Blogs by Anita M Shaw
The Writing Fool's Creative Progress . . . and Process
11/26/2004 1:34:44 PM
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Musings and updates on my works in progress. Since I've been motiveated to work more positively in promoting my stuff, I said to myself, "Self--you got books waiting to be finished. What's going to make you stop piddling around in those email accounts, and do some REAL writing?"
Why another blog, of course!
Yep, another blog. See, I could just do this in Word or WordPerfect, but no one sees it but me. And Lord knows, I don't count! Doesn't matter I've got three novels in various stages of doneness to get out. Ones that should've been done months if not years ago.
How can I say I write Young Adult novels when they don't get finished? Or that I'm doing a multibook series in Romance and in Kids if there's just a book or two out there?
Time to apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. Now here's the thing:
Stagecoach is probably the nearest to being done. Finish it.
Marooned on Planet Earth needs some rework. That's the next nearest finished.
Looked over all the stories. Marooned is probably the closest to being finished. I need to reread it to confirm it. But it probably needs a chapter or two to get to the conclusion which I've already written. This will also be a series and I have an idea for the next one.
Stagecoach would be done if I simply went with it as I wrote it for Quenton's fifth grade class, oh, what? five six years ago. I wanted to change a lot of it, but I don't know... We'll see.
Finished the new recipes in the Chili pepper eBook. Got it listed in two auction places now. Charging more since I beefed it up. And I'm going to officially give it one of my ISBNs. I have enough to do that. Wish I could sell enough to afford a block of 100...
Stormi is the one I most want to work on, however. So, possibly I'll work on her as I work on Marooned. Or maybe I'll do something like Marooned on Wed., Stormi Thursday, and Stagecoach next day.
Or not...this Friday is our anniversary, and I'm not sitting here for anything! Gonna either go to Connecticut and celebrate with Virginia, or go out to Lake George and rent a room for a night. Hopefully the housse will still be standing when we get back, and nothing'll be stolen, either. Can't place a lot of faith in that last musing.
Anyway, if I bust my butt, I could have these three done in a few weeks and up for sale at eBookAds, PubAuthors Knowbetter, AuthorsDen, my two sites, and wherever else I can find in the meantime.
Got about eight or ten short stories to revise and either sell as short books or compile in an anthology.
Getting busy...after I go be the Wicked Witch of the West...
But Stormi's closest to my heart, so . . . probably I'll work on her. But I think I'll do a quick read on the other two to be sure that's what I want to do. The main thing is, DO SOMETHING!
Stargate-SGI/Atlantis and Enterprise are on tonight. And Andy's home for a change. Might veg tonight from 8-11. But there's pleny of time to get something done.
Oh, yes, and there's the lefty site to fix up and add new content to. Hmmm . . . another blog is in the musing.
Been working on Marooned for the last two nights. It's late. I spent the day updating auctions, answering email, and redoing Joleigh's cover. Updated all the summaries. I'm getting better at these shorter synopses! Gabe would be so proud of me! Wonder if he's still at NRI?
Anyway, there's about nineteen chapters of Marooned already done. I'd debated on whether I should keep the storyline as it is--I'd stopped writing it because I wasn't sure if I was happy with it. It didn't quite go the way I'd first intended. My teen heroine has a mind of her own. I don't know exactly when I started this story, but the email addy I'd put at the top of the first page is OLD!!! So, it's probably been a couple years that it's languished in nowhereland in my Novels folder. In reading it over, and in view of the stuff we've lived through since I quit writing it, I'm gonna let Devynn have her way.
I've only made minor changes to her story. So that means I could be done with this tale in a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on how much time I waste on useless projects. I need to decide exactly where they live. And whether or not I'm going to tie this thing in with Thomi's family. Half of me wants to, and half wants to do something else. I have Devynn's mom interested in Thomi's Uncle Zal. Except for those "minor" details, the story only needs two to four chapters to finish it off. This episode anyway.
Ah, I need to define her friends better too. I'd thought her friend Baptista Hispanic when I started this. Last night whenever I mentioned her, I wasn't seeing that. She wants to be black. So, I think I'd better listen to her. Maybe she wants to be like Cindy Drake. Miss that girl. Wonder how she's doing?
