Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NaNoWriMo catch-up

I have completely failed to blog about my performance during NaNoWriMo, but that doesn't mean I haven't been writing.  Despite all the yellow squares on my word count calendar widget in the sidebar, at 22,715 words I am actually a little ahead of the game (par for today is 21,666, and I wrote all that late last night).  I am enjoying my time away from Ruby Ransome very much, although RR is still such a part of my life that I think about her and those novels regularly.  Once I finish this novel -- which I am hoping to do by the end of the month, as it is actually likely a novella -- I plan on getting right back to work on revisions of Pandora's Box.

I am, however, reconsidering my plans for my NaNo novel this year.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Something new, something old

As I've been working on planning my NaNo novel for 2013, I've been getting very excited about writing it.  I'm not saying yet what it is, because I'm thinking about making the reader guess... and I don't want to give anything away in case that's what I decide.  It's not a vampire story (...exactly), and it doesn't take place in Ruby's world (although I suppose it could), but it does have a dark theme in keeping with my vampire series.  My plan is for it to be a short novel that I finish in November (should the NaNo gods allow it), so that I can get back to my Ruby revisions afterward.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Taking a break from Ruby Ransome

I've decided that this year for NaNo, I'm going to work on a completely different project.  I'm not going to start the second novel of Ruby Ransome, nor am I going to continue working on revisions of the first novel (where I've been stalled for about a month now).  I am going to start a new project, one I thought of a few days ago -- something to write for FUN.  I don't necessarily have plans to publish it, just to write and enjoy it.

Monday, October 7, 2013

What do vampires, flappers, and the Chicago mob have in common?

What do vampires, flappers, and the Chicago mob have in common?

Well, Ruby Ransome, of course!

I'm attending the Muse Online Writers Conference this week -- I've attended it in the past and recommend it for writers and aspiring writers, although its too late to register for this year's conference -- and it has me thinking about the creation of the idea my whole series hinges upon.

Vampires in the mob in the 1920s.  When, and how, did I actually come up with this idea?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gearing up for NaNo

I love Camp NaNoWriMo because it hardly feels like we've finished before it's nearly time for regular NaNo again.  We have less than two months before November 1st, and I'm already getting excited.  I went into the online NaNo store and finally bought the travel mug I had my eye on last year (and ooh, look! they have new USB bracelets this year!) and made a $10 donation (gotta have that halo on my profile pic!).  I want a sweatshirt but I'm ever so confused as to which ones are available with a zippered front, and it's a lot of money to spend for something I might never wear (I don't generally like pullover hoodies).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to revisions!

Toward the end of last week, I FINALLY finished the research I was working on and got back to making revisions in the electronic file.  This is a big deal because just like when I got sidetracked with reading Victorian vampire literature, I'd gone off on a tangent that was keeping me from progressing on my novel... but I felt like I couldn't continue until I finished my research, lest I just have to go back and do more rewrites when I found through my research that I'd gotten something wrong.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Silly me, I thought having a beautiful, fast new laptop would get me to write more!  In fact, it has been a major distraction, though perhaps not in a bad way.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My new writing machine

With the help of my ever-supportive husband, I just got a new laptop: a 11.6" Sony Vaio with a touchscreen, running Windows 8.  This is a huge jump for me -- I've been writing mainly on my Averatec 1020 for the past 8 years, with a short stint on an Asus Eee netbook.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


The month of August (and, really, the last half of the month of July) has so far been filled with setbacks.  After my computer was dropped in July, it went into the shop, where it resided for almost a week.  I generally refused to work on my netbook, although I did get a little bit done here and there.  Shortly after I got my computer back, my iPhone decided it was its turn to go on the fritz, and mysteriously deleted all of my contacts.  I had to restore the phone to the last update on my computer in order to fix the problem, but in order to do that, I first had to clear enough room on my very full hard drive for iTunes to create a fresh backup of my misbehaving phone.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo fail...

The July session of Camp NaNo is over now, and I'm sorry to say I didn't make my goal.  There were two reasons why: One, my laptop getting dropped meant that I spent a lot of my available time on finding parts and getting it fixed (not to mention I really didn't want to type much on the keyboard once it popped out in one corner); and two, research.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Research and fact checking

I got some work done on my novel yesterday for the first time in nearly a week.  The week before was productive, however, since I had the week off... at least, it was productive until my husband dropped my computer last Sunday night.  The computer still works, thank heavens, but two of the tabs holding the keyboard in broke off, so it pops up in one corner now.  So after that, I spent a good portion of Sunday and Monday during the day looking for new parts for my (8-year-old) computer and talking to the repair shop I use.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo, week 2

My progress on my novel this month has been a little shaky, I'm afraid.  I've worked on it most days -- every day this month so far except for Tuesday the 2nd and Sunday the 7th, both very busy days for me -- but it has been relatively slow going.  I made lots of notes in these early pages to research things like my settings, and since I am trying to resolve everything on a page before turning to the next one, it is taking me some time to get through some of these pages.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hit the ground... walking?

