Friday, August 29, 2008

Tea and Research

I'm doing lots of research for the new plot right now. I've been reading books out of a huge to-be-read pile, mostly on esoteric subjects, but also on things like travel writing and guides to locations in Ireland, etc. I also picked out a car for my main character. Not for real, of course. But I looked through the car ads in an online Irish newspaper for Brenna's car, and found one that I think would be just the type she'd probably lease and drive. It's a blue Ford Focus--midrange, cute and practical. I should probably go drive one now, I suppose....

I've nearly finished Chapter 2 of the new book. I've done most of my work with the laptop in coffee shops, although this sometimes attracts a chatty person who apparently thinks that if you're a red-haired female working on your laptop in a coffee shop, then you must either be his personal confessor or you are sitting there specifically to answer his questions about yourself. I don't mean that this is just one person in particular--Heaven forbid. But every now and then, I encounter someone like this, which is 1. flattering, 2. slightly annoying, and 3. a little creepy. This doesn't happen as much when I work in a restaurant, but the restaurant is more expensive. The library would be better and usually quieter, but my schedule doesn't always permit that. Oh, well. I'll get the work done regardless.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shop-n-Write Evening

I'm about to start taking bellydance fusion classes in September. Fusion is a progressive and heavily disciplined style that I love to watch, but I'm not sure what my learning curve might be. I've been taking regular bellydance classes for nearly two years now, and since my early 20's I've taken scattered classes that ranged from bellydance to ballet, jazz and Irish dance. I'll have to see how the fusion goes. I went shopping today and came out of the store with five bras I can cover with coins or otherwise decorate for belly dance. Normally, that would have come under the category of Really Expensive, but in this case, they were marked down quite a bit at one of the stores that carries seconds and discontinued styles. Hopefully, they'll do for what I need.

After the shopping, I realized it was already too late at night for me to get much done with the kids and their schoolwork at home, so I decided to stop off at a restaurant and get some food and writing time all in one go. It was late enough that not too many other people were still at the T.G.I. Friday's, so I was seated all by myself in a quiet section. One hour, a plate of salad and a page and a half of the new Brenna book later, I had to go home, as the restaurant was closing. But the plan worked. I love it when I can accomplish two goals at once, even if it does cost me sixteen dollars and change. I can't do it too often, though, or I'll go broke just trying to get some writing done.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Good Theory

Working at the library was a good idea--in theory. After a hectic week last week, we arrived at the library today ready to work. The older daughter had done her volunteer shift, and the younger one and I had run a couple of errands. We met at the library study area about a quarter after five. I then tried to get the kids set up working so I could commence writing. Predictably, the younger one needed some direction, and I found that she had not done any of her computer research this morning, and needed the internet in order to answer a couple of the questions for her Social Studies. So I had to let her use my laptop for a little while to get past one of the assignments. Working with her is very time-intensive. Then just as I was about to be able to write, I discovered that the older one had fallen asleep on top of the desk. I had to wake her and get her back to work, and then we had to go over all the ways she could complete her various unfinished Civics assignments using the internet instead of a newspaper, and that took up vast amounts of time. Finally, I let her have the laptop for a few minutes and went out to the truck to get a drink of water. When I came back, it was 7:20 and the library closes at 8:00. I opened my files for writing and the older girl came back after only 10 minutes on the library computer, saying the card had only let her have a half hour--which she had definitely not taken, according to the clock on my computer. I sent her back to try again and started to work on my WIP again. Then the Huz called to say the quiche was done, at least 20 minutes before the library was due to close, when I'd said we'd leave. So that's it. I give up. I wrote this blog at lightning speed and now I'm headed home, no more than one or two sentences to the good for this writing session.

Sigh. Sometimes the magic just doesn't happen.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Pact

The Moxie have made a pact. Each of us is to get a minimum number of pages done each day and post the page number to our list. It's just a little something to make us accountable for our progress or lack of it. My personal quota is at least two pages a day, but preferably three. Yesterday I made my quota, finishing 3 3/4 pages (the last part of the last scene of Brigid's Forge, Chapter One). Blog posts do not count--only progress made on the current Work In Progress, or WIP.

Which means I need to stop blogging and playing with my new cell phone and get writing. Incidentally, the new phone is black and red and actually has a querty keyboard. So I can even use it to take notes or write a little if I get desperate when I'm out somewhere. I've been playing with it all evening, to get used to its features. Obviously, it's just a little too much fun, when I have my actual full-size computer and ergo keyboard right here in front of me. Enough playing. Must get to work....

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Move Over, Shamu!

This (Friday) evening our belly dance troupe performed at a water park in Meridian. We had a bit less than 30 minutes, and our show was divided in half by a belly flop competition for the swimmers. Predictably, we lost over half our audience when the competition ended. Oh, well. We performed up on a concrete platform in front of a decoration that looked like waves. Several feet below us was a pool, where our audience bobbed up and down on little inner-tube-like floaties as they watched our show. It struck me that when people go to a marine park to watch the dolphins or whales, the people are up on the concrete bleachers and the entertainment is in the water. In this case, the entertainment was up on the concrete and the audience was in the water. Weird.

Another first was seeing my last name plastered across someone's butt. Granted, it was the Hurley athletic clothing line, not my name specifically, but still--it made me look. It was also a first to perform belly dance in front of an audience who was more scantily clad than we were!

See what kind of trouble I get up to without a publisher's contract to fulfill? Clearly, something needs to be done about this.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Waiting Game

With as many irons as I have in the fire, you'd think a few would have grown hot by now, but I'm still playing the waiting game. There are a couple manuscripts out to test readers, and I'm waiting for feedback on those. The agent article to be posted isn't up yet; the site's owners are swamped, so might not get to it for a while. No word yet on any possible publishing contracts. One seminar and one convention aren't to take place until September and November, respectively. So...I wait. I'm not so much patient as I am resigned.

While waiting, I've performed my first belly dance solo, constructed some much-needed costume pieces, worked with the kids on the ever-present homeschool, read some other people's books, critiqued stuff for friends, and done research for the new Brenna book. And I've nearly completed the first chapter of the new book; some of it hinges on that research, so I'm working on writing even when I'm reading. A little teaser: Some of the books I'm reading now for research are about ley lines, astral projection, the nature of energy, black holes, and paranormal occurrences in Ireland.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Succubus Blues

I just finished reading Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead, whom I met at the PNWA conference. Briefly, the book is about a succubus named Georgina who has to take life energy from mortals in order to survive, but she isn't particularly happy about it, and it quite understandably wreaks havoc with her ability to love and be loved. What she'd really like is to be mortal again, but that just isn't in the cards right now. One of the few pleasures in her life is reading and escaping into stories, and where her favorite author, Seth Mortenson, is concerned, she's a total fangirl. When Seth moves to Seattle, Georgina is shocked and delighted, but then other immortals start stirring the pot...and all hell breaks loose.

This is a great read. It's written in first person, but Georgina is one of those characters who--in true succubus style--had me at hello, so the POV didn't matter to me. Richelle Mead's voice is fresh and compelling, her subject matter even more so. It's a delightful break from the usual vampires and werewolves, and gives a unique view into what life (or immortality) might be like from the "other" side of the tracks. Richelle did what a truly great author should do; she made me laugh, made me cry, and made me care. I'll be back for more.