Sydny was supposed to be my little sister Cyndy as a kid. Not getting that impression here. Her older sister wants to be like my sister. Can't be like my older sister...I don't have one!
Keely is Irish. She's happy with that. I don't have to worry about her. Rodney's still a jerk. Thayne is still the good guy. Devynn's father is actually a bigger jerk than he first led us to believe. Her mom hasn't changed much. She's still small, golden blonde, violet eyed and HATES her first name.
X'Leyna. X'Leyna Irvette. She wants to be called Irvey. Her older sister had the honor of the name, X'Lonna. X'Lonna Iryne. Hey, her mother was into X names and one no one had ever heard before. Yes, in the name game, she boldly went where no one had gone before.... except where her son was concerned. Xavier Ian. Yeah, I know.... don't come to me about it. SHE named them!! Yeah, pronounce that up there as Layna.
I'd written a few things in this that actually happened to me as a teen. Another reason I quit writing it. Wasn't sure I wanted to keep any of that in there. But--I think I'm okay with it now. There's stuff in Thomi that actually happened, so why not here as well. Probably all this stuff has happened to other people too, anyway. They won't feel alone.
Well, enough of this now. It's our anniversary. I'll be getting up at noon if I don't go get a moment or two of shuteye! Tristen gave us fifty bucks to go out on the town with. That kid is a treasure! He's Wilson in Marooned, Devynn's younger full brother. She has several full and half brothers of varying ages. Logan's the eldest of her half brothers.
Anyway, if all the boys were like Tristen, my hair would not be gray. ....not that you know it's gray... I make sure NO ONE knows it!!
Until tomorrow, or the next day. After all--it's our ANNIVERSARY!!!
The story's taken a new turn. Actually several. I've outlined the rest of the book so I know pretty much how it's going to go. And this is how all those new turns came about. :) Then today, more of them came about that weren't in the outline. Nothing new. I'm sure that it'll take a few other new directions before I'm done!
X'Leyna has decided to change the spelling of her name to X'Laena. I like it better, too. Devynn is going to be left handed as is Zal. I'm going to be making more of my characters lefties. Not the bad guys. They're rightes always. Unless there's a special reason for them to otherwise. So when I go over this, I'll add that in, and I need to remember that X'Laena has cats running around the house. I should use them to advantage. After all, how many times have I blamed something on the boys only to find out that one of the cats was the culprit.
Worked out some of the background for Thayne Turns out his mom's been in a coma for his entire lifetime. Boating accident. So now I have to see if she'll ever wake up. Got him a job at the school so he could watch over Devynn. He'll probably turn out to be more valuable that even that. I see a spy mission coming up for him.
I've got about 120 pages done. I need eighty more at least. Shouldn't have a problem getting them. Got plenty of action coming up. Some shockers to reveal. Starting to lay down the plants that lead up to them.
What I think is different about my story is that the adults aren't abstracts lurking in the background. They're real, they have an impact on the kids, and they make huge mistakes--as many of us do. I'm not into a story where the adults are all jerks and clueless, or indifferent, uncaring, whatever. Some are. Like Devynn's father J.E. Guy's turning out to be a bigger jerk than I'd planned for him to be. And her mom's hiding a secret. One she's hidden from everyone for fifteen years. J.E.'s come to have suspicions, but as yet, he has no proof.
Yeah, it's one of the shockers. Can't decide if it'll be totally revealed in this book, or if I'll do a cliff hanger and bring it all out in the next. Maybe that's when I'll solve the mystery of whether Thayne's mom will wake up. Or maybe that'll be the main theme of the third book. Or at least a strong secondary one. I might keep this going until Devynn finally decides to marry Thayne when she's twenty, or finds someone else. My plan is for them to marry then, but they might make another choice. An accident might occur. Who knows?
One's going to happen soon to X'Laena. She'll be bedridden for a while. However, her unborn babe is a fighter, so she's not going to lose it. Probably learn that close to the end. Like the second to the last chapter.
