Unmet Deadlines

You know, I was really hoping to have the book edited before the boat trip. That was my plan. My goal. Instead, I've only slogged my way through half of the manuscript. Half! Ug!

This puts me a week behind schedule. Now, really, this isn't a big deal. I'm not hurting anyone by letting these self-imposed deadlines pass. I'm not breaking anyone's heart or squeezing their soul with my inability to keep on task. I mean, really, my beta readers aren't anxiously watching their inboxes for this little darling. At least, I don't think they are. I hope not!

Still, what if something important was at stake? What if I really had to get the edits done in a week and the type-ins entered by a set date in order to please an editor? What if my inability to meet a simple deadline meant the difference between my future happiness or deep regret?

My only consolation here is that I do work under deadlines at work and at school. I have projects and tasks I must complete in a timely fashion. Amazingly, despite everything, when push comes to shove, I manage to make every single deadline. So there's hope that if the writing ever goes professional, I'll be able to apply the same drive and determination to my manuscripts. Because when the prize is worth the effort, the deadlines suddenly mean a whole lot more.

The Editing Continues

I took a few days off for the boat trip, but I'm back to editing/revising. I've managed to make it to Chapter 13 (207 pages). I may be nitpicking the thing to death. Not sure. Oh, I've found a few typos and a handful of missing words, so some nitpicking is necessary.

Still. It's hard to judge the pacing when you're focusing on details. It's hard to determine if the the setting has been properly balanced with action and dialogue.

And I'm thinking when I get to the very end I'm going to scratch the last 10-15 pages and work up something new.

Oh what fun editing is!

Boat Trip in Review

These pictures aren't necessarily in any kind of order.


A Night Alone

Going through the Crooked River Locks

Anchoring at the Sandbar


Me & ronnie

Ronnie & Troy at the Campfire

Our Designated Driver

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Revealed


the new cut
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

Here's my poor little pooch. You'll notice he's lost all his pretty hair...

3rd Annual Boat Trip

For the third year in a row, my husband and I will be boating the inland waterway on an Adults Only Weekend. The cast of characters has changed over the years. Some of them have shown up for repeat performances, others have had to bow out for various reasons (jobs, money, health issues, other obligations, etc.). This year's trip we're expecting 4 couples and 2 boats. This, of course, is still subject to change. After all, the original plan was for 5 couples and 2 boats. Then it was 6 couples and 3 boats. Now, its back down to 4 and 2. It could very easily end up being 3 and 1. We'll see.

If all goes well, there's another couple I would LOVE to ask to join us next year.

But let's get back to this year...

I know the hubby and I are definitely going. We're pulling our camper up to the State Campground, which lucky for us sits right on the inland waterway that almost disects our great State. We'll be able to hop onto the boats from inside the park's small channel without having to worry about launching in the morning and trailering them at night. Perfect!

I plan on taking both cameras. I'll use the Nikon while we're on dry land. The Kodak can go on the boat in a plastic bag. I'll post some pictures here and on Flickr when we get back.

Of course, a weekend full of fun, also means a week's worth of work. I need to pick up the kids from my cousin's house tonight (they had a sleepover), go home and fix dinner, do laundry, pack the camper, get the kids and the old lady dog packed up for Grandma and Grandpa's, and make sure the puppy has everything he'll need for the kennel.

Yes, we're kenneling the little fella. He's still not 100% potty trained. Okay, he's not even 75% potty trained. Considering his inability to understand that peeing and pooping in the house is a BAD thing, the hubby and I don't feel right asking anyone to watch him. Therefore, we're going to pay for him to be kenneled for two (almost three) days.

Oh, and a sidenote on the PoopyPuppy, he had a visit with the groomer yesterday and I'm heartbroken. Let's just say I can't wait for his hair to grow back. If I can get up the courage, I'll try to post a picture post-haircut. He looks so different and not nearly as adorable. The hubby was there when I said I like the shaggy look, so how she ended up SHAVING him is beyond me. ~sob~

Let's not dwell on the tragedy of a haircut gone awry. Let's get back to fun things like boats and bathing suits and booze! Okay, two out of three of those things are fun. The bathing suits..not so much.

