That Sound You Hear…

…is me, banging my head on my desk.

Don’t worry. It’s a tough desk. And if it does succumb, there’s always the wall.

tulio headbang

The Race is On!

The Race is On!

So. Another weekend, which means time to do things I want/need to do that are not “work for other people.”

From my 750 words this morning:

I have many, many things I should do today. I wonder if I’ll get to any of them.

Actually, I will get to some, at least, or there will be hell to pay.

Screw it. I’ll race myself. What can KD get done in a day? LET’S SEE.

Whee!

We’re going to try something here at KD Blogs Things.† We’re going to see how fast/well we can get a rather long list of things done.

Considering it’s NOON and I’m just posting the list, this could be…not pretty.

Whatevs. Bring it, world.

What do I want to do today?

  • 750 words No, I’m totally not taking credit for things already done, what are you talking about?
  • Pay Bills
  • Blog
  • Clear my desk
  • Plan shopping
  • Shopping
  • Edit two scenes
  • Write Selene POV scene
  • Homework
  • Put laundry away
  • Use Google Image to find the name of that thing on my site that doesn’t work properly, then DEDUCE A WAY TO FIX. GO ME!!
  • Keep child busy. She has some bad grades. If I kick her off the computer entirely though, NO ONE gets anything done. So my solution is to give her tons more chores than usual, in retribution for her not doing her homework. Yes, it is great parenting. Shut up.
  • Talk to child I’m making an effort to check in with her more. Besides, she’s a neat person to talk to.

I should ponder a reward if I get a good amount done, too. And I don’t even have to ponder. If I get enough done, I get to watch The Avengers. To make it relevant, I’ll watch it with Spanish subtitles (or watch it in Spanish? But then I don’t get to hear Tom Hiddleston’s voice!)

I’ll decide that later. If I get enough done, I get to watch The Avengers tonight. As I’ve been too busy to watch it EVEN ONCE since it arrived, that is an awesome reward.

Cheer me on!


†Not actually the name of the site.

WIP Blog Hop: Donte

WIP Blog Hop: Donte

Author and awesome lady Patricia Lynne tagged me for a blog hop. All you have to do is answer ten questions about your current work in progress and tag five other writers/bloggers and link to them. As it’s another lovely way to procrastinate, here’s my post.

1) What is the working title of your book?

I call it Donte, because it’s about…Donte.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

Donte showed up in an earlier Dream’verse book and in a plot-relevant episode was severely damaged. I couldn’t leave him like that, so I wrote a book to help him heal.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Space opera, I suppose. There are spaceships and new-to-the-MC cultures. It’s much more about Donte than anything else.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jonathan Brandis looking scared and defiant as Lucas on SeaQuest. Perfect.

This is interesting, because I’ve long since cast the MCs of this book. Ideally Donte would be played by (now sadly deceased) Jonathan Brandis. He’s utterly perfect for the role. A lot of what Donte tries to hide comes out in his eyes, and Jonathan Brandis was a gifted actor who could carry that off. Selene, on the other hand, would be played by a young Salma Hayek. She’s Latina, as lovely as I’ve written Selene, and can certainly pull off Selene’s DIAF attitude. She doesn’t have to be good at getting feelings across without words–Selene will tell you just how stupid you are being.

A good effort, but put your hair back in your face. You can’t play Donte with your hair out of your face, Zac.

Current actors? I don’t know the young ones. Umm… If Selena Gomez can pull off a “die in a fire you prick” attitude, she could play Selene. I can’t think of anyone young enough to play Donte who could do it. Tom Hiddleston might pull it off, but I think Tom Hiddleston could pull off just about any role, including Selene. >_>

Jensen Ackles could do it, if he were younger. (Gawd, it’s odd to think of him as too old!) Elijah Wood? He’s the wrong coloring, but that’s not really important to the story. And I know he could do it. He has the eyes for it and he still looks young enough.

