Tag Archives: 750words

Back In The… Oops!

So I finally got started writing again and was on a pretty good roll with the current Elven Bard novel yesterday morning – I added about 500 words or so, but then I had to go to work.

But I was on fire! Ready to dive back into it when I got home.

But then work happened.

It should have been a good night.  It wasn’t a shower night, it wasn’t blood sugar day, and I had two good aides. (Although there’d been a bit of weirdness between them the night before, but still, they were good aides and I figured we could muddle through another night before I talked to the bosses today.)

Ha!

Three hours into the shift, after yelling at the other aide (and yelling and swearing at me) one of them threw his i.d. badge about ten feet from the back room behind the nurse’s station onto my desk, and walked out.

So, yeah.  There went the “good night” at work.

And there went my writing time when I got home. I sort of needed to use 750words to destress from work.

I did manage to get some more editing of Book 8 of The Academy of the Accord series done, though, so that’s something at least.

And I’m hoping to dive back into writing after work tonight. (As long as nothing changes I have two very drama-free aides tonight and tomorrow.)

 

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The Hundred Word Solution – Part Two

So, on Monday I asked:

So with all of these fun and wonderful projects, why haven’t I been writing?

Probably lots of reasons: feeling overwhelmed, lack of motivation, miserable summer heat…

Lots of reasons, but only one solution:

Write.

Daily.

Even if it’s just a hundred words.

In fact, when I set up my non-NaNoWriMo Month word trackers I think I’ll make that the daily goal, at least until I get back into the habit of daily novel writing.

In fact, I might even start tomorrow.

After I clean the rat cage, run errands, catch up on blog hops…

A hundred words is still doable.

But which WiP do I add them to?

I’ll let you know on Friday.

Well, it’s Friday.

I’ve written just over a thousand words, which isn’t all that much, maybe, but it’s far more than what I had been putting out.   (The real test is coming up over the next couple days – can I do this while also doing the weekend blog hops? I think I can – I’ll just make it part of my daily/nightly 750words.)

Anyhow, I’ve been working on another scene to insert into Onyx Sun. The scene is clunky and awkward but that can be fixed in editing. And it’s getting less clunky and awkward the more I write.

And I’m starting to look forward to writing. Somehow writing had become a chore, not something that I looked forward to doing and couldn’t wait to get back to, but I find my mind drifting back to this scene in odd moments. (And I haven’t even gotten to the fun part of it yet.)

I don’t know if it’s the low expectation (“just a hundred words”) or something else, but the important thing is that I’m writing.

I’m reminded by a quote from Louis L’Amour:

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.

I think I should print that out and hang it over my computer.

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Technical Difficulties

I would have written and posted this before going to bed last night, but, well, it was already 3:00 in the morning and I didn’t think I was overly coherent.

Actually, I would have written this post before I went to work yesterday (it was on my to do list) but… see that blog post title up there?

Yeah.  That.

My computer (not unlike me) is old and cranky.   Unlike me, it can usually be coaxed and babied into cooperating.

Yesterday morning I suddenly had a black screen – nothing but the task bar at the bottom was visible.  It sorted itself out, I went on with what I was doing, got another black screen, followed by the Blue Screen of Death, followed by the computer rebooting itself, followed by a period of cooperation in which I did a panic-induced back up of everything I could before I had to go get ready for work.

Last night I spent over an hour trying to get my browsers to work.  I finally (around 2:30) got it stable enough to do my 750words.com entry and by then I was so frustrated that as soon as I hit the 750 mark I went to bed. (I still need roughly 200 words before work today to stay on track for my 1K-a-Day challenge)

It’s amazing how dependent we have become on these machines.  All my writing is in this box of electronics.  (Well, okay eight books of The Academy of the Accord series are printed and waiting for me to finish the other four and start editing, but still – who wants to retype all of that from scratch?)

