I Love an Audience

>> Thursday, April 29, 2010

I've mentioned before that I love writing (haven't I?), that I'm driven to write, love telling a story on paper. I've also discussed the fact that I think reading out loud is one of the best editing tools of all the time, especially to someone like my husband.

But, I've discovered something else about myself. I love reading to an appreciative audience. Not even just my own stuff, though that's definitely my favorite. I should have realized it. I've been reading books (and my stuff) to my husband for nearly a decade. It's one of our favorite things to do together, the favorite thing that doesn't involve (or at least require) nudity. I read a couple of Georgette Heyers out loud into a computer to make CDs for Lee's blind great-grandmother (now deceased).

Anyway, Lee's got a few of his on-line pals to join our reading enclave using Skype and I've been loving it, whether it's a favorite published novel or one of my own.

If I sell these, I wonder if I can get to do the audio recordings?


Pet Peeves

>> Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You know, I never thought of myself as an old fogey. Still, I'm starting to feel like I am.

See, there are some things that have happened since the stone ages when I took grammar that have completely changed the world when I wasn't looking.

And I don't like 'em.

Like this. When I was in high school, you put two spaces after a sentence. Now, apparently, it's just one. When did that happen?

Or the shortened form of "until." When I was a kid, it was 'til. Till was something you did to soil. Now, till is everywhere (I suspect as a side effect of spellcheckers who automatically put one for the other).

English vs. American spelling is killing me, too. I grew up reading both English and American literature. Honour, endeavour, dialogue, grey - that's how I automatically spell them. But they are dismissed more often then not.

So, if you need me, I'll be sitting on my front porch, practicing shaking my cane at young whippersnappers traipsing across my lawn and remembering the good old days when I used to know the rules.


I Did Get the Query Off

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's been a tough week, with lots of family stuff. I might not get to more querying until this weekend. Or I might send off some short stories. But first, more research.


Fired Up About Marketing

>> Saturday, April 17, 2010

Seriously, it happened. I was making a list of prospective agents for the querying. For some reason, as I happened across a particular agent, I got a good feeling about it. So, I bumped her up the list for no particular reason.

Then, as I'm gearing myself up for all the agent-specific research needed to tailor each query and/or submission, I'm still wandering about the blogosphere and I happen across an agent's blog I hadn't seen before that I really like. Quel surprise, it's that self-same agent. I bump her up to the second spot on my list and start to feel excited about it.

So, this morning, I jump in so I can read up on submission requirements and what-not and notice, on her blog, her mentioning one of her clients books is coming out. Holy snickers bars! She represents Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (they write as a team)! I love those guys! I love their books! They have all the elements we strive for in our writing!

Now I have to get my query ship shape because I desperately - desperately - want to impress this agent. Wish me luck!


Now We're Cooking

>> Friday, April 16, 2010

One of my novels had been sitting almost indefinitely on a scene I just couldn't get past, even though I have the rest of the novel worked out. Given I was dispirited elsewhere, I tried it again, making some rather different choices from my original idea (gypsies wouldn't work - too early in time) and it suddenly worked.

The scene is still clumsy and frighteningly rough, but that's just a matter of rework. Now I can progress.

Insert happy dance here.


Alright, I'm Getting Back in the Groove

>> Thursday, April 15, 2010

Characters. Yeah, that's what I needed, soaking myself in characters that spoke to me and made me laugh. I feel much better now.

Time to jump in, but I'll have to add another project so I don't feel all I'm doing is rehashing. Revising is a fine thing to do, but I need a bit of real writing once in a while. And, fortunately, I have just the thing in mind . . . and one of the projects I was working on is at a part where I'll be doing "new" stuff.

So, hopefully, I can get back into the groove and jump back in, though it might be this weekend before I'm making real progress. Long days at work again this week.

Here's hoping.


May Have to Mix Things Up

>> Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm finding myself disheartened by writing. Too much revising what I've done before, not enough real writing. And, of course, I'm working on agent queries which depresses me no end.

I think I need a little break to get my bearings and come rushing in on something I'm inspired over and work on the revisions when I need a breather or need to build more inspiration.

If I'm not enjoying what I'm writing, it shows in the actual writing. That's not good. I gotta love it. Maybe no one else will no matter what, but, if I don't love it it's all for naught.


Ironies about "real" science fiction

>> Friday, April 9, 2010

Two days just on the one novel, but real progress. I'm making good progress so I won't worry about what I'm not doing on the other. Straight science fiction, it's kind of fun because this bit is all about the technical details of orbital mechanics.

Not for the non-SF freaks, more than likely, but those that are will love it. It's kind of interesting that, as a rocket scientist, I so rarely actually do the hard science fiction, because it's interesting and, of course, I have a real feel for the physics.

