Archive for the 'Life and Everything' Category

Sam Winchester’s Hair – The Only Thing Left to Me

Books, Dean Winchester, Fagin's Boy, Historical Fiction, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Life and Everything, Novel Notes, Pink Ray Gun, Sam Winchester, SPN, Supernatural, Writing Comments Off on Sam Winchester’s Hair – The Only Thing Left to Me

Dear Avid Readers and Anyone Else Interested in What I’m Writing About,

Some time ago, mid-Season Seven of Supernatural, I believe, I had a desire to do more of  my own writing. I wanted to write about that (and my decision not to write about Supernatural) more, and will in due course, but if you’re interested, I’ve started a new blog. I write about all types of things, hopefully in an interesting way. And, best of all, I’ve written a book. It’s even on sale!

If you would like to read more, you can visit me at:

You can read about my book, Fagin’s Boy there, or, if you’d like to simply brave the fates and buy it outright, you can go to any number of places:

Amazon – Paperback

Kindle – Mobi

Nook – Epub

Kobo – Epub

Smashwords – Epub

I think it’s been a good transition for me to make; my only sorrow is, because I wasn’t writing about Sam and Dean anymore, the loss of some very nice and enthusiastic readers.

Here’s hoping that you all are well!


Christina E. Pilz  

Fan Whisperer Question

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So over on, my five-parter piece on fans in fandom has been being posted regularly on Tuesdays. The last part posts this Thursday, right before SPN comes back from hiatus.

?I’m glad I finally got it posted, and my editors are pleased with it. But except for a few very lovely responses, I’m hearing crickets. I would have thought, so many fans like to hear and tell stories, what could be more interesting than learning about a fellow fan? Apparently this isn’t true.

There might be a problem with interviews overall. I’ve noticed that no matter who writes them, there’s usually a dearth of responses to interviews. I’ve done them, WorldofHiglet’s done them, Alpha-Girl’s done them, Thera’s done them, Theresa’s done them, and so on. When any of these writers (good writers all), or when I, write anything else, anything at all, there are comments or numbers or feedback or something. And whether readers hate the writing or they love it, the article resonates somewhere in the interwebs.

For example, has done a number of interviews with actors on popular shows. I’ve done a few myself, and it is fun and I get jazzed about talking to someone who plays a character I like, and usually the whole experience of talking to an actor is pleasant and fun. The article I write about it is pleasant and fun too, but afterward, the article just tends to sit there. And I don’t know if it’s because readers aren’t interested in reading interviews, or if the interviews themselves are boring, or if I did a terrible job presenting the material.

It might be a mixture of all of the above, because I’ve noticed, after the jazzy feeling of talking to someone with face of a character I enjoy watching wears off, that the answers I get seem rather practiced. Now, I can sure that being an actor with a public face and a career that depends on reputation as well as talent, that all these famous people have been groomed by someone (their PR guy, their agent, their mother, whoever) to put a positive spin on everything they say.

I’m not saying they’re being dishonest, but their answers are rather….ordinary. There’s no grit to them, no life, no passion. I’m not saying they have to give me the dirt, I certainly don’t want that. But when was the last time you heard an actor tell you how he or she really felt? They always say stuff like, “Oh, so-and-so director was really challenging to work with, I learned a lot.” And never, “Oh, my GOD it was really hard, and I didn’t enjoy it! I’d rather stick a PENCIL in my eye than work with So and So again!”

(For actor, you can also insert: director, writer, editor, webcomic drawer, foely artist, set designer, producer, whatever. I’m using actor as shorthand for any kind of person that gets interviewed.)

Maybe the actors are dying to tell us the truth, but can’t. Maybe the actors are just tired of answering the same questions. Or, maybe like me, a lot of readers have read these types of answers so many times, it’s hard to be interested in yet another actor telling us how interesting thus-and-such project was, or how they’re going to start a new line of perfume, or how they’re going to open up their own chain of fried chicken restaurants.

Meta discussions or reviews of books, movies, or shows tend to do better (both on and everywhere), and whether that’s because the meta/review comes directly from one person’s head onto the page or, in conjunction with that, there’s nothing less interesting than hearing Person A’s story filtered through Person B’s format, I can’t tell. And I really have no idea.

