This made me very very happy this evening...

I'm stuck right into May Queen right now - 28k in, which if it is actually going to be a 50k story (and not something longer masquerading as a 50k story until its far too late for me to do anything about it) is a very good way in. And its going kind of well. (Oh how I will probably regret those words this evening).

The finale of Bones is on tonight which I will have to watch with obsessive compulsion to see if Seeley dies. Tell me beforehand and I WILL have to kill you. No matter where you are. I'm sure he won't because... you know... new series etc. Then again, Supernatural played with that time and again.

The Paranormal YA workshop is on at Divas and is an absolute blast. Lots of fun, lots of info. All very interesting. :)

my YA paranormal twisted fairy tale May Queen has started talking to me again.

I'm going through it a bit at a time. I think I know where it went wrong before, which is good. And it needs to be a tighter story than I thought - not so long. But as its YA that's okay, isn't it? At least I think so.

Nice to be doing this one again. I like the characters and I did a lot of research for it which is all coming back delightfully.

So... yay! I think...
Muddling through today really. Very tired after the weekend, but it was fun. I will still have to make/buy and decorate a cake for my daughter before Wednesday, but that shouldn't be too much of a trial. We started looking for a bed for her as well. At 3 years old, it seems to be time as she has taken to climbing in and out of the cot in the night!

I'm going to do an edit on The Wolf's Sister again - mainly the same thing I did with the novel, looking for passive voice, weak words and my own personal writing ticks which I now notice more that ever. Turned for example. Everyone is very fond of turning. Turning to, turning from, turning away... It must stop! Also it would be good to get it down to a more manageable length. It is long. But it has gone from Novella to Novelette, so it may be possible to bring it down further. It really needs tightening. But that is true of everything really, isn't it? Until it sells. 

It's a high fantasy story, set in the Holtlands, but earlier than A Dream of the West and The Penitent. It was the first "short" story I wrote after A Dream of the West and suffers from the aftermath of a mammoth novel. That said, I am very fond of it. And I adore the characters involved.

LH has a challenge on at the moment to write a story about a character who plays a minor role in something else you have written. That is giving me lots of ideas for another Holtlands story - two characters in particular spring to mind. One is a guard in River Holt - I wrote a story about him before which kind of crashed and burned, but could do with some ressurection. The other is Bareda, who is a minor character in both novels, but not really a minor character as she connects each of the novels, and the planned novels. 

He he, get me. I sound like these stories are out there for you all to read and they aren't. One day perhaps and then you can go "So THAT'S what she was talking about! She actually DID make sense. And we just thought it was Post Traumatic Birthday Party Disorder!"

I wrote more on Moy Tura Echoes - not much admittedly, but it is starting to look less daunting. I think I may have to skip a bit ahead and then backfill, but that's nothing new. So long as I get something down on paper, that is the main thing.

May Queen is ticking along.

I think I have too many projects going at the moment! But at least I kind of have a writing plan. I may even submit something again soon. You never know!

Once again, Internet explorer foils my lovely post and crashes when I try to do something. Arrgghh. Most annoying Microsoft thingy ever.

So here is the mark 2 post, which won't be as funny or witty or clever. But here goes.

Not yet properly awake, even after two mugs of tea and a drive on the M50 carpark motorway in pouring rain. I also set up a cooler in our special collection room, trying to take down the temperature to a level that will not slowly dry out the books in the manner of smoked kippers. Hmm, better check the cooler shortly, just to make sure I did actually set it up alright.

I wrote a bit of May Queen last night, new words which are always wonderful at first glance, and rather disappointing at the second. Still. they are new words and that is what matters. A twist came to me, as twists will, which I think has firmly lodged its way into the narrative. Hopefully it is as clever as I thought it was last night anyway.

I also typed up a little more Moy Tura Echoes. This may be the best way to work myself out of the block I have found myself stuck in with this novel . There is some more still to type - two more scenes I think and then I hit the end of what I have written so far. But hopefully something magical will occur. Either that or I will have to put in some serious grind. Well, I'll let you guess which is more likely at the moment.

Sunday is Book Day at Farmleigh house, with a special exhibition on special bindings in my dream library . There are a load of children's book events going on so we should be able to entertain the small ones long enough for me to Ooo and Ahhh a reasonable amount. There is a gang of us going, most of the Leceister Codex brigade I think, so it should be fun. Thing is, I hope the weather isn't like today.

