Buy it now!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

NOVEL: In-Progress Cover

In my "let it rest" period before doing a third draft of the novel, I've started the cover art. I still have a lot of work to do on Rowan's portrait before I'm finished, but this is a good in-progress shot! I thank my friends for all the feedback they graciously provided. I'm no digital draftsman, but it's not as bad as it could be. :)

For a sketch-to-current picture progression, and to follow more frequent Tamara Henson Studios updates, see my THS Facebook page:



Sunday, December 11, 2011


Today, I celebrated the completion of my second draft of The Pathos of Rowan Jun. I ate a Frosty from Wendy's. :) And I glanced back through this blog, seeing my bumps and snares, a few witty turns of phrase, and a whole lot of struggling to get somewhere.

It all started with my unexpected unemployment, when I finally thought my life was on the right track. I was going to be a teacher and mold young minds! I would have holidays, summers and flood/snow days to work on my novels. And then that fell through. My ideal teaching job opened up, I subbed in it for a term and applied, but that wasn't meant to be either. And the crappy customer service job I left is exactly where I ended up. Yet I'm okay with that. I've realized some other things that are better left between God and me. And that's okay, too.

In just two years, I have done a complete 180 on many opinions I held about life, careers, college, and other things that are important. I hoped that a death in the family wouldn't cause such a falling out, but it did. What a nightmare that was! I thought college was important, and while I cherish the experiences I forged there, it only resulted in a stagnant, staggering debt that I've carried for years. I thought I would never be able to lose the weight that threatens to kill me, and I'm more focused than ever, dropping pounds right and left with the RIGHT mindset. I thought I'd never get married, that I'd either die long before it happened or no one would care enough to marry me. And on November 11, I married the man I love. 

I thought having that stable, logical, safe, obvious, comfy career was what I needed and should continually seek. Even though I didn't really want to. (I wanted the creative things!) But though I love teaching, I can't get a job locally and can't afford to move for just a one-year job guarantee. Then I thought having any job that would pay the bills would be good. And I now have that job. But it's just a Band-Aid on the real issue:

I have spent most of my life NOT doing what makes me happiest from all standpoints, particularly the career point! The creative things make me happy. Telling stories, making artwork, creating things with the talent born of hard work and the talents God gave me makes me happy. And at my lowest point, I wondered why everything was going wrong. And then, the Almighty slapped me on the forehead with the obvious answers: 

Because I wasn't following the path set before me. I was walking the hardest, out of the way paths that didn't have my name on them at all. And God was having to let me learn things the hard way. My barrel-ahead attitude saves my mind from cracking, but shrouds my spiritual listening. I didn't know how to trust God to carry me when I'd walked so long my feet bled. God's encouraging me toward a leap of faith.

Why couldn't I keep a teaching job? Well, I started the teaching program because it was the logical path to move forward. I learned important art things I can use, but the rest of the program is essentially crap. But God let me finish the program and teach art for a year. I got to use that time to touch lives. And I got to see the worst in some people. My season there ended. Then I taught the last term at the other place, nearly a year later. Man, I had improved my methodology! I got to touch lives, and influence some very intelligent, creative minds. And I got to see the best in people, to heal my heart of the scars left by the last place. My three months there eclipsed my experiences at my first teaching job. And my season ended. I learned what I needed from the experience. Now it's time to move on.

Why can't I find a market for my creative work? Because I haven't finished, polished or marketed them! (God's forehead slap of No Kidding!) Guess what? If I don't build it, ain't nobody gonna come! So I created Tamara Henson Studios, bought a domain name, and created a website. After I cut back on the million dreamer's possibilities, I'm down to three: art, storytelling and dolls, with various sub-categories. Those are my focus areas. No commissions now, no three-ring-circus. Just the bare-bones of things I'd love to make a career in. And when I prayed, I felt at peace about it. No straining to make things work. No walking through mud uphill both ways. God's in it.

And step one of this new leap of faith is the self-publication of my novel. I laughed so hard when I read this blog entry from January of this year, back when I apparently planned to write in phases. Go ahead, I'll wait right here while you do:

Such pretty writing and clear justifications for an archaic system of the time-suck of subjective checks and balances! Compared to my last post's "Big Scary Thing", it's hilarious. I'm a converted woman, obviously, from that glaring example of egotistical swill to this world of infinite possibilities. The second draft flowed easily-- a full rewrite in a month and a half! (Oddly and ironically, thanks to 2011 NaNoWriMo!) The other things will come with practice. 

The season I'm in now... it feels like Spring! So warm and inviting, so comforting, as bright as the kingdom of Heaven. Almost. The green down here doesn't seem quite the right shade! But that's another story for another time...



Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I passed the 53K words mark on my "Edit Volume 1 Challenge" of NaNoWriMo. Technically, this means I "win". I blame it on passages in the not-as-horrible-as-I-thought rough draft that I was able to just tweak, copy and paste instead of rewrite in depth. I'm still a good 15K away from calling the story finished, and most of that will be full on retyping, re-envisioning and restructuring. That's no big deal, really. Just work. I already have it drafted, really poorly drafted, but drafted nonetheless!

Upon finishing this second draft, I'll dive into a back-burner drafting of Volume 3, plus a double front-burner drafting of Volume 2 and polish of Volume 1. Y'know... a light work load for me! ;)

The Tamara Henson Studios website is coming along nicely. I've gutted an already gut-light website and taken out all the commission stuff for now. I've streamlined the content so that I still have some art and graphic design portfolios. You can still email me if you want. There's still some aesthetic stuff I need to work out, as well as the store and cart options through Google.

When I'm finished, the site will focus on my Novels and Doll development. My ART section will have my currently-released characters and worlds from my stories. I'm hoping that the Ragdolls of the World (tm) brand and the Myth-Babies (tm) brand will fully launch in the next year for a related reason. I want all my copyrighted content to have a professional-looking, content-heavy home because of the big scary thing I'm doing as soon as I can.

It'll take a bit for my web designer Ryan to make all my updates live. His router gave up the ghost last week and we're a bit behind due to that. Any website design and content feedback you can provide over the next couple weeks will be invaluable and much appreciated! :)


And the big scary thing that I'm doing with the novel: Self-Publishing under Amazon. There will be an eBook and a paperback novel. I'll be doing cover art and design. This may be hard work and a risk, but my book isn't making any money just sitting here either, waiting on the potential graces of the traditional publishing time suck.

God-willing, I'll be publishing volume one VERY SOON!



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

I'm starting a new NaNoWriMo project today. My goal will be to make a (really) rough draft of Book 3, since I just drafted volume 1, and since volume 2 is already wrapped and ready for a full edit once I finish 1. I already had a loose outline of volume 3, which hasn't changed fundamentally since the new content for volume 1 emerged. I just made a few more notes to go with volume 1 and will be typing it up with the existing chapter one I had already completed. It'll give me the illusion of breaking out of the gate ahead, but I dunno if I'll have time to keep it up all month.

