Monday, October 31, 2005

Crunch time!

Here's the tally up until now:

New pages written: Please no more new pages!
Old pages revised on paper: all
Pages of revisions typed in: all
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: I'm trying to lose as many as I can
Total page count to date: 219 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: less than 24 hours

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Halloween candy
Junk food consumed: Halloween candy
Exercise: Does opening a pack of M&Ms count?
Television watched: You've got to be kidding.
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: Too tired to look
Tears: Too exhausted to cry
Weight loss: Let's not even go there.

I've spent the last 6 weeks trying to write pages, now I'm desparate to delete them! Oh, the joys of writing. This is it. I'm panicked. Worried. Exhausted. I'm still plugging away at it. I will continue to do so until I cannot keep my eyes open any longer. I'm still hoping to give it a final read out loud tonight before I email it to my editor. If not, I'll do that during the copy edit stage.

Gotta get back to work now! Oh, and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

3 days to go

Here's the tally for Friday and Saturday:

New pages written: 2 (epilogue)
Old pages revised on paper: all
Pages of revisions typed in: all
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: +4
Total page count to date: 226 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 3

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Friday - ice cream, Saturday - none
Junk food consumed: Friday - beer, Saturday - vanilla milkshake
Exercise: none
Television watched: none
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: Hayden, who? (Just kidding!)
Tears: yes, when I reached the end. I'm praying this means it's good!
Weight loss: 0 lbs (oh, well, I tried)

I have been a writing machine. Staying up way to late, getting up way too early. I don't even feel human. But I'm getting it done. I'm not even sure where it's coming from. I've got my soundtrack playing and I just do it. I have only made it through the first six chapters of my checklist. It's amazing how many of the same words I use over and over again.

I'm printing the entire manuscript out right now. I will take it with me to the Irish dance feis tomorrow to go over one last time and try to cut as many pages as possible before I read it out loud. Horrible timing for the Irish Dance feis, but I need to be there for my daughter. She will actually be doing one of her reels dressed as Padme from AOTC!

My little Rose just wanted me to hold during Mass tonight. She misses her mommy. Even though they can see me while I'm working, hubby has been keeping them away. I miss them horribly. That's the hardest part of deadlines. I wish I could be better about getting it done sooner, rather than later. If not for me, for them.

Oh, and hubby is going out on Halloween Night to buy me a copy of ROTS when it goes on sale at midnight!!!! I'd better be done when he gets home!

Friday, October 28, 2005

4 days and counting

Here's the tally for Thursday (I couldn't get the spell checker to work so I apologize for any and all typos):

New pages written: 0
Old pages revised on paper: Chapter 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Pages of revisions typed in: Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: +4
Total page count to date: 220 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 4

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 1

Chocolate consumed: ice cream
Junk food consumed: sliver of cheese cake
Exercise: none
Television watched: JoJo's Circus
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 0 lbs (oh, well, I tried)

What's left before I can read this thing from start to finish: Rewrite Chapter 4 and 2 scenes in Chapter 6. I'm hoping to cut some pages. Once again I'm going to be long. And I still would like to write an epilogue.

What's left after I read the entire thing: Write an epilogue. Type in whatever revisions I make while reading. Use my checklist to see if I've overused any words. See if I can jazz up some of the tags and/or word choices. Read the entire manuscript out loud (this is very important and I will do even if it means staying up all night after I've taken the kids Trick or Treating!).

I went to a new website. Hayden fansite, of course. They have a countdown clock until the ROTS DVD goes on sale. Since that is the same day as my deadline, I was watching the seconds tick down and getting very nervous. I'm afraid to go back. Good thing since I really don't have time to play on the Internet right now.

Tiffany asked in the comment section how I pick whose POV to write a scene in. I've heard all kinds of suggestions such as use whoever has the most at stake. Sometimes I use whoever is learning something new so you get those reactions. Back when I was first starting, I'd write it from both POVs and see which one had the most impact. I've done that a couple times when I was having problems, but now I just write the scene without that much thought to the POV. Experience perhaps? More like luck, I'm guessing. I don't really know. I do usually alter POV between the hero and heroine, but not always. I think you just have to write what the story needs. The hard part comes when you don't know what that is. But it will usually come to you. An example is my 4/05 release. The entire first chapter is from the hero's POV. I tried to use the heroine, too, but it just didn't work so I went back to hero POV only.

