Letting the Dust Settle

My writing swing is quickly coming back, which I'm hoping means I'm getting used to this new schedule. I sleep about 3 hours at a time right now before I'm up for something with Dalila. We're so close to getting on a regular, predictable schedule it's almost frustrating :) I want it perfect now, but have to be realistic in that she's still a baby and still learning. And testing. Testing like you wouldn't believe. I think most of it is boredom so some new toys are in order. Plus I'm going to freeze some wet wash cloths. Some people recommended them for when she starts teething, but I think she'll like them anyway right now. She loves the puppy treats I bought, after I strip the rawhide off. Don't know if we'll ever give her any, probably not, but no sense letting perfectly good treats go to waste :)

My cdjapan order has finally shipped! (click to see full image)

I'm going to be bouncing until it gets here. Maya and Colleen already have their copies (lucky), now Tessa and I are just waiting for ours. If it doesn't arrive tomorrow, we'll have to wait for next week since Friday is a holiday. Cross your fingers!

Must wrap up chapter 3 of The Dragon King. Writing sometimes feels like weaving, which is sort of a funny similarity seeing as how I've never weaved anything in my life. But it really does. You're trying to bring together these personalities and scenes and words, but sometimes you have to unravel the threads and re-weave until you get the right flow. That's how it feels to me, anyway - your mileage may vary. There'll be many re-weavings in the future I know, but that first complete weaving at least gives you an idea of the pattern, and from there it's just refining until you finally reveal the story for the beautiful tapestry it is. And there's my insightful thought for the day :)

Now, to finish that chapter and rework some of the sidebars...

Coming Soon and Week One over

Was real excited to see this:

Weeeeee I'm so excited! It's finally coming!

There are many reasons why I admire this guy so much - beautiful and powerful vocals, moving lyrics, a hell of a lot of creativity, and the fact that he's not afraid to say what's on his mind (even if it's to tell someone off, which he's done many times). This concert is just another reason to add to the list because it just goes beyond that of a simple concert - it's an event. Well, all his concerts seem to be events (the last few, at least) but this one topped them all I think. Early praises perhaps, as I haven't seen the whole thing yet (some of it was on YT for awhile after WOWOW aired it) however this preview and what I saw on YT before it came down is enough to satisfy me on that point. A bunch of lucky Japanese fans got to see RRII in theatres today (or maybe it was yesterday considering the time difference) and Tessa, Colleen, Maya and I have to be content with imagining how much fun that would be. We mused about the idea back when it was just an idea but in our case there's two problems with that: 1.)we all live miles and miles apart, as in we'd need trains or planes to visit each other, and 2.)one of us would have to die and the others use the insurance policy to pay for it. Yeah we have great and wacky conversations - when we're not confusing each other that is. Which seems to be a little easier than it probably should :)

I managed to survive the first week, though this sleep schedule is making me nuts. At least it's regular, get up at the same time and go to bed at the same time. Dalila's pretty much crate-trained now, she's only had a few accidents in there but she doesn't whine or anything when she's in it. Big plus, because I want her to recognize it as 'her' space. She's about 95% housebroken now too which is another plus. I take her out every morning but trying to catch her before she wakes up is hit or miss. My hope is that with consistancy she'll learn to hold it until we get outside; she's quick to pick up how I praise her, and that when I don't it's because she hasn't done something or done the wrong thing. We're not having any major issues, which is good. Overall we're doing well.

I really should get back to writing instead of working out other summaries...

Picspam - Dalila

Here are the long-awaited puppy pics. Just links this time, it's easier than trying to resize them all. I lazy.

Well here she is. You'll notice the super stylish gate I'm using to keep her out of the dining room ;) She kept going under the dining room table and peeing so we thought it best to keep her in the living room.





she's taken to her crate really well:



and more playtime:




Here she's seeing her reflection in the mirror at the back of the cabinet. She thinks it's another puppy and barks at it:



This was not a productive day at all.

Woke up to take Dalila out at 6am and made the wonderful discovery that we had no water. The only thing worse than not having water is not having water and not knowing why. I was too tired to think so I just went and took the pup outside. It turns out a water main burst and they were already working on it. So naturally I thought 'bonus! Water should be back soon.'

I was very wrong.

