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Revision Xibalba

So today, it’s back to Revision Hell, or more appropriately, Xibalba, since this is the Mayan fantasy.  I didn’t plan to do a full “dark & early” schedule this week, but That Man had to be up early for work, so I’m up too.  Unfortunately, we both had a really bad night of sleeping.  Yes, I’m still coughing.  The monsters were up way too late, dreading the return to school, I suppose.  All in all, I’m feeling pretty much like death warmed over, but I did get a little writing done.

I’m still frantic about that notebook.  It had all my character diagrams in it.  For the newer characters, like Dr. Tara Portman and Special Agent Quinn Salazar, those were the only notes I had about their dark secrets.  I think I remember most of what I need, but what if I don’t?  It also held the original timeline paradigm for each act with my notes about each character thread.  I never fully translated those sheets into my Excel doc.  Again, I think I remember most of what I need…but I might not, either.

I must find that notebook.  The problem is, I can’t remember how long ago I had it.  I’m pretty sure I took it in the car with me on a recent trip.  Perhaps over Christmas?  But I can’t remember why I would have done that, unless I thought I might work on the Mayan story in the car.  I knew I wouldn’t really start on it until January, though, so that doesn’t quite make sense.  I guess I’ll start calling people and see if I left it at their house, but surely they would have called if they’d found it.  I already looked in the car, but I’ll check again, under the seats, everywhere.  I’ve been through all my usual places to stash things in the house, and bribed the monsters with a reward if they can find it.

Yet it’s still gone.  :cry:

ETA:  I FOUND IT!  And I can’t even blame the monsters for misplacing it.  It was downstairs on the wrong side of my recliner, underneath a small plastic container of art supplies. 

This morning, I started the next scene.  It should eventually connect with the first draft where I can cut and paste, but so far, it’s all new words.

Words:  920

NSR second draft:  35,077


“He was a fool to tamper with magic of which he had no understanding.”  The arch of his eyebrow asked whether she was as big a fool.  He leaned forward, his eyes glowing brighter.  “Don’t you understand, lady?  Fresh from Xibalba where they’ve been imprisoned an eternity, they were still powerful enough to kill me.  Meanwhile, each moment they’re free, they’re killing and gaining power with every drop of blood.  I have no magic strong enough to force them back.  They’ll spread rot, disease, death, and torture, from sea to sea, people to people, as quickly as possible.  I can’t stop them.  Yet I must if I’m to save any of our people at all.”

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NaNo Day 4; RX Day 26


Schedule today:

5:30 – monsters get up:  hoping for 2K.  So far, only 1269 words and the monsters are already up.  Why is it that on a SCHOOL day they sleep like the dead, but on a day of vacation, they’re up with the sun? 

I’m writing a steamy (literally) bath scene and expected it to be slow(er) going.  I also had to edit what I started last night a bit to make the scene flow.  Yeah, I know, no editing, but this was one of those things I *had* to do to set the mood appropriately.

Thereafter:  lose my mind.

Kicked the monsters outside to play until lunch (it’s a glorious Indian Summer day).  Much better.  Wrapped the bath scene up for a total of 2839 words this morning.  Whew, tough scene.  I didn’t expect the dragon to show up.  *winks*  Shifting to Revision Xibalba now.

Since the monsters were out of school, Papa from Mexico came by this afternoon for a short visit.  It took me all afternoon and evening, but I can finally report 1958 words revised/polished in the Mayan fantasy.  I’m struggling a bit with details.  I can’t remember if I covered a topic earlier or not, and I don’t want to flip through to find out, but I can’t leave it out either.  Sigh.  So even after this serious “revision,” I’m going to have to print it out and cover it with colored sticky notes for all the little things that need to be picked up or ditched.  NSR is up to 34,017 words.

Snippet:  Rhaekhar has been introduced to Keldari oil.

“I’m going…”  He arched his back, lifting his rump so he could thrust in her hand.  “To pour…that cursed oil…all over you…while I hold you down…and let your Blood…lick it off.”

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NaNo Day 3; RX Day 25

This is my tentative schedule and goals for the day.  Let’s see if I can hit them.

Dark & Early 5:30 – 7:00

  • NaNoWriMo project, Return to Shanhasson.
  • Min goal:  1.6K.  Optimal goal:  2K.
  • Actual:  2244 words.  Snippet post coming.

7:00 – 8:00  Get monsters ready for school

8:00 – 8:30  Walk the track at school with monsters (weather permitting–I haven’t been outside yet)  Didn’t walk.  First, I had a hard time getting everyone ready in time, so we were late, and then the walking track was closed because the Coach (who leads the walking club) was gone today.  Sigh.

8:30 – 9:00 Drive to Kaldi’s, get situated.  I’m there!  It’s weird–this is the first time I’ve ever written in public.  It’s fun, but I’m also easily distracted.  Plus, I’m alone, which I hadn’t quite thought the logistics through.  e.g. after slugging three cups of coffee, I needed to use the restroom.  Hello, what about my laptop and stuff I had strewn about?  My cup?  I didn’t want them to clean up my area!  It’s always the little odd things that stymie me.  I had to pack up anyway because the gaming room (where the outlets are) was reserved at 10:00, so I raced to the bathroom with my laptop bag all packed, and my coffee cup was still there.  Whew, disaster averted.

