feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Feb. 9th, 2010 12:36 pm)


I had hoped to have finished the Cthulu short I've been working on but I didn't like the direction it was going in - it was too meandery and waffly so I'm rewriting, aiming for 3K. So far (she says cautiously) it's going okay.



Once that's done, it's revision time for the three first-draft shorts I have waiting. First lines meme to follow in a bit.
It clocks in at 176 pages/ 53,951 words and it is done. Now all I have to do is write parts 2 and 3 (and do them in less words than part 1 which went massively over aimed for / predicted word count.) So, I have joy joy feelings today!
Part 2 will start tomorrow and we'll see how much I deviate from the outline for that section. (Quite a lot I would imagine, if part 1 was anything to go by.)

Also, the sun is shining. Not in an aggressive, summery fashion but in a take-the-chill-off-the-autumn-day kind of way. Good dog walking weather (or cat, if your feline is so inclined.) Unfortunately, I am at work - a tea break does not an afternoon off make, alas. But still, we soldier on, fueled by mini cheddars and a kit-kat. I think everyone must have been released from lectures at the same time as there were queues for everything except the vending machines. Good job I'm only having soup for tea.
Autumn sort of sauntered in during the last week of September; now we're in to October it's decided that, yes, it's really here to stay so it had better get on with knocking all the leaves of the trees, and raining to complement the chill air. Hats were worn for dog walking last night.
At the weekend we took the dogs out for a long walk and the beaters were abroad sending pheasants into the line of sight of men with guns. The collies weren't bothered by the gun fire, which was good, and Bear only barked when he heard the spaniels barking on the other side of the hedge so that was good. We did nearly get hit by low flying (fleeing) pheasant (or they could have been partridges - not sure about that) but they managed to clear our heads and make a break for the woods.

As it is autumn, and we had inspiration from the huntin' and shootin' set, we had pheasant for dinner last night and it was fantastic. Chum #1 made it. Saute leeks in a bit of butter and line an oven dish with them; rest your breast of pheasant on top; sprinkle on pine nuts (it's supposed to be chestnuts but we couldn't get any fresh and the tinned were £2 which was a bit much); add a knob of butter and wack it in the oven. For the gravy, you drain off the juices from the bird and add some chicken stock and port, thicken with cornflour and you have the most gorgeous tasting sauce ever. Of course, we'll need to test the recipe again--just to make sure it works a second time, you understand!

Autumn. The season of soups (roasted pumpkin & butternut squash), stews (cawl), and pies (beef and stilton crumble). Nom nom nom.

Tonight we will be having the glory that is the baked potato, covered with some of the Italian bean stew we made in bulk the other week  and froze. Tastiness will be mine!

In other news: I've figured out how Tilly makes a vampire's shielding spell permanent and have written the sequence out longhand so that will need to be added to the draft. That should be done today and then I can do the changeover of notes so that I carry the outline for Part 2 around with me. 52k and rising.
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Oct. 2nd, 2009 03:53 pm)


I've breached the 50k barrier (woo!) and have one chapter to go before reaching the end of part one. I'm so pleased, I can't wait to get onto part two. I've slowed down a fair bit in the last few weeks as we've approached the new term. Hopefully, I can pick things up again during my lunch breaks and crack on a bit more.

Click to view daily statistics

Progress. I have it. Bwahahahahaah!

The start of term rush has begun and we've all been inundated with tours and resources sessions. It's been rewarding to see people get what you're trying to teach them, but it's knackering on the legs and feet and all I want to do when I get home is lie down in a hot bath with a nice cold drink in my hand. Unfortunately, by the time I get home I've got time for a bath and a cup of tea, a bit of dog walking, and then it's in bed to rinse / repeat the next day. Due to an increase in traffic, I now have to leave the house at 07:00hrs which is awful but at least I get to work c. 07:50 so I've got time to get settled before I have to start work.

(I am looking forward to Saturday; I have an appointment with a pillow and a duvet and only the postman and the imminent threat of post being savaged by the hounds will change that.)
Another reason I'm looking forward to Saturday, other than the lie-in, is Dorian Grey. I'm going to see that when Chum #1 gets home from work, and we can see how much it differs from the book.

I am currently re-reading Green Rider by Kristen Britain. I've just received my copy of The High  King's Tomb but it's been so long between books that I thought I ought to re-acquaint myself with the first two. (With some books, they come out so far apart that I'm just not bothered in the end.)

So, coffee; a few more tours; then home for spicy bean stew and dog walking.

