Tag Archives: Pirouette Rewrite

The Rewrite of Doom.

2018 Year-in-Review and Q1 2019 Goals #ROW80

ebookGWP-RSSo here I am with my end-of-year review and a new goals post. I have switched to quarterly planning, which works so much better for me than yearly goals. Thank you, Sarra Cannon, for showing me the way!

This year was HUGE for my virtual assisting/freelance editing business. I landed several new clients in very quick succession which was absolutely awesome. My workload increased a lot, which required adjustments and better planning. However, I am ecstatic that I was able to make this happen. That was my biggest goal: increasing my client base and by extension bringing in more money.

I have also learned so much from my clients, stuff that I can apply to my own publishing efforts. So it’s a win-win.

Health wise…ugh, a lot of stuff went wrong this year. Not going to get into it, but suffice to say it was tough and stressful. However, I’ve survived it and I am looking forward to a new slate.

Since it’s my intention to jump back into ROW80 again, I figured I would put everything into one, handy-dandy simple post.

But first, let’s look at what I did (or didn’t do) this year:

~2nd round of edits/release secret project (early 2018) – DONE. Except it was delayed by unavoidable issues until 12/7. Very happy to have it finally out in the world! 
~Revise and release Fireborn – DONE. Released August 1st.
~Get serious about exercise and DO SOMETHING – Nope. I remain a couch potato. 😦 
~Take pictures regularly (once a month, 1 a day for x amount of days, etc) – Nope, and I really wish I could have.Fireborn final
~Get moving with dictation again – DONE. Not dictating currently, but I did purchase the latest version of Dragon Naturally Speaking and I also bought a digital recorder for transcription. Just need to actually start doing it.
~Progress on Covenant – DONE. I don’t have the exact figures handy, but I think I got it up to around 25k.
~Progress on When She Sleeps – This has been put on hold.
~Start Survivor Rewrite for reals this time – Nope, but one of my goals for Q1 is to JUST DO IT.
~Do something with Death Dancer/Pirouette – Nope. But as soon as I can, I’ll start working on this. I have Plans. 
~Get better with planningMy mom bought me a planner for Christmas last year, so I used that for deadlines/appointments/modified bullet journal. It worked great, so 
I asked for another one. And got it. Also, Sarra Cannon’s quarterly planning system worked wonderfully as well. I believe this planning system is the only reason why I was able to release the secret project this year. I was focused in a way I haven’t been in awhile. Being that I am a head planner (that is, I do all my planning in my head), this is a HUGE accomplishment.
~Start writing every day again, even if it’s 100 words – Nope. Time seems to get away from me sometimes.
~Figure out Reaper Girl #3, Faeborn – DONE. I have a premise. And apparently I’d forgotten that I’d called it Faeborn. Oops.

As for how many words I wrote this year: 75,000, which was my modest goal. I was hoping to write more, but given how busy I was and how awful my health was at times, I’ll take it. 🙂

Alrighty, so what’s on tap for Q1 and #ROW80? I’m glad you asked.

~Loosely plot Immortal Faeborn
~Book ads for Gain with Pain, Reaper Girl, and Fey Touched. Put together a tracking system.
~Start manifestation journal (first entry: 1/5/19)
~Put together modified Kanban board for Q1
~Purchase Energy Oracle deck. Start pulling cards daily and journaling.
~Progress on Oubliette or finish
~Do All The Things related to TDP Anthology (to be released sometime in Q1)
~Begin rewrite of Survivor. Continue working on it on Sundays.
~Catch up up on ARCs
~Take Sundays off work when possible
~Start back on MyFitnessPal. Log food 5x a week minimum.
~Water 5x a week

I think that’s it for now. 🙂

Links to the books:

Gain with Pain on Amazon
Fireborn on Amazon 

#ROW80 Check-in 9/16/15

I’m still here, and I’ve been copyediting. I finished freelance project #2 on Monday and turned it in and have started back up on Burning Bright, KD Sarge’s awesome fantasy novel.

I did write about 600 words on Covenant recently.

And that is really it. I’ve been thinking about future projects, and I’m considering starting Survivor for NanoWriMo (unless I have an editing job or two, then it’s a no) because while I’ve done enough prep work and thinking, I realize that I’ll need to just jump in and do it. I haven’t really had an opportunity on a Sunday lately. But a solid 30k would be fantastic (I can no longer do 50k due to my wrists, but 30k is doable).

