Whoops, or an Unexpected Haitus

Oops. I really didn’t mean to ignore this. Things have been really busy around here, and I felt like I was repeating the same things here all the time. So I kept putting off posting.

Of relevant interests:
Internship is still going very well. I’ve gotten to the point where the agent I’m working for trusts my opinions, and has said several flattering things about me to a mutual friend which makes me VERY happy. I mean, everyone likes to think they’re good at what they’re passionate about. It’s a whole different thing though to have your boss (essentially) tell someone “Damn, she’s good! You’re so right!”. I’m enjoying the work I’m doing too, and I think my other self is getting a lot of good contacts from it. I also made a new local friend, which is really nice. We met up for coffee and it was non stop chatter excitement.

But yeah, that takes up even more time than it was. I’m hyper organized and I try to get everything done as quickly as possible, but she doesn’t really have time a lot to handle everything that really NEEDS her input. Like when I find what I think is an awesome MS, it can sit there for months before she gets around to even glancing at it. There’s several I was disappointed to see got offers elsewhere and went with them entirely because she didn’t get around to them before the deadline. I mean, I’m GLAD they got an agent, but I’m annoyed it’s not the one I’m working for.

It’s all a matter of finding what needs done, and not over committing yourself, I think. I have trouble with that sometimes. But with any luck, this is going to lead to something more.

Speaking of, I’ve been brainstorming a new project in conjunction with KT. Sitting out Writemotivation for June while I work on juggling things. July should be interesting, August is already promising to be a madhouse, and I have a major project coming up in September/October. Then November’s always insane, so’s December.

So basically, I might as well get used to this level of insanity. It’s par for the course. 😄

November 18 #Writemotivation and #Nanowrimo update

So Nano’s going quite well, if I do say so myself. I’m finding a nice rhythm most days, and any day I manage to drag myself up in the morning to write before work, I’m getting around 1k. The least I’ve reached so far was 418 words for a day, and the most is 5511 (Before you ask, no, that was not an intentional fun number!). Current count is about 34k! So I’m a little ahead of pace, which is good. I know there’s 2 days where words are VERY unlikely due to family commitments. My current goal is to finish 50k by November 24th. That way going into Thanksgiving week, I can still write but I don’t have that pressure. We’ll see how well that works. It requires me to push some on the weekends, but not to anything ridiculous.

In other news, I volunteered to Help Brenda with a couple query critiques over on her blog, hopefully they’re helpful! When she sent the queries to me initially, I first saw them on my phone while walking to work. I had a very gut-level reaction to one of “This doesn’t work at all”, and a “This one’s not too bad” to the other. I’ll leave it to you to guess which was which, 😉 and both ended up with parts that were well phrased. But in a slushpile? Those gut reactions are often what makes the decision. If a concept isn’t extremely unique (hint: No, yours likely isn’t.), then the quality and clarity of the writing is what they’re looking for.

Queries are HARD, folks. You need to be able to succinctly communicate what it’s about in a way that makes it sound interesting. It’s simple in theory, but exquisitely hard in practice. We’ve gone over this before, but if any of you want a fresh set of eyes on your query or more tips, let me know.

Meanwhile, today was slammed at the dayjob, so I have writing to do. Time to war!

#Writemotivation and #Nanowrimo update

So far, decent. I’m a little behind where I wanted to be, as this weekend wasn’t the productive one I’d hoped for. Still, I managed to get more written during the week than I’d anticipated, so it’s not all bad. IF I can do that again this week, I should hit 25k either today or tomorrow. The total project count over there is actually about 1k above the nano count, as I had about 1k from the plotting stage already written where I was playing with the voice when I’d first had the idea. I’m pleased with how the story is going, and I’ve layered in a few elements along the way that are tying in quite nicely. It’s sort of The Uglies meets Phantom of the Opera crossed with 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’m cautiously optimistic about the level of edits it’ll need (As in, I know I’ll need to tighten and adjust certain aspects, and weave some of the “Oh, hey! This happens because REASONS!” that my subconscious likes to pull on me in the middle of Nano), so we’ll see.

My OWM story went up last Friday, but I suspect no one’s really paying attention, as it’s November and who has time? I’ll hawk it more next month. And if you’re curious, no, those don’t count in my nano count.

