Monday, February 25, 2013

Productivity at its finest

Last week, I got hit with a weird 24-hour flu type of thing.  I say it was weird because I woke up Tuesday morning feeling completely fine, drove to work feeling fine, and then got to the office and immediately starting sneezing.  At first I thought it was just an allergy attack of some sort, but it just wasn't calming down.  I literally needed to shove tissues up my nose to keep it from dripping all over my desk.  Gross, I know.  So, I went home at lunchtime so I could sniffle away from the comfort of my couch.  By late afternoon, I was achy and fevery.  By nighttime I was worse, and slept on and off through the night thanks only to my sleepytime cold stuff.  

Then I woke up Wednesday morning, groggy and achy, but the stuffiness was gone.  This was the weirdest part.  You see, when I get a cold, it inevitably turns into a sinus infection within a day or two. So being able to breathe the day after going through an entire box of tissues?? Insanity.  By Wednesday afternoon I was thinking I probably could've made it into the office after all. 

Maybe I just needed some down time, though.  I haven't had a day off since Christmas (wahh, I know, it's only been two months) and I'm not gonna lie, it felt SO GOOD to just sit around and catch up on the DVR.  I checked my work email and did a little writing, but for the most part I got to just relax.  I had nowhere to go, nothing pressing to do, nothing needing cleaned, etc. 

It felt glorious.

I have been noticing, however, that lately when I'm in a productive mood I am REALLY in a productive mood.  Take yesterday, for example. I went grocery shopping, started dinner in the crockpot, cleaned the bathroom, dusted & vacuumed upstairs, hung some new wall stuff in the bedroom, did two loads of laundry (even putting the clothes away!), ironed two dresses and like 87 pairs of pants, wrote over 1100 words, made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, etc etc etc.  It was bananas.  And it felt good.

The WIP is now officially alllllmost finished, thanks to said awesome productivity.  I'm over 65,000 words, and I think it'll wrap up around 70k.  There are some revisions I know I want to go back and add it right away, but then I'm gonna let it sit for a week, then read it once through without touching it.  I haven't been going back to reread stuff much at all with this one, besides for some continuity purposes and to post snippets here.  So I want to get a feel for the flow before giving the first draft to my readers.  My ultimate goal is to have it finished and start querying again by late spring. 

Making goals seems to be helping this one move along quickly, so I'm going to stick to that.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wake me when it's spring

I might not be sleeping through this winter, but if I had my choice I probably would.  It's been a weird mix of freezing, frigid cold temperatures and somewhat lovely days, fooling me into thinking spring is just around the corner.  I suppose it's not that far off anymore...I always feel like February is truly the last winter month.  March brings the promise of spring- fresh air, new life, melting snow...

I feel like I haven't been doing that much socially these days, and I'm actually okay with that.  I've had plans here and there, but this time of year I'd much rather hole up in the warmth of my house.  And because of this, I've been getting in some phenomenal writing time.  Every time I sit down to write for an hour I get more than 1000 words down, almost every time.  I swear this story is practically writing itself. The WIP is now over 57,000 words, which means I'm in the home stretch, for real.  There's a strong chance I really will finish it by the end of this month.

*pauses to do happy dance*

It's been a while since I shared a snippet, so here you go.  As a little set up, this is a quick flashback scene, before Jane and Connor were a couple, leading back to the present tense.  Questions, comments, concerns are welcome as always. 

To my surprise, unlike so many of Colin's parties, the night was not a total disaster. It was a laid back sort of event, no stupid dares or drinking games or craziness. We sat around the fire and drank a couple beers Colin’s friends offered us- Connor and I hadn’t had a way to purchase our own, obviously- and roasted marshmallows from an economy-sized bag someone had brought. Colin and his friends tried to top each other with the scariest ghost story, and I’d brought up Gabby and the wishkeeper legend. Everyone but Connor knew of her story, at least bits and pieces of it, so we filled him in on all the details. I remember how he’d turned and stared at the well, thoughtful for a moment until the wind picked up and sent a foul-smelling gust our way. It was like sulfur mixed with rotten fruit and smelly feet all wrapped up together. We all wrinkled our noses, pinched them with our fingers or tried to hide them in our t-shirts to avoid it.

“That must be a miserable existence,” Connor said, waving his hand in front of his face. “That poor ghost.”

“Her story is really so sad. I think she slipped,” I said, grabbing another marshmallow. “Because one whiff of that and there’s no way she would’ve be able to throw herself in there willingly.”

“That makes sense,” Connor agreed. “As far as why she’d stick around here for all eternity, I mean. Although either way, I guess, she’d probably be forced to stay here.”

I’d looked back at the well myself at that point and wondered if Gabby was there, listening to our conversation. I saw a shadow drift past the well and my eyes widened, but the more I stared the more I was convinced it must have been the tall grass rustling in the breeze. The darkness beyond the glow of the fire made it easy for my eyes to play tricks on me.

“It’s not always so bad here, though. Sometimes you can’t smell that well at all,” Colin chimed in. “I think my dad wants to keep it as some sort of historical landmark.” He’d shrugged, and then the topic had changed abruptly to summer vacations.

As the night wore on, I remember feeling hyper-aware of Connor next to me. The stars seemed brighter in the sky, and the fire seemed to grow warmer instead of cooler as it died. Our chairs were near enough that our elbows kept touching, and each time they did a small bolt of electricity surged through me. If I had been looking at our arms, I surely would’ve seen tiny sparks flickering in between them.

Back in the present, the crow from yesterday has returned. He startles me out of my thoughts, screeching at me from his perch in the treetops.

“Gabby,” I whisper. “Please help me.”

The crow caws in response; two sharp, quick shrieks that make me wince. I pull my legs in against my chest and lay my forehead on my knees, ignoring the sweat immediately gathering in the creases behind my knees. I’m exhausted, weariness weighing over me like a thick wool blanket. Despite the stifling heat, I drift off to sleep in the shade of the wishing well.

I can’t have been out for more than five or ten minutes when I sense someone looming over me. I raise my head, expecting Rina to be standing there with her hands on her hips, her head shaking slowly as she finds me once again in this field all alone.

But it’s not Rina. It’s Gabby. In her hands she holds my necklace by its chain and the pendant sways back and forth in front of my face, hypnotizing me.

“I believe you dropped something,” she said, a severe frown distorting her lips.