Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Good and Bad

Hola! It's been a while, I know. I just haven't felt like blogging. Too many other things going on, and I've been living in my own little Jenna-revision-world anyway. People keep catching me staring at the walls or the ceiling for long periods of time.

There is too much. Let me sum up.

Good: Last night, while lying in bed listening to the Angels/Mariners game on the radio, I solved my subplot problem. Yes! One thread has been giving me headaches since I started, never quite fitting, never being strong enough to balance everything else. Voila--if I move all the action one month later, I complicate Jenna's life tremendously and make everything more difficult, yet stronger. Perfect. Ha ha.

Bad: I couldn't sleep at all last night, tossing and turning while my mind worked on the implications of the above. Major ripples to deal with. {YAWN}
Good: Child starts Kindergarten tomorrow. Same teacher as last year, so no stress there. And we all love her school.

Bad: Of her two best friends, one moved to another school for kindergarten and the other is in the other classroom. {sigh} AND she's five and so big and her childhood is zooming by...{sniff}
Good: My grad school classes have started and are fun so far, especially digital photography. Yay!

Bad: My grad school classes have started.
All good:
You MUST READ Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst. Yes, it's a middle-grade novel based on fairy tales. I don't care what grade it's for. It's inventive, captivating, funny, and intense. The concept is original and very well done. I read the whole thing in One Day. Go. Check it out. Trust me.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Other Stuff

Some things I haven't mentioned, while I was obsessed with Finishing:

--Child has been attending kid's drama camp all week, which she is LOVING. They get to do a performance of Where the Wild Things Are tomorrow. She plays a monster. :)

--Grad school starts next week. {sigh} Fortunately this term I'm taking catch-up required classes: Digital Imaging (photography and Photoshop) and Professional Presentations. Decided against taking Rhetoric, yay.

--It's been nasty here for about a week, socked in with smoke from all the forest fires in Montana and Idaho. The sky has been orange or yellow, and really icky to breathe. Yesterday it rained (thank God) and cleared a bunch of it up, though. Whew. I have my window open again.

--Last night I started reading Into the Wild, by Sarah Beth Durst, a fellow blogger. (Sarah's agent was one of those who read the full of TMT, so I found her blog while reading up) So far, I'm really enjoying it. Hooray for reading and movies during my self-imposed break!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Guess what, guys?

3300+ words later, I have finished the first draft of Jenna.


(yes, I'm all teary.)

Thanks so much for all your support. Mind, I'll need it again in a week or so when I'm editing, chopping, adding, and re-working, but for now? Thank you.

I know I've been pretty close-mouthed about what Jenna was even about, but since I'm pretty sure the main plot is not going to move around now, I'm going to post the hook (which, yes, I've already written) in celebration. Here 'tis. Gotta go post on the forum now!

The Weirdest Thing about Jenna
by Susan Adrian

Fifteen-year-old Jenna's life is…complicated. Her mom, a true-life columnist, has a new job on national radio—so now people across the country can share every little embarrassing moment. Jenna's been yanked from San Diego and dumped with her dad, in small-town Montana. Oh, and she sometimes abruptly disappears into an alternate world, where each kid has their own shade, one person who is their perfect balance. At least Joe always understands her.

But the other world starts falling apart at the same time as Jenna's real life. Joe and all the other shades are in danger, and Jenna has to help fix the balance to save him, and herself. But just when she's getting it, her dad sees her "disappear"…in what looks like a seizure. Now Jenna's caught up in a nightmare of doctors, tests, and needles, in a world where she has no control, and no one believes her. Are the doctors right, that Joe is just a hallucination of epilepsy? Or is he real, and waiting for her to save him?

Follow Jenna into a world of flying monkeys, cranky nurses, and a hot guy with problems of his own.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


{Huge grin}

Still not done, though. One more chapter at least.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Okay, enough about freaking Jenna, but no. Not enough.

98%. I think I'll reflect on that for a moment. 90-freaking-8 percent.

Though I think I will go over the wordcount some. Not much, but some. Which of course is perfectly fine. :)

I see the end, like an image in a microscope, coming sharper as I focus the knob.

Some of it is dorky as is. Yes, I admit this. Hopefully I will fix this dorkiness in the second draft, though it's also possible that some of it is just a reflection of my perfectly dorky imagination. We shall see. I plan on giving it to plenty of (diverse) readers when the second draft is done, so all remaining "oh my god this is lame" moments should be wiped out with that.

I am eating Pringle's Salt-n-Vinegar chips like there is no tomorrow. Must stop that.

