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Was I Writing a Trilogy All Along?

26 Mar

These last few weeks I have been doing a lot of thinking and talking about my book I Killed Them, Mama. (And, unfortunately, no writing.)

While discussing the plot with Jay (the gentleman I read to every week) it suddenly hit me that the problem may be that I’m trying to fit too much into one book. Now I’m starting to contemplate the idea of turning it into at least two, if not three, books.

It’s crazy! This was just going to be something I cranked out. A book to have on the market ASAP and now it may turn into a trilogy. Grrr!

Hopefully, after taking a day or two to see if the plot points would go that far, and have workable break-points, I may actually start working with the plan of two or three books.

Ack! Why does writing have to be so complicated?

I just hope that clearing this up will help me move forward with the dratted thing. I want you guys to read it! I want to have you tell me what you think, what you would do in Amelia’s place, and how you would poison an abusive husband in a no-way-out situation.

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And just because this video has been spinning around in my head since Sunday night:

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This Book Is All Mixed Up In My Head

18 Dec

It’s so confusing.Title  I Killed Them Mama in yellow on purple - cropped

The story in I Killed Them, Mama makes a scary kind of sense when I look over the bullet points. It’s all there (except to figure out where exactly the new love interest makes his appearance [the first time] in the book). Now I just have to write it. *sigh*  Yeah,… right.

Like that’s so easy.

I have pretty much decided that I’m going to have to skip the first chapter. There are too many thoughts about how this should go. They are fogging up my mind and keeping me from moving forward. So, that will be left for a much later date.

I really hope this whole novel writing thing gets easier after the first or second book. If not, I’m kinda doomed.

It’s not as though I don’t absolutely love to write. What’s getting me is the amount of time and thought that’s already gone into it. My ever fertile imagination has already figured out most of the next book. If I did a little searching I would probably find that I have a third lurking on a back burner of my subconscious.

I just want this one to be done, so the other(s) can get done, too.

What I really want is for all of you to read them and tell me what you think. I want hundreds, thousands of people to enjoy some coffee, a cookie, and another chapter of my novel. To know that I provided several hours of absorbing entertainment.

The knowledge that eventually others will get to experience the thrills, what-ifs and uh-ohs that this character goes through… That is what keeps me from just hitting delete on the whole project.

Let’s just hope I can get this thing written before I’m old enough to order from the senior menu.

Dear Mama photoshop #2 - cropped

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As a side note on another project:

I have created a cover for My Ignored Hamper and other bathroom poetry.

Yay!

I really like it. Yeah, it’s not the most amazing cover on the planet, but it’s what I envisioned for this stage in it’s life.

Getting it up on Smashwords will not take much more now. I just want to give the formatting another check over before uploading.

You want to know something else?

I’ve decided this book of poetry will be free on Smashwords until I get it uploaded on Amazon!

My reasons? 

First off, I have never gone through this process before. So the formatting may have to be twitched with over a few days to make it come out right. I just wouldn’t feel right about asking someone to pay for something that’s potentially that far out of whack.

Secondly, I would like to request than anyone who is even remotely curious please (after it’s up) read and review it. The only beta readers this thing saw were relatives. I would like some truthful responses. Although, a spoon full of sugar to help soften any blows would be greatly appreciated.  🙂 

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Alright. Now back to re-reading the Smashwords Style Guide.  So exciting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWbbjvYmN8A

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Video

Uh-Oh. I Have A New Book Idea.

2 Oct

This evening I was attempting to write a short story when an idea for another novel hit me.

You see, I have been contemplating trying to find a way to make a kind of series out of the I Killed Them, Mama idea. Not using any of the same people, but going with the concept of young women having to poison their way out of bad situations.

Well, I guess leaving the thinking to my subconscious paid off. Tonight I figured out how to tie all the future titles together.

I Killed Them, Mama, meet Saving Mama’s Flower Garden.

This one is also going to pick right up after a mother’s death and follow the oldest daughter as she deals with an unsavory guardian to protect herself and her younger sisters from a terrible fate. With the help of a couple of girl friends, of course.

I don’t want to say too much right now, so much of the plot is still up in the air.

It’s just really cool that now I not only have the need of income and the want of you guys to read I Killed Them, Mama pulling me forward through the writing process. Now I will have this new book pushing from the back of my mind, urging my to write faster so I can get to it ASAP.

So Excited!!!  😀

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This is me with my book projects when I lose self-control (and perspective on the long-term plan)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpLyPbnYoK4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpLyPbnYoK4

Lots of running around, with nothing productive to show for it.

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I must stick with I Killed Them, Mama!  When that’s done with the first draft then I can take a few days to let it sit and work on a loose outline for Saving Mama’s Flower Garden.

Totally can’t wait.  😀

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Today, I Got Yelled At About My Writing (and it wasn’t a bad thing)

26 Sep

My sister just younger than me called this afternoon. She was in the process of making a double batch of double chocolate cookies (that’s just how our family does things), and wanted to talk about one of the projects we are working on. After the first half of the cookies went into the oven she read her latest short story to me. I loved it.

