Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm looking for a complication

Yeah, I know. Just as soon as I say I won't be here much for a while...

But Editorial Ass is having a giveaway contest to celebrate her 500,000th hit--a first 20 pages crit! I don't know that I have 20 pages polished enough to show anyone on Crowmaker yet, but I figured I'd spread the word anyhow.

Monday, March 29, 2010

If you never owed them anything

I live! 

In the interest of keeping this short, a brief recap of the last two weeks:

The allergy/asthma/bronchitis thing seems to be better. OTC Zyrtec and a zap of Proventil when needed, which has been maybe twice in the last two weeks. I can live with this.

Spring cleaning. Lots of it. Two weeks' worth, as a matter of fact. Yay for two strong boys to help. And a school with a really big recycling bin.

Writer's math: Completed percentage of estimated total word count = 74%.  Completed percentage of estimated total scenes in my outline = 63%. (I'll spare you the convoluted calculations used to arrive at those percentages.) However, clearly 74% =/= 63%. Analysis? Probably have a longer ms on my hands than I initially thought. (Good thing I poured all that cash into an accounting degree so I could figure that out.)

I will probably be scarce around here for a couple of months. April and May are shaping up to be busy on the school front, and I am feeling the serious urge to just dig a hole and spend as much time as I can on Crowmaker. (I say that now. As soon as I go back to it after this short blogging break, I'll be ready to give up. Until the characters kick in and starting giving me directions again. At which point, I'll get interrupted as soon as I get on a roll. Because that's just how that works, y'know.)

I still have an email address, however! I welcome waves and updates anytime.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Miles away from those I love, purpose hard to find

The week in review:

Uh. There was a week. I'm sure of it. And stuff must've happened. See, this is why I keep a time-tracking journal--so I don't start feeling like I'm accomplishing nothing, when in fact I am accomplishing quite a damn lot.

In the writing world, I am caught up on my 2YN assignments, despite hemming and hawing and trying to talk myself out of doing them each week. I taught my class, and while the enthusiasm for one of the exercises I had them do was lackluster at best, we had a decent discussion toward the end of class about the difference between showing and telling. And the high point of my youngest son pointing out that the phrase I had just used was a simile, not a metaphor. Silly teacher. More rough draft happened for Crowmaker, and I am now in a research phase for the next set of scenes. I also got smacked upside the head with an idea for a middle grade novel. It's a very fully-formed idea, so I may work on it a little once I've checked off my daily list for Crowmaker.

Health-wise, I'm not exactly sure what's going on. The meds I mentioned last entry did wind up helping--or at least the steroids did. As soon as the stepped dosage stepped down to about three a day, I could feel all the good breathing I'd had start to come undone, until I felt as bad as I had before by the time the cycle of meds was complete. Yet a doctor's appointment Tuesday gave me a clean pulmonary test--it was hugely improved from the week before. Chest x-ray showed my lungs look good. Blood test for allergies came back negative on the specific allergens they tested for, but high overall, which indicates I'm having an allergic reaction to something--we just haven't determined what yet. They're supposed to be setting me up with an allergist. I am beginning to be highly frustrated by getting so easily winded doing little things I should not be winded from doing. Like carrying a basket of laundry from one room to the next. Seriously.

The week ahead:

Last week of school before spring break! I have a list of cleaning and clutter-reduction jobs for the boys and I to work on starting next weekend. Here's hoping I'm feeling well enough to get them tackled, because the clutter is really starting to bug me. And I would so like to get things cleaned up well enough to do some more room painting this spring. My plan is to take a break from writing the entire week of spring break. This week I will focus on getting through the current research phase of Crowmaker so things are all tidy and ready to go when I get back to it after spring break. I will also put together my next lesson plan for my class and do this week's 2YN assignment. If there's time, I'll fiddle some more with the middle grade idea, too.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I got some money in my pocket, I got the alligator shoes

You may recall that last week, I struggled with a snooze-worthy scene and how to make it less snooze-worthy. I wrapped up the week having written four scenes for that particular sequence of events. Over the weekend, I concluded that all four of those scenes would put me to sleep, particularly if I encountered them that early on in a novel. Furthermore, I don't think I really need them. I have scooted the entire sequence into my scratchpad at the end of the ms and spent most of this week regrouping and finding my new direction. All right, yes. There was also a minor bout of the familiar "you suck, just give it up now" game. Game over, I win. There will be no quitting just yet. (Confidence, or sheer stupid stubbornness? I have no idea.)

Over the weekend (once I came down from my euphoric mother moment), I also reached the conclusion that I should really not be having so much difficulty breathing, no matter how out of shape I may be. A trip to the doctor yesterday netted me a diagnosis of asthmatic bronchitis and prescriptions for an antibiotic, a steroid, and an inhaler. I'm not sure I feel terribly better overall just yet, but there have been patches of betterness. I think. I'll keep you posted.