Monday, July 31, 2006

Monday, July 31, 200l6
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot and humid

Day 22 of Home Om on Kemmyrk.

Yesterday felt like a slog, but I got quite a bit done. A whole day of solitude was absolutely lovely and necessary. It was already brutally hot by the time I got back from the store at 8 AM with groceries and newspapers, so on with the AC.

I wrote, revised, edited, and shot off the article for FemmeFan. I reworked and reworked and reworked one of the other articles for Llewellyn, sorted information and roughed out a second, and reworked the third.

I worked on the SDR column, and needed to ask permission to send something longer than usual, with which I will work with my editor in case it needs to be cut down.

I made notes on some short stories and a novel. Goodness, they’re stacking up again like planes over LaGuardia. I wrote a letter requesting an interview to a potential subject, and I reworked a letter for a pro bono client.

Wrote Wednesday’s Dog Blog.

Attempted to update some of my links.

Read Annis Duff’s Bequests of Wings: A Family’s Pleasures with Books, which was a disappointment. It sounds like it would be wonderful to tag along with someone else’s book adventures. Instead, it is a 1954 treatise on how to bring up children in books. I suppose it was good in its time, but I find it sexist and the type of thing that makes me remember why I have such a problem with authority. I do agree with her position on fairy tales being a good thing, and not in conflict with religious beliefs, and her account of a Christmas holiday was a lovely period piece, but the tone of the rest of the book was so smug I found it annoying.

Outlined a children’s story. It might be too young a piece for a chapter book, or it might just make it into Chapter-Book Land. I’ll have to do a bit of research.

Gave myself a treat by typing a few pages of Shallid, but not enough to make it worth updating the word meter.

The bastards are here to blast the bricks outside my window again. I’m tempted to invoice the landlord for work upset at the high end of my hourly fee.


July GDR Evaluation:

4 Dog Blogs
2 Llewellyn contracted Llewellyn articles

In Process:
Typing Shallid
– so close to finishing the first draft!

Not Done:
20 pages of Fix-It Girl
6th draft of Clear the Slot
DE site up and running
12 queries
KM Farnesworth story

Additional (done):
3 short story submissions
Nautical research
Notes on The Combo Project
Extra article for Llewellyn contracted
Untitled short story – 4 pages
Home Om
Revised “Not My Vote”, “Needed”, and “Election Exaction”
Daisy Hill Farm notes
Casherick Drualtys series notes
Started Jioleagh
Notes for “The Merry’s Dalliance”
“As The Sky Lightens” – first draft
Bernardini article for FemmeFan
YA notes
Partial draft – short story from Painting Exercise
Triskele project notes
Children’s story outline

Rejection from a major magazine (short story)
Disrespected by a colleague (mistake on his part)
The Situation heating up again

“Literary Athlete” in SDR
Featured in Anne Wayman’s “31 Days to Freelance Success”
Mentioned in Lori Widmer’s “Words on the Page”
Press Release of 1000+ Post point for Ink in My Coffee
Check arrived for Mogollan Rim anthology

The successes outweigh the disappointments on many levels. Not a bad month, for the first time I could get back to the GDRs all year.

July Reading:

Liberating Paris by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. Good, but not great.

A Murder on Lenox Hill by Victoria Thompson. Some very good writing; sometimes felt it was too modern for the period.

Sir Walter Scott’s Journal (unfinished). Excellent. Needs to be savored, not rushed through.

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl. (Unfinished). Didn’t like it.

The Circle at Center by Douglas Niles. (Unfinished). Didn’t like it.

Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman. (Unfinished). Beautiful writing, difficult book. Some of the characters made me angry.

The Tale of Holly How by Susan Wittig Albert. Excellent and charming.

The Goddess Celebrates edited by Diane Stein. Excellent.

A Writer in the Garden edited by Jane Garmey. Excellent.

Wrapt in Crystal by Sharon Shinn. Excellent. This will go on my list of favorite novels.

A Tale of Beatrix Potter by Margaret Lane. Very good.

Country Editor by Henry Beetle Hough (unfinished). Very good, but needs to be read slowly.

Murder in Bertram’s Bower by Cynthia Peale. Very good.

Mapping the World of Harry Potter edited by Mercedes Lackey. Interesting variety. Some of the essays excellent, some less so. Contrasting points of view interesting.

Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan. Good.

February House by Sherrill Teppin. Very good.

Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey. Very good.