Actually, all of my writing is now in this box of electronics and in a gmail account. (I’m still trying to figure out why I panicked – I email files to myself on a daily basis. so it’s unlikely anything wasn’t already there, but still… That’s how a writer’s mind works. Well, this writer’s mind, anyhow.)

So, what does everyone else do when their computer threatens to destroy all their hard work?

I need to renew Carbonite as soon as I get the money, but what about until then?

I mean, I can keep writing long hand and type it all up another time, but the thought of losing everything else is just… *shudder*

 

 

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Word Count vs Real Life

I’m already behind on Camp NaNoWriMo.  Seriously behind.  I set my word count goal to 60,000 words, which is 2k a day — twice what I’ve been doing for my self-challenge. That means that today I should be at 12,000 words and I’m… not.

I have around 8000 words, which is two full days behind where I should be.

Can I make it up on my days off?  I should be able to, so I’m not too worried yet. I don’t think I’ll get to give myself a cushion though.

And today is going to be pretty much a no writing day, other than 750words, unless I pull an all-nighter (which I am considering…)

And this is where the “Real Life” part of the title comes in.

Last Monday I got a phone call (voice mail) from the eduction coordinator at work, telling me that my CPR certification was expiring soon and she was teaching a class on Monday the 6th at 10:00 am and she had scheduled me for it.

I was (and still am) furious at the presumption. How dare she decide what I was going to do with my time away from work?

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was at 1:00 in the afternoon and I could do the class and go straight to my floor to go to work.  But, no… I have to be there, do the class, come home for a couple hours and go back.  Day = shot to hell.

And (back to writing) even while I am fuming about it, and resenting being scheduled without my consent,  part of my mind is filing the feelings away for future reference in writing.

(“A writer never takes a vacation. A writer is always writing or thinking about writing.”)

The other part of the problem is that I work the 3 to 11 shift. I’m not usually in bed until two or three o’clock in the morning, which means I’m not usually up until 10:00 — which is when I have to be at the class.

As I said, I’m seriously considering an all-nighter, filled with sugar, caffeine, and five hour energy drinks.

And maybe lots of words.

 

 

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Raining On My Porch

Wednesday was my day off and it did not get off to a good start.

I was in the bathroom and the furnace was running. When it stopped I thought I heard water running and the water pressure in the bathroom was low.

And I wasn’t running any water…

We’ve had problems with the hot water pipe to the kitchen sink freezing up this winter, but I hadn’t heard any water running when I’d passed through the kitchen, but I checked anyhow.

Nope.  Not the kitchen.  Still had cold water but no hot.

Now, one of our neighbors (we’re the center unit of a triplex) had managed to break pipes in her apartment and blow up the boiler, so at first I thought they were doing something over there, but, nope, no signs of anyone.

I started investigating, and found the source:  water was pouring out of the porch ceiling. It looked like it was raining on the back porch.

So, I went out into the rain on the porch and can’t tell where it’s coming from except that it’s running between the boards on the ceiling.

On a hunch, since I could still hear water running through a pipe, I turned off the hot water to the kitchen and the rain slowed and stopped, and the water pressure in the bathroom went back to normal.

But then we had a drip inside.

This just keeps getting better and better…

The drip is coming not from a water pipe, but from where the vent pipe from the hot water tank joins the air intake (I think) for the furnace. I put a towel under it and then a bucket, but that drip stopped too.

Crisis temporarily under control, the next step was to notify the landlords.  I have three numbers for the landlady and couldn’t reach her on any of them.

My roommate was at work, so I left her a voice mail (and a text) for her to call and have landlord call me, because I know she has the right number in her phone.

Roommate called back to see what was going on so I explained.

She called back again — landlord was tied up until 3:30, but since it’s not an emergency situation anymore, that’s fine. She got emergency leave to come home, though, so that’s even better.

So, I go up to my room to catch up on the world and try to settle down and do some writing.

No such luck.

Shortly after noon there is a knock on the door.  The landlord stopped over on his lunch break to see what was wrong and how bad it was.