I know that I don’t read interviews most of the time, and if I do, it’s by accident, because I stumbled across it somehow or someone sent me the link. I find that the format of Q&A makes me drowsy, or maybe I’m drowsy because because I always have a feeling that the answers won’t tell me anything new. And maybe, as has been suggested to me, there’s nothing really to add to an interview because it’s a description of a conversation that’s already happened, and not an invitation to discuss at length.

I know very few interviews that I have liked or can even remember making a point of going to read or to watch. The ones I have read or watched seem…banal and ordinary and I remember thinking that they all sound like they’re saying what they think we want to hear. They come across as genuine…but not, if you see what I mean.

The ONE and only exception to this is ANY interview that Werner Herzog has ever done. I could listen to that man all day long. Check this guy out. To me, he brings a vibrancy to anything he says and I’m mesmerized every time he opens his mouth

Or if you want something really amazing, check out his documentary about Timothy Treadwell, called “The Grizzly Man.” If you can, get the unabridged, three hour version; it’s much better than the shorter one.

But I digress.

I don’t know showbiz and I surely don’t know how it feels at the other end of the microphone. But if fannish readers feel the way I do, in general, about interviews, then I can kind of understand why the crickets are singing as I’m telling stories about other fans.

Except, when Supernatural ends, the question was raised as to what I would write about for Pink Raygun? I’ve been discussing with my editors the prospect of continuing the Fan Whisperer pieces. This time around, I would interview one fan, asking a series of standard questions, and then following up with a series of more personalized questions that would be based on the first set of questions.

But that brings up two issues: First, do fans want to tell their story? I think some do, some don’t, and some don’t care. And second, do fans want to hear other fans’ stories?

I was completely interested and frankly enjoyed the heck out of getting the stories of the people who responded. I was amazed at how different they were, but how they all had some very strong, common threads. We’re so different, yet so alike. And I was excited about the prospect of talking to more fans. And even though there is the spotlights on vidders and writers over at spnrountable, and except for some pieces over at the Order for Transformative Works that focused on a particular work of a particular fan, or elsewhere on the interwebs (I’m thinking specifically about the songvid “Us” by lim), I’ve not yet seen interviews/pieces about fans doing their regular fannish things.Which brings me to my question, and thank you for reading this far: Do you want to be interviewed about your fannish life? And, equally important, are you interested in reading about other fans? When I write stories, I write for myself. When I write for pinkraygun I write with a different purpose; there’s an audience out there, and I’m writing for that audience. Did the Fan Whisperer piece work? And is it going to be productive and interesting to do more of the same?

You can drop me a line at or you can post a comment; I’d really like to know what you think.

I Want to Be Roger Ebert When I Grow Up

Guilty Pleasures, Life and Everything, Pink Ray Gun, Reviews, Supernatural Comments Off on I Want to Be Roger Ebert When I Grow Up

One of the things I do every week is I read Roger Ebert and his movie reviews. I read pretty much everything he writes. Some of it I skim, if I’m in a hurry or if it’s about politics, which I find a little dreary. Most of the time I read all of his movie reviews, and then his blog, and I read the articles done by other reviewers on his blog, but mostly I just read Ebert.

I like the way he thinks and I like the way he writes. I don’t always agree with his opinions on movies; sometimes I’ll watch a movie he’s given a positive review to (like Pan’s Labyrinth) and come out feeling like I’ve been GOBsmacked. What he’s looking for in a movie is not always what I’m looking for. He’s seen it all, so he’s looking for style and subtle subtexts and he’s got his eye out for something really good. When all I want is a happy ending and a good laugh and a nice soundtrack. And if you throw in some orphans who get rescued, then I am there. His reviews alert me to what’s out there, what might be good, and from the content of his reviews, I can avoid those movies that I don’t want to watch. And he’s a damn good writer who is entertaining to read.

I really started noticing Ebert way back, when I was reading a review for a movie he didn’t like very much. I don’t remember the name of the movie, or who was in it, sadly. But I do remember Ebert interjecting with this “And there were Nazis!” comments every now and then, to poke fun at this movie which was so obviously bad that the only villains it could probably think of to put in there were Nazis, even though there aren’t any in the movie. It was so funny, I wished I’d saved it. (If you know which review this is, I’d be very grateful if you’d let me know.)

