Tag Archives: WiP

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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Plot Bunny Census #1*

I’m not quite sure how the conversation started, but I think we were comparing how many plot bunnies we had, so I started making a list of books in progress or planning, and it’s… well… Let’s just say I’d better discover the Fountain of Youth or a Philosopher’s Stone.

I thought maybe I should lay my shame out here for all to see.

1) Onyx Sun
2) The 12 (or maybe13) books of the Academy of the Accord series
3) The Other Mages trilogy
4) The Betrayal trilogy (desperately ISO a better name)
5) Sequel to Sanguine
6) Sequel to Onyx Sun
7) A spinoff from Onyx Sun (Soraine)
8) A possible spinoff from Onyx Sun (Jad)
9) Two sequels and a prequel to Song and Sword
10) Lost House
11) Sea Witch
12) Dragon’s Tear
13) Paranormal Picnic
14) Hedge House
15) a nameless novel that involves a Minotaur and a Sasquatch
16) Disturbed Magic (which is going to end up being a trilogy)
17) Benn and Rin (needs a name)
18) Fighting Back (needs a new name)
19) Guardians of the Abyss (probably needs a new name)
20) another novel in need of a new name
21) Rainbow Rescue (in need of a new name)
22) SRish (the name makes sense to me, but, yes, it’s in need of a new name)
23) Vishkaya
24) a Demon and Angel story that started as a flash fiction piece
25) genie in a bottle
26) The Sword and the Shield

That’s something like 45 or 46 novels.

I’m 56.

Do the math.

And that’s not counting a bunch of stuff in my “Plot Bunny bag” or in a file called “story starts.”

Now, in all fairness, some of the above are written, or nearly so.

Onyx Sun, for instance, is in revision and should be out this year.

The Academy of the Accord is an editing nightmare but I’m making headway.

The nameless trilogy (Betrayal) is written and just needs to start the editing process.

Hedge House is mostly done.

The first book of Disturbed Magic is done.

Lost House is… maybe a quarter of the way done?  Maybe a third?

The Minotaur and Sasquatch is done, but needs to be expanded.

The Other Mages is… well… we won’t talk about Book Two, okay? I might make it my next year’s project, or tackle it after I get Onyx Sun released.  Book One is done, and Book Three just needs some massive changing but is mostly done, if I could just figure out what Book Two is doing…

The Sword and the Shield is almost done: just a couple more scenes to write, really.  But it needs a massive editing job. (As in, I need to completely write out one character and find another way to advance a relationship that she was unwittingly (and unwillingly) a part of.)

Most of the rest, however, are a few paragraphs to a few chapters in length.


I wonder what would happen if I wrote a sentence or a paragraph in each one every day?


*Someday I’ll add the contents of the plot bunny bag and the “story starts” file to the list.


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The (Plot) Bunny is Growing

I had no idea what I was going to write about for a blog post today. It’s been a very stressful weekend at work and the creative portion of my brain was hiding. (Can’t say I blame it, and I’m tempted to go hide with it.)

But then I read an article that a friend posted and it triggered all sorts of interesting plot bunnies. I don’t know if I’ll actually write anything based on it, but it might be something that I can work into Paranormal Picnic

(Yeah, it’s trying to turn into something other than a short fun story.)

(And, yeah, I’m trying to tell it that I really don’t have time for another WiP.)

(And, yeah, it’s not listening.)

(And, yeah, I’m losing the battle.)

(And, no, I do not have an addiction to parentheses. Why do you ask?)

So, anyhow…

It’s kind of amazing how one little thing can change the whole tone of your day.

(Well, okay, maybe not the whole tone. I am still dreading going to the evil day job this afternoon, so that hasn’t changed.)

Since I’ve mentioned Paranormal Picnic a time or two now, I thought maybe I should give you a snippet of it.


“Dad?  What are you doing here?” 

Maya rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and stared at the scene outside her door.  Her father stood at the grill, smoke rising from around the meat he was turning and an assortment of people she didn’t know were gathered around the picnic table.

“I’m barbecuing ribs, what’s it look like I’m doing?”

“But…” She took a deep breath and decided to ignore the rest of the scene and focus on him.  “Dad,” she said gently. “You’re dead.”

“I know I am.  That doesn’t mean I can’t cook.”

“Well, yes, actually, it does.” 

“No it doesn’t.  Now bring out some plates and silverware.  Everyone’s eager to meet you but don’t worry, no one bites.  Well, Alfred might, I don’t think he’s fed recently, but it won’t hurt, and, oh, hell, you’re my daughter.” He turned toward the table and raised his voice. “Alfred! No feeding from my daughter.”

An older gentleman, lean and well-dressed, nodded and waved off the comment, not really looking up from the chess game he was involved in.  His opponent, however, looked up and laughed.  She was a short stocky woman with reddish brown hair and almond-shaped amber eyes. 

