Saturday, June 26, 2010

Still Working on Second Book

I'm hoping to be done with the first draft of second vampire book by end of this summer--which technically isn't until mid-September, so I should be good.

My schedule of having 3-4 days off, between my bus-driving job helps me greatly. I'm able to concentrate on my characters, the ideas form during the night, or sometimes during the day. I take notes, the basic things so that I don't forget them, whenever I can. Or, I use my little recorder especially when it might be a scene or dialogue. You just can't get that stuff back. And it takes too much to writing it down on paper. Especially when it's the middle of the night. I can just mutter something into it and go back to sleep.

Today I caught something on the vampire blogs I follow about Stephanie Meyer getting burned out on vampires. Her new series Midnight Sun, which tells the story from Edward's p.o.v., has been halted. She says in the interview that "I'm really burned out on vampires." She needs a break. I blogged about this on my main blog Lorelei's Muse, so I'm not going to go into detail on it here.

I know how it is, as a writer, you really need to stay excited about a project, because if you're not excited about it, you really can't write it. Not well, anyway.

But I'm sure excited about my books. Still not heard a thing from editor at CMP. I know she's busy with all her other authors, so I'm not going to bother her. I'm taking this opportunity to write the next vampire novel. I have the ending figured out, all I have to do is get there. Then go back and edit out things that don't work. The second draft is what I enjoy most. Then there isn't as much back tracking--at least I hope not. I don't outline. Can't. What's the fun in that?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait, and Wait . . . and Wait. . .

It's an addage that not many people today believe in. I see people walking around who "want it now".

Patience is a virtue.

I was gabbing on the phone with my author friend, Ron Martelet. He's a sexigenarian who wrote and self-published the book "Propeller Head". Well, we've been to 2 book signings in our area, and he calls to catch up. We gabbed probably for the better part of 20 minutes. I was about to check my e-mail. And he'd just gotten home, probably wanted to put away his groceries.

Well I'd e-mailed editor yesterday. Told her everything I'd been doing, how I'd been to certain sites trying to improve my writing--I went to Grammar Girl, now I can't live without it, and am getting weekly newsletter, which will really come in handy, if I'm ever trying to figure out if I'd used the wrong usage of some word, or placed commas where I shouldn't. That sort of thing.

I didn't really think I would hear from her before the week was out. I figured (rightly) that she had been at a conference, and had been busy with other things.

She was very happy to hear what I'd been doing in order to better my writing. She needed to catch up to her work, so she said she would get back to me.

But she said something that was rare and I realized she was sharing something with me, just as I had shared something with her in my e-mail. She told me that if she'd promised herself if she ever became an editor, she wouldn't reject someone out of hand, but tell them what was wrong with their writing. And she was glad that I appreciated this.

Yeah, I would much rather have an editor say "Well, you've said this earlier" or "You tell to much here."

I'd rather have that person tell me that than just give me a total rejection.

Simply knowing this gives me an up-lifted heart. I've been rather out of sorts for the past 2 weeks, wondering if I had a real chance with this publisher, or not. Well,
maybe good things do come to those who wait. I've been waiting for 40+ years.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Even Though It Rained . . .

I've been working on edits on my manuscript. Handy thing to use is the "Find & Replace" option in the edit tab. You put the word you're trying to find in the window, and type whatever you need to replace it with. However, I usually don't chose this last part, because I may not want to replace it with just another word. I may simply want to delete it. Or, there may be something else that works better.

Take the word "even". It's why I used the title for this blog: Even though. These two words can easily be replaced with the word Although.

As I went through the manuscript, hitting the find button, I realized I used the word even way too often.

How often? Over 100 times. In fact it was right around 150-160 times, I used it. I probably illuminated more than 100 words completely. The word even is a strange word. When we talk, we use it a lot, so it isn't surprising that a lax writer would go ahead and stick it into their work. Why? Because it's just a habit, or because you don't realize you're doing it.

Because we use it as we speak, I felt that the 20, or so times I used it in dialogue could be left alone. I took out some, merely because I could see that taking it out didn't change anything.

I went through several times with this "find & replace" for other words. I found I was using the word past for passed! I found it used wrong 25 times. That would have caused my editor sleepless nights wondering if she'd made a mistake with taking me on.

Another series of over-used words or phrases I tend to fall on are:

I could see; I saw that; seemed to; just

I know that I have problems with using these lazy phrases, and going through the mss. just to find each and every one of them took me hours. This morning alone, I think I spent maybe 1 1/2 hours or so just to go through, check the usage, if I could delete it I would. I was also marking down how many times I'd used this word, just to see where my problems lie. Well, this was a good thing to check.

I don't know if I have problems with any other words, but these were good to illuminate from my manuscript.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday Morning Musing

Had a good, long weekend. I didn't have to work on Saturday, for one thing. Since it was pouring rain, that was a plus. But on the down side, my husband and I had to run some errends in town, which meant we got wet a few times.

I've gone through Vampire Ascending for the last time, until I get word, one way or another from the editor. The last time she'd sent me any e-mail about my sending her the edited section of chapter one was last Monday. I've had nothing from her since. So, I'm still in limbo.

I don't know if all this waiting around is worth it. Maybe if I just get this thing published somehow--I do have another alternative, if I want to take it, it's just that I don't know that it has that good of a track record, since it had only 2 authors with fiction at it's site. It would still be better than giving up publishing all together, and better than paying to have someone publish it--whether it's an eBook or just a regular book.

Yesterday was a bit on the windy side, but much nicer, after all the rain washed the humidity away. My husband and I went for a walk. We talked of our eventual get-away--that's what we call our vacations. We "get away" from here, from people, and enjoy the outdoors. Because we enjoy the western states, sounds like my husband has settled on northern New Mexico, and we'll drive from our state of IL. through Iowa, into Nebraska, stay the night in York, then go on down I-80, turn left at North Plat and go into Kansas.

That's the route going out. What we do from there will largely depend upon finances, and our goals, once August gets closer, we'll know a little better.

Well, I'm going to go back to my work.