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I Do Declare!

Whaddaya mean this is the first post of the month and the month is almost gone? Haven’t you been keeping up? I mean I have lots of things to say about stuff. Okay, fine. It’s the first post since the end of November. I can admit when I’m wrong. Sometimes. Happy? For your information I’ve been sick again. And feeling a general blur of malaise. Right before I got sick again I was feeling pretty gung-ho about editing THL. The sicker I got and the more time that went by (okay, it’s only been a week), the more I crawled beneath my rock of discomfort and angst and let the little demons whisper in my ears about how much the whole idea sucks and no one is ever going to want to read it, et cetera, et cetera. I signed up for Jano in early December with the conditional: you know you don’t have to do this, no one is forcing you. In an effort to frighten off the worry-boogers (Per dictionary.com : Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. any ghost, hobgoblin, or other frightening apparition), I went …

Cue The Cheesy Inspirational Music, Y'All!

Let’s go with Chariots of Fire. One of my favorites. Here’s the down low:
We hit 50,000 words at 2:03 a.m., November 28, 2010. The 50,000th word was: last. Here’s how I feel: think the airplane scene in Miss Congeniality where Grace mimics the Miss America winner with fake tears and a stupid expression. “Look, she’s gonna cry again. Oh, if I only had a brain.” What have I carried away with me this year? What important lessons have I drafted from this experience?
*crickets chirping* Um, be persistent? Okay, here’s the real deal. I didn’t feel the horrible pressure like I did last year at 20k. I thought that mountain was a toughy. This year I zoomed through 20k, through 30k and found myself stuck at 40k. At one point last week I actually considered losing on purpose. Throwing the race, if you will. I thought, hell, I’ve got 42,000 words here, why do I need to finish it in November? I’ve been all over the place this month. Some days I was up a lot of words, some days I was down a lot. Thursda…

Times Fuh-lies

We’re more than halfway through the month? You’re joking, right? Where did the time go? I stay pretty busy with the cataloging stuff. When Friday rolls around, I look at my little office and go, crap, what did I do all week?! There’s still too much stuff to do! I’m finally over that blasted cold, though I have the lingering cough and some phlegm that won’t leave me be. This has made NaNo interesting this year because there were days when I absolutely didn’t feel like writing anything. Today I’m ahead a hundred words. I think I can squeeze in a few more before it’s over. For some reason I assumed this would be a cake walk. Wrong. While cake walk is too–forgive the pun–sweet of a description, it’s not been all that bad. I’m discovering lots of things that save my plot. I introduced the male character who stars in the third novel without meaning to, but it’s okay, he fits in nicely. And it doesn’t leave that “conveniant” oh-they-met-on-the-airship-but-the-writer-didn’t-want-to-write-a-forwa…

Wicked Week Two

Ugh. Week two of NaNo hasn’t been so kind to me. In fact, it’s been downright vicious. It’s supposed to be, that’s what all those pep talks tell you. Week two, the writing stops being fun, you have serious doubts about the story and you think either a) there’s a better time to write this story or b) what’s it going to hurt if I chuck this? Okay, true, true and true. I don’t hate SPW. I love van Buren, but Sophie sure has been giving me some grief. Oh, I want to toss her off the deck of the airship four levels up myself. Somehow van Buren is much more patient with her than I. No matter what she does, he remains diligent in his belief that she’s going to stop acting like a spoiled brat and become his elegant, civilized wife. Last night I got my reward for believing him. Twenty-two thousand words, ninety pages, instead of van Buren flying into a rage at her or stalking off to kill his arch enemy, they give in to their passion and truly become man and wife. Wow. Okay, when I wrote THL (form…

Bursting Out of the Starting Gate

Day 2: NaNoWriMo Currently standing at 3,501. Okay, that’s not entirely true. There may have been–in fact, there is–an additional 5,000 some words written prior to November 1st. Just to get a feel for the characters. Some people go splunking without head gear. Me, not so much. Okay, probably no one goes splunking without head gear. But they do enter tiger cages without being wrapped in layer after layer of protective padding. Not me. I have to have some practice, get a feel for the characters. I’m an honest soul–most of the time–and I’m not counting those pre-NaNo words. So. Woke up Saturday with that nagging (ha!) feeling in my left wrist again. You know the one. It felt like a derranged clown with a paring knife was slicing the tendon between my thumb and radial bone into julienne-style bits. I thought, wow, what a great start that will be for Nano. Fortunately it faded by Sunday. The way appeared clear. Whew. Then… Monday happened. November 1st. The big day. One thousand six hundre…

