Tag Archives: Academy of the Accord

Families II

 

Way back at the end of March I wrote a blog post on Families.   It’s about the kind you (well, your characters) are born into and how they shape you/your characters.  And I said that my next post would be about the kind of family that you find or create. That didn’t happen because the next post was for Camp NaNoWriMo and for some reason the topic got pushed aside. But seeing as yesterday was Father’s Day I’ve been thinking about families again so here it is, at long last.

I think that most people have someone (or multiple someones) that they consider to be family, even if not related by blood. For instance, my roommate is my best friend and the sister I never had. (And the person I’m most likely to murder, which I’ve been told is the actual definition of a sister.)  My mother even says she has two daughters: one genetic and one generic.

(I also have someone that I think of as a daughter.)

In the Academy of the Accord series, it is noted that families you “find” are often better than those you are born into. It’s also noted that the school feels like a family, mostly because the leaders have formed their own sort of family unit.  Marsden, the Commander of the Garrison, is the father Kordelm never had and the one Wellhym wishes he’d had.  Vinadi, the school’s Headmaster, is viewed in much the same light by Torlew and (especially) Yhonshel, and as a surrogate father by Caristen. (Kordelm and Wellhym are warriors; Vinadi, Torlew and Caristen are wizards, and Yhonshel is both.)

When the “second generation” starts, they all think of Senzu as a daughter. (Her race doesn’t have families as we think of them so she doesn’t think of them as fathers.)

When Draethlen joins the group, he thinks of Marsden as a father. (He doesn’t remember his own family.)  Kordelm and Wellhym think of him as a little brother, and as the other cadets join their family group they (along with Torlew and Caristen) think of all of them as “the boys” – the same way that Vinadi and Marsden think of them.

(Kordelm and Wellhym do, however, refrain from thinking of Marsden as the boy’s grandfather, mostly out of a sense of self-preservation of their pride; both are relatively certain Marsden could probably still “dust the pit” with them in a spar.)

The family that the characters form is unbreakable, unlike the ones some of them were born into.  They share a common bond, not of blood, but of Honor.

In other not-yet-published (or even completed) novels, I also have families that were found, not born. In Book Two of the Other Mages trilogy, Katheri is confused when a visitor helps with the dishes, thinking that it isn’t right for a guest to be put to work like that. Trebor and D’Laron explain to her that Luthen isn’t a guest, he’s family.

Doing the dishes becomes sort of an inside joke then, and when they later send Katheri to the kitchen to do the dishes (so they can talk about things she’s not ready to be involved in yet) she sees it not as being dismissed, but as being accepted.

And after all, isn’t that what family is?  People who accept you as you?

 

 

 

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Why I Write

A conversation with a writer friend prompted me to ask myself why I write.

Is it for the money?

Oh, hell no!  I have two books out and I doubt I’ve made $10 total – I know it hasn’t been $20. (A large part of the reason for low sales is that I don’t do nearly enough promotion. I have good reviews, though, so there’s that.)

For the fame?

See above. If no one’s reading (because I’m not promoting) then fame is pretty much non-existent. And as an introvert (to the point of being a hermit) I’m not sure I want fame. I sure don’t want to have to do public appearances anywhere.  And my handwriting really sucks so I’m not sure a book signing would be a good thing, either.

So, then, why?

Why do I push myself to write and edit (and eventually publish, honest!) all of the books that I’m working on?

Because…

Because for as much as I hate it at times, I love it.

I love creating/meeting/getting to know characters and telling their stories. (For as long as I can remember I’ve always had stories in my head. I remember as a child thinking in third person, as if my life was a book.)

I love creating worlds and exploring them.

And I both love (and am terrified by) the thought of others reading the stories that I share. I love the idea that, perhaps, at least for a while, I can take others away from their day to day existence and give them an escape, another place to live for a while.

And I write because sometimes I need another place to live for a while.

And, who knows? Maybe someday I’ll be able to make it my day job.

But before I can do that I need to get more books published. I have a ton started and some almost finished, but with my current focus on Onyx Sun and the Academy of the Accord series they’ve all been on the back burner.

I see some authors who seem to have a new release every month or two and I wonder how they do it. (Granted, when The Academy of the Accord is finally released it will be at a rate of one book a month, but there will have been years of writing and editing behind the series. Hopefully not twelve or thirteen years, but still…)

Still, I wonder how they do it.

Then I realize that I do it all myself (except for covers). I write, edit, send to beta readers, revise, edit, format, publish…

And I do it while working full time. (Sometimes I am so jealous of those who can write full time, without needing to work around a day job, but since I am my own (and only) source of income…)

I also tend not to write short novels. (Science fiction and fantasy novels tend to be toward the top of the chart for average word count, due to the world building necessary.)  Longer novels… take longer.

Do I wish I could stay home and just write? (And make a living from my novels?)

Of course I do! (I’m a hermit at heart, remember?)

Is it likely to happen?

Um… no.

But I’m not going to quit writing. I never even considered quitting.

I can’t.

I love it too much.

And that’s what it’s all about.

It’s not about money or fame or recognition.

It’s about doing what I love.

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Crunch Time

There are only three days left in Camp NaNoWriMo (counting today) and I work all of them. The good news is that I only need 29 more pages to hit goal. (I did over 60 pages yesterday and last night.  I would have done more but…)

Anyhow, I’m going to try to get as close to goal before work as I can, because by tonight I’ll be too tired and tomorrow the blog hops start. It’s early yet – maybe I can even hit it!

