rj_anderson: (Doctor Who - Thing in Progress)
2017-09-21 04:02 pm

A word (or a few hundred of them) in season

[Crossposted from Facebook, feel free to ignore if you've already seen it there...]

Well into the second week of working on a new short story, and enjoying the writing process more than I have for a long time.

It's taken me eighteen months on sabbatical to get over the deeply ingrained habit of checking every few minutes to see how many words I've written, of feeling anxious that it's taking so long to get through a particular scene, of worrying that my time and effort has been wasted if I end up having to cut some or all of what I've written and start over the next day. Not to mention the voice of my Inner Editor nagging, "That scene is boring! That description is sappy! That conversation doesn't advance the plot! Nobody's going to like this. Give up and write something else."

It's not that I don't care anymore about making progress, or writing the best story I can. I'm just not measuring my work by the same rigid, merciless standards that used to suck away all the pleasure of writing for me. I don't have an outline for this story, just a vague notion of where I want it to end up and a few scattered ideas about how to get there -- and that's fine. I don't know who the audience for this story will be, or where I'm going to publish it once it's finished -- and that's fine, too. I'm writing it because I want to, not for the money or the market or the fear of losing my career if I don't. And that's the best feeling of all.

But it's taken me all this time to get there, because I drove myself so hard for so long, running on fear and guilt and sheer bloodyminded determination, that I couldn't remember how to write any other way.

Creative burnout is a real thing, ladies and gentlemen. Don't let it happen to you.
rj_anderson: (MWT - Inkpots)
2017-08-09 12:50 pm

Shoulder Mountain

I've been having weird pain issues since last Christmas, starting with an aching tension in my cheeks and jaw and then nerve pain radiating around the back of my shoulder and down my arm into the fingers. I'd also had some bad (though short-lived) shoulder pain last August after carrying a heavy chair across camp. So it's taken me a long time, even after months of physiotherapy and an ultrasound, to discover that when I slipped on the ice and fell back at the end of January, I tore my rotator cuff tendon and that, not typing or lifting or bad form doing push-ups, is the real reason why I haven't been able to sleep without pain for the last six months.

I can't lie on my side -- either side -- because it hurts my shoulder, and I can't lie totally flat either, so I have to lie partially propped up on pillows with another pillow underneath my arm. Even at that, I sometimes wake up stiff and sore and have to get up for an ice pack two or even three times a night. During the day I can't lift anything heavier than five pounds with my right hand, or I'll pay for it (which means Monday nights are always bad for me, because that's the day I get groceries). I can't spend much time on the computer either, because mousing and even typing is uncomfortable.

It's frustrating, because before this happened I'd worked so hard to get my arms in shape. As a lifelong non-athlete, I was proud that over the course of the past two years I'd gone from not being able to do even one modified push-up to doing 22 military push-ups in a row. Now I can't do any kind of arm exercise without worrying that I'm damaging myself (and judging by the pain I have at night if I do anything more than the stretches my physio gave me, that fear isn't unwarranted).

The ultrasound shows a partial thickness tear, only 4 mm, but it's not getting better despite months of TENS, acupuncture, ice packs, and dutifully doing the exercises my physio gave me to strengthen the surrounding muscles. And today I found out that these kinds of tears don't heal on their own, so if I want a chance of recovery rather than just trying to manage the symptoms, I'm looking at surgery and at least six weeks with my arm in a sling.

I don't really want surgery -- I don't even know how I would manage if I had it. It would be hard on my whole family, not just me. But I'm so tired of being in pain and not sleeping properly. I'm tired of painkillers not working at all, and even ice only helping sometimes. I would love to believe that if I can do this, if I can get through this, I might be able to get back to something like my old state of health and fitness (even if I still have to be careful about how I move or how much I lift sometimes).

But then, there's no guarantees even if I do have the surgery. 80% success rate is good, but there's always that 20%.

I don't know.
rj_anderson: (Default)
2017-05-04 04:24 pm

The state of... well, everything

It's hard sometimes to know what to write in a post like this. Add too much detail and it sounds like oversharing (or worse, whining); not enough and it may come off as maddeningly cryptic and frustrating to those who want answers about what I'm up to. So I'll try to find the middle ground.

