Movies and Dreams

Movies Seen This Week
We watched Drag Me To Hell on Tuesday, I believe.  I didn’t remember it was a Sam Raimi film until we saw his name in the opening credit.  That should have clued me in that it would be fairly campy, as per his modus operandi.  However, camp aside (and there was definitely some of that in the later scenes), it was a pretty gory flick in places.  Given my stomach is currently not the happiest camper in the world, I learned that I probably should avoid movies where there’s a decided gross factor (old women slobbering on their victims, demon-puke, etc.) at least for a while longer.

Last night, since it finally hit Redbox, we finally saw Clash of the Titans.  Given the abysmal reviews it got, including from a friend who saw it in the theatre, I didn’t have much hope.  However, I have to say I thought it was fairly decent.  Special effects, of course, were far better than the original, Liam Neesam & Ralph Fiennes are a great combination, and who can beat Sam Werthington (Avatar, Terminator: Salvation, and Clash are his biggest hits)?  Okay, I can think of a few actors I’d trade Werthington for (Eric Johnson – purely for his value as my image for Jordan, of course ::cough cough::, David Boreanez, and Gerard Butler).  

Er, anyway, where was I before I started drooling?  Oh, right, Clash.  The one thing I said going in was they’d better have a mechanical owl.  I won’t spoil it for those few who haven’t seen it and still want to, but they did get the mechanical owl in there.  Heh – amusingly done too.

Dreams
Yeah, I didn’t make it two weeks before I caved and started the rewrite/revision.  I gave in last Friday, which is one of the reasons I haven’t been posting this week.  I’m just over 100 pages in now, with a few major changes to scenes.  The bulk of the writing took place on Sunday where I hit 45 pages revised, but that’s Sunday for you, when I wake up before my child, and get 2 hours+ of him out grocery shopping with daddy, and then his quiet time to work.  Most days it seems I’m managing around 10 pages.  Ugh.  Slow, slow, slow.  Yes, I know, people who saw my grumbling about 10-20 pages said it’s pretty good, but I’m impatient.  I want this rewrite done so I can spit-polish and get it out to query-dom.

Depression/Comfort
That brings me to my final topic, writer’s depression.  It’s really frustrating, and I hit a down-spell the past few days because I saw several people over the past week make the “I got an agent” announcement and here I am still out in the cold.  But then, a lovely friend (JC, I love you, can’t wait for the book to hit the shelves) had soothing words, along the lines of “the strongest voices can often have the hardest time finding an agent”, so I take comfort in that.  I know I have a fairly strong voice, and I enjoy what I do.  It’s not a race, I’m still (relatively) young.  I just want my book in my hands.  And I want to be able to send Mom a copy before she passes on.  I really do.  She’s in her 70’s (yeah, I’m in my early 30’s) now and not in good health. 

So, I’ll end this with a question: what do you, my loyal readers (I know some of you read on a regular basis!) who are also writers do when the writing doldrums hit?

Continuing to Simmer

Well, first week down of my (planned) two-week break before beginning revisions on Dreams.  I have gotten together what I think is a fairly decent query.  However, the synopsis is…not.  Thanks to some comments by a couple of people who generously give of their own time and effort to help me, (AA, JC, I love you!) I’ve got an idea what needs to be fixed.  Let me add my voice to the thousands of writers around the world when I proudly proclaim I HATE WRITING SYNOPSES!

Okay, got that out of my system.

I don’t know if I’ll make it all the way through my two-week self-imposed exile before beginning revisions.  I’m itching to get started simply because I want to get this baby done.  Plus that gives me a couple of months (envisioned) to prepare it for the Golden Heart writing contest.  Not like I have any ideas for the next book, which I pray continues to be the case for at least 4-5 months while I write my capstone paper for my Master’s Degree. 

On a sadder note: I got a rejection from the last publisher I sent Rage off to.  Not like that was exactly a shock all things considered, but still…::sigh::  Okay, got that out of my system too.

Stay tuned for my next update at some point (hopefully in the next couple of days, rather than 5 like last time).

Quiet Saturday Afternoon

Considering how sleepy I’ve been all day, and I’ve rejected all but one opportunity for a nap (which didn’t really help), it’s been a lovely afternoon.  The shrimp’s still in his quiet time (he fell asleep thankfully), the hubby’s off in dreamland fighting a migraine, and I’ve been able to enjoy some peace, quiet and tranquility. 

