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The Baby

mood: very very tired and sleepy

Today’s progress — again, this includes stuff from my pre-writing draft.

word count page count
previously written 19,280 95
newly written 7,873 39
total 27,153 134

By popular request…the baby! Peanut & Buttercup look exactly the same. This is when they were about three weeks old. Hero Material took the picture. Sorry for the not-so-great quality. The phone camera isn’t all that great.


The Great Escape

mood: upbeat
workout: lower body; very tiring
treat for the day: a long soak (the gym has a big hot tub) and exfoliation

Today went better than yesterday on the writing front. Don’t be shocked at the word count. I’ve been able to use stuff from my old pre-writing drafts, and I’m not editing as I write, so it’s not as super-polished as drafts of people who revise as they go.

word count page count
previously written 6,247 30
newly written 13,033 65
total 19,280 95

I’m fairly happy with the progress and what I have so far. I think the character motivation, etc. is better explained. I may need to write a couple of new scenes to clarify villain GMC, but I’m going to wait until I’m done with this draft before I make the final determination.

Now on to the life stuff —

Last night, Kuro escaped. Hero Material realized that he was gone when he saw a hamster running around in the living room. (Other hamsters stayed in the cage like good lil rodents!) Kuro found the sunflower seed stash, so he went hog-wild and left piles of empty husks behind him. Furthermore, he managed to climb up the couch and took a bunch of tissue papers to make a nest behind the couch. I know I’m supposed to get mad at him for being a naughty boy, but he’s absolutely precious. Besides how can you scold a hamster who looks at you with such big sparkly eyes? *sigh*

Hero Material and I know how Kuro managed to get out of the cage, so he can’t repeat the experience. I guess that’s punishment enough.

My 1st Working Day of the Year

mood: tired but feeling accomplished
currently working on: All the King’s Women
dreamed last night: that I won a $30 million jackpot (lottery) and spent over two months consulting lawyers and CPAs to figure out how to minimize my tax liability and to set up multiple trust funds and develop an investment strategy; I got nothing written during that time and felt extremely guilty and had to call Agent and apologize for the lack of progress on my WIPs; unfortunately the dream ended before Agent could say anything…anyway it was a weird dream 8O

Got up very early this morning…(well…anything before 9:00 a.m. is early for me) and started working on the story. There’s nothing like blood and love and sex and pain…well, you get the point.

I think it went okay, but I could’ve done better by concentrating more on the story. Sometimes I get slightly distracted. Also I’m not sure if I can continue to write over 6k / day. Usually the opening chapters are the easiest for me to write, so I’m sure things will slow down when I reach the middle / ending. Today’s progress chart:

word count page count
previously written 0 0
newly written 6,247 30
total 6,247 30

On the hamster front — Buttercup is ovulating today, and Kuro tried to hump her, and we had to separate the two. It’s so wrong since Kuro is her daddy. Oi. Shiro’s been very aggressive recently, and I’m wondering if she’s abusing Peanut. To be honest, I think Buttercup is a bit scared of Shiro. But then Shiro is the white specter of doom…er…mommy hamster.

I had my first workout of the year. I did some easy stuff with 22 lb dumbbells, but my right delt is feeling very tight. Must stretch before going to bed.

How’s everyone doing today?

Good-Bye 2008, Hello 2009!

mood: optimistic about the future
currently working on: All the King’s Women outline; I have it almost figured out…!
currently reading: Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

2008 was long and difficult yet surprisingly interesting and rewarding as well.

On the writing front, the year started off with selling a book to Samhain so that’s always fantastic. But the biggest accomplishment is of course signing with an agent. I also left a critique group, but I think in a way it was inevitable. I do miss many of the writers I met there. Oh, and I have a new pretty website. :)

On to the financial matters — my mom lost a ton of money thank to subprime. I wish she’d listened to me when I asked her to sit tight for another year before investing in the funds she was interested in. When you hear about banks raking in record profit from issuing more and more subprime loans, which are by nature very risky, you know there’s something fishy going on, and that it’s going to fall when weaker real estate markets start to lose their value one by one. I started the year with a ton of debt, but my venture investment paid off right before Christmas, so I’m starting the year with no debt (except the mortgage I have on my house) and some extra cash.

