Saturday, September 19, 2009


Current Project: Bodyguard Book
Status: page 69

Yep, only sixty-nine pages. I've had almost a week without the distractions of the dh and I still made pitiful progress. I can't even blame the puppy (and believe me, I tried.) I can't blame the blizzard of TP I found last night when I came upstairs to go to bed (you would have thought I would have wondered what that romping noise was for twenty minutes earlier in the evening, but noooo....) I can't blame her new found skill of sitting on the deck chairs as though she's waiting for Roberto the cabana boy to bring her a cocktail. I can't blame the dried dead rat she ate that gave her a tummy ache and all accompanying physical manifestations for three days including a vet bill of $30.50 to be told she had a tummy ache. I can't blame her preoccupation with Lucy, the orange cat, or my blue beaded slippers. I can only blame myself.

You know, on the other hand, maybe I can blame the dh.

Yeah. From now on, I'm blaming him. And the rain.

So, how did you do this week? I'm hoping those who attended the Rose City book signing at Powell's last night will check in and give a report, but more to the point, did anyone get any good writing done? Any epiphanies? Any break-throughs?

My goal is to be past page 100 by next Saturday. That's only thirty pages away but I'm going to make it a small goal in case the dh lets me down again or the rain keeps up. What's your goal for the next week? Try being specific. I think planting a specific goal in your head with a tangible deadline helps achieve that goal. For instance, if you were at work and your boss said he wanted a project completed by November 1, would you say, "Well, I'll try. I'll see if I can fit it in. Maybe."? Treat yourself as well as you would treat an employer. (In case you can't tell, this is a pep talk I need to hear, and maybe you do, too.)

Good luck!


Elisabeth Naughton said...

Poor pupster. I hope her tummy's all better now. (And Ew, you need to have a talk with her about her appetite.)

I had a pretty good week. I wrote 8300 words plus 1800 on the synopsis to finish it. I have convinced myself I can't write anything short. A "Short" synopsis turned out to be ten pages. Oy. Plan on (finally!) sending the synopsis to my editor on Monday.

The book signing at Powell's went really well. There were about ten of us, and a strong trickle of readers through the entire two hours. Mid-way through the signing Lisa found a fedora-style Indiana Jones hat and brought it to me to wear, which was fun and added an extra conversation piece for people stopping by. I think she meant to buy it for herself, but out of the goodness of her heart let me get it instead. Isn't she sweet? Afterwards a big group went to the Hall Street Grill for drinks and chatted, then I ended up standing out in the parking lot for another hour talking to a few friends I hadn't seen in a while. When I looked at my watch and realized it was almost midnight and I still had an hour drive, I groaned (literally). BUT...I'm glad I went. It was a lot of fun and Marti at Powell's does a great job with this event. If any of you are considering doing this one next year, I say go for it.

Today is football, so no writing will get done. But tomorrow I have to finish contest entries for the Golden Rose and do some editing my editor asked for at the end of the week. Then this week I need to write at least 7500 more words to stay on my deadline timeline.

Deborah Wright said...

Whoa, Alice, dried dead rat? No wonder your pup had a bad tummy ache!

First of all, I want to tell you that your presentation and encouragement at the meeting on Thursday were extremely helpful. I'd never actually talked about my current story in such detail before (not beyond the "one liner" I've been using that doesn't really describe it at all). It was an eye opener for me, to say the least. I know I need to focus on the essence of the story -- and that I can do that if I put my mind to it. But what the discussion also did for me, was to inspire me to examine what I'd planned so far to see if it really worked.

I realize now that some of the things I had planned don't exactly work -- they're either too contrived, too cliched, or too easily guessed (for the twists). I'm changing things up a bit (details, not the bones of the story) and I think it's going to be a much better story. All because you wouldn't let me off the hook on Thursday night!

Thanks, Alice, for being the catalyst of that inspiration. Also? Hearing everyone else talk about what they're working on really got me fired up to get back to my own writing!

I'm going to stick to my goal of writing at least 250 words/day. If I get more, fine, but I know I can do 250/day without a problem. That means I should have at least 7 pages written by next Saturday. I promise to report back and let you all know how I did.

