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August 2017

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I did everything but write this weekend - yesterday was a kid day (both kids, and also my son's gf, came by to see me).   My daughter was the real surprise - I see the son and his g/f Summer over here pretty regularly - but Tiffany rarely comes here, I usually drive to Dallas so I can see her doggie Bruce! He is a Corgi.  What more can I say - CORGI!!!!!  She has some good friends (and okay they are mine too - I went to their wedding, the weekend after 45 slayed us all and won (cough) the presidency - the friends are a gay couple, and their wedding was the best wedding I had ever been to.  Now they are close by and that makes me happy, just because.  :) 

So, it was pretty sweet to have her come HERE - and the dogs went nuts, of course, as they hadn't seen her in ages.

Yesterday I shopped as I hadn't since before vacation so was out of everything.  And today I didn't leave the house but completely gutted my kitchen, and completely redid my back porch/zen place.  Man that feels good to have that done but now I am exhausted but that is okay as my (main) boss is GONE FOR A A WEEK YAY!!!!! A week and a day!  Maybe a week and TWO days!!!  JOY JOY JOY!!!!

So, I will drink LOTS of coffee in the morning.  I did think a lot?  I am trying to untangle how I want to finish the last act/part of this story.  I have all my POV characters at their moments of becoming warriors, so to speak - and I've been working through different ways to get everyone where I want them to end this thing.  I have two options - and they are big options - I could either choose to wrap up this story in one go, a stand-alone novel, or I could choose to not do so.  Now, as I am getting ready for the drive toward the end, is where I have to decide.  

A huge part of me just wants to complete their story in its entirety - been working on this 15 years off and on, after all, and the thought of completing their narratives makes me very happy.  But the thought of not writing them anymore, either?  How can I bear to say goodbye to these characters?  This dilemma is a huge/major/overwhelming reason why I have not made much progress this last month (and did no writing at all on vacation).

But I really need to make a decision.   As a standalone, it would clock in easy at around 325k, maybe even 350k.  A big book, a big story.  I think I am leaning this direction, but with spin-offs, or stories running simultaneous to.  I have two such stories teasing me right now, one that I've also had for a long time dancing around in my brain (about 7 years). 

In any case - busy, tiring weekend.  I started a new diet as well, which I will talk about more later - it is basically Whole30, if you are familiar with that.  But, I am counting calories, which you aren't supposed to do on Whole30.  But I am, and there is a reason for that, and so there, that's just how it is. LOL! 

And now I must curl up with the puppy, and watch some  netflix.  I'll seek out American Gods tomorrow and watch the first episode then.

The best part of my vacation was just spending time relaxing, talking with my friend (also a writer) and walking his dog.  It was just so relaxed and lovely, but then I came home and just was swamped with work, which left me too whipped by Friday night to go to writer's group.  Saturday I ran errands but got to spend time with my son and his girlfriend - other than that, I spent the weekend alone and got into a funk of blah.  I really need to find people around here who don't live in Dallas area.  Sigh.  So I just had a blah kind of day - happy to be home with my dogs, but I just felt... tired. Just tired. And lonely - I think that is the main problem.  Having someone sweet and charming and fun to talk to about anything and everything all day and then not having that has made me a sad person.  I will snap out of it, but dang it, I miss my little buddy.

I also have realized my adorable Chromebook doesn't have the Intel processor (I didn't even THINK to look at that) which makes it pretty impossible to have any form of Scrivener on it.  I can either just write on Googledocs, or return it.  I haven't decided yet.  Writing on Googledocs is not a bad thing - I wanted this baby laptop for first drafting anyway - but I had really liked the idea of Scrivener on it. Returning is such a hassle too, you know?
I have no idea why the banner isn't working for me.  BUT ANYWAY.  I committed to 200k for 2015.  Pretty daring considering the last 4 years I haven't even written 100k.  But I am moving along with this story, I have real, firm goals, and know what I want.  And I miss community, I miss people, and I really am looking forward to that.  Oh look, the banner mysteriously decided to start working.

[ profile] catsintheattic posted her results on this test so I decided to give it a go too.  Hello LJ, I have been so busy with work and real life and such that I haven't posted in a long, long time.  What's new? Going to Canada a week from tomorrow!  WHEE!   There will be hiking, canoeing, exploring, eating foods, relaxing hopefully, and swimming.  I've been doing the Zombies!Run program to help get into a bit better shape after the long cold winter, and it definitely is helping.

