Tag Archives: Academy of the Accord

The Night Shift Method

So, Friday night into Saturday morning I started work on entering the changes from the first round of paper edits on Book 5 of The Academy of the Accord series, and it… didn’t go so well.

I looked at the words on the paper and on the screen and just stared at them in disbelief at how utterly horrid they were.

I know I suck at setting a scene, but I had poor Marsden just noticing someone in the middle of nowhere. (Until a paragraph or two later I established that he was, in fact, in a town.)

Then I read more and wanted to tear my hair out. Had I not read the preceding books? Like, ever? Why was I basically ignoring everything that had previously been established?

And the wording itself was beyond awkward.

So, yeah. The first couple of pages are getting a total rewrite.

Saturday night into Sunday morning went a little better. At least, it did once I decided to copy the stuff that’s giving me trouble into a separate Word doc and print it so I can do a paper edit on it in the future. With that out of the way I could get on with the rest of it and finally started making some progress.

Sunday into Monday went well, lots of progress made, but now I’ve run into a bit of trouble. I’ve hit the part where there are decisions that need to be made and a lot of fiddling to that it matches other books, and stuff needs to be imported from other files and…

Yeah.

I don’t even know if the parts I need are in that doc or if I have to find them and pull them from another one – or two.

So, I still have a long way to go and it’s not all going to happen this run of night shifts, but by the end of the month I should have it done and be ready to move onto the next book.

I think I might just start using night shift for editing and do my writing during daylight hours. That might help with the juggling so many projects thing…

So overall, I’m calling this experiment a success.

So far at least.

 

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Idiot or Genius?

I’m either an idiot or a genius.

Okay, let me back up some and admit that I have done absolutely nothing on working on The Academy of the Accord this year, despite my stated intentions to get them all ready for 2nd round edits by the end of the year. Part of that goal was to have Book Five’s changes entered by the end of January.

That, um, hasn’t happened. In fact, it hasn’t even started to happen.

But I just loaded the Word doc onto flash drive, and have the binder with the edited print out ready to take to work with me tonight. I’m on four night shifts in a row, so with luck this will be done by the end of the run.

It makes so much perfect sense that I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t think of trying this before now.

I have more room there to spread out the pages. I have better lighting there to try to read my handwritten notes. I (usually) have more uninterrupted time there (on night shift).

And suddenly I’m excited to be back to work on it. (And eager to go to work tonight.)

Truth be told, I’ve been doing very little of anything related to writing, other than poking at Song and Sight and a few other WiPs a little bit. I just haven’t been feeling energized or focused on much of anything related to writing.

Why?

I’m not sure.

I want to write, but I just haven’t been able to get moving. Opening a Word doc just feels like too much effort and it feels overwhelming.

I truly hope that this marks a turn around, the beginning of the end and the beginning of a new beginning.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even be able to get back to work on Onyx Sun.

Or the Other Mages trilogy.

 

 

 

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Finally February!

Is January over yet?

It is? Really?

*sighs in relief* That has to have been the longest month in the history of months. I have no idea why, but it felt more like 31 weeks than 31 days. (And I’m not the only one that felt like that; we were talking about it at work the other night too.)

Anyhow, January is finally over and February has started and even if that thrice-cursed groundhog saw his shadow it’s time for new goals.

But wait, what about my old goals? How did I do in the never-ending month of January?

Lousy.

So, this month’s goals are to tackle last month’s goals again. In case you’ve forgotten, they were:

“This month I want to get the changes to Book 5 (of the Academy of the Accord series) entered, and get Book 5.5 ready to print, and get the concordance caught up through Book 5.”

Oh, and re-number all the books after Book 5.

Yeah. None of that happened and the concordance has still not made a reappearance.

So, I still need to tackle last month’s goals, in addition to this month’s goals, which are:

Book 5.5(6) first round paper edits done
Book 5.5(6) changes entered
Concordance caught up through Book 5.5(6)

Actually, if I can get Book 5.5(6) ready to print (and printed) I can take it to work on night shift and do the first round paper edits. But I have to get to that point first.

And I still have to find the concordance.

 

 

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Current Status

I remembered that it’s Friday! And I remembered that I write a blog post on Fridays! My new not-so-evil day job is doing wonders for me already.

I was off yesterday and didn’t do much except go out for lunch. Today has been a stay home and chill day, which I desperately needed.

As far as writing-related stuff goes, I started setting up my notebook for story starts and ideas. I work afternoon shift tomorrow, but night shift on Sunday and Monday, so in preparation I’m printing off the stuff that I have on the computer so I can get it all put into the binder.

I still haven’t found the concordance for The Academy of the Accord, but I have found one more place that it isn’t, so… progress?  I’ve also verified that it still isn’t in three or four places that I’ve looked previously, just in case the gremlins put it back where it wasn’t.