Bequests of Wings: A Family’s Pleasures with Books by Annis Duff. Irritating.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday, July 30, 2006
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

We’re in the midst of another heat wave – temperatures in the 90s and climbing. Ick.

Day 21 of Home OM on Kemmyrk.

Yesterday was just A Day. And not one I want to repeat any time soon.

I’m just preparing to sit down to write when the phone rings. It’s the wonderful new super, warning me that they’re going to blast the brickwork right outside my windows. All day.

Now, you know how I am about repetitive machine noise.

And, I had the beginnings of a migraine.

At least he warned me.

Then, the phone rang, the doorbell rang, on and on and ON. I ignored as much as I could, because if I cave in to interruptions, I have no one to blame but myself. Too damn bad – if you’re not dying, it’s not an emergency to me, and I am not getting up from the desk.

I recently asked a well-published writer with 50 novels to her credit how she did it. She told me that she figured out what she needed in order to write and cut the rest out.

I need to be that ruthless.

On the one hand, I like being part of an active life. I couldn’t be in the theatre otherwise. But I also need an amazingly large amount of solitude. It’s hard to honor both.

I worked on the articles until I couldn’t stand the blast work even with the music coming through the headphones (needless to say, I didn’t get as much done as I needed to). I decided I’d pack things up and go to the library to work for a few hours in longhand – and then the computer crashed.

The rest of the day was spent getting it back up and running, doing all the patches, diagnostics, and other tests.

EVERY time I’m on deadline, Microsoft fucks me that way. The minute I need reliability, it fails me. I’m sick of it. Instead of pouring his money into Africa, Gates should be designing software not designed to self-destruct. Oh, wait, then he wouldn’t be making the kind of money he is so he can pour it into Africa.

I’ve got the system back up and running (through sheer stubbornness, not talent). I hope to get the deadlined articles done (plus an article on Bernadini for FemmeFan) today and tomorrow, and then get the Geek Squad in here next week to sort out the system. Maybe if it gets a thorough sorting, it will limp along for a few more months until I can buy the type of Mac system I need to do everything I need it to do and switch everything over (I’ll hire Geek Squad to do the transfer). I’d rather wait until I can get the best system I need, rather than what I always end up having to do, which is replace a dead system with whatever I can afford.

While I ran diagnostics, I re-read Mercedes Lackey’s Children of the Night, which I first read about a dozen years ago. I still like it a lot, but it’s interesting how my perceptions and base of knowledge have changed over the past dozen years. The words, of course, remain the same on the page. My response changes.

Stories continue to swirl around my head. Other than making notes for them, I’m sticking to my rule of not working on the fiction until these articles are done. It’s hard – the fiction is shrieking to get written. But the articles are deadlined, contracted, paying work. When the fiction brings in the same kind of money, the fiction will get priority.

I know what I want to write for the Painting Exercise, and the two stories that I need to rewrite from the Ten Week Exercises are starting to re-form in my head. This morning, I outlined an odd little piece which may become a YA novel. I can’t imagine it could run more than 65,000 – 75,000 words – although there are some very odd plot twists and I’m braiding three sets of story together. It’s a fantasy, but grounded in some odd realities. I’m wondering if that’s a more viable piece for NaNo than either Amadeus Doe or The Combo Project. I still have a few months to make that decision.

Rupert Pole died, out in California. For those of you wondering who is Rupert Pole?, he was one of Anais Nin’s two simultaneous husbands. (Yes, I know, I can’t get the two dots in her name to post). Anais Nin is an interesting figure in writing. She is most famous for her diaries, and was/is considered a feminist icon from the late 1960s/early 1970s.

My opinion of her is that women outgrow her. I was caught up in the fantasy she projected when I was in my early twenties. But the older I got, the more I learned about life and looked at her life – she could never be honest, not even in her diary, even as she raved on and on about honesty. Instead of creating fiction, the life was her fiction, and she presented it as reality. Simply sleeping with many men and writing a large diary does not, in my opinion, make one a feminist. She was ALWAYS catering to a man. She was married to two men who adored her, yet took all the energy (both emotional and financial) and poured it into her lovers. In my opinion, a feminist is someone who lives independently, choosing to live in an equal partnership, not in a series of dominant/submissive relationships, even if she alternates roles in those dominant/submissive relationships. It seems to me she got stuck in a groove instead of learning from it and moving on. She made some important contributions, especially to the craft of the journal. She also was incapable of what she claimed to seek – truth.

