Monthly Archives: June 2014

Progress, Rats, and Work

It’s actually not been too unproductive of a week.  I’m a couple pages ahead on the “page a day” challenge and (courtesy of a pan of brownies) I’ve finished the latest round of paper edit on Sanguine – just need to get the changes made in the word doc now.  There are still a few rough areas toward the end that I need to spend some time on, and the ending is weak, but it is coming along nicely and now that the rest is pretty much fixed up I can focus on those two or three scenes and the ending.

And I’ve been doing a miraculous job of not starting something new, even though there is a story nagging at me almost continuously.  I think I might type up at least the basic premise and first scene (which is really all I’ve got anyhow) just so it shuts up and leaves me alone. (That works, sometimes.)

And, in non-writing news, I finally dragged out all my t-shirts and got my sweatshirts put away so I have more than 3 shirts available.

And the rats have learned to love their antibiotic and seem to be feeling better – still some sneezing but no wheezing.  I started a blog for them (Rats in the Belfry) just because they are such fun critters.  They did leave me a mystery to solve, though – somehow the bottom of their cage got soaked overnight.   I would blame a leaking water bottle but the intervening level is dry.

Back to work today after three days off.  I enjoy hermit-hood way too much.

Off to clean up the mess in the bottom of the cage and psych myself up to go to work…

Somehow the two seem to go hand in hand…


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I hate it when life finds a way of knocking me upside the head with something that I already knew.  It makes me feel like an idiot.

On Friday I mentioned that I was taking part in a page-a-day writing challenge for the month of June.  It’s only the second day and I’ve written 4 pages so far (counting a page as 250 words).

Lesson learned?  Small goals are best.

See, my goal in April was “Finish Books One and Two of The Other Mages trilogy.”  A worthy goal, but one which has still not been completed.

But a page a day?  That’s easy!  I can find time to do a page a day!

So, my goal for July Camp will be to write 50,000 words, not to finish two partially-written novels.   I’m not even going to say that I’ll finish one of them – although I probably will.

And then in August I might just do my own page a day challenge.

But the small goals thing is important for more than just writing.    “Clean the House” is a big goal and rarely gets done.  It’s too overwhelming to look at the whole place and realize how much needs to be done and not knowing where to start.  Breaking it down into rooms – or even specific things for each room – means it’s more likely to get done.  (Not guaranteed, just more likely!)

Because I like to see progress, and small bits of progress (a clean stove, clean dishes, a clean sink, etc) encourage me to make more progress.  (It helps that I love lists – crossing things off is a great source of encouragement.)

That’s why I prefer to have outlines when I’m writing.  They not only keep me on track, they make me feel less overwhelmed and give me focus – they tell me what needs to be done and where to start and where to go next.

Plus, I can cross things off of the outline once I write that scene.

I do have one problem with that though:  sometimes (a lot of the time… okay, most of the time) I overestimate how much I can actually get done and over-schedule myself and it still seems overwhelming and then I get discouraged because I don’t do everything on my list.

That said, I am still addicted to lists, and am now off to make one – or several.  (I even make lists of lists.)

I may still be overwhelmed, but at least I’ll know where to start.

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Sunday Excerpt — June 1, 2014

More from Sanguine, a science fiction novel (still in progress) with elements of semi-paranormal M/M romance.

(I am done with beta readers, and Sanguine is in next-to-final-edit stage, so this is still a work in progress and the following lines may or may not have been hacked and recombined and creatively punctuated to fit into 10 sentences.)

Introducing some other characters – and a few bits of Gregor’s past.

Kaen and Gregor are still on the station, making their way back to the ship when they run into an old friend of Gregor’s.   Skipping ahead a few lines from last week: Trini has just been offered a position on board The Sanguine and she is practically skipping as she leaves the two men.  Kaen watches her go and then turns to Gregor with a raised eyebrow.


“We’ve… worked together a few times,” Gregor said. “It’s hard for women to break into jobs in engineering — hands on jobs, at least — so she doesn’t get a lot of assignments, but, trust me, she’s worth more than any man I’ve worked engineering refits with.  I don’t think there’s a drive out there that she can’t tear down and reassemble blindfolded.”

“She seems…”

“Flighty?” Gregor suggested, and Kaen nodded. “She was nervous.  She’s not good in social situations.”

“She seemed okay with you.”

Kaen’s tone was teasing but Gregor’s eyes darkened and became serious as he met his gaze.  “She trusts me,” he said, his voice quiet and firm.  “But it took a lot to get to this point with her.”





Check out Sunday Snippets for great stuff from other writers.

My other novel, Song and Sword is currently available for Kindle and all other e-readers. 

Song and Sword cover

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for all other e-readers.


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