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D.M. Bonanno



welcome to dawn world where rainbows glitter and shadows threaten to eat you alive... this is the writing diary of d.m. bonanno, writer of fantasy, science fiction, and the occassional something else.



Updated: 2016-09-07T23:28:29.656-05:00

 



I will be returning here

2010-07-13T03:32:38.244-05:00

I just need to figure out how to point this blog to my webaddress instead of the wordpress blog. then I need to transfer posts over...



Indecision

2010-06-04T16:00:00.635-05:00

I liked the "webiste" feel of using Wordpress, and the ease in which I can make my own images the header image. What I miss about Blogger is the ease in which I control the items on the side. These have been my guides, my to-do, my progress watchers, and my connections to other writing friends. Wordpress has a pathetic Blogroll/RSS Feed in which I can either just list all the links to blogs and not know when they've been updated, or I can list each blog in a seperate RSS feed which is kind of a pain.

There's a chance I may be coming back here for blogging. I need time to decide.



My Blog Moved

2010-04-24T20:33:47.670-05:00

Funny things those blogs... you can find it here:  http://dmbonanno.com/



nighthunter's bite in progress again

2010-04-22T05:22:51.492-05:00

I'm liking the new title Etherea in her Veins but on the lookout in case anything more interesting comes jogging by. I'm rewriting the story from memory, guided by my edit list, things I need to keep in mind when writing this. It's interesting this way; there's no writing pressure to rushrushtypetype and I'm a lot more relaxed about it. I've already written it, so I know my setting and I'm intimate with my characters. Rather than go line by line from the old version, I am writing it how I love it. To be honest, I also need to do it this way so I can work on it a little over the weekend. I'm visiting my sister out of state and taking my daughter to play with the cousins. It'll be crazy, but thanks to my laptop and its 9 cell battery, I don't have to worry about plugging in anywhere.

Deadlines though; I'm submitting this one to Sword & Sorceress and we're already a week into the submission period. I don't want to wait for the last week to submit it. I need to give this story a fighting chance. My only concern is that they want strong female characters, and in every story I've read in S&SXXV, the women start out in positions of power, or at least respectable positions. Mine starts a slave and comes into her own. Hopefully, they'll like it. If not, we'll see who else will.



triangulation rejection

2010-04-20T11:06:06.415-05:00

For a story that I wrote, revised, and submitted over the course of 30 days, I'm surprised I received such a quality rejection. I'm pleased she went into such detail, points being positive and constructive. I figured a personal rejection from Triangualtion would be myabe a paragraph, some feedback on whatever ailing issue destroyed the story. But no -- it was a page long. I am very grateful and will definitely be revising this one before sending it out again.

And I think the response has encouraged me to maintain the theme in the story. I don't think I can pull the rainbow out too easily. I'll revise the rest of it and start submitting it elsewhere and see what happens.

What I learned? Don't wait until the last minute. I was stuck on the idea for the longest time before I finally wrote it, and had only enough time for two decent revisions. One more revision round might have been enough. When next year's theme is announced,  I'll be getting to work on it right away. I want to get better at deadlines. I'll write and revise better. This is my first year of serious submission: it's my training-wheels year. Next year, I'm riding a two-wheeler.



shadows and bites

2010-04-18T20:28:57.464-05:00

I'm in a weird place right now. I'm preparing for a road trip at the end of the week, but trying to jump into two projects that both require serious concentration. Shadows needs a massive block of worldbuilding, which I'll be trying to work on tonight, and Nighthunter's Bite is is need of a kind-of rewrite because I don't think the viewpoint (1st again) really works for the story. I tried, but the it's better from third. Third works most of the time, but every now and again I decide to fiddle with. It's good to try things differently. Maybe one day I'll find the perfect story for 1st person. It's not this one though. Well off to do some dishes then choose between projects...



back to work

2010-04-16T21:23:07.013-05:00

Insane week, boy am I glad it's over. Computer's in good shape, and the only thing left to deal with is getting to know office 2007 as I work in the programs. Getting some sleep tonight and picking up with Nighthunter's Bite tomorrow. The new title may be "Etherea in Her Veins". I'll sleep on it. :)



learning

2010-04-15T21:35:47.347-05:00

I'm learning Windows 7 and I'm learning to get comfortable using the laptop keyboard (very comfy size compared to the HP I use for work) and I'm even learning how to use the touch pad and am only using the mouse when I get stuck and am not sure how to do what I need.

