beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Default)
2017-09-04 04:49 pm

stuff, good stuff...

As the subject line says, stuff. All kinds of good stuff.

Many epiphanies with therapy. Yes, it's painful, but there have also been some moments of pure amazement and joy. I am finding pieces of myself that I had locked away, because the memories were too painful.

Query letters for my pirate novel sent out to bunches of agents. Four full requests so far, plus a few "we've passed this up to the senior agent" responses.

Copyedits for Not!Sherlock done and handed back to my editor.

Two chapters/12K words completed for Not!Sherlock2. I used to have titles for both books, but marketing thinks we need something that is less genre-specific. I am down with that. Once I hear back about titles, I will let you all know.
beth_bernobich: balloon heart (balloon heart)
2017-07-26 07:41 pm

getting better all the time...

Two+ months into therapy and proper medication, and I feel...whole. Hopeful. A number of positive emotions that I never realized I was missing before.

I've also parted ways with my agent. While there were several reasons, they all came down to 'not a good fit.' I think the therapy helped me realize that it's okay to say no, this isn't working. And no, it's not me being weird. Luckily, I have a new ms ready to query. I just need to make a list of agents and polish up the query itself.

Meanwhile, copyedits for Other than Honorable should land in my inbox in two or three weeks, and I'm making splendid progress on the second book.
beth_bernobich: cat on wire (cat on wire)
2017-05-01 09:00 am

Edits are done!

My second round edits for Other Than Honorable arrived late this past Friday. And early this morning...I'm done and the new version is on its way to my editor. (There were no structural edits for this round, and the line edits were very light.) Copyedits won't show up for a few months, so...

It's time to start writing book #2. I already have notes for an end-to-end plot, some of them detailed, and some of them very vague. I have an opening scene in mind, and I have several images for the end moment. Once I have a few chapters written, and more of the plot ironed out, I'll get my editor's opinion.

Meanwhile, my house and garden need attention, not to mention my family.
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
2016-10-24 09:00 am

more random updates...

Shortly after my last post, I got the results for my biopsy. It was positive, alas, so what followed was a rapid series of appointments before and after our trip to Italy. (Because we were not going to be denied this trip**.)

Surgical consult. Pre-surgery physical. The surgery itself. Lots of paperwork filled out before and after. More medical appointments, including a follow-up with the surgeon, an appointment with the medical oncologist, and another with the radiation oncologist.

But right now, between the surgery and the many medical appointments to follow, I have a week with no obligations other than to rest and recover. And if I can get through a day without needing naps, I might be able to squeeze in a writing session or two.

** Photos to come, as soon as we sort through them all.
beth_bernobich: obsessing (obsessing)
2016-09-19 09:00 am

random update...

I'm working through several health issues these days. There's the stress fracture in my foot, which is healing, thanks to a wonderful podiatrist. I should be in good shape for our vacation in a couple weeks. There's also the matter of a biopsy next week for possible breast cancer. I'll know by Thursday what the results are, and I'll deal with things as necessary.

Work is going quite well. We launched a new version of our financial tracking system. (Which involved tossing the old and horrible version and redesigning/rewriting from scratch.) I'm now overhauling our staffing planning application based on feedback from the department admins and the finance director.

And the novel in progress... There is progress, even though I still have four chapters left to write. The middle chapters, however, just went through another editing pass, with lots of words added, and lots more replaced. (Chapter 10, in particular, has been especially thorny.) I plan to making a polishing pass through this middle section before I tackle the final section.

And in two weeks, Rome. *bliss*
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (mad scribe)
2016-08-29 09:00 am

staggering toward the finish line...

Alas, I didn't finish the draft by the end of July, and alas, I won't finish by the end of August. One reason is that I worked several weeks of overtime at the dayjob, which left me mentally exhausted. The other reason was the troublesome middle section. Four chapters turned into three, but those three still didn't work. So I rewrote them a *second* time, along with a new chapter and...well, you see why I'm not done yet.

Four chapters left. Followed by an editing/polishing pass for the second half. New deadline is...I don't know. I would love to get a finished draft to my agent before October, which is when we go to Rome for our vacation, but we'll see. New deadlines at the dayjob are looming.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (goat)
2016-06-27 09:00 am

of plots and bricks....

...or rather brick walls.

I returned to the pirate novel last month, and for a while I was making good progress. But with each chapter, I found myself getting more and more dissatisfied. (Productivity, meet brick wall.) So I took a step back—several, in fact— and spent a few weeks poking and prodding and reworking the plot for the second half of the book. Mind you, I'm still quite happy where the book ends, and the key milestones for the plot still work, but the details of how my characters get from Point A to Point B needed to change.