My son starts football tomorrow morning. (That's soccer for the rest of you). He is so excited I doubt he will sleep tonight. Again, I hope the weather isn't like today!!! And he made a new friend last night. A family with a boy his age moved in up the street and they have bonded big time in the space of about twenty minutes. Guess I'd better get used to having a second little boy running around. My daughter looked a bit shocked though. She isn't used to having to SHARE her brother with someone else. And someone who wasn't impressed by her Little Mermaid Barbie, either. The indignity!

I got a rejection for The Bonny Lass O'Fyvie the other day  (no comments or anything) so it is off out again elsewhere. 

Will probably be wallpapering the infamous kitchen tonight, and trying to avoid listening to the screams from the living room as Ireland plays France in the Rugby World Cup. Determined to have take away at least. Something will have to make up for it. No, I think the wall papering is a really good idea. 

I am not a rugby fan, except by osmosis.

Also must find out what the French press wrote about a particular member of the Irish team that has them so riled up!
Having a bit of a wibbly day today, as a pre-lunch search through some boxes in the general library produced some rather valuable old books which were a surprise to all concerned. Even more of a surprise when I did some searching on viaLibri and discovered how valuable! Yay for old books - talk about survivors!

How they might have survived is another matter. I think they may have been feeding on younger volumes.

Boy they need a clean though. 

I've also been doing some research for May Queen which is fun. Using the setting I am, some rather strange things pop up in research and I often find myself following lines of inquiry that I never intended to follow. Fairies are interesting things as they turn up just about everywhere in western european stories and their tales intersect, or turn out to be ever so slightly different versions of each other. So I end up reading and re-reading, trying to figure out some sort of core or basis that I can use in May Queen. I think I may have read more for this book than for anything else I have written.  Hopefully it will be worth it in the end. :D

rflong: (Dogmatix)
( Sep. 13th, 2007 09:21 am)
I did some work on May Queen last night as Moy Tura Echoes seems to have stalled. I know what I have to write, what I have to write to get there and I know where the whole thing is going, I just can't seem to get it down on paper! May Queen on the other hand is just sparkling along for me. I can't understand it but think I will just have to go with it for now and follow the May Queen story until Moy Tura is ready to unravel again. So frustrating. I have an idea for a short as well, but finding the time to sit down with it is proving a challenge. I'm also wondering if its a bit of a cliche, but I probably won't know until I start writing.

I have bits of May Queen laid out like a jigsaw. Scenes I previously wrote. This is a method I used to use a lot and I think I might well go back to it. Of course, it does mean you need something resembling and outline first, which I am notoriously bad at doing. It's fun to leap about in time though. I find it easier to get the story written, but does require a LOT more polishing afterwards. 

I think writing The Penitent kind of threw me - I more or less sat down and wrote that one, longhand, from start to finish. It just flowed in a way that subsequent novels (or novel attempts) have not.  So by switching to the jumping around procedure I might get more written (even if I do leave more work later)???  I dunno. Gotta keep trying I guess.

I am miffed about Moy Tura though. I felt as if it was finally getting somewhere and then it just slams into a brick wall. Another part of me is saying go back and hammer at it until you get through, but what time will I be wasting? And if May Queen is ready to be written, as it appears to be, perhaps its time for that. 

Main problem is the whole two books at once thing, which was an accident I got myself into! 

Right now I have two A4 notebook which I am carrying around - one for Moy Tura, and one for May Queen (it was meant to be for short stories but there you go). Hopefully, though being back at work means less time, it makes me more regimented so I feel I should write during the evening, rather than the time off pathetic display of "I'll just write a couple of... Oh look, Bones is on tv!" 

Yes its all a bit of "ooo Shiney!" with me these days. I am easily distracted. Chronic tiredness does that to a body. And nothing induces chronic tiredness like two small people running your life. 

So what do you think? (About the novels, the approach, the self-absorption etc.) not the chronic tiredness???

I've been back at work this week, hence the silence. Playing catch up. It has been going pretty well apart from

(a) a bizare computer ghost on one of the library PCs which causes multiple windows to open sometimes (40-50 instances of Internet explorer) , creates folders for no reason and wipes out favorites. Problem is, it seems to be only persecuting one of our users.

