Making it Count

Write the Damn Novel Already

last chance for resume work...
I've only got 2 weeks left of availability to do resumes at the special rate I talked about here:

That's because I'm going to be gone for a week between now and October 1st.
So if you're interested, it'd be best to jump on the wagon soon, because I've only got so many I can do, and the spots are dwindling fast. Send me a PM, or email me at if you're interested, or if you want more info.

resumes, reprise
I neglected to say yesterday that I'm making my Resume writing deal available if you have friends or acquaintances who need resume. Face it -- Resume writing sucks, so why go it alone?

starting a resume-writing business

If you're looking for a job, or looking to change jobs, I may have a deal for you... 

You may (or may not) know that I've got a freelance commercial/marketing writing business.  I'm starting to branch out with it and do resume writing -- something I'm very good at (and hey, if it helps someone else, that's a very nice plus).

Read more...Collapse )

writing frustrations
My 1939 Remington Rand KMC
very distracted lately because of heavy amounts of "homework" from the day job.  Been working 11-12 hour days this week, plus working last weekend and planning to do so again this weekend.  Doesn't happen too often at my job, but when it does, it does with a vengence.

Also pretty frustrated -- I'll talk about novel writing frustrations another time, but what's forefront in my mind is dealing with a short story.

I've got a fantasy short story that's making the rounds.  Came back from Asimov's earlier this week, went out to Clarkesworld, came back, and just went out yesterday to Lightspeed.  And then back again...

Now I know that editors are only going to buy something that strikes them at that particular time and I'm cool with that.  However, I also know that short stories are not my strong point, and so when I keep getting comments like "this just didn't quite work for me," I'm beginning to wonder if there's something wrong with the story.

I promised myself that I'd keep it out until it sold or I retired it, but I'm wondering now if I should pull it and then figure out what's wrong with it.  I'd try OWW, but I don't write shorts often enough for that to seem worthwhile.

Ah well...

wherein Br'er Rabbit explores more of the briar patch that is his brain

Didn't do any writing last night.  I'd planned to go to the book launch/reading for J.A. Pitts, but some things came up that I had to handle, so I couldn't go.  The things that came up worked out better than I'd expected, so I had time, but I decided to take the evening off anyway.

Not the best idea, I've realized.  Was antsy and at odds all evening.  So what I think I need to do is that even if I'm planning to take the evening off, I need to at least write a page (about 333 words) if at all possible.  Sometimes it isn't, but we'll see.  That way I feel as if I've accomplished something evening I'm not planning on accomplishing much.

Tonight is probably much the same -- I've got to load up the van so Teresa can head off to an event north of Kamloops.  She's staying in a cabin instead of a tent, so it'll be easier, but the packing is still likely to take much of the evening.  But if I can, I'll try and get at least a page written.

Wordcount is the new black
My 1939 Remington Rand KMC

As I said before, I accidentally started the Write-a-thon a day early, so Monday and Tuesday were days 2 and 3 for me.

Monday I only got 2 pages done (about 667 words), but because of the surplus the day before, I was still averaging 1000/day. 

Last night took me longer than I'd planned, mostly because I was interrupted a number of times to help my son get his computer game working (it does, finally!).  But I still got three pages done, even if the elapsed time ended up almost 3 hours.  But that makes it 3000 down, and the first two scenes finished.  (Well, for certain values of "finished" since this is obviously only the first draft.)

I've also realized another benefit to writing longhand.  Composing on the keyboard feels too much like work, since that's what I do all day.  A couple of times, I found myself thinking of excuses not to go to my desk and start writing, and each time I caught myself, and realized that I wasn't going to have to sit and stare at a screen, and that made it far more enjoyable.  Maybe that it feels like it's just for me as well.  Dunno, but it seems to be working.

Don't know if I'm going to get anything done tonight -- a number of things going on that I'll have to do, even if I can't make it to the reading/book launch tonight.

a wordcount, finally!
My 1939 Remington Rand KMC

I'm clearly not very good at keeping up a blog, at least not on a daily basis.  Not that it matters, really. It's still important for me to do even if no one reads it.

