Yay Friday! :)

Multitasking: I found the portal to Lokana while hiking at Pine Lake on a family vacation. Family time + research FTW! :)

Multitasking: I found the portal to Lokana while hiking at Pine Lake on a family vacation. Family time + research FTW! ūüôā

So, it’s Friday. ¬†Woohoo! ¬†It’s been a week of big, exciting things around the country, and it’s been a week of big exciting things right here in my own backyard. ¬†It’s going to be a super busy weekend, too. ¬†So what am I doing to prepare?

I’M WRITING, Y’ALL!

I’ve been working on¬†Remnants again the last couple of days, and it feels great, but I can’t get my inner editor to shut up, which is irritating. ¬†I have a buttload of revisions left to do on¬†The Lokana Chronicles, but I really need a week or so of peace, quiet, and no internet to get them done. ūüôā

Still, it feels wonderful to be enjoying my passions again. ¬†I’ve missed playing with my camera and visiting imaginary worlds and the people that populate them. ¬†And since I’m starting a new job next week, it’s nice that at least a little bit of the change going on in my life is change that I enjoy (not that I’m not excited about the new job – I totally am).

So for now, it’s back to writing. ¬†Big things are in the works and I need time to prepare. ¬†Have a great weekend, everybody!

(c) 2013.  All rights reserved.

She winds up for the pitch…

That’s right, I’m working on my pitch again. ¬†But this time it’s for my WIP. ¬†I stumbled across a WIP blog hop the other day and I want to participate, but first I need to shine up my pitch a bit. ¬†I’ve been polishing since Friday. ¬†But I think I’ve just about got it hammered out, so I’ll be posting regularly-ish again soon(ish)! ¬†I hope. ūüėÄ

All this is to say that I’ve been doing a fair bit of writing and even more thinking about writing of late. ¬†If I’ve been a bit absent, well, everywhere, now you know why. ¬†So in the meantime, please enjoy this pretty, pretty picture from¬†The Great Gatsby:


Happy Hump Day! ūüôā

(c) 2013.  All rights reserved.

 

D-Day for Pitch Wars

Well, today was announcement day for the Pitch Wars competition.  Sadly, I was not selected by any of the awesome mentors.  But!  I did get some fantastic feedback from two of the three mentors I submitted to, which I was totally not expecting.  That kinda made my day, actually.  Of course, like any author who has sent out a query and had it rejected, I wish the feedback could have been a little more specific and/or had some suggestions for ways to improve, but I know they were all very busy and swamped and I am super grateful for what I got.  However, back to the drawing board go I.

I hadn’t really expected to be chosen. ¬†And I’ve spent the last week or so kicking myself for submitting so early because I took some advice I received during GUTGAA and used it to hopefully fix up my first page. ¬†Whether it would have made a difference or not, I’ll never know, of course, but I really regretted my itchy typing fingers.

If you’d like to find out what I’ll be up to next, or if you’re interested in witnessing a small mental collapse of sorts, then click on through. There might even be chocolate.

Picking up steam!

I broke the 10k mark on my WIP over the weekend. ¬†Woohoo! ¬†I¬†just broke it, but still. ¬†It was enough to allow me to publicize what I’ve written so far on authonomy, which I’ve done now, if anyone wants to take a look. ¬†I’d like to get some feedback on where things are going and how things are developing. ¬†I feel like my writing is stronger this time around, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have a lot of work left to do once the writing part is finished.

If you’d like to check it out, it’s tentatively titled¬†The Lokana Chronicles: Fog of War and you can find it here. ¬†I’m terrible with titles and I’m really not satisfied with that one, but I suppose it’ll do until I can think of a better one (by the way, if anyone would like to submit some title ideas, I’m all ears).

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

 

Fourteen

Yesterday I took a day off from most social media, with the exception of a Facebook¬†post (I heart The Princess Bride!)¬†and a couple of Twitter updates.¬† Partly I was trying to get caught up on what I’d missed Friday and Saturday, but mostly I was spending a lovely rainy day with family.¬† I had a productive day, even if it wasn’t exactly productive in all the ways I had hoped it would be.

But!¬† That was yesterday, not when I was fourteen.¬† That’s the age we’re up to, as I recall.¬† Fourteen, what a year.¬† I was still living with my aunt the first part of that year, but that fall I started high school.¬† Once again I’d gone from the top of the heap to the bottom of the totem pole.¬† But with an awesome circle of friends, I was sure it would be a fantastic four years.

Mommy’s big little boy
Photo by Kay Kauffman

Suddenly I’m reminded of those old Iowa State commercials, the ones that asked what you wanted to do with your four years.¬† Or maybe they asked how you wanted to spend them.¬† That might have been it.¬† Tomcat and I saw one once when¬†he was four and he looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I want my four years to last forever so I can stay your little boy.”

But, as usual, I digress.

