Saturday, November 8, 2008

NaNoWiMo Update: Week 1

Okay, so Week One of National Novel Writing Month has come to a close. Where am I and how is my novel going? Glad you asked. I'll tell you. :-)

Word Count: 41,911. Yes, I know this is completely insane. But you have to keep in mind that I'm heading for 100k instead of 50k, as I am apparently incapable of telling a story in only fifty thousand words... :-P

Deaths: 3, all off-screen. Much less bloody than my last nano. So far, heh.

Characters: Kinda getting to know them now, and all the main plot threads have been introduced... I think? Nobody is really behaving like they're supposed to, as characters usually do whatever the heck they want. But you'll have that.

General Story: I'm not entirely sure I actually like my novel so far. No, that's not true. I do like it. It's just... weird. Or something. No idea. Moving along. :-)

Next up, 50k!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NaNo Rocks My World

This weekend I am in Tucson, kicking off NaNoWriMo with people I met on the internet. Awesomeness has ensued:

Less than two hours!!


Crazy after Olive Garden.

Also, I just hit 10,000 words!! I don't even know how that happened. Wait, yes I do. I've been sitting in the same spot writing for over 24 hours now.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Somewhere a Clock is Ticking...

So NaNoWriMo starts in seven days. This terrifies and exhilarates.

I've been faithfully (okay not that faithfully—I've been a total slacker with spurts of industriousness) outlining The Silver Crane via the Snowflake method, and have pretty much all of Step Eight left. Step Eight, for those who don't know, involve a complete break down of all the scenes in one's novel. Ridiculously useful, but also takes a while to develop. I'm currently still in Chapter, um, One. I am pretty excited about the story—if I can get my mess of multiple story-lines untangled, it should be really fun to write. Yay!!

On The Whale and the Tree front, I just finished reading the second draft which I'm pretty pleased with overall (though I'm not sure I like what I did to the ending). I'm hoping to hack through some corrections, proof my query letter and synopsis, and send them off to my list of nine different agents before NaNo. Um, yeah, I need to get on that, too.

On another note, I've been reading (albeit slowly) The Ball and the Cross by G. K. Chesterton, and it is hilarious and awesome. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy a-sap!

Also, the new Keane album Perfect Symmetry came out last week and, after a few moments of doubt, I can happily announce that it is FANTASTIC. I've nothing further to add on the subject. :-)

Happy last-seven-days-before-madness-hits!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Whale and the Tree (Trailer 2)

Guess what?


Second draft of The Whale and the Tree is in the bag! Excessively exciting. I'm going to be sending it round to a handful of people (you know who you are!) as soon as I get my file sorted out properly. And I might be sending query letters out before nano starts. Maybe. I'm feeling pretty good about this second draft! Next task for the day: get my grubby paws on a hard copy of Whale and the Tree.2, and order me a t-shirt and mug as soon as NaNoWriMo's servers come back up.

That, and start Snowflaking this year's NaNo novel. Hopefully I can find an ending. And some character names. I will keep you posted.

Happy October!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Yikes, I don't know how it's been so long since the last post! Shameful.

  • Nearly finished with Chapter 12 of The Whale and the Tree, and am nearing the end of the second draft. Just two chapters and an epilogue left to go!! There's a lot of new material in Chapter 13, but with any luck it won't give me too much grief. I am determined to finish this thing by September 30, because heaven knows I need at least a month to sort out my novel idea for NaNoWriMo. Plus, I'm not letting myself buy any NaNo goodies until I get done, and I'm anxious for a spiffy new t-shirt and noveling mug! :-)
  • I've adopted a handful of new students, and am now driving all over the COUNTRY. Henry is performing admirably, of course, and I have lots more time to crank up the tunes, so it's working out fairly well.
  • Speaking of cranking up the tunes, have I mentioned how much I adore The Fratellis' album Here We Stand? 'Cause I do. Their songs are ridiculously catchy, and what with clever lyrics and a sort of classic 60s rock feel coupled with the bleeding through of fabulous Scottish accents, I really don't know how a CD could be any better. :-) These songs go around in my head for days.
  • I have fabulous new purple shoes. Just saying.
  • Watched the movie Wit the other night, starring Emma Thompson, and... holy gut wrenching, Batman! Amazing movie, flawless screenplay, and Emma T. acted her socks off, but yikes, not for the faint of heart. Needless to say, I bawled.
I do believe that's about it for now... More updates as soon as I FINISH the second draft! WOOT!!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Once Upon a September

