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Posts Tagged ‘Writer’s Workspace’

Welcome to this writer’s workspace. Here’s what’s happening liiiiiiiiiiive at Miranda’s desk.

What I’m working on: Today I’m toiling away on the first draft of Project Awesome (tentatively titled THICKER THAN WATER). I’m about 45K in and have just bumped up against the vaguest portion of my outline. This means a fair bit of floundering around as I suss out exactly what I want and need to have happen with the plot and character arcs. Fun and frustrating in equal measure. Here’s a little taste of what’s been going on with Julia, my angry broken doll of a narrator…

…Snippet from the screen: “I opened the cab door, sliding across and ceding the driver’s seat to Jake. He climbed in and palmed the keys off the dash. I shivered, realizing how close he was, how his murderer’s body was just inches from mine and his murderer’s hands were touching the same steering wheel I’d held a thousand times.”

Keeping me company: the Suri household is unusually full this morning. There’s Mr. Ramses, of course, snoozing in his heated cat bed. And my work-from-home buddy Jeff is here. My husband, Sid, is also working from home today, as the office building he and his colleagues recently moved into has broken AC. So, we’ll all either inspire each other to the greatest heights of productivity, or we’ll get absolutely nothing done.

In my mug: I’ve recently expanded my stable of delicious favorite teas to include Kushmi’s Russian Breakfast. It’s not as strong as I usually go for, but still delicious. I recommend it.

Out the window: humid. overcast. thunderstorms. But, I’m not letting it get me down. We’re leaving for a long weekend in Maine tomorrow, and I anticipate plenty of cool, pleasant early fall weather up in Bar Harbor.

A little procrastination never hurt anyone: I can’t actually subscribe to this philosophy today. I got zero work done over the weekend due to various crazy things and, as mentioned above, we’re headed out on vacation tomorrow. As far as writing for the week goes, it’s now or never. That said, I do want to share one link — to the announcement for this year’s Hugo Award winners — and a big congratulations to all those nominated and victorious (but especially to my VP instructors John Scalzi and Patrick Nielsen Hayden and fellow VP graduate Mur Lafferty. VP represent!).

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Welcome to this writer’s workspace. Here’s what’s happening liiiiiiiiiiive at Miranda’s desk.

What I’m working on: I’m carrying on with the first draft of Project Awesome, as well as starting a few new short stories. So, lots going on in terms of new projects, and I must say it’s nice to take a break from all the heavy revising and rewriting I was doing a few months ago. Here’s a peak at a new short I’m working on:

Snippet from the screen: “Lou is old. He’s wearing a stained Grateful Dead T-shirt and faded blue jeans, two sizes too big. Goodwill, I’d guess. Everything about him sags. Everything but his smile. I frown, suspicious. Only fools and five year olds smile like that.”

Keeping me company: Mr. Ramses, of course–though, he’s not much company since he’s recovering from yet another gum surgery. Poor buddy. I actually have company other than Ramses today, though. My friend Jeff is here, working across the table. A few months back he, my friend Sarah, and I formed a work from home group in our neighborhood. We get together once or twice and week and keep each other on task. It’s cool. So, say ‘hi’ to Jeff, everybody.

In my mug: boring old water. Teatime is over for the day, alas.

On the iTunes: Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”

Out the window: it’s a rare cloudy day in the midst of an otherwise glorious Brooklyn summer (I’m only being about 50% snarky on that last one…)

A little procrastination never hurt anyone: well, that’s true if you’re not interested in the link I’m going to share today, or if you’ve already seen it. But if you are interested…let me just apologize in advance for the massive amounts of time you’re about to waste. I discovered this over the weekend and have been binge-watching ever since. So…if you’re a fan of Jane Austen, click on through to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern vlog & twitter adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Enjoy!

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Hey-o, dear Reader! Welcome to this writer’s workspace. Here’s what’s happening liiiiiiiiiiive at Miranda’s desk.

What I’m working on: as a final editing pass on ABSENT, I’m currently reading the entire novel aloud. This is the first time I’ve done this particular exercise for a novel (though I do it a lot for shorts). It’s quite illuminating and is really helping me pick up little errors, find things that are off with voice, and so on. Fun stuff. As far as writing goes, though, the last few days have been devoted primarily to non-fiction. My colleague Bill McFarlane and I are working on an article on our recent archaeological research in pre-Columbian Honduras. In case you were wondering what kinds of stirring prose go into an academic article…here’s a…

Snippet from the screen: “A sketch of the past practices within Sinsimbla and the Jesus de Otoro valley is beginning to emerge. However, as this image comes into focus, it raises far more questions than it answers, especially with regard to the nature of inter-valley interactions across southeastern Mesoamerica.”