While she's recovering, the kids at the high school are going to be miserable, for she was the one who renovated the school lunch program and actually created meals the kids wanted to eat. The new lunch lady isn't so resourceful.
My fingers are itching to get this done.
Some more new developments are happening in Marooned--whose first chapter I uploaded to my website after I designed a book cover for it. Not sure if it'll be the one used in the final product, but it'll do for now
It's possible that J. E isn't Devynn's real father . . . (X'Laena's dark secret) Devynn'll be thrilled to find that out, but not happy the truth was kept from her. I'm toying with the idea that twin brothers loved X'Laena in their youth, and in their battles over her, in which she likely chose one over the other, or more possibly when one seduced her finally, it caused a rift between the brothers. Not quite sure of the story to this. I may need to do some background scenes to see if this is what I want. In any case, X'Laena is left alone and pregnant until J.E. wanders into her life. She accepts his proposal and keeps her secret from everyone, except possibly X'Lonna. Have to see about that. But probably her sister knows the truth.
Now the brothers are back and ready to take up where they'd left off.
I've decided to have Devynn keep a diary she calls Diary to mySelf, where she records more honestly about how she feels about what's happening in her life. At some point in the story, probably just about where I am in it now, she'll discover that her mother keeps one, too. In fact, has kept one since she was old enough to write. Which will send Devynn on a quest to find those early diaries. And discover the reasons why her mother is so against her seeing Rodney. I think she'll find the diary her mom wrote in as a teen when X'Laena's lying unconscious in the hospital. She'll be antsy about knowing the truth about her birth, and will probably confront the twins about it.
Yeah, I think there definitely will be a twin factor here. A little more conflict this way. More mystery. Should I solve it in this episode, which I've subtitled The Scoville Tragedies, or carry the suspense and mystery into the second?
Decisions, decisions . . .
My little friend Vanessa has chosen to interview me for Career Day. She has to spend a day with me and report what it's like to be a writer and author. This should be interesting. She'll get extra credit if she brings in one of my published works. Wish I had a print copy of Dalton's Last Stand . . . The Day of the Rose is really not a YA book. But, it's the one in print, so I'll let her bring it.
Maybe it'll lead to a speaking engagement. Haven't done one in a while. I'd like to try getting back into it now that I'm starting to recover a bit from my depression and anxiety attacks. This would tell me how much I've recovered. Plus I feel I have far more to talk about now then I had then. We'll see. She's my biggest fan along with Mr. Smith's class of '98-99.
Well, I'm smelling coffee brewing. Means my boys are going to be getting up to go to work in about 45 minutese. Where did the day go?
Good night all!
Okay, sorry I've been away from this so long. Flu . . . Still feeling wrung out, but at least I can sit at the computer a while now.
Haven't heard how Vanessa's report went. But it was fun doing the interview. The questions the teacher thought up were a bit challenging as some of them didn't really pertain to writing or selling books. But I managed to get them all answered one way or other.
Just finished reading a book I promised to review ages ago. Now I have to write it up. Not sure how to do this. I think I'll do a review, but then also a bit of a critique as I found quite a few grammar mistakes, misspellings and typos.
Which actually makes me feel better about the few things that were missed in a couple of my manuscripts. Actually, I've hung on to my stuff for too long, fearing I'd missed something. I've gone over each of my novels at least a half dozwn times. I don't have anyone really able or willing to commit to helping me find my mistakes. They'll promise to help, but then stick it on a back burner, so that I end up doing it myself anyway. Can't afford to pay anyone to do it. And not wanting any of them to go out to the public with pitiful mistakes marring it, I held back promoting them. Well, I think I've held on to them long enough. Time to get them really out there.
All the while I've been sick, I've been plotting some more on the three novels I'd most like to finish now, and outlined a bit of the fourth and/or fifth. I need to know just where Rikki and Halleigh's stories fit in with or around the other three. Should they take place all at the same time? Or should I pace them out. Since Thomi, Rikki and Halleigh are identical triplets, I tend to want to have them all find their prospective mates within the same time frame.
