Monthly Archives: November 2016

Wednesday Words #101 (11/30/2016)

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!

 

a Dalmatian
gloves
a piano

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

 

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Hopeless

I need 16,398 words for a win.  There are three days left counting today, which means I need to write 5466 words per day to make it.  With luck (and a lot of caffeine) I think I can still pull it off, especially since I’m off tomorrow with no plans to go anywhere.

And hopefully by then I’ll have shaken this migraine so I can actually be productive.

My new method of counting words that are hand written but not typing them, just marking a space for them and continuing on with writing the story, is working.

Of course, when it comes time to try to translate my handwriting into something approximating the English language I’ll be somewhat less thrilled with this method and will be wishing I’d done typed it while it was fresh in my mind.

And I’ll be crying an ocean when I have to try to edit this mess into something presentable and coherent.

Still, I seem to be slowly gaining ground and now that I’m seeing the glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel I’ve even started looking ahead to next month.

So many things have been put on hold this month that I’m probably going to spend most of December getting caught up on stuff around the house, not to mention cooking and baking and decorating and shopping for the holidays.

And I need to get back into editing and revising and I’d like to get back into doing other crafts.

And, of course, I’ll be setting up my writing and editing (and other) goals for next year. I’d like to make them more realistic than this year’s but, yeah, good luck with that, right? I mean, I’ve already overbooked myself for December…

Hopeless.

I’m just hopeless.

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Sunday Snippet November 27, 2016

 

Eleventh month, eleventh book of The Academy of the Accord series.  (Unedited, of course.  My plans to edit a book a month were um… a little unrealistic.)

This follows almost directly from last week’s snippet.

Kordelm, Caristen, and Torlew have taken the apprentices, and Andrek and Oriteh, back to the school, leaving Wellhym in the town square with the cadets.

(Despite a lot of creative punctuation this is pretty long.)

 

Wellhym waited until they were out of earshot then rounded on the cadets.  “What were you thinking?” he exploded.  “Explain yourselves!”

None of them could meet his eyes. 

“You are Warders,” he said.  “Your job is to protect wizards, and that means preventing problems, not escalating them.  Was he presenting a threat? Was he?”

“He hurt Auth,” Jorsen said, and Wellhym could hear the distress in his voice.

“In the past,” he said more calmly.  “But today – was he posing any kind of threat to you or your wizards?”

“No, sir,” Jorsen admitted. “But Auth was so upset…”

“So you drew steel?”  Wellhym stared at him.  “Part of what you, as Warders, do is keep a situation from getting out of hand.  Yes, Auth was upset. But you weren’t alone, and even if you had been, your first responsibility is to your wizard, to calm him and make him feel safe and secure.  What would have happened if Autheren had gotten too worked up and had fire-balled Andrek?”

Jorsen looked down, his shoulders sagging.  “Yes, sir,” he said, swallowing hard as the implications sank in.  He could have lost his wizard… or been forced to run with him as an outlaw, outside the protection of the Accord.

Wellhym nodded, satisfied that the cadet would not make the same mistake a second time; he understood that it was Jorsen’s love for his wizard that had made him draw steel, but he couldn’t let that excuse the cadet’s actions.

“And the rest of you,” he said, turning to them. “There was no danger to your wizards so I have to assume it was your past history with Andrek that prompted your actions?”

His voice was cold and hard. 

“Yes, sir,” Draethlen said, still not looking up at him.

“Draethlen, you of all people should know better than to rise to any sort of bait from Andrek.  You had more sense as a first year cadet than what I’ve seen here today.”

“Yes, sir.”  Draethlen took a deep breath and finally looked up to meet Wellhym’s gaze.  “I’m sorry, sir.  It won’t happen again.”

“See that it doesn’t,” Wellhym growled. He turned to the others.  “And you two,” he said.  “I understand that you were just backing up your friends, but sometimes the best thing you can do to help a friend is to tell them when they’re out of line and need to calm down.”

“Yes, sir,” Terhesh and Rahmael said.

Wellhym shook his head.  “So, tell me what was accomplished here this afternoon?”

“Nothing, sir,” Draethlen said.

“No.  Not nothing,” Wellhym said.  “You let the past override the present, lost any semblance of good sense or self-control, put at least one wizard at risk of violating the Accord,”  Jorsen flushed at that line, “and caused a ruckus that nearly led to bloodshed in the town square.”

“Yes, sir.”  Their response was quiet, nearly inaudible. 

