Hiatus Over

My family (bro, sis-in-law, their two kids and a cousin) had been here for two weeks. They went home this morning. I did a little bit of writing most nights as I tried to unwind from the day but it wasn’t much.

Today I jumped back in, hoping I would push the depression away.

I am working on The Awakening, the sequel to To Sleep. It is rather rambling at this point since I am not exactly sure where it is going. It is amazing sometimes what appears on the screen when I just write, letting it all hang out.

I am also working on Harri’s story, Butch Girls and Stereotypes, but it is sluggish. I know where it is going (where most Romance novels go) but I’m not happy with how it is getting there.

I poke around on Nikki’s story (it has no title yet) sometimes but feel that Harri’s need to be told first. But sometimes when I am writing Harri’s, I feel that Nikki’s needs to go first. (insert dramatic sigh)

While in Minneapolis, I started writing Kaye and Annette’s story but I need to do some research for that one.

And, bless my heart, I am also seriously considering Simple Sarah again. I know, I know. Write it or shut up.

Anything else active-ish? Nope, not really. I am always open to ideas, though!

One Down, Six Plus to Go

To Sleep (TS) is done. Finished editing, put in chapter breaks, named the chapters, and formatted it according to RCE’s submission guidelines, etc etc. Lorna insisted on reading it through before I submitted it so she’s doing that. She’s only tapped my shoulder about it 3 times which is MUCH less than the last time she read it. As soon as she is finished with it, I’ll submit it to RCE.

I poked some on Awakening, the sequel to TS. I really like it so far but decided I needed to think things through a little better. TS will stand on its own although there’s the feeling of wanting more. Awakening will NOT be able to stand on its own though. I just would not be possible to do a massive infodump (previously on Falcon Crest…)

Right now I have Butch Girls and Stereotypes (BGaT) open. This is Harri’s story, by the way. I’m not setting any kind of time line because the Johnson Tribe will descend soon and my time will be elsewhere. And I need to figure out a way for Harri and Liz to have conflict without bickering. I’m one of those writers who do not hear the characters speaking. I don’t have conversations with them. I don’t let them dictate their story to me. I take medication to prevent that sort of insanity. I write the story and my fingers command the action of the characters. Harri and Liz bicker a lot. There reaches a point where this sort of conflict becomes tiresome and boring and annoying as hell. I’m sure we’ve all met couples like that. Always bickering and joking about their fighting as if we need to laugh with them. No, we need to point them toward couples’ counseling.

And that’s where I am. I think BGaT will be the primary WIP for a while with Awakening popping up on occasion.

Oh, almost forgot. I’ve been updating the main site, They’re Just Words, some. Like, I gave To Sleep its own page, moved some of the non-active stuff, etc etc etc. The links to all that stuff is at the top of every page on this site (my blog) or on the sidebar of the main section. (or will be as soon as I put it there)

Still Editing

When I do the first round of edits, I basically am re-reading the thing. I take out what doesn’t belong (will it kill the story to have this out?) and add clarity where it is murky. I’m not looking for spelling errors or punctuation. That comes later. The hard part is not getting caught up in the story and forget what I am doing. That’s why I let them sit for a few weeks between saying The End and when I start the editing.

Editing To Sleep has so far been surprisingly easy. I already know what bits are getting cut. I haven’t gotten to that point yet. I am on page 22 of 371. And, surprisingly, the word count isn’t dropping. It is actually increasing. I find that odd. The beginning is actually the worst bit of the thing so that’s where a lot of hacking and slashing takes place. I’ve not done that yet.

Meanwhile, I am also still working in Harri’s story, Butch Girls: Stereotype This. It’s not pretty and I keep telling myself to just keep writing it and see what happens. So, I am. Little bits at a time. And it is interesting how it is going. My other attempts to write this had Harri and Liz (the romantic interest) always bickering and getting mad at each other. But this time they are both a little calmer and the conflicts Liz has is all in her head (as in she is thinking of it, not talking aloud about it). I hated the bickering so I’m glad that aspect is gone! Maybe that’s why they feel so flat.

Hard at Work

Honest, I am. Simple Sarah, the novel I’ve been working on (and finished twice) is over 43,000 words. I am still on track to get it done by the end of March, editing in April, and submitted in May. That is my goal. I want to finish it with no less than 90K but hopefully over 100K.

I like this version the best. I think it has finally come together. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of the side-threads and just concentrated on the MC, Sarah. This also feels so much more like a Fantasy rather than a Romance which was my goal.

