Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ah, to Blog

As I reported a week or more ago, I recently sold the two books I'd been working on. Of course, these are just proposals, three chapters and about sixty pages each, so the real work begins after the sale.

SInce I was sick at the time of the sale, I didn't get to work on book one until very recently, and still not feeling 100%, I've been struggling to get reinvested in the story. Last night about midnight, I realized it was my turn to blog today and so I lay there trying to think of an entertaining topic.

Went to sleep. Woke at 2:30 a.m., decided to forgo entertaining and settle on pithy. Woke up again at 5:30, ditched pithy, leaned toward craft-orientated. At 6:30 I got up and sat at the computer for half an hour without typing a word for the blog. Read yesterday's comments to Wavy's blog and spent quite a bit of time pondering what Eli meant when she said something about not letting me know she used to struggle with POV (why?). Couldn't figure that one out, so moved on to what double tags mean when referring to dialogue. I think I know, but would appreciate an example, btw.

At 7:30 or so, I decided to eat breakfast and the only thing on TV was an old Brady Bunch. Surely, I thought as I nibbled on toast, there will be a topic revealed within this clever episode of 60's TV. What I learned was stereotypes of what constituted women's work and men's work were alive and well at that time. But no topic came to me.

At 8:30, I decided to work on my book as I do every day without actually making progress because of reasons stated up there in the first paragraph of this thing, and realized I am still not engaged in the story and then the blogging dilemma became clear. For whatever convoluted reason, be it sickness or distraction or the rain or the cat drooling on my foot when she purrs, I just am not thinking like a writer right now.

This is not a block, but it is a little alarming as the deadlines are tight. I got some good advice not to try to make up the sixty pages I am down by in one day (like that would happen!) but sooner or later, I am going to have to get back into this book. So today I'll read what I have yet again, and then throw something unexpected into the works to shake up my characters who seem to be as caught in inertia as I am.

Thus this blog about not blogging. By the way, I have an ongoing discussion thing going on over at If you want to check it out, go to the site and sign in, then choose Simply Series from the list on the right side of the screen, go to Intrigues and eventually to something about being "Queen for a day" in the discussions. If you think of a way to shake that up a little, bless you.

Next blog, I promise, I'll come up with something entertaining, pithy, instructional and ... well, maybe I'd better quit while I'm ahead.


Elisabeth Naughton said...

ROFL, Alice. I like your blog about not blogging.

POV thing...okay, here it is. At some point at one of our meetings you made a comment about not understanding how someone couldn't figure out POV. You're in one point of view, period. Easy. Uh...not so easy for me. That comment stuck with me because it took me a long time to figure out that staying in one person's pov meant showing the other person's reaction but not wedging the reader into their brain at the same time to know what they're thinking. (Scene, sequence, that whole thing too.) I've got it now. Didn't for a long time though. Personally I think it came from reading authors like Nora and Judith McNaught and Elizabeth Lowell and authors who got their starts in the 80's when POV swapping was done more often.

As for double tags...for me it was just redundancy. I used to be (okay, still am sorta) long-winded. So as an example:

Her hair flipped over her shoulder as she turned to glare at him. "That's not the point," she said harshly.

Becky would say I made two grave errors here: 1) I used an -ly word that doesn't need to be there (ROFL), but 2) the double tag (using "she said") is redundant because if she flips her head and turns his way we know she's the one speaking already. So...double tag and extra words that can just be cut out. I used to do this a lot. Not so much anymore because I'm more conscious of staying within word count.

Alice Sharpe said...

Eli -- I said that about POV? What a bitch, huh? I have got to stop talking out loud where people can hear me.

Ah, the double tags. I love me a double tag on occasion. But you know me, I love a ly word once and awhile, too.

Thanks for the explanations.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Ack, Alice! It probably wasn't you. It was probably your evil twin.

Karen Duvall said...

Very entertaining blog, Alice! Thanks for sharing your morning routine. Brady Bunch, huh? If I'm lonely early in the morning, I switch on VH1. Love music videos.

And your cat drooling on your feet? Priceless! Gotta love a drooling cat. I have a lap cat that seriously competes with my laptop. I mean, he bites me when I shove him over so that I can type. Right now he's curled up in an uncomfortable looking ball on my lap, his little head bouncing with my arm as I type because I'm reclined on the couch.

I bet your writer's mindset will return as soon as you're over your cold.

Alice Sharpe said...