A friend suggested Zac Efron, and I think she’s got a point. Beat him up, dirty him up, I think he can play desperate and haunted. I’d like to see him try. I think the man has more acting chops than High School Musical let him show.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Donte is trying to settle into civilized life, but when the boy he is tutoring is kidnapped, he throws everything aside to save the boy from the horrors he knows all too well.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published. I’m having fun.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Less than a month! I started Donte in anger, and finished his book in urgency. I couldn’t write fast enough; the story had to get out of me.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Ooh…tough one. Rimrunners, by CJ Cherryh, has some similarities. Bet can handle herself, but life knocked her down and walked on her, and she has to learn to take her power back. And Merchanter’s Luck,  also by CJ Cherryh. Sandy has horrors in his past and trust is hard.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Some of Donte’s struggles mirror those of someone close to me, who couldn’t find the strength to fight his demons and chose to die instead. Though much of the plot of Donte’s book was around long before those events, I’m sure that was a major impetus in finally writing this book, and in writing it so quickly.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

When Selene Ramirez, violent, arrogant, and angry, meets Eve Marcori, cool, confident, and amused–man, I love that scene. I love Selene all around. She’s a strong woman without being a perfect one, and her temper makes me grin.

And here are my victims suggested posters:

Siri Paulson

Erin Kendall Zarro

Kit Campbell

Annikka Woods

SM Reine

Let the games begin! :D

 

 

Housecleaning

Housecleaning

Okay, yes. I am, yet again, dodging that edit. However! I am removing one of the last halfway-decent excuses, so just bear with me while I blog quickly. Then you can chase me with squid as needed.

I’ve been working to move my family onto the Flylady system for housecleaning, because even if we only do a little, that little will still get done more often than is happening now. We’re going in fits and starts, but we’re moving. Yay us.

As I work on the house, though, I think about how I used to never have a clue how to clean up, even if I noticed a mess. My mom was one of those who just wanted it done, so when it was time to clean she’d chase us kids outside, out from underfoot, and do it.

I actually learned to look around while working at Taco Bell. One of my co-workers was an expert at keeping the employees busy (which may not seem a great thing for the employees until you realize that if they don’t have work to do, they get sent home early and take a hit in the paycheck.) I asked him how he did it once, and he looked surprised.

“Just find things to clean,” he told me, and showed me how the procedures manual had details for how often the line should be cleaned, how long different foods could be kept and at what temperature, but made no mention of things like when to clean the vents in the storeroom or when to wash the garbage cans.

!!? Garbage cans get dirty? Vents should be cleaned?

Jim was a day manager and I a night one, so for months after that, I’d ask when I came in what I should try to get done that night. And Jim would look around and point something out to me, and if we had a quiet night, at least one person would get more hours than she would have otherwise, and that thing would get done.

Eventually, of course, I learned to look for myself, but it took me Flylady to learn how to do something about it. Now I can generally notice when things need some attention, and find a way involving not too much work and very little pressure to get it done.

Because really. Who needs housecleaning worries on top of everything else we deal with anymore?

Coming Home to a Light Left On

Coming Home to a Light Left On

My first five books are set in the Dream’verse. In Eve’s book I met Donte and Taro and each got a book. In Taro’s book I met Rafe, in Rafe’s book I met Keen.

First finished books, first published books, characters so firmly with me that I still see how they would react to situations without even thinking about it–it’s no surprise that though I wandered a lot before and I’ve branched out since, my roots are pretty deep in the Dream’verse. Working there feels like coming home.

Which is good, because I need all the help I can get this time around. Getting into editing Donte’s book has been difficult. I’d say it’s taken twice as long (with twice as much flailing) as anything else I’ve done. There are reasons.

  • It’s my second completed book, written in a frenzied month. I edited it once, right after (and it gained thirty thousand words) and have barely touched it since. Since I’ve edited that first book many times over the years, Donte is my oldest piece of still-viable writing. Stuff from before Eve and Donte may get upcycled, but the writing itself won’t be used.
  • Donte’s book is not a happy book. It’s the first book I wrote after my husband’s suicide. I wrote it over my first Christmas as a single woman in nearly ten years. Donte has his own issues, and our pain resonated in this book and–not happy. Not a happy book. It’s…beyond uncomfortable to go back to that place.
  • My life is not exactly peaceful. Gone are the days when I went to work, spent the early evening with the kid, and sent her little self to bed with hours of evening left to write in. Now she’s fourteen and goes to bed not long before I do. I have friends who expect to see me sometimes now. A roommate. College homework. TDP commitments.

