beth_bernobich: red mushroom (book fin)
In a burst of editing energy, I ripped through the last 50 pages of Current Novel. The second draft is done and out to readers.

*pause for writer victory dance*

I finished just in time, too, because my Kickstarter for Nocturnall launches on Thursday. I'll have a more detailed post once the campaign goes live, but for now, let me just say there will be all kinds of rewards for pledges, including an e-bundle of the River of Souls trilogy, a limited print edition of Nocturnall, and writer's specials. And of course, everyone gets a thank-you tweet with a pic of Fig or Octavia:



Oh, wait. Wrong cat. Here they are:



(That's Octavia on the left, Fig on the right.)
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (mad scribe)
This last section for Current Novel is 70 pages long. I finished reading and marking up the pages and was delighted that 15 pages only needed a couple typos fixed. I was less delighted (but not surprised) to confirm that the middle section needs serious editing. Plot details need to be wrenched into shape, and the prose needs more emotional and sensory layers.

So far, I've edited 19 pages, with a net gain of two pages. (Lots of cuts, but lots more additions.) The details are falling into place, the emotions are bubbling to the surface, and I continue to be stupidly happy about the book.

In other news, I finished my Kickstarter video and with some excellent feedback from friends, I've tweaked and project description and rewards. I'm now aiming to launch on March 19th.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (book fin)
...at least until I tackle revisions.

That is, I now have a complete draft of Current Novel. Final wordcount is just under 70K, which I suspect will grow during edits.

so close...

Feb. 9th, 2015 09:00 am
beth_bernobich: obsessing (obsessing)
It took four long days, but I have at last finished the climax chapter for Current Novel. One more to go. Tunnel vision has set in, and it's painful to rip myself away from the book and re-enter the dayjob world. Ultimately, though, I think these enforced mini-breaks are good for me. I get a break, and chance to use my brain a different way, before I dive into that last chapter.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (scene 24)
Finished the chapter from last weekend and wrote half the next. One and half more chapters, then I flip the switch to edit, edit, edit.

Meanwhile, the dayjob is just one crisis after another. There's a company-wide meeting this week to announce a reorganization. That...should be interesting.

ETA: Just found out that more layoffs happened last week. Yeah. Not a happy time.
beth_bernobich: Crab (Crab)
I returned to the dayjob last Monday to find all kinds of crises. It turns out that having a layoff right before two major deployments, while the senior developer (that's me) is on leave and the other senior .NET developer has been reassigned to a different project, AND our new product owner is still learning the ropes, isn't such a great move.

The writing side, however, is going well. Over the past four days, I finished one new chapter and one diary entry, plus made a dent in a second new chapter. Less than three chapters to go...
beth_bernobich: Beak Bird (Beak Bird)
...even if it doesn't quite look like it.

So. My plan was to write one new chapter and edit the existing ones. (Also, to breathe.)

Didn't happen.** My writing brain hit a brick wall—hard. I took a step back and decided I needed to work out the last section in detail. Who knew what. When. And how did they figure things out.

That...took a while. And coming at the problem from several different angles. I created a timeline for the last section of the book, showing what our heroes were doing. Then I inserted (IN ALL CAPS AND RED) what the bad guys were doing offstage, and why. I ended up rearranging a few events and streamlining some others and...

I suddenly knew how to write these last four chapters.

I'm back at the dayjob starting today, but part time. Come Thursday I will dive back into the writing. And this time I'll get it right.

** Except the breathing part. That worked out well.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (sagittarius)
Since my last update, I finished the chapter in question, plus two more. I started to fall behind around Thursday when 1) Other Things demanded my attention, and 2) the current chapter turned out to be more complicated than I first thought, but I made up the lost time with this latest one.

So, goals for this week: write just one chapter, edit the material from last week, deal with the Other Things as needed, remember to breathe.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (girl and balloon)
...two weeks off from the dayjob. My (writing) goal is to finish at least four chapters of Current Novel. My (other) goals are to clean the house and tackle a few other house-related chores. Also, get enough sleep.

So far, I have 2/3 of a chapter done, the kitchen rescued from chaos, the Christmas tree dismantled, and the ornaments put away.

