Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Quick Update on NR's Polishing and A Blast From the Past...

Hey everyone!
Things with NR have been going somewhat okay, and I am getting closer and closer to putting it in "Draft 3 mode", which I am hoping will be sometime VERY soon! 
Most of the verb tense has been cleaned up to be in "past tense" and I've caught a LOT of typos over the last week or so. I think there are still some around but I haven't caught them yet due to being distracted or the eyes burning from staring at the computer screen so much lately! LOL
The other day, I did a word count on NR's second draft... I thought I may have about 150,000 words in it, which is almost twice the length of a regular romance novel and about what I had for a goal when I started really getting into this story. 
Well, I not only hit 150,000 words, I kinda surpassed it... I did the word count for NR's Part One and did a double take on it because I wasn't sure if I had my addition right or not. I double checked it and sure enough, the addition was RIGHT ON. When I did the word count for Part Two, the same thing happened and sure enough, everything is right on with that too.
As of November 18, 2012:
Word Count, Part ONE: 97,604.
Word Count, Part TWO: 107,268.
Grand total: 204,872!!!
I didn't write a novel, I wrote a freaking EPIC!!! 
Keep in mind I've been doing revisions on NR in the days since then so those numbers probably changed somewhat... But y'all get the general idea, right? 
When the typos are finally gone and all of the verb tense, etc is cleaned up, NR will go into "Draft Three Mode" and that's where I'll be finishing up the polish, etc on it with the proofing and the formatting, etc. I'll also be starting off each new chapter on a brand new page, which will make the darn manuscript a LOT longer... It's currently standing at around 324 pages on Word NOW (1 inch margins, Times New Roman font size 12, indentations for each paragraph with no spaces in between paragraphs and single spaced) but that will DOUBLE when I double space the darn thing to send out. 
Enough about the writing, here's something different for y'all...
Yesterday was the two year anniversary of Scott Stapp, lead singer of Creed, performing in Halifax at Casino Nova Scotia. Yes, I did attend it and had the time of my life! I'd like to share the original blog that was up in my old WordPress blog with all of you... Enjoy!
Original Post date: November 21, 2010.

Last night was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life.