Well, ladies and chaps, we are now nine whole days into September. No excessively interesting news to report, I fear, but I will do my best to fill up a little space so's I don't lose my readership. :-)

I figured out I needed to do two chapters a week of Whale and the Tree to have the second draft finished by the end of September, and at the moment am two and a half chapters behind. :-( Currently in Chapter Seven, and prose is being difficult. One forgets that small changes in behavior/plot/characterization affect everything and sometimes requires scenes one intended to remain unaltered having to be entirely rewritten. Argh. Working on the Wen/Talia thread and nearly ready to dump Talia in the ocean. Well, in two more chapters anyway. Then there will be a number of new scenes with the Whale of the title, and after all is said and done some expansion at the end and an added Epilogue to tie everything together. So. Lots left to do.

Watched Under the Greenwood Tree last night, starring Keeley Hawes. A charming movie, if bordering on the slightly ridiculous, but I enjoyed it immensely. Only question on my mind is, has there ever, in the history of real life, been three men in love with/proposing marriage to one girl at the same time? Good grief.

*remembers being guilty of once planning out a scene where a female main character gets three marriage proposals one after another the same evening and shuts up*

Went ice-skating on Saturday with all the lovely folks from the College & Career group at me church. Fun was had by all, despite loud, obnoxious music (the general public should really let me pick their music for them, as they have no taste and I do and therefore am quallified to help them), dizzying lights, and a rather over-crowded rink. One of my aspirations in life is to go ice-skating outdoors in the winter time. Obviously that will involve a move at some point. At any rate, it was nice to wear jeans and a sweatshirt again. In two more months I'll be able to wear pants and long sleeves for real. Maybe.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Worth a Thousand Words

And now I give you... THINGS I DID THIS WEEK (in pictures):
  • Bought a notebook for nanowrimo (I start a new one for each successive novel; it's an excellent excuse to buy notebooks):
  • Made a Masque (which exudes coolness):
  • Watched Spirited Away (random and bizarre but gorgeous and strangely touching at the same time):
  • and Kung Fu Panda (ha. FUNNY.):
  • Read Austenland (amusing):
  • and Forever in Blue, aka Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 4 (I actually liked the movie better, but at least now I know how they compare):
  • Worked on the novel. I'm now finished with Chapter 5 of Part Two--nine chapters left to go! I'll definitely finish by the end of September, but the hoped for middle-of-the-month completion is not looking very likely at this point. Boo.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Edits, Pants, and Vampire Rants

So at some point I'll figure out how to make my header image the correct size. In the meantime, I apologize for making all of you tech-savy people out there cringe. :-)

But that's not the reason for this blog. The reason is... **duh duh DUHHHH** I finished editing Part One of The Whale and the Tree last night! Hip hip hooray!! I've gone back and read bits of it, and I'm quite happy with the changes I've made so far. It definitely feels like a stronger novel so far, with 50% less saltwater and 74% less melodrama (did you know that 83.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot?). Hacked through the first chapter of Part Two this morning, so there's only thirteen chapters left. *groan* I'm expecting everything to go pretty smoothly until I hit Chapter Five, when my adding/rearranging will kick in full force. Current word count is: 111,052, which is about 7k longer than the original draft. I'm thinking there will be somewhere around 9-10k added in Part Two, so hopefully this thing won't end up any longer than circa 120k. Hmm. We'll see I guess.

In other news...

I saw Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 this weekend, and I must admit it made me cry. *sniffles* I never read the fourth book and now I kinda want to, just to see how it relates to the movie; there were bits from books two and three in there, and I'm curious if the rest was from book four or if it was invented for the movie.

