I am kaitco

a writer's log

Writing Recovery Friday, July 26, 2013

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 5:14 pm
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Whether it was from the absolute stress and nervousness of sending query letters or completing a project that has encompassed so much of my life for the past 4 years, I’ve spent the last week languidly procrastinating as I sought a new purpose. For the first time in AGES, I did not have a chapter to complete or several pages to revise and I found myself unable to do much more than sleep or read and then go back to sleep. It wasn’t until Wednesday that it occurred to me that the efforts of finally finishing a novel were taking their toll, but this shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me.

When I finished Evan when I was 15, I was still recuperating from my second ankle surgery and still on Christmas break, so my fatigue was well-expected and its source went unnoticed. When I finished Alex when I was 17, I was getting ready to start school at Ohio State, but I remember a week of stomach-gnawing stress and fatigue that I’d attributed to nervousness about starting college. When I finished Flight, however, when I was 22 (I guess; I’m too lazy to look up the completion date at the moment), I was preparing to graduate and, in posting that final chapter, I was ill and generally fatigued for weeks, which is why I couldn’t even think clearly about Damen until March-ish of 2009.

So, here I am, with another book finished and just as much fatigue as I’ve encountered with the previous ones. Unlike the other ones, I have nothing on which to place the blame. I’m not recuperating from surgery, or starting school, or finishing school. Now, I can see what writing a book really does to me and how much of myself I pour into every word. It is, without exaggeration, an exhausting process.

Today, however, I am quite refreshed. To occupy my time, I watched North & South and then read the book and then watched it 2-3 times a day and also while I slept and then re-read the last few chapters of the book again. To avoid fully falling into some OCD spiral, I refused to watch the film again yesterday, but still finished the book. I’d like to read the novel once more as I’ve started to read it like I read Persuasion or used to read Goblet of Fire; i.e., I read through favorite scenes, stop, and then re-read those favorite scenes a couple more times before progressing with the remainder of the book. That said, I know a cycle when it’s coming and it’s best, for now, that I move onto other things.

I’m not entirely sure what I will focus on writing this weekend. I’d like to write a poem or two in this “As…” project I’ve created and, while there’s no cure for the old novel like starting on the new novel, I’d also like to write something completely outside of anything I’d like to see traditionally published. A good ole’ fashioned SVU fanfiction or something, just to get the gears moving without wearing them down too soon.

Oh, well; we’ll see. It’s just as likely that I’ll spend the weekend playing games (dear God, that Steam sale!), so we’ll just have to see.

 

Good God! This query process. Friday, July 19, 2013

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 5:32 pm
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I thought it fitting to post on the day I’ve sent my query letters to agents for the first time in my life. Needless to say, that despite it being only about 5pm, I could really use a drink.

It took two drafts for me to have a reasonable query letter and thankfully I had my mother read them to help. She doesn’t read with a readers voice and instead, with the voice of an HR manager reading a letter to a number of employees who are about to be laid-off. It’s this tone that I needed to prevent me from writing something far too artistic and ending up in someone’s delete box before I’ve had a chance to show off my novel.

Once the query was prepared, I had to check and re-check and re-re-re-re-re-check the submission guidelines for each of these agents and, of course, they’re all more or less different. I’ve got through it though. I winced and nearly cried each time I clicked the Send or Submit button, and my heart still races ten minutes later.

I prayed about this all morning and asked God for something really blaring if this wasn’t the path He wanted for me. I could not help noticing the raging thunderstorm that erupted during this time, but I sent my queries regardless. I suppose the real answer will come if I don’t get a response from these first four.

Over the weekend, I plan to send what will likely be the only post mail submission I’ll have and send it on Monday when my nerves have collected.

I’m not sure why I’m so terribly stressed and nervous over this process. It should be the calmest or happiest part of the entire writing process, but the thought that I could possibly be taking the first steps to getting published drills any excitement into pure nervousness. It’s nervousness to the point that if I don’t rise from my desk soon, it’s likely I’ll faint right here.

