Monday, March 16, 2009

Mexico and Writing, My Two Most Frequent Topics

I try to keep my posts balanced between writing and Mexico, and my tags show that to be true. Sometimes I label things Zihuatanejo and so that may skew things in Mexico's favor, but for the most part, they're fairly even. (I feel bad for the AlphSmart, which I thought would we a frequent topic, but I couldn't get the thing to synch with my computer.) Anyway, on to my post!

I've received at least a dozen emails from people who found my blog during a search about the violence in Zihuatanejo (and I'm sure typing that will give me another spike in those emails). One person has already come and gone since the initial violence a few weeks ago, and yesterday she sent me a picture that she took during her stay.


I've described the way the police stand in the back of the trucks, but she captured it much better than I was able to. She did comment that they asked permission beforehand, but I'm hesitant to even talk to them - she's a brave lady. She also mentioned that she visited a town called La Union, not knowing the local police chief had just been gunned down. They even saw the bullet holes from the attack!

Now onto the writing... I started working on my fourth draft of The Other Side earlier this month, and while I've made progress, I haven't been consistent. In adding a subplot, I figure I'll need five new chapters. Ideas for the initial and last chapters were easy enough, but I was having trouble figuring out how to fill out the middle two. I wrote the first chapter last week, then, with all the craziness of playing catchup from things I didn't do while my dad was here, I didn't write again.

Yesterday I forced myself to get back to it and managed to write 1500 words and, more importantly, I figured out what to put in those new chapters. My outlining style mainly consists of bullet points in the body of the document that I place at the beginning of each chapter - nothing fancy - but I'm very relieved to finally have something for each chapter. I passed 67,000 words which, if you've been keeping track, is 20,000 more than I had at the end of my second draft. If you're on facebook you may have seen my status that I passed the 66,666 mark while writing about a dead child - that was creepy!

I know I still have at least another 10,000 in me, and I'm so relieved to see the light at the end of the quest for 80,000 words.

Finally, some exciting news: my aunt sold a second book!

How was your weekend? How is your writing coming along?

17 comments:

Jen said...

Wooot! You're really cookin' with gas, Mel.

Way to go!

Janna Qualman said...

Huzzah! Great news.

I know this is, like, and obvious statement, but what you're going through is just so foreign to me. I can't even imagine, not even with your almost-daily updates.

Any news from the mass e-mails?

Turkey Lurkey said...

Great progress! I'll be needing editing advice in a couple of months. I have no idea where to begin, and after this WIP, I'll have three roughs to edit.

Stay Safe!

Gary Hooyenga said...

Gee is that why your skype says not online. Any time left for web work?

Melanie Avila said...

Jen, I think it's a slow burn right now, but I'll take it.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, it is strange, but I take comfort knowing there are a lot of places in the world like this. Really, the police presence means they're protecting people, plus it deters regular crime by having them so visible. Once that sinks in, it's not so weird seeing them.

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, let me know if and when you need help. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Gary, you and mom need to talk. :P I already explained to her.

spyscribbler said...

I'm up to more bookkeeping today. Spent most of last week trying to fix computers, instead of getting anything done on them. :-(

Yay on The Other Side!

And that picture is PERFECT. I've been curious about that for ages.

Nadine said...

I'm so excited TOS is coming along!! I can't wait to hear more about it!!

Congrats to your Aunt!!!

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, I really hope you can get everything wrapped up soon. And great news about DH!!

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, her news is inspiring me to kick it in gear! That and Wendy getting an agent...

Robin said...

That's wonderful - both about your aunt and your progress on The Other Side! Your aunt is lovely. She actually wrote back to me when I signed in at her book party. Which was very cool, by the way.

I feel so bad for the police. What a thankless job!

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, it's so fun having a family member that is into the writing/publishing business. I try not to abuse the relationship, but it's nice having someone to bounce ideas off of.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I just realized I didn't answer your question. We haven't heard anything regarding the letter, the visa, nothing.

So we keep on waiting...

colbymarshall said...

Yay, go mel and go mel's aunt!

Me, I was bad today. No writing. None tomorrow, either, prob because taking trip. Must get back on wagon!!!

Melanie Avila said...

Colby, you'll get there. I took several weeks off before starting up again and now my beta comments make much more sense. Breaks are necessary now and then. :)