Tag Archives: indexer trainee

My newest venture, the field of book indexing.

Progress progresses.

Been working steady on Survivor and am up to 7k new words.  Not bad, for a book I haven’t looked at in over a year, and with a million plot threads to interweave to boot.

It’s coming slowly.  I figure it would be for awhile, while I got my bearings.  Diving feetfirst into Laura’s world wasn’t the most comfy way to start — but if I got tangled up in details, I’d never get there.

I’ve issued myself a challenge: finish this damned thing THIS YEAR.  It’s been 4 years since I started it, and it has haunted me for about that long.  Pirouette is in stasis right now, awaiting its One Pass Revision (method developed by Holly Lisle that I’ll be trying out).  I set a tentative start date for it to begin on July 14th, exactly a month after I finished the book.  We’ll see how I feel as that day comes closer.  I know that currently, I’m not ready to begin, and it’s not Survivor.  It’s just the distance I need.  I’ve thought a bit about it here and there, but for the most part, I’ve not thought about it much at all.  To give myself distance and objectivity.  So if I’m not ready come July 14th, that’s ok.  I’ll give it some more time.  I still want to finish that and get it critted/beta’ed/polished AND send it out by the end of the year.  If I work hard, and fast, and get good feedback, I believe that’s still possible.  We shall see.

This year is shaping up to be pretty productive so far.

On the indexing front…I’ve been taking a break from it to assess what to do next.  Last time I worked on it, I broke my brain.  😦    So….I waffled a bit, thinking of scrapping it, thinking that I just wasn’t getting it, and then I had a revelation.  I think I understand it now.  Why I faltered, why I was so confused.  I still want to try, b/c I’m not a quitter, but I needed that distance, too.  Desparately.  

So sometime soon, after I move most likely, unless I have some dead time coming, I’ll take another crack at that practice index and see if I can make it happen.  If not, then maybe I’m just not cut out for it.  But we’ll see.  Perhaps I will surprise myself.

Wedding plans progressing nicely.  I just chose –and bought–my wedding dress.  It’s funny, but when I pictured myself in a wedding dress, it wasn’t the one I ultimately picked.  It’s similar, but it took me by surprise.  The dress is beautiful, perfect in every way, and is just amazing.  Everyone I talked to said that you just know when you find The Dress — and I did.  I could envision myself walking down the aisle in it.  And I’m happy about it.  It’s perfect.

Photographer, reception hall, and the chapel are all booked.  Now we’re dealing with the fun of apartment hunting — hit some snags — but I’m confident that things will work out.  Very confident, for no apparent reason, just that  I am.  I believe it, not just superficially, but with everything I have.  Much how I believe that I’ll be published.  I can’t prove it, or tell the future, or anything — but I just know.  I also know when.  Well, approximately.  My powers only go so far.  😉  *winks*

So look for snippets and more progress from mine own hands soon.

Not dead, just busy.

Very.  My beloved fiance and I went camping the 3rd week in June, and the prior two weeks were taken up by Planning and More Planning and then Shopping.  It was a lovely, kick-ass time, got lots of pics, caught 3 fish, actually ate some fresh-cooked perch, and wrote ALOT.  Massive…12,000.  Yeah.  Can hardly believe it myself.  If only I could do that daily…

Yeppers, I am officially engaged.  The beloved proposed on Wed, June 27th which was a complete and utter surprise.  But not a shock.  He’d planned on doing it in December but couldn’t wait.  Such a wonderful guy I’m marrying!  We’ve set a tentative date of June 27, 2009, which will give us enough time to do what we need to do, get me moved in, and not have to rush planning the wedding. 

On writing.  Been doing mostly character prework for the Pirouette Rewrite of Doom.  I’m nearly done with Alisia, and will start on Lucien tonight or tomorrow.  I used Holly Lisle’s Create a Character Clinic which I highly recommend.  Even if you’re good a character creation, it still can give you some kick-ass insights, stuff you haven’t thought of before.  Case in point: Alisia’s dance partner, Adam.  From the get-go, they’ve had chemistry, and I (literally) danced around it, not letting it go anywhere because of Lucien (stoopid reasoning, I know).  I read the first few scenes today and it dawned on me: Adam should be a factor in this complicated equation of a story.  And…using Holly’s cool techniques, I also “discovered” a human lover that apparently my dear Alisia has been keeping under wraps.  Oh my.  It will be very interesting to see how this works on the page.

Been figuring and re-figuring the magic.  Suffice to say that it’s tighter, more logical, and very unique.  I have since added things and subtracted others.  Added more today in fact.

