Corrections abound

It was late last night when I wrote all those posts about the writing of my current book, what to call a book, and the day’s progress, and I made some errors. :D

The big one, of course, is that this is not book 21 I’m working on!

This is book 19.

I’ve gone back and edited those posts to take out the wrong information. It just seemed easier that way than trying to note the corrections. :D

I messed up because I used the table I have in my spreadsheet to tell me how many books I have in each category of length: novel, novella, novelette, and short story. That table gave me 18+2=20 for the novel and novella length books.

Or so I thought.

This morning, I remembered something important about that table. It’s pulling data from my “Publish List” which includes every title I’ve published. The table is counting anything over 40,000 words as a novel and is counting a novel that I wrote well before 2012 and that’s no longer published.

I don’t want those two books to count.

The one, I didn’t write but compiled it from stories I’d already written; and the other, well, let me just say it’s old, I’m not sure it’s any good, and I was happy to unpublish it even though it did sell a copy and was one of the things that made me sure I could do this publishing thing for money. :D

Me and late nights do not agree.

So here is the correction:

I have 18 books and 12 short stories. (Between three pen names.)

The book I’m working on now is book 19.


Postponement of yesterday to today

So yesterday I did not finish with chapter 15 to 16. Life interrupted and I finally gave in and postponed to today what I wanted to accomplish yesterday.

So everything I said yesterday? Applies to today. :)

Not that I didn’t make any progress yesterday, because I did.

I spent 1.517 hours writing (timed writing) and added 280 words after deletions, additions, redrafting, and edits. I’m lucky I got that. The interruptions were fortuitous, because I was ready to start yelling at my screen about this chapter (let me be honest, I did yell at the screen at least once).

I found the thing that I thought was in the book earlier, that I addressed earlier when I fixed up some earlier chapters, and then rediscovered the thing in chapter 15.

Meaning: I addressed something in an earlier chapter that hadn’t even happened yet. UGH!

So yeah. I needed the break.

Revisions are more than just fixing stuff and I’ve fallen into the revision pit, obviously. I hate them and I don’t honestly believe they do anything to make a book better most of the time, and yet, here I am, right in the middle of doing something that’s awfully close to revision. >:{

Now to fix it today. And get on with writing new stuff. Chapter 16 can just stuff it. I’m fixing 15 and skipping right to the end of 16 where I need to delete the last page and just start fresh. I’m not going to try to save any of that last page. It’ll just lead to heartache.

11:23 pm and too few words again today

I’ve managed only 2 of my 12 sessions today (20 minutes each). Part of the blame goes to my panic at realizing I had ruined the opening of my book by overworking it. I had to pull up backup copy 9 to get the old opening back. I’m currently at backup copy 20, and backup copy 9 was made on 6/11 (today is 6/24).

This all came to my attention last night when I sent my document to my Fire and read through what I’d written. My first thought was uh oh. So I pulled up the old version that I just happened to have sent to my Fire a while back and read the opening of it.

The old version was much better than the new. Miles better. Leagues better.

I was not happy to realize this.

I got up this morning knowing I’d have to fix it.  I’ve obsessed over things I didn’t need to obsess over today in an effort to avoid thinking about this.

I did a “compare documents” in Word to see just how bad it was. It was bad. More red than black, and ouch, I didn’t really need to see that.

It’s 11:59 pm and I should really go to bed, but I think I’m going to try to do a few more sessions so I don’t have this hanging over my head tomorrow. Then again… it’s late and I just want to put this day behind me, so maybe I won’t.

As for tomorrow, I think I’m going to forbid the internet until I’ve done at least half my minimum sessions. That’s only 6 and at 20 minutes each, comes to only 2 hours. I can surely hold out that long!

Now, time to get out of my own way and write this damn book without agonizing over every word. :D


Session 1 (20 min): -25 words (meaning I deleted more than I wrote)
Session 2 (20 min): 8 words

No update (challenge update)

Basically, this isn’t an update.

Well, technically, it is an update, but it’s an update to say I don’t have anything to update. Despite my plans for the day, it’s 8:06 pm and I’ve written about a nib’s worth of words. I guess it’s gonna be a long night, because I’m not going to bed until I’ve at least kept my >1,000 words streak alive.

I can say with certainty that today will not be a 6000 word day.

Revising is not a good idea; how to fuck up a story

I had to make a few changes to my book. I try not to do much when I go back to already written material, but in this case, I had an issue I couldn’t work out and when the solution came to me, it meant adding a few things. I don’t know what it is about how I write, but it’s almost impossible for me to write something and just plop it into the middle of an already written scene. It just never seems to fit in and I have to work to make a place for it.

So I did that with the fix and probably tweaked a bit more than I should have.

Yep, I know I did. How do I know?

Because I got through chapter 13 last night, and when I reached 15, I had some stuff that totally didn’t make sense anymore because I’d gone back and put stuff in related to it thinking I’d skipped that issue altogether and yet there it was, fully fleshed out in a later chapter.


