Saturday, June 25, 2011

SitRep Saturday: Strawberry Moon and Other Projects

Happy Saturday, dear readers!

Yes, I am in a good mood. Why do you ask?

The situation with Strawberry Moon is as follows: I have printed it out (133 pages, double spaced to make it easier to make notes) and have made handwritten notes and revisions on 106 pages; I have discovered that I will have to rearrange some events and add a pivotal scene; and there is no way I am going to be finished with it by the end of the month, but that's okay, because I will be finished by the end of the summer.

I read Chuck Wendig's "25 Things You Should Know About Writing A Novel" and decided that it was okay to see other projects while I work on the novel. Strawberry Moon was killing me a little, which is normal (it's funny what "normal" is for writers) and for most of my writing life, I've been a short story writer, so a novel really tries my ability to focus. For the last... oh, six or seven years or so, I've been writing smut. So I wrote some smut. It's definitely not YA friendly, a fact which made my husband nervous when I announced that I had action-drafted and begun the draft of an erotic short and that I had plans to expand it into a three- or four-story arc featuring the same female character and that there was a chance I would end up putting it out first, but I'm not as nervous. I'm a little nervous--of course I am!--but I trust the audience.

So I have that sitting on my computer. I have also decided to revise and edit an old story I wrote probably ten years ago called "Invitation to Eden" with the intention of posting it on the website. My website is sadly lacking in content.

That, my friends, is the situation. I'm going to try to be more diligent about posting, I promise.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Miscellany

The situation with Strawberry Moon is as follows: I have printed it out and am making notes, edits, and revisions on the hardcopy. I've done 80 of 133 pages, which seems more impressive than it is because the pages are double-spaced (to allow room for notes--there are a lot of notes). The good news is that I have a much better grasp of characterizations and that I have identified three peaks in the conflict. The bad news is that it most definitely will not be done by the end of the month.

I've learned quite a bit about the story over the last few days. I have discovered that this story isn't for my fourteen-year-old self, it's for my sixteen-year-old self, and because of that, I have given myself permission to be slightly darker and more mature than it originally was going to be. It's still a young adult novel; the worst of the vampire's behavior will be off-screen, so to speak. I've learned that Jessica is in denial and Victoria and Amy are a lot alike. I've learned what drives Victoria and more about what drives Vincent. I did this by writing meta until I understood.

Meta: useful.

This morning, I read Chuck Wendig's blog post "25 Things You Should Know About Writing a Novel" and it eased my fears and insecurities about Strawberry Moon. Well, sort of. I'm still a bundle of raw nerves when it comes to the story, but I'm a lot less stressed about it. I swear that makes sense. The post also helped me realize that it's okay to see other stories--which is great, because I have a fantastic idea for stories featuring a demon-hunting ex-priest, a series of shorts featuring the smutty escapades of an Ohio native on Route 66, and a handful of others. It also helped me to accept that I won't make my self-imposed deadline, but that doesn't matter, because I will finish the novel, I will get it out there, and it will probably be read by people who are not my family and friends. Even though I'm stressed, anxious, and driven to drink over this novel, none of it matters, because in the end, I will be win. I've never not succeeded when it comes to story-writing. Why would I start now?

In other news, I started reading Michelle Muto's The Book of Lost Souls, and I am hooked. I love everyone so far, even Ivy's mom, and even though I'm not very far into it (the kids have just brought the books back from the graveyard), I am already dying to know what's going to happen next. I wish I had discovered it when my kiddo slept more; I would have finished it by now!

The other night, I bought and read Delilah Devlin's short "Handy Men". I have to say, if you're looking for really good smut, she is second to none. I first read her short story collection Texas Men a couple of years ago, and since then, have gone back to her writing every time I wanted something hot and well-written.

I am addicted to downloading free books for my Kindle, and I recently downloaded The Bad Widow from Barbara Elsborg. The story didn't do much for me; it wasn't terrible, it just wasn't my style. (I did find the witch aspect of it interesting, though.) The best part, for me, was her author bio at the end. You can read it at her site, here. I laughed so hard.

And last but not least for today: I'm on goodreads. You should be my friend. I'm still working on listing all the books I've read, but I'll get there.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Twitter Thursday: Celebrities

The number one rule of the Internet is this: Be interesting. I certainly try to be, and I try to follow people on Twitter who are. I tend not to follow celebrities because I'm not generally a big fan of people as much as I am their work, but there are a few who are worth it for sheer entertainment value, their appreciation of fans,  and/or because they promote charities I find worthy. An added bonus, of course, is that they tweet about work, which means a little more information on art I like.

Here are some of the celebrity Twitter accounts I follow:

Wayne Brady. @waynebrady, is an actor, comedian, game-show host, and all-around funny guy.

Misha Collins, @mishacollins, is the actor responsible for the angel Castiel/the vessel Jimmy Novak on "Supernatural." He's also a husband (his wife is author Vicki Vantoch), father (his son is exactly one month younger than my daughter), philanthropist (he inspired the charity Random Acts), and generally an interesting fellow.

Carrie Fisher, @CarrieFFisher, played Princess Leia in Star Wars (duh) and for that alone is worth following, though she's also an author, acted in other films and on the stage, and if I remember correctly is also a mental health advocate.

Mark Hamill, @HamillHimself, played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars (duh), voiced the Joker in the Batman animated series of the 1990s. 

Jared Padalecki, @jarpad, plays Sam Winchester on "Supernatural." His Twitter is currently about a week old--he got it and announced it at last week's convention in Nashville. He's pretty funny so far.

Simon Pegg, @simonpegg, played Shaun in Shaun of the Dead and Scotty in the Star Trek reboot (among many, many other roles), is a husband and father, and in general just a funny guy.

Richard Speight, Jr., @dicksp8jr, played Gabriel on "Supernatural" and seems to be a generally likable person in addition to being a pretty cool actor. It certainly doesn't hurt that he's a Southerner.

You should follow them!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Apologies, Situation Report, and Angst

First, an apology: I'm so sorry I haven't written since May 19th! I've been on Twitter, and I've been on tumblr, and I even (today) figured out how to create a Facebook fan page. I have also been sick, and caring for a sick kid, and... oh, yeah, finishing the first draft of what I'm currently calling Strawberry Moon.

Yes, that's right. THE FIRST DRAFT IS FINISHED! Right now, I'm working on the revision. The word count when I started was 40,235, but right now, I'm on page five (Times New Roman, 12-point font, one-inch margins) and the word count is currently 39,951. I expect the story to come in at a little over 40,000 when I'm done. There will be a lot to add in the later chapters, and a lot to cut especially in chapter two, but I'm comfortable with the expected word count.

Writing is hard, you guys. Writing is so hard. I'm suicidal once a day, and I usually start longing for the sweet bliss of an alcoholic haze by about noon each day, but that's just part of being a neurotic mess known as a writer. But I'm making it through. I don't think I'll make the June 30 deadline I hoped for, but I will definitely have this sucker finished this summer.