Thursday, January 31, 2008

Visitors and Flowers

My Mom came up today. We all went out to lunch at the Training Table, then the two of us played Lost Cities while B played with Yahtzee dice and ran around us. It was good visiting with her. It's not often anymore that I'm not babysitting and she's not working.

 

Thank you Nikki for the link to the flower quiz.

 

You Are A Lily
You are a nurturer and all around natural therapist. People see you as their rock. And they are able to depend on you. You are a soothing influence. You can make people feel better with a few words. Your caring has more of an impact than even you realize.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Death and Decades

5,000 Questions... My answers so far...

 

32. What three things would you want to die to avoid doing? Wow. This one has never come up in surveys before…
A. eating feces
B. being the last person on Earth
C. body piercing


33. Is there a cause you believe in more than any other cause? No. There are so many good causes out there. So many that I wouldn't know who or what to support. Maybe someday I'll be able to say differently.


34. What does each decade make you think of:
The 19..
20's:
flappers
30's: Great Depression
40's: film noir detective movies and their hero's fedora
50's: poodle skirts
60's: Vietnam war
70's: hippies
80's: the fashion - wild hair, shirt clips
90's: pop music
2000 (so far): extreme sized technology – everything is either huge (TVs), or pocket-sized.
2010's: more affordable technology


35. Which decade do you feel the most special connection to and why? the current one. many milestones mark this decade for me – graduation from H.S., relationship craze, got married, had a baby, and finished my first novel. Hopefully I can add first-time homeowner and a novel sale before it's over.


36. What is your favorite oldie/classic rock song? "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday Tally and First Pages

Status of my novel

  1. first draft
  2. read and revise for plot
  3. read and revise for continuity
  4. read and edit for grammar
  5. polish prose to prettiness
  6. write query and synopsis
  7. query agents

total words to date: 89,931

pages: 395

chapters revised: 17/21 (draft 3)

Previous goals:

  • revise 7 more chapters for EotF - almost done with this draft  
  • goal letter to self - on my to do list for today
  • critique at least one chapter - done 

Goals for next week:

  • finish draft 3 of EotF
  • find new progress meter or update code manually (site has been "exceeded bandwidth" for over a week now) 
  • one chapter critique
  • make arrangements to go to LTUE conf. Feb. 15, if at all possible to do so 

 

My opening is challenged. I've been told by a couple people that they can't connect to Marian, and there's an overload of information at once. So, I decided to take a couple suggestions from one critiquer - start with Jex's scenes, then rewrite Marian's introductory scene completely. This is a situation where I do need to cut and start over. Revising it so many times has killed any sort of life it once had. On the plus side, this does put the first chapter more into chronological order, so less room for confusion there. I have entered my new first page into The Surprisingly Essential First Page Challenge. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Death of a Prophet

Gordon B. Hinckley is gone to join his wife. I will miss him, but know that he is in a wonderful place right now, surrounded by loved ones.

 

President Gordon B. Hinckley ... died at his apartment in downtown Salt Lake City at 7:00 p.m. Sunday night from causes incident to age.

 

Read the full article here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Questions 21-31

5,000 Questions... My answers so far...

 

21. Are you more of a giver or a taker? Wouldn't we all like to say givers? I admit that I tend to have blinders for the times I am a taker, but I know my tendency to be unobservant can result in selfish behavior.


22. Do you make your decisions with an open heart/mind? I try to.


23. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you? Giving birth. Though that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Yay for an easy birthing, and anesthetics.


24. What is the most emotionally painful thing that has ever happened to you? I can think of two, one which impacted me for longer, but the second hurt me more emotionally. Neither I want to share here, but I have written extensively about both in my personal journal.


25. Who have you hugged today? My husband and my son.


26. Who has done something today to show they care about you? My husband kept me company while I ate breakfast, even though he had eaten earlier.


27. Do you have a lot to learn? Definitely. Learning is never over.


28. If you could learn how to do three things just by wishing and not by working what would they be?
A. Be patient
B. Compose music
C. Dance


29. Which do you remember the longest: what other people say, what other people do or how other people make you feel? How they make me feel.


