Sunday, March 29, 2015

WIPMarathon #3

Oh man, I am not making a good impression with these things, huh? I have no excuse except that I've been busy this weekend and it didn't really occur to me that yesterday was the last Saturday of the month. Fail. Okay, so here it is...

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count: 70,210 (8 chapters, lots of scene breaks)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 81,788 (10 chapters, lots of scene breaks)

WIP Issues this month: I've been pretty sick, which makes writing really hard. So, I pick up my WIP, write a few words, and pass out. Or, I couldn't work up the energy to even think about working on it. Or, even doing anything except laying in my bed. All of that makes writing pretty hard. Also, now that I'm getting on to the end, I find it takes a little more thinking to think through all the loose threads and how to tie them together.

Four things I learned this month in writing: Let's see if I can come up with four...

  1. Making word goals is kind of pointless for me. I've been saying I want to finish this current novel inside 85,000 words. That is definitely not going to happen. That's so far from happening, it's not even funny. BUT, since I plan to maybe remove one whole subplot from the final draft, if it goes longer than 85k, I have room to toss all the stuff that doesn't work.
  2. Hmm...
  3. Hmm...
  4. Apparently, I have been so busy this month, I only managed to learn one damn thing. lol

What distracted me this month while writing: I can almost sum that up in two words--my husband! When his schedule is off, my schedule is off. He's been so busy this month with work, his schedule changing around a bunch of times, which throws me off. Also, being sick I somehow ended up on a sleep all day/stay awake all night type schedule and that doesn't really work. Which sort of sucks, since I was most productive when I was up all night. Finally, my husband had to go to Utah again this weekend (he was gone Thursday - Sunday) which meant a lot of driving back and forth from the airport (about 2 hours from here). Oh, and I went out of town this weekend to see friends, so no writing.

Goals for next month: Since I made my goal last month (yay!!), I'm going to go for another 10k and hope that maybe, kinda, sorta finishes it off. Then I can get to editing, or at least allowing it to rest while I work on something else to get some distance before editing.

Last 200 words: “Stop it,” I moved between them, my voice a hushed warning. “Now!” 

“Son of a bitch,” Holly was still looking past me at Alexander. 

“Holly,” I shook my head at her, “don’t.” 

“Anna,” he peeled his homicide glare off of my best friend, “take your friend home before something regrettable happens to her.” 

I took a deep breath through my nostrils, then turned to Alexander until our chests were nearly pressed together. 

“Do not ever threaten my friends,” I warned, “she was wrong to have slapped you, but you provoked her.” 

He cocked an eyebrow, the muscles in his jaw tightening, but he didn’t argue. Instead, he said good night and strode past us and into the restaurant without another look at Holly who still seethed on the sidewalk. 

It occurred to me, only after he had gone inside, that I hadn’t asked him what the hell he happened to be doing at my favorite restaurant at the same time I was. Not that it made a whole lot of difference, but I wondered somewhere deep down if he had come here because of me. I turned and looked through the glass into the restaurant. Alexander sat alone, watching me out the windows, chatting with the waitress who had served us dinner. 

I turned and handed my keys to Holly, “Go home,” I said. 

She looked at the keys like they were some wholly foreign object. “You’re not coming?” she sounded small. 

“No,” I shook my head, “I need to have a chat with Alexander.” 

“No Anna,” she looked toward the restaurant, “look, I’m sorry.” 

“I’m not mad at you,” I assured her, “just go home and sleep it off, I know you’re angry. You’ll feel better tomorrow and you can bring my car back when you pick me up for work.” 

She looked tired all of the sudden, like she had used up all of her energy being angry at Alexander and had none left for herself. When she nodded and headed for the car, mine this time, I watched her and Cass go. Then I strode back inside CIRCA and slid into the both across from Alexander. 

“I think I’ll have that drink after all.” (367 words)


I know it's way more words than 200, but the last 200 didn't make a lot of sense without some of the ones that came before them. So, overshare!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Exciting Non-News...

I's not a secret that I'm pretty much in looooooooooove with Jensen Ackles. I adore him, he's an amazing actor, a talented singer, and he's damn gorgeous. He's everything. So, today I'm going to share something that happened (not saying what yet) by sharing my beautiful Jensen Ackles doing a pretty damn accurate impression of my excitement.

But for emphasis, this is how I was feeling (tummy ache and heartburn) before Matt told me...

Then he told me the news and shared with me that he had known for several hours...

I am freaking out... like, seriously. More about this at some point in the next few weeks, as soon as there's more information to share.

I totally just used my exciting day as an excuse to sneak Jensen Ackles into my blog. I just can't help myself.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Myth Hunters, Cynicism, and Growing-Up

I still have no voice--for nine days now!--so Matt and I spent the weekend together watching Myth Hunters on Netflix. If you haven't seen it, but you like documentary-type shows, you should check this out. There's two seasons and the topics are all really interesting. But, more than just being interesting, the show's got me thinking about who I am. About who most of us are, really.

When we were children, we believed anything was possible. Our imaginations were high, our cynicism low. We thought it was completely feasible to be a princess or a astronaut, in our minds we could fly and so could our magical pegasus. We dug for treasure in our back yards, pretended to be married to the boy next door, and imagined ourselves growing up to marry Joey Mcintyre of New Kids on the Block fame. 