I’m changing Alisia’s …place…in the world again.  She’ll be unique, which was the point, but it will be due to the will of the world.  The Otherworld.  The secret slayer-society that shows up in Dance of the Obsidian has also changed…although they still slay.  And now there’s a sort of Council that polices the otherworldly peoples.  Alisia and her arch-nemesis have something in common, having to do with this Council, and that makes them uneasy allies.

 All from a book on character creation.  I’m telling you, it works. 

Oh! And I also found out a bunch of things that Alisia neglected to tell me the first time.  *wags finger*  Bad girl.  Bad, bad girl.  She’ll be a tortured soul, but she will rise above it to become something of a legend.  Muuahhh.

On other projectos: Requiem in Blue is swimming right along, with some kick-ass revelations while at camp.  I wrote 7.5k of that alone while on vacay.

Survivor is going slightly slower, but I can’t say I’m surprised.  It’s been tough, but that’s the subject matter– it’s not exactly warm-and-fuzzy material.  And this particular scene I am banging my head over is a doozie — it’s just the crux of the ending, is all.  No biggie, right?


So that’s in the works.

Indexing: got about half of my practice book indexed.  It’s been really interesting, and I can’t wait to see if I totally botched it or if I might be on to something.  That’s the only problem with correspondence courses — no real feedback or anything.  Just sorta flying blind.  But I have Plans.  Always.  *she says with shifty eyes*

So, I think that’s it.  I’ll try to get back more regularly.  Just fell into a black hole.  I’m out, alive, and I’m damned happy.

Life is good.

indexing and a resurrected novel.

For the past few days I’ve been focusing on indexing, and my practice index.  It is very challenging, but I am enjoying it for the most part.  It involves reading the material and narrowing it down to essentially topics and keywords, and possible words or concepts that a reader might search for.  There’s alot involved, but I am confident that I can get the hang of it.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  I remember when I developed my first few rolls of b&w film….they were far from perfect.  Same thing with my pictures.  I didn’t become a good photographer overnight.  It took alot of work, blood, tears, frustration.  Especially when I’d spend 45 minutes in the loading room, banging my head against the wall trying to get film loaded, only to have it loaded wrong and be ruined.  Fun times.  Now, my rolls always come out fine.  Because I’ve had 10 years experience, I know the tricks.  I know it like I know my own mind.  My hands literally move as if they have their own minds from years and years of doing this every week.  So like that, I just need to get the hang of it and practice, practice, practice.   I have faith.

Onto writing.  Occasionally I’ll shelve a project due to various factors, then resurrect it.  Transparent Eyes was my 2nd attempt at a full-length novel.  It was psychological horror/paranormal romance, inspired by some real-life events (yet heavily fictionalized).  This was in 2001.  I made it to 8 chapters and stalled.  Plotted it; stalled more.  This is when I gave up plotting altogether (big mistake).  And this story languished on my hard drive, making the transition to a 2 new computers, 2 moves, a marriage, and a divorce.  I wasn’t sure I’d ever touch it again.  I’ve changed, become a better writer in the past 6 years.


The story called to me.  I want to change it to be paranormal suspense.  There is a mystery already in it, as well as some paranormal elements.  I have a few possibilities for directions, although I will probably fall back on the basis — a psychological thing, combined with ghosts and messages from beyond the grave, a murder, love, hate, passion.

Yeah.  So it’s getting interesting.  I originally called it Transparent Eyes based on something that happened to me, a person who’d waltzed into my life and changed it …actually for the better, but at the time, it really sucked.  I was devastated.  And I wrote alot of poetry.  And one poem had the phrase “transparent eyes” in it.  And that’s what I called the story.  But that element — the one that I wrote the poem about–probably will not stay, so I was off to find a new title.  I had a few ideas but nothing grabbed me.  So I went to bartleby.com to peruse poetry.  And found this gem “passing footsteps of ghosts.”  I got a chill down my spine from that one.  So, Footsteps of Ghosts was born.

Naturally, I can’t do anything with it, except some fleshing out, plotting, musing on it, because I have a serious time problem as it is.  It will go into the plotbunny pile to be pulled out when the time is right.  I’m thinking sometime next year, in between projects.

I think it has potential.  And paranormal suspense is very popular these days.  The basis is there; it just needs a little kick.

I just love writing.

Let’s hear it for cooperative muses! Or, the power of cards.

*cheerleader pom-poms waving around*

 My muse and I have been at a stalemate for the past few days.  She’s been giving me some awesome ideas, but whenever I tried to get more detail, she’d stonewall me.  Yesterday she showed me an awesome, kick-ass of a prologue and yet she refused to tell me the specifics on the magic –and I needed that to write the scene.  *Dr. Evil voice* “Throw me a bone, will ya?  I’m the boss.  Need the info.” (I love that line).

