Saturday, June 30, 2007

Never again.

Have I mentioned that I'll not do 20K in a month again? *g*

I met my target and then some tonight, finally checking in at just over 49K. I should be able to top 50K by tomorrow, most likely by finishing chapter 6. Woo.

I wonder, though: chapter 6 is currently Alec leading Elspeth through the woods to Glenstrae, and them chatting all the while, telling each other about their families, etc. It's a lot, but is it too much of an "infodump"? As I wrote it it seemed like natural conversation for two people getting to know each other. I mean, it's a 2-hour hike. They've got time.

Ah, well. Too tired to think much on it right now. I guess I'll see what the betas have to say, and if it doesn't work I'll parse out the backstory a bit more.

For now, oidche mhath.

Friday, June 29, 2007


I was NOT supposed to get in bed after midnight tonight.

The plan: start writing at 9, 800 words, quick and simple, in bed by 11. Yeah, not so much.

And I just scraped by on my nightly target, using up all the reserve I'd built in the past couple of nights. But I did make it.

2 more nights of this, then I sleep. Next week, I read and research and get in bed at decent hours. And only 15K next month.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gah. But, yay!

Shoot me now, because I will be miserable tomorrow. *g*

Chapter 5 is done.

Just over 1250 words tonight, which puts me still ahead of schedule and still behind on sleep.

I'm not as keen on tonight's work, which is all Alec's POV as he discovers Elspeth's true origin, but it's down and will hold place nicely for now. That's what revisions are for.

I keep repeating to myself: "...this is the SFD...this is the SFD..."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Clicking along in Chapter 5


Since I started writing linearly from my ubersynopsis/story notes, I've nailed down solid rough drafts of chapters 1-4, and last night I started in on Chapter 5. The subject matter in 5 is tricky, as I need Elspeth to explain to Alec that she's from the future and somehow convince him she's telling the truth. I'd been going round and round in my head on how to do that for weeks, with DH and Kimb's helpful suggestions added to the mix, and finally everything "gelled" for me tonight. (Heh. "I'm gellin' like a felon...")

I got over 2/3 of chapter 5 written, for a total of just over 2K tonight (I needed at least 1400), and a good block of notes for me to pick up tomorrow where I left off. Father Kenneth had a rather unexpected reaction, but it really set up everything I needed to happen quite nicely. He'll make it up to Elspeth by helping her out later.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Home again, home again

Just a quick post to update. I spent a large part of last week (Thursday through Sunday) in Colorado Springs, for work-related training. So I didn't get much writing done.

I need to get almost 7K in the next 5 days to make my goal. Marathon, anyone? *g*

I am however, up to the beginning of Chapter 5, and doing alright with the linear thing. The way my first four chapters have been (3000-3500 words each), I'll probably be through at least 6 and possibly into 7 by the time I hit 50K. Cool.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's 4:30 am, but...



There's something to be said for sheer, bull-headed determination.

And caffeine. Can't forget the caffeine.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Welcome discovery (or, "Chapter 2 down")

Caffeine pills from Wal-Mart will be my salvation. DH picked them up for me last night. Tonight, I had a Mountain Dew with dinner and took one pill (equivalent to 200 mg caffeine, or about the amount in a cup of coffee) around 8 pm. By 9 the baby was down, I was energized, and the words were flowing...unlike the past few nights. I started with an SOC for Elspeth to get me back into where I left off in chapter 2. Once I started actually writing, I managed very nearly 1500 words. That had been my goal for today, but I wasn't sure if I'd make it.

Chapters 1 and 2 are now complete (at 3400 and 3800 words apiece!) and I'm moving on into Chapter 3. Elspeth is in Dalmally, and this will lead up to the attack scene with the Campbells, and her meeting with Alec at the kirk.

Right now I'm effectively at 38K, and I need 2,000 words over the course of tomorrow to make my halfway goal. I may have to take 2 pills tomorrow night, but I will stay up as late as necessary to pull it off.

But now - gah - it's 1 am and I am going to sleep.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


At least, that's what I'd like to be doing. Keeping up this pace is exhausting, and still I'm behind. Sheesh. Next month: 15K only.

At any rate, I've barely blogged or posted on the forum because I've been working, writing, or too tired to think. Usually some combination thereof. Hopefully I'll get caught up soon and back to only needing 750 words a night and I can squeeze a few other things in there.

