It has been a CRAZY 13 Days

Oh my goodness. ¬†Between the podcast (you can visit the site for Alone in a Room with Invisible People or just the Podbean Link itself here) and the insane amount of work it took to start it, get the extra episodes ready to air so I wouldn’t have to worry about it during and after my trip, my bug hunter work (they got their information on the 27th, a day early) and my 10 year anniversary that came up, I was running on steam!

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I have to take a minute to mention this because it was an amazing anniversary weekend. 12 years together, 10 married and this man blew me away. ¬†I have only just realized that¬†I am not the romantic one! ¬†HA! ¬†He booked a cottage room on the beach, a schooner boat ride with a singer who had a truly lovely voice I was glad I could hear over all of the other people on the boat and then we did about a half dozen other things. ¬†In about three days, HA! ¬†Also, we chilled like crazy on the back “porch” area of the cottage.

 

He even had a cake, champagne and rose petals all over the room after our romantic (and delicious) dinner.

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On our last day at the cottage we watched the dolphins swimming not too far out and even tried to reach them, but it was too far for us in the dark water. ¬†If we’d been in Key West or Hawaii, we would have booked it!

It was one of the best weekends with him I have ever had and I needed it. ¬†He is a workaholic – the pot calling the kettle black, I know it. ¬†Only thing, his work takes him out of the house. ¬†EMT and a volunteer firefighter. ¬†So he¬†might¬†have a day off a week. ¬†Usually it’s half a day and many weeks it’s been no days off. ¬†He typically works two jobs a day.

Anyway!

Today I also had to finish up my first drafts of my Query Letter and my Synopsis (fitting Harlequin’s specs), so that was a surprising amount of work. ¬†I was grateful that a part of How to Revise Your Novel shows you how to create both, especially the fact that the synopsis is taken from your earlier work!

And yes, I know I talk a lot about Holly’s classes, but I use them constantly! ¬†Just like Syd Field’s series of books on writing screenplays, these courses have just become a part of who I am and how I work.

So, now I am taking on plotting the second book in my Wandalucia series. ¬†I was already throwing out some ideas here and there for it, today I planned to start plotting. ¬†Brock and Angie are getting their book, which was definitely the plan as I started to develop Brock’s character. ¬†When I found the first draft came in under goal (word count) I was more than happy to add in another POV – Brock’s. ¬†Already planning to write the next book about him and Angie, I got a chance to explore Brock a little from the inside and also, bring more of the relationship he shares with Dom into the book. ¬†Being best friends, I plan to have Dom in book two as well.

I went ahead and downloaded my copy of Professional Plot Outline (the only non-affiliate link here of Holly’s, it’s a .99 cents, pure and practical guide but she is not currently selling it on her site as she wants to rewrite it and beef it up to be more helpful) and then pulled out the two clinics just in case I wanted to (or needed to, if my Muse had been stingy today) use them: Create a Plot Clinic and Create a Character Clinic. ¬†Those are under $10 each and I have found them incredibly helpful in the past.

I didn’t end up needing them today. ¬†I did about 2800 words on background information and a bunch of research for characters and their pasts. ¬†I wrote a lot about Brock and discovered some really amazing things about him. ¬†And I found out some cool shit about Angie’s mother (Belinda), her half-brother Richard’s mother (Sandy) and a little bit that makes me like their father, Phil, even more than I already did. ¬†I also enjoyed discovering how Dom and Brock became friends.

Angie’s past and the actual plotting will have to wait. ¬†Tomorrow morning I am getting to work on my final version of¬†Leaving Wandalucia before submission. ¬†I am nervous, but also excited and downright chipper to get to work thanks to the amazing help from my bug hunters!! ¬†They’ve all worked so hard and come through for me and I cannot be more grateful. ¬†I should be receiving the last two early in the morning before I wake up, so I’ll be getting to work both before and after the ultrasound I have at my OBGYN. ¬†We have to check on the cysts from my PCOS and the tumor I have on my ovary before deciding on any next steps.

 

* As always, unless otherwise mentioned, Holly’s links are affiliate links and will never charge you extra because of this. However you can easily Google Holly’s Writing Classes to find all of her courses.   Our Alone in the Room with Invisible People podcast link is non-affiliate, (the same with the Syd Field link).  You can follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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It has been a CRAZY 13 Days

Further Plotting & Beginning on the New Stories

It’s Saturday morning and I am sitting here in the sunlight with my cats, my comfy clothes and my hot, yummy coffee. ¬†FINALLY! ¬†I got my Folger’s¬†Black Silk back and I could not feel more at peace – their Columbian brew was just nasty to me.