One of my favorite Ebert stories is about the time when a fellow reviewer by the name of Patrick Goldstein had some negative things to say about Rob Schneider’s movie Duce Bigalow: Male Gigolo that were less than glowing. Schneider, in turn, behaved in a less than professional way, and in the end Ebert stepped up and called Schneider on it, and the result was a very amazing review by Ebert of the same movie to support Goldstein. I remember thinking at the time how fun it must have been to stand up with balls of steel and say what he did.

In the meanwhile, my admiration for his writing grew, and when I grew up I wanted to be like him: smart, funny, insightful, and brave in his writing. This might be part of the reason I started writing reviews for  I’m not sure if I am or have any or all of those attributes that I admire in Ebert, but that’s my goal.

Three years since I started writing for, I’m pretty sure I’m still working on, and will have to continue working on, being smart, funny, insightful, and brave. (Not to mention being better at spelling and punctuation!)  As to which of my reviews reflect any of those qualities, I honestly can’t tell you. When I think I’ve done a bang-up job and written something really amazing, I post it and hear crickets. On the other hand, when I write something hastily because real life is rearing its head and needs attention, I post it and people rave. If I think a review is particularly bland, then someone will take umbrage; if it’s an incendiary review (in my mind), then I get an entirely opposite response. I’ve learned, or at least I think I have, not to expect response A or response B, regardless. My readers and their responses always surprise me, which is part of the pleasure of writing.

So the point of all this is that long about April of this year, I hit a high water mark as far as number of hits my articles were getting. It was like 1,000 hits per article over a week’s time. That’s pretty good for a site like, and very nice for me to see. (All writers like readers, it’s a given!)

One time, I did a review of a Supernatural episode called Point of No Return. (My review was called Faith in the Atmosphere.)  For various and sundry reasons (not all of them positive), this particular review got over 500 hits and 150 comments before noon on the first day. Which is amazing!

Pink Raygun

I was so pleased with myself, and my head was so swelled up that I needed Vaseline to get through doorways. Yeah, and I’m walking around, ta-da!, all puffed up, and then I go to Roger Ebert’s blog. He’d been doing a review of video games and had pronounced them to not be art. To what I’m sure was his surprise, people took umbrage, and the result was that he got lots of hits that day and lots of comments.  (The rule of thumb is…one comment equals around 100 people who read you and didn’t comment.)

So how many comments did Ebert get on the very same day? Take a look….

Roger Ebert

Of course, his count was at the end of the day, but still! 2,343 comments!! And going by my rule of thumb, that meant he got over 200,000 hits. Needless to say, my balloon-shaped ego deflated in about two seconds flat. Poor me! Here I was the hotsty totsy thing, in my mind. If only he’d posted this review days earlier or days later! But who am I kidding. The man gets thousands of comments every single day. And he doesn’t get them by being nice or by holding back, he gets it by telling it like he sees it.

I know what my Dad would say. He’d say, don’t compare yourself to anyone else, just do your best.

So I’m doing my best, trying to improve on what I do, but I still want to be Roger Ebert when I grow up. He is my comment-spiration.

We’re Not Crooks, Not Even Close: Meta on Censorship

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My meta on the current issue on copyright infringement, which includes a statement by [info]morgandawn , is up at

Evidently, your government wants to allow itself to shut down your website or blog if it feels its engaging in “infringing activity.” And it’s not pretty.

The GREAT Jeffrey Dean Birthday Project

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What a terrific opportunity this is, to show our appreciation for Mr. Morgan’s brilliant talent, and a way to support a pet shelter at the same time. Click on the smaller image to bring up the info, or the large one – I put in both because people like to access information in different ways.  Show the love, spread the joy, and help out some homeless dogs. : D



Life and Everything: Friends Who Write Similes

Dark Shadows, Fanfiction, Life and Everything, Novel Notes 2 Comments »

This is a sad followup to the other post by a similar name, in which I talk about two great fanfic writers that I know who have completely internalized the art of the simile. Sadly, one of them has just passed away. Her name was Nik. She had a heart attack on the 2nd of December, and went into a coma. Diagnosis was never good, she was brain dead from lack of oxygen, but they kept her on life support until they pulled the plug on the 9th. She breathed on her own for a bit, they moved her into hospice, and then on the 13th, she finally passed away.

Read the rest of this entry »

Novel Notes: What about that cable, anyhow

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So, on November 24 of this year, I unplugged my cable.  And how’s it going, you ask?