I'm off to a bit of a slow start on NaNo, I'm afraid.  I worked on revisions for a little while yesterday, and actually did manage to flip a page, so I awarded myself a measly 250 words for my Camp word count.  Today probably won't be much better, as I am probably going to be quite busy, between my riding lesson and work.  The rest of the week will be better though, since I'm less heavily scheduled tomorrow, off Thursday, and going to a write-in Friday evening.  The weekend should give me some time, too, and then next week I'll be on my "staycation" the entire week.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo stuff

I've updated the progress bar in the sidebar to reflect the fact that I am now making the revisions in the electronic file, since I've finished marking the changes on the physical manuscript.  I also added another Camp NaNo badge to the sidebar -- in April I used the yellow badges, so I'm using the turquoise ones for July to differentiate.  I've also corrected the links on both badges, so that the connect to the correct month's stats/novel, and I've included a link in the "Current Progress" section that links to July's stats page on the NaNo site.

Camp NaNoWriMo begins!

The second session of Camp NaNoWriMo begins today!  Normally I like to begin work as soon as the clock turns midnight, but I was very tired last night and had to get up early today, so I decided to wait until this afternoon, after work, to start.

Monday, June 24, 2013


...At least, done with the first stage of revisions: reading through the physical manuscript and marking changes.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A writing vacation

It was not originally intended as a writing vacation -- originally we were going to bring Michael's mom on a trip that we took a few years ago and really loved: Durango and Mesa Verde.  With two foundered horses and a lot of other things going on at her house, though, she just couldn't come.  We came anyway, and I knew from the moment we arrived that it was a good thing I brought my novel.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Picking up speed

In the last few weeks, I've started making some serious progress on Ruby Ransome and Pandora's Box.  I am now only about 60 pages from the end, after marking up 18 whole pages yesterday -- an amount that seemed superhuman only a couple of weeks ago, the first time I did that much.  Currently I am on page 234, and the stack of pages remaining is getting smaller all the time.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo: Time to sign up for July!

Today the Camp NaNoWriMo website reset, and signup is starting for July's session.  I've set up my novel information with a cover image and a brief synopsis, which you can see on my July 2013 novel page.

I was somewhat disappointed to find out that despite the survey they did after the April session, we won't have the flexibility to set and keep track of page counts instead of word counts this month, after all.  I was really counting on that, since I'll be finishing up revisions in July.  Instead, they gave us the ability to go back and edit our daily word count totals (a feature they introduced on the regular NaNo site last November, so I don't know why it wasn't already set up that way for April).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo signup and Rebel-friendly changes

I've been impatiently waiting for the Camp NaNoWriMo website to reset from the April session so that I can input my novel information for July.  (Not that the novel information will change much -- I will still be working on revisions for the same novel, but the goal will change.)  I just checked the website yesterday and saw that we will be able to sign up for July starting on June 3rd -- less than a week away!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Passing the halfway mark

Today, for the first time, I am visibly past the halfway mark in my manuscript:

The stack on the left is the pages I've marked, and the stack on the right is the pages I have yet to do.  I'm on page 176 right now out of 292 (and I updated the progress meter in the sidebar to reflect my page count).

Monday, May 20, 2013

Keeping goals fluid

During April's session of Camp NaNoWriMo I focused on writing some short stories and new scenes for my first novel, the one I am currently working on revising, primarily because there was no way to set a goal of pages revised.  (It sounds like they may give us that option in July, though.)  I intended to finish revising -- both marking and making the revisions, as well as writing some more new scenes that I overlooked in the first draft -- by the end of June, so that I could start the new book in July.

Now, however, I am remembering again how long revisions take -- way longer than you would think, especially if you have a lot of fixing to do (which I feel I do).

Sunday, May 12, 2013

'Gatsby' a visual feast for lovers of the 1920s

Last night I saw The Great Gatsby in the theater for the first time (and probably not the last -- I am fully intending to see it a couple more times before it leaves theaters).  I have been stalking this movie for almost a year, watching the previews repeatedly and devouring all the new photos as they've popped up online -- I was devastated when they pushed back its release from December 2012 to May 2013.  An extra six months to wait!  Inconceivable!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Plugging away

After the ups and downs of March and April, I seem to finally be back on track with my revisions.  I am a little more than a third of the way through my manuscript, and I have to say, I am marking up a lot of it in places -- from words, phrases, or punctuation I'm not happy with, to entire sections that I want to rewrite.  Sometimes I rewrite it by hand right there on the page, squeezing it into margins or writing it on the blank facing page (the back of the previous page); other times, when I can't think of how to improve it right then, I just draw big circles or brackets or arrows to indicate what I want to change later.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How NOT to win NaNoWriMo

Like this:

Now, granted, I only set my word count goal for the month at 10,000 -- I was also working on revisions, so the word count was only for new material that I would be writing (a couple of short stories and/or writing exercises, as well as new or completely rewritten scenes).  The word count shown on the graph represents two short stories and one rewritten scene.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Changed plans for Camp NaNoWriMo

Since I didn't finish revisions of Pandora's Box in March as planned, I decided to change my plans for the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo.  Now, instead of working on Book 2, I'm just going to keep working on revisions and rewrites.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Anomaly Con 2013

This weekend I went to my first Anomaly Con, a steampunk, sci-fi, and fantasy convention that's in its third year here in Denver.  I had a blast, dressing up in costumes and attending presentations and workshops for writers.  Yesterday, my third day at the convention, I dressed up in 1920s garb, even though it's not strictly steampunk.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

1920s cocktails

I have taken a break on revisions lately to do some more research -- more on that later.  But as part of this, I decided to try out some 1920s drinks and figure out a favorite drink for my main character, Ruby.  In my rough drafts I have her ordering gin and tonics all the time, but I knew I wanted her to be drinking something with a little more pizzazz.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Revising again

It took until Saturday (instead of just Friday), but I finally did finish that last scene, finishing the first draft for once and for all.  Now I'm revising again -- not the third novel (the one I just finished), but the first one.  (The second installment, if you will remember, is a novella I realized I had room for between Pandora's Box and the one I just finished, the title of which I have yet to release.)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Finally -- progress!

On Wednesday I added nearly a thousand words to my novel, finishing the "missing chapter" and bringing my total word count to 102,193 (I've also updated the progress bar in the sidebar).  It was a nice feeling after not working on the novel for so long, and means that I am almost ready to start my major revisions and rewriting for Pandora's Box (I want to get this done before Camp NaNoWriMo starts in April).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

More NaNoWriMo to keep me going

When I say in my sidebar that my novels are powered by NaNoWriMo, I'm not kidding!  I wrote the bulk of the first novel during NaNo 2011, the next (now the third) during Camp NaNoWriMo 2012 and NaNo 2012, and I will be writing the second installment in the series, which I believe will be a novella, during Camp NaNo in April and perhaps July (depending on what I get done in April).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Missing pieces

Besides finally straightening out the timeline (mostly -- still a few more dates to assign in that department), last week I also finally got to work on the missing chapter -- the one I skipped over by accident, assuming it was going to happen a little further on... and then realizing that what I had just written actually occurred after that chapter.

And this is why I hadn't done the timeline yet -- sometimes it rearranges itself while I'm writing, and I have to go back later on and nail down the dates once I've written the draft.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An ending and finalizing the timeline

This is two weeks overdue, but I updated the progress meter in the sidebar with the most recent word count.  I put an ending on the novel two weeks ago today, which is HUGE news.  I wrote 3,400 words that day -- almost 2,000 at a NaNoWriMo-style write-in I attended with a friend, and then when I got home I just kept going until I reached the end.  I knew I was close, and didn't want to leave it undone at that point.  So I finished it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

No loose ends and minding the details

I just updated the progress meter in the sidebar to reflect my current word count of 94,172.  I was thinking that my rough draft of Book 3 would be just shy of the initial goal of 100k (kind of like the rough draft of Pandora's Box was just shy of the initial goal of 80k), but now I'm thinking it will be a little over.  How much over I don't know -- I think I have 6k to go until the end, easily, but then I also have to go back and fill in a chapter that I missed earlier on.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Last night I wrote another nearly 3,000 words.  I've now got a little over 90k total, which is more than I wrote on the first novel by more than 10k.  I think I'll need to cut some ultimately -- the first quarter or third of the novel may meander a little too much -- but I'll see when I go back to do revisions.  In the meantime, a new character has proven himself to be a plot ninja, and is going to tell his story before the end of the book, so I may surpass 100k after all.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Almost done!

I just updated my side bar word count meter to reflect my work over the weekend.  I wrote nearly 6k over the weekend: 3,500 words on Saturday and 2,400 words on Sunday.  Considering I've been stalled since the end of November, I'm pretty pleased with that chunk of progress.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's resolutions

Unfortunately, my goal from mid-December -- of finishing the Ruby Ransome novel I am currently working on before the end of the year -- did not pan out.  I hardly even worked on the novel after that point.  I need a kick start to get me going again, and I'm hoping my New Year's resolutions will do just that.

I don't usually take New Year's resolutions very seriously, because I know they rarely ever work.  Last year I didn't even make any very big resolutions -- instead, I made a reading list of five classics I wanted to read before the end of the year, and even that didn't happen.  (This year I've increased that to seven -- why I think I can read seven when I couldn't read five, I don't know, but perhaps part of the problem was waiting too long to start.  Throughout the year I kept thinking, "I still have plenty of time!"  And you can see where that got me.)


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