Oh, Monday.

Oh, Monday. Just when I thought my week couldn’t get any better, you come along.

Thankfully I don’t have to visit the dentist for a while now. I mean, they’re nice people, and the nitrous is okay, but the less time I spend there the better.

I had an extraordinarily productive weekend, between tax filing, mowing the lawn (always my favorite chore, NOT) and cleaning gutters. You’d think gutters would be right up my alley. Alas, no. I loathe cleaning them. Except I put together plot architecture, mumbling under my breath while I scooped out sludge and freed up stagnant water. If that book turns out soggy, I know who to blame.

So now it’s working on that short story and waiting for my mouth to feel like it belongs to me again, while I listen to Brahms and long for a cup of coffee.

Oh, Monday. In a few hours you’ll be gone, and we’ll both be happier that way.

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Where Did Spring Break Go?

Rock climbing classes for the kids start this week. My own class got pushed back to May for some reason. Oh well. Plus there’s a trip to the dentist in my future. Fortunately the dentist’s office understands about My Issues: “Tell me what you’re going to do before you do it. Keep me updated. If there is a chance of it hurting, warn me. If I lift my left hand or wave, stop and tell me what you’re doing. I find this stressful and this will make it easier for both of us.”

You know, once you start setting boundaries it just never stops. *snort*

I’m also trying out a new workspace, sitting on an exercise ball instead of cross-legged in the CHAIR. We’ll see if that ameliorates some of the pain issues I’ve been having. Changing around the workspace is a good way for me to really prove I can write whenever, wherever. So, we’ll see.

Also, I am considering a Mac for my next laptop. I hear good things about them. So, if The Great Interwebs can answer a few questions, I’d be grateful.

1. How’s the keyboard action on a Mac? I love my current Asus, but the keyboard really leaves a little to be desired.
2. Does MSOffice work okay on Mac? I love Word and Excel and don’t want to change to a new word-processing program. Specifically, does Word on Mac have trouble opening .docx files?
3. Is it worth the initial price? I mean, do they last longer than PC laptops?
4…oh, there is no 4. I guess it’s just three questions. Comments and answers appreciated.

Also, I am a bit silly from a late night last night. Nothing dire, just up chatting with a friend. Wrenching my schedule back to normality from the chaos of Spring Break (most days I slept in until *gasp* 9AM! Unheard-of, I know!) is predictably making me a little goony today. If you see me on Twitter, it’s probably going to be goofiness. You’ve been warned.

Last but not least, can I please write one short story that doesn’t require three or four effing starts thrown out before I get something usable? I’m under deadline here, Muse. Kthxbai.

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50K! Hooray!

Yes, I’ve broken 50K on the latest Dru novel. I am still terrified, I still think it’s awful, I am still tearing my hair out and screaming “everyone is going to hate it AND HATE ME! I’LL NEVER GET FINISHED WAAAH!” But that’s so much a part and parcel of the doldrums of a novel’s creation that I’m actually riding the feelings with a modicum of calm. Yeah, it might suck, but at least it won’t be a pile of unfinished suckage. The rest is for an editor to help me with.

You’d think that after how many books I would figure out that this feeling of it absolutely being the worst book in the universe is just a product of the creative process (or emotional exhaustion) and it would fade. The bad news is that it hasn’t by now, it’s not likely to, and the best I can do is ameliorate it by remaining conscious that this exhaustion and the attendant fear are just reactions. I can watch them go by on my mental screen and breathe through them.

50K is usually the turning point, where I start an increasingly-fast race downhill to the end of the book, tying in all the threads I spun out earlier and tipping over the first domino so the whole thing goes the way I want it to. I often refer to this as the Flat Diet part of the book–where you can just slide the pizza under the door and I’ll see you when I’ve typed finis, kthxbai.

