June 1999

Friend's Journals:

Introduction to Fantasy

Stories in Training:

Molly's Cry (SS): 1600 words
Fantasy Realty (N): 4000 words (On hold)

Stories in Re-Hab:

The Great Migration (SS): 0 pages
Sandman (SS): 0 pages
Erin Glen I (N): 0 pages (On hold)

My stats.

June 28, 1999:

Wow, this month has really flown right by! My classes are still keeping me pretty busy and I'm behind in my work. I've decided to count the words for two lengthy assignments in my monthly word count. One turned out to be a complete story and the other is a long scene for a story that I've had in my idea notebook for awhile. The two items together are 3700 words, so that will bring me just shy of 10k words this month. I have another assigment to do and I fell pretty confident that I will bust it this month. :)

One of the assignments, the 2100 word scene, I wrote by hand then timed myself typing it in. I made a few changes along the way and corrected 90% of the errors that I typed. After I was finished, James helped me calculate the words per minute. I clocked in at just under 50 words per minute with around 15 errors! Not bad since I haven't done much typing for speed since high school. I did have a short job as a data entry, but that was much more difficult and I don't think I was very fast at that.

Yahoo and Geocities merged and my File manager is much different now. I was pained to see that in the setup it asked for the 'type' of page I had and there was not one listing for anything about writing or books. The closest thing was Romance and I didn't want to choose that. There was a note with the menu box that said the category was mainly for the banner ads on the page, so I chose Computer and internet. It seemed as good of a choice as any.

Well, next Monday I'll be off on vacation for the week. We are going to the great Smokie mountains! I've been to the Rockies (the first mountains I've been to) and fell in love. (Have I mentioned that here before?) I hope that I like the Smokies as well. I'm going to take a notebook along and plan to write a bit of what we do each day and then post it here when I return. I just love reading some of the other NAW journals when they go on vacations. :)

Speaking of the NAW journals, I feel so awful. I think I've looked at two in the last two or three weeks. :( Sorry ya'll, I have no clue what's been going on with any of you. Maybe I can catch up the latter part of July sometime.

July, it's coming up fast. I'm not sure if I can get the new look for this page up this week or not. Between finishing last weeks assignments, this weeks assignments, and getting ready for vacation, I'll be busy! ::sigh:: Uh-well, it's not like its the end of the world or anything. :) TTFN!

June 22, 1999:

I've been doing a lot of practice writing for class and not been doing much 'actual' writing on my stories. The classes are teaching me quite a bit and I have ideas for re-writing and working in some new scenes in my current stories.

TGM is getting some great crits, by great I mean extremely helpful. I'm realizing that the work that needs to be done on it will take much longer than a week. July first is the deadline for the themed issue I was going to send it to. I'm beginning to think that it doesn't quite fit the theme anyway, so I may not send it, but revise it (nearly re-write it) and make it perfect for the contest that I want to send it to by October 1.

I've been working on revising Sandman for class. I've 'coded' the first three pages, but I'm not finished with the first page completely so I can't post any actual progress up there under 'Stories in Training'. The class is six weeks and we deal with a specific editing problem each time so it will be awhile before actual progress is shown here.

I am trying to break 10k words for this month. It would be the most words I've written in a month since January. Actually, at over 5k I've already written the most since January. By the end of the month I'd like to finish Molly's Cry at the very least. Chapter 1 of FR would be nice to have finished as well, but I'm not holding my breath.

June 19, 1999:

500 more words on MC yesterday. I wanted more, but during my hour I hit two major snags where I was stuck for a while. I'm starting to think maybe I should give writing a rest until I'm finished with some classes. These classes are making me realize that everything I've been writing are not even close to salable fiction. ::sigh:: That would mean six or seven stories, one novel and one part of a novel are useless and have to be re-written. It's disheartening at the moment.

Out of the three classes I now have one assignment done. The other two won't take but maybe 15 or 20 minutes more work each. So, off I go...

June 17, 1999:

I cannot believe that I forgot to include one of the souveniers that I bought last weekend! I got a cul bracelet made from similar links that chain mail is made out of. It's really neat.

Yesterday and today I skipped my early morning work hour. Yesterday I decided to take the day off as reward for finishing my story. Last night we watched a movie (Love & War with Sandra Bullock) and I was up really late, so I decided to sleep in. Baby sitting I really need to have enough sleep to deal with the little guy. Baby Will's been constipated lately, poor thing, and I wanted to be alert to deal with him. When I'm tired I get angry at him, and that's not right.

I'm trying to decide what to get back to work writing on, MC is not outlined and something still doesn't feel right about FR. I do know that I'm using Sandman in my Editing and Revising class, so it's going to be worked on during the class. I'm starting on that either tonight or tomorrow. I'm still planning on having TGM through it's first editing and out to the readers on Saturday. That leaves me a week and a half before the deadline. I'm pushing it close!

