TOATM Update – June 10

Readaloud is complete. Conclusion: the last three chapters need to be reworked. I’m taking tonight off, but I get back on it tomorrow.

I’ve completed the first round of revisions and I’m now on the second round. It’s the most time consuming part, but I make visual progress every day because I’m working off actual marked up pages that get a nice little red check mark at the bottom when done. Four stacks of pages. One is finished, and I’m halfway through the second.

After this second round of revisions, I’m DONE. And don’t try to talk me out of it.

Progress of THE OAK AND THE MOON
First Draft: Complete! (160,627 words)
My revisions: First round complete, final round in progress (45% complete)
Professional editing: Starts mid-July
Final Draft: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Cover art: Not started

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The Bad, the Good, and the Extra Good

The bad: copy editing for THE OAK AND THE MOON won’t begin until mid-July. It can’t be helped. Editors are busy. The good: I have two extra months to make this book Extra Good. That’s capitalized because Extra Goodness is an actual specific thing, something TOATM will now have, something it may not have had before.

My new subterranean writing cove is finished. All my writing paraphernalia now has its very own home. I’m no longer shuffling laptop/books/papers/notebooks/cat from bedroom to living room depending on my writing site for the evening. Now, all I have to do is descend the stairs, pick up my laptop, and drop into my new super comfy chair. (Really, if someone told me they made this chair with a mold of my own body, I’d believe them.) Papers and notebooks are within reach. Power on laptop, wait for cat to squeeze his body next to mine, WRITE. I feel very grown up.IMG_2149_sm

So, TOATM’s release will be late summer/fall. I’m a one-book-a-year writer. I tried to fight it. I lost. But–I promise this book will be better because of it. I wish I could give some hints about this book because OH HOW IT’S KILLING ME NOT TO SPILL. Any hints would be spoilers, and I hate spoilers. So no hints. It might end up being a surprise, an “Oh, wait a second” then a “WAIT ONE DARN SECOND” then a “Oh” then an “Ooooh” surprise. Don’t worry though. You’ll love it. If you don’t, I’ll send TB to convince you to love it. If he’s in a good mood he might let you choose which hand, but fingers will be broken.

Progress of THE OAK AND THE MOON
First Draft: In progress (138,266 words and counting)
My revisions: In progress
Professional editing: Starts mid-July
Final Draft: Almost there…
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Cover art: Not started

TOATM Update – November 21

Last night I hit page 248 in my edit of the already written 370 pages (up from 366) of THE OAK AND THE MOON.

This is the cleanest draft I’ve written. It won’t need the two hundred revisions book one needed, thank the elements. The first half of this TOATM draft was rough because I had to apply a major change (verb tenses…*shudder*), but now I’m past that nightmare so progress is moving fast.

Once I reach page 370 the fun begins: writing new material. I’ve been thinking it’ll need about 100 more manuscript pages, but now I’m thinking it needs more like 200 (which translates to about 300 in paperback form). Eek.

Who’s ready to read a 700-page book? Anyone? *tap-tap-tap* Is this on?

*crickets*

Hopefully my editor and I can do a LOT of cutting…

I might take tonight off from writing. 22 Jump Street is sitting in its Netflix envelope on my kitchen counter. *cough* Channing Tatum *cough*

Book Two Progress as of July 14

Can I say I’m feeling a bit excited about releasing this book? Maybe. Just maybe…

That final polishing I said would take a week ended up taking three. But it’s worth it. Some of these changes have really made this book what I hoped it would be.

We’ll see what my editor thinks. It’s in her hands now, for her final pass. And I’m going to take a much needed break à la a little Burn Notice or Orphan Black before my real vacation begins next week.

Because we all know taking two little kids to the beach for the first time ain’t gonna be no vacation.

Progress of THE TWO
First Draft: Complete (121,006 words)
My revisions: Complete
Professional editing: Editor’s final pass in progress
Formatting: Not started
Cover art: Photography for cover art in progress

Book Two Progress as of June 24

I cut 8,276 words. You can thank me later, because it was a lot of crap NO ONE SHOULD EVER READ.

And that’s after I added a whole new scene of about 500 words. So I actually cut more than that. Like, closer to 9,000. WHAT. Just what.

I’m doing some final polishing. Easy stuff. I should be done with it in less than a week and be able to send this thing off to my editor for her final pass. Yep, you heard that right. We’re almost there.

