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A Day in the Life of the Scribbler, October 1

This entry is part 1 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So it’s October 1st and that means the start of a brand new month and I decided to take a page from Dean Wesley Smith’s book even though it’s crazy and that’s how it goes. Okay?

I want to track my reading and my writing because I’m a stealth reader and writer and have been for a long time. For example: last night, I reread most of Spots the Space Marine by M.C.A. Hogarth, out of order, in between running chkdsk scans on my computer, which is finally semi-resurrected by the way, but I still have to run a virus scan and backups tonight.

So, a day in the life of a reader/writer. You can skip these posts if you want, or you can keep up on my slog if it does not put you to sleep. I'll post sometime during the day and probably update as I go. Let's see if I can even keep this up.

Stage One: Assess

Went through my LJ inbox and have a bunch of ficlets from thecatisacritic to read. Which reminds me that I have a bunch of prompts for ficlets to write. Naturally, I am also torn between plowing ahead on "Collateral Damage," a major Rachelle-focused Kingdoms and Thorns fic and ripping out the back half of "Dowse and Bleed" to rewrite that from scratch. Again.

When in doubt, write ficlets.

Stage Two: Work

Wrote one ficlet, which didn't go at all where I expected. I thought of the second scene and started at the first scene and didn't like the second scene but posted the ficlet anyway. I know this is part of the big piece where Lena finds out about Wesley in the Seven Days storyworld.

Took a break and read and reviewed half of my ficlets to read by thecatisacritic, but stopped at half as my first work break was over.

Lunch break: it's time to start ficletting again. Checking out the prompts...

Scribbled one ficlet then stopped because I only had a couple minutes left and decided to finish reading the comments on DWS's excellent Book as Event post. Reading a couple more ficlets from thecatisacritic.

So wrote some more ficlets (I swear, I'm going to get that reading done), and boy, I'm wanting to dig in to something longer, but this is a start anyway, covering some of the rougher patches and crossroads in Kingdoms and Thorn. Rougher to me anyway. Posted them all at once.

Additional Comments on the 365 Challenge

The current day number is 274. I started it at 182 of the 365 Challenge (which means I'm only almost 100 pieces behind—do I ever catch up), and now that my muse has filled in a lot of holes in the Kingdoms and Thorn world, I'm feeling impatient with writing the necessary shorter work to meet the challenge, instead of the more ambitious work that will finish out a book.

Ah, well, the challenge is still on, so I keep writing the smaller pieces, knowing I'm going to slice and dice them and merge them into the longer work I'm still nibbling at.

Le Interlude: Computer Notes

And this is where I take time out from writing to finish resurrecting my home computer, virus scanning, and backing up my files. The huge awesome wonderful bit is that I'm editing this post at home. The bad bit is that I need to get off and let the scan run. :le sigh:

Stage Three: Count

For obvious reasons, we are not counting the words spent commenting.

  • Total Fiction: 1827 words
  • Total Blog: 409 words

365 Challenge Pieces

  • 183/365 – Seven Days Ficlet: The Apple Don't Fall Far: 447 words
  • 184/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: The Fox and the Wolf: 304 words
  • 185/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: A Gift Well-Chosen: 355 words
  • 186/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Cracking the Ice: 285 words
  • 187/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Remind You to Dance: 436 words
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A Day in the Life of the Scribbler, October 2

This entry is part 2 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So last night, I quit writing because my sciatic nerve went crazy, but here I am again. Again, I'll update this post throughout the day.

Day 2 of my journal the reading/writing and let's start off with a quick stop by Melanie Edmond's Starwalker to read the latest update, "Watchful." Excellent, nail-biting, and feel-for-Starry stuff. I love this little serial.

But actually, I started as usual with checking my LiveJournal inbox, then read up on a handful of blogs: The Passive Voice, Dean Wesley Smith, The Daring Novelist, and since it's a Wednesday, the newest review at Strange Horizons. It's a Wednesday. P.C. Wrede will have updated. Got back from reading that. It was about plot development, something I've never concerned myself with so much as story development, but I'll let it mull and see if I can use any of it in my own process.