The water didn't come back until 9pm. Yup, pm. By about 7pm I had enough of wondering what was taking so long and actually went out there to investigate. It was educational to say the least! The one guy who was standing at the site was really nice about answering my questions about what was going on, and basically told me that they had to cut the pipes out and replace them which is why they were taking so long. Usually they just put a clamp around the pipe and seal it all back up, then turn the water back on. Honestly, I think the city needs to start monitoring what work gets done where, and when. I know pipes have a certain life expectancy so to speak, maybe they should replace them before they burst like this. I've heard of long repairs but this was completely ridiculous. At least with advanced warning you can save some water but this totally disrupts your life. You can't do much of anything without water.

We're getting better with the potty-training thing. Dalila goes all night in her crate without an accident, she usually wakes me up at 5am to pee though. I just put her back in her crate once she goes. Only a couple accidents, and she's learning to stay in her crate for 2 hours. I finally went and asked on the forums on Cesar Millan's website what others did with their pups and went from there. Things just clicked after that, that I have to be the one to teach her when to go, when to hold it, everything. But she's smart though, she's taking to a leash really well without too much teaching from me. It's work, but not as much as people seem to think it is when you've got a plan :)

Tomorrow? Writing. Lots and lots and lots of writing.

Finding a New Normal

It was a very emotional weekend, things didn't seem like they were going to go right with the potty training and all that. Emotional dreak doesn't even begin to cover it lol I think these first few weeks are going to be a little rocky as we get used to her and she gets used to us. And so long as I stay consistant during that time we should come out okay and problem-free. She naps quite a bit, so my writing will be okay (thank goodness!) but I'm also looking forward to going out for walks. Surprisingly Dalila walks on the leash despite never having one on her before I brought her home which is so great. She gets hesitant every few feet, but I stay patient and don't let her back up and she gets it quickly. I think overall we're doing good!

I'm all caught up reading all the blog entries I missed. The Dragon King has taken a slight shift in chapter 3 which is good, because now it works :) And now I have my energy back to write so I'll be making sure all my wordbars are updated today. I'm trying to stop the habit of updating one and not the other, then it gets confusing as to just where exactly I'm at. My notes are all over the place, when I get a plot or dialogue idea I have to just jot it down on the nearest paper or I'll lose it. They're not as bad as they can get, but I hate messes. So whip that into shape, and also maybe work on another at the same time. So many to choose. Ah cross that bridge when I get there.

And last but not least I have an award! Given to me by Sonshine Thoughts (thanks again!). I'm supposed to share 7 interesting facts for this award, so here they are:

1. I can pick stuff up with my toes - and often do
2. I tend to favour old shows like M*A*S*H and Golden Girls over a lot of the newer stuff, though I do enjoy the occassional House MD, Mantracker (which needs new episodes!), NUMB3RS, Ghost Hunters and pretty much anything on Discovery Civilizations channel
3. I can come up with a new story idea often at the drop of the hat. This isn't always a good thing - I averaged four in one day
4. Many things I hate or dislike at first I tend to come around and like to some degree
5. Animals and I seem to connect really well, I can usually tell what they want and how they're feeling. My mother says it's a gift, I think it's kind of cool.
6. I like being crafty. I make jewellry, flower arranging, and I'm even going to give candlemaking a go
7. I can make pretty good cheesecake, and this year I'm endeavoring to make more than just pretty good cheesecake

Yes It's Another - Contest That Is!

A real entry IS coming I promise! Until then, go here and enter Southern Princess' 100 followers contest. GREAT prizes await! Go! And be sure to tell her I referred you!

Another Quick Post

Hello lovely followers (and lurkers - I know you're out there!)!

Just another quick note to say I'm feeling much better now, and will be back within a day or two. Turns out it was the flu. Lovely. Flu and Panic Anxiety Disorder do NOT mix, let me tell you. But I won't bore you with that. Thank you for the well-wishes, and after some rest and some errands I will be catching up and commenting on all that I've missed. Dalila comes home today, I'm so excited! And nervous! And outright terrified! It's my first dog, what can I say. Pictures will come I promise!

Take care everyone!

Night From Hell

I just wanted to leave a quick note, because I've been pretty good maintaining blogging every day or every second day. To spare the unpleasant details I had a super bad night last night. Lots of pain and discomfort, nausea and worst no sleep. I think the worst of it is over now, thank goodness but I think it might be another day before I'm feeling more normal. So it'll be a little quiet until then, but I promise I'll catch up on everyone's blogs when I can.

Hope everyone had a great St. Patrick's day and stayed safe!

Rewriting When You Shouldn't Be Rewriting

Yes, this be a writerly rant :)

The way I see my first drafts is that they're my foundation. I don't aim for amazingly perfect or even Really Good (although they have their moments - whose first draft doesn't at least have a few?) but I do aim to try and give myself a good structure to build on when I go in for the first rewrite. Some people edit as they go, and if that works for you then by all means work with it :) If I go back and edit nothing gets done. Anyway, I'm tangenting here. Chapters 1 and 2 for The Dragon King came around okay, but this is looking to be a stubborn ms. First, I've renamed the one female character once and am looking at doing so again. The names I chose just don't thrill me, and it's hard to write a character whose name I hate. Now I'm about midway through Chapter 3 (I think) and I've rewritten this several times already! It's just not coming out right, and eventually the writing dies off. Usually starting with a blank page and reworking the part that isn't working so that I can continue writing works, which is something I've had to do a few times with earlier chapters but this is ridiculous. I don't know if it's because this is a major plot point or my first go-round with fantasy romance but I am Not Pleased. I think I've got it this time now though. It's not perfection, but it's enough that I can continue on with the chapter now. I'm just hoping this isn't a bad omen of sorts, because I don't want to see this book become a trunk novel. I love it way too much, and I'm going to work my butt off to make it good enough for a publisher (hopefully an agent first though!)

I have some new followers I see, big welcomes to you :) It's always fun to see a new stalker (and I mean that nicely I promise) and meet people in the writing industry, although I don't feel like I'm truly 'in' it just yet. Just a note, if you've followed my blog and I haven't followed you back within a day or too just comment and let me know. I'm a stickler on returning the favor and I like finding new blogs to follow. Hmm, that sounded kind of creepy. Ah well.

Music of the Moment - Ulduar - Cranius and Summergale

Quick! Get thee to these Blogs!

More contests! Late notice I know, but there's still time!

Okay, contest one is here at Elana Johnson's blog. She's giving away seven great books, signed. You can't get much better than that!

And contest two is here at the Shooting Stars blog. They're giving away five prizes, one of which is a 40-page partial and critique by Suzie Townsend at FinePrintLit!

So what are you waiting for?! Go and enter! NAO!

Puppy Tails

The requested puppy pictures. Click on them to see them in full, and remember all pictures are property of me - so no stealing! Enjoy the cuteness!

Yup, that's my baby girl under the chair.

This is the only little boy in the group. He goes home Monday.


There's my girl!

When Lag is a Good Thing

I seem to be writing more easily in my notepad than on the computer lately, I'm not sure why but I'm just rolling with it. It makes it a little easier to multitask too since I don't have to constantly flip between my programs. Plus Liquid Story Binder doesn't really like that (or maybe it's the computer, who knows). Anyway, some of the things I do especially on places like Facebook have a habit of lagging, sometimes for several minutes before I can continue (FarmVille is usually that culprit; Vampire Wars lags but not quite that long). If you don't know what lag is, it's basically a delay in the process, most common in online games like World of Warcraft but also in things like Facebook applications and is incredibly aggravating. Nothing's worse than when something's trying to kill you and the program stops. For me there's only one way to deal with it - writing. I can average nearly a page of writing for every spot of lag I seem to hit while playing FarmVille and Vampire Wars though not so much with WoW - long flights make up for that though. It's free time, there's no excuse not to use it productively in some way. I should have resorted to the notepad earlier, so much I could have gotten done!

Which reminds me, I really should update my word bars. And post indicating that they've been updated fully. So many things on the to-do list, I get so lax sometimes. I blame the excitement of Dalila's pending arrival :D

Drop Everything - It's a Contest!

Found about this one through Falen's journal.

Sonshine Thoughts is hosting a contest celebrating 100 blogposts, and the prize is this cute little amigarumi owl (say that out loud, it's kind of fun :D ). So go and check it out, I compel you! And follow her blog, because it looks pretty cool.