I didn't quite reach my (ambitious) goal for the night of 37K, due in no small part to only getting 500-600 words the two nights previous. Also because I was reading/participating the "House Party" thread in the Exercises folder. Much hilarity!

Still, I clocked in at 36.5K tonight. Not too shabby. Now I'm going to bed. DH picked me up some caffeine pills at Wally World; that should help immensely starting tomorrow. I just hope they're not habit-forming... *w*

Can I make 40K by Friday night (at this point I'd be happy with sometime on Saturday)? Only time will tell.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Not quite

To stay on track, I needed to average about 1100 words a night between now and Friday. That will put me right at 40K total at the middle of the month.

Tonight I didn't quite swing it. About 700 words, and I'm at a good stopping point on the scene, and exhausted. So I'm packing it in. That leaves 4800, or right at 1200 a night for the rest of the week.

We shall see.

(It's not the end of the world if I don't make it; I'll just have to catch up in the second half. But I'll also be traveling next week, so I'd like to have some leeway.)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Redemption, of a sort

In my previous post, I described my exhaustion at the end of this week and my failure to meet the mini-goal I had set myself.

I got a little closer to back-on-track today. Rhonddalyn started a kissing snippets thread in the erotic folder, which inspired me to start work on a long-shelved scene that takes place after Elspeth has fallen in a loch in the winter and gotten hypothermic. I got 500 words down, enough to post a snip.

I came back to that scene tonight and tried something completely different. I started it over, from an earlier point, in Alec's first-person POV. I got so much more internal thought and detail from my first-person POV on the June X, and since this scene is Alec's (Elspeth being unconscious) I needed to get into his head. The plan is to go back and rewrite it in deep third, but for now I was drafting in first. And it worked pretty well.

I added another almost 1100 words, for a grand total tonight of 1594. If I'm trying to average 750 a night, that was two nights' worth, so I'm a modicum closer to being caught up for the month. I'll have to pull 1K nighters for a bit to get all the way caught up. And DH's and my trip to Colorado for business/pleasure (I have job training, but only for 1 day out of 4 and it's our anniversary weekend) the 21st-24th will take a bite out, for all that I will probably have my laptop.

Still, 50K by the end of the month is within range.

Borrowing Jo's methods:

Monthly word count progress

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3,594 / 20,000

Elapsed time

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9 / 30


I can function pretty decently on 5-6 hours of sleep a night, but only for a limited amount of time. By Thursday - after about a week of late nights writing followed by early mornings and long, busy days at work - I was reaching the end of my tether, and by my appointed writing time (after the baby is in bed and other stuff sorted, usually around 9 pm) I could tell that the reserves for creativity weren't there. So I decided to catch up on some posts on the Forum, and get an early night so I would awake refreshed on Friday and ready to write again.

Not so much.

I didn't get in bed until after 11, and with my 6:30 wake up time that didn't quite translate to the full 8-9 hours I really needed. And then - THEN - the baby decided to wake up screaming some time around 5 am and refused to go back to sleep. I did my time for the whole first year of his life while I was nursing him, so DH drew the short straw on that one. Nevertheless, I could still hear the baby crying through the wall/closed door and never did get back to sleep. By the time my alarm went off I was ready to chuck it, so I gave up and went to the baby. He was gnawing on his hands (possibly cutting molars) and had gotten shots on Tuesday, so I gave him teething tabs and a dose of infant Tylenol and rocked him for a bit until he settled down. He seemed content to toddle around while I got dressed and ready for work.

Needless to say, I was a zombie all day Friday and knew long before evening that writing was out. So we rented and watched Torque with my man Martin Henderson and went to bed early. DH, bless him, got the baby up and downstairs this morning without waking me up, so I got a good 10 hours of sleep, and felt much refreshed.

Torque was...okay. Basically the guys who did The Fast and the Furious said "hey, we did it with cars - lets try motorcycles this time!" But Martin's hair is longer and he's scruffier in this one, plus he plays an honorable guy trying to outrun the bad guys and win back his girl's heart. So I got a lot of good "Alec" flashes. In that case it was worth my while.

But my mini-goal of 35K by the 7th/8th had been well and truly shot.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

June X, continued

Well, my X is up. Final word count: almost 3400. I'd already have reached my first quarter-goal if I'd gotten that many words of story! Ah, well.

Now I've taken a rather long "lunch break" and I need to get some actual work done. I'll return to the forum later to comment on everyone else's X.