Well, I have much homework to do for these classes, so I'd best get to work on that! TTFN!

June 15, 1999:

Another 1200 words on TGM today which finishes it off. I'm taking a break from it tomorrow and plan to work on Molly's Cry. I was planning on getting submissions ready, but my new manuscript tracking program isn't working at the moment. I had hoped on waiting until it was set up and up to date before sending any more out. A friend wrote this program for me and as soon as all the bugs are worked out and I have it running, I will put a link here. I had a prior version of the program and it looked great, it just didn't save the info. :)

Thursday and Friday I will work on editing TGM and get some readers over the weekend. I should make the July 1 deadline fine.

June 14, 1999:

Some good news! I've been asked to join a crit group! I just hope I can keep up with everything. Classes at WVU, now the crit group...plus writing and everything else! :)

Saturday morning I was very worried about the day turning out badly. I had a chiropractor's appointment at 8, so I was out of the hotel room early. The sky was completely overcast and I was not happy. By the time I made it back to the hotel, I was tired, hungry and irritable. James convinced me to stay in bed for a while and we napped. No sense getting out in the rain, he argued. So we stayed till nearly noon. We'd both had our heart set on getting breakfast food and we were upset when we realized it was after breakfast serving time. Well, there's always waffle house and IHOP. James didn't want waffle house, so we went to IHOP. Wouldn't you know it? Pouring down rain and the place is full up with people standing outside in the rain waiting on tables! We went to Sonic instead.

After a quick Wal-mart run for an umbrella, we were off to the Faire! Well, the Faire started at 10, and we arrived at 12 with it still pouring down rain. The people at the gate thanked us for showing up on such an awful day. What else could we do though? The tickets were paid for and we had to leave town that night. It appeared that many of the shows were cancelled, at least for the time being. I dragged James through the mud to the merchants tents and spent most of the time looking at the wares. My favorite tent was the weapons. The guy had an AWESOME sword with a crystal ball on the end of the hilt. He also had some bone handled knives that he made himself, very nice. I liked the costumes some of the people were wearing. A, um, wench I guess you'd call her, sold us a rose. She spoke with a nice accent and told us she'd be beaten if she did not sell them all. I took pity :) on her and we bought a beautiful pink rose (my fave).

The next few hours were a blur, I think it stopped raining around one and sprinkled just a bit later. At about three, we wanted to see the new terrace gardens where shows were performing. They'd recently added the gardens and we were anxious to see them. There was another place where shows were being performed and a crowd began gathering. James said, "Let's see what's going on." I'm glad we did, or we'd have missed out on the neatest chess game. A chess board was painted on the lawn and several men dressed as fighters (whom later we learned were Hack & Slash a comedy duo) chose players. I was picked as a pawn and at the last minute James, appropriately enough, was chosen as a bishop. I was the Queen's rook pawn. We waited a moment and soon the Queen (supposed to be Queen Elizabeth I think) arrived. She said that we should hold the match just a minute for her friend to arrive. Soon a shy young man dressed in costume came out and quietly asked his 'lady' to come to him. She stepped from the crowd and he knelt down and proposed! It was so sweet, I cried! :)

The queen gave the word and the match began. Slash was our king and he issued us the orders. Whenever a battle ensued, we would be commanded to clear the board. The first time an actor challanged a crowd player and Slash asked to champion for the player. They tied their hands together with a five foot length of rope and tried to struggle across the board to a sword in the ground. Slash suceeded in 'knocking' the guy out and then couldn't get to the sword. We all yelled at him to carry the man that was bigger than him. He gave the crowd a wary look, but picked him up anyway. When he got several feet from the sword, he dropped the man and the man's hand flopped over to hit the sword. It was funny. Most battles involved two actors battling it out with fists or swords (actually put on in case you haven't guessed) but one time they let two children battle it out. James was attacked by a pawn and Slash asked him if he wanted a champion. James played along and said yes. I expected both to have a champion, but instead they got a boy about the same age from our side and dressed them in fencing gear. A balloon was attached to both of the boys' helmets and they were allowed to try to pop each other's balloons with the fencing sword. James' 'champion' won, throwing off the planned board game. The next captures were actually invalaid moves, but I doubt many people noticed. Slash got Hack to check mate and they battled it out until Hack yeilded. The Queen was happy, Slash was her chosen King. ;)

Then the highlights of the rest of the afternoon were the comedy shows of Hack & Slash and Voltar the Adequate. Slash was Hack's squire and had some hilarious run in's. Voltar the Adequate was basically a magician. My favorite thing he did was slice himself (with a fake knive), it looked so real, blood ooozing out and everything. Ok, ok, so I'm morbid. :)

I got some souveniers. It took me a long time to decide what to get. Our limited budget and cash supply would not allow me much. I debated over a twenty dollar silver ring. It had an Egyptian Sarcophogus carved on the top and it opened to have a small compartment inside. I really wanted it and wished I had tried to barter the merchant down. I decided to get a homemade clay mug with a lizard for a handle and a matching lizard. The mug was priced $12.50 and I got her to sell them both for that price. The lizard was $3. She was reluctant, but she gave in. James got a silver wolf tie tack for $5. I wanted to buy some of the costumes they were selling, but realized the ones I could afford, I could make myself. Some were $100-250! They were nice though.

