Category Archives: Writing

Getting the necessities done

Site of writing:  recliner couch w/ lapdesk
WIP:  A Bottle of Djinn
# words:  521

It’s been a good day.  Which really means that I did some number of things on my list that I needed (and wanted) to get done.  Starting with sleeping in, which was marvelous.  Then there was…well, doesn’t matter what it was.  The point I want to share is that this list did not all get done, but enough of it did to feel good about how the day went.

(I highly recommend spending a few minutes at the end of the day going through the things that you did and how you felt about them at the time.  Especially on an accomplished day, you get to feel extra good about what you did.  And if it wasn’t an accomplished day you get the chance to contemplate what the avoidance was satisfying deep inside you.)

There were only two things missing, one hasn’t a chance at happening but the other was getting some writing.  So I sat down here at the end of the night and snuck in 45 minutes of work on the short story.  I call that a win.

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Getting Moving

Treadmill:  65 minutes at a nice mellow speed
Words on treadmill:  1582
WIP:  Agent of Fate
Additional words:  1832

Day one of new commitment.  And what do I have to show for it?  I finished NaNoWriMo!  That’s right, I hit the 50k word mark tonight.  Woohooo!  Party time!

Okay, so it’s like another 40k words until the novel is actually done and then there’s all the editing and the rest of the work, but I set a goal and met it, so yeeha!

Happy weekending to everyone!

Accountability Here I come

I can’t believe I’m doing this.  No, seriously, I’ve got a bad case of the trepidations.  Heart beating faster, hands sweating.

I’m about to make a commitment.  To myself.  Stated to the world.  Thus the accountability.  And I’m certainly taking my sweet time about it, eh?

Okay, here goes.

From now until Mexico (which should be at the end of April) I will blog each day that I write.  I may be short and I may be sour…and I may well blog on a non-writing day.  But for each and every day that I write, I will blog.  Progress, failures, learning moments.  Or ruminations on the power of chaos.

And now I’ve said it to the world.

Oy, crap.

Table 7 @/& SiWC

I don’t even know where to start, that’s how marvelous this weekend was.

It all started on Thursday, October 21st at the Guildford Sheraton as I showed up for a master class at SiWC.  While I wasn’t thrilled with the class, I was enchanted to meet one of my fellow writers that I met at the 2009 conference, as well as two other lovely ladies that I ran into for the rest of the weekend.

The next two and a half days are something of a blur, with sparkling highlights.  The keynotes were lively, entertaining and more than one tempted me to tears.

Damn them.

While Arthur Slade‘s dissertation on the dangers of sitting on your ass for many hours straight has inspired me to go out and buy my own treadmill (walking writing, here I come!) it was Robert Dugoni‘s final keynote that thrilled, chilled and filled me with the inspiration to write.  For today we write!

Very honorable mentions go to Ivan Coyote for her engaging speech as well as to Julia Quinn – I will never, ever put a fridge beside my desk, this I swear.

The workshops ranged from good to marvelous, heavy on the marvelous.  James Scott Bell has truly illuminated the way to good editing for me, something I wasn’t sure could ever be done.  Not to mention all the other fabulous tips and tricks and reminders for writing he filled each workshop with.

Robert Dugoni was an equally inspired presenter.  Both of these men were engaging, entertaining and excellent educators.  I also enjoyed Hallie Ephrom‘s workshop on pacing.  Thanks to the lunch-time conversation with the Mira editor who suggested Hallie’s course as the one to take – she was absolutely correct.

Speaking of meals… lol … I have the most remarkable luck when it comes to sitting at tables and having the opportunity to meet with editors, agents and authors.  It isn’t planned, it certainly isn’t intentional, but boy is it fun.

Which brings us to Table 7.

Table 7 is a magical place, where gnomes romp and faeries eat cake.  Okay, not that kind of magical.  But there was something glorious going on there.

A fellow aspiring author and I were just trying to decide where to sit for dinner on Friday when the waiter told us that we, waving generally in the direction of the table we stood near, could go in and eat.  Well, that decided the table!  Table 7, as it turned out.

We dropped down our bags and headed in to grab dinner – first people in line.  Now that’s luck at a large conference.  Sat back down to start eating when in drops an agent (who remembered my face from my 3 minute pitch to her in New York a year and a half before!).  Naturally we didn’t mind and sent her in to get food (a definite advantage of Table 7 that night).

