MORE.

Happy 2014. See you on the flip side.

In which you learn more about me than you ever wanted to know…

Internet memes.  I’ve been tagged in one, and I tagged myself in another.  To make things so much more interesting, I’ve decided to combine them together to create one big Q&A where hopefully you’ll learn something new about me.

Or not.

So, let’s get this shindig started, shall we?

1. Of your characters, who would you most like to have as a real-life friend?

Alisia Duvall from Pirouette.  She is passionate, stubborn, strong, and brave.  She’s loyal and she’ll do anything for those she loves.  And she can communicate with ghosts, which is really interesting.

2. Which would you not want to be around anywhere but in the pages of a book?

There are quite a lot of characters too scary to be anywhere but in the pages of one of my books, but if I were to pick just one, I’d have to go with Raelan, the antagonist from Pirouette.  Spending any length of time in his twisted mind gives me the creeps.  And how he justifies his twisted actions?  Yeah, scary.

3. When a song bowls you over and you have to hear it again and again, what is probably the reason? (Great voice, real emotion, clever lyrics, et cetera)

All of the above!  Seriously.  I’ve fallen in love with songs for the voice (Geoff Tate of Queensryche and Adam Lambert come to mind), lyrics, emotion.  Sometimes a song will hit me so hard it gives me shivers.  One that does that all the time, even though I’ve listened to it at least a thousand times, is Queensryche’s Eyes of a Stranger, which happened to be the first song of theirs I ever heard.  And that was it.  I was a goner.  The main reason is the lyrics and situation behind the song (it’s part of a concept album) and Geoff Tate’s incredible voice.

Another one is Crestfallen by Avantasia.  It stuck in my mind for a least 3 days afterward.  It was a combination of lyrics, feeling, and the song construction itself.  Just…shiver-inducing.

4.Of everywhere you’ve been, where was your favorite place to be? (Home is a perfectly acceptable answer!)

New Orleans.  I seriously considered moving there at one point.  This was pre-Katrina, so I have no idea what it’s like now.  Then, it was a place of magic and wonder and art.  It was amazing, and I desperately want to go back someday.

5. Where do you want most to go?

Ireland.  Because I’m Irish, and I’d like to see where my ancestors came from.  (And I hear it’s amazing).

6.What is the meaning of life? (okay, okay–YOUR life.) What do you think your life is about?

Um…well, I think life is a big mystery.  A journey, not a destination.  Constant evolution, becoming the person you are meant to be.  Everything that happens helps shape you, helps you evolve. (I’ve given this a great deal of thought over the years).

7. What’s the best thing about what you do for a living?

Well, I work a soul-sucking day job, so there’s not much that’s good except the paycheck (and that it exists!).  But one of the effects of working a day job is the structure.  I need structure, and without it (like on weekends), it’s very difficult to be productive because hey, I have so much time!  Holy crap!  I’ll do that…tomorrow.  Nah.  Tonight.  Nah.  And nothing gets done.  Since I have limits on my time during the week, I have to work to fit it all together and thus it helps me stay on task.

8. What do you do when you need inspiration?

I listen to music.  Sometimes it’s music that fits the mood.  Sometimes it’s the actual soundtrack I put together for the project in question.  Sometimes I let my mind wander.  It depends on the situation.

9. When you need some time for you, where do you go?

I hide out in my basement office (my “woman cave”).

10. Plotter or pantser?

It depends on the story in question.  Some I’ve written using a loose outline.  Others I’ve written using a monstrous detailed outline of doom (which worked quite well).  And there are some that I’ve completely pantsed.  I actually prefer to pants it the whole way, but that could be the fried brain talking. (I just finished an intense, unspeakably brutal revision on Fey Touched and my brain is now fried.  And quite possibly dead).

11. To close with a (fairly) easy one–talk about a book. Any book. :)

Oh, god.  Let’s see…if I mention my own, will you think I’m a narcissist?  Oh, fuck it. Fey Touched rocks, guys.  It’s a blend of sci-fi, fantasy, and romance.  It has swearing and battles and sex.  It’s got some awesome twists and turns in it.  Buy it, buy it, buy it in August (oops.  Got carried away there).

In the interest of fairness, I will mention The Hunger Games, which I just finished reading.  It was a great book.  Kept me totally riveted.  Very unusual premise.  I’m reading book 2, Chasing Fire (talk about appropriate titles!) right now.

12. What was the first story you ever wrote? Spare no embarrassing details.

Oh, boy.  Can I skip this question?  No?  All right, fine.  When I was a kid, I was obcessed with unicorns and wrote a story about a girl who gets transported to a place called Unicorn Valley where she meets these uh, unicorns and she ends up saving them from an evil …something or another.  I don’t actually remember.  It’s scary but I still have it somewhere.  I’m sentimental like that.