So mark the last week down to me struggling with all that. Or the last two weeks, however long it’s been. But now–well, now I’ve rewritten the first scene four times (after scrapping it twice, writing something else, then resurrecting the original). I’m pondering scrapping the second scene or moving it later, but I think I’ll toss it on the ol’ surgical table and do some messy cutting. Lucky it’s the right time of year for some good gory editing!

TL;DR version: CHARGE!!

There IS Such a Thing as Too Many Books

There IS Such a Thing as Too Many Books

Too many books on writing, I mean. And also “too many in a certain length of time.”

I have friends who never read writing books for fear it will muck up their process. They’re afraid that they’ll spend too much time trying to make the writing fit what the book says it should be, and they’ll never get anywhere.

Myself, I used to think that no book (and no class, lecture, novelist, et cetera) could teach ME how to write MY books.

I know better now. I’m more likely to fall into the other tiger-pit these days. You know, the one where I don’t get anywhere?

The next book is due out in April. It doesn’t have a title yet. It’s a complete manuscript, with some awesome bits, and I think with a good edit all the parts will live up to the other parts.

But I’ve spent five days trying to get going on that edit and getting not far fairly fast. Part of it is the usual “augh dunwanna edit don’t make me I’ll diieeeeeee” flail. That’s going to happen with me. I know because it always does. Every book, every edit, KD spends at least the first three days going “Ugh it’s AWFUL ohmyGOD why did I even write this I’m a terrible writer and–”

Well, you get the idea.

This time, though, there’s a bit more. There’s the day I spent trying to fit the manuscript into the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet (remember, the BS2?) and the two days I spent sulking thinking about how it didn’t fit.

For two days I dithered between Holly Lisle’s advice to always edit on paper, and my own desire to just dive into the damn thing onscreen because holy mother of lork, there’s so much that needs fixing. Holly Lisle says she makes the paper bleed when she edits, but I’d have so much red ink spattered about that someone would call CSI.

Today, of course, I avoided everything edit-related so hard that I cleaned out six months worth of junk mail and old bills needing shredding. Tossed expired coupons, found some Christmas cards, discovered a fact sheet that proved my point in an old argument with my kid…yeah. It was exciting times in KD’s writing space tonight!

Finally I just started. I began putting what little editing I’d done in the computer, just to be doing SOMETHING towards the edit. And I realized a few things.

  1. I was procrastinating because the very first scene is wrong. Right now it’s a bit of a triumph for Donte, and it needs to not be. This is not a story about bringing someone down. He needs to start down, so he can go up.
  2. I don’t need to know the opening of the manuscript yet. I can fix it after I edit the ending.
  3. Yes, I can write a good book without following exactly the Flavor of the Week† writing advice. I’ve already done it several times, after all.

Duh, KD.

So, umm…onward?

In the morning, anyway.

If I don’t edit tomorrow, dear people, please to be pelting me with whatever marine life you have at hand.

§

† This should in no wise be read as a criticism of following good writing advice. I’m just saying I need to stop letting writing advice paralyze me. I still heartily recommend Save the Cat! Just don’t use it to stop yourself from writing.

Or editing. >_>

Have I Reached…The End?

Dun dun dun…

Well, actually, probably not. I’m sure I’ll think of other things to fix. But in the meantime, I am delighted to have come to the end of my “MUST FIX THIS” notes. And also, this is making me inordinately happy.

 

cat and a dog sharing a pet bed. Speech bubble has cat saying "Dis not gunna work. I'm a Gemini and he's a idiot."

You see, Joss is a Gemini. And he’s always calling Zeke an idiot. :D

KD Sarge




KD Obsesses Over Stuff

Tom Hiddleston in a tux

Tom Hiddleston Invites You to Tumblr

Stuff

Status
Status

Cornify

KD Reads Stuff


Polar Star
Magic's Pawn
The Mote in God's Eye
Startide Rising
Raymond E. Feist's Magician Master
Changes
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Rimrunners
How to Teach Physics to Your Dog
A Christmas Carol
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Murder at the Vicarage
The Golden Compass
The Lorax
The Dragonbone Chair
Calvin and Hobbes
The Elvenbane
Wikis For Dummies (For Dummies
Foundation
Hunting Season