Oh, no!  I made the mistake of getting a cup of Highlander Grog (I think this is my fourth cup.  Dies).  Those of you who love Gregar?  His scent was inspired by this coffee.  Now I really want to be writing Return to Shanhasson (instead of the Mayan) so I can figure out how Gregar’s going to stick his…er…rahke…into things and mess up Shannari’s world all over again.

9:00 – 11:00

  • Revision Xibalba, Night Sun Rising
  • Editing next section in Ruin’s POV  Done, 617 words.  Doesn’t seem like much, but Jaid just shocked the hell out of both me and Ruin.  That certainly wasn’t in the first draft!
  • Begin Quinn’s next section (new)  In progress.  First draft finished at 899 words.  Heading home.
  • Jot notes for his story thread through the intersection.

11:30 – 1:30 Lunch, more exercise, pray all goes well at Evil Day Job and they don’t have to call me.  That Man is home early and threw a wrench in my lunch plans.  However, we did go vote, so that’s taken care of!  Late start for the afternoon…

1:30 – 3:30:  Not sure yet.  See how the morning schedule goes.  Another 945 words in Return to Shanhasson to finish up the current scene.  Smoldering bath scene coming up!  And massage oil.  *winks*  From Keldar, if you know what that means…  NaNo total for the day so far:  3189.

3:30 Pick up monsters from school

Evening hours:  never sure how they’ll go.  Monsters are out of school on Tuesday, so no big rush to finish homework.  Managed only 248 more words, but have a nice start to tomorrow’s bath scene.  3437 on the day.  Not bad. NaNoWriMo total:  8020 words.

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RX Day 22, 23

I’ve made it semi-dark and early two days in a row but I don’t have a lot to report.  I’m editing previously written sections and smoothing old and new together.  Night Sun Rising is up to 106 pages and I’m getting ready to decide what section kicks off Chapter 6.

We’ve had another scare with Middle Monster.  She threw up in her bed again the other night, but didn’t wake up.  No one knew she’d thrown up.  Of course, immediately I envisioned her choking to death in her sleep.  We bought a baby monitor (our old one was sold in a yard sale years ago) last night, but it picked up every little sound with tons of static, and the bunk beds are really, really squeaky.  At 1 AM, That Man finally turned the damned thing off so we could sleep.  I checked her as soon as I got up this morning and all is well.  We’ll have to tinker with the channel and placement of the monitor so it’s not quite so annoying, yet can still protect her if she does get sick again.

The Evil Day Job is really ramping up this week.  I’ve got a project to turn over for testing by the end of this week and more demands on an even larger one that have waited while I get this other one done, and a little project that has delicate timing moving into production on Monday.  Oh, and I’m out two days next week, which throws a monkey wrench into everything.  It’s amazing, I still have to get my work done even if I’m not in the office.  I still have obligations and deadlines, but now even less time to meet them.

And then I wonder why I still have 120+ hours of vacation to use.  :roll:

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RX Day 21

Last night, I finished up the new Mythomorphoses short story, “Prometheus Unbound.”  It could be longer than 2K — easily! — but that’s the requested length.  Maybe I’ll start with this piece and then write a “sequel” to give away on the blog.  I’ll work on some ideas tonight.

Dark & Early this morning I returned to Revision Xibalba.  I finished up the scene I’d been working on and then went back to the beginning and fixed a few early scenes to better reflect hers and Larry’s static traits.  They sort of sneak up on me as I write the plot out, which probably isn’t the way to do it, but it works.  Most of the time.  I still have about 3 of her sections that will need slight modifications.  Then it’s back to Jaid’s story line.  I also need to explore Quinn’s line up through the intersection.

All by NaNoWriMo if possible.  Sigh.    :shock:

On the monster front, I think they’ll all go to school today except Princess Monster.

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RX Day 20

Good progress today.  I was up, drinking coffee, and working by 5:30 this morning, instead of dragging myself out of bed at that time.  I finished yesterday’s scene (somewhere between 300-400 words — I didn’t record exact word count yesterday) and then started the next.  Another 887 words there.  The murder is getting ready to happen.  I think her weapon may be a simple ink pen but I’m open to ideas.  It has to fit into the pocket of her white lab coat.

I may have to put this murder scene back in that original section.  I’ll have to see how it plays out.  The murder is what brings the FBI closer to the truth — and I can’t wait too long for Quinn and Tara’s threads to cross.  I think this will work fine, but I need to play it out.

i’m 90% finished with my Eppie reading, too.

Still searching for a short story idea.  I think I need to pull out some paper and just brainstorm until something strikes my fancy.  My problem is that there are too many possibilities floating around in my mind.  Ideally, this would be in the Beautiful Death world, but I’m tempted to explore Equus instead, which will do nothing promo wise since that story’s not even started yet!