Saturday, November 20th was the very day I saw Scott Stapp live in concert for the very first time.
I’ve been a fan of Scott Stapp and Creed since I first heard Scott singing “Higher” on Q104.3 out of Halifax, NS back in 1999. The more I heard the song, the more I liked it and after hearing more of Creed’s music, I quickly became hooked and have never looked back.
I had not been lucky enough to see Scott or the rest of Creed live… Until last night that is.
The Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax was almost completely sold out… There was between 200 and 400 people there is my estimate… And that is a tiny venue, if it had been at the Metro Centre, I’m thinking that more people would have been there.
The show started late, at 8:30 instead of 8 p.m. like it was schedule to start. The reason??? Scott and his band did not get into the Casino until 7:30 and had to do their meet and greet before the show. Apparently, Scott had been on an IV for 5 hours earlier that day and he wasn’t feeling the best even after treatment, he apologized to all of us for the delay and if he seemed “slow”. Someone screamed out that they didn’t care, he could have been on stage with an IV in his arm, the main thing was that he was FINALLY performing in our province.
To say Scott is an amazing performer and has a magnetic stage presence is an understatement… He is one amazing singer, his talent is beyond description and he really knows how to entertain his audiences.
In between songs, Scott talked to us… He told us that he got into trouble in Saint John New Brunswick during his show there on November 19th.. Apparently, he called it “St. John’s” and someone in the Halifax audience yelled out something about St. John’s being in Newfoundland but we didn’t care, Scott was there in Halifax performing… *giggles*
Scott was also having problems with the stool on the stage… He make a few quips about it not liking him and he almost fell off of it a few times, it seemed to have a crooked leg… Since Scott is the kind of performer that does NOT sit still whatsoever, the wobbly stool make things pretty hairy for him by times. He didn’t lose his balance or anything but one could tell he was trying not to laugh each time he sat on it and it moved on him.
He said that he was happy to finally be here and he loved Nova Scotia… He is hoping to come back sometime in the future… Y’all know I’ll be there if he does!!!
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a VIP ticket so I didn’t meet him. But I did get a smile from him!!! Not sure if it’s because he saw my Passion Breeds Followers shirt or he was just being a nice guy. *shrugs* I don’t care… The smile was enough to make me MELT…
The songs he sang were mostly older Creed songs, with a few of his solo songs, the first release off of Creed’s Full Circle, a couple of cover songs and a NEW song that will be on his next album… That’s due out sometime next year. Most of us in the audience were singing along and really enjoying ourselves.
Scott did get a few standing ovations, the first being after he sung one of Creed’s biggest hits, “Higher”… The very song that got me hooked on his music.
I have always thought Scott was good looking… But in my opinion, he is even better looking in person!!! Pictures do NOT do the man justice at all and one has to see him in person to see exactly how handsome he really is.
Unfortunately, flash photography was not permitted… But we were allowed to snap all the pictures we wanted to without using our flashes. I did sneak in a couple with a flash and happily snapped away otherwise. Not all of the pictures turned out really well but some did and I am so tickled that I got them!!! I have 60+ up in my Facebook album titled “Scott Stapp ROCKS Halifax, Nova Scotia, November 20th 2010″ if any of my FB friends want to check them out.
I did get some video but it was mostly Scott talking about different things. I still have dial up internet and since that takes FOREVER to upload a video, I’ll post them sometime in the future, when I remember to take the card to my SIL’s house maybe.
The set list:
01. Are You Ready
02. Overcome
03. Weathered
04. I’m Eighteen (cover song)
05. Bullets
06. My Own Prison
07. Unforgiven
08. Surround Me
09. Higher
10. With Arms Wide Open
11. My Sacrifice
12. Crazy In Love (new song)
13. Justify
14. Riders On The Storm (cover song)
15. The Great Divide
I know I said I don’t like his song “Justify” but last night, the way he performed it, I actually LIKED it!!! Yeah, I know… SHOCKER!!!
All in all, it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had… Well, after having my son and getting married to my husband of course!!!
I am so glad I got there and finally saw Scott perform live… It was a dream come true for me and I will never forget the amazing experience he provided for all of us there last night!!!
Thank you for Halifax, Scott!!!
To say that getting to the concert was NOT easy… Sometimes it seems that I have a cloud of “wacky luck” hanging over my head sometimes…
But it also seems that the universe makes sure things work out. Despite all of the following mishaps, I DID make it to the concert and had the time of my life!!!
Mishap 1: I stopped at a gas station in Hubbards (about 2/3 of the way from home to Halifax) and realized I had a flat tire. Thank the stars the place was open and I had left an hour earlier than I had originally planned… I had to wait an hour for someone to come change it for me, which delayed me a little bit.
Mishap 2: I got mixed up at five road intersection and wound up taking the LONG way around the city to my hotel.
Mishap 3: I have NO sense of direction… I got mixed up on the enclosed Pedestrian walk way that went from my hotel to the casino… I wound up turning around and walking to the casino along the sidewalk, which meant I was freezing my butt off the entire walk!!!
Mishap 4: Almost had another flat tire in Chester, which would have been bad… I was already using the spare from the car and did NOT have another one. I averted that disaster in the making by adding air to it in Chester.
Despite all of the mishaps, I got to the concert in plenty of time, thoroughly enjoyed it and had a relaxing and quiet time at my hotel.
I got home around noon our time and decided to post my concert review for my fellow Stapp fans and friends in Passion Breeds Followers and post all of the pictures that turned out okay in Facebook.
I am SO glad I went to the concert… It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had and I’ll definietly be there should Scott ever have another concert in Halifax.
And if he has a meet and greet for that one, y’all can bet that I’ll be going to it and finally meeting him!! 

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shifting Gears, Part 6: Additions, 86'ing and The Full Edit Has Begun

