plateau point

A writing plateau, I mean. A month ago, my fingers were flying over the keys. The flow of my sequel was non-stop. I couldn’t spend enough time writing. Then, I took a break to do some editing, and the flow stopped. I was very smart–because I know myself–and got the sequel to a good plot point before I stopped to edit. I did it mainly because I knew this would happen. I still have a goal of finishing before my birthday, but I am much farther behind than I’d planned to be.

I’ve got about 10 new pages now, but it’s not the flow I had before. I started scheduling writing marathons and such, wanting to meet up with people and write. I’m going to start kidnapping myself after work again and going to cafes to write. I swear my apartment is like a black hole that sucks up all energy when I arrive. I open my laptop and end up surfing the web. On a high note,  I did finish a fan fiction chapter for a story that’s been dead in the water for 6 months :D. Happy about that? Yes, I am. But is it what I’m supposed to be doing? No, lol.

I think my problem with the sequel is, as I’ve said before, that I’ve never gotten this far in the story I’m telling. I’ve always had the plan for The Fourth Piece in mind. There are so many drafts of it. But making it to Book II and knowing all the ground I have to cover? Maybe I’m intimidated. I don’t know. I really like what I have. I think it’s exciting, and I think it has the potential to be better than The Fourth Piece, but I have to deliver. It does make me nervous. I slurp in all the feedback I can get as I write The Third Gambit (Book II). I want to know how it’s doing, if it’s losing people, if I’m drowning the audience in backstory or leaving them too thirsty for knowledge.

I miss having deadlines. When I was in grad school, once a month, I had to have 25 pages of something to submit. I’m a member of multiple writers groups, but I’m cheating. I have so much of The Third Gambit already written that I have materials for two months worth of meetings. So, there’s no pressure there. But you know what, I should respect my personal deadlines the same way I’d respect an assignment’s deadline. I’m really going to shape up and do this. I will write something on my book everyday, even if it’s only a few words. Who knows, those few words might be what turns the flow back on. I still have another round of editing to do on The Fourth Piece, but this time I won’t stop writing new stuff while I’m going through edits.

New news (hah!) for The Fourth Piece. I got to do some sketching. I haven’t sketched in years, but I’m not terrible at it. My main characters, the Ladreth brothers, have strange markings on their spines that end up being very important to the story. I describe the marks, and then was asked to draw them because they might look cool on the cover. I sent over a rough sketch, which will be redesigned, and I might get to see a version of it on the new cover mock-ups. What else? Networking is awesome. I know some fabulous people and authors who are imparting me with their knowledge…and connections for promotion. It’s all so exciting!

New news (haha!) for me? I just got Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Somebody did spoil a little of it for me, but I’m still looking forward to reading it. I’m not quite ready to leave the world of the Shadow Hunters just yet. Do I hope to read some cameos of Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood? Yes! Do I want to see Jem and Tessa wander into the plot and never leave? YES. But I’m also happy for a new story too. So, I’m sure I’ll love it. Other news? I’m moving to a new place! Totally renovated, which is what I like. Maybe a new space will spark some creativity (here’s for hoping!)

So, back to writing… and reading!… and editing. Until next time! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Yay, I heard back from the agent I sent my full manuscript and synopsis to.  She took exactly one month from the day that I sent it to her.  She didn’t give me a standard form letter; she wrote me a nice, brief, note.  She said that while I am a promising new author she felt that she could not empathize with the main character enough to be able to champion her story. 

I take that as positive feedback.  She didn’t say: Yuck, this sucks.  Or you need to read these craft book or revise.  She just said: You’re good, but this isn’t my cup of tea.  Good luck!  Lol.  So, now it’s time to decide who to send to next.  I really should start sending out to more than one place at a time.  In fact, I think I will this time.  I already know one place I’ll send it to next; I’ll hit up The Writers Market for some more.  I’ll try to do a submission a week :D. 

And while I’m doing that, I will not stop writing.  I will keep writing my sequel, and hopefully finish it before the summer is up and move on to the last book.  I just feel like I should have so much more material than I do.  Once I get my apartment in order (oh, by the way, the rest of my stuff got here today, WHOOO), I will be able to concentrate more on writing. 

Okay, I’m about to discover the joy of unpacking… again.  But yay to hearing back from another agent, and getting a personalized note.  And once again, I say:

NEXT!