What is the big deal with the Twilight books, I mean seriously? Anything vampire makes me roll my eyes anyway, but man, has the public in general lost their minds? I read the first couple of pages and was immediately put off by the MC, a girl from Phoenix, who was moaning and groaning that she had to move to Washington state because she loved Arizona and especially the "blistering heat." Um I'm sorry, but no. I understand that there are people who don't mind the summers as much as I do, but no one actually adores blistering heat. If they tell you that, they're lying. Phoenix hate aside, everything I hear about these books makes me want to barf. Edward whatever-his-name-is sounds like a rather abusive boyfriend, and the whole scenario seems overly melodramatic. Yesterday Jenny told me the content of the latest addition to the saga, Breaking Dawn (not that she's read it; she was reading about it online) and wow. I really don't understand what people see in these books.

I often peruse the shelves of the Young Adult Fantasy sections at my local bookstore. I adore YA fantasy, which is why I write it. But let's face it. Sometimes it sucks. I don't know if this bodes well for my chances of getting published or not. In comparison to current YA fantasy, The Whale and the Tree has:
  • No vampires
  • No werewolves
  • No fairies
  • No elves
  • No wizards
  • No telepathic dragons
  • No quests for lost objects
  • No secret identities
  • No epic bloody battles.
And yes. It is possible to write a fantasy novel without including any of the above.

Anyways, enough ranting. Gotta brush my teeth and head off to piano lessons.

Offended by crappy fiction,


Sunday, August 17, 2008

January Twenty the Seventh

So here's a fun game for all of you Wikipedia lovers out there (thanks to Jenny, who tagged me). Look up your birthdate (month and year), then choose four events, three births, two deaths, and one holiday amongst the ones listed and post them on your own blog. You might learn some fascinating things. :-) So, without further ado, I give you in all its glory the illustrious

January Twenty the Seventh:

  1. 1142 - Wrongful execution of noted Song Dynasty General Yue Fei.
  2. 1186 - Henry VI, the son and heir of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, weds Constance of Sicily.
  3. 1825 - U.S. Congress approves Indian Territory (in what is present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the "Trail of Tears."
  4. 1967 - Apollo program: Apollo 1 - Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger ChaffeeKennedy Space Center are killed in a fire during a test of the spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center.
(there's a lot of death and horribleness in here. Sad. :-( One wedding, at least.)

  1. 1756 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer (d. 1791)
  2. 1832 - Lewis Carroll, English author (d. 1898)
  3. 1948 - Jean-Philippe Collard, French pianist
(I didn't know I shared a birthday with Lewis Carroll. Cool. I think there's music/writing in my blood. Or something.)

  1. 1901 - Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer (b. 1813)
  2. 1595 - Sir Francis Drake, European explorer (b. c.1540)
(More music. And I knew I was destined to travel the world!)


In the UK, Germany, Poland, Italy, and Denmark, January 27th is Holocaust Remembrance/Memorial Day. I did not know this either.

Anyways, kudos to Jenny for the tag!

Almost finished with the next-to-last-chapter in Part One,


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Book of a Thousand Days/Editing Update

I just finished Shannon Hale's Book of a Thousand Days this evening and I LOVED it. Don't know what else to say really, except go pick up a copy right now!! The prose is beautiful and rhythmic, the plot fascinating--and surprising!--and the characters well-drawn. Such a rich work of prose, Shannon Hale completely draws you in, her histories and background compelling, her world believable. It starts out when lady's maid Dashti and Lady Saren get shut up in a tower for seven years because Saren refuses to marry the suitor chosen for her. Dashti keeps an account of their adventures in her journal, and the imprisonment in the tower turns out to be just the beginning...

That's all I'm going to say. Don't want to spoil anything. :-)

On the editing front, I started Chapter Eleven today. Sadly didn't get very far, partly because I'm slightly stuck, but mostly because I got super interested in the aforementioned Book of a Thousand Days and had to sit down and read the remaining three-quarters of it before I could think about anything else. :-) But. Only two chapters to go before the end of Part One. I really want to make it by this weekend, but that would involve seriously getting my butt in gear. So we'll see.