Climbing Mountains and Encountering Trolls and Various Other Riffraff

Metaphorically, of course. Eeeeeee! NaNoWriMo is right around the corner! Looming like a great, big mountain. I’m so excited! I have committed myself to The Sky Pirate’s Wife. Little chunks of plot are coming to me, bit by bit, ready to be put down in a document. I’m also super buzzed because not only have I thought of the follow-up to The Treasure Hunter’s Lady, but I have plot in mind for a third and final installation of this recently thought-up series. I have plenty to keep me busy this winter, no? I’ve come to a huge block in my road on C+C. I wrote my little heart out, creating a new ending for this thing because the old one was horrible. Beyond horrible. I was within spitting distance of finishing it. I read it to my husband because it’s cheap entertainment. He said and I’m not paraphrasing here: I want to kill her. Not the evil cook, not the evil cook’s daughter, not the laundress, not the bimbo wannabe nursemaid—that’s right, you guessed it—the heroine, Bridgit. He said in s…

Best Title EVER!

I was working diligently on C&C, but then I got distracted and I reread The Rainbow Serpent. Sometimes I get bored and I enjoy these adventures and quirky characters so much that I read them over and over. Note: I have never reread C&C with the same joie de vivre I read TRS and Treacherous Tumbles with. Laying in bed one night, unable to sleep I was thinking about NaNoWriMo. Fifty-three thousand words in 23 days last year. Easy as pie. FYI, pies are not easy. Whoever said that is a moron. Unless you buy the already made crust and open a can of filling, it’s not that easy. Don’t forget, you still have to cook it. Even if you buy a frozen pie, you have to wait for it that thaw out. Easy? Puh-lease. Back to the point: I don’t need to tell you the story was passive, underdeveloped and well, pick something wrong with beginner’s writing and it was probably wrong. I’m hesitant to commit myself to NaNo this year. I want to. I want to feel the excitement of watching my numbers bar ris…

Slave to the Novel

Two months into revisions and edting. How do you feel? Frustrated. The middle is my plague, my bane, my ruination. For every thousand words, I have to go back and cut another thousand or two because it never fits right. I’ve been up, I’ve been down, I’ve gained and lost and now I’m pretty much in a deadlock. Word counters are evil wrapped in wickedness, fired by something so dark you can’t even name it. Dramatic, much? Kick ‘em. Well, I did. I kicked and then I gave a miraculous gift that fits in with the plot. And then I kicked harder and lo and behold, it led to another gift, the bright, shining gift of all gifts. And then what did I do? I kicked really hard. Not once, buttwice. Of course, when you do that, it kind of leaves a little sniveling. I hate sniveling. Buck up and move on. Not that I do when I get kicked, but then my story is a lot longer than 75,000 words. I have room for sniveling. Bridgit is limited and more than anything, I don’t want her to come off as a whiner. I di…

Fight to the Death (with editing)

Well, I hope not. I’m reminded of a blog post I read a couple of weeks ago. It’s actually here: Roller Coaster Ride with the Devil at A. J. and Charli Bite Back. A. J. didn’t know it at the time, but she was speaking to me loud and clear. She wrote about the little voice of doubt that lives in every writer’s head. I wonder if Stephen King as a little voice like that. Pfft, he has lots of voices inside his head. Has to. Anyway, she wrote (and I’m paraphrasing here) the voice of doubt sits on her shoulder and says, “Don’t quit your day job.” She looks back at it and says “I’m over-educated and unemployed. This is my job.” I’ve had, wait, let me do the math. Nothing plus nothing equals, um, nothing. Let’s see, that brings us up to… right, a total of zero job interviews this month. In fact, not a nibble since I didn’t get that title clerk job I should’ve been a shoo-in for (no skin off my teeth, it was only a million miles away from my house). I have a total of one scheduled for this upc…