 

 

I love the airport in Fort Lauderdale and their hospitality towards those with late flights.  I flew to Texas early Sunday morning and came back to Florida late Monday night, or really early Tuesday morning.  My flight landed at 12:30 am.  I got off the plane and went to the restroom and before I even rolled down my pants, the overhead com came on: Hello passengers from Flight 51.  Your baggage has been unloaded.  Hurry to baggage claim or we’ll close and your suitcases will spend the night with us and you can come get them in the morning.  Translation: Get your stuff and get out!

So, I rush to baggage claim, joining a crowd of people from my late flight, only to stare at empty baggage carousels.  Our luggage hadn’t even been put out yet.  Airport personnel just wanted to corral us all in one place, so they could start locking down.  The bags come out and once the last bag is out, they cut the power to the carousels, so we had to walk around looking for our bags instead of having them revolve around us.

Message: You don’t have to go home, but you got to get the hell up out of here!

So, anyway… back to flying to the Lone Star State.  I took a 7:00 am flight that should have gotten me to Dallas Love Field by 10:40 am.  I got there about noon, rented a huge van and drove back to my old apartment.  Once inside, I discovered that I had left behind more stuff than I thought, and it might not all fit in the van.  I repacked and, with a friend, crammed as many boxes as I could into the van.  I woke up the next morning to make two trips to Greyhound to drop off my boxes.

Let me tell you something awesome.  I used this company called busfreighter.com.  You tell them how many boxes you have and approximately how much everything weighs together and they tell you how much it will cost.  I estimated that I had 65 boxes and that each box weighed about 40 pounds: total of 2600 pounds.  That cost about 1600 bucks.  Busfreighter.com sends you shipping labels via e-mail the next day, you tape them to your boxes, and then you drop them off at Greyhound.  Well… I got to Greyhound, they weighed my stuff piece by piece, and the total weight was… 956 pounds.  Busfreighter.com has a policy: if you underestimate the weight of your shipment, they will charge you for the extra poundage.  If you overestimate the weight and pay too much, no refund.  Noooooo!  So, I called them and explained and they generously said: Well, since you were more than 200 pounds off (hell yeah, I was), we will see what we can do about a refund.

Sigh, even if they don’t (and I pray that they do) I still will have paid less to move than I would have had I stuck with those good for nothing movers.

Ah well, now I’m back in Florida, awaiting my multitude of boxes to arrive.  Joy.  More unpacking.

😀

Literally.  Okay, so my new apartment is starting to look like someone lives here.  There are clear walkways, and I have a desk and chair.  I built them this evening.  (Yes, I have a tool box with real tools in them.  Okay, so the tool kit is pink and so are the tools, but hey, they’re awesome! And for your information I paid 10 extra dollars for those tools to be pink 😛 ) Anyway, as I built my complicated Office Max desk, I noticed that the screws and holes they were meant to go into weren’t quite the same size.  Meaning my hand drill vibrated and grunted while the screws said: Haha, sucker, I’m not going any deeper into this hole.  May your desk wobble!  And to top off the screws not all fitting in the holes, there were several screws missing.  I used substitiute screws… and there’s still one mysterious hole with no screw to go in it and no extra joint.  Hmm.   (The finished product looks good, though, and is still standing, even with my computer on it.  Now… it may fall down in the night, but I’m about to knock on wood).  

Tomorrow, I’m building my home entertainment center to put my itty-bitty TV on.  Everyone laughs at my 19 inch TV, but I think he’s cute.  Hmph. 

I’m starting to like it here in Florida.  I think I really just needed the weather to lighten up.  It had rained every day since I moved in on Saturday.  I went on a little walk to the store across the street, careful not to walk in the grass.  I’m still afraid of the Florida critters, and it might be a while before I’m brave enough to walk on the trails. 

Also, the people at my apartment complex might actually come in and fix my foyer light and give me new dishwasher racks (after coming in twice and doing nothing).  I also discovered that a cheap Bissel vaccuum cleaner that I bought for 20 bucks, works better than a Dirt Devil I bought for 49. Grr!

Er… and as for writing… hey, I thought about doing some today :D.  I have been brainstorming like crazy, and I think after my apartment is all put together, and I’m totally moved out of my apartment in Texas (I fly back this weekend to get the rest of my stuff), I’ll start cranking out chapters again.  I was on a writing roll right before I moved. 

 

Yes!  I have cable, phone and… INTERNET!  I will never take having internet in my home for granted again.  I don’t know how other people do it.  I felt so disconnected.  Getting online at work is just not the same :(. 

My apartment feels a little home-like now.  Maybe I’ll be more comfortable once the rest of my stuff gets here, I build the furniture I bought for the office, get something for the living room, and maintenance comes to wash the smell of urine from my carpets.  I was so embarrassed when the technician from Comcast had to sit in the living room with that pee-pee smell trying to get my internet to work correctly.  I had to tell him that the previous tenant must have had an animal that peed everywhere and didn’t report it to the apartment, so he wouldn’t think that I was nasty and I had peed on the rug.  And I was glad I did, because once I did, his expression changed.  Oh, man… lol.

So… just wanted to give that update.  Today is my day off from work, but I have lots of errands, and maybe even handiwork to do.  By the end of the month, I’m hoping I will settled in and less homesick.  I never thought I’d say this when I finally got out of the Lonestar State, but… I miss Texas with its cleanliness regulations, normal streetlight configuratons, HEB’s, and Krogers….  I miss real suburbs where police officers don’t get into shoot-outs with their neighbors and gated communities meant rich people didn’t want you on their grass.  Here, it means the neighborhood is bad and manned gate is to keep the thugs from getting in… or getting out, without being seen. 

Oh well, I’m sure in a month, I’ll be singing about loving the Sunshine State… though there sure hasn’t been much sunshine since I’ve been here.  Oh, and the horror stories.  Florida has CREATURES.  Hurricane Andrew blew down a serpent zoo and released boa constrictors that eat alligators in the swamps.  There are iguanas the size of dogs that live in trees.  Hares, not rabbits, that attack, and raccooons that play in your swimming pools.  There are lizards that look like little alligators with curly tails and child-sized opossums.  Oh, and we can’t forget if you go out in the Sticks, they’ve got people who keep lions and tigers and ostriches as pets and let them roam the land, checked only by fences that they can easily leap. 

We’ll talk about yellow water next time :).

So… my new apartment is nice.  I love my new bed and awesome memory foam mattresses.  I love my view of the swamp…er…lake and those freakishly large ducks.  And I love the raccoon that lurks in the bushes by the stairs that I have to go up.  (Please sense my sarcasm on this one).

I also love that now that I’ve turned the air conditioner up to 78, the apartment complex had it set on 72, the carpet has developed a very seasoned aroma… of urine.  I also noticed crayon on the white plastic blinds.  So… did the previous tenant have a naughty, un-potty trained child… or a naughty child and a nasty dog?

I now get to fill out work orders about nasty carpets… oh, and a few other things.  I’m sure maintenance loves me :).

Oh well, other than that things are great.  Love the job.  I am going to be busy-busy, but my boss is cool, my co-workers are nice, and once the rest of my stuff gets here from Texas, I can start decorating my office.  Best news ever: I get internet and cable and modernity in my apartment on FRIDAY 😀 😀

Okay, and some writing news (since this is a writers blog): I have been okayed to teach teen writing workshops and to host adult and teen writing critique groups every Saturday at the library I work at :).

Overall Mood: Good Time!  (Now I just need pee-free carpets)

 

Okay, so I am IN Florida.  My new apartment is nice.  There are some flaws, but I can overlook them.  (Just hope the neighbors don’t start shooting at each other, :D) 

My task now is plan ninja strike of getting the rest of my stuff to my new apartment, and getting furniture.  But hey, I’ve got great news.  I do have bedroom furniture now.  It looks like I will be building my office myself.  I know, yikes, but hey, I got my little pink tool kit and I’ve had a little practice at building book shelves at my old apartment.  So, they had a bit of a gangsta lean, they never fell down :). 

After the office, I’ll think on the living room.  I think I’m going to forgo having a dining area and make that little area my workout space.  I mean, I don’t cook, I don’t have anyone to entertain, and I just don’t eat at the table.  And also, I’ve got a bar, so barstools can work, too.

Anyways, I don’t have internet at my apartment yet, so I jump online when I can.  Right now, I’m in Burger King after dropping The Nicest Friend in the World off at the Ft Lauderdale Int Airport.  Geez… let’s not discuss that GPS made us get on the Florida Turnpike and how much the stinkin’ Turnpike costs.  I am taking I-95 back, thank you GPS.  You owe me 10 bucks, by the way.