Trying Not to Rush

The revisions are moving right along. About 160 pages into the book now. There are several spots that are going to require "fleshing out" and even more that need to be trimmed back. I'm trying not to flinch at every "to be" verb I run across, but I must admit I've spent more time than necessary trying to figure out alternative phrasing for a number of them. I'm also lingering over every adverb, debating on its necessity, worrying over its impact both in and out of the sentence.

Another item of interest: I've noticed a couple of characters who are mentioned early on and never make a reappearance. I'm planing on fixing that either by removing them altogether or giving them at least a brief scene or two somewhere else in the story.

The most amazing part of this project is how difficult I find it to stick to pen and paper. The urge to open up the WIP and start fixing things on the computer is INSANE, especially when I know exactly how I'm going to rework a scene.

I have two different major scene fixer-uppers I need to address during the type-in.
  • Gabe & Paige's breakup
  • Gabe & Rich's morning after scene (that is not what it sounds like!)

My main concern here is that I won't remember how I plan on fixing these things when I get to the type-in. Right now I have vague notes in the margins about how to better deal with both of these situations, but the details are sketchy. I'm going to have to rely on my memory. Scary, I know.

I'm hoping I'll be able to focus tonight and get some more pages behind me. I'd like to start the type-in sometime next week, but our weekend plans might make that an unrealistic goal.

Lightbulb Moment

On my way to the daycare center this morning I had an epiphany. There's been something not quite right with my hero. Something small, but important. Something I had done with him and his ex was interfering with the budding romance between him and the heroine - in my mind, at least. Yet, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong.

And then I knew.

A small but necessary addition to what I already have should resolve the issue to my satisfaction.

How I could have missed the need to put this in the rough draft is beyond me, but missed it I had. I guess that's what makes the revision process so important. It gives you a chance to find those little things you missed the first time around.

Pages Edited So Far: 72

Not Dead

Despite every effort of the dreaded flu bug, I'm still alive and kicking. I spent a couple of miserable days at home with two sick little boys. Even the puppy wasn't his normal hyper self. Thank God.

I've been busy disinfecting and washing bedding so I really don't have anything worthwhile to mention.

Maybe I'll have something to talk about a bit later...

I'm Not Eating Your Book


DSC_0009
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

Quick Update in Bullets

  • My nephew had surgery yesterday. When I stopped by last night to pick up a change of clothes for his big brother, he was sound asleep and not even our loud chatter could wake him up. This is a good thing. He's going to be sore when the pain meds start to wear off.
  • Revisions are not going to so well. Not because I had written total drek, but because I didn't have a chance to focus last night.
  • Puppy managed to go almost 2 full days without an accident. Until this morning...
  • My youngest will probably lose a fingernail. He somehow managed to slam his fingers in the sliding glass door. I don't know how either, but this is the child who was hurt 4 out of 7 days in Disney. He's also the same child who managed to get a huge sliver in his palm over the 4th of July weekend and screamed bloody murder while we attempted to fish it out.

Revision Update

Good news! While the first couple of chapters were terrible, Chapter Three seems to be shaping up nicely. Only a few minor errors and tweaks. In fact, there are even a couple of pages where I don't have a single red mark or notation!

I'm hoping to finish Chapters 3-5 tonight. We'll see how that goes.

The Potty Training Trials


I Am Fierce Puppy...Fear Me.
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

He did so good over the holiday weekend. Not a single accident in the camper or his crate. He even slept through the night and didn't wake me up until about 6 o'clock.

Of course, we're pretty sure the amount of ttime he spent outside and AWAKE were major contributing factors here. We took him for walks, let him hang out with the girl dog (his idol) under the picnic tables, and held him. His naps were few and far between during the day.

