Progress and a Plot Bunny

So, there’s this plot bunny starting to form.  I don’t actually have a story yet, just a main character: a Mexican demon named Charlie.  And I’m not sure, but I think maybe he can only possess pencils.

If you’re as totally unaware of trending teen things as I am, you’re probably scratching your head wondering what on earth I’m talking about, so here’s the explanation.

At work last night I was on a different unit than the one I usually work.  One of the aides there is also a preacher and is a bit… over zealous… at times.  I’m not sure what prompted the conversation but he asked another aide if she had heard about “the Charlie Charlie pencil game.”

She thought for a minute and said, “Do you mean the thing with the piece of paper with yes/no/no/yes?” and started to get a piece of paper to draw it out and was demonstrating how the pencils laid on top of each other for it.

He stopped her and said not to do that because it would summon a real demon.

He was completely serious.

And apparently it’s a Mexican demon. (Although he did say that demons don’t have nationalities.)

Anyhow, I now want to write about a Mexican demon named Charlie.

I’m just… not sure what his story is.

Yet.

Any work on this story (other than kicking it around in my head) is probably a long way from happening, but it’s so rare that I have a clear example of where a story idea came from that I had to share.

In other writing news, I started working through the bit that blocked me from working on entering changes to Onyx Sun. And I wrote (more of) a scene to be added to the first book of the Academy of the Accord series.  The scene seems kind of… not really necessary (although it will further character development, world building, etc) but it’s needed for a scene in Book 12, so…

And I got a bit more done on the Elven Bard novel that only has half a title.

So, there you have it. My weirdness and inspiration for the week as well as a bit of progress.

 

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Wednesday Words #108 (1/18/2017)

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 history book
a letter
moonlight

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

 

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Ti-i-i-ime

… is not on my side.

Halfway through the month already?  Didn’t we just celebrate New Year’s?

I’m doing pretty good on my writing goals.

Sort of.

I finished the first round paper edits of Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord and have Book 7 in the editing binder. I should probably stop and work on updating the writer’s bible for the series but I don’t think I can get that three ring binder to fit in my current backpack and I don’t feel like dragging out my MOLLE pack.  I think I’ll have to break down and carry an extra tote bag if I want to work on the bible. (Not that I have a lack of tote bags, mind you.)

I also have less than 2000 words to go to hit my writing goal for the month.

I’m not doing so good at getting changes entered to Onyx Sun (and haven’t even touched the changes to Book 5 of The Academy of the Accord).  I was actually doing pretty good on it, then hit a snag the other day, one of those things I talked about on Friday where, instead of fixing it as I was going through, I left myself a note “Westin? Intro him here instead of later” in the margin.

When I came to that point I didn’t have time to do it because I had to get ready for work, and then the weekend blog hops happened, and…

And here it is, Monday, and the same page is sitting here staring at me.  I have figured out how to work him in (and add description and setting to the scene as well) so all is not lost and I might have time to get it fixed before work today.

I’m hoping to make some headway on getting those changes entered over the next two days (my “weekend”) but tomorrow is going to be packed with errands.  (Dog to groomer, dog licenses, dog food, bank, post office, Aldi’s, Sam’s Club, Wal Mart, Dollar Tree, getting stuff printed, and taking the dogs to the nursing home to visit because I am not leaving the house on Wednesday after all of that.)  Fortunately, all but Sam’s and getting stuff printed can be done here in my town: for those I’ll need to make about a half hour drive. (The printing can actually wait, and just might.)

Maybe if I get started and on the road by 8:00 in the morning…

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Sunday Snippet January 15, 2017

I decided to still post from the twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series.  This is something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to cut, but I like it too much to just let it disappear, so it will probably be transformed into a side story or something.

So, more of Jorsen and Autheren, but this is from the start of the book, before the spider incident that I posted about last month.

Jorsen took Autheren home with him for the summer and the two of them went on a sailing trip up the coast for a few days. A storm blew in and they took shelter for the night in a cave on the cliff, only to wake up and discover that they were being watched by an Afiani, a bird-like race that is not known for friendliness toward humans. I’m picking up from last week’s snippet.

