Monday, May 21, 2012

#OfPoseidon

This book, by Anna Banks, is officially released the 22nd.  But, I got a wonderful call from a wonderful book store to let me know they got their (far too few) copies in early and wonderfully invited me to come pick it up.  Needless to say, I did.

First off, if you don't follow Anna on Twitter, you are missing out.  She is super fun to chat with and is always encouraging.  Her blog is also a fun place to hang out (and feed the fishes).  That said, I'll move on to the book.

Of Poseidon is one I would recommend.  The reviews were pretty split on Goodreads (and other sites that will go unnamed).  I've been excited to read it since meeting Ms. Banks on Twitter.  I was not at all let down.  Anna's humor reflects throughout the entire book.  It made it an even more enjoyable read.  I'll be reading it here again in a little bit just for kicks.

I told someone I was heading a few towns over to pick the book up and they suggested I save time and money and buy the e-version.  I considered that option awhile back.  Getting the physical copy was a very good decision.  It is still in my possession, but I have a few people in line to read it as soon as I let it go.  I've never gone to a signing before, being the chicken that I am, but I am very tempted to drive down to Houston to get the book signed when Ms. Banks' tour stops there.

It is told with alternating POVs (which I usually dislike), switching back and forth between Emma and Galen.  I have to say that I found this very intriguing.  Dinner that night consisted of sandwiches since I did not want to stop reading.  The characters were more than enjoyable. The entire concept of the story was refreshing.  The ups and downs were contagious.  Oh, and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to be had.  And I don't have to mention how awesome the cover is.

Some time back, I confessed on Twitter that I hadn't read The Hunger Games.  Anna was one of the original crew to let me know that was a mistake.  After I read it, the censuring turned to a very colorful discussion of the characters and other aspects of the book/movie.  I admittedly liked The Hunger Games.  Even still, I haven't really pursued reading the rest of the series.  Now, Of Poseidon ended with a cliff hanger that left me drop-jawed and I contemplating bribing Ms. Banks to tell me what happens in the next book before it comes out.  But I didn't.  I'll behave.  But just to be fair, I'd surrender a few series finales to jump on an ARC of Of Triton (I could be wrong about the title of book two). 

I won't say much beyond the fact that the book is about Syrena (mermaids).  That's all I knew going into it.  With that, it was a unique and engaging book.  While I'm not a huge fan of YA, this is one I'm glad I tried.  I'm eagerly looking forward to more!


Very good, Anna Banks.  Rock, rock on.

Exiting

I'll be cutting off my Facebook accounts this week.  This blog, Twitter, and Google Talk will stay active, but everything else will be going bye bye for a time.  I know as a writer I am probably shooting myself in the foot by deactivating them, but it's something I need to do for awhile.  The accounts might come back later, but I'm not too sure about it.  Last time I bailed on FB, I was off for a year.  I've been using other accounts much, much more as of late, and honestly am not a big FB fan.  To those twelve wonderful people who follow my author account, thanks for hanging in there.  I hope I'll be better at keeping in touch with Twitter and here on the blog. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Choking the Muse

The rough draft (suck draft) of Always & Forever has been dissected, scribbled on, and hacked apart.  I have a new file open in Scrivener because it seems like the best way to save the WIP.  Two of my notebooks have been used even more than the computer as of late.  It would be three notebooks, but my favorite has not been seen since last week.  That is a major bummer.  I had figments of ideas throughout the spiraled binder along with page after page of edits.  It was nearly filled, but still very, very useful to me.  I'm still hopeful it will turn up somewhere.  Odds are, I missed it one of the many times I managed to spill my purse.  I'm good at that.  Anywho, A&F is taking the majority of my attention.  Oneiros has had a little work, but it's more of an escape.  I'm kicking myself over a few things I've done with A&F, and a good way to avoid facing it is dabbling in other WIPs.

Otherwise, it's reading and watching some TV.  Once Upon a Time has ended its first season.  I am sad that it is over (for now), but that is one less thing to use as a distraction.  I have lots of theories about where the story will go next and am looking forward to the second season (whenever that is).  In order to get my husband caught up with the series, we signed up for HuluPlus.  The set back there is EVERYTHING is on Hulu.  One of my old favs, Adam-12, is on there.  I can too easily spend an entire day watching that series.  I don't know why I love it so much, but nothing has ever come close to it.  Yes, Firefly totally rocked, and BSG was epic, but Adam-12 is just right.  Colt laughs at me for it, but I've caught him sitting in on a few episodes.

