Wednesday Words #22 (5 – 27 -15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a flag
a leaky roof
a kitten

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

I, um… haven’t exactly gained any ground since Friday’s post.

In fact, residual stress and a sinus-induced migraine that won’t go away have been sapping my energy pretty much non-stop since then.

And what they haven’t taken, work has, so I’m nearly 8000 words behind my goal for the month.

But today will be day five of five in a row at work and then I’m off for the next two days.

And just in time for my two days off, I seem to be coming out of my stress-induced funk and regaining some lost energy, both creative and otherwise.

And even better, I am writing again and making small gains.

Very small, and, actually, I don’t know if I’d really call it “progress” so much as “falling behind more slowly.”  The desire is back, though: not just the guilt of “I should be writing” but the energy of “I want to write.”

Of course, the energy of “I want to write” frequently gets knocked down by my body saying, “You can ‘want to write’ all you want but I need to sleep and I win.”

*sigh*

And then there’s the time thing.  I can’t for the life of me figure out where the first part of this day has gone but I only have a little over an hour left before I have to get ready for work.

But still, the energy and desire are there, so even though I am close to 8000 words behind goal, my motto is:

“Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”

I’m going to hang up a lucky horseshoe and blast my way through a whole bunch of words.

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Sunday Snippet May 24, 2015

Posting a few excerpts from a rough draft of a science fiction novel called The Onyx Sun. I’ve been ignoring it for a while, but since I don’t hate it anymore I’m starting editing it this month.

Keep in mind this is a very rough draft of something that I hadn’t even looked at for several months.  Also, the snippet has has probably been a victim of creative editing.

Summary:

Taliya Swann has been away from home negotiating a mining contract on another planet.  When she called to advise her mother (head of House/Company) that they had a contract, Maureena informed her that her grandmother had died the day before.  All that was left to look forward to was being reunited with her lover, Luzita.

Returning home, she found out that her grandmother’s funeral had been held the day she died.  Shortly after that she learned that Maureena had sold her lover to an off world slaver the day that Taliya’s grandmother died.

 

“You bitch!  You uncaring bitch!”  Taliya pushed past her, heading toward the staircase that led to the living quarters.

“Where are you going?”

“My room. I’m packing and then I’m leaving to find Luzita.”

“You won’t find her.  The merchant fleet left yesterday.”

“The station will have records.  I will find her.  I don’t care if it takes the rest of my life, I will find her.”

“If you leave, do not return.”

“What makes you think I would want to?”

 

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Roll a D6?

Another rough week that has left me drained.

And behind in word count.

Monday there were three separate stressful situations at work.

Tuesday wasn’t much better.  I was off, but still stressed.  And my first day off is usually pretty much a waste, productivity-wise. (Something I really need to work on…)  I just never seem to have any focus on my first day off, and can’t seem to get motivated to do anything.  I think I wrote maybe a couple hundred words.

Wednesday was spent trying to catch up some of the stuff that I didn’t do on Tuesday and still dealing with stress on top of stress on top of stress.  I might have written another hundred words or so.

Yesterday was back to work, the first of five in a row.  I’m hoping that this week will be better, but I’m going to be on Hell Hall tonight, so I’m not holding my breath.

I did make some progress, though.

I entered the edits that I’d made on the print out of Onyx Sun into the Word file – then reprinted them because I’m still not happy with it.  I made some more changes on my break at work last night.  (I’d like to get them entered today before I go to work but that’s probably not going to happen.)

Writing, however, is another story. (Pun not intended, honest!)

I’m 5322 words behind where I should be (for the 1K-a-Day Challenge).  So with only 9 days left in the month (not counting today which is pretty well shot) I need to write almost 1600 words a day to get caught up.   Yeah… right.  And I only have 2 days off between now and the end of the month.

Ah, well, I do love a challenge…

It doesn’t help that I’m a bit stuck on my current novel (Book 10 of The Academy of the Accord series.)  I know where I want to go, but I’m not sure how to get there from here.

So, I have options:

  1. I can just leave myself a note in the Word doc about needing a segue and jump ahead.
  2. I can work on Book 2 of The Other Mages trilogy.
  3. I can start something new. (I really don’t want to do that, though.)
  4. I can work on the alternate (originally planned) version of Book 1 of the trilogy that doesn’t have a name.
  5. I can write a side story for Song and Sword.

It’s so nice to have options… but so hard to choose between them.  I really want to finish Book 10 of The Academy of the Accord series, and I also really want to finally finish Book 2 of The Other Mages trilogy.  And I want that other version of Book 1 of the unnamed trilogy finished, too, so I can decide which version I want to keep.  But I’ve been wanting to write the story of how Pashevel and Hierik met and became friends since… well, ever since I “met” Hierik.

Maybe I should come up with another option and “Roll a D6.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday Words #21 (5 – 20 -15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

someone sewing
a hedge
a shadow

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Worse Than I Thought

Remember how I was looking forward to editing Onyx Sun?  How I didn’t hate it anymore because it wasn’t as bad as I remembered it being and I was really looking forward to smoothing it out and getting it ready to present to others.?

Yeah. So do I.

You know how things are never as good in real life as they are in your imagination?

Yeah.  So do I.

You know how things never work out exactly as planned?

Yeah.  So do I.

The first page of the manuscript is covered in thick black lines deleting stuff, and sticky notes of various sizes and colors that hold re-written sentences (and entire paragraphs).  And in front of page one is a sheet of notebook paper with a completely new opening.

This… is not going as planned.

