Category Archives: writing

14 Months & 2017

december-57

14 Months

For the most part, I just say she’s one year old. But every month she’s more capable, more aware than the one before. And at 18 months, I’ll say she’s one and a half. Every day builds on the next.

One day, she started pulling up. The next, with a little help, she was pushing one of those stand up toys. Now she’s walking back and forth across the living room, barely using the elephant walker to stabilize.

A sixth tooth broke through last week. From all the drool and whining, it seems a seventh may be on its way.

She chatters and laughs and giggles and whines and throws herself down when she’s upset and clings and rests her head on your shoulder and cackles while trying to shove her fingers up your nose. I love this age so much. I’m trying to appreciate how easy it is right now, because I know it’s about to get much harder. She has such big emotions for such a tiny body and she’s only starting to learn about them.

After a really hard week with copious amounts of vomit & diarrhea, she’s also started sleeping straight through from 10pm to 5am, and I kind of love it. Now I just warm a bottle up when my alarm goes off at 5am. She usually wakes up shortly after, takes a bottle, then goes right back to sleep. I get a solid hour, hour and a half of writing/editing in every morning. Living the life, y’all.

 

2017

This has been a strange year. Politically, it’s been a devastating roller coaster. But personally, it’s been amazing. I wrote a book and then I went through edits and just yesterday my editor accepted it – which means 2018 will be pretty exciting, too. 2018 will also be the year (more) people I don’t know read it (oh god). I met people in my field and made friends and connections. I’ve never been this excited – or hopeful! – about my career. I’ve never had a career.

And this baby – oh, this baby. She has been the joy and the adventure I dreamed of and so much more. She has taught me so much – about myself, about the world, about hope. I love watching and sharing her joy. Her sadness breaks my heart a hundred times over. And it’s only been 14 months!

Life has been so different and yet not at all. I get up and pet the cats and drink coffee and write and make breakfast and go to work – except now I also keep an eye on the baby monitor, bring her milk, open the door when she’s up and sing good morning, baby – the light’s come on and so I smile wide and say –

I was struck the other morning by how quickly this all became normal. I was sitting on the couch at 6am, reading the edit suggestions from my editor, my robe smelling faintly of the baby’s vomit from the day before, the coffee satisfyingly hot, a cat licking her paw by my ear. I have felt so much despair and hopelessness and loneliness this year, but really: I have everything I could wish for. This is the life. This is my life.

And I couldn’t be luckier. ❤

I wasn't really looking forward to 2017, but it was good for me. Now I'm very excited about 2018 – Lady Jr will be walking, talking, and growing into a Real Human Being. My book will be going out to other authors, to reviewers, will get a cover, will be in my hands. My wife will begin searching for her next job, her hopefully for-a-long-time job, and we might begin to have an idea of where we'll be in 2019.

I'm gonna cherish every minute of it.

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Filed under defiant, gaybies, goals, happy things, no more waiting, writing

A Breath of Relief

Guys. I did it. I wrote a book in eight months with an infant and a job and very little sleep.

I have frequently bemoaned how lonely I’ve been in MI, but that had a lot to do with Getting This Done. I spent every morning and evening and any free time on the weekends working on this. If you’d asked me in January or February or March or April or even May, I wasn’t sure I’d make it.

But I really, really wanted to. I knew it wouldn’t take too much to ask for an extension, but I wanted to prove I could meet a deadline. Because if I could do it now, while sleep-deprived, taking care of a newborn then infant then baby, handling Everything when both baby and Dr Lady were often sick, work 3 days a week, and also somehow find time to eat and shower and exercise – then I would 100% know I could do it and no excuses would ever be enough.

I wanted – no – needed to prove to myself I could do this. And to handle all the daily stress and panic while still enjoying the process. And yes, I didn’t enjoy the process the entire time. Sometimes I just wanted to cry. Sometimes I did. Sometimes I wanted to sleep in, instead of crawling out of bed to the sound of my alarm only an hour after I’d been up with Lady Jr. Sometimes I did. Usually, though – I didn’t.

But I did it. I’m not 100% sure how, not even now, but I’m even a week early. What.

Anyway – I just really needed to get that out. I’m still a little shell-shocked. And now I have another book to write, and there will be edits, and I’m sure new and different and familiar challenges. And – this is my life now. I get to write books! If it sells well when it comes out in 18(ish) months, I’ll get to write more books!

;;.;;

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The Thing I’ve Been Hinting At

Two and a half years ago I started writing a book. I wrote and then rewrote and then edited and then re-edited it much I had several others before.

One and a half years ago I signed with an agent based on that book.

Six months ago I heard an editor was looking to get a second read.

Three months ago I heard the editor was taking the book before their editorial board to see if she could get approval for an offer.

Two months ago – literally a week after giving birth – I heard the editor was taking the book to marketing – the last hurdle.

Then things started happening quickly. Could I write two more books? What would that look like? I talked on the phone with the editor and my agent and laid out my thoughts, my plan. That evening I heard from my agent – we had an offer.

