Monthly Archives: February 2017

Thirteen Book Series?

So I’ve been working my way through the first round paper edits of Book 7 of The Academy of the Accord, and I’m thinking I may need to rethink the series.

There is so much overlap between the original ending of Book 5 and the starts of Books 6 and 7 that I’m thinking of taking all that overlap stuff and making it a book unto itself.

For one thing, it would certainly make editing this mess a whole lot easier in the long run.

And there is a whole lot of stuff that I had to cut because it didn’t really fit into any of them, but I saved it all because a) I’m even a packrat when it comes to computer files and b) it is still kind of needed somewhere but there’s currently just no where to put it.

And this extra book would let me expand some things that I need to put more emphasis on so it’s there for later books. (I’m looking at you, Book 11 – you and Andrek and the most confusing and convoluted family tree ever created.)

And for yet another thing, it would let me focus on just the characters that are center stage in Books 6 and 7 (Rahmael and Shander in Book 6, and Brythel in Book 7) and would cut down on a lot of repetition between the books.

It doesn’t solve all of my problems with the series, though.  I’ll still be struggling with the (re)introduction of Azlea, for instance.  Of course, I’m already not entirely sure when that happens so that’s not really a major drawback.

It won’t exactly solve the problem of Book 7 either.  It’s still going to overlap some of the others no matter when I set the beginning of it because it’s Brythel and he’s… complicated.

And this new book in the middle of things sort of comes with a couple problems of its own.

For instance, so far it’s mostly just a series of scenes with no plot. I’d need to come up with something to tie it all together and tie it into the overall story arc for the series.  (I’m pretty sure I can find something, I just have no idea what at this point.)

And of course, then it becomes Book 6 so I’ll have to renumber all of the other books and all of the files associated with them…

I think I’m going to scream now.

And the headache continues to grow.

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Sunday Snippet February 26, 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.

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, in which Autheren (who is known for his friendliness to everything and everyone) has invited Lirit to join them for breakfast.

Lirit had just explained that among her people, “Life mates usually are the same sex.  For male and female to nest together for life is very unusual.”

“It’s the opposite in most of our society,” Jorsen said as he knelt to build up the fire for cooking.  “Most people mate for life with the opposite sex.  Same sex partnerships are…not common and are… sometimes looked down on, like there is something wrong with the people involved.  That’s not true, but that’s what some people seem to think.  But Autheren and I are a bonded wizard and Warder pair.  That’s also not very common, but it creates a different sort of relationship, one that pretty much doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.”

She tilted her head curiously.  “Why would anyone else care who you nested with?”

Jorsen laughed. “That’s a good question.  Unfortunately, it’s not one I’ve ever heard a good answer to.”

 

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 2-25-2017

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.

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 have at least one more round of revisions which I’m hoping to finish this month.)

This snippet comes directly after last week’s in which Ayess was explaining a bit about Araxians and Araxian society.

 

“I hate the word ‘it’.”

He shrugged. “You do not have any other word.”

“What is your word?”

“Ni. Ni-en for plural and ni-es for the possessive.”

“Thank you.  I’ll try to use those instead of he, him, or his.”

“Why did you choose the male pronoun for me?”

Taliya flushed as she laughed at herself.   “Because you’re taller than I am.”

Ayess joined in her laughter.  “I do not mind if you think of me as male or refer to me as one,” he assured her. “I do not find it offensive.  And, after all, I am taller than you are.”

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The Lonely Writer

They say that writing is a solitary endeavor, but no one really ever says why.  I think that’s because there is actually a variety of reasons for it, and most of those reasons are probably highly individualized.

I know that some people like writing in public, in coffee shops for instance, but for me, I do better with silence and solitude.  It’s easier to hear the voices in my head when I don’t have outside voices to contend with, not to mention the risk of getting interrupted while in the middle of a scene and the words are flowing and your fingers and brain are communicating – I have a hard time getting back into that groove once I’ve been pulled out of it.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that I am far more interested and emotionally invested in my work than others are. I used to have a sign hanging over my computer monitor that said, “No one else is interested in your writing so STFU about it.”  I still have the sign and come across it every now and then and think about putting it back in place. I probably should, because far too often I’ve wanted to talk about my work in progress (or a budding plot bunny) only to be faced with total indifference and disinterest.

It is disheartening enough when you get monosyllabic answers, but having the person you’re talking to blow you off or ignore you in favor of something (or someone) else, or being interrupted with a total change of subject is enough to make me crawl back into my cave and stay there.

I’ve also (on more than one occasion) been talking to a friend who was asking about my writing and another friend has interrupted and derailed the conversation. Yep. Instant retreat back into my shell.  (I don’t come out of my shell often.)

So, yeah, I should probably hang my sign up again as a reminder the next time I find it.  (I’m pretty sure it’s in my computer hutch, behind my monitor. I’m also pretty sure that there are monsters living back there.)