I’m relatively certain that both the novel and I will survive, and that the novel at least will be the better for it.

But meanwhile, back at the editing ranch…

P.T. screams and tears her hair out.

But at least she’s starting to feel like “a real writer.”

editing

 

(Image from Writer’s United on FaceBook.)

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Sunday Snippet May 17, 2015

Posting a few excerpts from a rough draft of a science fiction novel called The Onyx Sun. I’ve been ignoring it for a while, but since I don’t hate it anymore I’m starting editing it this month.

Keep in mind this is a very rough draft of something that I hadn’t even looked at for several months.  Also, the snippet has has probably been a victim of creative editing.

Summary:

Taliya Swann has been away from home negotiating a mining contract on another planet.  When she called to advise her mother (head of House/Company) that they had a contract, Maureena informed her that her grandmother had died the day before.  All that was left to look forward to was being reunited with her lover, Luzita.

Returning home, she found out that her grandmother’s funeral had been held the day she died.  Shortly after that she learned that Maureena had sold her lover into slavery (to an off world slaver) because Luzita couldn’t afford to pay for her upkeep.  She brushed off Taliya’s outrage by saying she would find someone else, someone more suitable.  Taliya demanded to know when Luzita had been sold.

 

“The day your grandmother died.  I called the slavers’ consortium as soon as the death certificate was signed.”  She smirked.  “Of course, I did ask her about payment first, but when she verified that she couldn’t I made the call.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you wanted money?  I would have paid it.”

Maureena shrugged. “I didn’t know if the contract had been reached or not.  I didn’t want to disturb you during negotiations.”

“So if it hadn’t been, if I hadn’t called to tell you we had a contract, you wouldn’t have told me about Grandmother?”

“Of course not. I needed you to focus on your work.”

Taliya stared at her as a realization sank in.  “That’s why you wouldn’t let me take Luzita with me – you had this planned all along.”

Maureena shrugged.

 

 

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love It Or Hate It

Writers have a love-hate relationship with our stories.

We love the characters we create and we love sharing their stories with the world.

Some of us even love creating entire worlds to share with the world the rest of you live in.

In short, we love writing.  If we didn’t, we wouldn’t do it.

And while we’re writing, we are totally in love with the story and the characters and the setting and the plot and subplots and…

And then we finish it and we are so excited about it and want to share it with the world.

But we know better.  We know it has to be edited first and we know that editing as soon as you finish writing is usually a bad idea so we put it away for a while and go back to it a month or more later and reread it.

And we hate it.

The characters are flat or whiny or pointless (or all three) and the plot drags and wanders and ceases to exist and the whole thing is just garbage.

But we loved it once so we can’t just trash it, so we put it away again.

And eventually we pull it out again and read it again and…

Surprise!  It isn’t as bad as we remembered.  (It’s not as good as we’d thought, either, but at least now we think it’s salvageable.)

And then we start to edit.

And rewrite.

And write new stuff to replace the stuff we take out.

And about halfway through we start to hate it again.  And we want to quit because the story sucks and editing sucks and we suck and what’s the point and…

But we keep going because we remember that we loved it and we have hope that we can at least really like it again someday.

And eventually the bright shiny idea we started with and the sparkling pile of excrement we finished with have merged into something that doesn’t reek.

And while maybe it doesn’t sparkle and shine like it did in our memory, it glows.

Because excrement is great fertilizer, so now the little gem is pregnant with possibility.

So we keep polishing.

We edit each page, each line, each word, over and over again in a search for that perfect brilliant shine until we start to worry that in our search for perfection we might be losing the spirit of the story.

So we put it away for a while, then bring it back out, dust it off, maybe tweak it a bit more, and share it with someone else.

Just one or two people.

People who are not us.  People who are not inside our heads and who are looking at the story with virgin eyes and hearts.

People who aren’t already emotionally invested in the story.  People who are not already in love with it and who don’t already hate it.

Beta readers.

We give it to them and we sit on our hands and wait and hope and pray for feedback.

And then we make more changes and eventually we take a deep breath and release our stories into the world, scared to death and loving and hating the whole process.

And then, being masochists, we start all over again on the next story.

Because as much as we hate it, we love it, and we are addicted to it.

I was wrong.

We don’t write because we love it.

We write because we have to.

We have an addiction to feed.

 

 

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Wednesday Words #20 (5 – 13 -15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a list
a garbage dump
a lost shoe

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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I Must Be Ill

I’m actually looking forward to starting work on editing The Onyx Sun.

I hadn’t planned on doing any editing this year.  The plan was to just write and try to finish up the first drafts of the (way too many) projects I have started. That’s what my 1K-a-Day Challenge is all about.

But I have missed getting something ready for publication.

Yeah, I know.  Everybody hates editing.  And I…. “Hate” is not a strong enough word for how I feel about formatting for Amazon and Smashwords.

But still…

There is something about editing that appeals to me.

I like focusing on details.  Writing is very “big picture.”  At least, it is for me.

In a first draft I don’t worry too much about word choice – I just leave myself a note to look for a better word later and get on with it. Likewise, I ignore repetition.  Who cares if a character has shaken his head twice in the same paragraph?  Not me, not in a first draft.

And I like seeing it all come together into something that I can share with others.

The Onyx Sun is now printed and in a three ring binder, and tomorrow is a day off from work.  My editing bag and I just might take a walk to the library where I can spread everything out and attack it with paper clips and various colors of pens and highlighters and Sharpies and Post-It Notes.

Unless, of course, I can’t wait that long and take a chapter or two to work with me today…

 

 

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