When we were ready to go, we were ready to eat. We'd decided, even though the food looked wonderful, to spend all our cash and use the credit card to get dinner at IHOP. Dinner was delicious. They told us at the park that since the weather was bad that they would be honoring the ticket stubs Sunday as well, so we gave our tickets to our waitress for her tip. She seemed thrilled to get them. We hope she enjoyed them.

Well, I'm sure you've heard enough. If you ever get a chance to go to a RenFaire, I suggest you go. I'm going to try to make it next year. This one in Montgomery is always the second weekend in June.

Last Wednesday, I had decided to get up an hour earlier in the morning to write. I managed this Thursday, but someone (I won't say who) turned off the alarm before I heard it. I sleep more soundly than he and it takes me about 15 more seconds to wake up enough to hear it. Well, today I got up at about 6 and got working. Managed to get 1050 words on a new story that I want to send to Eternity's Apocolypse issue as well as a contest in October. The deadline for Eternity is July 1, so I'd like to have it written this week. From what I wrote today, it looks like the end will be less than 2000 words. It may get re-written though, who knows. TTFN!

June 13, 1999:

We had a great weekend! Even after getting out a bit late, we had time and time-wise, everything went perfectly. It was raining on the 2 1/2 hour drive there, so I was worried, but when we got there it wasn't raining. Cloudy, but not raining. We got to the hotel room, I showered and dressed. When we left for dinner, it was one-hour and ten minutes before showtime. We didn't have a clue where we were going to eat. Both of us tossed out names of places, but excluded them for this reason or the other. Finally I said, "We don't have much time for a sit down place, how about a nice chinese buffet?" So we headed in the direction of the best (that we knew of) chinese buffet in town. Having lived in this town for 4-5 years really helped us here. On the way we saw a bulliten board for Ming's Garden and decided to stop there, since it was much closer to the theatre. Right around the corner from it, to be precise. We ordered the planned dinner for two, Almond chicken and Sweet & Sour pork (Yum!). It also included, of course, eggrolls and soup.

During dinner, I brought out the point, "Have you ever met a rude waiter at a Chinese restaurant?" To us they have always been very courteous and wonderful host/ess. James said that it was probably because they had to be nice to each other when you live in a country so populated. "What about the ones that grew up here, then?" I countered. He surmised that the Chinese parents taught their children to be more polite. That makes sense.

We finished eating about 30 minutes before showtime and arrived at the theatre in plenty of time to get our tickets. We get there, and encounter our first hitch of the evening.

They couldn't find our tickets! They searched their computer database for our name, address, everything. Finally, I believe, they had to pull up the seat list and find what seats we had. We knew we were in row N. They found us, but the name was spelled 'Tasley'. I suppose that's what we get for ordering over the phone.

Anyway, we still had time for me to run to the bathroom before the show. The show was AWESOME! It took me the entire first act to figure out who was who, but I got it straightened out during the intermission.

My favorite scenes were at the end. King Richard III was in battle with Richmond (I believe was who it was) and the night of the battle, they both had the same dream. All the people that King Richard had killed came out of the mists to condemn Richard and to encourage Richmond. The battle scene was done very nicely as well. The warriors were in slow motion and Richard was screaming, "My kingdom for a horse!" over and over. Finally, one of the King's soldiers tells him, "I'll get you a horse, my liege!" but then falls in battle. Richard appearently tries to avenge the soldiers death and falls himself. The way they did his death scene was excellent. Two soldiers brought spears, one behind his back and one under a sholder from the front. Richard wrapped his arms around the spear behind him and they lifted him in the air. I believe Richmond stepped in and appeared to deliver the final blow. All this was in slow motion with fog around and it was AWESOME!

Tomorrow I'll tell about our fun at the Renaissance Faire. I'm sure you want to hear about our participation in a life-sized game of chess!

June 11, 1999:

Two good pieces of GREAT news! My sister Dee paid my tuition at Writer's Village University. It's my birthday and Christmas present and I'm thrilled. I couldn't afford to pay it myself. They offer one free class that I've taken and it was very helpful. The people are great and I've heard that they now do their classes differently and my sis says it's much better. My tuition allows me to take as many classes as I want for one year and they have some great classes!

