Friday, April 28, 2006

Just a Bit


I was just way too busy to be able to post yesterday--and I probably shouldn't now, but I'll be brief. {g}

In doing some more research I ran across a history buff list, and apparently my source for the Isabel description is bunk, forked teeth and all. {sigh} Like a shock of cold water across the face, that. Ah well, the small, dark, lover bits are all verified elsewhere! Because of busy-ness yesterday I wasn't able to write (darn lunch meetings), and today I'll be hard-pressed too--I'm taking all my staff out to lunch on me. Aren't I a nice boss?

But I will get something done on it this weekend, and be back to my sched on Monday. Life, ya know?

Back to the grindstone for now, but how could I leave you without your

Medieval Word of the Day: heugh (or heuch): mostly Scot and N. dialect, A precipitous or hanging descent; a craggy or rugged steep; a precipice, cliff, or scaur; most commonly, one overhanging a river or the sea.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I am readying to add a cool new scene to TMT, introducing the Duchess of York. Now that I know the Duchess, AKA Isabel of Castile, is going to be one of my MC for Book 2, I want to bring her in--after all, she's already there in the same castle as Katherine. But I also have to be aware of how critical her characterization is. What I do here I'm going to have to stick to, at least to some degree, in the next book.

I am so pleased that Isabel was such a fascinating person, though. That makes it a great deal easier. Here are a few tidbits I know about her, going into this scene:

  • She is very small (4'8"), dark, and has "strange, forked teeth".
  • Her father was the King of Castile, Pedro "the Cruel", known for being crazy and torturing people, among other things. Her mother was his mistress, not his queen.
  • Her father was killed by his own brother in a battle for the crown of Castile.
  • She loves luxuries and rich things, and has lots of expensive jewelry.
  • She is 32, and currently 9 months pregnant with the child of her lover, the Duke of Exeter. (okay, I made up the pregnant part, but the lover part is supposedly historically true)
  • Her sister is married to John of Gaunt; her nephew by marriage is the King of England.
  • She's got personality. I can tell just from the research--she is scratching at me to tell her story. Yay!
So, back to work now. Y'all will get to meet Isabel later!

Medieval Word of the Day: leind: a hiding-place, refuge.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Listen and Reflect

Today I'm thinking about feedback, and how critical it is in the process of becoming a writer. Not just that you get feedback--that is vital, unless you're a random genius who is perfect, and then we would all have to hate you--but how you judge it, and how you accept it.

Newbies, for example, are often swayed by the slightest breeze of a comment. I tread particularly carefully when critting newbies, because they are so very easy to crush. "You have an opinion about my work? (You actually read my work, wow!) Of course you're right! I'll change it right away!" And then the next critiquer comes along and says the opposite, and the newbie changes again. And again. We have all been there. Finally at some point it comes home, with a slam. How can all of these people be right, when they contradict each other? And why should they know more about my characters than me?

Unfortunately, this leads some into the donkey phase. I will not budge my work is right I am the only one who knows here let me explain to you what this really means and why you just aren't seeing it correctly...

Hmm, perhaps this should be the "toddler phase" instead.

Donkey/toddler people think that they want feedback, but they don't. They want validation that their work is perfect as is, and praise up the wazoo. When they don't get that, they either argue or they lash out, but they don't listen. (Some writers are, I fear, trapped in the donkey/toddler phase.)

At a certain point, if you're really taking this thing seriously and want to succeed, you have to move into "listen and reflect". Here you ask a variety of people for feedback (of course, not just your friends, your mom, or your co-workers; also ask experts in your field, your historical area, the region your book takes place in, and agents, if you're that far in), and you LISTEN. Carefully. Attentively. With as much distance as you can muster. You resist the urge to jump in and say "but but". You write down their comments, or you save them in neat files. You say "thank you very much; your feedback is so important to me." Then you don't look at it for a while (more distance).

When you've gathered a bunch, you take it all out and look at it again, all together. Chances are those points that seemed so hurtful and mean the first time (and yes, sometimes they still do) seem much calmer and more reasoned now. So now you can analyze it. Is there a pattern? Are different people saying the same things? Weigh them based on their expertise. Put more weight on the regional critiquer's comments about the landscape than your neighbor's. ;)

Then, most important, reflect. Which ones resonate with you? Which suggestions are things that had crossed your mind, but you really didn't want to admit it? Which ones make you excited to think about changing? Which ones cause you to think differently about the whole work, see how it could be better?

