Amazing tentacles day!

N-tacles Plush Tentacle Assortment

Amazing Tentacles!

Click on the above to see these wonderful tentacles.  I am working on my Bride of Cthulhu costume. I need small tentacles.  I was going to make them…but good lord.  These are perfect.  Look how well they fit in that coffee cup! Must haves.  MUST. Not On Topic at all, but when you find a great set of tentacles, you’re morally obligated to share.

That would be great – another step towards finishing the Bride costume.  LOL, the other big step is finishing the darn corset.  I’ll ignore that for a bit.

On the writing front, I am caught up with my critique group.  How many of you participate in one?  If you do, do you do so online only? In person only? Hybrid of both? We’re thinking of going to reading online only.  A number of in person groups are moving a lot of the regular activities – reading, critiquing, logging the critiques – to online forums.  It would certainly save on paper. But then what’s the incentive to meet face to face?

For me, that incentive would be there regardless. I like interacting with people in person, talking about writing in general, and you and others’ specifically.  It energizes me.  Not everyone is the same way.  What are your thoughts?

So off to get dinner done, and hunker down in the snow. Stay safe if you’re out there in polar vortex land.


At a crossroads

So I have finally finished Book One of the Saving Sylvah series. THE SEARCH is done. Not only is it done, it’s edited. A LOT. It’s been an amazing process, learning how to get my story out better.

I’ve been basking in the ‘It’s Done!’ of it all, and then this week, started thinking about Book Two, as of yet unnamed, I struggle with titles, btw. I don’t feel like there’s a clever bone in my body when it comes to trying to appropriately title my work. Anyway, back on topic here. I’m thinking about Book Two.

My problem is that I am thinking too much. To the point where I am pulling over while driving and making notes on the phone. LOL, I could do it via voice, but my phone is really bad getting my voice sometimes. The few emails I’ve sent have scared the recipients, so pull over and write it down it is.  There are so many ways I could go, as I added a different ending to B1 than I originally planned on.  Where to take it?

The best thing is that I have already found my tension-maker. One of the things that will string the story along a fine line throughout the whole book. And when it came to me, it was like “BAZINGA!” because I just KNEW I would like to read this if it were someone else’s work, and it would be something I could keep on with til the end.

I dunno what it is. I was really feeling in the weeds and behind the eight ball and all the other struggling to get done cliches before the end of the year, and now, I am feeling like I am actually getting shit done.

Well, I am behind on my critique group. *sigh* And my costuming. Anomaly Con is a couple of months away and I have some of the necktie corset to finish, and the Cthulhu fascinator to finish as well. My tentacle fingers are nearly done, I just need to put the gear suckers on them. I’ll need to see how the blouse looks. I also need to do my Leia steampunk headgear. I feel like I’ve really gotten far away from my cons and costuming, and while I adore writing, and feel so good, I adore the costuming. This one is probably the costume that will have taken me the longest, other than my Inara gown.

So while writing is going along, I suppose the worrier in me can be at ease with the fact that of course there’s more to do, LOL.

Goal for this week – decide on the outline for B2, get the critique inbox cleared, and figure out what to do with the tentacle fascinator.

Now THAT’S a To Do list.

Weeds, Incorporated

Today is brought to you by Weeds, Inc.

No, that’s not commentary on where I live. Nor have I availed myself of the now legal pot readily available through Denver.

It’s a comment about writing and life. Since my last real post in October of LAST YEAR, I have been in the weeds with life. I can understand why people want to quit their day jobs and just write. I have the utmost respect for those who do that. Having to work to live is worth nothing less.

I also have the utmost respect for those that carry on with a day job and still manage to write. The last four or five months have shown me that I need to work on bettering my time management skills. That, and SAICAW. LOL, that’s Sit Ass In Chair And Write. That’s harder than it seems at the end of the day.

It’s not that I don’t think about writing all the time. I have finished my serialized novel, The Search. It ended in a way that even I didn’t expect, and I am downright pleased about it. I even finished it within the time frame given to me, which was nothing short of miraculous.

