Monthly Archives: February 2016

February Summary

Where did February go?  I mean, even though we got an extra day of it this year, here it is, the end of the month.  I guess that means it’s time to take a look at what progress I’ve made and what still needs to be done.

As usual, my list of things to do this month was a bit more overly optimistic.

I accomplished the following from that list:

entered the changes to The Academy of the Accord Book 2
finished the paper edits of The Academy of the Accord Book 3
started The Academy of the Accord concordance

Not done:

Onyx Sun revisions
paper edits of The Academy of the Accord Book 4
paper edits of The Academy of the Accord Book 5
write The Academy of the Accord Book 6

(I did start the paper edits of Book 4, though.)

So much for looking at last month.  What’s on tap for March is the real question.

Sadly, the current list of goals for March isn’t any better than February’s was:

finish paper edits of The Academy of the Accord Book 4
do paper edits of The Academy of the Accord Book  5
write The Academy of the Accord Book 6
enter changes to The Academy of the Accord Book 3
enter changes to The Academy of the Accord Book 4
enter changes to The Academy of the Accord Book 5
Onyx Sun revisions

I’m pretty sure that I can finish the paper edits of Book 4 and maybe do the paper edits of Book 5 (at least until I get to the part where I’m untangling it and books 6 and 7).  And I can definitely finish entering the changes to Book 3 and maybe even get Book 4 done. The rest?  Um, probably not.

At least April’s goals will be pretty straightforward:

write a poem a day for NaPoWriMo
write 50,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo. (Book 6 is the first project I’ll be working on for Camp, and I have a couple back ups in case I finish it before hitting 50k.)

Then May will be here with even more unrealistic expectations…

At least I’ve taken the pressure off by not intending to get The Academy of the Accord released next year.  I’ll still over-schedule though – I always do.

And it has just occurred to me that I forgot to leave time to make changes to the books based on beta reader suggestions.

*crumples list into a ball and gives it to my rats to shred*

 

 

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Sunday Snippet February 28, 2016

 

Last snippet from Book Two of The Academy of the Accord. I wish I had more weeks in a month so I could introduce all of the characters, but since Kordelm took so much time I’m only going to get to Wellhym.  You’ll have to read the whole thing next year (or volunteer to beta read) to meet the others.

 

Wellhym shrugged his backpack into a more comfortable position and turned, taking a last look at the collection of buildings that was the town of Ruva, a small farming community. 

He closed his eyes, trying not to think of the night before, but the images – and shame – came flooding back. 

The community had come together to raise the walls for a new auction house, and afterwards there had been – as usual – a party with food and music and dance. 

The dance. 

The dance where his secret had come out, where everyone had found out that he simply wasn’t interested in girls, that it was other boys – and men – that he preferred being with, that he wanted to be with.

And he didn’t understand why it was so wrong; the men usually stood together at these things, drinking, and discussing crops and herds, and arranging deals for breeding to one another’s studs, but when he had said that he would rather stay with them than go dance with the girls, jokes about his being shy had progressed to cruder jokes until he had been forced to go and join the dancing. 

And then one of the girls had loudly announced that she would not dance with him because he would rather dance with boys and then everything had gone downhill even faster until he had been forced to admit his secret.

And then his father – his own father, the man he loved more than any other — had called him an embarrassment and a disgrace, and his older brothers had had even harsher words to speak, and his mother had refused to speak to him at all.

When they had returned to the farm, his father had told him to get his things and leave, and to not darken the doorstep again, and so, here he was, in the quiet of early dawn, standing on a hill overlooking the only home he had ever known, not sure where to go now or what to do, only knowing that there was no place for him here – possibly no place for him anywhere.

“Where are you heading son?” a warm voice asked and he jumped, turning to face the speaker, a powerfully built man with short hair and a stance that spoke of an easy confidence in his ability to take care of himself.  He also had a kind face and understanding eyes.

“I don’t know, sir. Just… away.”

“My name’s Marsden,” the man said, studying him.  The boy was blond, with pale blue eyes, and his ten-year-old body held the promise of a powerful build.

