Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Process, Random

Friday Fare: Links from the around the ‘Net

FridayFareConfession:  I love the Internet (affectionately known in my household as “the Interwebs.”).  On Fridays, I’m going to post a round up of the various posts and articles that have been of interest to me during the week:

I am about 40% through the latest round of edits on Afterlife (AL) and I’m really excited with how it’s going.  I feel like the edits I’m making are helping to make a more cohesive story and it’s getting the story closer to beta readers.

Articles like this  help:

J.K. Rowling’s notes!  (I came across this a few years back and I loved how she did this – I’ve used something similar and really like how it helps track characters.)

And here I thought I was just lazy:

I thought that this looked like a useful tool:

And because I like to add a recipe onto these round-ups, here‘s what I am hoping to bake this afternoon.


Listening to:  I had a couple recent road trips lately.  While I usually have some mixed CDs on hand to help the miles go by, I also like to listen to radio stations and see what’s new.  This song by Hosier is haunting and the YouTube video gave me absolute chills.

Otherwise, my musical tastes reveal how late I am to the game … I’ve just discovered Old Crow Medicine Show.  My eldest loves “Wagon Wheel” and that’s on frequent rotation, along with “Fuzzy and Blue” and “C is for Cookie.”

Reading:  When I originally started drafting this post, I was re-reading Stephen King’s “Bag of Bones.” I was reminded once again why I want to be a writer.  And because it’s brain candy, I’m re-reading Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series.  (This might be the fourth time through??)

Fiction update:  Again, when I originally drafted this blog post, I was in the midst of letting AL marinate (I let my drafts rest between edits so they have a little bit of time to rest).  During that time, I started outlining another story that I had started (and abandoned) a few years back.  My thought process was that I’d have a decent outline ready for when my next round of edits on AL are done and while AL is out with beta readers, I’d start getting more words on the page for my next project.

While I didn’t completely finish my outline, I made some great progress on that project.  But, as it turned out – this past week has been a quiet one at work.  Since I never know when things are going to be quiet on the work front, I decided to go ahead and jump into edits.  (If I wait until there’s a “perfect” time to write / edit, I will never pen another word again.)

I am hoping that this finds you all well!

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Process, Random

Friday Fare: Links from the around the ‘Net

FridayFareConfession:  I love the Internet (affectionately known in my household as “the Interwebs.”).  On Fridays, I’m going to post a round up of the various posts and articles that have been of interest to me during the week:

I have a lot of articles that I’ve pulled down this week and are waiting for me in my bookmarks, but since life is crazy, my time has been limited to read them!  Next week will likely be full of information.

In the meantime, since I like to cook and since I love J.T. Ellison, I was thrilled to see that she has now archived the recipes that she’s included in her monthly newsletters.


Listening to: I spent a little bit too much time on the FB earlier this week and one of my girlfriends posted that NPR had a “First Listen” segment featuring Damien Rice.  I really like it when my musical tastes veer in other directions and am so very glad that my friend recommended this.

Listening II:  My parents and I are going to see Garth Brooks at the Target Center tonight.  So maybe I shouldn’t be listening to Patti Smith … it might be time to put on the “Double Live” album.  I. CAN’T. WAIT – tonight’s concert is going down in the books!

Reading:  “Shifting Shadows” by Patricia Briggs and I’m trying to get into “Sneaking Suspicions” by Jan Hinds.  In terms of Hinds’ book, it’s nothing against her, but it’s more about the genre.  It’s a futuristic thriller and that’s not a genre I choose to read often.  So – the future leaves me meh, but give me some werewolves and other paranormal characters and I am a happy camper!  “Shadows” is incredible – this is a collection of short stories from Briggs’ “Mercy Thompson” world.  Last night, I read “Grey” and I am just reminded what a wonderful transport a short story can provide.  I got “Shadows” from the library, but on the strength of “Grey” alone, I think I need to buy a copy of Briggs’ book.

Fiction update:  I am making progress.  Slowly but surely.