Truth is subjective, and reality is something separate, but she twisted the definitions of truth beyond even what most fiction writers could recognize.

At this point in my personal evolution, I find her more irritant than inspiration.

I better get back to work while the computer works or nothing will get done. And I’m on Day 2 of this damned migraine.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Saturday, July 29, 2006
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury DIRECT (as of last night) – phew!
Hot and sunny

On this day in 1972, my father died. One doesn’t get over it; one learns to live with it.

The unceasing heat is getting to me. It’s expected to be in the high 90s with high humidity for at least the next week. Ick. I hope the power holds out.

Tired and discouraged. I’m trying to break patterns of response and move forward in the Re-Emergence of the Situation, but it takes a bit of work.

Day 20 of Home Om over on Kemmryk.

The notebook in which I’m writing the first draft of Jioleagh is too heavy to cart around regularly. However, with Shallid, having it in three notebooks meant the break between notebooks is very rocky, so it seemed like a better idea to put Jioleagh in one. I’ll get over it; I’m simply fretting when I should be writing.

I’m going to batten down the hatches all weekend to finish the deadlined work. One quick trip to the Post office this morning, then it’s air conditioner on and writing until I’m done. I wish I hadn’t been so exhausted when I got back from the theatre yesterday – it would have been good to work all night and sleep during the heat of the day.

I’m not allowing myself to work on any fiction until the articles are done. Period. I have several characters pitching fits in the background, and they are just going to have to deal. When I get advances to write their stories, they will be the priority.

Watched another episode of Faith and Reason last night, featuring discussions with Margaret Atwood and Martin Amis. Fascinating stuff. I completely agree with Atwood’s frustration that God is used as a weapon of destruction, which is certainly true in our time, and has been true in the various religions throughout the centuries. Both writers brought up many fascinating paradoxes and dilemmas. If you haven’t watched the shows, hope on over to PBS to do so. Anyone who calls him/herself a writer, or a thinking person or even a human being should watch it. That doesn’t mean one will agree with all the points of view, but the opinions and the reasoning behind them are fascinating, and it is good to shake up one’s own complacent thought processes once in awhile.

I’m annoyed with PBS for bowing to this administration’s censorship. Such a blatant act of cowardice condones the continuing erosion of civil liberties by this administration. Fortunately, this program seems to have escaped such censorship. I doubt it would even go into production now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: People who are secure in their beliefs do not need to censor viewpoints different from their own. They have the intelligent reasoning to back up their beliefs and can discuss/convince/debate with those holding opposing points of view. Only those who know their beliefs are flawed and hold as many holes as a slice of Swiss cheese have to oppress and tyrannize anyone who disagrees.

In other words, there are many flawed beliefs floating around out there.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday, July 28, 2006
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hot, humid, cloudy

Day 19 of Home Om on Kemmyrk.

Worked on the articles. Will have two of them done and need an extension on the third, mostly because I’m waiting for quotes. And then also have to finish the column.

Actually, I’m going to ask one of my editors if I can flip deadlines – I can give him an article to which he extended a deadline early, and then the other article later, if that works.

Trying to readjust my perspective on The Situation, but it’s difficult not to be crushingly depressed. I have to remember that I do not have to agree to let greedy bastards control my life. Jaguar is one of my totems – try to back me in a corner, and I show my teeth and claws. At this point, I’m metaphorically willing to rip their throats out.

Off to the city today. I’d rather stay home and work, but I also know that I would simply pace and fret. So, the actual motion of going to the city should help shake me out of the writing lethargy and get me back on track. I don’t want to lose momentum on any of the projects, although the paid, contracted work must come first over the weekend.

I’ll have to batten down the hatches and not answer the phone or the door over the weekend. I need to get my work done, and I can’t let The Situation dictate whether or not I do.

I admit that I’m horribly depressed. I’ll find a way out of the pit, but right now, it’s not looking good, on any front.

At least I’m not throwing up anymore.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and hot

I thought I better check in, although it’s difficult.

Home Om continues on Kemmyrk, thank goodness.

The Situation lifted its hissing hydra-like head again in full nastiness. In other words, everything’s gone to shit again, due to the greed of a few individuals. I find myself (in addition to throwing up from the sheer upset of it all) alternating between raging fury and bone-crushing depression.

