Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I'm Allergic to Dead Things

This time of the year is the worst for me, allergy-wise. Rather than being afflicted at the beginning of the season when the air is rife with pollen, I save it up for when things start to die off. I'm not quite sure what it is exactly that I'm allergic to, so I sum it up saying - dead things, I'm allergic to dead things. This is often said with a seriously stuffed nasal passage so it probably sounds more like 'Ib abbergec tub deb tings'.

Last night was particularly bad. As soon as I went to bed the eyes started itching and my nose was stuffed up. I rifled through my linen closet for my stash of allergy pills. Nothing. Cold and flu, decongestant, a bottle of Vicks and some leftover Kaopectate from a trip down south (by the way, when they say don't drink the water...well they're not kidding). I finally found one remaining allergy pill stuffed in the zipped pouch of my briefcase. Whew. Even better, it was the nighttime relief one. So not only did I get relief, but the think knocked me out cold so I managed to get some sleep as well.

I woke up this morning, refreshed (at least as refreshed as one can be at 5:45 in the morning) and went to work on my formatted outline for Desire & Brimstone. I managed to get 15 scene capsules done this morning, bringing me to about the 2/3 mark in the book. So far, so good. This story is coming together nicely, my characters are being cooperative, the secondary characters are setting themselves up well for their own books to follow. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, this First Draft in 30 Days is awesome.

And speaking of - my chapter had our annual retreat this past weekend and I was responsible for giving the educational session. By now, most of those attending the retreat had already purchased or had on order the book by Karen Weisner, so it seemed a good idea to use the session to review the First Draft in 30 Days system. Some had read the book, some had just purchased it and hadn't had the chance yet, others were still waiting for Amazon or Chapters to deliver their copy. Only two of us had started the process of using it for our current manuscripts and we both raved. It seemed the perfect time to share what we had learned for those about to make the jump themselves.

The excitement in the room as we went through the steps was palpable. I loved seeing people get excited about this and how they were going to use it for their own work. Plotters and pansters alike found it useful. We talked about how to tailor it to your own needs, different ways to do things, etc. It was a great time and there was a lot of positive energy flowing from the session. I'm glad I had the chance to infect a few more with my enthusiasm and I can't wait to see how they find using it with their own writing.

Outside of the educational session, the retreat was a blast. Great company, great hostess in Heather Veinot who fed us until we burst, and a beautiful setting down on the water. I look forward to this retreat each summer and already I'm looking forward to next year. Talk turned to the conference as well and it seems we may have doubled our numbers on how many will be attending in Atlanta next July. I think the upcoming year is going to be filled with a lot of fun, hard work and inevitable success that comes with that for the RWAC group. I'm glad I’m along for the ride.


Melissa Marsh said...

Darn allergies! I have a co-worker who's really suffering from them this week - short of breath and everything. I usually get allergies more during harvest time.
I'm so glad the retreat went well! Sounds like fun!

Michelle said...

You really have me curious about this first draft in 30 days. Do you do actual writing or is it all outlining? Would a pantser like me run screaming from the room? :)

Kelly said...

We had some pansters at the retreat and they saw a lot of use in the forms.

For a 100,000 word book you're looking at about a 100 page formatted outline. I do a combination of writing and outlining. I put a lot of description and dialogue in my scene capsules as it comes to me so I don't forget it when it comes time to do the actual writing out in novel format. It's pretty adaptable to any writing style which I like.