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What’s Up

March 28, 2013

In which I elaborate on the myriad and sundry reasons for my absence.

For one thing, I’ve been very busy writing! Finally, today, only a few hours ago, I hit send on my very first submission ever. It’s only a short story, the very one I discussed a month ago, but it took a lot to get it finished, revised, critiqued, revised again, polished, formatted … and finally sent. The details of this might make a very long blog post, especially the formatting which nearly put me over the edge, but I’ll save it for another day.

Image courtesy of Gerla Brakkee @stock.xchngWith all those steps to go through for just a short story of exactly 2497 words, I’m beginning to grasp why it’s taking me so long to get through a whole novel!

I’m also beginning to see that all that attention to detail and refusal to settle for anything less than my best is worth it. I’m rather proud of that little story, and now that it is floating in the ether of the world-wide web, I’m no longer worried about it. I’ve done the best I can with it, and the rest is now out of my control. It would be nice to be accepted for the anthology though!

As for what it’s about, I think I mentioned a cat and a mysterious Dr. M, as well as a serious need for inspiration. It’s part of an anthology themed An Adventure in Creating, after all. And there are feathers.

There’s been some travel on my schedule as well. Fortunately, I manage to travel and write (at least a little bit) at the same time, so there’s been some progress on a new draft, though most of my time was spent on, you guessed it, my short  story.

I’ve got a ton of blog posts I’m excited to write and post, so I hope everyone bears with me until I settle back into some kind of normal routine.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with this:

Deception Pass, Whidbey Island

Deception Pass, Whidbey Island

We visited Whidbey Island, WA on Tuesday and dined in Coupeville the day before the landslide. It’s reassuring to know that no one was injured in this massive landslide, though the property damage is tragic.

What have you been up to? Have you ever narrowly avoided disaster?

Feathers and rock image courtesy of Gerla Brakkee @stock.xchng, Deception Pass my own shot
  1. Prue permalink
    March 29, 2013 12:25 pm

    You’ve come such a long way and I’m so pleased for you! I’m very impressed that you not only submitted but took on that spectre, formatting, and won. Good for you.

    Great that you’ve had a break too and been somewhere different.

    I actually cleared my desk, then printed off the revised version of Mystery in Morocco. Haven’t looked at it yet, and haven’t found HTRYN to go through it a second time but … it will happen.

    When will I be able to read your story? I would so like to read some of your work.

    All the best
    Prue x

    • March 29, 2013 8:06 pm

      Thank you, Prue!
      I’ve already decided that if my story doesn’t get accepted for the anthology that I’ll post it here as sample. 🙂 So, either way, you’ll get to see it–although I have mixed feelings about asking people like you, who’ve been dear friends to me on my writing journey, to pay to read my work …

      It’s good to see that you’re taking on revision again. I can’t emphasize enough how much that course has helped my writing! And as for formatting, who knew I would run into so much trouble? I may post about it sometime, to help others avoid all those bumps I went over before finally getting it right!

  2. March 29, 2013 5:42 pm

    I wondered where you went. Kudos on your submission. 🙂

    Everyone I know is either gearing up for AtoZ or making plans to hide out under the guise of blog hiatus. (I’m one of the ones diving for cover. LOL) I’ll be lurking some, though. 😉

    • March 29, 2013 8:09 pm

      Heh. I know what you mean! A to Z sounds absolutely insane to me, but I’ll be visiting a few of my favorites, and am looking forward to hearing from everyone on such a regular basis. But here at the scenic route it should be business as usual; three (maybe even four! 😉 ) posts a month.

  3. March 29, 2013 8:37 pm

    I’m glad you’re around again. I’ve been on the fringes of a few disasters, but nothing so dramatic as that landslide.

    I think I’m heading into a slightly more quiet period of blogging as I get ready to sign on to Camp NaNo…

    For NaNo! (I’ve missed drafting)

    • March 31, 2013 7:06 pm

      I think I’m a little jealous that you get to go all out on a first draft for a while! Hopefully you won’t go too silent on us, as I’d miss your witty posts.
      Have fun with NaNo!

  4. March 30, 2013 12:24 pm

    Congratulations on finishing your short story 🙂 When working for so long on a longer piece, I know it’s nice to have something shorter and finished to look at and be proud of.

    I’m up to the same old stuff. Schoolwork and making slow progress on my blogging and writing. Looking for small sacrifices I can make here and there to put more time in revising my short story project.

    • March 31, 2013 7:09 pm

      I don’t write many short stories, so it was especially exciting that I not only finished one, but polished and submitted it–to the Holly Lisle anthology no less. You’re right, it feels so nice to have ‘something’ finished. It proves to myself that I’m not all talk and no action. 🙂

      Hopefully, I’ll get a glimpse of something you’re working on soon!

