Friday, May 11, 2007

What Fun To See Your Name In Print.

So, my copy of Allison Winn Scotch's The Department of Lost and Found arrived last night and I gleamed with delight. This book is special. Allison is cool, a fabulous person that I look up to. She is a terrific writer and her first book is no disappointment, plus I'm in the acknowledgments (right back at ya, A!), which just warms my heart.

Our novel writing group, Novel Success Team (NST) through Freelance Success is amazing. Koren, who started it, Marie, who took it to greater heights, and Allison, Jen, Judy, and Jacqui, plus everyone who continues to be a part of it has just helped me become a better and better writer.

Cheers, AWS!

(and if you haven't purchased TDLF yet, what are you waiting for? It's a great read. And an important book in the fight against breast cancer.)

It's Friday, I'm over 10k on my WIP and headed to 12k today. I am finishing up multiple projects today and tomorrow and am going to enjoy this weekend.

Todd is applying for a job in Miami. I'm freaking out.

Keep Moving Forward.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Juggling Multiple Projects.

That's a Civil War-era fort that guarded Maine's capital and Bath, the ship-building mecca during those years.

As for today's blog title, I sound like a broken record when it comes to juggling multiple projects and clients.

Perhaps because I'm learning it so much myself.

I think it's particularly relevant when one writes books. We all wish for sabbaticals or writing fellowships that would enable us to write, undeterred, for hours and days at a time.

That's the dream.

In truth, I think better writing comes from those quick moments snatched from the jam-packed schedule of daily life. Fresh inspiration, juicy dialogue, limited time . . . all these elements help to create. I think it was Annie Dillard and Anne Lamott who both stated that writers tend to start too big at the beginning. Anne L. talks about a one-inch picture frame. Annie D. talked about her time at a writing colony and how she just sat and stared out the window, or was that Flannery O'Connor? Anyway, the point is that we need to learn to take those half-hours for writing, even more so when there is just no way to take a month-long sabbatical. Some of the best prose and poetry was written in amazing situations.

How amazing is your life today? Anything like mine? Finishing up multiple projects, doublechecking and rechecking to make sure nothing is missed, and longing to just go sit in the sunshine and read.

That will come soon enough. For now, I'm snatching time to write. My WIP count is up toward 9k and will go over 10k today. I should update my WIP counters.

Keep Moving Forward.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mid-week roundup.

A few things today. Links to books that you MUST read, interesting work tidbits, and progress on the WIP!

First up is my buddy Allison Winn Scotch's new novel that released yesterday.

What Came Down Today

From Publishers Weekly
Some side-effects of cancer treatment are pretty fabulous in magazine writer Scotch's debut novel. Natalie Miller, a driven 30-year-old senior aideto a woman senator from New York, is having a rough time: just days after she's diagnosed with breast cancer, her cheating live-in boyfriend ditches her. She's feeling gloomy, then, when she begins chemo. (Her hunky and sweet gynecologist, Zach, is a mitigating factor.) Though the election is six weeks away, Natalie is ordered to stay home, where she writes in her diary (excerpts appear throughout) and becomes addicted to The Price Is Right while an ambitious junior aide takes over her job. Natalie battles through rounds of chemo and a mastectomy until, out of the blue, an old love, up-and-coming rocker Jake, comes back to take care of her. He seems intent on making things work, but Natalie's long-simmering (and seemingly requited) attraction to Zach only intensifies. Meanwhile, Natalie's journalist friend Sally lands her first big story: an exposé of Natalie's boss. Her loyalties on the line and her cancer on the wane, Natalie makes some tough choices about the postcancer person she wants to be. Character development is secondary to the affirmative message in this bonbon of a cancer book. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

I intend to post a review this month. Great book (I read an advanced reader copy) and a great Mother's Day, graduation, birthday, summer read gift.

Second item is that I have added a new author to my blogroll: Susan Wise Bauer, author of multiple books (I now work for her publisher; more about that in a minute), including world history, cultural literacy, and classical homeschooling. Her blog link is insightful, interesting, and Dr. Bauer is a writer worth knowing.

I'm currently reading her current volume 1 of her four-volume history series:
The History of the Ancient World

For those who don't know, I was homeschooled for a while during my childhood, back in the day when it was illegal in Oregon! So my parents registered me into a Washington shelter school and I have a high school diploma.

However, I learned more during those five semesters than I did in the other 11.75 years of school. I don't think I'll homeschool my own children, but I will supplement their learning.

And I hope to never stop learning. I read voraciously (as you know from this blog) and I am beginning my studies to finish college. I don't have much to do before I can get to my goal (MFA from Seattle Pacific), but I have to study hard. Dr. Bauer was an motivating factor in my ability to start studying to return to school. Her book, Well-Educated Mind, provided the motivation, and the start of my desire to return to collegiate learning.

I'm working on a fun project for W.W. Norton (Bauer's publisher): collected plays of Shakespeare. I admit I've never read the Two Gentlemen of Verona all the way through before. It's a fun project and the Norton folks are great.

In WIP news, heading up to 7k today. I had a brainstorm (inspired by Jodi Picoult) and I know what I want to do for the next 7k or so. A very cool feeling.

How are you doing today? I hope well! Happy Wednesday!

Keep moving forward!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I'm so glad I'm well.

It's very good to be well again. I feel so much better in body and in spirit. I'm so glad to be headed away from the illness rather than back to it, you have no idea!

Lots going on around here. I keep plodding through the piles of editing. The sooner I finish my daily tasks, the sooner I can read what I want. However, multiple projects are taking longer than anticipated. That's okay. I'll just keep at it.

Wrote yesterday on Chapter 2 of the WIP. I am just now headed to 5k words because I deleted multiple pages in a quick revision yesterday. I threw spaghetti up on the wall to see what stuck and some fell down. :)

I'm really enjoying the writing on this round. I did a major outline and spent months thinking about the story before writing. There is a great difference. I know many writers don't advocate spending months thinking, but I'm still new. I've written three novels, all unsold and being such a process queen, I felt that doing the same thing over and over without changing anything was a bit insane. Actually that is the true definition of insanity. So that change this time is making a difference.

My goal is to outline quickly (within 60 days) for my first draft on the next book and then write a first draft after letting it breathe for 30 days. A first draft will probably take two to four months in all. Thus, my goal is to write two books per year beginning in 2008.

I'll keep you posted on how I do!

Keep Moving Forward!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hey, I thought April rain meant May flowers.

Yup, raining today in Seattle. I'm used to that, but it's been a hard winter for us, so I'm ready for sunshine.

Or perhaps the weather knows that I have too much work in May and it's saving the good weather for June when I can enjoy it.

Great quote this morning by the late, great David Halberstam (who was killed in a car crash last month) "Being a professional means doing the things you love on the days you don't want to do them."

Halberstam was a Pulitzer Prize winner and at his death was working on multiple books, I'm so sad to say. The world has lost a great, great writer.

His quote rings true today, for me. I love what I do. LOVE it. I just have had so many days of late that were like waking up on the wrong side of the bed. And freelancers don't get sick leave, mind you.

But, I feel much better after a weekend with family and friends and I feel confident that I can accomplish what needs to be done today. With joy. That's my job today.

Is there something you're avoiding doing today? Having a hard time finding the joy to do it?

Keep Moving Forward.