Tag Archives: luck for hire

RoW80 – January 12th Check In

So, last Friday, I started writing a scene (let’s call it "NY B&E") and my computer ate 300 words of it.

On Saturday I rewrote and added to NY B&E and hit my hard goal for the week. (More about hard and soft goals in a moment.) As a scene, NY B&E was about half finished. I needed to talk to Eric about details.

I got up Monday morning and banged out 300 words on a fun conversation scene that comes *after* NY B&E. Eric and I talked. Details were worked out and then I reread NY B&E. And disliked it. It was a boring scene the way I had written it. So I cut 725 words and started over…again. Wrote 782 total new words on Monday.

Had my work cut out for me Tuesday. I needed to finish NY B&E, an action scene, and I was behind on my word count. I turned off the social networks, despite it being #TuesdaySerial. I ignored the VOTS emails, even though it would take just a few minutes to answer just a few emails. I ignored the huge mess I had made on Monday when I started pulling the Christmas tree apart. I even ignored #2QueryTuesday. Action scenes are hard for me and I had to keep at it all day. I’m not virtuous; 1384 words isn’t a great count for being at the computer as long as I was. NY B&E is much better scene now but its still not quite there.

No progress yet today. Took care of VOTS stuff, packed up the tree, played some ultimate frisbee, talked to Eric about the next scene. Feeling okay about life.

Now, my goals. My original goal (which will now be referred to as the soft goal) was to add 50K words to the Luck for Hire manuscript. This is going to be a tough goal to reach. Writing a 1000 words a day isn’t *too* difficult, but when rewrites occur getting to a manuscript positive 1000 words a day isn’t easy (for me). Eric has made it clear that, thus far, he’s happy with progress; that writing 5000 new words a week is getting it done. So, that’s going to continue to be the hard goal: 10K of new words every two weeks. But I still want Luck for Hire to be at 61K by March 24th.

RoW80 – January 9th Check In

It’s been quite the week.

Wednesday: I deleted 221 words and added 1035.

Thursday: Added 592. Eric and I had one of those conversations that are magic. Okay, since I’m not much of a talker, it was Eric-sided conversation magic. He was at the "what should Aleister do next" point and suggested that we should see some tangential event, some thing that happens often to Aleister, like him saving a random damsel from a mugging. I turned my lip up at adding such a non-plot event, even if it did say something about Aleister’s life. Luckily (heh), Eric continued to riff on the idea and it became the "Business as Usual" excerpt that I posted for #FridayFlash. It’s pretty integral to the next bit of plot.

I was hesitant about the next part and distracted by league prep. But it was Thursday. I had written 4000 words for the week and was not worried.

Friday: My main work computer, an eMachine, has been wheezing for about two years. eMachines used to have power supply problems and, for the last two summers, we expected that computer to bite the dust. It’s a six year old computer. Increasingly, it and the internet didn’t get along. Last week, it had some sort of problem finding D:\\. This week, it was slow and glitchy. And then on Friday night it ate the 350 words I had labored over. I have a healthy Ctrl-S habit, so it’s hard to believe that I never saved all evening. The document time stamp said it was last modified right before the crash. But none of my work was in evidence when I logged back in. Plus, Friday had a good portion of league drama. 0 words added.

Saturday: Spent most of the afternoon migrating to a computer in the backroom, Eric’s workspace. This will be my box from here on out, so I spent some time settling in. I started rewriting the bit that I lost and discovered that it was pretty boring. I ended up deleting 400 words that I had just written and starting over. Again. Take three on this cursed scene. I ended up adding 1100 new words. Still not happy with the scene. I’ll have to talk to Eric later today.

Current manuscript word count: 15,009

Other: Drafted my 52|250 story this morning. I need to finish it up. Behind on reading. The tree still up and is now imbued with a Schroedinger quality since I am working in the back room and can’t see it. Does a Christmas tree in February exist if it is not observed? In regards to league prep interfering, "writing first" needs to be my mantra. Actually, the mantra needs to be "Luck first." 52|250 and short stories are okay, but they’re not a novel. And I need to start writing earlier in the day instead of starting at 8pm. Even if I only get a couple hundred before noon, that takes pressure off of what’s later.

Friday Frivolity

Not really feeling frivolous, but I can hope that the use of happy words can affect mood like happy expressions affect mood.

Where am/was I this week:

  • New words on Luck for Hire means new Luck on the web. My official #FridayFlash is "Business as Usual." Chronologically, this is the most up-to-date Luck, but on the blog I should have a few "Scene Missing" placards for bits I haven’t posted.
  • I have a very short piece up at 52|250 as well: "Evidence." I EtherPad-ed it again as well.
  • Posted Chapter 29 of Pas de Chat on Sunday.
  • And I may or may not have mentioned, "Breakfast in the Garden" is in Bards and Sages Quarterly.

And all of that is pretty good reason to feel a tiny bit good despite having a cranky computer and the usual 24 hours to get spring league up and going.

RoW80 – 1st Check In

My goal is essentially 1000 new words every business day for Luck for Hire.

Monday: Chopped 587 words and rewrote that scene. Wrote 1,277 new words.
Tuesday: Wrote 1,113 new words.
Current manuscript word count: 12,876

Eric and I have talked every day. This book is very much in the evolution stage. My progress is pushing Eric to nail down the plot. We made a fairly large change before I put the manuscript aside in October and we’re still assimilating that. There is at least one scene that needs revision.