Finished my first complete go-through of Dreams and, my original Facebook status while I did so to the contrary, it’s not that bad.  First half, okay, maybe the first half sucks.  But that was before I knew where things were headed, so I think it’s fixable after all.  Not an easy task, but ah well.  One must have something to occupy one’s time.  This path isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s not easy when I see others announcing “I have an agent”, “I got a contract,” and so forth.  I remind myself I could have been one of them (contract one anyway), but I turned it down.  Whether or not it was a stupid decision remains to be seen.

Odd moment now: has anyone but me ever tried a hershey bar dipped in nacho sauce?  It sounds dreadful, I know, but surprisingly it wasn’t.  And I could go for it right about now.  Heck, the shrimp tried a brownie on his macaroni pizza yesterday.  I’m so proud of him for trying different things!  Hubby was grossed out by it though.  He got grossed out, like others I can think of, when I dipped french fries in my McFlurries. I wasn’t even pregnant at the time I did that.  Or the hershey/nacho thing either.  ::evil laugh::  Ahh, the fun I might have.

For Better or Worse

I finished the last chapter of Dreams last night.  Not really satisfied with the last chapter, but forced myself to put the trio through their paces and at least get the words out.  All shall be (I hope) smoothed over in round two here in a couple of weeks.

Now I can enjoy Rookie Blue tonight/tomorrow morning without guilt that I should be writing.  I can go through my lovely AA’s draft and give it the attention it deserves.  Most importantly, I finished 4 days ahead of schedule.

Alas, it shall not be all tea and roses in this down time.  I intend to start flushing out a query, writing the most wretched thing known to writerdom (the synopsis), and take my time going through the agent list at QueryTracker to confirm who are my top choices.  Except for one, who requested an earlier version of Rage, my first choices will ‘not’ necessarily be the first ones I query since query letters are like fine wine and may take some time to age properly.

Tragically, Dreams will have to be the last WIP I do until I finish something a bit more important.  ::sigh::  My capstone project for my Master’s degree.  I will be killed if I fail to finish my MPA.  My DH has already assured me of that, and I was starting to feel guilty about being one step shy of my Master’s and letting it go for something that may never pan out.  Oh lord, that’s my mother for you.  “What will you do until you succeed as a writer.”  Blah.

I have absolutely no interest any more in the degree I started a couple of years ago, before the writing bug bit me again.  But, I must finish.  It will give some time for things to percolate a little more, or alternatively, a new story idea to present itself since I’m probably crazy writing a full trilogy when I can’t even sell/get the first one agented.  Dreams stands alone though (mostly, though with a few carry-overs/over-arching plot) so I can pitch it by itself and hopefully resurrect Rage somewhere down the line.

This Just Isn’t Right

I’m 5k (more or less) from my intended goal of 95k for Dreams.  I have until Sunday (my self-appointed goal, in pretend preparation for that magical day when I have a real deadline from an actual editor/publisher – yeah, being an optimist).  I think the story’s decent, except my H/H haven’t managed to force the magical “I love you” out, and with the seven pages or so in the chapter that I cobbled together yesterday (on top of finishing the scene that plagued me for a month and writing the epilogue – woot), they’re no closer to it than when I started.

Marcelo – I can see him saying it.  He’s honest that he needs and will be able to say it.

Chris – I just can’t imagine her saying it.  She hasn’t even admitted it to herself.  I know she cares a great deal for him, would even force down her worst nightmare to keep him safe (yeah, the sex is that good), be it Ares or Jordan.  And I’m just not sure she’s capable of saying the three words.  Of course, part of the problem is she’s starting to make demands to be the MC in Blood Magic, rather than Donovan & ________ (haven’t figured that part out yet). 

Not sure how to get her to cooperate.  May have to ditch the partial chapter (2000 words) and take another tactic.  YARGH.

Again – this isn’t right.

Just when you think you know your uber-villain…

He surprises the heck out of you.  The dream-walker has no shame, and will appear as anyone he darned well pleases in the dreams of those he visits.  What I didn’t know was that he had absolutely no shame because I come to find out, he has no problem appearing as a woman to seduce someone into doing what he wants them to do.

