Blogging at Here Be Magic today!

Hey folks! Surfacing from Norwescon long enough to report that my very first contribution to the Here Be Magic blog has gone up today! I’m being relaxed and groovy, and talking a bit about Valor of the Healer as well as Faerie Blood, and mentioning a few of the ways I’m shooting for equality and balance in my work. It’s no accident that both of my heroines of record, to date, are elves who are not white.

And being, well, ME, I also mention a few of the ways I love to geek out!

Come on over and say hi! I AM at Norwescon so I’m only able to pay erratic attention to the comments right now, but I’ll be trying to answer any comments as the weekend progresses and I have time in between convention programming. :)

Many thanks to my fellow Here Be Magic authors for spreading the word!

I have a cunning plan

Which is to say, I’m going to take the entire week of Labor Day off since I have the vacation time to spare, and work on finishing my edits. To further this goal, I will be also dropping off the net for the duration of that week. I’ll still be answering email, but I won’t be monitoring Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, and for the most part I’ll only be answering email sent directly to me (as opposed to any of the mailing lists I’m on, or comments on any of my posts).

Noting this now by way of general accountability. I may post status updates during that week–again, for purposes of accountability–but I can’t guarantee I’ll answer any comments on them.

We’ll see how much I can get done before then; any little bit I can get done before does after all further the goal. And anything I can write above and beyond finishing the edits on Lament will be bonus. Christopher and Kendis are looking VERY expectant in the back of my brain, you know.

So there you have it. If you think you might want to get a hold of me during that week for whatever reason, email, text, or phone will be best! If you think you should have those means of contacting me and you don’t, let me know.

My muse demands bronzeriders, who knew?

I just finished writing 500 words or so about a bronzerider character I used to write for Telgar Weyr, the offline Pern fan club group I used to be in, and which is making noises about resurrecting itself lately. This is pertinent to my writing efforts because, for the first time in many months, I felt my brain leap at the idea of revisiting a lot of stories that I never did get to finish when the club fell over before.

So for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been distracted with that. Which is, I know I know, not exactly conducive to me getting Lament of the Dove done. But I can say this: after writing that snippet about J’marr, I felt a lot more sanguine about poking at Lament, and I fired up Chapter 20 and went through a couple of (fairly light) pages of editing until realizing I needed to bugger off to bed.

Apparently my muse has just been jonesing to write about a hot young bronzerider. If that’s what it takes to get my ass back in gear, I am happy to oblige it!

I’m still in Chapter 20, although my mental page pointer has moved ahead from page 4 to page 7. And now I’m in the good bit of this chapter–the scene with Faanshi trying to deal with what she’s discovered about Alarrah. Let’s see what happens next.

Edited tonight: Net loss of zero, actually, although I did take out a few words and put a few others in
Chapter 20 revised total: 4,509
Lament of the Dove revised total: 121,904

Wait, what, Chapter 19 is done?!

I should have actually posted about this on Saturday, only I was entirely distracted by the fun of going to see State of Play. Which of course leads me around to a traditional fallback of mine any time something sets back my writing: blaming Russell Crowe. (All my typos are his fault, you know.)

But I did actually finish up Chapter 19 on Saturday, one last little gasp through the final pages. Which means Chapter 20 is now finally on tap, and I began a cursory poking at it today. It is a measure of how long it’s been since I’ve actually worked on that chapter that I forgot completely about the opening scene in it, to wit, Ulima Secretly Plotting Secret Plots. But once I remembered that, I was able to mentally call up the rest of what to expect. Faanshi and Alarrah’s conversation scene is going to have to be completely redone, and if possible, I want to revisit some of the content I had to cut from this draft’s Chapter 17. Specifically, the bit where Kirinil actually checks Faanshi out magically for the first time.

So the beginning of Chapter 20 probably won’t change much, but most of the rest should wind up looking fairly different. I may have to write out a summary before I tackle it in prose.

And oh yes: pre-emptive thanks are going to have to go out to the spouse of one of my fellow Drollerie authors, who has kindly offered to beta read this draft for me when I finish it. For that matter, my editor at Drollerie also kindly offered to give it a once-over, although she knows I’m intending to fire this book at agents. I mention this not only to give them both public appreciation, but also to hold myself accountable for, y’know, actually finishing the draft. Note to self: YOU’RE ON NOTICE. GET WITH IT.

Edited up to tonight: -157
Chapter 19 revised total: 5,252
Chapter 20 revised total: 4,509
Lament of the Dove revised total: 121,904

Last couple of pages finally

Closing in on the tail end of Chapter 19, at last. It’ll feel good to finish this up.