I have decided that with the small exception of wedding prep, a wedding and brief honeymoon, my November will be rather dull. I will be mostly alone all month, with the exception of the wedding week. So this month, I will try to finish the rough draft while simultaneously focusing on editing volume 1. If I spend a short time daily on each, I shouldn't have too much trouble keeping myself on task. I've put comics and illustrations on hold for the very creative purpose of diving into the content for a month. Let's see if I can avoid buckling...

I mean, I can win this NaNoWriMo thing, even if it kills me! Rawr!



Friday, October 21, 2011


The rough draft of Volume 1 is officially finished! I finished at 59, 026 words. I plan on celebrating with preliminary editing and organization of my notes. Tonight. Not now. Now, I eat breakfast. With any luck, I will be able to taste it. Thank you, Mr. Sinusy-Cold-Thing, for helping me to finish my book. :)

I've already completed a first read-through of everything up through page 174-ish, so I'm a step ahead there. The initial read-through with minimal editing is crucial to fixing the overall flaws before I fine tune anything. (Thank you for the basics of logic, Stephen King: On Writing!)

The last chapter and a half are a jumble of sketchy present-tense notetaking and straight third-person POV prose (hence ROUGH draft), but I think it'll edit out okay once I'm not relying on the Dayquil to get me through it. I go with the Moe Conn theatre adage "Done is good" in this case. The things I wanted to happen, happened, in some ways more abbreviated than others. In other ways, I'll have to cut and cut and cut. But getting the story out, start to finish, is a big deal for many writers. I work well under pressure, I suppose. It just took a few 1-3 week deadlines to make me get moving: Halloween planning, Wedding planning, dress making, NaNoWriMo, a head cold, sore throat, bleary eyes, new contact lenses, laundry, dishes, company coming, and a half-dozen other things. And instead of doing all the things above, I procrastinated today and finished the novel. :D I mean, I prioritized the completion of the novel so I could focus on those other things. Yeah. That's what I meant.

So, when I'm sick and I wake up two hours before my alarm goes off, I finish novels. Good to know!

Sighing in relief now!



Monday, October 3, 2011

Editing Under Hormonal Influence: A Translation Guide

Since I can't type on my novel at work, even on breaks, I printed the whole thing (minus the unfinished ending) and took it with me, hoping I would find some break time moments to do editing. Well, I got into the teens last night, but at the cost of some formality. When I read my margin notes, I could see certain, ah, influences that skewed the use and wording of traditional editing terminology. Eventually, I had to take notes on my notes, so I would understand what I meant when I wasn't rampaging through the text. So here I provide a translation guide for myself and for all who get the crazies every now and then:


Show, Don't Tell = The mantra of the ages in prose. Not as prone to this one as I used to be. Which doesn't say much.

B.S. = Cut out this passage or word

Whiny turd = Tighten internal monologue or flashback, or Cut and reveal through dialogue and actions. Consider story relevance.

Emo brat = Character's emotions are over the top and unrealistic to experience or gender. Rein in closer to reality.

Philosophical B.S. (P.B.S.) = Preaching, or interjecting personal opinions, OR character has slipped into an unnecessary, wordy aside in an internal stage whisper that detracts from the action of the story. It's like he's in a flippin' spotlight and all the other characters have frozen in place. Listen to Hitchcock, for cryin' out loud! Life, with the boring parts taken out!

Meh! = Weak sentence structure or word choice, or both. Punctuation determines how bad it is.

Really?? = What idiot wrote this crap? Number of question marks indicate how bad it is. Also, "WTH?" and "Stupid junk".

Again?? = Repetitive overuse of a word or phrase, either in the whole book or just in a passage. Number of question marks indicates how bad it is.

Sucks = Maybe salvageable. Also: "rewrite" or "fix it".

Doesn't suck that bad = Tweak a bit, and leave it alone.

Trite = Trite.

There. A distinctively Tamara approach to harshness in editing. In addition to the occasional new paragraph symbol, word substitution and punctuation adjustment, this is what I use. In the overview hard copy phase, this is the general editing that I do. I don't do crazy rewriting of every line because I'm writing longhand on a hard copy. But it does help me to see where a reader would get snagged and flag the passage for work later. So it works perfectly for me! :)



Sunday, September 25, 2011

God and Creatives: Procrastination Moment

I replied to a friend's question with the following and thought I'd share it here as well. It's a simple facet of a very complex gem, but it's part of what drives me to create! I believe that since God made us in His image, He also made us want to create things in the imperfect imitation of God.

"He's the best artist and storyteller! Authors mimic God imperfectly when they create worlds and characters, and artists, no matter how blessed with talent, fail to copy the beauty of the world He created! He paints a sunset more beautifully than anyone and smiles when we strive to make ours similar. I believe that with each talent God gives us, he expects us to use it to remind others of His power and glory. I'm proud to be a creative person, because not only did God give me the talent, He gave me the permission, ambition, and inspiration to use it to glorify Him!"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


At almost 52,000 words, my novel is in the final lap toward completion. I had stalled as of my last post, but gained momentum when I just sat down and started writing. So here I am, giving a quick update to say that I'm doin' the writing I avoided for so long.

I could probably crank out one of these books in a couple months if the silly call of the real world would allow such a pace. However, I'll settle for the stumbling blocks that became platforms to learning and growing as both a writer and a person.

I also settled for a loose mapping-out of the remaining events of the book for tonight's progress instead of my usual organic writing method that may not have tied up the loose ends as I would have liked. The result is a concise action-climax and resolution map that will ensure I don't forget the major events. I also managed (or realized) a few surprising tie-ins with the next novel and made more specific notes in my trusty Notes doc. It's like the story decided its course years ago, and I just had to get my butt in gear to record it, with an "I'll be darned" kinda reaction from me.

I just realized that most of the above was disjointed. As I've learned a lot about my brain's particulars regarding my creative process, I'd hate to do it a disservice by being unclear. Consider the following for clarification.

So here's my novel-writing process, in varied POV, for retrospect and fine-tuning, as a compulsive list:

1. Format Volume Word Doc and Create Notes Word Doc.

2. Find and combine all the scattered notes, post-its, napkins, electronic docs, and other stuff into one jumbled mess and sort to make a story. Perhaps write it down longhand in the notebook assigned to such tasks.

3. Compose loose story outline in Volume Word Doc, as, you guessed it, a LIST of events!

4. Type Part and Chapter Headings into Volume Word Doc, separating outline list into logical chunks. Make at least a short note on what will happen in each chapter, if outline isn't specific.

5. Type a few starter Character Names and short descriptions into Notes Doc under a heading by the same name. Also make categories for World Details and Customs, etc, to help keep things in line. All uncategorized notes get dumped at the end of the Notes Doc for sorting or use later.

