Tag Archives: Hedge House

Sunday Snippet, June 17, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. Finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo next month.

Picking up from last week — Cara was awakened by a phone call, even though her phone’s volume was off.

 

Her voice was as shaky as her hands, part of her mind wondering if her grandmother would sound the same as she did in her dreams.

But it wasn’t a woman’s voice that replied.

“Cara Hawthorne?”

“Yes.” She sat up, her hand tightening on the phone.

“You probably don’t remember me, but my name is Jacob Wylde. I was a friend of your grandmother’s.”

Jacob Wylde. He had lived in the groundskeeper’s house and had always had time for the endless questions of a curious child. She had helped him – he had helped her – plant a flower garden every year. Marigolds and petunias.

“Miss Hawthorne?”

His voice pulled her out of the near trance of the memory.

 

Tentative Blurb:

When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.

But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand.

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Whyyyyyyyy?

The month is a third over and I haven’t touched the edits of Book 5. Why do I do this to myself? (Of course, I have a very good reason for not touching it – it’s a mess and I’m avoiding dealing with it.)

And then this afternoon, while trying to mentally sort out the opening sequence (yes, it is still giving me trouble!) and telling myself for the umpteen thousandth time that I really need to draw a map, an idea wandered in, plopped itself down, and said, “Make me happen.”

That wouldn’t be so bad (it’s a good idea, even a great one) but it doesn’t belong in this book. (It does belong to the series, though. I’m just not quite sure where.)

Why? *sob* Why me?

I have scribbled the idea down and now I just have to figure out where it goes. Some of it probably goes in Book 4 but I have no idea where the second half of it goes, but it needs to be before Book 8.

And now I have a headache.

I did make some progress (sort of) on the outline for next month. I need to make the changes in the Word doc and print it out again before I do too much more because it’s getting to the point that I won’t be able to tell what’s what if I don’t. (I ended up color coding the current print out.)

I’m also thinking I should maybe go get the current incomplete manuscript printed out so I can insert stuff where it belongs (and take out stuff that’s being changed) before it gets any more convoluted. That just might happen this Friday.

So, I’m working on stuff. And thinking about stuff.

If only it was the right stuff…

 

 

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Sunday Snippet, June 10, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. Finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

Why hadn’t she turned off the volume on her phone before she went to bed?

Cara fumbled for it, the fog of sleep clearing enough that she could see that the sound was off, and yet the phone was definitely ringing. The number was one she recognized, one she had almost called many times, always changing her mind at the last minute before hitting dial.

Even as a shaky finger pressed the screen to answer the call part of her mind wondered if the letter had had time to reach her yet.

“Hello?”

Her voice was as shaky as her hands, part of her mind wondering if her grandmother would sound the same as she did in her dreams.

But it wasn’t a woman’s voice that replied.

 

Tentative blurb. (Gawd, but I hate writing blurbs!)

When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.

But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand.

 

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at the Sunday Snippet group.

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Sunday Snippet, June 3, 2018

I’m ba-ack! I’ve been not participating for a while as I got used to a new job that has me working night shifts now and then. I think I have a handle on it now and can get back to blog hopping. I hope so – I’ve missed everyone!

Anyhow, I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. I think finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

 

Cara Hawthorne stared at the letter in her hands. She knew the address was right; for the last twenty years she had sent a gift and a thank you note every Christmas and every birthday. Her mother had not permitted more contact than that, and even after she had moved out on her own she hadn’t taken any steps to reach out to her paternal grandmother, had barely thought of her except at Christmas and birthdays.

But for the last several weeks she had dreamed of her, of a woman she hadn’t seen since she was seven years old. 

She sighed, uncertain. A letter seemed so impersonal. She had her phone number, but was hesitant to call it. What did you say to someone you hadn’t spoken to in two decades? And how did you explain that you were calling because of a series of dreams without sounding like you’d lost your mind?

Before she could change her mind she slid the letter into the mailbox and got back in her car. She was going to be late for work and senior partner of the law firm was already unhappy with her – the dreams had been disturbing her sleep and interfering with her job.

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

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E Is For…

Ennui

Enervation

Energy Crisis

Whatever you want to call it, I have it.

I managed to get basically nothing done on my two days off.  Oh, I cleaned the rat cage and did laundry and sorted decorations and dragged them up from the basement.   And I risked life and limb to drag the box of cards out of the top of my closet.

I did finish one Pocket Letter that was almost done and I started another.  I’m going to rethink my plan on that though.  The ones that are late are already late and have no chance of hitting a deadline, so I’m going to focus on the one that aren’t late and get them out so that they don’t add to the guilt load that is hanging over my head.

