Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays despite the cooling weather. I got to dress up this week twice, since work let us come in costume all week. However, only a few of us did so. But at least I got lots of compliments. Thursday I went as a gypsy and yesterday as a pirate. I cold have dressed up on Saturday when I took my son to the mall for their trick-or-treat event, but I was too tired to mess with changing. We finished in half an hour by skipping the middle shindig. The line was obscene for what he'd be getting. But he was happy with his modest haul anyway, especially the KitKat bar from our first stop. Simple pleasures. :D

This week is going to have different goals. I want to catch up on my expanding reading list, at least to get through my new books. Anything else I get done of my regular goals will be bonus, though I intend to still do my rounds of visiting other check-ins. I'll be doing lots of winter preparedness this week, the joys of living out in the country. We did get the majority of the snow fence put up already. But there's finishing it, attaching the snowblower to the tractor and removing the mower deck, cleaning the garage, packing the emergency essentials bag, fixing the truck and attaching the plow, and so much more. Oh joy. Boo winter.

I finished Fangtales and enjoyed it. Vampires are not my thing, but every story was at least a 3. Don't always get that with an anthology. I've been though some books that ranged from 1-5. I'm currently working my way through CassaStar, up to page 42 so far. Pretty good even if my reading has been so chopped up that my focus hasn't really dug into it yet.

Midweek reflections

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I don't really have much to comment on today. Sort of in a reflective mood but it hasn't really come out in words much yet. So check-in goals and random stuff it is then.

However, goals: I did read and comment on at least 5 of Sunday's ROW80 check-ins. I started at the bottom of the list and then popped on a few of the ones I've been on more than once. I've put in at least an hour of ponderings each day since Sunday on Broken Destinies. Haven't written much yet, still brainstorming what the characters are going to be doing in the last third, but after discussion with my husband, we worked out more of the hidden story going on during the already completed part, plus a couple areas I need to develop more. But then most of the completed part was done during NaNo last year, so it's fast and loose and has parts where I have comments like "write more about ___ here." Still going to try to have plot hashed out by this upcoming Sunday, but even if I don't make it, I'm getting back into the feel of the world and the character goals.

This is post 2 for the week, so coming along there. Still have to do my two crits, will try to get one of those done this evening. Had a bit of a scare on Saturday or Sunday when our whole group had been banned from the forum for spam. Turns out to have been a mistake regarding an ISP thing, so in less than a day, it was corrected. But it was still freaky.

Big news for me was getting the books I'd ordered. I'm currently halfway through Fangtales now, and most of the stories have been pretty good so far, which should be taken as high praise since I am NOT a vampire fan at all. I give it a fairly consistent 3-4 throughout the first half.

The other fun thing was today's worldbuilding hangout on Google+ hosted by Juliette Wade. We talked about magic systems. Next Wednesday we'll be talking about gender. So if you want to jump in the discussion or just join to listen, it'll be at 2pm EST. Hope some of you will stop on by.

Have a great rest of the week.

Sleepy week

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm not going to bother listing each goal individually today. I got little done this week, though I did poke at my story somewhat. My brain just kept fizzling on how to follow up on the suggestions my crit group made.

A couple days ago, I decided to set it aside for a week or two and switch to another WIP, a novel that's supposed to be book 1 of a trilogy. So far I've read through to the end of what I'd already done and now trying to figure out what's going to come next. It's about two thirds of the way through, but I'm not sure if the middle third actually works for the overall plot. The main antagonist for that part isn't developed well enough yet. There's some good stuff though.

This week's goal: plan out the arc for the last third of what I've tentatively titled Broken Destinies. It's actually a co-authored piece I'm doing with my husband, so at some point when he has some spare brain power (he's had a rough week), I'll get him to do some brainstorming with me.


Friday, October 21, 2011

I just got back from seeing the new Three Musketeers movie. Loved it loved it loved it. Even though I went into it with knowing a few witty bits of dialog and "OMG Airships!" from the preview, it was fantastic from beginning to end.

Maybe later when I come down from my state of sheer giddiness, I'll think of things that maybe could have been done better, but right now I'd turn around and go watch it again if I had the time. My husband and I saw it in 2D, unsure of how the action was going to go (and 3D started too late to watch it today since I have to leave for work soon). But I think it will be phenomenal in 3D.

Other giddy news is that I've ordered 3 books by people I know and bought a gift card so I can order an ebook by a 4th.

