Fully Exposed – Day 11

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I’ve been going full steam on revisions for Blessed are the Meek and copyedits for Blessed are the Dead this week. And guess what … this morning I burned out. Crashed and burned.

I had a small headache, which, at first, I had hoped appeared in lieu of my monthly migraine that takes me out at the knees for a day or two each month. I popped some Advil and instead of butt in chair from 9 to 12, took off for the local coffee shop, where I sat outside with my latte and Moleskine and brainstormed about an article I’m writing for Crimespree Magazine.

Every once in a while if I’m stuck in my writing or starting a new book or in that saggy middle of a book, I’ll do this, with a stack of index cards at my side instead of my journal.

I sat outside and scratched out a rough draft essay idea and then headed home because I couldn’t deny it anymore – headache had struck and I needed migraine meds asap.

I took my meds at home and  headed to Uptown to get a cinnamon roll* and visit Once Upon A Crime. (You see I have this contest idea and it involves a giveaway and one of the prizes will be a book from everyone who gives me a blurb – so far that is Owen Laukkanen and David Corbett, but I have a few more people who are looking at my novel to give a possible blurb so I was optimistic and bought their books for the giveaway.)

Then I was off to visit my writer friend who just had a baby! Yay for babies. And instead of a baby gift I brought her a humongous cinnamon bun * and one of my favorite Minnesota-based books, “Peace like a river.”

Then I came home and was fuzzy-headed migraine woman for the rest of the night. Not my most productive day.

STAY TUNED for tomorrow and don’t forget to see how Matthew Clemens, my partner in this project, did daily on his goals here on his website and here on Facebook.

Today’s Stats:

Goals:
Writing: 2,500 words or three hours of revision
Walking: 1 mile

Results:
Writing: .5 hours of writing
Walking: .5 miles

 

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Categories: Blessed are the Dead, Blessed are the Meek, Fully Exposed | 1 Comment

Fully Exposed – Day 10

Me & my future husband at a Vancouver, B.C. art gallery, 1990s. #tbt

Me & my future husband at a Vancouver, B.C. art gallery, 1990s. #tbt

A Boy I Once Kissed …

I spent the morning doing revisions to Blessed are the Meek.

Ate lunch at home while I was working and then headed out for a walk before I returned to do copyedits for Blessed are the Dead. I fell short of my goals. I only did 2.5 hours of revision instead of 3. But maybe if you include the hour I spent doing copyedits, it counts? I did get in my mile walk. And that is what prompted today’s post:

Today’s walk took me past a cemetery. As I walked, I listened to my favorite band, Wood & Smoke, on my headphones and was brought back to the time in my life when I lived in L.A.

Walking past the gravestones, I thought about a boy I once kissed on New Year’s Eve who is now dead.

He was a friend of a friend and we were all at a Rave in a giant warehouse in downtown L.A. during one New Year’s Eve in the late 1980s.

We both knew nothing would come of our night spent together at a rave, dancing and kissing, and later, holding hands under the table at a Sunset Boulevard Denny’s until the sun came up.

And maybe we didn’t want anything to come of it. We simply enjoyed our night together for what it was — an appreciation of being young and alive and having another person find you attractive.

When we said goodbye, there were no promises to call one another or keep in touch, just one long kiss.

I never saw him again.

A few years later, when I’d already met the man who would become my husband, I learned that this friend of a friend had died.

He’d been killed. Walking in a crosswalk. During the day. When he had the right of way. Hit by some knucklehead who simply wasn’t paying attention and ran a red light.

He must’ve only been 22 or 23.

Kissing that boy was just one moment, one night in my life, but I will always remember him.

I will never forget a moment of my life in L.A. That city — the city of angels — will always be my soul city.

That city was where I lived a thousand life times. Where I reveled in being young and alive and full of life. When I felt invincible.

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Day 9 – Fully Exposed

Nothing to do with anything in my post - cool photo shoot with my honey

Nothing to do with anything in my post – cool photo shoot with my honey

Today I worked on revisions for Blessed are the Meek (due the end of this month) and reviewed copyedits for Blessed are the Dead (due next week). And wrote an essay by accident.

Last week my publicist asked for some essay ideas for a San Francisco publication (my mystery series is set there). I shot her two essays, but realized when I was ranting about the copyediting I was doing all day, that it might make a good essay. (If you follow me on Twitter @KristiBelcamino, you might have heard me lamenting the fact that it was only when my novel was copyedited that I realized I don’t know a comma from a hole in the ground. Luckily, several other former journalists piped in to say that this is common coming from a journalism background. In addition, another writer mentioned how different publishing houses have different views on comma use, as well. Whew.)

So I quickly wrote up my rant and sent it to my publicist and editor to submit to the San Francisco publication.

Also, earlier in the day, spring is here, so I went for a walk. I made my walk center around getting lunch, which is always a great motivation.

I walked to buy grocery-store sushi — hasn’t made me sick yet (making sign of cross) and then ran to pick up a few things at Target.

Then back home to review copyedits for the rest of my workday.

Despite my rant, the copyeditor caught a few things that I’m truly grateful for, including a timeline discrepancy, and I learned a bit about a few different words. For instance, I didn’t know douche bag was two words! Or wineglass one!

