Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday Tally - revisions

Status of my novel

total words to date: 90,000

pages: 395

completed chapters: 20

Last week's goals:
  • finish first draft - feels great to have it done! 
  • clean up excite email inbox - done
  • send out another wave of invites for my website mailing list - progress

Goals for this week:

  • start tackling writing.com email inbox...
  • fool around with Flip.com
  • prep and send Fantasy newsletter and EotF mailing list
  • celebrate finished novels with Liz

I was originally coming up with this elaborate, complicated, step by step revision plan. Then one night while attempting to fall asleep, I had a revelation that it all simplified so very nicely into four steps (cut down from nearly 20).

  1. read and revise for plot
  2. read and revise for continuity
  3. read and edit for grammar
  4. polish prose to prettiness

Much more concise and doable. As Liz won't have much time until after finals, my husband will read my first draft with me (willing and helpful), likely catching both plot holes and continuity errors. Hopefully Liz will be ready to read through it between one and two. I'll open it to the rest of the Wilcox Writers after two. Steps 1-3 will likely be repeated more than once, but it gives me focus for my reading. I've recently joined a new writer's group online, and would love to have more eyes helping out. I just need to decide at what stage to post it for them (second draft maybe?).


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend and recovered nicely. :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

*points to sidebar*

May I draw your attention to the word count meter under Emergence of the Fey? Yes, that is an exact count (well, not counting the words "The End"). *does a happy dance* Time to celebrate! Which I will be doing some of at our Wilcox Writers meeting today. Now I must resist even opening it for a week... I know it needs so much polishing. Must stay positive. Enjoy the milestone.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


I am grateful for my Mom. Though my birthday doesn't fall on it this year, I was born on Thanksgiving Day. I know I was a struggle to deal with as a teenager, but I never doubted the fact that my mom loves me. She has always supported and encouraged me. I am amazed that she survived raising nine children. My parents had to make a lot of sacrifices to support all of us. Thank you for everything.


Thankful Thursdays will likely become a part of my regular blogging schedule. Continually looking for things I am grateful for, even on "bad days" has helped my outlook stay more positive.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mmm... Donuts...

I am grateful for having a 7-Eleven just around the corner. I don't go there every time I'm tempted to (thank goodness), but it sure is nice to walk down as a family and buy some donuts or other treats. Chocolate donut tasted so good. I got a variety box with two chocolate, two coconut covered, and two with nuts. Mmm.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday Tally and Many Thanks

Status of my novel

total words to date: 86,050

pages: 376

completed chapters: 18

Last week's goals:
  • finish chapter 18 - yay! one step closer to The End!
  • clean up email inbox of 2nd hotmail account - was fairly uncluttered. 3 more emails to go through

Goals for this week:

  • finish first draft 
  • clean up excite email inbox
  • send out another wave of invites to join my website mailing list

Extra thanks today because I didn't write down my thoughts over the last few days.


I am grateful for entertainment. We saw Stardust on Saturday. So glad we did. I could find no flaws - a perfect five star film. Humor, adventure, romance, fantasy. Truly enchanting. It ranks up on the classics with Princess Bride. My type of movie. We will definitely be picking it up on DVD. Yay for movies, books, and games that free us from life's stresses. We finally grew tired of LOTRO and have returned to EverQuest2 after an absence of a year and a half. New expansions have come out, and a lot of other changes have been made - definitely for the better. We did enjoy Lord of the Rings, and stayed there longer after maxing out our characters than we have any other MMO, but we reached a point where we could no longer progress and are tired of running the same instances every week. EQ2 is familiar yet new. When I wasn't writing this last weekend, I was reacquainting myself with the game.


I am grateful for pants that fit. Before seeing the movie, I used the early birthday money from my in-laws to go shopping for new pants. I was lucky to actually find two different styles that fit well. It's hard to find pants that work with my big bony hips and long legs, and aren't low-riders (hate those - feel like they are going to fall off). Love the new Wrangler Aura. Would have bought more of those, but only had one pair the right style and size.


