Monday, December 31, 2012

Milestones and Setbacks of 2012, Goals for 2013

I'm going to go ahead and say that one of the biggest milestones of 2012 is that the Mayan Apocalypse didn't happen. As someone who has intricately thought through what it would be like in any apocalypse scenario, I can say most of us wouldn't do well. Not well at all. 

It's funny because it's true.

 Aside from that, it's been a very eventful year. Kameron Hurley has an awesome post where she talks about things she wanted to get done this year, and where she succeeded and failed.

Inspired to do the same, I present to you this post.

Milestones, Events, Accomplishments:

*Gave birth to my son
*Did not die of sleep deprivation (yet)
*Managed to not smother my husband in his sleep (placed on list at husband's request)
*Quit job to stay home with my son
*Started rewriting my book, Zombie Road Trip
*Moved into a bigger house
*Bought new computer 
*Organized most of music library and figured out how to fix the messed up songs that WMA messed up
*Went to Dragon*Con and got to spend time with Rena
*Started Pinterest boards to help mind map book ideas. You can see them here
*Made new friends via Twitter, Internet stalking, etc
*Read lots of book on the craft of writing, and regular fiction

Set Backs:

*Did not finish rewrite of Zombie Road Trip (I could have pushed through and wrote the last 15K(?) before the New Year, but I needed to stop and brainstorm the last act)
*Neglected this blog something fierce. Sitting at under 80 followers for a long time.
*Did not get website up and running 
*Certain family relationships have deteriorated with no fix for the foreseeable future
*Still beta reading too slow
*House work and other Real Life Stuff piles up to near breaking point, so I manically clean/work on things/run errands
*Barely exercising
*Not reading as much as I would like
*Still not cooking as much as I want to


*Finish writing Zombie Road Trip before the end of January
*Edit the pants off Zombie Road Trip
*Query Zombie Road Trip
*Get website attached to blog soon
*Do more active things with blog--contests, give aways, guest posts etc
*Learn how to manage time better for everything--writing, life, friends and family
*Exercise regularly
*Attend James Scott Bell's Next Level fiction writing seminar
*Attend RWA that's being held in Atlanta next year (2013)
*Attend Dragon*Con and spend lots of time with Rena
*Make more time for reading
*Attend cousin's wedding in hometown of upstate New York
*Plan meals better, and experiment more
*Maybe start a bento blog? Or post on here about bento adventures?
*Finish ripping giant collection of cds into iTunes and finish music library once and for all

That's my accomplishments and set backs for this year, and my goals for the next.

What are you guys planning for 2013? Feel free to post in the comments section what you're doing!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ten Months Ago Today I was Screaming

Ten months ago we evicted my son from my uterus with an unscheduled C-section. After being a week and a half late, we induced labor, and after almost two days of labor he came screaming into the world.

He Did. Not. Want. To. Come. Out.

He figured he had a good thing going on in there. Food was delivered via a tube, and he was warm and cozy 24/7.

Ten months later, and he's adjusted to life on the outside well. 

He took seven steps on Thanksgiving and promptly went back to crawling. He would take maybe two steps before getting down on his hands and knees. 

Until we put up the Christmas tree. It was a great motivation. He wouldn't come to Daddy. He wouldn't come to Mommy. But the coffee table ends about two feet from the Christmas tree, so he would hold his hands out Frankenstein-style and walk towards the tree.

Now he pretty much walks around every where, heaven help us. 

He's eating real people food. You go from Stage One food that's pureed single foods in small plastic containers to Stage Two food that's bigger containers and more mixtures, to Stage Three. Which has about five options (two of which involve marinara), a few chunks in the food, and is in a large jar.

You're basically thrown off a cliff after that. He has hardly any teeth, so most adult food is too tough for him. Gerber has these toddler meals, but they're expensive and designed for fork and spoon eating, so most of the meals aren't finger friendly (think mashed potatoes and beef, beef with noodles in a sauce). I've taken to just baking some boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cutting that up into really small pieces, because Connor has decided he's DONE with baby food.

He loves the puffs though. Gerber makes these cereal puffs that come in a variety of flavors, and this kid is a puff-aholic. I can stuff him full of dinner, and he'll still eat the puffs I keep out on the table for him the minute his feet hit the floor. 

He has four teeth already, his two front teeth, and the two bottom. His canine has a suspicious lump under it, so I have a feeling that might be making an appearance soon. I had all my teeth by the time I was two, so he might get his teeth early too.

He's sleeping through the night, mostly. He's gone back to waking up once or twice a night the last two weeks, but before that there was a three week stretch where he slept straight through the night. The light at the end of the Sleep is for the Weak Tunnel is getting closer. I can almost feel it.  He takes a two hour nap during the day, but if he takes a nap later on in the evening he won't go to bed until ten. He goes to bed at 8:30 as it is.

