babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)

Wow, over a month since my last post. I've been more swamped with real life than I thought! While I could definitely use a ton more spare hours in my day, shiny writing-related things have still been afoot amid the craziness:

Shiny #1: Flashing! My story "The Swan Maiden" is now out in the current issue of Flash Fiction Online—the first issue put out under the leadership of FFO's shiny new publisher, Anna Yeatts.

Shiny #2: More flashing! If you’re a Daily Science Fiction subscriber, my flash story "The Perfect Coordinates to Raise a Child" will be showing up in your inbox tomorrow (October 8). And if you’re not a Daily Science Fiction subscriber, the story will be available on their website a week later. Or you could, you know, subscribe.  Because it's free. And awesome.

Shiny #3: I haz writing group, let me show you it. A few months ago, some other fine folks and I started The Star-Dusted Sirens, and now we have a blog where we shall babble about shiny writing-related things! We're also on Twitter @StarDustSirens. Please check us out if you have a chance, if only to see the pretty logo that Katana Leigh created for us. Or you can take part in fellow Siren Naima Johnson's contest to rewrite the first paragraph of Twilight.

Shiny #4: And last but not least, I've finally gotten back to revisions on My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel! They're very slow going thanks to that pesky school thing I've got going on, but I'll take whatever forward progress I can manage at this point.

babarnett: (ash boomstick)

One more week of freedom before my fall semester starts. My brain is finally emerging from its state of denial over that fact. But, to look on the shiny side of the crazy busyness that fall will bring, this will be my final year of grad school. Two more semesters and I'm done, baby!

This summer was strong with the shiny side of the Force, so I'm going to miss it. Two stories that I had lots of fun writing ("The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen" and "Memories of Mirrored Worlds") were published. There was traveling awesomeness—France in July, several jaunts to the shore in August. When not gallivanting about on vacation, I took full advantage of my summer break from school and choir rehearsals to tackle lots of personal projects I had put off during the school year.

And there was writing time. Lots and lots of glorious writing time.

I went into this summer with a writing goal: there were several short stories I wanted to get revised and sent out, and once I did that, I could finally go back to the long-neglected novel revisions I've kept threatening to one day resume. It is with a proud wielding of the productivity stick that I declare that goal met. The short stories in question have all been prettied up and submitted, and last week, I blew the dust off the novel revisions.

And to add to the summer shininess, I can announce another sale! NewMyths.com (who previously published my story "The Cycle of the Sun") has accepted "The Perfect Instrument" for their March 2014 issue. "The Perfect Instrument" had originally sold to an anthology, but the project fell through before publication, so I'm happy the story has managed to find a new home.

babarnett: (statler waldorf evil geniuses)

The obligatory intro text:

There are the authors everyone has heard about: George R. R. Martin, Stephen King. But what about all those books written by people you’ve never heard of? Some of them are treasures just waiting to be found, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about, the authors you might end up loving.

This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and then tags other authors who link back to their website the next week and tag new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some writers you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.

The Taggening, Part I:

I was tagged by Brent Smith, who is a 2012 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Brent and I met this past summer at the annual shindig held at the end of Odyssey where the graduating class and old fogey alumni like myself get to hang out. Odfellows are made of awesome, so please do hop over to Brent's blog to learn more about him and his writing: http://fossilist.wordpress.com.

The Q&A:

1. What is the working title of your current project?

The novel that I've been in an on-again, off-again revising relationship with is currently called Future's Gambit. I'm not happy with the title, though, so I usually refer to it as My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel. Once upon a time it was called Prophecy's Sons, but then I decided it would be a much better story without the prophecy, so there went that.

And then there are all of those shiny little short story projects clamoring for my attention. I have a few flash-length first drafts that I plan to revise in the coming weeks. I wrote them for a contest over at Codex Writers' Forum where our entries remain anonymous until the end, which means I can't reveal their titles without giving myself away. So if you really want to know what the titles are, ask me again in two weeks when the contest is over.

2. Where do your ideas come from?

The better question would be, where don't I get ideas from? The little buggers are everywhere. I pretty much spend my life looking around and asking myself, "Is there a story in that?" Sometimes there isn't. Sometimes there is, but it's a sucky story that no one wants to read. But often, there's something cool there worth exploring.