Briefly, the situation here is tough and getting tougher. The muscle pain in my shoulder has been going on long enough to puzzle both my physiotherapist and the sports doctor that my GP sent me to last week, and though it changes and moves around it doesn't seem to be getting that much better. I've figured out a way to arrange several pillows around me so that I can sleep at least part of the night in bed, but I still end up migrating to the living room recliner most nights, and I still feel uneasy about going anywhere for more than a couple of hours without ready access to an ice pack.

So that's pretty distracting, as you might imagine, and makes sitting up and typing for a few hours every day not all that comfortable or fun. But even so, I could work around that if it weren't for everything else going on.

I've already mentioned (in a previous, f-locked post) that my father is 92 and increasingly frail, and that I'm having to arrange more in-home care for him. In the last couple of weeks I've managed to get most of his daily needs looked after, but my mom is also feeling the strain and her health is suffering in ways that need extra attention as well. So with trying to do my best by the two of them and also not short-change my own family in the process, I've been pretty busy.

A number of people I care about are also going through difficult times, not least of them the family of a good friend of mine who died last week at the age of 48. I was at her funeral last Friday and it was lovely, just what she would have wanted, but it's going to be a hard adjustment for her husband and four kids -- three of whom are friends with my sons -- and my heart goes out to them. That's just one of several tragic and complicated situations that are going on around me right now, all of which leave me wondering and praying about what more I can do.

Plus I've got a bunch of upcoming school visits and other appearances I signed up for weeks or months ago, before all of this other stuff came to a head. I don't feel I ought to cancel any of them and I don't even want to unless it's an emergency, but it does make it difficult to get back into a regular writing routine even if I had the energy to do so.

I'd hoped to end my planned sabbatical and start writing again in February, and have a viable first draft of a new book by no later than September. But so far everything I've started, no matter how eager or positive I felt to begin with, has fizzled out. Either it wasn't quite ready yet (as with my epic YA fantasy) or I was keen to write but kept getting derailed by circumstances (as with the third Ivy book, which is still very much on my heart, but I haven't touched it in weeks now).

Anyway, I've got enough to deal with at the moment without making more work for myself. So I've come to the conclusion that for the time being, however long it may be until life calms down, I'm not going to worry about writing. If on a good day I find myself with time and energy and desire to write, then I will. But I'm not going to angst over deadlines and word counts, or fret about the prospect of not having a new book in 2018 (or 2019, or even 2020).

Ultimately, what it comes down to for me is that people are more important than things. My parents and family and friends in need are people, and my writing is a thing. It would be different if my family was counting on my income to pay the bills, but we're not. So to me the choice is pretty clear and I feel at peace about it.

I'm still a writer. I always have been and I always will be, published or not. The stories and characters inside me aren't going anywhere, even if I can't put them into words right now. Before too long, I hope, I'll be able to get back to them again... but not at this time.

And that's okay.
rj_anderson: From a quote by Pamela Dean (Book Book Book)
2017-01-09 05:25 pm

My Year of Not Writing, and What It Taught Me

At this time last year, I was worn out. I'd just finished substantive edits on my latest book and was cautiously pleased with how it had come together, but creatively I was exhausted. I’d written nine novels in eight years, and by the fall of 2015 I felt like all my mental energy and every scrap of pleasure I’d ever taken in the writing process had dried up and crumbled away.

None of this should have come as a surprise. Even before I got published I knew I wasn’t a book-a-year writer, but more of a book-every-eighteen-months-to-two-years writer. I needed significant chunks of fallow time in between projects, and sometimes between drafts as well, to feel good about the story I was writing, let alone come up with an idea for the next one.

Still, when you’re writing for children, and especially when you’re writing a series, there’s a fear that if you don’t keep the books coming at least a year apart, your audience will age out of the books before you can publish the next one. Publishing is not known for its patience with children's authors who haven't hit the NYT bestseller list or won at least one major award, and sometimes the only thing that keeps your career going is being able to deliver the goods on time.