Fangtales with a story by Kelly Said
Cassastar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Darkfall by Janice Hardy
and the ebook will be Honor the Pack by Kaycee Looney


Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

Checking in and other thoughts

Thursday, October 13, 2011

For 10/12 check-in: (yes, the fairies are nagging me that I'm a day behind)

goal 1: one hour every day working on a story task, either new material WIP or revising RRH: umm, coming back to this one

goal 2: read and comment on minimum of 5 posts for each check-in: I don't think I did any for Sunday's, and haven't hit any for yesterday yet either. Gonna get on that. Probably won't go back to Sunday but will snag yesterday's.

goal 3: post on my blog 3 times a week, one of which must be a check-in: This post makes 2 so far, should have another tomorrow.

goal 4: Crit 2 posts each week on WD: None so far, but I did go read a few earlier today. I'm thinking what to say on one of them.

goal 5: Have and complete 1 specific goal each week on primary project, this week's being revising scene 1 of RRH. I started tweaking based on comments from last week. Now I have to work on the broader changes like grounding the setting better, clarifying support characters descriptions and relationship roles, and trimming out unnecessarily repeated information/mild info dumps.

Some of what they pointed out surprised me but are valid concerns like the mention I have of a dead character. The way it's written, he could be either her brother or lover, and it makes a big difference. (Her betrothed, just so you know.) So that all is the harder part, but at least everyone likes the style, characters, and world setting. And they want to read more.

Okay back to goal one. I have to admit that while I've been doing lots of writing, it hasn't been on a publishable story. Some of my friends and I are doing a roleplaying game (TORG, for you gamer folks out there who may know it) online via Obsidian Portal where we have a forum and internal wikis of things, people, and places. It's an immense amount of fun, and it's helping me understand in practicality many of the things I've been learning about culture, especially culture clashes, from Juliette Wade's worldbuilding posts on TalkToYoUniverse. But it doesn't exactly help me finish my WIPs. I didn't count the time spent on writing my character's entries when I checked in on Sunday, and I don't really count them now, but I have definitely put in more than an hour a day of writing time.

I think I may talk more about the game sometime next week, because I really have learned some interesting things from the game regarding culture that I'd like to share with you. Even something that appears familiar can be very alien in feel, and that makes for some fascinating culture clashes and culture shock.

ROW 80: Check-In 10/9/11

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Okay, first week update:

1. Spend 1 hour every day working on a story task, whether writing new material on any WIPs or revising RRH.
--First half of the week: I kept up. Last part of week: weak. Too much going on and feeling vaguely unwell.

2. Read and comment on a minimum of 5 posts each check-in.
--Success! Checked 8 blogs for Mon check-in, 7 for Wed's.

3. Post on my blog 3 times a week, 1 of which must be a check-in.
--Got 2 of them in: Mon (check-in) and Fri (song/book feature).

4. Critique at least 2 posts each week on the SF/F crit forum over at Writer's Digest.
--Halfway there, got one done.

5. Have a specific smaller goal each week regarding my primary project.
First week's goal: Finish writing the beginning of RRH and connect it to the existing draft.
--It was a bit rushed at the end, but I did finish the scene. Next scene will be right before she goes into the woods, which is essentially where I originally started. Much happier with this draft. My crit group made some minor suggestions of things I overlooked, gave me some ideas on adding more description (my weak area), and pointed out where the scene ending was lacking. I'd call this a success.

This next week's goal: Take suggestions from crit group and revise first scene.

Here we go aROWnd again...

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's time for a new set of goals. Round 4 of ROW80 2011 starts today. After studying the kinds of goals other people had and how vague some of my goals had been, I'm starting off clearer and to more purpose. It also includes care of this blog and support to my fellow writers, since none of us exist in a vacuum.

1. Spend 1 hour every day working on a story task, whether writing new material on any WIPs or revising RRH.

2. Read and comment on a minimum of 5 posts each check-in.

3. Post on my blog 3 times a week, 1 of which must be a check-in.

4. Critique at least 2 posts each week on the SF/F crit forum over at Writer's Digest.

5. Have a specific smaller goal each week regarding my primary project.

This week's goal: Finish writing the beginning of RRH and connect it to the existing draft. Hoping that third time's the charm. Yes, this is attempt three. First two went to scrap file as they didn't fit overall character and story goals. Feeling good about this one, good enough that my crit group may actually get to see it. Currently, it's sitting at 1557 words. Another 500-1000 should get me where I need it to go.

And happy blog-o-versary! My blog is two years old now. It was technically last week, but I don't care. I'm impressed that I've kept it up this long, that I have more followers, and better yet, more readers. Thanks to all of you for supporting my endeavors.