Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mapping Knowan

I did find time to work on my map yesterday. Hooray! I think it is nearly completed. I need to go back over everything and make sure I didn't leave some important feature out (but I'm pretty sure I didn't).

I'm too lazy to scan it into the computer and I am in a hurry because I have to be to work in 20 minutes, so I took a picture with my digital camera.

This was the old map (a scanned image):


This is the new map:

Map of Knowan

Hopefully when I scan it into the computer, you'll be able to see it better.

I'm off to work now.

Write on.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Some pictures of my new WIP

You thought this would be pictures of the map I mentioned in my earlier blog, didn't you? But you are mistaken. *insert evil maniacal laughter*

I have found something new to take up the free time I didn't have in the first place.

This is my new WIP:

Warning: objects in pictures are larger than they appear.


What's in that dark, fake tree cave?

Come a bit closer . . .


What is this? Some freakish monster?

It is a gecko!

I'm not sure which type it is, but the pet store sold it as an albino. Here are some more pictures of it (not named yet).


Stalking a cricket (yeah, crickets gross me out . . . good thing I don't have to catch them).


Peeking out from the rock cave (made by me with real rocks . . . okay, so I stacked them and it wasn't that difficult *grin*).


Cute, hu?

But that is not all! Look what we have here.

Gecko no2 1

Yes, it's a second gecko. They are like potato chips, you can't have just one. *wink*

More of the second one:

Gecko no2 2

Gecko no2

The "albino" is larger than the other one (I don't know which variety it is either), but I believe they are both female. It's hard to tell until they are 5 months old (unless you're familiar with geckos . . . and I'm not). The pet store thought they were close to five months, but weren't sure.  If they are both female, I'm eventually going to get a male because I think it would be fun to raise some geckos.

Yes, I know I'm crazy. I'm raising children, Toy Fox Terriers, fish, and now geckos. And I wonder why I don't have time to write! *sigh*

Really, geckos are WAY easy to care for and I got them for my kids . . . mostly *wink* They enjoy watching them eat crickets and slink around the aquarium. It wasn't too expensive to purchase them since we already had a 20 gallon long tank from the red-eared slider turtles we used to own.

Now I've got to get back to my map!

Write on.

Mapmaker, Mapmaker make me a map . . .

I did not get any writing done yesterday. Oh, come on! Like you're surprised? *roll eyes*

I did work on an aspect of Books of Bestowal (just noticed it's BoB . . . *laughing*), though. I decided my sketch of Knowl (soon to be called Knowan) was terribly outdated and could stand some revising. I began a new map yesterday evening. I got quite a bit completed and hope to continue working on it later this evening. Maybe I'll be brave enough to post the finished product . . . but I'm no cartographer. *wink*

See, I am working on my novel! *grin*

In other news, I had a pretty good day at work. I spoke to my boss about the feeling of impending doom (NaNo) and arranged to take the entire month of November off of work. She said it is up to me whether I want to come back after November or not. I've been feeling a strong desire to quit for a long time now and when she said we were looking at another four months of work, my heart sank. I don't think I can do it. *whine* She suggested maybe not coming back every day after November but cutting down to a few days a week. This may work, we'll see.

I have a feeling being home the entire month of November will spoil me and I won't want to go back . . . but then again, the extra money is always a help so a few days a week may be the best option. I won't know how I feel until the end of November.

Anyway, I can have my November to devote to NaNo without any worries about work. I'm setting a goal for myself to write 5,000 words a day in November. It's a steep goal, and we'll see how it works, but if I can pull it off, I'll finish my 50,000 word goal in ten days. Yep, that's the big one, zero folks. And I'd have the rest of the month to revise and compose submission materials. Then I'll have two novels ready to throw into the submission process! Hooray!

Yeah, maybe I'm crazy, but I do actually believe I can reach this goal. But this is today . . . we'll see how I feel come November. *grin*

Write on.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend blues

The weekend is almost over and no writing from my keyboard . . . other than the blogs of course.

I spent Friday in court with my son . . . no fun and a big waste of time as the judge didn't want to hear from any witnesses. *roll eyes* I am not pleased with having my son subpoenaed, having to pull him out of school, and sitting there for the proceedings for no reason. On the upside, the court experience only lasted about 20 minutes. *sigh*

After court, we picked up the younger kids from school and came home to a hectic evening. Saturday was spent cleaning the house . . . not surface cleaning, my friends, but deep, dark depths of cupboards, corners, closets . . . that kind of cleaning. Unfortunately, we didn't get to the entire house. It took all day to complete the kitchen cupboards and the shelves in my bedroom.