But fear is a terrible motivation to write, especially when it’s the only motivation you’ve got. Fear can keep you hurling yourself at the wall day after day until you manage to scramble over it and make your deadline, but the wall will still be there when you think about writing the next thing. And when I realized that my desire to write had withered to the point where I actively dreaded the act of putting words on paper -- not just for publication, I mean any words -- I knew I couldn’t deny it any longer. This was the career I’d dreamed of having since I was four years old, the career I’d worked toward for nearly twenty years before my first book was published. If it was making me miserable every time I thought about doing it, something had gone badly wrong.

So I decided to take a sabbatical for the next twelve months, and not write anything at all.

This is how it turned out... )

* * *

TL;DR: Here I am, a year after I started my sabbatical, and I can confidently say that I made the right decision. Today I wrote my first new scene of original fiction in well over twelve months... and finally, finally, I felt good about it.

rj_anderson: (Nomad - Ivy)
2016-10-19 10:48 pm

Good News!

First, thanks to all who weighed in on my earlier post about my cat possibly having arthritis. I did call the vet to make an appointment, but the receptionist recommended that I buy a package of TheraBites (a once-a-day cat treat which contains supplements for hips and joints) and try her out on those for a while to see if there was any improvement.

Well. Not only does Snickers LOVE the treats (so no need to trick or force her into eating them), we're not even halfway through the bag and she's already moving much more comfortably. In fact, the other day she was up on the bed chasing her tail, which I hadn't seen her do since she was a kitten. Phew! Problem solved... at least, as long as I keep giving her a treat every morning for the rest of her life. Which is doable. So I am much relieved.

Second, I was surprised and delighted to discover that A Pocket Full of Murder is one of the ten Canadian middle-grade novels nominated for the Silver Birch Award this year. That means a whole bunch of 9-12 year olds will be reading my book this winter, along with at least four more other nominated titles, so they can vote for their favorite in the spring. I've always longed to be nominated for this award, and it's a big boost for the book generally, so I'm very thankful.

I'll be reading from Pocket and talking a little about the sequel this weekend, at the Local Authors reading portion of the Stratford Writers' Festival. All the other events are ticketed and this one is free, but it's also up against the #CanLitPit session where aspiring writers get to pitch directly to editors, so I'm not holding my breath too much for a big audience... still, it was nice to be asked and I hope the Festival does well.

* * *

And thirdly, speaking of Stratford and festivals, I had the pleasure of attending a matinee performance of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at the Avon Theatre with my youngest son's school group today. I'd really been hoping to see the play, especially after my fellow Narnia purist [personal profile] grav_ity  gave it her enthusiastic thumbs-up, but didn't think that I'd ever get the chance... except it turned out a few of the kids in P's class weren't able to attend, so the teacher entered all the interested parents in a draw for the remaining tickets and I was one of the winners. Which is a minor miracle, because I never win anything.

Anyway, I ended up sitting beside P and one of his friends, and we had excellent seats -- about five rows from the stage, bang in the centre. Where I proceeded to tear up halfway through Mr. Beaver's speech about Aslan in Act One and spent most of Act Two desperately wishing I'd brought tissues, because the production was fantastic. I'm so glad they stuck close to the original story, including a lot of the dialogue, instead of introducing a lot of flotsam for the sake of novelty or a false notion of drama (*side-eyes the movies of Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader*).

I'd read an early review that complained about the songs being intrusive, but I didn't find them overly long or distracting at all, and the one about coming to Aslan's table pretty much killed me (as I said on Twitter, "I was not prepared for the communion metaphors").

And tomorrow Adrienne Kress is coming for our annual tea-and-catch-up, which is always a treat, and will be an especially happy occasion this time with her new MG adventure novel The Explorers coming out in 2017. I really enjoy Adrienne's narrative voice and my boys are big fans of her writing as well, so we're looking forward to this one.
rj_anderson: (Quicksilver - Cover)
2014-12-31 02:47 pm

State of the RJA

It has been pointed out to me that I fail at updating this journal, which is entirely true. I spend most of my time on Tumblr these days, primarily on my catch-all Tumblr Worlds Unseen (though I try to keep the Faery Rebels Tumblr updated semi-regularly as well, it's more series-specific and more likely to be straight reposts of fan art, images related to the books, and answers to reader questions than original content).