30. What are the key ingredients to having a good relationship? communication, doing things together, having interests in common (which helps with the first two), and putting the relationship first


31. What 3 things do you want to do before you die? Only three??
A. Go on a cruise
B. Get a novel published.
C. Visit the U.K.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Historian and Dracula

I recently finished reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I really enjoyed it. The novel is a historian's tale, about the search for the real Dracula's tomb. It started slowly, but with just enough to intrigue me to read further. The story is about a woman telling her story, her father's story, and (through the father) his mentor's story. I'm amazed at how well she interwove all three tales and timelines. It was always clear who the viewpoint character was in each section. It is in no way chronological. We learn about the past as the narrator does, waiting on the edge of our seats with her until her father is ready to tell more of his chilling tale.  It wasn't a scary horror book, but more chilling in the historical, researched way it was presented.  It made it terrifyingly real. 

 

One thing that helped me visualize many of the locations in the book, and Vlad Dracula himself, was watching the Lost Worlds documentary on the real Dracula. Learning the facts helped me appreciate how well Kostova mixed fact and fiction. I am awed by the amount of research she must have done for this book.

Friday, January 25, 2008

B&N and Babysitting

I found out this afternoon that I won't be babysitting at all next week - a relative of P's mom had a stroke, so she's taking the week off work. The time off will be a good thing. B and P haven't been getting along very much lately. Lots of crankiness and fighting. I think B is tired of having P around. I have been babysitting him for over a year...  The thing about multiple kids around... yes, they have someone to play with, but all too often you can replace the word 'play' with 'fight'.

 

On a brighter note, we finally went to Barnes and Noble to use the gift card P's mom gave us for Christmas. We didn't get B a book as initially planned, considering the way he's been treating books. So, my husband picked out two books, I picked two, and we found a book of 100 horror stories in the bargain section to fill out our quota.

 

The first book I chose was "Rebel Fay" by Barb & J.C. Hendee. It's book five in the Noble Dead Saga. I already had the first four in paperback and was just waiting for this one to come out in paperback as well (the main reason we hadn't used our card).

 

The second book I got was "Scar Night" by Alan Campbell. I interviewed him last year, not long after the book came out. I've been very interested in reading it, but hadn't had the chance to pick it up. And now it's out in paperback. Yay. :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Song of my Life

My answer may change again later, but here's my new answer for #10: What song comes closest to how you feel about your life right now?

 

Masterboy - Land of Dreaming

Here's one of the verses:

 

As I lay down

To close my eyes

Fantasy and inspiration flies

I try to relax

And to free my mind

So I can leave everything behind

Pictures circle round my head

Some are good some are bad

I lose control as it seems

And I start living

In the land of dreams

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Q and A

5,000 Questions... My answers so far...

10. What song comes closest to how you feel about your life right now? Until I think of one more fitting, my strange mind is going to say Strange Boat by Waterboys (lyrics here).


11. Have you ever taken martial arts classes? No. (much easier to answer than #10. Lol)


12. Does your life tend to get better or worse or does it just stay the same? It fluctuates, but on a gradual uphill grade.


13. Does time really heal all wounds? Time does not. God can.


14. How do you handle a rainy day? A physically rainy day in summer – open the windows, smell the rain; winter – stay inside, go about as usual. Mentally rainy day – sulk, sleep, play video games that don't take much thought.


15. Which is worse...losing your luggage or having to sort out tangled holiday lights? Tangled holiday lights! I am getting an artificial tree that comes with lights some day. Though, truth is I've never lost my luggage… so that could be worse, depending on what's in it.


16. How is your relationship with your parents? Not super close, but good.
Will you miss them when they are gone? Of course. It would create a hole in the world.


17. Do you tend to be aware of what is going on around you? Umm, no… I'm pretty oblivious.


18. What is the truest thing that you know? I am alive.


19. What did you want to be when you grew up? Before I admitted to myself that I wanted to be an author, I wanted to be a dancer or an artist.


