Monday, July 31, 2006

Thanks, EE!

Evil Editor reviewed my query on his blog today. Any of you who are unfamiliar with his site should spend some time digging through the archives. He dispenses great advice about the publishing world mixed with humor at the expense of those of us blindly feeling our way into said world.

I was really pleased that my query only required "some shortening and polishing". I struggled with it a lot and was not very happy with what I sent him, but didn't know how to make it any better.

His comments made me laugh and I got some invaluable help. Can't knock that.

for the record: you can tell this is an old version that I sent him because the main character's name is still Allison. It has since been changed to Amy. But then, y'all know that already. Right?

Adult ADD

Not to make light of a serious disorder, but I seriously need to learn how to focus. I spent all weekend flitting from one project to another. I hammered out salary negotions for my Atlanta job (victoriously, I might add -- yay for a substantial raise), sat through a two-hour interview for a job that starts in two weeks and will get me through the end of the year, and sent out dozens of emails about jobs.

When I wasn't worrying about my job situation, I meandered around the house doing a whole lot of nothing. I did far less writing than I should have, but I did hit my 1000-word quota each day, so I can't complain too much. I also read a book and spent some quality time with the beast. And I watched a bunch of episodes of Mythbusters, which is a recent obsession.

Amazingly, as I was writing the World of Coke scene, I ran across a Travel Channel special that profiled it. Talk about good timing.

Current word count: 28,307

Friday, July 28, 2006


Well, this week has been a wash. I've been so embroiled in my search for a job for the fall semester that I just haven't had the energy to do much writing. I did write around 1500 words on Thursday, so that's something. A long session at Caribou is in the plans for tomorrow. Next up: World of Coke!

Current word count: 25,642

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Words of Encouragement

I just received this follow-up email from my beta reader.

I didn't see any problem with the pacing or the characters at all. It was a very pleasant read, which tells me that what you're doing is just fine. I think the areas I already commented on are about it from my POV. Of course, a professional editor might have other things to say, but I think if you tighten things up, as discussed, you'll have a good shot when submitting. I most enjoyed the way you presented that early attraction / tension between the two characters and your plan for the rest of the book sounds pretty good, too. I think you did that well and, in general, your writing is very good. I've beta read for a stack of people that haven't published yet and there has been a wide variety of skills. I'd put yours up there at the top. So keep writing!

It made my day and (hopefully) has inspired me to get back on track with my daily writing. All my edits are made now, so I have no more excuses. One thousands words per day minimum. I better get cracking if I'm going to make my quote for the day.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Weekend update

Are there really people who live happy lives without internet? Is it completely pathetic that I can't imagine that?

My internet was out at home this weekend, and I nearly went insane being unable to check my email. Thank goodness for free internet at Panera. (And free food at Panera also, thanks to knowing the girl working at the counter!)

I got my first round of edits back from my beta reader yesterday and spent all evening making edits. I think everything is a lot tighter now and I'm much happier with a few spots. I did some major reorganizing/rewriting of the prologue as well, which is fantastic because I've been really worried about that but couldn't figure out exactly what was the problem. So it was a productive weekend even though I didn't add much to the word count.

Right now I'm working on a scene with Julia and I'm not really sure where I'm going with it. Hopefully I'll get a sudden flash of inspiration. Lately I feel like I'm doing more deleting than writing. And while I don't regret anything I've cut, I'd like to start seeing some net gains.

current word count: 24,468

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Warning: Delay Ahead

I swore I wasn't going to buy it until it came out in paperback. But I couldn't resist temptation any longer. And once I start it, I probably won't be able to do anything remotely productive until I'm finished.

In the meantime, if you have any ideas for cute, fun dates in Atlanta let me know. (BESIDES World of Coke -- you've worn me down. I promise to include it!)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Introductions, pt. 2: The Story


The novel, with the working title Common Ground, is a lesbian romance/fiction novel that will probably come in right around 75,000 words. I officially started writing the last week in June, but the characters and bits of the plot have been floating around in my imagination for much longer. Right now I seem to be averaging roughly 1000-2000 words per day, and I'd like to maintain that average. I'll be posting a word count at the end of each day, along with any thoughts on my progress.

Current word count: 24,391


Common Ground is a love story between two women who seek the same goals, but follow very different paths.

An unexpected loss on Capitol Hill leaves Amy Williams scrambling to find a new career path, and in a departure from her usual thoughtful behavior, she impulsively accepts a position teaching high school English. She is not sure how her shy persona will translate to the classroom -- or how her mature, reserved nature will adjust to Atlanta, the lesbian Mecca of the Southeast.

Brett Gallagher is young, brash and idealistic. Just out of a two-year stint working with Teach for America, she dreams of making the world (or at least the public school system) a more welcoming place for gay teens. She is charming and magnetic but seemingly incapable of an actual relationship, preferring instead one night stands and casual flings.

When the two women meet at an orientation for new teachers, sparks fly immediately, and the two women spend the summer getting to know each other better and falling in love. It is a difficult road because along with their political and personality differences, the constant parade of Brett’s ex-lovers makes Amy jealous and insecure. She fears that even if Brett is genuine about her feelings, it won't take long for her to lose interest.

By early fall, the two women are enjoying the bliss of a new relationship. But all of that changes when there is an incident of homophobia at the high school where they teach.

The event brings to a head their contrasting views on life and politics, including how out they need to be at work. While Brett risks her job to lead an unpopular crusade to have sexual orientation and gender identity listed as a protected group in the school's student handbook, Amy would prefer to avoid what she sees as a losing battle and instead work more subtly to teach students about tolerance and diversity. This dichotomy places a great deal of strain on their fledgling relationship, and both have to decide which compromises are worth making and how far they will go to reach common ground.

Introductions, pt. 1: The blogger

I am a would-be writer who spends most of my days brainstorming and most of my evenings pleading with my dog to behave long enough so that I can turn those ideas into a story. When I'm not writing (which is far more often than it should be) I'm usually found yelling at CNN, reading, or dressing my dog up in silly outfits. (He loves it, I swear!) My day job involves the care and keeping of the world's sweetest three-month-old baby girl.

This blog is meant to keep me honest about my writing -- to track how much progress I make each day and to keep me motivated. But I'm sure other aspects of my life will creep in, so don't be surprised to find a political diatribe or random musing mixed with the talk of writing.