BIG Announcement

I could drag it out and torture y’all. But I won’t.

(gargle) Ahem.

(shuffles papers)

(taps microphone) Is this on?

(ducks a shoe thrown from the audience)

I am not a one book wonder any more.

Regal Crest Enterprises, LLC has bought To Sleep. It has a tentative publication date of November 2013.

Go ahead. Scream. I’ll wait.
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Done? Good. Now it is my turn.

CAN YOU FREAKIN’ BELIEVE IT?? I know, I know, about damn time. I hope the wait was worth it.

Writing Organically

Also known as no outline aka going with the flow aka what the heckaroni am I doing?

I am over 86K words into the sequel to To Sleep. And I have no clue where it is going. Usually I know by now. There’s this goal in the distance, I can kinda see it, so I plod along until the clouds clear and there it is. But not with this book. I like the book. I like the beginning. Then somewhere around, oh, 40K, I just start rambling with no real direction.

That means I edit drastically when done. But that’s the price one pays for organic goods. Organic vegetables and fruit are always so ugly, aren’t they? Yet they taste better and are better for you. Thusly, so are my books. (No, don’t eat it!)

Anyway, there’s a general direction the book (tentatively called The Awakening) is going but I’m not at all sure where it will take me. I realized a major plot hole tonight and am thinking my way around it. I may just leave a big {FIX THIS!!} and move on. Perhaps if I discover the end, I’ll know the rest. Right? Maybe?

I think the problem is the details of what the characters are doing. I feel the need to explain every meeting they are having but that makes yet more details I have to keep track of. Then there’s the Humans. They are following along so easily.

Meanwhile, I think I have a character who is trying to get my attention. I’ve never had that happen before. I keep seeing Harri from Butch Girls. She’s in a corner of my brain, tapping her booted foot, arms crossed, wearing a blue muscle tee, well worn blue jeans, short buzz cut hair covered by a denim baseball cap. And she’s scowling. I created this chick so why is she scowling at me? I am considering setting The Awakening aside and drift back to Harri’s book. Harri kinda scares me a little. Not sure I want her loose in my head without supervision.

Current Project

I am working on the sequel to To Sleep which is called The Awakening. The main document is almost 44K but the second document where I tried out a plot line, is 14.5K. Doing the maths means it is about 58K, more than halfway to the goal. I like the direction the plot line is going so I’m going back over the main one to fit it in at some point.

The good news is it is going well. Very well. The even gooder news is this book will have sex scenes in it. To Sleep had none because it wasn’t needed. But this book will need it because it is part of the plot line. The book starts about two years after To Sleep ends. It will still be in first person. I considered using another person for it but I kinda got attached to Karen. She has such a sarcastic mind, it was fun to write using it.

I’ll be introducing some new characters. Some are cool, like Denise and Cass who I made main characters (MCs). Others I thought would be more MCs but I didn’t like them that much.

She leaned into me and hugged my side. “You made the right decision, you know.”

“Did I? I gave her an ultimatum, one or the other I said.”

“And she chose the path she was the most comfortable with.”

“Or less frightened by.”

“Same thing. Stop worrying about it or you’ll get an ulcer.”

No, I wouldn’t. The nanites would take care of it at my yearly checkup. “You know we advanced Denise’s genetics, right?”

“Yes, and she’s still working through her new skills.”

“You can do the same thing. We’ll be offering it to all the descendants.”

“Become one of you? With telepathy and stuff?”

I almost told her she had to, else in fifty years I would lose her to old age while I never aged a bit. But that was for later, after she made her decision. “With telepathy and stuff.”

“And orgies?”

I had to laugh. “And orgies, if that’s what you want.”

(…)

After we had put them on, I hugged her close. “This is going to feel funny. It kinda tickles sometimes.” I then pictured the beach front property in New Zealand we had bought. I pictured the little cottage and the stone patio. Then we were there.