20. Have you ever been given a second chance? Yes. And, surprisingly, a third.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Tally and Query Tracker

Status of my novel

  1. first draft
  2. read and revise for plot
  3. read and revise for continuity
  4. read and edit for grammar
  5. polish prose to prettiness
  6. write query and synopsis
  7. query agents

total words to date: 90,256

pages: 397

chapters revised: 10/21 (draft 3)

Previous goals:

  • 2 hour writing session Wednesday - was too tired, slept most of the afternoon. this cold sure has cut down productivity  
  • write letter to self about this year's goals, which I can read through-out the year for inspiration - still need to do
  • edit five chapters of EotF - at least I finished something! 
  • critique three chapters of work not mine - did one. sick, foggy brain and all
  • send out a batch of poetry - submitted 6 poems to The New Yorker 
  • write rough synopsis for EotF - messy, but complete. more of a chapter-by-chapter summary than a good synopsis. but it's a starting point 

Goals for next week:

  • revise 7 more chapters for EotF (trying to get through this round of edits by end of month)
  • goal letter to self 
  • critique at least one chapter (being more reasonable this time) 

 

As predicted, my pun entry got me into the second tier, not the first. My opponent's entry was awesome. Even I thought it beat mine to pulp. On the bright side, competition may be easier in second tier than first, and the prizes are still good.

 

I found a great site today: QueryTracker.net. I'm going to sign up for their free services. Not only do they have a searchable database of agents, along with user comments, but they have query tracking (thus the name). I think it will be a great resource once I start submitting to agents. They keep track of average response times, genres represented, who is actively seeking new clientele, etc. Much like  Duotrope's Digest, except with agents instead of markets. And did I mention it's free? I like free.

Monday, January 21, 2008

5,000 questions!

To help in my endeavor to blog every day this year, I'm going to start answering questions from The 5,000 Question Survey. They'll be scattered over many, many blog postings. On to the Q's...

 

1. Who are you? Mary W. Jensen. The 'W' is for my maiden name, Wilcox, a heritage I am very proud of. (I could put a lot more to answer this Q, but I'm sure the rest of the 5,000 questions will address much of it.)

 

2. What are the 3 most important things everyone should know about you? I am a mother, love fantasy, and am much more shy in person than online.

 

3. When you aren't filling out 5,000 question surveys like this one what are you doing? Reading, writing, playing video games, watching tv, interacting with my son, or browsing the web.

 

4. List your classes in school from the ones you like the most to the ones you like the least (or if you are out of school, think of the classes you did like and didn't like at the time). I hated English (ironic, eh?). I was good at it, just didn't like the repetitiveness or analyzing classics. Also on the dislike list was Fashion. I only took that class because I needed another half semester general credit. I was so out of place there. I surprisingly enjoyed my Social Studies class, mostly due to the charismatic teacher. On the highest rungs of the like list were choir and American Sign Language.

 

5. What is your biggest goal for this year? Sending EotF out into the big wide world of agents.

 

6. Where do you want to be in 5 years? In a house (or townhome) with a piano. I want to be published, or at least signed with an agent. I'm hoping it doesn't take the most of those years, but am prepared to stick through regardless.

 

7. What stage of life are you in right now? Mothering a preschooler, and establishing my own identity through my writing.

 

8. Are you more child-like or childish? I can be both. Probably more child-like, in the naïve, clueless about many things, type of way.

 

9. What is the last thing you said out loud? "Let's turn this down a bit", referring to my blasting DisneyMania CD, after noticing P.'s mom was no longer logged into her work MSN, which means she will be here soon, and I don't want to miss the knock.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Purple Perfection

With a writing nook in mind...

 

You Should Paint Your Room Purple
Sophisticated and exotic, purple can also be a deeply comforting color. Your purple room will inspire you to trust yourself more and go with your intuition. Purple has also been known to facilitate healing and a feeling of protection.
 
 
...now I just need a house with rooms to paint.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cold + Sick + Uneventful = Time for another quote

I've been reading Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Christmas present from a friend). After sharing his personal experiences, King shares this advice:

 

It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around.

So true. It's when you try to do that backwards that life gets messed up.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Openings

Back in July I posted the ending lines for the first ten chapters of Emergence of the Fey. This time I thought it would be interesting to compile the opening lines. All still subject to change, of course, as I'm not to the final line-by-line polishing. It may be interesting to someday look back at this and compare to the final version. As predicted, the openings have a lot more character names than the endings.

