Saturday, March 29, 2008

Update on Word Count Buddies

I thought I'd give you an update on what I've been doing with the website. I

When you log in to add your words you'll notice that you don't have to enter your name in Add Word Count form any more. I'm picking up your user name from the log in screen. And I've changed the time on the Word Count Table to show the 24-hour clock.

I've changed the View Guest book screen. It doesn't display the email address anymore.

I'm working on setting up an Issues Log. Hopefully that will be available sometime tomorrow. You'll be able to report problems there and also use it to give me your suggestions on how to make the site better. I have some ideas that I'll put up there. These include
1. Word Count Warrior of the Week. This is the person who wrote the most words the previous week. Their name will be displayed above the Word Count Table on the home page.
2. Get the Wall of Shame working. I'm going to also include a list of Weak Excuses ( free free to add to them, there'll be a form that will allow that) and if I can work it, we'll be able to chose one when our names appear on the Wall.
3. At Ing's request, put together a Word Count Buddies Storefront, with the merchandise ideas that Whiteacre, Aestril and Theadra came up with.

Now it's confession time: I haven't written my words today. My weak excuse -- the cat ate my mouse.

See ya!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Progressing slowly

145 words today and if you count up all the words I've done on this scene in the last week and a half you'll wonder why it's coming in at round 850. The words go in, the words come out, the words go in, and on and on. But today I did make some real progress. I like what I wrote and it achieves what I wanted.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

At last, something to watch on TV

This post was inspired by Theadra's missive on the final death throes of Jericho. I don't watch much TV. I'm not saying the TV isn't on in our house; it is. I just don't watch the screen much. There's nothing but a boring parade of the same old same old. So I have to ask you... are you tired of watching fifteen different versions of CSI? Bored with endless, mindless sit-coms? If you can get it, try watching BBC America on Wednesday night for a change. One of the best programs on TV is on there -- MI5. And soon, April 6th I believe, it will be joined by my favoirite, the incredible Wire in the Blood. Not for the fainthearted I'll admit, it's a chilling look at the world through the eyes of a criminal psychologist. There's usually no graphic violence... but the pictures in your mind are far more graphic than anything they need to show. Superb.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Posted my words on the Word Count Buddies Site

I'm sure that I've missed someone from the list of blogs on Word Count Buddies and I know I haven't sent everyone their username and password. That's because I don't have your email addresses. If you make an entry in the Guest Book I'll be able to pick up your email without the rest of the word seeing it.

Let me know what else you'd like to see on the site and I'll try to make it happen.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Word Count Buddies goes Live!!

Hi Everyone. The site isn't completely finished and it will take a few days to iron out the inevitable gliches, but it's about 90% there so I'll release it to you now. You need to send me an email for your username and password if I haven't already contacted you with it.

Let me know if you find things that don't work, or that look strange. I'm still getting a few things shoehorned in place so bear with me while I do that. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


This new project is starting to take off. Not that you'd believe it with a word count of only 132, but the characters are chatting to me, and stuff's happening. I haven't planned this at all, and if it make it into a book it will be a miracle. But it's fun and that's what I need right now.

Update on Website

The website is coming along nicely. I hope to password-protect updating the word count, and have a drop-down box with our names in it by tomorrow evening. The Guest Book is working, Join Us still needs some work but it will send emails. I want to have it do that automagically, right now it just opens the email acount on your PC. I haven't added the About Us page yet. And of course the biggie -- I still need to get the word counts displayed on the Home page. Hopefully I'll get it all done tomorrow. Check it out here

Saturday, March 22, 2008

109 on a new project

I decide to stop beating myself senseless and give in to a secondary character who's been nudging me for weeks. This may not turn out to be a book, but I'm going to give him a chance for a few days and see what we can come up with. He's an interesting subject. Very conflicted because of what happens to him in ASF. I'll say no more.

The website is coming along, if more slowly than I'd like. Check it out if you like at I keep making little changes as I go. I.m not sure if I'll use the Word Count Meter. I don't think it will be flexible enough. It might be okay for a few days if I can;t get what I have in mind up and running by Monday

Friday, March 21, 2008

100 miserable words

I hate them all. But they're written. I'm going to have to edit my edits. Never mind, at least I'm writing something and that's what counts.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

105 words

I should be doing better but work and researching templates is putting paid too that. But I'm really excited about the website and that's helping get the creative juices flowing. The words came easy today, and I'll probably add a few more later this evening.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


163 words, and they need editing. But as these are for a new scene I'm okay with that.

It looks like the Word Count Meter won't work with Bravehost. It needs PHP and Bravehost only provide that with the upgraded version. Not to worry. I have other tricks up my sleeve.

Word Count Buddies -- I think I've cracked it

I think I've come up with the solution to our problem of filling our blogs with tiny posts about our word counts. I'm in the process of setting up a Bravenet web site. It's free, the domain name is free (ugly, but free) and we can put a link to it on our blogs so that anyone who want to follow our progress can. I already have a word count meter that I think we can use. I need to check with the software provider first because I don't want to break any copyright or usage agreements. I need the rest of the week to set it up, but I think we can have it running by the weekend.