Anyway, the Clarion West Write-a-thon started this week.  I hadn't planned to start writing quite yet -- I was busy moving forward with the plotting.  Reading Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey, to incorporate some of Campbell's "Hero's Journey" ideas into things.  It's been making me think a lot about the plot, which is a good thing.

Anyway, the Write-a-thon.  I ended up signing up -- I figure something like this that was an outside impetus would be a good thing.  My goal across the 6 weeks is 30,000 words, an average of 5,000 words a week.  I'm aiming for writing 5 out of 7 days, at about 1000 words a day.  A doable pace, and I can change it to 750/day if I do it every day (if that works better).

I ended up confusing the start time -- thought it was Sunday rather than yesterday.  But I'm going to stick with my assumption anyway -- I tend to think of Sunday as the beginning of a week in any case.

And it was Father's Day, which meant that I could do anything I wanted for as long as I wanted.  And I spent a good chunk of it at my desk.  I'm trying something new.  Or old, really.  I'm working on this in longhand.  I've been composing on the keyboard for a long time now, and there's a couple of things I've noticed.  I'm a little more divorced from my writing when I do that.  And don't write as tightly.  I don't know if it's because I'm farther away from my writing, or if it's habits formed from composing on the keyboard for work, but I also tend to think only in terms of the high points of the story, rather than the flow. 

Up through the end of college, I did all my writing longhand, in pencil.  It makes me feel closer to what I'm writing, makes the act almost sensous.  (Ask me about my thing for sharp pencils sometime).  I'm writing in a notebook, with the pages narrow ruled and marked off like a summary sheet (1/3 of the page reserved on the left).  Well, it seemed to work well enough.  I wrote four pages, which comes out to approximately 1333 words.  So for the write-a-thon day one, I've at 1333/30,000 words, or 4/90 pages.

I'm not looking forward to typing it in -- I'm going to try and do a bit each day.  But I'm moving forward!

productive is the new black
My 1939 Remington Rand KMC

Had a very productive day yesterday -- I'm going through the main plot beats I need to deal with and they're actually coming relatively easily.  Clearly I've thought about it enough.  Still have some things to work out, but I'm close to the point where I can actually put words on paper without the absolute expectation that they won't be useful.

Looks like I'll probably be able to squeeze out Westercon.  And I'll probably be down in Portland tomorrow for Jay's party after all.  And I'll try not to feel too much like a poser.

trying to make Westercon work
Things are a bit tight at the moment for us -- it's been kind of an expensive spring and we're trying to save what we still need for a family trip to Disneyland in the Fall.  So getting to Westercon is being a little problematic.  And I really want to go.  I was thinking this morning that I wouldn't be able to go, but I've been budgeting it out, seeing where I could cut it, etc. and trying to make it work.  Still trying...


Haven't posted anything lately -- the writing life has not been going very smoothly for me of late.  I'm working on pulling my head out of my ass, and today. I think I've finally got things heading in a positive direction and likely to stay that way. 

I was planning to go to the Waywords writing get-together on Tuesday but I chickened out.  Part of it was my introvert nature -- I'm very uncomfortable meeting new people.  If that was it, it should have been the perfect time to go, since many of the regulars were undoubtedly at the reading/signing at the UW.  But the other part of it is that I feel like a poser, and that made me really uncomfortable.

I've never finished a novel.  Come close several times with different projects, and then something got in the way, either getting distracted by another idea, or (most often), my inner editor took hold, told me it was complete crap and I junked them.  (Not literally, but they definitely went into the trunk).  So now I've got some real nervousness about whether or not I can actually finish one.

That's what I started this blog for -- to try and finish a damn novel.  I've been working on plotting and planning, which I think I really need to succeed.  But since I've tried to some degree or another to do that before and fallen flat on my face, I'm afraid this will end the same way.  Hence, feeling like a poser.  I really want to get involved in the local writing community, but feeling like a poser is not a great intro.  (That's one of the reasons I'm not going down to Jay Lake's birthday party this weekend -- the people there know I've been on the periphery for awhile, and so I'm even more of a poser).

So I'm going to work on the plotting through next Tuesday.  I'll still keep at it after that -- I'll need to.  But I'm going to start writing on Tuesday.  Period.  That way, I won't feel so like a poser for the Waywords get together on the 19th.


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