So I might not finish this draft by the end of July, but what I do finish will be stronger. And that's what really matters.
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
2016-05-31 09:00 am

the more things change...

...the more they change. When it comes to writing and revisions, that is.

Not long after my last post, my agent sent me feedback from an editor for Not!Sherlock. The kind of feedback that makes you go,"Oh, of course!" Which led to three weeks of reading and marking up a ms., identifying which chapters needed what kind of surgery, then making those changes, then reviewing them again. The major edits are done. I'm now in the final pass for the final section. The goal is to have this new version to my agent by next week.

After that? It's back to the pirate novel. (And trying to remember exactly where I was with that.)
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (tea cup)
2016-05-09 09:30 am

more writing, more reading...

Chapters 10 and 11 have been spliced and edited into what is now chapter 9. Whew! I am pretty sure I replaced nearly every word. But I am sooooo much happier with this version.

This week, the old chapter 12 is on the revision block. This one is another slash and cut and rewrite exercise. After that, I need to mark up the next five chapters to evaluate how much they work they need. (My impression was "not much," but so much has changed with this draft, I'm no longer sure.)

In between my lovely writing sessions and the dayjob, I have an extra wonderful treat. I'm reading an ARC of Stephanie Burgis's historical fantasy Congress of Secrets. And what a treat this is. I feel as though I am drinking a cup of gourmet hot chocolate, frothy and sweet and delicious, but with an edge of dark.

You can read more about Steph's wonderful book here. Check it out!
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (doggie)
2016-05-02 09:30 am

writing, writing, writing...

This past month has been extra busy, between novel revisions and the dayjob. In early April, I asked my manager if I could temporarily shift my workday to come in two hours later. I'd say this means my workday ends two hours later, but in reality, I was already leaving later, so what this really does is ensure I'm not working overtime.

There's also the matter of those two hours of writing every morning. What a lovely, lovely treat for me. So far, I've polished the first six chapters of the pirate novel into a submission-ready state, I've ripped apart the next three chapters and rewritten them into two, and I've made a dent in rewriting the two chapters after that. I won't have the new draft done by the end of May, but I will have the major surgery completed.

I'm tempted to ask my manager to extend my shifted hours another month, but I'll wait until the end of May to take stock of my progress.
beth_bernobich: Beak Bird (Beak Bird)
2016-02-29 09:00 am

march comes in february this year...

Last year, the snow piled higher and higher, so that we had to dig narrow pathways from our door to the driveway. We still had patches of snow until April, and it took even longer for the pond to melt. When the daffodils finally bloomed, my spouse said that March had clearly arrived in April.

This year, we've had some snow, yes. And several bitterly cold days. But we've also had days where the temps rose to 60F, and while the pond did freeze over, it was only for a few days here and there. So, as the title of this post says, we've had a reverse and now April has arrived in February.

I've been so busy with writing and the dayjob, I might not have noticed, except I do work at a University, so whenever I want a cup of coffee, or I need to get lunch, I walk to the next building over, or maybe to the Student Union. Enforced breaks, they are good for me.

As for the writing... I spent a couple weekends addressing some concerns that my new agent pointed out. Those chapters are now stronger and more emotionally charged. Agent has approved the new version, and the book is now out on submission. Luckily I'm so busy, I don't have time to fret. Mostly. :)
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
2015-07-20 07:00 am

so busy....

Nocturnall Kickstarter: Things are going very well with this project. The cover artist and I worked through a couple rounds with rough sketches until we had the right look for both the story and the series. She then sent me a detailed drawing that had me dizzy with delight. We've now moved on to the color sketches. I've picked a color scheme from the three she sent me. The next step is the final version.

Current Novel: Out on submission. *fingers crossed*

Geek Girl Story: I've read and marked up the document for the next round of edits. The story grew quite a bit in the last round, and I suspect it will grow a bit more.

Edge of the Empire: Once I finish the GG story, I want to dive back into revisions for this novel. With the change in my dayjob, I no longer have any writing time in the morning, but I do have more time after work, so I want to experiment with short sessions in the evening.
beth_bernobich: Crab (Crab)
2015-06-22 08:30 am

catching up...

This past week was a busy one. I finished up in fine style at the old job, which pleases me. I have (almost) a week before the new one starts, so it's time to play catch up. A bit more gardening. Miscellaneous chores. Writing summaries for possible sequels to Current Novel. Finishing the latest round of edits for my geek girls story. Petting the cats.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (umbrella mushrooms)
2015-06-15 08:30 am

misc...