The other place you can catch me on a daily basis is Twitter, where I'm generally accessible even when on a deadline (though it may take me a few hours to reply). I also have a Facebook page (including a Proper Author-Type Page for posting events and signings) but I rarely use it: I'm just not fond of that particular interface.
rj_anderson: (Ultraviolet - UK Cover)
2011-01-25 03:09 pm

Updated Public Signing Schedule - UK Tour!

Monday 31 January: LONDON
12:30 p.m. -- Foyle's, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London
1:30 p.m. -- Blackwell's, 100 Charing Cross Road, London

Tuesday 1 February: LEEDS
4:30 p.m. -- Waterstone's, 93-97 Albion Street, Leeds

Wednesday 2 February: NEWCASTLE
4:30 p.m. -- Waterstone's, Blackett Street, Newcastle

Getting excited now -- so close!
rj_anderson: (Arrow - Rhosmari)
2011-01-06 09:17 am

ARROW Release Date, UK Trip Schedule, and UV Status Report

I am happy to announce that today is the official UK and Ireland release date of Arrow! It should now be widely available in bookstores, and I hope my readers will like it.


I can also now share a little more detail about my planned trip to England at the end of this month. I'm still waiting for confirmation on a few times and locations, but I'll be splitting my time between London and the North, and the general run of events will look something like this:

31 January:
Book Signings at Foyle's (Charing Cross Road) and Blackwell's (also Charing Cross Road), London (PM).

1 February:
Author Visits to Rossall Junior School, Lancs. (AM) and Benton Park High School, Leeds (PM).

2 February:
Author Visits to Royal Grammar School, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (AM) and other school TBA (PM).

3 February:
Two more school visits in London and Area (details when available).

I'll also be in London on 4 and 5 February, as my plane doesn't leave until the 6th -- so if there's anybody in the area who would like to get together on the Saturday (or can recommend a reasonably priced hotel in central London for me to stay in on Friday and Saturday night!) then I'd love to hear from you.


I am now wonderfully close to finishing my last major revision of Ultraviolet before it goes to the copyeditors and gets turned into galleys. I plan to get the final chapter written today, then spend the next three days reading it over and giving it one last polish before it's out of my hands.

And then, gentle readers, I shall collapse, because 2010 has been by far the busiest and most demanding creative year of my life. I guess that's what happens when you have a book coming out every six months in 2011/12. But it's been rewarding and enlightening, too.

Belated best wishes to everyone for a happy 2011!
rj_anderson: From a quote by Pamela Dean (Book Book Book)
2010-08-14 07:46 am

Warning: This Book May Contain Some Christianity; TTFN

I was interested to see Betsy Bird's comments on her Fuse #8 blog today about a new graphic novel called Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword (warning: autoplay video at source). Among other things, the novel includes lots of information about Orthodox Judaism, which caused Betsy to comment:
Think about children’s fantasy novels and religion for a moment. Religion in fantasies for kids tends to skew one of three ways. You can incorporate it and make it the entire point of the novel (Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, the Narnia books of C.S. Lewis, or Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time series which is technically science fiction anyway). You can make up an entirely new religion of your own (as in the novels of Frances Hardinge, Tamora Pierce, Megan Whalen Turner, etc.). Or you just sorta forget about it...
And then she goes on to talk about Hereville as something different, where the religion is very much an integral part of the book's atmosphere and sensibility but it's not the whole focus of the plot, which is more of a hero's quest story.

Which had the desired effect of really making me want to read Hereville, but also made me wonder: for those of you who've read Wayfarer, do you think it falls into the first category (religion is the entire point), or the fourth (it's part of the worldbuilding, but not the main story)? Either one is fine, I'm just curious. Since it's definitely not the second or the third...

And can you think of any other books you've read where religion is handled in a way similar to Hereville, as an integral part of the MC's background and culture but not necessarily the obvious point of the story?