In the music department, I've still managed to avoid starting piano lessons.  I took lessons, like French, for three years.  I use neither.  I miss the piano more so.  Jack's Mannequin and Thriving Ivory only make me miss it more.  We have a keyboard that is supposedly as good as an upright grand, but it's not the same.  I had a Baldwin before we moved.  I've yet to find another like it.  But I guess it's a little drastic to move a piano from Missouri to Texas.  I haven't played since.  Yet, most of the music I listen to while writing is piano pieces.  Colt has offered to help me get back with it, but I haven't made time for it yet.  I love to sit and listen when he plays.  He's one of those disgusting people who can play by ear.  I've only seen him use sheet music twice.  It's unfair.  But it is fun to walk into an establishment with a grand set up and watch him park at it and play a few songs.  The first time I saw him do that was during a trip to Florida.  We stayed at a hotel in Orland that had a piano bar.  The pianist took a break and Colt stepped up for a moment.  I just knew we were going to be asked to leave, but no one seemed to mind.  I wonder if anyone in there knew what the piece was from.

So, there it is.  I need to chain myself to A&F until the suck draft is less sucky.  That is my plan ... now to trick myself into sticking with it.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chronic Napping

At the start of this week, I printed out the rough draft of Always & Forever.  In all honesty, I didn't want to touch it.  Two other projects were coming along at a much better pace and I'm still not happy with how A&F is turning out.  Yes, that's why rewrites and revisions exist.  I made a trip to the nearest B&N and paid a visit to each section that my WIPs belong to.  It's encouraging and intimidating at the same time.  General Fiction is a massive ocean.  Fantasy is nearly as large, but a bit more categorical.  The Science Fiction Fantasy was the most interesting.  That's odd, because the majority of my projects would be fantasy/epic fantasy.  Anywho, what I was reminded of while looking through the selection of fantasy titles was how much I love the publisher Tor.  It seems that everything I've picked up with their marking has been impossible to put down.  Something about Tor just works for me.  Yes, Baen is also awesome, but Tor has had my attention much longer.  My realization was that I want to have writings published by Tor.  I have their submission guidelines stored in my list of dreamy publishers, but I've never attempted wooing them.

This situation was on my mind all the way home.  I know I must have been rambling about it, because when I pulled into town and stopped at a light, my husband looked at me with his "Oh my gosh, are you going to bore me to death" look.  As I've said before, he has nothing to do with my writing besides making sure my computer stays alive.  I knew he wasn't following, so I explained (probably more so to myself) each of the open WIPs I have running, my goals for them, and my admiration of Tor.  The death-by-boredom stare continued.  What I needed was someone to tell me where to focus first.  I've never been really good at picking one out of a bunch of things needing attention.  That's when Colt finally caught my meaning.  By the time we were sitting in our drive, he helped me set up a plan to tackle my stack of WIPs.

Always & Forever comes first.  I know where I want the story to go, I've just allowed other works keep me from getting it there.  But I owe it to those who've read Where to Belong to finish and have it out in a reasonable amount of time.  The time, in my mind, has already passed.  I am far behind where I wanted it to be.  Thus, I printed the project, shut off the computer, and went through it page by page, making notes on every little thing that has been bugging me.  Now I have a thick stack of paper with loads of ideas scribbled on most of the pages.

The biggest pain is the opening.  I've dubbed the rough draft 'suck draft'.  Pretty much the first third is getting scrapped.  I don't know where I was when I started A&F, but it wasn't anywhere near the story.  Cue notebook.  I sketched out a few different openings and have narrowed it down to one that doesn't make me want to nap.

The next roadblock was three quarters of the way through.  Legal jargon.  It was summarized and needed lots of help, prompting more research and more trusty notebook.  I just might have that conquered.  I have a few other points I want to check on, but for the most part, I have it in order.

In steps the closing scene.  The story rolls along and builds up to the climax, then I fell off.  It happens in all my work.  I can trudge through the meat of it, but as soon as it comes to finishing it, I hesitate.  What if I'm forgetting something?  What if there's another line to be added?  Can I really stop right there?  Endings are like goodbyes.  (Don't get me started on my bout with FF7)  Closing a book means leaving the characters and getting back to the real world.  This is how Shattered Remnants has morphed into a trilogy.

But Always & Forever needs to end.  Closure has to happen so I can box it up and send it out.  I've dilly-dallied too long.  I've had more than enough time to write, rewrite, and rewrite this one again.  So now I'm sitting here with this marked-up draft and a blinking cursor in Scrivener.  Yet, each time I talk myself into getting back to the rewrite, I seem to go into a spell of chronic napping.  Maybe this is why I should have stuck with Row80.  I missed the start of the round and decided to go my own way.  Now I'm reminded of how lazy I can be.  Distractions are welcomed.

This all tells me A&F needs even more work.  Perhaps that is why I'm dragging my feet.  I still haven't received my clone, so I have to do the rewrite myself.  It's been a week of wading through a suck draft.  I know I am able to have A&F redone and ready for its first round of critiques in a week, two at most.  The problem is ignoring the distractions and getting it done.  Cue cattle prod.