Talk about strange since I never expected to get any payment from the investment, given what’s going on in the market.

My writing goals for 2009 are:

  1. Complete two manuscripts. I think I figured out what’s wrong with All the King’s Women and Nine. W00t!
  2. Read 52 books. Fiction, non-fiction, it doesn’t matter. I just need to read to get more ideas and to recharge. I noticed that I didn’t read all that much during the latter half of 2008, and it really affected my creativity.
  3. Take time off! I’m absolutely terrible at taking time off and relaxing. I always feel like I have to work or else. Of course this is unsustainable, and I do burn out and can’t write for a month or two. Very unproductive. So I’m forcing myself to take two days a week off, along with major holidays, etc. Oh, I’m also making myself go to the gym three times a week at least.
  4. Read 2 how-to books (this does not count toward my goal #2) or take two online classes. I already signed up for a January class on how to not sabotage myself. I’m also eying another class on line edits because I think I can benefit from it.
  5. Write 2 blog posts a month. I’m terrible at blogging because I just forget at times. So I resolve to do better this year. :)
  6. Stop looking for and/or seek crit partners / groups. It’s really not that I think I’m too good for feedback, but it takes a lot of time and energy to find a good crit group, and I’ve decided (after a long and careful consideration) that ROI would be better if I stick with the beta readers I have right now and spend the time I would’ve used to find good crit groups / partners on reading and taking classes. (BTW — this doesn’t mean I don’t want any CPs or anything if one happens to come my way, but I just won’t be actively looking for them either.)
  7. Evaluate and identify all not-helpful-anymore loops, groups, etc. Resign from them by Jan 31. This is a must since I decided that I don’t have time for them. I stayed with most of them because you “have to network” but I had to wonder networking isn’t about being in a group that sucks up all your time but gives very little in return. I should know better (or else my management consulting professor would send me a stern note saying she taught me better than this).

How about everyone else? How was your 2008 and what are your goals for 2009?


Got notes from the agent re: All the King’s Women synopsis. As usual, she was totally right to ask the questions she did. I have a bad habit of assuming that people know what I’m talking about. So I tend to skip explaining the basic background, etc. Must correct this flaw. (And she was also right to question the main aspects of my world building. I find WB to be one of the most difficult things to do well.)

Yesterday was superb. Hero Material and I went out to lunch with his students. Most of them are retired and/or in their late 50s or so, but they’re absolutely hilarious. There’s a male student in the otherwise all female group, and he told me that he was jealous of James Bond because “Bond gets a new girlfriend in every movie.” LOL.

Afterward, I came home and realized why Nine wasn’t working. At all. It was one of those “OMG” moments, and I think the reason why it took me this long to figure it out is that I was way way too in love with the initial setup of Eve retrieving an old dude in a space station. I also think it’d be much more interesting to pit her against the archvillain much sooner. I’m also considering making POV changes.

A Fast Update

I can’t believe I went over a week without blogging. I try to post more regularly.

Happy belated Thanksgiving. I hope everyone ate a lot of turkey. We didn’t celebrate it since Thursday is a regular weekday here. Shiro is getting very rotund these days. Not only is she getting bigger, but she’s also quite squeaky. She squeaks at Kuro all the time and kicks him out of the nest. Maybe he bought her a vacuum cleaner?

Furthermore, Shiro sometimes sits on Kuro. In Japan, there’s a saying that goes something like “the wife’s butt is bearing down upon the husband”. It means the husband is the wife’s b*tch. Here’s a example of what she does to that poor boy. Sorry the picture quality is poor, but they were squirming the entire time.

Shiro sitting on Kuro

This is Shiro eating her veggies. She loves to nibble on them.

Shiro eating her veggies

This is Kuro and Shiro fighting (or something). They sometimes paw each other and squeak. The picture looks yellow because of the reflection from their cage top, which is orange.

Shiro and Kuro hamster paw punch!

This is Kuro debating between a bath and a nap.

Kuro debating

On the writing side: All the King’s Women as my NaNo project…it was a failure in that I didn’t get to write 50k words. But I also figured out what was wrong with it. So it’s not all bad.

How’s everyone else doing?