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)

Working On Another

Yep, couldn’t resist. I’m working on the second (and most likely last) sequel to To Sleep. It is a true sequel in that it won’t make much sense if you’ve not read the first. I’ve tried to not do much “As you know, Bob” stuff but in some places it can’t be helped.

The book is called The Awakening although that will change. That may be what I call the second half of To Sleep. It starts about 2 yrs after the end of the first. So far it feels rather dry and boring. But I am just getting a feel for where it is going. And I’m not sure where it is going. I got a general idea of what I want to happen but not too sure how it will end. Weird, right?

To Sleep is still with the beta readers. No word from them so maybe that’s a good thing?

Worked out in the yard today. I’m exhausted and sore. We wanted to plant some plants (duh) but when we started to clear a spot, we kept finding rocks and brick. Yes, bricks. Old old bricks. We had this problem before there but this was worse. We got this wee little spot clear but found a ton of rocks. A lot of them were flat, like they were paving stone or something. Very bizarre. I may take photos of them tomorrow.

How Gloriously Odd

I am still editing To Sleep. No big surprise there.

What is the surprise is the word count. I ended it at 100,858. That gave me a lot of room for deleting the unnecessary. A few days ago, it dipped down to just over 98K which was fine. Still plenty of room.

I just saved it and happened to glance at the word count. 100,419.

Are the shoemaker’s elves coming in here in the mornings and adding stuff while I sleep?? I am beginning to think so.

Granted, I am adding a lot. Clarifying a few things. But none of it is unnecessary. Still, I am deleting sentences and paragraphs. I cut a huge chunk earlier. Yet, I am again over 100K.

How gloriously odd indeed.

I just checked the submissions guidelines for my publisher and their cut-off is 120K so I don’t have to hack and slash to make it fit. Or make an immediate sequel.

Snippet of Humor

First off, as I type this, it is 43 minutes into one of my most hated days of the year. I hate April 1st. I plan on doing a lot of nothing tomorrow. Today. Whatever. Luckily I have a partner who is not into practical jokes either so I don’t have to keep watching over my shoulder or doubting the truth of every statement she makes.

As much as I like humor, and I do like good practical jokes as long as no one is hurt or made to feel little, I’m just not good at setting them up. I don’t see far enough ahead to make it work. I admire the good ones that I have heard about over the years. Have me tell you the joke of the tomato aliens. Or the Volkswagon fuel mileage.

Anyway, I am doing some arranging of my current project. I realized I had the characters on different days doing the wrong thing. Like, Harri has three days pass while Liz only has one. Not good for the reader who would be wondering if they camped out up there or what?

As I fix the time line, I am reading over the story, laying out the plot, setting the characters up. I’m taking too long for the two of them to meet. Thing is, I need Liz to see something at Harri’s garage the first time she goes there but that something can’t be there until something else happens. See? Writing is hard. I actually have to THINK!

So, here, have fun with this whilst I pour water in my ear to cool off the seldom used gears.

“This weekend. Nikki’s going to help with her truck. I don’t have much stuff.” Harri shrugged. “But there’s the weights down in the basement. Kelly’s coming to help with that on Saturday. Once it is empty, we’ll finish putting up the drywall and she’ll paint this week as it fits in her schedule.” She rubbed her head. “I feel like my days are like that game in Cracker Barrel. Where you move one peg over another? Trying to get it all done.”

“Let Annette see any paperwork from the realtor before you sign. We want to make sure you aren’t getting screwed. She handles all our properties. Anyway, I need to get going. Call my office and let me know what time on Wednesday. After noon works best. Then you’ll come to Wednesday Dinner, right?”

“Yep. With bells on.”

Kaye groaned. “Not again. They’re so loud and it makes the dog bark.”

Writing Humor

I am trying to write a funny book (Harri’s, for those of you invisible people who want to know). Not roll in the aisles funny, yet more than just a feel good funny. I want folks to laugh. Chuckle.

Yet I am finding it difficult. Me. The Joker. You’d think writing humor stuff would come naturally. Well, so does walking and y’all know how great I am at that.

I wish I could write like Fay Jacobs. Now, that woman can write funny. That didn’t come out right. She can write humorous tales. Better?

She lives in Rehoboth Beach (Delaware, right?) and writes good books. Like As I Lay Frying and For Frying Out Loud and Fried and True. I’ve not had the pleasure of reading an entire book yet. I’ve read snippets and had the pleasure of hearing her read from one. She’s good.

As I write, I find that my humor is more subtle, more day-to-day life kind of funny. Puns. Love puns. Any word games or play on words.

Anyway, back to writing. Funny. I need to be funny.

In Which She Says: The End

That’s right. My SF piece tentatively called To Sleep is done. 100371 words. I aimed for over 100K to try and give the edits some room to hack and slash. I like this story. There’s some bits here and there that ramble and some details to fine tune but overall, this is a good story.

I will let it simmer for a month or so then do the edits. Part of me says to just clean it up, finish the loose ends, and send it off. Errors can be fixed with the official RCE editor (going on the assumption RCE will want it). But another part of me wants to fine tune it a lot, to make it a solid plot with no holes or problems. Then submit it.

I think I will go with the second, of course. I will not let myself fall into the perpetual cat-licking I am doing with Simple Sarah.