13. What’s your favorite nonfiction topic to read about?

Well, as of late, it’s been the Holocust.  It started with a book called Rena’s Promise that’s a true account of a Holocust survivor’s time in Auchwitz.  But my go-to topic is science news and/or brainwashing.  For stories, of course!  I’m intrigued by the brain and the human mind.  And the human spirit.

14. How much research do you feel like you need to do before you start a new story?

Depends on the story.  Some require a lot, some don’t.  I try not to get bogged down in it (but it’s so much fun!)

15. Writing challenges (ala Nanowrimo) – useful, or merely stress-inducing?

Useful to the point of obcession.  I can’t formally participate anymore because my wrists are the suck, but I try to do something at my own pace, using the Nano (or challenge) spirit to keep me moving.  I do well with challenges.

16. Why do you write your main genre?

Well, once upon a time, a romance reader got hounded by her mother to read a fantasy novel called Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind.  “But I’m not a fantasy person,” she complained.  “I’m not into this.”  “But you’ll love it!  Just give it a try!” Her mother said, pushing the book into her hands. The reader put it off, dreading it, but finally decided to pick it up.

And she was fucking hooked.  Everything — the people, the magic, the world, the story itself.  The main characters, who were brave and noble and amazing.  The struggles they went through.  The love they had for each other that survived through hell and back.

The reader said, “Wow, I never knew it could be this cool!  Or riveting! Or amazing!  I must read more!”

And the result of that reading frenzy, which continues to this day (going on 8 years), is this romance only reader decided to write fantasy.  Because she wanted to write something this amazing, with noble and brave characters and love that survives anything in a world of magic.  Thanks, Mom!  Best thing you ever did.

17. What genre/author/book do you secretly love but would never admit to in polite conversation?

*blushes* Adam Lambert fanfiction.  Don’t look at me like that!  There are some really good fics out there, and it’s interesting to see the different authors’ spin on things, real or imagined.  And anything Adam is happy-inducing.

18. What’s your favorite movie-adaptation of a book?

Well, it’s not a movie, it’s a TV series called Legend of the Seeker, based on Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth books (Wizard’s First Rule is book 1).  They made a lot of changes and although a lot of fans were upset, I think they did a decent job.  Unfortunately, it was cancelled after the second season, so we may never know what comes next (no, I’m not bitter.  Oh all right, I’ve had a sad since finding that out.  A sad that won’t ever go away, sniffles).

19. What is your favorite type of cephalopod?

Octopi, although I’d never eat one (can you say suction cups?  Ewwww.)

20. What is your writing tool of choice?

Computer.  Can’t live without it.

21. What are your feelings about the proper usage of whom?

My feelings are quite intense.  Because I pride myself on good grammar and spelling and all that shit, I think people should be more aware of their usage of it.  Sometimes, I go into convulsions over bad usage.  Makes quite the spectacle at work.

22. What are you doing to bring yourself closer to your writing goals?

A couple of things.  Currently, I’m gearing up to self-publish Fey Touched as an experiment.   I will at some point be looking at Pirouette again for agent submission.  Also, I continue to learn as much as I can.  I’m taking Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class, and hope to come out of that with a saleable novel.

23. Where do you get your ideas from? :-P

The hamsters in my head, of course.  Seriously, anything and everything.  My brain likes to sift through things and make connections.  It’s kind of scary at times.

24. If you have some terrible old stories that will never see the light of day, which one do you still have a soft spot for?

That would be what is technically the first draft of Fey Touched.  It’s called The Sacrifice and it was my first  finished novel that I completed in 30 days for my first NaNoWriMo in 2003.  Although not much of that draft remains except the main characters’ names and the whole paranormal creature/hunter thing, although now they’re science-based and…never mind.

25. Where in the world would you live if you could live anywhere?

New Orleans.

26. Where would you love to visit, but not live?

Colorado.  Mostly because I can’t breathe there but love, love the mountains.

27. What’s the most awe-inspiring moment you’ve had (that you’re willing to share)?

That would have to be atop Pike’s Peak in Colorado.  It was as if I were on the top of the world.  Amazing.  Also amazing were the American Indians that did dances for us (I knew one personally and we were close and it made me feel closer to him even though he’s deceased).

28. Who’s your captain — Kirk, Picard, Captain Jack from Torchwood, Jack Sparrow, Malcolm Reynolds, other?

Captain Janeway of Voyager, of course!

29. Which author’s universe would you love to write in if you could?

Oh man, tough question.  Okay, I’ve narrowed it down to two.  Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth world and Karen Marie Moning’s Fever world.  Both are amazing.

