Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Zucchini Blossoms

Brought to you from my garden:

Anyone have some good zucchini recipes?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Write-a-thon Final Update

OK, I'm done. As far as I'm concerned at least.

I don't have final drafts of 6 new stories, which is what I had originally hoped for. But I did bust through six stories, which is what I really needed to do, as opposed to spending months endlessly tweaking just one. So I am happy with what I've gotten done.

Part of this challenge for me was to test the limits of how much I could actually get done without going crazy. I passed over that threshold several days ago (as my family can testify), so it's time to call it quits.

Final tally: 3 revisions + 3 new story drafts.
Final wordcount: Just shy of 20,000

Since I technically didn't do what my original set of goals were, my sponsors can use their discretion as to how much or whether they want to donate. But I encourage everyone to donate anyway, because Clarion West was a valuable experience for me and other writers I know and continues to be an important part of what's helping me become the writer I want to be. I hope that other writers can continue to share that experience through the workshop, so please support Clarion West.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Write-a-thon Week 5 Update

A painful but semi-productive week.

I finished the story that I was working on last week. It's still rough in places, but Gord has helpfully pointed out some of the major problems. His girlfriend Lime is also Tuckerized in that story and is so far not offended by what I've done with her character.

I also wrote a new story--it's a little over a thousand words right now. I have to decide whether I want to expand or cut for the next draft. It definitely needs a next draft. My brain is dead and stressed from other things, so the story ended up being technically okay but pretty darn lifeless. I hope it can be revived.

Accordingly, there has been a slight change in plans. I don't have the time or mental energy to polish 6 stories to a point where I'd feel comfortable sending them out. So I'm working on just having six stories completely drafted. I could technically count the draft I did at the beginning as one, but I am going to try for two more drafts.

One of the stories I had been hoping to complete is still too ambitious for me to push out quickly, even in a rough draft form. It's long and complicated and really wants to be a novella I think. I tell it, "No, you're a short story," and it says, "Fine, I won't tell you the ending then. Or the middle. But if I were longer, I know all sorts of places I could go..."

So, I'm calling it 4 out of 6 stories done, with 2 more to go. Maybe all new, maybe 1 revision. We'll see my mental state after this weekend.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Write-a-thon Week 4 Update

So this is a little late. I was trying to put it off until I had the story I'm working on completed, which I hoped would be Friday. And then Saturday. And even Sunday would have been okay. But here we are on Monday... and, well, where exactly are we?

Here's where: I'm expanding a 600-word story I wrote a month or so ago, which wasn't working at such a short length. I figured another thousand words would flesh it out. But here I am at 3000 words and the end is only barely in sight. It'll be under 4000 words when I'm done, but not by much. Things have been progressing, but slowly, hampered by constant doubt that it needs to be this long.

Then I move on to a story I started several months ago. I wrote a few thousand words of it and stopped, probably because of a suspicion that it was more ambitious than I was willing to tackle at the time. I added a thousand words to it last week, and I'm thinking I still have another few thousand to go. It may actually head into novelette territory, which has frightening "No Man's Land" signs posted at the borders for me.

The other rewrite, planned for Week 6, is for the story I drafted at the beginning of the Write-a-thon. It's getting a major overhaul (which I need to actually think out), so that's another 4000 new words.

So, all in all, we're looking at about 10k in new wordage for this week and next. Gulp. And that would only be getting 5 out of 6 stories done. So ideally I'd also need to pull a piece of flash out of my ass. (Well, it could come out of my brain--but that would effectively be the same thing. Shit either way.)

I'd be in slightly better shape if I hadn't decided to trash the story that I spent three days on the week before last. But it sucked in myriad ways, so it's really better left for dead.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Buttercup Busted

Lesson of the Day: Don't insult my car.

Buttercup has very sensitive feelings. Knowing this, I've told Brad repeatedly not to make disparaging remarks about her, but did he listen? Of course not. So, on Sunday, not ten minutes after he called her a lemon for the twentieth time, she blew up at him. I was letting him drive us home from dinner, and as we crested a hill--SPLAT! Buttercup spit coolant all over the windshield. Steam hissed and fumed from under the hood.

Turns out Buttercup was so mad she busted some sort of intake housing. We had to call a tow truck to haul her to the nearest service center. Brad ended up sitting by the freeway for two hours, waiting for the tow to arrive while I took a cab home to fetch his car.

She's been recuperating in the shop for the past two days. I get to pick up her tomorrow. I hope she and Brad will be able to kiss and make up. Maybe he should buy her some tasty motor oil or a little bling for the dash. Or do a full-body wash and rubdown. Girls love a little spa treatment.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Write-a-thon Week 3 Update

Another not-so-productive week.

I finished revising "Iron Shoes," my Week 5 story from last summer. Which means I have now revised all of the stories I wrote during CW. Yay.

That brings me to having 2/6 of my WaT goals completed. Still a story behind.

I started writing the one totally new story I need to do. I'm about a thousand words in, and I don't know if it's just me and a bad mood or if the story really is boring. It's non-SF, so it's possible that it's just boring to me. Unfortunately, the idea doesn't lend itself well to throwing fairies or spaceships at it to spice things up. I will soldier on and get it finished though. Sometime. Soon. Even if it means chaining myself to the laptop on Sunday.