Tag Archives: Academy of the Accord

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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Goals for October 2017

We’re in October already, which means that November and NaNoWriMo are just around the corner, so it’s time to set up my goals for the month.

The main one, of course, will be to decide on a project for NaNoWriMo and get it outlined.

The other main one is to get the additional scenes for Onyx Sun written and inserted into the manuscript, then get it printed so I can do another round of paper edits on it. At this point I’m relatively certain that it is not going to be published this year.

I’m really balking at working on it, finding a million other things to do instead.

Why?

I’m not sure, but for some reason it just feels like my heart isn’t in it right now. The Academy of the Accord is calling. It’s been on my mind more and more lately. I really want to get back to it. I miss it, miss the characters, and I want to get back to it.

But Onyx Sun is my current project and I’d really like to finish it and get it published but…

But my heart’s not really in it.

My heart is with The Academy of the Accord and I’m starting to resent Onyx Sun for keeping me from it.

So, remember Friday, and that novel (prequel to The Academy of the Accord) that I’m not outlining? Yeah? Well, that non-outline now has an epilogue and the whole thing is looking like a good candidate for November.

It doesn’t have nearly enough plot points yet, and the main characters are still lacking some important things, like… oh… descriptions.

And names.

Definitely need names. (Actually, I need to check the current series and see if I ever named either of them. I think the wizard might have been named in passing, but it’s more likely that there is a note to myself to name him.)

Anyhow, writing down what the epilogue was going to be made me have to write notes to check and change things in the series.

Then I started making more notes that may end up changing other things in the series – mostly in the later books. (Book Seven, especially, and Book Twelve.)

I also wrote myself a note “Is this prequel going to delay the series?”

Then I wrote some more notes about things I will need to edit based on the epilogue, and then another note to myself: “Yep! Series may be delayed.”

(I hope not! I sincerely hope not. 2020 is a good release date.)

So, 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.

So yesterday I typed up what I have of the outline so far and today I wrote down another idea to include in it. It’s a rather vague idea and I’m not sure how (or if) it’s going to work, but it’s written down. (It kind of doesn’t fit the universe but I think I can make it work.)

 

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It Happened on Wednesday

I was at work, minding my own business, keeping an eye on the kid I’m there for, and out of nowhere came a wandering plot bunny.

And not just any wandering plot bunny.  Oh, no. Not this plot bunny.  This plot bunny is one that I really did not want to see.

It’s a prequel to the Academy of the Accord series. You know, the stand alone novel that is now a 13 book series that is making me tear my hair out.  Yeah.

This one is set way in the past, though, so won’t involve any of the current characters.  It follows the first wizard and Warder pair – starting out from the Fortress after the Wizard Wars ended.

Or maybe they left the Fortress to go to Barize to end the Wizard Wars. I’ll have to double check the history on that, to see exactly when the wizards were imprisoned in the tower at the Fortress. (Because, you know, I don’t have enough stuff to check for continuity and canon.)

Anyhow, I am not outlining that Academy of the Accord prequel. Just because I’m writing down some notes and trying to come up with names doesn’t mean I’m outlining it or planning to ever actually write it. Right?

Yeah, who am I kidding?

Certainly not me.

Or the plot bunny.

In fact, those two scenarios up there? Yeah, they’ve been blown out of the water by another one, and my notes are starting to look suspiciously like one of my outlines.

And, you know, it’s just over a month until NaNoWriMo.

 

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Grecian Formula for Plot Bunnies

It’s been a fairly productive weekend. Not so much where writing is concerned, but with taking care of other stuff that I’ve been procrastinating on.  It’s been too hot to do much, though, which means that I still have a couple swaps to finish up tonight so I can get them in the mail after work tomorrow. (On the other hand, glue is drying pretty fast.)

Back to work today, and it was a fairly low key day. We’ve kind of started a pool as to how many days he’ll be in school this week. (The world of nursing is strange. Almost as strange as the world of a writer.)

Writing-wise, nothing’s been written except blog posts. The journaling challenge that I’ve been doing on my other (Pagan) blog only has a few more entries to go, and I’m both happy and sad about that. It’s been nice to be kind of “forced” (even if it was voluntarily) back into the groove, but a post a day in addition to everything else gets to be a little much.