I am trying to plan out my work for today.  I have to create art for the Secret Project work (not writing, but related) as well as work on my stories and create a baseline in a program to them share with my project partner.

I also have to do a HUGE amount of pages of art for the Sketchbook Summer challenge (finish 220 pages of a roughly 8×10 sketchbook in July) and I am waiting on pins and needles to hear back from my first beta reader. ¬†I have to have time to finish fixing anything from her notes before sending the book off to my bug hunters. ¬†And that could take an hour or a day or three days. ¬†Ugh!

So I’ll be doing my Lesson 3 today (from the How to Write Short Stories¬†course that I am working my way through) and figuring out how to handle the bits and pieces that I’ve done so far. ¬†It looks like there is a significant amount of writing on today’s agenda. ¬†I might be stuck on lesson 3 for a couple of days. ¬† Sunday, I doubt I will get any writing done at all as I have the time with my mom (we Zoom every Sunday), secret project work all day except for the few hours I have to spend with my husband. ¬†And whatever time I can spend trying to catch up on the Summer Sketchbook project.

Being stuck on lesson 3 for a few days is perfectly fine. ¬†It looks like I am also focusing on the themes when it comes to these short stories. ¬†That’s wonderful because, after writing¬†Leaving Wandalucia, I am eager to return to meaningful stories! ¬†The themes in that novel meant a lot to me.

Considering the fact that¬†How to Write Short Stories¬†is supposed to be an eight-week course and I’ve done two lessons in two days, I’m moving at a fine pace, even if I get stuck for a couple days. ¬†And I don’t want to rush these stories.

Oh, shit! ¬†I forgot to mention lesson 2! ¬†It was fun but also hard, because it was taking me through different thoughts on how these stories could come about as well as different methods. ¬†I kept returning to my lists that I made in lesson one to find a way to use those lists in these short stories and it worked in AMAZING ways. ¬†I’m so pleased with how these ideas have been generated. ¬†I’d get stuck wondering what new thing I could pull from Wandalucia to add something neat to this story and I’d look to my list. ¬†I came up with some super cool stuff!

And I loved The 6 Cookies approach.  I usually use a scene by scene, character-based approach to getting the scenes and plotting done, but this was cool!

So I got all three stories done (as far as the lesson went) for the basic plotting. ¬†I’ve gotten two fleshed out and the third just put together with the 6 Cookie method before calling it a day and spending time with the old man.

Also, I spent the first probably 45 minute of my “Focus Room” time (Skype’s chat feature where my mother and I work off of tens with each other, keeping, duh,¬†focused) finishing up different things related to the Secret Project. ¬†My mother and I both had a productive day!

So now I am off to work.  Happy Caterday to you all!

 

* Holly’s links are affiliate links and will never charge you extra because of this. However you can easily Google Holly’s Writing Classes to find all of her courses.  The link to the Sketchbook Summer page is NOT an affiliate link.  You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook.

Further Plotting & Beginning on the New Stories

Not Quite a Fail

This morning I was dragging! ¬†I used to have to get up at 4:30 to 5am to complete a very lengthy process to get to work by 8am. ¬†Our car had been totaled, we had no money for another one, so I was walking (eventually I rode a bike once we had a little $ to buy one) to catch a bus to get to the Tri-Rail (when we lived in South Florida) and then from there I would walk or ride my bike, unless a friend of mine picked me up. ¬†I’d leave work around 6 to 7 to get home around 9pm and crash around 10 to start the whole thing over.

All this and yet I feel as though 7:30am comes so fast! ¬†Still, I’m grateful I am no longer where I was.

Today I sat down to my computer, found out my mom had been in there already for a half hour.  She did GREAT today!  I, on the other hand, struggled.

I got some great notes on how to start integrating one character’s past through just actions and little hints. ¬†That was the first ten minutes, but then I was done with that.

The next task was to find the detailed motivation for this antagonist to kill his victim. ¬†Of course, this should have been covered pre-book writing, but I had been so excited by my concepts that I rushed ahead. ¬†Now I’m carving out and slim-grinding these bits and pieces to fit the puzzle I have created. ¬†Not for the faint of heart.

What’s worse is that, while bits and pieces of his motivation ARE in HIS backstory, I needed his victim’s backstory. ¬†And to create that I needed MORE backstory and 3 bios along with a clearer definition of three now-dead characters’ past powers, updated to fit the newly created magical system.

So before I can create the motivation for a single character, I need all of this. ¬†It’s actually a good thing to have figured all of this out and now I have a clear direction. ¬†Hence the “not quite a fail” title. ¬†It’s still difficult, but I have a solid path in front of me.

Off to work!

Not Quite a Fail