26 March, 2014

Forward thinking

I never know how to start posts like this, mostly because my brain is going forty seven directions at once, yet stuck in the same place.

It's weird how life is like that, everything's always changing yet it always seems to stay the same.

Anyway, let's start with the books.

Two novels (SPORE and MORGAN'S RUN) are out of my hands and seeking the next stopping point on their journey to publication. I currently have no idea when, where, how, or any other details. It's just a whole lot of waiting. Waiting's tough. Having no news while waiting is tougher. But we writers just have to stick it out because that's the job. People keep asking me when they can get the books, and I have to shrug and admit I have no flipping clue. As soon as I know, you'll know.

I'm struggling with SLIPPAGE, the book I intend to follow SPORE with (it, too, is a speculative thriller, in no story-line way related to SPORE, but I am gonna stick in a very slight connection between the two - Go Ghoulie! ;) ). It's crazy, how stuck I am, especially since the whole book is laid out and glistening in my head and in my notes. I'm just got getting any drama on the page. Seriously, WTF?!? I always have drama on the page. Another issue is getting the main characters (two kids on the run) to open up with me. Both are closed up tight, not willing to divulge anything to me beyond bare bones story essentials, and I haven't been able to crack them open. Yet.

Since SLIPPAGE isn't going anywhere other than circling around an assassin of sorts named Huey, who is NOT the focus of the book dammit, I've returned to poking Dubric's next novel, STAIN OF CORRUPTION, with a pointy stick.

There are a lot of issues with STAIN, not the least of which is its commercial viability. The original three Dubric novels didn't exactly create new sales records, and, after all this time, I don't think it's likely to sell to a traditional publisher. I could be wrong, yes, but I kinda doubt it. But the fans wants it, precious, but it's gonna be a long, brutal, convoluted, layered kinda book, which will become the pivot point for the second half of the series and I just.... ARRGH.


Anyway, I've griped talked with a couple of friends about it this past week, and have told them about the big twisty storyline shift in mid book. They've been consistently OMG!! This is, OMG!! So cool! OMG!! Fuck, yeah!! and they've helped me maybe figure out a way to pull off the big shift without cheating (I don't want to cheat, but I don't want to show my whole hand for the plot by the midpoint either) so, anyway, I'm kind of back on it. Again. With new hope I can make the big pivot work.

That's been the sticking point all this time, how can I pull off the pivot that turns the series from a set of murder mysteries (sort of) to political upheaval and war (sort of) while maintaining the integrity of the storyline, characters, world, and all those pesky ghosts and still keep it exciting, honest, and brutal, all while writing essentially two books in two separate times and storylines all at once? Gah! One of my pre-readers currently has what I've written and I'm hoping he'll have some useable feedback on the actual viability of the overall plan. The book's looking like it'll be crazy-long, a real doorstop of a book, and a whole lot of bodies and ghosts will pile up before it's over

I also have a Lars based novella which is about 1/4 done, ish, called Six Sides of Blue where Lars is called to a rural area to investigate the rape of a handicapped girl. I need to get some words in on it this week. No ghosts, no magic, just straight up investigation into some brutality that ends up being bigger than it first seems. Fun, right?

Okay, that's pretty much it in writing related news.

In other matters, I'm back on plan with Weight Watchers, and it's going all right. I'd pretty much fallen off the wagon this past winter and I decided to climb back on a couple of weeks ago. So far so good, but it's a slow, aggravating process. But at least it's working forward again.

Health is okay. I'm getting my troublesome-but-not-dangerous medical issue re-checked in May. Really, really hoping it's improved. *fingers crossed* Stupid mutinous parts! Get back to work and quit screwing with my life!

Here in Northern Iowa, Spring and Winter are battling for dominance and, today at least, Spring seems to be winning. We've had snow the last few days, but today it's wind and sun, so I am thankful. Since Easter is just a few weeks away and I'm helping out at our community's annual Easter Egg Hunt, I really hope Spring takes control. I don't want to be hiding eggs in the snow. ;)

My sewing machine is still acting up so I have done NO SEWING since I sent a couple of quilts out to friends. None. Zippo. It's beginning to feel alarming but I don't know how to fix it. Grr.

I've had some depressive issues, mostly feeling stuck (see books above, and the weight loss stall) but it seems to be lifting.