Now that I’ve indulged myself in that for a few days, I need to pull it together and not repeat the patterns from the past eight months. When necessary, I need to strike quickly and take no prisoners. I am not losing another eight months of my life in constant pain and suffering due to the greed of a few individuals. If they are going to break the law and cause pain, they will have to pay for it.

Very little writing has gotten done.

Tuesday I spent at the show, during the day, and things are tense there, because of what’s been going on. Yesterday was mostly lost to errands. I tried to work on the articles today that are due next week, but The Situation kept interfering and finally, I had to draw a line.

So, now, I need to regroup and then sit my butt back down in the chair like a professional and get my work done.

I have several short stories bursting to get out, and I had to make some notes yesterday. One is a very odd fantasy/mystery/adventure/caper thing. If the lead character doesn’t shut up soon, I’m going to have to write a scene where she’s gagged, so I can get some peace.

Over on the Dog Blog, here, this week’s exercise is inspired by a painting.

I read Elizabeth Buchan’s Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman which was cleverer than I expected, with some lovely writing. However, as too many books in the genre do, the ending was far too abrupt. I wanted to know what would happen next, even if none of us where sure of the conclusion.

February House is fascinating, but I can only read it in short spurts.

I saw the repeat of the premiere of Eureka, and then the second episode. It’s quite clever and I enjoy it, although, both times, I got ahead of the script and got a bit impatient waiting for it to catch up. I’m wondering if perhaps they tipped their hand a bit too far towards the end of the premiere, but we’ll see how it unfolds. The throw-away lines are truly priceless, and I like the cast, although two of the women are too physically similar in my opinion – the hairstyles, at least, should have differentiated them more. But then, perhaps that will feed into the plot at some point.

I am angry at the jury for declaring Andrea Yates “not guilty by reason of insanity.” If anything, she was “guilty by reason of insanity.” What the jury has done is condone the fact that she drowned her five children. Whether she was sane or not, whether she suffered from post-partum depression or not DOES NOT GIVE HER THE RIGHT TO MURDER HER CHILDREN. Should she get help for her mental state? Absolutely. There is no question she is mentally ill and should be treated. But to condone her act is despicable and is an enormous miscarriage of justice. In addition to treating her, they must make sure that she never has children again, nor allow her around children without proper supervision. It is vital to make sure that she does not have the opportunity to do this again. No one else should die because she is crazy. No one should have died in the first place. I’m sure plenty of people will say that the court does not have the right to prevent her from having children in the future, if and when she is rehabilitated. I say she forfeited that right when she murdered her own FIVE. She deserves some measure of compassion, but not enough to allow her to commit murder in the future, in yet another fit of religious frenzy or whatever excuse her lawyers come up with next time.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Another big day over on Home Om at Kemmyrk. New moon, fresh start, all of that.

Managed to work on one of the deadlined articles yesterday and made actual progress. That’s always a good sign.

15 pages of Real. All the way through the opening night in London, the party, and the unexpected conflicts that come up there. Sam used what Crispin believes is a flaw in his (Sam’s) character and turned it into an asset. Crispin’s a hell of a fun character, and I have to make sure not to let him get away with too much.

Yeah, this book will run over 100K, which means I probably won’t finish by August 1. And I’m going to have to cut future drafts with a machete. But that’s okay. It needs to be what it is, at least in the early drafts, and I feel I’m back into the swing of it again. Yesterday’s little glitch was exactly that – a little glitch.

Typed Chapter 7 of Shallid.

Off to the theatre today. Not looking forward to it.

I’m reading February House – fascinating. So much information packed into every page.


Real -- 86,375 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
86 / 100

Shallid -- 16,723 out of 82,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16 / 82

Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006
Dark of the Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Check out Day 15 of Home Om on Kemmyrk. Big day over there. Today and tomorrow, as the moon changes from dark to new, are days of big shifts in our work.

Worked on Wednesday’s Dog Blog.

I noticed in Real that I’ve fallen into one of my typical first draft patterns: too many adjectives, adverbs, and too many useless words. Now, I am not one of those purists who stands up and screeches, “Cross out every adverb!” I’m rather fond of adverbs, and there are times when an adverb holds the exact shade of meaning I want.

However, in Real, I’m over-using the word “just”. (Yes, I know it’s not an adverb, I’m moving on). It’s to the point where I’m annoying myself in the first draft. Sam in particular “justs” his way around a good deal. When I try to cut the word from his dialogue, his cadence is thrown off, he doesn’t sound like himself, and he sulks. So the compromise I’ve come up with is that, in the next draft, I will cut all the “justs” out, except when it’s part of his speech pattern.