I’m still struggling with not being able to just sit down and find something mindless to watch, but, I think the end results will be worth it. While I miss the History Channel like crazy, I do not miss the reality shows that were getting stupider and stupider. The Amazing Race seemed like it might be fun, but really. I get enough of that kind of reality when I’m late for a plane.  Sometimes I do sit down, and spin through my ginormous collection of about, oh 15 selections, and YES, sometimes I’ll watch something for five minutes before realizing I have no idea what it is or what it’s about. And then I’ll turn the TV off. It’s a hard habit to break.

Here’s what I’ve found that’s cool though. Last Sunday, I cooked. Now, I do that a lot acutally, cook on Sunday to make rice and stuff for the rest of the week, but normally, I’m thinking, well, I’ll get down to the TV (which is in the basement) and get all ready and…and then I remember. I’m on MY schedule now. I don’t have to rush. I’ve got tons of DVDs and movies I can instantly watch on Netflix. I have books to read – I’m way over my head with stuff I can do, without having to race to match the network’s schedule. Isn’t that nice?

I go to bed now when I’m tired and when it’s time, NOT when the show is over.

I’ve stopped looking at the clock while writing because it doesn’t matter what time it is.

I’ve cleaned out three closets (yes, three) with the extra time I’ve found.

I wrote an article reviewing The Watchmen comic book/graphic novel, and was finally able to finish it up. I’ve started a new project about fanfic and fanwriters for PRG. I’m trying to determine whether I want to focus on a) writing more fanfic, b) writing more articles, c) writing on that novel of mine, d) making songvids. I’m pretty sure that I’d have time for ALL of these if I was more disciplined with my time.

I barely look at the TV anymore. I’m sure it feels lonely.

Novel Notes: A Scathingly Brilliant Idea

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So there I was, one day last week (not Thursday), goofing around. I was on the couch, clicker in hand, surfing, desperately surfing for something to distract me. The TV offered up nothing, and an hour later, I found myself watching commercials. I checked the clock. It was 8:30, and I’d accomplished nothing. Done nothing, cleaned nothing, organized nothing, and most important of all, written nothing.

What a waste.

So I called my friend Amalthia (the one who now lives in Alaska) and I talked to her about this for a bit. The TV was, we agreed, a mind suck, especially with all the commercials. I decided to take the plunge and vowed that I would disconnect myself from cable.

I even called the guy at the cable office on Friday, a nice man by the name of Mark, and he understood what I was going through. But here, he said, let me offer you a deal.

Here it comes, I thought.

But it wasn’t too bad. Here was the deal. For $15 a month I could get Basic Cable, which would come directly from the wall to my TV. This would provide me with local channels only, but seeing as that included the two channels I regularly watch “Supernatural” and “Ghost Whisperer” on, I was good with that. What puzzled me was that the last time I wanted to downgrade, they never mentioned this particular option, so for the last two years, I’ve been paying $55 for the “Basic Starter Package,” which contains over a hundred channels (though not the one that has the “Dog Whisperer” on it, sadly), and STILL nothing was on. I guess the cable company wanted to let me down slowly.

Then, Mark offers me a six-month special of 8 mg download speed for my computer at $32.95 a month. I took it. I’m not stupid. (After six months it goes up.)

Because now I’m paying 15 plus 32.95, which is, um,  47.95, which is what I’m paying for computer/internet service now. And in six months, when they up the price of the speed, I can just cut off the cable altogether.

You think?

On Saturday, I did chores, like I do, with the music going full blast, the scrub bucket out, and me singing along with my tunes. I was done by about 11 and the cable office was to close at 1 p.m. I looked at the clock, having been thinking all morning that there was NO way I was going to be able to finish and make it there in time and that the WHOLE plan was going to have to wait till, um, next weekend. Or forever.

Truth is, I just didn’t want to do it. I was hooked, addicted, attached to the teat, and I didn’t want to let go! But I took a deep breath and unhooked everything like Mark told me, and raced down to the cable office expecting to find (as I usually did) a line of angry people protesting their bills. Or, at the very least, a long line. I found neither. It was just me and three lovely ladies behind the counter. They were more than happy to help me, didn’t mind that the box I was returning was covered with dust, and promised me that my bill would be pro-rated and that my lower rate would start right away.