Sorry that's not really a good answer regarding POV, but it's late and I've been writing all day. My brain hurts and my fingers want to stop typing.

What have I done? Okay, I will admit it. Not only am I insane, I am a glutton for punishment. But due to my lapse of rational thought, a modified daily tally will now continue on my diary even after the book is done. I just signed up for the National Write Your Novel in A Month challenge that starts November 1st. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. Since our new house should be closing on the 17th and well be moving, I'm going to try to do it before then. (Yeah, right! Are you laughing yet? I would be if I weren't so darn tired!) Wonder how many words I can write as I watch ROTS over and over again?

For anyone interested in joining me, go to: www.nanowrimo.org I'm too tired to figure out how to hotlink it so you'll just have to cut and paste.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

5 days to go

Here's the tally for Tuesday:

New pages written: 5
Old pages revised on paper: Chapter 7, 8, 10, 11
Pages of revisions typed in: 10, 11
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: ?
Total page count to date: 216 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 5

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 1

Chocolate consumed: donut, ice cream
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: none
Television watched: Invasion and QVC Star Wars show (LOST was a repeat so I wrote)
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 0 lbs (oh, well, I tried)

I finally have a Chapter 10 I'm satisfied with. Chapter 11 is still not there. I think the problem is I'm not going into POV deeply enough. That was the problem in 10. I think I need to pay attention to that when I revise the entire book.

I keep adding pages. I always go long so I hope I can tighten a bit when I read through the entire manuscript. I'd really like to write an epilogue for this one. I feel it's really important that the reader knows what happens to the little girl in the story.

What's left before I can read this thing from start to finish: Revise Chapter 11 again. Type in revisions to Chapters 7 and 8. Rewrite Chapter 4 and 2 scenes in Chapter 6.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

6 days to go

Here's the tally for Tuesday:

New pages written: 2
Old pages revised on paper: Chapter 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Pages of revisions typed in: 10
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: ?
Total page count to date: 211 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 6

Emails from editor in UK: 1 (Page count method clarified. No more panic!)
Emails from agent in NY: 1

Chocolate consumed: donut, ice cream
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: none
Television watched: none (world series on in the background)
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 0 lbs (oh, well, I tried)

I'm plugging away. My biggest obstacle-time. There just doesn't seem to be enough time to write. But I'm stealing every bit I can.
I still have not reached the end. I keep going back and forth since revisions in earlier chapters change later ones. But I really need a complete manuscript in the next day or so. I'm hoping Chapter 10 will be done tomorrow so I can move on to Chapter 11.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Week To Go

Here's the tally for Saturday, Sunday and Monday:

New pages written: many (I have surpassed my page goal, no need to keep track any more)
Old pages revised on paper: Chapter 8, 9, 10, 11
Pages of revisions typed in: 8 and 9
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: ?
Total page count to date: 209 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 7

Emails from editor in UK: 1 (I'm now totally freaked out about how the UK office calculates word count. Waiting for clarification before I crawl into my cave and never come out again.)
Emails from agent in NY: 0 (1 phone call in regards to a contract question I had last week)

Chocolate consumed: donut, piece of fudge, ice cream (over three days)
Junk food consumed: beer, french fries (over three days)
Exercise: none
Television watched: none that I remember
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: 3 (one of him in a suit from Cannes is my current inspiration and keeping me going)
Tears: I'm on the verge due to email from UK editor, not the book itself
Weight loss: 0 lbs (oh, well, I tried)

Thanks for your comments and encouragement. I've really needed them! I'm feeling the deadline. Pretty much I've got book on the brain 24/7. I can get the kids where they need to go, but I'm really relying on hubby to help me out this week so I can concentrate on Jane and Chase and nothing else. I added three new songs to my book soundtrack: Across the Stars by John Williams (Star Wars Ep. 2 love theme), You and Me by Life House and She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5.

Chapters 8 and 9 are finally finished. Chapter 10 became two chapters as I thought it would. I've been over them a couple of times, but they still need more work. I added one new scene tonight and have another to rough out before I tumble into bed.