And he solved mystery.

Our kitchen is actually over the back porch. I knew this but didn’t make the connection to the fact that the pipes for the sink run up the outside wall and then make a sharp turn and go under the kitchen floor/over the porch ceiling before turning up to the sink. That’s where they’ve been freezing and that’s where the break is. (This also explains why the cold water pipe has been freezing up. As he pointed out, water lines three feet under ground have been breaking this winter.)

The good news is that it’s an easy fix and he can do it himself.

The bad news is that he can’t do it until the weather breaks, so we’ll be heating water on the stove to wash dishes for a while. (He’ll have to cut a hole in the porch ceiling, fix/replace the pipe, and repair the hole.)

Looks like we’ll be eating a lot of pizza…

(Okay, so there is a bright spot.)

Meanwhile, all of this is happening while I’m battling the cold from hell, so that little incident pretty much ate up my energy for the day.

So, needless to say, not much writing got done.

Actually, not much writing has gotten done this week at all.  I’ve been too miserable to focus so I’ve been lucky to kick out a hundred words or so instead of a thousand. (What a difference a zero makes!)

But I will hit my monthly goal today. (Good thing, because tomorrow is the end of the month.)

In part because I’m feeling slightly better (although I’ve started coughing a lot this afternoon) and partly because I need to stay off FaceBook for a while because all of the Leonard Nimoy posts are making me cry (which is not exactly helping the sinuses).

Part of the problem (besides being sick) has been a struggle with an upcoming scene.

It’s a fight scene, which is bad enough, but the real problem is that I’m not sure where to put it.

So I did some brainstorming in 750words.com the other night.  I still don’t know where to put it, but I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t be the next thing I write: I need to show the lead up to it a bit so it doesn’t come out of nowhere.

I also need to decide who dies.

 

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Camp NaNo Recovery

So I am slowly getting my life back from Camp NaNoWriMo, or will be when I’m done feeling like I was dragged behind a runaway rhinoceros.

I’m still doing the page a day writing challenge, usually using 750words.com to get my pages done, unless I’m too tired when I get home from work, in which case I just babble.  (Crazy night at work last night so my 750 entry was all over the place, jumping from subject to subject to squirrel! back to a previous subject to a squirrel! to… Yeah.   No sense trying to write when the mind is working like that.)

My days off will be focused on editing Sanguine, and I’m off for the next three days, so here’s hoping I can make it through at least one more round those days.  (I suppose I should try to do a chapter of it every day before work, too.)

Actually, tomorrow may be dedicated to writing, cleaning the rat cage, and working on making a path through my room, unless I take my editing bag and go hide in a library, but that requires leaving the house so I might just get some other stuff done instead.

See, I don’t normally have trouble finding time to write (or edit, if I have to):  it’s finding a balance between writing and everything else that seems to elude me.  Things like work (well, I do find time for it), housework, shopping, etc, all just seem to take a back burner in my life.  I think it’s time to get a kitchen timer and write a page, then clean for 15 minutes, write a page, clean for 15 minutes, etc.

Anyhow, by Friday I hope to have finished another run through of Sanguine – and to have a room I can more or less walk through.  We’ll see…

Meanwhile, does anyone have any tricks for balancing it all?

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Brainstorming With Myself

I’ve written before about 750words.com and how useful it is for writers.  It not only lets you get in the habit of writing every day, it is totally private, so you can rant about your day or work out plot problems or even use it to write a few scenes.

This past weekend I used it to work out an issue that’s been blocking my progress on Book One of The Other Mages trilogy.  There is an initiation scene pending – coming very soon in fact – and I have been at a complete loss as to how to handle it, so I used 750words to talk to myself. Somehow, putting my thoughts down in black and white (and in a format that I can read better than I can my handwriting!) helps me think through problems.

And think through it I did.  I have solved the problem of their final tests before initiation – one seemed unnecessarily cruel and the other I had no idea what it would be.  The cruelty issue has been resolved and I now know what D’Laron’s test will be.