I did get some words done yesterday, as well:

Project: Unnamed UF
New Words: 810
Present Total Word Count: 46,831
Goal: 80,000
My plan is to do more at the weekend and hopefully, once everyone's settled in, I'll be able to get more done at lunchtime/ in the evenings in a couple of weeks as I'll be less tired.
Tags:

The last four days have been nice and relaxing and full of sloth. There, I said it - I was bone idle. My brain was fried so I've spent most of the past four days re-watching Supernatural and reading a couple of Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins novels (crime with a paranormal/ Deliverance (as in exorcism) twist.) Good stuff, and nothing like the books I'd been reading prior to that, or anything like the book I'm writing so it was a bit of a headspace holiday.
I'm now on Day Five of the holiday and I thought I'd better get some writing done, just to get back into it before I head back to work; but the drain man's just arrived so I'll blog first and write when he's done. (Victorian drains - you've just got to love them. Sigh.) The dogs are bemused, the tap's running in the bath, and a no-doubt fragrant odour is wafting in the hot sun in as welcome a fashion as a bloated rat at a barbeque. Hopefully, most of my neighbours are still at work.

In other news...I've re-visited a flash piece that didn't work too well and I think I've figured out how to make it better (and, by virtue of it being me, longer.) I've sketched out the first page or so and will work on that as a 'down-time' piece to give me a break from the unnamed one - I shall have to think of a working title for the unnamed one at some point; at 40+K it ought to be called something other than Unnamed UF, eh?

In other, other news...it's boiling. Autumn arrived with crisp air and hazy light, the sound of rooks in the trees; and now, the sun's out, the air is muggy and yellow (thunder on the way perhaps?) and the collies are restless - only one walk so far today, so they're feeling fractious. More exercise for me later then. :->

Back to the day job tomorrow which is good, although it does mean that I'll have to leave the house early as the kids are back at school from today so the roads will be clogged with the school run if you hit it wrong. So I need to be on the road for 07:15 at the latest. ::phbbbbt:: And in a couple of weeks the universities crank up to speed to welcome all the new and returning students and we'll all hit the ground running and won't really stop until mid-October when we'll all collapse into jelly-like heaps and gibber quietly in our offices. But it's all good fun, so bring on the circus!

Right. Enough chit-chattery. Time for some work.

I'll leave you with an update of where I got to last:

Project: Unnamed UF
New Words: 2,392 (over 2 sessions)
Present Total Word Count: 40,235
Goal: 80,000 (although, the first draft is likely to be waaaay longer as I'm pretty sure that I started it in completely the wrong place. Nice to know that there are some constants in life.)



Project: Unnamed UF
New Words: 4,686 (over 2 sessions)
Present Total Word Count: 37,843
Goal: 80,000

Tilly's undergone testing on her shields and has signed a contract for more training on how to control her power - a new plot element cropped up in writing this, so Tilly's contract specifies that if she can't control her power within a set timeframe then she'll be deemed dangerous and will be dealt with by the Magister who holds her contract.

It's still messy, but I can see which things can be tightened and smoothed in revisions so it's not all bad. I'm likely to finish considerably over the word count I'm aiming for but, again, we'll see how things pan out once the revision process has been done.

All in all I'm quite pleased at the progress I've made and have to point the finger at word wars for the assistance.


Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,495
Present Total Word Count: 25,603
Goal: 80,000

The rogue scenes have been done and we're back onto the scheduled scenes, so the pace (of writing) has picked up a bit.

The PC chum #1 and I bought in February has finally been paid for; after pay day I have to transfer my portion of the holiday money and then I can start saving again. (Yay! Savings! What are those again?) I think people will be subjected to a lot of handmade presents between now and January. Knitting/ cross-stitch/ quilting extravaganza here I come! I think I may have to timetable my weekends. ::sigh::
Anyway, I'm off to the soggy north this afternoon to Newcastle to visit the pater. I'm still undecided as to whether I should risk the A1 (loooooong delays at Gateshead becuase of roadworks) or head up the A19, upon which I have never travelled. The magical mystery tour. Hmmm. Choices.
Ah, the glamour. Can you see it shine?

I've started to slow down in the word wars; I'm writing a couple of scenes that I hadn't planned for in the original outline so I'm picking my way through the dialogue rather than blasting ahead. I knew, going in, that there wouldn't be a clean first draft when I was done, so I'm not overly disappointed, but there will be a significant revision process in my future! Not least because I'd planned the first section (of around 10 scenes) to be between 80 and 100 pages; I am on scene seven (one of the new ones) and I'm 84 pages in, so I'm aware that during the revision process there will be the taking out of 'stuff' as well as the putting in. C'est la vie. But, slow though the progress may be, it is still progress and therefore correctable.

I'm glad that I outlined as I'm notoriously messy without one, and I do allow for deviation/ additions to the plan, but those extra scenes were a surprise I should--perhaps--have anticipated. Not that it would have been a surprise then. Anyway. On to the metrics!

Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,495
Present Total Word Count: 25,603
Goal: 80,000

Reason for stopping: Had to get back to day jobbery

Things accomplished in fiction: The second new scene added - again, very slowly.

Things accomplished in real life: Day jobbery - More work on presentations. More e-mail. Publications. Fiddling with e-book lists and web pages.
Non-day-jobbery - More Supernatural. Dogs out for a walk. Watched chum #1 argue with water company that directly outside our house is a Section 24 sewer--which means it's public-- and therefore their responsibility to sort out. (Never give in! Never surrender!) Read some of the new issue of Black Static.

Currently reading: C.L.Wilson's King of Sword & Sky

Bookmark is stuck in: Testament of Youth - Vera Brittain (I'm working on it, but it's slow going)

Staring at me from the sofa: NF book on Georgette Heyer's Regency world

Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 2,542 (this is not all from the same day, but I'm not doing separate posts for it)
Present Total Word Count: 24,108 (up to chapter six)
Goal: 80,000

Reason for stopping: Had to get back to day jobbery

Things accomplished in fiction:
The very slow writing of a scene I hadn't planned at all. Not quite at the gouging each word out with a blunt spoon, but it was getting there.

Things accomplished in real life: Day jobbery - More work on presentations. More e-mail. Meetings with colleagues. Non-day-jobbery - Watched more of season four of Supernatural (I'm catching up). Unpacked a delivery from Tesco (yay! we have cous cous! and soup!)

Currently reading:
C.L.Wilson's Tairen Soul series (book four is out later this year)

Bookmark is stuck in:
Testament of Youth - Vera Brittain (I'm working on it, but it's slow going)

24108 / 80000
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Aug. 14th, 2009 09:26 am)
Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,416
Present Total Word Count: 21,566
Goal: 80,000


Things accomplished in fiction: Caleb's finally giving Tilly the information she wanted and I'm trying to avoid info-dumpage at this point.

Things accomplished in real life: Finished a powerpoint presentation for work; started planning a tour & presentation; dealt with e-mails &c.
Took Bear on a training walk, as he's still willful, which knackered us both; tested some more home made Welsh cakes (Chum #1 did a good job, but I'll have to test a few more to make *absolutely* certain.) :oP
Cleared part of the patio so that the sewerage chappy can get to the drain today. Oh, yes. Hot, muggy weather and the Victorian drains are playing up. Lovely.

Anyway. Progress.

21566 / 80000

feed_your_muse: Red, Welsh Border Collie (Bran)
( Aug. 13th, 2009 09:06 am)

I've finally cracked the first 25% (although I can already spot the broken bits that will need extra attention ::sigh::) but progress is good, and anything that's on the page should be fixable, technically. Or at the very least illustrate what not to do next time around.

Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,786
Present Total Word Count: 20,150
Goal: 80,000

20150 / 80000


Things accomplished in fiction:
Got Tilly home safe and sound, although not as freaked as she should be, and stopped at the point where Caleb's explaining what's going on and why the foliage went crazy.

Things accomplished in real life:
Almost finished a powerpoint presentation for work, answered some phone enquiries, dealt with work e-mail. Took the dogs out for ball-on-a-rope chucking (although collie #1 isn't allowed off the lead until Friday), went to bed having not seen the Perseid meteor shower. Hopefully next year I'll either not be as tired, or it will be at the weekend.
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Aug. 11th, 2009 04:25 pm)

All is joy! Collie #1 had her stitches out yesterday (2 cysts removed and a spaying) and the vetinry is pleased with the way everything's healing. Histology on the cysts came back clear as well - they were just fatty lumps so she's had the all clear. Much relief in our household, although she's still sulking because even though the cone of misery has now been removed, she still has to wear the sock of humiliation (to stop her from scratching the patch of skin where the vet shaved all the fur off) and she has to go for walks on the lead until Friday-ish. So she's not as Eeyore-ish as before, but she hasn't achieved full collie perkiness yet either.

In other news, the un-named one is galloping apace. I admit ::hangs head:: that I did no writing at the weekend. The sun came out y'see, and there was this giant brolly in the garden that completely covered the sun lounger so that I could be in the sun and not in the sun, and well, there went the weekend really. (Although I did labour over spaghetti bolognese at one point.) I also read the Accidental Sorcerer by K.E. Mills (aka Karen Miller) and enjoyed that to the point that I didn't want to do anything else until I'd finished it. So I didn't. Basically it was a weekend of sloth. It was good sloth. Even the cat thought so - she sat on the other chair. However, even though I did bog all at the weekend, I did lots yesterday and some today...

Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 3,869
Present Total Word Count: 18,364
Goal: 80,000

18364 / 80000
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Aug. 7th, 2009 04:17 pm)
Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,239
Present Total Word Count: 14,495
Goal: 80,000

I managed to get the boys' ritual planned out yesterday - I'd left that as a gap in the MS while I thought about it, but now I'm reasonably happy with what I have. (As a first draft, anyway.) I'm aiming to crack 20k by the end of the weekend and as I have the house to myself until about 16:30hrs tomorrow, I should be able to manage that. (Interspersed with dog walking and familial visitations and the like.)

In other news, we have been quite frugal and healthy of late. Wednesday we had tuna pasta bake for tea, and there was enough left to take to work on Thursday. Thursday I made prawn risotto, and again there was enough to bring in to work today (add some pickled chilis to it for a little kick - lovely!) And tonight it is sausage and bean chowder. All cheap, cheerful, and healthy (apart from the cheese on the tuna pasta bake - but there wasn't a lot of that, I swear.) :-P


14495 / 80000

feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Aug. 4th, 2009 02:13 pm)
Word wars rock! I feel very accomplished today.

Project: Unnamed UF
New words: 1,143
Present Total Word Count: 13,256
Goal: 80,000

Brice: got the ritual he wanted and his friend 'officially' on his side
Caleb: gave up some blood and had a moment
Tilly: Her boredom is about to come to an abrupt end
Things that got beat up today: Nothing yet, but it's coming.

Random sampling of text:
“You know,” Brice said slowly, “in the old days the allegiance ceremony was done in a more traditional way.”
Caleb smirked. “In the dark, you mean?”
“Very funny.” Brice mock frowned, curling his lip to expose his teeth. “Actually, I was referring to the fact that the blood exchange wasn’t done with a chalice.” He looked at Caleb, unable to hide his hopeful expression. “It was a direct exchange. Some people still believe that any alliances forged in that way are stronger.”

13256 / 80000
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Aug. 3rd, 2009 01:25 pm)


Had another word war yesterday evening and managed to jiggle out another 2K or so and I'm into chapter four so we're ticking along nicely.

Project: Unnamed UF (I have no idea what this is going to be called - Tilly's Tribulations?)
New words: 2,706
Present Total Word Count: 12,113
Goal: 80,000


12113 / 80000


Progress was made yesterday! Minimal amount of extra wordage on DOEDoGGT, but this has brought the first draft to a (very) rough and ready close. I shall sit on that for a bit while I do revisions on Wish Child and then attack it.


Does Old Earth Dream of Green, Green Things?
6176 / 6000


So yes, pleased with that.


Busy day today as I'm covering a desk for a colleague, and then interviewing all afternoon but it will bring me another day closer to my six day bank holiday weekend (what? why have one extra day when you can have three?) And it will be good to have that time off (and the house to myself (and the border collies and the cat)) as Amazon UK delivered! Waiting for my undivided attention are:

Transgressions by Erastes

False Colors by Alex Beecroft

The Turning Tide by Diana Pharoah Francis

The Trouble with Demons by Lisa Shearin


And on top of that, the latest issue of Interzone (222) has arrived so there are joy, joy feelings all 'round, basically.


No writing over the weekend, although Friday's wordcount was good, so I'm pleased with that as I got another 2,207 words on the short which brings it up to:

Does Old Earth Dream of Green, Green Things?
5948 / 6000

It's also rather obvious that I'm going to have to revise the first draft wordcount up (again) so I think I'll take it up to 10K and if it's done before then that's fine.


Saturday I read The Black Ship by Diana Pharoah Francis - really enjoyed it; Thorn is a great character and I liked the fact that he hung onto his integrity no matter what people did to him. I also liked the fact that the Captain and Thorn's crimpers didn't turn on him once they found out how Pilot's are made. I'm looking forward to reading the Turning Tide (Amazon UK I am looking at you. And tapping my fingers.)
It was my turn to cook, so I did cold weather food (it had been wazzing with rain on and off all day): sausage (cumberland), mash, peas, and gravy. Lovely! I then had a retro moment and watched the first two Star Trek films - it'd been years since I'd seen them and it was interesting to watch them when I'd just seen the new Star Trek film last weekend.

Sunday I was up early to go swimming with Chum #1, her brother, his wife, and their four children. Mayhem ensued, naturally and lots of pool water was swallowed by over-excited children. We all repaired home for a cup of tea and then cleaning was done, which involved the donation of a lot of my books that I'd shoved in boxes and forgotten about being given to our local RSPCA shop to sell. (It also meant that I found some books I'd forgotten about that I wanted to hang on to, so they've now made their way upstairs to 'rest' on the landing for a bit while I decide where to put them.

So, properly exhausted, I went to bed like a good librarian and now the week has started again. BUT! The second bank holiday of the month is approaching and I will be off for SIX days! Yay!

How did your weekend go?
.

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