(On a brighter note, I think I found half of a pair of Crocs my roommate was missing, so I’m pretty sure the other one is in that general vicinity somewhere.)

And in the “Why do I do this to myself?” category, I signed up for InCoWriMo – International Correspondence Writing Month. It’s a challenge to write a letter a day for the month of February. (Or a note card or post card or whatever.) Because… sanity is overrated?

 

 

 

 

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Halfway to Nowhere

The fifteenth? Already? The month is half over already? And my goals for the month are… not halfway done. Not even halfway started.

*sigh*

I do have two days off in a row coming up, though, and then I’ll be starting to work some night shifts so I’ll have time to write with minimal interruptions.

(Now, if I can just convince gmail to let me access it from a strange computer. I appreciate the added layers of security, but sending a secret code to my cell phone when I work in a jail where I can’t have said cell phone isn’t very helpful.)

Anyhow…

That “sort of” plot bunny is growing by leaps and bounds. I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing, given the current state of my pile of projects, starts, and novels I’m ignoring.

Another major (although not as high priority as the Academy of the Accord stuff) is to organize all of those projects, starts, and novels I’m ignoring. I think I’ve settled on putting them all into a three ring binder, organized alphabetically by title, working title, or some kind of word combination that will give me some sort of hint as to what it’s about.

I think that’s going to be another good project for downtime at work, maybe on evening shifts, at least until I find the concordance for The Academy of the Accord so I can get back to work on it.

(Some people need to find themselves. I just need to find my stuff.)

 

 

 

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I “Plumb” Forgot

Even with a planner I forgot that Friday was Friday. In my own defense, though, I was more focused on the weekend and getting water back in the kitchen, since we haven’t had any since around Christmas.

That got fixed on Saturday (major all day project) but in the process something happened to the drain pipe so he had to come back on Sunday and fix that (another major project).

Seriously, I’m lucky to remember that today is Monday.

Not much writing has been getting done. I did start on a flash fiction piece for a contest but it hasn’t gotten very far and I have no idea where it’s going.

And there’s a new plot bunny of sorts nagging me.  (“Of sorts” means “Two main characters without names, an antagonist without a name, and no plot other than some background info on the three nameless characters.”)

So, yeah. It’s not going to be an actual WiP for quite a while. (She says with hope in her heart, but a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.)

Of course, that brings me back to trying to figure out how best to sort and organize all of my projects and ideas. I think it’s going to work best to have a three ring binder with lots and lots of pages. I’m not sure whether I should alphabetize them by title (or working title) or just number the pages and set up an index, though. Probably alphabetizing would be best.

I still haven’t found the concordance for The Academy of the Accord. I keep finding places that it isn’t, so sooner or later I should find the place that it is. (Shouldn’t I?)

So, so far I’m not doing well at all on monthly – or yearly – goals. I need to buckle down and do stuff.

Do: my word of the year.

 

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Sunday Snippet, November 26 2017

Thought I’d give you all a break from Song and Sword (I’ll probably come back to it in December) and spend the month posting excerpts from whatever I’ve written for NaNoWriMo the previous week.

I’m working on a prequel to the Academy of the Accord series. The tentative title is Creating Accord and it’s set a few generations before the series.

Boyin and Zin have met for the first time and Boyin has agreed to be Zin’s personal bodyguard. What neither one knows or understands is the bond that is forming between them already.

(In the series it is established that some warriors are “Warders” (I will find a better name for that) who have an instinct to protect wizards. And sometimes a Warder finds his wizard (or vice versa) and they form a special – and very deep – bond. Boyin, however is the first Warder, and he and Zin are the first bonded pair.)

“I will.” Boyin nodded and turned toward the door of the wagon, finding that he was reluctant to leave.  This wizard had been on his mind since the first time he saw him and now that he’d found him…

So, I’ve found him, now what? he asked himself, shaking his head. He’s just a wizard, someone I just met, just my employer…  He sighed. He wasn’t fooling himself and he wasn’t used to avoiding a problem.

And this wizard was a problem. He had a price on his head and as military… Ex-military, he reminded himself; he was no longer under any obligation to turn the man in, although he could no doubt earn back his commission if he did so.

He couldn’t do it. He knew what fate most likely awaited Zin if the military got their hands on him and he simply could not bear the thought of that happening.  He shook his head. He didn’t understand it, but he was a warrior, a soldier. He didn’t have to understand it, just accept the truth of it and act accordingly.

And part of acting accordingly was getting back to the wizard as soon as possible. For some reason he found it almost painful to be away from him.