“Wellhym, sir,” the boy replied.

“Running away without a plan isn’t very smart, Wellhym.”

“I’m not running away.”  Wellhym’s voice was calm and he glanced back at the village again, a haunted wistful look in his eyes. “I – I’m leaving.”

Marsden, sensing something more, wisely let it drop; the boy would tell him when he felt ready – or not. 

“Well, since you’ve no plans,” Marsden said, “and since I’m currently traveling alone, would you care for a traveling companion?”

Wellhym nodded, feeling comfortable and at ease in this man’s presence, relaxing as Marsden placed a hand on his back and guided him away from his past and into a new future.

A future that he never would have expected. 

 

 

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 2-27-2016

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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.

More from Disturbed Magic (until or unless a better title comes along), continuing from last week.   Tirza wants to hire Kel, much to Kel’s disbelief.

“Why wouldn’t I want to hire you?”

Kel shrugged and took another sip of wine, delaying an answer as their meal was placed on the table.  “Because most people prefer their guards to be… larger.”

“I just saw you take down half a dozen men twice your size.  I know what you are, Kel.  You’re a Sword Dancer.”

Suddenly the tavern fell silent, all attention focused on them.

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2018

That’s the new deadline.

Monday’s attempt to write blurbs for The Academy of the Accord books led me to realize how much I didn’t remember about some of the books, so I’ve been rereading them since then and I can’t believe how much I’d forgotten about them.

Some of the later ones are pretty confused and disjointed (mostly from having been written out of order and me changing my mind on a few things midway through). Now that I’ve had a fresh look at them I’m pretty sure that the series isn’t going to be ready to release starting next January.  Not if I want to give the books the time and attention they need to be done right – and I do.  I owe it to myself and the series.

While this does take some of the pressure off, I do still want to have completed at least the first round edits of all twelve books by the end of the year.  I also want to have the concordance completed, or as completed as it can get.

I spent some time working on it yesterday, getting it set up, and I think I’ve got a handle on how to organize the information and fix plot holes and continuity problems.

So far there are three sections.

Section One is divided into 12 subsections, one for each book.  Each subsection has the following pages:
Synopsis
People/Places/Things Introduced
Things to Check for Other Books (Questions from Other Books)
Things to Look Up in Other Books
Things to Verify within This Book
Comments from Beta Readers
Miscellaneous

Right now there is no real rhyme or reason to my notes about things that I need to look up in other books.  With this set up I’ll have everything in one place and I can go through and write the answers in the concordance and refer back to it when editing. By putting the questions in the section for each book I should be able to just go through once and answer everything instead of being in and out of twelve files and trying to find the answers and the places that I had the question.  I think I’ll write the answer in a different color, too, to help offset my illegible handwriting.

Section Two is People/Places/Things, and will be divided into a subcategory for each. Everyone/everything will be listed alphabetically, and I’ll note which book(s) they are in. For instance, Vinadi and Marsden are in all twelve books, Kordelm, Wellhym, Caristen, Torlew, and Yhonshel are in books 2 through 12, Koppaerna is in books 2 and 4, and so on.  There will also be physical descriptions as well as a narrative that will help me keep track of who knows what.  Places will also be described because if I have to look up the description of the dungeons under The Keep one more time… (Ditto the Tower of the Accord.)  I have lots of graph paper so (if I can find it) I might even draw out their floor plans.  I should do that for the school, too, both for the castle itself and the grounds.

Section Three is Miscellaneous. It’s going to have a map (or maps), the timeline that I’ve been begging myself to make for years, the school’s curriculum so I know when they learn specific spells, and whatever else doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else.

Hopefully all of the above will iron out the continuity issues I’m facing and keep things consistent throughout the series.

And keep me from asking myself the same questions with every read through.

(I’m still no closer to having blurbs.)

 

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Wednesday Words #61 (2/24/2016)

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:

WW 2-24

 

(Click for larger image.)

(Found on FaceBook, posted by Faerie Magazine.)

