My only New Year's Resolution for 2007 is to focus on one writing project at a time and see it through before starting on another. So with that in mind, I'm concentrating on the fourth revision of The Scribe of Irohila. As I revise it I'm also doing the synopsis. I'm on chapter 11 at this point, with 9 more chapters after this one.
I'm having a lot more success with this revision - on cutting things out of the text. Anything not needed must go, and I find it easier to recognize those non-essential passages now. I'm also planning to add at least two more plot elements into existing scenes this time. I've already added one.
The novel has changed considerably since I first wrote it in 2001. .#
Monday, January 01, 2007 ( 9:27 AM )
Happy New Year
A new year! And with it, opportunities to set new goals, review and renew life, and take new courses of action.
I listed my writing business goals; there's lots to be done in the months to come. I think the most important thing for me to remember right now is to enjoy writing, for everything it does for me. There's a sense of excitement and fulfillment that comes with every word set onto paper - with every first draft completed, and with the completion of every revision. Like so many others, I've become accustomed to that feeling and I'll be looking to find more of it in 2007.
Another thing I need to remember this year is to focus on one project at a time. I've got so many things going on, my energies tend to drift and dissipate. My New Year's Resolution, therefore, is to concentrate on and complete one project at a time. My first project will be to finish the fourth revision of The Scribe of Irohila. Everything else can wait.
The Scribe of Irohila is about a twelve-year-old boy living in a primitive village, Irohila, in a time so ancient there are no written records of it left on earth. Raoli, my main character, discovers that there are people living outside his village, a secret that was kept from him by the elders of his community. He becomes obsessed with the idea of learning more about the strangers, and decides to leave Irohila to look for them. The book chronicles his travels and experiences after leaving his home to go look for the village of the strangers.
Goodbye, 2006. It was a good year, in many ways. A lot I wanted to accomplish didn't get done. I found new friends and let go of old ones. I made decisions about my life that included major life changing events, and I'm happy with these changes.
One thing I decided is to quit my self-employment efforts, for the most part. I will still own my Klamath Design business but will not be looking for new clients. I am trying to sell my online news site, Happy Camp News. I've given five or six years to that project and feel it is time for me to move on and spend my time doing other things.
And the reason I'm doing this? Of course - it is for my writing. So many times over the last few years I've struggled to keep writing projects going but was flooded by other kinds of work. If I'm ever going to be able to get one of my novels to the submission stage, it will be because I give it the time it deserves.
I'm looking for a job outside my home - part time to start. I'm hoping that working for someone else will allow me to leave the work at the office and come home to quality writing time.
There have been other changes this year, including my new boyfriend, Bob, who has cheered me up considerably and brought new elements of activity into my life. He's a gold prospector - and I guess you could say my participation has been novel research as I had no less than three writing projects with gold prospectors in them: River Girl, Perfection, and my Hiram series of short stories (which I've considered reworking into a children's novel one of these years).
Anyhow, goodbye to 2006, welcome to 2007. Let's go have some fun and make this a year worthy of remembering fondly. .#
Saturday, December 09, 2006 ( 12:20 AM )
I just got done with my first read-through and edit of chapter five of my 2003 NaNoWriMo novel, which I've re-named "The O'Callaghans". (It was "Curious Woman".) And so far, I love it. I don't know if anyone else will, but I'm enjoying it very much. It is slanted toward homeschooling families, since it's about one. I'm not homeschooling my children anymore, but it is a great representation of what life is like for homeschoolers. .#
Friday, December 01, 2006 ( 11:37 AM )
This picture of the beautiful south fork of Indian Creek, a few miles north of where I live, hides a link to a site I designed for South Fork Mining. I spent a few days in this location this year with my prospecting boyfriend, Bob.
NaNoWriMo came and left, and now I'm reviewing my year, thinking about projects that need to be finished. I started a novel based on my grandmother's life back in January and I'd like to finish that up soon. I'm doing a first read-through and edit of a novel I wrote in 2003, and I'm also reading through a friend's novel and doing line edits for her. I have a list of writing goals for 2007 and am already using that list for December 2006. There's lots to do. At this point I'm not making any resolutions, but I'll consider it during the coming month.