I went to the grocery store and then to home. Dinner was a lovely meal, but I kept thinking, what’s on, what’s on? And had the feeling that I needed to hurry for some reason. So when I went downstairs, I couldn’t help but check. Yep, I still had 100 channels and then some, so I sat down, for no reason at all, and began to surf. Nothing, nothing, nothing. There was nothing on. Really and truly. I turned off the TV and went to my computer, thinking of the 8 mg download speed that was now (or soon to be) mine.

Except my computer is seven years old, and some kind tech guy loaded XP on it, except the computer wasn’t designed for that. It’s always run a little clunky, and now, it’s like a snail. I open a web browser and honest to god, I sit there for a whole minute, sometimes more, waiting for it to draw a page that surely, surely it’s cached long ere this.

It’s not that I do much with it. Mostly I write, and download cool stuff, but what I use it for is to look stuff up. When I’m writing, and I have an idea, I want to look it up, like, yesterday. Trouble is, for the past year, I’ll have something I need to know, open the browser, and then have to sit there while the thing chugs and churns, and all the while my brilliant ideas are getting away from me! So I need a new computer. That’s next weekend.

As for Sunday, I slept in, made myself some tea (Irish Breakfast is my favorite), and then sat down at the computer to write up this week’s review for Supernatural. Long about noon, I got stuck on one part of the review (as in, how to describe the sex scene without coming across as totally pornographic), and sat down on the couch, grabbed up the little clicker that was just for the TV, and turned it on. Scrolled, and within short order discovered that, yep, I only had local channels and guess what? There was NOTHING on! At least as I surfed, I wasn’t wasting my time going through 100 plus channels, I only had 10 or so. Mostly football, so I wasn’t missing a thing. Oddly, I still have the sci-fi channel, so well done, me!

I think it will take me some time to get used to the whole TV-less living. On the one hand, I will have no mind candy to disctact me. On the other hand, I do not have some metal box dictating my daily schedule. I don’t have to work around what’s on TV because nothing is. Ever. Except Thursdays at 9 pm (Supernatural) and Fridays at 7 pm (Ghost Whisperer).

All I can say is thank God for Netflix. (Which I decided after all to keep, since they’ve got this nifty new “instant” watch feature, with lots of things from my orignal queue!)

Well Pleased With the World

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I don’t quite have the words this morning, but I am well pleased with the world. I’m not a political person, but by golly I WATCHED the news last night, and yeah, mostly the Comdey Channel’s The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, because they seemed to be able to see the big picture and poke fun at it, and made the whole thing palatable.  I’m really, really not into watching the news about this kind of stuff, but I had coverage about the election on from 6 pm till I went to bed at around 11. Even exhausted by a sinus infection, I was UP, talking online with a pal in Germany [info]silkmoth101  and talking on the phone with [info]amothea , both of whom were as excited as I was to see the results: Obama! Dude! Landslide. LANDSLIDE.

[info]silkmoth101 also assured me that even though it was the wee hours of the morning, people in Germany were up, people in Denmark were up, people in France were up…You get the picture. Everyone was UP because this election mattered. I guess I get so wrapped up in my day to day concerns, writing and chores and bills, feeding those metaphorical fish, that I forget how connected everything is. I’m not saying that this election is going to cause me to turn over a new leaf, I’ll still not be watching the news on TV, I’ll still not get the paper; I can just feel good and proud for paying attention to THIS moment in history. I saw McCain’s speech and Obama’s, and I thought both of their speech writers did an excellent job; I even believed what McCain was saying about Obama, and I loved what Obama had to say about where we were headed.

I went to check Ebert’s movie reviews this am, and got this little snippet instead, which I rather liked, because it seemed that he felt like I did, that color was almost not an issue. The day that it really isn’t an issue, no one will even notice, because it WON’T be an issue. Won’t that be grand?

Ebert says:

“As the mighty tide swept the land on Tuesday night, I was transfixed. As the pundits pondered red states and blue states, projections and exit polls, I was swept with emotion. Not because America was “electing its first Black president.” That comes a little late in the day. It was because America was electing the right President.”


“President Obama is not an obsessed or fearful man. He has no grandiose ideological schemes to lure us into disaster. He won because of a factor the pundits never mentioned. He was the grown-up. He has a rational mind, a steady hand, and a first-rate intelligence. But, oh, it will be hard for him. He inherits a wrong war, a disillusioned nation, and a crumbling economy. He may have to be a Depression president.What gives me hope is that a great idealistic movement rose up to support him. Some say a million and a half volunteers. Millions more donated to his campaign. He won votes that crossed the lines of gender, age, race, ethnicity, geography and political party. He was the right man at a dangerous time. If ever a president was elected by we the people, he is that president.”

