November Nanowrimo went really well. Tamara and I finished our draft (81K) of The Seventh Symphony in two weeks, making a new record for us. With all these drafts in my hands, it looks like December and January will be months of revisions, my favorite part of writing.
In November my goals were:
WRITE THE SEVENTH SYMPHONY first draft with Tamara-CHECK! We did it easily. Now the draft will stew while we revise the earlier book, The Eighth Octave, to match any changes needed due to the new branch of the story.
WRITE NEW BOOK IDEA, possibly titled Myra Justice-CHECK! I managed to get in about 8000 words on this, two chapters or so.
Odds & Ends-CHECK! I got through a big push on the Alaska Essays editing project, getting through line edits. Now I’m heading into the photo editing part of the project, a whole new kind of problem solving for me.
RIVER RUNNING REVISION with Tamara- We wrote Book Two in our Indigo Elements series in October. Now we need to revise Book One to mesh with it. We have a list of 26 items to fix or change, ranging from smaller, one sentence matters to larger, stickier ones such as magic system clarifications.
LIGHT & SHADOW REVISION- I plan to take the second half of the month to work on Light & Shadow. I have not read it or looked at it in a few months, after doing a big revision and rewrite.
WRITE NEW BOOK IDEA- I’m going to continue drafting this new idea, though again, I don’t expect to get very far.
ALASKA ESSAYS- I’m going to make a big push on the organizational edit for the Alaska Essays volume I am “producing.” It’s a diverse project that involves co-ordinating various writers, editors, and contributors. I’m glad for my work with Flashdogs that helped prepare me for this kind of project!
Another cover treat. Here’s a sample cover I made for The Eighth Octave (just for fun):
October proved to be an excellent writing month, as Tamara and I plunged into a Nanowrimo-before-Nano in order to draft the sequel to River Running in one month. After an early rocky patch, we pulled it off, and happily we now hold an 82,000-word draft of Wind Winging in our blistered hands.
Up next, we face the real National Novel Writing Month, during which we intend to write the sequel to The Eighth Octave. This book is titled The Seventh Symphony, and we are well prepared with an epic 19-page outline.
In other news, we have had some bites for River Running and The Eighth Octave from small presses. We are still deliberating about what the best direction will be for these two book-babies and their associated sequels, but expect some news someday in the near-ish future.
My October goals were:
FINISH LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- CHECK! This was easy, as expected. Light & Shadow is now marinating until December, when it will come back into the line up for read-through and revision before being sent out for line edits.
WRITE STONE SPEAKING first draft with Tamara. CHECK!We ended up renaming the book Wind Winging during the drafting process.
My November goals will be:
WRITE THE SEVENTH SYMPHONY first draft with Tamara- We plan to have a draft by Thanksgiving Day, ambitious women that we are.
WRITE NEW BOOK IDEA, possibly titled Myra Justice- I don’t expect to have much time for this, but I’d like to at least get down a chapter or two. I have an outline, a few images, and an idea vaguely based on a (female) Thomas Cromwell-like character.
Odds & Ends- I’m working on two related non-fiction editing projects having to do with rural life in Alaska, and Tamara and I are hoping to make some forward progress with the submissions for RR and TEO. Wish us luck!
And here’s a little treat for you–an attempt at a cover for River Running. This was just for fun. Eden Reign is a nom de plume Tamara and I made up to possibly use on our co-writes.
I’m always looking for ways to learn about photo-compositing in Photoshop. Can you guess what I worked on here?
September was a strong and consistent month of writing for me. I’m nearly finished with my Light & Shadow rewrite and Tamara and I managed yet another small revision on The Eighth Octave after a revise & resubmit opportunity from one of the agents we pitched in New York.
In October Tamara and I have big plans to get a jump start on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, usually November) by writing our sequel to River Running, tentatively titled Stone Speaking. Can we write a whole book in a month, and then turn around and write a whole other book, the sequel to The Eighth Octave, tentatively titled The Seventh Symphony, in November? Two drafts in two months? Why not?
Last month my goals were:
FINISH River Running AND The Eighth Octave REVISIONS and submit to requesting agents- CHECK. We are eagerly awaiting replies. We’ve had a few partial requests get bumped up to full MS requests, and we actually turned down an offer for publication that did not suit us last week. We hope for more news on our submissions this month.
CONTINUE LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- CHECK I have only 2 chapters and an epilogue to go! I’ll finish the draft in October for sure.
FINISH LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- Nearly there, this should be manageable.
WRITE STONE SPEAKING first draft with Tamara. This will take up the bulk of my writing hours in October, but I look forward to the madness.
Whew! What a whirlwind of a month August was. I experienced a highlight of my writing life when I went to NYC to meet my co-writer Tamara Shoemaker for the first but not last time, and we pitched our two co-written books to agents (with a cheering amount of interest!). The pitching was nerve-wracking, the conference was good, but the best thing was getting to meet Tamara face to face and enjoy four days in her company. It was a creative supercharge, and Tamara and I, after living like the (g)literati for four days, taking in Broadway shows and sipping prosecco at rooftop lounges, came home to a mad revision cycle on our books which have kept us occupied for hours a day since.
Needless to say, such excitement has befouled my August goals.
FINISH LIGHT AND SHADOW REVISION- Nope, not even close. After the conference I had to shift my entire focus and all my time onto the books we needed to review for submission to our interested agents.
FINISH MIDNIGHT OIL REVIEW/REVISION- Nope, see note to goal #1
ATTEND WRITER’S DIGEST CONFERENCE AND PITCH THE EIGHTH OCTAVE!! CHECK! It was a blast and very successful, too.
VARIOUS EDITING AND FORMATTING PROJECTS. CHECK–I did keep on top of these. My favorite thing is formatting on an airplane. It’s good activity to throw on the headphones and pass the time.
In September I shall:
FINISH River Running AND The Eighth Octave REVISIONS and submit to requesting agents- This is sure to occupy most of my writing time.
CONTINUE LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- I probably won’t finish, but I want to at least make some progress.
And that’s it! Back to just a few goals so I don’t keep missing my CHECKS.
I happened to have made the box set cover for this series already, and so I took the look I developed for the box set cover–a spired, futuristic cityscape and lush skyline lights–and translated it into covers for the three books.
This series involves elemental magic, so each cover has an elemental theme, too:
WRITE Daughter of Fortune ending. Nope. I received my developmental edit of Light & Shadow back from Tamara Shoemaker and got overly excited about doing rewrites for that, so Light & Shadow became my ToB&L focus for the month.
WRITE something else-I read over a WIP tentatively called Midnight Oil and realized Book One in the series was more or less a complete draft, and I have been slowly picking through it trying to address some of the more glaring issues in the story.
CONTINUE to Promote Mage & Source pre-order. CHECK. I did several interviews this month, which I think should count as promotion. I just don’t like promotion.
FINISH LIGHT AND SHADOW REVISION- This is sure to occupy most of my writing time.
FINISH MIDNIGHT OIL REVIEW/REVISION- I have about 25% of the book remaining, so this is do-able.
ATTEND WRITER’S DIGEST CONFERENCE AND PITCH THE EIGHTH OCTAVE!! I head to NYC on Aug 16 to attend the conference, meet Tamara my co-writer, and pitch our book!
VARIOUS EDITING AND FORMATTING PROJECTS. I’m reading Tamara’s latest project right now, working on a close edit of a biography, and formatting a non-fiction psychology text for a small press.