cherry blossom time

The weather’s turned cold again, but the sun shines brightly everyday. Severe storms were predicted for this week, but guess they passed elsewhere. It’s 59 degrees today. I was worried about the pending storm because I’m flying off to California on Saturday on my way to Japan, an unexpected trip to a country I’ve always wanted to visit, a distant wish I didn’t think would ever become real (despite my upcoming cruise to China in August–another dream trip). I’ll be traveling with a good friend and we leave next Thursday out of LAX. I’m excited! I’ll get to visit with my California friends, see faces I’ve sorely missed, and then off to exciting Tokyo. Oh yes there are places we plan to see–first, the Cherry Blossom Festival, which will have started in Tokyo by the time we arrive, and then Kyoto, city of temples, Mount Fuji, the Arashiyama bamboo forest, and I hope we can squeeze in a tour of the Tokyo Imperial Palace (a reservation is required), among the many other wanderings we plan to do. And sushi, sushi, sushi! Not to mention shopping! Tokyo’s Ginza is full of great stores, and I plan on dropping some yen! I’ll be taking lots of photos and doing as much journaling as possible so I can write about it here. It’s going to be a fabulous trip!

How much editing on Shadow Walk have I done this week? Not much! Besides preparing for the trip, I had to get my taxes done. So taxes are done and in the mail. Shadow Walk can hang until I return in April, and also I’d like to return to writing A Fall of Diamonds then.

I’m planning to publish Shadow Walk and I’d actually set a release date of May 31, but now I’m thinking not. It needs more editing and revising work and I don’t even have a cover for it yet!

I’m halfway through the first draft of A Fall of Diamonds. It’s been sitting since I took time to write a new ending for Shadow Walk and move along into the edit phase. A second draft is pending, and then it goes to my two beta readers, so you see, a May 31 release date was ridiculous!

Now I’ve got a short story to polish and, if I can settle down my monkey mind, get it submitted today.

Happy writing!

 

 

 

 

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spring!

IMG_0018Spring has sprung here in southeast Alabama. The weather has been lovely, hitting 80 degrees F a couple weeks ago. The flowering trees are in full spring regalia–the Japanese magnolia cloaked in lovely cream pink blossoms and the Cleveland Pear as pretty as a bride in white. There’s a house in my neighborhood with five of these snowy beauties in a row. You see them and your heart leaps. clevelandpear

I’m on track with my goals so far, ‘though I’m veering off a little bit.

2018  Writing Goals

  • Submit a book proposal — Done!
  • Finish writing Possessed by January 31 — Done!
  • Write A Haunting of Roses — In progress, until a week ago
  • Rewrite A Lamentation of Swans
  • Revise Errors of Choice (NANO 2017)
  • Edit Loose Daddy

Up until last week, I’d been working diligently on A Haunting of Roses. It’s at 25,889 words and I’ve hit a wall. Found myself not looking at the manuscript, just brain-dead about it despite the fact that I have an entire outline, a synopsis, and pages and pages of notes. So I set it aside, and gave the brain something else to do–editing Shadow Walk–not even listed on my goals, but it’s coming along fine. I’ll be traveling to California and Japan in March, hope to pick up A Haunting of Roses in April. I’ve scheduled the Shadow Walk edits to be done by May 31st. I’m nearing the end of the first round and there’ll be at least two more rounds before it’s ready for publication.

japanese magnolia
Japanese Magnolia

done again!

 

Made it ahead of schedule! Had a number of down days when not one word was written, but my goal, which began as 25,000 for July Camp Nanowrimo, was upped to 40,000 for the rewrite. Final word count: 40,355.

It is satisfying to see the manuscript come together finally.

three days in…

 

Three days in to Camp Nano, doing a rewrite and restructure of Shadow Walk, a horror novel I finished several years ago, decided to take another pass at it. Since I’m revising and restructuring a completed manuscript, I didn’t expect to write more than 10,000 new words, but I’m already at 6,438 so this morning I raised my word count target to 25,000. Taking off the 4th of July; it’s my birthday.

