Just a quick post to say that I have sent BTG off to my publisher for the first round of editing. I am a little nervous, because I had a great deal of trouble with the beginning of this book, and while I am satisfied with the outcome I don’t know if HE will be.

It’s nerve wracking to say the least.

Progress on Wintermoon Ice has slowed to a crawl. My son was home from school all last week with a bad case of the flu. I spent the weekend working on another new cover for Ketha’s Daughter. I’ll post the candidates sometime later today.

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Today is the last day I have to get organized and ready for my trip, so it will be a busy one. I probably won’t do much updating while I am gone, other than a few words here and there. I don’t plan to bring my computer with me, although I am buying an ASUS eee while I am in the US. Prices on small consumer goods are double here what they are in the good old US of A.

Publication for Ketha will go ahead as scheduled. Work on editing book 3 continues. Hopefully I will have it ready to go by mid May and it should hit the ewaves by July. Wrote another thousand words for book 4 last night. I have the idea than one of the problems is the fact that a couple of the characters are rather static; they don’t seem to grow or learn anything new during the course of events. So I plan to give that some thought while I am away and perhaps set up some new challenges for them when I get back.

I am still struggling with the ending. I want it to be happy. I HATE books that don’t end happily, after all the characters have been through. But I also want it to feel real. I think back to the Lord of the Rings. Frodo deserved to be happy–he had saved the world, after all. But there was no joy left in life for him. He had suffered too much. My main character, Katkin, is also like that. I don’t think I can just send her home with her true love and expect them to live happily ever after. I have an idea, but I will have to actually write the words before I know whether or not it will work.

I will keep you posted.

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Just heard from my editor that he is happy with Ketha’s Daughter, with the exception of a few minor formatting issues. So it looks as though we are on track to get the book out on April 21st, as planned.

He said he liked it more than Heart of Hythea, which makes me pretty happy. But then he said that he expects the next two to be even better, argh! Pressure…

I am quite sure that book 3, Birth of the Dawnmaid, is as good as the first two, but Beyond the Gyre… Well I just don’t know. But fortunately I still have plenty of time to fix it. I think objectivity might be an issue at this point.

If I work really hard over the weekend I should be finished with all the editing. Then I can go on vacation and leave my lap top behind. Yaya!

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Though I still continue to struggle with writing new words for book IV, the last few days have been good for cutting some of the material that I already wrote. Yesterday I condensed two chapters into one, by removing a scene that was very similar to another that takes place later in the story. I am happy with the result.

I have to be in the mood to do this. Sometimes I look at various chapters, and everything I see looks relevant and absolutely unassailable. Other times I think it is complete crap, and I want to get rid of it all.

Neither of these times is a good moment to do any serious deleting.


When I was just starting, working on my first novel, I really didn’t have to think too much about managing my writing. I just spent my time putting new words down, or looking at what I had just written. It was all the same project, so it wasn’t too difficult. Now things are a little different, and I struggle to apportion the proper amounts of time to each of my endeavors. In addition to writing new words (for book IV) I am editing book II with an eye to publication sometime next month. I am also going through book III, so that I can submit it to the publisher when book II comes out. It can be very difficult to switch gears between these things, because each kind of writing requires a different sort of mindset. Also I am not nearly so fond of editing as I am of new stuff. 🙂 (more…)

I finally got to the part of the narrative in which I kill off a couple of characters, one of whom died rather unpleasantly. It depressed me for two days, but I got through it and finished the chapter. I am pleased with the results, more so than with much of the rest of the book. I have a better, more detailed outline now, and that is helping. But I still have a long way to go. (more…)

Not a good weekend for writing, but I had a great time yesterday. DH and I went to Central Otago (Otago is the province we live it, Central is, well, in the middle of it) to a pick-your-own apricot orchard close to the town of Roxbrough. It is about a two hour drive each way , so we made a day of it. We took a picnic lunch and ate down by the Clutha River, after walking around a historically significant gold mining area. Then we picked apricots for about thirty minutes, and came away with almost more than we could eat fresh, make into jam and freeze. I put up 10 jars of jam this morning and there is still a huge bowl of apricots left to eat and make into cobbler. (more…)

I have finished my last perusal of Book II, and found a distressing number of things I wanted to change. So I made the changes, looked at it quickly one last time, and sent it off to my publisher. I never know when to call things finished. How do you tell when something is good enough? I am sure, if I were a painter, I would stand for hours before my canvas, applying little bitty dabs of paint here and there, trying to get the picture “perfect.” But would I know when to quit? I don’t think so. (more…)

The weather has gone all southerly, after a couple of glorious weeks of sunshine. Good for the garden though, as everything was getting pretty dry. Good for me too. I am in one of those happy modes when the words are coming pretty easily, and I want to sit at my keyboard all day and write, write, write.
It remains to be seen whether any of those words will be of use in the long run. I can’t read over things right after I have written them and have any sense of their quality. It is like there is a another area in the brain that they must be written to first, and then I can see them in a different way. Something like the “objectivity lobe.” Sometimes stuff takes a looonngg time to get there . tee hee.

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Been at the keyboard most of today, doing the final tidy up of Ketha.  Every time I go through it I find a few more mistakes!  But now I am going to put it away until after Jan 1st, review it once more and then send it off to the publisher.  Otherwise I will keep picking at it and picking at it, with no good result.

Tomorrow I will get back to work on Book IV.

I did take a break for an hour or so, to take my son and his girlfriend out to lunch at a new Japanese restaurant that just opened in town.  We had some excellent teppan yaki, and enjoyed ourselves, but when I came out I discovered someone had sideswiped my honda and scraped up the bumper!  Not a happy end to my lunch.  At least the guilty driver left a note…