The Rough Draft, She Is Done!

I be finished with my WIP! Yay! :-)

I just checked and saw that I started this sucker back in mid- to late-September; at that time, I thought it would only take a little over a month to get to this point.

Yeah, right.

So let's see: There are 60,000 words, a change in title (from Cats of Manhattan to Crossed Paths), the beginning of Diego's POV (3rd person), an idea about how the Bastet Society deals with cursed people who've been attacked or killed without having to bring in the cops...and some other ideas I've jotted in my 3-ring binder.

There will be plenty of revisions along the way, but I'm going to put this story away for a few days and concentrate on short stories. I'd really like to get back into that; I'd like to bring some shorter pieces to light, and see if I can sell them.

Well, I've got two to work on, with another still percolating in my brain. I'm sure I'll write about them here at some point (maybe in the next couple of days), but for right now, I'll just say have a happy and safe New Year's...and don't take any rubber chickens! ;-)


So What the Heck Have I Been Up To?

The wonderful Lesia asked where I've been. It wasn't until I noticed the last time I blogged before today (was it really December 8th? Egad!) that I had to wonder myself.

Well, not really. Heh. ;-)

Anyway, I have been writing. I wrote a couple of short stories, and I'll be working on them to see if they're worthy of sending out (something I haven't done in a looooong time). I've also got an idea for another short, but the opening is giving me fits; I know the obvious thing is to write past that and go back to it, but since it's set in the past (about 1919), there are certain things I want to describe (without becoming too wordy and boring) about the character and the milieu. I'm going to let the idea germinate in my brain a little while longer, as it's apparent a few things need to be worked out.

As for my novel...I'm just about done! So it looks like I'll finish this thing by the end of the year (my original goal was about a month ago; what was that old saw about the best laid plans? ;-)). I picked up a notebook computer yesterday (yay! Thanks for the money, Mom!) at Staples, and, once I was set up, I just cooked. Ooo, the words just flowed. But then, this morning, I skipped my workout because something bothered me about the way I ended it yesterday, so I whipped out the notebook, deleted a few things, and rewrote the ending.

I then decided to add in what I think will add immeasurably to the story: Diego's voice (3rd person). So I wrote a scene where he arrives to find what he thinks are two dead bodies. Jackie fought the demon just before, with the end of her scene being that she's waiting to die (and wants to die, because she's in such pain). The fight scene is kind of crappy, but that's what rewrites are for. :-)

I also did another scene in his POV in the prior chapter, where he's racing after Jackie and the demon, dodging traffic on the main drag in my old hometown (and let me tell you, the main drag is just as clogged with traffic as it ever was). He gets stuck behind an SUV with a flat tire, and no one will allow him to go around.

Yeah, tension. And besides, I wanted Jackie to fight the demon alone. After all, this is her story, and she's the one who's supposed to be strong enough to deal with the demon or the "entity," as a couple of the characters are now calling it.

But I digress. I'll be moving on to the last chapter in the story--at least how it stands right now. I'll have to go back and put in Diego's take on things, but the index cards will allow me to slip in those scenes pretty seamlessly.

The writing part of it is another matter, of course. ;-)

So that's where I'm at, writing-wise. I'm just on the cusp of finishing this novel thingy.

Oh, and Lesia? You'll notice I've included my email address (tee hee) like you suggested in the Miss Snark You Tube video. Actually, I should have thought of that a while ago, although you will notice that it has [at] instead of @ just so none of those bandwidth-sucking spiders or bots can harvest my email address. Thank goodness yahoo has a bulk folder so I can just empty most of the viagra/Nigerian scam/gas card dreck can be easily dispensed of.

Have a nice and safe New Year's everybody! :-)

RIP, Gerald Ford (1913-2006)

Yeah, yeah, I haven't blogged in quite a while (not that I haven't been doing any writing in the interim :-)), but I thought I'd start with something a bit different today.

