First Cup of Coffee – February 4, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

Today is say it with me today is Friday um, February fourth I knew that why did I look I knew what it was but look anyway. Um yeah, chill me here. And Santa Fe this morning we were in the negative digits when we woke up, but my our outdoor thermometer is showing ° now but the sun’s shining on it. Everything here is about sunshine people tend to be confused that it’s cold in New Mexico but we are high altitude. Um, my house is at about 6 60 8 hundred feet and we get snow and we have mountains and it’s not all hot desert quite a lot of New Mexico Northern New Mexico is like foot pills and mountains. It’s always surprising to me that people don’t know that. But of course there are people who also think that it’s Mexico so there you have it? Ah so happy that it’s Friday um I ended up not going to the dinner last night I wasn’t feeling great I was feeling a little. Rundown on headache and you know in this new world. It’s like well if I feel not wonderful if I feel ever so slightly sick like my glance felt a little sore and I thought well I don’t want to give covid to george r um, so. I stayed home. Also it was really cold out and I was um, you know I’ve become a wimp I’ve become a deliberate wimp after living in Wyoming for 20 years when we. Forged through all kinds of terrible weather when we dealt with um, you know, drove through white out on black ice. Um everything I mean basically living where we especially where we did in Wyoming but I think it’s true of a lot of Wyoming. You know if you let the winter weather stop you. It’s going to stop you from doing anything at all, you know you go out like two or three months of the year so you know you get really tough about it. But it’s not fun. David and I often talk about the sort of the Wyoming. What’s I want to say aesthetic and that’s the wrong word. Um credo manifesto value.

More maybe it’s a more of this um of being tough. You know like you’re very tough and you put up with all of the difficulties of the weather and not having some things not having conveniences and it’s ah it’s a measure of character that you. Put up with all of this stuff and and people kind of compete with each other for like how terrible something is. It’s like oh you know let’s live. They’re like oh I just came up this road with black ice and it was white out and I couldn’t see. I was having to drive by the delineator posts which are the posts along the side of the road. You know that have the little reflectors on them I have driven by the delineator posts more than once because you can’t see the edge of the road or the line on the road. So you’re marking. You know hoping you don’t go off the road in between delineator posts. That’s why they’re there and so oh I had to drive by delineator post to get there and someone else be like oh well that’s nothing I had to go over Togwotee pass and you know blah blah blah blah blah it’s um, it’s a weird kind of competition for who’s overcoming the most. Difficulty. So when we moved to Santa Fe it was just ah, almost an indescribable relief to live somewhere that was not so harsh where the ground. You know, like even if it’s ° here and ° in Laramie Wyoming it’s a totally different ° because the ground stays where we’re here and all of our house plants started growing larger I mean it’s just um, just amazing. But we have snow occasionally. But rarely enough that like when it is really bitter weather which you know last night there was a wind chill advisory out I don’t think they ever give maybe they do maybe they do now but like in Wyoming they didn’t give wind chill advisories because you were just gonna tough it out but you know like here they give a. Ah, windchill advisory and that’s like why go out why leave my house if I don’t have to I don’t want to so funny funny stuff so let’s see um so yesterday yeah I don’t know what was my deal yesterday. Um I did not get my 3000 words reader. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth I got 578 words although I did see somebody else proposing a challenge saying um, who wants to you know, try to get at least 500 words today.

And I and it made me feel better because I thought well at least I already got 500 words so I got um it was a very slow first hour of writing 530 words and then the second hour I got 48 words and I admit I did start dorkking around because I just um, either the manuscript is pushing back or I was tired or both. But anyway I hit something of a wall I meant 86000 words I’m guessing this manuscript is gonna be 106000 so um, I’m gonna see what happens today I’m gonna poke at it I am at a penultimate climactic scene. Obviously if I’m at 86000 words I’ve still got that I’m expecting 106000 we can do that math right. About 20000 words to go and I just have to have it done by February eighteenth so my cheerleaders are all like you can do this. You’ve got this I do need some time to revise it. So. So yeah, I’m I’m kind of at my climactic action scene and. Ah I don’t know how they’re gonna do it I don’t know how they’re gonna do the thing they need to do I kind of know what happens after this I’ve got an idea for a number of things that will resolve after this and even Darynda was saying you know it’s too bad. You don’t write out of order. And and I said you know I was even considering that I was feeling stuck enough that I was considering maybe I will skip this scene get to the outcome write the rest of it and then come back and figure out how I get to the outcome. But I think I’d have to rewrite it. I think I’d end up rewriting too much of it because too much changes as I write. Do you know and like the emotional arts changes. That’s that’s 1 reason why I don’t write ahead because it just um, it doesn’t blend later. So. Thinking hard about that and I think I I don’t know it feels like um you know it’s this interesting. It’s probably not interesting to watch me sit here and gaze off into space. But I’ve sort of been um, doing this for about the past. Not quite 24 hours but 22 hours mulling over this There’s something that needs to happen in this scene and and I may be overthinking because I feel like it needs to be more actiony you know, like yesterday.