In other news - my daughter is moving home after finishing grad school.  She snagged a fabulous new job here set to start on the 26th. It will be amazing to have her home though it will probably be only about a year or so, then she will get her own place. I rather like living alone, I have discovered (eyes my results below lol) but it will be nice to not have her in another state anymore. :)  I am very glad.

That's it for me - not writing, mostly concentrating on me, though I do plan on doing Nanowrimo in November.

Cee's Personality Type Results

My Nano novel is going to be my fantasy novel - not THE fantasy novel but the prequel that that Tor editor suggested in an offhand way (oh so many years ago) that she thought I should write. It is outlined like a big boss, beautifully-scrivenerized, and though I intend to start from scratch with it, I was a bit bored at work and since I have to at least pretend like I am working I decided to poke around on my dropbox and see what I had out there already written on it. To my amusement (and dismay), I found no less than seven different openings to this story. SEVEN!!!

Obviously, I didn't know what to do with this story, just a vague idea of the issues I wanted to explore. I changed my mind soooo many times on how to approach the opening to the story. Soft opening, with KAPOW after a few paragraphs? Starting with high action? I could not (for the longest time) figure out who the MC should be - male or female, Jax or Maiya, or sometimes Naiya. I also changed POV several times. The result of that is a gem like this:

Naiya came to, bound and gagged. Naiyan a cramped cart, alone, on his side. My face
hurt where She’d been struck, his ribs stabbed him with each breath.

Search and replace disasters!!! BWA HA HA HA HA.... OMG.

Oh, me....

This evening while watching the rest of Firefly (damn them for cancelling that show way before its time!) I decided I needed to organized all my little tidbits of writing, and my messy dropbox which was way too full. I now have a nice little list of books I want to write, have wanted to write for ages, and found some things I'd forgotten about, too - old bits and bobs of short stories (Caeru! I forgot about him! there is another one I need to find too from that world), LOL two Torchwood fics, the start of Drake's Island I'd totally forgotten that I'd started.

I am so looking forward to this Nano!! Mostly I think because I have so many friends here locally now who are also doing it, but also because I am so looking forward to writing this story finally. I love having a writing community (even though I honestly could invest more physical time to it). Hopefully my desk of awesome will make it easier to be productive. The only bad thing about it is I keep hurting myself on it. My toes hit the ends, my knees the pull out drawer that I am not using. I may end up pulling the drawer off. Ouch.

List of Books I Want to Write/Finish:
(this list is too long)

1. Wayward (the sci fi - still haven't decided whether to expand this or make it three separate parts - working on it)
2. Wild Magic - the Nano novel - multiple POV
3. Blackthumb - spinoff, after a fashion - takes place in same world as Wild Magic but is in first - can I do that? (the book I am currently reading is Very Much Inspiring me to tackle this story soon) - have had plans for this story for a good six, seven years
4. Altered Fates - sequel to the Nano novel (and there are 2 more parts - these 3 are my 'omg have had forever like 15 yrs' novels) (hopefully it won't be another 15 years before they are finished)
5. Wolfhunter - sort of an urban fantasy except it is rural - another one I've had floating around forever, since about 2008
6. Drake's Island - m/m, found the start to it buried in my dropbox. I liked the opening. This one will get written eventually - been hovering around since 2011
7. Tattered Leaves - m/m, 'older/younger' love, inspired by Cheese.

Too long, too many, most of which should've been written already! Dang it!
Hello LJ, been a long time. Not much going on except for work, work, and more work, and yet more work. Am doing minimal writing, because I have other things on my mind. I'll get back to it though - my space opera is coming along, and I have a couple of other things going on, but mostly for fun, which is what I need right now.

Right now I am purposefully concentrating on improving my health. This knee sprain took its toll on my poor body and almost six months of dealing with a slow recovery has made me very concerned. My 51st birthday is coming up on the 29th and between now and then I am determined to be well into making a positive, permanent change. I do NOT want to be my mother. NO!