@Elisabeth -- sorry I wasn't able to make it to the book signing last night, but it sounds like it was a success!

Kendra said...

Where's this vet who charges $30? When I took my daughter's hamster to the vet because I thought the cats had bit it, it cost $80 for him to tell me it hadn't been touched.

I'm trying to get a MS off to an editor who requested the full last Monday. Eli was a doll and read it. I've implemented most of her changes but still have 100 pages to edit and 50 to rewrite. I'm planning to send it out this Monday or Tuesday.

Bethany Gabbert said...

I had a sort-of productive week. I'm nearing the final adjustments to Tavy's book (the project just doesn't seem to end.) I established the bare bones of my new website and hope to go live with it before too much longer. But, the WIP is never really far from my head, and the characters are continuing to take shape.

This week, I'm getting my wisdom teeth on Monday which I'm in serious denial about. I also have to finalize my syllabus and (sob! sob!) face the reality of the term starting. (sob! sob!). I want to take a hard look at my schedule and decide when I am going to pencil in writing, arranging childcare if needed. I am NOT going to go the whole term without making progress on this WIP. I love it to much to treat it badly :) I'm trying to decide if there is anyway possible to get it done for this year's GH.

Alice Sharpe said...

Elisabeth -- so glad your signing went well. I hope to do it next year but first I need to reacquire a membership in Rose City which I let go so some time ago for no reason other than I forgot to renew.

I envy your word count. I know I'll get up to speed but yikes, it's like plowing a field full of rocks with an ox.

Good luck on the edits, let me know if I can help!

Bethany Gabbert said...

Yay Kendra on the request!

Yay Eli on the AWESOME word count!

Yay Debbie on the inspiration!

Alice Sharpe said...

Debbie -- I am so glad you found Thursday inspirational. I know it always helps me to talk about a project. Just hearing the words out loud seems to change something and today as I drove to see my mother, I thought about what might cause it and this is my new theory: You know how you sing a song inside your head and know all the words or think you do. Oh, maybe now and again you "La, la, la" but most of the time you have the word right there and it works and you are a rock star.

Then, for some reason, you decide to sing it out loud and you discover you have a lot of "La, la, las." As a matter of fact, you know few words and those you thought you knew are wrong.

I think it's like that with our stories. I think we think we have all the details but the fact we can't move forward is actually an indication that there's a lot of tail chasing and white noise going on inside our head we're covering up with a few well known words. Saying it out loud forces us to look at the whole thing, esp. if we don't allow ourselves to say "you know" or "then something happens." I don't think I explained that very well. Good grief, it made sense in my head -- I should have tried saying it out loud!

Anyway, glad Thursday night helped. Your story sounds so fascinating and I'm glad you were able to pinpoint your trouble areas.

Alice Sharpe said...

Kendra -- re the $30.00 vet -- same exact comment my Portland daughter made. LOL

Congratulations on the request! Very exciting. Consider all toes and fingers crossed.

Alice Sharpe said...

Bethany -- You are going to be one busy lady this fall. I hope you can find a way to treat your new love affair with the respect it deserves. Inattention takes a horrible toll on a relationship, doesn't it? Your book sounds like such fun, and the one you are doing for Tavy -- can't wait to see that!

Good luck. Go GH!

Genene Valleau said...

Sounds like Thursday was a great meeting--but I knew it would be with Alice being the presenter. Sorry I missed it!

I finally got the major pieces of my office back downstairs--the computer and the storyboards for my nine-book series. Now that the edits are done for the Valentine's Day 2010 novella, I can focus on that series. The good news is that I have more done on outlining the stories than I thought I did. Hooray!

My writing goal for this week is to finish going through all my notes for the nine-book series so I'm totally immersed in the stories, then work on scene sheets. By the end of the year, I want to have a detailed scene sheet for every scene in all nine books.

Good to see progress and motivation among all of you! (And, Alice, I'm glad your puppy is OK.)

Bethany Gabbert said...

WOW on the scene sheets, Genene. Do you think you could blog about what those look like for you? I am in awe of your organization!

