rflong: (Clock)
( Apr. 27th, 2009 10:29 am)
Saturday afternoon was lovely - chat and hot chocolate and even a glass of wine (or two for me) with [livejournal.com profile] ceindreadh , [livejournal.com profile] wyvernfriend ,
[livejournal.com profile] sciamanna and E. Afterwards went to Yellow Brick Road to get a crystal so I could make the Boy Wonder an Atlantean pendant (he has this book...)

Yesterday was mainly filled with food shopping and organising this week as[profile] e_w_h  is on a work trip. :(

I bought a number of ready meals (healthy ones) so I won't have to cook in the evenings and should therefore get some writing done. Allegedly. That said last night I watched 3 eps of Supernatural, edited the novella, sucknopsized it and then submitted it, so that was fairly constructive. Today the Boy is on another half day from school so I will have to scoot out early to mind him. I am so lucky I work where I do.

Hopefully I can hole up on the sofa and do a bit of writing today too. Fingers crossed...

rflong: (Joy)
( Jun. 27th, 2008 10:17 am)
I got a partial request from a Dream Agent (tm) for To Regain Heaven!!!!

The bad news is my printer won't believe me that there is paper in it. I has to send them to [profile] e_w_h who is printing them for me to save my sanity (and possibly the printer).

I will have to post them tomorrow. Grrrr.......

Still a Woot though. That's two partial requests and four without a response as yet. *fingers crossed and praying*
I've been trying to do a bit of brainstorming in preparation for this author pitch next week, mainly to have some notes on the novel I can refer to easily and quickly without leaving long "silent" seconds between a question and my response. Em yeah, that's the plan anyway.

One of the things I have been looking at is Debra Dixon's Goals Motivation and Conflict, the (extreme) basics of which I have tried to summarize here. Why here? *shrugs* I like to share.

Character - WHO?

Goals - WHAT?
long term                         -                short term
ambition, dreams                    immediate needs
purpose in life

Motivation - WHY?
the reason for the character to act in a particular way
based on their goals and their personality.

Conflict - WHY NOT?
External                             -                     Internal
problems beyond a                     wants vs. needs/duty
character's control which
block the way to their
goal and must be solved

Now of course I need to apply it to To Regain Heaven. Its deceptively simple until you do that. It's a good exercise though as it makes you question things you have taken for granted about the characters. What is your hero's goal? How does that differ from the heroine's? How does this difference create conflict between them? I added duty as an Internal conflict as duty is a major motivation for my hero.

So, that's the first step.

What else can I do to prepare for this thing? There are five of us pitching, btw and I'm going to go first.

Em.... where did I put that paper bag again?????


refs: http://www.debradixon.com/gmc.html
rflong: (Dogmatix)
( Apr. 14th, 2008 10:48 pm)
I've got an online editor pitch next week!


And squee!

And EEK!
rflong: (Maggie Cheung Hero)
( Apr. 14th, 2008 11:02 am)
I just sent out some queries for To Regain Heaven this morning. I may have to go and shiver in a corner for some time now.

You know when you say you really should sub something. Then you do and the reality of the situation dawns... You've actually gone and put it out there!!! I have a couple of my dream agents on the list. Hey, I'm aiming at the top.

*hyperventilates into paper bag!*

Anybody else have this sort of reaction to the query/submission process?

I am now going to make a cup of tea and sit down in a quiet corner.

And shiver.
rflong: (Plotbunny)
( Mar. 10th, 2008 04:36 pm)
And a whole lot of nothing done...

So, to round it up:

Friday (I think): work work work. Submit The Penitent to the same publisher who is looking at The Wolf's Sister. Well, its the same world. And she asked if I had anything else suitable!

Saturday: (Writing) I typed up/edited about 2000 words of Moy Tura - the whole Nuada among the Sidhe section. Kind of a disturbing chapter altogether, necessary as it is time to up the anti. I know I said 32k in my last post but its actually 43k now. Typing in/editing the Robert Emmett scene. Hmmm. Some people are not going to like me for this one I fear.

(Not writing) We also drove to Belfast and shopped in Ikea. It took HOURS but we came away with six matching chairs. Six actual MATCHING chairs. Never in my life have I owned such a thing! Delighted. And we also bought assorted cushions, napkins, nightlights and a tablecloth. Oh, and a step. Because I am short and certain areas in my kitchen are not!

Sunday: (Writing) Em. Yes. Em. What was that again? Well, I did a little bit on To Regain Heaven. A little. Under 1k. And I am a little disturbed by the new tendancy I have developed to call it To Regain Heave. That's just not right is it?

