Making another stab at the novel

Uh … yeah.

I’ve done some more fiddling with the plot, removing the entire inn sequence—though the inn itself may return in a later chapter. Some of the characters have had their functions and family relationships reworked and I’ve rewritten what is sort of a prologue, even though I understand that many agents don’t like prologues at all. I just feel it’s really important to the plot for this information to come out at the beginning, especially as it’s so far in the past.

Still tinkering in my head about a few things, particularly in regards to the dwarves and giants. Going to keep writing as much as I can. I find it kind of hard to do during the day when the boys are playing League of Legends (they ask if they can unplug the desktop from the router when they do—gives them less lag and better ping). But I do want to get my sleeping schedule under control, too, so late nights are going to have to be pared back. Hopefully I can find some time to write that’s convenient for all of us.

I may also need a new title for this work…

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Well, I did it… sorta

Winner's badge for July CampNaNoWriMo

One of the "winner's goodies"

Yes, I made it to 50K (total of 50,257 actually) on my NaNoNovel, Wight Knights. No, as usual I didn’t actually finish the thing. I will admit to doing some cut and paste from my 2010 novel, Tales of the Spruce Moose, so yes, I cheated a little. Much of what I cut and pasted needed editing anyway to fit my current storyline, which has morphed somewhat from last year’s series of short stories.

Some of what I counted (about 7K) belonged to the “Prologue of Interminable Doom”, which I cut on the 25th. After two long weeks of trying to slog through this description of how Lord Alain ended up with Juliana’s medallion, I had an epiphany, and chopped it all out, using it as a basis for a much shorter bit showing Alain actually receiving the amulet, and leading more organically into chapter 1. Truthfully, in looking at what I have and what I left in Spruce Moose, I didn’t use a huge percentage of that story, and there’s not much more stuff that can be lifted. Spruce Moose turned out to be backstory for this longer work.

However, I did get farther into the story, and I have the direction I’m going in my head. I do have to figure out what the scoop is with my three major groups: the Hex Majestorum, the See, and the Parlemient of the Fae. The last of these is the least developed as far as who belongs (other than the elves) and what its purpose is. I’m finding that world building is a pain in the neck, especially if you want things to have any internal consistency.

I have a few people reading it for me to give me some feedback, including Boy #1’s gf, who really doesn’t get into fantasy. (She mentioned to me that our family is really “artsy”… a connection her dad made a few months ago.)

So, what about August? I’ve told people that I want to finish Moonstrike! and I do. I just can’t let go of this now that its got its claws in me. Will I be able to switch muses and minds back and forth from original to fan fic? I’m going to try. It should mean that I’m on the social sites less often (which I should be anyway). School starts for the kids mid-month, so I’ll be responsible for the dogs again… and they have been very needy this summer! But it does mean that I’ll have quiet time with no one in the house for most of the day.

Tally ho! Forward into August!

Second test down…

And a happy Father’s day for all the dads I know… including my own, my FIL, and my beloved Hubby!

As the title states, the Girl took the second of her College Board tests – the ACT – yesterday. She said it wasn’t quite as hard as the SAT and she was glad she didn’t have to write an essay. Hubby had Friday and Saturday off as his regular days off, and spent much of yesterday digging post holes for the fence, then repairing the spigot at the side of the house. Friday he went grocery shopping with me, which was nice.

Today we gave him cards and a gift: another Dr. Pepper t-shirt! It’s getting to be a household joke – don’t know what to get Dad? Get him a Dr. Pepper shirt! I think he has four or five of them now, including the long sleeved thermal one, and not including his sweatshirt style jacket. At least the one we got him today was different; it’s two shades of gray instead of the sort of murky red that the others ones are. Next up: Dr. Pepper sleep pants…

Dinner was great! Boy #1 gets into cooking, and did the 5-cup salad for me yesterday, then heated the green beans (his choice of veggie). He also set up the skewers for our first try at grilled seafood: shrimp and scallop kabobs. Hubby did the actual grilling, but Boy #1 set everything up for him. Man, that was good! We used this seafood seasoning shaker stuff on the kabobs. Marvelous flavor addition. And since we thawed out ALL of the seafood, we get to do it again either today or tomorrow! Yum!

Now it’s time for me to call my dad and wish him a Happy Father’s Day. I don’t know why, but both Mother’s and Father’s Days have just sort of crept up on me and caught me unawares. At least this time it was close enough to payday that I could get cards and gifts – and I put a little something in the packages for the moms, too. They probably should arrive by Tuesday.

An interesting ten days

Well, the Hubby is getting better, if you don’t count his cold. Two of the cats, Tika and Cotton, have been to see the vet (finally!) and now have been dewormed and given shots for their itchy skin (and flea treatment, as well). Boy #2 has been busy. He won his second basketball game 16-10 and was very happy. He also got a special t-shirt for scoring Advanced on the state achievement test last spring (one of five in his school to do so). He’s seen his first live hockey game (a friend took him), and was in his school’s talent contest, doing a comedy routine.
 
Report cards came out yesterday. The boys both got all As, and the Girl had six As and 1 B for the quarter, and 5 As and 2 Bs for the semester. We’re very pleased that she brought up her Geometry grade from a C to a B.
 
