September Goals 2016

Since this is the last post for August (other than Wednesday Words) I thought I’d set up my goals for September, since, you know, I did so well with the August ones.

Since I didn’t meet my August goals, the logical thing to do would be to simply carry them over to September, right?

Wrong.

Well, maybe not wrong exactly, but definitely not what I’m doing. Some goals I’m keeping, some I’m tweaking, and some I’m letting ride to October. (Or beyond.)

Of the August goals, I’ve done pretty well at writing a hundred words a day.  Maybe not writing every day, but averaging that, I think. For September I’m changing the writing goal to a thousand words a week.  That’s more than August’s goal, but if I do the thousand words on a day off (or even on a work day) that frees me from that obligation for another week, which takes off a lot of pressure.

I’m relatively certain I can still get the last bit of the changes to Book 4 of The Academy of the Accord done before Thursday rolls around, even if I am still struggling to figure out what I meant with my note about the note.  I need to get it finished so I can get it printed for another round of editing before it goes to a beta reader because I’m still not sure I’ve patched all of its plot holes to my satisfaction, and since I’m really not happy with the ending and think that it needs to move to an earlier part of the book, because the scene that happens shortly before it is a much better ending. (Unfortunately, that scene leads up to the current ending so I’m not sure how I’m going to flip flop them.)

So, anyhow, since I’m almost done with that project for this round, my Academy of the Accord goal for September is to enter the changes for Book 5 and do first round paper edits of Book 6.  Maybe.  I’m really trying not to set myself up for failure by taking on more than I can possibly expect to accomplish next month.  (It would really be a nice change to meet all or at least most of my goals.)

I think I might have to set up primary and secondary goals.

The main change is going to be in regards to Onyx Sun.  I’m chugging through the paper edits with the comments of beta readers in mind, and I’m finding a lot of things that could be expanded on.  Not doing so is going to seriously short-change the book so I’m going to ease off on its goals and push back its release date to ??? Maybe October but more likely December or even January.  We’ll see how September goes but I’m not going to rush it.

(I’m not going to rush The Academy of the Accord either.  If it doesn’t see the light of an e-reader until 2020, so be it.)

I’m still going to be hammering out outlines for other books in the Song and Sword universe.  One is almost done. It’s missing… something that I can’t quite put my finger on, and it needs me to figure out what order some events happen in. (I think some index cards might be involved in that project.)  I still have two months to figure it out, though, so I’m not worried. (Much.)

The other main change I’m making for September is going to sound counter productive and counter intuitive to finishing all (or even any) of the above.

And maybe it is.

But.

I’m going to spend at least one hour a week on (gasp!) some other hobby or craft. It won’t matter if it’s crochet or counted cross stitch or a junk journal or some other paper craft or working on a doll house or other miniature project, but at least one hour a week is going to be devoted to some other creative outlet.

Why?

Because I get so frustrated because there is so much else I want to do but all my time seems to be devoted to writing, and then I end up resenting it, even though it’s my main obsession and first (and truest) love.

How is all this going to work out?

I’ll let you know as soon as the Magic 8 Ball is done laughing at me.

 

1 Comment

Filed under writing

Sunday Snippet August 28, 2016

Posting from Book 8 of The Academy of the Accord series this month.  Terhesh is a Wyverian, a race that looks rather like a human/dragon hybrid: they have wings, a tail, scales instead of skin, and talons on their toes.  He is roughly fifteen years old.

Picking up a few paragraphs from last week’s snippet. Radenth is being treated in the infirmary and Terhesh is trying to stay out of the way.  He has been talking to Brythel, the cadet that stood at his side earlier.

 

“Boys.”

Both of them were on their feet, Brythel in respect and Terhesh standing defensively in front of him, his eyes flaring as he faced another warrior, this one accompanied by a Master.

“It’s all right,” Brythel said, touching his shoulder.  “Terhesh, this is Marsden, the Commander of the garrison, and his wizard, Vinadi, our Headmaster.  Commander Marsden, Master Vinadi, this is Terhesh.”  He looked up at Marsden.  “He’s a Warder, sir.”

Marsden nodded.  “Welcome to the Academy of the Accord, son,” he said, extending his hand.  “And I want to apologize for your earlier reception.”

“Thank you, sir.  And it was no more than what I should have expected.”

“Maybe at Arcane,” Marsden said. “But not at Accord.  Rest assured, they will be dealt with.  That sort of behavior is not tolerated here.”

“It is not tolerated from apprentices, either,” Vinadi said.  He was a bit taller than Marsden, lean, with short sandy brown hair and blue eyes surrounded by smile lines, and Terhesh hesitantly accepted his outstretched hand: touching a Master was forbidden.  “I know that at Arcane they look down on the warriors, think of them as nothing more than hirelings, but that is not our way.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Marsden gave his upper arm a friendly squeeze.  “I’ll let you get settled,” he said.  “We’ll get a full report later after you’ve had some food and a chance to get your bearings.” 