And I’m sorry I didn’t talk to about it till the end of the podcast but I find it very interesting watch I’ve completed the first season of the expanse which adapts about the first half of leviathan wakes. Except to make sure to put my s on the right part I don’t know why I want it to be leviathan’s wake does not mean the same thing maybe Leviathan’s wake should have been like the last book but tying Daniel didn’t ask me and it would have confused everybody. It’s a terrible idea Jacky um. In the wake of the leviathan will be my next book. Dear Leviathan is not asleep. Ah, okay, so so yeah I I guess I’m feeling I’m really noting the ways in which the. Dance series amped up the action and the tension making things much more 1 thing after another and I know some of that is the visual medium because and and people say oh, it’s such an exciting show. And I’m not someone who normally looks for excitement. Um, but oh by the way you know it’s I’m I’m almost certain I’m right about season when ending halfway through Leviathan wakes they did take in some stuff from. Later books in the series like I was reading this in the trivia anyway, um I am Db Trivia is my friend so they took some stuff and characters from the second season and added them in ah to because it was like context that was only revealed in internal monologue. And good for them. They did not resort to the much loathed voiceover I really do not like the voiceover as a of solution I’m not sure anyone does sometimes I suppose it can be done well. But for the most part it’s like and then. I wrote you know ers was thinking this I don’t know it was it was neat to see the visualization of stuff that occurred only in internal monologue like um, Holden’s family and I do like the addition of alma of the ambassador. Um I’m not sure exactly what her. Don’t remember what her title is but it does give that perspective of earth and I think it does help connect people to give them a frame of reference since we are currently earthbound as a species. So.

But I’ve I’ve know that where it season one ended was I noted that it was midpoint in the book as I was reading because I thought it was an interesting choice for midpoint. That’s the author brain doesn’t to quite kick off and I almost always notice midpoint of the book I notice. The first 25% is what they’ve put is the climax and what stakes they’ve set by then and then I noticed the midpoint those are the 2 things that no matter how caught up I am I always noticed that part and it’s always interesting to me when neither one is notable I was like oh but. Leviathan wakes midpoint was like okay this is turning point in the story I know that they also worked with Melinda Snodgrass who is really great at 18 react structure and does plot breaks according to it so she’s going to have a little session for us. In a couple of weeks and I’m very interested to learn from her. So yeah I guess I’m I’m thinking because I feel like this needs to be a more action-y scene that I’m making it because I always I don’t know why I always try to make things be Maybe it’s because of who I am as a person you know it’s like I always try to I always do the Taoist approach email the what? ah you know, asking myself. What am I really trying to win here but in fiction. There is a real stake and something that they’re trying to win and I think I know need to I know what needs to happen. It’s just funny. You know you would think that it’s like okay I think it needs to be boom boom boom point five five action action. This is what I need to write and then when I try to write it. It just goes new. Ah, ah you think I could just make myself type the words. But for some reason it just doesn’t work that way I guess maybe because spinning the story is more than typing words. There’s a take home message for you. You guys can that can be my tagline so anyway um yeah so I’m teaching the workshop tomorrow I mentioned that yesterday there is a link to register in the show notes. Um, transcript is working so I’ll do that I noticed that um on my free trial of this pro version of it that there’s like things I can do. There’s like an intro and outro or I could do like dramatic piano.

Or drums. Oh It doesn’t let me do it while I’m Recording. Ah or I could do the ballpark the drums not funny I feel like this is not on brand for Me. Could do Traumatic piano.

So anyway, maybe who knows if I do the pro version. Maybe I will actually become more pro. The transcript is probably worth it right? $20 month yeah ah but but pop up. So I’m forging on right when I go back and revise I tighten up the tension too. I I tend to add in more conflict and more ticking clocks. So I don’t know if I’ll talk about that in the workshop tomorrow. We’ll be live streamed a couple people will be there live on site but otherwise it will be live streamed I will try to answer questions. It’s kind of funny because I do have a talk planned but then Twigg. The beastly books manager. He’s so funny I could tell you like what he texted me I mean I’m just there for like it’s an hour long talk right? and then have an hour for questions and stuff just in case and um. He says I’d love to hear about your process examples who you read for information for inspiration how you got started etc. These are simply suggestions and I fully trust your expertise on how you want it to flow and it’s like well I can talk about all of that stuff. But it’s actually not the topic of the workshop I could. Spend a long time talking about all of those things. So anyway, um I will try to start out with that frame of talking about how you weave romance into sf f and then if you have questions out there. You can let me know ahead of time I’ll say. If I can incorporate it along with twigs long list of things and yeah, yeah should be fun I have a very busy day tomorrow I have like wall to wall meetings tomorrow culminating in this workshop. So. Will attempt to be full of perqutute. Um and we’ll see how I do I’m moving this book forward. Yeah, all right? So let’s see do I have anything else to report to you guys I think I don’t um. Ah, can’t tell you that things are looking up for Grace and her husband he should be discharged from the hospital today and they have a plan going forward. So the the worst crisis is over at this point cross our fingers.

Grace is very hopeful that this will not happen again. I’m hoping that for her too because she needs to get some sleep and retro books not necessarily. You know in that order. So if you listen to this grace darling. We are all thinking of you. You know that because I’ve been talking to her but ah. Other people are as well. So and wishing best Mr Draven so um so yeah I hope you all have a wonderful weekend I hope it is both restful and productive in whatever proportion you need that to be and. I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

Writing Freak-out Moments – And Why You Shouldn’t Freak Out


Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is “The part of the writing process when I freak out.”

Which… it would be easier to pick a part of the process where we DON’T freak out. Writing seems to depend on freaking out in the same way stage performances feed on nerves. 

But, I do offer my three typical freak-out moments – and why they’re not as bad as we think