excuses and reluctant muses

It’s amazing how many ways there are to avoid writing when you don’t really feel like it. There’s emails to answer, background information to check, new monsters to kill and harder levels to master in unreal or soldier of fortune (the only two games on my computer–mainly because it’s not powerful enough to run the more modern shoot-em-ups. Which is probably a blessing in disguise even if it is frustrating). Hell, there’s even this blog to ramble in :)

Being deadline free is good in one sense–I can write what I want, unrestricted by said deadlines and expectations. Which is an excellent place to be considering the trouble my muse has been giving me over the last year with books that were contracted but not yet written.

The trouble comes when the muse wants to play rather than work.

Over the years, I’ve fought this. In many respects, I still do–in as much as I feel horribly guilty when I’m sitting at the computer playing shoot-em-ups rather than writing. But the truth is, I can afford to give my muse time off now. I quit Essendon to become a full time writer, and while it’s taken me a while to get used to the freedom, I’ve got more than enough time on my hands now to do anything I want. Within reason, of course. I have a target of five pages a day. Most days I make that, even if, like today, the pages are written at night rather than during the day. It’s no longer important when it’s written, as long as it is written. It’s a good place to be, and probably the reason why the muse is starting to come good again (fingers crossed, knock on wood, and all that).

But sometimes I think we put too much pressure on ourselves. To get published, we have to write, we have to finish books, we have to submit, and submit, and resubmit–all inbetween a regular life and family and work. It’s never easy, and yet for some reason, we often feel it should be. Why? I don’t know. Writing isn’t a hobby for most of us, it’s a job. Which means, in many respects, most of us are actually juggling two or three jobs while trying to avoid being total hermits. Is it any wonder the muse sometimes plants her feet and says no?

For all the stress we writers put ourselves under, it’s actually a wonder the muse performs at all.

A New Baby

Congrats to my friend, Diane, whose mare gave birth to the cutest little buckskin filly yesterday. It’s her first one this season, and they’re always special :)

My first spam

I feel so special…I just got my first spam comment :D

To stop this becoming a regular event, I’ve had to turn on the moderate function. Before you can post a comment, you’ll now have to type in a word. Sorry about the inconvenience, but I figure it’s the only way to stop those automated spamming pests.

The beast is completed

I’ve finally finished the Penumbra galley, and boy, am I ever glad to see the back of this story. Don’t get me wrong–despite all the frustration Penumbra caused, what with the reluctant muse and a plot line that refused to go where originally intended, I think I’ve ended up turning out one of my better stories. It’s just that this story seems to have been with me forever. It’s the only story that’s ever taken me a year and a half to write (well, aside from the novels I wrote when I was first getting into writing seriously, and they will never see the light of day unless they have a complete and utter rewrite). Add to that the edits, line edits and galley, and I’ve read this novel so often I can just about recite the thing out loud. And that’s a huge problem when you’re supposed to be checking a galley for mistakes–it’s hard to find said mistakes when you’re reading what should be there rather than what is there. I actually had to edit the galley in small chunks–it took longer, but at least it kept my sight from glazing over and the words from melding together. I know proofreading is all part of the business of writing–but honestly, it’s just so easy to let mistake slip through without ever intending it. People always complain about the mistakes in books–and yeah, in the end, it does come down to the author being responsible–but sometimes I wish those complainers could just sit in our shoes for a while, and see that proofreading isn’t always as easy as it looks. Especially when you’ve read the book a gadzillion times.

Anyway, my next goal in my writing life is to try and get Dangerous Games–the fourth Riley book–finished. I’m actually hoping to get it done by the end of December, and to this end, have decided to join Freya’s 50 000 words or bust December challange. There’s a booze up at the end (always a good thing!) and the loser has to sing celine dion karaoke (not something anyone wants to hear me sing.) I may not get the whole 50 000 words done, but if I can finish Dangerous Games— which only has about 150 pages to go–and get a chunk of the Lockness book done, that’ll be an excellent way to start the new year.

I've arrived!

Well, I resisted the temptation for a long, long time, but I’ve finally given in and joined the blogging ranks. I actually thought it would be fun to read occassional comments about the junk I journal about, and of course, I can’t do that with my website journal. Of course, this journal is still a work in progress, as I’m still learning how to do these things, so expect things to change about a bit as the penny drops and it all begins to make sense

So, what have I been doing since my last journal ramble? Not a lot, actually. I’ve been proof reading Penumbra, and working on the fourth of the Guardian books when I get bored with proof reading. I’ve crawled up to 260 completed on Dangerous Games, and I’m just about to write a big fight scene with Riley and a demon. Should be interesting–especially with Quinn stuck outside the house and unable to cross the threshold to help.

On the leaping lab front–we knew she was a clever girl (any dog that can get over a 7 foot fence without zapping herself on two strands of electric wire is damn brainy), but we got official confirmation on Sunday. She came second overall in her dog obedience class. Not a bad effort considering she barked her head off at the judge when she first walked into the ring!