Tag Archives: defiant canary

On Vulnerability

My friend in my writing group was asking for blog topics the other day and I said, “how about on being brave?”

He wrote a great blog post I totally needed because he’s reading one of my pieces now. (An aside, Bryan Young is crazy talented and you should read his books. Seriously, go do it. Here. Let me help you)

I’m not so sure my main issue is bravery now that I’m thinking about it. I tend to the prickly side. I like to put on my makeup face, wear my armor, and look unapproachable. I skew hedgehog. My spikes? Look how fucking rad they are! But my little pink belly? Fat chance.

It’s vulnerability that scares the bejesus out of me. And that’s the hard part. And it’s been an underlying reason I’ve been hesitant to revise. Because when I revise, I’m one step closer to actually showing people my work. And then they’re one step closer to seeing my novels are poorly executed weird ideas. My jerkbrain tells me this enough already. I don’t need it externally as well.

It’s been a while since I’ve watched this, but it’s good to post:

Friends who love you and tell you how much they love your stuff are important. But so are friends who post 38 comments on your google doc, then message you with, “So, I finished the first chapter. Tell me what you think. Do they help?”

It’s hard and it’s scary, but, it’s a first step. That first step might be a doozy, but I think I survived it.

Revision

I was scribbling in my journal the other day, trying to work through why I hate revision so much. And I think I’ve made some headway.

I’ve rambled a bit about my ~process~ before. I’m a pantser and don’t take kindly to outlines. I fly by landmarks. How I get there? I have no idea. I just know I do. I’m a discovery writer. I like finding out how things work and how they fit together. Continue reading Revision

Revision

I’m back in Khazad-dûm. And it’s really not so bad. I outlined the Defiant Canary in my notebook and it’s really quite pleasing. It’s nice to have a path and know where I’m going and what I’m going to do.

The strangest thing about this book, I’ve made each POV switch its own chapter. I have a tendency to head-hop, but with three POV characters, it’s hard to keep it all straight. So, each is labeled with its respective owner.

Having the outline has made a world of difference. I cut out all the weird little half page POV snippets before I ran across them with a blue papermate. I can’t even tell you how demoralizing it is to be on a good clip with the revision and then finding there was all this weird work to do to get it into shape.

I think I have to have a set system for revision. I can’t just hack at it pell-mell as I usually do. I think the first step is to write down the outline and weed out all these weird half-page POV barfs. Do all the major structural stuff. Then use Suzanne Johnson’s excellent monster revision workshop. Like oh my god, take her workshop. It’s incredible. Her plotting workshop is rad af too. I think if I outlined, I wouldn’t have to take this first step of doing this structural step. But outlining is so meh in my brain. I’ve used her plotting ideas and melded them with my pantser ways to keep things organized better. Everything I’ve written since taking that workshopping class is in such better order and will be easier to revise. Anyway.

I’m feeling real good about this. I’ve been sending chapters as I revise them to my beta readers. It’s a fun story and there’s cultists and Cthulhu-esque whales and all manner of nonsense.

I think I have a real good chance of releasing this by June. That’s my plan. And then I think I’ll release Mort the month after. And then… I’m not sure. Probably The Washed Up Astronaut. Anyway. I have a ton of work all lined up. I’m looking forward to it. And I’m getting excited to see where this will take me. The more I write, the better I feel about what I’ve been writing. Anyway. I’m feeling super hopeful and excited and rad.

Time for some towel chucking

Well, I’ve finally accepted I’m not going to write 60k words this month. Which is way sucky because that means my word goal for October is going to be nearly 71k.

We fly out Thursday morning. That’s ohmygodohmygodohmygod less than 36 hours. I signed up for a plotting workshop. And a writing contest. You guys wanna read a hella depressing story? Here you go. And then that moment where you look at what you entered into a contest and go, “Wow, that’s really quite rubbish.” Anyway. Impostor Syndrome? Or just cold stark reality going, WTF YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO ENTER INTO A CONTEST?!

14322538_10100591737979431_1513431989361099003_nMy friend told me I had to let one thing slide. Well, I’m letting my word goal slide. I printed out my Defiant Canary manuscript. Of all my mss, I think Defiant Canary is going to be the easiest to edit and revise and get out there. Maybe that’s me just being lazy. But, maybe it’s just the nudge I need to get things rolling again. If I can get another book out and under my belt, then all the rest of the things that need finishing (I hear you manuscript pile! stfu!) can get finished too. Here’s the first chapter to The Defiant Canary. It’s… a weird story. I definitely write for myself. It’s paranormal romance with a touch of Lovecraft horror. Anyway. It’s rad and fun and sexy and has some fun characters doing some rad stuff. 😀

So, I have a little dose of failure-itis, not going to hit my goal, but… I still have October and I have November. And I have a rad book lined up for NaNoWriMo this year. I hit 85k last NaNoWriMo and I should be able to do that again.

Oh, one last discovery. I don’t value revision as highly as I value writing. A piece of me is delving into invisible work territory. Just like women’s work is undervalued because it’s invisible, maybe revision does the same? I have a blog post banging around about invisible work in my head that has been meaning to come out and I just haven’t done it yet. Anyway. I need a way to quantify my revision work. Or at least to see that it’s making a difference. Or… something.