“Dad? Who are all these people and what are they doing here?”

“Having a picnic.  That’s Alfred and Ginny playing chess.  Ginny brought fried chicken, and potato and macaroni salads, would you get them from the fridge?”


“The two little girls playing tag are Dina and Annie. Dina’s the one with the dark hair.  Oh, and don’t worry, Mariposa is keeping an eye on them.”

She followed his gaze and saw a woman perched in the old oak tree, her clawed feet clutching the branch as easily as any bird.  She waved a wing at her in greeting and turned her attention back to the children.

“A harpie?”

“And the girls are ghosts and Ginny’s a werewolf. Alfred’s a vampire in case you hadn’t figured that out.”

“I’m going back to bed until I wake up,” she muttered. “This can’t be real.”

Juice from the meat dripped down onto the coals, splattering and hissing, and the smoke that rose from it carried a scent that made her stomach rumble.

“On the other hand, maybe I’ll just set the table.  If I’m losing my mind I might as well enjoy it.”

“You’re not losing your mind.  And can you grab me a Pepsi?”

Dead people don’t drink Pepsi, she thought. But then, dead people don’t cook ribs, either.





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Camp Update July 29 2016

What a wild week, writing wise.

When I wrote Monday’s blog post I was 7440 words below par for that day. I am now 1027 words above par for today and am only 2199 words away from 50K. I want to write more tonight (since I probably won’t get much time to write before work today) but I’m falling asleep in my chair and will probably go to bed as soon as I get this posted which is probably going to be around 3:30am.

I finished the minotaur story.  It’s nowhere near novel length, and it seems to want to be part of the SeaWitch universe, but we’ll see. I’ve put it into the “Novels I’m Ignoring” folder (yes, that is its actual name) and will pull it out to revisit it after I finish SeaWitch (which won’t be for quite a while yet, considering that I have (what I hope are) final revisions to Onyx Sun to finish, and the first round editing and revising of the twelve books of The Academy of the Accord series to do (and a concordance/story bible to make for it) and a sequel (or two) to Song and Sword to plot and write. Oh, and a prequel for it too. And more stories in the Onyx Sun universe and a sequel to Sanguine and… *sigh*)

And I still haven’t won that lottery.

So, anyhow, the minotaur story left me 6422 words short of 50K, and still not enough time to look through other WiPs to find something to work on so I started yet another novel.  Much like the minotaur story I had nothing to go on except the opening scene (and in this case a vague world premise as well), so I’m pantsing again, just like I did the minotaur story.  This one is quite a bit more angsty at the moment but I’m still having fun with it. (Well, aside from the fact that none of the characters have names, and neither does anything else.) I might keep this one active to poke at until November.

Or not.  I’m kind of looking forward to a break from writing to work on other crafts.

I’ll still be thinking about writing, but it will be nice to have some balance.


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Five Months ’til Christmas!

The title actually has nothing to do with this blog post.

When I wrote Friday’s blog post I was 7455 words below par.  I’m now 7440 words below par, which isn’t bad considering that I was working every day, kept up with both blog hops, and was too tired to write anything at all last night.  I’ll get a bit more done before I go to work today and then I’m off for two days, so there is still hope.

So, what am I writing now that I’ve tied up a bunch of loose ends for The Academy of the Accord and added stuff to Onyx Sun?  Well…

Being so far behind on word count I really didn’t have time to poke through some works in progress, so I wrote a scene that’s been in my head for half of forever. It involves a Minotaur and an Elf Druidess.  I wrote their meeting and then just let the thing wander where it wanted.

I’m ending up with a wonderfully fun mess that involves the Elf Druidess (who still needs a name, and who may not be a Druid after all), the Minotaur (whose name is Max, courtesy of a friend of mine), and a Sasquatch named Ghillie (after a ghillie suit).

Oh, and there’s a curse.  Which doesn’t affect the Minotaur or the Elf or the Sasquatch. (I’m pretty sure that Ghillie is a guest star for this book only, but you never know.)

(Yes, I’m pretty sure there’s going to be more than one book with the Minotaur and the Elf.)

I have absolutely no idea where this story is going. I’m totally pantsing the whole thing and having a blast with it.

Will I finish it? Yes, eventually.  It’s going to be a back burner project and low priority because it’s a total mess because I’m making it up as I go so it’s jumping back and forth a lot. But someday, when The Academy of the Accord is done, and the rest of the stories in the Song and Sword universe are done, and The Other Mages trilogy is done, and the sequel to Sanguine is done, and the sequel (and a prequel and maybe a side story) for Onyx Sun are done, and I finish a few other things that are patiently waiting for me to get back to them:

Hedge House
Disturbed Magic (which might have to be a trilogy)
The Trilogy That Still Doesn’t Have A Name
Sea Witch
The Lost House
The Sword and the Shield

and a bunch of others.