Discovered this site about literary agents a couple of days ago. Quite helpful, but rather overwhelming, too. I'm realizing that this is not exactly going to be an easy process. BUT I know it's possible and I'm determined to do it just the same. The Whale and the Tree will be hitting bookstores within the next couple of years. *gets out her determined eyes*

Other than that not too much to report, I fear. Still enjoying Imrahil. I have my first piano lesson since May tomorrow, and am getting slightly nervous. Hopefully it'll go well, I've been practicing Chopin and Beethoven quite furiously!

It rained tonight, a little. The sky was glorious and dark, with bits of setting sun peeping through and I went for a walk and got almost-but-not-quite soaked. It was quite refreshing. I don't think anything is as beautiful as rain in the desert. Regrettably, it didn't last more than fifteen or twenty minutes, but you gotta take what you can get I guess.

And I think that about wraps it up.

Rainy thoughts to you and yours,


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

When all else fails, just use cloth

So I've been stuck in the same scene in The Whale and the Tree since Saturday. This is not good, as I'm really really hoping to have part one finished by August 15th, and I still have almost five whole chapters to rewrite. Eek.

It was a brand new scene, and I was quite excited about it initially (it all sounded quite brilliant in my head), but I couldn't seem to get my characters where they needed to be in the conversation. I wrote the beginning, I wrote the end, but I couldn't for the life of me find a middle. So I did what anybody would do in my situation. I asked Jenny for help.

She had a very sensible solution: Just use cloth.

This sounded excellent, but even then I was having trouble with the execution* of the cloth, and she had another sensible suggestion: write a Teen Girl Squad version of the scene. So I did. And it worked. And I am now unstuck. Below is the silly version, for your enlightenment, er, amusement.

*No actual cloth was harmed in the writing of this scene.

The Scene

Talia (the heroine), Caiden (she loves him), Wen (she's betrothed to him), and the Countess (her mother) are having tea.

Wen: “I think you should treat your daughter better.”

Countess: “I’m going to be your mother-in-law. I’m scary, manipulative and demanding. Watch what you say around me.”

Wen: “Sorry.”

Countess: “Speaking of weddings, do you have cloth?”

Wen: “Why yes, I do have cloth. Funny you should mention that. I certainly haven’t forgotten this long-standing tradition, but I have felt much too awkward and shy around Talia to actually present her with the cloth. See, I love her, but she loves my brother, and that doesn’t really work out for me.”

Countess: “I don’t care. Get her the cloth.”

Wen: “Okay.”

*Sends servant for cloth*

*Servant brings cloth*

*Wen gives Talia cloth*

Talia: “Um I don’t really want this.”

Countess: “Too bad. Don’t forget, you were contracted to marry him by the Empress who really would have no way of knowing if you didn’t marry him, so you’d better do it.”

Caiden: “I feel awkward.”

Talia: “I feel awkward.”

Wen: “I feel awkward.”

Countess: “I feel powerful. I like controlling people’s lives.”

Talia: “I can’t stand this awkward conversation anymore. I’m going to pretend I’m tired and gracefully excuse myself.”

Countess: “Kiss Wen.”

Talia: “Um, no.”

Countess: “Do it.”

*Talia kisses Wen*

Talia: “That was awkward.”

Wen: “That was awkward.”

Caiden: “That was awkward.”

Talia: “I’m leaving now.”

*Talia runs away, tears cascading liberally down her cheeks as her heart feels like it’s being splintered into a thousand pieces, dashed to the floor, ground into paste, forged into glass, and shattered eleven or twelve times after that*

The End

So that is that. Didn't really turn out all that Teen Girl Squad-ish, but it certainly got the job done. Props to Jenny. Rest of Chapter Eight... Prepare to die!!