Oh! And I saw some shots from the photographer and they are gorgeous. He’s going to reshoot with a slightly different setup and some updated props I made. If the new shots are better than the initial ones I think I just might die. The cover is going to be amazing.

Progress of THE TWO
First Draft: Complete (121,006 words)
My revisions: Complete
Professional editing: Prepping for editor’s final pass
Formatting: Not started
Cover art: Photography for cover art in progress

Four Q&As about my WIP

Janna G. Noelle has requested I participate in her four-question quiz about my current work-in-progress, THE TWO, which will be published in a couple months. Like most of her blog, these questions require a degree of thought my poor brain might not be suited for right now after being abused by revisions for the past few months. But it’s worth a shot. Let’s hope what comes isn’t pure gibberish, or words crossed out and replaced by synonyms then crossed out and replaced by another synonym then crossed out and replaced by the original word. What? Yeah. Exactly.

1. What are you currently working on?

THE TWO, the second book in The Alignment Series. I wrote the first draft in 2009 and it’s had little attention since then. I knew it would be rough going in, but it’s proven me wrong. It’s not rough. It’s downright terrifying. Come-out-of-the-mirror-Carol-Anne terrifying. Someone please get me out of this mirror.

2. How does your work differ from others in its genre?

Well, for a fantasy, it’s very real. Approachable. Easy to digest. I think a lot of people stay away from fantasy because the entry into the world is jarring. Too many strange names, strange places…you won’t find anyone with an unpronounceable name in my books. Sometimes I think it falls closer to magical realism for this reason. And for a romance? It doesn’t follow the formula. I usually call it a love story to save my fragile human bones from sledgehammers wielded by hardcore romance readers. There’s no sugary sweet happily ever after here. Strap yourselves in, people. There are twists in this road and lots of bodies to roll over. And be sure to duck when the gunner takes aim.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I have no idea. It’s like taking in a stray animal. I didn’t choose this book. It chose me. And then it had kittens under my porch. (This happened to me with real kittens, too. Real kittens and metaphorical kittens seem to agree that my brain and my house are nice places to live.)

4. How does your writing process work?

I’m a pantser who has a hard time keeping up with the seat of her pants. So I take a lot of notes. Pages and pages of notes in files I review periodically to refresh them in my head. I email myself things when I can’t get to my manuscript. Lines of dialogue, scenes, ideas, anything. It’s all clear in my head but very unorganized outside of it. That dichotomy has me feeling a bit crazy sometimes. A bit unglued.


Many thanks to Janna, for prompting me to do this Q&A. Every time I do something like this I learn more about my books. She’s working on her own fantasy(ish) novel, set in 13th century England. You can read her Q&A here. I wish she’d hurry up and publish. I feel like I’ve been waiting for it since the Middle Ages.

On My Birthday

I had the day off work. My three-year-old let me sleep past nine. We didn’t get dressed ’til 10:30. We watched almost an entire season of Adventure Time then wrestled on the floor. He did a cannonball off the couch, straight onto my shin. Tomorrow, I’ll have the bruise to prove it.

After picking my kindergartner up from school, we sat outside on the patio under billowing cumulonimbus and ate barbecue chips and drank lemonade. A hawk circled above. I told my son it wanted to eat his brain.

“Mom, would you be sad if it ate my brain?”

“What do you think?”

“I think yes.”

“Would you be sad if it ate my brain?”

Big smile. “Yes.”

Oh, the love between mother and child.

At some point, I got a call on our land line, from THE LAND LINE’S OWN NUMBER. No one on the other end. Thank god for that.

Because I was afraid it was going to be my future self, telling me I have a lot of editing to do. And it’s sitting on the kitchen table, waiting for me, and I shouldn’t be watching so much Adventure Time.
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I knew book two would need a ton of editing but I wasn’t prepared for the depth of hell I’ve descended to. I’ve switched to editing hard copy by hand, if that’s any indication. I can’t estimate my progress at this point. I can’t even see an end ahead.

I’m still aiming for summer publication, but it’s going to be late summer. To those of you waiting, yeah, I feel rotten this is taking so long. But be VERY GLAD for my red pen. I wouldn’t wish this draft on my worst enemy.

Oh, and I got a great review today. Thank you, Morgan.

I couldn’t have planned a better birthday.

Tonight, I edit until the witching hour.