Saturday, March 15, 2008

CHALLENGE CHECK-IN


Everyone needs a friend, right?

Usually, after finishing a book, I take a long hiatus during which I am sure I will never write again. This time, I have found I miss having a book to work on and so am busily plotting three interconnected books. I don't know for sure how you guys do it, but for me there's a lot of hit and miss and what-ifs, etc.

So, I am working, though not with the daily grind of a deadline. Being a self starter (which has turned out to be a good thing as a writer) I'm plugging along, trying on ideas and scenarios like a debutante in search of the perfect dress for a cotillion.
Maybe the lace one, maybe the satin, which color?

How about you?

31 comments:

Karen Duvall said...

Alice, is that your doggy and kitty? How cute! I have an oreo colored cat, too, and he has a hitler mustache.

The pole dancing widow is not leaving me alone. She keeps taking over my fingers and typing searches into google for pole dancing. She even made me watch videos on YouTube. I'm afraid I might be possessed.

At this stage, I'm thinking about the characters I'll introduce and using them to shape PDW's backstory. For example, one of her sons is gay and she's very much a liberal, and very involved in gay rights. She's heterosexual, though. Anyway, that's where I'm at.

Alice Sharpe said...

That's my daughter's very small dog and VERY old cat. I have two cats, one of which sleeps on a pillow on desk when I write. And I have a 13 1/2 year old yellow lab named Annie Rose.

Meanwhile, it sounds as though your character is coming alive (It's alive! It's alive!) We can plan an exorcism if need be, just give us some head's up time to send invitations...

Had to laugh at your answer to Wavy (on her blog about writing what you DON'T know) who is trying to find out about the various Hispanic groups and you say, "Ho, hum, think Russian." LOL.

Kendra said...

Karen, pole dancing? My ten-year-old has been obsessed with poles on her school playground this entire school year. She and her friends have worked out some funky routines with some amazing spins. She found a pole in a magazine that you can install in your home and comes with an instructional video. She wanted it so badly. We finally explained to her that strippers are associated with pole dancing. That stopped her begging for the pole but she's still doing the stuff on the playground. It's really built up her arm strength.

Check in: I did 10K words. I think my goal was 5K. And that's with a needy husband who broke both arms last Sunday night.

My goal is another 10K this week.

Karen Duvall said...

Snort. Yeah, Alice, think Vlad and Vodka. Ooh, Russian mafia. Now there's a spicy twist.

Wavy, where are you? Oh, that's yesterday's blog. I was confuzzled.

Karen Duvall said...

Wow, Kendra, ten thow? Good for you! And your poor hubby. How the heck did he break both arms?

LOL about your 10 year old's fascination with pole dancing. As I said, PDW made me watch video clips on YouTube and most of the moves were more ballet-like than strip tease. In fact, there was even one who pole-danced to Swan Lake. She wore a tutu and everything.

Kendra said...

My husband likes to jog at night. Last Sunday he was about a block from our house when he was distracted by a domestic dispute, tripped, and fell off the sidewalk.

He was home for 10 minutes doing the stationary bike before he finally told me that he thought his arm might be broken, but he refuses to go to the ER. Then he says maybe both arms are broken. Still won't go to the ER.

We got to the ER at 11 PM and were there for 4 hours. He broke both radius bones. For some freaky reason they don't cast this type of break. He's off work for about 6 weeks. Can't drive. He's very self sufficient and I don't have to do too much for him. THANK GOD! (If you know what I mean!)

The ER docs were fascinated with his breaks. They had the whole staff congretated around his films. They'd never seen such bilateral breaks before.

Alice Sharpe said...

Kendra, that's terrible!!!

(The breaks, not the 10K words, that's fabulous!!!!)

Alice Sharpe said...

Genene,
Not lik, like.
Mot lik, lick.

Genene said...

Karen, I think you should include a Russian in your pole-dancing widow story. He could rescue a 10-year-old girl from a life as a juvenile pole-dancer. Maybe being an inspiration for that would mollify Kendra's daughter.

And Kendra, so sorry about your husband's arms. He must have a very high tolerance for pain. Yikes! Congrats on the word count too. That's great!

You know, with several of us writing connected stories, it might be interesting to do a brainstorming session on ways to do this. The first three books I did were loosely connected and at just the right stages of being released that I could clean up any inconsistencies before they are scheduled to hit the shelves.

However, the next series will include nine stories. Being the hard-core plotter I am, I'm thinking I need to have a story "Bible" like the bigwigs do when they write a series. Perhaps it's time for another trip to the office supply store! :)

Alice Sharpe said...

Genene, step away from the office supply store. Easy now. Put down those paperclips.

I have to add to my ditty.

Not lik, like.
Mot lic, lick.
Not mot, not.

(I'm done, I promise.)

and Karen -- think Russian mafia....