Yeah.  So today, after much musing (heh) over this particular bump in the road, I pulled up Holly Lisle’s Create a Plot Clinic.  I needed more scenes — I had a few in mind already — so I figured now would be a great time to try for both.  I used a tool in there that involves using Tarot cards (or any type of picture-oriented cards, for the non-Tarot folks out there) to help communicate with your muse — in images, not words.  So I followed the excercise.  It’s basically taking your character and asking questions, using the cards as prompts for brainstorming.  I’ve done this in the past, but using Tarot meanings, and my own meanings from over 10 years of reading the cards.  But, I have never used the images themselves to do this.

And being the eccentric chick I am, I tried a hard question.  Instead of using a troublesome character, I used the demons’ magic system as the troublesome character (hell, I’ve used the plot itself as the focus in the past…with good results), just to see where that would take me.

Using the Rohrig Tarot, a beautiful, very abstract yet dark deck (that immediately screamed pick me! pick me! when I thought about which of my 30+ decks to use…), I did the reading, except I virtually ignored the Tarot meanings, as instructed, which was tough, which is what Holly said.  You can take the reader out of Tarot, but you can’t take the Tarot out of the reader……

So now, thanks to Holly Lisle, I have a very good idea about the magic system.  I’ve found out that it involves use of a special magically-infused object, handed down through generations, and that the mind of the victim is virtually obliterated…..with images hitting them like raindrops.  The muse says that this is REALLY important, and I’m not clear on precisely how, but I trust her on this one.

I learned other things too, but that would be spoiling things.  All I gotta say is….poor Alisia.  I put her through the wringer in Pirouette 1.0, but this — this is almost akin to death.  It’s not, not by a long shot — she won’t die (so, Chris, if you’re reading this — it’s ok, I promise) , but it will involve a very magical, very messy death of sorts. 

But man.  What a story.  I think it is finally coming together. 🙂  All from a few questions and a Tarot deck.  Trust me, this book of Holly’s really works.  I command thee to go forth and buy it.  Immediately.  You won’t be disappointed.

In other news…I’ve moved the start date for the Rewrite of Doom to July 1st.  Mainly because I have a few other projects competing for attention (*cough indexing cough* *cough darkroom cough*) and I want to give myself as long as I need to do all the necessary pre-work.  I want this draft to be as smooth as possible — no tangents, no weird shit, just what’s in the outline.  I will allow myself time to meander — I have to or else I’ll get stir-crazy — but — I will consider these meanderings more carefully then I did before.  I will not write another 400k draft.  I’m capping it at 120k, which is a bit too long, but still acceptable.  Writing 1k a day will take me approximately 4 months.  I haven’t written any first draft material in forever.  I am getting twitchy, so this week I might take some time and tackle either Survivor or Requiem in Blue

Not much else going on, except that I took some kick-ass pics of my sister’s flowers in her backyard with my new camera.  I’m ecstatic.

Now, it is time for bed.  Me tired.

Pirouette today.

Been doing alot of thinking about the Pirouette rewrite.  A writer friend hit upon something really cool, one answer to a question that was nagging at me all day.  All day, folks.  So that’s good, right?

I will try to do some editing tonight before bedtime, or indexing.  I should really do the indexing but……I’m past my deadline for completing said edit, although if I take enough time, I could prolly blow through it in a few days.  Today I took a bit of a break — I played a few hours of Guild Wars, the coolest RPG ever.  I haven’t played it roughly 2 weeks, and I thought I was due.  Didn’t finish any missions but it was fun nonetheless.

Also had yet another plotbunny hit this afternoon.  Was doing some stealthy research over lunch on hauntings and got this neat idea–insane asylum residents (who are dead) try to get revenge on the decendents of the people who experimented on them.  Innocent young woman (and man?) stumble into this odd reality where the murders, insanity (no shit, right?) and violence are replayed over and over again.  They try to drive our poor heroes crazy, until they realize they have a secret weapon.  I have no clue what it is.  But it’s bound to be cool.  😉  Thinking of an alternate setting besides plain old Earth.  But we’ll see.  This is a faraway plan, #19 or #20 on the Plotbunny List of Doom, so it’ll be awhile.  But I had to get it down, preserve the damn thing before it disappears from the gray matter altogether.  I’d almost forgotten about it.

What else?  Nothing much.  I’m tired and should be in the shower.  Ta ta for now.


I’ve been focusing today on the Pirouette edit.  It’s usually a grueling process, because alot of it must go (and that makes me sad), but today I had a few major revelations about Alisia (the protagonist), the series, and a possible future book. 

