Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lessons Learned

Now the work begins. I've finished the first draft. I just made it to my word count goal. But I think it will continue to climb, no worries.

The differnce between That Girl and Bum's Rush are a lesson well learned. Bum's Rush took me three to four years to complete, then another six months for editing and publishing. I went from 90K word count to just over 70K word count. It was my first novel and will always be special to me. That Girl The first Draft took six months to complete. I don't know how long rewrites and edits will take, but I guarantee it won't be three years.

What did I do differently? Well, for That Girl, I started with a plan and made an outline. Though I haven't looked at that outline for a few months, it got me started and started quickly. The outline took weeks to complete, but it really sped up the process. The next difference is I just wrote. I admit to weakening and rewriting some of the first chapters, but for the most part I sat down and wrote without editing. There are other difference, but these are the time savers.

A lot of work lies ahead, but it should go fairly fast. I haven't made a deadline, deadlines for me are hazardous. You put a limit on something and that's all you're thinking about instead of thinking about writing. It adds a lot of pressure and promotes procrastination. I'm guessing it should be done by Christmas, maybe before. Ya'll will be the first to know about it, though.

Take care and stay dry.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Tribute on Father's Day

My father has been gone since 1984.

My father was a gruff, man who said little about himself, but had opinions about everything. He enjoyed a lively conversation about all the things we're told not to discuss in life.

After WWII, where my father served his country as a PT boat driver in the Navy, he worked in a sawmill for 30 plus years. When the sawmill burnt to the ground, twice, he found work doing anything to support his family, sometimes he had to work two jobs while the mill was being rebuilt.

My father wasn't a generous man, and a buck was a hard thing to part with. My mom had to do some penny pinching, but at least we had pennies to pinch. Even so, whenever friends or family needed a helping hand, Dad held out his.

Dad loved to fish and camp with family and friends. Sometimes we'd tent camp, sometimes we'd sleep in the back of pickup trucks or on the ground under the stars. I have fond memories of wonderful adventures in the woods and my parents whooping it up.

My mom contracted Tuberculosis in the days when they sent you away. Dad had to work two jobs for the nine months to pay for her hospital stay. When she was released, she came home to a brand new dishwasher. It was a big deal back then.

Later, when it was just me left at home, Dad bought a little pickup camper. When he could afford it he upgraded to a fifth-wheel and a boat. One boat turned into a bigger boat, then an even bigger boat. He named them Sue Ann I, II, III, mine and my sister's middle names. What fun we had water skying and fishing as a family.

Dad loved his grandchildren like he never had time to love his own children. It was a surprising transformation. In all the years my dad worked, he bought savings bonds. When he died, there was a nice little nest egg to fall back on if needed.

In their empty nest days, Mom and Dad took square dance lessons. They would camp and travel with their square dance club and have a great time doing it. Sadly, that's what they were doing when he suddenly died.

Dad was all about family. He was the glue that held us together. He had so many friends and relatives, when he died, there was standing room only at his funeral.

This is my tribute to my father, on Father's Day. It may be late in coming, but I just want you to know, Dad, I love you.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Moving right along

So far, I have managed to avoid writer's block while writing this book. I'm kind of stymied at this point, though, because there's so much left to do. The book is basically done. The rewrites are going to be massive, but I'm now confident, I'll hit my word count goal, if not go over it. I'm thinking I should post some excerpts, but do people really read them?

It's interesting where I live. The Missouri River is causing havoc along it's shores, or should I say, it's former shores. It's been unbelievable. We've had lots of warning, the water is rising slowly, so anyone in it's path can actually move out of their houses, lock, stock, and barrel. It's been interesting. We're okay. We live miles and miles from the river, thank God.

I'll try and be more vigilant with my posting. I'm in one of those slumps where you don't have the energy to lift a hand.

That' it. Until next time, so long.
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Crying my way through a scene

Yesterday, I wrote a scene that made me cry. Wow, why would I do that to myself. But then I reread it and cried again. It still needs work, so I'll be crying my way through it a few more times. Writing the ending to a books is tiresome and just plain hard. That's why I put it off. That and the story changes in the process of writing it, which affects the ending. I'm about 82% done, probably more because I have fifteen thousand more words till I reach my goal and I don't think I need that many words, but by the time I rewrite, add scenes, make changes, add a few needed descriptions, who knows, I might fill all that space up and more.

I autographed my book for the first time ever. You'd think I'd never held a pen before the way it looked. So I'm going to order a whole new book so my signature will be pretty. But here's what I did. I googled signing you name. There are rules, and suggestions for signing your name. I spent an hour perfecting my new signature. I'm afraid if I ever do a book signing I'm going to have to practice, do hand calisthenics or something before each session. Did you know there's a five second rule? Yes, write your name in under five seconds. One, I've got a fairly longish name if I use Elizabeth, and two, really, I don't care,do you? Try timing yourself when you sign your name. Suffice it to say, I'll be breaking that rule. I did come up with a fairly nice looking signature though.

K, nuff said.
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