Monday, October 31, 2005

I may be crazy, but...

I just signed up for my first NaNoWriMo. While I'm still working toward the last 100 pages of Orphans in the Storm, I'm also starting work on the NaNo book, a gothic historical called Gallowsbait. We'll see how it goes. I may be setting myself up for a bit fat belly flop, or I may have half a salable book by the end of the month. E and Marguerite, you've sold me. I'm in. We'll get each other through. Other NaNo veterans, any advice?

Part of my brain says "hey, if you've been struggling with threeish pages a day, what business do you have adding sevenish more onto that?" Besides, the whole process involves writing without word count on Petunia (laptop) and then emailing it to the desktop for a complicated routine of cutting, pasting and reformatting.

The other part says "you write more when you can't check page or word count, and besides, you love starting a new story." Plus adding in the fact that I outlined two plots last week -- I thought they would be novellas, but nag groop says novels for sure-- and outlined half of another novel last night, I have to face facts and let some of the stuff in my head out.

I have some preparation done for Gallowsbait, somewhere between plotting and pantsing. I'll call it skirting. Which is borderline punny and intended that way. I do skirt around a few things, so again, we'll see. However it goes, I'm looking forward to the ride.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Rheuben Bowling -- That's the DH's name, and I promised him I'd put it in the first line of my blog today. My dearly beloved, wonderful husband, best friend, wonderful cook, who found no returns on his own name when he Googled himself, but found lots of mentions for me, hence the mention here. Hopefully this will net him one. I in no way expect this to affect the choice of restaurant for the evening's bday dinner.

I always enjoy birthdays -- don't always have to be mine, though this one is, and gives me an excuse to bake brownies or cinnamon snack cake. Haven't decided which, though now that I've typed "cinnamon" I am leaning in that direction.

One of my gifts to me is beginning to transfer data -- actual, usable story data-- from Frankenstein to Petunia. Cut and paste, and I can at least set up the files. The actual Word software I need is on the way and should arrive in a day or two. I'm enjoying the time without Word, too, in a strange way. I can concentrate on the story and the process when fretting about page count and format is not an option. Still looking forward to sticking that Word CD in, though.

Also on a writing boost was great letter from and IM session with my friend E, (visit to meet her) on Friday and assembling a TBR pile that whets my appetite for the thick. complex, detailed historicals I love. Finshed reading Brenda Joyce's The Prize in preparation for our reading group's selection of its sequel, The Masquerade, this Thursaday. I am reading fast. I have Virginia Henley's Unmasked (Restoration England, yay!) and Bertrice Small's The Last Heiress (the finale to the Friarsgate Inheritance series set in Tudor England, again, yay) -- with discussion on the All About Romance boards on big thick historical book nostalgia, which I have in a big way. Though that's another topic.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Okay I will admit it. I am a big fat chicken. Nah, we'll leave out the "fat" part. One cannot claim fatness when one must remember to pull up one's trousers when walking. The chicken (mmm, chicken) part, however, stays.

I have never done NaNoWriMo. Not once. Not ever. Does that make it NoNoWriMo for me? Possibly. I'm thinking of doing it this year, but I'm conflicted. Also chicken. 50k in one month? That would be a word count of dreams, let me tell you. One of my goals for the upcoming year is to increase my body of sellable work (aka write more, aka put out two books a year) and I am just slightly over one hundred pages from the end of the current ms. So what's stopping me?

Fear. Abject, mind-numbing fear. I am a world class ditherer, and have seen writing friends put out two or three books in the time it takes me to write one. I have seen entire careers come and go, and in some cases come back, before I made novel sale one. I know comparing oneself to others is alway a bad, bad thing to do, and yet it's still one of my worst writing habits. Procrastination being another. If I don't finish, I can't fail, and that's a safe place to be.

Thing is I don't like safe, at least not that way. Looking at the files I need to transfer from Frankenstein to Petunia, I have a lot, no make that a LOT of books to write, with new ideas crowding in nearly every day. So the only logical thing is to let off some pressure and get some of them out of my noggin. Which is why the procrastination doesn't make sense.

