Tuesday, February 28, 2006

She passed!

Not much on the writing front yesterday as I was busy with the test session at our rink. Not only was my dd testing, but I am the vice president of one of the local clubs so I had to be there to help out.

The levels go: Pre preliminary, preliminary, pre juvenile, juvenile, intermediate, novice, junior, senior.

The senior level girls skate in the olympics and at nationals. Actually the novice and juniors do too,(nationals) but you never see them on TV.

For each level you have to pass the move in the field, like figures in the ice, and a freskate, which is a program so they can check out your jumps and spins and spirals. You can take and pass as many moves in the field tests as you like, but you have to pass that level's freeskate before you are offically at that level. Which is why my baby is in the Intermediate level but passed her novice moves on the first try! Like hardly anyone passes them on their first try! She almost fell apart from the nerves, but held it together and passed. Whew! That's done. Only two more moves tests to get through. Now on those free skates....

Today I write!

Monday, February 27, 2006

You Play You Pay

Shooting pains in first two fingers of right hand. Ooops. Guess I typed and clicked too much the last two weeks.

Good news is...I finished chapter twelve and started on thirteen. I am a bit behind word count so I am going to need two big chapters, but I have some layering to do too.

Bad news is... it almost crippled me. Hee.

I also have an article due today so the crippling matters not. I have to continue.

I also have a germ of an idea for the next one. Will play with it to see if it turns out right.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

One Lousy Scene

That's all I did yestersay. I cleaned my house instead and it was good.

Still struggling with the her mom or mom POV thing. I am leaning towards her mom. The other way just sounds weird. I will try to stay in deep pov for everything else, lots of brisk internals, lots of physical emotional clues, etc., but that just irritates me. If an editor wants it changed, I'll change it. At least, I think that is what I am going with now. LOL.

I should get a lot of writing done today. Kids will be gone a good portion of it. Have a couple of crits to get to as well.

Maybe a nap? No, no nap!


Finished chapter eleven. It was a short chapter, but it brings me one step closer to being finished!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Chapter ten is done

I took a break yesterday because I needed to analize what has happened and what needs to happen in the last 4 chapters. The muddy middle people call it, except it really isn't the middle. The last quarter is what I always have trouble with.

What needs to happen to tie up all the loose ends? How happy does my character have to be to fool people into thinking things have been resolved so that when she gets her black moment it seems really black. Especially when it's only a false black moment and things get even worse.

Then the resolution. The end sort of scares me. It's where the building blocks of a good story come in. If you did it right it won't fall apart at the end, but come together in a nice tidy manner.

Also, I am have a small problem with distancing. One of my CP's says that when I use her mother, such as, her mom grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down at the table, it is distancing. For deep POV it should be, Mom grabbed a cup of coffee and sat at the table.

??? That sounds first personish to me. I want to be deep... I want as great a connection I can get.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Yeah. Uh huh.

Couldn't finish the chapter today. I had so much running around to do. But I did manage to add 18 pages.

I have over 32,000 words.

I rock.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I'm gonna try

Wish me luck.

Pumped out another chapter. Seventeen pages. I am on chapter ten.

Also managed a 3 page article so am feeling pretty good.

Too tired.

Thanks for all the encouragement.

She Won!

Gena Showalter has a proved herself the better alien, err woman, and finished her YA rough draft before I finished mine. By how much? Let's just say by a lot. I averaged 20 pages a day for the five days. I just can't do more than that.

So the question now becomes... should I stop the insanity and save my arm and family life? Or should I push for five more days and finish the rough draft of my book? I have five chapters left. Or there abouts. I have a lot of work coming down the pike, but I can actually manage it. Hmmmm.
What should I do?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Stop the Insanity!

I managed 24 pages yesterday and 13 so far today. I noticed that Ms. Showalter hasn't announced her win yet, but I expect her to tomorrow. Heck, I'm almost hoping she does so I can stop! Until then I am stuck, forging ahead exploring new reaches of exhaustion, insanity and carpal tunnel.

My muse on the otherhand is a whirling dirvish of energy and light. I havn't paid her this much concentrated attention since my last attempt at nano.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Eating Gena's Dust.

No, I am not admiting defeat.

I did manage to polish off two articles this morning and turn them in a day early, much to my editor's delight.

Now I can work round the clock!

But she's definitely ahead of me. But I did manage another chapter today. Unfortunately, it was a short one. Only sixteen pages. But I did have the two and three page articles to do ahead of that so I think I did great.