I also need to take Book 11 of The Academy of the Accord out of the flex binder and put it into its storage one, and move Book 12 into the flex one.  Yes, I finished the first round edits on it at work Tuesday night.  I can’t believe I only have one more book to go (even though it’s going to be a nightmare to do).

Well, maybe only one more book. I still might do a book 5.5 to deal with the overlapping stuff from books 5, 6, and 7.  (I both do and don’t want to do that.  Having thirteen books is going to mess up my planned release schedule of one book a month for a year.  And if I do a Book 5.5, eventually it will have to become Book 6 and I’ll have to renumber everything… But on the other hand, if I do put in that other book I can expand some other stuff that will be important in later books, as well as clean up the current “mess in the middle” of the series.)

But I’m not going to worry about that. Right now I’m just focused on the last 29 pages of this round of revisions of Onyx Sun.

And getting through the work week.

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Camp Update 4-24-17

(Yeah, I know.  Catchy title, huh?)

Less than a week left in Camp and I still have 110 pages to go. According to the stats page I have to do 16 pages a day to finish on time, and at my current rate I’ll finish on May 31st. (Hey, at least I’m into May now instead of the end of June.)

All my blog hops are caught up, though, so I should be able to get some pages done before I go to work today.

(Except Pentatonix just released a new video…)

And except there’s stuff I need to do to apply for a new job, too, so… Of course, I’m not going to be mailing the packet of papers today – or tomorrow – so I can work on that when I get home tonight and work on revisions now while I have better lighting to read my handwriting with.

(I’m not sure if that’s a compromise or a procrastination because I dread paperwork.)

I have two more days off this month to attack the revisions, but on one of them I’ll be going to my mother’s to dig up some pink wisteria to bring to my house. (I can’t wait to get the stuff to put up the fence around the yard so I can plant stuff! Fortunately, that’s not happening until next month.)

In more productive news, if all goes well I should finish the first round paper edits of Book 11 of The Academy of the Accord either tonight or tomorrow night.  I’m not looking forward to Book 12, though because it’s going to be a nightmare. I have two different beginnings for it, and two different versions of a scene in one of them, and later on I have at least three or four versions of a different scenario. I’m thinking it’s going to take most of May to figure out.

It may also take most of May to figure out what I did with the three ring binder that holds the concordance that I started. (It wasn’t where I thought it ought to be, so if anyone has any ideas as to where it might have gone, feel free to let me know.)

 

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Wrong Progress

I really need to hang a calendar near my desk so I can see the weeks.  I keep thinking we’re closer to the end of this month than we actually are, but I have two more “weekends” this month.

(Considering how far behind I am on Camp, it’s probably a good thing that there is more month left than I think there is.)

I was on a roll with the revisions for Onyx Sun (my Camp project) the other day and then had to go to the (increasingly) evil day job. I’m trying to do at least one page every day on work days and am going to have to hit it really hard on my weekends.  The Camp stats page tells me I still have 139 pages to go, need to do 10 pages a day to finish on time, and “At This Rate You Will Finish On June 26, 2017.”

I don’t think I’m going to do any revision work today though. I had one of those nights where I was awake every hour and a half to two hours all night long and I’m pretty sure that editing in this sort of sleep deprived fog would be somewhat disastrous.

On a brighter note, thanks largely to the aforementioned evil day job, the first round paper edits of Book 10 of the Academy of the Accord series is done as of last night.

I was hoping to start on Book 11, but didn’t manage to do it; there were just too many interruptions throughout the shift.  Hopefully I can start work on it at work tonight if I can get enough caffeine into my system.

(A friend of mine said I should have made finishing the first round paper edits of The Academy of the Accord my Camp project. I’m beginning to think she was right.)

So, all in all, I’m making progress.  I’m just not making progress on the right project.

 

 

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Mid Month Update

Well, hey, here it is.  Friday. Time for another blog post. And time to go back to work. (Friday is my Monday; my weekend is Wednesday and Thursday.)

It’s also more or less the middle of the month, and I am… nowhere near the middle of my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo. (Closer to a fifth of the way if I’m doing the math right.)

I had wanted to get caught up over my weekend, but it was pretty busy. I spent way too much time and money shopping on Wednesday (food shopping – not even fun shopping), and cooking both Wednesday and Thursday. (My roommate and I are both nurses and both work on Sunday so we did our “Easter Dinner” yesterday.) I was pretty wiped out by the end of the day both days and feel like I need a day off to recover from my days off.

I am going to try to get a couple more pages done before work today, though. Every little bit helps, right?

Hopefully I’ll have some easy shifts this week so I can get more work done on the first round paper edits of The Academy of the Accord series. I’m currently on Book 10, and if I can get it done by the end of the month, and get Books 11 and 12 done by the end of next month, then I can try to get the concordance done by the end of the year, which will make the next round of edits go much more smoothly.  I hope.  I’m still shooting for a 2020 release for the series, and it’s almost looking possible.

Meanwhile, writing new stuff has been on hold, other than a flash fiction piece for the QSF contest and occasional Thursday Threads entries. And now I’m looking at maybe writing a short story or two to submit for consideration in an anthology…

Yes, I know I should be working on the sequel to Song and Sword, and I will be, but the deadline for the anthology is June 1st and it doesn’t really have one, so…

 

 

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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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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.”

 

 

 

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at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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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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