well, i was writing full-time…

And then I happened to land a part-time job teaching at a college. One that, because I didn’t hear back from them, I assumed I’d been passed over. I never expected to get it anyway…. Apparently I was wrong.

I do, however, have a theory that taking on a part-time job will leave a person with more time and energy to write than a full-time writer. Just like getting out and exercising can lead to an eagerness to get back to the computer. I’ll save up my thoughts here, and let you guys know how this goes.

welcome to 2009!

It’s a brand new day, and the sun is high,
All the angels sing, ’cause you’re gonna die…

Wait. Wrong song.

I promised to show my progress for the novel today. Unfortunately, I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped.

bluecrystalgraph

See where the graph leveled out? That, my friends, is a combination of burn-out, Christmas, and the low-level-yet-miserable-cold-from-hell. Instead of sitting on a finished novel, my hoped-for 50,000 December word count stands at a measly 31k.

I’m trying to feel bad about this. It’s not coming. Ah well. Back to the last 19k words, and I’m back to blogging regularly. Happy new year everyone! And expect posts on editing from me in the near future. That’ll be my focus for the next few months.

Cheers, and happy writing!

Eliza Wyatt

end of november

… And the beginning of December.

NaNoWriMo. It actually seemed to get easier, since last year. Not working full-time probably had something to do with that. I laughed, I cried, I killed off large portions of my cast. At one point I realized that I’d started a chapter wrong, and instead of erasing, put in a page break, wrote ‘chapter six’ over again (still haven’t titled that one) and started it again.

It seemed to have turned out alright, though.

All that work, paid off in the end.

Fifty thousand words. That’s half the size of your typical fantasy novel. And it’s half of mine; I need to finish.

Instead of officially joining NaNoFiMo (National Novel Finishing Month), I’ll be holding the same pace through December. Since I’ve figured out that it’s the personal graph that keeps me going, I’ve recreated the NaNo graphic in Photoshop to reflect December as well. My absent status in the blogging world will continue… but I’ll be back for the new year.

NaNoFiMo Count

How’d the rest of you do?

fearless

I gave my notice at work today. I’m a project lead, not a tester, so I gave three week’s notice instead of two. Starting October, I’ll be officially writing full time. I have savings enough to live comfortably (if frugally) for several years. I’m also going to be moving to a small town in another state, between a lake and a mountain. Farm country.

On the wall beside my desk at work I taped a piece of paper, on which I’ve written, “Please don’t annoy the writer. She may put you in a book and kill you.” On the bottom left corner of that sheet I’ve taped up a dove candy wrapper. It’s nothing special, just wrinkled aluminum with a fortune cookie type message printed on the inside. This one says, ‘Be fearless.’

I think I’ll take that one with me when I go.


As for the book’s progress (for the curious)… I’m starting the last scene of the last chapter of the second draft.

… and i return!

I got back from my holiday last night, after a long car ride. I think I’m going to break my self-imposed rule to leave out personal information on this blog for a (very) brief moment.

The score:

  • 7 days on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.
  • 17 pieces of handmade chocolates bought.
  • 13 pieces of aforementioned chocolates consumed.
  • 7 art galleries visited. I love sculpture.
  • 4 balls of wool yarn and a bamboo crochet needle purchased.
  • 2 crochet lessons during the daily church services.
  • 1 winter scarf created, striped in blues and orange.
  • 1 trip to Powell’s Books.
  • 11 books purchased. I’m an addict.
  • 1 helicopter ride.
  • 2 sunburns.
  • 1 giant sand castle, built with my parents.
  • 1 bottle of raspberry wine purchased, one third consumed (slow drinker).
  • 3 games of putt-putt golf. I was even worse than my mother.
  • 1 and 1/3 great novels read (still working on the second).
  • 8,000 words written on Blue Crystal.
  • 1 and 1/2 chapters completed. Three chapters until the end of this rewrite.
  • 75% of this rewrite finished.

Aside from the (fairly obvious) point that I had a fantastic time and was sorry to leave, these last few items on the list bring a very good point to my attention.

People who keep up with my book’s progress know that I aim for about 4,000 words a week. That’s a little over five hundred words a day. I spent lots of time last week relaxing, reading, shopping, playing on the beach, learning new things. And though I didn’t set any writing goals for myself, my progress on my novel doubled even without a disciplined schedule.

