Archive for the ‘Writing Progress’ Category

Doing What’s Necessary

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I’ve still been struggling with actually putting words down on the page, so it was time for drastic measures: time to pull out the Dragon again. Though this presented certain issues of its own; apparently, my new PC configuration doesn’t like the wireless headphone connection and sends my wireless internet adapter into a tizzy whenever I plug in the dongle. Strange because it didn’t used to do that before the disk crash and rebuild. So I couldn’t install dragon on my desktop computer, which is probably just as well anyway because using it there only allows for pacing around my office and up and down the hall about 5 steps.

That left the Mini, though before I could install Dragon on it, I needed to free up some disk space–a lot of disk space. I ended up stripping the Mini down to bare basics: a word processor (I took off MSOffice and installed just the WP for OpenOffice), deleted all the Window’s games and numerous accessories, and dumped my antivirus. This, of course, means no more internet surfing, so I got rid of Firefox as well. I don’t mind the lack of internet on it though; it always loaded so very slow, and the computer is running much faster now that Norton is gone. I also got rid of all those extras HP added when they installed Windows, so start up is way faster than before. As for internet, my Iphone has pretty much taken the place of the Mini for traveling, so the only reason to have internet on the mini is for Dropbox and Windows Updates, though I’m considering going back to transferring files via a thumb drive just so I don’t clutter the place up with files (and I can free up more space by uninstalling Dropbox.). I’ve looked into the possibility of upgrading the Mini’s harddrive, but it doesn’t look like an easy task, so that’s not any serious option at this point.

The good news is that the Dragon is working like a champ on my newly bare-bonesed Mini, and the though the wireless headset does seem to play tricks with the wireless internet connection, it doesn’t really matter. This computer is now only for writing. And OpenOffice seems to work fine for dictation (though converting to doc from docx produces some funny results when looked at on my PC. I’ll have to copy and paste into my docx file at the day because the doc file is totally screwed up now (has weird characters in the header and it took about half of my comment and pasted them as plain text at the bottom of the document.)

The installation and cleanup of the Mini took most of the day, so by the time I was ready to start working, it was already time to start making dinner. No issue though: I decided to dictate and do dishes and cook at the same time. And it worked out remarkably well. I managed just under 1.2k during that hour (a very sloppy 1.2k), so I’m keen to see how much I can get done with a full day to work on it. I did notice I became very mentally exhausted after that hour of work, so I think frequent breaks for naps and recharging my brain will be necessary, but I’m eager to get to work today.

I shall report the results tomorrow.

When Someone New Comes Along

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So, I’ve taken a little break from writing to read a dissertation that I think will help clarify some historical aspects of my current project, since my limited knowledge of Apaches was failing me, and so far the work I’m reading has been really interesting and I’m absorbing a lot of good information. Where the last third of this novel is going, I’m still not sure, but my normal method is to just wait it out and eventually the block will clear itself. So long as I’m doing research, that’s perfectly okay. When I start wandering off to video games, then it’s not okay.

But yesterday I was reading again and a passing thought about what I was reading developed into a smidgen of an idea, and suddenly it was blossoming into something even larger, large enough that I felt it necessary to go write it down. I did a little research, to make sure I got something right in my note, and doing that opened up even more ideas, and next thing you know, I’m contemplating what the speculative element could be in this new interesting world that was developing in my head. Soon I had two characters and the circumstances that would bring them together. The story itself is still a mystery, but this idea keeps crawling back into my head over and over since yesterday; I even started thinking about it as soon as I woke up this morning. I haven’t given any thought at all to the current project in a least a week now. This new one is exciting, and it’s both alternate history and fantasy, even better since my enthusiasm for science fiction has waned with the years. I think this most likely is epic fantasy; I’ll just have to wait and see what the story’s really about.

And now I see my interest in the current project waving goodbye while the current project wails and gnashes its teeth, begging me not to let it go so soon. I’m not going to; I need to finish it so I don’t forget what I was trying to do at the end, but I just might take some time to get to know this new project a bit better, in preparation for taking a stab at it once I’m done with this novel.

Back to Work, Ye Scurvy Dog!

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So the last month or so hasn’t been particularly productive for me, but now that the kids are back in school and I have no more vacations and conventions ahead of me until next summer, I’m determined to get back to work and finish this novel. I’ve finished the first two parts out of three and have spent the last week trying to find the motivation to outline the last third, without much success. It’s obvious that I can’t wait around for inspiration to strike, so to hell with the muse. He’s being lazy, so the hard-knuckled editor is now here to beat him with a stick. I will write 3k today even if it means having to stay up late to get it done. No excuses, no laziness. Ass in chair, fingers on the keyboard, and no internet until at least 1k is gone. The editor is pissed and he doesn’t take kindly to whining. The work day will not end until I reach 70k, at minimum.

Tally-ho!

About Half-Way There

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If I’m aiming for the original word count of 120k, I’m at the halfway mark, but I’m not quite ready to call it 120k yet, so:

60075 / 100000
(60.08%)

Either way, I’m doing pretty awesome. First draft won’t be done in time for WorldCon like I’d hoped, but hopefully soon after that. I should be able to concentrate more once the kids are back in school. They were gone most of yesterday, at the pool with friends, and I got a lot of work done when the house was silent and I didn’t have to prepare lunch.

So things are going well and I’m finally starting to reestablish a pace of sorts, not quite up at the 3k a day I’d been hoping for, but pretty close. I’m averaging over 2k a day at the moment.

In other news, WorldCon is just about two week away now. I’m not on any programming, which means I get to relax and go watch my friends wax philosophical on numerous subjects. It should be good times, though if Reno is anything like Vegas, the BarCon portion could be much different than at previous WorldCons (less cozy and a lot louder).

Struggling to Regain the Pace

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So I’ve been struggling to regain that uber awesome pace I had prior to the 4th of July holiday weekend, but pretty much I’ve gotten maybe 5k done since then. Vacations are hard to recover from, plus there’s been the normal distractions of kids’ practices and games. I did have a really great writing day last Saturday, almost 3k words. I also put a huge stopper in my progress when I realized that the story would be better off told in 3rd person rather than 1st and so spent all of Monday working to convert the 200 pages I have so far. I’m still not done (I lost yesterday to having to recover from a minor surgical procedure I had in the morning. Spent most of the day on Vicadin and trying to find something my stomach would keep down.). It’s back to it today, hopefully to finish the conversion and get back to work where I left off. I’m starting the story earlier than previously, so while I technically am rewriting, I’m still keeping my previous beginning; it’s just now somewhere closer to the middle. And interesting things I hadn’t anticipated are happening, and deepening the thematic elements of the story. And I have a new character (she’s a character from the other books, but she’s playing a minor role here; important, but minor.). So while I’m disappointed at my rate of progress, I am terribly excited about where things are moving with the book.