If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Good holiday!

I made mention on Tuesday of Holly Lisle's "busman's holiday." I decided not only to take her advice, but also to get her to go with me, in a matter of speaking. Holly has written several wonderful clinics on world building and plotting. I have yet to make it completely through any of them because I get excited part way through and run with what I learn!

The clinic du jour was her "Create a Language" clinic. I'm not a linguist by any means. I picked up some French in 8th Grade and remember some of it, but my Italian was awful. To say that I was skeptical about creating a language is an understatement. I went through it, though, step by step, starting Tuesday evening. Honestly, I was so far behind on my time goal that I figured even if what I got was total crap, I'd at least make up some time. I didn't even have a specific story in mind when I started.

I grossly underestimated Holly's ability to teach. I'm three minutes short of my time for Sunday, and I have the start of not one but two languages. Yesterday I decided to use my language for a new story I'm outlining. I was going to work on adverbs and pronouns on the first one today, and then I thought it might be better to work up the bones for another one so I could translate the prophecy in Sword and Scabbard. Before you ask, I didn't use the first one because the sounds are quite different than what I needed for Sword and Scabbard.

I'm purposely not 'translating' the prophecy word for word; I don't have articles (the, a, an) in that language, so literally translated it will be much more crude, as an ancient prophecy should be. It will drive the applicable characters slowly insane, too, which will be MUCH more fun! It might mess with Scott, too, which is an added bonus.

I'm finally excited about S&S again. That book has been such a roller coaster; I really just want the first draft done so I can legitimately not look at it for a couple of weeks. The new language will mean re-writing some parts, but it's going to add some texture to the story where I had flatness before, and it will solve a problem that was bugging me. I can't remember the last time I was so into a project that I didn't want to do anything else. Thanks, Holly!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Writing update

When I posted yesterday I realized I hadn't done a writing update all month. It's not because things have been going particularly well or particularly badly. Honestly, it's status quo, but I've had other things on my mind. I'm still struggling to keep my time up, but word count is less of a problem.

I learned something this week. I can't work on the same project seven days a week. (I should have learned that lesson years ago when Holly Lisle was blogging about taking a busman's holiday--I think when she was writing "Talyn".) For that matter, I can't work seven days a week, period. I need to change my goal structure to include at least one day off. I also got confirmation that the hot tub is good for plotting. The waterfall option helps a lot, but it's better when Eric is there to make affirmative sounds while I rant. Lately we've been referring to 'Sword and Scabbard' as 'The Stupid Book.'

Speak of the devil, I had a small break-through. I was stuck in the part leading up to the final battle, which Scott is writing. My battles stink, frankly; his are much better, but life is trampling all over him lately. So I was stuck and frustrated and about to do something rash (write the battle and stinkiness be damned--that's what editing is for) when I realized I could just jump over it. So I did; I made a list of the loose ends, wrote the final chapter so I know what I'm shooting for, and went on from there. I'm closer to finishing my part of the first draft than I thought. It will be a relief, but the editing is going to be a bear--a big giant grizzly. It's progress, though. Our goal is to have the first draft done by the 4th of July, when, in theory, maybe, possibly, he'll be coming up to hang out with The Boys.

Bottom line (near as I can remember, since my spreadsheet is upstairs): I'm +1,700 words, and behind about two hours. I'm changing gears today so the time should be made up, hopefully, by the end of the week.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Dooley meets the Von Trapps

Dudley's Rush had a gig yesterday afternoon at the local art festival. We considered it quite an honor to be invited and were thrilled to close the festival on the main stage.

Before the gig, though, there was church. Our choir usually sings a total of ten to fifteen minutes, give or take, through the service. Immediately after church, Dudley's Rush was rehearsing downstairs. That went from noon-ish to almost two. Then we loaded up the church bus and went down to the festival, unloaded, and waited for our turn to go on at three.

The weather was almost ideal--sunny and breezy, and they had a tent up to keep us all out of the sun. We had a nice crowd and sang almost non-stop for almost an hour and a half. We had a good mix of gospel and hillbilly; "Every Humble Knee Shall Bow" was offset by "Dooley" and "Old Joe Brown." We followed "Where the Soul of Man Never Dies" with "Boney Fingers." We were all pretty tired by that point, after having sung for the better part of six hours.

That's when we realized that the pubs had apparently been doing brisk business. Just before our last song, a guy in the crowd yelled out, "Hey! Sing Edelweiss!" We thought he was joking and had a nice chuckle. It was one of those 'but seriously' moments. We were wrong--he really wanted us to sing Edelweiss.

I'm sure it goes without saying that while it's a lovely song, there is no Bluegrass anywhere near it. "The Sound Of Music" wasn't even filmed in Southern Austria! Our intrepid leader loves a challenge, though. She played a few chords on her guitar, sang a couple of bars away from the microphone, made an adjustment, and said, "Capo five--key of C!"

*L* So our Bluegrass band sang Edelweiss--twice, and the audience sang along. We launched right into our last song, and he kept shouting requests as we left the stage. We escaped before he yelled out, "Freebird!"

It was coming, I'm sure!