The dual monitor bit isn't working like I'd hoped and I'm not sure why at the moment. I'll have to read up more on it. I do know location matters.  The little computer desk I'm using now is a little cramped with all this stuff on it, but I'm not sure how often I'll be down here with this setup. The dual monitor thing is neat, and may come in handy during editing. The plan is to convert to an on-screen revision process and view the old material in one screen and use the new screen for retyping. We'll see how that goes. In the meantime, I've got to make the laptop recognize the second monitor.



new computer :)

2010-04-14T18:07:52.848-05:00

/drool

Probably no writing tonight, have to figure out the new toy. But tomorrow – Nighthunter’s Bite, with a new title and some new attitude from my MC. I promise.




story submitted

2010-04-10T13:36:10.222-05:00

Technically submitted. The envelope is on my desk, signed and sealed, and awaiting a trip to the post office. I won't make today's closing, so it'll go out on Monday.

This is a record for me: less than one week between writing the first draft, revising, and submitting. The beauty of flash fiction that works. I just seriously hope this one makes it, because the theme is so strong in this story, there is no way I can rewrite it to avoid the "colors of silence" theme.



trying to fit it all in

2010-04-09T19:15:46.746-05:00

I've been horrible with my fitness and healthy eating plan, so I've finally figured out how to fix the food situation. First, no more buying food from the cafeteria at work. On Sunday, I'll be prepping veggie and fruit containers to handle that. I have to test how long a made salad will last in an air tight container, and I have to remember to hardboil five eggs on Sunday while I'm prepping my food. I managed to eat healthy for 3 workdays this week, which happened to be the days I was able to get up earlier.  So it all ties in.

But the exercise? I've been walking during lunch on the nice days, but walking isn't enough. I need a way to fit in weights and max cardio. Walking should be a bonus. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to have to mess with my writing schedule to fit this in. My least productive writing time is the evening session, so do I give that up to do a dvd workout after the kids go to bed? I'd still be able to fit in my reading afterward. Having the new laptop will help too - maybe I can get a half hour of writing related stuff in. I'm going to have to play with this. I was only planning on using 3 lunches a week at work for writing, the other two for fitness. I have a hard time with running a different schedule from day to day, but I think this is what I'll have to do. Even play it by ear-- if it's a lunch workout day, then I write in the evening. If it's a writing lunch, I work out in the evening.

The problem with that, is betwen the day job and getting the kids sorted out, the rest is kind of relfex. "It's 8:15pm so I need to be at my computer writring", etc. I like reflex. It's what makes my schedule work. I think I could reduce my 8x11 weekly schedule sheet down to an index card and print it off so it's more accessible in my purse calendar which I look at daily, rather than in my writing folder, which doesn't come out until I sit down to write.

And the bad news is this gets adjusted 2-3 times a year based on the amount of sunlight available to drive home in after work. Which means I'd lose my after work writing time November through January.

Damn it, I need to be more flexible. :) Or move someplace where the sun shines more in the winter. :D Better wait for the bestseller for that . . .



time, energy, and the life of a good idea

2010-04-08T15:00:01.481-05:00

The new story option veered away from the silence theme, as did the second new story option.  With seven days left, I have decided to clean up the Angel story as best I can and submit that, and be done with the theme.

All is not lost though; I am pleased with the results of this endeavor. In trying to get Black Violas ready for submission, I ended with a new contest entry, two strong story ideas, and the conversion of Black Violas to either a full length short story or development into a novella.

I learned a lot about writing on theme. I've written according to prompts before, and pictures or words that inspire me, but I've always allowed myself to let the idea evolve naturally. Deviating from that prompt was necessary. For a contest--that's pretty much a rejection.

So I have a strong entry for parsec. I'm happy with that. I'm going to spend the next few days making it stronger, and then getting back to my other projects. It's not just about how much I can do, but how GOOD I can do.

And speaking of good, March was horrible for working out. I managed to walk a few times, but only made it to the gym once. I need to fit it in someplace other wise my sedentary lifestyle is going to be very bad for me and my wardrobe. :P



brainstorm

2010-04-07T13:22:03.875-05:00

Talk about storms... my post from this morning is now outdated as far as Black Violas goes. Black Violas is a good story, and the contest theme led me to it, but they don't fit together. I broke the story elements out to what would fit, but my heart isn't in it. I like the story the way it is, aside from fixing plot holes and getting it to fix inside the 3500 wordcount limit. So why do I need to do that? I don't. I can turn this baby into a novella, get into all those nitty gritty details without freaking out about writing a full length novel on this topic.