Once Simple Sarah is submitted, I will pound out another Butch Girl book. Either Harri’s or Nikki’s story. They are so intertwined, I am tempted to do just one book. But I don’t think that would be fair to the reader. Harri’s book has to take place in the summer. No choice there. Nikki’s can take place at any time.

(thinking, so there will be smoke….)

Perhaps do Harri’s and end it in the Fall then do Nikki’s immediately after. It would mean, however, that Harri’s book would have to be read first. There’s a Great Something that links them together that is solved in Harri’s book. So to read Nikki’s first….I dunno. Hell, gotta finish Sarah’s story before I even get to theirs!

So, if you have been following along, that means I have a goal to finish and submit three books this year. Sarah’s will be submitted in May. One or the other of the BG books will be submitted in July/August and the other November. By then, the editing process (that is assuming Regal Crest will buy it) for Sarah should start shortly after that.

Teaser

I’m writing again. Started working on Harri and Liz’s story, aka BG3, aka “Butch Girls and Stereotypes”. Yes, another damn romance. Here’s the beginning:

Liz Marsh refused to cry. Closing and taping shut the last box would make her cry. She could feel it. Her cheeks hurt. Her eyes burned. No words were capable of coming out of her mouth. Not happening. Unless she cried. That wasn’t happening either. She’d not cried when he’d died. She’d not cried at the funeral service or at the graveside. She’d heard whispers of how brave she was and others saying she just was a cold bitch.

She sat on the edge of the desk and picked up the picture frame closest to her. The photograph was of a small girl—herself–holding a cane fishing pole in one hand and the line with the six pound catfish in the other. She put the photo down and picked up the next one. It was of herself and an older man sitting at a table outdoors. It was at one of the church homecomings or something. Her grandfather was laughing and pointing at the pile of chicken bones next to Liz’s plate.

God how she missed him.

She clutched the photo to her chest and squeezed her eyes shut.

It’s not like he died suddenly. The cancer had been draining Tobias Marsh dry for a while, the last six months being the hardest. He had died at last, his body a ravaged husk, just two weeks ago. With him had died a huge chunk of Liz’s reason for living. She clutched the photograph in a half-hearted attempt to hold what was left of her together.

“Told you it was too soon to be dealing with this mess.” Someone spoke from the doorway.

Now she could cry.

BG2

BG2 is, actually, BG1 since it was started first. But BG1 became BGCFA because it was finished first. There is also a BG3 and BG4 already started. BG2 now sits at 38291 words, just 51709 words short of its final goal of 90K. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I do the math like that? “Just 51709 words short”…shit, who am I kidding? It might was well be 100709.

Yeah, I’m having faith issues. Faith in my ability to write a novel well enough to justify it being 90K words. I don’t like padding a novel (adding in stuff just for the sake of adding to the word total) but I am not above adding in scenes that further the story along while at the same time it pushes it toward the word count goal. Hell, at this point, I just want to reach 60K. Way short of the goal, but at that point, the story is either sinking or swimming. 30K is where I usually falter on a story which is why I have so many at that point. At 60K, I am heading down the hill toward the finish either in a good way or just wanting to get the damn thing finished.

Kinda like a bad date. You don’t care what happens, just as long as you can get the date over and get home before you poke your eyes or ears out.

BG2 doesn’t even have a freakin’ title. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with it. BG1 started as a title and exploded from there. BG3 has a title but I really want to get this one done first. Bless its heart, it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the pile. BG2 is about Nikki Rogers and Ellen Hess who meet on line and start an “intentional” relationship. In what I have so far, they’ve just loaded Ellen and her stuff to move down to High Pond, NC. Now the story shifts away from “will we/won’t we” to “pick up your socks”. BG1 was furthered along with various misunderstandings because no one trusted anyone else, not really. This book is more about facing things head on and dealing with them face to face, not letting something simmer.

Any ideas for a title? So far I have “Butch Girls Can Fix Anything”, “Butch Girls and Stereotypes”, and “Butch Girls, Barbecues, and Babes” (although that one isn’t started yet, just running around in my head). Several folks have commented that they really don’t like the “Butch Girls” words so I am considering dropping that sort of. But hell, I gotta write the damn things first, right?

So, I’ll need beta readers soon. Folks who can tolerate romance and give feedback other than “I loved it!!!”. No timeline yet, but soon.