Tag: plot is a four-letter word

Must be vacation…


…of a sort. I’m thinking writing. Not actually doing it quite yet, but thinking about doing it. Opening files, rereading bits, and then closing them. I’m considering plot lines.

And, when Zoey isn’t worrying me horrendously (the quietest dog in the world howling in pain as she lies down or wobbling, because she can’t quite maintain her balance on the kitchen floor, and apparently nothing at all to do with her surgery or the incision) it’s good.

Except for Zoey. (So worried, I cannot tell you.)

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The snail’s progress


So I headed out to meet up with Dru last night and pondered the entire time, getting no where.

What was I trying to say when I wrote the first draft of this short?

Yeah, it’s about escaping male dominance. I couldn’t miss that one even if I tried. And yeah, I had set the penultimate scene in the wrong place.

Bless Dru. We sat and generated possibilities. (Oh, I say we… she generated. I took note on my two 3×3″ sticky notes.) The very first words out of her mouth was that Beryl had to reject Jasper–not the other way around.


So now I’ve got to decide if the Baron succeeds in his attempt to collect her–briefly? Or not? And since he’s got a very cool home filled with clockwork and automatons, I’m thinking hell yes.

Gotta trust that hind brain who is slathering (as much as it ever does) over that image.

Back to school this morning for more organizing. Laminated everything in the world yesterday and then cut the bits all apart. Early this morning–before I had to get up by a significant period of time, so that I couldn’t drop off easily back to sleep–I remembered the crayons. Paper crayons of eleven various colors that I slap color word stickers on and send home each week when we hit that color.

Guess what I’m doing today.

I may have a class list by the end of today. We’re up to 24 kids, and one more will add a K-1 class, so I’m really really hoping we get that one child. So I’m holding off printing labels until Friday or so–there are always changes. Always.

Kind of like that first draft of mine.

Comments Off on The snail’s progress | this and that

The good thing is that there are no



Erm. Not exactly. We’re running a two-week kindergarten boot camp and I am the only one not teaching. They only needed two classes, and really, summers are for playing. And prepping. For hours.

The house is slowly sliding into the acceptable range. This is what happens when I leave for the better part of a week. Zoey (the husky) took on the job to develop multiple layers of hair everywhere, the better for me to rake. I managed to remove 1/4 cup of fur this morning as I scritched her ears. That’s 1/4 cup that won’t be joining its brothers and sisters.

Today, school involves painting. Just a top coat on a bookcase. I’m debating about painting the backside of another, and whether it should be white or blue. I refuse to buy any more paint. I’m thinking it’s going to be blue if I do flip that bookcase over, because I won’t have to wash the roller twice.

(Yes, I’m lazy. Although I prefer to call it prudent.)

Writing last night was more about beginning the rearrangement of the short story parts, rather than actually accomplishing it. I did cut the sections needing moving out, and I’m currently working on hiding the holes. I do wish that I could figure out the correct plot order before I write, rather than say, in the middle of the process.

But hey. I’m grateful that I figured out I planted the climactic scene too soon. On my own. Without the Posse telling me. Some day I will be able to plot my way out of a paper bag.

But for now it’s all about shower, vacuum, and school. I want to be back on this side of the valley by 3ish–so I can add exercise and more vacuuming into my day.

(Like there’s not enough of that around here. If the dogs weren’t terrified of the vacuum-it’s on the lines of small children being fascinated/terrified by water swirling down the drain or the toilet–swear to god, I’d deal with the cause rather than the effect and start by vacuuming them.)

Comments Off on The good thing is that there are no | this and that

Let the outlining begin! (Again.)


So I sat down last night and mapped out the first act of Kalim’s plot, via sticky notes. This morning they land on my closet door mirror.

Did you know that Kalim’s been rejected as soul bearer twice before? And that if he doesn’t get one by his eleventh year in the order, he won’t? And that he’ll be stuck as slave labor forever if he doesn’t?

Neither did I.

Amazing what the hind brain coughs up under pressure. This is going to affect the opening scene, I can tell, and it certainly gives Kalim a reason to ignore all the good advice he might be getting about passing on this one.


They can choose not to accept! D’oh. Although it’s usually not invoked, and it would be the first time in a long while that someone would even consider it. Not that Kalim will be. Only Bashak and Mareet.


This would be a great writing day. Too bad I’m outlining this afternoon.

(At least I’ve put them down here, because otherwise, later? When I go back and attempt to remember what I thought of this morning? It will Be Gone.)

(Cryptic notes for the other story, while I’m thinking of it: work in scars on back and beetle heads.)

Comments Off on Let the outlining begin! (Again.) | novel, writing

Progress. Or moving along. Sort of.


Not so much on the novel outline front since Monday night. However, I’ve been feeling the lack of Not Writing, so I opened one of the multitude–an unfinished short.

Got 400 words this week on that puppy.

Oh, and I’m outlining that, too, trying to get hold of what’s going to happen. I don’t have an intuitive grip of what ‘raising the stakes’ means, so it’s slogging. Again.

Okay, okay. AS USUAL.

I swear, if I could just get everything hammered into my brain on an intuitive level, life would be so much easier.

In that way it’s like singing. When I practice, I’m juggling. Am I supporting my breath? Am I low enough? Is my posture okay? Breath support, dammit. Do I have my head placement high enough? What about my focus? Is my posture okay? Soft palate lifted? Posture? Breath support, dammit two.

And, obviously, I can’t keep all those thoughts in the air as I sing–I’m focusing on one or two, in the hopes that I’ll finally nail a couple all the time.

Yeah. Still waiting for that little miracle.

