What happened?

Let’s chat, shall we?

Let me start by saying that I’m trying an experiment and moving the free fiction to Friday. I want to see if it has better results there. (catch last week’s now) Not going to lie. This is all about the exposure. Me running the free fiction does no good if only a few people are reading it. I want more eyes on it.

If you were looking for my progress blog that I usually run on Monday and didn’t see it, you’re not imagining things. I didn’t run it. I had originally thought that it would be a way of me being publicly accountable, and I still like that idea, but I’m not sure anyone really cares. I thought someone might be interested in seeing how all gets done in my life and the incremental baby steps it takes. I had hoped that it would inspire others. Instead, I feel as if it didn’t have the intended effect. I also didn’t come back to review it like I thought I would.

Feeling like no one really cared culminated with other factors (cold, snow, gray skies, working many hours, little sleep, and a desperate need for sunshine) into a massive depression for me. Massive.

I don’t like talking about my depression or admitting that I have it. I’ve seen others with depression and mine is very mild comparatively. Usually I can resolve mine by getting more sleep. Not this time. I had the stupid little voices working away in my head and they wouldn’t leave me be. I began to feel destructive. Worse, I couldn’t cry. I felt as if I could vent with tears, things might be okay.

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Progress – February 25, 2019

Egads! Are we at the end of February already?

I had a good trip going and coming from Utah last week. Had some blowing snow across the road, but for the most part it was clear and dry.

Wizarding Dayz was a very family-friendly show. I did a lot of networking, met some great people, and got a cartoon done courtesy of Alex Lee Buie.

That dang dimple in my chin!

I met several writers I didn’t know before and look forward to getting to know them and their work better.

Wizarding Dayz is very Harry Potter themed, and I caught a couple wizards walking around.

Oh, and here was a shot of my booth:

I also found a stowaway among my books. Bob joined the adventure. Here he is here hiding behind Loki’s chair.

See his happy little grin? He was so pleased with himself. Just about as much as when he crashed my “vacation” when I went to a writers’ conference in Oregon. He’s such a freeloader! *grin*

At least it was only Kevin and myself going out for Chinese food at Chin Wah.

We also had dinner one night at Los Cucos, but I didn’t get any fantastic pictures of the food. Bummer. It was good. We were hungry.

I surprised myself and got my words done each day. On Friday I managed to get most of them in during the show; there just wasn’t a whole lot of traffic, so I used my time. I always figure that the fastest way to make people come up to my booth is to start to write. I get immersed and *poof* people come and pulling me out of it. Murphy’s Law. *grin* It’s just one of the many ways I hack the universe.

Earlier in the week, I finished editing Tangled Magic and got it to my reader. Yeah. I also got back on track with the audio, but I’m still not sure there’s not some I will have to throw out and re-record. I’m experimenting at this point.

As I’m writing this, I haven’t got any painting done yet, but I hope to change that soon. I want to get started on a new painting tonight (Sunday). There probably won’t be any new painting listed in my numbers below, unless I decide to do something small, but I really want to get to work on another large painting. We’ll see what I really do when I step up to the easel. I’m thinking about Mexican leftovers first.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week:  4,618 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  957 words.

Daily word goal reached for 198 days! Weekly word goal reached for 31 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  20,513words

Writing year to date total: 45,677 words

Drawing/painting last week: None for this week.

Audio: About 2 hours editing audio.




Clouds over grassy knolls

Progression paintings for the new 18″x24″ acrylic painting I’ve been working on.

I wanted a bright autumn tree against a dark sky showing signs of winter coming. Here’s the first layer:

The dark clouds in the sky felt way too dark. I tried repeatedly to get it to lighten up. You can see some of the background mountain and trees here too.

You can see the dark clouds lightened up quite a bit here and I’ve added the trunks for the trees I want to be in the mid-ground, Also working on the trees, brush, and ground on the left side of the painting.

I finally decided I had to quit tinkering with the dark background clouds and get to work on my main tree. I’ve put it in and a tree on the left a little closer in the foreground. Built up this grassy knoll on the left side too. I really didn’t know if I liked it or not, but why should the land be flat. I decided to let it be and see what developed with it. The fun is in the exploring, right?

The final painting. I pushed in more weeds around the grassy knoll, which did remain, but I discarded the second tree stump closest to the right side of the canvas. It just didn’t look good, especially when I started the younglings along the left side of the remaining tree.

I love how the road divides this, making it look like fall has taken a deep hold on the right side along with the incoming storm while the right side sees fall coming, but is holding out the last breaths of summer. Hmm, I wonder if that’s a good title for this painting. That, as of right now, hasn’t been decided.