Onward...
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (doggie)
Chapters 9 and 10 edited, plus a dent made in chapter 14. Have I mentioned recently how much I love writing this book?

Meanwhile, my birthday was last Friday. My son took me out to dinner to our favorite Thai restaurant. My spouse was in San Francisco, but had left a (wrapped) box of chili chocolate squares for our son to hand over on the day. And Bookscan gave me a very shiny present with its report of how many copies of The Time Roads sold the week before.

Onward.
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
Winter temperatures have finally settled in. We've only had one snowfall, which has already melted, but the nights bring frost to our windows, and the lake has that silver sheen that says it's starting to freeze over. Come January, the ice fishers will be out.

One goal I have is to buy a grate and screen for the fireplace in my office. We had all our fireplaces cleaned out, and the chimney repaired, last spring, and I'd love to sit by a bright cheery fire, reading a good book. (Or marking up manuscript pages.)

Speaking of manuscript pages, I've marked up chapters 9-13 of Current Novel, and have set myself a goal of editing 2 pages each morning before work. That leaves me weekends for writing new new material. And, hopefully, have some time with my family.
beth_bernobich: obsessing (obsessing)
Chapter 12 13 is done. (It's a short one.) I've also worked out the background political events, the timeline for the mystery, and lots more details for the remaining chapters. Goals for December: 1) Write chapter 14, and 2) Make an editing pass through chapters 9-14.

In other, absolutely splendid news, Texas A&M has invited me to archive my papers with them. *insert glyph of excitement*

So...

Nov. 17th, 2014 08:30 am
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (sparkle kitties)
...a couple weeks ago, I was utterly miserable. Bronchitis had sucked away all my energy and brain power. The dayjob was a cesspit of chaos. And whenever I got the least traction with any of my writing projects, new obstacles and obligations popped up in my way.

So this past week, I sat down and wrote a business proposal. Goal: to a submission-ready draft of Current Novel ready by May 2015, and a revised version of my pirate novel by end of summer. I worked out a tentative schedule for accomplishing that, together with how much extra time that would require, and how much that time would cost in terms of lost income from the dayjob.

I gave the proposal to my husband, who said, Go for it.*

I talked to my manager, who said, Go for it.**

And I will. I'm taking off the first two weeks of January. After that, I switch to part-time status through the end of June, working three days a week. Doing that doubles the time I have for writing. It also gives me a cushion so I can 1) avoid burnout, and 2) spend more time with my family.

Between now and January, I've set a few small writing goals. Finish chapter 11. Write chapter 12. Work out the general plot points for the rest of the book.

Wish me luck!

----------------
* My husband is awesome. Have I mentioned that recently?
** Though he did looked a bit stressed when I told him.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (collage)
Today is my reading and signing in New London, CT. (Details here)

Happily, the book appears to be selling. Having it on the shelf in lots of bookstores helps, as do posts and reviews and giveaways from SF Signal, The Book Smugglers, Tynga's Reviews, Fantasy Review Barn, and lots of blogs.

I'm also recovering, slowly but steadily, from the bronchitis.

The one thing that has me feeling gloomy is time, lack thereof. Between the bronchitis and the absolute chaos at work, my progress on Current Novel has slowed to a crawl. I have ten chapters so far, with detailed notes for the next two. I need more time. I need less stress from the dayjob. I'm not sure I'll get either before next year. (But I do have plans to fix that situation.)

So, for now. Tiny forward steps.

quiet...

Oct. 19th, 2014 10:00 am
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Black Cat)
It's been a very hectic couple of months. Crisis after crisis at the dayjob. The drama of Newbie (now, thankfully, over). At least four weeks in a row where I consistently worked long days and weekends. And though I was truly looking forward to our vacation in London, that also required time and work to prepare for. I had no time for writing, and I could feel my nerves frazzling.

But! Vacation did finally arrive. And it was lovely.

We rented an apartment near Russell Square and within a few blocks of the British Museum. Having an apartment instead of a hotel room meant we could have a leisurely breakfast in our pajamas, with coffee made to our liking. It also meant that on Tuesday, when my spouse decided to go visit coin dealers, I had the space to write, pace, write, make coffee, and write some more.

