Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Free Space

I'm still catching up on e-mail, snail mail, and comments from our discussion of my current dilemma, so no Friday 20 this week.

One odd thing happened at the house -- something moved into the birdhouse and chewed away the side of the entrance to make it larger. From the soccerball-style nest it's built inside, I'm going to guess squirrel, but experience has taught me never to assume anything. I'll try to catch the new tenant on film this weekend.

I'd like to hear what you all have been up to lately. Writers, I know some of you are working into the second week of NaNoWriMo, how's that going? Authors, do you have any new or upcoming releases? Readers, what books are you enjoying? Let us know in comments.


  1. I still working on the WIP, and hope to get it finished (eventually), I'm going to a local writer's conference where I'm going to pitch to an editor (the agent coming doesn't do scifi or fantasy), and for now we actually have staff at the dayjob. In other words, not to bad, and same old/same old. Hope you have a great weekend.

  2. I've been eyes deep in my first term at university, in marine biology and oceanography. It's been up and down but i'm surviving. Bio and oceanography classes are inspiring. Math and science writing make me want to pull my hair out.

    AND...delighted to be working on the novel anew, 20k into it and sneaking time to work on it between classes lugging a laptop all over campus.

    The side effect: this is a terrific fitness program.


  3. Marjorie Liu12:20 AM

    I'm just glad you're back, safe and sound. Take it easy. Sleep on the titles. Read some poetry, maybe (which I always find inspiring). As for me, I'm dealing with deadline hell-in-a-hand-basket, but that's nothing new.

  4. I've got a new book out this week. The Cipher, the first in a new series.

  5. I'm working on the second half of Knight Stalker; the first 50k completed yesterday.

    I'm getting bogged down in the description stuff; much to my annoyance I keep thinking about how better to describe stuff rather than getting the words down.

    But... I'm hopeful to have this book done, and maybe a sequel started by the end of the month.

    Oh, we don't have no stinkin' squirrels here, so I've no idea of who or what your new tenant is. A large snake maybe? A mutant spider? Ick, ick!

  6. We used to have a fir tree to one side of our second floor balcony and the squirrels would visit. But Management determined it was a sick tree and away it went. So did the squirrels. I miss them.

    I'm still slogging away at my latest WIP, and I'm anticipating with a mix of dread and elation the digital release of my first book in just about a month. I know there are all sorts of things I should be doing, but right now I feel more like a deer in the headlights.

  7. Been a little busy, yes. I just handed in Hal Spacejock No Free Lunch (book #4) to my publisher. First readers were very happy, editor very happy, and I'm ... well, I can never judge my own stuff so for all I know it's crap.

    I'm writing bits of Hal 5 for NanoWrimo, and what I'm writing is most definitely crap. However, it's helping with character development, so maybe 'compost' is a better word choice.

    I usually go through 10-15 drafts for a finished manuscript anyway, so at this stage I'm just happy to boost my word count.

  8. Doing a mutant NaNo here, shooting for finishing my calligraphy on the Psalms Project™. Oh, and a ridiculous number of illuminations.

  9. Working on A Malignity of Ghosts - the novel "prequil" to my short story wot got published.
    I am so glad you're back.

  10. My WIP is going unnaturally smoothly, so I took a couple days off to make it harder. It just doesn't feel right if I don't have to pull every word out with a pliers. I'm estimating another 25,000 words to reach the end of the first draft. Then the fleshing out can commence... followed by extensive liposuction, I'm sure.

    Just finished reading Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks, which was stellar, largely because the criminal investigation, romance, and paranormal elements were actually integrated with one another rather than slapped together to capitalize on a trifecta of genres, which was the problem with the half dozen books I tossed last week without finishing.

  11. You get some odd tenants in that birdhouse.

    I sold a couple new books so I'm busting my tail trying to meet the first deadline. Alison Kent invited me to be a sponsor on the 70 days of sweat challenge and that's going pretty well.

    Seriously glad to see you back.

  12. I'm working my way through Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke. I'm on chapter 5 and not in love yet - but i want to be. so i'm hoping it was just a slow start. I'm thinking its a ginormous book and thus must have something exciting in there somewhere. next up is heart sick by chelsea cain but that will have to wait until after my show in this art gallery opens up.

    mostly i'm injured. i blew out my knee a few weeks ago and it isn't better yet. ugh.

  13. Melissa B.7:18 AM

    I'm a reader and right now I'm anxiously awaiting the delivery of "The High King's Tomb", the third book in the Green Rider series by Kristin Britain.

  14. I got the contract yesterday for my latest YA. (Yay!) It's darker than what I usually write and I wasn't sure my editor was going to like it. My current YA, Responsible, came out last month. It's the first time I've tried writing from a male POV. Best compliment I received was from a young man who said, "I thought it would suck but it didn't."

  15. Definitely sounds like a squirrel - especially if it chewed the hole larger. Right now they're looking for a place to hole up for the winter (even in sunny FL).

