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Liz A. Vogel
18 April 2014 @ 01:01 pm
What is it with this novel, that every time I say it's finally going decently, it stalls again? I am well and truly stalled now. Though I did manage a tricky bit of revision, small in terms of wordcount but significant in terms of plot. Yes, people have cell phones. If you want them to not have cell phones -- and there is a sound in-story reason for this, as well as the author-convenience reason -- you have to do something to take their cell phones away.

Now I just need to finish the bloody thing. About another chapter and a half should do it, which I could do in a week if the words would just come. Why won't the words come?!?

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Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: Blues Traveler, "Run-Around"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
11 April 2014 @ 10:29 am
Or maybe last night's? However you count the 2+ a.m. when I was up reading.

"We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we have still to make a study of 'and.'"
    - A. S. Eddington, as quoted in James Blish's They Shall Have Stars


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Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: Depeche Mode, "Rush"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
09 April 2014 @ 04:16 pm
So, according to IRS Pub. 525, it seems that the prizes from the ISFiC Writers Contest go on the 1040 as "other income", and not as business income from writing. This is rather discouraging; I was looking forward to having actual income on my writing Schedule C, not just expenses!

Ah, well. Next year, eh?

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Current Mood: sadbummed
Current Music: Lowercase m, "The Lonely Financial Zone"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
01 April 2014 @ 11:52 am
old-mission stories: 59
original short fiction: 7
Haley novel: 7721
Total new words in March: 7787

Queries sent: 4

Quotas achieved! And then some, on the writing. The novel has reached that endgame portion where I have a constant refrain of "must finish book, must finish book" running in the back of my head. Which is not as helpful as you might think, since instead of useful words bubbling up in my brain I get "must finish book", but it does keep one focused. Word-count achieved by nice steady plodding; there were a couple of minor pushes in there, but nothing remarkable.

Querying wasn't quite on the seven-day schedule (on the 7th, 15th, 22nd, and 31st, to be precise), but it got done, and that's what counts.

I also sent 3 stories off during March, which gives me a total of 4 in various slush piles right now.


For April, another 5000 words. Which should get me pretty darned close to done; I'm on what I think is the penultimate chapter right now, though my ability to predict these things is known to be shaky.

The query-every-seven-days thing has been working well for me -- so well that I've used up my list of potential agents! So I'm taking a break from the seven-days routine; instead, April's query-related goal is to go through the AAR database by genre, and make a new list.

Onward.



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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Counting Crows, "St. Robinson In His Cadillac Dream"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
21 March 2014 @ 02:08 pm
I've been wanting to say something about the Hugo-host kerfuffle, but haven't been able to come up with something that encapsulates it without frothing at the mouth. To my surprise, my housemate nailed it. I'd told her about the kerfuffle, and she was pretty upset by it, not least because an author she really liked and respected displayed extreme asshattery. So I sent her a quick link round-up, on the principle of primary sources. Her response:

"I found it helpful to see just how cruel some people can be & how nice others are. Big pluses to Paul Cornell & Neil Gaiman, big minuses to lots of others who didn't do their homework."

Which says all that needs to be said about that, really.

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Current Mood: sadsad for humanity
Current Music: Adam Ant, "If You Keep On"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
I hesitate to say anything for fear of jinxing it, but this time the lull in posting is due to the writing going better. Not swiftly and well (is "swell" a contraction of that?), but better.

I correctly determined that the "stuck" was the kind of stuck that needs to percolate for a bit, rather than the kind that needs to be pushed through. And the percolating yielded an insight into a character's motivation. It's not much of a change: the same events will still happen, and at most, a couple of lines will get said by a different person, but suddenly now it's writable.

Brains, I swear.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/110605.html because LiveJournal has broken posting on my browser. Comments accepted here, but please comment on Dreamwidth if you possibly can.

 
 
Current Mood: goodbetter
Current Music: Rush, "Time Stand Still"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
12 March 2014 @ 03:48 pm
Haven't been posting much here lately, which generally means the writing's been going either really well, or really poorly. Yeah, I wish.