And I really have to get Kimb's (how do you make a name that ends in an apostrophe posessive?) first chapter back to her...

June X

Alas, no new wordage for tonight. We got home late and ate after I put Little Boy to bed, which made both also later than usual. By 10 pm I was at the computer and before I could start writing I saw the June X posted on the Compuserve Forum.

I chose to do that instead. Right now, I've only made it through the first POV-rewrite (into First Person) and wow - that took a lot out of me. Actually 980 words from a 500-word scene, and the majority of those are new. So in a way I kinda did get my ~1000 new words tonight. Won't advance my progress meter, but it will advance the depth of my story. Alec surprised me. I heard him quite clearly several times. I guess we will see what Jo, that master of deep POV, has to say about it.

Now I have to decide whether to press on and finish the X tonight (thus sacrificing sleep yet again - I won't be able to continue this indefinitely) or pack it up and call it a wrap. Finding time to finish this tomorrow will be difficult - work has been crazy busy.

But I should not work on it tomorrow evening - to stay on track I need to be at 35K by the end of the 7th and that means 1500 new words for the next two nights. So, hmmm.

Well, I guess my likelihood of managing 1500 words 2 nights in a row diminishes proportionately the less sleep I get. Work owes me a nice long lunch hour anyway.

Oidche mhath.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Slower today

I spent a good bit of my writing time futzing around on Compuserve, but at least I got a chance to read the Master Class "DE Rule" thread. Very helpful.

Then I tweaked the bit from last night in light of the Master Class discussion.

Then it was already late, so I revised my personal goals for the evening to just 500 words, or at least break 32,000. Guess what? On the nose.

Now, to bed.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Pushing onward

The June "month-long marathon" continued again tonight, the second night of me actually writing. I'm shooting for at least 1000 words a night until I get caught up to my goal (after my initial slacking) or even a little ahead. Then as long as I average 700-750 words I should be able to make 50K total by the end of the month.

I flagged a bit after the first hour or so, as my caffeine buzz from the two 20-ounce glasses of Diet Coke I had with dinner began to wear off. But I pushed on and did ultimately make it.

Final word count for the evening: 1174, baby!

I had meant to finish the scene I started last night, where Elspeth meets Alec's aunt at a ceilidh and learns the lullabye. But tonight I flashed forward to Elspeth singing the lullabye to Colin, and being affected by the sad lyrics. It should actually fit nicely as the tie-in to the "reunion" scene I have already written a large part of.

Oh, and I also came across an unofficial fansite for Martin Henderson. They have quite an extensive image gallery. I've been through a fair bit of it, and it's funny - about half (or even a little more) of the pictures look nothing like Alec. But there are quite a few that do - startlingly so. I've saved a few of them to my flash drive for reference.

For your viewing enjoyment, here's one more:

And we have a winner!

...For the Alec stand-in contest. Martin Henderson it is.

I rented Bride and Predjudice last night, and watched it with DH. Mainly to see him in 3D, but it ended up being a cute movie. MH's hair is shorter and he's completly clean-shaven in the movie, but even then there were a few times I would catch a facial expression and think, "OMG, that's Alec!"

Actually, the more I see of MH, the more differences I can pick out between him and Alec: Alec's eyes are bluer, and his nose and chin aren't quite as pointed. Alec is also somewhere in between the two extremes of facial hair (smoothly clean-shaven or bearded) I've seen MH with. But he's still very close. And it is helping me visualize Alec himself. So that's helpful. *g*

In other news, I actually started writing tonight. I had a lot to catch up on, since I need to average about 750 words a night to meet my June goal. I haven't managed any new words yet since I made the goal, so I was already at least 1500 in the hole going into tonight. I didn't even get BIC (butt-in-chair) until 10 pm, and didn't start typing until 10:30.

Still, it was a fairly productive night. I got right about 1000 words down. If I can keep this up over the next couple of nights, I'll be caught up and then some.

The scene I'm working on is a new idea prompted by the CD Cathy sent me with the MacGregor lament/lullabye Griogal cridhe ("beloved Gregor") on it - 15 different versions. Thanks to her I'll hear "obhan, obhan, obhan iri..." over and over again in my head for days. *s* But it is a pretty song.

Anyway, I'm writing her in as Alec's aunt Catriona who teaches the song to Elspeth. I got as far as their introductions tonight. But it's been a long day and my brain is shutting down.

Oidhche mhath.