Yeah, eventually I’ll get back to this mess.

I’m just not going to promise when.



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The Hundred Word Solution – Part One

Onyx Sun is definitely not coming out until August.  There’s just too much to do to flesh it out enough to match beta reader suggestions.  (One additional scene is already written, but I have to figure out where to put it, and two others (one of which is a totally new ending) are half-written in my head.)

So, it’s looking like Camp NaNoWriMo (which starts in 10 days! Yikes!) is going to be a ‘finish it” month after all, leaving NaNoWriMo in November for the start of a Song and Sword sequel.

So, Camp NaNoWriMo goals are to finish Book Six of The Academy of the Accord and write a new ending and at least one more scene for Onyx Sun.

And then, if there are days and words left, I have a few dozen other projects that would love to have some words added.

Like Book Two of The Other Mages trilogy. (Someday it really will be a finished first draft instead of an on-going inside joke.)

Or writing the alternate (original) version of part of Book One of the Trilogy-That-Is-Yet-To-Be-Named.

Or a prequel to Song and Sword in which Pashevel meets Hierik. (It was supposed to be a short story…)

Hedge House is feeling a bit neglected.

And then there’s Sea Witch that I made the mistake of re-reading the other day and enjoyed and now want to go back to. (It’s a fun story!)

And Disturbed Magic has people who would like to see it finished.

And The Lost House.  I really want to finish that one. I absolutely love one of the main characters. (Well, both of them, actually, but one still needs to have some sense smacked into him and grow up a bit.)

And The Sword and the Shield.  It really just needs a couple more scenes written and it will be done.  (Well, except for an editing issue of monumental proportions that is sitting right smack dab in the middle of the thing and is the main reason I’ve been ignoring it for four and a half years.)

And there are others – too many to mention by name, both works in progress and planned sequels (or prequels).  And that doesn’t count the ever-growing pile of plot bunnies waiting for me.

So with all of these fun and wonderful projects, why haven’t I been writing?

Probably lots of reasons: feeling overwhelmed, lack of motivation, miserable summer heat…

Lots of reasons, but only one solution:



Even if it’s just a hundred words.

In fact, when I set up my non-NaNoWriMo Month word trackers I think I’ll make that the daily goal, at least until I get back into the habit of daily novel writing.

In fact, I might even start tomorrow.

After I clean the rat cage, run errands, catch up on blog hops…

A hundred words is still doable.

But which WiP do I add them to?

I’ll let you know on Friday.


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Planning Ahead

So, April Camp is just past the halfway point and I’m already thinking about July. (And November too, for that matter.  I think I may need an intervention.)

I saw a picture on Face Book the other day that I thought would make an awesome cover for Song and Stone (the sequel to Song and Sword) so I decided that that would be my project for July Camp.

(Before I can use the picture I’d have to track down the artist, so I may just use it to show a cover artist what sort of thing I’m looking for.)

But then yesterday I started thinking that I should use July Camp to finish Hedge House, or maybe Disturbed Magic (the novel I’m posting from for Rainbow Snippets), or any one of half a dozen other works in progress (*cough* The Other Mages trilogy *cough*) and save Song and Stone for November, since I traditionally use the Camps to finish – or try to finish – things that I’ve already started.

So now I’m undecided again.

And overwhelmed.  I always feel that way when I start looking at how many books are waiting to be finished. (I need to stop looking at the big picture and focus on one thing at a time, but that is much easier said than done.)

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday trying to organize a schedule for the rest of the year that takes into account two more NaNoWriMo months and still has me finishing the first round edits of The Academy of the Accord series by the end of December.  I think it might be doable.  Maybe.  Then I’ll have to worry about next year.

And I’ve only figured in stuff pertaining to The Academy of the Accord – first round paper editing, entering the changes in Word, and getting the concordance set up – I haven’t factored in writing at all.  Maybe I’ll try to figure out how to work that in later today.  (Maybe 500 words a day? But which project to work on first?)

And that flash fiction piece is still being a problem, mostly because nothing I come up with is short enough and all my ideas just add to the pile of plot bunnies having an orgy in the wings.

But my biggest problem? That would be the fact that I haven’t won the lottery yet so I still have to go to work.

Well, that, and I still haven’t found a way to avoid the need to sleep now and then.



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Let the Madness Begin!

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Today is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo.  I took the day off work and am hoping for a 5k day, but I’ll settle for three.  Maybe.

NaPoWriMo has also begun, which means that in addition to the 50k I’m doing for Camp there will also be a poem a day written and posted to Craptastic Poetry.