Rewrites are a bit tricky for me and my muse. We’re afraid to screw it up, so the beginning feels momentous. With an older project, Pirouette, which I rewrote a total of 4 times, each rewrite had accumulated more weight — this one was going to be The One. No, this one. Or this one. I can’t screw this up… I remember the fourth time  — I wasn’t even ready yet, but it was weighing on me so one day I wrote 200 words. And then I felt a bit better, because I’d started the damn thing. And then I added a few hundred more. The more I wrote, the better I felt. I still feel #4 is my strongest yet. I am planning another rewrite, but I wonder if maybe all it needs is an intense revision. It’s been 5 years since I set it aside. I was too close to it and I was losing the love. I’m considering making it a 2016 project, depending on how Survivor goes.

Sooooo this beginning to Survivor is huge, but I have to remember: sometimes it’s not the words, because they can be changed, but the physical act of beginning again that counts. We shall see.

Annd that’s really about it for me.

Chocolate consumption: Not as much as I’d like! I just had a WW sundae so that helps. 🙂

#ROW80 Check-in 1/18/15

Here we are for another check-in.  I’m making slow progress on Fireborn.  It’s not moving as fast as I want it to, but it’s moving and that’s the important part.  Up to almost 6k.

On the Survivor front, I did poke at Survivor last Sunday and Monday, which was good.  I read the first 3 chapters and the revised first scene I wrote back in 2007ish, I believe.  I think this is my longest-running book ever.  The read through kind of depressed me because it was so bad.  Granted, the first 9 chapters or so were written in 2004, and the rest was written in 2007 and 2009, respectively.  I’m assuming those parts are better, but it was just painful to read.  So today I’m going to see what I can do besides mope. 😦

(For context, I started writing seriously in 2001 but didn’t really get into it until 2003.  I began Survivor in 2004 for a writing class, and wrote it on Sundays, while I worked on other projects on the other days.  I stopped writing it in 2005 to work on my second longest-running book, Pirouette, and didn’t pick Survivor up again till 2007, when I took a short hiatus from Pirouette. Started working on Pirouette’s second draft until 2008-2009, when I finally finished Survivor.  I looked at it briefly a few years ago when I was considering working on it again and made a master file with every single plot thread in one document.  I also made some decisions on what plot lines to cut.  There are just too many.  So…that’s where I’m at.)

Okay, return of the stats!

Project: Fireborn
Words written: 5,872 words
Words remaining: 9,128 words
What’s happening: Leliel and Rick are investigating stuffs
What’s next: Another murder/suicide

Project: Survivor
Work done to date: Read through first three chapters and alternate first scene

Feeling: Depressed and stressed.
Eye report: Horrendous for the past 2 days, but not bad at the moment
Back report: Twinge-y
Chocolate consumption: Surprisingly, not a whole lot.  Although I can’t resist my Oreo balls or the WW chocolate/caramel thingies.  Or M&Ms. *shifty look*

Writing theme songs

All of my projects have at least one theme song attached to them, be it the whole book or an aspect of it.  I thought it might be interesting to list what they are and why.

Pirouette – all drafts (3rd draft in progress now):
 “Space Dye Vest” by Dream Theater.  I used this as Alisia and Lucien’s main “fighting” song.  It’s sad and torturous, and it brings up all kinds of heart-wrenching images in my head.  It just seemed perfect.

“Walk in the Shadows” by Queensryche – Raelan and Alisia’s theme.  In the last third of the book, [something spoilery happens] and for a time, Alisia and Raelan (who’s the villain) are….aligned.  This song, which talks about walking on the dark side of life, giving ino the darkness, fits the feeling of those scenes perfectly.

“The Killing Words” by Queensryche – Alisia and Lucien’s theme.  Just screams tragic, love, betrayal, heartbreaking stuff.  Sniff.

Flamebound (currently in revision):
“Take Hold of the Flame” by Queensryche.  The entire story is based on the song — or rather, my interpretation of it.  So many things tie to the world and story.

Survivor (recently finished first draft):
Operation: Mindcrime by Queensryche.  Yes, the entire album.  The book pretty much wrote itself to this awesome, magnificent album.  Since alot of the themes ran parallel to my story, it was almost eerie how the entire thing seemed like a metaphor for Survivor.  Some of it, like the brainwashing and mind control, were literal.

