Monthly Archives: October 2011

Okey Dokey, Artichokey!

Okey Dokey, Artichokey!

It is 9am on Sunday morning and I have finished with ten, yes TEN posts for the upcoming week. One post for each weekday for both blogs. Hip Hip Hoorah!

And looking over my schedule I have…

A relatively clear schedule.

Dear Lord, I am boggled! I count at least FIVE mornings, not counting today, when I can get one heck of a lot accomplished, writing-wise.

And with that, I’m off for a cuppa joe and to work, to work!

Next stop…”Wedding Bells” chapter in Book 2 of War’s End.

Update…

1:00 p.m. I’m now up to over 31,000 words in War’s End Book 2. I’ve been writing “Wedding Bells” and it is coming along nicely.

2:30 p.m. Carrots harvested (20 pounds), lots of dead and dying greenery (mowed down by Dave), and we dug up one of the horseradish plants. Whoooeee!

Oh yeah, and “Wedding Bells” is finished. I’m currently at 31,460 words. Time to get some grocery shopping done!

One More Chapter

One More Chapter

It’s currently just after 7:30 and I’ve finished the “I Can’t Forget” chapter in Book 2 of War’s End.

Hooray!

It looks as if I have about…

  • 19 chapters to write in full
  • 2 chapters that have been started but need a little to finish them
  • 2 more chapters that were written a long time ago and need to be reviewed and edited for inconsistencies

Word count is now at 29,650 words.

Now I am faced with a decision – do I write a chapter updating the reader on Scott Cooper, “The Face of Evil” or do I tackle the next chapter on Jess, “The First Summer”?

Hmmmm….

Maybe it’s time for a cuppa joe and then I’ll hone in on a goal for today.

By The Way…

By The Way…

Check out the sample chapters to both of my books.

[adopts tone of infomercial salesman] Yes, you heard me right, TWO chapters. For FREE!

What will you do with your two free chapters? Organize your house? Google how to skin a skunk?

Now tell me that hasn’t peaked your interest!?

Here are the two chapters…

No Churning Back! (From Get Organized, Stay Organized)

A Long Walk (from War’s End)

And then, of course, your curiosity whetted, now is the time to buy…that…book! Or, both books. Truly, I wouldn’t mind. It wouldn’t be any trouble at all.

Really.

No trouble.

None at all.

 

please?

Craptastic

Craptastic

I…am…a…turd-pie.

At least, that’s how I feel.

God, I hate pissing people off, offending them, or whatever. I also don’t like getting told off, even if I have, somewhat, deserved it. It makes me feel about three feet high and I just want to take my toys and go cry in a corner.

A post on HA went south in the worst way, and I doubt my follow-up apology post cut it. I did the best I could, but I really felt misunderstood and misconstrued.

Worse, it has consumed my afternoon and, knowing me, will stay with me for a while – a few days at the very least. I came home just after 1pm to find the two emails – one frosty, one rather angry, and I couldn’t get onto any of my websites for nearly two hours because some damned server was down.

By the time it came up I was ready to abase myself, prostrate on the floor and apologize – until I read, then re-read the post. Is it wrong of me to say I that I think I was misconstrued? That perhaps this reaction was not just in response to today’s post, but perhaps also has to do with my Herding Cats post from a few days past? Perhaps a few feathers were ruffled, someone was feeling under attack already (or things were a bit too accurate for their taste) and then today’s post put it over the top?

Or am I just being a hormonal bitch?

Hey, either way, it could happen. I rule out nothing.

But I hate conflict, and this has put a significant damper on my afternoon, affected my productivity completely, consumed my thoughts and now I just really want a margarita. (This from someone who gets tipsy maybe once every three months or more)

How can I turn this around? How can I use this huge amount of stress in a productive way?

p.s. And will someone besides a spammer please read this damned blog – I’m so f-ing sick of spammers. I will NEVER post your misspelled, Gingrish -laden monstrosities with links to penis enlargements, French clothing, or hot horny women here. Go find someone else!

p.p.s. I’m turning it around, slowly but surely. I opened up War’s End Book 2 and began writing in the I Can’t Forget chapter. Go me?

PMS, Furnaces, and More Excuses

PMS, Furnaces, and More Excuses

I have done absolutely NOTHING on War’s End this week.

It’s Day 22 of my cycle and yesterday, Day 21, was HELL DAY. Really, we should be issued blinking red alerts not to mess with the premenstrual woman, but no, it always gets to be some nasty surprise lying in wait.

The kiddo pushed more buttons than I could count.