And how, you might ask, does this particular entry tie in to writing? All I'll say is that President Ford came through the town I grew up in (on his way to give a speech in another town, lol), with all the schools in town being closed for half a day.

Of course I lined the main drag along with other people, simply because, well, how often do you get to wave at a President (and he did turn and wave my way).

So, again, what's this got to do with writing? The only thing is that I'm setting my current WIP in my old hometown. I might--might--have a character mention something about Ford going through town. It depends on whether such a thing is warranted.

But now on to the man. He was thrust into the spotlight or limelight (use whichever you prefer) to try to deal with the mess the country was in at that time: Watergate, inflation, the ending of the Vietnam War, President Nixon resigning. It wasn't exactly a happy time to live through, but President Ford came off as a decent guy. He bumbled, he stumbled, but somehow...with all the junk swirling about at that time, he was a stabilizing factor for the U.S. Whatever politico decided to tag Gerald Ford to take the place of President Nixon...well, they got it right.

He was an old dude when he passed away. I'm glad he lived as long as he did, and may he now rest in peace.



I've seen the trailer in the movies and on TV for the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" (yeah, I know; my anal retentiveness had a field day with that one ;-)).

Anyway, the gist I get from this movie, without having seen it as yet, is that here's a guy with his son - down on his luck, out of a job. At one point, he's shown sleeping in a car with his son. He finally gets a chance to make some money and thus provide for his son. I'd guess he also learns how strong a person he really is, in that he doesn't give up until he's achieved his goal.

Such should it be with writers who want to be commercially published.

I hadn't been writing anything for about two days (bad me! bad me!), until an idea for a short story formulated in my brain. I sat and wrote quickly, finishing most of the rough draft in about 30 minutes (I actually finished the last part of it a little while later). It's way too long at 5,000 words, but I think it's a decent story about a lonely woman who's had glory in her past as an actress. She's been forgotten by most of the masses, until a stoner (this is set in 1969, heh heh) asks entrance to her home, with a magical crystal he received from a really groovy chick...

Anyway, before I decided to write this, I thought long and hard about my perceptions of the "Happyness" movie. Not only that, I remember reading somewhere about a man who wrote a novel and wanted an agent; it took him something like 10 years to get one interested in his book. I assume he must have gone through quite a few revisions with it, and from time to time must've doubted whether he was a fool to keep on the agent trail.

He was not, obviously.

The thing is, a lot (if not most) of this is not just going to fall into your lap. Sure, there are the occasional Christopher Paolini happenings (15 year old writes book; parents self publish; teen goes on a book tour financed by his parents; either an editor or editor's kid of big commercial publisher happens to go to one of these tours; teen's book and subsequent ones are signed to publisher), but this is a rare thing, which is why such events are reported all over the place.

But for most that dream of being published, it's a lot of hard work. Getting the idea down on paper, deciding which words that succinctly and entertainingly get the story across, deciding on character names, etc. Unless all of this comes naturally and unobtrusively to you, this is not something that can be hashed out in a couple of weeks or even a month. Learning what works and what doesn't in telling a story in an entertaining or thought provoking way is something that's ongoing.

Securing an agent or a publisher is the same thing: writing and polishing a query or synopsis (or both!), checking endless times to make sure your story stays in the right POV, checking for typos, etc. It's not easy, and it may take years before fruition.

As for my short story, I'm hoping it'll see publication in a fantasy mag at some point in time. That might never happen, due to me being a chicken about submitting it (heh) or because the editors at mags don't care for it, or whatever. That's okay. I've decided I'm going to be like the guy in the movie and the writer who took 10 years to find an agent (and finally get his book pubbed): I'm going to persevere until I can't take it anymore, until I've decided that I have nothing else in me to write. If that takes 10 years (God, I hope not ;-)), then so be it. But I've decided I've got to do this now, because it's a creative pursuit I really enjoy.

Like I always say: Don't give up - keep writing!