Let me tell you, that negotiation was tougher than working on the Broadway contract for the union!

Unfortunately, I also hit a patch of Massive Insecurity in regard to Real. I’m doubting it and myself, and it made the writing rough going. However, I’m so damned close to finishing the draft that I’m going to push through it no matter what. Time to get over myself already.

The Massive Insecurity escalated when an industry colleague I’d offered to help decided I’m not famous enough/important enough to associate with. “(“I only have time to spend with people who can further my career. You’re not in that category.”) Now, this is not someone I know well enough to know if I like or not – this tips the balance into “not so much.” Someone I know who thinks highly of him asked me to help him when he was in town, and I agreed. In the scheme of the Universe and even of my own personal Universe, it’s not that big a deal. The timing is unfortunate, when I’m already feeling a bit under-the-weather in the self-esteem category, but, oh, well.

I briefly considered naming a character after him in something and then killing him off, but why even bother to immortalize? I think excommunication is a better choice than immortalization.

On top of that, it looks as though August is going to explode with bizarre busy-ness. I’ve been working on GDRs for August, but, by the time the first of August rolls around, I might have to toss them all and only concentrate on the contracted work for the month. We’ll see how things shake out over the next week. Right now . . .it’s all getting weird. Not necessarily bad weird, but weird.

And anything that keeps me out of the current show-related bitter drama is a good thing.

Won a couple of things I really, really wanted on eBay and bid on a few more items – one set of items, if I win it, will be a gift for a friend, who I think would really enjoy it.

So, it’s a tough writing day today, but other things are percolating.

Now, if I could just find the first draft of “Ris an Abrar” . . .

Typed Chapter 6 of Shallid. Not easy, but got it done. Slowly, slowly, word by word. Today’s a day to lean back on craft, because there’s not a whole lot of inspiration happening.

Today was also the 100th day of the second 100 Days of meditation. Everything stopped at 4PM Eastern time for a group meditation wherever we were. What a wonderful feeling of peace and connection. A great antidote to the feelings of frustration and depression with which I battled all day. It revived me quite a bit, and, after, I realized a breakthrough in Real – though I haven’t reached it yet in the plot. I only managed a measly 3 pages today. But this will have conflict coming at both Sam and Callie, as well as heightening conflict between them.

No chance to work on Jioleagh, play with the crew of the Merry, or work on the articles. Although I’ve just about written one in my head. Hopefully, that means it will transfer quickly to the page.

Just before I was ready to go to bed, I wrote the first draft of “As the Sky Lightens”, for last week’s Dog Blog exercise. It’s about flash-fiction length – first draft runs about 500-ish words. It’s an interesting, twisty little piece. I have to look at the flash fiction markets – the one most open to flash fiction may not be open to a story whose protagonist is a transvestite. I’ll have to do a bit more research.

Walking back from the bagel store this morning, I had another breakthrough for Real. It will add in another chunk of plot (which means the story could overreach 100,000 words), but it would raise the stakes in a much better way. Of course, Crispin Bond, the character who wandered in yesterday (and whose first mention I have to go back and plant about twenty pages earlier) is deeply involved, and, if I’m not careful, he’ll hijack the ending. I may need to promise him his own book in the future to distract him.

Watched Good Night, and Good Luck last night. Wow, what an amazing movie. What a magnificently detailed and nuanced production. Now there is an example of some of the best filmmaking that’s been done in the past twenty or so years. The relevance to our current escalating culture of fear is also powerful. If you haven’t seen this movie, go out and see it now. Several times. It’s especially important for teens to see it, to get the sense of history. Already, the current administration, much like McCarthy, claims that anyone who disagrees with them is disloyal and unpatriotic.

No less than our Founding Fathers (and Mothers – let’s not forget the women) beg to disagree.

It was also interesting to watch National Treasure and Good Night, and Good Luck on consecutive days. On the surface, they seem like vastly different films. And yet the themes of responsibility, patriotism, passion, intelligence, and freedom run deeply through both of them.

Real -- 82,625 words out of est. 100,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
82 / 100

Shallid – Typed Draft 1 A – 14,980 out of 82,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14 / 82

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday, July 23, 2006
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and a little cooler

Day 14 of Home Om over on Kemmyrk. Yeah, I know, yesterday I said it was Day 12, but it was actually Day 13. I can’t count.