The second bit good news:

Today is our 5 year anniversary!!! Yay! In just about an hour or so (hopefully) we will be on the road to Montgomery. I guess I haven't mentioned our plans here before so here they are. Tonight we have tickets to see King Richard III at the world famous Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF). They are the only theatre in the U.S. to be given the honor of displaying the flag of a popular European theatre troope (The name escapes me at the moment). You can visit their web site at: ASF. Then, tomorrow we are going to ASF's Renaissance Faire. I am so loking forward to it! I've always wanted to go to one! I will tell ya'll all about it when I get back. It'll probably be Sunday before I'm allowed to look at the 'puter, James has some things to do Saturday night when we get back. Well, I gotta go pack now! See ya!!!

June 7, 1999:

I had the day off today! The baby's grandmother was visiting and stayed home with the baby today, so I got the day off! I stayed in bed till 12, then read for three hours and finished another book. Strange Tomarrow was a book that I had borrowed as a teenager from the library, lost and paid for it. When I found it, I decided to keep it, after all, I paid for it. I'd forgotten what it was about exactly so I read it again. It's a young adult novel about a girl who survives a global disaster. It's in two parts, Janie one about the first girl, then Janie two is about the first one's great grandaughter. It was pretty good actually.

The other day I did manage to do all but my writing. I've been avoiding it lately. I had this nagging feeling that something was wrong with the two short chapters on FR. I finally, with James' help, realized that I needed more background info in chapter one. James said that there wasn't enough to feel sorry for the main character, not enough to cheer for him to win or whatever. So, I put in some flashbacks and hope that they worked in well. I just read a chapter on dealing with flashbacks and tried to use what I'd learned there. I 'cheated' the word count a bit since I copy and pasted most of it, but today added 2600 words to the book! I still have a bit to go on chapter one working my way through it.

I have a few friends that want to read my novel chapter by chapter. I think I'm going to start attempting to finish a chapter a week, writing it and then editing just a bit (so I won't be embarrassed by any stupid mistakes) then sending it out to them. Of course I'll have to tell them that it's not perfected yet and that some chapters may get edited out. But at least it's a goal for me to work for and they can tell me any problems with the story line as I go along.

Today I spent some time looking at guidelines and glad I did. I remembered some contests that I have some excellent ideas for that are quickly coming to a deadline. There's one in particular that I need to write for a contest with a deadline of July 1st and others on Aug. 31 and Oct. 1. One of the stories is written but needs a lot of work. The other fits both of the other two contests. So, I'm putting Molly's Cry on hold (at least the writing, I may work on outlines and characters) so that I can write the other before July 1st. I'm so glad that I took that time today. Also, none of my stories are out now and I have a whole list of places I want to send them. Hopefully by the end of the week four of the five stories will be out.

Oh, read some great stories today, one by Tippi at the Grimore, one by Paula up at Exodus and another at Exodus by Marcie. Great stories. Go check them out.

Cul! I just went to edit my stats page and realized that I've cleared 30 k word total for the year! It's not as good as I'd like it to be, but I'm getting there. Just keep on keepin' on, that's all ya can do. I at least want to bust my total last year of 56 k. I should do that, especially if I finish this novel.

Just popped into Erin's site for a bit to see if she's back. Congratulations, Mrs. Denton! ;)

Now, I gotta get off this 'puter, my carpal tunnel is acting up again! Eie!

June 5, 1999:

Wasted a whole day. I woke up and finished reading Christie Golden's _Voyager_ novel, 'Seven of Nine'. I finished it in about three days, mostly this morning/early afternoon. I really liked it. If I can finish a book that fast now-a-day's, it's got to be really good.

I felt kinda lethargic (dollar word for lazy) today. I surfed on the net for hours, watched one of our 5 movies for 5 day-movies. We rented 'The Relic', Bram Stoker's 'The Legend of the Mummy', 'Bad Moon', Stephen King's 'Thinner' and 'The Island of Dr. Moroeu(spelled wrong)'. We watched the first two last night and the third today. I liked the '...Mummy', of coarse, but it the ending made me mad. It left you wondering what happened exactly to the queen.

Anyway, I need to get some writing done tonight and wash dishes. I promised myself I would do that much AND finish the book. One down, two left to go...oh and exersize! I cannot forget that! :) It's already 8 PM. I'd better get cracking!

June 1, 1999:

I decided to go with a Sci-Fi theme this month, hope you like it. It takes a lot of time looking for these sets. I had so many that I couldn't decide from this month, so I put them all in a file. I now have enough sets to last through November. :)

No writing today but I hope June is a much better month than the last several have been, writing wise. We may take our vacation at the end of the month and we have a trip planned for the middle, so well see how it goes. I'm going to try and take my writing time as it comes and get enough done in the early part of the month that I won't have to worry. Hmm, it'd be nice to break 5000 words this month, but I'm not getting my hopes up since we may be having that vacation. TTFN!

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