We got our federal tax money back (did the RAL with H&R Block). We’re waiting for the state taxes, too. Hubby thought it would be good to get me a new tower, and I’ve ordered a refurbished one from TigerDirect. My brother has had good experiences with them. I’m also getting a new, flat panel monitor. I hope it opens up some more room on my desk! With the state taxes, I want to order the rest of the fencing and finish up that project.
 
In writing, I’ve finished my love story, and need to help Hobbeth and Quiller with betaing theirs. I also have to make the changes on my own. I’ve started the next chapters to both Overtures and The White Winds.
 
For those of you who might want to know, Thunderbirds World is down and has been since last night. I have put in a support call to MSN Groups and alerted the site owner as well. I wish I knew what was going on; I’ve been demoted to an assistant manager, and that’s odd. When I hear what the problem is, I’ll let people know.

Happy Halloween!

We’ve hardly had any trick or treaters come to our door tonight and we bought lots and lots of candy to give out. I’m afraid that the kids will be taking chocolate in their lunches for the next two weeks! For the first time, we let the boys go out trick or treating. Boy #1 went out dressed like a mailman (surprise, surprise!) and Boy #2 went as a cowboy, wearing the hat and guns he got in New Mexico.  Hubby, who had taken the day off, went around with them. They just went around the block, no farther, but still came back with a decent amount of candy.
 
We have four jack o’ lanterns on the porch, one on each step. Boy #2 did a traditional face, Boy #1 did a spider that came out looking cool. The Girl’s sun, moon and star didnt’ come out so well, but Hubby carved his comic strip character, Captain Kiddeo, into his pumpkin. It looks so funny! I thought about doing one; I’ll do one next year, though. I’ll try and take a picture of them during the day; my little camera doesn’t do too well at night.
 
Speaking of chocolate, Hubby bought me quite a bit of sugar-free stuff yesterday, including, to my delight, sugar-free Hershey’s Special Dark. I’m afraid I’ve eaten the whole bag (there were only about 10 little bars in it). It was soooo good.
 
Report cards come home tomorrow and we’ll eventually take a trip to Krispy Kreme for the "Donut for As" program they have. I expect that the boys will have all As (I already know Boy #2 does) but the Girl will be a different story. I expect at least two, probably three As and the rest Bs. That’s okay with us as long as she’s doing her best and keeping up with her work.
 
Chapter 16 of The White Winds, and chapter 11 of Overtures both went up yesterday. NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and I’ve got my ideas percolating. I’m going to try and give myself a certain amount of time each day for writing; my parents are coming and I just have to get the house in order for them.

Interesting news from the pizza place.

Tonight was one of the fund-raising events that the elementary school has at our local Ci-Ci’s pizza. The food is pretty good, the price is right, and Boy #2’s teacher invited him to come (on her), so we all ate there. I was very, very bad: even though there was salad there, I ate nothing but pizza and even had dessert! I’m not looking forward to my bedtime blood glucose level!
 
But, the most interesting thing was what Boy #2’s old teacher told us about his PACT test scores. PACT is the Palmetto Acheivement Challenge Test or something like that, in any case, it’s the test that the state uses, along with the more familiar ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) to place students in the proper levels, assign them to honors or challenge courses, and rate the schools and their teachers. You’ll never believe it, but I was told that Boy #2 missed just ONE question on that whole test! Just one! I was blown away! The PACT not only measures how students achieve, but what kinds of strategies they use to get to their answers, and all year long, Boy #2 had to relearn the strategies he had already learned in Christian school. But for him to do that well just is overwhelming! We are all very excited and very proud. She also told me that she had heard that Boy #1 had placed in the "advanced" level, too. I’ll have to see how he (and his sister) did when the scores actually become available later this month.
 
Did a little bit of writing on Overtures, and more on some of my RP venues. The post I did last night for CIR was really, really good. Made Hobbeth go "Wow!" Finally got some shopping done after the pizza party. I was wearing my sneakers again because I went to the prosthetics people yesterday and they put a "metatarsal bar" in my custom insole. So now my callous, which was debrided on Tuesday, should grow more slowly. But I can use the insoles in both my ugly black shoes (which are wearing out) and my nice white walking shoes. Yay!
 
Time to stick my finger and face the music. More as my muse moves.

Waiting for the dam to break…

I am of the decided opinion that my muse is on vacation. It’s been hard, really hard, to write much of anything over the past few days. A paragraph or two on The White Winds, and more on Overtures, but I had a deuce of a time trying to figure out what was wrong with the rescue venue in the first place! Now I’ve got it, and it’s unique, and I think, will be funny (maybe).  We’ll see. But even writing RP has been a pain, and that’s not normal for me.
 
Well, tomorrow is Saturday and maybe I can get something done. I have to admit that I’ve felt rather blah all week and had a nasty headache yesterday afternoon. But I’ve been better today physically, just kind of jittery, which tells me that perhaps my hormones are coming into play again. I couldn’t even stand to stay online, which is very much not like me!
 
The Girl is making friends at school and today was smiling when she got into the van. My good friend, Dragonlady’s daughter is a junior there and is introducing her to some of her anime crazy crowd. Both boys have been very happy with school so far and Boy #1 has made a friend named Travis. Actually saw the boy today; looks like a nice kid.  I’m glad that things are starting off so well.
 
More as my muse moves… if she’s back from vacation, that is.