Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Busy now

It’s not that I’m bored with the internet and this blog. It’s that classes have ended, summer classes don’t start till June 6th, and in between I am not at work, I am at home. This means I can’t look around for stuff to post about before work or while I eat lunch or whatever.

I have a new phone, though! I mention this because the new phone is better than the old in many ways. For example, its signal seems dramatically better than the old phone. I can connect to the internet even though it is May! But not very well. I’ve untethered and re-tethered twice so far to check email and start this post. But it still beats driving in to work when I don’t need to be there for any purpose other than using the internet.

Driving is not what I want to spend my time doing, because I am busy. In the mornings I am working on my official work-in-progress (OWIP?) and in the afternoons I do stuff like weeding and transplanting, and in the evenings I work on my unofficial WIP (UWIP, I guess).

My minimum on the OWIP is 2000 words per day, which is about six pages if you still think in pages. I’ve actually written anything from 2500 words to 4000 words every day this week.

I have no actual minimum for my UWIP, but I’m hitting about 1000-3000 words per day on that. This is the first time I have ever worked every day on two different WIP, both of which I enjoy working on. It’s a bit odd, but working so far.

Plus weeding.

So that’s why I’m busy and have not been on the internet much lately.

OWIP: This is my space opera. One important alien species on screen, one important alien species so far entirely off screen, this weekend is the first time I will have to decide whether to show the second species. I have three pov characters so far, all human. I think I will be sticking to the human pov for this book, though I wouldn’t actually take oath on that.

The working title is NO FOREIGN SKY, but I do not quite know what was in my mind when I chose that and I may change it before I send it to my agent. Which I would like to do July 1st, but even though it is moving so well now, no promises about that. Anyway, that’s probably about the time the entire publishing world goes on vacation, so July 1st, August 1st, it probably doesn’t make much difference.

When I picked up this WIP this past Monday, I had 140 pages written plus an outline that extended into the middle of the book. I am about to run out of this outline, after which I am not sure what happens next. I have a couple vague ideas. I will try to develop those and see whether they seem to work. I kind of have an end point in mind, but not an ending scene as such. I sure hope one appears within the next few weeks so I have something more definite to work toward.

UWIP: This is SHADOW TWIN, the third Black Dog book. I am writing this in such a peculiar way: not straight through from beginning to end but from the middle outward. That is, I wrote the first bit ages ago, from Natividad’s pov. Then to get myself unstuck, I jumped forward and wrote chapters 8 and 10 from Miguel’s pov — choosing random middle-ish numbers for those chapters. I have chapter breaks for chapters 9 and 11. I know broadly what happens in chapter 9, which will be from Alejandro’s pov, but I really do not know what happens in chapter 11 or what pov that will be in.

I’m currently working on chapter 12, which is from Alejandro’s pov, but he and Miguel and Natividad are all back together again now. I am pretty sure I know what happens for the next couple of chapters and then I don’t know about the end. Ideas, yes. Firm ideas, well, I wouldn’t go that far.

I do know how to connect the first part to the middle part, though. I mean, roughly.

At the moment I am almost sure the 60 pages from Justin’s pov, about this trip where he and Keziah go visit Justin’s grandmother, will remain a separate novella and appear in the second set of short stories. But I am not ABSOUTELY sure about that. But adding that novella to this actual book would complicate matters and add to the number of points of view. Plus it would mean I need to write at least one more story for the second set of short stories. More likely two.

The action in what is now the novella is important to what happens in the book, though. Several of the short stories in the second batch set up SHADOW TWIN, and at least one sets up stuff that happens later than that. I’m trying not to let too many balls fall out of the air, but I do seem to have a lot of loose ends, some of which I might be able to grab in this book and tie off.

Carissa, remember her? Nicholas’s sister who nobody knows what happened to her?

Zinaida, the Black Wolf of Russia, how about her? I wonder what she’s up to these days.

There’s a relative of Keziah’s we meet, briefly, in the next batch of short stories. He’s in just the right place to cause trouble in SHADOW TWIN. Or he could be, if it seems convenient.

We’re in the Denver area, btw, so all kinds of things could be happening back in Vermont.

Well, well, lots to do, lots to figure out. I need to go take the dogs for a run so I can think about one WIP or the other.

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3 Comments Busy now

  1. SarahZ

    Yay for more black dog books!

    And, I’m swamped with work, but in a good way? Lots of interest in our research and promising directions to go with it, but only so many hours in the day and don’t want to miss baby time. We sort of need to hire more people, but that introduces a lot more work also…

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