“Back to the school, all of you,” he said.  “Go directly to your wing and stay there until Kord, Cair, Tor or I tell you otherwise.  Understood?”

“Yes, sir.”

He watched as they moved off, subdued and dispirited, and he sighed, running a hand through his hair, suddenly feeling tired and worn down, and, uncharacteristically, in need of a stiff drink.  He sighed and slowly started after the cadets: there was something better than a stiff drink waiting for him at the school – his friends, and, more importantly, his wizard.  On the other hand, he was not looking forward to reporting this to Marsden so his steps were slow as he followed the cadets toward the school.

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 11-26-2016

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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.

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.)

Picking up from last week.

 

“Why are you so interested in buying my ship?  And more importantly, why was I being fired on yesterday?  ‘Misunderstanding’ or not, it was deliberate or else they would have responded when I hailed them.”

His annoyance was obvious, but only for a brief moment before his suave expression returned.  “The former owner of your ship was carrying something for my company.”

“Really?   If that was the case, if it was a legal cargo the arresting agency would have contacted your company when they confiscated the ship.  Derring Hessen was arrested for smuggling marjicia root.  Surely your company isn’t involved in anything like that?  Besides, my ship was thoroughly searched before I left Pendelia Four.  Apparently Planetary Investigations thought that I had something to do with the explosion that destroyed Vastyne’s, so whatever your people thought was on board, isn’t.”

Furious didn’t come close to describing the look that flashed across his face.

“Thank you for your very generous offer, Mr. Staunton, but my ship is not for sale.”

 

 

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A New Plan

I’ve been writing.  Not really gaining ground but holding my own and not falling any further behind.

I’ve written a couple short stories and have started a couple post apocalyptic dystopian type novels. (I can’t really call them “dystopian” because I just can’t seem to write “dark” enough for dystopia.  Is there a sub genre called hopeful dystopia?  If so, that’s what I seem to be writing.)

And I shared part of one of the novels and am now being urged to finish writing it.  I think I’ll need an outline and some background info on that first – I kind of wrote myself into a little more of a plot than originally planned. (Not that it was all that well planned, but still…)

Anyhow, now that I seem to have gotten that out of my system (at least for now) I’m back to the originally planned project for the month.  Will I finish it?  Oh, hell no.  But I am working on it and the words are coming better than they were before the detour.

And I’ve figured out a way to help my word count as well as the story progression.

I can get anywhere from 750 to 1000 words written (by hand) at work on a good night. What I’ve been doing is that if I hand write something at work I type it up when I get home, which is normally okay but since I’m so far behind it’s kind of a waste of writing time. So, for the rest of this month when I hand write stuff I’ll put a date on the top, and leave a space in the Word doc flagged with that date and just keep on writing.  I’ll count the words (it’s usually about 250 per page) and just copy and paste that many words from somewhere else into the end of the file. So sort of a weird combo of normal NaNoWriMo and being a Luddite.

But hey, whatever works…

And with this method I won’t worry so much about not being on my computer next Wednesday while I’m away from home waiting for Riley’s surgery. I can just write and count the words.

So, yeah, I have a plan!

And in addition to the plan, I have renewed enthusiasm for my original project.

I call that a win win.

And hopefully a NaNo win.

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Wednesday Words #100 (11/23/2016)

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!

a feast
a roll of coins
a clock

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

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On A Roll Again

On Friday, I needed to write 3168 words per day in order to finish on time.

And I laughed because I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

And as of today I need to write 3865 words per day in order to finish on time.

And I know that number will be worse tomorrow.

And I’m still laughing. (Mostly because crying will give me a headache.)

And I’m still writing.

Actually, that’s not quite true.  I’m not still writing – I’m writing again.

What am I writing?

Well, that’s a good question.  It was supposed to be a post apocalyptic dystopian novel but, well… It’s rather light on the dystopian aspects, probably because most of it (so far at least) is set in an intentional community, one that runs counter to all the dystopian stuff.  Right now I’m still setting up the community, although that is changing as I write and make changes in how I’m handling the story.

The cool thing about it, though, is that as I’m creating the community and gathering the people that live in it, words are flowing.  I get to write a bunch of mini stories as I introduce the characters and get them to the community.

The uncool thing, though, is that I don’t really have any sort of cohesive plot for this thing yet.

The other uncool thing is that if I ever intend for this thing to see the light of day as a finished novel it’s going to need about a year’s worth of revision.

But that doesn’t matter. I may never unleash this thing on the public, but writing it is good for me.