 

april progress

LaBacchante.Gerome   A bright and sunny Sunday outside, makes yesterday’s trouble with Shadow Walk seem minuscule, but still, after a week of wrestling with the story, I’m feeling frazzled and anxious. It’s the last day of Grand Prix weekend, could hear the furious buzz of racing cars from Shoreline all day yesterday. April’s progress so far . . .

  • Finished Dust, short story, draft was 8014 words, edited final 5743
  • Finished Werewolf, Zombies, Sunrise, short story, 1311 words.
  • April 5, attended Literary Orange Conference, Irvine. Excellent conference. Really enjoyed the “Modern Ficton” panel. Emily St. John Mandel was the morning speaker. Bought her book, Station Eleven, and got her autograph too. The afternoon speaker was Annabelle Gurwitch, actress, activist, and comedic writer.
  • Shadow, horror short story, published in The Horror Zine Summer Edition.
  • Revising and editing Shadow Walk, horror novella, at 28,152 words, (wrote 4,747 words this month so far)
  • April 15 – 17. Attended online IndieReCon 2015. My first time; great conference for independent publishing. Took pages and pages of notes from the many video seminars, learned much, saved a number of seminar blog posts too. Recommend it. Also, discovered writer Roz Morris
  • Started a new short story, working title, Brenda. Wrote 581 words.
  • Romancing the Night, vampire romance novel for April Camp Nano, stalled at 8049 words. Don’t think I’ll make it this time.
  • Prepared A Terrible Thing, horror short story, for submission. Second time.
  • Posted 7 blogs

Total words for April so far:  46,756.

pretty on paper

steampunk-butterfly2-kelly-berry Steampunk Butterfly, Kelly Berry

Finished Dust yesterday, 8,014 words, 35 pages. I love the story, think it turned out well, and I was so happy to find the end. I’m letting it cool before going over it again. I expect to do a fair amount of editing because I’ve got a fair amount of unnecessary verbiage, some redundancy, and it needs polishing too. I’m looking forward to the job. Word crafting and sentence polishing are two of my favorite writing tasks. This phase is also where I get deeper into the character and also improve setting details.

April 11 is the annual Literary Orange Conference–looking forward to that. Anne Perry was supposed to be a featured speaker, but looks like maybe not. The site says her appearance “cannot be confirmed at this time.” Oh well.

I signed up for Camp Nano. The plan is to write my vampire romance, Romancing the Night. Right now it stands at 6,284 words. The goal is 50,000 by April 30, and it is this  month’s project at RWA’s The End competition, where you have to write at least 2000 words a month during the year.

Also on the agenda is finishing the third rewrite (officially) of my horror novel, Shadow Walk, which has languished for a long time.

And then there’s the coming week’s short story challenge. I’ve set a goal of writing one short story each week for the month of April. One down, four to go. Looks like I’m going to be a writing fool in April! May will be a whole new round. My ultimate goal this year is to greatly improve my production. Let’s see–what else have I got in development …

  • A Lamentation of Swans, fantasy
  • A Useful Blind, steampunk western mystery
  • Chained, fantasy romance
  • The Foreigner, fantasy
  • Tempting Fate, fantasy romance
  • The Friendship Killers, contemporary thriller
  • The Seventh Queen, fantasy historical (brand, brand new)

Today is another golden So Cal day. Such a treasure!

chuckles

8067218-dont-kill-with-the-destroy-button-on-computer-keyboard

This had me snorting my coffee, a fine start to Saturday morning! I’ve been busy this past week with resurrecting my dead novel, Shadow Walk, declared dead a while ago, and who knows, it still might be, but I thought I’d poke around in its grave and see what I could discover. I went through the manuscript, moved some scenes around, and did some thinking. Now it sits on my desk in a neat stack of paper-clipped scenes. I have not yet fixed its flaws ’cause I have not figured out what they are, I just have this sense that the story’s broken, but hope springs eternal.

Today’s my writer’s group meeting and I plan to read from The Foreigner.