“What the hell?” She looked around in awe. It had been fall in Pennsylvania but it was spring here. The air was a little nippy but not too bad.

“You are in New Zealand.” I held her hand and we walked toward the water.

“How did we…without a teleport pad?”

“One of my skills is teleportation.”

She briefly looked like she was going to run screaming into the morning sunrise. Then she slowly smiled. “That’s a cool skill.”

“Frankie’s a little better at it.”

“You always do that. Say that someone is better. But I know, just from listening in, that you are the best in every skill you have.”

“Not electrokinesis. Julie’s by far better than me.” We sat on a bench near the water’s edge. “And certainly not empathy.”

“And I disagree. I think you purposely don’t train or exercise or whatever you do to make a skill stronger. I think you do it on purpose so that they are stronger than you are.”

“Your skill will be lie detection.”

She laughed then stopped. “Please tell me that’s not one of them.”

Hiatus Over

My family (bro, sis-in-law, their two kids and a cousin) had been here for two weeks. They went home this morning. I did a little bit of writing most nights as I tried to unwind from the day but it wasn’t much.

Today I jumped back in, hoping I would push the depression away.

I am working on The Awakening, the sequel to To Sleep. It is rather rambling at this point since I am not exactly sure where it is going. It is amazing sometimes what appears on the screen when I just write, letting it all hang out.

I am also working on Harri’s story, Butch Girls and Stereotypes, but it is sluggish. I know where it is going (where most Romance novels go) but I’m not happy with how it is getting there.

I poke around on Nikki’s story (it has no title yet) sometimes but feel that Harri’s need to be told first. But sometimes when I am writing Harri’s, I feel that Nikki’s needs to go first. (insert dramatic sigh)

While in Minneapolis, I started writing Kaye and Annette’s story but I need to do some research for that one.

And, bless my heart, I am also seriously considering Simple Sarah again. I know, I know. Write it or shut up.

Anything else active-ish? Nope, not really. I am always open to ideas, though!

One Down, Six Plus to Go

To Sleep (TS) is done. Finished editing, put in chapter breaks, named the chapters, and formatted it according to RCE’s submission guidelines, etc etc. Lorna insisted on reading it through before I submitted it so she’s doing that. She’s only tapped my shoulder about it 3 times which is MUCH less than the last time she read it. As soon as she is finished with it, I’ll submit it to RCE.

I poked some on Awakening, the sequel to TS. I really like it so far but decided I needed to think things through a little better. TS will stand on its own although there’s the feeling of wanting more. Awakening will NOT be able to stand on its own though. I just would not be possible to do a massive infodump (previously on Falcon Crest…)

Right now I have Butch Girls and Stereotypes (BGaT) open. This is Harri’s story, by the way. I’m not setting any kind of time line because the Johnson Tribe will descend soon and my time will be elsewhere. And I need to figure out a way for Harri and Liz to have conflict without bickering. I’m one of those writers who do not hear the characters speaking. I don’t have conversations with them. I don’t let them dictate their story to me. I take medication to prevent that sort of insanity. I write the story and my fingers command the action of the characters. Harri and Liz bicker a lot. There reaches a point where this sort of conflict becomes tiresome and boring and annoying as hell. I’m sure we’ve all met couples like that. Always bickering and joking about their fighting as if we need to laugh with them. No, we need to point them toward couples’ counseling.

And that’s where I am. I think BGaT will be the primary WIP for a while with Awakening popping up on occasion.

Oh, almost forgot. I’ve been updating the main site, They’re Just Words, some. Like, I gave To Sleep its own page, moved some of the non-active stuff, etc etc etc. The links to all that stuff is at the top of every page on this site (my blog) or on the sidebar of the main section. (or will be as soon as I put it there)

Getting Larger

So I am still editing To Sleep. Using the advice from the beta reader and Lorna, I’m making some changes and fine tuning.

