Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Writing Time 2014, Part Deux....

Wow, has it really been over two weeks since I last updated the blog? Time's a-flying again...

So... Sister in law has started reading "Away to Me" and sent me her list of edits for the first two chapters and the synopsis so far. I have a lot to do with just her suggestions alone. Bestie got her copy about a week ago at the most but won't get into it until sometime next month. D and A are reading it now, or will be shortly, so that's all good.

I haven't worked on Ten much the last couple of weeks, other than a glance at it or jotting down an idea for it. I haven't been up to doing much writing wise this summer, between my health being the pits, the mosquito population and quitting smoking just over a week ago. I'm hoping now that the "just quit" fog is lifting that I can get back into it over the next month or so.

As for Ten, I may wind up having to rewrite it from the start... It's too wordy, which is part of what I'm trying to avoid. It is going in the right direction that I want to take my writing, somewhat, but not like "Away to Me" did, and it's starting to tick me off. I can do a lot better than this.

I know I can do so much better, and I know what has to be done to do it right, too. "Away to Me" isn't a failure, unlike my first two manuscripts. I don't want Ten going the wrong way after all.... Lesson learned!

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Lazy Days of Summer? Get Real!

This past week has been crazy. Our internet finally went back to normal on Monday, and I've been going nuts catching up and other things... Including working on Ten, and getting "Away to Me" cleaned up even more for the Alpha Readers. 

I had a little writing time earlier this week, only 2 hours worth, and I managed to get 800 words added to Ten, in between some edits on it. Chapter 6 was finished, and Chapter 7 was started. It's not progressing as fast as I would like it to, but I'm lucky it's progressing at all between everything happening in real life and my writing life... It's crazy right now, and it's supposed to be my summer break/recharge time!

"Away to Me" came out of another stasis cycle this past week, so I could highlight any possible problem areas for the Alphas, and do another round of editing on it. I removed a lot of the repetitive stuff, compressed a few of the wordier areas, and if there was a missing word, added it.

I also did a word count on it last night, and it was shortened by almost 2K. It now stands at just under 76K words, for the record.

My three Alpha Readers got it in PDF form last night at 8 p.m. my time (Atlantic Time zone), and one of my two Beta Readers got it this morning. The only one who hasn't gotten a copy of it yet is my best friend, and she'll get it the instant she says she's ready for it! The Alphas have until August 19th to read it and give me their list of necessary edits, etc, and the one Beta reader is allowed to take her time with it... She has until the same deadline my best friend has, whenever that will be. Bestie isn't ready for it by a long shot, so at least the other Beta has lots of time to go over the story with a fine toothed comb....

I'm pretty darn nervous right now. It's the first time anyone other than me has seen the story in its entirety. I know it's better than "No Regrets" was when I sent it out to publishers last year, but I still know there are mistakes in it.... I just hope between the six of us, we can get it perfected enough for publishers' eyes sometime!

I just hope they like it......

So, now that "Away to Me" has been sent out to the helpers, I have more time to worry about Ten, and getting that one going again. I hope to get moving with it more now that I have more time, and don't have the edits/rereads of "Away to Me" at the back of my mind.... With a little luck, that one will be zooming along come fall, and I'll be going nuts trying to finish that one while my best friend is absorbed in writing up the loooooooooooong list of edits that "Away to Me" will need before it's perfected enough for publishers.

I just hope I have more than three stories in me, and hope I can finish a fourth manuscript before next year this time....

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Writing Update and Hurricane Arthur 2014

Things haven’t been going as planned for writing.

Once again, our entire mosquito population seems to love zooming around our house after dark, and this means distractions for me. I haven’t had a chance to work on Ten much at all since summer vacation started a week ago, and I’m starting to get a little frustrated.

Hurricane Arthur hit my province over the weekend, and I’m really lucky to have power right now, let alone an internet connection. We were on the eastern side of the storm when it hit on July 5, 2014, and that meant a huge windstorm. We lost power around 6 a.m. Saturday morning, it came back on around 9:30, went out around 12:30, and Hubby decided it was best for Son and I to go to my mother in law’s house if she had power. Son was cranky, and demanding we do something to “fix” the power outage.

We wound up spending a good chunk of the evening with my mother in law. On the way to her house, we noted there were trees down everywhere – not just broken branches like our poor ash tree suffered. There was even a tree down across the entire road about a mile north of our house, on our road that day. Thankfully, we could easily travel the other way, or the “long way” to town, called because instead of being nine miles like it is on our regular route, it’s twelve miles.

Mom’s power was on but her phone, cable and internet were out. Son didn’t mind. We watched a LOT of Star Trek on DVD that evening.

Our power was on when we got home around 11 p.m. after Hubby was finished work that evening, but it went out again at 3 a.m. Sunday morning. This time, the phone was out too, so I couldn’t drop a report into NS Power’s automated outage line.

Mid morning on Sunday, we prepared to head to my mother in law’s house again... Just as we were heading out the door, the power came back on, much to Son’s delight. We still went to see Mom and my brother in law for a bit, and even got a few cuddles from their cats, Puffy and Mr. Black.

When we got home, the power was still on, the phones were working, but the internet was out. I use a turbo stick, which runs off cell phone airways, and back here, I normally get between three bars and a perfect signal. The stick was not getting any at all most of the time. I was able to get on to let people know we’re fine and everything is okay here, but that was it.

It’s still not working properly and although I’m able to get on, it crashes after a few minutes. I barely had enough time to catch up this morning in only a couple of spots before it died again. I’m getting two bars at most the majority of the time it’s working, and it can drop down to “Data Service Not Available” at any time.

I’m glad that’s the only thing that isn’t working right at the moment... It could be worse. There are still people in the province without power or phone service right now, and not having internet all of the time is a small inconvenience compared to that. It’s been humid too, and I can’t imagine being in this heat without a fan going. I know NS Power is undermanned but you’d think other provinces would pitch in and help... Then again, it seems Ottawa doesn’t care about anything or anyone east of Quebec’s easternmost border...

While I’m unable to be online, I’m working on getting the final edits for “Away to Me” out of the way before it is sent off to the Alpha Reading Team, or “ART” for short. If I can’t send it to them from here, I may wind up having to take a memory stick with everything on it to either a public spot or a family member’s house to send it. Hopefully the internet lasts that long, or is back to somewhat normal by the 20th, my deadline to have it to all three of them!

To all affected by Hurricane/Post Tropical Storm Arthur: I hope y’all are safe, and that things go back to normal ASAP! I haven’t heard of any deaths, but I know the damage has been astronomical, comparable to Hurricane Juan in September of 2003. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Have a great week everyone. I’ll drop a quick update when I can, and if I get anything done in Ten in the meantime!