“Bry,” Vinadi said.  “I believe I saw lights in the dining hall and smelled food.  Would you take Terhesh?”

“And tell Kord to save some for the rest of us,” Marsden growled.

Brythel grinned.  “Yes, sirs.”  He touched Terhesh’s arm. “Come on.”

Terhesh was lost in confusion. This was not what he had come to expect of humans. No one was calling him names or avoiding him, and everyone seemed friendly and accepting of him, as if it was the most natural thing in the world for a Wyverian to be among them.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

9 Comments

Filed under writing

Rainbow Snippet for 8-27-2016

rainbow logo 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

Posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision and which I’m hoping to publish later this month.  (Those of you who participate in Sunday Snippets may remember parts of this.)

Skipping ahead a bit.  Taliya has just decided to buy her own ship and start her own trading company. She is still with Belyn, and he has the first line.

There may or may not be some creative punctuation involved in the following text.

“There are other dealers, you know. You don’t have to go with Vastyne Byrd.”

She tilted her head curiously.  “Is there something wrong with Vastyne Byrd?”

He shrugged.  “They’re no worse or better than any other dealer, I suppose.  There are rumors that they’re tied to the D’Rannen Syndicate but then there are rumors like that about most businesses, either to the D’Rannen Family or another.” He hesitated for a moment.  “Including the Swann family,” he added softly.

“I’ve heard the rumors,” she replied, her dark eyes troubled.  “But Mother kept all the books and was quite… closed-mouthed… about her dealings.  I do know that if Swann is involved it is all her doing – Grandmother fretted about it as well.”

Belyn nodded.  “I know you wouldn’t be involved in something like that, but I do worry that you might get caught up in it just because you’re Maureena’s daughter.”

“I’m not quite sure if I can claim that title anymore or not.”

 

7 Comments

Filed under writing

Reality

Wow!  Less than a week left in this month.  Where has it gone?

And, more importantly, will it please go faster? I am so done with the heat and humidity.  I would like cooler temperatures, please, thank you.  And air that you can breathe without the use of gills.  (We’re going back up to 90F this weekend. Ugh. Just… ugh.)

Anyhow, as much as I’m ready for the month to be over, I’m not ready for the month to be over.  There’s still too much to do and not nearly enough time to do it.

And yet, somehow, the things that have to get done will get done.  Maybe not with time to spare, but they’ll get done.

It’s the things that I want to get done that aren’t going to happen.

Part of the problem is that the “ottas” and “gottas” (as in “I oughta do…” and “I gotta do…”) are crowding out the “wannas.”

The “ottas” and “gottas” are also crushing motivation because they pile up so high and so fast that a “what’s the use in trying” mentality sets in.

And then my stubborn streak kicks in and I try anyhow.

And then reality takes hold and agrees with “what’s the use” until the stubborn streak gives it a talking to and a compromise is reached.

(Things get interesting inside my mind…)

And then reality says, “Okay. We can do this and this and maybe these, but not that or those, and why in the hell did you decide to try to do so much stuff anyhow?”

Reality is such a bitch.

And a bossy bitch at that.

Reality can go jump in a lake.

But I am seeing progress the “ottas” and “gottas” and they have a definite deadline so there is an end in sight.

And I’m even seeing spurts of creativity and new ideas.

(Even reality can’t keep a writer down for long.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to go join reality in that lake.

Preferably one fed by cold mountain streams.

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Wednesday Words #87 (8/24/2016)

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 wheel
a bed
a hat

 

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

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Birth of a Plot Bunny

So, there I was, minding my own business, reading stuff on FaceBook, when I came across an article about a wand maker in England who had been quoted as saying he wouldn’t sell his wands to Harry Potter fans because they are tools, not toys.

Now, I had read an article about this a week or so ago, but suddenly when I was reading this one something clicked and a plot bunny was born.

Well, maybe only conceived; it’s not a full sized plot bunny yet, just the barest hint of an idea.

How bare of a hint?

Well, I don’t have any characters, nor do I have a setting. Is it modern times? Fantasy world?

What do I have?

One very brief scene. Like ten-seconds-out-of-the-whole-story brief.

Fortunately, it’s not nagging at me too much.  Yet.

But I’ll probably kick it around in my head now and then to see what becomes of it.

Because, you know, I need more projects.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Sunday Snippet August 21, 2016

Posting from Book 8 of The Academy of the Accord series this month.  Terhesh is a Wyverian, a race that looks rather like a human/dragon hybrid: they have wings, a tail, scales instead of skin, and talons on their toes.  He is roughly fifteen years old.

Picking up from last week’s snippet.  Terhesh is surrounded by four cadets with drawn swords, and has drawn his own in response.

 

“What is going on here?”

