Monday, October 13, 2008

Tidbits for Today

I'm sorry this blog was is so late! I have no excuse except that I had a day-long staff in-service at the day job that threw my whole schedule out of whack.

I did learn a lot, though! Like, when working with an irate, potentially violent customer, it's a good idea to stand with your body at an angle to appear smaller and less threatening. Oh, and then I learned that the Dewey Decimal number for cats is 636.8 and that the D in "D-day" is actually an abbreviation for the word "Day." I didn't have a clue about that one!

Over the past couple of weeks, I've also been learning about my writing limits. I have discovered that there aren't any other than the ones I create for myself. If you ever have a chance to take a Fast Draft class with Candace Haven, I highly recommend you take it. The pace is grueling, but I have never been this productive. Not even during NaNoWriMo. If I don't have an entire rough draft done by Halloween, I won't be very shy of one.

So tell me - what have you been learning lately?

In the meantime, I'm sneaking off for some butt-in-chair, hands-on-keyboard time.


Lexie O'Neill said...

I do enjoy learning about what others are learning! I've learned several things takes me about a day to get over a rejection and then I'm fine. So, I'm not going to try to push myself to write for that day (or at least not on the rejected manuscript).
Also, I'm learning. I can't even say exactly what it is, but I've been working on the manuscript I finalled with in
the ATIV and realize my newer WIP
is better. I use more power words and the way I write is just more interesting.'s hoping someone else agrees:)

Savanna Kougar said...

Mel, the Dewy Decimal for cats adds up to a 5. In numerology that is playful, adventurous and unpredictable...coincidence...I meow not.
So glad to know you're writing up a storm...are you writing about a storm of any kind?
As far as learning, it's an everyday adventure and head spinner. Today, I learned I'm still able to get caught in the contest trap, Midnight Seductions Endless Romance contest for authors, it was the last day ~ even knowing I ain't got a snowball's chance in the California Santa Ana driven wildfires fo winning.

Lexie, that's great! about improving your WIP that way. And I'm not as good about rejection as you...unless, I really understand why. Otherwise, it generally takes me longer. And, like you, I don't work on the mss until things ease off.

Lexie O'Neill said...

It would be nice to know why...I've had several agents requests partials of Backwoods Invader, but then form rejections. The only one close to telling me anything said, "good writer, but couldn't get behind the story." So, I'm writing new stories:)
I'm having a long weekend--Fall Break--and getting some writing done. I just thank goodness I can stop and pick it up again!

Anonymous said...

I've learned I'm lazy and a mistress of procrastination when it comes to writing. I'll even vacuum the house first. Any tips to get us avoidance-prone people started? Other than just leave the house dirty; that one I already know.


Savanna Kougar said...

Pat, the only thing I know to do, is first recognize that's the case, which you do. Then, just let your thoughts drift, sort of like a daydream toward possible scenes, or a key phrase that inspires you to continue writing the story.

Savanna Kougar said...

Lexie, that's one of the main reasons for remaining unpubbed. A person could be an incredible writer, and the story itself may be brilliant -- but! if the editor can't get into the story itself, or if they THINK the readers can't get into it, it's a dead duck to them.
This is paraphrased from the owner of one of my publishers.
In fact, she also gently suggested I no longer write as ingeniously -- but more in a manner which tells the story well. Because, in general, honestly, that's what sells the most copies...this is from my own observations.
Yes, as an author, you can develop a following of readers who enjoy your particular type of novels -- which is my personal preference -- but, often, this is just as tough to do, getting your writing out there so it's even noticed by enough readers, who would enjoy and make your books auto-buys...which is why, currently, I am writing a story of my heart and soul, but one which, I hope also, will resonate more with more readers because the world I've created is simpler in nature...
okay, I'll shut up now.

Evonne Wareham said...

I thought I was the only person in the world who still used the Dewey Decimal system! I remember having a lecture on it from the scary librarian in my first week at university - back in the days when the world was young.
Great about the progress of the draft Mel.

Terry Odell said...

I've been learning a lot--just got back from the Emerald City Writer's Conference. **Pictures on my blog**

Especially liked the workshop on fighting, and the different ways men and women fight. Kind of like that his brain/her brain stuff.

And right before I left, our own RWA chapter had an all day workshop on characterization by Alicia Rasley.

Right now, I'm trying to learn how to restart a jet engine mid-flight for a scene in my WIP.