Paty Jager said...

Alice, that dog looks like my Tink! What kind is he/she?

I've been rounding up cows and hauling hay today. You know, Alice, you may have to stay the challenge check in moderator- I seem to always be AWOL on Saturday!

And you are all a hoot! I'm interested in karen's pole dancing story, and Kendra, I see you are a woman who takes things as they come. No hysterics. That's what my husband loves about me when he chops things off or has to go to the ER- I just do it, no drama or hysterics we just wrap it up and head for the hospital. Awesome word count btw. ;)

I managed to get bery little of any writing done this week. I put the first 100 words of the first book of the western historical series on an agent blog to see if it gets picked as a good one. I've been reading agent blogs and doing more research and I did work some on a synopsis for the contemporary and have the first chapter written. But that's about it. I seemed to take most of my day this week catching up on things and doing projects that needed to get done.

Kendra said...

Paty, is that the Bookends blog? I've been following their contests. Awfully hard to judge a work by the first 100 words! I've agreed with some of their choices but not all.

I don't get hysterical about broken bones. In fact I was laughing at him from the moment he told me. I think he waited to tell me because he knew I'd laugh. And I've laughed all week as the kids have fed him dinner, he can't hold the phone or text, and he can't buckle his seat belt. He called me nurse Rachett. (sp?)

Now cutting something off...It would depend what it was.

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty -- I don't know what the dog is. Mini something. Weighs about 7 or 8 pounds.

Yeah, I always seem to be sitting here on Saturday and this keeps me company!

Catching up weeks are good, too, you know. And necessary. And I agree that Kendra sounds like most likely to win calm spouse award. Two broken arms, though, can you even imagine?

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Ahem...Kendra, I just have to ask about this:

She found a pole in a magazine that you can install in your home and comes with an instructional video.

WHAT kind of magazines are you leaving lying around the house???? (ROFLMAO.)

Sounds like everyone's making great progress! I, too, had a good week. Got 11,000 words done on the paranormal RS I'm trying to finish up before diving into my revisions. I got my deadlines (which made me breathe easier) and I got my revision list for the first two books. I haven't started on those yet because I'm mulling over how I want to handle them. All in all, a pretty good week for me.

Remember our meeting is next Tuesday everyone, so write lots between now and then. The topic is writing a book in 30 days (I'm looking forward to this one!)

Elisabeth Naughton said...

You know, with several of us writing connected stories, it might be interesting to do a brainstorming session on ways to do this.

I think this is a great idea, Genene. Like you, I'm lucky in that I sold all three of my connected books together, and right now (before the 3rd is finished) I have time to go back in and tweak elements of the first two so they're in more alignment with the third. But the paranormal RS I'm finishing has the potential to be a several-book series, and I, too, and wondering how I'm going to tackle that.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Snort. Yeah, Alice, think Vlad and Vodka. Ooh, Russian mafia. Now there's a spicy twist.

Karen, I need to hook you up with my SIL. She's Estonian (NE Europe) - and for years her country was part of Russia, until communism was eradicated (um, yeah, if you believe that). My Dh likes to tease her by calling her Russian. (Which ruffles her feathers.) In fact the only time I ever see her get really upset is when someone mistakes her for being Russian.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Not lik, like.
Mot lic, lick.
Not mot, not.


Am I the only one who's confused by this? Did I miss something or has Alice been tipping back the bottle?

Paty Jager said...

Yes, Kendra, it is the Bookends blog. I've never done it before, but thought, what the heck. I read their picks for the contemporary, some I agreed on some didn't catch my interest. I guess it's all in what a person likes. As always!

Alice, my dog is a miniature pinscher/chihuhua/terrier mix and she looks mostly like a min-pin which the dog in the picture looks like. Tink is about 10 pounds.

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty, that's right, this dog is a miniature pinscher/chihuhua mix. They got him from the shelter.

Eli, against my better judgment, I'm going to explain myself. Deep breath. Okay, Genene said "lik", then she corrected it in another blog and said "like." Then she said "unless you mean like with Karen's pole dancer." Then I said "Lick, not lik only I said mot instead of not. I just realized, however, that this all happened on Wavy's blog, not on this one. Cheeks aflame, I am shuffling off stage left....

Genene, I think the interconnected brain-storming idea is great!

wavybrains said...

Um. Karen, Russian men don't do it for me so much, sorry. Nothing against them, just not my type. I'm big fan of the winter olympics and I could never get all that worked up about the Russians.

I think I like pole dancing widow better if her sons are card carrying republicans and she's off buying tassles for her ta-tas :)

I wrote around 25 pages this week. 3 pages a night is my new benchmark.

wavybrains said...

Yes to the brainstorming session on interconnected stories! Maybe we could get a speaker on it?

My current project is three interconnected books. I have all three plotted and outlined, and this is book 1. I tend to think in triologies. No idea why.

