Sunday, August 28, 2011

Two Woo-hoos

Woo hoo Wallabies!!! Tri-Nations champs for the first time in ten years! God, what a match! Outstanding play from both sides. Bring on the World Cup!

Okay, now that I've got that out of my system - and I've just finished watching the replay - I can also say, woo hoo!! Finished the line edits!

Another week and Huntress: Alone will be up on Scribd.

I've got to let the manuscript rest and then do another read through, tweaking bits and pieces. I've added some six thousand extra words to it and realigned the chapters. I need to make sure it's the best it can be before putting it up.

Until then, I'm reading/editing the next book. I don't know if I'll have a chance to post it before November. I have this new job come up, the move and I have to deal with the neighbour from hell, so I will be busy. I'll give it a shot.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I know it's been a week since posting; things like real life get in the way, especially things like the car needing a service, then coming down with a bad case of the oil leaks and something called a CV boot with a crack in it - all time consuming to fix.

Then there's the book to edit - of which I am now over halfway with an extra 5k of words added.

And other stuff. Lots of other stuff. More stuff than you can shake a Whippy Stick at. Family stuff, work stuff, census stuff and new work stuff. My days have been stuffed with STUFF!

Stuff it...

I'll stop griping now and get back to the edits before more stuff hits the fan. I'm gonna need a dose of Lady Gaga, Pink and Adam Lambert for this next bit...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Moving on

I've been busy. Yep, even my unbusy bits have been busy. So busy, I've only managed to edit fourteen pages in a week! And no writing at all. Sigh

We're also looking at moving house. There's nothing wrong with this one, it's just a job came up in Canberra, and well... I'm not up to a daily commute of six hours - three hours each way.

But it's going to be nice to have a holiday house on the coast!

I'm trying hard to let go of the museum job; I want to e-mail historical pieces to them. I suppose I could, but I'm moving on and I have to let it go. They'll still get the book on Lady Denman. After that, no more... unless they make an offer I can't refuse.

And I should be editing right now, so it's time to get off the 'net, and get on with it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

All censused out

Generally speaking, I think I'm a little insane.

It has taken me three days to collect the census forms when it took me five to deliver them. Needless to say, the dogs are barking. I mean walking around is all terrible good for you, but I think there is such a thing as doing too much.

I'm sure it was that last little bit, the twenty or so houses to finish off the section. By the time I got back to the car, the feet weren't terribly happy; no, not happy at all.

Now, I have to make a list of peeps who weren't home when I called - and wouldn't you know it? They're all spread out over my area.

As a rule, people have been pleasant and agreeable; only one wanker who protested they never got a form. Curious, since I noted I put it UDM (under the doormat). I just know they're gonna be trouble.

It's also nice that people - read: the elderly - want to stop for a bit of a chat. Fortunately, we've had beautiful weather, so it was no hardship to sit on the stoop and gasbag for a few minutes, while the surf surged on to the sand, the dolphins played off shore and the Ospreys wheeled over head.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Clear as mud

Zero degrees here this morning. It makes it hard to leap out of bed and seize the day. More of a shudder and a shake and a run for the heater, since I left the window open all night. But, it looks like it's going to be another gorgeous day on the coast.

So, I've reached a part of the edits which makes me wonder what I was thinking. At the time of writing, it seemed so clear; but now... I feel like I've blinded myself with science. And if I confuse myself, the reader will be just as puzzled. Or maybe that was the point? A science geek talking to a military man; both equally clever, just in different fields. One trying to explain the transit corridors, the other needing to know, but not quite understanding.

It's understanding how a television works. Most people don't care as long as it works, but the repairer must understand the intricacies to know what went wrong.

I'm going to be adding pages to clear this up and answer others questions posed, all without infodumping - now there's a challenge.

I think I need coffee before I confront this.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

What's wrong with this story?

" do not have a story until something goes wrong."

This phrase leapt out at me while reading Steven James' article, The 5 Essential Story Ingredients in Writer's Digest.

It's a simple phrase, and yet encompasses all thought processes when writing. It is the taking-off point of a story, the draw card for readers, even if it is only the promise of conflict. You could have the most perfect character (not a Mary-Sue) that readers empathise with, but until something goes wrong, well, the readers will close the book and forget about the well-crafted protagonist. Your plot might be a marvel, straight from A to Z, but unless it takes a detour into 1 to 10, who cares?

It also sneers at regimented structure. Plotters detail conflict while pantsters expect something to go wrong at any time. I remember writing a book where the protagonist avoided conflict right up until the last chapter and even then the antagonist basically did himself in. Fortunately, the computer crashed and it was the only manuscript that couldn't be saved. Unfortunately, I have a hard copy to remind me of that most egregious error. It wallows in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet as punishment. One day, I might drag it out and re-write it, with a lot more conflict.

In Holly Lisle's excellent Mugging the Muse, she suggest conflict on every page. It can be the standard action or it can be dialogue, but a conflict must be there to keep the reader reading. Sage advice, although I suspect you can stretch that out to every two pages so the reader doesn't exhaust themselves.

Real life is full of twists and turns, the good and the bad, and the unexpected - you story should be, too.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Gritting my teeth and soothing the muscles

It has taken five days, but I've finally delivered all the census material.

And man, the feet aren't happy after pounding the footpath. The shoulders aren't happy after carrying the forms around. Further, the muse ain't happy with my lack of work. The ever-growing TBR pile isn't happy being unread. But... the bank balance is smirking.

I thought it would be easy; I've delivered stuff to a thousand households during the pre-Christmas sales, why should this be different?

Delivering catalogues didn't require me to chat to the residents, nor to fill out two different forms while standing there. Nor was I so exhausted at the end of the
day. (Of course, I didn't have a parent to care for, either.)

I'd like to think that now I can have a weekend, get some muse-work done, but I'm off to Canberra tomorrow for a job interview. Then museum work on Friday, family on Saturday and helping visually disabled peeps fill out the damned census form. After that, I get to collect the forms from Wednesday.


I just want to get back to the book. I want it posted. I want to start on the next trilogy and send off query letters to a few agents. I want a lot.

So, I'll reach for the patience - and the hot packs - and do the paid work first. The book will be done by mid-August. I am determined.