July 2015 Camp Update #2

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Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

Well, not quite.  More like frogs and spiders and snakes and bats and a skunk.  Seems one of my cabin mates for Camp NaNoWriMo is turning our cabin into a wildlife refuge.  She even has a few stray plot bunnies.

(Okay, the frogs are mostly my fault and the rest are because I was taunting her about being a week (two weeks now) behind on the Sunday Snippet blog hop.

(I was putting frogs in another cabin mate’s bed because she hadn’t created her novel yet so I could add her to the cabin.)

I have awesome cabin mates:

WP is someone that I met a few camps ago when assigned to a random cabin.  We’ve Camped together ever since.

D. is a friend I made through a non-writing-related group on FaceBook. I got her addicted to NaNoWriMo – or at least to the Camps.

U.U. is a friend of D’s that she got addicted to NaNoWriMo.

H.W.  is the daughter of friends of mine, so that’s how we met.  I roped her into trying her first NaNoWriMo event this month.

We tease and challenge and cheer each other on.  It’s an active cabin, which is totally awesome – a good cabin can really make Camp extra special.

So, anyhow, I’m at 14k – or will be once I type up the handwritten stuff that I’m going to tackle once this post is done.  I’m not quite sure what the end scene of this book should be, so I’m thinking I might just end with what I’ve got written and come up with a real ending in the first round of edits, after I see what effect this book has on the final book.

(I seem to be much better at beginnings than I am at endings.)

I’m still not sure which book I’m going to tackle next, but since I’ll already have made par for Tuesday I think I might just take some time that day and go take over a table at the library and spread everything out and look at what I have lined up for the remaining three books and go from there.

I might even make an outline.

 

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Sunday Snippet July 5, 2015

More from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel currently in second round edits, which are sort of on hold while I do Camp NaNoWriMo with a goal of 62,000 words this month.

In this snippet, Taliya is meeting with Aelind Osbert, the attorney for Swann House to claim the inheritance her grandmother left her.

The usual creative punctuation warnings apply.

 

 

“Ah, my dear Miss Swann, please accept my condolences for your loss.”

“Losses,” Taliya thought with a pang, but she would not bring that up with him.  She had no illusions about this man: his allegiance was completely with Maureena, and with the retainer that she paid him. Anything she said in this office would make it to her mother’s ears before she left the building.

“Thank you, Mr. Osbert.”  A lifetime of training kept her voice composed and calm as she shook his hand and took a seat, waiting with a sense of professional expectation that left him lightly flustered, causing him to fumble a bit as he took his own seat across the desk from her. “I know you are busy,” she said. “I thank you for making room in your schedule to see me so quickly after my return.”

“Yes, well…”  He coughed slightly and she suppressed a smile as his reaction told her everything she needed to know: the timing of this appointment had been carefully orchestrated to keep her as off balance as possible. 

 

As always, comments are loved!

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 2015 Camp Update #1

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It’s been a good camp so far.

As of this writing I am sitting at just over 8000 words and Book 10 of the Academy of the Accord series is almost finished.   The main events are over, so there’s just some mopping up left to do, and I hope to get that done during the next few days.  (I’m working now through Tuesday so my writing time will be limited, but since there’s not much left that just might work out.)

The ending had a couple surprises for me, namely the return of two people from Book 2.  I’m still not entirely sure what I’m supposed to do with one of them, but the other managed to both kick off the climax and provide the reason that one of the main characters will be in his hometown in the next book.

I hope that by the time it’s finished I’ll have decided whether I want to work on Book 12, 6, or 7.  I have no outline for any of them, but the best sense of what has to happen for Book 12, a couple of half-formed scenes for Book 6, and a fair number of half-formed scenes for Book 7.   Book 7, though, has too many places where I’m not certain which way to go with the story.

Ah, well, I have to finish Book 10 first, and then maybe I’ll just write the scenes that I “know” for 6 and 7 and see where they take me, especially since what outline I do have for Book 7 sort of fades out on a scene and now I have no idea where I intended to go with it.