Knowing who is behind Ares’ mask, I am absolutely fascinated by this new facet of his personality.  Far greater depth to the man than I originally thought.  I do hope he’s not trying to tell me something.  I refuse to admit it’s possible he might swing both ways.  ::glares meaningfully at Ares::  Get it, bud?  Now behave!

On a good note, thanks to that scene, I should get well past 3k words for the day.  I’m only about 400 words shy of that now.  Woot.

Final stretch

7 days and according to my word-count spreadsheet, I’ve got 46 pages to go.  In the word-count sense, per review of my WIP itself, I’ve got approximately 16k to go (as can be seen through the handy-dandy storytoolz meter to your left).  While it doesn’t look like it’s moved much over the past few days, I ended up pitching a scene I wrote weeks ago and rewriting a good portion of it from scratch.  To quote Chris, “That sucked dehydrated blood.”

In that time, I need to make my abruptly sober & off the sauce entirely vamp have one more ‘discussion’ with her beloved incubus, put an epilogue in to show Ares off to his next, nastier trick, go back and write a scene in Chapter 2/3 that I’ve been dragging my heels on, and that’s pretty much it.  I don’t think I’m gonna hit 95k with this go-round, but I think that’s okay.  This is my draft one, where I didn’t know where I was going with any of it when I started.  On the whole, in my too-stuck-on-things and I need to take a solid two-week break world, I think I’m going to be able to keep like 75% of what I have.  That could be me being an optimist (what a shock), or it could be serious.  Not to say I don’t need to polish the heck out of it, but at least the story itself is decent.  I think.  Any beta readers out there?  And no, AA & AP, you don’t count.  You’re already saddled with reading/giving commentary and for which I am eternally grateful for that you continue your lovely assistance and I will do anything you might need in return for eternity.

Hmm, let’s see.  Why am I posting this again?  Oh yeah, b/c it’s hard to focus when one has Tom & Jerry in the background and a four y/o saying “Mommy, I need _______” every 2 minutes.  Certainly not conducive to the infamous scene in Ch2/3 that needs finishing.

Hopefully by bedtime next Sunday, this puppy’ll be put to rest (to stew & simmer & get feedback from my beloved partners) while I head over to Blood Rage (yes, it’s dead for now, but I still need to fix things that came out of changes to Dreams, and I don’t want to wait until I have an agent/editor who wants to see everything else I have on hand – how’s that for optimism?!).  Yeesh, 4-line sentence.  Anyway, while I’m editing Rage, I start weeding through QT to narrow agents on this (premium membership, anyone?), draft
my laughable attempts at a query, and (UGH) a synopsis.  Then I turn back to edit/rewrite Dreams with a vengeance.

Anyway, that’s my friendly update.  Later!

Gaaah, issues abound

Okay, I thought adding the next section in Dreams would be a cakewalk.  I had the scene already written, though it needed some serious revising, thanks to the Ares issues I’ve been harping on recently.  However, as I sit here and try to get it typed up and into the main body of the WIP, it’s sputtering.  I like the scene as it stood, but it doesn’t fit any more.  Too many things changed in the 2 or 3 weeks sine I wrote it.  Yes, I should just shove through it, like I have the past 20,000 words or so b/c I know this is my first draft and I fully expect to do a lot of changing when I rewrite (not to mention copious #’s of issues pointed out by my beloved CPs – yes, I do intend on making Chris grovel at some point for her behavior at the club, AA).

So close – my word count spreadsheet, available here shows I’m right at 80% (including the word count for the original version of the scene I’m currently revising).  I even know somewhat of what’s to come after that, but it’s driving me up a wall.  It should flow – I’ve got some version of the words.

My muse, my hot muse, needs to come back.  NOW!

Contest Results

Well, um…ouch.  I just got my results back from the last contest I entered with Rage.  And by far, that was the WORST batch of scores I’ve gotten (out of 100, I got 80, 76, & 75).  Down right painful.

They had a few valid points, I’m not saying they’re wrong, but given the fact that they so drastically varied from prior results, I’m not exactly going to be ripped up by this round.  Rage is dead anyway. 

The judges are wonderful to donate their time and I appreciate their hard work.