Archive for January, 2007

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007
Space, The Final Frontier

We took these photos at Kitt Peak Observatory a couple of weeks ago. I wish I could show you the video footage of Saturn, but these will have to do. :)The first picture is of the Orion Nebula. The second is the Horse Head Nebula. The third is Andromeda. And the fourth is Saturn. I wish the photos did them justice. You have no idea how truly beautiful it was that night. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007
Ten The Hard Way

Today is my mom and dad’s anniversary. Happy Anniversary!!! SMAK! Love you both.

I decided to try something a little different to get the last ten pages I wanted out of Fast Draft. In my TOR book RED, I wrote in first person POV and third person POV. I’d never written in first person prior to that book.

For my urban fantasy, I wanted to attempt something new, so in four small scenes I wrote in omnisicent POV. I’ll have to read them to make sure they work with the rest of the book, but I quite enjoyed playing with that point of view. And I think the scenes rock. My dh said they’re very scary. How cool is that?! One hundred and seventy-seven pages slam-dunked.

Now that the rough draft of my urban fantasy is finished, I’ve been thinking about what comes next. I mean I have to eventually edit this book and get it ready to send out. (The first hundred pages are in pretty good shape already.) I also have to get started on my next book/s for Tor. Luckily, ideas for those books have been coming to me in blips, while I’ve been participating in Fast Draft. The question is what’s next after all that? The answer is I don’t know. :-O

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007
FAST DRAFT–Why did it work?

PBW asked me to do a blog entry on FAST DRAFT once I finished participating in the exercise. My official ending date is on the 31st of this month. I started a couple of days later than everyone else.

I’ll begin by explaining what Fast Draft is (although the name is fairly self-explanatory). Fast Draft was created by Candace Havens as a way of getting the first draft of a manuscript down on the page. The point isn’t to necessarily complete the book, but to get the bones down. The object is to get 20 pages written everyday for 14 days, so that you end up with 280 pages.

I admit it sounds daunting. Two hundred and eighty pages in fourteen days. Yikes! I didn’t even think it was possible (unless you’re Sherrilyn Kenyon, Nora Roberts or PBW) to get that kind of page count daily–but it is. The key is to forget everything you’ve ever learned about writing and just let go. You don’t have to stick with a chapter if it’s not working, you can jump anywhere you like in the book. The dreaded internal editor has an extremely difficult time keeping up with you, when you do this. (wg)

Now I admit that I didn’t write 280 pages. I didn’t have 280 pages left of my book. I wrote 167 pages and finished the book. I plan to write ten more by tomorrow for a total of 177 pages. (Because like I said in the last post, I’m anal. *ggg*) Could I have written 280 pages? Yes, I could have. I didn’t know that was possible until I completed this exercise. If anyone would’ve asked me that question prior to doing Fast Draft, I would have said no way.

Which brings me to the question of why this worked, when other writing challenges haven’t. Three reasons come to mind. The first is that Candace is big on guilting you. I don’t mean that in a bad way. She makes it very clear before the challenge begins that there will be no whining and that if you don’t write the pages you’ll be letting the ‘group’ down. Now normally this kind of crap doesn’t work on me. Not because I don’t feel guilty about letting people down (I do.), but because I tend to have an abreaction (It pisses me off.) when I know someone is trying to manipulate my emotions. It also helped that Charli and I checked in with each other several times a day to make sure we were making progress.

The second reason I think Fast Draft was so effective was because of the time period. I’ve done ‘Book in a Month’ a couple of times. The first time it worked really well for me. The second time, not so much. I know a month isn’t a long period of time, but for some reason fourteen days seem more ‘doable’. The cut in days also erases any chance of making excuses. You only have fourteen days to get as much writing in as possible. You automatically see the light at the end of the tunnel before you ever write a single word.

The third reason I think Fast Draft worked is because the approach to writing was different than anything I’d done before. I had extensive notes for my manuscript, including two different chapter breakdowns. Before I started writing, I took those notes and placed them in my book as chapter markers. I didn’t care if they ended up staying where I originally put them. I just needed them on the page so that I had a loose outline to follow. Also, Candace encourages placing notes throughout the manuscript as you’re writing, so that nothing slows you down. All this made writing chapters much, much, MUCH simpler.

I’m not saying that Fast Draft was easy. (Personally, I’m still burnt.) But I’m not sure I would have a first draft completed now, if I hadn’t participated. Actually, I take that back. I know for sure I wouldn’t have a draft done now, if I hadn’t decided to participate. Fast Draft has taught me a new way to approach writing a manuscript. Like Charli, I’m not good at stopping and starting. I have to plow through to the end, then go back and ‘fix’ everything. Up until Fast Draft, I hadn’t been doing that with this book. I’ve been editing as I go along, which has slowed the writing process down to a crawl. This method is a way for me to get the bones of the book down fast without messing up deadlines. I will be using it in the future.