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RX Day 19

Last night we had parent teacher conferences.  The monsters are all doing well, although Middle Monster’s teacher had some very colorful stories to share about her.  She hadn’t heard the one about MM trying to start a campfire at recess, though.  She rubbed sticks together so hard, for so long, that she smelled smoke.  It’s my fault — she got the idea from Survivor.  :shock::lol:

I didn’t write last night, but I did read several chapters in my next-to-last Eppie assignment.  85% done!

This morning, D&E once more, and another 1083 words in a Tara scene.  I’m glad I decided to just write out her “thread” as far as possible instead of trying to write in true section order in the scope of the whole book.  Maybe I’ll do the same for Quinn too — these two threads intersect very soon.

I’ve got several things on my mind, even beyond Return to Shanhasson for NaNoWriMo.  I would like to write up a checklist for speed — for my own reference as much as yours.  And I’d like to write a couple of short free giveaway stories.  The problem is coming up with a real STORY in 2K or so with appropriate character growth, conflict, etc.  I haven’t come across the right set up yet, so I’m treating this as a personal challenge.  I WILL come up with something.


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RX Day 18

Oh, you wonderfully wicked people.  Thank you for all your ideas on how to kill someone with office equipment!  Of course, I’d be leery of actually working with any of you now…  Kidding!

I worked on that scene from yesterday and actually deleted the potential murder part for later.  Sad, I know.  However, I needed to draw out the suspense a bit, and putting the danger off until later works.  So I finished up that scene at 1205 words and then went straight into Tara’s next scene (even though it’s not in true section order on the daysheet).  I’m glad I did, because I ended up with 1368 words there!

It was “easy” because it was all key backstory shedding light on many little aspects that deepen the story.  Of course, I concede that some of it may be deleted in revision — I don’t want too much backstory bogging things down — but this is crucial stuff.  It has to do with a private little cenote in Cozumel and the beginning of several key character obsessions.  I intend to write that part up as a freebie eventually.

I also have 80% of my Eppie contest reading finished, too!  (Read 2 more last night) 

Oh, and it’s a good thing I asked off for the week of Thanksgiving (except for Friday — it’s sort of tradition that I work the Friday after Thanksgiving), because I found out I’m hosting That Man’s family dinner.  Joy.  Rapture.   :shock:

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RX Day 17

I dreamed about the Equus story last night.  I wanted to write it so badly this morning, but I know it’s a decoy.  It would be “easy” and Revision Xibalba is “hard.”  No matter how pretty and shiny the new idea is, I must stay the course.

I got a slow start — at one point I e-mailed Jenna and admitted I only had 79 words — but I finally found my rhythm.  The scene is up to 1022 words and not yet finished.  A new character trait came out for a secondary character, so I need to go back and weave it in to lay the ground work.  I also need to think of an appropriate office weapon that could kill someone.  Self defense, of course.  My Beloved Sis already used the stapler

Update:  Added roughly 20 some scenes to my daysheet (up to 47 now).  I still feel like I have some holes, especially in Tara’s (red) POV, but I decided to just let it go, get what I know down, and then I can print the thing off and eyeball it for symmetry and balance.  Maybe I need to trim back her scenes.  I have her pretty well balanced against Quinn right now, but maybe she doesn’t need so much screen time. 

That’s the thing about plotting.  I don’t believe it should ever be “perfect.”  If it were perfect down to the finest detail, why bother writing the story?  What’s left to discover?  If plotting ceases to be a tool and becomes an alabatross around my neck, why keep bemoaning water (plot) everywhere and not a drop to drink?  Ditch the thing!  

I do find the daysheet helpful for weaving multiple threads, though, so I’m going to keep at it.  I’m not going to stress about not having it perfect and finished, though.  By then, I could write the damned book.  :mrgreen:


Also came up with the opening line for Return to Shanhasson today, subject to a hundred revisions (openings kill me).  I know exactly how the story ends.  I know the horrible inciting event.  I know many yummy bits in between.  It’s the timing of the beginning quarter or so that is still not worked out in my mind.  I’m hoping to work out some of those kinks before NaNoWriMo.

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RX Day 16

I woke up with a brand new story in my head this morning.  While That Man watched the Chiefs lose, I jotted the whole thing start to end on about 40 notecards.

It is *far* from anything I’ve written.  Even riskier than Letters and ANTs and that’s saying something.  I hope I get to write it, and soon.  The working title is Mei Bellus Equus.

Despite the temptation, I returned to Revision Hell this evening.  I shuffled the next few scenes around in my daysheet, edited the next section in Jaid’s POV, and pasted in the new scene in Quinn’s POV that I wrote yesterday after some light polishing.  The story is up to 97 pages now and I’m ready for a new scene in Tara’s POV tomorrow morning.  So about 25% finished, I’m guessing.

The bad news:  I’m pretty much out of scenes in my daysheet.  I need to sit down and really grind out the proper scene order but I need uninterrupted time to concentrate, which is few and far between.  I guess maybe I should have done that yesterday, but I was too eager to write that new scene.  It ended up pretty horrible–in a good way–too.  :mrgreen: