Saturday, January 31, 2009

Goodbye Clutter

The cleaning and reorganizing I started on Tuesday has continued through the rest of the week. Yesterday I dragged the vacuum in, and today I've been labeling file folders and sorting through all the various papers, recycling some and filing some. I can't believe how much clutter had accumulated in my office.

While I was sorting, I had a look through my folder of rejection slips that date from 1984 to 1999, spanning articles, short stories, and novels. Some of the rejections were just my own query letters returned to me with a "not for us" stamp on the top. They made me smile. Some of my queries and rookie mistakes made me smile. I'll keep the rejection letters. If nothing else, they prove just how long I've been at this game. But I don't need the clutter, and I'm glad to see it go. My office looks like an office again--a place where someone might actually write a book and run a business.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

News and Organizing

I had some really good news yesterday; the special critique is done and the verdict is in. Apparently my rewrite worked well, so this morning I sent the manuscript back to Bob. Now things can continue to move forward on marketing The Ninth Wave to publishers.

Today I'm working on cleaning and reorganizing my office, and I also have to get a critique done for one of the Moxie ladies who's planning on entering a contest and needs the first couple of chapters looked at, pronto. So far, the whole day has revolved around writing in one way or another, which is a nice change.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The SS

We had a Moxie meeting today (well, technically yesterday, but I don't consider my previous day over until the new day actually dawns), and I think I've finally finished shortening my synopsis. Try as I might, I can't see how to make it any shorter and still retain the most critical plot points. It ended up about 3 1/2 double-spaced pages long. I'm hoping that's short enough--I've rewritten it several times and cut as much as I can find to cut. For me, a 3 1/2 page synopsis is a miracle of brevity.

I had a free Edwards' Cinema pass that was to expire in mid-February, so I went to see Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Nice special effects, and a nice but tragic love story--as we already knew to expect from details revealed in the other two films. This one's the prequel to the other two, and I think it worked. So there's my fantasy movie fix for the next little while, until Inkheart comes to the second-run theater, or until I go raid the library DVD shelves again.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I heard from my special critique person about the revised Ninth Wave, and while she hasn't finished it yet, so far she likes the changes I've made, so that's awesome news. Over the past couple of days, I've finished going over the novel and making changes according to the latest crit I got back from Stef, one of my regular critique partners. It's just little stuff--nothing to rewrite, really. Just a change to a sentence or a word here and there, or the occasional clarification as to how Brenna knew such-and-such, etc. I'm just tweaking. Fussing. Deciding whether to capitalize all the occurrances of the word "Sidhe", or treat it more like the word "human". Tweaking.

I'm still not finished with the synopsis, and it needs more than a bit of tweaking.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spec-Fic Meeting

Whew! I managed to get my urban fantasy notes written up for the Boise Speculative Fiction Writers meeting less than an hour before the meeting started. I wrote them at the library while my older daughter was at her book club meeting, so when she was done I had to take her home, (thankfully not far from the library) print out the notes, and leave again. Depending on traffic, the commute to the bookstore where the Spec-Fic meeting is held is somewhere between 25 minutes to a half hour. The meeting normally starts at 6:30. I left home about 6:06, and arrived at the meeting without speeding, and with one minute to spare. Nice. Time really does bend, apparently.

The meeting went well enough. While several of our usual attendees were unable to be there, we had a few new people, so it balanced out. I didn't do handouts this time. My UF notes are brief, but I'll probably post them on the Genrebenders blog as soon as I get the chance. At that point, I'll amend this post and include a link. For anyone familiar with the urban fantasy genre, the notes are brief enough that they probably won't tell you anything you don't already know. It's just a basic overview of the genre, mostly aimed at the people who ask, "Just what is urban fantasy, anyway?" In any case, it'll provide a post for Genrebenders, (which so far I haven't found the time to post to) and maybe someone will find the information worth a read.

Next I have to put together a Pookatales Press mini book that just sold on ebay, and get it ready to mail. Then the next order of business is to go back to that synopsis, find the most current version, and try to shorten it further, since it's had a week or two of percolation time.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Okay, I'm still waiting on the special critique, but I'm almost done with the piece of calendar-related artwork that's been flowing out of my fingers over the past week. I've also come up with a tentative idea for a one-off book. Urban fantasy again, but with a different premise. I've always liked rewritten or novelized faery tales, and that's essentially what this would be. I've tried this particular one before in a historical setting, but it caught somewhere, stuck, and just didn't want to be written. This time...I think I may have it. Maybe. I found a mix of elements involving the basic premise of this faery tale against the backdrop of a modern-day city and a couple of modern-day subcultures. I tried out a page of it on my crit group, and they think it works. So now we'll see.

I was looking for a short story idea, since it would be good for me to get a few short story credits to my name, and the stories are something I could finish relatively quickly while waiting on that crit. But true to my typical M.O., the idea I had wasn't short story material. I also don't think it's series material, either. But a retold faerytale one-off in the urban fantasy genre...maybe that has potential. The biggest questions at this point are: Do I write it in my usual third person POV or in first? And do I make it a paranormal romance--which would lend itself well to a standalone book--or do I make it a straight urban fantasy and then hope no one wants me to make a series from it? Of course, my heart's still very firmly with Brenna and the world of Ninth Wave, so I have to consider how this standalone would impact her potential series. Choices, choices.

Ironically, while I'm deciding, this is also the week I'm supposed to work up a presentation on urban fantasy for the local speculative fiction group, due at Thursday's meeting. Maybe I'll be able to come to a decision in the process.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Back Into the Fray

Now that the holidays are over, here's hoping things begin moving forward again--in the publishing industry, in the economy, and elsewhere. For those who have been following the novel's progress, I've been waiting while a certain crucial critique comes in--haven't got it back yet--and then maybe we can start actively marketing the book again. Until then, the marketing efforts are on a brief (hopefully very brief) hiatus.

In the meantime, I'm working on the synopsis of Ninth Wave, which I may well rename again so the title sounds more like an Urban Fantasy title. I'm also working on the second Brenna book, "Brigid's Forge," and trying to sell more mini books for Pookatales Press to help make ends meet. I've also got a project involving artwork and calendars, and maybe the makings of a short story rattling around in my head trying to smooth itself into some semblance of a plot. Knowing me, that short story will probably turn into a novel. That's what happens with most of my short stories, which is part of why I have no short story credits to my name. Such short stories as I do have are currently part of my mini book line for Pookatales Press.

Waiting for news is always hard, but I suppose the best time to do it would be in the winter, when the earth around us is waiting for spring anyway.