The Unglamorous Task of Enduring

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My daughter asked me not long ago how often I planned on blogging. I told her every day. Obviously horrified, she wondered, “For how long?” I said, “From now on.” At which point, she declared, “That is officially the most retarded thing I have ever heard.” After lecturing her about the insensitive and improper use of the word ‘retarded’, which has, of late, become her favorite insult, I attempted to explain why I committed to such an undertaking in the first place, why I would voluntarily strive for a finish line that keeps moving every time I reach it.

One of my most popular blogs to date is about finishing what you start. After reading, Kristen’s blog today, I realized that more important even that finishing is just enduring.

When my husband and I were going through the process to adopt, we worked a year to get licensed and another two years to find the right match. That first year, well-meaning friends and family inquired often, “So how is the adoption process going?” The next year, they started wondering, “What’s taking so long?” The third year, they didn’t bring up the subject at all,  many assuming we just weren’t committed to adopting, else why would we still be childless after three whole years?

Then we discovered our now-daughter on our state photo listings and made an inquiry.  Finally, we had some news to share. But it took months for us to get picked to be her parents and nearly another year to finalize her adoption. Obviously, something was wrong, else why all the delay?! Right? Right??!  Well, as my best friend once said, “She’s a girl, not a puppy!”  These things take time. Kids don’t sit in a pound waiting to get rescued, nor is it possible to go pick a few up on a whim like Gru in Despicable Me or Daddy Warbucks in Annie.

Very little in life worth having comes without much plodding and enduring. Now those same people who wondered what took so long when we adopted are starting to ask, “So how’s the writing going?”  Can I just tell them to come back in three years?

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A Day In The Life…

There are not nearly enough hours in the day.

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I met my self-imposed 2000 word quota for Book 2 today, but am no closer to deciding on a title for it. As of this very moment, I have 252 unopened emails in my inbox to read, mostly new posts from blogs I follow. I haven’t tweeted in two days (though I continue to amass more followers) and still have just 54 likes on my Facebook page.  I would ask you to ‘like’ me too, but nearly all of my blog traffic comes from those 54 folks, so, if you are reading this, chances are high you already do.  If not, I do a happy dance every time I get a new like.  Hint, hint.

I really may have to re-think my workload. At this pace, I see no possible way to get caught up until sometime next year.  This is how my days are stacking up lately.

  • 6:30 AM-7:15 AM Wake up, feed the cat (she bitches until someone puts kibble in her bowl), make breakfast coffee, wake up daughter
  • 7:15 AM-8:15 AM Take daughter to school, think about plot for Book 2 on the drive home
  • 8:15 AM-9:00 AM Get back home, have second cup of coffee, research Medieval European history, wish I had paid more attention to this stuff in school
  • 9:00 AM-12:00 PM Get to my day job (I am very fortunate to work from home, so my commute is short)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00 PM Write for an hour
  • 1:00 PM-6:00 PM Go back to my day job
  • 6:00 PM-8:00 PM Dinner and family time
  • 8:00 PM-10:00 PM Write for one hour, blog, catch up on emails and network for the other
  • 10:00 PM-11:00 PM Watch Breaking Bad with hubby
  • 11:00 PM-12:00 PM Read in the tub for half an hour and spend some quality time with hubby before falling asleep
  • 12:00 PM-6:30 PM Sleep, if I’m lucky dream things worthy of writing down

What does your day look like?  When do you find time to do the things you are passionate about?

I Just Jumped Right In Today

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I wrote the first 1000 words on Book 2. While that’s only half as many as my self-imposed nightly goal, I also completed three hours worth of research on Medieval Europe.  Go me!

While many authors write their villain into redemption, I want to explore the circumstances that led to the corruption of mine. I have narrowed down the time period to roughly 200 years of the Reconquista. I have a lot more research to do before I can pinpoint the day that Christopher Desollador became a monster, but I am looking forward to writing it when I do.

I find the task ahead of me more than a little daunting. First, I have to become comfortably familiar with an era of history about which I know exactly nothing. Then I’d really like to figure out what the title of this thing is going to be, so I can stop calling it ‘Book 2.’  I am writing from an outline for the first time ever, which will either improve my efficiency or totally stunt my inspiration.  And….I still have nightly blog posts, networking with my thankfully growing audience, and more work to do to publish BLOOD TOY once it comes back from copy editing.

This writing business makes my day job seem like a vacation.

Head Hopping, You Say?

Hi, folks.  This will be another quick post.  I am down eight chapters, with three still to go on my final read-through before sending BLOOD TOY to copy-editing on Monday. Eek!

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The majority of BLOOD TOY is written in first person, in the voice of Diane Woods, my unfortunate protagonist. (I say unfortunate because Desollador and I torment her mercilessly for our personal enjoyment.  I suspect it will only get worse once I have actual readers to share the pleasure with us.) I have been inside Diane’s head for 22 years, so Diane’s story is about as tight as I can make it at this point.

However, I also write a good many scenes—one in every five or so—in third person, from the point of view of various secondary characters. I am really proud of most of these scenes, but I discovered a total newbie mistake just yesterday in the VERY FIRST SCENE.  I have read and revised this manuscript a dozen times. Why is it I never noticed my tendency to head hop in third person until just now?  Seriously.  I know better!

So pay attention folks…unless you are writing from third person omniscient point of view, and your narrater knows everything–which is difficult to do effectively because it is a voice that tends to distance readers–mind you don’t change point of view without also changing scenes. Every POV change takes the reader out of the story, which is something you I want to do as infrequently as possible.

Just glad I caught before copy editing…and really, really glad I caught before publishing. Pretty sure that would have earned a thorough tongue lashing by at least one opinionated reviewer out there!

It Just Happened

I am going to make this quick today because I have a ton of work left to get done tonight, but I did promise a blog a day until release, so here goes. I am doing my final read-through of BLOOD TOY this weekend before sending to copy-editing on Monday. All the major stuff is done.  I am mostly checking for consistencies in POV in this read.

I am behind because I ended up writing a whole new scene today when, in the middle of Chapter 3, I thought to myself…Diane really, really needs a bath right now. So she was standing in Desollador’s bedroom with Desollador at the time.  And maybe there was a dead guy lying on the floor between them.  What was I gonna do?

Write the scene of course. It just may be one of my favorites.

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