Also why NaNoWriMo makes sense (and thanks, E, for the encouragement) -- I'm seriously thinking of doing it this year. But do I shoot for the end of this current ms or start one of the new ones? Talk about conflict. I'm blabbery today, there is plenty of Diet Coke, and I am snuggled under my brand new snowflake blankey (thanks to E again) which may be rivalling the duck blankey as best blanket on earth. So things are bound to fall into place.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Only Six More Shopping Days

Until October 24th, that is. Beat the annual Anna's birthday rush and take care of your holiday shopping now. Yep, it's that time of year for birthday nut me. Of course this is an interesting one, since the upcoming birthday that is staring me in the face has a nine in it. Meaning that the one after that will have a zero in it and also be divisble by two. Miniwhimper.

On the upside, since most of my twenties got gobbled by depression, I will take them now. Now I'm old enough to know what to do with them. Be warned.

::sigh:: decidedly rodential sounds coming from the kitchen. I am not going in there. I am not going in there. I am not going in there. Free range rodents seriously freak me out. Besides, that's what we have cats for, though Olivia kitty seems to have not gotten that memo.

Also in rodent news, but of the outdoor variety, Vlad the bat has returned. We expect him this time each year, and he is always a welcome visitor as long as he stays on the outside. Which he does. Because see above comment on free range rodents. Shudder.

I am currently sorting out the whole AOL 9.0 Security installation kerfluffle -- one of those things I did not know would take hours, but it's something that needs doing. I'm going to see if I can combine the installation time with writing time, since I want to keep up the energy that came with the other evening at home.

DH was home and VH1 had a big long thing on one hit wonders, so of course we were glued. I opened a text file and started to pretty much bleed on the screen, putting down what the songs made me think or feel or remember and what parts of that I like to use in my own writing. I don't remember who said it but someone mentioned that if something is progressive enough, of course there are going to be a lot of people who don't get it. Which goes to show that a one hit wonder doesn't neccessarily mean the song was bad or the artist not talented. It may not have been the right time or venue. I think a lot of that can be applied to fiction as well. Which may be a whole entry in itself.

Currently playing: "Flinch" by Alanis Morrissette
(and eek, this reminds me I must raid Rheuben's Alanis stash, since I forgot to load "Hands Clean")
Currently reading: The Prize by Brenda Joyce

Monday, October 17, 2005

Meet Petunia

Friday afternoon, Petunia Penelope Putowski entered my life. I consider it a good sign when a new computer announces his/her/its name before the box is even open. Such was the case with myself and Petunia.

We are still in the process of getting to know each other, installing pertinent software, creating documents, and setting the settings that need to be set. I've done some writing, but most of that will come after I get Word in. What could possibly come first? The small matter of my personal playlists; angst, inspiration and energy. I like to set a certain mood when I write, and that's a big part of it.

Writing in the comfy chair is exactly as efficient as I'd hoped. Petunia is a light little thing, and my lap desk from Target gives me enough room for Petunia, a notebook and has an indent for writing implements. Perfect. Olivia kitty is less sure about this; she thinks she should be my laptop. Yes, I do feel like a callous cat anty but I hope to make sure she gets her fair share of cuddles.

On a more frivolous note, Petunia is compatible with the jump drive, so I can now snag neat Sims2 stuff to download and take home to play on the Bunninator (desktop at home) -- chaos may well be ahead.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Requiem for a Desktop

Dear Frankenstien, aka Lucretia, aka Cowputer,

It seems like only yesterday I entertained violent thoughts about the UPS driver who wouldn't bring you all the way to the top of the third floor stairs and instead made various family members hunt you down at the distributing center. The day after we unboxed you, that box became Olivia kitty's favorite windowseat and so it remains. I can't count how many keyboards, mice, or mousepads we've been through together, and I will never forget the joy of finding out that you and Fantasia, the new printer, played well together.

Until the virus struck. I have no idea how it got in here, with spam blockers and virus sheilds, but it did, and I have to accept that this may be the end of the road. Not all of the vital applications will work now, it won't let you talk to Fantasia anymore, and we can't even run the antivirus programs. Maybe a full wipe will bring things back to normal. I don't know.