More peculiar than usual tonight,


Friday, August 1, 2008

Book Review: Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale

Just finished reading Princess Academy. (And yes, I do realize when I blogged this morning I wasn't even halfway through yet. What can I say? I didn't have any hot dates tonight. ;-))

I thought it was charming and sweet, one of those quiet kinds of books that has a nice rhythm to its story and its language. I did get the feeling it was aimed at a rather younger audience than most YA fiction, and there were parts of the storyline that felt a little off to me, especially the characterization of the bandits towards the end. The concept of that whole section was really cool, and I loved the hostages-in-the-snow scene, but the bandits themselves seemed rather flat to me.

Loved the world Shannon Hale created: Mount Eskel and the mining (and trading) of linder stone; the whole concept of quarry-speech, a sort of telepathy using shared memories; and the depiction of life on the side of a mountain, complete with sharing houses with goats!

Miri, the main character, was quite spunky and adorable, though her conflicting desires--did she want to stay on the mountain or be a princess in the lowlands?--did get a trifle annoying sometimes.

I do think the book could have been longer, not that it ended too soon (though I'm always game for long endings), just that it felt a little rushed, a little condensed in parts that could have used more development.

But I did like it. Different enough from other books of the same ilk to have its own unique flavor, yet managing somehow to still feel comfortable (if that makes any sense at all). Towards the end it reminded me of Crown Duel, a book I absolutely adore and have read a billion times, so that is a definite compliment. Princess Academy made me smile, and I must admit I benefited from a few warm fuzzies in the last few pages.

A solid 4 (out of 5) stars.


So it's Friday, end of the week (nearly). What have I accomplished this week? I'm glad you asked.
  1. I finished editing Chapter Seven of The Whale and the Tree. I should be working on Eight right now, but I'm procrastinating to write this blog instead (also, I'm slightly stuck).
  2. I read through most of The Rose Queen and discovered to my chagrin that the MC cries on nearly Every Single Page; Jenny has kindly brought this to my attention (thanks). The embarrassing thing is that 90% of these ridiculously frequent saltwater escapades could be completely nixed without affecting the story one whit. Oops.
  3. I've subscribed to Writer's Digest. They sent me this ridiculously good deal through the mail so I signed up and am now awaiting my first issue... which probably won't come until sometime in September. But that's all right. I've plenty of editing to occupy me in the meantime.
  4. Imrahil got tuned this morning. He now sounds absolutely perfect. :-)
I think that about hits all the highlights. Excessively exciting, I know. Reading is going pretty slow--I generally don't do very well reading several things at once and usually end up reading them one at a time. Not quite halfway into Princess Academy, which I'm liking pretty well, though Goose Girl was a bit more up my alley. I'll give you the final review when I'm done, of course.

I'd like to take this moment to talk about Scrivener. As a lot of you know, Pippin, my faithful (mostly) Dell laptop gave up the ghost in January, and I adopted my adorable MacBook, Sam, to take his place. Sam proved his worth by sticking with me throughout the latter 100k of The Fire in the Glass (it's rather disconcerting to switch computers in the middle of a first draft!!), and I'm quite excited to be noveling with him in November. I am, however, thoroughly sick of Word. It's all right for the PC, but for one reason or another completely sucks on Mac, and there's just a lot of things it simply can't do. I've been using the Mac-only program Scrivener for the rewrite of Whale and the Tree and absolutely adore it. I will be purchasing this when the 30-day trial runs out! I love the note cards feature; it's been excessively helpful with all the scene rearranging I needed to do, and lets you see your whole story at a glance. I also adore the full screen mode. I'm really excited about using Scrivener for NaNoWriMo this year--I thoroughly expect it to be just as amazing during the outlining and first draft stages as it is with editing.

Okay, that's about as techy-nerdy as this blog will ever get, and I'm done now. I'll just close by bemoaning the fact that I don't live in England.

Till next time!


Monday, July 28, 2008

*sings* "Monday, Monday..."