I also have countless hours of console work in NASA to draw from. (I had a scene where I followed protocols and command team patterns in Beast Within during a spacecraft crash, but many complained about the technical dialog. Lee loved it but it wasn't in keeping with the rest of the novel so I took it out. Strangely, someone who'd read just that bit complained that "real spacefarers" would never talk that way. *Sigh*)

Ironically, unlike the other scene, this isn't how astronauts and ground control talk at all, so, of course, I suspect people will like it just fine.


Progress. Progress - What fun!

>> Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm updating my sidebar with the progress on the two projects I'm jumping into. Hopefully, this weekend, I'll be adding some info on the short stories. I've got to get off my duff and start marketing some of those. I have a few I think are good to go, or thereabouts.

I'm particularly pleased with my progress on Lee's. It will probably drag and leap as I'm able to incorporate this and that of the huge wealth of writing I'd already gathered, but this is a completely new beginning for it, so it's starting slow. On the other hand, I read the first chapter and Lee is thoroughly thrilled. Apparently, I have just the voice, just the aspect of the main character he wanted, so, if it's going slowly, it's going well.

I'm just as pleased that my old Regency Romance (in the Georgette Heyer style) was further along than I remembered. It's so completely different from the other, it gives me a great change of pace when I run aground. And, since I have nearly every Georgette Heyer the poor lady ever wrote (including nearly a dozen on my ereader), I can immerse myself in her world whenever I want. And that's pretty cool, too.

Damn, I LOVE writing!



>> Monday, April 5, 2010

When I'm not consumed with something, I frequently work on more than one project. It's fun. In this case, I'm revising MY first novel which is also in serious need of some growing up. Two things at once scare you? Not me. I love to keep myself sharp, keep things interesting.

You want to know what really gets me going? What I love more than almost anything is feedback.

I'm about to start reading the beginning rewrite of that novel to someone (not just my husband). I'm going to work on the rewrite as I'm reading - that ought to keep me motivated. I'm psyched.

And this week, I am going to start sending out queries. If work eases up, I might even send out a short story.

Life can be good.


Mining Someone Else's Precious Gems

>> Friday, April 2, 2010

I mentioned that we were delving into one of Lee's ideas that he's been kicking around since he was a kid. Now, on the one hand, that makes him a much more involved collaborator and gives me access to all kinds of details on weapons and spaceships and stuff that have always fascinated him.

On the cautious side, however, I have to be very careful. In this case, I'm trying to put on paper someone else's idea, someone else's vision. There's nothing wrong with injecting a bit of myself into the final product, but I have to do so without corrupting his own vision. I can influence it, try to trim out the ideas that we've both outgrown, but I have to do so carefully. It's hard to give up little bits of yourself, like ideas and stories are, even if they no longer work. Those scenes and character traits are precious. I have to be gentle any time I want to make a change in what I know he already loves.

And I have to be careful that what I add is harmonious, that is just adds to the story he thought up, adding depth and color and texture without changing the structure, the bones that were already there.

It's a challenge, but then, I like challenges.


New Project That's an Old Project

>> Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm working on something special at the moment.

See, although my husband and I write together, I usually do the grunt work. And, to date, the majority of our finished works have been built on my ideas. There's a reason for that.

Lee's brilliant, of course. And he had ideas he's played with his whole life.

The thing was, when we tried to implement those, build them into a story, we couldn't get anywhere.

Part of it was that they were still somewhat immature. Sort of Tenchi Muyo in the perfect spacecraft, but with even more sarcasm. There was a definite streak of comic book. The hero had implausible details and was too good at everything. His female crew was a little too devoted. And there wasn't a conflict. Everything was too easy for this hotshot, his exemplary crew and his super fabulous spacecraft.

We'd start and then, when we got to where we really needed a story, it would peter out, partly because Lee's idea kept growing up, getting more mature. Evolving.

I wrote (and rewrote) well over a hundred thousand words on this book. But we didn't get very far.

The cool thing is that there was some good work in there. Some spectacular battles, some very very cool speculative science in the ship and the weapons, some wonderful snarky dialog, and some very powerful passages that I would hate to lose forever.

So, Lee wanted to work on this project again. I told him he needed a plan, put it in writing so we'd have a solid (unchanging) base to at least build a draft.

And he did it.

So, we're going to see if we can salvage some of those cool scenes and fabulous speculative science, snarky dialogs and truly interesting (and now more interesting/less perfect) characters as well as a bit more gender diversity.

After all, I have to put in a bit of myself in there, too. I wonder how it will come together.

More on this later.



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