So, between now and the third week in July when I am off for vacation for two weeks with N, I have put myself first, or rather my body, and am concentrating on that. I looked at programs like Insanity (I am not nuts enough for that) and P90X, or even just P90, but realized those were just too much for me to start out with. I wanted a program that I could do both exercise and aerobic activity (dusting off the treadmill again, and the bike) and while on the site, I stumbled on Les Mills Pump. Read up on it all I could, watched youtube videos of those who had done it successfully, and was pleased with the legitimacy of what I saw... LOL! And so I ordered the weight set and dvds and they got here Wednesday and tonight I started the program!

I have a lot of work to do, that's for sure. Oh my goodness, I am WEAK! Scary weak!! I have always been a pretty strong person but I sure am not now!!!

I've got to do my measurements tomorrow, but pretty much it is a 90 day program (obviously I will only be able to complete 60 between now and vacation), and I am following it to a "T". I am also doing a hardcore clean diet, around 1350-1400 calories a day, no processed foods, no no no. Nope nada.

First workout though? Pretty amusing. It was not that hard, and yet it was...mostly because of awkwardness, not being used to doing all the things, the correct form for the movements, etc. And weak, oh weak! I started out with the ten pounds (plus the bar is 5) and I switched to just the bar! Weak weak weak. One of the youtube videos I watched recommend one by 2.5 pound weights and I plan to do that tomorrow, definitely. 5 pound weights is too much. But, I soldiered on, me and my crappy offbalance lunges and 'squats' (ha ha ha um yeah - I at least moved that direction? Down? A little? Of course I had to be knee-careful, so yeah).

But still, I got through it, and am very happy about that. VERY happy about that. Hopefully on Wednesday when I do this again it'll be a little easier and I will be a little more graceful. Hopefully. :)

C, iron pumper... LOL.
As I've mentioned in several earlier posts that I've found it incredibly difficult to summon the energy at night to write. Work is amazing and interesting and fun, I love it but WOW, busy? Very. LOL. And it takes a toll on me physically - in the evenings, my poor arms/hands/shoulders even are often very sore from typing all day (the other day hit 5k or so)! WHINE MOAR. I am so very glad to have this job! Okay that is a given. LOL. But...

Then, I stumbled, in a very roundabout way, on this post by Holly Black: Holly Post

In the post she talks about another post by another author, Rachel Aaron, on her method for writing 10k a day. Yes, a DAY. Here's that post: "How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day."

What a fascinating method. It makes a lot of sense. I know when I am in the swing of writing, I do tend to fantasize ahead of time what I'm writing next, and the writing goes exceptionally-well then usually. But, it isn't something I've thought purposefully about doing, with a set plan, until now.

Though my goal is not to write 10k a day (my arms would fall off anyway!) I do have a goal of writing consistently, so am going to give this a go. An experiment, to see how it works out for me. I'm in-between projects at the moment, with plans to expand the science fiction (and have figured out two epubs I plan to target for) but I don't have any of it really figured out. For this, I don't want to pants-it. So, I glanced warily over my shoulder, at the one project that I do have outlined wonderfully and would be ideal for this experiment, my ever-patient dear fantasy that I have been planning on getting around to sometime. As I've already got it broken down by POV, so figuring out each scene should be a breeze. Yeaahh...

My goal is to start out with getting two scenes a work-week, two on weekends. What I hope happens is after devoting the next two weeks to this experiment that I'll be so happy with what I have that I simply decide to keep on going.

So, giving it a shot, and will be watching to see how Holly Black and her fellow experimenters do with their own experiments. :)

At this point, any writing will be an improvement!
I am so happy it is Friday! Great week at work but the reality is, my new job is extremely busy. We have fun though, I get along great with my boss, and all that good stuff. It is a true bummer I come home so mentally drained though - I do a heck of a lot of typing every day. A LOT. Dictation tapes - Jim the Boss loves them. Karen, his wife and probate attorney, has discovered (thanks Jim) that I am hellaciously-fast, so she keeps bringing me documents to retype for her. Promissory notes, guaranty documents, etc. Probate stuff, banking stuff, BORING STUFF. Lotsa typing. So I come home - and don't wanna do more. And, I get really sore, arms especially. Shoulder even. :( Whine.

But it is the weekend!

Oh sadness, bummer and woe - Carina passed on both my ms and the sci fi. But, the ms already has a home, and I am considering what to do with the sci fi. My belief is I need to expand the story and take it the route that came after me, oh, you know, about two days after I sent it in. Or was it two hours? LOL. Whatever, a friend who reads a lot of sci fi is eyeballing it this weekend for me, and hopefully I'll have a good game plan for its future. I had a good rejection as far as those go, though a rejection is a rejection, yes?