 

“We won’t hurt you,” Autheren said, sitting up.  He focused his attention for a moment and the cave filled with light. “That’s better,” he said. “Now we can see each other.  I’ve never met one of your people before.”

“I’ve never met one of yours, either,” she replied, studying them as they studied her.

She had a slender graceful build that looked too small to support the large golden brown wings that were folded behind her.  Her body was covered in feathers, and her eyes were bright gold. Her hands were those of a human, but her feet were the powerful talons of a bird of prey.

She pulled her gaze away from them and looked around the cave, frowning at the lack of a light source. “How did you do that?”

“I’m a wizard.  Well, an apprentice one. Jorsen is my Warder.  Would you like to join us for breakfast?  Jorsen is a really good cook,” he added.

She hesitated, looking at Jorsen, and he smiled.  “We would be honored if you would share our meal with us.”

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 1-14-2017

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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.

I’m still posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision. The revisions are turning out to be more complex than originally expected so the release date is, um, to be determined. (I’ve given up trying to predict one, but I am hoping to be through with the current round of revisions by the end of the month.)

This snippet follows directly from last week’s:

(Taliya snorted.   “You could be a purple and orange slime mold and as long as you could talk tech with Josul he’d never notice.” She shook her head, her lips curving into an amused smile.  “If I called him right now and asked him to describe you he could tell me everything that the two of you talked about, and he might be able to tell me that you are taller than he is and not human, but that is about it.”)

Ayess’s answering grin was cut short by a flicker on the control panel.  “Odd,” he murmured as he reached for the controls.  He shook his head.

“What’s wrong?”

“I could have sworn I saw a light for a power drain, but now it’s not there.”

“You get used to it,” Taliya said.  “It’s been doing that since I bought the ship.  I can’t trace it – it doesn’t stay long enough to trace.  So far it doesn’t seem to be a problem, just an annoyance.”

“I can trace it,” he said.  “It will take some time but if it is the same relays that trigger each time it can be traced.”

“Thank you.  I’m pretty sure it’s nothing serious, but just in case I would like to get it solved.”

He nodded and started working on the problem.  “It’s not something that can be fixed in a once-over on a planet – or even necessarily caught there.  It’s a game of patience and trial and error.”

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Note to Self:

When you’re working on a first draft and you get to a part that is hard to write because you’re not sure what’s going to happen in the scene, write it anyhow.  Do not leave a note to [SAVE FOR REVISION] because you know what? When you get to the revisions you still have to power through that scene and really, in revisions you should be fixing stuff, not writing stuff.

(The exception, of course, is when your beta readers suggest that you add more scenes.)

Likewise, if you have two (or three or more) versions of how something happens, make the decision in the first draft, because, trust me, the Decision Fairy is not going to come alone and wave a magic red wand and delete all but one of them.

(Yes, as a matter of fact, I am dealing with both of the above.)

I have scenes to add to Onyx Sun but those are beta reader suggestions so they don’t count.  I have two written but need to figure out where to put them/how to work them in.  And I need to write a few more that occurred to me in editing, but again, those don’t count because they weren’t part of the first draft.

The Academy of the Accord, on the other hand, is rife with the above.

I’m currently doing first round paper edits of Book 6 and have two different versions of how something happens.  I think maybe I can combine them, and I hope I can because there are parts of both that I really love.

But I also have notes about things like “should probably show more interaction between Shander and his roommates and introduce them before now.”

And my favorites are things like “I have no idea where I was going with this.” (Obviously a scene written when I was too tired to have been writing.)

Or “go back and insert….”  Why didn’t I go back and insert it then?  Why? Tell me why?

And it’s not going to get any better as I work through the series.  Book 7 has several “which way should I work this?” moments, and Book 12…

*sigh*

Book 12 is an unmitigated disaster in that regard with several major points of indecision.  Or, rather, of being decided on too many things.

 

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Wednesday Words #107 (1/11/2017)

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 snowman
a park bench
an empty bottle

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

 

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January Goals Check In

Just over a week into the month so I thought I’d take a look at where I stand with my writing goals.

I have not entered any of the changes to Onyx Sun. I have, however, put it into a different three ring binder and have moved Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord to the flex cover binder that I carry in my backpack, so I’ve been working on the first round of paper edits to it, and they are going much better than expected.  In fact, another good week at work staying on my regular unit and I should be finished with it.

