Saturday, June 26, 2010

Accountability

So, I'm hoping if I write down what I need to accomplish in the next six weeks, it'll actually help hold me accountable to do it.  In an ideal universe, here's what's on tap:
  • Between now and July 31 (my agent pitch appointment), finish draft of Fantasy Life (in other words, write another 50,000 words)
  • ~June 29: Receive second round edits from my wonderful editor, Eilidh, on Forever Freed
  • July 6: Return completed edits to Eilidh at The Wild Rose Press
  • By July 12: Send 1st 50 pages of Fantasy Life to Iowa Workshop for, well, workshopping
  • July 18 - July 23: Advanced Novel Writing Workshop, Iowa Summer Writing Festival
  • July 27 - August 1: Romance Writers of America National Conference (agent pitch appointment)
  • August 24:  Real Life full-time work obligations intrude on ability to write full-time :(
Of greatest concern is bullet point one, upon which so much of the rest of this depends.  And that's where most of my focus is at the moment.  If you don't see a regular update here, click on the Fantasy Life link above and watch my little word count meter slide further and further to the right!  Writing 50,000 words in four otherwise busy weeks should be doable, providing this historically uncooperative WIP continues to cooperate.  Since April 1 (so, in the last 11 weeks), I've written 52,000 words, spent a week doing first round edits of Forever Freed, was on vacation for 8 days, was sick for two weeks, and, during the first 6 of these 11 weeks, I was still working full-time.  I needed to spell out those accomplishments, by the way, to make myself believe I really can get all this done yet this summer...yikes!

What's at the top of your to-do lists?  And how do you prioritize what gets done?

Thanks for reading,
Laura

What d'ya think of the new layout?

Futzing around tonight instead of writing.  I don't feel too bad about it, though, as I met and exceeded the word count goal I'd set for myself this week.  Hoped to write 6,500 on Fantasy Life and actually wrote 10,800.  I might try to crank out some more tonight as I stopped mid-scene which I never do, and it's kinda driving me crazy!  My procrastination of choice tonight has been redesigning the layout/style of my blog.  I liked the darker color scheme of the Layout 1.0, but prefer the greater separation of content with this design because it appears cleaner to me, as do the more pronounced navigation buttons up yonder.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for stopping by,
Laura

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Overactive Muse

So, apparently, I've figured out the form in which my writer's block manifests.  It's not that I can't write.  It's that I can't write the thing I'm supposed to be writing.  You would think a request from a publisher for a full of the manuscript would be enough to motivate me.  And it is.  I am motivated.  I want to write what I'm supposed to be writing.  But it's not coming.  The story's there, I know what it is, but there seems to be a brain-to-finger misfire going on.

Instead, stories that are on the back burner, and that should be there for a while to come, are percolating over.  Demanding attention.  Keeping me awake at night.  That can be good--as in the completion of my novella In the Service of the King, which is almost ready to be sent to Harlequin.  Or it can be less useful, as when the first of my fallen angels kept me awake until two in the morning the other night and I ended up spending the next day and a half writing the opening scene of that book, Merrick's Chance.  Problem is, I don't even know that story yet.  So while the opening scene is cemented in my head, and I know some of the major plot points, I have no idea yet what the connective tissue is for that story.  I'm not ready to write you, Merrick!  Leave me alone!  Merrick's not the only misbehaving creature in my stable.  In an ideal world, Harlequin will like my novella enough to want the other six kings to take life on the page as well, which has Aleksei, my next vampire warrior king, already knocking on my brain case seeking attention.

I suppose new ideas are better than no ideas as a form of writer's block, but it sure would be nice if my muse would settle her bad self down and cooperate on the book that needs to be written.

What form does your writer's block take?  And what do you do to break it?

Thanks for reading,
Laura

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My New Business Cards

I know it's a little silly, but I'm so excited over my new business cards!  I'll be fully prepared to meet all those agents and editors at Nationals now!

Thanks for reading,
Laura

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guest Blogs of Note...

If You've Ever Thought of Publishing...Edwardville on LiveJournal

Author Interview on Getting Publishing...Twimpage Blog

Both of these are aimed at fan fiction authors aspiring to make the jump to original fiction writing and publication.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,
Laura

Where does inspiration come from?

Sorry I've been offline for a few days...but I promise I have a good reason for it.  My brain got completely hijacked by a story idea.  A story idea that needed out, now.  And so, for five straight days, I wrote and wrote.  In the Service of the King, a dark paranormal erotic romance intended for Harlequin's Nocturne Bites line, was the very, very exciting result.

That experience has me thinking about sources of inspiration again.  In the Service of the King is almost entirely the result of my thinking of a title for which I had absolutely no story.  For weeks I've been bouncing around the title, Bound and Determined.  Man, that title is hot.  But, lol, I've never had a story to go along with it!  Nothing that came of its own accord.  But then, all of a sudden, I had an ancient Celtic vampire king marching around in my head.  And, huh, he was the the one doing the binding.  Hmm, yes, definite potential there.  But why was he binding someone?  And a world came into being--one with a tenuous alliance between a small group of humans and seven ancient vampire kings.

Something similar happened with Hearts in the Dark.  The story was entirely inspired by wondering, one afternoon, what would happen between a guy and a girl if they got trapped in an elevator for hours on end?  And, oh, it's an old elevator, and the lights go out too.  Yeah, the possibilities were too good to pass up.

Often, though, inspiration is a whole lot less cerebral.  Music does it for me sometimes.  John McLaughlin's song, "Proud Father," has created an entire plot in my head, one that stems in part from my own childhood experiences without a father.  And now I have what I think is going to be a very compelling outlet for those feelings.

My 6-year-old daughter put a kernel of a story in my head one night when she imagined mermaids living in the Bay waters she can see from her bedroom window.  The YA story that blossomed from her wonderings is percolating in my head, and I'm not the slightest bit shy about asking her questions.  What would those people be like?  What would their world be like?  Her answers are sometimes fascinating!

Sometimes inspiration comes from unexpected candid moments.  I have no idea what to do with this one, yet, but the image remains so vivid in my mind:  on Easter, I went to the cemetery to visit my mom and grandmother.  In the distance, I noticed a twenty-something man kneeling in front of a grave.  He stayed there the entire time I visited my family's graves, never moving, at least not as far as I could see.  He was very attractive and wearing a rather sexy leather jacket.  And, parked on the driveway near where he knelt, was a completely hot bright yellow motorcycle.  Something about the hunch of his shoulders made me ache for him, and contrasted with his seeming bad-boy attractiveness, I have been hooked by that image ever since.  I can't wait for the story to gel around it.

So, where does inspiration come from for you?

Thanks for reading,
Laura