6. Decide on a starting point. Don't dwell. "Decide" is the operative word. Your protagonist could be staring at a freakin' flower for 10 minutes before you realize he should be doing something. But at least you're writing! Worry about Hitchcock's axiom in the editing process. (...the one about a good story being life with the boring parts removed, I think.)

7. Start writing! Keep a notebook and your Notes Doc open. If you get an itch of an idea that won't happen for a hundred pages, make a note of it. If something from three books down the line occurs to you, type it in. The point here is that, short of true writer's block, you should write when you sit down to write. Just don't let new or different ideas stall you out, or you'll never finish. Redirect that nagging or fleeting idea to a note and get back to what you intended to do in the first place. Flesh out big action or complex scenes as mini-outlines. Save often.

8. Note new character names and relationships in your Notes doc, as well as any customs, mannerisms, world details or other crap you may need to recall later. Nothing grinds writing to a halt like filtering through a hundred pages of writing for a tiny detail that you NEEEEEED before you can finish a sentence. If you can't come up with a new character name on the spot, type a long blank ________ or brackets and a description [So-and-so's sister], and come back to it in the editing process. Save often.

9. Make notes of plot developments either at the bottom of your Volume Word Doc or in a category of your Notes Doc. I keep a lot of plot notes and ideas at the bottom of the actual novel doc because as I write about the event, I cut and paste it into the Notes Doc. It's like checking tasks off a checklist. Save often.

10. Write a book that you would want to read. Don't be afraid of your audience, because you're the only audience right now. Chances are if YOU'RE wondering what will happen next and can't put your own book down, someone else will feel the same way. I feel like such a dork when I think "Wonder what'll happen next?" only to realize that I...have to...write it first. And... save often!

Hmmm... Nice to know the writing style that works for me evolved into a 10-Step-Process where I do most of the steps simultaneously and with little stress. How did I ever finish that whopper of a first novel without it??? (It was 160K words and has since been dismantled for a major rewrite later.) Oh, wait! This process evolved from that drudgery. As I said, stepping stones from stumbling blocks, or something.


Thursday, August 18, 2011


The website has all its links now, and most of them have lots of content. Others have a description that's waiting for content. I've posted order information for the ragdolls and commissions and plenty of paintings and traditional artwork that may or may not be for sale. Fun stuff. Check it out at!

Next up, we're polishing the site, finishing pic uploads, and programming the cart feature for on-site orders through credit cards, debit cards or PayPal. Then we have to start an ad campaign to drum up some sales. I'm also thinking of setting a few base prices for artwork and setting up a prototypes section for Myth-Babies.

And I've stalled on the novel. I don't even have writer's block. Just haven't worked on it, even though I'm so close. I think it's a different anxiety and starting other new things. But I'm just a few hours away from finishing the draft. What gives? I may just lock myself in my bedroom and refuse food and restroom privileges until it's done. Hmmm... I said that as a joke, but it sounds like a plan! :D



Monday, August 8, 2011


Workin' on the website today. A link-less home page and zero active content currently are all you see. But behind the scenes, a whole lotta uploadin' and tweakin' going on!

Go see it at!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


At 46,051 words, this novel is nearing a good YA length. In the writing, I've realized how close I am to finishing the actual story! I haven't been focusing on the word count as much as finishing the story. As a result, the writing is less frantic and maybe even higher quality. I had expected my wordiness to take me up to 60K or more-- a no-no for YA novels. (Ummm... then I think of JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer and it worked for them...)

I've fought the urge to begin a full rewrite before I have the last few thousand words written. That's the thing that grinds progress to a halt. I did rewrite the eyesores called the two opening paragraphs, and Ryan says they're much better. And they don't read like Wuthering Heights. (Compliment, taken!)

But I have noticed some things about my writing and the editing process of this book versus the last:

1. The first draft is closer to what I want in a finished product, with an overall streamlined storyline that doesn't jump around as much as the last one. (The now-volume-two book has been gutted to more resemble the structure of the new book.)

2. In both books, the first-draft action scenes I write are better and take less editing than the rambling gushy stuff. Most of the latter gets cut out altogether or tightened up considerably. Considering I'm writing for boys, I guess this is good to point out.

3. It's not a heavyweight compared to the last one that WAS over 100K words. Not as daunting, much faster-paced, and I've actually got stuck reading through passages because the writing was actually engaging. 

4. Less pretentious, more straightforward writing. Not as many "darlings" to cut out later. "Writing well" is in a different league from "Writing accurately." I'll refer back to the crap novel I wrote in high school: good story, imagery and characters with potential, "accurate" writing, horrible to read. A++ grade. Flowery garbage compared to my preferences today.

5. My writing has improved, my voice is more obvious, and I don't make as many silly, time-consuming mistakes. Considering this is officially the third novel I've written (one in high school, the now-sequel to the current novel, and the current novel), I guess that should be a given. If anyone has any inkling of talent in a field they love, then they will improve with each effort. If they don't improve, they're in the wrong field. 

I'm really playing with the idea of pitching this as a novel with illustrations, but I don't know how that'll fly. At the very least, illustrations will help me to become more immersed in the world of my characters. So I'll play around with some sketches that I'll turn into finished illustrations. And also some cover art...

I expect to get the novel WRITING done very soon, since I'm writing every day instead of once a week or so. Moe says "Done is good." I agree.

Speaking of illustrations: The comic is only 10-pages-drawn and line inked, with two pages inkwashed. No lettering yet. I'm trying to get as much work as possible done before I go back to work in a couple weeks. I'll post some updates at that point.

Cuddles and hugs,


Saturday, July 9, 2011


One guess as to what I'm doing tonight... Yep. I'm actually writing. Not making dolls or inkwashing comics, but actual novelist things. So this is the plan all weekend. And when I've finished writing, I'll do more writing. And perhaps finish that issue of the comic I started... And dolls. But I can't sell squat until my website is up and running. If my website issue isn't solved in a week or two, Etsy, ahoy!