Yeah, it was dark, scary and frightening, but it felt good to get it done. Next weekend will likely bring more deep, dark cleaning . . . or I may blow off the cleaning and do some writing.

I suppose I could have done some writing today, but feeling lazy after the cleaning episode, my hubby and I chose to lay in bed and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 7). Yeah, I suppose I should have spent my time more wisely, but it felt good to do nothing and zone out in front of the TV.

Now, it's only a quarter to four in the afternoon and there is still time to get some writing done . . . I may yet. I still haven't gotten my chapter by chapter outline typed up for Books of Bestowal: Destroyer's Hope (the novel formerly known as The Four Powers: The Amulet of Hope) so I could get to it today . . . if I feel like it . . . which I might. *grin*

Write on.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Writing time

I managed to get a bit of writing done today. Shocking, I know. *wink*

Before you get too excited, I didn't get to work on Scarlet's story, but did get a synopsis written for Books of Bestowal: Destroyer's Hope (title subject to change). I also hand wrote a chapter by chapter outline for aforementioned book. My submission packet is nearly completed and soon I will be ready to walk the road paved with rejections.

I know the road is not easily walked--paper cuts on the feet and all that--but walk it I shall for I know at the end of the road is a contract. And I REALLY want the contract. *grin*

In other news, I get to take my 15 year old son to court tomorrow. Don't panic, he's not in trouble. He received a subpoena to appear as a witness. It's nothing exciting, a protest to a restraining order (writ of protection or whatever they call it) one girl is filing against another girl. These girls used to be friends and we gave them rides to school, but alas, a wall has been built between them and they are bitter enemies.

Not that I don't care about their troubles, but . . . well, I don't! I'm annoyed I have to pull my son out of school tomorrow to appear in court at 2:00 . . . and who knows how long we'll have to be there. *sigh* Why can't we all just get along?

Hopefully my son won't be scarred for life after this experience.  I told him he has to find new friends . . . no more psycho girls. *wink*

I'm pretty much shot for writing time tomorrow, though if I get a chance I will go for it. Hopefully I can get the chapter by chapter outline typed up later tonight.

Write on.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

All work and no writing

. . . makes me a cranky girl.

After work yesterday, I picked up the younger kids from school and brought them home. I expected to see my hubby waiting for me as he usually watches the younger three children while I pick up our oldest from high school, but he wasn't home. I got a phone call from him (cause he must have read my mind *wink*) telling me he was running late (duh) because he hurt his back (YIKES) and had to make a visit to the chiropractor.

So because he had to get his back cracked, he wasn't able to finish his route--he delivers Oroweat/Entenmann's/Thomas/Boboli to the stores/restaurants in our area.  He would still come home and watch the kids if I would go put the product on the shelves at Safeway for him after picking up our oldest.

I agreed to this crazy scheme (if you've ever been trapped in the car with three whining children while waiting in line, you'll understand) and the deal was done. Unfortunately for me, it took me an hour to get the product up. After that, I brought oldest boy home so he could get his homework done. Then I turned around and went back to town because I forgot to get stuff to make dinner. GRRR

After dinner (chef salad and salmon cakes), it is homework time for the younger kids. This time includes twenty minutes of being read to and five minutes of math flashcards for our oldest daughter; about five minutes (depending on how long it takes her to get through the book) of being read to by our youngest daughter; and last night, our youngest boy had Do-Good Dog homework.

All this equals no writing time for me. I was pretty cranky because I really hoped to get writing done each night after work. But I got over my crankiness and tried to get a good night sleep . . . that didn't happen either. *sigh* I should have stayed up and written! LOL

So, it's time to take my oldest to his early morning class, get the younger three dressed and ready for school, come home to get ready for work, go to work, and hopefully find time to write. I'm still hoping I will be finished working by the end of October so I can devote all my time to writing. But as things go, hubby is still in a lot of pain and wants me to help him again today. I may take pity on him later, but right now, I'm tired and cranky and don't feel at all inclined to help him today. *evil grin*

Write on.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Almost there . . .