This is what I'm doing with TMT. I've gotten a little flak here and there that I'm "changing it for agents" or "changing it based on a few comments". No. Three agents read it and made comments, and some of those comments were RIGHT ON. I knew it, after my defense mechanisms shut down. I knew that the book was okay as is, but if I did these things it would be oh so much better. I'm not writing "to" anybody, except me. But I asked, then I listened, and then I reflected. I think if you do anything else in this business--if you're a swayer or a donkey--you're sunk before you start.

Medieval Word of the Day: recolage: wanton or riotous conduct.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Monday, Monday

Ahhh, back after a nice weekend. Well, not consistently nice weather-wise; Saturday was nearly 70 degrees and sunny, and Sunday was 35 and snowy. {sigh} But the cold periods are getting shorter...though they make me grumpy, I can deal. We had fun anyway.

I'm not sure how the writing schedule is going to work this week. I have all sorts of personal/social things to do for lunches, so I'll have to do unusual things to fit it in. I shall do the best I can, that's all I can do, though, right?

I'm listening to jazz classics right now and feeling mellow and coo-el. However, I am out of coffee and have no chocolate in my desk, so these things must be corrected for everything to be truly right in the world. Skittles, while Easter-y, are NOT the same thing as chocolate by any stretch.

I think that's it for now. I've noticed that Monday posts tend to be rambly and without purpose. Kinda like Mondays? I think it takes me a day to get into the groove...

Medieval Word of the Day: loreless: without learning or knowledge. Hey, I bet you know somebody who is loreless, don't ya?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Side Note

After today, I am now exactly halfway through editing TMT. And the second half should be much smoother than the first! Woo-hoo!


Yesterday, oddly enough, I did not feel like posting on the blog. So, in a self-indulgent mood, I did not. So there. ;)

Today I'm thinking (again) about villains. Why are they so fun to write and read about? If we met someone in real life who was mean and nasty and did evil things just to mess with us, we would not want MORE of it. We would steer clear of them, or perhaps report them to our local law enforcement or mental health facility. But in fiction? Give us more evil, baby.

Huh. Must be some sort of psychological explanation for that...

Anyway, I love to write them, and as far as I know everybody loves to read them. They give us delicious shivers.

You know, it's funny. In the piece I was working on yesterday, there's even an incidental villain. Somebody who only appears in one scene, whose ill-will against the MC is not personal, who just is evil because of his situation, and his less-than-yummy personality. But still it's fun:

From The Murderess's Tale, Copyright 2006 by Susan Adrian, All Rights Reserved

I wiggled out from behind the boxes, blinking in the sunlight. A green, rolling landscape stretched before me, tilled fields and sheep holdings pricked by spreading trees. The scent of new-mown hay blew on the wind. I jumped when a face popped into view, just above the wagon bed.

It was a singularly unpleasant face, wrinkled and brown as a walnut shell, now twisted in a scowl. And out of proportion, his head far too big for his small body.

"What do ye out there?" He scrambled into the bed with practiced ease, then scuttled towards me. I could not move. He shoved me behind the boxes, knocking me painfully back on my bound hands.

"There now," he said. His voice was low and scratchy, as if little used. "Now I shall give ye the way o' things."

I narrowed my eyes at him, as much response as I could manage with the gag, and inched up to sitting again, silently praying to St. Catherine, the patron saint of virgins.

"We've to go in the castle now. So as not to bring questions," he raised shaggy eyebrows at me, "I'll loose yer bonds afore we go in. Ye'll sit up front wi' me."

My breath came fast. Here was my chance.

"Should ye forgit yerself…" The little man pulled a long, wicked knife from his waist with startling speed, and waved it at me. "I'll remind ye quick. Aye?"

Isn't he cool? Even though of course he's NOT. And I don't even know his name, this strange little big-headed walnut man. But I enjoyed writing him...

Medieval Word of the Day: scathel: injurious, harmful, dangerous.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A God-Like Complex

Okay, so "I'll come back later" apparently meant "I'll come back the next day." Well, it is later.

That was quite an interesting poll (thank you for participating!). Apparently readers of this blog come down heavily on the bottom half of the scale--no control freaks here. {g} At this time, the results are:
  • 55% Option 3: I give them the basic idea and see what they do with it. Then I change as needed.
  • 27% Option 4: I give them the basic idea, and let them do whatever they want.
  • 18% Option 5: They tell me what to do. I just follow them around and write it down.
I answered Option 3. This is actually a change for me, just with this draft.