I just need a better time management system.

I have to give major props to my phone. I know that sounds silly, but my Galaxy Note has the best calendar EVER. I mean, EVER. When I got it last year, I ditched my paper daily schedule book. I can put everything on that calendar. It syncs as many emails and schedules as you want it to.

As well, I use the Note writing feature more than I ever thought I would. I’ve been to several conferences since getting the phone, and I take notes right on my phone. No extra materials required! And THEN – I email the notes to myself. No keeping paper in order.

For me, that’s tantamount to heresy. I loved loved loved my paper schedule book. It was over-sized so that I had extra room to write whatever else I might need. I started using it in college, and never stopped.

So moving to the phone has allowed me to minimize the clutter I carry.

Now I just have to find a way to schedule my ‘free time’ better.

I’m interested to see how others do it. Post a link to your blog, or leave a comment with your methodology if you would. Sharing is genius!

This time has just flown by. During that

This time has just flown by. During that time, I have been extremely busy. I had two rounds of edits to do, and then a surprise third round. I also have begun going through all my work – the two finished pieces, and mulling around on two of the WIPs – with the “comb” I picked up at the conference.

I know my writing has gotten better over the years. But it’s amazing to me to learn that there is indeed so much more to learn. Just when I think I might have gotten it right, LOL. Talk with someone in the business, and I am wrong.

That’s okay. I love that I am learning better ways to practice my craft. I’ve taken some pretty big criticisms about how I write (too wordy, too much telling). I tend to be kind of formal when I write. I like how it reads, but then I read it out loud, and I don’t like it as much. These are all things that need to be addressed.

I will say that I have taken it easy the last four or five days. I got my stuff in on deadline, and had some time to take care of me. Which is good.

So back to the chore list. It’s late, and I have to get to bed. I have time with no one in the house tomorrow after I get off work, so I want to get the busy work out of the way so that I can write, and fiddle around with my work, and not be interrupted. The thought is intoxicating.

So I have returned – and recovered – fro

So I have returned – and recovered – from the conference. It was amazing. When I go to SF/F cons, I generally go to panels on the writers track – but it was nowhere near the level of this weekend.

Where to start? There was a wide variety to see. Panels about both traditional and self-publishing. The pros and cons of both. Panels where agents, editors from big publishers, and independently publishing authors all spoke about where the industry is going. It was great. It gave me a lot to think about.

Every writer thinks at some point about being the next J.K. Rowling. Even if you go indie, who hasn’t imagined that? There’s that bit of ego in everyone. So while I met a lot of people who were considering publishing independently, the idea of the traditional route was not completely ruled out.

I have this argument with a friend of mine whenever we discuss publishing. He thinks outside the box more than I do. At least from my point of view. I can’t shake the idea of being traditionally published.

I would be lying though if I didn’t say that the conversations I heard this weekend didn’t make me think that some sort of hybrid route is the way to go. I’m trying not to mull this over too much. I have work to do, LOL. One cannot come back from such a weekend and not have the project wheels turning.

Then there were the craft focused workshops. I got some great ideas about how to more effectively rewrite. It sounds small, because getting the damn thing done the first time is really challenging. However, then you must go back and shred your baby, the baby that you fought so hard for. It’s not easy. Being organized, and having a defined system helps to minimize distraction. That’s what I took from some of the workshops.

I also got a great POV about how to analyze the forward progress of the story. One of the things I heard over and over was that you have to trust instinct. I go on instinct a lot. Having a process, though, to look through the action and progress would make things a lot more simple. More effective, too.

So a great mix of business and craft. I definitely want to do this again next year. I think it was invaluable. Seeing how others do things opens your eyes up to possibilities that can work for you.

Oh! And from my previous blog on what the hell to wear? Business casual. I even stepped out of my normal monochromatic choices and wore patterns. That were not black, or white! Oh the horror! LOL!