“Eyes of a Stranger” by Queensryche (on Operation:Mindcrime) – Amber’s theme.  Amber is the main character, and as she goes through some painful, traumatic stuff, she’s kind of transformed….and thus truly has the “eyes of a stranger.”

Requiem in Blue (2007 project)
“The Hands” by Queensryche – Meredith’s theme.  Meredith, the main character, is saved by someone.  “The Hands” makes me think of that, and salvation in general.

“Suite Sister Mary” by Queensryche – Some of the story was inspired by this song.  Especially one part about two people joining together to “make it through the night.”

Broken (currently in progress):
“Broken” by Lifehouse.  Also the why of the title, at least for now.  The song talks about being broken, and Amara, the main character, and the antagonist are both broken in a sense.

“Unbreakable” by Fireflight.  New band that I just discovered.  Totally Amara’s theme.  I realize that the songs seem contradictory, but it works, I swear!

Eowyn (perc’ing project for future):
“Ordinary World” by Duran Duran.  Theme of the book.  Because we’re dealing with quantum mechanics and alternate universes, and a “home” universe, it seems appropriate.

MindBound (future project):
“Lightning Field” by the Sneaker Pimps.  I saw a video of it and HAD to have the song, even though I’m not into that type of music.  Went on a wild goose chase and finally just today got ahold of it.  It’s THAT close to what this story is to me.  It (the story) has to do with an empath and pain and brainwashing, and the song is so perfect.  First words are “Strike me down…”  Can we say perfect?  Literal or figurative, it works. 

Soulfire (The Nano That Never Was):
“Lady Strange by Def Leppard.  Liana’s theme.  She’s the main character, and she isn’t exactly human and has non-human goals and wishes and such.  She’s a bit offbeat in her own way.

“Baba O’Riley” by The Who.  Book’s theme.  Completely encapsulates the dystopic future-Earth setting and the insidious reach of the New Regime.

Hereafter (Nano ’08):
“Women” by Def Leppard.  For no other reason than it gave me some compelling images inside my head, and somehow spawned plotty things.  This one I don’t really understand, but don’t question it, either.

At the moment, that’s all I can think of.  Will add more if I remember anything.

Made my goal and then doubled it

My original April Fools goal was 5k.  Well, as of today, with one week to go in the month, I have hit 10k.  I’ve had a few really good days with Pirouette the Third.  I’m at a critical plot point, and it’s becoming a bit longer than I planned, but I’m sure I can condense it later.  Forward motion.  That’s the name of the game.

I realized today that I left something important out of the past oh, 10k or so (!!!!??).  Oddly enough, I had the same problem in draft 2, same place, too.  What is my problem?  Well, I’ve been focusing on it scene-by-scene, building as I go and focusing on just that instead of looking at the big picture.  Looking at the bigger picture is overwhelming as hell because there’s still so much to fix.  So yeah, I dropped the ball.  But fear not!  I’ll get it going right.  I may need more passes before the actual revision, but that’s okay.  I’m still on track to finish this draft by the end of June.

Hopefully sooner.

I also seem to have lost the edge of Alisia’s voice.  This is a bit distressing, but I think it has more to do with that whole scene-by-scene thing.  Still it’s something that can be fixed.

Okaaaay.  Other projects are coming along. Lesson 7 on HTRYN is almost done, thank God!  It’s a complex lesson, but helpful.  Broken is hanging there, but I haven’t stopped thinking about it.  And pieces of Eowyn are falling into place.

I also have more ideas for MindBound, book 2 in the Night Guard world.  Still looking to submit it somewhere sometime this year.  I would like to have some ideas in case they want a sequel.  They being the publisher.  I would hope so.

Yeah, so it’s all coming along.  I feel alot better, more productive, and the ISD is *gasp* pretty satisifed with my progress this week alone.  So that’s good.  It’s always good when she’s happy.

Halfway there!

I just hit the 60k mark on Pirouette the Third.  I feel pretty damned good about that.  I seem to be falling into a pattern of writing and then revising/rewriting the current scene.  Which is odd because usuallywhen I’m drafting, I can’t do that at all.  It derails me.  And this is all new material.  But it’s one pass — I don’t go back after that.  I won’t until I start editing.  It just feels different to me than just first draft.  Maybe because this particular story has been through going on 3 drafts and to date 6 passes total.  I expect that that number will decrease as I get better at revision.