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

 

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Blurble

Okay, “blurb” is not really a word.  A blurb is mostly a string of really bad words. And I need twelve of them for The Academy of the Accord. (Twelve blurbs, not twelve bad words.)

Anyhow…

The plan (ha!) was to write a post about blurbs, and to include blurbs for the Academy of the Accord books.  As you may have guessed, that’s not happening.

Why not?

Because I hate writing blurbs.

Well, that’s only part of it.

I started working on them, fully intending to kick them out for this post.

Book Two’s blurb isn’t too bad.

I had trouble figuring out how to end Book One’s and had about a dozen false starts on Book Three’s.  There are two versions for Book Four, Book Five’s is beyond weak, and Book Six’s has too many questions.

Book Seven’s isn’t too bad and Book Eight’s is… well, it needs work.

Book Nine’s is all right but needs something more and I gave up halfway through Book Ten’s because I needed to get this post written sometime today.

Part of the problem is that it’s been too long since I’ve read what I’ve written so some details are getting mixed up.  And it doesn’t help that the books were written out of order and some things are going to need to be moved from one book to another. (And some things already have been.)

So, the post with actual blurbs is going to have to wait a few months.

I think I’ll finish rough drafting them tonight, though, then tuck the file away and pull it out as I finish first round edits of each book to refine them a bit more.

Maybe in December I’ll have a Blurb Reveal post.

Meanwhile, any hints, tips, and massive amounts of commiseration chocolate will be gratefully accepted.

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet February 21, 2016

Picking up from where I left off last week in Book Two of the Academy of the Accord series.  Creative punctuation warnings apply

 

The dark-haired boy looked at Marsden for a moment then turned to the figure on the ground behind him, crouching down and gently rolling him over; he fell to his knees as Marsden joined him, and looked up at him, tears sliding down his cheeks. 

Marsden knelt, putting a gentle hand on his shoulder while he felt for a pulse on the other boy.  “I’m sorry, son,” he said quietly. 

“I… I was too late.”

Marsden looked at the stolen food, now scattered near the body, and the scene became clear to him; the boy had returned to find his friend being beaten and kicked by the other two and had dropped everything to step in to defend him.

“It’s not your fault, son,” Marsden said, his voice quiet, and the boy looked up at him.

“You’re going to arrest me, aren’t you?”  

“Hadn’t planned on it.”  Marsden’s voice held a note of gentle amusement.  “What’s your name?”

“Kordelm.”  His light brown eyes were wary, wondering what the man wanted, but he shrugged inwardly:  it wouldn’t be the first time he’d pleasured a man, either for money or to avoid punishment.

“How long has your friend been coming here?”

“I – I don’t know, I never met him.”  He looked up at Marsden.  “I was just coming down the alley and they were attacking him and… and I had to step in, had to stop it…”

“You’d never seen him before?”

“No, sir.”

“His name was Portri, and he was an apprentice wizard. I was looking for him, but apparently found him too late.”  He stood up, picking up the broken body of the young boy.  “Come on. Let’s get him to where he can have a proper burial, then let’s you and me have a talk.”

“About what?”

Marsden smiled at the wariness and defiance in the boy’s voice.

“Your future.”  

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 2-20-2016

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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.

More from Disturbed Magic (until or unless a better title comes along), continuing from last week.  Tirza has just asked if Kel was a mercenary.

 

Kel’s laugh held just a trace of bitterness.  “Not precisely, my lady; mercenaries get paid to fight or to act as guards, no one wants to hire me.”

“I do.”  Tirza found herself surprised at her own impulsiveness, but she could not deny the truth of her words:  if anyone could get her to The Eastonesse Barrens, it would be Kel.

“You want to hire me.”  Kel’s voice was slow, questioning.  

“You want to hire me,” Kel repeated when she nodded, trying to make the words sink in.  “To do what?”

“To take me where I need to go.” 

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Cleaning Out

I’ve been on a cleaning and de-cluttering kick, focusing on the kitchen, mostly.  But the other night I decided to tackle some papers.