Putting it All Away

And it felt sooooooo goooooood. What? What did she put away? Oh! Okay don’t get so excited. All I did was stop worrying about word counts. And it felt fabulous! I had to chop, hack, cut and revise chapter 10 of C&C. So I reluctantly removed something like 4000 words. And made them up last night. It was so refreshing. And this morning I wrote a scene with a goat in it. That was fun. I’m a fan of goats. They kind of stink and the rectangular pupils are a bit frightening, but lots of them are super sweet. We went to the Ozark Empire Fair last week and this little goat was sucking on my finger. I wanted to stick it in my purse and run for the car. He was considerably bigger than my purse, so that wasn’t going to work, but he was such a cutie! The scene was inspired by a goat we used to have. Her name was Lulu and she “laughed” when I used to chase her. I had to chase her because she kept getting loose and running away. She thought she was a dog and some mornings I would wake up and f…

Getting Down and Dirty

With Editing. No, really. I’m working hard at it with C&C, trying to get the first 25 pages super perfect because I am going to send it into another contest. Oh, there’s so much work to be done. But I haven’t been dragging my feet, I haven’t been going, oh God why am I doing this to myself. In fact, I think with the judges’ comments from the Weta Nichols Writing Contest, it’s gone smoother. I’ve done a little playing with Jonah’s character and I think he’s going to work out much better as the story progresses. I’ve taken some advice from other crits about some parts of the story and I’m revamping those too. I’m changing some elements and in the end it is going to be a better story. I miss the fun, wild, crazy ride that was TRS and TT, but they’re there waiting in the wings. I haven’t forgotten them, but this has been a long time coming. Now, to stay on it.

Keeping Your Part of the Bargain

Never mind that it was a bargain I made with myself. Thirty thousand, one hundred seventy-six words. There. Treacherous Tumbles is finished. Not edited in the least, but finished. Wow, was that ever the kind of wild ride I never thought I’d go on. It was definately different and a lot *ahem* naughtier than anything else I’ve written. I had a minor freakout last night when I went to open the TT file. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I searched and wondered if I’d moved it somewhere else. I found the stuff I’ve cut from it but not TT file. And then I had to laugh at myself because TT was never filed as TT. It’s always been filed as Decker, since it didn’t have a title when I started writing it. Whew. And now, for your view pleasure (or not, whichever): A snippet from Treacherous Tumbles.
The blurb: Texas Ranger Byron Decker has sworn to protect the state against outlaws. But who will save him from the devil’s harpies? Widow Priscilla Patton has loved Deck since her school days, but no amou…

The Boredome Whip O' Doom

I haven’t finished TT. I haven’t finished or edited or done much of anything lately.Lazy. I’m not even going to try to defend myself. I did finish both of Kimberly Killion’s books. I really enjoyed Her One Desire, very well written and unfortunately I’ve been thinking in a Scottish burr for the last two days. I’ve really got to stop that. I’m bored. Bored with trying to edit, bored with trying to finish TT, bored, bored, bored. They say boredom leads to death. Well, that’s not good. You know what I need? A slave driver. Someone who’s going to say: Have you done any writing or editing today? And when I say no (probably in a whiny voice), that person is going to crack the black whip o’ boredom doom and make me get to work. Here I always thought I needed minions, but turns out I need someone to put me in line. Well, as I’m alone at the mo’ and have no one to brandish said whip, I guess I’ll wave it around, skip rope with it—at which point, I’ll no doubt fall flat on my face—and then mak…