That being said, it may take me a while to respond to your (doubtless very interesting) comments on the subject of how religion does or can fit into children's books. After my two appearances in Guelph and Waterloo this weekend, I'm heading off to the Fortress of Solitude to overcome my SHERLOCK obsession work on Arrow revisions, and won't be back online until Friday.

Don't burn down the Internet while I'm away, kids!
rj_anderson: (Doctor Who - Adipose)
2010-04-06 05:08 pm

The Wanderer Returns

*steps very cautiously outside into the Big Wide World*



Oh, look, there's a big shiny yellow thing up in the sky! *squints at it* I think it's called the sub, or something of that sort?

Well, maybe I haven't been quite that dramatically isolated in my First Draft Cave since mid-January, but it feels like it. All my usual activities went out the window when I set myself the challenge of finishing Arrow by the end of March, and then somewhere in the middle of my frenzied typing I came down with Baby's First Sinus Infection, which was a lot of No Fun At All.

However. I am here now, poking my head out of my burrow and sniffing the virtual wind, and by that you might rightly conclude that I have, in fact, succeeded. To wit, I wrote the last sentence of Arrow this past Saturday. Yay!

Of course, my work is not quite done yet; I have the month of April to revise the really rocky bits of the manuscript and give it a last polish before I turn it into The Lovely Sarah (my UK editor). But for me, the first draft is by far the hardest part of writing any book, and revision is much less stressful. So I'm giving myself a few days to relax and breathe and catch up on all the things that have gone by the wayside in the past three months (like certain household chores, and my shockingly neglected e-mail inbox), and then I'll print the whole ms. with a new font and double-column layout so I can look at it with fresh eyes, and start marking it up like crazy.

In any case, some interesting things have happened since my last post, and I look forward to telling you all about them. You may expect to hear from me a little more often in the next few days...

But in the meantime, you might check out this (now slightly outdated) video I made for Adele over at the book blog Persnickety Snark, giving a little update on what I've been doing and what's coming up in future.

rj_anderson: From a quote by Pamela Dean (Book Book Book)
2010-02-18 11:15 am
Entry tags:

Not dead, just working

2008-01-26 (Editing a paper) - 31

Image by Nic's events via Flickr

The good news: Since I started work on Arrow in the second week of January, I have written over 41,000 words.

The bad news: I still have to write at least another 35K, if not more, before this book is finished. And then I need to revise it at least a bit before I can send it to my editor... and all that has to be done by the end of April.

So if you've been wondering why I'm not around much in any of my usual online haunts, that would be the reason, yes.

But I leave you with a teaser! Because I am either nice that way or mean that way, depending on what you think of such things:

He was even taller than she remembered, his skin more tanned, his eyes greener. There was a smear of blood high on his forehead where something had cut him, and he was wearing the fireplace poker like a sword stuck through his belt.

See you on the other side!
rj_anderson: (Touching Indigo - Alison)
2009-08-15 09:22 am

More Debsness, and a Quick Update

First, the good stuff:

Find Out What's In The Bag And Win It Today

And now for a long-overdue heads-up on what I've been doing. Namely, working on my paranormal YA Touching Indigo every spare moment I get. I was delighted with my 12K progress for the first week -- especially since about a third of that was new material -- but this week it's slowed down considerably due to a houseful of bored kids and my participation in London Book Camp (that's London ONTARIO, FYI -- nobody has offered to fly me to the UK yet!). Still, I have hopes of catching up to my target of 20K by Monday.

To help me stay motivated without an Official Editorial Deadline, I've told myself that if I get the first draft of this book finished by the second week of October at the LATEST, I can buy myself a new laptop. Which, considering that my current laptop is an eleven-year-old refurbished Toshiba with zero Internet capability and a busted hinge, is a pretty good incentive. Now I just have to think of an extra treat I can give myself if I get it all done by the end of September...

In the meantime, I've been delighted to find three Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter reviews in the past month from major US publications. First Booklist came through with some very nice words in their July issue, and then just this past week I got the nod from School Library Journal and VOYA, both of which you can check out on the Barnes & Noble page for Spell Hunter if you're curious.