LauraP's plan called for me to finish the book tomorrow so I'd have a week to polish. Not sure I'm going to have Chapters 10 and 11 finished. But tomorrow, Tuesday, is nanny day so who knows how much I'll get done?

Revisions on earlier chapters are starting to pile up. I need to rewrite Chapter 4--I'm going to delete a scene that I really don't need and rewrite the other scenes. The lead-up to the second kiss scene in Chapter 6 needs some work. Some minor revisions in 7 that shouldn't take too long. I've yet to read this thing from start to finish. That scares me a little.

Okay, it's late. I need to get back to writing.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

And then there were two

Here's the tally for Friday:

New pages written: 3 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: Chapter 8 and 9
Pages of revisions typed in: 8
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 195 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 10

Emails from editor in UK: 1 (an auto reply telling me she's out of the office until next week)
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: donut, piece of fudge
Junk food consumed: bottle of beer
Exercise: none
Television watched: none
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 1 lbs (gained back a pound since I haven't been skipping meals)

I revised Chapter 8 again. Now it's done! Finally. Only two chapters left. Of course those two will most likely become three and I'll be trying to decide what pages to cut! No matter how hard I try to change my process I can't. Chapter four still needs more work, but I'm waiting until I'm done to do that.

I've moved on to Chapter 9. A four page scene became 8 pages, but I cut elsewhere so I still haven't hit the 200 page mark. But I'm close. I cannot decide how to open the chapter though. I have the scene written, but I don't like the beginning. So I skipped that scene and wrote the next one. Now I realize a later scene should go in between these two! I'm going to have my work cut out for me tomorrow. But I'm feeling pretty good. I remember one book where I was still writing the last chapter with a half hour to go before the FedEx drop deadline. I really never want to do that again!

Not sure if I've mentioned Halloween yet. (I'm pretty braindead!) Anyway, I forgot about Halloween. My kids told me months ago what they wanted to be: Padme, Darth Vader and Yoda. Did I buy the costumes when I had the chance? No. A couple of weeks ago, I finally thought about it. Found Darth Vader on sale at a local store. Bought Padme on eBay using Buy It Now. But Yoda remained elusive. Finally after searching the internet, checking ebay and filling out email in-stock notifications, I received an email from buycostumes.com telling me Yoda was back in stock. I should have it on the 24th! Thank goodness because the last thing I have time to do this year is try to make costumes on my own.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hanging in there

Here's the tally for Wednesday and Thursday:

New pages written: 7 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: Chapter 7 and 8
Pages of revisions typed in: Chapter 7 and 8
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: ??? (I just put everything under new pages)
Total page count to date: 192 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 11

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Ice cream, donut, 3 Musketeer bar
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: Irish Dance class
Television watched: Doodlebops, LOST, Invasion
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 1 lbs (gained back a pound since I haven't been skipping meals)

Okay, I just finished Chapter 8. I think it needs another pass. But something interesting is happening. I think I need another chapter in the book. I was worried about not having enough pages, but now I'm running out of room and need new stuff in there. I'm just going to keep writing and get to the end so I can then see if I need to re-chapter the book and/or cut things. I'll be emailing my editor to find out what the maximum number of pages I can turn it. I do not want to have to cut pages from the manuscript. That's happened with other books and it is no fun to do. Especially during copyedits.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

2 weeks to go

Here's the tally since Saturday and through Tuesday:

New pages written: 17 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: lots
Pages of revisions typed in: lots
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: ??? (I just put everything under new pages)
Total page count to date: 185 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 13

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Ice cream, donut, M&Ms
Junk food consumed: Appletinis, chips
Exercise: Piggy back rides
Television watched: Barney, Doodlebops, Boston Legal
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: 2 (Once again Maria came through for me. I owe you!)
Tears: NO!
Weight loss: 1 lbs (gained back a pound since I haven't been skipping meals)

Sorry for not updating the tally. I have been locked to my keyboard except for a martini bunco party on Saturday night (a girl has to have a little fun), a trip to see how our new house was coming along, church and driving the kids around the past couple of days.

