I had a teacher in high school, a really amazing one, but she had MS. She never said what it was, if anything, but every February seemed to beat her up pretty badly. March was a celebration because it simply was no longer February. Well, Mrs. Anderson, I now know how you feel.
Now I’m not saying my life is anything like somebody’s fighting such a cruelly debilitating muscular disease, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my Mays are Mrs. Anderson’s Februarys–I, too, get the living shit beat out of me. I’ll save you the gory details, but suffice it to say, I was a damn happy camper Saturday morning, because it was June 1st.
June 1st. Say it with me now. Juuuuuuune first. *inhales deep and cleansing breath*
Truth be told, April was a bitch-on-wheels too, but May is the one that’s always painted the target on my back. This year I got a twofer. Lucky me. But that doesn’t matter, because it is now June. June, June, lovely June.
The Girls are strong and fierce with their ideas, I’ve got some great things planned writing-wise, and some really fun events to look forward to. I tell ya, this June–and this summer–is going to be epic. Amazeballs. Legen–wait for it–
So in honor of today, June 3rd, a most awesome day to be sure, I give you a mighty hymn from the Church of Cayne.
They did it again! The Girls just had me put Hold Me Now by the Thompson Twins on a playlist. What is it with the 80s thing? Next thing you know, I’ll be putting leg warmers and asymmetrical haircuts in my historical romances…. Sheesh.
So, we made it through International Writing Week. How’d everybody do? I got sick Thursday afternoon and it took me out for the weekend, which sucked. My boss was gone, so I was on easy time and on a writing kick to boot? Boy, the Writing Gods don’t make it easy on you, do they?
This week I’m doing some intense editing while continuing with my page-a-day book, so International Writing Week is turning into International Writing Fortnight. (Sensing a theme here, aren’t ya?) I’m also in the middle or re-arranging my writing space and that already seems to be helping. And, Writing Gods help me, my muses (aka The Girls) are in the mood for 80s music. WTF? They’ve been pretty consistent lately with alternative acoustic music and Mumford and Sons and Alan Doyle and now all of a sudden they’re pulling on my sleeve and dancing from foot to foot every time OMD comes on. Fine. Have it your way. If You Leave is now on a playlist. Happy?
Today was also the day RITA and Golden Heart announcements were made and if you submitted and did not get the call, I say fuck ‘em. Writing is subjective and just because one or two volunteers in RWA don’t like it doesn’t mean a thing. Keep writing. Keep swinging. Keep pushing yourself. I stopped submitting two or three years ago (based on the objection of cruel and unusual punishment) but still have Melina Kantor’s Way To Go card up on my inspiration board. Means more to me than if I would have won the Golden Heart.
Okay, off to let the Girls play again. Whatever they’re doing down there in the basement, it’s working for them, so I’m sending tea, peanut butter M&Ms, and enough colored pens and sticky-notes to stock a Staples. Hope yours are doing their dance for you.
Woot for International Writing Week!!! I feel like I finally hit my stride today, so like so many things, my writing required a period of warm-up, I guess. But now I feel like I have a secret key to get going, and I am going to abuse that bad boy until…forever, I guess. How are you all doing–writing, editing, blogging, creating? Love it!
So just as a side note so I’m not the only who just throws in a fake holiday and runs off, I’m actually going to talk about a little bit more today–not much, but yanno. Stuff.
Reading currently? After discovering his awesomeness IRL (Thanks, Kristine!), I am now reading Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind, which, like any good fantasy, is going to last me a full month!!! That sucker is huge, but the boy has chops, I’ll give him that. Google him and check out anything where his name comes up, especially on YouTube. Boy be wicked funny.
Before that was The Postman by David Brin, who is crazy smart. (This was what the Kevin Costner movie was based on.) Then finally read The Hunger Games (which, if you liked the movie, I say go for it. Pretty damn good representation.) and then a historical fiction first-in-a-trilogy titled The Innocent by Posie Graeme-Evans and I’ve enjoyed them all. Before that I got caught up on my Anita Blakes in preparation for Afflicition coming out this summer. And if you ever need a role model for swinging wide, Laurell K. is it!
Okay, off to do other stuff and maybe write some more. It’s a great day here in Cayne-land!!!
Well. I think that blog title is pretty self-explanatory, don’t you?
Time to get writing.
Okay, I’ve now got to call it a holiday. If a random day, declared to be International Writing Day, gets my butt in the chair and my hands on the keyboard, it’s official. Fold it up, Umbrella Day (Feb. 10th), put the lens cap on Camera Day (June 29th) and to the trash, Moldy Cheese Day (October 9th)–there’s a new holiday in town!