When I started writing, I was an Option 4 all the way. I never could outline. Well, okay, I tried, but nothing would work out the way I'd thought--I'd get somewhere and the characters just wouldn't DO that, or it would seem stupid, or worse, forced. I scrapped the whole first bit of my novel because I was trying to force the characters toward a desired climax--and it just would NOT happen.

Then I discovered the magic of listening to characters. Once I trusted in it, in them, it was the right way to go for me. I have a vague idea of what is going to happen in a scene when I sit down to write it, but from there I just let them go...see what will happen, what they'll say, who else will pop up. (Aside: I love my mushroom characters, those people who pop up whole and sharp in a scene even if they have a small part. Sometimes they're even hard to get rid of.) I wrote the whole book that way, and I was amazed at how well things worked out, in general.

But. Here's where I become an Option 3. I happily sent out my cool character-driven book, and 3 (bless-ed) agents read fulls or partials and gave me their opinions. And it does hang together in general, yes. But what I didn't realize is that it's not. quite. there. It needed a little more direction, more shaping. More hand-of-God authorial intrusion than was there before. More WORK. My characters did wonderfully well on their own up to a point; now it's time for me to make it better.

So this draft is where I make changes "as needed". Now I have to guide them a little more, and even be a little harsher. Who knew that would be necessary? I didn't. But then when I started I didn't even know I had to listen to my characters.

What are your thoughts? Your reasons for voting as you did?

Medieval Word of the Day: rackle: Hasty, rash, impetuous, headstrong; rough or coarse in action; also Sc. possessed of rude strength, vigorous at an advanced age.

Wow, that's a good one, eh?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Character Dance: Who Leads?

Because I'm a feedback whore, I'm going to try to get a mini-discussion going. Here's a poll that only writers would understand. How do you and your characters interact? Take the poll and tell me how YOU do it. I'll come back later and post my approach.

How do you interact with your characters?
I'm in charge, baby. They do what I tell 'em.
I give them the structure, the plot, and they act within that. No major tangents allowed.
I give them the basic idea and see what they do with it. Then I change as needed.
I give them the basic idea, and let them do whatever they want.
They tell me what to do. I just follow them around and write it down.
Free polls from

Monday, April 17, 2006


When you're used to getting ready with a 4-year-old in the morning, getting ready without one is exhilarating, unsettling, and boring all at once. Odd, that.

S. slept over at her grandparents last night, since she was going to be with them today anyway. Why make her wake up on our schedule and rush with us while we get ready for work? I had a bad moment last night when I missed her desperately--even though she would have been asleep anyway. I missed hearing her breathing on the monitor, missed that last-thing-before-bed check when I just go and reassure myself that she's asleep and well, and properly covered. Amazing how these little beings steal our hearts so completely.

On the writing front, I didn't get much done over the weekend, but am back at it today. I've added quite a few new bits and TMT is now up over 92,500 words. I started this rewrite at 88,000, so yay me! I've almost added 5000 words! And several more new scenes to write.

I still can't believe I thought this was ready enough to send out before. {shaking head} Ah well, live and learn. Not much else new today; must catch up on work now!

Medieval Word of the Day: wapentake: A subdivision of certain English shires, corresponding to the ‘hundred’ (HUNDRED 5) of other counties.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Vibrant and True

Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food. ~Austin O'Malley

It's 3 PM on Friday, and I'm in that sleepy late-afternoon mode. My brain is a little foggy, and nothing feels urgent or even very interesting. If I were a cat I would totally be stretched out on a windowsill in the sun.

As it is I'm typing on my blog and having a cup of creamy tea. Perhaps that's the human equivalent?

I'm not sure if it's the tea or the cloudy, windy day outside my windows, but I keep reminiscing about the year I spent in England, back in college. I remember then the sheer joy in April seeing the first daffodils, after all that rain. I remember walking across the green, wet fields to get tea in an ancient stone house, eating scones with fresh strawberry jam and clotted cream while sitting by a leaded glass window, laughing with friends. I remember sitting alone on a hill in Aberystwyth, Wales, the ruins of a 12th-century castle cool against my back, the sea crashing far below. I remember taking a train up to London to see a West End play, just for the hell of it, and riding back drunk on theatre, lying facedown on the cracked leather seat of the coach car, peering out the window at England.

Of course that's not near the whole of my year abroad, and I didn't tell you any specifics: where I was, why I was there, anything. But aren't those vivid images? They're vivid in my mind; they stand out true and sharp, multicolored, filled with all the senses.

