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Fess Up Monday

Originally published at Joely Sue Burkhart. You can comment here or there.

Forgive me, blogosphere, but it’s been months since my last Monday confession. As I gear up for a hard-hitting fall, I plan to get back into the more rigid structure of deadlines and accountability. Yes, I realize it’s technically Sunday night but I’m getting a headstart. :D

With Letters done and kicked out the door, I’ve had a few days to breathe and reflect on the year so far. To be honest, I’ve realized that to make 2008 a success in my mind, I need to get the Maya story ready to query.

Soooo…. I will be filing away Given in Fire for a bit. Mentally, the story fizzled out on me anyway. I think that’s why I tend to be so compulsive with my writing–when the fire burns, I feel like I must get it all down, now, immediately, before I lose it. The story was going gangbusters, and then Letters suddenly bubbled up and commanded my attention as I came around the last bend and galloped through the homestretch. I planned to finish the block to spreadsheet details…But the fire was cold. Even when I fanned the embers by flipping through my notes, it just wasn’t there.

I don’t have a committed deadline for this third Keldari novella anyway–other than a desire to finish it so all three can be bundled for wider distribution. With Road already submitted (and it was a monster at 113.5K), me thinks I need to give everyone at DP a little breathing room.

So this weekend, I took out my handy dandy notebook and sketched out a Plan. If you know me, you know that as soon as I say “Plan” then at least one monster gets sick, something blows up at the Evil Day Job, or That Man gets his pants in a twist about something or other. But I’ll say it anyway. This is my plan for the rest of the year, submit to change obviously.

Last week of August

  1. Since I finished Letters, I took a look at ANTs, starring Conn’s brother, Victor tonight. Yowza there is some fine story in those hastily written and disjointed scenes! I’m dying to finish this story too, but it can’t be high on my priority list until/if Letters sells. I will make some notes, though. I have this very definite scene in my head of Victor, Shiloh and Mama Connagher coming to Miss Belle’s B&B for Thanksgiving dinner to break the news about Victor’s “coming out of the closet” so to speak in Dallas. *dies laughing*
  2. Shuffle my brain to the Mayan urban fantasy instead of Given in Fire. Oddly, the music you guys suggested is sending my brain firing on all cylinders, even for this other story. So the playlist is staying until one (or more) songs really start speaking to me. Organize my notes, continue gathering the raw data.


  1. Revise Night Sun Rising to become the backstory for the new Mayan urban fantasy. The ending needs to be worsened (no HEA!) and some of the mythology needs to be compiled into a bible for the series. Ultimately, my plan is to serialize NSR here on the blog as Friday Snippets, starting…soon. The trick is timing. I don’t want to give away my worldbuilding (because in my obviously biased opinion, it is incredibly unique) until I have something definitive in hand for the main project. So while I’m chomping at the bit to give this story away, reality tells me to hold off a bit. I do have an “alien goth” short story I could possibly give away–with the understanding that I don’t have time to edit it again. I keep planning on expanding it to novella length, but I just don’t have the time.
  2. As I revise NSR, I will make notes, worldbuild, and plot the new Mayan urban fantasy. I have all the backstory now — and the foundation for the world. But I need the STORY. Lots of work here, but I’m excited about the possibilities.
  3. Continue querying Letters.
  4. Requested revisions on Road when they come (moving to highest priority until they’re done).


  1. Polished worldbuilding and plot completely finished for the Mayan urban fantasy.
  2. Polished proposal package including synopsis.
  3. Consider a Fast Draft sometime this month to get a nice chunk of story written.
  4. Continue querying Letters if needed.
  5. Requested revisions on Road when they come (moving to highest priority when they come).

I won’t detail November and December because it’s just too scary. Suffice it to say, I plan to write my considerable tuckus off this fall. I *will* be querying the Mayan story by the end of the year. I’m treating this project very seriously, from proposal to finished product. Worst case it takes me through Dec. to finish it. However, I’m hoping that if I get the proposal and storyboard in excellent shape FIRST, that I can pull off a Fast Draft, combine with the NaNoWriMo fire in November, and be editing/polishing by Christmas and querying — instead of still wading toward “the end.” We’ll see how it goes!

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