I am grateful for major appliances: dishwasher, fridge, microwave, stove, washer & dryer. Fairly self-explanatory. Less work for me. More time for other things. Definite benefits to living in this day and age.


I am grateful for WRITING. It's the most incredible feeling to get immersed in writing. I love when the rocky struggle finally hits that smooth flow. It reminds me why I love to write and leaves me on a "high" for the rest of the day. I know a lot of my rough draft is just that - rough. But when I reread my work, there are certain scenes where everything shines and it makes me all excited to read more. Hopefully with enough work I can get the whole thing to shine. I need to dig through this chunk of rock to find the gem hinting from within.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Family Traditions and reminders

I am grateful for family traditions. Such as drawing names for Christmas, so I don't have to buy presents for all eight of my siblings every year. That would be a big chunk of cash. It's difficult enough trying to find gifts for the one plus parents on both sides. Another nice tradition that prevents scheduling conflicts or arguments is switching sides for major holidays. For example, this year we go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving and my family for Christmas. Next year it will be the other way around.


Unrelated topic: I read a quote today that I really needed a reminder of.


"You fail only if you stop writing." ~ Ray Bradbury


I came so close to quitting this past week. But I didn't. Today I sat down and I wrote another scene. I will finish this novel, and I won't stop there. I'll keep writing, polishing, and submitting.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I am grateful for indoor plumbing. No running out into the cold to use a hole or outhouse. No stinking up the house with a chamber pot (stinky diapers are stench enough). Speaking of diapers, I am also thankful for disposable diapers. Yay for convenience.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday Tally and survival

Status of my novel

total words to date: 82,191

pages: 359

completed chapters: 17

Last week's goals:
  • write four scenes in WIP - short on this one...
  • make specific plans (time and place) for next WW mtg - everything is decided, location reserved, emails sent 
  • clean out main hotmail inbox - done. whew. four more to go 

Goals for this week:

  • finish chapter 18 
  • clean up email inbox of 2nd hotmail account


I am grateful for my husband. My day always gets better when he comes home from work. (Wishing he was home now...) I don't think I'd survive the week if he didn't get to work from home twice a week. I love my husband. He's sweet, shares common interests, will buy me flowers 'just because'. He's far from perfect, but who is? (Certainly not me...) He's much more patient than I am, a good dad and husband, and supportive of my writing. He already bought my birthday present, and has it wrapped and sitting where I will see it every time I open the closet. He does like to tease. I know he loves me very much. I'm sure looking forward to his hug today.


Less than two weeks to deadline... Fears have crept up, and interfeered with a lot of writing last week. It was easier to focus on timelines and calculating distance and travel than writing closer to "the end". The excitement of near-completion is getting smothered by the doubts and fears. I need to ignore all the emotion and simply write. Only ten scenes left to go. I can do this. Each scene is planned out, all I have to do is expand on that. Past the plotting and ideas stage. I already have the celebration party planned, so it would look bad if I didn't finish now. It's been so easy to find excuses not to write. Running out of time. Still very reasonable if I just do it. One scene a day gets me done a couple days early. I know it won't be a good ending. The rest of the book needs a lot of work, so I'll be doing lots of revisions anyway. I'm not sure exactly what it is I'm afraid of. That I can't meet my deadline? That it's all a waste of time and even after revisions won't be good enough? Am I so determined to fail? This will be my first completed novel. Maybe I'm afraid that I won't be able to do it again. But wouldn't that hinder starting a new project, not finishing this one? Enough with the anxiety. Just write. And write some more. One page at a time.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I am grateful for school. I love B, but it sure is nice to get a break from him. He loves preschool, and I love him going to preschool. He was having a huge tantrum this morning over the child gate in the hall being back up (had it down over the weekend, to move TVs, but had to put it back up for babysitting P) and his entire mood reversed once I mentioned getting ready for school. Angry child became excited child. I loved school when I was little. That love may not have lasted to high school, but I never hated going. It had its benefits. I can't say much for continued education though. Never experienced the college life, and haven't even done much online. Though I am grateful that my husband getting an Associates Degree resulted in a raise. So school is good, even though I'm not always good at it.


