Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas is over...

Now go out and buy some books!! You can scoop up some great after Christmas deals. Seriously, with the publishing business in the tank, writers everywhere will thank you.

On a lighter note, my creative writing professor says that every writer he knows has cats or gardens. I've got the gardening down (just finished my coursework for a Master Gardening certificate - now I just have to find time for the volunteer hours) and until a year ago, I had the cats. Unfortunately, when we brought home our youngest son from China, our male tabby cat developed an attitude and started doing his business outside of the litter box. As he was a BIG cat, 22 pounds, he made a BIG mess every time he did this. Yuck. Needless to say, he quickly found a home with some friends who own a barn.

Since then, my mojo's been a little off. I don't know, maybe it's the kids sucking the life out of me, but I like to think it was the catless home. For almost thirty years I've always had at least one cat, and although we weren't completely petless - we have a BIG dog, Darby, I did miss the cats. So, in an effort to win Best Husband of the Year, Steve brought home 2 kittens on Christmas Eve as an early gift for me. (Of course the kids have confiscated them, but I know whose they really are!)



Aren't they cute?!


So now my home is once again populated by almost as many animals as humans. The kittens are running around, climbing the curtains in that adorable, Kitty on Crack, way that kittens have and I have my mojo back.

All is well with the world.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Another way to proctastinate

So I've found that having a blog about writing is a great way to put off actually writing. I thought I'd found them all, checking my email, folding the laundry, rearranging the kitchen cabinets, and if all else fails, cleaning the bathrooms. But having a blog is a much easier way to put off writing. This way, I'm actually writing, though not on WIP so I'm not sure it really counts.

Overall, things are going well with the first draft. It's rough. REALLY rough. As in, it's not something I'd even let my husband read. But, at least I'm plowing through that first draft. After tonight, I'll have 33,000 words so I'll be one third of the way finished. So far, I've kept to my goal of writing 2,000 words a day. I'm not getting much sleep, but I want to get the first draft finished before we leave for China. That way it can marinate a bit and when things settle down after we're back, I can start the editing process.

Hopefully, by this time next year, I'll have a completed novel and be shopping it around to agents. That'll make for an interesting year!

After Christmas, I have several short stories that I'll be sending out and I'll track my progress here. For anyone who's interested, I'll list where I've submitted pieces, the date I sent them out, and when/if I get a response. Nothing like posting the rejections to keep you going!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Space to think

Ever since school ended, I've been at home with the kids. All three of them, all the time. It's only been a week, but already I'm losing my mind! Until last night, I hadn't realized how getting away, even for just a little while, gives me time to think, time to regroup, just gives me time...I have been struggling the past few days to reach my word count and I think it has to do with never having a moment to just think about the direction of my WIP (work in progress.)

Last night I met some friends from school. We had a great time and since we were all English Master's students, we got to talk about all of our geeky English stuff. You know, like the way scholarly articles never use "I". Stuff like that. So anyway, on the way home, I finally realized why I was stuck. While I was in school, I had been using the drive time to think about my WIP. I'd pop in a CD and think about plot points, character development, etc. I haven't had that in the past week. Every where I go, I'm accompanied by the pitter patter of little feet, and the chitter chatter of little mouths. So all of that time to just think has been missing.

On the way home last night, I was able to think through sticky points in my story and when I got home, my writing time was much more productive.

So looks like I'm going to have to not only carve out time to write, but time to think as well...hmm, guess I'll be sleeping even less now...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The 20,000 word mark!

Okay, so I just hit the 20,000 (roughly 80 pages) word mark on the first draft of the new novel I just started. This is a milestone for me. I realize that other authors never struggle over words, but I am not one of those fortunate few. I struggle. I search for the right word, put it down, backspace and erase it. Look for a new, better word. Put that down, erase that...you get the picture.

At least that's what I did before starting this novel. I started writing two weeks ago (during the last week of the semester - for all of you grad students, do not start a new novel at the same time all of the work for your classes is due.) Maybe it's the subject matter, maybe I'm just growing as a writer, but for the first time, I'm pushing through and just getting that first draft finished. My goal is to write 2,000 words a day (about 8 pages) and at that rate, I'll be finished with the rough draft the last week of January. Just in time for us to leave for China! (Yes, we are literally going to China to adopt our fourth child. Three weeks after the school semester starts. I am a glutton for punishment.)

My plan is to come back, adjust to life with a new person in the family, catch up on all of the homework I've missed, and then rewrite the novel. At least that's the plan. Whether it happens or not, you'll just have to stick around to find out!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Welcome!!

Welcome to my new blog! YAY! (This is when the computer needs a button that says PUSH HERE. When you push it, confetti shoots out. Okay, maybe not confetti because then you have all those little bits and pieces all over the carpet. So if not confetti, maybe...chocolate? Yeah, let's go with that.)

Anyway, I created this blog to chart my writing progress. I'm currently working on a novel (or two) and several short stories. I'd like this blog to be a record of my progress for the year.

As it says in the "About Me" section, I'm a mom to four (well, three right now & one on the way - for more on that, click on the link to the Little Knippers blog), I'm in graduate school for my Master's in English, and most importantly for this blog, I'm a writer.

Check back in with me and help me celebrate the special ups and downs of writing with kids.