I'll be offline for the next week, doing family stuff and focusing on getting caught up with Touching Indigo, but I look forward to catching up with everyone when I get back!
rj_anderson: (Shaun the Sheep - Frog)
2009-04-29 09:02 am
Entry tags:

*waves feebly*

I had a great time over the weekend at the women's conference in Guelph (1 hour away) and the Writers' Festival in Ottawa (6 hours away), but I was horribly ill (as in aches, nausea, chills, fever, exhaustion, sore throat, coughing up chunks) the whole time. I'm just glad I was able to get through my 2 songs, 2 seminars, 1 reading, 6 bookstore visits (nothing fancy or scheduled, I just dropped by to sign stock) and 3 school presentations without losing my voice or fainting not-so-gently onto the floor.

Between Sunday afternoon and Tuesday evening, I drove 1400 km. I'm glad to be home -- but my launch and release party are on Saturday, and there's lots of cleaning and preparation to be done before then (like the groceries and the laundry. Oy, the towering piles of laundry.)

And I still have to get through 140 pages of revisions before May 15th... *collapses*
rj_anderson: (Author Portrait)
2009-04-25 07:15 am

I'm off

(All together now: "We knew that.")

I'm about to jump in my rented car and zoom off to Guelph for a women's conference, and from there I'm going straight to the Ottawa Writers' Festival to do some school visits (whee!), so I won't be around until Tuesday night or Wednesday... have a great weekend, everyone!
rj_anderson: (Wayfarer - Timothy)
2009-04-18 06:54 pm

A Brief Hiatus

I have now received my second round of edits for Faery Rebels Book 2, and they are due in early May, so I have a lot of work to do between now and then! For which cause I fear that I must put my BEDA* ambitions aside and focus on making this manuscript as tight and clear and compelling a story as I can.

But as penance for abandoning my faithful readers for the next couple of weeks or so, I will share some tidbits about this second book, which goes by the working title of Faery Rebels: Wayfarer in the US (that may well change, though) and by Rebel in the UK:

The story takes place some years after the events of Spell Hunter a.k.a. Knife, and it's told from two perspectives. One is Paul's young cousin Timothy, and the other a girl named Linden whom you may remember from the first book. But even though Linden and Timothy are at the heart of this particular adventure, rest assured that the characters from Book One also play an important part (and get some of the best lines!). It's a much bigger adventure in some ways; it definitely expands our view of the world the Oakenfolk live in. Anyway, I am quite excited about it, as are my US and UK editors, and I hope that those who've read and loved the first book will enjoy this one too.

And now I must dash away and work on my book some more!

*Blog Every Day April, as mentioned in this post.
rj_anderson: (Wayfarer - Timothy)
2009-03-24 12:41 pm

Mea Culpa

It has come to my attention that many good people deplore the practice of exporting one's Twitter updates to LiveJournal. I can see the justice of this, and shall desist forthwith.

And I will try to have some new actual LJ content soon. Today should be my last day of revisions on Wayfarer, Lord willing! Or at least, until my editor gets back to me with the next round of changes...
rj_anderson: (Books - Writing)
2008-10-05 11:50 pm
Entry tags:

Sundry and Divers Matters

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...Image by Zemanta via CrunchBaseSo I've found this nifty little utility called Zemanta that auto-suggests content (links, creative commons photos, etc.) when you're writing a blog post. The only downside is that you then have to compose your posts using the Blogger (or WordPress) dashboard, but I'd been thinking about doing that anyway, since I fail at inserting images into LJ.

I wonder if this will make me blog more regularly?

In general update news, I'm still slogging away on Wayfarer to the tune of 1500-2000 new words a day, although today was in the negatives because I had to delete about 1200 words I'd just written when I could see the chapter was veering off in the wrong direction. Generally, though, I'm quite pleased with the way the draft is shaping up. The meat of the book will need revising for sure, but the bones are good.