This is what scenes should be like. If you can get those emotions, those details, those colors of life in there, it will all seem real. It will be real. Your readers will want to go back and re-read, so they can experience THAT again, that moment, that vibrance. They will want to lie there on the train seat, sit there on that hill in Wales, because it's alive to them. Make it happen. Make it real. Bring vibrance and life into your writing, and we'll want to read it.

Medieval Word of the Day: tapisser: A maker or weaver of figured cloth or tapestry.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Mmmm, I just ate two corndogs for lunch. Mind, that's probably my corndog quota for the year, but they were goooood.

This is my Yahoo horoscope for today: "Practice paying attention. Pay attention to the things that you normally don't pay attention to. How do you know what you usually don't pay attention to? Exactly! Your project is to start uncovering what you notice and what you don't notice. You can find out a lot about yourself by seeing what it is you don't see. But it might not be easy."

No, I don't live by horoscopes; I understand that they're mostly just made-up, general advice. But I find it an interesting mind-game to look at them regularly and see how accurate or not such advice is. This one struck me as an excellent exercise for writers. Because not only can you find out about yourself by such a project, you can find out about your characters.

A critical part of drawing your readers into the story and keeping them close is how well you do POV. And one of the most vital tips about staying in POV? What different characters notice.

TMT is in 1st-person, so I HAVE to stick in POV. If Katherine doesn't notice it, you're not going to notice it, outside of dialogue. But what does Katherine notice?

--She's an intelligent young woman, aware of her surroundings (and like most 1st-person narrators, she likes to watch people). Because she's a woman she notices the subtlety of people's facial expressions and movements, and applies meaning to them. She notices how people are dressed, and makes judgements based on that. She notices details about men: hands, legs, the prickly stubble at the back of his neck.

--She's a mason's daughter. She notices architectural details, stone, the placement of windows.

--She's educated, so she can read things in her environment.

--She is used to housework, spinning and the like. She'll see if something's dusty, if it needs mending. If the fire is low and needs more wood.

--She is a woman of the 14th century, and is devout. She notices and wonders when someone has pigeon hanging in the kitchen and it's Lent. She sees where the various classes stand in a church service. She can tell someone is wealthy by the quality and rarity of spices, and the type of rushes on the floor. She recognizes the sequence of bells for Vespers, or Terce.

All of these things are specific to this narrator. If I was telling a scene from Thomas's POV--or when I write his dialogue and actions--he would notice and remark on completely different things. It's when I put in things that Katherine would NOT notice that readers, whether aware of it or not, get pulled out of the story, start to question it.

Ah, and one more thing. Katherine's not going to be consistent in what she notices, and I need to pay attention to that. Just like a real person, if she's upset or mad she's not going to be detailing the wonderful architecture of a house; she's going to be looking at the face of the person she's mad at. When the baby is dangerously ill, she sees, hears, nothing but that baby. Again, if I try to stuff in details where they don't fit POV I'm going to lose the reader. And it's all about keeping them in the story, where they belong.

Medieval Word of the Day: skink: To pour out or draw (liquor); to offer, present, serve (drink, etc.).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Writing Bug

I've been so into writing lately; it's like I have my energy back, and more important, my enthusiasm. The other night I had a 20-minute opportunity while S. and hubby were busy, and instead of riffling through The Week I popped open my file and wrote a few paragraphs. Last night I was thinking about the next scene while making dinner, and pondering character development while drifting off to sleep. I love it when it's in my head like this--my best stuff comes out of this kind of intense dedication.

This morning I happily realized that the next chapter is my opportunity to bring in King Richard himself (richer, deeper, more historical figures and references). I can also up the tension because of that lovely new scene I wrote yesterday, and juggle things around a bit to improve the flow. Woo-hoo. Long live the writing high.

What else is going on? Well, Easter. Preschool spring break starts tomorrow--thank God for grandparents. S. will be quite happy getting non-stop attention for 3 days, and grandparents will too. This weekend we can do the always-fun dyeing of Easter eggs. I am so much of a kid at heart that I absolutely love doing that. Then on Sunday she'll get an Easter basket, and get to do an egg hunt in the yard. Then brunch at the country club with my parents (hey, they invited us! It sounds soooo traditional, but hopefully will be good. I've never been to the country club.)

Oh and bonus news! Last night we booked our trip to San Diego for Memorial Day. Hurrah, beaches and aquariums and loads of Mexican and Thai food!

Medieval Word of the Day: divinail: something to be divined; a riddle.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rocky Mountain High

Well, don't I rock.

