It Gives a Lovely Light, Draft Three: Day Two

All right. Day two is done.

excitement3I am equal parts distressed and bemused that my overall word count has decreased today. Decrease of 62 words. I have exactly three more words than I did when I started the week. Now, we’ve already established that word count is a poor judge of productivity but I had in my mind this was going to be a 70K novel. Why? Dunno. It just seemed like a good number, right in the middle of the expected 60-80K for YA. Instead, it’s hovering just under 65K. Nothing to sneeze at, I guess. The first draft I completed was about 61K and I was sure I had so much more to add. I still have a lot of work to do but nothing that will inflate the word count much more than it is. I guess I will have to settle for 65K.

I’ve started my first read of the full novel. I’ve decided to read the whole thing through once and make notes. I have a list of things I need to work on – which will be here on called The List, because it’s late and all my creative juices has gone into my novel – and I’m planning on adding and editing it as I go through the book. There’s several things I have added piecemeal over the last several months I haven’t had a chance to read through in the context of the rest of the novel. Between being a very fast reader and the fact I wrote the damn thing, I’m hoping the read through won’t take me long.

fingers crossed2Tomorrow, I’m going to be very dedicated to writing through pure necessity. I’ve scheduled a write-in with my writer’s group during the day. Starting at 10 o’clock (IN THE MORNING), I’ll be in a coffee shop working away until about 3. So far, only one person has committed to coming out to join me, but that’s enough.

I used the Pomodoro Technique today and it was quite successful once I got the hang of it. I kept forgetting to set my timer. I found I could pretty comfortably edit one chapter in one-ish Pomodoros. However, now I have completed all the chapters where I have critiques, so that measure is just about useless to me now. But I think I will continue to use it tomorrow.

So I think that’s it, my lovelies.

happinessI’m not quite done for tonight. I’m going to continue to read. But I will see you tomorrow, hopefully with some great, earth-shattering, life-altering news but something tells me you’re just going to hear me complain about word count some more.

Thanks for reading!



I’m Back!

So, hi.

It’s been two years since I’ve posted on this blog and what a two years it’s been.

I’m not going to try and update you all on everything. I don’t think I could if I wanted to. But I’ll chat a bit, because why not?

I got inspired to come back by a meeting I just had with my writer’s group. It was one of our bi-monthly social mixers and the topic of blogging came up. I’m starting into a kind of exciting era of my writing and I think I’d like to start this thing up again. I won’t even try and promise this will be a regular thing, but it should be fun.

The writer’s group has grown substantially in the last two years. We’re over seven hundred members now. Not all of them are active. I’d say we have a little under two hundred active members, if I were to guess. It’s amazing and so much fun.

And in a twist that I credit entirely to the group and my amazeballs writing partner, I’ve completed my first novel. It’s the Young Adult novel that I’m pretty sure I was talking about a few posts back. It’s a story I had conceived and started writing when I was in high school myself under the terrible name Jewel in the Sand. I rewrote it top to bottom and it turned into something completely different, but something I love. It now has the much better title It Gives a Lovely Light. Or IGALL, as my writing buddy calls it.

To that end, I’ve taken the next week off work to work on my third draft. I’ve had some beta readers for my second draft and have received some great criticism. It’s also still working its way through two critique circles who have been invaluable. I have a lot of notes on the changes I’d like to make. Some of them are pretty easy and some are not.

After this third draft, I have a few beta readers lined up to read it (again). I’m hoping (fingers crossed) there will not be too many changes to make to an upcoming fourth draft. Then, again hoping, I’ll be able to start querying with the fourth draft. Excitement!

That’s what I meant by entering an exciting era of my writing. I’m thinking this blog will be a fun way to keep me accountable this week. Then, when I enter the query process, a fun way to document my journey to publication! (Keeping my hopes high here, guys.)

Well, that’s all, folks! I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.

kiss anna kendrick

Life Update

Hello everyone.

I felt like updating this blog today. I don’t have much specifically to say. I’ve had some requests from folks to update and put up some fresh writing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of that for you. I haven’t had much time to write, which I will tell you all about. Thankfully, I’ve been getting a steady stream of visitors to the blog even with my absence, but honestly, it has much more to do with the Taylor Mali poem I posted back in April than my fans demanding updates.

On the writing front, I’ve started a writer’s collective here in Ottawa. As of this writing, it has 113 members and it’s eating all my time. I created the group during a “lonely writer moment” and it exploded. I thought there may be 20 people with only a fraction of active members. Instead, I have over 100 and the participation and enthusiasm of this group has floored me. It’s a great problem to have so, it’s hard to complain about it. Unfortunately, between this and working full time, I’ve had very little time to actually do my own writing. This is where my time has primarily been but, as we pass the three month mark, I’m getting a lot more people from the membership to volunteer to help me. This has been a tremendous help and I only expect it to get better. I keep waiting for this thing to lose its steam, but it’s going strong so far. I’ve met some great people through this (the ultimate goal) and everyone is being so, so kind. It’s a little overwhelming but in the best possible way.

Otherwise, my life has not changed significantly. My work is all consuming as ever. I already feel like Christmas is over, but I’m looking forward to the five days I’ll be off over the holidays. I really need the rest. I’ve officially enrolled in my first Masters course at Griffith University. I’ll be completing my Masters of Aviation Management online for the next two years (at least). (If you’re feeling your stress levels increase just reading this, imagine how I feel!)

I hope to maybe start doing writing prompts or something similar here again soon, if only to get my pen to paper again. If always had great response and support from this blog, far more than I ever expected, and I want to keep up my end of the bargain better than I have been.

No promises, though.

2012 Reading List

Hi all,

Every year I keep a list of all the books I finished. In 2012, I finished 17 books. They are in more or less the order that I read them in. And here they are:

  1. Swing Low: A Life by Miriam Toews
  2. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
  3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  4. The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie
  5. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  6. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
  7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  8. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  9. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  10. Free Stallion by Amber Tamblyn (twice!)
  11. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  12. Homecoming by Bernhard Schlink
  13. The Last Time As We Are by Taylor Mali
  14. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  15. Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns by Andrea Gibson
  16. The Madness Vase by Andrea Gibson
  17. Every Day by David Leviathan

A few were rereads, like Wuthering Heights, and there was some poetry in there. I think my favourite reads in 2012 was the Hunger Games trilogy, and The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie. Andrea Gibson was my favourite discovery.

What were your favourite reads in 2012? Who did you discover in 2012 that blew you away? Any suggestions for my 2013 reading list?