I’m thinking about framing this up, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. It’ll have to wait until I get home from Wizarding Dayz.

Speaking of which, I should probably go continue getting ready for the show. I hope you enjoyed taking a look at the progression of this painting.

Happy adventuring.

Progress – February 18, 2019

Let me here a big “Woo-hoo!”

WOO-HOO!

Oh, yeah! That’s what I’m talking about. *grin*

I know, you want to know why you have to give a big congratulatory whoop. Here it is: I finished my read-though edits of Tangled Magic last week and got it to my reader. She, in turn, sent me back my story Alexander’s Den. Now I just have to edit up those corrections.

Books I ordered to restock my supply for Wizarding Dayz come in. I’ll be heading to Sandy, Utah, for that later this week. I hope the weather is good for driving there and back, as well as for my son who is coming home from Pocatello to help me with the show.

I finished the 18″x24″ painting I’ve been working on the last couple of weeks. I hope to have more on that later in the week — planning on doing the progression painting photos on the blog. We’ll see if I get there or if I’m too busy getting ready for the show.

Also spent some time in my booth getting audio recorded since I won’t be doing any for a couple of weeks.

Here are the numbers for this week:

Fiction words written last week:  4,206 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,228 words.

Daily word goal reached for 191 days! Weekly word goal reached for 30 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  14,938 words

Writing year to date total: 40,102 words

Drawing/painting last week: As I said above, I finished my 18″x24″ acrylic landscape painting. I posted a photo of it online and it seems like people are enjoying it.

Audio: I spent 2 hours editing and recording audio. It was very slow because as I was merging in the dialogue for a chapter, I kept discovering missing lines. I tried to go onto another chapter, but I wasn’t ready for that any other chapter later on down the line either. So, I had to wait until I could find time to get back to it. But now I should be good again, so I can get back to work on that. It did give me some time to, oh, sleep and work on the edits for Tangled Magic. I think that’s the reason I got through the edits. I guess that’s one of the good things about doing multiple things.




Phoenix nebula

So I thought I was going to have a book cover reveal this week. Yep, that’s not happening, Life has blown this week out of the water. I’m counting myself fortunate enough to be doing this post, thought it’ll probably be short unless I find myself with something suddenly to say or rattling on like this sentence is. Yeah, I go off like that sometimes. *grin*

I thought I’d show you one of the paintings I finished last week. I do wish I had more work in progress pictures of it, but I wasn’t certain about this painting. It probably really hit rock bottom when I had just started it and my youngest son walked by and said, “So, Mom, what’s up with the eclipse and the alligator.”

Eclipse and alligator? Well he wasn’t wrong. Here’s sort of what he was seeing:

You see the “eclipse” at the top of the painting and the alligator at the bottom left. I do believe this is actually after he had made his comment and I had started a second coat, getting rid of the alligator’s open jaws so much. You can still see the two parts sticking out that originally made it’s mouth. Yep, can’t get much worse from there.

I wish I’d remembered to take a picture of the first layer when I started, but I really did feel like I’d messed it up right from the get-go. Then the eclipse and alligator really made me question it. But I had this burr that I really wanted to work with, to try this, to see what would happen. So I continued. That’s when I ended up with the picture above, and then this.

This is after a few more layers and some stars added. I was tempted to go with the angel look here, but I decided to hold to the idea I really wanted.

More layers, added so black back to it, and more stars. This is the finished piece.

I really want to do this, or something like this, on a larger canvas. I am having so much fun with these space nebulae. I’m learning something new with each one. It’s definitely been an interesting journey. I never thought I’d be creating these as beautiful as they are. My first attempts at nebulae were so awful. I’m glad the urge to continue attempting to paint these never abandoned me.

Onward! Let us continue our explorations!

Progress – February 4, 2019

It was suggested to me last week that one of the reasons I might have been feeling so tired was because of the weather. I forget how cloudy days have such an effect. I made it a point to let more sunlight into my office and that certainly did help. I also reminded myself that I had to take better care of myself — I’d let that slip and I’m sure it also took it’s toll. As a result, I got a lot done even with my day job taking up extra time as it always does at the end of January.

So as soon as I started to get my energy back up, I got to work on the cover for Cirvel’s story, which I think will begin to run next week on my blog. It’s still in draft form, but I’ll have a cover reveal later this week. I also realized that I never finalized the cover for Walk the Path, the second part of Rivic’s story. So, I have that to be working on. Maybe getting it done will help invigorate me to get the edits done for Tangled Magic and Walk the Path. I’m about three quarters of the way through Tangled Magic, but I have found a big section that needs some help. Basically, I have Rivic leaving Cirvel’s chambers and having a fight with Nyree, chapter break, then Rivic is returning to Cirvel’s chambers. In rearranging scenes, I ended up butting these two up against each other. Something has to be fixed. I’m not sure what I want to do, if I just want to have a short transition or if I want to fill the space with another scene. The latter feels as if that’s the best option, but I worry about being able to balance the books. Yep, I’m glad that I’m writing them together.