Last week at the old job. I've finished a number of tasks far ahead of schedule, so I'm using these last few days to tackle some issues that we've always wanted to address.

Latest round of sketches from the cover artist have arrived. In the next day or two, I need to sit down with my cover designer and get his input. Guys, this is going to be such a great cover.

Agent loves the latest version of Not!Sherlock. She has proposed a short list of publishers to me, and the manuscript will go out Real Soon Now. *cue excitement*

And to scratch my writing itch, I am slowly working through my geek girl story. When I first wrote it, I thought it was the best thing ever. I still love the story all to pieces, but I know I can make the execution better.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (book fin)
2015-06-01 08:30 am

edits done...

...and off to my agent.

Just in time for me to dive back into Nocturnall. The artist and I are now exchanging emails about the concept sketches she sent me. (I LOVE them.)

I am also poking at my geek girl story. Plans are to make another editing pass before I send it out again. This will scratch my writing itch while still being low-key. Just what I need after the intensity of Not!Sherlock.

Oh, and I am now back to full-time work as well. More details about that later.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
2015-05-25 09:00 am

so much to do...

Nocturnall Kickstarter: E-book gift codes all sent. Thank-you tweets all sent. Spreadsheet updated. I've been researching printers for the limited print run, and so far the front runners are Lightning Source and Createspace. LS has a reputation for somewhat higher quality, but Createspace is somewhat less expensive and appreciably easier to work with, according to all my sources.

Edge of the Empire: On the back burner for now. See next item.

Not!Sherlock: I need to make another editing pass to address two minor issues and one medium-sized issue that my agent pointed out. I had hoped to finish this pass by today, but a few other obligations popped up last week. Once the edits are in place, I want to read through the whole thing one more time to make sure they work with the rest of the story.

And at home, my flowerbeds need some attention—we're still rehabilitating them from their years of neglect before we bought the house—but like the pirate novel, they are on the backburner until Not!Sherlock goes out on submission. Once that happens, I shall descend upon the local garden center with visions of annuals and perennials dancing in my head.
beth_bernobich: petal twigs (petal twigs)
2015-05-18 08:30 am

hello, monday

It's been a busy, productive week.

I've started to send out rewards for my Nocturnall Kickstarter—gift codes for the trilogy e-books, the signed hardcovers, and lots and lots of thank-you tweets. I've also set up a giant spreadsheet to keep track of expenses and rewards and such.

I also had a long talk with my agent, who had just finished reading Not!Sherlock that morning. She is even more excited about the book than I am, if that's possible. She did have a couple suggestions, which I agreed with, mostly minor things, so while she researches submission strategy, I will make these tweaks to the manuscript. Our goal is to get the book out on submission by early June.

There are also a few interesting developments in the works, outside the world of writing, which I'll share once they get further along.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (collage)
2015-05-11 08:30 am

miscellaneous update...

Not!Sherlock: Agent is reading the manuscript and we shall talk next week about submission strategies. We both continue to be super-excited by this book.

Nocturnall: I've made two polishing passes through the story, and have handed it off to my copyeditor. And today (after a few glitches) the money from Kickstarter arrived in my bank account. This means I can set the artwork in motion.

Edge of the Empire: I tried to dive into edits this weekend, but there were too many other things that needed attention. I also need to give myself plenty of time to tackle this rewrite. Oddly enough, when I eliminate the urgency, I get more done.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (book fin)
2015-05-04 08:30 am

novel is done...

...and off to my agent.

I still have two more months of part-time, and so much I want to accomplish. First, there's the follow-up work for my Nocturnall Kickstarter. Then there's a novelette I want to expand to novella length. And the pirate novel, written but in need of an overhaul.

But first I need to pet the cats. And maybe do a spot of gardening.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (mad scribe)
2015-04-27 08:30 am

meanwhile, back at the draft...

...I have edited through chapter 11 of Current Novel, using both my own notes and the feedback from my kind and generous readers. Sleep and other issues have cooperated to give me lovely long writing sessions and the energy to take advantage of them. At this rate, I can get the ms. to my agent by mid-May.

Good thing, because by then I should get the funds from my Kickstarter, which means I can give the go-ahead to my cover artist. First steps will be me sending her character descriptions, then her sending me sample sketches. (*excited!!!!*)

Oh, and that also means I can start editing my pirate novel.