As with other cons, wear great shoes. I wore really comfy ones, but even those required some moleskin after over 12 hours of wear.

I also was able to chat with an agent, which I think went well. You can practice your elevator pitch a gajillion times and still have shaking hands when put on the spot. I think I managed to keep the shaking to a minimum.

Now back to some more work.

So I am off to the Rocky Mountain Fictio

So I am off to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference this weekend. I really enjoy being around other people who want to make their imagination their career, or who are already there. Since this is the group that will be there, I’m pretty excited. I might have mentioned that in the previous post. I signed up to do a pitch to an agent, which is nerve wracking in and of itself.

However, having had a burst of inspiration that is hopefully not some form of crack, I’m feeling good about my ability to present myself and my written baby in a way that’s not full of “….ummmm….” LOL – I could be totally wrong, because I am on a regular basis. But this has that gut “YEA-AAHHH!” feeling, so I’m goin’ with it. So I am looking at myself in the mirror, and practicing getting rid of my ‘ummms’ and not having a goofy look on my face.

Here’s my dilemma. I go to a lot of conventions. I love conventions. A big schwarm of like-minded people ready to mingle. I choose my costumes for said conventions with care. At a writing conference…there are no costumes.

So what do I wear????

I was reading a blog and the writer mentioned that people run the gamut as to what they wear. I’m going to this for the same reasons as everyone else – learn some more about my craft, meet like-minded craftspeople, and work at this business of writing. Business casual? Professional? Something with my comfy cute shoes, definitely. Part of my brain has been focused on polishing my work and my presentation of the work…and the other part on what should I wear?

No costumes really leaves me out of my element.

Ehem. It also leaves my love of rhinestones lurking in the what-to-wear wings, just waiting for the opportunity to pounce. I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

Getting ready for the Rocky Mountain Fic

Getting ready for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference. I’m really excited to go to a Con that is focused solely on writing. I’ve gone to the writers tracks at other SF/F Cons and am not knocking them in any way. I am more making a comment on my ability to be distracted (as in the recent Dragon*Con where I got completely side tracked by the Lost Girl and Urban Fantasy panels). This will be the first time that I have been to a Con where it’s all about writing.

That’s really exciting to me. In my group of Con friends, I am one of the only writers. They are completely tolerant of my schedule, and understand when I run off at ten at night for that last panel, but I am usually running solo.

I’m also really excited because I chatted with a Denver-based author about this organization and their conference. She said it was really wonderful, and totally worth the investment. That’s always great to hear from someone else.

So look for an update after the next weekend on all the treats!

Back From Dragon*Con

I go to Dragon*Con every year.  It’s one of my vacations, and I dress up, and meet people, and mingle with my favorites in writing and acting.  Well, I try and mingle.  Sometimes it’s nothing more than a respectful gaze from a distance.

This year, I took a different tack.  I have started to publish a little on the Wormhole Electric site, and I love writing for more than just me.  With that in mind, I decided to hie myself to panels and discussions that were more craft than fan focused.  I went to a healthy number of writing panels that explored all sorts of aspects of this madness.

What. A. Revelation.

I learned a ton.  Perhaps not literally, although it felt like it at the time.  Thanks to my trusty Samsung Note, I didn’t have to tote around pen and paper.  I took notes on my phone, and then emailed them to myself.  (I’m feeling all sorts of proud of my efficiency there – can you tell?) I stored away a number of really good ideas for moving myself forward as a professional.  LOL – I’m not sure it will take, but I plan to try.  If it doesn’t, there is no liability on the part of the presenters.  They worked hard to impart honesty and realism to those who were there.

I truly believed I could take a breather once I was back from Con.  I got my edit of my Part Two of The Search to my editor, I am almost done with Part Three, and I had most of my costumes together.  I could not have been more wrong.  I have a To Do list worthy of the week prior to Con.

No complaints, though.  After a number (cough, cough) of years of working and re-working my tale of Sylvah, I’m excited to toss her out into the world.