Genene said...

Ya know, with the comments coming to my e-mail and not connected with specific blog, it all made sense. LOL! However, this entire blog could degenerate into something too funny -- which I'm not touching with Karen's ten-foot dancing pole, so I too am going to slink off (snickering) to do the next task on my list. (But I did think Kendra was talking about a tether ball pole until I read the rest of her comment.)

OK, Alice, I'm taking your warning about the office supply store to heart, even though I had cleared out the back of my Jeep and put all the seats down. Figured I could get almost an entire office of goodies in there. :)

Is there someone in our group who could lead a session on interconnected stories or could we just have someone be a referee/moderator to help us brainstorm? Could this be a Saturday session like the Vogler/Hauge DVD? Or are we getting too many special events going?

P.S. Awesome progress on the word count, Eli! (Since, ahem, this is the challenge check-in blog.)

Slinking, slinking, slinking...

Danita Cahill said...

OMG Kendra, your hubby broke both arms? Sorry about that. But way to go on the incredible word count. Woo-hoo!

Alice, good for you for being the busy plotting bee. My SIL found your book, Avenging Angel, at a store yesterday. Bought it and read it in one evening. She loved the story, and she was so excited to see my name in the dedication area. (As was I. Thank you) I actually reading AA last night too when I had heart burn so bad I couldn't sleep.

As for my own writing -- I'm doing the feature for the paper. I can't get to the giant old growth tree on the pass due to snow, but was lucky enough to find another huge tree -- an Indian Council Tree -- with incredible history, closer to home, so no harm done. This story is more interesting than the original idea. I spent the morning tree visiting, museum scouring and making phone calls to a couple local historians. Fun stuff.

Not so fun is the tax papers I waded through this afternoon and into the evening. I'm beat.

Alice and Karen -- Russian mafia sounds interesting. But not for Wavy's story. She's got her own agenda already.

Good for you for entering the blog contest, Paty. I'll be rooting for you to do well.

Eli -- wow, it does sound like you had a good week. So what are your deadlines then?

Genenenenenene, if you need to take a trip to the office supply store, you just do it, hon.

Kendra -- you're funny. Wish you lived closer and could join our chapter.

wavybrains said...

I'd like see us get a non-chapter member speaker on interconnected stories--not b/c we don't have several really qualified members (Alice, Paty, Eli, Genene et al), but because it would be neat to get another perspective. Perhaps Genene knows someone in PNWA or Rose City who might be willing to come talk?

Terry McLaughlin has done at least one interconnected series. I think she's speaking this year to us right? That might be another avenue?

Flo Moyer said...

Kendra--oh no! on the arm breaks. Wow.

Paty, I hope she loves your first hundred words on that blog, but please don't worry if she doesn't. I entered a pitch on an agent (different one) contest thing and she didn't like it all that much, and the book sold. Ha...ha...to her.

This past week, I got 90 pages of revisions done on a different book, (as a break after finishing the contracted one), put those aside, and then began working revisions and editing on my contracted book.
Hope to get it done and in by end of this month.

Genene said...

Off the top of my head, no one outside the chapter comes to mind who writes interconnected books.

Besides having the expertise within the chapter, that route would also be easier on the budget and probably easier to schedule. But I'll leave that up to the people who make those decisions. :)

Flo, good job on the revisions!

Danita Cahill said...

Nora Roberts writes many trilogies. Let's ask her to give a talk on interconnected books. Ha!

Paty Jager said...

Wow! This has been a busy place this weekend!

Wavy and Genene, I third that it would be good to have a meeting on interrelated books. It seems like that's all I do, but I'd still like to learn more. In fact my blog tomorrow is about that subject.

Congrats Danita on finding an alternate and better story for the newspaper.

Good job, Flo on getting those revisions done. And thanks for the comment about the blog contest I entered. I figured, what the heck. Might as well take a stab at it. What they say won't change how I start it, but it will be interesting to see what they do say if anything.

LOL, Danita, I like the idea of having NOra Roberts come to our chapter! Do we have anything in Oregon that might bring her here???

Genene said...

Hey, I'll bet Nora Roberts will be in San Francisco for National Conference. Oregon is just a short hop by plane from there. :)

wavybrains said...

Somewhat Local authors with interrelated books:

Susan Wiggs
Stella Cameron
Lisa Jackson
Nancy Bush

Danita Cahill said...

Lisa Jackson is a chapter member too. Isn't Nancy Bush her sister?

We also have our Alice Sharpe, Paty Jager and now Elisabeth Naughton.

Let's see -- We have food, bookstores and bars in Oregon. And the beautiful Oregon coast. Think that's enough to entice Nora? She could ride my horse and take a scenic trail ride...Maybe she likes to snow ski. Or fly fish. Or wind surf.