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Archive for August, 2012

I’ve been playing “The Blame Game” for a few weeks now. As in what kind of excuse can I come up with not to write today?

Gator: Well, she grew up enough that she can go play in the yard for a few hours if the weather is good, so I can’t use the excuse of having to watch her. Make no mistake, the last two months with her has made us watch a whole lot of episodes of Dog Whisperer, but it’s not her fault. It’s mine.

Day Job: It bleeds over into my home-life. That shit’s gotta stop. When I clock-out of there, I have to seriously clock-out and let it go.

Beta Reports: *ank* Can’t use not having any beta reports anymore. I have TWO sitting here; one hasn’t even been opened.

Push Pins: I didn’t have any for my brand-spankin-new story board last weekend. Yeah, that was lame. I have some now, FYI.

No Deadline: I wasn’t so much given a deadline as told by my husband – after explaining how long it takes to get traditionally published – that I needed to get my ass back in gear. By saying that he reminded me that he’s in my corner, even when I feel like no one else is. It was a push that I needed.

Those are just a few of the excuses I had. I could list more, but that’d just be boring. Suffice it to say, I had lots of them and I suck because I gave into them. While I did, though, I read a few articles (read: HUNDREDS – no, I’m not exaggerating) on writing and the state of the industry. The ones on the industry were disheartening to say the least. However, I did come upon a couple that made incredible sense.

This was one of those articles: August McLaughlin, The Writer’s Golden Hour: Making the Most of Our Time. It made me realize that I need to start getting up at 6:30 in the morning again. Granted, sleep has been something I’ve desperately needed, but have those extra two hours really helped? Nope. I’m still tired. Worse, I’m not getting any writing done because I need at least an hour – sometimes more – to decompress and get organized when I wake up to write.

The other article is now lost to me, I can’t even remember who wrote the thing. Was it even an article? I think I half-way remember, but rather than slap something on someone who didn’t say it, the gist was something like they got a new desk when they got their first royalty check… and couldn’t write a word at that desk. On June 9th I first sat down at this desk and tried to write the new material for book two. Um, it kinda didn’t work. I can edit on book one, I can read, I can blog like hell, but actually crafting a story at this desk isn’t working.

You know what did work for me? The kitchen table.

I wrote at least four drafts of book one at the damned kitchen table.

It made me think about a blog post I wrote a good while back.

I have one last beta read in line that I owe someone, so that and moving Gator’s bed into my bedroom is getting priority today. Tomorrow, I’m moving the laptop back into the kitchen where I once wrote over sixty thousand words.

Sometimes, a desk is not a desk. Sometimes, it’s a hindrance.

Or is it just another excuse?

Wish me luck.

*mandatory cute puppy pic*

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Search Terms

It goes like this:

When I get up, the baby gator goes out. Then she follows me to the kitchen and we come in here where she goes, blessedly, right back to sleep in her bed. Regular email gets checked, secondary email checked, then I check the blog. I love seeing what the search terms are. Why in the world ‘sperm whale cheese’ is still the top search term, I have no idea, but it’s funny as all hell. Yesterday it was ‘mandrake’, which it’s been a few times, but today it was … Cafe de Minuit RPG.

Color me fucking floored. I actually looked at the screen like it grew six heads. Seeing those words made my casual morning routine veer right off course. I haven’t even gone near Facebook yet, yo.

How many of us players are still out there, I wonder? I can point at two who read this blog, another one on Facebook, and a few I’ve seen on Live Daily who I rarely, if ever, speak with anymore. Not that I don’t want to, I’ve just never learned to properly use Live Daily and kinda’ let it fall by the side. Other than that? *poof*

Save for at least one person, possibly two, who, since midnight last night, searched Google and landed here.

Cafe de Minuit. Wow. I wrote about it here when I first started this blog. It was PBEM (play by email), so totally doable even though in 1994 I had a very young daughter and was a stay-at-home mom. I just had to sit down and come up with a character. I did, and her name was Nita Marquez, more commonly known by her nickname, Amada. To this day I laugh because I remember her bio saying she was ‘very much the Brat Princess’. How cheesy could you get? Then came Javier, then came Esteban. The Marquez Clan was born. Good times.

I’m flat embarrassed by some of my writing during the early days of that game. Some of it didn’t suck, though, and I think I got better at it over the years. I have to admit I don’t have very many of the early game posts laying around because Kal gave me the bad habit of never saving anything, but everything I write today stemmed from my original characters introduced into that game. One friend and I kept playing even when the Cafe proper, as a game, closed – even now I have “posts” sitting in one of my email boxes – and even more characters were birthed and bloomed from there. (Please, I beg you, don’t ever ask me to count them. It gives me a headache to even think about how many people live in my head. And people wonder why my mind never slows down.)