3. What genre do you write?

Most of my work falls under the fantasy, horror, and science fiction umbrella, but I write the occasional mainstream piece too, usually of the quirky variety. I write more fantasy than anything, but even within that genre, there's a whole mess of sub-genres that I've tackled—epic fantasy, contemporary fantasy, steampunk, humor, alternate history, dark fantasy, magical realism, etc. At the end of the day, I just want to tell a good story, genre be damned.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition of your novel?

This is the really sad part about my on-again, off-again relationship with my novel-in-progress: I finished the first version of it back in 2005, which means some of the actors I first pictured as the characters are now too old to play them. Whether reading or writing, the cast in my head tends to have a direct correlation to whatever TV shows I'm watching at the time. So in my head, a movie version of my novel would bring together actors from Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape.

5. What would you do with your spare time if you weren’t writing?

Theater. I used to perform in community theater productions, but I haven't done a show in about eight years now. Finding the time and energy for both that and writing just wasn't happening.

6. Will your work be self-published or traditionally published?

I prefer the traditional route. Self-publishing involves a level of self-marketing that I just don't have the time or emotional energy to invest in. Not that there isn't any self-promotion involved when you're publishing the traditional route, but I think you have to work twice as hard when you don't have an established publisher putting their weight (and money) behind your work. I'm an introvert who constantly has too much going on as it is, so my self-promotional energy needs to be carefully rationed.

7. How long does it take you to write a story?

For short stories, anywhere from a couple of hours to a month. It all depends on the scope of the story, what else is going on in my life (trying to write while in grad school has been a challenge), and whether it's one of those stories that just flows onto the page or one that I have to pull kicking and screaming out of my brain.

For my novel, it's taken too damn long. First, I wasted the better part of my 20s constantly rewriting the first two chapters without moving forward. Once I finally got serious about writing and started doing it regularly, it took me a year of writing during my lunch break to finish the first draft. After that, I spent a few months getting feedback and revising. I queried agents next, failed to land one. Then I attended the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2007, saw all of the flaws in my writing, and realized why I had failed in the agent search. Cue brilliant epiphany on how to revise the novel! Unfortunately, I've only been revising in fits and starts since then due to divided loyalties—I'm excited about the novel, but after finishing the first draft, I discovered just how much I love writing short stories too.

8. Whose work would you compare yours to within your genre?

I'm such a horrible judge of my own work that I honestly have no clue. About the best I can offer is that I've gotten several comments on my novel that say it has a George R.R. Martin vibe to it, though thankfully not in a derivative way.

9. Who or what inspired you to write your novel?

When I was in high school, I wrote a novella that I of course thought was brilliant. Several years later when I was in college, I pulled out the novella and was horrified at how derivative it was. Among the numerous epic fantasy clichés and one-dimensional characters, there was your stereotypical white-bearded wizard. I was sick of white-bearded wizards and decided I needed a different one. While mulling that over, I sat down to watch Deep Space Nine. Epiphany! My wizard would look like Captain Sisko and be just as badass. As soon as the DS9 episode was over, I started writing a scene with this new wizard, at which point my years of constantly rewriting the first two chapters of my novel officially began.

10. When and where do you do your best writing?

I can write just about anywhere, any time. The less distractions, the better, but sometimes I don't have much of a choice. Right now most of my writing gets done on my train ride to and from Ye Olde Day Job.

The Taggening, Part II

Here are the writerly types I'm tagging to continue the blog hop. Alphabetical order is boring, so I'm going to tag them in order of how long I've known them:

Rebecca Roland: Becky was one of my awesome-sauce classmates at Odyssey. She's also a fellow member of the Codex Writers' Group, as well as a fellow wine and chocolate addict. Her first novel, Shards of History, was published by World Weaver Press last year and grew out of a story I had the pleasure of critiquing at Odyssey. She has also had short fiction published in Uncle John's Flush Fiction and Every Day Fiction.

