Alison Kent's Blog, page 2
September 10, 2014
Today’s muse: Word tracking spreadsheetTuesday night ended at 60355, which meant I actually wrote over 2200 words after the grandboy left the building. Of course I obsessed for five hours, following his flight on the Flight Aware website, making sure he got home, else I probably could’ve written more. And not having slept much the night before, the hubs or I either one, we both tired out early. He came home an hour before he usually does, we went to dinner, caught up on Hell on Wheels, then I did a bit more writing, but was in bed by 11:00.
The photo in the corner is the header to my word tracking spreadsheet. As you will see by the number of words I need, this book is indeed being written by a crazy woman. And tho I’ll finish close to 90K, I aim short because in revising I always add more. I am failing horribly at staying off social media. I know I’m grabbing for any distraction because my brain is just so tired of finding the WORDS. Sometimes they’re not even in reach. But I also know the more I do stay off social media, the better things get. I don’t need to start my day with sad pictures of animals, or horrible news stories, or rants by others on Twitter that just have me rolling my eyes. I need to save that brain space for the book. I know all the discipline and focus tricks, I employ many of them. Bottom line: this is a battle between me, myself, and I. Not sure which of us is going to win. Not sure it matters as long as the book gets done.
September 9, 2014
Today’s muse: Beneath the Patchwork Moon giveawayAgainst the wall behind the dog are envelopes stuffed with copies of Beneath the Patchwork Moon. Leave a comment if you’d like one (I’ll advertise this widely next week) and I’ll start sending them out after the book is turned in.
The grandboy flies home on Tuesday morning so I’ve already accepted that Monday (I’m writing this with my coffee) is most likely going to be a bust on the writing front. Need to enjoy my last day with him (and I did!).
Monday turned out about as I anticipated: 58064. The next seven days are going to be timed writing bursts. Twenty or so minutes at a time I’m going to knock out the rest of this book because THANKS TO THE HUSBAND, I now have the plot/backstory issue that has been plaguing me solved, woot! And he found a way to make it relevant to some events of the last several years, and if I could be more vague, I would, ha! Anyhow, I’m excited to get this book done because I LOVE it. Honestly. I do. Here’s the opening:
Inked script at his nape. Colored sleeves beneath his rolled cuffs. Elaborate artwork in his oxford’s open collar. Her imagination wandered to his back and his chest, to his shoulders. His biceps. His abs. The tattoos were symbolic, not simply cosmetic, and part of the biker culture, leaving her to wonder how important to his life the club had been before he’d walked away.
Tats intrigued her—the creativity, the significance, the commitment—even when the man wearing the ink was her student’s father and off-limits. This particular man also wore, not a beard, but an unkempt scruff framing a devilish smile. His hair was long, pulled back in a disheveled sort of knot. It had her thinking of Heathcliff, tortured and haunted and wild on the moors.
Had her, too, wanting to rescue him.
Hands curled over the edge of her desk at her hips, Brooklyn Harvey looked out at her class of kindergartners. The fifteen five- and six-year-olds sat on the floor in a semicircle, their rapt attention on Callum Drake. Rather than using the full-size chair she’d offered him, he’d lowered his six-foot-plus frame into one of those from the pint-sized collage table. Watching him fold himself to sit had been as breathtaking as watching him walk through the door.
September 8, 2014
Today’s muse: BrutusI approached Sunday’s writing with an eye toward Tuesday. Sad, but true. The lack of quiet has been the biggest detriment to moving forward on this book. Who knew a 7 y.o. could talk nonstop, even when he’s talking to his Pokemon cards or Minecraft game? I’m spoiled to having the house to myself while the hubs is at work, and if he’s home, it’s pretty much the same. He can disappear into the depths of the Internet for hours on end. Or into the book we’re writing together. Or he cooks, or walks the dogs, or messes with the pool or the yard.
Of course there are always cats…
I think the distraction of the grandboy (which is a LOVELY distraction, don’t get me wrong) leading to my lack of focus has also sent me to Facebook too often. Less so to Twitter, though I have tweeted a few times, but I’ve checked in on the FB family doings and stayed to check on friends. The plan for the month was to do none of that, so Tuesday I must buckle back down. Still no online shopping save for the one holiday gift!