 

  1. Marian sat on the edge of the shared bed while Terra tugged a brush through her tangled blonde locks, only half listening as the older girl rambled on about the tinker, Kerr.
  2. One house rested apart from the others, in the shadow of Mount Monderay.
  3. The water rushed down the mountainside to create a serene pool, almost forty feet in diameter, before converging to form the Ah'Hona river.
  4. Marian stood at the base of the mountain looking to the small village ahead, the moonlight painting each wooden structure in pale light.
  5. Jex leaned out from behind a tree, staring intently at the herbalist's house.
  6. Marian tossed and turned all night.
  7. Cail showed up early, interrupting Marian's breakfast of hotcakes and plums.
  8. Upon his arrival in Valadilene, Jex called on Zalandar in his chamber.
  9. Marian snapped her head up as the bedroom door flew open, letting the ribbon she had been twisting with the air drop to the floor.
  10. The following night, Marian sat at her campfire.
  11. Under the light of Storm Moon, Marian snuck out to the plateau.
  12. They set the fourteenth of Death Moon as the target date for the ritual.
  13. Brianne distracted Vis while Kerr loaded the tinker wagon with supplies.
  14. Jex and Kerr spent time each evening on the road going over maps and formulating their plan.
  15. Marian didn't sleep well knowing Isaida swam in the sea with Leviathan.
  16. Marian rowed back to the ship in the boat Lamaric, Dusty, and Isaida just vacated, the identical serpent daggers tied to her waist.
  17. The four day return flight to Eleuteria's Isle was mostly a blur, but for small moments that embedded themselves in Marian's memory.
  18. Eleuteria had Jex in a thrall.
  19. Jex walked Marian to the conference room.
  20. Marian repeated his words over and over to herself as he helped her up the stairs and out into the night air.
  21. When Birth Moon came around again, the small community of Monderay gathered in their town hall.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wedding Ring

Wedding Ring

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bitter Cold

Hubby and I got sick after all. Pretty mild at the moment though. Hopefully won't get worse.

 

It's been so very cold outside lately. This week I stopped taking B out to wait for the school bus. Instead, I get him ready, then go out and wait until I see it come around the corner. Much easier to keep just me warm (and having a hard time doing even that) than both of us. It wouldn't be so bad if we only had to wait outside a few minutes, but there's been too many times the bus has run late. Or if we lived in a house or apartment where we could see the street and not even have to wait outside at all. Maybe someday we can move to Arizona or somewhere warmer....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tuesday Tally and the T.C. poll

Status of my novel

  1. first draft
  2. read and revise for plot
  3. read and revise for continuity
  4. read and edit for grammar
  5. polish prose to prettiness
  6. write query and synopsis
  7. query agents

total words to date: 89,999

pages: 396

chapters revised: 5/21 (draft 3)

Previous goals:

  • add backgrounds to profiles of coven witches in T.C. - not terribly detailed yet, but they all have occupations and short background notes 
  • finish W.W. newsletter and mail - done 
  • Fantasy newsletter - completed
  • have hubby print off poem Thursday and get in mail by Tuesday (for contest) - decided against this. forgot about it until last moment, and decided to submit poem elsewhere
  • 2 hour writing session Wednesday - completely spaced this one. will aim for it tomorrow 
  • edit three chapters EotF - done
  • critique at least three chapters of someone else's work - did two, not bad 
  • write punny letter for a challenge - awful, but done. was my first attempt at puns. it kept to all the guidelines though, so at least I won't be disqualified. Yay for getting the hardest category during a non-elimination round! 

Goals for next week:

  • 2 hour writing session Wednesday
  • write letter to self about this year's goals, which I can read through-out the year for inspiration 
  • edit five chapters of EotF 
  • critique three chapters of work not mine
  • send out a batch of poetry 
  • write rough synopsis for EotF

Votes on the sidebar poll would be appreciated. A bit more background on that for anyone wondering. Trinity Coven is set in modern time. It's a fantasy novel with a strong romantic subplot. Every 1000(? see poll) years, three witches are reborn. If they all have their magic awakened, and form the Trinity Coven, they have the ability to summon a dragon. This dragon has been the cause of plagues, wars, and natural disasters. Three warlocks are given the task to stop this summoning. Throughout time, sometimes the witches succeed, and sometimes the warlocks stop them. But the question is the time between rebirths/summonings. My initial idea was one thousand years, but after researching disasters throughout history in attempts to blame some on the dragon, I'm having a hard time limiting myself. I don't want to go overboard, however, thus the poll. Please vote! (deadline extended)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mermaids

 

This is absolutely beautiful. If mermaids danced, this is what it would look like. I'd never heard of underwater dance until I saw this on Endicott Studio's Blog. Such mystical elegance.