Basically, I have written four chapters in four days. And even if I am eating Gena's dust... that is phenomenal.

Still writing.

Rachel, root for both of us. We are both winners here.

(spoken like someone who knows she's going to lose!)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Heading Around the First Bend

I think she be a wee bit ahead. Ahem.

But I won't give up. I won't think about the three assignments that my children need correcting before they turn them in. I won't think of the four articles I have due by Tuesday, nor the floor that needs mopping.
Must. Beat. Gena. Showalter.


Am delirious. Just finished another 20 pages. That is 56 pages in three days and three chapters. My family is about to disown me and I have three articles due Monday. Tomorrow I can't allow myself to write on lips until I finish the articles.

Then I am back at it.

Be afraid, Gena. Be very afraid.

Friday, February 17, 2006

And the Race Begins!

Since the lovely Ms. Showalter writes out her first drafts by hand, (I knew she was a Goddess among writers) there is no way to truly figure out who's ahead. Not until she finishes it and types it out. And no one knows if her chapters are as long as my chapters. But I am racing anyway! So yesterday page count for me:

20 Pages!

I did all of chapter four and a couple of pages of chapter five.

Gena goodnaturedly agreed to the race and very graciously told me she was busy this weekend and wouldn't be able to write much. So she's either being sweet or it's a diabolical plan for me to be put off my guard.

Hey, whatever motivates me to write, eh?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Racing Gena Showalter

It's on!

She has done the rough draft of three chapters of her new YA and I have done the rough draft of my first three chapters. Of course, she did hers in like two days and it took me about two and a half weeks to get mine done, but no matter! I threw the gauntlet down! (And my back out) Of course, I will no doubt be thrown out of the qualifying round by tomorrow, but a girl can dream, right?

Now to figure out how to get my articles done!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

And life and work go on

My CP group will be shutting down at the end of the month. Now, I credit this group with being partially responsible for obtaining an agent. I knew very little about novel craft before I joined. If you needed a fluffy nonfiction piece, I'm your girl. But in spite of having had written a YA book six years ago and a chick lit book two years ago, I knew nothing on how to do it. This group generously gave of their knowlege and time and as a result I was the first one to score an agent among these incredibly talented women. Not exactly fair, but the business isn't exactly fair. Who among you has read books riddled in adverbs, clunky dialogue or pages of internalization? Right place, right time, right editor has tons to do with being published or not and all the little rules we writers create to make sense of a business that seems to break all the rules, just fly out the window.

But stuff happens and the crit group will be shutting it's doors. The list owner found herself critting too much of other people's work and not doing her own work. A hazard to be sure. Luckily, I have formed a fabulous partnership with a new CP and I think a couple of surprise CP's and I will also form a small group. I like the idea of small. Having just went through GH madness in which everyone was trying to get entries ready and screaming for crits, I have decided that seven is just too many for one group.

I have been on many lists since I got online eight years ago and I have discovered a few things as I watched lists, both big and small, of women writers fall apart.

  • Women can be warm and wonderful and giving. They can also be vicious.
  • With every step in your career you are going to lose a few people who you thought were friends but really aren't. (I have watched too many women writers deal with this not to believe it)
  • Most lists implode. I was on a list of about 1500 of the most wonderful women I had ever met. We had parties, reunions, give aways, you name it. Then the actions of one person backfired and the whole thing was gone.
  • Bitchiness happens. Women are hormonal. I have snarked and been snarked at. But honestly, though I have been on a number of lists, I have been attacked out of left field only twice but I have seen it happen more times then that. In one of those cases the writer later apologised. Said it really had nothing to do with me, she was lashing out at my client, her former client. I'm still waiting for the other apology.
  • Some women can have disagreements with maturity and grace. Some feel it is a personal afront if you don't have the same opinion.
  • Christian bashing is alive and well on lists, as in, this one Christian did such and such to me, therefore you are all bad.
  • Did I mention how kind and giving women can be on lists? Did I mention how mean they can be?

Later, I may post on how to recover from list implosion or being flamed. Maybe there should be a 12 step recovery program! Snort.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Having your own young adults in the house is interesting, isn't it? No matter how mature and caring they are, they just have their DUH moments.

How many times does my oldest have to say "whateva" to my husband and watch him explode before he gets a clue? DUH!

