Monday, November 28, 2005

Thank You, Dana Marton

I read CAMOUFLAGE HEART over the weekend. Lovely action/adventure/romance set in the Malaysian jungle. I love that kind of story, but I've been hesitant to try something quite like that myself.

Then it occurred to me that the urban jungle is fraught with its own dangers and beauties, and that navigating that urban jungle is just what I needed my heroine to do to become more proactive (and endangered) in my beleaguered WIP.

So thanks, Dana, for a great read and the inspiration.

Cat Bloggy Goodness

IMAO, a very funny blog (with a conservative bent, for those sensitive to such) is hosting this week's Carnival of the Cats. If you like catblogging, check it out. This particular post is politics free.

Unless you're a cat.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Wench Won

My internal editor: winner and still champion!

I'm about 142 pages into my WIP when it suddenly occurs to me that I'm off course. I've got too many characters, my heroine (who's supposed to be the woman in jeopardy) is practically sitting in the backseat of this story, and my hero's big, dark back story secret is being eclipsed by another big, dark back story secret that was supposed to be just a passing thing.

So okay. I surrender. I've got to go back about three chapters, excise two characters (who I really liked, dang it!), move up a murder that I didn't have happening quite so soon, create a secondary character to be a stronger red herring suspect in the crimes at the heart of the story, and oh yeah, gotta put my heroine in escalating danger.

NaNoWriMo, I hardly knew ye...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Internal Editor . . .

She's a harsh mistress.


118 pages. Fourteen scheduled for today. I hope.

Is it my imagination or did writing used to come more easily? I remember racing home to write, plotting every second of my drive to and from work, daydreaming about my books in the middle of the work day. I don't seem to do that anymore. But why?

I still love to write. I still think I'm pretty good at it. And now that I've sold my first book, I really need to be able to produce good stuff quickly in the future. But the ideas don't seem to flow like they used to. The stories don't come together in my mind as easily.

Is it the pressure of having sold? Am I just going through a dry spell? Am I not disciplined enough? Or am I afraid of success? (Calling Dr. Phil . . .)

Or maybe writing was a lot easier when I didn't actually know how to write, how to plot a story with enough conflict to sustain it. Maybe it was easier to write when the stories just weren't up to par.

I'll let you know if I ever figure it out.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Be Prepared, Redux

As I wrote in a previous entry around the time of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, we all need to take responsibility for our own preparedness in a time of crisis. To that end, a bright and motivated kid named Austin (who just happens to be actress Sela Ward's son) has created, a site where you can purchase disaster preparedness kits, with the profits going to foster kids displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

It's a good idea benefiting a good cause.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Progress on the Quasi NaNoWriMo

I'm on page 94 of my current WIP, shooting for 270 pages total, and while I haven't really hit a block yet, my internal editor is being a real pain in the keister. "That paragraph stinks!" "Is that really the word you want to use?" "What a cliche!"

But even with obstacles in my way (got to put the leg up; oops, my six-year-old niece tripped on the power cord and broke the adapter, and now I have to order the replacement part and have it overnighted; and oh by the way, my ex-bro-in-law who I let borrow my car out of the kindness of my heart managed to have a wreck that was his fault and totally screwed up my perfect driving record with my insurance company—thanks SO much), I've managed to write a little bit each day. I don't know that I'll meet my 270 page deadline by November 30th, but I do think I should definitely be able to have the NaNoWriMo total of 50,000 words done by then.

I had worked out the plot using index cards, jotting down basic story events, before I started writing, but the story has already started surprising me. Like, who knew the hero and heroine were going to kiss a full two or three chapters before I originally imagined it? And already, some of the crime victims' identities have changed, and I'm only on chapter six.

I do like writing this way, though, hurtling through the story at breakneck speed. I've learned over the years that while I'd love to be a pantser, I'm really a plotter at heart, and the sooner I come to terms with that fact, the more prolific a writer I'll be. And now that I have an actual editor I work with who's given me wonderful insight into what Harlequin Intrigue is looking for, I know how to shape my book to better fit the line as I'm writing it.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Mega Update

Well, it's been quite a while since I blogged, and in my defense, I've spent most of that time out of work with a bad case of cellulitis in my right leg. I'm nicely on the mend now, however, and I go back to work tomorrow, much to the relief of my boss.

Cellulitis is a deep tissue infection that can be a real bugger to beat, and it's dangerous because it can spread from your leg or wherever to organs, becoming life-threatening. My doctor wanted me to be hospitalized but the E.R. doctors at the hospital where I went decided to send me home with antibiotics. When I went back to my doctor a little over a week later, he was not pleased, but the first round of antibiotics had lowered my white blood count quite a bit, so he just gave me a new round of two different antibiotics to finally kick this thing. My white blood count is back to the normal range now, and my leg is getting back to normal, so I go back to work tomorrow.

Unfortunately, I missed my local RWA chapter's Reader's Luncheon, which was going to be my first one as a published author. (Well, to-be-published, but you know what I mean). I was really bummed about that. On the upside, the need to do some office work here at home (with my leg propped up to fight the swelling) spurred me to finally get a wireless router so that I could get online using my laptop. Yay! I got a wireless adapter for my sister's computer, too, which means I can drop one of our two cable broadband connections, which will save me some money. Double yay!

And I started a new manuscript! Inspired to unofficially participate in National Novel Writing Month, I had prepped the basic plot points of my new story idea before I got sick. It was touch and go as to whether I'd be able to get started on November 1st, since I was pretty much sick as a dog from Wednesday to Saturday of the week before, but by Sunday I was starting to feel a good bit better, and by Tuesday, I was well enough to not only work on my new book but also start doing some office work at home.

It's now November 13th, and I have 75 pages written. I'm figuring on getting extra pages written during the long Thanksgiving holiday as well, so I'm hoping to have the first draft of my book finished by December 1st. We'll see how it goes.