Thursday, October 30, 2008

Standards of Productivity

Finally, after another bout with the flu, and a number of other time sucking life issues, my wip (work in progress) has been line edited from beginning to end and all issues of continuity resolved.  Now it's all about getting those changes into the computer.

I want to hold myself to a higher standard of productivity.  I should be able to write five pages of new text every day.  That's easy, right?  Just sit your hiney down at the computer and write.  Wrong.  Life gets in the way.  As hard as I tried, I could not write one page when I felt like I needed to puke all the time.  Likewise when my kids are puking.  Just doesn't work.  Can't write while making a living, driving the car, having tea with friends or other life enhancing activities.

Hence the photo.  This is my lovely family playing flag football.  Notice the range of clothing - shorts and T-shirt at one end.  Full winter gear at the other! I'm glad I didn't miss this game.  We're at the tail end of fall and heading into winter here in Vermont.  Not many days like this one left.  You also can't write while taking photos.  But that's OK.  I write better under deadline anyway.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Time Management in the Mad House

I'll just start out by saying that time and I are not on a speaking basis.  It slips away from me. Disappears.  Is willfully disobedient.  More so if my kids are home.

So today, instead of re-reading a good portion of my novel I took two online seminars that both turned out to be useless.  I ferried my oldest daughter to play practice and then back again.  Picked up a good friend and took her to get her car - this is not wasted time, good deeds are exempt from the time waster rule.  I spent an hour at the playground with my youngest and her friend.  I placed an order for stuff I don't really need.

My book sits open to chapter 5.  Issues of continuity, disappearing characters and mysterious name changes unaddressed. 

The teachers are doing professional development.  Really I wish they wouldn't.  I'm already creative enough with my time.  I don't need my kids helping me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Snow Season

We are having our first snow of the season today.  On this date last year it was 77 degrees - or so the weatherman tells me.  I love the first snow but it seems early to me.  We haven't even had a killing frost yet, as you can see the grass is still green.  Maybe as I get older I'm not appreciating snow as much.
It's sort of like when I fell off a horse a couple of years past and knocked myself out.  After that I wasn't so keen to ride anymore.  I fell and whacked my head on the ice a few years ago and now I'm not so keen on the winter.
I am keen on napping, though.  And as I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open, I think I'll go take one.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Today's photos

Line Edits

There is no polite way to say this - line editing sucks. I hate the word sucks.  But in this case it's totally appropriate! I now have a list of words I'm never allowed to use again.  Why? I'm glad you asked.  I used Okay something like twice a page for the whole manuscript.  (OK, maybe not that much but you get the drift.  And look I just used it again!)  Then there's the word I.  Believe it or not there are other ways to begin sentences other than I did this, or I did that.  Huh!

When I judge contests one of my biggest complaints is wordiness.  Using too many words to convey an idea.  Now this is going to shock you, but guess what?  I'm wordy.  It's embarrassing

Friday, October 10, 2008

Burying the kitten

I buried a kitten today.   And as weird as it seems, I wished I were burying two.  The other kitten's body couldn't be found. how can you can get so attached to an animal in such a short time?  We'd had them for maybe four or five weeks.  it's one of those times when the external and the internal are so disparate that I feel cracked.

The past couple of days have been beyond gorgeous. Sunny, not too cool, with a breeze whirling the leaves from the trees.  The kind of beauty that fills you up inside.  It makes me marvel and nature's audacity.  And then Chili Pepper went missing.  We searched and couldn't find him, hoping maybe he'd turn up at the neighbors' or hanging out with Fat Cat who likes to roam.

Yesterday we came home from piano lessons to a dead kitten on the lawn.  Only it wasn't Chili, it was Callan's kitten Azule.  Callan was the only child I didn't see cry, although I'm sure she did cry in private.  The rest of us bawled.  The worst part is that it's pretty clear that one of our dogs killed her.  He's a big, dumb, baby of a dog.  Sheppard crossed with golden retriever.  I'm sure he was only playing.

I am just so angry with myself.  How could I  not realize Azule was at risk when Chili went missing?  I should have.  Our beagle kept chasing that chuckle head away from the kitten.  But it didn't occur to me that she knew what happened to Chili.  I should never have trusted that goofy dog.  I'm frustrated at my inability to see what might happen.

Today I dug a grave.  It was a fabulous day to be outside.  Even as I grieved I knew it was beautiful.  A fissure erupted inside me.  How can you enjoy life and feel such sadness at the same time?  It probably has something to do with being human.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Has it really been a week since I posted here? I guess I'm failing terribly at a daily blog! I drove across New Hampshire to the coast of Maine today. I'm here for a writer's conference. Came without my camera of course. I'm consoling myself by pretending the pictures would have never shown the actual beauty of the place. I know I'm repeating myself, but it may be another 10 years before we see a fall as spectacular as this one.

It's fun to hang out with other writers. I'm learning a lot about the business of publishing and crime writing in particular. Well off to bed, I want to be fresh in the morning.