26 July 2013- FYI: Hiatus

FYI:  I am going to be taking a brief hiatus from website stuff. I’m still going to be writing, but “real life” has some demands that need to be met at the moment, such as house projects, getting a desk from my grandfather, making space for said desk, and a bunch of other little ticky-tacky things. I’ll probably be back some time next week, so you’ll see me then.

Until that time, here is a picture of a zebroid (zebra, horse hybrid or something)… I don’t know what they did with its mane… it’s like the reincarnation of Cruella DeVille. I love it.

24 July 2013- Pioneer Day

Today is Pioneer Day in Utah (where I live), and most people had their days off today. Not me though. I finished going through/fixing the first bit of “Imdreyad” (YAAAY!) and have at least a skeleton outline prepared. Don’t worry… bits DO have flesh.

That’s it for now folks. See ya tomorrow!

23 July 2013- Why NaNoWriMo was GREAT for Me

Hi all. I’m going to be switching up today’s post a little bit and tell you why I thought NaNoWriMo was great for me.

For those of you who don’t know, every November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short). The folks there do a wonderful job of inspiring writers to WRITE, to be regimented (or to frantically scramble) for a whole month. The goal is to pound out 50,000 words of a novel during the month which translates to about 1,667 words per day, if memory serves.

Many people find the camaraderie of being with thousands of other people, who are all engaged in writing endeavors as well, to be exhilarating. I for one was content to just have a goal to work toward and a faceless internet deity to be responsible to (because the NaNo Gods would have wreaked vengeance upon me if I hadn’t finished… also my own OCD).

As a little bit of back story, when I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo, I was enrolled in university, taking more than a full load of classes meaning that I had so many classes, I would not have been allowed to take another one, even if I would have masochistically wanted to. I was doing some serious research for a large research project I had, and trying to juggle the home time (with a pregnant wife), the upcoming holidays and my looming final examinations (with accompanying papers).

I was spread thin.

Enter more crises.

Mini Crisis 1: The Holidays- In the middle of my NaNoWriMo experience, there were the holidays. If any of you come from large families, or even small families (perhaps we should just say “normal families with whom you even occasionally associate”), you know that family gatherings can sometimes be…stressful. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and my wife’s family, but we’re talking relation-overdose, almost on par with the accompanying turkey overdose. For various reasons (that I won’t get into here, or anywhere really, unless it’s in person and I know you relatively well), I had a hard time during those holidays (no one’s fault, mind you), and was EXTREMELY on edge thereafter.

Not-So-Mini Crisis 2: The Heart Attack- Right after the holidays, I’d just started to get back into “the groove,” so to speak, when we got a phone call somewhere around 2 or 3 in the morning informing us that my father-in-law was having a massive heart attack and that he was being life-flighted to the nearest hospital with a critical cardio center. Wahoo. My wife and I didn’t know if her dad was going to make it, and it was obviously a scary moment for us. We took work/school off to go be with him through a bit of the surgeries/recovery. We were both mentally and emotionally shot.

So, what does any of this have to do with my NaNoWriMo experience? A lot. It taught me that I can and should take time for writing. The only way that writing was going to be something serious in my life was if I took it seriously. I was regimented. I carved time out of my life to get my words on the page, to outline my story, to make sure I had time dedicated to my craft. NaNoWriMo taught me that I could easily be a writer, that I have what it takes. Like many writers/other artists, I struggled with that a lot, and NaNo helped me prove to myself that I could not only hack it, but rock it. 

So, the moral of this story? I don’t know that there is one, but it might be that participating in National Novel Writing Month is a useful exercise, and can add tools to your proverbial tool kit. Take advantage of it. Use it. The point of NaNoWriMo is to pull out the stops and just write! Sit your butt in the chair, put your hands on the keyboard (or on the pen, if you’re old school) and live a creative life!

Done with my rave. Go back to your lives citizens… until November.

 

22 July 2013- Apologies: Past, Present and Future

First off, sorry there was no post on Friday. That’s twice in two weeks I’ve done that, and I feel terrible. I also apologize that today’s post isn’t that long or involved. This week is going to be one of “hitting it hard” so to speak, so I probably won’t be posting a whole ton of interesting information for a bit.

So, quick update before I’m off: I got a bit more done on the Imdreyad story. Not as much as I’d have liked to, but enough. I’m not going to lie, getting back into this one has been difficult. I’ve been considering taking a break with it and working with some more ideas/stories that I have in development right now. For now, I’m choosing to stick with it, but if something doesn’t happen, I might just have to set it aside for a bit and work on other things. I do like the story, and I do want to write it, but I’d rather do a GREAT job at it than just “plug away,” and I know that I do better when I have a lot of passion. Right now while I’m still in the re-writing stages, I think I’m doing okay, but if things don’t pick up soon, it’s off to the drawer.

Anyway, I’m off.

Tomorrow’s Docket:

  • Plugging away at Imdreyad

18 July 2013-Progression!

Howdy. Another shorter-ish post for today. Though I’ve done a lot today, it’s resulted in a negative word count… which is not bad, but it makes my progress spreadsheet look a little dismal. That said, I’ve also done a bit of research, particularly in the field of interesting weapons.

I’ve also been thinking about putting something up about my feelings on the boycotting of the upcoming Ender’s Game film. I had a whole post prepared (in my mind) about the difference between the artist and the art and “Just because you like to listen to Thriller, doesn’t mean you support men messing with little kids,” but haven’t had the time for it. Then I came upon a post by John Scalzi on the matter. I link to it here, and suggest you go give it a read. Mr. Scalzi shares my basic opinion on the matter.

At any rate, I’m off once more to carve more of my story out of the blank whiteness!