Now I gotta figure out how I want the rest to play out.  I’ve been adding new stuff here and there and twining it in with the old.  So far, I know that I’ll need to look at the entere thing once it’s done to see the entire story arc and such.  Right now, I’m just getting the words down, and reworking older material and putting it into a semi-coherent order.  It is all subject to change.

As for my other projects…the Flamebound revision is going pretty slow, which is okay, as it’s all new and it’s quite alot of work.  I’m good with that.  This method so far looks really good and thorough. 

Unforgiven is being retitled to Broken.  Why, you ask?  Well….while Unforgiven expresses the core theme of the story, Broken seems more fitting.  Maybe it’s because the main character, like me, feels broken.  And there’s a song called “Broken” by Lifehouse that really fits this.  It’s going in an interesting direction.  I think, if I do this one right, it could be really cool.

So that’s the skinny on my progress so far.

Last year I wrote 85,306 words.  Which isn’t bad as the bulk of last year was spent editing and revising.

2009 in review and 2010 goals

This year hasn’t been the best as far as emotional stuff is concerned.  The family drama that started in mid-October is still ongoing, and kind of derailed me a bit.  But, I persevere!

As far as productivity goes, I did very well.  I started and finished Pirouette’s five One-Pass Revision, got it out to critters, and have been rewriting the draft, implementing suggestions, cutting, adding, and hopefully making it better.  I’m almost halfway through the draft.  I hope to be done with it early next year.

It’s taken me longer than anticipated, which is okay, but sort of screwed up my schedule.  But it is really okay, b/c I’ll take however long it takes to make it submission-worthy.  As such, no query letters were sent.  I’ve decided to wait till the draft is done and critted.  The story, while essentially the same, has been morphing in interesting ways.  Hopefully in good ways.

Flamebound is on its way towards being totally revised, using Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class.  I have high hopes for this.  I want to get Flamebound revised, critted, and submitted somewhere next year.  I can do this.

I planned on participating in Nanowrimo and writing a new novel.  Unfortunately, life had different plans.  Two days in I ended up quitting.  The book was to be Soulfire.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the timing just wasn’t right on this one.

I finished Survivor, which was a HUGE goal.   I hope to rewrite it in the next few years (depending on if I sell something, etc).

I don’t think I broke 100k on new words, but that, too, is okay.  Because I said I’d do some serious editing and finishing unfinished projects, which I accomplished.

I submitted my poetry chapbook, Life as a Moving Target, to a publisher.  Did not bite, but that’s okay.  I might try again next year.

For next year, I have a few more projects besides Pirouette the Third and Flamebound.  I have Unforgiven, which is a personal challenge to myself for various reasons.  I also have MindBound, the next book set in the Flamebound world.  And I’m seriously considering pulling out Darkweaver and starting work on it.  And then there’s Pirouette book 2 (Blood Dance). Ambitious, I know, but want to aim high.

I think the biggest goal for 2010 is to get something submitted somewhere, be it Flamebound, Pirouette the Third, or something else entirely.  I need to start moving forward with my goal of getting published.  I’ve been working like a madwoman, but I need to focus on that more.  So, hopefully I can do something about that next year.

So, to all, Happy New Year (a few days early!) and reach for the stars.


Finally getting back here.  I’ve been crazy busy these past few weeks.  Well, I signed up for Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class, and I’ve been working on it almost every day.  I’m revising Flamebound, since it’s short and it’s one of the things I haven’t tackled all year.  It’s been interesting and eye-opening, to say the least. 

Pirouette the Third is almost to the halfway point on the rewrite.  Yay!  I added a few new elements and scenes to it, and I feel that it is stronger for it.  Still trying to stay within the acceptable wordcount limit, which has been challenging.  But overall, it’s going pretty well.

Unforgiven is still simmering in my head.  Had a few revelations which helped flesh out the main character, Amara.  I also know what direction I’m going in — paranormal/thriller — and possibly how it ends (although that’s always subject to change).  I will be starting on it January 1st to coincide with a challenge. 

Yesterday was the 2-month anniversary of when our family drama happened.  I’m still mostly numb, but I’ve been dreaming about a specific person lately and that’s a bit worrisome.  In every dream, I’m saying goodbye.  I think there’s a connection here.  Perhaps I am working through my feelings through my dreams?  I don’t really know, as I don’t feel comforted by them, just confused.

Christmas is like, just over a week away!  My shopping is done.  I can’t wait.   l love Christmas.  It’s my favorite time of year besides my birthday.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all.

Back to Pirouette the Third.