1994, and it’s 2012. All those years of stories in intricate detail… and I’m playing pure hell writing book two – and book three – because those stories don’t exist. I could skip forward three-four years and be able to rattle off tales so fast that I’d wear the letters off the keys in the process, but not in this gap that goes in the second and third books. Why? Esteban and Nita left the Cafe for a while and this time in their life never made it to text, so I have to ask them to tell me what they did during this time, and they’re just as uncooperative now as they ever were in the beginning. It should be liberating to be able to come up with new material, but it’s very hard because their Cafe life depended so much on the actions of others. This time, it’s all me. Book one was all me, but I knew the tale before I sat down to write it, so I’m sort of contradicting myself and confusing most of you, I know.

All that said to say that seeing Cafe de Minuit in my search terms brought back some unexpected, wonderful memories.  Some not so wonderful, but that’s how life is and that game was no different. Sometimes, it felt like a living, breathing thing. Those Cafe “posts” that’re sitting in my inbox are probably going to get a long read today. That old, familiar sense of anticipation and excitement that would come from seeing Amada, or Este, or Javier’s names in parenthesis in an email subject and knowing it was my turn… might be just what I need.

Whoever you were…? I don’t bite as hard as I used to. Promise. Maybe.

*snort*

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Yeah, yeah…

While I wasn’t here and all that rot.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I… am in a funk of rare foolishness. So much of a funk that I stepped way back from the online world as well as my writing world for… wow… too long.  Six days might not seem like a lot to the average person, but add the wall I threw up and I felt strangely disconnected as I sat down at my desk this morning in an attempt to get moving again.

I know what I need to do, I have a few things I need to at least start book two, but it feels too overwhelming to tackle. In comparison, book one was “easy” because I already knew the story. EASY. Yes, you just heard me say the last year has been EASY in comparison to this shit. This one, I’m making up from scratch.

This shit is hard, yo.

Nevermind that I found out yesterday that cicadas might not sing at night. That’s a huge bash to my plot in book one.

*sigh*

My morning: I keep getting up every five seconds to tell Lilly not to kill the other dog or the cat – yes, she is that big and strong now. Where’s my beta reports? One – of what feels like a billion silent free-floaters – will be here Monday. Okay, cool. Breathe. Gotta get up and run to the store. Just how wicked cool is Zander gonna be in book two, or does he really belong there at all? Gotta go clean up the trashcan Lilly turned over. Do I need to wash clothes? Gotta check the ponds. Este needs to resolve the council shit in book two. Quit crushing on Zander because he’s “new” and you’ve got a thing for him. Hubs is up. There was something he wanted to do today, right? Caine has to show up in book two because… well, he’s Caine. He’s council. It’s what he does. What did Lilly just knock over?

I keep looking over my shoulder for the next thing coming that, naturally, will have jack-all to do with writing and I won’t get the damned cicadas researched today anymore than I did yesterday.

Red-eyed demons. I knew there was a reason I hated them.

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Horse and Hound? No one? *sigh* Onward.

Things I Did While I Wasn’t Here!

~

Pretty much not a damned thing productive as far as word count.

The POS #1 *snerk* is off with a few readers, so I made some notes on the next POS in the series.  I did have progress on POS #2, but I stole chapter one and used it at the end of POS #1. One day when I’m famous, that’ll be a trivia question or some shit. There’s been days when I woke up totally inspired to write, but then I’d pull into the parking lot at the day job and the death of the muse was instantaneous.

I had no internet for about 24 hours yesterday, so I did read a metric fuck-ton of writing blogs that I’d opened and, luckily, left open on the computer – no need for ‘net, the pages were already loaded. There’s still 28 open tabs, so I can’t imagine how many there were in the first place.  It’ll probably be another week before I finish reading those last 28.

That was productive if only because it made me feel better about the POS. THIS made me feel better about my current choice of blogging style.  THIS made me feel good about my story.  THIS made me laugh, because I was having trouble with one guy. I didn’t ask another of my characters for information, though. I asked one of Nia’s and she happily let Joey answer. Well, maybe not happily, but he did answer me and help me. We’ve got it like that, Nia and I.

Every tab still open is to a page on that blog. I highly recommend reading it to death. Never stop learning.

What am I going to do today? Probably drain a few hundred gallons of rain overflow out of the koi pond. Stare at my blank storyboard on the wall. Stare at my new toy – a late 19th century hand-held field scythe, don’t ask – and debate where to hang it for best effect.

Finding a beta reader who actually writes Urban Fantasy would be fabulous. I don’t know why it’s so difficult, but that happening today is unlikely. I know there’s the RWA for romance writers, but is there anything like that for Urban Fantasy? SFWA membership requires that you have sales already. *sigh* There’s a writer’s conference in Macon in October, but the cost is just wow.

Go get Lilly some more food before she chews my face off is a priority.

So is paying bills. Such is the glamorous life of a writer, eh?

*snort*

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