Wednesday Writing Journal: 2013-01-30

A short update this time:

I’m still doing edits on Warmistress. I’m going through chapters seven and eight right now. I might finish those off tomorrow night and move on to the next segment of the work.

I had hoped to be done with edits before the end of the month, but it doesn’t look like I’ll hit that mark. I’m setting a new deadline of February 15th for getting edits done. At the pace I’ve been going, I’m pretty sure I can hit that date.

Update: I’ve finished chapters 7 and 8. Moving on to the next submission section that ran through the critique group. This section contains chapters 9 and 10.

Monday Muse: 2013-01-28

From time to time, my muse rears her head and talks to me. I’ve managed to capture some of these conversations and am sharing them with you. I will warn you that my muse is a potty-mouth. I have no control over what she tells me. Sorry.

Muse: What do you mean you sprained your right knee?

Me: It is what it is.

Muse: But you were just walking up the damn stairs!

Me: Yep.

Muse: You’re such a fucking klutz! Now you’re going to be hopped up on pain-killers and who knows what else!

Me: So?

Muse: Do you know what that does to your ability to focus on what I’m telling you?

Me: Yeah. It’ll open me up to all sorts of new perspectives and ideas! What’s the problem there?

Muse: Dammit. You just don’t get it do you?

Me: ….

Muse: I’m going to give you a spark of brilliance, and your drug-addled brain is going to play a “telephone game” with my ideas. Who knows what’s really going to come out on the page?

Me: Nah. It’s okay. I’m just on Vicodin. I don’t get loopy on that stuff.

Muse: Really? You mean you don’t get blathering stupid and drool on the keyboard while on those meds?

Me: Nope. Not one little bit. Of course, I may need knee surgery for this injury, so we’ll see how it goes. I may be on the “heavy hitters” for a week or two after the surgery. If it comes to that, I’ll avoid writing your ideas down until my brain’s clear.

Muse: Good. I don’t need to be blamed for another story like Zombie C.L.O.W.N.S.!

Me: Don’t worry. I’ll take all of the credit for any weird stuff I write while getting “blathering stupid” on pain meds.

Muse: That’s the way it should be. Now get back to edits before I have to slap you some more. *fades into darkness*

Wednesday Writing Journal: 2013-01-23

I’m hip-deep in edits on Warmistress right now. I’m done with chapters one through four. I’m busy polishing chapters five and six right now. I have about four more passes to go before I’m done with those chapters. I’m not sure what the next segment is, though. I haven’t looked that far ahead. I know it starts with chapter seven. 🙂 I think the next chunk is probably chapters seven through nine. Could just be seven and eight.

Either way, I’m making good progress, and I think I’m still on target for finishing the edits by the end of the month.

I’m eager to get them done, so I can outline the third book in the trilogy: Warmother.

Monday Muse: 2013-01-21

From time to time, my muse rears her head and talks to me. I’ve managed to capture some of these conversations and am sharing them with you. I will warn you that my muse is a potty-mouth. I have no control over what she tells me. Sorry.

Muse: Been doing edits?

Me: Yep.

Muse: How far along are you?

Me: I just finished with chapters one through four. Stepping into chapters five and six now.

Muse: So…. You have nineteen chapters to revise to finish the book, and you’re only done with chapter four?

Me: *looking down at feet* Yeah.

Muse: Right. Do you think you can do the other fifteen chapters by the end of the month.

Me: Maybe. I’m taking a day off later this week to focus on edits.

Muse: You mean fart around on Facebook and Twitter, right?

Me: Nope. I have a meeting in the morning, and after that meeting, I’m finding a place that serves coffee and no Internet. I’ll get my edits done. Don’t worry.

Muse: Okay. If you say so. Remember, I have ideas to give you starting in February. Don’t make me give them to someone else!

Me: You got it!

Muse: Good. *fades into darkness*

Vice President, Pikes Peak Writers

As most of you may know by now, I’m the new vice president of the Pikes Peak Writers. This has been in the works for a little over a month, which is one of the reasons I chose to not run again as president of the CSFWG. Things went as I had hoped because it was time for me to move on from the CSFWG. I’d done all I could as president of that organization, and I wish the new president, Andy Burns, all the best as he builds his own legacy in the group.

As for my role in the PPW, I’ll be backing up the new president, Laura Hayden. She’s a little remote from the organization, being in Alabama, but she’s a wonderful leader and a pleasure to work with. With the Internet shrinking the world, I’m sure we won’t have any issues with communication and collaboration. I’m really looking forward to working with Laura and the rest of the board members to guide the PPW into the future.

Fare Thee Well, CSFWG

Yesterday morning the annual elections for the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group were held. Until that time, I’d been a volunteer/leader of the organization for five years. The first year was as Saturday Officer (called Saturday VP at the time), and the past four years was as president of the organization. When the elections for 2013 rolled around, I decided I’d put in my time and done good things during that time. I chose not to run for reelection as president and secretary this year.