(Not writing): Took Diarmuid to see a preview of The Spiderwick Chronicals. Excellent movie. Freaked us both out a bit. Then went to Chapters on Parnell Street. I haven't been in it since they moved from Abbey Street and I want to know where they acquired the Tardis to house it in? The place is huge. Just when you think you must be getting to the back of the shop, you turn a corner and there's more. Space/Time rift bookshop eat your heart out!!! L-space lives. Went home, built chairs (3 of them). Very pretty. Watched Ella Enchanted. A lot more fun than I thought it would be.

Today: work work work. I finally have a blurb ready for To Regain Heaven. Now it needs to be made shiny. And I bought a tv corner unit. And cushion covers. Coz... You know... em... Yeah.

Oh, and I may be going to P-Con. If so I hope to see Ladywolf! That would be cool!

So that's it. This evening (brace yourselves) more chair building. Maybe some tv corner unit building. A large g+t, at least.

*sigh* I think i've exhausted myself again.
rflong: (Dogmatix)
( Feb. 29th, 2008 11:29 am)
Things have been busy. Really really busy.

In fact this is the first weekend where I have not been actively working on something since... Christmas I think (not counting the weekend in Cork). I have crits to do, and my ever present two WIPs but nothing screaming at me "write me NOW!"

Since I decided to shift tactics a little, my imagination has gone ballistic. New stories are popping up every flippin day. This is a good thing (lots of new ideas, lots of new things to do) and a bad thing (I have got to the point where I jot down the basics and promise to come back later). And every so often there is a story that just insists on being written. The shortest was 6k. I subbed it yesterday. It could easily have been longer but then I would have had to find a different market!

I am thrilled that I have made this decision on my writing. Some things I will still publish as R.F. Long, some will be under other names as the styles and content are quite different. For example, vampires. I wrote a kick ass vampire story (the 6k one above). R.F. Long swore never to write a vampire story as they had been done to death. But then I came up with a relatively novel (as in new rather than length) idea and hey presto. Vampires! Go figure! Never say never.

4 new subs btw - 2 novellas and 2 short stories - in 1 month. (One was a rewrite request, one was an older story). See what I mean? I don't do that sort of thing!

All this means I am flitting all over the place. I'm rarely in some of my old haunts (so if you need to poke me, email me or make a comment here). I am adrift. It's all very exciting. I'll keep you posted on what happens next...
rflong: (Plotbunny)
( Feb. 12th, 2008 11:04 am)
 So I'm doing my usual - poking at stories one last time before sending them out. So good at poking. Not so good at the whole sending out.

But as we are off to Cork this weekend to visit family, and I won't be bringing the laptop, I would dearly love to get them out before we go so I can stress like an extremely stressy thing all weekend as to whether a reply will be waiting when I get back AND/OR hassle everyone around me by trying to get hold of an internet connection all weekend! I KNOW there won't be a reply that soon, but do you think I can convince myself of that?


So, I am waiting on a couple of crits still, but for the sake of family, not to mention a marriage, I think I'll go for it on Wesnesday night. It's subbin' time. Then if the crits come after that they will always be useful for the future. Yes, my confident head is about to topple. Again.

I'm quite looking forward to the weekend actually. Should be nice. I will try to take pictures. If I remember the camera. this is my new trick - forgetting the camera. Comes from having a smaller handbag all of a sudden.


Yes, I'm waffling. Going away now. Buh byee!
A couple of bits of news today. The print edition of Haruah 11-13 is out (Spring 2007). I have two pieces in it - Anything for Love (a kind of psycho ghost story) and Ushering the Soul (a poem). It also features Mike Munsil and some artwork by Rachel A. Marks and lots of other lovely lovely stuff...

I subbed Carrying Keptara to Ruins Metropolis, so we'll see how that goes now. Should be about a month, they said.

Other than that, I had a lovely weekend with friends and family. :D 

Well, the receipt for ABNA arrived today, so they have my files and I am in. Around about the 12th November I should hear if the content and format are all in order. If they aren't there will be some severe kicking of myself going on, but there's nothing I can do there now. My husband is so supportive. He's all on cloud nine now as he told me to sub to ABNA as soon as it came up, which I did, and the next morning all the places had gone. Good, good husband, with lots of faith. :D Let's hope its rewarded!

The whole thing got me thinking about submissions and all the rest. My focus has definitely shifted back to novels of late. I keep intending to sub to anthos or particulary markets, but at the same time the broader canvas just seems to beckon. Now I am talking about writing to write, not writing to be published which are two very different things. I'm not big on writing to be published as a rule. The story or poem usually comes off as contrived. We see it all the time at Haruah. The "literary" part gets ignored and you end up with in your face point thumping which really irritates me. I want to read a story, experience something along with the characters, get lost in the lyricism of a beautiful poem. Not a lecture. 