Three agonizing days later I got details. One agonizing week later, my agent officially accepted the offer. Lots more back and forth, then silence as we all waited for the slow gears of publishing to churn out the official word. But. But!

It’s officially official. From Publisher’s Weekly:

Tor Takes Debut Fantasy Trilogy by Doore

Diana Pho, an editor at Tor, acquired world rights for K.A. Doore’s debut fantasy trilogy, Assassins of Ghadid, in a deal brokered by Kurestin Armada of P.S. Literary. According to Armada, the trilogy centers on a desert city “where control over water means control over both life and magic itself.” Pho added that Doore’s work draws on “the cultures of sub-Saharan Africa and ancient Egypt” as well as queer romance. The publisher expects to begin publishing the books in winter 2019.

The fun! part is that the book they have, the one that’s done, is going to be the second book in the trilogy. Which means I have a whole ‘nother book to write ASAP, which is what I’ve been trying to do while juggling a newborn and postpartum recovery. Let me just be the first to say that it’s not easy. But anything worth doing, especially a dream I’ve had and worked towards for such a long time, is going to be hard.

So whew, phew, and yay! I can finally talk about this.

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WIP Check-in: DONE DONE DONE

Is the final draft done yet?: YES

Current page count: 209/209

Shots of whiskey: 1

Current problems with the manuscript: there’s probably something left to fix in the beginning or middle or what have you but it’s small and inconsequential and what I’m trying to say is THIS IS DONE

 

AAAH *FLAILING INTENSIFIES*

It’s done! It’s been almost exactly nine months of working and writing and rewriting and editing and it’s done! Three drafts. Countless words and hours and minutes and days. Final wordcount: 128,121 which is perfect, I envisioned this originally as somewhere between 125-130k and 128 is perfect. I can add some and I can cut some and it will still be the right length.

WHAT NOW?

Well, even though I am calling this my Final Draft, technically this is Final Draft 1 or First Beta Version. What this means is that the story is pretty much set in stone and I have gone through and fixed continuity and typos and grammar and tightened and lengthened and done everything I can to make this the Best Draft Possible before someone else sees it. There are still errors – oh boy how there are still errors – but at this point my nose has been so close to this work for so long that I am mostly blind to them.

That’s where my betas come in. I have a few good friends who I’ll have read this (hot) mess and get back to me on what works, what doesn’t, what makes sense, what doesn’t, etc. Ideally, small tweaks will happen after that and I’ll have the Query Version, which is the draft of the novel that will get sent out to agents. All sorts of things can happen at that point and since I’ve never gotten beyond the initial querying process, I’m not going to speculate on them now.

Over the course of the next two months, my betas will read and get back to me and I will edit and write So. Many. Query. Letters. Seriously, query letters are usually less than 300 words and yet they can take a full month to write.

After two months – or after I’ve queried to exhaustion, I will pick up a new project and run with it. I already have an idea of what I’m going to work on next, but I shan’t allow excitement yet. I need that excitement to drive me through the next step of this process, because querying is the hardest thing for me.

BUT ALL THAT IS FOR TOMORROW

TONIGHT – WE DINE IN HELL

– wait, absolutely wrong reference.

TONIGHT – WE CHILL THE FUCK OUT

<3!!!

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WIP Check-in: One Day to Go

Is the final draft done yet?: NO

Current page count: 200/209

Shots of whiskey: 2.5

Current problems with the manuscript: I AM A LITTLE TIPSY AND OVERWHELMED WITH TODAY’S REVELATIONS

 

Yeah, totally not going to finish this tomorrow. But Wednesday? Probably.

 

I’m just pleased I managed to get anything edited today at all, considering the distractions.

 

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WIP Check-in: Two Days to Go

Is the final draft done yet?: NO

Current page count: 196/209

Shots of whiskey: 2.5

Current problems with the manuscript: EVERYTHING IS VERY EXCITING BUT I STILL HAVE TO KEEP IT STRAIGHT

 

At this rate I might finish by/on Wednesday. Finishing on Wednesday totally counts as getting this done by April, right??

 

Other things unrelated to said final draft:

RE appointment tomorrow! Will totally update with what they say afterwards. I am both excited and apprehensive. They said a physical would be included as part of the appointment and I have no idea what all that entails in this context. Speculum? Or just weight and height and blood pressure?

Also I’m still worried about them saying anything regarding being overweight, because according to BMI charts I am, but according to any other reasonable measure, I’m clearly not. :/ It doesn’t help that I’ve been feeling puffy lately.

 

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WIP Check-in: Three Days to Go

Is the final draft done yet?: NO

Current page count: 189/207

Shots of whiskey: 3

Current problems with the manuscript: how exactly am I supposed to resolve all of this again?

 

Other things unrelated to said final draft:

Nothing. I have been working on this non-stop since waking up this morning. Every single page is being rewritten, carved anew out of the ether.

 

I need more whiskey.

 

 

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