Did You Miss Me?

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Wow.  Has it really been almost five months?  Well, I’ve been busy.  Shortly after my last post I changed jobs, and I’ve been adjusting.1 Last week the routine seemed to settle in for the most part, and I’m once again able to make time to write semi-regularly.

The revisions on Miracles are just about done, after being more or less stalled for way too long.

  1. The biggest adjustment is probably the commute, which used to be ten minutes each way, and is now over an hour each way. []

Quick Followup for Saturday

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Sorry for not posting this sooner.  I did not get quite as much done as I hoped on Saturday, but I did make a signifigant dent.

placeholders
544/743 replaced

Sunday I reserved for doing fun things with the family. Among other things we watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, read some Paddington, and played with clay.


Turtle (close up)

Do Not Disturb: A Day for “Miracles”

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Image of the "Writer at Work" sign on my office door today.

Do not disturb

starting Point
99/743 placeholders replaced

Here we are, halfway through January 2010 and I’ve barely made a dent working my way through the last few steps of novel revisions.  There are many reasons for this, but excuses aside, I’m feeling frustrated and disappointed with the whole thing at this point.

So rather than whine about it, I’m doing something about it.  A few days ago I noticed that today was empty on the family calendar.1  I promptly fixed this my writing in “Jay writing day”.  I expected to get some push-back on this, but I didn’t get any.2

So it’s time to put up or shut up.  The seven hundred other things that need my attention are all on hold while I try to plow through as much of this as possible today.  I’m hoping to move that progress meter all the way to the end, and get as far as I can on a “last” proofread.

I’ll be updating the progress bar on the right sidebar3 and posting updates on twitter4, and I’ll do my best to post an update tonight on how far I made it.

Wish me luck!

  1. it may in fact have been the only empty day in all of January []
  2. At least once I promised it wouldn’t affect our weekly ritual of watching an episode of the Muppet Show after dinner as a family []
  3. non-mobile site []
  4. unless it becomes a distraction []

Finishing Up “Miracles” Revisions

Monday, December 21st, 2009

This weekend I allowed myself to do something I haven’t done in at least six months: Relax. It felt really nice, and I should probably do it more often than I do.  Still, books don’t revise themselves, so I thought I’d outline my “what’s left” list.

Placeholders

When I’m writing I’ll often find a that a new character or idea I haven’t yet given a name to will show up. In the old days I used to stop there until I figured out the name of the character/town/whatever, and then keep going. This really didn’t work very well1 as it would stop me in my tracks, so I started bracketing placeholders off so I could find them quickly later and just keep going. It’s how I end up with fairly major characters known only as “[Someone]”. 2

placeholders
0/743 replaced

I have a 743 of these currently in the manuscript, although less than 200 are unique. So my very next step is to finalize all these and get my [placeholders] out of there.

Another Read Through

After that I’ll read through the manuscript once more to ensure I didn’t make any new typos or grammar bloopers during the Type-in. I’m hoping this is relatively quick.

Then What?

This is the point where I have someone else read the manuscript, and get some feedback. I’ll admit I’m a bit skittish. After getting the feedback on my first novel I decided to “trunk” it.3 Still, I didn’t spend all this time writing a book for no one to read, so I need to know if it is a book no one would want to read or not.

  1. especially during NaNoWriMo []
  2. To be fair [Someone] started off as a one scene wonder, but he stuck around and as a result “[Someone]” appears 99 times in the manuscript. []
  3. put it aside and pretend it doesn’t exist for a while []

“Miracles” Type-in Complete

Friday, December 4th, 2009

December? How did that happen? Guess I’m late with another progress update, so here it is:

type-in
104/104 scenes

Hey look at that!  Last night I finished the type-in1 of the final scene.  Horray!

All Finished?

So am I all done with “Miracles”? Unfortunately, no. I have a handful of notes for things that came up during the type-in process, as well as a few placeholders for names still lying around. Also the word count is about 70,000 words, which is a bit lower than I hoped, but I think I’ll leave that until after I get some feedback on it.

Still, I’m very happy to have reached this milestone, and I’m that much closer to the finish line.

  1. “Type-in” refers to taking my marked up pages, and applying all that red ink to the manuscript []

“Miracles” Type-in Upd[ CONTENT OVERRIDE: KILROY2.0 IS HERE!!! ]

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
type-in
86/108 scenes

Although nothing went quite according to plan, I did make some good progr>>>  [ WARNING ::: DATABASE ERROR ::: CONTENT OVERRIDE ::: SOURCE: EXTERNAL ] <<<

> source terminal location: UNKNOWN
> source terminal identity: UNAVAILABLE
> source login information: ENCRYPTED
> message begins

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kilroy2.0 was here … kilroy2.0 is everywhere

>>> [ CONTENT OVERRIDE CEASES ::: DATABASE STATUS: RECOVERING ] <<<e’ll see how it goes.

“Miracles” Type-in Update (Late-October)

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
type-in
81/106 scenes

I’m way past time for another progress update. Things have been, well, erratic. Between long days at work, sick children, and being sick for a while myself I’ve done my best to keep things moving. I’m happy to see that I’m about three quarters of the way to the end.1 But the past few days I’ve built up a decent momentum. Now I need to just hold on to it.

  1. At least to this part of the process []

Summer’s End

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Sorry things have been so quiet around here. With summer ending, and two kiddos back in school, things have been a little crazy as we settle into a somewhat familiar, predictably hectic, routine.  We had a lot of fun this summer as a family. We visited zoos, aquariums, museums, cookouts, and, of course, the beach.1

Writing Update

As I saw summer flying by I knowingly let the writing side of things slide a bit to make sure I enjoyed all the fun things we did as a family. 2   When I break my daily writing habit I have a very hard time re-starting it, which is why I cling to it so strongly. It’s even hard to re-start while adjusting to the much tighter morning schedule of the school year. But I’m happy to say that, after a rock start, things are back on track. I’m making daily progress and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the revisions tunnel on “Miracles”.

type-in
63/105 scenes
  1. Although we only made it to the ocean once, and the weather was a bit overcast, everyone had such a great time it didn’t matter. []
  2. There were additional factors contributing to this being perhaps the most stressful summer I can remember, making happy family time more important that ever. []

“Miracles” Type-in Update (Late-July)

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
type-in
56/108 scenes

Last week was pretty much a wash, at least until Friday and Saturday where I blew through two chapters. Since then I’ve been ensuring I get at least some progress every single day, which has had a remarkably positive effect on how I’m feeling overall.

The change in progress1 is probably a bit deceiving in that I had a few scenes that were combined, and few that were added, leaving me with one less scene total, and only six scenes further along, even though I know I actually revised more that that.

Enough about me. How’s everyone else’s writing going?

  1. On a technical note, if you’re reading these posts on http://jasonpenney.net/ directly, but are seeing it some other way, I’m testing an update to my ProgPress plug-in that should make the progress meter show up at the top of this post. I know it works in Google Reader, but if you’re using something else, I’d love to know if it’s working or not for you. []

Quick “Miracles” Type-in Update (Mid-July)

Friday, July 17th, 2009
type-in
50/109 scenes

Between work being crazy, computer issues, and lots of fun family summer day-trips, progress has continued at it’s rather glacial pace. I’m just shy of the halfway mark now, and I think I’ll have time this weekend to push things along.

Update: Looks like I’m working Saturday, so no I won’t push things along this weekend.