Monday, August 21, 2006

Back in the saddle

Gaidhlig Phrase of the Day: Tha i breagha an-diugh. "It's a lovely day today."

Okay, you caught me. I haven't posted since last Thursday, and I haven't worked on the book much since then, either.

I had my reasons, but it's a fresh week and I still have another 1,000 words to go to meet my August goal, so I'd better get back to work. I'd really like to finish the month with at least an even 7,000 words. September's goal will be bigger - I'm thinking 2,000 words a week. That's a lot, but if I'd get my butt in gear I don't think it's impossible.

The biggest thing holding me back at this point is the holes in my setting. I'm narrowing down info all the time (I have a year, a bad guy--and his son(s), one of the main locations, etc.). But a large part won't fall into place until I know the clan and name of my male MC. He's eluding me at the moment, but I need to nail him down before I can do much else, since he's in a large part of the book. Narrowing down a clan will let me figure out who exactly he is (I'm thinking younger brother to the chief, but laird of his own estate?) and other fun personal details. Having a first name will help me write a lot of scenes. I want something authentically Scottish, but not stereotypically so (Fergus, Angus, etc. are out).

The other big decision I'm trying to make is whether or not to go to Surrey. The SiWC is a Big Hairy Deal - one of the most prestigous and talked-about writers' conferences. Several of my favorite authors, including Diana, are going to be there giving seminars. I'm sure I'd learn a lot that would help me early in the writing process. I could meet some of my friends from the forum. Most importantly: it would look great on a query, since I don't have any writing credentials.

The only problmem? It's in Canada. British Columbia. On the other side of the continent. We can technically afford for me to go, but even if I wanted to fly across 3 time zones with an almost-8-month-old (as he will be at the time; it's at the end of October) the extra cost for him and DH would inch towards prohibitive. So, it'd mean 4-5 days without my husband and son. And close to $1000 all told, for registration, travel, and lodging. But it'd be awesome. It would look great on my query. And it would guilt me into finishing and selling this book, to recoup the cost. I guess part depends on how serious I am about this writing thing. The other part depends on what DH thinks.

Anyway, I've far exceded my 1-hour-per-night (minimum) book commitment and I need to go to bed. I didn't get any more wordage, but I did organize all the scene snippets that I've been working on and saved them to a flash drive so I can transport them to and from my day job. So far my muse seems to appear whenever I have better things to do at work. I'll see if I can talk her into showing up in the evenings during "book time."

Oidhche mhath. (Good night.)


Susan Adrian said...

Hi Jenny!

My strong recommendation would be to go to Surrey, if you're at all inclined. The energy and new ideas you'll gain there are amazing, plus the camraderie of being in a place with tons of other writers just like you.

I wouldn't worry about the query part yet, but it'll help you tremendously, especially at the first part of a novel. And trust me, your husband and son will be happier for it in the end too, because you'll be happier.

(If you don't mind the little one getting off routine for a few days. I came back the first year and discovered my 2-year-old had watched her first Saturday Night Live episode. {g} But this will be my 3rd year.)


Beth said...


A few days away from hubby and baby will do wonders for you--the mental and emotional break from motherhood alone will be worth the price of admission. Beyond that, you'll be surrounded by people who share your passion for writing. Very stimulating.

Hope to see you there!

Jon said...

1,000 words? That's nothing. You could knock that out tomorrow, if you wanted.

The advice I would give you is to go to British Columbia, and take your youngest brother with you. See if your mother-in-law would like to come up for a brief stay, and dump that darling child on DH and MIL. But take your younger brother with you.

I'm sorry I keep showing up when you're at work. :o) Perhaps in your appeal to the muse you should request a more solid schedule. Heh.