Shveta Thakrar: Shveta and I have been through two writing groups together—a Philly-based spec fic group where we met, and then what we dubbed the Awesome Ladies of Awesomeness. Shveta writes Indian-flavored fantasy that very often makes me hungry, so it's a good thing we live close enough to go out for Indian food on occasion. She recently finished Sipping the Moon, a YA novel set in Philadelphia and featuring Indian fey, and has had short stories in PodCastle, Demeter's Spicebox, and Steam-Powered 2: More Lesbian Steampunk Stories.

K.A. Magrowski: Krista has been one of my fellow Awesome Ladies of Awesomeness critiquing partners and often incites me to mock Giorgio Tsoukalos's hair. Like me, Krista is determined to achieve novel-selling success before the zombie apocalypse arrives; unlike me, she has actually finished her novel, a ghostly YA tale called Small Town Ghosts. Her short fiction has appeared in Dreams of Decadence and Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey.

babarnett: (farscape aeryn genius)

I'm currently trying to readjust to reality after a couple weeks away—first for a week of writerly workshoppiness at TNEO, and then for a week of vacationy goodness down the shore. My brain's a little scattered, so bear with me as I share the writerly randomness that has occurred during my absence:

* First, story news! My flash piece "The Little Things," which was published in Every Day Fiction last month, will be available as a podcast (read by Izzy David) on August 13.

* While at TNEO, I finished a shiny new short story called "Memories of Mirrored Worlds" and sent it off into the world. Fly, little story! Fly! 

* Speaking of TNEO, it was once again fun and full of awesome people. Lots of great feedback and brainstorming and bouncing around of ideas. Not to mention a highly hysterical evening of people trying to read bad sex scenes without laughing.

* Among my revelations at TNEO this year: I need to stop procrastinating and just revise My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel already. I've spent the last couple years stopping and starting and hemming and hawing and it's all rather silly at this point. Brainstorming is all well and good, but there comes a point when the only way to figure out what works is to just finish the damn thing.

* BUT! Before I go back to the novel, I will revise a few short stories that are in need of attention. Revisions on one of those began this morning and will continue after I finish with this post. Which means now.

babarnett: (get fuzzy enlightened bucky)

Dear Potential Future Readers:
 
So I'm working on this Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel. If it ever sees the light of publishing day, then you, dear epic fantasy fan, will possibly read it. And several of you are going to raise certain complaints. I would like to preemptively address one of them now:

No, it's not that my female characters never menstruate. It's just that their menstrual cycle is not relevant to the story*. And while you may not see my characters answering the call of nature, it's not that they don't have to. They urinate. They have bowel movements. Again, it's just that those things generally don't contribute to the advancement of story*, and so I don't include them.

Trust me, dear reader, if I ever find that a depiction of defecation, urination, or menstruation would serve to advance plot or character, enhance my setting, or otherwise serve the story, I will not hesitate to describe it. In fact, such things have showed up in my short fiction when relevant. But as far My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel goes, please just assume that my characters take care of their business off-page. I mean, when your first draft clocks in at 118,000 words, the poo really has to earn its place on the page.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go use the bathroom.
 
Love, 
Me

*One helpful comment made me realize that this is probably worth clarifying: when I talk about relevance to the story or advancement of story, I'm not talking about plot alone. If a woman's menstruation or the way a person goes to the bathroom tells me something about a character's personality or the world or the setting, then I consider that relevant, something that advances the story by adding to my understanding of the world and the characters. But showing someone going to the bathroom simply to establish that they sometimes have to go to the bathroom, not so much.


babarnett: (farscape aeryn genius)

I know I keep threatening to return to a regular blogging routine, but life seems intent on not letting that happen, which is frustrating since not posting regularly tends to lead to hardly anyone paying attention when you actually do post. So even though I may be blogging into a void, here's the state of me:

* School is keeping me busy, but I'm enjoying it a lot more than I ever did grant writing. This whole getting my MLIS thing? Good damn decision, I think. 

* Speaking of life keeping me busy, there will be a distinct lack of con attendance on my part for the rest of the year. I had been hoping to attend Sirens and Capclave this month, but there's just too much else going on for me to swing either one. And I'd normally do Philcon in November since it's practically right in my backyard, but I'll be off in Austin that weekend.