So my new plan for the parsec contest: I'm taking the elements I broke down and fitting it to a fantasy story, changing the setting from a cave to a forest (because I really don't need two cave-in stories!), and THIS concept seems to fit the theme better, more naturally.

Here's the catch: I only have eight days to write, revise, and submit this thing.  I am insane, but I'm going to give it a shot!



eight days left

2010-04-07T05:31:01.644-05:00

Eight days. Technically nine, but I need the ninth day to go to my day job and hit the post office, which also happens to fall on Tax Day. Punishment for waiting until the very last minute I suppose, but I've been struggling with this story for months. Every time I think Black Violas is done and in the right direction, I've discovered a solid reason that it doesn't work. For the longest time, I had a whisper in my head that I was forcing the theme. And really, I was on the right track, but the way I was using it was forcing it.

The good news is I've finally figured out how to fix it. I let go of "I want" and started at the ending, thinking of how the theme and issue could be resolved together, and figured out what needs to happen to get Meghan there. And what's even better, I get to keep the cave-in scene I liked, I just need to change what planet it happened on. There's more to it than that, but that's enough to keep me going.

The bad news? I'm losing my beloved title. I had been trying so hard to keep the part of the story that gave it its title. It was my visual for the entire thing. Oh well. No sense in destroying a story if the title is going to kill it. :)

Eight days.



shadow of blood

2010-04-05T04:22:37.388-05:00

Shadow of Blood is a novel I started in 2005 that I dropped midpregnancy (and alas, mid-novel). It only needs another 40k until it's a good length for a first draft, so it's a good project to start with, as I haven't written novel length fiction in a few years.

I started reading this with horror, unable to believe the content and the quality of the writing, which speaks of how far I've progressed in these years. I also learned as I'm reading the halfway point in the existing story, that I can probably just chop off the first half of it. The story picks up, and I'm in love with it again. My two main characters are showing their true colors (to each other, not to everyone else!) and I'm seeing a lot of places where cutting characters or at least making their roles more vital (every character has to matter in some way, and carry their own weight).  This is good.

I've even got my Sentence for the story:

After the senseless death of his brother, a despondant slave and his rebellious mistress conspire to end one hundred years of oppression by learning and using the forbidden art of magic.



new story today

2010-04-02T21:03:11.693-05:00

While analyzing Black Violas, I had inspiration for a new story (also related to the parsec theme) and I wrote it right then and there in the parking lot. Came home and typed it up after dinner and am now looking at the revision. I've never written flash fiction before, and it was amazing that I got the elements right. I'm tweaking the details, but I love the story. It'll come into its own before long. :)



March Progress / April Goals

2010-04-01T17:00:01.378-05:00

March was amazing. I figured out the writing schedule and I got my goals done. Of course, I did revamp mid-month, but that's par for me and goals. Goals are guidelines and I tweak them in order to get stuff done. I have more deadlines in April, but they are spaced out, thankfully.

March results:
  • Viable Paradise application and submission story
  • Rise of the Tiger Princess: drafted, revised twice, submitted
  • The Lonely Orchard: revised and submitted
  • Watering the Black Violas: revised
  • Shadow of Blood: rereading novel-in-progress

April Goals:
  • Watering the Black Violas: revise and submit by 4/15
  • Nighthunter's Bite: revise and submit by 4/30
  • Shadow of Blood: read, review world notes, complete neccessary worldbuilding, and continue the writing at 500 words daily for a weekly goal of 2,500 words. Estimated completion date is July.



bomb's away

2010-03-31T22:52:00.362-05:00

Two submissions made today. Yes, I made my deadlines. The last one I made by about 15 minutes. :) But it's done.



orchard tonight... all night

2010-03-30T21:30:17.673-05:00

Hopefully not all night, but I haven't been able to get this opening quite right. I think I'm almost there. I was on page 4 of a 15 page revision, but I really didn't like the opening. This one is better. I just need it to take me to page 15 and beyond. This story is due tomorrow... back to the revisions.



tiger princess cont'd and complete

2010-03-28T23:24:15.180-05:00

Working hard and making progress, but not done yet. 8 pages revised today, with a total of 25 in the story (double space), so I doubt I'll finish tonight. Maybe in the morning, or over lunch? Here we go...