Sorry, but I'm just coming off my hour of "new" writing, and I'm feeling cocky. I often feel that way just after writing new material. It's a high, especially when you know that something really works. Not necessarily the precise words; I'm sure it will need cleaning up, checking for anachronisms, more detailing, all that stuff. But it worked with the plot--it made some later scenes really make sense in terms of character justification (yay), it has all sorts of layers of motives for different characters, and I even fit in a nice reference to a current historical character and his circumstances without horrible info dump. All this with a nice direct conflict between the two main males, which previously didn't happen until the {cough} knife fight. And the last word of the chapter is "whore".

Yay yay yay. I just was dragged back to work, and I must get something done, but I am so pleased with myself.

Medieval Word of the Day: brigue: strife, quarrel, contention.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Spring and the Pricker

It snowed again last night. But my daffodils and tulips are almost 2 inches high now, poking their green heads out of the ground for a peek, so I know the warm weather is coming. Actually, it was 56 and sunny yesterday, so I'll admit the snow this morning was a bit of a shock.

It was a busy and fun weekend. I worked a trade show and we attended S's preschool Spring Fling, complete with an Easter bunny, Easter egg hunt, and face painting. A good time was had by all.

I got some great work on TMT done on Friday, and I have an actual new scene to write today, with Richard AND Thomas together, and lots of lovely historically accurate details about building a cathedral. (mantra: deeper, richer, more historical references! Of course more conflict is good too.)

My favorite bit from the part I just re-worked:

From The Murderess's Tale, Copyright 2006 by Susan Adrian, All Rights Reserved

It was Thomas. The shade of Thomas—he did not carry a light, and I could not make out more than the black shape of him, and a few glints of firelight on his cinnamon hair. He stepped forward. Now I could see his face, fixed on the bed. On me. He threw off his cloak and dropped it on the floor, taking another step.

I caught the pungent scent of ale mixed with something else, like rotten fruit. Spirits. He was drunk. I could see it now, in the way he wavered, the way his shadow-shape swung slightly, back and forth. In the glitter of his eyes.

His belt landed on the floor with a smack. Suddenly I understood his intent. He meant to take me, now. Regardless of reputations, marriage, Papa—or my willingness. Take my maidenhood tonight, and be done with it.

I wanted him to.

Isn't that a cool snip? I've always liked that image. Now if I could just get everything to hang together better...

Medieval Word of the Day: pricasour: A quick rider, (or perh.) a huntsman: cf. PRICKER

Friday, April 07, 2006

Oooooh, Sometimes...

Happy Day! It's Friday. It's sunny and 40 degrees--that's T-shirt weather in Montana. This afternoon I get to flee my office and go set up a booth for the Gold & Treasure show this weekend, which is always a little fun. Then tonight I get to make a chocolate cake for S's preschool Spring party tomorrow. {cough} Two cakes, so we can consume one.

I didn't write yesterday--went out to Mexican food with hubby instead--but I am just about to close the door and open up the TMT file for today. Bonus: while cake-making tonight I will be able to write MORE, since hubby is going to a George Carlin concert. Woo-hooo! Now I just have to make the most of it!

I had some thoughts last night about how I might speed up the troublesome chapter 11, so we'll see. It might involve actual cutting. This is odd for me, since my omnipresent goal is to bump UP the word count...but I must remember that this does not mean that all the words I already have are golden. Some need to be dispensed with. It's just possible that not everyone will WANT to read the not-so-dramatic portions of a medieval road trip...

I am constantly encouraged, though, by the number of writer friends who ask to read my work, or have already read it. Bless you, writer friends, for keeping up my confidence (there's that word again) with your interest. It keeps me going. Oh, and the nice things you say help too. {g}

Ooooh, "Sometimes" by Erasure just popped up on the radio. I went through such an Erasure period in highschool. Now I'm humming too....uh-oh, now singing...

I better get to that writing now!

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Update: behavioral issues are much improved, at least for today. Yee-haw. It is currently snowing/slushing, but what do I expect in Montana in April? And last but critical to my state of mind, I just ate two delicious donuts, free of charge. Yummmm.

I did get some good work done on TMT yesterday; blazed through Chapter 11 and halfway through 12. As I suspected, I write villain scenes _much_ better than love scenes, or well, anything else, really. Give me a good villain--and I have a few doozies--and I'm set. Hopefully the next book will have several to choose from. {s}

I'm currently reading an ARC of The Historian, somewhat laconically, and am considering giving it up. It's just not captivating. Sure, there's occasional death by vampire, but there's also an awful lot of travelogue (something I've never liked, personally). I also feel rather hit over the head--I can see the plot a mile away, and I wish she'd just get TO IT. I think I'll give it another chapter or so, but then it's going to go away if it doesn't pick up. Has anyone else read this one? What did you think?

