New Story Announcement: Fitting the Pieces

I’m assuming no-one reading this blog will not be surprised to learn that this week has not gone entirely to plan. (Note that I’m assuming there are people out there reading this – if there aren’t, well, just let me keep my illusions, eh!)

Which is not to say that it wasn’t productive – assuming productive can be translated to “spent her day off walking 7 miles and arguing with five different pieces of computer technology”. The 7 miles part I knew I’d be doing (by personal policy, I do not drive to the dental hospital – that way I don’t have to deal with the hell that is the M32 in rush hour and nor do I have to give NCP large quantities of money! – and since I haven’t yet figured out personal teleportation, I take the train to Temple Meads and walk!). The arguing with technology part was not planned. The only upside was that I used the ‘down’ time to give the Force Awakens a second watch. (I suppose, technically, I could have been writing, but as my Netbook was one of the recalcitrant pieces of technology that ended up needing two reboots before it would behave, I wouldn’t have got far!)

All in all, then, it’s another week with not a lot to show for it. And yet, I actually think this week’s been one of my better ones. I mean, sure, the word count of my various projects hasn’t increased by much, but I have done some incredibly useful thinking. I’ve finally nailed down the motivation for why my bad guy hates my protagonist. I’ve finally figured out why my protagonist is the way she is. Heck, I’ve finally, once and for all, worked out that my protagonist is a she. (Admittedly, that does open up another set of questions, but I think they can mostly be answered with “Thou shalt not attempt to screw with a trained assassin or she will break your kneecaps”. It’s not a perfect answer, or a complete answer, but it’s enough of an answer to let me finish this story!)

So that’s where I’m at.

A whole lotta plot and currently not enough words.

One other upside to Monday’s technology shenanigans is that I got to do a bit of house keeping on my assorted file stashes. Some of what I found was a nice selection of wtf’ery; some of it was comedy gold; some of it surprised me for actually being good. And one item is a brand new story (and the subject line of this post – assuming people are still reading by this point!)

The story is called Fitting the Pieces and it’s a companion piece to something I wrote for Yuletide in 2008 (!). They’re both set in the Jason Bourne film universe and both set at the end of Ultimatum/Legacy (you do have to have seen the former; you don’t have to have seen the latter).

You can read Fitting the Pieces here
Y
ou can read 3am here

 

Not Enough Hours In The Day

About the only good part of this week is that after tomorrow I have a long weekend. Then again, the reason I have said long weekend is because I’m at the dental hospital on Monday so…maybe not so much of a good thing.

Work is continuing to be insane (quite literally, yesterday, I had seven urgent projects on my desk which all needed to be dealt with at once – yeah, that didn’t happen!) but despite that, I have actually applied finger-to-keyboard in a creative fashion (and I don’t just mean my spelling!). Nothing really to show for it yet, but things are taking shape.

With the (pseudo) long weekend ahead of me, I’m hoping that I’ll get a good amount of stuff done – at this point, I have six stories in-progress and it would be nice if I could wrap up at least one of them, and I’m not especially choosy on which one!

Guess we’ll see what happens.

Didja Miss Me?

It’s been a crazy old two weeks. Work’s been mad and exciting in all the wrong ways, while family stuff has been mad and exciting in all the right ways (short explanation: there’s now a brand new member of the family). General result is that I’ve spent a lot of the last two weeks feeling overwhelmed  and without a lot of spare energy to do anything much.

It also doesn’t help (!) that I’ve now got a short story on the boil in the NaNo universe I’ve been fiddling with for the past two years. Given that that might actually go somewhere, I’m giving myself an hour this evening to see how much of it I can get down. If nothing else, it will get it out of my head and let me get back to the mega project.

We’ll see…

New Story Announcement: Playing Catch Up

Well, it’s nothing to do with the big project. It’s not even in the same fandom. But. But. It is a story, and it’s new.

(Okay, it’s not even new – it’s been languishing on my harddrive for a couple of years – but you guys haven’t seen it so that totally counts as new, right?)

It’s called Playing Catch Up and it’s set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, just after the first Avengers film. Read It Here!

In other news, I’m still chugging away on the biggie project – and in fact will be picking that up in a moment, in the hopes of getting something else posted this week. (Though please don’t hold your breath on that one – going by my recent track record, it’s definitely a hope not an expectation!)

33rd Verse, Same as the First

Yeah – this week hasn’t gone my way at all. It has been a typical “boss is on vacation” sort of week, with clients driving me round the twist – one or two of them making a particularly special effort.

I either need a new job or a better class of client.

Or possibly a week off – except that the amount of work stacking up on my desk means that a week off is out of the question.

Hopefully I will have a better week next week, and real progress will be made – this one’s been a thorough going waste.

Well That Wasn’t In The Plan

I was all set to announce I was posting a story (two stories, in fact!) last night when I ran into a great screaming pile of deeply problematic writing. I’d managed to overlook it on my first go-round with the rewrites, but fortunately I caught it on the pre-posting reread.

So this would be me rewriting the rewrite so that it refrains from alluding to something that could be described (at best) as dubious consent.

The other story is fine to post (nothing problematic to it) – but it would be better if things went up in something approaching chronological order, so it waits while I fix my mistakes (hopefully not introducing new ones).

