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Wednesday, 23 November 2005
A public apology
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Writing
I know this seems like "story-hopping", but I have a confession to make. I have a bunch of good ideas for new stories that would probably pan out in the long run if I could just get the gumption together to write one of them. The problem is, my heart is in another story. I wrote the Cona'Doar Chronicles (hereafter CDC) book I about a year and a half ago, knowing going in that the story was much too big to tell in one book. I knew there would have to be more than one volume when I typed the first word of the first draft. My muse was (and still is) my main character, Flick. She's a lot like me fifteen years ago and a thousand years removed. Her traveling companion, Cislin, has a lot of my sensiblities as an adult, but I relate the most to Flick. Unfortunately, I haven't been very nice to her since the book finished the editing process and went out into the great big world looking for an agent or a publisher.

I've bullied her, called her names, ignored her in favor of characters who are just as important to the story, but not as important to me. She's been neglected in the worse sense of the word, and I haven't been able to make a respectful start to the second book because of it. I've failed miserably in the five or six attempts that I've made. Flick's become a petulant child in the second book, something that is distinctly NOT in her character. She's unsure, yes. She's curious. She's afraid. But she isn't petulant, a bitch, silly, stupid or any of the other words I've called her in my mind in the past nine months or so.

Her attitude (listen to me, I sound like a crazy lady) has stifled every part of my writing. I've been producing servicable stories, but nothing I've been exceptionally proud of and nothing that I can say my whole heart has been in. I've chalked this up to being a writer - writing what sells, what the readers and editors and publishers want - not to the fact that my poor little muse, my Flick, is sulking in the corner, refusing to speak to me, refusing to tell me her story.

So, to that end, I offer a public apology to Flick. Perhaps she will allow me back in, and give me the rest of what I so hungrily took from her in the beginning. It was selfish - and now I realize that it was more for her that CDC I was written, not for me. She's just a voice inside my head, but one that has a tale to tell, and a voice that I should listen to if I would like to have anything worth reading come from my fingers.

I'm sorry, Flick. It won't happen again.

Posted by wvwritergirl at 1:46 AM EST
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Sunday, 13 November 2005
So, I couldn't sleep last night...
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Writing
When I finally decided it was bedtime last night (oh, at around 3:30AM or so), I found that I couldn't go to sleep.

I've been struggling with an idea I had for a new novel, and I just wasn't liking the direction it was going. Mark of the Maker had become a tattooed Harry Potter, and that was something that I just didn't want. I needed a new direction, a new angle to look at the whole concept. Last night, while struggling for sleep, I got it. And I think I can still use just a little of what I've already written; all I have to do is tweak it a bit to better fit into the new tangent.

My major problem now is an antagonist. Evil for evil's sake in fantasy is bad, bad juju - I need to give this antagonist a reason for his hatred, and a reason why he wants to bring down not just the Makers, but the world. Do you know how hard it is to flesh out the personality of a person you don't like, from the get-go, because you're not supposed to like them? It's near impossible. I need to bring this person on the scene fairly early, too, because I want the novel to have an urgent feeling about it.

Nonetheless, I plan on writing quite a bit today. It's early yet, and I'm still working on the caffeine infusion, but the spark's still there, and it's growing steadily into an ember. This evening, it will be a flame.

I can't wait to re-start Mark of the Maker. It's a story I've thought about for a long time; all that's needed now is to fill in the gaps with what happens between.

Posted by wvwritergirl at 11:26 AM EST
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Sunday, 6 November 2005
Stuff I've Been Working On
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Writing
In the past few weeks, I have been working. In fact, in just three nights, I finished two short stories. "Commitment", a horror piece about a toe and "Singing Them Down", another horror piece about a family legacy. I'm pretty pleased with both of them, but they're finished, not completed, which means they haven't suffered through the first round of editing yet. Hopefully, that'll be a task I'll tackle next week.

The "Stories of Strength" Anthology is out and doing mighty fine. If you haven't already, go look for it at or, even better, at the book's webpage at, and order a copy. It's well worth the money - the book is awesome - and it's for a wonderful cause, too.

Well, let's the past three days, total word count for "Commitment" and "Singing Them Down" is: 4000 words (approximately)

Posted by wvwritergirl at 1:54 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 6 November 2005 1:57 PM EST
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Tuesday, 4 October 2005
Been a while, ain't it?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Writing
Yeah, I know, it's been quite a while since I updated the blog, and here I promised myself that I would do it often, as a means of inspiriation and motivation to write. I have been feeling guilty, but I've had a rather busy weekend, and it's only now settling down so that I can write some. Friday I had the husband's graduation from regional jail academy, Saturday I roasted a turkey with all the trimmings for company who came and stayed overnight until Sunday afternoon, and then yesterday and today my husband was home from work and commandeered the internet, therefore, no posting. Yeah, I could have written some off-line, but my heart wasn't in it.

That's no excuse. I should have BIC time every day, whether I want to or not and whether or not what I write is crap. It's the practice that counts, don't you think?

Therefore, word count for 09/30 - 10/04/05: 0

Posted by wvwritergirl at 11:53 PM EDT
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Thursday, 22 September 2005
Mark of the Maker update
Mood:  happy
Topic: Writing
I've been working on "Mark of the Maker" this evening, and I'm rather proud of my progress. The first chapter is rounding out nicely after the dick debacle yesterday, and I managed to make some real progress this evening. I'm not finished for the night yet, but I thought I'd put in an update before I forgot about it.