* Writing progress! Well, at least there was progress until a damn cold sidelined me yesterday (it's hard to focus or stare at a computer screen for too long when it feels like you have a head full of gauze-wrapped bricks). But before then, I got my short story "The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen" revised and sent out the door, and now I'm working on revisions for "Demon Dreams." And when that's done, I think I'll dive back into the never-ending My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel revisions.

* And last but certainly not least: I can haz zombie art? The awesome-looking title spread (with art by Dave Senecal) for my story in issue 25 of Black Static, which should be coming out this month:


babarnett: (kermit needs coffee)
~ Much to my surprise, on Monday I cranked out the first draft of a short story I hadn't planned to work on that night let alone finish. It felt rather reinvigorating. I wrote 1,000 not totally crappy words in under an hour, which is unusually fast for me. Onto the second draft de-crapification process! (And here's hoping I find a decent title for the story along the way.) But because my brain doesn't like to let me enjoy such minor triumphs of productivity for too long…

~ The online world doesn't need me to offer yet another link to a certain NY Times review of a certain HBO show based on the novels by a certain George RR Martin. But as a chick working on an epic fantasy novel, subsequent commentary and discussion generated by that review have sent my brain into overdrive on pondering women in epic fantasy—as writers, readers, and characters. Unfortunately, my brain is such a jumble right now and my time so limited that I don't feel like I could put my thoughts down in coherent form at present. Part of that brain jumble has resulted from me obsessing over things to the point of it becoming paralyzing—this fear that, while I know what I'm trying to do with my novel, I'm going to get it wrong and end up with something used as an example of everything that is wrong with epic fantasy. I know nothing is going to please everyone, but Irrational Me, being irrational, isn't listening to Rational Me.

~ While Irrational Me and Rational Me duke it out, I'm going to go re-caffeinate and get some more Ye Olde Day Job work done.
babarnett: (dr. horrible ahhhh)
Urgh, so much for resurfacing on the blogosphere. Well, I did resurface. I just got sucked right back into the Void Of Too Much Else To Do. I have a feeling that's going to be happening a lot over the next few months.

So the bulleted version of what this writer has been up to:

* I've been encountering far too much lately that has led to forehead slapping and *head desk* moments.

* After much demanding from my brain, I returned to the slow-going revisions on My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel--so of course a short story idea immediately started jumping up and down and waving its arms around and asking for a little love. Stupid brain.

* I began my dive into the critique fest that is TNEO

* I changed the look of my website.

* More details to come, but it looks like my story "Final Report" (from issue 4 of the sadly short-lived Darker Matter) will get some podcast love in the near future.

* The last few months spewed so much crazy all over the place that my attempts at establishing a routine were repeatedly thwarted. That really needs to change. I was determined to get myself onto something resembling a consistent schedule starting today. It's not even noon yet and that plan's already gone to pot.

And on that note, I think hear the unmistakable sucking sound that is the Void Of Too Much Else To Do.
babarnett: (farscape aeryn genius)
The novel revisions have been slow-going lately, but you know what?  That's ok.  I'm not going to beat myself up about being slow right now.  I've got a lot of stuff going on, so the fact that I'm writing every day at any pace is the important thing.  You hear that little miss internal critic? I hereby give myself permission to be slow and you're just going to have to deal with it.  Neener neener neener!
babarnett: (puppet angel)
My internal writerly compass has been feeling a little on the broken side.  Perhaps my muse, being a surly plumber named Jim Bob, has some sort of magnetic contraption in his tool kit that's throwing my readings off.

I know we're generally our own worst critics, but lately I've been trusting my own judgment even less than usual.  Why does this story click while this other one that I thought was equally awesome doesn't?  Clearly there's a difference, but it beats the hell out of me what that difference is.  And Jim Bob ain't helping.  He's crouched down under the sink with his butt crack showing, muttering, "I'm the idea guy.  What you do with them's your problem."
 
And then the judgment distrust starts trickling down from the macro to the micro level as I write.  Does this scene actually work?  I think so, but I also thought that other thing worked before all those responses suggested otherwise.  And what about this paragraph? And this transition?  What about that sentence? Or that word?  This bit of punctuation?  Am I even writing in English?