We're home now, and that too is a good thing. I have quiet. I have my cats. And yesterday, I opened up the latest chapter for Current Novel and spent the afternoon writing. #bliss
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Rose Fractal)
...to Book Day for The Time Roads.

I am very excited by this, though at the moment, I'm too tired to show it. :)

Work has been extra chaotic, eating up brain space** and writing time. On the one hand, this is frustrating. On the other, I tell myself that I have no deadlines, so I can take my time and savor the process of taking a good story and making it better.

** As I typed these words, Fred gifted me with an image of Aidrean Ó Deághaidh's daughter coming to Éire for the first time and doing the Queen a vital service. Wicked Fred.

update

Aug. 31st, 2014 09:04 am
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (blue woman)
allegiance... latest news says the paperback version will appear next october.

coda story.... might appear in that same paperback. or not. but there are possibilities under discussion. one concern i have about adding it to the paperback is that it then won't be freely available to those who already bought the e-book or hardcover.

geek girl story.... alas, the very shiny anthology that bought this story got shelved. sooooo, story is currently in a slushpile, awaiting its turn.

edge of the empire... revising because i need to. i first wrote this novel seven years ago. it sold four years ago. i'm a better writer now and i think i can bring the story up a notch or three.

the time roads... six weeks to book day! i have guest blogs posts scheduled for the magical words blog. tynga's reviews will interview me during their paranorm'all hallows eve celebration, plus hold a giveaway for the time roads.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (japanese paper)
...was a week where I made almost no progress on Current Novel. But! I made a polishing pass on one short story, and I finished another round of revisions on my River of Souls coda story. Story #1 is now sitting in a slush pile, waiting its turn. The coda story...I don't know yet. I have to read it through one more time to see how I feel.

Meanwhile, reviews for The Time Roads have started to appear. Publishers Weekly did not care for the book. Skiffy and Fanty, however, did. Other reviews have been just as polarized. I suspect this will be a book that you either love or hate.

And about Current Novel. I currently have nine chapters written, for about 28K words. This week promises to be another hectic one at the dayjob, so I've set myself a smaller goal. Go through my notes for the next two chapters. Tweak them a bit if necessary. Set up my files for next weekend when I can dive into the prose itself.

update...

Aug. 3rd, 2014 10:05 am
beth_bernobich: obsessing (obsessing)
Last month at the dayjob, we interviewed five or six people for our .NET team. One person starts tomorrow, and another person is negotiating salary and/or other terms. Management also assigned a current employee, someone with SQL and Report Design experience to the team, which will be a great help. That brings us up to four developers, with several more planned. (Plus Newbie, alas.)

Current Novel is close to 30% done. Or maybe 40%. I've now crossed into the middle section of the novel, which is generally where chapters start to multiply, while other scenes vanish entirely as I figure out the details, so I won't know the true length of the novel until I have a complete draft.

Meanwhile, the e-ARC for THE TIME ROADS showed up on NetGalley this week. I'm hoping that this means more reviewers will see the book. I also hope they like it, naturally, but first steps first. As Kameron Hurley said, "Nobody can love a book they don’t know about."
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
Lots of stuff going on, with transitions and possibilities.

Management has finally realized we need more .NET people, so we've been interviewing candidates. My hope is that we hire a couple mid-level developers and one more senior person, then get rid of Our Newbie, who has spent the past year being a drag on the team. (To put it mildly.)

I continue to work on Current Novel. Six chapters written and polished. A couple thousand words in notes and prose for the next two chapters. Fairly soon, I need to take another break to figure out the political thread in more detail.

Meanwhile, I received a revise and resubmit for Nocturnall (my coda to the River of Souls trilogy). The editor's comments were spot-on, so this weekend I will tackle that. Fred also dumped an idea for a far-future River of Souls story into my head. The idea is little more than a couple images at this point, but I love the idea of Ilse and Raul in Space. For now, however, it gets filed in the Someday Folder.

And in the Exciting News Department: This coming Monday, I have my first guest blog post! David B. Coe, writing as D.B. Jackson, has contributed a splendid article about the women characters in his series, The Thieftaker Chronicles. Please stop by to read and comment.

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