Take care guys.  Maybe I’ll have a post about, I don’t know, WRITING (teehee), soon.  I have been itching to write for a few days now.  I always want to write when I can’t it seems.

Okay, so I just realized that I have the best friends ever.  They always want to help me when and if they can, and I always feel like I never do enough in return.  It is weird and nice having people offer to do things for you out of the kindess of their heart.  I just don’t know many people who would put themselves out to help you, when there’s nothing to be gained… and those few people I do know who’d do it, I’m lucky enough to call friends.

So, I’m in the middle of moving to Florida.  My job starts the June 5th, I am driving out on May 31st.  I contracted with a moving company that says, hey yeah, we’ll come get your stuff on the 30th and come between 12 pm and 4 pm.  On the 30th, time comes and goes.  I call them and they say: Oh, we don’t pick up at the end of the month.  Your pick-up date was rescheduled to the 5th, is that okay with you?

WTF????  No, it’s not okay. I will no longer be in Texas on the 5th.  I will be at work on the 5th.  I hired you guys because you said you could pick up before the 1st.  If you had said what you just did now, I would have said: Thank you for your time.  Goodbye. 

The guy I’m talking to gets an attitude and eventually we work it out to where I have to buy an expensive plane ticket to fly back in two weeks on my days off, so that I can let them into my apartment (which I was supposed to completely check out of today, but couldn’t because my stuff is still in there). 

 I say, OK… I have to catch a plane on Monday afternoon to go back to be in time for work. 

The mover says: We can only come on Monday, but we will come at 7:30 am.  

I say: that’s great.  Get the stuff out, then I can clean and check out of my apartment. 

The guys says: Great, I’ll send you e-mail confirmation.

Next day: No e-mail confirmation.  I call and play phone tag for 30 minutes, finally get someone on the phone who tells me, she’ll tell the guy to e-mail me.  Later, no e-mail.  I call to ask if I’m on the schedule even. 

Guy who answers says: Uh yeah. 

I ask: At 7:30? 

Guy: Oh… there’s no time written on here.  Do you need 7:30?  Uh, we can do 8?  Uh… what do you need us to do anyway?

I say: Cancel my entire order.  This is ridiculous.  I don’t even trust you guys to come anymore.  I’ll figure something else out.  Give me my 600 dollar deposit back. 

Guy: Well we have you here as VIP.  We were going to make sure you were first on our delivery and pick up route, but not trusting us and cancelling your order is your perogative. 

WTF???

Do not use All My Sons Moving Company EVER.

Grrrrrrr….. but hey, remember I got the best friends ever, so I did end up working something out that works much better and may save me a little money… though I’d wished we’d thought of it sooner so I wouldn’t have spend money on that plane ticket back!

 

Anyways, going to bed.  Gotta be up at 3:45 to finish driving to Florida.  In Alabama, now!

 

Okay, there is a myth out there that all authors are avid journal writers.  LIE! Lol.  I never could keep up with a journal, but I am determined to keep up this blog.  I’ve got a back log of stuff to blog about, so here goes!

 

I got a new job in Florida!  I am going to be the librarian for the Town of Lake Park public library.  I am moving in a week.  I still haven’t packed anything, haven’t had the tires changed in my car, and I have like 5 loads of laundry to do.  I should be stressed out, but I’m not.  I think everything’s gonna work out:

 

I’m doing the 19.5 hour drive with my really good friend.  (She owes me for riding with her to Baltimore when she moved, hehe… oh, and I think I helped her move to New Orleans, too)

 

I’ve got a great new apartment.  Two bedrooms, lake view… (though I won’t actually go out to the lake because of the GATORS). I also get to decorate great new apartment (in a few months when I’m not broke anymore, lol).

 

I actually got movers to come get my big stuff that won’t fit in the car.  (Geez, after a week of trying to get someone on the phone, a moving company finally decided they wanted my money, lol.)

 

I get to “chunk the deuce” (throw up a “Peace” sign that means I’m out of here) at my old job.  (Haha, free at last!)

 

WHOO HOO HARRY POTTER LAND AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HERE I COME!  (Er… I mean, new job here I come!)