To go a step further, I also resigned my membership in the group. I’m setting myself up for bigger and better things, so I needed the extra time to focus on those bigger/better items on the horizon. More details will come about those things in the near future as they develop. Now, don’t read too much into this. I’m not saying the CSFWG is a bad organization. Quite the opposite. It’s a great group of people, but it’s time for me to move on to different things in my writing life.

As for what I accomplished as president, I’m quite proud of the following list of items:

  • Grew the membership from 16 people to 43 people.
  • Grew the group count from 2 critique groups to 4 critique groups. Honestly, it should 5, but the hiving to the fifth group will have to be the responsibility of the new board of directors.
  • Started hosting workshops for the members. This wasn’t my idea, but through my leadership, it’s been going strong.
  • Started an annual retreat for the members. This wasn’t my idea either, but I assisted in getting it off the ground and helped keep it going.
  • Presented 5 out of the 10 workshops.
  • Presented (or co-presented) 8 out of the 14 retreat workshop sessions.
  • Established the CSFWG as an official 501(c)(3) non-profit.
  • Lead the way, kept the group on track, assisted in editing and contributed a story to the CSFWG’s first anthology!
  • Helped dozens of people improve their craft of writing and assisted them in understanding the business of writing.
    • Along this journey, I also improved my own writing skills and have a much deeper understanding of how things work outside my words on the page.
  • Lastly, I made a ton of friends and connections in the writing world. There are many I’ll miss seeing every month.

I wish the CSFWG and its members the best of luck and the greatest success in their efforts!

PS: Stay tuned in the next day or five for more life-changing announcements. Yeah. I’m a tease that way.

Wednesday Writing Journal: 2013-01-09

I’m not doing much “writing” these days, but I’m doing a ton of editing on Warmistress. I’m going through the feedback given to me by my critique group. I’ve gone through chapters 1-4 a few times already and fix/polished quite a few things. I’d say I’m roughly one-third the way through the written feedback pages I’ve received. I hope to finish off this chunk by the end of the weekend, and move on to the next chunk by Monday morning during my commute.

For tonight, I’m still editing something, but not the book. I have a very close and looming deadline for editing a short story for an anthology. I gotta get cracking on those edits from the editor or risk missing the deadline. For those of you that know me (even just a little bit), one thing I don’t do is miss deadlines.

UPDATE: Edits are done on the short story. They’re off into the great communication tubes of email land to the editor! It feels good to get that done.

Monday Muse: 2013-01-07

From time to time, my muse rears her head and talks to me. I’ve managed to capture some of these conversations and am sharing them with you. I will warn you that my muse is a potty-mouth. I have no control over what she tells me. Sorry.

Muse: So, you’re working on edits?

Me: Yep.

Muse: I see you’re listening to your critique partners.

Me: Most of them most of the time. *smirks*

Muse: Why not all of them all of the time?

Me: Because it’s my book. It’s my… er… our ideas on the page. I know they’re here to help me out, but in the end, I’m the one that has to put my name on the cover. I can’t do everything everyone says at every moment.

Muse: Good for you. Now get back to your edits. I want you done within a month.

Me: Why a month?

Muse: Remember our last conversation? I have to get the ideas out of me. It’s my nature.

Me: Yeah. I remember.

Muse: I figure I have a month before I have to give something to someone. I’d prefer it be you, but I’ll go elsewhere if I have to.

Me: So that means I have to get these edits done within a month, or risk losing some of your brilliant ideas. Hrmm…. In that case, I better get back to it. No offense, but you need to go away.

Muse: Way to show a backbone! *fades into the darkness*

Wednesday Writing Journal: 2012-01-02

Here it is, the start of a new year. 2013 comes in with a bang as 2012 fades into the shadows of history.

It’s not time for a new project for me, though. It’s time for the next phase in my current project. Warmistress (book #2 of the trilogy) is now in a completed, rough draft form. This means it’s time for edits!

Instead of posting about word count goals hit or missed, I’ll be talking a bit about what I’m doing with my edits.

The first step is to grab the months and months of feedback from the critique group and start going through it. Chapters one through four are up first. I still remember many of the comments from (roughly) six months ago, have written feedback on my submissions, and my hastily scribbled notes as people gave me oral feedback are still legible. I’m in good shape.

The key thing I remember folks saying is that I skimped on the descriptions of the environment, setting, characters, etc.. That’s true. I did that, but it wasn’t a conscious decision. It was an oops on my part. I didn’t realize I needed to reset the environment in the readers’ minds. Now I know better and will be able to resolve those issues.

Time to get back to the edits!

Warmistress First Draft Complete

The first draft of Warmistress is now complete. It weighs in at slightly under 104,000 words. My target is still 120k, but a more realistic number might be 115k.

Now it’s time to kick into edit mode and fill in those blanks I skimped on in an effort to get the story out of my head. That’s where those extra 11k (or so) words will come from.

I’m hoping to have the second draft done by the end of the month.

Then I can start on the third book in the trilogy… Warmother.