I'm still having some trouble with NOT SO PLAIN JANE. I really hate middles. Chapter four STILL isn't right, but I need to get to the end of the book first before I go back to try and fix it yet again. I have three chapters left. Chapters 8, 9 and 10. That's where the fifteen pages will go. Mostly in Chapter 9, but all three chapters are rough.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Hitting the wall

Here's the tally for the past few days:

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: The first seven
Pages of revisions typed in: The first seven
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 6
Total page count to date: 168 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 16

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Chocolate chip cookies, ice cream
Junk food consumed: a tea biscuit, a donut
Exercise: giving piggy back rides
Television watched: JoJo's Circus, LOST, Invasion
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: 5 (thanks again to Maria!)
Tears: yes
Weight loss: 1 lbs (gained back a pound since I haven't been skipping meals)

It happened again. I thought I'd made it through the middle unscathed, only to come to a screeching halt. Something was wrong that kept me from moving forward. What you may wonder? The kiss. I had it in the wrong place. Originally I had it in Chapter 4. Too soon. So I moved it to Chapter 6. Too late. So now I have it in Chapter 5. Perfect. I hope. I've got my fingers crossed. But moving it changed everything after it. Not completely, but all the internal stuff needed rewriting. I still have a kiss in Chapter 6, too, that I must now write. Anyway, I've been writing so much, I didn't update the tally. Needless to say, you didn't miss much except some hair pulling and frustration.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Forward progress

Here's the tally for Tuesday:

New pages written: 4 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: Chapter 5 again and 10 pages of Chapter 6
Pages of revisions typed in: Chapter 5 and 8 pages of Chapter 6
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 2
Total page count to date: 162 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 20

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Chocolate chip cookies (homemade by my talented hubby and kids)
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: giving piggy back rides
Television watched: JoJo's Circus
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 2 lbs (yes I've lost weight eating chocolate, but I forget to eat meals and don't snack so that's why)

Okay, I'm heading back in the right direction. Added new pages! YAY! Today was nanny day so I can't take all the credit, but I will take some. I finally got through the first half of the book. I think something's still not right in Chapter 5, but I'm going to sit on it for a couple of days and then see if I can figure out what. But I've moved forward to Chapter 6. The first kiss scene again. Sigh. I got it revised and typed in. I like it even better. But I just realized the one thing I forgot to do was to dress my characters so tomorrow I will go back in and add clothing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Losing pages

Here's the tally for the weekend and Monday:

New pages written: 4 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: 105
Pages of revisions typed in: 105
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: -6
Total page count to date: 156 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 21

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Tootsie roll and some whoppers
Junk food consumed: ice cream
Exercise: walking
Television watched: Legally Blonde, JoJo's Circus, The Doodlebops
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: 8 (Thank you Maria for providing much needed inspiration!)
Tears: none
Weight loss: 2 lbs

Okay, I'm in revision mode and I'm losing pages. Not good. But they needed to go. I think a few more need to go, too, but not until I have more pages on the second half of the book written. Yes, I'm still working on the first 100 pages. Okay, really only chapter five. The missing scene took longer to do. The revisions took longer to do. Everything is just taking me longer to do.

Am I panicked? I wouldn't say panicked. I've calmed down a bit, but I am feeling the pressure and am a little discouraged, too.

I have reached the point of sleeping with my manuscript under my pillow. Just one of those things I've always done during deadline time. I dreamed once that writer elves finished a story that I left under my pillow. So when I'm in a time crunch I always sleep with pages under my pillow. The writer elves have never shown up, but you never know! That's why I buy a lottery ticket when the jackpot gets large. Somebody's gotta win!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Almost halfway

Here's the tally for Friday:

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: 15
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 3
Total page count to date: 158 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 25

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: none
Junk food consumed: ice cream
Exercise: walk with daughter
Television watched: Dora The Explorer with daughter, The Replacements with hubby
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none (but I saw a couple cute ones of him from Thursday's ROTS DVD junket at Skywalker Ranch!)
Tears: none
Weight loss: 2 lbs

I managed to type in the revisions for the first half of the book. I realized I need a new scene in Chapter 5 though. I haven't a clue yet, what that might be except it needs to be from her POV and I need to use it to get two people who don't want to be together in the same room again.

As for Free Book Friday, some great answers. I would love to go to Walt Disney World. I've never been, but that's not in the plan until our youngest is old enough to make the flight across country worth it. I do hope to sleep and get some R&R in with my family, too, so this one is definitely on the list. And boy, does a bubble bath with a glass of wine and a romance novel sound good. Not to mention dinner out at a quiet Italian restaurant. I would love to do this one, too. But the real way I plan to celebrate is by watching the Revenge of the Sith DVD, munching on Darth Mix M&Ms and swooning over Anakin Skywalker.

