clarentine: (Default)
Numbers and I do not get along. I can, and have, worked the same damned algebra problem and ended up with different answers, and been certain each time I had worked the problem correctly. Usually, however, I can count on my brain's innate skill with patterns to keep the digit-swapping to a minimum when it's words rather than numerals.

Today, I typed a new one: navitagion.

Apparently that's a virus that makes you suddenly pack a bag and jump on board ship. *g*

***

It's been a good couple of days' word gathering, with nearly 2K new words to show for my effort (and not effort of the staring at the screen for hours variety, either; this is the pre-Christmas season, and every minute seems to be scheduled). I can tell I'm starting to get to the point where existing text is fitting into the new material--the grafting is becoming easier.

I'm also at page 346. Wow.

***

No research. I am, however, reading for fun - I finished an early Tony Hillerman-Jim Chee/Lt. Leaphorn mystery, Coyote Waits over the weekend and am now approaching the end of the new Lynn Flewelling-Seregil and Alec book, Shadows Return. Long awaited, this one. When I am not busy shedding books in preparation for moving, I will have to buy the ones that go before just so I can re-read them all in quick sequence. (I hear they're being reissued - yay!)

I also will soon have a whole new box of books to read, though most of them I've already read. I won an auction over at the [livejournal.com profile] helpvera community that includes three or four Nina Kiriki Hoffman novels, two of which are some of my absolute favorites. (The Thread that Binds the Bones and The Silent Strength of Stones) Plus some books I've been meaning to read, and will now be Mine!

What was that about shedding books? *g*
clarentine: (Mastiff)
Remember earlier this summer when I was so worried about word count in Break? When the novel stood at 275 pages?

It's now at just over 400 pages, and I am working on page 313, approaching (finally!) the end of the second act and the big second turning point. I have nearly managed to claw my way out of the Dreaded Middle of the Book. Huzzah!

A lot of that new page count came from three new scenes written in the past week. Canum's bad days grow worse. Plus, he's now seen his first bola tournament (that would be polo, adapted to the Canumverse), witnessed horse racing and tent pegging, and fended off an assassin. I repaired the flaw in my reconfiguration of the dateline in this novel that I'd been thrashing over, and I think I've done it with a modicum of style. Chasm bridged!

All in all, November's been a productive month for me.

***

Polo's an interesting sport. There is a wealth of information on the 'net about polo, as you might expect, but most instructive to a visual learner like me are the videos of polo matches on YouTube, like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro4MoOLixG4. (Just be careful if you try to find any more of those videos; girl-and-horse sexual innuendo videos far outnumber the actual clips of polo matches.) My intention is to have my depiction of several matches vetted by a friend who rides, who has friends who play polo.

***

Less than a month until solstice, when the days begin to grow longer once more. I'm not aware that I suffer from any of the truly debilitating emotional and mental issues related to a shortage of daylight, thankfully, but I do know that I fall victim (like most of humanity) to the desire for extra calories and more sleep. Come the solstice, I, like my plants, will begin to perk up. I look forward to that day like very few others throughout the year.

***

Four-day weekend ends tonight. Back to the day job tomorrow. Bah!
clarentine: (Canum)
1961 new words yesterday, which will sbustitute for the scene I'm cutting (sap--ew) and then some. The subconscious remembered what plot was. Hallelujah!

Best news yet: I found a way to incorporate a ponor. The scenery grows all around me. The Sapree canyons came alive as I wrote them, and the hills of central Vellutira are becoming more real with every word. One of these days, given the chance, I want to see this landscape I'm paraphrasing. (Did you know there's a grant to allow (SFF?) authors to do just that? I think it was [livejournal.com profile] fjm who mentioned it on her blog recently. Now there's a grant I want to win!)

Research in the last couple of days was mostly looking for photos of the karst landscapes of the Balkan peninsula. I found some lovely images of Dubrovnik, which, while that city doesn't quite match up to Clarent, will still enrich my descriptions of the Vellutiran capital and ensure it resembles neither Guaymarien nor the Sapree cities. I'm still using a gorgeous image of a flooded ponor and the hills and trees around it as a visual mnemonic when I'm on my laptop at home; you can bet that little fold in the hills will appear somewhere in Break.
clarentine: (Default)
(Sorry; don't know the plural form of those verbs, as Latin is one language I never dabbled in. They should be plural. You'll just have to imagine them that way.)