LOL, Karen, I hope you are right about the mindset thing.

This cat is a hoot. She jumps up on my desk and lays down between the desk edge and the monitor. The keyboard slides out from underneath so she droops her head over the edge and rests her nose against my fingers on the mouse, purring the whole while. It's cute for a couple of minutes then it gets annoying and I kick her off the desk, hence the foot drool.

I normally flick on Food TV, but this morning it was the Brady Bunch. My goodness, what a stupid show.

Lori Barber said...

Alice, Thank you for being transparent with us today. I learn so much from people who open up and expose themselves to us. I think we can all identify with those numbing moments when forward motion is halted and we can't put a finger on the 'why'. Your brilliance will return and when it does your fingers will be frantic to keep up with the pace. If you develop a formula for fast forward fiction, bottle that perfect potion, I'll take a case...make that two.


Paty Jager said...

Alice, thanks for another entertaining blog. You know how you are always saying you want to entertain with your writing- well you do!

I'm sorry you are having trouble getting into your book. I've spent the morning re-acquainting myself with my WIP it's been a week and a half since I've had a chance to work on it. Too much other stuff going on.

On a good note! When I was grocery shopping in the wee hours of the morning- I bought your book! Now I'm ready for that plane ride to Alaska next week!

Eli- I think every writer has to overcome POV issues. And once you do, it is hard to read someone who does head hop. I know I don't enjoy Nora books like I used to. And I tried to read a Judith McNaught and the head hopping in it tossed me out of the book!

I didn't know that was called double tags! I just knew not to do it.

Great enlightening post and comments!

Get well, Alice!

Karen Duvall said...

Oh, yeah, Eli, about the double tags. I didn't know it was called that, but I'm guilty of it, too. I try to catch them, but don't always.

BTW, lap cat is now laying very heavilyy on my right arm and typing is seriously hendered. But I persevere. Being owned by a cat isn't easy.

Alice Sharpe said...

Karen, you are right, serving cats takes patience and perseverance through the pain!

Alice Sharpe said...

Lori -- That's a cool picture, btw. And so fun having you on here. I wish you'd blog sometime. Ask Eli, aka the evil blog overlord, and she'll help you out if you decide to blog. I'll be the first in line to comment!

Meanwhile, here's hoping you are right about the flying fingers.

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty -- You found Royal Heir! I get to go to Alaska again???? Yea! Very cool. I hope you enjoy it....

Thanks everyone for joining in the silliness today. Still staring at the monitor. Still thinking deep thoughts about...well, actually, nothing.

Danita Cahill said...

I know what you mean, Alice. Sometimes the pressure of blogging the next day is pretty intense, as silly as that may sound to some people. Either I'm pressured, or I simply forget. Ha! In that case I feel no pressure whatsoever until I get a call from my sister in law that my face is on a wanted poster.

Like each book before it, this one will come home to you and settle in. That is the part I don't envy about you multi-pubbed authors -- the pressure to produce under tight deadlines. But you'll do it. You always do.

Lori Barber said...

Alice, The picture was taken at the Hard Rock Cafe in Gothenburg, Sweden.


Alice Sharpe said...

Danita, all votes of confidence appreciated. Of course, what you said is true, I always pull it off somehow and seldom am even late. But am I now beginning to believe this myself because I never have in the past? And is believing you will somehow make it happen the first sign that you aren't going to make it happen?

Stop snickering, Paty, I am not paranoid.

And Lori -- no wonder you look so happy! Is the new Volvo baby here yet?

Paty Jager said...

ROFL- Oh Alice! I am snickering, sorry! I can't help it! I just hope I don't get that bad when I have as many books published as you do to this date. I thought the pressure was bad to get published- Ack! You make being published sound worse!

Alice Sharpe said...

"I thought the pressure was bad to get published- Ack! You make being published sound worse!"

Thankyou. It's a gift.

wavybrains said...

congrats on your sale alice! very entertaining blog!

Anonymous said...


You are all so incredibly entertaining!

I've been in the kitchen most of the day today making tomato juice and decided to take a break and veg-out reading the blog. I'm very glad I did. Needed the laughs.

Alice, you're an amazing woman and I love to read and hear what goes on in your head.(I did comment about your "grumpiness" on Lisa's post the other day, you silly girl, you.)

Terrific post!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lori Barber said...

Alice, The new Volvo baby arrives in early November, but our first grandchild arrives in June. We can hardly wait.