Now. To assess...

Stage One: Assess

Several pieces from thecatisacritic to read. I'll get there. Soon. I've got some prompts I want to dump off on her too as soon as I figure out who for which.

My wonderful beta has convinced me not to tear a new one for the story from inferno, so it's ficlets or "Collateral Damage," and I'm leaning a lot more heavily toward the latter, except I do need to sit down and work out chronology on all this mess, which sort of requires interrogating Pieter and Ashen and a few other set events that I haven't mucked around with yet. Gotta love continuity.

So. Ficlets. :eyes prompts: Let's see what we can come up with.

Stage Two: Work

Put off work until after chiropractor appointment as there went first work break, including reposting yesterday's entry sans my lovely comments. I'm currently ticked off at LiveJournal.

So I'm calling this day a wash. Sciatic nerve still a little crazy.

Stage Three: Count

For obvious reasons, we are not counting the words spent commenting.

  • Total Fiction: 0 words - Month to Date: 1827 words
  • Total Blog: 310 words - Month to Date: 719 words
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A Day in the Life of the Scribbler, October 3

This entry is part 3 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Per usual, will update throughout the day...

Stage One: Assess

So I cleared out my LJ inbox of nonreaderly things on the first page and noted to self to read through the first page sometime today—AFTER writing.

Stage Two: Work

Picking a random prompt—Ilsa in the city—and writing for five minutes. So make that ten minutes. I finally used up the title that's been bothering my muse for two months now, and I like what I got.

Taking another random prompt—kisses as distraction—and running with it. I hope the prompter forgives me, but really, this is how Justus thinks. Now anyway. So that took less than eight minutes and netted me another scene of a Unit in action. I need more with Justus' unit as somebody :cough: :cough: thecatisacritic :cough: ordered some fics with them.

Same prompt, different characters: a couple because that's easier. Red Wolf/Whisper. Wow. That went quickly and yanked on a few threads I didn't expect to deal with.

And one more random prompt—not without you—with random couple chosen: Ilsa/Hasheni. Let's see what happens. About ten minutes and wow, is this stuff NOT fluff.

Okay, reading and reviewing those ficlets. That took a little while...

Grabbing random prompt and scribbling: Justus' family + Shift, Rachelle. Oh boy, don't I pick the easy ones. Ouch.

So more back and forth with thecatisacritic (what can I say? she's the one prompting) and added the new prompt comments to my ficlet post.

365 Challenge

Day 276. I'm at 192/365. Better... Ish.

Stage Three: Count


  • Total Fiction: 2011 words - Month to Date: 3838 words
  • Total Blog: 249 words - Month to Date: 968 words

365 Challenge Pieces

  • 188/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Linger – 310 words
  • 189/365: Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: The Unsuspecting Suspect – 221 words
  • 190/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Taste of Regret – 460 words
  • 191/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Catalyst – 362 words
  • 192/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: What the Emptiness Fills – 658 words



  • Rose is Rose comic
  • Luann comic
  • thecatisacritic fic/lets


  • The Passive Voice blog
  • Dean Wesley Smith blog
  • Kris Writes blog
  • Juliette Wade worldbuilding blog
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A Day in the Life of the Scribbler, October 4

This entry is part 4 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Stage One: Assess

Today, no reading other people's fiction until I've written my own. It's Friday, so it's a busy, hectic day.

Stage Two: Work

So the day ends late and the day starts early. En brief, I did do a little scribbling after computer out last night, but I also hated what I wrote, so let's count whatever it turns into today when I type it up, because it'll be different. That's for certain.

This morning, I returned to an old question out of a Writer's Digest interview from back in the day with the author of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life—which I've always wanted to read. Should get right on that. (Side note: I've always wanted to write a fictional encyclopedia too.) When she would sit down at the beginning of the day, she would ask herself what did she feel compelled to write? Then she would write that.