Medieval Word of the Day: gnoff: A churl, boor, lout.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Such stuff as dreams are made on

Well, my brain is really taken up today with these ever-revolving worries about my 4-year-old's recent behavioral problems. Worry worry worry, stress stress stress. BUT I am also frankly tired of worrying about it constantly, so I will try to force myself out of my own head by talking about something else.

Isn't the weather grand today? No, just kidding. Not that. It's raining anyway, with another 8-10 inches of spring snow expected tonight...

So...{sitting down in a comfy chair, stretching my feet out} did you start your current WIP?

Me, I had a dream. Really. And not a dream that would inspire most people. In fact, most people would probably call their pyschologist sobbing, after a dream like that.

The initial kernel of the book, see, was a rape. In my dream, I was a young girl, locked in a room in some sort of odd star-shaped pale tower. It was clearly a medieval time period. A nobleman came in and bragged about how he'd "bought" me, could do whatever he wanted now, and would. And he had a knife. Man, he was a jerk. {shuddering still, at the memory} Anyway, when I woke up, I knew I had to write this story down. Surprisingly, though, when I sat at the keyboard the story did not start there. It started when the young girl made a bad choice...

The book has been revised so much by now that my MC doesn't even get raped, though she certainly has to deal with enough other turmoil. But the two characters in that dream are still there.

And the tower? Ah, the tower. That was the coolest bit. I had no idea who the nobleman in the dream was, of course, so I rooted around in history. When did I want this to take place? What area? Eventually, for some unknown reason I settled on Edmund Langley, first Duke of York, as my villain, and proceeded from there. About halfway through the first draft, I did a little more research on the Duke, to find out more about him. And I found his tower, his favorite place to live, and the place where he was born:

That was it, of course. The tower I'd dreamt about in the first place.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I have confidence in sunshine...

Today I'm going to talk about Confidence.

Yes, that's Confidence with a big 'C'. It's that important. I believe that confidence is crucial in all areas of life--have you ever noticed what a difference it makes in how people react to you when you're positive? When you're down and saggy, people are less likely to want to talk to you, to want to help you. When you're self-assured, when you walk quickly with your head up, you invite smiles. Really. Try it.

Ever notice that it's the same way with your book? If you go to the story thinking "Gawd, I SUCK at this, I don't even know how I'm going to dredge up 500 words today, I am never going to get this book done"--do you think you will? Do you think your story and your characters will pump you up on their own, help you along? Probably not. You need to bring confidence to the page, however the heck you can come up with it. You need to KNOW that you can do this, that it's not stupid. It's not a waste of effort. You need to keep trying, and with practice it will happen. You might not get published, but your writing will improve. You will create story moments that shine. You will make yourself cry.

The scary thing for me, that I'm just finding out, is that those moments of low confidence never disappear. I always thought, like most newbie writers, that once you finished the book, you'd be over the hump. You'd be sure of yourself. You'd done it! Nope. Okay, I thought, once you get an AGENT. Nope. Once you get an editor? Nope. Once your book is on the shelf?

Apparently there will always be those moments of doubt, no matter where you are in the process. I'm not looking forward to that. But I know that if I'm going to succeed, I'm going to have to overcome those moments, and approach my work with confidence, each and every time.

Medieval Word of the Day: pismire: an ant.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Nuttin' Much

Well, I've been a little busy keeping up (you know who you are), but I think I've got it under control now, at least in one area of my life. Of course you push down one bubble, another pops up...

This weekend was fun. Saturday DH and I handed Child over to loving grandparents for an overnight, and we went to first a symphony concert, then a movie. Bliss. As a bonus adventure, between the time we left for the concert and got home, we got 8-10 inches of snow. Man! Spring in Montana. It was a remarkably beautiful scene, the trees heavy with snow, the world blanketed, and quiet...

Yesterday was just a hang-out day, and then in the evening we took Child to see the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats. Not fantabulous, but fun.

And now back to the real workaday world! I have a pile of stuff to get through today, so I'd best get to it. But I hope to get some good writing done at lunch...and will try to post something actually interesting tomorrow.

Medieval Word of the Day: jubbe: a large vessel for liquor.