That said, when it comes to anthologies, you need to follow the guidelines. (When it comes to ANY submission, you need to follow the guidelines!) But I have noticed that most of the ones I have looked at recently are actually pretty broad, leaving it to the writer to create, which is what writers should do best.

I really must get back to doing some Flash challenges, or Short Story challenges soon. I need to get cracking on The Wolf's Sister and try to tie it back together after the extremely useful LH crits. Lots to think about there, but it was well worth doing. Thank you to all who looked!  Sorry it was so long.

Moving ahead with To Regain Heaven. Nearly at the end of Chapter 7 now. First crits back in on Chapter 1. Lots to do I guess. If only I could shift the headcold I could stop using it as an excuse! One of my problems with gaging the length is that I write longhand and then have to type it up. I can be MUCH further along with what I have written than with typing (part of the way through chapter 3 I think) because writing is more fun than typing and typing quickly turns into editing. And that way madness lies. 

I was about 7,000 on the laptop. But I estimate about 17,000 longhand (by counting pages, and having an average word per page). Really should type more, shouldn't I?

A lot of people don't like getting early crits on a WIP, but I do. It helps me to gage where it is going and what else I need to bring out in the story. Of course, you really need people to understand that the piece is a very early draft - they type of thing you could only show to those you trust. That doesn't always work I guess, but on the whole I am lucky with my crit group.

I have a couple of pieces out, a couple of things to prepare for sending out, and one or two to go "What am I going to do with this?"

Then Moy Tura. Hmmm.... There really aren't enough hours in the day, are there?

Anyway, enough waffling on for now. There's cataloguing to be done. Yes, in Italian! Yay!
Just sent "Old Friends" out again so fingers crossed. It's a bit longer than this magazine's usual thing, but I queried and they said they'd like to look so off it goes!

Meanwhile the newly edited (and 1,000 word lighter) "The Wolf's Sister" has gone up in the Polish Challenge on LH. It will be very interesting to see what they make of it. I had a great time today reading all the other entries. Suffice to say my poor old thing doesn't stand a chance, but I've already got a good suggestion - splitting it into mini "chapters" to make the size more manageable - which I've implemented. 

Other than that, I'm exhausted and probably going to head to bed now. I might do a bit of writing longhand, but then again, I might just zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......
rflong: (River Bridge)
( Sep. 2nd, 2007 01:09 pm)
Coupled with two rejections coming through last night - one for Come and Play and one for The Bonny Lass O' Fyvie. I've sent out Come and Play again already and want to do The Bonny Lass as a snail mail, so much print it up and write a letter on the home pc (it being the one with a printer attached!)

I've been unpacking most of the morning. We still have all the bags to go. Hubbie just phoned. He was out with his fishing club and has six mackerel for us for dinner tonight (ok, maybe not ALL of them for dinner). We also picked up some rather lovely sorrel sauce in France so that might be the menu, I reckon.

France was lovely, really really lovely. We were in a great site in a wonderful area. Most of all we didn't do too much which has left us both wonderfully relaxed (possibly a little too relaxed). The world is winding up around us and I don't think we're quite ready to join in yet. My daughter goes back to her creche tomorrow and my son and my husband are back to school/work on Tuesday. I am the lucky one - not back until next Monday (at my boss' suggestion! YAY!), but we have a lot to do to get the boy ready for school again! Shoes for one thing. He needs new ones. And the new (which we did manage to be organised enough to get before we went) trousers have to be taken up. (Mum?!)

I have to get myself back to writing. Big time. The only problem with taking a holiday is that you do have to get going again afterwards. Ah well. May get something done shortly.

Oh, and I am busily planning evening courses for the new term. Might even take two! Eek. Such ambition. So far my options are Fencing, Pottery, Jewellery Making, and Woodcarving. Such a dilemma.

Yes, all taking away from those all important writing hours. Bad bad me.

Anyway, talk soon
I've been a bit run off my feet for the last few days and probably will be tomorrow as well.

On Friday I took the day off work and headed into town with my husband and son. We looked at potential new cars in the morning and then met up with a gang of our friends. The Chester Beatty library is hosting an exhibition of one of Leonardo DaVinci's notebooks, the Codex Leceister which is mainly notes on water and the moon. It was quite an incredile experience. What struck me was the apparent randomness of the comments, the way in which his mind seemed to leap from one place to the next (according to the commentary of course), each one logical and following naturally but at the same time, enormous leaps. The sketches were incredible - brief and obviously done on the fly, but still beautiful.

We've also been filling the days with the regular chaos of the weekend. I got a migraine yesterday which, as usual, wiped me out for most of the day. We got a nice take away last night.

One of the comedy channels here is showing Drop the Dead Donkey for hours on end. This is a comedy that ran through the 90s which I loved then and is still hillarious now.