Real-world job, ahoy! Except I can't get anything with decent pay (even non-teaching jobs) until the end of August. Kinda sucks. So here I am, looking for restaurant work temporarily. Not in the same way that aspiring actors take a waitress or waitor job in the big city. But more in the same way that a poor girl who didn't get a teaching job still has to pay the bills, and has moved back to a small town where there isn't much work, and whose fiance isn't making enough dough to foot all the bills, but she still writes and draws in her spare time, hoping that all her query letters aren't rejections! Yeah. Kinda like that! :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I'd like to fall uphill for once. That's my plan. All my work toward getting the real-world job I wanted fell into unreceptive hands. No teaching job for me. But educational politics aside, I've still got that grain of faith and gallon of hope that say perhaps something much more lucrative and special is out there for me. So while I struggle with finances and trying to find a job that will pay the bills, I've devoted myself to the Big Three: Finishing Novels, Making Comic Books, and Dollmaking. Throw in a little intent-to-paint, planning a wedding, and settling into a new house, and I'm booked through the Fall. Oooh! And see my doll ad below:


I've got the new Heritage Collection series of ragdolls in production. There are 5 doll styles in the series: a brunette girl with green button eyes named Tama, a boy with light brown hair and dark green eyes named Bandon, a blonde with light blue eyes named Melly-Jane, a black-haired, brown eyed Ryan-O, and a dark blue eyed, redheaded Suzy-Sue. Tama, so far, wears a purple sundress with a green sash. Melly-Jane wears a pink princess-y dress. Suzy-Sue wears a yellow pleated skirt with a blue tank top. Bandon wears blue bibbed overalls. Ryan-O wears big shorts... with suspenders! :D


Melly-Jane, no ribbons yet



They're all so cute! And since they're all prototypes, they have a lot more time and effort invested for a very high-quality product. If you're interested in purchasing a ragdoll that is here, or ordering a custom style, I'm pricing the prototypes inexpensively at $25.00 each plus shipping (unless I can hand deliver nearby). Please contact me directly with orders until my website's cart is functional. (hint, hint Ryan. Please don't let me make an Etsy store, cuz I'll have to raise my prices!)


*Description: The Heritage Collection features ragdolls styled after myself and a few close friends. We're all from this country's heartland, and my ragdolls are designed after the traditional crafts of the country.

*Height: Between 17" and 18" not counting hair
*"Skin": Very soft cotton flannel
*Hair: Acrylic Yarn (sewn into-- as in Bandon doll-- or attached securely to head with thread.)
*Face: Hand-embroidered features, with button eyes
*Stuffing: Mostly acrylic fiberfill. Supplemented with fabric remnants in a couple dolls. (Fabric stuffing made a more traditional-feeling doll that was floppier!)
*Clothes: A variety of cotton and synthetic fabric blends, as well as additional buttons and ribbons.
*Overall Design: Ragdolls are lightly stuffed for cuddliness and floppiness. They are made as collectibles but built to withstand childplay. Bodices on clothing are lined and all skirt and pants hems are double-folded.

NOTE: Slight variations will occur with handmade dolls due to the process and availability of materials. Please ask about all-embroidered, small-child friendly eyes.

That's it for today. Save my website to your favorites and keep checking! When it's shiny and functional, you'll get to see all the cool things we've been half-working on. Until then, email me at tamaravmhenson AT gmail DOT com with orders and questions.



Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Numerous fringe benefits exist in the profession of teaching, at least under the current agrarian society, in that I can only work as long as the school year holds out. Unfortunately, as a non-tenured teacher, this means I'm unemployed at the time. Fortunately, while crossing my fingers and casting applications into the job market, I have dreaded "downtime." Since I'm a Creative, downtime doesn't exist. So, I've waited for this long to have a chance to frantically finish my several projects before I hit the blessed brick wall of new gainful employment.

Being broke has less stressful overtones than one would expect. My financial situation has presented me with the opportunity to tune out distractions and guiltlessly decline social invitations that cost money. All time belongs to me! Mwahahahaha! So I slept late the last two days... And tomorrow I have an honest-to-goodness alarm set, with actual intentions of getting up early and working.

And the compulsive lister in me won't shut up until I outline it:



One of these I must get finished this week. After work and on weekends, I've made 15 dolls and all are nekkid, wearing nothing but embroidered smiles. Each needs un-nekkided and tagged by Friday night for a craft faire. We shall see!

I write best in the morning, draw best in the afternoon, and craft a'ight in the evening. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself, because that's the order of my focus, from the most mentally difficult writing to the easiest, more physically demanding crafting. Yep, this may be the best scheduling intention I've ever had. :-D

Love and cuddles to you all!


Monday, April 18, 2011

A Resounding "No Progress"

No writing done since last posting. Real-world to-dos kinda exhausting my reserves. Determination is a two-edged sword, apparently. Swing one way, and the blade does cut, but I can't use the other edge without removing the first. Trying to figure out how to just twist the blade! :-D

Sunday, April 3, 2011


WORD COUNT: 40,264

I finally reached the 40K mark, with a whole lot of busy times when I just didn't write, to a whole lot of times when I could but didn't have all the points clicking, to now when I just got mad and did it. With various distractions this day, most of which I ignored and some with which I will deal in a moment, I'm glad I finally dragged the carcass of my book over the speed bump into full action and adventure from here on out. I'm projecting at least 50K pages, but maybe more, depending, since I'd rather ramble and cut than come up short with content and have to write whole passages during editing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


CURRENT: 38,685

PREVIOUS: 38,146



I'm finally just 10,500 words away from the NaNoWriMo goal. Ha! :) Just four months removed... Just finished a major section of the story. It's just some rising action, climax and denouement from here. Wait! That's MOST of a story...

Friday, March 18, 2011




Feeling under-rested. I'll try to do more later.

Thursday, March 17, 2011



Monday, March 14, 2011



Friday, March 11, 2011

Day Whatever I Don't Remember Anymore

I wrote some today. Want to write more tonight. Apparently reality has kept me from dreaming lately, but something's gotta give. Where well over 8 hours have been lost until May each and every day, I've got to make up for lost time somewhere. So here I go, avoiding the internet for a while to get some real work done. I miss you, blog, and all 3 of my readers!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Phase Two Countdown: Day 17!

I may have neglected this pursuit for the last week. I will have to check my word count and see. It's been a real-world work week, my sister-in-law's baby shower, some family things, and a whole long day of wedding dress shopping with Melody, Ashton, and Melody's mom Wannetta.

I think I can still manage some decent writing in 17 days. I'm really close to the story's climax, and then, quite literally, it's all downhill from there. As for the comic, I have zero progress on that. So I'll let it stay on hold for now, as I've made the novel a priority.

I'm still feeling like I could accomplish something by the end.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Phase Two Countdown: Day 25!

I wrote exactly 2,400 words on my novel today. That brings me up to 34,233 words. I'm taking a brief break right now and may write more later. As far as story goes, I actually got somewhere, finally segueing into the last section of Part II. It's mostly action at this point, so the story is moving along. I'm just hoping I don't hit a brick wall after I conclude Part II. Here's to doing what I love! *lifts Sprite Zero to toast*

Friday, February 25, 2011

Phase Two Countdown: Day 26!

Nothing to report, except I've spent the last few days procuring a substitute teaching position in art. Given that statement, and the fact that there's a lot of work to get me underway at the new temp job, I'm just now to the point of making time for the other things that are important to me. So here I am, entering the last weekend before I'm officially working again (even though it's just for a while), with every intention of not just catching up, but getting very much ahead in the game.

