Happy Friday!

Dear readers, I set myself the personal challenge of blogging every day this month… but the problem with such challenges is sometimes you don’t have anything to say or just don’t feel like blogging! And therefore you have to put up a somewhat pointless post. This is such a post.

I know I had all day to write something, but there was a crisis and then I had to make dinner and clean and vacuum, though I never did get around to vacuuming, and suddenly I realized it was past ten and I hadn’t blogged.

So, I am going to do a little fiction editing and then go read. I’m reading Ahsoka right now and it is so good. Seriously, if you’re a Star Wars fan and you haven’t read it, it’s definitely worth a read.

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Spring? What Spring?

This has been the weirdest spring I’ve experienced in a long time. We’ve had some warm days, but it’s going down to forty or so tonight. That’s ridiculous. I live in the southeast. I’m not in the Balmy Tropics anymore, but still, spring where I live is usually quite nice. Today it was fifty and cloudy and windy. In April. I know they say April showers bring May flowers, but what does April coldness bring?! It has been so cold here this month.

Anyway, I hope everyone’s had a good Sunday. I’m reading, trying to stay warm, and psyching myself up for work tomorrow. Not that work is that bad. Sometimes, it’s just hard to wake up and go in on a Monday.

Even More Rain

This weekend, the weather has been keeping with the theme of rain, rain, and more rain. It started raining this afternoon and is supposed to rain all night long. At least tomorrow will be sunny.

Meanwhile, enjoy this picture I took on Friday night (I am happy to say it did not rain on Friday). I’m pretty sure that bright object above the tree in the center is Venus. It was so bright that even my phone camera was able to pick it up.

I hope that’s Venus.

I don’t actually know much about astronomy, though, so for all I know, that isn’t Venus. It still was fun to see, though. I’m going to go work on some writing for the rest of this evening as the rain continues. Stay dry, everyone!

Structural Editing In Progress

You guys, I’m really pleased with the editing I’ve done so far on this manuscript. This is the one I finished drafting back in February. I let it sit for two months, then dove in to a first round of edits last Friday. I spent the past week just reading the manuscript. I put it in iBooks so I wasn’t tempted to change anything along the way and I took notes as I read.

I finished the read-through today. I’m really pleased with what I have so far. I’m going to add a subplot, probably delete some stuff, and add other stuff. Right now, my main concern is making sure the story is structurally sound. I don’t want there to be any plot threads hanging or anything that sticks out as not making sense.

One thing I won’t be changing very much is the ending. There are a few scenes I plan on adding towards the end, but as for the actual ending scene itself, I won’t be changing much. I’m really pleased about how it wraps up the story. I think it sets the stage for book two (yes, this is a series!) as well.

You’re probably wondering if this book will be published or not. Right now, your guess is as good as mine. I certainly plan on submitting it to agents and seeing if I can get a deal. I have heard that a lot of publishing contracts are quite bad nowadays (some have non-compete agreements, I’ve heard, which is absurd), but some people get really good contracts, too. And while I know that going the indie route (as in, putting the book up for sale yourself on Amazon and other assorted e-retailers) gives you more freedom, there really is nothing like having a big publishing juggernaut behind you.

So yes, I do hope this book will be published at some point. I just don’t know when that point will be. If I am fortunate enough to get a contract, I will definitely announce it on here!

A Secret Life

I don’t think I said this publicly, but one of my goals is to write every day this month, both on this blog and my fiction. So far I’ve accomplished both, but it can be hard to come up with blog topics some days. Today is one of those days.

So I figured I’d blog about one of my favorite activities: writing fiction! Specifically, how writing fiction relates to my life as a whole.

I had a work event tonight—a happy hour with food (let’s face it, people, I only went for the free food because free food is awesome)—and when I got home, I was thinking how no one at work knows I write. It’s not that I’ve deliberately kept it a secret. I just kind of haven’t ever brought up my writing in conversation.

Honestly, I like keeping some aspects of my life private from my coworkers. I’ve recently realized that a lot of my coworkers follow each other on social media, especially Facebook. Personally, that would drive me nuts. Longtime readers will know I ditched Facebook and don’t regret it one bit, but even if I had it, I can’t imagine adding people from work. I just don’t want everyone I know knowing all my business all the time.