That doesn’t mean that all is peachy-keen and wonderful in my writing world.  This is one of the books that intertwines with two others and I’ve crossed out huge sections to delete and left notes to move stuff to other places, and “cut this but keep that and move it to …”  and made various other sweeping changes that are easier to do on paper than on a screen.

Plus, there are a lot of notes to check stuff in other books.

So I think that when I finish this round of first edits I might take time out and work on putting together my Writer’s Bible for the series. I have it started but I need to get caught up on it a bit and see if I can answer some of the questions I’ve asked in it. (I don’t want to try to put the whole thing together after I finish all twelve first edits. I may be crazy but I’m not insane.)

Anyhow, this week on my days off I have to get to work on Onyx Sun.  I changed my profile picture on Face Book to the makeshift cover I made for it once upon a time for NaNoWriMo to help keep me focused on getting it done.

As for writing… I’ve added maybe five hundred words to the next Elven Bard book. (It’s a sequel to Song and Sword.)  I started it for NaNoWriMo but didn’t get very far due to some events that I let throw me off (and which spawned a bunch of baby plot bunnies that I started writing instead of working on it) so I don’t even have quite 5000 words in it yet.  I want to be at 10K for it by the end of the month.

So, all in all, so far I’m doing pretty good on my goals for the month. I haven’t touched my traveler’s notebook for my writing stuff but that can happen tomorrow or Wednesday when I’m off.  I still need to find a way to track where everything is in the process… I think I’ll spend some time perusing the posts and files in the Bullet Journal Writers group on Face Book to see if anyone has any good layouts.

And then I need to, you know, start using my planners…

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Sunday Snippet January 8, 2017

 

I decided to still post from the twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series.  This is something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to cut, but I like it too much to just let it disappear, so it will probably be transformed into a side story or something.

So, more of Jorsen and Autheren, but this is from the start of the book, before the spider incident that I posted about last month.

Jorsen took Autheren home with him for the summer and the two of them went on a sailing trip up the coast for a few days. A storm blew in and they’ve taken shelter for the night in a cave on the cliff. I’m picking up from last week’s snippet.

“They favor archery…” Autheren’s breath caught as he looked back at the silhouetted figure. “An Afiani.”

“Yes.”

“I can hear you.”  The voice was light, almost musical.

“I never said you couldn’t.”  Jorsen sat up slowly.  “We did not mean to intrude on your territory.   We had to seek shelter from the storm.”

“I know.  I watched you come ashore last night.

Jorsen relaxed slightly. There was no immediate threat; if the Afiani had intended them harm they would have been attacked in their sleep.

“We’ll be on our way as soon as the storm clears,” he promised.

“Not today.  The sky is red.”

He nodded.  “I’m Jorsen,” he said hesitantly.  “And this is Autheren.”

“Lirit.”

She jumped lightly down from the boat and stood, watching them but holding her distance.

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 1-7-2017

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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.

I’m still posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision. The revisions are turning out to be more complex than originally expected so the release date is, um, to be determined. (I’ve given up trying to predict one, but I am planning to be through with the current round of revisions by the end of the month.)

Taliya and Ayess are discussing her plans to free him.

 “I won’t be able to pay you much at first – I’m sort of operating on a tight budget right now – but I will pay you and give you full back wages as soon as I can.  And in the meantime, if we do get attacked, you will die free, not as a slave.”  Taliya hesitated, watching him carefully as she added, “That is, if you still want to, knowing the risk…”

“I want to.” 

There was no hesitation in his voice and she smiled. 

He shook his head slowly.  “I cannot explain it, but you are different than any human I have met.”

“Different?”

He nodded.  “You treat me like an equal.  Others, because of my race, treat me as… less.  But you do not.  And the man, Josul, he did not either.”

Taliya snorted.   “You could be a purple and orange slime mold and as long as you could talk tech with Josul he’d never notice.” She shook her head, her lips curving into an amused smile.  “If I called him right now and asked him to describe you he could tell me everything that the two of you talked about, and he might be able to tell me that you are taller than he is and not human, but that is about it.”

 

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