This morning between prepping for the day before seven a.m., I scribbled down some stuff between Kilter, Shift, and their daughter and realized I'm going to have to nose around and see if it fits any of my prompts or if I can work one in when I turn it into typed-up goodness.

Right now, I want to write about those family relationships and the fascinating, awful conundrum that is Shift. She's the woman who says, truthfully mind, "I'm not good, just loyal." "Even the devils love their own." "I like to play. It's just that my toys are people, blood, lives." "I never lose one of my own." She's selfless and loving and let's face it, bloody and terrible. I don't know quite what to do with her. But she's the key to Justus because she owns him, she made him, and it was only after she got her daughter back after the Rebellion that she let him go.

Now, I just got to turn this stuff into something good. Opens WIP 12.doc. CTRL+End. Scribble… That took a while, but it worked when I just forced myself to start typing.

Next piece? We're going to do the random prompt thing again because that really helped me yesterday. They all need lots of hugs. I like this piece. I needed more with Sear too, so this is good. Why stop when it's working? Same prompt, different characters.

Next prompt: work. This Red Wolf/Whisper one is a bit of a worldbuilding piece and another I started before work this morning. Before 6 a.m. even.

And at last, I catch up on reading. Going to call it a day.

Stage Three: Count

  • Total Fiction: 1766 words - Month to Date: 5604 words
  • Total Blog: 415 words - Month to Date: 1383 words

365 Challenge

  • 193/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: You're My Heart – 509 words
  • 194/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Bone-Weary Need – 349 words
  • 195/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Needing a Break – 396 words
  • 196/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: The Answer to All Problems – 311 words
  • 197/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Business as Usual – 201 words
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A Day in the Life of the Scribbler, October 5

This entry is part 5 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So last night, instead of worrying about writing, I read my incredibly wonderful beta notes that came back from multiple parties and got one set compared to the document to remember what I'd done. Learned a few things.


Interestingly enough, the anthology I put together while definitively needing work turns out to have been aimed strongly at a poetry audience, which explains a lot of its failings as a fiction anthology.

En brief, on the tin I go after a fandom audience and aim to appeal to those in my own community (go figure), but in reality, I have three primary audiences I appeal to with different pieces and some overlap: SFF, literary, and poetry. Tone is a bigger part of this than just story. Half of my flashfic appears to be solidly in the poetry camp, which hardly surprises me as that's how I got into flash fiction in the first place.


Proofreading, oddly enough, is not the same as copyediting. Proofreading in the vernacular has come to mean typo and grammar cleanup, but that's not what it actually means. Proofreading is where you take that carefully copyedited manuscript and make sure the document going to press didn't do wonky things to your formatting.

When the Clock Chimes had some very wonky things happen to my formatting. I am henceforth adding proofing back into my writing/publishing process. I've got a few edits I could've sworn I made already not present in the file I'm working from and the italics! Oy, the italics. To say nothing of the line spacing. :headdesk:

Will write some on the 6th, but that's primarily devoted to cleaning, shopping, and an all-day virus scan, so we'll see.

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A Day in the Life of the Scribbler, October 6

This entry is part 6 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Stage One: Assess

So there are lovely ficlets waiting to be read in my LJ inbox. There are lovely notes on the story from inferno and my infuriating anthology to be implemented. And there are prompts. Not to mention house-cleaning and other chores—like breakfast.

I've also been thinking about starting up blogging again, but there's the interesting thought of... should I? I'd like to focus on fiction I think.

I'm going to go do necessaries, then hit the story from inferno.

Stage Two: Work

So I'm actually flipping back and forth between cleaning, editing, munching, and going shopping (just got back). So far, it's working. I'm on page 13 out of 27 of my first pass through the manuscript at a little after three o'clock. I can tell this will take a couple passes though.

It's 5:48 p.m. and the first pass is done. I have two big changes to make and a handful of edits to decide on. Sometimes I agree with my beta, every once in a while I don't, and sometimes I figure out how to fix the issue in a way I like that differs from the one suggested. I've got those left.

