Five and Five on the Short Story Dares now. Just edited and submitted "Dumb as Dirt" last night after blogging and wrote the hopefully to be retitled "Security Trouble" today.

This one was written for a particular market, but might land somewhere else. Then again, it really is written on that magazine's theme so I might as well shoot it off on May 1 unless I come up with a better one on the theme of "Industrial Solar System."

A good feeling... and I wonder what I'll do now with the rest of the day... hehehe

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Midway point...

Insane Dare Statistics:
Master New Novel Chapters Done 9 of 8
Master Critiques technically Done but I'll keep up at least two a week
Master New Short Stories 4 of 8
Master Short Story Rewrites 4 of 8
Master Nonfiction Articles 0 of 4
Master Novel Rewrite: not done
Master Word Count Dare - 2k a day - have already got enough done that I'm halfway there, making Apprentice Word Count a given.

Halfway there and about to go over the top on some of them.

With days to spare before May 1... this is a good feeling. The wild crazy schedule of "do all seven of the Master Dares" is paying off as a schedule of 'get a whole lot done.'

And after this, when Breakout Novel class starts? Anything I do besides BN class is a bonus. I'll probably go on writing, either the End of Dare New WIP or short stories, because I do. I'll probably do rewrites, because I'll be doing them on my homework a lot. But tracking will become more passive...

And that means I've got four new submissions out. That's a great feeling. When I'm getting more novels out too that will deepen that great feeling...

Robert and Ari >^..^<


And wow... does some sleep make a difference. Also the shifting gears. Okay, so my brain has a very slow transition between "novel writing mode" and "short stories and articles and rewrites" mode. If I am doing shorts, then I can go back and forth easily between writing and editing.

Dang. Editing is starting to go really well. I posted a lot of critiques lately. Really catching up on those. Wrote another story tonight, did last night too. Did a rewrite yesterday. Did three rewrites today. Click! One of those productive days that just amazed me - when it's in what I've always known was pretty much my weak area.

Four new short stories sent to pro publications, all emailed submissions. One to a new publication that's more semipro, an ezine that's just starting up. I was stunned. The editor had read Raven Dance and recognized my name and complimented the book. I flipped. I reeled. I looked at the guidelines, whipped out the pile of stories to rewrite and right off the top pulled out High Goth - the story set in the same universe as Raven Dance. That was on its way in an hour.

Anything and everything I've ever done has had slow building phases and then growth - results come back to me after a lot of sustained effort. That amazed me. That was just too cool for words. And then I banged out yet another rewrite when some friends threw a Word War and I'd already done the day's Exercise. I didn't have a good story idea and someone said "Hey, do another rewrite." So cool.

Three in a day is the most I've ever done ... and that bodes well for starting to root through the immense stacks of finished rough draft stories and novels that need to be put into publishable shape at my current level of skill.

A fine day. A great day. Tomorrow, cute little kittens teasing Porky Pig that he's a ham in pictographic thought bubble cartoons...

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Weird day. Yesterday was too. I wrote a poem and an article for http://www.selfhelpforwriters.com and that was about it. Basically on account of the 8 hour day of appointments I had to run around to, back to back, three of them in one day and the one in the middle, when I would have had an hour or two to rest, was a complete surprise. It would have been very convenient for someone who could keep up with it, getting everything taken care of more or less in one day.

But last night I sat dizzy with pain and banged out a poem and an article after a few hours of sitting still and crashed - and couldn't sleep. There's a point of exhaustion where it's hard to sleep. Woke up again, went back to bed, laid awake a long time and finally slept again, woke feeling as if I hadn't slept at all. Counterproductive. Got up and got online, wrote a couple of emails and wound up sick and falling asleep again, so back to bed from noon to about four. This is frustrating.

There's sometimes a letdown after writing a good novel. I didn't take that into account planning my time, that I might have to spend more than one day just recovering from something physical - and those two things hitting at the same time are extremely frustrating. Back spasming, while I wasn't on my feet for the whole day at those appointments, most of it was in very bad chairs when I wasn't. I have a lot to do. Short stories, articles, rewrites, Launchpad. I'm feeling a bit pressured at the moment and time's sliding past - but at the same time, know that I'm also physically stressed and do have to give my back time to recover or it'll be hard to keep a clear mind. I get very annoyed when fatigue and pain get to the point that it's hard to concentrate on writing.

Basically in a bit of a funk. Things aren't as bad as all that. I'm that much closer to actually getting SSI instead of DSS, it looks good in terms of that. And I just found out how close I was to complete economic disaster too... that DSS, if I made a $3,500 advance, would divide that by the $408 that I get in benefits and disqualify me for that many months completely, disabled or not. When if it weren't for the housing subsidy, I wouldn't be able to live in this area on that in the first place, not even in a rooming house. Which would mean that within three months I'd wind up not able to keep up my share of the apartment and wham, there it goes, then it's back to shelters and screwed. Scary as it gets. SSI doesn't cut off like that, mostly because they *encourage* disabled people to work, earn money and to work in self employment. They're much more used to dealing with the individual and the individual's particular special needs than either DSS or the shelter system. The housing agency is somewhere in between.