I tried, I really did, but the timing just isn’t right for Soulfire.  I’d suspected it, and fought it, but there it is.  So, it’s official.  I’m switching back to Pirouette the Third for the rest of the year.

A few days ago, I realized that I was blocked.  And I was in denial.  So I listened to Holly Lisle’s Beating Writer’s Block audio book and did a few of the exercises.  I discovered a couple of things.  1) That the timing was all wrong. 2) I was, deep down inside, pressuring myself too much to produce.  3) I felt guilty for putting Pirouette the Third aside, even though I’d convinced myself that I needed a break.  And 4) I’d made some changes to Soulfire early on and my muse was fighting them.  But when I tried to work on it without those changes, I couldn’t do it.  I was stuck.  But I seemed okay to work on Pirouette the Third, so heck, I’ll take anything I can get at this point, as long as it’s not nothing.

Yeah, seems I can pressure myself without even realizing it.  And in the wake of the family drama, I need to be gentle to myself.  I’m not a writing machine.  I can produce.  But I can’t force something to come just to say that I’ve done it, or to win Nanowrimo.  I need time to heal.  If that means that Soulfire has to be put aside, then so be it.  I considered taking a 2-week break from writing, but decided to give it a shot.  It’s working so far.  Slowly.  Yesterday I wrote 288 words, and today I wrote 519.  No. Pressure.

Unforgiven is still niggling at me.  I have no idea what to do with it.  I don’t want to overdo things, but the idea is really compelling.  Part of the problem is that I have an inciting incident and a vague idea of a few things, but nothing really definite.  That’s never stopped me before (remember Requiem in Blue?) but this one, since it’s somewhat a new genre for me (thriller), and it’s personal, needs special attention.  So I guess we’ll see.

I feel good about the decisions I’ve made, almost at peace.  And right now, peace is a commodity.  Maybe by the end of the year I’ll have had made good progress on Pirouette the Third and maybe can start submitting it.  No pressure, of course.  Just would be nice.

Going to also be working more on my website.  I need to get at least the Writer side completed.  Stay tuned.


Been meaning to get back here and post, but time has been a slippery thing as of late.

Nanowrimo isn’t going too well for me so far.  I’m at 6k, when I should be at 20k.  😦  On day 2 I made the decision to not worry about making 50k.  I’ve been under alot of stress at work, and been having migraines and wrist problems.

And my family’s in crisis right now.  Can’t really get into it for privacy reasons, but basically someone very close to my heart betrayed us (not the beloved!). Someone who I never thought would ever do something so …..awful.  Family has always been important to all of us, and well….I just don’t know.

Been mostly numb, although I’ve had a grand total of two meltdowns, one at work which really sucked.  I’m coping. I’m trying to make sense of this, trying to handle it best I can, and not go crazy.  It’s been a struggle as of late.  The ones left standing and the beloved have been great, and I am damn grateful for that.  We are lucky to have each other.  And I take comfrort in knowing that at least that will never change.

So…..writing and Nanowrimo haven’t been at the top of my list.  I stopped writing for 4 days immediately following the inciting incident, but felt the urge and started writing again.  Was okay till Nano day 2, and it all broke down.  I feel broken.  I feel as if a critical part of me has gone away, and it won’t be coming back.  Grief?  Not really.  Strangely.  I’m mad more than sad at the moment.  I haven’t spoken to this individual since the incident, and I’m not sure when — if ever — I will.  There are just some lines you just don’t cross, EVER.

Of course, as if I needed more ideas, the muse twists this up and hands me an intriguing — very intriguing — idea.  Loosely based on the incident, but beyond that, pure fiction.  I’m thinking paranormal or horror.  It’s tentatively called Unforgiven (yes, a nod to Metallica) and I might just handwrite the damned thing.  Been meaning to try that method, but always thought it would waste time.  I just read an article about how writers write and guess what?  Most of them draft by hand!  I was surprised, especially in today’s day and age, but whatever works, right?

Just for the record, I almost decided to put Soulfire on the back burner.  Why?  It just wasn’t gelling, until last night.  Now I’m good with it, after a great writing night, if only the wrist would cooperate.

I’ve also been poking at Pirouette the Third  in the middle of all this.  It’s been coming along.

So that’s the lowdown.  Wish I had better things to say.

A quote: The heart remembers what the mind tries so much to forget.  Might be the first line of Unforgiven.  I don’t know.