Writing the new scenes. That's all I can call it, though technically, I'm writing them in and around the old material. It's better, I think. I hope my beta agrees.

Second pass done around 9:45 p.m. Just for the stylistic pass now and those last little decisions... Ten minutes later and we're down to stylistic. And wrapped at 11:00 p.m. Wow. Back to beta. At least, my brain doesn't feel like mush!

On Reading

Better (read, more relevant) blog posts today. Two I felt were necessary to link to:

The first one goes through a few ways people plot stories and when you get to this paragraph, just insert my name here:

My first clue is usually that I have an enormous heap of bright shiny bits and pieces (a few of which I absolutely know go into the story somewhere, but most of which I am equally positive are mutually exclusive options) that I can’t make fit with each other.

The second article on enthusiasm is me in a perfect nutshell, except that I find I am simply unable to make progress when I opt for discipline over enthusiasm. If I shut up the muse at all, I shut it up entirely. Needless to say, this is a very bad thing.

 Stage Three: Count

  • Total Fiction: 2000 words - Month to Date: 9604 words
  • Total Blog: 742 words - Month to Date: 2125 words

365 Challenge

  • 198–201/365: Dowse and Bleed – about 13,600 words
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Reading and Writing, October 7

This entry is part 7 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So I had a late night last night that terminated with the end of my deep virus scan at 3 o'clock this morning. To say I'm feeling only minimally inspired is putting it mildly. On one hand, I think the story from inferno, also known as "Dowse and Bleed" is finally done. I sent it back off to my beta late, late last night and she graciously consented to give it another gander. Thank you, Lord, for an awesome beta.

On Betas

And on that, in_the_blue is a contributing author to two anthologies, including Dragonthology. You can check out her website as Gwynne Jackson on Wordpress.

I have been fascinated in a probably-too-involved sort of way at Elle Casey's blog post about action in story and… betas. She considers being a stranger to be a requirement because friends hold back. It's human nature. I consider being a stranger to be a great way for me not to know your reading style and my beta (love you!) does not hold back on me and I don't hold back on her, and that MATTERS.

I'm not afraid of getting hurt by my editor. I'm a writer; my fears are significantly more predictable: that my story sucks, that it doesn't make sense, that I'll never finish something worthwhile, etc., etc. I'd rather my beta tell me nicely to go back to the drawing board than have a reader tell me I should have quit while I was ahead. But let's face it: it's the real world. I'm gonna get a healthy dose of both.

And on that, thank you also lithiumlaughter for being the queen of all things poetry and for all your help as a new-to-my-fiction reader of the anthology. Between the two of my betas, I think I might be able to salvage what I'd hoped for from that mess. (I say 'mess' with all due affection).

In case you hadn't noticed, I get rather rambly when I'm tired, and I'm tired, so this is rambly, but I felt it strong enough to want it off my chest before trying to pull together anything fictive. I don't thank my betas half enough and I still haven't finished that Niko + Collie fanfic, though it keeps accusing me when I flip through it in my WIP file. It's just there's this little original fiction addiction I seem to be going through right now… Right. Yeah. I'm a mess at staying disciplined with these things.

On Reading

So brief reviews of what I've been reading lately.

The Transfer

"The Transfer" is a short story by Veronica Roth about Tobias Eaton transferring from his birth faction, Abnegation, to the one that would hurt his father the most, Dauntless, where he earned a new name on his first day. We see his father/son relationship and I don't care how old this sort of material is, I was already invested in the character and the sculpture and the details and the characterization made this one hit me hard. We see the terrible ambivalence Tobias has toward his world, unable to find where he fits because there is only one thing he knows and it's the most terrible part of all. We see Tori and Amar and the fearscape. In short, I loved this and intend on picking up the next three shorts as soon as they're released.

