Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spinning the Plates

Today, I will talk about Other Life, because Other Life is encroaching on Writer Life. Just in case I didn't think I was busy enough:

I have Chapter 7 downloaded for Tarot Within Sight, I am still working on Chapter 6, Stock Cars is still with Carrie (though I did receive the first half of my payment on Monday eve, w00t!)...

In Other Life, the Women and Spirituality Conference is coming up the weekend of October 31st, and I need to update brochures and the website for the Blessings and Breathing Center (gah!).

I also need a winter coat because I threw the other one away before getting a new one (Melanie is not always about the smart)...

Meep. COLD.


Monday, September 28, 2009

On Your Marks, Get Set, REVIEW!

I sent out the next three chapters (3, 4, and 5) last night for Tarot Within Sight to my lovely, wonderful reviewers! Nance did, too. Chapter 6 is about 1/3 or 1/4 of the way done (depending on how long it takes to write the Fool's Journey, this chapter could be MASSIVE).

If you are reading this, and are interested in Tarot, and know nothing about it, we do need more Tarot Virgins to "test" the book.

Stock Cars is with my editor (her name is Carrie), and I'm hopeful that changes will be very minor, or that, God willing, it's ready to go to the Consultant, who will review the book for historical accuracy.

That's all for now!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Whatever Happened to My Novel?

Recently, I did a Tarot spread with Nance that I like to call "Burnout" (or The Falling Star, for those of you who are romantically inclined), and I came to the realization that, despite the amount of work I'm doing on the two projects I have and am getting paid for, what I'm working on isn't really what I'd consider my stuff.

I also realized that I haven't worked on my stuff since March, about the last time I saw the business end of a treadmill. Or a pool. Or anything else I continue to pay the YMCA for.

So, last night, I started working on my stuff again, very briefly. It's hard to get back into. My brain has completely switched gears toward non-fiction. But I feel it's important for my sanity to let some of the voices in my head out to play.

In other news, the next 3 chapters will be ready within the next day or two for our reviewers for Tarot Within Sight, and I'm in the final revision stages of Stock Cars before it goes to the historical consultant and then into layout.

Chapter 6 is in my inbox to download, outline, and write.

Work, work, WORK!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Balance and the Writing Life

So far, I am finding that the above statement is an oxymoron if one has a day job (aka: the one with the health insurance) and is writing on the side. Sure, it's a wonderful idea to plan a lovely schedule in your head where you're going to work 8:30 to 7:00, then come home, eat, and be writing by 8:00 PM. And you will get exactly what needs to get done accomplished by 11:00 PM so that you can get a good night's sleep and start over the next day. Also, you will set time aside for exercise and family and all the other pillars of the well-rounded life.


Yeah... I haven't seen the business end of a treadmill since March, my family thinks I may have died, and last night I got to bed a 2 AM because revisions are not about the fun and easy. And I'm still behind schedule.


Friday, September 11, 2009

The Importance of Research

Doing the Stock Cars book has gotten me back in touch with a part of writing I haven't been acquainted with since I was laid off from editing. Research, and lots of it. It's fascinating. It's gruelling. It's frustrating as hell. But there's something satisfying about it. I get kind of the same feeling I get when I'm gardening - on the very few occasions that I end up gardening. Sweaty work, with kind of a gritty, dirt under the fingernails satisfaction.

I'm kind of fanatical about research. I go the Anne McCaffrey way about research. She once said you should know what's in every drawer in any room you imagine, even if you never open them. I want to know everything that happened, from start to finish, every detour, even if I never mention it.

Which is why I have a kind of low tolerance when I see writing that isn't well-researched. Particularly when it's easy research. And especially when you're supposed to be writing like you are the authority on the subject matter. It's easy to throw around opinions. But if you're going to put it in writing, you'd think you'd want to not sound like an idiot. For posterity.

For instance, just today, I read a review of Twilight that a reviewer for Glamour finally lowered herself to read. And lucky us, she decided to do a feminist review. Which is all well and good, predictable and a bit of a predictable crutch, given the material, but okay, I'll roll with it. Someone was bound to do it sometime.

She had four points. They were good points, such as the unrealistic expectations being set up in young girls' minds about men. However, she cited what she considered a fact that Bella doesn't have hobbies. Because she has read all of one of the four books of the series, she said with perfectly firm authority that Bella has no hobbies. That she was too busy cooking for her men to do her homework or to read a book.


Now, I wouldn't call myself a Twilight Saga expert, but I seem to remember Bella being very well-read, an honor student, and versed in music. She was adventurous enough to learn the motorcycle.


My only consolation is that this is now in print for all time. So she gets to look like the lazy elitist ass she is until the end of time.

In other news, Tarot Within Sight (current working title) has had its deadline pushed back to November, thank God. I am now working on revisions for the Stock Cars book.