On a (somewhat) school related note, I wrote the following Blotz poem for English sometime during Junior High. The form is all about alliteration and the imagination.



He lives in a pink pagoda in Pakistan.

He eats pachysandra plants, pickled parsnip, pancakes, and papayas.

He likes pale pansies, Polaroid prints, perfect pandas, and purple polka-dotted packages.

He’s a passive pachyderm who paraphrases paragraphs and is a paraprofessional in parenting.

He played part of a piano piece with a papa peacock from Paris.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Muse in Music

I am grateful for music. Music and emotions are intertwined. Music can make me cry, sing, dance, inspire. Celtic music is often my muse when writing. It somehow taps into my creativity. When I went about a year without writing, it was listening to Celtic music again that brought back the desire. Lullabies soothe. I wrote a lullaby for my son when he was a baby, and would sing it to calm us both when I nursed him during the night. Even after that, it was part of his bedtime routine for a long time. Music helps memory and learning. It also helps me sleep (though hubby can't sleep with it on, so I have to do without at night; still soothes for naps). Being able to play music on the piano is a beautiful thing. It lets me be a part of the magic. When we get a house, a piano will be one of the first things on my list to buy. Singing music also brings joy and drains stress. I've been in school choirs and church choirs. The thing I miss most from high school is choir. I love music.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Christmas Shopping

I am grateful for technology, and that it gets cheaper (and lighter) over time. Namely, we bought ourselves a Vizio 32" wide-screen HDTV (counting as our Christmas present).


Along the lines of Christmas presents, we ordered B's present online and it arrived yesterday. He loves to play in big buckets and make pillow forts, so we got him a Thomas the Tank Engine Hideaway. (Did I mention he loves trains as well?) Yay for getting most of Christmas shopping done early. :-)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Home, sweet home; plus PTC update

I am grateful for a home. We may be in an apartment, but it's not a bad complex. I've seen so many things in the last few months that have reminded me how worse off we could be: the 30 Days episode on Minimum Wage, the movie Pursuit of Happyness, and the movie Newsies (the WGA strike inspired me to watch it again).


I forgot to mention the Parent Teacher Conference. School has been going for about six weeks. B has made sufficient progress in most of his goals, and completely met two already (matching basic shapes and colors). We made some goal updates and they talked about a few more things they can do to help his communication. His teacher and speech therapist both think he's a sweet kid. B "attempts to communicate with words, however, he is usually very difficult to understand." The teacher mentioned how excited she was when he first said "bye" for her, as it was the clearest thing he'd said.


Lately I've realized he's saying actual words more than I thought, but they haven't been recognizable. He's getting better. When he repeats phrases back at me it's sounding more like what I said instead of incoherent babble.


After the conference, we stopped at the school library for the Scholastic book fair (always loved those as a kid). We let B pick out one book. There were a few he looked at, seemed to get excited about, but when we asked if he wanted it he said "boo"(his way of saying no) and shook his head. He finally found one on his own, the topic not surprising:  Mega Wheels: the most exciting cars in the world! He got excited when we bought it. As soon as we got home, he opened it up and we heard "car, vroom, vroom" for the next half hour or so as he pointed to all the pictures. He's my little car fanatic. :-)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A New Tradition

I'm starting the two weeks of Thanksgiving - each day I will post at least one thing I am grateful for, and why. These will be cross-posted on my Writing.com blog.