So how’s everyone else’s nano going? Have you consumed your weight in caffeine and sugar yet? For those rebellious (or count-phobic, hehe), how’s your month going? Anything good/new/interesting in your worlds?

Special: One- Final panel!

In addition to the other day’s post about it, there’s a bonus: The FINAL panel. IF you haven’t read the rest, I’d suggest it!

Part6-2

It’s out tomorrow, and I HIGHLY recommend it! I’m already bugging her to let me know when she’s ready for people to read the sequel!

Special: ONE by Leigh Ann Kopans

I’m not normally one to toot people’s promo horns. Not because I don’t want them to succeed, quite the opposite. I do. I just don’t think I have enough reach yet to make it a good use of their promo efforts. But every once in a while, someone offers and I get REALLY excited by their work.

I was a little hesitant about this book when I saw the concept of Leigh Ann Kopans book ONE. Super powers in YA have been done so much that it’s almost impossible to escape the tropes, and so much YA has felt predictable to me lately. But when both Becca and Trisha said it was awesome, I knew I had to give it a shot (They’re both amazing writers in their own rights, and thus far, haven’t steered me wrong on books). When Leigh Ann asked for people to volunteer for a chance to read it early in exchange for an honest review, I couldn’t resist. I’ve been known to put down even my best friends’ books after a chapter or three if they’re bad. In those cases, I just explain to them why I couldn’t get through it. I figured worst case, I would read some of it, and if it was really bad, I could just bow out gracefully.

I was very pleasantly surprised. Not only was it not a trope-walk, but the style was engaging and the pace was crisp enough that I devoured it all in one sitting. I’d meant to read a chapter or two, then go back to configuring the new TV and maybe play some video games on it (purely for testing purposes, of course!). The next thing I knew, it was 3 hours later and I’d devoured the book without even getting up again. Uhm, oops?

I’m a sucker for well done romance. I get tired of the instalove where their eyes meet and they’re instantly stupid in love with each other. The romance on this was VERY well done. It captured both the immediacy and overwhelmingness of teenage love, while making the growth of it seem realistic.

The Super powers were convincingly done. I could buy into the world building with it, and most of it was well woven into the narrative. The only point where I felt like I was being given a history lesson, it was one, but it worked. It was still well filtered through Mer’s world view.

My only real complaint is that I could have read far, far more of it, like a couple books more, minimum! Looking forward to reading much more from Leigh Ann. Definitely an author to keep an eye on, I foresee very good things in her future.

Two weeks till One

About ONE (a novel by Leigh Ann Kopans:)
Release date: June 11, 2013

When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.

It makes you a One.

Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover.

If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.

Merrin’s mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub’s internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed. Now it’s up to her to decide if it’s more important to fly solo, or to save everything – and everyone – she loves
Add ONE to your Goodreads and learn more about the author here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17251203-one

Now, what you’re REALLY after here-
part5-2

Find a full list with links to the other installments of this series on the author’s blog: http://www.leighannkopans.blogspot.com
Or follow her on Twitter @LeighAnnKopans for daily updates!

Stay tuned, more to come…

March Roundup and April goals

So, March turned out wonderful!
1. Spend at least an hour a day working on something writing related: I wasn’t really able to time it, but I’d say I succeeded at this more days than not.
2. Read at least 15 books– 2 internship book so far this month, 1 crit for a friend, 14 regular books=17!
3. Keep up on crits.- Did wonderful on this. Even got the crit for a friend done earlier than I’d anticipated, which was nice.
4. Walk to work every day.- Despite Monday evening raining on me unexpectedly (which, for the record, was miserable!), I still did it!!

I call that a win!
So of course, I have to figure out what I want to do in April. I think it’s getting a bit monotonous, so I’m going to change some things up. So, for April:

1. The standard ones- I’m lumping them together. Keep up on crits, walk to work, and read at least 15 books.
2. Outline SW2 and 3- Not in detail, but at least the broad strokes. This has to be done before I can really attack #3, because I want to make sure the major plot threads layer in right.
3. Begin edits on SW1- I have no illusions I can finish this edit pass in a month. But I can at least begin attacking it. I hope to get KT’s edits back soon (I don’t say this to nag her, I know she’s working as fast as she can right now, and doing awesome!), but I know the broadest strokes of the edits I need to do, and while I’m looking forward to more specifics, we’ve already touched on the big issues. Worst case, I start adjusting the biggest things and then work on other things from there.