I finished reading three books during November: The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, and The Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene. And I added a page to this website that lists all the books I can remember reading throughout my life. It is still very incomplete but as I remember books I will be adding them to that page. .#
Thursday, November 30, 2006 ( 9:29 PM )
Getting Manuscripts Ready For Publication
Now that NaNoWriMo is nearing its final hours, I'm relaxing with a cup of hot chocolate, admiring my winner's certificate, and getting on with all that editing and revision I need to do. I'm working on my 2003 NaNoWriMo novel, which was originally called "A Curious Woman Wants To Know". However that is embarrasingly redundant, so I'm now calling it "Curious Woman". But that's also just a working title. I'm hoping to come up with something different.
I wrote that novel hoping it would be for adults, but since two of the main characters are children and two are teens, I'm now thinking that in revision I could slant it toward the YA market. It is about a homeschooling family living in a logging town during the 1990's. If anyone local is reading this, you can be sure that town is named Happy Camp. All the characters, however, are fictional. A few of the events are not. The MC for the book is the family, and the enemy is the world at large, and things that happen to make families unstable. .#
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 ( 11:35 PM )
NaNoWriMo 2006 - I Won!
I reached 50K last night. Here's my winner's certificate:
I'm releived to be nearly done with National Novel Writing Month this year. I took it easy and didn't force myself to try to be the brightest or the best. No more 100K stuff, at least, not this year or last. My best day this year, I wrote 3,336 words. Tonight I wrote 3,132 words in 1 + 1/2 hours. Easy. And now my total is 45,675.
That was the good part. The bad part is that I've written the entire plot I had in mind and still have another 4,325 words to write. I have no idea what to put in there. I'm thinking that tomorrow I might go over the ms. and insert descriptions. Maybe I'll find room for another scene or two, a new sub plot, or something! Maybe I need a prologue or an epilog. We'll see. One way or another, I expect to finish NaNoWriMo either tomorrow or the day after. .#
Saturday, November 25, 2006 ( 11:56 PM )
Only 7,457 more words needed
I'm almost to the 50,000 word goal. All these 3000+ word nights have turned things around for me. Also I finally got involved with the word wars on the NaNoWriMo forums, and am getting a lot done painlessly that way. I'm now at 42,543 words after having added 3,286 words this evening. .#
I've been scanning the NaNoWriMo forums tonight and came across a thread about the Myers Briggs personality types. I've always wanted to take that test, and this link was posted, which led me to this quiz.
Your Type is ISFJ - The Protector Guardian Introverted 67% Sensing 38% Feeling 38% Judging 11%
Qualitative analysis of your type formula You are: * distinctively expressed introvert * moderately expressed sensing personality * moderately expressed feeling personality * slightly expressed judging personality
I'm amazed by the accuracy of the Heiss description. I haven't read the others yet. And now I must get back to work on my novel! .#
Friday, November 24, 2006 ( 11:08 PM )
Another NaNoWriMo Update
I haven't updated recently - I've been busy doing so many other things. Lately I've been trying for 3,000 words daily - except yesterday, Thanksgiving, when I was out of town all day.
My work in progress, The Legend of Kao Pao, is now at 39,257 words. I added 3,014 words this evening, and at this rate should be done in a few days. I've got only 10,743 more words to write. .#
I recently finished reading The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. Then I looked at the reviews on the Amazon site and noted that one said the book was full of purple prose.
What's that? I wondered, though I thought it had to do with his descriptive talent. Since I wasn't sure I looked for more information in Wikipedia's article, Purple Prose, which states that the term originated with the poet, Horace, who lived from 65–8 BCE.
Inceptis grauibus plerumque et magna professis purpureus, late qui splendeat, unus et alter adsuitur pannus, cum lucus et ara Dianae et properantis aquae per amoenos ambitus agros aut flumen Rhenum aut pluuius describitur arcus; sed nunc non erat his locus. Et fortasse cupressum scis simulare; quid hoc, si fractis enatat exspes nauibus, aere dato qui pingitur?
Translated: Your opening shows great promise, and yet flashy purple patches; as when describing a sacred grove, or the altar of Diana, or a stream meandering through fields, or the river Rhine, or a rainbow; but this was not the place for them. If you can realistically render a cypress tree, would you include one when commissioned to paint a sailor in the midst of a shipwreck?
I like this definition: "Modern critics use 'purple prose' to refer to any writing that is undermined by its overstylized and formulaic nature."
And for the record, I enjoyed the descriptiveness of Crane's writing, and didn't think it detracted from the novel at all. It is a skill I wish I had more of. .#