With Fate Conspire

I recently reread With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan. It's the fourth and final book of the Onyx Court series, historical fiction deeply interwoven with a fictional faery London that is terrible, realistic, and wonderfully fascinating all at once. I own this book because I made the winning Livejournal icon for it for the author and so got an advanced review copy: white cover, specs on the outside, and all. If anyone was wondering, I want the entire series in their proper covers. I nominated this book for Yuletide, even though it was a brand new fandom on AO3. That is my intro to say how much I love this book. Now, to the details.

There are really three stories going on here. Though the third one doesn't take prominence until the end, the echoes of it are felt throughout. Echoes? What am I saying? The earthquakes of it are rending the fabric of the world around our two protagonists, whose primary foci are quite personal. London is shot through with iron and the underground trains are being run right through the Onyx Hall. Faery London is in its death throes and while fighting desperately to hold on, see little or no way to save the Hall or their presence in London.

In the middle of this, Eliza is an Irish woman who as a girl befriended a skriker, a faery creature, then was betrayed when he stole away her friend and love, Owen. She is on a hunt through London to find the faeries that are bombing the railroads and make them give Owen back. The other protagonist is the skriker she once befriended who is caught up in his own desperate fight for survival, bound to a cruel master who breaks people for the sake of breaking them, and who may hold the only key to saving the Hall.

I love deep worldbuilding, sprawling stories, juxtaposed timelines, technical details. If you don't, this book isn't for you. If you do, this book delivers. I keep reading it and rereading it because it's the fascinating interplay of faery and human, Irish and Fenians, the church and the Special Police, science and magic, survival and sacrifice, the personal and the epic. I love this book.

Spots the Space Marine

Another book I just reread—again. Written by M.C.A. Hogarth, it's one of those awesome serials that was snippeted and scened (in chronological order) all the way through a sprawling epic with an intimate, personal look at an ensemble cast. Warning: this book is not served well by the ebook format. I could. not. read it until I got a print copy through the Kickstarter project. After I got the hefty book in my hot little hands (yes, it gets heavy), I fell wholely in love.

You have Spots, properly Magda Guitart, who just got shipped in from a part-time desk job in the Marine reserves joining a squad that's still reeling from the loss of many of their people. Then, there's Claws who takes her under wing and in turn comes under her wing as they make acquaintances and then friends with the resident alien "Fiddler," Samuel-Colt, a weapons-engineer, music-expressive bug with a huge sense of humor. Turns out, this depot off in the middle of the nowhere is in a hotbed of a crab warzone and their relationship with the Fiddler is their only way to survive as the battles get hotter and more devastating.

And Spots dances. In body armor. With a singing, cutting-edged shield. I cannot begin to do this book enough justice. Read it.


If I were a good girl, I'd tell you more about thecatisacritic's work right now, but I'll save that for when I have more energy to do it justice. So my comments were less than awesome, but they exist. And I love the new story.

In related news, ran across a wonderful resource dealing with the legal status of fandom and self-regulation within the community. I am a firm believer in fandom (duh) and treat my original fiction as a canon with some self-generated fanfic and a community approach.

Wasn't I supposed to be writing…?

Yeah. That. :coughs: Okay, pick a prompt I guess and fire away. Let's just run with the theme of chairs and laps and hugs for a bit, okay?

Paused to yak comfortably to thecatisacritic over her ficlets and mine. And Shift.

I might go to bed when I get home, which would mean no more scribbling.


  • Total Fiction: 799 words - Month to Date: 10,403 words
  • Total Blog: 1314 words - Month to Date: 3439 words

365 Challenge

  • 202/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Little Girl Reminders – 542 words
  • 203/365 – Seven Days Ficlet: The Joys of Motherhood – 257 words
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Reading and Writing, October 8

This entry is part 8 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Yuletide is here! But I'm still not ready to sign up. There are too many great things to offer and/or request, so I'm mulling.

On the Writing

So we open today with prompts for a friend and a couple of ficlets. Before assessment. (I never do that.) Got three ficlets out of the way before taking some time out to update index pages for Kingdoms and Thorn. I did not update the chronology, so it's still extremely sketchy. None of these are comprehensive.

