Category Archives: CEMurphy

thirty directions at once

thirty directions at once

Despite it all meaning nothing, I may have accidentally-like written 2000 words on the PADYA last night (in 90 minutes, which is spectacularly fast for the first fly-by on a project). _And_ I included descriptions! :) It’s not the opening chapter (and here I sing Scrivener’s praises again, because it’s just a scene in a file that I can move to wherever it needs to go when I get that far), though I expect it to be early enough in the book to be useful for a proposal. I hope.

Chapter 8 of MAGIC & MANNERS went up yesterday for the Patreon patrons, which means I *really* have to finish chapter 10, and ideally do, oh, five more chapters after that, too.

And I’m going to need to spend some writing time with an internet connection, too, so I can work on the Regency stuff some more and get that proposal off to the agent.

The problem, and when I say problem, I mean “I am inflicting this on myself” is that I feel like I should get all of this done by next Tuesday evening so I don’t have any work hanging over my head while we have guests. This is not actually possible, of course, not unless I give up sleep, which would rather lead to its own set of problems. :) Anyway, regardless, I feel like I’m being pulled in thirty directions at once on projects, and I’m trying really hard to remember that it is, in fact, all in my head. (I do have good reasons for wanting to get proposals to the agent sooner rather than later, but even so.)

I got the revision letter for STONE’S THROE yesterday, too, and negotiated a due date for them that isn’t appalling. Late(ish) May. That’ll be fine, then, she said with the careless air of one who has no respect for her future self. :)

cognitive dissonance

cognitive dissonance

So last night I was at my usual working space, trying to hammer out the synopsis for the post-apocalyptic dystopian young adult novel (forevermore referred to as PADYA) and I realize that the group of young adults at the table next to me is discussing (and utterly slaughtering) the plot of HUNGER GAMES.

I don’t know which was worse, the total cognitive dissonance of trying to create my own PADYA while listening to the rehash of another at my side, or having to stifle the urge to leap up and shout, “For God’s sake, they *don’t* have time to get married, that’s kind of the point!!!”

Anyway, back in the trenches now, going to try to finish the synopsis today. This month is all about sliding from one project to another, I guess: PADYA synopsis, then finish ch 10 of M&M, then polish & submit the Regency proposal, then 3-5 PADYA chapters, then more M&M and hopefully a short story or two with whatever time I have left, though as we have guests the second half of the month, that may slide into May.

Busy! Busy! Busy! Trying to make up for a year of not writing…

(eta: Since I failed to post this before leaving my internet connection behind, I now return to report that I have in fact finished the synopsis at a comfortably solid 3200 words, which I feel will develop nicely into a longer one if the project sells. I’m v. pleased. Now on to the next job!)

it means nothing.

it means nothing.

The fact that I have created a Scrivener file for the PADYA (Post Apocalyptic Dystopian Young Adult) novel means nothing.

The fact that I spent an hour and a half pounding out a gibberish-filled rough draft synopsis last night also means nothing.

The fact that I’m looking with some interest at time-tracking software does mean something, but that’s something I wanted to do anyway, because I do want to see if I can quantify the success ratio of the exhaustive synopsis. I don’t know how many hours I spent on the Regency, except most writing days after the first three or so when I was getting my feet under me I was averaging well above my usual 1k/h–I had days when I was hitting just under 2K an hour for several hours on end. Assuming 1250wph average, it took me about 70 hours including the exhaustive synopsis process to write the book, which is a reduction of about 20% of average.

(Of course, I also skipped all the descriptions, which always slow me down. They’ll go into the second draft. :))

Anyway, that’s just guesstimating, though, and I want to actually try to keep track for the next book to see if it was genuinely really helpful or if it was just an Attack Book that worked out well. :)

(Hm, Toggl looks like it’s got pretty well what I need, which is basically a start-stop timer for a project. That’ll do!)

In other news, I hear over on Twitter that STONE’S THROE has been edited, which means it will presumably be coming back to me sometime soon for revisions, so that’s cool.

Recent Reads: Science in the Capital Trilogy

Recent Reads: Science in the Capital Trilogy

I’ve just finished reading (for the 3rd time, according to my fairly exhaustive reading list) Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capital trilogy.

I love this series; I loved it the first time I read it and I think it’s improved with the re-reads. It’d been about five years since I read them last, and I’d forgotten huge swaths of storyline and mentally revised at least one into something that totally didn’t happen. I had not forgotten, and was struck again, by the strength of the nature writing; reading this series has always reminded me of Whitman’s Song of Myself in both its strengths and weaknesses. It’s musical, lyrical, mystical, occasionally droning, repetitive and pedantic. It is not–still–an easy read, although it was much easier the third time than the first time, or even the first two times.

Its dis-ease is still the major thing that breaks my heart about this series, because I think this is an incredibly important, optimistic, intelligent, brave and insightful series that basically everyone in the world should read, but I think it’s too hard for your average casual reader to connect with. It takes work, and that’s not a bad thing, but neither–if you’re trying to change the world–is it a good one.

As always, inevitably, it makes me want to tackle my own climate change series. In, you know, my copious free time.

That, however, is beside the point. What I particularly want to discuss is how in this re-read I was especially struck by the powerful, and I mean that both literally and figuratively, female characters in these books.

This may get long, so I’m going to put it behind a cut.

Continue reading

and draft.

and draft.

73.4K out of 55K later, the first draft of my Regency romance novel is done.

Frankly, this was an Attack Book: my first brainstorming filter post about it was in the 13th of February, when I had half a synopsis written for it, so from conception to (rough draft) completion it’s definitely taken less than 2 months. I don’t think I’ve ever gone from concept to book in that little time before.