I have now completed my chapter by chapter synopsis. I hoped to get into writing yesterday, but after I finished the synopsis I went on to do some research I need to have for the plot.

I have most of the research done and am almost ready to dive into the writing of the manuscript. I'm so excited to get started, but it has worked out nicely to do the research and everything first. At least it seems to be working so far. I won't know for sure until I get to the writing and see if all the prep work has helped things move along faster. I think it will because I won't have to stop in the middle of writing to do the research or figure out my next plot twist.

May get to writing later today. Off to finish my research now.


Write on.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Choosing between two loves

I had hoped to get some writing done today but it was destined to be a no writing day. My youngest stayed home from school with a fever. I took him to the doctor and he has a virus (of course). He'll be okay, but when he's sick, he tends to CLING. I can't leave the room without him following. When I sat down to write, he leaned on my arm. Ever so slowly, he worked his head down until it lay on the keyboard of the laptop. With his head in this position, he sweetly informed me I needed to close my computer because he couldn't see the TV.

Faced with a choice between two loves, I chose the most important one. I held my son and we watched TV until it was time to get the other kids from school. Hey, they're only young once.

Hopefully I'll get LOTS of writing done tomorrow. I did find time to think about the plot for Scarlet's story and work out a few of the finer plot points in my head. When I had a bit of down time (waiting in the pick up line at the school), I wrote it down. I now have a chapter by chapter synopsis up until chapter 16.

This is new territory for me. My past writing experience has begun with an idea of the main story--where I want to go in the beginning, middle, and end. The subplots, plot twists, etc. come to me as I write them.

I like having a chapter by chapter synopsis and hope to continue this method, but can't guarantee it. *grin*

Now, I'm going to put away the computer and zone out in front of the TV . . . I bought "Made of Honor" on DVD and want to watch it. We'll see how far I get in my writing tomorrow.


Write on.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

All play and no work

Dear, oh, dear. I didn't get any writing done today. My hubby and I had to take one of the puppies to her new owner and then I helped hubby stock shelves. After that, we went to lunch and it was time to pick up the kids from school. After school, I went with DH to the doctor (he's been feeling under the weather) and now I'm cooking dinner and while the chicken and rice are cooking, I'm trying to do a quick update.

After dinner, I may find some time to get writing done, but I doubt it . . . I'm tired. Hopefully I can get some writing time in tomorrow . . . but I'm helping hubby work so I'm not sure if writing will happen.

I'm about 5,000 words into Scarlet's story. I don't think I'm going to reach my unrealistic goal of completing the rough draft by the end of this week. Ah well, I'm not giving up. I'll get as much done as I possibly can and that's all I can do.

Rice is boiling and chicken needs turned . . .


Write on.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


And here's today's update:

As you can tell from yesterday's post, I intended to allow the new idea to simmer until it reached the boiling point. I figured it would take a couple of days. But as of yesterday afternoon, I am 1,700 words into writing Scarlet's story. Yes, the idea boiled and my fingers couldn't fly across the keyboard fast enough. The only reason there are not more than 1,700 words is because my hands started hurting and I had to stop writing. *frown* But considering I began writing at around noon and stopped just after 2 o'clock p.m. to pick up my kids from school, I'd say it wasn't a bad word count for a couple of hours. *grin*

I spent some more time yesterday choosing names for the rest of the characters and researching other aspects of the story. I am so excited about this idea and it has the possibility of developing into more than one book. The only thing bothering me is the way it stands now, the story doesn't have a "happily ever after" ending. I'm not sure how it will go over with readers. I know stories don't always have a happy ending and it makes me sad that Scarlet won't, but she won't be the person she needs to be if she ends up happy.

After dropping my kids off at school, a friend and I are dog walking. After the walk, I will rush back home to my computer and pick up Scarlet's story again. Hopefully I'll be able to get more than a couple thousand words out today. I don't want to go back to work next week and have the story distracting me so I'm hoping to have the rough draft finished by the end of this week. That's a mighty quick deadline! We'll see if I can do it. *wink*

Now I must get dressed and get my kids moving. Today is picture day for the two youngest and since one of them is a girl, I've got to get hair curled and styled.

Write on (I'm going to).

