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Archive for October, 2005



Monday, October 31st, 2005
I’m In Shock!!!

I was in a sound sleep, dreaming…not so pleasant things, when the phone rang. Now I’m one of those people who can actually carry on a conversation without ever really waking up. So you can guess how this phone call started out. (wg)

“Hello?”

“Is this Jordan?”

“Yes.” (insert tired voice)

“This is Kathryn Lye.”

“Who?”

“Kathryn Lye from Harlequin Enterprises.” (Brain starts waking up here.)

“Harlequin?”

“I’m just calling to tell you that your manuscript won first place in the Harlequin Blaze published category.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No, we loved it.”

“Really?” (At this point, I’m a tad more awake and trying to decide if it’s a Halloween prank.)

“Really. Someone will get in touch with you later about your prize. “

“Thank you! I’m normally more excited when I hear news like this. I just need to wake up.”

“Don’t worry, I understand. Congratulations!”

“Thank you! Bye.”

As you can see from the above conversation, something wonderfully shocking occurred this morning. Now that I’ve had my coffee. (Okay, I’m drinking as we speak.) It’s beginning to sink in. OMG!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 29th, 2005
Informal Survey

Yesterday, instead of working, I went to PBW’s website and peered through her archives. She doesn’t mind. Really. (Feeling suddenly guilty.) Contrary to most of my actions, I DID have a purpose. *g* I was looking for all her entries on writing. She has given out some wonderful advice over the past year and I wanted to have it all in one place. (My personal writer’s folder.)

What does this have to do with my survey? Nothing directly. In one of her old posts (Nov./Dec. 04), she mentions participating in NaNo. Since so many of us (Okay, I’m still thinking about it.) are participating in NaNo, I found her last year’s entry timely. She ended up typing over 180K in one month. After I finished weeping, I took a closer look at how she did it. One thing stood out to me (other than her insane start time of 4:00am) was her typing speed. She types 90wpm. She herself says that her productivity should be much higher given her typing speed. She breaks down the reasons and gives a pretty convincing argument for the claim. We could debate that point…later, after I retrieve the tongue I swallowed. Her post did get me thinking about typing and schedules. (Since we already discussed schedules over the past few days, I’m not going to rehash them.) Instead, I’m going to break out my copy of Mavis Beacon again and get started.

My survey questions are: How fast do you type? How much of an influence does your typing speed have on your productivity? Do you think one has anything to do with the other?

Friday, October 28th, 2005
Boring, Boring, Boring.

Not much is happening today other than more edits. I finished editing the first novella yesterday, but I’m going to make one more pass through the manuscript to deepen the emotional connection and add more description. I had thought of an addition to make during the black moment, but didn’t bother to write it down because I was convinced I’d remember. BWAAA HA HA HA! Yep, it’s as gone as yesterday’s bran cereal. Shaking head. Sigh.

You’d think I would’ve learned after ALL these years that unless it’s on paper, it’s history. BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I keep doing the same things, expecting a different outcome. Did you know that was the definition of insanity?

I will have at least one of these manuscripts sent off to my critique partner by tomorrow morning. I want to enjoy my Halloween weekend without the nasty distraction of work, lurking in the background. The only way I can do that is to finish the edits tonight. Preferably ALL the edits.

I love Halloween, but we don’t have any big party plans this weekend. I think we’re going to catch Zorro on Sunday and have dinner with friends on Saturday. Are any of you doing anything fun for Halloween? If so, can I live vicariously through you? 😉

Thursday, October 27th, 2005
Editing is my Friend

Now that I’ve finished both stories, I have come to the ‘hard’ part–editing. (Snort! Cause writing is so easy.) I’ve already started editing the first novella. I have a long way to go, but hope to finish today. Just call me an eternal optimist. (rolling eyes)

I’m one of those people who edit ‘in’ when I am going through a manuscript. I’ve actually cut 50 pages from a book and put back 75. On average I’d say I add at least 1500 words per story when I edit. Sometimes a lot more. I always seem to find places where information is missing. (That ‘thinking while typing’ thing is a challenge. 😉 Also, due to my aversion to writing heavy description (Okay, ANY description. I can’t help it that I’m allergic to it.), there are plenty of areas in need of word painting.

Even though I’m beyond sick of the stories, I actually don’t mind editing. Rewriting would freak me out, but editing, not so much. I like getting the chance to go in and change things. The problem I encounter is knowing when to stop. The OCD part of me kicks in when I edit and it ain’t pretty.