The point is, when I was a kid I believed in magic and miracles. Growing up, life happens and makes it harder and harder to believe in anything. At 36 years old, the magic is pretty much drained out of life. I'm about a cynical as they come, I tend to believe in the worst. But, it wasn't always like that. 

So, I'm watching Myth Hunters, with stories about fully grown adults (many older than me) chasing completely infeasible myths. They believe in King Arthur and go looking for his bones, in the Arc of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, the Lost Dutchman's Gold, Montezuma's treasure, the lost city of El Dorado. They believe that crystal skulls have mystical powers. They utilize resources most people couldn't begin to access to test wood believed to be from the cross of Christ. They risk their lives, and get throw in Vietnamese prisons, looking for the buried pirate treasure of Captain Kid.

I'm watching this, watching these people tell their stories or the stories of people who've died, and I'm wondering how these adults have managed to hang onto the magic. How is it possible these people aren't as overwhelmed with the act of living as the rest of us? More than that, how do they hold their heads up and hang onto their beliefs in the face of the rest of us, who look at them and think their quests are just a little bit crazy.

I kind of envy these people. Even though most of them "waste" their lives on a fools errand, I wish I had the power inside me to believe in something so far fetched with so much of my being. I wish I believed, as in one of the stories, that I could actually find the Minotaur and his maze. I wish I believed in buried treasure. I wish we, as a society, allowed for that sort of thing. I wish it wasn't a marginalized few who found the power to take on "treasure hunter" as a job title. 

Whatever happens to the ability to believe in the far-fetched, however it happens, I wish I didn't. I don't know when we stopped believing our imaginary pegasus could fly and started being "grown-ups" but the world could use less grown-ups. Less grown-ups and more people like those featured on Myth Hunters. More people who still believed in magic.

Monday, March 2, 2015

WIPMaraton #2

Soooooo... February escaped without my notice and I totally missed my second WIPMarathon report. Not an awesome first-ish impression, but I have an excuse. It's pretty airtight, too. I am so, so sick right now. I've been sick since my amazing, hardworking husband brought me home a little gift from one of the guys at work. The Black Plague. If it was actually possible to cough up a lung, I would have days ago. Until today, all I've done is lay in my bed and hack.

No fun. But, better late than never, I'm endeavoring to get it done right now. A word of warning, I had a rough month. February was unkind to me, lots of stuff going on that's so far out of my control right now--excuses, excuses! So, I didn't come anywhere near making my goal. Fail.

Without further delay...

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count: 68, 107 (8 Chapters with lots of scene breaks)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 70, 210 (still 8 chapters, even more scene breaks)

WIP issues this month: So, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but my biggest problem this month is that my story is getting/has gotten out of my control. Like, way out of my control. I feel like there's too much going on to work. So, at this point, I'm torn between powering through the way things are now and trying to untangle it during edits, and going back and fixing it now, before this thing goes any further. I mean, I've been on this bull a long time and it's about to buck me off. Right about now, it's like Book: 1, Kristyn: 0.

Four things I learned this month in writing:

  1. It absolutely is possible to have a major, book altering revelation/idea after you've been hammering away for two years. It's possible to look at what you're doing and say, "hey, maybe I need to change thing thing" even though you know that is going to fundamentally alter your whole plot. What I don't know is if I should ignore the impulse, or take the plunge. In this case, it would mean changing my MC's profession, which would mean changing her age, a major chunk of the story line, and the professions of lots of the secondary characters. But, I think it might make more sense if I do it. Maybe an outline of how it would look with the change is in order. Maybe.
  2. I am completely allowing my WIP to control me. The more scared or worried I am about what's  coming next, the less able I am to write. I'm completely crippled by my fear, so I just procrastinate or whatever and it never gets done. This is sort of the same thing as my #3 point from last month, but it's even truer now than last month.
  3. If I allowed myself, I would hop to a different project for a while and work on something else. I would put this book aside (again) and do something else so fast, my head would spin. Probably because of #2 above. Watch, next month I'm going to be like... So, about that project hopping thing. Yeah.
  4. There was something... I know there was.
What distracted me this month while writing: Lots happening, some good some bad, and I've been ailing. All that together has meant my priorities are a little out of whack. Honestly, though, I could say a lot of stuff here but I won't. The bottom line is this: I didn't get it done. I probably could have, but I didn't. So, apparently, I distracted myself this month.

Goals for next month: The same as last month, 10,000 words or finish this sucker. But, honestly, I'd be happy with solid progress. So, maybe I should make my goal to write at least something every day and see what happens.

Last 200 Words: "Okay," I looked away, emotion receding like waves from the shore. "Okay, if I have no other choice then I have no other choice. But, you can't tell me that my mother gave me the same opportunities as every other girl," I glanced at her, then back to my Grandfather. "She has done everything in her power to make me miserable, to rob me of chances." 

"I did no such thing," she sounded haughty, but her declaration lacked conviction. 

"When this is done, when I have inherited whatever family legacy belongs to me, I don't want anything to do with any of you ever again."  Clara gasped, a dramatic little sound and Jax huffed. 

"You will change your mind," my grandfather said, his tone unconcerned, "when you have come into yourself, you will need us. You will, in fact, crave closeness with us." 

"I doubt that," I said, pulling my hands away from his. He let me go and I backed away. "You have manipulated me, controlled me, and ruined any chance I might have had to be happy. I will never forgive any of you." (186 words)


That's it for this month. I'm feeling writey after writing this, so might be that I'll go try to get in some words. Forgive the typos. Good night. :)