If I do that, I need to know just how much of their story will overlap Stormi's. I need hers to take up enough time for it to become pretty evident she's pregnant. I'd wanted all three of the triplets to share in her problems, but, maybe I should just send Rikki and Halleigh off for a space, and let Thomi and Lyndsay and Kourtnay support Storm through her problems with Geoffrey and Dean . . . and whoever else might show up to complicate things.
I've set both Halleigh and Rikki up in Thomi's story to potentially meet the guys of their dreams away from Littleton-by-the-Sea and Kingsdale. But . . . there are a few places where it would come in handy for them to pretend to be Thomi, or whoever, at the time. If I took the time to outline what I think might happen in their stories, I maybe could find a way for them to show up back home. Of course, what I should do, is outline the last part of Stormi's story.
I seem to like to work with complicated plots. That's my problem. I tried to keep Marooned on Planet EARTH simple, but nope . . . it's not. I'm almost finished with the first draft though. And because I do like to link all my characters together in some way, X'Laena's first love was one of Thomi's uncles on her father's side. I do need to go into the last few chapters of Thomi, and mention them. Or maybe not. I'll figure a way to remedy that in Stormi's story. It's where one gets to see more of Thomi's large family anyway. Maybe Zacq and Zeoff aren't at SeaCrest at the time of Thomi and Stephan's engagement party, but off on their own pursuits. We'll see.
I've decided to join an egroup that schedules one week a month to intensive writing. The goal is to write the first draft of a book in a week. Or as much of one as one can. I'd like to use it to finish Stormi's first draft. Be cool if I could finish Rikki and Halleigh's first draft in March. I also have to plan the next Kingsley Twins novel. Think it's going to deal with coping with a grandparent who has Alsheimers' disease.
Well, I suppose I must let this rest for the moment and go write that review for Ruth. This is going to take a while . . . Don't be surprised if I'm not back any too soon.
Feb. 6, 2005
Told you I wouldn't be right back! Wasn't just the review thing though. Got it done all right, and she's happy. Said it was nice to find someone who'd actually read the book. How can you review a book you didn't read?
My computer is as sick as I am -- was. I'm better, just not perfect yet. Finally went to see Dr. Sue and got something to knock it out of me, hopefully.
What will help this computer, I haven't a clue. Thinking of saving for a new one. Every time I make some momentous progress on a book, or do some major promo, whatever, the stupid thing kicks another bucket. This time, I got it back, and it was fine until I tried reloading WordPerfect using the CD-RW rom. Thing made an awful racket, and then the computer crashed. After that, it's not quite working the way it was. I hope I don't need it wiped again. Although, it won't be as big a deal if so. Just the inconvenience of having to give up the machine again! Arggggggghhhhhhh!
I've been accepted into the Amazon.com Edoc program, which means I can list my ebooks and stuff there. Yes! It was easier than I thought it would be. Parts of the forms are a trifle confusing, but otherwise, not too bad. Be a couple weeks or so before they're there. Need to learn about metadata files for the program. I'm not a programming genius, so this should be interesting.
Still need some covers I'm not able to do myself. Joleigh needs one badly. And maybe I should do one more for the hot pepper recipe book. We'll see.
Okay . . . where did I leave off in the speculation of where Marooned should go? Many major changes here. It's going to take two books in the series to tell this part of Devynn's story. This one to set up all the bad stuff and the next to make it all better so almost everyone lives happily ever after.
Looks like X'Laena has a bigger secret she's been hiding for the past fifteen years than even I knew . . . until last week before my computer died. Since I took Zal out of X'Laena's picture, his twin brothers have revealed they both were in love with her. And while she'd chosen Zeoff, Zacq didn't take it as a hands off situation. Nope . . . he used his likeness to his brother to take his place whenever the mood struck him. Or . . . maybe he did that just once -- as a dare. Hmmmmmmmmmm. I'm liking that one.
I'll be trying to finish this book this week. First draft anyway. We'll see how it goes. Supposed to be totally committed to this, but already my sweet youngest son is demanding that I spend time shopping tomorrow night. If I made my 2500 word quota, I might. I need a monitor. But, I need to finish this book, too.
I'm off to do some on it now. I've been inspired.