(Apparently I still haven’t learned how to leave myself proper notes.)

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Wednesday Words #27 (7/1/15)

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:

ww

 

 

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

 

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A Lot Of Things Wouldn’t Get Done

Well, I’ve been staying on track, but not getting ahead as I’d hoped.  The further into my five day stretch at work I get the harder it is to get words on paper.  But I will hit word count goal for the month on Tuesday, although I might still need to finish this novel during Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m just too tired to do much more than the minimum right now.

Plus, now I’m not certain where and how I want the novel to end.

I know it won’t be on a cliff hanger.  The books do build on each other, but each is a complete story in itself, although I do leave a few relatively minor loose ends that get tied up later – threads that bind the series together.

But…

Do I end the series after the current scene?  Or do the people from The Academy of the Accord go to Arcane Academy and clean house there?  Should I show that happening or should it be “off camera”?

I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to write it – something in it has bearing on the next book and what happens there definitely has bearing on the last book.

(Ugh! I so don’t want to think about the last book.  I hate the thought of not working with these characters anymore…)

Anyhow, I think I’ve just talked myself into writing the stuff at Arcane, so, yeah, the first part of Camp will definitely involve finishing this book, unless I get really productive over the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, I still haven’t decided which book of the Academy of the Accord series I want to work on for Camp so no outlining has been done – by zombies* or anyone else.  It would help if I had time to pack up all my stuff for the series and go spend a few hours sprawled out on a library table, but with only one day off left before Camp starts, I don’t.  Unless I get the Sunday Snippets posts set up before work today and get my thousand words for Tuesday written before I go to bed tonight…

If not for the last minute…

 

 

*A test for passive voice is “Can you add ‘by zombies’ and still have the sentence make sense?”  If you can, it’s passive voice.

 

 

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Sunday Snippet June 28, 2015

Skipping ahead a bit. Taliya has finally left her mother’s house and the first thing she did was call her friend, Belyn, to give him a head’s up about the influx of new applicants he was likely to get for his employment agency.  When he heard what had happened he insisted on taking her to dinner and having her spend the night in his guest room.  This is the next morning.

(For anyone new to this, I’m posting excerpts from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel currently in the first round of edits.)

The usual creative punctuation warnings apply.

Belyn is speaking first.

 

“Stay as long as you need to.”

“No.  She knows my friends and she assumes I’ll be staying with them:  I don’t want her to be right, and I also don’t want her to be harassing all of you because of me.”

He waved that off.  “Where will you go?” he asked, worried.

“I don’t…”  She smiled suddenly.  “My father’s.”

“Your father’s? But…”

“I know.  I haven’t heard from him in years and he was never really a part of my life.  But I always felt closer to him than I ever did to her.”   She sighed as she saw the time.  “I have to go.  I’m expected at Aelind’s office at nine o’clock.”

Belyn raised an eyebrow.

“To be given my inheritance,” she said in a clipped mocking imitation of her mother’s voice.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Planning for Camp

So who all’s doing Camp NaNoWriMo next month?  What are you writing and what word count goal are you setting?

I said on the site that I’ll be working on finishing some WiPs, and I might work on the I’m-going-to-finish-this-book-if-it-kills-me Book Two of the Other Mages trilogy, but at the moment my plan is to focus on the Academy of the Accord series. I’m going to try really hard to get Book 10 wrapped up this month.  (I’m nearly there, and what’s about to happen is going to be an awesome lead in to the events in Book 12.)  Then I’ll work on either Book 6 or Book 8, or maybe do some of each as the mood strikes me.  (I’m currently leaning more towards Book 8, but there are a couple scenes in Book 6 that I really want to write, so…)

I’ve set my word count goal to 62k – 2000 words a day for 31 days.  If I can stick to working on just one novel that should be about enough for the first draft of it.  And if I get the current one finished this month that only leaves me two to finish before the end of the year.  (Next year has already been designated as the year of editing the Academy of the Accord series.)

