Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympics Fans?

I am not a sports fan, never have been, never intend to be, but since I can remember, I have been enthralled with the Olympics. I think it was Mary Lou Retton that hooked me for life. What an impact she and her victories had on a five-ish year old girl. So, I guess the point is, my writing, reading, and other projects are doomed for the next two weeks. While I'm rooting for the Flying Tomato and other young American heroes (yes, they all look like babies to me now), I hope to make a little more progress on Chapter 7, but I'm not counting on it. It's nice to have some pressure taken off the drive for progress for a few days, at least, to enjoy some peaceful cultural exchange and human excellence. The games only happen once every two years. The novel will be waiting when they're over this time around, too.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Face

Well, I decided it was time to explore new looks for my journal. Added some more pics, and brightened things up a bit. It's like makeup. Some women wear the same color of eye shadow every day. Me, if my eyeshadow doesn't match the shirt I'm wearing, I'm not sure how I can cope. So, in short, you never know what I'll be wearing next time you stop in.

About writing... I'm far happier with the revisions to "The Bone Harp." One of my critters said Experiment, so I did. Several said, It's incomplete, I didn't feel for the main chick, It needs a twist at the end, so I added 1600 words to a 2200 word story. The results, I must say, please me greatly. I loathe chasing word counts for anthologies or magazines. I'd rather write a story, then find the market that takes that length. So I've learned that I'm happier with stories that dig down inside a character, inside a world, and that means longer pieces. I have yet to master the moving flash masterpiece. Meh, nor have I interest in doing so. Give me meat, enough to sink talons into.

So I'm about to undertake a full revision of Chapter 7 of the novel, meaning, I think I'm going to have to add a character that I hadn't envisioned before, which means a full rewrite of several chapters all the way back to the beginning. I usually add too many characters and have to edit some out. It's good to have useful folks floating around, waiting in the wings, but this time -- chasing that lean word count -- I've not added enough, which means that word count is about to expand. Unless I can think of another way to punch up the villain interest.

Also about to go over "Swords of Glass" again. I've only submitted it to three places, but it's been nearly a year since I wrote it, so it's time to give it a new eye. Maybe find places that could suffer improvement. I greatly prefer editing over writing rough drafts. Rough drafts hurt ...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


A new month already? Life has sped up suddenly, and it's February.

I'm not going to make that May deadline for my novel. No way, Jose! I've come to a stuttering halt somewhere in a nasty rough draft of Chapter 7. Only Chapter 7! That's just about 100 handwritten pages. *sigh* I remember the days of my energetic youth when I could write 15 pages a day, with a quota of 6. That amounted to an epic of almost 300k words in six months!!! And I accomplished that feat, not once, but twice! The quality may have been crap, but the content was out of my tortured brain. My quota has slipped to 3 pages a day. I'm thrilled if I get in 3 measly pages. Maybe, since I'm aiming for 100k (120k at the most), I'll still be able to finish the rough draft by May 31. What happened to that irrepressible writing spirit? That unquenchable frenzy of the imagination?

Answer: It got repressed. It got quenched.

Well, while I'm still groaning over Chapter 7, I have had just about enough of rejections over a particular short story called "The Bone Harp." So this weekend, I started a heavy rewrite, taking the advice of several editors who were kind and generous enough to take the time to respond with more than the dreaded form letter. The story also received a couple of helpful crits at LegendFire, for which I'm grateful. When I'm satisfied with a story, but no magazine seems to understand that I am satisfied with a story, how am I to know what's missing, where I went wrong? My critiquers and those generous editors become invaluable.

I just hope the rewrites work.