March 15, 2005
Progress on Marooned is paused while I take in a paying editing - mentoring job. Yes! Paying job!!! Such a rush to hear that I'm worth my price!
I'll run in again soon. Gotta get this done so I can get X'laena out of her coma. Unless, I wake her up in the next book. I had a new idea where Logan, the wicked half brother shows up and tries to take over the family. His father might let him do it, too.
I may end the book right there, with X'Laena in her coma, Logan - the "black sheep" of the family - needing a place to crash till the next sucker in his life comes along - taking up residence at the house, saying he'll watch over the little kids while X'Laena's out; Zeoff looking to get the kids someplace else, and X'Lonna with troubles of her own, but willing to take Devynn and John Gerard in. Meanwhile John Edmond goes ahead with his divorce, pretty much writing X'Laena off as dead. Not sure yet, just whether he'll go after custondy of all the kids, or let X'Lonna take it. Billee Kaye is, after all, pregnant herself.
Probably all that will be left hanging for the next book.
Okay, off to do some heavy editing of someone else's book!
Started back working on Marooned and Stormi. Still helping Meg with her book.
Ah...the life of an editor-mentor. How to be tactful when the story....well...needs a lot of help....and the writer freaks...........
First, don't take it personal. I didn't. I just took her hand so to speak, made her sit down, take deep breaths and a bite of chocolate, a little something to drink--Vitamin water---she's too young for a good stiff shot of whatever...and explained how her main characters really need to show up in 90% of her book. If not 100%.
Can't believe the answer I got back. Having two strong main characters through out is BORING?????
HHHMMMMMMMMM.... okay..... what is this story about then? The title of the book is the main character's name. Why is that if it's boring to write about her for a couple hundred plus pages?
Might be boring if you've left her out of her story for 15 or 20 chapters. Remedy: Get her back into it! The conflicts and the problems, the ups and downs have to be hers..........or else the book is really not about her, but about someone else, or something else and the title needs to be changed.
Well, happy to say, she had her gripes, stamped her little feet a day or so, and then got to work. What's coming out now is sooooooooo much better, and I feel like a proud mom.
Yep, it's a great feeling to know that your advice and knowledge of writing is actually rubbing off on a kid. And to get emails from her and her mom saying that you're worth your price and then some....! Wouldn't mind getting a few more of those!
Well, off to create some lessons. I know there's a writing course in this experience!
I'm so sorry that I've neglected to keep this up as I fully intended to do. I did . . . really!
Marooned is still resting. Stagecoach is too. Stormi's called to me, and I'm reworking the beginning so that this book meshes, more or less, with The Resurrection of Joleigh-Anna Kelmann. I wish I had realized the potential I had in Joleigh to make it a better story by adding some plants about Stormi in it. But, alas, I didn't. At first, I just wanted it to be mostly about she dealt with her cousin's death, and her indifferent relatives. And, of course, her fiance's breaking off their engagement.
All along, I knew the truth of Matt's death, which gets revealed in Stormi's story. For Stormi had been in love with Lawron Merriwether, a cousin of Matt and Joleigh. Who also met with an untimely death just a few days before he and Storm were to be married. I don't know how I didn't recognize the potential here, but I totally missed it, and I'm wishing I could rewrite it. But--as I've sold and/or given away a hundred or so copies of Joleigh's story, I suppose I must bit the keyboard and make up for it in the present story. Don't want my present reader base to be thrown off guard by the changes.
I hope I'm never this stupid again!
Thing was, I wanted to keep secret the fact that Matt's accident wasn't exactly what it seemed. I still could have done that while laying a few plants for Stormi's story, which I begin a few days before Matt's accident. But . . . I didn't do that, so now I have to find plausible ways of bringing this info out without losing credibility for Joleigh's tale.
I think I have found ways of doing that. So far, so good. Now I'm working on trashing Geoffrey's relationship with Helene so that he's free to pursue Storm. My sons helped me figure out a fitting end to her evil ex-husband. Or should I say rether, wholly agreed to the one I'd thought up! I'm going enjoy that . . .!
I'm still looking for places to promote and market. We finally have a good car, one that I'll be happier to hang my buy my eBooks signs on. See what happens there.