Find more great reading
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Sunday Snippet, November 19 2017

Thought I’d give you all a break from Song and Sword (I’ll probably come back to it in December) and spend the month posting excerpts from whatever I’ve written for NaNoWriMo the previous week.

I’m working on a prequel to the Academy of the Accord series. The tentative title is Creating Accord and it’s set a few generations before the series.

This snippet is the aftermath of a battle between wizards and soldiers. Aslir managed to get Zin away before the main fighting started and has gone back to check on the situation. He found a room full of dead wizards, with one bound to a chair in the center of the room.

“Panima,” he whispered softly, and her head came up.

“Where are you?”   

“Behind you. I’m invisible.”

“And Zin?”   

“Somewhere safe.”

“They’re looking for the two of you. Kraskir. Kraskir gave them your names, said you were the only two missing. He helped them. Helped them restrain me.” Her voice was flat, broken, with only a trace of bitterness.

“Yphier?”

“They killed him.” Tears filled the broken places in her voice. “He was the gentlest person I ever knew and he tried to stop the fighting and they killed him. He was a healer. He would have helped their injured if they’d asked but they killed him. And they left him here…”

Aslir followed her gaze to the body at her feet. Her brother’s dead face looked up at them and he knelt and closed his eyes. “I am so sorry,” he whispered.

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

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Sunday Snippet, November 12 2017

Thought I’d give you all a break from Song and Sword (I’ll probably come back to it in December) and spend the month posting excerpts from whatever I’ve written for NaNoWriMo the previous week.

I’m working on a prequel to the Academy of the Accord series. The tentative title is Creating Accord and it’s set a few generations before the series.

Zin isn’t the character’s full name but I don’t know it yet and [OLDEST SON] is because he doesn’t have any name yet. (Names are the bane of my existence. I think they are one step below blurb-writing on my most-hated list.)

I’m working on a prequel to the Academy of the Accord series. The tentative title is Creating Accord and it’s set a few generations before the series.

In this week’s snippet Zin has gone to the Fortress in response to a message from a friend. The morning after his arrival he attempts to go into town to the Messenger Station to send letters home. He runs into some trouble with a gate guard who won’t let him go, and the commander of the garrison – Boyin – intercedes and escorts him there and back. This conversation happens on their way back from the town.

 

Zin glanced at the commander. “So what is the real story on not being allowed to go into town to send my letters?”

“Orders from higher up. There’s been a change of command at the higher levels and they seem to think we’ve been too lax and easy going here. They’ve sent a bunch of new people, along with new orders relating to security.”

“But everyone in the tower is here of their own free will. They came here for protection.”

“I know. And we will protect them; that much hasn’t changed. It’s the way we go about it that they’re making changes to.”

“And you don’t like the changes?”

Boyin didn’t answer at first, frowning slightly as he weighed his answer. “I never had much to do with any of the wizards here, never even met any until you, but I never had anything against them either, and, like you said, they’ve all come here for protection because they don’t want any part of the wars.” He shook his head. “They came here for protection and the higher ups want to practically make prisoners out of them.”

Zin looked at him, startled. “Prisoners?”

“They’re not calling it that, of course, but I don’t know what else you could call it when they aren’t allowed to leave the grounds without an escort, and even that is being discouraged.”

“I have to leave,” Zin said. “I have to get home.”

“I’m not sure that’s going to be possible.”

 

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Gotta love NaNoWriMo

I’ve managed to stay above par all week, although not much above. (I was two words over it when I went to bed last night.)  Things are starting to pick up some now though (I’ve written over a thousand words so far this morning) so I’m hoping to get that much-need cushion built up before I go back to work.

(I have no idea when “back to work” is going to be now, as it’s looking like the kiddo might not be discharged tomorrow as planned, but I hope to have more information by the end of the day today, or at the latest some time tomorrow.)

It really helps to have accountability partners. There’s a thread in my local NaNo FB group for it, and another friend and I are posting excerpts from what we’ve written each day, even if it’s crap (which most of mine is).

Another help is to have a reward system. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about being a jigsaw puzzle addict and that I can spend far too much time on JigZone. Well, the new rule is that I can’t do the puzzle of the day until I hit par. And I can’t do a second puzzle unless I’m at least one thousand words over par. (For every thousand words over par I get to do one extra puzzle.) (So far I haven’t done any extra puzzles.)

My current problem – if you could call it that – is that I really like this minor character that I’m working with now, and, unfortunately, he’ll soon be out of the story and he’s not in the series. I don’t have enough to give him a spin-off and I’m not sure I can use him elsewhere in a different guise.

Oh, and Zin, one of my main characters, still doesn’t have a full first name and his son still has no name at all and now there’s a possible character rebellion brewing further down the line involving Zin’s wife and his Warder.

*sigh*
Gotta love NaNoWriMo…

 

 

 

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