Saturday, November 23, 2013

Last Blog Post

This is farewell for now with a side of advice.

Thanks to all of you who have checked in here. I hope some of my experiences, with Dragon Naturally Speaking, etc., might have helped a few of you keep plugging away. 

Writing is Hell and don't you forget it. Yeah, it's a sit-down job, and I've been grateful to be able to get off my feet and make money too. But still, this business is damn hard work. Each separate piece is damn hard. If you're doing all the pieces yourself, you deserve a medal. Or at least some solid sales.

The basics are still the basics.
Keep writing and your craft will improve.
Keep working on your speed and it will pick up.
Keep setting goals you actually have to reach for, and you'll reach some. It doesn't matter what your odds are, or how many you reach, at least you reached. At least you stretched yourself. That makes you...stretchier, if nothing else. That makes you the mouse with his shoes draped over his shoulder, not worrying about who moved the cheese, or where it went, just prepared to find it. Prepared with shoes and attitude.

Take some time to see what works for you. But don't get addicted to analyzing it all. That's just a procrastination tactic. Try to see those for what they are.

Find a friend to lean on and hold up. A writing friend. For this to be a spouse would be rare indeed. Find someone who is at the same stage you're at, or slightly higher. Then do whatever you can to help them. You always get paid back with interest.

If your family hasn't realized you're a writer by now, start dressing all in black. Quoting Poe as you walk down the hall. Scribbling things on the furniture. If they don't create some writing space for you, and insist you use it, you're not trying hard enough.

Embrace the Cray Cray. It will increase the space around you. If you're looking for love and affection, stick to Roses are Red poems and never, ever wear black.

Read. For hellsakes, read. And write something that goes against the rules you've learned. We all need to see more of that. Take a rule. Bend it 'til it breaks. Toss it in a fire and dance around the flames.

I'm going to try for more pithy posts, like Seth Godin. So if you want to follow me, go hit my author page on Facebook. That's where I'll be setting up shop. LL Muir. I'm sure you can find it.

And that's it.
Four books down. Two more to go, in December. Not going to hit 7 like I'd hoped.
26 pounds down. The Diet Pepsi is next on the drop list. I've already started the fitness part. Wish me luck. Leaving for Scotland in T minus...4 and 1/2 months!!!! HOLY CRAP!

And as always, 
Thank you for playing.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Word Count and Professional Envy

It's been a productive week, thank heavens.

Saturday was the NaNo write-in. There were around 16 writers attending, with about ten staying the entire time from 10 am to 7 pm. We took an hour off for lunch, a ten minute break every hour, and did 8 solid sessions. And the grand total of all words written...drumroll...was 81.000+!!!!

I got in just over 8,000 myself, all on the sequel to my YA that I plan to finish up in January. With Christmas and the end of the year sliding closer, I have to be a little realistic about what I'm going to be able to get finished in 2013. (6 1/2 weeks left, btw)

I did get the western romance proofread and polished. I also had a friend teach me how to do my own formatting so when errors are brought to my attention, I can go in and fix them myself. YAY! And this is no light accomplishment; I'm not technically gifted and I really doubted I could wrap my old wrinkly mind around it. BUT I DID!

So the book went up yesterday. And just like every other time I've put a book up, 24 hours later, I'm antsy to get the next one out. What can I say. I find relaxing a waste of good writing time. So tomorrow, I'll be working on Kiss This again. I'm going to expand it a little. But I've got some advertising coming up on Christmas Kiss, so I basically have ten days to get this up. I've got a reverse timeline figured out so I can stay on schedule. I LOVE reverse timelines. I have no idea why. Maybe it's a residual thing from running a flower shop and having a hundred steps necessary to pull off wedding productions.

Here's what's new from discussions with Supe.
We are working on professional envy, or rather, resisting it. And the best way to resist it is to stop watching what other writers are doing, what they're accomplishing, and thinking about what we can do to be equally successful. We realize it's something we've spent way too much time on, and it has left us feeling like failures. Which we're not.

For my part, I've just published my tenth book. The third this year. And I've got at least three coming out before the end of the year. Not a bad year.

We're coming into the home stretch. What can you--reasonably--get done before 2014.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Writing Life is Good! November 7, 2013 Thursday

Four days since the last post.
Two more pounds down.
One book in the can.
Half of another story edited.

Life is good.

Okay, so it doesn't hurt that the book I've just finished and polished is a novella. And so is the next one. But I'm counting victories here, not pages. And it looks like I'll finish editing the second one by Sunday night. On Monday I'll finally get around to starting the edits on Isobelle--I know, I know--but I needed to get these things off my plate first.

The second one is Kiss This, a Christmas Wedding story. Here is the cover.
I'm really crazy about it. And now that I've had some time away from the story, I've come back to edit it and find that I absolutely love it.

(The reason I struggled with finishing this one is because it starts in a flower shop and writing it was like going back to work in a flower shop. I could almost feel the pressure of getting these wedding flowers just right, getting the set up on schedule, and making the bride happy--AND IT WASN'T EVEN REAL!)

