Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Estoy Escribiendo

    Still writing, writing, writing. Still not to the end of this WIP. My notoriously fickle muse is distracted by last year's NaNoWriMo project and is full of great ideas about the wrong damn story. Focus, muse. We're really close to "the end." Don't abandon me and this project just yet.
    In the meantime, enjoy a lovely photo from my last vacation to Mexico. It's one of my favorite places on the planet.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Time for a Field Trip

   I churned out a few hundred words this morning, but it felt like churning. Nothing came easy. So I'm stepping away from the keyboard and going outside to play. Wine tasting, a picnic lunch, meeting good friends for the afternoon and possibly dinner later at a favorite restaurant. It sounds like a prescription for inspiration, doesn't it?
   I'll return to the story tomorrow, and hopefully will have figured out how to finish this WIP. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One Goal Accomplished!

Scrivener is the best!
   So, this happened last night. I got up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep because it was too hot, the cat was patting my head, and I had a glimmer of an idea about how to resolve the plot problem I've been stuck on.
   What else are you going to do between 1:30 and 3 a.m.? I started writing and around 2:15 a.m., I passed my initial word-count goal of 65,000.
   I am not done with the story yet. But I'm close. So very close. Another couple sleepless nights and I should be able to write those two elusive words: 
    The End.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Peach Recipe #1 — Peach Cobbler

  If it's the hottest week of the year, then it must be time to pick peaches. That's because then you have to can peaches, make peach jam, or bake pies with those peaches and all of those things heat the house up to approximately 175 degrees. Celsius.
  But it's worth it, because oh, man, peaches!
  These are the peaches from the tree that the neighbors planted too close to the fence. About 1/4 of the fruit is in my yard. This is just one of the many reasons why they're my favorite neighbors.
  The first basket of peaches was turned into two pies (one for the neighbor). I have been eating peaches on cereal, in yogurt, and while standing over the sink with the juice running down my arms.
  The temperature is a mere 87 degrees today, so I braved the heat and baked a peach cobbler this afternoon. I adapted my grandmother's recipe for berry cobbler. So, here is a great all-purpose cobbler recipe. It's best served warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Grandma's Berry (or Peach) Cobbler

The cobbler is not photogenic, so here are the pies.
   1-1/2 cup flour
   2 tsp baking powder
   1/2 tsp salt
   1 cup sugar
   1 egg, well beaten
   3 tbsp. butter, melted
   1 cup milk
   fresh berries (or sliced peaches)

Mix dry ingredients and sift into bowl.  Slowly add egg, butter and milk.  Pour into greased, shallow pan.  Cover thickly with fruit. Over the fruit, pour syrup made of 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water.  Bake about 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Another Dark and Stormy Night

How did I miss this? The 2012 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest winners were announced this week. As usual, my favorite is one of the dishonorable mentions:
Tucked in a dim corner of The Ample Bounty Bar & Grille, Alice welcomed the fervent touch of the mysterious stranger’s experienced hands because she had not been this close with a man in an achingly long time and, quivering breathlessly, began to think that this could be the beginning of something real, something forever, and not just a one-time encounter with a good Samaritan who was skilled at the Heimlich Maneuver. — Mark Wisnewski, Flanders, NJ (dishonorable mention, Romance Category). 

Note to self: Need more photos of stormy nights. This isn't even close.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's a Dry Heat

   Great balls of fire, it is HOT this week. We're also seeing (and smelling) a lot of smoke from wildfires. It's a perfect recipe for a grand headache.
   So this won't end up being a post about the weather, an update on writing:  I'm doing a lot of it. I've written every day this month, which was one of my goals for 2012. I've also written more than 26,000 words since July 31. And I figured out how to fix some plot issues. I will have plenty of other plot problems to fix in revision. I'll have to layer in a subplot that I started and haven't come back to yet.  But I am closing in on "the end." It's a good feeling.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The End Is Near!

     There is so much writing going on here. This week, I wrote just over 13,000 words and I have tomorrow to myself, so I will probably add to that total.
     It also feels like I'm getting close to finishing this WIP. This is huge. I have not finished a WIP yet. Ever. This was a project that started out as a novella idea, but is now at 60,000 words, so I think it will end up being a 85,000-word novel. I think the first draft will be around 70,000 words or a little more, but I will need to go back and pave over some of the plot holes I'm ignoring right now as I race toward the finish. It feels like I'm gaining momentum as I get closer, so I've had some really productive days. 
     However, today it's well over 100 degrees and so damn uncomfortable that I haven't felt like doing much except laying on the floor under the ceiling fan. I wrote 140 words, then gave up and drank wine because it was the only beverage in my house that was chilled. Productivity suffered.
Also, is this normal? My new cat sleeps on her back with her feet in the air. I hope this means she's really secure in her new home and not that there's a layer of carbon monoxide floating above the floor.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Am Writing

   Another vacation picture? Well, sure. I can probably find another photo to post instead of actually writing something.

    In truth, I've been writing A LOT. On my novels and stuff, so I want to continue that streak. I'll be back with words again soon, but right now, I need to go figure our why my hero just dumped my heroine at the end of chapter 19. What the hell, dude? Where did that come from?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In the Dead of Night

View from the top of Lombard Street, San Francisco, very late one August night.
   I'm starting to wonder if my most productive time of the day, for writing at least, is in the middle of the night. Insomnia and I are well acquainted. It's not unusual for me to get up around 12:30 a.m. and go write for an hour or two. This happened last week, when thankfully I didn't have to work the next day, and a 60-minute writing session produced more than 1,000 words and a pretty good breakthrough in the story. I even went back to re-read the scene in the light of day and didn't hate it (that's praise -- this is a first draft, so I'm not concerned with quality right now).
   But I don't want to have to schedule a midnight wake-up call to write when I have a full-time job that requires me to be alert by 8 a.m. So, once you've identified your most productive time of the day, can you reprogram yourself? Can I train myself to be more productive at, say, 7 p.m. or 6 a.m.?
   Or would I want to? I complain about insomnia, but I also love how quiet the house is when I'm the only one awake. I love sitting in a darkened room, next to an open window, tapping away at my laptop and falling completely into my story. Sure, I'm dragging the next morning, but I don't know that I'd trade that temporary sluggishness for a full night sleep if I have to give up my midnight excursion into my make-believe world.
    After all, there's always coffee.