The dogs and I have major plans this weekend! To be at home! LOL. Am still getting things sorted, believe it or not, after being off work for so long, but things are settling in.

Good grief I have nothing else to say! I need a new hobby or something. My life is just too dull!
Every day, I think I should sit down and jot down a quick post of what is going on in my life. I have been very bad about doing that, and not because I am too busy--it is just a pain to get that which is in my head down onto the printed page. So, I decided to take a chapter from [ profile] madwriter and make up a posting format where I can easily plug in what is going on. Surely, surely, that will help me update more often? So, here we go:

State of the Work Thing

Did not get the job I interviewed for last week, but primary reason I didn't appears to be because the attorney snapped up an applicant he knew already. So that was that. But, had super-awesome long talk with Renita, the Law, Snakard personnel director, and she adores me and wants me to work there and would I be interested in another position there? Uh, yes? She has two possible situations coming up, and asked that if I didn't hear from her within a couple of weeks to touch base. Also, she said she would poke around with her network, though "I don't want to lose you to anyone else." Also learned that salaries are quite a bit higher these days than they were way-back-when. Um, lots more than I was making at B&W... so yeah, a legal gig? Might not be a bad thing.

State of the Unemployment

Waiting on the decision. Had the telephone interview regarding my side of things; no one from B&W showed up. Old boss Chris hmmmm'd at that, and believes that B&W made alot (A LOT, STUPID FINGERS) of mistakes--especially with giving no warnings, etc. We'll see. I hope I get it but if not, my dad is being very supportive. And, my ESOP monies should be here very soon.

State of the House

One would think being home so much, my house would be spotless. But being unemployed does not turn me into a supreme housekeeper, apparently.

State of Writing, Part 1

I sent in my manuscript the first part of January, and have not heard from my editor yet, so I dropped her a line last night. I really hope to hear soon, dangitall!

State of Writing, Part 2

Next Loose-Id story: I *was* going to do MS Idea #1 first, but have pushed it back, and will be doing MS Idea #2, which is taking a character from the ms I am waiting to hear on, and giving him his own story. He is about as down and out as a character can be--starting literally from nothing. I ache to write him in first person, but my editor... Oh man. So, I may just write him in limited third, which I have not done before. I'll start hashing out the plot on that puppy probably tomorrow. Don't have to do much before I get started writing.

State of Writing Part 3

This is the big one, full blown historical fantasy, actually a serious rehaul of my fantasy I've worked on off and on for ten years or so. Until now, I have not had the wherewithall to pull off doing this...I just wasn't ready, it wasn't the right time, I had no brain, whatever. But now I have the support I need to make it work (and the maturity? I don't know...). In any case, I have found the guidance I need to tackle this and shape up what I have to make it work with my new vision. It'll be a huge undertaking, but I've already made more progress with the planning stage than I ever thought possible. It is AWESOME. I may write more about that later, as it is a different approach than I've seen before, while not really being that different. It is just ORGANIZED.

State of Writing Part 4

I am signing up for [ profile] paperlegends. I know, I know, crazy chick...but I have this idea I want to explore, and that will be a fun way to do it. Even if no one reads it, that's fine. I am used to not being read by people. If I can make what I want to do work, I do fully intend on blowing it up into a ms for Loose-Id. I have just never written scary before... LOL! Will take a stab.

State of Health

I have set a goal to lose 15 lbs, and to help with that starting tomorrow I am going back on my Diet of Fierceness. I have also joined the YMCA, though my left knee has been angry at me for awhile. It is much better the last few days though so I am going to start going to the YMCA again starting tomorrow. Trying to get a regular schedule set for going--I actually always preferred evenings, so think I will go back to that.

State of Everything Else

All is well everywhere else. I am keeping busy, though I think a more set routine is in order. I try not to think about the scary side of being unemployed, or the cold hard fact that I don't have a ticket to the UK to go see Nick in my hand--that really slays me tons, it has been a full year now! Okay, that is too damn long. Dammit. I am antsy to get out of here and DO something, SEE things, EXPLORE and and and and... yeah. Sigh.