9 ½ pages of Real. Sam’s on his way to London for the opening of Callie’s play. Yes, we dealt with the ex-girlfriend wanting to jump off a building; you’ll have to read the book to find out what happened.

Typed Chapters 4 and 5 of Draft 1A of Shallid. I had to rename a few things, and develop a character that will mean a lot further down the line. I had to name Chapter 5. Most of the time, I don’t name chapters, but for this book, it’s important. Which means now I have to come up with pithy chapter names for every chapter in every book of the series. Also realized that I mentioned a few things that were later dropped, but can’t be, because they’re an important foundation, even if they won’t be the focus of the story for a few books. Chapter Four needed more work than Chapter 5. I’ve resigned myself to doing some of the smaller fixes in this draft, but leaving big fixes for the second draft.

Only 3 pages of Jioleagh. I’d written myself into a corner, and had a heck of a time getting out. But I think I’m out.

I have to cut some of the outline for “The Merry’s Dalliance.” Too much plot, too many characters for a short story. I may have enough for more than one story, but, if I expect to make the deadline, I need to concentrate on one. I also have to go back to my pirate research and choose which type of ship I want them to use, what realistic details I want to build the fantastical details on to. This ship does some rather, um, unusual things at times. And the Merry is a much of a character as the protagonists or anyone else.

I’m looking for “Ris an Abrar”. I know I put it in a safe place, which means I have absolutely no idea where it is. Hopefully, it wasn’t in the pile of files that “mysteriously” disappeared from the apartment during The Situation.

I had some friends over last night and we watched National Treasure. I liked it even better this time, although I would have made the additions regarding Ian Howe as mentioned previously. My friends loved it – until the end in front of the big house. So, since it was on DVD, I got to show them the real ending, in the Archives – the one that we all agreed works soooo much better.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s amazing that anything even remotely coherent makes it to the screen or the small screen – too many middle executives putting their “mark” on it and diluting the vision.

Real – 81, 875 words out of est. 100,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
81 / 100

Shallid – 12,828 words out of 82,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12 / 82

Jioleagh – 5,125 words out of 85,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5 / 85

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday, July 22, 2006
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy, rainy, hot, humid

Too hot. Hate this weather.

Tidbits of information:

Con Ed lied like rugs all week – over 100,000 people have been without power since last Monday in Queens (they claimed it was about 1000). Considering how much they charge everybody each month, it should be zero, unless it’s for a single day. The Queens DA is opening a criminal investigation. Could it be some execs were pocketing cash instead of using it to maintain equipment? Like there’s a stretch.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant (the one nearest my home) shut down yesterday afternoon because something started sparking inside. Oh, goody. When I start glowing in the dark, I’ll know my backstage career is over.

A traffic accident yesterday morning closed down I-95 in the Bronx because a flatbed truck collided with a truck carrying a missile.

I’d like to know what the fuck a missile was doing on the highway during rush hour, okay? Especially in a situation where its carrier got into an accident. Accident. Right. I somehow don’t think anyone that stupid and careless would be driving around a missile. Oh, yeah, I forgot who’s running the country right now. I believe it. No one’s admitting anything. It’s bad enough to have random missiles wandering around a heavily populated area, but to transport one during rush hour? What kind of drugs are these people on?

It also makes me re-think the facts around the crash of TWA Flight 800, which recently had its ten-year memoriam. To this day, witnesses swear it was taken down by a missile. The Government Who-has, of course, have always denied it. But yesterday’s accident makes it obvious that there are missiles around here that those of us just trying to get through the day know nothing about. So, yes, it is completely possible that someone stole one of the rockets, missiles, etc. in transit (since obviously they’re not under the kind of security they should be when they’re moving) and used it to take down the plane. The Who-has said it was a problem in the fuel tank. Well, when a rocket hits the fuel tank of the airplane, yes, that’s a problem.

And you wonder why I want to move?

Speaking of which, hop on over to Kemmyrk for Day 12 of Home Om. We’re closing in on the Dark Moon and that’ll be a big day for us.

At least, in spite of heat and storms and missiles and sparking nuclear power plants, I had a good writing day.

Eight pages of Real, ending a chapter with a cliff hanger with Sam’s ex-girlfriend high as a kite threatening to jump off a building in downtown LA. I have to find a map so I can decide which building.