How many times does my youngest have to pull weeds and then say, "But I didn't know you wanted me to pick the piles up and put them in the recycler!" DUH!

Or how about my personal favorite, "I didn't know when you said do the dishes you meant I had to wipe the counters too." DUH!

That could also work for, "I didn't know that cleaning the bathroom meant doing the sinks. Or that cleaning my bedroom meant making my bed, or cleaning the living room meant putting away the CD's/Dvd's!"


Or how about, "I didn't know that fighting with my YA writing mother meant she would be running to her notepad to take notes during an argument!"


Friday, February 10, 2006

When the week ends

I learned a long time ago that in the writing world, at least my writing world, the week doesn't end just because Friday has arrived. Instead of being disgruntled about that, I find it rather comforting. Because the three things left on my weekly to do list could possibly get done by the end of tomorrow. Maybe.

Let's see what I have. Find sources for bedwetting activities. I found one. Does that count? I am supposed to have two, so probably not. I haven't sent questions for the crying solution because I am waiting for the book. Hopefully it will be here today.

But the biggy though-- I haven't finished chapter three. After staring at a blank page for half a day, I managed to write seven pages yesterday. Because of my nonfiction work, I rarely write more than then a chapter in a week, if that. I need to ramp it up. I need to pull a Gena Showalter or something. A chapter a day. As if. My arm would fall off.
So today my goal is to do another 7 pages, which would pull me in close enough to finish it tomorrow, (which is still a part of the week, dontcha know) and finish off an article so I can invoice. Tomorrow... write and edit, baby, write and edit. Maybe even get chapter two to my fabulously cool and talented CP.

Oh wait. Tomorrow is chapter meeting. Okay. That's it. I have to finish today. Gads. Oh no... I have a doctor appointment today! (Much cursing and ranting ensues) I'm fine. I'm good.
Must run.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Passes and work space

Got a couple of passes, but they are the kind of passes that hurt so good. One editor liked it so much she took it to her editorial director who passed and another one passed because it wasn't right for their line, but she would be glad to see anything else by this author. Since it's an editor I would love to work with, that's not so bad. Not bad at all:)

Had another difficult time starting a new chapter. Have decided to do some plotting exercises to get a better grip on where the books going. I am more in touch with my characters now, so it should be easier. I did get the working first line of the third chapter which is important if I am going to finish it this week!

"You are not following me to the football game and I am NOT wearing too much eyeliner!" (said to parents) Hey, give me a break. At least it isn't a white page anymore.

The above is my work space. The color and the dark wood floors are new from last summer.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


My to do list is scary this week. And as it's weds I'd best get started.

I did finish chapter 2 on lips! YEAH! I have a bunch of revising to do but may set it aside in order to move onto three cause I that was on my list too. I usually don't write that fast, but I am really wanting to push this one to the end. Also, just because I am stoopid, I took another article due the fourth week of Feb. That makes, um, five that week. I must be nuts.

I managed to knock off another entry for a contest I am judging. I was going to do another one, but the first sentence was so adjective laden and full of word pictures that my head actually blew up and I had to put it back together again. After that I was ready to go to bed. Putting your head back together is hard work.

I have about a gazillion sources to contact and send interview questions to. I would love to get one of those articles knocked out this week to take some of the pressure off. I also have to crit my Cp's third chapter.

Hmmmm. I think I liked it better when I was talking about how I finished chapter two instead of dwelling about what I have yet to get done.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My Baby is 15

Years ago I had a fuzzy headed baby that we called the chicken. Now we call her the May May. She is by turns incredibly sweet and thoughtful and yet amazingly self centered in the way teen girls who are exceptionally lovely can be. (Daddy's fault!) She's turned into a capable, talented, passionate young woman. She is loving and kind, artistic and focused and raucously funny.

She loves figure skating, her friends, cats and dogs, the mall, cleaning (Oh yeah!) organizing, throwing parties, cooking, Audrey Hepburn, drawing, eyeliner, Lucille Ball, and Usher.

She loves her mom and dad passionately and her year older big brother, tolerably.

She hates spiders, pants that are too short, Thai food, yelling, boys who wear their hair too long, people who tuck shirts into sweats, old cars, waiting in line, being rushed, and movies with sex.

Oh, and she recently discovered boys and the boys have discovered her. (Hockey players! ACK!)

I love her just as she is.

She also hates getting up in the morning. Which makes it hard to be a figure skater.

Her favorite movies are Legally Blonde, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Oklahoma, State Fair, Little Women, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Fried Green Tomatoes.