So Wendig had a post yesterday on The Varied Emotional Stages of Writing A Book, and as usual with such lists, half of it doesn't apply to me at all. But of the things which do apply, several are stuck on with industrial-grade adhesive, so much so that I'm going to quote the most applicable (and the shortest, which is only appropriate) in its entirety:

12. I Wrote Four Words Today (“The Trickled Pee”)

Every word is like extracting a rotten tooth with a pair of rusty needle-nose pliers. It is a day of great effort that yields nearly no result. A rich, full fruit tree with one fucking apple dangling.

That was yesterday. I had the whole afternoon and evening, and a super mocha... and I got something like 108 words. All day, for about 108 words.

This is the bottom of the trend so far this month, but the high points weren't all that impressive, either. (Though pleasingly, if I can choke out a mere 250 words two days out of three, that's still on track for quota. Such as it is.) I am stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck, increasingly stuck, and I don't know why. I have things for the characters to do (they're in the midst of a high-speed escape at this very moment), I've wedged in the orphaned bit in the best place for it to be, I know roughly where things are headed next... and it just won't go.

I am now going to go out and shovel expletive-deleted snow, in hopes that doing something physical will give my back-brain the leeway it needs to sort this out.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/110379.html because LiveJournal has broken posting on my browser. Comments accepted here, but please comment on Dreamwidth if you possibly can.

 
 
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: Puscifer, "Rev 22:20"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
01 March 2014 @ 11:46 am
Historically, February has been a bad month for me.

old-mission stories: 86
Haley novel: 6496
Total new words in February: 6582

Queries sent: 5 (and I've lost count of how many potentials researched & crossed off)

Take that, February slump!


Also sent off another short story, and signed the contract (happy dance!) for my first short-story sale.


I shifted the inertia on the Haley novel, and it's been sputtering along decently since. I kind of feel like I've been burning the writing candle in the middle with a blowtorch, but also that it's been going in fits and starts, so I did a little analysis. Turns out that both are sort of right. I wrote on 15 days for a total of 18 sessions (a few two-session days in there), with an average of ~361 words per session. Which is about average for me; the only oddity may be that the days were clumped together a bit more than usual.

Part of all that, I'll admit, was a drive to not have my word-count suck this February, which, hey, hail to that. Part of it was that, having moved the big end-of-book reveal to the middle-third and decided to use that plot twist that I'd set aside & wasn't sure about, my characters now have something to do, which always helps make the words come tumbling out. Opposite that was the fact that I kept writing headlong and getting distracted by clever, exciting plot things, and forgetting to put in the important character thing, which then didn't fit even though I'd started the scene specifically for it. I finally recognized that I needed to step back and let the latest scene percolate for a bit. It's still sludging around in my head, and may not ever be what I originally envisioned it to be, but I should be able to make it work.

I think it's an important development for a writer to learn to recognize the difference between slacking off and needing to let the back-brain chew on something for a bit.


But now, onward to March. Another 5000 words and a query every seven days. Forward momentum, and forward is thataway.

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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Manfred Mann's Earth Band, "Tribal Statistics"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
26 February 2014 @ 09:07 pm
So it turns out that polls on Dreamwidth are only open to logged-in Dreamwidth users, which makes the poll I posted a few days ago, um, rather less useful than I'd hoped. Whoever you anons are, I'd meant to let you play, too. So let's try this again the old-fashioned way -- and look, now with an extra option!

Given a short-short story to be titled, and knowing nothing else about it, would you be more likely to go for:

     "Our Dead Are Never Dead, Until Forgotten"
     "Rage, Rage Against the Dying In the Night"
     "Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Exit Here"
     Something else in the same vein, which I will put in the comments

Pick whichever one you like best, for whatever value of "best" you care to employ. Bonus points for why and/or what sort of story you'd expect from that title.

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Current Mood: curiousstill curious
Current Music: Pet Shop Boys, "It Couldn't Happen Here"
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
25 February 2014 @ 06:35 pm
Sent another query Friday (and already got a rejection -- talk about ripping off the band-aid! ;-) )

Sent another one today.

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Current Mood: productiveproductive
Current Music: a-ha, "Here I Stand And Face The Rain"