I'll probably log 8 hours or more a day on both the book and the comic on Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps I'll focus on just the novel. We shall see. If I wake up at a decent hour, hide my phone, and jump into the work before I have too long to think about it, then I'll work all day and evening.

All right... Tamara Henson Sucker-Me-Into-Working-On-My-Book-When-I-Should-Be-Prepping-For-A-Job Tactic underway! And good night!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Phase Two Countdown: 29!

ON THE NOVEL: I managed a little over 1,000 words today.
Previous Word Count: 30,728.
Current Word Count: 31,833

ON THE COMIC: I didn't meet my 3 page quota for the day. I'll try again tomorrow.

CONCLUSIONS: I forced time for the book and quality may have suffered, as I write better earlier in the day. I did not force time for the comics, with company at the house tonight, and I think I'm brain-dead for the evening anyway! Busy day tomorrow!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Phase Two Countdown: 30!

NOVEL: I had written 28,598 words on my novel as of my last post. Now, I've got 30,728 words. That's 2,130 words just today. Took me a while, but I'm finally at a stopping point for the day.

COMICS: Two pages completely penciled, minus lettering, which will be digital. Two more pages that are in the 6X9 detailed "thumbnail" stage, ready to be scanned, blown up, and transferred to industry standard 10X15 paper for full penciling and inking.

PROGRESS: Very therapeutic to just sit and draw, letting that right brain function to link pieces together. It's been so long since I've had the chance. And I'm doing a relatively new art style! I still have the swimmy art-head from focusing on it so long. It's hard to believe it's almost 1am!

MEMORIES: I wish I could find the little comic strips and full-pagers I made in grade school. I had some comic about a mermaid and her pet Lock Ness monster. Very cartoony and stylized. I drew it on notebook paper and quit because I couldn't draw them both accurately over and over.

And on all the subject separators in my notebooks, I used to draw little worlds with cutaway ceilings and walls, like a mermaid world with mazes of grottos that served as beauty parlors, jobs, stores, restaurants and homes. Then I'd draw the mini mermaids going about their daily business. Or I'd draw fairies living in a tree community, with flowers and leaves and holes in the wood as homes. They were more like maps than art, crossections of worlds. I coulda lived in those places.

That is how imagination works. It's transportative. And what's weird is that I haven't really changed a bit in that respect. I still create worlds in which I would want to live. Sometimes they're maps. Sometimes they're words. Sometimes they're drawings or notes scribbled on scraps of paper. It's wonderful and dynamic. When I was little, I just assumed that everyone created worlds. Am I right?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Phase Two Countdown Reset: 31!

Yeah... I got none of my art/writing goals by today. Tomorrow is more promising, as apparently all things that "need to be done" crop up when I've started a new plan with a deadline.

Things I Did Instead, in no particular order:

1. Cleaned my bedroom.
2. Cut and filed both dogs toenails.
3. Gave Scotty a trim...
4. Gapped Scotty's forehead hair.
5. Apologized to Scotty by cuddling him.
6. Felt suspicious over someone else "breaking down" in front of Ryan's.
7. Cleaned the litter box.
8. Turned off my Rise and Shine alarm.
9. Finished an anime series' last two episodes with Brandon.
10. "Garbaged" the house.
11. Gathered art supplies, intending to draw comics pages. Didn't.
12. Spent 15 minutes figuring out what had happened in my novel and where I was going with it.
13. Answered the phone, effectively crushing that line of creative thought.
14. Resisted the urge to piece a quilt instead.
15. And... Resisted the urge to target practice with a shotgun.

That about sums it up, and this list is just from today. Other than replacing the drainage plumbing in the house yesterday, what did I do? :) No worries. I'll work some tonight and more tomorrow. I just want to be honest with my few readers... This kind of endeavor is mostly disappointment and frustration until publication! It's also a flexible, yet hectic process. A lot gets done on one day, and nothing the next. Something about life, something about time, something about loving good company.

So, tomorrow will now be day 30. Why? Because my sanity demands it.

REVIEW: The Last Unicorn, Graphic Novel

Stumbled across "The Last Unicorn" GRAPHIC NOVEL today! Bought it, of course, but I think they saw me coming... I can hear them now as they twirl their multicolored hair and fiddle with their various piercings: "Quick! Cram this white book with purple writing amid black books of dissimilar storylines. Don't worry! It won't be there long! You know that one big tall girl with the long hair? She'll, like, snap it up for sure, you know!"

I can spot the words "Unicorn" and "Mermaid" from a mile away, after all. It's the fanciful side o' me, I suppose. And I did see it. And my little-girl heart leapt into my throat and I giggled and snatched the book from the shelf, studying it to make sure it was the thing I hoped. And I looked, only briefly, in the pages; the book had never been opened! :-D My OCD is exclusive to purchasing books, just so you know. I had to make sure that the character designs were acceptable and that the pages and cover were pristine, and that the entire story was told. My mouth was probably hanging open in that stupid sort of giddiness bereft of reason, even in public places. I struggled between putting it back on the shelf (not happenin') and just bein' broke. Lean dinners 'til payday! :)


The hardcover graphic novel's art style is heavily influenced by the anime (which is heavily influenced by the novel's rich description), especially the Unicorn, but the other characters have more realistic proportions and designs. At times, it looks like they had to deliberately depart from being too similar to the anime. At other times, some of the "camera angles" look a tad too similar to the anime to be mere coincidence. Or the artist thought "only someone who's seen the movie a million times will notice." Case in point-- me!

The story has a lot of elements pulled from the novel, at least. I don't dislike the style, given the subject matter. It's very much tailored to the "pretty" side, with an abundance of Photoshopped color, glow effects and girly hair highlights in obviously roughened woodsmen.

The art has appropriate "mood lighting" toward the end-- darker with some foreboding-- and some dramatic action. All colored and effected-to-death in a computer. As such, it loses much of the human element that makes sequential art "feel" like something more than just a story vehicle. That transcendant quality is in David Mack's watercolor work as much as Frank Miller's pencils and inks. But this is just the type of story to get the pristine-is-perfect treatment. And, as we all know, the story determines the art style.

RESEARCH: Unfortunately, I haven't gleaned much of use from the coloring methods, since I'm doing a (probably) black and white book all with traditional media (except for lettering). If I decide to do color after all, then I'll review the color schemes, which use traditional color & design principles. I also didn't learn much from the style. The computer-heavy handling of every page-- which seems to be the norm these days-- distracted me and detracted from the pretty decent linework. I try to pay close attention to character design in stories; it's like people watching, only you're not being rude! My story is grittier than this one from the beginning onward, so I don't see nearly enough gore and violence to give me much to emulate.