In addition, I stayed up way too late Wednesday night into Thursday morning watching videos on Junk Journals and I really want to make one.  I even started assembling some paper and stuff for one. Or maybe two.  Or twenty.  Or, you know…

And of course I want to do this as April happens…

But on a brighter note, I think I solved the major logic flaw/plot hole I’ve been struggling with in Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord. Inspiration struck yesterday morning while I was in the bathtub.  It’s better than what I had – still not perfect and will need some tweaking – but I can definitely work with it.  (It’s also much closer to what I had originally planned.)

That’s a ways off yet, though.  My current problem is the prologue. I started working on it a little after midnight and it’s not going well.  It’s… boring.  Too much telling and not enough showing.  Too much info dump and word dump. I wasn’t even sure I could fix it in the editing and revision phase.

Then it got a little better and I started holding out hope for it.  I got my traditional “thousand words before bed on the first” written and was going to call it a night, but while getting ready for bed I had an idea for a different approach and had to come back to the computer to write it down.

I’m not sure which one I like better. I want to finish the first one and I want to expand the second one and I think maybe I can combine them.

(This is what happens when my outline is vague.  Seriously, this is what I have for the section on the prologue in my outline: “Garril in Sevrilton after the orphanage rescue – matching files to rescued boys to try to reunite them with family. Gets suspicious when governor wants to help – he seems to be looking for something.”

It took me about 900 words to get to Garril being suspicious – and he’s suspicious by nature. That’s way too long to get into the action/problem/whatever, even for a prologue.

It’s going to be an interesting edit in a couple months, that’s for sure.






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November Panic

Yesterday I was sitting at my computer cuddling a rat, playing on Facebook, and working my way through the two weekly blog hops, and out of nowhere I had a mild anxiety attack.


Because I have no idea what I’m going to write for NaNoWriMo in November.

(Yes, I am aware that it’s only March.)

I have no idea why that suddenly seemed panic-worthy.

I mean, it’s not like I don’t have a plot bunny breeding facility in my brain.

And it’s not like they don’t start multiplying faster than Tribbles on fertility meds as November approaches. (The last two weeks of October seem to be the prime Plot Bunny birthing season.)

And it’s not like I don’t have enough WiPs to keep me busy for years…

And maybe that’s the problem.

I have so many works in progress that it almost seems like I don’t have room for new projects.

Or maybe I’m just feeling like maybe I should finish some of them. (“Finish”? Did I really just use “the ‘f’ word” in a blog post?)

I don’t know, but, seriously, I’m panicking about November when I haven’t even started April’s Camp, let alone July’s?

I mean, I know what I’m writing for April, but I’m not panicking over July.  Nope. I went straight to November.

Maybe because July is a Camp and I tend to be a rebel during Camp and work on existing manuscripts.

I suppose November could be the beginnings of a sequel to Song and Sword or Sanguine.  That would solve the crisis and I know there are a couple people who want to see a sequel to Song and Sword.



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“But First…”

Yes, this post is late today.

Part of the reason is that I totally flaked yesterday and forgot to do it, even though it was on my list of things to do.  (I didn’t look at my list of things to do much yesterday, though — I was kind of busy trying to keep food in my stomach.  Stupid virus.)


I really need to get some writing done today, but first…

First I had to go meet someone I was selling my extra rat cages to, but first I threw a load of laundry in the washer.

Then I needed to go to Sam’s Club but first we had to get some lunch.

Then it was head for home, but first I had to stop at Michael’s.

We got home and unloaded the car and I was ready to write but first I had to get the laundry out of the washer.

But first…

But first is the reason nothing ever seems to get done, even though (sometimes) a lot gets accomplished that way.

Like tomorrow…

Tomorrow I want to rearrange three pieces of furniture in my room, but first I have to move stuff off of and out of said furniture.

And run the vacuum.

And two pieces have to be moved before the other one can.

It’s kind of like editing.

I’m doing first round edits on Book One of the Academy of the Accord series and there’s a house that needs to be moved to later in the book.  (The characters need it for a retreat.)

But first I have to do something with the fact that there are people living there, and I can’t just write them out because they provide information that the main characters need.

And there’s a character that they meet that they’re going to need again in a later book but first I have to figure out what happens to him in between.

Actually, there are two characters like that.

And since in later books I completely changed some of the things that happened in Book One (to solve some logic flaws) I also need to completely redo Vinadi going home to check to see if his family is all right.

As in, change the cast of characters that are there when they arrive.



I can maybe keep them… just make a couple changes…

But first I should probably do something with the changes I’ve already made and get it printed again and start over because my notes are getting far too confusing.

But first I need to get my word count built up and work on finishing Book Seven and outlining my NaNoWriMo novel and…

But first…

First I think I need more caffeine.

And maybe some chocolate.

Definitely some chocolate.


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