I also had an experience were I looked out a window and saw something red hanging from a tree branch. It was merely a speck that I could barely see, but I wondered what it was. It was one of those moments when I felt a character invading. She told me it was a ribbon and now that it was red, she knew that her beloved was dead. Within 900 words, I suspected that I was writing the story about how the Plenelians came to hate magic. I’ve always wondered why. It’s been a question I’ve been pondering for nearly 30 years. Yes, a story I wrote that long ago featured the Plenelians, but I didn’t realize it at the time — it actually came in splitting the first draft of Rivic’s story (back when I’d been writing it for Nanowrimo) that I realized my character was a Plenelian. Yeah, if you’re confused, try being in my head for a while. *grin*

That story had now created over 3,000 words this week. Write it down while it flows.

I returned to work some on Elliot’s story when Cirvel’s slowed down. Since those two tie together, I have a feeling I’ve got to get them to work in conjunction. I found a huge hole in Elliot’s story — there’s a plot element from a long time ago when Elliot’s story was originally a romance (remember that time from 30 years ago I’d mentioned earlier — yeah, same dumb portion of my life, back when I believed in romance). Anyway, that aspect of the setting has got to go. I tried to keep it, but I find it interfering with the story I’m trying to tell now. I had to go have a chat with Cirvel about what he was trying to accomplish. That interview is going slowly; the man can be stubborn when he wants. However, I think I have what I need to know, but there’s going to be some rewriting on Elliot’s story to clean out the junk. And you know, I’m rewriting this whole damn book all because there is one scene I want to preserve from the defunct romance. One scene. I have almost the whole manuscript sitting in a drawer. How easy would it be to pull it out and just retype and publish that? Very. But I can’t get behind that story. I didn’t realize then that it was part of Cirvel’s story. I don’t want to tell it as a romance any more. I changed Elliot’s character completely. They really are no longer the same story.

Don’t worry, the original version of Quest for the Three Books was a romance too. That turned out much better because I took the awful romance out of it.

Okay, there is a part of me that misses the romance, back in that time of my life where I could believe in it. Why? For the sake of not running this blog too long, I will tell you tomorrow. How does that sound?

Great! Onward then.

I finished the edits for the audio for Oxygen and I got the audiobook cover done for that. I still need to make a correction before I upload the audio, but it’s a simple correction. I just need a moment to do that and start the upload.

Meanwhile, I’m back to recording Manifest the Magic and I’m hopeful I can salvage the voices I have already done. I merged in voices on the first chapter and I like the way it sounds.

I also finished another space painting this week. I hope to have more on that later this week too.

Well, I guess that’s all for now. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week:  5,093 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,333 words.

Daily word goal reached for 177 days! Weekly word goal reached for 28 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  25,164 words for January , 3,851 for February so far.

Writing year to date total: 29,015 words

Drawing/painting last week: Finished a 9″x12″ painting that I want to incorporate into a larger painting. Also still working on that larger piece I started last week.

Audio: I spent 6 hours editing and recording audio.

Progress – January 28, 2019

There are some weeks when I am just tired. Last week was one of them.

In trying to reboot my painting, I have several decisions to make. That lead me, of course, to research to find tools that will help me and that, obviously, leads me to testing several different tools to see which one(s) I like.

What frustrates me is that I had a tool I liked. It had years of data in it. I did want to clean it up some, maybe divide the database. But because of changes in technology, the program doesn’t work quite right any more. The company that developed it still has a website that for the last two years has asked for patience while they update their systems — they want to move to a cloud platform. However, I’m not sure they are serious about that any longer. I have exported the artwork data from the program, but it’s not easy to import without a lot of cleanup, mapping fields, and making it fit a new program.

With that experience, I don’t want to start something else that could potentially disappear or become obsolete. Which makes me think about paper files — good until a fire, or flood, etc.

So, it makes me leery to pull the trigger on anything. I don’t want something I will just end up rebuilding in seven to ten years. I realize that technology changes and that we have to have forward movement, but it seems like everything always needs constant updating and when a business no longer wishes to continue, they just close up. No one wants to build for a legacy, only for the current moment (and dollar, though I’ve read that the average lifespan of a solid business is about 30 years). It makes me tired.

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