I'm also reading Kenneth Oppel's new YA alt-historical fantasy Starclimber to my eight-year-old son (who was a massive fan of the first two books in the series, and nearly died of happiness when he discovered the third had just come out). Anyway, early in the book there is a scene taking place in a park in Paris, involving a particularly absurd bit of Parisian bureaucracy which I can only think Oppel must have thrown into the book on a dare. Anyway, it was definitely not meant to be read out loud to an eight-year-old while trying to do a French accent, and I would have sharp words for Mr. Oppel if I hadn't been falling all over the sofa laughing until I could hardly breathe.

For my own reading pleasure, I've just finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which is every bit as brilliant and devastating as I'd been led to believe. I actually had to put the book down in the middle to sob and wipe my eyes, which almost never happens when I'm reading anything. And here I'd thought I wasn't that heavily invested in the story...

Next up is Graceling by Kristin Cashore, another book that's been getting rave reviews. I've only read half a chapter so far so I really can't tell how much I'm going to like it, but it looks promising.
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rj_anderson: (Moomins - Moomintroll Crabby)
2007-12-31 10:57 pm

*waves feebly*

I fail at holidays, so I have no timely New Year's post full of resolutions and thoughtful looks back at the year that was, or anything of that sort. I did, however, finish revising Chapter Eight of Knife (although it feels like a bit of a cheat, since I am splitting the original much-too-long chapter into two, so technically I'm only half finished). And that makes me happy, because it means I am still on schedule to get this puppy -- er, faery -- finished and back on my editor's desk by the end of February.

Meanwhile, I have been reading the last four Artemis Fowl books at a frightening pace, which is funny because I really didn't care at all for the premise or the execution when I read the first book, but I did develop a teeny tiny nagging litcrush on Artemis (shut up) and eventually I broke down and decided to find out what happened to him. And now I may kind of ship Artemis/Holly, in a deranged May-December way (yeah, yeah, I know, SHUT UP).

We also watched Amazing Grace on the weekend. Good film, that, and Ioan Gruffydd puts in a highly commendable performance. It even had extra bonus coolness in the form of Nicholas Farrell and Ciaran Hinds, although I was embarrassed to discover during the credits that I was incapable of telling Albert Finney and Michael Gambon apart. (At one point I actually wondered if Gambon were playing both Newton and Fox, but dismissed that as being too stupid.)

Apart from that... there isn't a whole lot else to say. Except that I do have one New Year's resolution after all: I have decided not to harsh anyone else's squee. If you think that you can therefore deduce my opinion of certain recent books, TV shows and/or movies by what I have not posted about them, you may be onto something. (Unless you were thinking about this season of House, which I have in fact been enjoying very much, so there.)

Man, I am boring these days. I apologize to all of you who were expecting actual content.

*skulks away*
rj_anderson: (Doctor Who - Five - Surgery)
2007-11-02 10:21 pm

And now, a word from our sponsor

I bought a laptop today from a computer liquidation outlet. I told the sales guy I basically just wanted a glorified typewriter -- no Internet capability, no bells and whistles, just a workhorse that could run MS Word and let me get my writing done.

So far, it seems to be working all right -- I only hope it continues to do so for a long, long time to come. I certainly don't plan to overtax its little brain, not when I have a perfectly good desktop in the office. But it will be nice to have the option to work on the laptop when the other computer isn't a practical option.

Of course, now that I have this lovely new tool meant to increase my writing efficiency, I am coming down with a cold and feel too cruddy to write. Meh.

On a happier note, my middle son got his cast off today. The bones have healed nicely, and to his very great relief it didn't hurt when they took out the pins in his elbow. (Poor little guy, he'd been worried about that for days beforehand, and it was all I could do to reassure him.) His arm's pretty weak right now after a month of disuse, but I'm sure that soon he'll be playing happily again -- thank the Lord.
rj_anderson: From a quote by Pamela Dean (Book Book Book)
2007-10-16 12:16 pm

The Author's Progress

I've just finished Chapter Five of Touching Indigo, which might not sound like much at first. But since my chapters average 17-18 pages, that brings me up to approximately 23,200 words.

I'm nearly a quarter done! Woo hoo!

*shades eyes with hand, peers hopefully at the creative horizon*

There's a city shining in the distance. I can almost read the words THE END written over the gates...