With all of that going on in my head, I've ended up writing only about 800 words over the last four weeks.  That's a bit pathetic.  Normally I could excuse that by saying revisions are generally slower, but since where I'm currently at with My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel involved writing a whole new scene that I should have been able to spew out fairly quickly (the aforementioned 800 words), my excuse is kind of crap.

Time to see if I can get a good deal on a new compass, or at least figure out what's screwing my current one up.  If it's not Jim Bob messing with it, then I suspect my internal editor.  She's been looking a little shifty lately.
babarnett: (shaun of the dead)
On the publication (or lack thereof) front...

Unfortunately, the magazine that accepted my post-apocalyptic zombie story last year appears to be a little on the dead side.  Duotrope's declared them so some time back (website not updated in some time, no reply to their inquiries...the usual).  I waited it out a bit longer, wanting to give the benefit of the doubt, but it's been over a year with no sign of any future issues surfacing.  I never received any kind of contract, so I finally sent an email officially withdrawing my story from the publication (on the off-chance there's ever any further activity there). The perils of trying a new publication, alas.  [And editing this entry to add: I heard back from the submissions editor who had accepted my story, and she confirmed that things aren't moving forward at this point and that I should try the story elsewhere.]  I've since sent the story off shambling in search of a new home, so here's hoping. 

And on the My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel front...

Between Sirens and sniffling, not a lot of progress lately, but what little progress I've made has been good progress.  At first the chapter 2 rewrite was laying some serious hurt on my brain.  It was an unfortunate case of conflicting critique comments knocking my internal compass off-kilter, with comments like "The characterization is great but the pacing is a bit too slow" followed by "I think you should slow things down and spend more time letting us get to know the characters."  But I managed to find my footing again, figure out what felt right to me, and get the rewrite off to a good start.
babarnett: (edna the incredibles)
1. Thursday morning, I get up butt early to hop on a plane to Colorado with [livejournal.com profile] shvetufae  for Sirens.  Any chance I'll be seeing any other flisters there? (aside from the lovely ladies I'm rooming with, of course)

2. Thankfully I don't get these very often, but it always makes my brain blow up a little when you get a story comment along the lines of "I don't understand how Joe got to the store. Did he walk?  That seems like a long way to go, so I'm not sure if he would of made it there in time to run into Mary if he walked" and you're like, "Um, the first sentence of the previous paragraph says, 'Joe got in his car and drove to the store.'"

3. Not much to report on the writerly front.  This week has been spent puzzling over how to restructure chapter 2 so that it's a little more "people do stuff" and a little less "people think about stuff."  I think I'm going to move some chapter 5 bits into this earlier chapter. Then comes smoothing the seams so that the bits flow and don't seem like no more than a cut-and-paste job.

4. I generally don't post about politics and other potentially divisive topics.  I'm not saying that I don't think anyone should post about those things (many of my friends do), just that I have my reasons for not doing so.  But man, do I ever find myself muttering "What the !@#$ is wrong with people?" lately.  That is all.

5. Back to the trivial: shoes.  When a pair of shoes I love because they're both cute and comfortable finally die on me, 99% of the time I will never be able to find that particular style again.  Thankfully, today was that 1% of time when I not only found the same style again, but in my size and color of preference.  Oh happy shoe day!
babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)
1. I'm pretty meticulous about keeping track of my submissions, so it came as a bit of surprise when I went to record a rejection on my handy dandy spreadsheet only to discover that I had already submitted the story to that magazine once before. Doh!  Don't know how I managed to miss that before sending it the second time.

2. Oh, writerly anxiety dreams, you can go away now.  I had one in which one of my upcoming publications had gone live and readers were unanimously agreed in their comments that the story was horrible.  Luckily, my brain made up for that dream by also giving me one involving a bunny and a cute baby pig playing together.  It was adorable.

3. Second scene of the chapter 1 rewrite? Done!

4. I never want to rewrite this chapter ever again. Ever.

5. Wii Sports Resort.  Swordplay.  You get to take on hordes.  My arms ache now, but it was totally worth it.
babarnett: (farscape aeryn genius)
Oh, so this is what my LJ looks like. Hello there, LJ.