Edited 11:23pm to add: And v02 is complete! I'm printing and will reread in the morning before I send off for crit. It's my usual length, 5k (25 pages double spaced). I think it's good. :)



Full Time Working Mom of Two Makes Time for Writing (and stays sane, mostly)

2010-03-25T12:17:44.764-05:00

I tell people I've been writing seriously for about ten, eleven years now. I thought I was writing seriously all those years. Granted it was a step up from hobby writing, so in that sense yes I was serious, but I'm on a whole new level of serious. Publication Serious. Getting up at 4:30 in the morning serious. I'm there.

I even have a typical schedule, created based on which activities I perform better at various times. All of this is subject to deadlines (like now, I've got two major short story deadliens, so ever writing session is spent working on those two stories) and also subject to family needs. My kids are too young for me to say "no this is my time". But I plan the writing to fit into times where they aren't around, or when they're sleeping, or when someone can watch one or both of them for me.

My day-job dictates that Monday through Friday I work from 6;30 am to 3:00 pm, and my household responsibilites run me ragged Saturday and Sunday. Working around that:

Morning Writing: 4:30 - 5:30 Mon - Fri (novel writing / other first draft writing)

Lunch Time Writing: Tues, Thurs, and when possible Sat/Sun - short story work.

After Work: 3:45 - 4;45 (4x weekly) @ the library near daycare for (novel) revision

Evening Writing: 8:30 - 10:00 pm  (5x weekly)- "Other" = Reading, Revision, "Developement" (plan, outline, analyze for revision), Submission prep, critiques, or whatever pressing deadline needs more time.

I guess that between the kids, work issues, weather related road delays, I tend to lose about a quarter of what I planned on doing during the day. The Evening Session will help me make up for those days, hopefully.

This schedule should theoretically allow me to accomplish the following in a year: write one novel, edit one novel, and fit in several short stories. I'll know better after this year, but I'm hoping that spending more time writing means revision will go faster than I've done them in the past. We'll see.



orchard revisions

2010-03-24T21:16:05.912-05:00

It's been a rough couple of days. I haven't been able to make use of all my writing sessions, but the ones I've gotten in have been productive. The revision for Lonely Orchard is underway and going well enough.  Left arm is sore tonight - something is off about using the library computers for extensive typing. One library has wooden chairs so I can't adjust height, another library has horrible keyboards so I have to pound the keys. At least I've been able to use my evening writing session for reading and giving my arms a little break.



tiger princess... 1st draft done

2010-03-22T19:20:30.054-05:00

Yes it's a crappy first draft, but I like the story. I can fix it. :) But first, I'm going to start on Orchard...



continuing tiger princess

2010-03-21T20:31:42.914-05:00

Friday I wrote another 1/3 of the Tiger Princess story, but Saturday and Sunday were nonwriting days (aka kids, kidfun, laundry, groceries, more laundry, etc etc etc). Finally, I have some time to myself after prepping for the week, and am almost ready to sit down and write. I'd like at least a scene tonight if nothing else. I should be able to finish up the story tomorrow with three hours of writing over the course of three planned writing sessions. I'm actually giving up the lunchtime writimg tomorrow to hit the gym.

It might seem silly considering I have two big deadlines coming up, but if this is what I'm going to do with my life, I'll always have deadlines coming up. If I don't fit in my workouts now, they'll never become a solid part of my routine, and it will always compete with my writing. Aside from those workouts I've managed to plan for a good 20 hours per week on writing, including attempts on Saturday and Sunday which don't always work. I figure I lose a quarter of what I plan on due to family stuff. So still, 15 hours a week on top of the day job? I'm happy with it. Especially since adding the early morning sessions. I'm been getting up at 4:30 and get onto the computer by 4:45, giving myself 45 minutes to write. This week, I'm moving it a tad earlier: up at 4;15 and onto the computer by 4:30. It's amazing how much the writing flows at that hour, and I found that I kept creeping past my 5:30 mark, and getting our morning going late.

Goals for this week: complete Tiger Princess first draft, revise Orchard and send for crit, and then start on the Tiger Princess revision.

Here's to a busy week, and a sucessful one! Good luck with your plans/goals.



tiger tiger growr!

2010-03-18T17:15:00.394-05:00

Engrossed in the tiger story, about 1/3 done.  Started early this morning, got a half hour in around 4:45am, and then again over lunch. I was going to take the kids to the library today, but. . . I think I'll be going alone and writing. Sorry kids, but I've got some momentum going which can be good for stories on a deadline.