I did 60k last camp but I’m thinking that it will be easier than the similar insanity I had in April because I won’t also be doing NaPoWriMo.  But on the other hand, I’ve been working full time hours lately so I don’t have the luxury of falling behind at all.

Working in my favor is that I’m off on Wednesday the 1st so I can push to get a cushion built up.

I’m also off on Tuesday, the 30th of this month, so I can set up July’s Wednesday Words posts and Sunday Snippet posts then if I don’t do them sooner.  (I might try to get them done before work – if I’ve hit my word count goal for the day – to leave Tuesday free.

Actually, what I’d really like to do is get ahead on word count for this month so that I can have Tuesday off from that to get organized for Camp – maybe even make an outline or two.  (Maybe I can squeeze some of those scribbles out in a few odd minutes here and there at work over the next five days – if I don’t get pulled off my regular unit.)  Right now, though, I’m on track with word count, but just barely.  No real cushion built up at all and since my only remaining day off this month is Tuesday, I can’t afford to fall behind.

It’s going to be an interesting rest of the week…

 

 

 

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Wednesday Words #26 (6/24/15)

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:

dancing
a telescope
an old birdcage

 

 

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

 

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About To Start…

… playing catch up, that is.

Well, hey, I managed to stay on track through most of the month, then work got crazy and I got food poisoning.  Yay.

Anyhow, I’m only 900 words behind so that’s not too bad – as long as I manage to hold my ground and not slip further over the next few days.

Or at least not much further.

I have one more shift at work then I’m off for two days (Tuesday and Wednesday).

Most of Tuesday (that’s tomorrow! Yikes!) is going to be spent on the road. Some long-time online friends who live on the wrong side of the Rockies are on the right side of the Rockies for a few days, so we’re meeting up halfway between where I live and where they are.  I’m really looking forward to getting to meet them after knowing them for 20-ish years.

And their daughter, too – she was in grade school when I met them and now she has a son who will be starting kindergarten this fall.

(I officially feel old now.)

I’m excited. And a little nervous but mostly excited.

(And, of course, the writer in me is filing that excited and nervous combo away for future use…)

In other news, the current draft of Onyx Sun has been printed and is ready for its second round of edits.

The original plan was to have this round finished by the end of the month and the novel in the hands of beta readers by July, with a planned release date of “sometime in August.”

I’m not currently betting on it, but I will have it released before the end of the year.

(One of the not-often-mentioned perks of being an indie author is not having hard and fast deadlines for things.  This is especially important when working full time.  I’m getting somewhat better at self-imposed deadlines, though, thanks largely to NaNoWriMo and my own stubborn streak.)

Something else I had hoped to have finished by the end of the month is the first draft of the current WiP – Book 10 of The Academy of the Accord series. I’m pretty sure I can still manage to pull that off.

But, please…

The next time I decide that it will be fun – or even productive – to write a thousand words a day while also editing something totally different than what I’m writing, someone just smack some sense into me.

 

 

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Sunday Snippet June 21, 2015

Is Taliya free of her mother’s House yet?  Maureena is waiting in the foyer…

(For anyone new to this, I’m posting excerpts from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel currently in the first round of edits.)

The usual creative punctuation warnings apply.

 

“Where are you going?”

“To find Luzita. I don’t where that will take me, but long as it isn’t here I’ll be happy.”

“And what are you going to do for money?”

She shrugged. “I’m a certified pilot.”

“I expect you’ll come crawling back sooner rather than later, once your so-called friends get tired of putting you up.”

“I do not intend to presume on their hospitality.   In case you didn’t hear me, Mother, I’m a certified pilot.  That means that I am capable of making my own way in the world, and that means that I do not need to rely on others to take care of me.”  

“Where is the file from Roseeba Seven? I want to look it over and put it away.”

“It’s in my HoverWing. I will leave it at Aelind’s office tomorrow: you can pick it up there after I leave.”

She stepped outside, feeling an odd satisfaction at the stunned disbelief on her mother’s face: if Maureena had expected a meek and dutiful daughter then she hadn’t been paying attention – Taliya had stopped being meek and dutiful years before.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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