That’s not to say I’ve neglected novels.

Part of my mind is working out stuff for The Academy of the Accord and another part is busy trying to hide from old (ancient) plot bunnies.

Seriously old plot bunnies.

One wandered in the other day and I thought, “I should ask Danielle what this term makes her think of.” Then I started thinking and… OMG, I felt old! Danielle is one of my best friends and I have plot bunnies that are older than she is. (This one originated during the first Star Wars movie.)

(Do they make Grecian Formula for Plot Bunnies?)

And on that note I think I’ll go sit in a corner and melt…

 

 

 

 

 

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Progress = Standing Still

The Academy of the Accord is giving me a headache.

Yes, I know. I’m supposed to be working on Onyx Sun, and I am, but yesterday I had a few flashes of insight into The Academy of the Accord and scribbled them down (and typed them up so I could read them later).

One of those flashes of brilliance belongs with a scene that I’m pretty sure has been cut (but which I know still exists in one of the previous versions). The headache comes from not knowing what book it’s going to go in.

I’m pretty sure it can’t be Book 5.5 (which will be Book 6 eventually but I’m really not ready for the re-numbering headache yet!) but I’m not sure how to get it to fin into the current Book 6 of 7 either. Seven would be a better fit, I think.  It definitely has to come before Book 8.

I really need to get Onyx Sun finished and off to a beta reader so I can get back to work on The Academy of the Accord.

I think working on Onyx Sun (and catching up on the blog hops from last weekend, which I still haven’t done) is going to be my main goal for the rest of the day today – and maybe over the weekend, too, although I want to get this weekend’s blog hops done as they happen. (It seems like if I don’t do them on the weekend they don’t get done until just before the next round starts. I’m not quite sure why that is.)

In other words, my goals for today are pretty much the same as they were for Monday.

But on the other hand, at least I’m not any further behind.

 

 

 

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Rags

I was actually going to call this post “Ragweed” because pollen count has been making me miserable the last few days. (Seriously. I was ready to drill a hole through my cheekbones to relieve pressure the other day.)

Instead, I’m going with the title “Rags” as a nod to Thursday Threads, which gave me the subject for this post.

What is Thursday Threads?

It’s a weekly flash fiction contest hosted by Siobhan Muir. You can find the rules here, and follow the Face Book group here.

(Unlike my Wednesday Words prompts, Thursday Threads is actually judged.)

Anyhow…

Yesterday’s prompt (“Do I make you nervous?”) brought up a great scene in my head. Unfortunately it didn’t make it to the contest, but I did start writing it. And saved it in a Word doc because it wants to be a side story for the Academy of the Accord series.

(Please note: this is only a side story, not another novel. It doesn’t even involve any of the characters in the series. At least, so far it doesn’t even involve any of the other characters in the series and I’m going to do my best to keep it that way.)

So, yesterday’s Thursday Threads prompt turned into a scrap of a story – a rag, if you will.

Actually, a lot of the Thursday Threads prompts do that. I can’t even begin to tell you how many novels have been started on Thursdays. (But it’s a lot more than the number of actual Thursday Threads entries I’ve made.)

And so it goes…

Now, if will just go from rags to riches…

(But that’s a plot bunny of a different color.)

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Who Ya Gonna Call?

Have you ever just been bopping along, doing your own thing, and suddenly one of your novels (or a character) just walks up and slaps you in the face?

That’s what happened to me earlier today.

I was scrolling through Face Book clicked on a link someone had shared and found this article.

My first thought was of Marsden from The Academy of the Accord because that is soooo something he would do.  (If, of course, he was a cop in today’s world, but that’s a minor trifle.)

The part with the hand on the shoulder and “Easy… I’ve got this one, son” is what really made me think of Marsden. That is something he would say and do and the description is spot on too, although he’s not quite that old – at least, not at the start of the series.

So, while it was really cool to come across that, now I want to get back to work on The Academy of the Accord.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Onyx Sun is still supposed to be on the front burner.

I think maybe I need a staff of ghost writers…

 

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