Monday, January 02, 2006

Monday, January 2, 2006
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy expected to become snowy

My thoughts and prayers are with those dealing with the floods out in California and the fires in Texas, Oklahoma, and Nevada.

Circadian Poems returns today with a lovely New Year’s poem by Pamela Taylor.

There’s a new post on The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project.

Kemmyrk has been restructured and makes it debut today as a twice-weekly column.

Getting away is always good. I did sneak on to the computer up there a few times, to get this and that done and just check a few things. Oh, well.

It was an unusual retreat center because it’s not open to the public. One can only get a spot there by recommendation from a regular. It takes place upstate, in the family homestead of the person who runs it (and who asked not to be named here).

There’s something wonderful about seeing in the New Year in a meditation room filled with candles and large windows, looking outside at the falling snow.

I took over the kitchen, of course – made all sorts of appetizers: my infamous devilled eggs, a country pate, smoked salmon and cream cheese on pumpernickel, mushrooms stuffed with eggplant and spinach, and black bean hummus. We had champagne cocktails. For the main dinner, I cooked a pork tenderloin in a sauce of maple syrup, cider vinegar and mustard. The person who ran the center had a broken ankle, and, since to me, cooking is a form of meditation anyway, taking over a good portion of the cooking make sense.

Does that make it Ink in Someone Else’s Kitchen?

New calendars are up, the house is clean, the laundry was done before the turn of the year (can’t go into a new year with dirty panties, now, can we?)

Yesterday, I spent six hours on administrative work for various projects. Hate it, hate it, hate it, but it’s necessary.

Wrote three newsletters. Worked on updating various lists.

Revised March’s “Literary Athlete” column (called “Showing Up is Half the Battle”). That goes to my editor today.

Worked on Circadian, 13 Journals, Kemmyrk, and a salon for which I’m responsible. Checked the job boards and now have to make some submissions (yes, today – enough of printing them out and putting in them in a stack for “someday”).

Worked on Shallid. I don’t think my goal of 22 pages for the month will be too difficult to reach. I wrote six pages yesterday, and I’d written some more pages over the weekend. I can see the end – I can almost taste it.

I need to figure out which 13 projects I want to juggle for the 13-in-Play theory. I can’t remember if it’s Hope Clark (of Funds for Writers) or Anne Wayman (of Absolute Freelancing) who told me about the concept – it’s about always having 13 pieces on submission. I don’t know if I have 13 pieces without homes right now, but I guess I’d better get going and look. I need to get stuff out.

After all, the postage goes up on January 8.

The Fantasy Epic needs some attention, before that deadline ends up rolling past. As do many other things on the list.

And I have every intention of dropping everything to watch The Tournament of Roses Parade. I HATE the fact that it’s not actually on New Year’s Day this year – it’s one of my favorite New Year’s Day rituals.

If you signed up for “Devon’s Random Newsletter”, you should get your new issue shortly. I plan for it to be, um, less random than it was last year. If you’re not signed up, but would like to be, you can sign up here.

I rolled up my sleeves and started the edits on Clear the Slot. I’m working my way through reading the draft and taking notes; then I’ll tackle it chapter by chapter. I need to cut a good bit – there’s too much there – but haven’t found where yet. I’m finding plenty of places to tighten and snip, but there will also have to be some major cuts. How to do it without losing the entwining storylines . . .well, I have to figure it out as I go.

I managed to read through the entire 463 page draft (see why it needs cutting?). I took extensive notes. I printed out another copy of Chapter One and did some massive edits, rewrites, etc. I think I’ll work chapter by chapter and put the edits in every three chapters.

I’m toying with changing the end point of the book. Clear the Slot and Sweep Check take place during the same hockey season. There’s a lot of story to tell in that initial period of time. Since I didn’t want it to be a 900 page coffee table (as opposed to a coffee table book), it’s two novels. Clear the Slot has gone through numerous drafts at this point – and still isn’t where I want it. I wrote about half of Sweep Check and then decided I wanted to start it at a different point. I wonder if the momentum of editing Clear the Slot will mean I need to go immediately into writing Sweep Check and where I can jam it into the project rotation. Because if the momentum is there, I’m going to use it.

My Most Trusted Reader loves where CTS ends right now, but I need to tear apart and restructure that last chapter completely. I may keep the last couple of paragraphs, though.

I’m also extremely pleased in reading the sections where I’m writing about the guys on the ice in the midst of the game. I think I caught it properly (several players read those sections and liked them as they went through drafts) – the adrenalin of being in the moment chasing the puck, making or receiving a check, etc., etc. I think those eight months of research paid off.

Writing the games was difficult. Because the outcome of the game drove the plot, I had to start at the end of the game, work it out play-by-play, shift-by-shift backwards, then write it forwards, then cut/cut/cut/cut/cut so it would read as both the best type of sports writing and so the reader could feel as though he/she was on the ice seeing the game through the player’s, well, visor.

I’d forgotten how working on CTS becomes all consuming. It was hard to put down the pages and the red pen, even when I was too tired to keep my eyes open, and I knew if I kept going, I would not be making good decisions. So I made myself stop.

Back to work.

The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project
Circadian Poems
The Scruffy Dog Review

The Fix-It Girl - 59,847 words (goal 100,000 words)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
59 / 100

Shallid - 73,775 words (goal 90,000 words)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
73 / 90


At 3:42 PM, Blogger Eileen said...

Eight months of research is quite impressive and should translate well into your work. Writing as though the reader can see through the player's visor sounds incredibly challenging and the outcome should be an exciting read. While I don't know a lot about the game, I do know that it is fast paced!!


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