back online with thinks to do
Now that I’m back online I have a list longer than my arm of thinks to do.
put in a grocery order
check to see how to renew indy’s passport
update fitbit to use new one
email redeemer patrons
email patreon patrons
prep short story for patreon
update reading list
– clear out inbox, augh
– pay credit card bills
update fb page
email mailing list
email m&m mailing list
email orssp mailing list
hook up printer
– print things from ian
– print things from hqn
print embassy appointment page
…there’s a lot more, but this is all I can remember right now.
More posting on more interesting topics soon.
insult to injury
You know how in the last blog post I said there was insult added to injury regarding the bookcase?
It got worse.
I thought, well, I can’t possibly finish anything if I don’t put the new bookcase together, so I got ready to do that and I opened the first box and…both the long sides were broken clean through, a foot from the end.
I had noticed when we collected it at the store that one end of the box was floppy, but c’mon, it’s flat-pack. There’s weird packing in flat-pack all the time. I just figured it was a couple of short boards or something. But no. It was broken. Completely, irreparably, totally broken.
I was pretty well ready to cry at that point. But Dad came up from Dublin to help me, and instead of trying to find places to put things away he very sensibly said we should just clean up and put things into the garage if they didn’t have a place right now, because that way the house could be beautiful for the party and the rest could wait on shelving.
I literally would not, could not, have thought of that, because I’ve been trying *so hard* to just get all the boxes emptied. So that’s what we did, and I’m just so grateful, because the house looks nice now and I just wouldn’t have managed it on my own.
And the library (which is not wonky shaped, it’s just I took another panorama) is done in rough draft form:
I have ambitions of a love seat that folds out into a bed on the wall where the rocking chair currently is, and (obviously, she said with a tired sigh) at least one more bookcase in there, but I’m *particularly* pleased with how the day bed, which used to be Young Indiana’s bed (by way of Mom, who’d had it in her sewing room and who made the cool brightly colored cover for it!), fits into the bay window. There’s a radiator under the window, so it needed something not-too-close-but-close-enough, and something that would let heat pass through, and the day bed is just perfect. That, at least, really worked out.
And with the room emptied out–with all of the rooms tidied, if not entirely put together yet–I can again see how beautiful it’s going to be, and what wonderful spaces they’ll be, and that makes me a little happier too. So it’s getting there, bit by bit.
Writing Wednesdays: Synopses
My latest question from the peanut gallery was about how I write synopses. Or at least, I think that’s what it was about: the entirety of the question, actually, was, “Synopsis?” :)
I’ve talked about writing synopses before at least once, in depth, as part of the Great Plot Synopsis Project (warning: that contains the entirety of the (2 page) synopsis for URBAN SHAMAN, and is therefore spoilery). However, that was written in early 2008, and I have Changed My Process since then.
Specifically, in fact, I’ve changed it in the past couple of years. Some time ago–maybe while writing MOUNTAIN ECHOES–I had an unusually good writing go, because I had an unusually solid idea of what I was doing. The same thing had happened with the Inheritors’ Cycle books, in fact, and I began to have a sneaking suspicion that having a thorough outline might be…*good for me*.
But I used to think that thorough synopses would suck the joy out of writing the actual book. Where’s the mystery! and all that. And, I mean, I knew my process: I would write to roughly the 1/3rd mark and hit a wall. I’d go back and revise, and make my way up to the 2/3rds mark. I’d hit another wall, and revise. Then I’d finish the book, so by the time I reached “the end”, I usually had a pretty darn solid draft.
Except on those three books, that one Walker Papers novel and the two Inheritors’ Cycle books, I really hadn’t hit those walls. I’d really kinda just blown through them, because I knew where I was going. So for four out of my five most recent books I’ve gotten more serious about the process, even though frankly, I hate synopsising.
MAGIC & MANNERS didn’t have an *exhaustive* synopsis, not the level I’ll be talking about next. OTOH, I was following (in large part, anyway) the plot of one of the most successful books ever written in the English language, so, uh. I didn’t really need to break that down too much.
But STONE’S THROE, BEWITCHING BENEDICT (an as-yet un-contracted-for straight-up Regency romance) and REDEEMER have all been synopsised within an inch of their lives. In all three cases I’ve relied heavily on my brainstorming group, and REDEEMER is going to be the most interesting test of this process, because it’s going to be, by a considerable margin, the longest of the three.
STONE’S THROE and BENEDICT were both in the region of 70K and had synopses of around 3K; given that the synopses I’ve sold on and used as my jumping boards for the past decade were generally around 1500 words for 100K books, that’s quite a jump in detail.
(The one book of the five most recent that I didn’t do a really thorough synopsis on was, incidentally, a miserable writing experience. It went through five painful drafts before I got to the end, and although it seems to work I’m still not strictly convinced it does. :[)
So I’ll talk about REDEEMER now. :)
We are not well.
Between the beginning of September and the end of October I had three distinct colds. Since the beginning of November I have had a continuous cold, or colds in such rapid succession as to make no nevermind in the difference. So has Young Indiana. Ted had some kind of throat infection that got cleared up just in time for him to start catching colds, too, so we’ve been consistently unwell in this house for weeks to months, depending on how you wish to count it.
Today Young Indiana and I went Christmas shopping, which went approximately as well as you might imagine under the circumstances. We’re both now totally exhausted and I’m pretty much trying to figure out how to accomplish dinner without doing…anything. Ideally even without talking, since my voice is pretty unreliable just now.
OTOH, the Kickstarter keeps tripping along! This morning it reached 350 backers, causing Young Indiana to say, “Three five zero! Woo hoo! Nice job! You did it! You finished that book!”
*dorky grin* ♥ :)
#laughs. I just got a message from Kickstarter with the subject line of “352!”: “I know what you’re thinking. Three-hundred and fifty-two is a weird number to celebrate… but that’s a LOT of people that believe in your idea.”
I think that’s kinda cool. :)
I’ve had a constant headache for days. I can’t tell if it’s the lingering effects of this cold (that’s certainly part of it, as my sinuses are not yet clear and my ears are popping and by evening my throat is raw, apparently due to mouth breathing I’m not even aware of) or if it’s my hair, which is at the length that seems to start producing headaches and which I have found myself *particularly* hating during this god-forsaken cold. I should probably not summarily whack it off until the cold, at least, is gone, and I am able to determine whether it’s the hair or the cold causing the headaches.
Work on my Nanowrimo is going very slowly, again in large part thanks to this cold. Also because I’m in a hard stretch of it. Theoretically once I get past this particular bit it’s all downhill from there and it’ll get easier, but since this is the fourth attempt at the middle stretch of the book, I’m disinclined to regard anything about it as likely to follow theory. It’s profoundly unlikely, but I’d *really* like to have a draft of it done by our celebration of American Thanksgiving, which we’re holding on the 22nd. I’d like to spend the last week of November working on MAGIC & MANNERS.
Young Indiana has a rocket toy. For the past two days he’s been landing it on meterorites and comets. ♥ :)
And not to bury the lede, but REDEEMER has passed the halfway mark for funding! And I’ve got a copy editor lined up for the project now, which makes me happy. It’s starting to seem real!
Mikaela’s making me write now, so I’ll stop blogging and actually do my job.