Friday, March 28, 2008


This week I'm participating in a marathon on the writers' site called Forward Motion. The marathon is called--rather aptly--March Madness. Goals vary, but the first level requires a minimum of 1000 words a day for a 7000-word week total. So far, I have 3608 toward that goal...and I finished pruning all the roses today. Yay for me.

If that were all I currently needed to accomplish, I'd have it made, but life is never quite that simple. There's always more to do, more squeeky wheels that need to be oiled. Modern life is its own kind of marathon. Kind of makes a person wish for the days when things were simpler. Most people weren't driving thither and yon using up all the fossil fuel on the planet, people lived at a slower pace and went about their lives in a more mindful fashion, and just about anyone who actually found time to write could get published.

Now back to your regularly scheduled rat race....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

News--And More Waiting

I called my agent today and found out where Ninth Wave's been submitted. Let's just's in good hands. All I can do at this point is wait, and let everyone do their jobs. And then we'll see.

In the meantime, I'm also nearly finished with Shifts--within five chapters, anyway. I had to write the current scene in two sessions because one half is a bittersweet romantic interlude and the next half is where the POV character's world falls apart as she faces her worst nightmare. The mood of the scene changes so completely that it wasn't possible for me to do both parts in the same writing session.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Six at One Blow

Okay, so the brave little tailor actually killed seven flies with one blow, but the concept's the same. I knocked off six pages during the wee hours last night and finished the entire first scene of Chapter 15. Then I paid for it by sleeping all day. It was worth it, though. Some scenes come in bits and pieces, fits and starts of maybe a hundred or so words each. Those, I have to go through later and groom to make sure they flow the way they should. But the ones I really love are the ones that just use me to get themselves written. I start writing, and the story flows through my fingers, and the next thing I know, it's two or three hours later and the scene is complete from beginning to end, in one seamless whole. It's the holy grail for writers--being "in flow." Time just seems to stop, and magic happens. This experience is what keeps me writing and give me the impetus to go on even through the fits-and-starts kinds of scenes--the promise that sooner or later, the muse will strike and there'll be a flow scene to balance things out.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


The problem with some scenes is that sometimes even when you know what is supposed to happen, you don't exactly know how. I've arrived at one of the pivotal scenes in the book, and I'm not sure exactly how the pre-showdown showdown between my heroine and the villain plays out.

I know she has to surprise him, and then he has to surprise her in turn, causing an unexpected turn of events.... And if you're still reading this after that particularly non-informative bit of information, bless you. Even though this book has no contract on the table, I still can't get too spoilerific, just in case the situation changes later. But I can say that my heroine's run-in with the villain right here changes the course of several relationships between characters, and begins to set the scene for the final confrontation a few chapters later. So I need to do it right. It can't drag or have too long of a lead-in.

I just started watching Series 5 of Ballykissangel on DVD, so my mind really isn't in Oantra at the moment (which might be part of the problem with this scene.) My mind is in Ireland tonight. It's with my urban fantasy character Brenna and the possible plot for the new manuscript. And it's in New York also, wondering what's happening with the current manuscript and the publishers. Wondering whether I'll be taking my second trip to Ireland anytime soon, and whether it'll be for business or pleasure--or the perfect combination thereof.

Everything's that horrible "hurry up and wait" stage. It's not spring yet, but neither is it winter. My summer tomato seedlings are up, but they can't be planted outside yet or they'll freeze. My book hasn't got an offer I know about, but it's still in the early stages of being shopped around, while meanwhile I read about book after book being bought from other fantasy writers by some of the houses I hope will offer for mine. Everything's just up in the air, and...poised. Like a vulture on a cliff. (Thanks, Amergin.)

My epic fantasy character, Raena, and I are in the same boat right now. She's headed up a dark staircase, about to encounter the unknown. And I'm staring up another dark staircase--the ladder to publication that leads to a different type of unknown. I just hope that what awaits me is considerably more pleasant than what awaits Raena.