Okay, so I don't actually know anymore of that song. I think it's from the sixties? At any rate. This morning, for the third consecutive week, I got up Ridiculously Early (as in 6:20 AM) to meet my best bud Jenny for a Monday Morning Before Work Writing Session. Anyone who knows me understands this to be quite shocking. I am the furthest from a morning person anyone could possibly get--I loathe getting up as much as I despise onions and temperatures higher than 85 degrees. But somehow, working on one's novel at seven in the morning on a Monday is a fantastic start to the week. And for all that griping about getting up, I do actually quite like being up early in the morning. Everything seems quieter, and the light is softer. So much possibility. Or something.

I finished editing Chapter Six of The Whale and the Tree this morning. Current word count is 108,940, nearly 5k more than the rough draft. I'm not sure how long this is going to end up being, as I already know I'll be adding a lot, especially to the latter half of the book, which wound up really rushed as a result of hurrying to finish by the end of Nano, I mean November. I am cutting stuff, too, but nearly all the cut scenes are replaced by new scenes, so I'm definitely going to end up with more than I started. Aren't novels supposed to get shorter when you edit them? Because mine definitely don't.

Back in the day, when I was 15 or so, I went to a writing conference with a couple of friends. We were very definitely the youngest ones in the room, with at 30-60 year age gap between us and everyone else. I remember asking a question (in front of everyone in the room, which is no small feat if you happen to be an INFP and 15. Wow, I was brave. I hardly ever piped up in classes during college.), and the question was this: How in the world does one go about writing long stories? I'd written a number of short stories at that point, but how anyone could possibly ever write an entire novel was beyond me. I received this insightful reply: Get your characters into a lot of trouble. Then get them out. Then get them into trouble again. Repeat as necessary.

It took me a while to apply this useful principle, but it definitely seems to have worked. I'm quite certain all my characters hate me at this point, and I don't exactly blame them, either. But really, who wants to read a story about lots of nice things happening to people? No one, that's who.

*ahem* Anyways. Currently my love triangle is gearing up and will be firmly fixed into place during the next two chapters. The triangle becomes a square in Part Two, which of course makes things much more interesting. :-) No one has heard from the Countess for a while, she's still up in the tower, and Talia is busy falling in love with Caiden, the elder brother of the guy she's actually supposed to marry... This is one of the things I'm working with during the rewrite, building up their relationship more gradually and (hopefully) naturally. It's much better this way. Kudos to Jenny (and I know there were more of you, too) who pointed this out to me. What would I do without those brave souls who read my first drafts?

So that's what's what on the writing front. Imrahil and I are working on Chopin's Ballade No. 2--it's nearly memorized now. *loves Chopin* Gotta get back to Ye Olde Beethoven soon. *shudders* That man was unusually cruel.

Currently reading: Myst (recommended by Danielle), Inkheart (rereading, 'cause it's been too long and the third book and the movie are coming out in the fall), and The Princess Academy which I've barely started and just got at the library today. I'm also reading Danielle's novel (which I haven't forgotten about, promise!), and have A Passage to India out from the library as well. I've put myself on a strict no-buying-books-check-them-out-from-the-library ban until I start building up the fundage sacrificed for my dear Imrahil's adoption. I never used to actually buy books until I *shudder* worked at Borders for six months. The only good thing about that job was the discount, which I put to good use. I have yet to recover from the actual experience of working there. Who knew that spending 8+ hours surrounded by books could be such acute torture?

Bed time. I was going to curl up with a book and read for a while, but I blogged instead. Lucky you.

Night all!


Friday, July 25, 2008

On Life and Writing (but mostly writing)

So it's been several years since I blogged regularly. I don't know if it's because I no longer have anything to say (likely), my life is more boring than usual (possible), I'm addicted to vlogging (thank you, Viddler), or I've just been using up my word quota in ridiculously long novels (which is quite true). At any rate, I thought I might as well try again.

Currently, I am enjoying my beautiful new (well, to me anyway) grand piano, whom I have christened Prince Imrahil, am rewriting my 2006 NaNoWriMo novel, The Whale and the Tree, and am teaching a rather limited number of piano lessons (which will hopefully pick up again in a couple of weeks when school starts, to the relief of my pocketbook!).

