Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. Mine has been absolutely fantastic. Extremely busy. Again, life interferes. I had last week and this week off work. I planned on doing lots of writing and editing. Well, mostly editing. That hasn't happened. My goal was to have the paranormal book edited by the end of the year isn't going to happen. Oh well. I've gone through the first round of easy edits, and now I have to work on the big stuff. Research, new scenes to add, all the time consuming stuff. Hopefully this week will be a little tamer than last, at least during the days that is, and I can make a dent in some of that. We'll see how it goes. I have been doing research on cars. Learning about extreme luxury super-cars, and now I have the bug. I watched a Top Gear marathon on xmas eve with my Dad, drooling over the Aston Martins and Mercedes. Discovered I'm a bit of a nut for Mercs. So at least that much has had progress. Must know what my characters drive.

Have a safe and happy new year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Meeting with Editor Alice Pope

Alice Pope is the editor of Children's Writers and Illustrator's Market. I was very excited that she was the one reviewing my manuscript. She had a lot of helpful ideas and feedback. Most of it makes sense to me, and because of that, I think I have another major rewrite. Maybe it's good I haven't sent any more query letters for Moonlight Cafe. (I got another rejection yesterday, btw. Still have one more out waiting for a response.) I wrote the contemporary storyline in first person, and the historical storyline in third person. Alice thought I had a better grasp of third person. She also didn't feel as if she knew enough about Vincent. So I think I'm going to rewrite it in third person, and add back the parts I originally had told from Vincent's point of view. We'll see how it goes.

In the meantime, I'm editing my paranormal novel. Close to done with the first read through, but am coming up to the part that I think will need the most work. There are also things I need to go back and add, so even after I finish this read through, the first round of editing won't be done yet. Once it is, I'll read the entire novel out loud to myself. Then we'll see what I need to do from there. I hope that have the much done by the end of the year. Two weeks off will help.

I'm going to let Moonlight sit until I finish the above edits with my new novel. I had gotten to the point where I was sick of it and didn't want to look at it anymore. However, Alice's feedback and ideas have made me excited about it all over again. So a little more time away, then I'll get back to work on it.

Alice also asked if I'd considered writing a straight historical fiction. I haven't, but it's a thought. She very much liked that part of Moonlight Cafe. I'll let that sit in the back of my mind. I like the idea, but don't have a storyline. That's okay, I have plenty of other writing work and ideas to keep me busy for at least the next 6 months, if not the whole next year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Conference Day 1

Wow! Today was jam-packed with information about writing and publishing. I learned a lot about agents, query letters, revising, marketing, online presence, and publishing. I met some great people at the conference and did a bit of networking. One woman I met is in a writing group with a man who was published in the most recent "Best of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing" anthology. It was a great opportunity, and I'm so excited about what I've learned. I have a lot of ideas for my website and marketing for my novels.

Tomorrow is the one on one editing session. I found out I'll meet with Alice Pope, who edits the Children's Writers and Illustrators Market. I am very excited for the meeting, especially now that I know she is my editor! I'm also very nervous. This is the first time a professional has seen my novel; my baby. I welcome any feedback she can give me though to help make my novel and query letter better.

I'm going to post this and head off to dinner with Mary and one of the women we met today, Candace. Yum, Cheesecake Factory. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Welcome to Cincinnati

I'm in the hotel in Cincinnati for the Writer's Digest conference this weekend. Tomorrow will be filled with seminars on various aspects of writing. Sunday we meet one on one with an editor from Writer's Digest. Mary and I got here around 7:30, well, 8:30 since we're in a different time zone now. Hung out in the hotel for a while, checked e-mail and whatnot, then went to Fridays for a drink and some dinner. I think we'll be off to bed soon. Have to get up early in the morning. Part of me wants to stay up and work on editing my novel, but I've been fighting off a cold this week and am very tired. I think I'll just go to bed and get some much needed rest.

More tomorrow on what I learn. I can't wait!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Excited Editing

I just made a small edit, added 2 short lines to a chapter, that made a line I already had written work so much better. I didn't even realize how much it would improve the chapter until after I added the 2 lines for an entirely different reason. Very exciting when things like this happen. It's amazing how big a difference such small changes can make.

Another Dream Story Idea

I had a dream last night that I believe will be the basis of the story for the next novel in my paranormal series. I wonder if they'll all come to me this way?

I started editing my novel tonight. Went to Barnes and Noble for a while to maintain focus away from the internet. Now that I've begun editing, it will be much easier for me to keep focus while I am home surrounded by distractions. I am making a lot of notes on things that I need to fix, backgrounds I laid out in the beginning that don't match what I have later in the novel, things like that. But so far I am very happy with what I have and haven't made any major changes. I know there will be some, but I haven't reached them yet. I also have a small Moleskine notebook I keep in my purse where I have a page for each character so I can make notes about things like hair/eye color, backgrounds, anything I don't want to forget, so I can easily reference it. I hope to finish editing this by the end of the year. I have 2 other novels waiting to be written.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Writer's Digest Conference

Dec. 12-14 I will be in Cincinnati for a conference that Writer's Digest is hosting. It is limited to 50 people. Saturday will be filled with seminars. Sunday I will meet one on one with a WD editor! I sent in the first 50 pages of The Moonlight Cafe for critique, and an editor will spend 30 minutes going over it with me. I am so excited! Mary is going with me, so we will share the cost of the hotel and gas, though with her Prius, gas won't be a major issue.

I debated if I wanted to go or not. The workshop is $200, which isn't too bad, but hotel and driving...I wasn't sure I wanted to spend that money. Since Mary is going it will be easier. I'm glad I signed up. I think this will be a wonderful opportunity. I can't wait!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Draft is Complete!!

The first draft of my paranormal mystery is complete!!! Yay!! Right now the word count is 90,890, but I think it's going to end up around 95,000-100,000. The final chapter is pure, utter junk, and I have a feeling that one is going to be a struggle, but that's why it's called a rough draft. There are several parts I need to flesh out, research to do, things like that, but I'm so excited to have the rough draft done! I sat down to work on it tonight thinking I had a LOT more to write and that it would take another week or two, but the words just started flowing and everything fell into place. I wrote the final 3300 words in an hour and a half. Again, much work is needed, but I'm excited. There are plot points I planned out that won't happen until the next book. New characters introduced themselves right up until the final few chapters, taking the story in new directions, and they will be fun ones to learn more about in later books. Now I need to think of a title. Hmm...