On the word front for Sunday: 57576, but this is net after a bunch of revising of early scenes I knew had issues. Not super happy with my progress, but Sunday included a lot of swimming, and the hubs finally hooked up the Wii (we’ve lived here a year!) so the grandboy could jump around and tire himself after a rainy afternoon. Also, stepson and #2 daughter were over to watch movies and play Pokemon and we ordered Chinese. I did sit under the headphones and work, but did some Wii-ing of my own. In the pool early in the day, the grandboy asked me why I hadn’t come out to swim the night before when he and #2 and her man and the hubs were outside, and I told him I had to work. He said, “Don’t do that again.” :)
September 7, 2014
Today’s muse: Dinner at the poolAs with Friday, Saturday was a bust. I’ve come to accept that I won’t get back to being productive until Tuesday when the grandboy leaves. Saturday was the first day I actually felt the stirrings of panic, which manifested in total bitchiness towards the hubs, poor man, but we’re good. He knows this happens, and I apologized because I got myself into this mess. He and #2 daughter have been wonderful to let me sit under the headphones while they make sure the the grandboy, who is SUCH a boy, has what he needs in the way of food and supervision. I’d say he’s had a pretty good vacation, actually. I’d like to sleep twelve hours a night and play all day!
On the word front… a whopping 360 net, ending the day Saturday at 57079. (Yes, my 9/15 deadline for a 90K book is creeping close, argh. I see a lot of all-nighters coming up this week.) The net is the key. I cut a ton and replaced it and then wrote probably a good 1K in a document to myself working out the backstory element I’m having issues with. The story is all there, but even I was having trouble believing my heroine’s motivation for an action she’s preparing to take. I’m feeling better about it, but still think I’m missing the cherry on top. May need to brainstorm with the hubs, though I was hoping to work this out on my own.
September 6, 2014
Today’s muse: morning kitty loveLet’s not even talk about Friday’s 399 words… Instead, let’s talk about swimming with the grandboy, and chess and checkers and The Last Airbender, and pizza out for dinner with the boy and the hubs and #2 and her man. Also, I slept, and I’m feeling better, but I have this brand new appreciation for mothers of young ones who write. It’s not the doing for him and with him. It’s the lack of extended writing time. The snatches have made me totally lose focus of what I’ve already said, what I’ve already revealed. It’s why I gave up yesterday at 56719 and just did my best to enjoy the day.
September 5, 2014
Today’s muse: Sam’s story
“It is fate that I am here,’ George persisted, ‘but you can call it Italy if it makes you less unhappy.”
I would like a room with a view. But I would like that view to be nothing but my laptop screen. From now until midnight on September 15th, please. Also, this quote made me chuckle because of the part Italy plays in the #wip.
Thursday gave me a chance to explain to the grandboy what I do. How I build stories out of words, instead of Lego bricks, using creativity to make up situations and characters. We were packaging up some books to mail, and putting others in the closet, and he asked me with each new cover what the story was about. Hard to explain to a seven year old why a character-driven tale might be interesting, but I found at least something exciting going on in each book.
After that, he came down and drew a picture of a Minecraft adventure, with an airplane that crashed and a cave, and I asked him what his character’s name was. “I don’t know,” he said. “How about Steve?” I asked. “Steve? Are you kidding me?” he replied, because, you know, he’s seven. Then I had him tell me Steve’s story, and I wrote it down in his words. There were slugs and slime and TNT and spiders, so it was typical boy stuff and good fun. I think I’ll frame it. Or make it into a book for him somehow.
I ended the day at 56320 words, and really needed another 785, so that’s two days now where I’ve quit short of my goal. But the brain can only do so much, and I spent some of that writing time playing chess with the grandboy, so it was worth it. I’ll burn some candles next week after he’s gone and catch up.
Not much in the way of social media still, and very proud of that. Some family stuff posted to Facebook, and this morning a video to Twitter, but as long as I don’t read my news feed or my Twitter timeline, I’m good. I also bought nothing online, nor did I add anything to my Kindle wishlist for the month.
A funny thing I noticed this week. My agent emailed, and since I hadn’t been on Twitter to see her tweets, it was a surprise, and reminded me of the early days of publishing, before social media, when we didn’t have all this instant access and gratification. It’s nice not to find my mind drifting to what’s happening OUT THERE and being more present RIGHT HERE.