So, I’ll continue re-watching and re-reading Gaskell’s North & South (you’ll notice I’ve at least added it to my Goodreads to help since I’m so behind on my reading) and focus on writing Reruns (which I hope to post by August 2nd) as well as Round 2 of agent queries (also to be sent August 2nd).

Lord, Lord…onward and upward.

 

And, the search begins… Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 5:01 am
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Despite my best efforts at procrastination this month, I finished review my novel as a Kindle book. I definitely added a step onto my writing process as I found soooo many missing commas, random words, and grammar errors that should have been caught in reading through this thing eight times, that I can’t not read projects as Kindle books going forward. There’s something special about reading my work like a normal book that helps me notice everything that’s wrong with it.

So, now, after so many, many days of procrastination and actual work, I’ve actually come to this point. I’m a little shocked. So, much, so that I’m not really sure what else to write at this point, but I suppose that’s to be expected after reading almost nonstop for 36 hours.

I promised myself that if I got the book entirely, ENTIRELY done today, I could spend the rest of the day playing video games or just lazying on the couch, so that’s the plan. 🙂

And so, Thursday, I will begin the search for an agent to get this four-year effort published. Unlike the preceding parts of this process, I’ve never even attempted this in the past, so this will definitely be an adventure!

 

Reruns, part 1 Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 2:33 pm
Tags: , ,

About two years or so ago, I began copious notes on what would become my Reruns project. Before I was able to get totally obsessed with the project, I recognized that I was in the middle of Damen and if I got sidetracked, I’d never finish either of them, so I set aside my notes for another day. I later promised myself that I would begin my Reruns weekly postings the same day I sent out Damen for the first time.

Yesterday, I finally got Ubuntu up and running properly on my laptop, and after using Playonlinux and Wine, I got Office 2007 running on Ubuntu. I opened a brand new page, let my fingers tap against my laptop’s home row, and yet had nothing to write. Years of focus on Damen left me with nothing to write at that moment, which confused me a little.

At this stage in Damen, I’m not entirely finished with it, but it’s no longer something I can pull up in a Word doc and just start writing/editing as I’ve been doing for the past year. This tells me that, though I’m not yet ready to send out Damen, I am ready to make good on my Reruns promise to myself.

In order to have my first Reruns story ready by the time, I’m ready to send Damen, I need to begin really writing it now. Seeing as how Reruns encompasses multi-“chapter” short stories, I shouldn’t require 3 years a piece to write these, but with that said, I need to ensure I’m prepared for my Send Day.

So, tonight, I’ll begin putting real effort into Reruns…It’s a little strange, though, to see all these things I’ve fantasized about doing slowly coming into fruition. It’s almost as if I’m outside of myself and watching this happen. Very odd, indeed.

 

The Final Step Saturday, July 6, 2013

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 7:56 am
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I’m on my final step. Woot…

It’s taken me about a month to get here from my previous point and after 32 days of editing (including 20 days of outright procrastination), I finally made a Kindle book from my book. This would sound like the final step were I going the new-aged route of self-publishing, but since I’d really like to at least attempt this through the traditional route, I’m left with a final step prior to finding an agent.

So, this morning, I created my Kindle book and read the first paragraph of my book, on my iPhone because I was too lazy to cross the room for my Kindle Touch or go downstairs for my iPad to read like normal. I have to say, however, in reading just that first paragraph, I got a chill of excitement I’ve not experienced in close to a year.

I’m really here! I can’t believe it. Barring any unfortunate issues while I read this like a normal book, I’ve got in my hands (literally and figuratively) what may be my first fully published novel. I imagine I’ll be in shock throughout the rest of this weekend and likely throughout this entire read, but if I’m going to be shocked about something, I love that it’s my book!

Oh! I think it’s worth mentioning that “final” word count for this project is 120,878 words. Considering that 16 months ago, I was staring down the barrel of a shotgun monster standing at 287,969 words, if I do nothing else with this book, I’ve still accomplished something special. 🙂

 

 
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