An editor friend of hers joined us shortly thereafter, plus a couple of other conference attendants and one of Saturday’s keynote speakers.  The conversation was lively and since we weren’t able to get to one of the promised stories we all agreed to meet back up on Saturday.

Table 7 was not nearly done having fun, after all.

Saturday night we sat down, fought off a few interlopers (you’re saving a spot?  really?…yes, really, no move on, sorry lol) and re-grouped for more fabulous conversation.  Two of our fellow aspiring writers were gone, but we were joined by a lovely lady I kept running into all weekend plus the keynote speaker for Saturday night.

But the best part was, of course, getting that promised story!  Plus many more.  It should be noted that writers cannot help but think the most inappropriate thoughts at this most inopportune moments.  We entertained each other through dinner, through the mass exodus of the writing and through half of the cleaning of the room by the staff.

At which point we accepted that it was time to move on and the time of Table 7 was coming to a close.  But the connections of Table 7 live on!

Many of us meandered up to the RWA Cocktail party where we met up with more presenters and shared more stories and great conversation.  And I could go on.

But it’s time to go.  For this day, I WRITE!

Entering the 6 Weeks of Writing OMG WTF Intensity

That’s right.  The next six weeks should be a manic journey of edit, write, learn, write!

In just 4 days the Surrey International Writer’s Conference starts.  I treated myself to one of the master classes on Thursday.  On editing.  It should be noted that I loathe editing.  I recognize the importance of it, but it makes me crazy!  Then starting Friday is the fullness of the conference.  It can’t top the fabulousness of last year, methinks, but I’m still seriously looking forward to it.

I had originally planned on taking the week after off so I could enjoy some post-conference obsessive writing.  But alas, the day job has intervened and now I won’t be off until November.

Now the advantage there is that I’m also planning on doing NaNoWriMo for the first time ever.  Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  Sure, I can do that!  Luckily for me, that holiday has been rescheduled to November.  That should help!

I’ve also got a little fun project on the go about the alien vampiric were-rabbits.  Check back, I’ll be posting.

And finally I’m working on a non-fiction project that I need to edit the shit out of also in the next  6 weeks or so.  Whew, it’s nuts, I tell you, nuts!

And what amazing insanity it will be.  Sign me up, Scotty!

Short Story Torture…And Success

The past month has been an agony of shifted priorities.  I couldn’t argue with where the priorities shifted to, but it was life interuptus all over the place.

There’s a short story contest for romance writers with a deadline just over a week away.  (Sorry, no access here to the details/links).  I really wanted to do this.  I’ve never gone in for contests typically, but for some indescribable reason this one was calling to me. 

The problem was I don’t write short stories typically.

So there I sat yesterday, with just over a week left to the deadline, trying to force the story out of my head and into the computer.  Normally forcing a story seems so very wrong to me.  But I understood why I was having the problems – too long since I’d last written (yes, practice makes it easier), the short story format (not used to condensing down that far) and no clear vision (I had character background but no vision of the scene which always makes it easier to write). 

It took way longer than it should have.  Yes, no self judgment here, really.

But, and here’s the happy place, it got done!  And I’m happy with it.  It’s not perfect, it needs editing, and whether anyone else will like it who knows (the egomaniac in me says ‘how could they not?’ but the Eeyore part is thinking ‘nobody will like it’ – you did read that with Eeyore voice, yes?). 

I got my feet moving on the writing path again and it feels good.

~Samantha

Settling in to work

I’m trying!  Really I am!

Okay, clearly not really.  If I actually put my will to it, I’d be editing my novel right now, not typing up a blog post.  So obviously the procrastination has a leg up on the getting shit done.

But at least I’m writing?

Actually, I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll put down the distractions and settle in shortly to the work my heart 3/4 wants to do.  The other 1/4 is contemplating all the other ‘feel good’ things I could do.

I spent some portion of last night reading through Robert J. Sawyer’s recent note on the future of the industry.  While fantasy is only one area I write in, it is my personal love, and reading his thoughts on SF in particular and the industry in general and the replies to his post, well it drummed out a bit of my optimism which is a necessity for any aspiring writer in my opinion.

But I certainly can’t stop now!  Dammit, this novel is going to be ready to go and the query letters are going out by the end of this week if it kills me.

Or, well, preferably someone else.  😉

Just kidding.