And it is getting larger. It is now 107,922 words. I added in a scene which got bigger than I intended. I cut a lot (nearly 20K) then put one scene back and added another. Sigh.

But, I love this story. Not as much as I love poor Simple Sarah but close. The good thing is I am not freakishly attached and am looking forward to setting it free and submitting it to RCE. Yeah. I can do this.

My bro and his family will be here on the 28th. I want to submit this before then. I am fairly certain I will make it. I am on page 374 of 419 and steadily moving forward.

Teasers below. Some were cut completely, others were left in.

Mona touched my arm to get my attention. “I need to return to the Pod’s Infirmary. Do you wish to return with me or shall I leave you in their capable custody?”

“Stay with us, Karen. It is time for us to eat and probably you, too, if Mona’s kept your schedule going.” Tora said.

“If you truly do not mind…”

“Not at all!” Chloe pulled on the hem of my shirt toward an empty table. “I’m starving! I’ve just been polite but I was beginning to wonder if you would taste better fried or baked.”

I did more math in my head and realized that if all of the Firsts and Seconds were present, there would be eighteen thousand women in this room. I looked behind me and could believe that. Over half of them were on their feet and the rest were starting to stand as well. I wondered if they would do riot control now or just let it burn out. My question was answered when the First Mother left the podium and sat back down. No one else stood to take her place. She sat, hand folded in her lap, and stared toward the back of the room.

I had an urge. A strong urge. I didn’t know where it came from because I was not a public speaker at all. I hated talking to groups. Yet, I had the urge to get up and go stand at the podium and tell everyone to shut the fuck up. As I stood, Julie did as well. She took my hand and we stepped out of the aisle and walked toward the front. No one stopped us. As we walked, I stared at the First Mother, daring her to look me in the eye and deny she was influencing me. But as strong as the urge was, I knew I was fully capable of going back to my seat. I knew I could do it yet I chose to follow it through.

We reached the stage and climbed the steps together. I felt her damp palm in mine and I held onto it tightly. We got to the podium and stood there, looking out over the multitude of women. I let go of Julie’s hand and she took one step back.

“Shut. The. Fuck. Up.”

That’s all I said. The sound system was marvelous because my words echoed throughout the room and the shock of them did what I wanted. They shut up.

(….)

“We all have questions. We all want those questions answered. We will not get those answers by shouting them all out at once. I am sure there exists a way to ask in a safe, sane, and consensual manner.” That got some laughter. “We are lesbians. We organize Uhaul trucks better than a professional mover. Surely to shit we can organize ourselves and get our jobs done. Those four billion people will need to be woken up somehow. We have been given the task to come up with a list of ways to do that. They respected us enough that THE leader of their entire people is here. Now let’s return that respect and let her take the podium again.”

I turned then and looked her in the eye. All I felt from her was shock. I realized it wasn’t her that had gave me the compulsion to say my piece. I bowed deeply and stepped aside. Julie again grasped my hand and we stood there, waiting for the First Mother to stand. She didn’t. Instead, the Malon next to her did. She addressed the crowd.

Synopsis

I dislike synopsis. Synopsi? Anyway, I hate writing those things. I spent most of the day working on one for my novel To Sleep. It was too wordy, too relaxed, too….something. Then someone over at Lesbian Fiction Forum said to check to see what the publisher requires as some state the length. Whoo Hoo! RCE doesn’t require one! Happy dance.

I’ll still do one, I just won’t make it all pretty. I will submit a brief ‘plot summary’ however. A synopsis is quite useful before and after writing a book. It helps you to see any plot gaps or problems. For one, there’s a lot going on in this novel. Not quite too much, but close. The idea is to not overwhelm the reader but also not put them to sleep. It’s a delicate dance especially with science fiction.

When I have something finalized, I’ll let y’all know. My goal is to have the novel submitted by the end of this month. But I’ve got a toothache and came home from Minneapolis with a stomach bug. Yay. But I am working on it. I am editing and using the beta reader’s input as I go.