Meanwhile, I’ll keep writing.  And talking about it to anyone who will listen.

 

 

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Wednesday Words #113 (2/22/2017)

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 birthday present
laundry
laughter

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

 

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Weekend Plans

It’s my Friday and I’m looking forward to my “weekend” on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I currently have over twenty things (and growing) on my “To Do” list for my days off.  Some of them won’t take all that long but it’s a matter of making myself do them.  Of course, it’s the same with the ones that will take a long time – making myself do them.

Some are writing related, some are pet related, and some are just housework – which is still kind of writing related because it helps me work through plot issues.

Anyhow, I thought I’d share my oh-so-exciting weekend plans with you, because, you know, writers have such glamorous lives.

 

Clean the rat cage.

Rat food to containers.

Jazzy to the vet on Tuesday at 11:15 for a check up on her eye.

Clean up the dog poop in the yard. (See? I told you it was glamorous!)

Measure the fence.

Mark where crocuses are or aren’t so I don’t dig up too many when planting roses later this spring. (Yes, we have crocuses blooming. In February. In Western Pennsylvania.)

Move the white barrel.

Move the (neighbor’s) rain spout.

Clean the stove.

Clean out the fridge (since garbage won’t be picked up until Wednesday this week because today is a holiday).

Mop the kitchen floor.

Set up Wednesday Words for March.

Set up Rainbow Snippets for March.

Set up Sunday Snippets for March.

Write two thousand words for my Elven Bard WiP.

Outline Paranormal Picnic.

Outline the “Shared Soul” thing and change its name because it strayed from the original concept and I’m pretty sure there’s no going back.

Outline Fighting Back. (And find it a better title.)

Do two very overdue beta reads.

Work on my entry for the QSF Flash Fiction Contest.

Play with my laminator.

Set up my planners for next month.

Enter changes to Onyx Sun so I can get it printed for another go round.

 

I think that should keep me out of trouble.

And I think that I might need more than two days off.

 

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Sunday Snippet February 19, 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.

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, in which Autheren (who is known for his friendliness to everything and everyone) has invited Lirit to join them for breakfast and they are trying to get dressed without exposing themselves to her.

(Autheren is currently using a levitation spell to hold a blanket between them and Lirit while they dress.)

 

“You mate for life?”

“Ideally, yes.”  Jorsen tucked his shirt in and hesitated, but belted his sword around his waist.  He was fairly certain that she was no threat to them, but he had Autheren to protect. He gave the wizard’s shoulder a squeeze and nodded, and Autheren let the blanket drop.

Lirit studied the two of them for a moment.  “The two of you are mates?”

Jorsen glanced at Autheren and smiled. “You could say that.” 

She nodded.  “Life mates usually are the same sex.  For male and female to nest together for life is very unusual.”

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 2-18-2017

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.

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 have at least one more round of revisions which I’m hoping to finish this month.)

This snippet comes directly after last week’s in which Ayess was explaining a bit about Araxians and Araxian society.

 

“But you were asking about our families,” he said.  “When our young are first hatched, they are tended to by the entire…”  He frowned.  “You do not have a word for it.  It is not a family or tribe or clan or city… Group will have to do.  Everyone tends to the needs of the youngest members.  As they get older, they will form… bonds… with an adult.  Not exactly friendship, but close. That adult will then take that young one into its household and take responsibility for it, see to it that it is educated and becomes a productive member of society.”

“I hate the word ‘it’.”

 

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I Don’t Want To Write

Oh, I still want to create worlds and characters and bring them to life and share their stories.  I love doing that.

But I hate writing.

There, I said it.

I hate writing.

What I really want is for the stories in my head to appear on the screen in front of me, exactly as they play out in my mind, without me having to do the actual writing.

For one thing, I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the flow of ideas.  Plus, typing takes too long. I want them done now.

But the main thing is that what I type never matches what I see in my mind.

And a lot of that is because I don’t do a good job of setting a scene. I need to work more on describing the setting, of showing where my characters are and letting the reader see what they are seeing.  Description really isn’t my forte, but it’s something that I know I need to work on so I do make a conscious effort to include more of it, at least in the rewrites. (First drafts, not so much.  I actually left myself a note in one that says “Where are they having this conversation? Setting, please!”)

A friend who beta read my first (published) novel, Song and Sword, was the first to point that out to me.  He said something along the lines of, “Now, don’t go all Tolkien on me and spend three pages describing the mountain, but give me more than talking heads.”

And that’s another part of the problem.  I see the scenes play out in my mind like I’m watching a movie and I want to include everything that I see, including the sky and clouds and grass and backdrop and…

And if I put all of that in it would take me a thousand words just to do a single paragraph and the story would never move forward.

I know there’s a happy medium there somewhere, but it’s really hard for me to find.

 

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Wednesday Words #112 (2/15/2017)

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 cherry
a beard
a wax seal

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

 

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