Our Free Book Friday winner is StDebb. Please email me (via contact button on website) your snail address, which book you want, who you want it autographed, too, and I'll stick it in the mail.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Free Book Friday

Here's the tally for Thursday:

New pages written: 6 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: 3
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 155 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 26

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: finished the rest of the jedi mix M&Ms
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: none (skipped Irish Dance. too long drive in the pouring rain and needed to write instead)
Television watched: Wiggles with toddler
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 2 lbs

New pages, revised pages, I'm on a roll. Chapter Five is in worse shape than I realized so I'll work on that today. Chapter Four needs another pass, but I'm very pleased with it.

When I write a book I usually have a song or songs that I associate with it. Two examples are Could It Be Magic (Take That's version sung by Robbie Williams) for IF THE RING FITS... and High Above Me for THE WEDDING LULLABY. One reason I wanted an iPod was to put together a book soundtrack to listen to when I'm working or just bumming around. Last night, my hubby decided to do it for me since I'm too busy at the moment. So I now have two of the songs: Collide by Howie Day and True by Ryan Cabrera.

Okay, since I'm back on track and can afford to visit the post office, I'm going to give away a book today. You have your choice between a hardback copy of The Billionaire's Wedding Masquerade or a paperback copy of Blueprint for a Wedding. Autographed to you or person of your choosing, of course.

To enter simply answer this question in the comment section: How will Melissa celebrate after she sends in her manuscript?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

No longer LOST

Here's the tally for Wednesday:

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: 17
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: +5
Total page count to date: 149 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 27

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: handful of jedi mix M&Ms
Junk food consumed: ice cream
Exercise: none
Television watched: LOST and Invasion (wrote through invasion)
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 2 lbs

A much better day even though I had to drive the kids all over town this afternoon. I felt back on track working on Chapter 4. I added a short scene to it and gained five pages. YAY! I also read over Chapters 1, 2 and 3 and revised them on the computer. I realized I hadn't described something so I had to do a little research tonight. Amazing what some rest will do for a person. I'm feeling good about the book and writing again!

LOST made up for last week's episode. More questions than answers once again. I'm not sure where Desmond ran off to or what's up with the other FLT 815 passengers from the back of the plane. Or if hitting that execute button saves the world. I wish I knew what Walt had whispered to Shannon. It was something about the button. And what's with Jin speaking English? That was in the previews for next week's episode. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Back at it

Here's the tally for Tuesday:

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: 18
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 144 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 28

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: donut, handful of jedi mix M&Ms
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: none
Television watched: none
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 2 lbs

I revised Chapter 5 on paper and went back over Chapter 4. I haven't forgotten that I'm 56 pages short, but I want to get the first 100 pages finished and polished. That's the goal for the next two days. And then I'll send them off to my critique partners and let them have a go at it while I write and work on the last 100 pages. I'm actually feeling better. I just remembered that I always hit a wall at this point. So all is not lost. Just my memory.

By the way, I'm trying to pace myself. I overdid it in September to try and get ahead of the deadline (as if that is possible-live and learn.) Anyway expect my entries to get shorter from now on. The book comes first. Well, after the hubby and kidlets.

For all you writers out there, if you aren't reading Miss Snark's blog you should be. I'm so not snarky, but I'm on my way to becoming a snarkling. I have no idea who she is except that she's an agent, but she loves George Clooney and I appreciate a woman who shares her crush with the world. When you visit her site, be sure to check out her critiques of the first 300 words of manuscripts. Great way to learn how to write more compelling beginnings!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Some R&R

Here's the tally for Monday:

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: 17
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 144 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 29

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: donut, ice cream
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: piggy-back rides for Rose up and down the stairs and around apt.
Television watched: Blues Clues
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: a couple in the a.m.
Weight loss: 2 lbs

A little rest and relaxation was just what my brain and body needed. I might take care of my kids and make sure they get enough sleep, food and attention, but I forget about myself. Being on deadline just makes it worse. So I revised rather than wrote. I chatted with friends. And the kids and I had a delicious dinner at a friend's house. My friend is a writer and is interning at Hip Mama, a Portland-based magazine, so we had lots to discuss and she made me feel so much better.

