Archive for the ‘spells and swashbucklers’ Category

(personal/to-do/writing) Sunday is a recharge day.

Yesterday, I will admit, I did very little.  I fed my parents’ cats.  I wrote about 690 words on Forgotten.  I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo.  And I watched the Red Sox lose again. *sigh*  But today, I have more I want to do.

Before we get into that, though, I wanted to let you know two things. I have a guest post up over at Mitchell Plested’s blog about the books that inspired me (Irreverent Muse). And Spells and Swashbucklers is out in both Kindle and paperback formats! *It will be coming to other e-formats soon. So go and get a copy!

I need to get ready for the week, and everything I have to do.  Balticon is a little over 3 weeks away and I’m SO not ready.  But we aren’t prepping for Balticon today.

So this post, really, is just a to-do list for myself.

– Daily Pages

– Make bbq sauce

– Dinner tonight: bbq chicken, sweet potato fries, biscuits

– Marinate pork chops for Tuesday

– Finish listening to digital recorder

– Return digital recorder to Dianne (pushed to tomorrow)

– Buy bucket for cat food

– Fold laundry and put it away

– Clean out dish drainer

– Clean out sink

– Food plan for tomorrow

– Make lunch/dinner for tomorrow

– Send beta letter

– 500 words on Forgotten Summary

– Email

Damn, I’d better get moving!

(personal/writing) Suck it up, buttercup (or the need to stop looking for excuses)

I haven’t posted much lately.  I haven’t really been writing, either – I’ve been stupidly busy, but that’s not an excuse.  I was listening to Nathan Lowell’s excellent #tommw podcast (http://www.nathanlowell.org/tommw/) and he talked recently about not making excuses for why he wasn’t writing – the fact that he had to stop doing that and just write already.  Which really hit home for me, because in fact, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing as well: making excuses for why I wasn’t writing rather than just sucking it up and writing.

I hurt today.  I have a treatment Tuesday, and today when my alarm went off, the first thing that I realized was how much I hurt.  My hands are so painful that I had to have my friend who sits next to me at work open the aspirin bottle.   I thought seriously of staying home and sleeping the day away, because sleeping was the only time I didn’t hurt.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t go to the gym as planned, but I got up after another hour, and went to work.  I registered my car.  I even got the trash out of the bathroom before I left (although dinner didn’t happen – just the thought of chopping anything made me want to cry), and I am currently at work.  On the way in, I listened to Nathan and realized how many excuses I had made in the past week not to do things.

Life happens.  Shit happens.  We’re all busy – and there are times when we all hurt.  I have a chronic illness, but so do millions of other people who manage to get shit done.  It’s time to, as my buddy Bob is fond of saying, “Suck it up, buttercup.”

Balticon is in a little over 4 weeks.  I have two events that I need to prep for there: the Spells and Swashbucklers launch party (pirates! rum! swag!) and the Needleworker’s Tea.  I need to find out if Dragonmoon Press has a table.  I also have to practice my lines for the podcast I’m in, and finish my garb for the event.  I have to find a site for Harper’s Retreat in September.  I have to find a house for my hubby and I to move into (luckily, the timeline on that is flexible).

I also have books to write.  I’ve got some deadlines for myself: Tales of the Scorned Lady WILL be finished by August, and the plot outline for Forgotten will be done before Balticon.  I also realized where the murder mystery needs to start, and I want that outline done for NaNo, so I can write it then.  I have a beta read to do this weekend, and I’m going to have it done.  And in the next few months, I’ll be redesigning the website (yeah, I’m still not happy with it).

Life is busy.  Life is painful.  Life happens.  I won’t let that be an excuse for me not to be writing any more.

(to-do/personal/writing) Busy, busy, busy

I’ve been so freaking busy the past three weeks, I don’t know if I’m coming or going.  No time to blog, no time to really write (although I’ve done my morning pages faithfully every day – 53 days in a row and counting!), and no real time to myself.  That needs to change – I’m getting stir-crazy, and not in a good way.  I like commuting in with someone (my friend Carolyn and I have close enough shifts that we can share the hour commute in and out, which saves gas for both of us), but that used to be my “me” time, and so it’s gone.  I need to find another way to get that time in.  It’s only two weeks into this arrangement, so I’ll figure it out.