The fact that a new-used laptop is even now on its way doesn't mean I love you any less, dear Frankenstien. On the contrary, I wrote my last fanfics and first novel on you. You were the one to bring me news of an agent's pass, and my first sale. You were the one who gave me the first glimpse of my cover contest and allowed me to chat with friends the world over. We've played all of the Sims1 expansions together for the first time, and though I 'll have them on the new puter, it won't be the same. The Sims2 is something special between me and the Bunninator, the puter that lives in the bedroom, but there is and always will be only one Frankenstein.

We will try to fix you, we really will, but if that's not possible, know that our time together was nothing but good (disregard the times I smacked your monitor when the blue screen of death ate my days' work. I know the Sims1 upside down head plagues were not your fault, but that of the software; I've never held that against you in the least.) In the best case scenario, we'll have more time to spend together in the home office. I'll slip in to see you on late nights when the dh wants to putter or play casino games on the Bunninator. Or watch news. You'll replace the big heavy paperweight that is too slow to turn on. You'll still have your row of Beanie Babies on top of the monitor, and I will still change the desktop color scheme with my whims.

Non-writers may not understand why I'm writing to you, but for other writers, the bond between person and machine is a very special thing. We know you are real and alive and understand what we are saying. So, Frankenstein, whatever the future holds for you and I, thank you for everything so far, and I will always hold a spot for you in my heart.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Though I do give previous spammers points for politeness, I do not posess the particular organ which the last one kindly offered to augment and so have added word verification to the comments here. While I may miss the mild amusement the spammy comments bring, I can get the same effect but better by reading Dilbert, so really it is for the best. Real comments are more than welcome.

Thought I'd blog while still in my good mood buzz from watching the Degrassi Old School episodes I'd recorded last night. Degrassi geek from way back, and yes, I was an adult then, too. Spike and Snake, Joey and Caitlin forever. ::geeky sigh::

On more adult matters, my romance book group was last night and the book of the month is Brenda Joyce's The Masquerade. Which is apparently the second in a family series, though it has three "ancestor" books with members of the family from centuries past whose descendents are the "current" (I think 19th century?) protagonists.

I've been wanting to try Brenda Joyce for a while now, so this is good timing. There is one thing, though. I am a stickler for reading series in order. So though this is the "assigned" book, I now have a reading list to take to the UBS so I can zoom through those first. I know I have the very first one in the attic, and will probably need to pick up the sequel to that, as well as The Prize, which is the precursor to our book of the month. The Game is also connected, but from another branch of the family, so I can dive in even though it's chronologically later than the first two. Technically the only book really related (Joyce fans correct me if I'm wrong) is The Prize, but this is my thing -- must read connected books in order or mountains will fall, rivers dry up and poodles will get funny haircuts.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Who you gonna call? Slumpbusters!

Time for me to send out a flare in that case. This isn't as maddening a slump as most, for a few reasons. First, it's October, one of my faaavorite months. Second, I'm taking a rather scientific experiment outlook to this slump. What exactly is it that catches my attention, or makes a book hurtle at warp speed toward the nearest wall? Does a slump have warning signs, and if so, how soon can I see them? Can it be forestalled or prevented? Lots of interesting questions.

This one started with a book that was so darned good, clicked with me so well, I knew going in that it would be a difficult act to follow. The Awakening by Angela Hunt -- fabulous story that captivated me so much that a walk-on character took on full life in my head and I'm nurturing her. Which is a good thing, but reading -- interesting.

I tried the "stuff I don't usually read" approach and picked up Natalie Babbit's Tuck Everlasting, the classic YA tale. Liked that, definetly want to see the movie with Jonathan Jackson and Alexis Bleidel -- gorgeous both, good acting, I know I will like the story, so it's pretty much a gimme.

Figured I wanted a romance again next (I can't stay away for long) and picked up a historical vampire anthology (I never read vamps, so this fits the stuff I don't normally read quota.) Enjoyed two of the three stories, and the third didn't work for me. Too many elements that weren't my taste, but I'm sure it's someone's favorite ever.

Currently reading an older Barbara Hazard trad; I loved her historicals, and though the Regency period is not a favorite, I do like her style. Plus the shorter legnth should be a good bridge back to a big thick Porterhouse steak of a historical romance.