no brain friday

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3,778, Romancing the Night. This morning the brain informed me that it was taking the day off; what could I do?  I meant to write at least 500 words, if not a thousand, on Romancing the Night, but the brain folded its virtual arms and said not doing it.

I spent part of the morning catching up with the latest two issues of Randy Ingermanson’s (the Snowflake Guy) Advanced Fiction Writing e-zine. I roasted tomatoes, took myself out to lunch, and drove to Century City to meet a friend for a drink, on the way I stopped at Big Lots on Sepulveda and did a little shopping. Some days are like that.

I’m at loose ends this evening, feeling a little guilty, but the brain is still on vacation, so I’m going to watch replays of Sleepy Hollow at the Fox site. November’s a long way off and I miss Abby and Ichabod!

shortie

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Romancing the Night, total 2,774. Did well yesterday (1,694), but late start today ‘cause had to run a very important errand. But once home again, I wrote 1,080 words. Had to push some to make it to the thousand, and the scene will need considerable revising, but I got it down!

one sentence at a time

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The leaves of the basil are incandescent with sunlight, the pot sits in the bathroom window, and I sit facing the start of Romancing the Night for Camp Nano. One sentence at a time, I tell myself. I’m aiming for 1000 words each session. Don’t know if I’ll make it, but one sentence at a time is like one step forward on a long path. I don’t expect to finish the novel this month; I’m not aiming for 50,000 words like in November. At first I thought I’d try to finish it this month, but no, too much stress–instead I want to write 5 chapters and get the story engine rolling. So, 5 chapters, one sentence at a time. One of the nice things about Camp Nano is it’s a free-for-all writing journey and you can do what you want.

I want also to continue writing the vampire essay. I’ve got it started, but have not worked on it in over a week. And then there’s Sleight of Hand in revision hell, 16,406 words.

I’m reading Deborah Harkness’ marvelous A Discovery of Witches, sighing with envy at the beautiful writing and the entrancing story.

Must get on with it–hoping for a good day.

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I’ve not looked at Sleight of Hand in several weeks. I seem to have lost my way with it. The completed draft rests on the top shelf of my desk, gathering dust. I have not forgotten about it yet I’m not inclined to pick it up and continue revising it. Today was absolutely gorgeous, a golden day, hot and sunny, the kind of day that attracts people to California. I managed to get a little sunshine, but mostly spent the day inside working on the vampire essay and I gave an hour to the start of a new beat sheet for the Gaius and Annasara story. I’ve decided to pull it out of A Lamentation of Swans and write it as a separate story, but I don’t want to get caught up in it yet so an hour is all the time I gave it, and I probably won’t look at it again this week.

I’ve got pages of notes for the vampire essay, but my thoughts on it remain unorganized right now. I finally came up with a working title for the vampire romance, Romancing the Night, finished the beat sheet and even created a cover for it, although I think I’ll get a professional cover artist for when it’s finally done and ready to be published.

Camp Nano starts April 1. I may sign up for it for Romancing the Night.

Indelible Beats: An Abishag’s Second Mystery

Indelible Beats

In Michelle Knowlden’s Indelible Beats, the second Abishag  mystery, intrepid romantic rationalist, Leslie Greene, finds herself entangled in the secretive doings of betrayal, fraud, and murder when she becomes an Abishag wife to the reclusive and misunderstood artist Jordan Ippel. Leslie realizes she’s not connecting with Jordan Ippel with the same affection she had for her first comatose husband and she struggles to understand what she’s learned about him. Leslie’s friends, Cat and Dog, are back and, surprise, Sebastian Crowder, from Sinking Ships, shows up too. I like Sebastian. I do not like Donovan Reid, Leslie’s arrogant and condescending boyfriend. He is neither a prince nor charming. But I digress. Indelible Beats, an Abishag’s Second Mystery, is another winning entry in the Abishag series. Enjoy!

vampires don’t sweat

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Vampire hidden by Esther Sanz

My vampires don’t sweat. They don’t glitter and they don’t sweat. They’re not humans in vampire disguise. They’re made, not born. They’re the undead, faster than the blink of an eye, can hear a blade of grass growing, smell the faintest difference in the air, and heal in an instant–unless constrained by silver. They drink blood, not wine, not whiskey, not water–blood. Human blood. Nothing else.

They feel neither pain nor cold. They burn in the sun. They are unbothered by religious symbols, spells, yadda-yadda. They can hear your heartbeat, your breathing, your pulse, the rush of blood in your veins, but can only enter a human home by invitation. Crossing a threshold uninvited makes them bleed from places they’d rather not bleed from. They have the power of glamour, and some of them have the rare talent of telepathy and some the even rarer talent of empathy. And they have fangs.

quakes and cracks

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Cover art for Equoid by Charles Stross

Outside appears dismal, yet the sky is suffused with light ‘though the sun can’t be seen. I’ve had a raggedy week. Last week I completed the first edit of Sleight of Hand, and now I’ve got a list of questions to answer. I must go down the rabbit hole and poke about.

I’m thinking of setting objectives again. This rarely goes well for me–my mind tends to behave as if it were an ice rink and my thoughts like skates–a lot of slipping and falling, unable to stay balanced. Anyway, I was thinking that one hour of writing in the morning should be devoted to the Austen and Valaria vampire romance, one page a day right now until I catch a groove. I’ve got the first five chapters sketched out. How hard can it be? After that, it’s time to work on  Chained. The manuscript is a roughly completed first draft and now I need to get it together, make it coherent, turn it into a real novel. And then after spending time in development hell with Chained, I should start the second edit of Sleight of Hand. It all seems so clear and simple when I write it down. I’m like a drug addict determined to make it through rehab.

I’m very pleased about Sleight of Hand, despite its flaws, and I finished it a month ahead of my deadline, March 31st. At 14,725 words there is room for growth into a more fully realized novella. And I’m already making notes on a second Jerob Deal/Rafael Torrance story.

This afternoon I’m attending a workshop, Publishing and Marketing Your Book, by author and Indie Publisher Sonia Marsh, at the El Toro Library. I’m meeting other writer friends there. I’m looking forward to hearing what Ms. Marsh has to say.

Somewhere between one and two a.m. this morning, yes I was awake, I heard a bird calling out in little treble bursts. I imagined some small featherball perched on a tree limb, all alone in the well of night, singing out and hoping for a response. It was peculiar.