Her favorite TV shows are Gilmore Girls, American Idol, Seventh Heaven, Desperate Housewives and Grays Anatomy.

Her favorite color? Pink! Though she had been moving more towards and array of beiges and browns.

Happy Birthday Baby! Mommy loves you forever!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Monday Madness

No, my madness isn't due to the fact that I have a bunch of places to go today. It has everything to do with a series of shady calls at the super bowl yesterday. Now I had fun at the party, but the funky calls sorta ruined it for me. Now we probably wouldn't have won anyway, but I felt incredibly sorry for all the fans that spent thousands traveling to that thing. And I felt sorry for my 16 year old son, but we drowned our sorrows in rootbeer floats and a game of Sorry.

Enough about football. Season's over.

Lips is going well... I wrote about a 1000 words on it yesterday before the game. I finally figured out where I wanted to start the second chapter and once I did that, things started falling together. So I have to ask... does anyone else have trouble getting into the next chapter? Sometimes I want to have the next chapter start right after the previous chapter. Sometimes it has to. Other times it doesn't and you are wondering where to begin... just before the action starts? Do you have to kind of allude at least to how you got from point A to point B? For instance, my first chapter ends at a hook just before the family is supposed to have dinner. Chapter two starts with her being stuffed from dinner. So you know she ate, but I didn't have to write what would essentially be a boring family dinner. Enlivened by the hook, but basically a time and word waster. I have to watch that cause I only have about 45,000 words to play with.

Another question. How do you write about the passage of time? I have a friend who is writing some short cats. She has between 45 and 50 thousand words. To grow a heart thumping romance. Now most people aren't going to believe that true love happens in a week or two, so she has to move time along without gaps in the sotry. Without people wondering... how the heck did that happen? I have thought about trying some of those myself, but the time thing throws me off a bit.

Today will be a good day. Work on nonfiction a bit. Fiction a lot. Crit my Cp's chapter. Judge another entry or two. I have basically nothing to do today except to get my daughter from the rink. She spent the night with a skate friend last night so I just have to pick her up. Later!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Not a bad week a'tall

Not too bad writing wise. Finished the first chapter of Lips and have already edited it a couple of time. It is out with my CP right now so will no doubt edit it one more time. Depending on what they think. I had a couple of transition issues. We'll see. I hope to write one article and another chapter over the weekend. Again, we'll see!

Picked up several more nonfiction assignments this week which is super good. They keep my daughte ron the ice and if she quits skating will buy me a new car. Snort. Unfortunately, they are all on incontinence. Don't ask. They pay. And who knows, maybe they will help someone. I love getting feedback on how something I wrote helped someone. I remember one article I wrote for Baby Years magazine on Plagiocephaly (flat head) and an issue later a woman wrote in telling how she would have never thought anything about it if she hadn't read the article, but her baby was diagnosed with it. WOW. I helped. So I try to think of all my articles that way even if I don't particularly want to write them.

We have a serious storm headed our way. The coast is supposed to get gusts up to 100 mphs and inland in the willamette Valley are supposed to get sustained winds of 45-50 with gusts up to 60. And I am supposed to be out and about in it. Yay.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Writer's Exhaustion

Have you ever just wanted to write and write and write. Beyond reason?

I started this morning writing longhand which I haven't done in ages. I mean, I plot and take notes, but I don't write actual scenes. This morning, looking at another hour and a half at the rink, I decided to go for it. I read a couple of pages of my manuscript to where I'd left off. When I got to the rink I sat down with a yellow pad and wrote two pages... and that was with interruptions. Came home, worked on some nonfiction stuff and started in. I had a bunch of other errands to run including three more trips to the rink, but every spare minute I ran back to the computer and wrote. once the kids were at work I had several solid hours to work. Not that I work without stopping. Sometimes when I write I type a few sentences or a paragraph and then get up and wander around for a minute. Put in a load of laundry, wipe down the counters or something like that. then I come back and write a bit more. Sometimes I do write an uninterupted page or two, but I usually get up and do something while my mind works out the next scene. Does anyone else do that?

Now, I am tired... I have had several nights of little sleep and should be in bed... but I want to write. I have a few more ideas and would love to finish chapter one. I have written sixteen pages in the last two days and think I have a couple more till the end... I want to do it! But would also love sleep. Mmmmm. Sleep.

I'll tell you which won tomorrow.