Tomorrow’s Docket:

  • More of the same. 

17 July 2013- Plugging Away

Good afternoon all (or morning, or evening, or whatever time of day it is when you decide to read this). Today’s post is going to be short because I have things I need to get caught up on. But first, today’s update:

I was able to get a respectable amount of work done on Imdreyad, which I’m pleased to report is shaping up to be better and better the further I get. It always takes me a bit to “get in the groove” so to speak. When I first start on ANY project, I usually have some rough bits punctuated with bits of brilliance. As the stories continue, I find that the idiocy factor is (usually) lessened considerably, and the brilliance (hopefully) stays where it is or (ideally) gets ramped up.

Anyway, that’s it for today. I have a meeting I need to be to in a few hours, and I have a lot to do before then.

Tomorrow’s Docket:

  • More work on Imdreyad 

16 July 2013- Dialogue Disaster

I’ve been back working on Imdreyad full time again today, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the result of last November’s NaNoWriMo adventure was an interesting story with some HORRIFIC dialogue. Really, it was wretched. I thought about posting a line or two up here, but quickly decided that I didn’t want that connected to my name in any way, shape or form.

So what have I been doing about it? Well, there are some bits that have been salvageable, but others have been highlighted in Bright Aqua Blue so that I can figure them out later. Truth be told, there are some parts where I ask myself “Um… did I really write that??” I have had to take some snippets and completely chop them out, because it would be far too much work to salvage them. 

However, I am pleased to report that there have been other sections that have made me say, “Dang, did I really write that?” in more of a puff-your-chest-out-and-gloat sort of way.

I think that as far as first drafts go, I have a lot more strength in the characters here than I did in the very first drafts of Project Jekribo (the pre-first draft drafts). I like the way that the characters are working with one another, playing off each others’ energy, and so forth. It feels real and natural… except for the parts that aren’t. And those are the ones that gave this post the name it so grudgingly bears. Yippee.

Tomorrow’s Docket:

  • Fix more dialogue
  • Continue making the story better than ever! (Okay, maybe that was lame…)

15 July 2013- Back in the Saddle Again

Weekend Update: We had a superb weekend with apple cobbler leftovers, wonderful Greek chicken, time with family and catching up with several old friends.

Today I finished getting stuff to agents, and I’m OFFICIALLY back on board with REAL WRITING.

HOW MUCH CAN I WRITE WILL ALL CAPS? A WHOLE-STINKIN’-LOT BECAUSE I’M SO EXCITED.

Starting some time this week I’ll have word count stats, but as I’ve started taking sections out and adding things back in, I won’t do that for a couple more days  I don’t want to end up with a word count of 48 or -219 or something… it hurts my psyche’s id.

With that, I’m out for the day. I’m back to the writing rigmarole kids!

Tomorrow’s Docket:

  • Blessed Writing…for real… the ENTIRE DAY!

12 July 2013- Back in Business?

Hi all, only a quick update for today because that’s all I have time for. Here are the highlights:

  • Synopsis is pretty much finished. I just need to whittle out a bit here and there to get it to fit nicely on two pages. 
  • Got some business-end research done.
  • Helped with lunch and the marinade for dinner.
  • Plotted out a rough schedule for my next few projects.

Anyway, this means that I can start on writing again next week (knock on wood).

That’s it folks. Tomorrow we’re off to the in-laws (Little Guy is excited to see his grandma and grandpa!) and hopefully Sunday will be a day of rest… we’ll see. Happy Friday, and I’ll see you next week!

11 July 2013- The Hunt

Hello all. Today, I was told in the “morning planning meeting” (aka the time where my wife and I talk about what I/we need to do during the day and which projects need to be tackled) that I needed to be working on my synopsis for Project Jekribo. Why, you may ask? Because I need a synopsis for about 75% of the agents I plan on sending query letters to.

As a result, the day has been spent doing research on which agents I want to submit to, their guidelines and (of course) HOW THE HECK DO I WRITE A GOOD SYNOPSIS??? I’ve found a lot of great information, and have been pleased to find so many authors and literary agents with valuable content on “how-to” on their sites.

I have, for the record, received my first rejection. I know that there are some people out there who are, right now, saying “What? How could they? Give me this person’s name and I’ll slash his/her tires!” It is for that reason that I’m NOT going to name names (and I think it’s tacky). Agents are professionals doing their jobs, just like I am. If I was an agent, there are books out there that I wouldn’t have accepted, books that have been wildly successful. I’e said it before, but it’s a matter of preference.

To expound, I understand that not every agent I submit to is going to go all teenage-girl-over-Justin-the-Beebs (gag) about my manuscript. That’s life. Different people have different tastes, workloads and projects that they’re working on. I understand that. I will still respect agents that turn me down. Why? Because I respected them enough to submit to them in the first place, and will OF COURSE respect them afterward. Will I have special fondness for the agent that accepts me? Heck-to-the-yes.

Pulling this one back in, the point of the previous few paragraphs was to say that I haven’t gotten much writing done. It’s KILLING me. I’m a writer. I want to be clicking away at the narratives I have swimming around in my little brain, not writing up a synopsis of something I’ve already written. Alas, I realize these things are necessary, and have come to the conclusion that the sooner I get these things pounded out, the sooner I can get back to REAL writing… the kind of stuff I haven’t done for a couple of weeks now.

I’m not even going to bother putting up tomorrow’s docket, because I don’t know what I’m going to be doing. I might continue on with Imdreyad edits (like I did last night), but that’s only if I get the Dreaded Synopsis finished tonight. [Insert sigh of exasperation here]. It’s going to be a long evening.

Until tomorrow, folks.