I am grateful for the internet. I met my husband through an online dating service. No internet would mean no email, or blogs, or Writing.com. Author websites and connections, online news, and my few good friends who are all long distance. So many things I wouldn't have without the internet. It may be a procrastination tool at times, but so are many other things I could have been doing instead. As a shy, solitary writer I love being able to connect to people - so much easier with the written (well, typed) word than voice. At least for me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday Tally, kids, and the WGA strike

Status of my novel

total words to date: 80,555

pages: 351

completed chapters: 16

Last week's goals:
  • write newsletters (W.W., Fantasy, and website) - all written and sent
  • finish chapter 17  - finishing today, after babysitting and headache over 
  • update Wilcox Writers on the Web - done

Goals for this week:

  • write four scenes in WIP (in addition to today's writing)
  • make specific plans (time and place) for next WW mtg
  • start cleaning up my email inboxes... (all 4.. err, 5 of them) *note to self: quit packratting messages* starting with my main hotmail account


This Wednesday I'll be attending my first Parent-Teacher Conference. I do have a few questions for the teacher, if she doesn't volunteer the information - such as does B talk at all in class. Question for experienced parents here: Is it okay to bring my child to the PTC, or do I want my husband to entertain him elsewhere?


My regular babysitting days have been M, Tu, Th, and F for quite some time now, two half days and two full. P's grandparents watch him on Wednesdays, but in December they leave for an LDS mission. Which means I'll be picking up the Wed babysitting for a little more money. Not really looking forward to it, but it's only another short day and B is gone to preschool for most of that time. And if I didn't agree to watch him, then P's mom would simply pay someone else to do it. After all the holidays I'll probably be wanting a babysitter on more frequent weekends, to de-stress. We'll see how it goes.


The Writers Guild of America has started their strike. I support the screenwriters, even if it means more reruns and less of my favorite shows. Here's a great video on why they strike and what they fight for:


Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Poem and distractions

Last week my hubby surprised me by buying Ace Attorney: Justice for All, the sequel to the DS game I was playing. But because I got so caught up in the final episode of the first one (even taking it to meals...), I have vowed not to start this one until I finish writing chapter seventeen. And my characters just had to go and create another scene that wasn't on my storyboard. So I will be getting back to writing shortly, hopefully to get one scene closer to finishing the chapter.


Today's poem is another bio poem, but about a person instead of an object. Written 6/28/06.


See this Woman.

Impulsive, timid, empathetic, passionate.

Sister of many, Mother of one.

Who loves the fantastical, music that moves, and someone to hold onto.

Who often feels she is not good enough.

Who cares for her friends and family.

Who gives love unconditional; life to words; a glimpse into her soul.

Who fears separation, rejection, and responsibility.

Who would like to see her byline on a book; the castles of Europe; the sun set on the ocean.

Resident of an emotional landscape.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Post Halloweeen Mortem

I've decided that as a parent I hate Halloween. We didn't take B out trick-or-treating. At three year's old, he doesn't need that much candy, can't even say the phrase, and wouldn't really understand what's going on. But they did have a party at his class, which meant he brought home a bag of candy. I've tried regulating it so he doesn't get sick and it lasts longer, but since he knows it exists he spends way too much time simply begging for candy (currently having a fit on the floor which has lasted nearly half an hour). Maybe when he's older and can regulate it himself (or suffer the consequences) it won't be so bad.


I don't know about regular neighborhoods, but door-to-door trick-or-treating continues to drop in rate since we've been here at these apartments. We got a couple dozen the first year, about a dozen last year, and exactly seven kids this year. This year the complex even handed out fliers to tape to the door if we're giving out treats. I think a big issue is all the safe, community events available. Many churches now hold trunk-or-treating, where everyone brings their car and the kids go around the parking lot to trick-or-treat. Malls are a great place to go, warm and quick, with no danger of questionable treats. The Sandy Southtown Expo Center held a five-day Trick-or-Treat Street. For a reasonable price, you could go get treats there, and participate in the activities, while the money went to a good cause. If we take our son trick-or-treating next year, we'll likely skip the cold and the driving around and simply take him to the mall or one of these community activities.