International Writing Day: March 18th
And, because I can never leave well enough alone (first person who makes a peep is going to find that September 2nd’s National Beheading Day came early this year), I am declaring today International Writing Day Continues!!! Keep writing, keep editing, keep writing that poetry! Let’s grow to the point Hallmark has to make us our own series of cards.
I don’t know about any of you this winter (almost spring), but I’ve been having trouble finding my writing groove. Editing, small sections here and there, some good plotting, but nothing like the grooves I’ve been in before. And where do grooves start?
Ah, there’s the rub.
Grooves start with words on the page, marching forward with more words, and yes, you guessed it, MORE WORDS!!! You keep that up and you’ve got yourself a pattern, a habit, a groove. But you’ve got to start getting words on the page and keep going. No. Matter. What. Keep going.
So here’s what I’m declaring. Today is International Writing Day. Write. Get some words on the page. Could be one sentence, could be a paragraph, could be however much you want it to be–a haiku if you’d like. But this is the start. This is the day I make my groove work for me, not the other way around.
So has anybody seen a large portion of February lying around? About three weeks worth, kinda cold with a holiday or two in there–I just can’t find it anywhere. *looks under bed*
So odd. I remember seeing it back in January, but now–poof!–it’s gone. *pulls out sofa cushions*
Anyway, if you see it, could you give me a shout? I’d love to get it back.
Why am I cursing one of the foremost Gods of Literature, you ask? Why shake my fist at the generous, amazing, pulled-herself-up-from-poverty-with-a-notebook-and-a-pen inspirational mother of Harry Potter? Because of the Dementors. And the Patronus Charm. And Quidditch. And I scream unto the heavens about the *mumble mumble* Golden Friggin’ Snitch.
How? How is it that one woman can be so creative, such a world builder? It’s Just. Not. Fair. And it shouldn’t have taken me and Montana watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban last weekend to come to this realization, but for some reason, but that’s when it hit me.
Think about it. A Dementor. You don’t even need the description, just that name is eighty-two kinds of evocative. And then throw in a description like “I thought I’d never be happy again.” and bang! You’ve got a spectacular boogieman.
Same goes for a Patronus Charm. You knew that thing was hard-core protection before you even knew Harry could produce a stag. Combine all that with the fact that Harry’s Patronus was a stag, too? That’s when I start weeping with the beauty and majesty of her world.
What can I say? There’s a reason she’s a god. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix need to get cued up.
Hiya. Well, here I am in week #2 with blog post #2. I tell ya, I am a-rockin’ and a-rollin’!
So the topic of today’s blog post is not what I ate for breakfast, but rather about editing. You see, over the holidays I needed to re-read/polish one of my manuscripts, one that I thought was already pretty dang sparkly, even though it had been quite a while since I last touched it.
What is it they say? Writers never finish a book, they just decide to stop editing it?
Yeah, it was something like that. I found some small things (i.e. easy fixes)–and these were primarily choices, not typos or such, and I found a few places where more description was needed, and one or two spots where I needed to weave something back through the story. All of those items were easy-peasy compared to my final pass-through.
Find function, meeting the dreaded words of Just, Had, and That.
These are my Crutch Words (don’t get me started on looked and smiled–that’s another pain in the, er, I mean topic) and, as you’d guess by my pet name of Crutch Words, it means I lean on them.
But, thank the writing gods for the Find function, I am able to highlight them and decide what to do with their overused asses. I read through the sentence and hear if the word is necessary, tricky, or needs to be axed. Necessary is easy–leave it alone and zip to the next one. Needs to be axed is pretty self-explanatory, too. The tricky ones are…well, tricky. Sometimes I take it out to see how it looks/reads, sometimes I’ll try and use another word(s) instead, but many times I’ll leave it alone. My theory is if it’s not falling naturally into being taken out or changed, I leave it alone. I’d rather be a little bit wordy than force a change that doesn’t fit.
So here are my stats on my Crutch words (for a 100K word book):
- Just was the baby with 399 appearances, whittled down to 279
- Had came in second with 632 appearances, slimmed down to 520
- That, my biggest crutch of all, came in at a whopping 1063 appearances, shaved down to 913.
Think about it. Those three words made up almost 2% of my book, the word that alone accounts for ~1% of my total words. I don’t know about you, but this was my reaction:
Side thought–one of these days I should put one of my books into a wordle and see what pops up. It’d either be very interesting or make me want to slash my wrists, possibly both.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. Some other stuff, but those projects are posts for another time. All I know so far is that the first 11 days of this shiny new year have been interesting, fascinating, and chock full of optimism. That little gif above? Yeah, that’s how 2013 is going to be. Mind-blowingly fabulous.
Have a great weekend. I think I’m playing to the majority here when I say stay warm and dry.