From Jenna today: "Oh my God, what a headache. Seriously. The headaches I'd had before when I came back, splitting my skull and all? Machetes vs. pumpkin? Nothing compared to this."

Whadjya eat? Leftovers. :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday report

There, got my minimum words in for the day (800), so now I can do a quick post before I get back to real work.

I had a great weekend. On Saturday we all went out to a sapphire-mining place, where you buy buckets of gravel, wash it in a trough, and pick through the piles hunting for sapphires. It's actually really fun, like finding treasure. And there are so many in this particular area that there are at least a few in every screen-full.

Sunday we hung out and went grocery shopping, and I got to spend some good time with Child. We did ballet together, which she LOVED (I was doing a barre routine with her, with plies in first position, second position, etc., and for once she was following, wide-eyed and smiling, instead of arguing with me that I wasn't doing it correctly. {g}). I did discover later that evening that I'd managed to strain my Achilles "showing off", but oh well. Worth it.

Unfortunately it was NOT a good weekend for writing. I got up early on Sunday to write, expecting about an hour and a half, and Child popped up 3 minutes later. {sigh} Best-laid plans. I scraped about 100 words from the scene in my head while she watched TV, but that was it. Though it was frustrating, it's okay. Real life takes precedence, and she's only little once. :)

Oh...last night hubby and I decided to watch the Masterpiece Theatre version of Phillip Pullman's "The Ruby in the Smoke", which I'd always wanted to read, since I like the other series so well. And it was really good, with funny lines and unexpected bits, intriguing, twisted--and then halfway through the PBS station crapped out and just went blank. By the time it came back up, the show was almost over, so we missed it. Bummer. Will have to track it down sometime.

Favorite line from Jenna writing today:
"But still I was stuck here. Pinned in this world like a beetle on a board."

Whadjya eat? Pork chops with a prepared Thai rub, tomato salad, artichokes with melted butter!

Friday, August 10, 2007

And on and on and on...and stop!

Self discovery: I get very cranky trying to hold scenes in my head all day. Occasionally I mutter them to myself, to make sure I remember them. This probably makes me look insane.

I may be to the end of the headlong rush of words (10,500 words in one week!), just because I'm to the bit where I don't know what happens, how to wrap up one of the plotlines. I had an idea this morning, but I don't know yet exactly how it will work, so I'm going to have to pause to brainstorm it out. I don't expect a very long pause, though. {g} I don't want to stop.

On the other hand, sometime soon I'm going to need to get some real sleep not interrupted by excited thoughts about Jenna. {YAWN}

Whadjya eat? I keep forgetting this. Last night: we ordered pizza. {s} The night before, I made Parmesan Turkey cutlets, which is basically thin turkey slices dipped in an egg/parmesan/basil batter and fried. Can't find the recipe at the moment...

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Wow. I got up early this morning to get some writing in while everyone was asleep, and I got about 1000 words before I had to get them up and moving. (Child's getting dressed right now.) We have to do a trip to Bozeman today for a doctor's appointment, so I won't have any more writing time than that.

I could've written all day, if I had the time.

As it is, the next two scenes were already bouncing around in my head in the shower, so that I had to scribble some notes down as soon as I popped out. And OMG, dudes, I love it. It's all coming together, and it just fits perfectly.

{boing, boing, boing}

Yes, that was me bouncing around the room. Yes, I have probably had too much coffee. But that is just okay by me. I'm happy, yay yay yay, it's working and I love it and I can't wait to write it--

damn. gotta go. {g}

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Go, go, go, go

Yay! Almost done, almost done! 55,000 by end of this week (that's 10k in 10 days, folks), and then I only have ~5,000 more to go!

{hopping up and down}

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Okay, I've been duly slapped, and I feel lots better.

Thanks, Vic. {ow}

Call to the cavalry

Okay. I need a bitch-slap, fast. Get your arms ready, girlfriends.

The writing is going well--you know this. I blather on about it every day. I'm less than 10k from the end, and it's fast and furious. I wrote another 1200 words or so yesterday; turned down lunch with hubby to spend more time with my girl today. Am drawn to her every minute. But.

Apparently my brain is not happy unless it's worrying about something. So in the past couple of days, even while I'm writing like a maniac, I've been obsessed with the following:

1. Is anyone going to want to read this book but me? I know, I know. Now is NOT the time to even think about this. But let's say this--Jenna will be a good book, I think. A compelling story. But it's not exactly fit-into-a-mold. {cough} There are things in there, fairly serious issues, that turned out to be bigger within the story than I thought. It's not lighthearted fantasy YA, at all. I'm picturing myself trying to pitch it, and panicking...