September 4, 2014
Today’s muse: Bold
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Or in my case, lack of SLEEP is the mind killer, oy. Too much story in my head. Too much worry about hitting the daily word count. The husband went back to work after a five-day weekend, leaving me to write and make sure the grandboy had plenty to keep him busy. But I had just charged up the old Kindle Fire for him (while the Surface upgraded to Windows 8.1, ugh) when the hubs called that he was on his way home, no one in the office, nothing for him to do. My joy. Let me sing it to you.
I ended up 750 words short on Wednesday due to said lack of sleep. And said summer cold/allergies and being too wrung out and worn out to function. The husband swam with the grandboy, then they did two hours of Khan Academy (because learning is FUN), then we grabbed dinner out after another swim for the young one. He went to bed at 9:00 with my Kindle Fire and I got in another push of words before turning in myself. Part of me wanted to push harder, but the cough said no. It was time for sleep. The book’s at 54305 so we’re cooking right along.
The most exciting news of the day was the Galaxy Note 4, woot! Coming in October! Just in time for replacing my dying phone! On the social media front, I replied or favorited a couple of tweet mentions, and checked the family feed on Facebook a few times, though more times than I should have. I blame feeling lousy and the words being hosed up in my stuffy nose. And on the not shopping online for all of September front, I haven’t added more books to my Kindle wish list, but I did make one purchase, though it’s a holiday gift so doesn’t count!
September 3, 2014
Today’s muse: Snorkeling
Time is fleeting
Madness takes it’s toll…
(I just realized I really need to update my left sidebar. I also really need to update my site. Why is it when I’m writing, that everything else I need to do seems so much more important than when I actually have the time to do it?)
I finished Monday’s writing at 49500 words. I wanted so badly to write another 500 and stop at an even 50K, but the brain. She was too tired. Also the eye strain is pretty bad. I need new glasses desperately. The actual glass in my right lens has a stress fracture. I’ve got fingers crossed it holds on till the end of this book when I have TIME to go for an exam.
Tuesday’s writing went pretty well. I reached 52,305 words at 10:30, after MANY interruptions and grabbed snatches of computer time. Our grandson arrived, but the husband had the day off from work so did the entertaining–and his best not to let the boy drown while he taught him the workings of a snorkel. I watched from the living room windows with my laptop on my lap, writing some sexy times with my hero and heroine. Always funny to be typing sexy talk and talking about Pokemon.
I also played this video on constant repeat. It’s not the lyrics, obviously, but the mood of the music. It got me through a lot of pages. As for social media, I texted out a tweet about some pre-orders that showed up on my Kindle, and posted a couple of grandboy photos to Facebook for his mom and dad to see. Other than that, all I did was “like” and “favorite” mentions and tags! Go me!
September 2, 2014
Today’s muse: Darth KittyAs I said on Facebook and Twitter Sunday:
Here’s the deal. I’ve got a 9/15 deadline. I’ve got half the 90K word book left to write. I’ve got my grandson coming to visit for a week. I’ve got a summer cold.
Because of all this stuff I’ve got, I’m going to check out for the month of September. Nothing any of you need to know about is happening until October anyway when THE SWEETNESS OF HONEY releases. I’ll be back then to remind you. Many, many, times!
I do get notifications to my phone of mentions and tags on both Facebook and Twitter, and I’ll still be checking my email, so if you need me, I’m but an “@” away.
Being radio silent will help with my “not allowed to buy anything online for the month of September” goal as well.
See ya on the other side!
I’m going to blog about this experiment, accepting that no one will read my posts because they’re not going out to social media!
How did day one go? Fabulously, if by fabulously you realize 1) I am not a fast writer, 2) I’m getting words by fleshing out skeletons of scenes, and 3) I finished my 11 pages at 11:00 p.m.
I breezed through the bones of the first scene of the day, adding 432 words before I’d finished my coffee. I was there, in that moment, not thinking about what I’d seen on social media.
The next writing session took me longer as I got caught up in some research. I finally got through two sections that needed a lot of rewriting to accommodate changes. But it took for-freaking-ever.
By the time it was 7:00 p.m., I still needed 1000 words, so I took my older laptop outside to the back patio, and somehow fell into another scene that got me within 2 pages of my goal by dark.