Heh! Need to hang a Buy my puppies sign in it as well! Rat terrier crosses in case you want to know. Never heard of them? They're sort of like taller, thinner Jack Russell terriers. Sort of. Smart, playful . . . We have ten. Seven new ones, and three left over from the last litter. People who wanted them backed out and so here they still are!
I think they'll find themselves in one or two of my stories. They're characters!
Well, I think I'll wrap it up for now. Want to play a moment with my new printer before I go to bed. I'll try not to let this lapse again . . . for so long, anyway!
Feb. 2, 2007
Just uploaded a new cover for Thomi--I couldn't help myself. I wasn't happy still with the title. I am now. And a new cover had to go with it. It's now All For The Love Of Thomi. In rereading parts of it so my next book is on the same page, I found a quote from one of Thomi's sisters, referring to all Stephan had done for the love of her, and realized All should have been a part of the title all along.
Changing it, though, lost some of the stats here for it. Didn't happen the last two times I changed something. Ah, well . . .
I'm in the process of working on my websites. Again. Thinking about moving them all . . . just thinking. It's a big headache, but I'd be saving tons of money . . . if the hosting provider is as wonderful as they say they are!
Seems like I'd like to work on everything all at once. And I could if I didn't have to eat, clean house, train puppies, look after my boys and my hubby . . . leaving out a ton of stuff, but hey--I'll work it in---somewhere---sometime---
If only I could get organized . . .
May 25, 2007
I know, I know---I was going to be soooo much better at adding new stuff.
Well, okay, I'm here today! I've upgraded to a better computer . . . not as wonderful as my middle son's will be, and he likes to rub that in---but still, a decent system that should let me create faster than ever. I wish it could read my mind and get the stories done faster. That'd be nice. but I really fear that all it would do it confuse it. I've got so much going on for each story I'm presently working on or will be working on shortly or in the future that I think it would mix up the characters and all their prospective conflicts. Make a big mess--or maybe come up with stuff I haven't thought of.
In any case, I'm getting used to the new system, a new keyboard and mouse, and a shiny new SATA II hard drive with which to create on. Installing new programs like crazy just because I have the room for it. All kinds of graphics programs so I can make better covers for my eBooks. I may even spring for the newest WordPerfect version to see if I like that better than I've grown to be happy with Word. I'd like to be happier with it . . .
As far as my writing world goes, I've been sticking to getting Stormi's story done. Thing is, I keep getting new ideas for what should, could and might happen. Even have a tentative ending all outlined and partially written. Which will tie all three books together. This novel will be as long as Thomi's is. No help for it. Naturally, it'll hint at what will or might go on in the next book. I've figured out who the men will be that chase after Rikki and Halleigh. Lyndsay's already being chased in Thomi's story. Not sure how that'll actually end . . .
Nick and Anetra's marriage will probably come under fire as will Greggory and Irina's.
Even as my brain percolates all the various scenarios for all these potential books, it also works on the stuff I plan for the kids and young adult novels and stories.
I wish I could be triplets so I could work on them all at the same time. Maybe I've said that before?
I may post the first chapter of Stormi--once I'm sure it's how I want to open the story. So stay tuned for that.
Post a CommentMore Blogs by Anita M Shaw New Cover for Dalton's Last Stand Coming - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 Spring here at last? - Thursday, April 17, 2014 Added Cover for Marooned - Friday, February 28, 2014 Marooned on Planet Earth Update #2 - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Coming Up With A Good One . . . - Friday, February 24, 2012 Editing Marooned . . . and Editing in General - Monday, February 20, 2012 Cover Art in the Works - Monday, February 20, 2012 Actual Advertizing - Monday, February 13, 2012 After the writing is done . . . - Sunday, February 12, 2012 Finished my Young Adult novel a half hour ago!!! - Saturday, February 11, 2012 Health issues and Writing - Friday, February 10, 2012 The Muse of the Writing Fool - Thursday, January 26, 2012 The Writing Fool's Creative Progress . . . and Process - Friday, November 26, 2004 The Writing Fool's Promo Efforts - Sunday, November 21, 2004