• Writing

    weekend writing retreat

    I had a little stress-induced breakdown this week (mentioned earlier under the cunning title “rage bot murder machine” or something like that) and consequently Ted sent me away for a weekend writing retreat this weekend.

    My primary goal going in was to get the REDEEMER manuscipt to 90,000 words (about 4/5ths done), and my secondary goal was to write 15,000 words if I could (these two goals were separated by a wordcount of about 1500 words).

    I wrote about 16,000 words, which comes out (roughly) to about 53 pages of a published novel, so that was a pretty good two days’ work. Not my absolute top speed (my best one-day-spree ever was 12K, and my all-time personal best was a 30K novella written in 3 days), but a very good weekend. I’m especially pleased because, due to how my brain is wired (I guess) I’d hit my primary goal but was looking at being Pretty Disappointed That I’d Missed The Secondary Goal, except I had an exceptionally good writing bout on the train ride home and raced well past the Secondary Goal for Bonus Delight.

    Anyway, aside from writing, let me tell you, I really lived it up. I bought a new pair of jeans (€12!). Had to, the thighs were going in the pair I was in. I went crazy and splurged on the Nice Shampoo from the hairdressers’ shop. I took a bath at the hotel and shaved my legs. I am a *party*. *animal*.

    A party animal who is going to bed now, having used up all her brain this weekend. #snxxt

  • Family,  Writing


    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. :))

  • Uncategorized

    not usually

    I won’t usually post two of these a day but it makes more sense to my brain to post it at the end of the day instead of the beginning, so today gets the Announcement Of Writing post and now the End Of The Day Wordcount Post.

    5100 / 70000 words. 7% done!

    Holy crap it’s hot.

  • Uncategorized

    aaaaaaand we’re back

    the writing retreat blog

    This is my Writing Retreat Wake-Up Blog, because I have deliberately not asked my host for her intarweb connection information, so I cannot go through my usual morning process of checking FB,LJ, Twitter, and email and must do something to warm my fingers up. Or my brain.

    There’s apparently a dance club somewhere beneath my host’s apartment. It didn’t keep me awake, but it did spill a number of talkative men outside my window at 4am, where they remained until 7am, which is when I needed to be getting up. They didn’t exactly keep me awake either, but I was often aware of them. Not aware enough to be really annoyed. The only part that kind of annoyed me was that they gave up at 7, when I could concievably have gone back to sleep for several hours except that would not get me my words. Seems to me they shoulda held on til 8 or something, so that I’d be good and properly awake and functional before they left. Hrmph.

    I’m amused at the numbers I saw before leaving, the closest-guess numbers. The most generous I’d seen before leaving was a guess that I would do 21.3K on my retreat. Ted gave a cheerful snort when I mentioned that, and said, “You don’t even have to go away to get THAT much done!”

    I suspect if Mikaela has put in a guess she will be much closer to the actual mark. :) Yesterday’s Writing Retreat Wordcount was 8.3K, plus the thousand I wrote in the morning so I would be leaving on retreat with 50K under my belt.

    All right. It’s 3 minutes to 8, and 8 marks the start of my first 2-hour writing session. Off I go!

    I hate daylight savings. I woke up this morning, looked at my phone, thought, “Shit, 7:30, that means it’s 8:30, I’m not going to get started writing until after 9 or something at this point, I’ve lost half the day, maybe I should just sleep a while longer.”

    Eventually I thought to wonder if the phone automatically updated the time, but of course I had no way to tell without turning on the computer. And it turned out the phone had updated itself, so I’d wakened at the new 7:30, which meant I hadn’t lost half the day after all (seriously, when did that happen? When did I become someone who thought it was all a wash if I hadn’t gotten work done by 9am?) so I got up and am now doing my quick morning wake-up blog.

    Which had been going to be more extensive, but it’s right at 8:30am now, so I’m gonna go write from that tidy time to some other, later tidy time.

    10.2K yesterday, BTW. 18.5 for the past 2 days. I wonder if any of you came close to guessing what my total is going to be…


    That may have been a personal best. It’s possible I once wrote 12 or 12.5K in one day back at the dawn of time, but it is also possible I am remembering that did that and am attributing her awesomeness to me, so I think I’ll go with 11.5K being a one-day personal best.

    I have written 31,000 words in the past 3 days. That’s also a personal best: the previous record was 30K, which is represented in print by “Banshee Cries”, a novella which is just about word for word what I wrote in a 3 day stint after it was commissioned. There’s one scene that was removed: otherwise, aside from line and copy edits, there you go, that’s the result of my previously best-ever writing burst.

    Now it’s 9am on Monday morning, I have in the range of 2, maybe 2.5 hours of writing before I get on the train to go home, and then another 2.5 hours on the train. My weekend goal was 80K, which I have now achieved, so today’s writing is pure gravy. I’m very pleased.


    on the train
    Oh my. The train is warm and it’s sunny and beautiful out, and my will is waning. I’ve done about 4300 words so far, and would like to get another 700. I have a whole ‘nother hour on the train, so I should certainly be able to. I *should* be able to get twice that, if I can maintain focus. I’m really only a scene or two away from the climax, and then the rest is aftermath, which this book has an unusual amount of. But man. 700 more words puts me at 36K for the past 4 days, and I’m feeling drained… #sleepy

    (the horrible part is my brain keeps going “36K, that’s only an average of 8K a day, Catie, that’s not THAT impressive.” there is something *wrong* with me. o.O)

    (…oh. what’s wrong with me is that i can’t divide simple numbers at this point. 9K a day, which is the actual average, sounds impressive to me. nevermind, then. :) okay, i better go write 700 words so i’ve done an impressive average of 9K a day for the past four days. :))

    85021. That’s my final wordcount for the retreat.

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