An idea is born

I really must do better in updating this blog when I update my LJ. *sigh*

So you know what's going on, here's yesterday's LJ post:

The birth of an idea
Sep. 15th, 2008 at 9:06 AM

The morning began like any other morning. I got the kids up and helped them get ready for school. I drove my son to his early morning class, came home, fed the rest of the kids, and took them off to school. After dropping the younger children at school, I went to pick up my son and his friends from their early morning class and take them to high school. It was on the way to the high school that the idea for a new novel was born. One of the girls in the car mentioned something in passing that sparked my imagination and it went from there. I could hardly wait to get home to write it down!

So, I've written a rough outline of the novel this morning. It is a promising idea, and I'm excited about it. However, I don't have a burning desire to write it out. The story and characters aren't yet to the point where they cry out for me to write their story. I'll let it simmer a few days and see if it reaches boiling. Only then will I be able to flesh out the few paragraphs of outline into a novel. I'm thinking I may even hold off and try to use the idea for my Nano book this year.

Still, I'm excited about the prospect, and if the fire burns hot enough to boil the idea, I may have it written by Nano time. We'll see. In the mean time, I'm off work this week as my bosses are in California. So I'm waiting by the phone today on the off chance that I get a call from General Mills in regards to the Cheerio's Contest.

I'm sure there were many wonderful entries and while I may have slightly better odds than winning the lottery, my odds aren't the best. For one thing, it's the first picture book I've written and I know nothing about picture books. And did I mention several other talented people entered? I know several BB-ers did. Still, I'd never entered a writing contest (other than in my high school) so it was fun. If I don't get a call, I may consider trying to submit the PB somewhere. I'd have to do some research about PBs though to educate myself first. I probably did it all wrong. LOL

Anyway, I better get to work on revising my fantasy novel. I'm also working on giving it a new title. And thanks to my wonderful friend,robinellen, I have some notes from a conference to look over. I hope to get to them today, too. Thanks Robin! But I have to work on some revisions first, the notes will be my reward. *grin*

Write on.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Looking Back

robinellen (on Live Journal) got me thinking with her Friday Five post about some of the lesser known books she read in her youth. Instead of clogging up her comments section with my remembrances, I decided to blog about it today.

I was about eight or nine when I first remember walking into the school library (if I was in there before then, I can't remember it). I recall being overwhelmed by the shelves and shelves of books before me. I think I must have looked frightened for the librarian came up and asked if she could help me. I told her I wanted to check out a book (duh, I'm in the library). She smiled patiently and asked me which book to which I responded with a shrug. Poor librarian probably wanted to throw me out right then. But she didn't. She asked me what books I liked. Again with the shrug. She asked if I liked mysteries. I shook my head and told her I liked horses. Well, she led me over to an aisle and pointed out some books by Marguerite Henry. I chose Misty of Chincoteague. I don't remember how long it took me to read it, but I remember being so excited to get another one. I read Stormy, Misty's Foal next and followed with every last book by Marguerite Henry in the library's possession.

After finishing them, I started over. I even begged/bothered my parents to allow me to purchase Album of Horses from a book order. This book was amazing. It had what seemed to be hundreds of horses (but in reality was probably only a few), descriptions, and, if I remember correctly, stickers of the horses. I was in heaven! After reading through Ms. Henry's books for about the fourth time, the librarian asked me if I wouldn't like to read something else. I wondered, Could there possibly be any books in the library better than these? She asked me if I liked any other animals besides horses and I replied that dogs were okay. She introduced me to Call of the Wild by Jack London. I loved it and followed up with White Fang and Sea Wolf. I can't remember what I moved on to after that, but know I eventually read a couple of Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden. I didn't care for them much so never read the entire series. I do remember reading more books about horses by Jean Slaughter Doty (technically, I think they were ponies); Summer Pony, and Can I Get There by Candlelight. The horse's name was Candlelight and when the girl rode the horse, up a driveway, she went back in time (I read that one several times as well).

I recently purchased a three pack of Marguerite Henry's books during a Scholastic Book Fair at my kids' elementary school. I haven't opened the package and though I want to, there is a part of me that is frightened.

Why? I loved these books so much as a child and I'm afraid if I re-read them as an adult (and as a writer), I may not like them as much as I did then. I think that would be hard for me to take. LOL

So, Misty of Chincoteague, King of the Wind, and Justin Morgan Had A Horse remain in their sealed plastic, waiting for the day to come when I will be brave enough to let myself see through adult eyes, the wonderful stories I remember from childhood.

Write on.