Monday, October 29, 2007

P2PC Progress Report: The Best Intentions...

Wow. An entire day just to write. Yahoo. Couldn't wait to get started. It was 7:00 am.

I sat down to focus on the ending of P2PC, which I feel needs the most work. My to do list included re-reading my critiques and making edits and revisions to the current draft, as needed. Next, I planned to extract Chapters 23 - End and apply concentrated effort to whipping the conclusion into shape.

OK, that's what I planned.

Then...

Realized it was approaching 8:00 am and went out to open the gate for water delivery.
Empty horse tanks had to be filled before water was delivered.
Water deliver showed up at 8:30 -- another 2,000 gallons since Thursday. Gah!
Then the former barn manager stopped by to drop off her key and garage door opener.
And we chatted.
Then the brand new manager showed up to start work and had a few questions.
And we chatted.
Short break to grab lunch.
Wrote a couple of critiques and read Kristin Nelson's Pubrants blog on pitches.
Then the well people arrived to do the assessment on our (apparently failing) well.
Frequent trips made to see how things are going. Not well. (No pun intended.)
After talking over options with them for an hour, they left.
I returned to filling horse tanks and the water promptly stops flowing. Yikes!!!
Call well guy back frantically (ACK! -ly adverb) to tell them something has gone wrong.
Well guy returns 45 minutes later and switches the breaker back on that he forgot when he left.
Horseshoer calls to schedule next round of trims and shoes.
Call spouse and report on all findings. *puff, puff*
By then it's 6:45 and I'm just sitting down to start on my to do list for the day.
Needless to say, I didn't get much done.
Tomorrow, and the next four days, are work days.

And so it goes...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

P2PC: Final Construction Continues

Progress Update

I'm still slaving away on P2PC, focusing on getting the end chapters in shape and redefining a few of the more controversial characters. Meanwhile, my next two projects have been "talking" to me--giving me a scene here, a rework there.

I'll continue to post updates and items of interest.

Lisa Shearin posted her brand new artwork for book two of her Raine Benares series, ARMED & MAGICAL. Gorgeous! It's a perfect compliment to the cover of book one--MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND (imho). (Although, I would like to get a glimpse of her male leads, Mychael and Tam, maybe some things are best left to the imagination.) I also read the first two sample chapters of A&M she posted. I like the opening even better than the original. Promises to be a rollicking read when it's released next spring. Can't wait.

A little over a month until the release of THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES by Linnea Sinclair, one I was fortunate to get an ARC on. Looking forward to that. I'll have to pick one up. Since the original cover art has been changed, I'll have both covers in my collection. :)

Thanks for your interest in my blog. :)

P.S. Did you notice my new trial 3-D globe radar tracking system? >>>> Love it. Think I'll upgrade when the trial expires. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

If it's Monday, This Must be Spacefreighters

New Blog on the Scanner
I'm convinced I'm a blog-aholic. In addition to my two, and my joint Fantasty blog, I'm now in the process of creating yet another along with a couple of writers I work with very closely. We're calling this one Take it to the Stars. It focuses on what I call "extraordinary romances" sometimes refered to as Speculative Romance. It's Romance blended with Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror, etc. It will feature our running commentary, book reviews, comments on the industry, notes on our work, etc. It's not up and running just yet. We're working out some kinks.

Update on P2PC (WIP)
My Sci-Fi Romance is coming along nicely. It still needs some tweaks and flourishes, but I'm very close to turning my core group of critters lose on it for final feedback. This didn't start out as a full-blown romance. At first, I resisted taking it down that path every word of the way, but in the end, it decided what it wanted to be when it grew up. I hope to have P2PC ready to market in November, provided my critters don't pursuade me that a major change in direction is required. This will be a debut novel, so I have to get it right.

What I'm Reading
Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair. I'm fascinated. This has turned into a study session for me. The story begins with a life-or-death struggle and a surprise. That sets the precedent. The way Linnea introduces elements of the characters' backstories is brilliant. She springs surprises about them every step of the way--the knock your socks off variety. Each chapter brings new insights into the two MCs, and what is really lurking beneath the surface of the male MC. I'm about 3/4 done and so far I would highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys an adventure through outer--and inner--space.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Musings: Writer's Meltdown...It Happens

I thought I'd share a little about my writing, for a change. Unfortunately, this is all about writing woes. My first novel, which is actually my fourth novel, but the first I'll attempt to publish (did you get all that?) is finished. Again. I finished it once before, but that was just the 1st-6th draft version. Since that time it's been critiqued and re-critiqued, and I've added scenes, changed scenes, added characters, slapped on a few more coats of polish...

It is now my Pre-Market Draft version. I hope to begin marketing it before the end of this year. But that's today. Let me tell you what's been going on with me that led up to this point.

I've been cashing in massive amounts of my leave time to finish this little puppy before the end of October. I have a few close critters working with me again this round, and I got as far as revising and posting Chapter 22....and at that point something triggered a total meltdown. Meltdowns are a scary thing. It's when you question everything about yourself and your writing. Suddenly you doubt you have the basic talent or the ability to write anything that will ever be good enough to publish (or publish again, if you're already there). Ironically, meltdowns often occur because you've gotten too close to the story. You're judgment is shot. You're looking through black lenses.

Meltdowns are serious attitude-adjusters and "wake up and smell the coffee" sessions. You either survive a meltdown as an artist or you don't. I've seen a few of my peers suffer a meltdown, say "To hell with it." and never get back. Writing is not easy. It takes enormous amounts of your time, attention and energy. It sometimes causes problems within your family because you have to spend so much time pounding away at the keyboard. Housework suffers, errands get pushed back or put on indefinite hold. If you hold down a full-time job, and most of us do, it can even affect your career. When things go bad--or you think they have--it's easy to resent all the time you've spent writing that you could have been spent pursuing other things in life. Like sleep, for instance.

Thank goodness for Flick and Dawn, my IPs (Indispensable Peers), who verbally picked me up, brushed off the dirt, and told me it wasn't as bad as I thought. Dawn told me a parallel story about an artist she once knew, and Flick blazed through all my chapters in about a day(!) and gave me some excellent insights. Then they both gave me a good swift boot in the butt and told me to get back to work. I did. I heart my IPs.

The ending of my story was, and has always been a major problem in my WIP. Yea! I think I got it fixed today. I'm proud of it. It's a good wrap of the story, ties up the plot lines of all the major characters and most of the minors. It's a good resolution. It's a happy ending, but not a saccharine one. It's light years ahead of any ending I've written to date. My critters haven't had at it yet, so future tweaks may be in order, but I think it works, and works well.

I'm going to attempt to write an article on Writer's Meltdown for Toasted Scimitar to go along with the Writer's Block theme. Writer's Meltdown is similar to Writer's Block in the way that a cute, bored little chimp has similarities to a 500-pound rampaging gorilla. Writer's Block causes frustration and doubt. Writer's Meltdown causes you to question why you ever thought you could be a writer in the first place. Both can be a learning experience, if you let them.

I think I learned a lot this round.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Alien Illness Brought by Meteorite?

The crash of a meteorite near a small village in Peru may be the cause of mysterious illnesses among those who came in contact with the impact site and fragments of the meteorite. Symptoms include respiratory problems, headaches and vomiting. Health officials are on the scene now to try to determine the cause of the sicknesses.

The meteorite left a crater 100 feet wide and 20 feet deep when it impacted.

See the video here:
http://us.video.aol.com/player/launcher?ar=us_en_video_748x541_full&mode=1&pmmsid=1972225