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NOT fun! NOT glamorous!

I got my manuscript back from Echelon (well, my electronic document) with passive voice and indefinite pronouns highlighted, and I'm going through it now rewording sentences. Example: We were removed from our horses. Changed to: Wardens pulled us off our horses. Better, yes? Better, yes. That's what keeps me from whining too much--my editor/publisher are wise people, and I wouldn't be doing this piddly stuff if I had checked for passive voice myself!

To cut myself some slack: This is an early publication, now being re-issued, and I tell myself I've improved since then. Whether I have or haven't, I appreciate this chance to improve the book in this incarnation.

It's due to be released in electronic formats only this July by Echelon Press. EEL'S REVERENCE, which is the title I always wanted. It was originally published as EEL'S REVENGE because my first publisher thought REVENGE sounded more exciting.

If you want to read an excerpt (before edits, at this point), click here.

Back to work!


Story Finished!

I finished my story to submit to Sword & Sorceress XXV!! I sent it to some beta readers and got feedback, and now I'm editing it. Fingers crossed! The reading period starts in April, so here's hoping I don't overwork it by then...or forget to send it in!

Enter the Contest!

I'm running a contest at my WordPress blog this week. Enter to win!




I've been working and working and working and working on this story for SWORD AND SORCERESS XXV. I started it last year and missed the deadline, so I wrote some other stories and then came back to this one. I almost have it finished, but in a very rough form, in a lovely little computer file so I can zoom back and forth and cut and paste without getting glue all over my hands. Now I want to clean it up and guess what? I have to print it out. I just can't work on it any more on the screen. I have to have those words in ink on paper.

Is this just a Crone thing? Is it my age? Why are the words that live in my head and will (I hope) live in the reader's head more real and manageable to me if I have them in fixed form? Why can I run them through my mental fingers and work them and clean them and arrange them more easily if I can't actually DO that, the way I can electronically?

I dunno, but it's so. So today, I print!


I Am A Giant Land Turtle

I've been trying to figure out why my internet connection is suddenly so slow when my husband's--on the same computer--is fast. I've also been fielding (and making) an unusual number of lovely long phone calls from my friends and Charlie's, possibly the result of the snowstorm that has us all more or less housebound.

Nevertheless, I've gotten a one-paragraph outline of the rest of the story down where I can see it and work from it, so I won't lose the thread of what I'm doing, even through these welcome interruptions.

I have a month and a half before the reading period begins. Wish me luck!


Oh, That Drawing Board!

You know that saying, "Back to the old drawing board"? It means you think you've finished a project, but it doesn't work, so you have to go back and re-think the design.

I finished the short story I was working on, but I have doubts as to whether it fits exactly with the anthology's specifications. I'll go on and send it in but, since the antho accepts multiple submissions, I need to come up with another alternative. This will be the third story I've thought of for this same anthology. Maybe ONE of them will click.

If not, there's always next year for that market, and other markets for those stories!


Smack Down!

Just finished writing a three-way smackdown between three mermayds for my wip. Mermayds aren't women with fishtails in the book this story plays off of. It's one of mine, by the way, so this isn't fanfic. Or finfic, if you prefer.... They look more like human males with fishtails, since they have no breasts or even nipples. They're not mammals, so they don't nurse their young, so they don't need the equipment. I call them "he" because "she" would imply a form that they just don't have. They aren't males, either, in the human sense of the word--they don't have THAT equipment, either!

Anyway, I wrote one paragraph of two sentences, pretty much the essence was: This one did this and those ones did that and they all three did this other thing. They fell off the ledge.

I probably should have left it at that and gone on, but that was the last thing I wrote before shutting it down for the night. The next day, when I opened it, I had to reread the last bit so I could pick up the thread, and the bare bones just didn't hack it. The fight started to come alive. The two sentences turned into three, then four, then it opened up into several short paragraphs and the next part of the story sent out a creeper and now I know how I want the next part to go.

Takeaway: I'm going to continue to use the Knock-Out-The-Basics-And-Move-On method I've finally learned, but I'm going to allow myself to stop and "break open the moment", as the Green River Writers call it, if that feels like the right thing to do.

I may actually make the deadline for this one!


Actually Some Progress

I've been stuck on the fantasy story I'm working on, "Line of Descent", but I've finally broken through. I was on the elliptical walker and thinking about the story and several of the story threads came together and suddenly the story had a shape. I love it when that happens! Then, yesterday, I was waiting for some people in a restaurant and I took out my handy-dandy notebook and wrote out a narrative version of what happens next. I still don't know the details--can't wait to write it so I can find out exactly what happens.

I THINK I finally got my web site in order. It's been a bear!



I finally got my new web site up and working, and I'm inordinately pleased with it. It took a heck of a lot of work. I knew it would--that's why I put it off for so long. For my next trick, I'm going to finish updating my blog. I just need to figure out how to put the illustrations for the fan fiction up. I think I can do it, but I think it's going to take a frack-load of time.

Meanwhile, I have stories to write to submit to anthologies. Fingers crossed on those.

The one I'm working on now is about a species from my novel, EEL'S REVERENCE, due out from Echelon in July of this year (2010). It's going to be available in all kinds of electronic formats but--naturally--I'm whining because it isn't also going to be in paper. So many people I know (including myself) prefer reading the dead tree editions, I would love to have it out that way. It does so much for one's ego to read one's name on a series of spines. ;) Ah, well, as my dear old gray-haired Granny used to say, "Some people would cry if you spit in their beer."


I THINK I'm Making Progress....

I've been re-doing my pro site, and I think I could have remodeled the house in less time than this is taking me. I've been meaning to do it for years, and I've been putting it off because I knew it would be a lot of work. Now that I've begun in earnest, I have to keep on keepin' on or I'll lose my place and have no idea where I left off and what I had left to do.

The worst of it is thinking I'm almost done and then finding a bunch of other stuff I haven't done yet. Then, when I'm sure I'm totally finished, either I or one of the folks I ask to look it over will find a bunch of tweaks or major mistakes that have to be corrected.

I might as well be writing a book!

Because that's pretty well how writing a book goes for me: Once I get started, I feel better about it if I concentrate on it. My preference is to work on that project for chunks of time, at least an hour with no interruptions. I don't often get that, so I've learned to make do with snatches of time, but I usually lay with a project until it's done. Otherwise, I lose my place and have to go back to the beginning and study what I've done so I can get back in the groove.

Then, when the first draft is done, I find all the holes and inconsistencies and awkwardnesses and try to smooth those out. Then, when it's "perfect", I have my beta readers take honking big axes and whack away at it.

You have to be some kind of crazy to subject yourself to this, so I guess I must be some kind of crazy. The result is worth the effort.

I might as well be giving birth to a child!

No, let's leave it at that. At least a web site or a book will never grow up to be an angst-ridden teenager. Unless, of course, it starts out that way.

Dear God, this is endless.

Okay, The End.