>Progress and ruminations

>I’ve been working steadily on Hacker Dragon. I’m up to 21,667 words as of this very moment. I feel like that’s a truly respectable total, since this time last week, I only had about 13,000 or so. I’m finding it’s hard to get back into Drakan’s head; I’m not sure what the magic mix was when I first wrote her. She’s there, I can *feel* her, but I haven’t quite reconnected with her.

I’m pleased with the work. She’s mellowed, some. I think it’s me that’s mellowed, truthfully. I think I was in a very turbulent time in my life then. It’s no less turbulent now, but I’m coping better. I’m not in the grips of post-partum depression, though its lingering effects still hang in my mind like the unwanted cobwebs in my bedroom. I know they’re there, I know I need to get the broom, but I can’t quite bring myself to do it.
Such is the nature of depression, I suppose.
But I’m enjoying what I’m writing. It’s not Great Literature or anything, and I’m not sure I will pursue traditional publication with this piece; it’s leaning towards romance, although it may pull away into a respectable sci-fi piece by the time I’m done. If it does stay romantic, I may try Ellora’s Cave, or maybe just plain self-publishing via ebook.
I have NOT given up traditional publishing for my other works; I just don’t know if the world is ready for this one. πŸ™‚ I won’t know until I’m finished, of course. I’ve got roughly a month before the CreateSpace deadline, and I think I’d like to print this one with it.
I don’t know. This is a very experimental book, for me. It’s outside of my comfort zone, it’s different, and I don’t think it has mainstream appeal, but I think it may very well find a very loyal audience in a certain niche.
Who knows, though, after I get the original version out, it may end up very different after it goes through editing.
I love writing. I love the mystery of it, the discovery. I’m a very visceral writer, I take a dream and I give it reality, and I enjoy learning where it leads. I’ve never been much of a planner.
And that, my friends, is my scattered brain dump for the day.

>Picking up an old WIP

>Mom cancelled on us, so I’ve got the whole day to myself. I’ve made two positive steps towards being actually productive.

1) Last night, I read over the piece I’m planning to continue. It doesn’t suck, and although I think I need to back up and take the story in a different direction than it did from the last plot twist, I think I’ve got a good base, and some damn good characters to work with.
2) Just now, I opened Scrivener. I will follow this action by stopping to tweet about the action I just took, then make a blog post about it.
Hey, it’s forward motion, right?

I think after that, I will move all of the text from the word doc I’ve got this saved on into Scrivener.

I’ve been trying to think of a new title, though. This piece is about a genetically enhanced computer geek who takes over a corporate network (think Shadowrun, but without most of the magical stuff.) just before another hostile organization takes over. This is literal hostility, including guns. She lets them take over, makes an arrangement with the leader of that organization, and is now playing cat-and-mouse with him. Romance ensues.

Quick bit of worldbuilding: Post apocalyptic thing, now humanity has a dual animal nature. Some are naturally more strong than others. Corporations rule the world (nah, I wasn’t influenced by anything cyberpunk. I PROMISE.) Most people are regular animals of various sorts, some are myths. MC is a dragon, leader of organization is tiger (smilodon fatalis, to be exact.) It comes off less cheesy than it sounds, I promise.

Anyway, It’s a sci-fantasy thing, heavier on the sci than the fantasy.

Current working title REALLY sucks: Hacker Dragon. Not the kind of thing I’d be proud to show off in public. So I have to figure out something different. I’d like this to be my CreateSpace submission, so I need a non-shitty title.

Now to figure one OUT. Any suggestions?

But I think I’ll start working on my scrivener file first, so that I’m making more progress towards actually writing, rather than procrastinating with minutiae.

>Revising and Procrastination

>So I still haven’t started writing yet. I think I’ve learned to take procrastination to all new heights, these days. I’ll pick strawberries with the kids, play farmville, warhammer, go to the grocery store, but write? Heck no.

But a recent blog by Chris Baty has me wondering. What sort of revision efforts could NaNoWriMo help me with? He’s asking for input on the kinds of revision tools you’d like to see.
Right now, we have the barest minimum. A couple of forums, the Critiques forum, and the Novel Draft Aftercare forum. Critiques is great, but only if you have something ready to critique. Aftercare is nice, but I’m not done yet.
I had a dream the other night. Apparently, my subconscious doesn’t set its sights very high. I dreamed that I went to the mailbox, and my novel was in there. It was a paperback proof, had been retitled “Off the Shoulder” (I have no idea why) and was printed by the “Del Rey Discount Books” division. There was a contract in there… with a $1,500 advance written in. I remember the cover art being pretty cool, though.
I mean… really? My brain couldn’t come up with NYT bestseller list, or a million dollar advance, or even a fully priced paperback? Oh dear.
I’m going to take it as encouragement, though. While I don’t think Del Rey has a discount books division, I like the attainability of that dream. Million dollar advances are very rare– but what I’m aiming for isn’t a certain advance, or even the NYT list. It’s purely, and simply, publication. My book, available in a bookstore near you, where I can go and front my books, and smile like an idiot while I point to it to the other customers and say “MINE!” while they back away slowly. I’ve thought (hard) about publishing some ebooks, but I still want the real thing.
So what are your writing plans? Are you writing for you? Are you revising something to be published? Going the self-publishing or ebook routes? Trying to convince the aliens in the back of your head that they can’t destroy the planet because of your literary prowess?