 

Here is a poem I wrote a long time ago about mermaids. It seems fitting to post it here with this video.

 

Sleek, Wet, Beautiful

Children of Neptune

They have a love for trinkets

And only fear the fishers

They feel the constant pull of the tide

Inhabiting our dreams

Mermaids

Sunday, January 13, 2008

B Update

B is feeling better. Should be going to school tomorrow. And it seems the rest of us avoided the worst.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Philosophy According to Whitman

"Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and mothers of families. ... reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem."

 

~ Walt Whitman

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sickness

The downside to all this babysitting and preschool is more opportunities for B to get sick. P got him sick this time. My poor little boy is miserable today. Runny nose, coughing, watery eyes, tired. Looks like today is a TV day, and he'll probably take a nap even though he took one yesterday. For the first time in his life he's actually able to communicate with me that he has a sore throat. Before I always had to guess off behavior. I've had a mild sore throat as well. Hopefully they didn't get me sick... But inevitably sickness works its way through the family.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Looking for Health Recommendations

I've been going to America's Best for my contacts and glasses for many years now. Recently my plan expired again and I am not renewing it. They may have good prices, but I have not been happy with their service. Long wait times, lost paperwork, misinformed over the phone about whether I need an appointment, etc. Almost every time I went in there was some sort of problem. Does anyone know a good eye doctor in the Salt Lake Valley?

 

I'm also looking for recommendations of heartburn medicine. I've had Tums Extra Strength since my pregnancy four years ago. Other than that time period I very rarely had heartburn. But this past year something in my body must have changed (certainly not my diet or activity) and I have it on average once a week. It's miserable. And Tums is no longer doing the trick, or takes a long time to kick in.  Any suggestions would be helpful.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Share the Bear

My son is getting much better at sharing. He has his toys that no one else can play with of course, but is good at making sure P has something as well. He's best at sharing food though. If he has leftover cereal, P can have some. If there's a banana, B will split it (always making sure P has a plate or bowl to put it on). And lately they've had Christmas Gummy Bears as a treat. If I give B two, he will automatically eat one and give the other to P. I don't even have to tell him to share.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tuesday Tally

Status of my novel

  1. first draft
  2. read and revise for plot
  3. read and revise for continuity
  4. read and edit for grammar
  5. polish prose to prettiness
  6. write query and synopsis
  7. query agents

total words to date: 89,967

pages: 396

chapters revised: 2/21 (draft 3)

Previous goals:

  • send follow-up email to 1097 magazine as it's been three months w/out acknowledgement or response  - sent
  • Wilcox Writers newsletter - not ready for mailing yet 
  • character profiles of major players in Trinity Coven - added more background information to the Heidrich brothers, but did little with the Coven
  • Exercise 3 times - missed one day, doing make-up for it today
  • Wednesday post about a Year in Review - here
  • Thursday post about Goals - here

Goals for next week:

  • add backgrounds to profiles of coven witches in T.C. 
  • finish W.W. newsletter and mail Wednesday 
  • Fantasy newsletter 
  • have hubby print off poem Thursday and get in mail by Tuesday (for contest)
  • 2 hour writing session Wednesday 
  • edit three chapters EotF
  • critique at least three chapters of someone else's work
  • write punny letter for a challenge

I got a Booklover's desktop calendar for Christmas. Yesterday I had a brilliant idea. Usually I write my daily to-do list in a little notebook or on a scrap of paper. But after seeing the lovely emptiness of the back of a calendar page, I'm using those. Tear off yesterday's page, turn it over, write my list, and toss it at the end of the day.

 

Supposedly having a writing meeting this Saturday. Haven't heard confirmations from anyone though. Hopefully someone shows up.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Striving for Dreams

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours."

