Archive for December, 2022

Chipping Away at It

The hell? WordPress is giving me prompts now. I guess that could be useful? Anyway, moving on.

I’m making decent progress on my chart. I do think that’s going to be helpful. Right now I’m putting in the plot points that already exist in the story, and then I’ll go back in and add in additional things that are missing. From there, I should be able to map what changes need to go into what chapters, and revision can finally get going.

Well, the actual moving parts bit. I do think the planning portion is the most important part of any revision. It’s best to make sure you know what you’re changing and why before you start messing around.

I’m not going as quickly as I would like, but again, as I keep reminding myself, it is Christmas, it is December, and I am regularly working on it and making progress, and that’s really the best that can be done.

As for the holidays, I mailed out the last of my Christmas cards this morning and bought the last of the presents today (except I’ve remembered I still need to get something for the dog), and I have about half of everything wrapped. All in all, Christmas is in excellent shape, so I’m feeling pretty good about that too.

I do need to read three more books to hit my yearly goal of 50 books, but I’m about halfway through two, and a third of the way through another, though I’ll probably drop that one until I get through my stash of Christmas mysteries. Mmm, Christmas mysteries. Single-handedly helping me reach my yearly reading goal for like five years running now.

One of the books I’m a little over halfway through is The Ghosts of Christmas Past, which is a short story collection of ghost-related Christmas stories from the last 200 years or so. It is excellent, and most of the stories have been quite good. Maybe I’ll write a Christmas related ghost story here sometime. But I recommend it if you like that sort of thing.

I am also working on the content edit for the next Turtleduck Press release. That is definitely going slower than I would like, but oh well. It shall get done. It shall all get done.

I make no guarantees about posts between now and Christmas, or, hell, now and the New Year. Fingers crossed, but I promise nothing.

Happy holidays to you, squiders, whichever ones you celebrate, and if I don’t see you before, I shall see you in 2023.


Good Job, Past!Kit

Good news, squiders. It turns out that earlier in the year, before I switched the revision/marketing for Hallowed Hill, I went through and outlined the current state of Book 1, including notes on what the chapter was versus what it needed to be, and where the three major plotlines were, and so forth.

So, yay! I don’t need to do that again. Though it does underscore how far I’d gotten into revision planning before I had to reverse course. Sigh.

(Though I did have someone this week tell me that Hallowed Hill was really good, and that they had to stop reading it at night, because it was too creepy. Bwhahahahahaha!)

So I went back through the notes past!me made, and I read through and expanded some freewriting and plot thoughts, and poked at the wonky subplots that I mentioned on Tuesday. So all I need to do now is to line up my three major plotlines (in the current draft they’re a bit bunchy) and make sure they’re progressing properly and without bunching, and then I can outline my revision and get going.

I tried to do this earlier today (actually that’s why this is so late, I was hoping to have it done before I blogged) but I tried to do it using the tracker I use for my subplots, and that wasn’t working because I couldn’t see the plotline versus the other plotline.

So I’ve made a visual tracker.

A mostly empty notebook sheet

As you can see, I haven’t populated it yet, but I’m hoping I can lay the major plot points out versus each other here, so I can see where they’re interplaying and make sure they’re not bunching, and also that all three are progressing throughout the entire book. I’ve got my chapters across the top for reference.

I’ve not tried a visual method like this before, so fingers crossed that it’s going to work and make sense.

Who knows, by the time I blog next week, I might actually be getting somewhere. Fingers crossed!

Also having medication for my back is helping so much. Like, it still hurts, and I’m still getting nerve pain, but it’s all dulled and I can mostly operate normally. SUCH a huge difference.

Right! See you guys next week!

Everything Hurts and Nothing is Getting Done

I mean, to be fair, every year I think I’m going to be productive in December, and every year I am surprised when I am not.

(Imagine the Surprised Pikachu meme here.)


surprise pikachu meme

Right, moving on.

There’s holiday stuff, of course. Our cards showed up today, so I’ve addressed, oh, five of them and then have given up for the day because I have to double check addresses and I don’t actually have stamps yet. (Well, I have Day of the Dead stamps, but somehow that doesn’t seem seasonally appropriate.) Most-ish of my Christmas present shopping is done, including the selection and purchasing of our traditional Christmas Eve books, though one child still needs a gift, and I do need to do stocking stuffers (including for myself and the spouse). But in general, sitting fairly pretty. It just takes time and effort.

But the biggest issue is the slipped disc I told you guys about.

It turns out I have one slipped disc and another one bulging, and the slipped one is pressing on my L5 nerve root, which is what is causing the nerve pain down my leg. I’ve been trying to get on top of this, so I’ve been seeing my chiropractor twice a week, and last week I also started seeing a physical therapist (mostly because the orthopedic surgeon I went to see said insurance was unlikely to approve an MRI without doing physical therapy first, but then they went ahead and approved the MRI anyway). As you can imagine, four appointments a week is really eating into my time.

And well, last week I would have said I was getting better. But over the weekend I caught a cold (I actually slept most of Saturday) and as you can imagine, coughing and sneezing in combination with a messed up back was a bad combination. I literally only had that cold for Saturday and Sunday, but by Sunday night my back and leg pain was at the worst it has ever been. I haven’t been able to sleep because I haven’t been able to get comfortable, and exercises and positions that have made things better over the past few weeks have now proven to be useless.

Today I made an emergency visit to my doctor to hopefully get some relief, so now I have prescription painkillers and some steroids, and hopefully these will calm the inflammation in the area enough that my body can repair the discs on their own. Fingers crossed!

All this is a long way to say, uh, sorry for not blogging last week. Did I blog last week? I have no idea anymore.

The good news is that I have sorted out the character issues with Book 1, and am working on a slightly wonky subplot, and then I have another slightly wonky subplot to poke, and then I’m going to do a scene outline and identify what needs changing where. Not as fast as I hoped to be working, but definitely making progress.

Every little bit counts. Progress is progress, no matter how slow, and sometimes I have to remember that.

I hope your December is going better than mine! (And if you have disc tips, I’d love to hear them.)