Congrats on getting the office done! We missed you Thursday!

Alice Sharpe said...

Genene- I'm with Bethany, I would love to know what your sheets look like. I was VERY disappointed you weren't there Thursday, not only because I miss seeing you, but because I was anxious to here you pitch those nine books -- the whole idea of nine books interconnected just boggles me. More information!!!

(Puppy's runny bowel is back -- I think she's going to need an antibiotic. Meanwhile, I'm boiling chicken breasts and rice and she's camping out on the rug beneath the stove, waiting. Ack!)

Alice Sharpe said...

Oh, and Bethany, I keep meaning to tell you how pretty you looked on Thursday night. I love your hair!

Genene Valleau said...

Alice, your poor puppy! I'm sending positive energy to her. Was the dead rat poisoned? If so, she could be reacting to that. Since she's little yet, her system might be more sensitive to things like that than a larger dog. (Sorry, everyone, just finished up with my Reiki loop and am still in energy healing mode.)

Now back to writing...thanks to Bethany and Alice I have a blog topic for this coming Thursday. I'd be happy to share my scene outline sheets, as well as what I'm doing with character arcs in the individual books and over the entire series.

Maybe because I grew up in a large family (three brothers and seven male cousins before my sister came along eight-plus looooong years later) that the books about my story siblings are developing so well.

Alice, if you have the time after I get the scene worksheets done and pull together a synopsis of sorts for the series, I would love to have you look at that to make sure everything hangs together. I'm sure my critique partners will be sick of the series by the time I'm through writing all the books and I'll be looking for fresh blood--er, fresh eyes to help find what I've missed. Now, I'm going to dig into those notes again.

It feels sooo good to be in an office where all my doggies can hang out, including the two older ones who couldn't climb the stairs when my computer was upstairs.

Paty Jager said...

Alice, Sorry to hear the words didn't flow and the puppy was busy.
All I've written the last two weeks are e-mails and blogs. I'm hoping tomorrow I can immerse myself back into my Christmas Novella and get it out of the way, especially since the daughter I just visited in Kodiak will be here with her three the later part of October!! EEK!

I'm waiting for edits for the two contracted books.

Eli- wish I could have been at the signing. Sounds like it was fun. Congrats on the word count!

Debbie, isn't Alice brilliant? She always knows how to dig the information you need out of you.

Kendra, rooting for you to get that ms out there!

Bethany, Ouch on the wisdom teeth! Pushing forward on a project you're excited about always keeps the momentum going.

Genene, Woo hoo! on getting moved back to your office.

Oh and my goal for next Saturday-- Two chapters on the Christmas Novella.

Lisa Leoni said...

Eli - you stayed there for that long after drinks?? Haha! Oh man.

I didn't get any words written, been struggling with whether or not to try something new. The WIP needs to be completely rewritten (I've talked about this before on here...) and it would be the second or third time. I don't know my characters well and I'm so overplayed on the plot that nothing is coming to me. It's changed so much since I started that my title doesn't even make sense anymore, haha!

I'm tempted to start something new, an idea I've been toying with for a while. I think I know what I do wrong when I start books, errors in plotting beforehand and as I go along. I need to be more purposeful with what I do, rather than spew words out just to spew them. We'll see how it goes!

Alice Sharpe said...

Genene, I took all your positive energy with me this a.m. when I walked puppy dearest to the vet and picked up two antibiotics -- tummy trouble still going strong. I am now chef to a dog, steaming chicken breasts and making rice round the clock. Ack!

I'd be happy to help you if I can!

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty -- this must mean you're home! Welcome back. Hope the writing comes easy this week, I know you'll get what you want accomplished.

And Lisa, as it's Monday, I know by your blog you decided to cut your losses and move on. Excellent move. Good luck with the new story!

Genene Valleau said...

Alice, so sorry the pup is still having tummy trouble. I know the "fun" of being chef to a canine or two (or three or ...)

Thank you for the (arm-twisted) offer of help. I know how awesome you are at spotting holes in plot, motivation, etc.

Alice Sharpe said...

Genene -- That was arm twisting?

Btw, flattery will get you everywhere.