-- Henry David Thoreau

 

Keep dreaming, keep striving.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ripping my heart with the pages

B is usually good with books. He and P do get rowdy sometimes, throw books, bounce with them on the bed, etc, so lately I've taken to keeping them all in the other room when I'm babysitting (P is also less gentle with books). Usually if even a tiny tear occurs, B is handing it to me needing it fixed right now. But today (obviously no P influencing him, being Sunday and no babysitting), I heard a tearing noise from his room. I cringed and tried to think of what magazine or papers he might have in there to tear. Unable to think of any, I went to investigate. B was quite calmly, and deliberately, ripping out the pages in his once favorite book about cars. It made me sick to my stomach seeing the book in that condition. I didn't get mad at him. It's his book, his choice how to treat it. I calmly told him to put the pieces in the garbage. Which he did, showing no remorse at the loss of the book. It will be some time before I feel comfortable leaving the books in his room again. If he wants a story, he will have to pick one from the box in the front room, and be supervised the entire time. Then it goes right back into the box. It's just so sad that he treated his book that way. I just can't understand it.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Will Smith in "I Am Legend"

Last night we saw "I Am Legend". We would have seen a second movie, but we didn't want to wait over an hour for the next shows to start.

 

Will Smith is one of my favorite actors. He is incredibly talented. I first saw him in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which I enjoyed for the comedy. For a long time I considered him only a comedy actor. Then I saw "The Legend of Bagger Vance" and learned how amazing he is in an inspirational role. No matter what type of film he's been in - comedy, romance, inspirational, action, post-apocalyptic - he portrays the part. He really knows how to show emotion. Just his facial expressions convey so much. I haven't seen a movie with him in it that I haven't enjoyed. He was perfect in "I Am Legend". I don't know how many actors could pull off that role.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Freedom Tonight

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. This afternoon we're dropping B off at his grandma's house to spend the night. Yay! The plan is to go out to dinner at Chili's (paid with gift card), then go see a movie (also paid by gift card), maybe two if the timing is right and we're up to it. There are so many movies out right now that we want to see! AVP: Requiem, One Missed Call, The Water Horse, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Alvin and the Chipmunks, I am Legend, Atonement, The Golden Compass, and Enchanted. Most can wait until they're out on Netflix. The ones we really want to try for are I am Legend and National Treasure. Looking forward to a good time tonight. :-)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2008 - Looking Ahead

This year's goals...

Ongoing endeavors:

  • Read from an inspirational book every day - start by finishing 101 Powerful Promises from Latter-day Prophets by Wayne E. Brickey, then read God wants a Powerful People by Sheri Dew.
  • Blog everyday. I've joined Blog365.
  • work on Trinity Coven weekly
  • continue sending out The Blazing Princess until it sells or the year ends
  • exercise 15-30 minutes, 3x week
  • do at least two cities in Rock Band solo tour each week (exercise and stress relief all in one!)
  • have meal plans and shopping list done before Friday
  • try two new recipes each month
  • resume 2 hour writing sessions on Wednesday
  • read two books a month, one Fantasy and one outside my genre

Goals with Deadlines:

  • enter Odyssey Poetry contest (deadline January 15)
  • get new contacts by January 31
  • write new Dear Me letter and enter into WDC contest (deadline Jan. 31)
  • participate in Storycrafter's February Workshop on Plot & Structure
    • get book required by Jan. 31
  • Attend Life, the Universe, and Everything SF&F Symposium for at least one day, February 14-16
  • throw a theme party for B's fourth birthday (March 8)
    • decide on theme (January 31)
    • ask Mom to make cake and if we can stage event at her house (Feb. 9)
    • send out invites (Feb. 26)
    • buy supplies (March 1)
  • polish EotF by March 31
  • compile list of 20 agents, write query and synopsis for EotF, and have manuscript in standard format by April 30
  • query five agents by June 1
  • finish Trinity Coven by Dec. 1 (so nice having December off)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2007: A Year in Review

Here are some highlights from last year.

 

January: 5th wedding anniversary. first paid article (topic: blogging. site: Associated Content). created The Realm of Dashevona forums. Dear Me letter detailing goals for year.

 

February: B ahead of others in sensory class (more social and interested in communicating), we pulled him out to wait for preschool. entered poetry contest, didn't place.

 

March: B turned three and started preschool, plus first time on bus (loved it from day one). finished writing short story The Blazing Princess. took and aced Psychology 101 Final Exam. TMNT came out! considered buying a hatch-back Yaris, but decided saving money for a house was more important than a new car. discovered the restaurant Chili's. wrote first entry on this blog.