ROOM FOR GROWTH: I tend to stylize the human face and figure more than fully distort it. I'm not that into drawing a lot of cityscapes or interior scenes, so I'm constantly looking for a way to simplify this process without building 3-D computer models. I have a tendency to minimize the need for background elements, like placing my characters in a natural setting. I like a really neat and clean product. I'm honestly not yet good enough at creating comics to produce anything in black and white that is as tightly constructed as most manga I've seen-- even though I know most of that is done in Manga Studio. (Also, it's just me here! No team!)

Now I'll fawn over my new book and bemoan my lack of accomplishment, all in an attempt to motivate myself tomorrow. (Replumbing the drainage in my apartment drained my productivity today!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Phase Two Countdown: 30!

DAILY OBSERVATION: I work best with a deadline that has consequences. I'm starting a 30-day countdown today. By the end of that time, I want to have finished at least one comic chapter and the rest of my novel's rough draft. Afterwards, I'll set new goals for edits and submissions.

ON THE COMIC: I still only have two full pages penciled due to the real-world distractions I dislike. To get a chapter finished in a month, assuming I aim for a long chapter of 34 pages, I'd have to get 3 pages penciled per day. That's 11 days for penciling, leaving 18 days for inking and corrections, and 2 days for cut-n-paste lettering. There! A schedule!

ON THE BOOK: Assuming I've got about 30,000 words left, I would need to write 1,000+ words per day. Scheduling is easy. Doin' it is not. But 1,000 words per day isn't much at all...

CONCLUSION: Now to decide a consequence, other than delayed gratification of publication. Daily, I will not permit myself to get on the Internet until I finish my writing, and then, only to have videos or music playing while drawing. Daily, I will not permit myself to read or visit family/friends until I have met my comics quota or exceeded it. That should be enough incentive. Oh... and NO BLOGGING until I have something to blog about, namely, accomplished quotas.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Phase Two: Penciling, Inking, and the Written Word

ON THE COMIC: I have two penciled pages, no progress today, and plenty of thumbnails to flesh out the rest of my penciled pages. I bought some high-quality sable brushes (poor baby sables!) for line work because most of the other small brushes I own are cheap. I also stocked up on some more pre-lined, non-repro comic pages from Strathmore. I'm liking the plate finish, but I'm concerned about inking. I will finish some pencil-work and practice inking tomorrow, if real-world duty doesn't require a paper-work related road trip.

ON THE BOOK: I'm content to announce zero progress on the novel since I last posted a "report card." I'm trying to work on both the comic and the novel. The result is that a few events have torn me away from both projects these past couple of weeks. I want to work frantically on the novel. It is frustrating and curious that untimely attention-seeking, unavoidable distractions occur during my times of substantial inspiration and potential.

CONCLUSION: I have a tendency to work more efficiently when I'm juggling my time between some type of "real-world" employment and my more important work. I do tend to get more done when more is on my plate. I'm practically masochistic this way. And the temporary employment I'm seeking will be a financial blessing in the long run. Back to the balancing act again! Only this time, I'll make time for everything else that matters to me, too!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Phase Two: Comics-A-Lot

I'm working on my script for the graphic novel right now. I spent the morning in some more concept development and writing, and now I'm ready for a few good penciled pages to materialize. My major concern is lettering. I think I'll be able to generate all the lettering in the computer and just print-and-paste. But I do have the AMES lettering tool and a T-Square. It seems an awful waste if I don't use both in this very experimental stage. But if the lettering is horrid, the whole project will suffer. Maybe I'll just play later. I'm drawn more to the impermanent nature of the cutouts, after all.

I have a habit of forgetting about all the tools in my arsenal. It won't work in the comics format! Waste happens, but it leads to growth. Now if my Achilles' Heel of inexperience doesn't hinder me further, I should be all right! I may even post my first completed page. :) Just maybe...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Phase Two: Death and Taxes

Yesterday was wasted due to crappy weather, bad drivers and a two hour trip turning into a five hour trip during my most productive part of the day. But I made it out to my tax lady, had lunch with my parents before the big snow hit. And when my taxes were done, and Brandon's were done, we both drove home on roads that were dangerous enough without all the panickers, hoarders, inexperienced inclement weather drivers, and pickup trucks without any extra weight over their wheels.

We all know that the old saying is true about death and taxes. I'm just glad I didn't have to prove the statement all in one day!

While I'm not among the aforementioned groups, I am among the "I just wanna get home and I apparently can drive better than you on the snow" sect of the local populace. Longstanding patience and self-control aside, I didn't start fidgeting at the tax preparer's until 1.5 hours into my wait. But it was funny, because my mom and dad beat me there and monopolized her first!

Similarly, I was 2 hours into the half-hour trip home before I started singing Christmas songs and did some car dancing to maintain my sanity. Or to exhibit the first signs of insanity. Whichever. At any rate, when I rummaged and found it, the Labyrinth soundtrack saved them all!

So, as a reward for my tolerance, I'm spending as much time as I can working on art and writing today.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Phase Two: Loose Screws and Dangling Threads

Moe Conn Technical Theatre Adage Number One: Done is good. I'm not yet, but I'm over the traipsing through the tulips mentality of vast and cuddly enjoyment regarding each minuscule event that happens in this world. I guess I know the world and society too well. I need to force my story to display a glimpse of the world now, and then build the plot from that. Just because the main character is seeing this world for the first time doesn't mean he's a complete drooling idiot over the little things!

I'll save living in my world for Phase Three. Then, I'll focus on World Immersion and the what-if scenarios debated by my beloved internal and external nerd society. I can't recall one series book in which I learned every tiny detail about a world and didn't get nauseated by the unnecessary-detail-overload complex.

My last word count was 25,339. Novel's up to 28,598 words and climbing. That's 3,259 words since 1/31/11. Not good, but not horrible. And if I actually write every day, I'll manage this amount every day or every other day. Well, there... I said it. If I sit down every morning and just write, the book gets written! Novel idea, isn't it? Ha!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Phase Two: Floundering, and the Influence of Reality

Reality brings bills, worries, stress and the occasional stray cat that I can't turn away. Collecting books is like hoarding food in a bomb shelter. When I want to lock out the world for a while, stories save me, metaphysically speaking. Or literally, if I decide to make a bullet-and-zombie-bite-proof vest and gauntlet set out of the Twilight Saga. Those books and the controller cords from the original X-Box controllers are all I need...

Just kidding. I'd never destroy my "vintage" X-Box accessories. I'll have to use shoestring instead.

Oh, about that dang reality... The few days since my breakthrough have been spent in trying to find part-time employment as a substitute teacher. Doctors, drug screenings, fingerprinting, paperwork and the like have sucked the creative life out of me for this week.

I can't be floundering around if I haven't put pen to paper (or fingers on the home keys), right? Floundering around involves action, which I haven't taken. I have two or three weeks of waiting until the background check comes through. I'll consider that free time in which to crank out as much work as possible.

So I can't guarantee the quality of any gibberish I post between now and the time my novel and comic are finished. If real words strung together as real sentences happen on here, they're not happening in my books. Which brings me to my next point...