Write on through to the other side

Yesterday afternoon started off wonderfully. ¬†I put the boys down for an early nap (they were both a little grumpy – must have been something in the air) and sat down to get some work done on chapter three. ¬†All was going swimmingly for about a page and a half and then…apathy settled in. ¬†My mind began to drift, the slightest noise was a disturbance worthy of hopping online, and I think I spent a good twenty minutes staring off into space looking at absolutely nothing.

Not wanting my rare and peaceful afternoon to be a complete waste, I decided to force myself to write, something I am notoriously awful at and about. ¬†Explanation: I am terrible about making myself do things, especially things I’m apathetic about. ¬†Also, when I posted it to authonomy,¬†The Lokana Chronicles received many comments about pacing because I hopped from scene to scene to scene. ¬†The problem? ¬†I quit writing the scene well before I should have. ¬†As a result, I spent a lot of my revision time adding onto existing scenes and praying I wasn’t just adding fluff.

Since the story wasn’t flowing well, I decided to work on my pitch.

The Lokana Chronicles, an excerpt

Since I’ve finally managed to get things finished up with The Lokana Chronicles¬†for the time being, I thought I’d share a couple of excerpts with all you lovely folks. ¬†The first chapter is available here, but these tidbits come from a little further into the story. ¬†Happy reading!

***

After months of siege, the royal army was exhausted; both supplies and morale were low and getting lower.  It was noon when the Zealot army broke through the city gates.

***

Ann√°
Artwork by Hazel Butler

Henry crouched next to the door, but all he could hear at first was the murmur of muffled voices. ¬†He waved a hand at John to be quiet as he pressed his ear closer to the door. ¬†Where’s a glass when you really need one?¬†he wondered silently as he tried to make out what was being said. ¬†Voices suddenly rose. ¬†Henry recognized Vegin’s as the loudest. ¬†“They’re talking about Ann√°,” he whispered. ¬†It had taken both brothers a long time to acclimate their tongues to the change in pronunciation. ¬†“Something about Ravenna…” ¬†Henry’s breath caught in his throat as he realized what was happening.

John tapped his brother on the shoulder, worried. ¬†“What is it? ¬†What did you hear?” ¬†But Henry didn’t move, didn’t respond. ¬†He just sat there, stunned, the same way he’d done a hundred times before as a kid playing freeze tag. ¬†Only this time, they weren’t kids. ¬†And this was no game.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

She’s a-gone!

That’s it! ¬†I’ve finished! ¬†Yes, that’s right, again, I’ve finally finished again. ¬†But this time I mean it. ¬†I just hit send on an email to someone who requested my full manuscript. ¬†So now I really am done. ¬†And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go breathe into a brown paper bag for a bit and then maybe read a book. ¬†For fun!

I know, I’m such a party girl. ūüėõ

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

To the writing cave!

Once again, I’m hunkered down, making revisions. ¬†Once again, I spy a light at the end of the tunnel. ¬†I know I’ve said this about a dozen times, but I’ve entered the homestretch and man, does it feel good!

So forgive the sparseness of my posts of late. ¬†I hope to be back to something approaching normal sometime soon. ūüôā

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

The importance of proofreading

So I’ve been proofreading my novel before sending it out into the wide world on a full request from a query. ¬†It’s a good thing, too, because last night, on the verge of sleep, I found a large, economy-sized error. ¬†This was the kind of error that made me cringe in terror, the kind of error that, had I not found it prior to sending out my manuscript, would have caused me to actually pull hair out of my head. ¬†This, ladies and gentlemen, is the stuff of which nightmares are made.

This error was more than a little typo, more than a minor spellcheck oversight. ¬†I had done some major rearranging of text and failed to delete the redundancies at one point, but then thought I had it all taken care of. ¬†I happily went about printing off my final hard copy and set to reading through it, making a note of each instance where something needed to be fixed (and I’m not talking about instances where I decided that something sounded better if I wrote it differently – I’m talking about instances like where I said¬†witting¬†instead of¬†sitting or¬†considering when I meant¬†consider).

Then I discovered that Chapter 13 needed to be deleted.

Not just a portion of it, oh, no. ¬†The whole thing had to go. ¬†I was falling asleep reading because I was absolutely exhausted, yet I was awake enough to realize that I had just read the opening to Chapter 13 ten minutes earlier…in Chapter 11. ¬†I flipped quickly through Chapter 13, then back through the three preceding chapters and discovered that Chapter 13 contained parts of Chapters 10, 11, and 12. ¬†Talk about en epic facepalm.

Prior to this discovery, I’d been considering just winging the whole proofing bit. ¬†I knew there were a couple of places that I needed to hammer out a bit more, but I thought that once I got those straightened out, I could probably just give it a rest and then send it on in. ¬†Boy, am I glad I talked myself out of that idea! ¬†Part of me is really anxious to get this whole proofing project done with because I’m impatient, but fortunately the logical side of me is louder and knows that I need to take my time and do it right. ¬†Yay logic! ūüôā

And now, back to the grindstone. ¬†I’ve got some more polishing to do.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.