Monday, August 27, 2012

Writing the Next Novel (Getting Your Groove Back)

Since the query process is taking its old sweet time, I've finally made myself work on something else. But it's been like torture trying to get even 300 words out of myself in an hour. Most of my ideas are for later on in the story ... it's the beginning I'm not sure about, and that's where I am. I'm still getting a handle on the characters, working on their introductions, laying the groundwork for what I know is coming. It's exhausting. With the last book, I flew through the first ten chapters in a week (of course, the first three didn't survive revisions at all), but that's far from happening this time around.

I know it's not a race, but it's frustrating when something that came so easily before is now a source of intimidation. I'm going to blame it on my inability to completely refocus on something other than querying. It's easy to say "dive into another project" but really, you can't ever forget that you're waiting to hear back from actual agents. It steals your joy consciousness. I mean, it's exciting for any of us to be at this point--we finished an entire book! That's huge, right?! But now we have to work on another one. And my original goal of a chapter a day is not quite happening yet. But I'll get there!

How do you transition from one completed book into another with new characters? How long does it take you to get your groove back?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What stresses out one person...

Might relax another....

So, I hooked up the old Super Nintendo system last night, and challenged Handy to a battle of Tetris/Dr. Mario. He talked a big game up front, but I'm the one that grew up with the game, so I was confident in my abilities. I was sailing through like I'd never stopped playing since I was eleven years old and he couldn't get past the first round--kept yelling at the TV, gripping the controller really hard while punching the little purple buttons. He finally said, "This is stressing me out, I'm done."

But for me, it was like jumping back into an unfinished conversation with an old friend I haven't seen in years. It was relaxing. Took my mind off of everything else that's been stressing me out. My source of escape from my stress actually caused Handy to be stressed.

He loved telling me that he wasn't good at the game because "While you were inside playing video games when you were twelve, I was outside building forts." And I said, "Oh yeah? Well I came inside to play video games AFTER building my fort outside, so...."

Yes, I laughed at him. Then I played Donkey Kong.

So what gets your mind off your stress? Walking the dog? Reading a book? Playing video games?

Monday, August 20, 2012

3-2-1-Contacts! Or Glasses?

This post will be a quick little poll about corrective eyewear. It's only been in the last handful of years that I've needed glasses. At first it was just for driving to make things in the distance sharper, but it seemed that the more I wore them, the worse my eyes got and FAST, so I started having to wear these glasses all the time or I'd feel cross-eyed without them. Lately I've been pretty active (tennis and kickboxing) and wearing glasses all the time just isn't practical. I'm considering contacts.

And I'm terrified.

Growing up with a BFF whose father is an optometrist, I only heard all the horror stories about eyes (because those are the exciting ones people remember), and several of these stories involved contacts. But they sound so convenient, I think I might be ready to suck it up and learn to shove something in my eye. People do it everyday, right?

Do you need help with your vision? Are you strictly in the glasses camp or do you use contacts too?  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Breaking Bad (Habits)

Bad habits happen. I still hold my pen weird when I write, despite the efforts by teachers and my parents to set me straight. My hand doesn't like it the "right" way, so now after years of abuse I have a lovely impression on my right ring finger that's even misshapen my nail. And my handwriting is still just as hard to read as when I was in second grade. o_O

There are also bad habits in another form of writing: TYPING. Remember learning to type back in school? Well ... I retained that information incorrectly. I'm fast, but I know I'm not hitting the right keys with the right fingers. And my biggest problem with typing?? CAPS LOCK. For YEARS (and by years I mean from jr. high up until just LAST YEAR, people) I used the caps lock for ALL of my capital letter needs. That's right. Even for just the first letter at the beginning of a sentence or a name, I would hit caps lock, hit the letter, and hit caps lock again. Extremely inefficient and the source of much laughter when I typed in front of anyone. It took me a good six months or so to break the habit, but after much determination, I DID IT. I broke that sucker. Me and the shift key are tight now. We're like THIS *crosses fingers*.

Another habit I had to work really hard to break is the amount of space after a period. I thought two were standard, but not these days it seems. Only one space after the end of a sentence. ONLY ONE! Too bad half my book was written before I knew about THAT rule (and all of my older writings which I discovered recently when I pulled one back out to work on it). What a nightmare getting rid of all those extra spaces was, and training myself to hit space once instead of twice. But I broke that sucka bee too.

These broken habits may not seem like big deals to some of you, but I shall celebrate these victories. They were hard work! Have you broken any writing habits?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Just when I needed new music, I found....

MERRIMENT! I've been an Eisley fan for years, but recently discovered the two younger siblings (the ones that were too young to be in Eisley when they started) started a band together called Merriment and they've released an EP. If you're looking for sweet, soothing melodies, check them out.

And just because... here's an acoustic version of an Eisley song in a very echoey room! I've always loved their harmonies. Sigh.

Any other Eisley or Merriment fans out there? 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

When Critique Partners Finally Meet!

This post is a little late coming, but things in the querying world have been keeping me busy and insane, so that's my excuse. In June, I got to meet all of my critique partners/my best blogging buddies!

First, Amy from The Green Bathtub and her littlest came to Houston (for a rather sad reason, initially) and she stayed a night with me and hubs. The next day we went shopping where we felt underdressed at Tiffany's and chowed down on some froyo!

Then the next week, KM from One Page at a Time and Kristi Chestnutt came into town, and together we drove all over half of Texas (Houston, obviously, San Marcos, Canyon Lake, Boerne, San Antonio) and we went to the Writers' League of Texas Agent Conference in Austin where we pitched to agents for the first time!

KM, Kristi, me

We got a chance to meet up with Kim Franklin too, and we all went shopping at the largest outlet mall in Texas! It was a fabulous time to hang with the girls in person, and I can't wait until we're all together again! Maybe a book launch party for one of us?! A girl can dream! :)