News!

(Note: I apologize if this double-posts…it didn’t post on my main page the first time…)

Guess what? I have news. And real news, not just hey I wrote five hundred words today.

I am PUBLISHED. That’s right. I got up my nerve, submitted a short story and then promptly hid under the couch. And a couple of weeks ago I received my acceptance letter. And so, without further ado, here is my first published piece:

The Heartbox

Needless to say, I am absolutely giddy about this.

Writing and editing has kept me ridiculously busy over the past while. I have three pieces a week to edit for my crit class (when I don’t have one due, as I do next week), plus I’ve been driving really hard to finish up this draft of the novel…I think this is draft 6. I should actually be done it today and then I have absolutely no excuse to not begin to querying process. I still have to do my print-edit and my out-loud edit but I can work on those while the query is out there. I’ve also started Book 2 for this series, as well as a completely unrelated book that has been well-received by my crit class. So yes, busy. But not complaining.

And yes, I’m a redhead once again – I always go back. And I love it. I feel so much more “me” like this!

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Now back to my regularly-scheduled blogging. I hope.

Geez, you walk away from your blog for upwards of two months and apparently someone thinks it’s okay to go in and completely change the updating format. Some nerve. I’ll try to adapt. 😉

So, yes, once again I find myself apologizing for a hiatus. I’m sorry. I really am. Maybe in a few years, when both of the kids are in school, I’ll be able to update more regularly. My hope is that the new schedule I’ve set for myself will lead to my wandering onto this site a little more often (I hope). More on that later.

Actually, more on that now. (See? I’m such a pantser I don’t even plan out my blog posts :P) . Part of the reason I’ve been away from the blog for so long is just how many projects I have on the go at the moment. I’m nearly done the long edits on the novel. I’m rewriting a chapter in that novel from another POV. I’ve started the sequel. I’m working on a query and a synopsis. I’m polishing up a short story for submissions. Plus I’m editing, not only my own work, but a novel for a friend and occasional projects for people in my writing group. And on top of all of that, I’ve been very strict with myself about working out, trying to keep the house in some semblance of order (hahaha) and, you know, not ignoring my kids. Up until a  couple of weeks ago, my method had been chip away at everything a little bit every day. A chapter on the novel. 10 pages of editing for my friend. A page of a short story. Etc. Etc. While I thought this meant that everything would get done at roughly the same time, what it actually meant was that I was forcing myself to switch creative gears rather often during my “writing time” segments during the day. And since those segments are only during Baby D’s nap and sometimes an hour or two in the evening, I barely let myself breathe between those switch-overs. And if there happened to be anything that I was less interested in working on – query letters, say – it was very easy to just work a little bit longer on everything else until the baby woke up. Oh darn, guess I’ll have to work on it tomorrow.

This all became very apparent to me while I was on vacation. I managed to escape the Canadian winter for two weeks this February and I had big plans of all of the writing and editing I was going to do while away. And you know what? I didn’t do much of it. A little bit, yes. But not anywhere near as much as I had “scheduled”. And, at a time when I was supposed to be relaxing, I found myself stressing out about everything I wasn’t doing, everything I had to do when I got home. Especially when my husband pointed out that it was probably really time to get started on that damn query letter.

And once I got home, things didn’t get better in that regard. I continued on my every-project-every-day schedule until I realized that all I was left with at the end of the day was a feeling that I’d accomplished pretty much nothing, nothing was completed and I was still completely stressed out. And that was worrisome. I actually have the opportunity to be pursuing my passion and, while I understand that everything is stressful some of the time, it wasn’t a good sign that the thing I most love to do was stressing me out all of the time.

And so I reset my plans. 6 projects, 6 days, one day off. On Monday I work on the novel edits. Tuesday, short stories. Wednesday, query and synopsis (read: housecleaning). Thursday, editing my friend’s MS and any other editing-for-others on my plate. Friday, since it is #writeclub on Twitter, I’ve slotted in chapter rewrite and sequel work. Saturday is social media and blogging, since I’ve also been remiss at actually following the blogs I follow. I’m also using Saturdays to catch up anything I’m feeling especially behind on. And Sunday is my day off. It might not always work out that way, but that is the standard schedule and I’m giving myself permission to mess with it as necessary. Just last week I had to switch two of the days because I was waiting for an edit to come in. And so far the new process is working well.

And how are those many many projects working out, you ask? Pretty well, I’d say. On the novel – and yes, there is a tentative title, but it’s still pretty tentative – I’m nearly done my “long edits”, then I have to comb through for consistency errors. I’m rewriting one chapter from a different POV (on the advice of a CP) to see which I like better. And yes, I actually have started the query letter writing process, as daunting as it seems.

Short story work is going well too, I think. It’s done, the first round of comments are back and it has been sent off to a few other people. Once I hear back from them, I’ll start polishing it up.

I guess the only other real writing-related “news” is that I’m taking my writing class again next semester! We managed to squeeze it into the budget and I am so excited to get back to it! The only drawback is that a lot of the ‘regulars’ aren’t taking it, but one of my closest friends is for the first time. And I’m definitely looking forward to meeting a bunch of new writers too. 🙂

So hey, I managed a blog post (and yes, Baby D is up. Sigh.) With any luck, I’ll have some time to comment on some others and then I’ll see you all again next Saturday. 😉

Oh, but before I go – proof of Reading Night. 🙂

Image

Ask and you shall receive. Sort of.

Further attesting to my sleep deprivation and head-stuffiness: the flash fiction contest is NOT open for another two weeks. Voting is closed, so just let me reiterate once more thank you so much to those who voted, to those who liked it, and to those who asked me to consider expanding it. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed and see how everything plays out.

Onwards. In my last post (which was yesterday! I know!) I whined noted that I haven’t had any writing to work on lately. Editing (for other people) yes, but no writing of my own, and no real editing of my own projects either. Last night, however, I had my Wordsmiths meeting and the last exercise was to write for twenty minutes based on a visual prompt – in this case, one of three paintings that our chair for the evening brought in. I love these exercises because they force me to write and they force me to write something other than whatever giant WIP I have going on at the moment. Anyhow, sometimes I find these exercises to be a real challenge, particularly if I haven’t slept or if I have a cold, or, you know, both. But last night I just ran with it and what I came up with I can see expanding either into a short or possibly into a longer work. If it looks like it is going to be on the longer side, I’ll have to settle for notes and maybe a scene here or there. The current work has to come first. But for now, it is simmering, and it’s nice to have something writing-related to toy with for a bit.

This morning I was also considering my WIP and managed to get myself very excited at the thought that maybe I could at least start working on the first set of chapters. After all, most (though not all) of my draft readers have made it to at least Chapter 3. Maybe I could get those back at least and by the time I’d made those revisions, my readers would have more for me to work on. Then, just as I was really getting into the little dance I was doing in my head at the thought of getting back at it, the bigger picture occurred to me. This will be fourth draft. I can’t work on it piecemeal. My readers are going to be giving me their suggestions not only line by line but overall – if they want me to change something in Chapter 21 that gets alluded to in Chapter 4, I need to have the whole thing in front of me so that there aren’t continuity errors. I hope that there’s nothing major but I recognize now that I really can’t work on the earlier bits while waiting for later ones.

So much for that plan.

And so, while it seemed like I suddenly had all kinds of writing projects suddenly springing up around me, what I actually have is at least one new thread dangling in front me – or possibly two, since I’m still considering another writing prompt exercise from a couple of weeks ago as well (ooo! Wait…I’m suddenly realizing a possibility for combining those! Hmmmmm.).

 

But hey, that’s more than I had yesterday!