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 – March 4

Lots of recent progress. The end is near. Being home during the day with a sick child allows some editing by hand with the child vegged on the couch with back-to-back DVDs of SpongeBob. After one full DVD I thought it would be wise to take a break from all the Krabby Patty drama. Bevan/Moore drama is a nice change of pace.

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Progress of THE OAK AND THE MOON
First Draft: In progress (131,973 words and counting)
My revisions: In progress
Professional editing: Not started
Final Draft: Getting there slowly…
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Cover art: Not started

TOATM Update – February 15

IMG_9373Fifteen degrees Fahrenheit last night with 20 mph gusts of wind. Here’s where I was, working on THE OAK AND THE MOON.

It was more of a wrap-my-head-around-it session than a get-words-on-the-page session, but I got back in the forward motion of it right before I started nodding off. It should be easy to pick back up tonight and get a lot down on the page.

I bought myself a present yesterday. Sometimes you’ve just gotta splurge on the hardback.

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Progress of THE OAK AND THE MOON
First Draft: In progress (125,282 words and counting)
My revisions: In progress
Professional editing: Not started
Final Draft: Getting there slowly…
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Cover art: Not started

TOATM Update – January 18

The muse has turned rabid. Did it hear me say this book was taking its sweet time and want to make me a liar? Sure looks like it.

Ideas, scenes, imagery, dialogue coming too fast now to keep up. I made a rough list, Stuff That Needs To Happen Before The End, and I don’t know if the simple act of trying to work off a list has angered or pleased the muse. I’m now being pummeled with totally unforeseen, unplanned scenes that are NOT ON THE LIST.

“Oh, those are the things you need to write?” says the muse, looking over my list. “Well, how about these twelve new things, too? And oh–one more. Oh, and this!”

So, like a good writer, I write them, thinking surely most of it will be cut in the editing phase. Surely this book won’t be 250,000 words. Then I read this stuff back the next day, and I see one thing ties to that thing that happened back in chapter 7 so it can’t be cut, and this other new thing shows a growth between this character and that character and it’s too poignant to cut.

Two more chapters ahead and nothing crossed off the list. It’s already the length of a good-sized novel and I’m nowhere near finished.

Progress of THE OAK AND THE MOON
First Draft: In progress (116,222 words and counting)
My revisions: In progress
Professional editing: Not started
Final Draft: Getting there slowly…
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Cover art: Not started

TOATM Update – January 5

I wish I could report some hardcore progress on THE OAK AND THE MOON, but this book has its own pace, officially termed Taking Its Sweet Time. I hit chapter 38, which doesn’t mean much at this point because I don’t know how many more chapters it will take to get to the end of this thing. At least ten more. Twenty?

Christmas and New Year’s shamelessly gobbled most of my writing time, but with all that fun behind me I plan to buckle down and get some words on the page. I think I said this book should be in my editor’s hands in February? Well…hmm. About that…

Also to blame for stealing time from writing is our basement semi-finish we started weeks ago. We partitioned off part of our basement, stained the floor, painted the walls and ceiling, and now furniture and TV are here. Coming soon is a new chair and table for my new writing nook in the opposite corner, which should give me a better space to write. I’ll no longer be juggling my laptop, handwritten notes, Moore Family Tree (yes, book 3 is that complicated), and boat anchor Irish-English dictionary in my little bedroom armchair with no nearby table space. And the cat who’s determined to sit on top of my arm while this juggling is taking place.

End of the year leisure time didn’t allow much time for reading. I’m still working through BEL CANTO, which is excellent but a bit of a slow burn.

I did see two squeal-worthy movies:

In Your Eyesin_your_eyes

One of my new favorite movies of all time. Fans of my books will love this one. It’s a love story with a touch of the supernatural, pulled off expertly in every way.

It’s honest and charming and so human, it’s easy to forget the supernatural aspect of it. The simplicity of the story brings out the depth of character, and by the time the climax hits you’ll be yelling at your screen, rooting for these people. I love it when a movie can be romantic and sensual without being graphic, and can find a way to show the friendship that’s entangled in the deepest love.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
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You *might* need to be a preexisting fan to squeal over this one. (Although some fans might be peeved over the changes to the TMNT mythology.) But I think I said “OMG YES!” about 500 times while watching it.

I have my criticisms of it but it’s all forgiven due to the fact that it’s TMNT and twenty-five years have not faded my fangirl crush on Raphael. (Okay, maybe shouldn’t admit that.) Nonstop disbelief-suspending action and the most unbeatable-looking villain EVER. Seriously. Shredder is so over the top you just have to go with it.

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*