(b) the case of the missing Codex - a historian working here found reference to a provincial chapter of 1909 and wanted to see the documents. My boss and I found more about this Chapter in one of the historical works written by someone who lived here, including a reference to the Actorum Codex 1871 which was noted as being housed in the archives here. Imagine our surprise as neither of us had ever heard of it! We had a search yesterday and lo! it appeared in a cupboard right where it should have been. Still can't remember seeing it at any point before but that's old books for you. Great name, isn't it? I feel it will be lifted for an Ayredale library story someday soon.

(c) A LARGE number of donations snuck in under the radar while I was away so I have to sort them out, decide what we need and catalogue them. Luckily we have some room left.

In honour of the return to libraryland I found one of my Orang-utang pictures (taken at Dublin zoo earlier this year) It's one of my favorite pictures - It's also the picture on my phone - and I am very proud of it. I got some wonderful shots in France as well. I will have to post up a few soon. But my Orang-utangs above are still my best I think.

Not news on rejections or acceptences. I subbed Come and Play and The Bonny Lass O' Fyvie last week - not sure if I mentioned that. I was planning to take [personal profile] nephele up on her very fine offer (look at her blog, especially if you are a YA writer - go on, you have 2 more days)  but as May Queen is not yet finished I can't really and I don't think I'll be able to pull another 25-40k words out of somewhere in two days! Shame, as I would love to give it a go, but she does specifically ask for completed novels. And I don't think, by any stretch of the imagination that The Penitent could be described as YA!!! :D

Nothing from McMillan yet. It's starting to look like it has been rejected. *sigh* So, I'll give until the end of the month and then start thinking about what else I want to do with it. Still trying to keep the fingers crossed for an 11 hour miracle.

That's it for now. The library calls.

I mentioned in the last post that I was going to have a shower and go to bed. Well, I tried, but as I showered, my husband came thundering up the stairs to tell me to turn it off as water was coming through the ceiling into the kitchen! 

Oh yes.

What ever muppet (and I use the term without affection) put the bath in tiled UNDER the bath seal so that the water runs down the grouting lines and has been building up under the floor boards in the ceiling above my new cooker!  When we poked at the ceiling the other day, we knocked a hole in it, giving the water somewhere to go and now cannot use the shower.

We can have a bath if we don't splash too much. It's going to make the kids a little less fragrant! :D

Seriously though, have we just discovered that we have in fact moved into the Moneypit? 

It's just a case of taking off a line of tiles, redoing the seal and then re-tiling, hopefully in a tile that matches, but frankly I don't care right now!

The flash at LH appears to be going down very well which is good. I subbed my next chapter of May Queen to the crit group last night and got one back already! Yay! Haven't really done much else. Very lazy these days.
Or perhaps its a mirage.

Just getting ready for lunch (yes, my favorite time of the day).

After the ructions of going to the UK, all the hasslesome travel and losing my mobile (horror of horrors)  and possibly an amber bracelet (I will cry A LOT if I really have), today seems to be settling down nicely. I ordered a laptop and a new phone over the last couple of days so am very excited about their (probably not so-)imminent arrival.

Imagine, having a computer I can use all by myself


They are not allowed on it. Oh no! It's mine I tell you, all mine!

Except for... 

You know its going to happen, of course. On holiday, or a day when one of us is working and the tv blows up or something... They'll get their hands on it eventually, but I'm going to put that moment off for as long as humanely possible.

I finished the story for Liberty Hall. Have to do a couple of amendments and then post it. I wrote a little more of Moy Tura Echoes last night. And my crit group will be looking at the first chapter of May Queen this week. I got a rewrite request for the poem "Dr. Dee's Angels" - did I say that already? Can't remember. They like the last 3 verses. I haven't made enough time to look at it yet. I want to get the novel ready to go first. It's eating my time away and whenever I sit down to it great chunks of time seem to be devoured. But I will get there eventually.

So, not a lot of news, but in a better mood. Aren't Libraries great?

rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 17th, 2007 08:54 am)
Yes its Sunday morning because basically I was too jazzed to write anything last night. I watched the first of the 3 part finale of this season's Dr. Who. Not only did I have David Tennent there, but also John Barrowman playing Captain Jack, Derek Jacobi as one of my favorite actors ever, and John Sim from Life on Mars.
Spoiler )
I went a little hyper by the end. Oh happy day. I could be a little insufferable for the next couple of Saturdays.