If you were wondering where I'd gotten to lately, the answer is, I've been busy. A pack of friends and I got together this past long weekend, as we have every year for the past nine, and explored a new town - this time, it was my turn to host and Richmond that got painted. We did a corn maze, the Celtic festival and Highland Games, and a quick and dirty tour of some of the more interesting historical spots in the city. Plus ice cream, of course (if you know me, you know just how unlikely it would have been that we skipped ice cream, not when we have the World's Best Ice Cream right here in town), and lunch at Capital Ale House with the attendant sampling of many different kinds of beer, and a lot of games of Munchkin and Apples to Apples.

All of this to-ing and fro-ing was supported by much planning and copious amounts of energy for some rather late nights, and I am tired. And sad, too, because my friends have gone their various ways for another year. It's too quiet at my house.

Ah, well. There's next year to look forward to. ::howls with glee::

***

Progress continues on Break. I'm up to page 260, still plowing forward, and getting closer to the gap in the timeline with every word I write. No brilliance has yet shown me how to get over that chasm. I have a creaky footbridge; I'd rather a nice stone structure, but I'll settle for footbridge if necessary. At this point, I just want over it.

***

Was there research since I last posted? There had to be, but I'm afraid I don't recall any of it at the moment. I haven't researched anything since we packed everyone off to the airport, at the very least. *g*
clarentine: (Canum)
It's been a while since I had appreciable progress to report, but I finally got through the scene that had been blocking me, to the tune of about 2200 new words, most of them coming late last night. I may actually have gotten through the worst of the scenes that needed to be added, too.

There's still a chunk of time unaccounted for coming up that I hope I can get over in some fashion other than "and they basically did nothing new for two weeks while the clock ticked." I dislike those sorts of entries. I'm holding out for a further flash of creativity to bridge the gap instead. *g*

***

There's a karst formation on the coast of Scotland--Geodha Smoo--which will be making a simulacrum appearance in Break. Fascinating stuff, this karst geology. Underground rivers turn out to be great places to disappear a body, unless they turn up at the bottom of the waterfall where the river cascades down to the coast. (/tongue in cheek)

Take a gander. This place is fascinating: http://www.durness.org/Smoo%20cave.htm
clarentine: (Canum)
1092 new words today, comprising two short scenes and the very beginning of a third. Again, I'm pausing because I've outpaced my understanding of what comes next. If I'm lucky, it'll come to me tonight. >:-)

No research, but I did back up my computer. No time like the present...because god knows I don't want to have to go through all of this revision again.

Shhhhhhh!

Sep. 16th, 2008 09:27 am
clarentine: (Canum)
(don't want to scare it off, but it's raining here.)

(::very quiet cheer::)

***

Let's see. Not much in the way of wordage to add to the WIP - am stuck trying to figure out how to increase tension following the last major added scene and waiting for my subconscious to cough up the answer - but I did get some research done (more karst stuff) and pulled together a calendar of events up to the point where we currently are. There are events in the future which require a certain amount of time to be possible, and I don't want to blow that timing.

***

Not that you can read this, but here's a huge ball of good thoughts for my friends in OH, who took Ike in the shorts over the weekend and few of whom have power back yet. I hope you have what you need, if perhaps not what you want.
clarentine: (Canum)
Last night's word count was something like 1952, which is excellent for me. Took two sittings to accomplish, but the scene just would not quit talking to me, and in the end I was pleased that I'd persevered.

I'm on the ledge about using "my voice scraping my throat like teeth on a bone," but for the moment it's staying.

Thus far today I have 556 new words for the transition into the next chapter. Dunno if there will be more.

***

Courtesy of the Henrico County Public Library system, I have access to a number of databases of primarily scholarly journals and magazines. I've been using that access today to research karst landscapes. I'm going to have fun with this one; setting is very important to me, and this particular imagined setting is coming clearer in my mind's eye with every photo I see of dolines, ponors, poljes, and karren.

If, when you read this book, you feel like you're in one of these poljes and are checking underfoot for ponors, I've done my job. *g*
clarentine: (Canum)
1425 last night after much thrashing around to set up this next scene. I've been heavily into avoidance activities while my subconscious worked out what had to happen on the screen--this week, I'm making throw pillows for the couch. I've made phone calls I've been putting off, I ran errands, I got my eyes checked. Took the dog to the park. Limed, fertilized, and re-seeded the little lawn in the back yard. And then I decided I needed to just write the damned scene and get it over with. Perfection isn't necessary; it has to be on the screen/page before it can be polished.

I swear, I have to rediscover this truth at least three times a year.

***

Somewhere, in the notebooks containing the early, handwritten versions of the Canum stories, there's a list of the names of a certain group of people. I could really use that list right about now. Maybe it's time to relocate all of those notebooks down here to the workroom.

No, that's more displacement. Argh!