I am slowly working toward finishing Draft 2 of NR...
As stated in my blog on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, I opened NR and decided it was time to get moving on the Draft 2 edit of Part One because it had been "perking" for a couple of months.
As of Wednesday's blog, I was only up to Chapter 4 on it. Well, in the days since then, I managed to finish cleaning up Part One's verb tense and got into Part Two's edit. Friday, I was home alone all day and both Untitled 8 and RH were not working for me so I dove back into Draft 2 of NR. 
To say I was catching mixed up verb tense is an understatement. Now that my mentor kindly pointed out to me that the verb tense was off, I could catch things very easily and getting things lined up correctly was very easily. Some sentences had to be completely redone but that's okay, things are looking a lot better now in that department!
I was also looking at Chapter 17 and thought that even though I wanted to leave the chapter as is because it's such a big/key event, it needed a little more added to it. Something was missing from it and when I finally figured out WHAT it needed, I added it in, despite being distracted by both guys and that silly cat of ours. It is much more rounded out now and the reader isn't left hanging about how something managed to happen. It looks a lot better now.
Something else happened this week too... I started sending NR, chapter by chapter, to my mentor. She's not editing it per se, but has been pointing out different things like typos, etc, if she happens to see them, and I REALLY appreciate it! She seems to be enjoying it so far and is looking forward to reading the rest of it when she gets around to it. She has the first 21 chapters as of this moment, which is all of Part One, and when she and Part Two are ready, she will be getting the rest of it. I just hope she enjoys the rest of it as much as she's enjoying what she has read so far! The amount of twists and turns in this story surprised even me, so it's going to be a roller coaster ride for the reader... I HOPE! LOL
As far as the editing goes, I did read the entire manuscript... And managed to get the verb tense cleaned up as well, what I could see when the eyes started going wonky on me that is! On Friday, I stayed up late and by the time I saw "THE END" on the last page of the manuscript, things were so mixed up with my eyesight, I wasn't able to pick anything out at all.
I also made the necessary changes that were out of date for certain things in Part Two, where I could see them that is. I have to go back over Part Two again to see if I missed anything, again, because I'm pushing myself to get Draft 2 finished and get on to Draft 3. *SIGH* 
Yesterday, I tried working on it again and within an hour, my stupid eyesight went wonky on me, so I probably missed a LOT of mistakes here and there. I did catch a few things I missed on Friday evening but I'm betting I missed more than I found.
I don't know why but I suddenly have a sense of urgency to get this story out to publishers... It's weird and I can't explain it. Maybe seeing my mentor finally publish her first book lit a fire under my tush or something? It's really hard to say. I don't know... Maybe my brain just wants to get it done so I can move on to other stories... Like RH's rewrite or Untitled 8... Or something else.
Whatever. As long as I know that NR isn't the ONLY book I'll write, I'll be happy. I want to be more than just a "one book author", I'd like to be able to finish at least two full length books in this lifetime! LOL I'm hoping Untitled 8 or RH will turn out to be the second book... Even though RH is a little too "raw" or "harsh" for a lot of publishers. Like I said before, I may take the self publishing route for that one if I have to, and it's looking like that's how I'm going to go with it, I guess!
Anyway, have a great Sunday everyone! We're enjoying hearing the NSDOT work on repaving our road... Yeah, they're way behind in getting it done so they're working on it even on a Sunday. Poor buggers... Although it's nice to see a smooth gravel road out there instead of smashed up pavement and potholes bigger than our car!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shifting Gears, Part 5: No Longer a Squirrel on Speed...

For the last three weeks, I've felt like a squirrel on speed. Literally.
It's been three weeks and one day, a total of 23 days since I closed NR and started to let it perk/sit, so it would fade from my mind a little bit and I could pick out grammatical and other errors so much easier.
I was literally going out of my freaking mind. I was so used to working on the story and being "inside" the characters' heads that the instant I closed NR to let it perk, I didn't know what to do with myself... I wound up making three dreamcatchers, bouncing around my main spots and drove everyone else nuts, watched a LOT more television than I had in the last two months and tried NOT to rip my waist length hair out at the roots!
The RH rewrite/overhaul hasn't been going great. I'm having a lot of problems getting into the main characters' heads and into the story itself. Since NR is a much slower paced story, getting into one that is so fast paced wasn't easy and although sometimes a lot of dialogue is good, others, not so much. 
As I posted on my author's page in FB (linkie is on the left!), a week or so ago, I figured out part of the reason why RH wasn't working right for me at this point in time...
You see, another story had been in the works in the back of my mind and my stupid brain didn't catch it until about a week or so ago. 
Yes, Untitled 8 is now in the works. I know, it's crazy of me to start a new one while NR is still a little fresh in my mind, but there is a reason why this story idea came to me... My mentor had suggested that I write a story for each of the two characters I had mentioned in previous blogs and well... It seems NR may be Book 1 of a series or a duology, IF I can do this!
I'm not saying which character's story will be told or exactly who they are in relation to NR but they ARE in that story but one doesn't know them very well at all and will only get to know them IF I can get their story written. 
Untitled 8 is still in the VERY early planning stages... Yes, I do have one full and one partial chapter written up for it and I have a few ideas written down for it as well, but I'm not sure exactly where it will go or anything else at this stage of the game. I don't even know the main characters' full personalities yet and that's half the battle sometimes... I'm not sure how they're going to react to certain situations, etc, and will have to figure that out as I go.
The odd thing is, I had gotten the idea for the new story while NR was perking, and had to open NR to its last chapter to get a quick bit of information for Untitled 8... NOT GOOD, but I did manage to keep myself from diving back into it!
The even odder thing is that while I was researching things for Untitled 8 (my printer is my new best friend!), I found a few things that were related to NR that were out of date... So I got those printed out and will be changing things in NR as I edit and proof it over the next few weeks.
I've now started the process of editing/proofing/formatting NR's Part One as of last night. It's perked long enough, I finished Part One quite a while ago, back in September to be exact, and it's time to get on the ball with it. Part Two is still "soaking" and will continue to do so while I'm busy cleaning up Part One. Two months isn't so bad to let something like this soak, even for someone who is as impatient as I am! LOL 
At the moment the first four chapters are cleaned up a little bit, notably the verb tense in those chapters. It was horrendous to say the least and now that my mentor kindly pointed out to me that the verb tense was off when I sent her the VERY rough draft of Chapter 36's "over 18 scene", I'm able to see it and catch a LOT of it much easier than I had been before. I've also made a few changes to certain things to make it more logical and flow much easier. 
It's slow going and I know I'm going to have to go back again in time to make sure everything is "just so", but that's okay... My next goal is to have things ready to start sending things out to publishers by next summer, and if I can't do that, by the start of January 2014 at the latest. I'm giving myself LOTS of time to get NR perfectly edited, etc, because I'll be working on it between writing, IF I can write anything else that is.
Maybe working on NR will help me with getting Untitled 8 going more? We'll see. Untitled 8 is only an idea after all and if it doesn't work out, it's okay. I wrote ONE full length novel and it WILL be published, somehow, sometime and that's all that matters in my mind!
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone... And for my fellow CSI fans, don't forget there is a NEW episode on this evening!     