I have a hard time seeing how much energy my job takes away from me. Sometimes I consider taking what savings I have and writing full-time instead. I’m lucky; my mother is an artist, an oil painter enamored of landscapes and still life. Though she doesn’t care for my genre, she understands what I’m doing, and my parents would support me if I did turn my attention to my novel full-time. My dad’s been searching for a job in his field, and may have found a good one by a lake in a smaller town just out of state, though it’s too soon to say (negotiations being what they are). I’d love to be able to write somewhere like that.

I have a good job. I still enjoy it, after a year and a half staying here. Even so… lately something about its feel has changed subtly, like toes brushing against the edge of shoes that used to fit, like Italian bread with a woody crust.

This should be interesting, any way it goes.

weekly goal (and a long moment of cringing)

Over the weekend I didn’t get much writing done. This is partly because I’d had a tough week and needed to take a break, and partly because after that really climactic scene I needed to step back and figure out where to go from there.

So I started plotting out the next few chapters, and I realized that I’m only five chapters from the end of the book. I knew that I was close, about 30 or 35,000 words away… but even so. That puts a new perspective on things. My new goal is to write a chapter every week. I should have this draft finished at the end of July.

And… … because I’m an idiot… I accidentally erased my last twenty-five comments on my blog. I was trying to erase one (I referred to my own article and I hate pinging myself) and woosh! … Out they went. Excuse me while I go smack myself on the head repeatedly, and know that I really don’t hate you all.

weekly goal (back to earth)

Last week’s goal: 52,000
Last week’s wordcount: 52,167
This week’s goal: 56,000

Last week’s goal: To spend the week examining Kione Remerdii for villain month. (Done!)
This week’s goal: The most difficult villain. King Tarren II Kanichende, the uncle of my protagonist.

… After doing some further research on the writer’s conference in Seattle, I’ve decided that it’s just too expensive. Never mind the drive there and back, room and food– I don’t think I can spend the five-hundred-dollar entry free. I mean, I’d rather fly across the country and visit a friend of mine who lives in Indiana, to be honest. So… not yet. I’ll keep it in mind for when I’ve got my book written and polished.

I have, however, gotten what I think is the best CD I’ve ever heard (The Silent Force, by Within Temptation), wherein all of the CD tracks remind me of my book. I’ve yet to discover if this is a help or hindrance, but either way it’s made me very happy. Cheers!

writer’s conference

I don’t usually talk about myself on this blog… it often makes me feel uncomfortable, and who really needs to hear another person ramble on about themselves? The constant story-thoughts for the story that no one else is reading is certainly bad enough, right? 😉

That said, I came across something interesting today: the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association Writer’s Conference.

Friends and readers probably don’t know anything about me but my literary aspirations (and my age), so I’ll elaborate. My name is Eliza to anyone I’ve met beyond the age of fifteen, Beth to my family and people who knew me as a frizzy-haired child. I have a classic case of ADHD which has taken me most of my life to learn how to disguise, work at a video game testing company, and though I live in Spokane, Washington now, I grew up in various towns around Seattle. Most of my family lives there. My parents may again be living in Seattle within a few weeks, depending on how an interview for a really great job goes (feel free to pray for my dad, if any of you are so inclined– things have been a little tight).

I read about that writer’s conference… and I thought… I could go there. My book’s not ready for submission yet, but I could still network. I could learn how to navigate next year’s con, so that I know what’s going on when I go with a purpose. I could talk about craft (and learn not to grind my teeth down when people start touting what I consider ‘stupid’ rules). And, this is the most interesting note, I could go with a finished rewrite if I pushed myself to go a little faster. I’d have until July 17th. That’s a little over a month to write 40,000 words.

… I did it for NaNoWriMo. I can do it again.

If anyone planning to go reads this, I’ll see you in Seattle.

weekly goal and a note

Current Wordcount: 47,669 words
Last Week’s Goal: 45,000 words
Next Week’s Goal: 52,000 words

If I can write an average of 750 words a day, according to my handy little desktop calculator, I should finish this book by the end of July. Next week’s goal puts me at a bit over six hundred words a day. But last week I overshot myself by almost three thousand words. Yeah!

*pauses to dance a happy dance*

This is the last day before Villain Month starts. It’s also two days before my twenty-fourth birthday (June 2nd, for the curious). I’m happy to add people who want to join in partway through the month– just leave a comment. Later tonight I’ll add an announcement post with a list and links of everyone participating.