***

After I got my words last night, I let myself do some of the research I'd pushed aside in order to get them written. Cave systems in karst is a topic I'm very interested in at the moment. I stopped by a library earlier in the week to see what sort of info I could find, but the reference librarian was unable to offer much assistance. It's not so much the geology and hydrology of karst that interests me; what I really want to understand is the effect that geology and hydrology has on the landscape and environment it's set within--not so much the caves themselves, then. Because I'm finding it hard to put into words the particular thing I need to know about, I can't blame the librarian for being unable to help me.

Maybe what I need is to locate a geologist/hydrologist who understands karst and pick their brain. *g*

***

I'm currently involved with an online class on the Age of Sail--not displacement this time but rather research for Satisfaction, whenever I finally pick it back up. (On the other hand, spending hours working on the optional homework assignment is, uh, avoidance. Um.) I forget sometimes how much fun it is to read about sailing and imagine the movement of beautiful boats through the sea.

***

I'm also currently working my way through Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel, not as a bible or blueprint but more as a check of what these past years of exposure to high-octane writers' brains has taught me. I have some very bright friends, I'm happy and proud to say. I haven't read anything thus far in the Maass book that hasn't been said in some variation by someone I know rather better than Maass.

***

See? I've been busy. That's why I haven't gotten many words lately. Look at all the stuff I've been doing....

Yeah.

Back to work.
clarentine: (Canum)
1258 is a nice number for the first writing session of the day, and I've errands to run, so we stop here. Hopefully, there will be a second writing session.

I'm happy to say I got past yesterday's flailing. I had a good, long think about why we should care if Canum meets his goal, and did some tweaking of the pages that came before, and I think I'm okay. I don't know that the problem is resolved - it certainly might crop up again later in this revision - but I think for the moment we're good.

And I got to introduce, in today's new words, the germ of a title that's going to dog Canum for a good long while to come, and I am happy. *g*

***

Hmm. I have to go out anyway, so perhaps I will save gas and stop by the library to see what the reference librarians can come up with on caves in limestone/karst. Ideally, caves in the landmass that's doubling as the setting for this book. I'm not looking to get very deep into the geology of caves or karst, but you never know what sort of little detail might turn up in research that jogs something new into being. And there might be a book with photos, which are always helpful.

Onward!
clarentine: (Canum)
Today we finally rolled over and past the first turning point and into the second act, and I got to write two brand new scenes for a total of 1500 words by MS Word's count or approximately five and a half pages SMF (standard manuscript format).

Wow. It feels so good to write new material again.

I'm sure the rest of the Dreaded Middle of this book won't go as easily as today's words did, but I'm glad to have had the experience.

***

The interesting thing about worldbuilding on the fly is that, sometimes, the thing you add just for the hell of it, just for color, turns out to be an important element in the story. I love when that happens.
clarentine: (Canum)
One more chapter revised - at least this one didn't need to be rewritten from scratch. Now I'm bogged down in the transition at its end. Bah.

Went out to dinner with the kid after he brought his little dog over for a play date with Kay. I'm not sure that Beenie understood that Kay was playing. *g* It probably would have been better if it hadn't been raining...but I'm not about to wish it would stop. We've got right at an inch since it started yesterday morning. We should be getting more overnight and into tomorrow. Color me thrilled! The lawn may survive after all.
clarentine: (Canum)
Well, I didn't get the scene completed yesterday, but it's an extremely complex knot to try and weave together and I did get 650 new words on the page. Good progress, then.

The weather is promising rain for the first time in a very, very long while. Cross your fingers we get at least a little of it, okay?

Onward.

***

ETA: scene's finished, with only two lines remaining to be worked out once my brain gets clever enough to come up with the proper insult, with a total new word count of 1410.
clarentine: (Canum)
Time to get the nose back to the grindstone, I think, and holding myself accountable for production will go better if the accountability is public, yes?

Revisions on the third Canum novel (working title What Does Not Break Us, or Break for short) are at that stage where I have a nice, neat, clean synopsis to use as a blueprint for what must happen by which time on the story timeline and now I have to rewrite old scenes or write new ones to match the blueprint. I am not the write-to-outline kind of writer, so this is not my favorite part of writing, needless to say. It is, however, necessary to bring coherence (not to mention actual plot) to this novel.

I'm a little under the weather at the moment, so I'm not going to hold myself responsible for pages and pages per day. I'm aiming for a scene each day.

Now let's see if I can catch one. *g*

ETA: And what's the last line I left myself when I was previously working on this revision? "I'm not sure what I was expecting." Um, yeah. I hear you, subconscious. *g*

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