What I am loving about this edit is that I am constantly finding little things I’d pretty much forgotten; threads that have been dangling, some hidden, some trunicated in favor of something else.  Because the first draft is truly the discovery draft, I use it as a testing ground for ideas.  Here, my muse can play all she wants without any fear of the consequences.  Sometimes she comes up with utter crap; sometimes she hands me something genius.

So, today, while chopping out any references to one of my cut subplots, I discovered another cool thing about Alisia.  A character referred to her as the “warrior of death.”  Utter genius!  Why?  Well, she’s a necromancer, for one thing.  The other is that she’s destined to become part of a very important group that is central to the series.  And they are all warrior vampires.  🙂

Alisia has quite a few titles as the story goes on.  This puts her in jeopardy of becoming something called a “Mary Sue” character which is basically writerspeak for “Little Miss Perfect.”  And that is bad.  Very bad.  So I’m working on giving Alisia a few flaws, one of them that might become fatal.  Well, near fatal, cuz I need her to live through this book so the series can continue.

And the future book idea?  I’m definitely going to shift this cut subplot and make it the main plot of the future book.  I really love how my mind works sometimes. 🙂

The indexing is coming along.  I’m nearly finished with the course, at least the first read-through.  I’ve done second read throughs on about half.  I’m on chapter 8 of 10.  After this I will be indexing a few books on my own, getting the feel of things.  I’m the type of person that needs to actually do something to actually understand it.  Right now, I understand the concepts, but they are more abstract.  But once I dive into it feetfirst, it’ll become more clear.  I’m weird like that.

The beloved and I going to see The Number 23, which I’ve been wanting to see for a long time.  I think it will be really good.

If I could close my eyes forever….

So appropriate.  So fitting.

I found out that my dad has cancer.  It was caught super-early, thanks to his wonderful doc, and he needs surgery, but it’s looking good.  He doesn’t even need chemo.  I’m still in shock, because we all were convinced it was nothing, but damn — life sure throws you curveballs when you least expect it to.

Dad and I are very close, best friends, actually.  I was okay till I actually hugged him, then I cried.  I’m still scared for him.  I’ve seen too many loved ones pass away.  It’s sad.  But his spirits are good, he is going to fight it, and that’s wonderful to hear.  So if there’s anyone out there reading this, please send up some prayers for him.  He is the most wonderful father, a good man, and I can’t lose him.

I just can’t.

So.  Onward.

In other news, the weather here is most surprising.  We’ve gone from snow (yes, you read that right) to near-perfect spring weather in less than a week.  Very strange.  Know that I’m keeping my eye on it.  I’m starting to worry about global warming and all that.  Coincidentally, in the fictional world of Requiem in Blue, earth has become almost completely immersed in water…due to global warming.  Go figure.

I’m completely and utterly jazzed about Ghost.  I sat down at work during a lull intending to make a few notes so I wouldn’t forget anything.  What I ended up with was a rough, very interesting, very twisted outline.  Lord knows it will mutate, even as I write the draft, but the bare bones are there and rattling, trying to get my attention.  It is going to be amazing.  And twisted.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Edited most of Pirouette part 5.  Took me almost all afternoon.  Most of it, unfortunately, it about to meet the chopping block.  One subplot in particular hurts to let go, but it’s just too involved for the Rewrite (of Doom).  There’s no way I can work it in.  It will however be saved for another book altogether or another book in the series.

I also caught a few issues that I’d forgotten…..plot threads and twists that I, in the course of frantic writing and then taking a breather in December, must pick back up and plug in.  And complete.  I really am proud of myself.  I had some good ideas.  😉  Just gotta prune them and make them work.

I’m waiting anxiously for my materials to arrive for my book indexing venture.  I’m taking a correspondence course that will teach me how to make those handy-dandy things at the back of most reference books.  Apparently it is a freelance market, which I didn’t know.  And with my Journalism degree, and love of books and knowledge, I think I would enjoy it.  So more news on that as we go.

Lastly, I just wanted to say that I feel so lucky to be a writer.  It’s times like these that it truly carries me, helps me cope.  I’ve been jazzed just about all day about Ghost and the Rewrite (of Doom).  Imagine that.  It’s awesome to escape into your own little world, for just a short time.    Sometimes I complain about having so many ideas hitting me all at once, but in reality, I love it.  I love every part of this life.  I love that I will get to do this for the rest of my life –whether or not I go pro.  And you’d better believe it, I will be writing until the last breath leaves my body and my hands are still.  Only then will I stop.

But my words will live forever.

Life is truly an interesting thing.  I was depressed when I started, but now I’m uplifted.  Is it the talk of writing and my projects?  Is it that my Dad will most likely come out of this ok?  Or is it just the fact that I’m alive, that spring is on its way?  I’m not sure.  But maybe I should keep my eyes open just  a little longer.