When you work on copyedits your task it to accept or reject the changes he or she made. I accepted 99.99999 percent. I think I rejected maybe three things, including he or she trying to make superrelaxed one word (I’m not buying that one.)

I saved the timeline issue to tackle today, but was able to get through the rest of the copyedits and when I got to the end and found this little personal message from the copyeditor, it made all my earlier angst worth it:

“WOW!!! Quite a way to end a really good story. BRAVA!!! “

So, there’s that.

STAY TUNED for tomorrow and don’t forget to see how Matthew Clemens, my partner in this project, did daily on his goals here and on his Facebook page.

Today’s Stats:

Goals:
Writing: 2,500 words or three hours of revision
Walking: 1 mile

Results:
Writing: 3.5 hours of revision
Walking: 1 mile

 

 

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Fully Exposed – Day 8

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My youngest was in a school play this morning. Made me so proud. She definitely inherited her father’s singing and acting ability, because she doesn’t get it from me, that’s for sure.

Then off to write at a café, albeit starting an hour late, which is fine.
I revised Blessed are the Meek from 10 to 1:30 p.m.

Right when I was logging off my computer at the café, I got an email from my editor, who if I haven’t mentioned already, I adore. She’s unbelievably smart, and cool, and savvy and I’m incredibly grateful to be working with her. So I’m always thrilled to get an email from her. This time was no different, but it did cause me to hyperventilate for about two seconds.

Along with revisions to Blessed are the Meek (which are due May 1), it looks like this next week will also be spent doing edits from the copyeditor on Blessed are the Dead and those are due next week.

This business and the stress of trying to get everything done is a good problem. I mean, I’ve dreamed of being in this position for years, right? And here, I am, so busy working on writerly stuff, I can barely surface for air. And I love it at the same time I’m having mini panic attacks about it.

One of my super talented and successful writer friends reminded me to take a breath and not get too crazy and it was just what I needed to hear today.

And I reminded myself once again my priorities are thus: Family and THEN writing. And so I need to be able to turn it all off at night when I’m around my family and enjoy their company and be relaxed and not a stress ball around them.
So that will be my challenge this week.

So back home, I took an hour for lunch, errands, and a walk, which helped the stress dissipate quite a bit.

When I got back, I had an hour to start tackling the copyedits before I had to shift into Italian Mama mode.

I got a thrill reading my manuscript all laid out ready to go with my dedication page and everything all set. And learned a lot reviewing what the copy editor did. For instance, now I know that “douchebag” is actually two words “douche” and “bag.” But really, glad to have someone going through and catching all my mistakes and making my novel all pretty and stuff. YAY!

Today, I am counting my blessings. I am incredibly grateful for my life, that my family is healthy and we are fortunate to have a safe place to live and I can send my kids to good schools and the sun is out and I’m exactly where I want to be at this point in my writing career.

STAY TUNED for tomorrow and don’t forget to see how Matthew Clemens, my partner in this project, did daily on his goals here on his website and here on Facebook.

Today’s Stats:
Goals:
Writing: 2,500 words or three hours of revision
Walking: 1 mile
Results:
Writing: 3.5 hours of revision
Walking: 1 mile

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Fully Exposed – Day 7

IMGP3582Covering the Death Beat: My day at the newspaper.

Sundays typically go like this: mass, the after-party at my in laws, and reporting at the newspaper.

On this weekend day, my fiction writing almost always gets zero attention.

The most I do is check on comments at Do Some Damage (my posts run every Sunday) and do a little online surfing, but other than that, my goals are not anywhere even close to met on Sundays. And that’s okay. This is my day off from writing.

Work at the newspaper was stressful — death and violence. A couple killed on the freeway — dad driving 100 mph smashed into the back of a semi truck killing himself and his pregnant wife and leaving their one-year-old an orphan. A shooting, (which at first sounded like a big deal, reported as shot to the head when it was a arm wound). A man missing in the Mississippi after the Hummer he was in seemingly purposely plunged into the river. A woman who gunned her engine and ran over a man after an argument, sending him to the hospital in serious condition. A body found.

I felt like I was overwhelmed and never quite managed to do justice to one story, instead just played catch up. I should’ve just jumped on one story and gone full out, but instead I tried to add bits and pieces to each one. And those phone calls I make to grieving family members — which I talk about in that Do Some Damage post yesterday — well, last night, I left messages everywhere and could never reach a family member, who apparently did call back the competing paper. Ack!

Not my greatest night at work. The regular police reporter was very sweet when I gave her an update, said that I work my butt off and that I can’t expect to get everything because newspapers are understaffed. Which took away some of the sting, but I tossed and turned in bed last night, wondering how I could have done it all differently.

STAY TUNED for tomorrow and don’t forget to see how Matthew Clemens, my partner in this project, did daily on his goals here on his website and here on Facebook.

Today’s Stats:
Goals:
Writing: 2,500 words or three hours of revision
Walking: 1 mile

Results:
Writing: 0 toward novel
Walking: 0

 

 

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Categories: Fully Exposed | 2 Comments