Granted, I don’t have much time on work days, but I figure if I do one card insert before work and one after work I’ll at least be moving forward – slowly, perhaps, but still moving.

And I’m going to need to write every day too, even if it’s just a hundred words.  I know my goal was at least 31k this month and preferably 77k but the 77 is definitely not happening and the 31 is looking iffy because I haven’t written a thing all month.  I can still pull it out, but…

But I’m thinking that I might need to revise my goal for the month from writing 31k (and finishing Book 6 of the Academy of the Accord series) to finishing the first draft of Hedge House and the revisions on Onyx Sun.

But I really want to get Book 6 done so I can work on editing the entire series… But as long as I get it done before I get to editing Book 5 it should be all right.

But Hedge House is a lot closer to being done than Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord is, and Onyx Sun is the only thing currently close to being publishable.

And I really need to get something published.

See, I posted this on FaceBook Wednesday night:

“Someone motivate me to do something. Write. Make pocket letters. Set up blog posts. Something!”

And my friends pitched in to help.

One told me “You can procrastinate when you’re dead, woman. Live while you’re alive! Your characters are waiting for you to bring them to life and take them on an adventure!”  I protested that I wasn’t really procrastinating, I was just doing nothing, and she said “Some days you just have to be a lump.”

Another told me “It’s okay to take a few days to do nothing but recharge. It feels weird, though, to do nothing.”

And another threatened to send me “an exploding bag of corgi shed” if I didn’t get productive.  Of course, that would just be a snack for the killer dust bunnies, so I’m not too concerned about that threat.

Another posted this:

muse

But the most helpful response was this one:

“GET THE FUCK WITH IT!!! I want another book!!”

So, yeah… I need to get busy and get something published.

Soon.

Before the killer dust bunnies breed with the killer plot bunnies and…

 

 

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A Light in the Dark

It’s been a rough few days.

Friday night I came home from work and found one of my rats had crossed the bridge.  Pistol wasn’t big on snuggling – he was far too busy to do that – but he was the personification of mischief and the cage is much quieter without him constantly instigating something.   For now, his body is on the back porch in a hanging basket that I had bought for in the cage (he loved hanging baskets) covered in potting soil.  In the spring I’ll plant petunias in it; petunias, to me, are such happy, riotous flowers – they completely match his personality.

Then, an hour and a half or less into my shift on Saturday, while helping reposition a patient in bed, I lost strength in my left arm and gained pain.  Ibuprofen didn’t help, so about two hours later I filled out an employee injury report and turned it in.

It kept getting worse so after my shift I picked up a form and went to the ER.

Actually, it was cold and foggy and I was going to wait to see if it would miraculously feel better in the morning, but I reached my fingers out to turn on my turn signal and almost put a moon roof in my car, so I stopped at home long enough to drop off my stuff and make sure the boys (my rats) had food and water, then I braved visibility that wasn’t much beyond the hood of my car and drove to the hospital.  Drove home in more fog and collapsed into bed around four o’clock in the morning and slept until noon.

(I called work from the hospital about two o’clock to let them know I wouldn’t be in the next day… later that day… whatever.)

So, like I said, it’s been a rough few days.

Then, yesterday, there was a burst of sunshine.

A friend of mine – we’ll call her Caroline because… well, because that’s her name – has been wanting to read this year’s NaNoWriMo novel since I first bounced the idea off of her. (The main character is a hedge witch and she has a group dedicated to it on FB so I asked there if I could call on them for feedback and help to keep it authentic.)

Anyhow, Caroline was bored, so I was teasing her about reading one of my books (just to keep her out of trouble, you understand) and she said, “Send me Hedge House.”

Now, it’s nowhere near ready to be seen by anyone, but she talked me into it so I made a version without all my notes to myself and warned her about it containing grammatical errors, inconsistencies, etc.  You know, the usual first draft stuff.

She thought it would be fun to see the rough stages of a novel, so I welcomed her to my nightmare and sent the file.

I have now been ordered to drop everything else and finish it.

Now, those are words that every author loves to hear and I was bouncing and happy for hours.  (Still am, just not quite as giddy.)

But now I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to drop everything and finish and polish Hedge House, finish the revisions on Onyx Sun, and finish Book Six of The Academy of the Accord and Book Two of The Other Mages trilogy – all by the end of the month.

Not to mention other things, like Pocket Letters, crochet, counted cross stitch, eating an occasional meal…

Oh, and work.

Short of winning the lottery so I don’t have to work, I just don’t think it’s going to be possible.

And while I’m quite skilled at believing impossible things (before, during, and after breakfast) I’m not quite as skilled at doing them.