See, I have a computer hutch.  My monitor sits pretty close to the front, and I have a tendency to shove “important” notes under it.

And then I add more “important” notes on top of those.

And eventually I have to tilt the monitor to get more “important” notes under it.

And somehow stuff migrates to behind the monitor. (I’ve yet to figure out exactly how that happens.)

Sooner or later, though, I have to do something about the pile of “important” papers – usually after I’ve survived an avalanche or two.

A couple nights ago I decided that the time had come, mostly because I couldn’t find my bamboo crochet hooks, which I was sure were behind the monitor. (They have since been found – on a shelf in the hutch, where I put them so they wouldn’t get lost in the mess of papers,)

So, I dove into the pile of “important” notes.

I found several old work schedules – one dated from the end of December.

I found random phone numbers with no name attached so I have no idea why I wrote them down. One of them did have something written beside it.  It looks like it says “Protection Center” but that makes no sense.

I found notes like: “Patchwork Writing.”  I know that was supposed to be a blog post but I don’t know what I was going to say.  And a search tells me that I wrote a blog post with that title back in August, so the question now becomes: “Is the note that old or did I have another idea along those lines?”  And if the note is that old, why didn’t I cross it out after I wrote the blog post?

Then there was this interesting note: “Pellar — white witch for a village.”  Stunning in its simplicity and its total lack of any useful context.  Is Pellar male or female? What village? Why is s/he important?  I’m pretty sure Pellar wasn’t meant to be a main character because I’d have at least some sort of vague memory about what I was going to do with him or her. But was Pellar supposed to go in something I was working on or in something new?  And either way, what was it supposed to be a part of?

There were random names scribbled in corners of papers, like the above mentioned old work schedules.  Those I can at least explain, though – when I come up with a name that I like the sound of I write it down for future reference.   (Somehow, however, when I actually need a name none of the names in my lists ever seem to be “right” for the person, place, or thing that I’m trying to name.)

Then there was the word “Sentinels” written all by itself on a paper. Really?  I expected me to remember what that meant?

“Did I put in V asking C and T about sharing their room that night?”  Um…. I don’t know if I did or not, but at least I knew what this one was referring to.  I wrote sort of a side scene to Book Two of The Academy of the Accord and I need to check to see if I put it into the current version.

Then there’s a list of fairy tales.  Why was I making a list of fairy tales? I think maybe I was going to modify them by doing a gender switch, which means it’s actually a list of plot bunnies, but there’s also a note across the top of the page that says “Good idea for a theme.”  A theme?  For what? Sometimes I worry about me.

I especially worry about me when I find things like a recipe for something involving ice cream and the oven. That can’t possibly end well.

I found two or three pages with notes and ideas for book promotion. (I really need to get them all in one place – I know there are other ideas scribbled down somewhere.)

A couple “to do” lists from the end of December turned up in the pile of “important” papers.  There wasn’t anything all that important on them and I have no idea why I was saving them.

Oooh! Notes for a talk about NaNoWriMo.  They were probably a good idea at the time, even though no one showed up for the talk.

“Fairies/bubbles.”  Other things on that piece of paper helped figure that one out – it was some notes on memoir writing.  I don’t do that and no longer go to the memoir group.  I’m sure I must be keeping them for some reason, though.

Two pieces of bright yellow paper contained a couple more plot bunnies, or maybe two parts of the same plot bunny.  No names for characters, though, and I only vaguely remember what I was thinking. I’m pretty sure the pages are related, though.

Then there were half a dozen or pages of lists of random words.  I think I’m supposed to combine them to make prompts for Wednesday Words. That’s what I’m going to do with them, anyhow.  (I should write them on individual scraps of paper and put them in a basket or something and draw out sets of three.)

Almost everything under there, though, related to writing. Even the “to do” lists from the end of December had writing-related things on them.

I’m still not sure about that recipe, though.

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Wednesday Words #60(2/17/2016)

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:

One dark and stormy night, you meet the twin you never knew you had.

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

 

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