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Shifting Gears, Part 4: Feeling Like a Turtle!

Because RH's rewrite isn't progressing as quickly as I would like it to be, that's why!
I know, I should be more patient with it and myself, but after the way I basically ZOOMED through the latter parts of NR, I feel like I should be moving faster
I keep reminding myself that "slow and steady wins the race", especially in the earlier parts of writing a story until one really gets into the groove of it, but there are some days that I get really frustrated and want to just give up working on RH's overhaul for good. I know, I should NOT feel that way but I do sometimes and I'm sure there are plenty of other creative people out there who have felt like that at times in regards to their own work too.
Anyway, with the rant out of the way, things are progressing in RH's overhaul, even if it is very slow going. 
Friday saw more added to Chapter 2... Over 10 pages worth but there was a LOT of dialogue in it, so although it may seem like a lot, it was only 4,000 words or so. 
I also found that if I just WRITE instead of think most of the time, things DO flow a lot more smoothly and easier, which is what I was doing Friday during my last writing day. I kept things within certain "parameters" and voila, things went okay, once I got into the groove of writing that is! 
Remember how I said in a previous blog entry that RH's overhaul/rewrite is turning out to be a MUCH different story than the original? It is, and I'm thinking about treating it as a brand new story because of that. Yeah, there will be a few key things that are the same, such as the reasons WHY the main characters meet, some of their past, etc but other than that, it's completely different. Some parts from the original *may* be included in the rewrite, like one or two of the "over 18" scenes but not a lot. 
The timeline changed too... I'm stretching things out a little more. In the original story, most of the actual story happens within three months, or less. Seriously. This version of it sees most of the action happening within five instead. It's still pretty fast paced BUT more logical. I found in the original things moved so quickly between the main characters that even MY head was spinning and when I reread what I have for RH Version 1 on this computer, I shake my head. Of course, that was a learning experience for me if one thinks about it. It was my first attempt to write a full length novel and it wound up not only becoming a short story/novella, but taught me that having a number of details, etc are key, but one has to find the balance between them too! Just like the original draft of NR... What I have as "Draft 1" for that story NOW has a LOT more detail in it than it's original. The original three chapters of that moved VERY quickly and the first kiss happened only after a couple of weeks. NOT LOGICAL considering the leading lady's personality in NR!!! So the original three chapters were scrapped and redone back in March and the story as it stands now is better, more logical and believable. 
That's what I'm trying to do with RH... Make it more logical, believable and less confusing to the reader... And me of course! LOL So that's why the timeline is stretched out more in this version of it.
I'm still in Chapter 2 but keep in mind that a LOT happens in this story in a very short amount of time and the chapters will be longer than they were in the latter half of NR. Things will still be confusing by times but I'm hoping to wrap everything up nice and neatly before the epilogue, or if anything is left over, during the epilogue. Yes, some things will be revealed over the course of the story but like NR, not all of it will come out until closer to the end of it. There will be flashbacks to things that happened BEFORE the story opens and I already have a few ideas for those... Along with a lot of other things.
Yes, my "ideas" list is getting longer and longer, which is a GOOD thing!
I just hope this story turns out even half as good as NR's first draft did. If I can write an "epic" like that one, surely I can do this too!
Have a great weekend everyone!