In short….

Damnit. I guess I’m not getting out of writing a synopsis for my novel.

I had felt a rush of relief when the publisher approached me, but it turns out they want to follow protocol. Which is cool, I get it, but did it have to be a synopsis? Ugh.

I guess that’ll be something I work on during my short break today. And after work. And, depending on how frustrated I get with it, tomorrow morning.

Thanks to a Facebook group I’m in (gotta love those Facebook groups) I have a guideline for making the synopsis, but it still terrifies me. I just have this fear that it’s going to be awful. Laughable, even. The same feeling goes for the outline I have to do for the publisher as well. I’m a pantser; I have very little outline before I begin, so I have to basically go through and create a post-outline. A poutline, if you will. Because I am basically pouting like a petulant child over this. 

Guess I should just suck it up and get over myself.

Here goes nothing.

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Shuffleboard

Life is definitely a strange game lately. As if things weren’t hectic enough, I am having to cover for a co-worker who had surgery last week. It’s only for a few more days, but it has been enough of a kick in the ass that I had to finally admit defeat and give up a job that I once really enjoyed. As of this morning, I no longer am working for Talk Nerdy With Us, either as a contributor or as an editor. It was a hard decision, but I just don’t have the time anymore.

There’s the paying work. There’s the volunteer work for the SCA. There’s the writing. There’s the sewing for the SCA. There’s the holiday season coming up. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the drift. I’m exhausted, and right now I can’t afford the kind of effort it takes for what, in the end, is a nonpaying job. I’ve got enough of those, thank you very much, and the ones I’m “keeping” are more satisfying at this point in time.

Now I have a few moments of break left before I’m back into the fray. I’m hoping to get a sewing project done by tomorrow morning and then I can start knocking out this mile high list of things to do.

Full Plate, Table 3

It’s going to be one of those weeks.

Yesterday started off with someone at work needing surgery, and, being the only other person there trained in her job, it was up to me to come to the rescue. I still had to do the position I was already scheduled for, of course, so that left me running back and forth across the office most of the day. Today I cover for my recovering coworker, and then as soon as I’m off work its up to Phoenix for my husband’s birthday weekend celebrations. On the way back Sunday we have an event, and there’s still laundry and whatnot to do at my parents’ house before I dive back into my temporary position next week.

Next week brings more work, and for some reason I am feeling like there’s something I’m forgetting when it comes to planned activities. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, and it’s getting out of hand. I forget what weekend has what plans, what weekdays have what going on, and even the things that are part of my “regularly-scheduled programming” slip my mind. It’s a lot to keep up with.

It’s almost starting to concern me. I used to keep track of dates and events without any issue; now I forget that I should be packing for a weekend trip that I mentioned two paragraphs ago. Things are muddy and sluggish, and I’m forgetting important stuff. Not 100% forgetting–I know that it’s my husband’s birthday Saturday–but more like the fact that the important event is impending slips my mind. I know that X activity is planned for Y day, but when Y day rolls around I forget that Y is the day when X occurs. This leaves me completely unprepared for X, both physically and mentally. I’ll come home from work exhausted, ready to just chill in bed (or maybe go hang out in the craft room), and my husband will remind me of the thing we’re doing that day.

I think that might be the most exhausting part of it all: not the sheer number of plans and events, but the “surprise” of learning that there’s yet another thing planned on a day when I’d thought I was otherwise free. I make my own little piddly plans for crafting or writing or lazing about and those plans get crushed by the plans that were already in place.

Will things cool down any time soon? With the holidays fast approaching, I doubt it. I have to start thinking about Christmas gifts. And some birthday gifts. All that in addition to the aforementioned plans and events. And the house prep. And…damn. I was sure there was something else…

Oh yeah. The novel. I have stuff to do for that still, too. Gotta finish the most current wave of revisions, plus write up an outline and some character bios. So that, too.

Oh, and did I mention that, during this crazy time, I decided to reopen my Etsy shop this week? Yeah. In the midst of all this madness, I thought it would be a good idea to start creating more things to sell. I plan on making fabric bento boxes (after I get my own made and perfected–I always end up tweaking the pattern), stuffed animals, more clay sculptures, clay ornaments, bags/purses, and more. Yeah. With all that imaginary free time I have lately. That should go over well.

I’ll get the hang of all this eventually. Maybe. I should bust out the calendar on my phone and set reminders for every day that something’s going on. That should be fun, with alerts and notifications going off every day.

*Sigh* Whatever happened to my quiet, unassuming life?

Kismet…or something

After all the worry, stress, and anxiety, things fell into place in a way I never expected.

Followers of this blog might know that I’ve been working on a little thing called a book series, and that I’ve been agonizing over deciding between self publishing and traditional publishing. I was so nervous about the decision that I couldn’t even consider when or how to start the submission process…so imagine my surprise when I got an offer this morning from a friend in publishing for Book 1!

Things are still in the works, but I’m ecstatic. I’m not going to get too excited though, because I still have a ton of work to do on the manuscript. I’m only halfway through on the adverb issue, and I also have the POV problem chapters and the telling and… yeah. Can’t let my head get too big just yet.