 

Need to do things today, even after the 5 hour nap I had.  My house is a mess (per usual, I’m afraid – I’m a pretty lousy housekeeper even at the best of times), I need to take stock of laundry, and I need to make food for the week.  I’ve found that doing that on the weekend means I have a bit more time to do things during the week without worrying about food.  And since as of right now, I’m in training mode, food (more exactly: GOOD FOOD) is very important.

 

Yep, training mode.  Argus and I are going to run the Nottingham Old Home Days 5k in September.  Eek!  I’m determined to RUN this one and not walk the majority of it, like the last 5k I was in.  I’ll keep you guys updated on my training.  Starts tomorrow, btw, with running at the gym.  Gotta see if I still have the Couch to 5k app on my iPod later.

 

So, here’s the to-do list for today.  It looks long, but I slept 5 hours, so I have about 5 hours to do things.  Plan is to be in bed by 11:30 pm.

– Daily Pages

– Put away dishes in the rack

– Wash dishes in the sink

– Make Portuguese Stew for dinner tomorrow night (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aida-mollenkamp/portuguese-sausage-and-bean-stew-recipe/index.html)

– Fold laundry and put it away

– Pack lunch for tomorrow

– Finish Spells galleys

– Pack gym bag for tomorrow

 

That’s a good start.  I need to get the dishes going, so I can start the stew.  Hard to cook in a messy kitchen, and mine’s a disaster.

(updates/personal) Yep, still here. Not dead. At least, not yet.

I hate Daylight Savings time.  Just sayin’.

 

Also, I can’t update my website from work.  Nor can I look at Pinterest anymore (dammit!) and I can’t read my G+ stream.  I can post from my Google Reader to my G+ stream (don’t ask, our firewall is WEIRD) and I do have my phone, so I might hop on Twitter or Facebook from work on break, but it’s not a lways on.  So please, don’t think I’m ignoring you.  I’m not – I’m just busy.

 

However, I’m finally starting to settle into a routine.  I’m getting ready for Balticon (yay!) – I’ll be helping run the Needleworker’s Tea there again, and we’ll be launching Spells and Swashbucklers – with pirates!  And rum!  I’m also doing a LOT of crocheting – lots of babies coming this spring!  It was a fertile late summer/early fall, apparently.

 

Finally, I’m writing.  I’ve done my daily pages for 44 days straight so far, and I’m working on several projects.  Forgotten, mostly, but some other things as well that I’m pretty stoked about.  More later, as I can.

(to-do/writing/personal) Sundays are days of rest. Really.

Even when you don’t get home until 3:30 am from a ghost investigation – it’s still a day of rest.  A day to catch up on Once Upon a Time (my new favorite show, next to Castle and Bones), write, do laundry and dishes, and just renew myself.  I really do like this new schedule – I feel more alive.  And the words are coming again.

The words are coming because of a few things: I’m doing the daily pages every day at 750words.com, I’m taking the time to do things like watching TV again (a few selected shows only), and I’m reading again.  I just finished The Between, by LJ Cohen, and now I’m reading Hard Magic, by Laura Anne Gilman.  Because of that, and the fact that I’m on the right schedule, I’m getting words.

Which is good, because I’ve set myself a goal of finishing the first draft of Forgotten, the book I’m currently working on.  I haven’t talked much about it here, and I won’t for a while, but it’s a totally different world than the Horseman books.  Ghost stories, in fact.  I love ghost stories, and now, I’m free to write the books I want to read.  So, first draft of Forgotten is on deadline for May 30th.

I need to post a honey do list for this year, but I’ll do that later.  The big things on it, though, are Forgotten, the first draft of Schrodinger (whatever the title will be) and getting both Spells and Swashbucklers and Last Rites onto the shelves.  And, in non-writing stuff, I need to redesign the website.  Badly.