And with that out of the way, the writerly update:
Good News: 3-day weekend combined with the office closing early on Friday meant lots of time to work on the novel.  More precisely, to work on the rewrite of the rewrite-to-date.

Bad News: My writing time kept ending with me, after feeling like I was getting so much accomplished, looking at the time and realizing, "Three hours of butt-in-chair and I've only gotten this far?  Seriously, brain?"

It may not have been as much accomplishment as I wanted, but I did at least 1) figure out how to restructure my first chapter to address some major issues, and 2) get the first scene rewritten.  Two more scenes to go.  And once that's done, the rest of the chapters won't need nearly the same amount of work before I can pick back up where I left off in chapter 15 and plow forward.
babarnett: (farscape aeryn genius)
And the short story rewrite is done! Well, mostly. I still need to give it a once-over for pesky typos and things like that. And I'm not certain the ending is quite right just yet. But overall I'm pleased with how it's turned out. After the first draft, I thought it was going to need a huge amount of work, but as is so often the case, the first draft wasn't anywhere near as bad as I had thought.

Anyway, I'll let it sit a few days and then see if I feel like it needs to be thrown before the critiquing gods. In the meantime, the opening:


And now, back to the novel. *eyes huge stack of TNEO critiques with apprehension*
babarnett: (dr. horrible ahhhh)
George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has been on my to-read list for a while, but I haven't gotten to it yet, primarily for two reasons:
 
1) There's so much else on my to-read list that the thought of tackling a series makes my slow-reading self huddle in the corner and beg for mercy.
 
2) In feedback I've gotten on My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel (and even on Son of My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel, which I had written a significant chunk of before deciding to make some major changes to the first one), a few people have mentioned that it has a George R.R. Martin feel to it. Thankfully, they all appeared to be saying that in a this-is-a-good-thing way and not an oh-my-god-you-derivative-hack kind of way. So ideally, I'd like to finish rewriting My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel before tackling A Song of Ice and Fire so that I can read the series for the enjoyment factor and not spend the whole time in analytical writer mode wondering how my stuff (woefully) compares.

Anyway, to get a feel for the books without tackling the whole series, someone recommended that I read Martin's "The Hedge Knight," a novella set in the same world as A Song of Ice and Fire.  So over the weekend I went to the library and checked out the Legends anthology in which it originally appeared.  I'm not done reading the story yet, but my reaction so far can be summed up as follows:

1) GRRM is made of awesome.

2) I'm not worthy! I'm scum! I suck!
babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)
I'm back, and my sense of what day of the week it is has been shot to hell.  Accepting that today was Monday and I had to go back to Ye Olde Day Job was an unpleasant experience.

I've already learned of one terribly exciting thing that occurred among my flisters while I was away, so please do fill me in on any other missed coolness. 

As for me, my time at TNEO (aka The Never-Ending Odyssey) was made of awesome.  Ok, the dorm-style beds and lack of air conditioning in our apartments weren't so awesome, but that was balanced out by great feedback and brainstorming and simply hanging with cool fellow writerly types--some of whom I had met before, some whom I hadn't, and some whom I was finally meeting in person after having only previously encountered them in the online world. 

I think my lecture on top literary agents for new F/SF/H writers went well; it was a relief to be told that the eye-bleeding amount of research I had done was useful. 

For our TNEO Story Slam at the Manchester, NH Barnes & Noble, I read the "Lunch with Dead Trees" flash piece I wrote back in the fall.  It was an interesting experience in that I had no idea the story was in any way funny.  But there was laughter (the good kind) in several spots, so color me pleasantly surprised.

With TNEO and my subsequent visit to the Valley of Vacationy Goodness (aka the shore) over, now comes the mind-numbing part: making good use of the massive amount of feedback I got on the first five chapters of my novel.  Some things work; some other things, not so much.  And some things almost work.  I've come to think of my first version of this novel as a good idea buried beneath a big old chunk of clichés and bad writing habits, and my job in the rewrite has been to chisel away at all that crap to get to the good stuff. Turns out, though, that I need to go back and do some chiseling I missed the first time around:

Novel babbling under the cut... )

So, there you have it: everything that was going to make my brain explode until I staved off the gray matter detonation with wine and beach and ice cream (not all at once).  My current plan is to take a break to write a short story or two while all the novel thoughts stew for a bit longer, then tackle the rewrite of the rewrite before moving forward from where I left off in chapter 15.
babarnett: (ash boomstick)
Ah, three-day weekend that has allowed me to accomplish so much, how I will miss thee. 

