Crusader spotlight: Word + Stuff

March 22, 2011

Okay, first off, I’d like to shine this week’s Crusader spotlight on Trisha, over at W O R D + S T U F F, as she spells it.

There’s a lot of cool stuff over at Word + Stuff, including Trisha’s Crusader challenge entry, music spotlights, really cool blogfest entries, and a 200 follower competition. And no, I’m not doing this spotlight just to get another chance to qualify in the competition for mentioning it in my own blog, though the prizes are indeed pretty nifty.

I had a lot of fun exchanging thoughts with Trisha in the ‘Hone your Skills’ blogfest last week.

And speaking of blogfests… I feel like an idiot.

I was feeling so excited about the Snoop blogfest, went over to Alison’s blog to check on if there was a word count limit or other rules – and found out that I’d missed the date by nearly three weeks. I mean, I knew that I was absent-minded sometimes, but how the heck does that happen?

All I know was that somehow I got the blogfest connected with March 23rd in my brain. I knew that it was a Wednesday, and I actually rearranged my blog schedule and shifted the Wizard of Mars series away from Wednesdays so that I’d be able to do Hone your Skills and Snoop. Except – well, you know. Snoop came and passed me by, back when I was working out a few other changes in my Blog schedule, and getting up to speed with National Novel Editing Month.

I’d still like to do the Snoop challenge, even though it wouldn’t be a formal part of the Blogfest. But I think that I’d feel too ridiculous posting it tomorrow, and in any event, I have a Crusader Challenge to write! I may try doing it on April 22nd, if I can’t find anything else I’d rather do that starts with an S for the A-Z challenge. Or, I might just do it in a week, and slip it in before A-Z starts.


National Novel Editing Month update, week 3

March 21, 2011

Total time logged so far: 32 hours, 14 minutes

I’ll have to put in quite a bit of time this coming weekend to get to fifty, but I really do think that I can make it. Since I last updated, I have…

finished the critters crit that I started last weekend, sent it in – and got a very nice thank-you note from the author for my feedback!
Finished proof-reading and spell-checking ‘The Angel’s Charlie’ – and grammar-checked it as well.
Participated in the ‘Hone your skills’ blogfest – yes, I counted the time I spent reviewing and sending feedback to other blogfesters as Edmo time, for the same reason as doing any other critiques, and I still didn’t have time to read everybody’s work, because of all the Wizard World craziness.
Began doing basic spell-checking, proof-reading, and grammar checking on a Roswell raggedy edge fanfic I finished last year, “Roswell Calling” – I’ve finished the spell-checking up to part 3 of 18, while the other stages are lagging a bit behind that point.
And I spent a lot more time reviewing notes for “The Long Way Home” and coming up with my own thoughts about what still needs editing in that manuscript.

Grammar checking with Microsoft Word is a process that I have to be careful with, I think, because while the automated tests can sometimes flag truly atrocious sentences that I never seem to notice when I’m reading the manuscript myself, and that sometimes slip by other readers – if I follow all of the suggestions about avoiding fragments and so on, I definitely I lose some of the unique voices of the characters. At some points I actually found myself growling ‘That’s voice!’ to the laptop while clicking on the ‘Ignore this rule violation’ button.

I’m not quite sure where to go next with “The Long Way Home” at this point… I might try to just pick something from the list that I’ve made that would be a fairly substantial rewrite of a scene or multiple scenes, and just start writing, in the hopes that I can get in touch with my creative side again, because my Inner Editor is all over the place and doesn’t seem to have a regimented plan for whipping the manuscript into shape. (Not that it’s in such terrible shape at the moment, but I know that it can be better, though I’m unsure about how to get there.)

One thing that was oddly fun about writing my Long-way-home list of things to fix, was getting into the possibility of powering-down my heroine’s magik arsenal, since it stands to reason that if things generally go too smoothly for your hero, taking away some of their resources or abilities and seeing them flounder a little and have to be clever about doing more with less sounds like a good tack to take. It works quite well in the Robert Asprin Myth-adventures series, actually, where for most of the books the Great Magician Skeeve has really only a few basic tricks down pat – but they’re also reasonably versatile tricks, and he’s smart about using them in fresh new ways.

Wish me luck for the final ten days of EdMo.


My ‘hone your skills’ Blogfest entry.

March 16, 2011

I’m not quite clear anymore on why I signed up for this blogfest.

The thing is, I don’t really write short-short stories that often, and out of the complete stories that I have that are about the right length, I’ve already shared most of them on this blog since I started doing ‘Sharing Exercise Friday.’ And I didn’t really want to do a repeat for a blogfest.

But I found this little piece in my files, it was from some kind of a prompt at the Chester’s Beers of the world Hamilton Writers group. It’ll be interesting to hear what you think.

On the Halos of a Dilemma.

She hesitated at the post box, not knowing if she should really send the letter.

This was one of those moments where you normally pictured an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, Caroline thought. The problem was, at the moment, she had two little critters who both appeared to have white robes and halos arguing with each other, and she couldn’t really tell if one was a devil in disguise, or maybe they were both well-meaning angels who happened to be having a difference of opinion over her tough choice.

“You have to tell her,” the voice from her right shoulder told her. “There are certain things that you have to do if you want to do the right thing, and this is one of them. You’ve stumbled across a secret that’s about your friend’s life, and you can’t keep it from her. You have to let her know somehow, and this is the best way – anonymously, so that she isn’t hurt by finding out how you know, on top of everything else.”

“Oh, yeah, let’s start there, shall we?” came the reply from left shoulder. “So that she isn’t hurt. Isn’t it better to start with sparing Lizzie as much pain as you can, rather than inflexible rules? If you tell her this, then you’re causing her pain, and not sparing her any further down the road. There’s no upside except keeping your own conscience clear of keeping the secret, so just suck it up and do what’s best for Liz.”

“That’s just a load of rationalizing…” Right shoulder started.

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