30.What was your gateway drug into your genre of choice?

Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series.

31. What’s your favourite hobby, creative or otherwise, when you’re not writing?

Photography and reading, hands down.

32. Are you a morning person or an evening person?

Sooooo not a morning person even though I work a day job.

33. What was the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?

I’ve had a lot of memorable meals so that’s hard to say.  Every holiday I’m bowled over by the amazing cooking skills of my mother and mother-in-law.

34. To plot, or not to plot?

Yes and no.  Depends on the book.

35. If you could have one super-power, what would it be?

Gonna sound like a twisted maniac for this, but it’s pretend so…what the hell…mind control.

36. Of all the stories you’ve created, which one’s your favorite, and why?

This is tough.  Really, really tough.  Six months ago I would have said Pirouette, but Fey Touched is also dear to my heart.  It’s a tie.  I refuse to choose.

They both have the coolest protagonists and they both have amazing twists and difficult decisions to make.  Both have romances, both have an intriguing world.  Both have scary antagonists with scary magic/technology/personalities.

See?  Can’t do it.

37. What’s your genre of choice, and why?

Already answered that, but basically fantasy because there are so many different possibilities. And there’s magic.

38. If you were given one “free” year (no responsibilities, a year’s worth of disposable income) what would you do with it?

Write like a madwoman.  Natch.

39. What’s your strategy for beating Writer’s Block?

Well, usually that involves a wrong turn taken somewhere so I first try to pin down where I went wrong.  And then I analyze it to death.  Ad analyze it some more.  Then I brainstorm ways to fix it.  And then, I just write.  And keep writing.  That’s the best way to work through writer’s block in my opinion.

40. Do you tend to stay in one particular genre, or do you write all over the map?

I stay more or less within the speculative fiction genre (sci-fi, fantasy) but occasionally I veer into horror.  It’s that twisted, dark mind of mine.

41. What’s your “universal” theme?

This is a really tough question, as I don’t really set out to write to a theme, but if I were to guess, I’d say redemption.  That comes up a lot in my books.

42. Dogs or cats?

Team Feline for the win.

43. What’s the last thing you read that you couldn’t put down?

Rena’s Promise (about the Holocust survivor) and The Hunger Games.

44. If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to be when you grow up?

This is assuming I could be anything I want regardless of ability (or math skill, as it were): a neurologist. Are we surprised?

 

Okay!  Now it’s your turn.  Pick 10 questions from the above and also answer the following:

1) Do you have a specific writing ritual that puts you into the proper mindset?

2) Have you based any characters on real people?

3) Who’s your favorite author of all time?  Why?

4) When did you know you were a writer?

5) What’s the craziest novel idea you’ve ever had?

6) What book of yours gave you shivers?  Why? (Doesn’t need to be horror, either).

7) Do you have specific songs associated with your current work-in-progress?

8) How long have you been writing?

9) What’s the secret project you wish you could write but haven’t yet?

10) Who is your coolest character ever?  Why?

 

I tag the following: whoever’s reading this and wants to play, SM Reine, Ana Ramsey, and Kendall Grey.

 

Perfect is the enemy of the good.

This is one of Holly Lisle’s concepts in her How to Think Sideways class.  Something I seem to have forgotten in my quest to get published.

Lately I’ve been feeling out of sorts and frustrated with my writing.  Darklight has been stalled, the poems I wrote for Turtleduck Press were like pulling teeth, and every time I sat down to write I was paralyzed by the fear that whatever I write won’t be good enough.  That anything I wrote would be crap and no one would want to publish any of it.  That everyone else would be successful but I wouldn’t be because my writing sucked and wasn’t publishable.

Talk about a head case.  I started thinking more positively, that no, my stuff didn’t suck and yes, I would be published someday, and that was that.  And I remembered how I used to write when I first started 10 years ago (!)  : I wrote with joy.  I didn’t worry about anything on the page.  I kept moving forward.  I didn’t analyze anything to death and I rarely, if ever, rewrote anything during drafting.  But as time went on, this perfectionism crept in through the cracks.  It was insidious.  Just a “that first scene isn’t right.  Maybe you should rewrite it?”  became “wow, that whole first chapter sucks.  Let’s start again.  And again. And again.”  And this is why Darklight‘s first two chapters have been rewritten no less than 5 times.  Head. Desk.

I worried too much about making it perfect — the mood, the hook, the main character — and I completely derailed myself.  I’m not even supposed to rewrite while drafting.  It used to be an ironclad rule.  Now it’s more of an afterthought.

