Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Initiation

I don't feel like I get to bake much, because we always have so much candy/other sweets floating around the house, leftover from one holiday or another.  We do dessert nearly every night after dinner, but since we don't overindulge (or allow the boys to,) it takes a long time to get through stuff.  However, the Valentine's Day treats are almost gone, and there's little left of the Halloween candy (mostly suckers, which will take a while to get rid of) so I felt the time was ripe to make cookies.  Chocolate chip cookies, with some purple food coloring thrown in to make them seem more festive for Easter!

I did this last Friday, in the morning while Zaxxon was at preschool.  And since Kal'El is getting much better at following directions, I decided to let him help me for the first time!

I love having a camera with an interval function!

He kept his hands out of the batter until we added the chocolate chips.  Stop that!

And now for the best part of helping in the kitchen

And of course, we had to sample them.  To make sure they were good enough to feed the rest of the family, I mean.  Yeah, that's what I mean.

I think I have a new little helper!

Tot School

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Finished! Or nearly...

Yesterday, I finished editing the final chapter of my novel!  This took a bit longer than I'd anticipated--I thought I would be done earlier in March, but upon reading the last two chapters before editing, I realized that they didn't work too well.  They needed a massive overhaul to get rid of the boring bits, and ultimately they got condensed into one.  But now it's done!

Today, I began the task of reading the novel through from beginning to end.  I finished the first five chapters (out of 37.) If I can keep up this pace, I have a sporting chance of finishing by the end of March--or at the very least, I will only bleed into April by a few days.  I thought it flowed quite well, and I only stopped a few times to make some minor tweaks.  And here's exactly why I'm reading the whole thing through quickly:  in chapter 3, I mention that a main character has brown eyes, and in chapter 5, they're hazel.  Good to catch these little details before a reader does!

I've been trying to figure out how long I've been editing this beast.  I started keeping track of which chapters I edited each day back in June of 2012 (and in June 2012 I edited chapters 6-11), but I mentioned editing the novel as early as October 2011.  I can only assume that's when I began the first readthrough, but really, what did I do between October and May?  During some of that time, I was working on stories alongside it, so perhaps I only bothered with one chapter a month?  I don't know.  It's hard to fathom, considering the pace I've been setting lately, but I suppose that was possible.  It's a little strange to think, after all this time (eighteen months, all told, if I can believe my own notes) of focusing on this novel, that soon I'll have to bend my creative energies towards something else!

The novel still doesn't have a title, although I've bent some brainpower towards that conundrum.  After finishing my readthrough (and giving my baby a name) I'll be sending it off to readers, and within the next few months, it'll be time to start shopping for an agent!  I've never done that before, so I'll be forging my way into new territory.  There ought to be plenty of anxiety attacks here at Science Fiction Mommy in the coming months!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

St. Patrick's Sensory Bin

After painstakingly (with the help of hubby) removing all the red macaroni from the sensory bin (plus all the easier-to-remove odds and ends) I refilled it with green items for St. Patrick's Day!
Normally I would have left Valentine's Day in a little longer, but since Easter is so early this year, I wanted to make sure we had at least a few weeks of St. Patrick's Day to play with.  This is the most often I've ever changed out the sensory bin, and the most themed contents I've included.  Kal'El really seems to get quite a kick out of it, I enjoy having time with him alone while Zaxxon is in preschool, and Kal'El still isn't big enough for more structured crafts, so I've been trying to give him more variety here.

In the bin:
  • green and yellow macaroni
  • split peas
  • green pom poms
  • green and gold sparkly pom poms
  • green porcupine balls
  • green glass stones
  • gold coins
  • mini shamrocks I cut off a bead necklace
  • a larger, sparkly shamrock
  • a green frog cup
  • spoons, cups, and containers
  • (a green duck worked its way in there later, entirely without my help)
I see something new inside...

I want to play with it!  Let's put it on the blanket...

As usual, Kal'El loved it.  He's still learning the rules of the bin--namely that the items need to stay inside the bin and he needs to clean up any messes right away.  It's a work in progress.  But it's so much fun to explore it with him.

Zaxxon plays with it, too.  He also likes to see new contents, and although he has the patience and ability to search more for treasures and sort things out, he also loses interest faster these days.

Strangely, Kal'El has no interest in the gold coins.  He loves the other contents though, and claimed all the shamrocks as "mine!"  I think we have a hit!

(Of course, picking the macaroni separate from the split peas when I'm ready to fill this with Easter is going to be an even bigger pain.  Oh well, it's worth it!)

Tot School

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February Stat Check

During the month of February, I wrote/edited on all 28 days
I edited all or part of six chapters from my novel, chapters 31 through 36
I made 0 submissions
I received 0 rejections
I have 12 stories ready for slush pile circulation, but only three or four of them are under review. (I still haven't taken the plunge to purchase a month of Duotrope and get those babies back out)
I made 6 blog posts
I took no days off

I'm in a really good groove with the novel right now.  My goal had been to finish revising chapter-by-chapter by the end of March, and it looks like I'm going to beat that.  As of today, I have only two chapters left to revise, so it looks like I'll probably have time for a full readthru by the end of March as well.  Oh, and I suppose I ought to actually name the thing too.  I can't keep calling it "novel."

After that I plan to find readers and work on other projects for a while.  I'd been thinking of working on short stories again for a bit, although the characters and bits of a plot for another novel just won't leave my head at the moment, so I may be working on another novel sooner than I'd planned.  If you can't get them to leave you alone, sometimes the best thing to do is just get it down on paper, so to speak.  We'll see.  It's still not a fully-fledged idea, but a few elements recently came to me that complement some other elements I'd been playing around with months ago.  Together, they may come together and form a complete story.  I guess only time will tell.  It's gonna involve people with superpowers! :)

My biggest goal for March--apart from completing the novel--is to get my stories all resubmitted.  I've been doing a really good job of using my time wisely during naptime/quiet time for the boys, and that's when I've been doing my writing/revising.  I'd been planning to use my evenings to keep up with blogging and resubmit stories, but for the most part I've been pretty worn out in the evenings and would rather do something more relaxing and fun.  (I've been potty training a 20-month-old, after all.)  I need to make sure I have time for relaxing and fun, but still balance them with the other things I need to get done.

How about you?  How was your February?