(Why do I care about this? Why am I even thinking about this? SLAP ME!)

2. Even worse. I'm freaking out about what I'm going to write next.

Dudes, I know! But I'd had the idea that I would be able to write, if not a sequel, then another book in the same world. I'm not absolutely positively sure, but I don't think so anymore. I think Jenna is a stand-alone, and anything else I tried to write about this situation/world would be repetitive or derivative. {sigh} This has just become clear. So now my little brain is spinning: if you're not going to write that next, what are you going to write? Huh? Huh? What's next, write your passion girl?

What if I only have one book that I'm this passionate about? What if I can't do this again? (What am I talking about, I haven't even done it once, I'm not done.) Eeeeeeeekk!

Welcome to my mind. Is this just fear of finishing? What the hell?

I'm gonna go read the last bit of Jenna and try to kick some sense back into myself, but any help would be appreciated.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Monday status


Vicki Pettersson, who is quickly turning into my writing mentor, is a featured author at Barnes & Noble.com, with her own book club! This is the coolest thing ever--except maybe when she sold her first three books, or when she hit the USA Today list, or when she sold 3 more, or when... {g} Please go by and say hi.


My rush slowed down a tiny bit yesterday, but just because I had only an hour to write in the morning before Child got up, and there was no more time to squeeze. All told, I wrote 4,200 words since Friday--more than a week's worth of work at my regular pace--and am sitting at my goal for NEXT Monday. {huge g} I'm itching to write the next bit today. Last night I had to get up and scribble out some notes on What Happens Next. I still don't know all, but it's revealing itself pretty fast. I even have an inkling of the end. Not all of it, but half at least.

I also am starting to get a clear picture of what I'm going to have to prune out and plump up again. Some plotlines obviously aren't working or simply aren't needed, and others are muddled. Still, I can "see" it, how it should be.

I have no idea if anyone else is going to like, or even get, this book. It's a touch weird, I admit. But I love it. If nothing else I can just re-read it to myself over and over. :)

Whadjya eat? Yummmm! We bought a seasoning pack of spicy Thai peanut coating, slapped it on pork chops, and baked them. Served with Thai basil-garlic-coconut rice (from a box, by Taste of Thai) and fresh cherries and strawberries. Highly recommend, if you can find it, especially the rice!

Saturday, August 04, 2007


{GRIN} Yes, it worked. An hour and a half of writing, another 1000+ words. I've done more in the last two days than I usually do in a week.

I'm loving this, I admit it. (almost to 50k!)

But Child is up now, gotta go!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

And more!

Ahem. Hubby went out for an hour to a work thing. 2600+ words for the day. Dudes, I had to drag myself away.

I plan to try to get up early and write tomorrow, but we will see if it works...


{Cough} 2200 words today. It won't leave me alone...I've already surpassed Tuesday's goal. Ha!


Wow. That doesn't happen to me very often.

I was taken over by a scene in the shower this morning. It's not the next scene--it's two up--but it is crucial, a significant revelation and tough point in the book. Maybe the low point for Jenna. (sorry, Jenna!) And in the shower it just started coming to me, whole, complete, with dialogue and images and reactions and descriptions...I was muttering the conversation out loud to myself while I got ready, continuing it on the drive in. I had to hold it in my head until I could type it, and then it all dumped on the page.

1200 words. Not the next scene in the book, but there, down. Amazing and tortuous, dumped out whole. Wow.

I still feel like I'm shaking off a possession. And I'm all emotionally shaken. (sorry again, Jenna, really I am...)

This is not how I usually write. I'm grateful for it--I know it's a powerful scene--but honestly, if I did this all the time either people would think I was crazy or I would be... {g}

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Well, with 3 posts yesterday, you'd think I could squeak one out today. Maybe a short one.

I've been in class all day learning how to do CPR and use an AED (automated external defibrillator). Yes, I can shock you now. Watch out! {pointing at each of you}

I told everyone back in my office that if anybody needed to have a heart attack now would be a good time, as I was prepared and fresh. But nobody stepped up. Chickens. Tomorrow, Red Cross First Aid. I also told them to hold off bleeding until tomorrow, please.

But I managed to squeeze my words in during my 35-minute lunch break even though I really didn't have time to eat or anything and had nothing but coffee to drink all day and had to sprint back to the place but hey I got my 500 words and...{breath}...that is all.

Whadjya eat? Black beans and rice. Another new recipe. Verdict: yum. Served with fresh pears and nectarines.