Happy creating to me! Buh-bye for now!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Phase Two: Breakthrough!

GRAPHIC NOVEL: I'd been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out which character story I would decide upon for my graphic novel. When I decided that, I had to decide which part of the story I could start with. (Leave my prepositions alone! :-P) So I dawdled for the greater part of yesterday.

It had to be God, because I wasn't feeling it... But I realized that the part of the story I should tell will be great therapy for me. Hence, a breakthrough! No trudging through story points that are shallow, trying to muddle toward a point. If I pace it well, it'll only take three arcs to tell the whole story of this one character's path.

Then I realized that I could do a fourth arc that would tie in the graphic novels with the written novel. So now I've got notes on all volumes, with a script started for the first one. Progress!


Writin' a book. Makin' progress. Made some decisions that will clarify story elements. My concern is that I type very quickly with few errors. Rambling is easier to cut in editing, but it'll be more work to rush through the draft and have to fabricate content later. That said, I wonder if the story is taking so much time because I'm rambling or because I'm enjoying the process of discovery...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Phase 2: Word Count, etc.

I'm a little slow in writing, but I've made it to 25,339 words. It's been slow going, but big story decisions have been made. Big decisions now make writing big action easier later.

In addition to some writing, I did some sketches today (yesterday?) and made a few decisions regarding the course of the graphic novel, both in process and story. I'm sure of which characters to use and during which part of the lengthy story to begin. (Sort of! To the ones who know my world and characters: thanks for your input!) I'll be reworking and reordering some story elements and drafting a new script tomorrow, I hope. Nothing final, just some brainstorming. Then I'll finalize Chapter One's script, do some thumbnails and get started.

This first chapter will take the longest, since I've never followed through with a full comic book before. I'll be working with manual media in all my planning, just plain pencil and draft paper. Then I get to make the big decision: digital (Manga Studio and GIMP) or traditional (Bristol and Pen/Brush with Ink). I could do a hybrid comic, starting it "the hard way" and finishing it digitally. I'll have to deal with a professional printer when I'm ready for submissions, either way. Opinions, anyone?

UPDATE 4:38 : 26,025 words on the novel! Re-drafting the graphic novel script now. :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Phase Two: Novels and Comics

I got a Twitter response from David Mack the other day. He's a great comics artist and writer who made the Kabuki series. I think he writes for Daredevil now. Since I'm having trouble with the process of turning decent art talent into sequential art format, I asked him what was the hardest part of making his first volume of Kabuki. He told me that it was the discipline of sitting down and working on it every single day, to see it through to the end. And also getting it to print correctly. :)

Since I consider myself first and foremost a storyteller in most of my goals, David Mack reminded me that the work has to go into it or nobody cares. I can't present nothing and get it published! Unless I want to start an avant-garde movement in the comics industry...

With some outside input, I think I can set a goal of one chapter in the comic book-- completely finished-- per month. So by the end of February, I should have something of worth to submit for publication in the comics foray.

With some just plain hard work, I can crank out the rough draft of Volume One if I work on it daily. Daily!! You hear that, lazy-Tamara! Action-oriented-Tamara wants to come out and play! The book won't finish and edit itself! (I do feel a kind of desire to make this an illustrated novel for young adults, or a book with concept artwork in the back. Don't know how illustrated novels are flying in the YA to adult categories, though!)

In other words, I could potentially get published as a comics artist before a novelist because I can start and finish just one chapter/issue at a time. That's the best case scenario. That also would be the pinnacle of irony, considering my goals. Worst case scenario, I will at least get better at drawing. Middle-of-the-road case scenario, I will get awesome feedback from professionals on how to improve the work.

God's got this one, so I'll just put in the work and try not to fret. Make it so, Number One!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What Makes a Good Story (A Preview of Another Phase)

1. Catharsis
2. Strong female characters (the maidens in distress who will kick your butt!)
3. A lead worth cheering on, in the face of the worst adversity
4. The extreme side of this statement: "Without darkness, there can be no light!"
5. The worst in someone brings out the best in another

Well, now I realize that these are generic statements, but the more generalized the story, the more universal it becomes. The more universal the concepts, the more likely a multitude of people will identify with it. That's why most manga and anime is set in high school. It appeals to a particular age group more literally. But the reason that it appeals to different age groups (oldies like lil ole me) is because of the universal truths. Oh, and things like plot, narrative, character design, theme, etc. And the pretties.

I'll even watch a mech show if ya twist my arm. And I may even like it!

I'll post some more of these tomorrow. I want my stories to have all of these things eventually, so it'll help me focus. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Phase Two: About the Novels

A reader on Twitter (Thanks @JohanneLightXD!) just asked me about my graphic novel. It occurs to me that I'm a generalist when it comes to descriptions. I guess it's the "Oh, no! Idea Theft Imminent!" mentality that shrouds all creative personalities. So here's what my graphic novel is about: "It's a story about a woman who comes to terms with her feelings about humanity... one century at a time!"

I'm actually quite pleased with that description. Of course, there's tons more I can say once the thing is more finished. All the characters are in my head and the story is finalizing. My biggest challenge has been converting my art style into the sequential format of comics. So while the other original character/storylines percolate, I'm going to practice and post (somewhere!) artwork from public-domain-stories in comic book form. A bit of a divergence, I know. But stories and artistic talent aren't my problem. It'll be fun and very good for me!

Now, as far as the written novel goes, I gave a similar generic-but-accurate description of Volume One during NaNoWriMo: "The book is a coming of age tale that begins when a young man is deposited in a foreign land. You know... the generic type of plot!"

These descriptions aren't so much of a dodge as a freeing tool that allows the story freedom to evolve. I knew I was having fun the other day when I was engrossed as I was writing the thing, wondering what would happen next! Or maybe the cabin-fever-crazies have crept in! :) Either way, fun is fun!

And, just as a backup from a description I wrote on the NaNoWriMo site, a bit of myself:

"I grew up in small town Kentucky and loved it. I earned a Master's Degree in Art Education this Spring. My Bachelor's is in Art with a minor in Theatre. I love the art of storytelling, no matter the medium, with a preference for sci-fi/fantasy based stories. Why would we want to escape from our boring lives into someone else's boring life?"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Phase Two: Montage!

Every book needs a montage, right? Well, the thing I hoped would be a quick montage, I shall call it a pseudo-montage, is turning into the meat and potatoes of the story. If only novel montages were as simple to make as video-montages are to watch! "Here, observe a mishmash of clips!" But alas, a hodgepodge of written scenes takes time to create! Here I go, a-montaging! And now, the word "montage" looks stupid, as I have overused it. But I digress...

I am at 24,309 words in my book! Yay! I'm in the plot-cranking, word-churning fun stuff right now. Since I don't have a word-count goal in mind, I'm guessing that around 50,000 will be a good rough draft, a la NaNoWriMo. If I finish before that goal, I'll be surprised. Once I reach it, I'll be finished or in the home stretch!