But before that, we had a short, but noisy discussion about my novel-in-the-making, I Killed Them, Mama. Boy, was she loud.

Title  I Killed Them Mama in yellow on purple - cropped

You see, I have this terrible habit of getting a good way into writing a novel, then dropping it for something newer and shinier. That is, in a way, what happened with me and I Killed Them, Mama. The going got tough, and the tough got distractable.

After a few weeks of trying not to think about that partial draft just sitting alone, in the dark, in a computer file, my brain started to work on it again. It started to mull over the plot I have laid out. Somehow in the process I became convinced that i needed to rearrange a couple of the larger happenings to make it move smoother. This did not endear me further to this beautiful, exciting piece of hard work. I began just playing with the what-ifs of the book, instead of actually getting down and writing any of it.

Not good.

Back to the phone conversation with my sister. After discussing a good many other things, we eventually landed on the subject of this novel I’m supposed to by working on. I told her the changes I was thinking of making.

Do you know what she said to me?

“The plot works the way you have it laid out. Stick with your original plan and get the dratted thing written!”

I love my sister.

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On a similar note, I have discovered that Write or Die has a web version. This may be used in the near future to see if it will spur some more 2,000 word days. It’s worth a try, right?

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Also, my cover photo for My Ignored Hamper and other Bathroom Poetry did not get taken today. In my defense, I have obtained shirts and pants from my youngest sister to use as props, and I’ve gotten a better idea of what all I will have to move around in the bathroom to make this work. Hopefully.

Dang it! I forgot to borrow some bath toys.

Oh, well. Tomorrow.

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Besides that, I wrote a mutant story yesterday. I’ve laid the groundwork for another one, and in planning this second story I stumbled across an idea for a third. This anthology of mutant short stories and flash fiction may get put together a little faster than we had originally thought. *sigh* Maybe.

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How often do you have trouble sticking through the middle part of a long project?

What tactics do you use to help keep you focused?

And / Or

Who do you use as a sounding board?

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The World Is Blurry

10 Jul

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I can’t come up with a poem without very specific inspiration.

I know. I just tried.

That’s the title up there…alone and lonely.

My world is currently blurry. My eyes are fried after staring at the computer all day. I’m proud of myself though. I got almost everything caught up and done.

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I have started reading a book titled Writing In Overdrive: Write Faster, Write Freely, Write Brilliantly, by Jim Denney.

I haven’t even read half of it, and I have already figured out why my muse is silent about I Killed Them, Mama. I need the wrap up to go faster. As it currently stands the whole second half of the book could easily be summed up into the last chapter.

And I need something…else, something more to happen before the, er, wrap up chapter.

I don’t have it figured out, but at least I know what the problem is and can now address it. 🙂

I was also able to sit down for a full hour and turn my half page of a new book into three and a half pages. I then read it aloud to my husband and got a good response. He even laughed at something I hadn’t realized was funny until he reacted. 🙂

So, all in all it was a pretty good day.

Besides having to skip a posting on the other blog. Something to play catch-up on tomorrow. Except that tomorrow is pretty much full of family…hmmm. My life is getting complicated.

I already got up before my alarm this morning, and did not get my customary nap, so staying up late to get the other blog up to date is out of the question. I will just have to find time on Wednesday or Thursday to make it happen. The world will not spin off it’s axis. California will not fall off into the sea. I will survive.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybXrrTX3LuI

 

Or will I???

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Just Me, Reading And Writing

16 May
Following the plot points toward a finished novel. There's still a long way to go yet, but it'll get there. :)

Following the plot points toward a finished novel. There’s still a long way to go yet, but it’ll get there. 🙂

I spent an entire hour in front of the computer for two days now, working on my book I Killed Them, Mama. Out of all that writing I am happy with a single page. One page! *grrr*  I will keep plugging away, but that was disappointing.

On this same note, as an incentive for more likes on my Facebook page I have decided (a while ago) to post a new excerpt there when we have reached 100 likes. So far it has not made much of a difference in things, but we will see what happens.

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In other news on that book, I was reminded of the existence of that pretty flower called Digitalis. This could be the poison she uses to put her Father-in-Law out of his misery…maybe a mix of that and antifreeze? Or perhaps using Vitamin A overdose to get him to the doctor for a checkup, the digitalis to make his heart/blood pressure a little funky, then a good dose of antifreeze the day before his cardiogram?

Just thinking out loud here.  More research is definitely needed.

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After several days of pointedly setting aside half an our to read it I have reached the 407th page of The Help (out of 522 pages).  It has picked up. I am now rather invested in what happens to Minny, and curious whether Hilly gets what seems to be coming to her. This could get interesting… 🙂

Video

I Got A New House Plant To Slowly Kill

12 May

I have always had a green thumb. It seemed that there had been some sort of osmosis from my farming Great-grandfather straight into my veins. I could make anything not only stay alive, but flourish to the point of almost developing a personality. It was awesome!

Then I moved into my fiance’s house. (I know what you’re thinking, and no. We were living in the same house, we were not living together.)