But today, I have just a few things to do:

– vacuum the living room

– empty the drainboard

– empty the sink

– Daily pages

– 500 words  on Forgotten

– Update the calendar in the living room

 

Lots to do today, and daylight, as they say, is a-burnin’.  Good news is, I don’t have to get up at 6 am tomorrow.

(writing) Just keep swimming…

I’ve just successfully completed Day 11 of the challenge over at www.750words.com – basically, it’s a month-long challenge of writing 750 words or more.  I use the site for my morning pages – not really to write, but to brain dump for that day, before I actually begin my writing.  It’s a practice that I’ve been trying to make a habit, and I think it’s finally sticking.  That’s not to say I won’t be doing next month’s challenge (heck, I’ll probably do it every month, just to keep my hands in) but I’m truly hoping I’ve made this a habit.  Or that it will be a habit, by the end of the month.

I’ve also signed up for the Antagonist/Protagonist workshop over at Novelists at Work (http://www.novelistsatwork.com/2011/10/3-d-characterization-the-antagonistprotagonist-relationship-revealed/) – today’s the last day to sign up for FREE with the code NEWYEARS2012!  Go and sign up!  I personally can’t wait to start next week!

In other writing news, I’m aiming to finish the first draft of the Christmas story (which STILL needs a title – I can’t just call it the Christmas story forever) for Saturday, so my RL writers group can tackle it.  They’re also getting the first chapters of Disappearance.  I hope the red pens are ready, because both of these stories need to bleed.  A lot.

Finally, I’m wrapping up things with Spells and Swashbucklers, and it is due to the publisher (now that things have been ironed out) on January 31st.  I’m planning on having it turned in far before then.

And I’m still loving Scrivener.

Turning over a new leaf (aka, changes coming to this blog)

I’m always in awe of authors like John Scalzi or Jay Lake who blog every day. I totally want to be like them, except I’m realizing two things (besides the fact that they’re way more popular and successful than I am – I know that already):


1. I don’t know that I have something to say every day.
2. I’m not sure I want to blog every day, if it takes away from my time to write.

Which is okay. I don’t have to blog every day. There’s no rule saying so (and even if there was, who is going to enforce it?). I do, however, want to continue to blog on a regular basis. So from now on, I’ll be blogging on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And I’m actually plotting out blogs, so they’ll be more substantive and more coherent than my posts lately have been. If there is anything you’d LIKE to see me blog about, feel free to drop me a line at val@vg-ford.com. I’m actually *gasp* almost caught up on emails (I know, right?), and I’m settling into a new schedule at work, so I should be able to STAY caught up. I’m certainly going to try.

By setting up a schedule, I’ll also be able to write blog posts in advance, so I’ll always be on time (in theory). I’ve got the next few in mind: next Tuesday will be my “Lessons This Past NaNo has taught me,” and I’m sure I’ll have a post about Snow when I get it up.

The first post of the month will always include my goals for the upcoming month, and the recap of goals from the last month. My goal for November was simply to win NaNoWriMo, which I did! Goals for December are modest, because I’m still recovering from November, it’s the holidays, and I’m settling into a new schedule and new job.

So here are December’s goals:
1. Write every day. (I’m using 750words to get my morning pages/brain dump in)
2. Get Snow out on the various epub platforms. (For those who don’t remember, Snow is the Christmas novella set in the Dark Horseman universe I wrote for Lilley Press, which has since folded, so I’m re-releasing it myself.)
3. Outline the first Sapph Novella
4. Get Spells and Swashbucklers turned in

I’m also looking at next year and goals, but those plans aren’t finalized yet, so I’ll discuss them later. For the first time in six years, I am not under contract to write anything. It’s a very cool but slightly scary place, and the stories in my head are clamoring for their chance in the sun. I’ll be feeling my way through the noise, one step at a time.