I think I may have finally clawed my way out of the Hole of Too Much To Do and back into the land of Keeping Busy But Can Actually Start Reading People's LJ Posts Again--at least until I leave to spend some time in the Cave of Writerly Workshopping, followed by a visit to the Valley of Vacationy Goodness.

TNEO Progress-O-Meter
My critiques for TNEO are done!  That's a relief.  Now I can go back to tackling my intimidating "to be read" stack on my train rides home from work. 

My lecture for TNEO is also done and ready to be, well, lectured.  Also a huge relief. 

This leaves me nearly two weeks of breathing room before TNEO actually starts to chill out and make sure I haven't forgotten anything.  And I'll probably need that chilling out time since the day job will be continue to be insane as I scramble to meet deadlines and square things away before I disappear for two and a half weeks.

The Writerly Novelist Update

46900 / 118000
(39.75%)

Progress has been slow, but it is progress nonetheless, and damn do I love the chapter I'm currently working on.  So much fun.  And now that I have TNEO stuff all squared away, I should have more time to work on it.

And a Final Moment of Randomness brought to you by...
Bunnies.  There are two frolicking on my patio.  I am easily distracted by cute fuzzy objects, so please pardon me as I go stalk them.
babarnett: (farscape aeryn whatever)
And there I went and fell off the face of the LJ planet for a bit again.  Well, actually, it wasn't so much falling off completely as it was grabbing the edge at the last second and hanging on with one hand until I was finally able to pull myself back up.  I have a feeling that's going to happen a lot in weeks to come.  It's like a I have a life or something, yeesh.

But you know what?  Three-day weekend, baby!  Of course, I'll be spending most of it curled up in my sunroom critiquing novel chapters and feeling guilty for passing my crud germs on to AsYouKnowBob.  But I get to sleep in, and that's the important part.
 
The Writerly Update
The good news: the novel rewrite really really wants me to work on it.  The bad news: the novel rewrite really really wants me to work on it.  It's great to have large amounts of enthusiasm and motivation during my writing time, but the pesky little bugger keeps pulling at my sleeve at inappropriate moments and asking, "Why do you love your day job more than me?"  And I have to tell it, "Actually, I love you far more than the day job, but you're not paying me."  At which point gainful employment manages to make me sound like a cheap whore.
babarnett: (puppet angel)
I'm back.  Sort of.  I'm liable to disappear again for blips of time, but I've actually had a chance to read and *gasp* comment on some LJ posts since yesterday.  The week or so before that, though...well, please do fill me in if I missed anything terribly exciting, like you just sold a novel or cured cancer or something.

TNEO Progress-O-Meter
I got the bulk of the Big Mass O' Research I needed to do for my TNEO lecture done, so that's a relief.  Now I just need to organize it all into a lecture, which is still work, but it's the easier part for me and less likely to make my eyes cross the way plowing through agent listings and websites and deal news did.

I'm not as far along on my TNEO critiquing as I was hoping to be by this point--one crit complete, *cough mumble cough cough* more to go.  But I've at least done a first read through of all of the first round novel chapters, and I have nowhere to be this weekend, so I intend to be a critiquing mad woman.  And, if the weather cooperates, bicycling will hopefully be on the menu as well.

The Writerly Update
Novel progress has been sloooooow.  Surprisingly so.  I was sure this chapter would go faster, but I forgot how much rewriting I needed to do in the opening scene.  Giving a character a complete personality transplant will do that.  But it all came together, just in time for me to kill the character off.  Official Big Fat Epic Fantasy Body Count: 5ish.  I say "ish" because a) I'm not counting some random guards and mercenary types who've bought it, and b) three of the five-ish were extremely minor characters, but I've decided that they count because walking into a room full of three bloodied dead folks was kind of a big deal for the not-dead folks.

And on that note, I seem to have caught another dang cold, so I need to get myself to bed.

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babarnett

December 2013

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