Hmmm... All the people in my head are wondering what will happen next. And since the author doesn't always know either, it's an interesting ride!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Phase Two: Productivity! Phase Three, Here I Come!

I wrote some last night. Will write more today. Feeling inspired and wanting to avoid housework. I feel like I could finish this thing by the end of the month, after all! Phase Three (Evaluation, Notes, Restructure) will be an intense, refreshing departure from laziness. It's only been a few months since my last major Restructure of the now-sequel, which resulted in the need for my current draft. Phase Four (2nd Draft) is just around the corner from that. And Phase Five is basically another round of Evaluation, Notes and Restructure, before polishing the novel in Phase Six. And then on to the submission Phases... :) Only x-thousand words left to go on Phase Two... When will Phase Three get here???

P.S. Wow! I didn't realize I had complicated an already complicated process. I guess it's my compulsive listing that requires me to break it down into logical Phases, but it's not like every other author doesn't do it the same way, right?? ...Right?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Phase Two: I Disappeared...

By "Breather" as posted in my last entry, I didn't mean eight additional days of not working on my book. But here I am, halfway through the month with not a finished rough draft to show for it! I did spend a short while working on it, but time slipped away while other activities stepped in. After a long talk with my mother about my various worries, novel and otherwise, I feel more confident in what I'm doing. Now to race to the finish line...

Now that my pipes aren't frozen anymore, I can clean the house. But I may refrain from that impulse until I write for a while. I feel like writing should be my number one priority. Here I go!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Phase Two: A Breather

Okay, I've had my self-imposed day or so off from the world. I had brownies and turkey noodle soup and chicken noodle soup and brownies again. I watched ThanksKilling and a documentary and some anime. I thank those who tolerated my ranting and raving and griping. I appreciate the hugs, shaking and slapping that I probably deserved. Okay, so there was no slapping, but there shoulda been. In a "snap out of it" kinda way.

I feel much less crazy today, and much more determined to get through this project and many others. I'm going to use today's 24 hours-- those I didn't sleep through or toil in the snow and ice-- to get as far in writing as I can!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Phase Two: No Mind!

Feelin' drained. Losing focus... What really mattered about writing this book, again? Maybe it's just a bad day, psychologically speaking. I have been informed that I've acted "off" for a few days. I guess I've spent more time worrying, thinking and intending than actually doing anything! In my novel, my Health Overhaul, my business, and my life... What a lousy, lazy, hypocritical crying shame!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Phase Two: Too Many Mind, One Mind

In the interest of time constraints and today's energy level, I present my copy-paste Health Overhaul notes today:

I honestly haven't asked much of myself lately. Just planning a business, doing product development, writing another novel and participating in my own personal Health Overhaul. But silly life does get in the way...

I spent the productive part of yesterday in the unemployment office, which is both a humbling and frustrating experience. Having decided that my nerves and day were shot, I spent the evening making a logo for a friend while watching Family Guy's It's a Trap! Then I sanded doll parts while staring in an otherwise unproductive stupor while watching Dragonball Z Kai. (The other unproductive part of my day involved ignoring my well-intentioned alarms, allowing me to oversleep by way too long and start my UI paperwork very late in the morning, setting me back a few hours for making it to the OET office, which is a nightmare anytime after 8:30am.)

On many of my good, unobstructed days, I have wasted so much time that I'm embarrassed to add it up. On a yesterday-type day, I decided that tomorrow (today) and thereafter would find me extremely stingy with my time. I don't think I'm asking too much just to do the things I mentioned in the first paragraph. As in many pursuits, just hauling my butt to the desk, or sewing table, or weights is all I need.

So, I'm just gonna save time by posting this to the Novelist blog, and get crackin'!

GOAL: Day 1 Weights, Plus Abs

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Phase Two: Progress!!

Well, I'm little-girl giddy! Or middle-of-the-night giddy... Don't know which. I just know that I'm in a mood to overuse ellipses... and in such a state that grammar and other sentence-structure things have gone downhill. However, I have a breakthrough in my novel!


I have finally made it past PART ONE!!! Unfortunately, I have no energy to delve into Part Two right now, so I'll just type up some notes and go to bed. But goodness! The Part One Milestone was a long time a'comin'! It took me 67 pages double-spaced to get there, which means it may be mostly junk. But I have plenty to work with, at least!  ... ... ... (overuse of ellipses, and not even in the right places!)

I did a brain-dump of ideas in sentence form that somehow make a sorta coherent story. See? You, too, can be a novelist! But remember: Brain-Dump doesn't always equal Published Novelist! But I'm sure there are some examples of just that out there, too... ... ...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

28th Post Party!

Yay! I've made it to 28 posts... and haven't accomplished my writing goals yet. I will celebrate my few successes for the rest of the night, enjoying fine chocolates, hot chocolate and something starchy that's not chocolate. Then I'll wake up early tomorrow, start my diet and exercise regimen, work on my business and work on a chunk of writing. Then I'll proudly display my successes here on my blog. Tamara Henson, Novelist, watching the party come to a close. Now the fun begins!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Phase Two: On Self Publication vs. Agent

In our worst panicky moments, we all consider the easy way out. :) Authors are no exception. Right now, to consider self-publication would be equivalent to erasing the exciting challenge of the hunt for an agent and publisher. I want to live in the glamour of future success, a nice fad that I can retire on, and someone else to handle some of the marketing.

I think it would feel good to have a mock-up novel in my hand, but I'd prefer the professionally selected and published one. After all, if your story is good enough, and well written, then it'll be something the publishers will take a chance producing. I wouldn't want to self-publish until it was a last resort-- but what would that say about the quality of my story???

It reminds me of American Idol-- "I can sing, judge! My momma and friends tell me I sound good!"

In writing as in singing, Momma and your friends may really like your work, or they just want you to shut up about it. My mother and friends mostly like the now-sequel novel I wrote. They gave me some good feedback that led to a great deal of editing. And once I finished editing, I realized that I needed a new Volume One to make the story better. With each step I take toward my goal, I realize that it takes more than a few professional opinions to market my work and myself, and a whole lot more work than everyone thinks!

I have been rejected by so many agents! I actually got to the next step-- "Send us x number of pages so we'll know if we want to represent you." And when that one didn't pan out, I realized that the ideas and concepts were good, but writing or story structure was not up to snuff. Hence, the aforementioned gutting and re-editing, and new volume one.

It's fuel to the fire and an experiment in figuring out the right combination of things that make the package perfect. So, as long as I think my work is worthy for mass distribution in a hard/soft cover deal, I'll find an agent or publisher. If my resolve comes crashing down, I'll resort to self publication.

I may still get the mock up from to bolster my self-esteem. Just a thought!