For those of you who’ve participated in Fast Draft, what was your experience? Did you find something that worked better for you? If so, what?

Monday, January 29th, 2007
Finished the Manuscript

My sister’s birthday was yesterday. I meant to wish her a Happy Birthday on the blog, but I spaced. 🙁 Happy Belated Birthday. Blush. At least I remembered to call.


I wrote another twenty pages today. The manuscript came up a little short (ie ten pages), but it’s officially done. That loud sound is me collapsing on my desk. I plan to tweak a few more things tomorrow. Like a kid with a loose tooth, I just can’t let those ten pages go. *ggg* Yes, I’m that anal.

I must say Fast Draft has been an interesting experience. I’ll write more on this subject, when I can actually ‘see’ the screen. Right now, my contact lenses are cemented to my eyeballs and I believe it will take C4 to get them out. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Catch you sometime tomorrow. I mean today. Sigh. Thud.

Saturday, January 27th, 2007
Gearing up for Japan

I only managed to get five pages written yesterday, but I’ll take them. I have about fifty pages to go to finish the book. I’m going to shoot for twenty pages today. More if I can bleed them out. I’ll have to see how it’s going.


I hit twenty pages today. I have about thirty to go on the book. I thought about pushing forward, but my brain hurts. I’ll try to get it done tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.

Dh and I are making strides in preparing for our upcoming trip to Japan. Did some last minute shopping last night. The language is going okay for me. Better for him. He’s learned how to write the first part of Japanese. He’s moving onto the second. Not sure he’ll make the third and hardest before we fly out. I’m really proud of him for tackling the writing. I wasn’t about to go there.

I don’t have any plans for today other than work. I am excited about a book/ARC that arrived in the mail yesterday. It’s SO hard not to read it, but I’m trying to hold off. What book am I talking about? Vicki Pettersson’s ‘The Scent of Shadows’. I think I’ll use it as a reward for making my page count. Eat your hearts out. 😛

Friday, January 26th, 2007
Went For a Walk

I mentioned that I’ve been walking at least four days a week, every week (only missed one day and that was last week). I haven’t noticed any kind of weight loss. Darn it. But I have noticed an overall improvement in my moods. I’m not saying that I’m chipper all the time (I’m not.), but I have definitely been feeling much more mentally stable. By that I mean, things that would normally bug me haven’t been. For that alone, I think the walking gig is worth it. 🙂


I managed to wrestle in another fifteen pages/3+K today. I made my goal of reaching page 250. YAH!!! The progress is definitely slowing as I near the end. I spent half the evening looking up occult information. Didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but I did manage to get a few things together in order to write an invocation scene. I didn’t want it to be completely accurate. I do that on purpose. I think it’s too easy for people to dabble and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for anyone dabbling with stuff they don’t understand.

Still reeling over the news that Van Halen may be getting back together. OMG! Hell has frozen over. You have to understand something about me. When they broke up, I cried. Yes, you read that correctly. I CRIED. I was a teenager and took it VERY hard. *g* I can even tell you where I was, when it happened. For me, there was never a Van Halen after Dave left. Let the laughter begin now. Anyhoo, it’s not official yet, but it looks like it’s going forward. Still can’t believe after all these years, it’s finally going to happen.

Have you ever had a band breakup that you were heartbroken about?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007
It’s Shiloh’s Fault

Womens Fiction Book Meme

Contemporary, Historical, or Paranormal?


Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?

Mass market.

Heyer or Austen?

Austen all the way. 🙂

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?

Brick and Mortar

Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Both. :o) But that’s only because I don’t live near Powell’s in Portland.

Woodiwiss or Lindsay?


First romance novel you ever remember reading?

Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?

You’re kidding, right?

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?

I would never throw away a book that’s in good condition. Period.

Read with dustjacket or remove it?

Read with it on.

Sookie Stackhouse or Anita Blake?

That’s like comparing apples to oranges. Can’t be done, so I’ll take both.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

Since most of my reading is done on an ebook, I stop wherever I want. 🙂

It was a dark and stormy night or Once upon a time?

Once upon a time.

Crusie or SEP?

I haven’t read enough of either to have a preference.

Buy or Borrow?

Usually? Buy. I don’t read fast enough to borrow books.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?

Recommendations from people with similiar taste or browsing. I’m a big fan of blurbs and reading the first couple of pages.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?

I want a satisfying ending. Note that I didn’t say tidy. Very few cliffhangers deliver that. If they do, then I’m all for them.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?

Definitely at night. The only reading I do during the day is my work and blogs.

Series or standalone?

If the author is a keeper of mine, then I’ll follow the series. If not, then no. I like them, but I read very few.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?

I doubt that exists.

I’m tagging May, PBW, and Charli.


I only ended up with five pages tonight, but I’m okay with that. I was really tired today. I’m just glad I pushed forward and made some progress. I think the brain is screaming for a break. And I’ll be more than happy to give it one…right after we hit page 300+. 🙂