Progress Is A Slippery Thing

As the ancient Chinese curse goes, may you live in interesting times – and those times have definitely been ‘interesting’ this week. The first thing to note is that the Dental Hospital managed to strike again – even as I was talking to my boss about what time I would be heading there, they rang me to tell me my appointment was postponed.

As you might imagine, this rather threw not just my week into flux but my boss’s as well.

Then there was the work stuff that we’ve been dealing with this week which I’m not going to go into detail about (for what I’d hope would be obvious reasons!) but that’s been something of a circus – but one that, for a change, we seem to be coming out ahead on.

And that’s on top of all the regular stuff – like the cat deciding at 4am he’s cold and MUST therefore get into bed with me. (FTR he was indeed cold. Waking up with cold cat paws poking you in the arm is not pleasant – though at least he managed not to insert his claws this time…)

So, yeah. Interesting times.

Interesting writing times, too. For all that I haven’t managed to get a story posted, I have managed to get March’s project well in hand. Granted, I do feel it’s a little bit of a cheat (admission time: I’m using the framework of something I started yonks ago, so in practice I have the whole first half written, pretty much!), but it does mean it’s going to be a little more interesting for folks than just being rewrites of stuff that’s been posted before. So there’s that. There’s also last week’s problem rewrite, which is advancing one tortured sentence after another. So I do have hopes that I’ll have something to launch before February’s done.

Rewrites: Apparently Harder Than They Look

So another week passes and still nothing of note to report – except to say, I remember now why I made a rule back when I was doing this the first time: once it’s posted, walk away. I’ve just spent nearly an hour trying to tweak a sentence.

I’ve tugged it this way. I’ve tugged it that way. I’ve chopped it up. I’ve stuck it back together. I’ve tried breaking it into smaller sentences. And the end result is it’s back to being a giant run-on – just with a different word order. *facepalm*

In other ways, however, this week has been profitable. I’ve skipped ahead slightly to March’s targets and run through what’s lurking and come to the conclusion that, frankly, most of the “Outtakes” stories aren’t really worth revamping. The exceptions to this are the quartet of Eric-related stories (because: Eric!), all four of which are going to be folded in together as one story, which will help me fix  up “What Matters”. So that makes next month’s workload easier because I’ll essentially be writing a new story rather than trying to scrape away the grot.

And next Tuesday sees me off to the dental hospital which should see me with plenty of time on my hands to work on that. (Yes, I know next Tuesday’s still in February – I’m not trying to nitpick myself while sitting in a noisy waiting room!)

So this time next week, there will be real, genuine progress.

Now back to this wretched sentence. Surely there’s some way of arranging the words so that the Gods of Grammar and Aesthetics are pleased by it. Surely…

My Bread Keeps Landing Jam Side Down

This week has not exactly been a paragon of success – although, and saying that, the main source of my work-related stress has now (just about) finished, which is something. Then again, boss is on vacation next week and we all know what happens when that’s the case!

On the writing front, the good news is I haven’t found any more truly excruciating gaffs. The bad news is I haven’t put finger to keyboard in any meaningful sense. However, that’s what Thursday evenings are for. (Well, that, and posting to this here blog!) So I’m off now to make a fresh cup of coffee and to see if I can’t crank out a finished edit ready to be posted tomorrow.

 

There’s a Thing…

It really is quite disturbing to go back over stuff that’s anywhere from ten to fifteen years old. I’m not the person I was then, and it shows. Boy, does it ever show. And yet, for all that, nobody seems to have ever called me on just how horrifying some of my lapses in judgement were. Which means…well. I’m not quite sure what it means. Was I given a pass because I was English? Was my writing so good that I dazzled people to the point they didn’t spot the problems? Or was everyone just too polite to mention it?

I’d probably go with the last one as the explanation – except that people are still reading my older stuff, even now, and still no-one’s mentioned the casual (albeit thoroughly unintentional) racism that’s right there in the very first chapter!

Or maybe it’s not so obvious or problematic to everyone else and it’s just me being the one who’s sensitive to it.

Enough to say, there’s now a honking great big reminder (not that I really need it because this is absolutely seared into my brain) in the middle of my notes that, if nothing else, that one sentence (and any others like it) will be rewritten.

I hate to think what else is lurking.

In less horrifying news, I’ve realised that there are actually three prequel stories, not the two I thought there were. The one I’d forgotten about is actually in pretty good shape, so that’ll be the first one to go up – possibly as soon as this weekend, if I can run to earth my original word document. (Let’s just say, my filing system could use a little work!)

I’m tentatively thinking that all three stories will go up as a sub-series called Time Force Academy – two of them actually are set in the academy; the third isn’t (being set in an entirely different time period altogether!), but it does have a school setting for a backdrop, so it kinda fits. Doing that just helps to break the universe up a bit more and gives some idea of chronological sequence which, let’s face it, is something the ID’verse struggles with at times!

I’m also thinking that, at least possibly, there might be a fourth story in the series – but that definitely won’t be written until after Images of Elsewhere’s finished and it will depend quite heavily on how Images… finally pans out. (I have a plan – but anyone who’s followed me for a while knows that my plans routinely go the way of the Dodo…)

So, progress then. It’s not much, but I’m okay with that. After all, the first rule of great drama is to start small and build…