>Teeny tiny notebooks


While shopping for party supplies today for my 3 year old’s birthday part tomorrow, I discovered something that quite literally made me squee in the store.

Yes, the lady the down the aisle from me looked at me funny.
But that’s not the point. Look at this.
Yes. That is my thumb. It’s about an inch long. And YES, it is a lined notepad. A real one, with about 25 or so pages.
Wait, it gets better.
Thumb-sized composition notebook.
What’s not to love? I had a fit over these. I’m going to carry them around in my purse. And I ‘m telling my ML about it, because these would make epic goody bag stuff.

>The final run! 35k in 7 days

>So I’m sure you’ve noticed. I’m behind. WAY behind. I’ve hit a wall of depression (unrelated to NaNo) and lack of motivation, but today is the day that I’m going to break through it and write anyway.

So who’s with me? Who is going to race to the finish?
Will you beat me there? ARe you behind? So behind you don’t think you can recover?
You can. I’ve done 50k in 10 days. Sure, couldn’t use a keyboard for a month. But I DID it. And I’m going to do this.
Even if I have to start a war to do it.
Let the games begin.

>When it rains, it pours

>For the past week, I’ve been in a writing frenzy. I’ve picked up Pride of the Hunt, which I abandoned about halfway through NaNo last year, and even wrote several thousand words on Mortuus Rex; I haven’t stayed up until 1 AM writing in months.

There’s a change in the air; quite literally. I can feel fall coming, and with it comes my muse. I’ve programmed myself, over the last 9 years of doing NaNoWriMo, to feel writerly in the fall.
The forums get to buzzing, and now it’s translated into writing motivation.
I’ve still got more to write on my handwritten novel. I need to focus on it, because my aim is to have it finished before November, but my other two stories (this is the prequel to Pride of the hunt, and is untitled) keep calling me.
Mortuus Rex has taken a turn for the darkly erotic; this isn’t really like me, but it’s been therapeutic. I’ll probably plan on editing it harshly and toning a lot of the violence down. It’s a damn good story, and I don’t want it pigeonholed as erotica; that’s not the point of the story. It IS a dark story (death and vengeance abound) but I don’t want to get it lost in all the sex. Although the sex is awfully fun to write. πŸ˜‰
Overall, though, I’m happy. My brain’s buzzing with ideas, and this bodes well for 2010. Bring it, NaNo!

>Writing by Hand

>I’m getting close to the climax of the novel, and the end of the journal I’m writing in, and I’m wanting to start entering it into Liquid Story Binder, but I’m so, so committed to finishing this in handwritten form, first.

You see, when I first started writing, I didn’t have a computer, or even a typewriter. So I wrote by hand; even though my handwriting is atrocious (so utterly, utterly atrocious, as you can see in the picture) it was what I had.

When I started using a computer, my handwritten tendencies fell by the wayside, and I noticed that my prose actually sounded worse. I type SO fast that my fingers get ahead of my head, whereas with the handwritten work, it forced me to take the time to write it out, so my head stays well ahead of my fingers.
So went and bought a lovely little blank journal, and started writing by hand again. It’s worked.
It’s also easier to write distraction-free, since I can’t surf the internet with a notebook. I lay down in bed, every night before I go to sleep, and write. Sometimes just a paragraph or two, sometimes, a few pages that keep me up until I finish the scene. Always something.

Here’s my lovely little journal. Red isn’t one of my favorite colors, ordinarily, but I really love the design of this one. I added the little brown ribbon as a sort of “handle”, and also use it to distinguish mine from my husbands that he accidentally purchased independently in the exact same cover.
I scribble away, and feel so very writerly. The best part about it is that it fits in my purse, so I can take it with me wherever I go. I could write on the iPod touch, sure, but it would be tedious, and iPod would always be attempting to correct my spelling. Shapewriter’s fun, but too difficult to use for any length of time. And I MUST have a Pilot Precise pen.I prefer V5, but ended up accidentally buying V7. Lines are thicker, but it still looks good, so I can use them.
So I need to finish out this novel, and one day, when I’m published and famous, this will be something I can show off at conferences as how I got my start. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to hock it on ebay for a few thousands bucks, eh?