This is probably my last post from US shores. And I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting from Okinawa. I’ll definitely be on Insta, so follow along there for sure.

And, I’ll be looking for test readers for the Defiant Canary when I get home in October. So, if you’re interested in that, email me at tremblingtrimble at gmail . com with BETA in the subject line and how you’d like your version, either pdf or for Kindle.

WOOOOOOO

The Defiant Canary clocked in at 136,116 words. I hit my word goal of 63,969 for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m super excited I hit my word goal this month.

And I’m super bummed. Like mega-super-duper bummed. I really liked playing in this story. The characters were fun. The plot was all romance meets Lovecraft (well, lite. I’m missing out on all the racism and my cultists were, well, namby-pamby).

Now…. Well, I guess it’s time to start working on revising. This was a fun story. Last year’s NaNoWriMo was super fun too. I need to get these out.

Time to start doing the hard work. Time to start nibbling on that shit sandwich. Hey look! An olive!!

Even Crappy Experiments are Good

I was playing with caffeine. Not even a terribly big amount. In my half pot of coffee I’d drink at 5 in the morning, one scoop of regular, two scoops of decaf. But, turns out that was enough. Throw in playing fast and loose with gluten, “Omg I NEED fish and chips” and kaboom!

So, monster evil barfing migraine along with monster evil hormonal shifts plus monster evil caffeine withdrawal and bleh.

At least I’ve learned that caffeine is not something that plays well with my brain. I wondered if the daith piercing would fix it, but that’s beyond the daith.

In fun news, I think I’m going to go back to school with the Entropy Machine starts kinder in a couple years and get my English BA. Then, maybe a Creative Writing MFA? We’ll see. My brain just gets antsy without something to do. And I know I can give it something to do, but I really enjoy taking classes. And I’m totally not about finding childcare. And I’d like to have my writing pay for the degree and I’m not there yet.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 1.57.49 PMAnd more fun, I finished the first draft of The Defiant Canary. Came in at 133,921 words. Like, unbelievable. It needs a huge trim. Seriously, we don’t need 400+ pages of this book. It’s gonna be a bitch to revise. Now, to finish The Embezzling Oma.

I still have 815 words to hit my July goal of 63,969. It’s what I have to hit every month if I want to write 500k this year. I might just chuck those 815 words into The Defiant Canary so I can be done, but that’s not a good idea either because I’d just have to revise it and throw it away anyway.

I’m finally feeling much more alive than dead. Still a little off, but not so bad that I’m a couch slug. And the boost of having finished a draft is pretty fab. But now the rest of everything I’ve promised everyone is popping back up. I emailed a first chapter to my friend and now she wants a second chapter. I’ve gotta go to the post office. We’re on freezer foraging and need to go grocery shopping. And wouldn’t you know it, the hubband is out of town for a couple days. All in all, things are more good than bad and now that I can stand without wanting to throw up, everything is much better. But mostly, here’s to another finished first draft!

Discoveries!

Camp NaNoWriMo sent a little “Hello! Camp is next month!” email. I thought that would be a perfect moment to look at a half-finished project to finish next month. I open up the Scrivener file and discover I have almost 60k words written on it. Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 7.18.31 AMI don’t think this story has another 50k words.

Part of me is a little shocked that I would just leave ~60k words dangling in the breeze like this. The rest of me is, “Well, you haven’t published any of your other scribbles, so why does it matter?”

I think I’m going to end up writing the end of The Defiant Canary and finishing The Embezzling Oma for Camp. The Embezzling Oma only Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 7.24.11 AMhas ~20k words, so there is plenty of story left to write. It’s my first foray into suspense, so it’s been fun. I’ve been having a hard time getting into the heads of the baddies. I don’t know if it’s my autism brain or what, but there are some rules and they just shouldn’t be broken (who the hell kills people?!). So, I have a hell of a time working through their motivations and what they’re doing.

At an RWA chapter function a few months ago, I was scolded for having so many manuscripts that need revision and pubbing. Heh, now I almost have two more to add to the stack.

The upside, since I’ve been thinking about writing so much recently, I’ve been working on it more. Like, writing for me is broken down into a couple different parts. The thought work, the writing, the inspiration attacks, the revision, the post-production. Generally, I’ll do my thought work when I’m walking my dogs. Since the hubster has been traveling, I don’t get to walk my dogs for these long, solitary rambles. Instead, it’s walks with the kid and the puppy herd and my brain is focused on keeping them all safe. But that’s beside the point. I’ve been doing the thought work. I’ve been prepping for revision, rereading manuscripts, downloaded ProWritingAid, and finally doing this word monkey work. I’ve been working on getting up early and today I was out of bed by 5:30. As much as I hate to admit it, I think the early morning push is making the difference. So much of my productivity stuff has said the first 30-60 minutes are vitally important and I think they might be right. I’d be lounging in bed, looking over the fun stuff I’ve missed overnight on Facebook and Instagram. But this morning, I was up and at my desk. Maybe not as cozy as my bed, maybe not as amusing as studying the back of my eyelids, but I feel it in my bones. This is where I belong and what I want to do and what I should do.

Anyway. It’s almost 8 and the Entropy Machine will be awake soon. Surprised she’s slept this long. Time to take off my word monkey hat and put the mom hat on.