I know, long time, no post. Enter the long list of the usual excuses, etc., here.
My summer was busy, but that was mostly my own doing. When Tim has writing deadlines, I try to take River for longer periods of time on the weekend, so he can get writing done. I’ve always been the sort of person who likes to go DO things, so thanks to email newsletters such as Red Tricycle, each weekend I found something fun and new for River and I to do. Since July we have gone to several neighborhood festivals, Gilroy Gardens amusement park, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Northern CA Renaissance Faire, Ardenwood pumpkin patch, and so on. We also went swimming several times (driving over the hill to the valley to escape the cool Bay Area summer). Liza and her girls joined us for some of our adventures, much to River’s delight (he and her daughter Kyra are near the same age and go to the same preschool).
We also went to WorldCon in Reno (we took my mother, who was visiting and was a good sport, to babysit) in August, and World Fantasy Con at the end of October. And we’re leaving for vacation (a REAL vacation, which we haven’t done in over 3 years) in a week.
In other words, damn, we’ve been busy!
I restarted my novel many times over the summer. As WFC approached, I made myself settle down and stop throwing out words. The only way out is through, and all that. I also wanted to be able to tell my friends that I was actively working on my novel, so there was a nice bit of self-inflicted peer-pressure that got me past the first few thousand words. Whew!
That jump-start, combined with the energetic inspiration that comes after a con with all one’s writing friends, was enough to get me to stay in motion, and I joined Tim in a sort of personal NaNoWriMo, the end result being that it is now November 19th and I have written on my novel every day so far this month. Whoo! Now, the daily goal is butt-in-chair writing for a minimum of 15 minutes a day, and I should admit that some days that just means 300 words. But, y’know, 300 words every day is way more than 0 words, and it eventually adds up.
There’s also a benefit I hadn’t expected from stopping after only a few hundred words. This book is near-future, and although I have a lot of what I want to do with it worked out, I don’t have many of the details. What does it look like when Laney (my main character) walks through her town? I had no real idea. I wrote a little into the scene, then gave up after my 15 minutes and went to bed. But the next night, when I sat down to work, I realized that my brain had answered the question for me, and I knew *exactly* what it looked like! I’ve read about this before — how your brain will puzzle out solutions for you while you sleep — but I’ve never really “seen” it in action in relation to my writing. I assume, as I get further into the book and there’s less description and more plot, I won’t need this help from my sleeping brain, but for now, it’s awesomely helpful.
I just took on a freelance writing project, which is due next Wednesday, but I’m hoping to blow through it this weekend. (I can do seven articles in one weekend, right? Sure, sure I can.) I also need to use some home writing time to get ahead on dayjob stuff so I can relax during our vacation. So, what I’m saying is, I’m busy.
Oh! I should mention in here that Tim and I wrote a collab Xmas story, which was have sold to Podcastle! Titled “The Ghost of Christmas Possible” it should be available for download around Christmas. It’s a sort of “A Christmas Carol”/ “Carnacki the Ghost Hunter” mashup, and it was a lot of fun to write with him.
I will make no promises about regular blogging, but this sure was nice, wasn’t it? Maybe I’ll try to do it again sometime In the meantime, I do post to my Twitter account fairly regularly. Find me there; I’m @heatherlyshaw.