Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010
Full moon
Rainy and cold

Got up at 5:30 in the morning to run. Misery. Not only have I backslid since Friday, but the driving rain, high wind, and partially flooded streets made it impossible to get in a good session. I was wet, cold, and cranky when I got back. And the brook’s very high — I may need to move the car in an hour or so.

Thank goodness we actually had hot water this morning, so I could take a hot shower when I got home.

I ran some errands on Saturday. I got a book on running. I seem to be doing most things correctly, although my stride is too short. I was worried about leaning forward, which causes all kinds of problems, so I’d shortened the stride, but it turns out that causes all sorts of other problems! I tried lengthening the stride today, without tilting forward — a challenge. But it does feel better, on those strides I manage to hit correctly. Also, I’m already getting up at 5:30 — I am not getting up an hour earlier to have a snack before I run! I am drinking juice as soon as I get up, so I don’t go out there dehydrated.

Bought another book, for fun, by a new-to-me author, and also got to work on the assignment for Confidential Job #1. It’s a challenge, not my favorite type of material, but that makes me better.

Spent a lot of time on the workshop on Saturday. The work that’s progressing progresses very well. But too many of them are ignoring my notes on grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and I find it disrespectful. I’ve also never had to repeat notes so often – with some of them, it’s like talking to wallpaper. By the third time I’ve told you to learn the difference between a possessive and a plural, you damn well better have bothered to do it, especially when I’ve told you where to find the information. And yet others completely absorb and grow. I suspect a good many of the former are simply cutting and pasting from old work, instead of creating new material as required by the class. Some, however, are finding new styles of writing they never thought they’d venture into and are excited at the prospect. What’s exciting for me is watching them grow as writers. Also, as much of a Dragon as I am about structure and as specific as I am in the requirements for the exercise, I don’t tell them what genre in which to write. So I’m getting to read some really interesting work in areas I might not normally read.

Sunday morning was lost. I got out some queries and a requested proposal packet. Then, when I switched to the little printer to print manuscript pages, it threw a hissy fit. MacGeorge responded by dumping the software for BOTH printers, and I couldn’t reload them.

Frantic call to Apple Care. My tech was a really nice woman. Even though it was another of “I’ve never seen this type of incident before”, she stuck with me, and together we figured it out. We figured where the big printer was hidden, and got it back where it was supposed to be. Turns out MacGeorge was suspicious that the little printer’s hissy fit might endanger the system as a whole, booted it out, and won’t let it reinstall because something is seriously wrong with the printer.

I’ll have to get on the phone with Canon. It will probably cost more to repair the small printer than to dump it. But I don’t think they have an equivalent of a Baby Bubble anymore, and that’s what I need for travel and for manuscript printing. I don’t believe that the MX860 is sturdy enough to cough up the amount of manuscript printing I do on a daily basis. It’s great for the submitted work, faxing, scanning, photos, copying. But I need something little I can cart around to do simple print jobs, and, at home, to just print manuscript pages. I’ve had bad experiences with HP, Lexmark, and Epson. I want to figure out what my options are with Canon. Also, I’m going to have to upgrade my OS to Snow Leopard soon, and the little printer isn’t compatible. The big one is — it came out the same weekend Snow Leopard did, the week I bought MacGeorge (who does not have Snow Leopard).

Spent many hours catching up with the workshop material. I’d planned to split it into a couple of shorter sessions throughout the day, but because of Printer Kerflamma, I couldn’t. And I’m not going to punish my students because I had technical difficulties. I expect them to be on time. I will also be on time.

Printed out the 86 or so pages of POWER OF WORDS. Sorted out some more logistical issues. Figured out how to break the overall piece down into several shorter books covering the lifespan of the story I want to tell, but each being a reasonable length and able to stand on its own. That takes a lot of pressure off — I was trying to compress events, but that left holes. Now I can tell each part of the story, and structure it in a way that’s not overwhelming. It is kind of unwieldy because of the sheer number of individual characters necessary to present the piece believably, and it’s written in a far more cinematic style than I usually use. I’m still head-jumping too much in the early sections. I need to pick a POV for each section and stick to it. That’s a note to myself for revisions. I’m not yet sure how many POVs I will use in the course of the piece — so far, there are three. I don’t want it to be too many, or it will get confusing, even if each section is clearly delineated. So I know I have to fix that, but the head-jumping is in sections in which I haven’t yet decided whose POV serves that section best. I have to see the overall balance, and then tweak as necessary, so it’s not skewed. It always throws me when I read a book and 85% is from one POV, with only a chapter or two from others.

The scene I wrote today is about 200 pages beyond where I am in the current draft, but it was fully formed, and I didn’t want to lose it. I suspect it’s the last scene in this particular book, so now I have something to write towards. I already have much of what will be book 2 outlined (since I thought it would be part of this volume).

There’s definitely an audience for this story, although selling it will be tough. I can’t get so wrapped up in it that I let other, more easily marketable (not to mention deadlined) projects fall by the wayside. Yet more restructuring of my time in the future.

I booked a part-week gig in mid-April at my favorite site. I love being there, because I’m in more of an oversight capacity and can do my own writing, as long as I’m physically present.

And no, I did not even look at my taxes this weekend. Oh, well.

Devon

PS The only comments I have to make regarding all these celebrity infidelities eating up media time are:
–if you’re going to mess with skanks and hos, don’t be surprised when they turn on you for profit.
–if you like sleeping with lots of different people, don’t get married.

5 Comments

  1. One of the things that really annoys me about British education is the lack of teaching in the area of grammar, spelling and punctuation. English was all about understanding literature – which was great; get the right teacher and it’s unforgettable – but we never got taught the basics. Which is why I still suffer from basic errors from time to time.

    I had to teach myself from scratch when I was humiliated into realising I knew next to nothing when I began to write fiction several years ago.

    It’s worse these days…. all kidz no hw 2 wrt ths days is dis kd of txting.

  2. Amen on the celebrity stuff. I’m tired of it.

    On the exercise – listen to your body. It knows.

  3. I read the other day that our powers that be are thinking of dropping the apostrophe from English grammar and lessons as children find it far too difficult to understand. I am totally and utterly gobsmacked.

    Hope the flood isn’t too bad.

  4. You mean there’s a set stride for running? Huh. My children’s curriculum is very strong in grammar. I do wish that the practice of diagraming sentences weren’t such a pain, though.
    I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts.

  5. Hi Devon .. sounds a few troubles keep hitting you – I’m sure all will be well .. frustrating to say the least.. all the best Hilary


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