And that is about it. Future entries will (or should) be more specifically geared toward parts of the above. I need to get back into the habit of ljing regularly, and also? I need to start working on pumping up both Carolyn Gray and myself, too, and blogging regularly under and (I am in the process of trying to get person who utilized it before no longer seems to be doing so, so I'm going after them using GoDaddy's service for that. I WANT MY NAME DAMMIT!) I also, sigh, should be having an open twitter under carolynrogers and carolyngray but OMG... Well, more on social media and name-branding later. It is all new to me, but my crit group leader is a huge banana in the field, a strong advocate for name-branding. Eek, she wants me to get a FACEBOOK! NoooOoooooOOOooooOOOOooooOOOOoooooO!!!!!

And one last thing:

State of the Puppies

Lazy, as usual. :)
I keep changing my 'I'll be done by...' date.

Current status: 97,332 words (had gone up to 98ksomething, but latter chapter had lotsa problems and had to be rewritten--tighter, sharper. Better.)

I have twenty-one chapters, and about to reread Chapter Ten's rewrite of a few days ago. It hopefully is good to go, and I can move on. End of Chapter Ten hits 41,762 words. I am just about to where I had left off after the initial mad writing with the GYWO group. Most of this part up to now was written in word wars which, while getting lotsa words down fast, is really actually pretty useless. Fast writing is crap writing, at least for me. I've had to do TONS of work on this story up to this point--tons and tons. From this point on, it was Nano writing: slower, more thoughtful, not rushing to get word count in, but writing-with-a-plan.

That worked for me oh so very much better. So much better.

While I don't at all disagree with 'just get the first draft down, dammit' is important, for me, the rush to just get anything down simply does not work. For the Nano-writing, I went back to how I wrote Red--scene by scene, with rewrites of the previous scene until satisfied, then moving on. It would take me all weekend to get 5-6 k, but when I moved on I was happy with what I had (knowing there would be another pass, later--two passes, as there will be one more final go-through).

Now I am hoping this puppy will be out of here by the end of the month. This past week was not the best (ugh, work, shakes fist) but am hopefully going to find this coming week better. Well, after I finish my $@#% review tomorrow.

Anyway...making progress, just slower than I expected. I'm starting to get my pseudonym's personae revived...not that she breathed much in the past. The epub world has changed SO very much since I sold Red to Loose-Id, so when (she said with conviction!) this book comes out, it'll be a very different process for me. Definitely different attitude! I've decided to center most of my pseudo-action around Goodreads...they have a fantastic m/m group on there already, and they recently chose Red as the book-read-of-the-month. They've got a very active group and I've been lurking. I've also got the pseudonym's website up and running, but still have lots of work to do on it.

I just want to get this done! I've got ideas how to save the other story (has 68k written on it so this is good!), and am itching, BAD, to get started on the new one. Really itchy-bad.

In other news...I'm bouncing all over, supporting Nick as he starts to plan for his move to Plymouth, UK. Trading in my German for a Brit! :) It is so, so darn exciting! I wish I could help him more than I can from so far away. Sigh. If all goes well I will be there in July. Gosh I hope so.

Better get cracking, I suppose! Need to switch laundry around, Son is cleaning upstairs, daughter is still fast asleep. Lazy girl. We may get the tree up around Tuesday. We don't like getting it up too early...and tree prices go down closer to Christmas. :) I'm sure we will have another TCU Christmas tree. Purple and silver. Pretty!

Any others out there not have their Christmas tree up yet? Nick's family puts theirs up the night before Christmas, which I love. Always has the cutest trees. We always seem to put ours up just days before.
If you would like to read my entries, just leave a comment here and I'll more than likely be happy to friend you back. Unless of course you are one of those Russian bots. [ profile] green_knight suggested I leave a few posts open to show whoever what I'm like, so I chose a few from my trip to Wales. Not that I have strangers popping by here wondering who [ profile] paragraphs is, but you never know. :)

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Zang! Who is that, rampaging along the freeway! It is Paragraphs, hands clutching a reflective halberd! She screams ominously:

"Blood and souls for my dark lord! I hereby snap and go berzerk!"

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If I pretend to be Dorothy and click my heels three times, will I get whisked away home via tornado?

I wish. I am so ready to get out of here. It has been a good trip work-wise, but otherwise, there really is no place like home.