Nose to the Grindstone

Posted: March 23rd, 2013 under Reader Help, the writing life.
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Right now, I’m pouring words into the files for Book V, so I’m not keeping up with everything the Punctuation Working Group is doing….trying to check comments and email a few times a day, but not really able to concentrate on anything but stuff I can’t tell you yet.   (I should have been listening to different music…finally thought mixing Smetana’s Bartered Bride first act with Saint-Saens’ symphonies, not Beethoven.  And…it’s galloping.)   I’d forgotten the particular combination of suspense, darkness, and explosive brilliance, in that one in particular…goosebumps.  Lots and lots of goosebumps.   Just what I needed.)

Anyway, my brain’s not in pronunciation right now.   It’s in getting Book V done to “send to editor standard”.

Forgive the inattention after handing over that job, please.

Also–remember that my webmistress wants the output as a .doc, .rtf, or .txt file.  She has her own tricks for making it pretty on the website and says those are an easier starting point than others.   (Also, I can’t read docx or xcl files on my machine, so I can’t look files over before sending them on to her.)


  • Comment by Kathleen — March 23, 2013 @ 3:04 pm


    Yea words in V.

  • Comment by Genko — March 23, 2013 @ 7:25 pm


    So interesting that you have to pick the right music to write to. Or is that the write music to right to?

  • Comment by elizabeth — March 23, 2013 @ 7:51 pm


    One of the problems with Book V has been that the music that worked for I-IV hasn’t worked well for V. Not sure why. But Saint-Saens Symphony #3 really has worked the last two days, when given a good start by the Smetana (which has worked off and on but needed a foil.) Conclusion books do often need an infusion of new music (usually combined with what worked for previous books) because their structure is different.

  • Comment by Naomi — March 24, 2013 @ 5:11 am


    Ruslan and Ludmilla is excellent for action scenes!

  • Comment by GinnyW — March 24, 2013 @ 2:31 pm


    Many words in Book V is GOOD NEWS! The point of the pronunciation project was to free the writer to write, right? (I couldn’t resist that).

  • Comment by Genko — March 24, 2013 @ 6:04 pm


    Right! Write!

  • Comment by pjm — March 25, 2013 @ 5:21 am


    If we think of the appropriate music as propitiating the Plot Daemon, then you need the right rite to help the the word-wright write.


  • Comment by Kathleen — March 25, 2013 @ 11:15 am


    I like #7

  • Comment by Jenn — March 31, 2013 @ 7:56 am


    Blessed Easter!

    Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia!

  • Comment by elizabeth — March 31, 2013 @ 10:03 pm


    pjm: That…was brilliant. Four rights don’t make a wrong.

    everyone: As usual, things around Holy week got crunchy in terms of time, esp. since the book continues to move along (and is still complicating itself. I think my internal Plot Daemon has been reading over my shoulder when I read Robin McKinley’s blog about her Story Council and how her books complicate themselves at the end. No! Please, Plot Daemon, go back down to the engine room and just crank up the rpms on the “FINISH” status. We are done (in the sense of “I know what I need to know and you can quit throwing new stuff at me now.”) I need to be braiding. As with hair, it helps to have smooth, coherent strands to braid with, not a bunch of new stuff tucked in here and there just as I’m pulling one through…

    Easter services: we sang and sang and sang. Brass quartet, the pipe organ, us, and the church packed (both sanctuary and overflow for four morning services, of which the parish choir sings only two because they overlap…there are two sanctuaries.) I’m not in the Compline choir, so didn’t sing the 8 pm one. Somehow conjured up enough voice to make it through both of them. Finally got home in midafternoon, in a little gentle rain (yay for rain, but we need more, please) and pretty much fell into bed. It’s warm and humid and there’s more Weather coming.

  • Comment by pjm — March 31, 2013 @ 11:51 pm


    I am glad your Easter services went well. Good music adds so much to a celebration.

    I think you can realistically only end one or two stories at a time. With novels that contain as many stories as yours I think it would be unrealistic for all the loose ends to be tied in at any point, even the “end” of the series. Tolkien’s big story finished with the the world-changing destruction of the Ring, but he was able to keep us interested in the many small stories as he brought the focus back to the Shire. Even so there were still some loose ends to be tied off in the appendices.


  • Comment by GinnyW — April 1, 2013 @ 9:10 am


    I am jealous. For a wide variety of reasons, our church decided that choir music was unnecessary for Easter. It left me feeling very off balance, and not quite all there.

    I am not surprised that the braiding is necessary. Paks seems to have set several balls in motion, and they are all bouncing off each other in surprising ways. That doesn’t even include the trajectories from earlier books. So take your time tracing the trajectories and bringing them together. We will enjoy the result! And meantime, we will be distracted by the publication of Limits, in only a couple more months.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — April 1, 2013 @ 1:36 pm



    Our church needed more choir days this year–so I was singing at eight days out of the the last fortnight run up to Easter plus two other evenings of full length (or greater) rehearsals to prepare (plus warm ups and post gig rehearsals for the next one in a couple of instances). So, like Elizabeth, I’m worn out. Fortunately a bunch of stuff has been delayed at work today so I’m in coasting mode.

    I was wondering if Elizabeth even noticed the website being down for a brief period during that time–don’t remember which day (they all blurred together and I can’t remember which days I got on much less the one day this site wasn’t working) but it wasn’t responding for a few hours one day.

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