Friday, December 07, 2007

Circling Like a Vulture

Okay, I'm cleaning.

For those who don't know me, since I've been married I have this really crazy habit of avoidance. When I'm stressed and don't want to deal, I clean.

Last night at 12:15 am, I was up scrubbing the bathroom sinks.

I am circling this novel revision and starting to lose control. It's a simple correction that's needed: hire an editor. I just can't help but hold to a very stupid idea that (duh) because I'm an editor, I can self-edit successfully.

Perhaps I will someday. But now, this is the same paralyzing spot I've been in twice before (I recognize the panic) and that I'm up late cleaning clinches it.

I sent an email off to an editor this morning asking for help.

I am now sitting here waiting to feel different, putting on my Tiger Woods anti-resistance mindset, and making faces into my computer monitor.

I'm even more scared, hyper scared, but still completely freaked. This is going pro, as our own Steven Pressfield talks about in War of Art. Not that I mean I'm better or up a level, but my outlook must be: I am a pro.

A pro can take criticism, can fail and still try again, and won't ever give up.

So there's my "outing": I am a pro. I have contacted an editor. I have confessed my freakout to my writing buddy. I am not going to sit in this same pothole again.

In honor of this occasion, I am playing (very loudly) the song by the All-American Rejects (see below).

Now reading: Squashed (Joan Bauer)
Now playing: Move Along (All-American Rejects)

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Finished up all my workload yesterday and treated myself to Cahier notebooks from Borders. I also found them for an incredible price at Moleskines Good Prices and I ordered some from them as well.

In revision last night I started work (along with my work on characterization) on my novel's structure. I have a structure notebook and it's just really interesting to look so closely at elements of a novel and to really squeeze and mold them to fit. Writing is more about what you do off the page than what what ends up on the page, in both thinking and writing.

I got a scolding from my writing buddy about picking up two more book ideas to start writing as I revise. So I am reneging on yesterday's post (yeah, it's my blog; I can do that). I am only revising one book. I am not writing any other books. I am jotting in notebooks.

Is everybody happy? (my Swedish great-grandfather Ernest used to ask that all the time)

For today, it's tons of AMA study (a strategy worked out this morning because of style guides that weren't quite ready to update), and later, I'm reading, writing, and revising!

Happy writing day!

Currently reading: Mystic River (Dennis Lehane)
Currently playing: YouTube video of Journey's new lead singer

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Victoria Magazine rebirths.

It's back. Remember the beautiful Hearst-published VICTORIA magazine? The one that folded in 2004 (for reasons still unknown) created by Nancy Lindemeyer, who wowed us for a decade with her visionary pictures and stories and called the romantic in every one of us to dream a little more.

As a writer, this magazine kept me writing with its interviews and excerpts of Joanna Trollope, Madeleine L'Engle, Susan Minot, and Nora Ephron. The pictures of shops, homes, museums, gardens, and everything else answered the call I had to have a beautiful home, to enjoy my home, and to live, to really live in my home.

I have a very solid collection of back issues stored here that start in the 1980s (I inherited my grandmother's collection when she passed on) and I added to it month after month. I've considered selling them, but I can't. Todd's late grandmother gave me her issues too (during one of my last visits to her grandma cottage in California). Between my collection and my mom's collection, I think we have every issue.

The first re-issue came out October 30 of this year and I thought I subscribed via the web site, but I guess not (no one ever billed me nor did I receive the first issue in October), so I am hunting it down online and in bookstores this week. Anyone seen it anywhere? Please leave a message!

Writing, reading, revising began last evening in earnest. My revision of Let Them Eat Cake begins with a serious look at Max Perkins' stout, but even-handed edits for F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (the greatest American novel in history, I believe).

There's also a MG/YA series that I'm starting to play with because of the recent huge sale by another YA author of a similar series. The market is HOT! I have a three-book series titled and semi-plotted, so I'm going to work on that.

Plus, a new epic novel idea is forming in my head that is very similar to The Great Gatsby (that era, story turned inside out) about a poor, naive girl falling for a selfish, myopic rich boy. It's an age-old story, but I have a few twists planned.

The first hint from my revision book is what F. Scott Fitzgerald did. Character notebooks (first half: character history, second half: character voice) and the Moleskin Cahier Notebook is the perfect tool for this. Slim, lined books that let you apply labels to the front cover and are slim enough to handle one character in each. I'm off to Borders to buy all they have!

So some major progress last night. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that F. Scott Fitzgerald developed the novel as a result of an earlier short story that summarized the events that happened before the novel. That is such good fiction! It's not so much what happens in the present, but what's going on under the surface and how the characters react to what happened already off-stage, but which is still firmly imbedded in their conscious thought. Fabulous stuff!

Happy writing!

Currently reading: Squashed (Joan Bauer)
Currently listening to: Sawdust (The Killers)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tuesday Post Storm

So Interstate 5 southbound flooded, Lincoln City, Oregon received 125 mph winds, and I hid indoors until it was over.

Whew. No power outages, no trees down. We coasted through this one just fine. (I'm very relieved; I hate windstorms.)

In work news, I am catching up, I think. I have been working on the style docs this week, trying to inhale vast amounts of the American Medical Association style guide during the day. Last night I finished several freelance projects that were just hanging around. Today is the dentist, but I can haul the AMA with me there.

Coming up to free time after work again to read and revise and write! I can't wait.

Happy third anniversary to my sister and brother-in-law. Happy ten month birthday plus one day to my niece, who is too cute.

Happy writing!

Now reading: Backwater (Joan Bauer)
Now playing: New Angels & Airwaves album

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Rec

Okay, so who played all weekend with this new web site that tracks all your money for you?

Yup, me.

It's free, it's endorsed by a NYT writer, and it is really cool:
Mint: Refreshing Money Management.

See if it refreshes you!

In writing/revision/reading news, I'm not moving much. I'm working really hard to wrap up freelance projects, keep up with work style changes and editing, and keep this house clean, and decorate for Christmas. (all done successfully)

The writing/revision/reading is just really slow. I got through one of my 26 books last week and sat up last night to read part of a revision book before succumbing to Cheesecake Factory-induced sleep.

The Christmas tree is up though, a small four-foot fake in a pretty urn from Home Depot brought to me by hubby, decorated in silver, white, and antique brown patina ornaments, the Christmas gifts are all bought and wrapped and delivered or under the tree, and the Christmas music is cranked.

This week, I'm plotting out the Christmas baking schedule and getting my Christmas vacation time in to my boss.

So last week's list (see here) is the same, except for 1, 5, and 10 are now:

1. Feeding frenzy two weeks (December 18) starts today and new style guides and updates must be posted to intranet ASAP. Finish the quick-find guide to AMA and insert into style guide by end of the year. Feedback from client Excel updates by the 15th.

5. Prep for Christmas parties (Dec 8, Dec 24 & 25) by baking a to-be-determined list of goodies.

10. Finish the medical/life/disability insurance paperwork (now that my medical records are finally complete) and send to HR.

Number 10 should actually be number one, but I'll just get to it this week for sure.

Currently Reading: Backwater (Joan Bauer
Currently Playing: The Promise (Michael W. Smith)