Breathless to read on? Well, who can blame you? Not I.

On the iTunes: you can’t rock the archaeology without some rockin’ tunes. Right now Whitesnake is screaming “Here I go Again” at me.

In my mug: the usual grog – Chinese Breakfast tea from Numi. Don’t mess with a classic, I say.

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Keeping me company: Ramses is exploring the wild world of freshly folded laundry. He finds he approves. A lot.

Out the window: so far, summer seems to be one long rainy day. It’s overcast, cloudy, and wet. Still, it hasn’t pulled the ole 95 degrees, 95% humidity trick yet. That’s something!

A little procrastination never hurt anyone: Lies! Still, here are a few links to distract yourself with: first up, more bad news on the climate front! Disaster! Flooding! Second, supercool glowing clouds! and, finally, an article from the New Yorker on how the culture of privacy in America is fading.

Enjoy!

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Welcome to this writer’s workspace.  Here’s what’s happening liiiiiiiiiiiiiive at Miranda’s desk:

What’s that? you say. It’s been so long since I posted one of these, I’d forgive you for thinking this writer wasn’t working much these days. But I am! In fact, I’ve been on quite the streak lately. I was a little worried that tackling 3 classes this semester — all different and one a new prep — would ring a death knell for writing productivity. Some weeks, I’ll admit, it kind of has, but overall I’ve gotten a lot more written than I anticipated. Last week I had a 4K day, followed by a 2.5K day, and I’m hoping to top that this week.

What I’m working on:  The last push of revisions on what will hopefully be the last big redraft of ABSENT (my archaeological time travel novel). I’ve got several projects waiting not-so-patiently in the wings, so this one needs to wrap up, and soon!

Snippet from the screen: “Emily slumped forward, tilting, tilting, tilting until she was no longer leaning but falling. Her breath caught. The ground seemed to open beneath her feet–or maybe just vanish–and she fell for what seemed an age. Then, quite suddenly, she was sitting on a low mud-brick wall once again. Only this time the wall wasn’t a ruin. The ancient city of Ur spread around her, hushed as if under some spell. Moonlight glanced off worn cobble streets and dark alleys wound away in every direction.”

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Keeping me company: Mr. Ramses, as usual, is my biggest cheerleader. He’s been spending a lot of time snuggled in his Tower of Terror, which is situated right behind my office chair.

On the iTunes: I’ve been listening to a lot of cheery music lately. The Lumineers’ Ho Hey is playing now.

In my mug: Royal English Breakfast. Hot.

Out the window: undifferentiated wintertime. Grey sky. Bare branches. Garbage blowing in the uncaring breeze. Yuck.

…and, that’s my workspace update for today. No time to waste on procrastinatory links, I’m sorry to say.

But I always have time for you – so leave a note in the comments and let me know what you’re up to today!

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Welcome to this writer’s workspace.  Here’s what’s happening liiiiiiiiiiiiiive at Miranda’s desk:

What I’m working on:  This month is my finish-ABSENT-come-hell-or-high-water month.  So, that’s what I’m trying to do.  Based on feedback from all my fabulous Beta readers, I’m working on the third (and hopefully final) round of revisions.  Honestly, progress is a little slower than I’d like, though–probably cause I’ve got a huge stack of midterm exams to grade 😦

Snippet from the screen:  “Reid Rencher stood in the hallway, the flickering bulb casting his handsome face half in shadow.  Emily stared at him, horrifically aware she’d neither brushed her hair nor changed out of the I heart New York T-shirt and pair of old boxers she’d slept in the night before.  Reid grinned, taking in the half-empty glass clutched in her hand.  “I know you’ve been avoiding me, but I braved the G train to get here and I didn’t come empty-handed.”  He waggled the wine bottle he carried.  Like Reid himself, it looked expensive.  “Can I come in?”

Keeping me company: Mr. Ramses has been surly lately and retreated to the bedroom.  At least it looks like he’s having sweet dreams 😉

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On the iTunes: Tangled up in Blue by Bob Dylan

In my mug: a cup of Harrods #14 tea

Out the window: Fall.  It’s officially arrived in Brooklyn, replete with browning leaves, a chilly wind, and cloudy skies.  Sigh.