Not just for my word count, but because of the sense of hope inherent in the intentional community.  (It doesn’t have a name yet.  Or, rather, it has several names because I can’t decide on one.) And, eventually, there will be some fighting back against the dystopian regime.

At least, that’s the plan.

And I have a scene mapped out in my mind.

That scene should probably come earlier in the book than where it’s probably going to end up but that’s what revisions are for.

Meanwhile, I’m going to keep chugging along the way I am and introduce a bunch of people and bring them to the community.  At the very least I’ll have solid back stories on all of the members of the community.

And I’m hoping that their stories keep me going to 50K.

 

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Sunday Snippet November 20, 2016

 

Eleventh month, eleventh book of The Academy of the Accord series.  (Unedited, of course.  My plans to edit a book a month were um… a little unrealistic.)

This follows directly from last week’s snippet.

 

Draethlen and Terhesh stayed alert, silently challenging Andrek as Senzu and Azlea stepped forward to stand just behind them, their hoods up to minimize distractions.

“Enough,” Caristen said as he felt the energy building.  “Hoods down.”

“There will be no fighting, magical or otherwise,” Torlew said firmly.

“Everyone, stand down,” Wellhym repeated.

“So he can attack?” Draethlen asked.  “It’s Andrek, Captain.  He was always looking for trouble and now there’s nothing to stop him.”

“He’s not going to attack,” Wellhym said.

“Wel’s right.”  Kordelm’s eyes met Draethlen’s in a quiet challenge, and Draethlen slowly looked away.  “Stand down, Andrek,” Kordelm said softly, feeling the crisis pass.  “You and Ori will be safe. I promise.”

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 11-19-2016

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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.

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.)

Picking up from last week, and again editing parts of the section to make is sort of fit.
“I understand that you bought your ship second hand?”

“I did.”  She felt a growing sense of suspicion; he had apparently done a great deal of research just for an apology.

“I would like to buy it from you.”  

“And why would I sell it to you?”

“Because I would pay it off and get you out from under the loan.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Staunton, but this ship is my business venture.  I’m not starting over buying another just to assuage your conscience.”

“Let me finish, Miss Swann.  I want to buy this one – get you out from under the loan – and give you another ship – bigger, brand new, straight off the assembly line.  No strings attached.  Say, a StarRunner?  Customized to your specifications?”

More red flags: StarRunners were several steps up from her current make of ship and were the top of the line for both freight runs and cruisers.

 

 

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Fog

So the plan was for my roommate and I to each drive our own car to work on Thursday (we work at the same place and usually we ride together) and for me to take a change of clothes, change out of scrubs just before the end of my shift, and go to the midnight showing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Then fog happened.

Wednesday night we had heavy fog (that didn’t burn off until after noon on Thursday). The weather forecast was just calling for “patchy fog” Thursday night, but I didn’t want to take a chance. (The theater I was going to is half an hour away.)

So I decided to wait. There was a showing scheduled for 10:50am today (Friday) and that sounded like a much better idea. (Especially since my roommate decided she didn’t want to do lunch this week.)

Turns out it was a good call.  By the time I left work last night the fog was already starting to gather — and it didn’t look patchy.

But now I’m faced with trying to sleep and not oversleep so I can be up, bathed, dressed, and on the road by 10:00 in the morning. Fortunately we’re allowed to wear jeans on Fridays so when I get home all I’ll have to change will be my shirt and my shoes and I’ll be ready for work.

(And work should be much more interesting with my brain in a fantasy movie induced fog.)

So, what about NaNoWriMo?

Hm, yes. What about NaNoWriMo?

The plan was for me to way ahead on word count goal by today so that I could go see the movie and not worry about making par for one day.

Well…

I’m not worried about making par today.

I’m so far below par that I’m not worried at all because catching up and finishing on time currently requires me to write 3168 words per day.

(You can stop laughing now.)

Yeah, it has been a crazy busy hectic month here this year, far more than in previous years.

But there’s also been fog.

Events earlier in the month seem to have numbed my creative side.

And not just mine. I’m seeing and hearing it from numerous online friends.  We all seem to be struggling to find the clarity needed to see our way forward. We keep hoping the fog will lift, that the sun will come out and burn it away, but it seems to just keep getting thicker.

And when we do see a glimmer of open air it never seems to last long before the fog closes in and shuts everything down again.

But we still struggle on, trying to find normality (or what passes for it).

And maybe, just maybe, going to the movie will dispel the fog.

At least for a little bit.

 

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