Now to polish it up a bit and send it to the agent, who will hopefully be able to sell it. Ideally for lots of money. :)

In celebration of finishing, I went and watched Divergent, which wasn’t any better than I expected it to be. It wasn’t quite bad, it just wasn’t exactly good, and it was weakened by the inevitable comparisons to Hunger Games. It primarily made me think I really should go ahead and write up the proposal for the post-apocalyptic dystopian YA I’ve had an idea for for years…

In, you know. My copious free time.

a brief radio silence

a brief radio silence

For once I was actually prepared to post things and was thwarted by WordPress, for some reason, deciding not to let me in to my blog for two days. *shakes a tiny fist* :)

One of the things I was going to post was the next chapter of MAGIC & MANNERS, but because I couldn’t let people know here that it was going up, I didn’t, and now I feel that it’s past my appropriate window of opportunity, so the next chapter for Patreons will go up next week. :)

Another was that I’m writing a Regency romance so obviously I’m reading…science fiction. In fact, Ted actually commented on how I’d dropped the Regencies I was reading like they were a hot potato and had turned to something else, which is par for the course for me (I haven’t read any urban fantasy worth mentioning since about 2005, f’rex :)). Anyway, I’m re-reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s SCIENCE IN THE CAPITAL trilogy, which I’ve read at least twice, possibly thrice, before, and I seem to like it better every time I read it. Except for the part where it makes me feel like a failure as a human mammal because I can’t run more than half a block without dying. :)

And in more or less the last of “things I was going to post about”, the book is still not done. It has now gone more than 30% past projected length and is not yet done. Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

(In other news, I love my friends. A sudden passionate discussion about why Hank McCoy is incredibly sexy has just popped up on my Twitter feed. :))

so close, so far

so close, so far

Well, I was never gonna get 7500 words done today, and in the end I decided to make it a usual not-writing day because I have 3 writing days coming up and trying to kill myself getting it done today just seemed dumb. So much as I wanted it to be, the book is not done today. OTOH, this is because it’s heading in for 20% over its projected length, not because I didn’t write as much as I hoped to. 61K this month, and about 105K for the year, which makes me very happy. That’s more than half of what I managed to write *total* last year.

Honestly, a big part of why I wanted to get the book done in March (besides the projects listed below) was that I came up with the idea about mid-February and I really kinda wanted to go from conception to completion in 6 weeks. Well, I guess it was 7 anyway, looking at the dates, so 8 will be close enough. :)

April’s (ideal) projects: finish this book, write 2-4 short stories, add 3-5 chapters to MAGIC & MANNERS and…finish my nephew’s book. Bahahahah. Right. That’ll get slotted into May, then, eh? Yes, well. Perhaps I can also get that map done for that other project and get the ball rolling there, at least. (That other project was going to be May’s project. Not so much, apparently.) And I can get enough revisions done to this project to send it to the agent, which would be really good, actually. It would make pushing the other project into the summer less dismaying. So.

Going to go watch something or read something and collapse into bed early because OMG tired.



For Mother’s Day (it’s Mother’s Day today on this side of the pond) I got to take a mini writing retreat to Galway, where my sister’s musical was also premiering. I hopped on the train at 11am on Saturday morning and by 6pm had 8K written and was in such a zone that if I hadn’t had evening arrangements I’d have probably stayed right where I was and written until I collapsed.

However, I did have plans, so I went out to dinner and then to the show, after a slight detour running around the Galway university campus trying to find the performance venue. :)

The place was crowded! In fact, it was a sold-out show with thirty people on the waiting list, and they managed to accommodate everyone after something of a delay in getting seats arranged. The show went over well, with some wonderful imagery and some really terrific songs.

Afterward Deirdre was kind of staggering around stunned and dazed from having just seen the culmination of weeks (months, years) of intensive hard work. It’s not easy writing, producing, directing and choreographing a show, but she did a great job and I’m so very, very proud of her.

I returned to the B&B and slept on a bed that had a lot in common with a bag of rocks. The clocks changed last night, which I’d forgotten when I arranged the weekend (I’d have given myself more time at the B&B in the morning if I had), but I still got 2K written before I had to get on the train home again, and I rounded out the weekend with 15.5K, which is pretty satisfying.

It would, of course, be *more* satisfying if the book had wrapped up at the 55K I was aiming for, instead of currently being at 61K with probably 7500 words left to go. I was giving myself March to write this book in, so I’m now kinda trying to figure out how to get another 7500 words in tomorrow, which seems…unlikely. :)

Anyway, I’m pretty darn pleased with the weekend, despite the book going over its projected count. (Which isn’t actually necessarily a bad thing, given certain realities about the market for Regencies.) I’m still having a grand auld time writing it, which is incredibly important to me right now.

So many other projects coming up, but right now it’s just about finishing this one.

(And about watching Arrow tonight. :))

catching up

catching up

1. Chapter seven of MAGIC & MANNERS is live for Patreon patrons!

2. It is *painfully* obvious that the whole weekly post for the GGK Book Club is not working for me as the, er, team leader. I’m terribly sorry, but I just do not, apparently, have the spoons to do a weekly post. From TIGANA (which is April’s book) onward I’m going to do a monthly post immediately after I finish reading the books, which will probably have no rhyme or reason to it as far as dates are concerned but which is vastly more likely to get my whole impression of a book down. Again, really sorry, especially for those who find reading along in chapter-chunks easier, but it’s obviously a disaster for me to try running it that way, so I’m going to stop.

3. I have got so many recent reads and picoreviews to do that I will obviously never catch up. I should look forward, not back.

4. OTOH, I have written 45,500 words so far this month and look on schedule to not only hit 50K but also very possibly finish writing the book I started on the 1st. Ish.

5. I’m gonna go watch Beauty and the Beast now, man. :)