Of course, there’s proofs and a clean pass of another book to look at, and the short story due on April 1…so, along with the pizza can you slide some tandoori mixed grill and some naan through? Just leave the wine outside, I’m sure I’ll remember to get to it in a couple hours…

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Give That Bitch Some Bonbons

The Muse, again. Taking the story through a bootlegger’s turn, and now she’s sitting on her red velvet fainting-couch, selecting bonbons from a beribboned cardboard box, and thinking through how she’s going to tell me to fix this thing. I can’t go any further until I figure out how Character A has received the information he’s going to impart to Girl Friday. I know there’s a solution, it’s on the tip of my brain. The goddamn Muse is sitting on it.

Some days she’s like that.

I am just going to keep throwing bonbons at her until she takes pity on me or until the solution wriggles out from under her and into my head. In the meantime, I’ll be working on another project to make this one jealous. Making books jealous of each other is a good way to jolt them free. If I’m not working on one thing I’m working on another, and that’s what’s saving my sanity.

Such as it is.

So. I’ll be shoveling bonbons and working on the homicidal-fae book today if anyone needs me. If you see the Muse, throw some choco at her or kick her pretty little derriere, willya?

Thanks. You’re a pal. I couldn’t do this without you.

*exits stage right, hands fisted in hair, muttering*

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It Will Go In The Graveyard Like Every Other Wrong Turn

The morning is nice and gray and soft-edged outside my windows. Not foggy, but not with the glare of spring sunshine and a blue lidless sky either. I’m glad–you live in the Pacific NW for long enough, you start getting nervous when it’s not cloudy or raining. No doubt the rain will start later today, but for now it’s just…cloudy. And I like it. The synchronicity engine is still turning over and echoing under the surface of Real Life.

Yesterday I was fighting tooth and nail with the latest book, and I figured out the point where things had gone wrong was…whoops, 10K words ago. After much thought and cutting and pasting, I only lost about 8K of those words. *headdesk* There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Not to mention cursing, bitching, and wandering around the house muttering and glaring balefully at things. I hadn’t precisely gone wrong, I’d just…well, had a major plot thing happen too soon, and it removed a lot of the necessary tension for the book to go forward. Plus I can always keep that 8K chunk for if I need it later. It will go in the graveyard like every other wrong turn.

If there’s one thing that’s changed about me writing, it’s that I only feel a twinge and not a huge soul-devouring terror when I slice out a huge chunk of text.

So now I have to figure out how to proceed from five steps back.

Those are the days when writing is intensely frustrating and nothing seems to go right. They hit just often enough to remind me that the usual state of affairs is a gift.

I have great hopes for today.

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Got Zombies, Be Back In A Bit…

Just a flyby post, since the last few days have been crazy. Next week will be better.

Tonight at 6:30PM (Pacific) I’ll be doing #askawriter on Twitter or about 20 minutes/half an hour. Come by and ask questions about writing/publishing. I will NOT answer questions such as “will you read my manuscript?” or “can you help me with my homework?” Other than that, fair game.

It’s a beautiful blue-sky day and I’ve some zombies to kill. Catch you later.

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Today Is My Valentine To Me

Yesterday’s OMSI trip was a blast despite the crowds. The youngest among us loved the room that shoots little blue balls everywhere, the middle crowd went gaga over the space exhibit, and us oldfolk had the most fun with the T. Rex skeleton. H. told me that there’s some thought that T. Rex was actually more of a scavenger than a predator, which I have to say makes some sense given their teensy arms. I leave it to the paleontologists to sort out, possibly with a caged deathmatch. SCIENCE FIGHT!

Ahem.

Today is the day I take myself on a Valentine date. *primps hair* I’ll report back on the Wolfman tomorrow.

Oh, also, yesterday I goofed. Fellow Razorbill author Suzanne Young is signing tonight out at Cedar Hills Crossing. The Princess loved her book, The Naughty List, and Suzanne is a ton of fun. If you can, go out and show some love! I don’t know if I’ll be able to get out there, but I’ll be there in spirit cheering her on.

Before I take myself on a date, however, I have to make a stab at a short story. 5K, five scenes 1K apiece. This is going to have to be careful, delicate surgery, my dears, requiring gallons of caffeine and lots of staring into the distance, turning the story over inside my head before I draw and make my cut.

Wish me luck.

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