I thought kids were supposed to get tired early, but not this one. He's a night owl like both his parents, so I guess he comes by it honestly. I've tried putting him to bed earlier, but he just wakes up two hours later like he's had a nap, and then he's up until ungodly hours of the night. The good news is this means he sleeps in a bit. Most kids his age are getting up around 6 or 7, but he sleeps until 8 or 9 most days.    

He says Da-da, Ma-ma, and Ba-ba and knows what they mean. He's smart. He watched me pull some puffs out of his diaper bag, and the next day he was rooting around in the diaper bag and went straight for the puffs.

In short, we're in a lot of trouble.

I hope you're all having a happy holiday! What are your plans for the holidays?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holidays, Writings, and Apocalypses

As I write this, I am holed up in a bunker hoping to escape detection from our machine overlords...

Okay, not really. I couldn't resist the urge to make a plug about the failed apocalypse. From someone who is writing about the zombie apocalypse, it would be irresponsible of me to NOT plug the apocalypse. Not that I was actually hoping the world would go down in flames. No, seriously. I know I write about apocalypses a lot but it doesn't mean I'm super crazy...

*awkward silence*


The book is coming along, but I'm slogging through. It feels like work, and that every word I type is drivel, but I am advancing ever onward to the end of the book anyway. I just hit 77K, and I should be almost done. It's hard to tell, since the beginning in no way shape or form matches the middle of the book.

When the book is a slog like this, when you're Internal Editor screams at you that the book is wrecked, you're doomed, and you should start over now, all you can do is take it word by word. Paragraph by paragraph. Scene by scene. 

I literally cannot remember how I finished the other books. I've written five full length books, and I know each time I hit this place, that everything is coming undone and it's too wrecked to continue and I should just give up. Start over.

I've listened to that voice before, for various reasons. I'm not saying NEVER listen to that voice, but there comes a time when you have to just finish the book and see what you have. You can't hit a moving a target (technically, if you're a good shot, you CAN, but for the purposes of this metaphor, you CAN'T) and you can't edit an incomplete book.

I know I've moved past this horrible, sucky feeling at least five times (more, actually, because I have more books that are technically finished, but I don't count for various reasons), but I can't remember how. It's weird. They say you forget the pain of labor, otherwise women would only ever have one kid, but that is so not true. I remember every hour of that 30+ labor, but I can't really remember moving from suck to finished. 

So I focus on my writing for today. I focus on the scene I am currently in, and what might happen directly afterwards. So far, it's working. I don't think I'll be finished writing before the New Year, which was my goal, but I am super close, so maybe in time for my birthday (January 3rd). 

In holiday news, Christmas is almost here and we're so excited. It's Connor's first Christmas, and he turns ten months old the day before Christmas. He already got to open his presents from my in laws because they've going to be out of town. He got some fun baby activity centers and a walker he's been driving around the living room for the past hour.  

My in laws got my husband and I a GRILL! I know, right??? We've wanted a grill so bad, but living in an apartment we were never allowed to have one. Something about a fire hazard or something.

I know I'll be doing a lot of grilling in the week to come, and not just my characters! Zing!
Wait, come on guys, that was funny...

So as the year comes to a close, what are your holiday plans?


Monday, December 10, 2012

Jim Butcher Interview

Holy frijoles*!

This is an awesome interview with Jim Butcher. If you're pressed for time and can't watch, allow me to leave you with some take away information:


Also, Jim had this advice to impart when asked whether or not he found the rules he made up for his fantasy world constraining (I'm paraphrasing): "No. I use them as a springboard to do something cooler."

That's awesome. I've run up against rules before and often thought I shot myself in the foot. But in reality, the rules will set you free. You make the rules, show them enforced, but then do something totally cool and unexpected!

That's all for me today. I'm off to get some writing done and watch my kid attempt to walk across the room. YES HE'S WALKING NOW HEAVEN HELP ME.
 *By the way, "frijoles" is Spanish for beans. So yes, I just said "holy beans"!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Birth of a Novel Progress

I've been making intermittent progress lately, but it's all in a good direction. Time really is a funny thing. It can slip through your fingers if you're not paying attention, but if you watch the clock too closely it seems to crawl by.

But these are not new observations.

I've passed the 60K mark, and this feels like a bigger milestone than 50K for some reason. I guess it's because I am more than half way done, and that feels better.

The best news is I've fallen in love with my book again. Books are a little like being married, especially if you're in the long haul for drafting. Writing a novel in a month or two is a little like having a short, passionate fling. When the writing goes longer than that, you have to keep falling in love with the book, over and over again, or you're doomed.

Or it feels like doom, anyway.

The important thing is I've rediscovered my passion and zeal for this book, reminded myself why I started it so long ago, and I look forward to writing. Writing isn't always about sunshine and love and passion, but it should be there often enough, or you start to question why you even bother.

So here's to falling in love, all over again. *lifts a glass of champagne* I hope you rekindle the love you have for your book soon. I hear diamonds help. ;)

What about you? How goes your novel progress?