Tag Archives: editing a novel

Procrastination Potpourri

The good news: I’ve been slacking on my blog because I’ve cranked up the work on my manuscript.

The bad news: I’ve been slacking on my blog.  Which means neglect of your blogs as well as mine.  Please hang in there with me!  I value so much what I take away from your blogs and comments, so I wouldn’t dare stay away for long; I’m just not the most consistent right now.

To make up for the Monkey imitating a Sloth again, I’ve got a wee smorgasbord of miscellany today.  First off, I am super pleased to say I’ve been productive in slashing word count and getting closer to revamping that ending that I just haven’t been thrilled with for a while.  I have also finished writing the secondary story that interweaves with my main plot, which is much briefer in scale, but had yet to transfer from me noggin to the written word.  That was such a treat to work on for a change in voice, characters, and situation.

But enough about that.  I don’t know how I manage to get on all these freaking email lists, but one lil’ nugget delivered to my Inbox recently was promoting a new book titled Getting Published.  While that highly obscure title hardly clarifies what the text might be about, I thought perhaps I’d pass it on to the blogosphere in the rare event it ends up being somewhat relevant to writing and getting that writing published…ya think?  Actually, now that I think about it, I’m lying…1) I do remember how I got on this mailing list, having emailed an enquiry to the Writers Workshop once over a year ago, and 2) despite that evasive title, I might have some glimmering of an idea as to what the book’s about, as quoth the author:

At the moment, there’s nothing on the market that tells a budding writer what they need to know about the industry. How to select agents, how to engage with agents, what a book deal looks like, what the financial issues are, what the (multitudinous) publishing issues are.

Because agents don’t tell you this either – and nor will your publisher – plenty of ‘professional’ authors are ill-informed about the industry from which they hope to eke a living. I’ve tried my level best to make this the most comprehensive and truthful book of its kind, and I very much hope you like it.

A&C Black have generously agreed to place significant chunks of the book online, so you can get a feel for the book before deciding whether to buy it. We’ve put a full listing of those extracts here. The nice people at A&C Black have also managed to secure a 25% off promotion from Amazon, so if you want to buy the book there, please make my day.

Despite my devoting a sizable chunk of this post to it, I honestly have no insider knowledge on this publication and whether it will deliver what it promises or not, but no harm in sharing.

And, oh, but wait!  There is MORE good news!  Utterly lovely blog awards and recognition.  So a *mwah* and *mwah* to Ollin for the recent blog tag and Milo for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Per the responsibilities attached to the game-o-Blog Tag, my responses follow—and I’ll make this a twofer by tagging AND awarding the Versatile Blogger Award to the 6 bloggers listed below:

1. If you could have any superpower, what would you have? Why?

I would be able to hyper-space anywhere, any time, within seconds. Given my volume of travel, I am getting reeeallly sick of airports and commuting to/from them.  I would also love to pop into my parents’ house across the ocean every time I’m thinking of them and wanna give them a hug.

2. Who is your style icon?

classic: Audrey Hepburn
contemporary: Gwyneth Paltrow
[and, okay—if I cared to get dolled up each day—Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character Melinda Gordon on Ghost Whisperer :)]

3. What is your favorite quote?

Toss-up between:

“So long as books are open, minds can never be closed” – Ronald Reagan
“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Well, for as satisfying as it was when my non-domestic self finally learned to cook and my husband said I’d gone from “zero to hero” in the kitchen, I’d probably have to go with all the folks who have told me over the years that I’m a good writer.  That gave me the boost I needed to start believing in that for myself and work even harder to become a better writer.

5. What playlist/cd is in your CD player/iPod right now?

This minute, I’m leaving it to the artificial intelligence of my iTunes’ “Indie Rock” Genius Mix.  It kicked off with Joy Division and is presently playing The Smiths’ “Cemetry Gates.”

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

Oh, without doubt I am a child of the night.  Left to my own devices these days, I’m always awake into the wee hours of the morning writing/revising or curling up with a good book or flick.

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

As I have confessed in a previous blog award acceptance speech:

“Although I love animals (I am, after all, a monkey), I am not a pet person. At all. But if I had to align myself with either the infamous Dog People or Cat People in a finger-snapping gang face-off of “West Side Story” proportions, I would probably go Cat.”

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

It dates back to a joke my older brother told me when I was little kid…it had me rolling on the ground for at least a half-hour, howling, and to this day makes me giggle to tears.  I usually resist telling it, as not everyone may find it remotely funny and, moreover, find it disturbing that I do ;).

And now for the tag/awardees:

NickiNicki Elson’s Not-So-Deep Thoughts

EvaWrite in Berlin

CourtneyBurn Your Diary

Cities of the Mind

Agatha – Here Be Dragons (who has already been tagged, but is now awarded)

Milo – In Media Res (who has already been awarded, but is now tagged)

*   *   *   *   *

All right, then.  I’m offline for the rest of today, but am hankering to return to my writing prompts soon, so keep an ear peeled for my next screech.

Basking in Multi-Tasking

“Multi-tasking – Screwing everything up simultaneously.” – Anonymous

Well, let’s hope I don’t screw up everything

I recently shifted to freelancing for my existing employer, so with the exception of one day a week, I can do my work from home.  Yes, that is quite awesome, and I’m not saying I’m not enjoying it.  What I’ve discovered, though, is how much more it stresses me out to not have that set schedule.  Do I get my work stuff out of the way first thing in the morning, or do I work on my manuscript when I’m still fresh?  Should I write my work blog first or save the writing energy for this one, and do either before or after folding the laundry and scrubbing the shower?  Should I tend to the Monkey or the manuscript?  My work email or my personal email or my Monkey email or my other personal email that I also need to use for work?  I literally have tabs open for everything at once and been starting something in one window and switching to tweak something in a different one before the first thing is done.  Though it’s stupidly minor, somehow it helps me to do all my personal/writing-related and work-related schtuff through separate browsers…then I can bookmark accordingly and not have it all staring me down at once.

Soon to be thrown into this loop is *hopefully* dipping my toe back into the classroom to substitute-teach once a week 🙂  And, as of Friday, I’ve accepted a position as Developmental Editor for a new publishing company (also work that will be done remotely)—so once I become certified, I’ll have other people’s fiction manuscripts thrown my way while I’m still trying to finish my own!  I absolutely embrace the opportunity, though, and think it will 1) be refreshing to step outside my own writing at those times it bogs me down, and 2) teach me so much that I can relate back to my own story.  I am super, super psyched about helping others fulfill their writing dreams in this new way.  You can be sure I’ll be keeping you posted on this blog how that goes…

So that’s my update.  I am suffering a massive professional split personality right now, and it’s that much more potent because these are all things I’m personally passionate about and for the most part incorporating into my own home.  So is this exciting that I’ve achieved the point where what I do is so much of who I am day-to-day, or am I going to go batty without the work-life division that helps maintain the work-life balance?  I think it can be the former as long as I keep myself disciplined yet remember it’s okay and necessary to put the work aside and walk away when I need to live.  I know how to prioritize, and I know how to accomplish things bit by bit.  Yeah, I think it’ll be a good thing.

But I don’t know, I’m too busy to think about it now, so I’ll schedule a time to think about it later…

“I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” – Scarlett O’Hara

Any of you have some tried-and-true time-management strategies that work well for you?

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