Everything changed. For some reason I can’t keep anything alive inside the house. Pre-starts for the vegetable garden died before their first real leaves. The African Violet in the bathroom drowned. And the basket of shade and water loving plants I brought home from a Grandmother’s funeral is slowly dying. There’s only a vine, and an elephant ear plant (both of which I have successfully grown before), and some strange kind of grass left.

Now today, at a Mother’s Day BBQ at my parents’ church, I was sent home with a little plant.

Little did he know the terrors that lurked in his future...(dun dun dunnn)

Little did he know the terrors that lurked in his future…(dun dun dunnn)

Pretty red flowers. 🙂  It’s a type of Salvia called Maestro.

This is right after it’s potting. Thankfully this place is littered with cool plant pots (not to be confused with pot plants. This is Oregon.)

It is now perched in my kitchen window, smiling at me every time I wash dishes. They gave it to me with such hope and trust. Let us hope that it at least makes it through this next winter. It would be nice to have something happy to look at while suffering from cabin fever.

 

 

Sorry, just had to put that in there.  🙂

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I think I have an idea of how I would like the cover for I Killed Them, Mama to look. I realize it’s probably going to be ages before it gets used, but it’s nice to have something settled with this novel.

Perhaps in the near future I should take a few days and hole up and see how many words I can get written in that particular week.

It’s a thought.

Not Over Thinking It

9 Apr

This is a hard one for me.

All the what ifs, how ’bouts, and then whats start crowding in and I lose focus.

I lose focus of the fact that I just spent an hour on this project , and that I am making steady progress, and that writing a book (for most people) takes longer than a couple of months.

Things are going well, so why can’t I shake this feeling that I am light years behind where I should be?

Oh, well.

A couple doves in our old apple tree

A couple doves in our old apple tree

 

 

 

 

I Killed Them, Mama now has 203 bullet points, and the timeline is getting worked around to a more realistic arrangement. I am very happy with the results. Just wishing my inner critic could lay off for a couple days while I finish with all the fiddly details. Stopping the outlining now to continue writing it would be pointless if it turns out I have to spend three days copy and pasting because I had to move something around that would have been prevented by actually finishing the outline.

In other news:

Lonnie downloaded a photo editing program called Gimp that should make it possible for me to create a cover for My Ignored Hamper and Other Bathroom Poetry. Yes, he’s wonderful like that. 🙂  I haven’t played with it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

I’m thinking of putting together three covers and letting my Facebook followers tell me which they like best.

By the way,

when I get up to 100 likes on my Facebook page I will release an excerpt from the reworked I Killed Them, Mama over there.

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What do you do when you are making steady progress but feel that you’re not going fast enough?

Outlining I Killed Them, Mama

8 Apr

101_0944

I have gotten tired of floundering around in the plot, so I have taken a couple of days and been working on the outline.

The book has changed quite a bit over the last two days.

For example, when I was lamenting that it might not be long enough to be an actual novel a sister suggested that I use the diary entries as intros into each new development. From there I could slip into third party perspective and show, rather than tell, what was going on.  

Here is the first bit of my outline for I Killed Them, Mama:

  1. Amelia May Green is now Mrs. Lawrence.
    1. Describe the wedding a little bit.
    2. Say how she doesn’t understand why her mother was so concerned about her future if she followed family tradition and allowed her father to select her husband.
    3. Also explain that she is starting this diary “Since you left a journal of your life for me to read, I have started one for my future children.”
  2. Back from the honeymoon.
    1. Describe the trip in a paragraph or two.
    2. Then moving into the house.
    3. They decide to wait a few months before trying for kids.
  3. He’s starting to get rude and a bit verbally abusive. She thinks it’s just about something going on at work, and tries to keep him happy at home by making extra yummy dinners.
  4. He hits her.
    1. She is confused.
    2. When she goes shopping no one seems to notice the bruise and split lip.
  5. It’s been two weeks and he’s hit her a couple more times, also over stupid little things.
    1. She is not lying down and taking this.
    2. She tries to talk to her father about the abuse, but he just asks her what she did to provoke him.
    3. She tells her father-in-law (from now on it’s FIL), and he just treats it like it’s part of marriage.
    4. She goes to the family attorney and he says that it’s typical to the first few months of every marriage.
    5. She’s not convinced.
  6. It’s been another week and he’s hit her twice more.
    1. She goes to the police, and the sergeant won’t even look her in the eye when he tells her there’s nothing they can do.
    2. She’s starting to realize that the rumors of her new ‘family’ having the town under its thumb are not without merit.
    3. She decides that the people involved in getting her into this situation must die. It’s just a matter of how.
    4. FIL must have talked with hubby because now he’s hitting her in places that don’t easily show.

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How many of you have written a story or book off an outline?

Was it easier or harder than flying by the seat of your pants?

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If you would like to see the other posts about this book you can peruse through these:

My First NaNoWriMo Word Count

Latest NaNoWriMo Word Count, And A Synopsis

Word Count And Excerpt

Who Knew?

A Second Excerpt from I Killed Them, Mama

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