I almost–almost–wish I wasn’t at my first out-of-kingdom event. Almost. I’m ready and raring to dig in to revisions. Get this puppy started. Well, not started. But closer to finished.

Finished… and published.

Just in the neck of time

Almost (mostly) done. Just a few necklines to finish off, and the new tunics for the war in California will be finished. With, oh, 4 or 5 days to spare.

I might even get time to add some trim to another tunic or two.

A bonus is the extra time to add “war paint” to our fencing masks. Thanks to an airbrush, some paints, and a modicum of artistic talent (yeah, right), we can make ourselves more menacing on the field–or something. More visible targets? Yeah. Okay. There’s that. But still…I get to paint stuff.

There’s still a ton to get done social media-wise, but I think I can manage to wrap that up in the morning. Or something. I don’t even know what to do with that at this point. I may be in over my head, but I think once I get a rhythm down it will jive okay.

On the good-news front, I have a potential beta reader for when I have Book 1’s revisions done–thanks to Twitter. (See what I did there? Social media segue.) You see, just about every day I tweet a few lines from the WIP with various hashtags. These hashtags are kinda like weekly “looky what I can do” things, where authors get to show of nuggets of brilliance in the hopes of…well, I don’t know exactly what the point is, beyond gaining a few followers and maybe some readers when the book is finished. I think part of the point is the inherent narcissism that seems to be rampant among writers. “See how witty I am? Read my next book to see what I can really do when not under a 140-character limit!”

Speaking of narcissistic writers, I had quite the ego boost yesterday when my blog views shot up (relatively speaking) after that nonsensical post about not having anything to post. Who would’a thought? My deep, existential stuff often goes unnoticed, but write a few paragraphs of drivel and it gets devoured. Go fig.

I had something else I was going to say, something of moderate importance…but I got distracted by my own thoughts and whatever it was is now unimportant.

The long road ahead

Got my critique back on Book 1 of my series….*sigh* Lots of work to do.

I knew I had a lot of “telling,” exposition, wordiness, and adverbs, so those comments weren’t surprising, but I still don’t quite know how to fix the issues. Some pacing issues that I was kind of aware of as well, some that I hadn’t noticed…and a few chapters of different POV that I thought necessary but the readers, not so much. So now I have to also figure out how to convey that info–which my main character has no way of knowing until the end–without switching points of view. Fuck.

It’ll all be worth it in the end, I know, but damn. I’m kind of overwhelmed. Some of the “problems” are part of my personal style, so I have to get into a different mindset to write it “right,” but some of them are things that flustered me to start with and are just beyond my current ability–or maybe just my current confidence–to fix.

The POV thing is really bugging me. I tried to throw in some politics and intrigue and plotting but now what do I do with it? Chuck it all? If I do that, the ending makes no sense. None. It comes out of left field without the snippets of the antagonist’s POV. Hell, the antagonist comes out of left field without them. Although apparently the ending needs a lot of work, too….

There’s a lot of rereading and revising and rereading and brainstorming and crying and tearing my hair out and revising and cursing and… Yeah. It’s like that.

Well, maybe I should take it in stages. Chapter by chapter? Issue by issue? Do I attack the exposition first then the adverbs then the pacing? Ugh. So much all at once. With Whispers of Death, not only was I self-publishing but I was also getting critiques a chapter or two at a time. So it was much less overwhelming as far as fixes go.

I can do this. I have to tell myself that. I can do this. It might take a while, it might take a lot of work, but I can do it. I also have to remind myself that I’m way ahead of schedule as far as where I wanted to be when I made my “new year’s resolution.” I thought it was a reasonable goal to have the first draft of Book 1 finished by the end of the year. Now it’s 2/3 of the way through the year and I’m on like draft 6 or 7 or something crazy like that, plus draft 1 of Book 2 with a few ideas on where to go with Book 3. So I have that going for me.

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this….

So much to do, so little time for nothing

Eight to twelve hours at work five days a week. Either game or events on Saturdays, then Sundays are either visiting with family/doing laundry/rapier practice or more event stuff. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings after work are for exercising, and Friday is more rapier practice. I occasionally get scheduled for a half day here and there, but inevitably someone calls out and I end up working the whole day.

That bugs the ever-living snot out of me. I feel like people see that I’m scheduled off-unless-needed and decide to suddenly be “sick” when they really just want a free day.

Why don’t I get free days? I don’t blame my bosses; they have to staff the clinic as is necessary. I kind of blame my coworkers sometimes though. Okay, most of the time. I mean, do they realize the kind of life I lead? If it wasn’t for my early-morning insomnia I’d never get anything done outside of work. No writing. No sewing. No artwork. Nothing. Just because I’m not out partying every night or don’t have kids to take care of doesn’t mean I don’t have things to do.

I’m tempted to request off more often just to get a break here and there, despite the need for PTO when I actually need the off days. I just can’t seem to catch a break.

Maybe this afternoon I’ll get the half day I was hoping for.

Maybe. But I doubt it.