    I just rolled over 60K words last night in my WIP. This one is moving fast, so I'm expecting to finish the first draft by the end of next week. We'll see if I make it. Reading-wise, I picked up the 2nd-4th book in your Darkyn series, and I'm in the middle of the 2nd one now. =o)

  16. I've had my novel A Half Life Of One online as a free e-book for a year or so. In fact, its one of the books featured in your E-book Challenge. As a result of the positive feedback I've received, I eventually decided to self-publish, which I did about a month ago.

    I'm currently soliciting reviews of the book as the basis of my marketing strategy.

  17. I'm slooowly starting to revise the SF novel I finished in September. It's a very cerebral exercise as I try to see the plot as a whole, and the movement... it's fun, but really challenging.

    Also writing an urban fantasy (paranormal romance? I never know) that's off-the-cuff, no-plot-barred kind of thing, so even though it's stalled I don't mind TOO much, since it's not a "serious" project.

    Percolating on the next "serious" project, a contemporary romance idea that grabbed hold and won't let go.

    Oh, and packing for an underfunded week-and-a-half trip to a Kenyan orphanage.

    You know, life as usual over here. :D Thanks for asking.

  18. bran fan9:23 AM

    It snowed yesterday! Just flurries, but still... It was new and exciting. I heard later that my daughter's 2nd grade teacher looked out the window, saw the snow, and immediately called a recess. I adore her.

    I have this theory that if a WIP is going to derail itself, chapter 4 is where that will happen. My goodness, my own chapter 4 was a killer. Now that I've wrestled that one onto the page, the rest is going more smoothly.

    Thanks for asking! Hope you are well. I've always enjoyed your blog.

  19. I have a new romantic comedy out at Samhain, Miss Lonely Hearts. A con artist, mistaken identity, much fun. Otherwise, writing writing writing.

    Nothing fascinating building nests here, but we do have a chipmonk who's taken an unhealthy interest in our bedroom window. Nothing like hearing a weird sound, raising the blind, and seeing a chipmonk with all claws hooked into the screen running up and down and sideways, staring back at you.

  20. I'm deep into the Ba-NaNo-Rama 2007 novel (yes child of the 80s here) and churning out a steady 2K + per day before the day job.

    It's a post-apocalyptic novel with a one-eyed three-legged sentient wolf, a Typhoon class Russian submarine and a continental takeover plan by genetically altered plants wielding whips and clad in stem-hugging tight black radiation resistant spandex . . .

    Okay, I made the last bit up . . .

    Actually, I made the whole thing up. But that is what writing fiction is all about, no?

    I am really looking forward to becoming a paid writer when I grow up . . .

    Then again, if I grow up, that may kill my writing efforts . . .

  21. Sunday will see the release of my long novella, Seven Year Ache, from AmberAllure/Amber Quill Press. (Angst-ridden gay cowboys with a bisexual threesome on the side. Very "Brokeback On Crack.")

    Take one bitter, unforgiving Montana rancher. Add a washed-up country music one-hit-wonder afflicted with low self-esteem. Mix in a ranch cook with a painful secret in her past. Bake in the hot August sun until steamy. Will serve three.

    Also, the Brava novella contest will announce finalists soon, so...there's that. On a scale of 1 to 10, my hopes at finaling are at about a 3 at the moment.

    And I'm waiting to discover the release date of my first eRedSage novella, and thinking it'll be after the end of the year. Another erotic Western, this one entirely heterosexual in nature and futuristic in setting. They keep saying Westerns don't sell. I guess we'll see. :)

  22. My erotic romance alter ego is doing very well, several novella contracts, a hectic release schedule over the next year.

    I'm nano-ing and Sweating with Sven. So most days I'm writing like crazy.

    Recommended reads:
    Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice. It was an awesome story. I loved Evermore and will be posting my absolute love for it at the beginning of December so it's actually closer to the release date :)

  23. Anonymous11:41 AM

    I'm about 23K into my nano project, a fantasy that follows twin girls as they try to find a treaty that a ghost wants them to find and give to their grandfather.


  24. I'm trying NaNo for the first time this year afte Sweating with Sven last phase (and this phase). I'm also waiting to hear on the Brava novella contest results. *dies*

    Your novel notebook really helped me with structuring the plot -- what little I have -- for the NaNo project. The last half is pretty foggy, but at least I have the crisis points to shoot for!

  25. I writing with Nanowrimo. Currently I have 21,000 words. Yahoo! I am sitting here procrastinating though. ;-)

  26. I'm trying to juggle NaNo and a life over here in Sunny California, as I highly suspect that it is a skill I will need if I am serious about wanting to get paid for this gig. This month is bound to get interesting later on, as I have plans to spend Thanksgiving weekend at the beach (do sand and laptops play nicely?).

    Thanks for all your encouragement! It's due to support from you and a couple others like you that made me follow this dream to begin with.

  27. Reading. Finished Beg For Mercy by Toni Andrews recently which I loved. And am currently reading Into the Dark Lands by Michelle Sagara West, very dark, intense and totally engrossing.

