Tag Archives: Academy of the Accord

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.

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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.

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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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Sunday Snippet, November 5 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.)

“Father? Are you all right? You got really quiet and you look sad.”

Zin smiled and ruffled his son’s hair. “I’m fine, [OLDEST SON]. Just thinking about something I have to do but don’t really want to.”

“But you’re a grown up.”

“Yes?”

“Grown ups don’t have to do things they don’t want to do.”

Zin shook his head and crouched down to be on a level with his son. “Sadly, [OLDEST SON], grown ups have to do a lot of things they don’t want to do. More than children, in fact.”

“Then what’s the point of being a grown up?”

(I have no idea how to answer that question, so if you have an answer feel free to share in the comments.)

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Where Did The Weekend Go?

In preparation for NaNoWriMo I re-read Book One of the Academy of the Accord series and it turns out that the characters that I’m trying to name already have names.

It also turns out that the names need to be changed because they are way too long. I refuse to use names with 10 letters as main characters.

I also decided that Book One reads like a bad soap opera in places so it’s going to need another thorough going over before it’s ready for a second round of beta readers. (It’s too mushy. Seriously. It looks like a bad fan fiction romance written by a 15 year old.)

I sincerely hope that the others aren’t that bad… I don’t remember them being that bad, but then, I didn’t remember this one being that bad either.

And that is why you take a few months from finishing the first draft to doing the first round of edits – so you can come at it with fresh eyes and mind.

And before anyone jumps on my case about the “bad fan fiction romance written by a 15 year old” line:
yes, 15 year olds can write some pretty amazing stuff
yes, not all romances (gay or straight) are mushy
yes, fan fiction it not a bad thing – I’m actually highly in favor of it, especially for young writers (Maybe I should do a blog post about fan fiction.)

The important word in that phrase is “bad.”

Anyhow, that’s mostly where my weekend went. And with just over a week left until NaNoWriMo I should have spent it working on the outline. Still, the outline is in okay shape (not as detailed as I would like, but not too bad) and the refresher was good. I kinda wish I had time to read the other books between now and the first of November too.

 

 

 

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Downs and Ups

It’s been an interesting couple of days.

Due to some confusion at the garage I got my new muffler Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday morning, which freed up all of Thursday for a trip to a town (DuBois) about an hour and a half away to go to a craft store (Pat Catan’s) that I’d heard great things about but had never been to.

And a trip to DuBois isn’t worthwhile without a trip to Dutch Pantry for lunch – and an Apple Fritter Sundae for dessert.

Only it wasn’t.  Horrible service there this time. Definitely not the norm but definitely beyond bad.  Sort of ruined the day.

Which means that I wasn’t in the mood to explore the craft store.  Which means that I’ll have to go back to the craft store another time. (Such a sacrifice!)

My Work Box 3.0 was, according to tracking, scheduled for delivery today but apparently that only means to the freight carrier’s hub, so I’m not getting it until Wednesday, which means I have to take another (unpaid) day off work. I’m not a happy camper because I was looking forward to getting it today (since I was already off) and having all weekend to get it assembled.

So I emailed work to request the day off (because by that time talking to people was probably really not a good idea). I got a reply (that gmail, for some unknown reason, decided to hide in my spam folder so I didn’t find it until the office was closed for the weekend) stating that I can’t call off via email.

Um… Okay, but I’m not calling off.  I’m requesting a day off, in writing, just like I did for the 31st and first.

So I called and got the on-call supervisor who was as confused as I was and agreed that wasn’t calling off.  I’ll reply to the email (when I get my snarkiness under control) and will also call on Monday when the regular people are in the office.

So, anyhow, I’ve kind of not been in the mood for much of anything creative lately and I swear the universe is conspiring to piss me off. (And succeeding quite well.) It’s enough to make me want to log into Materia Magica and kill things.

But on a brighter note, I have tentative names for the two main characters (and one secondary character) for my NaNoWriMo novel.

And on an even brighter note, I have figured out how to use Asana to manage trilogies and beyond.  Name the project for the trilogy (or series) – The Other Mages, for instance. Then, instead of adding a task, add a section (it’s kind of hidden next to the “add task” button), and then add tasks below that.

This means I have no excuse not to enter the Academy of the Accord series into it now. (That’s going to be a task and a half!)

 

 

 

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Goal Tracking App Update

On Monday I talked about a couple apps I was going to try out to help with productivity: Habitica and Asana  . Since then I’ve come across another one (WordKeeperAlpha which I found via Rachel Poli’s blog (and she found it via Skye Hegyes’ blog).

Anyhow, I promised you an update on what I thought of them.

Mostly I’ve played with Habitica because it’s fun and addictive. Is it the time sink I feared it would be? Not quite. Yes, I spend time there that I probably shouldn’t, but it is productive time. I’m already up to level 4 and halfway to level 5 and it’s keeping me on task for habits, daily (also weekly) goals, and to do lists. However, I find that I’m using it more for mundane things than for writing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and I really enjoy using it so I’m going to keep on using it, and maybe find a way to revamp my writing goals to put into it. (Right now the only writing things it has are daily goals to work on Onyx Sun and The Academy of the Accord (which currently means my outline for November) and I’m not sure exactly what (if anything) I should change for it. I think I’ll let it go as is at least for now and rethink the writing aspect of it after NaNoWriMo.