I love how Ebert thinks. Here’s a LINK to the rest of his post. 

Novel Notes: The Outline

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Last Saturday was the day. I promised myself all week that Saturday was the day…and it was. I’d managed to keep the WHOLE of Saturday free and got some new college-lined paper, made sure I had my special pen (a $25 Watermen fountain pen), my clipboard, a printout of the pages I’ve produced thus far, my almost intelligible notes, and away I went to Amante’s. In the rain.


Yeah, it was raining, taking Colorado ’s 90 degree mid-August temperatures down to the mid-fifties, dropping snow on the mountains, and making a sweatshirt and socks a good idea. It’s warming up again now, as it does, but for several days it was cold enough for the heat to kick on. (I like to write my notes and outlines by hand because I’m old fashioned that way. Plus, I find the process to be slower and allows me to proceed in a more thoughtful manner, which I feel produces better results. When I get on the computer, yeah, I can type like the wind, but it’s only if I’ve done the prep work beforehand.)


I ordered a latte, which for those of you who don’t know, is ½ espresso and ½ steamed milk. I eventually had two of the damned things and haven’t slept since. (It’s now Friday.) Next time, yeah, get the latte, but only order one, at least that’s what I tell myself now. But, with coffee, all things are possible, so this is what I got done:


I made a complete list of all locations and characters, which isn’t busy work when you consider that this is Victorian London, and there are a maze of streets to keep track of.


I separated the list of characters from the list of locations. I plan to make a map at some point of the locations, their relationship to each other, the time it would take to walk from one point to another. I already know what each spot looks like, so I’m good there.


I wrote out what I needed to know about each character, and then made a second list with dead characters on one list and living characters on another. Then I grouped them, because not all of them abide in the same location.


I discovered that I had given multiple names to the same minor characters. While I’m sure I’m the ONLY writer who has ever done this, at least I spotted it and it’s an easy fix. 


I figured out, and wrote down, at which point J and O become friends, when they start working together instead of against each other. J decides it first, and then O. That also helped me get a grip on the characters, who were getting out of hand. I still need to work on the attributes of the two main characters, everyone else I pretty much have down.


Then, as I got to my second latte, I wrote out the outline by writing a list of plot points. Then I expanded on this by creating a second list, adding in those relevant actions or points where characters were introduced. Then, finally, I created my final outline. I gave each scene a space of half a page, and while this might work out to be a chapter per scene, I think some of the scenes got rather long and might be several chapters because, really, they are more than one scene.


Next Steps:


I have determined, finally, that this will be a single POV story, because while I enjoy J’s observations, I wasn’t really digging trying to write about his backstory. (His backstory includes shearing sheep, you see, and I did NOT want to go there.) I love him, I adore him, but this is not his story. He’ll get his say, though, and he’s got plenty of opinions; there’ll be no dearth of J. Anyway, since I’ve determined this, one of my next steps is to extricate scenes written from J’s POV and either rewrite them,  work them into J’s dialog, or integrate them into O’s scenes. Well, since this is O’s story, they are ALL O’s scenes, but you see what I mean.


I need to make a map of my locations.


I need to find and change the characters who have multiple names.


I need to work on my notes, which are messy at best. I tend to write down questions I have about the story, and then, forgetting I’ve written that down, write it down again on a different piece of paper. Hence, I have pages and pages of the same information in different formats. I need to condense this information.




Funny thing is, I did all this work, which took eight hours, without hardly looking at my printout of the novel itself. I had gone through it originally to make my character/location list at first, but then, after that, it was all in my head, which I found to be quite strange. I mean, it’s not that I don’t have to look at it again, which I do, but I realized that I’d been walking around with the entire outline in my damn head for a while now, and it just took a little gumption, a nice rainy day, and two lattes to bring it out into the open. Plus, at 100,000 words the thing is officially a novel, and, much to my surprise, the draft is 75% written. Yeah, there’s stuff to add, but a lot of the structure is there, and if you’ve got something to hang your story on, you’re most of the way home. This was most gratifying to find out. I anticipate that with everything in place I should be able to finish the draft by December 31st. The draft, mind you. After that, there’s rewrites and I need to find an agent….oh boy!