    Writing - Have the last chapter of my current WIP to finish. Already written the epilogue. In a way I know I'm stalling myself because this one I think I'm going to submit. So it's getting a bit scary.

    Nano. - Made it over the 1000 word mark. Yes I'm going to be writing tens of thousands in the last week again. :(

  28. Face of the Enemy comes out tomorrow (not that you'd know that from, but anyway). Also finishing up the 1st draft of my latest untitled novel, and searching for a new publisher...

  29. Anonymous2:37 PM

    I'm Nano-Nanoing as well. (That was for Paul)
    I'm just a bit behind, but I don't think it's to the crisis point. Yet.
    Yesterday I started a spreadsheet to jot down the extra ideas I have, so I'm pretty hopeful I can expand those into scenes.
    And, I'm having fun taunting writers in Perth. Our little regional group is taking theirs down in wordcount.

  30. Anonymous3:21 PM

    Well read Lady of Light and Shadows by C.L. Wilson... and then saw that you were blogging again and ended up rereading Blade Dancer and am in the middle of re-reading Dark Need. :)

    I don't consider myself a writer really as I am very lazy with my own writing projects. Though I am planning on finishing a short story thats been left alone for too long today or tomarrow.


  31. I'm reading True Colors by Karen Traviss, released this month much to my joy.

    I'm just over 1,000 words at NaNoWriMo, and thinking of starting over with a totally different story.

  32. I had my NaNaNoMo last month when I spent October hastily rewriting a novel for Amazon's contest. Because it took so much time, I held off registering, at which point Amazon closed registering. Hastily got on the waiting list, cursing my fortune, and continued rewriting. Got off the list on the 23rd and uploaded my entry on the 30th, even taking the time to mockup a cover for the book.

    Next comes the wait to find out if the book qualifies for one of the 5,000 in a few days, then in mid-January to see if it's one of the chosen thousand.

    Now, I'm decompressing by building bookcases. Saw, saw, saw, sand, sand, sand.

  33. In for two eppies, the brava contest and awaiting an agent rejection.

    I don't need no stinkin' sleep anyway.

    Other than that-still writing.

    Did you paint the inside of that birdouse with some sort of critter bait?

  34. Just finished Paradise Mountain, Dram Mountain, and Sun Valley. loved them :)

    Just started Holidays Are Hell.


  35. I could have swore I left a comment early this morning but perhaps I did it wrong.

    I'm revising a novella, deadline of which is next week. Taking a break from NaNo novel as have to work full-time job and adjustments have to be made somewhere.

    Don't have anything coming out right now but recently sold two stories to erotica anthologies coming out next year from Simon & Schuster.

    Welcome back. I don't comment but much but I do stop by when I have the time.

  36. Finished this year's NaNo in record time -- 50K words in 5 days. Now I'm working on novel #2, the second half of last year's NaNo project, though I took most of the day off today after getting short story rejection #5 via email. Yeah yeah, get back on the horse and all that...

    Can't wait to hear who's in the birdhouse!

  37. I'm 5k into my NaNo project, and, at this point, I'll be happy to get some character sketching out of the morass of odoriferous muck I've generated so far.

    I've combined three projects into one so far, and I may be beginning to get something useful soon. I can blame it on pantsing this whole project I suppose.

    The 5k? I've been on the road since the minute I finished the first 2k, and in the two days I've been back, I've been catching up on the week of work I missed, which seems to equate to putting me three weeks behind. And I've have several medical appointments that took up nearly a literal half a day (and all of a night). I believe I'll finally start chugging along this weekend.

    Very glad to have you back with us again.

  38. I'm not doing NaNo this year. Too much on my plate at the moment.

    I am writing a YA fantasy. I'm about a third of the way through.

    Taking an online class for writing better hooks. It's been a great class so far. I'm also taking another online class offered through FM on building primitve houses. World building...hehe.

    Revising another story...

    Helping a friend with her agent package...

    Wait...isn't there a holiday coming up? Chuckles...I won't even bother listing all the school stuff for my kids.

    I hope things are going better for you!

  39. Ooh, a mystery guest :D. Can't wait to find out who.

    As to your questions, I've been trying to stop the world so I can get off...not successful as of yet.

    I'm doing NaNo as I always do, but the book I choose to write is a YA romance and is trying to convince me 37k is about the right size. I'm only up to 15k (just under it), so I have some time to convince Sorcery I'm wrong. I've fallen a wee bit behind because of my second flu this season :P but mostly caught up.

    Reading, I'm currently on the fourth book in Karen Traviss' SF series about the Wess'har (Yeah, she uses apostrophes but I didn't notice until now cause the stories are wonderful sociological SF). Just finished C.E.Murphy's Coyote Dreams and ScarDown by Elizabeth Bear. If nothing else, this flu stuff is wonderful for my reading time. Sadly I was already all caught up on yours ;). All of these books have been just wonderful and for completely different reasons. They each speak to a different style/sub genre so I never remotely have the change of feeling like I'm reading the same type of book. Everything comes fresh.

    Anyway, you can tell I'm not quite steady yet with my blather so I'll stop now :D.