I know I’ve said this before, but it continues to amaze me how much better Faanshi (to me at least) comes across when I tighten up her dialogue and actions. Even if I don’t actually change her words much. I’m hopeful I am now better walking that line between keeping her gentle and making her strong.

Edited tonight: -58
Chapter 19 revised total: 5,362
Lament of the Dove revised total (fourth draft): 122,061

Editing! From the con!

I suppose it’s hopelessly lame introverted of me to have spent a good chunk of last night holed up in my hotel room editing Chapter 19 of Lament rather than being out talking to people. But this is what I get for being a hopeless introvert. Hey, I figure I did exchanging words with one total stranger in the bar, and letting another one fasten one of those glow-bracelets around my wrist.

Besides, Lament is waking up again with a vengeance and I need to humor it as long as possible.

Read over a couple of pages and realized that yeah, there’s still some work that needs to be done to finish this off. The last big scene in the chapter–Faanshi, Julian, Alarrah, and Kirinil trying to figure out what the hell they’re doing–is not fundamentally changing in terms of basic detail. And yet, it is; I am finding myself still rewriting a lot of Faanshi’s specific actions in an attempt to strengthen her up. Hopefully it’ll read okay; I’m not sure yet how the Faanshi of Chapter 17 and Chapter 19 will flow out of the Faanshi of the earlier chapters of this draft. Will definitely have to have a beta reader or two make another pass through this when I’m done.

Edited last night: +90
Chapter 19 revised total: 5,420
Lament of the Dove revised total (fourth draft): 122,119

And now that round 1 of Faerie Blood editing is done…

This means I need to beat up on Lament of the Dove some more.

Fortunately, my brain’s come back enough that this is an option. I’ve actually made significant progress on Chapter 19; there’s some stuff that still needs to happen to polish this file up, but the end is in sight on it now. Soon I’ll be able to proceed to Chapter 20, which also promises to give a few editing challenges given how much I’ve had to do with 19.

But then there’ll be 21, and I’ll be back to Kestar, and can hopefully spend just about all of that chapter doing a serious word count reduction. I still have about 5K to kill, and I’ve got five more chapters and an epilogue in which to do it.

Edited as of Wednesday: -413
Chapter 19 revised total: 5,330
Lament of the Dove revised total (fourth draft): 122,029

Quick editing update

Last night I did get in another paragraph in Lament which should be accounted for here. But now that I’ve gotten in the changes for Faerie Blood finally, Lament just dropped hard down the priority queue. We’ll see how this changes over the next couple of weeks, but at least through the weekend, I expect to be spending all my energy on FB.

Lament of the Dove:
Edited last night: +75
Chapter 19 revised total: 5,743
Lament of the Dove revised total (fourth draft): 122,442

Faerie Blood:
Edited tonight: Reviewed changes for one chapter! 22 chapters to go.

Bottom of the page for victory! And 200 more words!

Hit the bottom of page 13 in Chapter 19 of Lament tonight, and have finally gotten to a point where all this nice new content I’m throwing into this chapter can re-weave in with what’s already there. Which hopefully means that as of tomorrow night’s editing, I can start pulling this chapter’s unruly word count back under control. The word count I need to kill is back up to 5,500 or so, which is just not acceptable given that I’m still aiming at 117K.

Heh, “tomorrow night’s editing”, she says. Feeling pretty optimistic about holding to that, actually, now that my brain seems to pulling out of sleep dep mode. We’ll see what I can do.

Edited tonight: +209
Chapter 19 revised total: 5,668
Lament of the Dove revised total (fourth draft): 122,367

Good lord, I actually wrote something!

Not that I’m making any promises or anything–I’m still coming back online after that last round of surgery–but tweaking my thyroid meds intake has had the happy, happy result of giving me back some brain. Which in turn has been giving me back some sleep.

Some of this is coming in also from my old Pern fan group making noises about resurrecting itself, a possibility that has made my muse suddenly perk up; I’ve got a bunch of old characters from that group whose stories I never finished properly telling. I’m finding myself wondering whether I could use the prospect of rewarding myself with working on some of those old stories if I make good progress on finishing up Lament of the Dove‘s edit pass so I can get the damn thing queried again. Right now, I’ll take any inspiration I can get.

And this weekend, over yesterday and today, I actually made some progress on Chapter 19, so some kind of inspiration is happening. The word count is still going up–but I’m adding a lot of new content to this chapter. I suspect I’ll be balancing out this increase though once I plow into Chapter 21, the next Kestar chapter, which is quite long.

Cross your fingers for me anyway, folks. I may, just may, be back.

Edited yesterday and today: +536
Chapter 19 revised total: 5,459
Lament of the Dove revised total (fourth draft): 122,158