Sunday, July 31, 2011

ROW80, Life in a Post-Potter World, and a Blue Crayon

I just got back from seeing Harry Potter 7.5.
They had to drag me, kicking and screaming.
Why didn't I want to go? I did. I really, really did. I just don't want to live in a post-Potter world. Those movies were the last things keeping the books, I don't know, alive somehow. It was a great movie, of course. The battle of Hogwarts was like Helm's Deep for wizards. But it felt like being present at some huge generational demarcation. Those books have been around for what seems like most of my life, and I'm left wondering what series/cinema combo will step forward and take over next. I've got high hopes for The Hunger Games trilogy, but we shall see.

In the word count/ ROW80 realm, I spend a good part of every day working on the new novella, The Resurrection of Blake House. It's still in the revise/adding things phase. I feel like there should be a technical term for this: not exactly drafting, but more than revising. Reworking? Ok, that. I've spent approx. 2-4 hours daily "reworking" Blake House. Last check-in I decided I would try clocking time instead of counting words because I noticed I was having really productive days, adding in whole scenes and trimming old ones, but my word count would be a distressing 200 or so. Timing myself sometimes worked when I was writing my dissertation. When I'm writing wholly new material, such as Book 3 in the Gifted series, it's much better to go with word count.

Work continues on Gifts Book 3, which now has an actual name and a soon-to-be released first chapter (stay tuned!). I also had a moment of furious insight- you know, the kind you have to scribble down immediately, even though you're sitting in the middle of a crowded restaurant with nothing but a kiddie menu and a blue crayon. That blue crayon yielded up quite a breakthrough for the next Whitfield trilogy. The one after Gifts that no one really knows about yet but has me quite excited. Note: it is hard to give in to a Sexy New Idea when all you have is a blue crayon and people are looking at you funny.

I am still hung up on a cover designer. I think I'm developing a neurosis about it. I'm not happy with anything. Or rather, it's like that first day of kindergarten when you worry whether your darling will fit in. Will my cover be good enough? Will the other covers bully it? I have a case of cover art OCD. Maybe because cover art is one of the few things I can control. Sales, rankings, reception, and to an extent, release date- out of my hands. But picking art/ an artist? Tangible, creative, and immediately gratifying.

What else? Had a chance to read some great books as a part of the Smashwords summer sale. I put the reviews up on Goodreads and am still slowly making my way through my TBR pile as time permits. I haven't even begun to touch the new major releases I want to read, either, because there has been such a flood of excellent Indie fiction this summer. I've been backsliding on my internet break just a little because darn it, I miss my Tweeps and FaceBeasties and Goodreaders and such. But mostly I'm coming to realize that breaks are good and necessary parts of my writing process. So. That's the weekend happenings, and I guess I'll get back to that break now. Thanks! -VK

9 comments:

  1. "it is hard to give in to a Sexy New Idea when all you have is a blue crayon and people are looking at you funny."
    Backs of Starbucks/pharmacy/grocery/etc receipts, sheets torn off of a waitstaff's order pad, paper tableclothes/napkins, inside cover of a textbook...
    Crayons, Sharpies, eyeliner...
    Gleeful sounds, (seemingly) out of the blue laughter, mutterings, cutting ppl off mid-sentence (including strangers) to ask "what's the word that..."
    MUCH. STARING. So...I get ya :P

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  2. Oh, eyeliner! I forgot about the eyeliner. I ruin every single stick I buy writing stuff down. Because of pen thieves. My life is filled with pen thieves, dooming me to a life of under-emphasized eyes. And then I lose the scraps of paper anyway. But we'll always have the stares...

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  3. I am off to see Harry Potter on Thursday and I completely understand what you mean about almost not wanting to so it doesn't feel like the end!

    Sounds like you have had a productive week and I hope the next one is as productive!

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  4. Maybe they're staring cuz of the lack of emphasized eyes? :P

    I'm *usually* pretty good about shoving the paper in my wallet as soon as I've written down whatever I HAD to write down. Or my book. Or whatever. They are Not To Be Lost.

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  5. I enjoyed the last HP movie too and definitely cried over a few scenes. I have high hopes for the Hunger Games movies.
    Oh, cover art. Blargh. I get excited about changing the covers and then I do and people complain about them more than they complained about the covers before. It's just...we cannot all have the same cover with some ethereal girl standing in a field with her hair blowing in the wind looking sullen while light pixies and fae swirly-gigs fly around her.
    No, Stacey, tell us what you really think. :)
    Awesome job on time spent reworking and SNI's written in blue crayon.

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  6. "It's just...we cannot all have the same cover with some ethereal girl standing in a field with her hair blowing in the wind looking sullen while light pixies and fae swirly-gigs fly around her."

    Hey!

    Also, this cracked me up:
    "Will my cover be good enough? Will the other covers bully it?"

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  7. Great post! I still have to see that last Potter flick. I guess I'm just afraid of being let down somehow lol =)

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  8. @Raymund- I understand. It's an awesome movie, but how can The End not be a letdown? Hence the dragging me there! :)
    @Jeff, Jenny does not look sullen. Jenny is the hottest, sweetest looking Plague Princess the world has ever known. Sparkle on, Plague Princess...
    @Stacey- Cheerleaders. Sad cheerleaders who had to put on ballgowns because the mean faeries pixied them up and stole their cheerleading uniforms. That's what's really going on behind all those covers. That, or they're really the same girl and she's just really, really tired from changing her entire appearance every five minutes.

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