giving up

BurgundySunflower

Burgundy sunflower from my garden–a nice surprise.

The subject title is a little clickbait-ish, but it’s sorta true. I’m giving up discipline, except for one thing. I’m tired of fighting the battle of having a writing schedule because I so often don’t keep the appointment I’ve made with myself. Either I’m still doing other stuff when the appointed time rolls around, stuff I can’t just drop and race to my desk, or something else gets in the way. I make it to the desk, but I’m always late. I don’t want to be late. Once in a while I’m on time, but it won’t happen every day. If this were a salaried job, I’d be fired for tardiness.

The one exception to making sure I write daily is the YA book collaboration agreement  I’m in with two other writers and that book does have a due date so no fooling around. But as for my other novel projects–omg. There’s too many of them–finished and in need of rewriting and editing or unfinished and in need of completion. I made a list. There’s 15 viable ones, 8 finished and 7 unfinished. I’m not counting the stories in my file cabinet with not much done on them beyond notes and a page or two of a beginning. (Sigh)

So I’ve decided whichever one of those fifteen speaks the loudest to me each day–and they all chatter at me like a room full of talky cats–that’s the one that I’ll work on that day for however long it shouts at me. If it shouts at me long enough, I’ll finish it. Not that day of course, but in time.

Here’s the list:

Finished (needs editing/rewriting/polishing)

  • A Fall of Diamonds (Angharad fantasy series)
  • A Useful Blind (Steampunk murder mystery)
  • The Bone Box (Horror novella)
  • Errors of Choice (Contemporary)
  • Loose Daddy (Literary)
  • Possessed (Dark Paranormal Romance)
  • Runaway Heart (Contemporary Romance)
  • Shadow Walk (Dark Fantasy/Horror)

Unfinished

  • A Haunting of Roses (Angharad fantasy series)
  • A Lamentation of Swans (Angharad fantasy series)
  • Chained (Fantasy Historical Romance)
  • Death of a Young Woman (Contemporary)
  • The Foreigner (Literary Fantasy)
  • The Friendship Killers (Thriller)

When I enter my office, I’ll write, whatever the time and for however long, depending on what I’m doing–writing, editing, rewriting, researching. Going to stop wrestling with the clock.

Sunflower

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writing cruise

St. Maarten

Last October I signed my first book contract, a collaboration with two other writers. To kickoff the project, in March, we went on a ten-day writing cruise to the Caribbean, my first time visiting that part of the world. I loved it!

We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, March 3, on a lovely Saturday on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas and arrived at St. Maarten three days later. I usually take river cruises with Viking. This was my first time on an ocean cruise and I was anxious about it–the ocean scares me; all that water and not a stick of land in sight, not to mention I’ve had a lifetime of ocean nightmares, but on a city-size cruise ship, you forget you’re on the ocean. I took a break from the writing and left the ship to snap a few photos. Didn’t take a water taxi to the town though, we were only there for a couple hours.

More to come…

Day 30

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Winning NANO is a kick to the creative ego, but it’s such an ordeal! Really I’m not stressing myself out in November next year, going to take a break. I’m sure I’ll be writing, but not under the NANO gun. The last few days I let the words spill on the page as haphazardly as they came, doing my best to hold back the perfection demon, the brain freeze, and the sinking despair that strikes when you feel like you’re writing crap and you know you are. How are you going to fix it and will you ever and is it even fixable?

NANO isn’t about getting the novel perfectly written; it’s about getting it written in any way that gets the novel done in 50,000 words (or more)! I’m happy to have written a good draft–yes it’s a crazy quilt of scenes, but I made it to a satisfying end. I thought I’d be writing right up to midnight today. The manuscript has great potential (as does every manuscript, I think). Was going to take December off, but not. Going to dive into editing and revising A Fall of Diamonds while it’s still smoking. I’d like to have the edits and revisions completed by 3/31/2019.

Happy writing!

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Day 28

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48,057 words. images I’m so relieved! Wrote the final scene today, but I’m not finished yet of course. I just couldn’t wait for it any longer and had to get it down! Frost struck last night, the grass was white-tipped this morning, but the brain and the fingers didn’t feel its bite.  I woke up with the final scene on my mind, made a large cup of coffee, wrapped myself in my robe, and settled in my office. I tappity-tapped tapped 2,987 words to the final line of dialogue spoken by the heroine. It could be the last line in the story, and it might be when I revise, but I’ve got 1,943 more words to write (at least) to ring the winner’s bell–so one more scene! Yippety!

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Day 26 and Day 27

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45,070 words. Tough going yesterday, but I finally finished that difficult scene I started writing three days ago. Last night I wrote 5 pages and finished the scene. It clocks in at 4,721 words–a chapter, I think; it encompasses a unified sequence. Today I wrote 2,005 words and finished another scene.

Outside it’s bright, sunny, and cold. Three more days. Three scenes to go.

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