In the realm of balancing other stuff:
I did a bit of agent/publisher research yesterday and I sent Model Species to two agents. I have my 52|250 story written…in my head. The tree is still up, I need to write Thank You notes and pay bills, some of the apartment is a mess, but clothes are clean, a couple dinners are planned, I’m where I want to be reading-wise, and I’ve gotten some exercise. Upcoming complicating factors: set up for spring league. Once I have the details, I need to be quick about opening registration.

Good Decision 2010

Reverb10: December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

The wisest decision made this year was putting the Zeta Iota project aside and moving on to Luck for Hire. I had a crisis of faith during the first few months of this year. I was certain that if I just did my job long enough, I could make the Zeta Iota novel work for me. And it just didn’t. I’ve often compared working on writing project to romantic relationships. My experience with Zeta Iota did not resemble a pulse-pounding crush. It was more like being set up by your friends with a guy that should be perfect, but you have no chemistry, but you still go out a few more times until you realize that staying home alone is the better option. (Always avoid two "but" situations.) This doesn’t mean that I’ll never write Zeta Iota.  The idea isn’t quite mature enough. One day, Eric will come to me with another layer layer added to the Zeta Iota onion and it’ll be Thunderbolt City.

Obviously, this played out well since I consider it a wise decision. One up-shot: Eric and I as collaborative writers realized that there has to be something in it for me, as it were. I can’t just be the "writer." No matter how intriguing the idea, I need the Katherine hook. When left to my own devices, I write quirky stories filled with tricksters and fools. I need some of that in the novels too. Aleister Luck has it in spades.


Not doing as much work as I should be. I’m caught up in enjoying holiday stuff. The tree is up and looking pretty. I need to shop for the Omaha nieces and nephews. Been writing a few Christmas cards. Putting together holiday playlists. Buying long-sleeved shirts even though the weather has been in the high 70s. Reading Spacelogs. Okay, that last one isn’t holiday related, but it is damn cool.

Eric’s nearly finished with classes. His parents won’t be down for his matriculation, so we are spared the need to go to the ceremony. The next few weeks look calm and good.

2010 Third Quarter Summary ( #amwriting )

First Quarter Summary
Second Quarter Summary

Model Species
Eric took a look at the query letter I had been sending out and significantly rewrote it. We floated it past our friend JT, who gave it an a-okay. Eric and I also decided that I should be more aggressive with my querying. I decided at the beginning of September to send out two queries every Tuesday. Two per week seems to be what I can handle and still stay sane, but I might attempt #10bythen in October. Thirteen rejections so far this year; currently out to ten other agents.

Pas de Chat
Still being posted every Sunday and pimped every Tuesday. I seem to have about 40-45 readers. At some point, I’ll probably clean her up and post her as a PDF, either for free or for a very small bit of money.

Divine Fire and Zeta Iota
Both have been put aside for the moment.

Luck for Hire
I have 10K done on this project. Should be more. We decided to go public with the process and I post pieces of Luck for Hire as I go. There’s been a few mis-steps that have made the website as well as some posts about how Eric and I work. The writing has been slow. Since Luck is contemporarily set, I tend to second guess how things work "in the real world." I probably relied too much on "TV world" when writing Pas de Chat.


  • "Breakfast in the Garden" is set to be published in the January 2011 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly.
  • My flash story "Consequences" written for 52|250 was included in the editor’s quarterly magazine, thirteen.
  • Luck for Hire posts have been doing #FridayFlash duty. Otherwise, I spruced up two old pieces for fill-in and wrote three new pieces for 52|250.

Between writing about process for Luck for Hire and the 30 Days of Writing meme, I’ve been writing more about writing. Good thing? Bad thing? I don’t know. I’ve been enjoying writing more, but I’ve found it hard to get into a good working groove.

Increase pace on Luck for Hire. I’m shooting for 10K in October. Might do faux NaNoWriMo to make a push to finish a first draft in November. I need to bump things to Eric more often. Otherwise, keep doing what I’m doing. Submit Model Species. Maybe do some posts this month for Book or Treat blog party. More 52|250 entries.

Book #21; Where Am I?

Fiction! All over the place!

  • Wrote a scene for Luck for Hire. Eric and I both agreed that it was a snoozer. Rewrote it. Hopefully, the new version is better: Other Interested Parties.
  • Pas de Chat, chapter 13 is available for consumption as well. I need to set up a few more chapters today or tomorrow.
  • I have a short bit up at 52|250 as well: "Bouncy with Anticipation". Just realized that my first piece for 52|250 was entitled "Bounce!"
  • Okay, not fiction, but about fiction (of the movie type): I posted a rare Obscure Media Monday entry on two horror movies that utilize the sea.


Book #21 – Cat in the Mirror by Mary Stolz

This is another case where my memory of something does not match my recent experience of it.

I first read this book in 7th grade. I had switched from a Lutheran school to public school that year. My 7th grade English and Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Hayenga, may be one of the most influential teachers I’ve had. She presented interesting books instead of the dry classics. The other book I remember reading was The White Mountains by John Christopher. Science fiction! In an English class! It gave the genre fiction I loved some legitimacy. Why couldn’t all English classes be this way? (I’m of the opinion that they can be.

As I a kid, I had an interest in ancient Egypt, so this book was right up my alley. Erin, the main character, is fantastically transported from her mundane life to Egypt where…well…things aren’t all that different. What I didn’t remember, or didn’t appreciate, is that Erin’s kind of whiny. I suppose that’s the way we are as adolescents when nothing is quite what we hope it will be. But as an adult, it kind of chafes. The Egypt section was very didactic and not very narrative.

During this ten-day, I also read "The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model" by Charlie Jane Anders. Good in a pretty traditional science fiction kind of way.