Given the size of those, I’m playing it safe. I also have some recipes I want to write up, hopefully I’ll have time to do that. April promises to be busy, but hopefully not too crazy. We’ll see. My experiment with timing my writing didn’t end up doing as much, productivity-wise, as I hoped it would. It was too difficult to keep track of the time, especially when writing at work. I’m going to mainly work on my outlining at work, and I’m cautiously optimistic on it. There is part that needs redone, but I have a clear idea in mind, and the adjustments click into place very well. In fact, it works FAR better than what was there originally.

Also, I don’t know how many of you watched it, but BBCAmerica has a new show called Orphan Black. Watching it Saturday night, I kept analyzing it, trying to decide if I liked it or not. On one hand, the concept is overused, but if it does things in less predictable ways, it at least has the potential to be good. But it’s a great exercise in how to keep digging things worse for your MC. Things aren’t that great in her life to begin with, and when she sees a chance to escape her life by jumping headfirst into the life of a woman who looks just like her, she takes it. She has a choice to make: Deal with her problems, or try to run from them. She runs from them, and gets into far more trouble. Things just keep compounding, leading to sticky moments, and each time, one of her options is to find a way to run from the situation. This is the option she picks, every time. But there’s potential for character growth, because in her struggling with it, you see that she wants more out of her life as well. She wants connections and a stability that seems to have been missing in her life the whole time. The show has flaws, certainly, but there’s enough intriguing me about it, and wanting to see if she starts growing, that I’ll give it a few more episodes before making any real judgements.

DRAFT DONE!!!

Well, I’m still working on typing up what I hand wrote yesterday, but the draft of SW is officially DONE. WHOOOOHOOOOO!!!

Seriously, you know how sometimes, you start a project thinking, oh, this is going to be simple… and then part way through, it takes off with a life of it’s own and starts reproducing? Yeah. That was SW. I originally intended to just novelize a Script Frenzy script of mine that I loved. Part way through, I realized it would work so much better if a certain element was tweaked… And we all know how that goes.

So, my to dos:
1. Keep up on crits.- Had one internship book last week, did that the next day. Still working on Chy’s, about 25% done.
2. Send SW to betas.-Draft done, typing up, will get to first round betas this week!
3. Apply to at least 30 jobs, at least 5 of those in publishing.- Applied for 1 publishing one last week, had a phone interview today (Hence the lateness of this post), and I think that went well. It was fun, anyway! Cross fingers for me. Still going to apply for other stuff too. If I get something in publishing, then I don’t mind getting a crappy job to supplement until it takes off.
4. Work on Top Hat.- As soon as I get SW out. I’m making a list of things to research for this and doing the research. Hopefully that will speed up the drafting once I don’t have to stop every other line to figure out details. Time travel is a pain.
5. Secret project- Layout decided, need to do the graphics and put them together.

Ok, errands to do, lunch to eat, etc. So many things to do, and only 24 hours in each day! Make them work!

Last post of the year

Happy New Years!! I’ve got other things to do today, so I’ve planned ahead for once and written up a post in advance. So don’t be alarmed if you don’t catch me today, I’m hanging out with friends tonight and planning on us getting well and truly stuffed with good food and drinks. This just involves me making said food and drinks, and thus likely not being here.

So, 2011- Not such a great year, but not all bad. I revised one novel then shelved it, due to beta feedback. It will get fixed in a rewrite, but it was a bit too much for me to handle with everything else. Picked up an old Script Frenzy project, intending to just novelize it, only to have it shift and grow on me into SW. I hope to finish it today in between everything else. If not, well, tomorrow morning then looking it over for a few days, then sending to the first round of crit partners for feedback. In the middle of all else, worked on Top Hat, got to a reasonably respectable 30k on that for Nano. On the writing front? A decent year. Total words for the year (approx) 100k, mostly usable.

Moved cross country at the end of January, which was scary as hell. It was rather depressing leaving my friends there behind, but I’ve kept in touch with most of them, and those I haven’t kept in touch with, well, if they wanted to they know how to reach me. Spent a few months with plans up in the air while the condo was being remodeled, and a few more months waiting. Finally moved in, still not entirely unpacked though, as I need more bookcases and don’t like the ones I’ve been finding. The ones I like are outside the price range I’m willing to spend right now on them. But I’ve made a few new friends, and I’m still job hunting. I’ve been interning as well, and hopefully I can change careers into editing or agenting, or really anything in publishing. I’ve always wanted to, and it seemed impossible… But I’m determined. Nothing is impossible, if I take the chance and run with it.

