Monday, October 16, 2017

The Game Is...Something

All right, cats and kittens, the moment you've all been waiting for has finally arrived. Okay, so maybe it's the moment that only I have been waiting for, but regardless of who has or has not been waiting for it, that moment has finally arrived.

Second Nature's edits are sitting in my inbox right now.

They arrived last night, which means...

On. The game is on. (I may or may not be listening to Sherlock as I write this post.)

My next challenge, should I choose to accept it, is to complete said edits by the end of the month. I have absolutely no idea if this is a realistic goal, given that there are only fifteen days left in the month, but that's what I'm going to try to do.

This is the moment when the insomnia starts working for me.

In theory, anyway.

This is also the moment when I start neglecting this blog again. (Sorry, My Pet Blog, you had a good run there, what with these three whole posts and all, but edits are time consuming, and I have 800-something pages to go through.)

So if you see me lingering online anywhere, please feel free to yell at me to get back to work. Goodness knows I have plenty of it to get back to.

See you on the other side, y'all...

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pieces Of Me (An IWSG Post)

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group.

I'm assuming that, by now, everyone coming here will be well versed with the IWSG, but in the event that you're new (and welcome, if you are!) or would just like more information or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.

This month's co-hosts are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan. And let's not forget the group's founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

This month's (optional) question asks, "Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?"

Sure. Well, maybe. I guess that depends on what one considers personal information. But various facets of me do leak into my writing. Some on purpose, some not.

For example, sarcasm. I am a sarcasm-based lifeform, and as such, I have a tendency to create sarcasm-based characters. Some are more sarcastic than others (I'm looking at you, Cate...), but they all have that tendency built into their DNA.

And because I am from New England, my characters also tend to be from New England (well, at least the ones not in my fantasy novels). I do that because I'm familiar with the region, and I like the authenticity it can lend to a story.

These same characters root for Boston sport teams, drink the occasional whiskey, and often love Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly.

Which makes it sound like I have an entire army of sarcastic, whiskey-swilling, Red Sox fans when the truth is that there's only two such characters because (A) fantasy has been my primary focus for ages now and (B) it takes me a million years to write anything.

But in the interest of getting back on track...sometimes, these similarities aren't deliberate, or even intentional. Sometimes, they sneak in there and I don't realize it until much, much later. And occasionally, they're entirely perceived by readers who know me or, as it turns out, my family.

The Man, for example, came home from work one day and told me that his co-workers had decided that he was one of the characters in my novel, Effigy. When he told me which character, I had a good long laugh over it because he wasn't that character—or any character, for that matter—but it didn't stop anyone from finding similarities and reaching their own conclusion.

But I don't mind. Because it was hi-larious.

What about you? Have you ever written yourself or parts of yourself into a book or character? If not, do your readers think you did anyway?

Thanks for stopping by, y'all.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October Daze

You probably have noticed this already, but it's October, y'all. October.

I've mostly been slacking off the last two months. You may have guessed that because of my near total lack of blogging, but it's now October (seriously, how is it October already?), which marks the start of my (unfortunately) annual scramble to accomplish some goals before the end of the year. At this moment in time, the only goal I'm in line to actually finish before 2017 is up is my reading goal. I'd like to add to that. If I can.

Which means that the buckling down starts now. Well, in theory, anyway. I could very well decide to binge watch Battlestar Galactica or something because I'm me and that would be just like me.

The Number One item on my To-Do List is, of course, Second Nature. I'm pretty sure that the last time I brought it up on this blog, I was bemoaning my never-ending revisions and edits. But here's something I don't think I told anyone: I actually wrapped up those revisions and edits and sent Second Nature to the proofreader.

The manuscript went out at the start of August and was supposed to be back in early September but Hurricane Irma had other plans. (Whatever, Irma.) My proofreader is located down in South Florida, and between her day job in public safety and her own storm recovery efforts, my manuscript has been delayed. And then delayed some more. It happens. The new goal, the last I heard, is to have it back in my hands this week.

I haven't heard much about how it's going, but I'm guessing that despite my best efforts to eliminate as many typos/errors as possible, I've made waaaaaaaay too many mistakes. You know, the kind that will piss me off when I see them because it's the kind of thing I really should have caught earlier.

But that is why we have proofreaders, right? To find those mistakes we no longer see because we know what the manuscript should say and not always what it actually does say.

The only thing the proofreader said thus far (besides apologizing for the hurricane) is that she hopes that I'm currently hard at work on Book Three (aka, Full Circle) because she really needs to know what happens next. So at least the story itself is passing muster?

Maybe, anyway. Only time (and her notes...) will tell.

Also on the agenda is that possibly-ill-fated, maybe-not-a-romance novel I've mentioned a few times. Its working title is Vinnie & Ellie, and I really want to complete the draft by the end of the year. That's it. That's all I'm aiming to do. (This year, anyway...) I want to fill in the blank spaces and fill out the plot (once I figure out what that actually is...) and do whatever I need to do to just complete the draft.

I suspect my poor, unsuspecting critique partners will be instrumental in helping me do this. We were all off doing various summer-vacation-type things for the last two months, but we're all back in town now so our meetings should be resuming soon. I plan to send them as many scenes as they can tolerate. I love these two ladies, and if there's anyone who can help me figure this thing out, it'll be them.

And should there be any time left over (Ha! she scoffed), I would like to complete Part One of Full Circle. Its official storyboard is up and running, even if it only covers the first twelve chapters (I'm also rocking three other storyboards, so the wall space in my office is running out. I'm going to have to either finish some projects (Ha!) or start using the dining room walls soon.).

I have a sort of plan figured out for Part One, but because of the way Second Nature ended, (which is to say unexpectedly...) I've been pantsing things (which sounds funny. I trust that you're writers and you know what I'm actually saying). I'm just kind of throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks.

But the writing itself is not going particularly well at the moment. And yes, that is partially because knowing anyone out there actually wants to read this book is totally stressing me out. Because I am a freak who cannot deal.

But that's another blog post for another day.

To recap, here are my goals for the month:

1. Complete edits for Second Nature. This is, of course, entirely dependent on me receiving said edits. But should they appear in my inbox, they will become my first priority (after my pets' needs, naturally. The Man can order pizza.).

2. Get in contact with the book designer/formatter and the cover artist, in the event that the edits actually arrive and I actually get them finished. Should I feel ready to move on to the next step, I want to make sure I'm in a position to actually do it.

3. Put the finishing touches on Second Nature's blurb. For the same reasons listed above.

4. In time not spend working on the above, I will work on completing the first draft of Vinnie & Ellie and send fifteen pages to the critique group for their perusal each and every time we meet.

5. In any time leftover (again, Ha!), attempt to make some headway on Full Circle. But, really, this is more a goal for the remainder of the year.

6. Walk at least 3 miles a day. Because otherwise I'll just become part of  my desk chair.

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! What's on your To-Do list this month?