Thursday, December 3, 2009

the bag, it is mixed

The bad: I failed at Nanowrimo. Better than last year, not as good as the year before, only just beat 20k. I had much fun with what I did write, but getting myself sitting at the keyboard and typing was like shoveling mud. Why, I do not know.
I don't want to let the story go, because I still love the concept (unpublishable though it is) and the character names, and writing in that ornate, wordy, 18th c. voice. So I may be a Nano Rebel next year, and pick the story up where I left it.

The good: Christmas cards are signed & mailed. Christmas letters (personalised & newsletter) are sent. Donations are sent (Oxfam, Operation Eyesight, Amnesty International, Red Cross, Unicef, Save the Children, SOS Children's Villages, Covenant House, etc.). Most presents are bought, and mailed as required. Approx 1/3 of home-based presents are wrapped. Freezer is stuffed full of pastry, butter tart mix, cheese pastry, roll cookie dough, shortbread dough, choc shortbread dough, cheese shortbread dough, checker cookie dough, sugar cookie dough, honey cookie dough, coffee spice cookie dough, icing, choc icing, caramel icing, gingerbread dough, half-dozen pies (berry & apple).
New curtains on two of the kitchen windows (I did not make these. One I sewed a lining to, and the other pair I hemmed up). So there will be less heat loss this winter. Finally found an arbour to hold up the garage roses (there's a story to go with that, but maybe later) and stained it. Haven't put it up yet.
It's kind of impressive how much I can get done by not doing something else. I need to keep some particularly difficult task in reserve at all times, to goad me into getting everything else done.

A particular mixed bag, for those who haven't heard elsewise--agent comments on revision arrived, and more revision is required, which I did expect, but she very much likes the changes and expansions made to the latter half of the book, with words like 'perfect' and 'loved'. The first half needs condensing and tightening still, but I can add some scenes from Midame's pov, which I'd rather wanted to do earlier but was afraid of losing focus. And consider making Nomency a duchy, which is another thing I'd considered before and held off as something I could change at any point. It would move closer to the reality of the Small States and away from the fairytale-standard-kingdom, which wouldn't harm the story.

Good writey stuff: I wrote a flashfic!! I honestly didn't think I could do this, but I turned out an 88-word story. I may have to look into flash markets. So that is something positive coming from the local group, which seems to be developing into a real writing group.
Willow Knot has been hacked up again on Scrivener, and spaces cut into it for scenes with Midame, the four chapters that need to be cut by half (faint screams of manuscript heard off stage) have been isolated and prepped for surgery (More ether, nurse!), and notes made throughout for what needs to be enhanced our emphasised or cut.
My chimps story will be going up on Beneath Ceaseless Skies #33 on December 31, with the airship cover art still up (yay!). December 31 is apparently a blue moon, which amuses me mightily.
December 2 is a blue moon as well--two in one month! and ferociously bright it has been the last couple of nights.

Why does this cat insist on resting its head on the crook of my arm?


Terri-Lynne said...

I want to live in your freezer.

I must ask--did you expect this much revision when Ms. Blasdell signed you? Is it less than you expected? Curious.

Woohoo on Chimps!

batgirl said...

Hm. I definitely expected revisions, because it had sort of lodged itself in my brain as something agents asked for, in part to determine whether the writer was easy to work with. After I'd talked to a couple of her authors and heard that she started as an editor, I expected she might ask for more than most.
And I did expect that the first round of revision would not be the last. Two things surprised me. That she was willing to take me on with a fixer-upper. And that the revisions in the second go-round are _not_ on the new material, but refining the older. Some of the new material felt quite raw to me.

You should come over after Christmas - the rolling pin will have been in overdrive and the oven will be panting for breath.

Terri-Lynne said...

Very interesting. And, honey--if you're a fixer-upper, most of us out here are shacks by the riverside!

Wah! I want to come partake of your baked goodies!

Hey, did I tell you that I'm planning WFC in San Diego in 2011??

Kali said...

Shacks by the riverside? I'm a refrigerator box in the valley! Yow, I gotta get writing.

I'm glad you like your editor-cum-agent. A friend of mine just got published via the game-writing company he works for, and having read half of the first chapter, i can't say I'm terribly impressed with the editting. I know they were under time constraints, but really...

batgirl said...

Write, write! I invoke my laurelly authority and urge you to write! Because it is a good story.

Game companies do seem to have a different approach to editing, and different standards for prose. There was a bit of a flare-up on Absolute Write about it a couple of years back, with some back-and-forth about 'no, YOU don't understand the market'.
I think it's a bit like doing a media tie-in novel, that the important thing is to evoke the familiar setting or characters, and the rest can go by the board.