I really don’t have to think about sentence level flow much these days. That happens. I can create flow around the most non-interesting/unrelated bits. You won’t have any satisfaction when you’re done reading that nonsense, but hey! You won’t fall out either.

So, working on that. Definitely. And wishing I could be at the next level without, you know, the practicing. That somehow, a miracle will occur, and I’ll get it–whatever it is–and write. Smoothly. Easily.

I can really identify with that quote of William Gibson’s I found on my FL earlier this week:

The process of learning to write fiction, for me, was one of learning to almost continually be doing it *through* the block, in spite of the block, the block becoming the accustomed place from which to work.”

Except for beginnings, this is my writing life, and it explains the cluttered memory of my PC, strewn with the partial corpses of short stories.

Excuse me.

I’ll be standing now, back pressed against the wall, hoping posture and breathing fuels the creative¬† process.

It sure as heck can’t hurt.

Comments Off on Progress. Or moving along. Sort of. | writing

It’s a puzzlement


So, I’ve stared at my page of notes on Bashak, trying to tease out his character arc. One would think this would be an easy task. I mean, I have an entire novel with this guy. Surely I know what he’s doing and why?

Yeah. And one would be wrong.

But I finally–just now!–managed to nail down that it’s a change of attitude. That the monastic life he’s given the last twenty-eight years of his life for is not what he believed, so he must move from acceptance, through dismay and horror, into outright opposition.

Whew. Can’t believe it took me this long to put into words. And it’s not quite complete. I need to type in header guides, and I only have the beginning (acceptance) and the end (opposition.) With my luck, it’ll take me the rest of the day to come up with those two words. I’m thinking of the stages of grief and how they’ll affect him.

But laying out his actions for each section after that? Piece of cake. (Okay, a partially gnawed and well-licked piece of cake, but easier than this, apparently.)

Also, my hindbrain is now informing me that I need to set up the monastic society a bit more, so I am also creating lists of jobs that are necessary to run it, in addition to figuring out what the political structures are. And while I am at it, I ought to cough up tidbits regarding their religious beliefs.

This novel thing is sooooooooo much work!

And the only thing I can promise is that I suffer so you won’t have to. Chances are quite high that most of this information won’t even put in an appearance in print. It’s just the stuff I have to know to have it make sense for me.

Still. Politics? Excuse me as I gag.

Whatever was I thinking when I came up with this series idea? (And the fact that most of this stuff is going to be rejected by the characters at the end? Now just how useful is it, hrmmm?)


In addition, today will be about floors, more laundry, a bathroom or two, and Avatar. The Spousling was sick on Christmas and didn’t make it, so too bad, I have to see it again in 3D.

I cannot wait for Alice in Wonderland.

Comments Off on It’s a puzzlement | novel

Home free.


Saturday! The first of a three-day weekend.

And the house looks as though I did nothing since last week, (which, true, I haven’t) but I also haven’t been here much (that would be called school) and apparently, while my back was turned, someone blew up the kitchen.

It’s a little better at the moment, but it’s not finished.

Neither are my character arcs. I didn’t have the pressure of meeting KellyM online–letting her abandon me for NYC will do that. And let’s face it, this week was another killer week in terms of Chinese George Valentine’s Day. (Okay, so I didn’t actually make it to George. Shush. He’ll still be there Tuesday.)

Back to character development. Apparently, this knowledge is not going to be dropped wholly formed into my consciousness. The hindbrain has control of the bread crumbs and is not willing to feed the damn ducks that hang out by the forebrain pond. I waited for them, pencil in hand Wednesday night–but zip, zero, zilch. Thursday was a double choir practice night and I didn’t get home til 11P, and Friday–well, last night was the opening ceremonies. (Which, ohmygosh, the prairie segment? Ab-so-lute-ly magical.)

So onward. I have a pristine sheet of paper and one I’ve already scribbled upon so the blank one is not as overwhelming, and all I have to do is write.

The goal: get Bashak’s character arc down in black and white by tomorrow night. Or you may all razz me mercilessly. (Oh, and practice for my solo bit tomorrow and get the new piece cold. There’s also laundry, but I think I can manage those items without support staff breathing on the back of my neck and holding me accountable. I hope.)

And… go!

Comments Off on Home free. | novel

In which I resort to a four-letter word.


Okay, it’s time to get back into the real world.

Yeah, I’m talking about housework. And writing! And crits owed!

Not that I haven’t been dealing with some of those (two out of three, you choose) but the torrential downpours here have sapped my desire. I can teach apparently, control the little people under my benevolent rule enough so that no one is killed or maimed after being locked inside for most of the week, and that’s about it.

Even that’s not completely successful. We lost a pair of glasses (not mine) yesterday, and I’m praying they weren’t thrown out in the cafeteria trash. That sucked up a good half hour of searching.

So I came home and did absolutely nothing.

Today is a new day. It’s clear and sunshiny. I have an entire house at my disposal to clean, but no one else is up, so I’m rearranging my schedule–crit first, then, depending upon the lassitude of all the male genes in this household, write or not.

But I’m not going to get word count. I’m just going to figure out what happens next in the short so I can acquire words. Because of the winter writing dare, that puppy has to be finished by Monday.

These never-ending tales while I flop around trying to make things happen disturb me. Also, it’s showing signs of novella envy, which just will not do. So instead of writing the way I normally do–whatever comes to mind, slap on the page and write it in–I’m going to PLAN.


What a concept.

And maybe this will work for me. *snort*

Oops. Just snorted my coffee. A judicious application of caffeine to the sinuses does not clear them out. For the record. Also, sadly. It would be nice to find something that works.

Comments Off on In which I resort to a four-letter word. | Uncategorized

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