I suppose that means my writing will remain unspoken of at work unless I decide otherwise. That’s fine with me. It’s not like I don’t have other hobbies to talk about—I’ve worn knitted and crocheted things to demonstrate my crafting prowess (and to be fashionable because everything I make is fashionable, obviously)—and my coworkers know I read a lot. But for now, the fiction writing will remain a secret. I wouldn’t be opposed to finding a local writing group, though. That could definitely be fun…

Books, Books, And More Books

I went to the library today to check out a couple of books.

Four Timothy Zahn books at once. That’s how big of a fan I am.

Instead, I walked out with five science fiction books, four of them by Timothy Zahn. I also have a couple of ebooks checked out (we have Overdrive at our library system).

Obviously, you can never have too many books, but now that I look at that stack, I wonder if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, considering I’m editing a manuscript and have knitting projects I want to work on as well! 😉

Random Sunday Thoughts

  • I had a productive weekend overall. Lots of reading, writing, editing, and knitting. The only damper on the whole thing was how terrible the weather was on Saturday. With the wind blowing, it felt like 35 degrees out. That’s ridiculous for April in the south!
  • Regarding reading, I finished a book on my Kindle I’ve been meaning to read for a while (it was just sitting on there for months) and now I’ve started reading a book that has been on my to-read list for almost three years. I’ve been trying to clear out my to-read list. At one point, it was over one hundred books. I think I have four on it now, though I’m sure I’ll add more.
  • I’m trying out a new blog theme called Dara. I’m not sure if I like it or not. Any thoughts on how good or not good it is are welcome. Update: Right after publishing this post, I noticed the Dara theme wasn’t playing nice with some Russian words I have in my sidebar. Obviously proper display of Russian characters is integral to this blog, so I guess the Dara theme won’t be happening. I’m back to using Penscratch. Even though this theme is supposed to be for writers (and I am a writer), I worry it’s too boring.
  • I wish I could stay home from work tomorrow and work on some writing! You really can’t blame me for not being motivated to go to work…
  • I got rid of some old papers today and it was very liberating. I didn’t realize how many random, useless old papers I have saved. I also didn’t realize how cathartic it can be to get rid of them. I highly recommend getting rid of your old useless papers if you have any. It’s a very freeing feeling.

I hope everyone has a good Monday! (Or is that an oxymoron?)

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

We get a ton of rain where I live, but this winter and spring has been a tad ridiculous. It rains multiple times a week. In some places, the ground seems to have become perpetually muddy. As I type this late on a Friday night (I just finished working on some fiction writing), it is pouring outside.

A typical cloudy day back in March.

I guess the good thing about rain is it sounds peaceful at night. And it makes for good reading and writing weather. That’s what I’m going to go do right now: read.

Happy Friday, everyone!

A Month Away

Wow, you guys. I just realized I spent over one month without blogging. I didn’t blog at all in March! I blame The Crisis that began last year and is still going on. Sigh. It’s stolen so much writing time from me (both fiction and blogging), which is so frustrating.

Anyway, what have I been up to for these past several weeks? Let’s see…

  • Performance reviews took place at work back in March and mine was really good. I got a raise, too. It wasn’t too much, but it was more than I had last year.
  • I’ve been reading a lot—what else is new, right?! 😉
  • I’ve been slowly editing one of my manuscripts. Editing takes forever, you guys. My word counts have been low but I’ve made progress on a lot of my scenes. I still need to post the writing report from February in addition to March!
  • I’ve been doing my best to keep up with Russian. I don’t really read political news much anymore, but I try to read articles on cultural and history-related websites. And I am rather partial to craft blogs, especially those of knitters and crocheters.
  • I changed the theme of this blog back to Penscratch but I’m not sure if I like it or not…
  • Thrawn: Alliances comes out in fewer than four months! (It was exactly four months as of March 24.) Get excited if you’re a Star Wars fan. Or a Thrawn fan. Or a Timothy Zahn fan. This book is going to be so awesome and I will tell you precisely why tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a good March and is having a good April so far.

Oh, and by the way: Happy Easter!

January 2018 Writing Report

I don’t actually write with quills, thank goodness!

You know, January was a halfway decent month for writing. I wrote a total of 18,640 words, which is an average of 601 words per day. My goal was to write 600 words per day and I just barely made that. But just barely does count, so that’s good! I only missed 13 days of writing.

I’m happy to say that I’ve started February off strong. I’ve almost finished writing the third draft of my current novel! I anticipate finishing that up this weekend, if not sooner. After that, I’ll be working on some editing. I’m still trying to come up with a way to track editing. Should it be tracked by the hour? By number of words written? Some combination of both? I’m still figuring that out.