Kelly Maher
Nature shows

The last few nights when I’ve flipped on the TV, I’ve gotten hooked into nature shows on PBS. The other night was a David Attenborough documentary, which it had turned out I’d seen bits of before. Tonight is one on how life has recolonized an active volcano in Nicaraugua. I will almost always stop and watch if I come across a nature documentary. I may not stick with it, but I’ll give it a shot a lot longer than many other types of documentaries. I love the drama a good nature doc can display. It’s also one of my favorite types of random learning. What TV shows do you always stop at when flipping channels?

Series you can’t quit

I was talking with friends about the movie version of “One for the Money”, the adaptation of the first Stephanie Plum novel by the same name. This is a series I’ve railed about for a while now with friends. I have some serious issues with the series, but I have yet to give it up. I’m blaming it on the fact that I listen to it on audio, and I love the narrator. She manages to draw out the humor of the stories, which is one of the things that hooked me in when I first started reading them. I’ve come to accept that this is my “laced with crack” series. What series do you keep going back to even when you think you should just give it up? What is it about them that reels you in every time?

If you have the day off…

…what are you doing? I’ve been watching the inauguration festivities on TV as I chose not to head downtown and deal with the crowds. I get twitchy around that kind of crush. I’m also relaxing in my pajamas. It’s a cool day here in DC and I’m gearing up to do tax prep work so I can send it off to my tax guy as soon as I get paperwork in from my day job and publishers. I made a cake yesterday, so I’ll celebrate with that later. And, hey, it’s still the weekend! 😉

Winter weather

Here in DC today there’s a possibility for a snow storm. As I write this, I’m watching the Wednesday night news, and our weather guy is saying no more than a dusting. I have a feeling he’s going to be right, but the weather’s been fickle the year I’ve lived here. I admit I’m hoping for enough snow to trigger an early dismissal from the day job. That and we need the precipitation. If we do get released early, I’m coming home and having a mug of hot chocolate while I settle in and read for a few hours. However, if we do get released early, that probably means the roads will be just nasty enough it will be faster for me to walk the mile home from work than wait for the bus, so I’ll need hot chocolate if that happens!

When the weather’s nasty, what do you do to make yourself comfy and warm?

Openings

I just realized a: what day it is, and b: what time it is. My goal to keep the content fresh here is blogging Tuesdays and Thursdays and at least one day on the weekend. I try to write the Tuesday and Thursday posts Monday and Wednesday nights and set the post on a time delay. Obviously, Tuesday is almost over in the Eastern Time Zone which I live in.

Yesterday got sucked up by rewriting the opening, once again, of my current WIP. This is a story I believe in. I know it will one day find a publisher. It may be one I sit on and tinker with for a few years. Currently, I’m doing a full-on rewrite of it. I’m about halfway through, and am determined to push through and get it done. So, why go back and rewrite the opening? A writing contest came up. It was a chance to support a group I’m a part of and a chance to get feedback on a story that’s a little different from what I’ve done in the past.

The other reason? A few weeks ago I had an epiphany. I was listening to the Writing Excuses podcast on “Beginnings Revisited”. I knew exactly how I needed to rewrite the opening. Openings are something I struggle with, but this particular episode clarified for me exactly what my challenges were with this particular story. Listening to the podcast is truly like listening to a master class in writing.

What stories are some of your favorite examples for great openings?

Wishing for a fireplace

Today’s a bit of a dreary day here in DC. If the sun had broken through the clouds and fog, they were predicting us to reach up near 70. I haven’t seen the sun and don’t expect to 🙁 Not that I haven’t been out and about this weekend. My brother and sister-in-law came to town for the weekend, so I got to join them for bits of time each day they were out. This morning we walked around looking for a place to have brunch at before they left, and we came across the end of the practice for next week’s inaugural parade. As that’s about the closest I’m going to get to inaugural festivities, I was pleased to run across it. I then (too) soon sent them on their way back home, and made my way back to my apartment. With the damp mist in the air, and the gloomy skies, I really wished I had a working fireplace in my apartment. I’m going grocery shopping later, so I’m probably going to pick up the makings for hot cocoa. With that and a good book, I should have a toasty evening as I watch the Golden Globes. When the weather is grey and ghostly where you live, what do you do?

Project management

Project management has always been a challenge for me. I’ve definitely done better with some projects, but the majority, not so much. The projects I’ve done best with are ones with an external deadline. On my plate for the next year, fiction-wise, are the following:

  • Finish rewriting Novel A
  • Revise rewrite of Novel A (I already have some ideas for this)
  • Write first draft of Short Story/Novella B
  • Write first draft of Novel C

I actually am trying to have the first draft of Novel C written by the beginning of September, so that will require some juggling. I had originally planned on having the rewrite of Novel A completed by now and be working on SS/Novella B. Unfortunately a couple of writing and instruction projects for my day profession came up and sucked up my fiction writing time and attention. Project 1 is almost complete and will be so by the end of this week. Thankfully, Project 2 is on the same topic as Project 1, so all I need to do is spend a few hours on Sunday putting together presentation slides, and I’ll be 95% done with that. This time next week, I should be back on track with Novel A. I’m halfway through the rewrite and have to write a completely new chapter. Putting nose to the grindstone, I think I may actually be able to finish the rewrite by the end of February, work on SS/Novella B in March, and then revise Novel A in April to be done by the RT convention. It will be so good to have completed works to talk about!

What projects are you working on, crafts, writing, home renovations, etc.? How do you handle the management of those projects?

Jeopardy!

I am a total trivia junkie. JUN-KIE. I grew up in a family that treated Trivial Pursuit as you would a blood sport. Tonight was the first night of the Jeopardy! Adult Online Test. Alter ego took it and did well. How do I know I did well? Because for about 90% of the questions I was going “duh!”, and the remaining 10% “uh?”? When “duh!” outnumbers “uh?” to that degree, I’m reasonably sure of my capability 🙂 I have no clue if I’ll be selected to attend one of the regional interviews as that seems fairly arbitrary. I have made it to that point a couple of times in the past and once even made it to the full-on try-out after the regional test. I never got called to come on, though 🙁 Cross your fingers for me as I’d like to at least head up to New York City for the day!

By the way, if you want to take the online test, you’ve still got time. They’re also running it tomorrow and Thursday: Jeopardy! registration

2013 Reading

I don’t make reading goals of “I’m going to read X books this year” mainly because I already read an average of two stories per week–mostly novels, but filled in with some novellas and short stories. However, I do think if you need a goal like that to get you going, go for it!

I’m looking forward to books from Anne Calhoun, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook, and Delphine Dryden just to name a few off the top of my head. Right now I’m in the middle of reading the latest Linda Howard, Shadow Woman (A|B|K|ARE). So far, I’m really liking it, but would have to say this is more on her suspense end of the spectrum. What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

Happy New Year!!

There is nothing like traveling cross country and going back to work mid-week to completely throw you off your schedule and make you forget what day of the week it is. Today’s Friday, right? I hope you all had a very happy and safe new year’s celebration! I flew back home from my Christmas vacation with family on New Year’s Eve and almost promptly collapsed into bed. I managed to stay up to watch the ball drop in Times Square on television, but that was it. The next morning I took myself out to the nearest large body of water and went for a walk along the beach. It was a fairly short beach, but for most of the time I was on it, I had it to myself. For the last few years I’ve had a tradition of walking along a large body of water, whether a river or, in recent years, the Chesapeake Bay. I have an affinity for water and I feel like being near that element gives my year a fresh start. What traditions do you observe for New Year?

« Previous PageNext Page »