The writing on the last few episodes has been really superb. The two parter with the Family of Blood, Blink and now last night's episode just rocked.

I also watched Jekyll with James Nesbitt, the first part of a series which was also wonderful (although it could have been riding on the Dr. Who wave of elation. We'll have to see how it develops). Nesbitt is a really good actor and having seen him do so many comedy, cheeky lad parts (yes I know he's done other things but I haven't watched them) it was really amazing to see him switch between Jekyll and Hyde. We spent a lot of the episode going "who's that? who's that?" at one person in particular Denis Lawson, aka Wedge Antilles!

On the writing side, I got a rejection from IGMS for The Wrecker's Daughter, just a form letter. I have now sent it off to Andromeda Spaceways. I now have 9 pieces out; 7 stories and 2 poems. Not a lot of movement from anything. I am waiting on one which was referred to a higher power but its all gone terribly silent since. This was at the end of March. I'm trying to get the nerve up to mail and find out what has happened.

I am trying to get the Penitent together for Macmillan New Writing. I need to do some work on May Queen for the crit group as it is not actually as coherent a narrative as I remembered! *cringe*.  And I need to write some more of Moy Tura Echoes, although that seems to be almost back on track after a fairly shaky "how do I pull this together" section!

I have to go to a work thing this afternoon and then Pat and I are going out ot dinner tonight so this is my only chance at the computer today I think. And what am I doing? Of course I am. Why be constructive?

rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 13th, 2007 09:43 am)

Super busy, probably. A researcher will be coming into the library shortly so I will be "assisting" him for the most part I suppose. I have to get the relevant archives down from the archives room for him (which I will probably do now). We don't have a huge amount on the area in which he is interested so I can pretty much say what he will want. But I'm not sure I want to pre-empt him. Hmmm... professional stuff. Have to think about that. 

He is researching a local college associated with the Order. It was founded in 1860 and is pretty prestigious. Most of the papers etc are at the college itself, but we do have roll books, photos, and a few pieces of ephemera which might be of interest.

I do love my job. It can be so bizarre.

Speaking of bizarre, I will have to try to find someone willing to go to the post office for me with a large packet of books to send to Canada. I was going to do it myself, but the researcher clashes and so I have to be here. There are times when I wish I had an assistant. Not many. I like working alone. I'm strange that way.

The roses are now all out in the rose garden and the place looks magnificent. The library looks out over the rose garden and the old house. It is so much better to be in the ugly building looking at the pretty one than vice versa.

I did NO writing last night. I have NO news (apart from the cat coming back again and eating a huge bowl of food overnight). We're getting geared up for the holidays in the children department. My son finishes school Friday week. We are going to England to visit my sister in law for a few days the following week and I will also go to the Friars, in Aylesford, to visit the library there and meet the librarians. Really looking forward to that. Hopefully there will be lots of inspiration to pick up.

Oh, I think I decided to use the crit group to work on May Queen. That's the thought of the moment anyway.

So that's it. I'd better get going.


Well, the first new sub for "Come and Play" went a bit disastrously wrong. I got a mail back saying the magazine had closed. Shame they didn't mention that on their website when I read up on them!!! 

Ah well. NEXT!

I've got so much to do at work today - have to tidy the whole library and sort out a pile of boxes which have been loitering behind the sofa in the reading area for too long. Piles of duplicates to box up too. And we're launching a lending section. Who says life is dull.

Other than that little news. Two dinners to cook over the weekend - Friends on Saturday, Mother in Law on Sunday. On Sunday night we have a babysitter lined up (my best friend, if we can prize her away from her lunchdate - tee hee!) and we are going to see Pirates 3. Despite the reviews, I am looking forward to it (if nothing else for Johnnie Depp and popcorn).

Wrote another couple of pages of "Moy Tura Echoes" last night and I got a couple of crits in on Chapter 11 on Notebored. It has been pretty well received so far. As we are about to start up the JumpStart Writers group again, I have to decide what I will go with - I could do some rewrites on the initial chapters of Echoes and try to keep the momentum going. I could turn to May Queen or the Freya story and get them going again (they slid off the radar, despite having quite a bit done). Or I could attack Dream of the West again and try to do that total rewrite I've been going on about - but that might not be fair on the people in the group who I have worked with before. 

(but that might not be fair on the people in the group who I have worked with before. Wow, that's a bad sentence!)

Decisions, decisions...

At least I'm busy!




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