I now realize why LauraP had scheduled weekends off in her writing plan for me. You need some sort of break. I need to figure out what the best days for a break will be and how to work this in. Maybe no writing only revising for two days a week. I've got to be careful not to overdo it (when I swallow it hurts, so that is not a good sign), but I must get the book written (which means even if I get sick again I must keep at it.) This time next month the manuscript will be in London. Can you guess what I'll be doing?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Crash and burn

Here's the tally for Sunday:

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 144 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 30

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: ice cream
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: none
Television watched: none
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 2 lbs

The alarm going off at six and six plus hours at a feis (Irish dance competition) were too much for me to take. All the tiredness I've been fighting finally caught up and knocked me out. I tried to write. I couldn't. The screen blurred. The brain shut off. So I gave up. Tried to revise. It just wasn't there. So I gave up.

Sunday was a total wash. No new pages, no revised pages, nothing. I didn't cry. Too tired if you want to know the truth. I even put on my jammies at 7 o'clock. That's earlier than the kids put on theirs. Just how tired have I been? I didn't download any of the pics of Hayden on the beach in Barbados that hit the Internet the past couple of days. Yep, I've definitely crashed and burned.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

So much to do

Here's the tally for Saturday:

New pages written: 6 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 144 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 31

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: cupcake, ice cream
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: none
Television watched: a little AOTC with the family before heading into the cave to write
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none
Weight loss: 2 lbs (if this becomes a weight gain, it will go away)

Typical Saturday: soccer game (nothing but mass chaos on the field with 6 kindergartners), errands, birthday party (Happy 6th Birthday Noah!), church.

For Star Wars fans only: I must tell you about my 2 1/2 year old Yoda-wannabe. I already mentioned that she duels while making light saber sounds. Well tonight, she started using Force powers. She sticks her arm in front of her with her palm out (while making sounds) and uses the Force to repel you. The kids and hubby think this is hilarious so they spent ten minutes showing me how Rose could use her Force power against them. I'm not sure which was funnier--Yoda Rose or everyone else falling and jumping backwards.

In the morning, I pasted scenes from my draft file into chapters. I have 17 pages in Chapter 4 and the same amount in Chapter 5. Chapters 6 and 7 contain about half of that. Chapters 8 and 9 are non-existent and Chapter 10 has 18 pages. Still a ways to go, but I need to start revising the first 100 pages. I've got all the pieces. It's time to rewrite, layer and polish. Yet I can't forget about the missing scenes. Four of them from the synopsis plus all the fillers, sequels and ones I don't know I need yet. I've been concentrating on getting the pages down, but how long is that going to take? I need to revise. So I can revise again and again.

After lunch, I managed to squeeze in some writing and a half-hour nap because my hubby took the kids. And again after dinner, I left the family watching Attack of The Clones and retreated to my room with my Alphie to write.

Lack of sleep is playing a part in my rising anxiety, but having to be finished by the end of the month (or earlier if possible) is playing a huge role. I know I can do this (and thanks for all the encouragement in the comments. You can't know how much it means to me to know I'm not alone!) but I do feel as if this morning the gun appeared and is being aimed at my head, only for brief moments, but it is there.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Time to get serious

Here's the tally for yesterday (Friday):

New pages written: 5 (goal: 6.4 pages)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 138 (goal: 200 pages)
Days remaining until D-day: 32

Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: 2 cupcakes
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: none
Television watched: none
Pictures of Hayden downloaded: none
Tears: none

It's October. I'm trying not to freak out. I really wanted the rough draft done today. I think about the sick days and the pages I didn't write, and my confidence wavers. But I have to look forward, not back.

I worked on the second kissing scene. I would have hit my page goal had I written the scene to the end, but I just got too tired to continue. When my writing reaches a certain point and becomes all telling and synopsis-like then it's time to quit for the night.

I was writing when I heard a drip, drip, drip. I looked at the carpet and saw a wet spot with drops of water hitting the same spot one after another. I glanced up and saw a huge bulge in the ceiing. Yikes. A roofer stopped by and will be back tomorrow. The damage is minimal, but it's still a real bummer and a huge time drain.