Monday, June 27, 2011

Word sabotage

Just figured out that in MS Word when you put spaces between the ellipses, it counts them as separate words! The computer is off by 450 extra "words" from this glitch in the first 1/2 of my book. Grr and a half!

Even worse, when I went to some websites that claim they count words, they also count the separate periods plus counts contractions as two words. Gack my lunch!

The good news is, I don't have to worry AS much about pulling words from my novel, but it's still frustrating to know that an expensive program like MS Word isn't accurate.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Just spent the last 30 minutes changing passwords, cancelling accounts, and generally fuming. What would they want with my accounts? Grr. Anyway, FB, e-mail, and blogs are more secure and one of my throw away accounts has been thrown away. People should find something more productive to do with their time rather than annoy those of us who work for a living.

Staring at the monitor

I don't know how it is for other writers, but a lot of my time is spent staring at the monitor considering my next word, sentence, or concept. I don't like this staring contest. The monitor almost always wins. I get even more frustrated, though, when I just type and type then erase it over and over. So being lost in thought seems to be the lesser of two evils.

My current staring contest is with middle of my novel Shattered Certainties. Initially I was doing so to re-write the middle so I could market two smaller books, but I've since found a publisher that wants long sf/fantasy novels. Problem is, the whole monstrosity is about 12,000 words TOO long. So while I'm re-writing, I'm also trying to shorten the thing.

Every change I make here in the middle is changing vast tracts of the end. Not bad, really, because the changes are good (I've found some continuity errors that would later come back to haunt me!) but this means I'm going to have to throw most of the second 1/2 out and start from scratch. I've done this before, I know "killing my babies" is for the greater good, but it seems so overwhelming. It's like being confident in running your 5k's and suddenly signing up for a half-marathon. You THINK you can do it, but never having done it, yet, you know it's going to be a lot of work.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Short shorts

I'm not sure where my current obsession has come from, but I LOVE writing short shorts. Get in, make your point, get out. It's harder in a way, because I have to consider the importance of each word. But it's also easier in a way because I don't have to delve too deeply into plot, character, or setting. Plus, I love coming up with a twist or surprise ending.

I bought two books today of short fiction. One is 55 word stories, some of which are really cool. The other is a second volume of short stories, of which I have the first. I'm hoping to get more inspiration and make a collection of stories that may be marketable.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Submitted another short story to a contest tonight. This was an old story I went back and revised. Haven't heard from the other contests I submitted to earlier this summer, but I'll keep checking.

I'm now seeing enough contest/publication requests through my mailing lists that I'm getting a little overwhelmed. Sometimes I don't want to submit to any of them because I'm afraid none of my work really applies to what they want. Then again, if I don't try, they CAN'T say yes. So, tonight, I bit the bullet and sent in one of my slightly-weird pieces. We'll see how it does. All they can do is say no.

I've been keeping track of contests for short stories, flash fiction, novels, and collections, but I'm hesitant in submitting to the collections ones. Not only do I NOT have enough quality stuff for a collection, I'm just not sure I want to commit that much stuff to one publication. Maybe I'm being silly. I have to have 50 to 100 pages of quality stories to submit anyway, and I don't have that yet.

I'm considering entering a contest where I have to write an entire novel in 3 days. Crazy. You can do all the planning you want ahead of time, but you can only write the thing in the three alloted days. Still considering. I'm not sure I'll have the time to do that, but it might be fun to try.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Time and what we choose to do with it

I just realized it's been WEEKS since my last posting. I could list excuses. Reasons, even. But if I'm honest, it comes down to the fact that I've felt there are other things more important than writing.

That attitude will never get me published.

Additionally, I have this whole digital notebook dedicated to contests, publication possibilities and agents. I've written several new stories and have a whole collection that have never been submitted anywhere. Have I used either recently? No.

I can't get published if I don't submit writing.

So the conclusion is, if I want to be a writer, I need to quit making excuses and write. If I want to get published, I need to quit making excuses and submit things.

What am I doing tomorrow? Trying to figure out how I'm going to fit writing into my triple-booked schedule. Why do I do this to myself? Avoidance behavior is becoming my norm...if only I could use writing as my avoidance, maybe this attitude could work to my advantage.