This is where I just leave it, fix chapter 15 so it won’t matter and KEEP GOING.

Like I said, I try not to get caught up in making the kinds of changes that count as revising. I cycle through my document as I go, building and growing the story, and most of the time I do end up cycling from the beginning at least once, but it’s best if I do it when the story is fresh—not when I’m trying to get the story back into my head.

When the story isn’t fresh, I’m much more likely to make mistakes like this and end up in revision territory, and I do not like revision. I can’t keep the various versions of a story straight—all the bits and pieces float around and I get confused about which ones are really there and which ones I’ve deleted. It’s best I stay as far from that as possible, because that’s the kind of stuff that makes me hate writing. And feel blocked and have to move on to another story for a while or just not write.

So anyway, yes, I’m still working on getting through this story to arrive at all fresh blank empty pages, but I’m a lot closer now than I was. To be honest, if I don’t finish it today, I’m going to—

You know what? It doesn’t matter, because I’m going to get through it today. I’m going to do it and that’s that.

I’ve made a mistake I don’t plan to make again

Yesterday morning, I read a good chunk of my current book. I was pretty damn pleased with it. But there were a few things I needed to fix. Only I decided not to highlight those things because I knew I was going to have to get back to the read through on the computer and what was the point?

The point was that if I’d just highlighted those little bits I could have sped through this second read. I forgot just how much time it takes me to thoroughly read 40,000 words. So today has not been the kind of writing day I really wanted it to be.

It’s a mistake I don’t plan to make again.

Note to self: Next time, just highlight the damn mistakes!

How to not write a lot of words

I feel asleep at the computer last night. Well, mostly I feel asleep if you count head bobbing and momentary lapses in consciousness.

So no, I didn’t make it through my book so that today’s writing could go more smoothly. In fact, I kept tinkering with that particular scene I mentioned yesterday until the head bobbing and lapses in consciousness caused me to read the same two lines in the story about twenty times.

Today, however, I finally figured out why I kept tinkering with that scene, fixed the thing I needed to fix, and am so glad it’s done. The scene is also much more in line with what I wanted. I’m pretty happy with it right now.

I adjusted some chapter breaks (about 4 or 5 of them) and now I need to finish the read through edit I’m doing for about 14 more chapters. To be honest, I’m not really editing. I’m just fixing stuff so the damn story can start moving again. :D

As for the chapters, I like to have chapters of about 2,000 to 2,500 words, and definitely not more than 3,000 to 3,300. I usually have several good breaking off points in a chapter, so it wasn’t hard to find new cliffhanger style endings for the new chapter breaks. :D

Only one chapter defeated me and I had to leave it at 3,140 words. There just wasn’t a good place to split it and I liked the ending it currently had too much to bury it in the middle of the next chapter.

I’ve managed to gain 169 words today so far doing this and I’m hoping not to spend too much more time on that and get on with the real writing soon.

Since I’m not anywhere near where I’d need to be right now to have a 5,000 word day, I’m going to quit hoping for that and just write as much as I can.

So no more breaks for me until I’m ready to call it a day on the writing. WIFI is going off the minute I post this, and I’m going to hide my damn tablets and phone. (Okay, I just turned them off, but that should serve the same purpose!)

Hang ups that stop me from writing

I don’t work well when I know I have somewhere to be or something to do. Today, there’s a wedding. I had planned to do a lot of writing this morning, because I just haven’t finished that book yet. Have I done that writing? No. Because I keep rearranging my schedule, and because there’s this thing cluttering up my head that tells me I’ve got somewhere to go!

As if I didn’t know that. I’ve even prepared in advance by setting a timer on my phone. Do you think that’s helped? Of course not.

That distracted feeling just won’t leave me. I haven’t been able to focus at all.

Sigh. I hate days like this. I should have been able to get so much done this morning, and now all that time is just gone. Poof. Never to be seen again.

My evening is much less time friendly. And this is it, the day; I really have to finish this book.

Independence Day!

Today is the last day I need to let myself get away with not writing to my goal word count. June was my worst month for writing since January. It was bad. I admit January was worse, since I ended that month in the hole. :D

I’ve been distracted for about two months now, starting about the time school let out for the year and my A/C stopped working, but instead of getting better after getting my A/C unit fixed, and the kids settling in for the summer, it’s gotten significantly worse this year.

It got even worse this week, with my beloved phone giving me significant trouble with some recent updates to Google services. I finally had to give up on it and migrate to a new phone.

Of course, I went out with my usual impulsiveness and bought a phone while I was stressed. :D

I paid for it, oh, boy did it. On Friday, I bought an LG V10. Cost me $710 and I liked it—it was an amazing little machine—but by Sunday afternoon, I was over it.

The battery lasted 3 hours on Saturday, and all I was doing was a bit of internet and email—no video at all. Then it took 5 hours to recharge. What?