Most of their clients are alcoholics and substance abusers. I had to amend a sobriety pledge, because I refuse to give up the right to drink on special occasions when I am not and never have been an alcoholic or substance abuser. I was embarrassed. Guilty until proven innocent. I hate that. I'll admit, I do not want alcoholics for roommates or anything that I'd have to be around much, unless they're long term recovered alcoholics (some of the best people on the planet and I'd move to live near one). The questioning hit that and oh, several other *common* areas of problems the poor have. Oh, and I was *required* to fill out the racial and ethnic questionnaire, I didn't have the option of "decline to state" - statistical, said it was to make sure minorities were being adequately served. Kind of makes me wonder. I wouldn't mind if they're really doing that. But in a way I do, in a way it seems as if it shouldn't matter given the situation.

I'm just frustrated. It's very close to paying off, but it has been so many years. I don't feel connected to the place where I live. I've got an apartment, in many ways it's a lot stabler than the way I was living in New Orleans, but I miss the compact, colorful, walking-distance interesting things in the French Quarter and the cheap cabs that would take me anywhere else in the Quarter that I wanted to go... and here, I just don't go out. Here, I can't. Nothing within range, not even the bus stop and the buses only run in business hours while I'm sleeping anyway, nothing is open after 8 or 9 pm anyway. It's suburbia. Some of what's bugging me is that even though it isn't quite like the suburbia in the Midwest because the buildings are older - very large gracious turn of the century buildings split into apartments - it has that suburbian atmosphere to it and if there's anything interesting going on, it's private and held at the houses of people I don't know because I never had a chance to meet them.

When I come down from a novel's finish, that's when I recognize that I don't have a life. And it gets a bit frustrating not even to have cable and Sci-Fi channel, or I'd finish up after novels with a 48 hour television glut and get some crafts and artwork done and make cool stuff for my own apartment.

Do I actually miss having weird roommates with all the troubles, insecurity, conflicts and constant moving that entailed? I haven't met anyone up here that I'd want for a roommate. But, down there, when I did share apartments with people, they usually shared a lot of my tastes in terms of entertainment and suchlike. It's been years since I played any roleplaying game in person, four years since I went to any costumed event, anything like that.

And none of that matters when there's a novel under my paws. But I feel as if Blade and Ysildre and Rellin and Alison and the rest of the gang all packed up and moved out, it's a little sad. Or they're on vacation anyway and won't be back till I'm done with all this other stuff. I do need to do the rewrite on it. That'll be fun in itself in a way. But the party's over.

I think if I take it easy tonight I'll feel better tomorrow. Might go to bed early again since I'm still feeling *that* sleepy, that physically exhausted. Incredibly frustrating.

Robert and Ari >^..^<


"Quest" is done.

When a book gets to The End, and it's like stepping on a rake getting the handle whack right up between your eyes, and you can't add one more word to that - then it's done right.

I got it done and I got it done on time. It isn't even too late to sleep tonight. Gotta calm down. A little. A little. I got it done!!! Yayyyyy!!

And it's the best I've ever done. I hope I can always say that.

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Then again, plans sometimes get interfered with. Between the early bedtime and remembering that I'm expecting a voice call at somewhere between 8pm and 9pm tonight that could run long or short, I don't think I'll manage the 7,000 words or so unless I hit some sweeping vast swoop of prose knocking me upside the head. But if that happens I'll ignore the time and go to my appointment on about two hours of sleep ready to kill someone.

Word War starting...

Robert and Ari >^..^<
Dawn of the Deadline.

This is the day that I planned for myself to finish Quest. I need about 1,600 words of action to end Chapter 20, about 5,000 words of Chapter 21 which may or may not have an epilogue as a separate epilogue - or just as a tiny little scene at the very end of the chapter. That's more an esthetic decision. Basically, I need to do about 7,000 words today to get the book done.

And I have a relatively short day since I woke up about 2:30 in the afternoon, but have a 10am appointment tomorrow morning. Which means I have to actually get to bed at an hour that will let me wake up before 9am tomorrow morning, ie, about 2am or thereabouts. Or seriously suffer.

That's about oh, ten hours and 7,000 words and no fooling around. If I have some good fast scenes it'll go fast. And it will feel very, very good to get it entirely Done! I'm not actually that worried about book length. I've been roughing it at 5,000 a chapter, a couple run under but more run "and change" and the optimal book length is 90,000 to 120,000. I wanted 120,000. 20 chapters even would be 100,000 then - but the "and change" adds up. And I will count the entire book by opening all the chapters again when I get to The End. Just to see what I've got.


Robert and Ari >^..^<