Yay, me!

I also realized that I have quite a bit of work to do before I get to that scene – I need to lay some in-story groundwork for what is to come.

But that’s all right.  At least I know now what I need to do and have a bit more of a plan for how to get there so I can make an outline.

Which reminds me – I started jotting notes for one at work the other night.  I don’t suppose that any of you good folks have any idea what I did with it?

Ah, well, it wasn’t that great of an outline anyhow…

(On a brighter note, while searching for it I found notes I’d written to help me around a major problem in The Academy of the Accord series…)

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Camp Ramblings 4-7-14

Well, I’m still behind by about two and a half days.  I’ll do my best to close the gap some today.  (I’m hoping for a 3k day — I’m too “out of shape” to think I can do 5k.)

But the good news is that it’s getting easier.

I’ve been using 750words.com to get myself to write, and for the first couple days it was hard: each word felt like I was pulling it out of a concrete block.  (I haven’t gone back and re-read what I wrote, but I’m guessing it reads like a concrete block, too.)  Yesterday, however, the words flowed much more easily.  I’m pretty sure it’s still stilted and awkward, but it’s getting better,  and I’m learning to go with the flow of the story again.

No, that’s not quite right.  I’m learning to let the story flow.

I don’t really have an outline for this — just a few points that need to be covered — so I’m sort of pantsing* it.

I normally do work with an outline:  it keeps me on track, and the more detailed I make it the faster and easier my writing goes.   But in a way, it does interrupt the flow of the story.  This one has just branched off in a direction I hadn’t expected, with a minor character having a vision that is going to be reflected in Book Three, which happens almost 20 years after this one.  It’s genius!

Or it would be if I had, you know… planned it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*pantsing: writing by the seat of your pants

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It Seemed Like A Good Idea…

And then I started thinking about it…

Marketing really isn’t my forte.  I pretty much suck at it, in fact.

But somehow or other, while free-writing in 750words.com, I was writing about a plot bunny that hopped in the other day, and I got the “brilliant” idea that writing little short stories to go with The Academy of the Accord series would be a good idea.  I would post them here on my blog and they would be a fun way to promote the books, raise interest in them, etc.

But then I started thinking…

There are twelve books in the series, some of which aren’t written yet.  Should each one of them have a short story?

And how long should the short stories be?  (Answer: as long as they need to be.)

And what would they be?

Book One is the start of it all:  Marsden and Vinadi meet, overcome obstacles, learn to trust one another, and begin to plan the school.  I was thinking that its short story might be something from Marsden’s childhood – there are a lot of options there:  the incident with the captive wizards and tortured non-humans, something that shows his early training, something with his family, especially his youngest brother…

Lots of options.

Book Two is the start of the school, and introduces five new characters.  Tough to choose something from that, but I do have one in mind, one that will show the nature of one of the characters, and his relationship with the others.  I’ve been kicking it around in my head for a while anyhow.

In Book Three four of the above mentioned new characters go on a journey, sort of a rite of passage for the wizards in the group.  When they return, they find that Vinadi has hired an assistant – someone that none of them like or trust.  I think the short story for that would be how Barlen came to be there

Book Four introduces Senzu, a Wyverian apprentice wizard.  (Wyverians are a race created during the Wizard Wars, sort of a humanoid dragon.)  I have a couple ideas for a short story to go with it, or maybe I can combine them into one: they do fit together, and would provide a good back story for the book, and it would tie in neatly with Marsden’s comment in the book about the fact that he and Vinadi took a lot of journeys south.

Book Five gets messy.  (Book Five is messy.) It used to be the original novel (well, the second version of the original novel) and I’m not quite sure where it ends as parts of the latter part of it are being torn out and moved to the starts of two other books. (I swear, I’m naming Book Five “Migraines.”  Or “Excedrin.”)  So I currently have no idea what to do for a short story for it.