I also subbed The Bonny Lass O' Fyvie to an anthology this evening. Fingers crossed.

So, anyway, back to my giggling on the sofa.
rflong: (Default)
( Jul. 27th, 2007 11:22 am)
Right, those two are off again! Now to do something else!


I have one novel, six stories and two poems out there and I am hearing nothing. Nada. Zilch!  Some of them have been out for what I would class a very long time (to the one market that is). Like, since last year! Others have been in and out like nobody's business of late.

What's happening?

Ok, the novel doesn't count because that's recent and so is Old Friends. But the others?


Did I mention that I am not a patient person?


rflong: (Default)
( Jul. 12th, 2007 11:05 am)
Amazingly enough I collapsed into bed last night and slept like a proverbial log. the only thing that disturbed me was my son coming in this morning and leaving the door open so all the light from the window on the landing flooded into the dark cocoon of our bedroom. We still have not managed to get a curtain up there. We will. I have both curtains and material to make a blind, but have not yet managed to organise the actual making/putting up of curtain rail.

Looking forward to the wedding on Saturday, but I have accidentally managed to schedule a truly hectic day for myself tomorrow! Ah well. 

The main problem with having sent the book off is that I seem to have totally exhausted my ability to concentrate on anything for more than 30 seconds. I have turned into a goldfish. I'm meant to be cataloguing a pile of donations and just cannot focus on it for more than a second - not even enough time to open the library system and do some searches!

I am setting a very bad work practice example. Luckily there is no one else here to see me! :D

My son is at an art camp run by my sister this (and last) week. They are having their exhibition today so my husband and I plan to meet up there during our lunch hours to see it all. Looking forward to it, but it could be rather mad if I remember these things rightly (I used to work there too when I was a teenager).

rflong: (Default)
( Jul. 11th, 2007 11:02 pm)
I need it so badly I can hardly type straight.

I have sent The Penitent off to MacMillan New Writing.

I think I had better go and have a lie down now...

I never let them hang around for long!


Now back to the Penitent!

This time just to the UK tomorrow to stay with family. I'm taking a day to go down to the Friars at Aylesford and see the library there. I'm really looking forward to that.

The quest for "was" continued last night. I'm almost half way through. Problem is I will then have to go back and look for "felt"s and "seem"s and "had"s. Oh joy. This is going to take longer than I thought. But as I started...

Got a very nice rejection on The Wrecker's Daughter from Shimmer, complimentary on the story as a different and welcome take on the selkie legend. I sent is out again to Heliotrope, so we will see how fast they get back to me this time. Last story had a pretty fast turnaround - under a day I seem to remember! :D Still, fingers crossed. I believe strongly in this story and really want to find it a good home.

Why am I referring to my stories more and more like stray cats? Hmmm...

So, still have all the packing to do, and I'm heading downtown at lunchtime to get sterling from the bank, and pick up some other bits and pieces for the trip. We have to pack this evening and work out whether we can take the car seats or not. The cat sitter is calling in the get the keys tonight too. Busy busy busy. Looking forward to it, but probably will look forward to it more once the day is over. 

Not likely to get much writing done tonight, but maybe I can work on the new story and the next chunk of Moy Tura Echoes while I am away.

rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 20th, 2007 10:24 am)
Yes. Another one of those days. In about 20 minutes I'm running out of here to see the school Ballet recital. 

No really. With 5 year olds.

Think about that for a moment. Mull it over. Cogitate. Get a really clear mental image of events.

Then there's a concert.

Then lunch.

Then a birthday party.

The things all these items have in common are they are related to my son's social life rather than mine. I am the chauffeur again. :D

Work is a bit mental at the moment but good. Everything else is spiraling ever so slightly out of control between organizing holidays, childcare and bills. Never been our best at that, have we?

Got myself back into Liberty Hall again yesterday. Looking forward to doing some work there. Lots of familiar faces, which was lovely. Then I managed to lock myself out while trying to juggle changing my email address and uploading an av. Clever me! Mike came to my rescue, so I am "Officially no longer a twit!"

He also reminded me of a piece we came up with at Hatrack in a series of fairly insane Shakespearian mails/posts. This started when someone posted a fragment of a letter from Shakespeare seeking sponsorship of the Earl of Southampton (or some such notable) and we turning it into a query letter. I wrote a response. It kicked off from there and much enjoyment was has by all. Well, by Mike and I anyway.  I think everyone else just backed away worriedly.

Anyway, the short version is that we (he) has submitted it on our behalf to Poor Mojo's Almanac(k).  It will be interesting to see what happens.

I subbed The Wrecker's Daughter to Shimmer last night. Finger's crossed.

Better go. I have to buy girlie birthday present wrapping paper on the way to the ballet recital! Heaven help me!



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