Adding Flesh to Bone

24 03 2011
It’s funny, when you’re working you think if only I could just write all the time. If I had nothing to do but write, I’d get so much done.
Then you don’t have anything to do and you can write all the time, but somehow you don’t.
I was on a sick leave from work for a month, during that time I got the work I just submitted a few weeks ago to a publisher re-written and edited. I was pretty much not able to leave the house, due to the nature of the illness, so it lent itself getting that work done.
The situation with the health got better during that time, but when it came time to go back to work, it flared back up in a big way. It’s one thing to say your work is making you sick, but it’s quite another when it actually does make you sick. Dealing with the absence management company that my work contracts for short term health issues was its own joy. The end result was me resigning from the company, because there may be many things I’ll just shut up and get on with it and ignore, but getting an ulcer is not one of them. I’m sorry, but you don’t pay me enough to deal with an ulcer on top of everything else you heaped on me for 10 years.
So now, since Monday, I have had all day to write.  How much writing have I gotten done?
Less than a page.
To be fair, I’ve plotted out two different ideas for storylines and done research on locations and plot points, but actually getting down to putting flesh on those bones? I barely have my toe nails covered with what I’ve done.
Maybe I just needed those three days to get over  the sudden loss of a job I’d put 10 years I can’t get back into.  I realized how little writing I’d done today, and now that I have , I’m determined to get back into a writing schedule. I’ll kick myself  later if I don’t use this downtime productively.  It’s not like it comes around a lot.
So, as of Tuesday I’m going to get myself on a schedule. Tuesday is because I’m on nephew duty this weekend and if you’ve ever taken care of a 6 and 4 year old, you know that nothing gets done when they’re up and you’re too tired to do anything when they’re asleep, other than fall into a low-level coma yourself.
Time to take this unexpected windfall of free time and  put it to use. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some flesh to be writing onto bones. Maybe I can get up to where toe meets foot tonight.




Switching Hats.

9 03 2011

Now that my novella submission is off to the publisher, it’s time for me to switch hats to editing mode.

My friend, Shae Connor, has written her first novel length romance.  I’ve been a first reader for it, and now I’m doing one of the last edits. It’s a completely different mindset from writing. I’m finding I have to stop myself from changing word order a lot. There is nothing wrong with the way it’s ordered, it’s fine the way it is, it’s just not the way I’d word it.

That’s the unsung skill set of the editor isn’t it? Unless it’s going to clarify or add something to the narrative, you can’t impose your phrasing on it. It needs to sound like the author, not me. Now that I’ve acknowledged that, hopefully it will fade to the background in my mind.

It was  gray, drizzly and dark day today, though brightened considerably by a delivery. Books! Two of the books I ordered online from Indigo/Chapters online came today. Stein on Writing and Story Engineering While I do most of my reading in ebook form these days, I make an exception for books on writing, or reference books in general. There is a comfort in being able to note, flag and highlight the things that speak to me and that’s something that I don’t get from doing those things in digital form yet.

There is something to be said for being able to hold the physical book in your hand for reference. See Big Name Publishers? I buy actual books too. I’m also not murdering kittens because I consume ebooks.

It seems the publishers are slooooowly getting up to speed with that. I was watching the iPad 2 announcement last week and one of the first things they announced was the iBooks update and 100 Million books have been downloaded and Random House has finally been added to the iBook store.

Now if only the publishing industry as a whole would realize that the 100 million ebooks is  great thing.  People are reading and that can only do good things for the publishing industry. Love or hate the iPad, it makes purchasing the ebooks very easy and more of an impulse purchase than having to go to a physical bookstore. It’s something that Apple is very good at, making it an easy end-user experience to purchase content. They did it for music, they’re doing it for books and next up looks to be magazines.

I’m hoping with the recent release of the subscription model information that we’ll get more magazine content from the iPad from both mainstream and under appreciated zines that are out there and hard to find in the physical world.  You know, once the publishers have another freak out about how Apple is going to kill their industry. Again.

Speaking as and end user on this, just wake me up when the cat fight is over and I can subscribe to the magazines I want. Until then, all I’m going to hear is the trombone teachers voice from the Peanuts cartoons.

Reading on the iPad