So I decided to bring the love back.  I will write and not worry about anything anymore.  I’ll let the story unfold the way it’s going to unfold, and I will follow my muse.  NO REWRITES.  I can make notes.  But that’s it.

And I will continue to work at getting published.  I’ll edit and revise and rewrite when it’s time.

And lastly, I won’t ever tell myself that I’m not good enough, because I AM.  And I know that deep down.  Sometimes it gets lost in the daily shuffle.  No more.

As Holly Lisle says, write with joy.

It’s going….kind of.

It’s been slow.  Darklight is just shy of 5k, after rewriting the opening scene 3 times.  I also discovered a better way to bring out the creepy so things have changed a bit plot-wise and Ellya might have a brother who becomes very important later.  I think.  The muse and I are still working on that.

I had oral surgery one week ago to remove a wire from my jaw surgery 20 years ago (!) that my body decided to reject.  I’d been feeling like utter crap, dizzy as hell, and a bit spacey, and that is why.  So no writing occurred because I couldn’t fathom it.  So I took a bit of a break, but spent most of my time either reading or thinking about writing, which was actually quite productive.  So now I’m back at it, but slowly, because my muse is still a bit gun-shy.  My quota is 100 words a day and I’m aiming low.  I have the time, and pushing myself or pressuring myself isn’t gonna work this time.  So going slow and building up to more.

I’ve approached Darklight very differently than I’ve approached other novels.  I’ve never tried to write a straight-up horror novel, and I suspect this one will end up with psychological horrors as well.  I can’t help it.  It’s my inner psychologist working on me.  But I am trying for more horror too, so we’ll see.

I’m also telling this story differently.  First person present, a first for me.  Also there will be some journal entries by Ellya, the main character, in this novel and they will take place in a different location than the main action (her relationship with her love interest I think will be told in the journal entries, at least for part of it).  And finally, the chapters have names.  They will all use the format “[something] and the [something].”  And I’m letting my muse come up with them ahead of time and I will try to pull out what I think should go in that chapter based on the limited “plotting” (if you could call it that) I did.  Totally random, totally muse-directed, and I think it’ll be good. This is thanks to Holly Lisle, who has a class (How to Think Sideways) which I took and graduated from where she demo’d a plotting technique.  I sort of adapted it for my chapters.

So I’m living the muse for now, and it’s been enlightening.

I’ve also decided that once I get the comments back on Pirouette, I’ll make a ruling on whether or not I want to pursue getting an agent with it.  And after that is decided, I’ve also decided to tackle Alpha Female again.  Going with my goal of submitting something this year, I think AF is the logical choice as it needs a bit of work and then it might be ready for critique.  We shall see.

On the back burner (can you tell I’ve been thinking a lot about this?) are Darkweaver, which was supposed to be my Nano novel for this year, and my Fae-war romance inspired by my grandparents that suddenly bopped me over the head about a week ago.  Tentatively titled Pixie Queen, but that’s subject to change.

Ugh.  Want to move forward.  And I am, just slowly.

Epiphany.

Today I was ready to throw in the towel on Alpha Female — not for good, but for awhile.  I’ve been working on it for about 7 months, pretty much straight through with no real breaks except the week of my surgery.  I was just tired, and the last two days have been rough for me production-wise.  But I’m not a quitter and I realized: I want to finish this.  Sure, I could put it off or wallow in being stuck, but the fact remains: the novella won’t write itself.  The farther I go from it, the harder it will be to get back into and on track.

I realized this because I considered switching back to either Flamebound or PirouetteFlamebound especially — when I read over the HTRYN lesson I was currently working on (naturally, I couldn’t have yanno, finished it up) I felt like I was reading Greek.  I read a few of my notes on some changes and again, I’m like, whaaaat?!  And it seemed impossible at this time, so I decided to wait a bit longer.  With Pirouette, this is more of a planned wait because the plan is to come back to it refreshed and I’m almost there, but not quite. Sooooo that left Alpha Female.

And after my recent discoveries, I’m actually excited about it again.  Sure, I’m not sure what rabbit I’m going to pull out of my arse this time (moar questions, how I love thee!) but hey, slow progress is better than none.  One sentence at a time if I have to.  I’m doing this.  I won’t accept anything less.

So poor Natasha is going to have to fight Delia with a magic she doesn’t know and doesn’t understand, and she’s going to have to kill Delia, somehow, even though Delia has a witch on her side.  Obviously, Delia has to die.  There’s no other option there.  Going to think on that one.

But other than that, it’s been a pretty good day.  About 780 new words on Alpha Female after ripping the scene apart.  I’m moving the stuff I ripped out closer to the climax.  Will have more impact that way.

Stay tuned.