I am officially accepted to the "Stories of Strength" anthology from, and I found out today that my essay will appear alongside essays from several noteworthy authors, including Orson Scott Card. I'm so proud to be a part of this. This is the first time in my life I feel like I can make a difference with my writing. I'm so glad Jenna and the AW team came up with this, and that I had the opportunity to participate. And for such a wonderful cause, too!

I feel like I haven't said it enough. Thanks, Jenna.

Word count for 09/22/05: 663

Posted by wvwritergirl at 12:01 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 21 September 2005
I didn't write anything NEW today, but...
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Writing
I did do what I hope is the final edit on Fever and sent it on to the editor at WildChild Publishing. I'm crossing my fingers that they'll take it. If they do, it'll be my first ever published work!

Cross your fingers for me!

Today's word count: 0 (but with extenuating circumstances)

Posted by wvwritergirl at 11:12 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 20 September 2005
I'm trying, I really am...
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Writing
I'm working this evening, or at least trying to. My little one, whose bedtime is 8PM, didn't settle and go to sleep until 10PM (even under threat of not going to Papaw's house tomorrow). At 10:30, I finally settled in for some serious BIC time, only to run into a problem with tact.

You see, there is no gentle way to talk about a penis and balls. I don't want to talk about them sexually - the first few paragraphs of this work is about schoolchildren studying a type of magic called "making", where the focus object for the magic is body art, aka tattoos. Their teacher is literally covered in "maker's marks", so he's showing the class as a "this is what you could achieve" lesson. We have both boys and girls in the class, so he must be modest; how do you say he has a cloth over his you-know-what and *not* sound like a seventh grader? Argh.

The thesaurus was no help, either. I'm trying to *avoid* sounding like a seventh grader, not achieve it. All the words they supply for "genitals" make it sound like a bunch of little boys giggling in the corner because Jane said a dirty word. Sheesh.

So, here I am, stuck in paragraph two. I think I'll add a placeholder and hope someone at can come up with something creative and useful.

Word count for 09/20/05: 753

Posted by wvwritergirl at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2005 12:13 AM EDT
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Sunday, 18 September 2005
Interstitial Fill
Topic: Writing
I didn't work on the stated project any this weekend. Why? My husband was home, and I haven't seen him all week. He's gone again, for another week (just this week and the next to go!) which I will use to work on the stated project. For today, though, I did a little "light writing" - about six or seven articles for Constant Content, a web content site. You set the price, they take a cut and you get paid for your writing. Yeah, it's peanuts. But, it is practice, and that's what counts.

I've thought quite a bit about the stated project, though, and I think I've got some good ideas. I think Maker will end up being a worthwile story IF I can get a little closer to my characters. It's not that I don't like them, I just don't know them very well, and there are only a few of them, and...and...well, it's just hard to write about a stranger. I may give it a shot this evening, but I dunno...I might just wait until tomorrow, think about them a little more.

Today's (and this weekend's) word count: 624

Posted by wvwritergirl at 12:01 AM EDT
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Friday, 16 September 2005
Mark of the Maker - The New Project (I hope...)
Topic: Writing
Well, I started my first new long-form fiction piece this evening.

I had been debating for a long time between two very different single-book stories (as in, not a "fantasy trilogy", which is ever-so-popular); Stone Carver's Son and Mark of the Maker. The coin fell in favor of Maker, and therefore, I started that one this evening. I think that while fantasy readers will find some comforting elements in this story, there's a lot about it that's quite different. I won't reveal specifics here, but I think it's going to be an ever-elusive good one.

That's not to say that Stone is left out in the cold. I decided against it because I don't have the time to devote to a lot of research, and I think that in order to give Stone the treatment it deserves, it will need a lot of reaserch. I like the idea of Stone a lot, too; no doubt, when things calm down a little at my house (read: we have a normal schedule again) and once I finish with Maker, I will most certainly return to Stone.

Today's word count (so far): 300

Posted by wvwritergirl at 12:01 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 14 September 2005
"Defining Strength" - an essay
Topic: Writing
I finally wrote something.

I was up at 7 AM this morning to take the little one to daycare, and then off to the "car doctor" (that's the Toyota Service Center, by way of translation) for some much-needed minor surgery. It took about two hours to complete, so I took my notebook and pencil and wrote a short essay about the definition of strength for the Absolute Write "Stories of Strength" anthology (tentative title) that Jenna Glatzer and the other members of the Absolute Write Water Cooler (discussion forums for the website are doing to benefit those in need after Hurricane Katrina.

Louisiana and New Orleans are two of my favorite places in the world, and I was devastated by the destruction of that beautiful city and the suffering of her people. I can't do much when it comes to money (the wretched life of a writer, you know) but I can offer my talent, if that can help in any way. The great Ms. Glatzer and the AW team gave me that opportunity, and I'm proud to say that I've done my part (or tried to) to help the cause. I wrote two essays - one many years ago, on the 1 year anniversary of 09/11, and one this morning. I'm pleased with both, and will be proud to have either piece represent me in the anthology if the editors and Ms. Glatzer deem them appropriate to be included.

The essay I wrote this morning I titled "Defining Strength". It has to do with what strength really means to people, and how our definitions vary depending on our situation and other factors.

Well, so far today (and it's only 10:20 AM!) the word count is: 514

Posted by wvwritergirl at 12:01 AM EDT
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