Book Six is one of the books being sort of gently untangled from Book Five.  Or at least the start of it is.  It’s another book that I can’t really come up with a short story idea for until it’s written, especially as the only thing I can think of sort of gives away some info that I don’t want revealed yet.

Book Seven is the other one being untangled from Book Five, but I have more of it written and planned than I do Book Six, so I have a couple ideas for it.  One involves the focus character, Brythel, slipping out of his house (before he came to the Academy) to go listen to the minstrels in the taverns.  The other involves Brythel and his cousins, and sort of sets the stage/provides some background for events in the novel – except that some of those events are also tangled into Books Five and Six.  (The three are sort of set semi-concurrently.)

With Book Eight I’m out of the confusion of concurrent novels and back into a straightforward timeline.  It introduces Terhesh, another Wyverian, and is set just after the end of Book Seven.  I’m not quite sure what to do for his short story yet, but I’ll probably do something set at Arcane Academy, which is where he started his training as a cadet.  It can involve Rarian, who shows up in Book Ten, and it would really help to have their past relationship sorted out before he gets there.

Book Nine is also written.  Mostly.  I sort of stopped because I got confused as to who was where and never wrote the last couple of scenes.  There are a couple minor characters in it that would be fun to explore as a side story – or two.  In fact, one short story is already started, and the other is the plot bunny that started this whole short story fiasco.  (And, no, they cannot be combined.)

Book Ten is started but hasn’t gotten very far.  Two new characters have been introduced, an apprentice and a cadet (Calef and the aforementioned Rarian) who left Arcane Academy to come to Accord.  I think the short story for this one will reflect back to something that happened in Book Eight.

Book Eleven is done, and has so many short story possibilities that it’s giving me a headache, especially since one of them could work as a short story for Book Nine as well, and it is already spawning two.  (Feast or famine…)

Book Twelve is going to (hopefully) wrap up the story arc that has been running through the previous eleven books.  (Please?  I don’t think I could handle a thirteenth book!)  Since I haven’t even begun to outline it yet, and have only the vaguest idea what happens (other than finally confronting the villains) or how it happens, I have even less than no idea what to do for an associated short story.  Maybe something with the villains…

See what one innocent little plot bunny can do?

And why does this make me feel like I’m writing fan fiction for my own books?

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Light Bulbs

I was plugging away in 750words.com, just babbling about life in general, and realized that I needed to come up with a blog post for today, and that I had absolutely no idea what to write about, so I made the comment that maybe inspiration would strike while I was at work.

And, of course, that got me thinking about inspiration, what it is and where it comes from.

I don’t necessarily mean ideas for novels.  I have no idea where they come from either, but I do know that I have more of them than I can deal with.

(So why haven’t I been writing much lately?  Good question.  I think it’s because I’ve been tired, drained.  I’m an introvert: I gain energy from being alone and lose energy from being around people.  And my new job has me around too many people for too many hours in a row.  That is something I am going to have to overcome – and soon! – as Camp NaNoWriMo starts in just over two weeks.)

At any rate, I shouldn’t ever be at a loss for inspiration.  I mean, I’m a writer, so my mind is always on writing, at least partially, which means that pretty much anything can be fodder for a blog post – or a plot.

After all, writing reflects life, and, well…

Life happens.

And what’s currently happening in my non-writing life is that I need to replace a light bulb in my bedroom.  Maybe that will help with inspiration, like the ones that go on over cartoon characters’ heads when they get an idea.

(At the very least I should probably replace it before the other one goes out and leaves me completely in the dark.)

Actually, I need to get a lamp to plug in closer to where I work.  The overhead light just isn’t helpful for late night writing when I need to stay alert and focused.

(Moving the rat cage would probably help with the focus issue too – or at least help on cutting down distractions – but, well, they’re just so darned entertaining.)

So, take a look around.  Where are your light bulbs, and what can you do to make them brighter?

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