Time to Get Cracking

January 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Write
January 22, 2014

I was sitting at our table at the bar last Saturday night, and somewhere between bopping to the music and returning a cute guy’s smile, I found myself brooding upon that agent list I’ve barely started and the book synopsis that I need to update.

That’s when I knew the writing hiatus is over.

Now I have to tackle this:

StaxoNotes

What is this stack of crap? you might ask. I wondered the same thing.

These notebooks are the fruits —and I use that term generously—of my past couple years of attending conferences and workshops and writing and rewriting synopses and queries.

Rewriting synopses and queries over and over and over again because they SUCK.

Fun time is over.

Happy Crazy Fun Holidays

December 25, 2013 § 4 Comments

Write
December 25, 2013

Woo-hoo! I finished the rewrite of Book One of the Split into Two project. I really did it. It only took three times as long as I (on numerous occasions) estimated, but it really is done.

HAHAHAHAHA!

Me and Hot Tub Reader Vic taking a selfie in the park on Christmas Eve. And no, we hadn't started drinking yet.

Me and Hot Tub Reader Vic taking a selfie in the park on Christmas Eve.
And no, we haven’t started drinking yet.

Okay, but I am at a place where I can start the querying process all over again. And boy, am I going to put that off as long as I possibly can before the night terrors set in.

Right now, though, I’m just going to enjoy the rest of the holidays with friends and family. Here are some pictures from our Christmas Eve luminaria walk in my neighborhood.

Lining the Ridgecrest street near my neighborhood on Christmas Eve is tradition.

Lining the Ridgecrest street near my neighborhood on Christmas Eve is tradition.

I think the luminarias leading up to the wreath on the gate door is so picturesque.

I think the luminarias leading up to the wreath on the gate door is so picturesque.

Showing some desert love with the Cactus Tree.

Showing some desert love with the Cactus Tree.

You know I love a good angel and reindeer tableau.

You know I love a good angel and reindeer tableau.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

The Ending Is What It’s All About

November 13, 2013 § 2 Comments

“. . . it’s that I don’t really believe in endings. After all, life always goes on.”—Jeffe Kennedy

Speaking of endings, this hawk outside my office building made final work of the bird it caught.

Speaking of endings, this hawk outside my office building made final work of the bird it caught.

Write
November 13, 2013

My fellow LERA member, Jeffe Kennedy, wrote this great post about story endings, and it’s been stuck in my head for the past couple of days.

Probably because I am rewriting the ending to my novel, since I have had to split it into two, and I have scheduled myself to complete it this weekend.

In story writing, the ending is the easiest part for me. I always know pretty much how my story is going to end, before I even start writing. For me, the ending is why I am writing the story.

It’s the part after the crisis and leading up to the ending that gives me trouble. That’s why I love Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. It gives me the map I need to navigate through all that.

After I realized I was going to have to split my book in two, I knew almost immediately where the break is and what the new ending is going to be.

My Hot Tub Readers had another idea. They suggested a point in the story that they thought would be more of a cliffhanger.

To me, though, it didn’t feel right. It felt like a cheat. A cheap trick. And not at all satisfying. The new ending had to be a resolution of that book’s journey. At the same time, it should be a lead-in, a beckoning of the promise of the next book’s adventure.

Something that makes me as eager to start writing the next book as much as I hope the reader will want to start reading it.

Come on, weekend!

On the Road Back Again

October 23, 2013 § 1 Comment

Yes, I’m talking about the Hero’s Journey. What else is new?
And jotting down story notes in my planner again. All is right with the world.

Write
October 23, 2013

HappySunKits

I am back to the rewrites and they’re going well. Thanks to

  • The middle of the night heart pounding thing happened, like I knew it would. I managed to skip the Vodka shot this time.
  • I went to my monthly LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) meeting and the guest speaker was UNM screenwriting instructor Matt McDuffie. He. Was. Fabulous.

McDuffie does not believe in plot. (My hero.) He believes in a story about a character who wants something.

What do I want? To get this book published. That means BICHOK, baby. (Butt In Chair, Hands on Keyboard. A little tidbit I learned at the RWA13 conference.)

Towards the end of his talk about breaking down the structure of a story, McDuffie touched on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, and my heart pit-a-patted a little faster than it already had been.

12 Steps of a Hero's Journey. LERA meeting with guest speaker Matt McDuffie 10-12-13.

12 Steps of a Hero’s Journey. LERA meeting with guest speaker
Matt McDuffie 10-12-13.

12 Steps of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey (aka My Lifeline to Story Plotting)

  1. Ordinary World
  2. Call to Adventure
  3. Refusal of the Call
  4. Meeting with the Mentor
  5. Crossing of the Threshold
  6. Tests, Allies, Enemies
  7. Approach to the Innermost Cave
  8. The Ordeal
  9. The Boon or the Reward
  10. The Road Back
  11. The Resurrection
  12. Return with the Elixir

I could not wait to get back to my novel. I plowed through the ordeal and made it to the end of the shorter road back. Now I am at the new resurrection, a brand new scene that I am excited to have found a use for and am having a lot of fun writing.

“I read something because I want to know what it’s like to be alive.” —Matt McDuffie.

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