Now I'm going to blab about writing, so run away quick if your eyes glaze over whenever I'm around you and start going on and on about how cool it would be if a troupe of mini elephant tamers moved in next door and wreaked general havoc on the world by turning the moon into a lovely lot of Brie cheese (now there's an idea).

Novels In Progress:
  • The Rose Queen (Nano 2005). The plot is basically Narnia meets 13 Going on 30, and tells the story of Daphne Riddle, a destitute girl from 1840s England, who walks through a rose garden and into another world; there she makes all her dreams come true, but that's not necessarily a good thing...
    • As of last summer, this novel is in its third draft and needs another go-through. It's close, but I'm not quite satisfied with it yet, and I'm pretty sure I still have some pacing issues. I adore the ending, though, and still think the story has a ton of potential.
  • The Whale and the Tree (Nano 2006). The plot revolves around Talia and her mother, the Countess, who are banished to a tiny province on the edge of the North Sea. Talia is betrothed to a younger son but falls in love with the eldest, and the Countess locks herself up in the tower and slowly goes crazy. Myths, tracing the histories of nine gods, three stars, and a tree, are interspersed in the main storyline, and the two story threads meet up by the end.
    • As aforementioned, I'm currently editing this one. I'm on Chapter Six of Twenty-Six, so there's a long way to go yet, but I know I'm improving things drastically, so definitely heading in the right direction. I've had a ton of people read the first draft and they've all been immensely encouraging; this story already has fans pulling for it. :-) Anxious to start querying agents once I finish the edits on this one. After that, of course, The Whale and the Tree will take the world by storm and I'll make a million dollars. Until then, I gotta keep slogging through the rewrite. :-)
  • The Fire in the Glass (Nano 2007). A companion book to The Rose Queen, but not a sequel. It's about love, and second chances, and fire and water, and a huge evil Worm, and... The plot is ridiculously complicated, so I'll just go with my one-sentence summary: She's dead in his world, and he in hers; their worlds collide.
    • I've got 209,000 words of first draft!! I wrote the first 100k during Nano, and it took me through March to finish the rest. Huge and daunting, I am completely terrified by the prospect of editing this one. But I will, one day.
  • On Journeys Bound (Pre-Nano 2005). Sort of a pet project, this has a more traditional castles and princes and battles type of a storyline. Currently about a third into the second draft, which is a vast rewrite of the first draft, which is actually a vast rewrite of an ancient not-so-short short story, which is a rewrite of an even more ancient idea... This is one of those stories that just won't leave me alone. I definitely intend on finishing it when more pressing projects are finally out of the way.
And then there's the screenplay I wrote for Script Frenzy, Pink Sky Dragon and the Moon, which is decent enough that it deserves editing (and sending off into the world, and becoming a major blockbuster and making scads of money), too. It's a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, and is set in America's most adorable city, Portland, Oregon. :-)

So as you can see, LOTS going on in the writing aspect of my existence. As to the eternal question of What Exactly I'm Going to Do with my Life I still have no idea. Something to do with a cute little house (with a cute little garden), two cats (a ginger tabby and a black one with green eyes), a piano (guess I can check that one of the list!), a noveling desk by a window somewhere where it rains regularly, and lots and lots of tea. For vacation I'll be off to Ireland, Egypt, Europe, New Zealand, India, and Russia, respectively--gotta do something to inspire the scads of novels I'll be writing!

In the meantime, I'm going to teach piano lessons, play Imrahil for hours and hours, and plan for NaNoWriMo 2008, which is already starting to distract me from my editing project. 99% certain at this point that it's going to be called The Silver Crane. It's set in the same world as The Whale and the Tree, and will feature three love stories, murder, revolution, a ghostly old man in a library, and a Sleeping Beauty-esque story thread. I'm already getting excited about it, and it's currently percolating in ye ole subconscious, ready to be Snowflaked when I finish editing.

And that about wraps it up. I'm hoping to update this semi-regularly with writing progress and life progress, and maybe even some movie and book reviews for good measure. Hope you enjoy, and leave me comments! I heart comments. :-)

If you've made it this far, you get a cookie, here ya go! *hands readers cookies*