ORA Conference 2010

Between you and me, I’d have said you’d had one too many drinks if anyone was passing out awards for C&C. I’m flattered and a little bit awestruck.
Maybe I shouldn’t be peeking at the chapter as I post this blog. It might be the wrong thing to do. Deep, deep, deep down, I love this story. But on the surface, I sort of cringe every time I look at it. Like I planned it to be my greatest triumph, the “child” I groomed from day one, my show pony and it flopped, forgot a spelling word, or broke a leg and we had to put it out of it’s misery. Really. It was a struggle, word for word, scene for scene, stubborn Jonah bit after stubborn Jonah bit. The man couldn’t have co-operated with me any less if he was a real man! Honorable Mention. Wow. So, at least the first chapter isn’t all bad. I’m almost dreading finding out the feed back for it. Like ripping a Band-Aid off, you put that moment off because you know it’ll hurt. Luckily, I don’t have to fret over it today. Whew. See, this just goes…

The Part Where My Brain Went on Vacation

I thought I’d give you a laugh at my expense. Might as well, right? I already embarrassed myself in front of no less than 10 people, might as well let the world know. I saw an ad advertising opening at the B-town zipline. Know what a zipline is? You strap yourself into the one of the most uncomfortable pieces of equipment on God’s green earth, climb a tower and step of a tiny platform into thin air 125 feet off the ground while you zoom at unbelievable speeds to another tower. Some people are born with invisible tattoos on their foreheads that say “Do NOT under any circumstances let (your name here) take a job doing (insert job title here).” My invisible tattoo says “Do NOT under any circumstances let Allison take a job doing ANYTHING involving heights.” I ignored the tattoo and applied for the job. I got an interview. It went well. Until the GM said come back tonight at 7, we’re going to get high. I’m no dummy, I knew that meant I was going zipping. Okay, I’m a self-proclaimed wilde…

I Might Need a Support Group or an Intervention

Hi. My name is Allison and I can’t stop writing. Not that it’s, you know, a bad thing, but it interfers with–and how–editing. I don’t want to edit. I just don’t want to. You can’t make me, but you know what I can–and am going to–do? I’m going to keep writing and I am! And you can’t stop me, so don’t even try. There, on the right side, is a new Progress-O-Meter. And it has a title and a word count. And you can’t stop it from being there. So there is it. Treacherous Tumbles, which is kind of a dumb name, granted, but right now that’s the title and you can’t–well, I think you get the point. My all-new novella, Treacherous Tumbles, is rolling right along. Not quite the way I thought it ought to and not nearly as fast as TRS poured onto the pages, but rolling. I’m half-afraid the hero is less than appealing, because he’s a narcissistic jerk and the heroine is so hung up on him I couldn’t cut her away with an Exact-o knife. Part of his jerk thing is that he loves women and there are a coup…

Allison to the Rescue

I completely forgot to regale you with the awesome tale of how I saved a life. What was I thinking? The week of my misery-fogged life following my layoff, I was driving one evening and I saw this white thing in the road. My eyeball was being a real pain in the you-know-where and I thought it was one of those little white terrier dogs. I can’t remember what they’re called. Little doggy didn’t move as my car barreled toward it. So I slowed down and saw it was a pomeranian. I love pomeranians! I opened the car door and said, “Come here, puppy!” It responded by coming to me, wagging it’s tail and I picked it up. I know, I know, you should never pick up strange dogs, but really, it weighed like twenty pounds, I doubt it was going to mangle me. Little doggy crawled under my legs, a hazardous position when I’m trying to drive, but I took her home and told Husband about her. I thought I knew whose dog she was, because she looked like a dog I’d seen on someone’s porch when I went for a walk o…

R.I.P Lil' Gem

I just love getting up in the morning with that acid reflux gnawing at my guts. My favorite part is digging into the bottle of antacids, gagging on down and then waiting half an hour for it kick in. The ride to work is awesome when that happens. The upside is in small town rural area, it’s not like there are a lot of grid locks to get antsy over. Stressed, much? Maybe just a tad. But the question is why? Could be because my car finally carked it? R.I.P. Lil’ Gem, we’ll miss replacing that fuse five days a week that melted when I turned the switch for the fan on. And the way you overheat in the summer when you were stuck in traffic, scaring the crap out of me because I thought you were on fire. Or the peeling paint and moldy butt/rotting milk smell because the interior got wet due to leaky seals. And the weird humming noise you made when when the fuel level dropped below a quarter of a tank. The way the air dam dragged when I pulled into my driveway, the crazy dents you had because on…