Today has been better. As if my body and mind have accepted the fact that in five more days, my body will hit the reset button, gush a river, and get the hell over it…until next month.

And then there was the furnace issue. Toxic carbon monoxide in lethal doses, lingering in my basement. Most of Tuesday was filled with the sound of tramping feet, thumps and bumps, and requests to use the bathroom. The up side to it is that we now have a brand-new, 95% efficiency furnace and new air conditioner, among other things. And that in itself is quite a relief.

I’ve also been dealing with a great deal of pain in my lower back, right above my butt bones, that makes sitting complete agony.

And did I mention that I didn’t finish with the last of my ten weekly posts until yesterday? Yeah, totally slacking in that department as well.

Worse, as winter draws near, I find myself wanting to curl up with my computer and write on the Chronicles of Liv Rowan NOT War’s End. I keep reminding myself that the story I started over 17 years ago is not complete, and that it needs to be.

So there you have it, excuses, both reasonable and expected, and no writing to show for it.

Yes, Yet Another “Oh DUH” Moment

Yes, Yet Another “Oh DUH” Moment

I was driving back home from the Nelson-Atkins with Emily yesterday when a rather masterful “oh, duh” moment of inspiration hit.

I was thinking about the opening quote in War’s End by James Wesley Rawles. He is the founder of SurvivalBlog.com and I have his book How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It. Actually the quote is taken from that very book.

“There is just a thin veneer of civilization on our society. What is underneath is not pretty, and it does not take much to peel away the veneer. You take your average…suburbanite…get him excessively cold, wet, tired, hungry, and/or thirsty…take away his television, beer, drugs…and you will soon see the savage within…like peeling the skin off an onion – remove a couple of layers and it gets very smelly.” – James Wesley, founder of SurvivalBlog.com

Back to my ‘oh duh’ moment.

Why, I thought, oh why have I not contacted him and asked him to review my book and possibly talk about it in his blog?

Yeah…see, I’m a marketing genius. It only takes me six weeks of having my book out and published before this idea hits me.

[sigh]

So I went to his blog, reviewed a section where he lists non-fiction and fiction books, all centering around TEOTWAWKI, survival and more, and went ahead and sent him an email.

I will learn to market myself better, I will!

Despite a note stating that he receives over 250 emails a day, JWR was incredibly fast in responding to my email, in which I asked him if I could send him a copy of the book to review. He listed the PO box and added a note asking for a dog-eared, shopworn copy, as long as it was legible. Which is rather thoughtful of him. I’m sending him a new copy nonetheless, simply because the dog-eared copy is my reference tool that stays on my desk and which I page through to check facts as I’m writing Book 2.

So here I am, sending off the book and cover letter today and crossing my fingers that he will, a) read the book, and b) comment favorably on it. Thousands of people read SurvivalBlog, I’ll be over the moon if say, a few hundred, were to show interest in my book.

Should I Break My Own Rules?

Should I Break My Own Rules?

I woke up this morning thinking of War’s End. At 6:03 am, my eyes popped open (headache free for the first time in nearly a week) and I thought, I want to write on War’s End.

Now if you have been paying attention to the ‘rules’ –  that’s a little bit of a problem.

Sundays are the first day of my new weekly cycle. After all, I’ve got my readers to think about here, folks! On Monday, dozens of curious readers will go to TDN or HA to find out the latest and greatest in gardening and self-sufficiency or all about our latest homeschool escapade.

I will NOT let them down.

My ‘rule’ is to write all of the TDN and HA posts for the week and then spend the rest of the week working on fiction projects. Right now that means War’s End. I figure it makes good sense. Secure my ‘fan’ base, promote my writing daily, entertain many. That is, after all, what writing is all about, right? (Well it is that way for me at least!)

What concerns me is losing focus on either side – the daily nonfiction becoming humdrum or the fiction lacking that fire it needs.

I guess my compromise has to be, write at least one day ahead in my daily posts before writing in my fiction project.

If I look at it that way, I could get away with just sitting down and writing one post for HA, because I have already written posts on TDN for Monday and Friday.

On other news, I think that I have completed the outline of Book 2, complete with chapter titles, and now know where the book is going and how it is going to get there.

“What?” you say, “you didn’t already know?”

No, not really. There has been a clear beginning – Jess back in Warsend. There have been some clear middles – a main character falls in love, siblings must reunite. And a clear end – that Cooper bastard has got to get his comeuppance.

Other than that…nope.