Typed Chapter 3 of Shallid, and realized this is the perfect place (short chapter, good point in the story) for Elise’s new friends to fill her in a bit of geography of her new world.

Wrote 5 pages on Jioleagh, and it’s taking some interesting twists and turns in spite of the outline. Hey, the characters are fourteen. They’re not adults, but they’re not kids, and they’re overly smart and talented for their age. They’re going to get their hormones in a twist.

Roughed out an article; hated it; tossed it. Have to start over.

Heard about two fantasy anthologies to which I want to submit. One would be good for “Ris an Abrar” and the other is a high seas fantasy – I can sort of mix elements from Cutthroat Charlotte with elements from Angel Hunt. Of course, it’s all different characters, and it’s not even a romantic triangle, it’s more of a romantic hexagram . . .in other words, I’m already making notes.

I have until mid-October to finish up “Ris”, which I figure will run approximately 9,000 words, and I figure the High Seas Fantasy will run about 7k. The latter is due mid-January, 2007. That should not be a problem.

Can you tell I’m loving the whole anthology thing?

I also realized that if the Casherick Drualtys books do well (and I believe they will), once I hit book 13, I can split them off. I can continue with Elise’s progression through University and beyond – they’ll under a different series title – and a new student can come into Casherick Drualtys for more adventures, if there are more adventures to be had there. Who knows? Maybe after 13 books, the adventures will be used up. But there are possibilities.

Right now, I need to figure out if I have to rough outline all of the first thirteen books in order to make the first one the best it can be to sell. I see why Rowling outlined all seven Potter books – there are things near the end that may need to be planted in the middle or near the beginning. The big identity revelations for Elise will happen in Books 7 & 9, Fire Year, because fire is associated with identity. And yes, I do mean 7 & 9, because I have other plans for Book 8. Originally, one of the revelations was to come in Book 2, but I want to save it for its directional correspondence. And the other revelation was a revelation to me as of today, but it thoroughly makes sense within the context of the world. A world I’ve finally named. Because, hey, just because she’s walking through portals doesn’t mean she’s ending up in nameless places, right? And some of this information needs to be woven into the first book to set the foundation.

As I’m working on the typed draft of Shallid, the draft I call “1A”, I’m fixing some of the problems, but, mostly, taking notes of where the big rewrites need to happen for the second draft. And, as I work on Jioleagh, I see where more adjustments need to be made in Shallid, which, in turn, affect Jioleagh. And makes me wonder if I need to roughly plot out all thirteen. I don’t want to lose any semblance of spontaneity. But I don’t want to get several books in and go, “Damn, that would be a good way to go, if only I’d set it up in an earlier book.”

But I don’t want everything to feel too planned, which I sort of felt in the HP Book 6 – too many places where I stopped and thought, “Oh, she set that up in Book X” or “Oh, that’s to set up the end in Book 7.” Perhaps because I look at process instead of simply enjoying it, I notice more. But I want my own books to have more sense of life happening, rather than life being planned or manipulated by an outside force (the writer posing as deity), even though there are themes of fate, destiny, and choice that run throughout the books.

And, of course, I’m aware that the series could wear out its welcome by Book 13, or that it might not even make it that far. However, I’m not being an egotist, but an optimist in my plans.

In the meantime, I started working on the outline for the High Seas Fantasy short story. The working title is “The Merry’s Dalliance”, which is the name of the ship. ‘Tis a most unusual ship, it is. I’ve got the character arcs worked out and about the first third of the plot. I know where I want it to end, but I’m back at my old damn dilemma – the middle. You’d think my own gosh darned column would help me on that one. Maybe working on that article will help me to figure out the middle of this.

And I have to keep reminding myself this is a short story, not a novel. Maybe I shouldn’t try to pack everything including a treasure map in this particular story. Maybe these characters are worth more than one story, and I should just pick one damned thing for this one. But the three arcs braid together so nicely!

Until we hit the middle.


But Kit Erskine is a good character. Veeeerrry different from Charlotte, although just as strong minded in her own way.

And there’s a reason she goes by Kit and not Katherine.

Unless, of course, I change my mind. Or she does. Before the final draft.

Artie will figure that one out in three and a half seconds flat. But will you?


Real – 79,500 words out of est. 100,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
79 / 100

Shallid -- typed draft 1A – 7,122 words out of 82,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7 / 82

Jioleagh -- 4,375 words out of est. 85,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
4 / 85