A little procrastination never hurt anyone:  well, that’s not really true, but whatevs!  Here’s a post from Amy Sundberg taking a frank look at social media and writer priorities.  Check it out.  Also, an interesting look at the whole Reddit thing from John Scalzi over at Whatever.  And, finally, because who doesn’t like a cookie that’s really a brownie (or a brownie that’s really a cookie?) a yummy looking recipe from Food and Wine.  If you’re going to waste time and procrastinate, at least you can have some baked goods to show for it.

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Welcome to this writer’s workspace.  Here’s what’s happening liiiiiiiiiiiiiive at Miranda’s desk:

What I’m working on:  This week I intended to take time off from my novel projects and write a short story every day.  What’s actually ended up happening is far cooler.  I’ve written a story a day (3 down, 2 to go) AND I’ve continued work on my novel projects in the afternoon.  It’s been crazy productive (though, just writing that phrase has probably jinxed it).  Anyway, here’s a little excerpt from the short story I’m working on this morning:

…A snippet from the screen:  “I met Lenora in the desert, on my way from nowhere to nowhere.  She lived among the sage bushes, in a ruined settler’s cabin, under a sea of stars.  People in town said she was mad, an oddity.  They eyeballed me when they said it, glancing at my graffiti-covered van as if I were an oddity too.  I was curious, so I went to see her.  I found out they were wrong.  Lenora wasn’t mad, she was dead.”

On the iTunes:  All Along the Watchtower, cover by The Bandits

In my mug: Yorkshire Gold, baby.  Seering the sleep out of your brain since 1886.

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Keeping me company: No one! Ramses has abandoned me (and his beloved Tower of Terror) to snooze in the laundry basket atop (you guessed it) a pile of clean laundry.  Thanks, buddy!  I’m happy to redo that wash.  Really.

Out the window: Apocalypse. Flood. Hellfire. It’s like a 100 degrees, 120 percent humidity, and stormy.  If I weren’t heading to Kansas this weekend I’d think Brooklyn’s sporting the worst summer on record.  But, I suspect a week in the Burning Plains will change my view on this.

A little procrastination never hurt anyone: …especially on a Thursday.  Here’s a really cool image from Jay Lake’s Moment of Zen series.  Reminds me of an Andrew Wyeth painting.   For anyone who hasn’t read about the GR Bullies stuff, here’s a good post on it from Rachel Aaron’s blog.  This one I found via some links from my friend Ferret, and it struck me as so helpful I thought I’d better share it with you all as well:  a post from Inkpunks about outlining.  Be sure to follow the embedded links to Alexandra Sokoloff’s story elements checklist.

And with that…go forth and be productive!

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Welcome to this writer’s workspace.  Here’s what’s happening liiiiiiiiiiiiiive at Miranda’s desk:

What I’m working on:  I’m waiting for a few last critiques on the 2nd draft of my archaeological time travel novel, ABSENT.  Once they roll in, I’ll begin collating and processing the feedback so I can start revising.  In the meantime, though, I’m pressing ahead on my newest writing project (a dark Urban Fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest that I’ll refer to henceforth as PROJECT AWESOME).  I’m about 16k in on PROJECT AWESOME and pretty happy with where it’s going.  My protagonist has just lost everything important to her (or so she thinks) and is hell-bent on some ill conceived revenge.  Here’s…

…A snippet from the screen:  “The fireplace was dark and soot-stained, the walls charred.  Someone had righted the dining room table, though, and as I walked around it I saw a spray of blood stained one of the legs.  I tried not to look at it, but that was like asking a dog to ignore its own shit.  I sat down on the floor, legs splayed out, shoulders slumped, and I ran my fingers up the table leg.  The dark pattern of Daniel’s blood looked almost beautiful against the grain.”

On the iTunes:  I’ve put together a new playlist of generally downbeat, mournful, angry, or depressing songs to help get me in the proper mindset to channel my main character’s bitterness and rage.  Playing now?  Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.

Photo: Ramses celebrates the 4th like he does everything else: asleep.

Keeping me company: Mr. Ramses, H.R.M. King of Cats, has ascended his throne and settled in for his morning/afternoon/evening/nighttime nap.  Until his royal belly starts to growl, I anticipate hearing little more from him than the occasional sleepy-kitty sigh.

A little procrastination never hurt anyone:  LIES!  Sorry, not going to share distracting links with you today, dear Reader.  I have been burning in a fiery pit of procrastinatory you-know-where lately and I don’t wish that on you.  Go and be productive, or take a walk in the sunshine, or read a book…but don’t procrastinate on the internet (she says as she checks Facebook again…).

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