To date, I have begun to write, or fully written, 14 chapters. There are a total of 32 chapters identified as needing to be written. Also, as of yesterday, I’ve written 28,045 words. I think I’m looking at another 100,000 word book.

So, with all of that said. I’m going to do another quick double-check on my calendar. If I have any crazy days coming up than I will try to write ahead for those as well. I guess I’m off to write at least one homeschool post, maybe two.

And then? WAR’S END!

…………Update…………

Well, it’s 2pm and I’ve managed to complete seven of the ten assigned posts for the week. Hooray for me! And that was while also going shopping for groceries and household goods at three stores and running through two more loads of laundry (and some folding). I still have one more post for TDN and two more for HA to finish out the week. I think that, as a reward for such good behavior, I will give myself the choice tomorrow of writing fiction OR finishing some of the posts.

Go me!

World-Crafting

World-Crafting

I’ve written a couple of hundred words today in WE2 (War’s End, Book 2) but mainly I’ve been looking at my Timeline file and using it to flesh out the basic outline of the book.

I don’t know how other writers write, but mine is in fits and starts, big circles, little circles and the occasional wandering curve ball.

With both War’s End and my outlined Chronicles of Liv Rowan I’ve started with a simple exercise…

It usually entails the following thought, I’m going to write something descriptive.

That’s it, that’s all the thought that goes into it. In the case of War’s End I wrote the chapter “Morning”, which is in Book 2. What always stumps me is the question that inevitably follows my writing a ‘descriptive scene’ – Well, great, I like this. But…what happens next?

Now in both War’s End and Chronicles of Liv Rowan, the what happens next? question stumped me for YEARS.

However, I truly believe that the reason I was stumped had nothing to do with my writing ability as it did with my lack of belief in my writing ability. I allowed myself to be fearful – to fear that I didn’t know the answer or that I simply didn’t have it in me to write a book.

I had a good giggle the other day when I read the following part of a book summary in my Chronicles of Liv Rowan series:

[solution] The epicenter of the earthquakes is in the Range of Zarah, a line of impossibly high mountains rivaled in height only by the Newo Crag mountain range to the north of the Glass Forrest. Within the mountain range, of which she must enter with a band of locals, along with Trevor and Pert, is a magical disturbance that she will fix with something from her purse.

To say my book outlines can sometimes be brief and scanty on details is an understatement. However, this particular ‘solution’ is to Book 3, so I have a while to think about it until I come up with a more detailed solution than ‘something from her purse’.

Imagine my terror when I realized that Chronicles was a twelve book series. I actually looked at it and reasoned, I can’t really do this, they will actually end up being six books, because how could I possibly find enough filler to make each individual story a full novel?

Plainly put, it’s bullshit.

It’s bullshit to believe I cannot write. It’s bullshit to sit around and wait for the perfect story from beginning to end to magically pop into my head. It’s bullshit to question every day whether or not I really can do this.

The questions are time-wasters and delays. Delays that can eventually mean the difference between DOING SOMETHING WITH YOUR LIFE or sitting around with your thumb up your ass.

And the same applies to you.

If you want to go to the moon, build a spaceship and fucking go to the moon.

If you want to teach yourself Spanish, then DO IT.

If you want to write, then write. Every damn day.

Don’t sit there reading this and dream about might-have-beens or ‘if onlys’ and get off your ass and do something about it.

That’s my four cents (used to be two cents but…inflation, man, inflation)

Now back to my world-crafting. No more delays!

Urfff…

Urfff…

Bad headache.

Also, 4am seems to be the new 5am. Two days in a row now, I have woken up at 4am, unable to sleep any longer.

I’m concerned about the carbon monoxide levels in the house. After yesterday’s energy audit, and the one reading of 2,580 parts per million (a lethal dose if I hung around in the basement for an hour) and I can’t help but be concerned. Waking up with another headache (the 4th one in the last five days) does not help matters.

How long does it take to disperse?

How do I get it out of my house?

I’ve got carbon monoxide detectors on the shopping list for today, but right now I can’t sleep and my head is splitting. What a great start to the day!

Progress, Yes, It’s True

Progress, Yes, It’s True

I’ve made it another 2,400 words in War’s End – Book 2. That means around 26,800 words now. Doing well. Wrote about one death, need to probably do another.

I’m chomping at the bit to get started on the Chronicles of Liv Rowan series, but I keep hitting that wall of guilt. “You haven’t finished the story of War’s End yet, Christine. People have read Book 1 and are ready for Book 2. How long are you going to keep them hanging?”

Ah, guilt, self-induced or externally supplied, it can be a wonderful and horrible thing.