What part of the writing process are you compulsive about?

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005
One Thing Left

Yesterday I had another banner writing day for me. I wrote 6700 words and finished the Quickie I’d started on Saturday. I also got a wild hair and wrote the Romancing the Blog entry. I have to read it to see if it makes sense, before I decide if I’m going to turn it in. I don’t want to sound like an even bigger dope than I am. *ggg*

Why am I mentioning these things? Well, beyond being a tiny bit proud of myself, I realized that I’ve almost reached my goals for 2005. Not the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year, but the goals that came about once I realized I wasn’t going to make the original goals. LOL!

I’ve felt like this entire year has been extremely unproductive for me. It’s been disheartening to say the least. I expect a certain level of production out of myself and when I don’t meet that level I’m disappointed. Four months ago I took a look at my short-term goals to see what needed to be accomplished for me to not think the year had been a total waste. I figured out that I needed to complete Atlantean’s Quest Bk. Four: The Return (so I could close the door on that series), write at least two more books (even if they were shorter than novel length), and send in a proposal to my agent.

The completion of this Quickie takes care of everything, but submitting a partial to my agent. After I edit this week, I’m going to work on that next. I may join the book in a month thing or do my own private one on my blog where I list my daily progress via word count. I haven’t decided yet. I’ve been productive enough that right now I don’t feel like I need the extra boost, but that may change.

My question to you all is what do you need to accomplish for you to feel that the year has been a success? Anything specific? It doesn’t have to be about writing, it can be about anything. Let me know.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005
Been There, Done That Blog

I didn’t attend this year’s RWA conference, but I did order the CD’s and the handouts. Earlier this year we were discussing career plans. No, I can’t remember when. The months and years are starting to blur. *ggg*

Anyway, Cherry Adair talked about career planning and even gave an example of her career plan. What I found interesting about the plan was that it encompassed goals AND a strategy. For example, one of her goals was to earn a minimum income of $80K per year from her writing by the end of 2002. (Her career plan example was from 1998-2002.)

It wasn’t so much her goals as the strategy for reaching them that caught my attention. I haven’t really thought in terms of strategy, more like mini-goals. Right now, I’m asking myself, why? There’s nothing strange or groundbreaking on Cherry’s list, but it does include lifestyle items like eating right and exercising. The one that truly stood out to me was her goal to send out a proposal ‘every’ two months. Wow! I REALLY need to rework that aspect of my plan. She takes time to read award winning books and new authors to keep abreast of the market. Even going as far as to plug reading time into her calendar so she can be sure it gets done. I never thought about doing that, but it’s a wonderful idea.

I know for most of us, me included, becoming that organized is as likely as becoming a trapeze artist. Not going to happen any time soon. That said, I do think it’s extremely helpful to have a strategy…any strategy to assist in reaching your goals. I plan to incorporate several things from Cherry’s list. I think they’re helpful. Plus, I’m one of those people who tend to ‘big chunk’ ideas, instead of breaking them down. (ie I want to be King of the World instantly, instead of taking my time to amass an army of zombies. 😉 Yes, I’ve been watching a LOT of paranormal shows and movies lately. Snicker. As you can see from my example, this can make things overwhelming at times. *g* That’s why ‘small chunk’ steps are so vital. (For me at least.)

What do you focus on, strategy, goals, or both?

Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
Click, Boom…Doom

Okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t go into Doom the movie thinking that it was going to make a significant impact on my life. To give the film its due, it DID follow the video game to the letter, story or lack thereof and all. I guess I’d just hoped that with the Rock and Karl Urban that the film would be a ‘little’ better.

For those of you not familiar with this ‘movie’/ video game, it’s a first person shooter whose basic premise is that something has happened on Mars to cause mutations in humans. The idea/goal is to kill whatever moves. (Deep, I know.) And like I said, the movie followed that right down to the chainsaw-hacking death of a razor-mouthed blob. Not even the Rock and Karl could make up for this story-less wonder. You didn’t care about ANY of the characters because the powers that be didn’t bother to let the audience get to know them before they started bumping them off one by one.

I’m a woman of simple tastes. (Although my dh would probably say otherwise. 😉 I don’t need an elaborate tale to enjoy staring at the Rock and Karl for an hour or so, but puleeze at least give the story a point.

Have you watched anything lately that left you shaking your head afterwards?