Writers - Expect the Best From Yourself

While I was making my morning rounds to my favourite websites, a comment on AbsoluteWrite got me thinking. Vanity publishers are always touting their 'we're so much better because we let you be in control, you keep all the profits', 'you'll get royalties' and just basically play up on all the misinformation there is out there on publishing. And those who go with vanities think they're getting a better deal because hey! they're seeing royalties! But when you get published by a commerical pub, you are seeing royalties - you're just seeing them all at once. Your advance is the amount of royalties the publisher expects your book to earn. Compare that to vanity publishing, are you really going to waffle at a four-digit advance? If anything the advance is better; all your royalties at once vs. the vanity route which can take months and all the work's on you?

So if you're a writer, an honest-to-goodness writer ask yourself how much you value your work. Ask yourself if your work is worth a four-digit advance (at the very least - gods know we'd all love to see those six figures or more!) and make the decision to work your craft beyond the drivel that comes out of vanity publishers. I know what I would pick.

The End Cometh

Just the end of the month, to be specific :) I still have Christmas presents coming which haven't shipped yet. One of the items is the RRII dvd I've blogged about before, and unless Gackt announces yet another deadline pushback my order will ship on the 31st of this month! Another pushback is unlikely, he's pretty much done now. Or at least done enough that there won't be another delay. The wait's finally coming to an end! This is the bigger of the two orders I had made, and the eagerness is not only that the dvd is coming but also the Setsugekka single, RE:BORN, and the December edition of ARENA37 (no I can't read it, but one day I hope to) that's coming along with it. I'm not sure if I managed to nab a first pressing of Setsugekka before it sold out, but I'm hoping. RE:BORN is the one I'm most looking forward to after the dvd. Bah, the release date can't come fast enough.

Another ending is the puppy waiting period. Dalila comes home next week! I'm all excited and nervous all at the same time. Two weeks ago we went and actually visited with the puppies - the four puppy litter was five weeks old, and the single pup was six weeks. The four was comprised of three girls and a boy, but one of the girls wasn't growing with the others and she was sequestered to the bedroom. Everyone was very klutzy on their feet, they were so adorable. The oldest pup was a little more adventurous and curious. Unfortunately last week the one girl who wasn't growing right took a turn for the worst and passed away last Friday, the poor thing. This evening we went for another visit, the pups are a lot older and everyone's getting ready to go to their new homes. Our breeder picked up a puppy from a co-litter she did with another breeder, and it's this puppy who's coming home to us! She's roughly the same age as the other pups, same colouring and is just the sweetest thing. A really lovely energy, she sat when I held her in my arms and would often sit beside my legs - not clingy or dominant, just being. I was nervous about potentially taking this pup because she was pick of the litter, and pick of the litter usually means the one who most exhibits the breed which is usually the highest energy one. Shelties are herders, so they can be really high energy. But our breeder breeds more for the beauty of the breed instead of their skill and I just fell in love. Pics to come when she comes home!

Bits and Pieces

The Dragon King looks like it's going to be one of those stories that doesn't quite write itself in a linear fashion. It's not bad per-se, my mind generally doesn't work in a linear fashion after all but it can get me a little worried. Worried that I might have a hard time later down the road linking all the scenes together if I'm jumping all over the place and resulting in a crapload of tweaking in the first draft alone. Redemption is somewhat writing that way, I'm not even sure if half the scenes I come up with will even work in the story but I guess we'll have to see. I was working my way through chapter 3, but suddenly got inspired to write the grand feast held at Celios' palace which likely won't happen for another several chapters. But it's coming freely, so I'm not going to complain. It looks to be giving me a good couple thousand words at least, and I really love writing this scene. More importantly, I'm liking what I'm writing. I know, like the rest of the manuscript it's going to need tweaking and editing but it's a really great scene. Kind of it's-good-and-can-be-made-better, as opposed to some of the this-is-crap-but-I-can-fix-it-later scenes. Well no first draft is perfect ;)

I wish ideas would stop coming to me at the wee hours of the morning, just as I'm going to bed. Early this morning it was a major plot point for The Heart Beneath (written in 2007, I think) and the morning before it was the start of the wedding scene for The Dragon King. Stupid evil muses, come around when I'm awake!