Of course, all good things must come to an end and we had to come home. And this is where the trouble began.

First, he peed not only in the hubby's beloved truck, but on the seat no less. Hubby was not happy. Furious might even be too mild a word. Amazingly enough, though, he did not snap Cash's neck. The puppy survived his most foolhardy moment EVER.

We get home. He manages to pee outside without any trouble. However, he can't seem to time his bowel movements. One minute he's fine, the next he's crapping on the rug next to the screen door. My youngest boy tells me he was at least scratching at the door before he decided to hell with it and promptly relieved himself.

Fast forward to the next morning. First, he pukes on our bedroom carpet. This is likely due to his habitual eating of EVERYTHING. He's worse than a toddler, I swear. I even cought him eating a worm at one point over the weekend..a nasty, dead worm that smelled so bad I washed my hands twice after fishing it out of his mouth.

So, he puked. Puke happens. It could be worse.

And then it is. Even though the same child tells me he went to the door again, the pup still manages to poo on my living room floor before anyone can race to the door and whip it open to let him out.

On the upside...there haven't been any accidents since. He made it through the evening and this morning before work without messing on my floors.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I think he might be getting the idea. Maybe.

Holiday Camping

For the last few years on the 4th of July we've gone to a small, private campground not too far from home. The park is rather secluded in a very, very small town; the only thing worth visiting outside the campground is a small ice cream store.

Inside the park there's a pond. One end of the pond has been dredged up and made pretty with sand. There's a dock the teenagers can swim out to and a couple of inflatable slides for kids of all ages. Behind the beach is a volleyball pit. Across a small road there's a field where the overly enthusiastic and energized can play baseball or soccer. There's also a rather pitiful mini-golf course and a decent basketball court. A little ways down from these attractions are a series of horseshoe pits and a playground for the little ones. For the frog hunter in your life, there's also a small back pond on the other side of the campground where slimy green friends wait to be captured by little boys with nets.

Since it was the 4th of July weekend there was also a parade. One of my favorite pictures is of my son throwing himself - literally - onto the ground for the candy that was tossed our way. You'd think he was trying to beat a mob of candy-crazed kids to the roadside, but that wasn't the case at all. He was the only kid at our lot, which made every handful his by default. I have no idea what he was thinking when he went airborne...but I'm glad I caught him in midair!


Revision Update

Ew.

I started reading/editing over the weekend as planned. Chapter One seemed okay. A few minor things here and there.

Chapter Two may be the death of me. Really. I can't believe I made that many mistakes! And on the first page of Chapter Two, even. I'm hoping this is a fluke. I'm hoping the writing evens out and gets more confident as the story shapes up. If not, I'm in for revision hell.

On the up side, I've got a plan. I forgot to include page numbers on my printed copy. At first, this bothered me a great deal. However, after thinking about it for a while, I realized this might work to my benefit. I'm planning on editing the entire book with red pen in hand. When it comes time for the type-in (aka corrections), I'm going to do them from the bottom up. I think by starting at the last page instead of the first, I'll be less tempted to keep playing with things.

I'll let you know how that shapes up..

It's done! It's Done!

The final word count ended up being 116,476. That's about 464 pages of double-spaced, Courier New 11-point type.

Wow.

Of course, after I finished the last chapter, I realized I still have one minor thread I need to take care of in the rewrite. I'm going to try to do a quick read-through this weekend while we're at the campground. I should have lots of time. (Or none, depending on a number of variables)

I'm going to be looking for major oopsies, dropped threads, and annoying grammar. I'm not the world's best self-editor, though, so I'm sure my beta readers will still find a fair number of mistakes when I finally hand it over, something I'm very nervous to do. Maybe the read through will reassure me that I haven't written complete drivel? That I properly foreshadowed?

Good gravy, I hope so!

Nothing Much to Report

Still writing.

Still reading The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs.

Still trying to potty train the puppy-who-does-not-get-it.

Still sleep deprived (see above comment about the puppy).