 

April: first ever Tuesday Tally. phone died, had to buy a new one. entered hook writing contest. Drive canceled :(. bought a Wii.

 

May: won a free book. B's daily naps went to every couple days. Lloyd Alexander passed away. :-(

 

June: dropped out of ECE classes, as requirements for course were too overwhelming. started 100 day writing challenge. won a chapter critique from Manuscript Mavens. finished writing short story Mirror. entered Blazing Princess in Writers of the Future contest. preschool ended for summer.

 

July: sent out three batches of poetry. had to replace DVD-drive in my computer. reached halfway point in EotF. 

 

August: started monetary vacation fund incentive for exercising.

 

September: Blazing Princess quarter-finaled in Writers of the Future contest. preschool started again for B. replaced drive again. got cool gamer's keyboard.  started using Windows Live Writer. Madeleine L'Engle and Robert Jordan died. :-( . completed 100 day challenge. creation of Ubduk. submitted Blazing Princess to Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show.

 

October: started mailing list for EotF website. Liz finished her novel. experienced spectacular service at Outback Steakhouse. signed up for 70 Days Sweat. wrote first paragraph of Trinity Coven. got tagged on WDC for 8 random facts about me.

 

November: WGA started their strike. spent two weeks focusing on gratitude. bought wide-screen HDTV. finished my novel!

 

December: created a poetry flipbook. dropped out of 70 Days Sweat to focus instead on editing. got rejection for Blazing Princess. bought Rock Band. saw Celine Dion on the big screen. more computer problems, this time with software. my sister Liz got engaged!

 

I'm very happy with my writing progress last year. My major goal was to finish my novel, which I did. My exercising was sporadic, but still much more than the year before. Hopefully this will be another good year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Tuesday Tally of a new year

Status of my novel

  1. first draft
  2. read and revise for plot
  3. read and revise for continuity
  4. read and edit for grammar
  5. polish prose to prettiness
  6. write query and synopsis
  7. query agents

total words to date: 89,746

pages: 396

chapters revised: 0/21 (draft 3)

Previous goals:

  • write a synopsis for The Blazing Princess and prep story for submission to Drollerie Press after the holidays  - written and sent 
  • minimum one article a week (new or old) for AC - altering goal as they no longer pay upfront for anything appearing on Ezines, which is where all my articles are. 
  • get more feedback on plot and character in EotF  - any volunteers? going to start more revisions regardless 
  • make list of goals for the new year, and write about this year's goals  - see some below. tomorrow's post will be a Year in Review 

Goals for next week:

  • send follow-up email to 1097 magazine as it's been three months w/out acknowledgement or response
  • Wilcox Writers newsletter
  • character profiles of major players in Trinity Coven
  • Exercise 3 times
  • Wednesday post about a Year in Review
  • Thursday post about Goals - detailed and deadlined.

I have plans for this year, but need to come up with specifics and deadlines. I want to finish Trinity Coven, polish EotF and start submitting to agents, go to the fantasy symposium at BYU in February, and continue sending out The Blazing Princess until it sells or the year is over. Non-writing related I want to continue strengthening my exercise routine, get better at Rock Band (a workout in itself), and throw a theme party for B's fourth birthday. I also want to move into a house, but that is probably too situational to make a specific goal. We've been saving money for a down payment, and will add most of our tax return to that. If the market is good, and we can afford something, we'll likely start house hunting this summer so we can be ready before our lease is up in November.

 

I like to challenge myself with writing, and contests are a good way to do so. On Writing.com I've entered a tournament that will put me one-on-one against different writers, tackling a variety of forms and prompts. It's a good thing this first round isn't an elimination though, as it deals with something I've never attempted - puns. Well, I wanted a challenge and I got it. At least I have two weeks to write my entry.

 

I had an enjoyable New Year's Eve. After putting the boy to bed, my husband and I played EverQuest2 for a couple hours, then rocked out on Rock Band until after eleven. We ate tri-colored butter cake (used the leftover frosting from Christmas cookies) which was my best looking cake yet (though still rather sad looking; at least taste matters more than looks).

 

Best wishes to you all for a wonderful year ahead.