Eyes the list.

Or am I?

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I Did It!

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

 

I crawled into bed at 4:30 this morning with another NaNoWriMo win under my belt.  I was so close and so tired and I kept thinking I could finish in the morning or early afternoon before work but I was afraid of computer trouble so I kept on writing.

So, what’s next?

Well, the next first thing is to catch up on the Sunday Snippet blog hop from last week and this past Sunday.  I’ll start that after work tonight and hope to finish it tomorrow.

Then I have some Pocket Letters to focus on and I’m going to hit them hard on my days off this week.

And there’s Onyx Sun to finish the revisions on and release, but I think I’m adding that to next year’s goals, because tomorrow is December 1st so it’s back to the 1K-a-Day Challenge.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to finish Hedge House (I still need to write the big battle and then the final scene) or get back to work on Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord series in hopes of finishing it before the end of the year so I can focus on getting the series edited next year.

I also have to decide what to do with Hedge House.  Right now it has a very sharp break that makes it seem like two different novels, so my options are to either go back and rewrite it so that it follows the original outline (which will give it a smoother transition), or turn it into two books (which will be published together).

But that can wait.  It’s recommended to put some time between writing and revising so you can go back with a fresher eye.

Plus, in addition to the 31k I need for December, I still “owe” about 9k for September (for Book Two of The Other Mages); 27k for October (for Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord);  and 10k for November to hopefully finish Hedge House. (I had a personal goal of 60k for November.)

So, that’s roughly 46k owed to the challenge.  Technically that’s way out of the range of the challenge I set myself, but for some reason I don’t feel like I’ll have completed it without finishing the monthly goals, so I will finish them, although not likely before the end of the year.

Unless, of course, I decide that writing 77,000 words in 31 days while trying to keep up with other things is a good idea…

Which it isn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plotting Epiphany

Just under two weeks left in the month.  Where has time gone?  I don’t know the answer to that, but I know the answer to where the rest of it better go: into my word count goal and getting pocket letters done and sent before November and NaNoWriMo hit.

And, of course, into plotting.

I’m working on two outlines right now.  One for Hedge House, my NaNoWriMo novel, which is coming along nicely except for a couple rather hazy areas where I’ve left notes to myself that say:

[NEED SOME SORT OF SEGUE HERE]

and

[NEED SOMETHING HERE TO GET HER FACED OFF AGAINST JONAS]

Those are okay for now, but I’m going to have to have something more specific by November.

The other is for Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord.  It is also coming along well except I need to add a lot more to it – I’m pretty sure that I don’t have enough outlined to make it novel-length.   And I need something more to tie it into the overall arc of the series.  But at least I know what the last scene is.

What I really need for it is motivation for the antagonist – and I’m thinking that his motivation will also help with tying it into the overall story arc for the series.  But I’m not sure what that is yet – it’s just this nebulous hazy half formed idea.

So how do I make it more concrete?

Simple.

I brainstorm it.

Here’s the question: Why does [BG] (Bad Guy – he doesn’t have a name yet) kidnap Shander?

Well, why does anyone kidnap someone? He wants something in return?  But what?  I mean, Shander’s an orphan, so it’s not like he can demand a ransom from his family – unless he’s trying to get it from the school, and the wizards and Warders there are more likely to see to his early demise than to give him any kind of reward.

And who is [BG]? Knowing that will help with the answer to why.

Or maybe he thinks he’ll get a ransom from Rahmael (Shander’s Warder).  If so, he’s underestimating not only Rahm and his family (and his family’s resources) but also (again) the leaders of the school.

Or maybe he’s a disgruntled customer upset because the orphanage was closed down and he had planned to buy Shander back once he was “trained” (or had sent him there for “training.”) (The Headmaster at the orphanage had a side business of training young boys to be sex slaves – he was shut down by some of the people from the Academy, which not only made him unhappy – and a prisoner of the Crown – but no doubt left some unhappy customers as well, and ooooo!  There was a thread I was going to use in that book but decided not to in order to focus on something else and take the book in a different direction and it’s going to tie in beautifully here and solve a lot of problems! Woot!)

And there you have it.  That is how I work out plot issues and do my outlining. I just keep talking through it and asking questions and writing answers and generating more questions until something clicks.

In this case, I have not only solved the problem of who kidnapped Shander and why, but I also figured out how to give some clues and foreshadowing for something that happens in Book 12, and, with perhaps a bit more tweaking, tie it into the overall arc.

Life is good!

Now I’m off to put all this down in less hazy words so I don’t forget my brilliant flash of insight.

 

 

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