Went back to writing and hopefully wrapped the last of the worst of the angst. I really don't like mucking around in the origin fics too much. I originally wasn't going to write them at all, but there it is. Watcher and getting their exceptions. I can tell I held back in the way I wrote it, but I don't really care about that.

:le sigh:

Not sure if I'm going to write this evening or not.


  • Total Fiction: 2965 words - Month to Date: 13,368 words
  • Total Blog: 158 words - Month to Date: 3,997 words

365 Challenge

  • 204/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Waiting for Blood – 682 words
  • 205/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Embrace of Freedom – 178 words
  • 206/365 – Seven Days Ficlet: Learning to Tango – 152 words
  • 207–208/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: An Ounce of Protection – 1953 words
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Reading and Writing, October 9–10

This entry is part 9 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So yesterday was October 9, 2013 and I wrote 513 words of last-second fiction and 84 words of blog post. So let it be noted.

I tend to use leading conjunctions, did you know that? But, and, so...

Onto today...

So. I signed up for Yuletide, wrote my letter, linked it on the Yuletide Livejournal, and otherwise freaked out but ended up feeling serenely as though I achieved something. Ahem. Yeah.

I also did my daily reading of writing/industry blogs I find useful, including Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Rusch, The Passive Voice, Juliette Wade, and others. Then, I tackled the ficlets in my LJ inbox from thecatisacritic. I still need to catch up reading on Laurie's story from in_the_blue and the rest of the Fire and Water books, but alas! That requires some ability to focus. Now, that I'm headache-free again and my leg isn't screaming this might be soon possible.

And then there's writing. I tried to use the lullaby lyrics I had in the prompt bin to write about Watcher and Shift, but I hated it. I tried a few other snippets, but the words aren't coming. I need a different angle.


I got back my last set of beta notes on "Dowse and Bleed." Hurrah! Some edits, but they are good ones and all the typos she caught! Ack. Sometimes I wonder how in the world I can have that many words go missing... But anyway.

No scribbling today. Sorry, thecatisacritic. I'm just not really feeling up to that.


  • Total Fiction: 0 words - Month to Date: 13,881 words
  • Total Blog: 1123 words - Month to Date: 5,204 words

365 Challenge

From yesterday...

  • 209/365 – Kindgoms and Thorn Ficlet: Family – 377 words
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Reading and Writing, October 11

This entry is part 10 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So this morning was one of those mornings where feeling weird and what-have-you, I skipped straight past anything I ought to do and went and read Beneath Ceaseless Skies on my morning work break. It's a double issue. Then I dug through my email and dug up Laurie's story instead of waiting until I was at home this weekend where I already have it saved.

When I feel weird, I read. That's me. When I hurt, I fanfic or write an angsty poem. Otherwise, I write. I wonder what that says about how often I feel weird.

So I finished Laurie's story. Awesomeness. Then I finished editing all 13,574 words of story from inferno goodness—which I only say because it's done. Unfinished stories are not good. They taunt and tease and bother me. This is the first novelette I've written ever. Now, of course, I want to typeset it and publish it, which requires getting a Rachelle-worthy cover which makes me need to buy a stock photo I don't have, which would imply the need for a Kickstarter-type campaign, but this is micro-funding on a micro, micro, micro scale, so…


Maybe I ought to write. Hm. Nope, first I read through the ficlets from thecatisacritic. I'm glad too. I'm still not all that settled down for writing.

Talking with the beta yesterday about maybe doing Nano, which would mean picking a story for it. I'm all over the map on what I'd want to do: Collateral Damage, the Seven Days book, or something in Vardin, or seriously, Lovemark the Seasons. So yeah, on the fence there.

I edited and finalized a story. I'll write more this weekend. Bad me, but it's Friday, so no after-work scribble-time was available anyway.


  • Total Fiction: 0 words - Month to Date: 13,881 words
  • Total Blog: 291 words - Month to Date: 5,495 words

Finalized Pieces

  • "Dowse and Bleed," Kingdoms and Thorn, 13,574 words
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