October 30, 2009

NaNo, NaNo, It's Off to Write I Go

October and November are usually very busy months for me. First, I make many of my Christmas gifts, and I am usually hurrying to get them all finished on time. Second, both of us participate annually in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. It's a huge challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It's even harder when the rules state you must write alone, without your partner to lean on when you get stuck. Both of us spend a great deal of time in October plotting out the novels we'll write in November. We sometimes help each other with the plotting, but not usually very much. We find it's easier to produce a book if we don't talk about what will be written until after it's written. We get better stories that way. Both of us spend endless hours in November beating keyboards to death. 50,000 words in 30 days averages out to 1,667 words per day. But consider...Thanksgiving eats up two of those days. My sister's birthday steals another. Preparations for one daughter's 18th birthday will eat some of my November, too. The technical difficulties we had with Fabric of the World are ongoing, but we hope to have the changes made by the end of this weekend, then the waiting for the proof copy commences. Finishing the fixes and resubmitting the manuscript will take up a good deal of Sunday, which is another day lost to the NaNo novel. All together, that's at least five days gone. So essentially, we will be writing our 50K novels in only 25 days. Eeek! My almost 18-yr old will be joining us in writing a novel this year, also. This is one of the advantages of homeschooling. You can assign something like writing a novel and make it a year-long project, and it becomes a class in composition. I won't normally take space in this blog for my daughter's happenings, but I wanted to publicly wish her the best of luck on her novel writing. I don't generally have problems coming up with a plot...there are some who say I am always plotting...but this year I had a great deal of difficulty thinking about my NaNo novel. I started in September working on the rough draft of a story tentatively titled The Siege of Kwennjurat, which will be a sequel toTanella's Flight. One of the main characters, Liammial, just wouldn't leave me alone. I couldn't get him out of my head to even think of other ideas for novels. I finally wrote a scene which will not appear in the actual book where I knocked him unconscious for several hours, and used that time for plotting my NaNo novel. Incredibly, the ruse worked, but he has now woken up and is insisting I finish his story before I write anything else. I still have a few chapters of The Siege to write, and if I can't finish them today or tomorrow, they will also be eating up my NaNo writing time. Liammial will not be denied. Sigh. The NaNo idea is so good, too...it involves telepaths, several secrets hidden in a bracelet, ciphers I learned from a letterboxing friend named KuKu (yes, that is her name!), and a plot to take over the world. What could be better? I don't know yet what my partner will be working on this year, but it will probably be better than mine...she's been working on the plot since September. In order to save myself a little bit of November writing time for my as-yet-unnamed telepath novel, I did a little programming on the website that ordinarily wouldn't have been done until November. I have made lesson three of the school accessible, changed some images around (five points for the first person who tells me what I changed and what the new image is of), and put up the NaNoWriMo Word War Page. I've been wanting to get this page up all month, but the word count widgets haven't been turned on yet. They still aren't turned on, so if you go to the NaNo page on my site, you'll see a lot of placeholders for the widgets. I did get an email from a kind soul at the Office of Letters and Light who said the widgets should be enabled "when the site goes live", which I understand to mean, "on November First". We'll see what happens. Just know if you go to the NaNo page and don't see the widgets, it's not a programming error on my part...they're just not turned on yet. Happy reading! Anne

October 22, 2009

No Time! No Time!

The white rabbit was rushed so he wouldn't hear the queen screaming, "off with his head" if he was late to her garden party. Although the circumstances, and certainly the consequences, are different, I've been feeling a lot like the white rabbit lately. First of all, I'm trying to get ready for my annual venture into the month-long madness that is NaNoWriMo, so I've been looking around for a likely plot. The problem is I'm up to my ears in a rough draft already, and the characters in that book won't let go of me long enough for me to think of other plots. I'm working on the "Chocolate Copy" of The Siege of Kwennjurat, the sequel to Tanella's Flight. Liammial has moved into my head, and I can't dislodge him. There's only 10 days until NaNoWriMo, and there's some 28 chapters (or more) still to write on The Siege. I tried outlining an idea I had, and less than halfway through, I realized that I didn't even want to write the outline, much less the book. I figure if it's too boring to write, it will be boring to read. Then again, maybe my boredom stems from the fact I have a megalomaniac locked up in my skull and he won't let me write anything else until I've finished his story. *Sigh* Liammial does not make for a good roommate, or happy dreams. Yesterday I was writing a particular sequence of two chapters, and I started crying, because I know what is going to happen later to these characters, and they didn't even have the opportunity to put on clean clothes or eat breakfast before their fate was set in motion. In other news, Fabric of the World is going to be a little delayed. When the proof copy arrived, we discovered a very serious formatting problem. While trying to figure out how to fix that, a score or more of typos that had previously been hidden came to light. The formatting problem is now being fixed, and the typos are being discovered and fixed as quickly as possible. Then we will have to wait for a second proof copy before the book can be released. We are now hoping for sometime in the middle of November. Happy reading! Anne

October 09, 2009

New Website and other news

Whew! It's been a long month. I've been working frantically to finish my new website. I've been totally rewriting the coding to get rid of the frames, and a bunch of other things that will never be seen, but should make the page run better. (Yes, I know, I'm starting to sound like other programmers.) *shrug* Other than new colors, and a couple of new pages that will be unveiled soon, the biggest difference is I'm no longer at a free, .co.cc domain that no one seems to know where in the world it originates. One friend looked it up and said it was an island off Australia. My virus checking program said it was from South Korea, and I had to use an exception to see my own site. The trailing letters gave erroneous information, since my place was actually hosted in the US...it just had a strange domain, because it was free.

I now have sold enough books to afford a year's worth of paid hosting and a US domain name. My website is now found at www.am-jenner.com! I'm so excited! A new email address comes along with the new website, too. anne@am-jenner.com.

We've also spent the last two months reading the suggestions given by our proofreaders for Fabric of the World, and then ripping the book apart and totally rewriting it. I've gotta thank Doctor, Force of Five, Nitrocat, neknitter, bobguyman, Hornicorn, and Pat for all their work and suggestions. The book is a lot better, and there are a lot of changes that have been made since you read it. We expect Fabric of the World to be published very soon. We are currently waiting for the publisher's cover-maker to go back online, and the book should be ready for purchase within two weeks of that time.

As with Tanella's Flight, hand-made autographed bookplates featuring a handcarved stamp will be available.