In the meantime you can check out my progress... or lack thereof... at Right now everything is a placeholder. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Athur C. Clarke

I've just heard that Arthur C Clarke has died. To me, he was one of the giants of Science Fiction. The first SF book I ever bought was A Fall of Moondust. The twist at the end of Childhood's End was stunning to me. I don't have the words to write a suitable obituary; it's probably not fitting for me to do so. A great man, a huge talent. He will be missed.

Today's Words

250. These are new words for a rework of a scene that was a blob of backstory. I still have to weave them into the blob and cut some of the originals but that's fine. I like what I've done today. It's going to work much better than before.

I'm looking at ways to make this easier for us. Not the writing bit, your on your own for that, but the reporting piece. Maybe linkies would work. I'll keep researching and report back when/if I find something that might fly.

Monday, March 17, 2008

One hundred words and counting

Did my words today... just, but nontheless I did them. I HATE revision.

Word Count Buddies

I'm participating in a Word Count challenge! We've agreed to write a minimum of one hundred words every day on our current WIP or future project. We're still working out the ground rules. but I've decided to start today anyway, so I've started a new category called Word Count Buddies. Hmmm. For a writer of fantasy that shows startlingly little imagination doesn't it? That aside, feel free to join in either as a participant or as a interested onlooker. This should be fun... and productive.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring has sprung

Slightly new look for spring. I get bored easily. And distracted too. Back to the revision.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


My crit partner is a fellow writer. I value and respect her judgement, and her comments have helped me make ASF a better and stronger book.
My reader is not a writer. I value and respect his judgement, and his comments have helped me make ASF a better and stronger book.

BUT... there are some scenes where their advice is diametrically opposed. Examples:
Scene A
She says it pulled her out of the book, the action wasn't believable
He says it was and it was very exciting.

Scene B
She says I can cut a lot of the stuff because it slows the action. The level of detail is too much.
He says he could really see what was happening and loved it.

Scene C
She doesn't like one piece of description.
He says it was great.

Which just goes to show that you can't please all the people all the time.

I'm looking very carefully at these scenes. Of course it's tempting to say -- Oh, the reader loved it, it must be good. But then again, he didn't pick up on quite a few of the other things that she did. And as she didn't see the ms before I made the changes he suggested, I'll never know if she would have given the original a nod of approval (though I really doubt it; she's very good at this).

At the end of the day it is MY book. I can do what ever I want. But if I take that attitude, why did I waste these kind people's precious time asking for their input? What I want is to see ASF on the shelves of the book stores. If I'm in a quandary now about making changes, imagine how much more difficult it will be if an agent or editor asks for changes to those same scenes. But on the other hand, if I'm in the fortunate position of having an agent or editor request changes I suspect I'll be more than happy to oblige.

Why is this SO difficult????

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cool ideas

Cutting up scenes and moving them around is sooo much better when I do it on paper. I really get a better feel for where I can make changes. As a result I've come up with a total new scene for the end of Chapter 9, which will allow me to move the backstory into Chapter 10, and hopefully the whole thing will hang together better than it did before, because the timeline will be better defined. That new scene will take a small lump of exposition from where it was and expand on it so that it's no longer just exposition. Does that makes sense? Anyway, I know what I mean.

I probably won't be able to do much on it tonight but I have the changes clear in my mind and I'm jazzed about writing them. I think this will add getting on for 1000 new words which is fine. It gives me some wiggle room for a slash-and-burn campaign that has to happen.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Procrastination is dead ... Long Live Procrastination

What fun. DST has messed up the application I use to manage the servers at my most important client. Fortunately this is not vital and I can fix it during the week. That does beg the question why didn't I have the darned thing patched up already though. I guess I just missed it in the shuffle. Oh well. Never mind. But messing with it today has eaten into the time I had allocated to make the edits needed in Chapter 9. These are edits that I should have done sooner -- BEFORE my crit partner saw the glob of omniscient backstory. Prevarication, it seems, is one of my stronger points. Ouch!

Now that I've taken a hard look at what needs to be done I'm going to have to do a swift shuffle of scenes in Chapters 9 and 10 to make it work the right way. To that end I've printed out both chapters and I'm going to spend time tomorrow literally cutting paragraphs out and slotting them in where they should be. That's always supposing I can find the time to do it.

But on the upside, my reader called today. He likes the changes that I made to the last chapter, so that's good.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Where has the time gone?

Oh man! It can't be a week since I posted, it simply CAN'T! Things are totally out of control for me. At work I've been completing eight knowledge assessments. Yes. Eight. Totally nuts, but that's what I've have to do. And now that those are done I have half a week's worth of catchup to do.
On the ASF front I've been chewing my way through the revisions. By no means done with those yet, and Friday is looming large. I still have ALL my crit for my crit partner to do. I will get that done but it'll be tight this week. Maybe next week will be calmer. Do I hear hollow laughter in the background? Yes, I thought so. Never mind. I'm going to try to put some interesting things in here soon. Otherwise why would anyone want to read it? Thing is, when I'm staring at myself in the mirror, brushing my teeth, I can think of all kinds of fun stuff to say. When I actually get around to putting it "on paper" (so to speak), it's all gone. Ah me.