A new voice cut through the night and all four cadets stepped back and came to attention as a tall bearded blond man approached them.  He wore the robes of a Master, but there was a sword at his hip and he moved with the sure easy grace of a warrior.  At his side was another cadet;  he was smaller than the others but he pushed through their ring to stand at Terhesh’s side, one hand resting casually on the hilt of his sword, his body relaxed and at ease, but poised and alert.

“Master Yhonshel,” one said.  “It was going to attack us.  You saw it, it drew its sword.”

“That’s enough.”

The cadets flinched at the anger in the man’s voice.  “D’temmar, report.”

“Sir.  We were on curfew patrol when we saw… this.”  The cadet gestured toward Terhesh and Radenth.  “They seemed to be struggling and then the warrior went down.  He appears weak, as if injured, but we don’t know what it did to him.”

Terhesh could see the Master’s jaw tighten in anger and he trembled, despair colder than the early spring night clutching him.  The cadet standing beside him touched his arm in gentle reassurance, and Terhesh looked at him, startled as much by the touch as by the feelings of protectiveness that swept through him, but the cadet’s gaze was focused on the Master he had come with, as if waiting for a cue.

“I said that was enough.”  The Master’s voice was sharp, but quiet.  “The four of you will wait here until Commander Marsden comes for you.  You will not move or speak until he does.”  One cadet opened his mouth to protest, but no sound came out.  Another tried to back away but found himself rooted to the spot.  “Be aware,” the Master continued, his voice deathly soft, “that your swords will likely be broken and the four of you confined to the stockade.”

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

11 Comments

Filed under writing

Rainbow Snippet for 8-20-2016

rainbow logo 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

Posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision and which I’m hoping to publish later this month.  (Those of you who participate in Sunday Snippets may remember parts of this.)

There may or may not be some creative punctuation involved in the following text.

She was still smiling as she settled her craft into the lot next to the building and powered down.  When she opened the door and stepped out she was immediately grabbed.

“Lady, you are just on the brink of losing it,” Belyn said. “I’m thinking we should skip dinner and just go to my place – I have a bottle of white wine chilling for you and your room is all ready and waiting and stocked with tissues.”

She laughed and hugged him. “Oh, no.  You promised me dinner at Curtey’s.  Besides, I know you want to flirt with Robus.  Are you making any headway with him?”

Belyn made a face as he took her arm to escort her into the restaurant. “I’m over him. He’s all looks, no substance.”

“Who’s the current heart throb?”

“There isn’t one. I’ve given up.”

Taliya snorted.  “Sworn off men?”

“Love.”  He flashed her a grin.  “But I’ll be over it by next week.”

Taliya laughed.  Belyn’s buoyant nature was healing and infectious, and something resembling a sense of normalcy returned – as long as she didn’t let her mind stray to the events that had led her here.

And Belyn didn’t let it stray. Despite his clowning, he was attentive and sensitive, and every time her thoughts drifted he brought her back to the present, somehow managing to get her through dinner with her dignity intact.

 

6 Comments

Filed under writing

Due To Circumstances Beyond My Control…

Sometimes, life just gets in the way.

I had huge writing goals for this month:

Onyx Sun:
finish the revisions
find a cover artist
write a blurb
format the novel
release it

Academy of the Accord:
finish entering changes to Book 4
enter changes to Book 5
MAYBE edit Book 6 (first round paper edits)
try to get books 1 through 4 (maybe 5) in the concordance

Other:
rough draft outlines for two sequels to Song and Sword (and a prequel)
write at least 100 words a day in an existing WiP

I might finish entering the changes to Book 4 of The Academy of the Accord, but nothing else related to that series is going to happen.

And there’s a slim (very slim) chance that I’ll finish the paper version of the revisions to Onyx Sun, although I’m not entirely certain that I’ll get them entered into Word, so no way is it coming out this month.  I think I’ll shoot for October; September would be awesome, but it’s unlikely. (Current situation isn’t going to resolve until midway through next month.)  I do have a few versions of a blurb for it, though, so I might settle on one before the month is out.

I have been doing the hundred words a day, so there is that at least.

Anyhow, the tl;dr version: it’s over halfway through the month, and over half of my goals for August are not going to be reached.

The things that I want/need to do for my personal goals keep getting pushed to the back burner.  Or rather, I feel guilty for taking “me” time so I’m sort of sneaking it in on breaks from the cleaning and decluttering chores.  The reason for the delay is a positive one, but frustrating nonetheless, and I am increasingly feeling like I don’t have any time for the stuff I want to do.

On the other hand, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s dim and flickering, but I do catch a glimpse of it now and then.

 

5 Comments

Filed under writing

Wednesday Words #86 (8/17/2016)

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:

“Angry?  You ate all my cereal and faked your death for three years! I have a right to be angry!”

(Prompt tweaked from prompts found on FaceBook.)

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

 

3 Comments

Filed under writing