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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

That's a wrap, folks!

I just have this to say:

I'M DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's right, I finished my final readthru of Moonfall today, and it is complete so far as I can make it.  Whoo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll be spending the next week (at least) working out a synopsis and query, not to mention doing all the market research I've completely neglected to do until now.  And soon it will be out under the eyes of agents, who will hopefully recognize its brilliance and offer to represent me immediately!

Some useless numbers, since I just noticed that word has these stats:

  • words:  98,921
  • pages: 173 (Times New Roman, single spaced)
  • Total editing time (for draft 4, the final draft): 4113 minutes.  That's 68.55 hours.  I've been working on this final draft for the last 53 days, which means an average of 1.3 hours per day--which I suppose might be accurate.  I wonder if they count total open time, or just active writing time?
  • first draft created: July 20, 2010.  That was 1,158 days ago, minus 92 for maternity leave is 1,066 days.  Of course, there were a lot of days when I let this chill to work on other projects.  But regardless, I've been working on this monstrosity for just over three years!

Here's a word cloud of the novel:
I want a Monster House "Done Stamp" to place on this thing.  Woot!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kal'El's crafts!!

Zaxxon started preschool this week, which gave me uninterrupted time with Kal'El for a few hours each morning.  On the first day, Kal'El missed his brother, but after that he was fine, and I really began to enjoy our time together.  Zaxxon went to preschool three mornings per week last year, but this year it's all five mornings, and Kal'El is older and capable of doing much more.  Zaxxon is also very overpowering right now, so it's hard to get much of a chance to interact just with Kal'El.  Having Zaxxon occupied elsewhere is really giving me a chance to focus on my second-born, and to give him the attention and interaction he was otherwise lacking.

Zaxxon was about Kal'El's age when I first started doing crafts with him, so I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to get started with Kal'El.  We're arbitrarily starting through the alphabet when it comes to our themes, but we'll focus a lot on holidays as we come to them, and we'll follow Kal'El's interest.

On our first day of crafting, we started with an apple tree.  I prefabbed the tree and apples, and just had Kal'El place them on the tree.

I started out by adding the glue myself, but after about three apples he wanted to do the glue, so I let him.

He said he wanted to draw after we were done, so I pulled out some big paper and handed over the crayons.  He scribbled a bit, but mostly he wanted me to trace his hand over and over.

After it was all over, we went for a bike ride.  He's really doing quite well on his balance bike, and picks his feet up to coast for short distances.  He travels between 3-3.5 mph until he gets tired, and can go between 1-2 miles before getting there.  I'm hoping to build his endurance more on these rides with just him, because I'm always walking a fine line between letting him go as long as he wants, but having to go at two-year-old speed, and putting him in the trailer so Zaxxon can go faster on his pedal bike.

Due to other conflicts, Kal'El and I only got one other crafting day during Zaxxon's first week.  We continued with letter "A" items, making an alligator out of the letter "A."

 Chomp chomp!
I love this pic

Next I rubberbanded bubble wrap around a cup, gave him a dish of green paint, and tried to get him to "stamp" scales on an alligator.

He mostly just swirled it around, but he still loved doing it.

(Btw, does anyone know if children's tempura paint can contain formaldehyde?  Because it smelled like it did.  I haven't used this paint much, so it surprised me.)

Kal'El really enjoyed all these activities.  Week one of crafts was a success!

Tot School

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer Stat Check

Hi, is anybody still reading?  Here's the breakdown of my summer, since I haven't been doing the monthly stat checks

  • Between June and August, I wrote every day (that's 92 days)
  • I finished editing 3 stories for submission, wrote the first draft of 1 new story, did edits on one of my kids' books and sent it to Beta readers, did final edits on a screenplay hubby and I wrote together, did some worldbuilding for a new novel, and edited the heck out of my current novel, Moonfall.
  • I am now doing a final readthru (out loud) of Moonfall, which I see to be the last step before it's ready for query!
  • Submissions.... yeah, maybe 5?  I've been very lax in this department this year.  Not having duotrope regularly available has messed up my system, and I haven't figured out a way to make it work yet.
  • Rejections... haven't really been keeping track.  I haven't even printed some rejection letters yet, since I'm not resubbing at the moment.  Maybe 8-10?
  • Acceptances... I wish.  But then, not much is still out there to be accepted, since I'm slacking
  • I have 15 stories ready for slush pile circulation, but not all are out right now
  • I made 8 blog posts
  • I took no days off

I had a very productive summer when it comes to progress on my writing.  June and July, in particular, were whirlwinds where I jumped from one project to another.  So many things just needed polishing that I really felt like I was making a lot of progress.  I reached a reasonable stopping point on other projects and then plunged back into the novel, analyzing the reader comments and strengthening the story.  It's almost time to submit, and I'm both excited and scared.  Scared, because I've never queried agents before, and it's time to jump in with both feet.  Excited because hey, I might actually land an agent and get published in the foreseeable future.  I'm liking this feeling.  It'll be weird to start over from square one, and work on new, rough, unpolished stuff again after so long focusing on my recent projects.  It'll be exciting.

I intend to finish up Moonfall, then (provided I get reader comments back) polish up my picture book manuscript, and get queries written for both.  While doing market research and all that, I intend to either a) revisit my most-recently-written story, b) work on another picture book idea I recently came up with, or c) start the new novel.  It'll be some combination of the three, I'm just not sure in what order.

Happy writing!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A few more crafts from Zaxxon

Zaxxon has expressed a lot more interest in coloring books lately, perhaps because he's honed the ability to stay within the lines better.  To that end, I purchased a couple of activity books from the dollar section for him.  This one shows him how to color by number (or symbol, or outline.)

I helped Zaxxon create a superhero logo for himself (for a project I'm hoping to do for his birthday,) and doing so inspired him to create an entire superhero costume for himself.

He's got the emblem on his chest, a cape on his back, and a cowl sort of thing over his shoulders.

This is a mural of the Batcave that has replaced the map of where Mickey lives on his wall

Zaxxon and Dada are working on a picture book together, one that they are meticulously writing and illustrating.  It's cute to see them working on it.

Zaxxon and I also worked on a book together.  We took our copy of "Goodnight Zoo" to the real zoo, snapped pictures of the animals in the book, pasted it onto paper, and wrote our own words.  Then I bound it using a needle and thread, because I thought it would work better (at least without bending the paper) than a stapler.

Preschool starts next week!  I have ambitious plans to do craft projects with Kal'El while Zaxxon is gone, although I've only got one prepped as of this writing.  We'll see how--and frequently--it goes!

Tot School