The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible - Vladimir Nabokov

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you - Zora Neale Hurston

21 March 2010

Guess what I've been up to...

Writing! Can you believe it? After months of having to devote extra effort to that pesky day job, I've finally got some free time for the fun stuff. I was so worried my muse would abandon me, but she didn't! As soon as I sat down for a full hour on Saturday, 1200 words poured out. They weren't bad, either. Much better than the sentences and bits of paragraphs I'd gotten down during the Dark Times (aka when I was grant writing). I've also been revising the first half of my book and dealing with those frustrating comments I left for myself: "Needs more threat"; "SHOW don't tell, stupid"; "should give this character a name..." and so on.
I'm 65,000 words in, which feels like alot, but it will be around 130,000 in the end. They don't call it epic fantasy for nothing. I also want to complete the second book in the series, so I know I can finish the story. That means another 130,000 words to go. Plus, I'm working on revisions for my last book and hoping to query Australian agents soon (I should say 'agent' as there aren't many open to new fantasy authors). AND I'm helping my husband get his dissertation on 'Art and Dyslexia' in shape for academic publication. Oh yeah, I thought it about time I did a blog post too.
Can someone out there please help me get organized? I'm feeling overwhelmed with everything that I want to do. Likely a side effect of being constrained with work for so long. Should I finish the revisions of the last book first and get querying, or should I plow ahead with the current epic while the vision is still fresh in my mind?

As for blogging, I have been speed reading people's posts, if not always commenting, but I thought it about time I stepped out of the shadows. Michele at Southern City Mysteries gave me the Beautiful Blogger Award several days ago, and I've been remiss in passing it on. Part of the reason was that I felt so flattered. I thought I needed to live up to the award, so I scribbled notes on a couple of grand topics like memoirs and forgiveness but didn't post any of them (at least not yet). In the end, I settled on the above humble progress report.

To finish fulfilling the requirements of the award, here are seven "interesting" things about me:
  1. I'm quick to anger and quick to forgive

  2. I know all of Darth Vader's lines in Episodes IV-VI

  3. Episodes I-III were SO disappointing

  4. I've become proficient at recognizing dialogue, even without quote marks, as my new Kindle often leaves them out for some reason

  5. Some colleagues were telling ghost stories about weird sounds in the building at night and one guy, in serious creepy storyteller mode, said, "...and then I heard Lorel's laugh, but she was no where to be seen..." And they all shuddered! So, apparently, I have a ghostly laugh.

  6. I wanted to be a veterinarian and did some work study at a clinic, but decided I liked animals too much to see them in pain every day

  7. same goes for why I decided not to become a medical doctor

I pass the award on to some seriously beautiful bloggers: Portio Sisco, whose posts often reflect just how I feel; Niki at Wool'n'Nuts who brightens my day with her beautiful animal photos; Jemi at Just Jemi who is so positive and seems like the sort of teacher I would have adored when I was a child; Heather at Heather's Odyssey, my long lost twin (the blonde version); and finally Crystal at Crystal Clear Proofing who is trying so hard to help all us writers with our poor grammar and spelling--a Herculean effort! I would pass this on to Michele too, who is also a beautiful blogger, but she gave it to me so that's against the rules!

Until next time...Maybe I'll post something about memoirs after all?


  1. Congratulations on the award, well deserved. A lot of great new links to check out too, thanks. As for getting organized, if you find out how to do it please share. I'm one of the world's most unorganized people. Sounds like you have a plan going. Good luck.

  2. Gee you're doing well with your writing. Very inspiring!

    Thanks for the award :o) XX

  3. Congrats on your writing!

    I'm in the pattern where I have to edit right after finishing a book, but it probably makes more sense for you to put your novel down for a week or so and get started on your new idea. Then you can go back to edit your novel with fresh eyes and a little distance. :)

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. Congrats on the award :) And thanks for passing it along my way with such kind words. You're a sweetie.

    It's back to work today after spring break - so this is a great way to start the week :)

  5. If you're afire with the new work, then I say go with that. When the flame isn't burning quite as brightly, you can go back and edit the other. A little distance is never a bad thing.

  6. Congrats on getting time to write and getting the words flowing again, that's excellent!

  7. Mason--Thanks. Whenever I do get a bit organized, it falls apart about a week later. What I need (and probably everyone else in the world too) is a personal assistant!

    Niki--You're welcome :)

    Elizabeth--I imagine your deadlines don't allow you to leave a manuscript sitting around too long before editing. You're right, I should allow my last manuscript to sit while I work on the new one. It can't hurt the revisions.

    Jemi--Sorry to hear your break is over, but good luck with the rest of teh semester!

    Elspeth--Great advice! It's harder to get the flame going. Editing can be done any old time.

    Heather--Thanks. It is such a relief when the words flow. I guess I'm always expecting my muse to get bored of me and leave, so it's a relief when she doesn't.

  8. Wow, I feel so honored! Thanks for thinking of me :-) I love reading about the notes you left to yourself. I have very similar notes in my own WIP! And just for the record, I've always loved epic fantasy!

  9. Lorel ~ If you want to see organized, visit Kat's blog at http://www.katokeeffe.com/. She has organization down to an art-form.

    I'm glad to see you back posting again!!

  10. Portia--I leave myself tons of notes, all written by the tough editor version of me (which the struggling writer me hates). You're a professional editor, so are you great at being tough on yourself?

    Glad to hear you love epic fantasy too! More potential readers is good (I just have to get published first).

    DL--Thanks for pointing out Kat's blog. I just visited it. Wow, she is organized! I must become her Jedi apprentice :)