I will be working on the cover for the Western this weekend, in down moments (hah!) so I can get it up and for sale as soon as I get my final edits back.

Can you tell I'm loving this? I am loving this. I'm loving that I'm actually crossing things off my list instead of just re-writing lists. And sometimes I love the fact that I have a poor memory for the simple fact that I can read something I wrote a while back and be surprised, because I don't remember much.

The NaNo write-in, at my house, is on Saturday. A few have had to back out, so we're down to about fifteen writers. The food will be great. The energy will be magic. And I hope to get 8k done on Freaking Off the Grid, the sequel to Somewhere Over the Freaking Rainbow. So many projects wrapping up. It will be so fun to start some new series.

What's in yer wallet?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Writers should be single... November 4, 2013

...and childless.

I knew Sunday would be mostly a wash because of the baby blessing, but I still held out hope for a late night of editing.


I knew the bulk of Monday would be a wash because I had to take my daughter in for some outpatient surgery. She ended up being admitted because her blood wasn't as thin as they wanted it to be. So that meant babysitting tonight on top of a family dinner party for my daughter in law. After the dinner, I had sworn upon a bible (all but) that I was going to hug everyone and go to the office, but then that babysitting thing made me a liar.

Tomorrow, the day I had planned to abandon all my kids into each other's care, I will yet again be watching my granddaughters until Mommy gets out of the hospital, and probably after that as well.

Don't tell the Universe, but...
Wednesday, I'm going to work all damned day.
Thursday, I'm going to work all damned day.
Friday, I'm going to work all damned day.
At my office. So help me.

I was hoping to be caught back up with my schedule by tonight, but it looks like instead of catching up on two days, I'll be getting another two days behind. But never fear. The week isn't over yet. The Ghost and Mrs. Wiggs is going to be finished before Friday night, so help me.

So help me!

I sound like Mike Wizouski.

Another pound down today. 21 in all.
Then I had half a piece of chocolate cake.
I'm trying not to be too hard on myself...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNo Day 2, November 2, 2013

Big day today.
But I guess it only seems big because I have some energy, which has been scarce the last...ten years.

Had pizza two days in a row and still didn't gain anything, so that's great. Pound number 20 just will not fall, however, so I'm going to have to go back to my original plan of using the dragon while I walk. This will work  out swimmingly for NaNo because I can get my YA done this month while I walk, but get my other projects done in the office.

Dragon words so far today, 450 ish. I'm not going to be doing anymore tonight because I'm polishing up my western novella so I can get it to my beta readers by tomorrow. Tomorrow we'll be blessing the granddaughter, but tomorrow night I'll be polishing Kiss This, the Christmas romance set against a winter wedding background. That, too, should be ready for first readers by about Wednesday. Wednesday I'll hit the dragon again and get caught up on my NaNo count so I'm on track by the time the party starts.

But what feels great is crossing off these smaller projects, getting a running start before delving into Isobelle. A book of my heart, that's what it is. And I want to get it right.

I'm back, baby.

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNo Friday! November 1, 2013

The lapse in posts is one of the drawbacks of having an office with no wifi.

Yes, I've actually been using my office! And being productive again has revived me. It really has. I'm a pretty ambitious person by nature, so when I'm moving and shaking, I'm happy.

Speaking of giggling, I'm still 19 lbs. down despite having pizza for Halloween along with an inch of a KitKat bar and two whoppers. Apparently the world didn't end, since I'm still here, but I don't think that's going to be a temptation again.

I have realized that all my eating--every bite I put in my mouth for the past ten+years, has been driven by emotion. Nothing about the joy of food. All about my entitlement to it.

And now, I'm working toward being entitled to go to Scotland, entitled to wear jeans, entitled to feel good. And boy, do I feel good. Percentage of body weight-wise, 19 lbs. isn't much. But it was an important benchmark. Lots of things have changed. And my energy is AT LEAST ten times what it was.

Since Tuesday, I've gotten two major projects off my to-do list. One project is off to my agent so she can send it on to some interested editors. That has been a dark cloud over my head for two months. Cloud gone.

I have another project I have to finish tonight by midnight and get sent off to an editor. That's what I'll be doing today instead of getting started on NaNo. And, speaking of NaNo, I'll be getting my 1666 words per day written on a new project on top of what I have scheduled for editing. And I'm going to use my dragon to do it. 1666 words can be done in about 45 minutes tops.

Having a NaNo write-in at my house on Saturday. So far, I've got 18 writers coming. If you're interested, let me know. We're in Utah.

I don't know if it's the New Moon coming or what, but Supe has been bitten by the ambition bug again and we're gearing up for another uber productive month like last August was. We're done talking and analyzing. It's time to shut up and get this stuff written. Great stories, buried in one's subconscious, do no one any good. After all, I don't get to read them either--not until they come out of my fingers.

Let's play Michelangelo.
Let's get our chisels and hammers and get to work, setting these works of art free.  Slow does not equal beauty. Let's take advantage of the NaNo energy that's out there, whether or not you're technically participating, and move some earth.