So, December’s goals were:
1.Keep up on crits/internships- Did decent on this. The first one of the month took me FOREVER. The second I’m saving starting on until January, in favor of finishing the other goals.

2. Finish SW.-Not quite, but I’m less than 2k from it.

2b. If done with SW before the month is out, do an edit pass on it. I want to send this out to the first round betas in January. –

3. Keep working on Top Hat. Get to 50k, minimum.

4. Job. Seriously universe, I want money again damnit!- *mutters*

5. Get to a total of 150 books+ for the year. Bonus points if I can do so without counting the ones I’m critting/internship. (This would mean reading 47-59 books in December!)- Current book count:150 published, 11 unpublished=161! DONE! (though wow, my eyes were exhausted last night!)

Check back tomorrow for 2013’s 13 things… 😉

Dec 24 #writemotivation check in

1.Keep up on crits/internships- Got finished with the troublesome one Saturday, and bugged the next person into getting hers into my inbox. So going to work on that asap, and can’t wait to see what she’s done in these revisions!

2. Finish SW.-Finally made it past chapter 20 with some warring help from Robin yesterday… and then chapter 21 exploded out of my fingers entirely this morning. I wrote 3k today before taking a real break. Go me!

2b. If done with SW before the month is out, do an edit pass on it. I want to send this out to the first round betas in January. -There’s time. If it keeps flowing like this, I’ll take it!

3. Keep working on Top Hat. Get to 50k, minimum.-*laughs* Yeah, not happening this month.

4. Job. Seriously universe, I want money again damnit!- Applied for some more last week. Getting tired of filling out the same info repeatedly. I’d have my browser do it, but half the time, it fills in the wrong info, or more than it needs.

5. Get to a total of 150 books+ for the year. Bonus points if I can do so without counting the ones I’m critting/internship. (This would mean reading 47-59 books in December!)- Current book count: 131 published, 11 unpublished=142. With the unpublished, it’s very much in reach. Not sure I’m going to have time for without the unpublished. We’ll see, with the juggling. (I’m not counting rereads of the same unpublished books, regardless of how many times I’ve read the story.)

#Nanowrimo post mortem

Heh. So. Nano final count ended up ~29k for the month. I’m actually okay with this, though. I know I can write fast. It’s writing quality that matters to me right now. I have too many old trunk novels. I want ones I can shine up now.

I think it’s a combination of things. I had a LOT of distractions this month. I found there was a ~3 hour space in the morning and a ~2hr space at night where words would happen. This would have worked well, except it was like people had a 6th sense to know when I opened my file. IMs, texts, shouts from the next room, etc. It almost never failed, and once I’m interrupted, it took ~20-30 minutes to get back on task. I also had a lot of research I didn’t anticipate before hand. Some of it I did, but I thought it would be easy enough to do a two second google, and then jump back in. Yeah, no. Add in several cloudy, sleepy days, and I fell behind… And never really caught the energy to catch up, despite my best intentions. I sure as hell am not writing 20k and change today. It’s just not happening. I don’t have the energy, nor the focus.

Plus I decided I want to read more before the end of the year.

So, modified goals for December:

1.Keep up on crits/internships. So far I have 2 novels to crit confirmed for December, a couple chapters of something else to read, and bouncing of a few scenes hopefully in there somewhere with one other person. Plus probably 2 or 3 books for the internship. I did find out I was making my job harder than it needed to be when they sent us all more specifics about what they wanted, so these are now a LOT less time consuming than they had been.

2. Finish SW. (Yes, I know, this is going to make KT squeefit)
2b. If done with SW before the month is out, do an edit pass on it. I want to send this out to the first round betas in January.

3. Keep working on Top Hat. Get to 50k, minimum.

4. Job. Seriously universe, I want money again damnit!

5. Get to a total of 150 books+ for the year. Bonus points if I can do so without counting the ones I’m critting/internship. (This would mean reading 47-59 books in December!)

Can I do it all?! We’ll see!

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