Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Future!

We just got back from an ultrasound, which was the sequel to what was supposed to be our last ultrasound. It all went a lot better than last time.

The halfway-point ultrasounds have one purpose: TERROR. Last time, the doctor told us that the baby had a choroid plexus cyst, a echogenic intracardiac focus, and a sandal gap toe. There could be other problems, but the baby wouldn't hold still long enough to let them look any further, and we'd probably want to get a genetic test for Downs Syndrome and Trisomy immediately.

And then no one ever called back with the test results. When Rebecca checked a week later, the doctor said oh, yes, everything looked fine.

All that gibberish above - those three problems? Those are fairly common things found in ultrasounds. It's just that when they're all together, the odds are slightly higher for genetic disorders.

The ultrasound today went just fine. The 'choroid plexus cyst', or 'little white spot', went away. The sandal gap toe ... well, no one could actually make it out this time. The baby seems to have a mild micrognathia, which seems to be an overbite, but - so do I, and the lower jaw is supposed to grow a lot during the third trimester. Everything's growing at the right rate and all the organs seem to be working out fine, so that's pretty good news.

And it's almost certainly a girl. I think we're leaning toward Miranda Harper as a name. We'll see.

I'm only thirty pages or so from the second draft of Mrs. Shadow! The other day, the plot for my next book came to me... and it's REALLY exciting. I'm ready to get on it!

Monday, July 4, 2011


Originally, I wanted to make this blog entirely about the process of writing. Which doesn't make for an entertaining read. It isn't like I'm inspiring future authors, so whatever. This doesn't have to be a Blog of Serious Times. We can sit back and post about ant farms instead!
BUT: just for today, I'm going to post a little about my new writing process.

Way back when, I had this idealized image of writing as a flow of creativity. You sit down, the wisdom and beauty spurts out, you fill your jug o' words, and then - WHAM - the faucet slowly dribbles out a few last spurts and, smiling proudly, you bask in your day's work.

No. Not really.

The thing is, it took longer than it should have to figure that out. Every day I planned to write, I'd sit down and procrastinate. Browse the internet, pick the perfect background music... anything but actually write. It wasn't any fun. Once I was maybe half an hour into it, it went fine, but until then, I dreaded actually working. It wasn't what I imagined writing SHOULD be. I figured that maybe it was that I wasn't making steady money off my art. Or maybe it was that I wasn't writing what I wanted to write.

Here's the truth, though: I'd set myself up to fail.

I wanted to work on my book four or five days a week. When I edited, my goal was to get through ten pages, and when I wrote, my goal was two thousand words. That makes for some fast progress, true. But no wonder I never felt like writing. I'd done the right thing by setting up a schedule, but I'd turned it into a chore.

For the past month, my schedule's been two days a week, Wednesday and Friday. Five pages edited a day. It's working out really well. Before, I used to take off a day or two a week just because I didn't want to get started. Now, whenever I write, I don't feel burned out by the previous day. I've ended up deleting something like thirty pages of drivel I wrote during my last stint, when my goal was just progress, progress, progress. I've replaced it with twenty solid pages. For the first time in a while, I think the second half of this book is shaping up to be something special.

Granted, I guess that the next book I write isn't going to be finished in three months. But it'll probably be a lot more fun to write.