(Fun notes: you can get “pets” in the game. The first one I hatched is a red wolf. Red Wolf Inn plays a key role in some of the Academy of the Accord novels. The second one is a purple tiger. Purple Tiger is one of the things that “P.T.” is rumored to stand for.)

I haven’t fooled with Asana much but hope to do more with it over the weekend. Right now it looks most useful for tracking progress on several different WiPs. With Asana you create a project and then set tasks under it.

For instance, Onyx Sun is a project. Tasks under it include:
Finish Space Battle Scene
Add scene where Soraine “pays back” her rescue
Change “More Araxians” scene to passengers
Put additional scenes into main manuscript
Print for paper edits and revisions
etc

Academy of the Accord hasn’t been entered into it yet because I’m not sure if I should make it one project or make each book of the series a project.

But what I really want to do with Asana is create a project for each Work in Progress, even if it’s just a “story start” (sort of an advanced plot bunny), that takes it from outlining through writing and editing and into publication. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now but wasn’t sure how, and Asana looks like it might be the solution I need. Hopefully I’ll have time to play with it more this weekend.

Then there’s the newest discovery, WordKeeperAlpha. I just registered on the site so I don’t have much in the way of first hand feedback for you yet, but I love the fact that it has graphs to track your progress and if you set goals it will tell you how many words you need per day to reach it. (Yeah, some of the stuff I miss having in non-NaNoWriMo months.) And it lets you post your progress directly to FB if you want.

I’m still trying to find my way around the site (it seems to have eaten the project I entered to test it out for this post) but it’s kind of cool and I see it becoming really useful in the future – probably in December.

So there you have it. All three are pretty cool and have (at least in my mind) different uses, all of which are things that I’m finding helpful.

Now, if I just knew how to code I’d create a website that combines all three.

 

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Goal Tracking? There’s an App for That!

A friend introduced me to a role playing game (sort of) this weekend. It’s called Habitica and it’s a combination of a goal tracking app and a role playing game. The basic gist of it is that you list your goals and click them off as you accomplish them.  Clicking them off earns you experience points and gold. There’s more to it than that (Guilds, Groups, Parties, Quests, etc) but I’m still learning about it so I’m not going to get into that here.

I’m rather nervously giving it a try. It looks like fun and it looks useful, but it also looks like a time sink.

You can play on the computer or with a phone app, and since my phone’s memory sucks I’m doing it on the computer. So far it’s cute and it seems to be effective. (But I just signed up for it yesterday so it might be a bit too soon to tell yet.)

Is it a time sink?  Well… I don’t know yet. It takes some time to set up your goals and the rest, I suppose, depends on how involved you get with guilds and parties and groups and such.  (There is a writing guild, so of course I had to join it. I’m not entirely certain what it does yet.)

Also, the FAQ leaves much to be desired and a good tutorial would help a lot.

The same friend also told me about Asana. It seems to be more work-team focused. (When you sign up it nags you for a work email, teammates, team name, etc.) I like the idea that you create projects in it, with individual tasks under that project to break it down.

Then again, I love that same basic idea in Scrivener too, and, um, yeah, well… Let’s not talk about me and Scrivener. I should probably just delete it from my computer. (And I would, but I’m too stubborn. I want to like it. I know it could be useful for things like… oh… organizing the disaster known as The Academy of the Accord.  But it’s just too much.)

I’m thinking that Asana might be useful for organizing all of my WiPs and ideas and starts. We’ll see.

So, that’s part of what I was up to yesterday. Let’s see if I can keep up with at least one of them through Friday.

 

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Revising Goals

On Monday, I wrote “I think I may switch to daily goals. Every day I have to do something related to either Onyx Sun or The Academy of the Accord, even if it’s only writing one line or adding one plot point to the prequel’s outline.”

And so far I’ve done a pretty good job at that, despite having spent most of the week battling the cold from hell.

Unfortunately, all of it has been for the prequel to The Academy of the Accord (current working title: Creating Accord) and it’s been nothing more than a few notes jotted down in the traveler’s notebook that I carry with me at work. Some of the notes are things to check (or possibly change) in the other books and some are notes for this one.

So, it’s been some progress, but not much. (The lack of productivity is mostly courtesy of the cold from hell and the evil day job, but mostly the cold from hell.)

Since the cold seems to be breaking up and I’m starting to get some energy back, I think I’m going to have to revamp my goals a little bit, by changing just one little word.

No more “or.”

“Or” is now “and.”

I need to do one small thing daily for both The Academy of the Accord (either the series or the prequel – probably the prequel this month since it’s looking like it’s going to be my NaNoWriMo project) and Onyx Sun.

Otherwise, Onyx Sun will continue to be ignored, and I’ve already missed several “I want to release this by” dates, which is only adding to the frustration with it and the feeling that it will never be done.

Will this work any better?

I have no idea.  Monday will be too soon to tell so I’ll give it until next Friday to see how it’s working.

 

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