Fiction, Process

Plan your work, work your plan

20140729_100849I completed the second draft edits of “Afterlife.” To give you a clue at the lack of fanfare regarding this event, my husband doesn’t even know that.  And in his defense – I just decided that I was done with the edits on Sunday night after about a week’s lull of activity regarding my WIP.  I was sitting at my desk when it hit me … I’m done with the second round of edits.  In fact, I had finished edits when I was in a hotel room in Colorado the week before.

But this should also give you an idea of how long I still have to go with AL.  The internal deadline I had set for myself with AL was that she’d be ready for beta readers by the fall.  Conservatively, I’d say that she’ll be ready closer to Christmas.  There are still some holes, there are some exciting things that I discovered during the second round of edits that I’m going to go back and flesh out.

Next steps?  Mentally, I decided that I finished the second round of edits on July 18th.  I’m giving AL a month to rest and then I’m picking her up again for version 3.  (As you can see in the photo above, I have the binder for v3 all ready!)

Here’s what I’ll be doing in the meantime:

  • Reading “Write Your Novel From the Middle” by James Scott Bell.  The middle of my novel has issues.  There’s some pacing concerns that I’ve grappled with during v2, so I’m hoping that this helps.
  • Dammit … I wanted this to be a bulleted list.  And to be honest, that’s really the only thing I’m doing in preparation for v3.  There are other things that I’ve done to further AL.  Those include (subbullets!)
    • Reread a lot of Patricia Briggs … Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite characters in paranormal literature. Plus, the way that Briggs presents her stories in the same POV that AL is in.  It’s a good primer to see what I want to accomplish with my own work.
    • Finished rereading Elizabeth Lowell’s “Always Time to Die.”  For some reason, that novel has been stuck in my head and I re-read it on my flight back and forth to Colorado.  I tried to pay particular attention to how Lowell unfolded “ATtD” because she has a lot of story threads moving through this novel and I wanted to see how she managed all of them and still presented a pretty gripping story.  (Even if some of the romantic dialogue leaned heavily towards the cheese territory.)

Starting August 18th, I’ve taken three days of PTO from work and I’m going to devote that time to kickstarting round three of edits.  My goal is to complete that round of edits by October 11th.  It’s ambitious, but not impossible.

In the meantime, I’m going to take my hiatus from AL to switch gears and start outlining a story that I started a few years back.  I have a big problem with starting and abandoning projects.  As a result, I have about four orphaned stories that I’ve been working on over the past 10 years or so.  This story (the working title is “Summoned”) is one that has been niggling at my brain lately and I’m very much looking forward to going down that path again and setting up a road map that I can refer to when I go back to writing that particular tale.

Plan your work, work your plan … Happy Tuesday, everyone!


The wooshing sounds of deadlines …

I had set an internal deadline of finishing edits on my Shitty First Draft (SFD) by July 1.  It is July 1.  And I’m about four chapters, give or take, behind.  However – I am not bummed by missing this deadline.  I have two children under the age of two that are running afoot, I work full time, and I really like spending time with my husband and other family members; I’m cutting myself a little bit of slack.  And that’s partially because I’m confident that I’m not far away from finishing my edits.

What’s next?  I’m wavering between giving my story some time to rest and marinate (what does that even MEAN?) or going right back into more edits.  I think I’m going to give it a little rest, partially to give myself some objective distance, but mostly because there’s another project that’s been niggling at my gray matter and I want to do some outlining on that before I return to my edits.  I worry about losing my momentum, but my instinct is telling me that I’m going to be OK as long as I return to AL before August 15th. 

In other news – I’m reading again.  When I’m writing, my reading habit becomes feast or famine.  And if I do read, I want to read something that I’ve read before (It’s my brain’s version of comfort food?  I’m really strange?  All of the above?),  I’m out of my famine mode and back into feasting on books.  I’m back to reading Patricia Briggs’ “Mercy Thompson” series and restarted the “Alpha and Omega” series.  I love the world that Briggs created with these characters – again, mental comfort food.  I’m also reading books on the Russian empire – Robert K. Massie’s “Catherine the Great” and Edvard Radzinsky’s “The Last Tsar.”  I’ve been minorly obsessed with the Romanovs since high school.  And like my penchant for mental comfort food, I cannot explain why I am drawn to those eras in history and that country. 

Happy July, friends!