I did some research on it, talked to the shop where I bought it, and did a factory data reset. At this point, I was anxious and irritated, because it was a new phone and I don’t like stress. I wasn’t doing much with the phone at all, so battery drain shouldn’t have been so significant—I even kept it in airplane mode for a while.

Overnight, the battery charged to a higher level and seemed set on Sunday to run for about twice as long as it had on Saturday. I needed that battery to last at least 12-14 hours, if not significantly longer. I was getting 6-8 hour estimates based on my Sunday morning usage. (Very light.)

So yeah, the factory data reset helped and the battery life improved, but not enough. Not by far.

At that point, I started to really consider all the other things about the phone that weren’t working out as I’d hoped. The 5.7″ display was beautiful, but I couldn’t hold it comfortably in the palm of my hand for very long. That massive display wasn’t much smaller than the display on my 6″ Fire, which I like to hold two-handed, but can’t really manage in one hand without cramping my hand. The LG V10 was entirely too much phone for my hand.

This made me realize something else: I actually like having a range of small, medium, and large devices to choose from depending on what I want to do, and I definitely like having at least one small device for reading because of my small hands. I’m short and my hands are sized appropriately. :) It was no fun holding that huge phone.

I don’t even want to know how much power that screen would use up during a reading binge—I didn’t get to test that. I read for about half an hour Saturday morning before I noticed how quickly the battery was draining. :o

Then there’s the $710. I looked up a few other phones online and realized I’d really missed how cheap smartphones had become. I found something comparable to my Droid X (only better* and newer, of course) for $70.

What?! Yeah. $70.

I took the LG V10 back. I had 14 days to make a return, and I decided Sunday afternoon that I’d overbought by a ridiculous degree, and that $710 was a ridiculous amount of money to spend only to be disappointed.

What this experience taught me was that I don’t need a flashy phone; I need a workhorse.

The only app that I really wanted on my Droid X that it couldn’t run was OneNote. I definitely needed a phone that could run newer apps, but… that was it. Any decent Android phone with the newer OS on it could do that.

So, I rethought my entire plan: no more thinking I needed the best phone I could find so I could ride out a long time on the same device, no more thinking I needed a replaceable battery so I could keep the phone working well as it got older. Smartphones are ridiculously cheap now and an upgrade at today’s prices just isn’t the big deal I’d imagined it would be. Only the top of the line smartphones are still pricey and I had fallen so far out of the loop I hadn’t even realized that. :o

I replaced the LG V10 with a cheap little Moto e with the intent to upgrade (if I want) after doing my damn research. Impulsiveness won’t win again on this issue. :D Lesson learned!

*Mostly better. In actuality, the camera is not better. Since I take so few photos, I decided I didn’t care. The phone was $70. Sadly enough, my impulsiveness cost me on this too, because I came home after buying the little Moto e and found it available on for $35! Holy crap.

The truth is, I’m remarkably satisfied with the phone even at $70. I like it. I hadn’t realized just how slow my Droid X had become. The Moto e is great for me and I’m thrilled I didn’t end up spending $710 + $70 sales tax after all.

Now, off to a fourth of July cookout! :D I’ll be back later to worry over the writing I’m going to have to do to make up for all the writing I didn’t do in June. :)

June 27 writing schedule update

As you’ve probably already guessed, the schedule hasn’t helped in any way to get me started writing again. I haven’t even come close to getting started on time a single time since I came up with it, because for some reason beyond me, I’ve gone from going to bed at a reasonable hour to staying up until midnight. Needless to say, I haven’t been getting up at 6 AM and I haven’t been getting started by 7 AM.

I’ve revised the schedule for tomorrow and tried to set up another for today so I don’t end the day having written nothing again. But I have a feeling I have deeper issues to worry over.

Allowing myself to work on multiple books at once without making any kind of commitment to finish any one before another was working great for me.

I screwed that up. I’ve cost myself loads of time that I am CERTAIN I wouldn’t have lost if I’d just stuck to that. I bet I’d be finished with at least one of my almost finished books by now.

Instead I changed my focus, and now I’m in a terrible position of REALLY needing to finish a certain book before the others, making me feel overwhelmed and stressed and setting off a wave of procrastination and avoidance that I knew would happen—but thought, foolishly, that maybe this time it wouldn’t.

I don’t know if I can get out of this without missing my deadline—a deadline I put on myself but that I mentioned in several places in a way that makes it feel like an honest-to-God obligation.

I suspect I’m going to miss it and I suspect there’s nothing I can do about that.

I don’t like failing in situations like these, when I know it’s all my fault—I totally set myself up for failure in this instance.

Okay, deep breath. I’m moving on to another post, one where I set out my plan to get out of this mess I’ve created for myself.

Also, this is not in any way related, but I’ve decided my categories and tags on this site are pretty useless for finding things. Expect changes.