To finish those two, I played an episode of Breaking Bad in a browser window, and would reward myself with a couple of scenes each time I hit half a page. Hey, by that time I would’ve taken anything!
Going in now for Day 2. Oh, and on the not-shopping-online front, I made myself a new WishList for Kindle books I would normally buy without thinking twice about it. Added three books the first day…
August 30, 2014
Today, Saturday, August 30, only, you can get the first two books in the Hope Springs series for only $1.99 each. This is the Kindle edition, and if you don’t have a Kindle, you can get an app for your smart phone, or download one for your pc. This means anyone can read! Along with a bunch of other fab books by fab authors, both of mine are part of Amazon’s Gold Box Deal. Here’s one of my fave reviews:
“Kent writes with a silky, understated finesse, and her story craft yields an engaging, layered read. Beneath the Patchwork Moon is lingering and lyrical, a heartrending yet hope-filled story of everlasting loss and love.” —Kathy Altman, USA Today
From Publishers Weekly
The second installment of Kent’s Hope Springs contemporary romance series (after The Second Chance Café) stands refreshingly alone, setting out a new situation with new protagonists and allowing background to remain background. Luna Meadows has been in love with Angelo Caffey since she was a schoolgirl, but the tragic and mysterious death of Sierra, Angelo’s sister and Luna’s best friend, tore apart their youthful romance and devastated the Caffey family. Angelo’s been gone from their hometown of Hope Springs, Tex., for eight years, but when Luna buys his abandoned family home in a foreclosure sale, he returns for a last chance to uncover the secrets he’s sure Luna is keeping about his sister’s death. There’s drama aplenty, and though the setting is nothing special, Kent uses strong, clear writing to emphasize the believable and not-quite-predictable character interaction that makes this series stand out. (Mar.)
From Publishers Weekly
Veteran romance author Kent (Undeniable) inaugurates a small-town series set in Hope Springs, Tex., the kind of place where people remember Kaylie Flynn by name when she comes back after 10 years away. She left as a newly emancipated foster child; now she’s a college-educated woman with one successful business built and another taking shape in her mind. The gorgeous but deteriorating Victorian house that was her refuge in childhood will be renovated and opened to the town as a lunch café – if the surprises in those old walls and Kaylie’s own secrets don’t bring her plans crashing down. Shoring up the dream is building contractor Tennessee Keller, a man with a troubled family history of his own and a determination not to mix business and pleasure. Girl talk, brownie recipes and a goofy dog named Magoo complete this pleasant confection with the right balance of hope and memory, tears and sizzle.
Fans of womanly romances set in small communities where outsiders become family, as in Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series or Cathie Linz’s Serenity Falls series, will enjoy this first installment in the Hope Springs series. Kaylie Flynn returns to Hope Springs, Texas, where she had lived with a wonderful foster family from age 10 to 18. After success in Austin as a baker, Kaylie, accompanied by her enormous dog, Magoo, moves into the only real home she had growing up, intent on turning it into a unique lunch place. The huge, old Victorian house needs work, so she hires Tennessee “Ten” Keller, who is committed to family but estranged from his own. Her new friend, Luna, a celebrity weaver, sends a potential chef to her door but doesn’t reveal a secret he has involving Kaylie. The prolific Kent introduces a cast of good-hearted folks with interesting, practical, and unusual talents, who readers will enjoy getting to know and visiting in future titles. Luna’s story is slated for a fall release. — Diana Tixier Herald
“Kent is a favorite for steamy erotica, but she also writes beautiful contemporaries, and in Second Chance Café, her voice is reminiscent of an early Nora Roberts. The attraction between Kaylie and Ten is immediate, but the relationship builds slowly. A diverse secondary cast gives hope that the series will continue, perhaps with Kaylie’s friend, Luna. The sporadic inclusion of brownie recipes is a total bonus that I imagine many readers will eagerly test for themselves.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
“Superb writing makes this emotional story a standout. Alison Kent bakes up a winner.” —New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde
“I have an abiding affection for second-chance stories, and so I found the title of Alison Kent’s inaugural book for her Hope Springs series irresistible. What I found within the book’s pages was more than even my second-chance-loving heart anticipated.” —Janga, Heroes and Heartbreakers