So, in short, changes coming. Lots of changes. Good changes, I hope. I’m glad you’re all along with me for the ride.

(writing/personal/to-do) Let me give you stars….

Yes, I’m listening to show tunes today. I’d forgotten how much I love to show tunes.

I’ve been running so much this week that I ended up coming home early from work (a combination of exhaustion and eating something that didn’t agree with my system at the pot luck at work) and I was asleep by 10:30. Slept in until 8:30 am, then took a bath. It’s been a lovely morning so far.

As I’ve been running this week, I’ve been thinking, too. There’s been a lot of driving, and time for me to think. I took a break from writing, because I simply didn’t have the brain cells to put words together. But I could plot, and I could dream.

I could also see what I’ve been doing: putting together massive to-do lists each day, and when I can’t finish even half of them, I lie in bed and beat myself up. Or look at the list and say, “I’ll never be able to finish this,” with the same result. Not conducive to good sleep, never mind good mental health. So I’m going to do something different today.

A short to-do list. The important things that NEED to get done today. I’m not allowed to go over 4 things. And since one of them is a movie with the hubby, it will be easy.

My to-do list for today:
– See Real Steel with Argus
– Finish contract for Spells
– Wash
and put away the dishes in the sink
– Put away laundry

That’s what absolutely needs to be done today. I want to write as well, but those are the four things that I need to get done. That list doesn’t look too bad. I can accomplish that.

But first, tea.

(personal/writing/to-do) Waking up, mentally and physically

I WILL get back into blogging regularly. Although I suppose every Sunday is regular, right? Anyways, I will be posting more, once I get myself back onto an even keel. Things have been progressing, and progressing WELL, for once.

I turned in Last Rites last week. Other than Spells and Swashbucklers, which I’m still working on the rewrite of the contract for, I have NOTHING contracted. NOTHING.

You have no idea how freeing that is.


Seriously. I don’t have an agent, so I don’t have to consult anyone on what to write next. The sky is the absolute limit. I can write whatever the hell I want. Which might be why, in that twilight state between awake and dreaming, my subconscious presented me with a kernel of an idea for the plot for FaeryTale Princess, which is a fantasy romance (kind of) that I have been playing around with writing for a while. It’s the story of a professional woman (she’s a paralegal, I think, or a researcher) who gets snatched by a fantasy Prince Charming from the ladies’ room at her work and taken to his kingdom, where she has to save the entire kingdom. I just didn’t have a plot. Now, I have an idea. And no, not sharing it yet. It’s pretty rough.

That being said, once I write it down, I’m putting it aside. Today is a cooking/cleaning/contract writing day, adding in a jaunt to Mom and Dad’s to get the CSA for the week. Man, that’s going to suck when it goes away. Gotta start putting money aside for next year’s half-share.


Things to do today:
– Put away dishes
– Wash 2nd load of dishes
– Cut coupons
– Make dinner list for the week
– Check out the sales and make shopping list

– Fold and put away laundry
– Clean out the container shelves and toss anything that has no lid or bottom
– Create new contract and send to Gwen
– Vacuum


I’m cooking today too, and making something yummy for tomorrow’s dessert potluck at work, but I’m not sure what yet. I’m contemplating pumpkin something – maybe biscuits? Dunno yet.

And quite possibly there will be writing. Quite possibly.

(writing) Craft stuff, creativity and editing

It’s been a good day. I’m tired, but it’s still been a good day.

I didn’t get stuff done in the house (guilt) but I did get stuff down out of the house. Got the shopping for this weekend done, got the Pumpkin’s birthday present, swam a mile and saw my nutritionist. Tonight, since he’s watching the football game downstairs, I’ll stay upstairs and write, listen to the Red Sox and get some stuff done up here.

To do tonight:
– Blurb to Erin
– Column to Sue
– Edit stories for Spells
5 stories edited! Go me!
– Send email to PG
– Put laundry away in living room
– Dishes

That looks good. I’ll go grab a cup of tea during the inning break.