Looking for an Agent or Publisher?

Jessica Faust over at BookEnds LLC blogged today about a great way to start that hunt for a good agent or publisher. You can check it out here. Really helpful stuff. Another thing I would sugguest is to follow agents' blogs, especially ones who rep your genre. It can also help give you some insight into just what they're looking for. Happy hunting!

Vampires and Dragons

Woo! I'm up to ten followers! Thank you to you all!

The Dragon King is coming along, albeit slowly. Again. I think I need to pull out my fantasy romances and reread them to kind of help me get into that right frame of mind to write characters falling in love. Or at least spawn a decent amount of dialogue. Right now Celios and Amarante are meeting for the first time in her family's gardens and it's very much turning into a secret rendevous. I'm not trying to make the scene perfect mind you, but I do want to at least lay a decent groundwork to work from later when I revise. Nothing bugs me more than looking back and thinking 'crap, that needs way more'. I did that with Path, there's a couple whole scenes missing that I meant to throw in. But that one's got some bigger things to be focused on first, so I can kind of ignore it for the time being. Sometimes judging pace can be tricky; you don't want to rush, but you don't want to drag it out either. I find the latter harder to manage than the former sometimes. Maybe I need to cut down on the distractions some, or change around my day to get me to settle more. I need more productive BIC sessions.

Beautiful Nightmareis calling me again. Sexy vamps, they're hard to resist. The biggest challenge of any vampire writer is to give her vamps a spin or something that makes them stand out from everyone else's vamps. Not always easy, when you think about it. There's seldom anything that's been done before, and if you plan to introduce something new there has to be a reasonable explanation for it. I want my vamps to be complex, monsters and lovers at the same time. The mopey vampire a la Louis or Edward in my world is a weakness; someone would put you out of your misery fast if that's how you thought. At the very least, a vampire accepts that they're a creature that relies on blood to live. Most don't have much qualm about taking it from humans, but there are many ways to do it. Some will do so secretly, others will raid a blood bank, some make a sport out of it. My main character vampire is one of those last ones, but he's not evil in the sense that he's incapable of feeling anything for humans. He falls in love, after all :) Okay I should probably stop there before I start spoiling plot points. Needless to say I'll be doing some worldbuilding inbetween Dragon Kingsegments.

Music of the Moment: Future - Gackt

Farewell Olympics

And so the 2010 Olympics come to an end. Big congratulations to every competitor that competed, no matter your country. Just making it that far is a feat within itself, and everyone should walk home feeling accomplished. This is the standings, for anyone who's interested from the official Vancouver 2010 Olympics page:

Country Gold Silver Bronze
Canada 14 7 5
Germany 10 13 7
United States 9 15 13
Norway 9 8 6
Korea 6 6 2
Switzerland 6 0 3
China 5 2 4
Sweden 5 2 4
Austria 4 6 6
Netherlands 4 1 3
Russian Federation 3 5 7
France 2 3 6
Australia 2 1 0
Czech Republic 2 0 6
Poland 1 3 2
Italy 1 1 3
Belarus 1 1 1
Slovakia 1 1 1
Great Britain 1 0 0
Japan 0 3 2
Croatia 0 2 1
Slovenia 0 2 1
Latvia 0 2 0
Finland 0 1 4
Estonia 0 1 0
Kazakhstan 0 1 0

I believe if I heard the reports right, Canada now holds the record for the most gold medals won by a host country. That's not too bad. Plus we came in third overall this go round, with Germany in second with 30 total medals and the United States with 37 total medals. The only thing I didn't enjoy about these closing ceremonies (I didn't enjoy this during the openings either) was the french speaking being done before the english. Yes we are a bilingual country, but our french speakers are the minority and the Olympics aren't being held in Quebec. Not to say that french speakers are second class citizens because they're not, but I would bet good money that choosing the french before the english was purely political so that Quebec didn't complain. It was great to see Michael J. Fox there, and of course William Shatner. The musical lineup could have been better. The only ones I enjoyed were Nickelback, Neil Young and the french act whose name I didn't manage to catch. But the Olympics are about the athletes, not the ceremonies and overall I think they were pretty successful.

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