Marketing is just, blergh. Since I do have two novels out in the world seeking publication, I've been looking at marketing (insert gaggy noises complete with exaggerated facial expressions here). My preferred social media venue (Facebook) is limiting the exposure of business page posts to 1-2% of subscribed readership unless you 'pay to play'. I refuse to do that, so I've opened my personal FB page to friend request from everyone. I am not happy about this since I've had some issues with boundaries, but it seems to be the best option, considering. I've let a few fans in and so far so good. I'm on Twitter, but since I don't have a smart phone and only tweet from my computer I'm not very involved there, plus I am on G+, at least I check it a couple of times a week. And then there are my rare blog posts, which auto-post to Goodreads and Amazon (which also gets my tweets).

Gah, I need a better marketing plan. I am so not good at this stuff.

Pets are all fine, but Puufy is acting a little.... uncomfortable. He's ten years old this year and he's had some medical issues in the past. We're all worried he might be creaking toward the end and it bothers me. I loves my Puufums Baby. All of the cats want Spring, dammit! They keep begging to be let out, go out, decide it's still to freaking cold (and there are no birdies, bunnies, etc to chase anyway) so they want right back in only to want back out again 5 minutes later because, surely, Spring has finally come. Right? The dog, tho, is perfectly content to laze around the house and doesn't want anything to do with outside unless he has to potty. MeowMeow, the cat we rescued last fall, is finally fitting in. Mostly. She gets along great with Puufy, but there are occasional altercations with Abbie and Peanut, mostly because MeowMeow starts them. These altercations, however, have decreased dramatically in frequency and noise level, so we're taking all that as indications she's being accepted into the group.

I'm not a basketball fan (Go Steelers!!) but I've been watching the NCAA tournament some because Iowa State is playing. I almost went to ISU and my niece is currently a student there (plus we shop in and drive through Ames fairly often). So, Go 'Clones!

I'm also rooting for Kentucky, mostly because they were plating Kansas State, and I don't like the Wildcats, so Go Kentucky! Yeah, I'm weird. Other than Iowa State and Kentucky, I apparently don't care at all about March Madness. lol I think they're in different brackets. Maybe they'll play each other?? That'd be cool and give me more good reasons to cuss at the TV.

Bill has remodeling on his mind, which is awesome, but we can't agree on what to do to streamline the house, which is not awesome. We'd like rearrange the plumbing, get a better kitchen (while my kitchen is lovely, it's not very cooking-friendly workspace and layout wise) and a downstairs bedroom/bath. Plus no ceiling on the upstairs-stairs. All without doing a massive gut job of our delightful old Victorian farmhouse or spending a crap-ton of money on a 2-story addition. Is that too much to ask?!? Is it? I mean, really! Geesh! :p

Bill wants a second floor addition over the back end of our existing kitchen, so he can move the bathroom and get rid of the 'landing' over the lower part of the upstairs stairs, plus straighten the stairs, and simplify the household plumbing and stack. I want a lower level addition so we can move the kitchen and get the bedroom/bath. But if we do the 2-story addition it'll free up all kinds of space to do stuff and we can basically rearrange everything, but we'd end up with 5 or 6 bedrooms and make the house about 3,200 sq. feet (which is insane, we really don't need that much space for the four of us) so it's been a mental exercise in floorplans, cost issues, how to change the basement to accommodate all the support/plumbing/electrical/etc, how do we even get TO the basement with each plan, and what the hell are we gonna do with SIX Bedrooms?!?

I have to disclose here that Bill and I utterly LOVE remodeling. We'd essentially gutted and re-built our previous 2 houses by ourselves (well, we did hire out the furnace work at the previous place, but that's about it) so we're both finding this wonderfully aggravating and, frankly, encouraging. It's a GOOD sign we're talking about this stuff, even if our house is pretty much awesome just as it is. We'd both been feeling stuck for a long time, no idea what to do to move forward again, to hope again, and we are. Finally. We've even done some rearranging within the existing house, have ordered new living room furniture (it'll be here in about 2 weeks! YAY!!) and are making plans for stuff to do later this year.

I am so, so happy with all of this, now if I could just get one of the books to click together (or one of the finished books to sell!), everything would be golden! Have a happy Spring, everyone and many, many {{hugs}}