      • April 1, 2013 9:52 am

        Sadly it won’t be as soon as I’d like (silly education! 😉 ), but I’m working on it.

        That’s so cool you submitted something to Holly’s anthology. I hope your piece gets selected 🙂

        • April 1, 2013 9:31 pm

          Word is there are sixty entries! The competition will be fierce …

          • April 2, 2013 3:12 pm

            Yeah, but even if the competition is fierce, just putting something together is a great accomplishment and something to be proud of 🙂 Did your experience with HTRYN help at all?

          • April 2, 2013 6:52 pm

            All the stuff I learned in HTRYN was a huge help! Once the first draft was done, my beginning didn’t match my ending any more, so it was handy to know about conflict arcs, character arcs, promises and timelines, even if it was more on a subconscious level. It was nice to see some of that stuff in action on a finished piece. 🙂

            • April 2, 2013 6:58 pm

              That’s great to know. I’m finding that working through the lessons on even just a short piece is taking longer than I was expecting it to, although I’m sure part of that is because I’m spending a lot of time wondering if I’m doing the lesson right. I’m only on Lesson 7 with the first story in my collection, so maybe it’s just hard to tell if I’m finding what I need to find since I have no idea how this stuff is going to be used in future lessons.

  5. March 31, 2013 8:36 pm

    Yahoo for you!! Finishing feels great, isn’t it? To paraphrase George R. R. Martin, “I don’t love writing, I love to have written.” I still love writing, but it is wonderful to wind it up. And, since you asked, I am in formatting hell, trying to get my first three chapters to double space in my email query. As you said, formatting is an entire blog in itself. Any hints on this subject would brighten my day. Congrats again.

    • April 1, 2013 6:53 am

      Thanks, Nancy!
      Oh boy, I haven’t even begun to think about formatting in email. That sounds really difficult.
      My formatting problem concerned converting my Scrivener document into an RTF format. All was well until I opened the file in Open Office to a hideous mess–some paragraphs retained the double spacing, some had morphed to single spacing. And there were arcane symbols where my quotation marks used to be. It was a nightmare, until working through the trouble eliminating each problem step by step, I discovered that upgrading to Open Office 3.4 solved the issue.
      So I think I know how you feel! It’s so frustrating to work hard and get something perfect only to have the software gobble it up and spit out a mess.

      Good luck and keep us posted. 🙂

  6. April 1, 2013 7:57 am

    Hi Kirsten, I have to thank you for continuing to comment on my blog when you’ve been so busy. It’s great to hear from you and see what you’re thinking.

    • April 1, 2013 9:29 pm

      Hey Kristina,
      Your blog is like an oasis of my favorite things: sailing, writing, and happy puppies, so how could I not comment?! 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by once in a while, since I know you’re busy too. 🙂

  7. April 1, 2013 9:33 pm

    Yay. I hope you get accepted to the anthology! That’s crazy you were in Coupeville right before that landslide. It’s so crazy. Glad you made it to our neck of the woods. I hope you got to enjoy some of the amazing spring we’ve been having.

    • April 2, 2013 6:45 am

      We had a gorgeous day on Whidbey Island, so it was crazy that on the very night after we visited there was a landslide! And yes, the weather was amazing for our visit–it made it especially hard to leave. 🙂
      I’ve got my fingers crossed for the anthology. There are sixty other entries by really experienced writers, so getting accepted would be really cool.

  8. April 2, 2013 4:13 am

    Good for you honey! 🙂


    • April 2, 2013 6:46 am

      Thanks, Vikki! I’ve got my fingers crossed.

  9. April 2, 2013 11:01 am

    Awesome! No matter what the outcome, the feeling of sending work out into the world feels great, because there is always that chance…

    I’ve sent out numerous pieces for publication, and all but three have been rejected, but hey, three pieces were accepted! So it may take some time, but if you do it enough, it’ll happen. I’d love to read your story!

    I’ve been behind blogging (and writing) as well. A new post is going up today though…

    Can’t wait to read your upcoming posts. 🙂

    • April 2, 2013 6:47 pm

      No matter what happens, I have to say it feels great to have something go ‘out the door’ so to speak. The funniest thing is, I’m remarkably calm about it. If it gets accepted, cool, if not, I’ll work on it some more. Makes me wonder if I really care enough about this–or if I’m simply exhausted.
      I’d love to have you read it sometime. It’s a bit different from my other stuff. I was feeling very playful when I wrote it!


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